A/N: Now that Eddie is used to Venom, let's add some characters!

"Before class tomorrow, read the next section of your textbook on Muggle transportation," the professor said. "Class dismissed."

Eddie grinned at the homework assignment as he slid his books into his backpack. After a couple weeks, he decided that Muggle Studies was his favorite class. Although he wasn't exactly a Muggle, he felt a connection to the non-magical people. They seemed to have accomplished so much and all without magic!

Having left the classroom, Eddie walked down the hallway towards the Slytherin common room. He was at the top of the staircase that led into the dungeons when he was roughly grabbed from behind and shoved back against a wall.

"What the‒!" Eddie yelped as he fell to the floor. Rubbing the back of his head, he looked up at his attackers: one of his older cousins ‒Tyler‒ and his friends.

"Hey, Ed-weird," Tyler called. "How's it feel being the snake of the family?"

"Whattya want, Ty?" Eddie asked miserably. He just wanted the confrontation to be over.

"Depends," Tyler said, rubbing his chin as if he were thinking deeply. "What do you have?"

"Empty your pockets, squib," one of the other boys demanded.

"I-I'm not a squib!" Eddie corrected. "I have magic, too!"

"Look, weirdo, I don't know how you did it, but I know you're living some sort of lie. You don't just get magic overnight," Tyler said. "Now how about you hand over your coins and candies to real wizards?"

"No! Leave me alone!" Eddie shouted, pressing himself against the wall as the group closed in around him.

"C'mon, snake, don't make this harder than it needs to be," one of them demanded. At those words, all of the older students drew their wands.

Eddie pulled his own wand out of his back pocket.

Venom, please help, he thought.

Tyler sneered, "Show me some magic, squib! Go on! Give me your best spell!"

Eddie lifted his wand in front of him, but his hand shook. He had never dueled before, and he was worried about Venom overdoing it. They hadn't really laid down the rules for dealing with human opponents.

A simple one: Expelliarmus.

"He can't do it!" One of the boys hollered, causing the group to erupt in vicious laughter.


Eddie flinched hard as the boys' jeering stopped short. The hallway fell silent except for the sound of Tyler's wand rolling along the stone floor.

Wait, I didn't do that, Eddie thought.

"Get out of here!" The expelliarmus-voice demanded.

"I know you," Tyler said, turning to face the newcomer. "You're Thor's brother. Do all family misfits have some sort of loyalty to each other around here?"

"My name isn't 'Thor's brother': it's Loki," Loki said angrily. "But if you don't get away, I'll make sure he and his friends take you guys on at the next dueling tournament."

"I'm not getting on that kid's bad side," One of the boys mumbled. "We can find the squib again later, Tyler."

"Fine," Tyler agreed. Over his shoulder, he threatened, "Don't think you're off the hook, Ed-weird. I'll prove that you don't belong in Hogwarts or in our family."

He picked up his wand, and the group shuffled away. Meanwhile, Loki approached Eddie and held out a hand to help him off the floor.

"On your way to the Common Room?" Loki asked when Eddie was standing again.

Eddie nodded. Taking note of his rescuer's green robes, he replied, "Yeah, I guess you're going there, too?"


"I'm Eddie, by the way. Eddie Brock."

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Eddie Brock. My name's Loki Odinson."

Eddie's eyes widened. He knew that last name from some business relations that his father had done in the past. But really, he was sure that everyone in the wizarding world knew that last name. The Odinsons were a powerful family whose magic could be traced back for centuries. It was said that they descended from some sort of royalty. Eddie frowned slightly when he thought about the first impression he just made. Needing to be saved didn't exactly boost his image.

"What year are you? I didn't know there were two Odinsons at Hogwarts now," Eddie asked, curious but trying to keep his voice casual as they walked down to the dungeons.

"I'm a third year, and my brother Thor is a sixth year," Loki explained. "Those boys were family members of yours?"

I wouldn't call it 'family'.

But he is family, Eddie thought. Venom sounded angry to Eddie, and he wasn't sure why. Is the demon mad that Loki saved them before Venom could do the spell?

"Oh, yeah the kid you disarmed is my older cousin." Eddie paused before deciding to explain fully. He hadn't really made a lot of friends, and he was grateful for the chance to open up about his situation ‒well, some of his situation. "My family has a lineage of Hufflepuffs. I think I'm the first Slytherin ever in the Brock family."

Loki nodded thoughtfully, softening up to the boy he had saved. "You know, I'm the only Slytherin in my family, too. Thor's a Gryffindor, and he's clearly my father's favorite." Loki rolled his eyes and shook his head in obvious disapproval.

"You really scared my cousin and his friends at the threat of him though," Eddie remembered. "Is he not really all that strong?"

"Oh, no, he is a genuinely powerful wizard," Loki admitted with a firm nod. "Of course, he could probably do better in school if he actually opened a book for once in his life, but he prefers to rely on 'pure, natural talent'." He emphasized his brother's wording with air quotes and scowled. "You know, he calls me a nerd for caring to study for my classes, but he's friends with, like, the nerdiest Ravenclaws in the whole school."

The idea of accidentally running into some particularly brilliant Ravenclaws did not sit well with Eddie. If even just one person knew that he was a fake, things would get tricky; and if anyone could deduce his situation, he was sure it would be a Ravenclaw. Eddie probed without shame, "Who's that?"

"The Ravenclaws? Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. I'm sure you've heard of Howard Stark, haven't you?"

"Yeah, I know who that is." Of course, Eddie knew Howard Stark. The man had been a wizarding genius who invented all sorts of really powerful spells and potions. Eddie didn't personally know any of the spells since they were combative spells, but‒

I know those spells, Eddie. All you need to do is ask.

No, they're supposed to be really dangerous, Eddie scolded. He didn't even want to know the words for those spells.

"Well, his son Tony is a seventh year now. Banner's really impressive, too. He's a sixth year, and he's already created some of his own potions. He's like a muggle-born prodigy or something. And those are always together."


"Yeah, some people think they're actually a couple."

"Are they?"

Loki laughed. "How should I know?" Then, turning to the entrance to the Common Room, he declared the password, leading them into the room.

Before splitting up, Eddie said one last time, "Thanks for your help, Loki."

"Sure thing. You know, if you ever need help with your homework or whatever, you can ask me, okay?" Loki looked down at the floor. "It's tough being on your own here, and if anyone would understand that, I think I would."

You're not alone, Eddie.

Ignoring the voice in his head, Eddie swallowed before nodding with slightly too much enthusiasm. "Okay, thanks!"