As much as writing is an escape for me, this story will forever be intertwined with my mother's illness and death, which means I didn't feel as much joy toward the end of writing it as I did when I started. Partly as a result of that feeling, it's not likely that I'll return to this 'verse anytime soon. Yes, there are plenty of stories to tell in it, but after finishing two fairly long stories back-to-back in it … I need a break. See the end of this note for what (may) come next….
Re: Canon v. Fanon
The great thing about Harry Potter is that it's been around so long - closing in on 25 years since Philosopher's Stone/Sorcerer's Stone - was first published.
The bad thing about Harry Potter is that in that time, a whole bunch of fannish tropes have sprung up around it and many of those tropes have become so popular that they're expected in fanfiction, even though they have no grounding in the HP canon (i.e., the books; the movies are secondary canon - i.e., whenever there's a conflict between the two, the books should take priority).
I don't do some of the big fannish/fanon tropes, most notably titles of nobility (including "Lord" or "Lady" of a particular house - i.e., House of Black, House of Bones, etc.). I also find no canon support for the idea of Alice Longbottom being Harry's godmother (and, therefore, that Harry and Neville Longbottom are godbrothers).
That's not to say I don't enjoy stories with those tropes (seriously, I have a list of favorites, at the top of which is probably A Marauder's Plan, by Catsarecool). I just don't write them.
Re: Magical World v. Non-Magical World
At least one commenter has complained that I show the modern non-magical world as good and the "good" magical world as bad. I'll never argue that either world is perfect (because there's no such thing, obviously). That said, Ms. Rowling herself portrays the "good" magical world in a horrible light:
Vicious creatures (trolls; three-headed dogs) are let into a school.
A possessed teacher is not detected (seriously, wouldn't a magical world where possession is a known risk have screenings for that sort of thing, like we have drug screenings?).
Children are sent into the Forbidden Forest (where dangerous creatures are known to be; thus why it's forbidden in the first place) at night, and some of them are sent off without adult protection.
The school staff brews a cure for petrified students, rather than, say, ordering some in from outside, thus leaving students petrified for *months.*
Besides those physical threats to children, bullying is rampant and unpunished. In many cases, the victim is blamed, and there's no investigation of the incident to determine the truth of it, despite pensieves and veritaserum.
And that's just the first two books. There's plenty more evidence that the "good" magical world is bad in the others.
Am I favoring one world over the other? Absolutely.
Am I doing so unfairly? No; I'm following the canon of both worlds as much as I can.
Re: Let It Be
Let It Be did run on Broadway in August 2013 - from July 10 through September 1, 2013, specifically - but I didn't verify whether there was a show on Saturday, August 17. For this story, we can assume there was. GRIN
In canon, Thor left Earth at the end of Avengers and returned for Thor: The Dark World. It suits my purposes to have him on Earth sooner than that, so he is - presumably after convincing Odin that Earth needs special protection, and he's the man for the job.
Re: UN Security Council Members
The member list and treaty list are correct as of August 2013. Since then, a couple of other nations have joined NATO.
Re: Stark Industries Facility/Avengers Compound
In the MCU, this wasn't shown as their base until after Ultron.
In this story, Tony has a child - a competent child, a magical child, but a child nonetheless. Even if he would've been okay having Avengers HQ in his tower otherwise, Harry's existence and presence made it a non-starter. Having him deed the facility to the Avengers early solves the problem.
Re: Louise Grant
She's a character in the Marvel comics - the Blonde Phantom. I needed a secretary, so I looked for lists of fictional secretaries, and chose her because she's a Marvel character.
Re: Once Is Happenstance
The saying is from Goldfinger by Ian Fleming.
Re: Stranger Than We Can Imagine
Originally said by Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, OM, FRS, astronomer, physicist, and mathematician.
Re: Christmas Break
In PoA, Ron and Hermione remained at Hogwarts over Christmas break to keep Harry company. In PS/SS, Hermione went home while Ron stayed at Hogwarts (the Weasley parents went off to visit Charlie in Romania). In CoS, both Ron and Hermione stayed over Christmas break (the Weasley parents visited Bill in Egypt), too. So having Ron visit Harry in the US, with an adult to travel with him, didn't seem too unusual to me.
