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The Art of Survival

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Summary: Winchesters, Hogwarts, and Chaos. Revised (and hopefully worth waiting for.)

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Non-BtVS/AtS Stories > Crossover: Harry Potter
Harry Potter > Non-BtVS/AtS Stories > Crossover: Supernatural
(Past Donor)gbholdernessFR1815105,39876036,65622 Feb 0712 Dec 07Yes

Chapter One

Okay, first I would like to say thank you to everyone who was so supportive and understanding about the deletion of the original version of this story. I know I promised it would be back a lot sooner, but life has a funny way of biting you in the ass when you make promises like that.

That being said never fear I have been working on this story and making revisions and going forward. My amazing beta was tied up for the entire month of January with school, so she's just recently been able to work on the story. I only have the first two chapters fully beta'd so please bare with us both as we move forward. She is working hard on Chapter 3 and as soon as she gets it to me, I will post. I'm hoping we can get back into some kind of schedule, but it's still too early to tell.

Secondly, there have been revisions, but in the first few chapters particularly they are smaller revisions to the basic storyline. They get larger in later chapters, so I'm sorry if you feel like you are basically reading the same thing over again. I hope that the spelling and grammar errors are fewer and far between and that the revisions make the story a fuller and richer tale waiting to be told.

Now on with the show. With a small disclaimer that I own nothing. Not Supernatural, not Harry Potter, and certainly not Jared, Jenson, or Jeffery. (Though boy howdy I wouldn't mind if I did.)




Chapter One

The Route 1 Motel
Outskirts of Lansing, Wyoming


John Winchester was doing research; and if there was one thing he hated…it was doing research.
At times like this he missed Sammy so bad: that boy could find information like a shark scenting blood.

Luckily for John, this was a pretty straightforward case. A poltergeist was haunting a house, and John just had to find the bones, salt and burn them.
It wasn’t hard work, but it was tedious without company. Not for the first time John felt the niggling doubt of leaving his sons behind.
He knew it had been necessary to protect them, but damn he missed them both. Especially after hearing what had happened to Jessica Moore and then getting those few precious moments with them in Chicago.

“No use second guessing yourself, marine. You made a decision; now live with it.” John berated.

Sensing a change in the air John was up with a shotgun aimed by the time the tell-tell “pop” occurred.

“Good to see you too, John.” The stern woman said eyeing John’s rifle with distaste.

“Minerva.” John answered as he lowered the rifle, “What in the hell do you want?

****

Two days prior.
An unknown location in England

“Arrogant fools,” Severus Snape thought to himself as he glanced around the room.

The dismal cave was filled with bowing and scraping Death Eaters, all vying for their master’s attention. The debacle at the ministry had caused Voldemort to fly into a burning rage, that he was taking out on everyone.

But today everything had changed.
Nagini had spoken to her master early in the morning, and whatever she told him had Voldemort cackling with glee. That alone was enough to scare Severus, but then when Voldemort started ordering his remaining followers to prepare their hideout for an honored guest, Severus became even more concerned.
Who would be powerful enough for Voldemort to treat with honor, much less like an equal?
As Severus continued to contemplate this question there was a flurry of activity as a report was given to Lord Voldemort that a stranger was approaching.

To say the Death Eaters were surprised when the stranger arrived into camp would be like saying Moby Dick was a frigging guppy. Their guest appeared to be a 14-year-old girl, complete with braces and braids. Severus hadn’t survived as a double agent as long as he had by making assumptions based on appearance, so he eased into the shadows to watch the unfolding action.

What happened next did however cause him to gasp. The Lord Voldemort dropped to one knee and said, “Welcome glorious one, I am honored to have you join us this evening.” Needless to say everyone in the room was shocked?

The young girl smiled winningly and answered, “Oh Lord Voldemort, please. It’s me, who should feel honored. I’m delighted to have you back with us once more. I know our time together will be beneficial to us both.”

Rising Lord Voldemort approached the young woman and hissed, “Oh yes, my dear Aaquerafet, I know this will work out splendidly. Let me also congratulate you on your exquisite appearance, it humbles me with its elegance and genius.” The laugh that followed sent shivers down Severus’s spine.

