Sam growled playfully when Dean elbowed him sharply, and retaliated with a hard shove. Dean was nearly sent down the stairs he had just climbed to get to their motel room.
"Dean! You're an ass!" he complained.
"Aw, but Sammy!" Dean whined back, "you nearly killed me!"
"Don't call me that! And you wouldn't have gotten hurt anyway." Sam said, sticking his tongue out.
Dean just laughed and unlocked the door. Their Dad was sitting in the kitchen, to their surprise.
"Dad! You're back! How'd the hunt go?" Dean asked, dropping his backpack to the floor next to the door.
Sam dropped his backpack directly on top of his brother's before mumbling a "hi" to his dad and going for a soda from the fridge. It took both of them a moment to realize their dad was unusually silent and staring at both of them. They stopped what they were doing and stared back.
"Dad? Is something up?" Dean asked worriedly. "Are you hurt? Should I call Bobby?"
John said nothing.
John sighed, and gave Sam a Look.
"You know, I was hoping that it was just a fluke when Dean got one." He said slowly. "But now that Sammy's gotten one, too, I suppose I can't really prevent it."
As he stood, the boys grew worried.
"Where are you going, you just got back!"
The motel door slammed shut, and a few minutes later, the sound of the Truck's engine echoed from the parking lot below them.
"Sammy? What's going on?"
"I don't know Dean."
"What do we do?"
"Singer Salvage, this is Bobby." The gruff man barked into the phone while he juggled a handful of books.
"Bobby, Dad's gone!"
"Is there a demon immune to Christo?"
Bobby shook his head to try to separate the boys' panicked voices. He put the books in his hands away while he talked.
"One at a time, ya idjits."
"Dad was back, but he was being weird and then he just left again." Dean explained.
After a scuffling noise that Bobby knew meant the boys were fighting over the phone, Sam added, "He said something about Dean getting something and it being a fluke, but he couldn't fight it when I got one, and I don't know what he was talking about."
Bobby groaned. He knew exactly what was going on now. Damn John Winchester. Sitting down tiredly, he adjusted the receiver against his ear.
"I am going to fill your father with rock salt next time I see him, boys. That man, I swear… Where are you? I'll come pick you up."
"Pick us up?"
"What's Dad done?"
"Boys, it ain't really something I want to talk about over the phone. Where are you at?"
"Golden Tree Motel room 115, in St. Josephine, Iowa."
Bobby smiled at the easy way those two spoke in unison. He hoped that this wasn't going to hurt the boys too much. If anything, he hoped they'd see what an ass John Winchester has been to them.
"Alright, I should be there by tonight. Just sit tight, okay?"
"Yes sir, Bobby."
"I'll be there soon, Boys. Don't you worry."
After Bobby hung up, they sat across the table from each other in silence for a while.
Sam looked up from the coffee stain on the table.
"Dad did something stupid, didn't he?"
Sam shrugged. "Probably. Bobby sounded pissed. If Bobby's pissed off at him, he's probably done something real stupid."
Dean looked a little shocked. "but-!"
"Dean, Dad looked at us like he looks at werewolves." Sam said quietly.
"Did we do something that made him mad?"
"Dean, if Dad's mad at us, it's for a stupid reason. Like it always is."
"But what if…"
They fell into silence again.
Bobby was twenty minutes from the boys when he had calmed down enough to call John Winchester and chew him out without yelling. Well, without just roaring into the speaker wordlessly.
"Winchester, you are an idiot." He growled when John picked up.
Bobby ignored him.
"John, your boys called me in a panic." He sneered. "Said you left them at a motel. Sam asked me if there was a demon immune to Christo. Now, either you tell me what the hell you thought you were doing, or I swear to god there won't be enough of you to salt and burn when I'm done with you."
"Bobby, what are you going on about?"
"Don't play dumb, Winchester."
Bobby could hear the other man's teeth grinding.
"I left them because I don't want to kill them. I'm leaving them for another hunter."
"Excuse me." Bobby asked, deadly calm. John Winchester did not just tell him that.
"Sam got the letter too. I thought… I thought I could train it out of Dean, but Sammy's too stubborn. I had to leave them. I can't… I can't kill them."
He could not believe this man. "How dare you. How dare you even think about ganking your own damn sons!"
"What else am I supposed to do, Bobby?"
"It's Singer to you, Winchester. And what you do is send those boys to Hogwarts to get the damn education they need, damn it! I cannot believe you managed to convince me to not let Dean go, but if both your boys got the talent-!"
"Talent! It's witchcraft, Bo- Singer! Deals with demons!"
"Oh, and you think your boys made a deal with a demon. Are you that damn naïve? Sam's barely eleven, and Dean ain't stupid!"
A sigh. "That's what I'm worried about. I've caught Sammy manipulating both of us, and Dean's too loyal to care. And age doesn't matter with demons, you know that, Singer. I think… I think Sammy made the deal and convinced Dean to go along with it."
"Winchester, that boy obeys your every command, and I have never heard of him keeping a secret from you. Now either shape up, or lose my number, you got that?"
Bobby waited for a reply, but none came, just the click of the other line hanging up.
He forced a lung-full of breath in through his nose and parked in front of the Golden Tree Motel.
John Winchester lost Bobby Singer's number.
