Title: The Secret Ingredient (or, When Harry Met Hannibal)
Fandom: Harry Potter Series, Hannibal Extended Universe
Pairing: Harry Potter/Hannibal Lecter
Secondary Pairing: Robert(us) Lecter/Lady Murasaki
Prompt: for ghostisreading. “As a prompt, how about a Harry Potter/Hannibal crossover where Hannibal and and Harry are the same age and meet just before Harry goes off to hog-warts? Like they meet up every summer and Harry is slowly being turned dark by hannibal and adores his lunches that he makes for him.”
Warning(s): slash (m/m), referenced cannibalism, character death (canon/off camera), mentions of child neglect (dursleys), manipulation, hannibal is a cannibal, hannibal has feelings, kidfic
“I’ve done something I perhaps shouldn’t have,” Harry confessed as he ate what may or may not have been a lamb sandwich.
Harry was a skinny child with messy black hair and green eyes. A slash fell across his forehead, and Hannibal thought there was nothing quite so beautiful as the scar tissue in the form of a lightning bolt.
He lived two roads over—well, his official address was Number 4, Privet Drive. The entire neighborhood knew that Harry didn’t actually live there. Not even the teachers at the local school bothered to send his marks there at the end of the month. It was an open secret – if it could be considered a secret at all.
Instead, Harry spent most of his days with Hannibal in and around Little Whinging. Lady Murasaki didn’t even pretend not to notice when Hannibal snuck him into their townhouse most nights. His aunt always brought them a larger plate of cookies and two glasses of milk at night when they were huddled in their sheet-fort, which usually served as a makeshift bed.
Uncle Robert would only laugh to himself when Harry slid into his now reserved seat at the breakfast table.
He also signed all of Harry’s permission slips and at the beginning of term had filled the second trunk in Hannibal’s rooms with new clothes, all in Harry’s size.
“I do not quite follow,” Hannibal admitted, turning to his friend. He took a small bite of his (not quite) lamb sandwich. “As you could never do anything morally reprehensible—” (Harry snorted, which caused a half-grin to form on Hannibal’s lips) “—even anything you did that might annoy the Dursleys might still have some merit.” The name of Harry’s ‘family’ was scoffed, as if Hannibal was above the idea of blood relations, or at least that Harry should be.
Hannibal himself, after all, was all the family that Harry would ever need.
Twisting his half eaten sandwich between his fingers, Harry smirked up at Hannibal. If it had been two years earlier, when they had first met, Harry would have probably frowned in embarrassment at the very least. Now, there was a glitter in his bright green eyes. “I might have been sneaking and looking in Aunt Petunia’s kitchen window.”
Setting aside his distress at Harry calling anyone “aunt”, Hannibal considered.
Although Harry was well fed thanks to Hannibal’s fussing (which was in sharp contrast to just a year ago), he was still skinny and could poke in and out of the strangest corners.
“See anything interesting?” he asked calmly, betraying no emotion, although his heart was certainly in turmoil.
Their eyes connected and Harry’s gaze deepened briefly, as if he were able to tell what Hannibal was thinking. “Oh, yes.” He then took an exaggerated bite of his (not quite) lamb sandwich.
Hannibal waited. It would be rude to do otherwise. It would also be rude for Harry to speak with his mouth full (though Hannibal would forgive him anything).
When Harry swallowed, he reached into his back pocket and extracted a folded and slightly muddy letter that was on parchment.
Taking it, Hannibal inspected the cursive on the front in what appeared purple ink. He lifted it delicately to his nose and inhaled. Parchment – ozone – ink – what might be owl droppings – and some sort of smoke, possibly from a fire. Whoever had written it, also, had a particular smell of extended old age. Intriguing.
Glancing at his dearest friend for permission, Hannibal opened the letter and read through it carefully and with deep consideration.
After considering the handwriting and reading it thoroughly twice, Hannibal refolded it and handed it to Harry without comment. It would be better to consider and wait to see what Harry might say.
“I don’t want to leave you,” Harry confessed, his voice so soft Hannibal nearly missed it.
“You would not be leaving me,” Hannibal returned rationally, “and I would never release you from our friendship.”
“I can’t afford the list,” Harry pointed out, the small, scared child who had once lived under the stairs making himself known.
