A/N: Well hello, and welcome to chapter three! Sorry for the amount of time it took for this chapter to get written and posted! I've been sick and NaNoWriMo is kicking my ass (I'm at least 2000 words behind and probably more than that), and I have school work on top of all of it. When I wrote this chapter I really wasn't happy with it, which is part of the reason why it has taken so long. I wasn't happy with the pacing of it or the characterizations and it wasn't living up to my expectations. But, I let it sit for a while and then looked back over it, made a couple of changes, and I'm satisfied (sort of). Here is where the paths of our favorite brothers and our wizarding couple finally meet! Any mistakes are completely mine, since this un-beta'd, so please excuse them, and let me know when you spot them. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: No...still not mine. Maybe I'll get them for Christmas?
He's in one of his moods. Dust flies from the corners as the rickety house shakes to its very foundations; she can hear him yelling. From the bottom of the stairs she can see the changing, shifting colors through the crack at the bottom of his closed door, and she can hear the sizzle of spells hitting wood. She pauses there at the bottom of the stairs, shaking as she stairs up. More than anything she wants to duck her head and scurry away, but her wand is shuddering in her hand, the tip glowing a soft blue color.
She gulps and forces herself to climb the stairs. At the top she raises and hand and raps her knuckles softly against the door. Inside, complete silence falls. She stands there, shaking harder, waiting.
The door flies open and he is there, wand clenched in his white-knuckled hand, his eyes dark and furious. She flinches and ducks her head, fixing her gaze on the ground. She sinks into a curtsy, holding the position and trying to control her trembling.
"I've warned you about disturbing me." He says. His voice is a growl, the words pushed through gritted teeth. She flinches again.
"I'm sorry, sir." She says, her voice soft. "But you told me I was to inform you of my progress regarding—."
"I will not tolerate your excuses!" He shouts and she clamps her lips shut. "You've interrupted vital spell-work, Mary. You will be punished." She shivers all over, chill racing up and down her spine. She bites her lower lip to keep a wail from bursting out and nods.
"I'm sorry, sir."
"Since you've already disturbed me…what do you want?"
"I located the two muggles who were at the sacrifice's house, sir, and I placed a tracking charm on their automobile. The wards of the house just went off again—the two muggles have returned there."
She peers up through her eyelashes—his expression is less angry now. A grin spreads over his face. "Excellent," he purrs. The grin is vile, all malice and sadistic pleasure. "Excellent."
He turns without a word and strides back into the room, slamming the door in her face. She is forgotten and she slinks back down the stairs, her heart pounding in her chest. She rests against the wall, out of sight in the hallway leading to the kitchen. She sags there, letting her head tilt backwards and her hands shake. Her breath is quick and tears gather for a moment in the corners of her eyes. Then she straightens, gathers her composure, and walks towards the kitchen.
She has a job to do.
Sam flops down on the couch in the dark living room of the house, his hair falling into his eyes. "I don't get it, Dean." He says. His brother paces the living room, the EMF meter in his hands. "I mean, there's nothing here. Not even the EMF traces we found earlier. Definitely nothing that suggests a ghost."
Dean stops, turning to face him, his arms folded. "Then we're missing something, Sammy." He shakes his head, growling low in his throat. "Something has to explain it. We both saw people earlier, heard the voice, heard the crazy sound, saw the EMF…there's got to be something here."
"Then where is it, Dean?" He rolls his shoulders, trying to ease some of the tension in his muscles. "We tore this place apart when we were here this afternoon, and the night clearly isn't bringing anything out either." He sighs. "We're at a dead end."
Dean growls again, his expression frustrated.
"Why don't we go back to the motel, grab a couple of hours of sleep, and hit the case again in the morning? We're not getting anything here so…."
Dean sighs. "Fine."
He goes to put the EMF meter in the duffle bag sitting on the coffee table, when it suddenly screeches, the needle racing up to red. Dean shoots a look at Sam, who jumps to his feet, and both men reach into the duffle bag. They pull out their trademark ghost-hunting sawed-off shotguns and look around the room.
"See anything?" Dean mutters, as the needle on the EMF races even higher. Sam turns so that their backs are towards each other.
"No…," he says. A wisp of breath rises into the air in front of him and all the hair on his arms rise. He's suddenly hit by the cold. Minutes ago it the air temperature was a pleasant room temperature; not it's chilly and getting colder by the second. "Dean, the cold—"
"I feel it. It's freakin' freezing in here. Ghost?"
