Gotham is no longer safe.
Harleen Quinzel, despite the last few hours, found herself awake, in the middle of their large bed, and worried.
After Harry had thoroughly pleasured her with his unnaturally talented tongue, he had taken her once again, while Ivy watched, touching herself, this time under much more pleasant circumstances. After her first orgasm, she sauntered over to them and kissed her, caressing the length that had yet to explore the blonde’s depths.
She fathomed that he wouldn’t be able to fully penetrate her for a few years yet – she was a small girl, at five foot two, and just over a hundred pounds. She could only hope that she had more growing to do.
And that was the thought that made her worry. Well, one of them.
He wasn’t going to be there, to grow with her, to be there with her and Ivy. Eventually, he had to go home.
And now, not even twenty-four hours after meeting him, she was beginning to find it hard to imagine him leaving their lives.
She remembered Luna’s words; she found it difficult to think about anything else; the sight of her two favorite people ‘getting along’ distracting her for a few hours, but now the thought was back after a much needed rest.
How could she potentially love someone, knowing that she could never see him again after, maybe, a couple of weeks?
She couldn’t ask him to stay – he practically had a family at home, and while she occasionally deluded herself with thoughts that she and Ivy were the most beautiful, and loveable, she wanted to be realistic.
She was replaceable, really. In fact, had she not known him as well as she did, she could very well say that this was simply a summer vacation from his regular girls, and he could very well chalk it up to another amazing experience when he went to his world, not looking back.
She could very easily see that happening.
She glanced over to him, on her left. Her head was on his arm, and he slept so peacefully, so child-like.
Pamela looked like that when she was asleep, too. She was so vulnerable around her, so safe, and Harley cherished it.
And it reminded her of the other reason she worried; her Pammy.
She and Harry had romped beautifully, and Pamela seemed to have just as much fun. She even went to grab the vial of medicine she had left in the discarded jean shorts in the hallway, and had sensually rubbed him across his scar-filled back while he reached out and fingered her moist snatch with as just a slow and agonizing pace. He had joked, with his head in Harley’s lap as she strummed her fingers in his hair, that they both close their eyes if they actually wanted to continue.
It really wasn’t a joke, in hindsight. He had said it with a laugh and a grin, but she could tell he was genuinely worried that they were disgusted by his scars to a point where the fun might stop forever.
So yes, Harley ultimately decided, Harry was a one-in-a-million gem. Tomorrow, if he had the chance to leave, he would possibly want to stay for a few more days. Hell, maybe he would ask her to come with him?
Her optimism was in full effect, and she knew it, but she didn’t care. Maybe, if they could find a way to travel back and forth between his homeland and hers, she would never have to be apart from him.
She was certain that he felt something for them. If, at the least, something for her.
No matter how implausible (compared to the rest of his life story, she sarcastically reminded herself) it alleviated her fears of the first problem. And it only compounded to the other problem.
Harry’s steady and slow tickle of Ivy’s womanhood had her panting and wanting, to a point where her hands trembled against his skin. Harley had a perfect view, and she made the offer to Harry that he should do a little more than scratch her itch.
She was haunted by the look on Ivy’s face. It was only there for a half-second, but it was there. She looked so… uneasy, at the thought; almost fearful. Harley was so distracted by the look, that she barely heard Harry’s tired excuse. Seconds later, the look was forgotten, and Ivy went on to cum on his digits, even as he prodded her anal passage again with his middle finger, and they all fell asleep soon after, Harry on her left, Ivy on her right. Harry never saw Ivy’s expression, and Ivy had never noticed her girlfriend’s stare.
So, Ivy wasn’t yet ready to take that step, and Harley completely understood.
And still, some part of her, maybe the selfish part, wondered if she ever could be ready.
She wasn’t bothered by the thought of Ivy not having actual sex with Harry. If anything, that was a normal reaction to someone she had known for less than a day. She was only mildly worried at the notion that Ivy might not trust him for a few days yet, to let him go that far with her.
But she had seen the way Harry reacted before, when he saw that she felt uncomfortable around him. She did not want that to happen again.
No one should feel uncomfortable in her own home, he said. And she agreed. She did not want that to happen, either.
Not to mention, she was feeling a bit… overwhelmed by their activities. It hurt in a pleasant way before, but now… it just hurt. Being stuffed to the literal brim did that to a girl.
Her hand grazed his arm, before kissing it, and rolling over to lay against her dear Ivy.
She almost wished she had a smaller bed. This was going to be quite a balancing act otherwise.
She was going to show him the sights and sounds of Gotham tonight, and she hoped that everyone would be on the same page. Or they’d fall before they even began.
She kissed Ivy’s cheek before closing her eyes into a dreamless sleep.
Minutes later, Ivy slowly blinked awake, feeling a lingering tickle against her cheek. She glanced to her left and saw her blond-haired lover close to her, her head nestled near her shoulder.
Pamela smiled the softest of smiles, and kissed her forehead. ‘Goodnight, love,’ she mouthed to herself, before drifting back to sleep.
Harry watched with fascination as Harleen dipped half of her head in the bowl of red ink, her half-nude body stretching wonderfully. “You have to do that every time?”
“Uhuh,” she confirmed, not breaking stride as she grabbed her can of spray. She slipped on a dirty glove to section off the other half of her hair, and sprayed generously on the red side to get the roots of her hair splashed with color. She placed the can down, and grabbed another glove for her bare hand to play with her soaked red hair, separating the strands to make sure there were no blonde strands left. She checked the mirror. “It dries quick, and it’s waterproof, so it’s perfect,” she beamed, moving the bowl to the side and grabbing a pre-filled bowl of green solution.
He glanced over at Ivy, who was currently adjusting her leaf and vine leotard-like outfit, showing a less-than-modest, and especially eye-catching amount of cleavage. “That’s one way of distracting an opponent.”
She looked over to him and grinned. “Sometimes – when Harley’s not just as distracted, it’s useless.”
“Not my fault,” she muttered over the spray, expertly shielding her eyes from the green paint. “Take it as a compliment. Harry will be just as distracted – trust me.”
Harry shrugged. “I can multi-task. I can try, anyways.”
“And that’s all we can do,” Harleen sighed listlessly. Pamela rolled her eyes and slipped into her green, elfish slippers.
“We plan on running into a few people tonight,” she reminded them, “so just don’t be too distracted.”
“No promises,” Harry promised.
“I’ll keep him in line,” the now green/redhead said with a grin truly worthy of Harley Quinn, delicately applying her lipstick.
“Green, today?” Harry asked, seeing the color.
She hummed and popped her lips, before sending a kiss at him. “Yep. I like to alternate. Red, Green and Black. Ivy, too.”
“Any significance to the three colors? There seems to be a theme.”
Ivy straightened her hair with her fingers, fanning it around her shoulders beautifully. After flipping her hair once more, she responded. “Green is a given, and red is Harley’s favorite color. Everything goes great with black.”
“What’s your favorite color?” Harley wondered, grabbing two sets of rubber bands from a dresser seemingly dedicated to her chosen outfit. “I’d have to use it for the suit design.”
“If I’m part of the team, I suppose green and black.”
Harleen nodded, parting her hair directly down the middle, between the colors. “Okay. I can work with that. You aren’t allergic to spandex, are you?”
Harry wasn’t sure whether to answer her. “That depends on how much spandex you plan on using.”
She shrugged, her hair now in her trademark pigtails. “Not too much… just enough to show off your assets.”
“I don’t think I’d get the same results as Ivy,” Harry pointed out, and the green-skinned beauty stuck out her tongue at the both of them in response.
“We’ll worry about it when we’re actually committing a crime. For now, this is just a run through of the city. You’ll need to know what you’re up against, and we need to see what you can do. If we’re unlucky, we’ll run into Night Terror.”
“Night Terror? The guy you were talking about earlier?”
