A Harry Potter/ Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Crossover
Disclaimer: I do not own either Harry Potter or the ADnD rules.
To Advanced Dungeon and Dragons purists – well, really, there weren't any. Our group, like just about everyone, threw out rules as we felt like it, and changed the monsters to confuse and surprise the players. So don't complain that monster x wouldn't do that. I won't listen.
"Inside, you freak! Maybe we'll let you out next week to feed you!"
Harry Potter, age 5, locked in the cupboard under the stairs, knew that crying didn't help, but he couldn't stop himself. He wished, really hard, that he could be somewhere else. Anywhere else. Somewhere far, far, away.
And then he was.
Which was not a good thing for the magical protections that were on the house.
Albus Dumbledore, of the many titles and jobs, was nodding off from reading the latest boring document from the Wizengamot. Minutia! The bugaboo of tiny minds that cannot grasp the big picture.
He took a sip of tea in the hopes that that might keep him awake when he was startled by a small explosion.
Had anyone been in the room, they would have seen why he was the defeater of Grindelwald. He was on his feet with his wand at ready before most people could blink.
Once he determined that the noise came from the self destruction of the monitoring instrument attuned to the Dursley's wards, he raced to the fireplace and threw in some floo powder. A quick trip to the Leaky Cauldron and a short apparition from there and he was on Privet drive. A wave of his wand transfigured his robes into muggle clothes.
He could not figure out what was going on. There were a lot of people standing around, asking what happened. There were a lot of broken windows in the houses he passed as he made his way to number 4.
The sight was unexpected. The house and grounds were charred, as were the walls of the surrounding houses that faced Number 4. The Dursleys were sitting on the curb, blood on their faces and clothes. Some neighbors were trying to help them, others appeared to be yelling at them. Dumbledore made his way over to the group.
"You!" Petunia shouted. "It's your fault! If you hadn't left us that ... that ... FREAK none of this would have happened!"
"What happened? Where is Harry?"
"He blew up our house is what happened!" Vernon yelled. A number of people were staring at Dumbledore, now.
"Where is Harry?" Dumbledore asked again.
"Probably still inside."
"In his room!" Vernon spit out. Dumbledore raced to the house and opened the door. The interior was mostly intact, except that all the glass in all the windows had blown in, and any other fragile object he could see had cracked or shattered. And the walls, ceiling, furniture, rugs, and floor were charred. He raced up the stairs and checked all the rooms. Unless Harry's was the extremely neat (except for the broken glass and mirror) room at one end of the corridor, he didn't see where Harry slept. One room was obviously the Dursleys'. Another, from the look of the clothes, was their overweight son. The third room was filled with broken toys and books, but had no place to actually sleep and no clothes in it. He ran downstairs and checked the basement - no Harry, and no place for him. He headed towards the front door, but something about the cupboard under the stairs stopped him. Why would you put a lock on a cupboard?
He unlocked the door and opened it, revealing a tiny mattress and a few clothes. But still no Harry. He waved his wand, and gasped.
Whatever happened here, there was a lot of magic involved. He cast some spells to protect the room, and left.
"Well?" Petunia asked as he came out.
"Well what?" he answered, not happy with the woman at all.
"What are you going to do about this?" she waved in the direction of the house.
"I'll be bringing some experts back and we'll see if we can find some clues as to what happened. And maybe bring charges against the people who would make a child live in a locked cupboard."
Petunia's face turned white as she noticed the neighbors heard that.
"Now see here," Vernon blustered, "you can't tell me how to run my own home!"
"If it involves protecting an innocent five year old, I think I, the neighborhood," he nodded at the people around who were looking at the Dursleys with anger, "and the law have a lot to say." With that he walked away while the sound of sirens came closer. The Dursleys might have had more to say, but were too busy being confronted by their neighbors.
