A belated Christmas present.


Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, Man in the Iron Mask, LotR, or anything you might recognize from anything in here.

Chapter 24: Hogwarts


"Language of Westron"

… … … … …

Eldarion and Severus stumbled out of the Floo at the Three Broomsticks, Severus holding on tightly to Eldarion for balance; Taran had parted ways with them so as not to cause a panic and reveal Eldarion's connection to the Dementors. A few people glanced up but no one spared them a second glance despite their rough appearance, something for which both were grateful.

"There." Severus whispered, pointing to a woman bustling around.

Eldarion nodded as he helped settle Severus into a free table before signaling Madam Rosemerta over.

"What can I—Professor Snape! Then this must be the Eldarion that went missing too?"

"Yes ma'am. It's a pleasure to meet you. We wanted to see if you possibly had an emergency portkey for Hogwarts we could use. The Professor is not in well enough shape to make the walk if it can be avoided."

Madam Rosemerta glanced at Severus' pale face before bustling away, coming back a few moments later with a tray of stew and a child's toy.

"Here, eat up. It's on the House." She urged them and Severus and Eldarion were only too happy to comply despite wanting to get to Hogwarts—it had been about eight hours since they had eaten the rabbits. "I don't have any of the emergency portkeys to take you directly to the school left, but I do have one that will take you to the gates. That'll cut out about half your walk and I can send some lads with you to help you get the rest of the way."

Eldarion shared a glance with Severus.

"Thank you Madam Rosemerta." Severus spoke. "We'll take the portkey but we won't trouble anyone to accompany us, it'll save them having to walk back."

"Well, if you're sure—"

Eldarion finished sopping up the stew with the thick, homemade bread. "That was delicious. Thank you ma'am."

"Oh it was no trouble dear." She patted Eldarion's shoulder, her eyes darting quickly to and away from his ears for what had to be the third or fourth time. "I'm just glad to see you're both alright."

Eldarion looked over to see Severus had finished his stew as well.

"We had best be going. I'm sure they're worried up at the school. We probably should not have lingered to eat, but even had we not been so hungry your food smelled too good to pass up."

Madam Rosmerta blushed at Eldarion's compliment before bustling off, glancing back one final time. Eldarion would have almost thought he had accidentally made her Elf-struck, but she hadn't attempted to latch onto him or try and make him stay so he figured she was merely curious.

Together Eldarion and Severus grasped the portkey and seconds later they were whisked away. They landed hard outside the gates of Hogwarts, only Eldarion's quick reflexes keeping Severus from falling.

"Sorry." Eldarion apologized as he looped Severus' arm over his shoulder to balance the professor. "We should have stood first. I guess neither of us was thinking."

Severus grunted and leaned into Eldarion so the Elfling was supporting a good deal of his weight; even after the brief rest at the Three Broomsticks he was still exhausted and in rough shape.

"Let's just get to the school."

Slowly Eldarion and Severus made their awkward way up the long path to Hogwart's front doors, Severus refusing to stop and rest, conversation nearly non-existent as Severus conserved his strength for movement.

"You'd think with as many people as there are here that someone would have seen us and come to help." Eldarion huffed in disbelief as they finally reached the school.

Severus snorted. "They're probably all at dinner."

Eldarion glanced at Severus. "I still think it is foolish not to have a security or guard detail patrolling around."

Severus wearily shook his head. "The wards usually alert the Headmaster to trespassers or visitors to the grounds, but as we are allowed here the wards did not go off."

Eldarion shook his head in disgust. "You rely too much on magic. Magic can be fooled. That is not to say a guard cannot be, but by using both you have a higher security."

Severus shrugged as they crossed the entrance hall towards the Great Hall. "Many wizards don't know how to do things without magic, only those of us who grew up in the muggle world still have the common sense to see that magic isn't the only tool in this world. It's why we had to look for help with the creatures—they resist all but our most powerful spells and not many can cast with enough strength to take out more than a handful."

Eldarion sighed, uttered a well chosen curse in Dwarvish, before asking. "Do you have an idea how many more Uruk-hai Voldemort has?"

Severus flinched and his face briefly darkened with what looked like guilt before answering. "Close to a thousand the last I knew. He has used this new army sparingly, most likely in an attempt to build the population to the point where there is no chance of stopping it."

Eldarion halted them before the doors to the Great Hall. "Do you know what his first target will be? I have seen your mark; I know you once followed him and do not hold it against you. If you have useful information we need to know it—I need to know it so a counterattack can be formed."

Severus met Eldarion's eyes. "The Headmaster already knows. I don't know why you weren't told. It will be here. He will destroy the school, destroy the Boy-who-lived and the future of the wizarding world, and by doing so he will have destroyed the spirit of our society. The Ministry is already his though they don't know it, he has spies everywhere, Hogwarts is the only true thing standing in his way."

Eldarion nodded. It was as he had expected. Now having the information he needed, Eldarion took a firmer hold on Severus and pushed the doors to the Great Hall open. Noise immediately enveloped them only to quickly die off as more and more people caught sight of them.

"Melamin." The word escaped Legolas' mouth as he was already halfway towards Eldarion. Eldarion had just enough time to help Severus lean up against the door frame before he was wrapped up in Legolas' arms.