“Ah, yes the young; so easy to inhabit nowadays. So morally ambiguous, with a strong desire for adventure; I love the decline of civilization, it’s so decadent and corrupt.” The voice coming from the girl was light and accented with the American South.
That the words were oozing with evil only caused the contrast to be even more obvious and chilling.

“Follow me into my chambers, we can make our plans in private.” Lord Voldemort hissed as he guided the young girl into his rooms.

Watching them go, Severus knew that he needed to get in contact with Dumbledore immediately.
He hadn’t recognized the name Voldemort had called the young girl with, but he knew this alliance was definitely not a good thing. Making sure no one was watching Severus eased out of the room and slowly made his out of the holdings.

Slipping out of the caves and into the surrounding woods Severus quickly put his wand to the side of his head and uttered a short, “Memoriam Copit”. A thin stream of silver withdrew from the side of his head, and in a move similar to placing a memory in a pensive Severus applied the memory to a blank piece of parchment. The silver glowed as it swirled into the paper before fading until it disappeared and only the blank parchment remained.

Calling his owl, Severus quickly tied the parchment to his feathered friend and sent him off.
Blending back into the night Severus glided back into the caves and headed to his workroom determined to have Voldemort’s potions ready when needed. Severus had no desire to fall under Voldemort’s wand yet again.


****

Inside Lord Voldemort’s private quarters, Aaquerafet was looking at Voldemort with an appraising and calculated stare.

“Is there something wrong?” Voldemort queried blandly, knowing already that his earlier behavior had intrigued the demon before him.

Aaquerafet stared out of the young girls body as he contemplated his words. “I’m…” Aaquerafet searched for the right word for his mindset over Voldemort’s conduct, “fascinated.” He finally selected.

“How so?” Voldemort inquired drolly.

“Your behavior earlier in front of your disciples; it was so very out of character of you. I’m curious about the reason hidden behind that masquerade; if there’s any.” The young girls eyes turned black the only indication of the demon possessing her.

“Ah, that. Might I ask a question first?” Voldemort hissed elegantly gesturing for Aaquerafet to have a seat.

Nodding his head in a simple bow, Aaquerafet signaled for Voldemort to continue.

“What would you have done, if I had not acknowledged your power and position?” The red eyes of Voldemort glowed against his pale grey face.

Smirking lightly Aaquerafet acknowledged his question as a legitimate one and replied, “I would have tortured you for days, of course.”

“Exactly, my Master. Yet that would have destroyed the image my followers have of me, much more then what they just saw. Now, instead, though still terrified of me they will give you the proper respect you deserve as well.” Voldemort finished and waited patiently for the response from the demon.

The laugh that followed resonated through the room with a girlish peal. It was terrifying. “Ah, in times like these I remember why you will help me reign in hell, my apprentice. You are truly trustworthy and skillful.
I am pleased to see that the time you spent recovering had been put at good use, and that you have realized the importance of patience, at last” Once he was done speaking, black mist began to flow from the girl’s eyes, ears, and mouth leaving her body lank and limp in the chair. The mist began to swirl together until a form began to be visible; it appeared to be a man. There was nothing special about the form at first glance. It appeared to be a dull man with few distinguished features. Except one: his eyes. They were of a fearsome yellow, with black veins.
Just like the young girl; startling and frightening contrasts.

“Now,” Aaquerafet said as he tossed the body of the young girl over to Nagini who began to devour the body. “We can now begin our journey to gain access to inconceivable power. I am, of course, aware of the debacle at the Ministry. Were you able to obtain a copy of the prophecy before officials arrived?” He asked.

Letting out a hiss of rage Voldemort replied, “No, my incompetent servants failed me. They were defeated by children.” The disgrace of this still caused Voldemort to become over come with rage.

“At ease, my friend, we will simply have to find out another way.” Aaquerafet said lightly apparently not concerned with the prophecy’s contents, only mildly curious. “The more important question is if you are restored fully to your former level of power?” This question was important to Aaquerafet; he was not going to accept a lie.

“Yes,” Voldemort hissed with a smile, drawing the s out for a moment. “Of that there is no doubt. With Potter’s blood in my veins I am fully restored.”

