hells_half_acre: (Don't Litter)
[personal profile] hells_half_acre
Title: Damned Demented Demons 24/32
Author: ME!
Fandoms: Supernatural/Harry Potter
Rating: PG-13 (for swearing)
Warnings: Spoilers for all Harry Potter books, Spoilers up to 4x17 for Supernatural (but takes place around 4x11).
Disclaimer: Sam and Dean belong to Kripke, Harry Potter belongs to Rowling.
A/N: I thought that the Battle of Hogwarts took place in Spring 1997...so that's what I based my timeline on. Since then I've seen that most sources have it in 1998. Ah well. In this story it's 1997. The events of the story take place sometime in early 2009.
A/N to chap 24: Surprise August update! Sorry nothing much happens in this chapter. You are going to get at least two uneventful ones until major events start happening again. Next update will most likely not be until September.

Summary: In which everyone eats Chinese food and Hermione puts her foot in it.

Chapter 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | Interlude |
 

"I should have gone with her," Ron said as soon as Hermione disappeared.

"Don't worry," Dean answered, "Bobby won't hurt her. He'll give her a glass of water and the books, and she'll be back here in ten minutes max."

"One of us could have gone with her," Sam spoke up.

"I just ate breakfast, Sam," Dean replied. "I do not want to experience it in reverse."

"I could have gone, then," Sam said. "I don't mind it."

"No," Dean and Harry said at the same time. Both Dean and Sam looked at Harry in surprise. Harry just leveled a meaningful look at Sam and shook his head again. "She might have splinched you."

"Hermione's perfectly capable of side-along," Ron said, and Dean could tell that he was getting offended on Hermione's behalf. "She only splinched me that one time because we were being attacked! You've never held that against her before."

"Right, sorry," Harry said, trying to dismiss the conversation.

"What's splinching anyway?" Dean asked, hoping it was enough to steer the conversation away from why Sam was different.

"It's when you apparate and accidentally leave part of yourself - or someone else - behind," Harry answered with a wince, and all of Dean's thoughts derailed.

Sam was staring at Harry with wide-eyes. Dean carefully ran Harry's answer over in his head, making sure he had heard right.

"So, you're saying..." Dean started slowly, "when you took us up to Boston, there was a possibility that you might have accidentally left an arm or a leg back in North Carolina?"

"Experienced wizards rarely splinch people, Dean," Harry replied, but all Dean heard was 'yes.'

"Which is why I don't understand why you suddenly don't have confidence in Hermione's abilities," Ron said. "You know she's just as good a wizard, if not better, than you are."

"Well, it doesn't matter what her abilities are, no one is splinching me or my brother!" Dean said.

"Understood," Harry said placatingly.

Then they all stood around silently for a few seconds, until Sam breathed out audibly.

"Ok, awkward," Sam muttered, "So, um, what kind of stuff does your shop sell?"

Dean watched as Ron smiled brightly, and reached into his pocket. Ron turned to Sam, but then seemed to change his mind.

"Hey, Harry," Ron said, "have a candy!" and he tossed a small toffee towards Harry, who caught it easily, then walked a little bit away from the rest of them. He unwrapped the candy and put it into his mouth with a smile to Ron - and then he turned into a giant canary.

"Holy shit!" Sam said, and then he and Dean were laughing too much to say anything.

There was a popping noise and suddenly Hermione was back in the room carrying a very full duffle bag. She looked over at Harry and rolled her eyes.

"Oh, honestly, boys," she said, "can't I leave for a few minutes without you turning each other into canaries?!"

Harry suddenly turned back into himself, a few yellow feathers still stuck in his hair. He was laughing too.

"Completely worth it," Harry said. "So, no problems getting the books, I see."

"No, it was exactly as Dean said," Hermione confirmed,  "though, he spotted the lack of car - so I'm afraid you two have some explaining to do later on."

Dean waved a hand dismissively, "We would've told him anyway."

"He included a few basic demonology texts, so that Ron and I could brush up," Hermione added.

"Awesome," Dean said, "let's see what we've got."

* *

They divided up the books according to knowledge base. Leaving the more basic books to the wizards, while Dean and Sam studied the more advanced archaic texts. The wizards had expanded the table and cloned the two chairs until there was room enough for everyone to sit down. Dean was explaining the different uses of hex-bags to Harry and Ron, surprisingly unironically, and Sam was just starting in on his third book when Hermione suddenly leaned over from where she sat beside him and gasped.

"You read Latin?" she whispered. It reminded Sam of how his college friends had been so surprised when he could understand the law terminology so well.

"Um, yeah," Sam said, "Dean does too."

