Love, Fate and Prophecy
Part Three: Chapter Seven – Jailbreak
Harry wasn't one to throw his fame around. Mostly, he was embarrassed by his celebrity, but in recent years he had learned how to harness it to get what he wanted from time to time. The thought of how he used it also embarrassed him, but sometimes it was simply a means to an end. It had gotten out of a lot of scraps and tough situations. It has also landed him in a boring desk job. He never thought he would miss his fame, not even for a second, but that was before he was taken in by MACUSA and chained in a dementor-guarded cell.
It had been quick thinking on his part to disguise his real identity.
One drunken evening, years before, he had gotten quite morose and had started looking at the three pictures he had of his family from that summer. He had wondered what he would have looked like if he had been allowed to remain Henry Winchester and had never been adopted by the Potters. Would he be happier? From his research of the Purpura Convention, he had found that the ritual of adoption led the child to look more like that magical father, which explained why he was the spit-and-image of James. He had fallen asleep (alright, passed out) and when he awoke the next morning and looked in the mirror, he had been shocked to find his appearance changed.
In the mirror, there was a Winchester. His facial structure had changed slightly – more defined cheeks and jawbone. The color of his hair went from an inky black to a rich, dark brown, with some hints of natural, lighter brown highlights. Its signature un-tidiness was also gone and it fell longer than his normal length with very slight curls just below his ears. His nose remained the same – it had always been Winchester, but now, there was a smattering of light freckles. His complexion was also different, darker, less of the signature British paleness. Most noticeably though, was that his scar was gone. Or, as gone as his scar could be – if he looked closely, he could see the faint outline of it. There had been a knock on the door that had startled him into changing back into his normal appearance.
He equated this change to a wish-magic glamour. He refused to think of it as accidental magic – he wasn't a child any longer. Although, when he had experimented later, he was always able to bring back the same face, so there was likely more to it. He couldn't exactly ask Hermione about it at the time, so he only thought about it when drinking led him to worry about or miss his muggle family.
The wish-magic came in very handy when he had been taken in by MACUSA. After they had reawakened him, he had been bound to a chair, his arms and ankles in attached shackles. There were magic suppressors in them – but he had been passed out for long enough that his magical core had recovered and he was confident that he could overpower them.
"Henry Winchester. You have been arrested on the charge of casting multiple killing curses, doing magic in front of no-majes, and impersonating a foreign official. Do you understand these charges?"
Harry looked up. And nodded. He wouldn't speak if he could avoid it.
The Auror's face was obscured with a charm that was meant to protect law enforcement from retaliation from criminals they questioned. Harry had outlawed that particular charm in his ranks, as it was more often than not used for abuse of power.
"Good. Drop your glamour. I don't want to interrogate a Harry Potter look-a-like."
Harry would have liked to use a glamour that completely changed his features, but he had never been particularly good at those. So, he went for the easier, wish-enabled one that he had practiced.
"Much better. Mr. Winchester, or Henry, if I may, you are going to answer every question we have for you and maybe, just maybe, you'll be released from prison in time for you to celebrate your 150th birthday."
Harry said nothing. But he smirked – trying to pattern it after the particularly frustrating expression that he had seen Dean use many times. Thinking about Dean made him anxious. He had no idea what had happened to his brothers when he had been unable to return. At this point, he figured that there was nothing he could do, he had no idea how long he had been out, and whatever was going to pass must have already done so. But he wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible.
The man must have asked him something, but Harry missed it and quickly felt a fist meeting his face. Hard. He spat out some blood. By now the Auror had spoken enough for Harry to know who he was. Afterall, he had been spending a considerable amount of time with the American Aurors. He tried to think how he would speak to mock Dean as to copy his voice tone and accent before he said, "Auror Anderson. You can hit me all you want. You'll never get a word out of me and I'll be out of here in no time."
That infuriated the Auror and the next hit was strong enough that Harry felt he could fake being passed out.
"Fuck," he heard Anderson say as he stormed out of the room.
Behind the scenes, while the culprit was left to stew in his cell, a group of panicked MACUSA Aurors was gathering in the room commonly referred to as the "War Room." They had not had a dark wizard of this caliber in the United States in a very long time. Possibly ever. Before performing prior incantato on the wand itself, the lead Auror on the case, Anderson, would have thought that there was no wizard alive that could perform twelve killing curses in a row. Excepting Harry Potter, of course. That is if Harry Potter was a dark wizard who was American. Anderson supposed that that was why the man had chosen to disguise himself as the well-known British Head Auror. How he managed to hold the glamour while passed out and in magic suppressing cuffs was another issue altogether. When the man had quickly changed to his real appearance, Anderson thought that he was going to crack this perp like a nut – but it was proving to be a much harder challenge than he imagined.
