The Author's Excuse for Writing This:
I have to start off by saying that generally, I don't like A/B/O fics. And yet here I am writing one. You could call this a challenge, if you will; part to see if I could, and part me throwing my hands up saying "Well, you're already doing that cliché, you may as well do another!". The rest of me just wants to subvert all the stereotypical bleh I am so very tired of finding when I'm looking for good, plotty, character-develop-y fics to read. This is my DISCLAIMER. This is me trying to make theoretical sense of A/B/O, how to make people into people, and also fit Harry Potter and Supernatural into the same 'verse and still make some amount of sense. There will plot, and I seriously doubt we'll see any hint of sex between my endgame pairing for quite a long time.
The endgame is Sam Winchester and Harry Potter. They are both Alphas. I have taken a challenge to try and make it work. Let's see how I do.
And now, the Prologue.
In many millions of parallel worlds, Harry Potter was nothing more than the main character in an extremely popular book series.
In a few million less, he was a wizard prophesized to save his world—but he died too early, and Voldemort prevailed.
In a hundred thousand or so, he defeated Voldemort and went on to live a long, full life. He married his first love and named his three children after the respected dead and his dear friends.
In a few thousand, he was murdered shortly after the Dark Lord was vanquished.
In a couple hundred worlds, he kept the Deathly Hallows and became the Master of Death. In those, everything from eternal rebirths to becoming the entity of Death Itself occurred.
And in a handful of those remaining worlds…something else happened.
Voldemort fell, ashes to the wind, and the Elder Wand sat a cold comfort in Harry's palm as he watched his archenemy crumble. The Death Stick remained in his nerveless fingers like it had a will of its own, bitter thorns hooked into his skin, and Harry thought back to King's Cross and knew above all else—
"I don't want this," he rasped from a tired, ruined throat, shadowed green eyes on the wand that almost ended the Wizarding World. With a movement that felt more like a test of resolve, he made skinned, soot-stained fingers unclench from the knobby wood. It clattered hollowly to the cracked cobblestones, rolled towards him. "Go where no one will ever use you again." It didn't feel strange to talk to a wand like it could understand; it seemed to be waiting, and Harry was so tired. "Go back to Death, I don't want you."
Harry blinked, and the wand was gone, a cold pressure he hadn't even noticed disappearing from his shoulders with it. He fell; sat there with his head cradled in his hands and the first relieved cheers ringing in his ears, and felt like he might've just escaped a fate worse than death.
Ten years was an ample amount of time for things to change, even in the Wizarding World where things so easily stayed the same, perpetually. Even that inflexible fact was changing; all it had taken was Voldemort's blight almost destroying everything.
Most of the changes, though, started with the near-unanimous decision for every Hogwarts student to return to retake the year the Dark Lord had reigned over the school.
Harry arrived with the rest of the 'Eighth Year' on September first to a school that was still being repaired, full of scars that rubbed them all the wrong way, new memories of death in a place that was supposed to evoke good nostalgia. Nearly half the Professors were unfamiliar faces, temporary, placeholders for those who were still recovering (and hopefully not dying). Almost immediately there were fights in the halls –and not just between old factions, but anyone whose stress exploded into rage and caught those nearby in the crosshairs– that resulted in a dozen students in the Hospital Wing in the first week, and a handful expelled by Halloween.
What it all came down to was this: An entire generation of children had lived through war and terror, and no one knew what to do to help. Magical children were notoriously finicky, worse than exotic animals, and this might well have ruined them.
But then…equilibrium started to establish itself, much to the confused perturbation of the Professors. What happened certainly wasn't anything the fixed older generations would have chosen, if they had come up with any solution at all.
The truth of it was, the entire reshaping of a culture came from the most absurd of sources. It all started when Harry and Ginny got back together and discovered that they just didn't fit anymore, sharp edges grating where they hadn't before, tender new scars always inadvertently prodded at just the wrong moment. Together, they almost ruined anything they could've had…until Luna joined them. Luna, just as serene and mellow but slightly less eccentric now. Luna, an omega who Ginny –a beta like every other Weasley in eight generations– had helped through her heat when she presented the summer before her fourth year. Harry, an alpha who'd thought he'd be beta right up until he presented late –midwinter, halfway through seventeen, on the run and living out of a tent with a horcrux around his neck; rut had been horrible, borderline traumatizing– could only look between them and give his slightly helpless consent.
