Title: Purgatory, Prophets, and Potions (Part 3 of 3, Chapter 1/7)
Fandoms: Harry Potter, Supernatural
Word Count: TBD
Warnings: Spoilers for all Harry Potter books, spoilers for Supernatural until 9x14.
AN: A demented'verse timestamp.
AN2: Sorry for the wait! I'll probably stick with Thursday updates going forward, but I wanted to get the first chapter up before the end of September, so here you go! Please note that Part 3 will have both canon-divergence AND mythology-divergence (I'll explain more when it comes up).
Summary: Teddy travels to the US for a vacation and ends up in Kansas with an angry Dean and a desperate Sam. Harry, of course, can't let his godson have all the fun.
Part 1 - Purgatory - LJ/AO3
Part 2 - Prophets - LJ/AO3
Part 3 - Potions
Sam was more than a little on edge – Dean’s recent behaviour felt all wrong. They weren’t doing great, Sam knew – Sam was angry and Dean was angry that Sam was angry. And while normally, when they take time apart after a fight, Dean would come around to Sam’s point of view...or at the very least, begin to understand Sam’s feelings – this time, it seemed that the more time Sam tried to give Dean to think about things, the more entrenched in anger Dean became.
Sam hadn’t known what to make of it, until he saw Dean with the First Blade. Now, he mostly just tried to ignore the sinking suspicions in the back of his mind - the ones that said that this might not be Dean’s behaviour at all.
So when Harry called, Sam was grateful for the distraction. It’d been months since the last time they’d seen him. Once they had found Mrs. Tran, there’d been no real reason for them to talk. The stuff that Sam and Dean were dealing with now – trying to find Abaddon, Gadreel, or help Cas defeat Metatron – all those things were above Harry’s pay grade, and not something that the wizard could help them out with.
Dean was currently out on a beer run, so it was just Sam in the bunker, when the small magic flip mirror said first Dean’s and then Sam’s name.
“Everything okay?” Sam asked, after they greeted each other in the com-mirror.
“Yes, thanks,” Harry answered with a reassuring smile. “I was just calling to ask if... well, I was actually wondering if you could tell me whether New York City was a safe enough vacation spot at the moment.”
Sam raised his eyebrows. “Well, I mean – it’s New York, so...”
Harry laughed. “I meant whether you knew if there were any ongoing monster hunts there right now - unexplained deaths, Hunters in the area... that sort of thing.”
“Oh,” Sam nodded. “I haven’t heard of anything, but I can ask around and double-check. Why?”
“Teddy and Nate are thinking of going,” Harry said, then sighed. “Actually, I should say, they’re going whether I like it or not. But it’s the first time Teddy’s going so far abroad alone, and...”
“And you’re a worried parent, got it,” Sam laughed. “I’ll make some calls and do a few searches myself. If there is something, and no one is taking care of it, Dean and I will go clear it out ourselves. I promise.”
“Thanks, Sam.” Harry smiled.
Harry gave Sam the name of the hotel and neighbourhood that Teddy and Nate would be staying in. It didn’t take long to make sure everything was safe – at least from monsters. Dean got back and did the online searches, while Sam called a few Hunters to make sure they hadn’t heard anything. It wasn’t too unusual for Hunters with families to ask about a particular city from time to time, so all Sam had to say was that a friend of his was worried about their kid and everyone was happy to tell him that the coast was clear as far as they knew.
Sam gave Harry the all clear, once Dean’s search had also come up empty. Harry looked relieved, thanked him.
It was the last Sam thought about it until a few weeks later when he and Dean were driving out of Cleveland like a bat out of hell, leaving behind a too-clean hotel room and Sam’s phone rang.
“Dale,” Sam greeted. “Now’s not a great time.”
Dean was sitting rigid in the driver’s seat, scowling at the road or maybe the world in general. He’d cleaned off all the blood and changed clothes, but Sam couldn’t help but think he could still see it somehow – like it had soaked into his skin and left a stain.
“Just had an update about New York,” Dale’s voice came crackling over the line.
“New York?” Sam asked, confused for a moment, until the memory sparked, but Dale answered as though Sam had known what he was talking about the whole time.
“Yeah, got a call from some guys I was supposed to meet up with,” Dale said. “They were wrapping up a werewolf hunt in New Jersey when they saw a shifter – they’ve tracked it right into New York City.”
