Title: Bouncing Pogo Sticks
Fandom: Supernatural/Harry Potter
Pairing: Several canon ones mentioned and unrequited Dean/Castiel in the forefront
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters or these worlds! I make NO money from this at all!
Summary: Dean isn’t feeling well and wants a certain someone to notice.
Notes: I discovered the Hogwarts AU yesterday and kind of fell in love.
Bouncing Pogo Sticks
“hey-IHSHfffffffff!” Dean Winchester froze for a moment, nose in the crook of his arm. No one commented. No one even blessed him. So he sniffed, wiped his nose dry on his sleeve, and dropped his arm to return to his homework. The gentle murmur of voices as students conferred about problem sets and the sound of a hundred quills scratching against a hundred pieces of parchment tried to lull him to sleep.
The study room was usually empty on Friday nights, but this weekend was a Hogsmeade Weekend, and everyone was eager to get homework done so as to enjoy themselves in the wizarding town. Dean didn’t feel much like doing homework, but he’d gone as well because as much as he hated being sick, what he hated even more was being sick and alone.
“ehhhh…” He lifted his arm again, nestling his nose in the crook to muffle the sound of the sneeze. Lisa used to make fun of him for going to all that trouble, considering he was so willing to show off at every other available second. “hhhuh… h’Ketchhifffffff!” Still no ‘bless you’ from anybody. If Lisa had been there, she would have blessed him then marched him right up to the Gryffindor common room, tucked him into one of the big squashy arm chairs in front of the fire, and snuggled up with him to watch the salamanders dance in the flames until he fell asleep.
But she was a muggle and thousands of miles away at some muggle school studying boring things like maths and history and literature. She knew about magic, of course. Dean had told her about it after he’d saved her from a Death Eater a couple years back. And it wasn’t as if magical and non-magical people couldn’t fall in love and have a decent life together. But there was a war going on and he didn’t want to put her at risk unnecessarily.
He’d had a couple girlfriends since her and a couple boyfriends as well. But none of them had lasted long and none had been what he was really looking for. He knew what he wanted. He wanted Castiel.
The new student had transferred in for his last year at Hogwarts from the United States. So he had an American accent, just like Dean’s, the only other person in the school who had one. Even Sammy, who’d been raised hearing Dean and their dad speak like Americans, had trained himself to speak with a British accent once he’d started school, trying to be a little different from the rest of the family. Sometimes when he spoke, Dean thought he sounded just like Mum. He didn’t tell Sammy that, because Sam always got sad when they talked about her; it always made them think about the dark wizard who had killed her. Despite the tragedy, Dean had liked growing up as the son of the great Auror, John Winchester. He was proud of his family, even if his little brother had been sorted Ravenclaw unlike the rest of them.
Dean glanced over at the Ravenclaw table and nearly jumped to see Sammy staring back at him with concern. Sam mouthed something, but Dean couldn’t read his lips. Dean shrugged and gave him a reassuring smile, then turned his attention back on his homework.
His attention kept straying, however. He looked past the Ravenclaws to the table beyond, spotting Castiel at once. He might have the same accent as Dean, but his voice was so much deeper. And he spoke slowly, like he was thinking about each word and wanted to make each one really count. It was kind of sexy. But that wasn’t so surprising, because practically everything about Castiel turned Dean on. The way he moved—stiff and light on his feet all at once, tall and regal but graceful about it. The way he looked—that dark hair always a bit ruffled, blue-green eyes and a furrowed brow. The way he dressed—always with that same tie and Hufflepuff robes, even on weekends or when going to the Quidditch matches. Dean couldn’t imagine him in anything else but longed to see what was under those robes.
He watched Castiel get up from the Hufflepuff table and head over to the Ravenclaw one, where he took the empty seat beside Ash. The two young men bent together over a book and Dean’s heart sunk at the sight. Castiel and Ash had been spending a lot of time together lately. Dean was used to turning on the charm and getting whoever he wanted, but so far it hadn’t worked on Castiel and it looked now like it never would.
Another sneeze started tickling his nose, and this time he welcomed the distraction from the sight before him. “uh… huh-Hurtchfffffffff!”
Glad his misery had finally attracted someone’s attention—if not the someone he really wanted—Dean turned his head, snuffling into his sleeve as Jo eyed him.
“You going into Hogsmeade tomorrow?”
“You should stop by to see my mum. She’s got this soup that’s to die for and it’ll put you right if you still feel all sneezy like this.”