That was, of course, something to consider. These magic people didn’t know where Harry lived. They thought he still slept in a cupboard – and hadn’t sent DCFS. Magic opened up the untold, the vastness of the world, and yet these people were blind in ways that were disturbing – but exploitable.
“Uncle Robert shall fund you,” Hannibal assured, setting aside the brown paper his sandwich had been wrapped in and reaching out carefully to draw Harry into an embrace.
Harry melted against Hannibal – casual affection common enough between them – and Hannibal buried his nose in Harry’s messy black hair. Harry always smelled of his children’s shampoo, treacle tart, and sheer power. Hannibal had often wondered at it, in the privacy of his thoughts, but had never explored it. This answer was the beginning of the answer, he was certain of it.
“You’ll replace me,” Harry finally confessed, quiet, his true fear.
“Never,” Hannibal swore, pulling away so he could look Harry directly in the eyes. “You are my savior.”
Shaking his head to disagree, Harry began to pull away further, but Hannibal caught his chin with his own fingers, holding Harry in place.
“You, Harry. Not Uncle Robert. Not Lady Muraski. You.”
The two friends gazed at each other openly, silent, their breathing mingled in the hot air of a Surrey August.
“You’ll replace me,” Harry asserted again, a little firmer. “I’m your pet. Pets are replaceable.”
For a moment, Hannibal was almost appalled until he began to examine the situation from Harry’s view. It wasn’t a mental exercise he engaged in very often – the thoughts and feelings of others being beneath him.
Harry, however, wasn’t finished. It was as if the ability to finally speak his fear – that he was only Hannibal’s pet – allowed him to finally reveal many more hidden emotions.
“You feed me, clothe me, let me sleep in your bed. I follow you around like a dog, hoping you’ll notice me and pat me on the head. I’m just a kid from Surrey no one wants – I’m not important like Mischa was.” The final statement was bitter and broken.
Hannibal was utterly horrified. Taking a moment to steady his beating his heart, he nonetheless did not release Harry from his hold. He was quite responsible and sure footed, even at the age of eleven.
Moments passed and Harry’s green eyes began to shudder, but Hannibal could not have that.
“You’re much more important,” Hannibal promised, his eyes skating over his friend’s face. “You’re my future husband.”
Shock spread over Harry’s features. He took in a quick breath, exhaled, and then tentatively reached out to touch Hannibal’s shoulder. “Really?”
“Quite. – I had thought since we were eleven, I should wait to declare my intentions, but if it eases your mind –”
Harry, however, was quite rude and tackled Hannibal, clutching him tightly.
A small smile played on Hannibal’s lips, hidden in Harry’s shoulder as he returned the embrace, and different possibilities came to his mind, pouring out into futures he could create and mold just as he pleased.
The future was brighter than it had been … even just this morning.
Hannibal would never say that he enjoyed Eton: he didn’t. It was, however, useful to his purposes, and Uncle Robert thought it would make Hannibal a proper English gentleman.
Harry liked to tease him by owl post about his “sycophants,” as he called them.
“Might have committed murder,” Harry confessed his first week back for summer term, his green eyes still visible in the moonlight.
The two boys were in their pajamas and curled around each other, under the covers, in the bed chamber that was undoubtedly theirs in the new London house (Lady Mursaki found Surrey tedious when the boys were not there to amuse her).
“Just one?” Hannibal laughed. “A whole year away, and just one?”
Biting his lip to contain his laughter, Harry kicked Hannibal in the shin.
Rude, of course, but Hannibal could never mind Harry’s playfulness.
“How many did you commit at Eton?” Harry demanded.
“Not a one,” Hannibal admitted. “But I killed all three men that killed my sister.”
There was a pause as this had been one of Hannibal’s greatest secrets, but then Harry only grinned. “Did you burn off his face like I did with Professor Quirrel?”
It was Hannibal’s turn to be stunned to silence but then his lips quirked in amusement. “Clever boy. However did you manage that?”
Oh, yes, Harry’s magic definitely had its uses – and Harry was tied by childish promises and by his emotions to Hannibal.
Hannibal would only admit to himself, after Harry had fallen asleep with a smile on his soft face, that he was just as equally tied as Harry.
“One person, this year,” Harry proclaimed and Hannibal looked up from where he was sitting at the piano and considering his latest composition. “By proxy.”
