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…
Harry hadn't imagined how grueling training in hand to hand combat could be. He'd learned the basics when Dumbledore had hired a tutor one summer, but it hadn't been anything like this was. His entire body felt like one big bruise!
As usual, Hermione had gone above and beyond, and found a man versed in several forms of fighting. This man had weapons training of various types, hand to hand training, even stealth training! He was like a walking one man army with his accumulated knowledge, and Harry thrived under the man's tutelage.
The man called himself Eric, but Harry knew that wasn't really his name. He didn't much care though, he'd hired the man to teach him fighting, nothing else. He would get stronger. Harry would not be caught in someone else's grip again as some powerless victim.
He would help others find their strength as well.
Bruce looked at the dazzling emerald set in the white gold ring, turning it one way then the other, letting the light catch in the gem. It was large enough to catch attention, but not so big it was gaudy.
He imagined it would look nice on Harry's slender hand. It was time to set Hermione's plan in motion. The timing was right. He would just need to convince Harry.
He nodded to the sales person that he would take it.
It would do.
Harry was exhausted, but knew he had to look after Tom. Tom came first. It was his own fault he was tired, but Tom was relying on him, so he went to see his child.
Tom was awake.
"Hello, love. Awake already I see. Come then, let's get you some lunch." Harry winced slightly as he settled Tom against his side.
He'd taken a nasty fall during training. If one could call getting their ass kicked all over a forest training.
Harry settled Tom on his hip as he began preparing his bottle. He'd gotten very efficient at doing the task one handed. Tom watched his movements, it was one of the only times he'd seen Tom so fascinated with something, so he made it a habit to let Tom watch him perform tasks.
Harry even talked through the steps, as if he were teaching Tom how to do them. For all he knew, maybe he was. He'd taken to spending even more time with Tom after starting his training. He supposed he felt guilty about going through with what he planned to do.
He would be endangering himself with his future actions, and he knew that was selfish of him. He couldn't help it, though. Harry needed to help others. He'd practically been raised to do it. It may not have been right of him to think of doing this giant task, but Harry had to.
Maybe it would set an example for Tom, too.
Bruce sat back on his hands as he watched Harry feed Tom his formula. It was a nice day out, and Bruce had managed to get a bit of free time to have lunch at the manor with Harry and Tom. They were outside, in the garden, on a clear area of grass.
He smiled slightly as he watched Harry finish feeding Tom, moved Tom to his shoulder with the cloth draped over it, and burped him. It was obvious he was used to it by that point, as he didn't even grimace. Bruce had yet to have the pleasure of feeding Tom, but he was fine with just watching. Tom still unsettled him. He supposed he would have to get over that eventually if he wanted to help raise him, and make sure he didn't try to start another war.
He was already making contingency plans for any outcomes, should Harry and he fail in raising Tom. It was a huge responsibility, and he often found himself wondering over Harry's compassionate nature that would allow him to give the man who'd murdered his parents a second chance. He hadn't been able to do such a thing himself. Bruce had wanted revenge against Chill, had almost gotten it. Sometimes he still wondered if some of his actions didn't stem from vengeance rather than justice.
Bruce blinked back into awareness when a carrot whizzed by his face, he'd dodged at the last second.
"What are you frowning so heavily about over there?" Harry asked as he ate his lunch.
Tom was next him, laying on his stomach, staring at some grass. He'd learned to roll over not too long ago.
"Just the future." Bruce answered vaguely.
"The future, huh? Anything good?"
"Possibly." Bruce reached into his pocket and pulled out the ring box.
Harry stopped eating as he looked at the box, then swallowed and met his eyes.
"I think we should set our plan in motion." Bruce stated.
"Now? Isn't it too soon?" Harry asked nervously.
"No, it's not. You've had Tom, and your magic is back. You can come out of hiding without worrying about the repercussions. Besides, the longer you stay in hiding the more people will speculate in your world. The sooner you give our cover story the sooner things can calm down. If you take too long to come forward people will wonder why. When people wonder they create rumors. We don't want that. We need to be the ones controlling the story, not them." Bruce explained, knowing when he had Harry convinced.
"All right. I just hate the press. Such vultures, the whole lot of them." Harry grumbled, biting a piece of carrot off and chewing on it as he frowned.
"The press can be very helpful, if you know how to use them right." Bruce informed smugly, as he took a swig of his soda.
"Well sure, for the man with a contingency plan for his contingency plan, I guess they would be rather useful. For us regular blokes who just want to be left alone, it's not quite that simple." Harry snarked out, earning a sharp smirk from Bruce.
