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 you don't recognize (and is original material) is all mine. I can only wish I was as creative as to think of these brilliant additions to pop culture first.
Warning: Will contain major SLASH themes. Canon-Compliant up until Book 6 of Harry Potter, and changes Supernatural to include Harry and that J.K. Rowling never published the Harry Potter series LOL. All lyrics at the beginning of chapters belong to their respective authors. You Leave the World Behind should be read BEFORE reading this story, as it is the first story in this series.
Summary: Sequel to You Leave the World Behind. Harry continues to hunt with the Winchesters but his relationship with Dean is threatened by a dark secret. Unfortunately for Dean, Harry isn't the only one keeping secrets. Harry gains a surprising ally in the search for his godfather. SLASH.
When the Lightning Strikes
"Why So, Sirius?"
"And maybe, drink a cheers to yesterday,
And maybe, you'll drink those tears away.
So, baby, don't let go.
Hold on real tight,
'Cause I'll be home tonight.
- Aerosmith, Home Tonight
John gasped as he returned to the land of the conscious. His brain hurt with the mixture of fake and real memories just restored to him. On one hand John could still feel the lingering hatred he held towards the Sirius Black that he believed had betrayed him to the Yellow-Eyed Demon. On the other hand John knew now just how close he'd been to the Sirius Black who had given up everything to protect his youngest child.
Above all his heart hurt knowing where Sirius had been all of this time.
It was time for that reunion.
The next morning went about as John had expected it to go. He waited until Harry had finished making everyone omelets before telling them about his dream. John fielded the usual amount of skepticism from Bobby before the other hunter had inevitably disappeared into his library to retrieve all his notebooks on dream magic. Sam had made the expected quips about John drinking too much before bed. Dean supported the idea of Sirius' memory spell finally breaking almost immediately – but whether that was for John's benefit or Harry's wasn't clear. All in all John felt pretty pleased with how well he knew his family.
Harry's reaction was less than predictable.
From the moment John had announced what should have been happy news the Wizard had visibly shut down. Harry kept going through the motions but John could see it in his face that the younger man had gotten lost in his thoughts somewhere along the line. Dean didn't notice until Harry had been asked to pass the salt and gave up the pepper instead. Thankfully the Winchester men only had to muddle through a few minutes of stilted conversation until Bobby started laying out some research on the kitchen table.
"Ever since you told us about Black's memory spell I've been putting together whatever I could find on mind magic," Bobby explained. He nodded to the meager pile of journals and dusty books where his breakfast plate used to be. Scraps of paper stuck out randomly as crude bookmarks. "As you can see there was just loads full of information on the subject."
"Any of that say anything to corroborate Dad's dream?" Sam asked already eagerly reaching for the nearest tome.
Bobby snorted. "Beats me. Most of it reads like theory rather than any spells. My best guess is that your Daddy drank too much before bed and gave himself some interesting dreams."
Bobby's special brand of skepticism was neither a surprise nor a hindrance since the entire Winchester clan had long since accepted it as part of his personality and not an actual opinion. When Bobby wanted to convince you of something he either said it straight to your face with bold logic or shoved a gun in your face until you saw reason.
"So it could be nothing?" Harry asked.
"It wasn't nothing," John argued.
Bobby shrugged. "Still sounds like just a shitty dream to me. Hell I had one about Jane Fonda last night. Maybe she's a witch that drugged me with memory potions, too."
"Why aren't you sure, Harry?" Dean asked gently. When he didn't get an answer Dean reached out and covered Harry's hand with his own. He could feel the tremors as the Wizard tried not to show how hard his hands were shaking. "Harry?"
"I waited too long, Dean." Harry admitted quietly. "I can't… It doesn't make sense that it would just wear out on some random night. There was meant to be a trigger of some kind that would unlock it."
Dean traced small circles into Harry's wrist until the shaking stopped.
"It has been years," Sammy pointed out. "Why couldn't the spell have worn off? Or maybe it ended because your godfather…"
Dean shot his brother a harsh glare as they all silently filled in the blank.
Maybe he died.
Sam cleared his throat and turned back to his father. Clearly John's youngest was eager to redirect that thick tension somewhere else. "What else do you remember, Dad? Was there a trigger of some kind?"
