This is a Dragon Age / Harry Potter crossover. While most crossovers concentrate on some HP character entering another world, this story will show what happens when a DA character (in this case a Templar) happens to enter the world of HP.
The main character will be the Templar Cullen. If you played Dragon Age, you will certainly remember him. I'll use the younger version of DA Origins (he'll be around 20 in my story).
The story plays right after the Circle Tower part of Dragon Age Origins and at the battle at the MOM.
I don't own anything.
A little warning: I don't expect this to become a longer story with a real end. It's more an experiment because I like the idea of DA/HP crossovers, the idea of a magic-fighter among pureblood wizards amuses me and simply love the character of Cullen. No pairings planned so far, open for suggestions. How long this story gets, seriously depends on your reactions and interest.
See at the end of the chapter for a short explanation about mages/Templars in DA.
Un-beta-ed so far.
Crossing the Border
Circle Tower – Cullen's POV
"Kill him. Rescue Irving, but kill Uldred," Cullen pleaded urgently, his body trembling from exhaustion and dehydration despite all attempts to only show strength.
Grey Warden Amell, former mage of the circle, nodded curtly. There was no way to free the young Templar at this moment and both men knew it. Xander Amell belonged to the very short list of mages Cullen trusted. He had to trust him once again now, to rescue those Mages held captive by Uldred and his minions while dishing out justice for them following his command. Xander was a mage believing in the Maker and, while he wished for more freedom for the mages and especially the possibility to have a family, he didn't doubt the necessity of the tower nor did he hate blood magic and demons any less than the next Templar. He was one of the few reasons Cullen hadn't given in to his hate towards magic, even now. He and Wynne, Xander's mentor, who shared those opinions and instructed them to the young man.
Cullen Stanton Rutherford from Honnleath had been barely thirteen when his parents allowed him to become a Templar apprenticeship serving Andraste and the Maker, giving in to the young man's puppy-like admiration after years of harassing his parents to let him go for such an adventure. Years of exhaustion, pain and humiliation followed; endless hours of training, serving and standing watch; nights of fighting sleepiness while watching a candle burn down and praying. He had been so proud to get his first sword and breastplate – far too heavy and cumbersome in the beginning. Training and exercises had taken care of that and now he wore them – the replacements he got on his ordination two years ago – with ease. He had learned to wear the heaviest armour while fighting, running and jumping. He grasped how to make devastating attacks with a two-handed sword and to protect the weaker inhabitants of the tower with his hardened shield. Mages feared his draining attacks and knew not to waste their energy in fruitless attempts to influence his mind.
Since entering the last part of his education he had been the protégé of Knight-Commander Gregoire, the leader of the Templar forces at the Circle Tower. It certainly never meant any decline in standards expected of him regarding his behaviour and performance. In contrary it led to additional training hours when his peers were allowed to rest. He was stronger now, faster and able to use Templar abilities like others with a decade more of experience under their belt. Gregoire already announced that he would soon be promoted to Templar-Sergeant – should he survive the current ordeal.
An hour ago he hadn't expected to see the next day. Uldred, one of the senior mages of the tower, had allowed his mask to slip, showing his true face, the face of a blood mage and demon conjuror. He had gathered his forces and seized the tower, forcing most of the Templars to flee, and captured or killed the rest along with the mages that didn't share his insane opinions about mages dominating the "lesser mortals".
If that wasn't bad enough, he had opened a portal to the Fade and summoned a number of demons to aid him in his struggle. Magic was dripping into reality all over the tower and slowly everything started to change. Templar by Templar Cullen's comrades had given in to pain, mind-influencing spells and the magic of a Succubus in Uldred's service. Only he had been able to withstand the attacks so far. Cullen wasn't certain how long he would have been able to continue, imprisoned in this bubble of pure magic, with demons haunting him in the guise of family members and the one girl he once loved.
At the eleventh hour, Xander Amell and his friends made an appearance, staves and swords blazing, righteous fury in their eyes. She hadn't been with him, not that he expected it from her. It seemed he would see the next day after all. Cullen closed his eyes and started to pray. There was nothing else he could do for now. Hopefully he would have an opportunity to speak with him after this. He would like to hear about Xander's last weeks. How he had fared at the battle of Ostagar. And what happened to her.