He smiled at her. In another world, maybe he would have asked her to be his girlfriend. She was a couple years behind him in school, though once upon a time, he’d really liked her. But as soon as she started really liking him back, he’d moved on. Now they were just friends and that’s how he wanted it. He loved hanging out with her at school or in town, spending evenings with her at the Three Broomsticks, the pub her mother owned. “Yeah, maybe I will. Sniff! Sniff! I think I’ll turn in for the night. I’m not getting much done anyway.”
She nodded sympathetically as he packed his books and papers into his bag and headed out. He ran right into Sammy the second he was in the hallway. “You don’t look so good, Dean.”
Dean nodded. “It’s just a little cold.”
“Maybe you should go to the Hospital Wing and get checked out? Might be the flu or a sinus infection or—”
“You worry too much,” Dean said, trying to put on a strong face. But his nose was already tickling again, the urge to sneeze building and building. “I’ll be all right, really, Sammy.”
“It’s Sam now.”
Dean grinned. No matter how old the kid got, he was always going to be Sammy to Dean. But he played along. “I’ll be all right, Sam. I’m going straight up to bed right now to sleep and kick this… this… huhh-KTShhhhhhh!”
Sam reached into his pocket and pulled out a whole wad of tissues. Sam got allergies pretty bad sometimes and always carried tissues. Dean remembered once in their childhood when, on the road with Dad, he’d had a cold and Sam’d had a particularly bad reaction to a dusty fireplace after flooing. They’d holed up in their bedroom at the inn for a half a day sharing Sam’s tissues between them until the sneezing subsided.
Bunching a couple tissues at his nose, he felt Sam’s shoe nudge against his. “All right,” Dean muttered, and readjusted his grip before blowing. Dean had to admit he felt a sense of relief at that. “Thanks.”
“Let me know if you need anything, okay, Dean? If you don’t feel up to breakfast, I can make sure some gets sent up to you. And if you need more tissues, you know where I am.”
Dean pulled his brother close and hugged him before trudging up the many flights of stairs to Gryffindor Tower.
Dean shivered violently and hugged his arms around himself more tightly. He had on proper hiking shoes and jeans as well as a flannel shirt under a heavy black wool coat. He had his dad’s old gloves on, which were toasty and warm and a Gryffindor scarf wrapped twice around his neck. But he was still freezing as he walked up street past Hogsmeade. And his nose just would not stop running.
The Shrieking Shack was supposed to be one of the most seriously haunted buildings in all of Britain, even though no one had documented evidence of its haunting. Every chance Dean had gotten in town since his third year at Hogwarts, he’d spent it by the Shack, trying to find a way inside. He’d tried spells and potions, even muggle tools, but the house seemed impenetrable. Now that he was in his last year at school, the pressure was on to figure out its secrets.
Dean jumped over the fence, shoes thumping in the grass covered in a light dusting of snow, and shivered again. He stood in front of the house, surveying it closely, and then he decided to take a preliminary walk around it.
He hadn’t gone more than a few feet when he heard footsteps behind him and went rigid. Despite the gloves and many layers, Dean was quick to get his wand out. He turned and spun and stupefied none other than Castiel at point blank range. “Shit!” Dean dropped to his knees beside the fallen young man. “Cas? Sniff! Cas!” He patted Castiel’s cheek and brought the man’s head up to rest on Dean’s thigh. “Cas? Wake ub?”
Castiel did as he was told, blinking up at Dean in confusion. “Did you…?”
“I did’t bead to. You sduck ub od be, add I acted od idstidct. Sniff! Snifffff! Sorry, I hab a cold. Sniff!” He rubbed his nose on his scarf, not wanting to waste time taking off his gloves and digging through his pockets for tissues. “Are you all right?”
“Yes.” Castiel put his hand to his head and rubbed. Then he sat up, still not quite back to normal and taking it slow.
Before Dean could ask what Castiel was doing there, they both heard a sound like a stick snapping. Or maybe more of a crack. Either someone had just apparated behind the Shrieking Shack or someone was back there trying to get in. Or out. Dean recovered his wand and both young men scrambled to their feet. The quick movement made Dean’s head swim and his nose tickle, but he pushed both away. He charged forward, putting himself between Castiel and the danger, only to realize a moment later that Castiel was right behind him, wand suddenly out and at the ready, covering Dean’s back.
Around the corner stepped Meg.
“Son of a bitch…” he muttered under his breath.
Meg didn’t have a cloak on, just her Slytherin jumper over a tight white blouse and a short skirt, but she didn’t look remotely cold as she strode forward, smiling at Dean. “You’re so predictable, Dean.” Then she caught sight of Castiel and stopped in her tracks. She looked at him and he cocked his head at her. “Another time,” she said finally, and apparated away.
Dean turned and leaned against the side of the building, sighing and coughing.
