“I wish we could go somewhere and just be a family,” Harry said morosely.
Sirius tilted his head questioningly, “Harry?”
“Don’t you ever want to go somewhere no one is hunting you?” she asked her godfather. “Somewhere no one keeps you confined to a house you hate? Somewhere no one hates you for things you didn’t do?” She included Moony in the question with a glance. “Somewhere no one hates you for something that’s not your fault?”
“That would be an amazing Christmas present,” her former Defense Professor agreed. Then he sighed. “But Dumbledore—”
Harry scowled. “Dumbledore.” She snarled. “And Fudge. And Voldemort. They aren’t allowed to come with us.”
Hermione looked up from her book, did that weird smile-frown thing that meant she was confused but humoring her regardless. “Did you just equate Fudge and Dumbledore with Voldemort?”
“Oh no, of course not. They’re much worse.” When everyone in the room choked, she sighed at them. “Voldemort just wants to kill me. Fudge wants to put me on a leash and control my entire life. Put me in a cage and show me off. I’d rather die than live in a cage.”
None of them had anything to refute that with so she waited.
“And Dumbledore?” Moony eventually asked softly.
“I’m on a road and I don’t know where I’m going. He knows, but he only gives me road signs when it pleases him.
“He flat out refused to tell me where I’m going—to tell me my destination—multiple times.” She and the werewolf shared a sad look. “I know my parents were murdered for a reason—Dumbledore implied that but he won’t just tell me the reason. There has to be a reason for my Voldie-visions, too.
“Everything in life happens for a reason—I firmly believe it. Dumbledore knows all the reasons for my life to be the way it is, and he won’t tell me anything.”
“There’s a prophecy,” Sirius blurted out. Her godfather shrugged when Moony frowned at him in wordless protest. “That’s what the Order is guarding, in the Ministry.”
“It’s about me?”
The two remaining true Marauders had a bit of an eyebrow argument. In the end, Moony sighed and nodded. “About you and Voldemort. Dumbledore told us it’s the key to the war.”
“How I’ll defeat Voldemort?” Harry slumped back on the loveseat. “If I defeat Voldemort.”
Sirius threw an arm across her shoulders. “We’ll be there with you,” he promised. “We’ll see this done. Together.”
“So that’s a no, then? To running away and being a family?” Hermione asked sounding almost disappointed.
They all laughed, and Sirius gestured her over. “Come here, you! Family hug. Moony, you too!”
Remus and Hermione joined them on the couch, dramatically flopping into the pile. They were too many for the loveseat. All four of them spilled easily off the little loveseat as the cuddle puddle devolved into a tickle fight.
“Well, well, well,” Professor Snape’s silkily menacing tone made them all freeze.
Sirius sat up with a sneer on his handsome face. Before he could say anything, something sort of rippled in Harry’s stomach. She groaned and clutched her middle when it happened again. Heartbeats after that, she could no longer see anything around her.
The entire world was a foggy gray.
“Harry?” she distantly heard someone ask. There were several hands on her and then an abrupt yank on her navel.
“Potter!” someone—Moody, she thought—shouted. “Catch!”
Instinctively her left hand closed around some sort of box. Then she was swirling.
It was like being mixed but with what, she had no idea. She was spinning. Then she was falling. Last, she was landing. Hard. She rolled on impact, the ground under her hands was soft. The air smelled of plants and there was a freely flowing breeze—a forest rather than the musty rot of Grimmauld Place.
There was a searing pain in her forehead, and she cried out. Last thing she knew was that she had to throw up and she surged forward hoping not to hit the people that should be around her.
The world went black.
“What we need,” his Uncle Eliot said in a musing tone. “Is a witch.”
“An…extremely powerful one,” Peter Hale—of all people—agreed. “That likes us.”
“One that ‘laughs in the face of danger! Ah hahaha!’“ Stiles quoted. All it gained him was several sets of rolled eyes—not even a single laugh. And, kay, maybe Lion King is a little obscure for this group of ultra-masculine assholes, but he had to try. “Like if Iron Man and Captain America had a baby and she was a witch, that’s what we need.”
“Captain America and Batman,” Peter Hale—again, of all people!—corrected. “We need her to be strong and clever, but she’ll need quite a bit of ruthlessness to survive this mess.”
“No kidding. Psycho-sadist-hunter grandpa, an Alpha Kanima and his slither of minions, a super psycho werejaguar, and the Alpha Pack.” Stiles rolled his eyes. He was so thoroughly done with Beacon Hills’ supernatural bullshit.
“And the world’s least communicative Emissary,” Peter scowled.
“He wasn’t bad before Gerard killed Scott,” Stiles defended. They all looked at him like he was nuts and he had to concede. “Yeah, okay. He’s pretty bad. And his sister or wife or whatever she is, is just creepy, so our witch can’t be anything like her.”
“Anything else you’d like,” Uncle Eliot, the asshole, asked sardonically. “Yea high, green eyes, curly hair, maybe?”
“I wish, you know her?”
His alpha werewolf Uncle snorts. “Not remotely. I think—”
The ground rumbled like an earthquake and there was pressure between Stiles eyes so bad it blinded him. When it faded, there were people on what was left of the Nemeton. Three men and two girls—though one of the girls rolled off of the Nemeton to land on her hands and knees in the grass.
They all threw up and Stiles had to swallow really hard not to copy them.
One of the men passed out completely. Another swayed like he was dizzy and stayed on his knees, shaking his head. The last one pushed furiously to his feet. He looked normal, almost boring compared to the other two men—then he flashed the red alpha high beams at them and pulled a thin stick. He pointed it their way in a wordless threat.
The girl still on the trunk stood uncertainty and pulled her own stick. She looked wobbly but once she got on her feet, she stayed there.
The girl that rolled off the tree looked up at them with eyes so green they seem to glow in the afternoon light. Her eyes were wide in a way that made Stiles certain that she wasn’t actually seeing them and promptly passed out.
Stiles moved forward to help her, but he was stopped by all three of the alphas in his immediate vicinity.
“Where. Are. We?” the alpha on the Nemeton growled.
“Uh, Beacon Hills?” Stiles said, confused down to his bones. “Technically, we’re in the Beacon Wildlife Preserve in Beacon County?”
“What?” the girl that was standing—and actually conscious—asked sharply. She had a British accent. They both did, actually. “Where?”
“California? Sort of north-ish? Well, mostly north-ish, actually. Totally NorCal. But the Beach is like fifteen minutes that way?” he told her, pointing west. “If that helps?”
“When?” she asked slowly.
“Uh,” he pulled out his phone and she squeaked. “August the ninth. 2014, if you care? 1:15 PM, apparently?”
“Oh, my god,” the girl ran her free hand over her face. “We’re in a television programme. How did we end up in a television programme?”
“The Harry Potter Factor,” the British Alpha muttered and now it was Stiles’ turn to squeak. “What television programme?”
“Uh, Teen Wolf?” She waved her empty hand almost distractedly. “It’s set in the near-future in Northern California. In a town called Beacon Hills, obviously. It’s all about girl power and LGBT normality. With, you know, enough werewolves and magic and ridiculously lovely people to draw a crowd. That one in the back looks just like Stiles Stilinski.”
Stiles flailed because she was pointing at him. And he was! He was definitely Stiles Stilinski!
“On his right is a hotter version of Peter Hale. Where’s Daria?”
“Daria?” Stiles couldn’t help but ask.
“Uh, yeah, Daria Hale? Talia Hale’s second daughter? She was…abused as a child. Castor Argent played at being in love with her but in the end turned around and murdered just about her entire family? Had to kill her uncle when he went on a killing streak that he can’t stop and despite everything she’s been through she becomes an amazing alpha until she sacrifices her family’s alpha spark to save her younger sister Cora from a darach?”
“Cora’s alive?” both Hales demanded and the girl jerked back like she just remembered she had an actual audience.
“Daria?” she asked Derek, her eyes wide.
“Derek,” he corrected. “And her name was Kate. I didn’t know she was a hunter.” He refused to meet his uncle’s eyes but from what Stiles could see, Peter must have already figured it out. Because Stiles did. Like, months ago. Peter looked more sad than any of the other possible emotions available, and there was no mocking in sight so that’s good.
“I don’t know who that one is supposed to be,” the girl pointed at his uncle.
“Eliot Spencer,” he told her. “Stiles’s uncle, John’s younger brother.”
“You weren’t in the show,” Know-it-all bit her bottom lip. “Did something happen to the Sheriff?”
“He died a few months ago. There was an incident at the sheriff station, it ended up burning to the ground with him inside it.
“Why don’t you tell us who you are?”
“Oh, I’m Hermione Granger. That’s Remus Lupin,” she pointed to the alpha. “Sirius Black,” was the kneeler. “Severus Snape,” was the dude that had passed out. “And Harry Potter,” was the Girl Who Rolled. “So, the kanima is still an issue, then? If the assault on the sheriff station wasn’t too long ago?”
“Do you know who the kanima is?” Stiles asked.
“Uh, Jackie—Jacquelyn—Whittemore? In the show, Daria bit her but it didn’t seem to take. They assumed her girlfriend Lydia had given her some sort of immunity because her Bite from Peter didn’t take either but really her issues with being adopted turned her into a kanima, rather than a werewolf. Maria Daehler used her as a murder weapon to kill the people responsible for her ‘drowning’ even though that was the most foolish storyline ever. She clearly didn’t actually drown at all since she was alive to get revenge.
“Eventually—in the show—she used the kanima to attack the Sheriff station and killed a bunch of Deputies while trying to hide the evidence of her murder spree.”
“Jackson Whittemore and Matt Daehler,” Stiles breathed. “Fuck! But Jackson disappeared! And they found Matt dead. Outside the station. He died the night the station was attacked. We thought he must have seen something, but no one could find his camera.”
“Gerard Argent killed him,” she told them. “In the show, he killed Maria the night of the massacre. It made him the Master of the kanima. Where’s Sarah? Sarah McCall? The one Peter bit in an attempt to stabilize himself when he first became an alpha?”
Stiles had to sit down because that? That made sense. Like a lot of sense.
Peter was obviously stable now so it made sense he hadn’t wanted to be out of control before, but with everything working against him—God, and Stiles and Scott had made it all so much worse for him. On purpose made everything worse—but they had had no idea what was going on and they had been scared so— Fuck. Could this have all been avoided?
“Scott McCall? He’s dead. It was—” Derek hesitated, “—not good.”
Hermione blinked in surprise. “Well, that’s different.” Then she looked around to the people still on the ground. “Uh, shouldn’t we—?”
