A/N: Sorry it took so long.
And now, the real chapter 14, plus a little omake a the bottom featuring Hermione (for those wondering where the HP is…)!
"I love you," Poison Ivy sighed, rubbing her face against her savior's as she held him in her arms.
Virgil Hawkins, a.k.a. Static, twitched as the full-bodied, mature, scantily clad, large-breasted… (brain overload. RESET! RESET! RESET!) supervillainess who'd tried to kill him once, nearly killed his friend, had run a scam to take advantage of confused metahumans, and was rubbing her front against him…!
"This is killing you, isn't it?" Cyborg said, snickering at the look on the other boy's face.
"Make her stop…" Static whimpered as something besides his voltage started to rise. He was very glad he didn't wear tights.
Terra laughed as she began to pry Ivy off the poor- or, depending on how you looked at it, lucky- boy. "Come on Ivy, let him go. Those demons might come back any minute."
"Doesn't matter," Ivy said, reluctantly loosening her hold but still clinging to Static. "My hero here will save us."
Flash, Fire and Ice, standing off to the side, exchanged looks. "What are we, chopped liver?" the speedster said.
Static, meanwhile, was wondering why he had to pick then to join up with the League. If Richie found out about this, he'd never live it down…
Harry Potter: Raven
by Shadow Crystal Mage
Chapter 14: Demon's End
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Teen Titans.
For the nth time that day- he'd sighed, muttered, and thought it so many times he'd lost count- Superman repeated his mantra: "I hate magic."
Right then, magic was making itself very hate-able. Even with Diana to back him up, the two of them were still in deep trouble. Half of the wrecking ball she'd tied to her lasso was gone, and Superman had long since lost his girder. His cape was dramatically tattered, there were scratches on his face, and his outfit more a few holes– though strangely, none of them affected the integrity of his red underwear.
"Having another one of those days, are we?" Diana quipped. Strands of out of place hair fell across her face, and her limbs were scratched up as well. She swung her wrecking ball in a quick arc, more to deter than to hit anything.
Superman charged up his heat vision, firing quick bursts that burned through demons and left them open as be redefined 'looks could kill'. "Oh, you laugh. It's not as bad for you. You're magic."
"Why, thank you," she said demurely as she dashed forward to slam her wrecking ball into a demon, surrounding herself so she could attack in any direction she wanted. Her hands flashed in super-speed, sending demon flying away, only for them to be swept aside by her wrecking ball.
In the lull however, a new wave of demons struck, the flaming hell-hounds latching themselves onto her bracelets and holding her in place like fiery manacles as dragon-like zombies lumbered into view.
Streams of water suddenly lashed out at the wolves. Steam hissed as they were thrown back, into the path of a veritable rain of spells. The demons were blasted apart, frozen and drowned as another wave turned on the dragon-zombies, setting them alight or dropping bits of buildings on them.
A hand reached out to help Diana up. It was old and gnarled, but when she took it, it managed to pull her up with a minimum of effort. "Hello Albus. What are you doing in the States?"
Albus Dumbledore smiled. "Vacation."
"You should have gone to Australia. Less insanity there."
"Ah, but where's the fun in that, Diana?"
"What have I done to deserve this?" Robin muttered to himself. He took his frustrations out on the next demon who reared it's ugly head his way, slashing at it's anatomical weak points savagely with his blade staff and managing to decapitate and amputate all four of it's arms.
As if in response, he heard Harley scream shrilly– it sounded suspiciously something like "Omni-bash"– followed by a series of fleshy squelchings as various body parts got pounded. He had no idea what the mallet was made of, but whatever it was, it was light enough for Harley to easily swing around with both hands while still somehow doing significant damage to anything it hit. They had the impact craters in the concrete to prove it.
"That can't be it," he muttered as he fought, launching himself in the air and spearing downward several times before he flipped back right side up. The snake-thing keeled over and went 'poof'. "That was a good thing! I can't be punished for that!"
Shayera streaked past, the crackling edge of her sword leaving a trail of ozone and blood as she slashed. Robin a flashbacks to the million-plus times Cyborg had tried to kill Sephiroth in Kingdom Hearts 2.
Sighing, the Boy Wonder snatched a handful of freeze disks and threw it in the general direction of the flaming dog things, who promptly got extinguished. On a normal day, he'd have people 'ooh'-ing and 'ah'-ing at his skills and general over-all coolness. Today, however…
A black flicker, and suddenly ten demons were dissolving.
Today, Batman was totally out-showing him. Granted there wasn't anyone to see, and it really wasn't a competition, and he really wasn't after the accolades but still, IT WAS THE PRINCIPLE OF THE THING! Really, all he had to do was make one pass with those bat-shaped crescent blades and three demons died!
For a guy who hated magic, Batman was awfully good at taking it down.
Robin paused a moment to think as he back-flipped into the air, avoiding three spear hands as he deployed a bomb. Come to think of it, it actually made a lot of sense.
Batman had quickly been followed by Shining Knight, Green Arrow and blue Devil, who were all doing pretty well in holding their own. The Knight and Shayera were keeping the air clear, with occasional assistance from Blue. The were making a stand at an intersection, keeping the demons from reaching a primary evacuation point. So far, they were succeeding, but it was only a matter of time before they got overrun. GA was going to run out of arrows soon, and Robin was already low on gadgets. If something didn't happen soon…
That was all Robin managed to think of before a new wave of demons suddenly came down the street, consisting of what looked zombified dragons. Soon it was all Robin could do to dodge out of the way as diseased talons on rotting claws tried to tear him apart. He barely managed to avoid the fetid mass, using one of his last freeze discs to capture and break it apart.
A dark shadow suddenly swept over him, and he was being carried through the air, away from the demons to the relative safety of a high ledge.
