A Harry Potter Fic by Dirty Reid
A.N.: Another attempt at dabbling in something new and adding to a sorely lacking sector of the Harry Potter fanfiction archive. Note that I'm shifting the canon timeline to the present day so I can make some of the references in here with impunity.
Again, see my profile for my Internecivus raptus Challenge fic.
Disclaimer: I don't own HP or any of the movies I make references to.
Chapter 1: Revelation
June 26, 2010
Neither can live while the other survives.
Those words echoed through the head of Harry Potter, wizard, Archnemesis of Voldemort, Boy-Who-Lived, and recently christened Chosen One. Those words that had haunted him ever since he had heard the prophecy concerning his link to the Dark Lord in the office of Albus Dumbledore not two weeks ago.
That blasted prophecy was the reason he hadn't slept in almost four days, compounded by the grief of losing Sirius and the anger at Dumbledore for keeping things from him. All this was piled on top of the possibility that he might not live to see seventeen. His life looked like it was starting to suck even harder now.
It wasn't fair! Why of all people did this have to happen to him? Why couldn't it have happened to some other schmoe? There were millions of other wizards or witches Voldemort could have chosen, but it was him that got saddled with the terrible past and the weight of the wizarding world on his shoulders.
"'Life is cruel.'" Harry whispered, a line uttered by the squid-like Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. No truer words could have ever been spoken in regards to life as a whole.
'People preach about it being a beautiful thing,' Harry mused sourly. 'But they all seem to forget to mention that there are some seriously miserable sons of bitches out there, yours truly included.' He chuckled at his dark analysis of the world. Growing tired of looking out his window, Harry exited his cluttered bedroom and made his way downstairs, hoping to find some way to entertain himself. The Dursleys had just gone off on a three week vacation, and had seen fit to leave him behind. As such, he had free reign of the house. He opened the fridge and pulled out some leftover chicken, some of the vegetables that Dudley wouldn't eat unless forced, and grabbed a loaf of bread. After he fixed himself up a sandwich and opened the fridge to look for a drink, his emerald eyes drifted to the bottles of beer Uncle Vernon had just bought. In a moment of even greater contempt for his relatives, Harry took one of the bottles and made his way to the living room.
He set his meal down on the small coffee table and proceeded to open up the movie cabinet. He was greeted by the sight of several dozen DVDs. While the Dursleys prided themselves on their normalcy, they had no qualms about 'abnormal' movies… or rather, Dudley didn't. They did however, have qualms about Harry watching said movies. 'But they're not here now,' Harry thought with a grin as he scanned the shelf. He finally stopped running his finger along the spines of the DVDs when he landed on Spider-Man. He had managed to hear some of the dialogue when the Dursleys had first bought it (Dudley liked his movies loud), and he had been dying to put images in place with the audio. He slipped the DVD in, cranked up the sound and watched the movie while eating his sandwich and sipping his beer.
The movie had not disappointed. Harry gave several mental compliments to Sam Raimi for directing such an awesome movie. Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and Willem Dafoe didn't go without points either. On some level, Harry felt a connection to Peter Parker. Peter Parker, whose parents had died when he was a child; who had been raised by his aunt and uncle; who had been foisted with unnatural powers, and had chosen to use them for the good of society; who had watched a treasured person die before him.
But it was Ben Parker's immortalizing line that struck a chord from deepest within him: 'With great power comes great responsibility' the old man had said.
'That is so true that it's not funny enough to almost be funny.' Harry stopped for a second, wondering how he came up with that bizarre statement. He dismissed it as the alcohol talking; he had picked up a second bottle of beer midway through the movie. Still, Ben Parker wasn't wrong. Harry held a great power, and he had been saddled with the task of ending Voldemort's reign of terror.
"Wonder what else is here…?" he mumbled as he replaced Spider-Man. The sequel was right next to it, but he figured that he could watch it later.
"Daredevil? Nah, heard that wasn't too great. Star Trek 5? Standard against which all badness is measured. Batman Begins? Why not?"
Harry meandered aimlessly down Damien Road, the direct path to the heart of Little Whinging. Tuesdays were when Mundungus Fletcher was stationed to watch him. Harry had figured this out simply by listening to the drunken lout snoozing on the job for the past week and a half. As such, he had a perfect window of opportunity to escape Privet Drive for a while every Tuesday.