“What was that about?” Castiel asked.
“She dated by little brother for a while. I did’t exactly abbrove. Sidce thed, she likes catchig be off by guard add blayig with be. I… I…” Fuck, he had to sneeze. “Fuck, I hab to sdeeze.” He turned, nose desperately finding his arm. “hettChshhhhhhh!”
“God bless you.”
Dean’s head snapped up, eyes wide, blushing slightly. “Ub… thadk you.”
“It’s cold out here. You should be inside where it’s warm if you’re not feeling well.”
Dean would be fine. It was just a little cold—he could more than handle some sneezing and coughing. But he found himself giving in as Castiel took his arm and steered him down the hill, back to town.
“What were you doing at the shack anyway?”
“Idvestigatig. Tryig to fide a way idside. It’s haudted, you dow.”
“Doesn’t seem haunted to me. I’ve seen haunted, but that shack is pretty quiet.”
Dean shot him a look. “You’ve seed haudted?”
“Well what does… heh… shiihh… ihhhh… ehhhKFFSchhhh!” He shivered and pitched forward again. “h’SHIKKK!”
“God bless you. Here…” Castiel fished a black knit hat out of his pocket and handed it over to Dean. Dean hesitated then put it on and, within seconds, felt the chill vanish. He felt so warm he thought about doubling back and going back to the shack again. But his arm was linked with Castiel’s and he’d dreamed about this exact thing all year. Too bad it was meaningless.
“Wait, if you dod’t thidk it’s haudted what were you doig at the shack?”
Castiel was quiet for a moment, the only sound being their footsteps crunching in the frozen grass and the late fall wind whipping past them. Finally, he said, “I was looking for you. I saw you sneezing last night in study hall and this morning during breakfast.”
Castiel had noticed him? Noticed him enough to go after him today in town instead of having fun with his friends or Ash? Dean’s stomach flipped about in his chest like a fish out of water and his cheeks burned.
They ducked into the Three Broomsticks and Castiel found them a table close to the fire. It was early, just after breakfast and hours from lunch, so the place was pretty empty. But Madam Harvelle was ready for customers and swooped down on them like the owl Jo or Sam surely must have sent her, because she had a pot of tea on and a bowl of soup for Dean. She fussed over him for a while, plopping a tissue box down on the table and wrapping a blanket around his shoulders before making herself scarce.
They sat in silence for a while, until it drove Dean completely crazy. “Why were you watchig be?” Dean blurted out. He wasn’t sure if it was creepy or sweet.
Castiel looked neither self-conscious nor startled. He simply stared at Dean, a small smile playing on his lips. “Ever since I arrived, I haven’t been able to take my eyes off you.”
Dean choked on his tea. Castiel got up and darted around the table, sitting down beside him and patting his back as he coughed and sputtered. Then he moved in close, an arm around Dean. “But… no… what about Ash?”
“Ash? What about him?”
“Ared’t you two... you know… bouncing pogo sticks?”
With an alarmed look on his face, Castiel shook his head. “I won’t even pretend to know what that means, but Ash and I are just study partners. There are only a few of us in N.E.W.T. Level Arthmency and it’s getting difficult. It is always good to have someone to check one’s answers against.”
“Not that it matters, as you’re with Jo.”
Dean coughed again as Madam Harvelle chose that moment to bring them a fresh pot of tea. “Jo and I are just friends.” He looked up at her mother, his cheeks read. “I swear.”
“I know,” she said, nodding at him but her lack of a smile was a warning to keep it that way. She left them alone as a small group of patrons came in, wanting an early lunch. She had them sit on the other side of the pub.
Castiel dropped his arm from around Dean and Dean held back a whimper at the sudden lack of warmth and comfort. “Cas…”
Castiel smiled and put his hand on Dean’s cheek instead, holding it in place as he leaned over and kissed Dean on the lips. Startled but eager, Dean took a second to start to return the kiss. Cas’s lips were rough, like he hadn’t expected to be kissing, but his technique was amazing, like he’d been born known exactly how Dean liked to be kissed. And though Cas had been an angel to initiate it, Dean was the one who took control, the kiss deepening, noses rubbing, until Dean was forced to pull back and burry his nose quickly in his scarf. “h’SHUFFffffff!”
“God bless,” Castiel said, wiping his kiss-wet lips with his cuff then wrapping his arm around Dean again.
“I sure hobe you dod’t catch by cold dow.”
Castiel snuggled impossibly closer, burrowing under the blanket, right up against Dean’s side. “If it means more of this, I hope I do.” He trailed sweet kisses all the way from Dean’s ear to his mouth and then let Dean take the lead once more.