New story, yay. I had this idea and just went with it. Enjoy.
Oh, and 'Harry Potter and so forth' is not mine. Scouts honour. I wasn't a scout but my brother was. He'll vouch for me, I'm sure. Personally I never liked the uniform but I did show up at the scout hut now and again to watch Jurassic Park or take part in the Scalectrix Le Mans 24 Hours race they had once. I'm rambling now so I'll just let you read the story.
Harry stepped through the front door to 12 Grimauld Place. He had just been escorted by broom to a park somewhere in London and had watched a house appear from nowhere. Oddly enough, he hadn't acted surprised by any of the events of the night. Instead he seemed to be distracted with a hard determination. The only reaction he had really had was glancing at Tonks quite often. She had called him on it, expecting a blush and a stammered apology from what information she had been given. Instead he had stared at a point that seemed to be just behind her eyes. Then he had started to mutter rapidly to himself. She didn't quite know how to react to that.
"Harry!" Mrs. Weasley called out after Harry had taken only a few steps inside. "You're so thin! Those muggles have been underfeeding you again, haven't they? I'll fix that up in no time. I'll put a nice roast on…" Harry endured her bone crushing hug and ramblings with the same detachment he had shown before. He interrupted her monologue with a simple question.
Molly Weasley frowned and let him loose from her arms. "Well, Ginny is upstairs in their room…" She started uncertainly.
"I asked where Hermione was." Harry said flatly. "Never mind, I'll find her myself." He moved past Mrs. Weasley and helped Tonks up after she tripped on the troll leg as he made his way upstairs. Mrs. Weasley huffed and fumed indignantly at the behaviour of one of her sons.
"Harry!" Three people called out together. Ron, Hermione and Ginny were sitting on their beds, talking about the upcoming year and trying to guess whether the next DADA teacher would be better or worse than the last one. The Weasley twins had set up a game sort of like 'Play Your Cards Right' but with less Bruce Forsyth and more shameful displays of teaching.
Harry had interrupted their discussion by loudly pushing the door open and dragging his heavy trunk across the floor. "Hi guys. It's really great to see you. Didn't hear much from you over the summer so what's up with you guys?"
"Well…" Ron started
"You see…" Ginny continued.
"The thing is…" Hermione added.
"That's great. Just great…" He paused in his unpacking of the Trunks and looked at the three of them. "Oh, I already know about the whole no letters rule and I forgive you. It's all water under the bridge. I blame Dumbledore and all that…So what have you been up to?"
Hermione was more confident and full in her answer this time. "Mostly we just sat around talking, trying to listen to the Order meetings or loosing at wizarding chess."
"I was winning!" Ron shouted with a mixture of pride and indignity.
"Well most of us were loosing then." Ginny put in. "So what have you been up to, Harry?" She asked whilst fluttering her eyelashes. Harry tilted his head at her for a second before muttering something. Then…
"That's right!" he shouted suddenly. "Hermione. I need to talk with you in private. So, uh, you two. Could you leave and do something else, somewhere else, for a while? Please."
The two youngest Weasley's looked affronted and vocalized this feeling. "Look, mate, you can't come in here during our conversation and ask us to leave. I mean, how would you feel if we did that to you? Just say what you…"
"You're right. How rude. Me and Hermione will leave and you two can stay where you are." Harry said quickly with a little more volume than was necessary. "C'mon, 'Mione."
"Harry, wait…" Hermione tried to protest but was soon dragged out of the room and down the corridor, leaving two Weasleys confused as to how they should feel. Did they get what they wanted? Or had Harry cheated them of their main goal by seemingly giving them what they wanted? In the time it took for them to come to a full decision that they wanted to hear what Harry had to say, Harry had finished saying it. Time it, if you like.
"What's all this about, Harry?" Hermione rounded on him in the bedroom he had pulled her to. She had her hands on her hips, using a no nonsense tone in true Hermione form.
"I had an Epiphany this Summer, 'Mione. I know what I need to do."