He had finished Batman Begins almost half an hour ago, and had been thoroughly impressed by Chris Nolan's work, along with the acting ability of Christian Bale and Gary Oldman, among others. Seeing Oldman made Harry's heart twinge painfully; the actor reminded him of Sirius. (Oh, sweet, sweet irony…)
Strange as it was, Harry felt similar to Bruce Wayne and Batman, just as he did with Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Like him, Bruce Wayne's parents had been murdered before him as a child. Bruce eventually went to train himself to become Batman, with the ultimate goal of running the rampant criminals of Gotham into the ground, facing the supervillain Scarecrow and overthrowing his nefarious plot to drive Gotham insane in the process. Batman had a sweeter deal though; he didn't have to kill someone.
That one little difference didn't completely stop Harry from feeling a connection to Batman. 'Now that I think about it,' a part of Harry's mind piped up 'I, for all-intensive purposes, have every component of a superhero: Tragic past, extraordinary powers, the weight of the world on my shoulders and a desire to do good. It's almost scary.'
Harry was so caught up in listening to that strange line of thought that he failed to look and see where he was going until he almost rammed straight into the door of the establishment.
Coloured Comic Inc.
Harry's right eyebrow shot up into his hairline. There was no way he just sat through two superhero movies and ended up here by coincidence. 'I'd be willing to think Divination wasn't a crock of shit if it didn't involve Trelawney being right.' Harry chuckled as he opened the door to the shop. The bell that sounded was that of Chewbacca's warbling tones. The store was rather dim, and the small amount of clientele looked like they didn't see a lot of sunlight or interact with the rest of society on a regular basis. Harry, with his messy hair, pale complexion and ill-fitting clothes, fit right in.
Harry stumbled through the store, looking through the old and new comic books, scanning the action figures and observing the graphic novels. As he passed by another huge white box of classic comic books, he stopped when he saw one name in particular.
Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme.
It was at that moment, as soon as Harry's brain had finished processing the title of the series, that one of the most important questions Harry had ever thought of in the entirety of knowing he was a wizard came to the forefront of his mind. A question so simple, but so brilliant.
A question that would turn Harry Potter's life upside down… again:
'How come no wizard has ever tried to become a superhero?' he wondered.
'I mean, I can understand purebloods not doing it, what with not giving a damn about Muggles, but what about wizards with Muggle parents or Muggleborns? Having powers you'd only see in comic books should be, like, their ticket to putting on a mask and going to fight crime!' Harry stroked his chin, noting with surprise that there was a small bit of stubble there. Pushing the option of growing a beard into the back of his head, he continued pondering his ground-breaking question.
'I guess the Ministry would have a hand in stopping that though, being able to trace magic… hold on a sec, is the Trace on the wizard or their wand?' Harry's eyes lit up so much after several seconds of thinking that one could have thought them to be glowing. 'It must be on the wand! The Ministry knew what kind of spell was cast both times, even though it was Dobby the first time, so they must have the Trace put on the wand and set to deactivate after it synchs with a wizard or witch and they turn seventeen.' Harry couldn't believe how much of a roll he had just gone on, even though he didn't know he was correct. That was something he would expect of his best friend, Hermione.
'I guess the only way to test it is to somehow steal someone else's wand and see what happens. But how the hell am I… Mundungus!' Harry concluded, turning tail and exiting the comic shop.
'Yeesh, this guy could wake the dead while he's sleeping!' Harry remarked as he closed in on the lazy coward's location. He stopped tiptoeing when he heard the snores emitting from an almost unnoticeable depression in the warm shingles composing the roof of Number Two, Privet Drive, and hesitantly began to reach forwards. He laid his fingers on the roof and began to feel around for the smooth fabric of an Invisibility Cloak. Seconds later, he found it. Tensing his muscles so hard that they hurt, gritting his teeth and squinting, Harry began to slowly lift the cloak off the sleeping man. Lady Luck seemed to be smiling upon him, as Mundungus did not stir. Harry felt himself growing lighter as he spied Dung's wand hanging out of one of his pockets. With practiced delicacy, Harry grasped the hilt of the wooden magical focus and began inching it out of Dung's pocket.
Mundungus snorted. Harry's blood ran cold and he became as stiff as a statue. Dung began to shift slightly, but fell back to his death-heavy slumber. Harry silently let out his breath and went back to pulling out the lazy wizard's wand. It took almost ninety seconds for Harry to finally free the wand from Dung's holster, but he did it. Ever so meticulously, Harry replaced the cloak over his 'watcher' and began to creep down the roof.
