Disclaimer: Harry Potter, Supernatural, and the characters thereof do not belong to me. I make no profit and this story was written for enjoyment value only.
EPILOGUE: Pa Nan Fen (Not the End)
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
November 04, 2006 (6:30am)
When the first rays of the sun touched the horizon the first flame touched the kindling. By the time the sky had lightened enough to see by, the pyre was an inferno and burning the wrapped body lying on top. The flames flickered and danced, reflected in the eyes of the man standing in the furthest spot of Singer's Salvage Yard.
John approached slowly, the crutches he'd be using while his leg healed digging into the dirt and gravel, as he watched his friend's son give Caleb a hunter's funeral. Harry stood facing the pyre, hands tucked into the pockets of his jacket against the early November morning air. The younger man didn't acknowledge him as he drew closer or when he stopped a few feet to Harry's side.
"You didn't have to do this alone," John said quietly after a few minutes.
"Yeah," Harry responded with a voice empty of emotion, "I did."
"It's not safe," he tried. "There are demons still out there. Hell, what if I'd still been possessed?"
"For one," the other man said without looking at John, "it's been three days and you've had ample opportunity to try something. And two-" His hand suddenly snapped out and wand was pressing into John's cheek. Harry still wasn't looking at him. "-you passed all the test, including this one. Last time Azazel touched the wand it burned him." The arm lowered and the wand disappeared back into the man's pocket. "You kill me now... well, wouldn't be the first time you've tried."
The silence descended on the pair and John found he didn't like it. There was something inherently wrong with Harry Reaves being so hollow and cold; so like John himself. "I saw you packed up Caleb's truck."
The truck, and Caleb's body, had been retrieved from the Blue Earth authorities the day before. Bobby had accompanied Harry to collect them both, as Harry was needed to stop the search for him and give a statement to the FBI. John didn't know what was said, but he did know it required a call to Ash at the Roadhouse to get things squared away. Harry had been even colder to Bobby's other house guests since they returned. No one else, save for maybe Bobby, knew Harry was even out here burning Caleb's body.
"I'm leaving so it's a good idea to take my gear."
"What about your jeep?" The other vehicle had been parked in Bobby's drive since before everything happened; since before Caleb and Harry had gone on the Redcap hunt.
"Don't need it," was the gruff reply. "Sold it to Bobby."
"So what," John wondered out loud, "you were just going to take off without telling anyone?"
John figured that; there's no way Harry would have left without telling the other man. Still, it was distressing just how upsetting John found the idea that Harry wouldn't have said good-bye to his boys at least. "Look, Harry-"
"What do you want, John?" Harry sighed and finally turned to regard the injured man. "This is the most you have ever said to me since I met you - discounting the conversation I had with Azazel while he was in your body. What does it matter, to you, what I'm doing or where I'm going?"
With a frown, John nodded. "You're right. You and I, we've had our differences-"
"Should we count how many times you've wanted - and tried - to kill me?" Harry snorted and looked away, his eyes falling back on his father's funeral pyre.
This was harder than he anticipated, but John Winchester was nothing if not determined. "We've had our differences, and I'm sorry it had to come to this for me to realize just how wrong I was. I'm sorry, Harry. You have always been good to my boys, Dean especially after Sam left, and now you've done the one thing I've dedicated most of my life to."
"So this is your 'Thanks for ganking that demonic son of a bitch!' speech?" Harry shook his head. "It wasn't necessary. Go back to your sons, John."
"Goddamn it, kid!" John finally lost his temper and grabbed Harry's arm, spinning the younger man to face him. "You don't have to do this alone! I've been where you are! Right now, this moment - god kid, don't let it destroy everything you have like it did me!"
"Fuck you!" Harry snapped, shoving the man hard against the chest and sending John tumbling back onto his ass in the dirt. "You think you know what this is? You don't! Demons lie, but they also tell the truth! Your wife died and you couldn't let it go. My father died and I won't let it go; because my father died because of your fucking one-man war against the goddamn King of hell!"
Never, in the years he had known the young man, had John ever seen the fury that burned in Harry's green eyes. Seeing him now, John understood why Azazel and the other demons would fear and covet him at the same time. In his eyes John saw his end.
Undaunted, John just sat up in the dirt and stared up at the grieving hunter. "King of hell?"
"You've been hunting this thing for more than twenty-years and you know nothing about it?" Harry stared at him incredulously. "Azazel wasn't just a demon, John; he was the son of Lucifer. What Christ was to God, Azazel was to the Devil. Azazel was an angel, just like Lucifer. Only, while Lucifer was locked in the deepest bowels of the pit, Azazel renounced his place in heaven and ruled Hell in his father's name. Untold millennia later and we have the King of Hell. Look it up; it's all in Bobby's books."