"Hell if I know," John replied. "Do I look like a witch to you?"
"Wizard," Harry corrected but it was without any passion - just the mindless, instinctual retort of a familiar punch line. It made John feel tenser than when the boy used to say it with venom and indignant heat. How things change.
Sam was not to be deterred. "Well what were you doing before bed?"
"You make it sound as if I dozed off," John snorted. He rubbed at the ache pounding inside his head. "Fucking spell knocked me out cold."
"So something did trigger it," Bobby mused. "Did you drink something? Read one of the spell books? Feel a presence in the room?"
John shook his head. "I was checking on Dean."
"Except I wasn't there," Dean added with a blush. Harry didn't react at all other than staring blankly at the table between them.
Sam threw his pencil at his older brother, which was deftly caught with his free hand. "Yeah he and Harry were making up in our room all night."
"I realized that when I saw his sleeping gear missing."
Dean twirled the pencil with one hand while the other kept up the steady, soothing rotation of fingers against Harry's wrist. "So what did you do when you realized where I'd gone? And please say you didn't check on us because that would make me ask Harry for a memory potion of my own."
"I was happy," John remembered with an embarrassed start. He cleared his throat and avoided eye contact. "For you. For you both."
"Could happiness be the trigger?" Sam asked Harry, trying to bring him back into the conversation.
"It depends," Harry answered with a small shrug. "The trigger would be something hard to get him to do – something rare." He smiled slightly. "Your dad is a grumpy ass but I doubt he's never felt happiness in the past few years."
John ignored the jibe. Mostly. "Thanks for the vote of confidence."
Bobby wasn't to be deterred either. "There was more to it, though. There has to have been. What else did you feel?"
"I can't just be happy my son has someone?"
"Since when were you happy about it being Harry?" Dean asked.
"And I had Jessica," Sam cut in quickly. "It can't just be that one of your sons was happily dating someone."
John glared at them all. "That's all it was."
"You can lie better than that," Bobby scoffed. "You want to find Black or not?"
"Of course I do."
"So get on the feelings train, Oprah," Bobby ordered. "Tell us what went through your head to undue that damned spell."
"I already said that I was just happy for Dean!"
"Were you jealous?" Sam asked quietly. "That he had someone, I mean."
John stamped down on the hot rage inside him. "I have your Mother. I have Kate. I have you boys and Adam and your ass of an Uncle."
"And Harry," Dean added firmly.
"I said you boys, didn't I?" John challenged.
Sam snapped his fingers and grinned his triumph to the rest of them. "That's it! You included Harry."
John leaned back into the sofa. "So?"
"So last night when you were thinking about him and Dean getting back together you must have felt something different about Harry than you ever had before," Sam said. "I'm right, aren't I?"
"You're not going to ask if I was jealous again, are you?"
Dean put his hands up and used them to cover his ears. "And I'm done. Thanks for that scarring mental image."
Bobby laughed. "That'd be different even for you Winchesters."
"That's not what I meant and you know it," Sam replied in that special petulant tone that only his father or his brother could reduce him to. The only time Harry had ever managed to bring it out in him was when he'd teamed up with Jess to prank him.
John stifled his amusement and thought back to the moments just before he'd been sucker punched by the memory spell wearing off. He'd been honest with his son about how happy he'd been for Dean. There was no jealousy or resentment. John just didn't have it in him to begrudge others for having what he himself had lost so many years ago. He knew he wasn't the world's best father but seeing Dean robbed of that kind of happiness wouldn't have made him any happier.
Even if that someone wasn't totally human.
Other than that he'd only ever thought that Harry had become –
"Family," John muttered. His wide eyes rose to meet Harry's still vacant ones. "I thought he'd become part of the family."
Harry blinked at him as the meaning of John's words crossed the unseen barrier that the wizard had been lost in since hearing the news about Sirius. The aged Hunter could see when the words hit home. The faint blush of embarrassment on Harry's cheeks that blossomed first. The pleased turn of his lips. The way Dean's hands – which had migrated back to their original location and not covering his ears like a child – were given soft squeezes. Finally the little tilt of the wizard's head to John as acknowledgement of what it cost him to admit it and to feel it in the first place.