"Thanks," he said as Batman set him down, but the Dark Knight was already turning to observe the demons as they regrouped. Suppressing a sigh as he remembered his partner's annoying habits, Robin did the same.
Green Arrow seemed to have gotten out okay with Blue devil– for a moment, Robin wondered why some heroes had color-modifiers on their names– the two of them standing on a building across the street. Demons were already beginning to scale it's walls– Robin looked down; yup, demons climbing up too– while Shining Knight and Hawkgirl were still nowhere to be seen.
"Should I be disturbed that Harley still seems to be holding her own?" Robin said as he watched the mallet-wielding psycho bash anything that got close. He might not have been hearing correctly, but it certainly sounded like she was laughing.
"Quinn always was resilient," Batman said.
A thought occurred to Robin. "By the way, is Joker still in a coma?" he asked, hefting his staff, knowing this little break wouldn't last long. "I'd sleep easier knowing he won't be in town any time soon."
"Still no change," Batman said. "Doctors aren't too hopeful." He almost sounded happy.
The two raised their eyebrows as the voice rang through the street, and a construct of whirling orbs and lightning appeared and began pulling demons towards it.
"I've been wondering where Zatanna's been getting her spells lately," Batman said as some of the weaker demons were destroyed by either the electricity or by being crushed by bigger demons.
"I think she's been playing Kingdom Hearts 2," Robin provided.
"Definitely KH2," Robin said as a line of light appeared…
Raven knew fear. It was an emotion he had no trouble recognizing, a primal state that was the survival instinct's response to over-whelming, mortal danger. It released hormones in the body that heightened awareness, making it easier to either run or attack.
Flight or fight.
Right then, he was torn as to which response to follow. Escape was not viable, as Axilano would only continue hunting him, and he could not abandon his friends. Yet neither was attack, for he was not yet fully recovered from his previous outburst.
The boy teleported from shadow to shadow, trying to stay ahead of Axilano as the demon continued to seek him out. Raven held his wand securely, the cord he'd tied to it looped over his wrist in case he dropped it. He would need every weapon he could muster.
Teleporting once more, barely ahead of a rain of fire, Raven prayed his companions were all right, hoping someone would listen to the plea of a half-demon who wasn't a demon themselves…
"Hey, anyone hear that?" Flash said, looking towards the sound of something rumbling.
Cyborg tilted his head, listening as well. "Sounds like someone going through the walls of a building."
Static raised and eyebrow at him, not stopping trying to pry Poison Ivy off him. "How would you know?"
"I get sent through walls a lot;."
Starfire nodded in confirmation– she got sent through walls a lot too–as she cocked her head, listening intently. "A body appears to be freefalling in our direction as well."
Beast Boy pointed up. "Hey, isn't that Doctor Fate?"
Fire shaded her eyes. "Which one?"
Terra blinked. "Isn't there only one Doctor Fate?"
Any further discussion was cut off as a streak of gray-tainted black energy struck the ground, showering them all with concrete. They all took cover, Light, Terra and Static using their powers to shield themselves.
"Everyone okay?" Static asked as he dissolved his electrokinetic shield, trying to move to check up on everyone despite the fact that Ivy had clamped on tighter than ever and was doing another round of "I love you… my hero".
"We are unharmed," Starfire said as she helped Ice to her feet.
"Missed us?" Flash said as he dashed back with Fire in his arms, almost stepping on a little green rat.
"Hey! Watch it!" Beast Boy cried as he reverted back to his human form.
"Cyborg!" Ivy cried in concern, prying herself off Static– the boy breathed a sigh of relief– as she rushed towards where the other teen lay on his knees, shoulders shaking. "Cyborg, are you all right?"
"My baby!" Cyborg screamed, trying to rub out a small scratch in the finish with the polisher on his arm. "They hurt my baby! Those monsters will pay for this!"
People sweat-dropped as the Titan's resident techie began to rage against people with no respect for other people's babies. Light nodded in approval at his prose structure, beaming proudly as Cyborg went on a particularly long-winded tangent.
"Um, so, anyone see where the doc went?" Flash said.
"Up there!" Terra cried, pointing at two specs in the sky. Demons circled them, yet they only attacked one. "I'm guessing the blue one's him, but who's the other guy?"
Cyborg, still grieving over his 'baby' but recovering, focused his electronic eye at the specs. "It looks like… Doctor Fate? There are two of them!"
"How'd that happen?" Flash asked.
"Ooh! Evil demon twin!" Beast Boy suggested.
"Beast Boy, be serious," Ivy said.
Meanwhile, in the sky, gold and gray-tainted black battled…
"Bad Etrigan! Bad Etrigan!" Wonder Woman cried as she tried to restrain the strangely monochromatic demon.
Despite the seriousness of the situation, Superman sweat-dropped. "Diana, he's not a baby anymore."
Dumbledore wondered about young people as he tried to help Diana take down the demon, his wand spitting out spell after spell. He was hindered, however, by the fact that she might get hit, keeping him from using more powerful magic. Superman held back, trying to find an opening as the wizards Albus managed to rally– a mixture of professional colleagues, friends, and war buddies from the previous World Wars– held the weaker– relatively– demons back by force of numbers, and shear volume of spells. Magic that hadn't been seen since the Nazis were beaten fell amongst their number, shredding demons as effectively as it had the Third Reich.
Off to the side, Blood struggled to his feet, recovering from a near miss combined with having Etrigan sucked out of him. His normally impeccable hair was matted with his namesake, but that didn't stop his hand from glowing as he concentrated on his spell. "Diana! Off!"
Wonder Woman leapt out of the way, and Etrigan was bombarded in three directions as Blood, Dumbledore and Superman let loose with magic and heat vision. As the demon reeled, Diana managed to snag him with her lasso, it's golden form circling him and pulling tight.
"Etrigan! Get a hold of yourself!" she said as the lasso glowed, it's magic taking hold.