Something was happening. Cullen could feel it. For a while, there had been fighting. Screams of pain, of men dying, had filled the air as did the sounds of swords clanging and spells burning flesh, human and other alike. The last scream had been completely inhuman. It had been accompanied by a massive wave of magic, strong enough to rattle his prison. For a moment he had hoped that Uldred's death – he was certain that it had been his death scream – would free him at last. That it would end his time of torture – physical, emotional and mental. However, it didn't happen.
Instead something frightening occured all around him. The magic that had appeared earlier, dripping from the Fade into his world, started to return to the place where it belonged, where it had been drawn by Uldred's mad but genius mind. The balance shifted again and like a pendulum it wanted to compensate the spike of magic with a time of an unnatural low. Like a wave at a beach, it had wet the sand and was now pulling back into the sea to prepare a new watery attack. However, in this massive wave of magic was a foreign object not meant to be there – Cullen.
He actually screamed, screamed for the first time since all of this started. He had endured pain and threats of death, survived through starvation and exhaustion, withstood all attempts to convince or seduce him. He endured it all, but the prospect of being drawn into the Fade without any hope of return was scaring even him. Cullen tried to break the bubble, used all his might to counter it, but in vain. The sheer amount of magic around him was far too much. Not even the whole cadre of Circle Tower Templars could have neutralized it. He was nothing more than a toy within this maelstrom of magic.
A rift opened and the bubble with its unwilling "guest" passed it. Looking behind, Cullen still saw the rift, the light that promised hope. It was the last glint of his old life, a life he could never reach again. For a second he even believed he saw Xander Amell's face in that rift. Perhaps it was only his imagination. Farther and farther away from the rift, he was pulled by the masses of magic. After a last shimmer, the rift was no more, either closed at last or simply too far away for him to see.
Cullen sank to his knees. He was alone. For the first time in his life he felt something completely knew in his heart: doubt and despair.
How long have I been here?
Cullen had no answer to that question. It felt like weeks, perhaps even months. He didn't need nutrition. He didn't feel the urge to sleep. Somehow it wasn't as boring as he expected it to be. Too much was visible around him distracting his senses. Some things he understood, other not so much. He had read some books about the Fade and had learnt that it was a whole landscape on its own. Like a blanket it was covering the real world. The dreams of men influenced it as did the will of demons. More than once one of them had approached him, but so far the mix of Uldred's magic and his Templar Aura – something virtually no demon had experienced so far in the Fade – had kept them at bay.
How long will I be safe?
He had spent time training, both physically and mentally. With only a small amount of space around him, he could hardly practice running. However, his motions were much smoother than before. He didn't develop new muscles – he explained it as a side effect of the Fade like him not needing any meals or water – but became faster. Most of the time however, he spent praying or meditating. He felt calmer now than at the start of his enforced exile. His hope and belief had returned and while he still felt loneliness more than once, he dared to believe in a future again.
What's happening there?
Some glitter had caught his attention and he whirled around.
Cullen narrowed his eyes. He had seen spell-fire often enough to instantly recognize it. Someone was casting spells over there and not of the kind type. He didn't recognize the exact spell but felt its destructive power. The magic of the Fade reacted to those spells and started to whirl around. Cullen's bubble slowly drifted nearer. For a while he was wondering about the source of those spells. Then however he noticed it: another rift.
His heart started to pump faster. Could it be? While his bubble drifted towards the rift, getting faster and faster in the process, he noticed the form of the rift. It was kind of an arched gateway, a bubbly skin separating the Fade from whatever lay behind it. Now and then a spell broke that skin, causing the glitter. What was behind the gateway? Cullen had no idea, but it could hardly be worse than his current prison. Spells meant mages, but mages meant humans – hopefully.
Cullen tried to calm his nerves, concentrated on his breathing and waited, waited for the impact.
"Holy Andraste, be with me in this hour."
