Categories > Books > Harry Potter > The Nightmare Before Hogwarts

Chapter 6

by USA_Tiger 0 reviews

n/a

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Crossover,Fantasy,Humor - Characters: Harry,James,Lily - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2017-10-29 - 4244 words

1Moving
The Nightmare Before Hogwarts

By: USA Tiger

Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the property of J. K. Rowling. The Nightmare Before Christmas is the property of Touchstone/Disney and Tim Burton. /Corpse Bride /is also the property of Tim Burton and Warner Bros. Pictures. /Beetlejuice /is also property of Tim Burton.

Edit 5-10-18: This chapter has now been betaed by The Patient One.

Author Note: Sorry that I haven’t posted in 3 days, I was exhausted from work, been working extra shifts to cover for someone so I almost fell asleep at my desk after starting this chapter then my parental unit’s birthday came up so I spent the day with her. So to make up for it this chapter is a bit longer. Also you guys are great, I had no idea how well this fic might do when I posted it since it was one of my odd crossover ideas but I’m thrilled at how much everyone seems to like it.

Chapter 6

When James and Lily Potter died, they hadn’t known what to expect from the afterlife. Lily remembered talks of Heaven when she still went to church with her family while James had always been taught more along the lines of the underworld of Greek mythology. Of the two, James’s idea of the afterlife was the closest but somehow it still didn’t compare to the real thing.

One moment they were fighting for their son’s life, the next the Potters found themselves someplace underground in a cramped, dark, yet lively city of the dead. James had appeared first followed by Lily minutes later; neither remembered how the Grim Reaper had brought them there. While both had been greeted as the new arrivals from other dead citizens, James and Lily fretted about what was happening to their son, worried that Harry’s life would be cut short before it even really started.

Yet Harry never appeared, and neither parent knew if that meant Harry went to some sort of different afterlife for children, if he had automatically been reborn in a new body, or if he had somehow lived. Both, of course, were hoping for the third option. The Potters couldn’t properly enjoy their new surroundings as they fretted over the fate of their son and it was days before a wizard offed himself by accident while celebrating. It was then that they learned that the youngest Potter was not only still alive but thought of as a hero for killing ‘He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named,’ earning his own ridiculous nickname of ‘The-Boy-Who-Lived’.

Neither understood just how Voldemort had died, and the wizard didn’t have any answers, but really, for anyone to think their one-year-old son had done it? It was silly but at least their son was still alive and James did preen a bit that his baby boy was seen as a hero. Lily was just thrilled the spell she found had worked; it had been a desperate attempt to save Harry’s life to be honest. After this the Potters relaxed a bit, thinking Harry was safe with his godfather Sirius Black or with his godmother Alice Longbottom and her family.

Things calmed a bit and the Potters slowly got used to what was their new un-life where nothing much seemed to happen. There was an incident a few days later where a whole group of Muggles arrived, killed by some sort explosion, but neither paid much attention to that. It would be weeks before another magical died and they could get some news from the mortal realm about their son.

That was when they learned that not only did no one know where Harry Potter was, but that Sirius Black had been thrown into Azkaban for betraying them to Voldemort as well as killing Peter Pettigrew and 13 Muggles. James raged that Sirius would never betray his family and that he hadn’t even been the secret keeper to start with, Pettigrew was! On top of that, who the hell had his son if Harry wasn’t with his either of his godparents? Lily was angry over what happened to Sirius as well, she wasn’t as close to him as James was but he had become a good friend to her, and extremely worried over her son.

It was hours before Lily and James realized the group of Muggles that had appeared a few days after them could very well be the same 13 muggles that Sirius supposedly killed. They quickly located a few of them and got their side of the story.

“It was two blokes fighting,” one crispy Muggle female said.

“I think the fat one was yelling something about the tall one betraying someone,” another Muggle added.

“Didn’t fat fellow have a knife?”

“No, he had a stick…err… wand I think it’s supposed to be called. They’re like witches or something, remember? Anyway, both of them had one.”

