The Road Less Traveled

BY : EmruasCat
Category: -Multi-Age > Crossovers
Dragon prints: 3134
Disclaimer: I do not own BTVS, Harry Potter, or LOTR; I am making no money off of this fanfiction.

Author’s blah-blah:
This story is a multi-crossover between Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. If you are one of five people on the planet that have not watched and/or read any of the above three, you will be confused, and I bid you go out and find all of these works of incredible brilliance. Find them, I say!

I have drastically altered the events of Tolkien’s Return of the King to suit my own creative purposes, as well as bits and pieces of elvish history, so this story is Alternate Universe in every sense of the word. The parts of the Harry Potter story included here, by the way, do not include the end from Order of the Phoenix, or almost all of plot of Half-Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows. I started writing this fic before the seventh book came out, and I MISS SIRI!!! As far as BTVS is concerned, ehhh…Xander’s bisexual, so that would make the Buffy part AU as well. Other than that, everything up until and including Sunnydale going nuclear happened.

Disclaimer: I do not own the elves, Arda, or Harry Potter and company; they belong to the great JRR Tolkien and JK Rowling, respectively. I WISH I had the gift for writing that these two authors have. I also do not own Buffy The Vampire Slayer; the credit for that piece of brilliance goes to Joss and co.

Warnings: SEX – in all shapes and sizes. This story includes slash pairings of the male and female variety, so scram, kiddies! This story ain’t for you. This story also includes discussion of physical and sexual abuse, as well as abundant foul language. I will be more specific as the chapters progress.

Chapter 1

Two weeks. Harry drew in a deep breath and tried to think calm thoughts. Flying. Quidditch. Cooling breezes by the lake of Hogwarts. Sitting by the fire with Sirius. Sparing with Draco Malfoy.

“Get me another coffee, freak!” Vernon barked.

Harry, having seen the empty cup, was already moving before the command, and poured the coffee swiftly before retreating back to his post at the kitchen sink, where he was washing the dishes from dinner. Marge was over again, meaning double the misery Harry usually endured.

Just two weeks, Harry thought. Two weeks, and I’m free. I can do this.

Harry had defeated Voldemort midway through his sixth year, thanks in large part to Draco Malfoy and his father Lucius, who had switched sides upon discovering that Narcissa Malfoy had offered Draco to Voldemort as a sex toy. The two blonds were not friends of Harry by any means, but the enmity between them was ended. Lucius and Harry were wary acquaintances; Draco and Harry were sparing and study partners. Harry found he enjoyed his rival’s sarcastic wit and fast come-backs, but years of distrust were not ended in a couple of months’ time. Still, they had made progress; Harry and Draco wrote to each other weekly, getting to know one another more.

Marge set her mug, from which she had been drinking her after-dinner brandy, down with a loud smack. “See you’ve got the boy trained a bit better than the last time, Vernon. Good on you. Told you a coupla good whippings’d get yer point across. My dogs never needed that, but with a mongrel like you’ve got –“

Harry’s fingertips clenched tightly into the plate he was scrubbing as he fought to control his wild magic, which was surging as his rage mounted. He had only just healed from the last beating; his body couldn’t afford another one of Vernon’s rages so soon.

Two weeks, he chanted silently, willingly desperately for his magic to calm. Two weeks, and I’m out. Two weeks, and I can go to Fred and George’s place, and never see their fucking faces again. I just have to last. Two. More. Weeks.

“Get out boy!” Vernon barked. “I don’t want to see your face the rest of the night!”

Silently breathing a thank-you to whatever god had answered his plea, Harry folded the towel he’d been drying the dishes with so Petunia wouldn’t screech, and fled to his bedroom. He turned the lock on the knob outside the door before he closed it, effectively locking himself in and grateful for it.

***

Legolas Thranduilion was bored. Bored elven princes with no more Ring Quests to follow are a dangerous thing to have about the house – as Thranduil, Lord of Mirkwood and Legolas’s father, was unfortunately finding out.

