"Mr… Potter, is it?"
Harry looked up at the man who had just walked into his interrogation room, if that's what this even was, because they were very different in the wizarding world, but looked a bit like the ones on the TV shows.
"I already told those other guys everything," he replied through gritted teeth.
Policemen here were blockheads, or Harry had just been unfortunate enough to be questioned by Crabbe and Goyle's reincarnations for an hour. Did they seriously have nothing better to do?
"I'm not with the NYPD,"the stranger answered.
"What the bloody hell are you doing here then?"
The other man smirked, although Harry couldn't really read his expression because of those red-tinted glasses he wore.
"My name is Matt Murdock. I'm a lawyer. I have an office right around the corner."
"I didn't ask for a lawyer."
"But you'll need one."
"I didn't do anything wrong," Harry replied sullenly, feeling like a twelve year old again.
"Depends which lens you're, ah, looking through, if you'll excuse the pun."
Harry frowned in confusion for a few seconds before he finally realized the man sitting in front of him wearing tinted glasses indoors was blind. Harry was glad for it only because it meant he couldn't see his dumbfounded expression right now at not having realized it sooner. Maybe Snape had been right all along and he was a dunderhead.
"Right," Harry said, trying to sound casual.
"Three men in the hospital. That's quite… impressive."
Harry shrugged, recalled his lawyer couldn't see, and replied instead.
"Not really. They moved as fast as trolls, and shared about as much intelligence between them."
Murdock hummed in thought while Harry winced. The troll comment had slipped past his lips before he could bite back on it. Thankfully, they existed in muggle stories too, but he'd better watch himself before he broke the Statute of Secrecy.
"I just wanted to go out for a drink," Harry muttered. "I only had the one before those louts began harassing this lady, and I stepped in. What else was I supposed to do? Let them have their way with her? Because they would have. They weren't exactly being subtle about their intentions. So yeah, I might have been a bit heavy-handed, but I didn't know they were made of glass."
"They're pressing charges against you."
"They're the bullies! That lady should be pressing charges against them."
"Unfortunately, no one can find said witness."
"Of course not." Because why couldn't his life be simple just once in a while. "Okay, I'm listening."
His lawyer smiled and not in a good way. A shudder ran down his back and Harry got the ominous feeling he had just sold his soul to the devil. Then, instead of asking him questions or preparing a defense or whatever - Harry wasn't sure as he had never had a lawyer before - the man just up and left.
Half an hour later, Harry was a free man as he walked out of the police precinct, more confused than when he'd been brought in.
"Now, let's talk about payment."
Harry shivered at the gravelly voice, but it was only his lawyer, looking all tame and innocent with his white cane and lopsided smile. Harry didn't buy it for a second. There was something not quite right with this man. Nothing obvious, so it was more of a gut feeling he had, and Harry had learned to trust his instinct in the past.
"Alright. Send me a bill and I'll pay you cash, okay?"
Murdock shook his head.
"I had another kind of payment in mind."
Harry's jaw dropped. Was his lawyer honestly trying to barter sexual favours out of him? Wasn't that… illegal?
"We should discuss it over coffee," Murdock said and Harry grimaced. "Some place private."
"Listen. I'm very grateful for your help, and you're quite good-looking, but-"
"You don't want to finish that sentence," he said.
"Oh." Harry blushed beet red at the misunderstanding, thankful once more the other man couldn't see his embarrassment. "I thought… But if it's not money or sex, what the bloody hell do you want from me?"
"Not here," Murdock reiterated and walked off, his cane tap-tapping on the sidewalk, fully expecting him to follow.
Harry hesitated. He always got himself into the worst possible situations and he wasn't sure yet if this was one of them. He could always run away if the payment in question turned out to be too weird for him. It's not like a blind guy in a suit could stop him.
Just as his lawyer had said earlier, his office was right around the corner, but it was nothing grand like he imagined all lawyer firms to be. In fact, it was rather cramped and dingy. Clean enough, he supposed, as he accepted the chair across the desk.
"So…" Harry said awkwardly, wanting to get this over with.