Dean heard Bobby's beat-up truck before Sam did, and rushed to the door. Sam leapt up to follow him. In a flash, they were outside and leaning on the rail to wave Bobby up to their room.
Once all three were settled at the kitchen table, Bobby started talking.
"I called your Father."
Neither of the brothers missed the wording. Bobby usually said called their dad 'your daddy'.
"And if he don't show up at my place soon, I don't think we're gonna be hearing from him again."
"Bobby?" Dean asked tentatively. "Is he… Is he mad at us?"
"Yeah, but it ain't your fault. If anything, it's his." Bobby grumbled
"His fault? Bobby, you ain't making any sense."
They watched him carefully while he rubbed his face tiredly.
"There's another world that most people don't know about. Hell, most hunters don't even know about it." he began. "I only know about it cause my wife… she was a Witch."
At the horrified looks the boys gave him, he elaborated.
"Not the kind of witch you hunt. They don't get their magic from demons, it's in their blood. Which is why this is actually your father's fault. Your Granddad wasn't too terribly nice to him, and he was a blood wizard. It made him real wary about blood magic, especially since John's a squib."
"Someone born to magic blood who don't have magic."
It dawned on Dean. "So Dad's mad at us cause he's jealous? Or because he thinks we'll end up like his dad?"
Bobby sighed in relief. "Yep."
"Well that's stupid." Dean complained.
Sam, who hadn't spoken since Bobby first began explaining, asked, "You think he's coming back?"
"I doubt it. He's stubborn, and not in a good way."
Sam nodded forlornly. Dean looked like he might sick up any minute.
Looking between the two, Bobby knew he had to do something to comfort the boys that he thought of like sons, and reached out to grip both of their shoulders.
"I'm glad you called me, boys. Come on, let's get back home. Your stuff all packed?"
They scrambled for a minute to pack up anything they had lying loose (a half-way disassembled gun that Dean hadn't had time to finish putting together before Sam dragged him to the park and Sam's pile of research notes on his bed that he had abandoned to drag Dean outside), and off they went.
Bobby sighed tiredly when he finally sat down after making sure Sam and Dean ate, bathed, and got to bed at a decent time. He had forgotten how irritatingly persuasive Sam could be and how stubborn and "I'll-do-it-myself!" Dean was about his little brother.
His rest didn't last long, as a pair of owls came flying in, a letter attached to each. He groaned.
"I'll take them." He grumbled at the owls, sitting up to untie the letters. "Don't worry, the boys will get their letters. If you wait a second, I need to get a message to Minerva."
The smaller owl nodded, and the bigger one took off.
Bobby only took a few seconds to scribble a short note, and tied it to the waiting owl's leg.
It stared at him like it expected something.
"what? I ain't feeding you. Get gone." Bobby barked.
Offended, it huffed and flew away into the night.
Minerva was in her office, making a few last touches to her lesson plans when the owl flew in through the open window and landed on the back of the empty seat in front of her desk.
Automatically, she took the letter it offered, and it left the way it came.
When she examined the letter, she grew curious. It wasn't parchment, which is what most wizards and witches used. Nor was the handwriting particularly familiar, though she thought she should recognize it. After a little bit of debate, she opened it.
This is Bobby Singer. My wife used to be a good friend of yours, if you remember her. Karen Sprout.
She did remember, and she remembered going to her funeral. She knew the real circumstances of the woman's death, and she remembered that her husband had been particularly distraught after learning his wife had been possessed by a demon. He was a well-known muggle hunter these days.
Recently, two boys that I see as my sons more than their idiot father's sons got their Hogwarts letters, and because they were raised as hunters, they aren't going to believe magic can be used for good, and I'm gonna need some help. Seeing as you're the only blood-magic user I know, I figured I'd try to get your help.
Who on earth would raise two boys as Hunters?
I'd understand if you don't care to help, but it'd be appreciated if you could send someone over. If it makes a difference, the two boys are Dean and Sam Winchester, and Dean was supposed to have been at Hogwarts four years ago.
That's right, she remembered that. She remembered that she thought they should have gone to see if the child was alright with his father, because it was the father who had written the letter that said his son wouldn't be attending.
She stood up, and began getting ready for bed. She wanted to be up bright and early to make it to Karen's old house.
Sam yawned, and instinctively reached over the gap between his and his brother's beds to slap at Dean to wake up.
Sam yawned and sat up, blindly searching for his duffel that he knew was at the food of his bed, because that's where it always was. He found it and started dressing. Once he was more awake, and fully dressed, he searched through Dean's duffel and threw the cleanest clothes he could find at his brother's face.
"Easy, bitch. Gimmie a minute to wake up…" His brother whined. (though later he would protest he never whined, he grumbled!)
"I gave you a minute, jerk. Come on. I'm sure Bobby's got food downstairs."
At the mention of food, Dean sat up instantly and rushed to catch up with his little brother.
Bobby was in the kitchen, and breakfast was almost ready. Sam sat down, prepared to wait patiently for his food, while Dean was craning his neck to see what Bobby was making.
"'Fore you eat, I want you two to read your letters." Bobby said without turning to look at them.
Sam had noticed the letters, but had been ignoring them, while Dean didn't even see them at all. They traded looks, but snagged their respective letter when Sam shrugged.
"Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry? What is this? Some kind of prank?" Dean asked incredulously.