“Get out!”

An inkwell smashed itself against the wall inches from Legolas’s head.

“Now, Ada-“

“Out! I’ll never get this Valar-be-damned treaty done if you Don’t! Get! Out!” Another inkwell followed the first.

Legolas flashed a smile at the guards who were standing nearby watching the show. “Do you think it was the pincushion?”

“OUT!!!”

Legolas ducked as several paperweights, another inkwell, and a random scroll were hurled toward him. “Bye, Ada. Don’t work too hard now!” Several curses in Sindarin, Quenya, and Westryon followed the prince as he hurried out of his father’s study.

Once out in the corridor, Legolas sighed. “What I wouldn’t give for Gimli, or Elladan and Elrohir…”

One of the guards spoke up helpfully, “His Majesty mentioned to an advisor the other day that it was about time he paid a Royal Visit to Imladris. Now that the war is over, he is trying to establish diplomatic ties between the two realms other than that of war allies.”

“I know that, but Ada been talking about that visit for quite some time. Before the War, actually. I rather lost hope that it was ever going to happen.”

The guard shook his head. “Well, the horses and guards he ordered to be readied make it seem like the visit will happen soon.”

Legolas brightened. “Truly? I would love to see Elladan and Elrohir again.”

The guard smiled at the hopeful prince. “I am one of the guards His Majesty commissioned, so yes, I rather think the visit will be soon.”

“Wonderful!”

***

“BOY! Get up!”

Harry groaned. Even locking himself into his bedroom last night had not saved him from a beating last night. Fortunately, it had been fairly mild: he was heavily bruised, but nothing was broken.

He stumbled down the stairs only to come up short: Sirius Black and Severus Snape were standing in his living room amid the blasted remains of his uncle’s once-blocked fireplace.

“Pup.” Sirius stepped forward with a worried look on his face. “Where’d you get those bruises?”

Harry ignored the question. “What are you doing here?” he demanded. “If the Ministry finds out you’re here –“

“Black has been declared free of all charges,” Snape broke in crisply. “The headmaster bid me come with him to get things in order with your muggle relatives, since custody of you has transferred to Black.” He surveyed the room with a distasteful look on his face.

Harry looked more closely at the destruction of his uncle’s fireplace. “How come I didn’t hear the blast?” he asked curiously.

“Silencing Charms, Potter. Perhaps you’ve heard of them?”

Sirius ignored Snape’s sarcasm in favor of gently tilting Harry’s face upward into the light. “Pup? What happened?”

Harry looked down. Quietly, he asked Severus, “Could you please deal with the…paperwork and whatever else there is? I’d like Sirius to come upstairs and help me pack.”

Snape cocked a silky black eyebrow and snapped, “Do not be all day about it, Potter.”

“Thank you, sir.” Before Sirius could say anything, Harry grabbed his godfather’s hand and tugged him toward the stairs. Sirius waited until they’d reached Harry’s bedroom to still Harry’s movements and examine the bruises on Harry’s face and arms more closely.

Harry saw the rage building in Sirius’ eyes and said quickly, “Don’t do anything stupid, Sirius.”

“Are you going to tell me which of those muggles gave you those bruises?” Sirius asked quietly – too quietly.

Harry sighed. “They’re not normally – they don’t normally do this. They just mostly ignore me – they’re scared of my magic – and my murdering godfather.” He flashed Sirius a grin, which was not returned. A moment of silence passed. Harry sighed. “It’s really not a big deal, Sirius. I don’t ever have to see them again, after all.” This time the smile Harry flashed was brighter, and Sirius returned it with a small one of his own.

“Pup-“

“They had too much to drink, that’s all,” Harry interrupted. He wrapped his arms around Sirius’ waist and gave him a tight hug. “I’m really glad you’re here.”