As he made his way up to his small bedroom, Harry wondered what spell to use in order to test his Tracing Theory. As he pondered, his eyes were drawn to Hedwig, squirming about in her cage. Seeing the locked door caused the proverbial lightbulb to ignite over Harry's head as he pointed his wand at the cage. He just hoped the Unlocking Charm was cause for Ministry attention. Crossing the fingers of his left hand, Harry committed himself.
"Alohomora," Harry whispered. The lock clicked and disengaged, allowing the door to creak open. Hedwig hooted softly as she hopped out of the cage.
"Hey girl," Harry said softly as his faithful companion landed on his shoulder. He reached up to scratch her behind her ears. Hedwig's feathers rose as she began to twist her head so that Harry's fingers were positioned below her beak, a place she couldn't scratch. For a few moments, Hedwig was content to let Harry stroke her before taking off into the afternoon. Now all he could do was wait and see if his theory about the Trace was correct.
An hour had passed and there was still no notice from the Ministry. Not even after Harry, wanting to be sure, had used a Summoning Charm to get another beer from the fridge while he was watching The Fantastic Four. Harry found though, that he had to put more effort into using magic when the wand was not his own.
But that was not why he felt a bubble of glee. It was because he could not be traced if he was using the wand of another. This meant he was one step closer to his new goal:
Being the first wizard in history to become a Muggle superhero.
He grinned in anticipation, before something he hadn't thought of made itself heard.
'Why do I want to be a superhero?'
The first explanation was that he wanted to make history. His more deductive side called him on that lie almost immediately. He had enough fame and fortune heaped upon his shoulders, accompanied by the weight of the world. So no, it wasn't because he wanted to cement his spot in the history books.
Harry, having seen several superhero movies by this point, considered the fact that most, if not all of them, never asked for their powers or the responsibility that came with them. They ended up becoming superheroes because they felt they had an obligation to make the world a better place, after being in a situation that made people begin to look up to them. Harry had been through identical situations, and possessed a willingness to help people.
'Sometimes I know that my 'saving people thing' is going to be the death of me.' Harry mused. But even though his selflessness landed him in perilous situations, Harry was able to overlook that, knowing that his actions would benefit others, or were simply the right thing to do.
'Maybe that's why no wizard has ever tried to become a superhero before; they were all unwilling to give their lives for someone else, or they were afraid. I can understand that. Standing against Voldemort isn't exactly relaxing. But something has to be done. They're out there, killing wizards, witches and Muggles, and no one has the heart to try and stop them, or at least try and get rid of the crime in the Muggle world.' Dark thoughts swelled in Harry's head.
'If the Order was really doing what it says its doing, this war could have been over before it started. But Dumbledore, that conniving old puppet master, thinks he has everything under control. If he'd given in and let us give the Death Eaters a taste of their own medicine, people might not be afraid of opening their doors.' Harry turned off the television and made his way to the window. The sun was beginning its descent into the west, casting lengthening shadows that shrouded part of Harry's face.
"People have been afraid for too long, and nothing has been done about it." Harry murmured to no one. Harry's hand closed into a very tight fist. His eyes hardened,
He was tired of being kept in the dark. He was tired of people being afraid. It was time to show the world once and for all that one man could make a difference.
It was time to take a stand. And as of now, Harry Potter was the only one who would.
Trying to escape the watch of the competent members of the Order was suicide; so once again, Harry escaped Mundungus' 'watch'. He left Privet Drive with nothing more than both of his wands, the clothes on his back, his Invisibility Cloak, shrunken Firebolt and his now wallet-sized trunk. He would return eventually, but he felt it was best to travel light.
As he reached Magnolia Crescent, he ducked into a run-down children's playground. As he slipped under his cloak, he began applying Glamour Charms to himself. The first thing he did was cover the accursed scar on his forehead before darkening his skin tone slightly. Jet black hair became goldenrod; bottle green eyes became icy blue. In just a few moments of Glamours, Harry looked like the poster boy for Hitler's master race. Utterly unrecognizable as the Chosen One. He smirked in a perverse sense of pleasure as he stuck out his wand and prepared for the hellish ordeal that was riding the Knight Bus.
Fourteen minutes of hellishly terrifying driving later, 'Thomas Nast' exited the Knight Bus and entered the Leaky Cauldron pub. Tom, the bartender, paid him no second glances as he rented a standard room for the night. Harry awoke early the following morning and quickly made his way into the nearly deserted Diagon Alley. He first stopped at Gringotts, politely asking (bribing) the goblins who attended to him to not let anyone know he was here as he placed a money bag filled with one thousand galleons into his normal-sized trunk before shrinking it again.
