Disclaimer: The 'Harry Potter' and 'Batman' franchises are not mine and it is extremely unlikely that I ever will ever own them ... damn it.
It had been a week since the explosion at the 'Gotham 73rd Street Hotel', and forensics had just submitted their initial report to Commissioner Gordon, however more information would probably come about after further investigation.
It seemed as if the epicentre of the blast was in Room 23 on the second floor. There were no survivors from that floor or from the room directly above, and if the one directly below wasn't empty then the body count would have been higher. The most seriously injured survivor had Second and Third-degree burns along most of their right arm with First-degree burns on the right side of their face and would recover with relatively moderate scaring. The others who were injured, were mostly limited to Second and First-degree burns and a relatively small amount of Third-degree burns. The electrically based equipment that was on the First, Second and Third floors had stopped working as well, due to the circuitry being inexplicably damaged (if not destroyed by the blast).
When investigating room 23 the forensics team had come across three corpses, two of which had still been smouldering from the fat on their bodies and all of them burnt almost beyond recognition. The corpses were identified by cross referencing the list of guests with the dental records that they had been able to receive after requesting them all the way from England to aid in the investigation. The CSIs had also found a small trail of blood that had lead from room 23 to the stairwell and out the back door, and after testing were able to confirm that it belonged to a male that was related, via the maternal line, to the woman and the child found in the room.
This is where the investigation became more complicated. The blood confirmed that there was another person in the room that was at least there in the room before emergency services could arrive on the scene. After checking hotel security footage from the front desk it revealed that the guests of Room 23 had checked in with two children. One that seemed to be clinically obese and was on his way to being a copy of his father while the other was a skinny glasses-wearing child that seemed to be wearing the old clothes of the other and look like neither of the two adults. The guest list had confirmed that the smaller child's name was Harry James Potter, who according to the DNA tests conducted so far was probably the nephew of Petunia Dursley.
After the investigating team had repeatedly gone over the security footage they had of the child before the incident, studying his behaviour and body language, they concluded that the Potter boy was most likely living in a mental, emotional, and physically abusive environment. They based this on the fact that seemed to try and make himself as small and unnoticed as possible, would avoid eye contact with anyone and flinch when someone looked as though they were about to come in physical contact with him. Just before the incident the man, Vernon Dursley, was seen coming back with a bag from a known liquor store (a quick questioning of the clerk on shift at the time revealed it to be some cheap yet strong whiskey.)
After the explosion footage showed the boy making his way towards the nearest exit only to freeze up upon seeing the crowd gathering outside, through a window, despite his glasses being missing. He had the gone on to seemingly wander aimlessly throughout the hotel, remarkably avoid the few people that had yet to leave, before he finally arrived at a fire escape on the ground floor towards the back which he then used to make his exit. A security camera outside set to watch the fire escape and a small area around it revealed that the boy went on to slip further into the ally way and out of sight.
From some of these later shots they were able to identify several injuries that included several bruises some fresh and some that seemed to be at least a few weeks old, bruised and possibly cracked ribs and most noticeably a large gash cross his back that seemed have been only recently cauterised. From what evidence that they had they had a theory as to what happened, the boy was living with abusive guardians, and after some digging, they had found out that Vernon Dursley had failed to gain a lucrative contract with Wayne Enterprises that same day, and had most likely bought the whiskey to drown his troubles, they guessed that under the influence of the alcohol he had take his abuse further than usual, only this time it seemed to unlock latent meta-human abilities in the boy, which had then led to the explosion. The scared boy then proceeded to flee the scene.
Although it was just a theory, Gordon felt that it seemed to be quite accurate and was the most likely scenario. However the only one that truly had any idea what happened was the missing boy. At the moment the priority was to find and retrieve the child before anything happened to him, however pre-existing prejudice towards meta-humans could cause complications.
Meta-humans were still a relatively new phenomenon, and at the moment the protection they gained from the law varied greatly. In some more insular areas they weren't considered humans and so had no legal protection, leaving them vulnerable to people out to exploit them or otherwise cause them harm. In other cases meta-humans were simply considered humans and quite well protected by the law, but still didn't stop people out to get them, it wasn't uncommon for a meta-human to go missing and illegally end up in research laboratory, if they were found at all. There were people trying to gain them equal rights, however progress was quite slow and it didn't help their case when some exploited their abilities for illegal purposes, the main problem came from whether or not meta-humans could be considered human or not.
The problem that Gordon was facing was that as soon as he confirmed that there was a meta-human involved it would eventually leak into the public, whose reactions would be too varied to predict but even worse was that it would lead to criminal elements of the city finding out. The 'Gotham Rogues' were the last people he wanted to get their hands on the kid, the most infamous 'patients' of Arkham Asylum would be the worst case scenario for the boy and quite possibly the people of Gotham as well.
In the Batcave, Bruce Wayne had arrived at similar conclusions and had hacked into the various personal information storage systems in England in order to research of the missing boy's past, or more accurately his parents past, not technically legal but the same could be said of his time as Batman. The results were annoyingly lacking.
The mother's name was Lily Evans and was the sister to Petunia Dursley (formerly Evans), her records seemed to be perfectly in order up until she was had just finished primary school, after that it seemed as if she had just disappeared, no school records, no driving licence, not even a death certificate. Although it does seem as though she had gotten married if the name of her son was anything to go by, however with a lack of a registry of said marriage he couldn't say for certain. Trying to find information on the boy's father had been nearly impossible so far, the last name of Potter not being much to go on and with no way of narrowing down the search had resulted in a near dead end.
The boy, one Harry James Potter, had some inconsistencies in the relatively small amount of documentation concerning him. The thing that immediately stood out was that he had no birth certificate, and he only started to appear on records after a basic doctor's appointment when he was just over 14 months old if the date of birth given by his aunt was anything to go by. After that the documentation was mostly normal, with only very few doctors appointments which unfortunately seemed to have missed the signs of the boys abuse as unlikely as it sounded, unfortunately it did very rarely and regrettably happen.
All in all it was very irritating to say the least and it practically screamed out that there was something going on, however at the moment the primary concern was to find the boy and get him to a safe environment before something happened to him.
Winter in Gotham was brutal as many people could tell you, and six year old Harry Potter was currently learning first hand. During the week since his relatives' demise Harry had kept near constantly on the move, due to his fear of being caught by the police for what he had done.
The first night had been one of the hardest which he spent in a cardboard box filled with oily and grease covered rags that he found outside a mechanics workshop but still nearly froze to death due to his lack of adequate clothing, his injuries from his uncle didn't help either. While the day after was not as bad it was still far too cold for him to remain the way he was but realized that he had no way to pay for better clothes and felt like he was arguing with himself when he was thinking about what to do, the guilt he was dealing with didn't help him either,
'It's so cold … I need a jumper or something … but I have no money to pay for one … just grab one then … but it's wrong … but killing is too … I didn't mean to … Vernon tried to kill me though … he might not have … can I be sure about that? … what about Dudley and Aunt Petunia? … Dudley never helped me and Petunia probably didn't want to lose her slave … what about the other people? … what about them? They didn't help and Vernon would have killed me … it was still wrong to do that, even to Uncle Vernon … I had no choice! I would have died and I will die unless I do something … but what? … take the clothes … but how? … with magic of course … it still feels wrong … it's not as bad as killing.'