"Would that do it?" Sam asked. His voice was softer than it had been throughout their whole conversation. Even his turn to face his best friend and roommate was cautious as if Sam were concerned that sudden movement might ruin the moment. "Thinking of you as family, I mean. Could it have been the trigger?"
Harry nodded. "Sirius would know how – forgive the phrasing – seriously your father would take calling someone family." He leaned further into Dean's side. "John would have to trust them to the point that not even magical coercion could replicate the feeling."
"And Dad only trusts family that way," Dean confirmed. He offered his father a small smile. "Nice to know you're coming around after all."
John looked away. "Let's skip the group hug, shall we?"
"I have a better idea," Harry said with the first hint of real emotion all day. "Let's go find my godfather." Harry's coat flew out of the shared bedroom and slipped over his shoulders. It wasn't until the door had been flung open that he turned to face them with a wide, teasing smirk on his face. "Then we can do the group hug."
Harry watched in silent amusement as the two Winchester brothers tried to figure out what was wrong with Lark Hill Road. The wizard couldn't help but recall the first time he'd tried to find 12 Grimmauld Place. More than once Dean was caught counting the houses on the street with his fingers. Sam kept pacing in front of Kate and Adam's home and squinting into the space between 10 and 14 Lark Hill Road. Harry hoped that, much like Kate and Adam, the rest of the street's residences were away at either work or for school. Otherwise the owners of the petite yellow cottage and the simple two level brownstone might think they were about to be robbed.
That Sirius had chosen another house with the street number '12' spoke volumes to Harry about how little Sirius' wry brand of humor had changed.
"I don't get it," Dean exclaimed as he stomped up the front steps of the Milligan home and collapsed next to Harry. "It's like I can tell there's something missing but every time I try to focus on it my brain just sort of… redirects itself."
Harry smirked. "Magic is fun, no?"
"No," Dean grunted. "I hate not having control over my own head."
"Then prepare to get really pissed off," Harry warned with a nervous smile. He tapped Dean's leg in comfort before getting to his feet and joining John at the end of the Milligan's driveway. The elder Winchester spared him a glance before looking back across the road to the mysterious gap between 10 and 14 Lark Hill Road.
"Can you see it yet?" Harry whispered.
John nodded. "Yes."
"It's not… what I expected."
Harry snorted. "That sounds like Sirius."
John smiled his agreement. "I'm starting to remember more. More about Sirius and how good he was with my boys. How Sirius was with his godson." He grimaced as he realized just how bad that might sound to Harry. "His other godson, I mean."
"Mostly." The hunter's wistful smile dissolved into a concerned grimace. "You know he's a bit… eccentric, right?"
"I remember him being flat out crazy actually," Harry interrupted, sparing John from dinging his friend's reputation to his godson. "But I'd like to think that whatever time Sirius spent with you and your family helped heal him some. This elaborate plan to hide himself certainly shows he was more aware than the last time I saw him."
John looked startled by the wizard's candor. "What was he like back then?"
"Just before he went through the veil he called me by my father's name. They were best friends in school." He tilted his head to point out the magical gap in houses across the street. "I knew how crazy Sirius was before he got here and I'm… probably not prepared for what 10 years confined to a property by his Fidelius Charm will have done to him."
"I haven't seen him outside of the house yet," John pointed out. "He might not even know we're here."
"He knows," Harry disagreed. "He would have felt the magic from Adam's pendant. Why he isn't pacing a whole in the front yard waiting for us… I don't know."
John sighed. "Should I bring my gun?"
Harry narrowed his eyes. "Not unless you want me to finish what I started in that hospital basement last year? It would certainly make my issues with Azazel and the other demons a whole lot easier if you were actually dead."
"Jesus, kid." John shook his head. "So how do I do this?"
"Just tell me the address of the house," Harry ordered. "I'll take care of the rest."
Dean dropped a hand on Harry's shoulder and held it there as the Wizard jumped slightly in surprise. He'd been too engrossed in thoughts of Sirius to hear his boyfriend's stealthy approach. "You're not going in there by yourself."
