A/N: Well…yes I took a long time to update and I'm sorry for that. Hopefully I'll get into writing more regularly again…
Chapter 14: Why Butterflies are NOT Good Spies
"Did you really have to blow up the door?" the voice, whose owner he couldn't see due to the still lingering dust in the air, said in a stern but not unfriendly tone. "You could have knocked. I would have let you out, you know? Now, look at the state this poor garden is in."
"When you have to break from jail, at least do it with style!" was Harry's reply.
With a sharp flick of his hand, the lingering dust vanished and revealed a dark-skinned man, who looked at him in amusement and a bit of disapproval. Nonetheless, Harry pointed his wand at him in case that the angel would try something.
However, the angel merely raised his hands to show that he meant no harm.
-This is Joshua,- Gabriel helpfully supplied. -I doubt that he wants to harm you. All he cares about is his garden…which you incidentally destroyed quite a bit of. Okay, maybe you should be a tad worried.-
The angel, Joshua, suddenly began to laugh.
"Gabriel is correct. I have no intention of harming you," he said with a fond smile. "Even if you upended my poor garden."
"Yeah…sorry about that," Harry muttered with a sheepish glance at the uprooted plants and earth that was lying everywhere. "I was more concerned that there might be more hostile angels behind the door."
Harry always liked to garden and tend to Petunia's flowers. Had the Dursley's known that, he didn't doubt that he wouldn't have been allowed to tend to their garden anymore. So, he behaved as if it was a great punishment for him, resulting in him doing it more often.
A low hum escaped Joshua. "I can see why you might think that, and with how Zachariah abducted you…I can see that you found quite a fitting way of dealing with him. Maybe that will teach him not to underestimate humans again," he told Harry, amused. "How about you help me restore what you destroyed with your escape, and maybe I can give you an advice or two. You see, Gabriel was wrong at one point. I don't merely care for the garden. I'm a good listener too, and from time to time, I can help those who seek me out to see their problems or worries from a different angle."
"That would need trust, and trust has to be earned," Harry retorted with a laugh.
He had to admit that he liked Joshua. The angel wasn't a stuck-up idiot, but as it seemed well-grounded and didn't think any lesser of you just because you weren't an angel.
Moreover, he didn't just want to leave the garden in the mess he created. So he flicked his wand. The earth returned to where it was meant to be while the salvageable plants neatly piled up, waiting to be planted again. Everything else vanished, leaving behind a tidy flowerbed. Once Harry was done, he conjured a rake, and a shovel knelt and dug a hole to plant the first flower.
The first thing he learned in Herbology was never to plant anything with magic. Somehow that killed the plant. You could levitate it and remove leaves or dirt with a spell with no problem. Just planting was a no go and no one so far knew why. Lucifer said that even angels and other supernatural beings had to do it manually.
"You're right, trust has to be earned, and so far, I did nothing to earn yours," Joshua conceded while he also knelt, helping Harry.
Harry laughed. "At least you didn't attack me or otherwise cause me harm. You also didn't judge me for what I did to Zachariah, so that is a big plus in my books. Lucifer also likes you very much, so there is that."
They slowly worked through the flowerbed in silence for a while when Joshua spoke up again.
"Yes, you're right," he reluctantly said as if he didn't know whether to say it or not. "Out of all the Lucifers, yours is one of the most reasonable ones."
Harry's head snapped around. "What do you mean with: out of all the Lucifers?"
Joshua sighed, leaning back and sitting on his heels. He could see what Harry would become one day hence why he trusted the boy. It seemed that not only Destiny was fed up with God but also Death. Maybe he finally found someone who would not only understand but also help.
"For you to understand, I'll have to start from the beginning," he began with a faraway look. "You know how the cycle of the universe works?"
"The universe begins at some point, is filled with life, runs its course and dies," he recited what Death told him earlier. "What about it?"
"That is the fundamental version of it, but it will do," Joshua confirmed. "You see, usually no one remembers their lives from earlier universes. However, quite a few Universes ago – I lost count – I realised that something was off with God. I couldn't pinpoint it, but he acted strangely as if something was bothering him. Of course, I offered to listen and give advice, but he just waved me off and said I should mind my own business.
"Not soon later, Destiny came to me. She confirmed what I already suspected. God sabotaged his own work. Moreover, he created the same scenario again and again."
"Lucifer's fight with Michael, I'm aware," Harry replied with a nod.
