A lone figure was walking along a street in Little Whinging, Surrey, as the light coming from the moon and stars were slowly blackened by the clouds. The man was wearing what appeared to be a very expensive and stylish black suit with an equally classy black tie. Crowley was in the process of making one of his usual rounds one night as he passed through Privet Drive – looking for souls that maybe wanted to make a deal. He usually didn't frequent lone neighborhoods like this posh one, with manicured, magazine perfect lawns, but you never knew who was out and about. And you never knew who would be willing to do anything for fame, fortune, or fornication.
It was what happened during this nighttime stroll that would cause Crowley to remember it forever. As he passed by number three, Privet Drive, he started to hear yelling from a nearby house. He found that the next house over had their blinds pulled on the windows, but some shadows could still be seen against the drapes from the light from the room. Though he could only just see what was going on through the crack in the blinds, he could easily hear snippets of a man yelling at what Crowley assumed to be a child.
"You worthless piece of trash always getting in the way…freak…so ungrateful for what we have done for you…should never have been born…useless parents of yours…" What Crowley heard shocked him to the core, and what little emotion he had was pulled to the front of his heart. The demon walked closer to number four, only to feel a sting as he tried to step onto the property line.
"What the…?" With a confused look on his face, Crowley reached out with his left hand only to feel what seemed to be a wall of sorts.
"Now what nasty thing do we have here and why?" He could feel the magic radiating off of the invisible wall, and wondered why he didn't feel it before he ran face first into it. Curious as to what it was, he closed his eyes and concentrated on what was before him, all the while hearing the abuse continuing on from inside the house. He pulled his hand away as he opened his eyes with an even more confused look on his face.
"Why the hell are there blood wards here of all places? It probably runs around the whole ruddy property…" grumbled Crowley as he looked around the place trying to figure things out. With one last look towards the house where he could hear objects crashing into the walls, he turned and walked away.
"Sorry, kid. But I can't help you."
As he walked away from the house and disappeared, he couldn't help but think about the rare emotion that was filling his body because of the nameless child he had left behind.
The next night found Crowley once again walking along the same path that led to number four, Privet Drive. Though if asked why, he would deny anything that resembled any sort of worry for the small child he glimpsed the other night through the curtains, and would promptly throw a fist in your face for suggesting it.
Not wanting to face the same mistake as last time, Crowley slowed to a stop inches before where the property line started for this mysterious house with the wards. Again, he could hear the pained cries of the small boy from the inside, and he could only close his eyes as he looked downward towards the ground.
"I'm sorry, kid, but I can't get to ya. Wish I could; though don't go around telling your friends that a demon cares about a human kid. Don't know why I'm even here again when I should be elsewhere making deals…" he trailed off as he could hear a piercing cry for help from the inside. He could only clamp his jaw shut as he brought a hand up to rub across his face, shut eyes cast downward.
This continued on for several nights with some of them being worse for the kid than others. It was then a night a few days later that found Crowley with a visitor.
"So the big, bad demon has a soft spot. Who knew?"
"Cause I think that you may care a little bit for the little one that's in there." The sound of a candy being unwrapped was the only sound in addition to the silent pleads coming from inside the house. Crowley turned to look at his companion only to look right into a set of honey golden eyes full of pity and sorrow. Any retort was cut off as Crowley let out a breath and turned back towards the house.
"Is there any way you can go in and get him, Gabriel?"
"No, I'm sorry, but I can't. The magic that is surrounding this house must not only just keep evil out, but all forms of magical beings. Either that, or all magical creatures that the people inside are unfamiliar with. I'm not sure how to explain it."
"It even keeps out angels?"
"Even angels. Look, Crowley, it's apparent that…" Crowley raised a hand to cut off what Gabriel was about to say, already knowing where this discussion was leading them.
"Just don't, okay? I'll be fine – I should be leaving anyways. High priority deals that needs to be dealt and all that..." The demon trailed off as he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Listen, I'm sure it will all be fine soon."
