“I told you,” Draco said, when he resurfaced from Harry’s pensieve. “I told you it couldn’t be what it seemed!”
“Based on conjecture from a known Death-Eater – who should not have been privy to the knowledge that you even know the Winchesters,” Harry bit back. “Forgive me for not immediately traveling to America to tell Dean Winchester that his brother wasn’t real!”
“Just because he bore the mark-”
“Enough,” Harry cut him off. “For once in our lives can we at least try to focus and not descend into fruitless arguments?” Draco glared at him, but Harry just took a deep breath and continued. “What is your opinion on the memory?”
“That man,” Draco said, pointing at the pensieve, “was not Sam Winchester.”
“And why not?” Harry asked.
“He wasn’t...he seemed...no, he was...” Draco tried, but he didn’t know how to voice what he had felt.
“Try to describe your reaction to seeing him in the memory,” Harry said.
“He made my skin crawl. He did not seem capable of the care and affection that I know him to possess. I wanted him out of your house – away from your children. It was a similar feeling to when The- to when Voldemort resided in my own house,” Draco said. “As though deep down I knew there was something horribly wrong, though I could not rationally explain it.”
“You couldn’t rationally explain why Voldemort was horrible?” Harry asked incredulously.
“I was raised to believe otherwise,” Draco sneered. “Forgive me for not being able to discard my entire belief system overnight. Also, kindly don’t ask questions if you are only going to ridicule me upon hearing my answers!”
“Right, sorry,” Harry replied.
Draco resumed pacing the small cabin. Outside, the moors seemed to stretch on endlessly into the night. It wasn’t easy for Draco and Harry to meet. It was better politically for Harry to stay well away from former Death Eaters, no matter how reformed they may appear to be. Furthermore, Draco and Harry still had the odd ability to end up at each other’s throats when they did converse – though, Draco thought that the times they actually got along were even more disturbing.
It hadn’t been that long since a small owl had arrived at Draco’s house, informing him that Harry had seen the Winchesters, but something wasn’t right. It took a few days for Harry to respond to Draco’s request for more information – and when he did, it had been in the form of a small note with latitude and longitudinal coordinates, a picture of a rustic cabin, and a date and time.
“Sam Winchester lives,” Draco said. “He did say that Sam Winchester lives...”
“I thought we agreed, we wouldn’t talk about-”
“His past does not negate his abilities!” Draco all but yelled. “Voldemort used him for a reason!”
“And since when do you believe in that rubbish anyway?” Harry said.
“I highly doubt you’d be calling it rubbish if your precious Centaur had told you the same!” Draco said. “Is my only mistake going to a pure-blood? Would you believe me if I had the same information from some drunken half-breed mudblood?!”
“Mind your language,” Harry reprimanded.
“Mind your prejudices,” Draco replied.
“I don’t have to work with you, you know,” Harry said.
“Nor I with you,” Draco said, “but I thought that for the sake of the Winchesters it may be better to pool our resources for once – or does their friendship rate less than your hatred for me?”
“Of course not,” Harry replied.
“Good,” Draco took a seat on the other side of the small table, and an uncomfortable silence followed.
“It’s unlike you,” Harry finally said, “getting so involved. I hadn’t thought that they had made such an impression on you-”
“You think I’m a coward?” Draco asked.
“No,” Harry said. “I just...”
“Scorpius was...is quite fond of Sam,” Draco said, “and Dean defended me against my father. Although I was concerned at the time, I appreciated the gesture.”
“And by ‘concerned’, do you mean ‘terrified’?” Harry asked smiling. Draco levelled him with a glare, but it only made Harry’s smirk soften into something else. “The first time I met Dean Winchester, he held a knife to my throat and asked me to give him one good reason why he shouldn’t kill me. Believe me when I say, I know how terrifying that man can be.”
“If you’ll remember, I was at the receiving end of his fist the first time I met him,” Draco said. “So, yes, I was a little terrified – but only for my father’s safety. And, to be honest, I was less concerned with Dean, and more concerned with the gun that Sam used to ‘diffuse’ the situation.”
“You know,” Harry said, “Ron and I begged Dean and Sam to share that memory with us, but they refused.”
“An act of friendship,” Draco replied. “I’m thankful.”
“So,” Harry said smiling again, “if I were to threaten your father at gunpoint, would you consider me your friend as well? Because I have to say – that wouldn’t be a hardship.”
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Potter,” Draco deadpanned, and then took a deep breath. The reminiscing had managed to calm his agitated state. He wondered if Harry had done it on purpose, but decided that it was unlikely he was that clever.
“Have you heard from Dean since? Did he tell you what the drawings were?” Draco asked.
Harry nodded. Draco didn’t like how Harry’s expression made dread coil in his stomach.
“He called to tell me that he had been wrong,” Harry said, “when he told me that he was safe.”
“What’s happened?” Draco asked.
“He’s all right,” Harry said. “He wouldn’t talk about it though – just that Sam had stood by and let something bad happened to him, and that he... couldn’t trust him.”
