"I made a promise on the grave of my parents that I would rid this city of the evil that took their lives. By day, I am Bruce Wayne, billionaire philanthropist. At night, criminals, a cowardly and superstitious lot, call me... Batman." - Hush
At the age of eight, while leaving the theater with his parent Thomas and Martha Wayne, Bruce witnessed his parents' murder at the hand of a lowly mugger, just a product of society’s crumbling and corrupt foundations. He made a promise on his parents’ grave that, one day, he would ride his city and the world of such evil. Bruce disappeared for some years after the death of his parents, only the family butler, Alfred Pennyworth, really ever knowing where the young Master Wayne had gone off to and what he was doing. And that... is a story.
Bruce was nine years old when he left to travel the world. As far as the public was privy to, he had left his estate in the hands of Alfred and went to stay with distant relatives residing in China. In reality, Bruce was trotting the globe and studying among the most brilliant, albeit most obscure, minds on earth. From martial arts to defensive magic, criminal law to magical lore - Bruce sought as many forms of knowledge as he could to build himself into something different, something more. He dedicated every fibre of his being and every second of his day to a cause which was greater than himself and, in time, he returned home.
He was seventeen when he returned home and very much a different man from the boy who left eight years past. Upon Alfred’s wise insistence, Bruce began to plant roots in the contemporary world early that summer, starting with a “proper” education. With a whole host of forged transcripts and letters of recommendation, young Master Wayne approached the former headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with a request for transfer into seventh year. Though he suspected, somehow, that the old man was aware the documents were falsified, his request had been accepted. It had taken some time to settle into the character role of “Bruce Wayne”, but, in the sanctuary of Hogwarts, his transition back into society was guaranteed to be smooth. His brief stint as a Gryffindor passed by quickly and, by the following spring, the magical world acknowledge the Wayne heir as a fully fledged wizard.
If only they knew...
Upon his graduation, Bruce assumed total control over his father’s enterprise while attending law school on the side. These were, of course, mere fronts to a much more... illicit pursuit.
By day, young Master Wayne acted in the role of Bruce Wayne, the young billionaire, playboy philanthropist ever in the spotlight. His face was in every paper as he quickly expanded Wayne Enterprise and he gained even more notoriety as he began to get involved with politics shortly after earning his masters in law and PhD in behavioral psychology. Bruce had inserted himself onto the top shelf of the magical and muggle worlds alike.
By night, however, the public skin was shed. Whispers of the Batman began to circulate in the darkest corners of Great Britain. Tales of a shrouded creature of the night haunted the slums and syndicate dens, seeming to attack only those who had a penchant for “bad”. Smugglers, mobsters, gang members - the general filth of the world which fed on the innocent - began to appear mysteriously in prisons and asylums, men and woman who had been at large for months, or sometimes even years. But, in the sudden vacuum of power, there were always those eager to seat themselves at the top of the trash heap. New kings were born every day, new turmoil bubbling in the cauldron of society.
But he wouldn’t stop. He won’t stop. Not until the world is rid of those who breed chaos and evil.
From this day forward
For better. For worse.
For richer. For poorer.
In sickness and in health.
Until death do us part.
"I believe in Jim Gordon. I believe in Harvey Dent. I believe in Gotham City." - The Long Halloween
Despite being a proud celebrity directly active in his community, Bruce Wayne does not, in anyway, allude to a desire to assume a position within the Ministry of Magic or other public branches of law enforcement. He instead uses his popularity and status to support those he believes will lead the world toward a brighter, safer future. He attends as many public hearings and addresses as he can and will often make speeches in his support of certain figures. Bruce personally and financially supports political campaigns for his preferred candidates when elections come around, hoping to guide the public toward freedom from tyranny, oppression, and crime.
As a vigilante, there are times when he and the law hold a bit of a standoff. When Bruce began to fight crime in his younger years, the local and governmental authorities did everything they possibly could to put a stop to his vigilantism and, on a number of occasions, nearly succeeded. However, over the near twenty-three years of practice, Bruce has become rather proficient at avoiding capture and has even made accomplices and partners out of a few lawmen. Working hand-in-hand with any department or Auror outfit is always temporary, though. At the end of the day, he is still a vigilante and they are still obligated by their oaths to take him off the streets. It’s a rather precarious and delicately balanced situation for everyone involved.
To some, this Batman is a savior, a hero, and an idol. To others, he is a monster, a malevolent force, and an obstacle. And yet, there are plenty who remain unaware or indifferent.
"Without warning, it comes...crashing through the window of your study, and mine...I have seen it before...somewhere. It frightened me as a boy... frightened me. Yes, father. I shall become a bat." - Year One
In his father’s old study some time after his graduation from Hogwarts, weary, wounded, and bruised after his first endeavor into night stalking, Bruce sat and contemplated the rather... ineffectual presence he had as a mere young man on the street. In the silence of pre-dawn, as he sat there on the precipice of consciousness and total blackout, he spoke to the memory of his father. What could he do? How would he strike fear into the hearts of these vile creatures which plagued his city? They had no fear of man.
As if by divine answer, the facing window of the study shattered with a startling crash. Unmoving, observant, and very nearly numb, Bruce laid eyes on the winged fiend with vague recollection as it opened fanged jaws and let loose a hellish screech. He had seen this creature before - he was sure of it. Back when he was a boy... and he had fallen into the old well, enveloped by the darkness... It had been there. It had frightened him. And that hadn’t been the last he had seen of the creature, either. It had haunted his dreams as a child, had become his literal “thing of nightmares”, and later in life it would be the form of which his boggart took.