"Dude, this is real parchment." Sam laughed. "Awfully elaborate for a prank, don't you think, Bobby?"
"Boys, those letters are the real thing. You have no idea how many times I've had to turn someone off of a Hunt for a blood witch when they were thinking it was one of our witches." Bobby grumbled, setting plates in front of the boys, then turning to fill his own plate.
"But Bobby," Dean said around a mouthful of eggs, "Dad said…"
"Yeah, well, your father never had all the information I do. And I'm telling you not all magic-users are bad. And don't talk with your mouth full, I know you were practically raised in a barn, but you don't have to act like it."
Dean made a face, but if Bobby was still trying to make them mind their manners, it obviously wasn't too big of a deal.
Sam, on the other hand, had curiosity get the better of him.
"What's the difference?"
Bobby finished his bite of sausage, and answered. "Our witches get their magic from demons, the kind you two are got it from their blood."
"You told us that last night, but there's got to be more." Sam complained.
"Well, they're real secretive, and not all of them are good. There's bad ones, called Dark wizards."
"So they classify magic? By light to dark?"
"That's right. And they know about hunters, and are usually real careful to avoid getting our attention. I have had to rescue a couple, though. Usually kids just outta Salem or Hogwarts, who don't know any better than to avoid attracting attention."
"Salem's another school?"
"Yeah, but they're real picky about which kids they take. Kids of Hunters ain't too high up on their list of acceptable students, otherwise you'd have probably gotten a letter from them, too."
"Are there others?"
"Yeah. About ten or so. I know of Hogwarts, Salem, one up in Canada, and I know there's about three in Asia, then Beauxbatons in France, and Durmstang up in Sweden or Norway, and I'm sure there's more around the world. As far as I know, they're all pretty even when it comes to academics, but Karen always said Hogwarts was best."
Sam tilted his head to the side. "Your wife went there?"
Bobby smiled. "Yeah. Real good at charms. She was always bragging about how her head of house loved her because of her charms work."
A sharp knock on the front door before Bobby could continue answering, and he got up to answer it.
"Bobby Singer?" a strict-looking woman asked him when he opened the door.
"That's me. Who's asking?"
"My name is Minerva McGonagall."
Bobby sighed in relief. "Thank god you're here. My boys have too many questions and I don't have enough knowledge to answer properly. Come on in."
After a brutal interrogation from Sam, in which Minerva answered many weird questions, Dean called him off.
"I'm sorry, Sammy always gets like this when he's on a research binge." He apologized, slapping a hand over his protesting brother's mouth.
Minerva just smiled. "It's fine, Mr. Winchester. I'm used to curious muggleborns. I suspect your brother will end up in Ravenclaw."
Dean laughed. "No, my baby brother's too ambitious not to get in that snake house you were talking about."
Minerva's smile tightened, but luckily neither of the boys noticed.
"Thank you, Minerva." Bobby said sincerely. "I know these boys can be a handful."
"It isn't a problem. I'm usually sent out to Muggleborns' houses when they get their letters anyway. I'm happy to help you." She replied, shaking his hand firmly.
"I'll be back August twenty fifth to bring them to Diagon Alley with the rest of the Muggleborn children." She added before Apparating back to Hogsmeade.
Sam and Dean waited impatiently for August 25th, and were practically bouncing off of the walls when the day came.
At eleven o'clock precisely, Professor McGonagall arrived at their front door with a sound not unlike a car backfiring.
The minute she was in the house, the brothers were standing at attention before her. Dean was trying to hide how excited he was, but Sam held no such reservations, and was literally trembling in excitement.
"We're taking a portkey, because I can't side-along overseas." She said, offering them a neon orange sock. "I apologize for its appearance, the Headmaster made it, and he's a little eccentric."
Sam looked skeptical, but Dean grabbed it without hesitation. Rolling his eyes at his brother, Sam grabbed it just below where his brother had.
Suddenly they were spinning wildly, and Dean screamed shrilly. Just as suddenly as they went flying, they landed.
They both fell on their backs rather harshly. Sam moaned when an old shoulder injury started acting up, and Dean rolled over and puked.
"Gross, man." Sam grumbled, rolling his left shoulder and rubbing it.
"You," gag, "okay, Sammy? Is that poltergeist wound acting up?"
"Yeah, but I'll be fine. Stupid thing's always like this." Sam grumbled. "Gimmie a minute and I'll be fine."
"Mkay. Imma lay here a sec, mkay?"
Minerva watched the two boys interact worriedly. Old wounds? And why did Dean vomit?
She was startled from her thoughts by Sam. "Hey, Professor, is there any way we can travel without it feeling like flying? Dean hates flying."
"We can try Flooing next time." She offered. At least she got her answer. Portkeys did feel similar to flying.
"Thanks. Alright Dean. Get up, big brother." Sam ordered, helping Dean stand with his better arm.
"I never want to do that again…" Dean moaned.
She hated to interrupt them, but if they were going to be on time, they had to move quickly. She said so. "We take a bus from here."
She stuck her wand out and the Knightbus appeared with a bang. The boys jumped, but she herded them on and sat them down while she paid to be taken to the Leaky Cauldron where the other four muggleborns were waiting.
"Hold on to your chairs, boys!" the shrunken head warned before Ernie blasted off at an impossible speed.
