As followers of the Cauldron will doubtlessly know, I've been trying to get a Dark Souls crossover with the Potterverse off the ground for some time. But my earlier efforts went nowhere, and I eventually decided to plump for a oneshot. So, here it is: Harry, Priscilla, and a lot of fluff, not just from Priscilla's tail, either.
Anyway, time for the usual disclaimers. First, there will be spoilers, as well as references to dark themes.
Finally, the following is a fan-based work. Dark Souls and Harry Potter are the properties of their respective owners. Please support the official release. Otherwise, Seath will use you for his experiments...
WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS AND MORE
"Who art thou? One of us, thou art not. If thine missteps brought thee into this world, then plunge down from yonder plank, and return whence thou came. If I am what thou seek, then thine desires shalt not be fulfilled. This demesne is peaceful, its denizens kind, but thou dost not belong here."
Harry blinked at the soft, gentle voice that reached his ears. True, it fit with the extraordinary figure in front of him, but even so, he was a bit overwhelmed with what had just happened. So he couldn't help but stare at the woman in front of him. She was not human, he could tell already.
The biggest clue was, of course, her height. She had to be larger than Hagrid, her frame clad in what looked like a cloak made of fur, and wielding a rather large and wicked-looking scythe. Another clue was the tail, covered in a fine downy substance, protruding from the rear of her cloak, and gently wagging. Her eyes, though a beautiful green, had slitted pupils, reptilian, while in place of eyebrows, she had what looked like growths, almost like horns.
Still, her features were gentle and utterly beautiful, framed by white feathery hair, and she had a small, if rather melancholy, smile. Honestly, he wanted nothing more than to give her a hug, though he wasn't sure whether he could to such a large being. She looked like she had walked out of the snowy landscape around them, and the ruined tower they were in, with a plank over a cliff, seemed fitting too.
Harry couldn't be certain, but given that, despite holding a weapon that could potentially make short work of him, she had actually warned him away, he'd give her the benefit of the doubt for now. She seemed nice and benign…at least for the time being. Maybe it would give him time to figure out how to extricate himself from this pickle.
He really should have known better when the Malfoys, as part of their restitution to him, had given him this painting. Moody would be chastising him for his lack of Constant Vigilance™. He'd gotten too close to it after having it unwrapped, and gotten sucked in. Which was a shame, as it was a nice painting of the very snowy landscape he now found himself in.
He was brought out of his reverie when the giant woman squatted down in front of him, and peered at him. "Art thou feeling well?" she asked, cocking her head to the side.
"Oh, umm…sorry, I was just thinking…you didn't seem like you were going to kill me on sight, so I was just thinking about how I'm going to get out of here. Jumping off that plank over there sounds like suicide, and I want to get back home and figure out how to get rid of this painting."
She frowned. "Thy home is in Anor Londo?"
He blinked as he heard the name. It didn't sound remotely familiar. "I've never heard of that place. London, yes, but Anor Londo?"
"Thou hast not heard of Anor Londo, demesne of the Ancient Lords, seat of the gods?" she asked, clearly confused. "The capital of Lordran?"
"Umm, no, I'm from England, Great Britain…Earth?" he asked, before facepalming. "Of course I'm in another world. Just perfect."
As she peered at him curiously, he eventually held out his hand. "Sorry, I should introduce myself. I am Harry Potter. A wizard."
Eventually, the woman said, "I am Priscilla, Crossbreed daughter of Princess Gwynevere, Daughter of Sunlight, and Seath the Scaleless, last of the Everlasting Dragons."
"…Should I know those names?" He also thought it weird that she had a furry tail if she was part-dragon. Those horn-like growths on her brow could be grown from scales if he squinted hard enough, but her tail was another matter. He kept that thought private, though. That was just manners.
"If thou truly did come from another world entirely, thou would not," Priscilla said. He noticed she hadn't taken his hand, but when he moved it significantly, she shook her head. "Tis best if thou did not touch me. I was born with a most terrible curse, one the gods themselves feared."
"So did I. Had a prophecy hanging over my head since before I was born," Harry groused. "Only just got free of it not so long ago." On her curious look, he waved his hand dismissively. "It's a long story. And really, I just want to get out of here. I suppose if I take that plank, and I survive, I'd end up in this Anor Londo place?"
