Teddy woke slowly, feeling groggy and disoriented. The fact that Teddy was familiar with the feeling of being drugged by his best friend was just further proof for Teddy’s life being pathetic. He couldn’t tell what time it was. Nate was sleeping on the surgical bed next to Harry’s. The room and the hallways were dark. There was a bit of light coming from a lamp in the corner and a bit of light in the hallway coming from the direction of the war room, but Teddy couldn’t hear anyone moving about. Nate could have easily turned off the lights after Teddy had passed out. Teddy didn’t know how long he had slept for. Nate didn’t like drugging Teddy for more than two hours, but that didn’t mean that Teddy hadn’t just continued to sleep after the sleeping potion had worn off.
He didn’t bother getting up. He just lifted his hand and silently summoned his wand, catching it easily. He pressed the tip to Harry’s still body and muttered Till’s spell for seeing inside. Above Teddy, Harry’s nervous system sprang to life in ethereal blue. It was the same. Harry was still gone. Teddy banished the image, and curled himself tighter into Harry’s body. He wondered if maybe he should administer the Wiggenweld potion, just so that he could have Harry’s heartbeat back.
Teddy wasn’t startled when the soft bells started to chime, but Nate had a different reaction. It took two bells, but then Nate was sitting up and jumping off the surgical bed as though they might be under attack. He did a double-take when he glanced over at Teddy, seemingly surprised that he was awake. They held each other’s gazes for a weighted second, before they heard footsteps clattering down metal stairs echoing down the corridor from the war room. Nate turned to face the door, while Teddy simply lifted himself up on an elbow and leaned further over Harry. He raised his wand.
It was Castiel and Gadreel who charged into the room.
“I need the antidote,” Gadreel commanded.
“He’s gone,” Teddy said, frozen in place. Nate was already moving, getting another vial of Wiggenweld potion.
“I have him,” Gadreel stated. “Move.”
Teddy scrambled off the bed. He still held his wand at the ready, though he knew that there was probably nothing he could do but trust Gadreel.
Gadreel took the vial from Nate. “I believe I must do this both at once in order for it to be effective.”
“Do what-” Teddy started to ask, but then Gadreel poured the vial of Wiggenweld Potion into his own mouth, leaned over, and started making out with Harry’s prone body.
“Holy shit,” Nate whispered.
And then there was a flood of light from where the angel and Harry were joined at the lips. Teddy blinked against it, momentarily blinded. When the room came back into focus, Harry was kissing Gadreel back as Gadreel gently pulled away.
Teddy watched with his heart in his throat as Harry blinked his eyes open and stared up at Gadreel in confusion.
“What-” Harry said on a breath.
“Teddy!” Harry sat up immediately and turned towards Teddy, holding out his arms. Teddy all but fell into them, holding Harry tight and tucking his face into Harry’s shoulder.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Teddy repeated. He tried not to cry, he really did, but holding back the sobs made him feel like he might die. His heart started hammering in panic, until Teddy gave into the tears, but the crying made it hard to breathe, and he couldn’t get enough air, and he was back to feeling like he was going to die.
Harry was confused. First, he could have sworn someone had been kissing him. Secondly, he wasn’t entirely sure how he was alive and how Gadreel got him back to the bunker. Finally, there was the fact that Teddy was shaking and didn’t seem to be able to breathe, and yet with every breath he managed to take, he only used it to repeatedly apologize.
“Shh, hush, Teddy,” Harry told him, holding him firmly and rubbing his back. “It’s okay, kiddo. It’s okay.” Harry crained his neck as much as he could to try to find Nate - Nate would know what to do. Harry caught sight of Nate in his peripheral vision. He just seemed to be standing there watching them.
“Is that tea somewhere?” Harry asked. He squeezed Teddy tightly, before thinking that maybe he was restricting Teddy’s airflow further and loosened his hold again, as much as he could without letting go.
