Holy crap. So many reviews! You guys seriously rock. Like... seriously.
Anywho, this chapter took... marginally less time to post write than the last one. Then again, it's also about half as long. I was going to wait and make it longer for y'all, but I don't know how much time I'm going to have to write in the coming weeks, and decided to get it out to y'all now instead of making you wait any longer. On that note, I hope you enjoy!
Just a note, though: Starting this chapter, I HAVE switched writing style/tense. This is intentional. I know, it's kind of off that what amounted to four prologues were written in present tense and then I switch to past for the main story, but... Well, present just felt right for those chapters, and past felt right for this chapter. If you have an issue with this, please, go ahead and let me know, I just wanted to let you know it was done knowingly, and wasn't just some fluke.
Disclaimer: I own neither Supernatural nor Harry Potter
Harry had been summoned to Gringotts.
Being summoned to Gringotts was never a good sign; the goblins preferred to keep their interactions with humans as limited as possible, so they tended to conduct their business through mail whenever they could. If they actually summoned you, it either meant that whatever needed to be discussed might compromise their security, or that something had gone terribly wrong and the goblins were gleefully looking forward to informing you in person and reveling in your anguish.
As Harry followed Gnarlclaw into the inner recesses of the bank, which was apparently where the administrative offices were housed, he couldn't help but muse that the goblins would take particular pleasure in ruining his day. When it was revealed after the defeat of Voldemort that Harry possessed the Sword of Gryffindor, the goblins had been enraged; apparently, they hadn't even realized the sword had left the bank. Refusing to accept Harry's explanation that that he hadn't been the one to steal the sword, they had all but brought the Wizarding World to a standstill with their threats to close the bank permanently, taking all of the gold and heirlooms they guarded with them.
The return of the sword had only marginally appeased them. It had already been ten years, and the goblins were still making noise about demanding retribution.
Taking a seat in a hard, straight-backed chair Gnarlclaw gestured to, Harry watched the particularly ugly goblin exited through a side door.
Harry assumed the room he'd been left in was some sort of waiting room. He assumed this because the room looked remarkably like a Muggle dentist's waiting room. The walls were a drab shade of beige, the carpet was beige, and the furniture was a dingy shade of brown that only barely passed the mark of not being beige. The furniture was also goblin sized, which made the already hard and straight-backed chair just that much more uncomfortable. The dullness was jarring, particularly compared to the Neoclassical architecture of the rest of the building.
Twiddling his thumbs, Harry looked around the room for something to amuse himself with. There was a squat coffee table covered in well-worn magazines, but Harry quickly dismissed it. The magazines were trash reading of the Witch Weekly and Mystic Inquirer variety, and all at least three years old. Resigning himself to a long, boring wait – as, in his limited experience, goblins loved to make humans wait – Harry was jolted to attention when a door slammed open. A goblin Harry vaguely recognized from the newspapers at Azog, Head Goblin of Gringotts, strode purposefully into the room, turned on a pin and glowered at him.
"Come with me," he stated in a flat, raspy voice.
Dutifully, Harry followed him into his office. It wasn't what Harry would have expected of the head of Wizarding Britain's only bank, but he honestly should have expected it given the style of the waiting room. The walls were the same unremarkable beige, although they were all but obscured by teetering stacks of paperwork and files that could only have been kept standing through magic. What appeared to be fluorescent lights covered the ceiling, and the back wall was completely covered in brown metal filing cabinets, each drawer equipped with a lock. The center of the room was dominated by an ornately decorated mahogany desk that was enormous and completely at odds with the ordinariness of everything else.
Azog walked behind the desk and clambered into a Muggle ergonomic desk chair. Harry hesitantly sat in the only other seat in the room – a menacing thing that reminded Harry of the chair from his trail at the Ministry.
This probably had something to do with the clinking chains hanging from it.
Thankfully the chains didn't spring to life, but, if Azog's expression was anything to go by, there was still time for that to change.
"Mr. Potter," the goblin sneered, dragging out each word. "It has come to our attention that you are not, in fact, a Potter."
Harry blinked, then blinked a few more times. "Er... Sorry?"
The goblin stared down his particularly long nose at Harry, as if he'd like nothing better than to kick him out of his bank. That, or feed him to a dragon. No doubt either was acceptable. "You heard me the first time. You are not a Potter."