"That son-of-bitch knew who I was. How the hell could he know that? What do we know about this Henry Winchester?" He asked the group of Aurors who had been doing the background work.
"Almost nothing, sir," one replied.
Anderson glared. "How can that be possible? You would think someone of this power level and propensity for dark magic would have been flagged years ago."
"There is no magical birth certificate on file which made us think that he was foreign-born. But it turns out that he is no-majborn. The first that was heard of him was at age fourteen – he performed magic in a no-maj residence without a permit. Aurors were dispatched to the scene. But it was the '90s, so they let him off with a warning. He promptly filed for a wand permit."
A witch took over from there. "He was accepted to Ilvermorny that same summer. The notes from Headmaster Webster say that he never met the child – just his father. He never arrived at the beginning of the school year, so it is assumed that he continued his education elsewhere."
"Do we know where?"
"No, sir. And for some reason all of his records are completely sealed. Not just because he was a minor at the time."
"Shit. See if you can do anything about that Mathers?"
"Will do, sir."
"Taylor, any word from Harry Potter? You know, you'd think for all the fuss that we put into getting him to come here he would show up more often."
"That's a negative, sir. Urgent family business called him away."
Anderson snorted. "He's a freakin' orphan. But sure, yeah, family business. Lenore – any headway on the approval to use-magic-at-will request I put in?"
"No, sir. It's still being vetted."
Anderson swore. "Thank Merlin for the non-magical violence loophole. You know, I thought it was stupid when Head Auror Potter insisted that we started training in no-maj combat, but it's coming in handy. Lenore!"
"Water only for now. No one is to go near that cell until they have my say-so, is that understood?"
There was a chorus of, "Yes, sirs," as everyone went back to work.
Once Harry was sure Auror Anderson was gone, he quickly used his magic to get out of the cuffs. It burned and left marks on his wrists and ankles, but otherwise, it was like tearing through tissue paper for The-Man-Who-Conquered. He got up and strode towards the door. When he touched the handle, it crumbled and burned his hand. "Fuck," he said, not recognizing this particular locking charm.
He didn't have his wand, of course, but he had learned to do a wandless Patronus years ago.
"Expecto Patronum," he said as his Prongs-shaped Patronus appeared. "Ms. Bluebonnet, I have been taken by MACUSA due to my extracurricular activities. They don't know who they have. Send word to Ron and Hermione tell them I'm using my American name and that they are, under no circumstance, to use my name to get me out of here – also, they are going to need the healer's kit."
Harry was pretty sure he'd be able to figure a way out of here eventually, but this wouldn't be the first time that his friends needed to jailbreak him. Although it was the first time when he wasn't himself, so that could make it more complicated. It was of the utmost importance to him that Harry Potter and Henry Winchester were never connected.
Even though his brothers were hardened hunters, if wizards decided to go after them, there was nothing they would be able to do. It was a new type of terror for Harry, which was saying something for the man who worried about the safety of his surrogate family all the time. At least when Teddy was little, he had been able to assign full-time protection for his godson. Doing the same for his muggle brothers would raise some eyebrows, especially considering he didn't have the same political pull here in the States as he did in England.
And the press! The American paparazzi had more-or-less left him alone during his time here, but the British press would not be so cautious. Harry didn't think that his brothers would take too kindly to the fame that came with being connected to Harry Potter.
He sat back down in the chair, starting to brainstorm his way out of this room.
Anderson returned, in what Harry was presuming was the next day, a tray a food in his hands. He dropped it the second that he saw the man he thought was Henry Winchester sitting cross-legged in the corner of the room, out of the suppressors, to draw his wand. He pointed it at Harry.
"How'd you get out of those chains?" He demanded, putting his wand directly in Harry's face.
Harry smirked and said nothing, just making the man angrier. "Back-up, I need back-up," he called sharply. Promptly, as many Aurors, as could fit filed into the room. "Stand up," he ordered.
"I said stand up," he repeated, shooting some stinging hexes at the man.
