Dean had the sudden feeling that this was a very bad idea. A phenomenally bad idea and he could just hear his brother letting him know that…a brother who was not Sam, a brother whose name he couldn't quite seem to remember. All he really remembered about this brother was that they'd met in Hell and were supposed to meet back up in a week, which was any day now. Dean wasn't sure how they were supposed to meet back up, or where, because they hadn't exactly made a plan before getting yanked apart.
Dean watched the psychic with growing dread, muttering to himself; it was going largely ignored. In fact, he was getting glared at by Sam and Bobby for it.
"This is not a good idea. This is such a bad plan. We shouldn't be doing this. This is going to end badly."
When it was all over and the ambulance pulled away Dean sighed to himself; he really hated being right sometimes. Ignoring Sam's questioning glances Dean climbed into the Impala and, once Sam had joined him, set off for the motel. Once they'd arrived and Bobby joined them Dean laid on his bed, ignoring their conversation about the mysterious and apparently evil Castiel, concentrating on his still sketchy (but slowly returning) memories of Hell. After about an hour of intense concentration he could suddenly see his mysterious brother; long black hair, intense green eyes, strange scar on his forehead, and pale skin with a touch of olive. Just as the name came to him there was a quiet knock on the door; without thinking Dean sprang up to answer, just knowing who it was.
Sam watched Dean, shocked to hear some random guy's name shouted at the top of the no longer dead man's lungs as he lunged for the door. A shared glance with Bobby showed the same question; who the hell was Harry? When Dean wrenched open the door the question was answered. Sort of.
Harry was apparently a really short kid. And young. What the heck was going on?
Harry stood outside the door of a motel, not sure how he got there or where he was exactly. He'd come back to life in the Department of Mysteries, been forced to fight his way out, and run straight to Gringotts. The Goblins, who considered Harry a fellow Warrior, hid him from the Ministry and helped him get his accounts together; apparently the people he'd loved like family had been trying for ten years to get into his funds and onto the deeds to his properties. Thankfully the Goblins had protected his assets; they'd even gone so far as to fire Bill and Fleur because of the actions of the Weasley family. On the third day there Harry received a not quite unexpected visit from Luna (now Luna Longbottom), who always did seem to be twelve or thirteen steps ahead of everyone else. She asked Harry for an interview, since the Prophet had released a statement that he'd come back to life but disappeared.
Harry agreed, making it sound like he'd been released from his Deal because of a planned Evil threatening the Wizarding World. Then he told them to go fuck themselves and take care of it themselves, since they'd been so eager to sell his soul without his knowledge or consent. Amazing woman that Luna was, she printed it word for word. She even went so far as to find a copy of the law that gave the Ministry the power to sell his soul and printed that word for word, too; Harry actually cackled insanely when he read it.
The Ministry of Magic may use the soul of any applicable Wizard or Witch in order to make a Deal with a Crossroad Demon in an effort to secure the safety of the Wizarding World. The Wizard or Witch must complete the Deal or face the Dementors Kiss.
Put that way, it sounded like any random Wizard could be sold by the Ministry without even telling them about it. There was a general uproar from the Wizarding World, who rather stupidly demanded that Harry save them from such a fate. Harry reiterated his 'fuck you' position and stayed in Gringotts, sorting through his rapidly returning memories. On the sixth day (after getting his accounts taken care of, and roughly one quarter of his obscene funds settled into a Muggle account) a mysterious man appeared before him.
"I am Castiel, an Angel of the Lord."
Harry stared silently for a moment before shrugging in acceptance; he'd heard stranger things that ended up being true. Plus the guy's voice sounded familiar; Harry was willing to bet money that this guy had pulled him and Dean out of Hell.
"It's nice to meet you, Castiel. I'm Harry, a Natural Born Wizard."
Castiel tilted his head in apparent confusion.
"I am aware of your name."
Harry shrugged again, slightly uncomfortable now.
"I was trying to be polite."
The Angel nodded as though this explained everything before speaking again.
"I am here to take you to Dean Winchester."
Harry jumped up as though he were spring loaded, and spoke with an excessively cheerful voice.
"Alrighty then, I just need to let the Goblins know that I'm leaving and collect my legal papers and bank cards."