“Yup,” The blue-eyed girl confirmed, slinking into her red and green ensemble. “He goes by a lot of names, but this week is Night Terror, word on the street. The news is trying to hype up ‘Bat Man’, but it’s kinda silly.”
“Batman?” Harry raised his eyebrows. “Isn’t that name already taken?”
They looked at him weirdly. “Who would have the opportunity to take that name, or want it?” Ivy questioned, confused. “You’ve heard that name before?”
“My cousin reads a lot of comics,” he explained, “and while he never let me read them, I vaguely remember a Man with a half-mask, pointed ears, a cape, and underwear outside his body.”
They continued to look at him strangely.
“So the guy’s… a legend where you’re from?” Harleen asked. “He has a freaking comic book now?”
“He could be taking from the comic book,” Harry shrugged. “But I remember that the comic was made in Nineteen eighty-seven.”
No one moved. No one breathed. Harley’s hand stopped halfway up her sleeve, and Ivy’s lipstick dropped from her limp fingers. Harry twitched as the tube loudly clanged against the floor.
“Er…” he started uncomfortably. “I suppose if either of you don’t mind telling me the date?”
Harley hesitated before she spoke. “It’s June nineteenth… nineteen seventy-four.”
They could both see Harry’s jaw drop a centimeter or two at the news. “What day is it in your… dimension?” If he had come from a completely different year, then Ivy didn’t know what else to call it.
“Nineteen ninety-five,” Harry muttered, just loud enough for them to hear. “It was June eighteenth when I left.”
“So it’s been exactly twenty-one years,” Harley noted disbelievingly. “And you can still keep in contact with your girls as you left them…”
Everyone took a moment to absorb that information. The complexity of inter-dimensional space and time travel was such a marvel in itself, and what was only a possibility in the realm of science-fiction, to now become completely and totally non-fiction to them, was… a hard pill to swallow, to say the least.
“That’s kind of a bitch,” Harley said weakly, trying to get the mood back up. Luckily, Harry let out a surprised chuckle, and she felt a bit of pride.
They entered a much more comfortable silence. Harry took the moment to cast a subtle cleaning charm on himself. He hadn’t really changed his clothes since yesterday morning, and he didn’t pack anything for his impromptu and unexpected vacation, so he really didn’t have anything else. He had banished them once, but he could easily recall them – something he was eternally grateful for when he banished his partners’ clothing in a moment of impatience.
After looking over his battle-weary dress shirt once more, he ultimately decided to shed the shirt altogether. Only his white, almost pristine t-shirt remained.
“Well,” Harry cleared his throat. “Are we ready to go?”
“Hold on,” Ivy cocked her head to the side, “did you read any of the comics?”
Harry shook his head, and wordlessly conjured a red beanbag behind him. He fell onto the plush chair, hard. “What’s the drinking age here?”
Harley and Ivy glanced at each other. “Do you really think that’d be a good idea?” Harley asked him delicately.
“No,” he mumbled, “but I’d like to keep my options open. I’d be surprised if Rosmerta even has a bar right now. Dumbledore is probably still there, though. And his brother, now that I think about it.” He glanced over at Harley. “Think you can put up with me for a bit longer while I try to figure things out?”
She pulled her other arm through the top half of her suit. “Depends on if you can keep up,” she smiled.
“Don’t sound too disappointed,” Pamela chastised him as she sauntered to Harley, adding a bit of sway to her hips as she passed by him, his head at waist level. “You’re only with two incredibly beautiful women while you pass the time, here.”
“It’s not the staying here I’m worried about,” Harry dryly commented. “It’s the reaction I’ll get when I go back.”
Pamela slipped the zipper up to the back of her neck, before fastening the seamless clasp that hid the zipper. She kissed the nape of Harley’s neck and wrapped her arms around her shoulders from behind. She looked at Harry over her girlfriend’s shoulder, blowing the green pigtail partially out of the way. “I’ve seen men do worse to get out of a relationship.”
Harry snorted in laughter, while Harley slipped on her fingerless gloves. “You’ve got a plan, Pammy?”
She swiveled her head negatively, her chin still on Harley’s shoulder. “It’s just a night out. We wait for the welcoming committee, you show off a bit,” she stared pointedly at him, “and my vines will wrap around their legs and distract them long enough to get away. If it gets too hectic, you could pop us out of there?” She questioned him.
Harry nodded, thinking furiously. “If we want to make a statement,” he slowly stressed, “We’re going to have to make it loud. We make a display, sure, but we make it look like a show.”
“What did you have in mind?” Harley asked curiously, leaning into Ivy’s touch.
“A new change of clothes, for one.” He patted his cargo pants, the dark green material frayed slightly. “Not the best wardrobe to make a first impression.”
“Want to lift some bargain clothes on the way to the plaza?” Ivy raised an eyebrow. She didn’t want to admit it, but they made abeautiful team, her and Harley. His clothes made him seem a bit out of place. Anything in pristine condition would do him wonders.
“Maybe on the way back. I’d rather you guys pick my clothes. You should have a pretty close guess as to what I can fit in.”
“You don’t want to model for us?” Harley pouted, and Pamela felt a twinge of disappointment. She wasn’t going to lie to herself – he looked good, if a bit on the skinny side.
The ebony-haired teen grinned at the cute couple. “After the show I just got, I don’t think I can deny you. Maybe later tonight, or in the morning, though. Ivy, do you have a few extra vials I could borrow?”
She made a humming sound. “What do you have in mind, exactly?”
Gotham was a cesspool of thieves and murderers. Irredeemable, criminal scum plagued the populated city like locusts, feeding off the weak and defenseless. Streetwalkers stepped out of police cars, and back under the broken lamppost to continue advertising their flesh well into the morning, disgruntled at their pre-arranged discount with the men of the law who turned the other cheek. Weak, troubled men slapped at their arms, their skin burning, their eyes red, their lust for the fix only temporarily sated.
At the right time, usually nightfall, you could almost see the city sink into the darkest pits of hell, and the most disgusting sights could be witnessed – if you dared not lock your home, lie down, and hope you could still draw breath by the sun’s wake.
Or, best case scenario, get the hell out of Gotham.
At least, that’s how it was.
The Dark Knight crouched in the crevice of the shadows the tops of the buildings provided him, his breath steady, his posture relaxed, his cape flowing smoothly in the breeze behind him.
Gotham was now a peaceful city. A safe city.
The Batman’s city.
“Any available patrol units; we have a sighting on the duo known as the Femme Fatale. I repeat; Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn have been spotted in the Bowery, near the Jezebel Plaza. There is an unknown with them, and he seems to be unharmed and willing. As always, consider them armed and dangerous. Do not approach.”
The Dark Knight pondered the words on the scanner. Harley Quinn had gone solo yesterday, and had successfully robbed a jewelry shop. Bruce Wayne, unfortunately, was in a WayneTech meeting, and by the time he could don the cape and cowl, they had lost her.
Gotham police wanted nothing to do with him – Commissioner Loeb making it clear by titling him Public Enemy #1 – so he wasn’t getting any information from them. What with Gordon and Essen doing everything they could to capture him, he had to distance himself from crime scenes, and he couldn’t question Mrs. Hepplewhite, the owner, about the security.
Had he been there, he probably wouldn’t have lost her trail. She and Ivy made a discouragingly great team. When one was captured, the other served as a distraction, and a heavy one at that. Ivy had nature itself, and Harley had a bazooka, andimpeccable aim. She had also proved to be an accomplished escape artist, moments after he managed to get handcuffs on her for the first and only time.
Together, they had destroyed two Batmobiles so far. And one Batwing.
So in his eyes, they were his main focus, and the biggest problem. And, if what the Lieutenant had mentioned in the briefing that morning in the bugged conference room was true, Harley Quinn was getting better.
