Chapter Six: Green Snakey Skull Thing
'Gabriel?' Castiel's eyes were wide with surprise. 'You're... sure it was him?'
'We're frickin' sure alright. Son of a bitch decided to come over and say hi.' Dean replied, gritting his teeth. They were talking in lowered voices,stood in the queue for the stadium, waiting to gain access to the stands. The Weasleys, Harry and Hermione were just behind them, with the exception of Mr Weasley, who was pushing forward in front, waving his tickets eagerly.
"Let's just hope he isn't involved in what we're investigating.' Sam said, raising his eyebrows. "Although I doubt we can count on it."
'Gabriel does enjoy being around humanity, but I can't understand why he'd be here.' Castiel answered, creasing his brow.
From behind, Ron, Harry and Hermione overheard snippets of the conversation, Ron turning to Harry in confusion and muttering: 'What the hell are they on about?'
'I have absolutely no idea.' Answered Harry, looking to Dean and squinting his eyes. Yes, it was definitely the guy who had called at his house, asking all those weird questions. And the man calling himself Castiel, he had been there, too - Harry could have sworn he'd said something about interrogating Mrs. Figg's cat - he had been just as strange as he was at the moment. What a curious lot of people, as Hermione had commented earlier. Surely not all Americans were like this?
"Come on lads, ladies, we're in!" Called Mr Weasley all of a sudden, beckoning excitedly for the group to hurry up. "The game's going to begin shortly and we still have to get to our seats!"
"Where are they, Mr Weasley?" Asked Hermione politely as they began to climb the twisting stairs upwards. However, it appeared he didn't hear her, and instead they continued clambering upwards. Red and Green flashed by, the steps became steeper, the officials lingering on the field grew smaller and smaller, and still they kept going.
"Blimey Dad, how far up are we?" Panted Ron as they reached another platform before more stairs, and stopped to catch their breath. Before Mr Weasley could reply, however, an all too familiar voice (for the likes of Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys), called from a platform below;
"Well put it this way," Sneered Lucius Malfoy, his face contorted with snotty arrogance. "If it rains - you'll be the first to know."
The group said nothing, but there was an all around gritting of teeth and glaring at Malfoy and his son. A second later, Draco added;
"Father and I are in the minister's box," He boasted from beside his father, face obnoxious and taunting . "By personal invitation of Cornelius Fudge himself!"
"Now, now, Draco, don't boast." Lucius Malfoy said to his son, before turning to Mr Weasley and smirking. "There's no need with these people."
Harry's blood began to boil as he watched both Malfoys sneer at them, wishing heartily he could throw Draco and his father over the rail and into the stadium below. Malfoy opened his mouth to taunt them once more, but Harry had had enough. Beside him, Hermione turned away and the group moved to go - that is, until a voice spoke from behind, slicing the air and stopping them in their tracks.
"I think you should listen to your Dad, Goldilocks" Dean Winchester called, as Draco Malfoy moved to speak again. "Parental advice can come in real handy."
Draco looked up at him, his eyes flickering for a moment in uncertainty, but Lucius Malfoy did not pause. Steely-eyed, he turned to Mr Weasley, then to Dean as if he were no more than an annoying fly. "Well, well, well. Befriending Americans are we now, Weasley? Who have we here?"
Dean looked at him him, unfazed. "My name's Dean Winchester." He answered. "And you must be McDickwad."
Positively snakelike, Lucius Malfoy looked from Dean to Mr Weasley. "Funny." He smirked. "I can't understand a word this one's saying."
"Man, I do apologise for not speaking fluent asshole." Dean replied, his voice loud and clear. "Now you'd better be getting along to the 'Minister's Box' - I hear Gimli's getting impatient, Legolas."
Lucius Malfoy's eyes flashed angrily, filled with confusion, and the group turned away; Ron raising his eyebrows, The Weasley twins grinning at Dean, Hermione smiling slightly, and Sam face palming. However, Mr Malfoy wasn't quite done yet. As they turned to go, he took a step forward and trapped Harry's foot with his cane, pulling him back.
"Enjoy yourself, Potter." His voice was deadly cold, laced with an underlying threat. "While you can."
With a sharp flick of his cane, Lucius Malfoy released Harry and freed him moved to walk on before he himself turned to walk away - but not before glancing at Dean again, eyes suspicious and spiteful. Dean saw him, raised his hand, and waved, a mock friendly smile on his face, then moved to follow the rest of the group resuming their journey up the stairs
"Jeez," Dean commented, walking in line with the Weasleys and Harry and Hermione. He looked to the group. "Who was that douchebag?"
"Lucius bloody Malfoy." Answered Ron with contempt. "Works in the Ministry of Magic, where our Dad is. Not in the same department, though, he's much higher up."
"He's filthy rich," Began Fred.
"And thinks he's the king of England." Added George.
"And, as you correctly stated, an arsehole." Fred began the sentence, and George chimed in on the last two words for effect. Dean looked at them and scoffed in amusement. They really had the sassy twin act perfected, these two.