“Tracked it how?” Sam asked, trying to ignore the small thread of panic that was starting to wind its way around his heart. “Bodies?”
“No, fucker just hasn’t changed clothes, has a distinctive backpack... took the bus. Anyway, thought I’d mention it, since you were asking before – but I wouldn’t worry, these are seasoned hunters, they’ll get him,” Dale reassured Sam, while Sam frantically signalled Dean to turn the car around.
“Who are they?” Sam asked.
There was a pause, only a brief thing, and Sam might have chalked it up to a bad connection or Dale’s crappy cellphone, but he knew then what the answer would be before Dale even spoke. “No one you know, but you can trust them to get the job done.”
“Thanks, Dale,” Sam forced himself to say. He waited just long enough to hear Dale’s reply before he hung up the phone.
Dean was already taking an exit off the highway. “What’s up? Is it a job?”
“A couple of hunters are tracking a shifter in New York City,” Sam replied.
Dean seemed to have the same half-second of confusion, before Sam saw his body still – or still as much as it could while driving. “Could actually be a shifter.”
“They were on a werewolf hunt when they saw it,” Sam said. “Apparently, it changes its appearance but not its clothes, has a backpack, and takes the bus.”
“Son of a bitch,” Dean muttered. “Who’s on the hunt? If we call them...”
Sam let the silence hang for a moment, just like it had during the call and then he quoted Dale exactly. “’No one we know’.... apparently.”
“Son of a bitch!” Dean repeated and put the pedal down.
Teddy’s feet were killing him. The shoes matched the outfit perfectly, but he was seriously regretting wearing them. Maybe if he had known that Nate was going to be dragging him all over town, he would have made a different footwear decision.
“Where are we going? Land’s End?” Teddy asked. No one else in the neighbourhood was walking. Teddy wondered if it was because they knew something he and Nate didn’t about distances.
“Clay said this place was good, Teddy, and it’s just a few blocks further, I promise,” Nate replied, sounding perhaps a little annoyed at Teddy’s complaining. Honestly, Teddy came to New York so that Nate could have a good time, not so he could get hung up on one guy – no matter how tall, dark, and handsome he was. They couldn’t both be hung up on people – there was little fun in that.
“Once we get there, you’re just going to be sitting at the bar drinking anyway,” Nate continued, still annoyed.
“I might dance,” Teddy pouted.
“If you were planning to dance, you wouldn’t have worn those shoes,” Nate stated.
“But they go with the-”
Suddenly, Teddy was grabbed and pulled into an alley. He stumbled and it was enough time for his attacker to push him up against the wall, a hand around his throat, choking him. Teddy could hear a scuffle behind him, a fist connecting, and out of the corner of his eye, he saw Nate hit the ground, and then roll back up to his feet immediately, hand going for where Teddy knew Nate had his wand holstered. Teddy needed to get to his wand too, but the hand at his throat was blocking his efforts to reach where it was tucked at his chest.
“Hands where I can see him, kid. No sudden movements,” Nate’s attacker said, and Teddy looked past the ugly guy holding him to see a handgun aimed at his best friend, the muzzle extended by a silencer. Teddy’s vision was starting to black out at the edges.
“What do you want?” Nate asked. “Let us go and we’ll give it to you.”
“Can’t do that,” the man replied. And then there was a gun pointed at Teddy’s heart, also with a silencer on the end. His attacker finally released his neck. Teddy sucked in a lungful of air, even while his panic felt like an iron band across his chest. “Your date here is a monster.”
“I’m not,” Teddy replied. He tried to catch Nate’s eye. They had a chance with wandless magic, but it was a small one. Nate’s eyes darted briefly between his attacker and the mouth of the alley
“I really think you should let us go,” Nate stated with confidence that Teddy didn’t feel.
Teddy’s attacker responded by cocking his gun.
And then suddenly there was a gun pointed at his attacker’s temple too. It shone white in the dark alley.
“Drop the guns,” a deep voice said.
“Winchester,” Teddy’s attacker said with a sneer, but he lowered the gun and looked nervous. Teddy breathed a sigh of relief, slumping a little against the wall.
“Roy,” Dean greeted.
