"Good Morning San Francisco. Most of you should recognise me as Harry Potter, I've been working in your city for several months now and have met quite a few of you."
Harry sat in front of the television cameras alone. It was the first time he had done this in this world and he hoped it went over well.
"If you have been following the news then you know that Simon Trask is leading a group of hate-filled, genocidal fools through America to march on San Francisco's city hall.
"Mayor Sinclair and a team of legal experts have tried to stop this but the countries highest judges are part of the movement.
"We can all agree that this atrocity should not be allowed to happen. These fools need us to be present and outraged for their march to be effective. So I say we slap them in the face and not turn up. On the day that the bigots are due to arrive I have arranged for every theatre, cinema and public venue such as museums to open up to San Francisco citizens for free. All you need to do is turn up and provide proof of address.
"There will be several concerts by various superstars who support our decision, including Dazzler. For you sports fans we have several national teams playing everything from American Football to Beach Volley ball.
"AAND… finally, we have managed to arrange several sporting events played by opposing teams of famous mutants and heroes. These include the Avengers… the real ones, not Osborn's cheap imitations, and the X-Men and many more. Playing again, everything from Volley Ball to American Football.
"To top the night off, the heroes will be broken into two teams and will engage in a spectacular battle where they will show case just what skills they use when they save the world from everything from Mutant Terrorists to Alien Invasions.
"Now, I know you are probably thinking that only the elite of the city will get in - WRONG! I have been working with my magical students on all of the various venues and they have been magically enhanced and protected. We can literally fit the entire city in any of these venues. So if you want to go and see something, don't worry about not getting in, the only reason you won't get in is if you are carrying anything illegal or aren't a resident of the city.
"So, I hope to see you all in two days time to show the rest of the world that we don't care about bigots, we celebrate everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, culture or genetic disposition.
"Bye for now San Francisco!"
"Aaaand we are clear!" The producer called out.
"That was not as easy as I remember it being." Harry said tiredly as he leant back in his chair.
"Did that a lot in your world?" Trish asked as she sat on the arm of the chair. Considering Harry owned nearly every major news cooperation in the United States he merely had to go to his favourite and have them record his message. This evening it would be broadcast to the people of San Francisco via local channels. The rest of the world would hear about it on the day itself.
"Of course. An absent leader who works in the shadows is a feared leader. A leader who merely stands there giving orders and telling the people propaganda and rules is a tyrant. A leader who takes the time to talk to his people is just another citizen, he just happens to be the one who ensures their safety and happiness." Harry explained.
"I still want to know how you managed to convince the bands, athletes and heroes to do this." She scowled.
Harry just grinned smugly. "I refuse to tell. But, as my personal friend, you get first choice of who you want to interview. You can interview them before and after the day. They've all agreed to do this to raise awareness for the situation."
"Oh god… I think I tasted a Pulitzer!" She gasped with lidded eyes.
"Careful Harry, you might have another girlfriend if you're not careful." Laura laughed from where she was watching them.
"Oh, I like Harry, but not like that. His life is far too complicated for me." Trish assured her.
The next day Harry grabbed Scott, Emma, Jean, Logan and his girlfriends/wives. He had a special guest for the day the bigots marched on the city and he wanted to introduce them, although his girls had already met them.
"You're not going to introduce the Hulk are you?" Logan asked as he found himself on the Hulk's world. "It would not be fun to see the mindless panic."
"No, the Hulk is just housing our guests. Has been since I got back from Asgard in the past."
Scott began running through the names of all the deceased Asgardians that Harry could possibly want to introduce, as well as most of the more prominent living ones like Odin and Thor.
They walked through the palace to the throne room where the Hulk was seated on the throne with his wife, Caiera on his lap whilst a pink skinned female seemed to be siphoning blood from his arm. One of the reasons the Hulk was loved on his planet was because his blood caused vegetation to grow, every day they would siphon more blood and use it to rejuvenate the barren lands.
Seated at a small table in front of them with a chess set between them was a red headed teenager and a very familiar man.
"Nathan?!" Scott gasped.
Nathan, AKA Cable, turned and smiled softly. "Hello Dad."
"When did you get back from the future? Why didn't you call or visit?" He asked slightly hurt.
"We only spent a few years in the future before Harry decided we should visit other cultures. He took us back in time to Asgard. And before she gets all pissy, you should meet your granddaughter, Hope Summers." He indicated the scowling teenager.
"Oh god, it seems like only months ago I was holding a baby in my hands."
"It was only a month ago." Laura interjected.
"Oh, right." Scott mumbled slightly embarrassed. He turned and glared at Harry. "I hate time travel."
"Please, Summers." The Hulk scoffed as he lifted his massive muscular form from his throne and deposited his wife next to him. "Even Richards, the smartest man on Earth develops migraines when we debate time travel and it's effects."
"Oh yes, I forgot that they are still serving their sentences here." Jean muttered. "How are they doing?"
"They have adapted to the rigors of the planet. Stark still has an attitude problem."
"Has he tried his escape yet? Eeep!" Dani's hands shot to her mouth as she realised she had spilled the beans.