Hermione shot a look at Dean as though she was looking at an alien. Sam laughed.

"I know he doesn't look it," Sam said, "but he's actually quiet smart." Then Sam dropped his voice even softer, "though, between you and me, I'm much better at Latin." Hermione laughed softly.

"Don't listen to him, Hermione," Dean said from across the table, "just because he went to Stanford, doesn't mean he's the brains of the operation."

"You went to Stanford?" Hermione asked amazed. Dean groaned, but Sam could tell that it was for show by the small smile playing at Dean's lips.

"Uh, yeah," Sam said, "I was pre-law."

"Pre-law!" Hermione repeated, "I'm basically the magical equivalent of a lawyer, you know? I work for...um, well, I guess it's the Magical equivalent of your Justice Department. Uh, I work on, umm...the Magical equivalent of Human Rights."

"Wizard Rights?" Sam guessed.

"More like Minority Rights then," Hermione amended. "The rights of Magical Creatures."

Sam swallowed, and could sense Dean stilling and focusing his attention back on their conversation. "uh...what kind of magical creatures?"
 
"House-elves, Centaurs, Werewolves, Vampires..." Hermione began to list, and Sam caught Dean's eyes in concern.

"Hermione," Harry interrupted, "take a moment and remember to whom you are speaking, please."

Hermione fell silent, confused, before her eyes widened in realization.

"Oh, I'm sorry!" she said, "I didn't mean to suggest...I mean, I know what Hunters do...you must understand, I wasn't making judgements. It's different for wizards. Oh dear. I'm sorry..."

"Shh, love," Ron said, and it was the first time that Sam had heard him be tender with Hermione. He was surprised to feel a small spark of jealousy, even though he had long since said goodbye to having that life. "I'm sure the Winchesters understand."

"Yeah," Sam agreed, "don't worry about it. Um, so, where did you go to school then?"

Hermione looked relieved, "It's different for us. I went to Hogwarts until I was 18 - well, 19, because of the War - then I just worked my way up from there. In the Wizarding world, you don't really specialize in school. Why didn't you become a lawyer?"

"Herm-"

"My girlfriend was murdered by the demon that killed our mother," Sam answered. "School didn't seem as important anymore."

"You were still planning to eventually go back though," Dean said, "back then."

"Maybe, but not after Dad died," Sam replied, "and now we have bigger problems, and I'm officially dead, so I'd have to do everything over again...and that's just not my life anymore."

"And you say that I have a talent for putting my foot in it," Ron stage-whispered to Hermione, who Sam realized looked horrified. Harry looked like he was trying not to laugh. Dean rolled his eyes, but didn't look like he was going to be coming to Sam's rescue on this one.

"Actually," Sam said with forced enthusiasm, quickly switching topics, "Hunters usually have to learn a variety of languages. Latin, Sanskrit, Hebrew, Aramaic...Bobby knows Japanese. How about you guys? I mean, I know your incantations are based off the Latin, anyone could hear that."

"Oh, yes, of course you would have noticed," Hermione said, relieved at the topic change. "We aren't actually required to learn Latin or any other foreign language while at school, but I did find it helped to study Latin during the summers - Proper Pronunciation is Paramount while Practicing Magic, after all."

"We have the same trouble with some exorcisms," Sam replied, "though, most let you get away with butchering the language a little..."

Sam and Hermione continued talking for several more minutes, while Dean commiserated with Ron about how much he hated research and couldn't understand how some geeks got off on it. Sam and Hermione both rolled their eyes simultaneously at that overheard comment, and Harry laughed.

Eventually they all fell silent and read, only speaking to ask if someone else's book mentioned something specific or not. Hermione was quick, Sam realized. She had already moved off the basic books and was plowing through the more advanced tomes. At some point she had magicked her feathered pen to write on it's own, and Sam realized that she was making another list of books, to presumably get from the wizard's library.

"Sam, Dean," Harry said, "can I speak to you in private for a moment?"

Hermione and Ron looked up sharply, but didn't say anything. Sam could tell that they weren't used to Harry excluding them from anything.

Dean nodded and stood, "How about we go get dinner for everyone. Is pizza alright, or do y'all want Chinese?"

"Chinese."

"Pizza - I mean, Chinese."

"Ok then, we'll be right back. Don't touch my stuff."

Once they were out in the car, Sam was surprised to see Harry visibly relax a little.

"Why do you look so relieved to be out of there?" Dean asked, obviously picking up on it too, and growing a little concerned, "I thought those two were your friends."

"They are, I just... I think they're mad at me," Harry said. Sam huffed a laugh.

"And you make fun of Dean and I for having silent conversations," Sam said, causing Harry to smile.

