Disclaimer: I do not own Spider-man.
A/N: We have the introduction of Harry in this chapter, and not gonna lie-I found it incredibly hard as to who I thought might work out better in terms of capturing both Harry's personality and look-wise, I was kind of leaning towards Dane Dehaan, but then thought 'nah, since this Harry will kind of incorporate both aspects of the different versions of harry I figured I'd go the more unconventional route and pick someone entirely new.
Also it goes without saying I think at this point, but Eddie's backstory is somewhat different here. More on that as the story progresses though.
Also, huge thanks for the reviews, favorites and follows, they mean A LOT!
Emma was still recovering from Liz's harsh words to her when she turned the corner, intent on entering the office to inquire if anyone turned in her glasses, though with how her day was going so far she wasn't holding her breath.
She was immensely thankful for the teacher and one of their chaperone's for the trip, a Mr. Brunner. Usually identifiable by his gray thinning hair and favorite tweed jacket which Emma heard a few kids comment smelled like roasted coffee beans. He gave her roughly five minutes, saying how good it was she was one of his favorite students, resulting in a few more sneers being thrown her way.
It wasn't Emma's fault she liked science. Besides, being on good terms with all the teachers and administrators wasn't really much to boast about these days, having no one her own age to talk with had her feeling very lonely. Pushing the growing pang of sadness away she forced it down, turning another corner.
"-on the bus. Figured they might belong to someone." A voice was saying-it was definitely male-sounding oddly familiar in Emma's ears glancing up while holding back a sniffle. Her feet skidded to a halt, and she nearly tripped with how fast she threw herself behind the wall.
Her heart started racing.
"Oh well thank you very much for finding them." The receptionist was saying, offering an appreciative smile towards the blonde standing on the other side of the desk holding a pair of familiar thick-framed glasses and Emma resisted the urge to thunk her head back against the wall because damn it all, of course he had to be the one to find her glasses. And right after her encounter with Liz too.
A part of her didn't fully understand why she was hiding, what was the big deal? The glasses were hers. And so what with whatever Liz says, right?
Biting her lip Emma risked a small peek out from her corner; Eddie was just turning to leave, barely sparring a glance at the clock to check the time as he did so. Emma pressed her back against the wall once more, breathing out a sigh of relief; she didn't want any more trouble.
"Thank you..."she mouthed to no one in particular before straightening herself and turning the corner.
Only she felt herself hit another wall, this one feeling not quite as tough as the cold brick material of the other. Rubbing her nose she was barely able to bite back the small curse that almost slipped from her lips muttering a weak "ow..." instead. The confusion slowly gave way to shock, then horror.
"Sorry," said Eddie dismissively, his deep baritone voice making her ear drums ring a little in glee, looking her in the eye for the second time that day; chocolate peering into the sky, flecked with traces of forest-green.
The moment was over and done with as quickly as it came, with Eddie sidestepping her and quickening his pace some to get to class.
Emma watched him go with a strange feeling of disappointment, similar to how she felt when reading one of her superhero comics.
Shaking the thought off Emma stepped into the office, offering a tentative smile. "Hello uh," she drummed her fingers nervously while she spoke, "I was wondering if maybe anyone turned in a pair of glasses? I...kind of lost mine back on the bus..." She said, her smile turning sheepish.
"Oh yes actually, a nice young man just turned in a pair-he said he found them on the bus." The receptionist smiled, reaching over towards a bin of miscellaneous items and placing a pair of thick-framed lenses on the counter in front of Emma. "He said he wasn't sure who they belonged to, are these it dear?"
"Oh yes!" Emma said happily, almost dropping them in her hurry to put them on again. "Thank you so much."
Maybe this day wasn't turning out to be so bad after all.
Throwing another quick thanks over her shoulder, Emma went hurrying off to class. With any luck maybe she could find that MJ girl from earlier and have a place to sit, although she'd still somewhat prefer someone who she could actually talk to-MJ wasn't too into science, or anything scholastic really-she figured she would take what she could get.
She paused suddenly, a brief mental recollection of Eddie in the hallway surging to the front of her mind. She frowned, not understanding her own fascination with him, both from earlier in the morning as well as now.
