This is for SchwarzShifter at FFNet for all of the wonderful reviews they left me (even though they aren't in the Hobbit fandom, I don't think?)

It is also for Midnightember, Gedebe, Siennasnow, and Inseradea on Tumblr for encouraging the idea. Yeah, thanks, and now I've split it into chapters fml, lol.

"In Places Deep, Where Dark Things Sleep"

Disclaimer: Harry Potter, et all are property of JK Rowling, and Bloomsbury, and Warner Bros and all those other nifty people that make it so we can read and watch the Potterverse whenever we feel like it. I make no money from this, just so you know. Lord of the Rings is also not mine; I make no money from the books or the movies.

Summary: [Thranduil/HP] Ten years later, and Harry wakes up in deep in the Mirkwood as the Elves begin their starlight festival.

Warnings: Slash. Thranduil/HP. AU. Post-Hogwarts. Cross over. Master of Death!Harry. Language. The Hobbit spoilers. Soulmates. Terrible attempts at translating Elvish.

Rating: PG-15 (at least).

A/N: Title is taken from Thorin's song.


Words: 4,992

Chapter 1

Harry shouldn't have been half as surprised as he was when he woke up in the middle of a forest. He was still dressed, which was good, and he had both shoes on and his wand in his pocket, which was even better. The last thing he remembered was being hunched over his desk in work, object of unknown origin in hand, while fighting with Ron (again) about his new job as an Unspeakable: ten years as an Auror later and never aging was dangerous and there were only so many changes a glamour could make. It had been Hermione's idea to join the Unspeakables. They were known for protecting their own, and it was better to be one of them than to be experimented on by one of them.

Ron hadn't liked it, and honestly neither had Ginny. Harry hadn't been allowed to come home and talk about his day anymore, not like they had used to talk, because the first rule he had been taught by his new boss was that Unspeakable things were unspeakable. The Weasleys blamed Harry's new job for the break up, but honestly, he and Ginny had been sleeping in separate rooms for years but neither of them had wanted to be the one to truly break it off.

Harry quickly put the thought out of his mind, wanting to focus instead on finding his way home. Slowly pulling himself to his feet and running his hands over his trousers to brush off dirt and leaves, Harry glanced around the forest. His wand found its way to his hand, fingers instinctively reaching for the familiar wooden handed. He held it down by his side though, cautious as he walked forward. There were voices in the distance, light and airy and they seemed to be singing but Harry couldn't make out any of the words. But he walked towards them, because voices meant people and people meant finding out where he was so that he could get home faster. Harry didn't get as far as he would have liked before noises from behind him made him pause. It was a scuttling sound, ominous as it was loud, an understated danger: there was no pounding of running feet, no war cries. Nothing, but the crunch of leaves on the ground as they moved and the whish of the trees as the branches bent beneath their weight.

An Acromantula burst from the bushes behind Harry, who had just turned around to walk again. It knocked the Wizard onto his back, though his wand arm came up with the tip pointing at the creature.

It spoke, in a language almost like Parseltongue so that Harry could make out the gist of it rather than translate the words. It said, "Such a yummy feast!" Then its mouth opened, fangs bared, fore legs rising to catch hold of its prey. The web was too slow to tangle him, and Harry's spell killed the creature in a flash of green light.

Another took its place, and another and another until Harry was surrounded. They watched him from the trees, and from the bushes, and some approached him cautiously, wary after the death of their brethren but hungry enough not to run away completely. Harry fought, as he had always fought, with no hesitance, throwing himself into the thick of it and flinging spells wildly left and right, but unlike in school now his moves were trained, fluent, and he twisted like a dancer, dodging and ducking and killing like it had been choreographed.

The noise had drawn the attention of the singing people, because after a few minutes, and several dead spiders and a couple of close calls on Harry's part, arrows began flying. They landed between the eyes or through the open mouths of Acromantulas attempting to take a bite out of Harry's face, killing the creatures in one shot. Spiders dropped like flies, as the saying sort of went, and tall, beautiful people emerged into the clearing. It was only when Harry noticed how the trees parted around them that he realised he had been walking along a clear path, with cobbled stones sunk into the earth to pave the way. Until he looked down and realised he was ankle deep in blood and mud, with no path to speak of, and hadn't been since the time the spiders caught up with him. He felt suddenly like Alice in Wonderland, lost in a forest as the road disappeared around her, or Red Riding Hood that travelled off the path and almost got eaten by wolves.