Harry stared at Azog expectantly, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Something along the lines of "you're actually a Potter-Black-Slytherin-Gryffindor," or any of the other equally ridiculous claims the gossip rags has been spouting ever since he'd defeated Voldemort. Only nothing came, and Harry slowly came to the realization that Azog was deadly serious.
Not a Potter. How could he not be a Potter? Had his mum... No. It just wasn't possible. Everybody had always talked about how much his parents loved each other. His mum couldn't have cheated. Besides, he looked exactly like his dad. Everybody had always said so. Maybe... maybe he was just mistaken. He had to be a Potter. Besides, why did the goblins even care if he wasn't aPotter?
As Harry began to hyperventilate, Azog's sneer turned into a creepy grin, made especially disturbing by his mouthful of pointy teeth. "Oh, were you not aware? Such a... pity you had to find out this way."
"How... How can that be true? How can you possibly know that?"
The goblin stared at him as if he were a particularly dumb bug. "Magic."
"But my dad was a Potter!"
"Your mother's husband was a Potter. If he were your father, we wouldn't be having this conversation."
"So, I'm guessing this is when you reveal who the lucky 'father of the savior' is," Harry snapped. He refused to believe James Potter wasn't his father, but at the very least he could figure out what the goblins' endgame was.
"What do you mean by that?"
"Well, you have a magical way to know I'm not actually a Potter. Don't you have some magical way to tell who my actual father is? You know... in case somebody wants to claim an inheritance they didn't necessarily know about?" he ventured.
"Why would we want to help anybody do something like that?" Azog scoffed. "Vaults that go unclaimed for 50 years escheat to the bank, after all."
Harry hated having to ask, but he wanted to make sure he had everything straight. "What does escheat mean?"
The "dumb bug" stare from earlier returned in full force. "It means they become ours."
Slowly, Harry's mind came out of its shock and began to connect the dots. "That's why you care? If I'm not a Potter, you get all my money?"
"Not all of it." Beneath the glee, Harry could detect just a hint of dejection. "The vault you have been accessing is your trust vault; we can't touch that as it was established for you, not necessarily a Potter. Only a Potter heir can claim the other vault and properties, however. That will become ours."
"What if... what if my parents had wills? If they willed the vault to me, wouldn't it be mine?"
Azog consulted a form on his desk. "Your parents did, indeed, have a will. They did not, however, explicitly will the Potter vault to you. James Potter no doubt assumed you'd be able to claim it as the Potter heir and didn't see a need to."
"And I suppose you have proof of all this?" Harry asked, "Or am I supposed to take all of this on faith?" Grinning maniacally, Azog selected two nearly identical red files and flipped them open to their cover pages. Placing them beside each other, he pushed them across the giant desk towards Harry. "What am I supposed to be looking at?"
"Gringotts' records are self-updating, and warded against tampering by the Department of Mysteries itself," the goblin explained. "Every withdrawal and deposit is recorded, down to the last Knut. Other things are recorded as well, such as the birth of any heirs. The bank was... auditing your family's files, when a clerk noticed that no birth of an heir was recorded in James Potter's file. There was always the possibility you were adopted..." Harry snorted. Azog snarled in warning, and Harry promptly fell silent again. "You could have been adopted; Gringotts' doesn't automatically record adoptions. No adoption was listed in the file, but with the war raging at the time of your birth, that could have merely been an oversight."
"So you're saying I'm adopted, and my parents just never told you? Doesn't that make me still a Potter?"
"Yes, an adoption would have made you a Potter. But you weren't adopted. You see, when we checked your mother's file, we found the most interesting thing: the recording of an heir's birth." Gesturing at the who files, Azog fell silent.
Filled with dread, Harry picked up the two files and looked at the file on the right first. The cover sheet was simple, just a plain piece of paper with the name James Alexander Potter written neatly in the center in large letters. Underneath, emblazed in red ink, were the years 1960 and 1981. The Department of Mysteries' seal was embossed in the bottom right corner. Dragging his attention away from the seal, Harry focused on the plastic tab stuck a few pages into the file. Flipping to that page, Harry found, once again, a mostly blank sheet of paper, empty save for James Potter's name. Reaching for the second file, Harry found a similar cover page, only this time with his mother's name. As he flipped to the page with the tab, it occurred to Harry that he'd never known his mother's middle name was Anne. When Harry arrived at the tabbed page, he immediately noticed the difference. His mother's name was at the top of the page, just like James' had been, but a fine line extended down from it, leading to the name Harry James Winchester.
