Journey To Remember- Chapter 3
@itsallavengers Here ya go.
The first thing Clint did when he got off the train was to knock a boy’s glasses off. Tony would call it an accident but in the past five hours he had spent with Clint, he’d learned that accident was just another name for Clint as a person. If tripping over one’s own feet were a skill, Clint would be an expert in it. So when Clint tripped over nothing and grabbed the first person in front of him, knocking him down - Tony wasn’t really surprised.
“It’s cracked,” Jane observed as she picked up the glasses that had fallen near her feet, testing the frame and wincing, “The frame is bent too.”
“Let’s hope he’s not cracked,” Bucky pulled the fallen boy up and peered at him as his face looked pinched, “Are you alright?”
The boy shifted away when Bucky looked to lay a hand on his shoulder and nodded tightly, blinking hard as he stretched out a hand to ask his glasses back. Tony saw a scrape on his palm but the boy changed his hand immediately, like he had detected Tony’s gaze.
“My - my glasses,” he asked and Jane held on to it as she placed it in his hand.
“It’s broken,” she told him, a small frown appearing and smoothing out on her face, “You shouldn’t put this on, the frame is going to hurt you, see there, it’s bent and out of -”
“My glasses,” the curly brown-haired boy snapped, his voice getting tighter and Tony could see his other hand flexing, trying not to clench up in a fist. He quickly looked over the boy and could see the hints in the hunched shoulders, darting eyes, a slightly swollen cheekbone, and the shifting feet. He knew, he just knew that this boy was used to being pushed, used to having things broken, and definitely not used to anyone fixing things for him.
Tony’s eyes cut over the brunet and met Steve’s, only mildly surprised when he found the blond boy looking back at him before glancing at Bruce speakingly. Steve was different, unlike Tony in so many ways, but he had the same sharp glance for reading people; something Tony had understood when he had watched Steve interact with Clint during the train ride. He was also not from the best of backgrounds, Tony had gathered when he had found out their initial plan to go nick some food from the cart if money fell short. The fact that it was for Clint and not Steve himself made Tony feel confused but also impressed; he didn’t have many friends of his own but he did silently know that he would love to have one like Steve.
Tony’s eyes went back to the brunet boy who was now putting his glasses back on carefully and he made a quick decision.
“Hey, they’re calling for the first-years,” he said, pointing at the large man around whom all the kids were gathering, “We should get going. You’re a first-year too, right?”
The boy jerked and frowned but nodded. Tony grinned, shuffling closer and angling himself towards him.
“Great, you can come with us then”
“I can go alone,” the boy shot back and Tony’s face fell but then he noticed Clint casually slinging an arm around the boy.
“Well, you can but we’re good company, mate,” he grinned, not pausing when the boy froze up and then relaxed, “C’mon, I’ll fix the glasses too.”
“I don’t need - I can do it.”
“Sure, but I’m the one with the uncoordinated feet and hands,” Clint shrugged and steered the boy along as they started moving towards the man who was calling for them, “Where I come from, there’s only one rule: You break it, you fix it. I’m Clint, by the way, just in case you were wondering who your charming new fixer was.”
“Is that what we’re calling the Human Accident now?” Bucky snorted and Tony walked beside Clint, resisting the urge to tug on his robes.
“What, Clint? It’s what I was always called, Bucky” Clint shot back.
“Do you really know to fix it?” Tony asked with a curious frown and Clint shot him a look, easily letting the new brunet slip from under his arm.
“I’m great at fixing, Stark,” he informed Tony imperiously.
Turned out, Clint was terrible at fixing.
“How are you so terrible at it?” Steve asked in an incredulous tone as Tony took the now deformed glasses from Clint and sat beside Bruce, the brunet.
“It’s a new spell! It just needs tweaking!” Clint retorted with fake indignation and Tony let the others bicker as he set pulled out his mini-tool kit from his pocket.
He set to work, carefully pulling and twisting at the metal, narrowed eyes focused as he unscrewed and screwed the joints with precision.
“That’s a nice kit,” someone commented quietly and Tony knew that it was Bruce, but he kept his eyes on the glasses.
“I like fixing things,” he shrugged with one shoulder and lifted the glasses to eye-level to see the balance, “And I break a lot of things, so it comes in use.”
“It’s a Muggle tool kit though,” Bruce observed and Tony blew at the glasses before smoothing out the straightened frame.
“Sometimes,” he said with a small smile, “it’s good to use your hands instead of magic.”
He looked up and saw Bruce regarding him with a curious but friendly look and pulled out his wand with a wink.
“But sometimes,” he said as he pointed it at the glasses, “it’s also good to use magic to give things a good finish. Reparo.”
The cracked glass healed with a quiet snick and Tony passed it over to Bruce with a smile.
“Thanks,” Bruce said softly and smiled back before they settled down to watch as the Hogwarts Castle came closer.
The first thing Tony noticed as he walked up the stairs to the entrance of the Great Hall was the painting of a young boy and his mother, lowest in the wall near the door. The boy was running around his sighing mother and winked at Tony when he caught his sight. Tony blinked and looked away.
