Hi! This is a new storyline spawned from me stalling with my other fics - Seeing and Observing and Black and White (note blatant hint to go read them). I've always loved the Justice League - Batman and Flash are defs my favourite, but I love them all. I think it would be really cool if Harry met them - hence the start of this fic.
Disclaimers: I own nothing - every character so far, except for Grunnings Sign Man, is the property of either JK Rowling or DC comics. I'll let you figure out which is which.
Warnings: This is obviously AU and will eventually contain slash. It will also mess with both timelines, as I'm not particularly concerned with making it match up in a linear fashion. If you're one of those picky timeline people, props for taking the time to wrap your head around it, but I don't need to hear it. Also, the characters will probably be OOC from time to time, but I'll try to make them resonate. There will also be mild bashing of random characters from time to time.
With all that out of the way, please enjoy!
Harry tossed aside the newspaper with a frustrated sigh. Nothing. Not one hint of activities from Voldemort. The Daily Prophet seemed to be going along with Fudge's statement that 'he can't be back!' Unfortunately, this meant that they had to discredit the 'rumours' Dumbledore was spreading, and the easiest way to do that was to attack his primary source: Harry.
Harry had only done what any victim of kidnapping, torture, and use-in-a-probably-illegal-dark-ritual (he wasn't sure if there were criminal charges pertaining to that, but it had happened), and that was to tell the first person in authority he saw. Now he was being labeled as being delusional! No one had even talked to him; shouldn't one consult a professional before diagnosing a minor through the newspaper?
That brought around another point. No one had talked to him. He had just witnessed a murder! He had screaming nightmares about it that had infuriated his uncle for the two weeks he had been back in Little Whinging. He had gone through a particularly traumatizing event, and no one would answer his questions, or even check to see if he was alright. Of course, Snape would say that he had too high an opinion of himself, but he knew that if a muggle had witnessed somebody dying in an accident, let alone be murdered, there would at the very least be someone to get through the feelings and stuff.
But no, he had been stuck at Number Four, completely cut off from all of his friends. He had only been getting the newspaper, and after a week of only skimming the front page, he got bored and decided to go through all of the articles, even the apothecary adverts. This is when he had found the little barbs at him. He had written his friends, asking how they were, and had gotten very brief and unhelpful replies. And no questions for him. Hedwig was very grumpy, because he wouldn't sent anymore letters; how could he communicate with people who wouldn't ask or answer his questions? That was the basis of even a casual conversation! Instead he had got 'keep your head down' and 'can't say much here – security risks, y'know?'
No! He didn't know! Needless to say, he wasn't in a very good mood with the wizarding world at the moment.
Harry's angsting was interrupted by the sound of Uncle Vernon's car in the drive. He listened to the gravel being pulverized on the walk, and the slam of the front door. Idly, Harry tracked the noises of his uncle shuffling into the kitchen, where Aunt Petunia was, and was mildly intrigued by the sharply muttered conversation that was interspersed with joyful shrieks and horrified gasps, courtesy of his horse-faced aunt.
Finally, they seemed to finish, and he heard the unexpected bellow from his uncle.
Harry knew that it was himself being addressed, for although Dudley had almost as many nicknames as stones to his weight, 'boy' was not one of them.
"GET DOWN HERE, NOW!"
Well, there was no helping it. Harry sighed and rolled off of his bed, trudging down the stairs, and into the living room where Uncle Vernon stood, purple-faced and unpleasant. Aunt Petunia stood beside him, looking all at once very pleased and extremely disgusted, which made for an interesting expression on her thin face.
"Boy," Uncle Vernon started, and Harry inwardly rolled his eyes at the repeated address, "Grunnings has seen fit to entrust me with a rather large deal." He puffed up expansively, and Aunt Petunia patted his beefy shoulders in adoration. Harry waited for him to get to the point.
"It will be a business venture to the states, and the company will be sending my family with me to see the deal through, and attend functions and the like," he stated proudly. Harry was thinking of all he could do with a free summer, should he go to the Leaky Cauldron, or stop in on the Weasleys? Before he could continue with that train of thought, his uncle sent it crashing and bouncing off the rails.