Sam shrugs, even though he knows that Dean isn't looking at him and can't see the gesture. "I don't see it—," he cuts off with a gasp, because that's when the feelings start. The cold is wrapping around him, sinking into his bones—it's so damn cold—but worse than that are the feelings. It starts out slow, subtle. Just negative thoughts swirling up from where they should have been dormant. Then the negativity grows stronger, and it feels like something is being taken, sucked away from him. Happiness, hope, love…they're pulled away as though they don't really exist at all. Jessica's image flashes through his mind—smiling, laughing—and then it is destroyed.
It's your fault she's dead, a little voice whispers. And then he's reliving the worst moments of his life. He's seeing Jessica burn above him, her mouth open in a permanent scream. He's seeing his mother burn, his father die, he's seeing Dean fall to the ground—he's seeing himself with black eyes, standing over his brother with a gun in his hand. He's seeing death, destruction, death, death, death—.
His vision is fuzzy and the world is spinning around him—he doesn't even realize that his grip on the shotgun has loosened until the gun falls with a clatter to the floor. He hears Dean gasp out "Sammy—," and he tries to turn, but falls to his knees. He bends over, his hands clutching his head, and something is being ripped out of him.
For a moment there is a flicker—through his the black spots that dance in front of his eyes he thinks he sees something. A creature, draped in black cloth looking for all the world like a stereotypical grim reaper. But there is a grayish, putrid hand reaching out from beneath the shrouds of black fabric, and the black hood is slipped back and there's no real head at all, just a sucking black mouth that reaches and a rattling, gasping sound and—.
The last thing he hears before he loses consciousness—before he succumbs to the darkness in the edges of his vision—is a man's voice, roaring unfamiliar Latin words.
And the world goes silver before it goes dark.
RJ stands in the middle of the room, his eyes closed, his wand loose in his hand. Jenn touches him lightly on the shoulder, just brushing her fingertips over his shirt, before kneeling next to the two men who are passed out on the floor. The first man is the one with shorter hair; she passes her wand over him, checking to make sure he isn't badly hurt. His eyelids are already beginning to twitch when she goes to check on the second man.
"First one's already starting to come around, RJ," she says softly, looking up. "This one's out cold though, poor guy."
As she says this the first man sits up, groaning in pain. His eyes open and he stares at Jen—for a moment everything is still. Then he gropes for the shotgun next to him. Almost faster than she can believe her fires it at her. There's no pause, no hesitation, just simple instinct in the move.
Her reaction is almost as quick though, and she isn't standing where she was anymore. She dodges out of the way of the blast, and then she and RJ are next to each other, wands pointed at the man as he points his shotgun at them. His eyes narrow and he moves smoothly to his feet. For a fraction of a second his eyes flicker to the man on the floor, and then back to them.
"What did you do to Sam?"
"Nothing." RJ says, staring the man down. "He's unharmed, just unconscious."
The man's eyes narrow further and he stares intently at RJ. "You're the man we saw in the window earlier. And it was your voice we heard before that weird popping sound." His grip on the shotgun tightens. "So who or what the hell are you and what are you doing to these people?"
"We're not ghosts or creatures or anything like that." Jenn says. "We're humans, just like you. We're hunters too."
His eyes clear a little but are still wary. "Oh yeah? Prove it."
"When you spoke to Dr. Rosenblaug you used the aliases Bachman and Turner. We used Evans and Black. Good enough for you?"
He lowers the shotgun and they lower their wands. He follows their movements carefully, and then reaches slowly into the duffle bag, pulling out a silver flask. He tosses it at RJ. "Drink that," he orders.
RJ narrows his eyes and unscrews the flask. He sniffs carefully and then eyes the flask. "Holy water?" The man gives a short nod. RJ takes a swig and then passes the flask to Jenn, who copies the action. "Happy now?"
The man shrugs. "I'm satisfied that you're not demons. That's a start. We'll talk about how the fuck you got out of the house without us seeing you later." He goes over to the other man and kneels next to him, checking his pulse. Then he shakes the man lightly. "C'mon Sammy, wake up." He looks at RJ and Jenn. "So, you're Evans and Black…who are you really?"
"I'm Jennifer James. This is my husband, RJ."
"I'm Dean. Winchester. This is my brother, Sam." He shakes his brother again. The man finally begins to stir, a low moan in his throat. His eyes open and he stares up at Dean, his forehead furrowing. Dean grins. "Welcome back, sunshine."