“Check Harry,” Remus ordered. He didn’t put his wand away or anything. In fact, he moved almost aggressively into their space to keep himself between—Okay, there was no almost about it.
He moved aggressively forward but the three alphas with Stiles freely fell back to allow him to protect his, well, his pack.
Duke hummed to himself as he ran his hand over the sign to make sure he had found the right bathroom. He could use his sense of smell, certainly, except. Public bathrooms were humanity’s cruelest invention to a species with more advanced olfactory talents than theirs, so he didn’t. Wouldn’t.
Besides, anyone that might be watching would expect the blind man wandering on his own to read the braille put up for his benefit.
He smiled vaguely as he tapped his way in the room and up to a urinal.
There were no other heartbeats echoing off the tiles so he could afford to be a little less dedicated to his cover as he handled his business quickly and efficiently. It was almost a relief, taking a piss in peace—without Kali’s hovering or Ennis’s questions. The twins, bless them, might have an alpha’s eyes between them but individually they were betas to the core.
Whether they would remain his betas was another matter.
They had come to this cursed little town to collect a True Alpha. That boy was dead now, but his alpha spark wasn’t. Somehow, the Spark of a True Alpha had not only survived his death but the Spark was stronger now than ever.
It shouldn’t be possible.
The boy hadn’t Bitten anyone, he hadn’t been the type. Even if he had fully activated his spark—which Duke had no evidence to imply that he had—he was too self-loathing to make more werewolves, whether his theoretical pups wanted to be wolves or not. So, that left he question. How had his alpha spark not died with him?
True Alphas were rare, truly. One born every two hundred years, maybe. Usually to Werewolf families.
Scott McCall hadn’t had even a single werewolf parent. He had smelled like none of the old lineages. Especially not any of the ones that had been started by a True Alpha. Not a Matveev, not an O’Neill, not a Sheppard, not a Saito. Definitely not a Hale.
He had promised to be a pretty little mystery. Now he was dead and somehow an even bigger mystery.
There was the sound of a dancing crackle from the lights behind him, like electricity flickering. Duke could hear the surprised shouts from out in the mall and he snarled to himself.
Humans were truly pathetic.
The door opened, slowly. Whether the man coming in was being casual or dramatic about his entrance, Duke honestly didn’t care.
“Well, well, well,” a voice from his nightmares floated past him and abruptly Duke realized that he did care. He suddenly cared quite a lot, actually. “Isn’t this a blast from the past?”
Duke tapped his alpha spark and allowed the red-filled haze he had to call vision confirm what his ears were telling him. “Gerard Argent.”
Feeling no need for grandstanding, he popped his fangs and unleashed his claws. This time the murdering savage was going to die.
Argent laughed at him, utterly unafraid. “Take him.”
There was a small pain—barely even a slash across the back of his neck—and suddenly he couldn’t move. He jerked and pulled on his alpha spark but his limbs wouldn’t respond. Neither would his vocal cords. He could barely even growl.
“Well done, my lads.”
A fucking alpha kanima dropped from the ceiling to heel at Argent’s side like some sort of spaniel.
Even he hadn’t actually believed kanima were real. He’d always half believed it was some sort of South American boogey man…but, somehow, Gerard Argent not only had one but had an alpha.
“Present,” the Arch Hunter ordered no one.
Two sets of hands grabbed Duke from behind. The forced him to kneel. Then they tipped his head back, forcing his mouth open as they did.
Gerard Argent, on the edge of his vision, rolled up a sleeve to bear his left arm.
“You always were my favorite alpha.” Gerard said idly. “The same kind of monster, I am. Brutal but with a soft, civilized outer layer. Just for show, of course.” He moved close, unafraid of a paralyzed blind werewolf. The fury of what he had been reduced to—by this man, always by this man—burned in Duke’s soul. “I was surprised to learn you survived the whole eye…thing, but I have never been so pleased you did.”
The bastard set his arm in Duke’s mouth and slammed his lower jaw closed so hard it fractured. His teeth—his alpha teeth—sank in, deep and true. He could feel the edge of the bastard’s bone before Argent signaled and a third set of hands reached up to pull Duke’s mouth back open, cracking his jaw again.
The kanima let him fall backwards when they were done with him. Like so much garbage on the bathroom floor.
Three kanima. Gerard Argent had three kanima under his control and Duke had a moment to wonder how the fuck that even worked before the bathroom door swung wide open.
Ennis. Ennis was there with murder in his big ugly face.
“Well doesn’t this look cozy?” And the bastard waded into the room with the Twins already merged at his back.
“Defend!” Argent ordered, falling back toward the stalls and his reptilian pets surged forward.
Kali came in low through the door last and scooped him up. She was out the door running before he could gather a breath.
His instinct was to order her to stop. To stand their ground and fight, but he couldn’t speak to say it and Kali wouldn’t listen to him anyway. They were a team of equals, not a pack. He had never regretted that before this very moment.
“We have a plan,” she promised him as she broke for the truck.
The truck was already running when they got to it. She threw him in the back seat and leapt into the driver seat. She shoved the truck into reverse and froze. Pain hit them both like an electric-edged punch in the gut. A one-two punch.
First Ennis, then the Twins.
Kali roared for both of them. “They will pay,” she swore. “Those bastards will fucking pay!” And she slammed her foot down on the gas.
Gerard smirked at the two Alpha Werewolves. Helpless before him. Defiant and furious, but impotent.
“Ennis, isn’t it?” He smirked at the big bastard. He was a long-time ally and associate of Deucalion Lane. Not the alpha he wanted the alpha spark of but, well, all these beasts were the same in the end, weren’t they?
He pulled the most boring knife in his repertoire out of a boot. A boring, bulky knife. Common. Like one of literally thousands found in chain steaks houses across the country. Except this one of course was laced with his favorite Nordic Blue. Even if the bite didn’t kill the alpha—which it would—he won’t survive for even forty-eight hours of exposure to the poison.
The quickest way to a man’s heart— Well, technically the quickest way to a man’s heart would be at 2,970 feet per second but in order to receive alpha powers from a werewolf the kill had the be up close and personal. A knife could magically substitute for claws, a gun couldn’t.
He went right for his heart. One clean, swift penetration.
Ennis’s body seized. He roared a denial and his eyes flickered. Red. Red. Red. Then blue as his breath left his body in a rush. The power of it tingled up Gerard’s hand still holding the knife in Ennis’s chest, up his arm to curl around his heart.
He laughed a bit as it settled. The power coursing through his veins was a high like no other. Better even than claiming the loyalty of a kanima because it was more personal. It was his and his alone. It was independence. Freedom. From cancer, from the matriarchs. From everything that had ever forced him to stay his hand his entire fucking life.
His little alpha pet, no doubt feeling the direction of his thoughts, sidled up to him. Needy little shit.
He was useful though, so Gerard patted him on the shoulder. “Good boy. Very good boy.”
Together they moved to the second alpha. He was bigger than even Ennis, but he smelled younger, too.
There was a ridge—a crack running right down the center of his face. Down his neck, his chest, and into his belted jeans. In the middle of his body, all the way down.
He’d heard about this. A rumor. About a pair of twins, one born wolf and the other Bitten young enough it almost didn’t matter. As a pair of betas, they were pretty useless, but they could come together into a fairly powerful alpha. And they had, supposedly so their pack would be forced to leave the Bitten one alone.
More unnaturalness. Obscenity on top of obscenity, in his opinion. Well, he could put a stop to this particular foolishness—and he did. He shoved his crappy little steak knife in the chasm of their chest.
Their conjoined alpha spark tingles its way up his arm to further empower the one already curled around his heart.
There was a flash of light and two thumps and suddenly two teenage boys were blinking up at him in confusion. The one on the right snarled at him, his eyes flashing blue. The one of the left was more cautious, a planner.
Gerard snarled right back at the rebellious puppy. Mentally, he tugged on the new tethers he could feel in his mind and both little wolflings winced.
“You’re mine now,” he told them—and oh, the irony. It burned—and he loved it. “Welcome to the Pack.”
Hermione eased forward behind Professor Lupin’s back. Harry needed her but that was no reason to be stupid around a bunch of werewolves.
Though that was interesting too.
She had never seen Lupin with red alpha eyes before. The one time she had seen his wolf form they had been yellow, but they hadn’t glowed, not like all of the wolves in Teen Wolf did. Their magic had to be conforming them to their new universe.
Did that mean the magic they had learned in their world would not work like they were used to?
Sirius Black finally pushed to his feet as she took ahold of her best friend’s shoulder. There was black goo under her face. Double checking, Hermione shot quick looks at all their various sick. “This looks like the what I read was supposed to happen after you take a Greater Cleansing Draught.”
“It rather does, doesn’t it?” Lupin’s tone was flat enough to dance on.
Carefully, carefully she rolled Harry on to her back. “She’s bleeding. Professor, she’s bleeding from her face. Her scar.”
“Sirius, wake Severus,” Lupin ordered. “No funny business, he’s the closest thing we have to a healer.”
Sirius made a face at his friend. Like he would do anything that could hurt Harry, no matter how tertiarily, “Enervate.”
Severus of course came awake dramatically, taking huffing breathes and looking around for danger as he pushed himself up into a roll. He glared at all of them, frowned at the various puddles of sick and then, surprisingly, pulled up his left sleeve.
He had no Dark Mark.
Just a bit of drying blood. His school rival swiped a finger through it, revealing naked, vaguely puffy skin.
Sirius couldn’t help but stare. He knew Severus had had the Mark since Yule their Sixth Year so how—?
“Professor?” Hermione prompted sounding stressed and Severus was on his feet immediately.
He flicked his wand at each of them in turn and Sirius shivered under the familiar magic of a diagnosis charm. Snape didn’t stop on his way to Harry though, so they must not have been that bad off.
He dropped to his knees at Harry’s side and she got more than a handful of spells herself.
“Somehow we got dropped into an alternate universe of a muggle television programme.”
Severus blinked at his student. “That’s as fascinating as it is infuriating.”
“But theoretically possible,” Hermione argued. “Every possibility exists somewhere.”
“Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations,” Severus agreed and Hermione’s mouth dropped open. The potion’s professor snorted at her, “You aren’t the only muggle-raised person around, Miss Granger, merely the most vocal.
“Regardless, your theory best explains what I’ve found. Miss Potter is magically exhausted. Likely from powering our travel. She will need several potions and will likely sleep for several days.” Severus pulled a glittering silver chain with several charms on it from around his neck. “Mutt, open these.”
Sirius grumbled but took the chain. The charms were recognizable. They were their combined Sixth Year charms/transfiguration project. “You’re still using these?”