The Hulk just chuckled. A frightening sound for any who never heard the usually rage filled creature do so. "Harry informed us of what would happen. The others are counselling him. Trying to convince him of the folly of such actions and that he should pay the price for his crimes."
"You are sounding a lot more… erm…" Lorna struggled for the right word that wouldn't cause offence.
"Intelligent will do." The Hulk allowed. "The mental barriers are breaking down between Banner and myself as I accept the truth of what we are. Eventually we will become one."
"Where are Hope and Scott?" Lorna asked suddenly.
"Catching up, I figure Dad could use the time alone with her and I warned her before you arrived." Cable explained.
"You look younger." Emma noted with a frown.
"That's my fault. I have that effect on people." Harry raised a hand guiltily.
"I really wanted to spend a lot of time with you." Scott told Hope as they sat on a nearby mountain top that overlooked the capital city. It was clear that Harry had made both Hope and Cable magicals, he had even replaced Cable's bionic arm.
"Dad told me a lot about you. So did Uncle Harry." Hope told him. "Harry had lots of memories as well. Especially of your reaction to things he did. Is it true that Loki went bad?" She asked suddenly.
"How far back did you go in time?" Scott asked.
"Thor and Loki were toddlers. We grew up together with Baldur and Sif. Heimdall is much older though."
"So you knew Harry growing up?"
"Uh huh! Harry would teach us pranks and how to use our magic… well, he taught Loki and me. Thor was always jealous that he couldn't use magic."
"Uncle Harry says that Asgardians can't hold a core as they already have one."
Scott found it relaxing to talk to this young teenager. This was what he had spent the past year worrying over and he needed to know if it had been worth it.
"Hope… have you… enjoyed your life?" He asked worriedly.
"Of course! I don't remember much of my time with you in the other future but Uncle Odin was always nice and Heimdall would tell us stories about what people were doing on the other worlds. I learnt so much and had so much fun. I can't wait to see Thor and Loki again."
"Well, Harry seems to have that all planned out." Scott smiled. "Are you okay with his plan to introduce you back to the world so publicly?"
"Uncle Harry says I am the key to restoring all the mutants, but I haven't spent any time with mutants so I don't know how. But if this is the best way then great. I'll do it." She said firmly.
Simon Trask was confused as he led his march into San Francisco. He had expected the streets to be lined with supporters, protestors or both. He had expected a confrontation. He could hear the grumblings of some of the more militant members of his march who felt they were wasting their time if nobody was there to notice.
Trask had spent a fair amount of time on this walk trying to convince various major news stations to provide coverage of their march. He was simply laughed off without explanation.
There were many routes through San Francisco to City Hall. But the route Trask had planned would take them what was known colloquially as 'Mutant Town'. It was a spit in the face and one that Trask and his band of righteous humans would enjoy making.
Again, the streets were empty. The grumbling got worse as tempers rose. It seemed that this would be all for nothing.
In the distance behind him he could hear glass breaking as the tempers boiled over and various marchers descended into vandalism.
Trask couldn't do anything about the marchers that far back, he just hoped the rest continued to follow him.
"My friends! Stay true to our cause. We are approaching City Hall." He called over his shoulder, the message repeated down the line.
Finally they reached the steps of City Hall and the long trail of white shirted men began to fill the streets and open areas.
But all that greeted them was a single female cop. A rookie judging by her age. Although she wasn't in uniform and her badge was displayed on the pocket of her smart blazer.
"This is quite a large group of people. Are they all together?" She asked a nearby man.
"I am in charge here young lady." Trask scowled, annoyed at being overlooked. He was famous in America, he had spoken on Television, on the news decrying the foul creatures known as mutants. "I am the leader of this group."
"How many people are in this group?" She asked.
"Over a million." He said proudly.
"You have the paperwork authorising this gathering in front of a government building?"
Trask snarled. He had been forced to spend much of his march on the phone with lawyers who had to acquire these documents. It had been insulting. He took the wad of papers out of his shirt pocket and threw them at her.
"Careful sir. That could be construed as assault on a police officer." The cop warned.
She began to examine the document carefully. "Ok. You have arrived today at 4pm. This permit allows you to occupy the steps of San Francisco City Hall for twelve hours. You will need to ensure your departure by 4am."
"Or what?" Challenged a nearby man who like the rest of them was getting more and more angry.
"Or you will be arrested on suspicion of terrorist activities. In the wake of all these various attacks we take security very seriously in this country."
"You think you can arrest all of us?"
"We can and will. There are security cameras all around this area linked with facial recognition software. If you enter this area you are noted and recorded in the event of a crime or terrorist event. Standard procedure for all government buildings."
"Where is everyone?" Trask asked.
"Where are the fucking mutants?" Someone else in the crowd called out.
"Careful, that is racial abuse and a chargeable offence." The cop warned. She turned back to Trask. "The City of San Francisco considers your actions to be offensive. As such they have decided to ignore you. They are currently enjoying entertainment from various entertainment stars and sporting stars as well as several superhero events. They are scheduled to last until tomorrow night."