If he was going to be a superhero, he first needed to refine his powers. Sure, he had some spells, but if he was going to take on the world, his small repertoire could easily be analysed by the higher class of criminal or the Death Eaters, or any law enforcement that didn't agree with him alleviating the fear that was rapidly blanketing Europe. To remedy the situation, Harry casually entered Flourish and Blott's and headed for the spell book section. As he scanned the shelves pensively, an almost unnaturally plain-looking middle-aged man approached him.
"Can I help you sir?" he asked, a slight tinge of nervousness in his voice. Harry wasn't sure whether it was the world's current status, or because Thomas Nast looked like an elite pureblood.
"Yes, I believe you can." He said. "I'm looking for some advanced spell books for… well, for protection. Would you mind recommending something?" Harry asked. The man nodded.
"Certainly, Mr.…" he trailed off, waiting for a name to be given.
"Oh, I'm sorry. Nast, Thomas Nast. And please, call me Thomas." Harry lied, extending his hand, which the man shook. Harry was certain that the shop employee believed him to be a pureblooded asshat, if his slight expression of surprise was any indication.
"Of course, Thomas. If you'll follow me please?" the man beckoned Harry to accompany him. They moved to the back of the shop, and past a frayed purple curtain. Curiosity piqued, Harry asked the question. "Where are we going?"
The man turned. "Can you keep a secret Thomas?" he asked. Harry nodded warily. "I keep my serious spell books in the back. The ones in the front? They're just frivolous little decorations. The books back here are usually only supplied to officials such as Aurors or curse breakers. That, or people of my choosing." He said with a grin. Harry raised one of his eyebrows.
"So… why me?" he asked. The man grinned tightly, his muddy brown eyes betraying a small amount of amusement.
"Well, one, I'm Galen Blott, owner of this establishment." Blott introduced himself, much to Harry's shock. From the look of him, Harry would have guessed Blott to be simply an average employee. Blott seemed to pick up on this.
"Wondering why I'm out here serving people? It's a good cover. Death Eaters won't expect the owner of the shop to be the one doling out the spell books." Blott answered Harry's unasked question. "And two… I know that's you under there Mr. Potter." 'Thomas Nast's' eyes widened and his hand began to drift for his stolen wand. Blott almost chuckled.
"Relax," he assured, "I'm not going to tell anyone." Harry did not feel much better, but moved his hand away from his wand.
"What gave me away?" he asked. Blott crossed his arms.
"You sound the same as he does. Like Mr. Ollivander, I don't forget my customers." Harry shrugged after a second, mentally berating himself for skipping that little detail.
"… Well, how bout those recommendations?" Harry asked. Blott nodded and began to show Harry various titles.
'Thomas Nast' walked out of Flourish and Blott's fifteen minutes later, carrying a bag full of books. Some of the titles included A Beginner's Guide to Auror-Level Spellwork, Defense for Veterans, and The Ward Encyclopedia. Harry had picked up the book on wards in case he ever needed to vacate Privet Drive and set up a secret hideout in true superhero fashion.
For the moment, he simply holed up in number four, reading through his books. He would cast the occasional spell, but nothing too big simply out of paranoia. With little to distract him until the next Tuesday- assuming Mundungus was still assigned to watch him, due to the 'loss' of his wand- Harry grew bolder in his casting. After a few useful spells in the Auror's Guide, he came upon the Transfiguration in Battle section. Having seen Dumbledore perform that nifty trick on the large gold fountain during the skirmish at the Ministry, he was immediately intrigued. The spells were much like what McGonagall would have taught, but much faster and cruder, with a far larger margin for error. Harry tried one of them once; the coffee table-turned-lynx almost mauled him before he could change it back. Definitely something to use, but only after he had a better grasp on using Mundungus' wand. The unfamiliar focus left his casting wonky, leading him to overpower spells, or not use enough power.
That just wouldn't do. If he was going to be a superhero, he needed to know that he could cast spells properly without them fucking up or not working. That left him with three options:
Option one: Use his original wand. No good. The Trace was still on it, so the second he cast a spell while fighting crime, the Ministry would be on him like lights on a Christmas tree.