"The Malfoys are Purebloods." Said Hermione helpfully, looking across at Dean. Dean looked at her blankly, and she hastily continued in her automatically know-it-all tone. "Oh, well - they're old, rich wizarding families whose ancestry is completely free of Muggle marriages and blood, so they are purely magical.
Dean screwed up his face. "Right."
They turned a corner and the group shifted so that Dean fell back to walk beside his brother. Not noticing the look on Sam's face, Dean leant in and said in a low voice:
"Well, you'll be proud of me, Sammy." He declared. "I've been bonding with the kids and learning about the wizarding world. Didn't realise supremacy existed here as well."
Sam, however ignored his brother's criticising comment. Instead, he turned to Dean earnestly, eyes alight. "Dean, that Malfoy guy - Bobby and I investigated him when we were putting together the case." Dean perked up at this, and looked to his brother with renewed interest. "He used to be a Death Eater - one of the closest advisors to You-Know-Who himself. He is literally at the centre of a whole network of Slytherin Purebloods who joined You-Know-Who's cause."
"Wait, what?" Dean questioned in confusion. "You're telling me Lord Smorgasbord's right-hand man is skippin' freely through the wizard world and working in the Government after all that guy did? Shouldn't they like, I dunno, arrest him?"
"He was arrested when You-Know-Who fell." Answered Sam. "But he was one of the Death Eaters to plead not guilty because they were allegedly being made to do things under the Imperius Curse - a spell that allows the caster to control another witch of wizard's mind."
Dean snorted. "Yeah, right, they were being controlled. The Government frickin believed that? Man, these wizards are even stupider than I thought."
Sam sighed. "Malfoy had friends in high places, a wife and young son - he managed to make himself look innocent. In the eyes of most people, he's entirely blameless for what he did."
"Yeah because just looking at that guy gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside." Dean answer, shaking his head, and then looked up at Sam. "So you think he'd run back to Lord Smorgasbord if the dude's back in town?"
Sam nodded. "No doubt about it. Bobby and I looked at the case reports, it's clear the guy was one of You-Know-Who's most loyal supporters. We'll have to watch out for him, maybe he'll give something away." Sam raised his eyebrows, glancing towards Harry far in front of them. "To be honest, I think he just did."
"What?" Questioned Dean, but Sam noticed they were had finally reach the stand where their seats were, and promptly shushed him.
"Ssh, we're here." Sam looked around. "Where's Cas?"
Castiel, it appeared, was deep in conversation with Mr Weasley - or rather, Cas was staring him unresponsively and giving single-syllabled answers in a gravelly monotone whilst Mr Weasley talked most animatedly, watching the Angel intently for reactions. Sam creased his brow - there was something strange about Mr Weasley's attitude.
"Cas!" Dean called, striding forward to take a seat on the other side of where the Weasleys were sat. "Over here!"
Castiel looked up and slowly turned away from Mr Weasley to approach the two Winchesters. He sat down next to Dean, and Sam looked at him in curiosity. "What was Weasely talking to you about? Looked like a pretty intense conversation."
Castiel creased his brow. "He was asking me who invented the rubber duck."
Dean and Sam raised their eyebrows. "Oh." Answered Sam. "Well that's… interesting."
"It isn't really." Castiel answered, expression blank. "Balthazar was 'having a bad day'." He sighed. "I told him not to mess around with isoprene polymers."
Neither Dean or Sam had any time to retort to this, as, a second later, the Weasley twins stood up further along the row and called;
"Oi, any of you want a pair of Omnioculars?" Asked Fred.
"Turns out Harry bought one pair too many." Followed George.
"Thought you might want one?" Fred looked from Sam to Dean as George waved an item, that looked like a pair of mini binoculars, both twins grinning.
"Oh yeah, that'd be great," Exclaimed Sam, and George chucked the Omnioculars to him. Sam caught them with a grateful smile. "Thanks guys!"
"Our pleasure." They replied in unison, and then sat down. Sam, still grinning, moved to bring the omniculars up to his eyes, but suddenly found Dean wrenching them out of his hands.
"Gimme those." Dean snapped, putting them over his eyes and looking onto the crowd. Sam sighed and leaned back, defeated. "Now what have we here… oh - score! Man that is hot! Whew!" Sam rolled his eyes as Dean grinned, Omniculars still over his face. "Okay I officially love these! God, you gotta give it to the wizarding world, they sure have some fun inventions. Hey Sam, Sammy, here - look."
As suddenly as they had been ripped from his grasp, Sam found the omniculars being thrust over his eyes and Dean dragging him sideways to point them in the right direction. The image Sam was greeted with a second later was a pair of highly attractive witches snogging next to a group of ancient wizards, who appeared
to be extremely uncomfortable.
Sam pushed the omniculars away from his face and turned to Dean, who was grinning like an excited kid. "What the hell, Dean? These are meant for watching sport, not being a skeezy creep." Sam sighed, shaking his head, and turned away. Dean, in turn, rolled his eyes and made a face at Sam before standing up on the bench and turning to his right to address the Weasleys.