They were messed up teenagers with more issues than anyone knew what to do with, but they were good together, good for each other. Mostly they needed the intimacy more than the sex, the knowledge they had people they could trust and could go to for any reason, at any time. The sex certainly didn't hurt, though.
And that was how the changing of the Wizarding World started: Three teenagers seeking sex and safety.
Somehow, a night of giving Luna some comfort after yet another recurring nightmare from Malfoy Manor led to them looking into empathetic bonds, which then led them to the old pagan rites witches and wizards used before wands gained popularity…
(Which later led to the three of them tangled into a messy triangle with multiple fingers buried in each of their partners, working towards orgasm for a modified rite to bind them all together, at least for a while, while they needed it. By the end of the night, Harry was forced to concede that he definitely wasn't the typical alpha. The girls didn't seem to mind, though; Ginny in particular took great pleasure in using Luna's toys on him, later.)
There was a lot more to the old magic; spells worked through alternate mediums, prayers and offerings to old gods like Loki and Athena and Gaia, and to Harry it was like discovering he was a wizard all over again. He hadn't felt as comfortable with a wand in his hand since the Final Battle, even though he still carried his miraculously repaired holly and phoenix feather one with him everywhere, so this magic appealed to him greatly. He couldn't understand how it had been so thoroughly and universally forgotten. His girls got caught up in his excitement and wonder, and soon it became common for them to practice whenever they could.
At about the same time the three of them could hold hands and create a snowstorm the size of the Great Hall, the other students were catching on, and it seemed that overnight they were all in on it. While the potential for chaos was there, it never happened on a large enough scale to matter. The bottom line of the old magic was that the big things –the catastrophic, world shattering spells– required that they all work together.
Not a single one of their traumatized generation who wanted destruction like that could stand to build the connections with another person long enough to do it.
So began the conversion of an entire generation, much to the distaste of Professors who suddenly had to convince their students that they needed their wands to do the coursework.
By the time they graduated, becoming an Auror and working for the Ministry was about the last thing Harry wanted to do. He was finished school. His partners were finished school, had worked hard to graduate with him, in essence working through two years in one. They had survived, and as a group decided that they wanted out for a while; even with only a year together under their belt they knew it wouldn't last forever (so was the nature of the bond they'd created). They would enjoy what they had while it lasted, and none of them wanted anywhere near the Ministry until every bit of Voldemort's blight was gone from it—a work still in progress.
It was Ginny who left first, after two years away from the worst of the prying eyes in a comfortable flat in Muggle London. It was a great two years spent learning about the nonmagical world, like a honeymoon, where every other weekend they danced to '70s music and were the talk of their neighbors after a few too many times of forgetting to silence the flat. The beta wanted to start on the next stage of her life, try for a career in professional quidditch and eventually find a mate and have a family. Harry and Luna saw her off fondly, with sad smiles but no tears; the empathetic bond they'd created out of need had failed –no longer necessary– some time ago, so the separation was no surprise.
With Ginny gone, the sex stopped as well –Luna was more attracted to the female form, and Harry found he craved more passion in a lover than the blonde could provide alone– but the intimacy remained. Sharing a bed kept the worst of the nightmares at bay, though it took them months to get used to one less body tangled in the sheets.
Eventually Luna found her calling as a teacher when the much-reformed Ministry provided the funds to build early introduction schools, where Muggleborns were identified by age five and their parents given the opportunity to know of the world hidden from them, well before their Hogwarts letter would come. It was so successful from the start that by the following year even the most insular purebloods were enrolling their children to be taught alongside muggleborns and halfbloods. Luna was a great part of that. She brought the wonder back to magic, bringing classes of six year olds to focus, to be happy and hold hands and make gardens grow from bare cement.
