I really should be doing an essay for Uni… But New Divide is with my beta and then there will only be one chapter left to go :O And this was plaguing me since I saw Love Never Dies in the West End last month. There is an appalling lack of slash in the Phantom fandom! Enjoy, I hope.
"To Sleep, Perchance To Dream Of Him"
Disclaimer: Harry Potter & Phantom (of the Opera and Love Never Dies) are property of JK Rowling, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gaston Leroux, Bloomsbury, and Warner Bros and all those other nifty people. I make no money from this, just so you know. I own nothing, which is lame; so don't sue me.
Summary: [Phantom/HP] Trying to escape from the ruins of his past, Erik accidentally stumbles upon a young Harry Potter. Or rather, Harry stumbled upon him, injured and scared and took pity on the man with the monstrous face. With nothing else to live for, Erik decides that this boy needs an angel to guide and to guard him, and who better than the Angel of Music?
Warnings: Slash. Crossover. Major AU. Implied Time-Travel. Erik(Phantom)/Harry. Magic. Set after Phantom of the Opera, but before Love Never Dies, circa 1897-1907.
Rating: R… maybe.
A/N: I love "Love Never Dies" and I much prefer the cast to this season's cast for "Phantom", but still… all fandoms need HP crossover slash!
"And years come, and years go; time runs dry. Still I ache down to the core. My broken soul can't be alive and whole till I hear you sing once more" – Glenn Slater, "Till I Hear You Sing Once More": Love Never Dies 2010.
To Sleep, Perchance To Dream Of Him
He wasn't sure where he was. Erik had travelled a lot in his youth but he didn't recognize this place, or the accents, but he knew the language. After all, many countries spoke English, and Erik had taught himself many languages at a young age, the majority of which he had utilized throughout his long, lonely life. But he hadn't had much chance to practise his English.
It was unfortunate, really, considering he was supposed to be halfway to the colonies already. The Americas had seemed like the perfect solution to a horrible problem; Cooney Island, a place for freaks and weirdoes had beckoned to him, and when Madame Giry had found him preparing to run and hide once more, she and her daughter had joined him. They were supposed to be half way there, still hidden within their legally purchased cabin aboard the ship, and yet here Erik was, cowering in an alley way, his mask gone, his monstrous face exposed to anyone who would choose to glance upon it, and he was wet and cold and bleeding. The waves had been rough, but Erik had always suffered from sea-sickness and so he thought nothing of it.
Then there was screaming, tossing and turning, and water, water everywhere. Darkness had taken him for a time, and when he had come to he was lying at the bottom of a row boat, several terrified people huddled at the other end while one man futilely tried to steer them towards a coast, any coast. Those people had, expectedly, abandoned him as white cliffs had come into view and they had reached dry land. Coast guards and the constabulary were probably dealing with them now, foreign immigrants who had unwillingly ended up in the wrong country, but Erik had fled, with one hand over his ravaged face and the other trembling by his side.
So here he was, lost and alone once more.
His Christine had left him, had married the Vicomte by now and was probably well on her way to giving him an heir, despite lying with him on the eve of her wedding day. Madame and Meg Giry were in the water somewhere, floating or sinking Erik did not know, living or dead, but they could not help him now.
Erik was alone.
And yet, there was a soft voice calling through the alley, soft footsteps on the wet pavement, steadily coming closer. "Hello," the voice called, young and soft, and a child peered at Erik's sobbing form. "Are you ok?"
They had moved to London when Harry was six-months-old, or at least that's what his parents told him. He had been too young to remember. He had vague memories of toy that floated and sticks that flashed with coloured lights, and a wolf and a giant dog who would cuddle him and play with him until he fell asleep in their arms. They were his uncles, his mother had explained once when he had asked, but they were gone now she added. They had left his uncles behind in Godric's Hollow, they had moved to London without them. They had moved through time without them, Harry had come to realize.
It had taken him a few years, but he wasn't a stupid child and eventually he had realized that his parents acted differently to the other adults he knew. Harry grew up this way, and so he knew no other way to be, but his mother was too outspoken, and his father wasn't strict enough. Neither of them kept servants or talked badly about the protesters and rioters, they supported women's rights and trade unions, and father had even quit his job over a row about pay increases.