"Hey guys, have you see the hot-"
In a quick slice of movement, Sam reached his arm upwards, caught hold of Dean's collar and hauled him backwards. Dean looked affronted, but didn't have time to say anything. Trumpets began to sound, and a murmur of excitement rippled through the stadium. From the top box, a voice called out, jovial and cheery;
'"Ladies and gentlemen...welcome! Welcome to the final of the four hundred and twenty-second Quidditch World Cup!"
There was a thunderous applause from the crowd, but there were a few who didn't clap. Instantly recognising the voice despite the clear British accent, Castiel turned to the Winchesters with wide eyes. 'That's Gabriel.'
'Yup.' Sam answered. 'Apparently he's 'Ludo Bagman, Head of Magical Games and Sports at the Ministry of Magic, Former Beater for the Wimbourne Wasps and Official Umpire for this Match'.'
Castiel nodded somberly as he looked at Sam and Dean. 'You're right, this is unsettling.'
Dean raised his eyebrows. 'What about Gabriel isn't?'
"And now, without further ado," Gabriel's voice continued to boom throughout the stadium. "Allow me the pleasure of introducing… the Bulgarian National Team Mascots!"
There was instant roaring from the right side of the stands that was a sea of red - the Bulgarian supporters. Dean leant forward - this might be England, but he knew nothing about Bulgaria. Maybe, just maybe, they believed in the magic of foxy Cheerleaders?
"I wonder what they've brought," He heard Mr. Weasley say. Turning to look along the row, he saw that the wizard was leaning forward in his seat. "Aaah!" Mr Weasley suddenly whipped off his glasses and polished them hurriedly on his robes. "Veela!"
Dean's brow creased with confusion, and turned to look into the stadium. Next to him, Sam was busy stuffing his fingers into his ears. Faintly, Dean heard the Potter kid question; "What are veel -?"
But both Harry and Dean's confusion was put to rest a second later, however, as hundreds of Veela began to pour onto the pitch. And then, Dean understood. Forget cheerleaders; Veela were…
'Hot…' Dean whispered - because the Veela were now dancing, and his mind had gone strangely blank. If they weren't so smokin he might have wanted to stake one through the heart. He began to yell for no particular reason - all he knew is that the Veela must not stop dancing. If they stopped, the world would end, the apocalypse would come, Jefferson Starship would make a comeback…
Along the row of seats, Harry and Weasley boys were fairing no better. As Ginny and Hermione stared at them, Harry found himself transfixed on the dancing Veela, roaring his support for Bulgaria despite the shamrock pinned to his chest. They were so impossibly, unearthly beautiful - no one could be that beautiful, and yet they were; the way their skin shone moon-bright, their silvery hair fanned out around them, the way their moved; like water graceful and entrancing. He was gripped with the desire to do something impressive, something to grab their attention. Leaping off the wall of the box suddenly seemed a good idea…
Slowly, Harry crept forward, eyes alight and fixed on the Veela, and made to scale the wall, closely followed by Ron, who had previously been shredding his Shamrock hat to pieces in lovestruck anguish. Dean Winchester, however, was one step ahead of them.
God, he wanted to sleep with one of them. Scratch that; he wanted to sleep with all of them. Man, they were a tease, dancing all the way down there, just so he had to leap out into the stadium below to reach them..
"Hi…" He mumbled, barely audible, talking to an imaginary Veela in front of him. He put on a smoulder. "My namessss Dean, Dean Winchester.." He held out his hand, stumbling forward and grinning like a horny teenager. "And I am very pleased to meet you... heheheheh…"
Sam, meanwhile, was busy holding his fingers in his ears and desperately trying not to look at the Veela. He had read about them before; what their true form was, what they did to men - Dean would be more affected than himself, but no man was completely safe from the Veela's spe- oh god. Sam's face dawned in realisation. Dean.
Sam looked up, trying desperately not to look at the Veela and instead focusing on his brother; who was busy balancing precariously on the wall of the box and shouting: "I'M THE KING OF THE WORLD! WOOOOOOOOOOO!" Unlike Harry and the Weasleys, Dean looked as if he were actually going to jump - and Sam knew that he would. This was Dean he was talking about.
Sam looked wildly around, and his eyes came to rest on Castiel, who was still seated, looking entirely unaffected at the whole situation. "CAS!" Sam yelled. The Angel turned his head slowly to look at Sam. Sam nodded wildly to Dean. "DO SOMETHING?"
Castiel turned to look at Dean, who had now taken his shirt off and started whipping it around and yelling. "YOU WANT SOME? YOU WANT SOME? WELL I GOT SOME, BABY!" Castiel sighed, walked forward, and pulled Dean to the ground. Dazed, Dean had no time to react before Cas reached up his hand and touched Dean's forehead.
"Now look at them." Castiel said to his friend, eyes dark. Dean stared at him faintly, desires for the Veela still filling his head, and turned to look out onto the stadium. But instead of the beautiful women, he was greeted by the image of two dozen harpies dancing across the stadium. Hooked beaks, black skin, glowing red eyes… it appeared that Dean's original instinct to stake them through the heart had been correct.
