This was the last place on Earth, Heaven or Hell that Harry wanted to be right now.
The marble surrounding him, the large atrium looming empty and silent, his breathing echoing off the walls. It was all a horrible reminder of the place where Harry had finally lost the last of his remaining family. Almost everyone that he loved had died here, and Harry had not returned since that day. That day that was etched into his memory.
The atrium at the British Ministry of Magic no longer looked like this. It used to, before the final attempt to seize power by the remaining Death Eaters. Before that event, it was a busy hub of witches and wizards hurrying around, doing their business and coming and going from work. But then the Death Eaters and their last remaining dregs of allies attacked. It had been unexpected and vicious and bloody. The entire atrium was left in rubble, with bodies everywhere and the air heavy with the taste of sweat, blood and burning. By the time the battle was over and the light side had won, it was too late to save the people that Harry loved.
He had been searching the rubble for any surviving enemies, all too aware the damage they could do if they were to attack again whilst everyone was weak and not expecting another attack, when he came across Ron's body. It had been…..bloody. That was the only word that Harry could use to describe it. Ron's entire throat had been ripped out, and Harry could see the telltale sign of a vampire. Ron wouldn't have stood a chance if he had been jumped from behind. It was a bloody death, but Ron would have also passed out quickly from blood loss. Harry tucked his emotions away and moved away to the next area of the atrium to search.
As more and more bodies of his friends, family and allies were unearthed from the rubble, Harry was finding it more and more difficult to stuff all his emotions into his little locked vault at the back of his mind. Soon, the only person unaccounted for, as a survivor, an injured person or a dead body, was Hermione. Harry couldn't help it as his fear for her forced its way out of his grasp and took control of him. It was the most bittersweet moment for him when he found her unconscious, but otherwise uninjured save for a few cuts and bruises, under a piece of rubble. He had picked her up, apparated straight to the hospital and refused to allow her to leave his sight for a week straight.
"This is a difficult place to be, isn't it?"
Harry turned quickly and saw the strangest sight he had come across, which was saying something considering everything he had seen and done in his short life so far. Standing before him were three versions of….well, himself.
"Ok." Harry looked over the other 'him's. One was wearing black robes and was studying him with an emotionless face. On his right hand, the Hallows glittered at Harry. The doppelganger next to him was decked out in full wizarding battle gear that Harry had not wore since he had left England with Hermione. He had a wand gripped tightly in his hand and was looking at Harry as though weighing him as a potential opponent. The last Harry was wearing plain black robes, and Harry could see the faint shadow of wings extending out of his back. He had his head tilted slightly in a manner that was distinctly reminiscent of Castiel when he was confused by something human.
"Ok." Harry nodded slowly. "Not what I was expecting, but I can work with this. You guys are better than Dumbledore anyway. I swear, any more self-righteous lectures from him and I would have punched him in the face, respect for the dead be damned."
Wizard-Harry seemed to have elected himself as spokesman for the group and took a small step forward. "You aren't dead. You are merely unconscious. Don't you remember what happened with the Horseman of Death and Lucifer?"
Harry suddenly got flashes of a field and the Winchesters. And then Lucifer's annoyingly smug face floated in front of his vision. "I remember what happened. But how do I know that I haven't been caught and this is some kind of trick of Lucifer? I wouldn't put anything past him."
Wizard-Harry smirked. "Like Lucifer could make up something this strange. Although, considering all the crazy shit that has happened in our life, this isn't that high on the weird scale."
Harry considered this for a minute, before nodding. "True. Ok, so I'm not dead again. That means I'm what? Unconcious? That doesn't explain why you are all here."
Hallows-Harry looked up and met Harry's gaze. It sent shivers down Harry's spine at the lack of emotion in the emerald orbs and suddenly wondered if this is what others felt when he used that expression on people.
"We are all here because your subconscious is trying to tell you something important. Something that you already know, but don't want to admit to yourself."
"Well, if I'm not admitting it to myself, then how do I have a clue what the hell you are talking about?" Harry huffed in annoyance. "I swear, my subconscious is sounding more and more like Dumbledore."
