Aeons mean nothing to an immortal, death becomes an annoyance, life a distraction. When one is the Master of Death, they live only for the distraction. Yet even that, after a time too, loses its interest. Especially when one lives in a world that can’t help but repeat itself. He had been painted as a Dark Lord on several occasions, a Saviour in more. But the wars were always the same no matter what the conflict was over. Blood purity was common theme much to the immortal’s dismay, secrecy was another, muggle conflicts affected the wizarding world more and more as the years went on, until secrecy ran out. And then they were the enemy. That had been an interesting century. But still, time went on, conflicts and technology and magic evolved and changed before reverting back to form only to progress in a different direction. And people came and went like mayflies on a summer wind, lost before they were ever truly found.
Tired and lonely and bored the Immortal left, trying to die in the only way left.
He stepped through the veil.
Only that did not take him on, no it took him somewhere new. And the Immortal watched as worlds so like his own yet not came about only to die once more. He saw walls built and giants roam, he saw the dead walk and the people fight. He watched as the planet heated and storms fly across the continents. He watched children grow and parents die. He watched for a time as a man played with time, he watched his tragedy’s and laughs and envied for a moment the old being’s ability to live despite it all. Only to remember that one day he too would fall to deaths embrace. While he would not.
The dark-haired Immortal with emerald glowing eyes walked through worlds always the same and never changing, admiring the beauty of the chaos and understanding more than any being ever should. The cloaked man with the stone choker and lily tattoo was a tale heard in most worlds, for if one stays long enough in a single reality, they are bound to make an impression.
And then he came to this reality. So like his own yet not. The Immortal knew power, he knew souls, and something called to him here, something he had need of, something he had yet to find, something that not yet was but would be. And for the first time in aeons the immortal stayed, he intervened in tiny increments, he took off his cloak and he tried to live, to live and to find the thing he was looking for.
After all, what is a soul without a mind to guide it?
“I like the cape… its very Gryffindor” Vision turned from the scene, from Ultron’s end, from his first true kill. He turned to find a man standing there, a boy at first glance but so much more beneath it. He stood at 5 9, his long ebony hair cascading over his shoulders but his eyes. His eyes shone like emeralds, of the deepest green, of life itself. He wore black jeans and a white tee and in any other situation would have appeared as an average teen. But Vision could feel the power within the small form, so like his own that rested within his mind, all resting on a stone that appeared to be embedded at the tip of his clavicle, barely hidden by his clothing. But it wasn’t the power, the restless energy that pulled Vision in, no it was those eyes.
Visions stared down at the being before him, in mild awe and confusion, before responding, “Thank you, I think, it was my friends.” The young man, no, not young, definitely not young but a man none the less looked at him with knowing eyes and an amused smile.
“The Prince of Asgard can be a good friend but beware of the nargles as the moon would say”
Completely befuddled Vision stared down at the being only for its smile to widen, “I apologise, its been a long time since I’ve spoken to someone else as myself, I only mean that it is always best to keep a clear head and to see things as they are, not as you wish them to be.” Vision nodded his head in acceptance of that advice, still staring down at the being before him.
“You are not what you appear.” The being smiled at the statement, returning it in kind, “and neither are you.”
“What are you?” Its smile turned self-deprecating as he shrugged his shoulders.
“I am what I am, experience and knowledge and things that not even the aeons have thought to teach me,” his hand shifted to his chest a finger glancing across the silver stone that felt so like his own. The being caught his glance of course but merely smirked at him with a knowing gleam in his eyes. “And what are you, Vision?”
Thinking quite seriously, Vision looked back out towards the horizon, “I do not know yet.” The laugh that came was hoarse and unsteady as if the being hadn’t done so for a very long time, the look he received with it was one of longing and understanding dappled with affection and experience.
“You are very old.” The being once again didn’t miss a beat, “And you are very young.”
“Will you teach me?” Vision asked suddenly realising that this being knew so much about what he was, how like him he was only for him to shake his head, slight sadness tinging his gaze as he looked out towards the horizon. “Listen to your creator, he is right something is coming, and I fear this world shall be at the centre of it all, you will be at the centre of it all.” The being turned to leave but Vision didn’t want him to, not yet, not so soon after finding him but he knew, intrinsically that he could not stop him.