Dean turned to Castiel, mouth open in horror. "What - what've you done to them? Bring back the hot chicks, Cas, you can't crush my dreams like this!"
Castiel looked at him soberly. "This is their true form." The Veela had begun to drift off the pitch, angry yells filling the stadiums. "Their beauty is an illusion."
"Well dammit, Cas, maybe I like illusions!" Dean answered grouchily. He looked back at the Veela and grimaced. A moment later, Sam appeared next to him, safe now that the Veela disappeared to a further corner of the pitch.
"Well you know what they say; never judge a book by its cover." He said smugly.
Dean looked at him. "Dude, could you sound any more like an old lady?"
Down the row of seats, Harry, Ron and the Weasley twins sat blinking, attempting to recover from the Veela's performance. Ron was still shredding his Shamrock hat between his fingers, and Mr Weasley, smiling in amusement, leant forward and rescue the poor thing.
"You'll be wanting that," he said, "once Ireland have had their say."
"Huh?" Ron questioned, still staring openmouthed at the veela.
Hermione made a loud tutting noise, and reached up to pull Harry back into his seat. "Honestly!" She exclaimed disapprovingly. Sam, sitting back down in his seat next to her, restrained a smile.
"And now!" Gabriel's voice roared suddenly through the pitch, making a still-dazed Dean jump. "Kindly put your wands in the air… for the Irish National Team Mascots!"
A green-and-gold comet rushed into the pitch, did a lap of it, and then split into two smaller comets. A second later, fireworks were going off and a large, sunshiny rainbows had spread across the pitch. And then, the mascots came -and Dean's face settled into an expression of ultimate contempt.
"You gotta be frickin' kidding me."
AFTER THE MATCH
"So, how is the betrayer?"
"Hey, who you calling a betrayer?"
"You switched teams, Dean. To the winning side."
"And? Not like I even understand how the game works."
"We were meant to be supporting the Irish."
"They had Leprechauns, Dude! LEPRECHAUNS. There ain't no way I am supporting a team that makes me watch those things dance!"
Sam and Dean were stood in the Weasley's tent, having been invited to the celebratory after party of Ireland winning. Everyone was in high spirits; Sam smiling through this conversation with Dean, Dean actually good-natured,it looked although he was warming towards some of the wizarding world. Ginny and Hermione were over in one corner quizzing Castiel on the American Wizarding World, although there was no need to worry because Ginny was leading the conversation and appeared to think giving bizarre answers to things was Castiel's sense of humour; Fred and George had disappeared out of the tent briefly in search of some form of contraband, unbeknownst to Mr Weasley; who was in the corner chatting animatedly to Harry whilst Ron watched in amazement at the conversation that was passing between Castiel and Ginny.
"So, where are you from in America?"
"I'm not from America."
"Oh? So - where were you born?"
"I wasn't strictly born. Created would be the correct term."
"Ohhh, right; created. Gotcha..."
This exchange reached the Winchesters; Sam shook his head, facepalming, whilst Dean raised his eyebrows humorously, opening his mouth to stop Castiel from making any further comments. He was cut short, however, by the calls of two very tipsy Weasley twins yelling across the tent at them:
"Oi, Winchester! Come show us your moves! We wanna know how you took Wise Arse down earlier!"
Dean exchanged glances with Sam, who chuckled at Dean's full-of-himself expression as he turned to walk over to the Weasley brothers. Sam took a sip of firewhiskey and began to watch the scene in amusement - Dean had assumed a defensive position and was now beckoning the twins to 'come at him'. This was not going to end well.
There was a movement beside him, and he turned to see Hermione helping herself to a glass of butterbeer on the table two feet away. And second later, she looked up and Sam quickly smiled at her. Now was as good a time as any to see if he could get any information from her, and since she appeared to be one of Harry's best friends, she could be useful.
"Oh, Hello." She said politely, looking up.
Sam smiled again. "Enjoy the game?"
"Actually, I did." She answered, grinning. "I don't usually find Quidditch very exhilarating but, well - who couldn't say that wasn't exciting."
Sam grinned warmly in agreement. "Man, yeah, it was amazing. I'm so glad we came."
There was another slight pause, before Sam continued hastily;
"And you know it's great to meet some English wizards like you guys as well; get a feel for the British Wizarding World ."
Hermione laughed slightly. "Well you're hardly getting a look at the most impressive specimens here, unfortunately." She glanced over at Ron, who was busy teasing Ginny mercilessly - who, in turn, was throwing fierce punches in his direction.
Sam chuckled, raising his eyebrows. "Well I can't say the US is represented any better in our group." His eyes turned to Dean, who was trying to teach the Weasley twins how to get out of a headlock; restraining Fred with some effort whilst the twin attempted to stamp on his feet. Sam shook his head and turned back to Hermione "So, uh - where are you from in England?"
"Oh, from a place called Hampstead. In London." She replied with a quick smile. "But to be honest so much of my time is spent at Hogwarts that it feels more like home to me now." She looked at him. "What about you? Where is home for you and your brother?"
