A/N: This is a crossover between Harry Potter and Batman, but with a twist: it's the 1966 Batman TV show. I bring in a few elements from later incarnations of Batman (including nods to Frank Miller), mostly to provide a bit more depth to the story and characters, but at their heart Batman and Robin are still being played by Adam West and Burt Ward in all their campy goodness. On the whole, it is AU - very AU. So don't worry about things like the fact that this Batman was around in the 60s while Harry Potter took place, in the 90s, OK?
Oh, and in case you didn't figure it out already, this is a FemHarry story, with the part of Amy Potter being played by a very young Yvonne Craig (with red hair and green eyes, naturally).
Over the course of this story you will find a few lines of dialogue lifted and adapted from the original TV show. They are probably the most outrageous and over-the-top lines you'll encounter, in fact, and that's the main reason why they are being used. Aside from being so fitting, I don't want anyone to accuse me of being more outrageous than the original!
The cover image is a cropped version of a much larger original entitled "Batgirl of Burnside" by chou-roninx, who graciously gave me permission to use it here. More information can be found on my profile, and I recommend going to see the original on DeviantArt.
This is my first attempt at writing a story in first person perspective. Aside from the fact that I think that this style is better for this story, I also wanted to develop my skills using first person for the sake of an original novel that I've started to develop. So please, do tell me what you think.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, JK Rowling does. I don't own Batman, DC does.
Recommendation: This chapter's recommended fic is "Poisoned Hearts" by Whitetigerwolf. HP/Batman crossover. The criminal widely known as Poison Ivy wasn't originally born Pamela Isley, she was born Pamela Potter. Years earlier she fled magical Britain and sought refuge in the muggle world, eventually settling down near Gotham City, but now it looks like her past is about to catch up to her. Oh, and she has a tiny little crush on Batgirl, too.
Italics: a person's thoughts.
Chapter 01 - Gotham Lost and Found
Early November, 1994.
I eased my Batcycle into its corner, cut the engine, and heaved a long sigh of relief that the latest mission was finally over. All I wanted to do was take an extended soak in a hot bath to ease my sore muscles, maybe with some lavender bath oil and soft background music, but I knew that wouldn't be possible until much later. In the meantime, I didn't dare let on how much I ached, or how much I just wanted to curl up and sleep.
Over in the center of the Bat Cave, Robin was talking loudly enough for me to overhear as he leapt out of the Batmobile.
"I can't believe Mr. Freeze thought he could actually get away with trying the same thing again!"
"Hope springs eternal, Robin, even for those who frequent the seedy underbelly of our great society," Batman asserted dramatically. "Viktor Fries is just as human as the next master criminal, after all."
"Gosh, I guess you're right, Batman," Robin responded, sounding thoroughly chastened, but I just rolled my eyes. Fortunately the adjustments I'd made to my cowl usually hid that sort of thing. Early on, I'd get lectured at least once a mission about the importance of taking our work seriously. It's not that I ever disagreed with the things Batman said while we were out on cases (at least not most of the time), because he was usually right; but why did he have to be so conspicuously and pompously didactic about it?
I've since realized that he does it on purpose, too — it's not some unconscious verbal tic, and he doesn't talk like that all the time. I tried to ask him about it more than once, but he always just gave me that annoying, knowing smile and politely inquired if I'd finished my homework, then proceeded to deliver some lofty pronouncement about why this or that subject was so important.
Which of course always led to more eye-rolling and more lectures. Rinse and repeat.
It isn't easy being Batgirl, youngest sidekick to Batman. It's almost as hard as being Amy Potter, the youngest ward of billionaire Bruce Wayne.
I should know — I'm both.
"Hey, are you OK?" Robin asked me, pulling me out of my distracted musings. After a moment, I realized that he must have noticed I was dismounting my Batcycle a bit more gingerly than usual. I had hoped I'd be able to hide how sore and bruised I was, but I should have remembered that Robin has sharp eyes and rarely misses a thing, especially where I'm concerned.
"I think I strained something when I did a shoulder throw on one of them," I answered with a casual air as I twisted and stretched a little, trying to give the impression that my problems were strictly superficial. If he or Batman thought for even a minute that I couldn't handle this, they'd pull me from the field and stick me right back into training. I'd worked too hard and for too long to let that happen.
I was going to make them proud of me, even if it killed me.
"Was it Goon #3 or Goon #4?"