“Excellent, then we can begin reminding that pathetic wizarding world what evil truly is.” Aaquerafet chuckled, and was soon joined with Voldemort. “The journey that we are about to begin will be difficult. You are sure of the location?” Aaquerafet’s eyes warned that should Voldemort be misleading the consequences would not be pleasant.

“Yes, I am. The Well is there, the fools have no idea of the amount of power they have at their disposal.” Voldemort growled in frustration. “My only regret is that I was unaware of it while I was living there. It was only later during my travels that I was informed of the existence of the well and it’s location.” Voldemort’s eyes were clouded with bliss, as he dared to imagine the power the Well would provide.

“Good. Once we obtain the key we can begin planning our journey into the Well.” Aaquerafet said with glee.

“Unfortunately, the servant who was to find the location of the key was captured in the raid.” Voldemort’s rage was palpable. “We must get him out of Azkaban before we can continue.”

“A simple matter.” Aaquerafet said with calm assurance. “The Dementors are working with you, I suppose.”

“Oh yes, they are eager to help.” Voldemort said with a chilling smile. There’s no one at the Ministry who is aware that their guards are just biding their time, ready to stab them in the back as soon as I give the command.”

“Good; then we will obtain the information and begin out journey to open the Well and bathe in power as old as the creation of the earth it’s self.” Aaquerafet sighed in what could have been sexual bliss.

“What about the Winchesters? Won’t your presence here interfere with your plans for the youngest boy?” Voldemort asked with intrigue. Aaquerafet’s desire for the power that resided within Samuel Winchester was well known.

“Plans within plans, my dear Tom.” Aaquerafet said with confidence. “I left a trail coming to England that the Winchesters will surely follow.”

From outside the sounds of laughter echoed through the corridors and its sound alarmed all the Death Eaters that were unfortunate enough to hear it.

****

Albus Dumbledore was not a man who normally dwelled on his failures. But as he sat in his office on this summer eve he couldn’t help but feel a sense of melancholy. A quote he once read by a Muggle author named Frank Herbert seemed to be on a running loop through his mind. In the story a mother had sworn to protect her son as well as she could. The Reverend Mother had said, “Shield him too much, and he will never grow strong enough for any destiny.”

Albus couldn’t help but feel he had fallen into the same trap as the mother. He had known from the beginning that Harry would eventually have to face Voldemort, but his own personal feelings had prevented him from giving Harry the information he so vitally needed.

Albus was now certain, that after the events in the ministry he should no longer be the one to train Harry for the inevitable battle. The real problem came in deciding who would be the right person. Last year Albus had thought that person could be Severus. He had radically changed idea at the end of the school term.

The problem lay in who would push, and teach Harry without trying to coddle or protect the boy. Severus had pushed, but his teaching abilities, were far from what Harry needed.
A similar issue arose with having Remus teach Harry, since Albus was afraid he too would fall into the teach category, but would not be able to push Harry when it became necessary.

Albus continued to go through names in his head, when an owl - that he recognized immediately - arrived.
Unwrapping the parchment quickly, Albus performed the spell to pull Severus’s memory off the paper and into the air. As he watched the memory, Albus felt a jolt of fear, and then quickly the elation of an epiphany.
Sending a call for Minerva to join him, Albus felt his mood begin to lift. It would be an unorthodox choice, but if he could get the hunter to agree to come, he sure would be the perfect person for the job.
After all, his own sons were now worldwide known hunters and all due to their own ability. Albus, though, had felt nothing but disdain for the man fifteen years before, thinking he was pushing his children too hard. Well a good push was what was needed, and John Winchester was a man who knew how to push.

When Minerva McGonagall arrived, she was unprepared for what awaited her. Albus Dumbledore was beaming. Now under normal circumstances this is not an unusual occurrence, but over the last few weeks, it had been a rarity. It also made Minerva very nervous. “You wanted to see me, Headmaster?”

“Ah yes Minerva, I am so glad you could join me. Please have a seat. Would you like a cup of tea?” Albus beamed his voice full of excitement and anticipation.

“No thank you, Albus. I’m fine. I daresay that you seem to be in a better mood.” Minerva noted, the unspoken question hanging in the air.

“Yes, yes I have been a bit down lately, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. But I’ve received a notice from Severus that has changed everything.” The twinkle in Albus’ eye was shining like the brightest star.

