~To the Waters and the Wild~
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
(From W. B. Yeats: "The Stolen Child")
Summary: Flying back from Godric's Hollow, Hagrid accidentally drops baby Harry over a wild forest. Harry is raised by rebel fairies until his Hogwarts letter arrives. The Dark Lord is in for a surprise... HP/LV romance.
Rating: M for slash (same-sex love) in later chapters.
Warning: This is a Harry/Voldemort romance. If that's not the sort of story you want to read, please turn back now.
The motorcycle blazed through the darkening sky like a comet of steel and fire. A trail of flames and smoke lingered in its wake, but the roar of its engine was drowned by the sound of loud sobs.
"I can' believe it! Lily and James Potter, murdered..." The driver's half-choked mutterings turned into a wail, and he tore at his goggles, which were fogged up with tears. "Oh, damn, I can' see a blessed thing through these blasted goggles."
The motorcycle careened wildly through the evening sky for a moment until the driver managed to push the misty goggles up onto his broad forehead. "Tha's better now. At least I can see the blessed sky now... But oh, jus' thinkin' of poor Lily an' James, struck dead by that monster! An' poor little Harry left an orphan, with no one in the whole wide world to look after him, except fer a couple o' Muggles!" The driver blew his nose loudly onto the sleeve of his rugged leather coat and wiped his eyes with his enormous hands. He blinked in surprise at the ground, which was suddenly alarmingly close and rushing at him at a strange angle, and he straightened out the flying motorcycle with an oath.
Then the driver flew on through the dark blue evening air towards his distant destination, apparently completely unaware that a small bundle had just detached itself from the sidecar of the motorcycle and was hurtling towards the ground far below.
"There they are, finally!" The old man with the long white hair and beard turned his face expectantly towards the darkening sky. He greeted the rider who emerged out of the darkness on the enchanted motorcycle with a friendly nod. "I trust everything went well, Mr. Hagrid?"
The giant rider landed his motorbike with a small thud on the quiet suburban street and came to a screeching halt in front of the old man. "Oh, very well, Professor Dumbledore! No troubles at all. He's a good baby, little Harry. Quiet as a mouse, he's been. I haven't heard a peep out of him since we were flyin' over Wales. Hush, better not wake him. I think he's asleep still." He peered tenderly into the sidecar. The next moment, an expression of horror passed over his large, homely face. "Oh, no. Oh, no!"
"What is it, Mr. Hagrid?" asked the old man sharply.
His companion, an elderly lady dressed in green robes, rushed over to the motorcycle. "Is something wrong with little Harry?"
"Oh, no!" The giant sank down on the sidewalk, sobbing wildly. "He's not there! He's gone! I.. I mus' have dropped him on the way... Little Harry Potter is gone!"
"What are you saying, Mr. Hagrid?" The green-clad lady's face was pale. "Good heavens! You dropped him while flying? Wasn't there a seat belt? Oh, no, this was Sirius Black's motorcycle, wasn't it? I don't suppose he would have found much use for a seat belt... Oh, dear God! The poor child must be lying dead out there somewhere, dashed against the ground..." She covered her face with her hands, and a small strangled sob escaped her. "Gone, like his poor mother and father!"
"Gone?" The old man stood frozen for a moment, staring at the empty sidecar. Then he sighed deeply and sank down on the sidewalk next to the giant. "Gone. And we had hoped, for a wild moment, that he was The Boy Who Lived... Oh, don't blame yourself, Mr. Hagrid! It was an accident, I'm sure, another meaningless tragedy on this night that has seen so much tragedy already."
"Gone," repeated the lady tonelessly. "Oh, poor child!" She turned to the old man. "Professor Dumbledore, we must get some brooms and go out and look for him at once. Mr. Hagrid, can you give us any idea at all as to where this tragedy occurred?"
The giant shook his head, bewildered. "I can' say, Professor." Tears began streaming down his face again. "He's dead, isn't he? Poor little Harry!"
"Dead? I'm afraid so, Mr. Hagrid." The old man's voice trembled. "The fall must have killed him instantly. There is no sense in even looking for him, Minerva; he could be anywhere." His lined ancient face looked even older for a moment. "Harry Potter, the boy who survived Lord Voldemort's curse, is gone forever."
"Where did you get that?" Twig raised his lantern and glanced suspiciously at the small bundle in his friend Leaf's arms.
"Found him." Leaf gazed down at the small creature he was holding and made soothing bird noises at him. The infant smiled in his sleep.
"A human child? You can't keep him," said Twig softly. "You know that, don't you?"
"Of course I can keep him. I found him, so I will raise him." Leaf didn't take his eyes off the baby in his arms.