“He’s frightened,” Draco guessed, remembering a certain boggart and Dean’s anguished fear.
“I believe so, yes,” Harry nodded.
“And the drawings? Were your children able to help at all?” Draco asked.
“He said the drawings were of eyes, eyes and outlines of Sam – some with hearts drawn on the chest and some without,” Harry said, then smiled a little, “he said it was extraordinarily hard to stare into his brother’s eyes or check for a heartbeat without things getting ‘very weird very fast.’”
“Eyes and hearts,” Draco repeated, thinking.
“The most confusing bit was that my children didn’t sign their own names,” Harry said. “Half of the drawings were signed with the initials T.M. – sometimes reversed, sometimes not.”
Silence fell, as Draco mulled over this new information. Between them, the memory in the pensieve rippled and swirled softly, both transmitting its own blue-tinted light, but also reflecting the golden light of the oil lamps that lit the cabin.
Draco was unsure how much time had passed, when he looked up at Harry – a memory and a theory suddenly combining in his head.
“Your children, they’ve only just learned to write?” Draco asked.
“James has been writing for a while now, Albus less so – Lily just copies the shapes of the letters, she can’t yet read,” Harry said. “They’re very bright children though.”
“Of course,” Draco said dismissively, “but, their spelling...they can’t be very good at it.”
“It does tend to be phonetic,” Harry replied. “English is a very difficult language to-”
“The Body,” Draco interrupted. “The old man said that The Body would come here.” Harry started to open his mouth, so Draco continued hurriedly. “Think about it, Harry. The tests that Dean runs, they test the body to make sure it’s human, and they test for possession of a demonic soul, but what if the body isn’t possessed at all, by anything? What if it’s empty? What if your children were trying to write ‘empty’ and were just getting it wrong? T.M., M.T. – backwards and forwards, trying to tell us that the soul of Sam Winchester wasn’t currently inside Sam Winchester’s body.”
“That’s not – it’s not possible, Malfoy,” Harry said.
“Why not?” Draco asked. “Voldemort was able to walk and talk with a severed and mutilated soul – who’s to say that Sam could not do the same? Listen Harry, I know you don’t trust anything that Seer told me, but pretend that it had been someone else for a second – that I’m someone else – think about what you would think if someone told you that Sam both lives and suffers. How can he do both at once? How can a body come visit you? It can only be done if he’s been split somehow – half of him on earth, and half of him still...trapped.”
“You think that Sam is empty?” Harry said, “But if there’s no soul – if Sam isn’t inside his body, then who is controlling it? How does it function?”
“As any body functions,” Draco replied, “on its baser instincts, motivated by its own desires. It has a brain, so it must still have rationality – but it lacks the compassion and...everything...that made Sam who he was.”
Draco watched Harry’s expression closely. He watched as Harry let go of his scepticism and genuinely considered the idea, and then watched as a Harry contemplation turned to fear.
“What is it?” Draco asked.
“Hypothetically,” Harry began slowly, “if there was a part of Sam’s body that was tainted...perhaps caused him to have a greater capacity for evil than most. And let’s say this part of him had been repressed his whole life, because his soul was good and strong and he was raised to put others before himself...”
“Then, I would imagine, that without his soul, that part of his body would no longer be repressed,” Draco said. “What aren’t you telling me?”
“Nothing,” Harry said, but he was already standing, vanishing the memory from the pensieve. “I have to go. I need to get in touch with Dean and unfortunately, for now, that’s a process that takes time.”
“Is there something about Sam Winchester that I should know before I start my research?” Draco tried again.
Harry looked up from where he was shoving the pensieve into his small shoulder bag, and fixed him with a cold determined look.
“You only need to know that Sam Winchester is a good man, and if you’re right about what has happened to him, then he needs our help even more so now then he did a year and a half ago,” Harry said.
Draco nodded. “I’ll begin researching the body-soul connection immediately – there must be a spell for reuniting the two. Unfortunately most of the research in that area concerns horcruxes, so I’ll have to be very careful that I’m not seen-”
“That’s what I’m afraid of,” Harry muttered.
“What?” Draco asked. “That I’ll suddenly think it’s a great idea to start practicing dark magic?”
“No,” Harry sighed. “The only way to repair a soul severed into horcruxes...well, it tends to result in death, from what I’ve read.”
“Oh,” Draco said. “Well, then we should be glad that we aren’t dealing with horcruxes.”
“Keep me informed,” Harry said. “And for the Merlin’s sake, no more dark wizards, no matter how helpful they are.”
“Agreed,” Draco replied. “Send my regards to Dean.”
Harry nodded. He and Draco stood across from each other in awkward silence for a moment, before Harry smiled, shook his head, and disappeared with a soft popping noise.
Harry reached into his pocket while he stood up, cutting off the report that Auror Smithson was giving. All eyes in the meeting looked to him, but Harry just gave Ron a nod, and said a quick “sorry” while he fled the room. He had flipped open the mirror and said, “I’m here” before the door had even swung shut behind him.
