*Chapter 1*: A Stranger in an even Stranger Land
I don't own Harry Potter, if I did it would have been Harmony all the way! Nor do I own even a single piece of the marvel universe.
Please thank Jessolt for the incredible job of proofreading this chapter, and to Kathyrn518 for going over it again later! Far less run on paragraphs or sentences, and even less out and out mistakes.
A Third Path to the Future:
Chapter 1 A Stranger in an Even Stranger Land
Susan Richards, AKA the Invisible Woman, normally one of the most level-headed and calm individuals one could ever hope to meet, was at this moment not calm at all. Instead she was irritated, angry, beside herself with worry, and oscillating wildly between wanting to fall down into a sobbing wreck or grabbing her husband to see if she could somehow choke a rubber man. "Reed, why is this taking so long? You had this all set up before those bastards took Franklin! Why is it so difficult to set up again! It's been three hours since we got home, and he's been gone for even longer!"
Those three hours had been the worst in Susan Storm's life, beating out anything that had happened since the two of them, her brother and Ben Grimm had become the world's first hero team, the Fantastic Four. That was because her son, Franklin Richards, a healthy, happy, little baby boy had been taken from his cradle by some monster out of the Negative Zone.
Reed and Susan had gone out on an evening date while Johnny and Ben had both gone out on their own respective dates, leaving Agatha Harkness and Wyatt Wingfoot to mind the store as it were. This should have been overkill, Agatha was a witch of considerable power and Wyatt was a master marksman plus a hand to hand combat expert. Imagine their shock when they came home to find both of their friends unconscious and heavily injured with their baby Franklin missing from his crib.
Agatha seemed to have succumbed to some kind of gas, collapsing and smacking her head against a shelf, while Wyatt had simply been pummeled into submission. He had woken up briefly when Johnny found him, informing them that beasts, which he described as winged green things, had come from and escaped back through Reed's workshop where the dimensional portal was housed.
Researching the Negative Zone was one of Reed's ongoing scientific projects and to say it had been a mixed bag was putting it mildly. Apparently the Negative Zone was a universe that lay parallel to their own, not connected to but overlying their own in strange ways, with some similarities and quite a lot of incredibly odd differences. Some of which were, Reed conjectured, that the Big Bang was being reversed in that universe already and that despite the entire Negative Zone being filled with breathable air, the number of actual life forms within was incredibly low. That life was there was not in doubt, just the amount.
Indeed, the Fantastic family had run afoul of one such being named Annihilus when they were searching for a cosmic control rod to negate the effect of the cosmic impulses of living energy that were interfering with Susan's pregnancy with their now kidnapped son. Who knew what else the Negative Zone held that Reed had simply not found yet?
The fact that Reed hadn't installed any warning devices on the portal to let him know if it activated irritated Susan, but she knew that her husband was sometimes pretty much the poster child of the absent-minded professor. The time he was taking to make certain that the machine was still working was pushing it though, quite a lot.
In stark contrast to his wife's current mood, Reed Richards was the epitome of phlegmatic calm. "Susan, it won't help us or Franklin if we enter the Negative Zone too far away from him to find him quickly. I need to at least roughly calculate the area where the being who took him went. Somehow the machine was used from the other side without any kind of controls in place for said use, and the coordinates changed dramatically from where I had placed them. Quite fascinating, really, how such a remote control could be achieved."
"Yeah, well it's a pity that that fascinating discovery of yours has come with my nephew being abducted!" Johnny Storm, Susan's much younger kid brother said, unconsciously turning on and off his flame power around his fists as he paced around the Baxter building's lab fifteen. "I really don't care what they want him for, I'm gonna flambé them for taking Franklin."
"You said it Flame-head," said the family friend Ben Grimm. Ben had been their pilot during the accident that had given the Fantastic Four their powers but had been their friend for far longer. He was the most physically changed of them all, being unable to turn on or off his powers having been transformed into a monstrous orange rock covered Thing, thus his codename.
"Just another couple more minutes guys, I've calculated the position, now I'm creating a tracker so we can follow whoever took our baby."
"'Whoever took'… Oh come on Reed!" Johnny exclaimed, "It's Annihilus! He's probably still got it in for us because of how we stole his cosmic control rod, even if we did return it. Hell even Wyatt's description matches those of his troops."
"Extrapolating an answer from limited data does no one any good Johnny." Reed answered. "We've only been able to map a very limited area of the Negative Zone, who knows what we will find as we continue to research it."
Susan growled. "We're not going to continue researching it, Reed! Or are two injured friends and our missing baby", she emphasized, "not enough to warn you it's dangerous!"
For a moment Reed looked flustered, but after a few seconds thought he answered readily. "And that is precisely why we should continue to research it, because we don't know if it can be a source of help or danger, and may I remind you all if we hadn't found and explored the negative zone to find the cosmic control rod Franklin might have died stillborn."
"I'll admit, however," he said after a moment, "that I needed to take more precautions. I'll install a heavy security system on both the portal and the lab itself as soon as we get back."
He turned back to his devices and after a moment he said, "and done."
With a loud electrical hum the device turned on and a moment later the portal to the negative zone opened in its cradle, the three claw-like nacelles hummed and vibrated as they poured power into the portal. "I wasn't able to find the exact position where Franklin appeared on the other side, but we are within at least two miles of it. Ben you lead off, the rest of us will follow. Remember, the negative zone is practically empty of most matter as we define the term, so it will be like being in midair. You'll need to use your rocket packs to move. Our mobility and speed will be limited in space without them."
Johnny grinned, flaming to full power. "You slowpokes might need those things but not this hero, later guys!" And with that he flew off the floor and sped through the portal.
The Thing grunted and followed after, the seriousness of the current crisis making him unable to even come up with a witty comeback to the flame-brain. Susan and Reed followed quickly, leaving a barely mobile Wyatt behind to watch the controls.