Wizard-Harry actually looked offended. "That isn't a very nice thing to say. Especially seeing as you are saying it about yourself." He rolled his eyes. "Besides, that is why we are here."
"Of course." Sarcasm dripped off Harry's voice. "Because it is so obvious. How could I have missed that point?"
Wizard-Harry took a step forward and whacked Harry upside the head. "Stop snarking at us. We are here because you need our help. Be serious for one minute – I mean, it's only the Apocalypse we are talking about here. Nothing too pressing."
Harry rubbed his head and observed 'himself'. Angel-Harry and Hallows-Harry were watching the interaction with blank expressions. It was unnerving really. Harry knew he could not get out of this. He knew that he had many issues floating around his mind, but he always pushed them to the back of his mind.
"Fine." Harry huffed and crossed his arms. "Just tell me what you need to and let me go back to the land of the living."
Wizard-Harry rolled his emerald eyes once again, and stowed his wand in the holster that Harry kept his wand in during battle on his forearm. "If you can stop acting like a petulant child for one minute, then I may be able to get this show on the road. Besides, that isn't what this is about. It is supposed to be enlightening and a deeply meaningful moment of catharsis for you. You can't rush stuff like this."
"Of course, please continue."
"I don't appreciate the sarcasm, especially from myself." Wizard-Harry was now mimicking Harry's pose, his arms crossed tightly across his chest.
"I can say whatever I like to myself." Harry looked at the angel and Hallows version of himself and gestured in their general direction. "Aren't they going to make some witty comments?"
Wizard-Harry glanced in their direction. "Nah, they aren't exactly very chatty. So, you are just going to have to put up with me." His gaze suddenly became serious. "We really need to talk and make you understand."
Harry sighed and uncrossed his arms. "Ok. Tell me."
"As I'm sure you can guess, we are all the parts of yourself – the different facets to your soul that you try to keep detached from one another. You are truly unique – you were born a wizard, but intertwined in your very soul is your Angelic Grace. And I know you think that you only became the Master of the Hallows once you had acquired all three, but it was your destiny right from the beginning to become the Master of Death. It is a dark vein running through the core of your soul."
"I know this. Why are you telling me if I already know it?"
Wizard-Harry leaned forward. "You know it, but I don't think that you truly understand it. You keep all three powers separate and don't use them in conjunction with each other."
"I don't see what is wrong with that. I use my powers in different situation and it depends which one is best suited."
Wizard-Harry shook his head emphatically. "No, you can't do that. It is like you are building walls in your soul – you are segregating portions of yourself. You will need every bit of yourself you can reach if you are to stop the Apocalypse."
Harry looked away. "It is just so difficult. I remember when I was 'just Harry'. No destiny, so great things expected, no crazy people trying to constantly kill me."
Wizard-Harry gave a sad smile. "You have never been 'just Harry'. You have always been entwined with Fate – every part of you. The Destinies of so many people rely on you fulfilling your Destiny."
Harry met the understanding eyes of the wizard version of himself and nodded slowly. "I understand. I accept that I need to recognise that there are different pieces of myself and let them all become one. I guess I just need to be 'myself' and not try to be something different depending on the situation."
"Good. I think you know what is needed." Wizard-Harry turned and started walking away with the other Harrys, before turning back to face Harry. "One more thing. You need to let your emotions in more, and see the people that are right in front of you. You only let yourself feeling anything for you sister and uncle. There are others that you can open up to." Seeing the confused look on Harry's face, Wizard-Harry smirked. "You always were blind. Don't worry, you will see soon enough."
Harry opened his mouth to make a sarcastic comment, when his alter-egos disappeared and his vision suddenly became bright white.
Dean took another swig of the coffee in his mug and flipped through the file on the table in front of him once more. It was from another Hunter, Martin Creaser, who had called and asked Dean and Sam to investigate a possible Hunt in the psychiatric unit that he was currently a patient of. Dean had his reservations about it, but Martin was a fellow Hunter and had helped their Dad out in the past. They owed him to at least check it out.