Deciding she would focus more on it later she went on to check her camera she kept stashed away in her backpack, wanting to make sure she had her film and everything ready. If she was lucky she'd be able to get some really good pictures today, though the staff for the school paper told her there had to be at least one student present in the shot, otherwise it wouldn't count as relevant news.
"I wonder if MJ would be willing to pose for a few…?" Emma started to mutter to herself, checking the different settings. "I wonder what the lighting will be like….I should probably use a wider lens for better coverage..." She almost missed the way to her class, barely glancing up to see the door number.
She tucked her camera away for now, walking on in-
-and immediately getting another spitball to the face.
Letting her shoulders slump, she heaved out a sigh. Flash's voice being heard from the other side of the room. "He shoots, he scores!"
Emma barely even looked at him, instead looking around and noticing the teacher was gone-he must have stepped out for a few minutes-and that a majority of the students were now snickering quietly. A few of them throwing her heated glares-mainly Liz and her 'girl crew'-while others only laughed.
It was always like this. Whenever the teachers had their backs turned, or stepped out of the room, Emma was at the mercy of her peers.
Most of the damage being instigated by Flash or Liz, with their cronies quick to follow and please, then of course by that point the majority of students would join in the mocking of their classmate. And really Emma couldn't blame them, heck she'd probably be no different if she weren't the one being ostracized everyday. She just wish she knew the reason.
"Eddie dude, where'd you go earlier?" Flash asked in a surprisingly low voice after becoming bored with Emma's lack of reaction for the moment, instead leaning towards Eddie who was sitting with his hood up and hands in his pockets not being one to get involved in the commotion. "Saw you heading towards the office, everything alright man?"
Eddie cleared his throat a moment later and Emma idly wondered if he was trying to nap or something, watching the boy rub at his face in a slight show of consternation. "Yeah, no, everything's fine. I just uh," Emma tensed wondering if he was about to try and turn Flash back on her by saying she saw him, "I got a call from my uncle is all."
Relief washed over her, but she kept it hidden lest one of the other kids be given more of a reason to pick on her.
She drifted in and out of different points in their conversation, mildly surprised when Flash actually started smiling and laughing at a few points. Eddie's answers were mostly short and blunt responses, only answering Flash's inquiries in the most vague way and never asking his own. Some of the things they were talking about just went straight over Emma's head, moreover it further piqued her intrigue regarding Eddie, a few of their words standing out to her.
By the time the teacher came back into the room, Emma was left pondering several small clippings of conversation she overheard. One in particular making her wonder. Something about his uncle, at least that's what she thought she heard.
'How the heck do you hear neon?'
Eddie was more of an enigma than she originally thought, or so it seemed.
Upon their arrival Emma couldn't resist gawking slightly at the marvel that was the Oscorp building, never having gotten as close to it as she was right now.
It was definitely big, she recalled reading that it housed over eight-hundred floors worth of innovation; Over eight-hundred floors of scientific discovery waiting to be explored, with world renowned scientists working around the clock on all the latest breakthroughs. Emma peered way up towards the top of the building, just barely able to make out a series of satellite dishes spinning around.
'I wonder if those are used for anything of significance?' She pondered before shrugging, trailing after her class.
She had thankfully been able to take a seat beside MJ, the red-haired girl once more expressing gratitude over Emma's help with her homework going on to say how even her teacher was impressed when she managed to pull out enough points to land MJ her first ever B. Once that was out of the way however, MJ was done talking about school, moving onto other subjects outside of Emma's comfort zone.
"You know, I really wish there was a way to increase our cute guy ratio," MJ commented offhandedly with her green eyes doing a sweep of their gathered classmates on the front steps and frowning. "I mean most of the halfway decent lookers are either as stupid as Flash or as hopeless as, well….er..." She trailed off, her eyes stealing a small glance towards Emma as she spoke before trailing off.
"What are you talking about?" Emma asked, missing the other girls stare.
"Nevermind." MJ said heaving a sigh, turning her eyes forward again.
Emma blinked for a moment, trying to wrap her head around MJ's odd behavior but with no luck. The teacher's voice snapping her from her thoughts.
"Attention Midtown High seniors, as a reminder we are special guests here, nothing more." He said shooting a few of the students more pointed looks," anything broken or damaged by you will also be paid for by you-rather, your parents for some. To avoid this please remember, no touching of the machinery or equipment unless given explicit permission to do so, and of course the golden rule of wherever the group goes you go as well." He finished, looking over each students face to make sure the message was received loud and clear.
