A Dragon Age/Harry Potter Crossover Fan-fiction
I do not own Harry Potter/J. K. Rowling/Bloomsbury, etc. or Dragon Age/Bioware, etc. and I am not affiliated with them in any way. This story is purely for entertainment value. Some quotes might be taken directly from the game.
As a warning: This story contains slash, otherwise known as homosexual pairings, i.e. romantic liaisons between two men.
This is a male Cousland (Human Noble)/Harry Potter story.
FOR UNEDITED CHAPTERS, PLEASE BROWSE MY LIVEJOURNAL. THE LINK IS IN MY PROFILE.
Harry chose to move on rather than live, but landing in a world just as war-torn as his own wasn't his idea of an afterlife. But after meeting Malcolm Cousland, he's decided Ferelden isn't all bad.
The boy was worryingly silent. They had left behind the massacre at Castle Cousland two days ago, and Malcolm Cousland, the youngest son and possibly the only survivor of the Cousland family, who presided over the Highever teynir, had been utterly and completely silent.
Duncan sighed and dragged a weary, gloved hand down his cheeks. Malcolm trudged ahead, his shoulders tight with tension and hands fisted at his sides. His mabari warhound, a great bear-like dog, trotted at his right, ears perked. The young man was furious, that much was obvious; it was written into the lines of his face, in the purse of his mouth, and in his eyes, which burned with a rage the battle-weary Warden Commander was all too familiar with.
The young man had his father's coloring: tan skin, pale blue eyes, and dark chestnut colored hair, but his mother's bone structure, with an aquiline nose, high cheek bones, and a stubborn jaw. He was tall, taller than most men, and probably broader than them too, and had short-cropped hair. Built like a tank, his father had once said. No doubt he had broken the hearts of many women.
"Let's stop here for the night," Duncan eventually said, ending his scrutiny. They had been moving almost non-stop and were finally far enough from Castle Cousland and the main wave of Howe's occupation that he felt it safe to rest.
Malcolm merely glanced back and grunted in affirmation, heading off the road and into a small copse of trees to make camp.
Duncan shook his head, hoping that Malcolm would eventually find some way to redirect or harness his anger; with the way he was going, the boy would only get himself killed.
Odin's head rose abruptly. Malcolm jolted awake when his mabari's throat began to vibrate with a low growl and slung off his blanket. His eyes landed on Duncan, who was sitting with his back to the crackling fire, his back silhouetted against the dark trees.
"What is it?" he asked, voice husky from sleep. Duncan turned to regard him, his eyes hooded.
"Darkspawn," the man eventually answered, keeping his voice low. Malcolm almost had to strain to hear his words. "I'm not sure what they're doing this far north, but there's a band of about twenty of them, and they're heading this way," he said. "Your hound woke you before I could."
Malcolm's jaw tightened and he stood, checking his armor and equipment, not even bothering to ask how the man knew there were darkspawn coming their way. Duncan had been frustratingly quiet about all things Warden-related, not that Malcolm had really been asking.
Five minutes later, Duncan stood and drew his weapons, moving behind the fire to make sure he didn't trip over it. "Get ready," was all he said. Malcolm's grip tightened on his sword, and his heart pumped quicker.
Duncan's words were punctuated by a scream, and both men's eyes widened. A crashing echoed through the trees, some muffled words, and then a dark shape flew into the clearing, a whimper escaping it when it crashed bodily into Malcolm's hard plate armor.
Malcolm could do little but stare when startling green eyes stared up at him, bright with fever and pain. The pale face was smudged with blood and dirt, and a bruise was high on their left cheek. "Help me," the stranger rasped, before his eyes rolled back in his head and he collapsed. The youngest Cousland caught the boy around the waist and hauled him against his chest with his shield arm.
He turned to Odin. "Guard him," he ordered, before placing the unconscious teen against a tree. Odin rumbled a reply and took up a protective stance in front of the newcomer.
Malcolm scarcely had time to meet Duncan's eyes before they were overrun. With pleading green eyes hovering in his conscious, the young man surged forward.