Harry stood, gingerly. He figured it put him in a better position to fight back. He put his hands up in a show of submission. The Auror advanced a little closer to him, noticing the burns on his wrists for the first time.
"Did you burn your way out of those cuffs?" He asked, not expecting an answer. "I didn't think that was…"
Before he could finish his sentence, Harry punched the man with one arm, while disarming him with the other. He moved so quickly that he was able to do the same to the next two Aurors before being hit with about five stunners, knocking him to the ground.
Everyone looked at the man on the floor with astonishment.
One of the Aurors helped Anderson up off the floor. "Sir, what should we do?"
Anderson's face hardened. This man was more dangerous than he had even imagined. "I don't think we have a choice – we're going to have to put him in maximum security."
Maximum security was only used in the direst of situations. But those cuffs had been the strongest magic suppressors the department had. They had been quite expensive, and from the look of them, they were now useless. They only had two cells and two dementors. Anderson had never had to use them before.
"Who is best at the Patronus charm?" He asked the group. They looked at each other before there were about three who raised their hands. "Alright, take him down. Full restraints."
They nodded and got to work moving the unconscious man.
Dementors still had a terrible effect on Harry. And they were still his biggest fear. When Harry woke up in a cell, shacked wrists, feet, and neck to the wall, he knew he was in trouble. The dread increased when he felt the presence of dementors. He didn't even know that MACUSA had any. The bad memories started immediately. The war wasn't the memory that resonated the most. You would think it would be facing Voldemort or dying in the woods. But it wasn't. It was all the rejections Harry had faced. Sirius, picking him up just to ship him out. John, threatening him with his gun. Ron, leaving while on the Horcrux hunt. Sam, not wanting anything to do with him. And images – Sam and Dean dead because he hadn't come back to help.
Since Dementors no longer guarded Azkaban (a post-war reform) Harry hadn't come in contact with many of them in his line of work. But the few times he had been bad.
By the time Ron, Hermione, and Ginny had arrived in his cell to get him out, he was simply out cold, but they could see where he had caused himself injury. Where the shackles had been his skin was rubbed raw and he had scratch marks all over his arms and legs.
Harry woke up in his own bed, Ron sitting in a chair next to him. He blinked.
"Harry!" Ron exclaimed. "Careful," he said as his best friend struggled to sit up, "I just healed what I could. You ready for some chocolate?"
Harry nodded and Ron handed him a mug of hot chocolate. He took it gratefully.
"How long?" Harry croaked.
"We got your message about three days ago – so maybe a day or two longer than that."
Harry nodded. "Sam and Dean?" He was afraid of the answer.
"Fine. They're downstairs. They were already here when we brought you in."
Harry let out a breath that he had been holding for ages. He leaned back slightly. "Thank Merlin."
"Harry, why didn't you just tell them who you are?"
He shook his head. "I don't want it to be common knowledge that Henry Winchester and Harry Potter are the same person. Think about how a dark wizard could use Sam and Dean against me? Not to mention the press."
Ron laughed dryly. "Harry, no dark wizard has dared cross your path in years."
"You know that won't always be the case," he insisted.
"You're a stubborn git, you know?"
"I do. Never stop reminding me though."
"Oh, don't worry I won't."
"Thanks, Ron. For everything. I know you're retired – it couldn't have been easy to break me out."
"Mate, I don't think there is any retiring from being your best friend. And we've been in tougher situations. This one is going to be a mess politically though, worse than that time in Egypt."
"Probably. At least we speak the same language here." Harry took the final gulp of the hot chocolate. "Whiskey now, please?"
Ron laughed. "No way."
"Fine," Harry said, he started moving to get out of bed.
"Woah, what'd you think you're doing there?"
"I'm going to go see Sam and Dean."
"Absolutely not. I'm not a real healer, just a field medic, but you're on bed rest. A good week of it."
Harry groaned. "You're worse than Pomfrey."
"And if you don't listen to me, don't think that I won't go get her to keep your sorry arse in bed. She lives in a retirement community now, but she'll come out if I asked."
Harry huffed. "I'm a grown man, Ron. I think…"
"If you won't stay and the threat of Pomfrey isn't enough, I'll bring mum. She's been missing you anyway. Asks about you every day."
The-Boy-Lived shuddered. "No, not Molly. I love her but…"
"That's what I thought. You hang tight. I'll go fetch the two prats you call brothers."
Ron left. Harry tried to sit up a bit straighter and look a little less pathetic.