His gaze stopped on a certain group of boys up front, too busy playing hackey-sack to bother listening; Flash and some of his cronies. "Gentlemen, care to repeat what I just said?" Mr. Brunner asked, snatching the hackey-sack out of midair with an annoyed sigh.
A few snickers rippled through the crowd and Emma was glad someone other than her was receiving their just deserts, even if it was severely less than what she endures. When her gaze fell a little off to the side she noticed Eddie, lingering more towards the back seeing his own gaze flick up to meet hers feeling a lump in her throat.
'Is...is he looking at me?' She thought. Just as she debated waving at him, a shoulder bumped against her own and a muttered "sorry" reached her ears during which Bill Connors went breezing by her calling out, "hey Eddie, wait up!"
The two walked off with the group, Bill playfully jabbing the other, "dude would it kill you to wave once in a while? I almost missed you!"
"I was looking right at you," was Eddie's flippant response.
Emma sighed, she felt like such a freak. 'And the day's back to sucking...great.' She thought noticing the spot beside her was empty as well, meaning MJ had gone ahead with the rest of their class too.
She hurried after them, looking down while she fumbled with her camera's settings trying to set the lens filter while she ran passing the huge black Rolls Royce that pulled up to the front of the steps.
"Welcome home sir."
The teen being addressed only scoffed, barely glancing out the window when they came to a slow stop near the steps. "This hasn't been my home in years," he said with an almost twisted smile looking towards the elder man sitting beside him with touches of gray in his thinning hair. The boy's own appearance surprisingly reminiscent of his father's in his youth, Harry Osborn hated the reminder; Same warm chestnut hued hair, an under tone of red woven right into the brown. His skin tone has taken on more of a latte tan color nowadays, a testament to his improved health over the last few years. He was at the very least thankful to have inherited his mother's eyes instead; a brilliant shining hazel.
Resting his head against the back of the leather seat, he dreaded the thought of going inside and actually facing his father. He still didn't quite understand why he was suddenly being brought back here when the old man had been so eager to have him shipped overseas in the first place? Maybe he had finally snapped, Harry mused.
"Your father will be most pleased to know you've returned," The man-one of his dad's footmen, nothing more-offered choosing to ignore Harry's tone of disdain for the moment.
"I'm sure he will." Harry said, though his words didn't at all match his tone or expression. "Well, wouldn't want to keep the good Mr. Norman Osborn waiting, now would we?" Harry threw open the door without another word, grabbing his own bag and starting his ascent up the steps.
He brushed past Emma who was a little further up, still fiddling with the camera around her neck.
Letting out an aggravated huff, Emma looked up just as he walked on by running the rest of the way to catch up with her class.
"Good day to you all, I am Dr. Connors and I will be with you for the majority of your visit here at Oscorp today." A good portion of the students eyes immediately snapped towards Billy who was unfortunately situated right beside Eddie resulting in a subtle roll of the eyes from said boy, never being one to seek out attention to begin with.
Then again he supposed it was kind of a given. The two male Connors were mostly identical in the way of looks; Same Tawny-blonde hair, albeit a little more haggard looking on the older one, and the same baby-blue eyes. Even the same fair-skin tone, though on Bills dad it looked a bit more wrinkled in some areas.
"Now then, let's get right to it shall we?" Dr. Connors said, and a small part of Eddie had to resist the urge to ask how he managed to get that stump for an arm, recalling how Billy once mentioned his dad was an expert on reptiles. 'Maybe he lost it to a Croc?' Eddie mused silently.
"Now can any of you tell me what this might be?" He said leading them into a far-off room located somewhere in the East wing of the building. Whatever the machine was, Eddie was fairly certain it was his first time seeing one; Taking up a good chunk of space, made up of pieces of shining silver and white metal, a bunch of brass-colored knobs aligning it's sides as it puffed out a bunch of steam.
He wasn't surprised when Gwen Stacy's hand shot up, knowing the answer within seconds of the question being asked. Billy soon after her.
Surprisingly though, Dr. Connors chose to call on someone else.
"It's a heat reactor." The meek voice of Emma Parker barely carried over the entire crowd, not liking being put on the spot so abruptly.
Dr. Connors smiled, nodding. "Very good, and you are?" He went on to ask, curious as the girl looked somehow familiar to him.
