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).
Summary: In which Neville is an awesome Herbologist and Castiel says the wrong thing.
Previously: “Um” Sam said. “I still...I mean, I can’t ever...there’s always going to be a little, but I don’t have...as much?”
Dean sighed as Sam seemed to wince in anticipation of the next question, and Harry’s brow furrowed in confusion.
“There’s some stuff about last year you don’t know,” Dean said, noticing a few child-shaped blurs running towards them from the forest with the two Professors following more sedately behind with another group of kids. “I’ll explain later, alright? It’s not something the kids need to hear.”
“Harry!” Teddy yelled, and Dean could see Harry’s entire focus change in an instant. Teddy’s hair was brown as he ran up – which was much better than the sickly grey it had been when Dean had last seen him. He flung his arms around Harry, crushing his face into Harry’s chest. His hair went black and then turquoise and then pink...which Dean would have ordinarily teased him about, but now didn’t seem the time....and then finally back to a mix of brown and black.
Nate, Iggy, and Andrew jogged up as well, and stood slightly awkwardly off to one side. Teddy disengaged from Harry , even though it looked like he didn’t really want to.
“Hey guys,” Dean said. “Everyone alright?”
The boys nodded, eyes wide and darting between Dean and Sam – mostly resting on Sam.
Neville rejoined them, giving Ernie a wave as he did so. Dean saw Ernie leading a few more students off towards the castle; they were all staring over at him and Sam and whispering to each other as they passed. Dean turned to look at his brother and once again noticed the amount of caked blood on the lower half of his face.
“Sammy, fix your face,” Dean said. “You’re traumatizing the kids.”
Sam seemed confused, and then he dragged his bloody fingers across his bloody face, and his eyes widened.
“Shit,” Sam said in his now strained voice, “uh, don’t worry guys, it was just a bad nose bleed. It happens, you know?”
“Why don’t you three head on in and check in with Professor MacMillan,” Neville said to Teddy’s friends, “I think Harry would like a little one on one time with his godson, and Sam needs to wash up.”
“Yes, Professor,” Iggy said.
“Um, see you later?” Andy offered tentatively.
“See you later, guys,” Dean said.
Once the boys had started jogging back to the castle, Neville turned to the remaining adults and clasped his hands together.
“Now then, how about we all go to the green houses for tea,” he offered with a calm smile. “I have just the tea to both sooth your throat and calm your nerves, Sam. And I also have a very nice sink you can use to wash up.” Neville caught Harry’s eye, and added. “Also, a comfortable couch, should some people want to sit next to each other.”
Neville’s green houses were cozy. They were led through several that had tables upon tables of different plants, until they came to one in which only the outside of room was covered in creeping vines. Towards one wall was a desk with filing cabinets behind. In the centre of the room were a red couch and a few comfortable mismatched chairs. The glass ceiling seemed to filter out the cold blue light of the winter sun, and leave only a warm yellow hue, though, that might have had to do with the imminent sunset. There was also a small stove, and a large laundry sink with a mirror behind it. The sink itself seemed to be used mostly for washing dirt off Neville’s hands. A fine layer of soil lay at the bottom of the basin. There were fresh linens on a small shelf beside it, and a small bottle of something that looked like a wizard version of baby soap. Sam made his way to the sink, and when he raised his eyebrow at the soap label, Neville just shrugged and said that he had sensitive skin.
Sam caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror and could see why everyone had seemed so concerned about him. He was pale, and the caked blood obscuring his lower face almost looked like he’d been...well, except for the fact that most of it seemed to be smeared up his right cheek. Sam felt a little shaky, and the pounding headache he had felt only ten or so minutes before had left him a little sleepy. After so much pain at the hands of that curse, Sam really expected to have more long-lasting effects. He still couldn’t believe that the curse had been meant for a twelve year-old. He wanted to find Carrow and send him to hell ahead of schedule.
As Sam washed up, Neville put a large kettle on and then pulled five cups from a cupboard. He then started to pull out bottle after bottle of dry tea-leaves – carefully reading the labels. Dean sat down in one of the chairs, taking off his jacket now that he was in the warmth of the greenhouse. Harry and Teddy both sat on the couch.
Teddy had walked stoically inside with them, and now he sat calmly beside Harry – close but not touching, his hair a mousy brown. The kid looked a little shell shocked, and Harry looked a little awkward. He kept shooting worried glances at Teddy’s head, while Teddy glanced at Neville, Dean, and Sam in turn, and then seemed to only glance at Harry’s knees.
Sam frowned into the mirror, trying to use the washcloth to get blood out of his ear – how it had migrated from his nose to his ear, Sam didn’t want to know.