Needless to say Harry was a very confused child at that time, to say the least. Going into a shop with a sign saying 'Sloppy Seconds', he made sure to stay out of sight of the cashier, an easy thing to accomplish due to the various racks of clothing but made harder to Harry's poor vision, before grabbing one of the backpacks that they had and then went on to putt as many clothes as he could into it, using his magic to bring him those that he couldn't reach. Surprisingly he found his magic much easier to use. His luck continued when the cashier headed to the restroom, allowing Harry a window of opportunity to run from the shop with his ill-gotten gains.
Harry kept running until he was sure that no-one had followed him, hid behind a dumpster in one of the nearby alleyways and quickly changed into his 'new' clothes. While they were nothing particularly stylish, they were warmer than what he had and that was enough for him, they consisted of a plain white T-Shirt over which he wore a grey hooded sweater, some dark grey jogging bottoms, black trainers, a dull red woollen hat and some black woollen gloves. He had stolen a few other things such as socks and a spare sweater and jogging bottoms, all of which, including the trainers, were a one to three sizes too big for him but still they were quite warm and that's all that mattered to Harry.
On the third day he had woken up to practically painful amounts of hunger, reminding him that he hadn't eaten in over two days. While people can last longer without food Harry was, under normal circumstances, on minimal amounts of food and had no fat reserves to draw from. Water was no problem because of there being plenty of snow which he could put in his mouth and let it melt into water. After arguing with himself again, albeit much briefer than the day before, he made his way into a fruit and vegetables shop, he made sure he was as hidden as possible before he started to put some of the apples in to his backpack. When he was zipping up his backpack, he sudden felt a hand clasp down on his shoulder and he was suddenly filled with dread,
"I hope you're going to pay for those, kid." The shopkeeper, a dark haired and middle-aged man, said,
Too afraid to speak Harry looked towards the door to see that, what appeared to be an assistant had closed the door and the other people in the shop were looking at him as well. When he realized that he was trapped, the shopkeeper then said some words that filled his mind with panic,
"Well? Are you going to put them back or will I have to call the police?"
The shopkeeper was expecting the kid to hand over the apples and start apologising, maybe even cry a little. He would then call the police to deal with the child, because it was either very lost or more likely, given how skinny he felt under the clothes, homeless. Maybe it could lead to something better for the kid. What he wasn't expecting however was for the kid to violently jerk out his grasp and disappear with a loud crack.
In an empty alleyway loud crack suddenly rang out as Harry mysteriously appeared out of thin air, luckily for him no one was there to hear it. Eyes drooping, Harry swayed on his feet before collapsing to the ground unconscious.
Harry's eye twitched as a drop of water fell on his face, which was soon followed by another, as more and more fell Harry's eyes fluttered open and he groggily stood up. Still swaying slightly he leaned against the wall for support and looked towards the sky and was surprised to see that it was night, when it was the middle of the day when he went to get the food and to make matters worse it was now raining, turning the snow into slush. Sitting down under the open lid of a dumpster, Harry pulled his backpack towards him and started to enjoy the apples that he had stolen. After three apples Harry had eaten his fill and had found that the slush was starting to become a problem and realised that he need somewhere better to stay than a cardboard box.
Searching for more suitable shelter gave Harry time to reflect on what had happened earlier,
'What happened? First I was in the shop, but then I was somewhere else … seems familiar … but how? … Come on, think about it … I remember! It was when Dudley was chasing me and I ended up on the roof of the school … and the Dursleys punished me for …did I do it again? … of course I did … but how did I? … Magic, duh … I didn't like it, I felt like I was being squeezed all over … I could get used to it and it seems like it could be good to learn how to do though … can I learn how? … What do I have to lose?'
After a few hours of searching Harry was lucky enough to come across an abandoned gas station, the windows were boarded up, the paint was mostly peeled off and the door handles and hinges were rusted up tight, however one of the plywood panels on the back door was loose and would open up wide enough for Harry to slip in but not someone bigger. While it was practically barren, it was at least much dryer and warmer than outside, especially when he changed out of his wet clothes.
For the following weeks things fell into a sort of routine for Harry. His first task of the day would be to find some food for the day or more, he never took some things that required any cooking due to him not having the means to do so and so mostly stuck to fruits and vegetables which he took from one of the nearby super markets particularly apples which had developed a fondness for. Another one of his preferred haunts was a small cafe, where people could eat outside, while not as popular in the winter it was still frequently used and people would often leave half eaten or even untouched food which Harry took advantage of.
To occupy his time Harry spent a minority of his time exploring the areas around the gas station in order to get a better feel of the area, however quite often he spent his time working on his 'disappearing trick' but had minimal success. Every day he would try, constantly frustrating himself with his lack of success, however his efforts eventually paid off when he was able to make himself appear on the other side of the room he was practicing in much to his joy despite that attempt taking him fifteen minutes to achieve, not that he had any means to tell the time. He worked himself into exhaustion each day, gradually getting better at it until it had gotten to the point where it would take just over eight seconds to do it and could do it more and more frequently without tiring as much.
Of course just as things seem to finally be getting together, life has a way of kicking the legs out from under you in ways you couldn't have imagined.
It was early morning and Harry had just 'cleared away' an apple and some toast from the outdoor cafe and was trying a new way to the gas station. When he was about to round a corner towards the back of a pawn shop, that was closed for the day, he heard two men arguing,
"There you are you little shit-stain." One voice growled,
"Crap, it's you Marco." The other one said, with fear lacing the words,
Harry looked around the corner, hiding himself behind a garbage can, and saw one man, dark haired and slightly taller than the other, pinning another, with dirty blond hair, against the wall,
"Yeah it's me. You've been ducking and dodging me for the past two weeks. Where's the money you owe? Before you even think about it, you better not lie to me." The one referred to as Marco said
"Er … well, you see thing is …" the other man stammered out,
"What?" Marco asked irritably,
"I'm afraid I don't have it, but it's not my fault. See I was about to pay you last week but someone broke into my apartment and took it, all I need is a little more time and …" the man said rapidly before he was cut off by Marco
"Save it! Even if you had paid up last week, you still would have been late. This has been your third strike and you're becoming a liability."
The man pinned against the wall started to panic,
"Wait you don't mean … you don't have to do this man … come on just give me another …"
Whatever was about to be said was cut off when Marko plunged a hunting knife into the man's gut before violently ripping it out and repeating the process again and again, practically working himself into a frenzy.
Eyes widening in horror at the scene before him, Harry slapped a hand over his mouth before he could scream out and chocked back the bile that was rising up his throat,
'Why is this happening? … I have get out of here … but I have to help that man … but what can I do? … I can't just stay here …just run … he'll die if I don't do something … I'll die if I do something … no, I have to help.'
Picking up a cheap and thin metal pipe from the ground, Harry quickly rushed around the garbage can and ran towards the two men, neither of whom had noticed he was there. Grabbing hold of the metal pipe with both hands, Harry bought it back before slamming it with all his strength into the small of Marco's back.
