The day just couldn't get any slower. Or boring. These were the mid-afternoon thoughts swirling around Lucy's head as she stared at the door, willing customers to come in and buy some goddamn coffee. It was normally busy, because she was the only coffee shop in town. But today was just one of those days where hardly any customers came in. Lucy would normally spend this time catching up on her paperwork, or ordering new supplies or doing the daily cleaning jobs. But all of these jobs had been done hours ago and there was nothing left to do.
Lucy was getting one of her few customers another cappuccino, when the chime above the door sounded. Smiling at the man as she gave him the fresh coffee, Lucy looked up as the new customers made their way towards the counter. They were two men, dressed in suits and ties and both had a look of determination on their face. As they reached the counter, the shorter one gave her a tense, but charming smile.
"Hi." The man met her gaze with green eyes. "I'm Agent Bloom and this is Agent Roeser." Lucy looked behind the green-eyed man and received a nod from the incredibly tall agent.
"We are looking for someone who we believe passed through this town. As you are the only coffee shop in town, we assume that he came here at some point whilst passing through." Lucy's gaze was pulled back to Agent's Bloom's face by a melting smile. She gave the charming Agent a small smile back and gave the FBI badges they showed her the barest of glances.
Lucy was incredibly excited. Not only was this picking up her day immeasurably, it would give her the advantage over all the other women in town. Living in a place so small meant that everyone knew each other and all of their neighbours' personal business. There was no such thing as a private life in such a small town. Lucy had high hopes that these men were tracking down a dangerous criminal on the run from the law. That would give her some juicy gossip and would make her the centre of all the gossiping for months.
"Of course, Agents. Anything I can do to help." Lucy simpered. She fluttered her eyelashes at the two handsome Federal Agents, mentally cheering as she was about to get the ultimate gossip. The tall agent pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket and gave it to her.
Lucy eagerly took the paper and looked down at it in anticipation. She frowned when she saw the picture on the page. It was a black and white CCTV picture of a teenager. It was a good shot of the kid and showed his face in good detail. It wasn't the picture that startled Lucy, but the person in it.
Lucy recognised the boy in the picture. He had come in first thing that morning, almost as soon as she opened. He told her he was called Harry and that he was passing through town on his way to Chicago. He was such a charming young man, and he had a killer accent. It reminded Lucy of James Bond and when she asked, the teen had explained that he was on a travelling holiday and he came from England. He had such good manners, all traditional and proper, and had answered the millions of questions that Lucy had about England and London.
"Are you sure?" Lucy looked up, confused and saw the two Agents exchange glances. "I mean, yeah he passed through. But there is no way this kid could have done something wrong. Certainly not anything the FBI could want him for!"
"Ma'am." The tall Agent gave Lucy the most adorable puppy dog eyes she had ever seen. "We just need to find him and talk to him. It is all about his safety and wellbeing."
"Is he some kind of runaway?" Lucy felt tears well up in her eyes. That poor boy – he was charming and kind. But Lucy saw that he was sad about something. It made sense if he was a runaway. His family must be so worried – especially if the FBI were involved.
The Agents exchanged glances, and the tall one shifted so he was the one closer to the counter. He leaned down so he was on the same level as Lucy and looked at her with soulful, hazel eyes. His voice was soft. "We can't comment on any details. However, it would be much appreciated if you could give us any information that he let slip about where he might be going next.
Lucy hesitated for a moment, looking at the picture of the teenager again. Lucy knew that she would give the Agents the information she had. She couldn't stand the thought of the nice young man out there on his own, whilst his family was worriedly waiting for news about him. "He said he was going to Chicago. But he left hours ago. He will be a good way there by now."
"Thank you." Lucy could see the sincerity in the Agent's faces as they thanked her and hurried away from the coffee shop, leaving her to ponder what had just happened.