"I think it was Goon #3, but I always have trouble telling those two apart," I said as we walked to the Bat-Poles.
"Yeah, I thought he had put on a bit of weight," Robin said with a slight smirk.
"Now, now," Batman chided. "There's no call to start gossiping like a bunch of... uh... teenage girls," he finished lamely, realizing his error too late. He actually quailed slightly under my glare, making me glad that I'd been practicing in the mirror. He usually knew when he'd gone too far and never chastised me for making my displeasure known. Quite the contrary, in fact: he began treating me with more respect once I started standing up for myself, which is one of the many reasons why I respect him in return.
"Sorry, Batgirl," he added quickly before hopping onto his pad and rocketing up into Wayne Manor.
Robin chuckled sympathetically. "It's been over a year, and he still isn't used to you working with us full-time." He shook his head, then abruptly clapped his hands together and said, "Come on, I think Alfred was going to make cookies!"
He ran the short distance to the poles with me just a couple of steps behind, smiling at my pseudo-sibling's enthusiasm. I'd had to train with him daily for two long, hard years before they let me join them on real missions, and they still wouldn't let me go solo. Many underestimate Robin because of his boyish looks and attitude, with some going so far as to call him the "Boy Blunder." I quickly discovered, though, how ruthless he could be on the mat, whether it was teaching me hand-to-hand, the bo staff, or batons. He'd have me sweating, panting, and bruised all over every time, without the slightest hint of sympathy in his eyes.
There's a reason why he can take on several large, full-grown men at once and beat them to a pulp without suffering a single injury himself.
Some days, like when Robin decided to hold back a little less and I fared a lot worse, the aroma of Alfred's baking would waft in at some point, causing Dick to act more like a kid than me in his eagerness to finish. I would limp into the kitchen a few minutes behind him, obviously happy for the respite, and I'd catch something in Alfred's eyes that made me think he'd been baking specifically to give me a break.
He'd never admit to it, of course. But then, he didn't have to.
When the two of us arrived in the library, we found Alfred waiting with a very concerned expression instead of the plate of gooey, baked goodness we'd been expecting. "Ah, good, you're here," he said. "I was just informing Master Bruce that we have three visitors who are most insistent on seeing you. Well, one of you in particular." The last was said with a meaningful look in my direction, making me feel unexpectedly self-conscious.
Me? What had I done now?
"Wearing robes and other bizarre fashion, I take it?" Bruce asked. Apparently the Great Detective had caught on to the true nature of the visitors before I did.
"And after all this time... I'd hoped that after not hearing anything by her eleventh birthday, we wouldn't have to worry about this." Bruce said.
"That's what I had hoped as well, sir," Alfred answered, "but I get the impression that something very serious has happened."
"Well, there's nothing we can do about it now," Bruce concluded, then he looked at me and Dick. "I feared that this day might come — that they'd come looking for you, Amy, even though you're a squib rather than a full witch. I took what small measures I could to prevent it, but I knew that they might not be enough. We don't know what they want with you, and we shouldn't just automatically trust them. Do you two remember the drill? Don't look them in the eyes. Say as little as possible. We've never heard of magic. And—"
"And we don't know anything about Amaryllis Potter being the Girl Who Lived," Dick finished for him.
"Don't call me Amaryllis!" I growled as I punched him in the shoulder. "It's Amy."
"I know, I know — sorry. Sheesh!" Dick said as he rubbed his shoulder. Privately, I hoped it bruised like it did last time.
"Settle down, you two," Bruce said, smoothly separating us to either side of him as he began guiding us to the sitting room. "We have wizards and witches to impress before we send them packing!"
"After dealing with Mr. Freeze, it should be a piece of cake," Dick said confidently. Perhaps too confidently. It occurred to me that Halloween had been just two days ago, and I'd never had a good relationship with Halloween. It was the day my parents were murdered, and ever since then something bad tended to happen on that day. When I was five, I lost my favorite doll and never found her again. When I was eight, I broke my arm in three places after falling out of a tree.
Whatever was serious enough to suddenly bring wizards and witches to stately Wayne Manor so close to Halloween, it couldn't bode well for me.
Even knowing what to expect, I couldn't stop myself from gaping at the three characters who were waiting for us in the main sitting room, which earned me a pointed look from Bruce before I schooled my expression into one of politeness as my long-suffering etiquette tutors had tried to teach me.
