It was just a normal breakfast. No—I'm being serious. Why don't you believe me? Oh my God, it was one time! Anyway, it was just a normal breakfast on that fateful Saturday morning. Sure, Dean was (once again) working on his and Meg's encyclopedia on Hell, but what else was new? Let's get back on track. The students of Hogwarts were chatting quietly over their sausages and eggs, a bit more subdued than usual. Why is that? How the hell am I supposed to know?
Suddenly, there was a blinding flash of light that had most kids reaching for their wands, save Team Free Will, who immediately had weapons in their hands. Meg and Crowley inched away from the eldest Winchester, who clutched a demon-killing knife in his hands.
Everyone then burst out laughing when a book flew out of nowhere and hit Umbridge square in the face. The entire population of Hogwarts watched as she picked up the thick tome. The pink toad reached for a note, only for it to fly out of her hands and hover in front of Team Free Will. A voice that seemed to come from everywhere spoke. It reverberated with power as it presumably read aloud what the note had written on it.
You will be reading the book that has appeared. Don't argue. It's useless. Now, this book holds information about a certain group of people here. They go by the name 'Team Free Will'. I will have you know that everything in this book is true. You will find your opinions changed drastically as you read this book, and I daresay many apologies will be in order. Sam, why don't you start reading? You are the oldest human in the room, after all. Yes, Dumbledore is younger than Sam Winchester. Deal with it. Be warned, this book isn't in order. You will most likely be skipping around the timeline as you progress.
"He thought this would be entertaining, didn't he?"
"Probably." Dean answered Adams question after a moment of deliberation. There was a moment of silence.
"Well," Sam said, "I kind of need that book if I'm gonna read."
The book flew over to the middle Winchester, who easily caught it. "It's called Changing Circumstances."
He flipped the book over to read the blurb.
As a reward from God (who may or may not be drunk)
Dean snorted at this, and Adam looked curious. "Isn't that a bit disrespectful?"
Team Free Will (and those reluctantly dragged along) end up attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
"Obviously! I mean, they're the Winchesters. Everywhere they go is madness!" Gabriel said, in an attempt to lighten the other students and teachers moods. It didn't work.
(In which Dean and Meg have a weird fascination with Hell,
"It's not weird!" they both objected.
Crowley starts an underground black market, Gabriel has it out for Snape, Sam makes a female friend who doesn't die, Castiel watches Lord of the Rings, Adam gets out of the cage and Jo is the only sane one around.)
"Great. God just summarized the past six years in a few sentences." Dean said sarcastically, "I feel so loved."
Sam turned to the first page.
Chapter 1: They Just Don't Get It (Do They?) We're the ones you should be afraid of…
"Why should we be afraid of you?" Draco sneered.
Gabriel grinned in an unsettling way. "Many reasons, fairy boy, many reasons." Draco gulped and stayed quiet after that.
Adam leaned back against his girlfriend's leg. Jo was sitting on the table, while he was sprawled across the floor next to Gabriel and Dean. The pair were discussing the benefits of magical plants, which he zoned out of, watching the activity across the hall.
He'd never thought life could be like this. He'd never thought he'd ever get out of the cage, even as broken as he was. According to the others who looked equally out of place in the house in England ("This isn't a house, this is a mansion!"), they had been 'zapped' there by God regardless of their statuses of dead or alive
A Ravenclaw first year frowned. "That doesn't make sense! You can't bring people back from the dead!" Everyone but Cass burst out laughing; making many of the younger students think they were insane.
to lay low from the monsters stalking America called 'Leviathans' or something.
In the interim, they were to provide entertainment, and as eleven year olds, were instructed to go to magic school. 'Call it a holiday if you will'.
The fact that his brothers couldn't even summon up the will to be surprised spoke volumes for how weird their life was.
Sam and Dean grinned. "You have no idea." They spoke together.
It had been difficult initially. Meg and Crowley for instance, did not get along. Crowley didn't get along with anyone for that matter, and seemed to have a grudge against Castiel. Jo herself held the demon with suspicious regard due to the influence he had in her death.
The same Ravenclaw from before frowned again but stayed silent.
Crowley had to reduce himself to being drinking buddies (which apparently wasn't okay for eleven year olds so they had to get the archangel to magic it up) with Gabriel, who he got along surprisingly well with.
Meg was actually quite nice for a demon, once Jo and Ellen got over her huge role in their death. Gabriel was a nuisance, the exact opposite of his brother, who was a timid thing that liked to stalk Dean around.
Meg pointed at Cass. "See! The book said so! It's painfully obvious! Why can't they just kiss already!?" None of this Dean heard, since Meg had been whisper-yelling it to Crowley.
It made Adam relieved that he didn't have to deal with Michael any more.
Team Free Will snorted, imagining Michael trailing after the youngest Winchester.
Sam had initially been pissed that Dean was once against taller than him, but this year, finally hitting eighteen; he'd been comfortably that inch taller.
Dean pouted while Sam grinned.
Adam just rolled his eyes at the behavior. The two of them acted like the twins they were supposed to be,
Most of the schools eyebrows were raised. This was the first clear sign of something strange.
while Adam was the nine month younger brother (and didn't that spread rumors).
Bobby and Ellen were just relieved not to be eleven again, let alone go to a magic school.
Dean burst out laughing at this, imagining the gruff hunter being an eleven year old. The rest of the Team soon joined in.