Harry yawned and rummaged around the last few kernels of popcorn that were left in the container in his lap. Taking a slurp of his very sugary drink, Harry tried to focus on what was happening on the screen in front of him. He hadn't really being following, but he knew that it was some kind of action film, with lots of explosions and car chases or whatever.
Another yawn shuddered through his body as Harry absently rubbed a hand across his side. Harry had reached Chicago and planned to spend a week or two here. It seemed like a nice city, and there was a lot to see. It had been two weeks since his Uncles had decided that they should shoot him because he was Supernatural in nature. Two weeks since Harry had left them without another word. Two weeks since he realised that he was well and truly alone with no family to help, support and …love him.
Harry shook his head of these morbid thoughts and stuffed his emotions back into the box so that they were mentally out of sight. Sure, every moment he spent with Snape was annoying and he would have rather clawed his own eyes out than willingly going to the overgrown bat for private lessons. But Harry knew that he had to learn Occulmensy and, although it took him months, he finally learned to do it. Alongside Occulmensy, Snape insisted that he had to learn Legilimensy so that he would know straight away when someone was probing his mind for information. Harry had never been so thankful of Snape than he was now. His emotions were intense and in turmoil right now and he needed to be rational and calm about it.
Sighing, Harry shoved the last of the popcorn into his mouth and frowned when he realised that he had reached the bottom of the largest bucket the cinema sold. A few years ago, he wouldn't have believed anyone if they told him just how much he would be eating nowadays. Growing up, food had been intentionally made scarce by his not-real-relatives. It had a knock-on effect for years into his teens, but Mrs Weasley always made him eat loads of food and it had helped get him accustomed to eating large meals.
Harry had once questioned the Weasley matriarch about why he always saw Wizards eating lots of food, yet there were few overweight ones. Mrs Weasley had explained that magic was an energy that came from within the body and needed to be maintained. Wizards ate more than the average person because they needed more energy and burned it faster. As a wizard got older, their magic also grew, until they were of age. As for the fat wizards Harry had seen, they either were old (and their magic was getting 'dusty') or they weren't that powerful, so didn't need the extra food they ate. Harry had found it all interesting and now he understood why Mrs Weasley made sure he was fed every few hours. He had grown used to being stuffed with a few extra thousand calories a day now.
Harry polished off his large drink, glad that it was really sugary and looked back at the screen. Harry was just in time to see very last explosion and then the credits began their slow progression down and off the end of the cinema screen. Harry absently stood, rubbing his side as pain began to ache there, and he searched through his messenger bag, making sure that he hadn't lost anything of importance – like his wallet (the Goblins had set it up so that he could get American dollars from it and it was connected straight to his main vault so that it would automatically refill and he could get as much as he wanted) or his mobile phone (Harry had dumped the last phone he had because his Uncles had the number and could track him using it, so he bought himself a new one as soon as he could).
Standing up, satisfied that he had all of his things and closing his bag, Harry slipped amongst the stream of people heading down the central aisle and began to move towards the exit. Harry frowned as another stab of pain ran through his side and he rubbed it tensely. Maybe he shouldn't have had so much popcorn, but he had never eaten it before. The Dursleys had never taken him to the cinema and Wizards didn't have popcorn, for some reason that Harry didn't know.
Harry felt a massive explosion of pain across his side and fell to his knees in pain. His side was throbbing, with burning stabs of pain shooting through his side. Taking a deep breath, Harry almost immediately regretted it as it caused intense pain to spread across his side and caused black spots to appear in hi vision. Harry made sure to take shallow breaths, but it didn't really help the pain blooming around his abdomen. Harry closed his eyes tightly and concentrated on his breathing, ignoring the raised voices and commotion that was happening around him.
Dean rapidly did his tie up and hurried through the door, closely followed by his brother. The last few days had been hectic as they had closed in on their nephew. They had reached Chicago and had tracked down the rental car he had been using to get there. The guy behind the counter at the car rental shop hadn't even blinked an eye at the FBI badges that they were still using. He had told them that the kid had mentioned staying in one of the upscale hotels towards the centre of Chicago so that he would be close to all the attractions. They had gone to the hotel where the teenager was supposedly staying and had immediately harassed the man at reception.
