I think we all know by now who owns which IP, so yawn zzz.

This crossover began as a writer's unblock exercise, but I can see all sorts of possibilities for heads to bang together.

Meanwhile, in Minerva McGonnagal's office:

Harry Potter, Care of Trooper J'Dargo, County Cheydinhal, Cyrodiil.

"But where on earth is Cyrodiil?" McGonnagal asked in confusion.

For the past eleven years Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, had been missing. Investigating his only living relatives, the Dursleys, had only proven that 1) Harry had never been taken in there, and 2) that McGonnagal's reservations about them were well-founded. Someone had (mercifully, in her eyes) scooped up the baby before anyone inside had answered the door – and that meant magic.

And apparently magic that was powerful enough to conceal Harry from any and all seekers.

She frowned at the envelope. The Hogwarts acceptance letter looked normal enough, except for the impossible address. And the only reason that she had noticed was that she had been checking the list of letters received and seen, over and over again:

Harry Potter, care of Arch-Mage Ra'jirra and S'jirra, Faregyl Inn, Green Road, Cyrodiil. Four unopened. Two opened, neither read by Harry. All subjected to magics unknown.

Now Harry was on the move. Normally she would simply let the letter go, but where Cyrodiil was was a mystery. Maybe Dumbledore knew, but he was occupied with locating a new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor. Otherwise, if it came to that, and they couldn't track him down...

She put it aside and retired for the night, resolving to speak with Albus about it in the morning.

The next day, in McGonnagal's office:

Harry Potter, Care of Arch-Mage Ra'jirra & Trooper J'Dargo, Lab Seven, Black Plateau Magickal Research Institute, Cyrodiil.

A knock at her office door heralded the arrival of Dumbledore's hat, then his head, followed by the rest of him. "Problem, Minerva?"

"It's this letter," she said handing it to him, "Look who it's for!"

The old wizard's eyebrows shot up but that was all. "How bizarre. He's in a game?"

"Game?" McGonagall asked in confusion, "Oh, that blasted essay of yours. This is important, Albus! Harry Potter is alive and we have to find him!"

The two looked at each other, then looked around as something made the air jump in surprise around them. The letter in Dumbledore's hand also jumped as the address changed.

Harry Potter, Care of Trooper J'dargo, Corridor outside Hufflepuff Dormitories, Hogwarts.

Meanwhile, outside the Hufflepuff dormitories:

J'dargo looked around. The hallway was adorned with tapestries, paintings, and suits of armour; if it wasn't for the clearly startled looks the portraits were giving him, he would have thought himself in Castle Chorrol somewhere.

He had to admit that he did cut a figure worth looking at. The kit had grown into a stocky block of warrior Khajiit, a Trooper of the Imperial Legion, and nominally assigned to guard duties at Chorrol. Until now.

He remembered those awful days when Dad had been lost on the other side of a portal like this one, trapped somewhere called the Capital Wasteland. It wasn't going to happen to him though. Hopefully.

Apart from the portraits gaping at him – one picture had at least three extra figures now, all pointing and goggling – the area seemed safe. He sheathed his sword and called through the fresh spacetime anomaly set in the wall. "All clear."

The boy joined him. Black hair was drawn back into a serviceable ponytail; a silver dagger at his belt; almost hidden behind the White Fang goblin shield he bore with unsurprising competence. The rest of him was bedecked in tan and brown linen, showing signs of wear. The Faregyl children, as anywhere, tended to play hard.

"So where are we?" he asked. Green eyes looked around keenly as he absently scratched at a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead.

"Apparently this place is supposed to be like the Arcane University," J'dargo replied, "and maybe they can explain a thing or two about that letter."

Meanwhile, in the caretaker's office:

"I solemnly swear I am up to no good," Dumbledore intoned, tapping his slightly shaking wand against the Marauders' Map.

Only a few marks appeared on the parchment. His, McGonagall's, and Filch's were all in the caretaker's office. Madame Pomfrey's was in the Hospital Wing, Snape's was in his dungeon, and there were two outside Hufflepuff's common room.

One was labelled 'J'dargo'. The other had the professors bolting out the door.

Harry Potter, Corridor outside Hufflepuff Dormitories, Hogwarts, the envelope said.

Meanwhile, outside the Hufflepuff Dorms:

"So which way do we go?" Harry looked longingly back at the portal. Black Plateau wasn't a welcoming place, but it was Cyrodiil, not like whatever here was. Plane of Oblivion most likely.

"Let's go to the open end of this corridor," J'dargo put action to words and Harry followed, absently fiddling with his dagger.

"Why there?" Harry asked.

"Because we want to be found," his foster brother replied, "but if there is reason to flee, we have the room to flee."

The corridor opened onto an immense chamber surrounded by balconies, connected by stairways that every so often moved by themselves, turning the place into a constantly changing maze. The only other figures they could see stopped two floors down, one pointing at them, the other at themselves.

"Can they see us?" Harry asked.

J'dargo invoked Starlight. "Yup."

"Lbh gurer!" The woman's voice was unusually loud and brooked no denial. "Fgnl jurer lbh ner!"

"I'm not getting on those stairs," Harry said, and J'dargo nodded.