“Will I see you again?”
The boy’s face turned back to him a question on his lips
“Do you want to?”
“You are quite unlike anything I have seen before,”
That self-deprecating smile shadowed the beings face once again, and Vision wanted nothing more than to wipe it away, “Well you were only born yesterday.” Without waiting for a response, the being disappeared from view leaving Vision alone in the clearing, hoping that their next meeting would come sooner rather than later.
All he could see was red, as Wanda’s magic barged through and into him sending him downwards through the floors of the compound, only for his descent to slow as someone caught his form in a pillow of soft magics, so unlike those of Strange or Wanda, no it felt of the earth and of…
Turning his head, he saw the green-eyed being once more, a sad expression on his face as he watched him, and Vision knew why.
Wanda was the one here who was most like him, still learning and growing and she knew at least a little of the stone, of the knowledge and life it held. She was the one he had grown closest to, well other than Tony, his creator, his parent in so many ways. And she had done this, had betrayed him, had hurt him when all he had done was try to protect her. She was young but he was younger and yet she couldn’t understand, no, she chose not to, and he couldn’t understand why. For the first time, Vision felt an emotion he had yet to feel, it was dark and cold and heavy, and it overwhelmed him. He was only brought out of it by the being’s hand, its touch soft and soothing and unlike anything he had ever felt. The being cupped his cheek and held his gaze and those knowing eyes only sought to reassure and care. Vision didn’t fight the instinct to push back into it, an instinct he didn’t even know he had.
“Is it always this painful?” The question escaped him without permission, and he closed his eyes, not truly wanting an answer. But still it came.
“Sometimes, and sometimes it’s worse and sometimes it’s less, but pain is a part of living, just as happiness and anger, you cannot appreciate them without feeling despair.”
Vision just took a breath, his hand raising to take the beings as it rested on his cheek before opening his eyes and swallowing, forcing back the pain his mind was so unaccustomed to.
The being smile was sad and soft but still full of that affection he had seen the first time. An affection he could not understand. “Hello, dear friend.”
“Are we?” He couldn’t help the question, he could never help questioning this being, it was as if everything he was, everything within him needed to know anything he could find out.
The man cocked his head as he had the time before, amusement twinkling behind the sympathy, “Are we not?”
Looking back up to the carnage his fall had caused, had this being not been here, not been watching… he looked back with a sense of question and trepidation. He didn’t need to ask.
“I am always watching, though I am afraid you will not be the focus of my watch for a little while, another’s soul must be preserved and yours is not yet in peril. Do you remember what I told you?”
“I don’t forget” Vision never forgot, he couldn’t. The man's expression was half a grimace and half amusement. “Ah the perils of a digital mind, none the less my friend see things as they are, if you do not then we will lose before it begins.” The magic re oriented Visions body slowly, allowing him once again to take his feet.
“Perhaps if we are friends, you will not wait until dire peril to visit again?” The being merely chuckled in response before turning away once more. “Perhaps… but before then I will call for you and you must come, for the soul I see that must be saved cannot be saved, not entirely by my own hands.” With that, the being disappeared into the dust and Vision had to refocus himself on the present and not something he could not change.
The call came and rage swelled, and sadness sat on the fringes.
This is what they had done, this is how they had left his creator, bloodied, bruised and freezing.
The call had come not even a full day after their last encounter but Vision had heeded the being's words, following it before F.R.I.D.A.Y.S distress call even came through, he was already on the doorstep, had watched the Panther and soldiers fly away leaving this mess behind.
And Vision couldn’t help but think what would have become of Stark had he not already been so close, if he had not already replaced the Ark reactor. If the green-eyed being hadn’t been there to surround the man in magic to keep him there, to stop the man from dying, from his soul departing.
“Thank you.” The being grimaced at the words but nodded in acceptance nonetheless levitating the unconscious genius as they both exited the bunker and headed out towards the jet through the freezing winds of the Siberian tundra. The being gently placed the genius upon a stretcher strapping him in before turning back to Vision
“You’ll need to get him back soon, the magic will not hold forever.” But it will hold for as long as you need went unsaid because Vision knew this man was so much more capable than he let on. He was so much more than any being he had met so far. He stepped forward placing a hand on the being’s cheek as the other had done to him a mere day before, holding that aged gaze with more ease than he had held any others.