Ministry of Magic – Ginny's POV
Why didn't we listen to Hermione? Ginny Weasley wondered not for the first time tonight. The older girl had urged Harry to wait, not to go to the Ministry and instead try harder to reach some member of the Order of the Phoenix. Harry however hadn't listened. He never did. He had this incredible hero-complex and quite a temper to boot but not even an ounce of patience. He was worse than any Weasley in that regard. No, he hadn't listened and decided to fly to the Ministry, to somehow rescue his godfather. As usual he acted without planning, this time not even allowing Hermione to hatch out some basic plan on how to proceed.
Instead Hermione had followed him, as she always did. Ginny remembered the times she had stood alone at Harry's side, when even Ron betrayed him. Now both of them were injured: Ron by some brain tentacles of an unknown nature and that made Ginny shudder to think about, Hermione by a spell from Antonin Dolohov. There was so much blood. Luna was currently trying to stop the blood, while Neville used Hermione's wand in a hopeless attempt to protect the girls as his own wand, the wand of his father, was on the floor, broken – just like his nose.
While the battle around them continued, Ginny shortly pondered about Luna. Why was she here as well? Ginny was happy to have her around but didn't understand it. The presence of the others was explainable. The nice explanation would be that they were Gryffindors to the end, loyal friends who found it impossible not to accompany Harry on this mad adventure. Far more realistic however was another approach: they were followers at the core. Ron, despite his delusions of grandeur, needed Harry to accomplish anything worthwhile. Hermione, the most stubborn among them, still needed a friend to survive, a friend she found in Harry. Neville was slowly developing self-confidence, but was still far away from finding his own path. And her? Ginny sighed. She still had this crush and hoped that one day Harry would realize she was a girl if she only hung around long enough.
This still left Luna. Luna had always only followed her own weird ideas, ideas she never explained in words others were able to comprehend. As Ginny asked her about her reasons, Luna had only smiled and answered: it will happen tonight. She didn't explain what would happen, naturally. This left her amused and rolling eyes, while Hermione tried hard convincing her to stay. She had been concerned as always. Since Hermione found the little Ravenclaw without shoes in the middle of the night on her Prefect rounds some months ago, she had behaved like an overprotective older sister towards Luna. However, even she hadn't been able to convince the tiny girl.
Until a few minutes ago, the future had looked very bleak. With Death Eaters incoming from all sides and two of them down, they didn't have even a snowball's chance in hell to win or at least survive the fight. Merlin, what was I thinking, fighting battle-hardened murderous Death Eaters with only bat-bogey hexes and other child's play spells in my repertoire? Their opponents didn't fool around. They used dark spells to maim and kill. It was poor dumb luck, the luck of fools that nobody had died so far, Ginny gulped, her eyes on Hermione's unconscious form.
Spell-fire drew her eyes to Harry and Sirius Black. The two of them were fighting Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange. No side was holding back. The arrival of the five order members had tipped the battle in their favour. Now she had a chance to survive this night, to see her parents again. She had a chance despite Harry's foolish actions. She was more than a bit angry at him this moment, not only because of the whole "we have to rescue Sirius" but also because of the prophecy. What was so damned important about this little glass globe? The Death Eaters had threatened to kill his friends if Harry didn't surrender the prophecy. He actually had to think about it. Ginny cursed. Sure, Neville had urged him not to comply. Neville had chosen today of all days to play the hero.
Ginny didn't want to die. Merlin, she would turn fifteen this summer. Was it wrong to wish to actually live to see that day? Was it wrong to want to see her parents again? Losing two of her children would completely crush Molly Weasley, Ginny knew. Sometimes having a big heart was a fault. In Ginny's mind a prophecy wasn't worth six lives. Perhaps a soldier would decide otherwise, but she wasn't a soldier. If that made her a coward then so be it.
The yell prompted Ginny to whirl around only to helplessly watch Sirius Black as he flew through the air. Some spell had hit him and forced him back. It was a bit surreal. One moment he was there and the next...
Just as Sirius reached the portal, with Harry and Remus watching in horror, unable to help, and Bellatrix Lestrange observing the matter with a mad gleam in her eyes, something happened, something nobody had expected or would have thought possible. Just as Sirius' hands and feet connected with the bubbling layer of the portal - some kind of frontier to the place beyond - another body pushed through the portal and pushed him back.