A few moments Sam and Dean came traipsing into his room. Behind them, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny.
"Hey guys," Harry said.
They both stared at him.
Dean spoke first, "We thought you'd died."
Harry snorted. "No such luck. I was worried the same. I'm so sorry – I overextended my core a bit and the Aurors caught me by surprise. Did the plan work?"
His brothers looked back at Harry's friends.
"Oh right. Could you give us a minute?" Harry asked. They looked surprised but left.
Before closing the door, Ron glared at Sam and Dean. "Don't forget what I said."
They nodded. And then there were three.
"What did he say to you?" Harry asked, curiosity getting the better of him.
"Nothing," his brothers said together. Harry decided to let it drop, for now.
"Did you do it? Were you able to kill him?"
Sam shook his head. "The Colt didn't work."
"How are you still alive?"
"Cas found us and got us out," Dean said. "What was that you were saying about your core?"
"Wizards only have so much magic that they can use at a time. It's probably inaccurate, but we call the amount of magic each witch or wizard has a core. Kind of like a petrol tank, some cores can handle more magic than others. It's been a while since I've drained mine down quite that far. Is Jo alright?"
"Yeah – thanks to you," Sam said. "Doctor's said that if it had even been five minutes more, we would have lost her. She's been camping out at Bobby's – she's also in a wheelchair. For now, at least."
Harry shrugged. "It was the least I could do."
Dean and Sam did not agree with that.
"So, what's next?"
"Uh – I think next, you get better. Seems like you took quite the beating." Dean responded.
"I've had worse. And you should see the other guy." Seeing the still very serious looks on his brother's faces, he knew that the joke didn't land.
"I'm sure you have," Dean said, "but there's not much that can be done about Lucifer at the moment, so you just sit back." Harry gave him a look. "Your friend said you were a bad patient. Also, dude, could you change back to the way you normally look? You look like a weird combination of dad, Sam, and me and it's freakin' me out."
"Dean!" Sam admonished.
"Oh, I forgot." Harry removed the glamour.
Even with the glamour removed, the features that were Winchester were more obvious than they had been before.
"What was that anyway?" Sam asked.
Harry hesitated. "Wish magic, I think." At the blank looks, he continued, "Not all magic is purposeful. Magical children often don't have any control over their magic – we call it accidental magic. So, if there is a toy they particularly like and it was taken away or lost, they may summon it. I used it to unlock my cupboard, or, one time to apparate to the school's roof to get away from my cousin. I had no idea what I was doing at the time, and most wizards and witches outgrow it."
"But not you?" Dean asked, skipping over the locked cupboard. For now. He also vividly remembered the explosions that Harry had caused when he angry as a teenager. This seemed a little different though.
Harry looked embarrassed. "Not me. I've always been a little different. One night I got drunk and wondered what I would have looked like if I hadn't been adopted and, well, presto chango, Henry Winchester appeared in the mirror. Scared the shit out of me the next morning. It's not quite – accidental magic, not like when I was younger and exploding light bulbs, but more a fulfillment of a wish, which is why I call it wish magic. Makes me feel like less of an out-of-control child."
"Is it what you would have looked like?" Sam was genuinely interested.
"Glamour charms are not my strong suit but I was able to hold this one for days, even while unconscious, so I think it must be genetic."
"Well, you're much better looking than Sammy here," Dean said.
"Hey, you're only saying that because he looks more like you than me," Sam said, only a little offended.
Harry was looking exhausted again. "Hey man, I think we should let you get some rest. Your buddy Ron threatened that your fiancée would hit us with a bat-bogey hex if we pushed you too far."
"Oh, did we get engaged again? Thanks for telling me," he paused and smiled sleepily for a second. "That is her specialty and she does love to use it, so that was probably a pretty serious threat. This," he said indicating to the general state of disrepair, "is going to take some time to settle. I'm going to have to go into MACUSA and do some diplomatic work as well to smooth all this over. Hopefully, I can do so quietly, once they know who I am. You two are always welcome here, of course, but if you'd like to get back on the road, I'll understand. It'll be pretty boring around here."
"You're going to go back?" Sam asked, looking at his older brother like he was crazy.
"Yeah, kinda have to. One of the sides of being legit and not a fake officer of the law. But, I promise, Hermione won't let me get arrested again, so you will be able to use the mirrors to contact me if you need anything. I want to help, but am afraid I'm a bit useless on that front at this particular moment."