“I mean it, thank you for saving him.” And for the first time in Vision's presence, the man looked unsure, uncertain with how to proceed. Unknowingly the being mimicked Vision's own reactions, clasping the hand that held contact with his cheek before giving Vision his first truly warm smile. Before breaking away and stepping back to gaze at the downed genius.
“He is worth more than this universe will ever know, and would do things for this world that no other would dare. He is unique and his soul is strong, protect him Vision because no one else will.” And with that the being vanished once again leaving nothing but the memory of his presence behind.
Vision got a three-week reprieve before Tony began to question him. Of how he had known to come, of how he had known exactly where, of how he had even survived, and Vision tried not to answer, to say anything about the man. He didn’t know why but he felt the need to hoard his presence, to keep the green-eyed being's existence to himself in the same way Thor would hoard his twinkies. Yet not even a day later the man ambushed him again, with F.R.I.D.A.Y. displaying a video of their interaction behind him as he watched him with mild disappointment and confusion.
So Vision told him what little he knew, of their small interactions and what he felt in the beings presence.
“And you trusted him, Vision for all you knew he could have been leading you to a trap, you could have been hurt, or worse!” The concern was endearing on the genius and softened his response considerably. After all not many would tell the person who saved their life off for risking their own safety.
“Tony there is nothing about him that means you nor I any ill will, after all, how could I not follow the advice of a man whose only true words have been to trust in you and to see things with a clear mind.” That response gobsmacked the inventor at least for a little while, only for the man to dive back into research and searching for the green-eyed being in-between everything else the man was needed for. A week later, when Vision found the Genius hunched over the kitchen table within the tower, cradling a cup of coffee in-between a pair of oil-stained hands, Vision asked the question that had been building inside him.
“Why do you want to find him?”
The inventor looked up at him, his eyes almost as tired as the beings but his tone was sure and true. “Because you trust him, and you miss him though you barely know him. A man like that is worth knowing, is worth finding.” Vision smiled down at the inventor, touched by his trust in Visions judgement, despite his failings with Wanda. But then again had he failed with her? He had never truly let his guard down in her presence. Not how he had with Tony at least. He had always watched her with an objective eye despite his fondness.
“He will come when he is needed, or when it is time, not before and not after. Tony, he is a being above even my own capabilities and by my reckoning older than even the likes of Odin. He will not be found unless he wants to be. Working yourself to exhaustion helps no one, Tony” the man sighed in resignation before nodding his acceptance of the fact, but before he packed it in, he called out to F.R.I.D.A.Y. with a final order on the subject. “Baby girl run a facial recognition subroutine with Vision’s admirer’s profile. Let us know if he does ever turn up.” Shaking his head at the man’s antics, he helped the engineer up and towards his suites, getting the man to his bed was half the battle in getting the genius to sleep after all.
Vision was kicked out of the tower not long after that. Well perhaps 'kicked out' was too strong a phrase for it. Strongly manhandled and manipulated into partaking in the tradition known as backpacking. Though according to his research most who did so, did not do it with a gold card to Tony Starks finances and a master key for every Stark property on the globe. And there were plenty to choose from. He had settled on England as a destination. Partly out of curiosity about the man who inspired the coding of his predecessor but also because of the green-eyed man who spoke with an obvious British lilt to his accent. It may have been wishful thinking on his part that anything of the creature could originate from here. Yet there was something comforting in hearing that lilt around him as he explored the country and learned to live.
It was there he met the green-eyed being again. He found him, sitting on his counter in the Stark residence waiting for him, a warm, kind expression that hid quite a bit of uncertainty. Vision didn’t comment on it. Rather he made the being tea as he turned on the radio, allowing the subtle tones of classical FM to roll over them as he enjoyed the complexity of the cord structure and the warmth in his hands. They didn’t speak on this occasion, content to just be in the moment, to be in the others company without peril or confusion. It was one of Vision's most comfortable afternoons, one he enjoyed immensely.
