Fandoms: Harry Potter, Supernatural
Rating: PG-13 (for language)
Warnings: Spoilers for all Harry Potter books, spoilers for Supernatural until 5x10.
Disclaimer: This is a transformative work of fiction for entertainment purposes only.
AN: Sequel to Damned Demented Demons and Bobby and Hermione - An Epistolary Fic . Updates every Wednesday (PST).
Previous Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3
Summary: In which tea is a little tense.
*a few minutes previously*
“Are you sure you don’t need any help?” Sam asked Ginny, trying to remember what ‘tea’ usually involved. Dean has already offered her an extra set of hands, but had been declined. Still, they were unaccustomed to being house-guests. Bobby’s was more of a fend-for-yourself type of place, unless you were laid-up.
“I’m sure, Sam. It’s just tea and jam, nothing fancy,” Ginny replied.
“Are we having crumpets?” Dean asked as though he was both intrigued and horrified by the idea. Sam cringed and closed his eyes, but Ginny’s soft laughter echoing through the cavernous kitchen quickly put him back at ease.
“No sorry, maybe tomorrow,” Ginny said, and threw a wink towards Dean that got a genuine smile back.
Sam watched as Ginny pulled down some plates from the cupboard, and then moved to the fridge to retrieve a large mason jar.
“So, Ginny...” Sam said, “what do you do? I mean, are you a stay at home mom, or an Auror like Harry and Ron, or um...a lawyer?...like Hermione, or do you have some other job?”
“I’m a sports reporter,” Ginny answered with a smile.
“No way,” Dean replied, “Not only are you attractive, but you’re into sports? Man, Harry’s one lucky man.”
“I used to be a professional athlete,” Ginny continued, her smile broadened knowingly as Dean’s eyebrows shot up. “Harry kind of ruined that by knocking me up a bit earlier than we had planned, but I had a good few years with the team, and I certainly wouldn’t trade James for more. The game can be pretty brutal, so most players only last a few years on the professional level anyway.”
“What sport-” Sam started to ask, but stopped mid question as the fire in the oversized fireplace suddenly roared to a height of over five feet and turned green.
“Oh Ron’s-“ Ginny started to say, just as Sam heard Dean’s chair scrape backwards against the floor, his hand moving towards his coat pocket. Sam immediately leapt to his feet as well, calculating the distance between Ginny and the fireplace. Dean would take point, he always took point – Sam was in charge of the civilians...
The green fire took the shape of a man holding something for an instant, and then the green fire disappeared altogether as Ron Weasley stepped out of the fireplace carrying a small girl with curly red hair.
“WHAT THE FUCK?!” Dean said, echoing Sam’s thoughts. Ron response was to break into a wide smile.
“Hi guys! I’m so glad you came! It’s nice to see you! Is that a gun?” Ron said all in one happy breath, obviously unaware of how fast Sam’s, and probably Dean’s, heart was pounding. Sam watched as Dean hastily shoved the gun back into his pocket.
“You said a bad word,” the little girl in Ron’s arms added sternly. Sam had a flashback to Hermione’s business-like demeanour, and would have laughed at the whole situation, if he wasn’t still half tensed.
“Uh, I...” Dean said, “you...fire...”
As if on cue, the fire leaped up and turned green again. Sam found himself tensing all over again, even though logically he knew that if the first time was Ron than this was probably just...
Hermione stepped out of the fireplace carrying an adorably chubby baby. She gave the room one glance and then turned to Ginny.
“You didn’t think to warn them, did you,” she stated. “I told Harry, I should have known he wasn’t listening, the dolt. We should have arrived at the door like normal people. Did they almost shoot Ron? I can’t believe I let him go through with Rose. Stupid daft-“
“Sorry,” Ginny said, then turned to Sam and Dean. “I’m sorry – I should have warned you. I’ve never...I forget sometimes what’s...’normal’ and what’s just for wizards.”
“How can you not know that people materializing out of fire is not normal?” Dean asked, taking a deep breath and running a hand across his face. Sam took a calming breath as well. He caught the crestfallen expression on Ginny’s face though, and realized that Dean’s annoyance may have caused his tone to be a bit harsh.