Malcolm's eyes opened when he heard the stranger's breathing quicken. He sat cross-legged by the teen's prone body, having given up his bedroll. No doubt Duncan had been confused when he refused to leave the boy's side, but he ignored the man's questioning stares and turned his gaze to the stranger's face.
The teen's brow puckered slightly and petal pink lips parted in a quiet groan. Malcolm moved slightly closer as the teen's eyelashes fluttered, and locked eyes with slowly focusing bright green. His lips twitched in amusement when a flush darkened the stranger's cheeks.
"H-Hi," they stuttered, obviously uncertain how to greet him. Malcolm chuckled quietly and picked up a rag he'd dampened with water from his canteen. He lightly dabbed away the dirt and blood on the green-eyed teen's face, being ever careful of the darkening bruise on his cheek, and traced the alabaster features with his eyes.
"Good morning," he replied when he was finished with his task.
"I'm Harry," the teen whispered, tilting his head and then wincing as his neck protested the movement.
"Malcolm," the warrior offered. "Try not to move much. You had a rough night."
Harry glanced away in what seemed to be shame. "I—I'm sorry. I didn't mean to lead those, those things to you." He bit his lip, and turned his gaze back to Malcolm, "I don't even know where I am."
Malcolm frowned, "You're in Fereldan, a few days outside of Highever and close to West Hill." He ignored the way his throat tightened around the name of his home.
Harry's eyes clouded with confusion. "Where is that?"
The brown-haired man's brow knitted together. "Where are you from?" he asked, instead.
"England," the teen answered instantly, "or rather Scotland. I live there most of the year, so I guess that's where I'm from."
By now, Duncan had walked up, seeing the newcomer was awake. Harry noticed him and almost instantly shifted towards Malcolm, grimacing as his spine was wracked with pain. The Grey Warden held his hands up in a placating gesture. "Easy, I'm not going to hurt you." The man had kind eyes, Harry decided, and relaxed a bit.
"I'm sorry," Harry apologized again. "I just haven't had very much luck, lately. I woke up, and I was here—wherever here is, and then those things just, popped up from the ground and started to chase me. I couldn't shake them, no matter what I did." He shivered in memory, and looked between the two warriors. "You weren't hurt because of me, were you?"
Duncan shook his head. "No, we weren't, but thank you for the concern. By the time you reached us, your pursuers were rather worn out, and we dispatched them easily."
Harry stared at Duncan with wide eyes. "Oh," he muttered, his entire body sagging in relief. "They're de—they're gone, then?" Duncan nodded. "Oh," he said again, "that's good."
Duncan smiled at the teen's obvious relief. "I'm glad you think so. My name is Duncan, and I'm sure you've already met Malcolm." Odin suddenly barked in protest at being ignored, and bounded up next to the bedroll. Harry yelped in surprise before letting out a soft cry of pain when he jarred his injuries.
"Odin, stop," Malcolm scolded, already helping Harry lay back down. Odin whined and sunk to his belly, resting his massive head on his forepaws. Harry grinned tiredly at the large doleful eyes.
"It's alright," he said. "He just surprised me." Malcolm shook his head.
"He should be more careful around the injured, regardless. You're pretty banged up as it is, you don't need to add any more bruises."
Duncan watched the two interact with sharp eyes, rather surprised at how Malcolm spoke so easily with the green-eyed lad. Obviously his newest recruit had seen something in the young man, whatever it might be.
"If you don't mind me asking," he interrupted their quiet conversation, "where did you say you're from?"
"I—Scotland, which is in the United Kingdom."
Duncan looked at Malcolm for a split second before speaking to Harry, "I do not know of any place called Scotland or the United Kingdom, young man, nor have I come across those names in my travels. Do you know how you might have gotten here?"
Harry shook his head slowly, his breath quickening. His eyes glazed over slightly. "I died, I think. I couldn't be sure, but I think I did. I was given a choice—to continue living, or move on. I—" his voice cracked, "I was so tired. There was so much death and pain, and I'd done what they told me I had to do. I died," he said bitterly, "just like they said I had to. My job was done—I didn't want to go back. I wanted to rest. I wanted to see my family again, but... it went dark, and then I woke up here."
