I neither own Harry Potter, JKR beat me to the punch nor do I own Batman or any of the other DC Comics characters, places etc.


Albus Dumbledore was dead; his death due to the betrayal of Severus Snape seemed to shock everyone in the Wizarding world completely. The people were afraid the leader of the light, the only one who Voldemort feared was dead. Who would protect them, who would stop the Death Eaters?

These thoughts and others were being echoed all along the Hogwarts Express as children left the school for the year. Some were wondering if the school would reopen in the fall, some enjoying time with their friends for perhaps the last time, but three individuals were planning their summer down to the tiniest detail, not knowing all of their plans were about to be moot.

Fate it seems has a way of helping or hindering, depending on your perspective.

High above the streets of Gotham City a dark shape was questioning a thief.

"Wake up," the dark figure ordered the thief.

As he woke up the thief, looked around his surroundings and screamed as he looked up and saw the street several floors beneath him.

"Quiet! Screaming will do no good and if you do not answer me, I will make sure the last thing you see is the concrete on the street below," the detective explained.

"W-w-what do you want," the thief asked almost pleading for it to be an easy question.

"What are you doing in my city, you don't belong here, your voice and clothes suggest Europe," the man quietly questioned. Pushing up the thief's sleeve, "What is this mark on your arm?"

The thief's mood changed completely upon exposure of his mark. "My Master will reward me greatly and you will know nothing," he cried out as he attempted to disapparate away from the Dark Knight.

Unfortunately not knowing where he was caused the spell to fail as far as where he wanted to go.

He did escape though, two feet away, untied and still fifty stories above the streets of Gotham, with nothing to stop his fall.

Sighing at the waste, he paused and thought about what had caused the sudden change in demeanor.

"Alfred," he spoke into his radio, "I am returning to the cave, I need to find out all I can about a black tattoo of a skull with a snake through it."

Sitting at the computer helping Batman was something Alfred had done for several years. Having someone here often aided his driven master and friend when he was above the streets of Gotham.

"The dark mark," Alfred whispered to himself. "It can't be."

"A what sir," the normally unflappable butler asked.

"Is there something wrong Alfred," the Dark Knight asked, with some concern in his voice.

"No, no sir. I will see you when you return," he replied. Turning off his microphone, he sat back and sighed, knowing there would be questions that must be answered and knowing they would lead them back home.