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 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16
Summary: In which the Winchesters find out why the Malfoys are living in the coach house...
Draco cleared his throat, and then stood slowly. Sam kept his eyes mostly on Lucius and Narcissa, trusting them the least among the dinner party and not wanting to get too distracted.
“Dean, Sam,” Draco said, staring down at the table with only a hint of nervousness in his voice, but otherwise confident. “I would like to humbly apologize for my father’s behaviour. Please know that this is not the way my family usually conducts itself at dinner or with company. I would also... like to thank you...for not killing my father. He...um...that is to say, that I do care deeply for him.”
“There’s no need for you to apologize, Drake,” Dean said, and Sam watched in interest as Draco now seemed relieved to hear the nickname, whereas Lucius and Narcissa both looked vaguely disgusted. “It’s really your old man who needs to apologize, but I’m guessing it’s probably above him.”
“Father,” Draco said. Sam kept his face impassive, but made a point to draw his right hand out of sight.
“I apologize,” Lucius said.
“What sort of wizards carries a gun!” Narcissa suddenly exclaimed, just as Draco was sitting down again.
“The kind that don’t have last names,” Dean replied.
“Perhaps,” Draco said to the table at large, “my family has now learned that when I tell them the guests that Astoria has invited over are not to be trifled with, I am not exaggerating.”
Sam laughed at that. He didn’t really consider Dean and himself all that dangerous – not now that they knew the difference between blood-wizards and unnatural-witches. But, he had to admit that pulling any sort of weapon on a Winchester was a bad idea.
“Father,” Draco said, “perhaps you and mother should retire for the evening and tend to your injury.”
“To my hand or to my pride?” Lucius muttered.
“A topic you have plenty of time to think about upstairs,” Draco replied dryly.
“Draco, sweetheart-“ Narcissa started to say.
“Please feel free to join us for coffee after you’ve finished tending to father’s hand, mother,” Draco said. Sam watched as Narcissa smiled politely and stood.
“Good evening,” Lucius said, not bothering to smile, as he stood as well. Everyone remained silent as Lucius and Narcissa left the room, listening as they climbed the stairs, until they couldn’t be heard anymore.
“Dude,” Dean said, “did you just send your dad to his room?”
“I believe I did,” Draco half-smiled, “and I’ve put my mother on a ‘time-out.’ Parenting has really had a positive influence on my life in general. I find its principles have far more applications than just looking after Scorpius.”
“I didn’t invite you for dinner just to improve our social standing,” Astoria said quietly, fidgeting with her cutlery a little. “That was just...an added bonus. I would have invited you anyway – Draco has so few friends because of...I thought...”
“Hey, don’t worry about it,” Sam said. “We don’t mind. Harry told us about how you’ve been trying to improve your family’s image, it’s not like we didn’t already know.”
“We’re glad to help,” Dean said. “Drake stuck his neck out for us last year and helped us out of a tight spot. Plus, Sammy and me know what it’s like to try to make up for past mistakes...it doesn’t help if you’ve got family working against you like that.”
“My father isn’t usually...” Draco tried to explained. “We aren’t used to living in such close quarters. I think it’s made us a little disgruntled – some more than others.”
“Why are you all living in the small house?” Dean said. “The huge swanky one belongs to you too, right? Is the utility bill too high or something?”
“Dean, wizards don’t have utilities,” Sam rolled his eyes.
“I don’t even know what utilities are or what them being ‘high’ as anything to do with where one might live,” Draco added.
“So, why you living here then?” Dean said.
“We’re...having it redecorated,” Draco answered.
“The whole thing?” Sam asked, confused.
“Yes,” Draco said. “Plus, I’ve always liked the coach house.”
“Draco,” Astoria said, “perhaps...”
“It’s good for Scorpius too,” Draco said. “He’s much easier to keep an eye on when there are so few rooms.”
“Yeah, because the kid really seems like a handful,” Dean shook his head.
Draco only smiled proudly at the compliment hidden behind the sarcasm, and launched into a full report on how many words Scorpius could already spell.
Sam quietly asked Astoria where the bathroom was, and tucked his gun away as he stood and left the room. The bathroom was at the end of the narrow hallway at the base of the stairs. As Sam exited it afterward, movement partway up the stairs caught his eye.