"What time will they finish for tonight?"
The cop laughed. "They won't. The venues are charmed by Doctor Harry Potter and his students so people won't get tired or hungry and so on. It's quite ingenious."
There was an unhappy grumbling as the news spread through the crowd that mutants and mutant lovers were safe and happy enjoying world-class safety and entertainment.
"Why is City Hall locked up? We came to march on City Hall." Trask demanded his anger rising.
"That is your choice. It was the choice of the Mayor and her staff to ignore you. There is no requirement for her to be present at this time."
Trask was now furious at the blatant insult. His anger began to affect his calculated hate. "Where is the Mayor now, where is the major entertainment event."
"I am not privy to the Mayor's whereabouts." Which was an absolute lie, anyone with half a brain knew where she would be. Where ever Harry was. "I do know that there is a major event being held at Giants Stadium. It is due to be televised live on every channel."
"Why weren't we informed?" Trask demanded.
"Honestly, I don't think anyone cares about you." She laughed as she turned and walked off. Her job was done. She had verified the permit of the marchers and issued the appropriate warnings and answered the necessary questions as required by the regs.
She pulled out a communicator. "This is Grant. The marchers have arrived at City Hall. They are fairly juiced and will likely head for the Giants Stadium."
She received a confirmation of her message before she put the communicator back and allowed herself to revert to her natural form. Tigra was not going to miss an awesome event like what Harry had planned. Whatever it might be.
At 6pm local time, all the news stations around the world switched to a live feed coming from the San Francisco Giants Stadium. They saw a Stadium filled with an entire city. Men, women, elderly, children, it didn't matter. There were even pets in the stadium.
Large screens filled the floor that showed a close up of the large circular stage in the centre of the baseball field. On the stage stood one man, possibly the most famous man on the planet, possibly in the universe.
"Ladies and gentlemen, tonight the people of San Francisco are going to witness something truly great and they are going to be given the chance receive an amazing gift." Harry announced over the speakers.
"First, I need to introduce a few people and our special guest.
"Please welcome the God of Thunder, Thor!" There was a clap of thunder and Thor fell from the sky to land dramatically on the stage.
Harry waited as the applause rang out. Like many of his guests Thor had participated in various forms of entertainment including American Football and beach volleyball. There was a significant female presence at the men's volleyball tournament and likewise men at the female ones.
Thor stood patiently behind Harry as his uncle continued.
"Next we have Cyclops of the X-Men." Cyclops merely teleported in. He was in his uniform. His current variation incorporated a visor but instead of regulating and controlling his powers it served as a heads up display for combat scenarios. It had actually been something the Cuckoos had developed with Runes in the alternate future when they had gone to rescue Layla Miller.
The welcome for Cyclops was just as exuberant as the welcome for Thor. The X-Men were well known and loved especially as they did a lot of community work in the city, mainly at Harry's insistence. He told the X-Men that as the most visible of mutants, if they only appeared in times of trouble then people would only associate mutants with trouble.
It was Emma who backed him up. Not because of any desire to help but because it was something both she and Harry taught in her Ethics classes.
"My last guest is a young teenage girl. The unusual thing is that she was born less than a year ago. She was the first mutant born after M-Day. In order to protect her she was taken to an alternate future where I had helped to bring about peace.
"After a few years in the future I decided to take them both to live with me in the past on Asgard. There she was trained by Odin and myself.
"Many of you have actually seen her already. The statue at the museum of Cyclops holding a baby, the baby is this girl.
"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I give you Hope Summers."
The red haired girl quietly teleported in and a steady applause began to rise through the stadium. Hope stood there shyly. She had been exposed to large crowds from an early age with the expectation that she would be a celebrity in her own time and reality. But she had never stood before the entire population of a city with the eyes of the world on her.
Harry raised his hands and the applause died down.
"I arrived in this world a few years ago. Mere minutes before I arrived, the Earth and its people suffered a huge loss as millions of mutants had their powers stripped away. At the time there was nothing I could do about it.
"All that energy had to go somewhere. A few weeks later we discovered that it had gone into space but returned to be absorbed by an innocent man who had no idea he was actually a mutant. The power was too much for him, and it controlled him. The Avengers and myself were able to stop him. I built him a clean body and transferred his soul into it leaving his old body full of this energy."
Harry waved a hand and clearly naked body appeared on the stage, but the body was glowing so brightly with so many colours it was impossible to determine any details.
"This is the body.
"I consulted with the best minds on the planet and on the various planets I control. No one could determine a way to put the powers back into the original owners bodies.
"Over the past years I have met many beings. From the humans like yourselves to the gods of Asgard and Olympus.
"With Hope's help and Heimdall of Asgard I can now return to the mutants of Earth what was once taken from them."
There was a brilliant flash and the huge Asgardian form of Heimdall appeared on the stage. Heimdall turned and knelt before Harry in reverence. Harry stepped forward, lifting him to his feet and hugging him. A strange sight considering Harry's slight stature and Heimdall's height.
