Screw the timelines. What have they ever done for me?
This is set somewhere mid season 1-2 and Harry is 14-going-on-15.
One of many little HP/SPN bunnies fornicating madly in my brain.
Gore and adult concepts in the first chapter.
(Of a one night stand)
Officer Alex Johnson glanced over the unassuming house with a practiced eye as his partner was plucked at by the woman who had called them in.
Sure enough even from here he could see a spray of dark liquid on the inside of the window of #4.
Already, curious neighbors were gathering around to gawk at the excitement of a police car parked in their neighbourhood. Judging by the orderly lawns and craning necks of the locals, this place didn't see much drama in day to day life.
Sharing a glance with his partner was enough. Phil approached the door with him but hung back to discourage anyone from following them in.
Alex knocked loudly.
"This is Officer Johnson of Surrey police! Open the door!"
Sharing another glance, both men placed a hand on their tasers and Phil gave the doorknob an experimental turn.
Then the door was swinging open and the gore in the living room made the spray of red on the window look tasteful.
Alex swallowed thickly as the stench rolled out to hit them and Phil gagged at his side, turning his face away to gulp fresh air. He muttered something about clearing the scene and walked quickly away.
He never did have the stomach for these sorts of jobs. He was lucky that way.
Alex sighed and forced himself to look around before he stepped in any further and contaminated the crime scene.
Three bodies lay.. well, all over the place. One massive man had his legs.. removed.. and which had been hung grotesquely from the ceiling fan by their feet. His torso, without looking too closely, had clearly been split wide open and it looked like his own hands were buried in it..
Alex swallowed again and deliberately looked away. Even he had his limits.
Tragically, there was a smaller figure – clearly a teenager, despite the bulk – lying next to him. He was a bloody mess, gobs of fat looking to have exploded out of his body somehow – massive blunt trauma perhaps? He was also naked and his penis was inexplicably erect.. which, if the gore wasn't enough, hinted at some truly twisted individuals responsible for this.
A woman was across the room, also naked. She was streaked with blood and sweat and other things and one of her hands was propped up on the blood-splattered coffee table. The hand was missing all of its fingers. Her body was sprawled at the feet of a fourth victim who sat slumped against the wall, speckled with blood but still clothed and with limbs attached and.. and..
Alex reacted in a heartbeat, no longer caring about contamination, grabbing his shoulder radio and barking an order for medical support now.
He reached the kid in three long strides, gaze sweeping over him looking for injuries. There were none apparent, save for the poker that punched right through the kid's right shoulder and impaled him to the wall. The kid himself was deathly pale, face mucky with dried tears and sweat, green eyes hazy and half dead-looking under slow blinking lids.
"Hey there, kid." Alex greeted softly, not wanting to startle him even as he shifted to try and block the gore from too-young eyes. There was no reaction.
"My name is Officer Johnson, but you can call me Alex." He continued gently, wanting nothing more than to get this poor kid out of this hell, but completely unable to do so. He also didn't want to frighten or startle the kid by touching him, in case he further aggravated his shoulder injury.
He could hear the ambulance sirens approaching. They were already en-route as a matter of procedure, but news of an actual survivor got them going a hell of a lot faster.
"Everything's going to be ok, son." He promised. "I'm going to get you somewhere safe. I promise."
Dull green eyes just stared through him like he wasn't even there.
John fought the urge to drum his fingers as he sat in a waiting chair outside one of the department's offices. From down the hall he could hear the low murmur of thirty odd people sitting in half-cubicles doing their jobs with grim determination and from inside the office behind him he could hear a woman screaming abuse at the social worker.
That could work in his favour. After dealing with that bitch of a woman, even he'd look downright respectable.
It was unbelievable, what he was hearing. Some of the verbal bile spewing out of the woman's mouth – about the social worker, about the child involved – was so incredibly aggressive and offensive that it was almost offensive to him that she could get away with it.
Suddenly the door slammed open and a dishevelled, bony woman stormed past him dragging a little girl roughly by the hand behind her.