Severus snorted as he turned his wand back to the task at hand, cleaning up Harry Potter. “Why wouldn’t I? They have all the features I need and excellent security.”
“Considering only the two of us can open them.” Sirius rolled his eyes.
“Likely saved my life.”
Sirius whipped around to look at him in surprise and then nodded after a moment’s thought, “No point in killing you for something they can’t open without at least one of us. And it’s not like I’m going to do a favor for one of those dark bastards.”
“You were in Azkaban.” Snape reminded him in an even tone of voice.
It was neither a gleeful reminder nor a dig as Sirius would have expected but he still had a hard time not bristling at the reminder.
Snape ignored him and kept casting. “I need a Channel Soother, Maximum Strength Channel Enhancer, a Greater and a Lesser Restorative Draught, and a nutrient potion. You’ll need to open both charms.”
Sirius cut his thumb on each of the charms—a snake and a paw print, respectively—and set them down several feet apart. Two passwords later two large wood cabinets stood in the middle of the forest.
Assuming Snape wanted the potions in the order he asked for them, Sirius went to the larger cabinet first. He opened the left side only because they had designed the right to hold a collection of cauldrons and stir rods with a complicated array of ward and stasis spells to keep what needed to be fresh, fresh but still allow a half-finished potion to age properly without leaving any room for cross-contamination in the storage process.
Setting that up had been a real pain so he wasn’t about to mess with whatever Snape has going on over there. Instead, he retrieved the Channel Soother, Lesser Restorative Draught and nutrient potion.
Hermione popped up to play owl for him and Snape started working the channel soother into Harry’s system as Sirius moved to the other cabinet.
It was more a china hutch that they had married to a folding desk, but it worked. The more expensive potions were secured behind the expandable worktable which included the Maximum Strength Channel Enhancer and Greater Restorative Draught.
“I imagine the book is a small library or something but what are these other two charms?” he asked as Hermione played owl again.
“Ingredients,” Severus answered without looking away from where he was spelling the potions into one Harry Potter. “Plants rather than cuttings so that I can harvest what I need in the correct conditions.”
Sirius nodded. The phase of the moon was just one variable that could greatly affect the properties of the plant in question, particularly in regards to harvesting the plant for potions. One couldn’t stand in the presence of four alpha werewolves and ignore the fact that the phase of the moon could cause drastic changes from a magical perspective.
“That’s the clover, so the ferret-thing is animals then?”
Hermione gasped in protest to whatever nightmare she was imagining about the treatment of the animals, but Snape ignored her like a professional.
“They too are in stasis,” the potion master said. “I copied the security from the other two so you will be able to open them if anything were to happen to me.”
Harsh and more than a little fatalist but smart considering the fact that they were in a different dimension than the one they had breakfast in just hours ago. “What else do we have? Moody tossed Harry a war chest, I can recognize Aquilla’s Rest from here.”
“He gave Harry his son’s war chest?” Remus says in shock.
“Professors?” Hermione frowned but they waved her off.
No one wanted to talk about Alastor Moody’s sons. Or his daughter for that matter. All three and his wife—the last Earth Elemental that had lived in Great Britain—had died in the last blood war and Sirius—No one wanted to talk about that!
“It’s sticking to her hand because its bonding to her magic,” Hermione guessed instead.
“Indeed,” Snape nodded once. “Though one could argue that her hand was sticking to the chest rather than the chest to her hand. She won’t be able to release it until she settles the bond and gives it instructions.”
“What else do we have?” Sirius prompted. “I have my Run Kit.” He pulled his own necklace with a little wing charm. Yes, its security was also based off of those he made with Snape so many years ago but Moony was his second this time around, thank you very much. “A few bits of clothes, the books I’ve been reading, food for Buckbeak, and not much else. Hermione? Do you have your Charms/Runes project still?”
“I do.” She pulled a small beaded bag from her pocket it really shouldn’t fit in. “It still has the books you leant me to experiment with, and my school trunk. Last night Harry let me put her broomstick and her father’s cloak in it as well.”
But not the map. Ah, well, it wasn’t like that would do them much good in a different reality anyway.
“So, we have books and school supplies but very little in the way of money or food.” He summarized.
“Unless there is a miracle in Harry’s war chest, yes,” Remus agreed. “What now?”
“Shouldn’t she be put in a bed?” the one Hermione called Stiles asked, flailing one hand in Harry’s general direction. “She doesn’t look like she’s doing that good.”
“Why don’t you come with us,” the guy with long hair and broad shoulders that Hermione could not identify on her own, Eliot Spencer asked. “Let her sleep it off while we tell you about this world. You can pick your direction when we’re done?”
“Why would we trust you?” Snape asked without looking away from his work on Harry. “Why would you trust us? How do you know we aren’t insane? Or dangerous? We could kill you in your sleep. Rob you blind, turn you over to your enemies, leave you helpless. Why—?”
“Look,” the one Hermione called Peter cuts Snape off. “You are people I’ve never met, wearing fabrics, the like of which I have never seen—and I know fashion—and you’re smelling like things that don’t exist and yet somehow I’m managing to instinctively identify so many things on your persons, including Unicorn Hair and Bicorn Horn, by smell.
“Something weird is definitely happening and it is obviously affecting all of us. I can’t be the only one thinking we need to figure it out together,” he finished.
“It’s really convenient we were wishing for magical help and a bunch of really magical people just happen to land pretty much at our feet,” Stiles added. “That’s gotta mean something.”
Hermione made a soft, sad sound. “Harry was wishing for somewhere we could be family. And suddenly we’re here.”
“So maybe we’re the answer to each other’s wishes. Do you think maybe we should get out of the damn forest and figure it out?” Peter was breathing a little hard by the time he finished.
The three wizards look at each other and shrugged. Then they looked at Hermione and she nodded enthusiastically.
“We have to do something about the stump,” Remus objected as Sirius reconfigured Snape’s cabinets back into charm form. “It’s obviously very magical and it is, quite frankly, the darkest thing I’ve even seen.”
“Three-Point Ward?” Severus offered as he stood.
“Four would be better, a sphere ward.”
“Our fourth would have to be male,” Snape reminded him. “The only other magicals we have with us are not male.”
Remus quirked an eyebrow and tilted his head toward the four men standing off to one side.
Severus huffed and examines them. His eyes burned white when he activated his Mage Sight. “The boy, Stiles.”
“If we give him a wand, we’re honor bound to train him in the use of it,” Sirius objected.
“Between the three of us, we have the skills to train him,” Remus reassured him, as if that was the actual source of his objection. “And we have to finish training the girls, anyway.”
Snape snorted and addressed the actual concern, “As if Potter would agree to leave once she found out she was needed.”
“Harry does have a bit of a saving people thing,” Hermione agreed.
Severus rolled his eyes in disgust, “Foolishness is what it is.”
“You don’t actually have any room to talk, Professor,” Hermione told him primly. “Don’t think we haven’t noticed your saving people thing.”
And, she had a point. Severus hadn’t hesitated for a second to throw himself—completely unarmed—between the kids and a very feral Moony one full moon almost two years ago now. Sirius still almost couldn’t believe it and he had been there.
“That said, we don’t have a wand to give him,” Hermione frowned.
“Yes, we do.” Sirius corrected her gently. “Do you know how hard it is to match with a wand when you can’t go into a shop and let one pick you? I spent a fortune on wands before I found one that works.”
Still, he wasn’t sure he could trust these alphas—three alphas, without a single pack in evidence—with the most vulnerable member of their group, Hermione. Especially with Harry unconscious. Conscious Harry would be a match for three anything, he was sure, but unconscious and depleted?
Sirius shot Moony a questioning look and his werewolf just grinned. He turned the same look on Snape and the man huffed and rolled his eyes but, in the end, he nodded so Sirius shifted.
Letting Padfoot out to play earned him a pair of surprised chokes from both Stiles and Derek. He padded up to Stiles, wagging his tail to reduce his threat profile, and gave the boy a sniff.
Yup, definitely a wizard.
Not that he wanted or expected Snape to be wrong or anything—it was just good to verify.
The boy shyly gave his ears a scritch. He returned the affection with a happy lick and moved on to the boy’s uncle. He moved on to the other two to make sure they weren’t a threat.
Well, of course they are threats, but he checked their emotional and magical states to make sure they were threats for his little family rather than to it.
He made sure to lick each of them as he went along. He was half-tempted to piss of Peter’s shoes if for no other reason than because of his name but he refrained. Licking them worked just as well as more traditional marking. And, as a Harbinger of Death, a Grim could pursue anyone he had marked through any magical circumstances.
Not even wards could keep him out, so if this Peter turned out like their last Peter, there would be nowhere for him to hide.
Nowhere any of them could hide, if they hurt his kit.
“Well?” Snape demanded as Sirius returned to them and regained two feet.
“A soldier,” he pointed to Stiles’ uncle. “A mercy killer,” he pointed to Derek. “And a former resident of Murder Town but, interestingly, he smells like grave dirt, so he’s died and returned since then. None of them smell inappropriately of lust or rage so it should be safe enough.”
“Dark?” Snape pressed, probably because of the resurrection rituals.
“No, he was buried but only mostly dead. His soul never crossed the Veil.”
Snape and Remus turned to frown at Peter. Dying without dying was… a very strange circumstance. Whether it was symptom or a cause of the sheer level of weird that had these people wishing to be rescued by Harry Potter was anyone’s guess at this point.
The three local alphas had a fun collection of reactions to his evaluation of them; amusement, confusion/fury, and surprise/wonder. It was all in their scents, of course. They all had powerful poker face game even if Derek’s was more of an imminent-violence face.
“To clarify,” Stiles uncle started. “You want to give Stiles a wand and teach him magic.”
“In return for him helping us ward this tree stump,” Remus nodded. “Yes.”
Stiles flailed. “What? How? Why?”
“Because its powerful and dangerous? If it’s pulling people across realities—and we have to assume it was involved since we landed on it—”
“No, I mean,” he flailed again. “What?”
“Stiles,” Snape broke in before the boy could devolve further into babbling, his tone impatient. “You are a wizard.”
The boy blinked, “Come again?”
“You’re a wizard, Stiles.”
The boy stared at him with wide eyes for about two heartbeats before he started laughing. He doubled over he was laughing so hard.
“Oh, man! I got Hagrided by Snape!”
“I just got Hagrided by Snape.” The magical boy fell over, he was laughing so hard. He flailed about on the ground while he was down there. “Oh, god. Oh, god! Okay, okay.” The young man stood up, still breathless. “What do I do?”
“Come here and pick a wand,” Sirius instructed as he turned his wing charm back into his grandfather’s seven-layer trunk. He fiddled with the locks until the right combination was locked or unlocked and the dial spun to get the fifth layer.