"You're… different," Murdock started, making Harry's hair stand on end. "Your kind, whatever you are, I don't really care. You stay out of the way of humans most of the time and disappear through cracks in reality. Problem is, one of you is causing trouble in Hell's Kitchen and a, uh, friend of mine has a vested interest in stopping him."
Damn. Somehow, Harry had done it and broken the Statute of Secrecy. He looked around, expecting a ministry owl, a howler, or a team of obliviators to pop up, but after a couple of minutes of absolutely nothing happening, Murdock cleared his throat, bringing him back to the present.
"I will neither confirm nor deny what you think you know," Harry said slowly, still expecting to be at the wrong end of a wand any second now. How did they know when the Statute of Secrecy was broken anyway? How the hell had he lived this far without knowing something so important? He wished he could ask Hermione right now. She would know, in excruciating detail, but he would take one of her lectures at this very moment over such a blatant display of ignorance.
"Will you help?" Murdock pressed.
"Who is this friend and what has this… uh, person-like-me done that is so terrible he must be stopped?"
Murdock nodded as if approving his questions, not that he answered the first.
"My friend will pick you up tonight."
"How will he find me?"
"He will," Murdoch assured and jeez, the Dumbledore crypticness was strong in this one. "The person he wants to stop has been selling some new drug around the neighbourhood. It makes them hyper aware and hyper active for a few hours. Unfortunately, it has also been killing the users, either because they are over-confident of their capacities, or because of heart failure."
Harry's mood darkened further at the news and he agreed to help immediately. It sounded like some idiot wizard was selling pepper-up potion to muggles. Whether he realized it was dangerous for them or not, they would have to decide when they found the culprit.
Harry bid the lawyer farewell, a bit surprised he didn't hesitate shaking his hand despite thinking he wasn't even human. All in all, it wasn't such a bad trade off and it certainly explained why their firm looked like it didn't have a cent to spare if they never took real money as payment.
Harry booked a random hotel for the night. Murdock had told him his friend would find him wherever he was, so Harry had to trust he would, despite no one knowing where he was and him booking the room under a false name. It never ended well when he used his real name. Harry had found more fangirls and assassins under his bed that he cared to admit.
He had just turned on the telly to watch the news, hoping to hear about those Avengers and their shenanigans, when a knock sounded at his window. Thinking it was an owl, Harry was not prepared for the red, horned face staring back at him and he jumped back. The stranger's mouth twisted up in a smile. That part of his face was human at least, but it was also very familiar.
Opening the window, Harry stepped back and stared at the flamboyant red leather-clad figure entering his bland hotel room. His body's proportions, even the way he moved his head, his hands, and those lips, both pouty and mocking… There was no doubt about it, this man was his lawyer, Matt Murdock.
"You could have just said it was you," Harry huffed.
The man dressed as the devil cocked his head slightly to the left, and yeah, that was definitely him.
"What do you mean?"
Harry frowned at him.
"That it was you coming dressed up like… that. You said it was a friend. Why?"
"How- Is that one of your powers?" he asked in a tone so low, Harry strained to understand him.
"No? I mean, it's obvious it's you." Murdock stilled. "Isn't it?"
"No. No one has ever suspected before."
"But anyone can see your lips, and they're very-" Harry had been about to say kissable and stumbled on the word to finish with an awkward "unique" that the devil didn't seem to buy into.
"Plus, I just saw you, so…"
"My best friend never guessed," Murdock deadpanned.
"He must not be very observant then," Harry replied.
The devil hummed and Harry quickly changed the subject before it got any more awkward.
"So this drug-dealer, where did you last see him?"
"A dead end that veers off tenth Street for no apparent reason. It doesn't lead anywhere. No doors, just a few trash can."
Yep, that sounded like a wizarding gate to the muggle world alright, so he asked his not so blind lawyer to guide him there and boy did he move fast, pulling dangerous stunts to jumps over rooftops. Harry was having trouble following him and was panting heavily by the time he landed on the third. He doubted he could make it over a fourth. That last jump had been a narrow miss as it was.