"Whatever." He brushed the other's hand off his shoulder as he started to walk away before disappearing to a different location. The saddened eyes that followed him stayed in the place where the demon disappeared for another few minutes before he turned to look at the house, hand pressed against the wards. He could feel the magic swirling around his hand, and he could tell that it was only a matter of time before it accepted Crowley not as a dangerous stranger, but as someone who genuinely cares about the boy the wards are supposed to be protecting rather than keeping the help out. Gabriel could sense a sort of intelligence within the blood wards, and he knew that it was working as much as it could to change itself to allow them in.
"Magic – you think you understand it, and then it goes and does something magical to screw up what you knew of it before. Hang on, kid. Just try to hold out for a few more days." With that, the archangel closed his eyes and vanished.
This continued on for another few days, each night seeming to progressively become worse and worse for the small child inside the house. And each night left Crowley with a little more sadness creeping slowly at the corners of his mind. He knew that things like this happened all the time – and he loved setting his hellhounds on those who made a deal with him and had a history of abusing their family. But there was something about the small, helpless child on the inside of the house on number four, Privet Drive that touched something inside of him.
It finally got to a point where Crowley sat down, invisible to the humans around him, with his back leaning against the wards that kept him from doing a random act of kindness.
He rested his head between his knees as he muttered to himself, "The day I get a chance to kill those bastards and bring their souls to Hell, they'll wish they never laid a finger on that boy." Something inside him stirred as he thought about the torture that the people inside the house would go through on the racks. His grin and the look in his eyes would be enough to send anyone running in the opposite direction.
The sound of a door opening behind him pulled Crowley out of his thoughts as he turned around to see what was going on. It was then when he got his first clear view of the boy. Still invisible to the human eye, Crowley slowly stood as he watched with a murderous gleam in his eyes as he saw the black haired boy being literally kicked out of the house. It was just past midnight, and there was no chance that any of the neighbors would be able to see what was going on – if they even cared since there was no way that the abuse of this poor boy could have gone unnoticed.
"I have had enough of your freakishness, boy! This is the last straw! I told you not to do any of that freaky stuff of yours, and what do you do? You clearly disobeyed my orders and let that…freakishness happen!"
"I'm sorry, sir! I promise it won't happen agai…" A slap was heard, and it made Crowley wince. He was able to see what was going on, but there was nothing he could do to help the boy; nothing to quell the anger boiling up inside of him at the treatment of the young child that looked to be no more than six years old. He paced alongside the property line as he watched the whale of a man kick the child outside the door and into the cold night. He stopped and placed a hand against the ward that was keeping him out, concern and worry overtaking some of the anger that was rising up.
"I don't want to see you or any of your type ever again!" And with that, the door was slammed, leaving the child sniffling and cradling his right arm against his side while his left grabbing at his stomach. Crowley's eyes widened as he felt the barrier keeping him from the young boy slowly dissolve, letting his hand fall through. He immediately checked to see if he was able to walk onto the previously forbidden property, and was overjoyed to find that he could. As he ran towards the figure that was slowly losing consciousness, four words were whispered into his head with an almost loving embrace, take care of him.
He fell down beside the boy as his eyes instantly scanned his figure to see what the damage was. With that, Crowley could see that the boy in his arms was severely damaged, and that he would not be able to heal what was wrong. By now he was visible to the human eye, not that he cared to be seen, and his top priority was to get out of there. In a matter of seconds, both he and the child were gone.
"Gabriel, get your feathery ass in here right now!" Crowley yelled as soon as he appeared with the unconscious boy in his bedroom. The angel appeared in the room as the demon was carefully setting the child onto the silk sheets of his black bed. Gabriel was quickly by his side as he took in the sight of the battered and bruised kid. Silently understanding already what the other was asking, the angel kneeled down beside the bed and laid one hand on the boy's forehead as the other found its way into holding the small injured hand of the petite child. Crowley stepped back a few feet, not wanting to risk the chance of the angel's grace touching him. After a minute, Gabriel stood up and turned to look at his friend.
"What do you plan to do now? You've rescued the kid, now what are you gonna do with him?"
Crowley looked towards the other and said, "I'll raise him as my son."