"Amin nae'ereb avaene lle." Eldarion managed to whisper before Legolas caught his lips in a possessive kiss. (rough: I missed you.)

"Amin dele ten'lle." Legolas said when they both needed to come up for air, their foreheads resting against one another so that their breaths mingled. (I worried about you.)

"Amin hiraetha." Eldarion was interrupted by Gimli thumping him on the back. (I'm sorry.)

"I knew you'd be fine." The Dwarf was all hearty cheer before his next words descended into a rough growl. "Don't ever do that to us again. I can't stand the Elf's whining."

Eldarion laughed. "I will try, Gimli. Thank you for worrying."

Gimli humphed and Eldarion turned his head to see Severus being forced onto a floating stretcher by the school's healer, the Headmaster standing nearby with twinkling eyes as if nothing had happened, as if one of his teachers was not missing a leg. Eldarion wanted to smack the old man.

"Eldarion." Legolas gently drew his mate's attention back to him. "Let us head to my chambers. I will tend any injuries you have and you can tell us what happened."

Eldarion nodded and allowed Legolas to draw him into his side as they headed for the door.

"And just where do you think you're going?" The Healer was suddenly there, scolding. "You'll be heading to the hospital wing as well young man."

Eldarion shook his head. "I am fine milady. What little injury I have sustained can be capably tended by my mate. See to the professor instead. I did what I could to tend him but it was a crude healing that should be better tended by you."

Madam Pomfrey studied Eldarion for a moment longer. "Oh, go on, but you had better come see me in the morning. Do not make me come looking for you. And the name is Poppy, not milady."

Gracing Poppy with a smile, Eldarion continued out with Legolas only to be stopped again.

"Eldarion, my boy, if you could head to my office I have a few questions for you."

Eldarion didn't bother to turn. "I will speak with you in the morning after I check on Professor Snape and honor my visit to Poppy."

Eldarion gave Legolas an unnoticeable nudge to get him walking again and they, along with Gimli and Remus, escaped to the sanctity of their chambers. Once there Eldarion found himself summarily stripped of his shirt so that Legolas could tend his wound while he told his companions of his kidnapping between eating bites of the food brought by a house-elf.

Together the four discussed the implications of Eldarion's kidnapping, as well as the information he had learned from Severus, until Legolas noticed Eldarion was falling asleep against him.

"Esta, melamin." Legolas said as he lifted Eldarion and tucked him into bed before joining him, mindful of the wound on Eldarion's side. "You are safe now." (Rest, my love.)

Eldarion smiled. "I will always be safe with you, cormamin." (my heart.)

Legolas continued to stay awake long after Eldarion had drifted off, finally voicing his fears when he knew only the darkness could hear.

"I don't know how well I can protect you here where magic can so easily steal you away. I am afraid of failing you Eldarion."

Only silence and Eldarion's sleeping breaths answered him.

… … … … …

True to his word Eldarion presented himself at the hospital wing the next morning to allow Poppy to look him over, Legolas having reluctantly allowed him to go alone. Quietly she poked at him with her wand, making an occasional noise as something interested her, before she finally twirled her wand at his wound to seal it over.

"Whatever you did yourself had already begun the healing or that wouldn't have worked so neatly." Poppy informed him. "Wounds caused by those creatures are nasty to heal."

She turned to poke at the poultice she had removed from his side. "Whatever you used in this seems to have actually cleansed the wound. It certainly did wonders for saving Severus. Perhaps you could teach me some of your medicines?"

Eldarion inclined his head. "I can try, but much of it is simply herb lore augmented by Elvish magic. How is the Professor doing?"

Poppy tisked. "He's such a difficult patient and it doesn't help that his leg wasn't found. I'm having to re-grow the missing bones, which is painful in its own right, but I'm also going to have to recreate the flesh as well. He'll be a little awkward and surly for a few days until the process is finished."

Eldarion couldn't help but be intrigued. "Is it something I can see?"

"Actually, Severus has been asking for you. He also mentioned you might have a painkiller he can take. Currently he can't take any of the potions we have on hand because they interfered with the effectiveness of the Skelegro and could cause bone mutations. Unfortunately Severus is also the only person in this castle I would trust to be capable enough to brew the potions he could take, they are extremely complex."

Eldarion shrugged. "I do not think it will interfere given it is natural instead of magical, but we will discuss it first with the Professor to make sure since I do not know much of your medicines. I can attempt to modify things in the pain medicine should the original composition prove a risk."

"You do that." Poppy told him as she led him back towards the private room Severus was currently occupying. "Maybe you can keep Severus distracted enough with that discussion that he'll stop trying to sneak out every time my back is turned."

Eldarion couldn't help but crack a smile as he entered the room, it did not surprise him that the man was trying to sneak out despite having to have a leg re-grown. Eldarion found himself extremely curious about the process; he had never considered it possible to re-grow a leg, but then again now that he knew it was possible all sorts of ideas were running through his mind on how it could be possible—especially with Elven magic. The fact that he was so curious about it was Eldarion's excuse for the first thing that popped out of his mouth after greeting Severus.

"How are you feeling today? Can I see your leg?"

For a long moment Severus just stared at the young Elf before he suddenly burst out laughing, making Poppy decide that a quick exit was in order.

Posted On: December 28, 2010