It didn’t worry him that Harley had managed to escape them.
What worried him was how quietly she broke in this time.
Subtlety and Harley Quinn didn’t go together. In fact, you could say they were archrivals. She had gotten into the store completely undetected, and only when she was seen breaking out did the off-duty officer call the police.
At first, he didn’t know what to take of that news. She was alone, and trying something new. Generally, that meant that she was trying to break out on her own, or Ivy couldn’t be with her for some reason. Both were usually good. And now, as the announcement was broadcast through the scanner, his hopes were dashed.
He set his shoulders. He didn’t expect this to be easy. He never did.
With barely a whisper, he pushed into the night, towards the Bowery.
That other presence was disconcerting, but nothing to be concerned about. Pamela hit gold when she formed an alliance with Harley; to find someone just as good to cause havoc with would be near inconceivable. Just in case, he would make sure their guest was there of his own volition.
Then he would take them all down. He was sick of playing cat and mouse.
And if he let the most elusive team in Gotham grow, then he very well could one day be the mouse.
“You have fans,” Harry noted, staring around at the bright lights, unflinching.
“You can’t get around in this city anymore.” Harley pouted cutely, and Poison Ivy smiled at the display.
“Seems to be more than usual, though,” she muttered, her eyes curious.
They were surrounded in a circle. They had walked around the Jezebel for about fifteen minutes. Two minutes in, someone finally had the guts to call the police. The three decided to situate themselves in the middle of the plaza, standing in a small circle, and waited for all four intersections to crowd themselves with police cars.
So far, they were ignoring the mass of men and women in blue, only conversing with each other, despite the commands of the officers to get on their knees. Harry put up a shield around them, in case there was a trigger-happy officer in the crowd.
No one had dared to approach them. Not yet.
“Kinda makes me proud; that we can bring this much fear. A little flatterin’.”
“So what did you do to earn this kind of recognition?”
Ivy shrugged. “I believe this is the first time we’ve really been out in the open. I’ve attacked some places of interest, such as the Mayor’s house. I occasionally tried to bring the entire population’s men under my control and have them turn on each other. I’ve had human-sized Venus flytraps on the corner of every street, shooting poisonous spores to anyone who moved towards it. That was the first and last time I was captured. The stupid vigilante attacked my plants until I was weak enough to be brought down.”
“Since then,” Harley continued for her, “We’ve been stealing some chemicals from botanical gardens. Occasionally, Ivy’s had to ‘haunt’ a few forests that were being considered for chopping down. Most of our time’s been building the wonderful greenhouse we now live in, and getting the materials smuggled to just outside of Gotham with no one noticing, not even with Bat surveillance, is pretty hard work. Upstanding citizen Harleen helped, but only after Ivy and Harley robbed a few banks for her to buy anything. We’ve had to do double heists every now and then as a distraction. No one takes precedence over the hardware store’s missing tools when the Art Museum is missing some prized works. There was also that one time we rearranged the face of the Cyrus Pinkney Statue, and blew up a bridge. Other than that… I can’t think of anything else. Ivy?”
“We also may have kidnapped the former Mayor’s wife, so he could pass an environmental bill.”
“As it turns out, trophy wives aren’t the best bait.”
“I think she was perfectly willing to stay with us, though. She gave Harley her number.”
“God, that was embarrassing. Just seeing how plastic and fake she looked. It was unnatural. When she licked her lips at me, her tongue wiped years off her upper lip.”
“The entire experience didn’t really count in the end. He didn’t care, and only when we let her go did she tell everyone what happened. She said we were two nameless masked men to protect us – because, really, that’s just embarrassing – and they ended up divorcing. He was eventually impeached when his mistress spoke up about his affair.”
“And your hatred for men grew three sizes that day.”
“… Did you just compare me to a green monster?”
“Looks like we have company,” Harry noted, looking upwards. “Huh… not as dramatic as I thought.”
“Sorry,” Harley muttered to Ivy. “I didn’t mean it that way. Honest!”
“I was just joking, Harley,” Ivy smirked at her lover. “I know you didn’t think about it. After we deal with them, you cook dinner tonight. Deal?”
Harley smiled gratefully. “Deal, Red.” She turned towards the cops and twisted her fingers around her mallet, her grin now deadly. “You’ll love it, Harry. It’s to die for.”
“Not a good choice of words,” he muttered, “but oddly, tempting; considering I haven’t eaten in a day.”
“The dangers of too much mind-blowing sex,” Ivy muttered to herself, tensing her muscles. “Sometimes you forget the basics.”
Harley used her free hand to point over to the patrol car in the back. “Looks like all the major players are here. That over there would be Commissioner Loeb. Captain Gordon and Detective Essen would be right over there. The one trying to flank us would be Branden – ” She glared back menacingly at the heavily armored man with a shield, and he, along with the rest of his team, held their position stiffly, not daring to go any further. “He’s the head of SWAT. Bullock is probably somewhere eating a donut. The cute Latina in the frontline is Officer Ramirez. She’s the one that showed me around Blackgate. She still doesn’t know.”
“You were so innocent then,” Ivy pondered aloud. “A completely different person. I hope you enjoyed the change as much as I did.” Harry felt the ground shake beneath him. Harley took it in stride, and heaved her mallet to rest on her shoulder.
“Oh, I don’t think ya know how much I liked it, Red,” She grinned, her accent in full effect. “That concludes our tour of Gotham City. We hope you enjoy your stay, Harry.”
Harry took a deep breath, and he saw everything; the police standing behind the doors of their car, shotguns at the ready; the irate Captain Gordon yelling something unintelligible through the blowhorn; the lone figure on the roof watching the three with interest.
“Oh. I think I’ll love it here. When you’re ready, Ivy.”
“This is your last warning! Get on the ground and put your hands behind your head or we will apprehend you!” Gordon lowered the blowhorn and turned to his command officer, the commissioner. “Proceed?”
Loeb grinned toothily. “Close in on em. We will capture them by any means necessary.”
Captain Gordon relayed the command in the radio, and hastily added that the officers do not shoot.
And the circle began to shrink. The trio now found themselves surrounded by officers with shields. Cars slowly rolled forward, the car doors wide open, giving the officers ample protection. Branden waited until his colleagues stepped closer until he trained his machine gun on them, and began stepping forward with them, discarding his shield.
The three didn’t move. Harley, Ivy and Harry stood, their backs to each other, their postures unwavering. Harley had one hand on her hip, the other hoisting her large metallic mallet on her shoulder, her green-painted grin menacing, red contact eyes haunting. Ivy grinned sultrily at the guards, her green eyes glowing, her red hair moving with some unknown force, the earth making minute cracks beneath her feet.
And Harry stood tall, his green eyes focused and unmoving, his hands clenching and unclenching, his mouth in a frown.
Ivy breathed tensely, and linked her hands with Harry.
One by one, the headlights switched off. The engines shut. Sarah Essen looked around in confusion as the neon light to the puppet shop began to fade.
Then there was darkness. Flashlights began to flicker on, and just as quickly, blinked off.
Everyone could still see each other, and quite clearly. The moon shone brightly tonight. Someone shouted that the moon could go out as well, and raised his gun at Harry.
He pulled the trigger, and nothing happened.
“What the fuck?” Howard Branden cursed loudly, and snarled. He clicked the gun a few more times, and threw it to the ground.
Gordon punched the hood of his car. “Branden, control yourself! Do not shoot!”
“He’s doing this, you idiot! He’s – ”
He kept screaming at Gordon. He kept screaming at everyone. They could all see his mouth continue to move.
And no one could hear him.
Branden choked on his voice. He grabbed at his throat and coughed. Nothing. He wheezed, and got the same result.
The audience around him were stunned into silence as he stumbled backwards, nary a whisper escaping his lips.
Someone chuckled. He looked up, fresh with rage.
