Also available as: Epub
Harry Potter and the Invincible Technomage
Year Two Surprises
A/N: I do not own Harry Potter. Nor any of the Marvel Comics Characters mentioned herein. But you knew that.
Harry Potter and The Invincible TechnoMage
Chapter Ten – Year Two Surprises
July 27, 1990:
New York City
The party was in full swing. The Jack and Julie Power were fighting about something. Powers were beginning to be manifest, as they usually did when Jack was upset. Franklin Richards took a quick look around for adults… None were in the general vicinity; Secret IDs were safe… for now.
Seeing the Power kids fight made Franklin notice that Harry had seemingly disappeared from the party. Normally Harry would be right in the middle of any Jack/Julie fight trying to keep it from escalating. Seeing Harry’s crush on Julie cracked Franklin up, both because Harry wouldn’t admit to liking Julie and because of Julie’s being utterly unaware of the crush. To twelve year old Julie, 10 year old Harry was a team mate on the rare occasions that Harry and Franklin managed to join the Power Pack on an adventure, and nothing more.
Franklin set out to find Harry, both to get him to cool Jack down (Harry seemed to be the only one Jack would listen to) and to tease his best friend once again about crushing on Julie… It would serve him right, besides Franklin planned to be getting his revenge for Harry hanging the Code Name ‘Tattletale’ on him the first time they had gone out with the Pack.
Something had happened to Harry back in May, something bad. It had put him in the hospital for a couple of days, and since then Harry was… subdued. Not the goofy kid that marveled at Uncle Ben’s rocky epidermis any more, rather a thoughtful young man who was maturing rapidly. That made Franklin a bit sad. He missed the goofy aspect of his best friend.
Some how he knew just were to look. The Tree Fort. The old Walnut’s leaves completely hid their tree fort from view from the ground. No one noticed when Franklin scampered up the hidden ladder.
There he was, looking out over the Stark Estate.
Only one person could call him Frank and live. “What’s up? It’s not like you to stay away from the party. Julie’s here and she’s so bored she’s letting Jack get to her.” No reaction to the Julie dig. That wasn’t good. “What’s wrong Harry?”
“I screwed up Frank. I tapped into some weird magic that I couldn’t control. It almost killed me, and it was only dumb luck that I didn’t hurt anyone else.”
Ah, that’s what’s wrong. “So you screwed up. Welcome to the club.”
“Hey, Omega class Mutant with severe control issues here remember? Omega as ‘End of the World’ you know?” Franklin lifted his shirt to show the mesh underneath. “This is the latest of Dad’s designs to keep me powered down.”
A smile crept across Harry’s lips. He pulled the sleeves of his shirt back to display the silver limiters on his forearms. “Cool, I’ve got depowering tech too…”
“It’s like Uncle Ben says. ‘Life is hard, and then you die.’ Everyone like us has their problems Har. Think about Uncle Ben. He used to be a great looking guy that all the ladies liked; now he’s a big orange rock guy. He tries to hide it by being a goof and making jokes, but it eats him up inside when ever someone is frightened of him. Uncle Johnny’s terrified that he’ll lose control of his flame and end up hurting people, he practices all the time. Mom is afraid that someday she’ll go invisible and never be able to come back, and Dad, he’s afraid that someday he’ll lose the ability to control his body, and just become a puddle of skin.”
“I know that. It’s just that I never really thought about how dangerous I could be.” The grin had vanished as quickly as it came. “What if I actually hurt someone?”
“And what if I destroy the world? I probably can you know. I saw the look on Professor Xavier’s face when he came out and tested me last April just before my birthday. He and Dad are talking about me going to his school in Westchester County to see if he can help me control my powers before they exceed the capabilities of Dad’s tech.”
“You wouldn’t destroy the world.”
“And you wouldn’t kill someone. Not if you could help it.” Franklin saw Harry’s eyes gain a bit of hope. “Every one who wears a goofy outfit is afraid of something, Harry. Heck, I bet normal people are afraid too, I’d have to take their word for it though because nobody I know is normal in any way. Now, come on Birthday Boy, today, I’m mostly afraid that the cake and ice cream will be gone and I won’t get any because I was up here holding your hand while you cried like a girl.”