They had designated role as 'parents'. According to the cover story, Sam, Dean and Adam were Bobby's kids from his previous marriage and Jo was likewise for Ellen. Cass and Gabe were brothers, cousins to Bobby's sister in law or some obscure relation like that. Crowley, much to his distaste, was a street kid that had been picked up while Meg got the joy of being Ellen's god child. It was a weird, dysfunctional family, but they made it work out.
Adam smiled slightly at that, happy to have a family.
Hogwarts was a weirdness they slotted into surprisingly well. The idea of the houses had not gone down well initially, especially when Sam and Dean had ended up in the blue and yellow houses respectively. Considering that twins usually ended up in the same house (Sam and Dean were posing as twins) it was an oddity for the magical people to ponder over (and Sam and Dean to overcome as they snuck into each other's rooms as if they were secret lovers or something).
Meg grinned and whispered gleefully in Dean's ear, "Wincest." Dean freaked out and started going on a tangent about how it made so sense and he was not having incestuous sex with his brother, and so on so forth until Gabriel reached over and clamped a hand on his mouth.
"Don't worry," the Archangel assured the Hogwarts population, "He's insane." Dean glared at Gabriel and pulled his hand off his face.
Nobody bothered to mention that Dean was four years older. Or that Adam was eleven years younger. Or that two of them were demons, two were angels, two were supposed to be dead and the other two had both died so many times it wasn't even funny anymore. Except it really sort of was.
Hogwarts remained confused.
The houses were kind of fun, Adam mused, glancing at Jo and once again thanking God that he had gotten a chance to know her. The pair were the only Gryffindors, although Dean had admitted once that he had almost ended up there before the hat had discovered his Hell deal and reluctance to believe Cass had worked with Crowley.
"Hell deal?" someone wondered. No one bothered to answer them.
Somehow the talking fabric had decided those actions put Dean in the loyal house with Meg (devoted servant to Lucifer or whatever her cause may be)
Meg nodded in confirmation.
and Castiel (always happy to bleed for the Winchesters, his faith unyielding) instead of the recklessly stupid and brave house.
Personally Adam imagined that the hat had realized that leaving Castiel with Meg wasn't the best thing without an intervention, but he could never prove it.
Dean nodded. That seemed likely.
Sam had ended up the only one in the brainy house, while Gabriel and Crowley went to the green snakes. "That must be the house for dicks," Dean had looked happy, and made a pair of red-headed twins at the Gryffindor table laugh hysterically for ten minutes straight.
As most of Gryffindor house did now.
The Team had almost made it through their Witness Protection scheme. Learning magic had been fun and all, but it was still school. Sam and Meg's perusals of the library had found no method to gank Leviathans, bringing them up blank. Dean, Cass and Gabriel had snuck into the restricted section and found a book which showed them a way to ward against them, and was looking promising before the barmy head teacher had confiscated it on the grounds of it being 'too dark for children like you'.
Many nasty glared were sent from the Team to Snape who, to his credit, did not flinch.
Adam had wanted to tell him about hell and the cage, and judging by Dean and Jo's faces they wanted to do the same.
Nonetheless they had survived their time here, between moving staircases and talking pictures and Sam almost beheading a peaceful visiting vampire. They'd also managed to hide Crowley and Meg's status as demons, Castiel and Gabriel's angel-ness and the last four's knowledge of how to kill various nefarious supernatural beings.
Many of Hogwarts frowned.
"They don't believe in demons," Dean had stopped over at the snake table (he never bothered to learn the names) sometime in their fifth year. Finally deciding he was old enough to be perusing dark creatures he had asked the eccentric auror some questions only to be met with negatives. "Apparently they aren't real," he sneered, "And I asked about Hell and dark magic, and where it must come from if it doesn't come from demons and Hell. And you know what he did? He laughed and told me it came from our own evil intentions. So I told him he didn't know what he was talking about."
"He didn't." Dean muttered, obviously still put out.
Crowley had equal problems with the Care of Magical Creatures class when he tried to explain about his pet hell hound which had somehow followed him across continents. Sam and Dean had verified for it. "Growly was right there." He explained to the Team, when they were gathered at the Hufflepuff table. They switched tables every meal, much to the annoyance of other students who didn't seem to approve of their mingled house group. For that matter the teachers didn't either, and had encouraged them to seek friends from beyond their family. That then prompted a strangling match between Meg and Crowley with various insults no twelve year old should know being thrown around.
"I remember that! It was hilarious!" Gabriel grinned.
The pair ended up with a month of cleaning out cauldrons.
"So I pat Growly and show the class. Only one kid actually can see him. Here I thought wizards were meant to be special," Crowley had sneered.
Where Meg and Crowley got detentions for being cruel and to sassy for the professors, Gabriel managed to get into pure trouble with pranks. He had refused an offered alliance from the red-headed twins, going it as a lone sneaky Slytherin Trickster. His just-desserts were notorious, and naturally the greasy-haired potions teacher was the most targeted.
Many students snickered, remembering the various pranks.
Sam and Dean got in trouble for the way they reacted to threats. The jumpy pair regularly were relieved of their knives and guns yet despite this they somehow managed to keep them, despite the magically locked drawer (no match for Gabriel or a decent lock pick).
"That's how you keep getting them?" McGonagall asked, shocked. The twins grinned at this information, making many professors apprehensive.