Rubbing his eyes in frustration at the lack of information that the file actually contained, Dean went to take another gulp of caffeine and realised that his mug was empty. He got up, stretching his muscles to relieve the cramp and wandered over to the coffee pot. He had just filled up his cup, when a cry of delight reached his ears. Dumping the cup down next to the pot, he rushed to the next room as nonchalantly as possible.
Upon entering the room, Dean saw Jo with her arms wrapped around the neck of Ezekiel, who was sitting up on the sofa. He was patting Jo on the back with a mildly confused look on his face. He looked over at Dean hovering in the doorway.
"What is going on? Why are you throwing yourself at me Jo? Although, if you want to fling yourself at me again, I need at least dinner and a movie next time you wanna get this close to me."
Jo pulled back and hit Ezekiel in the arm. "I was worried about you – we all were."
Ezekiel looked from Dean to Jo in confusion. Dean elaborated for him. "You have been unconscious for a week. We were all worried, even though Hermione and Cas said that you were just recharging your batteries after you used too much in Carthage."
Ezekiel nodded, a neutral expression settling on his face. "Where are Castiel and Hermione?"
Jo answered before Dean could reply. "Cas got some kind of angelic message and needed to go and investigate or something. Hermione is in town with Sam getting some groceries and other supplies. My Mom and Bobby have gone a couple of towns over to get some kind of rare reference book on Angels and won't be back until dinner. So, it is just Dean and I here with you."
Ezekiel sat up straighter. "Did Castiel mention anything about this message?"
"No, just that he needed to investigate immediately."
Ezekiel stood up and pulled a long chain from under his shirt. Hanging on the end of the thin silver chain was a teardrop shaped black crystal. It looked as though there was a light trapped inside the stone. Ezekiel gripped the pendant and closed his eyes. Dean felt a sight breeze on the back of his neck and turned to see Cas stood behind him.
"You are awake. Good." Cas strode forward and pulled Ezekiel into a hug. "I had not realised that you had used so much of your energy is escaping Lucifer."
Ezekiel pulled back and locked eyes with Cas. "It was not just Lucifer. I had to expend energy shielding both the Winchesters and myself from the Horseman."
Cas nodded grimly. "I understand. It was a false hope that it would Lucifer longer to discover you. I have discovered information about an Angel that it working with Lucifer and is giving him vital information that is detrimental to our cause."
"Of course. As soon as Hermione returns and I inform her of the current circumstances, then we will leave and track this Angel down."
Castiel tilted his head, observing Ezekiel. "Are you sure it is wise to involve yourself in such as task so soon after you have recovered from a massive energy drain?"
"Cas, I need to help you. I have recovered a sufficient amount to ensure that I will be able to deal with almost any situation that may arise. We need to move quickly with the information that you have gathered."
"Are you sure that is a good idea?" Dean cleared his throat in discomfort when three sets of eyes turned to look at him. "I mean, you have only been awake about ten minutes. You should take at least a day or two to recover some more. You could be walking into, you know, a dangerous situation."
Ezekiel met Dean's own gaze with intense emerald eyes. An emotion flickered in them for a second, before they became blank. Dean pushed down the disappointment that was rising in his chest at the lost opportunity of getting something more than robotic reactions from the Seraphim and looked away.
"Your concern is welcome, but not necessary. This task is urgent and cannot be delayed for such a long period of time." There seamed to be an underlying edge to Ezekiel's tone, but when Dean looked back at the Angel, Ezekiel had already moved to the other end of the room and was having a quiet but intense conversation with Cas.
Harry pushed back his frustration at the lack of information his Uncle was able to provide him about the rogue Angel. It was not Castiel's fault, it was merely that the Angel was hiding herself well somewhere on Earth and it was difficult to dig her out of the hole that she was hiding in.
Harry was trying to concentrate on his Uncle's suggests on how they should proceed to find her, but his gaze kept wandering to the other side of the room where Dean was having a low conversation with Jo. Harry was not surprised by the concern that Dean had shown him, but more by the depth of it.
