A Dragon Age/Harry Potter Crossover Fan-fiction
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.
"You ready to go?" Alistair asked the gathered four in front of him. He avoided meeting Malcolm's gaze as he checked them all over. He frowned at the the absence of Harry and Malcolm's supplies. "Where are your packs? You can't seriously believe you're going out there without supplies, right?"
Harry merely smirked at him as his fingertips traced abstract patterns on Malcolm's breastplate. "Where they are is for me to know, and you to find out. Don't worry your empty little head about it." Odin barked an agreement.
The junior Warden glared at him before turning away and walking towards the large wooden gate that barred the camp from the Wilds—or the Wilds from the camp. "Whatever," he grumbled. "It's your funeral. But don't expect any of us to share with you."
Harry shrugged in response, ignoring how Malcolm's hand on his hip tightened in warning, and followed his annoyed companions out into the darkening land beyond.
Harry was a bit perturbed at the way Alistair hung near the back of their group, letting the more inexperienced recruits lead the way through the chilly, humid marshes.
Malcolm had taken point, most probably because he was more equipped to deal with an onslaught of enemies. Daveth, who turned out to be a former cut-purse, acted as the scout, using his superior speed and stealth to scope out the territory, and the archer. Harry imagined that Jory, with his two-handed broadsword, and Alistair, who also had a sword and shield, would pick off the enemies while Malcolm held their attention.
Harry grimaced at the dread that gripped him. He hated that Malcolm would be in the midst of battle; even though he knew the noble could handle himself.
Harry, himself, had not yet left Malcolm's side, though he was no longer glued to it for the sake of maneuverability. He made sure to stay within arm's length, both for his sake and Malcolm's, who looked reluctant to even have him near possible danger.
They were slowly slogging through damp, muddy earth that clung to boots and made strange sucking sounds with every step. The party's mood, which had been energetic and ready for action at the start of their quest, quickly sank after they were faced with the inevitable trek through swamps and clouds of hungry mosquitoes. Even Odin seemed to droop in boredom.
Not far out into their journey, they'd run into a pack of rabid wolves—which had attacked them without the slightest hint of provocation. Harry had knelt over the corpse of one wolf and felt along its body, grimacing as he felt the sharpness of its ribs. They were starving—these animals were desperate for a meal. It wasn't surprising, not really, since he could already feel the darkness of the Taint moving through the Wilds. Duncan had explained how it warped the plants and animals; how it killed and mutated. These wolves, who would normally run at the sight of humans, were victims of that taint.
Harry grimaced as the soft sole of his boot—charmed water resistant and self-cleaning—sank into the wet ground with a disgusting 'plip' and drew him from his musings.
"Oh, Merlin," he grumbled, lifting his robes up and out of the way as he tried to pull himself free. The mud held on snugly. "This is not how I wanted to spend my afternoon." After nearly a year of slumming with Hermione and Ron in the wilderness, he had been looking forward to a relaxing life-long vacation. But of course, he was Harry Potter, and nothing was ever easy for him.
Malcolm smirked as he trudged over, wrapped his hands around Harry's waist, and easily lifted him free from the grasping mire.
"Show off," the scowling green-eyed teen grumbled, wrapping his arms around the noble's shoulders, careful to avoid the sharp metal guards. Odin huffed, amused at his human's expression.
Jory and Daveth snorted. "Sorry to offend your delicate sensibilities, princess," Alistair grunted, just as dirty and sour as his companions.
Harry bared his teeth at him, "Apology not accepted." He didn't dislike Alistair, not really—he'd had enough negative relationships to last him a lifetime—but the junior Warden's insensitive comments always seemed to strike a nerve. He wasn't in the mood to be gracious, not when he was slowly being eaten alive by mosquitoes.
Now, if it had been Malcolm, then it would be another story. He could eat Harry any time. The wizard sniggered quietly at his thoughts.
Though his endurance had increased dramatically during the duration of his trip to Ostagar with Duncan, Malcolm, and Odin, Harry was still at a physical disadvantage compared to his cohorts. He was short, with a slender, compact musculature built for short bursts of speed. Quidditch didn't require much more than hanging onto a broom, magic in general was a lazy man's dream, and spending the last year foraging and stealing food, living on little sleep and high amounts of stress, and dealing with the taint of Voldemort's soul shards did nothing to keep him healthy.