“Walt,” Sam added, and Teddy looked over to where Nate was to see that Sam had a gun on Nate’s attacker as well.
“You guys killing innocent kids in alleys now?” Dean asked.
“It’s a shifter, Dean,” Roy said. “We’ve been tracking it since this morning in New Jersey. It was a teenage boy then.”
“That so?” Dean said. “Well, I think you’re mistaken, isn’t he, sweetheart?”
“Yes,” Teddy replied.
“It’s lying,” Roy insisted.
“Why don’t you back up a bit and we’ll see,” Dean replied. Roy backed up. Dean lowered his gun just enough to point it at Roy’s chest instead of his head, then he edged his way closer to Teddy, keeping Roy in his sight. When he was close enough, he reached towards Teddy with his free hand. “Hold still, kiddo.”
Dean tugged on Teddy’s ear. “Ow.”
“See, skin don’t come off, Roy,” Dean replied. “Now, maybe we let these two get on with their night.”
“I swear to god, that thing was a boy this morning,” Roy insisted.
“Maybe, but they were, but they ain’t a shifter,” Dean shrugged. “And anything else is their own business.”
Dean nudged Teddy away from the wall, back behind him, and towards the open end of the alley. Teddy could see Sam changing his stance as well – motioning Nate forward, past the other stranger, and towards Teddy and freedom. They moved slowly, the Winchesters keeping their guns trained on the two men, who looked both furious and wary. Teddy could feel himself shaking a little, his heart rabbiting in his chest. Nate was moving with far more grace. His hands loose by his sides, but Teddy knew by the way he held his fingers that it would only take him a half-second to have his wand in hand.
Just as Nate moved past Sam, Teddy saw the man who Sam was holding at gunpoint raise his own gun and point it right at him. Teddy dropped into crouch. Sam hit the man’s forearm, just before the shot rang out, causing the bullet to fly high and wide. Teddy heard it hit the wall of the building beside them, and he ducked further on reflex at the noise. Nate had squatted down in front of Teddy, spinning to keep the fight in front of him and Teddy at his back. He had his wand in his hand.
This wasn’t a fight of magic though. The Winchesters went at the two men with their fists, disarming them and then using the guns in their own hands as bludgeoning weapons. Sam punched his opponent into some rubbish bags and then turned swiftly to Nate. Dean continued to fight, unrelenting.
“Car’s in the parking garage two blocks south. Go!” Sam yelled at them, and Nate was pulling Teddy up and running out of the alley before Teddy could form a single thought. The echoes of fists on flesh faded as soon as they were out on the street.
Teddy couldn’t run in his heels. He stumbled over the first curb. Nate caught him and the next thing Teddy knew he was being side-along apparated.
They popped back into the world in front of the entrance to a parkade.
“There was no one on the street and I could see it,” Nate explained, breathless. He pulled Teddy at a calmer pace into the parking facility. Teddy’s heart was still pounding. He couldn’t bring himself to let go of Nate’s arm. Their footsteps echoed through the concrete structure and made Teddy more nervous, it felt like someone was following them, even though he knew it was just the echo.
“Do you remember what their car looks like?” Nate asked. “I never saw it – but you did, right?”
“Black,” Teddy answered. “Big. You’ll know it. It doesn’t look like other cars.”
“Okay,” Nate nodded. “Do you want to tell me what that hunter meant when he said he had tracked you from New Jersey?”
“No,” Teddy answered honestly.
“Teddy, please just tell me he was wrong and you were in your hotel room the whole night, like I thought you were-”
“Can you not yell at me, please,” Teddy pleaded. “I’ve had a really shit day.”
Nate took a deep breath, that Teddy could feel as well as hear, and didn’t say anything more. Teddy was thankful for a few seconds, before he realized that the silence was worse.
He spotted the big black car in amongst the modern models. It was like a vague memory suddenly springing to life – the edges getting sharper, more defined. He pointed to it, afraid to break the tense silence. Nate nodded and they made their way over. Teddy put his hand down on the hood, feeling the cold metal. He remembered what it looked like under the overcast sky of London – he remembered Dean showing it to him, listening while Teddy babbled about all sorts of nonsense, but never getting annoyed. He could remember Dean answering his questions. Dean taking the blame when Teddy’s Gran came outside to find him and was angry that Teddy had left the house without telling her. Teddy didn’t have anyone to take the blame for New Jersey but himself. No one was supposed to have known. Now not only had he attracted the attention of hunters, but they had gone and told both the Winchesters and Nate and now everyone was going to be mad at him... and it was only a matter of time until someone told Harry, and then Harry would be mad at him too.