Sam groans. "That sucked. What the hell happened?" He sits up and notices RJ and Jenn; his hand moves automatically for the shotgun he dropped earlier. "And who are they?"
"The other hunters on the case," Dean replies. "RJ and Jennifer." He looks at them. "What the hell attacked us? I didn't see a damn thing—just felt cold and…."
"Felt like you'd never be happy again," RJ concludes. Dean nods shortly. "It's called a dementor."
Dean tilts his head. "I've never heard of it."
"You probably wouldn't have." RJ doesn't offer any more explanation than that. Jenn gives him a frown and Dean rolls his eyes.
"Did you kill it?"
"Drove it away. I'm not entirely sure that it's possible to kill them."
"You can kill anything if you try hard enough." Dean says, and now it is Sam's turn to roll his eyes. Sam heaves himself into a standing position, surprised to find that his limbs are still a little shaky. Jenn reaches into her pocket and pulls out a bar of chocolate, which she offers to him.
"Here. It helps counter the effects of a dementor." He takes the chocolate from her tentatively, smiling.
"You're welcome. It's a trick one of our old professors taught us."
"You had a professor teach you how to counter the effects of paranormal creatures? Must've been some college." Jenn throws RJ a look and nods.
"It was." She shifts her weight. "We should probably leave. All the sound had to have drawn someone's attention and the two of you probably aren't safe here."
Dean spears her with a look. "Why is that?" He asks, his tone neutral but with a suspicious undertone.
She meets his gaze evenly. "The thing about a dementor is that they don't attack in sprees like this. They don't attack random people." She lifts her chin. "Someone is sending it after people, and apparently they know who you are."
As they relocate back to the Winchesters' motel room there are two separate but furious arguments within the confines of the two cars.
"There's something off about them, Sammy." Dean says, his hands gripping the steering wheel tightly.
Sam sighs, leaning back in his seat. "Off how? Like they're demons off or what?"
His brother shrugs. "No. I mean...they drank the holy water. I don't think they're demons, but there's still something weird about them. I mean…we saw that dude in the house earlier today. And we heard his voice right before that weird sound. He said 'Time to go' and then there was the pop and then the EMF freaked out. But they weren't in sight. And what's the bull crap about a demented or whatever—"
"Dementor," Sam interjects with a wry grin. Dean rolls his eyes.
"Yeah, that. Have you ever heard of that before?"
Sam shifts a little. "No. But Dean, there's a ton of things out there that I've never heard of before. We can call Bobby later and see if he's ever heard of it."
"There's just something weird about them."
He looks at his brother. "What do you want to do about it, Dean? I mean, sure, they've probably got a lot of secrets. They're hunters."
Dean looks over at him. "So you think they're perfectly normal? For hunters, I mean?"
He hesitates, and then sighs. "No. There is something odd about them. But listen, Dean, they saved our asses. My instinct is telling me to trust them, at least for now."
Dean turns his attention back to the road, focusing on driving, but not before mumbling one last closing shot.
"Yeah, 'cause your instincts really work out for us all the time."
Sam glares at him, but doesn't rise to the bait.
"No. Absolutely not, Jenn." RJ says, his voice firm and even.
Jenn folds her arms and raises her eyebrows, her body turned towards him. "How do you expect to explain the situation if you don't throw in that little detail of witches and wizards existing?"
"They know that witches exist. That's part of the bloody problem!"
She waves a hand. "They know that demon-worshipping sluts who call themselves witches exist. They don't know about the Wizarding World. At least, I assume they don't. I think if they did they would know what a dementor was and this whole thing would be a lot easier."
"They don't need to know about the Wizarding World. They're still muggles, even if they are hunters. God only knows what they'd do if they knew there was an entire magical world living right under their noses."
She frowns. "Spouting off anti-muggle propaganda now, RJ? I thought I knew you better than that."
He flinches and turns his head to scowl at her. "That was uncalled for."
She glares at him, challenging. "Was it?"
"Jenn…," he sighs. "Listen, I know that was a stupid excuse for not telling them—"
"Yeah, it was."
He glares her into silence and continues. "And it was unfair of me. But I am uncomfortable with telling two strangers—even if they are hunters, and maybe because they are—that the Wizarding World exists. They know that there are things out there, and they are predetermined, because of their profession, to think that all magic is evil. You know the first thing that they would do is try and shoot us—it's built into their instincts. I think it's an unnecessary danger."
