The Other Hawke
By: Ryu Katanna
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
A fourteen year old young man by the name of Harry Potter found himself opening his green eyes to the sight of trees rustling above him. He sat up with a small jolt of confusion only to give a gasp of pain at the movement. Seeing no one around he relaxed a bit before thinking of the last thing he remembered as he assessed the damage of the slice going down his bloody arm. Harry gave a small groan as he remembered Voldemorts resurrection and the struggle that followed. He remembered the brilliant light as his and Voldemorts wands connected, and seeing the ghostly forms of Cedric Diggory and his parents. All he remembered was his mother telling him to let go, and a blinding light when he did. He also noticed that he was without his glasses, but something had happened, because he could see just fine.
"Now where am I." Harry whispered under his breath as he looked around, and seeing only trees, struggled a bit to stand.
He knew right away that wherever he was now was wholly unfamiliar. Taking a deep breath he could tell he was nowhere near a muggle town for lack of any trace of the heavy smell of pollution. In fact the only thing he could gather from his surroundings was the feel of old magics in the air. Wherever he had ended up; he had no idea how to get back to Hogwarts.
"Well, gotta start somewhere." He groaned as he reached for the reassuring feel of the wood of his holly wand only to find it missing.
Feeling a shiver of panic he checked everywhere on him as well as anywhere it could have fallen around him. Finding no trace he felt a cold dread as he realized it was gone.
"That's just great. Don't know where I am, and now I have no way to defend myself." Harry groaned as he thought about which direction to head.
With not knowing where he was he decided the first thing he had to do was find water and food. So picking a random direction he started walking. As he walked he took note of his surroundings and seen that the forest must have been very old. A lot of the trees were massive and a few weathered in only the way they could be after countless years. Even so Harry could feel the old magics hanging in the air as if by a thick cloud. The old magics gave way to the feeling of an agelessness to the forest that was comforting to the young wizard.
He walked for what felt like hours, only pausing to rip the sleeve off his shirt to tie around his bloodied arm, before the trees parted to open into a small glen that a river ran through. Harry paused to take in his surroundings before making his way slowly to the water. Looking down into the slow moving stream he could see that the river water was clean with no hint of the pollution of a human settlement. Wherever he was; he was far away from anywhere he could go for information. Settling next to the water Harry cupped some of the clear liquid into his hand and took a drink. Finding the water refreshing; he drank a few more handfuls before removing his makeshift bandage to clean his wound.
"Best I can do for now." He muttered before deciding not to retie the torn fabric around it.
'I need to make sure it doesn't get infected.' He thought as he looked at the sky.
Seeing the sun going down he knew he would have to settle for the night. Harry knew that with not knowing where he was it would be dangerous to keep wandering in the dark. He stood to look where would be the best place to sleep before spotting a small area of bushes. Deciding it would be the best place he would find for the night he made his way over to find an area that would conceal his prone body as he slept. Crawling to an area between the bushes he found space just big enough to cover him.
'Tomorrow I'll find a way back. Hermione, Ron, and everyone else must be worried by now. I really hope Sirius doesn't do anything to get himself in trouble.' Harry thought as he drifted off into a light sleep.
It was to the sight of the sun rising through the trees and bathing the glade in a morning glow that Harry awoke. He was startled awake by the sound of the bush near him rustling. Trying not to move he listed as what sounded like an animal nearby huffed. Peering over the leaves that hid him Harry's eyes widened at the sight that met him. It was an animal unlike anything he had seen before. Similar to a stag, but entirely different at the same time. This animal's coat was so white it shone gold and silver in the light. It also had antlers that grew from the crest of it's head the color of gold that seemed to twine around in branches in on itself.
"Beautiful." The words came out in the softest whisper of air as Harry slowly sat up so as not to startled the animal.
It was as his shoulders came to the top of the brush that his green eyes made contact with seemingly old and intelligent copper. Freezing for a moment he found the gaze to almost be assessing him before the animal leaned down to graze nearby. With the animal looking to have brushed off his presence; Harry slowly rose to his feet and made his way over to seat himself next to the stream to take a drink. It was as he was leaning over that he notice the waters reflection behind him. The animal had followed him. Cupping both hands into the water he stood to offer it to the animal as he turned around.
"Would you like a drink, pretty one?" Harry asked as he held his hands out with his offering.
To his surprise the animal approached him. Sniffing gently at his hand it huffed softly before taking a few slow drinks of the water. Raising it's head Harry found himself once more locked in the copper gaze of this mysterious animal. Seeming to come to some sort of decide it nudged it's had as if asked to be patted. Harry gently ran his fingers through the soft coat before smiling.
"I don't suppose you know the way I should go. I must say I'm a little lost, pretty one. Do you know the way?" Harry asked softly, and to his surprise received an answer.
With a soft huff the animal nudged him to his right. Looking in that direction he knew it could be as good as any other. Looking back at the animal; Harry smiled and gave a slight bow with his hand place over his heart.
"I thank you." He said before moving to start walking in that direction.