When he thought of all the times various social workers had tried to cause trouble for him and his sons.. and yet in this state, this woman could abuse the worker herself in a way that would have anyone else arrested. It was sickening.
There was a quiet sigh, then a woman stepped out of the office and tried to smile at him.
"Mister Winchester?" She asked politely. John nodded as he stood.
"Excellent. Sorry for the wait. Please come in."
He followed her in and shut the door behind him as the woman went to a filing cabinet and exchanged one folder for another. She walked briskly back to the desk and sat with another sigh.
"Rough day?" John asked sympathetically. The woman shot him a tired, grateful smile.
"Rough job." She replied lightly, before opening the folder and scanning it quickly to refresh her memory.
"Oh, yes." He expression settled into something much more official, with a touch of sadness. "But first, do you have the identification requested in the letter we sent you?"
Without a word, John produced both his driver's license and the letter mailed to him.
"Sorry it took me so long to make an appointment." He apologised with practiced ease. "But I don't live at this address anymore. The post office held on to it because they know every time I'm in the area I check for mail."
The woman nodded absently. "Do you have something showing your current address?" She asked automatically, pulling up a file on her laptop. John handed over a doctored electricity bill. She filled in the details without a hint of disbelief.
So far so good.
"You letter mentioned something about guardianship?" John broached the topic carefully, despite having an inkling about what this probably involved. He hadn't exactly lived in sexual abstinence for the past twenty years. He was just surprised it had come to this.
"Yes." The woman said shortly, then looked up. "Oh, sorry – Amanda Oakley. I'm afraid I tend to get a bit mono-focused."
They shook hands.
"Yes, you do seem to have inherited a child." She agreed. "From England. Although at this point the evidence is not waterproof, and you have the right to request a blood test. Technically so does the young man involved, but.." She trailed off and sighed, looking both awkward and sympathetic. She met his eyes, her own blue-grey gaze both understanding and firm.
"I'll be brutally honest, Mr Winchester. Legally, you have guardianship of this boy and we'd like for you to accept him into your family. I understand you have two sons of your own?"
"According to their records, your family has been investigated in the past." Amanda continued, managing to both sound respectful and unyielding at the same time.
John nodded again. "We weren't normal." He explained honestly. "We moved a lot and I couldn't always afford the best for my kids. They had trouble connecting with their peers and often preferred each other's company, so they stuck out to their teachers."
He was proud of himself for managing all that without sounding defensive. It helped that his kids were old enough now that the system couldn't take them away. Not that he hadn't managed to drive them away just fine by himself..
"Sam, my youngest, got a full ride to Stanford." He added, not needing to fake the pride in his voice. Amanda smiled at him.
"That's wonderful." She congratulated sincerely. "In fact, it makes me all the more keen for you to take this young man into your family. You must be very close."
John had to suppress the urge to laugh in her face. Or choke. After years of trying to take his kids away, now they were trying to give him another one? People were crazy.
"We were." He replied, probably a bit more honestly than he normally would. "Of course, these days my boys are off living their own lives."
That gained him another sympathetic smile. The smile soon faded however.
"Mr Winchester.. as much as I genuinely want you to be able to give a home to this boy.. I must be honest with you. It wouldn't be easy."
John thought of raising two too-smart-for-their-own-good kids on shotguns and the supernatural.
He suspected they had different definitions of 'easy'.
"He a trouble-maker?" He asked bluntly. Amanda shook her head.
"No. Worse. I'm afraid he witnessed his family being.. quite brutally murdered." She shook her head again, frustrated with herself. "No, brutal isn't the right word. Evil, perhaps. Ritualistic. It.. had a very strong impact on him."
John couldn't breathe for a second.
Demons? Was it a random attack, or had they actively hunted down the child of one of his one night stands from years ago. Why else would they allow him to survive, if not to send a message to John himself?
"What happened?" He whispered. Amanda bit her lip.
"No-one is quite sure. There was very little evidence found, from what I understand. And Harry himself.." She hesitated, casting him a careful look before continuing. "Harry hasn't spoken a word since the police found him. He's almost completely unresponsive. He had been impaled to the wall with a fireplace poker and his medical report said he'd likely been sitting there for at least a couple of days before being discovered. It was a miracle he didn't suffer an infection severe enough to kill him. As it is, he's had some surgery to repair his shoulder, but there was a lot of damage and the doctors aren't confident he'll ever get full use of it back."