Re: Avengers Budget
The figure was calculated from SIPRI's chart of military expenditures by country from 2008-2018, available at: sites/default/files/Data%20for%20all%20countries%20from%201988%E2%80%932018%20in%20constant%20%282017%29%20USD%20%28pdf%
I used the average 2013 exchange rate found here: .
Re: Officer Candidate School
It's a real thing, and all five branches of the U.S. military have a version of it (though the Air Force calls it Officer Training School), though I'm hand-waving a lot of the details.
For those who want to nitpick by saying there are two more uniformed services - at the time the story takes place, that is; currently, there are three more (yay, Space Force!) - I maintain that only five (at the time of the story; six currently) are actual military branches. Why? Because those five (six) have .mil website extensions. The other two have .gov extensions.
RE: James and Lily's portraits
You wouldn't think that figuring out when James and Lily had their portraits painted would be difficult. It made me want to bang my head against the nearest hard surface. Harry was born July 31. Lily therefore got pregnant in the first week of November (assuming a normal gestational period).
Trelawney made the prophecy when she was being interviewed for a job at Hogwarts. The wording of the prophecy means that she made it sometime between Lily getting pregnant and Harry's birth; at the earliest, she made it in August (the eighth month) prior to Lily getting pregnant.
Nobody would have any idea that the prophecy could refer to Harry or Neville until after they were born (what if either one of them had been a late-term delivery and not born until August 1? Or what if one of them came prematurely?), so the earliest James and Lily would have gone into hiding was as soon as she recovered enough to be discharged from wherever she gave birth – or, possibly, they went into hiding as she got close enough to term for them to be reasonably confident Harry would be born at the end of July and they had a home delivery and then obliviated the midwife (but still – babies come when they will, and he could've been late term).
So, for this story – and mostly to save my poor head – they began the portrait process while Lily was pregnant but not in hiding; it was finished shortly after she gave birth, and they obliviated the artist (with his/her permission, thanks).
Re: Harry's New Wand
It's always bothered me that Harry never changed wands after Voldemort was resurrected. The fight in the graveyard showed him beyond a doubt that his wand had a vulnerability to Voldemort. Why wouldn't he change it?
Re: THAT Bit at Harry's Birthday
It was inspired by this image that I happened to see while I was writing that scene:
I have no idea where it came from, who posted it, or anything else to do with it, but my twisted mind ran with it. I do hope Jake recovered and didn't do it a third time.
Re: Bertha Jorkins and Horcruxes
Her story in GoF makes … little sense (especially as recapped at the HP Lexicon - oy, my brain hurts!), so I'm going sideways with it, especially as I'm not a fan of Horcruxes in general. For my purposes, the spirit possessing Quirrell in PS was the same spirit that baby Harry disembodied that awful Halloween night.
As for the diary, Riddle enchanted it similarly to a magical portrait or the personalities imbued in the Marauders' Map. Once the spirit was kicked out of Quirrell, it went in search of a new home and found that home in its old diary. Lucius Malfoy sent the diary into Hogwarts on the spirit/diary's instruction, because the spirit could use the diary to regain a body.
Harry then disembodied the spirit again at the end of CoS, and it retreated to Albania, where it had found a refuge before, and then at the end of GoF, the spirit finally was fully reborn/resurrected, only to be finally killed in the graveyard.
Re: the Quidditch World Cup/Death Eater Attack
I've adjusted the order of events a bit (specifically, the introduction of the two teams' mascots), and I've moved up the Death Eater attack by a few hours so that Tony et al. will still be at the campsite.
1 Corinthians 15:26
At least one commenter noted the lack of context for the quote on James and Lily's gravestone and helpfully provided me the full section from the Bible, which I hadn't read in a long time.
That said, Harry's reaction is (mostly) canon. From DH, p. 328 in my edition: "'The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death'…" A horrible thought came to him, and with it a kind of panic. "Isn't that a Death Eater idea? Why is that there?"
Hermione then explains that it means living after death (presumably alluding to the Bible, though it's not explicitly stated), and Harry's thoughts are: "But they were not living, thought Harry: They were gone. The empty words could not disguise the fact that his parents' moldering remains lay beneath snow and stone, indifferent, unknowing."
Also, in the full context of the quote, it's Christ who is defeating death. As Harry pointed out, James and Lily didn't defeat death (themselves being dead), and therefore, absent a religious foundation which isn't provided in the books, the quote is meaningless, and even insulting, on their grave.
