Glad everything's working on here again. I wasn't sure if there'd be days between posting it on AO3 and posting it here. I posted some of it on Wattpad yesterday.
"You're saying there's someone in his head?" James hopes he's heard the professor's words wrong.
Sounds familiar, Bucky comments, unnecessarily, as James watches Harry rub his head in confusion. He doesn't want Harry to go through what he's gone through. He'd been braced to hear some horrible new detail of abuse Harry had suffered, a topic which angers him even more than the tortures he'd suffered at the hands of HYDRA, but would have never guessed this.
"It's more like a fragment, a memory."
Bucky scoffs. You sure you're not looking in this head?
The professor sends James a look.
"Can you take it out?" James is desperate. "Put it in my head, if you have to. I'm used to it."
IF HE COULD DO THAT-
He would've put that voice away. Bucky interrupts the other voice that relayed the Soldier's orders and directives.
"I didn't hear a voice." the professor says slowly. "It was more of a presence."
James holds his son close, asks Harry himself. "Do you hear a voice in your head?"
"I want Jarvis in my head, Grandpa." Harry says.
Grandpa? Bucky sounds somewhat shocked. He ain't our dad.
James grits his teeth. It's not the time. Harry reaches toward James's pocket, which is empty. Stark had given James a StarkPhone that was specially calibrated to respond to both his hands, with full access to Jarvis, but James isn't used to carrying his phone everywhere as Stark and most students do.
"It's not Jarvis." Professor X clearly agrees with Harry that the AI would be a better option. "It's Voldemort."
The name is familiar, and it takes a few seconds for James to place it as the wizard who murdered Harry's birth parents. The Dark Lord. If it weren't for Voldemort, Harry would have grown up loved, and James would be-
REPORTING. ASSASSINATING. THE FIST OF HYDRA.
Still with those monsters. Bucky agrees. What's that monster doing in our son's head?
James turns to his son. "Are you hurt? Can you feel him?"
"I'm just Harry," Harry is wide-eyed at James' concern, which is even more pronounced than during his recent bout of illness. "I don't want to go back to bed."
"How did he get in there?" James asks. It's been over three years since that incident with Voldemort, hasn't it?
"I believe it's linked to your scar." the Professor tells Harry. "The night you got that scar, the night Voldemort was defeated, it seems a part of him attached to you."
Harry scowls, rubbing furiously at his scar. "I'm just Harry."
James sighs. So there isn't a murder's voice telling Harry what to do. Still, James wants the presence out of his son's head immediately.
Harry rubs at the star on James' prosthetic shoulder. "Do you have a bad guy in there?"
"No." James says.
"I need a star!" Harry takes his Wolverine figure, poking the fork tine claws against his forehead, scratching them over his skin.
James doesn't mention that bad guys put the star on his arm, put the arm on him in the first place. He's too focused on Harry, and pulls the fork tines away from his son's head.
"Let's ask Logan to make it a star," Harry says, looking toward the door, beyond which the real Logan is somewhere.
"No." James says. He likes Logan, but he'll fight him if he extends those Adamantium claws anywhere near his son's head. He turns to the Professor. "Please-"
"I have gifts, but I'm not magical." the Professor says, apologetically.
"Moody, then." James gets up to seek the wizard out, but he isn't sure he trusts Moody around his son's head.
The Professor shakes his head. "Moody was a skilled auror, but this isn't something that can be removed with a spell."
"Or telepathy," James frowns even deeper. He knew the Professor and Jean couldn't fix everything- they can't fix him- but he's still unhappy to hear it. How can magic do this to a person, but not have a reversal spell?
You're sayin' that like they made an easy reversal for us, Bucky says. Science can fry a guy's brain but can't fix it.
Harry, however, is full of ideas. "Would the doctors make me stay in bed, if they got it out?"
"I'm afraid the doctors can't help us here," Professor X says.
James frowns. Surely, Doctor Banner would have removed the Other Guy from his own mind if he could.
Harry pulls James toward the door. "Where's Mr. Stark? Let's get a mem'ry stick and put the bad guy on. And you can crush it."
James smiles humorlessly. "I don't see a port in your head."
Harry frowns, considering, and pokes a finger in his ear. He begins to dig in with earnest, face scrunched as he tries to pull something out.
"Can't reach your brain from there." James mutters, pulling Harry's earwax-infested finger out.