Harry slugged him in the shoulder. “I’m not crying.”
“You hit like a girl too. Maybe we should put a bow in your hair and call you Harriet.”
Franklin hit the ground running with a no longer moping, but seriously cheesed off Harry only a few steps behind with murder in his eye.
Are you looking forward to starting at Hogwarts?
Oh, yes. I’m all packed and just waiting to go. I wonder where I will be sorted.
You should try to be near the Boy-Who-Lived. You would do well in Ravenclaw.
Ravenclaw? Really? I was hoping for Gryffindor with Ron and the twins. Plus Percy is a Prefect, he promised Daddy that he would look out for me.
You would be wasted in Gryffindor. From what you have told me of young Harry, he may well be your soul mate. You need to be near him.
That comment gave the girl pause. I don’t know if I believe in soul mates Tom. As many people as there are in the world, wouldn’t it be likely that one’s soul mate could be born on the other side of the world and never be met? Surely one could love many different people couldn’t one?
You over analyze everything. Sometimes you just have to believe.
Perhaps you’re right. I’ll have to think about that.
Have you got everything? Once you leave, you can’t come back you know.
I know what you’re hinting at Tom, I won’t forget you. You’re riding in my pocket, that way we can talk if we need to, and I can keep you updated on my adventures.
It had taken a month, but finally the idiot girl had filled in the blanks of the legend of this Boy-Who-Lived, this Harry Potter that had somehow defeated his older self. The idea that his 55 year old self could be defeated by a mere toddler made absolutely no sense. The girl transcribed the passages from three different histories into his diary. Having examined the official accounts in minute detail, Riddle had determined that either the account of that Halloween night was fabricated from whole cloth, or the boy’s survival was due to some aspect of magic that Riddle did not fully understand.
Still, certain parts of the story had impressed Riddle beyond any of his expectations. He had actually succeeded in his quest. He was so powerful that the people of this era were frightened to even speak his Nom de Guerre, a decade after his passing. Deep inside the diary Riddle found himself wondering just how the anagram produced as an exercise in third year Arithmancy had become how he was known to the world at large.
Lord Flight from Death. The irony was delicious. As soon as they arrived at Hogwarts he would start influencing this girl to take the first steps toward unleashing Salazar’s pet into the school. First, any cockerels in the school’s coops must be dealt with… He wondered if the Chamber of Secrets still held the shadowy reputation is had in his day… Since the roosters had to die, using their blood for a quick message on the walls would inspire a certain amount of fear, at least among the staff…
As soon as he could establish control… Then the Parseltongue imprinting would begin.
Harry stepped through the barrier onto platform 9 ¾. He smiled as he spotted a few friends and offered waves of greetings. Of course a quiet return couldn’t happen, that would be too easy.
“Oh hell.” He heard Jennifer say behind him. Before he could turn around he saw the look on Hermione’s face as she looked past him. Surprise and awe. That could only mean one thing. He turned back to the barrier to see the real Jennifer holding her image inducer in her hand frowning. He knew that frown. It usually preceded major property damage.
“I warned you that might happen.” Harry said with a grin as he glanced about. The crowd of students and parents were starting to notice. This might be amusing.
“Tony said this stupid piece of junk was hardened against magic.” The tall green woman said.
“It is hardened. That’s why you could stroll around Diagon Alley, but you just passed through a major chunk of magic.” Harry gestured back at the barrier. “It overloaded the shunts something terrible.” Harry reached out and took the device from Jennifer. He manipulated the controls a bit. “Ok, I’ve selected the secondary array. Don’t try to power it up until you’re on the other side of the barrier, or you’ll have to be big and green all the way to the airport.”
“Hermione?” Kristine Granger said with a huge smile. “Close your mouth dear.”