“Get down,” Nate suddenly ordered, pushing Teddy between the cars and towards the ground. It was only then that Teddy registered the running footsteps – the echo bouncing around the building made it hard to tell exactly where they were coming from, but Nate stood with his wand at the ready facing the way they had entered.
Teddy dropped into a crouch. He leaned forward enough to get his hand down the neckline of his dress, and then shifted his left breast flat for a moment so that he could pull his wand out from where he had stowed it in his bra.
“It’s Sam and Dean,” Nate said in a whisper, but Teddy stayed crouched – if they were running, then they might have someone chasing them.
“Where’s Teddy?!” Dean asked in bark, and Teddy shot to his feet so that he was visible. Dean’s glare didn’t soften, but he nodded. Beside him, Sam looked wide-eyed and harried.
Once the car was unlocked, the command was to “Get in!” so they did that too, sliding into the backseat. Teddy felt like his vocal cords had severed themselves. He was so afraid to say or do the wrong thing.
“Jesus fucking Christ, Dean,” Sam swore, staring at his brother. “What the fuck?”
“Shut-up,” Dean replied. The engine roared to life, and Dean pulled out of the parking spot. He had blood on his knuckles – a lot of blood.
“Do you not remember what they did to us?” Dean yelled at Sam. “Or am I the only one?”
“I remember, but it was-” Sam tried to reply.
“What, just because it’s been a couple years they get a free pass?” Dean yelled. “They shot you right in front of me – and they were going to kill Teddy tonight. What the hell did you expect me to do?”
“They didn’t know,” Sam said.
“And they weren’t going to wait long enough to find out,” Dean replied. “They didn’t last time.”
Silence fell. Tense and frightening. Teddy couldn’t stop staring at Dean’s bloody knuckles. It was only when Nate spoke that Teddy looked away.
“Where are we going?”Nate asked, his voice somehow both soft and gentle, yet extremely loud in the silence of the car.
Sam turned to look at them, as though he had forgotten they were there. “Uh, your hotel – unless... I mean, we can drop you anywhere you like.”
“The hotel is fine,” Teddy found himself saying. Nate had wanted to go to that club, but Teddy couldn’t handle the thought of being in public now.
“So what’s with the gender change?” Dean asked, as though there wasn’t blood on his hands. His tone wasn’t friendly, but Teddy didn’t feel like the anger was directed at him. It was just anger in general.
“What?” Teddy asked.
“Uh, I think what Dean meant is, um...” Sam said, stumbling over his words. “Is this like a permanent thing or... I mean...”
“It’s so people don’t think we’re a couple when we go to gay clubs,” Nate explained.
“I’m still a boy,” Teddy clarified.
The Winchesters both nodded.
“Why don’t you shift back to look like yourself?” Dean asked. “It’s just us in the car.”
“It’d ruin the dress.” Teddy shrugged, adjusting the hemline at his thigh. It was his favourite dress – sky blue. He always did his hair blond when he wore it. He thought he looked a little like Vicki, though obviously not as beautiful.
“Fair enough,” Dean replied, and that seemed to be the end of it. Teddy breathed a sigh of relief.
“You want to tell us what you were doing in New Jersey?” Sam asked. Teddy suddenly wished they were still on the topic of him wearing boobs and a dress.
“No,” Teddy answered.
“Yeah, what Sam meant was – Tell us what you were doing in Jersey, Teddy,” Dean said.
“Nothing,” Teddy muttered.
“Mmhm, sure. So, you didn’t go to New Jersey yesterday in order to track down a werewolf?” Dean continued. “And you didn’t watch hunters kill it. And you didn’t let them see you, and you didn’t lead them right back to New York where Nate was... what? Blissfully unaware of what you were doing?”
Teddy glanced at Nate, only to find that Nate was already glaring at him. Great.
“Maybe I did,” Teddy said. “I could have looked after myself. You didn’t need to-“
“Right, because you were doing such a great job of that when we arrived,” Dean continued. “What the hell were you thinking?”