Harley covered her mouth, her giggles getting louder. Then, after a few more seconds, she broke her hand away and burst into fits of laughter. “Holy crap, that’s funny!”
Branden yelled some choice, unspoken words, and raised his machinegun at Harley. He pulled the trigger, and it clicked once again.
“You were right,” The man behind her noted. “He is the hair trigger of this whole group. He’s a rabid dog that needs to be put down.”
Branden ran forward, and threw a fist at them.
Harry watched in fascination as Branden flew to the side like a ragdoll, his cap flying in the other direction with the impact. He twisted in midair, his body contorting hilariously. He landed and rolled several times before he went still.
Harley’s mallet now rested on her other shoulder, looking no less worse for wear. “On second thought,” her green lips twisted into a small grin, “That was funny.”
Harry quickly turned to the rest, and he heard the sounds of several guns being cocked and several screams of indignation, most from the rest of the SWAT team.
And then he caught on fire.
Everyone stopped for a moment in shock, except for Ivy and Harley. They stared in wonder and fear at the man who burned brightly in the night, but appeared to be unharmed. Not even his clothes singed at the remarkable heat that emanated from his body, and the two girls remained unaffected, even Ivy’s held hand.
Then they began to notice the changes. First, it was his t-shirt, which slowly twisted from a bright white into a dark red, the color running so smoothly down his shirt that he almost appeared to bleed into it. The sleeves grew to his wrists, and the entire shirt thickened almost unnoticeably, strengthening and hardening. His cargo pants, slowly but surely, tore against his body, shredding and ripping randomly along his legs, and just as quickly, a leathery material weaved into existence, wrapping around his legs and torso, flawlessly following along with his cotton tears.
And then, as abruptly as it started, it was over. Everyone stared at the sight in front of them, not really believing their eyes.
Enormous, glinting green claw marks smattered against his crimson long-sleeve, three long matching slashes for each mark, accompanied by a small tear in the fabric for each green strike. His nondescript black jeans were marred as well, the tops of his jeans flowing smoothly with the bottom of his shirt, one clawmark covering his middle.
Harry Potter’s piercing green eyes burned. He frowned.
Gordon hesitated. “We don’t want to hurt you.”
He glanced at the drawn guns around him. “You really could’ve fooled me.”
“Just surrender quietly, and come with us.”
Harry pondered to himself. “No.”
Gordon rested his elbows on the hood of his car, his handgun trained on Harry’s torso. “No?”
“I haven’t committed a crime.”
“You’re associating with criminals.”
He shrugged. “That’s another way of saying it.”
A whirring sound reached his ears. “Helicopter’s here,” Harley announced aloud, turning away from Branden to look at Harry. “Ready to make the front page?”
“You’re enjoying this,” he noted, and his lips quirked into a small smile.
“I could just be excited about cooking dinner later,” she said slyly, before grabbing his hand and squeezing.
Harry squeezed both of his lovers’ hands back. “Now you’ve made me hungry again.”
“Then let’s get out of here,” Ivy spoke up, her eyes scanning the crowd. “I think we’ve given them enough to talk about for a while.”
“You three aren’t going anywhere,” the Captain warned, his teeth set on edge. He flicked back the hammer of his gun. “Move in and apprehend now!”
“You know,” Harry muttered as the group slowly closed in, “you never told me about one thing.”
“Oh?” Harley tightened her grip on the mallet. “And that is?”
“We avoid them when we can.” The concrete shook beneath them again, and Ivy cursed. “Damn sewers. It’s poisoning and wilting my babies before I can bring them to the surface; the tiny amount I need to make it subtle, at least.”
“Plan B, then,” the black-haired teen suggested. “Don’t hurt yourself. We’ll do something about the sewers later.”
“What’s plan B?” Ivy wondered, part of her wondering what he meant by ‘dealing with the sewers.’
Harry released their hands in favor of clasping his hands together.
Everyone shook at the force, and before they could even fight it, they were all knocked to the ground. An invisible wave of –something – blasted them all backwards. Guns went flying, shields and windows cracked, if not broke apart, and one or two coughed uncontrollably, their chest feeling an immense pain.
Harry stared at James Gordon, whose only shield was the car door. Had the window shattered, it would have ripped into his chest. “Warning shot, Captain. Next time, I’ll just make you pop from the inside-out.” He turned slightly to Ivy, who still stood tall at his side. “I don’t think subtle is in the plan now.”
Ivy grinned. “I think I love you.”
Harley whipped her head around to meet Ivy’s eyes. “Red?”
Her emerald eyes bulged. “I said that out loud, didn’t I?”
“So you meant it.” Harley grinned widely.
Harry looked over to the pigtailed beauty in the tight bodysuit, who seemed to be taking the news in stride. “We’ll talk about this later,” he murmured, and got a hesitant nod from Ivy and an excited grin from Harley. He turned back to the officers, who were just now recovering.
The light shining from the helicopter was the only thing highlighting them, and one officer took advantage.
He flinched at the sound. “Been a long time since I heard one of those.”
BANG! BANG! BANG!
Apparently, that set off the chain reaction, and that one brave, bold police officer who shot first allowed for his colleagues to unload their weapons on the target. Only three or four shot about three rounds each at the deadly trio, before kneeling back behind an intact shield or a car.
It would take about a second or two for them to realize that the three were still standing. Ivy had one hand on her hip, her opposite side’s elbow on Harry’s shoulder. Harley had chosen to sit down with her legs crossed, her head resting against his leg.
Gordon could almost feel his first gray hair appear. “Who are you? What do you want?”
Ivy’s green eyes bored into the Captain’s, her expression hard. “If you had asked us that in the beginning, it would’ve been a better foot to get off on. You’ve proved today how truly stupid your police force can be. How destructive you want to be. And I know that if I allow this to continue, this city will fall. The entire earth will be sure to follow. And I won’t allow it.
“Gotham will be the testing grounds for what I have planned, and it will be massive. Treat Mother Nature with the respect she deserves, because… well,” She smiled slightly, “I believe you’ve heard the saying. The world will know how much a bitch I can truly be.”
“You’re calling yourself Mother Nature, now?” Sarah scoffed, her gun trained on the green-skinned woman.
“I’m calling myself a proxy, Sarah,” Ivy purred. “I cannot control the waters, the sun, or the wind. I control the earth. If anything, I would be Mother Earth.”
“I suppose I’d be Daddy Nature,” Harry chuckled darkly, garnering the attention of everyone back to him, “because I can! However, that sounds a bit like I’m Ivy’s husband rather than her partner. I love her and all,” he winked at her, and she struggled not to react, “just as much as Harley. But I’d like to be my own persona. Harley? What do you think?”
Harley looked up from her spot, shaken out of her reverie. “We didn’t talk about this,” she narrowed her eyes. “And we’re gonna talk about it later.” There was no doubt of what she meant by that statement. “But hey, since we’re here, and you’ve got everyone’s attention, why not sprout out a name before someone else tries to shoot you in the face. Let’s give the people a name for the grave, y’know?”
Harry smirked. “They can try. Again. To see if there’s any difference. And there won’t be. Still; they can try. I won’t stop them.”
“Because you’re unstoppable,” Harley whispered, nuzzling her green ponytail against his leg.
“I’m more than unstoppable.” His eyes flashed an eerie green, and the helicopter’s spotlight surged, before blowing completely.
James Gordon squinted into the darkness, barely seeing the outlines of the colorful characters in front of him. The helicopter had blocked off the moon’s rays, and they had a very strategically placed blindspot on them.
The sparks from the blown spotlight sprinkled to the ground directly where the trio stood, highlighting their grinning visages for a brief, sudden moment.
Then they vanished.
Three seconds of pure, uninterrupted silence exploded around them, and it almost hurt, the deafening quiet. In the darkness, Sarah looked over to her partner, her face unsure as to what happened. She had the same thought on everyone’s lips, and he lowered the gun cautiously.
