Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Masked Child

Two Worlds So Different

by ShadeDancer 0 reviews

Chapters 9 & 10

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure, Crossover - Characters: Harry, Snape - Warnings: [!] [?] - Published: 2006-08-07 - Updated: 2006-08-08 - 4380 words

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or LotR.


1991-1992 school year

For once Severus was watching a Sorting with unexpected interest, enjoying how his sneer made the already nervous first years quiver. This was the year that Harlan Potter started Hogwarts, which meant that the twin he had seen all those years ago should be showing up as well. Yet looking at the frightened faces of the first years standing and waiting to be Sorted, Severus was unable to spot the child he knew had to have been Harry Potter. All those years ago he had tried to find out more about Harry, but had come up with nothing. There were times that Severus began to think that he had imagined the child and that the child didn't really exist, had really died as everyone thought. Quite a few times he had come so close to mentioning his tumulus thoughts to Albus, but something, some intangible force, had prevented Severus from doing so and he had realized that it was probably for the best. Nothing went on in Hogwarts that Albus didn't seem to know about, and therefore Albus had to have been involved. Albus had let everyone think Harry Potter was dead. Now, in what would have been the first day of Harry's first year, Severus had watched out avidly for Lily's second child only to be disappointed once again. Where in Merlin's name was Harry? Severus knew he hadn't imagined the child despite his sometimes depressing thoughts to the contrary. Had he? Harlan Potter's name was called, and Severus' sneer widened as the child was predictably sorted into Gryffindor, but his hope of spotting Harry was immediately dashed a moment later when the name of Potter wasn't called a second time. It couldn't have been a dream, Severus swore to himself, he had felt the warm flesh of the child beneath his hand; something felt wrong about this whole thing.

~~ ~~ ~*~

Voldemort had gotten the Sorcerer's Stone, Severus had known the instant it had happened because his Dark Mark had begun to tingle. Voldemort was one step closer to his goal of immortality; he only needed a true body of his own. Severus knew that the day that happened that his Mark would burn, burn as if acid were eating away at his arm. Running on Albus' heels to the chamber where the stone had been hidden, Severus wondered where Albus' plans had gone wrong. Voldemort never should have been able to get the stone from the mirror, only someone who had no desire to use the stone but to protect it could have retrieved it from its hiding place. Severus stopped short a few steps into the chamber and realized what had gone wrong. On the floor lay an unconscious Harlan Potter. Of course the boy would have been able to get the stone from the mirror, foolish and naïve Gryffindor that he was. If not for Harlan the stone would have been still safely ensconced in the Mirror of Erised and Voldemort would not be on his way to a second rise of power. What had happened that a child who had been able to defeat Voldemort as an infant could not defeat him as a wand-wielding child who had been given the benefit of private lessons from Headmaster Albus Dumbledore?

/1992-1993 school year/

Once again Voldemort had slipped right under Albus' nose, sneaking a diary with a piece of his soul embodied within it into Hogwarts. Ginevra Weasley had been the unwitting victim, Voldemort stealing her life force from her as he forced her into his service while he attempted to instill fear into the population of Hogwarts and regain his own body. It had only been by sheer luck that Severus and Albus had arrived when they did, the youngest Weasley boy somehow making it out of the chamber to warn them. By the time they had arrived in the Chamber of Secrets, Harlan had been near dead from the basilisk poison, Fawkes busily circling the blind serpent in an attempt to draw it away from the downed boy-who-lived. Albus had instantly gone to protect his precious boy-who-lived and that night Severus had done something foolishly Gryffindor. He had picked up a sword that Harlan had apparently pulled from the Sorting Hat and shoved it up through the roof of the basilisk's mouth, thankfully the fang that would have pierced through his arm from this action was already stuck in Harlan; the boy-who-lived had obviously tried the same stunt already, but failed.

