Title: Harry Potter and the Accidental Harem
Pairings: Harry Potter/F/F/F/F, Hermione Granger/F
Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns the Harry Potter universe. Wish they were mine so I could do increasingly nonsensical things to them and watch my bank account get steadily larger, but sadly not mine. With a myriad of writers, artists, and editors, actual rights are a nightmare when you go near a comic book universe. Suffice it to say that Marvel Entertainment LLC owns all of the property printed in their comics, along with the television and movie adaptations of said same property. Not mine, don't sue, and so forth and so on.
Summary: When Harry and Hermione decide to stick around and enjoy the sights after a MACUSA consulting gig in Las Vegas, they end up going down paths that neither of them could have possibly expected.
Joe's Note: For those of you familiar with my larger body of work, you'll probably recognize the skeleton upon which this story was built. It started out as my first ever multi-chapter story all the way back in 2006, with abortive reboots in 2011 and 2017. Largely because I've always struggled with matching tonality to concept; I've wanted to be neither the man you laugh with or laugh at, so much as the man who tells you an interesting story. But at the end of the day, certain concepts are just so ludicrous that you simply can't tell them in a serious way. Jinni's 'When I Woke Up' challenge - the originator of the oft-copied and modified 'this character goes here, gets drunk, and wakes up with this crossover character' challenge - is simply one of those things because the very premise strains credibility. So for once, I'm going to try and sit back and have some fun with a story concept, and see where it takes me without doing hundreds of hours of world building research, complex outlining, or other Serious Writing behaviors. Let's see how it goes.
Dedications & Thanks: To Nicholas, Howard, Jade, Alexander, Tibor, Alonsis2, Daniel, Clark, Adrien, erlking, ridillin, Haematite, Charles, Jacky, Edward, Andrew, Roofcrawler, Wil, PbookR, Samuel, Mikey, Beverly, Daniel, Charles, Crygon20, Subtle, Christopher, Stephen, Fablesrogue, Morgan, Joseph, Jason, RileyWestfall, bloodylord, Marc, Ziryo, Chris, George, Koby, William, Devin, JJbelle, David, Gavin, TheTenthAncestor, Lookshy, Mauday, John, Roman, Warren, and Jess for sponsoring me on , and making it easier for me to spend more of my time writing.
As consciousness returned to him in a rush of dull aches and throbbing pains, Harry Potter knew before he even opened his eyes that the last thing he wanted to do was… well, open his eyes. It was the same feeling of foreboding that he'd had on his first day of Hogwarts so many years ago, upon waking up on the day of the Third Task in the Triwizard Tournament, just before sliding out of bed on the day of the Battle of Hogwarts when he'd ultimately thrown down Voldemort's growing control over the British wizarding community, and on the day where he rolled over to find a note from Ginny and her few possessions missing from his first apartment. It was an undefinable but now unmistakeable feeling that once he opened his eyes and confronted the day ahead of him, something was waiting for Harry that would ensure that his life would never again be the same. That one chapter of his existence was coming to a close and another was just beginning. Or rather, the chapter would be beginning if he would just find the courage to confront it.
But instead of embracing his inner Gryffindor and bravely facing the unknown head on, Harry kept his eyes firmly shut as he tried - and roundly failed - to ignore the throbbing in his head. For a brief moment, he idly found himself wondering where exactly he was. A bed, obviously, but a bed where? Certainly not his own hotel room, seeing as how he didn't actually have one. Or did he? He hadn't gone back to the hotel between when he'd left and when he'd gotten quite possibly the drunkest he'd ever been in his life. Did they still let people check into hotel rooms if they were that wasted?
Not that he'd been irresponsible enough to reach Sin City and just take off into the wild neon yonder. With his traveling companion, much less alone. When they'd arrived the previous day, they'd managed to wrap up their consulting work for the MACUSA in record time, leaving them with a hotel reservation they didn't exactly need… but eventually decided that they shouldn't pass up. They'd sought out what was supposed to be their temporary home away from home, only to have the woman at the front desk inform them - in an almost laughably bad fake British accent - that 3:27 PM was in fact not close enough to the advertised 4:00 PM check-in time to be acceptable, and that they'd have to wait another thirty-three minutes before the hotel would be ready to process their reservation.
While his companion had been perfectly content to crack open a book and sit through the half-hour wait, Harry had always chafed at inaction. On the other hand, he'd spent enough nights in hotels of various qualities to know that arguing would just land him next to the ice machine or something else unpleasant. So instead, he'd dragged his friend away from the front desk and back out the front doors into the hustle and bustle of Vegas. Denied a room - at least for the moment - and refusing to just sit around aimlessly when there was so much to see and do, he'd picked a direction at random and started walking.
