The first part of this is sort of a rambling point of view from Harry…I'm not sure why Harry turned out this way in these fics but for some reason I like writing him this way. This is a sequel to First Impressions, set a few weeks after it.
I don't own Harry Potter or Supernatural
The first time Harry meets Sam, the man is already a tightly wound ball of angst and grief. Not that he doesn't have cause. Harry's personally never liked that word—angst. It's weird and makes him think of kids whining about stuff that's not really a problem. Like not being able to go to a concert or buy a CD they wanted. Still, he guesses the word applies, when he looks it up…just out of curiosity after some kid had called him a tightly wound ball of angst while he'd still been at Hogwarts. Not that he hadn't had cause for serious angst back then, and not that Sam doesn't now. Of course.
In any event, he doesn't actually meet Sam until after the event that throws him into the angst pit. He's in London when it happens. Not a month after his decision to stay with Dean, and to quit the aurors and he gets a frantic call from a panicking Ron. He supposes he should have been expecting it. After all, Hermione had been heavily pregnant when he'd left. He supposes also that he maybe should have felt just a bit guilty for leaving while this was going on. But…well, he had been a little bit tired of feeling guilty. Especially when Dean's dad had just disappeared off the face of the Earth-or so it seemed. He even feels a little guilty that he's a little glad he hasn't had the dubious pleasure of meeting John Winchester.
Really, after everything he's been through in his life, Harry's aware that he's not exactly the sanest person in the world but all that guilt that automatically tends to pop up? That tends to annoy him. What annoys him worse is that he even feels guilty that he's annoyed.
Harry doesn't say any of this out loud, of course. He's a little worried that Dean might look at him the same way Ron had. Like he's finally gone mad. He wonders if it's weird that he's pretty much okay with going mad but doesn't want Dean to know it yet. He wonders if that even makes him mad the way that Ron claims. After all, usually people don't know they are, right?
But, yes, he's in London when it happens. He's in the waiting room at St. Mungo's, watching Molly Weasley pace nervously, surrounded by the entire Weasley clan and Hermione's parents while Dean is dragging his little brother out of bed and convincing him to go hunt their father down.
He's asleep, drooling on Bill's shoulder when Sam and Dean track down the town and start a hunt on the woman in white. Hermione's in labor for a long time. Long enough that by the time Harry's smiling brightly at his two best friends while Hermione holds her baby, a boy, in her hospital bed, Sam is driving Dean's car through the side of a house to get rid of the spirit.
He's holding the baby himself, babbling nonsense to the cute little thing that probably reaffirms Ron's beliefs in his degrading mental functions while Sam Winchester watches his girlfriend burn on the ceiling above their bed.
He's completely unaware of all of this. And he can't even be angry that Dean doesn't call him when any of this is going on. He thinks later that he should have known, from the strangled quality of the message he gets from Dean, even if Dean doesn't technically say anything.
"You know, I'd think you got the best of both worlds, kid," Harry comments later. He's propped on the bed beside Hermione, her kid propped against his bent legs as he speaks. "You'll get the height and that awesome red hair from Ron and the smarts from Hermione. Just don't let her work you too much. You know, you can take school too seriously. After all, look at me! I never even technically graduated-"
"Harry!" Hermione's tone was scandalized and Harry grinned.
"What? I turned out alright, right?"
Hermione glared at him. "I'm not so sure. And you're not teaching my baby that sort of thing."
"Oh, come on. You've got years before you have to worry about all the things his many uncles can teach him."
Her glare only intensifies and she takes the baby from him, almost protectively. The action only makes him laugh.
"So, now that we're alone," Hermione starts, even if her gaze is still on the boy. "Are you going to tell me where you've been?"
"I've told you-"
"On a worldwide tour to seek out new and exciting adventures?" Ron cuts him off from the doorway. "Right." He comes over to the other side of the bed, smiling down at his wife and child.
"Yes, that is right, Ron." Harry grins at them both, even as he feels a bit guilty. But what is he supposed to say? That he'd dropped from the aurors for a guy that liked hunting down monsters and ghosts for a living? Well, he supposes he could say that…but, really…
"Harry?" Hermione finally turns her full attention to him. "You've met someone, haven't you?" Her gaze is a little too perceptive and he groans, dropping his head back on the pillow.
"How do you do that?"
She shrugs, smug. "It's a gift."
"Wait, really?" Ron cuts in, staring at Harry incredulously. "You quit the aurors and went off to another country for a guy?"
"Maybe." Harry crosses his arms, maybe making himself look just a little bit petulant. "I would have quit anyway. That job was suffocating."
"But…but…you left home!" Ron exclaimes, looking a mix of angry and shocked. "You left everything for a guy?!" His expression, if only momentarily, reminds Harry startling of all those times when they were kids when Ron had ditched him for something he hadn't been able to control.