Harry and Dean had been strictly professional the few times that they had had contact since the argument that had occurred during that stupid Supernatural convention that they had all been tricked into going to. Harry was still pissed that Dean seemed to presume that he had any right to demand anything from him, and Dean seemed angry that he had not got the information he wanted.
Harry knew that now Lucifer knew about his existence, he should really tell the Winchesters the truth about himself. Lucifer seemed to know a lot more about him than Harry expected, so Harry supposed that it was now the Winchesters who were in the dark more than anyone else involved. Harry did not know why he was so reluctant to tell the Winchesters the truth, and he did not want to delve too deeply into his psyche. One visit from his subconscious was enough to last him a lifetime.
"Once we have returned from this task, I believe it would be wise to tell the Winchesters and Bobby the truth about you. If we do not, it could be dangerous for them to be in the dark about certain important facts."
Harry met the blue orbs of his Uncle and shifted slightly in discomfort. "I'll think about it. I'm not sure if I am ready to tell them just yet."
Castiel tilted his head in confusion. "Is this a human peculiarity that I do not understand? You were the one that initially refused to act in a manner befitting a Seraphim."
"I know. I don't want to get into such a deep conversation with you right now, Uncle Cas. And to be honest, I don't know why I don't want to tell them just yet."
Cas looked intently at Harry, who met his gaze honestly. After a moment or two, he nodded. "If this is what you want. However, I will not allow the Winchesters to be kept from such vital information for too long. I will tell them if the situation requires it."
Harry opened his mouth to reply, when the front door slammed shut and two quiet voices sounded, travelling from the hallway to the kitchen. Turning to face the open doorway between the combination living room and pseudo-library, Harry saw that Hermione was laying the bags in her arms on the table. Following close behind her was Sam, carrying more bags. Hermione turned to help Sam, but stopped dead when she saw Harry stood in the middle of the room, very much awake.
Without a word, she sprinted across the two rooms so fast that Harry would have sworn she had Apparated if he had not known better and flung her arms tightly around his neck. Harry merely closed his eyes and pulled her closer. Even though he knew she was okay and unharmed from their trip to Carthage, being back at the Ministry in his mind brought all the emotions of that day back to him. They hit him like a wave, pounding on the tightly held walls he kept around his emotions.
Hermione pulled back, a wide smile lighting up her face. "You're awake. I was worried when you didn't come around a few days ago."
Harry gave her a small smile, allowing the rest of the room to fade away and concentrated on just his sister. He brought a hand up and gently wiped away a stray tear running down her check that Hermione had not been able to suppress before it had escaped. "You know I always bounce back from stuff like this. Death has never been able to keep a hold on me before, so why would he be able to now?"
Hermione gave a small chuckle. "That is a good point. I'm glad you woke up before the Hunt started. I didn't want to leave you." Hermione paused, biting her lip. "I mean, I don't have to go if you want me to stay with me. We were planning to leave first thing tomorrow morning, but I don't have to go if you don't want me to."
Harry shook his head. "No, you should go. I have to leave with Cas as soon as possible to act quickly on his information. You go with the Winchesters and if you need anything, I'm only a phone call away."
"Okay." Hermione pulled away and turned to smile at Jo, who was hovering near the kitchen. "You promised to help me pack, remember?"
Jo nodded, a smile brightening he features. "Yeah, sure. I remember. We should start now, so we don't have to do too much after dinner."
Both women left the room, a quiet conversation about what Hermione should pack striking up between them. Sam cleared his throat. "That isn't a bad idea. Dean, we should get everything packed up as well." Dean rolled his eyes, but silently left the room. Sam made to follow him, but Harry called him back.
Sam turned back to the two Angels in the room nervously. He was slightly unnerved by two sets of intense eyes staring at him. Ezekiel turned slightly to his Uncle, who seemed to take a cue and left with only a slight flutter and breeze. Ezekiel once again turned his intense emerald eyes on Sam and merely observed him for a moment.
