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.
Author Notes: In celebration of my favorite holiday ever, I decided to write on a little idea I've had for years for mainly a crossover between TNBC and Harry Potter with a little CB and Beetlejuice thrown into the mix. I am still working on my other fics, some are pretty close to updates, everything has been slow due to life (I've been working a lot of extra days at work which tires me out), and managing other projects I've got going on. I plan on keeping the chapters very short for this fic, writing on it between the others and hope to get the short chapters out quickly for the holiday. It's mostly for fun and will be a bit cracky and crazy at times but I hope you guys will think it's entertaining nonetheless.
Edit 5-10-18: This chapter has now been betaed by The Patient One.
Harry sniffed softly as he huddled in the cupboard under the stairs of his aunt's house, which doubled as his meager bedroom. He was alone in the house, as his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon had taken their son Dudley trick-or-treating. Usually they would leave Harry at Mrs. Figg's house, an older woman who would watch Harry during occasions like this. But not tonight, someone had hurt one of her many cats, one that had solid black fur, and she had been unavailable as she took the feline to the vet.
Harry had hoped that maybe he would be allowed to join his family trick-or-treating, he had never gone before and he had always been fascinated by it. He didn't even need to keep the treats, Dudley could have them all, Harry just wanted to experience going trick-or-treating once. Uncle Vernon had laughed in his face at even hesitantly suggesting the idea, informing the tiny five year old that only normal good children got to go trick-or-treating and Harry was just a freak.
The five-year-old boy rubbed his arm where Vernon had gripped him tightly when the walrus of a man had dragged Harry to his cupboard then tossed him in, locking the door tight. Afterward the Dursleys had left, leaving Harry all alone in the house. He sniffed again, he didn't know why he was such a freak. He tried to be normal and good, but things just kept happening to him, strange things that he couldn't even begin to understand, much less explain.
Harry leaned back against the wall of the cupboard with a sigh, he could be in here for hours. He wished his aunt and uncle had let him use the loo before locking him in for the night. His head tilted back looking up at the shadowed corners where spiders had built their little webs. In a way the spiders were his only friends, he like to imagine they could talk and would have whole conversations with him. He never had any of the conversations out loud of course that would just get him into trouble, but it helped passed the time in his head.
"I wonder if spiders go trick-or-treating," Harry mused then gave a sad little laugh followed by a sigh, his head hitting the wall with a THUNK sound. He sat there quietly, he hated being alone in the house and worried about something happening. What would he do if he couldn't get out of the cupboard? Harry bit his lip and drew his legs up to his chest, shivering slightly as fear raced through him. He wished dearly he had his mum or dad here to comfort him like other kids did, then he remembered that his mum and dad were dead killed in a car crash… at least according to his aunt and uncle.
That was when Harry heard the strange noise. It was faint at first yet seem to get louder as the seconds passed. Perplexed, he peered around his cupboard trying to find the source, even looking out the slats on the door into the hallway. It sounds like… squeaky wheels? That was… odd… Harry couldn't find where the sound was coming from. The telly wasn't on seeing as Dudley wasn't home at the moment, and Harry was alone in the house and he certainly wasn't making the sound.
He pressed his fingers to his mouth and scooted back against the wall again then realized the sound was coming from behind him, on the other side of the wall. His green eyes widened in fight and Harry quickly moved back against the cupboard door, staring at the wall as the sound got louder and louder and louder until… it stopped. Harry's tiny body shook in fright and how he wished he was at Mrs. Figg's right at that moment.
The quiet dragged on for a moment. Harry began to wonder if his mind had been playing tricks on him. And then… the wall of the cupboard swung inward like a door into what appeared to be a pitch black tunnel. And something emerged from the shadows into the light that shone from the bare bulb that hung at the top of the cupboard; the illuminated being caused Harry's breath to catch in his throat.
The… thing… that leaned out of the shadows was huge, taking up the whole space in the newly opened wall. It had a large black torso with a small waist, and long thick arms with long fingers that seemed to move. Harry then realized that the fingers were snakes, black and white striped snakes that hissed and snapped with sharp fangs as they withered around. The creature's neck was long, striped black and white like the snake-fingers, with a long white, almost reptilian face. Its mouth was filled with razor sharp teeth, highlighted by bright red lips and on top of its head was a spider, its long legs dangling as if it was the creature's hair.
