*A thank you to the always amazing sydni for betaing this for me*
Raising an eyebrow at the apparent meeting place, Death quietly slipped inside the closed pizza place. Glancing around the empty restaurant, Death continued to move towards the back of the restaurant until he spotted the occupied table. Sam, Dean, and Harry sat at the table, with the Winchesters on one side and Harry on the other side. The table next to them was piled with assorted food, both Wizarding food and food from fast-food places. When Death got closer, he noticed that the three of them were glaring at each other. Almost positive that things didn't go smoothly, Death approached the table covered with food, and took a seat. He cancelled the invisibility spell on him.
"Please keep in mind that I'm a busy person, so do please hurry up," Death said, inwardly smirking a little when they all jumped in surprise. Death reached out to grab a burger and a bottle of butterbeer. Noticing that the three of them were still staring at him, he raised an eyebrow. "What are you waiting for? Start."
"So when you─"
"And then, that─"
"These two had─"
"But then this guy─"
"So I totally─"
"Enough." Death was pleased to see that they all fell silent at once. "You," he said, pointing at the Winchesters, "start."
"Uh," Dean started, "so we got your letter, and you told us to investigate the deaths of those people who were killed before they were scheduled to die by some rogue reaper."
"So we came up with a plan," Sam continued. "We decided that we'll go into the people that died, while Harry, here, was going to look into the rogue reaper. We were trying to see if there were any connections between the two."
"So like always," Dean said, relaxing a little, "we went into town like we always do, to talk to the families of the victims. As it turns out, Harry had already went and talked to them." At this point, Dean glared at Harry. "You seriously almost gave us away," he hissed at Harry, who glared right back. "Look, the muggle world changed a lot last time you were here─"
"You prats," Harry said, "stop blaming me for your screw ups." Death took a silent deep breath and prayed for patience. "I helped you guys. I got them to trust me, and mentioned you guys, so it would be easier for you to get information from them." Dean snorted.
"We don't need your help," he said.
"What happened after you questioned them?" Death asked, picking up another burger.
"Well, initially, there didn't seem to be any connections, but looking even further back, I found that some of them did have some connections with one another-"
"Excuse me, we were the ones that found that," Dean interrupted, indicating both Sam and himself. "Don't forget that, kid," Dean continued, causing Harry to glare at him. "You just helped out with the research."
"That's not what happened," Harry said hotly, "it was the other way around." Death quietly sighed. The loud rustling from the paper bag in Death's hands had them staring at him while he ate. After finishing the chips, he opened a bottle of butterbeer, and motioned for the Winchesters to continue. Dean smirked at Harry, who ignored him, but Death noticed that his right hand was twitching. He probably wanted to reach for his wand.
"Anyway, after we interviewed the families, we headed to the library, which was where we found Harry." 'And most likely where Dean and Harry began arguing,' Death thought to himself. "Since he didn't look busy, we asked him to help, and he reluctantly agreed─"
"Hey, wait! I was the one who asked you guys for help, since you two were fooling around." Death slowly rubbed the bridge of his nose.
"Dean, Sam, please finish."
"In the library, we looked into the background of the families, and we've had to search for hours before we found anything worthwhile. After a couple of hours, we did find out that some of the families were related to one another, and other people shared a common ancestor─" Harry cleared his throat. Death looked at him.
"If Dean continues 'explaining', it's going to take forever," he said. "We eventually found out that everyone involved always had some relative that either died or disappeared every other generation; probably to stay out of the radars of the reapers. When we went far enough back, we found out that they all had a common ancestor, so we switched focus onto that family in particular. Sam was in charge of researching that family, while Dean and I looked to see if there were any other descendants that haven't been targeted yet─"
"And we found a family that was still fine," Dean cut in. Harry stared at him, and then immediately silenced him.
"As I was saying, there was still a family that hadn't been targeted, so I decided to stand guard over them─" Dean banged the table in front of him. Death debated whether or not to unsilence him. Knowing that he was probably going to regret it, he waved his hand, and removed the silencing spell.