"This will be the first real Hunt in a while that Hermione and I have been separated for. I know you will understand the depth of what I am saying when I tell you that Hermione's life means more to me than my own. Hermione and Castiel are the only true family that I have left." Ezekiel paused and looked away from Sam. When he looked back, Sam felt shivers run down his spine at the hard edge in the green eyes boring into his own. "I would tear the world apart to protect them from anything. So, you should know just how much I mean it when I tell you that Hermione's happiness is everything to me. You seem to be a part of that happiness now. I know that Hermione is very capable of taking care of herself, but I still worry about her."
Ezekiel turned away from Sam and looked intently out of the window into the scrap yard. "I gave you my blessing to date Hermione, and I will not go back on that. But I only ask you two simple things: that you will do everything to protect Hermione and that you will always strive to make her happy."
Sam stared at the Seraphim, not sure what to do or say. He knew that Ezekiel and Hermione cared deeply for each other, but he had no idea that the Angel would be able to express his affectation to anyone but his Uncle and Hermione herself. It almost made Sam think that he was human. He tried not to gather any kind of hope on his brother's behalf, but it was difficult. Sam did not think that even Dean knew just how deeply his emotions for the Angel ran. Dean was not the kind of person to analyse and express his feelings, but Sam knew his brother like no one else did. He saw how much Dean actually liked the Seraphim.
"I would do anything to make Hermione happy and I would give my life if it would make her safe." Sam could think of no other word to express himself to the Angel, but his simple reply seemed to be enough.
"Good." Ezekiel turned and glanced at Sam once more. "I must go and help Castiel. I will return once the task is complete." The Seraphim disappeared without a sound, leaving Sam stood alone in the middle of the room. Well, almost alone. It seemed Dean had not gotten over his annoying childhood habit of eavesdropping.
"So, that was kind of intense." Dean came back into the room from where he was hiding out in the hallway, his tone light but his gaze serious. "That was kind of scary. And strangely….human."
"Yeah yeah." Dean waved his hand in annoyance. "I know he isn't human. I don't need to have this talk again with you Sam. I know he is an Angel jammed into a human meatsuit. You don't have to remind me dude." Dean refused to meet Sam's eyes. "So, let's go pack and get this show on the road."
The crowd was packed close together, all trying to find their seats and other members of their group. It was like any other Wednesday service, but, unbeknownst to those in the crowd, the air was charged and there was a sense of anticipation. A figure stood among the crowd, silent and strong. Without knowing it, the swarm of people was giving the figure a wide berth, leaving an empty space around him.
Harry closed his eyes and allowed his senses to expand and move beyond the hustle and bustle of the crowd around him. Taking his own advice, he allowed his magic, the Hollows and his Grace to all seep through the walls he kept around them. Once they connected, he dropped the walls completely and almost staggered as the three portions of his soul connected and sparked into life. He felt them all mingle and was suddenly hit with a sense of…rightness.
An external source of power suddenly hit him in waves. Harry's heart suddenly jumped and began to race in anticipation. His eyes snapped open as he scanned the crowd, searching for the source of the Grace that had hit him moments before. He was broken out of his concentration when Castiel appeared over his shoulder. Harry felt his soul and Grace before he saw him, his own Grace and the power of the Hallows working in synchronicity.
"I am unable to locate the Angel among the crowd. We should allow the crowds to settle before we attempt to locate her again."
Harry nodded and guided his Uncle towards two empty seats as close to the front as he could find. It was busy in Saint Peter's square that day – it was always packed when there was a mass. As Harry looked around, observing everything carefully and quickly, he saw people from all over the world. They had all come to see the centre of their faith and its leader among humans. Harry had never grown up paying much attention to religion. It was merely another topic they studied in primary school and it wasn't something that was valued greatly in the Dursley household. But since Castiel had appeared in his life, Harry had studied Christianity deeply. However, he had never been to the Vatican before, even though he had been in Rome a few times.
As the mass began, Harry lowered his head and allowed his power to gently sweep across the crowds. It was ten minutes into the mass that his power hit a wall of energy. Harry pushed his power harder against the wall, and almost jumped in shock when a snap of energy hit him in retaliation. Harry gritted his teeth in annoyance and mild anger and looked up. His eyes scanned the crowd and settled on an attractive blonde woman sat a few rows away from him. She was staring at him with blank eyes, her posture stiff. Harry gathered a tight coil of energy and pushed it at her. He gave a small smirk of satisfaction when she flinched and anger flickered in her dark gaze.