Etrigan screamed as Truth burned his skin, a few barely coherent words falling off his lips. "I… can't! Too… strong!"
They all exchanged glances in the lull. No one had any idea what to do…
"KEEPER! WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?-!-?" Robin screamed as the black-clad wraith-like form rained icy death on them all, humans and demons alike, ignoring their screams. Zatanna was trying to maintain her barrier to shield the heroes and wizards, sweat streaming down her forehead as she was strained by the size.
Keeper ignored him, icicles continuing to fall as he laughed. "Where are you, playmate? Come out, come out and plaaaaaay!"
"You know, he was a lot nicer this morning," Harley noted as she tried to take refuge under her mallet like an umbrella.
A blast of pure dark energy suddenly struck Keeper from behind, knocking off several feet before he regained his equilibrium. "You know, you're a pretty sucky copy," a black-clad, not-wraith-like form said as he sent balls of fire to mass towards the doppelganger. "Ice is not the only thing I can do! And who says 'play' in two straight sentences?"
"Oh, there he is!" Harley said, just before she suddenly dropped her mallet, nearly hitting Batman's foot. "Sorry mistah B! It just got heavy all of a sudden!"
People ran for cover as ice stopped falling, the two nearly identical forms exchanging magic in the air. Gray-tainted ice met fire and wind as they fought, elements blasting indiscriminately between them. Harley, meanwhile, was still trying to pick up her mallet, although the best she could do was drag it along. Robin went back to pull her away.
"What's happening up there?" Green Arrow asked, pulling out one of his remaining arrows but not taking aim, not sure who to target.
"Look's like Keeper's fighting a copy of himself," Zatanna supplied, slightly out of breath as she leaned on Batman for support. "It feels demonic in nature, so Axilano probably made it. Demons are fond of doing stuff like that."
"So which one's the real one?" Robin asked, trying to pick them out from where he was.
Zatanna shook her head. "I can't tell from here," she said, then paused, smiling slightly. "Although Shayera probably could…"
Batman was already on his communicator. "Shayera, where are you?"
Harley, watching the battle intently, blinked as one flickered out just as two winged forms approached. "Hey, one of them's gone!"
There's really no way you can fight yourself and win. Although Keeper was pretty sure all his copy had was a copy of his auramere power-wise, fighting it had been hard since it knew exactly how he would respond. He'd gotten lucky shooting it in the back, but after that it had managed to counter him hit for hit, so much so that he'd had to stop maintaining the spell that kept Harley's mallet light.
So when he'd seen Shining Knight and Shayera with her new sword closing in, he'd done the only logical thing he could think off.
He went to fight something else.
Fate's clone didn't know he was there until he rammed an icicle into it's chest. Ice might not be the only thing he could do, but he was best at it. "Take care of my clone," he said as the demon-copy disintegrated back into energy an re-merged with Fate. "I'll take out Etrigan and go after Raven."
A wave of his hand and Fate was being– involuntarily– teleported towards were he'd let off. That done, he went to look for Etrigan…
Blood tried to pry off Etrigan's hand as the demon squeezed the life out of him, trying futilely to use a spell even as his vision began to fade. Wonder Woman and Superman were trying to reach him, but other demons had cut them off, keeping them back even as they tried to press on through. The wizards Dumbledore had brought with him were trying to help, but there was only so much they could do. The old man himself lay crumpled at the base of a wall, stunned by an unexpected attack. He would not recover in time…
A blast of pure darkness erupted from the side, shearing through Etrigan's arm before moving to consume him. He didn't even have time to scream before he dissolved, a small orb of energy appearing in his place.
"You okay?" the boy who called himself Keeper said as he approached Blood, a glowing black pendant floating above his hand as he walked.
Blood grunted as air, and the ball of energy entered him, and he allowed himself a few moments to catch his breath. He was vaguely aware of lightning falling down on the demons' ranks, of the wizards raising a ragged cheer as their load was lightened. "I will be fine. Is Fate…?"
"Took care of his clone. Catch up, I'm heading for Raven," Keeper said, then paused, staring. "Is that… Albus Dumbledore?"
Blood, bemused, could only reply, "Yes."
Keeper shuddered. "He looks weird in that suit," was all he said, before disappearing.
Raven landed hard, trying to roll with the force and failing miserably. He struggled to stand, to move, to be anywhere but where he was as another fireball streaked at him, barely deflecting on a hastily constructed shield of darkness. The force of it sent Raven bouncing again, and this time he managed to get to his feet, hands raised and glowing with energy as he tried to prepare himself.
"Come here, little blackbird," Axilano taunted as he approached, wings fluttering behind him. "I won't hurt you. I promise."
And he wouldn't, Raven knew. He was need to open the way… and to do that, he needed to be alive…
He would rather die.
Silently, Raven charged, razor-sharp streaks of telekinetic energy flying at his call towards the demon, talon-like constructs studding the tips of his fingers as his cloak billowed open behind him. Axilano parried with his stone arms, the constructs breaking on his flesh but Raven didn't stop. What little hand-to-hand fighting skills he'd picked up on the road and from Robin wasn't much, but he knew how to move effectively. His hands and feet lashed out awkwardly, reinforced by telekinetic claws and fields as more razors came into being.
The black energy cushioned the impacts on the demon's body, hard as stone and more than enough to break his bones on without it. Axilano stumbled back, once, twice, cuts appearing on his skin as talons and razors hit home.
And them he hit back. One sweep of his arm was all it took to send Raven flying back, the impact barely cushioned by a quick shield. "Very forward, aren't we, little blackbird?" the demon said as he strode forward, just before a bus slammed into him, knocking him back several feet. In a burst of infernal flame, the bus flew apart, sending fiery shrapnel everywhere as Axilano roared. Raven tried to take advantage of his momentary dramatics, his hands coming forward in a bursting stream of dark energy, only to be met with a blast of pure infernal flame.