Marco let out a grunt of pain when he felt something hit him in the back, looking around he saw some kid with a pipe looking as though he was about to hit him again and without hesitation dropped the other man, leaving the knife in him, and back handed the child across the face with his left fist.
Before Harry knew what happened he was on the ground with both his face and back of his head hurting while feeling slightly dizzy, lifting his head up slightly he felt the back of his head and noticed that it felt damp and brought his hand in front of his face and saw that it had blood on it. Before he had time to get his thoughts together Marco delivered a swift kick to his side sending him into the opposite wall,
"I'm surprised you're still awake, but you should have stayed out of the way kid."
Turning back to the other man, Marco bent down and ripped the knife out of him causing him to let out a painful groan,
"I'll finish with you when I've dealt with the witness."
Marco reached down and picked the kid up by his sweater and got ready to quickly finish him off.
Even though he was still disorientated Harry was still aware enough to know what was happening,
'He's going to kill me … I should have run away … I had to do something … got to do something now, anything … but what? … I don't know, but I won't let him kill me!'
Before anyone knew what happened a sudden and invisible shockwave emanating from the small boy struck out knocking Marco along the ground for a few feet before he quickly rolled to his feet. He looked at the boy as he groggily stood up. Feeling a sharp pain in his hand that was holding the kid Marco looked at his hand and saw that his thumb and middle finger were at awkward angles, while his other fingers and the rest of his hand felt stiff and numb,
'Shit! What the fuck just happened?'
Unknown to Marco Harry had an idea as to what had just happened, despite the disorientation he felt when he hit his head on the ground after being just dropped by Marco,
'Was that my magic? … It felt like it … that was lucky … I should have used it from the start to get him or get out of here … will it be enough? … It has to.'
Reaching out with his hands guiding his magic, Harry took hold of the trash can lid and sent it careening towards Marco at a wave in his direction, however due to his already poor vision, his head injuries and his inexperience he narrowly missed. Realising that the boy might be more dangerous than he though Marco rushed forward to end things quickly, panicking Harry whose magic picked up the now slightly bent pipe and flailed it in front of Marco's head, who had stopped to avoid being hit over the head by it, the flailing mirroring the boy's hand movements.
Getting frustrated by the pathetic flailing from the pipe, Marco snatched it out of the air and easily bent the cheap and malleable metal out of shape and tossed it over his shoulder,
"Real cute kid, but I don't have time for your party tricks and now they're starting to get on my nerves." Marco growled at Harry,
Scared out of his mind Harry started to back away when he unluckily stepped on a bottle and fell backwards as it rolled out from under him, but luckily he avoided hurting his head this time, desperately looking around for something he could use he saw an overturned box that seemed to have items that had a familiar shape, squinting as was able to make out that they were brown and green bottles. Reaching one with his magic he threw it as hard as his magic could at Marco, catching him of guard and scoring a lucky hit as it hit in the face.
Not expecting the bottle to the face or the speed it came at him, Marco wasn't able to shield his face in time nor prevent some of the smaller shards from getting into his eyes, leaving him in agony and unable to defend himself from the other bottles that kept hitting him leaving lacerations on his head and neck, as well as his broken hand which was over his eyes trying to get the glass out. But for everyone that hit him in the head another four or five hit his body and did minimal, if any, damage or missed him completely.
Standing once more Harry reached out for another bottle but was shocked when he didn't 'feel' his magic latching onto anything and when he looked towards the box of bottles, his eyes widened to see that there were no more bottles. He was out of ammo. The magic still built up in his hand, Harry suddenly felt a shadow loom over him and looked up to see Marco practically standing over him with his knife held in a reverse grip, and from what Harry could make out his right eye seemed to be bleeding although that could be from one of the other cuts,
"At first it was unfortunate that you showed up, then it became annoying but now you've seriously pissed me the fuck off kid!" Marco snarled and quickly raised the knife above his head to bring it down on Harry.
His mind in a state of panic Harry's fist lashed forwards on reflex towards Marco's stomach, unleashing all of the magic that he had built up in it.
Marco spluttered and stumbled back his free hand holding his stomach as he bent double, having felt the wind knocked out of him, wondering what the hell the brat had done now.
Harry looked at his fist in confusion; his hand didn't touch his would-be killer, suddenly his eyes widened in realisation. His hand didn't hit Marco but his magic did when he let it loose from his hand. Before Marco could recover Harry started to build up more magic in his fist until it had even more in it than it had previously, he then made a straight punching motion towards his target and heard a satisfying grunt of pain as it hit his target, despite there being no sign of anything happening except some air displacement. Emboldened by his initial success, Harry started to build up magic in both his hands.
It was supposed to be a simple job for Marco, deal with a pathetic loose end for the boss, get paid and go home if the boss didn't have another job for him, but then that brat showed up and it just seemed to go downhill from there every time he seemed to have the kid at his mercy Fate or Lady Luck seemed to step in and throw the kid another life line. First, it was annoying with that damn pipe, then those bottles that damn near blinded him and now the kid seemed to have a way of hitting him without even touching him. To make matters worse each hit, while nowhere near as powerful as quite a few of the punches thrown by some of the guys he worked with, was stronger than some of the weaker men he had to deal with. It didn't help that the kid wasn't letting up on his steady little barrage forcing him to stumble back a stop or two with each hit.
Marco trying to protect his face was unable to see that Harry was starting to tire from the constant magical barrage he was doing, not noticing that it was taking more and more magic the further away Marco got, but was able to get another lucky shot and hit an unprotected area of Marco's between the legs forcing him to one knee as he dropped the knife to cover his incredibly painful privates. Harry finally starting to feel the drain on his magic was sweating profusely and had to let up on his 'punches' as he panting for breath.
The pain starting subside, Marco glared at the boy he hated more than anyone at that moment, not noticing the slight movement in the corner of his eye, but as he made to stand up he felt a stabbing pain in his thigh, biting down yet another scream of pain he looked down at the source of the injury and shocked to see that it was a switch-blade being held in the blood covered hand of the man he was sent to kill, who was still laying on the floor with one hand futilely trying to keep his wounds from bleeding out,
"*cough* … and you call me a liability *cough* Marco? … When you have the chance *cough* make sure that your fist target is de… *cough* dead before moving to a new one." The man on the floor gave an almost macabre-esque, grin, "*cough* Thanks for trying to help kiddo."
"Damn it! Don't any of you two bastards ever die!" Marco snarled before ripped the switchblade from his leg and made to stab the man on the ground but received another hit from the brat right in the face, a dull crack signalling a broken nose as he lost his balance and fell backwards.
Looking down on his leg he saw his blood practically spewing from the wound like a geyser. He'd killed a few people in his past and seen others do it as well, so he was able to recognise arterial spray. The guy most have gotten a very lucky shot on him, but still he got him, and if he didn't get the wound closed soon he would bleed to death in just over a few minutes and given how much of hassle this kid was he wouldn't be able to spare the time to deal with him and get the help needed. Dragging himself up Marco began to limp away, keeping one hand on the wound and the other on the wall, down the alley away from Harry and his victim, turning his head towards the brat he raised his voice,
"You better watch your back boy, 'cause soon I'll be sticking a knife in it you little freak."