There was no one around. Harry had been wondering in the woods for some time now, trying to find someone to help him. He would have settled for just a road. But it looked like he was alone, facing a creature larger, and almost nastier looking, than Uncle Vernon in a trackless forest.
Harry stared in horror at the hairy beast that was approaching him through the trees. Maybe there wereworse places than the Dursleys, he thought to himself. He was contemplating wishing himself away again, but he was so tired. He knew, instinctively, that there were no more wishes for him today.
The creature had huge teeth and very long and sharp looking claws. It approached on four legs but stood up, its arms reaching up and forward in a threatening manner. On it's back legs it was taller than Uncle Vernon, and it's brown fur covered torso was certainly as wide. It even seemed to have a pot belly like Uncle Vernon. The face, though, was hideous. Harry had seen bugs up close, and this looked like a giant version of one, with a sideways opening beak and large, unblinking eyes that looked like a horse fly's.
It advanced, and Harry tripped over some tree roots as he backed away from it.
Suddenly, its growl changed. It reached an arm around trying to get at something behind it, turning as it did so. Harry could see an arrow sticking out of it's back. Then two arrows. Then a third struck the creature's neck.
There was blood all over, as the thing fell to the ground and bled out.
Harry couldn't pull his eyes away from it until a voice asked, "So, little one, what are you doing in these woods?"
Harry looked up to see a tall, thin man dressed in brown. He was holding a sword in one hand and a bow in the other. A quiver of arrows was slung across his back. His face was sort of pudgy, and his cheeks made his eyes squint as he smiled at Harry. He had dark hair and a scraggly beard and, strangely, a red mustache.
"I'm lost," Harry said.
"Yes, I can guess that. I picked up your trail a few minutes ago. Good thing I did, or you would have been lunch for that bugbear.
"So what are you doing out here? Are your parents around somewhere?"
"My parents are dead," Harry mumbled, looking down. He felt embarrassed, because his aunt and uncle were always saying terrible things about his parents being no good and him thus being no good, too.
"I'm sorry to hear that. I'm Aratin, Ranger and Lord of Blue Mountain Cantref, at your service." The man bowed to Harry.
Harry looked wide eyed at him. He knew what it meant to serve. The Dursleys made him do it all the time. No one had ever done it for Harry, and this man seemed to be offering. Harry couldn't understand.
"And what is your name, my friend?"
Harry still couldn't understand. No one was his friend. His uncle said no one would ever be his friend.
"I'm Harry Potter," he answered, using the name he was instructed to use when asked his name. But at home, he was told, he would always be "the freak."
"Harry the Potter, eh? You are awfully young to have have mastered a trade." The child looked at him uncomprehending. Oh, well, perhaps it was just a joke his parents had with him, to call him the same trade as his father. "Would you do me a favor, Harry? Go past those trees and get my pack, please?"
That was more like it, Harry thought, being told to do things. Harry nodded and scrambled to comply. The ranger's eyebrows rose in surprise as the boy made very little noise moving through the woods. He returned with the heavy pack, less quiet, but still...
"Have you been trained in Ranger-craft, Harry?"
"Er, no. I don't go to school yet."
"Yet you move very quietly."
"Uncle Vernon doesn't like to hear me. I have to move very quietly at home." His face lost some of its color, and his hands went over his mouth. "Don't tell anyone I said that?"
Aratin couldn't understand the child's reaction, but realized he was afraid of something. He wasn't sure the boy had been that scared of the bugbear. He changed the subject.
"It's never too early to learn a new skill, right? Let me show you how to skin a bugbear. And I'll also show you the important parts, the parts that we can sell and make a little money. You up to learning?"
"Yes, sir," Harry replied, glad to be talking about something, anything, that didn't sound like he was "telling tales" about his uncle. Meanwhile, the Ranger was impressed with the way he answered so politely. Obviously, good breeding, he thought.
ADND ADND ADND
"Unspeakable. What have you learned."
"The child is gone."
"I know that!"