Force met force as the two blasts began pushing at each other. Raven didn't dare stop, knowing that if he did he wouldn't have time to get out of the fire's path. Instead, he pushed harder, trying to use what emotion he was feeling to make his power stronger without it going out of control and doing more harm then good, even as the fire began moving slowly but surely towards him. Sweat began to bead his scarred forehead, both from the heat and the concentration.
"Surrender, blackbird!" the demon said as he fired, seemingly unburdened by having to match and surpass Raven's output. "Your father misses you. He wants his precious little gem…"
Raven stumbled as his concentration shook, the backlash from having his power pushed back so firmly beginning to take it's toll on him as a small trail of blood began to drip from his nose as capillaries burst…
"RAVEN IS WHAT?"
The cry ripped out from four different female throats as Fate cringed, even if two of them came from the speaker of Robin's communicator. The looks on Zatanna and Harley's faces were more than enough to let him know what Terra and Poison Ivy were like on the other end of the line. The clown-garbed licensed psychiatrist was bug-eyed and slack-jawed as she looked up at him in shock, no longer trying to lift up her mallet. Zatanna's lips were set in a thin-worried line as she tightly gripped her wand and top-hat.
"Raven is facing Axilano alone," Fate repeated, and was very thankful when they didn't explode in exclamations. "His power has grown since you've last seen him, and it is highly doubtful Raven will last long on his own. It was Keeper's intention to go back to Raven after he has dealt with Etrigan, but I fear even his abilities are not sufficient to deal with the demon now."
"Then what are we waiting for? Let's get over there!" Terra cried, the sound of something being torn off the ground coming clearly through the speaker, followed by a mild commotion as people tried to keep her from haring off and doing something rash. "Hey, let me go! Ooh, Beast Boy, you really need a bath!"
"Look, I'm worried about him too, but we need a plan!" Robin said, pointing out the obvious. "If Axilano's gotten more powerful, then you can't just go off alone."
"If Axilano's gotten more powerful, Raven could already be dead!" Terra shot back. A pause. "Seriously Beast Boy, when all this is done, you're taking a bath!"
"I do not believe Axilano intends to kill Raven," Fate said, noticing Batman talking on his communicator off to the side. "He seemed more intent on Raven's capture."
Zatanna frowned. "That might be even worse."
"How so?" Robin asked.
"Demons aren't one for idle abduction. If they want Raven for some reason, then there's got to be a big, bad reason behind it," she explained.
"Duh," Cyborg said. "He's either a sacrifice, or the key to lots of bad mojo. We know the drill."
Zatanna pouted. "Curse Buffy for taking away the drama in my profession," she grumbled. Fate patted her consolingly.
Albus Dumbledore has proven on several occasions to be, if not perfect, then a very proficient leader. Although it is true he personally defeated the Dark Wizard Grindelwald, this is true only so long as the term 'personally' is interpreted as 'was personally fighting him for a full interrupted five minutes prior to his death and was the one who managed to land the killing blow'. Actually, it was a whole team of wizards led by Dumbledore who finally managed to reach the Dark Master of the Reich and bypassed him in favor of their target man (the team would later regret not getting the bragging rights for having finished off 'Mr. Moustache'). Under his leadership, the group managed to get past Inferi, werewolves, some minor demons (basically demonic rats and cockroaches) and an seemingly unstoppable Juggernaut dubbed Captain Nazi to reach the wielder of the Lance of Longinus (which was dubbed too dangerous to remain in wizard hands and given to some trustworthy Muggles for safe keeping). And although he possessed no official position during the war against Voldemort besides that of Headmaster of Hogwarts, his charisma and leadership skills, as well as his knowledge of the tactics that had worked against the Nazi's in their own territory allowed him to organize a resistance group able to meet with Voldemort's Death Eaters.
Superman, on the other hand, was one of the most recognizable figures on the planet and some other places of the universe, known to both Muggle- and Wizard-kind alike. His very presence inspires a reaction, whether that be admiration or dread. Whole armies would just drop their guns and surrender whenever he appeared, and criminals would meekly accompany him to their punishment, knowing there was nothing they could do.
On the last extreme, Diana was an immortal warrior whose whole life had been spent training for war while seeking peace. She'd lived on an island above a gate to the underworld. She knew demons.
Between the three of them, the wizards, soldiers and belated-arriving Leaguers were pushing back the demon tide. They might not have been the World's Finest, but two out of three ain't bad to have on your side.
Statute of Secrecy? Wizards? What the heck are you talking about, those weren't wizards, those were courageous American citizens helping defend their city! We did not see any wands. There were no magic wands. There was no magic…
This is, after all, the country that scans genuine magic texts and allows them to be accessible from the internet…
The boy who called himself Keeper drop-floated down the shaft, ignoring the weird, four-eyed, robed, ghost-like thingies as they hovered about. He was more or less invisible to them, or so he hoped, otherwise this could end up pretty bad…
Floating across the floor so as not to activate any traps, a few wrong turns quickly led him to a vast chamber, and he took a moment to admire the architecture. Giant cloaked figures stretching up to the ridiculously high ceiling– how the heck did this manage to hide in San Francisco?– were arrayed around the room at intervals, while in the center was a large, outstretched hand, it's palm open, fingers curved talon-like upwards. A set of stairs led up to the platform this made.