'If the boss asks what happened to me, I'll just tell him that there was unforeseen circumstances and the target took me by surprise. There is no way I'm admitting a kid caused me so much trouble.' Marco thought to himself before making his way out of sight.
With Marco gone and the adrenaline leaving his system Harry sunk to his knees, taking deep and shuddering breaths only to wince when the pain from his ribs started to register. A hacking cough bring his attention back to the man on the ground,
"Oh man! What do I do? What do I do? There's so much blood!" Harry panicked voice said, "Erm … wait here mister I'll go get help."
Standing shakily at first Harry, ran down the alleyway and took a turn that led onto the street, briefly looking around he ran up to the first adult he saw, an average looking man that seemed to be dressed for office work,
"Mister! I need your help, A man back in alley has been hurt really, really bad. I need you to help him."
The man however barley gave Harry a passing glance before continuing on,
"Wait! Come back!"
Quickly looking around Harry ran up to a different adult, a woman with brown hair wearing dress and a jacket,
"Miss! Miss! Please I need your help a man back in the alley is very hurt and needs help."
Unfortunately the woman didn't even give Harry a passing glance, if anything she just tried to ignore him. Feeling the panic rise up in him Harry tried a different adult, this time a man in dark blue overalls that had just finished loading up a large truck and was about to climb into the driver's seat,
"Mister, please help. A man in the alley is badly hurt he needs someone to help him."
The man look at Harry briefly before sadly shaking his head, then climbed into the driver's seat and drove away,
"Wait don't go! He could die if you don't help."
Unable to believe the way the people were acting, Harry was on the verge of total meltdown when he was thinking about how he wished there was some doctor or something around. It was then that he remembered what he had been told in primary school and how if you had someone who was very, very sick or very, very hurt, then you could use the phone to call for people to take them to the hospital and all it took was three numbers which could still remember. Looking around for any way to make a phone call, Harry saw a young woman in a tank top and mini skirt walking along the street talking on a cell phone,
"Excuse me Miss, but may I please use your phone so I can help this man get to the hospital?"
The woman just glared at him slightly for interrupting her conversation, before pointedly ignoring him and continuing on her way. Twice more Harry asked to use someone's phone and twice more he was ignored, finally reaching the edge Harry shouted out,
"WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? WHY WON'T ANY OF YOU HELP? HE COULD DIE?"
Sadly the most any one did was to briefly glance at him before continuing on their way. On the brink of tears and nearly tearing out his own hair, Harry ran back into the ally and back the injured man. Harry had once again unknowingly been victim to Gotham's unwritten rule of 'don't interfere with stuff that doesn't involve you'.
When Harry got back he had found that the man had gotten much paler, due to a combination of the cold and blood loss but what Harry's poor vision couldn't see were the man's eyes going in and out of focus. Sinking down to his knees, Harry started to cry,
"I'm sorry mister … I tried to get someone to help, but no one would. They just ignored me and now it's my fault you're going to die."
As Harry continued to cry, the man just smiled sadly,
"*cough* It's not your fault kid, you didn't stick the knife in my gut." The man said reassuringly,
"I should have done something though."
"You *cough* did what you could kid and it was more than others would have. *cough*"
Harry wiping his eyes, noticed something dark sticking out amongst the white of the snow, curious he read for it and was surprised to find that it was a cell phone, and instantly stopped crying as he broke out in a grin,
"It's a phone! Mister it's a phone, I can call for help."
The man just smiled too weak to move,
"Looks like you found my cell, kid *cough*."
'It must have fallen out of my pocket when Marco jumped me. I thought I left it in my apartment when I tried to use it when the kid was gone. Looks like my luck's picking up.' The man thought to himself.
Flipping open the cell phone and squinted slightly to make out the small and slightly worn numbers, finding the one he was lucking for Harry did as he was instructed at his short time at school and dialled 9 – 9 – 9 then pressed the green button to make the call. Putting the phone to his ear Harry waited for it to start ringing and for someone to pick it up.
Only it never rang and no one picked it up, thinking that he had done something wrong Harry tried again. And again. And again. By the fifth time with no response Harry was panicking once more,
"Come on, come on, please work, please work." But once again it failed to work almost bringing Harry to tears again, unfortunately no one had told Harry that America had a different emergency number,
"*cough* What's wrong kid?" The man asked,
"The phone, it's not working." Harry said holding back tears,
'And fate just fucked me over.' The man thought, and having been unable to see what numbers Harry dialled, had thought that his phone had stopped working with truly appalling timing.
After a another minute the man realized that he wasn't going to be leaving the alleyway alive, he decided right then to at least try and make things even a little easier for the boy who had helped him, coughing up another glob of blood he spoke to Harry his voice rasping,
"Hey kid, what's your name?"
"My name's Harry, Mister."
"Harry is it? I like that name. *cough* Well Harry, I want you to have something, give me your hand."
Hesitantly, Harry held his hand out towards the man, who shakily lifted his hand up and placed something in his hand before letting it fall to the floor. It was a plain, black, four and a half inch handle with a button on the side covered in blood, when Harry pressed the button a four inch blade sprung out from the handle,
"*cough* It's not much but I hope it'll be of some use, *cough* especially if Marco comes after you."
"I … I can't take this Mister." Harry protested,
The chuckled slightly but soon gave into a coughing fit,
"I'm dying kid *cough*… might as well let you have it … consider it thanks for trying to help me *cough*…not like I can take it with me … shame … might've come in handy down there …"
"Down where?" Harry innocently asked making the man smile,
After a monument when it became apparent that the man wasn't going to answer his question Harry asked him another,
"What's your name Mister?"
The man closed his eyes yet smiled slightly, when he spoke his voice was barely whisper forcing Harry to strain slightly to hear him,
"That's right … I never told … my name … it's …"
A moment passed without him finishing his sentence, soon followed by another and yet another still, making Harry feel uneasy,
"It's what Mister?" Harry asked him, his voice trembling slightly, "What's your name?"Harry asked again gently shaking the man, who was lying still.
Getting no response Harry place an ear on the man's chest, and was saddened to hear no heart beat nor feel him breathing, confirming to Harry that he was dead.
Harry didn't know how long he spent sitting on the opposite wall of the alley holding his knees close to his body but it soon became dusk without him realizing and night was soon approaching. His body was starting to show more sighs of the earlier confrontation, his bottom lip was cut open, bruises were forming on one side of his ribs, the left side of his face had some angry swelling and dark purple bruises forming from Marco's back-hand and most noticeably was Harry's left eyelids swelling to the point where he was squinting out of it with a black eye already framing it. Harry however didn't notice due to his mind being in turmoil,
'He died and I wasn't even able to help him … there wasn't anything I could have done … there must have been something, like if I tried harder at using my magic better and beaten that other guy sooner and then I would have had more time to find help … that's stupid I didn't die because of stupid luck, he would have killed me eventually … but I was getting him good in the end … and I was really tired afterwards, while he was about to get up, if it wasn't for Mister getting him and driving him away … I should have tried harder to get a grown up to come … I did what I could, but they all ignored me even when I begged and shouted for help … they were probably just afraid of getting hurt themselves … but they'd want others to help them if they were hurt, why should I help those that won't help me or even themselves? … Because it's the right thing to do … Says who? What is the right thing to do? … There's lots of things that you're supposed to do, like helping others … yeah and not stealing as well, why should I get myself hurt trying to help cowards that won't help me? … I, I don't know … Then why should I do it then? … Am I talking to myself? … I don't know, am I?"