Reed's estimate of the time it would take them to follow the trail was off by quite a bit. Slowed down by their reliance on their thrusters, the Fantastic Foursome had been traveling through the negative zone following Reed with his scanner for what seemed like two or maybe even three hours without seeing anything of their target. It was just as Susan was about to lose her temper that they came upon a body.
It was very definitely a body, there was no way a person, even a being with green scales and fangs could live with a large piece of what looked like granite stuck straight through their chest and out their back. Johnny, who had taken to ranging all around the slower trio, was hovering next to the corpse waiting for them to catch up. "I think we can definitely say that it was Annihilus who took Frankie now, can't we?"
Reed sighed and nodded. "Yes, his followers were a part of this. Pity I thought he was a more cautious sort. Trying to attack us like this doesn't seem his style." Unless what he had to gain overrode his caution, Reed mused. "I wonder if Annihilus himself is involved as well. With his cosmic control rod, he is a formidable threat."
"Quit your jawing and let's get moving." The Thing grunted. "If we have to throw down with Annihilus because of this, then he'll learn what 'clobberin' time' really means!"
Susan forged ahead silently, wondering what the death of the creature meant for her Franklin.
It was another hour and the debris field had started to close up, giving them more camouflage against prying eyes but slowing them down. About fifteen to twenty minutes later, it was hard to tell in the Negative Zone, the four began to hear the mutter of voices ahead of them, or at least a voice. The voice was speaking, oddly enough, in a clipped British accent. The foursome paused as the words became intelligible, struck dumb by the incongruence of such a strangely soothing and normal sound against the backdrop of the Negative Zone.
"And that's the last of them, little mate. I wonder what old green skin wants with you so bad to send out so many of his troops against me of all people. I thought I'd bloody well taught him better than that! Oh, well needs must."
The next noise they heard was a happy baby gurgle, again a strange sound against the backdrop all around them, but this time it sparked a movement from all four. Susan took the lead despite her husband trying to grab her, shooting around the asteroid they had been hiding behind. The sight that greeted her was so wonderful she almost cried.
Standing on top of an oddly shaped rock formation hanging in the middle of a floating field of broken bodies and debris, was a young man dressed in a black body suit from the neck down with bright, almost luminous green eyes and wild black hair. One hand was loose at his side while the other was waggling his fingers at the object that held her attention. Her baby Franklin was laying on his head and the baby was cooing and pulling at the young man's hair. From where she was moving towards them, she couldn't even see a single mark on Franklin. Frantic relief stopped her throat for a moment and she simply jetted forward, with the others after her.
The man hadn't noticed their presence yet still speaking to the baby on his head. "And can I say again what a wonderful presence you've been in my life for the past week? It was such a bore not having an audience that would appreciate my sense of humor and technique. Though if I didn't know the spells to dispose of waste it would be a different story and we'd be having a much different conversation, little mate."
The baby noticed the approaching foursome first and started cooing and waving his fat little hands frantically from his perch. The young man looked around as Susan finally got control of her voice and shouted "My baby, Frankie you're all right!"
The man's eyes widened momentarily and then he smirked a little. "Well I have to say I didn't expect anyone to be able to come after the little tyke. You must be his mother, Madame." And he bowed in a slightly formal manner towards the blonde woman, not bothering to remove the baby from his head as he seemed to be stuck there by some force. As she came closer he took a moment to assess her, and very purposefully bit his tongue. In his opinion she was a MILF but he wasn't going to comment on it out loud. Even after five years alone in this place he had slightly more sense than that. Not a lot more sense, but some. Now if she turns out not to be married to any of the blokes behind her that'll be a different story.
As Susan came forward the young man undid whatever was holding Franklin in place on his head then held out the baby to her whereupon she grasped Franklin and pulled him to her in a grateful embrace. The other three came forward as Susan started to ignore her surroundings to check on her baby and just generally cuddle with him in relief, with the baby responding enthusiastically in return apparently none the worse for his adventure.
Reed took a moment to take in what had obviously been a battlefield not too long ago. There seemed to be fifteen of Annihilus's followers scattered, and he used the word with feeling, around. He could literally not tell how many of them there had been originally, there were far too many pieces. A few seemed to have been somehow converted to other things, somehow transfigured from living to nonliving matter. The outcrop of spinning rock that the young man was standing on seemed to be one such.
Some of them had been turned to glass then shattered others had been impaled or simply exploded. One, oddly enough, looked as if it had been dressed in a clown outfit then crucified onto another that had been transformed into wood formed into a crucifix shape. He wondered what kind of ability the young man had that could have done all this. Perhaps he is a mutant like Xavier or some of the others we have met in the past two years. I wonder how he arrived in the Negative Zone?
The young man looked at the trio and his smirk if anything widened after taking in their odd appearance, showing little to no surprise at any of them. "If you don't mind me saying so I think I'll let you," he pointed at Ben, "take out the next group that shows up old boy. They're a bit more in your weight class than mine and I could do with a break."
Ben grinned, liking this kid already. "Sure thing. Thanks fer finding and looking after our little guy there."
"I'll help!" Johnny said, a little miffed that his own appearance didn't cause some kind of reaction from the other young man. He was, y'know, on fire after all! In fact, the other man looked so calm and accepting of their appearance that it was a little weird.
"And if I ever need to start a fire, I'll know where to go", the green eyed man said, waving his fingers a little.
Johnny looks down at himself and realized that he wasn't on fire anymore, and he floundered in midair having lost all propulsion. "What did you do?"
"Just a little flame freeze charm, my friend. After all," he said sententiously "secondhand smoke is bad for babies." Johnny growled a little and the green eyed man shrugged. "Sorry chum, but I've got a thing against blond pretty boys and unfortunately you look like their poster child. This will be the first of many pranks, I warn you."