The first to greet us was an ancient-looking man with a pointed hat, a beard down to his knees (tucked into his belt!), and a garishly colored bathrobe that looked like it had moving stars and moons. Next to him was a fairly old woman with a similarly pointed hat and a dress that had to be from the Victorian era. Standing back in the corner was a halfway normal-looking man, though the very sour expression on his face, combined with the Hitler moustache, wasn't promising.
"Good afternoon," the ancient-looking man said as we approached him. "My name is Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore."
"Pleased to meet you," Bruce said without missing a beat, shaking the other man's hand. "I'm billionaire Bruce Wayne. This is my youthful ward, Dick Grayson, and my even more youthful ward, Amy Potter."
Dumbledore fixed me with a curious expression before saying, "Ah, Amaryllis Potter. The reason for our visit here today in your stately home." I tried not to scowl at the use of my full name as I resolutely focused on his nose rather than meeting his gaze, but it turned out that I needn't have bothered as all of his attention was on my forehead.
My plain, bare forehead.
I used to have an ugly scar there from when my parents were murdered, but I hated the way people kept staring at it. A few years ago, Bruce hired the best plastic surgeons in the country to remove it. Now I can leave my forehead exposed instead of having to constantly pull my bangs down to cover it like I did when I was little.
"Oh?" Bruce responded. "What seems to be the issue?"
"This is... all rather complicated, I'm afraid," Dumbledore said with a confused frown, making me think that the absence of a scar on my forehead had tripped him up somehow, putting him off of whatever he'd intended to say.
"It's not complicated at all, Albus," the man in the back interrupted. "She's been chosen and has to come with us. That's all there is to it."
"Go with you? Where? Why?" I exclaimed as the concerns that I'd had a few minutes ago began to crystalize. There was no way that I was going to leave Gotham and my family. I was finally getting the hang of field work. I was finally helping Bruce and Dick make a difference in our community!
"Don't worry, Amy, you're not going anywhere you don't want to," Dick said as he moved to my side. I'd long bristled at Bruce and Dick being overprotective of me and always worked hard to appear every bit as strong as them, but at that moment I could have hugged him.
"If you're here to take my ward away from me, I can assure you that you'll fail," Bruce said, his expression carved in stone, and there was a coldness in his voice that I'd seldom heard there. "She's been safely and happily in my care for over twelve years now. I have some of the best lawyers in the country on retainer, and they are just the very tip of the iceberg when it comes to the resources that are at my disposal. She and Dick are not just my legal heirs — they are my family, sir, and this is their home for as long as they wish it."
"Come now, Barty, there's no need for all that," Dumbledore said to the other man, but while his voice was still mild, there was something in his manner that made him seem a lot less grandfatherly than he had a moment ago. Crouch seemed to sense it too, because he wilted a bit under the wizard's gaze.
The old man turned back to us and continued soothingly, "Please, I didn't come to argue, but some very difficult issues have arisen regarding young Miss Potter — issues that we really need to discuss."
"Very well," Bruce replied, his tone thawing only slightly. "Let's sit and talk. Alfred, could you bring us some more tea?"
"Of course, sir."
Once we were all seated and Alfred was serving tea, Bruce motioned for Dumbledore to get on with it. "This probably would have been easier if we'd been able to find you before your eleventh birthday, Miss Potter," he began slowly. "Despite my best efforts, though, I wasn't able to track you down until yesterday. Now time is very much against us, and I'm afraid I'm going to have to be blunt." He pulled out a stick which I pretended not to recognize and continued, "I am the Headmaster of a school in Scotland, a very specialized school for magic."
"Magic?" Bruce interrupted with a show of confusion. "You mean, like stage magicians? Hocus-pocus? You teach kids to pull rabbits out of hats?"
"No, nothing like that," Dumbledore answered with a tolerant smile. "The Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry was established a thousand years ago to train children who have magic. Real magic. I am a wizard. You, Miss Potter, are a witch — and a very strong one, I suspect." He then waved his stick, and the teapot on the table between us was transformed into a kitten. Alfred had told me as much as he could about magic like this, but I'd never had a chance to actually witness it.
It was... amazing.
"Holy enchanted felines! Did you see that, Bruce?" Dick cried out, but I barely heard him, I was so mesmerized by what had just happened. I didn't even try to hide the wonder I was feeling, but as his words sank in, my chest began to tighten. Magic. Being a witch... It was a dream I'd long thought to be dead and buried, but here was a wizard telling me that it could still be true.