Joshua inclined his head. "Indeed. Destiny also told me that she wanted to try and get the cycle back on track. However, she needed help as she could influence the universe only in specific ways. That is where I came into play. From then on, I'd keep my memories of the previous universes in the coming ones to use that knowledge and help to break the cycle.
"The following few universes, I merely observed, talked to people and tried to find out what the turning point is. Once I had a rough idea of what was going on and which events led to which decisions, I began to make changes. At first, it was only small ones. You know that talking to the involved parties, preventing meetings and other small things, should have a huge impact. However, the result stayed the same."
"The universe blowing up," Harry finished with a thoughtful frown.
"Yes," Joshua said with sorrow. "Whatever I tried, nothing worked. Of course, I managed to delay things sometimes, but the fight always happened. One time, when I had enough, I even went so far as to lock up Michael and Lucifer in a room, demanding that they talk things through. That one blew up right in my face."
"But has there never been some common ground? A reason for why Lucifer and Michael fight?" Harry wondered. There had to be something.
"That is the weirdest problem. There is none," the angel admitted. "Sometimes it is jealousy, another time one of them does something that utterly enrages the other…. In one universe, they started their fight because a butterfly landed on a flower Lucifer was tending to. A god damned butterfly?!"
Harry stared at Joshua in disbelief. Did the angel really swear? To Harry, it looked as if the angel needed someone to talk to and vent to. Reliving the same scenario repeatedly with no one to talk to evidently had more impact on the angel than he was ready to admit. It was lucky that Harry liked him and saw it as an opportunity to get more information on what was going on. So he had absolutely no problem with being the angel's soundboard. It helped him to keep his Lucifer from suffering the same fate.
"A butterfly? Are you serious?" he questioned.
"Yes! I couldn't believe it myself," he confirmed. "Michael claimed that he saw it in his office earlier and accused Lucifer of having used it to spy on him."
"Oookay," Harry said with a chuckle, trying to imagine Michael blaming Lucifer for a butterfly. It was a strange image for sure.
"How are you supposed to fix something so random?" Joshua muttered to himself. "However, the current one – yours – is the most stable one so far. I'm not entirely sure why but I heavily suspect that you're the reason."
"Probably because I keep Lucifer from flipping the lid. Also, getting rid of me is not that easy as Zachariah can attest to," Harry confirmed.
"Yes, being Death's and Destiny's favourite has its perks," Joshua said with a chuckle.
"Normally, I'd be pissed about her involvement," he growled before he let out a sigh. "But then I remember where I'd be without her involvement and can't help being grateful for it. I can only hope that she hasn't planned anything I'd hate because then we'll have a massive problem."
Joshua looked at Harry in surprise. He hadn't expected the boy to be this accepting of the fact that some higher forces meddled with his life. Many others in the previous universes fought tooth and nail if someone tried to get them to do something. However, it was probably, as Harry said, the alternative would have been infinitely worse.
"I can't tell you much about her plans, but there is nothing you have to worry about," Joshua appeased him. "She doesn't want to ruin her own work by angering you after all. However, I must warn you. There are some changes to this universe that are not her work. Quite the contrary, they are a danger to her plans."
"Such as?" Harry demanded to know.
"One of the more prominent ones is that Severus Snape is your father and not James Potter," Joshua told him with a thoughtful frown. "I can only speculate, but I think that whoever is behind this change tried to prevent you from becoming Master of Death. Not that it would have made a change."
That made Harry curious. "Why not? From what I got, that title could only be claimed by a descendant of one of the Peverells. Which I wouldn't be if James Potter didn't blood adopt me."
"That is what everyone is meant to believe, true," the angel chuckled. "However, do you really think that Death wouldn't want to have a say in whom he has to work with?"
Harry let out a low hum. He had to admit that Joshua had a point there. Somehow, he couldn't imagine Death working together with someone he didn't like just because the said person was from a particular bloodline.
"So, whoever changed who my father is either believes this lie or at least pretends to," he mused.
Joshua merely inclined his head in confirmation.
-This is troubling news,- Gabriel spoke up for the first time. Not many can change things so fundamentally, and they are extremely powerful.-
Harry mentally groaned. -Great. More things to worry about.-
Harry continued to think about it while he worked through the flowerbed, throwing ideas back and forth with Gabriel. However, none of their theories seemed to be viable. So, he decided to leave it for another day, preferably to talk to Lucifer about it.
"Is there anything else I should be aware of or should look out for?" he finally asked Joshua.