"I'm the one that suggested that we guard them!" Definitely regretted it.
"Still doesn't change the fact that you were basically useless," Harry said, crossing his arms.
"I was still pretty useful for someone who couldn't see who we were fighting." Death slowly turned towards Harry, who was suddenly sweating a little.
"If you were in physical contact with Harry, then you would have been able to see the reaper. Harry should have known that." The Winchesters slowly turned their heads towards Harry.
"What?" Dean said slowly. "Why the hell didn't you say anything?"
"Oh please, who would be fond of walking around and fighting while you were clinging onto them?"
"Hey! I can name plenty of people who'd─"
"Shut up, Dean." Death stared back impassively, shutting down Dean's glare.
"Sam, continue." Sam gave two of them a look, before continuing.
"I figured that maybe that common ancestor may have done something to the reaper, like maybe angered him-"
"How did you even find out?" Harry asked, cutting in. Death adjusted his grip on his cane. Sam cleared his throat awkwardly.
"I... er... borrowed your iPad to look up some information that normal records wouldn't have, and made the connections there." Death looked at Harry.
"Harry, you're supposed to have that tablet on you at all times."
"I didn't know he had it," Harry muttered. "When did you even take it?" Harry asked Sam.
"While you and Dean were arguing."
"Which time?" Dean muttered. He then smirked at Harry. "You had all that information on you, and you couldn't even put it all together."
"For Merlin's sake, I'm not Hermione! But if Hermione could've helped─"
"No," Death said, cutting him off. Harry sighed, and Dean and Sam exchanged glances. He glanced at Sam, since he was the only (somewhat) calm one of the three. "Sam, continue."
"I looked up the reapers, and found the one that was supposed to reap the ancestor, but for some reason, didn't. Another reaper was sent in instead, but it was after the guy had a child." This was starting to sound familiar to Death.
"What was the name of this reaper?" Sam thought for a moment.
"Francis." Death mentally sighed. So it was that reaper.
"Do you know him?" Harry asked.
"He was a reaper that had became mentally off balanced enough to warrant being taken off active duty, and being moved to information collection."
"I think I remember one of the others telling me about it," Harry said.
"Hold up," Dean said. "This whole reaper thing sounds like some kind of a business. Information collection? What, do you guys have offices or something?" Death and Harry both stared at him.
"Where do you think information on who should be reaped comes from?" Harry said. Dean coughed.
"I figured that it just... you know, came to you guys."
"How does that all work?" Sam asked. Harry opened his mouth, but Death cut him off.
"Uninvolved parties aren't allowed to know more." Sam visibly deflated. "However, if you do want to know more, you could always become reapers yourselves."
"Is that even possible?" Sam asked, leaning forward in his chair.
"It is, but it involves a person having to die, and stay dead, but since you can't even accomplish that, you'd have a hard time becoming one." Sam sighed, and sat back down. "However," Death added, "if you want to stay dead, don't hesitate to come to me and ask."
"Jeez, you totally weren't trying to imply something," Dean muttered under his breath.
"Before we get side tracked again, someone should finish." All three of them sensed his annoyance. Sam took over quickly.
"Since this Francis guy seemed to be involved, I told Harry about him, hoping he would recognize him, but he only heard the guy's name before, and he didn't know what he looked like."
"Very helpful," Dean said. The other three glared at him for interrupting, and Dean mumbled something, before leaning back into his seat. Sam continued.
"When we were guarding the family, Harry told us when the reaper showed, and since Harry was the only person who could see him," Harry flushed when everyone looked at him, "he dealt with the reaper, while Dean and I got the family out of the house. Harry was fighting the reaper with the Elder Wand, and the reaper, according to Harry, was fighting with a small scythe. Dean guessed where the reaper was, and distracted him a little, which allowed Harry to overpower him." Death turned towards Harry.