Harry could feel her gathering her Grace, but with a spark in inspiration, her reached out with his Grace and connected with hers. It was a bright moment, invisible to all the humans around watching the mass, unaware of the Supernatural energy battle going on among them. Harry felt all of the Angel's anger, contempt, hate…..there were so many negative emotions that Harry had so stuff them into a corner, or he would have been overwhelmed. Testing the limitations of the Hallows like he had never done before, Harry allowed the Hallow energy to snake along the connection with his Grace and wrapped it around the other Angel's soul, trapping the Grace in a cage of dark tendrils of smoke.
The dark eyes of the other Angel looked at Harry in shock and made to get up, but Castiel silently appeared behind her, wrapped his arms around her in a tight embrace and silently disappeared. Harry pulled his power back into himself, and also silently left the unsuspecting crowd of worshippers. Following his Uncle's Grace, Harry found them in one of the many churches in Rome. Harry immediately warded and sealed the building so that the Angel could not escape.
Castiel let go of the Angel and she immediately tried to zap herself out. Harry gave a humourless smile. "Don't even bother. This building is now in a Supernatural lockdown. Nothing enters or exits without my say so."
"What do you want with me?"
Harry observed the spite in the other Angel's eyes. "A name to begin with would be nice. I'm Ezekiel and that is Castiel."
The Angel looked between the two others. "I'm Caraiel. And I know who you both are. Castiel – the Angel who would betray his own brothers and sisters for the humans - and Sofiel's hybrid son. The new rebel of the family. Lucifer is very interested in you, Harry."
Harry laughed. "Yeah, I know. I found that out not long ago. I would ask you to pass on a message to him, but you won't be alive long enough to do that."
Caraiel gave a bark of laughter. "Like I believe you would actually kill me. You are half human and humans are weak. They are ruled by emotion. They are a failed experiment of our Father."
"Humans are not weak. Humans have survived being dumped on this piece of rock since day one. Angels have lived in Paradise since God created them to be his servants. You think Angels could have handled the hardships Humans endure everyday? I don't believe so. Angels are weak and pathetic. You are nothing but children throwing a tantrum because Daddy likes the younger child more."
Caraiel hissed in anger. "That is not true. The Mud-Monkeys are nothing! How can you even compare them to the glory of us Angels?"
"Very easily. I have lived as a human and I have seen what Angels are truly like." Harry leaned forward, his face close to the other Angel's. "I would rather live and die as a human than join your pathetic cause."
"That can be arranged." Caraiel hissed out in anger. "I'm not going to tell you anything, and when Lucifer realises that I'm missing, he will find me and destroy you."
"I doubt that, because I'm worth more to Lucifer than your pathetic life could even mean."
"Then I guess he will just have to settle with killing those that you love. Castiel to start with and then that little pet human you keep around….I would love to be there to hear her screams as she dies, knowing that you won't be able to do a thing to save her."
Harry hissed in frustration, his power lashing out without a thought to wrap around Caraiel's Grace and squeezing it tightly. Caraiel cried out in pain and fell to her knees. Harry let his grip around her Grace go slack, but not completely released. Caraiel glared at him from the floor, panting softly.
Kneeling down in front of her, Harry leaned close. "Do not push me. Everything in me is telling met to kill you as painfully and slowly as possible. That must be the vengeance that I get from both the human and Angelis side of the family tree." Harry tightened the cage for an instant, the hitch in Caraiel's breath an indication of just how much pain the small spike had caused her. "Tell me what you know and I will allow Castiel to kill you quickly with an Angelic blade. But don't tell me and I will rip your Grace from your body piece by piece."
"What kind of offer is that?" Caraiel's voice was clear and defiant, but Harry could hear an edge of fear in it. Feeling a stab of remorse and guilt, Harry pushed his emotions away into the small box in his mind.