Turning his back on John, Harry turned back to the fire. "And because of you, Azazel had my father killed. That's on you, John, and I'll never forgive you for it."
When Harry walked away, heading back into the salvage yard and back toward the house, John didn't try to stop him.
Bobby was waiting for him when he got back to his father's truck - Harry's truck, now. The older man was leaning against the front of the vehicle nursing a large cup of coffee. Sitting on the hood was a second cup and Harry couldn't stop the pale grin that tugged at his lips. Without a word, he sidled up beside Bobby, leaned against the truck, and took the still warm mug between his hands. He sipped at the strong beverage and looked out to the rising sun, watching the plume of smoke rising into the sky.
"He always loved watching the sunrise from that spot," he remarked quietly. "Said it was the only place on the property that he didn't feel like he was about to get crushed by a pile of broken cars. Or books."
Bobby snorted into his cup and glared at the younger man when Harry chuckled. "Your old man just never shared our love of the written word. But I'll give him the one about the cars. It's a death trap in there, I tell you."
Harry's smile lasted a moment longer as the pair sat in companionable quiet. "Thanks, Bobby. For this, I mean."
"Your Daddy was a good man, Harry, and a damn fine Hunter. He deserved a proper send off. I just wish you'd have let me helped, but I get why you wanted to do it on your own." Bobby took another drink of his coffee before setting the mug aside and Harry braced himself. "Did Johnny find you?"
Wearing a scowl, Harry took another drink. "Yup."
"Is he still alive?"
"But I bet you wish he wasn't."
"For Dean and Sam's sakes I'm glad he is." Harry admitted and finished the cup off before handing it to the other man. "Take care of yourself, Old Man."
Bobby reluctantly took the cup and looked back at the house as Harry opened the driver's side door. "What about them boys? And Meg?" He asked, watching Harry climb into the cab. "After everything you all have been through, you're just taking off on them?"
"You'll take care of Meg," Harry assured him. "She doesn't want to go back home yet and she needs help dealing with what happened; you can do that for her."
"And Dean and Sam?"
Harry slammed the door shut and turned the ignition, the engine roaring loudly in the quiet of the morning. He rolled down the window and frowned when he saw John hobbling out of the salvage yard on his crutches "They've got John; they don't need me anymore. They haven't in a long time."
"Like hell they don't," Bobby insisted and leaned in through the window, grabbing hold of Harry's arm. "Damn it, boy, you don't have to leave! Take time; grieve! But don't do it alone."
Harry shook his head and frowned when he saw a curtain upstairs being drawn aside and a tall figure standing in the window. "They're still out there, Bobby; Azazel's children. The one who possessed Meg, and at least one other. Called himself Tom. I need to find them."
"No, what you need is to take a step back and recoup!" Bobby all but pleaded. "You fake it well, but even with your potions and healing, you're still hurting! And to leave now... Word gets around the monster world, Harry. They're going to know you offed their Daddy and they're going to be coming for you."
"I'm counting on it." Prying the man's hand off his arm, Harry put the truck in reverse just as Dean stepped out of the front door. "Stay safe, Bobby."
Backing up slowly, to give Bobby time to step away, Harry gunned it a moment later when he was clear. Gravel spun out beneath the tires as the truck leapt into gear and Harry sped away from last place he could call home.
It was overrated anyway.
Harry didn't look back.
November 04, 2006 (9:45am)
"I just got the fax with the information you wanted from Washington, Victor."
FBI Agent Henriksen looked away from the computer screen as his partner, Calvin Reidy, entered the office they had commandeered in the Minneapolis FBI Field office. He reached out for the manila folder which was dutifully placed in his palm. He started flipping through it while the other man closed the door and took a seat opposite the desk from him.
"Why are you interested in a case that was closed almost a decade ago? You weren't even an agent then."
"The Murphy and Reaves murders in Blue Earth," he explained as he scanned through the papers. "Reaves' son was missing for two days, presumed kidnapped by the killers, then shows up at a friend's place with barely a scratch on him."
"You think he killed his old man?" Calvin asked with a wrinkled brow.
Victor shook his head. "No, I talked to Harry Potter-Reaves myself yesterday. He's given us a lead on the actual culprits and I wanted to corroborate his story. Said that back in '97, when he was seventeen, he was kidnapped by the cult his parents were a part of over in England until they were murdered when he was a baby. At seventeen he was taken back to the UK where they were planning on using him in some sort of satanic ritual. The FBI and CIA, working with SOCA, the Bureau's equivalent over there, were able to rescue him and the high ranking members of the cult were caught."
Reidy was frowning. "Why so much effort for one kid? I mean, yeah, it sucks ass and all but the government doesn't typically go all out like that for one kid."