Harry fought the urge to shrug off the protective grip. "I am when my godfather is a trigger-happy Wizard on his good days and we have no idea what kind of mental state he's in."
"I can handle myself," Dean stated cockily.
Harry sent a jolt of electricity into the hand on his shoulder and smirked as Dean yelped and started waving his hand around in the air. "You were saying?"
Dean gave him the finger. "You're a regular comedian."
Sam sighed at their antics from his spot across the street. "Not that I don't love this touching display of romance but are we going to do this or what?"
"I'm going in first," Harry yelled back, answering for the two disgruntled Winchesters closest to him.
"Is that… safe?" Sam asked with his usual angst face.
Dean groaned. "Don't say that unless you want your hand to be lit on fire!"
Harry rolled his eyes. "I did not light your hand on fire you big baby."
"12 Lark Hill," John informed the group before things deteriorated any further. "We'll give you ten minutes before coming in."
The Wizard barely nodded his acknowledgment before looking across the street. He could tell the moment the others could see 12 Lark Hill spring into existence by the way Sam stumbled backwards like a clumsy moose and heard Dean's muttered swears. Numbers 10 and 14 slid sideways and at the newly formed core long grass grew into thick weeds. A modest stone home grew into place as if it were slowly coming closer from a great distance until it finally fit properly atop the yard. Vines sprouted from walls and gates grew as if from the ground itself. Harry recognized half-dug up herb and fruit gardens from his summers tending to the Aunt Petunia's flowerbeds.
"At least I know he hasn't starved to death," Harry muttered before crossing the street on unsteady feet.
Harry understood that Dean had only been acting childish to keep his nerves from growing. It was adorable if not a bit sad that that was Dean's only recourse to turn to when it came to comforting the people he cared for. And Harry desperately missed the distraction with every step closer he took to the worn down front door. The wizard was tempted to glance back but knew that this – the final leg of his epic journey – was meant for him alone.
As soon as Harry put a foot on the porch he could see that the door was ajar. He slowed when he realized that there was no one actually standing behind the door. He nudged it open with his foot and gazed cautiously into the home. The main hallway was so narrow that Harry's shoulders brushed against each wall. Stacks of books were lazily piled on the edges of the staircase that lined the other half of the hallway. Deciding to search the main floor first Harry followed the path until it emptied into a modest kitchen.
It was not unlike the Weasley kitchen; small, basic and well cared for. Emphasis on the basic. The lack of technology stuck out in Harry's mind. Harry could see where the tacky wallpaper stopped just behind a poorly constructed bookcase that marked the space where a refrigerator should have been. No stove or microwave other. Books, though, plenty of books.
Harry startled as a loud whistling noise erupted just behind him. He spun to see a teapot on the stove and billowing steam. As soon as Harry gripped the handle and carried it over to the small kitchen table the teapot stopped shrieking. A single mug sat in the door less cabinet next to the table. An empty sugar bowl and an equally empty creamer were behind it.
"Not planning on sharing?" Harry asked the empty room in a hunch.
A hoarse bark of laughter rang out through the house. The voice that followed was as dry as dirt. "And what would I need with two mugs?"
Harry let the tension bleed out of his shoulders. Sirius' voice sounded even worse than the first time he'd heard it after the man has escaped Azkaban prison. But there was warmth there as well - a tone of familiarity that erased all of Harry's worries about Sirius' mental health.
"Not much company lately?" Harry teased, still keeping his back to the home.
"That's what happens when no one can seem to find the place."
Harry laughed. It came out more nervous than planned as the pressure in his stomach burst up and out of his lungs. There was even a slight crack on the end of it just like when he was a little baby Third Year. He dropped his head in mortification.
Long fingers slid over his shoulder and pressed firmly. Harry let himself be turned and pulled into a hug. Harry easily slipped his own arms around Sirius' thin frame and hooked his chin over the other man's shoulder. His cheek burned as a slight beard rubbed against his sensitive skin.
"You, my boy," Sirius breathed into his ear, "are the first visitor I've had in a very long time. And I wouldn't trade you for any other."