And then, at that moment in his study, it had become his answer. He would become the bat, become fear itself.
"Criminals, by nature, are a cowardly and superstitious lot. To instill fear into their hearts, I became a bat. A monster in the night. And in doing so, have I become the very thing that all monsters become - alone?" - Hush
All his years of training in offensive and defensive magic, Bruce had struggled with a corporeal patronus. Funny, though, that this revelation was as much a self discovery as it was a reinvention. From the moment he decided to become the very thing he feared, his patronus began to take the form of a Greater Noctule Bat. He found, too, as he later set his mind to becoming an animagus, that it was easy, almost natural, to take its shape.
"I want you to remember, Clark, In all the years to come, in your most private moments, I want you to remember my hand at your throat, I want you to remember the one man who beat you." - The Dark Knight Returns
No matter how powerful or terrible, there is no such thing as an unstoppable force. With proper observation and planning, even the most advanced villains and tyrants can be taken down. And, with Bruce’s years of dedication toward justice and criminal psychology, he is well aware that everyone has the potential to turn to evil. In what many would label a product of crippling paranoia, Bruce crafts individual contingencies for those he has regular contact and altercations with, including everyone from the staff at Hogwarts to the Minister of Magic -- even his own children. He is a careful man, after all, and will not pin his survival and the fate of the world on bare hopes alone.
Bruce has even gone so far as to establish a contingency plan for himself in the unfortunate reality that he very well may turn into the thing which he strives to rid the world of. What is his plan? His family. Over the years, Bruce has taken in a number of children who have lost their parents, one way or another. It started with Richard (Dick) Grayson, the son of the famous Flying Graysons of Haly's Circus. After witnessing the murder of Dick's parents when the boy was only nine, Bruce arranged to have Dick live with him at Wayne Manor. At first, he had only wished to give Dick a chance to have a normal life and provide for the boy. However, young Dick Grayson, being the curious sort, found the secret entrance to the secret Batcave -- thus discovering Bruce's secret. Bruce had, at first, refused to let the boy take on the double life of a vigilante, but, as Bruce was only finding out for the first time, children don't always listen. In order to keep Dick safe -- because the boy simply refused to take "no" for an answer -- Bruce took him under his wing and trained him as the very first Robin.
In the years to come, Dick would only be one of many children to follow this pattern. After Dick came Jason, then Cassandra, Tim, and, finally, the surprise of a legitimate son, Damian. He has trained these children to the best of his ability, to protect themselves and the world around them. In the event that he might turn to the darkness within himself, the unified force of his proteges has a very likely chance of succeeding against him... if they choose to do so. It is the best he can hope for.
"People think it's an obsession. A compulsion. As if there were an irresistible impulse to act. It's never been like that. I chose this life. I know what I'm doing. And on any given day, I could stop doing it. Today, however, isn't that day. And tomorrow won't be either." - Identity Crisis
Bruce struggles with an obsession of vengeance for his parents’ death which, at times, borders on delusion. The night his parents died, young Bruce Wayne died with them. He was never the same again, never that cheerful heir to the Wayne dynasty. His talent for acting, detailed and nearly flawless after twenty-eight years of practice, holds in place a very solid cover of that dead persona. The public sees him as he wants them to, as a normal, good humored, arrogant, and handsome playboy billionaire with the best degrees money can by and a rather broad range of qualifications - not to mention a popular public figure and headmaster of the most prestigious school of magic in history.
But that is not him. Not truly.
He is so much more.
"Did I finally reach the limits of reason? And find the Devil waiting? And was that fear in his eye?" - Batman RIP
Bruce is in a constant struggle to retain his humanity. Every day is a battle to do the right thing and he is constantly surrounded by reminders of the evil and filth that is in this world. There are countless opportunities for him to fall pray to a moment of weakness, to end one life on the premise that he is saving countless. But, to stoop to that level, to violate his personal code even once... He knows there would be no end to that descent into darkness. There are times when he wonders if he has already gone too far - if his lifestyle and practices are only a beginning for something more sinister - and he is left to question what will come of all this. Is he really doing good?
He must believe so. He must believe in himself, or else fall prey to the darkness inside him and become that which he has sworn to protect the world against.
As of seven years past, on the retirement of Hogwarts’ former headmaster, Bruce assumed the role upon the former’s personal request and backing from the Ministry of Magic. Having a bit of a soft spot for children, Bruce could only see this as an opportunity to not only bolster his good public name, but to see to it that these young witches and wizards received sanctuary in their education. He knows he can do honest good
from his position at Hogwarts, and he doesn’t have to direct it from behind a veil.
Though he is often taking trips for business with the Ministry or Wayne Enterprise, not to mention his nightly disappearances to which people are much less privy, Bruce sees to it that he has rather direct involvement in the goings-ons of the school. He keeps a close eye on his students and staff, just as likely to be found roaming the halls any given time of day as the castle caretaker, and interferes where and when-ever necessary. However, he has taken a specific care in hiring those most qualified for the various positions available at Hogwarts and, should he be indisposed, knows the school is equipped and staffed to function on its own in most circumstances.