They were famous for barely being at school two months before burning the bones of Professor Binns. Needless to say the other ghosts were terrified of them and Peeves wouldn't go within a hundred yards of them (it was rumored they carried salt on them).
A Slytherin pureblood sneered. "Why does salt matter?" This caused Jo, Sam, Dean, and Adam to burst into hysterical laughter.
"I can't believe these people don't even know ghosts are hurt by salt and iron," Jo had ranted about the terrible teaching. In comparison to the terrible two, the Trickster or the demons, Jo, Adam and Castiel were the perfect students. They had been advised to switch friends more than once but even if Adam knew others in his house, such as that busy haired know-it-all or the famous Potter in the year below him, nobody else really understood about his situation.
Said know-it-all looked affronted.
Currently they were in their final year.
"So this takes place in a year? Okay."
Crowley and Meg were flicking balls of paper at each other like three year olds, while Sam was trying to read his book. They were patiently waiting for their turn to be called forwards, to 'face their fear' or whatever the point of the session was.
At the front of the hall was a chest, old and heavy wood. It was open, and from it black smoke had poured out. Dean had automatically reached for the demon-killing knife and Meg and Crowley had inched away from him. Then the smoke had condensed into a clown and the person standing up to it had looked frightened.
"See," Dean had told Sam, "You're not the only one scared of clowns."
A Slytherin laughed. "You're scared of clowns?" he was ignored.
One by one they would be called up there to face their fear. They would have to stand there for a length of time before being allowed to banish it. The clown tripped and squirted himself with water and the dark haired Potter kid motioned the next person forwards. He was running this whole thing, due to his 'experience' with dark magic.
The Team had found that hilarious, even if they did sympathize with him.
As they did now.
"Winchester, Adam," Granger called, and he patted Jo on the leg before standing up and walking forwards. He felt a stab of pride at the name, even if it did feel like a betrayal to his mom.
The thought of his mom must have influenced the monster, as it shimmered into the blonde Kate Milligan, dead, bleeding with sightless, ghoul-like eyes. Adam flinched. He heard other students varying murmurs and shocked gasps.
They were in for a surprise. After sharks, clowns and mummies the next few were going to be a hell of a lot darker.
Someone else frowned. "Why?" they asked, only to be ignored, which the group seemed prone to doing.
The session had started well enough, Harry mused, watching the zombie the seventh year was facing.
Adam mumbled something that sounded like, "Wasn't a zombie."
He'd arranged all this with the DA's help after Dumbledore had asked him to give some training to the other students. This session Remus had inspired with his famous boggart lesson back from third year, was all about understanding what you were scared of to be able to overcome it.
He had gone first with his dementor boggart. He'd turned it into a white sheet with black marker eyes: the kind you'd find as a cheap costume for Halloween. They had then cycled up through the fifth years and sixth years, before finally starting on the sevenths.
He recognized the guy standing up now as a Gryffindor, a year above him. People were scattered around the Great Hall, sitting and watching, with the sole exception of a group to the far left. Even Malfoy was watching with his goons, sniggering at the fears that had appeared. He seemed to have taken a break from vanishing from the castle, and Harry was relieved he could keep an eye on him.
Harry narrowed his eyes suspiciously. What was Malfoy up to?
The group not watching was the weird, mixed house group. Hermione knew the two Gryffindors – the blonde girl and boy: Jo Harvelle and Adam Winchester. Apparently only the Winchesters and Novaks were actually related, and the rest were adopted. Harry would have thought that living together would have made them stay as far away as possible during school, but instead it was quite the opposite. The group stuck together like glue.
It was a mismatch of characters. The two Gryffindors were quite decent, and Harry had spoken to them before. He'd only heard about the others and occasionally seen them around. Last year during a DA meeting,
"What is this DA?" Umbridge asked in her sickly sweet tone. No one answered.
him, Hermione, Ron and Ginny had arrived early to discover they were already camping out at the Room of Requirement, chatting about angels and Heaven of all things. Upon realizing they had visitors the group had cleared out of there.
The one at the front with the zombie – Adam – was looking pointedly at a point beyond the woman's corpse. He seemed to be coping – his boggart was a bit darker than the rest of the students, but not unusual. Already one girl had to face an inferi.
He watched with mild interest as the boggart grinned at Winchester, before digging her fingers into her own neck. Harry winced and several students gasped as they came away bloody. Slowly, the boggart brought her fingers to her lips, tongue coming out to flick at the red droplets as she sucked every one clean.
Adam sighed in relief, shoulders slumping.
Adam seemed actually kind of relieved, as if he had been expecting something else.
"Time!" Harry called. Most people now chose to force the boggart to change form, but Adam just strolled away, leaving the corpse standing there staring after him.
Hermione looked down the list. The next person signed up to the session was read out, clearly. "Harvelle, Jo." She called.
Harry watched as Adam exchanged smiles with the girl. The pair had been dating since last year, something which the guy's brothers had found funny for some reason.
The two again burst out laughing, and Jo hit them both.
Jo had hit them in the Great Hall, sending them off to their respective tables still cackling madly.
She strolled up now, confident and head held high like a true Gryffindor. The corpse flickered, before changing, morphing into a new shape.
A slavering dog stood there, standing about waist height, slavering jaws and silver fangs. Its flesh was peeling off, black and oozing pus and blood. Spikes ran along the length of its spine.
Many of the Team drew in sharp breaths.