And, when compared to Malcolm's impressive physique, his was laughable.
He sighed as Malcolm set him down on more stable ground. He hated feeling like dead weight, but he had to face the facts: he couldn't keep up with his party. After just a few hours of wading through the harsh terrain and fighting off rabid, starving animals, he was exhausted.
Odin padded over to him, whining, and leaned against Harry's leg, looking up at him with wide, guileless eyes. The massive mabari turned to Malcolm accusingly. Take care of him, Master!
Malcolm frowned as he eyed Harry's drooping shoulders, and pulled the teen closer to him as they continued on. "Harry," he called, gently taking the wizard's hand, "what's bothering you?" He kept his voice as low as possible, and glanced back to make sure their companions weren't paying attention.
Harry's small hand gripped his tighter. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "I'm just—I'm tired." He looked up and met Malcolm's icy blue eyes with his own emerald stare. "I'm not used to this, Malcolm. I don't think I'm cut out for it—I've never used such physical means to fight before and it's... it's hard on me. But I can't leave you, because I can help you, and you need me, and I need you, and—" He took a deep, trembling breath. He hadn't meant to let all of that out.
Malcolm pursed his lips for a second in thought. He knew Harry wasn't built for long, strenuous trips and fights where one was as likely to get a dagger in the back as they were a sword in the gut. He knew it was also doubly hard on him because he was utterly unfamiliar with this world, with the people and culture and fighting styles; he was in over his little black-haired head.
The noble sighed and stopped, ignoring the puzzled looks from the three other men. He leaned down to look Harry in the eye and took the teen's cheeks in his large palms, cradling them carefully. "You're doing just fine," he assured, running his gloved fingers across Harry's delicate cheekbones. "I know this is hard on you, dear one, and I am so very proud of you that you have come this far, just for my sake."
He watched as Harry leaned into his careful caresses, and shot a glare over his shoulders to silence the nervous shifting of their fellow recruits and guide.
"I don't want to let you down, Malcolm," he mumbled, casting his gorgeous green gaze to the ground. Harry looked so very sad in that moment, and Malcolm's heart went out to him, as where he had lost his family to a power-hungry mongrel, so too had Harry. And further yet, he'd also left everything behind—his friends and his future—in hope of seeing that family again, in hope of a peaceful afterlife, but he got stuck in Ferelden, in the heart of the Blight—right into another war that he had no obligation to fight in.
Malcolm pressed a gentle kiss to Harry's forehead, then to each of his eyelids, his cheeks, chin, and finally brushed one across his soft, petal pink lips. "You will never disappoint me, Harry. Never."
Alistair watched with no small amount of confusion as Malcolm Cousland handled the smallest recruit with a surprising amount of gentleness. He didn't understand the apprehension that covered Harry Potter's face, but the look tugged at his heartstrings.
Malcolm looked up from Harry suddenly, and met the Grey Warden's eyes. "We need to break camp soon; we're all tired and it's getting too dark to continue."
Alistair glanced at Harry and noted his tired slump, and then to Jory and Daveth, who were both weary and tense. He sighed in defeat and nodded; he didn't want to spend any more time in the Wilds than necessary but it would be a bad idea to continue on, exhausted as they were.
"Alright," the junior Warden agreed, "but we need to find a defensible area; camping out in the open like this is a bad idea."
All four recruits nodded. Malcolm turned back to Harry. "Think you can arrange something?" he asked, much to the other's confusion. Harry stared at Malcolm for a second before a mischievous smile bloomed on his face.
"Find me a spot and I'll figure something out," he grinned, bouncing on his toes in a sudden burst of energy. His magic was swirling under his skin, eager to be used.
Malcolm nodded, a smirk coming to his lips as he took in Harry's excitement, and pointed to his left. A further look showed that he was motioning to a clearing, backed against a tall hill and surrounded on either side by thick trees and bush.