"And you're certain this couldn't have been tampered with?"
"Yes. Or would you like to question the Department of Mysteries yourself?"
"No, I really wouldn't... Wait. I thought you said there was no way of knowing who my real father is? It says his name right here: Winchester. Isn't there a way to find him using that?"
Azog sent him another long suffering look. "Knowing a last name hardly narrows it down. There are only a handful of wizards by the name of Winchester with records at any of our branches, and none of them had an heir by the name of Harry James. Which means, of course..."
"Which means my father was a Muggle."
"Most likely, yes."
Dropping the files back Azog's desk, Harry flopped back – rather unsuccessfully – in his straight-backed chair and let out a long sigh. This was just too much to handle at one time. "I don't suppose we can keep this quiet, just between myself and Gringotts? I mean, other than me not getting access to the Potter vaults, my parentage doesn't change anything does it?"
"Oh no, it doesn't," Azog agreed. His grin, if possible, looked even crueler than before. Harry had a feeling he wasn't going to like this. "However, I'm afraid we've already issued a press release."
The blowup had been horrendous. Everywhere Harry looked newspaper and magazine headlines seemed to be jeering at him. "How long had he known?" some demanded. "Have we been living a lie?" others asked. Had they been living a lie? The name of their "savior" had changed, that was it; he was the one whose entire life had changed overnight. Or, in the span of a half-hour meeting, to be precise.
"You need to talk to somebody about how this is affecting you!" Hermione lectured, tapping her foot as she stared at Harry, as if the force of her look alone would make him do what she wanted. "If you refuse to talk to me about this, you should at the very least see a mindhealer! Healer Jefferson is the most highly regarded healer in the field, and even though you missed the last appointment I arranged for you, she's agreed to give you another opportunity." A long silence followed. "Well? Are you even listening to me?"
Harry didn't look up from the kitchen table, where he was busy cleaning his shotguns. "I'm not going, Hermione. Besides, I am going to talk to somebody about this."
Hermione sputtered in indignation. "That emotionally stunted... thing possessing Luna?"
Harry's eyes rolled; they'd had this exact argument more times than he could count. "That 'thing' is an angel, and it's hardly possession if it's voluntary."
"So you don't deny it's emotionally stunted?"
"Of course Asasiel is. That's why I'm talking to her; I don't want to deal with all that 'and how does that make you feel?' rot."
"But that's what you have to do to heal," she pleaded. Noticing that Harry was still more interested in his firearms than what she was saying, the bookworm slammed her hand down on the table. "Look at me when I'm talking! Why do you even need to clean... No. Don't tell me you're going on another hunt!"
"Well, if you don't want me to tell you..."
"Harry! You know killing beings is against the law. Remember what happened after the war? You almost got sent to Azkaban for that vampire hunt! Do you want that to happen again?"
"Slughorn well help me keep this out of the papers," Harry countered nonchalantly. Putting down the saw-off he was working on, Harry looked up at Hermione, pinning her with a stare of his own. "Hermione, there's a gancanagh terrorizing Killarney. These people need my help."
Hermione was silent for a moment, and Harry could practically hear her brain whirling as she dredged up information red years ago. "A gancanagh? Harry, they can't control the affect they have on people. It's just like a veela. You wouldn't hunt down Fleur's family for making people fall in love with them, would you? Why do you have to hunt down this fairy?"
"Because, he's intentionally making teenage girls fight to the death over him in some sort of twisted version of The Bachelor."
"So, essentially, you can't face your own issues, so you're solving other people's problems instead. Is that it?"
"Let me finish, Harry!" The brunette snapped, her ever wild hair appearing to grow as her frustration grew. "I'm tired, Harry. I am so tired to watching you destroy your life. Ever since you killed Voldemort, you haven't known what to do. Defeating him was your entire purpose, and now that that's gone, you're left with a hero complex and nothing to focus it on. I understand. Really, I do. But killing hapless creatures, who have no control over what they are, is not the solution. This revelation about your parents might not have been welcomed, but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing. You've been so focused on being 'Harry Potter' that you've never progressed beyond that. Maybe questioning what it means to be Harry without the Potter will be good for you. Please, Harry. Talk to Healer Jefferson."
"I don't kill beings who can control what they do," Harry murmured, "Only the ones who are trying to hurt people."