"Sir." Dean and Sam flashed their FBI badges and the man behind the desk perked up immediately. "We are looking for a teenage boy that we believe is staying here."
"Of course Agents. Anything I can do to help you." The man stood straighter and eagerly looked at the picture that Sam thrust towards him. "Yes, he was staying here. Is he in some kind of trouble? Has he run away from home?"
Dean gave the man a hard look. "Sir, we can't comment on open cases. We just need to find him as soon as possible. What do you mean by 'was' staying here?"
"Some police came by and got his bags for him yesterday. He has been taken to hospital and was in surgery when they came by. They had managed to get a hotel and room number from him before he was sedated."
"Hospital?" Sam exchanged worried looks with his brother. "What was in taken in for?"
Dean held his breath as the man answered, hoping to God that it wasn't something supernatural. "He was at the cinema and his appendix burst. At least, that is what the police told me when I asked them."
Sam let out a breath in relief. "Did they mention which hospital he was being treated in?"
That was the reason that the two brothers were hurrying down the corridor towards the ward that they had been told their nephew was currently on. By the time they were finished with the hotel receptionist, it had been too late to go to the hospital, even for FBI agents. Stopping in front of the desk, Dean gave his most charming smile to the middle-aged nurse behind it who was looking over files and folders.
Flashing his badge confidently, Sam addressed the nurse directly. "We are looking for a patient that you have. He came in two days ago with burst appendix."
"Oh yes. Harry." The nurse seemed to know immediately who they were talking about. "He is such a sweet boy. The kindest and most friendly teenager we have had here for quite some time."
"Yes. Could you tell us which room is his?"
The nurse gave a small frown and gently placed the file she was holding on the desk. She looked over the two brothers. "He checked himself out early this morning, despite the doctors complaining that he had key-hole surgery two days ago. He got his prescription for his pain medication and then left. Is he…..is he in some kind of trouble?"
Dean could see the woman's concern and was warmed by it. He was glad that someone in the harsh world was looking out for his nephew. "We can't comment – but we need to find him. For his own safety."
"Why would the FBI be searching for him? You should be out looking for terrorists and serial killers, not some sweet teenager!"
Dean looked at the woman carefully and saw the guarded look in her eyes. Dean was good at reading people – years of Hunting and protecting his brother had ensured that. He could tell when someone was withholding information from him.
"Ma'am," Dean's voice was carefully measured. "I know that you know something about him. Please tell us. We are just trying to help."
The woman hesitated. "I just don't want him to be in any trouble. And the FBI searching for him seems like big trouble!"
Dean leaned closer to the woman. His voice was quiet and filled with emotion. "The thing is, he isn't exactly an FBI case. If anyone were to find out that I'm using my badge for personal reasons, then I could be in a lot of trouble."
"Who is he to you?"
"He is my nephew." Dean held her gaze. "Please, I have to find him. We're all he has left. I need to get him and make sure he is kept safe."
The nurse searched his face carefully and seemed to find what she was looking for. "I'm just about to move from my apartment to a new house that I've bought, but my lease doesn't end until the end of the month. I didn't want him staying in a hotel somewhere, so I'm letting him stay in my house until I move in."
"Thank you." Dean's voice was low, but there was a question there.
The nurse seemed to hear the unasked question in Dean's voice. She gave a sad smile. "I had a son. Harry reminds me of him so much. He is such a sweet and polite young man. My son died a few years ago. He was in a car crash – a drunk driver hit them head-on. He would be Harry's age now." She gave them a sad smile. "Go and find him. And do whatever you can to protect him."