"Perfect," Harry smiled, and wandered over. Malcolm held back the other three men with an outstretched arm.
"Let him work," he said, cutting off their protests.
Under Malcolm's protective eye, Harry withdrew his Holly wand and took a deep breath, feeling his magic rise to do his bidding. Waving his arm in a short arc, he ridded the clearing of debris, and after another, he thickened the growth on the side of the hill and encouraged the trees to reach out and cover their little camp with a thin canopy. Then he transfigured a medium sized tent for Malcolm and himself out of a twig, and summoned several stones for a fire before conjuring a set of pots and pans for him to cook in.
He paused to peek back at the waiting men and bit his lip to stifle his laughter. Alistair, Daveth, and Jory all had a look of dumbfounded awe on their faces, and Malcolm—his heart warmed at the gleam of pride in those ice-blue eyes.
"Maker's breath," Alistair gawped. He'd never seen magic like that.
Malcolm smirked at them before striding forward to where Harry stood in front of their tent. He pulled the slight wizard into his arms. "Wonderful," he growled against Harry's lips.
Harry laughed softly as he was hoisted in the air. "If I didn't know better, I'd say you were showing me off," he quipped.
The corners of Malcolm's mouth twitched upwards. "And if I was?" he asked.
"Well," the raven-haired teen drawled loftily, "I can't fault you for that. I am pretty damn magnificent."
The tall noble snorted and set Harry down so he could beckon the others to make their way into the camp. Alistair, Jory, and Daveth moved forward slowly, clearly wary of Harry's powers. As soon as they were past the tree line, Harry flicked his wand once more and they jumped as thorns grew between the gaps in the trees.
The short wizard laughed at their surprised faces. "And now, I have you at my mercy," he cackled.
Daveth actually squeaked.
Harry rolled his eyes, "I'm kidding, sheesh."
Alistair smirked at Daveth, before turning his attention to Harry. "What kind of magic was that?" he questioned.
Harry tilted his head at him, leaning into Malcolm's side as he watched Alistair shift his weight from foot to foot. "Why do you want to know?" he asked, honestly interested.
Alistair shrugged, "I've never seen magic like that, and I was trained as a Templar, so I'm curious." His words cut off when Harry abruptly paled, "I—what's wrong?" He glanced from the wizard to Malcolm.
Malcolm's eyes had narrowed at Alistair's declaration and he gently moved Harry behind him, a strong arm keeping the teen pressed to his back. "You are a Templar," he stated, voice low and dangerous. Harry and Duncan's earlier words ran through his mind; Templars were potentially dangerous to Harry, his Harry.
Alistair took a step backwards, raising his hands in supplication, perplexed and a bit fearful of Malcolm's suddenly menacing demeanor. "Whoa, whoa! I'm not—I never took my vows. I've just gone through the training. That's all."
"And yet you can use their abilities?" Alistair nodded. "Will you promise to never use them against Harry?" Malcolm asked. His expression was dark and his eyes hooded. The junior Grey Warden could tell that the noble wouldn't hesitate to strike him down if he made a threatening move. His eyes flicked to Daveth and Jory, who stood off to the side, wary at the mounting tension.
Harry, from his position where he was pressed against Malcolm's back, tugged lightly on the noble's arm. "Malcolm," he whispered, "please calm down." He didn't want the chestnut-haired man to overreact and resort to bloodshed. Alistair hadn't made one threatening move against Harry, outside of being unable to control his temper—and that was mostly due to Harry's deliberate prodding.
The tall warrior grunted, his eyes never leaving Alistair. He wanted the man's promise, regardless of what Harry said.
Alistair nodded slowly. "If he doesn't attack me, yeah, I promise not to use any of my Templar abilities against him. It's only fair."
Harry shrugged off Malcolm's arm and stepped around him. "Thank you," he said quietly, gracing Alistair with a small smile. "I didn't mean to make a big deal out of it. I've just—I've heard things about Templars before. I'm not a mage, but I do use magic, so we have no idea how a Templar's abilities would affect me." He glanced back at his self-appointed protector. "Malcolm's protective of me—but he doesn't mean anything by it."
