Title: The Ravenstag
Word Count: 1.4k
Prompt: Emily G Peacock: MORE HARRY/ HANNIBAL LECTOR PLS!! But have it were Hannibal catches Harry in a middle of a hunt and realizes that Harry is also a RavenStag
Hannibal first saw the Ravenstag in a dream.
It was a beautiful, a creature of legend, and a reflection of his own soul. With antlers tipped toward the night sky and feathers dusted in blackened purple, Hannibal realized that the Ravenstag had only recently come into his power. A young man, then, of about sixteen or twenty.
As Hannibal dreamed, he realized this Ravenstag was a creature of the old world, having not traveled to the United States unlike himself. As the dreamworld unraveled, the Ravenstag left the deepened forests and haunted the shadows of London streets and byways.
When Hannibal awoke, he knew where he must go.
Taking a leave of absence from Johns Hopkins although only being a first year resident, Hannibal booked a ticket to London.
As he stepped from his terminal in Gatwick Airport, he breathed in the magic left from the Ravenstag that permeated the region.
Hannibal at first hadn’t been certain, being the last of the great Lecter line and not having a father to teach him, but a voice inside of him told him that this Ravenstag was his other half, his mate. He remembered once his mother had said she’d had a dream of her father in the woods of the Lecter Estate, even though she had never been there. Hannibal, at the tender age of seven, had thought it had been a fairytale, meant to put him to sleep.
Now, though, he wondered at the truth within the story.
Had his mother dreamt of his Ravenstag father just as he now dreamt of the young Ravenstag of London?
Did the Ravenstag dream likewise of him?
Who was the face behind the furred feathers and the dark antlers?
For days he wandered the streets of central London and in the nights he dreamt of the Ravenstag circling the same few streets, always keeping to the shadows and disappearing into Grimmauld Place.
But Grimmauld Place was nothing but a row of dusty, unkempt houses, though oddly with a superstitious architect as there was no house numbered thirteen.
Hannibal took to sitting outside on a bench outside of Number Twelve, a to-go Earl Grey tea in his hand, just staring at the houses and wondering where his Ravenstag could be.
It was on the fourth day that a rather persnickety girl of about sixteen years old in a plaid skirt and white blouse sat down next to him and just stared at him for several long seconds without saying anything.
Amused despite himself, Hannibal asked, “May I help you?”
“He’s not coming out,” she told him, “if you’re a fan. I don’t think you’re a Death Eater.” She looked him up and down, assessing. “No, definitely Muggle.” She then lifted her nose in the air and stared at him some more, as if she could divine his secrets.
Hannibal appraised her for several long moments before deciding to be frank with her, “My dear, I have no idea what you mean.”
“Of course, you don’t,” she decided, as if it were obvious. “Still, he’s not coming out.”
Hannibal had no idea who “he” was. It could be anyone. But could it also be the Ravenstag? Could it be the young man he was looking for?
Deciding that while this young woman would make excellent sweet meats, he should also try to get as much information as he could from her. Hannibal looked at her carefully. “How is he sleeping?” he asked carefully.
The girl looked shocked, her brown eyes widening.
Hannibal had his answer then.
He turned back toward the row of houses and looked between numbers twelve and fourteen, wondering if his Ravenstag was somehow lost in between. He spent the rest of the day there, only leaving at noon to refresh his cup of tea.
And so the days continued until the eighth day when he was up early in the morning, standing in line to get his usual cup of Earl Grey tea. He was prepared to spend another day sitting in front of Grimmauld Place, and his mind was not perhaps at the task at hand. He picked up his order, turned around, and collided with a young man with brilliant green eyes and round spectacles.
Hannibal was stunned for a minute before the child, for he could not be older than fourteen or fifteen, stammered something not even resembling an apology before fleeing.
It wasn’t that Hannibal’s arm was soaked in Earl Grey. It wasn’t that Hannibal would need to stand in line to secure another cup of tea. It was that the boy was, although possessing a haunting childlike beauty (with hair like blackened feathers), undeniably rude.
Without a second thought, Hannibal disposed of the cup and followed the waif out of the shop and out onto the busy London Street.
He wasn’t difficult to spot in his oversized t-shirt and baggy jeans that belonged on a delinquent and not on someone who moved so gracefully between pedestrians.
Still, Hannibal did not let the boy out of his sight.
Hannibal did not think what he would do once he caught the boy.
Hannibal did not let himself linger on the thought that the waif smelled of dreamlight and ozone and fur.
Hannibal did not ponder that the waif looked tired as if he hadn’t slept for over a week and only some strange unattainable hope was holding himself together.
The rude stranger, for rude he still was, was fast and dexterous, but Hannibal had spent many years in Lithuanian forests and Parisian streets hunting—and when the boy ducked down an alley into shadows, Hannibal quickly followed him. Grabbing the boy, Hannibal thrust him up against the wall of a brick building.
The demand for an apology was on Hannibal’s lips when he looked past the glasses into the green eyes once again and saw—and saw—
“I’ve been looking for you.”
The words were not his own, but the strange waif’s. His voice was solemn, breathless with anticipation, and clearly worried at his reception.
“You came to find me,” the boy continued.
The words startled Hannibal and caused him to look a little closer, to lean in and smell the dreamlight. “You’re the Ravenstag,” he exhaled, his nose mere centimeters from the crutch of the boy’s neck. “I’ve been dreaming of you.”
The boy became preternaturally still and then he huffed out a breath. “Is that what we are?” he asked, voice quiet. “I couldn’t find a reference—”
“Didn’t your parents—?” Hannibal asked, pulling away just slightly so he could look in the boy, no, in his boy’s eyes.
The boy shook his head slightly. “My father was just a stag,” he began to explain, his voice uncertain. “Not—” His voice trailed off uncertain, his eyes shivering away from Hannibal.
Releasing him slightly, so that the boy was now slumped against the wall and no longer held tightly against it, Hannibal ran a hand through the boy’s feathered black hair. “Come. Let me take you home to greener pastures. A city’s no place for a young Ravenstag.”
At this, the waif looked up, clearly startled. “You’ll—you’ll take me away?” Happiness shone through his startling green eyes, his lips tilted into a hesitant smile, and Hannibal couldn’t help but run his free hand down the boy’s cheek.
“I’ll take you far away,” he promised. “You’re my mate. I’ll take you home.”
“Home,” the young Ravenstag breathed, looking up at Hannibal through his lashes. “I’ve never had a home.”
Hannibal’s heartstrings pulled at him for the first time since his dear Mischa died, thinking of how he hadn’t had a home in so long either. He pulled the boy closer and kissed the top of his head. “You have a home now,” he promised. “We only need your passport.”
The boy flicked his hand into his jeans pocket with a strange flick of his wrist, as if performing a magic trick, and then pulled out a crisp new passport that looked like it had just been issued. “Like this one?” he asked impishly.
Taking it in his hands, Hannibal opened to see it read ‘Harry James Potter,’ and that his little mate was not quite sixteen years old.
“Like this one,” Hannibal agreed, holding out his hand for Harry to take.
And then, without any hesitancy, Harry slipped his hand into Hannibal’s, a promise of a future made.