"Heimdall is near omniscient. He can see nearly everything at anytime. Hope is the missing key, she will guide the powers out of the body here and back into the hosts they came from. Heimdall will show her where they are and I will amplify her powers.
"You are about to witness the rebirth of the mutant race." Harry said solemnly.
Harry took Hope and gently guided her to the body. She placed her hands on the body and the glow immediately enveloped her.
"I can feel it Uncle. I can see it." She whispered, her words amplified by the omni-directional microphones around the stage.
Heimdall moved to the opposite side of the body and knelt down on both knees. This brought him to eye-level with the far shorter Hope. Harry moved behind Hope and wrapped his arms around her, hugging her.
"Remember to relax and let your powers work naturally." Harry instructed.
"Look into my eyes Hope, I will guide you." Heimdall spoke.
Hope gazed into the fathomless depths of Heimdall's eyes where she saw reflected there, not herself, but the entirety of existence. She felt herself being pulled in but felt something keeping her safe regardless. It was something that Harry had practiced and taught his son. By this means he could show others what he saw.
Harry held Hope tightly, he was constantly healing her body and keeping her pain receptors off. She had never done this before and he didn't want to risk the mass amount of pain that would occur if he wasn't there as the sheer power of the energies stored in Michael Pointer's body began to flow through her.
The world watched as the energy in the body began to fire off short blasts into the sky causing people to gasp. For the first ten seconds it was sporadic as Hope got used to the sensations, but Harry had been teaching her to handle energies for years now.
Suddenly everything clicked for her. She felt the groove in which her power should flow and the blasts of energy became a steady stream as she began returning the powers to the millions of depowered mutants around the world.
Every second a blast would fly in to someone in the crowd and celebrating would begin as they found their powers restored.
Harry had another purpose for being a part of this. He too was looking into the eyes of Heimdall and he added a gift of knowledge and magic. Hope was making magicals of mutants on behalf of Harry. The knowledge was how to use magic to turn off unwanted mutations. They would now walk freely down the streets of Earth free from stares.
Suddenly, after one hundred and thirteen seconds the light faded from Hope and the old body of Michael Pointer.
"Mutants are back." Hope whispered before she slumped in Harry's arms.
A mighty cheer rose from the stadium as they celebrated the miracle they had just seen. Thor and Cyclops quickly moved forward and helped Hope into a chair that Cyclops conjured.
Harry vanished the body, reducing it to mere molecules that flew away unseen on the wind. He had promised Michael Pointer he would do this once the powers were returned. His body wouldn't be used again.
Harry just stood there smiling as he watched the crowds cheer and celebrate. He wasn't going to stop this prematurely. Hope was quickly recovering, it wasn't that power that caused her to collapse, Harry compensated for those, it was seeing just a glimpse of what her adopted cousin Heimdall saw. She had seen it many times over the years as Harry made them practice, but she had never seen it as the world changed. She was truly blessed to have witnessed it and she knew it.
After nearly twenty minutes the crowds calmed and Harry raised his hands drawing their attention.
"San Francisco is the only place outside of Wakanda that has welcomed magicals and mutants with open arms and no reservations. You knew the troubles that followed us but you saw us as simply fellow citizens. Fellow humans.
"I arrived in this world in Westchester, New York. Great Britain holds the centre of Earth's magic in Avalon and Wakanda is the birthplace of the new magical race. I would like San Francisco to be the birthplace of magicals in America.
"You might have noticed the placard on the back of every chair. It contains an oath that we developed in my home world. We call it the Oath of Civilisation. All were required to take this oath by their eleventh birthday, earlier if they were deemed mentally mature enough."
Harry stepped back slightly and a metal pole rose from beneath the stage to about waist high.
"For the rest of this night I will be channelling magic into those placards. If you feel that you can abide by that oath then grasp it with both hands and recite the oath. You will become a magical. This gift is offered freely to a people who have proven themselves as civilised.
"I warn you now that the oath is binding. If you break it your magic will be forfeit, it will punish you dependent on your crime against the oath, even up to death."
Harry grasped the pole and it began to glow.
Many people had seen the oath already having spent much of the day in the stadium. It had been on various screens as well. It was a simple oath that ensured a person would not abuse their magic or use it to abuse others. Around the stadium dots of light began to glow as people accepted the gift of magic and swore the oath. The glows were joined by other glows until whole sections of the stadium were glowing.
Hope watched in awe with Cyclops, Thor and Heimdall as the entire stadium lit up. A testament of the willingness of the people of San Francisco to live civilised lives.
Simon Trask and his people reached the Giants Stadium as it began to light up the night sky. Word had spread through the crowd what was happening as those with smart phones watched the news. Trask sped up the march, they needed to stop the travesty not realising that they were already too late.
The only problem was the security surrounding the stadium. Men in foreign military fatigues stood at the entrances, at least twenty to each entrance.
"Stand aside." Trask ordered.
"May I see your proof of address sir?" The senior officer asked. His accent was a strong African one.
"What?" Trask was confused.
"This event is for residents of San Francisco only. If you are not a resident or can not show proof of residence then we can not permit you to enter." He explained.
