Harry had been known for killing a shit ton of people during the second wizarding war against Voldemort. All of those were without a doubt part of the dark support, be it death eaters or just plain support in the form of donated galleons. That didn’t make it easier to live with, he had killed people, he was a monster and at nights he could hear their screams over and over again. Nightmares plagued his mind, day and night. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, loud noises; following shadows became the bane of his existence. But worse were the fact that in the midst of the bloody battle of Hogwarts Harry James Potter had lost his anchors, his two best friends, to the suffocating dark forces. Ronald and Hermione Weasley (-Granger, Hermione had insisted) lay buried together next to his parents, according to Molly seeing as he never had bothered going on the funeral. Any funeral actually, he hadn’t had the power to even rise from his bed for several months after the battle had ended. The media had slandered him momentarily but relented when the forceful support arose in his stead.
When Harry finally managed to floo his ass to the Weasley´s he was emotionally dulled. Or so the psychologist had told him, along some bullshit about how suppressing his emotions weren’t good for him and how she was there for him. Two days later that conversation was leaked (from an anonymous source) to the Daily Prophet, unfortunately for them he hadn’t trusted her nor had he told her anything of value.
That was the last time the wizarding world as a whole saw Harry James Potter, the-boy-who-lived or the-man-who-conquered as they had later had taken to calling him.With the exceptions of his left over family, he was known in the British Wizarding Community as the Man-Who-Left.
He found himself in Italy, how he had gotten there was muddled with alcohol and numbing drugs. Admittedly blending the two were not the greatest idea he has ever had but what had happened was in the past. Living in the present was the only thing he could do without upsetting long buried memories of the golden trio. All in the past, never to be remembered, he was alone. He had survived meanwhile they had not and his unborn godson died with them. Damn them for risking their unborn child. He had been bitter for a time but it had transformed into anger after the fact had slipped out about Hermione´s hidden pregnancy. And it was a new kind of arsehole that claimed this addiction was due to them but he had and he did. Drowning away everything until his heart seemed to numb.
He was alone.
He had drunk and drugged himself into a depressing state for almost three years before he finally stopped. He just stopped, stopped drinking and stopped shooting up. When he opened his eyes sober he saw how miserable his life was, he knew it was time to stop pitying himself and grown up. God, he was almost twenty-five! This was childish and arrogant, what would Hermione say? And for the first time the question wasn’t met by the answer “she is dead!” He would be fine, he had picked himself up after worse and it was time to do it again, no big deal. He was still alone but he would make it through this.
He started with getting his
education straight, both magical and muggle. Seeing as he didn’t know if he
would ever step a foot in the wizarding world again and didn’t want to live on
the Potter-Black-Peverell fortune. It was only logical to get a muggle diploma.
He got three actually, one in medicine and the other two in science and he was
ever thankful for the confundus charm, wit sharpening potion and time-turners.
He managed to take his NEWTs with a good overall grade but he was more proud of his muggle education, he wasn’t ever going back to the wizarding world so why bother being proud of something he would never use anyway? The loneliness had lessened slightly but he was still alone and he was still getting through it.
He was fixing this, this mess his life had become.
He ended up with a job, an apartment and a stray cat that somehow reminded him of some unholy merging of Hedwig and Hermione.
His job was ordinary and for almost two and a half months it stayed boring but fulfilling. Until he somehow got himself noticed when standing in front of a oil-stained, washed out jeans and band t-shirt wearing man. Scolding said man in proper lab etiquette and how could you possibly think this is safe?, what were you thinking?, what if…? And what would you have done if this killed you, you might not think so but your life is precious!
He had left said man standing there, jaws to the floor and with a pretty strawberry blonde giggling away in the door opening. The next day he had been promoted, to work directly under Stark, the owner of the company (Stark Industries) and boy was it a surprise to see the same reckless man standing in his new office, but this time wearing an impeccable suit and sun-glasses.
He got to know Pepper pretty well when not gliding around in his new position, making sure everything was going as it should in the R&D department. And why the arsehole kept the department while still doing everything himself was beyond Harry. He was not the only one wondering.
He once asked Miss Potts (at the time that was all she was to him) why Arse—Stark had chosen to promote him after the scolding he had given the big (in the company as well as ego) boss instead of firing him. Her answer was only “you impressed him” but Harry knew there was something more to that then what was said. Nonetheless he let it go and continued with his new found task, if you asked Harry he didn’t think he sucked as much as he thought he would.