"So what do you propose? That we lie to them? You can explain dementors to them without mentioning magic, sure, although I don't know how you're going to try and explain what drove it away—," her she smirks a bit smugly and he scowls, "but how are you going to mention that it's being controlled by a dark wizard?"
"They're probably used to occult magic—it's not that big of a stretch, Jenn."
She purses her lips. "And then what? We're going to have to use magic to find this bastard. How do you explain that? And he probably won't go down without a fight—are you going to let them go in there unprotected without a clue of what they're going to be facing? And what about when we use magic? Do you really want them to now know who is on their side in the middle of a fight?"
"We'll tell them that we know how to deal with a dementor. We don't need backup on this case, Jenn. We can handle it on our own."
"It's their case too. Do you honestly believe that they'll just pack up and leave?"
His fingers tighten on the wheel. "They will if we obliviate them."
For a moment there is complete silence. The car pulls to a stop outside of the motel and RJ parks it. He turns the engine off and then twists to face his wife. There is a cold, tight look on her face; he knows from the clenching of her jaw and the dangerous gleam in her eye that he's in trouble.
Then she slaps him. Hard. His face snaps to the side and red blossoms on his cheek. He stares at her, one hand rising to gently touch his skin. His forehead his furrowed and there is hurt in his eyes. She stares him down coldly, no mercy in her gaze.
"If the man I married is still in there somewhere, he'd better get his ass up here quick, because RJ is seriously starting to piss me off."
And with that she storms out of the car, slamming the door behind her. The car rocks from the force of the motion and RJ sits in the silence, words ringing in his ears.
"Where's your husband?" Sam asks as Jenn breezes past him through the open door into the motel room. She doesn't even look back and her body is tight with tension.
"He's coming." She says, her voice cold and firm. Sam and Dean exchange glances behind her back, Dean cocking an eyebrow, Sam's forehead furrowing. A car door slams and a few moments later RJ walks up to the door. His shoulders are slumped, one cheek is bright red, and the glance he gives the two brothers is far less haughty and cold than it had been before. He chews on the inside of his cheek a little, his lips twisting as he walks into the room.
Sam closes the door and the four people turn to face each other. Dean heads for the chair by the window and plops down on it; Sam leans against the wall behind him. Jenn and RJ stand not completely on the other side of the room, but far enough away that they aren't in close proximity to the Winchesters. There is a distance between the two of them; Jenn turns her body slightly away from RJ and refuses to look at him.
Dean breaks the awkward silence first. "So…what the hell is a dementor?"
"It's a nasty creature," RJ says. "They feed off of positive emotions—happiness, love, hope—and they leave only negative emotions in their place. They spread misery and despair. You know there's one near when you feel the cold and when it seems like you'll never be happy again."
"What did they do to the six victims?"
Jenn shudders, her eyes closed. "It's called the Dementor's Kiss. It's the ultimate weapon of a dementor. It sucks out your soul. That's what happened to the six people. Physically, they're perfectly fine. But their souls are completely gone, and there's no way to get them back. Those six people are just shells now, and there's no saving them."
"What does a dementor look like?" Sam asks, his eyes intent.
Dean frowns. "The damn thing was invisible."
RJ shakes his head. "There are certain people who can see them. Tattered black robes, a black hood that covers the mouth—"
"And the mouth is just…ugh." Sam shudders and finds everyone in the room staring at him.
"Dude, you saw it?" Dean says, his forehead furrowed.
Sam shrugs. "Just before I passed out, yeah. It was creepy. Even having seen what we have."
RJ and Jenn exchange looks; Jenn raises her eyebrows in a quick, smug "when will you learn to listen to me?" gesture.
Sam fixes his gaze on RJ. "Right before I passed out I heard you shout something. It sounded like Latin but I was a little too busy to really analyze it." Here Dean snorts and then tries to look innocent when his brother shoots him a look. "And everything went silver. What did you do?"
RJ hesitates. Jenn's gaze is fixed on him, steady and firm, boring right into him with its weight. He shifts his weight, one hand sliding into his pocket to rest lightly on his wand. "The thing about dementors," he finally says, "is that there's only one real defense against them. It's a spell, called the Patronus Charm."
"You had time to set up a spell?" Sam asks, tilting his head to the side.
"It's not that kind of spell." RJ pulls his wand out of his pocket and holds it up. "Don't go grabbing for your guns and trying to shoot us as I try to explain this, okay? I'm a wizard and Ginny is a witch."