"Grunnings somehow remembered that my nephew lives with me, and your expenses are included in the trip. You are expected to show up, and it would be raise suspicion if I turned down their offer. Therefor, you will be coming with us. But I'll warn you now, boy," he said with his squinty eyes bristling moustache, "if you ruin this, it'll be the end! Got it? Now pack your things, I'm sure you have some school trousers or something not freakish to wear. You'll look decent, got it?"
With a final glare, Vernon snorted in what Harry supposed could be interpreted as righteous indignation, and stormed towards the couch, while Aunt Petunia bustled off to pack for her overweight darlings.
With a huge sigh, Harry started upstairs to pack his meagre possessions. He supposed that he should be thankful – this would break the monotony of Little Whinging quite nicely. There was the added benefit that Voldemort most likely would not be looking for Harry in America, and would not be checking muggle transportation.
Harry briefly paused to wonder how magical international travel was regulated. Did wizards need visas when they could just apparate and portkey to various places? It always amazed him how little he knew of the magical world. He made a mental note to remedy that.
Harry packed lightly – a backpack full of his school trousers and blouses, with his parents photo album and some books wrapped in his invisibility cloak. He wouldn't be able to take his Firebolt with him, unfortunately.
He looked at his snowy owl, Hedwig, sleeping in her cage. He didn't think he could take her with him, either, and it wouldn't be fair to make her fly all the way to America just to be with him. He would just have to send her to the Weasleys, or Hermione.
Thinking of them brought back the bitterness of being left out of the loop. He was glad he was going on a vacation, Dursleys or not. This Berlin Wall on any information Harry could get was getting increasingly frustrating. A wicked smirk lit up his face; if they weren't going to tell him anything, the he would just have to 'forget' to tell them where he was going. He would have to Slytherinize his request to have Hedwig stay with them.
With his bag all packed, he sat down at his desk with a chuckle. Pulling a piece of parchment towards him, he grinned while his quill flew across the sheet.
Finally, finally, they were on the airplane. Harry had almost died of exasperation as Dudley tried to pack all of his games into a rather large bag that Harry had ended up carrying. He had been stuck with all of the Dursley's matching and over-weight suitcases, at least until the baggage check. Then he was only responsible for his own ratty backpack – no way would his Aunt or Uncle ever trust him with their important carry-on luggage! Harry was entirely in charge with keeping up; his Uncle had given him a passport that he hadn't known he possessed, and told him not to get lost.
With a normal family, getting lost may have been a valid concern. However, both Vernon and Dudley were so large that the crowd seemed to bend away from them – presumably to keep from being enveloped in their rolls of lard. Amused and mildly disgusted at the mental image, Harry trailed the three with ease, looking around interestedly at the airport.
Harry had never left the country before, so even if he had to put up with the Dursleys, he was fairly excited. It wasn't like he would be around them for the majority of the time, and they could hardly lock him in the room at his age. He would be able to get out, and see the sights of ... wherever it was they were going. Blinking, Harry realized that his uncle had never actually mentioned a destination. Checking his ticket, he puzzled out that the were headed for Metropolis. It sounded distinctly modern, but Harry had never heard of it.
After a while of waiting in the boarding area, during which time Dudley had gone to each of the fast food eateries in the food court and ordered the greasiest thing they had, the boarding call came. First was business class, which Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia were in. Vernon swelled up as he got in line, looking around to make sure that everyone saw that he was an important business person. Aunt Petunia sniffed and turned up her nose at the women not getting in line, as they were evidently flying economy and therefor far beneath her. Harry was just glad that they wouldn't be in the same section as him.
Dudley had kicked up a fuss when he learned that he would be flying economy, but Uncle Vernon had blustered at the check-in lady and ended up paying a bit extra for a seat in the bulkhead, with extra legroom and a direct view of the television. Harry was amazed that they had television on airplanes. He was actually starting to get quite nervous about the flight, and was glad that he wouldn't be near Dudley, either. He didn't need his cousin's torment when he was already panicking about not being in control in the air.
Uncle Vernon had secured Harry the cheapest seat at the back of the plane. Harry suspected that most of the seats were around the same price in economy, and Vernon had only specified the back so that Harry would be as far away as possible from business class. Harry honestly didn't mind.