Dean, of course, was having fun. Sam thought the ride felt a little too much like being thrown around by a ghost or a demon. Thankfully, the ride was a short one, and she herded them back off the bus and into the Leaky Cauldron.
She sighed in relief to see all four of the other muggleborn first years there already.
"I suppose introductions are in order?" she offered, looking between them all.
"My name's Terry Boot." The tallish, chubby boy behind the girl said. "I can't wait to learn all about magic!"
"I'm Hermione Granger," the bushy-haired girl said. Sam and Dean instantly felt her nervousness, though she hid it well behind that brave mask.
"I'm Justin. Uh, Justin Finch-Fletchley." The other pale boy said, while refusing to look at anything but the floor.
"Name's Dean Thomas." The dark-skinned boy announced, smiling.
Sam was nervous all of sudden, and decided to let Dean introduce him.
"Hey, my name's Dean, too! And this is my little brother Sammy."
"Don't call me that, jerk."
"Deal with it, bi- uh…" he trailed off at the glare McGonagall gave him.
Sam fought off a smirk at his win.
"Hey, you're not eleven. Why are you here? Do you already go to Hogwarts?" Hermione asked eagerly.
"No, my dad didn't want me going, but when Sam got his letter, I found out I was supposed to get one too. It kinda pi- ticked him off. We're not talking at the moment." Dean admitted.
"We're living with Bobby. He's kind of our Uncle, but not really." Sam added.
The four others had no idea what to say to that, but settled with "Oh."
"Well, let's get your lists sorted, hm? If any of you have pocket money, we're going to Gringotts, the wizarding bank, first. You can get it transferred into Wizarding coins."
Dean was very thankful that McGonagall gave them an hour to run around and buy stuff they wanted.
So Sam was lurking in the bookstore, and Dean was searching for bags that were bigger on the inside.
"Sir, if I were to put muggle electronics in here, would they be safe?" Dean asked the man at the counter in the store he had bought his and Sam's trunks from.
The man scratched his head. "It's iffy. If you can charm it to be impervious to magic, it'd probably be fine, but magic and electricity don't really get along all that well."
"Huh. Well, I kind of need my cellphone, in case my da- my uncle calls."
"I can charm it for you. No charge. I know how hard it is, being across the pond from your family and surrounded by gadget-killing magic."
Dean only just realized the shopkeeper had a New York accent.
"Oh. thanks." He said, removing the blocky cellphone from his pocket and handing it to the shopkeeper.
The man mumbled a few Latin words, and pointed his wand at the device. It glowed, and he handed it back to Dean to check if it still worked properly.
"Thanks. Hey, can you write that down for me? My little brother will probably kill me if I don't get that spell for him."
The shopkeeper laughed, and pulled a piece of paper from behind the counter and scribbled instructions and the name of the spell on the paper.
"Thanks. Oh yeah, better pay, right?"
The shopkeeper refused to take the galleon, saying, "Kid, you made my day, that's payment enough."
After a little bit of arguing, Dean gave up, and left the shop.
(A few hours later, the shopkeeper would find the galleon on the floor behind the counter, where Dean had flicked it when he 'tripped' out of the shop.)
"Sammy! You done yet, you girl?"
Sam growled and rolled his eyes. "No, Dean."
"Well hurry up. And here, a bag for your books. It's supposed to have a feather-light charm, an impervious charm, and an internal extension charm on it. You can fit twice the amount it looks like it can hold. Figured you'd want someplace to put your books."
Sam beamed at Dean. "Thank you, Dean!"
Hermione glared at Sam enviously. "I wish I had a sibling like yours."
Sam laughed. "He may seem nice now, but wait 'til you see us in a prank war."
"Sammy, is that a challenge?"
"Dean, no. Later. Wait until we get settled at school, at least." Sam begged.
"Oh, alright princess, no need for the puppy-eyes. Anyway, apparently the Leaky Cauldron doubles as a motel. I'll get us a room, you keep doing whatever. I'll be back in like, an hour, okay?"
"I'll be fine for another hour Dean. You and Dad left me alone for longer when he dragged you on hunts."
Dean glared, and jerked his head in Hermione's direction.
"Dean, hunters are actually known here. Everyone knows what they do and it's considered an actual profession. When we graduate, as long as we pass the test, we can get a license and a badge, and we won't even have to answer to anyone." Sam explained excitedly.
Dean was surprised. "Really? Will we have to take the test every five years or something?"
"Nope! Not unless we fu- fudge up a hunt and gank something not evil. Then you get your badge revoked and have to take it again."
Dean nodded appreciatively. "Well, anyway. Have fun, I'll be back."
Bobby sent them with plenty of money, and they were able to buy all of their school supplies, plus some, and stay in the Leaky Cauldron until September first.
"This way, Dean. Hogwarts a History says the platform is behind the divider between platforms nine and ten. We're supposed to walk through a brick wall."
Dean was skeptical, but followed his brother to the divider, where a family of redheads were taking turns going through.
"Damn, Sammy. Who would've thought you were serious." Dean laughed. "It's too bad Bobby couldn't see us off. He'd have loved to see this."
During their discussion, the woman with the redheads seemed to have noticed them.
"Are you two new?" she asked kindly.
"Yep. Sammy here got his letter, and mine apparently got lost four years ago!" Dean replied cheerfully. "We get on the platform through here?"