The solution to his problem - boredom - had been obvious as soon as the pair had walked out the door: exploration. While they were in one of the smaller hotels, there were numerous massive 'hotel and casino' complexes that were also home to shows to be seen, restaurants to try, shops to… shop in, a few roller coasters and other thrill rides for the braver folks… Harry even vaguely remembered hearing something about one hotel having an aquarium with sharks, although he couldn't remember which for the life of him. All sorts of exciting things to see and do and that was before they even began ducking into the actual standalone buildings that housed stores and attractions of their own. And that was just the muggle side of the city, discounting all the magical attractions that they'd caught the barest of glimpses of while working that day.
From there? As best Harry could remember, there'd been some gambling - much to his companion's disapproval - followed by some showgirls that she disapproved of even more, the inevitable drinking that came with enjoying most any attraction in Sin City, and now he was waking up… somewhere. And while he had a throbbing headache, it was definitely far less painful than it should have been considering how much he'd drunk - or was reasonably certain that he'd drunk - the night before. Note to self: he needed to buy Hermione one hell of a present before he returned to London, because her anti-hangover potion was quite possibly the only reason he was conscious at the moment.
Turning his head slightly to one side, Harry cracked his eyes open again and peered over at the alarm clock. 9:42. Given that the light filtering in through the closed curtains was a bit too white to be the technicolor neon glow of Vegas after dark, Harry assumed that it was 9:42 AM rather than 9:42 PM. Not that it would have been much darker at night, but the color would have been different. Idly, he wondered if he'd still be charged for the hotel room that he'd never checked into. Did it really matter, though? Technically, this was a working trip for him and so either the MACUSA or the ICW was picking up the tab. Possibly some combination thereof, or maybe even the Ministry of Magic. To be honest, Harry wasn't entirely sure whose money he was wasting… but it wasn't his. Not that he couldn't afford to pick up the tab for an unused hotel room. Or ten. For a year.
Thinking about the multiple vaults all under his control quickly lead Harry to thinking about the people who had died for him to inherit said vaults, and he shook his head to keep his thoughts from continuing down those dark paths. What was done was done, there was no way to bring them back, and if he really wanted to, he could honor them by spending the money in ways that they would have approved of. Or at least that's what the therapist that Hermione had hooked him up with had drummed into his head. Personally, he was all for that… except for maybe when it came to the Lestrange vault. He had a sinking suspicion that he knew what Bellatrix and the brothers Lestrange would have approved of him spending money on, and all those things were either illegal, immoral, or both.
Sometimes, it really made Harry wonder if all the effort that he was putting in was actually worth it. Going back to Hogwarts to make up his seventh year. Sitting for NEWTs. Going through training. Becoming an auror. Getting punted back and forth all over Europe - and now the world - with his partner helping put out brushfires in various magical communities. He didn't have to. He didn't need this sort of stress and danger. He had enough money that he could live like a Malfoy until the day that he died, and so could his kids and probably even his kids' kids. And that was without investing or any other sort of money management on his end. Maybe this was the sort of life that he should more seriously consider enjoying. He had enough other things going on in his life that maybe it was time to decide that he didn't need work. There were plenty of things to keep him busy so that he didn't literally bore himself to death… and he could think of a dozen ways to tempt his partner into following him into retirement.
As the hangover potion continued to struggle mightily against the aftereffects of the copious amount of alcohol that he'd enjoyed the previous evening, Harry began reassembling his thoroughly shot occlumency barriers and sorting through his fragmented memories of the night before. Although he quickly realized that he didn't actually need to recall all of the events of the past dozen or so hours to know at least one thing that he'd done. While there was always a chance that there was a body in his bed for perfectly innocent… wait. There was a cold body in his bed. Not even room temperature, which would have meant he'd repeated the same mistake that he'd made while trying to have a one-night stand in Romania. Not that he had anything against vampires, of course; the fact that they didn't need to come up for air certainly had its uses…
Then Harry turned his head to the left and found himself staring at blue skin. Huh. Blue-skinned and cold. But naturally a healthy shade of blue, and breathing. So not a corpse. Some sort of magical sentient, obviously. But what? Nothing he could recognize at a quick glance, that was for sure.
Rolling onto his side so that he didn't have to keep straining his neck, Harry found himself scrutinizing his bedmate's face. Definitely inhuman, but just as definitely a species that Harry wasn't the least bit familiar with. Which took some doing these days. She sported pointed ears and faint facial grooves to go along with her blue skin, although not all of her was blue. The right side of the girl's face was almost the same shade as Harry's own skin, with the line that divided blue from pink slowly shifting as the girl slept. She and her kind probably lived alongside both muggle and magical humans undetected, Harry reasoned, which would explain why he didn't recognize them. This one probably hadn't intended to reveal herself; maybe this had been her first time too and she had no idea that her human form faltered when she slept?