The junior Warden ducked his head, hiding a chuckle at Harry's naïve statement. He was quite sure that the noble did mean something by it, but he appreciated Harry's attempt at breaking the ice. Perhaps the brat wasn't so bad after all.
"Well, I can understand that," Alistair said understandingly. Many people were wary of Templars, magic-users especially. He was sure that some of them probably got off on the fear their stations garnered, though he'd never say it out loud, for fear of Malcolm gutting him for sullying the would-be mage's ears.
The wizard watched him for a little bit longer before shrugging, shifting everyone's attention to setting up camp, since Alistair seemed uneasy with so many eyes on him. "Well," he said, looking to Daveth and Jory, "feel free to set up your tents. I'll get started on a meal—" he paused and looked down at his clothes, grimacing, "—after I get cleaned up."
The emerald-eyed teen turned sharply and strode into the tent he'd transfigured for Malcolm and himself. Malcolm followed soon after, glancing back at the three men that stood in the center of the clearing, still processing Harry's abrupt subject change. He raised an eyebrow as if to say, Well? Get on with it, and then disappeared.
A moment of silence passed before Jory coughed. "I'm not sure what to make of those two, but that Cousland is dead scary," he mused haltingly, eyeing the tent the man had disappeared into just seconds before. Then he surveyed the neatly arranged camping grounds, fire-pit, and copper pots, "And his little limpet is dead useful."
Daveth laughed and tossed his pack to the ground, "Aye, ser knight. That they are."
Harry was bathing when Malcolm entered the tent, a fall of water appearing out of thin air above his head and raining down in a continuous stream, only to fall onto a slab of conjured marble and disappear.
The ground, instead of bare earth, was layered with an eclectic blend of soft, but colorful, rugs. A large bed once again dominated the far side of the tent and two chairs were tucked in the corner. Harry had kept the furnishing sparse so they would be able to navigate without breaking their necks if they were attacked.
"Are you hungry?" Harry asked from behind the opaque curtain surrounding his make-shift shower. His mind was already searching for a possible meal to make out of the meager rations they had. Conjuring food—which he had discovered early on was possible in this world, as opposed to his—was tiring, even more so than any other spell. He had little energy left after their trek through the swamplands and found himself grateful that he'd packed extra food in anticipation of just that.
Malcolm grunted an affirmative as he unlaced and unbuckled his armor, drawing a private smile from the wizard. The youngest Cousland was an unusually reticent person, but Harry found he didn't mind the man's quiet nature. Harry wasn't much of a talker, himself. But, there was something comforting in the way that Malcolm would simply listen to him natter on when the mood struck him, even if it was about inane subjects like his ever-popular griping about the latrines.
Harry had never imagined that he'd come to care so much for someone—much less a man—that way. But, he thought, Malcolm is Malcolm. The wizard was loath to judge anyone by their gender, much less suppress his feelings because the person he cared for was the same sex as him.
A blush came to his face as he remembered the kiss he and Malcolm had shared back in Ostagar. The man was practically mute, but by Merlin, could he kiss!
He wrapped himself in a towel, stepped out from behind the thin divider, and froze. Malcolm was lounging against the bed's headboard with his arms behind his head and one leg bent while the other laid flat. Harry clutched the fabric around his waist like a life-line, his mouth suddenly dry, as he swallowed heavily and traced the man's shirtless torso with his eyes.
"Um, hi," he squeaked, having to literally drag his gaze away from the impressive play of muscle beneath sun-kissed skin. He fixed his eyes on his toes. His face felt like it was on fire and he stood in the middle of the tent like an idiot, garbed in nothing but a towel and still dripping wet from his shower. Oh Merlin, I'm such a bloody ponce, he lamented.
Malcolm smirked at Harry's embarrassment, even as his gaze turned dark as he followed the trail of water down Harry's naked stomach. The teen was adorably flustered, and his ivory cheeks were flushed an delicious red. Malcolm hummed and slid off the bed, stalking towards the slight wizard like a predator. Harry glanced up and his eyes widened with each successive step, until he looked rather like a startled deer. The sight was positively appetizing.