Sam and Dean looked at each other, trying to come to an agreement on what to do next.
"How 'bout we stay one more night, make sure you're all set, and then take off in the morning."
The look on Harry's face let Dean know that this had been the correct thing to say.
"He says that it's to make sure you're all set, but I think that he just wants to try and eat every last bite of the pie that Kiwi brought back," Sam added. Harry's eyes were beginning to close.
The two exited the room. Harry was asleep before the door closed.
Sam and Dean made their way back downstairs, where Harry's friends were sitting around, talking. Ron stood up.
"How is he?"
"Out," Dean replied.
"I'll go keep watch," Ginny said, leaving the group and going upstairs. She was too angry with these two men to want to spend any time with them.
Ron sat back down. "That's good, means the potion I put in his hot chocolate finally kicked in. I swear they keep taking longer and longer to have any sort of effect."
"You drugged him?" Sam asked, incredulously.
Ron shrugged. "I gave him medicine. If you two are planning on taking him on any more adventures, I'll be sure to send you some. Never met anyone more stubborn than Harry."
"It's a family trait," Sam commented, glancing at Dean.
Ron laughed dryly. "Somehow I'm not surprised. Hermione looked over those books you have out. What were you planning? Just going to storm in MACUSA, wands blazing?"
"We don't have wands," Dean said, "but we were planning on bringing guns. Lots of them. Some knives as well."
"Seems like recklessness and piss-poor planning are also family traits."
Sam and Dean couldn't disagree with that.
"What was he casting all those killing curses for anyway? Harry hates using it, so I have to imagine that the situation was pretty dire."
Dean poured himself a glass of whiskey. "We had hellhounds after us."
"Hellhounds?" She asked, not quite believing it.
"And you couldn't just play music to get them to sleep?" She asked as if that was the most obvious thing in the world. "Harry's dealt with a Cerberus before, he shouldn't have needed to resort to the killing curse to defeat one."
"Those weren't his first hellhounds?" Sam asked.
"No. In our first year, there was one at our school, we had to get past him to… well, that's neither here nor there, but Harry just played a flute and Fluffy just fell asleep."
"Harry plays the flute?" Dean asked.
"The hellhound was called Fluffy?" Sam inquired at the same time.
"I didn't say that he played it well," Hermione replied.
"Hermione, they had to be of the muggle sort, you know, demonic," Ron explained. "They're different from Fluffy."
"That doesn't make any sense Ronald."
"Maybe not, but that's the case. You wouldn't have encountered demonic creatures, they're all but extinct in England. I'll explain more later. Now, at least we know what he used them on. Creatures are pretty much fair game, so he won't be facing charges on that front. Plus, he did it to save the muggles, and we'll just say we've memory wiped them."
"Hey, hey, no memory wiping. We've had quite enough of that for one lifetime," Dean said gruffly.
"Agreed," Sam said. "Is it that remarkable that he cast the spell so many times?"
Hermione leveled him with a look. "If any other wizard had tried it, they would be dead. From a depleted core alone. And to apparate with two additional people right afterward – well, it's no wonder that they didn't have a hard time holding him for a couple of days."
"Hermione," Ron chided.
"No, they should know."
"Know what?" Dean asked.
"Harry isn't a regular wizard. I told you that the other day, but I wasn't just trying to threaten you. It's the truth. He doesn't like to admit it, but he's the most powerful wizard alive. That's doesn't mean that he isn't without his limits, but it makes him far more reckless than he should be. He thinks that he's bulletproof."
"Oh, he is, Sam shot him the other day."
"Hey! He told me to."
"Ron, pass me a drink."
"Is that not normal?" Sam asked. "For wizards to be bulletproof?"
Ron and Hermione exchanged a look.
"It's not something we talk about with muggles, but in case you have any more bright ideas about storming into the wizarding world, most wizards can ward against guns. When they first became common in the muggle world, some of our kind tried to use them. Some even modifying the guns to be…magical. It was seen as a loophole to casting illegal curses. But it led to an arm's race of sorts, that was only ended when wards to protect against bullets were invented. That made them obsolete, but also taboo." Ron explained. "But if they aren't expecting it, most won't have those wards ready. So, we can be killed by a bullet, but I do not doubt that Harry has his wards up at all times."
Dean filed that information away. It was always good to know how to gank a potential threat.