Sirius’ arms came around Harry’s shoulders to return the hug, and the boy couldn’t help but wince a little as tender bruises were pressed. Sirius growled and pulled away.

“Harry, take your shirt off.”

Harry shook his head. “Not here, Sirius, please.”

“Pup-“

“Not here, not with Snape,” Harry said pleadingly, appealing to the enmity that was always present between the two men.

Sirius shook his head. “We’re not mortal enemies anymore, Harry, nice try.”

Harry gaped at his godfather. “When did that happen, and more importantly, HOW?”

Sirius grinned briefly at him. “It’s a long story.” He looked around the bedroom, noting how sparse and bare it was, and growing angrier, having seen the lavishness of the other boy’s – Dudley’s – room. “Where’s your stuff?”

Harry looked down again. “Err, most of it’s locked in the closet downstairs. It’s okay, though, ‘cause you gave me that penknife that picks locks,” he said hastily. “I just get what I need out of it whenever they’re not here, and get it back in the same way. They’re afraid of magic, Sirius, just let it go, okay?”

“NO, pup, I will not ‘let it go,’” Sirius growled, “but I will wait until we get to my new flat to ask you anymore questions. I think Snape’s stalled them all he can.” The comment made Harry’s eyes go wide with confusion, but before he could ask any questions, Sirius grabbed Hedwig’s cage, waking the sleeping owl, who gave an objecting hoot. “Sorry, girl,” he told the owl, then looked at Harry. “Anything else you want from up here?”

Harry looked around the miserable room. The contents of the loose floorboard beneath his bed had recently been emptied back into his trunk while the Dursleys had been on a shopping trip, in preparation of Harry being able to leave when he turned seventeen; he wanted to be able to just grab the trunk and leave. He went to his pillow and drew a single, small framed picture from beneath it. Tucking it into a pocket, he turned to Sirius and said, “I’m ready when you are.”

***

Legolas bounced in his stirrups. “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”

“Be STILL, Legolas,” his father said in exasperation. “Honestly, you are one of the heroes of the War of the Ring. Show some dignity. You had enough of it during the War – where is it now?”

Legolas made a face. “Eh, you’re right - I was dignified enough during the battles. We have nothing left to worry about anymore besides orc hunting.” He grinned ferally. “And the twins are the best ones in Arda for that!” There were quiet chuckles and murmurs of agreement from the soldiers surrounding them.

Thranduil muttered under his breath, “When you get together with those troublemakers, I’m hiding in whatever study Elrond gives me.”

“What was that, Ada?”

“Nothing, ion,” he said hastily, glaring the guards who had been close enough to hear his mutter and were smirking.

***

Harry looked around the flat with wide, excited eyes. “Cool!”

Sirius draped an arm about Harry’s shoulders. “Glad you think so.” Harry could hear that he meant it, heard the warmth and pleasure in Sirius’ voice. The man’s voice held far more seriousness, though, when he said, “Pup, take that shirt off now.”

Harry sighed. “Sirius…”

“NOW, Harry,” Sirius said, with a great deal of growl in his voice.

Harry scowled at him. “You act more like your animagus form every day, you know that?”

Sirius grinned briefly at him. “Why, thank you.” He sobered swiftly, though, and reached for the tee-shirt.

Harry stepped back, and glared at him. “I can undress myself, Sirius.” In a fast movement, he yanked the worn hand-me-down from Dudley off and tossed it to the floor, staring at it as he listened to Sirius’ sharp intake of breath.

There was a long moment of silence that unnerved Harry, then Sirius’ voice growled, “I’ll get you something for those bruises.” The animagus stalked from the room, leaving Harry alone. The boy swallowed hard and shut his eyes, hoping desperately that his godfather wasn’t disappointed in him. He’d tried fighting off Vernon and Dudley before, but without magic to back him, Harry was far weaker than the over-grown whale-like bastards who called themselves his relatives.

