Summary: Five times Bruce Wayne accepted a service/aid from a Witch. OR Four times Luna Lovegood helped a hero and one time he opened up to her.
AN: OOC characters. Please note there are big time jumps between each part. No plans to fill/bridge them. This is meant to be a set of drabbles/one-shots.
Disclaimer: I do not own Potterverse and co (JK Rowling et al do). I do not own Batman and co (Warner Bros, Bob Kane, DC comics, et al do).
Summary: Luna Lovegood meets Batman, AKA Bruce Wayne.
AN: LJ community 5-fics. #05/1 Who & #07/5 Potion
~ooOoo~ ~ooO Part 1 Ooo~ ~ooOoo~
"Hello? Is anyone there?"
Luna Lovegood looked around her very cautiously. The portkey had deposited her in a mid-sized well stocked kitchen pantry. Some of the contents she recognized, others were completely unknown to her.
"Luna Love?" a familiar crispy voice called out.
The British witch looked up and smiled instantly upon seeing the owner of the voice. She darted towards him, her arms open wide for a hug.
"Uncle Alfred!" she squealed as she hugged the elderly man dressed in a formal black-and-white suit. Then she drew back sensing the tension and strain in her elderly relative. "Uncle Alfred, what's wrong?"
His usual formal poise collapsed like a house of cards. "I need your help," he confessed.
"I thought so when I got your message to come to Gotham as quickly as possible." Luna smiled gently. "I know you prefer to visit me in Europe."
Alfred Pennyworth stiffened and shook his head. "It's not that I'm ashamed of you child... it's just that there is too much chaos in Gotham. I don't want you involved if you don't have to be."
Luna Lovegood nodded thoughtfully as she studied her squib relative. There were new lines etching his face, sweat beading his skin near the hairline, sure signs that things were very wrong.
"I understand. How can I help?"
His expression was very serious. "Luna, I want you to make a magical vow to never speak of what you will see and hear tonight. Or of anything you may conclude from your observations. Please."
It was the please that did it. Alfred Pennyworth was a squib and well aware of the consequences of broken oaths. It had to be very important for him to make such a request of her.
Cold logic and common sense prodded Luna to say no and leave but familial loyalty and curiosity urged her to say yes. Underneath her Ravenclaw tendencies Luna both compassionate and loyal. So she said the only thing her conscience would allow her to say: Yes.
Ten minutes later she was wishing she had followed her common sense.
Uncle Alfred had taken her down several hidden passageways, stairs and back doors, under the mansion, into a large natural cave that was filled with Muggle equipment and devices she had no clue about and finally down a specific path and into one a particular room.
It was brightly lit with several cots covered in white sheets. Metal cabinets and cupboards ran along the length of the walls. The waist-high expanse of granite countertops were interrupted by sinks and equipment made of shiny metal and colourful plastics. There was a faint sterile, disinfectant, bleached smell. Underlying it was the bitter tang of something wrong, a persistent itch, a magical poison in its advanced stages. If she had time curiosity would have drawn her to explore the room in more detail, however the single occupant of the room, the man lying on the farthest cot needed her help.
He was dressed in close fitting grey pants and black boots. His torso and arms were bare, forearms and hands covered with heavy black gloves with odd thorn-shaped fins along the outside. His head was covered by a dark fitted cowl and half-mask covering all of his head and neck but the chin and lower half of his face.
Hesitantly she reached out and touched his bare bicep and 'pushed' herself into him for a quick diagnosis. She could feel the muscles quivering beneath her hands, the heat and tainted moisture pouring from him. His lungs were straining, his heart was racing at an unimaginable pace. It was too much. He was dying.
She did not bother with seeking and getting permission before starting. Time was of the essence. She had to do a thorough examination and diagnosis to determine the exact nature of the poison before beginning treatment. Her hands moved fluidly, drawing out the tools and vials of potions and various compounds, casting diagnostic spells and counter charms, spelling the contents of vials directly into his bloodstream for faster effect, stabilizing and reinforcing his collapsing systems.
Once she was satisfied he was in no danger of dying in the next twenty minutes she set about refining her diagnosis. The cause was easily determined by a Healer of her calibre: magical poison. But he was Not a wizard. She could not detect any trace of a magical core within in. Subtle protection charms from many different beings and old 'tainted scars' from magical enemies. But for someone to use Maleficient's Bane on a Muggle... Luna swallowed hard. Her patient had dangerously powerful magical enemies.
"Who is he Uncle?"
Alfred Pennyworth started but recovered almost seamlessly. "He is Batman."
Luna glared at her relative. She loved him dearly but she was in no mood to risk being drawn into conflict with an unknown enemy.
She repeated her question. "Who is he Uncle? How did he get poisoned? Maleficient's Bane is a very rare and expensive. He must have really angered whoever poisoned him." Her eyes were very direct. "Who did it?"
The elderly butler hesitated before answering. "Circe."
Luna inhaled sharply. The Immortal Greek Sorceress was infamous in wizarding society. She was not a Dark Lady (killing and destroying indiscriminately), but she was dangerous and utterly focused on her own personal goals; no matter who suffered as a side effect of her choices.
"She was attempting to steal an Amazon relic on display at the Metropolis Natural History Museum and did not take kindly to being stopped."
Luna frowned slightly. "By him?" She touched her patient gently.
"By Batman." Alfred confirmed.
Luna nodded thoughtfully as she began her preparations to neutralize and drain the magical poison.
"Who is he? I mean, who is he really?"
There was a long pause before he responded. "He's a hero."
"And he came to you?" Her voice was rich with scepticism. "I've read about these masked vigilantes. He would not risk exposing his true identity. You've known him for a very long time, probably long Before he even became a vigilante. Who is he really?"