"It's why I need to talk to you two," Harry said. "I want to show them your file."

Sam breathed deeply, "I don't know, Harry..."

"That thing has everything in it," Dean finished for him. "It's bad enough you and Draco saw it...not to mention that creepy wizard department we got it from."

"I know," Harry said, "It's why I'm asking for your permission. I understand if your answer is no - but Hermione is really good with stuff like this...I mean, really good. I'm hoping she'll be able to help."

"What is there to even help with?" Sam asked. "We know they know about the seals, we know that they know we're involved. Hence the report - problem solved. They want to bring us in for questioning like Malfoy said. All we have to do is avoid wizards from now on, which apparently, we'd been doing a pretty good job of before we met you."

"Ok, forget I asked," Harry said sullenly. "I just thought that she might be able to confirm that all they wanted was to question you, and that they didn't know anything that you don't."

"How about we compromise," Dean suddenly spoke up. "You give her the abridged version of our lives. You leave out the bit about what that demon did to Sam, and you only show her the bits of the files that talk about the seals. We agreed?"

"Yeah...yeah, ok," Sam said.

"Deal," Harry said, "Thanks."

"They're mad at you because you usually tell them every single thing that ever happens to you, right?" Dean guessed.

"Maybe," Harry replied embarrassed.

"Well Sammy, I think I finally found a bigger girl than you!" Dean laughed, as they pulled up to the Chinese place.

"We went through a war together," Harry said. "It's hardly girly."

"You just keep telling yourself that," Dean said.

"I bet you and Sam tell each other everything," Harry replied, as Dean threw the shifter into park - Sam was never more thankful for the timing.

"Come on, Harry," Sam said, getting out of the car, "hopefully you also know exactly what food your friends like, because we forgot to ask them before we left."

Harry frowned at him briefly, but followed him out of the car without hesitation.

*    *

"Harry, I don't care what you say, you are most definitely my saviour," was the first thing Ron said, when Harry shouldered his way back into the motel room carrying two bags of Chinese food. Harry rolled his eyes.

Hermione immediately began to clear the table of all books, muttering about Bobby Singer not wanting crumbs in the bindings. Harry really wanted to ask Hermione what Bobby was like - he hadn't had much contact with Hunters in his life, and he wondered if they all had the same vagabond aura as the Winchesters.

They all ate and discussed what they had read so far. Sam and Dean cleared up any questions that the wizards had about demons and spirits. Ron went into a lengthy, if not technical, explanation of the non-vengeful harmless spirits of the wizarding world, though Sam and Dean were of the opinion that weather a spirit was vengeful or not, it deserved to be put to rest rather than spending eternity playing mascot to a school. Ron argued, but Harry and Hermione couldn't help but partially agree. Though, they didn't think the ghosts should be forced to rest, maybe just given the option.

Of course, that led to a discussion on Peeves, who Harry would have been quite happy to force into rest. Sadly, Sam and Dean said that poltergeists were harder to get rid of, and their strength varied greatly from each one. Apparently Dean had easily put down a poltergeist when he was 14 with only a little help from his father, yet at the age of 24, Sam had nearly been strangled to death while trying to get rid of another. Surprisingly to Harry, Dean and Sam seemed shocked to hear that Peeves was 'corporeal.'

"What was that song Peeves sung at you in second year?" Ron asked, "I remember you particularly hating that one."

"Let's see..." Harry said, trying to remember, "Something along the lines of: Oh Potter, you rotter, what have you done? You're killing all the students. You think it's great fun."

Dean snorted a laugh, and Sam looked a little mortified on Harry's behalf.

"You weren't really killing students though, right?" Dean said, smiling. "Because you know we'd have to put you down if you were secretly evil."

"No, it was a misunderstanding," Harry replied, "besides, no one actually died."

"Yeah," Ron said, "Hermione was petrified for a while though."

"You were scared that Harry was evil?" Sam asked in confusion.

Hermione laughed, "No, I knew Harry was innocent. I was actually literally petrified."

"It was a Basilisk," Ron said.

"Oh, I read about that," Sam said, "I didn't realize you were one of the victims."

"I missed so much school," Hermione said. "I was quite upset."

"Ah, Sam..." Dean said, "it's a good thing you didn't meet Hermione when you were a teenager. Ron here would be missing a wife, and you would have run off long before Stanford."

"Shut-up, Dean," Sam said tiredly, and Harry was slightly surprised that Dean did.

"Do you guys mind if I speak to Hermione and Ron in private for a bit?" Harry asked the Winchesters, "about what we discussed earlier..."

Hermione and Ron both looked at Harry curiously. Sam and Dean looked briefly at each other and then nodded.