"There's nothing there," Harry heard one of the students complain. He glanced at Ron who shook his head.
"Nothing there mate," the red-head shrugged. "So what… is she not scared of anything?"
"There's a dog." Harry whispered back. "A great ugly dog... It…" he fell silent then, for the dog had thrown back its head in a howl. Simultaneously there was the sound of books tumbling over, and people looked over to where one of Adam's brothers had reacted to the sound, a knife clutched in his hand.
A creepy Slytherin and brunette Hufflepuff shot him condensing looks and he shrugged sheepishly.
Crowley looked affronted. "Creepy Slytherin? Hmph."
Back at the front Jo was trembling as the dog… hound, Harry's mind provided, stalked around her. "I think it's like the Threstrals," Harry told Ron. "But I don't know what it is."
"Is that…" someone in the crowd muttered, "Is that a hell hound?"
At that Jo looked around sharply, confirming the question, and the hound chose that moment to howl again. She stayed where she way, unflinching.
"Okay," Harry called, realizing the point of the exercise had been achieved. Merlin, these kids were brave when faced with their worst fears, and especially when their worst fears were this dark. "Next."
Unlike Adam who had walked away, Jo grabbed her wand and pointed it at the beast. A shot rang out; reminding Harry of gunshot and the beast slumped, black blood splashing down.
Jo looked proud of herself.
Jo turned around, smirking triumphantly at her friends. "Keep that pet of yours out of my way demon," she snapped at the creepy Slytherin (Harry thought his name was Crowley). She said it with the tone of one who had spoken to him about this before, but it lacked the malice it might once have held.
Crowley stood to meet her, strolling past her. "Stay away from my dog," he threatened her, walking towards the Boggart unasked. Hermione shot Harry a helpless look at he shrugged.
The dead dog faded to black smoke as he reached the front, turning into a pile of brown… Harry peered at the new form. Were those bones?
There was a guffaw from the table Team Free Will (it was a weird name, but Adam's brother had insisted upon it, whereupon it had been renamed to 'Team Free Will and those reluctantly dragged along'). Harry looked at them. Adam's one brother – the Hufflepuff who he thought was called Dean was grinning along with the Slytherin Novak. Harry remembered he was called Gabriel, and got into as much trouble as the twins with pranks.
The Slytherin grinned. "I daresay more!" the twins looked insulted.
The brunette girl was wincing in sympathy as the boggart bones burst into flames. Next to her another Hufflepuff looked mildly guilty – Novak's brother with the funny name.
"You'd better feel guilty!" Crowley snapped at Castiel.
Standing at the front Crowley looked uncomfortable, but didn't show much other emotion. Satisfied, Harry nodded him down. He left pretty quickly though.
Hermione perused her list. "Novak, Castiel." She called. Harry wasn't sure why she insisted on the surnames first, but it helped to identify the person as the Hufflepuff uncurled himself from the table and walked forwards. The sympathetic eyes of his housemates followed him, Dean and the brunette both wearing yellow and black ties.
Castiel (and that was a weird name) walked up to the burning pile of bones. They dissolved into smoke and reformed into a lifeless form at his feet. Harry blanched at the dead body, reminded all too visibly of…
No… don't go there.
The dead person looked a lot like Dean Winchester, but older and torn up.
Both Sam and Dean drew in sharp breaths and glanced at the angel.
There was another book dropped in that direction, and Harry looked over to see the last Winchester brother – Sam – start at the sight.
"His worst fear is of Dean dying! That has to mean something!" Meg whisper-shouted again.
"Be flattered Dean," the brunette drawled – Harry was near enough to hear her. "Little Clarence is afraid of you dying."
Castiel glanced back at the group, guilt in his eyes. Ron whistled quietly. "What is with these people?" he asked.
Harry didn't answer as he called out, "Okay! Time!"
Novak drew his wand – a pale almost silvery wood and directed it towards the Boggart. "Riddikulus," he uttered.
It failed at first. The form stuttered before morphing into what looked a lot like a dead Sam Winchester. Jaw tense Castiel tried again.
This time the form was alive – two versions of Sam and Dean laughing with beers. Harry pondered how they looked older… wearier somewhat, but before he could think much about it the shape had changed as the next girl (Masters, Meg) skipped forwards, slowing down as a man turned towards her.
Meg was pretty sure she knew who the man was. Judging by the looks on the rest of the Teams faces, they did too.
A man with yellow eyes.
"Oh crap," Harry heard the sole Ravenclaw in the group swear.
His brother whistled. "She's scared of Azazel? Wouldn't have guessed with all the daddy love going on there."
Harry guessed that Azazel must have been her dad. He didn't see too nice – was probably on some sort of drugs with eyes that color.
Team Free Will were all laughing at that statement.
Hermione looked uneasy and the teachers were whispering urgently. "What is it?" Harry asked.
The bushy haired book worm was silent a minute. "The yellow eyes… its dark magic." She whispered. "Apparently it reflects your soul…"
Harry didn't see what she was getting at. Didn't worry about it as the Hufflepuff proceeded to insult the guy. "Next!" he called and she turned her back on him and strolled away.
"Novak, Gabriel." Hermione called and the Slytherin exchanged a glance with Dean and his brother, Castiel, before standing, brushing himself off and sticking a lolly in his mouth. He swaggered over to the yellow-eyed man, and as he reached him, the form shifted once more to another person, blonde hair, and tall, with casual jeans, shirt and t-shirt.