Twig shook his head firmly. "You can't keep him, Leaf. It's against the Old Laws. As you know, I'm not opposed to breaking a few of the Rules - the more, the merrier; the blasted Faerie Queen is just making them up anyway - but the Old Laws are another matter. If you take a human child, you have to give them one of your own in exchange without them noticing; otherwise the human parents will be sad. But you don't have any children of your own, which means that you can't keep one of theirs. You have to give the child back to its parents."
"No." Leaf brushed a small, pale finger over the baby's forehead. "The humans didn't want this child. They threw him away. He came flying through the air, and I caught him just in time. That makes him mine, I should think."
Twig bent over the infant and shone the light into the little face. "That doesn't make any sense, Leaf. It's a beautiful child - why would they want to throw him away? It's been centuries since humans threw children away, anyway. I don't think they do that anymore. You really need to give him back."
"But I don't even know who his parents are or where to find them. He just came flying through the air like a shooting star. I didn't see anyone, just a streak of fire across the sky before he fell. And besides, he's broken!" There was a triumphant gleam in Leaf's large dark eyes now. The words tumbled out of him. "That's probably why they didn't want to keep him. You know that we are allowed to keep injured baby animals abandoned by their parents; that's how I got Wolf in the first place." He patted the large silver-grey animal by his side fondly. "The same Law would apply to human babies too, don't you think?"
Twig looked doubtfully at the infant. "But he doesn't seem broken. Wolf had lost a leg when you found him, but this one seems perfectly fine. There is a small scratch on his forehead, but it's not even bleeding. I'm sure it can be healed easily. The humans wouldn't have thrown away a perfectly good child over something as small as that."
"Touch the scar, and you will see!" said Leaf eagerly. "It's much more than just a scratch."
The other fairy touched the baby's forehead lightly. An expression of astonishment passed over his small, pale face. "But... But there is something in there! It's a splinter of some sort, a shard... It seems to be a piece of broken soul!" His voice sank to a whisper. "How is that even possible?"
"Exactly! I knew you would feel it, too!" Leaf smiled. "Don't you see, Twig? That must have been why the humans threw him away. Because of the shard." His eyes were shining now.
His friend nodded slowly. "You may be right about that. What a very curious thing! I wonder how that broken piece of soul ended up inside him in the first place? I have never heard of such a thing before."
Leaf shrugged. "Oh, who knows? Probably some human wizard messing around with magic he couldn't control. Humans are terrible with magic - everyone knows that. Half the time, they wave these funny sticks around - it's a wonder they don't take someone's eyes out." He regarded the infant with a fond smile. "But I will train little Wind properly; he will be good at magic."
Twig stood lost in thought for a moment. Then he said: "Listen, Leaf, I don't think you should call him "Wind". It's a lovely name, of course, but he's human, and that's not a human name. Humans love strange long names, not little plain ones. You need to find him a long name." He peered curiously into the baby's blanket. "Wait, there are letters on the cloth he is wrapped in." He pointed to some curvy letters embroidered onto the baby's blanket. "It says Harry. Could that be his name, do you think?"
"Harry?" Leaf pondered this for a moment, and he whispered the unfamiliar name over and over. Then he nodded. "Yes. I suppose that is his name. It does suit him. It's a little long, of course, but seeing that he's human, he might not mind."
The two fairies stood in silence for a moment, regarding the small child. Then Twig asked: "So, what shall we do about the shard? Can you try to take it out? That splinter of broken soul might hurt him if you leave it in, like a thorn left in your finger."
Leaf thought for a little while. "Of course I could take the shard out; that's easy enough. I just don't know if I should. It's part of Harry now, isn't it, even if it's a different soul? It feels rather..." He frowned and appeared to be looking for the right word. Then he nodded. "Sad. Yes, I think that's it. It feels a little sad. But Harry should be the one to decide what to do with the shard. When he is older. I mean, it's his shard, isn't it? Maybe he wants to keep it."
The baby stirred softly in his sleep, and he rubbed a small fist against his forehead.
"I suppose that's possible." Twig looked at the baby, a baffled expression on his face. Then he sighed. "Well, if you are going to keep the baby, I suppose you will simply have to raise both of them for now, Harry and the Shard."
Leaf nodded and stroked the scar on the baby's forehead. "Strange, isn't it? The scar almost looks like a lightning bolt."
"Like a lightning bolt?" Twig looked doubtfully at the little red mark. "I think it looks like he hit a tree branch on his way down from the heavens."
"It's a lightning bolt," said Leaf firmly. "And when he is older, I will tell him lovely stories about dark nights and silver lightning and enchanted children falling from the sky."
Twig smiled. "You do tell marvelous stories, Leaf. Even the Faerie Queen has never denied that, much as she disapproves of everything else about you. Harry will enjoy listening to your tales, I'm sure." After a moment's pause, he whispered: "Do you think Shard will hear the stories, too? Or do you think he is too broken to hear?"
Leaf kissed the jagged scar on the baby's forehead. "We will find out..."