"Use the bathroom," Dean said, "I don't want you outside the salt-lines without one of us with you."

"Ok," Harry said, and picked up his shoulder bag.

"Harry," Dean commanded, "Leave the part you aren't sharing."

Harry could feel Hermione and Ron's curiosity rise, and he was mildly disappointed that Dean didn't trust him not to share the pages detailing his and Sam's lives, but he understood. He pulled the thick folder from his shoulder bag, and dutifully removed that portion of the file. He left it on the table next to the brothers, and appreciated the fact that Dean didn't double check the pages. He understood what the gesture meant - they might not trust him completely, but they did trust him.

As soon as the bathroom door was closed, and Harry had the anti-eavesdropping charms up. Ron and Hermione laid into him.

"Merlin's balls, Harry!" Ron said. "What the hell have you gotten yourself into?"

"You aren't being held against your will right?" Hermione asked in concern, "I figured you'd find a way to tell us if you were, but I just thought I should ask-"

"I always figured there'd be a day where you'd have to put someone else in charge, I just didn't think I'd live to see it" Ron said, "And I really didn't think you'd put Muggle Hunters in charge. How do you know you can even trust them? I mean, they seem like nice enough blokes...a little quiet and moody maybe-"

"Oh, and I did put my foot in it before, didn't I?" Hermione said, "Some diplomat I am - all the references to Hunters I read before I came mentioned that tragic events often precipitated the career choice, and I still went ahead and brought it up..."

"One thing at a time!" Harry said, "Please!"

Hermione and Ron both fell silent and looked expectantly at Harry, as if he should have remembered the order of their questions.

"I'm not being held against my will," Harry started. "The Winchesters are formidible Hunters, but they don't have the necessary knowledge to prevent a wizard from apparating. Now...umm...yes, Hermione, you put your foot in it, but I'm sure you're forgiven. As for what I've gotten myself into, I have to show you something."

"That file?" Hermione asked, "What's in it? What about the pages that Dean made you leave behind?"

"Right," Harry said. "First I need to sum-up those pages...Sam and Dean's mother was killed by a demon when Sam was a baby. Sam has...a lot in common with me. In any case, Dean and Sam's father started a quest for revenge shortly after, training the two boys to be Hunters. Sam tried to leave and do something else with his life, but the demon ended up killing his girlfriend and he rejoined his father's quest to kill it...umm, let's see...about a year after Sam's girlfriend was killed, his father was also killed - most likely in a deal with the demon to save Dean's life after a car-wreck. A year after that, Dean and Sam managed to finally kill the demon, but Sam was killed in the process and Dean sold his soul to bring him back. Subsequently, Dean went to Hell last May. In September, an angel named Castiel pulled him out of Hell...and um, I think that pretty much catches us up."

Harry poured himself a glass of water from the tap and took in Ron and Hermione's expressions. Hermione looked like she either wanted to cry or run to the library. Ron looked as though Harry was just about to be taken away in a straight jacket, though, thankfully, he at least looked horrified about it.

"So," Harry continued, after taking a sip of water, "the other reason I'm still with the Winchesters is because the American Department of Mysteries has a file on them. As you both should know, it's not standard practice for the Department of Mysteries to concern themselves with Hunters. So, while Draco was in neighbourhood, I had him find and copy the file for me." Harry then held up the folder that he still clutched in his hand. "I wanted you to take a look at it Hermione, and tell me what you think the Department would do to the Winchesters if they ever got a hold of them. I also want to know who is looking for them, and how activily they are looking."

"Sure, Harry, I'll do my best..." Hermione said, reaching for the file.

"There's one other thing," Harry said, looking briefly at the back of the door out of habit, rather than actual concern. "I haven't told the Winchesters, but...there's a prophecy."

Ron and Hermione both paled slightly at that. They had never had much fondness for prophecy after their school years. Harry reached into his shoulder bag, and pulled out the neatly folded piece of paper.

"Besides the storage at the Department of Mysteries, this is all that survives about what the prophecy said. It ah... doesn't look good," Harry handed the piece of paper over to Hermione.

"Why didn't you go listen to the whole thing while you were in the Department with Sam and Dean?" Ron asked.

"Um, well," Harry started, "I went to take a look alone first, while I decided if I should tell them...and I met Castiel."

"You met an angel?!" Ron's jaw dropped.

"Yeah," Harry said, "he basically told me that I shouldn't say anything, though, not in so many words. He was a bit confusing."

"Oh my..." Hermione muttered, scanning the page about the prophecy. "I can see why they started a file after this...though, how they knew it was Sam and Dean..."