“She-Hulk? You’re the She-Hulk?” Hermione looked up into the eyes of the suddenly much larger (and much greener) woman as a crowd of Muggle born and other students with enough ties to the Muggle world to recognize Jennifer in her hero personae began to gather around.
Harry noticed that the majority of the pure bloods on the platform were moving away with fear in their eyes. He could understand their fear. Being as disassociated with the Mundane world as they were, the Pure Bloods probably thought Jennifer was a troll or something. At seven and a half feet tall the Green woman with hair that made Hermione’s seem staid and utterly controlled was a sight to behold. Clad in a white and purple body stocking, white boots and black fingerless gloves she exuded both physical power and intelligence.
Jennifer was kneeling amongst her attentive audience, laughing, telling jokes, telling short stories of her adventures and even signing a few autographs, causing renewed laughter at her attempts to use a quill.
“She certainly didn’t let the loss of her illusion of normalcy bother her.” Kristine Granger said quietly to Harry.
“I’ve long thought that Jennifer prefers being in her She-Hulk form.” Harry said quietly. “The only reason she was using the image inducer was to allow us to not attract attention.”
“She’s an amazing woman,” Kristine said smiling down at her daughter’s friend. “She thinks the world of you.”
“I sometimes think that I’ve become a sort of surrogate child for many of the women associated with the Avengers… with a few notable exceptions.” Harry smiled thinking of Moondragon and Janet VanDyne and their absolute refusal to do any of the ‘motherly’ things the other women seemed to enjoy. “Hermione’s going to be furious with me.”
Kristine nodded. “I had wondered if you knew that. As much of a Hero fan as she is, to have had the She-Hulk under the same roof for four days… You’re doomed…” Kristine smiled at the expression on the boy’s face. “Unless, of course you’ve got her a present.” Carefully watching the boy’s face she continued. “Jennifer already told me what you got her to do. That will probably shield you from the worst of it.”
Harry nodded. It was then he noticed the Head Boy and Head Girl hesitantly coming forward to usher everyone onto the train. The crowd around Jennifer dispersed slowly; Kristine gathered Hermione into a good bye hug as Jennifer swept Harry up off the ground into a hug of her own.
“Don’t get caught.”
“Get caught doing what?” He asked, puzzled.
“Don’t get caught doing whatever you do Harry. I know I’m supposed to tell you to stay out of trouble, but I know you too well. If you can’t manage to stay out of trouble, at least don’t get caught.” She lowered Harry to the ground, and ruffled his hair. “See you at Christmas Short Stuff.”
Harry received another hug from Hermione’s mother as Hermione climbed onboard the train. Shaking his head at the generalized insanity of adults, Harry waved as he climbed aboard himself.
“Hermione is angry isn’t she?” The large green woman said, stating the obvious.
“At Harry, yes. Deliriously happy to have met you. You can probably count on letters asking every question in the she manages to think of. You’re one of her favorites you know.” Kristine said.
“Harry did mention one of my posters in her room. Poor Harry.”
“Don’t worry too much. Your present will make it mostly better, and he’s too damned smooth for her to stay mad at for long. Stuart said that if Harry doesn’t change much, he’ll be buying a shotgun by their 4th year.”
“Well, Harry did learn from the best.” Jennifer laughed. “I know you’ve met Tony, have you ever seen him in action?”
“No, and I didn’t need to. The first time we met it was a private dinner with the Patils. He completely charmed Dhanyata and me without even being aware he was doing it. Harry has the same kind of presence…” Kristine paused for a moment and continued with a grin. “We can only hope he uses his powers for good…”
July 28, 1991:
New York City
“Well, I guess we’ve pretty got our work cut out for us to make sure you work off all that cake you ate yesterday Trooper.”
From his seat at the kitchen table Harry grinned up at the Captain. The party Jarvis had thrown for his eleventh birthday had the potential to become a legend among the pre-teen set. A magician that had cracked Harry up was still trying to figure out how the ‘birthday boy’ had managed to duplicate almost every one of his illusions.