"Did he ever give any reason why for his actions?"
"I did question him a little," Harry said. "Francis just said that he was furious that the man had gotten away from him, and when he learned that the guy had a kid, he promised himself that he was going to fix his mistake, since they weren't supposed to exist." Death sighed outwardly this time.
"Where is he now?"
"At the usual spot," Harry replied. Death glanced at his table. All the food was finished, so he decided to get up, and stretch his legs.
"That's fine. I'll take care of the rest by myself."
"Hang on," Dean said, "if those descendents weren't supposed to be alive, then why stop that reaper? When Balthazaar unsunk the Titanic, Fate went around killing all of the descendants of the people on board. What's the difference?" Harry shrugged.
"I was just following orders," he said, glancing at Death. Sam and Dean also looked at Death for an explanation.
"The difference between the two events was that the sinking of the Titanic already happened. That angel purposefully went back in time to change that event. In this case, Francis didn't do his duties correctly, which allowed the creation of a descendent who wasn't supposed to exist. What happened, happened. That is the difference."
"Really?" Dean asked.
"That and there was a brief discussion about it, and it was decided that there was no harm in letting the kid stay alive," Death added. Dean and Sam gaped at him. Death started walking towards the door. "Since we're done, I have other business to attend to. Harry, make sure you hand in your report."
"I got it," Harry muttered. Death turned himself invisible, but stayed back.
"You have to write reports for him?" Dean asked, amused. Harry groaned.
"Please don't remind me," Harry muttered.
"It really is like a business," Sam muttered. "Anyway, what did you mean when you said that guy was in the usual spot?"
"I meant that some other reaper came and took him somewhere," Harry deadpanned.
"You meet the other reapers often?" Dean asked. Harry nodded.
"It's pretty much in the job requirements, though it gets really annoying, really quickly," Harry muttered.
"They all, or at least the ones I've worked with, treat me like a little kid or a baby. Some of them even coo at me!" Harry said, putting his face in his hands as Sam and Dean started laughing.
"So you're basically like their baby brother. That's how some older siblings like to act. Sammy can vouch for that, right Sammy?" Dean said, grinning at the look on Sam's face. Harry stood up, and stretched his limbs.
"I have to finish that report, so─"
"Before you go, take this." Dean handed over a USB drive to a confused Harry. "You do know how to use this, right?" Harry snatched it from his hand.
"Of course I know how to use it!" he said heatedly. "What's on it?"
"It's a gift from Charlie," Sam said, trying to keep the grin off his face. Harry scowled.
"I still haven't forgiven her. I'm still creeped out that my life is a fictional series here, and what the bloody hell was up with those movies? We don't look anything like those people! And some of that stuff never happened!"
"Really?" Sam said, curious. "Then how big of a difference was it?"
"Huge, though some people do look kinda similar to the actors that played them," Harry admitted. "So what's on this?" Harry asked, waving the USB drive.
"Fanfiction," Dean said with a straight face. Harry frowned.
"Fanfiction," Sam said, somehow keeping the grin off his face.
"I heard you the first time. Just what exactly is it?"
"You'll find out when you see it," Dean said evenly.
"According to her," Sam said, "it's divided into different categories, with the biggest one being, ah, slash." Harry looked at him blankly.
"You lost me."
"Just look at it when you get home," Dean said hastily. Still confused, Harry pocketed the flash drive, and nodded at them, and left the restaurant. Death stood to the side as he passed, and as soon as he was out, Sam and Dean burst out laughing. Shaking his head, Death followed Harry out.
Sydni and I brainstormed some ideas for the next chapter (based on the suggestion of a reviewer), though I have no idea when it would be completed. Thank you guys so much for all the reviews (even though I'm horrible with replying OTL)
I might be closing the poll soon... as of right now, commiseration and death's sullen minion are tied, and I do have another chapter of each already planned, so no point in having those options there (unless you guys just want me to remove those two, so the remaining options have a chance... idk...)