It's was as he started walking that he received another surprise. It seemed the animal had decided to guide him as it walked up alongside him.
"You will be my guide?" Harry asked with a breathless tone as the animal nodded with a soft sway of it's golden crown.
"You have my gratitude once again, pretty one." He said as he followed by the animal's side.
It was what seemed like mid-day by the time the animal slowed it's pace. Harry found himself listening as he heard distant voices. The voices grew louder as they walked and soon Harry stopped as the animal seemed the freeze before pushing him to the ground and standing over him. Hearing the sound of footsteps quietly moving through the brush Harry froze and looked around.
There were four of them. People who looked like elves holding bows, but these were no elves like Harry had ever seen or heard about. They looked almost human but for the pointed ears and the intricate markings on their faces. He was surrounded with the animal standing over him as if to protect him.
"Stay back, Shemlen! What are you doing near the camp of the Dalish?" One of them spoke.
"I was lost. The pretty one here was guiding me. I'm unarmed." Harry spoke as clearly as he could.
The last thing he wanted was for these beings to loose their arrows. It was then that one stepped forward and lowered her bow. She looked at the silvery white animal with seeming shock before calling to the others.
"Wait!" She approach slowly only for the animal to let out an agitated chuff and move closer to Harry.
"He travels with Hanal'ghilan! Do not loose your arrows."
A quiet went over the others as a few of them lowered their bows almost entirely. Harry, seeing this, stood back up beside the animal she had called Hanal'ghilan. He had no idea what that meant as the brown haired woman came closer.
"You are little more than a shemlen child. How come you to be wondering in the Brecilian Forest? With a guide as one so revered among the people?" Harry ran his hand through the coat of the on she called Hanal'ghilan in an effort to calm himself.
"I do not know. I awoke in the forest yesterday. It was this morning that, Hanal'ghilan, is that her name, found me. I asked if she could tell me the right direction in which to travel. She led me here." There was quiet for a moment as the woman seemed to be working out in her mind weather his words were true; seeming to come to a decision she held her bow at her side and motioned him the follow.
"I will take you to our Keeper. She will know what to do. If Hanal'ghilan truly has led you to our camp then it is not I who must just the situation. Follow."
With that the woman turned and started walking. Still a little unsure, Harry moved to follow after a gentle nudge from his companion. It was about five minute later they came to an opening in the forest. More people were scattered through the area. Most stopped at the sight of them following the blond haired woman who couldn't be much older than him. Harry could hear the whispers of those around him. Most were wholly unwelcoming. He found himself standing before an older woman with hair whitened form age and markings more intricate than he had seen on any of the others. He could make out her pointed ears as they stopped a few feet from her.
"Keeper Marethari!" The blond called to get her attention.
"Lyna. What a curious sight you bring into our camp." The wizened eyes of the Keeper settled on Harry.
"I'm sorry Keeper, but this shemlen travels with Hanal'ghilan. I had to bring him to you." Lyna explained quickly before seeming to relax as the older woman smiled gently.
"Worry not, Da'len. You have done the right thing. Now, what be your name child, and how come you to be among the Dalish." Keeper Marethari's soft expression as she spoke helped Harry to calm a bit as he replied.
"My name is Harry, ma'am. As for how I got here I do not know. I woke in the forest just yesterday. I do not even rightly know where I am. This morning the pretty one here found me. When I asked her if she knew what way I should go, she led me here."
"Pretty one, is that what you call Hanal'ghilan?" The Keeper asked as she turned her gaze upon the animal next the Harry and watched as the young boy seemed to take comfort in the animal's presence.
"Yes Ma'am, I have never seen another like her. May I ask what she is? Is Hanal'ghilan her name?"
Keeper Marethari paused in slight shock at the question. The young one was more polite than most any shemlen she had ever dealt with, and it surprised her. Also, his seeming naivety with which he spoke was not something she encountered from any but the children of the clan. The boy did not know that which he traveled with?
"Hanal'ghilan is the name given what she is by the Dalish. She is a Halla, but unlike most she is even more special then that. Do you see how her horns are golden, child?"
"That is something very rarely seen with halla, and a halla with golden horns is revered among our people as a legend. Hanal'ghilan is said to to visit the Dalish in times of great need. Though never have I witnessed this before. You said she led you here?"
"Yes, Ma'am. She hasn't left me since she found me this morning." Harry said with a slight hint of awe in his voice as he look to the halla stood beside him.
Keeper Marethari's gazed turned contemplative as she took in the sight before her. Here comes before her Hanal'ghilan leading a child to them. Not an elvish child, but a young shemlen child. She could tell from looking at him that something had happened to him. His hair looked like a crow had nested in it, and his skin was covered in shallow cuts and dirt. His clothes were torn, and one the on side missing a sleeve altogether. On that arm she could see what looked to be a deep and jagged cut going down his arm that looked to be inflamed.
