And then, disappointment of disappointments, the dog turned into an old guy. Well, truth be told he was early middle age, but more than a decade in a literally soul sucking prison had aged him slightly.
“Hello Harry,” the man said. “I’m Sirius Black, your godfather.”
“Harry, reach out with your magic, you know it to be true.”
“…Okay Obi-wan, I’m just gonna crawl back inside my tauntaun and sleep,” Hary said, pulling the covers over his head and immediately falling back to sleep. “Wake me up for the Hoth battle.”
Sirius Black scratched his beard in puzzlement.
“That was not the reaction I expected,” he said to himself. “I expected at least fear and surprise considering all the lies they told about me. Damn fools think I betrayed your parents.”
“The only thing you’re betraying is my sleep,” Harry said. “I’ve already been trained by the master who trained you, so we can skip the swamp jumping, even if it does burble all the time like a giant carbonated soda.”
“Harry, kick the dog guy out of the room and let us sleep,” said Harry’s unfortunate roommate, former New Mutant Sam Guthrie, barely holding his head up off the pillow. “Or at least shut him up. I’ve got to fight Apocalypse in the morning. Y’alls keeping me from my beauty sleep.”
“Okay,” Harry said with a shrug. He pulled out a doorknob and shot the man twice in the chest. Luckily he grabbed the trank gun and not the Colt. Sirius Black moved his hand to inspect the darts and immediately fell over backwards. “Sleep tight.”
“’night,” muttered Guthrie as he passed out on the pillow.
The next morning found Sirius Black in a dark room. It was Harry’s closet. Harry didn’t remember the events of the previous night as anything more than a vague dream about becoming a jedi.
“Uh, hello old guy in closet,” Harry said.
Sirius blinked hello.
Harry stated at him for a bit longer.
“Gramma, Grampa! There’s a paralyzed man in my closet!”
And that’s why Jean and Cyclops started the morning with their daily dose of headaches, extra strength.
“He’s telling the truth,” Jean confirmed after a quick mental probing. Aside from confirming his identity, she’d also seen a few other thoughts she wished she hadn’t. It wasn’t the first time she’d regretted a skintight outfit. Maybe some comfortable jeans and a striped longsleeve T-shirt for the next costume would work.
“So you’re really my godfather, and my parents’ friend who was betrayed by their other friend and framed for mass murder,” Harry asked. “You then tracked me down to make sure I wasn’t in any danger.”
“Uh, yes, that’s right,” Sirius confirmed. “That was a very succinct summary.”
“Oh, don’t worry, Dad says he’ll let me do his recap pages soon, so I’ve been practicing,” Harry said.
“Uh…your adoptive father?”
“That’s right,” Harry said, genuinely surprised. “Wow, most people just assume I’m talking about that dead wizard that donated his DNA, but you got it on the first try.”
“…right,” a confused Sirius agreed hesitantly. “So you are superheroes?”
“You know what superheroes are?” everyone chorused in surprise.
“Well, not everyone in the Wizarding World is an idiot,” Sirius said. “After all, some did break me out a few months back.”
“No, we call super powered people who break people out of prisons ‘super-villains’ not ‘super-heroes’,” corrected Harry. Jean and Scott just gave him an absolutely flabbergasted look for a moment before sighing and popping a couple more aspirin and Pepto. “What?”
“So, Sirius,” Ororo said, “Now that you have escaped unlawful incarceration what are you going to do now?”
The British wizard let out a long sigh. “I don’t rightly know. If I return I’ll only be hunted down and my soul sucked out as punishment.”
“I’ve got a couple of ideas,” Harry said cheerfully. Sirius glanced up and confused to see a variety of very worried faces on the mutants Harry considered family. Jean and Scott looked like they were in pain, just considering the possibilities.
“That bad?” asked Sirius.
“Worse,” said Scott.
“Takes after James then,” Sirius muttered to himself. “I was bad, but James was always worse.”
Jean raised an eyebrow at the comment. She’d seen more than a few of those memories. Sirius grinned and shrugged ruefully.
“Okay, maybe we were about equal.”
“This was your plan?” Ororo Munroe asked.
“Well, yeah,” Harry said as if it were obvious.
“Perhaps-“ she started.
*BEEP* *BEEP* *BEEP* *BEEP*
Storm tapped her X-Men communicator. “Storm here.”
“We found Apocalypse,” said Scott over the communicator.
“I’ll there as soon as I can,” she replied. Turning to the two wizards. “Don’t cause any trouble! I mean it!”
Harry and Sirius both wore identical looks of “who me?” that just made Storm sigh and shake her head. Then she flew off towards the Xavier School for the Gifted.
“Can all your friends do that?” Sirius asked.
“Nope, but not all my friends are as cool as Storm,” Harry said. “She one of the bosses, you know.”
“Do all the women you know wear skin tight outfits?”
“Not all,” Harry said. “Ms. Harkness doesn’t and most of the others don’t when they’re not about to kick some ass. Otherwise they just wear everyday clothes.”
“I think I’m going to like it here.”
“It’s pretty fun, especially when we get to shoot super-villains,” Harry said with a grin. His grin vanished on his next thought. “Not so fun when they hit you in the head.”
“Rarely is,” Sirius said. “So what is this place?”
“Oh, it’s the Rand Corporation,” Harry said, as if that explained everything. “I thought about going right to Avenger’s headquarters, but it just isn’t the same after Disassembled, although Spider-Man turning into a giant spider and giving birth to himself was kinda cool.”
“I would actually classify that as utterly disturbing,” Sirius said.
“Tomato, tomahto,” Harry countered with a shrug and a grin.
“Hi, my friend here is gonna sign up for Heroes for Hire,” Harry said to the woman at the front desk. She was a little stunned.