The omega was given a plaque in commemoration, and moved from their flat to a home alongside the main school so that she could always be available to anyone who needed her.
With both his girls gone, Harry moved back to Grimmauld Place and set out to make it a safe and properly livable home. In between odd jobs in the Muggle world –he worked in a pub for a few weeks, a library for a few months, a janitor in between, a landscaper, after; he relished in the ability to be who he wanted, to choose what he would do– he cleaned and sorted out the old Black House, painting and gutting and getting insanely good at breaking dark curses as he came across the objects (the most use his wand got, anymore).
Ron and Hermione were frequent visitors and occasional helpers, and Harry had every holiday over at the Burrow with the Weasleys (and Luna, when she could spare the time), and his life wasn't what he'd expected, but it was good.
That good fortune carried him right until just after New Year's of 2004, when he uncovered a hand mirror in a box in the attic; a simple spell revealed that it was enchanted –not cursed –, so he didn't think anything of looking at it.
Ron told him what happened, later, drawn and dark-eyed, Hermione crying too hard in relief to find her voice.
They found him three days after he looked at the mirror, when his hand on the family clock clicked over to 'Mortal Peril', collapsed on the floor with broken glass all around.
His oldest friends took him in when he couldn't stand St. Mungo's anymore; when he was sure the Mind Healers couldn't do anything about the chronic nightmares he could never remember; when no one could tell him why he woke knowing a new language, one he tended to speak unknowingly whenever tired or freshly roused; when nothing came to light on how or why a scrying mirror had sent him into a coma in the first place.
Harry Potter woke from a sixteen month coma not knowing exactly what had changed, just that something had and it would never go away.
Ron and Hermione insisted he stay with them while he recovered, even when Rose was born and they barely had energy for her, let alone their twenty-five year old friend who sometimes wandered off to stare unseeingly at the stars for hours on end, and more often than not woke the household with tortured screams in the dead of night. He proved to be useless as a babysitter for most of the time he stayed with them, useless for most everything except gardening because he would get so distracted by a thought that the rest of the world seemed to disappear.
The only blessing during that time –when he was legitimately out of his mind– was when the notoriously erratic alpha rut came, he didn't even notice. Somehow, in complete defiance of biology, his rut came and he didn't do a damn thing. Though Hermione locked him in the guest bedroom when she noticed his changed scent, and wouldn't let him out until it ended. Harry didn't blame her, as normally the rut made him just as quick to snap as any other alpha, and she did have a baby in the house.
Somewhere in that time his Invisibility Cloak reappeared, the first time he'd seen it since he sent the Elder Wand away; its reappearance was almost more baffling than its new behavior. Despite constantly being draped over his shoulders (no matter how many times he removed it), it never turned him invisible. It was also completely invisible to everyone else, and even he couldn't see its reflection the few times he managed to look in a mirror. Harry decided not to mention it to anyone else, just in case they thought he was hallucinating it and decided St. Mungo's was the best option.
By the time Hermione was pregnant with her second child, Harry figured he was as recovered as he was going to get. He still woke shivering and sweating from his fleeting nightmares, but rarely screamed, and if he concentrated he could usually keep himself from slipping into the guttural (powerful) language when he was tired. He didn't even space out in the middle of conversations anymore.
Ginny and Luna continued to visit him whenever they could, but both were very busy and just didn't offer the same comfort they once had. They had moved on; their time was long in the past. It left Harry restless.
It was Ron who suggested that he travel, and it turned out to be just what he needed. Camping was a lot more enjoyable this time, when he wasn't being hunted by Snatchers, and time didn't mean as much in the middle of the wilderness. Harry could watch the stars turn all night, watch the bees go about pollinating flowers until he could see the pattern, be so still that a blessing of unicorns found him and slept around him. It was amazing.
The first time he checked in with his friends after he started backpacking through the wilderness of Europe, they were nearly hysterical. Somehow, owls couldn't find him anymore and tracking spells didn't work either—not even the old way, with blood and herbs. Harry privately suspected it had something to do with the invisible, intangible Cloak, but didn't say anything. Instead, he dug up one of the DA's old communication Galleons for short check-ins, and bought a laptop to send e-mails whenever he came close enough to civilization to make use of the internet.