“It’s alright,” Sam offered, “now we know. Lesson learned. Wizards can materialize out of fire, and hu- uh, Muggles can’t.”
“It’s my fault,” Harry’s voice piped up from the doorway, “sorry Hermione. I was listening before. It just completely slipped my mind in all the excitement of actually having Sam and Dean here.” Harry moved across the room and kissed Ginny sweetly on the temple. “Sorry Gin.”
“Well, now that Harry’s taken full responsibility for being an idiot, how about we try this again,” Hermione stated, breaking out into a smile. “Hello Sam, Hello Dean, it’s lovely to see you both again.”
“Hi Hermione,” Sam said, “It’s nice to see you too. Sorry about...but yeah...” Sam searched for words to explain their heightened reflexes, “...we’ve kind of had...a rough...year...”
“Or two...or forty-five,” Dean added with a humourless chuckle, then shifted his attention to the girl in Ron’s arms, his next words were spoken with a smile and a softer voice. “Now, are you the beautiful Rose that snuck over to Uncle Bobby’s house?”
Rose’s comically open scepticism of them melted off her face at the mention of Uncle Bobby. Dean’s people skills may have suffered since Hell, but Sam was still impressed with his ability to talk to children.
“I am!” Rose declared. “He gave me hugs and pie!”
Sam laughed and was surprised at the sudden pang of something that felt oddly like homesickness.
“If that’s what you were looking for, then you went to the right place,” Dean confirmed.
“I didn’t realize he was your uncle,” Ron said.
“Family doesn’t end with blood,” Sam recited. Dean didn’t look over, but Sam knew the soft smile on his face was for him.
“Well, James, Albus, and Lily are in the living room, probably wondering where their cousins are.” Harry said. “Go make yourselves comfortable and Ginny and I will bring out the tea.”
When Harry came in carrying the tray of food – Ginny carried the tea, as she seemed convinced Harry would end up spilling it if he tried – Ron seemed to be in the middle of explaining his childhood to Sam and Dean. Harry’s boys and Rose were playing happily on the carpet by the window, and Hugo and Lily were passing stuffed toys back and forth in the playpen in the corner. Sam and Dean were sitting on the loveseat while Ron and Hermione had taken two-thirds of the couch.
“...Harry was really the first person I met who knew anything about Muggles, and well...” Ron was saying, shooting Harry a look, as though he regretted that Harry had just walked into the room, “...special circumstances with Harry of course, didn’t want to talk much about it...and we were on our way to a wizarding school anyway, so it was mostly me explaining my life to him, you see. I got glimpses, of course, over the years – had to rescue Harry from that house a couple of times, eh Harry? But I only ever did see it briefly. And Ginny wasn’t there that time we came by floo. ‘S why she didn’t remember to warn you, I’m sure. You remember that, Harry?”
Harry smiled at the memory, sitting on the couch beside Ron. Ginny sat in the chair next to Hermione’s end of the couch.
“Before fourth year, yeah,” Harry replied. He turned to Dean and Sam, who had been listening to Ron in slight disbelief. “The Dursleys had boarded up the fireplace. Ron and his family all got stuck behind the boards. They had to blast their way out.”
“Yeah, yeah!” Ron said, smiling brightly. “The Dursleys ended up covered in plaster dust and were too shocked to say anything, which, given how they are, I figure was really for the best. Then, my brothers, they played a joke on his cousin – dropped a candy on the floor for him to eat, and it made his tongue all swell up and grow long. It was brilliant, or at least, the way Harry tells it sounds brilliant – he didn’t take the bait ‘til Fred, George and I had already left.” Ron’s smile grew wistful for a moment, then his eyes darted to Harry’s as he leaned forward to add some milk to his tea. “How was your visit with your cousin this holiday anyway, Harry?”
“Awkward as always,” Harry replied. He saw Dean and Sam’s heads turn towards him out of the corner of his eye, but kept his gaze on the little snack he had prepared for himself while Ron had been speaking.