Harry was shaken from his chaotic thoughts by the ring of the cell phone on the ground, hesitantly Harry opened up it up, pressed the green button and cautiously answered,
"H … Hello?"
"Who is this?" A woman's voice replied,
"I'm Harry." Harry answered confused,
"Have I got the wrong number or something?" The woman asked
"I don't know," Harry answered, before his eyes widened in realization, "Are you the ambulance lady I tried to talk to before?"
"Nooo," the woman answered confusion lacing her voice, "why did you need the ambulance lady kid?" she asked clearly concerned,
"A man here was stabbed a lot and got really hurt, I tried to get help and had to use his phone to call for an ambulance but no one answered."
The phone line went silent for several moments before the woman shakily responded,
"D…does the hurt man have blond hair and colourful shirt on?"
Harry looked at the man and saw that as well as the dirty blond hair, he was wearing what was once a colourful Hawaiian style shirt before it had gotten soaked in blood,
"Yeah. He does." Harry answered her,
"What's his name?"
"I…I don't know, he didn't tell me."
"Can you let me talk to him please?" The woman asked, who seemed to be chocking back sobs,
Harry was silent, unsure as to what to do,
"Are you still there?" Came the woman's voice,
"I'm sorry. I can't because he died. I tried to help him, I really did but there was nothing I could do."
Harry's heart ached when he heard the woman on the phone break down crying. Biting back the sobs the woman started to speak again,
"Do you know where you're at? Anything at all that might be near?"
"Erm, we're behind this shop I think."
"What kind of shop?" The woman asked patiently,
"I'm not sure, but I think the sign said 'Kay's P -something- Shop.'"
" 'Kay's Pawn Shop'?" The woman tried to confirm,
"I think so."
"Okay stay there kid, I'll call the police and they'll head over to where you are to check things out." Her voice still shaking slightly,
"The police?" Harry chocked out in a strangled voice, "No. No, no, no, I can't let them find me. I got to get out of here." Harry said more to himself,
"Wait! Kid don't go, the police won't hurt you." When the woman got no response, she grew concerned, "Kid, you still there? Hello? Hello?" Unfortunately there was no one around to hear the now abandoned cell phone, the only thing making a sound in the alley other than faint crack echoing off the walls.
Two days later when Commissioner Gordon was going over some paperwork, his aide buzzed in on the inter-com,
"Commissioner, an officer from Homicide is here to see you, he says that it's important."
"They always say that. Oh well, might as well send him in. I could do with a break from the paper pushing."
A few moments an officer from the Homicide department came in to his office,
"Take a seat," Gordon said indicating the chair in front of his desk, "What is it that you wanted to see me about?"
"It's about that boy, the meta from the 73rd street Hotel explosion, we managed to find a lead on him."
"We got called in on a homicide report and were told to check behind 'Kay's Pawn Shop'. We found the body and it was identified as one Adam Thatcher and boyfriend of the person who reported it, we found the murder weapon on the scene. Forensics investigating the scene was able to conclude that there were three people at the scene; Thatcher, his attacker and …"
"The Boy. Harry Potter." Gordon finished off for him,
"And that's why you're Commissioner. On a nearby pipe there were two finger print samples, we ran both through analysis just to be sure and one belonged to a Marco Stiletto, a grunt and hired hand of some criminals, the other was an unknown however given the size of the prints they can conclude that they most likely belonged to a child. From the various blood samples that were taken from the scene they were able to conclude that there were three sources, the victim, Marco and one matching a sample taken from the 73rd street hotel investigation."
"So the boy was trying to help the victim then?"
"It would seem that way Commissioner. After interviewing the victim's girlfriend, one Sandra Weaver, it would seem that the boy tried to get help for the victim. Questioning of some of the people nearby confirmed that a boy was acting frantic around the appropriate time."
"And given how apathy is practically a defence mechanism to most of the people in this city I doubt he got any help either."
"Right again. Miss Weaver even informed us that the child had tried to call for an ambulance on the victim's cell phone. When it was checked it not only had the boy's finger prints on them but it also revealed that someone had tried to call the number 9 – 9 – 9 at least five times for some reason." The officer said feeling slightly confused as he read his notes,
"That's the emergency dial number for England, yet more proof that the boy is the same one from the hotel."
"I see, now I remember why it seemed so familiar. Miss Weaver also informed us that the boy seemed to panic when informed that the police would be involved after that she doesn't know what happened to him."
"Is that everything you have?" Gordon asked,
"No sir, when following procedure and started enquire if anyone had noticed anything unusual," Gordon bit back a sarcastic comment, "and while no one was willing to say anything, Julius Kay – owner of 'Kay's Pawn Shop' while unable to say anything due to other business he had that day, he freely provided us with footage from the hidden security camera he has watching the back of the shop. It shows practically the whole thing, albeit there's no sound but the picture quality is good. I thought you might want to see a copy and see if it can help you with your attempts to find the boy."
This genuinely surprised Gordon, but still it could be of some use. When the officer left a copy of the recording on the desk, Gordon waited until the officer had left the office before telling his aide to hold any calls for him and he then opened the cabinet in his office to reveal a television set, with DVD and VHS player. He then started to watch the scene unfold in all of its unnerving detail.
By the end of it Gordon was fighting off a migraine, at what he just learned about the boy's abilities. It seemed that the boy had some form of telekinesis which seemed to still be evolving, if his reactions were anything to go by however the biggest problem Gordon had was that the boy seemed capable of teleportation, making it nearly impossible to track him down. The fact that the boy could teleport said something about his character, if he could have teleported then he could have easily left the victim behind but instead he risked his life even when it was apparent that he had minimal if any idea about how to fight, but Gordon wasn't so foolhardy as to believe that the child was completely innocent, he had noticed the clothes that he was wearing, compared to the near literal rags that he was wearing when he escaped the Hotel, and he highly doubted the child had any means to pay for them. He wouldn't besmirch the boy though if it was a choice between freezing to death and stealing a few clothes then Gordon could overlook that, especially since his actions inadvertently helped them form a sturdy case against a killer on the street.
Unfortunately finding the child had just been made a lot harder. By revealing his powers to Marco, it created a likely scenario of the criminal elements finding out about the new meta-human with a desirable ability such as his telekinesis, and would make it so that the longer the police took to find him the more chance he had of falling into unscrupulous hands, for whatever purpose.