The back of the plane was actually very quiet, as the flight wasn't totally full, and most of the passengers were near the front. Harry had been booked an aisle seat instead of the coveted window seat, but there was no one in the two seats beside him. There was an older couple across the aisle, but they seemed nice. There was also a middle-aged woman with a baby in front of him, which Harry eyed warily. He didn't mind children, but he had heard enough screaming from Dudley to know that he dreaded the noise, especially in an enclosed space like the aircraft.
Harry paid rapt attention when the flight attendant demonstrated the safety procedures for the flight, and waited nervously for take-off. The old woman beside him smiled at him and offered him a stick of gum, which he accepted gratefully. With a lurch, the plane began to move, and Harry's heart jumped to his throat, only to hover there awkwardly while it realized that this didn't really feel any different than riding in a car, and was certainly not as thrilling or dangerous as diving on a broomstick. Harry finally relaxed – he could handle this.
Half an hour later, Harry was busy watching the in-flight movie, happily sipping at a gingerale, neither of which he had ever been allowed to experience in Little Whinging. Humming happily along to the movie's soundtrack, Harry began feeling cautiously optimistic about Metropolis.
Harry stepped into the baggage claim area, rolling his stiff neck and keeping a sharp eye out for the Dursley's luggage. His Aunt had shrilled at him to get it, and so he was staking out the odd conveyor belt contraption. Dudley was whining to his parents about how bored he was, and how terrible the food had been, while Aunt Petunia whipped out a sugary snack and Uncle Vernon blustered loudly about flying in business class for the the benefit of all those who could hear.
After going through customs and being scanned for any sort of weapon, Harry and the Dursleys were blinking in the harsh lighting of the Arrivals area. Harry spotted someone with a sign reading 'Dursley – Grunnings' and waited for his uncle to notice. He would do himself no favours by speaking up. He allowed his eyes to wander some more, and was very shocked when he saw a sign saying 'Welcome to Wizarding Metropolis!'.
He gazed at the information booth under the sign for a second, before he started to drift towards it. It was conveniently near the Grunnings Sign Man, so he felt no qualms in going over and picking up a brochure. This trip just kept getting better and better!
Vernon finally saw the sign, and the family made its way over, joined by Harry. They were led to a posh-looking car, and driven to a very posh-looking hotel. Aunt Petunia was putting on airs, and Uncle Vernon was blustering importantly, while Dudley looked petulant and bored. Harry felt very out of place in the fine environment, and was slightly conscious of how the Dursleys stood out against the rest of the clientele. He shrugged and turned away; it wasn't really his problem if they made arses of themselves.
They were led to a suite of rooms that Harry thought was very nicely laid out, if a bit impersonal. Aunt Petunia evidently didn't think so, as she immediately started wiping down surfaces and straightening the bedclothes in the rooms, while the bellman unloaded the luggage awkwardly. There was a master bedroom, and another room with two double beds, and a common area with a living room set and a television. Harry didn't really see why that was there, as there were also televisions in the bedrooms, but he didn't say anything. The master bedroom had an attached bathroom with a jaccuzi tub, while the regular bathroom just had a shower stall.
Aunt Petunia finished her inspection of the suite, before fixing her beady eye on Harry.
"You will be on the couch, boy. I'll not have you disturbing Diddykins' sleep! We must get rested up, darlings!"
This last wasn't said to Harry, who would have been alarmed if it had, but to the two more corpulent males in the room. Harry was about to point out that there were two beds in the other room, but on reflection, he didn't want to instigate his uncle's ire, and he supposed he would be thankful for a wall between him and Dudley's snores.
So he just nodded at his aunt, who was ignoring him in favour of organizing the unpacking. Dudley and Vernon had hidden away in their respective rooms, so Harry, exhausted from the long journey, fished out a pillow and blanket from the closet and collapsed on the couch.
AN: Ok, first chapter - tell me what you think! Where should Harry go first? What are your thoughts on the characters? Who do we want him to meet? What are the Order's - and Voldemort's reactions? I welcome all input, but I reserve the right to laugh privately or ignore it at my discretion :)
Thanks for reading!