“You still visit him?” Dean asked, “I didn’t think...I mean, before, when you...”
Harry shrugged, knowing what Dean was trying to say. He knew a lot of people didn’t really understand why he made the effort with Dudley. George often asked him why he didn’t just cut him out of his life completely, as he had Uncle Vernon.
“He was raised to treat me like that,” Harry answered before Dean could figure out how to formulate his question. “It wasn’t really his fault. You know, his parents treated me like that, so he did. Maybe he thought everyone’s cousins got treated poorly, who knows...I’ve never asked him. He’s...he tries now. I think he just reached that age where he realized that it was possible that his parents had been wrong about something. He actually worried about me during the war. I never thought...anyway, he tries, so I try. It’s only fair.”
Dean and Sam both nodded, and Harry realised that they really did seem to understand. He was grateful.
“Yeah, I kinda...” Dean started, “well, last year when we met you – I couldn’t help but wonder if my Dad would’ve just killed you on the spot, you know?”
Harry would have laughed at how all the wizards in the room paused momentarily in eating at Dean’s words, while Sam just cringed and looked at Harry apologetically; but Harry couldn’t help but wonder how close to death he had been at any given moment while he had been with the Winchesters. He darted a quick glance over to his children.
“Not that I was going to or anything,” Dean clarified, “I just...Sam and me, we were sort of raised where if it’s not human...”
“We’re human,” Hermione said. Now it was Dean’s turn to cringe.
“We know,” Sam said, “what Dean means is that our Dad-”
“He might not have waited long enough to find out,” Harry guessed.
“Exactly,” Dean said with a relieved smile.
It was hard to keep the conversation flowing after that, and Harry fidgeted in the moment of awkward silence. Of course, it wasn’t completely silent, James and Albus were arguing about the trains again, with Rose playing mediator.
“So,” Dean said finally, “now that Ron’s here, should we get down to business?”
“Business?” Harry asked, then remembered the reason he had given Sam and Dean for their visit. “Oh, um, it’s nothing really. It could wait.”
Harry watched as Dean frowned and looked over at the kids. Sam was fidgeting with his tea cup, which looked like it was from a child’s tea-set in Sam’s large hands. Harry wondered what would happen if he stood Sam up next to Hagrid.
“They’re not paying attention,” Dean said, and Harry glanced over at him confused. “They won’t hear. Just a brief rundown, Harry, please.”
“Ok...yes, alright,” Harry said, as a slow realization dawned on him. Hermione furrowed her eyebrows at him, but Harry ignored it. He wondered what his reaction would have been if someone had shown up at their tent during the war and made them sit and have tea and make small talk. Forcing the Winchesters into a week’s vacation would be impossible – all he could really hope to do was try to have them move at a more relaxed pace.
“The files are in the study, I’ll just go get them,” Harry said, rising. “Ron, could you muffle this half of the room, just in case the kids start listening?”
“Sure,” Ron said, pulling out his wand. Harry had been trying to limit the amount of magic in the house, hoping it would put Sam and Dean more at ease, but he figured they’d have to start using magic in front of the Winchesters at some point. He might as well ease them in with a simple charm that they’d seen before. He took the stairs two at a time, grabbed the file from the top of his desk, and was back in less than a minute.
Hermione was still looking at him a little disapprovingly, but Ginny and Ron seemed interested in what Sam and Dean would say about the occurrences. One of the events had hit closer to home for them, after all. Harry laid out the file on the coffee table and started leafing through the various incident reports inside.
“So, um, right...May 15th is when...” Harry glanced up at Sam, because it suddenly occurred to him that he was sitting with an eye-witness, possibly two. And yes, half their known Seers all went into trances at exactly 5am on May 15th, while the other half woke up with equally prophetic dreams, but Harry was sitting in front of two people who knew exactly what happened.
“Yes,” Sam said, “uh, midnight for us. I...” Sam’s gaze darted to Ron, Hermione and Ginny, and he didn’t complete his sentence. Dean’s lips were a thin line.
