A/N: Last part! Thanks for sticking with me. I think this fic's my best so far, but I'm still working on improving my writing. And yep, that means I'll be working on a sequel to this series soon so watch out for that! :D
I woke up to something clinking.
"Hmrf?" My eyelids weighed a ton - what monster kicked my ass last night? - but I managed to open them to see an old man set down a pitcher of water and an empty glass beside the bed. A slight pulling on my cheek spoke of a bandage there.
"Ah, good afternoon, Master Harry." The old man greeted.
I blinked once, twice at the old man in a butler's uniform. My brain was too fuzzy to make sense - then I remembered what happened in the last two, three days.
"Where...?" I winced at the hoarse sound of my voice. The butler - Alfred, as I recalled - poured and handed me a glass of water.
"You are in one of the guest rooms," He went to open the drapes as I drained the glass. "Master Bruce had decided you would be more comfortable here than in the basement."
"I see someone's awake." A voice came from my right. A tall, well-built man was standing by the open doorway to what I realized was the fancy room where I was. The decorations were rich, elegant, and probably cost a hundred times more than my entire apartment building. And the sheer size of it! This one guest room was practically the size of my whole apartment.
I turned my attention back to the man. His clothes were no less rich than the rest of this room. He had dark hair, and blue eyes almost the same shade as that of Nightwing's. And when he entered the room, he walked with a limp; a limp on the leg that I remembered being torn by the demon. "Batman?"
"When up here in the Manor, I go by Bruce Wayne." He took a seat at one of the armchairs in the room, but he kept his gaze on me as though he was expecting something.
"Alright. You're Bruce, I'm Harry. Should I know you?"
He opened his mouth to say something but there was another voice by the door, "Harry! You're finally awake!"
I glanced over to find Nightwing - in casual clothes and sans mask - crossing over to the bed with a wide grin. His words sunk into my brain and I asked, " 'Finally?' How long was I asleep?"
"About thirty hours. Demerrio's dead, by the way. You turned the demon into some awesome firework but you've nearly drained yourself to nothing."
I winced at the memory of the ripping pain in my chest. I hoped I didn't give myself any permanent damage in my magic. It'd ruin my investigative style. "Yeah, soulfire makes for one hell of an oomph to my spells, but it also takes a lot more."
"The demon mentioned it as well." Bruce pointed out. "What's soulfire?"
"Uhh, it's power. The power of creation, to be exact. It boosts my spells and it's fueled by my soul; hence, the name."
I turned to the younger vigilante. "So, Nightwing-"
"Call me Dick."
"Dick, as in short for Richard?"
He nodded, his blue eyes shining. "Dick Grayson."
They were still looking expectantly at me. So I caved in before my curiosity killed me to death.
"Alright, Bruce Wayne," I pointed to the guy I know as Batman, "and Dick Grayson," I pointed to Nightwing. "Should I know you people?"
Bruce raised an eyebrow. "You're not familiar with the names?"
I shook my head. "I tend to avoid the society pages."
I raised my hands in a shrug. "Unless you're connected with the Vampire Courts, I have no idea who you are."
The puzzlement on Bruce's face turned into a calculating one and I suddenly remembered the 'appraisal' Nightw-Dick mentioned. "Oh no. I am not staying to be a guinea pig. I've got responsibilities in Chicago-"
"This case had proven that my database is sorely lacking information on the paranormal. Before another such case arises, I'd like to be briefed with the knowledge that you have."
"I can give you the numbers to the Paranet," I offered, but he cut me off.
"Other than the knowledge, I'd also like to hire your...services. The Manor needs protective warding in place and you will be properly compensated for your time."
I choked down the outright refusal on the tip of my tongue and considered what he said. "What kind of compensation are we talking?"
He gave me a number. I stayed for nearly a whole week.