"Hello," he greeted rather ineloquently once all the spiders were dead. Harry wasn't sure what else he could say, or do really, because now the people (Elves! They were Elves, his mind hissed as he finally noticed the delicately pointed ears they all sported) were aiming their weapons at him. "Any idea where I am? Or how to get back to London?"

"The city of men is that way," One Elf answered, pointing back in the opposite direction. Harry glanced over his shoulder, frowning, because the city, as in only one?

The Elf was a woman; beautiful and tall with waist length auburn hair (like his mother's). She carried three different swords on her person that Harry could see along with the bow and its notched arrow that almost touched the tip of his nose when Harry turned back around.

Another Elf, tall again and as blond as Malfoy, his hair as long as Lucius' had been, stepped forward. His bow was by his side, but he tilted his head slowly as he took Harry in, head to toe and looked away with a scoff of disappointment. Harry was almost offended by the gesture, but well, he didn't think the elf looked like 'the shit' either, so to each their own.

"What are you doing in my woods?" The blond asked.

"Your woods?" He asked in reply, because honestly who did this guy think he was, King of England or something?

"Your woods?" A voice repeated from behind Harry, sounding more amused than Harry thought anyone had a right to be (especially considering that he himself was rather annoyed at the blond's arrogance). Harry spun around, eyes narrowed because he sort of thought the guy might be laughing at him as well as the other elf and that was just rude. But anything he might have said escaped him in one long breath as he caught sight of the new speaker. The man looked just like the male elf expect he wore a robes that were so elaborate that even ex-Minister Fudge wouldn't have dared try it, and there was a band across his head, like a stag's antlers, interwoven with brown ivy and red roses. It was almost a crown, Harry thought, awe-struck at the sight of the stranger.

"What are you doing in my woods?" The second man questioned, changing one of the words, and his head tilted to one side like his son's. There was less derision in his gaze though, instead it was something curious and bold and his mouth was curved up at the edges as his eyes travelled Harry's frame. He looked down first, gaze travelling back up slowly, devouring every inch of Harry's body while the Wizard squirmed uncomfortably. When their eyes met the younger man felt a furious heat pool in the bottom of his belly, a burning arousal he hadn't felt since the start of his and Ginny's relationship.

Harry didn't respond to the question; too busy shifting from one foot to the other awkwardly. He blinked twice, eyebrows furrowing as he thought it through. In the end, he decided to treat the man as he would treat a visiting Minister for Magic, and simply ignore everything else for the moment. He gave a small bow, bending at the waist and lowering his eyes for five seconds exactly before he straightened up again. "Sincerest apologies, Sir, but I'm not entirely sure how I came to be here. I woke in a clearing further back that way and the last thing I remember is fighting with my friend surrounded by dangerous, magical objects. Obviously something went wrong and here I am, so if you could tell me where here is so I could get back home that would be appreciated, Sir."

"Sir?" The blond elf questioned, half a smile on his mouth.

"I'm not sure what else to call you, Sir." Harry gave another small nod of his head in deference again, because this guy was starting to remind him of the French Minister, who was easily offended and terribly hard to please, and whose memory for holding grudges continued on for years.

"I am Thranduil Oropherion, King of the Woodland Realm. Who are you?"

The way he had said it made Harry think of the caterpillar in Wonderland, and he smiled as he imagined the blond King blowing smoke rings from a shisha pipe.

"I'm Harry Potter." He waited, but there was no sudden influx of chatter, no one tried to hug him and no one asked for an autograph. He was too confused to be grateful for the fact that no one recognized him, and rather worried about that fact too, so he added, "Where is the Woodland Realm?"

"What once was the Greenwood is now the Mirkwood in which you are trespassing," the first she-elf answered him sternly.

"I'm from London, in England. You know England, right?" Harry's hands were twisting in front of his stomach anxiously, but his wand had gone back into his pocket when Thranduil had first appeared.