"Yes, dears. If you're nervous, you might try to run through." The red headed woman advised.
Dean, even though he had just seen several boys go through the barrier, gave the bricks a skeptical look. Sam huffed, and stalked through.
"Sammy!" Dean yelped panickedly, darting after his little brother.
Their train ride got off to a good start.
One of the redheaded kids and a dark haired boy sat in the compartment with them, and they ended up trading stories.
"Oh, Sammy, remember that one Shifter? In, ah where was it…"
"Georgia, Dean. Because you wouldn't quit singing 'The Devil Went Down to Georgia'."
"Yeah! Remember that? That sucker was a pain in the ass…"
"I remember because you got a bunch of stitches from being thrown onto a picket fence by it. And you…"
"…still have the scar. Yep!"
Ron, the red headed boy, looked mystified. "Can I see?"
Dean perked up, and Sam groaned.
"Great, now he's gonna have to show all of them off."
"Oh, bitch, you know you love me." Dean teased, pulling his shirt up to show the foot and a half long scar that ran from his left armpit to his stomach.
Ron was in awe, and Sam noticed the other boy shifting nervously.
"Hey, Harry. Something up?" Sam asked quietly while his brother regaled Ron with a story for each of his scars.
"No, not really." The smaller (much smaller) boy said quietly.
"Hey, man. Don't pull that with me, I know that look."
Harry was hesitant. "It's just… he's so proud of all his scars."
Sam shrugged. "He earned them. They're like trophies to him."
"And that's a problem?" Sam asked, patiently. He knew there was something upsetting this kid, and he wanted to know what.
"I have a scar I haven't earned."
"Sure you have. It means you survived."
Harry twitched, startled. "What?"
"For us, scars show us what we survived. They remind us that we're not invulnerable, and we can be hurt, but we can still survive."
"But my mum and dad…"
Sam wrinkled his nose. "This is gonna sound pretty callous, but you are here. They are not. That means you're stronger than they were. That doesn't mean they weren't strong, just that you were a smidge stronger. Me and Dean have lived through some pretty brutal crap. I have a shoulder that lights itself on fire if I land on it wrong, and Dean can tell when it's gonna rain because of that one time he got his knee nearly ripped off by a Wendigo."
Harry was pretty horrified by that. "You guys must be pretty strong…"
"We are. But we know people who are stronger. Bobby, for one. He lost his wife to a Demon."
"Yeah, those are real. And they're really hard to fight, because you can't kill them."
"Sammy, you giving away all our secrets?" Dean interrupted their quiet conversation abruptly.
Sam rolled his eyes. "Dean, I'm trying to make Harry here feel better about his scar. Care to help?"
"Yep. Life's short kid. Every scar you got is a fight you won. Seeing as yours came from a freakin' killing curse, I'd say you won that round easily. Better? Now come on, no more chick flick moments. I wanna play this exploding snap game."
Their train ride almost ended badly.
The door to their compartment opened, and a trio of boys stood there. Two were stupid-looking hulks, and one was a small, Blonde-haired boy that sneered at them.
"I heard Harry Potter's on the train. Have you seen him?" the blonde one asked, still sneering.
Harry was about to draw attention to himself, but Sam beat him.
"Harry Potter? Yeah I saw him. Why?"
"Because I wanted to be friends with him." the blonde boy said.
Dean was about to say something rude, but Sam beat him.
"Friends as in 'let's play exploding snap together' or friends as in 'I'm friends with Harry Potter'?"
"What are you suggesting?" the blonde boy's eyes narrowed.
"I'm suggesting that you should leave, before I let my brother have at you. He's been itching to stab something all day."
Blonde boy when stark white. "You wouldn't dare."
"Wanna test that theory?"
"My father will be hearing about this."
"Yeah, but daddy ain't here right now, is he? Dean, my big brother here, is. Either get gone, or I'll hand him my favorite knife and look the other way."
The sliding door slammed shut and terrified footsteps fled down the train.
Ron was astonished.
"That was… amazing."
"Damn, Sammy. Didn't know you had it in you!"
Harry just gave Sam a very grateful look.
"What house do you think you'll be in?" Ron asked idly. "I'll probably be in Gryffindor. All of my family has."
"Dean's gonna be a Gryffindor. No doubt." Sam offered decisively.
Dean laughed. "Maybe, Sammy, but you are going into the one with the snakes."
"Slytherin!" Ron yelped.
Sam blinked. "What's wrong with Slytherin?"
"It's full of future Dark Wizards, that's what!"
Sam rolled his eyes. "I'll have you know there were twice as many Ravenclaw dark wizards than Slytherin dark wizards. Not to mention some of the particularly vicious and brutal ones were from Gryffindor. And there were a ridiculous amount of Hufflepuff Death Eaters in the last wizarding war."
Ron was stunned by this information.
"So, before you judge a whole house, why don't you look at all the facts? Anyway, I'm sure Harry's gonna be there right next to me in Slytherin."
Harry put on an innocent, shocked look. "What?"
"Oh don't play that." Sam laughed. "it doesn't work on me."
Dean laughed while Sam and Harry argued over whether or not the latter was faking innocence.
"We just have to try on a bloody hat? Fred and George told me we had to fight a troll! I'm going to kill them!" Ron hissed angrily.