He continued to wander, and interesting things happened.
In Scandinavia he found a coven of pagan omega wizards who, in return for him talking a nest of ashwinders into protecting their shrine to Loki, performed a ritual that healed a little of the lasting damage from his childhood. Afterward, he grew an entire inch taller, his eyesight improved enough that he only needed his glasses to read and –strangely– his hair acquired a bit of a wave that made it curl around his ears and nape.
In midwinter Harry spent two weeks in a no-name village in Russia having the entirety of his back tattooed by a werewolf squib, his old crone of a housemate watching him work and who wouldn't stop smirking the entire time. The end result was an incredibly detailed pair of wings, pearl gray with bands of pale gold, every feather shot through and limned with molten orange and fiery pink—the same color the clouds turned every morning when they watched the sun rise. They didn't understand a word the other spoke, and the werewolf refused to be paid; he crossed himself and bowed his head when Harry left.
A blessing of unicorns followed him through Germany's Black Forest for eleven days in early spring, despite the fact that a unicorn hadn't been seen there for more than a century. He woke every morning those eleven days with a foal against his chest and a soft muzzle in his hair, despite that he was neither a maiden nor a virgin.
Harry came back to his friends the first week of May, 2007, suffering from a looming sense of unease that wouldn't quit. Only when he returned to the UK did he learn that there might've been more to it than his damage acting up; Wizarding Ministries all around the world were warning their citizens against travel to North America, specifically the United States. Something terrible had happened over there, an outpouring of malicious energy, and then hours later every wizard in the United States was dead from unknown causes.
That strange, ominous event spurred Harry into returning to Grimmauld, back to some of the old papers he'd found hidden away in Sirius' bedroom. Before his coma –when he was still mostly unwary of the Black House– Harry discovered a cache of mission reports from the first war against Voldemort; more than once Sirius had been sent to the United States to track down possible Death Eater activity, though it had almost always been for nothing, strictly precautionary. There was just something about the States that twisted up wand magic badly enough that even Voldemort stayed away. It was probably the same thing that drew the truly monstrous creatures there, the ones that even the Dark Lord realized he couldn't gain the loyalty of.
Sirius, being the kind of man he was –just as reckless at twenty-two as at sixteen– went back as many times he could justify, and a few he couldn't, to see as much of that strangeness as he could. Werewolves that didn't turn into wolves and ate human hearts; ghosts that went mad and kept none of their humanity; vampires with extra teeth instead of fangs, and that didn't blister in the sun. Sometimes, creatures like that were heard of elsewhere, but never more than in the States.
Not much came of Sirius' many trips besides acknowledgement that the less magic you used, the safer you would be. Enchantments as simple as self-mending clothing mutated with horrible consistency into clothes that turned carnivorous. The only reliable magic he had used was component magic, and as that as before the Wizarding World's rebirth, Sirius hadn't known enough to do more than track or water-scry. Eventually, after three times in as many missions of being nearly killed by human-like creatures he couldn't identify, Sirius stopped requesting to be sent away from the home front, and the notes ended.
So of course Harry was interested –not even the coma, and all that changed because of it, could kill his sense of adventure–, but then Hugo was born and Ron and Hermione wanted him to stay close for a while. Rosie was almost three, and took after her mother very much; she liked to sit with him in the garden when he told her about the things he saw when he was away. She called him Uncle Harry, and loved her little brother very much, and was already reading her books without help, and Harry was just as proud of her as her parents.
That was his family. Nothing like what he had imagined as a teenager, but who could've predicted that? Who could ever have known that he would turn into a slightly unbalanced wandering spirit? That half the time he was living out of the home of his married friends and their children, and the other half he was roughing it in the wilderness? That was his life, and Harry liked it.
He probably would've continued on like that, except one day a sound like thunder and bells rang through his head, and then—
Dean Winchester is saved!
(If you're curious, I imagine Harry/Ginny/Luna's song to be King Harvest's 'Dancing in the Moonlight'. Worth a listen.)