AN: So this was just an idea. Takes place in earth 16, the Young Justice cartoon, for the batfam, with some of my own assumptions about the timeline. This is just after Goblet of fire for Harry. Enjoy!
Harry was exhausted. He hadn't gotten much sleep since Cedric was killed, it was just so hard to close his eyes. What happened in the graveyard was horrendous and awful, but somehow nightmares managed to make it even worse. They twisted everything and left him even more tired than when he went to sleep. Somehow he didn't think Summer at the Dursley's would be any better than Hogwarts, yet he was on his way back to Surrey with his uncle, just like every Summer before this one.
Harry's green eyes stared out the passenger side window without seeing, he didn't even register the suspicious and annoyed glances his uncle kept flashing him from the driver's side. He was impervious to the tension in the air and failed to register the moments when his uncle opened his mouth, then closed it hastily.
The boy was so out of it, he did not even seem to notice when the car had stopped and been turned off. Vernon cleared his throat, but that gained no reaction from the teen. Rolling his eyes, the man popped the trunk and got out of the car. The slamming of the driver's side door jarred Harry from his contemplation with a jerk. Harry's eyes followed his uncle as the man made his way into the house without offering any help with the heavy trunk in the back.
Sighing, Harry opened his door, slamming it a little more aggressively than necessary on his way to the back. He came up with a dilemma as soon as he reached it. The trunk was pretty heavy, and Uncle Vernon had helped him heft it in so they could leave Kings Cross, and the wizards there, as fast as possible. But now there was no one to help him get it out, as Harry doubted his uncle would be willing to help a second time. He stared at the trunk for a couple seconds, hoping maybe somehow it would get lighter. He fingered the wand in his pocket, but a lighter trunk probably wasn't worth the expulsion he was sure to get for doing magic in the middle of Privet Drive. Just as he was debating the pros and cons of expulsion or asking the Dursleys for help, a hand cut into his vision, waving back and forth to get his attention.
The tan hand was enough to jolt Harry again, and he realized the person connected to the hand was speaking.
"Hey, you okay, dude? Do you need some help with your stuff?" The accent was American, and that was enough of a surprise to make Harry look up. Nothing was ever abnormal on Privet Drive, and someone talking to him, especially an American, was definitely abnormal.
"Yeah," Harry got out, still not moving to grab the trunk. "Thanks."
"So, you must be Harry?" The stranger enquired. He was leaning a hip against Vernon's car carelessly. He was a little older than Harry. His blue eyes gave Harry a once over, probably taking in the scruffy clothes and the deep bags under his eyes, Harry assumed. This appraisal caused Harry to self-consciously fix the hair over his scar, which, of course, drew the stranger's eyes to Harry's forehead.
"Yeah," Harry answered after a second. The stranger looked nice enough. His smile was wide and genuine, despite Harry's lack of participation in the conversation. He also seemed to dismiss the scar as soon as he saw it, which no magical person ever did. "Who're you?"
"Richard Grayson, but call me Dick," he stuck his hand out, and Harry took it cautiously. Dick had a firm handshake, but he let go pretty fast and made to get the trunk. "So, we better get this inside. It's almost dinner time, let's hope Aunt Petunia made something good."
Dick laughed at his own comment and bumped Harry's shoulder with his own good naturedly, as if they were sharing a good joke. But Harry was sort of extremely confused and took a step away from the car, and from Dick.
"Aunt Petunia?" Harry squeaked out, because what the hell was going on.
Dick's eyebrows drew together in confusion and his smile wilted. "Did Uncle Vernon not tell you about me? You guys had a long car ride, I kind of assumed he'd mention it. I mean, he isn't the most talkative when it comes to things not about his work or his car, but I assumed he'd mention finding a long lost nephew."
Harry had no idea how to politely explain to the man he had just met that Vernon Dursley would probably rather eat his own shoe than talk to Harry, never mind actually tell him anything important. But Dick seemed to take his silence as agreement.
"Well, I guess it makes sense with how little they talk about you," Dick continued thoughtfully, and while the ghost of a smile was still there his tone grew more distant. "I didn't even know you lived here till this morning."
Dick smiled again as he reached for one of the trunk's handles. "Well, I'm Dick, kind of a long lost nephew, but I can tell you about it later. Why don't we get your stuff upstairs?"
Harry nodded, still kind of dazed from everything going on, and he grabbed the other handle and lifted. Using his free hand, Harry grabbed Hedwig's cage, where she was sleeping, and Dick did a double take.
"Is that an owl?" He asked curiously, and Harry was reminded that this was a muggle and that muggles don't see owls everyday.