"Shit." Sam swore.
The man's flesh was peeling off his face. Harry noted Ron shuddering with revulsion next to him. "Another family member?" he asked the raven haired boy.
The red-head's question was answered as Gabriel pulled the lollipop from his mouth. "Hey'a bro," he drawled.
"Gabriel," the boggart replied. It spoke… actually spoke. "Still playing around with the worthless humans?" it sneered.
Harry heard Hermione gasp. "Boggarts… they aren't meant to speak!" she whispered. "They don't… they don't have thought."
"Luci does, though."
Novak didn't seem to care as he laughed. "Come on Luci! I've been riding this train long enough to know that they're better than us! Far, far better. Dad was right after all."
The man's face twisted. "They are flawed, abortions!"
"This is sounding familiar," Gabriel drawled. "Going to stab me now?"
Someone stared at Gabe. "Your brother stabbed you?"
Gabriel grinned, "Wouldn't you like to know."
"Don't make me do this!"
"No-one makes us do anything." Castiel said quietly.
"No-one makes us do anything!" Gabriel half-shouted this to the hall. "And no-one… not me, not Michael, none of us made you fall."
"God made me like this," the flesh peeling guy insisted, "If I fell because of my flaws, he wanted it to happen. God wanted the devil," Harry wonders at the religious nature of the Novak family, what with names like Gabriel and Castiel and…
Wait… was this guy's name Luci or was that just short for…
Gabriel snorted derisively. "Got that right."
"Who cares? Dad's gone and he left the crazy kids to fight it out. And now both you and Michael are locked up. So you know what Lucifer? Screw you! Screw your temper tantrum, screw yours and Michael's petty squabble. I hope you sorted out matters in that cage and didn't decide to rip yourselves apart!" and without waiting for Harry to call out, he spun around and stalked back to his friends.
There was an awkward pause and people tried to work out what little they knew about the Novaks with what they had just witnessed. Harry was under the impression that their dad had left, and two older brothers had gotten into the wrong crowd and ended up in prison.
The Team all fell about laughing.
That their names were that of archangels… well… it was just coincidence.
"Nope!" Gabriel said, popping the 'p'.
"Winchester, Dean." His friend read out, breaking the silence.
Instead it was the taller figure of Sam which stood. "I think this one is mine," he said, strolling towards the tall man who stood lazily, waiting for the next victim.
When he reached the guy, the figure didn't change. Instead it just smiled widely. "Hey Sam," he drawled, eyes alight with sick mirth that made Harry think of Voldemort. Yet something about this man was different… more powerful… more ancient.
"Hey Lucifer," Sam didn't grin, but his lips did curl into a grimace.
"What's my favorite bunk buddy been up to? Enjoying your fake reality?"
"Enjoying the cage?" Sam snapped back.
Harry wondered what could be so terrifying about the tall guy, apparently the brother of the Novaks. His height was intimidating, but Winchester's general gang all flinched slightly when the guy – Lucifer was apparently his name – laughed.
Actually not all of them did. Meg had leaned forwards and was watching the scene with adoration in her eyes.
Dean rolled his eyes at her.
Gabriel nodded sagely at this.
"It's not the same," the man whined. "Keep me company Sam!" he was like a child throwing a tantrum.
"That's… actually very accurate." Adam spoke slowly, and the Team all nodded in agreement.
The boy's jaw tensed and he didn't reply. He was pressing the nail of his right thumb into the palm of his left hand, like it was some sort of balm.
"Did you miss me?" the guy laughed, stalking forwards when Sam didn't say anything. "I missed you, but then again I never really left. Do you know where you are Sammy?"
That was when Harry noticed that the nail was pressing down hard enough to draw blood, and the kid looked even more freaking terrified that it didn't work. The brother, Dean, looked like he wanted to lunge forwards, but the other kids kept shooting him looks.
Apart from Meg who was starting to drool of course.
"Weird." Ron said.
"You're not real." The Ravenclaw directed to the man – Lucifer. "You're not here. You're a hallucination."
He seemed to have genuinely forgotten that it was a Boggart, Harry realized. And the kid had hallucinations of this creepy guy with his face peeling off.
The guy laughed. "You're still in the cage. With me… You never really got out Sam."
A cage…? When had Winchester been to prison? Had he ended up there with…? Novak's brothers? Michael and this Lucifer…? Harry stepped forwards when he saw the blood drip down from Sam's hand.
"Maybe we should stop." he spoke up, but went ignored. The Team were still focused on the guy as if was about to burn down the world, or kill them all or something.
"He would. Actually, him and Mikey tried to do that at one point…"
The dude didn't even have a wand…
"You don't need one." Jo said quietly.
Lips curled into a smirk. "I'm not going anywhere Sam. I'm here. I'm real. And you're still in my cage."
"I'm not." Sam snarled. "Shut up!"
For a moment the guy looked really happy. "You said 'shut up' to me," he swooned slightly. Was this seriously the kid's fear? A creepy guy talking about cages..? Then his tone dropped. "Finally acknowledged the inevitable Sammy? Finally acknowledged me? I'm the Morning Star dude, out of my cage? Or am I?"
"You. Are. Not. Real." the brunette snarled, and if you could glare daggers then the tall guy would be dead. He grabbed his wand and made a stabbing motion towards the guy, half shouting "Riddikulus."