But one thing that had never changed, even as his parents escaped their lives to save his, was magic. They still had magic.
Magic might have been the bane of young Harry's earlier years, the reason Lord Voldemort had targeted him, but magic had also saved their new life. Without it, it would have been almost impossible to set themselves up in a nice, modest town house, to establish themselves among the elite of society (as people with money were meant to do), and to find jobs of respectability. Lily worked with magic, at the Ministry, continuing her old job as an Unspeakable. Somehow, someone in that department had recognized her and offered her the job back, but Lily knew better than to ask an Unspeakable curious questions. James, who had given so much for his world, had given his life and his friends and very nearly his family, had decided to work with Muggles, becoming one of them. He worked for the government, as a minister for something or other; Harry had never concerned himself to ask, because his father always managed to afford new toys and clothes and so anything else was irrelevant. His mother's job, though, was interesting and he asked her many questions. One of those had eventually been, "what year was I born?"
"1890 darling, of course."
"What year was I really born, mother?" Harry had asked curiously, seven-year-old face scrunched up in curiosity. "We don't belong here, this isn't our time."
"1980," Lily had breathed unwillingly, hoping that she hadn't been loud enough for Harry to hear. But he had. And he had asked questions that she had had no choice but to answer. Afterward, when James had returned home from Parliament, they had decided to take all of their minds off of their predicament, to forget that the threat of Voldemort had forced them into the past without the consent or knowledge of their friends because they were afraid of what could happen to their child. James had decided a small holiday was in order, and so before Harry could protest or process the information that had been bestowed upon him he was forced to pack a small bag and hailing a cab for Dover.
There were supposed to be white cliffs here, Harry thought idly to himself as he wondered away from the cottage his parents had rented. It had been raining heavily since they had arrived and so far Harry hadn't seen much of anything but his bedroom walls. There was no Voldemort here, he had told himself; no Death Eaters, he had stubbornly insisted to his reflection. And then he was gone, climbing out of the window and down the ivy ladder and running off into the deserted, night-time streets to explore.
How strange it was, he thought, to find a grown man crying in an alleyway. His parents never cried, none of the adults he knew cried. Yet, this man appeared as if the world was ending. He looked a state too, and Harry's mouth fell open in horror at the thought of what his mother would do to him if she caught him wondering around looking such a mess. "Hello," he whispered, foolishly heading into the alley, alone with a stranger.
Where he lived in London, he was surrounded by the upper-crust, and when they went to the Wizarding world his parents only associated with the wealthiest and most respectable families, since they were passing themselves off as Purebloods, using a name that had thought to have died out but had yet to though only the Potters knew this fact. Harry hadn't been exposed to crime or violence in his short life, and despite being in a new place now, he didn't think that there was anything wrong with approaching a strange man alone at night. Fortunately for him, Erik was more afraid of him that he should have been of Erik.
"Are you ok?" Harry asked. Erik's only response was to push himself back against the wall, turning his face into the shadows as he attempted to stifle his sobs.
"Are you hurt?" Harry reached out a hand, brushing lightly against the man's chin. Erik cried out and tried to twist away from the touch, but instead he ended up falling to the side, sprawling himself across the pavement and exposing himself completely. Harry stared at the man's face, eyes wide and lips pursed together, and Erik sobbed softly again at the thought of such a beautiful and innocent child seeing the hideousness that he tried constantly to hide.
"Leave me," Erik gasped out, sounding hoarse and pitiful.
"But your face!" Harry gasped, "It's bleeding. You need to see a doctor!" Harry grabbed the man's sleeve, and tried to tug him forward, but Erik remained unmoving. Slipping on a wet paving stone, Harry stumbled forward, landing half on top of the stranger and half in a puddle that was hidden beneath Erik's cloak. "Sorry!" He gasped, trying to sit up without crushing the man.
He ended up wriggling in Erik's lap, and the Phantom cursed his freakish nature as he felt his body react to the friction. This was a child. A sweet child who was trying to help him, and Erik was hardening beneath his innocent touch. The man clenched his fists before trying to relax: eventually, he managed to calm himself enough to push Harry to his feet, and then warily find his own footing as well.
"Come on," Harry said cheerily. He took one gloved hand in his own, and began dragging Erik from the alley, ignoring the man's protests. "I'll have a look at your wounds when we get to the cottage. I'm Harry, by the way, Harry Gaunt. What's your name, sir?"