“After the battle of Hogwarts,” Neville suddenly started speaking into the quiet of the room, “which was, of course, after I killed the snake Nagini and helped Ron bring down Greyback...” Sam paused what he was doing, watching as Neville glanced at Teddy, who was staring at him with wide curious eyes. Harry and Dean, much like Sam, were looking at him in slight confusion.
“...I wanted nothing more,” Neville continued, “then to hug my Gran very hard for a very long time and never let go. In fact that was indeed precisely what I did, as soon as I had a chance – and I certainly don’t think anyone would think less of me for it. Actually, I’m quite certain that both Sam and Dean would agree that a nice long hug after a traumatic experience is a good thing.”
Sam bit his lip, as he realized what Neville was trying to do. Teddy’s eyes flew to Dean, wide and slightly hopeful. Harry also shot Dean an unashamedly hopeful look that Teddy couldn’t see.
“Uh, yeah,” Dean said, awkwardly clearing his throat. “You uh, probably didn’t see, Teddy, but...um...Sam and I just hugged outside for like...a long time.”
Teddy’s eyes flew to Sam, and Sam nodded, as though he and Dean hugged after every hunt or something.
“I’m sure that Harry had similar feelings after the battle of Hogwarts,” Neville said. Now Teddy’s gaze finally landed on Harry, and Harry nodded.
“I did, yeah,” Harry said. “Only...you know, my parents and...my godfather...were dead, so I didn’t actually have anyone to-“
And then Harry had a lapful of Teddy Lupin, who was burying his head in Harry’s chest, and wrapping his arms around Harry’s torso and squeezing. Harry’s arms quickly came up around the boy. Sam turned back to the sink to rinse the washcloth again.
“There we are,” Neville said. “Now, everything is as it should be.” He turned back around and started sifting different tea leaves into different mugs, while the kettle slowly came to a boil on the stove.
Over top of the whining kettle, Sam could hear Harry whispering ‘I love you so much’ into Teddy’s ear, while he stroked Teddy’s hair. Sam watched in the mirror as Teddy’s hair switched back and forth between turquoise, pink, black, and mousy brown.
“How’s the face, Sam?” Dean asked. “Are you human again?”
“As much as I’ll ever be,” Sam shrugged, and tossed the dirty wash cloth into the sink, making his way over to one of the other comfy chairs.
“I’m sure you’ll feel better after a nice cup of tea,” Neville said, and he came over and handed Sam a steaming big red mug. Sam wasn’t much of a tea person, but he had to admit that it smelled wonderful. “I added honey to help soothe your throat.”
“Thanks, man,” Sam said, his voice cracking on even those two words.
Neville then passed a blue mug out to Dean. Harry got a green mug, and Teddy was given a white one. Teddy didn’t even dislodge himself from Harry. Just accepted the tea, and turned his face a little so that he could get the cup to his lips. Harry meanwhile gripped his mug in his left hand, while his right continued to stroke Teddy’s hair. Neville perched on the edge of his desk, facing them all, with his own garish orange mug.
After blowing across the surface of the tea once or twice, Sam finally took a tentative sip. It was surprisingly good. Sam took a bigger sip. The tea both soothed his throat and seemed to calm his rattled nerves. It actually made Sam feel, well, pretty damn good all around. He looked up in surprise at Neville, who just smiled a small smile. Then Sam looked at Dean, and found that Dean was looking at his mug of tea as though he didn’t know where it had come from.
“Dude,” Dean said. “Did you...did you make us special tea?”
Harry smiled, so did Teddy. Neville just winked.
“Well, I am a Professor of Herbology. One of the first things you learn is how to make a good cup of tea.”
“Man, you’re awesome,” Dean smiled.
“Each of you have something a little different, of course,” Neville said, sobering. “Research on the curative effects of certain plants is a hobby of mine – particularly when it comes to the cruciatus curse. So, in particular, I’m interested in how Sam likes his tea.”
Sam took another sip and felt how his tension in his muscles seemed to relax further, the slight shakiness he had been feeling gradually fading away.
“I feel really good,” Sam said. “I remember it happening, but it’s also like it never did, because my nerves and muscles are all relaxed. Even my throat feels better.”
“I’m glad,” Neville said.”There’s sadly nothing I can do for the mind. You’ll always remember, or, some victims will never be able to remember, no matter how much tea I brew. As I said, this is only a hobby. I don’t expect to work miracles, so you can stop looking at me like that Harry. I hold no false hopes.”
Sam looked over to Harry just in time to see Harry lose a very sympathetic look, and drop his gaze down to Teddy’s hair.
“What’s in my tea, Neville?” Teddy asked.
“Professor Longbottom” Teddy corrected while rolling his eyes.