He opened his trunk and Stiles looked down the ladder into the trunk. The tops of shelves filled with thin red, black, or silver boxes were just visible from where they stood. “How many wands did you buy?”
Sirius just shrugged because he did not want to answer that question and pointed his wand at the opening. “Accio Aspen and Dragon heartstring,” he casted because while his nose might not pick the same things as Snape’s eyes, this boy was a combat mage, or he would eat kibble for a week.
Two silver Silveris, three red Ollivanders, and a single black Gregorovitch wand box landed in a neat little stack in his hand. Wordlessly, he offered them to Stiles.
Curiosity coming over his features, the boy opened the first box, a Silveri. He pulled the wand and gave it a little flick, but nothing happened. With a frown, he put it back and went to the Gregorovitch below it. Again, nothing happened. Sirius’s guess about wood and core was validated through with the third wand. The first Ollivander’s wand on offer shot a shower of golden sparks the moment it was in the boy’s hand.
Sirius mentally wiggled a little in satisfaction. He knew the boy smelled like combat magic.
“Now, come stand right here,” Remus called and the boy scampered over while Sirius moved to stand opposite him. Leaving Snape and Remus to face each other across the circle.
“Hermione,” Snape addressed his student as he paused halfway to his spot around the stump. “This would be more effective with the blood of a female virgin.”
The girl swallows, “Harry—”
“Consent is powerful magic,” he interrupted her. “More so when defensive magic is being worked. If you use blood for wards, it must be willingly given. Harry can’t willingly provide consent right now.”
“Will it bind me here?”
“Does it open me up to being taken or used in any way? Would someone be able to use me to control or access the tree in some way?”
“No, but that is a valid question. No one but the four of us in the circle will be able to find the tree after we have completed this ritual. The fact of its location will be hidden. Many that knew of the tree but perhaps didn’t know exactly what it was will likely forget its existence.”
“Alright, how do I do this?”
Severus pulled a clean vial from Merlin knew where, like some muggle magician, and held it out to Hermione. “Cut your finger on the edge. It is spelled not to hurt and will heal the cut once the vial is full to this line.” He taps the vial with his wand right about halfway.
Hermione took the vial.
Stiles stifled a sigh as Remus freaking Lupin lowered his arms after what felt like hours and casted a diagnostic on the Nemeton Stump. Severus Snape lowered his arms and started casting a moment later but Sirius Black—the one and only Sirius Black, standing directly across the stump from Stiles—kept his arms up so Stiles did too.
He was pretty sure they were maintaining the magic of the circle.
He hadn’t found much of what he would consider reliable information about magic. Google could only do so much, really, but he knew circles were used to maintain and control ritual magic. That much he was sure of.
Hopefully, this didn’t mean that prolonged use of scarecrow pose would be a thing in his future, long term or otherwise.
Finally, Lupin and Snape nodded and Sirius lowered his arms.
Stiles followed a moment later and wobbled a little bit as the strain of it rushed through him.
Peter was there to catch him though, before he could land on his ass. At this point, Stiles wasn’t even sure why he was surprised by the alpha’s attention. He’d been getting it a lot since Peter had come back.
Honestly, he’d been creepily attentive to Stiles before his death too, but Stiles hadn’t thought much of their one pre-death encounter. Now he had to wonder…
Stiles wasn’t surprised by the constipated look on Uncle Eliot’s face. The man had yet to explain the reason for the face but oh was he going to.
“We need to go,” Snape ordered sharply before Stiles could question his uncle. “We broke at least three magical bonds to this artefact.”
“The bonded will come to investigate,” Sirius said by way of agreement. “We really don’t want to be here when they do.”
“We should be able to fit in the cars,” Peter told them.
“Parked together?” Remus asked and Peter nodded. “Everyone hold hands,” he ordered, wand in hand. “I’ll take the front, Sirius the back.”
Remus and Sirius silently made the same complicated swishing pattern and their wand tips took on a warm but muted brown glow. Snape levitated Harry off the ground and Remus took ahold of her left wrist.
Stiles reached for her right hand. There was a sucking feeling on his palm, like a vacuum cleaner on his skin, and suddenly he was gripping Harry’s right elbow with his right hand. Her hand was gripping his forearm in turn.
“Uh,” he looked up at the magical alpha to find the man’s eyebrows were at his hairline.
The ground rumbled ominously, and Remus tugged them forward. “Which way?”
“That way,” he jerked his chin. “There’s a trail.”
The former professor nodded and started them down the trail. Peter took Stiles’ free hand with Uncle Eliot standing as the next link in the chain. Then came Snape, Hermione, Derek, and finally Sirius.
They ran through the woods faster than Stiles had ever managed before. They ran further than Stiles remembered them walking on their way in on their way to the Nemeton’s clearing as well.
They didn’t make a sound as they ran, either. Not the sound of a crunched leaf or a swaying branch or a snapped twig. Nothing, other than Snape occasionally shouting an incantation. Defensive spells, Stiles was pretty sure, though he wasn’t sure how he knew.
The strangest thing, though? Not a single one of them found anything like an obstacle in their path as they ran. In fact, Stiles thought he saw a tree straight up slide out of Lupin’s way at least once as he led their charge. Almost like the Earth itself is helping them all get away.
It was crazy. Absolutely impossible.
But he was holding Harry fucking Potter’s—very real, very physical—hand, so maybe it wasn’t.
When they reached the cars, he and Harry were shoved into the back end of Peter’s Range Rover.
His uncle saluted him with Roscoe’s key. When the asshole stole it, Stiles had no idea, but he was vaguely sort of grateful? There was no time to argue over it anyway as lightning—a shitload of lightning from a clear blue midday sky—exploded over the Preserve. It struck closer to the Nemeton than to where they were, thankfully.
Derek and Sirius Black—still holding his spell active—climbed into Roscoe as Snape practically threw Hermione into Peter’s back seat and doves in after her. Peter took off quickly but not recklessly with Lupin still holding his spell active in the passenger seat.
“That can’t be safe!” Hermione protested, turning to look at Stiles and Harry over the back of her seat.
“I can’t enchant a moving vehicle,” Snape hissed.
“What about their clothes?”
Snape snapped and pointed at her. “Do you have a blanket in your bag?”
Immediately, she opened the bag and pulled out a squishy looking red and gold number.
Snape took the blanket and flicked it so that it covered Stiles and Harry, but he kept one corner. Gripping it tightly in his free hand, he started to cast. Almost instantly, Peter’s cargo compartment was approximately three hundred times more comfortable.
Then they stop jarring about so much. First just a little but growing over time until they might as well have been floating, they were so steady. Which he was sure Harry’s neck would appreciate when she woke up. Hell, his tail bone appreciated it right now. Go, Team Snape!
Finally, Snape added a bit of a warming spell—or something—to it and Stiles was really cozy. Seriously, Stiles could almost go to sleep in what amounted to Peter Hale’s trunk, it was amazing.
Or he could, if his arm was at a better angle but this is way better than he probably should have expected.
“Don’t go directly to our final destination,” Remus told Peter as he turned on his blinker to leave to Preserve. “Leave town completely and let us return from a different direction.”
“You gonna hold that spell the whole time?” Peter growled, flipping his indicator the other way.
“We need to get lost in a crowd before I drop it.”
“What does this spell do?” Hermione asked before Stiles could.
“It’s a highly advanced variation of the Notice Me Not charm. With a bit of a ward component so that no one can track us with magic, scent, or vision. As long as, it’s active we are essentially invisible.”
“The warding aspect ensures others won’t run into us,” Snape added. “Their minds won’t see us, but they will react as if they do—actually giving us more physical room than we need to prevent accidents or discovery.”
“That’s really clever,” Hermione nodded. “And complicated.”
“Lily invented it,” Remus said with a small smile.
“And she was furious when Black copied it after seeing her cast it once.” Snape huffed. “Two professors quit Hogwarts completely during the resultant prank war.”
“It was brilliant,” Remus agreed. “And frustrating. You’d think he’s a complete airhead, never studied or did anything productive in his life, then he turns around and figures out how to charm the benches in the Great Hall to glow in response to body heat and mood without ever getting caught.”
“Black in a nutshell, brilliantly frustrating.”
“Or frustratingly brilliant,” Remus agreed then focuses back on Peter. “How long until we can find a shopping mall, or something of a sort?”
“Closest mall is in Beacon Pointe, so half an hour? Is one enough? What exactly are we doing?”
“Basically, we want to be surrounded by other moving cars so we can gradually lower the spell and not seem out of place. Being surrounded by cement, steel, and technology will further confuse any supernatural sources that maybe looking for us. Or that are simply around and happen to be alert when we drop the spell.”
“So, a parking garage. Mall, it is.” Peter nodded, merging on to the highway to go north. “Can you work a cell phone?”
“Probably not,” Remus admitted honestly and pulled a thin rectangle out of his pocket anyway. He passed it back to Hermione. “Tap that twice and say Sirius’s Marauder name.”
It was a mirror. She tapped it twice and said, “Padfoot.”
It took a moment but the mirror jolted like it had been tapped twice by an invisible hand and Stiles could see Derek Glare #6—or as Stiles called it ‘The One With Surprise’—where her reflection had previously been.
“We are making for the Mall at Beacon Pointe,” she said perhaps a little slowly but perfectly clearly. “We will confuse them with the parking garage before dropping the spell.”
“That’s good,” Uncle Eliot’s Texas drawl called out. “You got the gas for that?”
“We do,” Peter confirmed.
“We can hit Beacon Valley and come back in from the east. Hit the market while were there.”
“You just want to go grocery shopping, you foodie!” Stiles teased.
“You know we don’t have groceries for this many,” Uncle Eliot chided. “And I’m going to assume magic eats like a wolf after a fight.”
“Just about,” Remus agreed. “Sirius, are you good to hold the spell for forty-five minutes?”
“I’m good—and if not, I have Pepper-up. Worry about yourself, Moony.”
Snape scoffed, “We have plenty of Pepper-up as well.”
“He’s probably going to need two. Do you have any Animagus Olfactory Suppressant?”
“Not that I can get to you currently.”
“Not for me, for Harry. She doesn’t need it at home, but she does in crowds—especially around muggles. Otherwise she’ll throw up all those potions you just put down her maw.”
“Wonderful,” Snape muttered, pulling one of his charms. “Why didn’t I know about this? Animagus status is relevant to her occlumency training!”
“She didn’t want Dumbledore to know anything about her form and I figured it was her decision,” Sirius admitted.