The second time it happened he found the being in his sitting room, a book in his hands, one Vision had yet to read. And it was as if the being knew. He had merely raised a brow before cocking his head in invitation. An invitation Vision readily accpeted as the being flipped back to the title page. That evening was filled with his green-eyed man’s voice settling over him as his presence curled around his form as he gently drifted off to sleep. He had woken the next morning with the sofa’s comforter placed over him, and a small ache in his chest, that the man had once again left. And so it went on for weeks then months where his being would return with few words of his own but a presence and peace that only calmed the power and the restlessness within Vision, yet left him longing for the man with more fervour than he had ever thought himself capable of.
The twelfth time, the twelfth time was not so peaceful, as Wanda had come to his door, he tried to send her away but she had pushed. So rather than inviting her in, he had taken her for a walk. Only for the two of them to be attacked on the street by two hostiles intent on one thing. The Mind stone. Yet when the female attempted to take it, his being appeared, ripping her away and sending her flying sharing only a glance with the android that told him their moment of peace had ended and Tony’s inevitability was here. War was coming, and so was his peril.
It was on a battlefield in Wakanda. That was where his being finally let himself be seen, be known as Vision saw his death coming and had pleaded for it to stop all this senseless death. It was as she went to cast to try that he came, not allowing the witch to even twitch in his presence as he held Visions face and calmed his fear.
“Not today, and Not ever, I have waited too long to find you to lose you so soon.” The desperation and determination of the man’s tone left him unable to deny the being anything, but unsure as to how they could end this all without the mind stones destruction. But they didn’t have time to converse, didn’t have time to plan because Thanos was there, he was there, and they had lost the chance to destroy it. They had lost their chance at victory.
The being turned to face the giant and he was so small. How had Vision not realised how small, how thin, how frail the being was before. Before Thanos, he was like an ant before goliath. Yet he stood between himself and the Titan, Wanda’s form pushed aside her expression filled with awe and fear in equal measure.
But she wasn’t looking at the Titan.
Thanos looked at the being, his face a mask of feigned concern as if he were truly looking at a child. “It is pointless to stand between myself and the being you protect.” The carnage behind Thanos, the decimated forms of the Avengers should have been proof enough of that fact. But the being didn’t move rather he cocked his head. Just as he had to Vision all those years ago, holding no fear, never any fear.
“As it is pointless to attack those I protect, Titan” Thanos sighed in resignation and Vision tensed to move, only to find himself unable to do so. The being knew him too well. So, all he could do was watch, watch and fear as the Titan moved his hand as the force of the power stone swept towards them in an unyielding wave. The being didn’t move out of the way, didn’t seek to avoid the blow. Merely raising his hand allowing a white glow to surround them both negating the power stones force in its entirety.
Vision was not the only one stunned as he realised his allies and fellow fallen Avengers had begun to regain themselves, only to see what appeared to them as a child negate that which they could not fight with so little effort. The Titan merely narrowed his eyes before the ground beneath them began to shake, rocks and stones and roots of reality began to reform around them, yet the being just tilted his head as the stone turned to dust while the branches and roots turned to silk before it could even begin to touch them. The Titan advanced and the being met him step for step until it lunged towards his being who disappeared with an audible pop only to appear above the Titan as he fell on to its back springing behind him. As if he were merely playing with him…
The Titan's focus was no longer on Vision, as if he were not his entire purpose for coming here. No, they were fixed on the being with such focus and frustration… the being now stood opposite him having the Titan's complete attention on him. Once again, he allowed a small smile of amusement to flutter across his lips, a knowing gleam entering his gaze. And that was too much for Thanos.
The Titan flung himself at the being apparently deciding that if the being could void the use of his stones, physically beating the child into submission would be the next best thing. And Vision for the first time in his life could understand his creator’s penchant for swearing when he felt useless, as it was the only thing Vision was physically capable of doing right now. But he refrained and watched, and could only feel awe and fear, as the being played with the Titan, as a cat would a mouse. It was only when a green glow surrounded Thanos’s hand that the being acted with any type of intent as he appeared with a crack before Vision once more, holding his hand aloft.