"Yeah she is," Harry answered shortly, knowing how much Uncle Vernon despised her. Dick had seemed all right so far, but anyone who claimed relation to the Dursley's had to have something wrong with them.
"She's beautiful," Dick said honestly, and Harry thought that maybe he was being too hard on Dick. After all, he himself was related to the Dursleys.
"Thanks," Harry actually felt some real warmth in his voice and Dick felt it too, if his answering smile was any indication. Harry was feeling the weight of the trunk in his other arm and lifted it slightly to remind Dick they were bringing it somewhere. "But can we move, it's heavy?"
Dick nodded and, slamming the trunk closed, he lead the way into the house, and up the stairs. Harry felt bad because it certainly felt like Dick was carrying most of the weight, but he seemed to have more muscle mass, so it must have evened out.
"I'm assuming this is your room, since it's the only one not being used?" Dick stopped in front of the door to Dudley's second bedroom, no, Harry's room. Harry noticed that the locks on the outside had been removed and assumed it was for the benefit of their guest.
"Yeah, it is."
Dick opened the door with his free hand and shouldered his way inside. They left the trunk on the floor and Harry carefully put Hedwig's cage on the dresser where she normally perched. Dick was stretching out his back with his hands in the air. Harry noticed how his sad, barren room was being observed. It was empty in a way that most lived in rooms weren't. There was nothing on the walls, no knickknacks lying around. Just an empty space where Harry stayed over the summer.
"I kinda assumed you had a cat, or a dog, in the cage, because of the cat flap, but I guess an owl could use it," Dick mused as he finished stretching.
"It wasn't for her," Harry said shortly, not wanting to explain the gritty and painful details on why it was there. He debated opening up his trunk to get Hedwig's food, but realized he didn't know what was on top and couldn't risk letting the muggle see any magical artifacts. "So, why are you here?"
"Why are any of us really here?" Dick asked with a grin, as he plopped into Harry's desk chair, without asking. At Harry's frown and crossed arms, Dick raised his hands placatingly. "Kidding, kidding." He frowned. "You might want to sit down, kiddo, it isn't a fun story."
Harry remained standing, stubbornly looking down on him. And he had no idea what urged him to say it, but the moment Harry opened his mouth he couldn't stop all his bitterness from everything that had happened in the past year, no his whole life, coming out. It felt good.
"What, did your parents die too?"
The moment the words left his lips, before he even really noticed the negative impact they had on the other, he regretted them. But when Harry noticed Dick stiffen, the grin falling off his pretty face, Harry felt even more miserable than he had before.
"Yeah, actually. They did," Dick answered softly.
Harry feels his legs start to shake and moisture wells up behind his eyes, so he falls back to sit on his bed with his elbows on his knees and the heels of his hands digging into his eyes. His brain was having trouble processing what he had said, and Harry was horrified that he could have said such a thing. His parents would be so ashamed. He could see Hermione's disapproving look, and Ron's incredulous stare. Dumbledore would be so ashamed. He was a failure and everyone he cared about died, and now he was taking it out on someone else and he was a horrible person.
"Sorry. I'm so… I don't… I'm… sorry… I didn't … mean that" Harry took a deep breath and pressed harder into his eyes to stop any moisture. After a few seconds of breathing Harry felt composed enough to form a sentence. "You should go. I'm sorry."
He must not have been composed enough since his voice came out as a whisper. It must have been loud enough that Dick heard it because the chair creaked as Dick got up. But the bed dipped down as Dick sat next to Harry and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. Rubbing up and down his back as Harry broke down.
"Just let it out, Harry. It's alright. I forgive you. I know you didn't mean it, Harry," Dick kept his arm around Harry's back as he let Harry cry it out. They sat like that for a few minutes, Harry quietly letting his sadness out and Dick quietly repeating his soothing words. When it had been a couple of silent minutes on Harry's end, Dick trailed off.
"Feeling better?" Dick asked quietly, politely looking away from Harry as he wiped his tears and snot on a his own shirt sleeve.
Harry thought about it for a second. He didn't feel great, the horror of Cedric's death was still there, the sadness that surrounded his parents was there, and the guilt of both was there, but it wasn't as pressing, as heavy, as it had been.
"Yeah, a bit," suddenly Harry's cheeks flushed when Dick looked back down at him. Crying in front of an almost stranger, even one that was so nice about it, was always embarrassing. "Uh, thanks."
Dick smiled warmly, and squeezed his arm. "You're welcome."
Harry wiped his eyes again. He knew they were red and puffy, but he couldn't really do much else to fix it.