"Look, it's clear to us that something is going on with the two of you and you've gotten Harry involved." When the brothers glared at him, Ron put his hands up and continued, "Not that you could have stopped him what he decided to help anyway. But I've been Harry's second since we were eleven. There are things you need to know and things to look out for. We're also going to be sure that your mirrors are connected to Hermione and mine as well."
"What sorts of things?" Sam asked.
Ron and Hermione gave them the rundown. And the four of them spoke late into the night. Dean decided that these two weren't as bad as he thought they were. It was apparent that they had taken care of Harry in the same way that he had taken care of Sam. It was also the most amount of hope he had felt in a long time. While Harry seemed to have his quirks, but having a powerful ally may help.
The next morning, Sam and Dean exited their (very comfortable) bedrooms, dressed and ready to leave. They were surprised to see Harry not only up, but looking much better, and cooking them breakfast.
"Hungry?" He asked as he saw them enter the kitchen.
"What's this?" Dean asked him.
Harry smiled. "You know, John asked me that one morning after I cooked too, this, Dean, is called breakfast. Most people eat it at the beginning of the day."
"Thanks," Dean replied sarcastically. "But why are you cooking? Shouldn't you still be in bed?"
"I like cooking," Harry responded simply. "And it's been a while. Also, I heal quickly. Sit, eat."
Dean didn't need to be told twice. Sam joined him. "Just as good as I remember," he commented as he dug into the eggs.
The three sat together to eat. Harry's friends were once again back in Britain – and while none of them had issued a single complaint, Harry could tell that the back and forth was beginning to get to them. It was hard – but he had decided that he might need to start depending on his brothers instead of just his friends.
"So, I think there is something that I need to tell you both," Harry started, nervously.
That got both their attentions. "Yeah?" Dean asked putting down his fork.
"Do you remember when I left you in that hotel because my wards were going off?"
"When you were fucking around on a case and left us with all the work, yeah we remember."
Harry ignored that. "It was Gabriel."
"Gabriel. The archangel?" Sam asked.
"Yeah. Him. He came to see me and to make me… an offer."
"What kind of offer?" Dean wasn't liking the sound of this.
"A spare the wizarding-world in exchange for staying out of the apocalypse sort-of-offer."
"What did you say?"
"Nothing." Seeing the looks of anger on his brother's faces made him continue quickly, "I said nothing because I would like him to think that I am considering taking the offer but I would never. I'm not convinced he can protect my world anyway."
"So, you're trying to trick the Trickster?" Sam asked.
"He did say I was his one-true vessel, so if anyone has a shot, it'd have to be me. More than anything though, I think it shows that there are more players on the pitch than we initially thought."
"What do you expect us to do with this information?"
Harry shrugged. "It's less about what I expect you to do, and more about what I think I can do. He's an archangel, right? Just like Michael and Lucifer. He offered to teach me magic beyond what I've ever even imagined. He's unwilling to do anything to stop his brothers, but maybe he can teach me something to help."
"That's kind of a longshot isn't it?" Sam asked skeptically.
"Sam, we've been working on this for ages. We have nothing, all we have left are longshots," Dean responded. "I'm hardly a fan of Gabriel, but weren't you just yammering on the other day about how we should maybe ask the Trickster to help?"
"And weren't you just saying we should let him stay out of all of this?"
"We've already talked about this. Before he saved Jo, sure, but he's an adult and he's decided…"
"Uh – guys, still here, look, I'm not going anywhere. If you think this is a bad plan, that's one thing, but I'm going to be involved one way or another."
"But what about your job? Will you be able to just – leave it?" Sam asked.
Harry laughed. "Oh, after I'm done with MACUSA next week, I'm pretty sure that they won't have trouble letting me go. It's a delicate political situation and I want to be sure to try and erase all information they have about me – Henry Winchester me, that is." When he said Henry Winchester, he unconsciously changed his appearance. It made it much harder for Dean and Sam to say no to him.
"Alright, what exactly did you have in mind?" Dean finally asked.
"Dear Castiel," Dean started. Before he could get any further, his friend appeared, frowning.
"This is an odd location for you to be in Dean."
"Yeah, I guess it's not every day that I hang out in an invisible wizard penthouse in New York City."
Cas made a face. "I don't know why you continue to insist to spend time with this…abomination."
"Oh, hey Uncle Castiel, nice to see you again too," Harry said cheerfully greeting the angel.