The angel thought about it for a moment but, in the end, shook his head.
"Only, be careful around Dumbledore. I don't know what it is, but something about him makes me weary. Other than this, there is nothing at the moment. However, I'll let you know should I learn something you need to know."
Harry nodded. "You're not the first to say that," he conceded. "Meanwhile, should I learn anything remotely important, I'll let you know," Harry replied with a nod. However, he started to laugh when he saw Joshua's surprised look. "We have the same goals. Both of us want to keep the universe from blowing up. Besides, I have no intention of letting Lucifer go through this crap."
Joshua smiled. "Harry, no matter what others say, you're a good person," he said.
Harry looked at the angel for a moment, not able to believe what he had just said.
"Joshua, we both know that I'm anything but good. I murdered my family and tortured them afterwards. Zachariah, I have trapped in a skull, unable to do anything. Even the worst demons tremble in fear when they hear my name since I killed the High-Counsellor. No, I'm not a good person," he replied with a snort.
The angel chuckled. "Yet you saved Gabriel here, fully well knowing that it might kill you. Despite knowing who he is and what he's capable of, you stick with Lucifer and give him the support and grounding he needs. You see him as him and not someone to use to further your own standing," Joshua explained, but Harry interrupted him.
"I would never do that to him," he indignantly exclaimed.
"And that is why you're a good person. You'd never use anyone or manipulate them to the extent that they'd resent you for it. You see everyone as their own person with their own strengths and weaknesses while respecting their boundaries.
"Yes, you can be very vicious when wronged, going as far as to torture or kill if necessary. But you don't do it because you enjoy it but because they deserve it. That is what makes the difference."
"If you say so," Harry said unconvinced.
"You'll see. However, I have to send you back now. Before the others realise that you're missing and do something stupid," Joshua told him while walking over to a shelf with small potted flowers.
He picked out one resembling a lily, just that the flowers were rounder at the base. To Harry, they smelled heavenly, a mixture of Lucifer's smell and something he couldn't quite define.
"This flower is for you and Lucifer. It has a calming scent, and if kept in the bedroom, well, I'll leave it to Lucifer to explain this part," Joshua explained with a chuckle. "As long as the love between Lucifer and you is strong, this flower will be strong too."
Harry carefully took the flower but nearly dropped it in shock when the ethereal white flowers turned to a bone white.
"Ah yes, the flowers take on the colours that represent the couple they're gifted to," the angel added, holding a hand under the flower as a precaution. "Lucifer's will be added as soon as he touches it."
Harry didn't know what to say, except: "Thank you! I'll take great care of it."
"I know you will. Suppose you inform the other Gabriel that I have one waiting for him. In that case, I'd greatly appreciate it," Joshua said while opening a portal that would get Harry back to the tent Lucifer left him to sleep. "However, now you have to go."
Harry nodded and stepped towards the portal. But before he walked through, he turned around again.
"If you ever need help or just someone to talk to, let me know, and I'll see what I can do," he stated, and he meant it. "Maybe we can even meet more often to talk things through. That reminds me, how am I supposed to contact you?"
He realised that Joshua was one of the gentlest persons he had ever met. The angel would never hurt anyone if it wasn't absolutely necessary, and even then, he would be highly reluctant. However, Joshua was also under great strain, trying to find a way to break the circle god put the universes under. It was a wonder that he didn't have a breakdown yet. Harry knew only too well how it was to bear everything alone with no one to go to…to talk to.
So, if Harry could help the angel, it would help him too.
"That is a valid point. I think I have a solution, but it'll take a few days to prepare. As soon as I'm done with it, I'll send it to you."
Harry inclined his head in acknowledgement.
"One last thing before you go. Your plan will work out perfectly," he said while guiding Harry towards the portal.
Harry furrowed his brow in confusion. "What plan? I have a lot of plans."
However, instead of an answer, he received a little push towards the portal from Joshua. Getting the hint that the angel wouldn't answer him, he stepped through with an annoyed look. He came out right where Zachariah abducted him, the small tent Lucifer left him in.
Since Lucifer was nowhere to be seen, Harry left the tent after placing the flower somewhere safe and went to search for the archangel. It took him a few minutes to find him in the main tent with the others, their heads bent low over a map of the region, discussing tactics. None of them seems to have realised what happened, which made Harry wonder how Zachariah did it. Considering that not even Death could sense anything until it was too late, it must have been something way above even the archangels' powers.