"No, not missing. Gone. Gone from the world. Gone from the whole universe. It would seem that a door opened between two different realities, and he slipped through."
"What could cause that?"
Even though he couldn't see the face of the Unspeakable, he could tell the annoyance at the question. Dumbledore winced at the answer, realizing how foolish the question was.
"Magic. Probably unintended magic. It will work to keep magical children alive. That seems to be the case here. He was in such distress that his magic tried to get him as far away from the situation as possible. I hear the Deputy Headmistress told you that those were the worst sort of muggles?"
Dumbledore nodded. "What can we do?" he asked. "Is there any way to bring him back?"
"Is there anything of his that was left behind?"
"I have some items from his parents. I was going to give them to him when he was older."
"They may legally be his, but they're not emotionally his. A beloved toy or something might work best." Dumbledore was sure the Unspeakable knew that Harry hadn't had any toys. He winced inside.
"I rescued the blanket from the cupboard. It originally came from his family home. If anything, it might have been important to the child."
"Give it to us, and we'll see if we can use it to establish a connection between it and him."
Dumbledore retrieved the blanket. "It's been months. Would he still have any feelings for a blanket, if he's even still alive?"
"There are ways..."
ADND ADND ADND ADND
"Harry, this is Master Womberg. Master, this is Harry, my apprentice. I would like you to teach him as much archery as possible. He is only six, but if you could put him up for a month or so, I have a nest of orcs to clean out."
Harry stood quietly while his foster father and master introduced him. Harry had been living in Aratin's village for about a year, now. Aratin called it a cantref, which, he said, meant there were a hundred people and a cow. The village had more than a hundred people and more than four dozen cows. But, until someone very important complained, Aratin said, it would still be called a cantref.
To Harry, it was a wonderful year. Aratin was a Ranger, which meant he was a fighter with special knowledge of the woods. He started teaching Harry about the wilderness from the first day they met. After harvesting the monster Aratin had slain (although when telling the story, he always shared the victory with Harry by saying "we killed the bugbear"), he started teaching Harry how to track, by backtracking Harry's own path to the place where he had appeared.
Now, Harry was in a very different village, to learn from "the greatest archer in Wales." Aratin, meanwhile, would be fulfilling his duty to his lord by driving off or killing some marauding orcs. Harry wasn't sure what an orc was, but his master told him that he would learn eventually.
He wasn't sure what a halfling was either, but now that he was meeting one, he understood. The archer wasn't much taller than Harry.
"Indeed I shall, Ranger Aratin. Since I agreed to your request, I invited my grandson Hamfast to join us, and help keep Harry company. He's twelve, but I believe you are bigger than he is, Harry. Also in the village is another human boy, Dendroginous, son of Druid Carapinatius. He's learning herb craft from Potion Mistress Greta, a few hills over. He's eight, if I remember right. I'm sure the boys will all get along."
"Druid Carapinatius will be joining me on our Adventure. Good bye, Harry. Learn all you can, but don't forget to have fun."
"Yes, sir," Harry said, and received a hug from his foster father. He really, really liked hugs and returned it with enthusiasm.
Harry went with Master Womberg to the round door set in the side of the hill. The Halfling hole was extensive, and Harry had his own room. He thought it funny that he was taller than Ham, but they still got along for the most part.
Dendroginous, or Dendreg, as his friends called him (and Harry was soon in that group) was even taller than Master Womberg. It turned out that Dendreg was learning woodcraft, too, but not quite the same as Harry. He was being trained by his father to become a Druid. During their free time, they shared what they knew with each other.
The month passed quickly, and when Aratin returned from what he called 'a successful adventure,' Dendreg's father was with him. All four of them made their way through the woods to Blue Mountain Cantref. The boys were happy to extend their time together, and Carapinatius decided to move his family closer to the cantref so the two boys could be together more in the future.
Harry celebrated their return home by bringing down his first deer with his new archery skill. They had a feast out in the woods that night.