“Bad time?” Dean asked. “I never know what time it is over there.”
“The meeting was dreadfully boring anyway,” Harry said, walking quickly to his office. Zaf scrambled to her feet, but Harry waved a hand for her to sit back down. He held a finger up to the mirror and then turned and told her, “No disturbances, Zaf, unless it’s Mr. Weasley or someone’s died.”
“Yes, Mr. Potter,” Zaf replied, looking vaguely spooked. Harry gave her a smile before he shut his office door – the wardings automatically falling behind him.
“What happened to that other kid...Jonathan?” Dean asked.
“Promoted a couple of months ago,” Harry said. “Did you get my letter?”
“Yeah,” Dean said. “I heard from Bobby just after I had the same thing confirmed by Cas. I don’t know how you figured it out, but you were right.”
“Draco put it together,” Harry said. “I showed him the memory, and told him about the drawings...and he...uh, pointed out how horrible children can be at spelling.”
“M.T. means empty – yeah after Cas told me, I kicked myself for missing that,” Dean said. “You’ll have to tell Drake that he got it right. I bet he’ll love being smarter than you.”
“In this case, I’m sure he’ll wish he had been wrong,” Harry said. “What did Castiel say?”
“Just what you guys already figured out – Sam’s not home,” Dean said. “I’m stuck with this thing that looks like my brother, but he doesn’t sleep, and he’s incapable of feeling anything....I mean, like, emotionally.”
“Castiel can’t help?” Harry asked.
“No,” Dean replied. Dean took a deep breath, looking sad and somehow defeated. “Um, after...after Cas did his angel thing on Sam, we went to see um...our grandfather. He was resurrected at the same time as Sam, so we thought...anyway, Castiel checked, but he has his soul. Then there was this thing with this Vampire and um, Crowley...uh, this demon...you know the one we were helping Bobby with when we came to visit? He uh, he showed up and um, well, apparently it was him that brought Sam and our grandfather back ...and he says, uh, he says if we do what he says, he’ll give us Sam’s soul.”
“And what does he say?” Harry asked, his heart in his throat.
“He wants monsters – like, alphas. The old ones, the ones that came first...or just, or just monsters that can lead to them. He uh, he tortures them for information – he wants to find purgatory. I don’t know why. He says it’s like real-estate, or maybe imperialism. He wants to expand his territory. He’s...he’s the King of Hell currently, and I guess he wants to be the King of Purgatory too.”
“So, he wants you to hunt?” Harry asked.
“Yeah, only, instead of ganking things – we bring them to him,” Dean replied, “and, um, if we bring him an alpha – or give him a good lead on Purgatory or something, then he’ll give Sam’s soul back.”
“And how does he define a monster?” Harry asked. He watched as Dean gave him a look of confusion, before comprehension dawned.
“No!” Dean said, “No, he doesn’t mean...wizards. I mean, you guys, you guys go to Heaven or Hell, right? You guys are like humans with a weird recessive gene or something – Sam said...the REAL Sam, back when we met you-”
“And what about people like Teddy?” Harry asked, “or Hagrid? Or Firenze? Where does the line start blurring?”
“I’d never-” Dean protested. “Harry, you gotta believe me. I’d never let anything happen to Teddy, and I’d never go after-”
“Even if it would get Sam’s soul back?” Harry asked. “If this demon told you tomorrow that centaurs knew where Purgatory was and all you had to do-”
“No,” Dean said. “I...God, Sam would kill me if I...I’d find another way, Harry. I swear, I would.”
“Ok, ok, Dean,” Harry said. “I believe you, I do. But how many other hunters does this demon have over a barrel? It’s my job to protect whole populations, Dean.”
“You think I don’t know that? The last thing I want to fucking do is work for a fucking demon, Harry,” Dean said. “But what am I supposed to do? I can’t leave Sam the way he is.”
“I know,” Harry said, “but you have us – we’ll figure something out, Dean, I promise you.”
“Thanks,” Dean said, “but I gotta... I’m going to at least try. I mean, we managed to track one alpha...I could, if I just got one other, then maybe...”
“Are you telling me that if someone had Ginny - or Ron or Teddy - you wouldn’t at least *try*?”
“Not if it compromised what I or they believed in?” Harry said.
“Yeah, well, Hunting doesn’t compromise anything,” Dean said.
“Are you sure?” Harry asked. “The devil is in the details.”
“Just...I just wanted to let you know what was what,” Dean said. “Call me if you find anything. You can just call straight now – Sam knows what’s going on. He uh, he wants his soul back too.”
“Well, that’s good,” Harry said. “It’ll make things easier not to have to sneak up on him with it.”
“Yeah,” Dean said, but somehow seemed unconvinced. “Listen, I gotta go. I’ll call if anything happens.”
“Dean, are you all right?” Harry asked.
“Yeah, just tired,” Dean said. “Bye, man.”
“Bye,” Harry said, and watched as the image in the mirror turned black and then simply reflected Harry’s own concerned face.