Lucifer smirked as his form changed, into that of a kid with long hair and gangly limbs… Harry recognized Sam in the kid… but didn't quite understand where the yellow-eyes came from…
Dean swore loudly.
"Riddikulus!" Sam shouted.
Now it was a clown, leering with white skin and orange hair. Bang. An older version of his brother, with green eyes that blinked and were suddenly black abysses… no color in them at all... Bang. Lucifer standing there, unflawed, still smirking.
That was when Sam's twin barreled into him, knocking him to one side as he stood there defensively. Harry wondered whether he should stop the session, but glancing at the teachers who seemed relaxed, he let it play out.
The pair were odd for twins, non-identical and all. Apparently most magical twins were identical, like Parvati and Padma, and Fred and George. Sam and Dean were vastly different, and in different houses as well. They were born November 2nd according to them, and their younger brother was born mid-August, fitting them into the same year by the margin of a few days.
The Boggart took a while to condense this time, but it eventually settled into the form of a man again, stubble, curling mouth and bright white teeth. His eyes were a grey-blue but as Harry watched, they slid back up into his head revealing white all over.
"Shit. Shit." Dean swore loudly again, but none of the teachers made a move to stop him.
He took a step forwards, practically oozing the same aura Voldemort and Bellatrix did. Harry shivered and Dean took a step back in alarm. There were muffled curses from his friends, Meg looking terrified; Crowley looked white and even usually stoic Castiel looked desperate, hands fisted in his clothes, as if he wanted to drag Dean away from there and was physically restraining himself from embarrassing his friend.
The man seemed innocent, harmless, prettier than Filch but uglier than Umbridge. He bared his perfect white teeth in a grin as if he received first prize at a raffle. "Dean, Dean, Dean-o, we've missed you down in Hell."
There were gasps from the students, because everybody knew the group harbored delusions of Heaven and Hell… or the apocalypse and mythical monsters… but nobody ever quite realized how much it must have affected the kid's minds.
"Not delusions. Reality." Jo said quietly but firmly, as if challenging anyone who thought otherwise.
Something was very, very off with these kids.
"You're telling me."
"Alistair." the Hufflepuff snarled. He wasn't your typical Hufflepuff, but Harry could see from the way he had moved in for his brother that he was loyal. He was a Gryffindor too though, brave and reckless, even if his limbs were shaking. Harry could see it, but he couldn't see why this white eyed man (maybe blind or something) inspired such fear into Dean. Maybe the kid was scared of blind people…
Crowley snorted at this.
"You were such good student… I missed you so down there on the racks…" Dean flinched and the white eyed guy laughed. "Do you dream about us? Heaven… I'm in heaven and my heart aches so… that I can hardly speak..." he crooned.
"Hell?" Hermione whispers. "Does Winchester think he was in Hell?"
"Oh come on…" from the side Crowley looked edgy. "Just banish him already Rocky!" The Slytherin had a propensity for calling Sam and Dean weird names. He also had a thing for whenever he joined the pair (who almost always ate at the same table regardless of house boundaries) he'd announce himself with a "Hello boys," in that stupid drawl of his.
Harry wondered if it was a rule that Slytherins had to have a cocky drawl when they spoke.
Much of the school fell about in laughter, even a few Slytherins.
"Yeah, Dean… that might a good idea…" Meg looked freaked.
"Aw but we had so much fun!" the guy crooned. "Be my Valentine?" and he holds out his hand, a bloody pumping heart still beating on his palm and Dean choked on air… trying to breathe.
"You're dead," he chose instead. "Sam choked you out of existence."
"Are you sure?" Alistair laughed. "God brought pretty little Cassie back didn't he? Why not me? Or Azazel? Or Lilith?" he chuckled.
Dean's face was rapidly losing color as Sam continued reading.
"Shut up." Dean snarled. "Shut. Up."
"You're going back there when you die, you know that? Did you think Heaven would let you in after you screwed over the angels? There's a rack with your name on it…"
"Riddikulus!" Dean snapped, interrupting the man. Alistair choked.
Harry was trying to work out how that was funny when he spotted the blood and realized that no… this wasn't funny at all. Winchester had forced the boggart to assume a form alright… but not a form others found funny… a form he found pleasing.
A form he desired most.
Dean grinned, obviously pleased to have cause Alistair pain, even if it was in the form of a boggart.
Alistair was still choking blood and laughing. "See?" he asked a stone faced Dean. "See? You still have it in you my little student," the next minute he had to stop talking, dropping to his knees instead and starting to scream as flesh peeled itself layer by layer off his arm.
Harry felt sick. This was the equivalent of torturing someone under cruciatus only a lot bloodier and Dean Winchester… Harry could see a small glimmer of satisfaction and enjoyment in those green depths… the same look he had seen in Voldemort.
The teachers were moving forwards in alarm towards the most un-Hufflepuff ever.
The Team nodded at this assessment.
Harry was distracted however by the whoop from Winchester's friends.
Meg was the cheering one. "You show that smarmy dick!" she called, laughing as the white eyed man let out another cry.
Thankfully the two Gryffindors looked horrified, although Harry thought Adam seemed almost understanding. Castiel was looking away, regret across his face, while Crowley looked both scared and thoughtful. "Hey Squirrel!" he called, "Want a job when you die?"