"I-I'm Emma sir," was all she said before Flash interrupted by faking a cough into his fist, muttering a "puny Parker" remark that few seemed to catch. The ones that did however, started to laugh.
Eddie glanced at his friend for a moment, but said nothing. Flash only smirked while Emma's mood dampened a little more.
It wasn't long before the group started to move along, Emma still trailing more towards the back listening while MJ did most of the talking between them asking for the occasional input or such from Emma.
"-I mean, and who does that? And on a date, no less!" MJ went on saying, rolling her eyes at the memory, "and then the idiot wonders why I decided to dump him like that, I mean, come on."
"I've never been on a date." Emma admitted sheepishly, making MJ halt for a moment. The redhead slowly turning to look back at the other, "What? Like, ever?"
Emma nodded. MJ did a double-take.
"But, I mean-how did…." Mary-jane struggled for a moment trying not to come off as sounding like a total bitch. "You're in high school though, I mean, haven't you ever...liked someone before?"
When Emma only stared, MJ had to resist the immense urge to face-palm. Her new friends lack of experience in things making her a bit more sympathetic, but also invoking a small pang of disbelief.
Rather than pursue the topic, Mj was actually glad-for once-Dr. Connors chose that moment to start talking again.
The group now standing in a completely different area with certain sections having the Biological hazard sign splayed across the walls.
"This is where we store our cross-genetically engineered spiders that are vital to our more recent breakthroughs regarding the cross-genetics project as a whole," Dr. Connors went on to say to the class-not that most were listening-gesturing to a glass door with the nuclear waste sign on it. "While I can't allow you any further inside, I can say that the fifteen spiders contained behind this glass wall have all been genetically altered and now house over fifteen DNA structures within their bodies-
From her spot in the crowd, Liz Allen squealed. "Ew!" Her outburst earned a stern look from both the teacher as well as the class representative, Gwen Stacy.
"-and even now, it is still not entirely known the full extent of what they can do. For instance, one of the DNA structures, that of the Delena spider, has the capabilities of jumping distances a great many times its own size in order to capture its prey." From her spot near the back MJ looked somewhat intrigued by the thought; wouldn't that kind of be the same as flying?
"Another more deadly example however, would be the brown recluse whose venom is known to cause the red blood cells in a persons body to burst leading to things like acute kidney injury as well as jaundice." Emma wrinkled her nose for a moment while processing this, the idea of a spider bite being able to affect the blood cells in any creatures body was both fascinating and a little unsettling. "Now as for ones like the Darwin spider, which can create the strongest material made by a living organism and is also included as one of the lesser dangerous kinds."
"Each different dna structure was chosen for a specific reason, with each spider having something the others can benefit from be it in the capturing of prey, survival, or even just the day-to-day activities." Dr. Connors finished looking towards the glass door, a strange look of longing in his eyes "and hopefully in time, these tests will be able to help millions of people; whether it's an ailing patient of Parkinson's disease or even the replacement of a missing limb."
Emma's brow furrowed for a moment wondering if he was in fact referring to himself, eying the stump where one of his arms should have been.
From his spot in the crowd Billy seemed to look away, a bit troubled by his father's tone but trying hard not to show it.
"Well then, let's move on shall we?" Dr. Connors said, snapping himself from his own mental reverie before a majority of the students even noticed-save for Emma, Gwen and Billy-leading them down another hallway. "There is still much to see, so come along!" He ushered.
While the group of teens was being lead into another laboratory-like area of the building, no one noticed the intricate gleaming web being spun in one of the darkened corners of the hall; a barely visible spot of red and blue crawling along the durable strands of webbing.
After all, what was one spider out of fifteen?
'Oh right, pictures!' Emma remembered suddenly, coming to an abrupt halt and reaching for her camera. She had asked her teacher beforehand when they first started their tour, but hadn't actually been snapping any. 'Well, better late than never,' she thought loading the film and setting the shutter. Her class disappearing further down the hall without her.
'I'll see if I can maybe get a good angle of those spiders, and then-'
"Whoa!" She jumped, more than a little caught off guard when she collided with someone. Her lack of coordination sent them both tumbling to the ground with little warning, The camera let off a snap, combined with the bright flash which left them both a little more disoriented.