Duncan and Malcolm were speechless. Harry laughed a bit hysterically at the looks on their faces. "It sounds stupid, doesn't it? You don't believe me. I wouldn't either, of course. No one comes back from the dead, and they certainly don't get dropped into another world or whatever this is." His words cut off with a giggle, "Feel free to kill me, if you want. I don't have anything going for me here."
The corners of Malcolm's mouth tightened and he turned to glare at Duncan so fiercely the Warden Commander actually felt a tinge of fear. "No one will be killing you, Harry," Malcolm said slowly, still looking Duncan in the eyes. "Whether you're from another world or not, you're here now." He locked eyes with Harry's bright green ones, and the message in them went unsaid between the two. You're with me, now.
Duncan watched the exchange with no small amount of bafflement. He cleared his throat, "Malcolm is right, little one. There's no reason to take your life; you haven't proven to be a threat to us and," he paused to chuckle, a twinkle coming to his eye, "I doubt Malcolm would appreciate you coming to harm."
Harry's face flushed brightly and Malcolm scowled at the Warden. Crazy old man, he growled to himself.
Harry grasped Malcolm's hand, his grip tentative but warm. "Thank you," he whispered. Malcolm hummed quietly, and brushed a calloused hand over Harry's unblemished cheek, noting the way the teen leaned into his touch.
"Sleep," he said. Harry did.
"You have taken to him quickly," Duncan remarked when the noon sun, its hot rays obscured by leafy branches, hung high overhead. Malcolm grunted, and the Grey Warden looked amused at the young man's lack of reply. "I'm guessing that you want him to come with us."
Malcolm finally looked away from Harry to meet the eyes of his companion. They sat on a fallen log at the edge of the clearing, far enough away that their conversation would be private. "Yes," he said quietly.
Duncan sighed. "I am leery of having him in Ostagar, or even near where the battle is. We have no idea whether or not he has any skill in defending himself." Granted, the boy did practically say he'd come from a war in his own world, which he'd played a key part in, but he couldn't be sure. Plus, he was injured and disoriented. The Grey Wardens needed all the help they could get, but even Duncan drew the line somewhere.
Malcolm tensed. Duncan ignored him and continued, "However, I can see that you are most unwilling to leave him undefended, or as it stands, out of your sight. Should he be healthy enough on the morrow, we will take him with us. Then we'll worry about his fighting skills."
His recruit stared at him with unreadable eyes, but Duncan could see some of the tension drain out of his frame. He wondered just why Malcolm had latched onto the boy so quickly, whether it was because of his reluctance to see the death of an innocent, or because of some more personal reason, but he could do little but see where it would lead. Perhaps there was a reason this Harry was sent to Fereldan, to Malcolm. In the face of a Blight, Duncan was willing to do anything, anything, to save his homeland.
He closed his eyes and turned away from where Malcolm had laid down next to Harry with Odin on the boy's other side, master and hound enclosing the boy in a net of safety. Maker guide me, he prayed.
"Where are my clothes?"
Malcolm grinned at Harry's indignant squeak. He had been wondering when the teen would realize that underneath his blanket, he was only clothed in bandages and his underclothes. "They were ruined," he told him, amusement dancing in his eyes. Harry was as red as a tomato.
They were alone in the camp, Duncan having left early that morning to look into the trail that Harry and the darkspawn had left. He seemed unsettled that they had migrated so far out of the Kocari Wilds. Malcolm had elected to stay at camp with Harry—even though he could do with a few lessons about darkspawn—a fact that hadn't much surprised the Warden Commander.
"Who—who took them off of me?" Malcolm merely raised an eyebrow, and Harry groaned in embarrassment. His smile slipped off his face, though, when he saw that Harry was genuinely upset underneath his embarrassment.
"What's wrong?" he asked, walking over and crouching down beside the fidgeting young man.