Hermione's fists clenched, and she practically vibrated with fury. "Is that all you took from that Harry? You need to move on with your life. I've been lying for you for almost a decade, Harry, telling the ministry you're on vacation or working on your 'apprenticeship' with Slughorn to cover up that you're on one of these hunts. And I'm sick of it. I won't do it anymore."
Pointedly not looking at his friend, Harry stood and began packing his guns into a worn out rucksack. "I'll see you later, Hermione. I need to leave for Ireland in half an hour, and I've still got a lot to get ready." Hoisting the bag, over his shoulder, Harry headed out of the kitchen and towards the stairs and his room.
"You can't run away from this, Harry!"
"Yeah, but I can damn well try."
Harry and the two Irish hunters he'd been working with – Erin and Sean – were holed up in a squalid caravan, sharing a victory bottle of whisky. Harry turned to grab a second bottle, and when he turned back a willowy blonde was sitting beside him. He jolted on reflex and the other hunters went for their guns. The blonde calmly reached across the table to tap the two older men on the forehead, and they slumped over in their chairs.
"Hello, Harry," she murmured, serenely.
"Bloody hell, Asasiel; you need to stop doing that!" Harry breathed deeply, trying to force his racing heart to slow down.
"That..." He gestured in her general area. "That appearing thing!" Asasiel smiled serenely; Harry suspected she'd known exactly what he was talking about. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm here to talk."
Harry waited for her to elaborate. She didn't. "... About what?"
"Did you not tell Hermione that you would discuss the revelation of your true parentage with me? I'm here so that we may discuss it."
Harry groaned and collapsed back in his seat. "Not you, too! I just said that so she'd leave me alone about the shrink. Wait... how do you even know I said that?"
"I'm always listening, Harry."
"Merlin, don't you have anything better to do than spy on me? Don't you have other angel duties? Between spying on me and helping me on hunts, it's a wonder you have time for anything else; you must not be a very good angel." Asasiel smiled, but remained silent. "But if you've been listening to me, then you know there's no reason to sit around feeling sorry for myself; it's not like I'll ever be able to find my father, anyways. Do you have any idea how many 'Winchesters' there are in the world?"
"Yes," Asasiel replied, bluntly.
"Yes, right, you know everythi... Is that why you're here? You know something about my family?" Eyes wide and alight with excitement, Harry turned in his seat to face her fully. "Can you tell me something about my family?"
"I'm afraid there are orders not to tell you anything about your brothers," she deadpanned.
"The why the hell are you...Brothers?" Harry's eyes narrowed slightly as he studied her. "So, you can't tell me a thing about them, eh?"
"Not a thing," Asasiel responded. "I also am not allowed to discuss any interests they might share with you."
"Shared interests? What is that supposed to... Wait. Are you trying to say my brothers are hunters?"
"I can't say."
"I see. What... What about my father? Is he a hunter?"
"I cannot say anything about what he might or might not have shown an interest in."
Harry took a moment to weigh her words. "So... he's dead. My father's dead, and I've got brothers; brothers who are hunters." Placing his head in his hands, he began to massage his temples. "Thanks for telling me, Asasiel."
"Thank me for telling you what?"
"Haha, I get it. You can't say anything." Looking up to ask her if there was anything else she couldn't tell him, he found the seat next to him empty. He heard pained groans as Erin and Sean came to across from him.
"What was that?" Erin grumbled, cradling his head even as he reached for his gun.
"Nothing we need to worry about," Harry replied with a wry grin. "Say, I was wondering: could you two help me track down some hunters?"
Just a few notes of things that have come up in reviews a lot. And yes, I'm aware we aren't supposed to respond to reviews in the story; these are just things I think I should clarify to everybody.
The title of this story refers to the nursery rhyme "Monday's Child," not to Harry being Castiel's child in some sense. Castiel will be playing a role in this story, just... not like that. Also, Asasiel and Azazel are two entirely different beings.
On a different note: don't worry, Hermione isn't gone from Harry's life; she's just frustrated with him and showing it the only way she thinks he'll listen. And look forward to the Supernatural cast making their appearances next chapter!
Anyways, last time there seemed to be a mixed reaction over whether people liked or disliked the new review box, but I hope you'll review anyways ;) AND! My computer has stopped freaking out when I try to respond to reviews, so starting now I'll try to respond to y'all's reviews.
Until next time!