Sam's face numbed slightly at this, his smile wavering slightly. The only home he'd ever had was that first one. Lawrence, Kansas. Mum, Dad, Dean and him. Sam didn't even remember it, but, in the back of his mind, there was a feeling… a feeling of being utterly safe and happy, long ago. He'd always guessed it had come from that time. Maybe he'd just imagined it, but he hadn't felt it anyplace after that. There was never another home after Kansas.
"I can't say I ever had a particular home." Sam recovered himself, and smiled quickly after the briefest of pauses. "We've been on the move since I was born."
Hermione raised her eyebrows. "Gosh, I couldn't imagine that." She laughed. "My home life seems so ordinary in comparison."
"Having a ordinary life isn't necessarily a bad thing." Sam found himself saying reflectively, Hermione turning to look at him curiously. He recovered and, coughing hastily, took the opportunity to steer the conversation in the desired direction. "And well, your one life might be ordinary but your school life sounds eventful. Sounds like there have been quite a few things going on there recently."
Hermione paused slightly, then laughed, raising her eyebrows. "Oh, well, yes - life at Hogwarts is never dull." There was something different in her eyes when she looked back at Sam, though - something very aware and focused. "But I'm sure you get up to all sorts of things travelling - what happens at Hogwarts would be very mundane to you. What was it you said you father did?"
"He was an Auror." Replied Sam shortly. He had already gaged from her reaction that Bobby was right in his instincts - something had been going on at Hogwarts, and it seemed Hermione knew about it.
"Gosh, really?" Hermione questioned in a kind of eager fascination. "And your cousin, did he grow up with you?"
"No, he, uh, lived with his family elsewhere." Answered Sam, looking at her. "So what's life like at Hogwarts? I can't wait to get there."
Hermione paused slightly and met his gaze as if realising something. There was something curious in her eyes. "Well, Hogwarts is wonderful, of course." She answered, smiling politely. "You certainly choose the right school to transfer to. You'll love it there."
"Oh yeah, my brother and I went for Hogwarts straight away." Sam answered." We did hear some strange rumours about things happening there the past couple of years though. something about students being petrified - a werewolf professor?" Sam said, watching closely. He laughed, keeping up the facade. "Sounds promising for adventure."
Hermione paused falteringly, then smiled. "Indeed."
Sam looked at her innocently. "So - did any of that happen?"
"Oh no." Hermione laughed incredulously with no confidence. "Nothing like that goes on at Hogwarts."
Sam laughed, raising his eyebrows. "Well, that's good to know."
Hermione smiles, but was back onto him in a second. "So what brings you and your relations over?"
"Oh well, I guess we all just fancied a change of air. Decided to do something together." Sam answered shortly.
"Ah right. So where did you go to school before?"
"Oh, Ilvermony, of course."
"Oh really? It sounds like an amazing place. Which house were you in?"
"Uh, Horned Serpent."
"And your brother and cousin went there too? I suppose in the '80s or something?"
"Well yeah, I mean-"
They were suddenly interrupted by the Weasley twins rushing between them; jigging wildly and screeching a mock-Irish tune. Their conversation broken, Hermione rolled her eyes in amusement and hurried over to Ron and Harry. Sam watched her go with intrigue, then turned to survey the rest of the room. It looked like Dean was join in as well, whipping an Irish flag high above his head, a bottle of fire whisky in the other hand, whilst Ginny appeared to be painting a perplexed Castiel's fingernails in the Irish colours.
Sam, however, only took this in briefly. He had other things on his mind - the conversation with Hermione had certainly revealed a few things. It had taken him a minute to work out what she was doing, and he was a veteran in the line of getting information out of people without them knowing. Whilst he'd been trying to get information out of her - she'd shared the same aim. Yes, Hermione Granger had realised something was up; which meant, most likely, her friends Ron and Harry did too. After all, Dean and Cas had hardly been inconspicuous about their visit to Potter or their complete lack of knowledge regarding the wizarding world, and all three of the, probably smelt a rat. She'd gone about interrogating him sneakily, though. Sam had to give it to her; she was smart.
His train of thought was suddenly interrupted by more commotion - this time, it was Ronald Weasley; baited by his cousin and infused with the excitement of the evening. He was stood on a chair, magnificently proclaiming his love for the Bulgarian seeker and becoming a sitting target for his quick-witted brothers.
"There's no one like Krumm!"
"Oh no?" Questioned George, still dancing around wildly.
"He's like a bird, the way he rides the wind."
The Weasley twins began a caveman-like chanting of "Krumm, Krumm, Krumm," that everyone soon joined in on.
"He's more than an athlete," Ron continued passionately as Fred threw an Irish flag over him. Ron shook it off impatiently. "He's an artist!"
"Think you're in love, Ron?" Questioned Ginny airily. She had now finished painting Cas's fingernails and jumped up to join the fun.
Ron scowled at her. "Shut up."
"Viktor I love you," Fred sang, jumping out from behind him.
"Viktor I do!" Continued George, appearing the other side of Ron.