“Does murder by proxy count? You spoiled the meat last time, Harry. I hope this proxy gave you liver you might use in a potion.”
Harry laughed, bright and full, before shaking his head. He sat down next to Hannibal and placed his right hand on the ivory keys. “I don’t know what he did with Ginny’s body.”
Knocking shoulders, Hannibal inquired, “You didn’t ask?”
“Don’t know who did it,” Harry confessed.
Hannibal looked over, confused.
“It was the Heir of Slytherin. He took her – she’s probably dead. This boy, Weasley, wanted to go after her and tried to create a band of school children to find the Chamber of Secrets” (this was said with a grandiose hand gesture that Hannibal appreciated) “but I just told a professor and that ended that.”
Nodding, Hannibal placed his left hand on the keys and pressed down with his pointer finger, beginning a duet the two had perfected the previous summer. “A simple but effective tactic,” he praised.
Harry kissed him – sweet and innocent – and Hannibal realized he’d just have to compliment Harry more if that was the result.
Hannibal was not pleased and had insisted he come with Lady Muraski to Platform 9 and ¾. Normally she liked to go by herself, saying that the air reminded her of Japan, and she never liked to draw attention to herself.
As soon as the steam engine arrived, Hannibal was craning his neck to find Harry.
It was undignified, but in that moment Hannibal couldn’t care.
Let the pigs dressed up as wizards stare. They weren’t good for anything but his designs, and Hannibal’s current design was to assure himself that Harry was unharmed with his own eyes.
Smoke flew in the air and filled his vision, but it wasn’t long before the familiar mop of black hair appeared, flinging itself into Hannibal’s arms.
“Don’t do that again,” Hannibal admonished, his heart aching. “Never play the game unless you can win.”
“The Dementers kissed Black,” Harry promised, his tears splashing against the collar of Hannibal’s shirt (not that Hannibal minded the display of emotion). “I didn’t win – but I didn’t lose.”
The distinction was a haunting one and Hannibal just held Harry closer, noting briefly the rudest children who stared at them in case he ran into them later in a dark and isolated location.
“What’s your allowance?” Harry asked casually a few days before Epiphany when they were fourteen.
Hannibal was confused at the question as it was exactly the same as Harry’s and Harry knew this. He settled a long stare at his friend (“beloved,” his mind whispered) and Harry rolled his eyes back.
Cheeky, perhaps, even flirtatious, but not rude.
“It’s only,” Harry began, “this tournament.”
There was no need to affirm what Harry said verbally and Hannibal only nodded.
“No one believes I’m engaged as I don’t have a formal wizarding contract,” he spat out the last two words. “Seventeen people asked me to that ridiculous Yule Ball.”
“The one you went to on your own after planning to eat all of your proposed dates?” Hannibal teased back. “I do not see what my allowance has to do with it.”
“Well, we can’t be married in Scotland until we’re sixteen –” There was a pause, though Hannibal was uncertain why.
He looked up again and asked, “Why not London?”
“The Dursleys are still my legal guardians. They will never consent. Do you want to wait until we’re eighteen?”
The question was rhetorical, of course, because they both knew the answer. Hannibal was unusually possessive – always had been – and Harry desperately wanted to belong.
“Then you need an engagement ring and we shall be married on my birthday,” Hannibal decided. He was, after all, a full three days younger than Harry, although they rarely mentioned the small age difference.
Harry bit his lip and nodded.
It was decided then.
Of course, Hannibal didn’t need much of his allowance. He had his family crest that had been made for his mother upon her marriage to his father, Count Hannibal VII. Hannibal had removed it from his mother’s lifeless finger himself when he was only a child in Lithuania and had kept it close even when he had Mischa were held captive in their own home.
The night before Harry left again for Hogwarts, Hannibal slipped it onto his finger and properly kissed him for the first time.
Lady Mursaki had caught them snogging when she came to tell them that they had to return go to bed as Harry had an early train, but they just postponed their activities while they got changed and brushed their teeth.
It was quite apparent that Harry quite liked snogging as much as Hannibal seemed to.
Hannibal wanted to kill this Dark Lord known only as Voldemort.
He had dared to steal Harry’s blood when it belonged to Hannibal and Hannibal alone.