Ginny blinked, stunned, like everybody else in the room. One second she had been sure that Sirius was lost; the next he was on the ground and someone was standing there, someone seemingly coming straight from some weird fairy tale.
It was a young man, around twenty she assumed. His face had this chiselled form most of her room members found attractive. Short-cut and red-blond hair, broad shoulders and a body the older girls at Hogwarts would start drooling about right now. Ginny could nearly hear Lavender and Parvati giggling about peeling the foreigner out of his armour and have a peek at what lay beneath. This armour that was the weirdest thing about him: A heavy steel breastplate with some kind of flaming sword emblem on it. A sword in a scabbard was fastened to his belt. Greaves and bracers completed the armour set together with smaller metal pieces – mostly around the shoulders, knees and elbows – and some kind of chain mail connecting the parts. A shield was fastened to his left arm and half raised now as he looked around, a mix of confusion and apprehension in his eyes.
For a moment all fighting stopped while everybody was staring at him like a ghost. Ginny noticed the look of shock on Harry's face that turned into heart-felt relief and the burst of rage on Bella's. The red-head wasn't the only one to yell a warning as the mad-woman screamed a spell in the direction of the foreigner. However, only one person was able to react in time: Luna.
The foreigner's battle instinct apparently kicked in, because he – despite obviously still being confused by his surroundings – raised his shield to protect himself. A slightly shimmering shield, Ginny marginally noticed. For a split-second Ginny wondered if the shield would actually hold out against the attack. She had watched Hermione protecting others with conjured slabs of stone in the past. The shield was apparently able to do the same. The dark cutting curse smashed against the shield and was mostly absorbed with a part of the energy diverted as a burst of dazzling light. The foreigner didn't even wince – at least not from the impact of the spell.
Another impact was obviously far more troubling him. Luna, the only one to react in time, had actually jumped him in an attempt to push him out of the line of fire. She wasn't surprised by his appearance, Ginny realized. She knew, but how? Ginny winced as she saw Luna's frail body connecting with the foreigner's steel clad body. He's at least fifty pounds heavier and is wearing the same weight in metal. It was as effective as attempting to tear down a brick wall with a feather pillow. It clonked and a second later Luna was on the ground, slightly dazed.
The unsuccessful attack not really bothering Bella Lestrange, she simply continued to emit her mad cackle and left the hall in a hurry, even jumping and bouncing a bit like she immensely enjoyed the whole event. She's completely nutters. Harry, his face again turning to pure fury as he remembered that she had tried to kill his godfather, ignored the calls from his friends and chased after her, determined to avenge his godfather's death.
The foreigner however stared at the little girl at his feet.
"You… you tried to save me." He stated with no small amount of wonder in his voice. And what a voice it was. Ginny shivered slightly. Deep and resonating as it was, tale-tellers and newsreaders would kill for a voice like this. Luna only nodded with a smile on her lips.
"But… you're a mage." He frowned.
"Witch," Luna responded, her smile broadening. "I'm called a witch."
"There is no reason to slight yourself," the foreigner scolded her, his voice softening. "It's not your fault that Andraste bestowed the gift of magic on you. What you do about it – and with it, however will be yours."
Ginny had no idea what he was speaking about, who this Andraste was or what it had to do with magic, but she could have listened to this voice forever. Glancing in Luna's face she realized that she wasn't the only one feeling like this. The foreigner stepped forward and offered Luna his hand, hesitated for a moment before pulling off the metal glove he wore as he offered his assistance once again. All this was done with the power and grace of a large hunting cat. Ginny had expected something different: clanking metal and ungainly motions. Shouldn't all this metal hinder him somehow? There was however a hint of a blush on his cheeks as Luna gracefully accepted his help standing up; it was a reaction Ginny found quite cute and endearing. Despite the physical similarities he was certainly not like Viktor Krum, not used to female attention.
"C-Cullen Stanton Rutherford from Honnleath, at your service," he bowed slightly.