"Sit tight for a sec." With one last squeeze Dick got up and left the room. Harry rubbed harder at his eyes to make the redness go away. Suddenly, a blanket fell around Harry's shoulders and his hands were pulled gently away from his face by Dick's tan ones. Dick placed his hands down and started to rub a wet cloth over Harry's face.
"Sorry, if this is weird. My little brother used to get like this, and this was how I helped him," Dick explained, as the cool water helped sooth Harry's face. "He didn't like it if people knew he was crying, and he said the cold water helped."
Dick sat back on his heels and surveyed his work. Harry's eyes were still red, but it was duller than before. He nodded. "I'll go put this back, then we can talk more."
Harry's eyes followed the other as he left the room quietly. Dick came back in a minute later, sans cloth, and sat back down on the chair across from Harry. They shared a minute of silence where Dick was looking at Harry, and Harry was looking anywhere but at Dick. The blank walls suddenly became very interesting.
"So," Dick started, after a minute. Harry stiffened, not wanting to dwell on the breakdown he just had. Not wanting to explain what caused it. "I'm not really related to you, I don't think. My mom was Vernon's sister, and Marge's, if you've met her." He paused as if allowing Harry to stop him, but Harry nodded hesitantly for him to go on. He was interested in why Dick was here, and it was better than talking about his own life.
"Well, my mom, Mary, didn't like them very much, so when she met my dad, who worked at a circus, they eloped. I never even knew my mom's maiden name before I looked more into it. Anyway, my dad's family were acrobats, The Flying Graysons. So, she joined, they had me, and everything was great." Dick's eyes were focused on the wall behind Harry's head, but Harry couldn't take his eyes off of him. "And yeah, when I was nine, they were murdered. My parents, my aunt, and my cousin were all killed. I have an uncle, but they don't think he is ever going to come out of his coma, never mind take care of me. " Harry ducked his head, ashamed of his earlier words, and Dick offered a bitter smile. "But, I was warded by a man named Bruce, and he's great. He's practically a second father to me, but I know he would never want to take my father's place."
Harry looked back up. "You said you had a brother?" He mumbled to Dick.
Dick smiled and it looked so sad Harry wished he could take it back. Before he could, Dick continued to talk.
"Yeah, two actually. Jason, he would be 16 right now, but he died two years ago. He was great. A little angry and scared sometimes, but he had a good heart. Bruce adopted him a couple years ago. Tim's my baby brother, although he doesn't like it when I call him that, and it isn't technically true yet." At Harry's confused expression, Dick explained. "Tim's still alive, his mother is gone, and his dad is in a coma, and he's been staying with us. But his family wasn't too great before that, so Bruce is trying to adopt him in case his dad gets better."
Harry took a moment to digest this. Having brother's sounded nice. He knew Ron wouldn't agree, but if a brother was someone who you could have a breakdown with and have them help you, that sounded pretty great. But something still didn't make sense.
"Why are you here then?" Harry asked, and when Dick's eyebrows drew together in confusion, Harry elaborated. "Why aren't you with them? Bruce? And Tim?"
"Ah, well Bruce has been warding me for a while, and he's like a father to me, so we were talking about adoption, and that opened my case file again. People were looking into my background. They found my mother's maiden name, and I wanted to spend some time with my relatives for bit. I got here a couple days ago when Bruce passed through on a business trip. I'm going back home at the end of June probably."
Harry tried not to look disappointed by this news. He didn't even know Dick that well, and he wanted him to stay, his family probably missed him a lot more.
"Dinner's ready!" Harry was pulled out of his thoughts by Aunt Petunia warmly calling up the stairs. He was shocked, because he knew Dudley was downstairs watching his favorite evening night tv show, so there was no way she was calling for him.
Dick didn't seem to think anything was amiss as he go up from the chair, offering a hand out to Harry as he did so. Harry took it, and Dick hauled him up. Dick took Harry's face in his hands and examined it for a second. "I doubt they'll notice anything, let's head down."
Harry followed him downstairs and sat down in a dazed state. It wasn't that the Dursleys had starved him lately, but family dinner was not something the freak cousin was invited to. However, there were five places at the table and Aunt Petunia smiled like she had not ignored that he had been home for over an hour already. Dick's eyes narrowed, but he didn't say anything about it as he sat beside Harry. Dudley and Vernon were already at their seats, digging into their plates that were piled high.
"Everything looks really great, Aunt Petunia," Dick said, courteously. And he was right. The roast, mash potatoes and carrots were elaborately styled and smelled delicious. Petunia was not a bad cook by any means, but Harry had rarely seen her go this far unless Vernon had work friends over.