Finally, while there are religious references in the books (wizardkind observes Christmas; Draco Malfoy says "My God" at least once), in the absence of elaboration, I fall back on Douglas Adams' observation that, "In England we seem to have drifted from vague, wishy-washy Anglicanism to vague, wishy-washy Agnosticism." There's no reason given in the books to believe that the Potters were devout Christians of any denomination such that the 1 Corinthians quote would have had personal meaning for them.
Re: Triwizard Tournament
JKR needs proofreaders. Badly.
On page 186, Dumbledore says that the TWT "…has not been held for over a century." On the very next page, he says, "There have been several attempts over the centuries to reinstate the tournament," which means at least two centuries, and implies more than two, have passed since the tournament was last held.
For this story, I chose two centuries.
Re: Stark's Schools
Yes, the acronyms of both being SASS was intentional.
Re: Unleash Hell
For those who haven't seen it (or don't recall), the quote is from "Gladiator," starring Russell Crowe. Spectacularly dodgy history, but a fun movie nonetheless.
Eagle-eyed movie fans will remember that JOCASTA was one of the other possible AIs when Tony selected FRIDAY as the replacement AI for JARVIS.
Comic fans will remember Jocasta as a female-appearing android member of the Avengers.
Choosing JOCASTA as the Avengers' AI is my nod to the comics within this MCU AU.
As to why Tony's using her rather than JARVIS for the Avengers … think back to the post-credits scene in "Iron Man." Fury shut down JARVIS to get access to Tony. JARVIS is Tony's favorite, as far as I can tell (based on how he reacted in "Age of Ultron"), so why would he put JARVIS at risk - not necessarily from Fury; the Avengers could be targeted by anyone - if he had an alternative that worked as well for the Avengers' specific needs? My answer: he wouldn't.
That doesn't mean that JARVIS isn't still connected to the Iron Man suit, though.
I've tried to be consistent, so that when they're at Avengers Compound, they're primarily interacting with JOCASTA, but elsewhere JARVIS. If I've mixed them up on occasion, I apologize.
Re: Augusta Longbottom
As far as I can tell without re-reading all the books, the idea of her being on the Hogwarts Board of Governors is a fanon concept. Canon only ever identifies Lucius Malfoy as being on the board, and he got sacked after he convinced the rest of the board to sack Dumbledore. I borrowed from this concept, though, to make her headmistress of the two Stark Academies.
Re: First Task Scores
The only scores I found in the book were that Harry and Viktor tied at 40 points each. Cedric came in second, and Fleur third. For this story, I assumed Cedric earned 38 points and Fleur 36. I further assumed that Neville and Harry would earn similar points as Cedric and Fleur, respectively. Crouch changed his one-point award to Harry between leaving the tent and announcing his final award, but I saw no need to dramatize it.
Re: Harry's First Friend
A couple of readers took issue with my description of Ron as Harry's first friend in "Man of Iron," so, since I make the same reference in this story, I'm going to explain my thinking. Of course, as always, you don't have to agree. GRIN
The commenters suggested that Hagrid or Hedwig should be considered Harry's first friend. I don't agree about Hagrid because he has a position of authority at Hogwarts - first as Keeper of the Keys and Grounds and later as the Care of Magical Creatures professor. The power imbalance between Hagrid and Harry prevents a real friendship until Harry is no longer a student at Hogwarts. (Do I have to draw parallels to real-life situations in which power differences that great have been used to unduly influence the subordinate? Not that I think Hagrid would deliberately do so, but the possibility exists he might unintentionally do so.)
As to Hedwig - well - I have dogs, so I understand just how close a person can feel to a pet. That feeling would only be increased if that animal were more a familiar than a pet (which some fanfic writers have implied and others have explicitly stated, but which I find no evidence to support in canon; references that I missed are welcome). Still, we're back to power imbalances there. (Not to mention, Harry keeping her locked in a cage while at Privet Drive, rather than letting her remain at the Hogwarts owlery or even fly/hunt free on her own is not the action of a friend.)
Harry certainly cares for both Hagrid and Hedwig, but I don't see either relationship as one of friends.
Re: House Elves
House elves as slaves/domestic servants make no sense when you can wave your wand and accomplish pretty much any domestic task. (For that matter, Molly Weasley acting like a spectacularly harried housewife makes no sense for the same reason.)
