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Harry Potter and the Invincible Technomage
Leaving Home and Making Friends
A/N: I do not own Harry Potter. Nor any of the Marvel Comics Characters mentioned herein. But you knew that.
A/N2: This is an extremely AU fic starting with 1st year (actually it starts earlier than that, but that will be shown in a chapter or three). This Harry is not the compliant little protoweapon of canon. He has been exposed to the Heroes, Gods, Mutants, Magic users and all the men and women of mystery that the Marvel Universe has to offer. Needless to say Hogwarts and the British Wizarding Society may not know what hit it.
Harry Potter and The Invincible TechnoMage
Chapter One – Leaving Home and Making Friends
“I’m guessing this is the place.” The tall well dressed man scanned the entrances between Platform Nine and Platform Ten of London’s Kings Cross Train station. He checked his watch “half an hour early.”
“If you’re not early, you’re late” said the young boy quoting one of the man’s own truisms back to him. The man was getting a continuous stream of appraising looks from the women in the station. The man was oblivious to the female attention he attracted, something that amused the boy to no end. Small groups of oddly dressed people walked briskly up to the wall dividing Platform nine and Platform ten, pushing trolleys laden with old fashioned luggage, and seemingly walked straight through the wall.
The tall man knelt and pulled the boy into a hug. “Take care of yourself Kiddo. I’d go with you, but Stephen said I’d be about as welcome as a skunk.”
Most boys his age would be mortified by the idea of being hugged by his father in public. This boy was not most boys and put all his strength into returning the hug. “I know. Please thank Stephen, Steve, Wanda and Mistress Harkness for helping me get ready for this. Make sure Jarvis, Pepper, Happy and Rhodey know I miss them already. I love you Dad.”
The tall man ruffled the mop of hair that several dozen of the world’s best (read most expensive) hair dressers all declared totally beyond control. “If you love me you’ll email Jarvis and the Power girls as soon as you settle in. That might keep them off my back.”
“I will Dad.”
“And remember what Agatha said about this culture. Keep your batteries charged. I wish you’d let me armor up that Techsuit of yours.”
“Armor’s your thing Dad. After I see what I’m up against I might reconsider, but for now, I’ll take mobility over armor.”
“I had the same discussion with Steve once or twice. But he let me armor him up a couple of times before he rejected the idea out of hand.” He smiled. “My own fault for raising a smart kid.”
“That and not locking the lab better.”
“Pffbt! When I built the security for that lab I got Reed to test it out. It took him 6 hours, an uplink to his Cray-II mainframe AND Ben to get in.”
“Wow. I beat him by 5 ½ hours?”
“He still doesn’t like talking about it. Ben teases him about it all the time.” The tall man smiled, “I don’t know if it would bother him as much if you hadn’t been nine at the time.”
“I’d better go Dad. Wouldn’t want to show up early and miss the train by clinging to Daddy. That would mark me as being pretty lame.”
The tall man stood smiling. “We can’t have anyone thinking you ‘lame’. Well, go on then. We’ll see you at Christmas.”
“Bye Dad.” The boy reached down to grab the handle of his trunk. He lifted one side and a pair of wheels allowed it to roll effortlessly. Promising himself not to look back, he approached the hidden entrance between Platform nine and Platform Ten, and passed through, vanishing from sight.
“Goodbye Harry.” The tall man said as his son disappeared through the barrier.
It hurt to see him go. Really hurt. Worse than the time the shrapnel from the landmine had nearly killed him. Feeling rather older than his 38 years, he turned and left the station, catching a cab to London City Airport, where a quinjet waited for the ninety minute trip home.
The boy exited the barrier onto the hidden platform. A scarlet steam engine was waiting next to the platform. People crowded everywhere, younger children running to and fro, older kids just acting stupid and goofing off, and a very few of the oldest on the platform making out in secluded corners. A sign overhead said Hogwarts’ Express, eleven o’clock.
He looked back at the barrier and saw a wrought-iron archway with the words Platform Nine and Three-Quarters on it.
The first few carriages were already packed with students, some hanging out of the window to talk to their families, some fighting over seats. Harry pulled his trunk down the platform in search of a coach not filled to overflowing. He passed a round-faced boy, who was saying,
“Gran, I’ve lost my toad again.”
“Oh, Neville,” he heard the old woman sigh.