The raven gasped out a shuddering breath as Malcolm engulfed him in his strong arms, his bare chest sliding against Harry's own. They pressed together, and heat spiraled between them.
"Do you have any idea how you look, Harry?" the noble whispered, almost purring out Harry's name. His lips slid against Harry's smooth jaw, his tongue lazily lapping up beads of water. The wizard moaned quietly as Malcolm ducked his head to scrape his teeth against Harry's collarbone, and his head fell back, exposing the length of his vulnerable neck. "Standing here, covered in naught but a scrap of cloth, like a present to be unwrapped."
Oh, oh, oh! Harry groaned dazedly as Malcolm's calloused hands slid over his bare skin and to the backs of his thighs. The noble gripped them tightly and lifted Harry up as if he was light as a feather, forcing the wizard's slender legs to wrap around his powerful waist. Tendrils of pleasure coiled in his belly with Malcolm's every touch, and he shivered at the man's slow seduction.
The way Malcolm was able to reduce him to a gibbering mess with only a few words was astounding, but he figured he could get used to it if Malcolm kept doing—oh!—that.
"I haven't been able to touch you for hours," the warrior hissed, one of his hands sliding into Harry's damp hair and pulling it firmly. Harry watched his hungry expression with half-lidded eyes, his lips parted invitingly.
"Don't let me stop you now," Harry breathed, and his eyes fluttered closed as Malcolm chuckled and pressed his lips against Harry's.
Harry growled as his appearance garnered raised eyebrows from the three other men. He'd stumbled out of the tent, bright-eyed and scarlet-cheeked, with bruised lips and wild hair after Malcolm had finally released him in favor of taking a shower, unthinking of what the others would say.
The wizard scowled at their teasing leers and grabbed the abandoned pots and brought them over to the fire. As revenge, he deliberately let one of them hit Daveth over the head.
All three men had gotten their tents set up, and one of them had started a fire. Dusk had already turned into night, and they could hear the sounds of nocturnal animals above the crackle of the burning wood and their sniggering.
"You're lucky I'm nice enough to fix you a meal," Harry grumbled as he flicked his wand over the shrunken pack containing all his cooking supplies, returning it to its original size. His casual display of magic shocked the others into silence, only for him to surprise them further as he started pulling out more ingredients than the bag could possibly hold.
It didn't take him long to get everything finished, and by that time, Malcolm had finished and was lounging outside their tent, watching Harry's practiced motions with a languid eye, occasionally smirking in satisfaction at the darkening bruises that covered the wizard's neck.
"Thank you, beloved," he quietly said, gently taking the proffered plate from Harry's hands. On it was several slices of herb-crusted beef, a piece of yeasty bread slathered with soft cheese, and a small pile of berries that Harry had found on their trip to Ostagar and saved for later use. It looked utterly delectable, even though he'd rather feast on the blushing teen in front of him.
Harry coughed quietly to hide his pleasure at Malcolm's pet name and turned to give Alistair, Jory, and Daveth their own shares, before returning to Malcolm's side with his own meal. Light-hearted banter was flung around the camp grounds, and before long the four came to talk about how they were recruited.
"There isn't much to it, really," Daveth stated. "I grew up around here, a few days east, but I moved to Denerim when I was young. I made a living for myself, stealing. It was alright, nothing glamorous.
"I tried to cut Duncan's purse while he was in Denerim. Turns out the old man is faster than he looks." He chuckled in remembrance, "The guards were already out for my blood, see. I'd have been strung up like a lamb to the slaughter had he not Conscripted me. Saved my life, he did." Then he shrugged, and that was all there was to it. "What about you, ser knight?" He asked Jory as he got up to drop another few logs into the fire.
By this time, the stars were bright in the sky and Harry was curled up in Malcolm's lap, his head resting against the warrior's broad chest and one hand snaked under the noble's shirt for warmth. Malcolm, himself, was lounging on a fallen log Harry had moved to the center of the clearing for seating. Their empty plates lay abandoned on the ground.