Gabriel whistled. "And here I thought Sam was lethal with a sharp object. Dean's had a few lessons though…"
"The boggart got stronger," Hermione whispered as Ron turned away, gagging at the smell of blood which was very, very real. "It fed off the fears of his friends… terrible fears… and now its strong enough to…" she motioned to the screaming man, who even as invisible claws raked down his side, blood pooling at his feet, across the floor, burning with flames that had started up.
Harry knew they weren't there, but still wanted to put them out with water. The fire spilled across from the man, across to Dean. His brother, who was still lying sprawled across the stone flinched as it raced past him, burning around the pair in a circle…
No… Harry blinked at the shape the flames had made. It had had burned around them in a pentagram.
The Great Hall at the front had been turned into some hellish torture chamber. Dumbledore stopped the other side of the flames, near to the chest. When he tried to cross, flames reared up. Harry realized now that he should probably do something as he moved to the edge of the circle.
Flames licked at his feet and Aguamenti did nothing. Stepping back in frustration, he observed Dumbledore's own failings.
In the center of the symbol, Sam had reached his brother who was still staring at that man, obviously seeing something else. "It's okay!" he was shouting. "Dean! You're not in Hell! You're not in Hell! Castiel pulled you out!" and he reached to shake his brother by the shoulder, startling Dean out of his reverie.
Dean shook his head like a wet dog. "I know," he shuddered. "I know." His voice was broken and ragged.
He allowed Sam to drag him back towards the edge of the circle but there was a gasp from the students. The twins turned, hands fisted in each other's jackets, the muggle clothes they insisted on wearing. The boggart had recovered and shifted. With both of them standing there, shoulder to shoulder, it should have been a weird mutated mix.
Not the crystal clear image of dark haired man.
"I'll fix your darling little Sammy," he said, before the image flickered like a bad TV and it was a different person – a woman standing there.
The blonde woman smirked. "Sic 'em boys!" she threw out her arm and stepped aside, smirking, eyes rolling up white as moves as if to let something past. For the split second before the image changed Harry saw that hound again – three of them, snarling and heading straight for the brothers…
Both of them visibly paled.
Then a narrow eyed man, sneering face. "We heard what you majored in down in the pit…"
The brothers had gone pale, still pressed together as the channel changes on the boggart once more.
"You did it. You opened the door…" a brown haired woman whispered earnestly. "And now he's free at last. He's free at last…" her voice was full of wonder.
Dean mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like 'Crazy bitch'.
The person standing there kept switching.
"I'll give you one year and one year only."
"And round and round the Winchesters go."
A few looked familiar, like older versions of the team, of the brothers themselves.
"Shouldn't have come here boys."
"How about you don't miss, okay? Morons!"
"Cass is… he's gone. He's dead. We run the show now…"
"Whatever you do, you will always end up... here. No matter what choices you make, whatever details you alter… we… will always end up here. I win. So I win."
"If I didn't know you. I would want to hunt you."
"Think about it. Michael, the big brother, loyal to an absent father. And Lucifer… the little brother… rebellious of daddy's plans. You were born to this, boys!"
It kept switching, to strangers, familiar faces, monsters… there were screams from the students in the crowd as a man snapped up his head, face stretching into a pair of wide fang filled jaws. Black eyes leer out of faces.
Red and yellow and white eyes flash. Fangs and claws and teeth snarl. Bodies, dead and twisted and mutated shudder past like an old film reel. Black ooze and blood and ghostly ripped up people.
"That's one deep, dark, nothing you got there Dean. But you just keep fighting, just keep going through the motions. You're not hungry, Dean, because inside, you're already dead."
The eldest Winchester flinched at this.
"You turn yourself into a freak. A monster. And now you're not going to bite? That is simply adorable…"
It was Sam's turn to flinch as he read the line, voice shaking.
"Sam, this is not how we communicate from a place of yes… that was bracing… where'd you kids find that stuff?"
"Where do we go when we die? Not Heaven, not Hell… Purgatory..."
"Purgatory is vast, hell adjacent and I want it."
"He's in the cage… with Michael and Lucifer…"
"Hell is like um… well… it's like hell… even for demons… it's a prison made of bone and flesh and blood and fear…"
"I don't need soldiers. I need soldier. I just need the one."
"Okay look yesterday was Tuesday right? But today is Tuesday too!"
Gabriel looked guilty at that line.
"I'm the one who gripped you tight and raised you from Perdition."
Harry wonders how the boggart is coming up with those images, but judging from the brother's shocked faces, and the pained expressions of their friends hovering on the outside of the circle, it seems likely that these are memories.
But… these were eighteen year old kids. Sure they were weird with delusions… but how did they have memories that bad?
People were remembering what the note had said. How Sam was older than Dumbledore… No. It wasn't possible... Was it?
Harry thought that was a stupid question, considering the thing he had seen but even then… some of the things before him…
The kaleidoscope of memories continued. "Boggarts when faced with lots of people… it confuses them." Hermione whispered frantically in Harry's ear. "It should have it splitting images but this… it's like a film reel using… it looks like memories but it can't be. They can't have memories like this. It's… mutating them or something… it doesn't know which to pick to scare them. Listen to it. Demon and angels…"
"Dad's on a hunting trip. And he hasn't been home is a few days…"
"I rebelled for this? For you to surrender to them?"
"It's your destiny! It was always you!"
"Like Lucifer… didn't worry? Or Michael… or Lilith… or Alistair… or Azazel didn't worry?!"
"This body… it's so pretty…"
"You can't fight city hall."