“Harry, come here,” Sirius called from the kitchen. Harry swallowed again, walked into the room, and took the seat on the stool indicated, head lowered so that his bangs fell over his eyes. Sirius was having none of that, however, and gently cupped Harry’s face in his hands, raising the boy’s gaze to meet his own. “Harry, I am not angry at you, and I am NOT disappointed in you.” Harry’s eyes widened. How….?

Sirius closed his own eyes briefly, then opened them and released Harry’s face, reaching for a deep blue bottle and a rag. He dumped a hefty dose of the liquid in the bottle, which smelled strongly of peppermint, onto the rag and began to dab carefully at Harry’s face. Harry couldn’t suppress a sigh; whatever the stuff was, it was easing every bit of stinging and aching on Harry’s face. Sirius finished wiping Harry’s face, and the soothing effect remained. He poured more of the – medicine? Ointment? – on the rag and began to wipe at Harry’s neck and shoulders.

“I told you I was the outcast in the Black family.” Sirius’ unnaturally quiet voice startled Harry out of his near relaxation. “My mum – well, you’ve met her portrait. I was trash, useless, shameful trash. Trash, according to the Blacks, didn’t need to be treated well. I started pissing my parents off early with my fascination for muggles and muggleborns, but it wasn’t until I was sorted into Gryffindor that the beatings started.” Harry, who had kept his eyes on the floor, not knowing what to say or even if to speak, lifted his gaze to meet Sirius’ eyes, which were filled with a haunted understanding. “Jamie…James knew about Mum’s verbal abuse – he heard it often enough; Mum wasn’t shy about making her opinions concerning me public record.” Sirius swallowed under Harry’s wide-eyed gaze, and continued. “The beginning of sixth year, my father wasn’t careful enough, and I got on the train with too many bruises to explain away with Quidditch. J-James badgered me until I told him. He was too smart; he remembered other times I’d had bruises and put two and two together. He-“ Sirius’ voice broke, and he swiped hard at his eyes before pouring more liquid on the rag and continuing to care for Harry’s hurts. “He yanked Remus into the cab, spelled it locked, and told him what was going on. Remi charmed away most of the bruises, and gave me balm for the ones he couldn’t. J-Jamie said he would have done it himself, but Charms was his worst subject and he didn’t want to hurt me more.” He gave Harry a crooked smile, and Harry’s lips twisted upward in response. “James…he said then and there that I wasn’t going back to Grimmauld Place, ever. And I didn’t. James’ Mum and Dad…I don’t know what James told ‘em, it wasn’t all of it, but they let me stay with ‘em until I graduated and found a job.”

Sirius finished healing Harry’s bruises, tapping his newly-bought wand on Harry’s shoulder and murmuring an all-too-practiced charm that would keep the soothing liquid’s effect on Harry’s skin for several hours. “James’ Mum – she told me that none of what had happened was my fault. I didn’t know about that; I was a selfish bastard a lot of the time back then – you saw that in Snape’s Pensieve, and I knew back then that I had picked a lot of the fights with my family, choosing to start what I couldn’t finish. I believed her – mostly – as I got older, and I learned what REAL family was – when the Potters gave me one.”

Sirius cupped Harry’s face in his hands again. “Your Grandmum was right, Harry. The bruises aren’t your fault, and the Dursleys weren’t a real family. I’m not angry at you for not telling me what was going on, and I’m definitely not disappointed in you. If anything, I’m angry at myself for not realizing you were doing some of the same things I did to cover up my family’s – “ he spat the word bitterly, “treatment of me.”

It was on the tip of Harry’s tongue to deny – it hadn’t been that bad, really – but he couldn’t look into Sirius’ steady, sorrowful eyes and lie. Not about this shared pain. He reached for his godfather and Sirius enclosed the slender boy in his arms. The Animagus could feel tremors run through the boy’s body, and vowed silently, He’ll never be hurt again. I swear by everything holy the Dursleys will pay.