Castiel nodded his consent and followed Harry out of the room. Once he'd said his farewells and received what he needed to not be destitute Harry turned to Castiel only to find himself suddenly standing outside of this door. Shrugging, Harry knocked. He heard a shout from inside before the door was wrenched open and there stood Dean in all his dubious glory. They stared at one another before gripping each other in a tight hug. After a long minute someone from inside cleared their throat gruffly and they pulled apart. Dean pulled him inside and shut the door before spinning to make introductions. Before the recently returned Hunter could open his mouth two other men (both presumably Hunters) splashed Harry with water. Looking down at the now wet shirt he'd died in, Harry raised an eyebrow and turned to Dean.
"Charming family you have here, Winchester."
Harry turned to the younger of the two water throwers blandly.
Harry turned back to his friend, who seemed to be holding back laughter. He shrugged.
"What? I thought we were stating the obvious."
Dean lost control of his laughter and the younger man looked embarrassed. The eldest man in the room cleared his throat gruffy.
"Not that this conversation isn't stimulating, but who are you?"
Harry turned to the man with a charming yet creepy smile.
"Just some random dead guy of no consequence."
The man took an involuntary step backwards and started muttering what sounded like really bad Latin under his breath; if he had to guess, Harry would say the man was trying to perform a couple of basic exorcisms. It amused the Wizard. Judging by the way Dean would throw out random pronunciation corrections, it also amused him. The tall guy seemed…embarrassed and uncomfortable. Harry had the feeling that this was normal for him. Once the oldest man exhausted his repertoire of exorcisms Harry smiled widely and leaned against Dean, who hadn't moved from his side.
"As I said, Winchester, positively charming."
"Yeah, I should have guessed he'd try that."
Harry simply shrugged it away and turned to his friend seriously. Seeing what he called Harry's 'I'm being profound, comply or die' face Dean sobered up and led Harry over to sit on his bed, taking a seat beside him.
"What do you remember?"
Dean sighed, running a rough hand through his hair.
"Not enough. I only just remembered you."
Harry nodded, ignoring the other two who were now paying rapt attention, sitting on the chair and the other bed.
"Do you remember the glowy voice?"
Dean ignored Sam's mutterings about voices not being able to glow and thought hard; after a few minutes it came to him and he answered excitedly.
"Yeah, yeah the dude who sounded like Ben Stein. You called me an imbecilic dunderhead and I made you define it."
Harry nodded again.
"Yes, and I said, 'You are the textbook definition.' Glowy voice guy is an Angel of the Lord named Castiel."
Harry again ignored the two watchers, who were now grumbling about evil or something equally idiotic that Harry didn't consider applicable to his conversation. Dean seemed shocked.
"Ok, that makes so much more sense now."
Dean turned to a confused Sam.
"Humans can't look at Angels in their true form, right?"
Sam seemed stunned.
"Yeah. It burns out their eyes."
The three Hunters shared significant looks, which Harry promptly ignored because they had nothing to do with him. Once they'd gotten the ocular conversation under control Harry took over the verbal conversation again.
"I don't know why he wanted you out so badly but since you were an idiot who refused to leave without me he brought me to you today. The problem with this is that I haven't got any worldly possessions. I have all of my legal and banking documents but that's it. I'm still wearing the clothing I died in."
Everyone took a good look at the man then; acid washed jeans and an orange and white band t-shirt. Sam snorted.
Harry shrugged at him…again. That was kind of annoying, actually.
"I'm gay and I had a thing for Isaac Hanson."
Sam suddenly looked sick, causing Harry to tilt his head questioningly; Bobby was surprised to recognize the gesture as one Dean had been using quite a bit since his return.
"When did you…"
Sam trailed off but Harry had no such hangups and spoke in an excessively chipper voice.
"Die? In 1997. I was almost seventeen; just a few more weeks left until my birthday."
Sam and Bobby both looked sick but Dean didn't seem surprised in the least; he was nodding.
"That makes sense. 1200 years is a long time and we figured out it was ten years to a month."
Harry nodded again while Sam just continued to look sick and Bobby seemed to be thinking very hard; Dean had the random thought that whatever it was looked painful.
"Yes, that sounds about right. So what say we go buy Harry some clothes and toiletries and such, and get him a room? I've used Cleaning Charms for the past week and would love a real shower."
Bobby's gun came up quickly and Dean just sighed. Sam looked uncomfortable and Harry just looked amused; come to think of it that was annoying, too. Why was everything funny to him? Before anything else could happen a man suddenly stood between Bobby and Harry; the mystery man wore a dark business suit in a color that couldn't be determined in the crappy motel lighting and a beige trench coat. Bobby's gun immediately trained on him instead and Dean's followed soon after; Sam was just reaching for his when Harry's excessively chipper voice sounded again.