However, a devious smile spread on Harry's face when no one noticed him. He grabbed at the strings holding Zachariah's head, untying the knot and slammed the head on the table, enlarging it in the process.
"You know, I'm surprised that you didn't realise what this idiot did," he greeted them.
Lucifer instantly spun around, looking at Harry before his gaze wandered over to the head. That was when he realised just who it was lying on the table. His face lost all colour when he deduced what that meant.
"I-I didn't…. How? This is impossible," he muttered before he turned back to Harry.
His eyes scanned every inch of his soul mate, ensuring he wasn't hurt. When he was sure that Harry wasn't hurt, he pulled him into a firm hug.
"Are you alright?" Lucifer asked, nonetheless. "What happened?"
"Lucifer, don't worry. Not even Death was able to sense what was happening until after it happened," Harry whispered in Lucifer's ear, not that it helped much.
Meanwhile, their Dean looked at the head but reeled back when it suddenly began to move, spouting probably unsavoury things. Not that any sound left its mouth.
"Is…is that Zachariah?" Dean carefully questioned.
Harry leant back in Lucifer's embrace and nodded.
"Yes, he thought that abducting and using me to get Lucifer to comply was a good idea," he replied before telling them all that happened. "So yeah. Zachariah is staying that way for the foreseeable future."
Gabriel looked from Harry to the head and back with an unreadable expression before looking at the twins apologizingly. The twins were confused by the archangel's antics, especially when he walked up to Harry and knelt.
"As I already told Lucifer, I won't stand by again. Especially should something like this happen," he told them angrily, waving his hand towards the head. "However, as I see it, you need my help more than Lucifer does. So I, Gabriel – archangel of the Lord, also known as the Norse trickster god Loki – swear my loyalty to you, Harry James Potter. I swear to do everything in my powers to help you evade, trick or, if necessary, defeat your enemies. Until the day I take my dying breath, or you have no longer need of my aid."
Loki knew that the twins wouldn't be happy with him, but it was something he needed to do. Harry was the only one keeping Lucifer from bringing the apocalypse over them. It was as he had already told them on the train. If heaven attacked Harry to get to Lucifer, they could lie in the bed they made. Evidently, he had been point on when saying that.
He was still musing about it when he registered movement beside him, and one of the twins knelt at each side. They both threw him a look that clearly asked whether Loki expected them to let him do this alone. Loki wanted to object, wanted to keep the twins…his twins safe, but their glare told him that it would be in vain.
"Loki is right. You're the key person in all this, and far more importantly, you're our little brother in all but blood," the twin to Loki's right said. "And we protect our family with all we have. So I, Fred Weasley, swear my loyalty to you, Harry James Potter. Between my brother and me, I am the more skilled one in potions and offensive magic."
"As my twin already said, family comes above everything. I, George Weasley, swear my loyalty to you, Harry James Potter. May my skills in Transfiguration and ancient runes aid you in any way you need them."
Loki glared at the twins, obviously trying to convey his feelings about their actions, wanting to protect them from harm. However, both just stared back, not backing down from their decision.
Harry would have laughed hadn't he known the reason for their behaviour. Thus he merely sighed deeply, feeling that this would become an issue in the future. The best way would probably be to talk to Loki and soon.
He was brought out of his musing when Draco also stepped forward and knelt before him, vowing just like the others his loyalty to Harry. Draco's only amendment was that his strengths lay with potions and politics.
All Harry could do was stare at them all in disbelief. He now realised what Death meant when saying that he hoped this issue would arise much later. None of them had any idea what it meant to pledge their loyalty to him.
It didn't help any that Neville, who was indecisive about what he should do, straightened his resolve and joined the others.
"I might not have to offer much other than Herbology, but I want to help you," he added to his vow. "You saved my life, and this is the least I can do."
Harry didn't know what to say anymore. When Gabriel pledged his loyalty to him, he thought it was a one-time occurrence born from the archangels gratefulness for saving his life. Never would Harry have thought that so many people would be loyal to him to the point that they'd enter an unbreakable vow.
Again he was ripped from his musing by movement in the background. Refocusing, he saw that their Dean and Sam had a low but heated discussion.
"Are you sure?" Dean asked his brother a bit louder so that the rest could understand them. "You know what that means!"
"At this point, I'm very much inclined to say yes should it come to it," Sam retorted. "Heaven proved that they are hypocritical bastards. Dean, please, I have…no, I want to do this."
