Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all recognizable items from it belong to J.K. Rowling & Warner Brothers. Supernatural and all recognizable items from the show belong to Eric Kripke and Warner Brothers. Anything else that is original material is mine. I can only wish I was as creative as to think of these brilliant ideas first.
Rating: MA (for a reason)
Warning: Will contain major SLASH themes. Canon-Compliant up until Book 6 of Harry Potter, and changes Supernatural except for the back-story that occurred before Season 1. All lyrics at the beginning of chapters, as well as story titles, belong to their respective authors.
Summary: The war against Voldemort ends and Harry is victorious, but at what cost? Harry passes through the veil after Sirius and ends up in a world without any Wizarding society. Harry starts his new life and attends university with Sam Winchester. Harry becomes an intricate part of the lives of the Winchester brothers before his secret is revealed.
You Leave the World Behind
"I've seen it all before,
it happens all the time.
You're closing the door,
you leave the world behind."
- Foreigner, Cold As Ice
"Can you feel it, Harry?"
Harry held back a sigh at these all too common words. Albus Dumbledore may have been a retired teacher, but Harry was quickly discovering why he was still called Professor. He never stopped trying to impart wisdom to those around him.
Unfortunately, these were lessons Harry was in dire need of learning.
The discovery that Voldemort had employed the use of horcruxes to safeguard his life had led to another delightful revelation: that there was one within Harry. If only everyone could experience the joy of having a fragment of an evil wizard's soul locked away within them.
"Harry, my boy?" Albus prompted him again. "Are you quite alright?"
Harry was supposed to be "sensing" his surroundings. He looked out the window and could see the slight haze in the air where the anti-muggle wards created a boundary that protected the Wizarding world from the non-magical one. Harry managed not to shiver as the car drove through them.
Besides his psychic connection with Voldemort, his parsletongue ability, and the curse scar Harry had received a few other little gifts. A boost of power that put Harry well beyond his peers was but one of them. According to Albus it would take quite a few decades before Harry hit his level of power and the skill needed to manage it. According to Hermione, that didn't mean he shouldn't start training now. If you asked Harry, Albus and Hermione had way too much in common when it came to educational ideals.
He jerked his head at the irritated sound in Albus' voice.
"What, Albus?" Harry snapped, letting his own irritation seep in.
"Did you feel them?"
Harry glanced at his traveling companion on the other side of the limousine the Ministry had provided. Looking at the older man's face he got the distinct impression that he was, yet again, regretting the decision to put his former student on a first name basis.
"Yes, Albus, I did indeed feel the wards."
"They felt warm, then cold, and slightly wet. They also misted over slightly."
To anyone else, this conversation would seem ridiculous... even to most Wizards. However, this was quite common a topic between Albus and Harry. Even if the old coot did make Harry feel crazy every now and then.
"And why is that?"
"It's the response of older wards to the feel of our stronger magic," Harry responded blandly. "The two forces meet, creating steam to those capable of seeing it."
Albus nodded his head, pleased with the answer. "You're magical senses are improving."
"I do keep up my practicing, you know," he answered defensively.
"Yes, I have been made aware of that."
Harry smiled as Dumbledore shifted uncomfortably across from him. Hermione, who had been apprenticing under McGonagall for a few years now, had been his steady study partner since Hogwarts. She may not have had the magical capability to sense and manipulate magic, but that didn't stop her from learning the practical knowledge of it.
Harry had no misconceptions that the witch would be able to refrain sharing her newfound knowledge with the other Hogwarts educators. No doubt she was constantly entrapping Dumbledore into lengthy intellectual discussions about it.
Better him than me, Harry thought wryly.
"Miss Granger does indeed love to learn, Harry," Albus chuckled wryly. Sometimes Harry swore that if he hadn't taught him Occlumency so well, that the old headmaster could read his mind sometimes. "You should hear her at the Order meetings."
Harry visibly tensed. As much as he enjoyed teasing and ruffling Albus' feathers (and vise versa), there was only ever one thing that the pair truly came to verbal blows over.
"Molly Weasley has been inquiring after your absence from the meetings of late."
Harry shrugged. "I don't see why you even have an Order anymore? Voldemort's dead. You and I saw to that."
"Not all of him."