Erik had looked at the boy through slitted, suspicious eyes, wondering if this was some sort of trap to capture the infamous Opera Ghost, but the child only grinned up at him genuinely, unafraid of his deformity. "My name is Erik. It is a horrible name, but it is the only one Erik has."
"I think it's a nice name. Better than Harry anyway; Harry's a boring name. Sometimes I like to pretend my real name is Harrison, or Harold, or Hadrian, and my mother just shortens it, but it really is just Harry."
Harry rambled most of the way back to the cottage, holding the conversation partially on his own with Erik throwing in a sentence or two now and then. When they arrived, Erik stealthily climbed up the ivy covered wall and into Harry's bedroom. Harry followed, and then left Erik alone in the room to sneak into his parents' bedroom. He returned with a long, thin stick that was glowing faintly at the tip and Erik tensed suddenly, scared and suspicious, wondering if this was some sort of newly-invented whip or cane. Compact, he thought worriedly, easy to carry around in public.
"Here," Harry said, pointing his father's wand at Erik's face. "Hold still!"
Erik, who had been wondering if Harry's parents beat him with his strange stick, flinched and stepped back as Harry pointed it at him.
"I'm trying to help you! Hold still!" It was only luck that caused Harry's spell to hit their intended target, but his well-cast "Tergeo1" hit Erik right on the nose and the blood that had covered his face was suddenly gone. The Phantom stilled, silent and awed as he looked down at his clean hands, and touched his clean face.
"Vulnera Sanentur2", Harry cast again, trying to remember the correct wand movements, the way his mother had taught him.
"Episkey3", Harry said with flourish, enjoying the thrill that using magic sent through his veins. Because he was using an adult's wand there would be no consequences for using underage magic, and Harry never considered that doing magic in front of a Muggle could have consequences of their own.
The stranger watched Harry, unbelieving and awestruck. Before him, before lowly, disgusting Erik stood a real life angel. This boy, this boy was an angel of mercy and healing, he was the messiah reborn, he was a miracle in itself, Erik thought half dazed. He caught his reflection in the mirror, and fell to his knees in tears again. His face had been horrendous before, missing his nose and his ears, with half of his skull and skin gone, exposing parts of his brain and forbidding his hair to grow. But now… there was skin across his cheek and his skull. There was still a hole where his nose should have been, and he was still missing an ear and his hair, but it was a vast improvement. He could wear his fake-noses now, and forsake his mask, and no one would know the difference if he kept his wig positioned to cover where his ear should have been. He could almost pass for a normal man, instead of a monster.
"Harry," Erik breathed, still on his knees. He reached for the boy's coat, pulling him forward so that he could cry against Harry's stomach. "How can I repay you?"
"Oh, it is ok, Erik." Harry smiled down at him, white teeth and bright green eyes set in a pretty, rounded face.
"Simply name your price and Erik would move heaven and earth to grant your wishes, angel."
Angel. That had been Christine's name for him. He had been her Angel of Music, her angel. Harry, though, was a real angel, far more deserving of the title, but he would need someone to guide him, and protect him, because Erik knew what the world was truly like and he knew that boys like Harry, boys who spoke to strangers in alleyways and who brought people into their homes and who offered help without asking for anything in return, were always life's victims. People like Erik deserved to be abused and ignored and despised, but not Harry. Nothing bad could ever befall Harry, because Erik would never let it.
Even if Harry wanted nothing from him, Erik wouldn't be able to live the rest of his miserable life in peace without attempting to pay Harry back in some way.
He had decided what he would do when Harry told him that the family was heading back home.
He had once been Christine Daae's angel, and now he took it upon him to be Harry's. He would guide and guard the boy, as Raoul had vowed to do for Christine. He would protect him from the darkness. He would hide in the shadows of the Potters' London townhouse, and no one would be any the wiser of his existence. It had all been planning out in his head. Erik had watched the cab leave the cottage and he had followed on horseback for part of the way, and hailed a cab for the remainder of the journey, stopping at all of the same inns and taverns as the family did. When they arrived in London, Erik waited in the street until he was sure the household was asleep and then he had snuck inside, stealing what food he could find to last him for the time being, and then he had hidden himself away in the basement. He would wait, and watch and protect. That had always been part of the plan.