"I do not," the King admitted, with his head still tilted curiously to one side. "But if magic brought you here magic may be able to bring you home. It is sad that there are no Istari in these parts," Thranduil sighed with a shake of his head, looking at Harry in what should have been pity but seemed more of a pleased expression to Harry than anything. "I am afraid you will have to accept my hospitality for now, and we shall see what the Valar wills for you."

"Istari?" Harry asked, voice sounding shrill.

"A magic user. Are you not Istari, Hahrie?"

"I'm a Wizard!" Harry told him, arms folded indigently across his chest now, "and it's Harry." Thranduil pronounced it as 'Harr-e', as one would say 'hard' instead of 'hah-ry'. "Sorry," he added meekly, lowering his eyes as the elves simultaneously raised their weapons again.

"Come," the King beckoned, ignoring the apology and the offense both. "It is the festival of starlight tomorrow. We have begun our celebrations early, and it would please me for you to join us." He held out his arm, the way Viktor Krum had done when he met Hermione for the Yule Ball and Harry knew what the elf wanted but his body didn't respond. He stared stupidly for a moment, looking like an absolute fool, even though he had done this before for Ginny, holding her arm as he walked Hermione's bridesmaid out of the church after the wedding. But it had been his arm Ginny had held, not the other way around. Thranduil obviously had patience, because it was Legolas, the son, who introduced himself quickly before taking hold of Harry's arm and tugging him towards his father.

Fingers curled into the crook of Thranduil's arm automatically, taking comfort in the touch of another person, especially one who was being kind in this strange new place. Harry wanted to go find a corner and cry, because he was lost in a new universe apparently and no one seemed all that eager to get rid of him (which was sort of good because at least they weren't leaving him alone to wander the forest until he starved), but he found himself leaning against the King's side, trusting and quiet as the elf led the way back to the party.

Harry found himself at Thranduil's side all night, never further away than arm's reach. Other elves spoke to him, but they always had to come forward to the base of the small throne that had been carried out for their King, where he sat watching the revelry, with Harry by his side. Harry was never allowed to wander far enough away to approach them. But that was ok too, Harry supposed, because it meant he wouldn't get lost, or accidentally get left behind by the King at the end of the party, because surely he had other things to worry about other than Harry and his whereabouts? So keeping close was good, and it had absolutely nothing to do with the butterflies in Harry's stomach when he realised that the King was staring at him, and had been since their eyes had first met in the clearing full of dead spiders.

"Would you like to dance?" Tauriel's eyebrow jumped in surprise at the sound of Legolas' voice. The Prince and his father were well known for not truly enjoying their parties. Ever since the Queen's death, Thranduil had been happy to remain seated at each and every event, cut off from the revelry of the others, and Legolas usually remained close to his side. That the Prince was asking a stranger to their lands to dance was odd, but what was odder was the furious glare Thranduil directed towards his son as Harry hesitantly reached out to accept the offered hand.

"I don't know any of those dances."

The captain of the guards laughed softly, when after one dance where Harry was awkwardly led around in a circle, Thranduil stood up slowly. He pushed himself out of his chair like it was a feat worthy of ballads, hands tiredly hanging at his sides afterwards; but maybe that was the nerves, Tauriel thought still laughing.

"Perhaps you should let someone who knows how to dance show Hahrie how it is done?" The King held out his hand, but Harry only glanced at it warily, a scowl across his mouth. "Ah," Thranduil said, "Harree, is it?"

"Better," the Wizard allowed, but he did reach out for the hand. He smiled apologetically at Legolas, before turning into Thranduil's embrace, allowing the King to lead him in a fairly easy motion. They didn't talk while they danced, but they maintained eye contact, no matter how much Harry wanted to lower his gaze shyly, he couldn't seem to be able to look away. Thranduil had him enthralled, and not even the sounds of other Elves gossiping wiped the smile off of his face.

Across the clearing, Legolas stood shoulder to shoulder to Tauriel. "Did you know when you asked?" She questioned him softly, well aware of their King's fine hearing.