"And what's so important and secretive that you had to tell me alone?"
"Well…" Harry paused for dramatic effect; something that was not lost on Hermione. She huffed and glared at him until he got on with it. "I'm going to become a Superhero."
Hermione was about to huff again or shout 'WHAT!?!' She didn't. Instead, she opened her mouth to say something before closing it several times in what most people would imagine a fish impression would look like. To Harry, it looked more like someone being told their bathroom sink is on fire. There is no respectable response when told something like that. And if Hermione was anything, it was respectable.
She settled on a simple one word answer. "Explain."
"The wizarding world looks up to me as something I can never truly aspire to. They hold me in godlike proportions, when they aren't crucifying me. I realised that I am doomed to fail them because of this. Unless…"
"You become god-like." Hermione was born a Muggle. A Muggle with a solid interest in all literature. She had read every book in the library and then she had moved on to the comics. She hated herself for the conclusion she came to but she had to admit, Harry made sense. The closest thing the modern world had seen to Gods were the Superheroes in comics and Saturday morning cartoons.
And Harry planned to become one. She could see his logic, clear as day, but she also had to put her level, cool, head into the equation. They lived in a world where the impossible was made possible. Sure, he could easily step out onto the streets of London and stop a bank robbery or a crime ring. He would be labeled as an armed and dangerous, possibly delusional, vigilante. A Superhero.
But in the magical world, He would just be another person facing enemies with the same powers. He might be more powerful but he would not be raised on a plinth for that.
"You need an edge…" She said it quietly as she came to the realisation. Harry brightened up.
"You'll help me?" He said, hopefully.
"Yes." She smiled at his enthusiasm and was caught of guard by the hug he pulled her into. He had never started a single hug with anyone. She hugged him back with all she could. "I'll help you every step of the way."
"Great. We'll start tomorrow."
"Why tomorrow? We still have time today. I can search for…" Hermione said she was in this for good and she never did anything half hearted. She would bury herself in books to find everything she could that might help. It was only half eight at night. They still had a good three hours in her opinion.
She realized why they would wait, though, when two redheads burst through the door. "Hey Harry, mate." Ron had to pause to catch his breath. "You don't just take someone like that. And why keep us out of it? If you need to tell Hermione, you can tell us too." Ginny was more in shape then her brother so was not panting when she came through the door. Her vision was not slightly blurred and obstructed by fatigue and over-exertion. She glared at Hermione when she saw how close the two of them were standing.
Hermione had just noticed too that Harry still had an arm around her waist and she could feel the muscle in his arms and chest. She blushed slightly and stepped away a little as Ron looked back up from his knees. He drew in a big breath before looking at Harry expectantly.
"So what's this about? Why are you so manic?" He asked. Harry smiled and shook his head.
"It doesn't matter. It's a Muggle thing. And since Hermione is our expert on all things… everywhere, I asked her." Harry explained without actually revealing anything to his first friend.
"What's this Muggle thing, then?" Ginny, the more aware and inquisitive of the two Weasleys present, asked. "Our dad's a Muggle expert so maybe we can help too." Harry didn't pause or hesitate in his answer
"I was asking her about the possible application and addition of the X-gene into Human bodies." Hermione cursed Harry for his choice of scientific words. She had to stop herself from giggling foolishly and making the youngest redheads suspicious. It did have the desired effect though and both of the pureblood wizards looked confused.
"Err… I'm not to sure about that subject but I'm a good listener and a quick learner. I'd love to lend a hand with anything you're doing…" To be fair, Ginny made the best of a situation she was loosing control of.
"That jeans and sciencey mumbo-jumbo the muggles have is too boring for me. I'll pass, if it's all the same but be sure to tell me if you need a cop muter or something else lifted or moved. No offense Harry but you don't look suited to the physical side of life." Ron said in his trademark tactful yet unthinking and unintentionally hurtful way of talking to others.
"Thanks for the reassurance, Ron." Harry said with a smile that didn't reach his eyes. "But right now, I'm going to bed. I'm knackered."