"Hey! Hey, wait up!" Harry bellowed at the other man's back before he disappeared out of view. Harry bent double, trying to catch his breath when Murdock doubled back.
"Can't believe you accused me of not being human," Harry muttered. "You're not even out of breath!" he accused when he got a good look at him.
"I've had special training. I didn't think your kind was so weak. Is it because you're not in your natural environment?"
"You know, like a fish out of water."
"I have no earthly idea what you're on about."
"Aren't you…" Murdock seemed to hesitate.
"What?" Harry snapped.
Murdock leaned closer to whisper in his ear.
Harry froze in shock for a few seconds before he burst out laughing. Murdock was the one who looked annoyed now, his arms crossed over his chest and his lips poutier than ever before.
"No!" Harry said, wiping tears of mirth with the back of sleeve. "Whatever gave you that idea? Wait… Is that why you're dressed like that?"
"No! I'm Daredevil!" Harry shrugged, having never heard the name before. "The vigilante of Hell's Kitchen?"
"Oh, like those Avengers guys?" Harry asked.
He quite liked them. Flashy superheroes doing good in the world was a nice change. However, Daredevil seemed annoyed by the comparison and only grumbled an unintelligible response.
"Wait a minute," Harry said with dawning realization. "If you're the vigilante of Hell's Kitchen, why didn't you save that lady?"
"You conned me, didn't you?" Harry accused. "I bet that ginger lady was your accomplice. She was way too pretty to be out on her own in that shady pub. Damnit. I am an idiot. What about those louts? If I hurt some innocent people because of you, I swear by Merlin…"
"No, those were authentic," Murdock reassured him.
"Probably the only authentic thing about you," Harry muttered.
"What about this guy you're after? Was that true?"
The devil swore it was and Harry decided he sounded earnest enough.
"You're a greater good kind of guy, aren't you? Better lie to the idiot to get what you want out of him."
"In my defense, I thought you were a demon. I didn't think it was much of a sin to lie to a demon."
"Why a demon? I'm not the one walking around with horns on my head."
"You, and others like you, there's a fire inside you that burns brighter than normal humans, mutants or enhanced humans, so I thought…"
"Demons," Harry huffed, realizing he could see magic in his kind but had misinterpreted what it meant. "Oh, alright, but don't lie to me again."
The horns bobbed up and down as the devil nodded.
After that, the entrance to the wizarding district was easily found and breached, but Harry found it more prudent to disillusion the devil at his side. He was a muggle after all, and Harry didn't need to broadcast how he was breaking the law. To his credit, Murdock remained quiet and only guided him by nudging him subtly through the streets until he found his target.
"That's him," he whispered in his ear.
The poor wizard looked nothing like a criminal. Too young, too shabby and too twitchy to last long in that line of business. Harry walked up to him and he guessed only the shock of seeing the face of the Boy-Who-Lived-Again stopped him from fleeing at first. Harry took the man's wand and Murdock held on to him while he cast privacy wards in the alley they had dragged him into.
"There. Now we can have a private chat just the three of us."
"You're Harry Potter!" the young wizard accused. "Why are you doing this?"
"I'll be the one asking questions, mate. Why are you selling pepper-up potions to the muggles?"
The wizard clenched his jaw, his lips drawing close in one thin line.
"You'd better talk. You know how I deal with dark wizards."
"I'm not!" he started sobbing. "I'm not a dark wizard! I'm just selling a little potions to the other side. They cost nothing here but they sell like hot buns over there. I'm not hurting no one! I just need money."
Harry sighed. He sounded truthful enough. He wasn't a bad sort, just a moron.
"Magical potions are harmful to muggles. Surely you've studied that at school?"
"I got expelled," the young man muttered. "Couldn't pay my tuition no more. I didn't mean to… Did someone get hurt?"
Harry looked towards Murdock' s disillusioned silhouette. It was his call how he wanted to handle this.
"Several," Murdock growled while not revealing some had died. Harry nodded. Their side would handle him then. "I'll take him to the aurors. He'll be arrested and sent to prison. It's a serious crime to hurt non magical people, even if it is out of sheer ignorance."
