Standard disclaimers apply. I own neither set of characters. This is for fun, bla bla bla.
Pieces of Stone
Chapter 1: Merry Christmas, Mr. Potter.
Even with the wind kicking up around the rooftops and the Christmas Eve traffic blaring and honking below, Nightwing heard him coming a mile away. There wasn't anything subtle about the snap-hiss associated with Apparating.
He didn't turn, nor did he jump off the building as he had intended to. Something was afoot. "What can I do for you, Potter?"
The man in the round-rimmed glasses and dark robes joined him near the ledge. "You know, holiday visits and all that."
Dick almost smiled. Almost. He'd had a rough year, and would much rather be doing anything other than patrolling on Christmas Eve. However, his recent breakup had sort of made his plans for him. "Right."
Harry shrugged. "I have business here. I figured it would be polite to announce myself. Especially after what happened in Metropolis."
"I think you were fine until the Ministry of Magic crossed over international jurisdiction to start rewriting memories. It didn't help that they tried to mind wipe Superman." Nightwing actually did smile. There was something amusing about it being an international incident perpetrated by an organization that didn't, but most standards, exist.
Dick's companion shrugged. "Wasn't me. I was gone by then."
"You always are, Harry."
Harry gestured to the traffic down below. "You're one to talk."
Nightwing saw the new scars on Harry's face, white and fresh in parallel lines up and down, barely missing his eye, and looked away. "Is there anything else you needed, Potter?"
His companion continued to stare down at the traffic and street lights silently.
Dick recognized that look. It was something that Bruce's features betrayed every year at the same time—longing mingled with regret. "I was sorry to hear about Ginny."
Harry turned away from the ledge and pulled out his wand. "Yeah. Me too." Muttering something under his breath, there was a crackle in the air, and he was gone.
Dick knew it wasn't any of his business, but he felt compelled, somehow, to help. Not so much with whatever business Harry was about, he was an Auror and quite capable of handling whatever sort of dark wizards might be lurking around his city. However, he didn't like seeing a guy he'd once considered a semi-friend running around in pain. It just wasn't being a good friend—and he knew from experience, it was dangerous. People who's heads were wrapped around their hearts made mistakes.
Wonder Girl sat in the sand tugging at her ponytail to distract from the pain as Robin tried to straighten out her leg. He didn't think it was broken, but it was swollen up fairly nice, and he didn't want to take any chances.
"I thought you were supposed to be invincible or something," Speedy pointed out.
"I thought you were supposed to be able to hit the broad side of a barn or something," she retorted. Wincing when Robin touched one of the nasty bruises on her calf, she tried to take it back. "I'm sorry, Roy. I just—well, I kind of thought I was more… durable than that."
Robin removed a pill from his utility belt. "Bite down on this. It should help with the pain. I don't think that was a normal dragon."
Speedy smacked his forehead. "Why can't I be the leader again? And when's the last time you saw a normal dragon? Dragon's aren't normal, twinkletoes."
A blur of yellow and red came tearing up the coastline before it came to a halt in front of them, spraying sand all over the group. "It's coming back! It's coming back!"
The red and gold dragon returned, and he was mighty pissed. Not only was he shooting out fifty foot trails of fire from his snout, but he'd also managed to bring a few of his friends.
Speedy grabbed his bow and scrambled to his feet. "Just so you know, this is THE WORST camping trip, EVER."
Out of options and ideas, Robin threw Wonder Girl over his shoulder and ran.
Besides the war cries of three angry dragons and the heavy flapping of their long-stretched wings, there was another type of cry Robin began to hear, one that sounded more human. He didn't spare a look behind him, however. Wonder Girl still in tow, he dove into the shallow pit made in the small patches of grass at the base of a huge bolder near the cliffs. Making sure Donna was protected, he spun around to asses the situation.
There was a rope on the leg of the third dragon, and trailing at the end of that rope was a human being. His red hair was blazing by like Wally with his hood off, and he was screaming like a bird that used to hang around the circus. Robin leapt onto a rock then jumped as the boy on the rope passed, grabbing hold of the splintery, dry organic twists. His gloves slid down a full foot as he was dragged along for the ride.