"You're not normal Harry, any more than I am. You just haven't learned how to make the media work to your advantage, but I'll teach you." Harry met Bruce's eyes after that statement.
"When do you want to put the big show on?" Harry finally asked after a few moments of silence.
"I'll let you know when I've picked a date." Bruce grinned wolfishly.
Harry just scowled and bit into another carrot.
Harry was humming a song to Tom. Lately he'd been doting a bit on Tom. Likely just his guilt over all the training he's been doing. He wanted to make sure he didn't let his new quest to help the people of Gotham interrupt his more important quest of guiding and nurturing Tom into becoming a better man than he was in his previous life.
So he spent more time with Tom than he did with training, he made sure of that.
Tom was his mission.
Bruce had picked a date, and told Harry about it two days ahead of time. He'd also gotten him an outfit to wear. It was quite glamorous and eye catching. Black with emerald hints here and there, a tantalizing slit going up one leg.
Harry sighed, he'd likely have to tuck for real if he didn't want anything popping out that shouldn't. At least Bruce had enough foresight not to pick anything revealing the chest area. It had thin straps for the shoulders and the rest was off the shoulders. Elegant, tasteful, and still sexy.
"Guess it'll work." Harry muttered as he held it up to his body as he stood in front of the mirror.
Harry proceeded to get dressed for what would be the biggest date he'd ever been on.
Bruce looked over at the... well he wasn't sure what to think at the moment. Harry, or Harleen, as he was currently portraying, had charmed everyone in his vicinity so far. When Bruce had seen him glide down his staircase looking like some other worldly being it had taken all of his poise not to let his jaw drop.
Harry had looked beautiful the night of the charity ball, but the outfit he had on now... it was simply stunning to see on him. If he hadn't been one hundred percent sure of Harry's gender, he would've been fooled as he knew so many others would be.
Their plan was going to work. Harry looked like a high class goddess at the moment and there was no shyness to be seen. It was like a switch had been flipped when Harry had left him to go get ready. Bruce grinned up as Harry came down the remaining stairs until he was eye level with him.
"Well? Are you going to be a gentleman and offer me your arm or not, Mr. Wayne?" Harry raised an eyebrow at him and smirked.
"My apologies fair lady, I've simply been struck speechless by your dazzling appearance." Bruce quipped, as he offered his arm.
"Pfft, as if anyone could strike you speechless." Harry snarked, as he strode along with him confidently to the car Alfred would be driving them in.
"You'd be surprised." Bruce offered truthfully, helping Harry into the car.
That night they would be making headlines, he could feel it.
Harry felt his insides churning, but they had been all night, so that wasn't anything new. He had no idea how he hadn't made a fool of himself all night, but somehow, when he'd seen himself in the mirror after all of his preparation he'd felt like a different person.
It was like calm had settled over him. He was Harleen Riddle, future wife of Bruce Wayne, and Harleen Riddle was different than Harry, for the most part anyways.
People had been stumbling over themselves all night trying to serve him and Bruce. He was getting a bit worried about that, actually.
"Do you think that poor man will be alright?" Harry leaned over and asked Bruce quietly.
"I'm sure he will." Bruce smiled back in amusement.
"Everyone seems to be having a bit of trouble tonight. I wonder why?" Harry mused quietly.
"I wonder." Bruce smirked softly at Harry, who was busy watching a woman nervously bringing their appetizer to them.
Harry really hoped none of the men or women tripped near them with food, he was pretty sure his outfit cost a small fortune.
Bruce had managed to talk Harry into giving him a dance, being Bruce Wayne he was easily granted permission to dance with his date in the middle of the establishment. He made sure to put on a good show, spinning Harry a few times, knowing people were likely taking pictures with their cell phones.
Harry's confidence had faded a bit, which was a shame, but Bruce found a shy Harry just as charming as a confident one, if not more so. He kept the dance tasteful, while still making them appear close. After three dances he ended Harry's embarrassment and led him back to the table.
Their dinner arrived and the pair ate, while making sure to make a show of conversing lively, though neither had to fake interest in the conversation. Bruce made sure to flirt with Harry as much as he could in a believable way, and was satisfied to see the blush staining his cheeks.
He knew that Harry was truly attracted to him, it was hard to miss. Bruce was finding it harder and harder to resist giving in to his own attraction to the beautiful young man, but there was something holding him back.
A part of himself that couldn't trust that everything wouldn't fall apart. He'd never allowed himself to imagine a world where he could be Batman, and have a family. It couldn't be both, it had to be one or the other. Right?