Something gray and hoppy passed his feet. The Boy reached down and grabbed the gray hoppy thing, and it was indeed a toad, he returned to the round faced boy.
“I heard you say you lost a toad? This him?”
“Trevor!” the other boy was ecstatic. “Thanks so much, I thought I’d lost him.” He extended his hand “I’m Neville Longbottom.”
Taking the offered hand the boy replied “Harry Stark.”
“Gran, Trevor’s found. Gran, this is Harry Stark, Harry, my grandmother, the Lady Longbottom.”
“Ma’am.” Said Harry bowing slightly.
Augusta Longbottom shook his offered hand. “Thank you for helping Neville Mr. Stark.”
“Mr. Stark is my dad Ma’am. I’m just Harry.”
“Is that an American accent I hear Harry?”
“Yes Ma’am. I’m British born, but my guardians were killed in the US while on a business trip, I didn’t have any other family to come to here, so I was adopted and stayed in the US.” He shrugged. “You could have knocked me over with a feather when Professor Dumbledore came by this last summer and told me I had a place at Hogwarts.”
“You’re a first year then? So am I.” Neville seemed overjoyed at having someone to talk to, his relationship with his grandmother seemed to Harry to be awfully formal. Perhaps he was intimidated by the woman. She did come off somewhat imperious, but Harry knew all about imperious. After all he had told Namor to get his feet off the coffee table at the age of 8.
“Cool, wanna try to get a seat together?” Having someone to talk too sounded good to Harry as well.
“Yes, please,” Neville turned to his grandmother. “Thank you Gran, see you at Christmas.”
The woman pulled Neville into a hug. “I expect an owl at least once a week young man. Have a good year, make us proud.” She released the boy. “It was nice to meet you Mr. Stark, Harry. You have a good year as well.”
“Thank you Ma’am.”
Deciding to avoid fighting the crowd, Harry and Neville made their way to the last car on the train, together they got both trunks tucked away in a corner of the last compartment in the last car of the train.
They sat making small talk, waiting to see who if anyone joined them. Neville informed Harry that an average year at Hogwarts was around 50 students. That surprised Harry though he wasn’t really sure just why he was surprised at the small size of the school. At 350 students on average spread over seven years, Hogwarts wasn’t as large as an average small town high school in the States. This offered one of two explanations, first that Hogwarts was extremely exclusive and took only the best of the best with those not making the cut going to other less prestigious schools, or second the magical population of the UK was extremely small.
Since he hadn’t be tested in any way for magical ability, and he had been told that he had been on the list for Hogwarts since he was born coupled with his memories of having nothing to his name as a child, led him in the extremely low population conclusion, which was unto it’s self disturbing. Was a population producing an average of 50 children per year viable? Was it self-sustaining? So much to research.
It was then Harry spotted Trevor making another break for it. Snatching the toad up from the floor, Trevor was again returned to Neville.
“Thanks. I don’t know why he keeps doing that.”
“Just a sec, let me see if I’ve got something in my trunk for him” Harry went over to his trunk, allowing a second for his Techsuit to interface with the locks, opened it and started digging. Ah, perfect, he pulled out a small cardboard box containing a prototype gyroscope he had been playing with (there were certain advantages in being Tony Starks adopted son when it came to electronic and electrical toys). From the bottom of the trunk he found a truly horrid pair of hand knitted socks from one of Jennifer Walters’s maternal phases. Honestly, purple was a terrible color for socks. He had worn them exactly once, just long enough for her to see him wearing them. They would make an excellent toad nest. He removed the gyroscope and its foam packing from the box, and stuffed the socks into it; he then closed and locked the trunk.
“This ought to work as a Toad Hole.”
“Thanks Harry.” Trevor was introduced to his new temporary home, and appeared to happily settle in for a nap (though with a toad, who could tell?) Carefully setting the box aside, Neville returned to Harry. “What’s a gyroscope?”
“Gyroscopes are tools. They’re used for stabilization. Really useful.”
The Compartment door slide open. There stood a girl, already wearing her Hogwarts robes; she evidently had come to the station wearing them. “Do you mind if I sit here with you? I can’t find anywhere else.” She seemed a bit sad for some reason. Harry quickly evaluated her as being fairly plain, but when compared to Julie Power, as far as Harry was concerned, most girls were fairly plain.
“Grab a seat, lots of room.”
“Thank you.” She sounded dejected.