The limousine came to a halt, preventing Harry's angry retort. It was an old argument, and one he was growing increasingly tired of. Harry loved Albus like a second father, but sometimes it felt like he'd never truly let Harry live life. Harry wanted to move past the war, not relive it.
Albus pulled out his wand and a moment later it began to stretch and thicken into a lovely cedar walking cane. Even after spotting the wards, Harry had forgotten they'd be in Muggle London for their errand.
"Now you," Albus said, nodding to the wand in Harry's hand.
While Harry knew it was childish he felt like showing off. He'd been treating Harry like a simple First Year all day. Harry flicked his wrist and the wand flew into the air, stopping directly between them. The wand burst into flames, and then the ashes flew back together to form a red and gold umbrella.
"Feeling reminiscent of Hagrid?" Albus chuckled, clearly pleased with how proficient his wandless magic teaching had been.
Harry gave him his best Draco Malfoy smirk before he climbed out into Muggle London. Harry climbed out after him, brushing out the folds of his nice black suit as Harry stepped onto the cement sidewalk.
There was a crash of thunder and then the rain began to pour in sheets, as they so often did in England. Harry opened the newly transfigured bright red and gold umbrella over his head, having made sure it was only large enough to cover one person.
He knew that now that they were in open view of Muggles (especially these Muggles) there was nothing Dumbledore could magically do to help himself. Albus grumbled something unintelligible at him as he rushed the last dozen feet to the entrance of the building. He may be old, but he was spry.
Laughing like a madman, Harry called after him, "What's wrong, Albus? Didn't you sense the rain?"
Let's see his cane keep him drier than my umbrella, Harry thought.
Harry managed to keep his smile as he stepped through the revolving doors that led into the lobby of the museum. Albus hadn't waited for him, as punishment for his prank he'd let Harry find the room all on his own.
The damage inflicted by Voldemort on Muggle Europe had left little doubt that there was something happening deep within the skin of the country. Three months later and the Muggles were still terrified to leave their homes. Not that the magical community of Great Britain was recovering any better.
Scrimgeour and Albus had set up a meeting with the Muggle Prime Minister and the Queen herself. As the so-called Hero of the war, Harry was expected to come and show his support for the joint effort. To mark the occasion, a magical object was being given to the Muggles for safekeeping.
Harry really should have been more excited. As his friends had continuously reminded Harry for the past week, he was being given a front row seat to what was going to be the most exciting event in the history of the world. The Great Revelation as it was being coined by the Minister, was set for October and there was plenty to plan for.
After all, it wasn't every day that the Wizarding World was going to come out of the closet and announce itself to the Muggles once and for all.
The war with Voldemort hadn't been pretty, but at least Harry had gotten to graduate before it had really started up. It had only been the July after graduation that the Order found Horace Slughorn with the Death Eaters. Snape had led the Order to him, and then Albus had bribed a certain memory out of him. After that Albus and Harry knew they were hunting horcruxes, and all that was left to do was identify and find them.
After the prophecy had come out in Harry's seventh year, the Ministry got involved in his education. At first Albus tried to stop them, but Scrimgeour, who'd taken over when Fudge was assassinated, had persuaded Harry to join forces.
Scrimgeour was a hard man, but practical; traits Harry had found admirable in a Minister. He and Harry never really saw eye to eye on his prophesized role in the war, but he did what he had to do to survive. Essentially, since the prophecy named Harry as the only one to be able to kill Voldemort, Scrimgeour saw it as his job to make sure that Harry was well prepared to do carry out the task.
Of course, it seemed so simple when he had explained it like that. How could Harry refuse training? After all, it could only improve the odds of survival as well. The next week Harry was training with the best that the Ministry could afford… which was a lot.
Then Albus got on board the Let's-Train-The-Boy-Who-Lived wagon and started teaching Harry how to use his hidden reserve of magic. He told Harry that some had more than others; namely Voldemort, Dumbledore, and Harry.
It wasn't enough to just be able to have magic, you had to know enough to use it. What Albus showed Harry was like art. There was a beauty to having magic, and even more in how it was used. Any thug could wave a wand and cause havoc to their opponent, i.e. Crabbe or Goyle. It took a real wizard to make it truly come alive.