Bruce blinked as a smaller hand covered his own. He looked up into Hary's green eyes, that showed concern for him. He smiled in reassurance, and Harry smiled back. Maybe things could be different.
It was obvious to onlookers they were well suited for each other, Bruce knew it was time to pull out the big guns.
Bruce got up and kneeled in front of Harry, smiling at him in reassurance. He pulled the box out and slid it over to Harry. Harry just looked at the box for a moment and then opened it slowly. The room was silent. Harry's face changed to shocked awe, as he hadn't seen the ring before.
After a moment of staring Harry looked over to Bruce, who made sure to look a bit sheepish, like the foolish playboy he was supposed to be. Harry nibbled on his lower lip nervously as he glanced at Bruce, then the ring. Finally, after the room felt like it had been holding its breath for ages, Harry looked up and nodded, grin slowly forming onto his face in happiness.
Bruce grinned back in an equal display of joy and leaned up, kissing Harry swiftly on the lips, surprising him. He hadn't told Harry he would be doing that, but he knew if he had Harry would've only been tense. With his quick actions, there hadn't been time, and Harry's shocked face could be taken for shock at the quickness of the kiss, not the act itself. Bruce Wayne wasn't known for giving quick pecks, after all.
He figured it only cemented their appearance as a couple.
Harry frowned at Hermione.
"What do you mean am I sure? You came up with this plan, remember?" Harry asked in bewilderment.
"Yes, I know, but when I said you'd need another male I didn't think that would be your host!" Hermione exclaimed.
"What's wrong with Bruce doing it?" Harry frowned in confusion.
"Well, this is just a cover, Harry. Are you sure you should be doing this with the man you're staying with? I've looked Bruce up Harry, his reputation isn't exactly glowing, and you need a credible person for this story to be believable." Hermione explained calmly.
"Bruce isn't really like the media portrays him Hermione, you of all people should know how they skew things. Besides, he already knows about me and Tom, he's the perfect person for this." Harry defended.
"But Harry, this is just an act, and I've seen how you look at Bruce. You care about him. More than just a friend. I just don't want you taking things too seriously when you're trying to pretend. You could end up getting hurt." Hermione laid a hand over his as he stared down at them.
"I think it's already too late for that Hermione." Harry whispered as he looked up fearfully at Hermione.
"Oh Harry." Hermione just stared back sadly at her friend.
The two sat in silence for the rest of the visit.
"Master Bruce, are you sure this course of action is wise?"
"What course of action is that, Alfred?" Bruce asked flippantly as he walked to the hidden passage for the cave.
"Simply the one of you getting engaged and eventually marrying one Harry Potter, or Harleen Riddle as he's known to the outside world." Alfred followed.
"What's unwise about it? We both have a cover for the other. Anyone tries to link Batman to me, Harleen is there to back me. Anyone tries to reveal Harry, I'm the devoted husband married to Harleen. What else is there?" Bruce explained calmly.
"You know as well as I do that it isn't as simple as that. Bruce." Alfred stopped, and Bruce ceased walking to turn to him.
"Alfred?" Bruce frowned.
"I always dreamed that one day you would find yourself someone to love and settle down, more so after your parents died. Now you are getting married, and it's not for love as I'd hope, but as a simple ruse to fool others. Marriage isn't about trickery, it's a partnership. A partnership you'll be involved with very soon with that good young man that's living here. I've seen how you react to him, you care for him, and maybe it isn't love right now, but it could be. If you let it, this facade could become something more, something greater. Don't let yourself be blinded to opportunity, Master Wayne." Alfred turned and left, leaving a speechless Bruce to take in everything he'd said.
He sat in the Batcave for an hour before leaving.
The press, of course, went mad. Pictures from many different sources popped up of the pair dining, and even more of them dancing. The proposal had the most, though. Bruce kneeling down before a stunned Harry looking at the emerald ring was the image that graced the front pages.
There was the obvious speculations over Harry being just another gold digger, or Bruce having gotten Harry pregnant. They'd link the previous image of a pregnant Harry being the same woman, so some thought that was the reason for the engagement. Others didn't think Bruce Wayne would care enough to marry someone for that reason.
Overall, it was what he'd expected. Bruce folded up the paper and decided it was time to take over the story.
Time for a press conference.
Harry tried to keep himself from fidgeting, but he found his hands wringing into his blouse. Bruce had him dressed smartly, but still beautifully. He wore a deep green button up silk blouse and a black pencil skirt. Low black heels adorned his feet, a black sun hat with green hints sat on his head, and a long diamond necklace hung down to his naval.