Before he could give a command, a familiar voice echoed powerfully through the plaza, its echoes ringing against the cobblestone, mockingly into their ears.
“I’m the Warlock.”
Batman watched the pandemonium that erupted, his eyes quickly scanning the large group for any sign of their whereabouts. He had been watching from a balcony, well-hidden from the news chopper above and the police below.
He had been watching closely. And he had no idea which direction they went.
His jaw set – the new guy was an anomaly. He had to have been a mutant, or some kind of meta-human. That, or he had something that gave him that power.
Unlikely. Zatanna wasn’t even this powerful, and she dealt in the dark arts. She certainly never lit herself on fire and did a full wardrobe change without a single utterance of a word or a wave of her hand. If there was something that could give her that strength, she not only would have sensed it, but she would have stolen it long ago.
He stood from his crouch. He would have to wait until the chopper flew away before he could move freely. The police were willing to believe anything at this point to make him earn the Public Enemy spot, and if he was seen leaving, then he would be slandered maliciously, accused of helping the group escape. He was already accused of Catwoman’s crimes when she first surfaced, and most still thought that they worked together in some capacity.
Normally, he wouldn’t care about what the media said, but he wasn’t going to risk being seen if he could, especially if he didn’t know where to start chasing them.
This… this new guy. He was different. He felt the rumble of the shockwave as all of the officers were knocked to the ground, and saw the relaxed look in his eyes. He wasn’t trying. Not one bit.
This was a show. That’s all it was. There was only a statement made, and his presence set the entirety of Gotham on alert. It explained why they waited until the news helicopter was here.
And he knew Harley and Ivy. He knew they would tell the young man – The Warlock – about him.
In hindsight, this blatant display of the new addition to their team could have been laid out specifically for him, rather than the police force.
“Right in one, Bruce.”
He began with a start, struggling to spring into action, but his body was frozen stiff. His eyes were his only option of movement, and he couldn’t see him anywhere. The sound came from above, but where?
“I’m above you. I dropped off Ivy and Harley, so I could talk to you. You can relax; I won’t kill you. Not today.”
He growled in response, his lips unmoving.
“Yes, I’m sure that your pride would much rather have me kill you than force you to stay like this. Still, I wanted to warn you to stay away from me. Stay away from Ivy. Stay away from Harley. I’m not talking to Batman. I’m talking to the man inside, with no trust for police, and a vendetta against hardened criminals and sadists. Leave us alone, and don’t bother to pursue us. We are not your enemies. We are enemies of the police, and you know how unwelcoming they are when someone offers to do their job for them, and they can’t take the credit.”
He had a point. Even the reasonable side of Batman could see that. Though the methods were questionable.
“I don’t beat people to a pulp when I think someone is doing something wrong. I have a set of moral codes. I hate rapists, and I’ll stop them when I can. Better yet, I can completely cover the city in anti-rape protections. The moment a woman is attacked, he’ll find himself bound and gagged. Wouldn’t that be an unpleasant surprise?”
He paused. Bruce was thankful for the reprieve. His muscles were still completely non-responsive, though he had gone through several mental calming techniques. He had almost phased the man’s voice out completely, but before he could, his words got louder.
No, not louder. More direct. And no mental technique could block it. It was so clear, even with his hearing. Too clear.
He was speaking directly into his mind.
And the Batman felt something akin to fear.
“Ignoring me isn’t helping you. Not one bit. So I’ll allow you to consider my words. Look away. Or fight me. Who knows? Maybe I’ll learn something. Maybe you’ll learn something. Should be fun. I actually kind of look forward to it.
“But for now, I think I’ll just keep you like this. Alfred can pick you up later.”
A soft white glow marred his periphery, barely above his head. He paid it no mind.
‘Right in one, Bruce.’
A small pop sounded above him. And the Dark Knight was left alone. His eyelids shut, then opened again in surprise.
His bodily functions were slowly returning.
After thirty minutes, however, he realized that the man had done that on purpose; he allowed him to close his eyes so they wouldn’t suffer throughout the night.
As the crowd below had dispersed, and the copter flown away half an hour ago to search for the missing criminals, Batman hoped that Alfred would not notice that he was in trouble yet. He could force himself to make his heart beat irregularly, and set off alarms with his vitals, but something told him that he couldn’t stop himself from tracking down this new punk the moment he was free.
And, right now, he needed to think. Really, truly think about what to do next. Because he knew what he was considering now was certainly not the answer.
The Batman’s city began to crumble around him.
The white cloud of silvery strands swirled in the glass vial. Harleen, plopping herself in Harry’s lap on their couch, eyed the vial with interest.
“So, Warlock, you’re trying to tell me,” she began, clearly skeptical, “that a human being’s entire memory base can be contained in this small vial.”
Harry nodded. “Everything he’s ever had a clear memory of in a nutshell; or rather, in a vial.”
Harleen glanced back at Harry, then back at the vial. “Cool.”
“So we’ll know who he is from this,” the green-skinned beauty dropped the load of clothes beside them and sat on the arm of the couch, crossing her legs as she leaned over to get a better look. “How would we view them?”
“Could we see them?” Harleen worriedly wondered. “We don’t have magic, after all.”
Harry nodded, resting his head on the soft cotton behind him and closing his eyes. “I’m not sure. I don’t think so. I’d need a pensieve to show you anything. I’d have to look…in the morning.”
“Hey,” Harleen’s eyes looked upon him with concern, “you okay?”
Harry opened his eyes. “Physically? I’m fine. I just have a bit of a headache. No worries.”
“When did it start?” Ivy questioned.
Harry shrugged, his eyes still closed. “If it was there before, I’m just feeling it now. Hit me like a bloody truck…”
Harleen quickly removed herself from his lap and removed her gloves. Gently, she pressed her hand to his forehead. “It’s not warm,” she said a moment later, and looked at Red, who had gotten up from the couch. “Got anything for headaches?”
“Where does it hurt?” She asked him, double-checking his forehead.
Harry felt a twinge. Right where… “Shit. Not there again.”
“Where?” Harley wondered with growing alarm. “Your temples?”
“No,” Harry hissed, “not there. Where my scar used to be. She’s pissed right now.”
“Who?” Ivy wondered, completely befuddled, not sure if she should be alarmed for his health or worried for his sanity.
“Hermione,” Harry groaned. “And she’s really pissed right now.”
Harley felt a twinge of remembrance at the Shakespearian name, and her eyes widened. “Hold on,” she told them both, and sped out of the living room, through the kitchen, and down the hallway.
Harry hissed, and Pamela gasped in surprise as a light-bluish glow erupted from the right side of his forehead. Pale at first, then brighter and brighter – a distinct symbol lit his skin, almost like a lightning bolt…
Harley sprinted back in the room and froze in shock at the unexpected sight before her.
Harry grabbed at his head and grit his teeth in pain, struggling to force the pain out of his head. Had he any sense, he would have laughed at the impossible thought.
But all he could see was pain.
“Hermione, STOP!” He screamed, his body hunching over and falling into his new clothes.
And then, it stopped. He wasn’t expecting that, and he sat up in surprise and opened his eyes.
A pointed, dark green vine hovered over him, swaying melodiously, like a snake poised to strike.
Pamela breathed a sigh of relief, several feet behind the vine. “I thought I was going to have to hold you down,” she brokenly whispered, and the vine retreated. “What the hell happened?”
“Oh!” Harley squeaked at the sensation, and hastily pulled out a small circular mirror out of her pocket. “It just… bit me! A mirrorjust bit me!”
Harry grinned tiredly. “It does that to people who aren’t me. It’ll do more than bite if you don’t answer.”
The natural blonde quickly sat next to him and passed him the mirror, and pressed her hand to his forehead again. “Don’t – !”