He did not answer. Luna did not take it personally. If Uncle Alfred had answered her question without hesitation he would not be the man she loved and trusted, the secretive quiet man who was so very protective of those he called kin.
Kin. Pale grey-blue eyes widened in shock as fragments of past conversations and facts began to float through her forebrain.
"Master Bruce is a very intelligent and resourceful young man."
"He spent seven years wandering the world looking for answers."
"It is quite unfortunate no one really knows the real Master Bruce. He is not the disreputable playboy so often portrayed in the media."
"He is very fond of extreme sports."
"He is recovering from a nasty water skiing accident."
"He is travelling on business."
"We have another addition to the household, a young boy named Master Richard Grayson."
"Master Dick is a very curious and resourceful boy."
"Master Bruce has a new charge. Jason Todd."
"Master Jason is dead. Gang activity."
"Master Bruce has decided to foster another young man. Tim Drake."
"I wish Master Bruce would slow down."
Her voice was a breathy whisper.
"He's your employer isn't he? That Muggle businessman Bruce Wayne."
Batman blinked slowly and coughed harshly. The fire burning in his veins was finally receding. Until now it had been impossible to consciously operate past the agony. His usual pain management techniques had been all but useless. He looked around; he was in one of the medical suites installed in the Cave but there was no sign of Alfred. The faithful retainer would always be nearby whenever Batman dragged himself back to the Cave after a bad run in... he could not determine how long ago it was. Where was Leslie?
"Al-fred." His voice was a harsh raspy croak.
"He's stepped out to pick up some ingredients," an unfamiliar British-accented female murmured from somewhere to his right.
Batman froze. He opened his eyes and looked around frantically. Yes he was in the medical rooms in the Cave. And there was an intruder standing two feet away. Close enough to reach out and restrain her. If he had the energy to.
Pale ash blonde tresses twisted into a loose braid dangled over the front of her right shoulder. Wide grey-blue almost silvery eyes set in a heart-shaped face with delicate features studied him intently. A full passionate mouth pursed in a small O as she leaned towards him. Batman absently noted she wore no makeup or perfume, only the basic aroma of lavender scented toiletries surrounded her. Very old fashioned.
"Luna? I couldn't find any Giselda Nettle seeds or Iria Bleeding Heart sap. I did pick up some Kingsworm dew and Qubeing leaves. The apothecary said they would be acceptable substitute for most potions."
Batman turned towards the primary exit. Alfred was here. Carrying a canvas bag.
Luna moved towards Alfred with a brilliant smile.
"Both would be acceptable Uncle Alfred. Our patient is awake if you want to talk to him."
"Alfred!" The reflexive stern warning did not deter his oldest friend.
"Luna already knows Master Bruce. And no, I did not tell her. She guessed."
Luna sniffed. "I did not guess Uncle Alfred!" Her voice was huffy, a direct contrast to her mirth filled expression. "It was a logical conclusion drawn from the available facts and past experiences."
Alfred bowed shallowly. "Of course."
Bruce decided the mask was rather useless at this point and stripped it off. He sighed when cool air hit the moist clammy skin.
"Report Alfred." His voice remained unchanged, low and growly. Batman's voice.
To his shock his loyal retainer looked towards the other occupant of the room.
"Luna? You are more knowledgeable of the situation."
The blonde smiled and began speaking in low reassuring tones. She was clearly used to softening bad news. Made sense if she was a doctor specializing in difficult cases.
"We've neutralized the most damaging components of Maleficent's Bane in your system. Unfortunately Circe used a variant recipe that is more toxic than the standard potion. There are two specific sub-components of the variant potion that we cannot risk removing right now. Your body has already experienced great stresses from the poison and the treatment regime and to continue would cause permanent damage to your body. You need to take this," she reached out and tapped a cut crystal bottle filled with a pale blue fluid. "Four times a day for the next six weeks. And this," this time she touched a bottle of lime green liquid. "Three a day. The bottles are spelled to dose out specific amounts based on your age, weight, and physical condition. Both potions must be taken at least one hour apart to avoid a bad interaction." She produced a bottle green glass pot and added it to the other two. "If you have any aches do not use any of your Muggle remedies. Use this salve to avoid an interaction."
Bruce glared at the female. "Will. Not."
She looked at him with patient tolerant eyes. "Not going to follow my advice?" She shrugged. "Fine then, don't. Suffer a relapse and a mini stroke. I don't think you'll be able to chase down criminals when you're suffering from muscle spasms and prolonged oxygen deprivation."
He glared at her. "Okay I'll take your bloody poisons."
Luna did not take offence. "Potion, not poison," she corrected him blandly before turning to Alfred. "Please make sure he takes his potions at regular intervals. Any missed doses will set back his recovery."
"If he is not back to his usual self by four weeks contact me and I'll drop by to have a look. Otherwise his usual doctor can monitor his progress. Oh, and make sure he eats plenty of protein to help rebuild the damaged tissue."
"I will Luna."
Bruce watched Luna hug Alfred before vanishing out of the doorway. Then he squirmed under Alfred's patient tolerant expression.
"Who is she?"
"Luna? She's my grandniece." Alfred ignored the glare and continued to speak calmly. "She is also a wand witch and licensed Healer from one of the traditional wizarding enclaves in Britain. When Miss Prince confirmed it was a magical poison I asked Luna to stop by and take a look at you."
"You should have contacted Zatanna," Bruce grumbled.
"Miss Zatarra is a wonderful magician but she is not a medical specialist. Luna is." Alfred picked up the bottle of pale blue liquid, pouring the contents into a spoon. "Now take your first dose Master Bruce."
Bruce resisted for a brief second before conceding and swallowing the potion. He wondered if he could pick up a few of these bottles that poured out pre-set amounts of liquids. Something like that would be very useful in his after hours activities.
Review, Review, Review