Ben broke out into loud guffaws as Susan recovered enough of her presence to join Reed in thanking the young man. He simply smiled and held up a hand. "No thanks necessary, after all I didn't think he was one of them when I saw Annihilus' boys carting him off, wrong color and species for that. Besides, he's been quite the pleasant company for the past week. After five years trapped in this zone it's become a bit boring, don't you know."
"Five years!", Susan gasped then paused. "A week! It's only been a few hours, maximum of twelve, since he was taken!"
The young man and Reed answered at the same time. "Time moves differently in the negative zone." Then they looked at each other and the young man grinned. "I don't suppose I could catch a lift to the old sandbox can I? And how did you lot get in here anyway?"
"The portal is one of my inventions, and I've been researching the Negative Zone for some time, though I'm sorry to say I never saw evidence there was a human trapped here." Reed replied.
"Portal and you said the heathen word 'research'," the black haired man mused aloud, "so that means you're not wizards. Don't suppose I could ask you to give me the year and the date could I?"
"It's the year 19**. We came through from San Francisco where the Baxter Building, our home is located," Susan answered. "But what do you mean when you say wizards?" Agatha was a witch and they knew about magic, but she didn't use any spells that could account for the variety of wreckage around them.
"I should've expected you were Yanks by your accents. And as for magic, that's how I got here, and trust me, where I'm from I could count the number of magic users on one hand that knew what the scientific method was. I suppose you could call me a victim of a dishonest government and the media it controlled. There was a civil war and I decided to 'gasp' actually fight it rather than simply assume that the corrupt government that the narcissistic bigots I was fighting controlled would actually put prosecute them after they were caught."
"But after the big baddy was put down the bloody bastards in power decided they had no need of me. Before they could decide to have me killed in any of the esoteric ways they had access to I decided to take a leap of faith and go through what they called the Veil of Death. But either it wasn't that way for me personally, which wouldn't be the first time I've broken the rules of magic, they're not so much rules you understand as guidelines, or they were just wrong, wouldn't be the first time for that either."
As Reed was wondering about their new acquaintances psychological state Susan suddenly brought her hand up to her mouth. "Oh, I'm sorry we haven't even introduced ourselves. This is Franklin, who you've already met obviously. I'm Susan, this is my husband Reed, that is our friend Ben, and my brother Johnny. And yes, I'm sure we can give you a lift back to Earth. Though I have to say that what you're describing doesn't sound at all familiar."
"Yes, well, it probably wouldn't. The odds of you coming from the same Earth I'm from are…." the boy looked to the distance for a moment as he tried to calculate the odds.
Reed beat him to the punch however by simply stating "One to the 10,000 percentile. The Negative Zone interacts with and overlaps nearly all 'real' realities. You're probably just from one of the others, which means that whatever crimes you committed, they wouldn't have any impact on your living on our Earth. You will have to explain those in depth later, If not to us then to Agatha Harkness, she's our nanny for Franklin and a sorceress, so she knows about magical things."
"An excellent thought!", the man said. "Oh, you asked who I am. My name's Harry Potter, formerly known as the 'destined one' by people whose brains were much smaller than a match box. Pleased to meet you."
Warning, Prepare for an Info dump! Those who don't care about Harry's background need not read – fandom clichés galore
From the moment he returned to it, Harry Potter was never what anyone in the wizarding world expected him to be. But it was thought by those that survived the Civil War and had known him at all, that it was Hermione Granger's death that truly threw him round the twist.
Harry was not a brave dauntless Gryffindor or even a loyal Hufflepuff, savior of the light. For one thing, Harry was intelligent, as in very intelligent. After he had made an agreement with the teachers to never share his grades with his relatives, who did not need another reason to hate him (they could made up reasons all on their own, thank you very much) he routinely scored in the upper one percentile in the nation on every test he took in school. It was only the need for parental permission that stopped him from skipping several grades, but this did not stop him learning.
Harry spent as much time as possible in the library learning and as such was known as the brightest kid in the school by every teacher that taught him, but the secret was well kept from his relatives. It almost became like a conspiracy of silence in direct retaliation to what the teachers assumed was a conspiracy somewhere else. A few of the teachers had previously tried to help young Harry when they noticed fresh bruises and other marks on his body when he moved around. Some of them had even noticed how underfed he always looked. They soon found however that for some reason something or other was protecting his relatives from prosecution.
One of the teachers in fact had gone to two different social workers, and found out later that both had been moved to different districts. The teacher himself would have forgotten about the entire thing if he hadn't found his notes on the abuse he had made over the school year on his computer. Another civil worker had it much worse however and it was what happened to Mr. Palancy that really told Harry someone was out to keep him down.
Mr. Palancy was a civil worker who lived in the area and he tried several dozen times to do something about Harry. He would start proceedings against his guardians and even sometimes get Harry away from his relatives for a short time. Then something would happen, and he would be left with nothing but his computerized notes of the events. As he kept on trying, the memory loss grew worse and he was driven slowly insane.
Harry would later learn that this was done by Albus Dumbledore because he felt that the protection that living with his blood relative gave the young boy was worth any price. When he found out about this, Harry disagreed, he disagreed most vehemently.
So, Harry came into the wizarding world knowing not only that he had an enemy out there that was using magic, but also about magic itself. After all, you can only spend so much time in a library until you figure out that the strange occurrences happening around you all the time (bones healing in a night, cuts healing a little faster, living through having your head smashed by a frying pan, and teleporting away from your cousin when he's playing his favorite game of Harry hunting with his mates) before you realize that what is happening is magical.
From there it was a small step to trying to control what he could do with magic. Two years and more of controlling his magic and researching the effects had an effect; later he was almost always able to perform spells wandless after a bit of practice.
But more than his magical ability what really changed him was his relationship with the local librarian and those teachers who were in the know about what was going on. His teachers became his friends, the librarian his confidant, and his intelligence their secret pleasure to cultivate.