He began to plan and scheme – and Harry would sit up late with him into the summer nights as they tried to think of every eventuality.
At least no one knew the Dark Lord had returned. Harry had made certain of that.
“Does Cedric count as a murder?” Harry asked in early August.
Hannibal looked up in confusion.
Not quite answering the question, Hannibal murmured, “It was kind of you to bring back a foot for me to salvage into a ham salad.”
A smirk twisted across Harry’s face. “What can I say? I’m a provider.”
It was a deliberate flirtation and Hannibal found that the only scheme he wanted to consider that night was how to convince Harry that clothes were entirely unnecessary.
Neither Hannibal nor Harry were aware that a friend of Lily Evans Potter had become fed up with not knowing where Harry lived (it certainly wasn’t anywhere in polite society) and invited him to stay. Apparently there was a house that had belonged to Sirius Black, and he had neglected to leave a will, and somehow it had fallen to his closest relative by law, a half-blood named Andromeda Black Tonks. She thought – or so Harry and Hannibal would never find out – that Harry might like to spend the summer at the house as “boys should be with proper wizards every once in awhile.”
The owl that carried the invitation pecked on the Dursley’s front store and caused quite the stir.
The door had to be replaced and a local story was placed in the circular. A witch by the name of Rita Skeeter would dig it up as part of research for a book on the mysterious Harry Potter, but by then it would be too late … he had already married, grown up, and moved to another country.
They decided that it would be best if Harry didn’t take the Hogwarts Express to London that summer. They would just have to return to Scotland, after all, within a few hours for their design to come to fruition.
Although Harry was a student at Hogwarts and Hogwarts was allegedly in Scotland – Hogwarts did not legally exist. As such, one (or both) of them had to be a resident of Scotland for a certain amount of time before they could legally marry at the age of 16.
Lady Mursaki thought the plan was romantic and had just the previous Easter purchased them a small flat in Fife. The local butcher, after all, was said to be quite good, and everyone knew how Hannibal and Harry liked everything as long as it wasn’t vegetarian.
There was also the view of the sea to take into consideration.
In August of 1996, Hannibal Christian Lecter VIII married Harry James Potter, at a small Anglo-Catholic church off of North Street.
The next day Uncle Robert was kind enough to submit the paperwork to the proper sources so that Harry’s name would reflect his married status. After much discussion (and the fact that Harry wished to honor his parents by not completely dropping his surname), Harry became Harry Potter-Lecter.
Hannibal, after all, had been recently accepted to medical school, and would become Dr. Lecter in a few short years. “Dr. and Mr. Lecter” would look quite good on invitations if the larder ever got past the point of proper organization.
Neither had forgotten the threat of the Dark Lord. They were biding their time, waiting for him to strike, but Hannibal had no compunction in being truly content since the first time since his sister was murdered.
Dumbledore’s manipulations had always been blatant to Hannibal, and he was glad when he publicly died at the end of Harry’s sixth year.
The only problem was that he fell spectacularly to his death from a tower (“killing curse,” Harry explained, “I think everyone was being dramatic with wands that night”) and so the meat was spoiled.
Then again, he was an old man who survived because of carefully managed potions abuse, from what Harry could discover. His meat wouldn’t have been much good anyway.
Still, Hannibal bided his time and ravished his husband’s body every chance he got over the summer.
Strangely, Hannibal had no desire to eat Harry (he never had), but he quite liked to possess every inch of him – body and soul. This was not perhaps healthy, but he was a medical man and would never allow anyone except for his husband to have access to his true thoughts and emotions.
Psychiatrists always overcharged anyway, and were constrained by ethics.
There was little that was ethical about Hannibal Lecter except for his complete devotion to Harry.
“This is unfortunate,” Harry admitted as he looked at the front page of The Daily Prophet.
They had been married for twenty-three months – Harry having failed to go back to Hogwarts for his seventh year – and now he’d gone and killed Voldemort.
Someone had seen it, as well.
“I have an invitation to study in Baltimore,” Hannibal suggested, casually looking over his shoulder, placing a tongue sandwich in front of his beloved.
“I like our home,” Harry admitted, looking about the sunny room.
“We can keep it,” Hannibal promised, “and come back when the press is less likely to find you.”
And with that, it was decided.