The two figures closed in on them. The woman was wearing an unflattering hat and an oddly old-fashioned black dress. The man – Harry shuddered. Those star-splattered robes and that pointed hat were ridiculous enough without the long beard. If he had to dress like that

The professors stepped off the obliging staircase and looked at them: An armoured feline of some kind, wearing armour and a surcoat bearing a white tree on a blue background; and a boy who, despite the wary expression, the peasant clothing and the shield, was unmistakable.

"Harry Potter?" Dumbledore stepped forward and halted when Harry drew his dagger. "There's no need for that. I'm Professor Dumbledore." He fished something out of a small bag he was carrying and popped it in his mouth. "Lemon drop?"

"Furngur, oebgure," the manlike cat said to Harry, his accent rolling his r's noticeably, then turned to Dumbledore. "Zl ncbybtvrf, fve, ohg jr pnaabg haqrefgnaq lbh."

The two looked at each other. "This won't hurt a bit," Dumbledore explained, then tapped J'dargo on the gorget. "Omni Lingua."

"Jung ner lbh qbing to my brother?" Harry cried, advancing on him. Dumbledore was startled at how competently he wielded his weapon.

"Peace, little brother!" J'dargo placed a hand on his shoulder. "He hasn't harmed me at all."

"So there won't be any need for violence, Master Potter," McGonagall added, looking hard at the boy. Both he and his guardian jumped slightly.

"A spell to translate tongues," Dumbledore explained, "I can also make a ring or amulet to ensure it lasts for the duration of your lessons."

"What do you mean, lessons?" Harry was obviously scared. "Why do you call me Potter? Where are we? Who are you?"

"I am Professor Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry," and his hand took in the walls around them. "This is Professor McGonagall," he gestured to the woman, then presented the little bag he was holding. "Lemon drop?"

J'dargo took one, raised his eyebrows at the taste, then nodded vigorously to Harry, who hesitated before sheathing his dagger, plucked a drop as though expecting it to bite him, and put it in his mouth doubtfully.

"I am J'dargo, of the Imperial Legion," J'dargo introduced himself around the sweetmeat, "and this is Harry."

"We've been trying to find you," McGonagall explained, extending the letter to Harry, "about your enrolment here –"

"Enrolment?" J'dargo frowned beneath his helm. "We don't know anything about that. All we know is there's been... hang on, I have Dad's notes here." He pulled up a purse and started to rummage inside.

"Perhaps we should discuss this in my office," Dumbledore said carefully.

J'dargo paused, looking at his foster-brother's frightened face. "I have a better idea," he said, "Father is through there – you can explain it to him in person."

Lab Seven, Black Plateau Magickal Research Institute, one minute later:

The professors looked around with interest at the frankly ugly chamber in which they arrived – and with some trepidation at the heavily armed and armoured guards watching them. While most appeared to be human, one was green with huge tusks, and another had the face of a not very impressed lizard.

"We're back," J'dargo said to one, "Where's Da– the Arch-Mage?"

"Next door. Lab Six."

"Right then," J'dargo addressed them, "follow me."

The room opened onto a hallway cluttered with crates, barrels, tables and other paraphernalia. More of the armoured people stood at doorways and others in bluish robes roamed about, stopping to stare at them. J'dargo ignored everyone and entered another room in which another cat-man, this one's fur greying with age, stood up from a cluttered table.

"Sons," he said, "Who're these fashion victims?"

"Professors Dumbledore, and McGonagall," J'dargo said formally, "my father, Arch-Mage Ra'jirra of the Imperial Mage's Guild."

"An honour," Ra'jirra grunted, "now pull up a pew. J'dargo, go find Henantier will you?"

"Aye," and the younger left. Dumbledore noticed that Harry immediately went to sit close to the old cat's right side. Keeping his dagger hand free.

"Mister... Arch-Mage," McGonagall began, "where exactly are we?"

"Black Plateau Magical Research Facility, County Cheydinhal, Cyrodiil," Ra'jirra replied, "pushed it through after I became Arch-Mage. Something to do with assorted silly buggers setting up shop in old ruins and making the neighbours' lives a misery. So I thought, why not get them all in one place where they can blow themselves up without hurting anyone?"

"All very well, but I've never heard of Cyrodiil." She extended the letter. "For some time, this letter has been addressed to Harry via Faregyl Inn in, ah, Cyrodiil. Which apparently only existed in a, ah, rolling game."

"Role-playing game," Dumbledore corrected.

"Game?" The old cat looked stunned. "What year is it where you came from?"

"Nineteen ninety, why?"

"Ever hear of a place called Washington?"

"Yes, it's in America, I believe. In fact, I think it's the capital city."

Ra'jirra frowned. "Ever own a Mister Handy?"

"What's that?"

"Must be a different Earth," he muttered to himself. "Right then, my son here's scared out of his wits, thanks to your letters." He moved several stacks of parchment, revealing a number of Hogwarts envelopes, two opened. "Now, what the hells is a Hogwarts Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry when it's at home, and why should Harry go there?"

"Because his parents wanted him to," Dumbledore explained as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, "indeed, they put his name down when he was born."

"Ah, you mean his birth parents."

"Exactly." The old professor looked pleased at the apparent understanding.

"What's wrong with the Arcane University?"