"Of course I knew," Legolas answered with a wide grin, "but I also knew that Atar would need some encouragement. It's been rather some time since he courted anyone."1

"Not since your mother," Tauriel agreed, and for a moment they were sad and silent, and then Harry tripped over his own feet. Laughter echoed throughout the clearing, but Thranduil used it as an excuse to hold the Wizard closer, motioning for the music to change into something slower and softer, and Legolas watched them sway together, surrounded by other couples.

He glanced at Tauriel after meeting another of his father's glares. "He didn't court Mother," the Elf admitted, with a shrug. "I asked her once, about fea-meldor,2 though I of course meant her and Atar, but she told me stories of true love and happily ever after and how you'd know the first time you met their eyes that they were made for you to love them. Stories we all heard growing up, and stories that we tell ourselves every night because we've waited so long and are losing faith that it might happen, no?" Tauriel smiled softly in agreement. They both knew others could be happily married to someone who was not their soulmate, the King and Queen had been after all, and Legolas was in love with Tauriel (despite his father's disapproval), but it was hard to watch Thranduil and Harry and not feel jealous or bitter. "Grandfather picked my Mother, and Ada wed her and they were happy and they loved each other, but neither of them did any courting."

"This should be amusing to watch."

Legolas met his friend's gaze, noticed the way her eyes had brightened with amusement and mischief, and found himself silently agreeing.


Harry hadn't been sure of what to expect when Thranduil called an end to the festivities. They would be picking up again the following afternoon and continuing on until the early hours of the morning (like this night's had done) but in the meantime there was sleeping, eating and general drudgery to be getting on with. He followed them, two steps behind Thranduil and one ahead of Legolas, even though he had tried to slip to the back of the crowd because the others' staring was freaking him out a little. The Elven-king kept hold of his hand; tugging Harry along like a wayward child and the Wizard let him because, well, it didn't seem polite to wrench his hand away, did it? Especially not when it felt so nice, held securely with fingers laced between the Elf's own.

He had expected to be shown a mattress or some spare blankets to curl up under, because he was sort of imposing on them without notice, or since this was a King in a real life kingdom they were talking about at the very least a sparsely kept room. What Harry received instead was the adjoining chambers to the King's bedroom. They shared a living room, a small kitchen that looked as if it had never been used (no surprise there when there were servants rushing around) and what was supposed to be an office, but looked more like a small library. Thranduil insisted it had nothing on the actual library of Mirkwood, which housed far more scrolls and papers- but it probably didn't have anything about magic or traveling between worlds so the King thought it best to keep Harry away from it for now. There was a notable lack of a bathroom, but since they were living underneath a forest in a palace that appeared to have been grown out of the trees and roots of the forest, well, it was obvious that plumbing wasn't a main concern. They had running water though, and hot springs, and an awesome waterfall that led out from the wine cellars to the river that ran through the wood.

Harry could barely keep his eyes in his head, and almost gave himself whiplash trying to take in everything at once, twisting and turning to catch all of the sights that passed him by. The King watched him over his shoulder occasionally, looking rather amused, but smug at the same time; taking pleasure in Harry taking pleasure in his home. Legolas talked quietly with Tauriel, who had moved towards the head of the procession as they approached the royal living quarters and the majority of the other Elves disappeared in other directions. The guards remained close, unassuming in their festive clothing, unlike the four who waited at the base of Thranduil's throne, decked head to toe in heavy armour, their faces obscured by metal masks.

"That makes an impression," Harry muttered after giving a low whistle. Thranduil had given him the quickest tour ever of his new room and then offered to show him the way to the bathing house. It was carved into the earth, and filled with hot springs, but the King and his son had their own pool, separated from the others by a wall made entirely out of ivy. They had to walk passed the throne room to get there, and Harry glanced up and up at all of the stairs that led to the throne and the silently watching guards as Thranduil dragged him passed.

When they arrived at the baths, Harry finally noticed that it was just the three of them. Tauriel had offered to run and fetch some clean clothing for Harry, and apparently for Thranduil, who felt the need to bathe after exerting himself dancing earlier.

