Awareness came back to Harry slowly. He expected to feel pain but surprisingly he felt nothing of the sort as he cautiously stretched his arms and legs. He kept his eyes closed, taking a deep breath and took stock of himself. His body felt different, smaller, more compact than he was used to, though he didn’t seem to be injured in any way. He also realised that he was outside, he could feel the grass beneath his hands and hear the sound of flowing water nearby. Flowing water? He thought confusedly as he lay in the soft grass getting his bearings. Where was he that he could hear flowing water? The last thing he remembered was getting hit by Voldemort’s killing curse. He remembered that he hadn’t felt scared as the spell had been flying toward him, he had felt only peace, knowing that he was doing the right thing to save his friends… to save his family. But he couldn’t think of anywhere that he knew of in the Forbidden Forest that had flowing water. Cautiously he opened his eyes and looked around. He was in what looked like a forest, but a forest very different to the one he remembered dying in. The sun was shining down and there didn’t seem to be any dangerous creatures lurking nearby, well not that he could see anyway. The trees that surrounded him were healthy and strong and there were wildflowers growing as far as the eye could see. Harry wasn’t sure he had ever seen such a beautiful place before and even though he was confused about where he was and how he had gotten here, he felt calm.
Now that he knew that he wasn’t in any immediate danger, he began to take in more than just his surroundings. He looked down and saw that he was wearing what looked to be a soft green tunic, his pants a dark brown that wrapped snug around his legs, tapering off on his calves. Harry ran his hands over the strange clothes, wondering where they had come from. After his mind was able to move past the mystery of his clothing, he realised that his legs and feet looked smaller than he remembered. He jumped up, crying out in shock, running his small palms over his thin chest and hips. He had always been rather short and scrawny for his age, years of being underfed would do that to you, but this was ridiculous! His hands were small and delicate, his feet the same, he couldn’t be sure without looking in a mirror, but he thought it seemed like he was around 6 years old again! What kind of nonsense was this that he ended up not only in an unfamiliar place, but he had also seemed to have de-aged, as if such a thing was even possible! He was now also aware that his wand was not on him, he searched all around the area he had been laying, but it was gone. He was beginning to feel scared now, he had no idea what had happened to him and what these changes would mean, and he didn’t even have his wand to protect himself with. It didn’t appear that he was in the Forbidden Forest anymore and he knew that he couldn’t just sit and wait for someone to come along and help him, for all he knew no one even knew where he was. With another deep steadying breath Harry decided that his only course of action was to start walking and hope that he came along someone friendly, who would be willing to help him.
Having no idea which way to go, he closed his eyes, spun in a circle and started walking in the direction he was facing when he opened his eyes again. Probably not the most intelligent way of doing things, he could practically feel Hermione rolling her eyes at him, but it was the only way he could think of at the moment. Every direction looked much the same, so it was as good a choice as any he supposed. Harry walked for what felt like hours, over soft green grass and rough stones that jabbed at his bare feet. His feet were aching, but he hadn’t managed to cover that much ground, his shorter stature hampering his efforts. It was also now that he had started walking that he realised that although he didn’t appear to be injured at all, he was exhausted. He felt like he had gone five rounds with one of Hagrid’s blast ended skrewts, his muscles ached, and his eyes burned from exhaustion. His stomach rumbled in hunger and his throat was dry from thirst. He judged from the changing direction of the sun that it was now late afternoon and Harry could admit that he was a little worried about being in this strange place alone at night. He had spotted some berries as he walked but being unsure if they were safe or not to eat, he had decided to let them be. Harry kept walking until night started to fall and he was too tired, to take even one more step. He had come across no other person or any signs of life, so he resigned himself to a cold night on the forest floor. He curled up beside the trunk of a large oak tree, gathering leaves around himself to try to keep warm and to offer him some cover from anyone or anything that may pass in the night. The only downside was the constant rustling he made if he moved, so he tried to hold himself still as he drifted into an uneasy sleep.
Light was still faint when he was awoken, and Harry knew that it must not be long after dawn. He laid still for a moment trying to work out what had woken him when he heard it, the sound of voices from not very far away. Harry’s heart started pounding, this was it, finally someone who could help him, Harry just had to trust that they were friendly. Doubt pulled at his mind, what if they weren’t friendly, what if they turned out to be death eaters! Just because it didn’t seem like he was in the Forbidden Forest anymore didn’t mean that there couldn’t be death eaters nearby, perhaps they were even out here looking for him.
Harry laid perfectly still and strained to hear what the voices were saying, but try as he might he couldn’t make out the words. It seemed as if there were three or four voices though and though he couldn’t make out the words, the tone seemed pleasant enough. Cautiously he raised himself out of his bed of leaves, pulling himself up next to the trunk of the tree he had slept under. His small hand ran over the rough bark as he peeked around the edge of the tree to see the group gathered beyond.