“He’s calming himself, just give him a moment,” Nate answered, voice soft. Harry tried to listen to Teddy’s breathing to see how Nate could tell that Teddy was calming down, but he just sounded the same to Harry - Harry tried to turn his head again to glare at Nate. Someone needed to do something, before his Teddy passed out from lack of oxygen. “But, you obviously want me to go put the kettle on,” Nate continued quickly, and then he moved out of Harry’s line of sight and towards the door.
“Has Sam returned?” Castiel asked Nate, as he left. From the sounds of his voice, Castiel was following him out of the room.
“Yes, but Dean-” Nate started, his voice breaking.
“We know,” Gadreel replied, as he followed Nate out of the room too. “Where is Sam?”
“I don’t know, he…” Nate’s voice faded down the corridor and Harry couldn’t hear the end of the sentence.
In his arms, Teddy’s breathing was steadying. Harry put a hand on Teddy’s head and gently nudged him back, so that Harry could see his face.
“Are you back with me, kiddo?” Harry asked. Teddy’s face was a mess of tears and snot. Harry cast around for something to wipe it with, but found that he wasn’t even wearing a shirt. Thankfully, Harry’s wand was lying next to him, so Harry quickly conjured a handkerchief and got to work. Teddy made a little protesting noise at first, like he always had back when he was three, but soon just closed his eyes and let Harry mop him up a bit.
“There we are,” Harry announced. “All better.”
Teddy’s eyes welled with tears again and his lip wobbled.
“No, no, no,” Harry said, patting Teddy’s shoulders and cheeks and petting his hair frantically. “All better! Don’t cry, Teddy.”
“I’m sorry,” Teddy said. “I’m sorry… I’m sorry the spell screwed up. You… you were gone. You got stabbed and I couldn’t heal it, and then you were gone - and I didn’t know what to do, and I’m sorry.”
“Hey, no,” Harry said. “That wasn’t your fault. You did so well, Teddy. Your potion and spell were brilliant. They worked together brilliantly. Metatron just ended the charm, that’s all - you couldn’t have foreseen that.”
“It’s still all my fault,” Teddy insisted, sniffling. “You wouldn’t have come if I hadn’t volunteered to help the Winchesters. I was just going to be brewing potions, so it was safe, but then you came and, of course, you’d want to do the dangerous bits - of course you would - but you wouldn’t have come if I hadn’t offered to help… and the only reason Sam and Dean were in New York was because of me too - because I wanted to see if my tea could help muggle werewolves, but it didn’t, and then the hunters killed him, and then they tried to kill me, and I messed up so badly. Dad, I’m sorry, all I do is mess up everything.”
Harry pulled Teddy into a hug again, feeling Teddy’s tears fall on his shoulder.
“No, no, Teddy,” Harry repeated. “You’re brilliant and perfect and I love you.”
Teddy made a noise that might have been a scoff, or possibly a hiccup, but Harry just squeezed him tighter.
“It was my decision to come here and it was my decision to go with Sam,” Harry said, firmly. “You cannot take the blame for my decisions, Teddy.”
“No,” Harry cut him off. “Teddy… I’m the idiot in this situation, kiddo.” Harry swallowed against the lump in his throat as the full weight of what had nearly happened hit him. “Teddy - I’m the biggest idiot in this room. I did something reckless that nearly took me away from you… and Gin, and the kids and… and, my god, Teddy, you don’t have to worry about killing me, because that honour is going to go to Ginny when she finds out what a complete and utter moron I am.”
Teddy let out a wet-sounding laugh. “Are you going to tell her that you made out with Gadreel too?”
Harry’s brain shut down for a moment, and then he slowly pulled out of the hug and stared at Teddy. “So… that wasn’t my imagination?”
Teddy shook his head. “I think he had your soul inside him and that was the only way to put it back… or maybe just the way that was the most fun.” Teddy finished with a smile.
Harry couldn’t help but smile back. “There’s my boy.”
Teddy stepped backwards, and scrubbed at his face, his smile falling into something small and pained.