Teddy didn’t say anything. He looked out the window, wondering why it was taking them so bloody long to get to the hotel – he and Nate could have apparated there by now – directly into the room. There was nothing stopping them except manners, really.
“Listen, kiddo-” Dean started to say.
“Don’t call me kiddo,” Teddy interrupted, before he could think better of it. “I’m a grown man... and you’re not my father.”
“No, but Harry asked us to-”
“Harry’s not my father either,” Teddy stated. “Did you kill those hunters?”
“You don’t gotta change hotels, if that’s what you’re asking,” Dean answered.
“It isn’t,” Teddy said.
“There’s a history there that you don’t know about,” Dean said. “You want to be an adult, fine. Start by minding your own business.”
Teddy laughed. He couldn’t help it. “You first.”
He could see Dean’s grip tighten on the wheel, his bloody knuckles becoming more pronounced.
“Listen, kid – you think we had nothing to do but to come pull your ass out of the fire?” Dean yelled. “Cas called for our help on the way here, but no, we had to come rescue a dumbass teenager. I could be stabbing Metatron in the heart right now.”
“Dean,” Sam said, obviously trying to stop the tirade.
“What?! Sam, we’re wasting our fuckin’ time!” Dean yelled back.
“Well, so sorry to inconvenience you with my fucking life!” Teddy yelled and then apparated back to the hotel room.
He had enough presence of mind to put up a silencing charm before he screamed in frustration. Then he broke a lamp by throwing it at the wall.
Then he realized that he had just left Nate behind.
Nate was going to kill him.
“Well, this is awkward,” Nate said into the silence of the car.
Sam sighed. Dean was silent.
“Erm, I’m sorry... uh, about Teddy,” Nate tried. “We really do appreciate your help, no matter what he says. He’s just having a bit of a rough time of it at the moment.”
“Yeah, him and us both,” Sam replied.
“I’m fine,” Dean announced.
Sam didn’t overly look like he believed him, in Nate’s opinion. If anything, Sam looked a little frightened, which was something that Nate didn’t want to think about.
“Should I... uh... should I go?” Nate replied. “I mean, it’s not... not exactly polite to apparate like that, but if you’d rather-”
Dean shook his head, at first Nate thought he was telling Nate to stay, but then he followed it up with, “Freakin’ wizards. Yeah, get out of here.”
“Okay, uh, bye,” Nate said, and then apparated away. Just before he left, Sam said something – but he couldn’t tell if it was to him or Dean.
He appeared in Teddy’s hotel room.
It was hard to stay mad at his best friend when they were sitting on the floor, in a disheveled blue dress, trying to magic a broken lamp back together while crying.
“Teddy,” Nate sighed.
“I’m sorry,” Teddy sobbed.
“I know,” Nate replied. “Go change your clothes. I’ll fix the lamp.”
“Do you still want to go out?” Teddy asked. Nate gave Teddy a level look – Teddy’s face was already red and puffy from crying. His make-up was a mess and his hair had started shifting unconsciously. He was looking more and more like a bloke in a dress – too exhausted to hold a single appearance.
“No,” Nate replied. “I’ll text Clay and tell him someone tried to mug us. He’ll understand.”
“Okay,” Teddy nodded, and then gave Nate a smile. “He’ll come over to have life-affirming sex. That works out even better for you!”
“If he does, are you going to actually spend the night in your room, or are you going to take off to another state again without telling me?”
Teddy’s smile fell. “I’m sorry – I just... I just wanted to see. I didn’t know there’d be hunters... and I didn’t know that they saw me.”
“I know, Ted,” Nate replied. “But you can’t do that to me again, okay?”
Teddy nodded, which was enough for Nate. Maybe it shouldn’t have been – maybe being the better friend would be to give Teddy a hard time, drive the point home, make him talk about what the hell was going on in his head – But Teddy looked like the slightest thing could break him completely, and Nate couldn’t live with himself if he were the one to do that.
“Go change,” Nate said. “Take those horrible shoes off – I’ll fix the lamp and make some tea.”
Teddy stood and made his way to the bathroom, no doubt to wash off the mascara that was currently smudged over most of his face. Nate put the lamp aside for a moment, and instead went about making tea. Thankfully, he had the foresight to pack some of their special blends from home.