The second thing he noticed was Professor Margaret Carter. The Head of Gryffindor who took them inside the Hall with a quick look at them. His godmother. Aunt Peggy. The urge to wave was high but Tony managed to swallow it and bumped his shoulder against Bruce lightly as they walked.
The third thing he noticed was that Steve was really good at finding fights.
“That’s not true,” Steve grit his jaw and cooly glared at the blond boy who was loudly arguing with his brother over the Houses, “You’re wrong.”
“Come now, friend,” the new blond snorted and waved around at the Gryffindor side of decoration, “Everybody knows that Gryffindor is the best House there is. And everyone knows that Slytherin is the House where wizards go wrong the most.”
“Thor,” the boy’s dark-haired brother warned in a soft low voice, bright green eyes eyeing Steve with tight suspicion but the blond brother didn’t pay mind.
“Slytherin,” Steve argued with his hands clenching for a second at his sides but his head held high, “is a House, an honourable House of this school. Just as every House, it had students of all kinds.”
“Yes, but do you not see the prejudiced and condescending history of theirs?” the boy, Thor, asked with an amused expression and raised eyebrow, and Tony watched Steve’s face smooth out into a cold mask.
“The only prejudice I see right now is from someone condemning an entire House because of a condescending belief,” Steve said and would have continued if Professor Carter hadn’t clinked her glass at the High Table.
Thor was pulled away by his brother to the front and Steve exhaled sharply, staring resolutely ahead.
“He’s the prince of Asgard,” a red haired girl commented and everyone turned to see her standing beside Clint, sharp jade eyes flicking towards them before gazing at the High Table, “Thor Odinson, and the other one is his adopted brother, Loki. They’re the first generation of their family to come to Hogwarts. They’re usually home-schooled but this time, Odin decided to widen their knowledge.”
“Who’re you?” Bucky asked, “And where did you come from? I didn’t even see you standing here before.”
“They have regular eye-checkups here, maybe that’ll help,” she replied and smiled slightly when Clint choked on a guffaw, “Natasha Romanoff, I heard golden boy argue with the prince and thought I’d see how that goes.”
“Well, it went well,” Clint shook his head and looked at Steve, who was staring up at the professors, “Was that really necessary? Not that it wasn’t awesome, but just -”
“I don’t like bullies,” Steve cut in with a quiet strength to his voice, “I don’t care where they’re from.”
Tony exchanged a look with Bruce and Bucky eyed his best friend but then Natasha spoke up, a thoughtful look smoothing into a smirk on her face.
“It doesn’t matter. It’s time to see where we go now,” she gestured to the front where Professor Carter stood up to begin the Sorting, “It’s time, boys.”
Tony breathed in and felt his heart beat faster as the first name was read out.
“Banner, Bruce,” Professor Carter read out and Bruce breathed out hard, his throat bobbing with a hard swallow before he walked forward on stiff legs.
“Ravenclaw,” Jane bet and Tony nodded in agreement, because he had seen Bruce eye the blue banners as they had entered the Hall.
The hat was silent for a while before it toppled a little and yelled.
Bruce straightened his robes and glasses with a shaky smile, slinking into the assigned table where people greeted him with polite nods and handshakes.
“Barnes, James” she read out after three students were welcomed into Slytherin and Gryffindor. Tony felt Steve stiffen next to him and risked a quick squeeze to his hand as they watched Bucky breath in deep before walking towards the stool.
“My bet’s on Hufflepuff,” Clint whispered and Steve shook his head as they watched the hat being placed on Bucky’s head.
“Gryffindor,” Steve quipped and Tony didn’t look back to see if Clint had nodded or was making a face because the hat opened its mouth.
The long table with red and gold decorations hanging above it exploded into cheers as Bucky grinned wide and got off the stool with shaky legs, shooting Steve a wave before he joined his new House amid back-slaps and exuberant handshakes.
“This sucks,” Clint muttered and almost tripped on his way to the stool, shooting out a peace sign when some students laughed.
“Gryffindor,” Jane bet as soon as Clint plopped onto the seat with a wink at Professor Carter.
“Hufflepuff,” Steve and Tony disagreed simultaneously, shooting each other small looks before looking back at Clint.
“Looks deceive,” Natasha commented and hummed, “I bet on the raven.”
“RAVENCLAW!” the hat yelled and all of them turned to stare at Natasha, who shrugged with a small smile.
Clint definitely tripped on his way to the table and hugged Bruce with a yell that got them more laughs before settling down next to him.
“Rhodes, James,” the Professor called out and Tony was busy remembering that Steve would come first, and then Natasha, and then him.
“Excuse me,” a voice said from behind him and Tony turned to see a dark eyed boy with a cropped fuzz and sharp jaw, “I have to go.”
“Ah, sure, good luck” Tony shuffled and moved aside to let the boy go, and stifled a yelp when the boy, James Rhodes, stepped on his foot in his hurry.
“Sorry,” the boy called out over his shoulder with a wince that smoothed over quickly before walking calmly to the stool.
