Disclaimers: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K Rowling and Bloomsbury Publishing also DC comics and their subsidiaries. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Notes: Batman/Hp xover. Because I began to read one and ended up with my own plot outline within about five minutes. This is massively different to that (other than the same characters… I think that is the *only* similarity between the two). Starts just prior to Batman Begins, continues through TDK. Obviously the timelines don't match up in the HP books/Batman films – so I've ignored them.
Chapter 1. Snapshots.
The baby cried. He smiled a fake smile as he tried to hand her back to her parents whilst the rest of the small congregation of close friends and family filed out of the church, heading for the party. Unfortunately for Bruce Wayne, Hermione Granger's parents were too intent on thanking the vicar than to take their squalling offspring from him. He shuffled the baby to a more comfortable position in his arms, hoping to calm her down.
No such luck.
He gazed down at the reddened face of his goddaughter and gave a wry smile. For the first time in a long time, here was a female who had no interest in him whatsoever, and who couldn't wait to get away.
He wasn't used to females not wanting his attention. No wonder he couldn't calm her down.
'Oh Bruce!' Hermione's mother stepped forward. 'I am sorry!' She reached forward for the now hiccupping Hermione.
'No problem Mrs Granger.' He said with an easy smile, glad to be rid of his burden, watching as the mother calmed her daughter down with practiced ease. 'It makes quite a change from the usual girls I see.'
'Now Bruce, remember – it's Helen.' Mrs Granger said, her arms full of her daughter, as she began walking towards the exit of the church, Bruce alongside. She turned to him in as they reached the doorway. 'And I can't thank you enough for this…' She trailed off, looking nervously up at the young billionaire.
Bruce put his hands in his pockets and shrugged, his actions betraying his youth. 'Its okay, Mrs… Sorry, Helen.' He said, smiling down at her, a more real smile than his usual ones. 'My father always said he would be godfather to your children when you asked him…' He looked away. 'I'm honoured to be able…'
'No dear.' She shuffled Hermione's weight to one arm and grasped his arm with her free hand. 'We're honoured. Understand?' She waited until he raised his eyes to meet hers. 'We are honoured that you would stand in for Thomas.' She smiled, letting go of his arm and re-adjusting Hermione's position. 'Of course – we wanted your mother to be Hermione's godmother… So I suppose we'll just have to wait until you get married and have a second ceremony?' She said eyes twinkling with mischief.
Bruce chuckled, the sombre mood broken. 'You might be waiting a while.'
'Nonsense.' Helen declared. 'As soon as you finish university, or college or whatever it is you Americans call your higher education – then you can find a wife!'
'Now, now dear.' Said the bemused voice of her husband. 'Less trying to marry off the poor boy!' He turned to the vicar. 'She's dreadful! If he was ten years younger – she'd be having you publish the bans for Bruce and Hermione!'
The vicar smiled. 'Alas, Mrs Granger – I'm afraid your daughter would be a bit too young for such an event!'
Helen pulled a face at her husband and then turned back to Bruce. 'Are you sure you won't join us for the party?'
'No. I would but…'
'You need to get back.'
Bruce nodded. 'I have to discuss my results… and go back to Gotham… For the trial.'
The happy atmosphere dimmed.
Mr Granger stepped towards Bruce. 'You do know – if you need anything. Anything – you come to us – you understand, my boy?'
'Good. I could never forgive myself if anything happened to you.' He smiled. 'And lets not even think about what my wife would do to me!' He walked with Bruce out of the churchyard, his wife and the vicar heading in the opposite direction to the church hall.
The stopped at the gate, Bruce turning to shake hands before they parted.
'I know you hate it – but…' Mr Granger paused. 'You do look like your father.'
Bruce looked up. 'I don't… hate it.'
'No.' He considered what he had said for a moment. 'You don't hate the comparison of looks – but hate the lazy comparison of character.'
Bruce didn't respond.
'You are not your father.' He saw Bruce flinch. 'And your father wouldn't want you to be his clone.' He said fiercely. 'Your father loved you – and your mother – very much. And ultimately – he would want you to be happy.' He saw Bruce relax. 'I get the feeling that things are coming to a head for you – is it the trial?'
Bruce nodded and wouldn't meet his eyes.