Snape huffed and started murmuring under his breath to the charm he had picked.
“Alright, half an hour to Beacon Pointe,” Uncle Eliot began to summarize. “Fifteen minutes wandering a parking garage, forty-five to Beacon Valley, and half an hour home? So, two hours?”
“Plus however long it takes us to get supplies,” Peter agreed.
“Keep us posted,” Remus called out. And then, “Tap it once to deactivate.”
“I have a question,” Stiles declared. Hermione was the only one that turned to look at him and he huffed indignantly. “Why am I holding Harry Potter’s hand? Why can’t I let go? How long are we going to be attached? How am I going to pee?”
Snape hummed idly as he plucked several potions from within the charm-turned-black-hole framed by the thumb and first finger of one hand. “Your clasp is reminiscent of an Unbreakable Vow. Perhaps Magic—or that tree stump—feels you and Harry owe each other some promises?”
“Vow? Promises?” Stiles squawked. “I’m— I’m not marrying a woman!”
“You,” Hermione hesitated. “Aren’t available to women, then? Romantically?”
Stiles flailed a bit. “That’s not what I meant! I’m—” he was not going to say Hale-sexual. He was not going to say Hale-sexual. He was not going to say Hale-sexual. He really, really was not. “We’ve only just met! I don’t even know her!”
“There are more vows to be made than marriage,” Snape scoffed.
“Yeah, of course,” Stiles glared at the asshole. “But who’s going to protect Draco now?”
The man froze and then slowly tilted his head just enough to glare at Stiles with all the fury of Derek Glare #3 and the promise of retribution from Derek Glare #5. “How could you possibly know anything about Draco?” he asked menacingly.
“We’re a TV show to you, you’re a book series to us. Seven books, eight movies. The last one—Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2—was released like a month ago. It’s a huge success on a global level.”
“That sounds,” Hermione frowned, “really invasive.”
Stiles scoffed. This from the girl that felt free to announce something a lot like their life stories to god and everyone? “Uh, yeah.”
“Our Harry’s a boy, though,” Peter chipped in. “In the books and movies.”
“Do you have these books?”
Stiles nodded. “And the first seven movies.”
Hermione looked questioningly at Snape.
The man sighed. “Anyone in the books clearly has a right to read them but only Harry can tell us if her parts are accurate. I assume she is the main character? Her name is in the title.”
“Yeah, absolutely.” Stiles nodded. “They might be upsetting, though? I mean, people die.”
“Multiple people?” Hermione asked tremulously.
“Seven main-ish characters, I think? For you, they’re like—actual people you probably know, right?”
Hermione took a deep breath and nodded.
Snape nodded too and turned front. “Lupin.” He handed the man a small vial full of red liquid.
Remus just accepted the vial and tossed it back with a, “My thanks.” And Snape went back to poking through his potion collection. Periodically, he pulled one out to hand to Stiles. He figured out pretty quickly how to be smooth about tipping Harry’s head back and pouring potions down her throat one handed.
The magic of potions had to ensure safe ingestion. Either that or Harry’s body was really used to being fed potions in her sleep—and wasn’t that a disquieting thought?
Three different colored potions for Harry and a second Pepper up for Remus later, they are pulling out of the mall and directly onto the highway when Hermione spoke again, “Mr. Hale?”
“Peter, please. I’m not much older than you.”
“Okay, thank you, Peter. You died? That was how Derek became Alpha, right?”
“I did and it was,” he agreed as he changed lanes.
“But you’re an alpha now? And so is Derek?”
Peter sighed and was quiet for a while—long enough that they leave Beacon Pointe headed for Beacon Valley. Long enough that even the obviously tired Remus Lupin was watching him with wary eyes before he spoke up again.
“I don’t understand how I became an alpha again,” he eventually confessed. “I know it has something to do with Scott McCall’s death. Stiles and I were together researching kanima when I felt him die and the power came on but—
“But I honestly have no idea why.
“None of my research can answer this question. Even if McCall had been a True Alpha—something that is only supposed to happen to actual born wolves—his power would only transfer to someone he had Bitten himself. But he wasn’t a True Alpha, at least not actively. And there has never been a True Alpha that had taken the Bite. Ever. Not in any of the records I can find. It’s how you’re born, not something that might maybe happen but only under certain circumstances.”
Lupin hummed and glanced over his shoulder to Snape, “A soul leech?”
“Something along those lines, yes,” Snape frowned. “It would explain how he never completely died—if his soul was anchored to someone else by the tether of his alpha powers. We’ll need to see the body. Is it available?”
“He hasn’t been buried yet, if that’s what you mean,” Stiles answered, taking a deep breath. “The wake is tomorrow, funeral on Saturday.”
“Black and I can investigate tonight then.” Snape frowned at the man when Remus grumbled. “You need bed rest. You are too close to magical exhaustion as it is.”
“Uncle Eliot can definitely get you in there, no problem.”
“I could do it, too,” Peter grumbled and Stiles tried not to find it cute.
“No,” Snape immediately vetoed. “If you were somehow the unwilling or unknowing victim of a soul leech, being close to the anchor would be dangerously detrimental to your health.”
“The last thing we need is for you to go back to ‘Murder Town’ as Sirius would say,” Remus agreed. “And that would be an express ticket.”
Peter nodded, silently accepting their advice. They were their asked-for magical backup, after all.
“Why don’t you rest, Professor?” Hermione asked. “We have at least enough time for you to get a decent nap.”
Lupin grumbled a bit to himself but in the end agreed. “Wake me if you need me.”
“I believe it is time,” Severus said as he set aside Stiles’s copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
He had chosen to literarily jump right into their most recent circumstances rather than wait his turn to read things in order after Miss Granger.
It was a terrible thing, seeing yourself displayed so…nakedly from someone else’s point of view. Not even from Miss Potter’s point of view, which he was fairly certain had improved over this last school year, but from the author’s version of her point of view. Someone he didn’t even know, not even using Miss Potter’s face but one seemingly similar to judge him with no circumstances accepted.
Surely, surely, their Occlumency lessons were nothing like that. Merlin, that was torture of a young mind, pure and simple.
Unfortunately for his peace of mind, he could see the book’s ending happening so, so easily. Umbridge, the Department of Mysteries, fucking Dumbledore as the young Mr. Stilinski would say. It made it…difficult to look his own personal enemy Sirius Black in the eye.
“Not one of you had better get hurt,” Hermione told them as she set aside The Sorcerer’s Stone. She wasn’t keeping a finger in it for the first time since Mr. Spencer had brought it down and handed it to her after dinner, he was pleased to note. “Harry would be very cross.”
Severus stopped on his way out the door because, what?
He didn’t verbalize his question. He was a Slytherin, thank you very much, but Black didn’t have the same compunction about giving himself away judging by his nearly screeched, “What?”
“Don’t get hurt,” Hermione repeated. “Harry would hate it. And likely blame herself because she’s unreasonable like that.”
“You make it sound like she cares about Snivellus!” Hermione looked—perhaps pointedly? —away and Black practically flailed in outrage. “Harry doesn’t have a crush. She doesn’t.”
“I never said she did,” the girl reminded them.
“Harry has a crush.” Black, the over dramatic arse, collapsed back into his chair. “But, why? He’s terrible!”
“You forget what her life was like before Hogwarts,” Hermione said sadly. “She was abused, Sirius. I had to take her to the Infirmary for a Calming Draught the first week. No one had come around to beat her for her mistakes—or her success—you see, and the stress of waiting for her ‘thrashing’ gave her a panic attack.
“She was constantly surprised she was even allowed to eat at meals and that no one screamed at her for it.
“Snape was an arse to her, that’s true. But his little temper tantrums, while embarrassing, were nothing compared to what she was used to. And he saved her life. Repeatedly. He even defended her verbally once or twice in her hearing even if it obviously pained him. That might as well have been a confession of true, undying love wrapped in a marriage proposal in the world of Harry Potter.”
Severus could feel something terribly like guilt churning in his gut. He had no idea what to even say.
“Well,” Black seemed to be trying to look for the bright side. The sliver of the situation he could cling to and pretend to live. Because his inability to tell Potter no was ridiculous. “He’s not even twenty years older than her so it’s not all that unseemly.”
Hermione laughed but not like it was funny. “You people marry your siblings, Sirius, I don’t think Harry will be bothered by what you think is unseemly or not. But she’s fifteen. She’ll get over it. Eventually.”
Severus wasn’t so sure. Connections made young…but there is no connection, he told himself. She meant nothing to him. He simply owes her a Life Debt. No, not her. Her father. He owed her father a Life Debt. That was even less of a connection between them.
“Is she getting better at least?” Severus found himself asking. “With the abuse? Muggles have mind healers—psychiatrists—we can get her healing sessions.”
Granger and Lupin exchanged looks so clear they might as well be subtitled ‘See?’ And ‘Ah!’ as he took the first book on the life of Mister Potter from her.
Severus huffed in offence and ignored the smirks around him as Mr. Spencer led him and Sirius out into the dark, climbing into a gray ‘pickup truck’ in borrowed—and magically altered—clothes.
The funeral hall Spencer drove them to was a small, squat building of a gentle clay-brown.
The inside—the showroom—had all the appearance of decadence but none of the substance. Fake flowers in false dirt made of foam. Electric lamps pretending to be candles. Glass fixtures trying their very best to be crystal.
It was pathetic, honestly.
The back, though? Where all the work is done?
It was spotless. Top of the line. Well-lit and organized work areas with decent security—for muggles, anyway.
Eliot Spencer made quick work of getting them in, without magic or even specialized tools. It was almost a thing of beauty and Severus did so enjoy witnessing competence in others.
They stepped into a room with a rich mahogany—more likely something that looked like mahogany, considering the state of the rest of the place—box and immediately Sirius stopped, swaying on his feet.
“Black?” he hissed.
“Soul magic,” his arch enemy turned ally panted. “Merlin, that’s wretched. You can’t smell that?” he asked their werewolf escort
Spencer pointedly sniffed the air, “Old pain, fading blood, death. Soap, plastic, clay. Various embalming chemicals. What am I looking for?”
“Corruption, like rotting. Sort of sits on the back of my tongue, just past where I can swallow it away,” Sirius said, his features were drawn and pale, even for an ex-resident of Azkaban. “Magic usually has a flavor. Sweet or bitter, depending on the caster’s intention. This is vile. Evil. Hateful. Malignant.
“Hale is mixed in it, and Hale’s pain. He didn’t consent to this.” As if that had ever been in doubt. Severus rolled his eyes and Black looked at him. “Can you See anything?”
Severus shook his head. There had to be some thick, heavy metal in the lining of the box. “We’ll need to open it up.”