"I am a citizen of the United States of America. You don't have the right to stop me on my own soil." Trask declared as he tried to push his way past.
He was thrown back casually by the highly trained soldier. "Sir, these orders come from the government of this city. If you wish to file a complaint you may do so tomorrow at city hall."
"You don't have the aut-"
"Sir, I have written authorisations and requests from the City of San Francisco requesting the presence of the Wakandan army to facilitate safety and security. We are actually on loan through the UN Peacekeeping organisation, SHIELD."
This was not what Simon Trask wanted. He wanted the mutant filth exterminated. He wanted them humiliated and desecrated. He wanted the world to see that they were under threat by their very existence.
He had marched through the United States with his followers and had seen placards decrying him, but he had also seen many people join him.
With every step he had imagined the glorious victory he would have when he reached the mutant populated section. Simon Trask had no real intent to march on City Hall. He merely wanted to seemingly march his 'peaceful' protest through the city. The mutant animals would then attack as they usually did. His people would die as martyrs and they would spill their blood so that the government would be forced to put the beasts down.
But he had reached San Francisco and encountered nothing. Empty streets and homes were all that greeted him. A lone cop and clearly not a highly placed one. It stank of a deliberate slap in the face.
And now they were denied entry to a public stadium. It was the last straw, the camel's back was broken.
Simon Trask had always considered the Sentinel program to be a mistake. He didn't trust artificial intelligence just like he didn't trust mutants. But he was the brother of the creator of Sentinel technology and he was no slouch in science himself.
He had his own weapon to fight mutant kind.
Trask, like any leader out for power, never entered the battle first. No, he immediately spun around and began walking back through his followers placing his hand on anyone he passed.
"AWAKEN MY CHILDREN! IT IS TIME FOR US TO RISE UP AND FIGHT!" He shouted. But his voice had taken on an artificial, electronic quality. The people he touched began to change. Their eyes glowed blue and their skin began to burst as metal skin appeared below.
The human bio-sentinels had awakened. Trask himself had already fully transformed into a mechanical life form, the Master Mold of this iteration of Sentinels. All who were changed where killed, their bodies becoming nothing more than workers for his new hive.
The military forces of Wakanda had specific orders in the event Trask and his people became hostile. Evacuate immediately. The stadium was well protected by charms and the like, but they were foreign military and they could not afford the international scandal.
With the Wakandan forces gone the bio-sentinels marched on the entrance only to find the doors locked and unbreakable. They began pounding on the doors looking for anyway in.
Norman Osborn had been watching the protest march of 'Humanity Now!' as they moved through the country. He fully expected a confrontation just like Trask did. He had intended to use it as justification to bring the full force of HAMMER and the United States against Potter.
He also had plans to take down SHIELD and conquer Wakanda. Asgard was another threat he would see removed from his country. He was hoping the President would fight him, it would give him the opportunity to take the presidency, by force or by vote, it mattered little to him. He just wanted what he deserved: Power.
He had become frustrated when he realised that the news stations weren't going to cover the march. He had to make do with HAMMER aircraft and his own agents walking around with smart phones. He couldn't even access the satellites because Potter and his SHIELD people had commandeered them.
It got even worse when he realised the streets of San Francisco were empty. Then his assistant Victoria Hand had given him the news that sent him through the roof. Potter was providing free entertainment for the people of San Francisco. Not just any entertainment, A-List entertainment. Music, sports and even movie mega stars. All of it was being introduced by Potter and his people.
The man's ratings would go through the roof around the world. He captured the entire worlds attention. Osborn would be nothing but a footnote. A historical factoid lost in the shuffle.
But Norman Osborn was a smart man. Devious, maniacal, obsessed, insane and completely evil… but still smart.
When Trask had started turning people into those robotic monsters and attacking the stadium he had the in he needed. He had ordered his troops to move in as he declared martial law. Within minutes he had his troops moving in, he always had a substantial force located near the city just in case he had the chance to go after Potter.
Then Christmas came early for the 'former' Green Goblin. Harry and his people, the X-Men and rogue Avengers left the stadium and began attacking the robots. He even saw Thor and the Black Panther in there. He had two foreign dignitaries committing acts of war on American soil. He immediately put in place his plans to invade Asgard and Wakanda.
The Iron Patriot donned his armour and summoned his 'Avengers'. It was time to put that upstart Potter down for good.
"Lord Death, we bring you the leader of this massacre." Thor declared as he dropped the dismembered, but still alive, cybernetic form of Simon Trask.
They stood outside the stadium looking on as the various heroes examined the bodies of the million or so men and women that had fallen victim to the hidden agenda of Simon Trask.
"It's times like this that I wish I could afford to sentence him to an eternity of torture." Harry snarled.
"Why don't you?" Logan asked curiously.
"Because you never leave your enemy the opportunity to escape and retaliate. Especially ones like this monster, his soul is black with hate." Harry spat as he reached into the body and ripped out the soul destroying it for all to see. "Now he can never personally hurt anyone ever again."
"ALL OF YOU WILL STAND DOWN AND SURRENDER YOURSELVES PEACEFULLY OR WE WILL OPEN FIRE!"