“Sorry,” Harry muttered, wincing. “It does that. Curls my fringe up sometimes with the heat.” He reached for Harley’s hand, and she gingerly placed it in his.
“I think we need to start carrying a first aid kit,” Harley muttered embarrassingly.
Ivy watched as Harley’s pained look softened as Harry rubbed his thumb in circles at the back of her hand, magically soothing the pain. “I think we’ve already got one. I’ll go get a towel.” She strolled out of the room towards the kitchen.
“I’d make a sexual innuendo about you having magic hands, but I’m sure you get that a lot.” The girl in pigtails relaxed in his embrace, resting her head against the back of the sofa.
Harry purposefully looked at the screen, refraining to tell her that he had heard them all, and he would need to thank her later for not making him hear it one more time.
He took a few shallow breaths.
“Answer,” he murmured, and he immediately held the glass at arm’s length.
“Shit! Are you okay, Harry?”
He flinched. “What do you mean?”
“I can see your sweat! Your bloody scar’s visible again! I’m sorry, Harry, I really am!”
Harry flinched again, for a different reason. “Wait – so you’re not mad at me?”
“What? NO – of course not, Harry! You tried to save Sirius! How were you supposed to know that you’d be sent to wherever the hell you are? It’s no one’s fault but Bellatrix’s, and she’s been dealt with.”
“If you see a woman wrapped in unicorn hair and a frayed unicorn tail,” Luna sounded out of view, “then it’s probably Bellatrix. Make sure it’s her, though.”
“We’ll find you, Harry. Don’t worry.”
Harry brought the mirror closer, and inspected the girl in the reflection. “Hermione?”
“If you’re not angry at me, why the hell did my head almost explode less than a minute ago?”
“I… may have an explanation for that.”
“Whenever you’re ready.”
“There’s no need for sarcasm, Harry. Honestly…”
“Ummm…” Harley interrupted, and it was disconcerting to see two different faces turn to her like a normal mirror could do. “S-sorry, it’s just that… what the fuck just happened?”
“I second that,” Pamela said as she sat back on the arm of the couch, gently placing a wet, cold washcloth on his forehead, and he smiled weakly in appreciation. “I think we deserve an explanation; Harley was almost in tears.”
Harley quickly wiped at her eyes, and glared at Ivy’s smirk when she realized she was messing with the young girl. “I was worried, alright! And I had no idea what the hell was going on! I still don’t!”
Hermione bit on her bottom lip, and Harry took notice. “Spill, Hermione. What just happened?”
The curly-haired brunette sighed to herself. “Okay. So, Ronald was just getting out of the hospital wing, and he made a pass at me, while in the same breath, insulting you and called everyone in our mutual group your whores…”
Harry’s eyes hardened. “What?”
Hermione winced. “The headache is coming my way. Please calm down, Harry.”
The glass cracked in Harry’s fingers. He dropped the mirror to the floor. “Shit. Sorry, Hermione.”
“I deserve it. I must’ve given you a massive headache for you to sweat like that. Sorry.”
He picked up the mirror and tapped it, and the mirror was as good as new. “So what did you do?”
Her chocolate brown eyes searched his emerald green. “Promise you won’t be mad?”
“I can’t promise anything if you hadn’t beaten him within an inch of his life.”
“Then you’ll be positively ecstatic, then,” Luna cheered, her cheek pressing against Hermione. “Ronald is dead now, Harry!”
“What?” She asked innocently. “I’m just cheering him up. He looks like he needs it.”
“Harry, don’t listen to Luna. Ronald is not dead.”
“Not bloody yet,” Harry growled. “But he will be.”
“See?” Harley whispered to her girlfriend. “Just like Bats, but better! And British! Isn’t that insane?”
“That still doesn’t explain how he knows what you’re feeling,” Ivy deliberately ignored Harley. Lately, she’s been agreeing with everything Harley said, and she just knew something bad was going to come out of it if she encouraged it. “Is it some kind of magic thing? Does everyone have this?”
“Maybe they’re soul mates?” Harley suggested, with a sickeningly sweet smile.
Harry looked pointedly at Hermione. “Would you call it that?”
“I’d definitely call it a soul bond. I wouldn’t call you and Voldemort soul mates.”
They both shuddered at the thought.
“So, that exists? You two can literally feel what the other feels?” Harley looked excited at the prospect. “So you two are literally in a bond of true, unbreakable love?”
Harry and Hermione shrugged synchronously, and it was, once again, disturbing. “I’d like to think it’s unbreakable,” Harry grinned, “but the bond has nothing to do with that. Though it may be part of the reason it was made. We can certainly feel what the other’s feeling. Sometimes, we can communicate with thoughts.”
“And that’s how I got Harry’s distress,” Hermione explained. “When I heard him to tell me to stop.”
“Though, it may be turning into a real soul bond,” Luna placed her input. “You’d have to ask grandma Joan about bonds, but most bonds are weakened when one leaves the country.”
Harley snapped her fingers. “So that’s why you said she could somehow tell that you were still alive! But how come you haven’t talked to him since he got here?”
“I couldn’t. I could feel that he was alive and well, but I couldn’t do much else. He had left his communication mirror at home. And then he blocks my bloody calls…”
“I didn’t think you’d react well to the news,” Harry protested weakly.
“To the news? Yes. To you? Of course not. Tonks and Susan stopped me from running into the bloody veil myself when I saw what you did.”
“That’s so sweet,” Harleen sighed. “If I knew what a veil was, I’m sure I’d be impressed.”
Pamela beautifully arched an eyebrow at Harleen, smiling at the girl’s fascination. She was somewhat interested as well, being in the field of science herself, and listening to how everything she had ever learned about space and time being proven wrong was quite thrilling. She knew Crane would love to hear this.
And besides, if it kept them from talking about their confessions earlier that night, then she was completely okay with any distraction.
She needed to think. She really didn’t know what about, but she knew that she needed to.
“A veil,” Hermione began explaining, “is the portal Harry walked through to land in your world. It’s the gateway to another dimension, apparently, when everyone else called it the Death Arch. We don’t know if Harry’s the rule or exception. Sirius… so far, he hasn’t contacted us, and he has no way of getting in contact with us. He could be alive, and doing well, but I don’t think we will find out anytime soon.”
“Sirius?” Harley asked.
“My Godfather,” Harry explained. “He was hit by a spell, and fell into the veil. I followed him, and here I am.”
Harley absorbed that information. If it wasn’t for some freak accident, Harry would have never entered her life. “When you find him… I want to thank him myself.” She squeezed Harry’s hand.
“You’ve found another keeper,” Hermione smiled in the mirror. “Luna told me I’d like her.”
“Which reminds me… Luna?”
Wide, silvery eyes moved into the frame. “Yes, Harry?”
“How does Hermione know that I’m in another dimension?”
“Oh; she asked me about it.”
“And why didn’t you tell her I was in America?”
“I did. She didn’t believe me. Then she threatened to go to States herself and start searching the whole country. Naturally, I admitted that I lied. Then she started making worst-case scenarios. She also suggested time-travel. I Saw that, by the way. Twenty-one years?”
Harry sighed. There was no fooling Hermione – ever. “Yes, Luna. I’m in Nineteen seventy-four. Technically, it doesn’t affect me at all, especially since we’ve already established that this is a completely different world, and not purely time travel. If anything, I’ve got a shot to take out Voldemort here, if he’s here, and if there’s a James and Lily in this world, they get to live a full life together.”
Hermione looked worried. “Just don’t be rash about it. We have to plan this accordingly – if he exists there.”
“At least he’s dead here, now.” Everyone turned to Luna. “Temporarily, at least. I didn’t think you wanted to hear about that.”
“Luna…” Hermione started worriedly, “…what did you See?”