Harry looked up at him, "Did you see a long stick in the belongings? It's Holly, and polished—it should have been in the pockets."
The wood obviously had some importance to Harry. "I didn't throw them out," Malcolm gently reassured him. "But they were covered with things better left unsaid. I'll search the pockets, if you want me to." Harry nodded shallowly. "Be right back, then."
It didn't take Malcolm long to find it, a slender piece of wood about a foot long engraved with several designs, probably runes, most likely from Harry's world, and a handle. He paused when another stick, similar in appearance but where the first was a dark wood, this one was lighter in appearance, a fair bit longer, and had knobs along the wood every few inches. He frowned as he eyed them. They were... warm, for lack of a better word, and seemed to hum in his hands. He wondered if they were a weapon, of some trinket of Harry's.
"Here," he said, setting the two objects on Harry's lap. "Both of them were in the pockets of your clothing." He wondered if something was wrong when Harry stared at the white-wood stick with trepidation.
"Both of them?" he croaked, reaching out a trembling finger to touch the carved wood of the second stick he'd found, the longer one.
"Something wrong?" he asked. Harry paused and turned to look at him, something weighing heavily upon his shoulders.
"Do you believe in magic?" he suddenly asked. Malcolm was taken aback for a second.
"Are you a mage?" he asked instead of replying. Harry looked taken aback by his words.
"A mage," Malcolm repeated, settling down on the ground. He stretched one of his legs out behind Harry's back and folded the other underneath. "They're magic users that live in the Circle Tower," he said, before mentally smacking himself. If Harry really came from another world like he said, he wouldn't have any idea what the Circle Tower was, and judging by his dumbstruck expression, he hadn't.
"In my world, we're called witches and wizards," Harry commented, shaking his head. "Everyone knows about these—mages, you called them?"
Malcolm nodded. "It's common knowledge. They all live in the Circle Tower, which is, well, a circular Tower in the middle of a lake. They're guarded by the Templars. Many times, they're hired out to be healers or weapon enchanters."
Harry pursed his lips. "I—my magic is nothing like that. I mean, I can heal, I was taught how, but I don't know how to, er, enchant weapons or anything." He gestured to the two sticks, "These are my wands; I guess you could call them my weapons-they're what I channel my magic through."
Malcolm leaned in closer to inspect the two wands on Harry's lap. "They look like pieces of wood to me," he admitted, "but they felt odd when I picked them up. Was that the magic?" Harry nodded.
"The exterior is wood, but the center, the core, has something from a magical creature, which allows magic to be channeled through it." He picked up the Holly wand, "This—I got this when I was eleven and first introduced to the magical world. It's holly, eleven inches, with the tail-feather of a phoenix. And this one, this I got after someone very dear to me died. It's fifteen inches, made of elder wood, with the hair of a thestral inside."
Malcolm had no idea what the creatures Harry spoke of were, but he enjoyed the light that came to his eyes when he spoke of his world. "Mages use staffs or their hands, from what I've seen."
"Staffs seem... rather cumbersome," Harry murmured, "and I don't know how to do magic without my wand. I wonder how different the magic from our worlds is. I wasn't allowed to speak of it to anyone who didn't previously know. We had this law, see, that kept us separate from muggles—those that didn't have magic. So we were basically a separate society that no one knew about.
"I guess I don't really apply to that law anymore, seeing as I'm, well, here." Harry fidgeted, and then paused, a question coming to the forefront of his mind. "How—how do they treat mages, here?" he asked.
Malcolm studied Harry for a while before answering. "Not very well, I'm afraid. I'm ignorant about the real details—I wasn't around many mages growing up, just the odd visitor, but most people seemed afraid of them, and I've heard that the Templars hunt those that run away from the Circle."
Harry swallowed worriedly, "Will they hunt me? When they find out I have magic?"
"Not if they want to live," Malcolm growled. He'd no doubt that should anyone learn of Harry's origins, they'd want to study him and he wouldn't allow that to happen. He saw the way Harry instantly relaxed at his words, and wondered just how they had become so obviously attached to each other in such a short time.