“Oh my, what has happened? Severus is okay, isn’t he?” Minerva queried, not following the conversation at all. One did not hear good news from Severus normally.

“Oh, he’s fine.” Dumbledore reassured. “It seems Voldemort has partnered with what appears to be a demon.” Dumbledore stated easily, still grinning.

“A Demon!” Minerva was shocked. “Albus have you taken leave of your senses this is horrible.”

“I know.” Albus said still grinning, “But the arrival of the demon has given me an epiphany that, I believe, will solve my concerns.”

“And that would be?” Minerva asked her voice tinged with impatience.

“John Winchester as the new DADA teacher, of course.” Albus said, as if it was the most obvious answer in the world.

Minerva had been shocked by Dumbledore before; in fact it was a regular occurrence.
There had even been times when she had seriously doubted the man’s sanity. But none of those occasions compared to the shock, bewilderment and concern that had floored her body in that very instant. “Albus.” She began hesitantly, “John Winchester is an American Muggle.”

“I know that, Minerva.” Albus flitted his hand as if to say ‘do you take me for a fool?’ “But he’s also a demon hunter, and a man that has successfully raised his two sons in the same profession.”

“But you’ve always said you disagreed…” Minerva began only to be cut off by Albus.

“Yes, I know I’ve always said I disagreed with the man’s approach. But Minerva, I have come to realize he has succeeded where I have failed. He may not have the ideal relationship with his children, but both boys are prepared and ready to face their destiny. John Winchester knew the demon would be coming back and he raised his sons accordingly. On the other hand, I have failed spectacularly. I knew Harry would one day have to face Tom Riddle, but my own affection for the boy clouded my ability to prepare him for that day.”

“Albus, that’s not true…” Minerva once again started.

“Yes, it is. And it’s still true. There is no one that could train Harry better than John Winchester. All we have to do is convince John that he’s the right man, and I’m hoping the opportunity to kill the demon will be enough.” Albus leaned back in his chair and waited for Minerva to process everything he’d said.

After a few minutes of contemplation Minerva looked Albus in the eye and shook her head with wry acknowledgment, “Well Albus, as always I will defer to your wisdom, though I must say I have my reservations.”

“Thank you, Minerva. So do I, but in times like these all allies should bond and get together; rather then let petty differences drive them apart. “ Albus reasoned.

“How do you intend to approach John?” Minerva asked.

“Well, that is where you come in the picture. If I recall correctly, you and Mr. Winchester parted on amicable terms?” Albus reminisced.

“Well, we certainly didn’t part as enemies, but I would hardly call it a friendship. A more accurate assessment would be work acquaintances.” Minerva clarified.

“Still, my previous disapproval was not unnoticed. I was hoping you would be willing to ease the way?” Albus’ voice was wheedling.

“Of course.” Minerva stated, slightly offended that Albus felt the need to ask. “Do you know where he is?”

“No, I haven’t had the chance to perform a searching charm yet. Have you kept track of his comings and goings?” Albus inquired, knowing that - as usual - news of demon hunters spread quickly; especially if they were as good as the Winchesters.

“I had heard recently that the youngest, Samuel, was back in the family business. As I’m sure you remember, he had a huge fight with his father four years ago, when he decided to give up hunting and went off to school.
Recently I was told that his girlfriend was killed in a similar manner as his mother, and this had drawn him back into the hunting life.” Minerva, though not a woman prone to gossip, was occasionally as susceptible as anyone.

“I hadn’t heard. Oh dear, how tragic. That boy already has so much to face. A terrible blow.” Albus lamented, his mind-drawing similarities between the younger Winchester and Harry.

“Yes, a stunning blow indeed. Well, Albus, as soon as you located John let me know and I’ll be on my way.” Minerva stated as she rose to head back to her quarters.

“Of course, have a pleasant evening.” Albus said as she left. “Now, John Winchester, were are you hiding?” He mumbled to himself as the pulled out a large map of North America and circling his wand slowly said, “Locatus Persona – John Winchester.” Slowly a bright green dot began to form on the map, indicating a town called, Lansing Wyoming.


****


Present Time
A Motel outside of Lansing, Wyoming


“As usual, John, your manners are impeccable.” Minerva stated in that semi-condescending way of hers.