Sam frowned at his older brother as he subtly picked the lock to the house. They had gone to the address that the kindly nurse had given them and found the street quiet. Before they had got out of the car, the two Hunters had a small but heated argument about how they should go about doing this. Sam had all been for knocking on the door, but Dean was convinced that it would be slammed in their faces. His theory was that once they were in the house, they would have a better chance of explaining themselves.
Sam was still glaring daggers at his brother's back as they silently made their way into the living room. Dean was about to turn around and ask his brother which direction they should go in, when he heard a hissing sound coming from the living room to their left. Pulling his gun from his jacket, Dean made sure it was loaded and slipped into the living room. He looked around for the elusive source of the hissing, when his gun was suddenly dragged out of his grasp. Swearing to himself, Dean was shocked when chains appeared out of nowhere and shackled his feet to the floor. Not more than a second later, chains snaked down from the ceiling and wrapped around his wrists. He swiftly found himself chained by his wrists and ankles, so that he couldn't lift his feet and his arms were raised above his head. His gun dropped in front of him, almost teasing him with how close it was.
"Sammy? You ok?" Dean twisted his head to where his brother was next to him and saw that he was in the same situation. "What the hell is going on? I thou- Holy shit!"
Sam turned his head and saw what his brother was shouting about. The elusive hissing noise was coming from a huge snake that was slivering across the floor towards them. It stopped about three foot away from them and hissed menacingly at them. The two brothers began to struggle against their restraints, but the snake wasn't coming any closer or doing anything.
Dean heard movement in the doorway and turned towards the noise. His nephew – the teenager that they had spent weeks tracking down across America- was stood in the doorway. He was wearing a pair of sleep-pants and a loose t-shirt. Dean saw him walk around so that he was facing the intruders and saw his eyes widen as he saw who it was.
The Hunters' nephew looked at them, before turning to the snake. The brothers' eyes widened when Harry hissed to the snake, which bowed its head and slivered away to another room. Dean was about to ask what the hell was going on, when Harry spoke first.
"What are you doing here?" Harry's voice was strangely emotionless, which surprised the brothers. "I told you that you wouldn't have to see me again, and yet I wake up and find that you have broken in and are trapped in my wards." Harry looked away and asked in strangely detached voice. "What, it isn't enough that you never to see or hear from me again? You have decided to Hunt me down like some kind of monster and kill me?"
"What?" Dean almost shouted. "Why would you think that?"
Harry gave Dean a sarcastic look and pointedly glanced at the loaded gun that was resting in front of Dean's feet. Dean noticed with a sick feeling that it was the same gun that he had pointed at Harry and threatened to shoot him with when he last saw him at Bobby's.
"Harry?" Sam's voice was soft and filled with emotion. Harry looked at him and the brother's saw a flicker of emotion in his intense green eyes. "I want to explain. The witches that we have met have all sold their soul for corrupt, demonic magic. We had no idea about your kind. So, when you mentioned that your people called themselves witches, we jumped to the wrong conclusion. We're sorry. Please, just give us a chance."
Harry stared at them for a long few minutes, before he muttered some more hisses. The two brothers were released and Sam hesitantly took a few steps forward, towards his nephew. But he was stopped by an invisible barrier. He glanced over and saw that Dean had ignored his gun and also had tried to step forward, only to be stopped by the unseen wall.
"You should go." Harry's voice was controlled and soft. "Take your guns and leave. I'll be gone from this city soon and then we'll never have to run into each other ever again. I'm sorry that you have wasted time tracking me down. I –" Harry hesitated. "It was a mistake for me to find you in the first place. I guess that I just wasn't meant to have a family. I would only mess it up and someone would get hurt. That is what happens in my life. Please leave and don't come back."
Sam and his older brother tried to force their way forward, but they were once again stopped by the hidden barrier. Harry gave them one last indiscernible look, before silently leaving the room. Sam looked over at his brother, pain evident across his puppy-dog face, and saw his feelings reflected on his brother's face. The Hunter siblings had the same thought racing through their minds: they had just lost the only other family that they had. And they didn't know how to fix this.