Pairing: Bruce Wayne/Harry Potter
Disclaimer: I do not own Batman or Harry Potter. I also make no profit from writing this.
Summary: He had survived the final battle, but he carried something with him. Fearing the reaction the wizarding world would have, Harry Potter left and traveled to Gotham City…
He was crouching, staying low as he watched through the crack of the heavy curtains the scene that took place beyond the closed glass doors. Men in tuxedos patrolled around the inside of the ballroom, keeping the socialites of Gotham in line with their guns. How could things change so quickly? It was only an hour earlier he was mingling on the arm of Bruce Wayne with these people...
The moment they'd entered the ballroom, numerous eyes were on the pair. Harry felt that familiar zing travel through his body when he was being heavily scrutinized. He'd always hated that feeling.
"Bruce, dear! I didn't know you were coming tonight!" The pair looked over to their enthusiastic greeter.
"Miranda, it's wonderful to see you!" Harry was surprised to hear genuine joy in Bruce's voice, and looked over to see a matching smile on his face.
Miranda glided over gracefully and pecked one of Bruce's cheeks. Bruce gave a small kiss to her hand in return. Harry wasn't sure what to do, so he just stood and waited for Bruce to introduce him.
"Why didn't you tell me you were coming tonight?" Miranda pouted at Bruce playfully.
"I wasn't sure if I could make it, Miranda. Luckily, I was able to find a date." Bruce chuckled softly.
"As if you could ever have trouble finding someone to grace your arm Bruce Wayne." Miranda scoffed lightly.
"You'd be surprised." Bruce smirked slightly in remembrance of some of his more disastrous dates.
"Oh? Well you certainly didn't arrive all by your lonesome tonight. Come now, don't be rude Bruce, introduce me to your date." Miranda looked at Harry's dress in admiration.
"Of course. This lovely creature who has deigned to grace me with her presence tonight is Harleen Riddle. Harleen, this is Miranda Fleece, the host of this glorious event." Harry and Miranda glanced at one another and rolled their eyes at Bruce's flattery.
"And now that my date has stopped with the flattery, may I just say it is very nice to meet you Miss Fleece." Harry smiled genuinely at Miranda and offered his hand for a shake.
"Please, call me Miranda. Is isn't often Bruce is so taken with his dates. I've seen more than a few angry women walk off early." Miranda shook the offered hand lightly.
"They must've been overwhelmed by his charming personality." Harry smirked and winked at Miranda.
"Oh Bruce, I do like her. If you're smart you'll keep this one all to yourself." Miranda laughed freely into the spacious ballroom.
"Believe me, Miranda, I intend to." Bruce smirked in reply.
"Well, I'd best go see to the other guests. Do enjoy yourselves you two."
"Oh we will. You've done a marvelous job as always. I'm sure you'll earn plenty of money for tonight's charity." Bruce praised.
"This really is quite beautiful, Miranda." Harry agreed.
"You two are sweet, really. Have a wonderful evening." Miranda nodded at the pair and glided off towards more party dwellers.
"She was nice." Harry smiled over at Bruce.
"Yes, Miranda's a sweetheart. She's always raising money for various charities. Much of her own wealth goes into Gotham's numerous charities." Bruce informed Harry as he escorted him around the humongous ballroom.
That first conversation seemed to set the stage for the evening, as Harry found himself hanging on Bruce's arm and meeting many of Gotham's richest. He found many of them too much like the wizarding world's purebloods to really like any of them. Looking over at Bruce chatting pleasantly with another of the many wealthy of Gotham, Harry wondered how he could stand playing the role of an airhead. The man Bruce was talking to was practically talking down to Bruce, as if he were too stupid to understand the conversation!
"-speaking of which, may I have this lovely young woman's hand for a dance?" Harry almost jumped at that last part, as he finally tuned back in to what was being said.
He looked over helplessly at Bruce and tightened his hold on the man's arm.
"Actually, Harleen promised me the first dance, didn't you Harleen?" Bruce chuckled and looked down at Harry, giving him his out.
"Yes, that's right. I'm sorry, I forgot!" Harry smiled nervously between Bruce and the other man, whom Harry couldn't remember a name for.
"That's alright, you go and have your first dance with your date. Perhaps later I can squeeze one in." The man leered at Harry during the last bit, making Harry want to sock the man in his smug face.
"Come on Harleen, before anyone else tries to steal you away." Bruce tugged Harry gently away from the sleezeball eyeing his date up like a piece of meat.