John breathed out, slowly.
"Do you have a copy of the report? Medical and Police?"
Amanda shot him a startled look.
"I need to know, especially if he isn't talking." John invented quickly. "I'd also like to share the folder with a police friend and counsellor I know, just in case."
Amanda visibly softened.
"So does that mean you would be willing to take him in?" She asked hopefully. "He's already been flown to America, along with his school things. I've visited him in the hospital. He understands what people say to him, he just doesn't always react."
John nodded, convinced that – if nothing else – leaving this kid in the hospital was like an open invitation to whatever demon that had attacked his family to come back and finish the job. Plus, he had a hunch the kid wasn't talking because nobody had been asking the right questions.
"Absolutely, although... I would be interested in knowing just how exactly he's related to me. And what his name is." He added.
"Oh, right.." She said sheepishly, suddenly looking a lot less professional. She flipped to a different section of the file and read aloud.
"Harry Potter, fourteen. Orphaned as an infant, legal guardians: Petunia Dursley (Maternal Aunt), Vernon Dursley (Uncle-in-Law), now both deceased."
"How was he orphaned?" John interrupted, a slow, cold suspicion in his guts. Amanda turned to a different piece of paper and shook her head.
"It.. doesn't seem very clear. It just says 'housefire' but there's no more detail than that."
The cold feeling turned icy. Amanda continued, skipping past bits to read out what she apparently thought he needed to hear.
"Investigators at the scene found a deceased, apparently domesticated, owl upstairs." She looked up for a moment,eyes dark. "You should also be aware that there is strong suspicion as to past domestic abuse directed at Harry."
Out of sight, John's fist clenched. Bad enough his mistake had led to this... but an abusive childhood too?
"...In what appeared to be Harry's bedroom. There were the remains of hoarded food in a hidden space under the floorboards of that room as well as some knickknacks – presumably of a sentimental importance. There were no indications as to any reasons for the attack or why Harry was spared when his cousin wasn't. The only mention found of the surviving victim was in Petunia Dursley's personal diary, which was often filled with hateful comments and the occasional nonsensical rant."
She looked up again. "Apparently.." She hesitated. "She thought young Harry was some sort of – and I'm quoting - 'supernatural freak'. Psychologists in Britain have speculated that the woman blamed her nephew for her sister's death... a sort of transferred survivor's guilt.
John couldn't reply. This was just too damned close to home.
Amanda hesitated, seeming to worry – probably about chasing him off – but continued.
"Uh lets see.. yes, Petunia mentioned her sister's 'disgusting secret' - that apparently just before marrying she had a, uhm, fling of some sort in America." She darted a nervous look at John's blank face. "The language gets a bit foul at times, but the short of it is that her sister – Harry's mother – confided in Petunia looking for advice and Petunia advised her to keep the child, in the hope that when her sister's husband-to-be discovered it was not his, it would destroy their marriage."
"Pleasant woman." He observed sarcastically. Amanda rolled her own eyes in unprofessional agreement.
"She wrote down the name her sister gave her – John Winchester – so that if the opportunity ever arose, she could prove her sister's infidelity."
She looked up again.
"And that was how we found you. Britain's system got in contact with ours. You popping up on multiple grids helped us find you a little easier – we mailed the same letter to a few different addresses we have on file."
John just nodded slowly.
"Do you have a .. picture..?" He asked hoarsely. Without a word, Amanda showed him an old snapshot of a young woman with deep red hair and sparkling green eyes.
God, he remembered her hair. It had been so soft and rich in colour.. he'd been amazed by it, had stroked it when she slept. She had been young, too. And he had been too broken to care.
And one semi-drunken mistake had seen that poor, beautiful girl murdered barely a year later, probably slit open and on the ceiling just like Mary...
God. He was cursed, he just knew it.
Hell, he was probably the reason the demon had come for Sammy, all those years ago.