“Just something to soothe your nerves,” Neville said.
“You haven’t drugged my godson too much, I hope,” Harry said.
“Drugged?” Neville said. “Really, Harry. It’s only tea. You’re paranoia seems to be acting up again.”
Harry laughed. It seemed odd to Sam to be sitting around drinking tea and joking, as though they were all just friends hanging out – as though there hadn’t just been an escaped convict trying to kill a twelve year old.
“Neville, why didn’t you have your mirror with you?” Harry asked, and immediately the laughter died out, and Neville sighed.
“I’m not an Auror anymore, Harry,” Neville said.
“What does that matter?” Harry said, “I made you keep the mirror for a reason.”
“I know, Harry, but I leave it in my desk for a reason too,” Neville said. “You will always have my loyalty, but I’m not a soldier anymore.”
“You still have the coin,” Harry said. Sam watched as Neville smiled, nostalgic, and maybe a little self-deprecating.
“True,” Neville said. “The kids like it”
“Right,” Harry said, and Sam wondered what sort of truce they had come to, because Harry seemed oddly accepting. “Can you do a paranoid veteran a favour, Neville?” Harry asked.
“I suppose I could, yeah,” Neville stated.
“When you are with one of my kids, can you carry the mirror?” Harry asked.
Neville nodded, then darted forward and caught Teddy’s mug just as it left his slack grip. Sam wondered when exactly the kid had nodded off.
“There we go,” Neville said.
“You DID drug him!” Harry said, his outrage only mocking as he laughed. “You bloody herbologist bastard, he’s going to be so mad at you.”
“No, he won’t,” Neville said. “He’ll have a nice nap, and when he wakes up the day will just seem like nothing more than a bad dream. Do you want to lay him out on the couch?”
“No, he’s fine where he is,” Harry said, and pulled Teddy tighter against him. In sleep, Teddy was less still than awake. His face slowly shifted – from tanned and heart-shaped to pale and pointed. His hair lengthened and then shortened, fading in and out of all the colours, dwelling longest on the colours Teddy usually used – turquoise, black, brown...
“Do you have any idea what he actually looks like?” Sam asked.
“He looks like Teddy,” Harry shrugged.
“The science on metamorphmagi is actually very interesting,” Neville said. “There’s a very good book in our library here that explains the genetic p-“
Castiel appeared just in front of Harry.
“Uh, hello,” Neville said, eyes wide. Cas sat down on the couch and looked relieved to be off his feet. Sam noticed that his clothing was still wet from the lake.
“Hey Nev?” Dean said, “you mind drying our buddy Cas off with some magic?”
“Oh, certainly,” Neville said. Sam noticed how he still drew his wand slowly, giving Castiel enough time to protest. Castiel never did though. He just gave Neville what was probably a pretty unnerving stare as Neville muttered drying charms on Castiel’s clothing.
“Thank you,” Castiel said. “Normally I repair my clothing myself, but it is...troublesome at times.”
“You’re welcome,” Neville replied. “Would you like some tea?”
“Only if it’s a social requirement,” Castiel replied.
“That means, ‘no thanks’,” Dean explained, then Dean focused on Castiel, “I thought you would have flown off by now, what’s up?”
“The woman the demon possessed will live,” Castiel answered Dean. Harry felt a momentary pang of guilt at not even having thought of her since Castiel took her to the hospital wing. “Ron Weasley allowed me to see Amycus Carrow before he began the journey back to prison. He knows nothing of who you and Sam are, or about the apocalypse, and he only knew how to summon that specific demon. I decided there was no need to kill him.”
“But if he had known who Sam and Dean were...” Neville said, staring at Castiel with wide-eyes.
“If there were any danger of him revealing Sam and Dean’s location to Heaven or Hell before they could get to safety, then I would have ended him, yes,” Castiel replied.
Harry realized that Neville had no idea who Castiel was – what he was - or, more importantly, why there was a difference between Carrow knowing who Sam and Dean were and Neville knowing.
“Thanks, Cas,” Dean said with a smile. Harry wasn’t sure how he had thought the Winchesters would react to Castiel admitting that he had considered murdering someone, but he wasn’t expecting the affectionate gratitude Dean’s words were laced with or the way Sam simply nodded.
“I thought...” Neville said to Harry, “I thought you keeping their last names and occupations secret was just to save your own skin, Harry...”
“It was,” Harry admitted, “but um, you see-“
“What can we say - we’re wanted men,” Dean said with a smirk. “Isn’t the first time somebody wants to jump these bones.”
“Dean,” Sam said.
“Yeah, alright,” Dean said. “Don’t worry about it, Neville. It’s not like you’re planning to rat us out to Lucifer, are you?”