The wispy blonde wrinkled her nose. “A dead body shaped like Voldemort. More specifically, his corpse lying in a bed in a locked chamber. Not a very pleasant sight, but that can’t be helped.”
Hermione furrowed her brows. “When did you See that, Luna?”
“I Saw it earlier today, before we sent Bellatrix through the veil. I informed her of her master’s death, and she seemed fairly confident that I was lying. Then she bragged about the Horcrux in her possession. I correctly assumed it was her vault. The look of defeat on her face was quite hilarious. I didn’t want to tell you guys until the goblins send back confirmation.”
“We found a Horcrux?” Harry seemed ecstatic at the news. “Great, Luna!”
“I take it that the word ‘Horcrux’ means something more than just a hilarious word,” Harleen queried. “Sorry. It’s just… muggle here. Clueless and therefore, useless.”
“Don’t use that word,” Harry frowned. “And you’re very useful. Horcruxes are pieces of soul, born by death. Kill someone with no remorse, and it transfers half your soul into the object of your choosing.”
“With a spell,” Hermione added. “And I never discovered that spell, nor have I ever felt a need to find out. The only way to reverse it is for either the killer to feel true remorse, or to destroy the object the Horcrux is in.”
Luna giggled. “That is a funny name, actually. Haven’t thought much about it.”
Hermione shook her head, a smile gracing her lips. “So far, we’ve found four. We’re not sure how many he made, but we’re assuming six or seven. He was a bit superstitious, and seven is a very powerful number in rituals of all sorts.”
“Okay,” Harley nodded, thoroughly interested. “So how did he die?”
Luna shrugged. “If I could guess, it probably has something to do with the Horcrux inside Harry.”
Pamela and Harleen’s heads twisted sharply at the green-eyed wizard. “What?”
Harry sighed. “Luna, you know we got rid of that Horcrux. It’s gone.”
Luna shook her head. “It’s the only way to explain why Voldemort is dead right now, so conveniently close to you going through the veil. This is the first time we’ve destroyed a Horcrux while he’s technically alive – maybe that’s a regular reaction.”
“The proof is in the scar, Harry,” the brunette whispered, looking at the crimson mark carved into his forehead. “I think it’s been buried all this time. It’s gone now. It’s truly gone.”
The green/redhead removed her glare from the Boy-Who-Lived and focused on the brunette, her expression considerably softer. “So when you told us that you wouldn’t call Harry and Voldemort soul mates…”
The brightest witch of the ages nodded. “Yes. They were soul bonded, but it’s a bit different. Voldemort wasn’t aware of it. It was the instability of the last vestiges of his soul when he tried to kill Harry. An accidental Horcrux. Harry got that scar that night. Voldemort had so many different pieces of him out there, he couldn’t sense them anymore, he’d be almost devoid of any feeling.”
Harry lifted the soaked cloth from his forehead, and gingerly poked at the thin, jagged shape burned into his skin. “I’m not feeling anything from it. Why did it happen now? Why not when I went through the veil?”
“Maybe it did?” Harley suggested. All eyes were on her. “Maybe the horcrux disappeared when you went through the portal. I mean, that veil. The veil of death you called it. It sounds like it’s a device that no one understands, and it has rules that are plainly impossible to comprehend. But maybe it saw that Harry had more than one soul, and took that one instead.”
“That…” Hermione looked perplexed. “I don’t think that’s possible. Is it?”
Luna shrugged. “Maybe; we don’t have any other theories.”
Harry was silent for a moment. “So that would mean that Sirius is dead,” he intoned monotonously. Harley squeezed his hand, and looked towards the girls in the mirror with concern.
Luna vehemently shook her head. “Not necessarily. He could have been sent to another universe like you did. And Voldemort’s soul could have just been sent somewhere else, since his body didn’t travel with him.”
“So…” Harry rubbed at his chin. “Why are you still there, Hermione?”
“I don’t know, Harry. I’d hazard a guess that our souls are more connected than Voldemort’s was to yours, so it was loose bait.”
Harry shrugged. “At this point, I’ll take that answer. It’s better than the alternative.”
“Wait,” Harley said, putting the pieces together. “So you mean that… you’re telling me that you guys are each other’s Horcruxes?”
Harry grinned sheepishly, while Hermione looked away in embarrassment. “Not exactly,” he tried to explain, “but pretty close. It did involve the same… process.”
Pamela sighed. “I’m going to go fix some coffee. I don’t think we’re going to sleep for a while.” She slinked out of the arm of the chair, and walked past them to the kitchen.
Harry, Harleen, Hermione and Luna all watched her walk away, mesmerized at the gentle sway of her hips framed by her leafy skirt. “Sweet Merlin,” Hermione whispered.
“That’s my Ivy,” Harleen whispered with a wistful smile. “Most beautiful girl in the world. Spend a day with her, and you can’t help but fall in love.” She winked at Harry. “Or less.”
Harry chuckled, his arm wrapping around Harley’s shoulders. “I can’t be blamed. Nor can I be blamed for falling for her equallybeautiful girlfriend.”
“I’ve only met you for a few minutes,” Hermione commented, “and I’m rather shocked that Harry met you two by chance. Granted, the make-up seems rather excessive, but I certainly wouldn’t kick you out of bed.”
The girl smiled at the, admittedly, stunningly beautiful brunette. “Thank you for the compliment. I wouldn’t rush to leave the bed. Though, I don’t think Ivy would respond well to it.”
“She’s watching from the chair, with my head between her knees,” Luna said matter-of-factly. “Though I don’t know if I Saw that, or if it was my admittedly active imagination. Though I also see a very pretty pet kitty that I’ve never met.”
“You mean Juliet?” Harley questioned, her eyes bright. “You can really see her?”
“If that’s her name, yes. She’s… flexible.”
“Juliet?” Harry asked, before Harleen could inquire further.
“Mm-hmm,” she answered him, “One of my pets. You’d get along great with her.”
“You mean the one that you’ve trained to, uh, hit me where I’m weak.”
Harley shook her head. “Nah. I’ve never tried to train her to do that. I’ve threatened it, and she plays the threatening role well, and that’s intimidation enough.”
Luna chose not to comment. Considering it was obvious they were talking about an animal, and while the girl in her vision was an excellent animal impersonator, she was most decidedly not a cat.
Though, Luna admitted, from what she had seen, she definitely knew how to attack Harry’s weak spot with vigour.
Harley reached up to hold the hand resting on her shoulder, and pulled it down to rest on the middle of her lycra-covered chest. “Pammy doesn’t know what to think of this. She doesn’t know how she feels. Let her think about it, and she’ll come around.”
“What do you think about it?” he asked her seriously.
She gave a heavy sigh. “I love Red, and I can’t imagine a world without her. I can’t imagine my life without her. We started our partnership on a purely sexual relationship, but we were open to see where it would go from there. I told her I loved her six days after I ran away with her. And I thought it was too soon.” Her eyes focused on his. “I love you, Harry. And she does, too. If you truly meant what you said when we were out there, then I don’t want you to think that you’ve said it too early, because I feel the same. I’ve seen too many relationships break apart because they don’t know how the other feels, and they’re stepping on eggshells.”
Harry let out an uneasy breath, not even sure if he was holding it in or not. “I meant every word. I wasn’t going for a one-night stand with a girl who had just broken up with her girlfriend. I wanted to steal you. I wanted you for myself, from a woman who I thought was taking you for granted. When I found out why she reacted the way she did, I felt… pretty bloody terrible. So I wanted to make it up to her.” Harry grinned. “And you were right. It takes less than a day. I’m surprised it took you a week.”
“It didn’t,” she smiled fondly. “I was in love the moment I made the decision to run away with her. I decided then that I would do whatever I could to win her over.”
“Did she think it was too soon?” Harry wondered.