The crowd of eleven year olds plus Dean was forced to be quiet as the sorting began. Slowly, each first year was sent to a house table. Harry was the first of their set of four to be sorted.
"Hmm, difficult. VERY difficult. Plenty of courage, I see. Not a bad mind, either. There's talent, oh yes. And a thirst to prove yourself. But where to put you?"
Harry shrugged. "Wherever I belong, I suppose."
"Hm, yes. The simple answer is usually the correct one… SLYTHERIN!"
The hall fell into silence for a moment, but when Harry put the hat back on the stool and trotted down to the Slytherin table, strong, but nervous, applause broke out.
Ron was next, and the very second the hat touched his hair, it screamed out, "GRYFFINDOR!"
Dean, after a brief explanation from the staff about how his Letter was wrongfully hidden from him when he was eleven, was sorted quickly. The hat debated between Hufflepuff and Gryffindor, but settled on the latter.
Sam was the last of their set of four to be sorted.
"Hmm, clever, aren't you? But not just in a book smarts, in common sense. I think it's time to change things. You belong in… SLYTHERIN!"
Sam ignored the (again) hesitant applause, and sat next to Harry, trying to keep an eye on his brother during the feast.
Dean was doing the same thing, and trying to have a conversation with Ron at the same time.
"I hope your brother doesn't end up like the rest of them." Ron eventually said.
"Sammy's a good kid. If anything, he'll make them end up like him. Hey is that pie? Pass me that!"
While he was devouring a slice of pie, he overheard a conversation.
"No, no. that's too simple. It's gotta make an impression!"
"That's a little too much. We'd be caught too quickly."
"Well, alright, what have you got then?"
"I say we…"
"Oh. Oh yes. That's perfect."
"What are you two talking about?" Dean called over to them.
Ron shook his head frantically. "Those are my brothers, Fred and George. They're planning a prank, and if you don't want to be the target you'll leave them alone!" he whispered desperately.
"Pranksters, huh?" Dean asked, a grin spreading across his face.
He look to his little brother and started signing to him. Thank god Bobby had made them practice…
Sam was enjoying his bowl of sugared strawberries when he caught his brother frantically signing at him.
"- prank war!"
"Repeat, Jerk?" Jerk was Dean's short call sign. It was easier than spelling his damn name out.
"Twins. Pranksters. War?"
"Don't know. Will ask."
Dean turned to Ron, and while Sam couldn't hear from across the room, he knew Dean was drilling the other boy on some of the pranks these pranksters pulled.
"What's that you're doing with your hands?" an older student asked Sam, pointing to his hands with a fork.
"Sign language. I'm talking to my brother."
"He mute or something?"
"No, he's over at the Gryffindor table.
A few shocked gasps broke out across the table. Sam just rolled his eyes.
"How come you know it?"
"Our Uncle taught us it because he hates being kept up by us at night."
"It's pretty useful." Sam explained, and started moving his hands again when he got a reply from his brother.
"High level. Will need witch."
Sam scrunched his face up and corrected his brother.
"You use it a lot?"
"Oh yeah. Like I said, it's useful."
"How on earth can you carry on two conversations at once?"
"Practice. I also speak fluent Latin and a little Spanish."
"Really? Prove it."
Without hesitation, Sam rattled off the Exorcism chant Bobby had made him memorize during the summer when he had nothing better to do. He knew the other boy had no idea what he was saying.
"Alright, alright. You win this round."
From further down the table, someone asked, "Why have you got an exorcism chant memorized?"
Sam shot them a smirk. "Because I've hunted demons and it's better to have it memorized than to read from paper."
"And what's the real reason?" the same voice, which he now knew belonged to a prefect, sneered.
Sam shrugged. "Well, when a demon shows up because there's hunters here, you'll see how truthful I'm being."
It actually didn't take too long for Hogwarts to be attacked by the supernatural.
It was Halloween, and neither Sam nor Harry were having fun. To Sam, Halloween was too much like his normal life to be fun, and he hated seeing it mocked by ignorant civilians. For Harry, the only thing Halloween was to him was the day his parents were murdered. Dean was having fun, though. Mostly because he had access to an absurd amount of sweets and that always made him happy.
Then it happened.
The doors to the great hall swung open dramatically, and Quirrel shouted the first sentence he'd ever voice without a stutter. "Troll! In the Dungeons!"
He followed with whispered last words that he'd ever voice without a stutter. "Just thought you'd like to know…"
And then he fainted.
Chaos erupted, and Sam and Harry were nearly swept away with the Slytherins before Dean could catch his little brother's attention with a frantic sign.
"Girl in bathrooms! Doesn't know! Must help!"
Sam nodded and grabbed Harry's sleeve and darted off. Harry followed without resistance, at least until they caught up with Dean.
"What's going on?"
"Hermione's in the bathroom, and she doesn't know about the troll. Ron, the idiot, made her cry after charms because she helped him, but was kind of snotty about it."
"Hermione? The one that was at Diagon Alley with us?"
"The one that spent an hour in the bookstore with you, yeah. Now come on. You're enough of a girl to go into the bathrooms."
"Dean!" Sam protested.
Harry watched in half-amused horror at how lightly they were taking it that a girl might run into a troll. He shook it off when they turned serious once they smelled the stink the troll let off.
"Dude, it's in there!"
"Well, just lock it in!"
Harry shrugged and did just that.