"I-I'm so sorry!" She hurried to say, already trying to dislodge her tangled up limbs. "I was just, um-wh-what I mean is….I-I'm sorry," she repeated, blushing to the tips of her brown hair.
"No, no I'm afraid I wasn't quite looking where I was going," a smooth voice said apologetically. Emma blinked, adjusting her glasses which had fallen off during the tumble, coming face to face with someone she didn't recognize; he seemed vaguely familiar though she wasn't sure why. She didn't think she knew of anyone who wore such top-of-the-line clothing, designer jeans, a white shirt and casual dress jacket.
Is that silk?-was Emma's only thought still staring when he offered a hand to help her up. She blushed when she saw how his lips quirked, obviously not at all offended by her shameless gawking. "Uh, I-I'm sorry..." she repeated meekly, shyly taking the hand but not making proper eye-contact.
His next question caught her by surprise.
"Are you an employee here?" He asked, sounding genuinely curious. "An intern perhaps?"
Emma took a moment, clearing her throat and adjusting her thick-framed glasses before she answered. "Oh no, I um….I'm here on a field trip. Wait, aren't you….a student too?" The words were awkwardly spaced apart because the boy looked about the same age as her.
Though from his questioning, it didn't sound like he was part of her class at all.
He arched a brow at her, studying her expression for a moment seemingly wary of her reaction. "I'm sorry, do you….not know who I am?" He didn't sound too overly offended, just genuinely surprised which only made Emma feel more embarrassed.
"Uh..."Still she couldn't put a name to the face.
"Harry." He finally said, still holding her gaze with his own now looking intrigued. "And you are?"
There was no way this guy was from her class, otherwise he was being way too nice to 'Puny Parker'.
"….Emma. Emma Parker," she blinked hesitating some when he offered his hand for a shake.
"A pleasure," he said in a cordial tone. Emma nodded numbly, a bit taken aback by the stranger's politeness. A moment later and she remembered her camera, which had accidentally snapped a picture of her brief moment of embarrassment.
Looking down she felt a fresh feeling of sadness wash over her. "Oh no, no, no!" She let out a noise of frustration kneeling down and picking up what was now the two broken remnants of her camera and groaned. 'This was a birthday present from uncle Ben.'
Glancing down Harry saw what she was groaning over, now recognizing her as the girl he saw on the front steps as well. Realizing their fall was what broke the camera, feeling a pang of remorse worm its way into his gut. "I'm sorry, here let me give you money for a new one."
Harry was already reaching for his wallet which he kept in his back pocket, a part of him semi-relieved that the 'allowance' money his father sent every month would actually be put to good use. At least in his mind, his father would probably snap at him if he knew he was giving money out to a 'commoner' or whatever.
"Oh no I couldn't do that," Emma said quickly while he was already counting bills, and good god!-so much money!-Emma had never seen so much green, let alone be so close to it. "Uh….did you rob a bank or something?"
The boy stopped counting, looking back at her with a small look of surprise. "No. why on earth would you think that?"
She wisely didn't answer this time, though the hot flush of her cheeks may have said more than words ever could.
She didn't notice the way he was staring at her, so intrigued and confused at once-similar to the look she would always give Eddie-reaching for her hand suddenly and taking it into his, gently depositing the money before folding her fingers over the bundle of bills.
"There. That should be more than enough for a new camera," Harry smiled confidently letting a beat of silence pass between them, "and dinner as well. Seven o'clock, this Saturday?"
Emma felt her brain stop working. Her mouth hanging open in what she assumed was a very unattractive manner.
"If that's a yes then how about that Italian Restaurant, the one located near the theater?" He offered, still getting no actual response.
The moment was cut short when a shout came from down the hallway.
"Parker! There you are," Mr. Brunner came jogging down the hall, looking a tad frazzled and out of breath which was when Emma finally realized the rest of her class was long gone. "Need I remind you that all students are supposed to stay with the group?"
"Oh I, w-well I was just-"
"It was my fault, I'm afraid." Harry interrupted, clearing his throat and immediately gaining the teachers attention seeing the elder male's eyebrows shoot up in a look of surprise-well he certainly knows who I am, Harry mused bitterly-and met it with one of his own practiced smiles of politeness.