Sighing, Gordon leaned back in his chair, he had decided to at least inform Batman of some of the latest developments the next time he saw him. While not technically legal Batman's help could be invaluable and in all honesty Gordon felt that he would have more success at tracking the boy down. He only hoped that they could help the boy when they did find him, who knew how messed up the boy's mind could have become.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Gotham, young Harry was moving through the back streets trying to avoid catching people's attention. After hearing that the police was going to show up Harry immediately disappeared to the gas station and gathered what he could to be ready to leave, afraid that they might find out where he was staying.
Since then he had kept on the move, only taking cat-naps for rest, not really caring where he stayed just so long as no one saw him and still shaking off the occasional ache from where he had hurt his head the other day. During his movements Harry had unknowingly reached the outskirts of the city evidenced by the smaller building and more plant life. One night Harry came across what seemed to be some woods that were on the other side of the road, taking a chance he quickly made his way across the deserted street and made his way deeper in to the wooded area.
After many hours of walking in the woods, an exhausted Harry stumbled upon a clearing, looking into the clearing Harry was able to make out the rough outline of a large building but was unable to make out much else due to both the darkness and his already poor vision, stepping out of the woods he made his way to the road leading up to the building. After a short distance Harry was able to make out a sign on the side of the road which he then decided to check it out, when he was next to it he was able to tell that it was old due to the peeling paint and the crumbling pieces of exposed rotted wood, backing up a step to see the whole sign at once Harry tried to read it, which due to the circumstances was a bit of a difficulty to him,
'Got – ham, Gotham …that's it … Bot – ani – cal, Botanical … what's that mean? … Maybe the last word will help, Gar – den, Garden. So it say's 'Gotham Botanical Garden' … I guess 'Botanical' must mean that it's a fancy garden.'
Thinking about how worn out the sign was along with the state of disrepair the road, which was starting to be broken up by the plants like the nearby tree roots and the various weed poking through the cracks, Harry had a hunch that the building might not have anyone in it.
Moving along the road Harry was surprised at how big the building was the closer he kept getting to it, by the time he was able to guess it's size Harry was at least able to make out some of the features. One part of it seemed to be a tall, house-like building however attached to that was another, much larger, structure which most of it seemed to be made of glass panels like a greenhouse, although Harry wasn't able to see inside at that moment. Harry couldn't help but think that the whole of Privet Drive could have easily fit inside the glass area due to its sheer size.
Making his way around the outside of the building Harry tried to find a way inside, he at first tried the doors and windows only to find them closed and locked, continuing to look for a way in Harry happened upon an air duct just at his head level. Curious he nudged the cover slightly causing it to shift ever so slightly, upon closer inspection he found that there was only one screw keeping it in place elating him at the possibility of finding a way into the building. Grabbing hold of the grille he moved it so that it rotated around the screw, leaving a way into the ventilation system large enough for Harry to crawl through.
Harry put his bag into the open vent and clumsily climbed in after it, before crawling in too deep Harry reached out and took hold of the grate and carefully rotated it back into place. Crawling through the ventilation system Harry came across another grille, which when he looked through it revealed that it lead into what he guessed was the glass structure, if the fact that he was able to still see the sky was any indication, however when he tried to get inside he found that this grille wouldn't budge. After a few minutes of trying Harry tried to kick the grille out, however it seemed to have minimal if any effect.
Starting to feel the effects of his physical and mental exhaustion, on top of a growing headache, Harry at down awkwardly, due to the cramped conditions, and tried to think of a way to get the grille off. Unable to think of anything Harry's mind began to wander as he thought over the last few days, however to avoid thinking about the man that he couldn't save he thought about how his magic had started to develop. Suddenly his eyes widened in realization, he might not be able to get himself out of the vents but his magic might.
Shifting his body so that he could easily reach the grille Harry started to let his magic build up into his hand, when he felt that he might have enough built up he let his arm lash forward. Unfortunately he didn't get the timing right and didn't release the magic in time and hit his hand on the metal grille, which cut into his hand slightly, when the magic was released half a second later all it did was dent a few of the strips of metal, most of it just passing through the gaps.
Hissing in pain slightly Harry held his hurt hand to his chest. Frustrated he started to kick the grille repeatedly and was unprepared for when a relatively large dent appeared in the grille, looking from it and to his foot and back again Harry was wondering what had just happened, when he finally noticed that his Magic had built up in his leg but this time it wasn't released but had just stayed throughout his leg and, unknown to him, his mediocre muscles. Concentrating on trying to replicate what had happened, Harry built up his magic spreading it throughout his leg and concentrating it in his foot, a task made harder by the fact that he wasn't entirely sure what happed. When he felt that he might be able to do it Harry hesitantly kicked his foot out, making sure to hold the magic in his body, and was rewarded by another dent in the grille and had avoided hurting his foot by making sure to hit the obstruction with the base of his foot. After several kicks, and a few failures, the grille finally gave way and fell to the floor from its position with small parts of the wall still stuck to the screws.
After climbing through the new opening Harry began to explore the area he had gotten into with a look of awe on his face, the closest thing that Harry could compare it to was a jungle and even the path that he walked on was made up of compressed dirt and some moss covered stones to show where it was separate from the rest of the environment. Moving along the path, Harry found that even the wall area, where the glass structure and the house-like building came together, was covered vines and ivy. After finding a doorway that was only covered by a bead curtain and resolving to check out the rest of the plants, Harry began to investigate the more house like part of the building.
Going through some of the rooms he found some things that you would expect to find such as a kitchen, a bathroom, even what appeared to be a living room and all of the rooms had some form of ivy or vines on the wall, however one of the rooms that harry came across was very odd. Most of the items Harry couldn't identify but there were several glass tubes and strange substances with warning symbols on them, however if Harry was unable to see or make out several of the paraphernalia such as a Bunsen burner and dozens of syringes.
Walking over to the table Harry pulled himself up slightly to peer over it curiosity overriding his exhaustion of the day, however what he was unprepared for was the hacking cough that suddenly burst from his mouth. Looking at his hand which had covered his mouth he was both shocked and scared that there was a glob of blood in the palm of his hand, but before he had time to think about it he suddenly started coughing again.
It seems that unknown to Harry, he had been breathing in an airborne toxin that was quite deadly to humans was produced by the plants as a defence mechanism, ever since he got too close to the building the time it took for Harry to get inside was enough time for the toxins to start to spread throughout his blood stream. His situation wasn't made any better by getting closer in proximity to the plants, resulting in him breathing in a more concentrated amount of toxin. For most people the longest they could spend near the botanical gardens was a couple of hours without appropriate breathing apparatus and unfortunately for Harry, ignorant of the danger, he was now starting to feel the effects.
It seemed that Harry would be condemned to a death in isolation, had it not been for the same plats that had poisoned him. Unknown to most of Gotham's residents, several plants residing in the botanical gardens were at least semi aware of their surroundings and had were capable of reflex and voluntary movements to certain extent (thanks the assistance of Gotham's resident eco-terrorist), that didn't mean that they were anywhere near the level of humans or even most other animals however they were able to act in sense of self preservation. The ivy and vines that Harry saw were spread throughout the botanical gardens would have tried to strangle most intruders to death, however maintenance was needed throughout the gardens and they were nowhere intelligent or dexterous enough to identify or perform said maintenance. This was one of the reasons that they had allowed Harry to move about freely on the off chance that he might assist them, but now he was being killed by the very poisons that they near constantly produced. If they let him die they would have to wait for their creator to help but there was no telling how long they would have to wait, so that left only the option of helping however there was little that they could do but that would have to be enough.