Then a shrill scream shattered the allusion, and in with an ease he had never seen they worked in tangent to unlock the door and pull guns on the giant troll.
"Harry, get her out of here!" Dean ordered.
Harry, without even thinking, obeyed, grabbing Hermione's arm and dragging her from the bathroom while the other boys shot the troll at the same time. It fell straight forward, and the brothers had to scramble to avoid being squashed.
"Please tell me we got its eyes!" Sam prayed aloud while Dean heaved the beast's head up enough to see.
"We got the eyes, thank god."
They both let out sighs of relief and stumbled from the bathroom right as teachers began arriving.
"What is the meaning of this!" McGonagall asked indignantly.
"Hermione was in the bathroom when Quirrel announced the Troll, Ma'am." Dean answered in the tone he usually reserved for his father. "There wasn't time to get a teacher. And anyway, Sam and I were capable of handling it on our own, Ma'am."
"You are children! You cannot be qualified to subdue a mountain troll!"
Sam barked out a laugh. "Subdue it? We killed it. It would have done massive damage to the bathroom, and killed Hermione besides if we hadn't stopped it."
Snape arrived beside McGonagall in time to hear his snake's response.
"Fifty points to both of you for killing a dangerous creature in defense of a fellow student." He said smoothly. Who cared if he was awarding points to a Gryffindor? This boy had killed a mountain troll without an ounce of hesitation.
"Severus? You're awarding a Gryffindor points?" McGonagall asked in surprise.
"Hey, Harry was the one who got Hermione out while we killed it. He deserves something for that!" Dean interjected before Snape could defend himself.
"Indeed. Twenty points for removing another student from harm's way, Mister Potter."
Then the two Heads of House herded their respective students back to their common room.
Before Hermione went up the stairs to the girl's dormitories, she hesitated.
"You okay, Mione?" Dean asked kindly.
"Mione, don't worry about it. I do that kind of thing all the time. Usually it's more dangerous, not less."
She smiled. "Thank you anyway. I'd have been dead if it weren't for you and your brother."
"I… you're welcome Hermione."
He wasn't used to direct thanks just yet. Most people thanked his father, not him.
Later on, when they were discussing the incident, and Harry's coolness in the face of danger was revealed, Sam was impressed, and a thought occurred to him.
"Hey, Harry. Ever thought about Hunting?"
Harry shook his head and gave the brush to Sam so he could paint the runes. "I never even heard of magic before I got my letter. I had no idea any of this existed."
Dean caught on to what his little brother was doing. "Well, hey man. It's actually a pretty fun job. I certainly like it."
"And now that I know I can get actually paid for it. I like hunting a lot more." Sam added.
"Whoa, we get paid?"
"Yep. All we gotta do is file a report detailing the creature, evidence that it's malicious, and proof of the kill, and we get paid. Don't worry, I already got us Junior Hunter licenses."
Another thought occurred to Sam. "Hey, why don't you come home with us over Winter break?"
"Bobby'd probably love to meet you. Why don't we call him?" Sam suggested.
"Can't. No signal out here." Dean interrupted, grumbling.
"You can borrow Hedwig, and she can send him a letter." Harry offered.
"Can she fly overseas?" Sam asked hopefully.
"From what I've read on owls yes. And she likely wouldn't take too terribly long."
Sam grinned, and they headed off to the owlery.
Sam looked up from his book at the sound of his brother's voice.
"Over here, Dean!"
A few seconds later, Dean appeared, and doubled over panting.
"Take a breath and tell me what's going on."
Dean, once he caught his breath, said, "I think the DADA professor is possessed."
The Slytherins sitting with Sam laughed. They were ignored by the two brothers and Harry.
Sam scrunched up his nose. "Quirrel? You tried Christo?"
"Yeah. He totally flinched."
"Are you sure?"
"Unless it was just my imagination when his eyes went black."
Sam sighed. "Harry, can we borrow Hedwig again?"
"Sam, Dean, you're always welcome to borrow Hedwig, as long as I don't need her."
Dean grinned and clapped the smaller boy on the back. All of the Slytherins tensed, ready for a fight.
"Thanks, Harry. That means a lot."
Harry grinned a little shyly. He was still getting used to having friends.
"Well, come on! Time's a wasting!"
Harry got up, grabbed his bag, and led them to the owlery.
The Slytherins that had been protecting Harry were shocked. They understood why Dean was being nice to Harry and Sam, as Harry had something he needed, and Sam was his brother, but he hadn't even glared at the other Slytherins.
They made a collective decision to follow Dean Winchester around to get to the bottom of this puzzle.
Dean wasn't stupid. He noticed the Slytherins that had been hanging out with Sam and Harry following him everywhere. He didn't know why, but he knew it was starting to become annoying. Especially since he had to take four years' worth of classes, even though the teachers already knew he wouldn't catch up by the end of the year.
"Sam, can you call your Snakes off?" he finally asked at Lunch a few days after he had told him about Quirrel.
Sam raised an eyebrow. "Can you call off your Lions?"
They were sitting at the Gryffindor table, and he and Harry were getting quite a few glares.
Dean saw the challenge issued, and stood up. "Hey, guys? Can you please quit glaring at my brother and our friend? It's pretty annoying."
All eyes were averted, and Sam groaned. "Jerk."