Yet for all this, it was the events on the Hogwarts express showed the wizarding world the mind that Harry had thus developed. Because it was here he met his first friend his own age in the person of Hermione Granger.
Harry knew of Hermione from their scholastic records, they routinely fought over the first position score in their grades in the country. Thankfully it was a friendly competition and their recently begun correspondence had hinted that they would be meeting at Hogwarts, though of course neither of them had come out and said it. Their "So what is magic" conversation, however, showed how analytical their minds were and eventually dragged in several dozen Ravenclaws who overheard their discussion.
One Ronald Weasley and one Draco Malfoy attempted to enter their compartment intending to become friends or otherwise influence Harry Potter only to be scared away by some of the terms the two were exchanging such as 'mass exchange', 'energy to matter' and 'matter to matter conversion', and 'conservation' of said items as well as 'atoms' and 'quantum'. When 'quantum' is mentioned most people run for the hills.
Their conversation continued all the way up until Hermione had to put on the hat and with it still in her mind there was no way in hell the hat would put her anywhere but in Ravenclaw. Hermione was a little disappointed by this hoping to have gone into the same house as Dumbledore, but her disappointment didn't last long as Harry was sorted in with her.
Thus the plans of Albus Dumbledore and Voldermort were both thrown for a loop. They were not faced with an adventurous, courageous and above all headstrong Gryffindor. They were faced with an affable, incredibly intelligent, inquisitive, and very determined young man who knew that he could not trust anyone in authority in the magic world until he figured out who his enemies were.
When classes began, both Harry and Hermione were disappointed at the speed the classes were supposed to go. After all both mastered the spells involved in the classroom within ten minutes of being allowed to attempt them, and thus thought that others should be able to master them that quickly. Helping their fellows became second nature and their rewards in points would make Ravenclaw the winner of the house cup the next three years.
Harry also took it upon himself to keep a record of every abuse of power, malicious insult, and bullying that any student or teacher did in his time in his first year there. Over that summer this list, anonymously sent out to parents and to the Wizarding Examinations Authority, forced Albus Dumbledore to use a lot of his political capital with the light aligned families to keep Severus Snape as a teacher and drove an even larger wedge between him and the neutrals. By all rights the evidence Harry had collected, including written testimonies from some of the upper years as well as his own year from every house save Slytherin, should've gotten Severus Snape put in jail for child abuse/endangerment, but that would not serve Albus Dumbledore's purpose and so could not be allowed.
The year's disappointments for Albus did not stop with Harry being sorted into Ravenclaw. The invisibility cloak he'd hoped to use to keep track of the boy, via the tracking charm he placed with extreme difficulty on it, sat unused in the boy's specially created library trunk for as long as Harry was in school. At least it sat there as far as he knew, because in his third year, Harry learned how to move the tracking spell and put it on a book in his library, enabling him to use the cloak to his advantage. But that would happen later.
That first year there were no adventures, no Gryffindor charging forward, only slow, methodical gathering of information and knowledge, as Harry began to build up his knowledge base of the magical world in order to find out who had placed him with people who wanted him dead or, at best, broken, which would have succeeded were it not for his teachers and the public librarian. There was a troll incident, but it occurred to other students, not Harry or Hermione, who were sitting silent vigil for his parents in the Ravenclaw dorms. Thus Albus was forced to fight Voldemort himself, who had no way of knowing of the power that Harry still possessed.
It was in second year, a year filled with Dobby created danger, as Harry had joined the Quidditch team making him an easy target for Dobby's ill-conceived plans to get him to leave Hogwarts, when the rest of the school realized that Harry really was different from anything that they are expected. When Gilderoy Lockhart who, despite Harry, Hermione and several other Ravenclaws (mostly boys admittedly) finding disconcerting evidence of fabrication in his stories, was still a teacher, hosted a dueling completion things got out of hand. A snake was summoned by Draco Malfoy which then tried to bite a nearby student. Harry, who honestly had come to laugh at everyone else, saved the boy by speaking to the snake in parseltongue. This immediately caused him to be labeled Dark (whatever the hell that was, Harry did not like generalities, and he liked oversimplification even less) by more than half the school.
Later he was accused to his face of being the much thought of and feared Heir of Slytherin, who had used his 'fell powers' to assault Mr. Flitch and his cat. In Harry's opinion this was simply the removal of one bully from the school. There were still several that had to be removed to make it an actual school rather than a giant sociological experiment run by the man in the disturbing robes.
In point of fact he had attempted to go to a different school of magic over the summer, but as one was known for teaching only purebloods (and he wasn't leaving Hermione behind), another was in North America and he couldn't get a passport, and the third was French he had unfortunately been forced to continue attending Hogwarts. His campaign to have Severus Snape removed as a teacher however, had produced a result; he no longer personally had to take classes with him. That didn't bother the rest of the sheep of the school so much as when he laughed at them when some of them called him the Heir of Slytherin.
It wasn't a malicious laugh or a laugh of contempt it was simply a full blown belly laugh, like they had said the funniest or stupidest thing he'd ever heard. When he recovered himself enough to respond he simply pointed and said, "This is my best friend. Perhaps you haven't noticed." Hermione Granger blushed at the attention, but grinned at the sentiment as well as the faces of the onlookers.
"Who. Is. A. Muggleborn" Harry went on slowly and succinctly. When no one responded he walked off with Hermione still laughing leaving the rest of the school feeling rather silly about the whole affair.
Harry however, did notice that none of the teachers had even attempted to quell the rumors or control it in the first place. That put another checkmark alongside his 'don't trust anybody in power' rule. As did the school remaining open when Hermione and several others were found petrified outside the library weeks later. It would take him days of sitting by her still form in a silent vigil to notice the small scrap of paper in her head, something that he later castigated himself over most severely.