Priscilla nodded. "But if thou speak truly, then that is not whither thou should go forth."
Harry nodded absently to himself, before looking around near where he was. There was a column nearby, and he touched it, only to find his hand going through. "Ha!" he said triumphantly. "Like Platform 9¾! I guess I should be heading back."
He then looked at her thoughtfully. "Still," he mused out loud, "I don't feel good about leaving you alone, Priscilla. Look, I'll be back, okay?"
She didn't believe him, given the sceptical curl of her lips, but she nodded. "I thank thee for thy time and consideration. Few who stumble into this world treat me with kindness."
"…Have you ever done anything to deserve them being unkind?"
"…Only by being born," she said morosely.
And that hit at Harry. He remembered how the Dursleys treated him, how they thought it was a crime that he had even been born. "Nobody should have to be punished just by being born, Priscilla. I'll be back soon, okay? See you later."
"Fare thee well," Priscilla returned, her tone making it clear that she thought he wouldn't ever return. Well, he intended to prove her wrong…
Priscilla would not cry after the young man left, though part of her wished to. He was definitely no Hollow, and he did not appear to be Undead. But more than that, after the startled comprehension of what she was…no judgement appeared on his mien, no desire to slay the unsightly Crossbreed. If anything, he seemed to sympathise with her plight.
She remembered when she was exiled here. When her Lifehunt ability first manifested, she was first sent to a fortress turned into a prison, much like her aunt Yorshka had been before her, before Lady Velka fetched her and placed her in this world the great painter Ariamis painted into being. At least her mother had come to see her off, and seemed contrite and saddened, as did Gwyndolin. But Gwyn looked smugly satisfied, and her father was conspicuous by his absence, still engrossed in his experiments to attain immortality, no doubt.
How long had passed since that fateful, horrible day? Centuries, she knew, if only because of the occasional benign Undead who blundered into this world, conversed with her about news from outside, and returned to Anor Londo. Most tried to slay her. They failed. Velka too brought news, when she gave Priscilla supplies.
But even in the ones who did not attack, there was wariness. Her size, her draconic features, all would instil fear and disgust, even if they knew naught of her abilities, her curse. Then again, her sire's activities were an open secret, activities Gwyn tolerated if not outright condoned.
And yet, he accepted her. Harry Potter, a wizard from another world, accepted her instantly. And now, he was gone. Why would he need to come back for her, like he claimed? She wasn't worth it.
Time passed, and she wasn't sure how much of it, but she had become resigned to Harry not coming back…until the column rippled, and disgorged him, having him tumble onto the snowy floor, with bags filled with something on his person. "Oh for Merlin's sake," he grumbled.
Priscilla couldn't help herself. The first time it happened, she was merely surprised. But now, it was amusing. So she giggled, despite herself, for the first time in years…
Love at first sight is not a thing. Instant attraction, yes, instant lust, yes, but love? Not on your nellie. However, a friendship that could, eventually, develop into love can certainly develop swiftly under the right circumstances.
On the one hand, there was a young wizard, isolated from his fame, and from much of mundane society. He found his first friends when he was eleven, and just learning about his fame, and even now, the amount of friends he had was rather small. Would-be sycophants, people who wished to exploit his fame to their own ends, or shallow idiots hounded him.
On the other, there was a centuries-old Crossbreed, a bastard child between a princess deity, and an ancient dragon whose immoral experiments were the stuff of infamy. Already disdained in life, due to her heritage and status as a bastard, much like her aunt, her life became worse when an ability that allowed her to sap lifeforce manifested itself, something that could threaten even the gods. Lord Gwyn never suffered threats to exist, not without taking measures to contain them. She knew of the way Gwyn had shackled the descendants of the Furtive Pygmy, if only through rumour.
Stranger friendships had happened. Both had a surprising amount in common, given their shared isolation, their scars from being treated with disdain, fame and infamy. Both had a bit of a hesitancy in making bonds.
And yet, here they were, making one. Harry would come to see her regularly. She came to value his visits, for she did not receive benign visitors that often. He would tell her tales of his life, and she, in his turn, would tell him of her world, of Lordran and Anor Londo, of Astora and Catarina and Carim. Of the gods and the Lord Souls.