Black nodded and tried first to lift the lid. That didn’t work so he pulled his wand. Severus was pretty sure he did it just for the werewolf’s sake. Though, if that was the case and Black was using his wand to keep from startling the werewolf, he couldn’t be sure because Black didn’t bother to speak the incantation as the casket silently separated into pieces, all of them floating about. The bloody show off.
He transitioned into his Grim form and pounced on to one of the floating lid bits. It held him up as he sniffed along the dead boy’s body.
When he reached McCall’s right arm, just above the bicep, the dog sneezed and then growled.
Pushing the fur-covered menace and his stupid hovering board to one side, Severus carefully cut the sleeve away to reveal a tattoo. Two lines circled the boy’s arm like a cuff. The top one was an inch thick, then there was a half inch of empty space below that followed by a second line approximately a quarter of an inch thick.
“I thought Mr. Stilinski said this boy was sixteen.”
“He is,” Spencer agrees, frowning. “He was.”
“Would he not have to be eighteen to receive a tattoo?”
“From a legal shop, yeah. Any idiot can stick and poke, though.”
“And have it work on a werewolf?”
“That would be a different story, yeah,” the alpha conceded with a frown. “We’ll need to find out more about the adults in his life ‘cause I promise you, his mom would never allow him to get a tattoo.”
Black let out a low, hair-raising growl and Severus took the hint. He called his Vision and looked at the boy before him.
There was no spark of life in the boy at all, which was good, because there shouldn’t have been.
There was a dying red light on his right side, from his hip, up across his lower ribs. A truly gigantic bite mark. Obviously, it was where he had been Bitten.
There was some yellow in the vicinity of his lungs that told Severus the boy’s reportedly severe asthma was, in fact, a curse and not a natural disease. Some sort of vengeance. Likely on his mother, and Severus couldn’t help but wonder what she had done to earn the constant pain and helplessness that having a child with a chronic illness would give a parent.
The armband tattoo itself was a sickly yellow-green. Highly advanced soul magic, the like of which even the Dark Lord would have refused to use. Unless he was on the receiving end, perhaps. Not that he would actually trust anyone to touch his on magic deeply enough to alter it this way.
No one would.
There was no doubt in Severus’s mind. Someone had stolen magic from Peter Hale’s very soul and given it to this boy.
Whether the boy was a willing party or not…was rather immaterial at this point.
“Originale Revelare,” he waved his wand at the tattoo and runes formed under his eyes.
Not only under his eyes, if Mr. Spencer’s gasp was anything to go by. “There’s something,” the man gestured but wisely didn’t touch the body.
And he was right. One of the runes that had appeared was a hash-marked triskelion. Under the hash-marked triskelion was a small sliver of metal. The skin under the entire triskelion had a slightly raised quality to it. The anchor of the soul leech sunk into the recipient’s skin, obviously. The hash marks and other runes combined to grant the boy slow access to ‘his’ alpha status. To make the process seem natural, no doubt.
Disgusting, but clever.
They weren’t the first to figure it out, however.
Based on the magical corrosion on the metal and the acidic black-edged orange magic woven through the child’s remaining flesh, his death had been long and painful. Someone had taken full advantage of their rival’s pawn to send a message.
They had likely fed off of the boy’s pain, as well.
It almost made him regret them sealing the Nemeton Stump so quickly. An hour, perhaps two, of study and he could have learned much from the magical lay of the land, but Miss Potter’s safety and comfort were more important. Without sealing the Stump, someone from their world could have called her back. As magically depleted as she currently was, powering such travel again—even with only one traveler—would have killed her.
He dropped the still floating metal scrap into an empty potion vial. He could use such to ensure Peter Hale was no longer compromised in magic or soul. Or, he could use it take control of him and have his own pet werewolf. Either way, it was much too valuable and too powerful a reagent to leave behind.
At his nod, Black hopped down off his magical hoverboard and transformed back to his two-footed form. The coffin closed back up after a truly negligent wave of the man’s hand.
Severus waited for the stab of jealousy he’d felt for the man for years, but it didn’t come. Mostly, he was sardonically amused at the amazing feats of magic the man performed without thought or care. Honestly, it was easier to stomach than Dumbledore doing the same would be. Mostly because the Headmaster was always so impressed with himself and expected everyone around him to be vocal in their praise of him for all that he made a sham of his own humility.
Dumbledore was impressive and wanted everyone to notice how impressive he was.
Sirius Black was impressive and legitimately didn’t care what anyone thought about it. Because he expected far more from himself and far less from others than Dumbledore.
How had he never noticed this before?
Uneasy with his thoughts, he allowed Sirius and Eliot to lead him from the building and back down the block to the shopping center they parked in. It seemed he would have more to adjust to in this life than he had thought.
Alan Deaton stood staring at the Nemeton Stump. Or, at least, he stood staring at where the Nemeton Stump used to be.
The magic in these lands was still behaving as if the Nemeton was there but he couldn’t see it. Couldn’t affect it.
His bond with it was well and truly broken.
At this point, he couldn’t even tell if it was destroyed and replaced or simply shielded. If the Nemeton was shielded from him, it was frustratingly, flawlessly done.
“I hope you’re proud of yourself,” he growled to the air he knew was, in fact, not empty.
The woman that stepped out from the shadows was a perfect representation of Snow White with her draping dark hair, perfect pale skin, and big princess eyes. She was dressed like a stereotypical villain—all black leather pants and boots, black blouse with a high, dramatic collar.
He had never known such hate as he had in that moment for that very woman.
He had almost done it. He had almost reached his goal. After so much time, after so much effort, and now—
“The death Scott McCall should have been expected, Alan.” She moved forward, predatory in a lazy way. “You’re old enough to know better than to invest so much of yourself in a single pawn.”
“Julia—” he started warningly.
“Jennifer,” she hissed, her eyes flashing. “Julia is dead.”
He stared at her as impassively as he could manage because he knew it would unnerve her. “McCall’s death is not what concerns me.”
“Lies.” She glared furiously at him. “Your obsession with him is quite well known. A terrible choice. Such a fool boy could never live up to the potential you gave him. So much self-loathing and bigotry in one tidy package, one has to wonder what that says about you, Alan. Add to that his age and, well. It has given you a reputation.”
Now, he couldn’t help but frown at her. “The Nemeton,” he redirected her.
“You think I did this?”
Her surprise seemed so wide-eyed and genuine that he started to think again, but no. Jennifer was exactly the kind to destroy something as ancient as a Nemeton with no care for the consequences. But that was…fine.
Whatever blood-bound magical sink she put in its place would kill her for her folly soon enough.
Unless, of course, he killed her first.
“If anyone could escape my lightning trap,” he offered, an offhand compliment designed to lure her even as it stung her pride.
“They had to escape my earth trap, too,” she glared, offense writ large on her face.
He tilted his head, thinking, “You’re saying there is a third.”
“A fourth,” she scoffed.
That was right, he recalled. Of course, she would know and sense Marin. Marin used to be Julia and Kali’s favorite third. Not that Marin would ever deign to actually touch another in such a base way, but he knew his half-sister claimed great pleasure from the watching.
“This fourth has ways unknown to both of us. We should stand together against them,” she offered warily. “Settle our differences after.”
“You know very well that that would never work. Not between us.”
Druid covens required a leader, even if it was just a coven of three. And there were no circumstances that could make Jennifer, Marin, or himself trust the others enough to allow one of them to be the leader.
“Fine,” she growled and disappeared back into the shadows, dramatic to the last. “But remember that I offered and know that you have no right to haunt me when they kill you.”
“Magic is really very simple,” an elderly female voice declared over cinematically enhanced wind. “All you’ve got to do is want something and then let yourself have it!”
“Hardison, we secure?” Eliot asked, settling John’s landline between his ear and his shoulder as he wandered the Stilinski kitchen making enough breakfast for a small army. He hadn’t been there since before Claudia died and it hadn’t changed a bit. Whether that was creepy or charming, he wasn’t really sure.
There was the clack of keystrokes from across the line. “Yeah, boss, we’re good. How’s Beacon Hills?”
“It’s Beacon Hills, every day it gets weirder,” he answered as he flipped the bacon. “You would not believe what happened last night.”
Hardison made a rude noise. “Need I remind you that I am, in fact, mated to a chaos nymph?”
And, okay, that was a good point. “I met Harry Potter last night.”
“What?” he heard Parker demand from Hardison’s side of the line.
Eliot grinned. “Is your mate breathing?”
“Hey!” she shouted and slapped Hardison’s chest.
Hardison coughed. “Sorry, sorry. What? Harry Potter? Like the Harry Potter.”
“Yeah, like the Harry Potter. She’s asleep in the master bedroom upstairs.”
“She?” Hardison asked weakly.
“Yeah, she,” he confirmed. “My nephew managed to summon her from another dimension or something.”
“So, Harry Potter’s a demon?” Parker asked, clearly unhappy.
“Nah, definitely human. Just different. Brought with her Hermione Granger, Sirius Black, Severus Snape, and Remus Lupin.”
“We’re coming,” Hardison immediately declared. “We’ll be there in two days.”
“Nah, man. The only thing worse for this situation than a chaos nymph would be a clan of kitsune.” Something heavy settled in his gut and Eliot hung his head, realizing that he had just jinxed the lot of them. “Actually, come on, but make it a week. I need some documentation for my refugees.”
“I can do that. How old are they?”
“The men are probably mid-thirties. The girls look fifteen, maybe sixteen.”
“Fifteen would be the oldest they could be with Sirius still alive,” Parker interjected and Eliot pointedly ignored Lupin’s head shooting up from where he was reading Prisoner of Azkaban.
“Assuming their reality matched our books,” Hardison countered. “Could be different. Probably is. I mean, she’s a girl.”
“Girl Harry can do anything Boy Harry can do,” Parker objected.
“You know I agree with you, that’s not what I’m saying. Society treats boys and girls differently. Good or bad, that’s just how it is.”
“Guys,” Eliot interjected and they immediately refocused.
“Right,” Hardison cleared his throat. “I’ll need you to verify ages and I’ll need pictures. You might want to talk to them about aliases, using their real names could draw a lot of attention.”
“In that case, I imagine Harry will keep her name.” Eliot sighed, “She seems like the kind to draw fire just to keep it from hitting anyone else.”
He noted Lupin’s tired nod as his fellow alpha continued to pretend to read as a half-assed cover for his eavesdropping.
“Alright. I got some research to do for this. Parker will start packing. Keep us updated.”
“Will do. Same to you.” And Eliot hung up John’s landline.
