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With a New Set of Frames by waxbean

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Summary: Crowley helps Harry find ?the power the Dark Lord knows not? ? and Aziraphale facilitates.
Categories: Crossovers Characters: Adam
Genres: Action/Adventure
Warnings: Language (mild)
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: No
Word count: 2679 Read: 127
Published: 09 Dec 2005 Updated: 09 Dec 2005

Just Crowley by waxbean


Title: With a New Set of Frames
By Waxbean
Beta: Taigan
Summary: Crowley helps Harry find ?the power the Dark Lord knows not? ? and Aziraphale facilitates.
rating: this chapter rates a PG-13.
Slashy? You bet. Definitely implied & established Crowley/Aziraphale. But there will also be interesting Crowley/Harry and maybe even ?spiritual? Crowley/Harry/Aziraphale.
What I?m hoping for? Something that strikes a good balance with a) that lovely Good Omens dry British humor, b) the fantastic Harry Potter Universe intricate plot potential, and c) a beautiful love story. And love, here, can manifest in a variety of different ways, not limited to: angel/demon smut, demon/wizard smut, unresolved sexual tension, and glorious romantic unconditional love? - so, yeah, something like a gen-fic, too.
Feedback: Since this is a WIP, feedback would be especially lovely, thanks!

******

Crowley downed his third shot of whiskey in as many minutes.

He really despised teenagers.

One might think that, categorically, teenagers provided him with a lot of work. However, he?d learned long ago that younger humans were exquisitely creative when it came to torture; moreover, they didn?t discriminate with their victims. They?d hurt their parents, their siblings, their peers... they?d take on others, the weak and the strong. And teenagers could invariably be counted on to sabotage themselves.

Come to think of it, Crowley couldn?t even remember the last time that he?d lifted a finger to tempt a teenaged human.

Of course, the bureaucracy Below had no idea. Crowley suspected that the whole lot of them just didn?t understand humans of any age. So, every once in a while, they?d interrupt The Office or maybe The Iron Chef (the original, though with the English dubbing, thank you very much) to commend him for things like anorexia and bulimia, child prostitution, and the date rape drug. He hadn?t even known about that last one. A few minutes? perusal on the Internet changed that and then a night of hard drinking with an angel whose eyes always saw too much almost buried the new knowledge. Almost.

The angel.

Well, that?s why he was here, wasn?t it? And he suspected that this was going to be a bit more than just the drive-by moment of divine ecstasy? the kind he might be inclined to do if he was already in the neighborhood for a gig of his own.

He cursed under his breath and poured a fourth glass of the dark brown liquor. No doubt Aziraphale hadn?t intended for him to be drunk for this. No doubt, at all. But damn it, he really did not like to deal with teenagers.

Of course, for Aziraphale, things were quite different. Whereas Crowley was at liberty to ignore an entire age group, the angel could not. Kids were a high priority. And angelic agents were routinely rotated on and off cases just to prevent burnout. Crowley couldn?t think of any other group of humans who got that kind of built-in protection.

And he could understand, really. He?d meant what he?d said to Aziraphale back before they?d become ?godfathers? for Warlock, the rather normal non-antichrist... childhood is important. The influences children receive profoundly shape their lives. And he?d reminded the angel of all that. And what had that bastard said? ?Precisely, Crowley. Precisely, which is why I need your help, specifically.? Aziraphale had been quite insistent that Crowley take over this particular case for a while.

A glance at his expensive watch told him that it was nearly time. Briefly, he considered whether or not he should vanish the whiskey and the glassware. He decided against it, though. One needed to be prepared for anything, after all. And there was just no telling what this little ?session? was going to require of him.

 

Which again brought him back to staring at his now-empty shot glass. He sighed heavily... a distinctly human reaction that he rather relished. Maybe he should at least remove the alcohol from his bloodstream? No, he settled against that for much the same reason that he was keeping the bottle on the table.

Of course, the angel had assured him that this boy was not a typical teenager. And he wasn?t merely referring to the boy?s heritage. Not that that mattered much anyway. Crowley knew wizarding teens to be as cruel as any others. They just had wands and spells to go with their insecurities, jealousies, and overall pettiness. Oh, he didn?t even want to think about how rampant hormones fit into the mix. No, best to just leave that one out.