“Uh, I don’t think they are currently active,” she said. Turning and picking up the phone, she whispered into it. “Uh, I think they’ve disbanded.”
“huh?” asked Harry before heading to the elevators.
“Wait! You can’t just go-“ but the doors shut before she could finish.
“So this is a Lift?” Sirius asked.
“Yup,” Harry replied.
“Amazing, yer mum always talked about them in muggle shops, but I’ve never been in one before,” Sirius said, pondering the mechanical creation.
“Better than randomly moving staircases,” Harry said.
I agree with,” Sirius said.
The doors opened on the third floor and a suited man walked in. He glanced at the slightly odd appearance of the two other occupants. One was old and shabbily dressed, the other was a kid. He looked like he wanted to ask something. Harry pointed to Sirius. “He’s gonna join Heroes for Hire.”
“Huh,” said the man. “I thought they’d disbanded.”
Harry just shrugged.
On the fourth floor, the doors opened and a couple of scientists walked in.
“He’s joining Heroes for Hire,” Harry said again as explanation. The two scientists looked at each other with puzzled looks.
“I thought they’d disbanded?”
“I thought so too,” said the other. Glancing at the raggedy clothed man they shrugged and got out on the sixth floor with the man in the business suit.
Harry exited in the seventh and final floor. Walking down a hallway, they turned and stepped into an office. The blonde man at the desk looked up in surprise.
“What are you doing here?”
“Hi Danny Rand, my godfather’s here to join Heroes for Hire,” Harry said. Sirius waved hello.
“Uh, the latest team disbanded in 1999,” Danny Rand, better known as the Immortal Iron Fist, said. “You’re a few years too late.”
“Crap,” said Harry. “I’m all out of ideas. Sorry Sirius.”
“That’s okay, I’m sure there’s some place that a wrongfully imprisoned wizard could call home,” Sirius said. Danny Rand looked between the two of them and picked up the phone.
“Let me make a call,” he said. “Luke, hi. How’s Jessica?...Oh, Misty’s great… Sure, I’m still on for the game Friday…Sure, noon sounds good…Yeah, couple of strange guys in my office now, looking for Heroes for Hire…yeah, I told them we disbanded…Kid’s wearing an X-Men uniform…Hey, are you Deadpool’s kid?”
“Yup! That’s my dad!”
“He says yeah,” Danny said into the phone. “Jean and Scott take care of him.”
“Are you famous here as well?” Sirius asked.
“I get around,” Harry said humbly. “But my dad’s real well known in some circles.”
“…Yeah, he is the one who turned into a dinosaur a few weeks back…Yeah, it was cool…Yeah, thanks Luke,” Rand said. Danny looked up to the two visitors. “My friend Luke Cage might have a few ideas.”
“That’s awesome! He’s basically the coolest superhero ever,” Harry said.
“Really? Huh, that’s not usually the response he gets,” Rand said. “He’s only got one superpower.”
“bah! Superpowers don’t make one cool,” Harry said dismissively. “Luke Cage is cool because of who he is, not because he’s got unbreakable skin.”
“I have to disagree, unbreakable skin is quite 'cool',” Sirius said. “I could have often used that.”
“Couldn’t we all,” Rand said. He handed a note to Sirius Black. “That’s Jessica’s address at the Daily Bugle, he’ll meet you there.”
“Awesome! I could get to see Peter today too!”
“Peter?” asked the two men in confusion.
“The friendly Bugle photographer?”
“Sorry, doesn’t ring any bells,” said Danny Rand.
“Mary Jane’s husband.”
“Ooohhh, that guy. Yeah, I think I’ve met him a time or two.”
“He’s pretty cool once you get past his drab exterior.”
The Dailey Bugle was bustling, as it usually was this time of day. Everything being digital, it was easier to publish newspapers, but just as difficult to make good ones.
The photographer in question, having just got back from his interview at Midtown High School, was already stressed and having a visit from a shapchanging wizard neophyte was not going to make things any easier.
“Harry, please don’t sing the song,” he pleaded.
“What no hello?”
“Hello Harry,” Peter Parker said. Then he turned around to get a look at the kid. “Harry, why are you wearing an X-Men costume.”
“Because I am one,” Harry said simply.
“I thought you said you were a wizard.”
“I am,” Harry said. “And a member of the Uncanny, and occasionally even Astonishing X-Men. Sometimes we’re even Extreme.”
“So you’re a wizard and a mutant?”
“Yep,” Harry said with a grin.
“Parker!” J. Jonah Jameson bellowed from two feet away, making everyone jump. Except for Harry, of course, he just scowled. “Who’s the kid?”
“He’s that kid who job shadowed me a while back.”
“Huh,” said Jameson, “Never seen him before.”
“Damn you Jameson! Damn you to-“ He was cut off by Peter’s hand on his mouth.
“Keep it on a leash,” commanded the EiC. “Get down to City Hall and take pictures of the ceremony.”
“Another ribbon cutting?”
“You want the money or not? Because I’m perfectly okay not paying you.”
“I’ll take it!”
And with that, Peter Parker ran out of the room. Harry suddenly realized he had lost his godfather between leaving the elevator and walking across the pressroom.
“Hey,” Harry said. “Where’d Sirius go?”
That particular wizard was found sitting on the edge of a desk owned by a certain Ms. Brant.
“So, Miss Brant, how are you?” inquired the ruggedly handsome wizard. The reporter wiggled a finger.
“How’s that working out for you?”
“Better than it’s working for you right now,” she replied with a sly smile.
He opened his mouth to say more, but Harry cut him off.
“Hey, Jessica Jones’ desk is over here.”
Sirius Black glanced between Betty Brant’s bemused smile and Harry’s insistence. “Very well, lead the way.”