The highlight of the party from Harry’s point of view had been a much unexpected, very light, very chaste kiss from thirteen year old Julie Power as she and her siblings were leaving. The pretty young girl exited the manor house leaving behind a very shocked and very happy young man.
The burst of accidental magic that resulted from his sudden jubilation as the kiss had sunk in had changed the color of everything in the manor’s entry hall to a crazy mishmash of day-glow colors, that had resisted every effort to put to rights, until Agatha Harkness had spent twenty minutes putting everything back to it’s original appearance muttering about children lacking the control and morals of her day.
The kiss it self had presented Harry with an odd biological reaction that confused him intensely until it dawned on him what it was.
“Well.” Steve Rogers said in his best Drill Instructor voice, doing his level best not to laugh. “I think it’s pretty obvious you’re going to be useless for the rest of the day. Go take a cold shower Trooper, and be ready to actually work tomorrow.”
Rogers was very proud of himself. He managed to get completely out of the house before he started laughing.
Harry remained sitting at the kitchen table being fussed over by a greatly amused Jarvis when an owl flew into the window screen. The bird hit the screen at almost full bore, and fell to the ground outside the kitchen window with a loud squawk. Harry and Jarvis exchanged looks of confusion. Harry rose from his chair to check on the bird when there was a tapping at the door.
Jarvis checked the intruder sensor suite by the door and saw that the scan was clear. He then opened the door. The owl was standing in the doorway looking somewhat disgruntled. It snapped it’s beak at Jarvis, then flew to the table where Harry was standing and extended its leg.
Tied to the Owl’s leg was an envelope. It seemed that the owl wanted Harry to remove the letter.
“Be careful Harry.” Jarvis said. “One should always be wary of animals acting oddly, that that is the oddest behavior I’ve ever seen in a bird.”
“There’s an envelope tied to its leg.” Harry said. “Have you ever heard of any one using owls like carrier pigeons?”
Harry delicately plucked at the knot holding the envelope to the owl’s leg, keeping an eye on the owl. When the envelope was free he picked it up and stared at it. Who would use an owl to send a letter? Yet here it was, a letter, addressed so plainly there could be no mistake:
Mr. H. Potter
5847 Stark Lane,
Stark Township, the state of New York,
Potter? He hadn’t been ‘Potter’ for years. The envelope was thick and heavy, made of heavy yellowish paper, and the address was hand written in emerald-green ink. There was no stamp.
For a moment the lack of the stamp really confused him. Then he remembered how the letter had been delivered and felt stupid. Turning the envelope over, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger, and a snake surrounding a large letter H.
Breaking the seal he removed several sheets of heavy paper similar to that of the envelope. Unfolding the papers he found himself reading the cover letter.
HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Mr. Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
Harry dimly recalled Mistress Harkness speaking of a ‘Hogwarts’ (a particularly silly name, which was the reason it stuck in his mind) saying that she had attended in her youth.
Why would a school of Witchcraft and Wizardry (Witchcraft AND Wizardry? Was there a difference?) be attempting to recruit him? How did one go about being accepted to a school without applying?
“What is it Harry?” Jarvis asked.
“A letter of acceptance to a magical school in…” Harry looked over the paperwork “in Scotland. Did Dad send in an application to a school of magic under my birth name and not tell me?”
“That seems unlikely.” Jarvis said shaking his head. “I do know that Mistress Harkness has suggested that she would be happy to continue as your tutor in magical theory and application.”
“Weird.” Harry looked at the owl, who seemed some what exhausted… How did he know that? He pushed his plate toward the bird, which immediately helped itself to some left over bacon. Jarvis came forward with a small bowl of water, which also seemed to please the owl. “Are you waiting for a reply fella?” Harry asked feeling stupid talking to a bird, and was thankful to get no response.
Harry pulled a pen and note pad from the drawer built into the table.
Deputy Headmistress McGonagall:
Thank you for your letter, though I am confused how I could have been accepted to a school I have not applied to attend.