Harry cringed slightly as the other male laughed at Bruce's words. Bruce led him out onto the dance floor and Harry nearly freaked out when he realized they were really going to dance.
"Bruce! I told you I can't dance!" Harry hissed earnestly at Bruce while the man began positioning Harry's hands in the right positions.
"I know, and I told you I would make sure you didn't dance with anyone else. The only way I can think to do that is to dance with you myself. Now, this is a slower waltz, I'll show you a few simple steps and you just repeat them, alright?" Bruce waited patiently for Harry to decide.
"Okay." Harry whispered and gave a small smile up at Bruce, who returned his smile genuinely.
Bruce showed Harry the steps in silence, the music drifting over the pair, while the sound from the party goers seemed to disappear. They were in a different sphere from the rest of the world. It was a different moment, a special place and time for just the two of them.
Harry barely realized when he stopped checking his steps and just stared up into Bruce's content face. He could feel his own lips setting into a relaxed little smile.
The song stopped and a new one started, jerking the pair from their private world. Harry looked around, noticing they had a few onlookers.
"Looks like my atrocious dance moves brought some attention to us." Harry whispered to Bruce, who appeared to already be monitoring the crowd, while keeping his carefree persona up.
Harry had no idea how the man did that.
"They're likely just jealous." Bruce commented flippantly.
"Jealous? Of what?" Harry frowned in confusion, which only made Bruce smile down at him in amusement.
"Of you, of course. Would you like to go to one of the balconies for a few minutes of some fresh air?" Harry wasn't sure what was going on, but fresh air sounded great at that moment, so he nodded up to Bruce.
The pair made their way to the last balcony in the furthest corner of the ballroom. Bruce closed the heavy glass doors behind them and shut the curtains, giving them complete privacy. Harry took a deep breath of the chilly Gotham night and leaned on the balcony railing, looking out into the night. Bruce came up next to him and rested one arm on the railing, facing Harry and gazing out with him. The silence lasted for several minutes. It was nice, the air was quiet, with the muffled din of the party going on inside. Harry found himself wishing for that moment to stretch on, but it was broken eventually.
"You're doing well, many of the spoiled socialites in there really took a liking to you, or were utterly jealous of you." Harry glanced over to see a smirk on Bruce's face.
"I fail to see how that's a good thing, jealousy spawns ugly things inside of people's hearts." Harry sighed and looked down at his hands.
He heard the quiet inhalation of Bruce getting ready to respond when a sudden bang went off in the large room closed off to them. Harry moved, as if to rush in, old instincts rushing to the surface, but an arm wrapped around his shoulders and pulled his back into a firm chest.
He turned his head, ready to argue with Bruce when he saw the man raise his pointer finger to his mouth in a shushing motion. Bruce moved the pair forward to the closed curtains, peeking through one.
"Looks like a robbery. There are a group of men in tuxedos holding assault rifles." Bruce muttered lowly to Harry.
Bruce finally released Harry and turned to him.
"I know. He's needed. I'll be your alibi and stay here. Just be careful, the last thing I need to tell Alfred when we get home is that you have a bullet wound that needs tending to." Harry gazed steadily into Bruce's eyes as he spoke, letting the man know how serious he was.
Bruce nodded and activated a button on his wrist watch, converting it into a mini grappling hook. He attached and secured it to the ledge quickly, then drop over the balcony. Harry sighed and turned to watch the robbery behind the heavy glass doors.
The thought of not being able to help stung deeply with Harry, as he was used to doing something to stop people from being hurt. Instead, he was reduced to sitting and waiting for Bruce Wayne to get back from fighting the criminals. He hated feeling useless.
Stooping low, Batman peered around a corner and spotted a thug standing guard at the closed ballroom doors. Going in through the doors wasn't an option, he'd be shot before he could take out the first man in there. He couldn't risk anyone getting hurt. Looking up, he internally frowned at not seeing anything that could help him there either.
It looked like he'd need to find an alternate route in, but first, the guard at the door was a liability.
Harry finally moved to crouching low, no point in being spotted. He sighed as he waited for Batman to make his appearance. He wasn't sure why he'd volunteered to sit back and wait, it wasn't like him at all to be left behind. It was probably because he knew he couldn't do anything to help. What could he do, throw his show at one of the bad guys? Movement caught his eye, and he looked to a balcony that peered over the ballroom. In the darkness of it he could see a flutter of something. Figuring it was Batman, he held his breath in anticipation.