They sat there for a while, Harry quietly telling Malcolm about the world he lived in while tracing the lines on the older man's large hand. Harry's own were... dainty, in comparison, and the skin much softer. Odin had lain down at Harry's feet and was relaxing in the sound of Harry's voice, his ears flicking every which way as he kept watch over his two humans.
"What kind of dog is he?" Harry asked, his attention drawn to the yawning mabari. The large mouth was lined with razor-sharp teeth, and the dog's jaw looked like it could snap a man's femur with little effort.
Malcolm looked at his Mabari proudly. "He's a mabari war hound. Fierce creature, and strong, too. I don't know a man who'd want to be on the receiving end of a mabari's attack."
Harry laughed. "I'd imagine not, he's huge! He must come up to my chest, at least."
Malcolm turned to look at him, arching an eyebrow in the process. "Oh? That's not saying much, then," he teased. "You're a titchy little thing. I thought you were an elf at first, given how little you are."
Harry glared at his companion. "I am not!" he protested. "It's not my fault you're a giant! What did your mother feed you, anyway?"
Malcolm's expression froze, and Harry tensed in response. He eyed the large man worriedly. "I'm—I'm sorry, if I said something wrong. I didn't mean to upset you—" his voice wasn't much louder than a whisper and he felt a thread of frustration build inside him. He felt like a pregnant woman, with how his emotions were fluctuating. Damn it, he was stronger than this!
Malcolm shook his head and squeezed Harry's hand, preventing him from moving away. "It's nothing," he said lowly. "I—My family was killed recently. Three days ago, in fact."
Harry gaped at him, words failing him for a moment. "That's not—" he protested, "That's not nothing! Your family—who the fuck would do such a thing?"
Malcolm stared at Harry in surprise. He hadn't expected the young man, who had been so docile up until now, to explode in anger on his behalf. "Who the hell had that bright idea? If they were half as nice as you, there's no way that—that—"
Harry's cheeks were flushed with anger and he continued to rage silently, gnashing his teeth. He turned to look at Malcolm with fire in his eyes. "If you don't kill the bastard that did it, I'll hunt him down and make him scream," he promised. "No one—no one deserves that, especially you. It's not—it's not right."
Malcolm swallowed, a lump in his throat. "Thank you," he whispered hoarsely. He ducked his head, the tears he'd suppressed since the massacre of his friends and family rising to his eyes. "Thank you," he repeated, the words coming out as a sob.
Harry's own eyes filled with tears, understanding the pain this man went though. He scooted forward as close as he could and carefully wrapped his arms around Malcolm's shoulders, pressing his face into the man's neck. He didn't care that he was practically in the man's lap and he didn't care that he was practically a stranger—all he knew was that this generous, kind man that had ensured his safety without asking anything in return was in pain, and Harry wished to stop it.
Malcolm crushed Harry to him, burying his face in the teen's soft raven hair, and cried, his entire body shuddering with the force of his agony, and Harry cried with him.
Duncan watched from the shadows with saddened pride in his eyes as Malcolm finally let loose the pain he'd been hiding, glad that at least one good thing had come in the wake of so much death.
"Will I be coming with you?" Harry finally asked. The question—and the answer—had been on Harry's mind the entire morning. Once Malcolm had returned his wand—wands?—to him, he'd used the healing spells he knew to mend the fractures in his ribs, the strained muscles in his neck, and the painful bruises that dotted his entire body. He had looked like he'd been through a meat grinder, but luckily, Madame Pomfrey's lessons had come in handy.
He paused at the thought of the Mediwitch that had ruled the Hogwarts Infirmary with an iron fist. He hoped they were doing okay—that Neville had been able to defeat Nagini, and that he, or someone else, had gathered enough courage to slay Voldemort once and for all, but he couldn't bring himself to regret his decision. That chapter of his life was, gratefully, over. He'd been conscripted for war before he was born, worshipped for an event that ruined his life, and expected to die for the greater good.
He shook himself from his thoughts and focused once more on Malcolm. The man had already grown used to his lapses in attention, and waited patiently for him to regain his bearings.