Above the hand, a blazing orb floated, burning with the intensity of a sun as it pulsed and raged. Small arcing tendrils like solar flares crested across it's surface as Keeper felt the power flowing out of it, making his skin want to crawl, badly. Floating upwards for a better look, he could almost swear it looked like a gem…
A shiver ran through him as he spied a familiar outline zigzagging across the surface of the apparent gem. Well, at least he knew what had happened to the rock that was supposed to be on Raven's head…
Smiling grimly, he summoned the Heart into his hands and got to work…
The edges of Raven's cloak smoldered as from a previous near miss as he tried to bombard Axilano with telekinetically accelerated objects from all directions clearly straining as his eyes continued glowing nonstop into their tenth minute. The flow of blood from his nose had slowed to a dull trickle, and was already drying as he fought desperately. He'd managed to put his marks on the demon, as his ragged wings and the stump of one hand attested, but he knew they were only temporary victories. The stump was already starting to grow back as fire wove to block off Raven's attacks.
Raven looked even worse. Besides his cloak– which would repair itself eventually– the armored clothes he was wearing was sporting it's own share of damage. One of the faux stones on the back of his gloves was gone, and the metal inserts were uncomfortably hot, a testament to too many close calls. The majority of one heel had been melted, making it difficult for Raven to walk as his balance kept getting thrown off.
Abruptly, Raven let the bombardment end, the unused projectiles flopping to the ground. Almost immediately, the flaming shield began to dissolve as Axilano came out of his cover. With a flick of his wrist, Raven sent one of the black Birdarangs Robin had loaded his utility belt with flying, it's explosive charge primed. This time, however, instead of grabbing it with his hand, Axilano jumped back, the explosion sending debris flying at him.
"Using the same trick twice, little blackbird?" the demon taunted. "Finally running out of fire? Because I am not!"
Raven snapped up his wand as the burst of flame rushed towards him. "Aguamenti!"
Water poured out of his wand, augmented by his telekinesis into a liquid shield. He'd found it an efficient deterrent against purely flame-based attacks as it blocked both the heat and the force. However, it was much more draining, since he needed to concentrate on both of his magic at once.
A glint of gold flickered into being…
"TITANS, GO AND KICK ASS!" Tara's voice cried, and suddenly, Axilano was beleaguered on multiple fronts by super-powered– and in Robin's case, obsessive-workaholic-Type-A-personality-martial-artist-vigilante– teenagers and slightly insane– and in Poison Ivy's case, slightly-insane-with-mother-hen-ish-tendencies– adults all very pissed that he was picking on their teammate. Off to the side, Doctor Fate, Zatanna, Batman and Hawkgirl– they'd left the other Leaguers to help with the crowd control– all paused to stare at the… rather excessive violence being committed on the person of the surprised demon.
"That had to hurt," Zatanna said, wincing as Cyborg gut-punching arm quickly morphed into his sonic cannon, which blasted a charge right at the moment of impact, sending Axilano flying straight into Harley's mallet, which was being wielded by a green gorilla. She gave Batman a sideways look. "What has your kid been teaching those guys?"
Batman said nothing, watching as Terra did a rock-based rendition of Raven's previous omni-directional Xemnas-like bombardment with Starfire providing the colorful backup. Ivy and Harley had gone off to tend to Raven, who had fallen to his knees in exhaustion. Careful note was made of the delicacy of their handling, their expressions– concern– their gestures– tender– and their words– "RAVEN/RAE-RAE! ARE YOU OKAY?"– as they helped him to his feet while checking him for injuries.
"You just going to stand there?" Zatanna asked. Batman didn't stir as he moved his concentration towards the demon currently beginning to mentally recover from the initial surprise and brutality of the attack while being scored by several lightning-fast strikes from a light-whip coupled with a few acid bombs. Zatanna rolled her eyes and flexed her wrists, readying her wand. "Fine. Be like that. I'm joining in. Yruf Amitlu!"
The Titan's drew back as the copyright-infringed spell began to strike, Fate, Starfire and Cyborg adding their own loud and colorful additions to the display with starbolts, ankhs and sonic fire, while Shayera, Robin, Light and Beast Boy stood with their melee weapons ready. It wasn't long before flame began to reappear, and the casters increased their rate of fire, trying to get as many hits in before–
Everyone– except for Batman, because he was the only one who knew better than to get into a close quarters fight with a powerful demon, and Raven, Ivy and Harley, since they were out of range– was thrown back as the burst of fire exploded outwards. Robin felt the heat even through his fire-proof cape; Beast Boy's fur began to smolder and he frantically began to do the roll.
"FOOLS!" Axilano cried. "I AM EMPOWERED BY THE GREAT SCATH HIMSELF! THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO HARM ME! I AM INVINCIBLE! I AM–"
There was a 'poof' that sounded strangely like a fart, and the flames suddenly fizzled out. Everyone blinked, even Axilano, stupidly looking at each other and wondering what happened.
Then the demon suddenly doubled over, screaming in pain as what looked like red vapors began to leak out of his body. His wings withered, his arms shriveled, his muscles deflated like a DBZ power-up in reverse. This was all accompanied by loud screams of denial. Within moments, Axilano had been reduced to the form he'd had earlier that morning, with the poop-tone skin, curly horns and only one pair of arms.
"You are," a voice called out, "in SO much deep (BLEEP)!"
Keeper skipped nimbly over the rumble-strewn war zone, a wide smile on his face, a darkly glowing pendant hanging around his neck. "The thing about small tears in the magical fabric of reality is that, if you know what you're doing, you can close them," he said, winking as he kicked aside a rock. "Even as we speak, those little demons you summoned are no longer being replenished. I'd hazard some are being rejected out, and a few of the smart ones are even going back on their own. Oh, and your little 'cheat code' power-up has effectively been cancelled out. Which means…"
A wicked, wicked, wicked, wicked grin crossed his face as an icicle-lance extended from his arm, a grin that was suddenly copied by all of the Titans and the magic-using Leaguers.
"…you are about TO GET YOUR ASS KICKED!"
You could almost hear Axilano's gulp as (primarily) teenaged death stared him in the face.