Scorpius sat hugging his knees on a small landing, clutching a small plush grey owl. He looked a little upset. Sam remembered how Scorpius had been sent away from the table when things had started to get heated, and he wondered if maybe the kid was still hungry and didn’t know whether it was safe to come back. Or, worse, maybe he hadn’t gone all the way upstairs and had somehow seen Sam pull a gun on his grandfather.
Sam tried to be as nonthreatening as possible as he slowly made his way up the stairs towards the kid. Scorpius’s brow furrowed a little, but he didn’t seem scared – so Sam decided that he probably hadn’t witnessed Sam pulling the gun on Lucius.
“Hey, Scorpius,” Sam said, keeping his voice quiet, “How’s it going?”
“Daddy says you fight ghosts,” Scorpius whispered. Sam really didn’t know what he was supposed to say to that.
“Yes, I do,” Sam said.
“Are you going to fight the upsidedown lady?” Scorpius asked, eyes wide and hopeful.
“Who’s the upsidedown lady?” Sam asked back, wondering if Scorpius has favourite children’s story with an upsidedown ghost or something.
“She cries and makes Daddy sad – so we have to live here. I miss my room, but I don’t want Daddy to be sad,” Scorpius explained.
Sam could feel the small flood of adrenaline as he realized Scorpius wasn’t talking about a storybook ghost. He tried to remain calm on the outside though – getting the correct information out of a four-year old would only be harder if he scared the kid.
“Is the upsidedown lady in the big house?” Sam asked.
“Has she tried to hurt you, or your mommy or Daddy?” Sam asked.
“No,” Scorpius said. “She just cried, and then stopped, then Daddy wouldn’t let me look and hugged me and was sad.”
“How long ago was this?” Sam asked. He knew the Malfoys didn’t have an incident report – Sam had gone over those sheets of paper so many times he could probably recite each one by now. If Malfoy was having ghost problems, he wasn’t reporting them.
Scorpius looked confused and Sam realized that he really shouldn’t have expected a four-year old to comprehend the passage of time that well.
“Nevermind,” Sam said, “it’s ok.”
“Will you make her leave?” Scorpius asked.
“Yeah,” Sam replied. “We’ll do our best.”
Once Draco wound down from bragging about his kid, Astoria told the two of them to sit in the living room while she cleared the table and put the coffee on. Dean's offer to help was declined, but Draco pointed him towards the couch and then grabbed a stack of plates himself to help Astoria.
Draco and Astoria had just disappeared through the small door into the kitchen, when Sam walked into the room with Scorpius on his hip. Dean smiled and the odd picture the two of them made, but then he caught Sam’s expression and immediately crossed the room until he was next to his brother.
“What is it?” Dean asked.
“Dean,” Sam said, “check out the thresholds in this place.”
Dean raised an eyebrow, but did as Sam asked – Salt. Draco, a wizard, had every threshold and window decorated with a thick line of salt.
“Scorpius and I just had an interesting conversation,” Sam said.
Before Dean could ask anything more, Draco came back out of the kitchen. There must have been something in their expressions, because Draco tensed as soon as he saw them.
“Is everything alright, gentlemen,” Draco asked, as he eyed where Scorpius sat in Sam’s arms.
“You tell us,” Dean said.
“I don’t-” Draco started, confused.
“Because I’m thinking you didn’t decide to live here because the big place is being redecorated,” Dean explained. “I think you decided to live here because it’s easier to defend.”
Dean watched as Draco swallowed and took a deep breath, looking more nervous than Dean had ever seen him.
“It’s nothing,” Draco said. “I can take care of it.”
“Well, the lines of salt on your window sills tell me that you haven’t taken care of it yet,” Dean said. “So, how about you take me on a little tour, and I’ll see if I can help.”
“Dean,” Sam said.
“Stay here with the kid, Sammy,” Dean replied.
“Why? You don’t even know-” Sam started.
“Exactly,” Dean said, “which is why you should stay here with the rest of the family.”
“They’re behind salt lines, they’ll be fine,” Sam argued.
“Sam,” Dean sighed, “just stay here and keep everyone calm, ok.”
“Fine,” Sam sighed back.
“We can play with my trucks,” Scorpius offered.
“Awesome,” Sam said, but it didn’t sound like he thought it was awesome.