Idle curiosity had Harry lifting the sheet and peeking underneath, only to freeze at what he found. While yes, it turned out that the bisection did go all the way down… there was an unexpected tanned hand cupping the expected blue breast. Which answered one of his questions while creating a hundred more in his head. Sitting up slowly and biting his lip to keep from groaning as the world spun around him, Harry stared past Blue Girl at the Tan Girl spooning her from behind. And then past Tan Girl to Blonde Cybergoth Girl… who appeared to be cuddling with Goth Girl and gently gnawing on her companion's collarbone in her sleep in between faint, angry-sounding mumbles. The two pairs looked very comfortable with each other, although the way that Goth Girl was stretching one arm past Blonde Cybergoth Girl to rest on Tan Girl's hip spoke of some degree of familiarity as well.
So… what exactly was he looking at here? Had he managed to seduce two separate women last night, each of whom had a girlfriend who had decided to come along for the ride? Maybe, but the interaction across the cuddling pairs made that unlikely. Muggles didn't do multiple marriages like certain wizarding communities - his own included - so that wasn't it. Maybe they were one of those newfangled… what had Hermione told him that a couple had attempted to invite her into? Polyamory? A polyamorous… grouple? What did you call a couple with more than two people in it?
While his four bedmates were pretty well entwined with each other, Harry found himself lucky enough to not only be on the outside of the cuddle puddle but completely unimpeded as he sat up and then slid out of the bed entirely. As he yawned and stretched, he found his magical efforts bearing fruit as the swirling mess inside his head began to reassemble itself into vaguely coherent memories. And so when he looked back down at the bed, he found himself remembering… Tan Girl was Kate. Kate Bishop, heiress to the Bishop Publishing fortune, occasional philanthropist, and altogether terrible at hiding the fact that she was Hawkeye of the Young Avengers. While her all-purple wardrobe wasn't exactly conclusive proof, the fact that she'd pulled some sort of collapsible bow out of her purse to help stop a robbery the previous evening kinda was. She seemed to be equal parts Hermione and Lavender, as odd of a thought as that was, and most definitely not the kind of girl who Harry would have thought that he'd enjoy spending time with. But as he'd discovered last night, being bossed around in the bedroom was much more fun than being bossed around anywhere else. Who knew?
Having established that one of the girls that he'd woken up with was Hawkeye, Harry could have identified at least two of the others even without the aid of his returning memories. After all, he'd memorized the various superhero team dossiers before taking a consulting gig for the MACUSA in New York City, and what were the odds that Kate was running around with a pair of girls who closely resembled her teammates from the Young Avengers but actually weren't? Especially a cybergoth with red and black extensions in her hair?
Side note: if not for Luna's interesting dive into muggle fashion to improve her ability to blend in - so to speak - with muggles on her various expeditions, Harry wouldn't have known what goths, cybergoths, or extensions were.
No, Blonde Cybergoth Girl - who also went by Cassie, Cass, and Cassandra Lang - was definitely Hawkeye's teammate Stature from the Young Avengers. Which in turn made Goth Girl the newest Young Avenger: Nadia Pym, the Wasp. They were quite a pair as best he could remember from the night before, and much easier to get along with than Kate. From what he'd seen of her the night before, Cassie seemed to be equal parts Luna and Neville, as unlikely a combination as that seemed. Grounded and earnest at points, but equally prone to whimsy and flights of fancy when certain subjects came up. Definitely funny. A good kisser, despite her admitted lack of experience. Nadia, on the other hand, was as warm and bubbly as Cassie but considerably more sheltered, almost as much as Harry himself was. It made him wonder what her story was, because he knew why he was so unfamiliar with what most people found familiar… and he somehow doubted that she was both a witch and a superheroine. Although despite her overall naïveté, she'd somehow managed to outshine Cassie when it came to… being inventive… when it came to their shared power set.
But even as his memories began trickling in, the mystery surrounding the blue-skinned girl only continued to grow. She was definitely capable of assuming a fully human appearance - albeit one with a definite nod to Nadia's sense of style - and her friends were just as definitely in on her secret… but they were roundly terrible at keeping said secret. The girl had introduced herself to Harry as 'Reginna' - two Ns, she'd made a point of specifying - and Cassie had occasionally called her 'Reg', but it definitely wasn't her real name. Both Cassie and Kate had caught themselves trying to call her something else a handful of times; Harry was pretty sure the girl's name actually began with 'He', possibly 'Hel'.