“Sirius dies?” Remus asked, suddenly standing—empty handed, thankfully—in the kitchen doorway.
“Yeah,” Eliot nodded, pulling fresh biscuits from the oven. “End of the fifth book. The stupidest damn death. All Molly Weasley’s fault, if you ask me.”
Lupin stared at him like he didn’t even know where to start asking questions
Eliot sighed. “Wait and read the book.
“But first, wake the others, will ya? Breakfast is ready.”
Wordlessly, Lupin nodded and turned toward the stairs. He had just put his foot on the first step when there was a knock at the front door.
Now it was Eliot’s turn to step empty-handed into the kitchen doorway, “You expecting someone?”
“Not that I know of.” Remus glared at the door. It smells like— Well, if they were in their dimension, he would say—
“Smells like magic,” Eliot growled and Remus could hear Sirius, Severus, and the Hales moving into guard positions upstairs.
“Let’s see who it is,” Remus decided.
Eliot opened the inner door abruptly, revealing no one to their sight.
No one human height, that was. When they looked out and down, they caught sight of a goblin. And not just any goblin, either, but, “High Chieftain Ragnock!”
“Mister Lupin,” the most powerful goblin of them all nodded. “And I believe you are Mister Eliot Spencer?”
Eliot nodded and stepped back in wordless invitation.
Ragnok opened the screen door with a lazy wave of his hand and shuffled right in. “Ah, Lord Black,” he said, directing his attention up the stairs. “I have business with your ward, if you are available.”
“I am at your disposal, High Chieftain,” Sirius greeted as he practically floated down the stairs. “But Harry’s business is her own, as I’m sure you know, and she is still asleep.”
“Yes, I expect nothing less. Powering trans-dimensional travel is a taxing endeavor for a single entity much less five, a lesser witch would have never survived it. However, there is the matter of a house elf—”
An unfamiliar shriek sounded upstairs.
“Magic is really very simple,” an elderly female voice declared over cinematically enhanced wind. “All you’ve got to do is want something and then let yourself have it!”
Harry rolled her closed eyes at the telly, though she couldn’t really say the old woman was wrong.
She had definitely wanted something, and she had been absolutely prepared to let herself have it, sitting there in Grimmauld Place waiting for the post-hospital visit Weasley Invasion.
Now, whether she had got it or not, Harry really couldn’t say.
She was definitely not where she had been. She had definitely never seen this room, or the boy that was lying in bed with her, or the rather young man sitting semi-warily behind him.
It smelled like summer outside, too. Sort of. And it had definitely been winter when she had gone to sleep.
She also had stuff in both hands, which was dreadfully inconvenient.
The young man stood over the boy’s shoulder and moved around the bed, off behind her. A door she couldn’t see opened and she heard people shuffle in.
Snape and Hermione moved into her line of sight, but the stranger didn’t return.
“What’s going on?” the boy lying in bed with her asked.
“I don’t know,” Hermione answered because who else would? “I thought I heard a knock and then Derek ordered us in here. I think he’s guarding the hall.”
“He is,” a voice that could only belong to the stranger confirmed. “We have an unexpected visitor. A magical one.”
Harry breathed deeply but all she can smell was the boy, the bed, and the heat of summer. Someone had given her a nose blocker and she almost grumbled about it but she after a bit of thought had to recognize that it had probably been a good move for Sirius to make with them moving into what is obviously a new environment.
Instead, she tried to free herself from the boy’s grip. Gently, gently she tried spreading the fingers on her right hand. Nothing happened. She was honest to Merlin stuck. To a boy. One she didn’t know. That she was in bed with.
She tried again, a little more strongly, and nothing happened other than the boy scratching absently at his forearm.
Tired of playing dead, Harry flat out opened her eyes.
None of them were paying attention to her, all of their attention was on the door and the hall beyond. Which, on the one hand was nice. There had been times in her life when she would have paid for people to ignore her but right now, she could really use some bloody attention.
Nothing for it, she yanked her arm away from the boy.
He shrieked like she was murdering him and somehow managed to wandlessly levitate himself off of the bed to boot. Seriously, she had seen at least two feet of clear space between him and the bed for a full fifteen seconds, at least!
Then he crashed back down. And the door crashed open. And four—Four! Snarling, growling, red-eyed werewolves tumbled into the room. Teeth and fangs and sideburns were everywhere, sweet Merlin.
Eyebrows were seriously missing, though. What the hell?
Three wands and a stave were also pointed at the bed.
“Ragnok!” she exclaimed. Squeaked, really, when is the last time she drank something?
Sirius was there immediately, conjuring her a glass and some water to go in it.
She drank thankfully and tried again. “What are you doing here? Where are we? Why do you look like that, Ragnok?”
“I needed to be recognized,” the obviously was heavily implied as he moved to stand at the end of the bed so Harry could seem him more comfortably. “Else I’d have never been allowed in the house.”
“Well you’re in the house now, so,” She picked up her left hand to wave it at him and noticed the small wooden box in it. There was a little stick pin sticking out between the box’s feeties.
She glanced up questioningly to Ragnok.
Standing in place of the little goblin projection was now a human man in a well-fitted suit. He was unassuming with an overly large nose and a pinched expression. His red hair was bald in the middle, though that mostly looked like a particularly sharp widow’s peak until he nodded to her in answer to her silent question.
With a shrug, she poked her own arm with the little pin.
She was pretty sure she was the only one that heard it click as it locked a bond onto her blood and magic. Or the wordless request for orders.
“Release but stay small,” she told the chest and it promptly fell onto the bed in front of her.
“What the hell was that?” the boy stuck to her hand flailed.
“Mycroft, please,” the arse interjected.
“Mycroft is what my people call a Goblin, for lack of a better term,” Harry told them. “Goblins aren’t actually native to the physical reality. They live on a different plane of existence where they can see and project into all the different realities of our plane using these pseudo-corporeal ‘body’ construct things,” Harry gestured at Mycroft’s body to indicate the construct. “There’s usually at least one but can be up to like seven? I think? Seven goblins is the most I’ve seen using a single avatar, I guess you can call it. If you pay attention, you’ll notice each of them speaks a little differently or holds the body differently from the others when they’re speaking.
“They play with our realities, like a game for them. Because we have a bunch of fun concepts, they have no need for. Like money and governments. And time.”
Hermione sat on the bed behind her and Harry relaxed back into her as much as she could before she handed the other girl the box. Silently, Hermione took it and there was a click as she set it down on the bedside table Harry couldn’t quite see.
“Ragnok? Mycroft? What’s your real name?” Sirius asked curiously as he settled in behind Harry on the bed too.
“Nearly impossible to pronounce in this reality, I’m afraid. Deadly, too. Harry is one of two entities from your reality to not only survive the hearing of it but to actually understand it. She’s quite precious to our people as a result.”
“So that’s why you’re here?”
“Partially. Don’t you have more pressing matters to attend to first?” Mycroft raised an eyebrow at her, well, her bound hand.
“Right. So,” Harry drawled, focusing on the people that travelled with her. “Who wants to go first?”
“We’re in a different dimension,” Hermione promptly explained. “It’s a different version of Teen Wolf and here we are characters in a book and movie series.”
What the— “So we’re in Beacon Hills?”
“Yes, and in the future. The date is August 10, 2014.”
Harry honestly didn’t even know where to start with that. “Does that make us thirty-four or sixteen?”
Hermione did a decent impression of a goldfish for a moment before she turned to Remus.
“You were fifteen before we left,” He answered, raising a single amused eyebrow. “Why wouldn’t you be fifteen now?”
“I fell asleep in December and woke up in August,” she said simply. “That means I slept through my birthday but that doesn’t mean it that didn’t happen.”
Sirius grinned at her and nodded, “Sixteen it is.”
“Are we,” Harry hesitated. She didn’t want to know but she also kind of needed to. “Are we going to go back?”
“You can’t,” Mycroft told her immediately. “The artefact that facilitated your travel has been sealed and heavily warded. I could possibly take you back to your native reality but not until you’ve fully recovered which will likely take at least half a year and even then to do so you would have to abandon the rest of your party to their fates here.”
“I’ll pass on that, then.”
Mycroft nodded like he hadn’t expect anything else, and likely he hadn’t. He knew her well enough not to. “Next time you get the urge to travel dimensions, you come to us. We promise it will not leave you as damaged as this trip has. The Horde made you an offer and we meant it.”
“I know you did. I didn’t mean for this to happen, truly.”
Mycroft was not impressed with her apology. “When we told you to be careful, Miss Potter, we did not just mean in school or with the muggles. A witch of your potential has very few limits. This situation is not as bad as it could have been but next time you may not be so lucky.”
“I’ll do my best, but I don’t exactly know how to manage,” she gestured at the room as much as she could. “This.”
“I’ll get you books,” the goblin king promised with a nod. “But a vow could help. As magic seems to be requiring vows between yourself and Mr. Stilinski, perhaps you should start there.”
Silently, Harry took in the brown eyed boy in front of her. He was cute, kind of awkward but mostly she just found him endearing.
None of that meant she was willing to just lie about in bed with him, though. “No marriage,” she told him. “I mean, I’m sure you’re great, but I don’t really connect with men romantically. I’m more inclined toward females and, uh, I want to marry for love. Like my parents did.”
“No, no marriage,” he agreed, smelling relieved. “I’m totally fine with no marriage.
“But, uh, what did you wish for?”
Deciding she was all over irritated with laying on her side in a room full of standing people, Harry pushed herself up to sitting, dragging a grumbling Mr.—Stiles—Stilinski with her by their connected hands.
“I wished for a family,” she told him. “To get to have one, be in one, grow my own.”
Stiles squinted at her. “How do I vow to give you a family without basically marrying you?”
“It depends on how you define family,” Hermione offered when Harry was stymied.
“Families generally support and like each other,” probably-Peter Hale AKA the young man that had been sitting with her and Stiles added. He somehow looked at the same time both older and younger than the man that played Peter Hale in the show. It was really quite fascinating. “So, vow to be friends”
“What about kids?” Harry asked Stiles. “Do you see yourself having kids in the future?”
“In like ten years or so, yeah. Definitely.”
“Well. Since your mate is a man and—last I checked, two men can’t naturally reproduce—I’ll be your womb and you’ll supply my sperm.” And then Harry fucking Potter looked at Peter for some reason Stiles wasn’t really following. “Of course, I’m not just going to let you people run off with my babies, so we’ll need to negotiate some sort of four-way poly family group thing. Can your wolf handle that?”
Something uncomfortable flickered over Peter’s face and Stiles spluttered.
“Four-way?” Peter asked tentatively.
“Well, I deserve a romantic partner of my own choice too, don’t I?”