"When we're apart my heart beats only for you!" Everybody sang (including Dean, whose input was painfully tone-deaf).
As the singing stopped, Fred turned to face the tent door, noticing the increasing noise outside. "Sounds like the Irish have got their pride on." He commented.
All of a sudden, Mr Weasley, who had been stood by the door, aside from the fray, ran in and grabbed Fred. "Stop! Stop it!" He beat away the flags in George's hands and turned to them ominously. "It's not the Irish."
All of them heard it then. The screams, the yells, the explosions. The sound of panic, chaos and, ultimately, danger.
"We've got to get out of here, now!" Mr Weasley shouted, panic rising in his voice. As everybody turned to each other wildly and raced towards the door, Sam and Dean exchanged glances. They had switched into a different mode; a mode in which everyone had to be accounted for, everyone had to be kept safe, and everyone needed to be organised. Mr Weasley also seemed to share this state of mind - and not without reason. Outside the tent it was total chaos; fires blazing everywhere as tents were set on fire, screams echoing through the camp. Distantly, someone screeched: "Get out, it's the Death Eaters!" Once they were outside, he surveyed the chaos for a split second and then yelled:
"Get back to the portkey everyone and stick together!" He yelled, then turned to the twins: "Fred, George; Ginny is your responsibility!"
"Sam, take these three out of here!" Dean also took charge, gesturing to Ron, Hermione and Harry. "Cas, come with me!"
But Castiel had disappeared, and as Sam began to run, beckoning Harry, Ron and Hermione to follow, Dean was separated from them by a crowd of stampeding people. Sam was disorientated by the same crowd a few paces ahead, and battled his way to Ron and Hermione in panic.
"Where's Harry?!" He yelled as he reached them, looking around frantically for the kid.
Ron looked around in realisation. "I don't know." He answered, voice laced in panic. "HARRY!"
Sam searched the crowd, a head above most of the people but still unable to see Harry - or Dean and Cas, for that matter. It was completely insane. "HARRY?!" He joined in the yelling. "DEAN!"
All three of them were calling across the haze, but a second later, Sam saw the shadows of their attacks approaching. There was no time to search for the missing party - the three of them had to get out of there now. Swallowing, he turned to grab Ron's arm, gesturing to the pair. "Come on!" Sam yelled to them. "They aren't here! We have to go, now!"
Faces riddled with worry and uncertainty, Ron and Hermione regretfully turned away and followed him, running with the crowd in no particular direction. Sam glance over his shoulder as they raced away from the danger, and prayed that Dean and Cas could look after themselves with wizarding magic factored into the equation.
Dean was also alone in the crowd - he'd lost both Cas and Mr Weasley in the chaos and could hear the attackers fast approaching. Gritting his teeth, Dean watched as the last scurrying witches and wizards ran past him, and then darted to his left to hide behind a nearby tent. He didn't exactly have a plan - he was still working on it - but he might as well get a look at these sons of bitches and go from there. Integrating themselves with Potter and his associates had been the reason for coming to the match, but if Dean could get anything out of this attack, it'd be an upside.
Dean held his breath, the noise of the crowd now far away, and heard the heavy footsteps of the attackers approaching. Hesitantly, he poked his head out from behind the tent and saw them passing; cloaked in black robes and wearing sinister metals masks that shone in the light of the flaming tents around them. Dean rolled his eyes. Great, they had masks. No identifying them, then. These boys were serious.
He crouched behind the tent until they'd passed, then reached reluctantly into the pocket of his jacket for the wand Sam had forced him to carry. Surveying it with distaste, Dean stood up and carefully crept onto the path, the figures marching ahead of him. They had started going off in all directions and, with a sigh, Dean withdrew into the tent he'd been hiding behind to avoid the ravaging Dead in the Dining Room participants.
Meanwhile, Castiel found himself swept up in a throng of Bulgarians. More specifically, the Bulgarian National Quidditch Team. They were all vaulting onto brooms next to their maroon tents, and as Castiel stood there in confusion, one of them noticed him.
"You take?" The woman held out a broom to the dazed angel and wildly jabbed hier finger upwards. "Ve need spy - fly? - ve need fly up!"
Castiel looked slowly from the broom to the Quidditch player. "Sŭzhalyavam ... Ne znam kakvo da pravya s tazi ... letyashta chetka."
The woman stared at him, amazed. Castiel didn't hear what she said next however, as he was knocked back by another terrified wizard running for his life. Everything went black for a moment, and when he opened his eyes, the Quidditch Player and her broom were gone.
Castiel watched the desolation happening around him, searching the crowd for Sam and Dean. Finding neither of them, he sighed, closed his eyes and attempted to teleport. It was worth a try.
A second later, there was a loud rush of air and the sound of material against air. Castiel opened his eyes to feel something heavy on his back and looked left and right. Two feathering objects extended either side of him; ebony in plumage and extending twelve foot either side. Oh. His wings were visible. He'd forgotten what this wizarding magic did to him.