"Luna Lovegood," Luna responded with a curtsey. Everybody was staring at the couple in wonder. It was so surreal.
"If I may be so bold to ask: are you still an apprentice or already a full-fledged mage?"
Again this word, Ginny wondered but continued to listen.
"I'm a student of the arts, Sir Cullen. I'll take my exam in three years."
"I'm certain you'll pass your Harrowing with flying colours." Harrowing?
"I thank you for your words of trust," Luna continued to speak weirdly. It was as if she understood what this weird foreigner was speaking about, something the other occupants of the room didn't share. A low groan interrupted Ginny's daydreaming and admiration.
How could I forget her? She scolded herself. Remus was examining Hermione while Tonks had hastened at Sirius' side. She consoled Remus: "He's alright – a few broken bones but nothing life-threatening." She glanced towards the gateway and Cullen, expressing without words how different the result would have been without Cullen's sudden appearance.
"Hermione is worse. We should transport her to the Hospital immediately. Poppy must have a look and fast."
"You should stop the curse first," Cullen, who had watching him, interrupted him just as Remus moved to pick Hermione up. "It's still doing its dark work."
"I certainly would do that if I could," Remus snarled, regretting his harsh words instantly as Cullen put his shield on his back and draw a sharp and very pointy dagger. Noticing Remus feeble attempt to step back and draw his wand, Cullen raised his eyebrow. "Don't," he simply said. The one word was enough to stop Remus from doing something stupid. "If I wanted to kill you I would hardly use a dagger." He glanced towards his sheathed sword. "However, I need skin contact to stop the curse. I only want to help her."
"Why?" Remus asked with no small amount of trepidation. He knew better than to simply trust a foreigner's word.
"She's obviously Apprentice Luna's friend." Luna's smile became dazzling.
"She's more than that," Neville mumbled thanks to his broken nose. "Hermione is our big sister." Ginny nodded eagerly.
"One more reason to help her," Cullen simply stated and Remus obliged. He closely watched Cullen cut the robes and reveal the extent of Hermione's injury. Ginny had to bite her hand to stop her scream and Neville looked ill. There was a long, jagged gash across Hermione's chest, starting below her left breast and going down all the way to her left hip. It was deep and heavily bleeding. The greenish colour of the wound bode ill as well.
Cullen kneeled down, pulled a little vial with something that apparently was only clear water from a pouch and offered it Luna. "On my sign, use it to clean her wound." After getting a curt nod, Cullen put both bare hands on her skin to the left and right of the wound and started to whisper something that seemed to be a prayer. For a while nothing happened and Remus got a little antsy. Tonks had to put a hand on his arm to stop him from interrupting Cullen. Ginny's eyes widened as a bluish glow appeared around Cullen's hands and started to cover Hermione's chest. The blue light and the green of the wound seemed to battle for dominance for a while, until Cullen nodded. Luna started to use the water and slowly the blue light began to win. More and more it destroyed the green and the wound turned a serious but more normal deep red. It still didn't look healthy but like something Poppy could handle.
Cullen leant back, a bit exhausted apparently. "Is this Poppy a good healer?"
"The best," Luna stated with determination.
"Good," Cullen curtly nodded. Surprisingly gently he put his arms under the girl and lifted her from the ground. "Lead the way."
In Dragon Age mages are looked upon as untrustworthy and dangerous because of their connection to the "Fade", the plane of dreams, magic and demons. Because of this, their life is regulated and controlled. They are forced to live in so-called Circles, guarded and often isolated buildings (in Cullen's case a tower on an island). The Church (the state Church believing in the "Maker" and his prophet "Andraste") has the duty to guard them and uses the Templars (kind of clerical knight order) as the appropriate tool to do just this. Templars have special anti-magic powers to supplement their more traditional martial training.
Xander Amell is the main character of Dragon Age Origins Computer Game (one of the possible choices at least) and doesn't play an important role in this story.
Blood Magic is a special kind of magic (which has often to do with using magic to strengthen spells, hence the name) and is most often learned from demons.
Harrowing is the "exam" of DA mages and puts them into the Fade and against Demons to test their will.