I could see having a house elf as a status symbol (i.e., I'm rich enough to afford one and you're not), but then why would you abuse the elf (as Lucius Malfoy did)?
So I had to figure out some other reason for elves to be the way they are. I wanted something different than the bond that so many fanfic writers choose. This is what I came up with after a week or more of noodling.
Re: Science/Tech Competitions
I envisioned something like the Siemens Competition when I wrote this scene.
Re: Potters' Cottage
Search for Vanderbilt's cottage in Newport, Rhode Island, and then cottages in the Hamptons. I envision the Potters' cottage closer to the Hamptons than Newport.
Re: Bear on the Change of Inscriptions
Remember what happened immediately after Harry changed the inscriptions? His name came out of the Goblet of Fire…and he promptly forgot all about his "vandalism" of (what the Ministry considers) government property, so he didn't tell anyone. I found it amusing to have even people closest to Harry not realizing what he'd done.
Re: Bonny Dundee
That's a true story about his breastplate. I first read of it in Katherine Kurtz's novel, The Templar Treasure, and it stuck with me. Someday, I hope to visit Blair Castle and see it for myself.
Re: Peter Parker
I'm taking liberties with his age because it suits my story.
I wish I could remember the fic I originally found this term in, so I could properly thank/acknowledge the author, but I can't. This general thanks will have to do.
Re: Little Hangleton
According to the HP Lexicon, it's believed to be in Yorkshire or Lancashire, somewhere between four hundred and six hundred miles from Inverness, Scotland, depending on where in which county you're talking about. I chose Inverness as a starting point simply because I like it.
Re: Willingly Giving Blood/Ritual Magic
I've seen this done in one fic before, though I can't remember which one.
This was one of the scenes/events that geeked me to write the whole story. I'm so glad the story cooperated and let me write it.
Re: He is the British Government
Yes, that was a not-so-oblique reference to Mycroft Holmes. I specifically had the version from the BBC's "Sherlock" in mind, but any version will do.
Re: Dr. Michaela Quinn
Shamelessly borrowed from "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" and its related movies. The character is portrayed by Jane Seymour, who has heterochromia - eyes of different colors.
RE: WHAT'S NEXT?
Honestly? I've no idea.
I'll never stop writing stories (absent, G*d forbid, some kind of disability). I just don't feel like writing any right now, and I have no idea what will pop up when I do start writing again. Besides various fanfic ideas, I've a folder overflowing with prompts/ideas for original stories, too. Maybe alternating? Write one fanfic, then one original, etc.? We'll see.
That said, I do have a few things already in the works (for various definitions of "in the works"), and if you want to comment on your preference, I'm willing to read/consider it - but no promises. GRIN Writing is my fun, my escape, and I won't put pressure on it.
Battle-Axes (working title; NCISLA/MCU). Before dementia takes her completely, Peggy Carter makes a visit to her old friend Hetty Lange.
The Music Box (working title; Leverage/White Collar). Damien Moreau contacts Eliot Spencer about getting justice for the murder of his sister Kate.
Inter Astra (SGA/HP). Sequel to "Ad Astra Per Magicae." I have all the seasons of SGA on DVD and will be watching at least season one before I dive too deeply into this. I *do* have one scene that's been geeking me since the beginning of "Ad Astra" that I want to write; it will answer the question of why Hermione wasn't along in "Ad Astra."
Thicker Than Water (Arrow/NCIS). Inspired by Jilly James' story, "If Found, Please Return." Tony DiNozzo finds out that he's actually the son of Robert and Moira Queen.
At the Center of the Circle (Arrow/Iron Fist). Oliver Queen visits Danny Rand, who's broken his record for the billionaire missing the longest (originally set by Tony Stark). Okay, yeah, that sucks as anything more than a spark - GRIN. But this one will be *sprawling* and pretty much completely rewrite both series.
Finally, Gypsy Legacy (NCISLA/HP). Posted as part of my Evil Author Day offerings. G Callen comes into a legacy he didn't know he had.
As always, I can only echo the Bard, and make no other answer but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks!
I'm so glad you enjoyed this story (and, hopefully, its prequel and/or other stories I've written) and grateful to those of you who've left comments and kudos, who've favorited and followed it (and me). I really do have the greatest commenters/reviewers/fans anyone could ask for!