Reaching down to the work bench one of the vines wrapped around a syringe next to the counter-toxin solutions and lowered it down to the boy who was now on his hands and knees, if it was capable of seeing the vine would have noticed that the liquid in the syringe was a dark green as opposed to the green tint of the mostly clear counter-toxin samples.
Looking down at the syringe next to him on the floor and then up to the vine that passed it to him,
"Will this *cough* help me?" Harry asked the vine,
Receiving no visible response he moved himself into a sitting up position before then picking the syringe up from the floor, he remembered at how when he went to the doctors, on one of the rare occasions that the Dursley's took him, and the doctor explained to him that it was for his own good because the injection from the needle would stop him from getting sick. Well he was feeling very sick now and so, out of options and ignorant of the potential risks, Harry rolled up the sleeves of his clothes and trying hard to imitate what the doctor had done stuck the needle in his arm and pressed down on the syringe, pumping the green substance into his bloodstream.
For a while nothing happened but then just before a minute had passed a burning sensation started at his heart, where it quickly spread throughout his body lighting every nerve ablaze with excruciating pain. Unable to remain consciousness for any longer Harry blacked out as his body underwent significant changes.
Early the next morning, as the sun started to rise, Harry's eyes slowly opened as he returned to consciousness. Shaking off a headache, he slowly pushed himself to his feet while leaning on the wall for support and tried to remember what had happened before he blacked out. He remembered it all clearly, up until he started coughing where his memory started to get a little fuzzy. Out of the corner of his eye he noticed something on the floor, when he looked towards it he noticed that it was a needle, similar to what a doctor would use, it was then that his eyes widened in realization as the memory of what else happened the previous night.
When he reached down to pick up the empty syringe he recalled in sheer shock to see that his skin was green like some of the leaves that he saw the night before causing him to nearly panic at the sudden and drastic change. While he was worrying about what had happened to him he realized something important, he was able to clearly see the needle on the floor, looking around the room he was able to actually see the vines on the wall along with several other details. Whatever had happened had somehow fixed his eyes sight.
After grabbing his things Harry quickly made his way into the bathroom and tried to check out his reflection in the mirror to see whether or not he had changed in any other ways, in the end he had to stand on the bin once he had turned it upside down. Looking in the Mirror the first thing he noticed was the obvious fact that his skin was indeed green, which in all honesty frightened him slightly. The next thing that he noticed was that the swelling from his black eye, as well as the bruising, was nearly gone while the various other cuts and scrapes that his body had, such as where he had hit his head, were actually gone however his body still had some scars left over from his more serious injuries. Harry leaned in close to the mirror and pulled down one of his eyelids so that he could clearly see the whites of his eyes, only to find that they had a faint green tint to them as did his hair when he looked closely.
Scared and confused Harry left the bathroom in a daze and was soon wandering around the facilities wondering just what had happened to him,
'What happened to me? … I'm green now … I know that but how am I green? … it must have been the needle … but it was supposed to stop me from being sick … well I don't feel sick any more … but I'm green … and no longer sick … but what will people think … why should I care what they think? … they might think I'm an alien or something … yeah right … but they might … then I won't let them find out … how? … by not letting them see me … how? … by keeping my body covered, duh … will that be enough? … I could maybe steal some make-up and cover it up … isn't that just for girls? … do I want people to find out? … it still doesn't change the fact that I'm now a freak … normal doesn't mean better … huh? … every time I've needed help normal people never helped me … but what about Mister? He helped us …or did he help himself and it was lucky that it was good for me? … I, I don't know … is there anything good about being normal? … I don't know … being normal seems stupid when I can be myself … I am myself …no I act like I think I should … no I don't … then why am I arguing with myself? … I'm confused … well that's not new … Hey!'
Before Harry could continue with his internal debate he felt his arm get caught on something preventing him from any more wandering. Looking around he saw that he was now in the greenhouse area, he then looked down and saw a vine wrapped around his forearm but what caught him off guard was the a whispering voice in his head that quietly said one thing,
Harry's eyes widened in shock,
'What was that?'
Looking down to the vine on his arm Harry had a moment of realisation,
"It's you isn't it?"
Seemingly in response the vine pulled on Harry's arm forcing Harry to walk off of the path and follow where it was leading him. A couple of feet away from the path was an object that stood on a set of tripod feet that dug into the ground, it was cylindrical in shape, a few inches shorter than Harry and had four tubular bulbs running down it's sides also it's top had some solar cells on it, with the words 'Solar Heat-Lamp' around the edge of it. After a quick look at the device Harry looked down at the vine around his arm,
"What do you me to do?"
Seemingly in response, the vine moved his arm towards the heat-lamp,
"You want me to fix it? But I don't know how."
The plant just pulled harder on his arm,
"Okay, okay I'll try."
As the plant uncoiled itself Harry looked closer at the heat lamp trying to find some way to fix it. Seeing a switch Harry flicked it to see if it would help however it only caused one of the tubular bulbs to light up and even then it was a flickering orange light,
"I guess it needs new bulbs, where am I going to more of those." Harry thought aloud,
Barley a moment passed before one of the vines wrapped itself around his arm and began to drag him elsewhere, passing his arm along to another vine when the tendril could no longer stretch any more. They soon led him to a closed door with the word 'Maintenance' on the front,
"You want me to look in here?" Harry asked, not recognising the word,
The tendril just moved his arm towards the door before uncoiling itself.
Shrugging his shoulders, he opened the door and walked inside the room. Inside he found several tools most of them seeming to be for gardening purposes but what grabbed his attention was the shelf filled with boxes of what appeared to be spare bulbs for the heater. After picking up four of them he made his way back to the heater to replace the ones that were already being used, a few minutes later and a flick of the switch showed that it all appeared to be working.
Scarcely a moment passed after putting the boxes away before he felt a tugging on his arm once more. Having an idea of what the plant wanted allowed himself to be led by the plants to a automatic sprinkler that had gotten tangled up and needed to be undone, judging by the tendril trapped in the mess it would be safe to assume that the plants had made a futile attempt to get it working but had made things worse. It was much trickier for Harry to sort out but he eventually untangled it all and had even gone so far as to fill up a watering can from the maintenance room to water the plants around the thing he had just untangle.
He had only just put the watering can away when he felt yet another pull on his arm …
It was late at night and a tired Harry had finally been allowed to rest, all day the plants had been dragging him around to fix thing or do other tasks, often it was another heater lamp that needed new bulbs or a sprinkler that needed to be turned on but sometimes he needed to give some of the plants some plant food he found in the maintenance room, he even had to patch up a cracked pane of glass with some of the boxes he uses and some packaging tape. He realised that he would also have to go out the next day in order to get some more food since the fridge was empty, except for a carton of chunky milk which he threw away, and he no longer had any food in his backpack.