"It is the best offer you are going to get." Harry's emerald eyes bored into Caraiel's dark ones, nothing showing in his deep gaze.
"I don't know Lucifer's plans. I swear! I only recruit for him – I find Angels that are sypathetci to him, work on them and then recruit them into our ranks. That is all." Caraiel's voice dropped to a quiet pleading. "Please, that all. I swear."
Harry stared her down, but could find no ounce of deception in her. He released the cage around her Grace and watched as she slumped in relief on the floor. She closed her eyes as Castiel approached her, a silver blade glinting in his grip. Just as he was about to raise the sword, Harry stopped him and took the blade from him. Leaning down, he whispered in Caraiel's ear.
"I forgive you for your betrayal to our family." Before she could open her eyes, Harry deftly drove the blade into her heart and looked away as bright sparks and lights emanated from the wound. Laying her gently on the floor, Harry silently disappeared.
Dean was just getting changed when his phone rang, Metallica blaring loudly. Digging through his jeans, Dean pulled out his phone and hit answer. "Yeah, what have you got for me?"
Dean listened for a moment." No, I'm heading that way now. I just got back from a Hunt at a nut house. Yeah, I know. Don't ask. Sure, 20 minutes."
Dean stored his phone away and was just pulling on his shirt when the door opened and Sam came in. "Hey, Hermione and I are making dinner and were wondering if you were going to join us."
Dean shook his head. "No thanks. I'm just about to head out. I've got something to do."
Sam observed his brother for a minute. "Are you okay? I mean, you seem…different since the last Hunt."
Dean shook his head harder this time. He really didn't want to talk about his experience at the mental hospital. He just wanted to forget the whole damn experience and move on. "No, I'm fine." Dean could see that Sam didn't believe him, so he fell back on his typical sense of humour to get out of the deep conversation Sam surely wanted to have. "Hermione sure looked hot in that nurse's outfit. I hope she kept it."
Sam scowled at his older brother. "Dean…" His tone had a warning edge to it.
"Whatever, bitch. I'll be back later." Dean exited the room quickly, in case Sam wanted to either have the chick-flick moment or bitch at him some more for leering at his girlfriend.
Dean slipped into a seat at a table in the back of the rowdy bar, taking a swig of his beer as he observed the crowd. It was a busy night, and the bar seemed to be full to capacity. It had been difficult to get to the bar and Dean was lucky to find an empty table in such a private part of the bar. He just hoped that Jim wouldn't take too long getting there and make him wait.
Just as Dean had that thought, a man quietly slipped into the empty seat next to him. He was average height, average appearance…..he was average in every way except one. He was amazing at finding information on just about anything. Normally, that information came a high price, but Dean and his father had done Jim a favour a few years back and Dean had finally called in that marker.
"So, you have the information I asked for?" Dean took another gulp of his beer. "It took you a while."
Jim snorted. "Yeah, that's because those wand-waving wizards are the most secretive bunch I have ever encountered. They take secrecy to a whole new level."
Dean eyed him. "But you managed to get the information?"
"I got some information. I don't know if it is what you are looking for, but it is the most I could get out of those tight-lipped morons." Dean nodded and gestured for Jim to continue. "I found out that Harry James Potter was born to Lily and James Potter 23 years ago. His parents died when he was 18 months old, killed by a wizard called Voldemort who wanted ultimate power. His records show him living with his mother's sister and her family until he went to boarding school at 11 – I assume he went to the top-secret, hidden magical boarding school over in the UK somewhere."
Jim paused for a moment, glancing around the room, deep in thought. "This is where the information gets sketchy and I have had to rely a bit on rumours and stories from some wizarding sources I have.
Harry Potter disappears from the ordinary system at 11, but I've found some stories about him. The entire wizarding population virtually worships him. He apparently defeated Voldemort – the most powerful dark wizard in all history – at the age of 17 and became the Master of Death or something like that. From all of the other stories I've heard about some of the stuff he has done, he is one all-powerful son of a bitch. The last thing I managed to find was an announcement in one of the wizarding papers, announcing the engagement of one Lord Harry James Potter and a Ginerva Molly Weasley."