Sam got up with a promise to return, and stalked over to the three that had been following his brother around.
"Zabini, Flint, Davis. You wanna quit tailing my brother?" he growled. "If you don't he's gonna bitch at me about it and I don't care to hear it."
The sixth year, Flint, cocked his head to the side. "We will if you answer a few questions."
Sam scowled. "Shoot."
"Why's he nice to us?"
"Because you're people, and you don't rub him the wrong way."
"Why are you two attached at the hip?"
"Because he's all I've got, and I'm all he's got."
"Why didn't he get his letter when he was supposed to?"
"Because our father is a controlling bastard who thought we made a deal with a demon for magic."
The three fell into a shocked silence.
"Are you done interrogating my brother? Cause I need him." Dean shouted over the Ravenclaw table that separated them.
Sam rolled his eyes at his uncivilized brother.
"God damn, this thing's a bitch to draw." Dean complained.
"Just do the circle, and I'll get the runes." Sam barked.
Harry watched curiously. These two could argue so harshly while working together, and still manage to get their projects done. It was both unnerving and comforting.
"Sammy, I'm shit at this." Dean snapped, tossing the paintbrush into the paint can.
"Well, I can't draw circles, either!" Sam snapped back, slamming his book shut.
Both looked to Harry, startled. They had obviously forgotten he was there. They traded looks, conversing silently.
"Okay." Sam decided.
Dean gave the paintbrush to Harry, who made quick work of making the circle, and then went on to make the pentagram for them.
"So, we pin this up on the ceiling, and it's supposed to trap him, right?"
"Well, we could put it under the rug, but then there's the risk of paint chipping."
"Ceiling it is, then. Wingardium Leviosa!"
Sam tossed four knives into the air, tacking one in each corner of the sheet they painted the Devil's Trap on.
"Okay, let's go over this again." Dean said, pulling Sam and Harry close. "Harry, you lure him out, tell him you have a question about something you found, but you left it in here. Sam, you be ready to exorcise him, and I'll keep his attention on me in case he's powerful enough to break the Trap. Okay? Go!"
None of them noticed the twins sitting in the shadows of the corner of the classroom.
The door opened a crack. "Y-yes, Mist- Mister Potter?"
"I, uh, I wanted to ask you a question about something I found in a book."
"Wh- where is the b-book in question?"
"I, um, left it in the classroom."
"V-very well. Let's g- go."
Harry nervously led the way. Now that he knew the man was a demon, he couldn't get it out of his mind.
When they arrived in the classroom, Harry had to force himself to look directly in front of him, and not at the Devil's Trap he had to walk under. He held his breath until he saw Quirrel walk under it and freeze. He sighed in relief.
"Got you, you son of a bitch." Dean crowed, taunting him while Sam rattled off the Exorcism quietly.
"You impudent brats! When I get out of hell, I will rend you limb from limb!" the demon shouted, struggling against the Devil's trap.
Sam finished the Latin chant, and black smoke poured out of Quirrel's mouth. He and his brother waited until the man's body slumped to the ground to check him.
"Alive! He's alive!" Sam shouted. "Dean-!"
"I'm on it!" he cut Sam off, running to get the Healer.
Sam kept one hand on the Professor's neck, and was looking the man over for any other wounds.
"Harry, go get McGonagall. Explain to her what happened."
Harry nodded and shot off.
Sam was left alone with Quirrel and the hidden Weasley twins.
"Gred, what just happened?"
"I don't know, Forge, but you have to admit…"
"…it was pretty awesome. You think…?"
"Maybe. But is now…?"
"Probably not. He's pretty…"
"…tense, yeah. But how are we gonna…?"
"Sounds good to me."
Sam and Dean were tucked into a hidden corner the day after they finished their exams. They didn't want to be found by anyone, including Harry.
"Dean, I'm telling you, he's not treated right at home."
"I know, Sammy, but what can we do? Kidnap him?"
"Well, no, but I think we should invite him over, during the summer. Try to get him away from his family."
"Well that's all and good, but it won't solve the problem."
"Dean, all we gotta do is let Bobby see he's abused at home, and he'll raise enough hellfire to get him out of there."
"You think it'll work?"
"I hope to god it does. And if it doesn't, we'll still be getting him out of there for a while."
"That is true. We gonna tell Bobby ahead of time?"
"It's probably a good idea."
"Alright then. Soon as we get home, we tell Bobby."
The train ride back to King's Cross was a little bittersweet for the Trio.
Ron and Hermione, who sat with them, couldn't feel it, but Harry was sad to leave the Winchester brothers, and they were sad to let him go back to his family. But all three were happy that they'd meet up again at Bobby's, and probably take on a hunt or two.
"Remember, send us a letter every week, and if we don' get one, we're storming your house, okay?" Dean ordered when they got off.
"And you have to tell us if you're eating enough, I remember how skinny you were at the beginning of the year."
"And remember to salt your doors and windows."
"I'll salt my door and window, but the Dursleys won't let me get the others."
"Well, salt yours then, but make sure you have iron by your bed, just in case, and carry a salt shaker whenever you leave the house."
"Dean, seriously. He's gonna be fine." Sam interrupted, rescuing Harry from more Dean's Fussing.
Dean gave Harry a worried glance, but allowed his brother to drag him from the station after they all said their goodbyes.
END OF YEAR ONE