"You don't understand," he snaps, suddenly feeling not so happy. "I couldn't stay. Even if I hadn't of met Dean, I couldn't have. I feel like I've never done anything simply because I wanted to. Never allowed to at the Dursleys, was in a war constantly from the first moment I stepped inside Hogwarts and I joined the aurors because that's what people expected me to do. I was tired of doing what people expected me to do. I was tired of-"
He cuts himself off, feeling guilty again, when the baby starts crying. He slides off the bed so Ron can take his place and sighs, wonders if he should leave. But Ron turns to him as the baby calms, before he can, and proves to Harry that he's not the same immature boy who had ditched him simply because his name had come out of a goblet.
"You love this guy?" He's scrutinizing Harry closely as he asks.
"I don't…" Harry pauses, tilts his head. "I think I might."
Ron nods, sighs and then smiles. "Then I'm happy for you."
Hermione's eyes are shining with warmth as well and Harry relaxes in the chair. They're important to him, maybe more important than anyone else and he isn't sure what he may have done if they didn't approve.
"But don't think you'll get off so easy," Hermione says sternly after a moment. "You'll come visit. Often."
"Of course." Harry grins brightly.
He doesn't know, at that moment, that things will change once he leaves again. Doesn't know that there are two guys currently in a motel room in the southern United States who will, someday, become just as important to they are.
He is also unaware that in that motel room, Dean is attempting to explain to Sam that they are going to have a third person joining them when they head out again.
"You told someone?!" The words are, maybe, a bit harsher than Sam intends but he can't help it. He's staring at his brother incredulously. "Isn't yours and Dad's first rule 'never tell anyone?' For a year and half I do nothing but lie to Jessica and you know some chick for a couple of weeks and you tell her everything?!" He's glaring at his brother, who only shrugs.
"Yeah, looks like." Dean pauses, shrugs. "And it's not a chick."
Sam waves that away angrily. He's known that his brother isn't picky about gender since he'd been twelve and found Dean making out with some guy behind the school they'd been attending at the time.
"Not the point, Dean."
"Hey, if it makes you feel any better, he kinda spotted me trying to get rid of this crazy spirit chick so it wasn't like I had much of a choice." Dean's tone is light but there's something in his expression, in his eyes that gives Sam pause.
Sam's anger deflates after a moment. He isn't really angry with Dean anyway, he recognizes that. He's angrier with himself. And guilty. He hadn't told Jessica but that isn't Dean's fault. He feels a bit of guilt for yelling at Dean about it too.
"Alright fine. I'm sorry. I guess everyone needs someone to talk to. I guess I can't fault you for that."
"Glad you feel that way," Dean shifts and actually looks uncomfortable now, "cause that ain't exactly all there is to it."
Dean is waiting for him outside the motel room when Harry walks up. Harry grins at the mere sight of him and hops up on the hood of the Impala right next to the hunter.
"Hey, baby. Miss me?" He asks in greeting, his tone over the top. He wiggles his eyebrows when Dean turns to him, and causes the other man to snort.
"Are you kidding? Didn't even notice you were gone," Dean comments lightly even as he reaches for Harry to pull him closer. He leans down, and presses their lips together before Harry can retort.
Harry leans into it automatically and it's kind of pathetic how much he's missed how soft Dean's lips are. Unfortunately, Dean pulls back before Harry can even try to deepen the kiss and when he does, he looks serious.
"There's something you need to know before we go inside," he admits after a moment. His eyes seem darker than usual and Harry can pick out worry there, along with other things he can't pinpoint.
Dean sighs, glances towards the motel room door and explains. Harry, for once, remains silent while Dean does so, his stomach dropping as he explains about his little brother's girlfriend, about how everything had changed in the days that Harry had been out of the country.
He's silent still for a full minute after Dean finishes. "How…well, I mean…okay…" He doesn't ask how the brother is. That's a stupid question and he can see clearly how concerned Dean is whenever he even says his brother's name.
"Yeah, look. He's not exactly happy about your plan of comin' along." Dean gives him a pointed look at this, reminding him that he hadn't exactly been happy about it either. Harry ignores it. Dean wants him there, he knows this. He just thinks it's too dangerous. He figures that's going to be Sam's argument too.
"First time I almost got murdered I was eleven," Harry states with a shrug.
"That supposed to make me feel better?"
"No." Harry rolls his eyes. "It's supposed to tell you that I've fought in a war. I know how to take care of myself."
"Whatever. He'll probably warn you about our dad too."
Harry's grin comes back and its Dean's turn to roll his eyes. Dean has already given him that warning as well, after all.
"Alright, fine. Come on. Let's get this over with." Dean grabs his hand, and pulls him towards the room.
Sam is sitting on the furthest bed when they enter. He has a journal open on his lap and his head snaps up. He's glaring at them both. Harry notes that Sam's hair is a bit darker than Dean's and longer.
"You must be Harry," he says. His voice is controlled, just barely. Harry considers what he should do for a moment before shrugging and bounding over to plop down beside the other man.