Both Winchesters immediately move for their guns, Dean throwing Sam a look. "I told you there was something off!" Dean has his up and his finger on the trigger as Sam scrambles to get on out of the duffle bag.
"Expelliarmus. Petrificus Totalus." Jenn says, firing off two beams. The spells fly across the room and strike the two men in the chest; Dean's gun flies into Jenn's hands and two men freeze, bodies stiffening immediately. They fall backwards. Dean hits the chair and remains partially upright; Sam falls to the ground with a thump.
"I believe I told you not to try and shoot us, didn't I?" RJ says, his voice mild.
"Look, guys," Jenn says, "you need to let go of the word witch as always meaning demon-worshipping whore. It's offensive, frankly. Neither RJ nor I are in league with demons or getting our power from them or anything like that. We're hunters, remember? Demons are just as much our enemy as they are yours. Now, I'm going to release you from the spell and we'll all sit down and talk like rational adults who have open minds about magic, okay?" She mutters the counter-curse and Dean is immediately on his feet, looking at them warily. Sam is also on his feet, rubbing the back of his head.
"Ow," he says, and Jenn suppresses a smile. "Okay, that was not normal witch behavior." He exchanges a look with Dean.
"So explain how you can be a witch and not be some demon's bitch at the same time." Dean says, arms folded. "And give me my gun back."
"Are you going to play nice?" He nods shortly and she crosses to hand him his gun back. He tucks it into the waistband of his jeans. "Witch is just a word for a female magic user. It's not our fault that those bitches use the same word to describe themselves. RJ and I are more of your traditional, fairytale witch or wizard. Sort of. Magic wand," she flourishes hers for effect, "cauldrons, flying broomsticks, that sort of thing."
"Our magic is purely determined by genetics," RJ adds. "It comes from inside of us, not from an outside source."
Sam's eyes narrow in thought. "Genetic magic…like a genetic mutation?"
RJ shrugs. "Possibly. Our culture isn't big on technology. They prefer to believe that magic can solve anything. I'm not even sure most witches and wizards know what genes are."
"There's more of you?" Dean asks. He's got one hand laying on the grip of the gun tucked into his waistband, but it's more of a reflexive motion than a threatening one.
Jenn nods. "There's an entire magical sub-culture. Most of the traditional Wizarding population is located in Europe, but each continent has its own population. We're actually not too far from one of the U.S.'s Wizarding world hotspots."
Sam's eyebrows rise and then he grins lopsidedly. "Really?" Jenn grins at him, nodding. Dean shoots him a questioning look and he laughs shortly. "Salem, Dean."
Dean's expression clears and he snorts. "Seriously?"
Dean frowns. "Alright. Let's say we buy into this story. Believe that you're not the kind of witches we're used to. Prove it."
"How would you like us to do that?"
Dean spreads his hands in front of him. "You tell me. Prove it or you'd better start running."
Jenn gets a wicked grin and slyly points her wand at her husband. "You know those stories of witches turning people into frogs?" RJ's eyes go wide right before the purplish light streaks forwards and hits him. The light covers him and through it his form can be seen, rapidly shrinking, changing, transforming…and when the light fades there is a small green frog sitting on the ground. It croaks, and the sound is not happy.
Jenn smirks and twirls her wand in her fingers. "That's what you get for being such a git," she says to the frog, who croaks again. Sam and Dean look at her with wide eyes. She gives them a pointed look. "If either of you try to shoot me again, I'll turn you into frogs."
Frog-RJ makes a particularly loud croak, and is glaring as best he can in frog form. Jenn shakes her head and points her wand. In a matter of seconds the man is standing there again, rolling his shoulders and shaking his limbs out. He cracks his neck and glares at his wife. "Must you?"
"Must you be a git?" He crosses to her and touches her cheek lightly, pressing his forehead against hers.
"Yes," he says, but there is a cheeky grin on his face that lifts years from him. "But I'm sorry."
She rolls her eyes upwards, pretending to think, and then kisses him on the cheek. "I forgive you, love. Just remind me to slap you down every once in a while." She looks over his shoulder at the Winchesters. "Convinced?"
"For now," Sam says. "Clearly you can do magic, and it's not the same as other witches we've encountered. And since you claim you're hunters that puts us all on the same side." He looks at his brother. "So for now, why don't we just suspend our disbelief and work together?"
RJ smirks a little. "Well put."
Dean reclaims his seat and leans forward, rubbing his hands together. "Now that we've gotten that out of the way—dementors. How do you stop them and who the hell is behind the one attacking people?"
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