The bank robbery is an accident.
Watching it on the news later that night, Harry can see why the general populace might not see it that way.
“I can’t believe you sometimes,” Ron tells him, shoving popcorn into his mouth as he watches the news correspondent interview one of the witnesses.
“I mean.” Ron still isn’t done. “Robbing a bank on accident? How does that even happen?”
“It was pretty easy, actually.”
“For you, maybe.” Ron throws a handful of popcorn his way, laughing when Harry freezes it in place before tossing it back. “Face it, mate, you’re special.”
When Harry flops over to bury his head in his friend’s lap, Ron snorts but obligingly pats at his hair.
“When I told Hermione, she laughed until I hung up. She’ll never let me live this down.”
“Yeah, probably not,” Ron says, “Honestly, though, don’t worry about it too much. It’ll all blow over soon.”
It does not blow over soon.
Harry’s been standing outside the station, surrounded by an anxious crowd and an even more anxious police force, for fifteen minutes. Ideally, he’d just drop the package and vanish, but he has it on good authority that the box is full of priceless yet fragile (and potentially deadly) artifacts, and he’d hate for them to break.
Plus, he doesn’t want to add to any of the bad press from the whole bank robbery thing, and he's been told his vanishing act can be a little creepy.
So, he’s stuck until he can hand them off. Naturally, however, no one is willing to get too close in fear that he might blast them with his laser hands. Which is stupid, actually, because he doesn’t even have laser hands.
Finally, a hero arrives on scene.
“It’s about time,” Harry tells him.
The hero seems at a loss for words. From what Harry can see of his face, he’s classically handsome with a figure to match, broad shouldered and at least a couple inches taller than Harry’s own respectable height. He’s even more striking in real life than on the news, where he’s often featured as one of the city’s favorite and most famous heroes.
Once Harry’s satisfied with his observations, he strides forward, pressing the box he’s holding to the man’s chest.
“Here, take these. I found them in the Rat’s lair and I’m at least seventy-five percent sure he stole them from the museum on Seventh Ave.”
Harry pushes the box more insistently, and the hero finally takes it from him.
“That’s why you’re here, right?” Harry asks, “To take these back?”
“Actually, I’m here because I heard there was a super-villain outside the police station who needed to be caught,” the hero says carefully. Harry purses his lips in annoyance.
A super-villain? Him?
He looks down and sighs when he sees that yes, he does in fact look like a super-villain. How awful. He chose his black cloak for practicality, but considering most of the rogues in the city love to drape themselves in black leather, he can understand the confusion.
“You are the one who robbed the bank, yes?”
“Yeah, that was me.”
“Among other things.”
When the hero does nothing but continue to stare, Harry clears his throat and rocks back onto his heels.
“So, are we done?”
“No, actually. I’m supposed to capture you.”
“Oh. Right.” Harry waits, but the hero doesn’t move. “Let’s not do that.”
Harry looks at the crowd surrounding them and sighs. Clearly, the hero won’t just let him go. So, looks like he’s vanishing after all.
As he fades, he hears screams from the crowd, and he swears he sees the hero’s dark eyes turn hungry.
A few weeks pass without incident, and Harry grows complacent. He really should have known better.
“I have good news and bad news,” Harry says as he lets himself into Hermione’s flat.
“Let’s hear it then,” Hermione says. She leans on the wall beside the door and crosses her arms, giving him her best disapproving look. The twitching at the corners of her lips giver her away, though.
“Bad news first!” Ron adds as he leans over the back of the couch.
“I may or may not be on tonight’s news for tossing a man through a window.”
“Oh my god, Harry, why?”
“What’s the good news?” Ron asks, ignoring Hermione’s exasperated glare.
“The takeout was free.”
“A man tried to rob the place, and I may have overreacted. On the bright side, they wouldn’t let me pay, and I’m pretty sure they added extra spring rolls.”
With a roll of her eyes, Hermione takes the bag from him and plops down beside Ron on the couch. Harry smiles and follows her.
The world outside might be going crazy, but at least here he can relax.
Later that night, the incident is shown as predicted, and Harry is frustrated to note that they frame him as a power-mad freak, focusing more on the property damage than the prevented robbery. Which is fair, he supposes, as he did do quite a bit of damage.
Also as he predicted, Hermione and Ron take great joy in laughing at him, showing no pity whatsoever.
Harry yelps and almost throws himself off the roof, only to be caught by a vice like grip on his arm. He looks up to see the hero again, the one from outside the police station.