“Hey. I’m not the one who dropped in, after twelve years, without calling first.” John fired back with a grin. He’d always appreciated Minerva McGonagall's attitude.

“Desperate times need desperate measures.” Minerva’s said simply as she took a seat at the table. “Albus needs to speak with you, John.” Minerva didn’t bother to beat around the bush. What she remembered about John Winchester assured her that the man had no tolerance for games.

“Would you mind telling me why the hell you are here instead of the old geezer?” John couldn’t stand cowards who sent women to do their dirty work.

“Albus Dumbledore is not a coward.” Minerva’s stated with force, having easily read John’s unspoken opinion. “He knew that on your previous meeting he had allowed personal judgments to cloud his thinking, he hoped I might smooth the way so to speak.” Minerva’s voice was clipped as she forced herself to control her temper.

“Down, kitty cat.” John mocked. “Retract those claws, I’ll meet with Albus anytime he’d like.”

Shooting John a glare that would have had her students trembling with terror, but only caused the insolent smirk to grow on John’s face, Minerva answered with a pinched, “Excellent.”
Swishing her wand violently a second later there was another pop, and Albus Dumbledore was standing in the room.

John Winchester regarded Albus carefully, taking note of changes since the last time they had met. Physically there were few changes. Albus Dumbledore appeared to have aged not at all.
His eyes, however, had changed greatly. While the familiar twinkle that drove John secretly crazy was still there, there was an acceptance, and an acknowledgement that hadn’t been there before. Something had changed Dumbledore’s mind concerning John Winchester, and John wanted to know what it was. “Albus.” John said evenly.

“John, thank you for agreeing to meet with me.” Albus said gratefully.

“Anytime.” John shrugged off the gratitude.

“Right, straight to the point as always.” Dumbledore acknowledged. “Have you been following our recent troubles in England?” Dumbledore asked.

“Vaguely, Old Vold-boy is back, if I recall correctly. I’ve been a bit tied up here, so I haven’t done any in-depth investigation.” John searched his mind for details.

“Yes, unfortunately Tom Riddle is back, and now Harry Potter must get ready to eventually face him.” Albus stated.

“Remind me?” John queried having never bothered to get all the details.

“Fifteen years ago, when he was just a baby, Tom tried to kill him. While he succeeded in killing both James and Lilly Potter, the killing curse he fired at Harry rebounded, nearly destroying him. Last month he was able to regain most of his former power, and has returned to his former strength.” Albus explained.

“Interesting.” John said; processing the information Albus had given him. “What are you asking me to do?” John knew Albus needed him for something, but he would be damned if he could figure out what.

“I want you to come teach at Hogwarts, as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. Train Harry, so that one day he would be able to face Tom Riddle.” Albus stated.

John observed the man before him. He already knew Albus was serious, but he also knew there was more to come. Deciding information was key, he asked simply, “Why me?”

“Because you have succeeded where I have failed. John, the Demon who came for Sam marked him as plainly as Voldemort’s scar marks Harry, but while Dean and Sam are prepared to face their destiny, Harry is not. And it’s my fault; I kept vital information from him - fearing he was not yet ready to bear the weight of it - blinded by my fondness over the boy. I was unable to grasp that, even though your methods seemed harsh your boys were ready to face the world around them.
Harry is not. I want you to prepare him John; I want you to prepare them all. With Tom back in power fear and chaos will reign; these children need to be prepared for what they are going to face, and the choices they are going to have to make.” Albus finished and sat in silence as John looked off in the distance contemplating his words.

John’s mouth twitched in a sardonic smile after a few moments and his eyes refocused on Albus and he said, “Sam might disagree with you Albus. What else?”

Glimpsing the pain in John’s eyes, Albus berated himself for being blind the last time he’d met John Winchester. He’d thought the man cold and heartless, without seeing that John’s decision to put his sons safety above anything was eating away at him from the inside.
How easy it was to now see without Albus’ pride getting in the way.

“What else?” John asked again quickly masking any pain or vulnerability that had shown in his face.

“From an informant we were informed that Tom as joined forces with a demon. This presents a serious complication to an already dire situation. With your expertise we were hoping to kill two birds with one stone so to speak.” Albus finished.