I didn't know whether I should laugh, cry, or both, but I did everything I could to keep from letting my feelings show — I didn't want them to even suspect how much this might mean to me.
"A... a witch? Magical?" I asked as calmly as I could manage. "It doesn't seem possible. I mean, I'm... I'm completely normal. I don't have any magic."
"Are you sure about that?" Dumbledore responded with a mad twinkle in his eye, as if he knew some secret which pleased him to no end. For a second, I was tempted to reach up and make sure that I wasn't still wearing my cowl.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Hasn't anything odd or inexplicable ever happened around you over the years? Incidents that were probably associated with very strong emotions?"
Bruce looked thoughtfully at the old wizard. "There have been a few things..."
"Accidental magic," Dumbledore replied. "Even without any sort of training, magical children are able to use their magic in an unfocused and unintentional manner to make things happen, usually because of very strong feelings or desires. Incidents like summoning books or sweets to themselves or changing the color of clothing are not at all uncommon."
Bruce nodded, clearly thinking back to all the times we wondered if perhaps magic had somehow helped me out of one jam or another, usually to the great consternation of whichever villain was trying to use me as a hostage at the time. At first we all simply assumed that I was lucky, especially since miraculous escapes were almost normal for the three of us. Over time, though, the incidents surrounding me kept piling up, and we could no longer deny that something more than mere luck was at work. One possibility we'd considered was that I might have had a little bit of magic after all — less than a full witch, since I never received a letter for Hogwarts, but more than a squib like Alfred would normally have.
"Is... is that kitten real?" I asked, desperate for a distraction that might calm my surging emotions a little. I shifted forward in my seat so I could focus on the tiny ball of fluff instead of the even smaller ball of repressed hope that was starting to awaken inside me.
"It's transfigured," the old woman said with just a hint of a smile. "It won't grow and can't reproduce, but for most intents and purposes it is real, at least until the transfiguration spell wears off or is countered."
"Oh, how rude of me," Dumbledore suddenly said. "This is Minerva McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress and Professor of Transfiguration at Hogwarts." He then gestured to the sour-looking man and said, "This is Barty Crouch, Head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation in our Ministry of Magic in Britain." I could see the others nod in greeting, but I couldn't take my eyes off of the kitten that had been a teapot just moments before. Reaching out, I gently stroked its back and ears.
"Wow!" I said. "It's warm... and it purrs!"
"Magic is real," Dumbledore confirmed. "It's all around us, but those of us who can use magic hide it and ourselves from the rest of the world."
"You sound quite organized, having a school and even a government," Bruce observed. His tone was casual, but I could see that he was eager to learn all he could from this Dumbledore. Bruce can charm your entire life's history out of you without you ever realizing you're being interrogated.
Dumbledore nodded. "Normally our schools contact magical children shortly before their eleventh birthdays to invite them to attend, but we at Hogwarts were unable to reach Miss Potter. When I went to check on her relatives, they were nowhere to be found. None of the scrying or location spells I tried were of any help, nor did she appear at any of the other magical schools around the world. I must confess that as the years passed I gave in to despair, fearing that she may have died, despite the fact that her name remained in our book. Could you perhaps enlighten an old man and tell me how she came to live with you?"
"It's because of my butler, Alfred," Bruce explained. "Apparently someone left Amy on the doorstep of Petunia and Vernon Dursley in the middle of the night, never bothering to ask if they even could care for a second child, much less if they were willing to." None of us missed Dumbledore's flinch, nor the look McGonagall shot him that positively screamed "I told you so." I didn't know much about the Dursleys, but by all accounts I had been lucky to escape them, and you didn't have to be the World's Greatest Detective to see that Dumbledore must have had something to do with leaving me there in the first place.
I started wondering what lay beneath the kind, grandfatherly persona that he so obviously tried to project.
"After a couple of years, they were at the end of their rope and contacted Alfred, a distant relation of Amy's. I was more than happy to take her in and make her my ward, raising her alongside Dick while sharing legal guardianship with Alfred."
All of that was true; Bruce was simply leaving out the fact that Alfred was related to me on the Potter side, not the Evans side, and that as a typically long-lived squib who had not been completely shunned by his magical relatives, he knew about magic, the magical community, and the war in which my parents had been murdered. Alfred of course revealed all of this to Bruce so he'd know what he was getting into — not that a magical supervillain was any more daunting to him than the normal kind — and later to me once I was old enough to understand.
"That was very generous and kind of you," McGonagall said.