“No,” Neville said, still a bit bewildered. “Why on earth would I speak with-“
“See, nothing to concern yourself about,” Dean said.
“So, if I can ask,” Neville started tentatively, looking at Castiel, “how is it that you can apparate?”
“I cannot apparate, only wizards can apparate,” Castiel replied. “I merely travel.”
“Travel,” Neville repeated. “Ok...so you aren’t a wizard, and you can’t possibly be a muggle...”
“I am an angel of the Lord,” Castiel replied.
Neville nodded slowly, his eyes darting to catch Harry’s. Harry nodded.
“How long do you plan to remain with Harry Potter?” Castiel asked Dean, before Harry could say anything further to Neville.
“Uh, I guess we’ve done everything we came to do,” Dean said, shrugging.
“You’ll stay for a couple more days though, right?” Harry said, trying to keep the slight panic out of his voice. Bobby Singer had asked for him to give the Winchesters a vacation, and he had done anything but – actually, Harry felt like he could use a vacation after today.
“Uh, sure,” Sam said, “a couple more days wouldn’t hurt, I suppose. I mean, no one knows where here yet, right Cas?”
“Not to my knowledge,” Castiel replied, and then stood. “Call me when your phones are functioning again. If I need you before then, I’ll simply locate Harry.”
“Ok, see you later man,” Dean said.
“Thanks for your help,” Harry added in, “nice seeing you.”
“It was nice to see you again too, Harry,” Castiel replied, as though he were reciting lines from a play he was being forced to participate in. Then he turned back to Dean. “Despite the demon not surviving, I do not think it wise to stay with Harry very long. The more you anchor yourself to one place or person, the more danger there is of-“
“Wait a second,” Dean said. “What do you mean ‘again’?”
“What?” Castiel asked.
Harry wondered what the hell Dean was talking about too, until he replayed what Castiel had just said in his head, and cringed.
“You said that it was nice to see Harry again...” Sam spoke up.
“When did you see him the last time?” Dean finished. Harry watched as Castiel glanced between Dean and Sam, and then over at Harry. Harry didn’t know whether Castiel was asking for his help in getting out of the mess, or whether he was blaming him for having fallen into it in the first place – but whatever the case, Harry wasn’t quite quick enough, or maybe it was just that he knew he’d have to tell them sooner or later.
“Good idea, Cas,” Dean said. “Why don’t we ask Mr. I-Must-Not-Tell-Lies what you meant by ‘again’”
Now all eyes were on Harry.
“Neville, um, the mandrakes...?” Harry said.
“Need watering, of course,” Neville replied, placing his mug of tea on the counter. “Thanks for reminding me, I’ll just – um... be in the next greenhouse, should anyone need me.”
Harry tried to figure out the best way to put everything as Neville walked out of the room. He pulled Teddy tighter to him, the sleeping boy was completely unaware, and Harry had the very guilty thought that the Winchesters wouldn’t dare hurt him as long as he had the boy in his arms.
“I met Castiel last year,” Harry said, “when we were in the American Department of Mysteries.”
“Why? And why didn’t you tell us?” Dean asked, and Harry wasn’t quite sure which one of them he was addressing.
“He told me not to,” Harry said, then cringed at his own weak defence.
“I had orders,” Castiel added in. His words seemed almost meek and completely at odds with the strength and resonance of the angel’s usual speaking voice. But then again, with the way Dean was glaring at Castiel, Harry wasn’t really surprised that even an angel could be intimidated by a Winchester.
“There was a prophecy,” Harry said. “In your files...Malfoy...that is, I mean...he doesn’t know that I never told you, I don’t think.” Harry took a breath, “Malfoy found a prophecy in with your files, but it wasn’t the whole thing – just um, just the first few lines. So, I went to go see if the whole thing was stored there. Castiel showed up then and uh, basically told me not to tell you.”
“Orders,” Dean repeated, rubbing a hand over his face, then turned to Harry and added, “and you just listened to him?! You didn’t think that maybe, just maybe, Sam and I might deserve to know about something that obviously concerns us!?”
“He’s an angel of the Lord!” Harry said. “I thought he knew better-"
“Yeah, well he didn’t!” Dean cut Harry off. Dean then turned to Castiel. “Is there anything else you did last year under orders that we should know about?”
Harry watched as Castiel’s stared unblinking at Dean, who didn’t even flinch under the gaze but instead just stared right back with an angry crease between his eyebrows. Then Castiel’s eyes darted towards Sam for the briefest of moments, before landing on the floor.
“You have got to be kidding me,” Sam said, in a cold tone that put Harry on edge. “It was you. You let me out of the panic room.”