Lucifer's eyes widened when he caught the implication behind Sam's words. Though Dean wasn't far behind in terms of shock. Only the resident Dean scoffed derisively.
"Just as my Sam, you go and run to kiss Lucifer's ass as soon as there is a bump in the road," he said with a sneer. "You're just as pathetically weak as he is."
Silence reigned in the tent, Sam gaping at the resident Dean as if he decided to grow a second head. He just wanted to launch into a rant giving a piece of his mind when his brother beat him to it.
"Ah yes? And you're the shining example of how things should be done?" he snapped. "As I see it, you did jack shit to help him. No, you have your single-minded focus on how to kill Lucifer. But have you ever considered that it would also be a death sentence for your brother too?"
The other Dean scoffed again. "Sam died a long time ago. He is the reason that everything went to hell."
The next thing everyone heard was the crunching sound emanating from their Dean hitting the resident one in the face, hard. The resident Dean looked at the other in disbelief while holding his now bleeding and a broken nose. With a shake of his head, he left the tent.
"Sam, you have my full permission to knock me out and call for help should I ever show this level of stupidity," he told his brother with a huff.
"So does that mean…?" Sam tentatively questioned, not daring to hope that his brother would be okay with what he planned. Dean can be very strong-headed.
Dean took a deep breath before he nodded.
"I'm not exactly happy, but if there is one thing I learned the last few days, it is that heaven can go to hell for all I care and that I've been a right git to you. I'm sorry about that and hope that I can make it up to you. So yes, I support you in your decision," he told his brother before turning to Harry. "However, should you let him get hurt, Potter, I'll shoot you where you stand. Is that understood?"
Harry snorted. He'd love to see the man try, but he nodded.
"First things first. I don't doubt that Sam will be the last person we'll go to should Lucifer ever need a new body. Both Loki and Gabriel are more than capable of creating one should it come to that," Harry said with a shake of the head. "Besides that, you don't have to do this…."
However, before Harry could say anything more, Sam was already kneeling before him and giving his vow. His strengths are research and hunting rogue supernatural elements.
Harry growled. "Okay, okay, I get it. You're set in your decision," he said with a huff, starting to pace in front of the six kneeling people, some of which he considered good friends.
After what Death told him about being Master of Death, he knew that accepting their vows would bind them to him for a very long time. And with that, he didn't mean decades but more into the range of aeons. One thing was for sure. He had to address this before he proceeded.
"You all brought me into a very complicated position," he addressed them, stopping his pacing and facing them. "Actually, I hoped that I'd be able to talk to Lucifer about it before it'd come up in any form."
Everyone looked at him in confusion. Lucifer, sensing that Harry would reveal some very sensitive information, walked over to the tent wall. He touched it and imbued it with powerful wards, effectively shielding them all from prying ears. Even someone pressing his ear right to the tent wouldn't be able to hear anything.
"It is something I only learned recently, and that might change your decision of going through with this," Harry continued when he felt Lucifer's magic washing over him. "In short, I am the Master of Death, or at least will become it fully in the future."
The only distinct reaction came from Loki, who took a sharp breath. The others were only more confused than before.
"As most of you don't know what that means, I'll give you a short summary. The underlying problem is that God, who is responsible for the creation of life in new universes, some time ago decided to create the same scenario over and over again."
"My fight with Michael," Lucifer piped in in horror.
"Correct," Harry said with a nod before he explained how Death was fed up with this and decided to employ help to deal with it, namely Harry.
He also explained that Death was aware that he'd need help and therefore created the Angels of Death.
"So you see, things are not that easy," he finished his explanation. "If you want to back out, you now have the time."
Most looked at him as if he was out of his mind. Only Loki looked at the twins with a gleam in his eyes. To Harry, it seemed that he'd have to deal with a very overprotective Loki. The angel uses him to gain immortality for his soul mates. Though, there still was an underlying worry about what Harry would order them to do.
The other one was Neville, who looked worried. Seeing that, Harry walked over and crouched before him.
"Neville, I won't think any less of you if you backed out," he told the other boy. "Just because the others are doing this doesn't mean that you have to do it too."
However, Neville shook his head.
"That's not it. I want to do this. What I'm worried about is what my granny will think about it," he conceded. "She always says that I'm useless with my Herbology and that I should honour my father more. I even use his wand!"
Harry's face darkened, hearing that.
"I should be able to bribe Alastair into making a new wand for you. There is no way to let you run around with an unsuitable wand. To your fears about your grandmother, let me put it this way. This is your life and your choice. No one should tell you what to do with your life, not even me."