“Right,” Harry said, “so, the only unnerving thing after that was actually just how normal everything was. There was nothing all summer.”
“Yeah,” Dean said, “It was similar in the states. War – the Horseman - turned up about a week after, but then it was just the usual stuff all summer. Found another Vamp nest, which is pretty rare, but other than that...”
Sam breathed a relieved sounding sigh, and Harry wondered if he had suffered memory loss or something, because it sounded like hadn’t known.
“Demon activity increased,” Sam added, “there was a major demon dust-up in Oklahoma. Lost at least one Hunter. That was in August. Then um, yeah things were...alright...until Carthage.”
“Right,” Dean said, frowning slightly at Sam, before turning his attention back to Harry. “So, what’s happened to change the business-as-usual status here then?”
“Oh,” Harry said, and locked back down at the papers in his hand. “Right, well, as you may remember, Wizards don’t usually have much trouble with vengeful spirits, violent poltergeists, or well, any of the stuff you fellows usually have to deal with. We always figured it was something about the magic that kept them away. Same as there’s something about the magic that prevents wizard ghosts from becoming vengeful spirits and makes lycanthropy in wizards manageable.”
“Right,” Sam said. “And that’s changed?”
“A couple of months ago, a witch named Natasha Jones was attacked by a vengeful spirit in her home,” Harry handed over the incident report. “It was a fatal attack. We weren’t able to find what had provoked it.”
“Wait,” Dean interrupted, “this ghost is still there? You didn’t do a salt and burn?”
“No, we did,” Harry said, and he watched as Dean relaxed. “I just meant that we don’t know why the ghost attacked. It was a previous Muggle occupant of the house. Ms. Jones didn’t appear to have done anything to provoke the spirit, and Ms. Jones was hardly the first resident of the house since the Muggle’s death.”
“Ok, yeah,” Dean said, “that is odd.”
“Right,” Harry said, “but she was the first occupant since...May.”
“What else has been happening?” Sam asked softly, looking past the file on Natasha Jones towards the rest of the reports.
“The next thing was a werewolf,” Harry said. “One of yours.”
“Muggle,” Harry clarified, “not a Wizard, unstable and dangerous. It was found prowling...what should have been a safe neighbourhood.” Harry’s grip tightened on the paper reflexively, as he remembered interrogating the poor Muggle after they had caught him. “Of course, the fellow couldn’t remember what he had been doing. We couldn’t find out how it had happened, or what he was doing in that neighbourhood of all places.”
“Why does the neighbourhood matter?” Dean asked slowly. Harry took a deep breath.
“It was a family friend that found him,” Harry explained. “He was on his way to visit Andromeda and Teddy. I just...”
“I get it,” Dean said. “Did your friend get hurt?”
“No, thankfully he’s an ex-Auror and his reflexes are still sharp,” Harry said. “No one was injured. But the fact that it was there at all is troubling. Werewolves are rare, especially Muggle ones.”
“What else?” Dean asked.
“A handful of vengeful spirits," Harry said. “All in rather quick succession. Thankfully no fatalities, but there were a few serious injuries. Again, same pattern as with the first vengeful spirit victim – no apparent provocation, and no past spirit activity even though some of the spirits were centuries old. We did the best we could, but some of those bones were just dust.”
“Then a few weeks ago, our ghoul went crazy,” Ron said. Picking up the incident report they were all too familiar with. “It attacked my Mum.”
“Is she ok?” Dean asked, concerned eyes on Ron. Sam’s bemused expression fell into a look of concern as well at Ron’s words.
“Yes, she ended up killing it though,” Ron answered. “She was quite upset about the whole thing.”
“I’m-” Dean started to say, but Sam cut him, the confused expression back on his face.
“What do you mean your ghoul?” Sam asked, and Harry hoped he was imagining the dangerous edge to his voice. Maybe he was, because Ron didn’t seem to pick up on it, though, both the girls looked a little tense. Especially now that Dean was also looking at Ron warily.