"Hello, Castiel. It's nice to see you again. We were just discussing a shopping trip."
The man turned his head to meet Harry's eyes.
"Your life is in danger from this man."
Harry shrugged. Which was really beginning to annoy all of the Hunters.
"I'm used to it."
That caught Bobby's attention enough to lower the gun slightly. Castiel apparently did not consider this good enough because he stood his ground and turned to Bobby with an odd expression; something of a blank glare.
"I must ask you to lower your weapon, Robert Singer, before I am forced to neutralize the threat you pose."
The monotonous tone seemed to make the treat more dangerous and Bobby seemed to take that very seriously; he clearly remembered what had happened to the psychic. Once Castiel seemed satisfied that Bobby wasn't going to shoot the young man he moved to face Dean and Harry where they sat on the bed. Dean's gun was still aimed at Castiel and after a moment Harry helpfully reached over to liberate it. Dean turned to Harry in shock while Castiel nodded his thanks; Sam was amused by the exchange and Bobby appeared to be as well. Castiel reached into his pocket and removed a scroll of some sort, handing it to the youngest looking man.
"I have ensured that your entry into this country is legal. I have also spoken to my brothers and we have agreed that your departure from Perdition was genuine."
Harry and Dean tilted their heads in unison, which was rather creepy; it was clear that they knew something Sam and Bobby didn't and were just waiting for the explanation that would make it connect. Castiel didn't make them wait long.
"Lucifer has begun the Apocalypse."
Harry and Dean nodded in unison; they also spoke in unison, which was going to get annoying fast.
That short statement took everyone by surprise and Bobby looked to Harry for an explanation. The young man didn't disappoint.
"My Deal was…complicated. I never made the original one, and a law got passed forcing me to comply with it. I managed to get it modified so that if a planned Evil occurred to Natural Born Magic users I would be released from Hell. Jump starting the Apocalypse counts as a planned Evil. Apparently."
Bobby and Sam's voices overlapped; apparently this was amusing for Harry.
"Natural Born Magic users?"
"But you were sixteen!"
Dean took over the explanation.
"Natural Born Magic users hide from the rest of the world because of Hunters. Most Hunters don't care if you were born with your Magic or not; they shoot first and may or may not ask questions later. Because of this Demons have been able to take over in the United States; we're the only country in the entire world with Hunters, and the only country in the world with Demons. The Natural Magic users would normally have taken control and suppressed the Demons but since showing their hands would get them killed they decided that since Hunters caused the problem then Hunters could fix it. They have their own government that works in conjunction with the regular government, and their own military and police force. Literally every major government in the world is shadowed by a Magical government as well."
Bobby seemed to be digesting that while Sam stared at Harry intently. Harry huffed and rolled his eyes.
"Yes, yes, I was sixteen. Woe is me and all of that. You think that's bad now just wait till I try and buy a drink; I'm twenty seven in two weeks and I'm sure to have my ID rejected as a fake!"
That brought Sam up short; clearly Harry had a different set of priorities than Sam. Sam was more concerned with the loss of normal life at such a young age. Harry was more concerned with the inability to purchase controlled substances. Castiel spoke again, cutting off the side conversations.
"I know that you no longer have a wish to assist the British Wizards. Will you assist us with the American Wizards?"
Harry seemed to consider the question very carefully for a long while before answering; the three Hunters waited to see what he'd say. Would he allow these innocent people to die?
"I would need to find out their stance on selling other people's souls to Crossroads Demons first because I refuse to do that again. I've been to hell and I don't like it much."
Castiel nodded his understanding and Dean seemed to agree; Sam and Bobby weren't happy with the non-answer but didn't push. Neither could honestly blame the man for not wanting to rush back to hell. After a moment Dean stood.
"Well if that's all we should face the Walmart Demons before it gets too late and get Harry a room."
Harry glared at the Hunter, fingering the liberated pistol threateningly.
"You're taking me to Demons?"
Dean chuckled, throwing an arm around Harry's shoulder and pulling him from the bed.
"The place is owned by demons, I just know it; as soon as you hit the door you're filled with the odd urge to horde useless crap."
Harry and Dean left the room with Castiel trailing behind them, leaving Sam and Bobby sitting alone wondering where they were even going to start.