"Hiya, Sam. Whatcha up to?" He notes briefly, and a little petulantly, that Sam is considerably taller and bigger than him even sitting down. In any event, his manner manages to startle Sam.
"You're a witch?" Sam asks, eyeing Harry as he stands.
Harry scowls at them both as he kicks off his shoes and sits cross-legged on Sam's bed. "I'm not a witch," he says emphatically. "How many times to I have to tell you that?" He asks Dean.
"I don't know, dude. The stuff you can do? Seems pretty witchy to me."
Harry pouts a bit but notices also that Sam is a few inches taller than Dean as well. "Yeah, well, too bad you're not a witch," he laments in fake remorse. "Coulda maybe done something about your face before it got stuck like that."
"I don't know, dude. Didn't seem to do anything for yours." Dean pauses, smirks. "Sides, you've never complained before."
Harry shrugs. "That just means I'm not a shallow git like some people in this room."
A strangled noise coming from Harry's right cuts off Dean's retort and they both turn to look at Sam. He's staring at them with wide eyes, gripping the journal know with white knuckles. Dean stands immediately.
"Sammy?" The worry shines through in Dean's tone and Sam jerks, loosens his grip.
"I'm fine," he says, voice wavering only slightly. Then to both Harry and Dean's surprise, he sits back down, next to Harry and flips open the journal, showing Harry the coordinates their dad had written there.
"This is where we're going next." Sam only looks up at Dean when his brother doesn't sit back down. "I'm okay," he insists.
Harry hasn't known Sam for even an hour yet but even he knows it's a lie. Dean lets it slide though. Probably because he can't do anything about it. Same reason Sam lies in the first place, he figures.
It's their eyes that stop him. More specifically, it's Dean's eyes, Dean's expression. Sam hasn't seen Dean in two years but he still knows just by looking at his brother. He'd been angry before. Angry that Dean would endanger someone else like this, angry that Dean had agreed to let the guy stay.
But when they start talking to each other—insulting each other really—Sam sees it and he can't protest anymore. Dean's expression is open and his eyes are shining in a way that Sam's never seen before. And he'd thought, before, that he'd seen every emotion there was reflected in Dean's eyes. This is the first time, however, that he's ever seen this sort of love.
There's half of him that wants to rail against this, that wants to yell at Dean for letting Harry stay. There's a part of him that wants to shake Dean because of the pain that's still raging hotly through his own chest, because this job is dangerous and if something happens…if something happens this pain will be Dean's too.
The other half of him can't protest it. The guilty part of him that keeps telling him that if he'd just told Jess…that if he'd just told her, she'd be here to. And that it'd be worse, if Dean sends Harry away and something happens while he's not there. That he's never seen that look in Dean's eyes and he doesn't want it to turn into something else.
He's torn between these two impulses for the rest of the day and most of the night. He doesn't sleep, hasn't really slept since he and Dean left Palo Alto. Seeing Dean and Harry together, the way they interact, the way they shift closer to each other, the way his brother smiles so brightly at the other man, it brings the pain and guilt sharper.
He finds himself lying back on the hood of Dean's car at three o'clock in the morning, staring up at the stars and playing the what if game, like he has been since Dean pulled him out of that fire. He hears the motel room door open but doesn't sit up, assumes it's Dean until he hears the voice.
"Beer?" Harry is standing before him holding out one.
"You're stealin' Dean's beer?"
Harry shrugs. "He'll get over it."
"What are you doing up this late drinking anyway?" Sam asks.
"Couldn't sleep." He doesn't ask if Sam can. Instead he tilts his head and asks another question. "What do you feel guilty about?"
Sam's eyes narrowed, surprised. "What?"
"Well," Harry starts airily and actually drops down on the ground, right in front of the door. "Dean feels guilty about bringing me here. He feels guilty about being happy with me after what happened to you. He feels guilty about going to get you in the first place because he thinks maybe it wouldn't have happened. He probably feels guilty about a lot of other things too." He pauses, takes a drink and leans back against the door. "So, what do you feel guilty about?"
"What do you?" Sam shoots back.
Harry snorts. "Everything," he says, his voice tinted with irritation. "Trust me, mate. Feeling guilty about everything? Even the things you can't control?" He smiles a bit. "Right in my wheelhouse."
Sam's lips twitch but he doesn't answer the question, can't. He figures when he does, it'll be Dean asking but he can't even do that yet. Still, he needs to clarify something.
"If you hurt him…"
"Yeah, yeah. I know." Harry stands, starts to turn. "I've been in a war since I was eleven. I was trained as an auror. I know how to take care of myself. Even against monsters." He says it quietly before slipping back inside. It's meant to be a reassurance and Sam's pretty sure Dean's told him what Sam's protests would be.
It's meant to be a reassurance and maybe it is, a bit and Sam knows, then, that he'll protect Harry the same way he'll protect Dean. He doesn't have any sort of connection to Harry yet but the pain is still hot in Sam's chest. He won't let his pain become Dean's.