“Our family’s ghoul,” Ron clarified. “We’d had it for ages. It lived in the attic, ‘bove my bedroom.”
Sam’s jaw clenched and both Winchesters stared at Ron as if he had just told them he had Lucifer over for tea the other day. Sam looked ready to throw a punch, while Dean just looked like he thought Ron might be dangerously insane.
“You do know that ghouls eat corpses...people, right?” Dean asked slowly.
“And mice, and bugs, and anything they can get their hands on,” Ron answered. “With the ghoul gone, Mum figures she’ll have to get a cat.”
Now Dean was looking at Harry, Hermione, and even Ginny like he was reassessing them as people. Sam still looked like he wanted to hit something.
“You keep pet ghouls?” Sam asked, a little too calmly. “Is there a ghoul in this house now?”
Ron seemed to clue in then that he had said something wrong, but Sam wasn’t looking at him. He was looking at Harry.
“No,” Harry said. “We don’t have one. They...aren’t pets. In older wizarding houses, they just sort of...move in.”
“And you let them?” Dean asked, dividing his attention between glaring at the Wizards in the room as though they were stupid and looking at Sam in slight concern.
“Worse he ever did was bang pipes when I was trying to sleep,” Ron shrugged. “They aren’t normally dangerous. Stupid buggers, after all, aren’t they. Ours couldn’t even talk, just banged the pipes when he thought it was too quiet. Well, ‘til he went nuts and attacked Mum, anyway.”
“Why-” Harry cut himself off, he wasn’t sure how to phrase this question. ‘why is this such a big deal?’ seemed a bit condescending.
“Not all of them are stupid,” Dean said slowly, “I really don’t think you should let them into your houses. So don’t do it anymore, understand?”
“Yes, ok, we won’t,” Harry said immediately.
“Can I ask...” Hermione said in what Harry liked to call her ‘diplomatic’ voice, all soft, smooth and unassuming. “...why are they dangerous?” Thankfully Hermione was a little quicker at reading facial expressions than Ron, and quickly added, “It’s just we’ve never had trouble with them before.”
“Sam?” Dean said, and of all things, Harry wasn’t quite sure why Dean was reaching for his brother’s hand. Dean tugged Sam’s arm straight and turned it so that the most vulnerable side was exposed. Sam tightened his jaw, but turned his other arm to match.
“Do you see this scar here?” Dean asked, running his finger down the inside of Sam’s forearm for a considerable length. “And its partner on the other side?” Dean nodded towards Sam’s other arm.
Harry nodded, because now that Dean pointed them out, he could see the two fine white lines. It almost looked like Sam had tried to kill himself, though they were slightly too high up for that.
“Two ghouls,” Dean explained. “Tied him up and bled him.”
“Oh,” Ron said.
“It was after they killed our brother,” Sam added.
The silence would have been deafening, had James and Albus not been making adorable choo-choo noises across the room. Though, Harry thought, perhaps that made the moment even more horrifyingly awkward.
“If you’ll excuse me,” Sam said, and walked out of the room and up the stairs before Harry could even nod numbly at him.
“So!” Dean said, clapping his hands together. “What have we learned?”
“Ghouls are dangerous,” Ron replied.
“That’s right, glad we had this chat,” Dean said. “So, the ghoul attacking your mother - that was the most recent supernatural activity?”
Harry nodded, then cleared his throat and said, “Ah, no, wait, there was also a malevolent poltergeist just the other week.”
“Ok,” Dean said, and he pulled all the incident reports over towards his side of the coffee table and started to lay them out in chronological order. “We have to figure out what the connection is. Laptop ain’t going to work in your house, is it? I’ll just go get my notebook. We’ll have to do this one like we did when we were kids.”
“Connection?” Harry said, still stuck on the first part of Dean’s ramble. “They’re all isolated incidents - completely different spirits, creatures, and locations.”
Dean paused halfway to standing, then sat back down and levelled a patient look towards Harry. “Yeah,” he said, “but they’re all happening now. Why?”
“The apocalypse?” Harry answered, surprised by the uncertainty in his own voice.
