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. Harry Potter wasn't the only person in Hogwarts with a godfather.
My apologies for the delay in getting this done. Basically – I'm ill and typing hurts. And now – for something rather different…
Free as a bird.
It was easy! He loved every second of it! Catch and release, flying through the air! It was so much fun!
Richard (although he much preferred Dick) Grayson smiled and bowed at the crowd standing between his two proud parents.
Another excellent performance from The Flying Graysons.
Next up? Gotham.
The house loomed. There really was no other way to describe it.
Dick shuddered inwardly as the car slowly ground to a halt.
The door was opened a few moments later by the driver for him. He got out of the car and glanced up at his oblivious new guardian who was already striding away from the car to the house. He looked back down, before slowly following his footsteps, the gravel beneath his feet crunching as he did so.
Glancing up ahead he saw a dark figure framed by the forbidding doorway. A man with a face neither welcoming nor disapproving. His guardian's butler he realised.
Right. Not much cheer there either. He ducked his head back down. This wasn't going to be much fun.
He clenched his hands into fists, hidden by his new itchy long-sleeved coat and refused to think about anything.
It wasn't like he could do anything about what had happened.
Even though he really wished he could.
It wasn't that he disliked either of them.
It was just… they weren't his parents.
He got the sense that they weren't really keen on him either. Oh they didn't mistreat him or anything. His room, his clothes and his new school all cost a lot of money from what he knew.
No scrimping or saving when it came to Bruce Wayne.
Spending money on him did not, however, mean that they wanted him there.
They just didn't have anywhere else to dump him.
Okay, he was more used to them now.
Still, he thought the way Bruce would randomly vanish a bit weird.
Especially that night he'd had a nightmare and gone looking for both of them and found the house empty. Not that he ever told them he'd had a nightmare after he couldn't find them mind you. He'd simply retreated to his bedroom and spent a very long night waiting to hear someone or something that would indicate he hadn't been left completely alone.
Now though – at least he knew how they vanished – if not where to.
He was just going to sit here in the dark on the chaise longue and wait until they emerged from the secret passageway door in the music room and then ask them what they were up to. He did have a few ideas…
He hoped he didn't have to wait all night. He had school tomorrow.
'Batman.' He repeated disbelievingly. 'Right.'
Well, he hadn't guessed that.
It wasn't easy. In spite of all the training his parents had given him and all the training Bruce had insisted on, night after night he wondered if tonight would be the one that he would misjudge a leap, or leave a fall too late.
If he were honest with himself, once his parents' murderer had been caught, he'd been tempted to miss on purpose.
Then, he had realised just how difficult it was for Bruce and Alfred to show that they cared.
He wasn't sure exactly why it was so hard, but they found it nearly impossible to do so. As though caring for him, or anyone, other than Gotham was inconceivable. Their fixation with Gotham's protection was implacable. Solid. Unbreakable.
He thought it was to do with Bruce's old friend Rachel Dawes. Her story he found out about almost a year after he moved into the manor. That on top of what had happened to Bruce's parents - it had shattered them – leaving them unable to heal.
Dick had vowed then, that he would do everything he possibly could to ensure that no one else ever hurt them ever again – including himself.
Although, he thought ruefully thinking of Bruce's current attitude to him growing up, that was becoming harder and harder.
'If it doesn't ease up – I'll have to leave.' He said, gazing up at a photo of his parents as he lay on his bed in his sumptuous bedroom. 'I just wish there was something out there to fix them.'
The corridors were familiar now, he mused as he sauntered along, heading for the front door. And although he still thought the house loomed – it was fitting considering the people who lived there. He mentally shrugged. Today felt like it was going to be a good day. He rounded the corner and smiled.
'Going out Sir?'
Dick stopped. 'Yep – going to take the new bike for a spin.' He held up the keys in his hand and grinned at Alfred.
'Will you be back for dinner?'
He shrugged. 'Don't know yet – see how she handles.'
Alfred smiled and made to move on past Dick, when suddenly he stumbled.
Dick caught him instinctively. 'Alfred?'
The man didn't move.
'Alfred?' Dick's voice was raised in concern, as he held on to him. 'Are you okay?'
Alfred regained his footing and leant against the corridor wall, his head bowed and Dick let go of him, seeing as he could now support himself. Dick frowned worriedly. Alfred never ever leant on anything.
'Alfred? Do you want me to get to get you anything? Should I call for Bruce?' Dick was already to back away and shout. This did not look good.
'Oh my dear boy.' Alfred spoke, his voice sounding as if it was far away. 'What did we do?'
'Alfred. You're scaring me.' Dick said calmly, hoping that his words would get through to him.
Alfred finally met Dick's worried gaze, his face white and looking as if it had aged ten years in a few seconds.
'Do you need me to get Bruce?' Dick asked, even more concerned now he had seen Alfred's face.
Alfred quirked a very small and very sad smile. 'No, my dear boy. I think he knows as well as I do what just happened.'
'Wait here.' Dick said, 'I'll get him anyway.'
He doubled backed down the corridor to where Bruce's study was.
'Bruce?' He charged through the doors. 'Bruce!' He exhaled. 'Its Alfred, he's…' He froze.
Bruce Wayne sat behind the desk, face impassive, except for the one tear rolling down his cheek. 'What have I done?' He uttered almost soundlessly
'Bruce?' He whispered.
Bruce jerked back, as though seeing Dick for the first time.