They all turned to see Norman Osborn in his Iron Patriot armour surrounded by HAMMER agents and his Avengers on single occupancy flyers just hovering there.
"You knew they were there, didn't you?" Scott asked curiously. He couldn't believe that a group this size could have slipped Harry's keen supernatural senses, there were thousands of agents there.
"Yep. I knew they were coming as soon as Norman decided to give the order." Harry said with an amused look.
"And the plan?"
Harry placed a companionable hand on Scott's shoulder and smiled widely. "Scott, my friend, tonight we conquer America and bring it into the world of civilisation."
Scott watched as Harry walked over to Thor. "I have this horrible feeling he isn't joking."
Logan just pulled out a cigar and bit down on it. "You truly believe you ever had control over X-Force, Slim?"
"What does that have to do with this mess?"
Logan just smirked. "When Harry heard about it he confronted us, challenged Jimmy to a duel to prove his superiority and then drafted the team to his new SHIELD group. We've been a SHIELD wet works team ever since."
"Why wasn't I told?" Scott demanded.
"Because the kid took one look at your soul and decided it was too noble to be sullied with the filth we do. Harry outranks you, so suck it up Cyclops." Logan pulled on his mask and teleported out. He needed to assemble his team.
"Norman Osborn, stand down and surrender peacefully or I will make your last moments in existence exceptionally painful." Harry greeted the armoured mad man with an insincere smile.
"I don't have time for your parlour tricks Potter. By the end of the day you will find yourself sitting in a cell next to your beloved Professor Xavier as we use you to empower mankind." Norman taunted.
"Oh Normie, do you honestly believe that I allowed Charles to spend more than a few hours in that cell?" Harry said disappointedly. "Charles has been free and helping me since about twelve hours after you captured him. You made quite a few mistakes, first you kidnapped a friend of mine, second… well, we don't really need a second, the first was enough for me to decide to kill you."
"If you could have you would have done so by now." Norman challenged.
"Big picture, Normie. Did you ever wonder what happened to Loki or Parker Robbins, the Hood?" The Hood is dead. He is not in some hell you can retrieve him from, I erased his soul from existence. As for Loki, my little goddaughter is…" Harry paused as he assumed a pensieve face, he didn't know for sure but he could use magic to find out. "Ah! She's actually on the Hulk's planet. She is enjoying being a little girl and being loved by her family. Frigga has never been so happy."
"Do you have anymore outlandish stories to tell?"
"Erm, no. I believe that's it." Harry shrugged.
"Sentry, take him." Norman ordered.
Norman had prepped his team for days on how they would handle this day. The Sentry was the first one in. Being the most powerful person on the planet with the power of one million exploding suns he was deemed the person capable of literally atomising Potter. With him out of the way they would overcome his allies through superior force and tactics.
Everyone watched as the Sentry moved in a blur of light crashing into Harry and ploughing straight through the Earth's crust. The heroes moved in cautiously to peer in to the near endless crater. In the distance they could see the dim glow of magma beneath the crust.
"Well that was pointless." Came Harry's voice. His ethereal image suddenly appeared, glowing in the night as he hovered over the spot where he had been standing.
"You look pretty powerless to me." Norman sneered.
"That's your problem not mine." Harry shrugged. "Thor, I have a man I need to deal with, handle this for me will you?"
"As you wish Lord Death." Thor said with a deep bow.
Harry waved at Norman cheerfully before he vanished.
Thor turned to Norman and his assembled Avengers and agents. "Norman Osborn, you have attacked Lord Death, the Master of Magic. You and your soldiers have this one opportunity to surrender and face justice or we will show no mercy. Lay down your weapons and surrender."
"You are on American soil. I have a laser pointed at you from space waiting for my order." Norman laughed.
"Actually all orbital objects have been neutralised." Came a voice that made Cyclops want to cry. He tried not to react as Agent Brand walked up. "By order of SWORD.
"Do you know how much of an idiot you are Osborn?" She continued. "You didn't just attack a man with massive amounts of power and ability. You attacked a beloved leader and a friend and ally of some very powerful people. Right now in orbit is the entire Breakworld Armada along with the Hulk's forces. Encircling the city are the Inhumans and lining the shores are the warriors of Atlantis… which Lord Potter personally rebuilt.
"Now I know I'm not well liked. I can feel Cyclops edging away from me right now. But I've never gone this far."
"We fought off the Skrulls, we will defend our land." Norman challenged, he was desperately trying to contact Victoria Hand, the response he got was not what he wanted.
"I'm sorry Norman, Miss Hand can't come to the phone right now. She is currently sitting in a cell with Mystique who has been occupying my old cell for some time." Came Charles Xavier's voice over his radio.
"The offer of merciful surrender has been made." Thor stepped forward. "It has been rejected. The Avengers and X-Men do not kill so this duty falls to others."
"Thor, we may not kill. But you can be damned sure we got your back." Luke Cage spoke up.
"Agreed." Cyclops added.
"X-Force has no problem spilling tainted blood." Wolverine smiled viciously.