Hearing how it was Hanal'ghilan that led the boy to them she could only see it as the will of the Creators. For one such as Hanal'ghilan to appear before them with the shemlen it had to be the will of Ghilan'nain for this boy to be among them. To send one of her chosen to lead him here... the Creators must have a plan for this child. Looking to Lyna, Keeper Marethari whispered quietly as she watched the young shemlen interact with the halla.
"Lyna, find Merrill and send her to my aravel. Let the others know we will have a guest among us. With the presence of Hanal'ghilan it must be the will of Ghilan'nain. I will need Merrill to help me tend him."
"Yes, Keeper." Lyna nodded quickly as she left to inform the clan and track down the Keepers' First.
Turning back to the teen Keeper Marethari noticed his attention back on her. She could see clearly his fatigue and smiled comfortingly as she motioned him to follow her. When he seemed to hesitate she could see Hanal'ghilan give him a gentle push and start walking him over. The halla seemed content to stay with the boy and lead him around.
"Come, young one. We will go to my aravel to treat your wounds, and then we will see about some food. Follow me. You will be a guest among the Dalish until you depart." She spoke softly as she led his to one of the landships.
"This is an aravel? I've never seen anything like it." Harry's eyes grew wide as they approached and the Keeper lead him inside; stopping only so he could give the halla a pat and saying he would be back.
"Yes, now come sit down so I may tend you." She motioned him to what looked to be a wooden bench pressed against the wall.
"Now, take off your shirt and we can put some poultice on those wounds. Your arm looks to be in the beginning stages of infection."
Harry nodded quietly as he pulled his shirt up; only struggling a little to keep the dirtied fabric away from his arm. Keeper Marethari managed to stifle the small gasp as she looked over the scars that covered the young teens body. Just from what she could see this child had at least as many wounds throughout his life as some of their most seasoned hunters. The gasp from the doorway was more noticeable as a lanky young elf with dark brown hair entered the aravel. Looking away from Harry the Keeper turned to her First as she picked up a poultice and handed it to her.
"Merrill, help me clean his wounds and apply the poultice. This is Harry, and as you have heard from Lyna, he will be a guest among the clan. This is my First, Merrill, young one." The Keepers' voice was steady as she gently started to clean his wounds with a clean damp cloth.
"Yes, Keeper. Nice to meet you, Harry." Merrill said quietly as she set to her task.
"Merrill, go and speak to Master Ilen. Ask him to find some clothing he can spare. I'm afraid that what our guest came with is ill suited with this amount of damage. I will finish with the bandages."
"Yes, Keeper." Merrill's voice was a bit more subdued than her Keeper was used to as she left.
Then again, Marethari couldn't blame her as she mentally assessed all the wounds and scars on the boys body. Harry of course noticed and looked up at the Keeper with a small tentative smile. He knew how bad it looked, but didn't know how to explain. He knew now that something was very different after he woke up. From unfamiliar surroundings, to animals he'd never heard of, and references by the older woman that were completely strange to him. He didn't know where he was, but he was growing more and more doubtful of if he'd be able to return. The magic from the connection of his and Voldemort's wands had been strange. He had never heard of anything like it, and with they way it had back-lashed he was becoming more worried of what it had done. If he was going to figure anything out he knew he would have to take a chance on the woman taking such care of tending his injuries.
"Thank you, ma'am. You didn't have to do all this, but you did anyway. I'm afraid I don't know anything about where I am. I don't even know how or if I will be able to get home." Harry's voice started out strong to end in almost a whisper.
The Keeper paused as she finished putting the lid onto the healing poultice. Looking at the human she found herself with many questions. Knowing that they had a bit before Merrill would return she spoke gently.
"I will admit to some curiosity. It is not often a human comes upon a Dalish camp and harbors us no ill will. In fact you have been very respectful unlike others we have met of your halla tend to avoid humans, and never had I heard tale of one guiding any but an elf out of danger. You are a mystery, young Harry Potter, but as it is Hanal'ghilan that guided you to us you are welcome among my people. What is it you need to know, young one. If you do not know where you are we may be able to help you get home."
"Do you believe in magic?" Harry seemed a bit unsettled as he looked up at the old woman.
"I know of magic, yes. Are you a mage?" The Keeper's brow had raise as Harry look to her in slight shock and a bit of apprehension.
"A mage? It that what one born with magic here is called?"
"Yes. Is that not the term you are familiar with?"
"No. My people call ourselves wizards..."
Marethari was about to continue when Merrill came back. Taking a moment she looked at Harry with a thoughtful frown.
"We will leave you to change, but let me know when you are done. We will continue this discussion privately after."
"Yes, ma'am" Harry replied as the other to left him to change.
Taking a deep breath Harry turned to the clothes he had been given.
'What did I get myself into now?'
Translations found on various sites. Some may not be entirely correct, but it was as close as I could get without just making things up.
Shemlen: Literally "quick children". The original name of the elves for the human race.
Hanal'ghilan: Golden halla that is a legend among the Dalish
Ghilan'nain: One of the Creators. The Mother of the Halla
Da'len: little child, or "little one"
Aravel: Dalish landships