John’s eyebrow rose at that tidbit of information. “What do you know about the demon?” John was now intrigued.

“Only a name, I’m afraid,” Dumbledore began. “Aaquerafet.”

John Winchester froze, and when his eyes met Dumbledore’s once more, Albus felt fear. Not for himself, or even Minerva. It was a fear based on primal reactions to the scent of danger, and right now John Winchester was very dangerous.

“Start from the beginning and leave nothing out.” John’s voice sliced threw the air like steel.

“Perhaps it would be best if I just showed you?” Albus volunteered. At John’s deliberate nod Albus removed his wand and said the incantation to play the saved memory. As the memory finished the room fell into a tense silence.

John’s voice broke the silence; “I’m bringing my sons with me.” There was no room for negotiation in his voice.

“Of course they are most welcome.” Albus replied still wary of the stone like form of John Winchester, but also elated that he would train Harry.

“It’s my way with no interference from you on how or when, or why.” John stipulated.

“If you endanger a child…” Dumbledore started.

“Then it’s up to me to make sure the kid comes out okay. No interference. That’s the deal.” John interrupted.

Pausing, Albus closed his eyes and bowed his head in what appeared to be deep contemplation. After a few moments he opened his eyes and looked at John and said simply, “Yes.”

“When does the school term start?” John stood up and began moving around the room throwing items into his bag.

“On September, the 1st.” Dumbledore replied, as he and Minerva rose to get out of John’s apparently hurried way.

“We’ll be there.” Was all John said as he continued to pack.

Glancing at Minerva Albus said, “Good, we look forward to having you. I will make arrangements at Salem and at Diagon Alley before term. Will you be taking care of travel arrangements or would you care for me to arrange something?” Albus offered.

“I’ll take care of getting us there. I’ve got to talk to the boys first, anyway.” John never paused just continued to pack.

“Of course," Albus agreed pulling out a small wooden disc from his robe. "Should you need to get into contact with me, please just speak my name into the center, and I will contact you immediately. Well we’ll see you then good day John.” Albus motioned for Minerva to rise.

“Good day.” Minerva echoed.

John simply nodded as both wizards disappeared from his motel room. John’s hands tightened around the shirt in his hands as he growled, “I’m coming you son of a bitch, and hell’s coming with me.”

Throwing the last of his things in a bag John quickly sent coordinates to his boys and bolted from the room. It would take him two days of little sleep and fast driving to make it to the coordinates at the same time as his kids.
With that thought John stepped on the gas and pealed away from the parking lot, leaving the dingy motel in a cloud of dust.


Tulsa, Oklahoma
Present Day

Sam was working on the computer, as Dean lay sprawled on the bed commenting the quality of daytime television.

“Seriously, what’s wrong with these people? How come you have an affair with your son’s wife, and why would you want to go on TV to talk about it?” Dean watched with appalled fascination.

“Look, Dean, I’m trying to work over here, so just change the channel man. Everyone knows that crap is fake anyway.” Sam answered absent-mindedly.

“You got anything yet? Cause I’m seriously starting to get bored. Our last job was kind of a cakewalk.” Dean groused.

“Oh, yeah it was a piece of cake, and the part where we both nearly died…what was that?” Sam questioned.

“Occupational hazard, Sammy. Comes with the job.” Dean nonchalantly replied.

“Whatever, I’ll try to find a job where there’s more sex and death just for you.” Sam tossed out.

“Dude that would be fantastic. I love playing the knight in shining armor.” Dean smirked and sent a wink his brother’s way.

“Then I guess we have our next job. It looks to be right up our ally. Possible poltergeist, all women, not very far away.” Sam teased.

“Okay, what the hell are we waiting for, dude? Let’s pack.” Dean said incredulously.

“You’re absolutely right. The nuns at St. Augustine in Nebraska need our help.” Sam said his eyes glued to Deans face.

“Nuns! Tell me your kidding! That’s so not funny.” Dean shook his head as he began throwing clothes in his bag.

“Think of it as balancing our karmic debt for the way we make a living.” Sam placated.

“Dude, we do a little credit card fraud to get by so we can save lives, I don’t think the big guy will hold it against us.” Dean justified.