"I'm an orphan myself," Bruce replied. "My parents were murdered by a mugger when I was a child — right in front of me, in fact. When I heard about Amy's parents having been murdered by terrorists and that she had been dumped on relatives who didn't want her, how could I not step in to help? Dick, here, came to me under similar circumstances."
"Very generous indeed," Dumbledore said.
"We all have a lot in common," I said. "And while we may not all be related by blood, we are all definitely family."
"There's nothing more important than family," Bruce proclaimed in a very familiar tone, "even if it's one made up of the broken, discarded leftovers of other people's families."
Dumbledore stroked his long beard and nodded sagely. As I looked around the room, I saw that the others were responding similarly. That was when I first realized that British witches and wizards might be just as strange as the citizens of Gotham.
Or maybe I was the strange one, since I seemed to be the only person who ever thought these pronouncements Bruce came up with were weird.
"What about American schools?" Dick asked. "Surely there's at least one school of magic here. Why didn't she get a letter from them?"
"As the Headmaster said, Miss Potter's name remained in our book of prospective students," McGonagall answered. "That would have prevented other schools from sending her an automatic letter. Had you known to contact them, they would of course have admitted you, but they didn't know about you to make contact themselves."
Dumbledore nodded again and said, "It's obviously a crack in our procedures that you fell into, one that the magical schools should probably look into fixing. Well, that solves the mystery of the disappearance of Miss Potter. I can see that you've taken good care of her, for which I am extremely grateful. I'm still not sure why my spells were unable to find her three years ago..."
"You're absolutely certain that Amy's a witch?" Dick asked.
"Oh, there's no doubt about it," Dumbledore said with a kindly smile. "Both of her parents were quite powerful magically, and her name has been in the Hogwarts book ever since she was born — something that wouldn't be the case if she weren't magical. If that isn't enough, the Goblet of Fire wouldn't have chosen her name on Halloween if she were a muggle or a squib. Only a witch or wizard can be chosen."
Halloween. There it was: my unlucky day.
"Muggle? Squib?" Dick quickly asked, as if he'd never heard the terms before.
"Muggles are non-magical folk," McGonagall explained. "Squibs are born to magical parents but for some reason can't do any magic themselves."
"What is the Goblet of Fire?" Bruce asked, and the faces of our three visitors all darkened as much as I'm sure mine had when Halloween was mentioned.
"The Goblet is why we're here now," Crouch spoke up. "It's an ancient magical artifact used to select participants in magical contests. In recent centuries it's been used for the Triwizard Tournament, a contest between the three premier magical schools of Europe: Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang."
"Interested students drop their names into the Goblet, then on the big day it chooses the most worthy student from each school," Dumbledore said. "This year, for reasons we have yet to discover, the Goblet gave us four names instead of three."
"Let me guess," I said dryly. "My name was the fourth." Clearly, my magically-fueled luck with getting out of trouble was no match for my knack for getting into trouble in the first place. Especially on Halloween.
"Indeed," Dumbledore responded. "You obviously didn't submit your own name, so someone else did it on your behalf, somehow bewitching the Goblet to choose you alongside the others despite the fact that you aren't a student and aren't even old enough to compete. I have someone studying the Goblet even as we speak, but I'm afraid that it's already too late."
"What do you mean by that, and why does this matter to us?" Bruce asked. "She's hardly in a position to compete in any sort of magical contest. Just strike her name from your list and go on with the tournament."
"Because selection by the Goblet represents a magical contract," Crouch answered, "and violating a magical contract is punished by the loss of one's magic."
"That would be bad, I take it?" I asked. I certainly didn't like the idea of losing my magic, even though I was only just now learning that I truly had it; but the way Crouch said that made it seem really, really bad.
"Very," Dumbledore confirmed. "Witches and wizards cannot live without their magic. Those that lose it... well, they die, I'm afraid."
I looked aghast at Bruce and Dick, both of whom were clearly as appalled as I was. "How can she be part of a contract that she didn't sign?" Bruce demanded. "She's barely fourteen — she can't even legally sign a normal contract, let alone a magical one that will kill her!"
Alfred had once told me that magic and common sense didn't mix well together. At the time I'd found it amusing, but somehow it didn't seem so funny anymore.
"Tell them the rest, Albus," McGonagall said, looking almost as unhappy as I felt.