Then, while the basilisk thrashed in agony, Severus did the one thing he had sworn never to do again and channeled the killing curse through the sword. Instantly he felt dirty, unclean and tainted, but the basilisk was dead and Voldemort had lost his chance at regaining his body back when Harlan drove the basilisk fang through the diary. The biggest consolation Severus got for his work that evening was that he would be able to make all sorts of rare potions with the harvest he would get from the basilisk. He sure as hell hadn't gained any more faith in Harlan Potter, though he knew Albus would word the whole incident so that Harlan appeared to have once again saved their lives. It galled him that his accomplishment that evening would never be recognized, but he also knew that saying anything would put him at odds with Albus and that was one place he didn't want to be; the man could destroy him quite easily if he wished.

/1993-1994 school year/

Harlan Potter had gotten even more arrogant, if that was even possible, and Severus had come to think that the boy actually believed the half-truths that Albus spun to be the whole story. Perhaps if that damn boy hadn't inherited the Potter luck and arrogant superiority, traits Albus seemed to be purposely cultivating, things would be turning out better. Death Eater attacks had started up that summer as Voldemort grew restless and frustrated with his unlucky streak in regaining a body. The Dark Lord had actually dared send Death Eaters to attack Harlan in the middle of Diagon Alley and the Potter boy had shown that he actually had some knowledge of dueling at least. Now his name was being praised in the Prophet for his quick thinking and defense of the innocent witches and wizards who had been shopping that day. No one paid any attention to the fact that the Death Eaters who had attacked Potter were merely new and unskilled recruits, that they were nothing compared to what Potter would face should he come face-to-face with a member of the Inner Circle. The brat didn't even get a slap on the wrist for flouting the rules of underage magic. Severus himself haven't been summoned yet, but knew he would be soon, he just knew it. Severus had once been, and still was, a member of Voldemort's Inner Circle. He was his trusted Potions Master and the only reason Severus had not been summoned yet is that Voldemort never sent him on raids, preferring to have him safely ensconced in a lab where Severus could brew the delicate potions that were needed. Soon the Dark Lord would think of using a potion to regain his body or would think of some use for Severus and he would be summoned. Severus would have no choice but to go then and he would brew whatever potion the Dark Lord asked of him. It would cost him his life to do otherwise.

/1994-1995 school year/

Severus had done it. He had made the potion that Voldemort needed to complete the ritual to regain him a body. It is an act that gave him both pride and shame. Yet without Harlan Potter, the potion would have been useless and Cedric Diggory would still be alive. It's still surprising that Harlan made it to the third task of the Triwizard tournament given that the competitors all had the advantage over him in both age and knowledge, but he had made it. Unfortunately for him, Diggory beat Harlan to the cup that had been turned into a portkey in order to take Potter to Voldemort. Diggory had died and Voldemort's loyal follower who was disguised as this year's defense teacher, Mad-Eye Moody, kidnapped Potter from the maze and took him to Voldemort anyhow. Severus couldn't help but wonder if it had been the Mad-Eye imposter or Albus who had been the one to ensure that Harlan's name came out of the Goblet of Fire; the imposter had admitted to submitting Potter's name, but Albus had been the one to put up the safeguards around the Goblet. Either way, Harlan's blood was used to help Voldemort regain his body, but something else extraordinary also happened that night. Voldemort told Harlan that he was not the child to defeat him all those years ago, but his twin brother Harry. Voldemort hadn't bothered with Harlan after that, dismissing him as unimportant while the child who was known as the boy-who-lived lay in shock knowing that his life had been a lie. Severus couldn't help but wonder how on Earth Albus would salvage this mess.

/1995-1996 school year/

Albus had done it again. Somehow even after Harlan should have lost trust in his mentor and confronted the old man with his lies, Albus managed to regain the boys cooperation and make him believe that Voldemort had been the one spouting lies. It had been easy to convince the boy of that though, considering that he was the one alive while his twin was dead. Something in Albus' eyes had shifted when he had said that though, and Severus found himself remembering those beautiful green eyes shining up at him in the darkened Hogwarts corridor. He had given up the search after Potter's first year, but now Severus wondered if that had really been such a wise decision. If Harry was really alive, which he suspected and Albus perhaps knew, then Voldemort was right in his dismissal of Harlan's worth. Was Albus playing some sort of game here by using one twin as a decoy for another? But if he was why wouldn't he have told some of the staff about Harry being alive so we could teach the boy? Or was there some deeper game going on here? The puzzle filled Severus' head and started a throbbing behind his eyes; he would never be able to guess what Albus was doing, not without some more information and information was proving to be very scarce these days. As it was, Albus seems determined to continue with Harlan's training and reaffirming to the world that the Potter heir is the true Prophecy Child. He was even going so far as to release a part of a prophecy to the Daily Prophet and having an article done on Harlan Potter's deeds over the past few years containing all that he's suffered in his life. Severus would have liked to believe in Albus' assurances, and perhaps he could have, if only he could get the sight of those innocent emerald eyes out of his head.