He'd found a way to reach the balconies, and sat there taking the men's positions in. He saw his moment when one of the men moved near one of the balconies. Moving silently, he made his way to the balcony the man was soon standing under. Batman wasted no time and shot down, grabbing the man and swooping back up into the balcony as he incapacitated him. The man had, unfortunately, made a muffled sound, which alerted one of the men.
"What was that?!" The man swung his gun to the source of the noise.
"What was what?" One of the other men questioned lazily.
"I heard something."
"Was probably nothing important." Another suggested.
The man didn't looked convinced, and stayed alert for any other sounds after that.
Minutes went by in silence, and when the man finally relaxed his stance, his scream spooked everyone into looking over just in time to see heavy cords of black wrap around the man, the heavy balls at the ends entangling the rope securely. The man fell over, losing his gun in the process.
The men shouted in surprise, demanding whoever it was to show themselves. Their only answer was black pieces of metal shaped as bats spinning through the air and knocking several of them out. Many began firing their guns in response, causing the hostages to scream in fright. Batarangs shot from the darkness of the balconies overhead and lodged themselves in the gun barrels, causing them to malfunction and injure the men holding them.
The anarchy of the moment gave Batman his opportunity to swoop out of hiding and land on one of the men in his landing, the others remaining were punched and kicked into surrender before they knew what'd happened.
The guests shakily began to realize the threat was over and composed themselves, only noticing after a few moments their savior had left already.
Harry spun around when he heard movement over the edge of the balcony.
"Nice job. They didn't even realize what was happening until it was too late." Harry praised Bruce as he finished climbing over.
"Glad to know I have your approval." Bruce muttered dryly.
"Err, so now what? What's our excuse for not being out there?" Bruce glanced over and looked at Harry for a moment, thinking.
He approached Harry slowly, still looking him over, which put Harry on edge.
"Hold still." Bruce reached out and began moving his hands over Harry's hair, messing it up gently.
"Hey! It took awhile to make it behave! Don't mess it up!" Harry exclaimed.
"Have to." Bruce replied unconcerned.
The man then began wrinkling up his own clothes and hair, much to Harry's bewilderment.
"What in Merlin's name are you doing?" Bruce only smirked lightly at Harry's confusion.
"Just play along Harry, it's part of our alibi." Bruce said and moved back over to Harry.
"How?" Harry looked up at Bruce, searching his blue eyes for an answer.
"Just trust me." Bruce gazed back, content in the security of his plan.
"Alright." The fight left Harry with that response, and Harry let Bruce continue with his plan.
Bruce took Harry's arms and moved them to Bruce's shoulders, draping them. Then he wrapped his arms around Harry's waist and tugged him close. Harry's breath caught at being so close to the man.
"I have to put a few marks on your neck." Bruce's voice seemed to charge through the air with it's husky quality.
Harry could only nod in response, and closed his eyes when a mouth found its way to his throat. Feeling the wet suction begin, Harry couldn't help but let his head fall back, which was swiftly supported by a hand cupping the back of it.
A small hum of enjoyment escaped Harry's throat before he could stop it, pulling a low rumble from the gentle mouth suckling. The mouth soon detached and moved to another spot, which seemed to be very sensitive, as Harry gasped in surprise.
Bruce only chuckled in response, making Harry tug his hair in reprimand.
"Oh my!" The distant sounding voice broke the pair from the increasingly intimate atmosphere.
"Well at least we know they're alright." A male voice laughed, causing a few others to share in the joke.
Harry immediately scrambled from Bruce's arms, much to the man's amusement, and hid behind him while he straightened his dress and hair. He was going to murder the man for coming up with such a plan when they got home.
Bruce smirked in satisfaction as the news paper article speculated all sorts of things about one Harleen Riddle, all of which was false thanks to Batman's inference. It would seem the press had dug into Harleen Riddle's background to find out more about the illusive woman Bruce Wayne had taken to the ball. Having anticipated such a move, he'd created a fake background for Harry's alias, with Harry's input.
Hermione pointed out how easy it was for anyone to find images of Harleen Riddle in the paper, and mentioned how any magic users could notice certain similarities between a feminized version of Harry and Harry himself. Harry didn't think much of such an argument, but Bruce insisted it be taken care of, as he wanted no risks to Harry being left.
After a few weeks of research, Hermione and Harry worked up a spell to massively distort any picture of Harleen Riddle in a viewers mind. This would cause people to see a slightly altered image of her, turning the mind away from making any links to Harry Potter. The spell required a ritual, which Hermione and Harry completed in Bruce's garden privately.