Cyclops was not happy about this, but it was far from the right time to start a debate.
"A few pathetic heroes and a god? I can already hear the Sentry returning."
At that moment the crater exploded in light and debris as the Sentry erupted from beneath the surface.
"Bob, they are a threat, eliminate them." Norman ordered.
All of a sudden Jean flamed in between them. "The Sentry? The being with the power of one million suns? I'm a Phoenix. I tear suns apart for breakfast, meet the rest of my fellow phoenixes." She said casually as Fawkes flamed in with the Cuckoos and Rachel.
Jean burst into flame as she flew at the Sentry causing them both to vanish, the other phoenixes soon followed.
"Just us now Normie." Wolverine taunted.
There was a flash of lightning and between the two sides stood the arrayed gods of the Earth pantheons.
"Mortal, you struck out against Lord Death. This cannot stand, prepare to die." Zeus snarled.
"Damn, I'm not gonna get to hit anything." Ben Grimm moaned from further back.
Unfortunately the gods where not there to debate and offer surrender. Harry Potter was Death, an aspect of existence and a respected being. It was an unspoken rule that when an aspect such as time, love or death was threatened the gods would band together and put an end to that threat. Even if the threat was pathetic.
The ulterior motive for the gods was that this was their way of making a stand and declaring their intent to once again become more involved in the lives of mortals.
Zeus immediately stepped forward loosing a bolt of lightning at Osborn that fried all his electronics and both Bullseye and Moonstone who were dressed as Hawkeye and Ms. Marvel respectively.
With that the gods charged into the agents knocking them from the sky as they knocked them from their vehicles. Most notable was Ares who still had much anger over being mislead by Norman.
Norman himself was quickly claimed by Zeus and handed over to Thor and Hercules for holding whilst Odin and Zeus engaged Venom. Needless to say the two princes where less than thrilled that they were not able to join the fight.
"I realise the City of San Francisco may never forgive me for this, but the X-Men and Avengers would be happy to over see the watch of the prisoners whilst you engage the enemy." Cyclops offered reluctantly.
"See Hercules, I told you that Cyclops was a true friend." Thor grinned wildly.
"Shall we?" Hercules indicated the fight in progress as he returned the grin and brandished his mace.
"FOR ASGARD!" Thor roared.
"FOR OLYMPUS!" Hercules replied.
"HAVE AT THEE!" They cried together as they leapt into the air and straight into the fray causing untold destruction that tested Harry's runes to the breaking point.
"You are absolutely insane darling." Emma drawled as she telepathically put Osborn to sleep.
"Blame Harry." He deadpanned.
In Washington DC, The White House, the President of the United States of America sat at his desk in the Oval Office watching in horror as Norman Osborn declared war on nearly every potential ally they had.
The large plasma screen showing the satellite feeds and news feeds of Osborn's confrontation would secure the end of his presidency. He and his government had been wary of Potter from the beginning. A being with that much power and charisma was a threat to their own control and position, but more importantly and reasonably it was usually the start of something really bad… like a cult.
So far Potter's actions and been nothing but good for Earth, but not always for America. He had been healing millions of Americans but it was clear that he was in an alliance with Wakanda. Wakanda was often openly critical of America, especially it's treatment of mutants.
When the Registration Act came to a head, it was made clear by Potter that he was not only protecting super humans but actually threatened the government, this made the law makers even more stubborn as they did not take threats very well, their egos were too big.
The biggest mistake that the President admitted he had made personally was appointing Norman Osborn as the Director of SHIELD. It was made clear to him that the man had a very dark history. But the image of him standing there having killed the Skrull Queen was too strong to ignore. Stark Tech was being accused of enabling the war and Stark himself of being incompetent and weakening America by enforcing the Registration Act.
Very few people knew that Tony Stark was opposed to the SRA initially. He only agreed to enforce it himself to try and prevent it being abused and the identities being released. Unfortunately it seems the pressure was too much and it drove the man to paranoia. Although Stark was placed in an impossible position.
Since Osborn was appointed as Stark's replacement, America took numerous hits. First they had suffered in the international arena as they angered the UN and it's parties by unilaterally attempting to replace the head of a UN organisation with one of their own.
But then leaks of what Osborn was doing started reaching the President. He had sat back and watched with interest as the man created his own Avengers. But when he learned that most of them were murderers and rapists he had lost his rag. Unfortunately there was little to be done considering the very public nature of their introduction.
The very public manner in which Norman had confronted and attempted to arrest Harry and assume control of SHIELD assets for HAMMER would have been a huge boost, had Norman been in the right. But he had no legal basis, everything was far too thin but the lawmakers had made it happen as they feared Potter.
With SHIELD still active and substantially improved, Norman was frequently on the news as footage of his illegal actions was shown. If SHIELD had fallen in line with America and become HAMMER then Osborn would have been able to control the media and spin everything.
It seemed that Potter had finally caused Osborn to snap as he had literally taken America to the brink of war with not just the rest of the world but a substantial section of the galaxy.
"Hello Mr. President."