It was Aziraphale?s job to look after this particular case. It had been for several years now. He hadn?t really talked about it too much. But Crowley knew it was a tough one, just the same. Aziraphale had to counter not only the usual teen angst but also a great deal of supernaturally enhanced drama. This kid had some scary enemies. And those enemies had some even scarier otherworldly connections. His people, of course. He felt lucky that he?d never been required to assist with any of that.

?Required? was the key word here. He was fairly certain that he was expected to join the fray? as if the whole thing was some kind of demonic circus, which was probably an apt characterization.

But he managed to keep out of it. Since the Arrangement, Crowley hadn?t had any head-to-head battles with Aziraphale and he much preferred things that way. Plus, he knew that the angel really cared about his charge. Well, he always cared... but Crowley could tell that something was different with this kid. It was far more personal.

And in the end, that?s most likely the reason that Crowley had caved in to his requests. He didn?t really believe that Aziraphale couldn?t reschedule his OverEaters Anonymous or whatever group therapy he was currently leading. And he wouldn?t completely buy the angel?s argument that he, Crowley, a demon, was what this kid needed. He figured that Aziraphale knew something that he didn?t, which wasn?t all that unusual. And Crowley was sure that he?d come around and tell him eventually what was really behind this smokescreen.

He only had a few minutes now. He glanced at some of the titles Aziraphale had oh-so-casually left out on the table for him. Tales of Childhood Lost, A Child Among Muggles, and Coming of Age in Wizarding Britian, probably some of Adam?s choices, sat there, with their shiny plastic covers, mocking him. He set his empty glass down on the one about Muggles. There was nothing for it. He?d wing this like he did just about everything else.

Perhaps he?d screw up and the angel would let him off the hook?

Unlikely.

A final glance at his watch confirmed that it was indeed seven o?clock in London. Pushing out his simple wooden chair from the old battered desk in Aziraphale?s back room, he stood and faced the large flat piece of cloth-covered furniture. He?d never really looked at the set up before, though Aziraphale had explained the process in agonizing detail.

 

He pulled back the musty old fabric to reveal an ancient ornate frame, and then gasped in surprise. The frame was so lovely - and there really was no other word for it- that it clashed horribly with the dilapidated conditions of Aziraphale?s bookshop. He stepped more closely towards the frame, unabashedly admiring the craftsmanship of the object. Humans really did possess that potentiality for the magnificent. Then he drew his gaze back to the empty center of the frame and whispered aperio adamo, something that had given him cause to chuckle when Aziraphale had forced him to repeat the incantation earlier that evening. Reveal love, indeed. Didn?t take much imagination to figure out the intent of the frame?s clever designer.

This time he managed to smother his gasp when the heavily gilded frame began to glow. Aziraphale hadn?t mentioned that. He?d just insisted that the demon maintain the usual low-level lighting in the bookshop and that he keep his sunglasses on. As Crowley always wore his sunglasses and he could see just fine in the dark, he?d complied with these requests. Now he was under the impression that the angel might have just wanted to obscure whatever image of the bookshop was reflecting through the other side of the frame.

After a moment, the glowing tapered off significantly, leaving behind the faintest impression of warm living wood. Crowley couldn?t deny that the thing had style. He traced his fingers along some of the more intricate carvings, not surprised when he felt the buzz of magic tickle his fingers. Vaguely, in the haze of his mind, he remembered that the angel had warned him not to touch the frame... But the thought passed quickly as the corners of his mouth twitched upwards into something that might have passed for a smile on someone else. He hissed, a long slow just- barely audible noise. And someone who knew him- or who at least knew the language of serpents- would have recognized that the slightly intoxicated demon was becoming a bit enraptured with the magical object.

Abruptly, the moment was broken by a rough clearing of a throat and then some rather awkward shuffling of feet. Crowley, who made it a point to never be embarrassed, languidly drew his eyes away from the smoldering wood and let them rest on the figure standing just opposite him, though on the other side of the frame.

Slowly, he removed his hands from the wood, making a mental note to ask Aziraphale about the unanticipated euphoric reaction at a later time.

?Er? you?re not Mr. Fell,? the figure, who was most definitely a teenager, said stupidly.

?No,? Crowley replied, thinking it best to probably just stick to the basics.

?I?ve never seen anyone else in his portrait,? the boy said.

?Oh. Right. Portrait. Yesss, I see,? Crowley said, as he finally comprehended how Aziraphale met with his charge.

?Well, I?m a ? friend of Mr. Fell?s. Didn?t he tell you that I might be stopping by from time to time?? Crowley was going to have some Words with Aziraphale if the conniving angel had just sprung a demon on this boy.