But he had never expected to fall in love with Harry too.
He dreamt of Harry. Even when he was awake, Erik saw Harry behind his eyelids, smiling and dancing and singing. Harry was all around him, and yet the boy had no idea of how Erik felt, or that Erik even existed. He was known only as the Angel of Music, something that had struck Erik to the core when Harry had first called him by such.
When Harry had turned eight, he had demanded piano lessons because his friend from school took some. Erik had watched him play, annoyed by the tutor but impressed by Harry's awkward attempts to perfect himself. And then Harry had begun to sing, his tutor taking a much needed break and leaving Harry unsupervised and unpressured. As he heard Harry sing, he felt the feeling come upon him again, the way he had once felt as he listened to Christine, and there was nothing he could do. He was lost to the music, to the voice that was producing it, and he was determined to make Harry the best he could be. That night, as Harry was sleeping, Erik appeared in his bedroom, wearing a mask that he had made from clothes and blankets that he had stolen over the months he had been hiding there, silent as a ghost.
"Are you a ghost?" Harry had asked him, eyes fluttering open but only catching a glimpse of white as black melted into black.
"No," Erik had whispered back. "I'm your music teacher. But this will our little secret. If you tell anyone, I'll have to leave, and then you'll never really excel, Harry."
"How do you know my name?" The boy asked, a little more suspicious than he had been a year ago.
"I'm your friend, Harry, of course I know your name." Harry had seemed to accept that answer because he had drifted back to sleep and Erik stood over him, humming a lullaby every time Harry stirred in the bed.
"You're an Angel, aren't you?" Harry had asked him two years later, at ten, as Erik watched him practise magic from the shadows. "You're an Angel of Music." And Erik had felt his chest constrict and expand, and it had hurt too much to answer, to remember, and he had left Harry waiting for a response as he fled.
At eleven, Harry's parents hired him magic tutors, and fired his piano teacher. Harry told him he didn't need the man anymore. Harry had insisted he had a better teacher, and Lily had insisted on meeting him and James had insisted on paying him, but when Harry had told them that Erik was an Angel his parents had laughed.
"He must be a ghost." James had reasoned. "There are plenty of old ghosts lingering in these houses, Lily."
"Well," his wife sighed, "we're hardly expected to pay a ghost are we? Really, all we can do is give him some peace." They had both agreed to stay away from Erik, the ghost, as long as he continued to tutor Harry.
Harry didn't get invited to Hogwarts, and Erik found himself glad of it. Fearing what would happen if Harry went away and met other people, normal people, and forgot all about his angel. The Gaunts had been known for being recluses, and Harry's name hadn't been on the Hogwarts register because after all no Harry Gaunt existed, but money could solve a lot of problems, and as far as the rest of Wizarding society was concerned Harry had been invited, but had declined. Harry wasn't a Squib.
When Harry turned fourteen, Erik realized that he was in love with him. Harry brought home a girl, a very pretty girl, and she tried to kiss him beneath the mistletoe as Erik watched through a hole in the ceiling. The sight had made his heart burst within his chest, and jealousy and anger coursed through him, but then Harry had pushed the girl away and Erik had felt such strong relief that he thought he might have blacked out from it. He had considered telling Harry. He remembered how Christine had reacted, and he worried about Harry's reaction too.
But it took him two more years to work up the courage.
"Harry," Erik whispered, peeling himself out of the shadows that covered him so fully that sometimes he even thought that they were a part of him. "Harry, I'm not an angel. It is Erik. Erik whom you rescued and healed in Dover. Lowly Erik who begged at your feet to repay you, to worship you for your kindness. Erik, who is so undeserving of the attention you bestow upon him, Erik who should know better than to wish for more than what he has been given, Erik who is… Erik who is…" The man stopped speaking, his hand pressed to his mouth to stifle a sob.
Harry took several steps away from the flesh-and-blood man who had just appeared in his bedroom without warning. He was used to his Wizard friends apparating in and out, since the Muggle townhouse didn't have any wards, but to see Erik – his ghost, his angel – just appear, to suddenly exist as a real person was surprising. Erik had lied to him for nine years?
"Erik who is so in love with you," the sobbing man continued, "that he would tear his heart out and hand it to you if Harry desired. Please, ask Erik to prove his devotion. Erik would be honoured!"