When the Heir of Slytherin struck again, dragging Ginny Weasley, a Gryffindor (though for some reason that had angered her a lot when she was sorted), into the Chamber of Secrets the school learned that Harry also had quite a bit of courage. Why else would he attempt to fight a twenty meter long basilisk armed only with his wand and a sword rather than go and tell the teachers?
Of course he didn't trust the teachers at all at this point, not even professors Flitwick and McGonagall, who had gone out of their way to help Harry and Hermione along in their studies of advanced magic. (It could also have been because he thought the heir would have put up a ward against anyone who couldn't speak parseltongue; that was what he would have done after all.)
A normal second year student could never have defeated a basilisk whatever he was armed with. Harry however, was very intelligent with a very good knowledge of spells and chemistry. Studying chemistry and mechanics were his dreams for the future, magic had really quite lost its luster for him, and Hermione wanted to be a physics major with a minor in engineering.
Therefore he entered armed with one wand and one homemade hand grenade, made by careful transfiguration and several kitchen ingredients he'd asked the house elves for. However, once the beast appeared after the obligatory boasting, the hand grenade didn't do much other than blind the beast. But that enabled him enough time to reach the sorting hat, dropped by a helpful Fawkes who then finished off the basilisks eyes, and pull out the Sword of Gryffindor that he had known was in there since talking to the hat at his sorting.
The Heir of Gryffindor after all should know where his sword was, especially if he already had an enemy to hunt down. The beast could still smell him however, and Harry had never made a study of snakes. The beast charged forward and even though he dodged, bit him in the arm. Harry struck at the same time, plunging the Sword of Gryffindor into the roof of the snake's mouth and hence into its brain box.
Harry collapsed from the pain but during the gloating, Harry simply summoned the cursed diary to him and stabbed it with the sword, which had absorbed the poison from the basilisk's mouth, making it one of the deadliest weapons in the world. On a whim, he also cast a spell he had read about in a book in the library, Praedia Bellica.
Despite it being used on a spirit, it worked. The shades magical power and spell knowledge became his. He now knew the man who killed his parents was still alive and more about the process than he really wanted to know. It would take him months to sort through all the memories and realize this however.
A few Phoenix tears later, and he was well enough to levitate Ginny into the air and carry her out of the Chamber of Secrets. He rebuffed all offers of aid, simply pointing back over his shoulder where the chamber lay open for all to see, wanting everyone to know what the danger had been and that it was over.
Albus Dumbledore later attempted to control the rumors, but in the end Harry was lauded as a savior by nearly everyone in the magical world. The teachers all came under severe criticism for not having solved the problem or even found out what it was. Albus himself was saved from this by fortuitously being away from the school thanks to Malfoy Sr.'s machinations. It still took him the entire summer to get things back to normal.
Third year was little better from the so-called 'leader of light's' position. First, Harry rebuffed all attempts from Remus Lupin to get close to him, citing that any person who would've abandoned the child of his best friend regardless of extenuating circumstances was not someone he wanted in his life. Harry was very much a one strike you're out sort of person, at least with adults. He tended to be more lenient with children, who in his opinion, were immature and thus could still learn from their mistakes. Not even offering to help Harry learn the Patronus spell helped, as Harry and Hermione had already learned it after encountering the dementors on the train.
He knew about Remus from a certain large black dog he had befriended after it had scared off his cousin when he and his crew was out 'Harry hunting'. This and the trust it built for the man in that form allowed him to befriend Sirius Black before school even began, and between the two of them they were able to out Peter Pettigrew without Remus Lupin's involvement at all. Severus Snape, in what would be his final act as a Hogwarts teacher, burst in on the scene in the empty classroom to, in his own words 'save the idiotic Gryffindor Ravenclaw' from his own stupidity'.
The fact that this allowed Peter Pettigrew to escape was a final straw for Harry. This time he went straight to Madam Bones of the DMLE and the Daily Prophet with everything he had collected about Severus Snape and the other bullies at Hogwarts. Severus Snape was soon not only canned but in jail despite Dumbledore's best efforts to save his spy.
The point he had made about Severus purposefully failing anyone outside of Slytherin who wanted to pass the potions NEWT, which was a prerequisite of becoming an Auror had been the deciding factor. Even Fudge, as spineless a politico as there ever was, would not budge on his removal after that came out. After all, corrupt the Ministry may be, but it still needed a police force.
Amidst this circus Remus Lupin proved Harry right not to trust him by slinking back away when the Prophet, doing an expose on Hogwarts, revealed him to be a werewolf. He dis this without making any attempt to reconcile with Harry beyond the first time. This act of cowardice forever ended any chance of reconciliation between the Marauders.
Next year worked out much more satisfactorily for all the key players but Harry. Despite not even being in the hall when the goblet was lit, Harry was chosen as a champion. (If you must know he was making out with Hermione, the girl having just agreed to be his girlfriend.) To say he was miffed at having his plans for a normal year disrupted is an understatement. His swift and public denouncement of his placement in the tournament along with the magical oath proving his innocence kept most of the sheeple on his side however.
The contests continued apace, and Moody was oddly helpful year round, something that made Harry distrust him all the more. Harry did not go out of his way to rub his superiority in his opponent's nose, having gotten to know Fleur and the others and not wanting to let anyone know that his studies in all types of magic had continued at an even faster clip with Sirius's assistance. (Sirius was by this point living in a specially warded trunk that connected to Harry's library trunk and to Potterstead, the ancestral home of the Potters. It had taken Harry, Sirius and Hermione weeks to make.)
At this point Harry confided in Sirius and Hermione what he had found out from Riddle's shade in second year. Sirius explained what a horcrux was, how to detect them and, more importantly how to destroy them. The Black family library was quite extensive when it came to Dark Arts. While the kids were in school he returned to his ancestral home and to his shock found a horcrux there, possessed by the elf Kreacher. A visit to an empty lot and a barely controlled fiendfyre spell later, Riddle was down a second horcrux.