"She was mentioning something about taking a picture when I accidentally took a bad fall and broke her camera." Harry lied smoothly, even managing to look a tad sheepish over the fake-confession. "I didn't mean to keep her, I just wanted to compensate her for it, that's all."
"Oh, yes well….I just wanted to make sure you were safe Emma, no one knew where you had gone off to after all." The teacher commented with a nod. "Now then, let's hurry back to the rest of the class, lord only knows how rowdy some of them get..."
"Well then, I'll let you go Emma." Harry said, shooting another coy smile. "Have a nice day, and I hope to see you again soon."
She watched him turn and walk away after that, following her teacher in an oddly trance-like state afterwards still holding the two broken pieces of her camera when MJ came rushing over.
"Hey there you are!" MJ then noticed the broken camera, "what happened? Did Flash-"
"It wasn't Flash." Emma cut her off.
She pursed her lips falling to the back of the group once more alongside MJ, who was looking slightly worried now.
"Is everything okay? When the teacher noticed you were missing, Eddie mentioned seeing you taking some pictures back in the hall," MJ said sparring a glance towards the mentioned boy who was having his ear yakked off by Billy Connors. "I offered to go instead, but...guess they thought I'd just ditch and play hooky somewhere."
MJ shook her head at the notion, did they really think so low of her to cut at a moments notice?
"Eddie?" Emma repeated, processing the redheads words a moment later. "Eddie did?"
"Huh, yeah. Said he saw you messing around with your camera back in the hall, why?" MJ repeated. "Something wrong with that?"
Emma frowned now, her mind going back to when she saw the boy leaving the office. He didn't even say two words to her, but he had to have known whose glasses he was dropping off, didn't he?
That strange fluttering sensation returned to her chest when she looked in his direction, increasing whenever he smiled or laughed.
"Emma, hey, everything okay in there?" MJ asked with a laugh while waving a hand in front of the other girl's face.
"Huh? Yeah, yeah no I'm fine. Just...spaced out a little bit," she muttered sheepishly tucking a stray lock of hair behind her ear.
"Speaking of Eddie, you missed earlier when Liz Allen tried getting him to ask her out on a date." MJ stated, laughing all the while, oblivious to how Emma's own expression plummeted a bit.
"She got rejected, oh it was the best thing ever!" MJ said with a laugh, snapping Emma from her moment of self-pity.
"Rejected? Liz did?" Emma said, eyes wide with disbelief since she was almost certain no boy in school would pass up the chance to be around the blonde. Let alone date her.
"Yeah, she made this ugly pissed off face, and was all like 'fine, you'll come around soon enough!' and then went stomping away like a toddler," MJ said recalling the memory fondly, barely holding in her laughter all the while. "Ohh it was beautiful," the redhead said throwing an almost smug grin when said blonde girl happened to look their way.
Liz shot her a very clear 'freak!' stare that told Emma she should look away, but MJ only laughed brushing it off with ease.
"Dumb barbie wannabe," MJ spat under her breath rolling her eyes.
"Weren't...you and Liz friends once, back in freshman year?" Emma inquired suddenly, a sliver of memory coming to the forefront of her mind thinking back on it some more and vaguely recalling seeing MJ and Liz together on more than one occasion, laughing and gossiping. "I don't think you should laugh just cuz she got turned down."
MJ's expression soured some at the reminder of freshman year, covering it up with a smile before Emma could see. "Why? She'd do it if it were one of us I'm sure, besides," MJ stopped, nudging Emma a bit and gesturing towards where Eddie was standing a good distance away "are you seriously saying you wouldn't want that all to yourself?"
Emma's face turned a flaming red, averting her eyes at MJ's saucy tone of voice barely able to mumble out a response. "I'm not...into boys all that much. Besides, he's still a person...not a thing."
"Newsflash Em, every girl is into guys." MJ thought for a moment, "well, unless you're a lesbian….or asexual, or...something of that variety." She sounded unsure, waving a dismissive hand. "Anyway, point is just because you don't think you are, doesn't mean you're not interested."
"Now, watch and learn." MJ said, sauntering off in the same direction she was looking towards a moment ago, right up to Eddie.
Emma blinked watching MJ smile prettily, batting her lashes which caused maybe two or more of the surrounding jocks to stare, laughing sweetly before leaning in and touching Eddie's arm-only to be shrugged off almost immediately. She blinked clearly not expecting the reaction while Eddie said something to her which made her smile melt a little. Then, as if on cue, the teacher came walking back over.