“No, no, you’re both right. They both had those wand stick thingies but the shorter one also had a knife.”

With a bit more arguing among the group, James and Lily pieced together than Sirius had likely tracked down and confronted Pettigrew, who claimed that Sirius was the traitor, then he cut himself with the knife and blew up the street. One of the Muggles swore he saw Pettigrew slice off a finger or two as he had been directly behind the cowardly man. The biggest question that remained on Lily’s mind was why Sirius was chasing after Pettigrew instead of, you know, taking care of her son?

One thing was for sure, Peter Pettigrew hadn’t died in the explosion that he caused, the Potters had looked high and low for him in the Land of the Dead and hadn’t found a single trace of him. Bonejangles, the one-eyed jazz-loving singing skeleton who had ‘lived’ in the underworld for a very long time also reminded them that if Pettigrew had died then he would have appeared the same time as the Muggles he had killed. The only explanations were Pettigrew either apparated—which James swore Pete couldn’t do without splinching himself—or he had turned into his rat Animagus form and escaped, which James thought was more likely of the two.

Bondjangles had suggested they see Elder Gutknecht about ways they may find their still-living son. The rickety skeleton hadn’t been sure how much he would be able to help but he was happy to lend what aid he could. They also gotten in touch with their caseworker, a ghost named Juno, in the offices of the dead, an organization that had been created to set and monitor very clear rules for the interaction between the living and the dead, something that had come about after a corpse bride had married a living man by accident sometime during the Victorian age. Juno informed them that the living weren’t monitored unless they directly interacted with the dead such as haunted houses. Magical ghosts like those at Hogwarts were also somewhat monitored but the rules seemed a bit different for the ghosts of magical people versus the ghosts of Muggles.

But four years later, Lily was starting to lose a bit of hope. She felt like they had searched through every book but found nothing useful. She and James had tried haunting spells but that had busted as well, as they had returned to the place where they died. If she still had the ability, Lily would have been psychically sick when she looked at her destroyed home and wondered once again how her baby survived.

Still she tried, as did James, though his method involved looking for spells from other dead witches and wizards. That was what led to that day: Lily was once again in Elder Gutknecht’s tower, slowly flipping through a book but her mind wasn’t really on the words on the page. No, her mind was far away; yesterday had been the anniversary of her and her husband’s death, marking another year they had been in the Land of the Dead.

Lily’s head lifted as she heard a male voice call out “Elder Gutknecht?” to which Gutknecht naturally answered. From there, Lily tried not to listen in to closely as this wasn’t any of her business, though she wondered about the whole ‘Pumpkin King’ and holiday thing. But her head snapped up and she gasped as she heard ‘Harry’ and ‘Potter’ come from this other person’s mouth. The book was quickly dropped and Lily walked around to the other side of the tower of books in the center of the room.

“Did you say Harry Potter?!” she demanded as she walked up to the tall lanky skeleton wearing a pinstriped suit.

“Yes,” Jack said with a tilt of his head.

“Does he have messy black hair and green eyes?” Lily asked. “You said he was a wizard too.”

“Yes, he does, though I called him a witch,” he responded, wondering if ‘wizard’ was what male witches were called. Shelving that thought, he smiled widely then and pointed at Lily. “You must be his mother, then! I’m so glad to meet you!”

“Oh, Merlin…” Lily whispered as her knees started to give out, Jack catching her and helping her to move to the floor.

“Are you sure this is your son, Lily my dear?” Gutknecht asked as he laid a hand on Lily’s shoulder.

“She has his eye color,” Jack said kneeling down so he was eye level with Lily. “Harry will be so thrilled to meet you, my Sally is watching him right now.”

“How did you end up with my son? No, wait,” Lily stood and wandlessly conjured her doe patronus, softly leaving a message on it before sending it to James. One thing she and James found out about being dead, magic seemed to come easier to them which was good because when they died they didn’t have their wands on them. “We’ll wait for my husband.” Jack had the same look of awe of his face that he had when he discovered Christmas Town at Lily’s magic.