“Hi,” he says. He tugs at his arm, but the hero doesn’t let go. “What’s up?”
The hero tilts his head, and it’s an oddly bird-like motion for a man who could probably lift Harry over his head and dropkick him into the atmosphere.
“I’ve been following you.” The hero steps closer, and Harry has nowhere to retreat to.
“That’s nice.” Instead of trying to back away, he moves further into the hero’s space. “If you don’t let go of me, I’ll turn your boots into snakes.”
The hero hums in response, but after a tense moment, he takes a step back and releases his hold on Harry’s arm.
“You should call me Tom,” he says.
“You should leave me alone.”
“Oh please, you know I can’t do that.”
“Why not?” Harry demands.
“I’m a hero, aren’t I? Hunting down villains is in the job description.”
“Maybe I’m not a villain.” Tom gives him a disbelieving look, so Harry crosses his arms. “Are you sure you’re a hero?”
“That’s what everyone tells me.”
“Well, for a hero, you’re very creepy. It’s-” Harry cuts himself off, wondering why he hasn’t left yet.
“It’s what?” Tom asks with a teasing smile. Oh, right. That’s why.
“It’s weird. I always thought you’d be charming, you know? With the fancy cape and the posing.” Harry mimics one of the more famous stances, puffing out his chest and placing his hands on his hips. He doesn’t quite get the roguish smile down, but by the sudden annoyance on Tom’s part, he thinks he’s made his point.
“I can be charming,” Tom says. If he didn’t know better, Harry might think he’s pouting.
Good thing he knows better.
Eventually, he gets used to Tom creeping up on him at the oddest of moments, costume or no costume.
The latest time, he’s in the middle of holding up the rubble from a bridge that nearly crushed almost fifteen people. He’s not entirely sure what caused the bridge to collapse in the first place, but he wasn’t about to leave without helping. Even if no one will thank him for it.
“What kind of super-villain saves people?” Tom asks, derision clear in his voice.
Harry doesn’t bother trying to hide his flinch. He's getting better at detecting the other man when he's nearby, but sometimes he still manages to surprise him. Tom just smiles winningly.
“Shut up,” Harry tells him, lifting the rubble higher and dragging it off to the side to set it down.
“It’s a valid question.”
“Well, as I’ve told you literally every time you’ve mentioned it, I’m not a super-villain, so there.”
“You punched a cop in the face and told the Minister to go fuck himself.”
“So? He deserved it.”
“You vandalized a drill factory and stopped traffic on the only incoming motorway for thirty minutes.”
“Yeah, okay. That’s fair.”
In Harry’s defense, a family of ducks had been crossing the road at the time, and he wasn’t just going to sit there and let them be run over. It’s not his fault they waddled slowly.
As for the drill factory… Well, Harry’s always held a grudge against Grunnings.
“Also, I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that you did rob a bank that one time. If your other deeds don’t qualify you for villainhood, that one certainly does.”
“You sure know a lot about me,” Harry says.
“Again, it’s in the job description.”
“If you say so.”
Rather than stay to watch the people he’s saved work out just who did the saving, as he’d rather not put up with screams of terror today, Harry wanders off. Tom, as always, follows.
“What’s your deal, anyway?” Harry asks once he’s grown tired of silence.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you're the most popular hero in the city-”
“Country, actually, but go on.”
“But you have to admit, you don’t really act like one. Around me, at least.”
“Maybe you’re just special.”
Harry rolls his eyes.
“Anyway, my point is, heroes don’t usually berate someone for saving lives. Also, there's been a noticeable lack of arresting going on here. Aren’t you supposed to bring me to justice? Lock me up and make an inspiring speech about how the good side will always win the day?”
“I do have some cuffs on me,” Tom says, “But I’d rather use them in private, if that’s alright with you. I’m not really a fan of public indecency.”
Harry turns on his heel and glares at the other man, unable to keep himself from blushing and furious about it.
“What’s wrong with you?” he demands.
“Many things,” Tom tells him, still smiling, “Would you like a list?”
A few days later, Harry’s ambushed by someone other than Tom, and he’s so caught off guard that he almost forgets to defend himself.
Luckily, before any harm can come to him, a figure in emerald green drops from above.
With a sigh, he sits atop one of the overturned crates nearby and watches Tom work. He’s a little concerned about how Tom knew he was in trouble so quickly. Knowing what he does about the man, he wouldn’t be too surprised to learn he’s been following him.
The only way to discourage this behavior would be to ignore the other man, but Harry has a feeling that’d be nigh impossible.