“You know,” Harry said carefully. “When you were a baby, every once in a while, you’d get into a horrendous cry - and we could never figure out how to sooth you. I would walk you up and down the house and sing every song I knew, and rock you until my arms felt like they were going to fall off, and you’d still only stop when you cried yourself to sleep. I used to wish - I used to wish that your mum or dad were there, because I was certain they’d know what to do - I was certain that if they’d been there, they’d know how to make you happy. Do you think… was that… the anxiety problem? Have you been… have you had it that long?”
Teddy shook his head emphatically. “It started after I came of age,” Teddy explained. “Neville said that it’s related to my father’s lycanthropy - that- that my brain set itself up for being a werewolf, even though I’m not one - so, when there’s a full moon… it releases chemicals to deal with something that’s not happening. And it only happened after I came of age, because that’s the age, Neville says, for final changes, when our magic stops being youthful and settles into adulthood.”
“Okay,” Harry said. He still wanted to have words with Neville about keeping secrets, but even he knew that if it all happened after Teddy came of age, then Neville hadn’t been obligated to tell Harry or Andromeda anything that Teddy didn’t want him to tell. “Does your Gran know?”
“Yes,” Teddy said, and he at least had the decency to look guilty.
“So, you just didn’t tell me, then…” Harry concluded. “You told the Winchesters, but you didn’t tell me. You haven’t even seen them since you were twelve, Teddy.”
Teddy winced. “I’m sorry.”
Harry took a deep breath. Their talk so far had been going better than any conversation they’d had in the past two years, it seemed, and Harry didn’t want to ruin it. He needed to really think about his words and pick them carefully. He looked at Teddy and realized that Teddy didn’t look angry, or defensive, like he had so many times when they talked - he just looked devastated. There was a reason he hadn’t told Harry, and Harry had already asked him for it earlier that day - or maybe by now it had been yesterday.
“You said, that you didn’t tell me because you didn’t want your dad to know,” Harry began carefully. “Can… can you elaborate on that for me?”
Teddy shifted on his feet. “You told me… about how… how happy he was that I wasn’t a werewolf - that I didn’t take after him. And… You were happy for him. And, I didn’t want to disappoint you. Because, I do take after him. I’m sorry.”
Harry stared at Teddy and wondered just how monumentally he had screwed up as a parent.
“You do take after him,” Harry nodded. “You’re brilliant, like he was. Top of your class. You’ve learned all Till’s medical monitoring spells in… not even six months, am I wrong?”
Teddy shook his head.
“You’re so brilliant that you apparently worked with a herbologist to develop your own therapy for… for a genetic anxiety problem,” Harry continued. “You know how else you take after him?”
Teddy shook his head again.
“He was terrified,” Harry answered. “Absolutely terrified, that you would be disappointed in him. Does that sound familiar?”
Teddy nodded, biting his lip.
“And are you?” Harry asked.
“No,” Teddy choked out. “I - I’m sometimes mad that he died.”
“But are you disappointed to have him as a father?” Harry pressed.
“No,” Teddy said, as tears once again spilled down his face. “He died helping people. I’m proud that he’s my father.”
Harry wiped a tear from his own eye and nodded. “Well, then that’s another way you take after him - because he’s be so proud to have you as a son. And the reason I can be so sure of that is because I am. I am so proud to have you as a son, Teddy.”
Teddy’s face crumpled further, and he turned his head to scrub at his eyes - but he nodded, and pointed back and forth between himself and Harry.
Harry smiled. “Yeah? What does that mean, Teddy?”
“Likewise,” Teddy choked out.
“Likewise?” Harry repeated. “You’re proud to have me as a son too?”
Teddy snorted a laugh through his tears, and it sounded wet and overly filled with snot. “Shut-up.”
Harry pushed himself off the surgical bed, so that he was standing. His side gave a little twinge, but he ignored it. Instead, he just pulled Teddy towards him again. “Come here and hug your old man,” Harry commanded.