Then Bruce's face changed to an expression that Dick had seen before, although not as bad as this.
Nowhere near as bad as this.
He looked furious.
'Dick.' He bit out and stood, visibly restraining himself, as though he could barely stop himself from lashing out at anything. 'Get packed. We fly to London in an hour.'
He'd been to London before of course – courtesy of both his parents and his guardian – but this? This crazy 'We fly to London in an hour' hop between the manor in the helicopter then onto the waiting private jet with no talking, no explanation, just two men with alternating expressions of furious and devastated?
No, this was a new experience for him.
Eventually he could stand it no more.
'Okay – can someone explain to me – what is going on here?'
Bruce looked up from the pc he was using and said the first word he'd said to Dick since Gotham. 'Magic.'
Dick blinked. The amount of loathing Bruce had infused into one word really was impressive.
He turned to Alfred, hoping for an explanation.
Alfred visibly sighed. 'It seems, my boy, that Bruce and I have been under a spell for a significant amount of time.' He paused and closed his eyes. 'Around four years in fact…' He opened his eyes and faced Dick again. 'We both appear to have forgotten someone very important.'
'Master Bruce… had… or rather… has a goddaughter.'
'In London?' He prompted.
'In England – as far as we are aware.' Alfred answered hesitantly. 'Miss Hermione – that is her name – is English. Her parents were good friends of Master Wayne's parents…' He trailed off and then almost imperceptibly flinched as he seemed to recall more details. 'There is a photograph of them in the Summer Room…'
Dick sorted through his memory and vaguely remembered one on the mantelpiece of Bruce's parents. 'The mantelpiece one?' He hazarded.
'Indeed.' Alfred said with a sigh.
There was a long pause.
'Miss Hermione was accepted at a rather… unique school.' Alfred began, after glancing over at a stoic Bruce, who seemed oblivious to the conversation around him, intent as he was on the data scrolling in front of his eyes. 'A school for magic.'
Dick raised both eyebrows. Well, that was different.
'There are groups of people with magic.' Bruce said suddenly, a grim expression on his face. 'They keep themselves apart from the rest of the world. They are, as a race, somewhat backward technologically – by our standards. Most devices run on magic rather than electricity.' He paused and looked straight at Dick, 'they do not, however, see that as a disadvantage. Moreover – they see us as the disadvantaged ones – being, as we are, without the essential ingredient.'
'Magic' Dick stated, nervously hoping it was the right answer.
'Precisely.' Bruce replied with a grimace, his face conveying, for once, exactly what he thought of that particular opinion.
'And your goddaughter?'
'Hermione.' Bruce leant back in his chair and closed his eyes. 'I met her when I came back for the first time. She stayed in Gotham for the summer when she was ten.' He opened his eyes, and Dick could see a glimmer of amusement there. 'She worked out I was Batman within a day.' The unspoken 'unlike you' hung in the air.
Dick sat back in his chair, seeing that the two men in front of him were now slightly more relaxed than they had been. 'So what now?' He ventured after a time.
'We go to visit her parents.' Bruce said calmly. 'I think it is about time we found out exactly why we were made to forget her.'
Dick noted that both of Bruce's hands were firmly clenched around the arms of his chair and realised that perhaps Bruce's calmness was only being held on to by a thread. A thread very much in danger of snapping if the right answers were not forthcoming. But, he admittedly ruefully to himself, his curiosity was roused – and in a situation like this he needed all the information he could get.
'You said you wanted to know why.' He said. 'Do you know who cast it? Was it…' He trailed off before he could finish the sentence with Hermione's name.
Bruce's eyes flashed back to his face. He took a very deep breath, visibly calming himself. He let go of the arms and slowly steepled his fingers in front of him.
'Oh I already know who it was.' He said very very quietly, so Dick almost had to strain to hear him. 'I suspect I cannot touch him. For now, at least.'
Curiosity killed the cat. Dick reminded himself wildly, trying to not ask the question he wanted to, but it slipped out. '…Who?'
Bruce gazed over the tips of his fingers at his ward's face.
'Hermione's headmaster of course. A man, whom most believe, is purer than the fresh fallen snow.'
'A man,' Alfred added delicately, 'who will stop at nothing to ensure that the light side, his side, succeed in their own personal crusade.'
Dick knew, at this moment, that he was incredibly out of his depth. I don't know anywhere near what I need to know about what is going on. They both look like someone has destroyed the very foundation of everything they know. Who is this headmaster? Why do they loathe him so much other than the whole 'forgetting spell' thing? Where they that close to this Hermione? Or is there something else driving them? And what about this other race of magical people? And where on earth can I get some answers about these people who I didn't even know existed before? Dick's train of thought was interrupted.
'It does make me wonder though sir…' Alfred said with the air of someone just commenting on the weather, 'what ever happened to Harry Potter?'
Bruce closed his eyes, as though the mere question was too much for him to contemplate.
'A valid point Alfred.' He said finally. 'I fear we shall have to enquire into Mr Potter's circumstances too.'
Dick glanced between the two faces of the men who sat opposite him before leaning back in his chair and inwardly sighing. He wished they were in landing already – but there was still two hours to go. He closed his eyes, trying to sort through what he now knew. He knew he didn't understand. He knew he was very confused.
He also knew that if Hermione's headmaster was still around Bruce might just step over the line he had said he never should.
He also knew that if Bruce didn't; then Alfred would.
How's that for a much belated update? Thoughts/comments/queries?