"Are you sure?" Harry asked, his voice thick with emotion. Wetness built at the edges of his vision. "I may have brought a few friends."
Another bark of laughter echoed off the thin kitchen walls. "I suppose I could allow a few unexpected guests… though we may have to share the one cup."
Harry grinned into Sirius' shoulder. "I think you're short on chairs too."
"It may have been a long time but I'm sure my old friend John Winchester still has a stick up his ass straight enough that he couldn't sit down anyway," Sirius replied.
"Or I could just conjure one up," Harry said already raising his hand to do just that.
"No! You can't!" Sirius shouted pushing his way out of their embrace. It was hard enough that Harry stumbled back and had to brace himself against the little table. It rocked into the wall and left one hell of a dent in it. "No magic. Not here. Not ever."
Harry felt a tremor run through him at the vehemence in his godfather's voice. He took a moment to collect himself to look over the older man for the first time. Sirius had let his beard grow wild enough that he could tie it just off the tip of his chin. It was trimmed down the sides so that it gave the impression of a triangle. The hair on top of the man's head looked as if Sirius had been cutting it himself – and not in a good way. Tufts of hair stood out so that clumps were shortened to about the same size but still had enough disparity that it looked more like ruffled feather than hair. The man's frame wasn't as gaunt as when he'd escaped prison but it wasn't a healthy weight either.
Sirius self-consciously ran his hands down the simple red shirt until he hooked them into the loops of his jeans. He was barefoot to boot.
"I'm sorry about that," Sirius muttered avoiding his godson's gaze. "But Harry why do you think I did all this? Locked myself away when I swore never to be caged up again."
Harry shook his head, still searching his eyes for any hint of madness. "Believe me I've thought about it a lot. Ever since I landed here and started searching for you. Wondering where you were. Wondering why in Merlin's name you left your friends and hid."
A floorboard in the hallway creaked. "I was wondering the same thing."
Both wizards jumped and turned to face the three Winchesters standing at the threshold of the kitchen. The hall was so narrow that Sam was forced to turn sideways just to fit in behind John and Dean.
John had his gun in a white-knuckle grip at his side. "So? Care to explain why the goose hunt? Tell me why you fucked with my head to keep your secret?"
Sirius eyed the gun. "Now I hope you've recalled enough of our time together that you know you took that memory potion voluntarily, John."
There was a tense pause as John's gun hand twitched before he nodded. "And the rest of it?"
"Explaining why I had to hide myself might take some time," Sirius hedged.
"I can give you time for that," John replied amicably enough for a man with a gun. Then he cocked it. "But I'll take an explanation for what that crack about a stick up my ass was all about?"
Sirius froze before a tentative smile spread across his face. "Johnny?"
The three younger men stared in shock as John uncocked the gun and slid the gun back into the holster. A shit-eating grin replaced John's usual scowl and moved forward. The two men stopped short of hugging one another. They settled for clasping forearms and grinning like loons at one another instead.
"Should I be feeling jealous?" Harry asked Dean.
Dean shrugged, still eyeing the display between them in wonder. "Don't ask me. Most of Dad's so called 'friends' just try and shoot him."
Sam nodded his agreement. "Even Bobby most times."
That caught Sirius' attention. "Bobby Singer? He's still alive?"
"Oh for Merlin's sake," Harry groaned. "Don't tell me I have to watch the three-way version of this."
John narrowed his eyes at Harry. "Quiet, you."
Sirius rolled his eyes. "What? Like you're too good for a little three-way action starring yours truly?"
"If I ever have a memory come back that is at all like that…"
"You'll consider yourself blessed?" Sirius guessed at the end of John's threat.
John's free hand twitched next to the holstered weapon. "Like I'd want to see your pale ass."
"Relax, Winchester. I can honestly say that we've never bumped uglies so I guess we're both in the clear."
"Small mercies," John replied.
"Amen," his sons added at the same time. Harry just shook his head.
Sirius smirked. "Though we've been friends for far too long to say that you haven't seen my particular ugly."
Harry cleared his throat. He felt a pang of guilt at having to sober the room from the momentary influx of joy. "Can we get back to the part where you played the worlds most epic game of hide and seek?"