Harry and Neville exchanged a look. They both rose and took the trunk she was dragging behind her, putting it in the corner with their own.
“Homesick already?” Neville asked.
“No.” she said in a quiet voice. “Well, maybe a little. I already had a seat up front, behind the prefect carriage; some older students came in and threw me out, calling me horrible names. I’m not sure what the names meant, but I can guess.”
“You’re Muggle born then?” asked Neville
“Yes.” She said, looking like she expected them to turn on her now.
“Idiots.” Neville spat. The girl brightened.
“Uh, hating to sound like a clueless schmoe idiot, but what’s a Muggle?” Harry hated not knowing things.
“Someone born of non-magical parents.” Neville looked to his new friend. ”What’s a schmoe?”
“It means ‘A stupid or obnoxious person.’ It’s from Yiddish.” The girl recited, and then looked embarrassed.
“You’ve got an interesting vocabulary Harry.” Neville turned to the girl “So do you. Who your parents are doesn’t matter at all. Magic is magic; your bloodline doesn’t mean anything. Look at me, Pureblooded as you can get, verified at least 20 generations back in every branch and I’m practically a squib. What about you Harry?”
“I don’t know. Professor Dumbledore told me that my Dad was a pureblood, though I wasn’t sure what that meant, and I’m still not all that clear on it. He also said that my Mom was the first witch in her family, and was very powerful. What does that make me?”
“The idiots who care about that sort of thing would call you a half-blood.”
“Well, hey look at us, one of each.” He turned to the girl “Hi there, Harry Stark, Half-Blood, pleased to meet you.”
She dimpled when she smiled. Harry’s estimation of cute spiked to interesting. “Hermione Granger, Muggle-Born, how do you do.”
Neville bowed to the two of them “Neville Longbottom, scion of the House of Longbottom, upon turning seventeen I will be made Lord Longbottom of the Ancient and Noble House of Longbottom. Pureblood of course, you may grovel before me.”
That broke the three of them up. They were still laughing when the door slid open again and a pair of girls were at the door.
“Can we sit with you? It’s getting kind of crowded up front.” Asked the Blonde.
“We’re first years too.” Added the Redhead.
“Come on in,” Neville laughed, “as long as you don’t mind the conspiracy in here.”
The train jolted as it started to move.
“Harry Stark, Half-Blood, welcome to the last compartment of the last car.”
“Hermione Granger” she smiled at the new comers “Muggle-Born, come one come all.”
“Neville Longbottom, Pureblood, you may grovel.”
The new girls joined in the laughter.
“Susan Bones.” The red head said “Pureblood, send some of that groveling over here.
“Hannah Abbott, Half-blood. I only grovel if I get paid.”
“Hey!” Harry said, noticing the scenery of the train moving through the city at a fairly high rate of speed, “I just thought of something. Hannah, if you and I get together, we’d stop being a pair of oppressed Half-bloods and become one oppressing Whole-blood. Then we could start a reign of terror that would make Ivan the Terrible look like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm!”
Hannah and Hermione joined him in laughing at his silly joke, Susan and Neville just looked perplexed.
“Ivan?” Susan asked.
“Ivan the Terrible, Tsar of the Russians in the 16th century, horrible man, hence the nickname” Hermione said.
“Rebecca?” asked Neville.
“Fictional character, she was all sweetness and goodness.” Harry explained. “I’m guessing you don’t read a lot of world history or classical stories?”
“No, mostly Wizarding history and stories” Neville admitted.
“In all fairness, we don’t know those.” Said Hermione.
“I’m guessing that Hogwarts will teach both sides of the histories.”
“So, does anyone have any preferences as to what house you get sorted into?” Hermione asked. “I think Gryffindor sounds the best. They say Dumbledore himself was a Gryffindor.
“Our parents were all Hufflepuffs together, that’s how we know each other” Hannah offered.
“They say that houses tend to run in families, but not always.” Added Susan.
“My parents were Gryffindors” Neville said. “I don’t know if I’ll qualify though, I’m not all that brave.”
“Brave enough to befriend an ignorant stranger with a yank accent, then go on to make that horrible ‘Grovel before me’ joke.” Harry laughed. “As for me, I have no idea what these ‘houses’ are all about, I don’t even know which one my birth parents were in. I’ll just take it as it comes.”