“What was that?” he asked himself softly.

They only had to wait for a few minutes before a skeletal deer clambered up the stairs and into the room then shifted into a man with blue skin like Lily, messy looking black hair and wearing wire frame glasses.

“Lily? What’s wrong, you sounded panicked and said something about Harry,” James Potter said as he rushed to his wife’s side. Gutknecht sighed and rubbed the top of his head.

“James, child, I have told you many times not to climb the stairs in your other form,” he chided softly. Jack, on the other hand, had a different opinion:

“That was amazing! I’ve never seen anything like that. I’ve never known a corpse to have two different forms.”

“Who are you?” James asked with a frown.

“My name is Jack Skellington, I am so pleased to meet both of you,” Jack said as he grabbed James’s hand and shook it then repeated the same with Lily. “I’ve come all the way from Halloween Town looking for you, Harry will be so happy that I’ve found you.”

“Wait, wait,” Lily said as she pulled her hand from Jack’s and held it up in a ‘wait’ motion. “Halloween Town? I don’t understand.”

“Jack here is known as the Pumpkin King,” Gutknecht explained. “Halloween Town is the world that the holiday with the same name comes from, Jack is the ruler over the holiday.”

“Holidays have their own worlds?” James asked surprised.

“Of course! My world is in charge of Halloween every year, all sorts of different monsters and anything else related to Halloween is there,” Jack said proudly. “This year was one of our best.”

“That… is frankly amazing but I want to know how Harry ended up there,” Lily said.

“Well, the Creature Under The Stairs claims he popped into a stairs cupboard to do a little Halloween scaring last night but found your son instead. It startled him a bit and he left, the way back must have not closed all the way as your son must have followed him,” Jack explained.

“Cupboard under the stairs? What was Harry doing there?” Lily asked in horror.

“Sally said that is where Harry claims he sleeps at his aunt’s house,” Jack said. Lily and James’s faces would have paled if they still had blood.

“His aunt’s house?” Lily repeated. “Did he say what this aunt’s name is?”

“Petunia, I believe,” Jack said.

“What is he doing living with Petunia!?” Lily screeched.

“What is that Muggle bitch doing putting my son in a cupboard like a house elf!?” James roared in anger. Lily pressed the heels of her hands to her eyes and hissed like an angry cat.

“I can’t believe this, Harry was to never go to Petunia! Dumbledore knew that!” she yelled.

“We refuse to let Harry live with that… that muggle bitch and that bastard husband of hers,” James spat.

Lily was fuming at the thought of her old Headmaster, knowing he was behind it as every dead witch and wizard that came after them said Dumbledore was the one who assured everyone Harry was placed in a safe home. She was going to yank the hairs out of that old man’s beard out one by one! She leaned against James as he wrapped her arms around her.

He had never thought he would hate a Muggle as much as he had hated Vernon Dursley, but the one and only time he had met Petunia and Vernon, Vernon had insulted James and Lily. The fat Muggle had already known he and Lily were a wizard and witch, more than likely Petunia had told him unless the man had some wizarding family members they knew nothing about, and he had made it known he hadn’t ‘approved’ of their ‘unnaturalness’. James would admit by the end of the night he had ended up cursing Vernon, not a strong curse by any means but enough to let Vernon know how he really felt. Luckily, Lily was able to reverse the spell before James had been caught and fined for attacking a Muggle.

That had been the last time Lily had contact with her sister beyond Christmas exchanges. But although she might have been done with Petunia, Lily didn’t want her dead and Voldemort’s Death Eaters would surely kill Petunia if they could find and get to her. So as a last kindness to her only sister and her nephew, she secretly put a blood ward around Petunia’s home.

“That’s why I’m here!”

The Potters broke out of their flashbacks as Jack spoke up again, grinning widely.