But even so, a distance remained between them. It was self-enforced on Priscilla's part. Her Lifehunt could lash out at him at any time if he touched her.
At least, until Priscilla received another visitor. It was one she was familiar with, though this visit was unexpected…
When she heard the cawing of a raven, Priscilla knew that Velka, her gaoler and her caretaker, had arrived. "Priscilla," the goddess of sin (punishing and pardoning sin, anyway) said gently.
"Lady Velka," Priscilla said stiffly, turning to face the dark-haired, robed deity, her lugubriously beautiful features framed by dark hair. "To what do I owe this pleasure?"
"I hath been watching thee for the past while, conversing with that mortal," Velka said. "A mere human, young, and yet, he has shown thee much kindness. He can escape, beyond the reach of the Ancient Lords, and yet, thou will not go with him."
"Thou know the reason, Lady Velka," Priscilla said quietly. "The Lifehunt."
"Yes, the Lifehunt…the curse an accident of birth bestowed upon thee. Lord Gwyn's decree was cruel, born of paranoia, a desire to see all which threatened him sealed away, if not destroyed. Had it not been for the fact that, should thou emerge into Anor Londo, his standing orders would see thou hunted down regardless, I would hath given this to thee long ago."
Priscilla blinked as Velka came forward, and proffered a ring. Priscilla took it, and peered at it. "What is this?'
"Long ago, I discovered a way to suppress the Lifehunt. But…Gwyn left orders with thy uncle, the Dark Sun Gwyndolin, that should thou emerge from the Painted World, thy life would be forfeit. That mummer is still beholden to the sire he could never please, still dressing as a priestess, and leaving an illusion of thy mother in place when she has long since fled Anor Londo." Velka looked solemn. "That is why I never gave it to thee. But…fortune smiles upon thee. This mortal…he wishes to help thee, but thou demurred, fearing Lifehunt's effect on him."
Hope bloomed in Priscilla's breast at the words. "But…if my Lifehunt is suppressed, then I may go back with him."
"Indeed. That world may yet fear thee, may yet wish thee dead…but thou hath a champion, a knight for a dragon, an interesting reversal of the norm. And perhaps thou may find a happiness thine life has sorely lacked until now."
Priscilla looked at the ring in her hand. While miffed that she hadn't been able to use it before, she understood why when Velka explained it. A smile touched her lips. Hope was a terrible emotion, so easily vanquished, and yet…sometimes, it was all one had to keep going…
Harry wasn't expecting anything different when he came back to the Painted World of Ariamis. So when Priscilla, who had been wary of touching him before, suddenly gathered him into a hug, he was understandably surprised. Pleasantly so, yes, especially how warm her fluffy robes were, but still, he had to admit to being surprised.
So, when she broke off the hug, tears trickling from her reptilian eyes, he asked, "How?"
She showed off an obsidian ring on one of her fingers. "A gift from Lady Velka. Should I wish, I can accompany thee back to your world."
He stared at her, before smiling. "That's wonderful news. But…do you want to?"
After a moment, looking around, she said, "I may come back to visit…but for now, I wish to see thy world. And I can think of no better guide."
Harry laughed a little self-deprecatingly. "Well, actually, I think Hermione would have me beat. I mean, she's been champing at the bit to meet you. I think now you can…"
And so, the Crossbreed and the wizard left the Painted World of Ariamis, for a world with as many problems, trials and travails as the one Priscilla left behind. It would not be forever, but this was the end of the first chapter of a new tale, a tale of a friendship that would grow, would become more. A tale of a bond across dimensions and species.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. But this picture was worth so many more than such a paltry number…
Okay, so, that was basically as far as I could go with this fic. No real romance, just fluff and friendship. I may come back to the pairing another time, albeit with a fresh story, but for now, here's my hat into the ring of Dark Souls fanfic. And really, given how depressing Dark Souls is, a happy ending isn't necessarily a bad thing once in a while, even if it's just for one character.
It's worth pointing out at this juncture that I thought of the idea for this story before I read a not-dissimilar fic, albeit pairing Harry with the Painter from the third game. That fic, incidentally, is Dreams of a cold place by spart1339. Check it out, if you don't mind a sad ending.
No numbered annotations this time.