Be that as it may, I have not had a chance to discuss this opportunity with my father, who is away on business and will not return until after the deadline listed in your cover letter has past. Rather than hold your Owl here (and that is a rather unique and unexpected method of mail delivery I must say) I thought that I would send you a return note immediately.
In as much as I have been receiving tuition in the various magical specialties from a tutor for some time now, and my father and I are happy with the results. Truly I see no reason to change now.
Should my needs change in the future, then surely one of the schools on the North American continent would be a more convenient choice would you not agree?
At any rate, since your deadline is approaching, I must respectfully decline the offer. I will of course discuss your offer with my father upon his return, and he may wish to discuss the options you offer at that time.
P.S. Please note that while my birth name was ‘Harry Potter’, since my adoption in May of 1986 my legal name has been Harry James Stark. You may wish to update your records accordingly.
Harry dug about in the drawer the pen and paper had come from until he found an envelope. He placed his note inside and sealed the envelope, when tied it to the leg of the Owl in the manner that the original letter had been fastened. The bird seemed to examine the envelope, then dipped its head to take another drink of water.
Harry opened the door to the yard, and watched as the bird flew off. He stood in the door way watching the bird fly until he could no longer pick it out on the horizon.
His backpack over one shoulder Harry made his way back to the last car on the Express. Hermione must really be mad he thought. She didn’t wait. Reaching the last compartment on the last car, Harry opened the door to some odd looks from Susan and Padma. Hermione was sitting staring out the window with he arms crossed over her chest, and Neville just offered a small smile and a shrug.
Doomed. Kristine was right it seemed.
“How do you know the She-Hulk Harry?” Hannah asked with wide sparkling eyes.
“She works with the team of Heroes my father finances. After what happened last year he wanted to make sure I made it onto the train. So he asked Jennifer to escort me to the train.”
“When were you going to tell me?” Hermione asked in a very cold tone of voice as Hannah was explaining to the purebloods who the She-Hulk was and what she did.
“The original plan was for me to tell you just about now.” Harry noted as the train started moving out of the station.
“Why? Why did you feel the need to make fools of me and my parents?”
“Hermione quit it. You parents know who Jennifer is, they noticed the first day. I didn’t lie to you about anything, Jennifer IS Jennifer. We told you her real honest to god publicly known name. She demonstrated her strength on that Lockhart tool rather publicly right in front of you. The reason I didn’t sit you down and tell you ‘Hey Hermione, this is She-Hulk’ is that, honestly, I wanted you and Padma to pay attention to me and not go all fan girl over Jennifer. I was selfish in that, but I didn’t make a fool of you.”
“Fine.” The bushy haired girl stood up. “If you’ll excuse me.” She stomped out of the compartment.
Padma watched the angry girl leave the compartment, and then glanced toward Harry. He seemed to be genuinely surprised. She couldn’t stand to see her two best friends fighting. She quietly exited the compartment herself looking to find Hermione and act as a peacemaker.
She found Hermione in the loo. A little magic (it felt good to use it again after not being allowed since June) and the lock popped open. Hermione was standing over the sink crying.
“Just go away.”
“Oh, you’ve got so many friends you can push one away Hermione?”
“Look, we all worried about Harry since the Headmaster had his Techsuit confiscated back in April. We were both depressed after his hearing at the Wizengamot where it looked like we wouldn’t ever see him again. Then we celebrated when we got our friend back. I was with you when we picked him up, and he introduced us both to Jennifer Walters. He didn’t lie to us Hermione.” Padma reached out and hugged her friend. You got to know Jennifer, the only thing you didn’t see until today is that she was green.”
“I know all that.” Hermione said, still sobbing. “I just thought that he would tell me EVERYTHING.”
“He told you more than you realize you pillock He said he wanted us to pay attention to him. Think about that.”
Hermione was quiet for a moment. “Ok, I can see that. But I’m still mad at him.”
“Oh by all means, be mad, and make him pay so that he never does it again. We’ve gotten to him young. As long as we get him properly trained now in a few years when we decide we want a boy friend, he’ll be nicely broken in.”