Neville blinked in surprise but nodded.
"I want to do this!" he replied with conviction.
"Good," Harry said while standing up. "Well, since all of you seem to be set in your decision, I hereby accept your vows of loyalty. So mote it be," Harry finalised the vows.
A golden hue engulfed them all. Though, once it receded, those who swore the oath bowled over in pain as they suddenly grew bone-white wings or shifted to a bone-white in Loki's case. They had the same metal part covering the outer joint as Gabriel though some motives were silver while others were copper.
Also, everyone had different motives.
So Loki's was a cloak with a dagger in silver while Fred's was a bronze cauldron with a crossed wand and sword behind it. His brother George had a nine-tailed kitsune with a different rune at the end of each tail. Meanwhile, Draco's was a silver cauldron with a scroll. The scroll had a seal with a scale and a justice hammer. On the other hand, Neville's was a silver crossed wand and sword in front of a blooming rose. The last was Sam's, who had a silver colt and book.
They all looked at the different symbols trying to find out what they meant while carefully moving their wings to get familiar with them.
"What do all the symbols mean?" Draco finally asked.
"Well, as far as I see it, they represent your strengths," Harry answered musingly.
"But why are Draco's cauldron silver and mine copper?" Fred threw in.
"Guys, to be honest, I know just as much as you do. Maybe it is a ranking system? Meaning that Draco is just that bit better at brewing than you are?" He threw in, while frustratedly going through his hair with his hand. "It's not like I got a manual to this. 'Master of Death for Dummies'"
Lucifer, who could feel Harry's rising frustration and how overwhelmed he was, stepped behind him and pulled his soulmate in his embrace. In an instant, Harry relaxed against him.
"In time, we'll find out what everything means, and I somehow doubt that it is of much importance right now," he whispered in Harry's ear. "One problem at a time."
Harry turned his head to give Lucifer a peck on his cheek. "You're right. Thank you," he said with a smile. "Though there is a problem I need to address now. Say, is there a way to order them not to take anything as an order unless I specifically say so? It's just that when I snapped at Gabriel earlier, he suddenly behaved like a drone. You know, like he had no will of his own? I don't want that."
"That is indeed worrisome. But I think if you just order them to take nothing as an order, it should work," Lucifer replied after giving it some thought.
Harry looked thoughtful. "I would have thought that it needs some fancy wording," he finally muttered.
That made Lucifer laugh. "No, though most official things have some fancy wording as you put it, it is not necessary. Most just do it because it sounds more formal," he explained with a shrug.
"Well then," he spoke louder to gain everyone's attention. "I want you to take nothing I say as an order unless I specifically say that it is an order. This is an order, understood?"
-This goes for you too,- He mentally added to Gabriel.
"Yes, my Lord," was the unison reply before they relaxed again.
"Okay, that was frightening," Fred said with a weird undertone.
"And the reason for why I gave you the order, to begin with. You're my friends and not some brainless idiots I need to order around. If I need something, I ask and should you say no, that's fine with me. Actually, I'd be angry with you should you not say no when I ask for something you can't or don't want to do. As I said, this is very much long term, and I don't want you to resent me because of poor communication or something like that," he huffed.
Harry didn't even see it happening, but he suddenly found himself in a bone-crushing hug from Loki.
"Thank you, you have no idea how much that means to me! I…I…," he breathed out but was lost for words in his relief that Harry wouldn't abuse his power.
"You forget that Lucifer and I are in the same position. I'd certainly hate it were it the other way around, and someone tries to force him to do something, as Zachariah can attest to," Harry replied with a chuckle. "Oh, before I forget it. Joshua asked me to tell you that you should visit him sometime soon. He has something for you."
"Joshua?" Loki asked sceptically while letting go of Harry.
"Yeah, when I tried to escape heaven, I accidentally blew up part of his garden. I helped him to get it back in shape after I realised that he is no threat, and we got to talk," he replied with a shrug. "He wants to stop the war too."
"And you trust him?"
"Well, he hasn't given me any reason not to. It was him who helped me get back here," Harry answered. "Anyway, what were you planning before I interrupted you?"
It was Dean who answered that.
"How we should tackle the resident Lucifer problem," he said; looking up from the map, he and Sam were bowed over again.
Harry mused about it for a moment. "Well, I have an idea, but I have a feeling that you will not like it."
A/N: 'til next chapter!