With a mighty cry, the Titans and their allies were on him, punching, kicking, blasting and occasionally biting at the demon. Harley joined, gleefully finding that her mallet was once more light as a feather. With renewed energy, they struck, light whips, rocks, ankh-blast, punches, kicks, swords, icicles, mallets, blades, and whatever Zatanna was using hitting and now actually hurting.
Still, a cornered animal is the most dangerous. It has nothing left to lose. They were all surprised when Axilano began throwing them off him, the element of shock and surprise wearing off. They were suddenly reminded that, 'cheat code' power-up or no, this was still a powerful demon they were up against. Robin and Harley managed to dodge, their considerable athletic ability coming to the fore as they managed to stick it out. Everybody else went flying, although Starfire, Fate and Shayera managed to catch themselves in the air before they hit anything. Everyone else ate dirt, Cyborg landing with a solid thump as everyone else slid painfully through the rubble. Beast Boy, Terra and Keeper, being the lightest, actually bounced a couple of times before they came to a rest.
"NO!" Axilano protested. "No mortal shall defeat me! I am the demon Axilano! I shall feast on your souls and–"
An ocher yellow finger tapped his shoulder, followed quickly by an ocher yellow fist into his jaw.
"My turn to have fun," Etrigan grinned as he threw himself at the other demon.
Keeper pushed himself up, shaking his head and wincing as the headache got worse. Some distance away, Batman was checking on Terra. From the way she was stirring, it looked like she was all right. Beast Boy was also groggily getting to his feet.
A hand came to rest on the traveler's shoulder and a cool, healing sensation washed over him. His headache disappeared.
"Thanks," he told Raven, standing wearily next to him. Placing his own hand on the half-demon, he returned the favor.
Raven straightened, flexing his fingers. "Let us end this."
Keeper palmed the crystal around his neck. "Agreed."
Etrigan and Axilano wear locked in mortal struggle when the twin blasts of different dark energies suddenly struck the darker demon, separating the two and causing the target to go flying into a convenient magically-reinforced wall (courtesy of Zatanna). Multiple blasts followed, starbolts, ankhs, light balls and more darkness striking in rapid succession as Keeper dashed forward.
Axilano tried to stand, raising his arms to try and cast a spell to block the attacks. A bolo suddenly flew, twining his limbs in reinforced metal bands. While certainly no match for his strength, they caught him by surprise and caused him to stumble, giving Keeper the precious few seconds he needed.
His arm glowing darkly, he plunged his hand into Axilano's chest, phasing through the skin, and began rooting around. "Com on, come on…" he muttered under his breath as he searched through Axilano's soul. His hand made contact with flesh. "Got it!" he cried, and he pulled. A hand– a human hand– came out of the demon's chest, followed by an arm and finally a whole person. It was a boy with short, dirty-blond hair, and pale, pock-marked skin. "I've got the kid! Finish him off!"
"RRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!" Axilano cried as he broke the metal bonds Batman had thrown at him, grasping at Keeper and the boy. Keeper dodged away, shielding himself and his passenger as the Titans and Leaguers blasted the demon away. With her own cry, Shayera swooped down, the blade of her sword crackling as she dove in to strike.
Axilano finally screamed in pain as his right arm was cut off, ichor beginning to spew from the wound. A wild blast of power had her out of the air and kissing the ground, her hand losing her grip on her sword as she fell. Before she was even settled, Batman was swooping in to pull her out of harm's way just as everyone let loose another barrage.
Raven held out his hand, black telekinesis reaching for to grasp Shayera's fallen blade and bring it towards him. Holding it in a two-handed grip, he examined the handle. "How do you activate this?"
"ON," Keeper commanded as he teleported next to Raven, laying down his unconscious burden. The weapon flickered to life, energy arcing up and down it's length.
Axilano stumbled groggily, suddenly doubling over as Cyborg's fist struck his gut. A horn fell off as he barely managed to avoid getting decapitated by Robin's blade. He fended them off with his remaining arm, but that didn't stop the green tyrannosaurus tail from hitting him in the back. Starfire's fist met him head on, her uppercut drastically changing his direction but not his speed as he was sent reaching for the sky.
Raven's cloak fluttered in the wind as he materialized above the demon, blue fabric outstretched behind him like wings on an emissary of death. Holding the nth-metal blade hilt-up, he wrapped it within his power, using his telekinesis to give himself strength as he thrust the point into Axilano's chest. He was barely able to get it past the demon's skin, even as the smell of burnt flesh began to rise, the arcs of energy crackling through the skin cooking it.
Axilano fell, slamming into the ground…
Right in front of Harley and her mallet.
"FORE!" she cried, hitting the hilt of the sword like a nail and driving the rest of the blade right into the demon and into the ground.
Everyone was blinded at the burst of light that followed. Harley was knocked back– way back– on her butt by the shockwave, an intangible wave of energy washing away from the site.
Cheers rose all across the city as demons suddenly began to disappear, their last link to this plane gone.
Dumbledore allowed himself to sag slightly, leaning casually against a still-standing lamp-post to hide it. He tucked his wand into his clothes so that he wouldn't drop it with his suddenly shaky grip. "I'm getting too old for this…" he muttered quietly to himself.
"You don't say?" a voice said quietly. The old wizard opened one eyes, mildly amused to note Superman was casually supporting his wait on a remaining piece of wall. "Aren't people your age usually at their second wind?"
Dumbledore chuckled. "Kal-El, people my age are usually already long dead and gone after several years of playing with their grandchildren. Even amongst wizards, it is rare for someone to live significantly beyond a hundred."
"Oh? Then why…?"
"Oh, I'm just dead stubborn that way."
The two stood silently for a while, enjoying the momentary relative peace of victory, knowing it would only be a matter of time before they'd need to get off their butts and clean up the mess, not to mention working to expunge any mention of Wizards– with the exception of the League's Meta-magi– out of any mention of events. The Statute of Secrecy was the Wizarding World's blanket 'secret identity', and even though they liked to poke at it some of the time, they knew as well as the superheroes did how important it was. But that would be for later, after…
Dumbldore opened his eyes, some shine of youth returning to his twinkling blues. "By the way, where are we having the After-Victory Party?"