Harry had been right, there were four people sitting around on the ground eating what must be their breakfast. Harrys stomach grumbled at the sight of food, but he stayed still for now, cautiously watching. There was three men and one woman, but they were different to any people Harry had ever seen before. They were all slim and regal looking with long straight hair in varying hues, there was something about the way they moved, even while sitting, that spoke of elegance and grace. Their faces were soft and beautiful, their features almost ethereal, and Harry stood mesmerised for a moment. He tensed when he realised that they all wore weapons, no wands though, things like swords and bow and arrows.
Harry had been so intent on watching the interactions between the four people in front of him, that he failed to notice that someone had snuck up behind him until a firm hand had grasped his shoulder and spun him around. Harry let out a high-pitched scream of surprise, his heart pounding in his chest as he came face to face with another of those long-haired beauties, this one another male. Acting on instinct Harry wrenched himself out of the light hold the stranger had on him and threw himself to the side, before springing to his feet and taking off into the forest as fast as his little legs would carry him.
The stranger gasped in surprise, obviously not expecting such a strong reaction. Harry heard the voice call out but couldn’t understand what was spoken so he just kept on running, determined to get away. He raced over rough ground, stumbling in his haste to get away, branches whipping at his face and snaring his clothes and hair. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it far before he felt large hands grip him around the waist and lift him high into the air. Harry struggled, kicking and scratching as he tried to get away.
“Put me down!” he shouted in a mixture of anger and fear. He felt like a toddler next to these tall people.
“Calm yourself little one, we mean you no harm” the stranger holding him said softly.
Harry stopped struggling at the words but eyed the man suspiciously, his eyes narrowing as the strangers four companions joined them. His eyes spun trying to take the newcomers in, they were all so tall.
“Where are your parents little one?” asked one of the strangers, this one with long caramel coloured hair. “One as young as you should not be out alone, it is not safe.”
Harry snorted at the idea of safe, he couldn’t remember the last time he had felt truly safe. Harry eyed the strangers carefully, trying to judge how much to tell them and decided for now on the truth.
“My parents are gone, dead.” He said quietly, “I don’t know where I am.” Harry paused when he finished talking, taking note of his voice for the first time, it was softer, more musical. He guessed that made sense since he was now a child again.
The strangers shared a surprised look.
“You are just now entering the Mirkwood forest, home of the wood elves.”
Harry startled at that, “elves? What like house elves?” He asked, wondering if he had somehow been transported to the homeland of house elves.
One of the strangers laughed lightly at Harry’s confusion, “I’m not sure what a house elf is, but we are elves” he said gesturing to himself and his travelling companions. Seeing that Harry still looked confused, the man – no elf, Harry mentally corrected himself, pulled up his hair revealing pointed ears.
Harry reached out without thinking, running his hands over the pointy ears. “So soft” he murmured, and the elf grinned at him.
He seemed to realise what he was doing and withdrew his hand quickly, face flushing red in embarrassment. “Sorry.”
“There is nothing to be sorry for little one, curiosity is a good thing.”
Harry opened his mouth, not sure if he agreed with that statement, knowing where curiosity had gotten him in his life, but instead he just nodded.
He raised his hands up to his own hears, pushing through the mess of black curls, his fingers gently traced the outline of his ears, finding that they were pointed as well.
He yelped in surprise, “my ears are pointy too!” he said.
“I don’t think so little one” a different elf spoke up this time, a small grin lighting their face.
“No really” Harry argued, “look.” He pulled his hair out of the way to reveal a pair of pointed ears.
The elf holding him dropped him surprise and Harry fell to the ground with a heavy thud. Groaning he pulled himself back to his feet, “hey! What was that for?”
But the elves around him weren’t listening.
“An elfling!” an elf with auburn hair cried out. “How is it possible that there is an elfling here? There has been no word of an elfling being born anywhere in a thousand years, and such a thing would have surely been proclaimed far and wide.”
“Celebrations would have lasted months, there is no way that we could have missed it.” Another elf agreed.
Harry watched bemusedly as the elves talked over each other. From what he could pick up these creatures were very long lived, though seemed to have problems procreating if he was the only elfling seen in a thousand years.
“We must take him to Thranduil” another elf chimed in; the others nodded in agreement.
The elf with the caramel coloured hair that he had spoken to him earlier turned and knelt before him.
“Little one, you are precious beyond all measure, we would take you to meet our King.”
Harrys eyes widened slightly at the mention of a King but seeing as he had no other option available to him, he decided to go along with it for now and nodded.
“May I carry you? It will be quicker.” Harry nodded again, feeling ridiculous as he held up his hands and a pair of strong arms scooped him up. Harry found himself pressed firmly against a broad chest.
“I never thought I would see the day that I would hold an elfling in my arms” the elf holding him murmured in awe.
Harry awkwardly wrapped his small arms around the elf’s neck and hugged him back, he wasn’t sure why, but it seemed like the right thing to do.
“You may call me Laston, little one” and with that the other elves formed a circle around him and Laston and started running through the forest. Harry was amazed at how fast they could move, and how graceful they were while doing it. It wasn’t long before the gentle swaying started to lull Harry into sleep again, he turned his face into Laston’s neck and closed his eyes.
Let me know what you think! This is my first attempt at a crossover or a LOTR fic so please be kind :)