Castiel looked upwards, then to take in the chaos erupting in the wake of the attackers. There was nothing else for it - he'd have to attempt flying. For one, he had to get out of there and put the wings back in the ethereal dimension.
Frowning, and thanking his father there were no wizards around him at this moment, he beat his wings once, and flew into the ether. The dimension that was familiar to him, that he flew within every time he teleported, suddenly shook, and he found himself veering off his flight, and appearing in the center of some.. wizard tent? Sighing at yet another affection to his powers from being around this, modern magic, Castiel gritted his teeth, and after beating his wings once more, put them back in the dimension they belonged in.
Unluckily, the reaction might have been a little too late.
Castiel stared back at the figure standing four feet away, eyes as wide as the ones he looked into.
Viktor Krumm raised one finger slowly, hand shaking, and pointed at Castiel in utter disbelief. "An - angel?"
Among desolate remains of the wizard's campsite, Harry Potter's eyes opened.
Everything was silent and dark - there was no noise, no light, no movement. Ashes drifted through the cold air, among the burnt-out skeletons of tents, stalls and caravans. His breath misted in the air above, and all he could hear was his own heart thumping in his chest. How long had he been unconscious for? Ten minutes? An hour? Harry struggled to sit up - and then stopped, his breath catching in his throat.
About twenty metres away, he could see the silhouette of a man; dressed in a long black coat, wand at his side. He was facing Harry head on, and seemed to catch sight of him. Instinctive alarm bells went off in Harry's head, and he scrambled in panic to get up - that is before he went something grab him by the arm and haul him to his feet.
"Come on, kid." Dean Winchester said, pushing Harry to run and joining him in the sprint away from the assailant. Not pausing to question what the Winchester guy was doing there, Harry began to race through the wasteland, closely followed by Winchester. They quickly reached the shell of a stall, and Winchester grabbed Harry and shoved him behind it before turning round to look out across the fly stretch of land where the man was running towards them. A second later, the sound of a gun being fired made Harry jump out of his skin - Mr. Winchester was aiming a revolver at the man, shooting four times at the figure in the darkness. Harry watched as the shadow turned abruptly and ran, and Winchester fired two more times. The shadow was gone, though, and Mr Winchester cursed, and turned away and slopped the gun back into his coat. Silence had fallen once more - but only for a split second.
"Harry!" The yell echoed round the camp distantly, and Harry stopped. Ron.
"Harry, where are you?"
And Hermione too! Harry turned abruptly to see his friend rushing towards him, reaching him moments later. "Been looking for you for ages!" Ron panted, his voice filled with relief. "Thought we lost you mate!"
"We heard gunshots, are you okay?" Hermione questioned anxiously, then realised Dean was there. "Oh, Mr Winchester!" She exclaimed. "What're you doing here?"
But Dean wasn't looking at her, he was looking at the sky, and Harry followed his gaze before crying out with horror. "What is is that?!"
High in the starry sky, the monstrous image of a skull glowed luminescent green, a snake winding out of its grinning mouth and hissing in the wind. A low murmur of haunting whispers filled the air, coming from the enchantment, and the effect was horrifying. Harry stared at it in terror, and a burning pain in his forehead hit him. As he reached his hand to hold his scar in agony, voices suddenly echoed through the wasteland, yelling. "STUPIFY!" Jets of red light surrounded them, and Dean pulled them all down just in time to avoid the spells fired at them from all sides.
"STOP!" Came a furious shout from the sidelines. "THAT'S MY SON!" As the figures around them stopped firing, Mr Weasley came dashing towards them. "Ron, Harry, Hermione, are you alright?" He held his son by one shoulder and then turned to Dean. "And Mr Winchester, are you okay?"
Dean rose slowly and looked round at the witches and wizards who had fired the spells with contempt. "Oh yeah," he said sarcastically. "I'm peachy."
He has no time complain, however, as, a second later; another wizard came rushing onto the scene - this one sporting a handlebar moustache and an expression that could be likened to insanity. "Which of you conjured it?!" He cried hoarsely, pointing his wand frantically from Harry to Ron to Hermione.
Mr Weasley was staring at him. "Crouch, you can't possibly-"
"Which of you lie?!" The man, Barty Crouch, spoke over him, still staring accusingly at the quartet. "You've been discovered at the scene of the crime!"
"Crime?" Questioned Harry and Dean in unison, also wearing identical expressions of extreme confusion.
"Barty, they're just kids!" Exclaimed Mr Weasley.
"Not that one!" Barty Crouch swivelled round to point his wand at Dean, who looked indignant.
"Heyyy, I'm young at heart!"
"What crime?" Persisted Harry, looking from Mr Weasley to Mr Crouch for an answer. Instead, he got it from Hermione, who whispered frantically:
"It's the dark mark, Harry, it's his mark!"
"Dark mark?" Questioned Dean. "God, why couldn't you just call it the "Green Snakey Skull Thing"? Man these names are driving me crazy."
"Voldemort?" Harry questioned in disbelief, paying no attention to Dean and looking up at the horrifying image in the sky, then back to Mr Crouch. "Those people tonight. In the masks." He said in realisation. "They're his too, aren't they - his followers."