But now was not the time to be thinking about this, for Voldemort was summoning him. The Dark Lord was going to ask how the creatures are progressing inside their slimy wombs, the creatures he had given Severus the instructions to make. Severus could not disobey this creation despite the fact that these creatures were the very spawn of destruction. If Severus thought his death would have put an end to their creation, then he would have died, but as it was, his only hope was to breed within them some form of weakness even as he curse the existence of the ancient Grimoire that Voldemort must have pulled from the very deepest pits of Hell. Severus sometimes wondered about the heroes who must have defeated the writer of the Grimoire and his Master, and he hated the fact that their hero was so pathetic at his job. Why could their hero not be one of the ones that the writer occasionally cursed through his writing? Severus feared that with this Grimoire in hand that Voldemort would be worse than Saruman and Sauron, two evils whose names weren't even remembered on any of the four corners of the Earth today except for by those who had seen the Grimoire. The creatures will be ready soon.

~~ ~~ ~*~

Albus Dumbledore's POV...

I begin to think that I made a mistake when I choose Harlan over Harry. No, that wasn't the mistake, it was underestimating the twin bond between Harlan and Harry; their bond must have run deeper between them than anticipated and that's why Harlan isn't as capable as he should be. The biggest mistake I made was throwing Harry away as a useless pawn; he was a piece that might have proved useful, but not anymore. I had always planned to keep him tucked away, ready to be used when I finally found some menial task for him to perform, or found some use for him as a sacrifice, but I am to be denied even that. I curse the damn brat for dying on me. It was a shock when the stone I was using to monitor his life-force suddenly cracked and went dormant. Perhaps I should have checked on him once in a while, played the grandfather to him and told him that staying in Azkaban was for his own safety. He would have believed me after a while or I would have simply obliviated him and remolded him; I would have been the only hope he had. I have no choice now but to keep working with Harlan and hoping that not all my plans need to be revised. Perhaps it is time that I also begin showing Neville Longbottom some attention, he was a candidate for the Prophecy Child at one point as well. Yes, that is what I shall do. Everything will turn out alright. It can't afford not to. I can't afford to have it not turn out alright. Damn you, Harry Potter, for screwing up all my plans and dying on me. You're no use to me dead.

/Spring 1996/

Sirius Blacks' POV...

I can't stop shaking, and for once it is not because of the dementors. I have gotten a hold of the copy of the Daily Prophet the Minister was carrying with him when he made his inspection of Azkaban. I told him I missed the crosswords, but in reality it was the front page that caught my attention. Harlan was on it. My godson. Yet I have two godsons, the second being Harry. It was from this paper, the article rehashing the events of Harlan's life, that I realized that Dumbledore had a lot more to account for than my wrongful imprisonment in Azkaban. He knew that I hadn't been Lily and James' Secret Keeper, had cast the spell himself that made Peter the Keeper, but he had never said a thing when they threw me in here without a trial. But I have come to terms with all that, what I cannot accept was the article mentioning how Harlan was suffering through life without the support of his twin bond, little Harry having been murdered that October 31st night by Voldemort. Harry had not died that night. I know because I had seen him lying there, unconscious but alive and healthy amidst the ruins of Godric's Hallow. I had gone to him, tended to him, but then Peter had made his appearance. No, not Peter, he is Pettigrew or Wormtail now. Fitting name, Wormtail. I shouldn't have went after the traitor, but at the time I didn't know how conniving Dumbledore really was and so had felt it safe enough to follow Wormtail when I felt Dumbledore apparate through the tattered remnants of the wards a moment later. No, Harry was still alive, but Dumbledore had done something to him. I have a reason now, a motivation; I will break out of Azkaban, and I think I know just the way to do it. Perhaps the lack of food here in Azkaban will finally turn out to be a good thing.