As Sam set Scorpius down on the floor, Astoria came back into the room from the kitchen.
“May I offer you gentleman coffee or tea?” She asked, “I’ve got a bit of cake for dessert as well. Draco, shall I go tell your mother that tea is on?”
“Could you delay the coffee for just a little, Astoria?” Draco asked.
“Certainly,” Astoria said, though she seemed a little confused.
“Draco’s going to take me on a little tour of the big house,” Dean explained. “Sammy’s going to stay here and keep you and Scorpius company while we’re gone, if that’s alright.”
“Oh,” Astoria breathed, and Dean realized she didn’t look frightened or concerned about them going into the house at all – she looked relieved. “We’ll wait until you get back for cake then,” Astoria smiled genuinely.
“Thank you, dear,” Draco said.
Dean watched as Astoria clasped her hands together and fidgeted slightly, and Draco looked both defeated and amused at the same time. Before Dean could figure out what it all meant, Astoria rushed forward and enveloped Draco in a huge hug. Dean coughed and looked away, as Draco blushed deeply.
“Oh hey, look at that cool fire truck!” Sam said to Scorpius, and then sat on the carpet like the four-year-old and devoted all his attention to the truck as though it were covered in Enochian sigils.
“I’ll be back shortly,” Draco said rolling his eyes, but he smiled as Astoria disengaged.
“Come on, sooner we get going, sooner we come back for that cake,” Dean said, clapping Draco on the shoulder, as he moved to get his jacket out of the hall closet.
First stop – the car.
“How come you haven’t reported it?” Dean asked as he popped the trunk on the Impala.
“What, so Harry bloody Potter could come to my rescue yet again?” Draco replied. “No, thank you. I can deal with it myself.”
“Ok, sore spot, got it,” Dean said. Draco was staring into the trunk with a mixture of curiosity and disgust, and only took a moment to glare at Dean’s comment. “So, are we dealing with a ghost or something else?”
“Ghost,” Draco said.
“What’s its M.O.?” Dean asked, picking up his sawed off and pocketing as many salt-rounds as he could.
“It’s what?” Draco asked.
“What does it do? Throw things? Attack people? Whisper in your ear as you’re trying to fall asleep? Beat you at chess?” Dean elaborated.
“Nothing,” Draco replied, “She’s just...there. She won’t leave.”
“Alright,” Dean said, raising an eyebrow. Ghosts never did just nothing – and from what Harry had explained about Hogwarts, it didn’t sound like normal wizards would be frightened so much by non-violent ghost that they’d displace their whole family. “How about you show me. Are you armed, or do you want to borrow Sammy’s sawed-off?”
Draco looked as though Dean had just asked him if he wanted to lick the bottom of a hooker’s boot. He drew a wand from inside his right sleeve slowly.
“I’m armed, thanks,” Draco said.
“Ok,” Dean said, throwing Sam’s gun back into the truck and slamming it closed, “lead the way.”
Dean wanted to ask more questions as they walked to the house, but Draco seemed to get more and more tense with every step they took – and if anything, Dean could recognize the universal body-language of ‘I don’t want to talk about it.’
Something white moved in Dean’s peripheral-vision and he levelled the shotgun and turned.
“Don’t shoot the peacocks,” Draco said.
Sure enough, it had only been a ghostly white bird. It ruffled its feathers, tucked it’s head back under a wing and went back to sleep. Behind it a long tail full of white feathers spread out on the grass.
“What the hell kind of...” Dean muttered. “Peacocks are blue!”
“Albino peacocks are extremely rare,” Draco said. “My father prides himself on our collection.”
“They’re freaky,” Dean announced.
“Perhaps,” Draco looked back towards the coach house and sighed, “but my father has few joys left in life.”
“Yeah, ok, don’t shoot your dad’s freaky-ass birds, got it,” Dean said.
“How did you know about me?” Draco suddenly asked, as he stopped walking and turned to face Dean.
“Uh, I met you?” Dean said.
“No,” Draco shook his head. “When you yelled at my father – you said you didn’t understand why my parents didn’t turn against Voldemort when their teenage son was crying in bathrooms...how did you know about that? What has Potter been telling you?”