“I’ve already decided Harry will live in Halloween Town, as a… wizard?” Jack looked at Lily to confirm he had the correct word. “As a wizard, he fits right in with Halloween, but our denizens aren’t overly familiar with mortals beyond our holiday, so Sally suggested that I find you two. Who better to raise him than his parents!”

“Wait… you want us to come to this Halloween Town place… so we can raise our son?” Lily asked.

“Where do we sign up?” James asked grinning, a town just for Halloween? Getting to raise Harry like they always wanted to? Why would either of them pass that up? Oh, the whole monster thing was worrying but James had been best mates with a werewolf. And if they were all as jolly as this odd skeleton fellow, it couldn’t be that bad.

“This is all very strange, but I agreed with James,” Lily said.

“Splendid!” Jack clapping his hands together. “Harry will be thrilled.”

“When can we leave?” Lily asked eager to see her baby again, how much had Harry grown? Petunia and Vernon had better not have hurt him!

“Now, if you like,” Jack said.

“I suppose this is goodbye, then,” Gutknecht said.

“Oh, Elder Gutknecht, thank you for your help,” Lily said bending down and hugging the rickety skeleton.

“You are welcome, my child, I am overjoyed that this is working out for you,”

“Come on, Lils,” James held out his hand to Lily then looked at Jack. “Let’s go!”

******

Meanwhile, back in Halloween Town, Sally was hard at work putting together Harry a new outfit as the clothing he had been wearing was just horrible. And not in the good way.

Currently, Harry was taking a bath in Jack’s tub, the boy delighting in the fact that he was being allowed to take as long as he wanted in the warm water rather than hurry through a lukewarm shower. She didn’t understand how someone could treat anyone like that, much less a child. With a bit of coaxing, Sally had finally gotten Harry to tell her a bit about his life at the Dursleys. And it was worse than she thought.

Harry’s relatives had treated him as a servant, forcing him to do all the cooking and cleaning. Dr. Finkelstein had originally created Sally for the same purpose but other than a cruel word when he was angry, her creator was never harmful to her. When she was punished, all he did was lock her in her room for a few hours, but he had still fed her and taken good care of her despite her restlessness. The doctor had slowly grown more accepting of Sally after the whole Christmas thing, leaving her be to live her own life, and slowly growing close to her again as it became increasingly clear that Jack Skellington would be his Skull-In-Law before long.

But the point was that even if Sally was only created a handful of years before, she was still created, not born; despite her restlessness, the doctor had given her maturity from the day she was born, and she expressed her gratitude for that every day. Harry, on the other hand, was only five years old. Five was just much too young for any normal child to do those sorts of things.

So, for once, she was going to wholeheartedly agree with Jack with keeping Harry in Halloween Town; even if Jack couldn’t find the boy’s parents, there was no doubt who was the better option to raise him between the two of them and his relatives.

Sally smiled lightly as she removed the black and white striped shirt from the sewing machine and placed it on top of the shorts she had already made. And just in time, too, as Harry stepped into the doorway wrapped in a towel.

“Miss Sally?” he asked shyly, towel pulled tight around him. His skin was still pink from the heat of the water and his wild black hair plastered to his head.

“Enjoy your bath?” Sally asked.

“Yes, but I couldn’t find my clothes after,” he admitted.

“I made you a new outfit,” Sally explained as she picked up the shirt and shorts, handing them to Harry. His old clothing she had hidden for now, unsure of what to do with them.

“For me?” Harry asked with a gasp as he took the outfit one-handed, the other holding the towel close.

“Go try them on, then I can adjust them more afterward,” Sally said. Harry quickly retreated back into the bathroom then returned a few minutes later wearing the shirt and shorts. The shirt was a little big, one of Harry’s bony shoulders was sticking out of the neck hole, and the shorts were long enough to go past his knees.

“Yes, I’ll have to adjust the shirt a bit,” the Ragdoll mused, one hand on her cheek and head tilted to the side.

“You don’t have to, it fits much better than Dudley’s old shirt,” Harry said. Sally agreed only because Harry looked like he was nearly swimming in the rag he called a shirt.