During the last event Cedric offered to share the cup with Harry. He was touched and agreed, which led to Cedric's death and Voldemort's resurrection. That Harry was able to capture Peter Pettigrew and escape thanks to a flash bang and specially ensorcelled contact lenses was no consolation. Harry didn't even bother trying to get anyone to believe Riddle was back, merely saying they had been ambushed by someone who wanted to restart Voldemort's war. Dumbledore tried to get him to say that it was Voldemort, but he refused, citing the panic of Fudge at what he had already said.
The fact that everyone from Dumbledore on down wanted to question him about what happened but that he wasn't even offered counseling for witnessing his friend's death further hardened Harry and Hermione's views of the wizarding world. It was during that summer however, that both Dumbledore and Voldemort would make their most serious mistake.
Through all of his studies and adventures Hermione Granger had been Harry's constant companion. Indeed, throughout their time in Hogwarts the teachers who knew his parents looked upon the pair with smiles and growing delight at what they saw as the new James and Lily as their friendship blossomed into romance. Together, they broke down house barriers as easily as scholastic records, and were very, very dangerous. This was why she was targeted by Voldemort, who wanted to send a message to Harry that he may have snatched a small victory from defeat but he was still vulnerable in other ways.
It is also why Dumbledore, warned ahead of time by his newly freed spy Severus, that the assault was going to occur allowed it to go forward without any defense. He had no control on Harry because of his seeming happiness with his family life, nor could Dumbledore see what the boy was thinking. Harry had learned an odd mode of occlumency, which was simply organizing his brain into a library trunk like the one he owned then covering it with a mental invisibility cloak. Dumbledore couldn't even find his mind let alone see inside it, and looking into Hermione's mind was even worse as she had used the image of a computer and computer files to organize her mind.
Dumbledore needed a handle on Harry and without Hermione's support, who was just a mudblood when all was said and done, he hoped the boy would turn to him, who Harry had always been respectful but not subservient to. Thus it was that mere days into the summer before what would have been their fifth year Hermione Granger died at the hands of Draco Malfoy, new inductee of the Death Eaters, and Severus Snape, who had previously enjoyed himself with her imperiused mother.
It was after he came upon this traumatic scene that Harry Potter decided that if no one else was going to play by the rules that he sure as hell wasn't either. The first thing he did was get in touch with his friends, informing them of what had happened and asking them to meet him in mundane London.
His group was quite eclectic, but very close knit. They included Neville Longbottom, the Weasley twins, Daphne Greengrass and her girlfriend Tracy Davis as well as her cover wizard Blaize who was actually engaged to a witch in Italy. The Patil sisters and the most quirky blonde to ever attend Hogwarts, Luna Lovegood had joined the group in their third year. He informed them of what happened, that Voldemort was back and what happened to Hermione. He told them that he was going to take the fight to him in as many ways as possible. They asked where they could sign up.
Sirius Black, who thanks to Peter Pettigrew's Veritaserum induced confession was cleared of all charges, had a title of nobility in the mundane world. He used it to get an audience with the Queen, who was, despite never using her power, technically still the head of the magical government. After that meeting he and his godson's friends received all the help they wanted in the way to training. The new Marauders received training in tactics and strategy by squibs who had gone into the military plus SAS specialists that taught them how to use guns, knives and other weapons.
Harry proved a master at it, his defense against the dark arts grades had been excellent as had his transformation, and he had kept in shape his entire life. The others had some problems, but not many. Learning all this and preparing a few creations he and Hermione had thought up using runes and mundane inventions took some time to prepare but after eight weeks of training they were ready.
One of their first missions was the capture of Severus Snape, who would be their only prisoner to be used at a later date against his masters. The group, wearing mundane Halloween masks of different creatures targeted several other death eaters who had recently escaped from Azkaban, including Sirius's own cousin and her husband when they went back to the Lestrange manor. The news of this vigilante group taking down escaped prisoners with lethal force spread and garnered mixed reviews.
Dumbledore for one began a public campaign against the group that stated they were Dark, and it was merely a power struggle between two Dark groups. As he had no evidence that Harry, still technically living with the Dursleys, it was a general attack on the group.
Harry publicly responded in the Daily Prophet via a note that had been in ensorcelled to be unchangeable and would self-destruct if they attempted to tamper with it. The manager of the Daily Prophet decided that the boost in sales was worth it and ran it despite the fact that it basically ripped apart Albus Dumbledore and the 'Greater Good'.
"Justice", Harry said, in his persona of the Falcon, the leader of the New Marauders, "is blind but it is neither kind nor forgiving of all sins. If one does wrong and is sorry for it that is one thing, but if one does wrong and is forgiven without feeling sorrow or showing regret that is not justice. You are merely enabling the perpetrator to continue his or her crimes."
Unfortunately Harry's point was not well received by the majority of people who thought that Albus Dumbledore could walk on water. Worse, it was not well thought of by the Ministry in general, who knew they were corrupt and didn't care. From its inception the ministry had been corrupt, made to only serve the interests of those already in power and very little had changed since.
Voldemort, still desiring anonymity for now, used a pack of werewolves and a few expendable death eaters on several attacks on key targets. Madam Bones died with her niece in an assault on their manor, leaving the corrupt Fudge unchallenged in the ministry. Other families, mostly muggleborn or halfbloods were also targeted. Harry and his group did what they could but could only be in one place at a time, not wanting to split their group up in case of trouble.
Dumbledore's group always arrived too late to help, damaging his standing with the muggleborns, and this began an exodus of said group from the magical world that continued for several years. No one in power cared though, and it went unremarked as Fudge's propaganda machine shut down any mention of the attacks, stifling Dumbledore who wanted people to realize that Voldemort was back.