Early spring had come begun to bloom in Gondor, light breezes and scattered rains keeping the heat from getting too oppressive like it did in summer, and the people went about their daily business. To Eldarion it was a sight for sore eyes because the twenty-three year old prince had been gone from home for just over a year, riding with the Rangers and visiting with the scattered number of Elves who had decided to remain upon the shores of Middle-Earth. He had loved the journey despite some of the hardships he had faced on it and reveled in the time spent away from the cloistering walls of the Gondorian Palace, but he had also missed his family. The one thing that had kept his homesickness from getting too bad though had been the presence of Legolas by his side throughout the entire trip. They had tentatively started exploring a relationship before they had left Gondor for the year and the trip had given them the chance to explore this and encouraged their feelings for each other into a more solid bond. Yet despite the year of travel where they had spent many a night camped out alone under the stars, Legolas and Eldarion had gone little further than kissing in the physical aspect of their relationship.

"Nae saian luume'" Eldarion whispered as they turned their horses onto the last road that would lead to the palace. (It has been too long.)

"Creoso eska," Legolas murmured in reply, as he leaned over to place a discreet kiss on Eldarion's temple. (Welcome home.)

With a smile Eldarion shifted in his saddle to say something to Legolas only to be cut off by two blurs flying towards his horse.

"Eldarion! Eldarion! You are home!"

Only years of practice allowed Eldarion to keep Fëa from stamping at the two children trying to clamber up his sides. With an amused shake of his head, Eldarion slid from Fëa's back and pulled the two children away from the horse, Legolas snickering almost inaudibly in the background.

"Calanon, Vanya," Eldarion hugged the twin boy and girl to him, "Cormamin lindua ele lle. (My heart sings to see thee.)

"What does that mean?"

Both seven-year-olds were always curious whenever he spoke to them in Elvish, but he wasn't given the chance to answer as Calanon kept speaking, "father said you were coming home today and we waited forever for you. You took too long."

"I am sorry," Eldarion switched to Westron for the benefit of the twins, "but the horses can only go so fast. I'm home now though."

Vanya started tugging at his hand, her eyes shining, "come play with us, you promised before you went that you would play when you got home."

"We will play," Eldarion hugged them both again, "but first I need to take care of Fëa. Why don't you go tell adar that I am home?"

In an instant the two were off like a shot, though Eldarion knew that they would be back the moment after they delivered the message. It had been a complete surprise when Naneth had become pregnant when he was fifteen; she herself had never suspected that it would be possible as her body had continued to weaken into mortality. Eldarion had known then that this was what the vision he had received the day daer-adar had left referred to. If Arwen went ahead with the pregnancy she would die, and she had known it as well; if she hadn't become pregnant she would have lived for hundreds of years more. There had been no choice in Arwen's eyes though. She had lived long enough after the birth to name both her son and daughter and whisper final words of love to her husband and Eldarion. It had been a time of great sorrow for them all and Eldarion had fallen into the fear that Aragorn would no longer love him as much now that he had a son that was of both his flesh and blood.


Naneth's belly had been ripe to burst for months now and the time had come. For many it was a joyous occasion, but for Eldarion all he could feel was sorrow. He knew that by the end of this birthing that he would no longer have his Naneth at his side, and she knew it as well. His second reason for sorrow was also filled with fear. Adar would now have a child that was made of both his flesh and blood and Eldarion knew that would mean that he was no longer wanted. Why would Aragorn want a child that was merely his by adoption, albeit one of blood, when he had a child born from himself and Arwen? The first squall of an infant cut through the air and Eldarion could stand it no longer, he ran from where he had been huddling out in the shadows of the hall, ran until he found himself collapsing at the roots of the White Tree. It was fitting that he should end up here, here in this place where he had first seen his Adar, here where he would now lose him. Eldarion felt his heart clench in pain, but refused to let the tears fall. He wouldn't allow himself to cry until after he was told that he was no longer wanted and had gotten far away from Gondor. He would live amongst the trees, live there where no humans dwelt and no pain could befall him. He...