"What do you want from me?" Harry whispered. He clutched his cloak across his chest, as if attempting to hide behind it, as his free hand trembled at his side, holding onto his wand. At sixteen he was beautiful and tall, with wild black hair and magical emerald eyes. His lips were pink, and Erik had thought many times about kissing them with his own, misshapen mouth.
"Erik loves you. Erik only wanted to protect you from the world, and then Erik wanted to teach you to sing. But now Erik simply wants to love you. He knows better than to expect you to love him, pitiful creature that he is."
And Harry lowered his wand, eyes closing in pity as he remembered the trembling man he had led back to that cottage in Dover. He was nothing like his Angel of Music, composed and proud and wonderful. This poor man was a wreck, lacking even the smallest amount of self-respect and self-worth and Harry had known him for so long that he knew that Erik would never hurt him, because he had plenty of chances that he had passed up, and Erik never lied. So if he loved Harry, then he did; he would never hurt someone he loved. Not again.
Harry walked forward, his robes swirling around his ankles, and his wand abandoned on the bed. He pressed his mouth to Erik's, soft and chaste and then he pulled away with a wide grin. "I suppose it's only fair to allow you the chance to court me. You're much more preferable to Andrew Dobson anyway, stupid boy! I'd kill him if I had to stay married to him! And Alison Reeves isn't much better, that shallow, simple-minded, Muggle! At least I like you, Angel."
"I am not an angel," Erik whispered, the tips of his fingers pressed to his deformed mouth, tracing the wonky upper lip with reverence. "You kissed me."
"I did." Harry smiled, "and now according to the courting rules of magical Britain, you are expected to buy me a simple, yet thoughtful gift and present it to me on our first date, after asking my parents' permission to court me."
"Is that what the boy did?"
"Dobson?" Harry sighed, "yeah, unfortunately. But it's fine. I'd never pick him!" Harry gave a playful shudder, grinning at Erik, who if he were honest with himself he was sort of already in love with. He had loved his ghost, and he had loved his angel. Why then could he not love this man?
It had been a year since Erik had nervously introduced himself to Lily and James, and yet he still believed that he had been dreaming, that none of this was real and that he would wake up soon.
They were getting married that morning, bonded as Husband and spouse by a magical minister, and Erik was waiting nervously at the Ministry for Magic along with Harry's parents and some of their close friends. It would only be a magical marriage: in the Muggle world, gay relationships were still outlawed and while people knew it happened, it was all very hush-hush and no one dared to admit to any of the rumours that may have been circulating about them. Erik had tried to convince Harry to marry a woman, and to continue loving Erik secretly, but Harry was gay, and his parents had been raised in a different time, where it wasn't shameful or freakish, and they were proud of their son and the man he loved.
And now, Erik waited, with sweaty palms and a lip swollen from biting it. But Lily and James stood on either side of him, showing support for the Muggle that was marrying into the Gaunt family line.
Harry walked in the doors, dressed in white robes and looking more beautiful than Erik could ever describe. All thoughts of Christine were lost to him now; his life was for Harry, he existed for Harry. As they spoke their vows to one another, Erik reached out to take hold of Harry's hands, pressing a kiss to each palm, before sliding the bonding ring into place. Harry smiled softly, warmly, as he pushed his ring onto Erik's bony finger, and then they kissed, slow and long and tender, and Harry's family (now Erik's too) watched with fond smiles and polite blushes as the couple showed the world their devotion.
To the world they were Misters Gaunt. But on paper, on their marriage certificate, their names read Erik and Harry Potter, dated December 31st 1907.
The year was over.
But theirs was just beginning.
1 – Used to clear dried blood from a wound.
2 – Used to heal deep gashes, e.g. those caused by the Sectumsempra curse.
3 – Used to treat mild to moderate injuries, e.g. split lip or broken nose.
Note: Well, damn, I just realized I never once mentioned servants' corridors. BOOMrobotdog, don't hate me. There were several different endings I was contemplating, ranging from Erik and Harry living happily ever after, to Dumbledore finding a way to drag them into the future with Erik, or without Erik just as Harry reveals he's pregnant, but then, this seemed like a good place to end it. Let your imaginations "unfurl its splendour"!