Whatever her name was? Harry was pretty sure that the Young Avengers currently only had three female members - Nadia had been added to the original dossier in a recent addendum - and only one inhuman member. The blue girl was neither. So… who was she, and how had she ended up dating three superheroes? Or at least one superhero? Or maybe she at a minimum was a 'friend with benefits' who was looking for a relationship of her own. That would fit with her behavior the night before, Harry mused: she was quiet but not necessarily shy - a definite woman of few words - but had been the first one to approach him, remaining at his side the entire evening.
Yet more questions building up with absolutely no answers in sight. Sigh.
As his gaze finally left the bed to properly survey the rest of his surroundings, Harry realized three very important things in rapid succession. One: he was definitely in the quartet's room rather than having made it back to his own hotel, checking in, and dragging them up to his room. Because… two: Kate was a rich girl who evidently liked to travel in style; the bedroom alone was bigger than most hotel rooms that Harry had stayed in, and he could see not only a massive bathroom but an exercise room and some kind of study from his current vantage point. He was in a suite of some sort, and a fairly expansive suite at that. But he actually wasn't feeling the urge to go exploring at the moment because three: there was superhero stuff lying all over the disaster area of a bedroom that he was in.
One of Stature's red and black jumpsuits was thrown haphazardly across the nearby divan, while her distinctive helmet was nestled between the two orange pillows at the divan's head. The divan was bookended by a pair of large suitcases, one of which was the source of a trail of purple, black, and silver goodies that… Harry followed it through the bathroom and around the corner to find a massive walk-in closet where another of Stature's catsuit hung beside no less than three different Hawkeye costumes and two Wasp jumpsuits. Strangely enough, while he could spot casual clothes that definitely belonged to each of the three human girls - most of which had been dumped on the floor in a complete disregard for the expansive closet's intended purpose - Harry couldn't spot a single thing that clearly belonged to Reginna, be it either civilian or superheroic.
Suddenly, Harry realiezd that he was wandering around trying to get in touch with his inner Sherlock Holmes in regards to 'Reginna'… when he could be taking advantage of what was likely a once in a lifetime opportunity. After all, what were the odds that he'd ever be this close to superheroes' gear ever again? Making his way back into the bedroom, Harry picked Cassie's helmet and then tossed it end over end into the air, barely managing to catch it on the descent as he found himself captivated by light glinting off something on his fingers. Plural. There was a simple gold band around the ring finger of his left hand… and around his index finger, his middle, and his pinky to boot. It reminded him a bit of some of the more pretentious purebloods that he'd met while fulfilling his family's obligations to the Wizengamot, who chose to wear the rings of all the noble families for which they were representing. Except they were all very simple, plain, masculine bands. What in the world?
Access to his magiPhone abruptly going from a want to a need, Harry carefully set the helmet back down where he'd found it and began searching the room for… well, anything of his. But after nearly fifteen minutes of searching, Harry finally conceded defeat; if his clothes had made it as far as the bedroom, he couldn't find any trace of them. Making his way over to the one door that he hadn't explored yet, Harry poked his head out and found himself looking at a massive living area that was quite possibly as large as both floors of Number Four Privet Drive combined. There was a living room, a study tucked off to one corner, a dining room and kitchen beyond the living room…
…and resting on the coffee table situated in the middle of a massive, C-shaped earth toned sectional was a veritable florist's worth of red roses arranged haphazardly around a blue and white piece of paper. Slowly approaching the table, Harry bent down and picked up the paper, reasonably sure that he knew what it was and accordingly dreading the confirmation of his suspicions.
Trimmed in blue tones depicting the four suits of cards, the blocky letters spelling out 'STATE OF NEVADA MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE' erased any shadow of a doubt that he'd done something incredibly stupid the night before. He let his eyes drift down the page slowly even as his increasingly coherent memories of the night before began providing flashes of him wandering through a gorgeous chapel with his arm around Reginna's waist, followed by him standing in front of an altar with Reginna on his left and Cassie on his right. As a very green man in white robes joyously officiated the ceremony, Nadia had snuggled up against Cassie on her free side while Kate kept a slightly standoffish distance between herself and Reginna. And sure enough, the certificate celebrating 'joining them in wedlock' didn't stop after the pertinent details for just himself and one of the four girls.
Harry James Potter of Perranarworthal, State/Country of United Kingdom.
Helreginn Lokajardóttir of Hel, State/Country of Niflheimr.
Cassandra Eleanor Lang of New York, State/Country of New York.
Nadia Maria Pym of New York, State/Country of New York.
Katherine Beatrice Bishop of New York, State/Country of New York.
Huh. Well, at least he had a really big house waiting for him back in Cornwall that should be able to fit all five of them? And hey, he'd been right about the 'Hel' thing.