"Eldarion." It was Adar.

"Quickly now," there was pain in Adar's eyes, "Arwen is calling for you, she will not last long."

Brushing aside the feelings churning within him, Eldarion had went to Arwen's side and cried as she told him that she loved him and that he was her son. Her tithen-min. Then she had gone still and it seemed as if she was merely sleeping, but the last tenaciously clinging bit of Light of the Eldar had left her and Eldarion knew her to be dead.

Sorrowfully he had stood, not realizing that he was crying, "I'll go now."

"What?" In his grief Aragorn did not seem to comprehend, the Ranger-king crying freely as well from where he stood gazing upon his lost wife.

"I'll go," Eldarion gestured to the tiny twins wailing in the cradle over the sensation of their mother's passing, "you don't need me anymore."

For a long moment Aragorn didn't move, but as Eldarion turned to leave the room he suddenly found himself clasped tightly against that strong chest, those warrior's arms banding tight around him and not letting go.

"Amin utinu," Aragorn had said the words fiercely, shaking him, "Kelamin il! You are my son Eldarion! My first son. I will not let you go. Do not make me lose a son as well as a wife this day!" (My son, leave me not!)

End Flashback

Eldarion had quickly been disabused of any notion that he was no longer wanted or needed and had been surprised to discover that adar still named him heir to Gondor; it wasn't something he had been expecting even after learning Aragorn still called him son. Once he had realized that he would not be losing another home, would not be hurt or betrayed over the arrival of the new twins, Eldarion had quickly taken to being a big brother. It had just come naturally to him as if he had done it his whole life and the twins had worshipped him, following him everywhere they could as soon as they were old enough to toddle about. Gimli had once referred to the twins as Eldarion's puppies.

"They have grown," Legolas had come to stand beside him.

"Yes," Eldarion slipped easily into the circle of Legolas' arm, "it's hard to believe that they are seven already, that Naneth..."

"Amin sinta, melamin/," Legolas switched back to Elvish for a moment, knowing it would comfort Eldarion, "I'm surprised you don't have those two fluent in Sindarin or even Quenya yet." /(I know, my love.)

Eldarion shook his head sadly, "few Elves come here except for you, and with Naneth gone there just doesn't seem much point. Even Adar doesn't use Sindarin as much unless it's to speak with me because he knows I favor it over Westron. Losing Naneth hit him hard."

"Their souls were mated," Legolas commented softly as they began to walk toward the front doors of the palace, "and Aragorn always thought that he would be the one to die first. We are just lucky he did not follow her into repose."

Eldarion would have commented, but his eyes fell upon the upright figure standing proud in the doorway, waiting for him. Even though he was over 100 years old, Aragorn was still fit and strong thanks to the longevity of the Dúnedain. His steps quickening, Eldarion moved towards his father and the two embraced heartily like the warriors they were.

"Vedui' Adar/," Eldarion pulled back from the hug, but still clasped his father's forearm. /(Greetings father.)

"Mae govannen, amin utinu," the Elvish words still flowed easily from Aragorn's lips. (well met, my son.)

The two looked each other over for long moments, communicating without words and checking to see that the other was well before breaking apart. Aragorn turned to Legolas to greet his old friend, while the twins set upon Eldarion again.

"Let's go play now," Vanya demanded at the same time Calanon asked, "did you bring us anything back?"

With a laugh, Eldarion allowed the twins to drag him along as he pulled the gifts he had for them out of his bag, knowing that Legolas and Adar would enjoy the chance to catch up for a bit in peace. Unfortunately the family reunion wasn't to last long, for only a few days after Eldarion's homecoming, two separate messengers arrived at the Gondorian Palace. One was from Mirkwood summoning Prince Legolas home, and the other was a missive from Rohan.
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