Harry left the room, followed by Ron. Ginny stopped Hermione on the way out. "Remember what I said last year."
Hermione scowled at the girl. "I remember. I won't try anything. You might want to act soon. I can't be blamed if he comes to his senses for once and sees someone he wants."
"I know what I'm doing. I've already set things up for the Cho relationship to fail. Harry'll think he's hopeless and that's when I'll come in and show him what I can do for him. I'll be the boyfriend of the boy-who-lived and the whole world will know me." Ginny slipped into a monologue, forgetting or not caring that Hermione was there.
She walked out with a glazed look in her eyes. Hermione glared after her all the way out the door before sighing pathetically and slumping down on a bed. She rued the day that Ginny Weasley got blackmail material over her. She didn't feel like sleeping in the same room as her so she just fell asleep on the bed in this room, a few small tears falling over the bridge of her nose for lost opportunities.
The morning came quickly after a dreamless night and the next thing Hermione knew; she was being shaken gently awake by a topless and slightly sweaty Harry Potter. At first she thought it was a very nice dream but she soon realized that dream Harry would not have had to endure the torment of the Dursleys. Topless Harry clearly showed scars and so this was real.
"What do you want?"
Harry took a moment to appreciate Hermione's remarkable eloquent-ness even when sleepy. "It's half six. You feel up to a little Brainstorming?"
The first thing that struck Hermione was the word Brainstorming. One of her favourite words as it allowed her to share and adapt her ideas with other people to further understand or explore a subject. She hadn't done a brainstorm since enrolling at Hogwarts so this was a welcome chance for her.
The second thing to strike her was that Harry was fully serious about this. He had woken up at what should have been an ungodly hour for him. It looked like he had been for a run so he was probably up even earlier. This proved his devotion to his choice. She smiled and nodded her head. And she was fully serious too.
"Let's go to the Library. We can set up a table and a very large sheet of parchment." Hermione rattled off instructions to build her perfect brainstorming environment. Harry smiled and made it all happen. She didn't notice the underage magic. The ministry didn't either. The Black family wards were remarkable things. Soon, Harry and Hermione were perched on the edge of bean bags around a large sheet of parchment on a hard floor.
Superhero was written in the middle with a felt tip pen. Hermione always kept a full Muggle stationary kit with her. They were much more convenient than the bog-standard wizarding quill.
Sub-points were written around the centre with names like 'Powers', 'name' and 'costume'
"Right. Most important is powers." Hermione started.
"I think the image is more important in the long run. Powers will get me noticed, sure. But the image will affect the reactions from the first notice and all from there on. Colours, style, actions, voice. The public is what makes a superhero strong."
"Oh my god. That was incredibly insightful, Mr. Potter." Hermione grinned.
"I've had a great role-model to rub off on me." Harry replied also grinning like an idiot.
"Alright so image. To start, we have too big choices. The colourful, extravagant style in your costume will win the heart of the general public but your other choice is a darker, scarier costume. This will strike fear into your enemies but could alienate the public." Hermione chewed on the end of her pen.
"We will be facing an opponent with no remorse. These people have committed sick and twisted acts in public knowledge. They've set up their fear base and I think it's best to fight it by giving them fear. With Fudge in charge, and the Prophet printing what it is, I imagine I will definitely alienate the public. But not everyone sees through the prophet. I want to set an example of what will happen to those who seek to harm others."
"How noble…" Hermione muttered, good naturedly. "So we're going down the foreboding, dark, brooding hero look."
They didn't get much further as they heard Mrs. Weasley coming down the stairs. They just had enough time to roll up the parchment and hide it in the many bookcases and sit back down with a random book before she came through the door.
"What are you two doing in here?" Mrs. Weasley asked pleasantly with a false smile.
"Reading." Harry said, decisively.
"Light Counters for Dark Curses by Olivia Turncoat." Hermione explained.