Sam’s reply was cut off by Dean’s cell phone ringing. Grabbing the phone Dean’s demeanor changed radically. “Looks like the nuns are out of luck, Sammy boy. We’ve got coordinates from Dad.”

“Give them too me.” Sam said as he began pulling out maps.

“36-27-98.” Dean quoted and then continued packing.

“Tierra Amarillo in New Mexico.” Sam stated after a moment. “We should be able to get there in two and a half days.”

“Let’s go.” Dean said as he carried the bags out to the Impala.

Five minutes later a cloud of dust exploded from the parking lot as the 1967 Chevy Impala tore it’s way down the highway heading west.


****

4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, England
Present Day.

Harry jerked awake, startled, as his scar began to burn on his forehead. Rubbing his hand across his hear roughly Harry tried to ease the sudden onslaught of pain. He hadn’t gotten a vision this time, but he had gotten to feel some of Voldemort’s emotions, and his glee had Harry shaking with dread.

Pulling out a piece of parchment Harry rapidly penned a note to Dumbledore.

Dear Sir,
I am sorry to bother you, but my scar woke me up tonight, and Voldemort is happy about something. I don’t know what, but I hope this information helps you in preventing his plans in some way.

Yours Sincerely,

Harry

Wearily calling Hedwig, Harry tied the note to her leg and let his beautiful snowy owl out into the night sky with a “Take this to Dumbledore Hedwig; it’s important.”

Closing the window Harry sat on his bed and let out a long sigh. Harry Potter was not having a good summer. The rage that had carried him through the meeting in Dumbledore’s office had quickly dissipated leaving Harry feeling empty and cold. A spark had been ignited by the show of friends at the train station, but it was a spark amidst a tsunami. Each day, Harry had to fight to focus and try not to give in to the pit of despair that seemed to be permanently logged in his stomach.

Harry had lost his balance, he couldn’t get a grip on his emotions and that was making him crazy. Harry had lost people before, but this type of grief was new. It was unexpected. It was hope being completely shattered.
Add that to the isolation he always encountered living here with the Dursley’s and you could get why Harry was sinking fast.

If it hadn’t been for the letters from his friends Harry wouldn’t have lasted as long as he had. Picking up his latest letter from Hermione, Harry’s thoughts turned to the bushy haired girl who’d become so important in his life. Reading her words gave Harry some kind of comfort, as if she was in the room with him.

Dear Harry,
I hope you are feeling better. I’m sorry we haven’t been able to get you away from those awful Dursley’s yet, but I can assure you that Ron and I are working on it. Harry, I know you’re feeling down, and I wish I could be more help. However, I can’t imagine what you’re going through, so I did the one thing I am good at research. I know you and Ron will mock me about it later.
Anyway, I researched different methods of dealing with grief, and a common thread seemed to be sharing your emotions. Now, knowing you as I do Harry, I know that’s not going to be likely. But the study said that often, if people have a difficult time opening up, writing their feelings in a journal was a good way of getting the emotions out. I would be happy to hear from you if you want to write to me, or Ron, but if you don’t I’ve enclosed a journal for you and I can only hope it will bring you a little comfort.

Your Friend,
Hermione


Harry looked at the journal, not really feeling at ease. It seemed an insurmountable task to put his emotions on paper; since it seemed that half of the time he didn’t know what he was feeling. But Harry was also aware that Hermione was rarely wrong, so he pulled out a quill and sat down at his desk.

Not knowing where to start, Harry simply stared at the blank paper for what seemed like forever before lowering the quill and writing, “I feel empty.” Seeing the words on paper sent a jolt through Harry, one he hadn’t expected. Feeling a determination start to grow inside him, Harry put the quill back to the paper and wrote, “I feel angry.” Once again there was a feeling of awakening that Harry was not prepared for. Closing the journal quickly Harry began to realize that maybe the problem lay with the fact that he didn’t want to feel anything.

Knowing that the inevitable would have to happen, Harry resolved himself to writing in the journal. Starting in the morning. For now, the boy-who-lived, was exhausted. As Harry removed his glasses and crawled into bed his last thought before he drifted off to sleep was, “I have to get ready, somehow I have to get prepared to face Voldemort. Please God, help me getting ready.”

Little did Harry know about those events, which were already taking place that would ensure his prayer would be answered.

To be continued
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