Large yellow eyes stared at Harry in surprise, as if the creature hadn't expected anyone to be there. Harry stared back, his own green eyes wide before taking a deep breath and letting out a blood curdling scream of horror.
"AAAAAHHHH!" the creature screamed in return, voice deep, failing in surprise and knocking a few of Harry's belongings; beat-up books and broken toy soldiers that Harry had rescued from the trash from the nearby makeshift shelves. As soon as it finished screaming, the creature retreated into the shadows and the wall swung shut.
Harry panted in fright, his small chest heaving as he stared at the wall where the creature had been a few seconds before. The bare bulb swung side to side, casting wild shadows in the small space. Slowly, the swaying of the bulb slowed along with Harry's heart-rate. And as he calmed from his fright… a grin spread out over his face.
That had been the most exciting thing that happened to him ever! The fear that thing gave him had been such a rush, so different from the fear he experienced with his relatives. Somehow, deep down, Harry knew he hadn't been in any real danger. He was curious now, what was that thing? Was that all real?
Harry slowly crawled over to the wall and studied it, how had it opened like a door? His observations soon showed that the wall hadn't closed all the way. One of his toy soldiers that the creature had knocked down had gotten caught between the edge of the wall-door, keeping it slightly open.
Harry licked his lips and then slowly pressed on the wall, gasping as it swung open like a door once more. He peered into the darkness but could see nothing down the mysterious tunnel. Biting his lip, Harry turned and pulled back his thin mattress, exposing a space under the shelves where he kept emergency food, extra socks, and a torch in case his light bulb went out Uncle Vernon always took time to replace it leaving Harry sitting in the dark, so he had 'borrowed' one of Dudley's torches and stashed it in the cupboard the last time he cleaned his cousin's room. It was sad that Harry had to learn to do these sorts of things so young, but his cousin had so many possessions already that nobody would ever notice something like that was missing.
Harry fiddled with the button and then winced as it shone brightly in his eyes; he quickly pointed it away and blinked away the bright spots dancing before his eyes. Once he could see properly again, Harry refocused on the dark, gloomy tunnel. The flashlight revealed that the walls and floor appeared to be dirt, and he could see what looked like tracks that had to have come from the monster.
The young boy was quite confused as to how there was a tunnel leading to his cupboard, he was sure that on the other side of the wall was the kitchen. Maybe he was wrong somehow? Where did this tunnel lead? And did Harry dare go down it?
He was curious, very curious, but scared at the same time; the monster was more than likely still in there somewhere in the darkness. A monster that ran from Harry instead of eating him… didn't monsters eat little children? That was what Dudley always claimed, that monsters eat little freaks. Yet it hadn't eaten him, it just ran off. Did he dare chance it?
Harry looked around his cupboard. His small, boring cupboard that had nothing except a few worn books and broken toys. He never got to do anything fun… and this could be fun… and he could keep the strange wall-door open, if he heard the monster he could just run back and close the door! It couldn't hurt just to take a peek….
Decision made, Harry crawled into the tunnel, not noticing as he did so that he knocked the broken toy soldier out of the way with the edge of his baggy hand-me-down pants, then stood up once inside. The tunnel was just tall enough, and Harry small enough, for him to stand at his full height. And he supposed it had to be tall to fit that huge monster inside of it. Harry glanced back into his cupboard, made sure the door was still open, then took a deep breath and slowly started walking down the tunnel, keeping his ears and eyes open for the creature. The light from the torch only lit a few feet in front of Harry, the darkness swallowing up his path behind him as he walked and turned a corner.
A gust of chilly wind blew past him, carrying fallen autumn leaves on the breeze. Harry shivered briefly but continued undeterred. Behind him, however, the wind caught the piece of wall that had opened like a door and closed it, sealing away the tunnel. All that was left where Harry had once been were a couple of fallen leaves in bright colors of red and yellow. And everything in the tiny cupboard under the stairs in Number 4 Privet Drive was still and quiet once more.
Thoughts? Critiques? Possible suggestions on what might happen? Just leave it all in the comments!