With Harry standing, Teddy was taller than him and had to learn down into the hug a little. Harry reached a hand up and messed up Teddy’s mousy brown hair, now streaked with black. When they ended the hug, Teddy had shortened himself to Harry’s height. Harry shook his head, and smiled.
“Let’s go get you some tea,” Harry said, pulling Teddy towards the corridor.
“I’m okay,” Teddy replied. “I don’t need it right now.”
“Teddy, you’ve been crying for the past half hour at least,” Harry explained. “You are probably about two seconds away from a painful dehydration headache, if you don’t already have one. Oh Merlin, I bet that’s what you were doing to yourself all those times as a baby… you’d always be crying too much to accept the bottle.”
Teddy laughed and let Harry pull him out of the room. As they walked towards the kitchen, Teddy spoke up again.
“She wouldn’t have known better,” Teddy suddenly said.
“Mum,” Teddy clarified. “She wouldn’t have known any better than you.”
“I think she would have - she’s your mum,” Harry found himself arguing.
“Harry,” Teddy sighed. “Mum never had kids before me. How would she have known what to do?”
“But,” Harry protested. “She… I… I thought - instinct, I suppose.”
“Was that what it was like for you and Ginny?” Teddy asked. “You had James, and suddenly you just knew what to do whenever he cried?”
Harry laughed. “Oh god, no. If it hadn’t been for our experience looking after you… oh.”
Beside him, Teddy smiled. “No matter what had happened, Harry - I was always destined to be raised by people who had no idea what they were doing and have to rely on Gran to save the day where she could.”
They entered the kitchen then, and any reply Harry had been formulating flew out of his head.
Nate was standing at the table with three different tea pots and had a variety of tins and magical ingredients laid out before him. Over at the kitchen counter, Gadreel - Angel of the Lord - was making sandwiches. On the far side of the room, Castiel was pacing back and forth with a phone pressed to his ear.
“...make two with the ham and cheese,” Nate was instructing Gadreel, as he measured out leaves and add them to a pot. “And you’d know better than I how many of the banana peanut-butter to make, so I’ll leave that to you-”
“Sam, do you need me to come get you?” Castiel was asking. “Yes, I know, that’s not-... Sam, I think-... Just tell me where you are and-”
“Oh, good,” Nate said, as he caught sight of Harry and Teddy in the doorway. “Harry, I have a spare shirt for you,” Nate pointed to a neatly folded shirt, on the table bench. “Teddy, I need you on this,” Nate gestured to the tea pots. Teddy immediately went to his side.
“What am I making?” Teddy asked.
Nate pointed to the individual tea pots as he spoke. “I’ve got your recovery tea already measured, and I just finished measuring another mild dittany healer for Harry, just in case - but I’ve no idea what to mix for Sam.”
Teddy checked the dittany tea and nodded in approval, before contemplating the ingredients on the table in front of him. “Okay, tell me what the situation is and how much time I have.”
Across the room, Castiel ended his phone call. “I’ll be back in twenty minutes. Stay here.” He growled out as he left he room.
“You have twenty minutes,” Nate answered. “As for the situation…”
“Has Sam returned?” Castiel asked Nate, following him out of the room.
“Yes, but Dean-” Nate started, his voice broke on Dean’s name. All that blood...
“We know,” Gadreel replied, and Nate hadn’t even noticed that he too was following Nate towards the kitchen. “Where is Sam?”
“I don’t know, he came in with Dean hours ago,” Nate replied.
It was surreal, being flanked by these two huge angels as they walked down the narrow corridors of the Bunker. They seemed to tower over Nate and yet, they followed a step behind and as far as Nate could tell, they were hanging on his every word.
“He took him somewhere in the Bunker and then came to see Teddy and I,” Nate continued, because he didn’t know what else to say. “I told him about how Harry was gone. He told me to get some rest and not to worry, and that he’d fix everything.”
“He said he’d fix everything,” Gadreel said slowly.