***

Xander rubbed his temples, trying to stave off a painful headache. He’d spent the last three hours explaining to a petulant pair of baby Slayers why they had to stay OUT of the spotlight when they were hunting, and he had a feeling every word he’d said had gone in one ear and out the other.

“Yo, X.” A low, husky alto interrupted the teenagers’ whining.

Xander looked up, surprised. “Faith. What’s up?” There was an abrupt silence from the teens, for which he was extremely grateful.

Faith leaned in the doorway of Xander’s “office,” which was really a glorified storage room. “Gotta spare couch?” she murmured.

Xander took in the duffle bag she had slung over one shoulder, and the helmet she was holding in her spare hand. “I think we can find you something. One of the girls get your bike in the garage?”

“Yeah. Y’ little brats better not scratch her, X,” Faith muttered, her eyes trailing over the now wide-eyed teens with some scorn.

“W-why are you asking XANDER if you can stay?” one of the girls piped up, overconfident – or just plain stupid. “Mr. Wyndham-Price is-“

“A fussy poof who does the paperwork,” Faith growled. “Xan does the heavy work, so I ask HIM where t’ go. You got some discipline problems, X.”

“They’re new,” Xander said by way of tired explanation.

Faith ran her eyes over the two and snorted. “Brand-new?’

“Yeah.”

“Thought so. No kid outta Angel’s place would have that ‘tude, an’ if they was from B’s place they’d’ve learned to keep their traps shut ‘round me.”

“Hey!” both girls exclaimed.

“Alice, Jocelyn, go to your rooms, it’s way past curfew for you,” Xander said, still tiredly.

“Slayers hunt at NIGHT, Xander,” Alice, a preppy little brunette, said rudely. “We shouldn’t have a curfew. Everyone else-“

“Everyone else is capable of hiding themselves from public surveillance, while the two of you have demonstrated a complete LACK of that ability,” a sharply crisp British voice spoke from the doorway. Wesley Wyndham-Price stepped around Faith into the room. “The both of you will go to bed now. I suggest you get a good night’s sleep, because tomorrow you’re catching an early flight.”

“What? Where?” the other girl, Jocelyn, exclaimed.

“You both are being transferred to Buffy’s school, as it is apparent you have no common sense whatsoever. You should fit in quite well there,” Wesley said coolly, and Faith snorted in amusement.

“But-“ they both started.

“Get outta my sight!” Faith snarled, her feral instincts as a fighter coming to the fore. The two teens paled drastically, and fled from the room as fast as they could.

After a moment of quiet, Xander spoke. “I’ll get Faith a room for herself, then I’m going to bed, Wes. Shane’s got first call, Marrine’s got second, and Rana’s got third.”

“Right,” the British man muttered, scrubbing a hand over his own face wearily. “Thank you for trying to handle those two, Xander. I don’t know who filled their heads with such overconfidence and arrogance, but let us hope Buffy will knock it out of them, or they’re going to get themselves and their Watchers killed.”

Xander rose from his desk, and clapped Wesley briefly on the shoulder as he passed him. Faith smirked at her former Watcher, reached out, and ruffled his groomed hair, making him groan in annoyance. “Really, Faith, is that entirely necessary each time you see me?”

Faith laughed. “Gotta keep up traditions, Brit boy.” Xander chuckled a little as he walked out of the room, gesturing for Faith to follow him. Faith stayed a moment, and looked at Wesley. “Yo, ‘s cool I stay?”

Wesley looked at her in honest surprise. “If Xander said you have a place here, then I’m certainly not going to gainsay him. To be honest, we could use your experience very much here.”

Faith relaxed, and walked out of the room without another word.

***

In a separate realm, a wish demon observed three different worlds. Her powers were decidedly going to be drained from doing this, but it was needed.

“Three sets of heroes, not a single one of them truly happy,” she muttered in disapproval. “This needs to be fixed.” She disappeared in a cloud of smoke.


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