"Fine," Murdock growled. "I'll find my own way out."
"We're even, then?" Harry asked.
Harry didn't get an answer so he supposed Murdock had already left using his super stealth and speed. Turning around he tugged the young wizard behind him to the MACUSA.
"Ask for a lawyer before you tell them anything," Harry advised. "He might get you a reduced sentence for being an imbecile. Maybe you can shift some of that blame on the school for kicking you out for being poor."
Harry sighed as he handed him over to the authorities. This little adventure hadn't felt heroic at all and he was bummed out by the time he made it back to his hotel room, but at least he'd paid his debt, even if he had been conned into it.
The next morning, a knock at his door woke him up. He rolled out of bed, where he took cover, aiming his wand at the entrance. Not expecting anyone, he doubted it was a friendly visit. Hermione and Ron knew to send their patronus first.
"Come in!" he shouted after unlocking the door by magic from his hiding place.
The door opened, revealing Murdock in his "normal" suit. Now that he had seen him in both, he had to admit he preferred the other one as it hugged him in all the right places. The lawyer suit was alright, but a bit too bland for someone so exceptional.
"Morning," Murdock said as he stepped in with two styrofoam cups in one hand and his cane in the other.
Harry stood and threw on a shirt.
"You can drop the blind guy act, you know," Harry muttered, annoyed that he had had the wool pulled over his eyes not once, but twice by the same person.
Murdock handed him one of the steaming cups of coffee, then pulled that oh-shucks smile at him.
"I wish I could."
"Stop lying to me. I saw you," Harry said sharply, but stopped mid-rant when Murdock took off his red-tinted glasses to reveal his eyes, unfocused despite looking in his general direction.
If he was faking it, the guy deserved an Oscar. Harry waved a hand in front of his face, which made the other man chuckle humourlessly.
"You know, we can feel the air shift when people do that."
"Erm, right. Sorry. So you're really…"
"So how do you…"
"I see, but not with my eyes if that makes any sense."
"Not really," Harry said before badgering him with questions until he did. He found it fascinating. Matt, as he insisted he call him, was not at all like he expected from their previous encounters. He was actually a nice guy, smart, funny, and Merlin, those lips of his were mesmerising. Harry wasn't sure if Matt knew he was staring at them or not since he saw without seeing, but he couldn't help himself.
"You heart keeps skipping beats," Matt said suddenly. "Are you unwell?"
"No. I'm fine," Harry said quickly, feeling his face blush furiously.
"And your body heat is rising at an alarming speed."
Harry covered his face and tried to will his unruly body back under his control. Matt was teasing him, the bloody wanker. He knew exactly why he was reacting this way.
"I'm fine," he repeated, now wishing he was wearing more clothes than just his shirt and boxers. "Why are you here by the way? I thought I'd paid off my debt?"
Matt paused for a bit at the abrupt change of subject but answered nonetheless.
"I owe you an apology." He cleared his throat. "I'm sorry I thought you were a demon, got you arrested and conned you into working for me."
Harry let Matt stew for a full minute.
"Well, you got me coffee this morning so I guess you're forgiven."
"Yep. I don't like holding grudges. It's exhausting."
"Foggy thought you'd at least punch me in the face for what I put you through."
"Is that why you took off your glasses?" Harry asked in amusement. He had no doubt whatsoever that if he put the sorting hat on Matt's head, it would bellow "SLYTHERIN!" faster than it had for Malfoy.
"No. It's why I didn't put them back on."
Harry laughed so much at his admission, he didn't notice at first when Matt's fingers traced the scars on the back of his hand.
"Why are the words I must not tell lies carved on the back of you hand?"
"I'm not in a hurry."
"Don't you have a job?"
"Foggy said that if by some miracle you didn't punch me in the face, I should ask you out, so I took a day off."
"Because you thought I would be that hard to convince?"
"I didn't give the best first impression."
"No, you really didn't." Harry agreed, then caught Matt's wandering fingers and entwined them with his. "But everyone deserves a second chance."