Several days later, Titan's Tower was particularly crowded.
Beast Boy was in his element, being the all-cool life of the party– or, as everybody else saw him, that green comic relief kid who was just too cute to get slapped who was always making a fool of himself but not seeming to notice. He was wearing a party hat, one of those curly whistle things on his mouth and a noisemaker in each hand.
He was in fact so cute that Fire, Ice and Gypsy were fawning over him, much to Flash and Booster Gold's disgruntlement. Seriously, what was so cute about a little green kid with fangs and pointy ears?
Robin did not like Titan's Tower being used as party central, a fact he'd made perfectly clear over the few days leading up to the party, but when Superman asked you, how was he to say no? His time was currently divided with trying to make sure no one spiked the punch, trying to avoid Supergirl and Stargirl, and making sure Starfire didn't see him with the two.
Not that he cared, or anything…
He didn't have to work so hard, since Supergirl and Terra apparently managed to hit it off, while Stargirl and Harley compared their respective 'rods'. He had a sneaking suspicion those two would be showing up at the Tower though…
Keeper spent the party as a girl, maneuvering Raven towards the opposite side of the room from Albus Dumbledore and making sure his hood was up. This was helped by the fact the old man was slightly tipsy and in the midst of praising Zatanna and Fate, wishing he'd had more people like them during the Second World War.
They all partied into the night, culminating in Doctor Light (the guy), Cyborg and Black Canary getting into a Karaoke competition…
- To be continued…
There are too many 'manipulative-old-bastard!Dumbledores' out there, so I'm countering with my 'Heroic-Justice-League-reserve-member!Dumbledore'.
Regarding Raven's 1-on-1 with Axilano versus canon!Raven's 1-on-1 with Slade, here, Raven started out afraid and slightly desperate– for him– while canon!Raven was pissed off. That made the difference.
Anyway, one last Titans chap, and then it's off the Hogwarts again!
Well, the Weasley's place at least…
OMAKE: Everyone and Their Grandma
All over the place, in areas within and without the reach of man, people were watching their TV (or thing closest to it), taking in the report of the demon attack on San Francisco. They watch in concern, some partly wishing they could help, others were jealous they weren't doing it, and still others didn't feel about it one way or another.
Then a certain boy in a long blue cloak appeared on the scream, fighting for his life against something out of a horror movie.
Many people gaped. Lots did spit-takes. Not a few jumped to their feet. And almost every single one blazed a trail to San Francisco.
After all, Raven was there.
"We are so doomed," Ivy said bleakly as she finished writing up her Last Will and Testament. Close to her, the rather ragged forces of the Justice League, the Titans and whatever local wizards Zatanna and Dumbledore could rouse were making their last stand. All of them were worn out, down to their last gadgets, spells, weapons or whatever.
"We can't just give up," Static wheezed, even though he was barely staying in the air as it was.
"You gotta admit," Flash said, "it looks like we're going to need a miracle for this one."
Superman's ears twitched, and he frowned. "You guys hear something?"
Before anyone could reply, a loud wail echoed through the area. Glass broke, buildings trembled, and nearly everyone was knocked for a loop and given a mild headache. Yet that was nothing compared to what happened to the demons, who all collapsed to the ground twitching.
As one, everyone looked at Black Canary.
She shrugged. "Wasn't me."
Keeper shaded his eyes, looking in the direction the attack– for it was an attack– trying to see anyone and got a glimpse of a rapidly approaching black and white form. "Nah, it can't be…" he muttered.
But it was.
"RAVEN!" the newcomer cried.
Raven blinked in surprise, before greeting them back. "Danny Phantom? What are you doing here?"
"I came as fast as I could when I saw you on the news," the halfa explained, looking at the recovering monsters. "These guys don't look like ghosts."
"They're not," Raven explained. "They're demons."
Everyone blinked as another rapidly moving streak of black and white suddenly glomped on to Raven's side, revealing a certain white-haired girl. Danny smirked knowingly at Raven's confused look. Terra began to see red.
"Raven!" Dani Phantom said. "I missed you so much! When I saw how much trouble you were in I just had to help, melting or no melting!"
"This is not happening," Keeper muttered, wishing he had a camera.
"Raven," Terra ground out. "Who is this girl?"
Before Raven could respond, there was a sudden cry as a demon suddenly launched itself at the distracted Titan. It was suddenly intercepted in midair by an energy blast of some kind, much to everyone's surprise, just as both Dani and Danny suddenly let out a breath of mist.
"Why Raven my boy, I didn't know you knew my daughter!"
The two halfas twitched at the familiar voice. "Plasmius!"
"Mr. Plasmius? What are you doing so far from Wisconsin?"
Blink. "Raven, how do you know Plasmius?" Danny asked in surprise.
Plasmius smirked as he landed next to the cloaked boy, who still had Dani more-or-less attached. "Why, Raven used to drop by my mansion every few months and kept me company! He taught me some meditation techniques to help me with my powers, although I'm ashamed to say I haven't used them in quite some time."
Before either Phantom could react to that, two shadows fell over the scene, followed by two women, one landing with a parachute, the other jumping from a hover car. "I'm here to help Raven, what do you- YOU!"
"Miss Go? Miss Possible? You two know each other?"
Then things started getting weird.
"Raven!" a masked girl in green with a long golden braid suddenly glomped on to Raven's other side. "Are you all right?"
"Huntsgirl? What are you doing here? Hey Raven, um, how do you know Huntsgirl?" a red dragon said as it suddenly appeared.
"Friend Raven!" a bald kid ridding a dragon with three other teens greeted. "We come to your aid!"