Dumbledore sighed. "Competing in the Triwizard Tournament is not without its own risks. It was cancelled two centuries ago because of the high death rate among both contestants and spectators. This is the first of what many hope to be a renewed series of tournaments, and while safeguards have been put in place to make it less dangerous, there will be risks involved."
"The risks are more than manageable for any competent witch or wizard," Crouch insisted.
"Which I am not," I interjected. "In case you've forgotten, you've only just informed me that magic even exists. My education and experience are entirely non-magical. Bruce has provided me with the best muddled education..."
"Muggle," Dick corrected, and I rolled my eyes impatiently.
"Muddle, muggle, whatever," I continued. "The point is, I'm well educated in normal things, but not in voodoo or hoodoo or anything else of that sort. Give me something to do with math or physics and I'll win, even against older students. But magic?"
"Let me see if I understand this correctly," Bruce said in a tight voice. "You've come to inform me that due to your negligence, my ward's life is in jeopardy. If she does nothing, she'll lose her magic, which will lead to her death. Alternatively, she can compete in a dangerous magical contest designed for older students, despite not knowing how to perform any magic at all. This contest is supposedly 'safe,' but it is being administered by the very same people who so spectacularly failed when they were in charge of the Goblet, so this option could also easily lead to her death."
"Now, see here," Crouch blustered, "I must object! The Ministry..."
"No, Barty," Dumbledore interrupted, holding up his hand. "Mr. Wayne's words may be rather blunt, but in substance he is quite correct. Regardless of what exactly transpired, it is entirely our fault that this problem has arisen, yet Miss Potter is the one who must bear the consequences. Neither you nor I are at any risk for losing our magic or our lives, are we?"
Crouch had the decency to look chagrined at that, but I still didn't like him. He seemed way more concerned for his precious tournament than my safety.
"I'm obviously not willing to let my ward die from the loss of this magic of hers, or whatever it is," Bruce announced. "At the same time, though, I'm not willing to let her walk blindly into an unknown and potentially deadly contest that tests magical skills and knowledge which she doesn't have. Like I said, nothing is more important than family, and I will do whatever is necessary to protect my family."
I knew Bruce meant that, too. Most of the time, people only ever saw the pleasant side of him, but I'd seen how dark his personality could become when he thought one of us might be in real danger. I've never seen him completely unload on someone, nor did I really want to; but just knowing that he was there, supporting me, made me feel a lot better.
"We would of course do all we could to prepare her," Dumbledore said. "I intend to line up professors and tutors from her age group to get her up to speed."
"That will help, but something tells me that won't be enough," Bruce responded. "You said that time is against us?"
"The first task is on November 24th," Crouch admitted reluctantly.
"That's three weeks away!" I objected. I could solve one of the Riddler's riddles in less than a minute. I could defuse one of the Joker's bombs in less than two. But how much magic could I learn to do in less than three weeks?
"Not nearly enough time for basic tutoring to accomplish much," Bruce observed, and none of our visitors disputed the point. I sure didn't. "The only reason for me to allow my ward to participate in your contest is if she has more of a chance of surviving it than she does from simply staying here." He leaned forward a little and narrowed his eyes in an expression I'd often seen when he went in for the kill in a business negotiation. "In order for me to be satisfied that she has that chance, I have a few conditions that you're going to have to meet."
Our visitors shifted uncomfortably, but they had no idea what was coming.
Four hours later, Alfred escorted three very unhappy magicals out of the manor; ten minutes later he returned to the sitting room with three glasses of milk and a plate of those cookies Dick and I had been looking forward to earlier.
He gave me first pick. That was probably the first really good thing to happen to me all day, and I was going to savor it.
"I'm surprised that they gave in on so much," Dick said, then bit into his own. "It's not like Amy has much of a choice about whether she goes or not."
"Manners, Dick," Bruce said while taking two cookies from the plate. "Don't talk with your mouth full."
"Sorry," he mumbled.
"I'm not the least bit surprised at how easily they gave in," Bruce continued as he leaned back in his chair. "It was obvious to me from the start that they were concerned about far more than what might happen to Amy. Why else would they send three high-ranking people who presumably have limited time and significant responsibilities? No, there's more going on than they told us, and when I made them believe that I was prepared to keep her here, they became willing to do almost anything necessary to get me to change my mind. Indeed, the very fact that they became so accommodating, even on matters they clearly didn't want to compromise on, is proof that there's a much deeper plot afoot."
"So we need to learn more," I observed. "We need to find out what they're really worried about."