“It’s not like that,” Dean cringed. “Harry showed me, in the memory bowl-”
“He used a pensieve!” Draco exclaimed, startling the peacock behind Dean, who made a funny noise and disappeared like a ghost into the darkness. “He’s out there showing-”
“I asked him to!” Dean said. “It wasn’t about you. It was last year. In the magic room, Harry looked at my memories without asking, and I was mad-”
“I recall that, yes,” Draco drawled.
“To make us even, he offered to show me anything I asked him to,” Dean explained. “I told him to show me something he regretted.”
“I see,” Draco said. “well, he did nearly kill me.”
“I think he regretted not trying to help you,” Dean clarified.
“Then he’s a fool,” Draco said, turning to continue their walk towards the manor. “There was nothing he could have done. I would not have let him.”
“Some things never change, huh?” Dean replied.
“I suppose not,” Draco conceded.
The door swung open by itself as they approached. The inside of the mansion was just as over-the-top as the outside. A large chandelier hug over the entryway and the furniture looked like it was all handmade by master craftsmen from endangered trees. Draco led them to a pair of large wooden doors and then paused. Dean could see the line of salt along the threshold of the door.
“She’s through here,” Draco said. Dean readied his shot gun. “You really won’t need your weapon – she’s harmless. I just...can’t...”
Dean waited, but Draco never continued. He wasn’t even looking at Dean anymore, he just stared at the floor and breathed deeply. Carefully, Dean reached for the doorknob and pushed the door so that it swung open. It revealed an elaborately decorated living room – and nothing else.
“Just wait,” Draco said, moving into the room and sitting down on one of the pristine couches. He tilted his head upwards and starred into the middle distance. “The intervals aren’t that long – just long enough for her return to be the most torturous. I spent a day timing her; it was never more than a half-hour at most.”
Dean may have not really known Draco all that well, but it was quite obvious that being in the room was paining him – to the point where Dean was starting to worry that the ghosts M.O. was altering moods. He was thankful that he had left Sam behind, if that was indeed the case – the last thing he wanted was another chest full of rock-salt.
Before he could ask Draco anything, there was a flicker of light in the air where Draco was looking. Dean realised that Draco hadn’t been spacing out at all. He had known exactly where the ghost would appear. She hung upside down from some invisible means and rotated slowly. Draco closed his eyes and then looked towards the fireplace, and then didn’t seem to like that either and chose to stare at the small coffee table in front of him.
The ghost began whimpering. She was crying. Dean could see the tears fall across her forehead and into her hairline.
“Severus! Help me!” the ghost cried as she faced the empty fireplace.
Dean approached slowly from the opposite side of her than where Draco sat, and waved his hand in front of her face. Her eyes didn’t track it.
“She’s a death echo,” Dean said. He lowered the shotgun.
“Her name was Charity Burbage,” Draco informed.
“So you’ve already researched her? It’s the first case of a death echo. The rest of been straight up ghosts-”
“They had changed this room into a meeting room,” Draco continued. “They replaced the furniture with a long table at which everyone sat.”
Dean’s attention snapped away from the death echo and towards Draco immediately. Draco was speaking in a strange unaffected monotone, eyes slightly unfocused and dull.
“You were-” Dean started to ask.
“I was sitting here, well, close to here – at the table,” Draco said, “Lord Voldemort stood by the fireplace.” Draco motioned towards the fireplace, just as the death echo turned to look at it too.
“Severus...please...please...” she said.
“Severus...that’s someone important, right?” Dean said. “Harry’s mentioned him, I think.”
The death echo seemed to gag a bit and fall silent.
“He named his second son after him,” Draco said, and allowed a humourless smile to grace his face briefly. “Albus Severus Potter – the ultimate revenge in the form of a tribute.” The smile slipped from Draco’s face as he explained further, “Severus Snape was a double agent – though none of us knew it at the time. It was too soon to reveal his hand – her pleas were useless.”
There was a flash of green light and the death echo stilled, and then disappeared.
“She shouldn’t be here,” Draco said. “I can’t figure out why this is happening.”
“Well death echoes occur under specific circumstances, but usually some other supernatural force causes the dead to get trapped in a loop, reliving the moment they died over and over,” Dean explained. “It’s rare, but it happens-”
“Not to wizards,” Draco interrupted. “This never happens to wizards – all of the books I found only talked about Muggles...”