Having taken care of the ritual, Harry found himself bored. Taking care of Tom was something he was used to, and it wasn't difficult, as Tom couldn't do much but sleep and listen to Harry read to him. He'd tried to get Tom to play with building blocks he'd bought him, but little Tom would just sit and look at them with a funny look on his face, which stated he clearly wasn't impressed with them. Instead, Harry found that Tom seemed utterly entranced by listening to Harry, so Harry would read to him. He read all the stories he'd wanted read to him when he was a child, and adored having Tom rest his little head against him as he explored these unknown worlds with the baby.
Unfortunately, there was only so much reading Tom could listen to before he'd fall asleep, so Harry found much of his time free. Seeing Harry's frustration, Alfred recruited his help in the kitchen, having heard from Bruce what a wonderful cook he was. Harry found the suggestion to be very enjoyable, as the manor's kitchen was huge compared to his old apartment's. Working with Alfred, Harry learned many things about Bruce. He smiled listening to the tales of the man's childhood, and truly felt for him when he learned of the sorrow he'd experienced by the death of his parents.
Near the end of February, the nineteenth to be exact, Harry learned that it was Bruce's birthday. He also learned that the man didn't really acknowledge it, just went about his business as if it were just another day. Having always wanted someone to wish him a happy birthday as a child, and not having anyone so much as glance at him, he wanted to show Bruce how much he appreciated his birth.
He made a small cake, his favorite kind according to Alfred, and cut a small piece of it. On the cut piece, he scribed the words happy birthday with some of the filling. He placed it in front of the giant computer monitor and put a plastic covering to preserve it while it waited to be eaten.
Batman returned late to his home, as usual. This was his routine, he went out, helped those who couldn't help themselves and returned at the end of it all sore and tired, but feeling like he'd done something worthwhile. He almost always found Alfred there waiting to patch him up and feed him, but that time he found no one waiting. He didn't dwell on it, figuring the man was doing something else, and went to remove his suit. He paused when he reached his computer, seeing there was a covered plate of cake sitting there. He removed the plastic covering and stared at the slice of cake proclaiming the joy over his birth, with the single candle imbedded in it. There was a lighter next to the plate.
He sat down slowly, still staring at the single piece of cake, and thought of nothing special at the moment. He knew Alfred hadn't done it, the man stopped putting writing on his cake when he'd asked him to in his early teens. It was Harry, he'd obviously done it. He considered telling the same thing to the young man as he had Alfred, but something held him back.
He didn't know what it was. Maybe it was that joyful glow of life Harry seemed to carry in his aura, but Bruce didn't want to disturb it, whatever it was.
Instead, he picked up the lighter and lit the candle on his birthday cake.
A frown came over his lips as he observesd how stiff Bruce was moving that day. It was obvious that man had not had a pleasant night being a vigilante. He contemplated offering a shoulder message, but knew he'd be turned downed. The man hated showing weakness. Harry usually admired the man's dogged stubbornness, but at the moment it was being a pain to witness.
He'd been feeling it cloy its way to the surface, that old itch of saving people. Now that he was no longer pregnant, and Tom didn't require as much of his time as he'd initially thought he would, Harry finally figured out what he needed to do. He needed to help people, just like Batman did. The only problem was he wasn't Batman. He didn't know martial arts, and he only had his magic, not an endless amount of gizmos to help him out.
First thing he needed was someone to teach him, but he had no idea how to find anyone. So he asked Hermione.
"Why would you want a martial arts teacher?" Hermione looked over to him oddly.
"So I know how to defend myself of course. I hated feeling defenseless while pregnant, and I want to make sure I never feel that way again." Harry internally winced when he knew Hermione had caught onto something.
"What happened?" He couldn't see her concerned brown eyes at that moment, he knew he'd tell her if he did.
"I don't want to talk about it. It- it wasn't good."
"Did-?" Hermione began.
"No, someone helped me. I'm okay, Hermione. I just need this. Please." He finally brought his eyes up to Hermione's, showing how desperately he needed her help.
"Alright, I'll look into it." Hermione sighed quietly.
Sorry this chapter took so long guys, school has kept me very busy. Please stop asking me if I've abandoned this story. I won't be, and any announcements about cancelled stories has always appeared on my author's profile. On another note, I've stopped posting on Ao3 temporarily as my last and first chapter kept getting switched whenever I posted a new chapter. If anyone knows if that was an error that's been fixed, or if I have to post in a certain order, let me know. Here's to hoping the next chapter doesn't take so long, eh? (Raises a toast of delicious Sangria)