"Students, gather around if you would please!"
"How did it go?" Emma asked once MJ was standing back by her side: the redhead looked to be concentrating over something deeply. "MJ?" she tried again.
"He's playing hard to get," was all MJ said. Her tone somewhat clipped. "It's fine though," she said with a small flip of her hair brushing it off, "this was only the first round."
Emma thought for a moment, feeling a tad conflicted as part of her wanted to help her new friend but somewhere deep down she wasn't entirely on board with the idea of MJ talking more to Eddie. "Maybe you could ask about neon?" Emma offered, wanting to be helpful.
"Neon?" MJ repeated, confused.
"I heard him and Flash talking a little earlier, and...I don't know. Someone said something about 'hearing neon'."
MJ fully turned now, fixing Emma with an incredulous stare. "How the hell does someone hear neon?"
"You could ask?"
"Why bother, it was probably that idiot Flash who said it," MJ spat looking repulsed by the mentioned basketball star. "Pinhead probably thinks he's got some kind of superpower going on inside of him, god he is such a..." her voice became softer, the insults dying down and melding together making it difficult for Emma to understand.
Instead of dwelling on it Emma turned her attention forward, looking at where the teacher was addressing the class.
Oblivious to the conflict unfolding just one floor above them.
"You're weak. You always were and you always will be."
Harry sat on the other side of his father's hardwood, polished desk scoffing. Of course his father would spend the first half-hour of them seeing each after eight or so years by throwing insults. Norman's words grating on his last nerve, dredging up childhood memories of all the times his father would scold or lecture him; nothing he ever did was good enough.
"Look at me when I'm talking to you boy." Norman spat out, and Harry could see from the other side of the desk, those little green veins popping out along his father's neck-still concealed by his clothes-always taunting him; The Osborn curse as some have begun to call it.
Norman caught him staring and smiled, a cruel, vicious smile like one of the goblins from the stories his mother read to him as a child.
"Take a good look son," Norman reached up with one hand pulling his shirt and suit jacket down exposing more of the rotted and decaying flesh underneath. Harry felt he was going to be sick. "Incurable, they say. A disease unlike any other, terrifying, isn't it?"
Harry didn't respond at first, though the shine in his eyes was enough of a confirmation for Norman. "Why did you have me brought back after all this time?" Harry asked instead, keeping his tone neutral.
"Perhaps I...just wanted to be comforted by the company of my only remaining family; my blood relative." Norman said, his tone shifting to a much calmer and softer one. Only it didn't fool Harry, not one bit.
"You had years for that," Harry cut in, his eyes cold and sharp much like his fathers. "I think we both know you're not that kind of father, or man for that matter." Norman looked at his son, a heavy silence blanketing the room.
"The Decay Rate Algorithm."
Harry laughed, shaking his head for a moment in disbelief. "Of course, that's the only reason you'd even bother after all this time..." He looked his father in the eye, offering a tight-lipped smile," but like I told you all those years ago I. Don't. Have. It."
Norman sat staring at his son with an eerily calm face before finally responding in a quiet tone, "and I believe you."
"Do you really?" Harry said, looking at the man who was all but on death's door now. Recalling how infuriated he had been all those years ago when the scientist in charge of the project had just up and disappeared without a trace, taking all his work-including the only supposed cure to Norman's disease-with him.
"There is something you should know though, about the curse-"
"You mean the disease."
"It's hereditary." Harry blinked no longer looking at Norman, but off to the side.
"I already know that." Harry said softly. "Don't you have anything of actual importance to say to me?"
"Just that...I'm glad you're finally back home, son." Norman said after another pause between words, throwing his son a completely unconvincing smile. "And that I look forward to our time together," he finished before descending into low, almost maniacal laughter just as Harry stood up to leave.
His son throwing him one last hateful glare before slamming the door shut on his way out.
Norman waited, still smiling afterwards before hitting a button on his phone.
"Yes Mr. Osborn?" The receptionist answered.
"Tell Dr. Connors to commence human trials on the serum tonight. Let him know his first test subject has arrived." Norman said, looking towards the door with a truly evil glint entering his eyes. "That will be all."
Harry Osborn- Jeremy Irvine
Norman Osborn- Chris Cooper
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