Dean felt a sudden and intense flare of anger. So, Ezekiel was in the body of some wizarding superman and had taken him away from his fiancée. Dean knew that he shouldn't be so angry with the Seraphim – hell, he didn't hold it against Cas that he had taken Jimmy away from his family. He knew that he needed to do it to help save the world from the Apocalypse. Some sacrifices were necessary.
However, Dean knew his anger stemmed more from hurt than anything else. He was just beginning to grasp how deeply he felt for the dark-haired Angel of the Lord, and now his fears were confirmed. The Angel was in a body that belonged to someone with a life – a hero to a whole race of people on Earth. And he had a fiancée waiting for him somewhere in the world, probably wondering where he was and if he was even alive. And it was the stab of jealousy that Dean felt that made him more angry and frustrated than any of the other information he had found out so far.
"Is that everything you have for me?" Dean stood up as Jim silently nodded his head. "Thanks Jim. We're even now." Dean left the bar without another word.
Harry sat silently next to his sister, merely observing her and Sam as they were deep in conversation at the dining table in Bobby's kitchen. Ellen and Bobby were at the other end of the table, talking animatedly about the new reference books that they had recently acquired. Jo was sat next to Harry, who turned to her when she asked him a question. Turning towards her slightly, a small smile on his face, Harry was about to answer when the door slammed shut. Everyone at the table fell silent as Dean stood in the doorway, and look of fury on his face.
"I want answers from you right now!" Dean was glaring directly at Harry.
Harry rose to his feet and returned the glare with a calm look, putting his 'angel mask' on. "I thought I told you that you had no right to demand information from me when you have been withholding vital information from me."
"Like hell" Dean took a step closer, a dangerous look on his face. "You are going to tell me what the hell you are doing in that meatsuit."
Harry felt a spike of confusion, but kept his emotionless mask in place. "I do not see how the information you are demanding from me is important in any way."
Dean's features became darker. "Not important? Don't you think that your choice in vessel is important to us? I know what I think – you are just like all the other douchebag Angels in your family. What, having a powerful wizarding saviour as your vessel makes you happy? A normal one wasn't good enough, so you went out and found a particularly special one to impress and outdo everyone else in your family of SOBs?"
Harry felt his fury increasing with every word Dean threw at him and couldn't stop some of it from seeping through his mask. "You have no idea what you are talking about Winchester. Stop right now before you say something you regret."
"Why? Worried everyone else in this room will find out exactly what you really are?" Dean sneered at Harry. "That you would take a man from his fiancée just so you can have a powerful wizard as your vessel." Dean's voice lowered, but everyone in the room could still hear it clearly in the deathly silence. "That you would let Ginerva Molly Weasley wonder and worry about her fiancé – wonder if he had left her or if he was even alive?"
Harry felt his full fury break through his already crumbling walls at the mention of Ginny. His power left him in one mighty burst, slamming Dean up against the wall. Not even thinking about the consequences, Harry reached out and grabbed hold of Dean's soul, gripping it tight. Ignoring the shocked looks he was receiving from everyone in the room, Harry stalked over to where Dean was pressed against the wall.
Leaning close to the other man, Harry hissed. "You have no idea what you are talking about. None at all." Harry squeezed Dean's soul tightly, before pulling all of his power back into himself. Ignoring the gasp from Dean, who was panting slightly at the sensation of his soul being attacked, Harry carefully erected his mental barriers once more and shoved his roaring emotions behind them.
"Harry…." Hermione had come up behind Harry and gently placed her hand on his shoulder. She sadly shook her head when Harry turned slowly to her and she saw his blank 'Angel mask' was firmly in place. "Harry, he doesn't know what he is saying. It's not his fault."
Harry looked at her for a moment, before turning away. He had to leave before his emotions overcame him again and broke through his flimsy control. "I must go to Castiel. He has need of me." The last thing Harry saw before he silently zapped himself away was Hermione's pleading look, everyone's shocked faces and Dean dark glare stabbing deeply into him.