"And only one of you crazy kids is going to make the cut!"
"You're weak. You're holding me back…"
"Free will is an illusion Dean."
"Good Morning Vietnam!"
"You left part of yourself back in the pit. Let's see if we can put you back together, shall we?"
"You kill that smarmy dick…"
"If you walk out that door… don't you ever come back!"
"I'll tear their friggin' hearts out."
"Drinking demon blood? You have to know that's wrong right?"
Sam flinched again, as if the words he read were burning him.
"As it is in Heaven… so it shall be on earth. One brother has to kill the other."
"Come on Sammy… let's just…" Dean pulled his brother and the two staggered out of the fire. As they did so the whole pentagram collapsed in a whirl of flames.
Dumbledore moves forwards but the pair are already sprinting out of the hall and the door slammed behind them. The boggart was… gone would be the best way to describe it… but it was really just smoldering flames on the floor.
"It burnt itself out," Hermione whispered. "Whatever it showed them…"
Dumbledore had summoned Snape and McGonagall before strolling after the twins. There was an awkward silence in the hall, plagued with whispers as Professor Flitwick announced in a squeaky voice. "This session is over. Please return to your usual activities."
Naturally nobody moved.
But when the Team began to discuss about what happened everybody is naturally listening.
"I never realized how much their lives sucked," Meg drawled.
Castiel glared at her. "Your input is not welcome," he snapped, ignoring the awkward silence filling the hall.
"I'm sorry Clarence, I just meant was it really a good idea throwing Sam and Dean at that thing? After everything they've faced?"
"Oh just shut your pie hole demon," Adam told her, "Just be flattered you turned up in their worst memory reel and agree never to speak of it again." He had seen himself in the flash of images, both as a smirking ghoul, a dead body, and Michael's meat suit. He was thankful he had only had one thing to face.
People were staring at them. Crowley shifted uncomfortably. "So guys, what do you say we…. Uh… skedaddle back to America and kill some Leviathans?"
Gabriel slouches back. "Trust Hardy Boys to mess things up. Hey Cass you wanna'…?"
"I'm on it…" Castiel stood and headed towards the door. Students moved aside to let him pass… Harry would too consider one of those images had him, wearing a bloody trench coat as black spread across his veins.
Ron shuddered. "What was that about?" he asks Harry.
"Look," Hermione shushed them, "Malfoy is going to talk to them."
So he was, strutting towards them as if he owned the place. "So what was that about? Little Sam and Dean scared of monsters in their closet?" he asks.
The Team all burst out laughing at this, much to the confusion of the rest of the school.
Harvelle laughed. "The monsters are scared of them," she smirked.
Jo nodded, agreeing with her future self.
The Hufflepuff laughed in his face. "Oh sweetie… the things they've seen are a lot worse than that," and for a moment her eyes look almost black, but then they aren't and Harry reckoned he must have been imagining it.
"You lot are crazy," Malfoy sneered, "Believing in angels and demons and the apocalypse…"
Gabriel Novak stood and glared at Malfoy. "I'd turn around now and walk away because believe me you do not want to piss me off."
"What are you going to do?" the blonde laughed, "Smite me with your big bad archangel powers?"
"Don't tempt me," he replied, eyes looking gold and for a moment the lights flickered.
And for a moment, there seemed to be the impression of wings against the wall.
Malfoy had seen them, and was slowly losing his nerve. "Nice trick," he gestured. "But it doesn't scare me."
Harry wished Malfoy had faced the Boggart instead of drifting in late to miss his turn.
Gabriel laughed as he headed the route his brother had gone. "You're not worth the effort hotshot," he said over his shoulder. "You know if any of you had seen even half of what those two have you'd be curled up sobbing in a psych ward!" he shouted out, "so do me a favor, yeah?" he asked the silent hall, "Don't ever speak of that to them or as Sam can testify, I'll lock you in an eternal Tuesday to die again and again in the most painful, bloody way possibly." With that he was gone, Meg shouldering Malfoy aside to trot after him.
The awkward silence returned.
Crowley, Adam and Jo remained sitting.
"Well," Crowley said to nobody in particular. "It could have been worse," he concluded.
Jo looked at Crowley like he was crazy. "How? How the hell could it have been worse?"
"How?" Jo asked, scornfully. "How could it have been worse than having your whole life on fast forward boggart TV?"
The King of Hell sighed.
Many people frowned. King of Hell?
"It couldn't. I lied. I do that. Demon." He waggled his fingers.
Adam sighed. Nothing changed then.
"End of the chapter." Sam said, "Who wants to read next?"
He placed the book on the table and found himself wondering how something so innocent looking could be so dark.
McGonagall summoned the book to herself. "I will."
A/N: I want to say that I will take into regard constructive criticism. I will not listen to flames. If you don't like my story, tell me why. If you want me to make it better, tell me how! I cannot just change my story without a valid reason, and I will only be able to change it if you tell me that reason.
Next topic. I am not someone who will not update without reviews, but I would like to know if I should even bother continuing it. So, I won't ask you to review. However, if you decide to review, I would appreciate it if you don't just say 'Please update.' I'd like it if you told me things I should add or take away.
Lastly—I do not want you using this story to read Changing Circumstances. If you haven't read it, I would appreciate it if you went and read it. I am using characters from that universe, so you can't exactly tell me if my characters are in-character without reading it.
Peace out, bitches.
~The Bearer of Secrets