And now he had a son who had been raised by hateful, hurtful relatives. A son who had had no Dean to protect him and love him. A son who had been visited by demons again and experienced their evil to an even stronger degree than his own sons had.
A son who was alone and broken and probably terrified every moment of every day.
"When can I take him home?" He managed, ignoring Amanda's full-body slump of relief.
He guessed he could understand a normal, fearful civilian not wanting to get involved with a boy whose family had died horribly – twice – and was now hard work to look after. But Winchesters didn't work that way.
"And maybe a change of name would be a good idea too." He suggested on a whim. "Fresh start or something."
Amanda's smile was brilliant and he knew he had her in his corner.
Amanda stopped to speak briefly with a doctor and introduce John as the new guardian, then led the way to his new son's hospital room.
There were three beds, but only one was occupied. In the furtherest bed, lying in slatted sunlight, was a small black-haired boy. His bed was slightly raised and someone had turned his ceiling-installed television on, but there was no sound.
Amanda gave him a bracing smile and opened the door.
The boy's eyes snapped open, his head turning sharply. Just as quickly, he recognised one of the intruders and his head turned back.
"Good morning, Harry." Amanda greeted, managing the fine line between warm and too-cheery. Despite that, Harry didn't react. He didn't close his eyes either, but stared at the television as if he'd just been watching it.
Amanda didn't even pause. This seemed to be normal. She walked around to the foot of the bed, standing under the television. She didn't try to order or force the boy to look at her but just allowed herself to be an easy thing to pay attention to.
John couldn't stop staring.
He hadn't expected to feel much of anything. He knew men had some kind of hormone reaction that triggered a sense of protectiveness and love when they first held their newborn children – something about their babies' defencelessness. That had to be what was happening now, because as John's world-weary eyes tracked the boy's legs – so slim under the covers, so far from the foot of the bed – and saw his thin arm pierced by an IV, his bleak face so lacking in animation...
He felt the same rush of protective fury, of drive, that he got whenever Sammy or Dean had ended up in hospitals. He may not have raised his third son, but just the knowledge that he was his, coupled with his undeniably fragile body, was triggering a hell of a lot of emotional reaction.
"I have some news for you." Amanda continued, not prefacing the news with any sort of descriptor like 'good'. She'd worked in the system too long to know that family wasn't always happy news.
"You remember when I told you we were trying to track down your biological father?"
At this, Harry's attention flickered, lightning fast, between the two adults in the room.
"That's right. This is John Winchester. He has two older sons, but he's looking forward to getting to know you."
John stayed silent. Dark green eyes, set in bruised flesh, studied him just as silently. Amanda's cheerful spiel paused for a moment as the two males eyed each other. John was pretty sure he caught her lips twitch.
"I've explained to him the situation you're coming from." The woman continued, more gently. Harry's attention returned to her, eyes narrowing fractionally. "And I'll be continuing to work with both of you, at least for the next couple of years, to ensure you settle in well."
Stepping around the bed to Harry's side, the social worker pulled a card from her purse and pressed it gently against Harry's hand till the boy accepted it.
"You can call me on this number at any time." She said quietly. "If you're having problems. If you're scared. If you just need someone to talk to who isn't involved in everyday life. That's my job, okay? So please let me be there for you."
There was a long silence, as Amanda made it clear that she expected an answer by not moving an inch.
Finally, Harry nodded, eyes averting.
"Thank you, Harry." Amanda smiled.
"Now, your doctor should be here soon with your release information. In the meantime, is there anything you'd like to know about your father?"
Harry said nothing, eyes cast down at the bony hand sticking out of his sling. He didn't look up again until Amanda waved goodbye outside the hospital and John opened the door of his truck for him.
Harry ignored the hand he offered to help him in, pulling himself up with his one working arm and settling into the seat with stiff precision.
John shut the door with one hand and fished out his phone with the other.
It was time to meet up with his boys again.
To be continued
I'm kinda on the fence about John's emotional reaction to Harry. He'll always love his first two kids more, but I wasn't interested in writing a 'doing this out of duty only' kind of John.