The young man's leg was caught in the rope that seemed to have twisted and snagged on itself into almost a knot. Sliding to the end of the rope, Robin wrapped one leg around the rope and began trying to untangle the young man who couldn't have been much older than he was. G forces were working against them, though, and after coming around the beach for the second time, Robin finally opted to grab an acid capsule out of his utility belt and burn through the rope. It took a few seconds, and the other young man screamed the whole time, but when he saw the rope about to sever completely, Robin reached out and grabbed his companion and held him close as they began plummeting to the earth.
A second before having to make a sloppy, lopsided landing, a hand grabbed the edge of his cape, nearly cut off his supply of air, and changed his direction. They were going forward and slightly up, and for a moment he thought that Superman had come to his rescue. That was, until he looked up and saw the youth-sized hand on the edge of his cape, and just above that, a broom. Y'know, like the kind colonial people made by hand. Or witches used.
They were let down onto the beach a minute later, and the gasping redhead collapsed onto the sand, poking at the huge tear in his faded black pants. "Charlie's trying to kill me, he is!"
The other guy pushed moppy black hair off of his round glasses and away from a weird looking scar on his forehead and took a crafted wooden stick out of his pocket, pointing it at the torn pants and red, scratched leg of his friend. "Pardus reparum."
Robin had seen some cool stuff in his time—most of it was stuff Bruce made down in the Batcave, but this took the cake. The pants started weaving themselves back together. Alfred totally needed one of those things.
Instinctively, Dick leaned closer, observing even the fibers of each thread had rebound themselves. Next thing Robin knew, the stick was pointed at him. "I'd like to know your intentions."
The red head scrambled to his feet just as Roy came tearing down the beach towards them. "Take it easy, Harry. He saved me from that lunatic dragon. If you're going to point that thing, point it at Charlie. He's the one who said that feeding Bertha would be fun. Go turn HIM into a toad or something."
Wand, Dick realized. Broom, wand, self-healing pants. He was a detective, he could take a hint. He also wondered why it couldn't have just been Superman that'd latched onto his cape.
Nightwing watched the traffic for a few more minutes before departing. Dry flakes had begun to drift down, landing on the city and whipping across the ground with the wind. It didn't make him feel any closer to the Christmas spirit. He wondered what in the hell could bring Harry Potter to Bludhaven.
Of course, the quickest way to find that answer was to find Ronald Weasley.
It wouldn't be hard. Ron would probably be exactly where he was the last time they had spoken on matters regarding Harry Potter. Even for his previously adventurous life, Weasley was content with a quiet, humble existence.
Ron Weasley set down his china cup. It clinked and scraped against the saucer sitting on his desk. Wincing, he turned his attention fully back to the green flame emanating from his fireplace. "We don't talk so much any more. That's not true, exactly. We don't talk at all any more. Not since… well. I don't know. I think he thinks I blame him for what happened to Ginny."
"Come on," the image in the flame pleaded. "You have to know something."
Using a cane of heavy knotted wood for support, Ron got to his feet, and began a three-step waltz of pacing, cane, foot, foot, cane, foot, foot… "I don't hear much. Not any more. After the scandal with Superman, the Ministry moved most Auror activity over need-to-know." He shrugged. "I guess I don't need to know."
A hand ran through the hair of the figure in the fireplace of the small but tall stone office. "Do you know somebody who needs to know?"
Ron spread a hand in hopelessness. "Take your pick. Herminone, Charlie, Fred… Hell, Neville Longbottom has higher clearance than me these days. I think you might have dialed up the wrong fireplace, friend."
"Well, thanks anyway."
Turning back to his desk, and picking up the tea, Ron thought about it for a few moments. "Dick… whatever it is… it's big. Like that thing in Metropolis big. He doesn't leave the country unless he has to."
There was an electricity to the brief silence that passed between them. "Ginny." they both concluded in unison.
Ron put down the cup. "I'll come with you."
Dick paused, but didn't say anything. He wasn't sure how to put it politely.
Ron shook his head. "I'm a gimp, not an invalid. A crippled wizard is better than none at all. Especially if it's something that requires an Auror. I hardly think gadgets and bells and whistles are going to do it this time, mate."
Dark eyes darted back and forth in the flame. "Alright. Get here as soon as you can. Any intel you can drag out of anyone would also be appreciated."
With a wave of his hand, the green fire died away, and Ron whistled for his owl. He'd have to leave immediately, before word trickled down to Hermione. It wasn't that he didn't love her, he just wasn't in the mood for a lecture. Besides…Ron still held out hope that it would be possible to wake Harry from his stupor.
To Be Continued…