That was a good, respectable sounding title in Mrs. Weasleys views on the world so she just nodded her head and said "Well, put the book away, you can go and wake up Ron, Hermione. And you can wake up Ginny, Harry. Breakfast will be ready soon."
Harry and Hermione made their way upstairs. "We need to find somewhere and sometime more private for this. Presuming we don't want people to know." Hermione raised the point half way upstairs.
"We'll look for somewhere today and I think it's probably best if we keep this to ourselves for as long as possible, yeah?"
"Agreed. Now I don't fancy seeing Ron half naked so you can go wake him up. I'll wake Ginny." Hermione proposed when they got to the rooms they stayed in.
"Definitely." Harry agreed. "You ever get the feeling that Mrs. Weasley is trying to push us on to them?" He asked unsurely.
"Sometimes…" Harry nodded grimly and went to go wake up Ron. He didn't hear Hermione whisper "Yes." Before she too went to wake up a Weasley. The day was spent trying to get out from the watchful gaze of everyone else in order to find a suitable place to develop their plan. Their efforts proved fruitless as when Ginny and Ron weren't trying to corral them into a game of chess or exploding snap, Mrs. Weasley was getting them to clean the house or Sirius was talking with Harry about everything he felt important. They had entertained the idea of explaining their idea to Sirius. It was his house so he would most likely know of some secluded or password protected room in the house.
But they didn't know where his loyalties ultimately lay. It was Hermione that pointed this out and Harry had to agree. Sure, he was Harry's godfather but Dumbledore had helped him as a fugitive for the last year. Sirius would owe him for that. The real question was which side Sirius would take. Until they knew for sure, they decided they couldn't trust him. Harry would be evaluating him over the next few days, though.
Harry had decided that he definitely did not want Dumbledore to know. He was just as coddling as Mrs. Weasley in a misguided, more forceful way. He would try to guilt Harry out of it with every trick he could find. Especially when he found out that Harry wasn't really planning to just stun his enemies.
They had thought they would get some time in the evening, at least, in which to explore more ideas but Mrs. Weasley had been very forceful in her convictions that Harry had a big day tomorrow and he needed lots of rest in order to be ready for it.
Hermione had tried to go with him to the Ministry so they could talk more but she was stopped by Mrs. Weasley who handed her a mop and a bucket of cleaner before telling her to take the third floor bedrooms. She was lucky in that respect as Ron had to remove the Doxies present in the curtains in all rooms on the second floor, including the room used to store curtains.
She had managed to say a few words privately to Harry. She had surprised him and dragged him into a room before shoving a chair against the handle. It would be a while before anyone outside would figure out that it wasn't a locking charm.
"Harry. First of all, best of luck. I know you'll be fine. They've got nothing against you; just remember that." She pulled him into a hug which he returned. "And I also have to say that this is getting hopeless. We can't get any time alone while we're here. It's only a few days until we get back to Hogwarts. There'll be hundreds of opportunities then. I think Mrs. Weasley will get up even earlier from now on to intercept us. We'll be able to continue this at school and I'm just rambling now so… Good luck with the trial and I'll see you this evening."
"Thanks." Harry hugged her again and pulled the chair away and opened the door a second before Mrs. Weasley was going to go against her previous rules of cleaning and just blow the door down. "Let's go then, Mr. Weasley."
No one protested as the two of them walked out of the front door and disapparated. Hermione slipped out of the room unnoticed and flopped down on her bed, pulling about a book on Distinct magical and bloodline powers. She didn't notice a person slip into her room at first until they spoke.
"You really should make sure a room is empty before you lock yourself in it for a private conversation."
Hmm. There we go.
So was it a good idea? Bad idea? No idea? Hate Ikea?
Sorry. Anyway. As I said, this idea struck me and I tried to develop it as much as I could into a story for your enjoyment. I was watching Ironman shortly before I had this idea. Might be one or two similarities but that's it.
Next chapter: The trial takes place, the mystery person is revealed, ideas are developed and the full effectiveness of a frying pan is discovered. Maybe.