"It was political," Victor explained, handing a picture of a younger Harry Potter-Reaves to his partner. "That kid is Entitled: Lord Black-Potter; doesn't mean as much these days but back then it was a dangerous situation for our side of things. He was brought to the US by his father - who didn't even know the kid existed until a week or so beforehand - after he was nearly killed at his elite boarding school in Scotland. It was the sixth time in five years; he'd also been kidnapped, along with another student who wasn't lucky enough to survive, the previous year. He was granted political asylum with the guarantee he'd be protect."
Calvin handed the photograph back. "But he wasn't; he was kidnapped on American soil and taken back overseas."
"Exactly." Victor tucked the photo back into the folder. "So that's why it was such a big deal. Luckily, the kid survived again, with only a few scars on his wrists to show for his ordeal, and the bad guys were arrested. But, apparently, not all of them.
"So, here we are almost ten years later, and they came after him again. But because he knew they were still out there, he'd joined his father who works as a Private Investigator and they'd been literally travelling the country ever since. They never stayed in one place too long. To get at Potter-Reaves these cultists murdered the priest, who was a family friend, and lured both Reaves men back to Blue Earth. He watched them murder his father and then they knocked him out. When he came to, he was tied up in some warehouse in Lincoln and able to escape. He admits to stealing a car, which we can overlook given the circumstances, and high tailing it to a friend of his father's in Sioux Falls who then brought him to us."
"Okay," Calvin said, "I'm with you so far. But the case file is right there in your hand; he was telling you the truth."
"I know," Henriksen acknowledge, "and I believed him yesterday too, despite it sounding like the plot of some bad horror flick. But I had a team from the Lincoln Office try to find the warehouse. They found it, along with a half dozen bodies that looked like they had been doused in some sort of corrosive liquid - despite there being nothing but water found in the place. They also found a truck a few block away; a truck with some very interesting things - occult type of things - in the back as well as the victim's blood and fingerprints in it."
"You think it was the truck they used to transport him?" Agent Reidy asked eagerly. "Registration?"
"Elroy McGillicutty. A fake registration, considering Mr. McGillicutty is a nonagenarian in Waco, Texas, who had his license revoked almost fifty years ago when he lost his sight in a factory explosion. But there were more prints."
Victor turned the monitor of his computer so his partner could see it as well and clicked open the police file he had been reading. "John Eric Winchester, former marine and wanted for questioning in several suspicious deaths. Also," he clicked on another tab and brought up a second file, "his sons: youngest, Samuel Henry Winchester - no real record, just misdemeanors - and eldest, Dean Michael Winchester - wanted for an arms length of minor offenses but killed by St. Louis police after a failed home invasion where he assaulted the lone female occupant. She wasn't his only victim; they attributed at least one other death to Dean."
Reidy was frowning. "If he's dead, why are his prints on a suspect vehicle?"
"Precisely," Victor turned the monitor back and pointed to the closed case file in front of him. "I think, somehow, and for some reason known only to them, John faked his son's death in St. Louis. I also think that the Winchesters are part of this cult that went after Potter-Reaves, and I think they'll do it again."
St. Mungo's, England
November 12, 2006 (2:30pm)
"Oh, it's so nice that he's getting visitors again!" the aged nurse prattled on as she led him through the hospital ward. "Other than his mother, no one's been by to see him in so many years! She only comes by every other week, now; not that I blame her. Heard she's got grandbaby number twenty-three on the way! I swear, those children of hers reproduce as much as she did - but you didn't hear that from me.
"No, it's so much better that she's spending time with her family, these days. The stroke he suffered a couple years ago have left him completely unresponsive. Why, he's even worse than the Longbottoms, and that's saying something! Really, it would be so much kinder, for him and his family, just to put the poor dear out of his misery -but you didn't hear that from me!"
He smiled indulgently. "No, of course not."
"Well, here's his room. I have to make my round so I'll leave you to visit."
"Thank you." He watched the matron hurry on her way before entering the silent room.
Tom's objective was lying on the bed, the glow of magic surrounding him and keeping him alive. His eyes were closed, his chest rising only because of the magic telling his body to breath, his freckled skin pale, his chin covered with an auburn colored five-o'clock shadow, the same colored hair disheveled and uncared for. Really, the young man was in deplorable condition.
Which was perfect for him.
Mouth opening wide, the inky black cloud flowed out of the corpse it was inhabiting. Tom paid no attention to the thud the body made when it hit the floor, focused only on pushing through the magic that protected the young man. The power was irritating but he would not be deterred. After only a brief struggle, he bypassed the magic and flowed into the young man's body through his nostrils.
There was no fight in him, not after the soul had all but fled after so many years trapped within its own body. The body, while weak right now, would be strong again but it was the magic thrumming through every inch of the man that had enticed Tom.
Azazel had been right: riding a lesser wizard was finally possible. And this one suited his goals perfectly.
For this first time in years, Ronald Billius Weasley opened his eyes.