'You do what you need to do. We'll support you.' He grasped Bruce's shoulder, making Bruce look up. 'Your father supported me when I went off into Africa – even though everyone said I was crazy. Your father supported me when I came back. And your mother…' He trailed off and smiled. 'Well, if it wasn't for your mother convincing me that Helen would agree to go out with me after the first disastrous date – there wouldn't be any Hermione.' He stepped back. 'Now take care of yourself Bruce Thomas Wayne. We shall see you – birthdays and Christmas presents – that's what godparents are for!'
Bruce smiled and opened the gate before stepping out of the churchyard and heading for the car to take him back to the airport. Back to Gotham.
The girl - for it clearly was a girl, sitting against the wall, outside the house - had too much hair, Bruce noted absently as he walked up to the house, front door ajar.
The girl looked up from her book as he approached.
'Yes?' She said, putting her bookmark into the pages before closing it, keeping her eyes on the stranger now in front of her.
'I'm looking for Mr or Mrs Granger.'
The girl blinked up at him owlishly, as though her brain was still immersed in the book she was reading a few moments before. Then…
Bruce took a few steps back – nearly deafened by the volume of the girl's screech.
'Hermione!' Came a voice, from inside as the door opened. 'How many times have I told you not to yell?' Helen Granger, turned, exasperatedly from her daughter to the stranger that stood before her. 'I am sorry Mr…' She trailed off. 'Oh my…' She raised her hand to her mouth in shock. 'Bruce?'
Helen Granger lost no time in hugging Bruce, whilst he awkwardly patted her back. It had been some time since anyone had hugged him – without having an ulterior motive. He quirked a small smile, glad he wasn't as close to her as he had been to the girl when she had yelled, otherwise he really wouldn't have been able to hear anything.
'Mum?' A bewildered child whined, seemingly shocked that her mother was hugging the stranger.
'What's all this commotion about?' Mr Granger stuck his head out of the door.
Helen stopped hugging Bruce for a moment to show her husband the good news. 'Look Steve – it's Bruce!'
'Bruce!' Steve Granger almost flew out of the house to give his old mentor's son a bear hug.
'Daddy?' A plaintive voice could be heard. 'Mummy?'
'Oh Hermione – dearest.' Helen turned to her daughter as Steve let go of Bruce. 'This is your godfather – Bruce. Bruce Wayne.'
Bruce smiled down at the girl with the ridiculous hair. She frowned up at him.
'My godfather?' Hermione asked, managing to inject a surprising amount of scepticism in a voice so young.
'Yes Hermione.' Her father said, grinning at Bruce before gesturing to make their way inside.
Hermione trailed behind the adults, still frowning.
'My godfather.' Bruce heard her repeat and he smiled – unlike the christening, getting her to like him this time would be a piece of cake.
'Where's he been all these years?'
Or maybe not.
Bruce raised an eyebrow at his butler.
Alfred gazed impassively back at him.
Bruce sighed, getting the hint, before sitting up and putting his paper down on the breakfast table in defeat.
'I do seem to recall Sir, that you said you would be delighted to host Miss Hermione for the summer months whilst her parents returned to Africa to continue their charitable works.' Alfred paused for a moment to see how that affected his employer before continuing. 'In fact sir, I believe you stated, to Mr and Mrs Granger: "She's only ten. How hard can it be?"'
Bruce groaned. 'Do you know which part of the house she was in last?'
'I believe Miss Hermione expressed an intention of investigating whether the building has any attics. Sir.'
'In which case – she's probably in the sewers by now.' He stood before adding. 'Sulking.'
Alfred just looked at his employer.
Bruce sighed, heading for the door. 'Another five weeks of this Alfred.' He commented, glancing at his butler's expression as he did so. Then suddenly he quirked a smile. A small smile, but a very real one nonetheless. 'She's the only girl I've never managed to charm.'
Alfred coughed lightly. 'Perhaps, sir… In the next five weeks…?'
'One can only hope!'
Bruce Wayne sat hunched in his chair, looking out across Gotham. The panoramic view made no impact.
'A call for you. Sir.' Alfred held out the telephone. Hoping that this, of all things could break his employer out of his funk.
Alfred cleared his throat, making his employer turn his face towards him. He almost flinched when he saw the grief there. It had only been a week since Rachel had died.
'I'm sorry sir, but I must confess being more afraid of the person on the other end - than of you sir.' He handed Bruce the handset, before leaving his employer alone.
Bruce Wayne waited until the footsteps had died away before he put the handset to his ear. 'Hello?' His voice barely audible.