“Accio” No sooner had he said the word, had the five stones been ripped away from the Titans gauntlet, only for them to hover above the being’s hand, the five orbiting each other in perfect harmony. The Titan froze his expression a mix of rage and shock.
“What are you?” and Vision didn’t need to see the beings face to know it would hold a smile.
“That’s not important, not to you at least.” With ease, the being flicked his hand until the five stones hovered before him. Thanos went to advance only for the being to lift his other hand, freezing him in place, the action was so relaxed, so casual as if it had been only an absentminded gesture.
“Power, reality, space, time, soul” he paused over the last one, picking it out of the line-up and frowning at it in discontent before taking it in hand. Every single one of his allies tensed, knowing all too well the effects the stones had on one who held them directly. But when the being took hold of it he merely continued to frown at it before flinging it back into the line up with a look of disgust, “They are rather good imitations of the real ones, I’ll grant this universe that much.”
“You lie!” the Titan roared, his fury overtaking his usual calm façade only for the being to look at him pityingly.
“Oh, you are naïve to think the creators would place all such objects of power into one universe, and the same in every single universe… it would create chaos. No even they would not be so foolish as to allow the mortals within their creation to have that much power. No, they were separated into different universes, each telling a different story some close to the truth, some so far from reality it has become unrecognisable.”
Looking up the being met Thanos’ eyes, “These are mere trinkets to true power.” With that said the being clenched his fist reducing all five stones to dust without blinking an eye.
A look of despair flashed over the Titans eyes, though his tone spoke only of rage as he responded, “You have doomed us all, the universe will destroy itself as life consumes it all.” The being once more cocked his head watching the Titan with a look of consideration before responding.
“Possibly, but as a good friend once told another, a thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts… and take it from someone who knows, lasting is not all it’s cracked up to be.”
Before he could respond a flash of lightning struck the Titan as Thor barrelled towards them sinking his axe into Thanos’s chest. But Vision wasn’t watching that, without the stones and his allies finally jumping into action the Titans demise was now a foregone conclusion.
Rather his focus was consumed by the being who was now crouched before him, releasing him from his paralysis as he took his face once more into his hands.
“You won” Vision stated, the statement redundant yet still so statistically impossible. But the being just smiled that soft affectionate smile while nodding in agreement. “Well, I wasn’t about to let your soul go, Not now, not ever.” Vision just accepted his words for what they were mimicking the gesture, his own hands upon the being’s face. “Will you stay?”
The being smiled down at him, this time full of joy and the mischief he had only seen in glimpses before, “I suppose, I do have so much to teach you after all.”
The being released him standing once more and holding a hand out with a silent offer.
Vision took it without hesitation and held onto it with a strength even he hadn’t known he possessed. He turned towards his allies who were now watching the two in a mix of confusion, awe and fear. Only before he could say anything a portal appeared revealing a wasteland and five figures to walking through it, two of them arguing while the other three watched with confusion.
But Vision only had eyes for one. The five froze at the sight that met them. Their allies surrounding the Titan’s corpse while a pair stood off to the side segregated as it seemed from the rest. Tony zeroed in on the pair recognition flashing through his gaze as a grin spread across his features as he advanced on the two.
“Vis, I see you survived and found the green-eyed gorgeous thing who stole your heart and saved my arse.” The genius crowed looking between the two expectantly. When silence reigned, Tony side-eyed the both of them before prompting, “Come on son of my soul, this is where you introduce your avenging angel.”
Vision went to reply only to hesitate, his hesitation broken only by the being’s laughter, true laughter accompanied by an amused gleam. “You’ve just realised huh?” Vision just nodded in agreement looking quite chagrined at his oversight.
“I seemed to have overlooked that social cue quite spectacularly.” Turning he ignored his creator for a moment, his entire attention focused solely on the being before him, his being.
“What’s your name?” Vaguely Vision heard his creators scoff of disbelief but that didn’t matter, all that mattered was the warmth he found in those emerald eyes. Those eyes holding that affection he would never find anywhere else, never wanted to find anywhere else.
“It’s Harry, Harry Potter.”