"I asked Dean about that," Harry said, frowning. "Before I knew about the prophecy, I noted that a lot of the information in the file the Aurors have on them has a research date at the end of August. I asked him what he thought Sam had done to attract attention, and he said that it wasn't anything Sam did."

"Well, maybe he just doesn't know..." Hermione started to say.

"No, it was the way he said it. There's something we're missing." Harry replied.

"Alright, Harry," Hermione said. "I'll look into it."

"Thanks," Harry replied. "Are there any more questions, or shall we get out of this horribly small bathroom?"

"I don't think they like me very much," Ron suddenly said. Harry laughed - leave it to Ron to be insecure.

"I don't think they like anyone very much, Ron," Harry said.

"Dean likes Malfoy!" Ron said. "He kept giving me dirty looks when I called him a git!"

"Yeah, ok," Harry said, "I admit that I didn't expect that...maybe if you let him hit you in the face, he'll like you too."

Harry watched amused as Ron lifted his hand to his jaw as if he was even considering it.

"Oh honestly, Ron," Hermione said. "It's a known fact that Hunters isolate themselves from the rest of society. We should be impressed that they have any social graces at all."

"Speaking of which," Harry said, "the longer we stay in here chatting about them - and they know that's what we're doing - the ruder we appear. Let's go."

Harry removed the charms and opened the door. It felt 100% better now that Ron and Hermione knew about the prophecy as well. Dean and Sam looked up from their books as the wizards re-entered the room.

"We still good?" Dean asked flatly.

"Of course," Hermione answered. Harry could tell that she was looking at Dean with new eyes. Harry thought about it and realized that he had basically been introduced to Dean already knowing that the man had been in Hell - but Hermione and Ron hadn't. Hermione had spent the afternoon researching across from Dean, hearing him tell jokes and making Sam groan, and she had already begun to form an opinion of him based on that. Now though... instead of a wisecracking hardened Hunter with limited social graces, as Hermione would have put it no doubt, she was seeing someone who had probably seen things so horrible that they were impossible to imagine.

"Good," Dean said, and focused back on his book. There was a hard set to his jaw that told Harry, that he didn't like Hermione knowing. Harry glanced at Sam to see him staring at his book without actually reading it, looking surprisingly guilty. Harry wondered if he blamed himself for Dean going to hell.

"Why did you hit Malfoy?" Ron suddenly asked. "Did he say something?"

Harry rolled his eyes at the way Ron wouldn't let something go if he thought it was personal. Then he realized that Ron's question had effectively broken the tension in the room, and he was suddenly thankful for Ron's one-track mind.

"He, uh..." Dean began, "he sort of flipped out when he found out we were Hunters, and hit Sam with something."

Ron's eyes widened.

"What'd he hit you with?" Ron asked Sam.

"Um, the red one, I think," Sam said. "Stupify? I don't know, hurt more than when the demon did it, and it knocked me backwards."

"That's it?" Ron asked, surprised. "It didn't knock you out?"

"Is it supposed to?" Sam asked.

"You've seen Hagrid resist that spell before, Ron," Harry interrupted. "Sam's a big guy."

"Well, yeah Hagrid can resist them, but that's just because he's not completely human," Ron said.

"It might not have been Stupefy - it was non-verbal magic," Harry forced himself to shrug, without looking over at the Winchesters....he had to think of another distraction quickly. "Hey, Ron, I have a mission for you!"

Ron's confused expression was now directed at Harry.

"I think we need some dessert," Harry stated sincerely, and Ron's face split into a grin.

"Is it pie?" Ron asked.

"Yes," Harry smiled, "and Dean's going to show you on the map where you can get it." He looked over towards Dean to see his eyes widen in anticipation. "Keep it within the closest six states, Dean."

Dean picked up the road map and looked over at Sam.

"Whattaya think, Sam?" Dean asked. "We had the blueberry yesterday...I'm thinking pecan."

Harry watched as Sam's uneasy expression softened, "that place in Connecticut?"

Harry breathed a sigh of relief as Dean showed Ron where the diner was on the map. It was good to know that both Ron and Dean could easily be distracted by the idea of delicious pie. He knew that Sam was still fully aware of how dangerous Ron's line of questioning had been...but Harry had promised Dean that he wouldn't tell his friends about what had happened to Sam as a baby, and as much as he wanted to break that promise, he knew that, right now, having the Winchester's trust could mean the difference between him living and dying.

It wasn't until Hermione shifted on her feet beside him that Harry even remembered she was still in the room. He glanced over to find her looking at him with a thoughtful expression. Merlin's balls, sometimes Harry wished Hermione was a little less intelligent.

 Chapter 25

 

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