Looking around the living quarters Harry was able to find two bedrooms. One was bare of anything except for the bed, a desk and a lamp, while the other larger one had two medium sized shelves of books, a small table and mirror that had various beauty products on its surface and there also a wardrobe with a chest of draws present as well. Sitting on the bed Harry began to think about what he had done that day and was surprised that not only had his mind be taken off of the fact that he was now green but that he wasn't as tired as he would normally be after doing so much as well, even with some minor uses of magic throughout the day as well.
None the less he was hungry and tired so it didn't take long for sleep to claim him, yet feeling strangely he felt at peace.
Harry soon fell into a general routine where he would first wake up and have a quick shower (a luxury he was taking full advantage off), he would then grab something to eat (usually fruit, but sometimes cereal) or steal some later, afterwards he would check on the plants and make sure things were working as well as he could make them before going off to practice using his magic or try reading some of the books (although he couldn't understand most of them, there was some simple stories in one of the book shelves) and just generally keep himself occupied before going to sleep (he sometimes preferred sleeping alongside the plants rather than the bed).
However as time went on he noticed more changes since he injected himself such as when he went outside he did feel a lot colder, to the point where he stole warmer clothes and avoided going outside unless he had too. Small cuts he would get from the tasks that he did healed much faster than they did before, however what caught his attention was that his blood was now green, however this didn't surprise him as much as it normally would have done. He also noticed that although he could somehow use his magic to temporarily boost his strength he didn't need to use as much as he thought he would whenever he needed to move a heavy object, he also didn't seem to tire as easily and recovered from fatigue quicker.
On one occasion he came across a wallet in the street and much to his luck it contained just over a hundred dollars. He tried to use the money to purchase some groceries however when he was at the checkout his hood slipped off his head exposing his pigmentation,
"Get out." The shopkeeper growled at the green skinned boy before him,
"B … but why?" The young child stuttered,
"I'm not going to serve you. Get out now." The man said once more,
"But I have money." Harry timidly said,
Having had enough the man stepped out from behind the counter and grabbed the boy by his hood before dragging him out of the shop and throwing him into the street,
"I refuse to do business with any of your kind, now stay out of my shop or next time it'll be my baseball bat." The man angrily said before slamming the door shut behind him.
A part of Harry wasn't too surprised by what had happened but instead of getting upset he instead felt angry instead, he hadn't done anything to that man it was the first time he went there so he couldn't have stolen from him. In his frustration he kicked a rock on the ground next to his foot only to send it through the shop window but before the man came out Harry teleported away back to the Botanical Gardens. Oddly enough Harry didn't feel guilty about what he had done.
Since then, whenever Harry went outside he had taken to wearing a scarf around the bottom of his face, as well as some cheep sunglasses he had stolen on top of keeping his hood up. He had considered using the make up from the bedroom table but had found most of it to be white and so it would be useless for blending in.
During one of his trips for food, this time it was meat for a large carnivorous plant, he overheard two men talking in the butcher's queue,
"Did you hear? That Harley and Ivy just escaped from Arkham last night." The first man said,
"Ivy and Harley? I wouldn't mind meeting them in a dark alley at night." The second man said with a lecherous grin before chuckling,
The first man just gave him a deadpan look,
"Are you serious? Sure they're both hot as hell but they're also crazy as fuck, you have head of what Ivy thinks of men, right?"
The second man shuddered,
"I hadn't thought about that."
Now Harry may have just been a kid but he had learnt of the infamous Arkham Asylum, he may not have been aware of the 'patients' but he knew that those inside were not to fooled with. After quickly paying for the cheep cuts of meat Harry made his way out of sight of other people before teleporting back the Botanical Gardens, intent on avoiding contact with those from Arkham.
It was approaching the late night when a quietly reading Harry noticed something unusual, the small tree he had been sitting in had suddenly started producing a feeling of, for lack of a better word … excitement. Ever since Harry had injected himself with the unidentified substance he had been able to understand plants in some way when he made physical contact with them, not so much as to converse with them but instead got a sense of their needs, such water or heat but that didn't mean that they 'talked' (except for the large carnivorous plant, which was prone to saying 'Feed Me'). The fact that the tree was projecting a feeling of excitement was both a cause of interest and concern for him. It was then that Harry heard something that snapped him to attention, a creaking metallic groan coming from the direction of the main doorway.
Dropping the book Harry took the switchblade he got from the man in the alley and teleported near the door and before it could open Harry quickly teleported once more into the branches of a nearby tree, with look he would be able to see what was happening without being seen. As the door opened four figures stepped in, the first two were a pair of hyenas, sniffing around at the ground in front of them, much to Harry's surprise and worry and the other two was a pair of women, one of which was carrying a suitcase.
The first was carrying the suitcase and was dressed in a red and black jester's outfit with symbols like those on playing cards as well as fluffy white trim around her wrists and ankles plus two matching bobbles on the 'tails' of her jester hood. Her face was covered by white make up, with black lipstick and a domino mask around her blue eyes.
The other woman was wearing an orange jumpsuit and had red hair reaching down to the middle of her shoulders, what was unusual was the plant tendrils that seemed to be amongst it. Harry could swear that her green eyes were glowing slightly. However it was her skin that caught Harry's attention the most, it was green, a lighter shade than his own but still it was green with vine or ivy-like markings running along her skin, raising the marked flesh slightly, making it look as though a plant had coiled itself around her before fusing with her.
"Geeze Red, you ever think about oiling this thing?" The one in the Jester costume asked,
"Well, it is hard to perform maintenance when you're locked up in Arkham and the winter has been harsher than usual. I only hope my babies are okay." The green skinned woman replied,
"They seem alright to me." The jester said,
"At first glance maybe but there's no telling how some of the more delicate specimens are Harley." The second woman countered, concern lacing her words towards the end,
"Don't worry Pammy I'm sure they'll be okay. If they're not I'm sure you'll have them good as new in no time."
The green woman smirked,
"Of course I would, this is my domain after all."
The jester woman smiled,
"Oh, and thanks for letting me pick up my babies and things as well before we came here, but are you sure they'll be okay?"
"Relax Harl, the poisons produced are only meant to target humans. I think." The other woman said with a slight smile,
"Red…" 'Harley' said in a worried voice
"I suppose it'll be an interesting experiment."
"Red!" An indignant Harley near shouted,
"I'm kidding. Your pets will be perfectly fine, just to be sure I'll even give them some of the counter agent I designed for them like you asked me too." The green skinned woman said, with humour lacing her words,
"You finished it?"
"A while ago, I'd almost forgotten about them due to not having access to them to administer it to them and had moved onto a different project."
"What sort of project Red?"
Before the other woman could explain the Hyenas suddenly started to growl in Harry's direction. Without hesitation the green skinned woman pulled a previously unseen pistol from a holster held on the opposite side of Harry's viewpoint and aimed it in his direction while the other partially unzipped her suitcase and quickly pulled out a sledgehammer (that shouldn't have been able to fit inside) before dropping the suitcase and grasping her weapon with both hands.
"Come out now whoever you are, or things will get … unpleasant." The green woman said menacingly.
Here's chapter two, I hope you all enjoy it.
"Feel free to review and constructive criticism is always welcome."
Happy New Year Everyone