“Well, yeah, I mean, it’s different for wizards, or so Harry tells-” Dean cut himself off as he realized what Draco was saying. “Wait, are you saying this death echo is a wizard?”
“Yes,” Draco said. “She was a professor at Hogwarts. I never took her classes, but maybe if I had...”
The death echo came back at that moment, causing Draco to sigh and turn away. The loops began at the beginning, and soon she was once again calling out for Severus. Dean matched over to her and leaned in as close as he could.
“HEY! LADY! YOU’RE DEAD!” Dean yelled.
“It won’t work,” Draco said. “I’ve tried that already. Neither of us knew her well enough.”
“Severus...please...please...” the death echo begged.
“May we leave now,” Draco asked. “I can’t...”
“Yeah, ok,” Dean said. Draco looked back briefly at the now silent rotating woman. Dean couldn’t help but picture Draco younger, sitting at a table full of dark wizards while they murdered the teacher...and he wished Sam had pulled the trigger back at the dinner table.
Draco stood and left the room before the death echo reached the point where she would be killed and disappear. Dean followed him out, and watched him close the heavy wooden door and repair any damage to the salt line.
“Death echoes usually don’t stray that far from their bodies,” Dean said. “Do you know where they buried her?”
“She was eaten by a snake,” Draco said.
“What?” Dean replied. “It looked like that killing spell...”
“After she was killed, Voldemort fed her to his snake,” Draco said, “Nagini only ate the recently deceased.”
“Ok,” Dean took a deep breath, “do you know, um...”
“I do not know where her remains might be,” Draco answered. “She was eaten whole. It would have taken Nagini months to digest her completely. The snake had full reign of the house and gardens for the entire time Voldemort resided here.”
“Shit,” Dean breathed, “ok, um...I have to talk to Sam about this. There has to be another way to get rid of a death echo.” Draco nodded. “How long has she been here?”
“A month,” Draco replied. “She appeared at the beginning of December. I moved everyone out to the coach house immediately.”
“You know death echoes aren’t dangerous though, right?” Dean said. “They’re harmless.”
“I know,” Draco said.
“Then why move everyone out of the house? You could have just blocked off this one room and still had fifty others to choose from...” Dean waved his hand in the direction of a grand staircase that he imagined led to a labyrinth of ornately decorated rooms. Draco cringed and looked at the floor.
“I don’t know what happened here,” Draco said. “I was at school...if Professor Burbage could come back...I don’t even know how many may have...there was a dungeon in the cellar. I know they used it to torture.”
Dean took a deep breath, and tried to resist the urge to run back over to the coach house and punch Draco’s dad in the face.
“Father can’t be certain either,” Draco continued. “He says he is, but I’m not sure he...he really doesn’t like living in the coach house.”
“Let’s have a look around then,” Dean said. “You take the top floors and I’ll do this one and the basement – we’ll just make sure that all we’re dealing with is the death echo.”
Draco didn’t look too pleased with that idea, so Dean gave him an encouraging clap on the shoulder – Draco didn’t look pleased about that either.
“Go on,” Dean said. “If you run into trouble, I’m sure you’ve got a spell that can alert me somehow, and I’ll come running.” Draco rolled his eyes, but didn’t move. So, Dean continued, “either we split up this search or I do the whole thing myself – do you really want me poking through your wife’s closet, man?”
That seemed to do something, as Draco’s eyes widened and he shook his head.
“We’ll meet back here in an hour,” Draco suggested.
“An hour?” Dean said, “Seriously?”
“It’s a big house,” Draco replied with a shrug, then held his wand at the ready and took off for the stairs.
Dean sighed and moved down the hall, trying to get a feel for the layout of the house so that he could form the most efficient search pattern. In the end, he settled for just going room to room as he came across them – thankfully finding the basement door early on. He made a mental note of where it was, so that he could come back to it after he finished with the first floor. It seemed Draco had bewitched the lights to come on whenever someone entered the room – something else Dean was thankful for, since he doubted his flashlight would work inside a wizard house.
He had just finished scouting out Draco’s home library, and was trying to decide whether showing it to Sam might be a good or a horrible idea, when he heard a distinct, yet muffled, thump. He paused and waited. Something thumped again – it seemed to be coming from underneath his feet. He carefully put his ear to the hardwood floor.
There was definitely something in the basement.