The boy stared at him silently for a long moment. Crowley took the opportunity to stare back.

Aziraphale had often referred to the boy as the Beautiful One or sometimes the Sad One. And Crowley could see how both of those titles might be appropriate. Despite shapeless black robes, an unruly head of hair, and some rather unfortunate glasses, the boy was quite compelling to look at. His green eyes alone- not a usual shade for humans- were probably his strongest feature. Or perhaps it was the magnitude of quiet power that seeped out of the boy. Both would certainly attract the attention of humans and non-human beings, alike.

Of course, Crowley wasn?t so far removed from the desires of humans that he couldn?t appreciate other, more carnal, aspects. He let his covered eyes stray along the boy?s strong jaw line, just emerging from the remnants of a child?s face. He stared at full red lips that were still pursed together in thoughtful contemplation. He noted the interesting juxtaposition of confidence with the insecurity that often arises during the transition from child to adult.

The boy was most definitely Beautiful.

And Sad, too. That was clearly reflected in those amazing green eyes. But Crowley was in a better position than Aziraphale to discern the depths of that sadness. He could see anger and resentment; though, restrained at the moment, Crowley suspected that both emotions significantly fueled the boy?s power.

Ahh? he was beginning to understand why Aziraphale needed him, after all. Oh, he was most definitely going to have some Words with the angel now. Oh, most definitely, was he going to have some Words with the angel now.

?He did say that there might be someone else. I just? well, you?re not what I expected,? the boy said and Crowley nearly smiled at the slight blush that was creeping up those smooth cheeks.

?I see,? he replied, feeling his lips pull back over his teeth in what Aziraphale assured him was a bit predatory.

He glanced down at himself. He was dressed per usual. Expensive black trousers, expensive black shirt? all expressly made for his body alone. Behind him, his expensive black leather jacket was draped over the wooden chair. It was his job to look good. And even Aziraphale agreed that he did this particular part of his job very well.

He snickered then at the thought of Aziraphale. If the boy was used to Aziraphale?s middle-aged body and bizarrely outdated mode of dress, then of course, he?d find Crowley a bit shocking.

?Well, then, now that we?ve established that I am not only not Mr. Fell but also not what you were expecting, perhaps you can just take a seat and tell me about your week,? he said, not really making the effort to hide his sarcasm.

The boy gulped audibly and Crowley was slightly surprised that he could hear the noise so easily. At this point, he had all sorts of questions for Aziraphale about this magical frame.

The boy seemed to be looking around now. He?d taken his wand out, too. Crowley could smell his nervousness ? mingling with the mustiness of the bookshop and the castle on the other side of the frame, the boy?s scent was almost refreshing. Actually, Crowley admitted to himself, it was more than merely refreshing? it was about as intoxicating as the angel?s whiskey.

As the boy appeared to be floundering, no doubt looking for something to change into a chair, his scent was intensifying. Crowley could nearly taste it. He hissed again, this time in frustration. It wouldn?t do to let this continue much longer, he thought.

He snapped his fingers and an elegant black leather chair materialized immediately behind the boy. It was smooth and stream-lined and looked rather too sleek to be comfortable. Of course, that was an incorrect assumption. Crowley had long since perfected the art of ultra stylish hedonism.

?How did you that? You?re a ? portrait,? the boy said incredulously.

?No need to worry about that. Sit down,? Crowley said testily.

He took an inordinate amount of satisfaction as the boy?s expression swiftly changed from dubious to enthralled.

?This is some chair,? he whispered.

Unquestionably, he thought though he merely raised an eyebrow in response.

?So, Harry Potter. Tell me about your week,? Crowley said, as he sauntered backwards and sank into the wooden chair behind him.

?Mr. Fell must have told you about me, then?? Harry questioned. He was beginning to look anxious again. Crowley decided he?d better just nip this round in the bud. He was still a bit woozy from the lingering effects of the last time. Or maybe that was the magic? or just the alcohol?

He shook his head and replayed the boy?s question in his mind.

?Of course. I know the general story, you might say. I know enough to ? er ? continue these meetings, I suppose. Though I imagine that Mr. Fell and I probably have ?uh? different tactics,? he said, somewhat diplomatically, surprising even himself.

Harry nodded thoughtfully before licking his lips and asking, ?What should I call you??

?Crowley.?

?Mr. Crowley??

?No, just Crowley.?


Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.