'Uncle Bruce?' A tremulous, young, female voice spoke. 'I'm sorry about your friend.'
The tears that Bruce had been unable to shed since the realisation she was dead finally slipped down the worn man's cheeks. 'So am I, Hermione. So am I.'
'So – what's it to be? Roedean? Eton? Oh – that's only boys isn't it? They'd probably make an exception – if I asked.' Bruce Wayne said, glancing at from his goddaughter to the public school brochures he held, before looking back at her. He had no problem with spending his money on one of the few people on the planet who had enough intelligence to work out a secret that many criminals, including his nemesis – the Joker – still hadn't figured out. Especially since she'd managed it when she was ten. And that was before she'd lived in his home for six weeks.
Hermione sat opposite her godfather and seemed to be considering something. Then she nodded to herself. Rather decisively, Bruce noted, with both amusement, and some trepidation.
'Neither, actually.' She pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to her godfather. 'I got accepted at another school.' She paused. 'A more… exclusive… school.'
Bruce put down the brochures beside him, then he unfolded the paper and read it, his face impassive as his mind raced, accumulating and sorting the new data it presented.
'Hogwarts.' He finally said. He looked up and smiled. 'I expect this is a subject you haven't read much about.' She shook her head, untameable hair surrounding her like a bushy cloud as she did so. 'More books for your birthday presents then.' He glanced back at the paper in his hand. 'Although getting hold of them might be a bit… challenging.'
The owl viewed the giant bat impassively. Bruce Wayne sighed. These untimely interruptions into his night patrols would have to change. He took the note, tucked it into his utility belt and then leapt of the building, his cape allowing him to glide downwards.
He got into his new car – his 'batmobile' as Hermione had sniffily declared it – before opening the note his goddaughter had sent him. He read it. He pressed a communication device in the car.
'She hates it, Alfred.'
'She sent me another owl.' He clarified. 'She hates it.'
'She says, and I quote: "There appears to be some division between those who have "pure-blood" and those who they class as "mud-blood" i.e. people like me with no magical background. The look down on me in spite of me being top of almost every class – except potions…. and they sorted us into houses according to our personality – with a mind reading hat – it was ridiculous – how can you not change as you grow up? Are you the same person you were at the age of eleven?"… Well Alfred – are you?'
'I fear not sir.'
'The letter is much the same all the way through – her classmates resent her for doing well…'
Alfred coughed. 'She is, if I may say so sir, rather precocious.'
Bruce absently nodded, tucking the letter away again.
'Although sir, I must confess to curiosity.'
'I do wonder which member of staff was brave enough to ensure that Miss Hermione was top of every class – except potions?'
'An excellent point Alfred.' He started the car. 'Did the books I ordered arrive yet?'
'Indeed they did sir. And might I suggest we get a few more copies of the Monster Book of Monsters? It appears that the first two decided to have a contest with one of the other volumes you ordered.'
Bruce winced. 'Did anything survive?'
'Only the other volume sir. Dark Arts and Their Uses is more vicious than we were led to believe. There were only pages of the other books left. Ripped and eaten pages.'
Bruce blinked. 'Hermione won't be happy if she finds half the new library eaten.'
'No sir. Might I suggest we keep the magic books away from anything… else?'
'Alfred.' He said calmly, looking up as his butler entered the room. 'Do we have any books describing the magical indigenous species?' He glanced at the parchment he held in his hand again. 'Specifically on the subject of Trolls? Their height, weight, intelligence levels, capabilities, what they eat…'
'I believe so sir. May I ask why?'
'Hermione was nearly attacked.' He laid down the piece of parchment carefully on the table, smoothing out the creases as he did so.
Alfred inwardly shuddered. The calmness belied the mood his master was truly in.
'She says she's fine.' He stated, his eyes meeting his butler's. 'Says the whole thing ended up with her making two friends – Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley.' He paused. 'She also admits that her new friend, Ron, was in fact the reason she ended up locked in a room with the troll, but now – all is forgiven – as they saved her life.'
'I shall retrieve the books in question immediately, Sir.'
'Thank you Alfred. Could you bring Hogwarts, A History as well please? I'd like to review exactly what the chapters on protective wards around the school claimed.'
Alfred closed the door silently behind him.
Bruce leant back in his chair, glad to be alone. 'Trolls.' He murmured. 'What kind of a school are they running?'
Next chapter will be posted as soon as it is completed. Your thoughts, comments or questions?