“SLYTHERIN!” the hat yelled after a few minutes of silence and Tony blinked when the boy nodded at him as he walked towards the Slytherin table, a courteous smile on his face as he sat down.
When Steve’s name was called, Tony heard him mutter something under his breath but the boy didn’t look nervous, walking confidently towards the stool, his head held high and eyes calm.
Tony waited with bated breath as the hat took the longest time with him.
“Do you think something’s wrong?” Natasha asked from beside him and Tony paused before shaking his head.
“I think it’s finding the perfect House for him,” he whispered, “I bet it’s Gryffindor.”
“Could be,” Natasha agreed and watched as the hat opened its mouth wide, ready to yell out the name.
Tony heard a gasp from somewhere in the Gryffindor’s side and knew it was Bucky. There was a choking sound from the Ravenclaw’s table and he definitely knew that it was Clint.
“I’ll be damned,” Natasha whistled low and Tony could only watch with awe as Steve thanked the professor before calmly walking towards the Slytherin table, one look spared in the Gryffindor table’s direction before he settled down near Rhodes.
Somehow, Tony knew that the look wasn’t meant for Bucky. It was meant for another blond boy, a prince, who had already been sorted into Gryffindor.
Tony didn’t know if he should laugh hysterically or curse out loud; of course, Steve had purposefully chosen a House that was always looked down on by people who stuck to the legends and myths of the past. Of course, he had chosen the House where he would have to prove himself to the other Houses constantly, but maybe not much to his own housemates.
His eyes met Bucky’s and he saw the boy’s incredulous expression. He knew that it was mirroring his own.
“Romanoff, Natasha,” the professor called out and Tony watched her walk with confident steps.
She kept her eyes trained on no-one as the hat sat on her head for a minute before declaring its verdict.
Tony would have bet on Slytherin but as he watched Natasha slip into the Ravenclaw table, nudging Clint and sitting between him and Bruce, he wondered if he was holding on to ideas too hard.
“Stark, Anthony,” Professor Carter read out and Tony saw her eyes catch his gaze; a small flicker of a smile graced her lips before it vanished. He swallowed the lump in his throat and walked, the way Jarvis had taught him to when people were watching him. He didn’t flinch when the hat was placed on his head and trained his eyes at a distant wall.
“So,” he heard the hat speak, “Another Stark. It’s always interesting to see one of your minds.”
“Pick the right House, pick the right House…” Tony chanted under his breath and heard the hat chuckle.
“And what is the right House for you, hmm, Stark?” it asked, “Will it be Slytherin, where you will learn to achieve more than people expect you to? Or Gryffindor, where your need for adventure will always be welcomed? Or should you be a Ravenclaw, with the brains of yours, I suspect you’ll find it quite useful.”
Tony’s tongue lingered on Gryffindor, where his father would be proud of him. Or Ravenclaw, where he could be with Bruce and Clint, and could be called smart because of his colours.
But then an image flashed in his mind, the face of Jarvis talking to him through a train’s window.
Your House does not define your pride, Tony. You make your House proud.
Tony thought about the praise people showered on Gryffindor for its bravery. On Ravenclaw for its intelligence. The grudging respect for Slytherin’s ambition and shrewdness.
He thought about the way the hat had mentioned three Houses.
He thought about his mother, who was from the fourth House. Who loved him and told him so whenever she could.
He thought about Ana, who was from the House that was always talked about with a vague shrug. Ana, who was kind, protective, loyal, and good.
He thought about his deepest desire to be accepted and do good.
He breathed out and told his answer to the hat.
“Are you sure, young Stark?” the hat asked, “You will be accepted there, and find friends, but you will not find what your family has always sought.”
“I’m sure,” Tony said and the hat hummed in mild approval before it yelled and Tony felt his ears ring.
The table with black and yellow decorations hanging above it exploded into cheers and Tony heard a cheer from the professors’ table. He stood up and turned slightly to see the Head of Hufflepuff, Professor Janet Van Dyne, cheer with a broad smile, winking at him when he smiled back.
Tony walked on numb legs and shook hands with a horde of strangers who would become his housemates and even friends for the rest of his time in Hogwarts.
He sat down between a redhead girl who was busy talking to a pudgy boy beside her and a dark boy who moved to give Tony space.
“Hi, I’m Sam Wilson,” he said and extended a hand with a grin, “We’re gonna be friends and make Hogwarts cooler.”
“Tony,” Tony shook the boy’s hand and laughed involuntarily, “And, uh, thanks, I guess.”
“Stop guessing, Tony,” Sam clapped his back once and pointed at the food that begun appearing on the tables, “And start eating. My Uncle Holt says that the chicken is always good here. Don’t slack off, or you’re not gonna get the good parts, come on.”
Tony nodded and listened as Sam began rattling off about his uncle and family while they helped themselves to the food that kept refilling.
He felt himself laugh louder than he had before over the conversations that flew over the table and let his nerves die as he settled into the House he had chosen.
He figured that his journey had begun quite well after all.
People grow up, friendships happen, House talks come up, and the classes start. Who’s up for a continuation? :D