The conversation carried on as conversations among pre-teens will, after about three hours after leaving London there was a great clattering outside in the corridor and a smiling, woman slid back the door and said, “Anything off the cart, dears?”
They all went out into the corridor to inspect what was available on the snack trolley. Harry had never heard of any of the items on the cart. There were Bettie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum, Chocolate Frogs. Pumpkin Pasties, Cauldron Cakes, Licorice Wands, and a number of other strange things. Everything available appeared to be some variation of a sweet. Harry’s snacking had always tended toward salty, and frankly nothing appealed to him, he returned to the compartment empty handed. He noticed that Hermione also came back without anything, shaking her head.
“My parents are both Dentists, they pretty much trained me to avoid sweets. How about you?”
“I’m more of a salty snacker myself. That and my Dad made sure I had a big lunch while he was saying goodbye.”
Hannah and Susan returned each with an emergency supply of sweets; Neville came back in with most of a lifetime supply. Harry assisted him in getting to his trunk to stash his stash. When they returned to their seats they found Hermione staring at Trevor’s new toad hole.
“Neville, why do you have a gyroscope?”
“My toad Trevor’s in there. He was always running off, Harry gave me the box to keep him in.”
“Ok, Harry, why do you have a gyroscope?”
“Just a little project I’m working on. I’m trying to stabilize a suspended platform on battery power.”
“It won’t work at Hogwarts you know. Magic does something to electricity.”
“All my toys are geared toward magic, it will be fine.”
She gave him an odd look. Then peered more closely at the box. He saw her mouth ‘Stark International’ she suddenly looked at him with a questioning look. “Harry Stark?”
“As in Tony Stark?”
“Do you know Iron Man?”
“Sure. Nice guy. Kinda stiff, but nice.”
“Wait, wait, wait, back that up. You’re related to Tony Stark, as in the 6th richest man on the planet?” Hannah was suddenly very intense.
“4th. some of his newer inventions just went on the market.”
“Harry, have I mentioned how attractive you are?”
“Have I mentioned that I don’t inherit any of it?”
“Then I hate you and everything you stand for.”
The compartment again dissolved into laughter.
Exiting the train in their new Hogswarts robes the five new friends heard the call:
“Firs’ years! Firs’ years over here!” The man speaking was huge. Larger than Thor, but small than Hank Pym at his largest Harry thought. Looking at how the man carried himself Harry doubted he shared the Thunder God’s strength, but he was still a sight to behold. The first years were settled into boats “No more’n four to a boat!” Neville, Hermione and Harry piled into one boat, Hannah and Susan got into another with another two girls, all of the boats sailed away from the docks on command.
“Heads down!” the giant yelled as the first boats reached the cliff; they all ducked as the little boats carried them through a curtain of ivy that hid a wide opening in the cliff face. They went through a long dark tunnel, which went underneath the castle.
The door swung open at once. A tall, black-haired witch in emerald-green robes stood there. She had a very stern face and Harry’s first thought was that this was not someone to cross. For all the world she reminded him of much younger Agatha Harkness.
“The firs’ years, Professor McGonagall,” said the giant.
“Thank you, Hagrid. I will take them from here.”
She led them inside. The stone walls were lit with flaming torches like the ones in a horror movie, the ceiling towered high above them, and a glistening marble staircase facing them led to the upper floors.
Following Professor McGonagall Harry could hear the drone of voices from a doorway. The upper classes must be waiting, but the first years were shown into a small alcove off the hall.
“Welcome to Hogwarts,” said Professor McGonagall. “The start-of-term feast will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your houses. The Sorting is a very significant ceremony because, while you are here, your house will be something like your family within Hogwarts. You will have classes with the rest of your house, sleep in your house dormitory, and spend free time in your house common room.
“The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each house has its own noble history and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your house points, while any breaking of the rules will lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the house cup, a great honor. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours.
“The Sorting Ceremony will take place in a few minutes in front of the rest of the school. I shall return when we are ready for you,” said Professor McGonagall. “Please wait quietly.”
“How does one get sorted into a house?” A tall boy in the back asked in cultured tones.
“Some sort of test, I think. My brother Fred said it hurts a lot, but he might have been joking.” Offered a red headed boy.
