Chapter One: Prologue

Title: Lord of the Forest

Rating: T

Pairings: Harry/Legolas

Warnings: Slash, mild gore, language, some angst, a touch of depression, and OOCness. A bit hard to avoid with an immortal Harry, though.

Summary: The grief after Harry's friends' deaths threatens to overcome him. With nothing and no one left, he slips into a new world, where he can start over. There he discovers he plays quite an important part... Harry/Legolas; powerful!Harry; Harry centric. Written for CasheyHooray1.00's challenge.

AN: Finally. Sorry it took so long, CasheyHooray! So, dear readers, this is for CasheyHooray's "Lord of the Forest" challenge. It's a short prologue, I might add more later, but this is all I have time for now.

DISCLAIMER:I own neither the original works (HP and LotR belong to JK Rowling and JRR Tolkien respectively) nor the plot idea (thanks again, CasheyHooray!).

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Harry glared spitefully at the circle of runes covering the Chamber of Secrets, fighting off tears. Friends and family's faces flashed through his head, each one piling on to his mountain of grief and guilt.

Ron. Just after a major row between himself and the strong-willed red head, he jumped in front of the heavy slashing curse that would have sliced Harry to ribbons. His last gasping words (he had been lying on the bloody ground and clenching Harry's hand and the only things Harry had been able to say were oh god oh god not you, anyone but you-) were I'm sorry.

Hermione. His poor, sweet bookworm nearly went mad with grief after Ron died, and during a raid, blew apart a group of some hundred-odd Death Eaters with the strongest blasting curse Harry ever witnessed. The letter she left him in her will pressed against his chest from its permanent spot in his shirt pocket.

Remus. Sirius. Tonks. The majority of the Order. All killed in raids, ambushes, and this final battle. No one Harry cared about was left, so he had searched every library, every page in every single damned book in the entire Wizarding World of Britain to find information about this ritual.

Hopefully, the combined strength of his magical power, the runes, and a few potions would be able to transport him to a new world. One where he wasn't the Boy-Who-Lived, The Chosen One, or the 'Defeater of all Evil' or whatever idiotic names the public was coming up with now.

Harry took a deep breath and stepped into the circle. Automatically, the circle began to drain his magic in a process he still didn't quite understand (Harry acknowledged the stupidity of that with an internal wince, but he was grieving and desperate and what else did you expect him to do?) The runes glowed in response, and he scrambled to remember the chant to initiate the magic hovering within the ancient letters.

With a moment of sudden clarity, Harry downed the black vial in his hand and began speaking in the strange, lilting language the ritual required. He glanced briefly at the chest of belongings resting by his foot; it had started humming with energy. Not a second later, Harry too began feeling the effects of the ceremony.

Magic rushed through Harry's veins, warming his blood and bringing a sense of breath-taking power and strength. With a horrid, grating shriek and a terrible crack, both Harry Potter and his belongings were ripped from Earth.

The runes bright fluorescence dulled, but they shivered with joy. Their job was completed.

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Meanwhile, in a completely different dimension, an echo of the first scream resounded through a deep, black forest.

Harry rolled over and groaned. He stilled for a minute to gasp for breath- his trip through the weird limbo-like dimension had felt like drowning- before shooting up into a sitting position. His hair was tangled with sticks and leaves and his face was gaunt and sunken from sleepless nights. He looked like Death.

But as he gazed around and into the living, moving undergrowth, a brokenly beautiful smile made its way onto his chapped lips, and magical energy seemed to flow once again into his bright green eyes, making them glitter as they never had in his other life.

Because, for the first time since the battle, he didn't feel haunted by ghosts of the past.

He felt alive and unburdened.

Had anyone seen him then, they would not have seen the shadow of Death about him, but rather the golden sheen of Triumph.

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Too short. Needs to be longer. Oh well.

Thanks for reading!

-MC

6/24 Edit: Hey guys! If this is your first time reading this fic, you can just skip this and move onto the next chapter. For any re-readers or people searching for an update, don't worry! I'm almost finished with the next chapter now. Just know that I'm going back and revamping these chapters, because my writing style has really improved recently, and looking back on these I'm actually kind of embarrassed. I won't be making any major plot changes (mostly because I actually like the plot, and partially to avoid any confusion) so you actually don't have to reread. Just thought you should know!