“No,” Dean said, shaking his head. Harry waited to hear the correct answer, while trying to put a name to the feeling that had taken hold of him. “I know it’s not like any of us have been through an apocalypse before, so we don’t really know the rules for certain – but from what I’ve seen, it doesn’t work that way. There’s something behind all this, and we need to find it. You brought us over here to teach you how to protect yourself, right?”
“Yes,” Harry said.
“Well, here’s your first lesson in protecting yourself,” Dean motioned to the reports laid out on the coffee table in front of him.“You’ve been treating the symptoms, not the disease. If you really want to stay safe, you have to figure out the connection and that will tell you what evil you’re really up against.”
“Oh,” Harry said.
“I’m going to go find our notebooks,” Dean said, standing. “Sam’s good at making connections – most of the time, anyway.”
Dean left the room. Harry sighed and leaned back against the couch.
“How long was that?” Harry asked.
“What?” Ron replied.
“How long did it take for us to completely put our foot in it and then feel like idiots?” Harry elaborated.
“I do rather feel like I just answered a question wrong in class,” Hermione said. “Not that that’s ever happened before.” Harry realized that yes, that was what he was feeling – like he was back in Remus’ DADA classroom and had gotten a question wrong and he was wishing that he had gotten it right so that Remus would be proud of him – instead of possibly thinking he was an idiot.
“Six hours,” Ginny answered. “I don’t think it was all that bad though, I mean...how were you to know really? And I don’t think Dean thinks any less of you, dear.”
“I can’t believe there was another one of them,” Ron said, before Harry could thank his wife for knowing him so well. Harry tried to imagine. He wondered what the guy had looked like, if he had been older or younger, if he had had Sam’s quiet tension or Dean’s intense energy.
Sam’s heavy footsteps descended the stairs at that moment, raising an eyebrow at Dean’s absence.
“Dean's getting the notebooks,” Harry said as soon as Sam was far enough inside the room to not be affected by the muffliato charm anymore.
“Sorry about before,” Hermione said. “I wasn’t aware...I mean, it didn’t say anything in your file, or even those books-“
“'s ok,” Sam said. “We didn’t know either ‘til it was too late. Seemed like a good kid though, he was pre-med.”
Dean came back in the room then, carrying the notebooks they’d left in the kitchen.
“What was his name?” Hermione asked tentatively. Ginny started gathering up the empty cups and plates, Harry saw Ron give her a look of slight confusion, but Ginny just shook her head at him. Harry had neglected to tell Ron and Hermione about his decision to keep magic to a minimum while the Winchester’s were visiting.
“Adam,” Dean said as he sat down. Harry’s eyes snapped to Dean’s, but Dean didn’t look at him. Instead, Dean gathered up half of the reports and handed them to Sam. “So, divide and conquer.”
“Looking for the connection?” Sam asked, as though the conversation about their brother had never taken place.
“Yup,” Dean said. “You focus on the vengeful spirits, I’ll take the monsters and poltergeists. Then we’ll compare notes.”
“Sounds good,” Sam said.
“So, this ghoul..." Dean started, and Harry listened with half an ear as Dean rattled off questions and Ron answered. He couldn’t wrap his head around the idea of a third Winchester, a third - obviously younger -Winchester...who Sam thought had been a good kid, and who Dean thought was better off dead. Harry starred at the Winchesters. He looked at the way their knees touched in the middle of the loveseat, even though Dean had his body angled forward while he talked to Ron while Sam sprawled backwards flipping though the vengeful spirit reports. He thought of the previous year – of a knife being held to his throat after Dean went from asleep to attacking in less than a second, of how Sam had tried so hard to protect his brother that he very nearly killed him. He took in the tired lines under their eyes, the desperate exhaustion that clung to them, and the intelligent, determined, and dangerous look in their eyes. Harry decided they were probably both right about their younger brother.
Hermione caught Harry’s eye and gave him a sad smile and a small shrug. Six hours – and the Winchesters were already hard at work. So much for a vacation.