There were days that were almost as bad as the days after the last battle. This was one of them; heart-wrenching screams had the leading role of his dreams along with the putrid smell of blood and death. The chaotic battlefield showed itself before his eyes during the waking hours and every shadow that moved was registered as a threat. He didn’t show it to anybody, he hid the signs of decline in his body when his memories ruled him. Both the arsehole and Pepper were worried about him (Hogan and James soon joined them). But as soon as it had come the nightmares left and life went back to normal, at least a semblance of it.
Harry had noticed the worried looks his new friends gave him when they thought he wouldn’t notice. And wasn’t that weird, he had friends again! Never had he thought it would be possible for him again. Not after Ron and Hermione but maybe even Harry was worth a second chance.
Change came with time and when Harry turned twenty-eight he went to the American wizarding quarters in search for a psychologist, anonymously of course. With coloured muggle contact lenses and died, long hair. It worked like a dream and all of a sudden (or so it seemed even though it took month before the pressure that were on his shoulders lessened) he got better and could truly claim to be fine.
The psychologist, Mrs Fable, said that nothing would go away or disappear but that they could at least try to lessen his pain. It did, he got better, healthier and he even tried dating again. The first tries didn’t turn out well but considering how his previous dates had ended that wasn’t a surprise. Maybe his magic was waiting for someone special, or so Hermione had said and at the time it seemed ludicrous but now he thought maybe there was some truth in it.
So he waited and maybe this time he would not be alone.
20th of May 2009 was the day he thought his heart would stop. The fear gripping his heart disappeared as fast as it had come and gave way to anger. That arsehole had dared to be kidnapped in a magic no zone.
That bloody fucker.
Pepper was holding strong and all Harry could do was ruling his (now dear) R&D department in his royal arsehole highness absence.
That bloody fucker better come back or he would kick that sorry arse to kingdom come.
Three month later Tony Stark was returned to them safe and somewhat hole, a bit broken but they would help him heal the ragged edges or God be damned.
Harry knew then that he wasn’t alone and it was awful to know that his feelings would not be returned. But he had seen how Stark went after woman so how was it possible that he had a chance?
October was a… pain in the ass. The betrayal of Stane didn’t hit Harry hard but it was obvious how utterly shattered Tony was and that hurt Harry the most.
The months after were awkward, Tony because of the things that had happened around him (to him) and Harry because of his new feeling for the arsehole. One was easy to fix, the other not so much and Harry felt his heart piercing when he saw Tony with Pepper. He knew that it was not his place to interrupt but o h did he want to, somehow he got through it and if his heart was worse for wear then he was the only one to know.
He resigned from Stark Industries that year.
Or he tried; Tony wouldn’t have it and instead put him on paid leave for the moment.
Harry was kind off lonely, he didn’t go to work hell he didn’t even go out of bed sometimes. It was pathetic and the most terrifying thing that had happened to him in a long time. It was a state that was dangerously close to how he had been directly after the war had ended and he had sworn of relapsing.
He returned to the wizarding world briefly, talked to his psychologist and took care of his stray cat. It was almost routine, when one day the doorbell rang.
Outside the door stood the arsehole and Harry could feel a twitch develop in his eye.
Was he ever going to be left alone?
He still opened the door and the moment later he argued if that had such a wise decision, until his heart said screw that.
Tony had embraced him in a somewhat fierce hug and Harry could see Pepper stand behind, her delicate hand waving before she went towards the elevator. Traitor, he thought, fore how could she leave him with the bastard?
When he finally managed to get them both into him apartment Tony had at least let him go partially, in favour of his building curiosity surely. That sounded bitter and he probably was at the present.
“I have been told that I am awfully stupid for a genius,” Tony said abruptly.
“Pepper are right you are amazingly stupid sometimes,” Harry couldn’t help but agree.
That was the only thing he got to say before Tony kissed him.
Tony kissed him.
What the fuck?!?
“Don’t hold back, yo are giving me a complex,” Tony said when he ended the kiss. Harry was still unresponsive in his shock, thought swivelling around his head. Chaos ensured.
It ended with three poor pillow dead, from enraged pillow fighting (Harry) and frantic hands trying to hold them still (Tony).
“Why did you kiss me?”
“Why do people kiss each other?” that earned him another pillow in the face, that arsehole. “I like you.” He said, “I might even be in love with you.”
Harry was in a slight shock at what Tony had told him and then this time it was him kissed Tony. “I might be in love with you too,” he said happily.
They grinned like loons for a while and that was when Harry James Potter wasn’t alone anymore. The sky was finally brightening for him.
For better or worse they would make this work, that the raven promised himself.