In the end it was learning that control that kept Harry motivated more than killing Voldemort. Sure he wanted revenge for the parents he'd lost, but they were practically strangers to him. Harry mourned the unfairness of not getting to live the life he would have, but after getting to Hogwarts he had coped and became happy.
The only motivation that rivaled Harry's fascination with becoming a real "artist" of magic had been avenging the friends lost in the war. Sirius was the hardest. He'd never forgotten him falling through the veil. Harry still dreamed about it.
When Albus didn't need Harry's assistance or when Scrimgeour didn't need him to put his pretty face in front of a camera, Harry would sit by the veil and just listen. Once Harry thought he had heard Sirius loud and clear calling out for him, but he had dismissed it as a byproduct of longing.
Ron had been pretty worried that Harry would do something stupid, like jump into it. He'd had Hermione talk to Harry about it one night, and he had been forced to promise her that he would never dream of killing himself in such a way.
That was the first time Harry realized how well he could lie to his friends.
Even as a new era dawned in the world, Harry could only think of what he'd uncovered about the veil.
That was the real reason Harry had agreed to attend the ceremony today. The magical artifact being presented to the muggle government was the Death Veil that Sirius had passed through.
Tonight, in front of both worlds, Harry was going to join his godfather. He only wished he could trust his friends and family to agree to his decision, but he knew that was a pointless hope. They would never willingly let him go.
Harry shook off his inner musings as he took his seat next to Dumbledore.
A new Death Chamber had been magically constructed and reinforced beneath one of the more prominent London museums. On the observer benches above the pit, seats had been assigned for the prominent guests.
Harry took a deep breath before placing a hand on his mentor's shoulder. Albus looked at him inquiringly but, before he could so much as ask what Harry had wanted, Harry cast the binding spell through his connecting hand. Albus didn't have time to react as he had not expected such a betrayal from Harry.
Harry looked around to make sure no had witnessed the display of power. After he was sure he was undetected, Harry leaned in to comfort his teacher.
"I'm sorry, Albus."
He could read the fear in his Dumbledore's eyes.
"I'm going to miss you, Albus," he confided, fighting his own tears. "This is something I have to do."
Harry began whispering the research he'd done on the veil. He explained his plan, but he had no way of knowing if it brought comfort to his substitute grandfather-figure or not.
"I have to go now," Harry informed him. "I've left some letters with more information for you and the others at my home. You'll know how to find them."
He could already feel Albus fighting the spell. Harry knew not to waste anymore time trying to explain his actions. He kept his legs steady as he marched down the steps towards the platform. The only obstacle in his way was a Muggle guard who was easily dispatched with a silent "imperio" and a mental nudge.
A slew of red stunners flew at him, and Harry dodged them all. Albus had broken through his magical restraints faster than Harry had anticipated. Already, the old man was yelling instructions to those around him.
So much for a quiet and dignified exit, Harry thought. He broke into a run, climbed the steps, vaulted over the pedestal, and launched himself into the air at the veil.
As he passed over the threshold of the veil, he imagined that this was what turning into mist felt like. He simply dissolved away into the darkness of the cloth and the unknown future ahead of him.
Harry had developed a deep distaste for most magical means of transportation. Riding the floo always landed him on his ass, and the soot made his clothes filthy. The Knight Bus, whilst entertaining, was a ridiculous contraption and more like a roller coaster than anything else. Brooms were the best, but what do you do for the rain and in snow? However, Harry thought he'd never find anything he hated more than traveling by Portkey.
The veil was a healthy, or rather unhealthy for him, mixture of the magical transportation experience. There was the senselessness of the Knight Bus, the tornado-like spinning of Portkeys, the suffocation of the Floo Network, and the exhilaration of broom riding. And, as always, his body had the same reaction to being thrown around as it always did.
The moment his feet touched something solid he was on his backside, dizzy, and spewing chunks like a Roman fountain. As he moved away from the mess he left on the metallic floor, he realized he was on a subway train. The train must have been in a tunnel, Harry deduced based on the darkness outside the train windows.
"Welcome, Harry James Potter," said a deep voice to his left.
When Harry saw the man who had spoken, he was amazed. In his wildest fantasies he had pictured meeting his family beyond the veil. Most of the time he believed he would spend eternity with his godfather. No matter what his imagined destination, Harry had never believed he would encounter his own father immediately, but there before him was the man he watched dance eternally with his mother in the scrapbook Hagrid had made for him.