Mr Weasley nodded, voice trembling. "Death Eaters."
There was a tense pause all round, as Barty Crouch's eyes filled with fearful regret. Dean, however, was no longer focusing on the conversation, he was looking round for Sam and Castiel.
"Hey!" He turned back to the group. "Anyone seen my brother? Or Cas?"
"You!" Barty Crouch suddenly swivelled round on him, wand up against Dean's throat. "Perhaps they did not cast it, but you did! Are you one of them! Are you a death eater!"
"Woah woah woah!" Dean protested. "Okay first off would you take your pointy stick away my throat, it's kinda hard to breathe with that thing shoved against my windpipe. And secondly - how can I be a Death Eater thing? I'm American, we'd never come up with something as sophisticatedly sadistic as that! Nah, we leave it to you Brits!"
"Do you think you're funny, Mr Winchester?!" Barty Crouch yelled hoarsely.
Dean smiled charmingly at the twitching wizard. "I think I'm adorable."
"He didn't do it, Mr Crouch!" Cried Harry in panic, eager to set things right. "He saved me from the man who did - at least I think I saw the man who did it."
Barty Crouch looked to Harry briefly and then turned back to stare at Dean with his fish-like eyes. "And did you see this man, sir?"
Dean set his jaw, meeting Crouch's stare. Harry, on the other hand, continued his defence of Dean, and burst out:
"He even shot him!"
There was a quick snap of movement as all heads turned to look at Dean Winchester in amazement.
"Shot him?" Questioned Mr Weasley in disbelief. "With a - a gum? A muggle gum?"
Dean rolled his eyes, took a step away from Mr Crouch's wand, and reached into his coat to bring out the pistol Harry had seen him using before. "It's gun." He informed Mr Weasley. "Or, more precisely, a Colt M1911A1. Quite a nifty little firearm for picking out Death Eaters. Unfortunately, I didn't get this one."
"Yes but… why didn't you use your wand?" Questioned Mr Weasley, looking at Dean, brow creased with confusion. Dean shrugged in reply before jumping out of his skin at Barty Crouch's next comment.
"Ha!" The wizard yelled. "The wand! Give it to me, now! Then we shall she if you're telling the truth."
Dean raised his eyebrows at Mr Crouch but obliged, pulling the stick from his pocket. "Okay then."
Crouch grabbed the wand from Dean's outstretched hand and held his own to it, eyes alight with expectancy. "Prior Incantato!"
There was a flash of gold light, and then something shot out of Dean's wand and hit Fred Weasley, who had been standing amongst the crowd behind his father. Instantly, he began to writhe. "Oh, great. I know this one is." He looked at Dean as bats began to pour out his nose. "Lethal, this one. Ginny's worse though.
Dean grinned and gave Fred the thumbs up - thank god for Sammy deciding that that was the most important spell for him to learn. Dean looked back to Crouch defiantly and smiled sweetly. "See? I'm harmless."
Crouch stared at him, lingering for a second, then moved away. "Come on!" He called shakily to the crowd around him. "Follow me!"
The crowd of ministry officials around them began to move, and Mr Weasley, Ron and Hermione clustered around Hardy. Dean, meanwhile, slipped his pistol into his coat only to look up and see Sam making his way over, face riddled with confusion.
"Hey, Sammy." He grinned as Sam reached him. "You won't believe what I just went through to prove I'm not a Death Eater. Man these Brits are paranoid."
Sam raised his eyebrows. "Actually, I just saw it all happen. Nice work."
Dean snorted. "Well thanks for defending me." He looked round curiously. "Where's Cas?"
"With Ginny. He found his way back to us about ten minutes ago, seems okay." Sam answered. He looked at Dean. "What about you, you okay? Shame you didn't see that guy Harry was talking about."
Dean smiled and looked at his brother, face filled with smugness. "Oh, but I did see him, Sam." He answered, then looked up at the dark mark still spread across the night sky. "I saw the son of a bitch who did this."
A/N: I am so, so, so sorry for not updating this in so long or telling you guys what was happening! I haven't been able to find time to write properly over this past month, as we've had different guests staying each week, which took up all my time on top of studying and other things; and I just couldn't do this chapter justice until now. I really do apologise for not letting you know and just abandoning it for that time, but I'll be updating regularly each Saturday from now on; . And as an extra big "Sorry!", there'll be another chapter coming out tomorrow. It'll be much shorter and more of a special feature but hopefully you'll enjoy it!
With this chapter, I'm aware it might be a bit confusing with the scene-switching, so if you have any tips on how to make the change more obvious, please let me know! What do you think of Dean's reaction to the Veela, and Sam's conversation with Hermione? If any of you could leave a review of just a sentence or two, it would mean the world to me. Thank you so much!
Also - MAJOR SPOILER ALERT; IF YOU'RE NOT CAUGHT UP ON SEASON 13, DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING - what does everyone think about Gabriel being back? I am so happy omg my sister and I couldn't stop screaming when we saw it was him!