Harry and his group responded to these attacks by taking out the entire Malfoy family and casting Praedia Bellica while doing so. Harry and Sirius attacked them when they went to Gringotts for a meeting dealing with the Black gold, while the rest of the New Marauders kept the aurors busy. Harry avenged his lady, then spent the rest of the day getting drunk and remembering the good times they had.
Next Harry tried again to destroy Dumbledore's public support by walking into the Wizarding Wireless tower and interviewing via Veritaserum the bound Severus Snape about his involvement with in Hermione's death, the Death Eaters, and Dumbledore. It was at that point that Harry was forced to flee from arriving aurors under Minster Fudge's orders to arrest him. It was enough however to get Dumbledore removed from Hogwarts as well as Head of the Wizengamot.
With Dumbledore gone, Fudge worked to quell and contain the panic, saying that Harry was wrong, that it was only someone pretending to be Voldemort. The purebloods despite the evidence to the contrary believed him. The muggleborns and halfbloods, however, began to flee the magical world in droves.
Despite having no evidence, Dumbledore became convinced at this point that Harry was somehow involved and determined to get some answers he tried the direct approach, attacking Harry near the library that had become his home after his first year (no way was Harry going to stay with the Dursleys any longer than he had to, but he still needed to be in the area so Dumbledore didn't realize he wasn't). When he did he ran into something Hermione and Harry had devised, a high tech polymer and Kevlar bodysuit that was enhanced by runic protections and various magically powered enhancements.
When Albus tried to stun Harry to transport him somewhere else the spell did nothing but alert Harry to his presence. Astonished at the failure of his assault Dumbledore didn't even try to dodge Harry's attack, and thus Harry acquired an extra wand. He left Dumbledore there to be arrested later for loitering.
A few days later Snape died in prison, tortured to death by a fellow death Eater for betraying his master's secrets.
Despite all this Harry and his group was forced by magically enforced law to go back to Hogwarts, and they decided to go along to keep their anonymity for a few months longer. Thankfully with Dumbledore and Snape no longer there it was a far better school with McGonagall as head mistress, even with several suspected Death Eaters among the students there.
Harry devoted himself to his studies once more, but his friends wouldn't let him disappear into his books. Daphne Greengrass, who had become Hermione's best female friend and academic rival, was determined to make Harry remember there was more to life than fighting, and dragged Harry into the social life of Hogwarts. She pushed him to date and hang out with his friends rather than brood and study. His other friends, Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom and Padma and Parvati Patil joined in the effort wholeheartedly.
All of them pointed out to him that Hermione would want him to move on with his life, and dating was a part of that. It helped that he was among the most fanciable boys in the school, and that both Padma and Luna wanted to see what would happen if they dated him. The result was that Harry changed from a broody dangerous boy back to his somewhat normal self, with the addition of hormones. Harry had a lot of fun and a lot of kisses and dates for a few months while Sirius and his one remaining cousin and her family spent their time battling with Gringotts' lawyers, eventually getting access to the Lestrange vault, where they found and destroyed another horcrux.
A few months later Harry found a convenient room for his dates that the elves called the Come and Go room. Any room he or his current date wanted, it could create. Imagine his surprise when he found a room with countless old magical objects for him to study. When he came upon a diadem that made his scar hurt however, he knew what to do. He called for the sword of Gryffindor and slashed the thing in two.
The only hiccup to Harry's first two semesters back at Hogwarts came when someone tried to poison him (Pansy Parkinson, a true Slytherin used an imperiused Hufflepuff first year to poison Harry's food to avenge her Drakky). She, in fact, succeeded and Harry died, for a given value of dead. Thanks to the horcrux in his scar, he was stuck in limbo and there given a choice.
He was able to see Hermione, who told him to move on with his life and to live for both of them, and 'by Morgana Harry Potter, find something to do with your life that doesn't involve fighting!' After this Harry felt his magical power quadruple as the limiters Dumbledore placed on him as a baby faded upon his 'death'. Harry was now one of the most powerful wizards on the planet, though he didn't advertise the fact.
Unfortunately the war continued despite the government's continued assurance that it wasn't actually happening. With the ministry so incompetent, Voldemort decided to go after his other enemies. The Order of the Plucked Chicken began to die. Dumbledore, having been badly cursed when he destroyed one horcrux, without the elder wand and outside the protection of Hogwarts was easy meat for Riddle.
Riddle after that began his campaign of terror anew, and with the ministry desperate to cover it up nothing was done to fight back, leaving Harry and his friends to once more take to the field. Unfortunately Riddle was expecting them. When the group responded to an attack on Hogsmeade they were ambushed with nearly all of Riddle's forces, his wizards, giants, and werewolves. The dementors were elsewhere, sowing terror among the muggles, who had no defense against their aura.
The battle was fierce, violent, and deadly for both sides, neither one taking prisoners, but with Harry having taught them all tactics and above all teamwork, his side was slowly able to retreat until Riddle did the unthinkable.
This ambush had been an all or nothing gamble, with Voldemort out in the open for the first time, and wanting to sow the most terror he could, so that he could then take over without a fight. But if his enemies escaped, he would be seen as fallible, as something others could fight. Seeing Harry and his friends retreating in good order out of the anti-apparition zone he had placed around the town and knowing he had to end them now before they could rally the rest of the magical world against him, he did what no other Dark Lord had ever done.
Slaying two nearby students he pulled their dead bodies to him and used their blood in a ritual to open a gateway to the demon realm. Demons poured out and began to rip into the new Marauders from behind. Harry aghast, watched as his friends and teachers died around him and something inside him snapped. He began to attack the demons not with spells but raw magic, forcing them back, slaying and killing demon and enemy alike as he came. He never even noticed when one of his magic bolts struck and slew Voldemort at last, his snake Nagini having been killed by Sirius earlier in the battle.