Harry tried not to react too harshly to his father's appearance on the subway.
"Dad?" he asked, voice quivering.
The man who was James Potter's doppelganger shook his head in response. Harry felt his heart sink in his chest. If his life had taught him anything, it was that hope only led to disappointment or pain; or in this case both. Why should death have been any different?
"Hello, Harry James Potter," the figure of James Potter said cordially, extending a hand.
Harry shook it numbly.
"If you're not my Dad, than who are you?"
The figure smiled, but gave no indication that he was ever going to answer. Harry decided to try a different question.
"Where am I?"
The figure made a point to gaze around the train, before returning his attention back to Harry.
"Tell me, Harry James Potter," the familiar looking man asked inquiringly, "what do you know of purgatory?"
Beneath him, Harry could feel the rumbling of the train.
"Purgatory?" he asked the image of his father.
James Potter nodded thoughtfully.
"It's where people go when they die, right?"
His father considered the explanation for a moment. "That is one possible explanation. Apparently a popular one among humans."
Harry shivered at the suggestion that the being wearing his father's features was not human.
"Are you an angel?" Harry asked.
James Potter managed a small upward curve of the side of his lip. "What I am cannot be described in such simple terms of angel or demon, heaven or hell, life or death."
"Helpful," Harry replied, feeling his natural sarcasm returning, "very helpful."
The smirk disappeared from his father's face.
"Purgatory," he intoned, "is merely the transition between two locations. The journey that one takes from one moment to the next."
"Like a train going nowhere?" Harry asked, eyeing the vehicle around them and the black view outside the window.
"Yes, Harry James Potter, this" said James Potter with a wave to their surroundings, "is your spiritual purgatory."
"So I am dead then."
Harry had known that this could have been the outcome of his journey into the Veil. He looked up suddenly at his father.
"What about Sirius?" he demanded, "where is he?"
"Your godfather is no longer in purgatory," James explained. "He has moved beyond the intermediary."
"But you can take me to him, right?"
James's gaze felt heavy on Harry.
"You may not find that the world Sirius Black III chose is the same one that you desire to end your journey on," he warned Harry.
"What do you mean he 'chose' a world? How do you get to choose a world?"
"What your race referenced as 'The Veil' is actually a gateway between. Literally a means of traveling to purgatory," James explained. "An impressive contradiction in creation, if one looks at it correctly, since purgatory is the journey and not the location."
"I still don't understand."
"To journey solely to purgatory is a contradiction in the creation of the creator," James continued as if never interrupted. "One must complete their journey. You must choose a forward destination, going backward is to not make a journey. "
"Look," Harry said, exasperated, "I don't care if Sirius chose a world where Voldemort only wore thongs, okay? I just want to be with him again… he's all I have left."
"So you've chosen then?"
Harry stood and faced his father, "Yes."
James nodded in confirmation, and Harry heard the squeals of the metallic brakes as the train began to slow.
"I feel I must warn you, Harry James Potter," James said seriously, "that time does not stop. It is in constant motion, even if the space between worlds is not."
"So, time has continued on outside even while I've been in purgatory?" Harry asked, attempting to decipher his father's words.
"How much time?" Harry asked, a knot forming in his stomach.
The train came to a full stop.
"It was 1998 when you left your world through The Veil," James explained. "The length of our time together in purgatory occupied 4 years. It is currently 2002. Happy Millennia."
Harry felt his mouth hang open in shock.
"4 years?" he asked breathlessly, before the anger hit him, "4 YEARS!?!"
James was not moved by the outburst in the slightest. He didn't even have seem to have heard Harry.
"But I haven't aged any!"
"Like I said, time continues to move outside purgatory; not within."
The doors to the train opened into the blackness beyond.
"This is your second beginning, Harry James Potter."
"Is there anything else I should know?" Harry asked indignant.
"Such as?" asked James, eyebrows raised in question.
Harry suddenly knew what question he had overlooked, possibly the most important question.
"Hey," Harry said, turning his back on the black abyss, "what kind of world did Sirius ask for?"
For the first time since the beginning of their encounter James smiled completely. Harry barely felt the push James gave him, or the moment his feet left the train floor.
Then all was darkness.
Word Count: 3,405