Harry gave himself a discreet sniff when he thought no one was looking, and decided that he didn't smell. Thranduil didn't smell either, and they had only danced twice (Harry three times, because he had danced with Legolas too). Legolas wasn't planning to wash, and he had danced once, but maybe it was one of those weird customs that Harry would just get used to. After all, son and father not wanting to share a bath wasn't that weird though. Wanting to share one with a stranger? A little bit weirder. Harry tried to protest, not wanting to strip naked in front of the royal family, but Legolas watched with a smirk, practically forgotten about by the King until he spoke.

"Come now, Harry," Legolas said, pronouncing his name right, "I'm sure you have nothing to be ashamed of."

Thranduil's head turned towards him, eyes narrowed into slits, and Harry likened him momentarily to the Basilisk each time it had lunged forward for the kill. His features smoothed out after a moment though, once Legolas cleared his throat loudly and dipped into a quick bow. "Ah, I forgot I promised to help Tauriel. I'll see you tomorrow as we break fast, Harry. Atar, goodnight." He gave another quick bow, before backing up until he was behind the ivy curtain and out of sight. Considering the grin he had been sporting, Harry figured he was probably peeking through the closest gap, spying on them for whatever reason (because it had been what Fred and George used to do when they got the same look upon their faces). Thranduil said nothing though and made no move to check on his son, so Harry brushed it off, instead continuing to protest about his near nakedness.

"I really don't need to take all of my clothes off now," he said, "I can take my underwear off under the water, surely?"

"We are both made the same, Harree." The Elven-king shot him a look, like he was waiting for Harry to correct his pronunciation again, so purposely Harry didn't. If Legolas could get it right, then there was no way Thranduil wasn't doing it just to mess with him.

As if to prove his statement correct, Thranduil shrugged himself out of his last remaining piece of clothing: an under-shirt that looked more like a Victorian male's nightgown, loose in the waist and ending mid-thigh; worn Harry supposed like underwear should have been, because the King was wearing no actual underwear. He stood naked before the Wizard, who with a furious blush across his cheeks averted his eyes and cleared his throat, feeling suddenly awkward and aroused. He tried not to look, he really did, but Thranduil made it so hard. What with him walking right up to Harry, instead of getting in the water like any decent, body-shy person would have, and attempting to unlace Harry's robes.

They were standard Unspeakable issue, so there were no fiddly buttons or buckles, in case they had to be pulled off in an emergency. But at the same time, zips hadn't found their way to the Wizarding World yet, so the outfit was laced up from navel to mid-chest, with the neck left open revealing the shirt he wore beneath. It was loose in the waist as well because Harry preferred it that way (choosing to ignore the lacing along the curve of his spine), so it wasn't hard for Thranduil to tug it up over his head. Harry's glasses got caught for a moment, and his arms flailed as the material tangled around them due to the unexpectedness of his being stripped, but Thranduil had him down to a shirt and trousers soon enough. The trousers were Muggle, but they were buttoned so the Elf didn't seem too bothered by them, but he was rather more surprised by the sight of Harry's boxer shorts.

"Uh?" The Wizard stuttered, finally collecting himself enough to protest again. He jumped out of Thranduil's reach, ankles still inside of his trousers and so he tripped. He landed in the pool, amusingly enough with his shirt bunched up over his head by the time he got his feet back under him.

Thranduil was laughing. With his head thrown back, long blond hair cascading over his shoulders, and his pointed ears peeking out teasingly, lips full and eyes bright, he was stunning to behold. Harry found himself struck by the Elf's beauty; so much so that when Thranduil lowered himself into the pool and pulled at Harry's shirt, the Wizard even helped him. He had kicked off his trousers as well, throwing them haphazardly onto the ground along with Thranduil's clothing and his own robe, but his boxers stayed on, in spite (or rather because of) Thranduil's wandering hands.

"Is this normal?" Harry asked, curious. He ducked under the King's arm again, not quite grown sick of evading the man's touches even after ten minutes of lazily swimming away from him.

"Is what normal?"

"Is this usually how you greet unexpected guests? I was sort of imagining myself in a dungeon cell to be honest, especially with the way the others were pointing their weapons at me, but this is unusual too."