"Oh, thank you, Richard," Petunia simpered. "I'm sure it isn't quite what you're used to, but I did the best with what I had."
Harry was confused, but also kind of exhausted and hungry from everything, so he tuned out Dick and Petunia's polite conversation and followed Vernon and Dudley's example of only paying attention to the food. He only really tuned back into conversation when he realized his plate was empty. He looked up, planning on getting seconds like he would in the Great Hall, but a sharp look from Petunia, mirrored by an annoyed grunt from Vernon, caused his hand to detour from the carrots he was going for, to his glass to pretend he was going for a drink the whole time.
Suddenly, the mashed potato bowl was shoved into his hand by Dick, who had apparently just taken some more and was innocently passing them to the next person at the table. Dick seemed to be focused in telling an elaborate story to Petunia and Vernon, but paused to acknowledge Harry briefly.
"And, so Bruce was completely confused since he couldn't find any of his socks- oh here Harry I was just taking some and your plate's empty- so then he assumes I hid them in the empty part of the manor, because that's the easiest place to hide them. Then, after days of tearing the most of the third floor apart, one of his friends, a reporter actually, comes over and looks up in the foyer and goes 'Bruce I knew you were weird, but why are all your socks on the chandelier?' I had to clean all his cars for a month, but it was so worth it." Dick grinned and Vernon laughed uproariously and Petunia laughed behind her hand. They failed to notice Harry taking seconds of everything as Dick took some and passed the bowls to Harry.
"But why would you do that? You got in trouble." Dudley asked, with his eyebrows drawn together in his signature thinking and in pain because of it face.
Dick laughed. "Oh, if I didn't do things that would get me in trouble once in a while, I would live a very boring life. Plus Bruce thought it was funny too, but parents gotta enforce rules or who will?" Dick pointed out innocently as he cut his roast.
Dudley looked more confused than normal, perhaps contemplating his own parents, but Dick changed the subject again. "So, Dudley, you said you would tell me all about your wrestling career."
Vernon interrupted before Dudley could talk, but Dudley seemed content with this as he ate more food. "Oh, yes. Dudders is number one in his school at the moment, and his coach thinks he could be number one in the country with a little more coaching. Why just last week…"
Harry tuned out Vernon's boasting, focusing back on the food. He only started listening again when Dudley complained loudly that he was going to miss another TV show if he didn't go right now. Everyone took this as time to end dinner.
"Well, this was a very nice dinner, but I'm going to start cleaning up," Petunia said as she started to get up. Dudley and Vernon both got up and moved to the living room, while Harry quickly finished eating what was left on his plate. Dick started to stack the plates, attempting to help Petunia. "Oh, no Richard, it's fine, I can handle it."
"But I would love to help," Dick said, as he moved past her to put the dishes in the sink. She pursed her lips, but accepted his help.
"Why don't you bring the plates in then and I'll wash." She made her way over to the sink and pulled on the rubber gloves she wore when cleaning.
"Sounds good, Aunt Petunia," Dick called over his shoulder. As he picked up Harry's plate, Dick leaned down to speak quietly in his ear. "Why don't you head up? You look like you could use an early night."
"Thanks," Harry said. Dick smiled and made to bring the dishes to the sink, but Harry grabbed his arm to stop him. "No, really. Thanks, for everything."
Dick looked thoughtful again. "Anytime, kiddo. Seriously, anytime. Now go to sleep, the bags under your eyes are huge."
Harry nodded and was hit by a sudden wave of exhaustion now that it was pointed out. He got up as Dick made his way over to Petunia. Harry paused at the door when he heard Petunia mention him.
"Where did that boy get off to?" He prepared himself to get called back to deal with the mess from dinner.
"Harry?" Dick clarified.
"Of course, he always helps clean up when he's home," she sniffed indignantly, and Harry almost laughed out loud at the use of the word helps. As if she did any of the work when he was home.
"Oh, I told him to him to head up to bed, since he looked exhausted." He paused. When she didn't say anything he continued. "Probably from all the traveling, I know that makes me tired. Oh, did I tell you about the time Bruce and I accidently went to Indonesia?"
"No, Richard, but I would love to hear it." Harry, satisfied that he would not be missed, made his way up the stairs, passing Vernon and Dudley glued to the TV in the living room.
After getting to his room, he opened his trunk and shuffled through until he found his toothbrush and toothpaste as well as his PJs. He slid into bed five minutes later and closed his eyes thinking this summer could be a lot better if Dick Grayson was there with him.