Harry frowned. A test seemed unlikely, from Agatha Harkness he knew that the majority of new students were not allowed to do magic under Magical Britain’s system. Most of them only got their wands when their school supplies were purchased about a month before. Professor Dumbledore the Headmaster of this school hadn’t mentioned anything about a test. Harry concluded that the red head’s older brother had been having him on. He then noticed Hermione Granger, was whispering to herself, and mouthing the words very quickly. On the train she has spoken about committing her class books to memory, and now it seemed that she was running through all the spells she’d learned and wondering which one she’d need. Harry smiled. She was quickly becoming more and more interesting. He had never gone through the ‘girls are icky’ stage that a lot of boys seemed to, and he was really looking forward to getting to know this bushy haired girl.
“Come along now,” said a sharp voice. “The Sorting Ceremony’s about to start.”
Professor McGonagall had returned. “Form a line,” Professor McGonagall told the first years, “and follow me.”
Harry got into line behind a boy with sandy hair, with the red haired boy with the brother named Fred behind him, and they walked out of the chamber, back across the hall, and through a pair of double doors into the Great Hall. This was an amazing place. Lit by thousands of hovering candles the huge room had four long tables, where the rest of the students were sitting. At the far end the hall was another long table where Adults (presumably the staff) were sitting. Professor McGonagall led the first years to near the staff table so that they came to a halt in a line facing the other students, with the teachers behind them. The hundreds of faces stared at them in the flickering candlelight. Scattered among the students, were ghosts shining in a misty silver haze.
Professor McGonagall silently placed a four-legged stool in front of the first years. On top of the stool she placed a stereotypical pointed wizard’s hat. This hat was patched and frayed, but even at a distance, Harry could feel the magic in it. He wasn’t sure that Mistress Harkness would have approved, the hat felt like it was… Alive.
Everyone in the hall was now staring at the hat, expectantly. For a few seconds, there was complete silence. Then the hat twitched. A rip near the brim opened wide like a mouth — and the hat began to sing:
In every fic with a sorting scene,
The Author includes a song.
With prose abused cruel and mean,
And they go on much too long.
The smart ones just include
The hat’s libretto from the canon.
The others, well they’re just rude,
And quite abusive to the fanon.
For this fic, let’s just assume
The hat was verbose and quite witty.
Because my poetry will clear a room,
It really is that shitty.
For you purists who need the fic to have a sorting song,
And lacking the same would drive you to try to pick a bone.
I would suggest you should please yourself and surely do no wrong,
If you were to reread the verse from the book about the stone.
The whole hall applauded as the hat finished its song. It bowed to each of the four tables and then became quite still again.
“So we’ve just got to try on the hat!” Harry heard the Redhead whisper. “I’ll kill Fred; he was going on about wrestling a troll.”
Professor McGonagall now stepped forward holding a long roll of parchment. “When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted,” she said.
Hannah left the line and put on the hat, which fell right down over her eyes. She sat down for a moment until the hat shouted “HUFFLEPUFF!”
The table on the right cheered and clapped as Hannah went to sit down at the Hufflepuff table. Harry a fat ghost that looked like a medieval monk waving merrily at her.
The rest of the first years were sorted in a similar manner, they would place the hat on their heads, the hat would decide what house they would go to, and announce the selection at the top of its nonexistent lungs, then the student would go to his or her new house to the thunderous applause of that house. Susan went to Hufflepuff to join Hannah, Hermione joined the Ravenclaws at their table, and Neville went to Gryffindor house.
Harry was taken completely by surprise when his own name was called:
Harry stepped forward; ignoring the whispers suddenly broke out all over the hall.
“Potter, did she say?”
“The Harry Potter?”
He didn’t understand why almost the entire hall full of people was suddenly craning their necks to get a look at him.
“Yes Mr. Potter? Hurry up, sit down and put the hat on.”
“My name is Stark, not Potter. Harry Stark.
Harry sat on the stool and lowered the hat over his head. He waited.
“Hmm,” said a small voice in his ear. “Difficult. Very difficult. Plenty of courage, I see. Not a bad mind either. There’s talent, oh my goodness, yes — and a nice thirst to prove yourself, now that’s interesting… So where shall I put you?”
Harry gripped the edges of the stool and thought, I want to learn! I want to be with my friends! I need to be where I can help!