Thranduil glided closer, boxing Harry against the edge of the spring. One hand cupped one of Harry's cheeks and the other pressed against his bare chest, feeling the beat of the Wizard's heart as it sped up. "You cannot feel it, can you?" He sounded sad when he spoke, almost wistful as well, and Harry was suddenly sorry for whatever it was he had failed at. "I can feel you, like a humming in my brain, or a thrumming through my veins, but you cannot feel me?"

"Um?" Harry concentrated, trying his best to wipe away the sadness that had come upon them, not wanting the frown to continue resting upon the King's lips. "I can feel my magic, with every beat of my heart, and I can feel the trees shifting above us and the earth around us because they are alive and growing and nurturing us." He could feel the dead too, shifting restlessly in the deeper, darker parts of the Mirkwood, spiders and Elves alike, and something else calling him from the shadows of Dol Guldur. Though he did not know its name, or if it even was one, he called it Horcrux. But he wasn't going to tell Thranduil that. "My magic feels you, seeks you out from across rooms and glades and has since you lay your hand upon my shoulder in that clearing, but I don't know why and I don't know if it is the same as whatever it is you feel."

"So you do feel me?" He smiled suddenly then, warmly, as his eyes raked over the flushed face of the younger male. And then Thranduil kissed him.

It was sudden and unexpected, and Harry squeaked opening his mouth quite by accident. Thranduil's tongue traced along the seam of Harry's lips, before pushing further; seeking to taste his mate fully. Then the Wizard was struggling, pushing at Thranduil's shoulders and chest, and most certainly wasn't kissing him back, and so the Elf pulled away slowly, glancing worriedly down at his fea.

"What is wrong, Melyanna?"3 Thranduil stroked one hand hesitantly down Harry's cheek, not enjoying the way the human flinched from his touch.

"I'm married!" The Istari cried, still pushing at Thranduil's chest. "You can't just invite someone to take a bath with you and take their clothes and then start kissing them! That's not how you do things!" What he had meant to say was 'slow down', rather than 'stop', but Thranduil stopped nonetheless and jerked away like he had been burnt. Harry said nothing more about being married, because honestly it wasn't like he was even in the same world as Ginny now, but still, Harry was entitled to be a little upset and confused. After all, a King had just kissed him without warning! What did people even though in that sort of a situation? Probably kiss back... but it seemed a little too late for that now, given the furious scowl on Thranduil's face.

He hissed something in the language the Elves had sang in earlier, and though Harry couldn't understand it, he could guess that it wasn't pleasant. Which was proven true when a handful of the earlier, unassumingly dressed guards burst through the ivy curtain, and two of them pulled Harry out of the pool. Thranduil followed more slowly, though his clenched jaw really took away from the calm and serene picture he was trying to create. "If that is how you want to be, then fine, have it your way, Hahrie!" He waved his hand leisurely, purposely not looking at them, and the guards began to pull Harry from the rooms.

"Uh, clothes? Cold, wet, death, you know?" He asked, not all too worried about dying of a cold since the Killing Curse couldn't even kill him, but still he'd rather not be paraded around half-naked in front of a people whose King he'd apparently really pissed off.

Thranduil's hand waved again, and one of the guards ran back to scoop up the bundle of clothing, wet shirt and trousers too. They waited long enough for Harry to slip his shoes back on, before two sets of hands squeezed tight around his biceps and tugging him away from their King.

Thranduil watched them in silence, scowl darkening his features. But Harry thought he still looked beautiful, and sad too, as he caught the Elf's eyes over his shoulder just once before the ivy curtain separated them.


Ah Thranduil, I love you but you are so hard to write. Hopefully people enjoyed it. Also this ended up so much longer than the 2k I was planning it to be…

1 – In Quenya it is Atar and in Sindarian it is Ada (according to an online translator). I can totally see Thranduil acted all high and mighty and teaching Legolas High Elf just because and Legolas casually picking up their own language from the others and getting confused.

2 – Made up by combining Fea (meaning Soul) and Meldo (for lover) and adding the r to make it plural (lovers) since I couldn't find a word for 'soulmate'.

3 – Quenya: dear gift/gift of love

4 – French: Don't come back, according to Google.