The room was filled with aides and military officials watching the same screens as the President. They were advising him and issuing orders based on the need to respond. As soon as that all to familiar voice sounded the room was filled Secret Service Agents with guns out and ready to blast.
Death was in the Oval Office.
"I recommend you tell your men to stand down. Their weapons can't touch me." Harry warned. He was currently just an intangible form standing in front of the Presidents desk.
"Stand down and secure the exits." The President ordered.
"What do you think you can do, Agent?" He challenged the leader of his security detail. "He's right, you literally can't touch him."
"We should get you away from him."
"You don't think I can't just follow him?" Harry asked in bemusement. "Of course running wouldn't bother me. I'll still do what I came here to do."
"And what would that be?" The President asked as calmly as he could, he was shaking like a leaf and was sure there was a stain developing on the front of his underwear. But it could just be sweat.
"America has proven itself to be uncivilised and a threat to the people of this planet. As such I am taking control of its government and infrastructure."
"You intend to conquer us?" A nearby General growled angrily.
"I already have." Harry smirked. "You don't seem to realise that at this moment you are standing in the room with Death. My allies include some of the strongest telepaths in the universe. Right now they are telling me about the people in this room. For instance, you, Colonel." He walked up to the General's aide. "You are absolutely disgusting. Murder, torture, rape. You've done it all. Even experimentation on human subjects."
Harry's incorporeal hand snapped out and pulled the man's soul from his body causing it to fall dead to the floor. The guns came out again as they watched the soul disintegrate before them.
"Holster those weapons!" The President snapped.
Harry began moving around the room as the other occupants stared in horror at the dead body.
"Wh… What are your demands?" The President asked nervously.
"Demands?" Harry asked with a snort. "This isn't a negotiation, I own this country. You follow my orders."
"What if we decide to fight you?" The General challenged.
"Well, both Wakanda and Atlantis are poised to invade on my behalf. You probably already have reports of military build-ups. You probably don't know about North Korea though."
"What about them?" The President asked.
"The problem with being as insular as North Korea is, is that I was able to go in and replace the whole government without anyone realising. They are the first members of Earth."
"I don't understand, 'Earth'?"
"Yes, planet Earth. You see, they now live to ensure peace and prosperity on this planet. Wakanda is the second member. Namor is still wary but I'm not worried, he knows he doesn't really have a choice and for now I have no problem with how he runs things.
"Latveria was going to be the third member but Old Normie forced my hand and you cemented your fate when you backed him. You will be the second country I conquer."
"You really think that three countries will be able to stand against the might of the Unites States? We have superior firepower, the strongest superheroes on the planet." The General sneered.
Harry walked up to him and stared at the man. "I don't like you. You aren't evil but you also aren't good enough to act as a guardian of the people." Harry reached a hand into the General and the man collapsed. "Don't worry, he's asleep, not dead.
"Now, in answer to the retired General's comments, your firepower was neutralised months ago. I have been travelling around the world disabling all the world's nuclear arms and other major weapons. Also, those superheroes? They signed up for SHIELD when I offered them a place.
"As for only being three countries. You need to take into account the fact that you angered every god of every Earth Pantheon by attacking me. Also, the Hulk is pretty fond of me. Might be because I brought his wife and unborn child back to life… but that's neither here nor there." He said dismissively. Also, I control the remains of the Skrull Empire and the Breakworld. So, to put it bluntly… you're screwed."
"You seriously expect us to believe you would fire on innocent civilians?" The President asked. "So all your talk of healing people and peace was a lie, a scam?"
"Why would I fire on civilians? I just need to wipe you lot out. The question is, will you give me a reason to or are you going to behave?" Harry asked.
The President sighed. "We will need to discuss this and consider it."
Harry looked at the man like he was a complete idiot. "Uh, no! Like I said, this isn't a negotiation. The deed is done. This is my country now. I am the supreme ruler. Now I need a government in place to handle the day to day stuff and your people have the experience and knowledge that will ensure that my taking over doesn't cause complete anarchy.
"If you don't want the job then fine. I'll call my friends in Wakanda and Korea and have them send some teams of bureaucrats over."
"You want us to surrender to you but you also want us to run the government for you?" The White House Chief of Staff asked disbelievingly.
"Yep." Harry smiled widely. It was clearly patronising unfortunately. "If I take out the backbone of the government then everything will fall in to chaos. You will continue to run this country as you have, but starting today there will be some major changes. All of you are decent people aside from the guy I killed and this guy." He indicated the sleeping General.
"What changes?" The President asked.
"Effective immediately, all medical care is free. Doctors salaries will be paid by myself. It will be a fixed rate and only for those performing necessary procedures."
"What about the cost of medicine?"
"What medicine? All medical procedures will be done by magicals. No cutting, no blood and chance of catching a bug in recovery."
"What about all those people who will lose their jobs because magic is replacing them?"
"They can find other jobs. By the way, all food is now free." Harry said with a serious face.
The President slumped into his chair. "Somebody call the kitchen staff, I think we are going to need some refreshments pretty soon. Better add some alcohol to the menu too."