“Learning is important to you, eh?” said the small voice. “Are you sure? You will be great whatever house you go to. Your friends are scattered in three different houses. Ah, you don’t care. Are you the one I’ve been waiting for? The one destined to unite the houses? Let’s see now. Slytherin would help you focus that anger I see in you no doubt about that. Gryffindor would let you revel in your courage. Hufflepuff would reward the loyalty to those your trust and believe in. Maybe. Ravenclaw would challenge your mind hmm. I don’t recall any student as hard to place as you since I got this responsibility Mr. Potter.
My name is Stark. I’m Harry Stark.
At the Staff Table Dumbledore was becoming concerned. This sorting was well into its tenth minute, longer than any sorting in living memory. He was about to intervene when the hat spoke again.
“Well, if you’re sure Mr. Stark — better be RAVENCLAW!”
Following the sorting, the evening meal was served. The meal was interesting unto it’s self. Dishes he dimly recalled from what he thought of as ‘the bad times’ were in front of him along with dishes he didn’t recognize at all. He sat with Hermione to his left and Padma Patil on his right. Both the girls were frighteningly intelligent. Upper classmen sat across from them and explained how things in Ravenclaw house worked.
There was a three hour study session for first years every night in the common room, where uppers were available to answer questions and guide the firsties in their studies. These sessions were mandatory until such time as the 7th year prefects judged that the student’s where capable and motivated enough to study on their own. The quality of the student’s work was of utmost importance to Ravenclaw house.
The Head of house, a diminutive man named Filius Flitwick came by to greet his new first years, and asked each of them to meet him in the Ravenclaw Common room following the feast. There was something… different about the man. It bothered Harry for several minutes until he realized that Flitwick moved like Eugene Judd. The boy found himself wondering if the two were somehow linked. The Gray Lady, Ravenclaw’s resident ghost, introduced herself to each of the first years.
Finally the meal was done, the Headmaster made some comments, mentioning among other things that the Forbidden Forest was forbidden for a reason, and that exploring a certain third floor hallway would likely result in a painful death. Then the ‘school song’ was sung. It was sung to whatever tune the individuals happened to like; only the words stayed the same.
The students were then released to go to their dormitories, with the first years told to follow their house’s prefects. The Ravenclaw First years were led away on a circuitous route. Harry suspected that this was an intentional way to getting the firsties completely lost. As a bit of good news, he confirmed that his Techsuit was working perfectly, even in the magic field of the castle. He had tested it with his own magic, around Mistress Harkness, at New Salem and even around Wanda when she was tossing her chaos magic around, but it was always possible that Hogwarts might overwhelm it. His Techsuit’s onboard inertial navigator was plotting their path (which did indeed include not one but three circles that caused retracing of their path), mean while the suit’s optical pickups were identifying landmarks. A few trips around the castle, the Techsuit would be plotting him the fastest path from anywhere in the castle to anywhere else.
The first years with their prefect escort arrived at the entrance to the Ravenclaw dorms. Standing guard was a suit of armor. When approached by a Ravenclaw (it ignored all others) the armor would ask a logic question, upon the proper answer, the wall parted and entrance was allowed. If you got the answer wrong, you had to wait for another person to come along; one question per person was the rule.
The actual dorms were in the vertical tower with the common room at the base. Access alternated with the girl’s stairs opening to the odd floors and the boy’s stairs opening to the even floors. Each room was a single, with a bed, wardrobe, and desk. There were four rooms on each level, with a common bath. Harry’s dorm was on the tenth level. He located his room, unpacked, then grabbing his Datapad, headed down to the common room for his interview with Professor Flitwick.
The common room had assigned study carrels around the walls, with long tables in the middle. The fireplace had a fire going in it, giving the room a pleasant temperature. Hermione had beaten him down and had her nose buried deep in a large tome. Hearing him approach, she looked up.
“Hi Harry, isn’t this great?”
“It’s definitely different.” Harry grinned at his friend. “I wonder if there are places where we can hang out with Neville, Hannah and Susan.”
Hermione looked a little worried about that. “I don’t know, these houses seem awfully insulated. I’ve been looking you up.”
“You didn’t tell me you were Harry Potter.” She huffed.
“I’ve been Harry Stark since I was five. The only thing I remember about being Harry Potter was being hungry and being punished a lot. Why is everyone so interested in me?”
“Harry, you killed the last Dark Lord.”
“Yes.” She smiled at him.
“I killed a Dark Lord.”
“Right.” She had to be having him on. “What’s a ‘Dark Lord’?”