Nate nodded. “Yeah, I didn’t ask how, so…”
Nate trailed off as he turned to look at Gadreel, coming to a stop before they reached the kitchen. Gadreel did not look happy. Castiel looked wary.
Gadreel turned and walked back the way they had come.
“Where-” Nate started to ask, but Castiel turned to follow Gadreel without acknowledging Nate… and really, Nate’s curiousity was piqued, so he just turned and followed Gadreel too.
Gadreel went straight for the library, which still had all the lights off. Gadreel didn’t move to turn them on, but Castiel did. When Nate looked into the newly lit room, he found Gadreel standing over an empty whisky bottle and tumbler.
“Oh,” Nate said.
Gadreel and Castiel shared a look.
“No,” Castiel said.
Gadreel raised an eyebrow. “Who would he blame?”
Castiel’s answer was to clench his jaw, turn, and leave the room at a jog. Gadreel followed - which left Nate running behind them yet again, this time, with his wand in his hand, because he had no idea what was going on, but if the angels were in a hurry than it couldn’t be good.
He followed them down the labyrinthine corridors until they reached a store room. Nate entered just behind them, with enough time to see them standing in an opening to another room beyond.
“Damn it, Sam,” Castiel cursed.
Nate looked past them to see what could only be described as a dungeon, but on the floor was a bowl and various magical ingredients. Nate gave them a quick once over. He couldn’t be entirely sure, of course, but he was willing to bet that this was a summoning.
“Who?” Nate asked.
Castiel was pulling out his phone and checking the screen. Whatever he saw, didn’t seem to make him any happier. He turned and left the room without acknowledging Nate’s question.
“Crowley,” Gadreel answered while he followed. “As I understand it - or, so Castiel has told me - it was Crowley who tricked Dean into getting the Mark. I do not know the whole story, but I am familiar with Sam Winchester’s mind. Losing his brother, there are really only two ways that Sam would react. It seems that he has managed to combine them.”
“I don’t understand,” Nate admitted.
“Sam is a great believer in the idea that whoever breaks something is responsible for fixing it,” Gadreel explained. “In this case, it’s not Dean he blames, but Crowley. And, I’m guessing, since Harry was attacked while trying to help Dean, Sam blamed Crowley for that injury as well.”
“What about the whiskey?” Nate asked. “You went to the library first, not the… uh, dungeon place.”
“Sam’s first stage of grief is often to become inebriated,” Gadreel shrugged. “I had only hoped he was still in that stage, since he wasn’t…”
“You knew he had moved on to bad-drunken-decision stage instead,” Nate concluded.
They came to a stop by a bedroom. Castiel had entered well ahead of them. Nate stayed by the door. The room obviously belonged to one of the Winchesters. It was fairly bare, yet, Nate had the sense that it wasn’t Sam’s room, the personality seemed wrong for that - which meant that it must have been Dean’s.
Castiel was standing by the empty bed, holding a piece of paper.
“What is it, brother?” Gadreel asked.
“A note,” Castiel answered. “It doesn’t make any sense.”
“What does it say?” Nate asked.
“It says, ‘Sammy, Let me go’ - it’s Dean’s handwriting, however…” Castiel trailed off.
Gadreel shook his head. “Dean would never write that.”
“Exactly,” Castiel finished, dropping the note down onto the bed.
“Also, Dean’s dead,” Nate said.
“What should we do, brother?” Gadreel asked Castiel.
“I don’t know.” Castiel scrubbed a hand over his face. He seemed worn down in a way that Nate didn’t think was possible for an angel.
Something about the look on Castiel’s face flipped a switch inside Nate, and before he even realized what he was doing, he found himself speaking.
“Right, okay,” Nate started. “Was the car outside when you arrived?”
“No,” Castiel answered, looking curiously at Nate.
“Okay, first thing,” Nate continued. “Castiel, you call Sam - if he’s been drinking, he shouldn’t be driving. Find out where he is and go pick him up if you need to.”
Castiel nodded and took out his phone again.