Hermione raised an eyebrow. “You haven’t giggled once, so I know you aren’t really Parvati trying to pass as Padma again. Where did that ‘boyfriend’ nonsense come from?”
“Just contingency planning for the future.” Padma said with a grin. “He’s cute and his father’s rich, what more could you want? Wash your face.”
Neville covertly watched Harry as the other boy sat in the compartment attempting to figure out exactly what it was he had done wrong. Hannah and Sue were ignoring Harry, showing a sisterly solidarity with Hermione for what ever crime she imagined the Ravenclaw had committed.
Neville was studiously pretending to be reading a professional Herbologist’s periodical, making every effort to remain the hell out of what ever trouble Harry had managed to land himself in. In truth, Neville wasn’t all that sure what exactly it was that Harry was supposed to have done, but asking the girls what it was that Harry had done would have one of two equally unfortunate results 1) cause the women to accuse him of having taken Harry’s side, or 2) force the girls to acknowledge that Harry hadn’t actually done anything wrong and that they were wrong in treating him badly. Either of those alternatives would have him joining Harry in the dog house, so sadly his friend was on his own.
Hermione and Padma returned to the compartment. Hermione sat across from Harry while Padma took her place between Harry and Neville.
“I’ve decided to be angry with you for a while, but not hate you for it.”
“That’s great. Your mom said I was ‘doomed’. I guess since you’re just angry, then I don’t need to give you the present.”
Hermione and the other girls perked up. “Present?” The Bushy haired Ravenclaw asked. “You got me a present?”
“That was for if I was doomed.” Harry said with a small grin. “Since you’re just angry, I’ll save it for if I ever get you that mad.”
Hermione’s left eyebrow raised slightly, and Padma smacked Harry on the head.
“My present. Now Stark.”
“Ok, ok, pushy witch.” From his shirt pocket Harry withdrew a metallic square that looked for all the world like a silver saltine.
The compartment was silent except for the ambient sounds of the train. “That’s my present? A silver square?”
“Hold your horses. Give a guy a chance.” Harry laid the square on the palm of his left and covered it with his right hand. He then closed his eyes and appeared to be concentrating.
After thirty seconds, Hermione couldn’t stand it anymore. She had forgotten that she was angry with Harry and just wanted to know what he was up to. “Well?”
“Aluminum is hard. The magic just keeps sliding off of it.” Harry complained.
“What? I’d never heard that.” Padma said
“Not really surprising that you haven’t. It’s only been the last hundred years or so there was a lot of aluminum around as a pure metal. I’ve not seen any in the magical world yet. I would guess that not a lot of wizards have tried to use it.” Harry concentrated some more, this time closing his eyes. “Oh, hell with it.” He pulled out his wand and cast the expanding charm on the square. It expanded from the size of a cracker to eighteen inches square and a quarter inch thick. “It shrank ok wandlessly.” He complained.
“What is it?” Hermione asked.
Harry handed the sheet of aluminum to her. “Be careful, it’s heavy. It’s an autograph.”
Hermione took the hunk of metal as the other girls crowded around. In the center of the sheet of metal was the impression of a huge hand print, with the fingers spread wide. The print was detailed enough to see the lines on the palm, and even some of the fingerprints. Hermione looked over to Harry in confusion.
“Jennifer made it this morning.”
“You asked her to do this for me?”
Harry shrugged. “I thought it would go with your poster of her.”
“She just pressed her hand into the metal?” Hannah asked incredulously.
Padma looked up from the sheet in amazement. “What did she use to write the message?”
“Her right index finger.”
Hermione looked down to reread the inscription again.
By now you know who the mousey brunette who’s been following Harry around is:
Cut Harry a break, he didn’t want to share his friends with me, and considering how much fun you all had, I don’t blame him.
Just remember, I made scared them with my mind before I scared them with my muscles… and girls with our kind of hair need to stick together
- Jennifer (She-Hulk) Walters