"Yes," he assured Harry as he rolled up the pad Harry had commandeered during his recovery. They had yet to tell Duncan of his abilities, and Harry often wondered what the man's reaction would be. Would he send him away? Harry hoped not. The elder of the three men had been very kind and patient with Harry, even waiting for him to recover enough before he continued on his journey.
Harry sighed in relief and joy, glad that he would be able to stay with Malcolm. He grinned brightly and helped secure the man's small pack, and cast a featherlight charm on the entire thing. Malcolm looked at him, started at the lack of weight on his back, before shaking his head with a grin at the sheepish look on Harry's face. The green-eyed teen's magic was very useful, from what he'd seen of it, and most of it wasn't even combat-oriented.
Harry had offered to shrink Malcolm's pack earlier, but the taller man had declined, saying that Duncan would be suspicious if his bag suddenly went missing, which would prompt them to giving up Harry's secret before Harry himself was ready. It had been sound reasoning.
Camp was broken quickly that morning, Harry fluttering around and doing what he could, having some experience camping during his time on the run from Voldemort and his lackeys.
He'd cleaned and mended his clothes with a few spells, and they looked as new as ever. He'd even taken to casting a few discreet freshening charms on all three of them, and Odin, though Malcolm had glanced at Harry suspiciously when he felt a light tingle across his skin. He'd snorted at the look of innocence on the green-eyed man's face, not believing it for a second, and went about his business.
Harry had discovered the distinct... lack of facilities that this world had, and thanked all that was holy that he knew loads of personal hygiene charms, having had to use them because Hogwarts didn't have some of what were seen as muggle necessities, like toothbrushes: witches and wizards, instead, used special cleaning and breath-freshening charms (or pre-spelled wands, if they were underage and out of school).
He shuddered to think about what they wiped themselves with, or how often they bathed, and vowed to introduce Malcolm to the wonders of toilet paper.
Duncan returned with a young buck swung over one shoulder, and quickly set about skinning it for their breakfast. Harry offered to cook, knowing that the other men were tired and they deserved a good meal. He also had the advantage of being able to conjure herbs when they, or rather Duncan, weren't looking, and they were sure to enjoy seasoned veal more than bland roasted meat.
Duncan graciously agreed, curious about the cooking of Harry's world, and gave him access to the two pots he carried with him. Harry discreetly transfigured a leaf into a large, flat rock, set it over the fire to warm, and set about rubbing the meat down with herbs and salt, before laying it to cook on the rock's heated surface. He heated some of the fat in another pan and used Malcolm's dagger to dice some wild onions he'd found, caramelizing the vegetable to get rid of the sharp, bitter taste.
Both Malcolm and Duncan watched his practiced movements with astonishment, having only expected a stew, or worse, an inedible dish that they'd have to choke down anyway. When Harry finally sliced into the veal, the two men and their furry companion were practically salivating—in Odin's case, it was literally.
Harry stifled a laugh as his meal was devoured without hesitation, his traveling companions going back for seconds and then thirds. Harry contented himself with one serving, unable to keep up with the other's voracious appetites, and wrapped up the remaining beef to eat on the road, neither man noticing when he cast a preservation charm on it to keep it fresh. He grinned happily; magic was so useful sometimes!
They set out with full stomachs and high spirits. Malcolm, having released some of his pent up anger and grief with Harry the night before, was much more relaxed and even spoke to Duncan several times. Both he and Harry listened while the man told them of the Grey Wardens, a legion of great warriors that existed to battle the darkspawn.
Duncan explained to Harry that the creatures that had chased him that first night were called darkspawn—weak ones, to be sure, but dangerous none the less. He explained about the danger of the taint, and what it could do to the land if left to fester and worse, if it was a Blight.
He told them of Ostagar, and King Cailan's attempt to confront the darkspawn head on, before they penetrated deeper into Ferelden and threatened the many villages.
Harry, having never imagined such things could exist, was horrified. Malcolm was quietly grim.