"Of course." Sirius motioned to the window. "We can walk and talk. You'll have to see the greenhouse anyway."
"Greenhouse?" Sam asked.
Sirius' eyes glimmered with excitement. "This talk requires a visual aide."
The house had been modest but the backyard was anything but.
From the look of things Sirius had been surviving on the crops he raised. And there were definitely crops. At first glance Harry thought that a mini maze had been erected back there but as the group stepped closer he could see vines wrapping around wooden brackets. Towards the far left of the expansive yard Harry could see a fresh herb garden like the older ones in the front yard. On the right root vegetables were growing.
"Got the idea from the Native Americans," Sirius explained as if they were walking through a museum. "They taught the Pilgrims to grow Corn, Beans and Squash together because they help one another grow. Nutrients in the soil, you know? And the beans can stretch up the corn stalks, too." He flashed a smile over his shoulder. "They called it The Three Sisters."
"Fascinating," Sam piped up from the back of the group. "Do you have any other Native crops?"
Sirius gestured Sam forward and the two began chatting. Periodically Sirius would point out a new crop or start spouting off some gardening tips. Harry and Dean exchanged amused looks at what appeared to be a nerd-romance blossoming before their very eyes.
"Guess I know those books weren't just for kindling," Harry joked.
Dean huffed. "You should have seen Sammy foaming at the mouth over all of the books in his living room. Thought he might hump a few shelves for a minute there."
Harry took his hand. "Living room?"
"You didn't see it?" Dean asked, smiling at their clasped hands. "Right off the main door. No furniture except for a little recliner. The rest of the room looked like someone robbed a public library. It had rows of shelving and everything."
"Not like he had a cable hook up or anything," John added from where he trailed behind them. "If I knew I was going to lock myself away from the world for a few years I'd want to have as much reading material as possible. Wouldn't you?"
Dean frowned at the back of the man in question. "I'd go crazy if all I could do is read and plant vegetables. My god the whole vegetarian thing alone would kill me."
Harry tightened his grip on Dean's hand. "He's had practice being in isolation, remember?"
"You mean the prison?"
"Yeah," Harry answered softly. "Trust me. This situation is a vacation in paradise compared to that nightmare."
They walked the rest of the way in silence.
The greenhouse was large but there were no plants inside. Instead Harry recognized it for what it really was… a war room. He'd seen it at Grimmauld Place when the Order had still been underground. He'd seen the Ministry's war room when they began hunting down escaped Death Eaters after Voldemort fell. There was no doubt in Harry's mind that war had come to this new universe and that Sirius was intimately involved in it.
A long table was mounted on the earth at the center of the greenhouse. Taped to the glass walls and ceilings were charts, newspaper clippings, torn out pages of literature, and what looked like permanent marker linking them. The entire back wall had a map of the United States dominating it. Specifically it appeared as though Sirius had cut out the road maps for each state and sutured them together to make one gigantic map.
"Welcome, Gentlemen," Sirius declared proudly, sweeping his arms wide like he was presenting a Showcase on The Price is Right.
"To what?" Dean muttered into Harry's ear. "Crazy Town?"
Harry grimaced. "Sirius, what is all this?"
"This is the answer, Harry," Sirius answered. "It's what Samuel Colt started all those years ago. I picked up where he left off. I finished it."
"Finished what?" Sam asked.
"The Battle Plan."
John squinted at the papers strewn across the long table. "For what?"
"For surviving the Apocalypse, of course." Sirius looked deeply disappointed in each of them. "What? Didn't anyone tell you it was coming?"
Author's Note: Well it's been exactly two years since the last time I offered a complete update in this story. Thanks to those of you who are still hanging in there. Every day I get reviews from readers inquiring about an update or brand new ones saying how much they enjoyed the read so far and each one blows me away. I wish I had more time for writing. I wish I could reward all of that enthusiasm the way it deserves. Right now I can offer an update. Maybe there will be another one soon - most likely not before the end of the year. But I'm trying real hard to get back into the habit of writing each day (despite my unpredictable schedule) and complete chapters. This fic and one of my Teen Wolf fics are my priority right now. Then I will move onto my other ongoing projects.
Don't forget to review :)