Her eyes shined at the happy memory. “I’ll never forget her words. ‘About damn time,’ she told me. ‘I was beginning to think you were straight.’”
Harry laughed. “Like that would stop any woman.”
She rested her head on his chest, mindful of her pigtail, her hands clasped with his. “So we’ll enjoy this; cherish it. So when you go back to Hermione, and Luna, and your family, there are no regrets.”
Hermione spoke up from the mirror. “Harry?”
“I have faith in you, Hermione. You know what they say about soul mates. Even if you wanted to get rid of me, you couldn’t. If you can’t get to me, I’ll get back to you,” he whispered solemnly. “To all of you. Even if I have to try apparating there myself.”
He said it with such conviction; he almost convinced himself that it was a fact. Hermione and Luna smiled at his words, and Harry gave a slight grin. “You’re right, Harry,” Luna murmured. “We’ll find a way. If what I Saw was a real vision, then we had to have found some way.”
“We’re not going anywhere, Harry,” Hermione smiled at her boyfriend, “And we’ll find a way. Bonded or not, you’re not getting rid of me, Harry James Potter.”
Harleen watched Hermione’s eyes – the look of a strong, fierce woman who would do anything to get hers. “All I ask,” the natural blonde whispered, feeling the eyes move to her, “is that when your vacation is over, that you remembered the two pretty girls that kept your stay here bearable.”
The two girls felt shame at the implications of their words; making sure that Harry got to their world, away from Gotham, away from the sweet girl that seemed to attach herself to the boy they love.
“We made a statement tonight, in Gotham, Harley,” Harry spoke clearly, his hand squeezing hers. “What was it?”
“That you’re here,” Harley said with uncertainty, almost as a question.
“I made three promises in that statement. I am here, yes, and together, we can make whatever change you want in Gotham to happen. The outline of that can be hammered out whenever we see fit; we have the time. My second promise was that I’m here to stay. When Hermione and Luna figure out how the hell I got here, it wouldn’t take much more to figure out how to travel in-between. My third promise was to you and Ivy.” He held her tighter to himself, and she cherished his embrace. “I’m here to stay for a reason. When I said I loved you two. That wasn’t a statement. That was a promise; a hopeful promise. That this relationship might grow.”
Harley’s white teeth glimmered in her smile as she wiped her wet eyes. “I hope it grows, too,” she whispered.
The four sat in companionable silence, Harley and Harry getting comfort from each other, Hermione and Luna contemplating the character that is Harleen Frances Quinzel, and how in such a short time, she had fallen completely and utterly in love with Harry James Potter. And how she didn’t even know it yet.
“You know what this means, right?” the green/redhead asked him as she tangled their fingers together below her chin.
“If you break our hearts, we’ll kill you.”
“If I break your hearts, it’d be because I’m already dead.”
Harley quirked an eyebrow, her lips curled. “You used that line before, didn’t you?”
“Only once; with Hermione’s father. After he showed me his gun collection.”
“He did that?” Hermione asked, mortified. “I’m going to… wait. He has a gun collection?”
Harry shook his head. “He did. For a week. Borrowed them from a friend, just so he could use it on me. It all fell apart when I was expressing interest in the types of guns, and I ended up knowing more than he did. It was kind of a bonding moment when I started teaching him about it.”
“And he wasn’t worried about how his dear daughter was with a boy who had an affinity for guns?”
“Antiques, mostly,” Harry defended himself, “And no. Man’s got to protect his own, y’know.”
Hermione scoffed. “We’ve saved each other’s arses so many times over the years, Potter. I’m hardly a damsel.”
“His words, not mine. Wasn’t going to point out that by then, we’ve been saving each other and the girls to a point where it’s almost become a business.”
“Potter’s Protection, Incorporated?” Harley quipped, and the two laughed.
“I like it,” Luna commented from the side. “We’d have to get that copyrighted.”
Hermione blushed. “It sounds more like a company that sells condoms, to be honest!”
Pamela sauntered into a room with a large pot of coffee and tea, and found everyone in a considerably better mood. “Did I miss something?” She questioned the room with amusement on her features.
Harry shook his head. “No, not really. We’re just about to get started, actually.” He threw the mirror out in front of him, and Harley and Ivy watched in fascination as it glimmered and shimmered brightly, before landing straight on its edge, as wide and tall as the maroon sofa he and Harley were sitting on. For a glimmer, Hermione and Luna’s faces were the size of Pamela’s entire body, before Hermione made a sudden movement with her mirror. In a flash, the three saw the entire view of Hermione and Luna sitting together on the loveseat in what Harry knew was the Gryffindor Common Room.
“Luna? What time is it?”
Luna checked her watch. “It’s three-fifteen.”
“It’s about midnight here,” Harleen informed them.
“Good. More than four hours until classes ends. Plenty of time. Where should we begin?”
“The costumes would be a nice conversation starter.”
“Luna!” Hermione looked scandalized. “Don’t insult someone’s customs! We don’t know how their world works!”
“It’s not their custom,” she explained smoothly. They’re national criminals, and that’s their disguises.”
“I…” now Hermione looked mortified. She blushed heavily. “I-I’m sorry, I just assumed…”
“You’ve never met anyone from our world,” Pamela waved her off. “You’d have no idea what we are. When Harry saw that we were criminals, and Harley mentioned that she went to school, he assumed that she went to a school for criminals.”
“Not my brightest moment,” Harry muttered, scratching the back of his head with his free hand, and the girls giggled. Ivy took the time to lay out the mugs of coffee the vine followed her with and set the coffee next to them on the arm of the sofa.
“Well, it explains their outfits,” Hermione spoke, “but what about you, Harry?”
Harry looked down at his slashed-through crimson shirt and black cotton jeans. “Something I thought up while we were out. It’s not permanent, but it’ll give me a unique look for a while.”
“And you’re okay with the idea of him being a criminal?”
“In our world, Harry’s a hero. And so far, he doesn’t get a lick of respect from the public, or the Ministry. If Voldemort truly is dead, then nothing can stand in our way of our takeover of Britain. We’re criminals in our own right – in sheep’s wool.”
Luna smiled at Hermione’s words. “It’s quite a stark contrast to wearing a costume and making declarations of war with a city.”
“I like the costumes,” Harley pouted. “They’re flashy, and people view you with fear. Jesters will be more feared by children than mimes, or even clowns.” Her free hand rubbed up and down his long sleeve. “And I like this look, even though I didn’t get to design it. It’s got just the right amount of spandex.”
Ivy boldly stepped forward and pressed her hand to the material, her fingers skimming against his side, and Harry tensed lightly. “Smooth,” she whispered, and winked.
“Somebody’s done a little soul-searching in the kitchen,” Harleen grinned.
Ivy shrugged, before patting his firm abdomen. “I started thinking about it as I practically felt everyone’s eyes on my ass. Then I thought about how Harley and I confessed to each other. Never waste a moment, right?”
Harleen’s smile met Ivy’s. “Not a single second, baby.”
Ivy squeezed into Harry’s other side on the couch, mindful of the tray of coffee- and teapots and mugs on her other side. “So, I guess I’m part of your group. I’d say that it was more for Harleen’s benefit, but to quote her when she decided to run off with me – ‘Call me curious.’”
“We’d hope so,” Hermione started, before conjuring a glass. “Aguamenti,” she muttered, and the glass filled on its own. “We’ve got a bit to talk about. Normally, we’re not supposed to tell you anything about us, but it’s safe to say that you’re outside the Ministry’s reach. So, where should we begin?”
“How about from the beginning?” Ivy suggested, before pouring herself a cup of tea and leaning against Harry’s side. “With details?”
Harry settled into his seat between the two beautiful girls, and they both snuggled closer. Hermione and Luna did the same, the blonde’s head resting against the brunette’s shoulder while they wrapped their arms around each other.
And then the epic tale regarding the life of Harry James Potter began.