"So Malcolm will join the Grey Wardens?" Harry asked Duncan. The older man nodded without looking back. Harry looked to his left and studied the side of Malcolm's face.
The two had grown closer over a week of travel, and Harry felt a certain kinship to the man, a trust that he couldn't begin to describe. He wondered if it was fate that ran into the man on his first night in Ferelden. It was hard to imagine—Malcolm going off to fight darkspawn, leaving Harry behind. What would happen if Harry wasn't there? What if Malcolm died, and Harry's magic could have saved him?
Chills slid down his spine at the thought, and his stomach suddenly felt like lead.
"Can anyone join?" Harry asked quietly.
Duncan stopped abruptly and turned to face Harry. His face was stern and his eyes searching. Malcolm, too, was watching him, with something akin to frustration on his features. He didn't want to leave Harry behind—he'd grown used to the teen, to his green eyes, his quiet but reassuring presence. Harry was a balm to his wounded spirit and being without him would, he knew, be like missing his right arm.
"Why do you ask?" Duncan inquired. Harry met his dark eyes without hesitation and took a slow step to his left, pressing into Malcolm's side. Duncan's gaze turned understanding and he let out a slow breath.
"Harry," he began gently, "before anything else, be they scholars or politicians, mage, pick-pocket, or noble, Grey Wardens are warriors. We fight the darkspawn—we battle them, we kill them. I cannot knowingly recruit someone that has no fighting experience, or any way to defend himself."
Harry bit his lip and his eyes felt to Duncan's breastplate. The man's voice saw the young man's nervousness and quieted his voice even more. "I need you to answer me honestly, Harry. Do you have a means to protect yourself?"
Harry's eyes flickered to Duncan's face before fixing onto the ground. He shifted his weight from foot to foot. "I—yes, I do. I just—I don't want you to send me away. I don't—"
Duncan raised his hand to cut him off. "Grey Wardens come from all walks of life, Harry. We take in thieves, criminals, mages—we offer those who need it and will fight with us our protection. As an order, we are respected, and those who join it become Wardens first and foremost before anything they might have been before—and they are thought no less for it."
Harry's shoulders loosened and sighed. Malcolm looped an arm around his friend's slim waist in support. Green eyes met pale blue for a second, an unspoken conversation taking place, before the connection was lost, and Harry returned his attention to Duncan. The older man wondered if they knew how they looked like that, standing so close together—wondered if they saw the genuine adoration for each other on their features. Probably not.
"I'm a wizard," Harry told the Warden Commander. "It's, well, it's my world's equivalent of a mage, but we aren't as... limited in our practice. Malcolm told me a bit about them-I was afraid that if you knew, you'd tell them, and they'd take me away. The Templars, I think they're called, they don't seem to exist for the protection of the mages themselves, and it doesn't seem like magic-users are treated well at all, and—"
Duncan cut off Harry's ramblings with a hand on his shoulder. "Relax, you have nothing to fear from me. All Grey Warden mages are considered apostates, but legal ones, and are outside the rule of the Chantry and its Templars. If you join, the Circle cannot legally get its hands on you without bringing down the might of the Grey Wardens upon itself."
Harry trembled with relief and Malcolm tugged him closer to his chest. "So I don't have to leave? Malcolm won't go without me?" Duncan smiled.
"No, I'm sure that he won't. I'd be happy to have you join the Grey Wardens, and I will take your word for it that you can defend yourself." He paused in thought, before continuing, "Though, I'd rather like to see the extent of your magic, and what you meant about fewer limitations. Fereldens are somewhat... superstitious, and it would probably be a good idea if I could warn you about what you can and cannot display without ruffling some feathers."
Harry nodded and offered Duncan a tentative smile, which was warmly returned. Malcolm caught his eyes and grinned down at him, before picking him up and spinning him around. Harry let out a startled laugh at the sudden feeling of weightlessness before enjoying an overwhelming rush of delight at the sight of Malcolm's smile.
Duncan chortled loudly at the pair's antics and shook his head. He wondered how they would get along with Alistair, before groaning internally and wondering what he had gotten himself into.