“An evil wizard Harry. According to Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century you defeated the Dark Lord Voldemort when you were 15 months old by reflecting his Avada Kedavra after he killed your parents.”
“Wait, he killed two Adult wizards, and I killed him as a toddler? That’s just stupid.”
Hermione looked a bit offended. “That’s what the book says.”
Padma Patil approached her study carrel, which was in between his and Hermione’s. “It’s true Harry. Everyone knows your story in the Wizarding world, except for where you disappeared to. There are even Harry Potter dolls; they look just like you, only with shorter hair.” She blushed “My sister and I both have one.”
“That may be the story ‘everyone knows’ but it makes no sense. I mean, I’m 15 months old. The two adults in the house are killed. This ‘dark lord’ clown is defeated, and believed killed. My little squalling baby talking self is found. The sole survivor. How does anyone know what happened? Who came up with this story that ‘everyone knows’?
“But Harry, your scar.”
“Yes Padma, I’ve got a curse scar on my forehead, believe me I know. But the Avada Kedavra kills without leaving a mark, right? I mean that’s how it’s written about. I’ve got a scar, so whatever it comes from is certainly isn’t the unblockable, unstoppable, kills every times its tried Avada Kedavra.”
Harry shook his head; this was crazy, pure and simple. Dolls? There are dolls that looked like him? They all believe he survived the Killing Curse. Insane. He set the datapad on the desktop of his study carrel, extended the keyboard and turned it on.
“That won’t work here Harry.”
Turning he found the young woman who had introduced herself at dinner as Penelope Clearwater, one of the fifth year prefects. Harry still wasn’t clear on exactly what a ‘prefect’ was, but understood her to be an authority figure.
“Muggle Electronics don’t work around magic.” She continued.
“These do.” Harry said. “My dad found a way to shield them from magic’s chaotic influence, and to draw energy from it.” He pointed to the screen, which had just lit up as the Datapad processed through its startup sequence. “In fact, most of my tech gets its power from my magic. My dad did an in depth study of how my magic was trashing his systems. It took him almost a year to figure out how to shield for it, then another 3 months to develop the Powertap technology that powers all my systems.”
Penelope frowned. “Wizards have been trying for years to make electronics work around magic.”
“No, they tried to make electronics work despite magic. Dad figured how to make them work WITH magic. Very different things. That and he’s one of the smartest guys around.”
The Datapad spoke with a male monotone voice. “Good Evening Harry Stark.”
“Access Starknet” Harry instructed. He noticed he suddenly had a crowd of fellow first years and Penelope crowding around.
“Resolving signal lock.” The screen of the Datapad produced an animation of a radar antenna sweeping back and forth. “Achieved signal lock. Signal strength nominal. Accessing Starknet.”
There was a short pause while a small arm extended from the Datapad. “Ready for Identity Verification:”
Harry moved so that the red tip of the arm was level to his left eye and about 4 inches away. “Scan.”
The red tip of the arm lit up suddenly. “Retina scans complete. Harry Stark confirmed.”
Harry sat back as the email application opened on the screen.
“That is amazing. How big a vocabulary does it have?”
“The command table has a vocabulary of 200 words. For most functions, it’s still a keyboard interface, but what more do you need for a smart terminal?” He smiled at Hermione’s reaction, wondering what she would say if he showed her his Techsuit.
20 minutes passed before Professor Flitwick came to the Common room. In that time, Harry had written to both Edwin Jarvis, and Julie Power to tell of his adventures so far.
Harry was the third new Ravenclaw to be interviewed by his head of house. The small man explained the house policies and his expectations of student behavior. Harry was attentive and took notes, which the teacher seemed to appreciate.
“So, do you have any questions for me Mr. Stark?”
“Yes sir, I do. What’s this about a part of the school that people should avoid else they might be killed? It seems to me the quickest way to get curious students to go snooping around the third floor would be to make that announcement.”
Flitwick seemed startled by Harry’s comments. “Steps have been taken to protect the students Mr. Stark, but I can’t really discuss them. Do you have any other questions for me?”
“Yes Professor,” Harry said not wanting the challenge the man on his belief that the students were being protected by telling them where not to go, “I was hoping you could explain all this ‘killed a dark lord as an infant’ silliness to me.”
“Well Mr. Stark, it’s what happened, it’s well documented.”
“Documented? By who? I mean I’m the only survivor of the attack; no one else was there to tell what happened. Who came up with this story? And why?”