“Ruff ruff,” Zero barked as he floated around Harry.

“Well, I think Zero likes it,” Sally said smiling. “If you’re comfortable with the way the shirt is…”

“I am Miss Sally, thank you,” Harry couldn’t believe Miss Sally made him a whole new shirt and pants! He never had anything new much less made just for him. He jumped as a scream tore through the house, looking around with frightened. “What was that?”

“Just the doorbell, Harry. I wonder who it is,” Sally said as she headed toward the door. Harry looked down at Zero.

“They got a scream as a doorbell?” he asked. Zero just barked.

On the other side of the door Sally found Ethan the corpse boy, the Withered Wing Demon, and the Mummy Boy.

“Can the human come out and play?” Ethan asked. Sally considered this for a second then opened the door.

“You can meet him but it’s his decision if he wants to play. And his name is Harry,” she told them as the trio trooped inside. If Harry was going to live in the world of Halloween he was going to have to get to know the other citizens, the kids were a good place to start. At least they weren’t Lock, Shock, and Barrel.

******

“Vernon, what are we going to do!?” Petunia asked wringing her hands in worry from where she sat in the living room. Vernon was pacing back and forth in front of the telly and fireplace. After discovering Harry gone, Petunia quickly made Dudley breakfast and dropped him off at school, leaving an excuse that Harry was ‘sick’ while Vernon called out for the day.

They had searched everywhere for their nephew, from the basement to the attic then around outside while trying not to arouse the suspicions of their neighbors. They had found nothing, no trace of the younger boy anywhere. Petunia couldn’t even figure out how he had gotten out, he had been locked in and even if he snuck out of the cupboard after she unlocked it, Harry was still too short to unlock the door and leave that way.

“What if they find out we lost the boy?” Petunia continued. Vernon stopped and looked at Petunia with a musing look on his face.

“Maybe they are the ones who came and got the boy,” he suggested. Petunia snorted and gave her husband a look.

“Do you really think we would still be sitting here if they found out where we had the boy sleeping?” she asked.

“Those freaks are strange, maybe sleeping in a cupboard is normal to them,” Vernon suggested but it did sound weak even to his own ears. “The boy did some sort of… magic…” It almost physically hurt Vernon to say the word out loud. “Either way, after this I refuse to have that boy back in this house. Think of it this way, Pet, this could be a very good thing.”

“And what if they come looking for the boy, discover that we lost him?” Petunia asked.

“They should have thought of that when they left him on our doorstep like milk,” Vernon said as he walked over to his extra wide armchair and sat with a groan. “Really, Pet, look at this as a blessing in disguise. In four years, we haven’t seen any of them, no one has come up to us about how we’re raising the boy. I’m starting to think they just abandoned him here.”

Petunia thought on that then started to relax slightly, it was true that there had been no witches who appeared suddenly demanding they treat the boy in a certain way. No random robe wearing freak asking why Harry was sleeping in a broom cupboard or why they were starting to make him do all the chores.

She was sure they ran into one wizard while at the shops earlier this year, he had shaken the boy’s hand and said something to him before Petunia had dragged the confused boy away. If the wizard was going to say something, he should have done it then. Petunia relaxed further into her seat while Vernon nodded as if he saw she finally could see what he was getting at, and then Petunia frowned.

“What about the neighbors? They’ll ask questions as to where the boy has gone and why we haven’t called the police,” she pointed out. Vernon waved the concern away as he stood and walked over to his liquor cabinet, pouring himself a small glass of brandy.

“We’ll tell them a relative of yours agreed to take in the boy, that they’re better equipped to handle him,” he said. “They never saw the boy much and you never speak much of your family, I doubt they’ll really question it.”

“Yes… I suppose that would work,” Petunia mused. She would clean out the cupboard, turning it back to what it was originally used for, erase all the traces of the boy from the house, and finally put that part of her life behind her.

*****

Author Note: And if the Dursleys think they’re going to get away with how they treated Harry, they got another thing coming. X3
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