Professor X promises he'll try to look for a way to remove it. Harry pulls James from the room, looking for Stark. James snatches his phone from the nightstand and sees a message from Stark, which reads: What are your names?
Thought you were the one with memory problems, Bucky teases in James's head.
James starts to type, but Jarvis announces that Stark is calling him before he's finished.
"I meant, changing your names. So people can't track you, it'll give you a bit of privacy. That sort of thing. Plus, neither of you really have citizenship papers here, at least not ones that are suspiciously out of date."
"I'm just Harry." Harry sounds thoroughly exasperated. "Where are you? We need a mem'ry stick to get the bad guy out of my head."
That makes Stark speechless for a second. "What?"
James grits his teeth and explains.
"Wow. Okay. Who knew that was a thing?" Stark mutters. "I didn't know that was a thing. I mean sure, Bruce has Hulk, but this is... wow. I really wouldn't have pegged you as having a wizard nazi in your head, Harry. I mean, it's not like you act like a power hungry, sociopathic warlock."
James huffs- in hindsight, he wishes Harry had some sort of dissociative disorder with multiple personalities, terms he'd heard the Professor use during his own sessions.
"We need a wizard or witch to get it out." James informs Stark, because he's sure the man's mind is racing to solve this new challenge.
"We need a mem'ry stick!" Harry insists, clearly frustrated his ideas aren't being seriously considered.
"Love the thinking, kid, but sadly this isn't a Zola situation. Otherwise I would've sicced Jarvis on this Dark Lord in an instant."
"Can we put Jarvis in my head?" Harry asks.
From the phone, Jarvis replies "I'm afraid not, Master Harry."
James reiterates the information about the soul splitting and attaching to Harry's scar.
"So we get Logan to cut it," Harry says.
"Remember what I said?" Stark's voice is suddenly sharp. "No knives kid. Don't want you killing yourself in the process of getting rid of this parasite."
"Moody might know something." James reluctantly admits. The man is supposed to be their magical guardian, after all. Even if the Professor says it can't be easily removed, the wizard might know how.
"Yeah, he looks like he's seen some serious sh- uh, stuff. Some serious stuff." Stark says. "Tell you what, you ask Moody, I'm flying back ASAP. I know Pepper's been after me about this Expo, but come on, I'm saving a toddler from a maniac. That's gotta give me some PR points. Not that I'd tell the press or anything, I hear you're famous enough and I won't exploit you for brownie points."
James sighs when he hangs up the phone. It's not quite relief- it won't be relief until they get this monstrosity out of Harry's mind. He knows Stark won't stop, either, until they figure this out.
James strides through the mansion with Harry in his arms. Harry leans close to his ear to whisper, rather loudly "I love you even when it's raining."
James hugs Harry tighter, but not too tight. That's not something an evil wizard would say. At least the thing in Harry's head doesn't seem to be affecting him as much as the voices affect James. Still, James is almost frantic. He runs into Doctor Banner, who comments that he looks ill.
Sure enough, when Doctor Banner hears of the presence, he taps his head and says he hasn't figured out how to get rid of the Other Guy. His self-deprecating smirk turns into a wince as he forces himself to take several deep breaths.
James leaves him be. Finally, they find Moody. "How do we get someone out of Harry's head?"
"Occlumency." the wizard growls, until James explains it's not telepathy like the Professor and Jean. Moody's eye narrows as James tells that it likely entered the night Voldemort was defeated. Moody's magical eye is fixed just as firmly on Harry's head. Can that eye see through into Harry's mind?
"Dad. Let's find Logan," Harry says, and repeats his idea of getting his scar changed to a star.
"I don't want anyone cutting your head," James tells him firmly.
Harry rubs his scar. "It is a cut!"
James can't argue that the red lightning bolt was a cut when he got it, but he doesn't tell Harry that.
"His claws are useless against that, boy." Moody growls. James has a sudden mental image of Steve bashing his shield into Harry's forehead. That's useless too.
"Can you go in his head?" James asks. "Professor X said we need a wizard."
"It'll take more than Legilimency to get rid of this," Moody's scowl doesn't leave his face.
"Do you know how to get rid of it?" James asks, hoping it won't be a no.
Moody doesn't shift either eye from Harry's head. "You should ask Dumbledore."