Peter inclined his head and Stiles flailed. “Why are you asking him? He’s not my—”
Harry yanked on his arm and he fell forward a bit rather than finish the sentence. Which, okay, he could see how ending the sentence as intended could have made problems, if! If there was anything between him and Peter.
But there wasn’t. “I mean, I might have a crush maybe but that doesn’t mean— There’s like magic and courting and stuff to being mates, not. Not!” Stiles flailed as much as he could with only one free hand.
“I asked your father if I could court you,” Peter admitted, around clearing his throat and looking very uncomfortable. “You’re underage and I’m not, it was the proper thing to do. He said he wanted to talk to you first and would get back to me…but he never did.”
Because he’d died, Stiles had to fight to breathe for a moment.
And then as soon as he started to find his feet, Scott had died and Peter’s wolf would never allow him to take advantage of his mate’s vulnerability. Stiles was pretty sure he wouldn’t, at least. From the things Uncle Eliot had said.
Things that were starting to make a lot more sense with the context Stiles had been missing before.
“You came over. We had nothing to research but you came over the night that—”
“The night my eyes turned back red.” Peter said gently.
He had meant the night Scott died but, “Wow.” That was, wow. That was a thing to deal with later. “You won’t kill her if she swears to have our babies, will you?”
Peter huffed, “Of course not.”
“Good. That’s very good, I’m glad,” Harry interjected. “But what did you wish for? Stiles?”
“Magical backup,” Stiles answered, immediately latching on the change of subject. “People have been dying. Lots of people. My dad and my best friend were murdered. I want whoever killed them stopped and I want them to pay and I want to survive doing it.”
Harry nodded readily. “I am a pretty good witch in a fight.” And everyone in the room snorted. Harry rolled her eyes at the lot of them. “Okay, so, we’re promising to be friends and what build a home together?”
“To support each other, in combat and in life.” Stiles proposed.
“Just each other or Beacon Hills itself? ‘We will protect Beacon Hills from all threats magical and supernatural until death’ kind of thing?”
“Until our bodies die and walk no more,” Stiles counteroffered.
Harry considered that, “So we’re going to protect Beacon Hills as vampires? Or Zombies?”
“Zombies. In the movies zombies seem to have a really good time.”
“Sure, until the all you can eat part is over and the starving sets in,” Harry laughed.
“Exactly!” Stiles grinned down at her. “Besides, I’m pretty sure vampires aren’t a thing.”
“They were in our old reality,” Harry glanced at Mycroft and the man—goblin? Whatever—shrugged. Harry just raised an eyebrow at the man. “Something to keep an eye on, then. Werewolves and vampires are like blood enemies. As in, on first sight, they lose their minds and try to murder each other.”
“Note to self,” Stiles nodded. “Real talk, though, I don’t want to be bound to Beacon Hills. Like coming back, eventually, has always been part of my plans because of my dad but I want to leave. At the very least for college.”
Harry considered that. “I’ve never really thought about college. I’m not opposed but we’d probably have to go to the same one?”
“Or different ones in the same city. We could do that in LA or New York. Probably a few other places that I really can’t think of right now.”
“Okay. So, we can leave for school, but we can’t vow that someone else will protect Beacon Hills for us.”
Stiles shrugs, “If we stay in state, I bet we could apparate here if needed. Or we can just leave Beacon Hills out of the vows.”
“They are vows for us,” Harry bit her lip, considering. “But I also want to make sure someone can’t whisk me away from here against my will. Or I can’t accidentally wish myself into another new reality. Again.” Harry glanced over her shoulder at the girl still sitting behind her. “What do you think?”
Hermione flushed. “I think I want to know more about this mates thing. I don’t remember reading anything about them before and they weren’t in the show.”
“It is a circumstance fairly unique to werewolves in this reality,” Mycroft told her before anyone could say anything. “It is a combination of physical, emotional, and magical compatibility between a werewolf and some other entity.”
“Other entity?” Hermione questioned.
“Entity,” Mycroft nods. “Not necessarily a humanoid. There is an alpha werewolf bonded to a particularly magical mountain in northern Washington state. Bonds can be platonic or romantic and/or sexual. They range from friendship, to guardianship, to true love. It is a truly magical circumstance.”
“How would a werewolf know if they’ve found their mate?”
“Particularly powerful werewolves can recognize their mate at first sight but generally a touch—skin to skin, to be specific—is required for recognition to set in.” Mycroft tips his head. “Though apparently Miss Potter can smell them as well.”
It was not really a question, but Harry shifted uncomfortably and refused to look at anyone regardless.
“How?” Derek was the one that finally asked. “How could you possibly smell that?”
Harry blinked at him, “Oh, uh, my animagus form. I’m a magical animagus like Sirius, so even though I haven’t transformed yet, my inner animal gives me their abilities and visits me in my dreams and stuff.”
“I thought your animagus spirit was you?” Hermione asked. Then she frowned at her own question and rephrased. “I thought an animagus and their inner animal were one.”
“We are and we aren’t,” Sirius stepped in. “It’s complicated. Sort of like how a werewolf is both a wolf and a human even when they are leaning more one way or the other, just with no compulsion to shift or loss of control for us.”
“What do you think?” Harry asked her godfather. “Beacon Hills? Yes? No?”
“No Beacon Hills. We’ve set up a truly impressive obstacle between you and anyone trying to retrieve you against your will. Mycroft no doubt has more measures he can take since dimensional travel is rather his wheelhouse. This vow is just in case someone manages to get past all of us. And because Magic seems to want one from the two of you. Magic is intelligent. She knows our needs before we do and fills them. She won’t let someone force you to violate your vows but, more importantly, she won’t allow you to violate them either so make sure it’s something you can both live with. Keep it general but positive, as much as you can.”
“General, positive,” Harry nodded and looked at Mycroft. “Vows need to be made in threes, right?”
“They are more powerful that way,” he inclined his head regally. “If you agree to the terms, I can help with the wording.”
“I wouldn’t say no,” She focused on Stiles. “Be friends, build family, mutual support in combat and out?”
Stiles nodded, “Be friends, build family, mutual support in combat and out. Until death?”
“We can go with the ‘until our bodies die and walk no more’ if you want.”
“I kind of do because hilarious, but I imagine there are like, traditional? Words of power?” He asked Mycroft.
“There are,” the inter-dimensional being agreed and pulled a staff out of nowhere. “I can help you say the words you want, formally and in unison. And, of course, act as your vow’s bonder, if you wish.”
“Yeah, that’d be good,” Stiles agreed. “Let’s get this done. General, positive. Be friends, build family, mutual support in combat and out. Let’s go, I got a thing to get to.”
“You agree to the terms, Miss Potter?”
“Yes. And thank you, Mycroft.”
Mycroft raised the staff. For the most part, it looked like a huge rune-covered bone with metal at either end. The top end was a pair of blades curving together in a way that made them look like a particularly large candle flame with a translucent ruby nestled where the blades joined. The bottom end was a sharp-edged pyramid that Stiles could see coming in handy for stabbing or bashing. The metal, though. It was weird. Like, silvery? With black lines sort of folded into it.
Mycroft set the pyramid on their joined hands and Harry choked. “Is that Valyrian Steel? Don’t tell me the land of Ice and Fire exists!”
“Of course, it does, Harry. Every fictional universe you’ve ever read or watched or heard someone talk about exists somewhere and they’re all interconnected in their own way.”
Harry had no idea what to say to that.
Mycroft tapped their hands with the end cap of his staff and Harry and Stiles began to speak together.
“I, Meiczyslaw Olek Stilinski/Harriet Iolanthe Potter, swear to you, Harriet Iolanthe Potter/Meiczyslaw Olek Stilinski these three things: I swear that I will be your friend, loyal and true, with respect and courage, cunning and strength, from this day until our last day. I swear that I will build my family and future with you and our chosen mates. I swear that I will support you and stand at your side, your battles will be my battles, your enemies will be my enemies, and your friends will receive succor from my hands as they would from yours.”
Mycroft allowed them a pause in the magic to consider.
First Harry nodded her acceptance, then Stiles followed quickly after. “I swear this upon my name, I swear this upon my life, I swear this upon my magic. So mote it be.”
A weight of magic settled warm but solid in his stomach. There was a flash of light, like strands of fire, not forming or sliding into place like it had in the Harry Potter movies but flaring to make themselves known already fully formed. When they disappeared Stiles could finally, finally let Harry Potter go.
He bounced out of bed, pleased to be free and unbound once more.
“Alright. Melissa said the thing was going to start at eleven, so I want to get showered and be over there by ten.”
Uncle Eliot laughed. “It’s not even nine, Stiles.”
“Well, I need to shower and stuff.”
He made to leave the room, but Harry called him back. “Stiles. You said you’re going to a thing. Is this a painful thing? Do I need to be there?” When he hesitates, he felt the weight of the magical promise in his stomach again, coursing up along his spine. Harry sighed. “If you don’t need me or just want space, boundaries are still a thing, but I made an oath to support you, so you need to tell me if you need me. At least until we know each other a little better?”
“Okay, I can do that,” Stiles nodded and then committed. “Not today. It’s Scott’s wake and I feel like I need to do this on my own, but the funeral is tomorrow?”
“I’ll be there,” she promised.
“Alright, kids,” Uncle Eliot drops a hand on his shoulder. “Time for a shower for Stiles—trust me kid, you stink—and I’ll figure out something new for breakfast since the first one I made’s gotta be stone cold by now.”
“There’s no need for that,” Mycroft told him. “I didn’t know what you were working on, so I placed your entire kitchen under stasis. It will remain as you left it until you enter the kitchen once more.”
Uncle Eliot frowned at him. “When, exactly, did you do that?”
“Just now, I’m afraid.”
“How is that going to help food that’s already gone cold?”
“Time isn’t really a thing to him,” Harry Potter reminded him. “He might have cast the spell now, but it would have taken affect earlier. Probably either the moment you left your kitchen or the moment you came up the stairs.”
“The moment he left the kitchen,” Mycroft answered before Eliot could even look at him to ask the question.
Uncle Eliot wordlessly gave them his patented you’re fucking crazy look—complete with skeptical eyebrow—and immediately left the room.
Stiles shot Peter a look as he followed. They had a lot to talk about but…now was not the time.
Stiles needed to think, and he needed to deal with the wake, and he needed to deal with the whole being besties with Harry Potter thing. Mostly, though, he needed a shower. Because his uncle was right—between the forest, and the magic, and the running for his life, and the car ride, and lying in bed for, like, a day, and, and, and—he reeked.
And that was just not on in a house full of werewolves.