“Gadreel,” Nate turned to the angel beside him. “You’re with me. I need you making sandwiches while I prepare the tea.”
Nate turned on his heal and strode out of the room, feeling Gadreel follow immediately, while Castiel trailed behind, his phone pressed to his ear.
“Sandwiches?” Gadreel asked.
“I don’t know when the last time Sam ate was, but a man that tall needs food at regular intervals, especially if he’s been drinking,” Nate replied. “Do you know what his favourite sandwich is?”
“Banana and peanut-butter,” Gadreel replied.
“Weird, but good,” Nate replied. “Protein, potassium… all good things. Hopefully they have food in this place.”
Behind them, Castiel seemed to have finally connected with Sam - if the shouting of Sam’s name and slew of questions were anything to go by.
“How about Castiel?” Nate asked Gadreel.
“What about him?” Gadreel asked.
“He’s not well, is he,” Nate said, and it was really only then that he realized what had been off about the angel. “Does he… need a sandwich?”
“I’m afraid a sandwich cannot help my brother,” Gadreel replied.
“Tea?” Nate tried.
Gadreel shook his head. “There is nothing either of us can do. I’m sorry.”
Nate took a deep breath and nodded, forcing himself to let the issue go. “No, I am. I hope whatever it is, that he gets better soon.”
They arrived in the kitchen and Nate pulled open the fridge and cupboards and assembled as many sandwich ingredients as he could find.
“Do you know how to make sandwiches?” Nate asked Gadreel, who was standing back.
“Yes,” Gadreel replied. “I watched Sam do it many times.”
“Excellent,” Nate said. “Get to it, while I make the tea.”
Nate moved over to the table and his and Teddy’s entire tea-tin bag. It was time to get to work.
“... so, what I was able to gather from this end of Castiel’s conversation,” Nate continued to Harry, as Teddy brewed what looked like the most complicated tea that Harry had ever seen prepared. “Is that Sam summoned Crowley, but Crowley never showed up - then Sam went back to Dean’s room and Dean was gone, and there was that note. So, Sam realized that Crowley had answered the summoning, but he had come and stolen Dean’s body for some reason. Sam ran outside to see if he could catch them and discovered that Crowley had also stolen the car. So, uh, yeah - Sam is, understandably, very angry… and from what I can tell, he all but ran into town, stole a car, and has been driving angrily in random directions in what is obviously a vain attempt to track down and kick the shit out of the King of Hell.”
“Bloody hell,” Harry said.
“Well, I don’t know how this will taste,” Teddy announced. “But, it should help.”
“Can we add sugar and milk or will it destabilize?” Nate asked.
“Hmm, it should be okay,” Teddy replied. “Good thinking.”
The kettle boiled and Teddy carefully filled the tea pots and left them to steep.
“I made you a ham and cheese sandwich,” Gadreel announced, holding a plate out to Harry.
“Oh, thanks,” Harry took the plate, more than a little dumbfounded, and sat down at the table. An angel had made him a sandwich.
“I made one for you too, Teddy,” Gadreel continued, placing another plate on the table by the brewing tea.
“Thank you,” Teddy replied. “I’m starving.”
Harry was starving too. He tucked in and tried to make sense of everything. Everything had simultaneously gone right and also horrifically wrong. Metatron was defeated, but Dean was dead - and missing - and the fact that him being missing was the more concerning part was also odd.
An angel had just made him a sandwich and was now standing awkwardly by the kitchen sink, seemingly at a loss for what to do now that the three humans in the room were eating.
“Did you manage to defeat Metatron?” Nate asked, as he served up the tea, from two of the brewing pots.
Harry’s mouth was full, and he honestly didn’t know, so he looked over at Gadreel.
“Yes,” Gadreel replied. “He is imprisoned.”
“Well, at least not everything went badly - We’ll have some good news to bring home to Kevin,” Nate smiled.
Harry stared at him with wide-eyes and then looked over at Gadreel, whose brow was furrowed as he, too, stared at Nate.
“Shit,” Nate said.