He continued to fight until the demons Voldemort summoned all lay dead or had retreated screaming back into the portal, closing it behind them. Harry stood alone on a battlefield with the dead and the dying. Not one of his friends lived through the demon assault, yet around him the townsfolk who had hidden themselves as the fight began came out of hiding, awestruck at the carnage. Some of them even began to clap or cheer, but Harry's glare, seen clearly now as his mask had been sliced off his face during the battle, stopped them.
Harry then went about caring for the dead and preparing them for burial, or cremation if there wasn't enough left. This broke him inside, and once his grisly task was accomplished, Harry went to the headmaster's tower intending to throw himself from the window, his will to live gone with his friends. He was stopped by the sight of Fawkes waiting for him in full splendor, bearing a ring.
Wearily, he put it on and Fawkes alighted on his shoulder. Somehow understanding what the bird wanted, Harry poured his power into the ring, and was astonished to see the ghosts of all his departed friends appear before him. None of them wanted him to join him just yet, and all of them wanted him to find a new life for himself. When he replied he couldn't stay here, they informed him that in that case, he should find someplace else to go.
It took him several weeks to recover enough to think of anything but joining his friends; yet with their remonstrations ringing in his ears, that was no longer an option. Yet, Harry knew that no matter where he went in either the muggle or wizarding world, he would never be left alone. In the time it took him to recover the 'Daily Propaganda' had quickly gone to work, saying that the battle hadn't been between a light group and a Dark, but between two Dark forces because of the deaths both sides had caused.
The ministry would not allow for someone as powerful as he was to not be under their control and the public, which feared the cure as much as the disease, called for his exile or incarceration. There were numerous calls for the Dark Lord Potter to be arrested already, and they would only grow once the purebloods in power learned how powerful he was magically and monetarily thanks to taking over the Black and Malfoy fortunes.
Harry then decided to leave it to chance, whether he would go to some other world/dimension or die. He had heard of the Veil of Death hidden in the ministry, and read a treatise by one of his ancestors that said the Veil might not be to the land of death but a doorway to another dimension. Harry decided that that would be what would decide his fate, but he would prepare as if anything could happen.
It took him months to prepare, and his sixteenth birthday came and went as he did. He went through all his family heirlooms and decided which he wanted to take. He took a month to gather potions and other supplies. He then took all of his family's gold from Gringotts and all of his books, all of his notes on runes and wards and placed it all in a storage trunk (his library trunk having been destroyed in his pocket saving him from a magical blast in the last battle), which he shrunk and put it in a pocket inside his body armor ensorcelled to have a permanent notice-me-not aura.
He then tried to say goodbye to Hedwig, but she was having none of it. She would follow her human come what may. Harry didn't have the heart to try and leave her or knock her out, which he'd have to do if he tried to leave her. Defeated he allowed her to sit on his shoulder and they were off.
Harry then walked calmly into the Ministry. With his special suit repaired and his defenses on full power they couldn't do anything to stop him and soon a huge crowd gathered, following him around as he descended into the Department of Mysteries. Some still tried to stop him, but his defenses ate their spells and he simply walked on. The crowd halted in the room that held the Veil and looked on awed as Harry, not even slowing, walked up to it. He stared into it for a moment then turned and looked at everyone who had gathered around to watch him. He looked at their faces, at their fear of him and shook his head, then without a word walked through.
Harry didn't really know whether or not to be disappointed when he found himself floating in a strange dimension with red light and nothing around him rather than being dead, but it was a surprise. Having nothing better to do he started to explore.
For the next five years, he traversed the Negative Zone, always trying to find out where he was. Other than that, he wandered aimlessly. His magic sustained him, renewing his body without the need of food, which was a good thing as nothing in the universe he found himself in was edible. He began to make a name for himself with his odd powers and combative nature. The denizens of the realm soon learned to flee at the sight of him either because of his power, his pranks, or his attitude to what they considered rational practice (the strong controlling the weak).
Being unable to communicate with any of the inhabitants, he began to talk to himself and the isolation drove him slowly but surely insane, until a flight of Annihilius's soldiers passed by his temporary hiding place carrying a little human baby. The baby and talking to said baby started to bring him back to sanity, although he wasn't quite all there yet when the baby's family showed up to rescue him.
As you can see from the above I went with manipulative pureblood approving Dumbledore, as well as evil Snape, and very evil Voldemort, though in the end it was the government's corruption that really was the most to blame for both Harry's predicament and how badly the war went for so long. Don't ask for me to bulk this out more, as with most of my prologues they are short because I want to get to the good stuff. Harry has had five years to get over what happened and has moved on somewhat, though not entirely. It still haunts him from time to time, but he'll be mostly 'normal' emotionally.
Writing that portion was tortuous, so don't ask me to go back and add more. The point of it was to give a outline of Harry's personality and what shaped it, not to have it be a major part of the story. JKR's realm will not be effecting the story from here on.
If you are looking for accuracy in regards to the Marvel universe go elsewhere, as I have literally forgotten most of what I once knew about the universe's first ten plus years and I haven't read any of it since the civil war began (f*&k if I wanted dark shit I'd watch the news) . For example the only mission from the original X-Men comics I can remember is the one with Mimic in it. To that end I will be setting out to merge Fantastic Four with X-Men Evolution (which I can remember ), Avengers, the movie series (not the X-Men movies thought) X-Calibur and others.
As this is a harem there will be cliches: Powerful Harry, Genius! Harry, magical power = sexual stamina (I've seen this so often it's become normal), oh and slightly insane Harry at first. Well not insane really. Just, he won't be able to control his mouth so well, will have some moods swings that could worry people, and will be slightly off the wall in what he says and does.
The pairings will be:
Definite: Harry/Jean Grey/Ororo(yes the same age as in evolution)/Emma Frost/undecided/