"Don't worry Raven, your pal's here with all the Jackbots, Shen Gong Wu and Heylin evil back up you need!"
"AHH! What are you geeks doing here?"
A weird vaguely insect-like creature suddenly appeared, wearing something with a button on it. "Don't worry Raven! I'm here!"
"Raven! We've come to help!"
"Aw, man! Raven, what have you gotten yourself into?"
"What's a Power Ranger doing here?" Keeper muttered. No one noticed.
"All right, we're here! Hey Rae-Rae!"
"Sam? Alex? Clover?"
A small mecha suddenly dropped from the sky. "Tuatha De Danaan, have arrived safely. Will now support primary ally."
"Sergeant Sagara? Is that you?"
"Affirmative. Captain Testarossa sends her regards and asks when you are free for dinner."
In short order arrived the Musumets, Buffy, the Metabreed, some boy with a bandanna, fangs and an umbrella, a billionaire with a golden rod riding a dragon-shaped jet…
"Raven, do you know everyone in the world?" Keeper asked as he watched Terra, Dani, and Huntsgirl (among others) arguing over the oblivious one. "All that's missing is…"
At that moment, a boom tube opened and out stepped…
"Darkseid!" Superman exclaimed as Mr. Bad himself stepped out.
The warlord ignored him, however. "It appears you require assistance, Raven," he intoned.
Justice League jaws dropped.
"It would be appreciated," Raven said evenly, as if he didn't have girls hanging off him. Off to the side, Harley, Wuya, Plasmius, and Gramps were chatting about him.
"My parademons are at your disposal, " Darkseid rumbled. Superman fainted.
Keeper looked at his brother as the reinforcements, with more coming in every minute to greet Raven before they too joined in, went to town on the demons. "Man, you sure get around, bro."
Meanwhile, Foo Dog and Dojo chatted about old times as they tried to revive Superman, who was still passed out…
Omake 2: More Where That Came From
Just when it looked like things couldn't get any worse for the demons, what with them being outnumbered by parademons, ghosts, shaolin, superheroes, supervillains, spies, crazy soldiers, martial artists, rich boys and the occasional traitor who happened to know Raven, a portal suddenly opened, and a group of exceedingly good looking fellows with long-ish hair, finely-chiseled good looks and demonic powers showed up and made things even worse.
"All right," Keeper said, twitching as he watched a barefoot, red-robed guy with silver hair and pointed ears teaming up with a white-robed, silver-haired guy with pointed ears. "How do you know Inu-Yasha and Kurama–" a guy in black leather, long silver hair and one wing flew by, followed by a fruity-looking guy with pink hair and a rather flowery-looking scythe "– among others?"
"Oh, they're from my 'Persecuted Half-Humans Support Group'," Raven said as he rested, ostensively from fighting but actually from being used in the girl-tug-of-war.
"Hey, I'm a member of that!" Danny Phantom and Plasmius said. The younger halfa twitched at learning this.
"'Persecuted Half-Humans Support Group'?" Keeper repeated. The twitching got worse.
Raven nodded. "Yes. It's a part of the group that also runs the 'Bishounen Support Hotline', the 'Protection From Yaoi Program', and the '4Kids-Dub Protection Society'."
"'4Kids-Dub Protection Society'?" Keeper said, feeling like a broken record as Seto tried to shush Mokuba, who was saying "Hey, oni-sama, aren't you on those programs?".
A little yellow rat with red and black marks happened my, hugged Raven's leg, and proceeded to demolish the enemy.
"It's a very compassionate group," Raven said.
"Didn't they kill the last Saijans?" Jack Spicer said, not looking beat even though it was already a good fifteen minutes into the fight.
"Our group will neither confirm or deny our connection to the 'Mary-Sue Hunter Corps'."
Omake 3: Hermione's Tale
"How about that, dear?" Hermione's father said, pointing at the television screen, where a black energy field suddenly divided itself into multiple razors and flew against a four-armed, winged demon. Where the cameraman was is a mystery best left unsolved. "Do they teach you that in school?"
"No dad," Hermione breathed tiredly as she barely managed to keep herself from sighing. "They don't teach us anything like that at school. I've told you, those 'magic-users' that the Justice League have are special witches and wizards called Meta-magi. They're kind of like the magical equivalent of metahumans, so of course they can do things we can't."
"Well, can't you take a potion or something?" her dad asked her, watching the blue-cloaked hero attacking the demon. "You know, like some of those heroes out there who get their powers from a chemical accident?"
"No dad," Hermione answered, almost exasperated. When dealing with your parents, the most you can react was 'almost'. "It's something you have to be born with, like being Superman or Martian Manhunter."
"You sure? I mean, what if you're bitten by a radioactive unicorn or something…"
Hermione sighed internally as she wondered why she had a superhero obsessed father. Any time now he was going to be asking her why she couldn't arm herself with potions and magical devices and become a magical vigilante or something like that mythical Batman in Gotham…
For the record, Hermione is not about to become a magical vigilante out of a Mr. Black fic. No offense to the series and it's writers, it's great reading for when you want to indulge your id and inner Übermensch but it's not just my style…
The result of too much fan fiction and TV while contemplating just who exactly Raven knows…
Please review, C&C welcome.
Until next time, this is Shadow, signing off.
Deep within the deserted library, behind a bookcase sealed against a false wall, down a shaft filled with hardened lava, deep into the bowels of the earth, there lay a chamber. It did not look as such now. Filled with molten rock and frozen by a child, it should have been one solid mass of stone. It would have taken detailed analysis with a seismic sensor and ground-penetrating radar to see the massive central platform shaped like a hand, the enormous stone statues of cloaked and hooded figures.
In the area that, had there been no frozen stone, would have been above the hand, a spot of red heat began to glow, growing patiently.
In time, days later, stone began to burn…