"He recruited me in Highever," Jory said as he oiled his sword. Malcolm knew his own equipment was getting a much more thorough cleaning inside the tent thanks to Harry's magic. Sometimes he thought that the wizard was determined to spoil him, but he was loathe to take away any opportunity for Harry to use the magic he seemed to love so much.
"I came from Redcliffe, but Arl Eamon allowed me to leave for Highever after I met my future wife. I'd won a tournament in Highever when Duncan was visiting; he recruited me afterwards." He smiled gently, and the expression gentled his otherwise unremarkable face, "My wife's with child now. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to come, but she made the decision for me."
"How far along is she?" The hushed voice startled the four men, as they had thought Harry was asleep. He sat up and turned to look at Jory with luminous eyes.
Jory grinned, obviously happy to get the chance to brag about his new family. "Seven months, now. I'm hoping for a baby girl, but a boy would be just as nice."
Harry laughed happily in reply, and settled back into Malcolm's warm embrace, pressing his cold nose against the warrior's strong neck. "Yes, I think you'd do well as a father. My congratulations."
"Thanks, Harry," the knight said quietly, and then eyed Alistair, "What about you, Warden? Do you mind sharing your story?"
The dirty-blonde looked up, startled at the question. "Oh, uh, I'm sure you don't want to know. It's not interesting at all."
"I'd like to know," Harry mumbled, turning his head just enough so he could look Alistair in the eye. The Warden paused at the genuine interest on the wizard's face.
"I—alright. Well," he brought up a hand to scratch at his ear nervously, "I basically grew up in the Chantry. I was going to be a Templar, but before I could take my vows, Duncan came and got me. The Revered Mother didn't want to let me go, but he invoked the Right of Conscription." He looked uncomfortable to be sharing that piece of his life with practical strangers, but he continued, "I've been with the Grey Wardens ever since. So, that's it."
Harry gazed at him for a few seconds, his eyes tracing the slight purse of Alistair's mouth and how his eyes had tightened in the corners. There were bad memories associated with that story, but he wouldn't pry; Harry had his own demons, after all. He wondered if the others even noticed; he knew Malcolm was sure to—he rarely missed anything. "Thank you, Alistair," he whispered, sending the man a small smile, trying to alleviate some of the pain that riddled his face. He really did appreciate that the man opened up, even just a little bit.
Alistair just nodded shallowly, not meeting his eyes. His mood was almost a complete turnaround from earlier and Harry sighed sadly; the Warden seemed so lost that Harry almost regretted bringing up his past.
An awkward silence hung over the camp for a while, before Jory spoke up, "What about you, your Grace?" The question was directed at Malcolm.
The tall warrior stiffened minutely. While he appreciated the fact that Jory had not only mustered the courage to ask him, but had done just that instead of relying on the hearsay that had followed his arrival at Ostagar, Malcolm didn't feel up to discussing the brutal usurping of his family's seat of power.
"Duncan Conscripted me during Howe's attack," he forced out before he fell silent. Harry ran a soothing hand up his neck and cupped his jaw, and nuzzled his chest in comfort. In turn, the warrior tightened his hold on the one thing he had left, and buried his nose in Harry's soft hair.
The others watched their actions and quietly wondered at their closeness.
Before they could ask him, Harry offered his own story as he was entering his tent, his back turned to them: "Duncan and Malcolm were in the right place at the wrong time. I was fleeing from some darkspawn up North, granted I had no idea what they were at the time—and don't ask me how they got there—when I ran into the two, literally. Slammed right into Malcolm, running full tilt; it was like running into a brick wall. Anyway, they saved my hide and I tagged along."
He paused and looked back at him, his eyes narrowed and dangerous. Harry's slight stature suddenly seeming much more menacing, "And I won't abide any threat to the people I care about." His eyes flicked to Alistair and softened. That man had suffered, and if he could help it, Harry would make sure it wouldn't happen again. He took a deep breath and ducked under the tent flap; he'd protect Malcolm and Duncan and Alistair, and even Daveth and Jory, as best he could.
Later, he chuckled as he got into bed. It seemed like he'd just decided to pick up a stray. He hoped Malcolm was up to playing house—Alistair seemed like he needed a guiding hand.