"Exactly!" Bruce declared, stabbing a finger at me for emphasis. "Because knowledge is power!" He turned to Alfred and continued, "Can you reach out to your contacts in the magical community, both here and in Britain, to find out what they might know? Any rumor, any scrap of information, might be useful."
"Of course, sir. I'll begin making calls tonight," Alfred responded. He had felt no need to keep in regular contact with the magical world, but he still knew people whom he trusted and who owed him favors. "You do realize, sir, that Amy was almost certainly entered into this contest by those who blame her for the death of their old master?"
"Of course, Alfred," Bruce said. "And what's the easiest way to spring a trap?"
"To walk right into it!" Dick exclaimed, not seeming to notice that he wasn't the one the trap had been made for.
"Very good, sir. I'll be sure to pack the extra medical supplies, then."
"I'm surprised that they didn't say anything about me being the Girl Who Lived," I said as I reached for another cookie. "I mean, it's not like they'll be able to hide it, not if what Alfred has heard about my fame is correct."
"I should probably check into the latest information on that as well," Alfred said softly.
"True enough," Bruce agreed. "Hopefully they were just concerned about dumping too much on us at once."
"The way they kept looking at my forehead was creepy, though," I said with a slight shiver. I wasn't sure, but I thought that maybe staring at an absent scar might be worse than staring at the scar itself.
"That scar was as famous as your name," Alfred pointed out.
"I know, and I'm even happier now that we had it removed," I responded. "I can't begin to imagine an entire school full of insensitive people who keep staring at my forehead!"
"As we've already seen, though, they are likely to do that anyway," Bruce pointed out. "Before, they would have stared at your scar, and the most obtuse would have asked callous questions, like whether you could remember the night you got it. Now they're going to stare at the clear skin, and some will ask what happened to it."
"Either way, you'll still probably get people asking about your pet unicorn, Portia," Dick said with a smirk.
"Aw, geez," I said, putting my head in my hands. "I'd forgotten all about that stupid Girl Who Lived book series!" I looked up at Alfred and said, "Please tell me that wizards and witches aren't really gullible enough to believe what's in those books? Not after all this time?" Alfred just got a sad look on his face and shook his head in sympathy.
Someday, I was going to find whoever wrote those books and strangle them.
"It's not going to be easy," Bruce said, "but that's why I insisted that Dick and I be allowed to go with you. There's no way I'd let you walk into something like that without support."
"Thanks, I really appreciate that," I said, and meant it. I'm not typically afraid of new situations, but being dumped into the magical community in a foreign country while having to compete in a dangerous contest I was entered into by someone who obviously wished me harm... well, that really wasn't something I wanted to deal with all alone.
At the same time, I couldn't deny just how excited I was. I had long known that magic could do amazing things, but none of Alfred's stories came anywhere close to actually seeing magic performed in front of me... especially when I now knew that this was something that I could do, too. When no magical letters had arrived on my eleventh birthday and we concluded that I must not be magical, I was quite upset at being denied the chance to share something with my parents, even though I'd never get to know them.
All the moping around I did, seeking solitude in dark corners of the manor, brought me one benefit, though: it gave me the chance to discover Bruce and Dick's little secret, which I promptly demanded to be allowed in on. I latched onto their crime-fighting crusade as if it were a lifeline, telling myself that it was much cooler than learning magic tricks. I'd even managed to convince myself that becoming Batgirl was better than being a witch.
Reaching out, I picked up the teapot that had been a kitten and cradled it in my hands. "I... I want to learn magic," I announced. I left unsaid my desire to also attend an actual school again. It was something I'd had to give up when I decided to join Bruce and Dick at night because no school could accommodate my nocturnal schedule. Being limited to private tutors was isolating me from other kids my age, and was the one thing I truly regretted about my decision — not that I wanted them to know that.
After a moment, I looked up, fearing that I would see disappointment or anger on the faces of the three men who had become my family, but instead all I saw was love and support.
"And so you shall, Amy Potter," Bruce said in his usual, confident tone. "And so you shall."
"Uh... I just have one question," Dick interjected, spoiling Bruce's moment. When my pseudo-sibling paused for dramatic effect, I knew that I wasn't going to like it.
"Who gets the job of telling all this to Aunt Harriet?"
What fate awaits Batgirl in the hidden magical world of merry olde England? Will Batman and Robin be able to sleuth out the mystery of who put her name in the Goblet of Fire? Tune in next week — same Bat-Time! Same Bat-Channel!