Option two: Discreetly have another wand crafted. In his previous years, he had heard smidgens of conversations among the Slytherins about their wands being crafted by someone who worked out of Knockturn Alley. While it was a place Harry did not want to go, he felt that going to this wand crafter would more than likely be beneficial to his superhero campaign.
Option three: Practice his magic wandlessly. While he had performed wandless magic in his youth, it was all borne out of strong emotions. Harry though, had an inkling that being able to perform magic without a wand would be beneficial.
'What better time to start than now?' he wondered. He looked around for a moment, wondering what sort of magic to cast. As his eyes passed to the movie rack, Harry stopped when he laid eyes on the Star Wars box set. Having been allowed to watch the world's greatest movies while at Mrs. Figg's home gave Harry his first idea for practicing wandless magic.
'And if I actually go out crime-fighting, I can pass it off as telekinesis or the Force. Sweet!' Harry grinned before he raised his hand and closed his eyes. He allowed the box of three movies to become an image in his mind. He traced every contour; memorized every detail. He pictured his outstretched hand as his wand, gave it a jerk, and thought 'Accio Star Wars Box Set!' with all his might.
He heard a faint noise and opened his eyes to see the box of three DVDs had moved out of the shelf and were teetering on the edge. 'This could take a while.' Harry rued.
But he was wrong. By the same time next week, Harry was able to use the Summoning Charm wandlessly, but it was only effective on small objects such as a book or a plate. It wasn't much, but it was a start. At the rate he was able to acquire a grasp on the charm wandlessly, Harry figured it wouldn't be long before he was able to pull a gun or a wand from someone's hand. Seeing the similarities, Harry began to work on wandlessly performing another easier, but still Jedi-like charm, the Levitation Charm. He hauled himself out of his chair and stood in the centre of the Dursley television room. What was a superhero if they couldn't float down from the sky onto a crime scene?
Harry closed his eyes and began to draw his magic into himself. Envisioning his hand as his wand, he tapped his leg and mentally commanded 'Wingardium Leviosa!'
A feeling of weightlessness overtook him. Harry felt the pressure of his weight leave his feet as he rose into the air. Keeping his concentration, he opened his eyes marginally and cast them downwards. While he was pleased to see his feet floating above the floor, he was slightly disappointed to see he was only hovering about three inches off the ground. In an attempt to test his powers, Harry mentally willed his magic to move him forward. Nothing happened. Harry frowned and released his concentration, dropping back to the ground.
Wandless magic was a lot harder than Harry had theorized, and using the Levitation Charm on himself required a lot more energy than he had expected. Still, within a week, he had acquired a tenuous grasp upon Summoning wandlessly, and was beginning to make progress with levitation. 'Maybe I can start on Banishing if I get good enough at Summoning in the next little while.' Harry mulled over his rag-tag 'training schedule' which would lead to his ultimate goal of becoming a superhero.
As he lay in bed that evening, staring at the blank white ceiling, a sudden thought occurred to him: He needed a name.
"But what should it be?" he whispered to himself. "Anything ending with 'man' won't do; s'been far too overused. Should be something related to my powers or appearance… Bolt? No, too obvious. I wouldn't have a secret identity for ten minutes once the magic world got wind of it. The Magician? Nah, lame. Sorcerer Supreme's a no-go; sounds kinda cheesy and Marvel could sue me for copyright infringement." Harry ran a hand through his perpetually messy hair.
"Dammit, this is harder than some of my spells!" he cursed softly. He thought back to some of the books he had read at the school library when he was a child for influence; stories of mythical creatures and the brave warriors and archmages who battled them…
'… That's it!' Harry exclaimed mentally. The title was indicative of a powerful individual, but didn't necessarily point to magic being the source; it was simple, but it was striking at the same time. It would be the name of a superhero that would rock both worlds for years to come.
And there we have the first chapter of my Superhero Harry Potter fic, 'Archmage'!
I only know of one other particularly good Superhero! Harry fic, and it's called 'Harry Potter Superhero' by ckil. Look it up (after you R&R of course)! As always:
Tell me whether you liked this installment
Tell me what you SPECIFICALLY liked about this installment
Tell me what you specifically DIDN'T like about this installment
Recommend a suitable improvement
Extra: Send me suggestions on what Harry's costume should look like
Extra pt. 2: The suggestions must be very detailed, and be somewhat magic-looking
Extra pt. 3: If your suggestion is inspired by something else, please tell me where I can find an image of it.
Reminder: See my profile for info on my 'Internecivus raptus' Challenge fic