A scream draws his attention back to the scene before him.
“You know, you’re pretty morally ambiguous for a hero,” Harry says as he watches Tom set one of the would-be robbers on fire. He’d protest or maybe put the fire out himself, but the man was about to stab him, so he thinks he’s got the higher ground here.
Tom takes a step back to observe his handiwork, looking far too smug for Harry’s peace of mind.
“Oddly enough, you’re not the first person to say that to me.”
“You could try being a touch more grateful, you know. After all, I did just save your life.”
“Whatever would I do without you?” Harry asks dryly. He can’t say he minds seeing Tom so playful, but the setting makes it difficult to enjoy.
Tom saunters toward him, and as ridiculous as he should look with his flowing cape, Harry’s forced to admit that it’s actually somewhat attractive, although he wouldn’t be caught dead saying it aloud. He offers his hand, and Harry takes it, letting Tom pull him to his feet.
“Tell me,” Tom says as he gazes into Harry’s eyes, leaving him more than a little breathless, “Does the dashing hero get a reward for saving you?”
“Well that depends,” Harry says. “What do you want?”
“Hmm, a kiss perhaps?”
Harry presses his fingers to Tom’s lips, biting back a smile.
“I don’t know,” he says. “Why don’t you take me on a date first, and then we’ll see.”
“Ron, I need your help.”
“Does it have anything to do with your hero?”
“What? He’s not my hero.”
“Whose else would he be?”
“I don’t know! Anyway, that’s not the point. That point is, I did something that might be tremendously stupid today, and I need you to tell me what to do.”
“Hermione might be better for this.”
“Hermione would tell me to call the police.”
“...Right. Hit me.”
“I’m pretty sure Tom is a little bit evil.”
“What makes you so sure?”
“Well, I watched him set a man on fire today-”
“Anyway, he’s never been that concerned with capturing me, not even when he thought I was evil. Plus, he has some really weird friends, he cackled at an old woman who almost got run over crossing the street, and sometimes his eyes turn red when he thinks I’m not looking.”
“Oh my god.”
“Also I agreed to go on a date with him.”
“I’m hanging up now.”
-four months later-
“You really are the worst villain I’ve ever met,” Tom says once Harry’s finished telling him the story behind the infamous bank robbery.
Normally, Harry might feel insulted, but he’s too busy enjoying the feeling of Tom’s hand petting his hair and the sound of Tom’s heartbeat in his ear.
“I think I’m doing alright,” Harry says, absently tracing patterns against Tom’s skin.
“You haven’t stolen anything in months and last week, four different blogs had pictures of you giving a child a piggyback on their front page.”
“I’ve stolen some things,” Harry protests.
“Nothing of value, I bet. Face it, Harry. You’re terrible at being evil.”
“It’s valuable to me.” His pout is audible.
“Alright then, go on.” Tom heaves a long suffering sigh. “What have you stolen that’s so important?”
Harry pushes himself up so he can look Tom in the eye. With a teasing grin, he leans forward to press a kiss to the tip of Tom’s nose, laughing at the disgusted face he makes in response. He composes himself and waits until Tom is watching him again before he speaks.
“I stole your heart,” he whispers.
A startled blush spreads across the other man’s face, and Harry finds he can’t possibly hide his smile any longer. Tom groans and presses his hand to Harry’s face, pushing him away.
“That’s it,” Tom says as he shoves Harry off the bed, “I’m breaking up with you.”
“Nooo,” Harry protests through his laughter. He rolls over to face the ceiling and stretches his limbs to starfish across the floor. “You can’t! I’ve stolen your heart, Tom, you can’t get it back that easy!”
Without warning, Tom’s not insignificant weight drops on top of him, forcing the air from his lungs.
“What if I asked nicely?” he asks.
“Nope. I’m a villain, remember? Nice doesn’t work on me.”
“I guess you can keep it, then.” Tom grabs Harry’s wrists and pushes them above his head. “But only if I get something in return.”
“That doesn’t seem very hero-like,” Harry says with a gasp as Tom begins to press open mouthed kisses to his neck.
“It’s only fair, Harry.”
“Alright, then. Name your terms.”
“Hmm, let’s see. I let you keep my heart, and in return…” Tom bites down, and Harry all but melts into the floor. “In return, I get to keep yours.”
Harry smiles helplessly, a feeling of fluttering warmth spread all through his body. He wraps his legs around Tom’s waist and pulls him closer, sighing happily when he feels Tom's grin press against his skin.
“You’ve got a deal.”