"It is not nice to see you and I am not your uncle. I thought I made that clear," Cas said, confused as to why this human couldn't read his hostile tone.
"It was sarcasm, Cas," Sam clarified.
"Also, irrational hatred, preference for the different child in my family, and name-calling. Tracks with everyone else I've ever called uncle before."
There was an awkward silence. Cas seemed content to just stand there and say nothing.
"Alright. Cas, we wanted to talk about how much angels know about the wizarding world."
If Cas hadn't already been frowning, he would have frowned harder.
"It is forbidden that we have any contact with witches and wizards."
"Yes, yes," Dean said impatiently, "You've said that before. But we know that angels watch Earth – do they also watch witches and wizards?"
"Not really," but he shifted uncomfortably.
"Most don't. I'll admit that they can be…interesting, from time to time. But I don't like them." He said the last part very quickly.
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks," Harry commented.
Sam laughed while Dean and Cas just looked confused. He looked down at his body as if just to check.
"My vessel is a man."
"It's Shakespeare, Cas," Sam explained. That did not seem to clear anything up for him.
"Cas, we're just trying to figure out how much angels know about what's been going on in the wizarding world. And more specifically, what Michael and Lucifer might know."
"I don't know what my brothers know. They are aware of this community, of course, but the wizards are not followers of our Father and they do not pray to us."
"Alright, how about you just tell us what you know Cas?" Sam was not amused by their feathered friend.
"Witches and wizards… they are very insular. It's in their nature, as fallen angels. My Father – he loved them. It was said that he considered them to be the best of both his creations, angels and humans."
"So, what are we? Angels or humans?" Harry asked.
Harry snorted. "Well, that's helpful. I should introduce you to my friend Luna."
"Luna Lovegood?" Cas asked.
That surprised Harry. Shocked him. "You know her?"
"I know of her… she is rare. Special. Blessed."
"In what way?"
Cas declined to answer.
Harry was quite frustrated. And slightly concerned for Luna. Although not entirely surprised to hear that there may be more to her than what meets the eye.
"And Gabriel. What is his involvement with my kind?"
Cas now looked a little confused. "Gabriel? He disappeared, we presumed died, after Lucifer was cast out. He has nothing to do with your kind."
"Interesting, that's not what he said." Harry didn't elaborate any further.
Cas turned to Dean. "I have far more important matters to attend to than speaking with…" he stopped and thought for a moment, "him."
Dean's face hardened a bit. "Cas, you need to get over this bitch fit you're having about him. He's my brother."
Cas looked pained but didn't say anything more. He had a great deal of respect for Dean and felt a deep connection with him. And he supposed that being a wizard was better than having an addiction to drinking demon blood. He had gotten used to Sam, so he could probably get used to this new brother as well. It wasn't as if he didn't have his own share of problematic siblings.
"I understand," he said finally, after an awkward silence.
"You better," Dean replied. The angel did not miss out on the slight threat behind his friend's voice.
"Er – I'm going to be starting some research on what exactly witches and wizards are in my world. It would be helpful to have an angel to speak with from time to time. If I send my questions through Dean or Sam would you answer them?" Harry asked.
"I suppose that would be acceptable. Is that all for now? I would like to return to my search."
The brothers exchanged looks. "Yeah, thanks Cas," Dean responded.
Cas left without another word.
AN – Happy Belated Thanksgiving friends! (Very belated for any Canadians present.) I hope everyone that celebrated had a happy and safe time.
Yesterday (and today) I am thankful for all of you lovely readers. Thank you for all the comments, reviews, follows, bookmarks, and kudos. Reminder to those who read on fanfiction dot net, I am doing responses in a forum. The link is in my bio.
What I am most pleased with myself about in this chapter is Harry calling Cas, "Uncle." I know it's laughing at my own joke, but it just makes me giggle a little every time I write it. On other things I'm pleased with myself on, I have created a list of British swears to help me out. As anyone who speaks a second language knows, swearing is highly personal and it is hard to feel the same amount of emotional impact in another language. British English isn't a second language, of course, but I was having a very difficult time not using my tried-and-true American swears for my British characters!
Six weeks left in the original story I had planned! I may take a brief break at that point, but I think I have at least one more part that I would like to write. I've begun setting up for it already in these chapters and I wouldn't want to waste perfectly good backstory.
Next chapter is entitled, "Diplomacy." That doesn't tell you much about it, so as a teaser, another title I considered for it was, "A Visit to Kendricks."