He was beginning to feel like a doll, the way Bruce picked out his clothes. He supposed it could be worse, though. At least Bruce had good taste. He likely would've made a fool of himself, if he'd tried to pick his own clothes out.
Harry took a deep breath, smiling at Bruce when he took a hold of his hand, squeezing it gently.
As soon as they stepped up to the podium, questions started ringing out. There were so many Harry couldn't hear a single one.
"I'm afraid we can't answer any questions if we can't hear them." Bruce proclaimed loudly into the microphone.
The noise quieted down gradually as laughter rang through the crowd of reporters.
"You there, with the hat, first question." Bruce began.
"Mr. Wayne, how did you and Ms. Riddle meet?" A man with a baseball hat on asked.
Bruce glanced at Harry, who blushed a bit. Bruce just smiled reassuringly, before turning back to the crowd.
"I met Harleen while away on a business trip. I was in Harleen's hometown, Surrey, when I ran into her, quite literally. I knocked her over while she was carrying groceries." Bruce grinned sheepishly as the expected laugh went through the crowd.
"I helped her up and we went on our separate ways, never expecting to meet again. The second time I ran her over, I decided to talk to her. We had a great conversation, and there was just an instant connection. Unfortunately, I had to return to Gotham and Harleen had to go back to her school. She was seventeen when I met her, so as you can imagine, I was quite disappointed to know I couldn't ask her out on a date." The crowd's voices rose to whispers, with a few laughs sprinkled around.
"We did exchange addresses though, as Harleen was quite insistent that we write to each other. Harleen is quite talented with a quill, as I discovered through our exchanges. Our letter exchanges lasted for little over a year, and during that time we fell in love. I eventually built up the courage to ask Harleen to come here and visit, to see if we really did have good chemistry. I'm happy to say we do." Bruce finished.
Bruce waited for the eruption of the reporters, and it didn't take long before people started shouting their questions again. He pointed to a woman and everyone quieted down as she spoke.
"Mr. Wayne, do you honestly expect us to believe you met this young woman and only spoke to her because she was underage?" She looked at him in disbelief.
"Just because I like to date around a lot doesn't mean I don't know how to follow the law, Miss." Bruce stared back icily at her, making her back down.
"So how'd she get pregnant?" Another voice rang out.
"I'm pretty sure you know how, but obviously that happened once she arrived in Gotham, not back in Surrey." A few people snickered at the response.
"We have time for one more question." Bruce announced.
Bruce pointed at another man.
"When is the wedding?"
"Well, considering I only just asked Harleen last week, we're not really sure ourselves yet." Everyone laughed.
"Can we see a kiss for the camera?!" Someone shouted.
Suddenly there were more cries for a kiss, and Bruce turned to Harry, smiling. Harry blushed, and smiled nervously back, shrugging.
"I think we can arrange that." Bruce obliged and bent down toward Harry.
Harry moved up to him and tilted his head back, holding onto his hat. Their lips met in the middle, and flashes went off. Bruce felt Harry sigh into his mouth, all the tension from nerves going out of him. Bruce removed Harry's hat and held it to his back as he used his other hand to maneuver his head better.
Kissing Harry was just as he remembered it, only better. He wasn't drugged, so his mind wasn't hazy like it had been in his memory. He licked at the bottom of Harry's lips and Harry instantly let him in. Bruce licked through Harry's mouth once, softly, then parted from him.
Harry's eyes opened slowly, and Bruce smiled at the dilated eyes and dazed expression. Bruce used his thumb to wipe Harry's mouth.
"I hope that was good enough." He said to the reporter's, then guided Harry out to the car.
Bruce and Alfred shared a look as Harry walk by, looking rather exhausted.
"Alfred, has Harry been having trouble sleeping?" Bruce frowned in concern.
"Not that I'm aware of Master Bruce, but he does sleep in rather late. Perhaps his sleep isn't as restful as it should be." Alfred speculated.
Now that he thought about it, Harry had been looking tired for a while now, weeks even. He'd been so busy with his other duties and planning their engagement and the press conference, he'd failed to really focus on the issue. He wouldn't anymore, though.
Bruce would be paying more attention to Harry from that point on.
So I'm dreadfully sorry this one has taken so long to get out, but I ran out of prewritten plot, so I had to plan out the rest of the middle part for the story. I've always known how I wanted the story to end, it was just the middle plot points I couldn't figure out. Kinda like building something without all the fine details. So now that I have everything plotted out, I just have to write it. I know, fun! All the fun! And sometimes not so fun! Hope you enjoyed, and please if you spot any glaring plot errors I need to fix, tell me! This story is my baby! :D