Dean Winchester was sitting at the Hufflepuff table, all eyes on him. Not specifically because anything he was doing, no, not exactly. The problem, for once, wasn’t Dean Winchester, King of Unneeded Attention. No, the prize this past week went to someone who was usually the King of No Attention.
“So…you’re eating with us again?” asked Donna through pancake bites.
She wasn’t exactly being judgmental about the whole situation. Hell, she hadn’t been paying much attention to what was going on ever since she started getting letters daily from that Sam Wesson guy (who Dean was still a bit on the suspicious side about), she had become worse than she already was with understanding the obvious.
The reply Cas gave, like every single day Donna had asked the same question, was blunt and short. Dean didn’t even know if what Cas was doing was even allowed, but no one had stopped Cas yet. He had been sitting next to Dean for breakfast, lunch, and dinner all week without so much as an explanation to it other than “Is it bothering you?”, which Dean couldn’t really say it was.
Yeah, Dean probably should have been bothered by it. He should have been bothered by the fact that Everyone was giving them weird looks as if Cas had just walked out of the Forbidden Forest as a purple three legged blob with an eyepatch and Dean was some mermaid the thing was dragging along with it. He should have been bothered by the fact that there was literally no space between he and Cas and that Cas looked like he was linked to Dean’s hip. Hell, Dean should have been bothered by the fact that Cas was not only sitting like this with Dean during dining times, but also during classes, every single class they had together to be exact, all the classes Cas had been skipping all year.
But every time Cas sat next to him, he didn’t think about the eyes that were on him like glue to a kindergartener, all he could focus on was Cas laughing when he finally understood a joke from two days ago. Every time Cas sat down next to him, he didn’t think about that obvious missing boundary, all he thought about was how Cas’ side felt warm against his and that he missed the warmth whenever the class ended. Not like Dean would say that out loud, though.
“Are you going to keep eating with us, because this attention is making my asthma act up,” said Bobby skittishly, his voice cracking a bit.
An owl flew down, dropping a letter next to Donna. Donna couldn’t stop herself from giddily grabbing the letter and opening it.
“Another letter from Sam Wesson?” asked Cas, nibbling on a biscuit.
Donna couldn’t help but smile, her eyes filled with joy. Bobby grimaced next to her, his hair turning darker by the minute.
“It is,” she said, reading the letter, “Oh, and he’s saying he’ll be able to be in Hogsmeade during the next Hogsmeade weekend! Isn’t that wonderful?”
“The guy who got a mysterious illness is mysteriously coming back for a Hogsmeade weekend?” Dean said, raising an eyebrow.
Donna moved across the table and whacked Dean.
“Stop saying stuff like that, Sam is a good guy! Jeez! You’re just jealous because you don’t have a girlfriend as great as my boyfriend,” said Donna.
Dean rolled his eyes.
“Like I want someone a million kilometers away just sending me ‘I wuv you’ cards. No thank you,” said Dean.
“What about someone who’s in close proximity?” asked Cas.
Dean nearly choked on the roll he was eating, becoming more and more conscious of Cas in general. Cas tilted his head curiously.
“Are you okay, Dean?”
Dean coughed a nervous laugh out, trying to look anywhere besides those pulling blue eyes Cas had.
“I-I’m fine, just something went down the wrong way, I’m totally fine,” said Dean, clearing his throat, “And I’m not really, uh, thinking much about that. I mean, in between classes and checking on Sammy, it’s hard for me to even think about having a relationship at the moment. If one were to, well, just sort of start naturally, maybe I’d run with it, but, um, no…I, uh, I don’t think I even gave much thought to that, or anything. 'Cause, you know, I’m not really with the whole, uh, love, and…love…”
Donna gave him a curious look.
“Love and…love, eh, Dean Winchester?” she said almost knowingly.
Dean glared at her.
Dean felt the warmth on his side disappear, leaving him feeling cold.
“…it is time for classes, right, Dean?” asked Cas.
Dean turned to see Cas’ hip next to his head. His eyes slowly climbed up to those pulling blue eyes of Cas’. Dean didn’t even notice that his mouth was open.
Dean snapped out of it quickly, jolting awkwardly out of his seat.
"Y-yeah, let’s go, Cas. See you later, guys,” said Dean, quickly putting his arm around Cas’ shoulders and ushering him away from the two, the eyes around Dean suddenly becoming more and more known to him.
Dean knew he was walking too close to Cas. They were walking in line and stepping together with the same feet, their hips practically touching. It felt so normal to Dean, like he didn’t know how he was walking without Cas next to him.
Dean hated that voice. There was April Kelly, running up to Cas from the Beauxbatons table.
“Meet me in five? I got some things to go over with you,” she said.
“Of course,” said Cas, “I’ll meet you where we usually meet.”
It was disheartening because Dean was sure that meant Cas was meeting her in the Room of Requirements, where Cas used to take him whenever they discussed a new task. Even after a week back, Cas still hadn’t told Dean anything about the next task. Dean couldn’t bring it up without Cas changing the subject, and Dean wasn’t sure how to corner Cas about it. All Dean could do is give Cas a worried look.
“She’s…she’s good,” said Cas, avoiding Dean’s eyes, “Trust me, please.”
“Oh, I trust you, Cas,” said Dean, “I know you try to be a good guy. I know, you try, but Cas, you trust everyone. People are going to use that trust and…it’s not going to be pretty.”
Cas glared at Dean.
“I can take care of myself. I’ve always taken care of myself. If you’ll excuse me, I have someone I need to talk with,” said Cas, walking off.
Dean sighed, rubbing his face. He wondered if he shouldn’t have said anything, but Dean was worried. He couldn’t just let Cas keep wondering into something that seemed like darkness to Dean just to keep some form of pseudo-good between them. He had been trying to avoid saying it all week, but…he couldn’t just keep letting Cas think he was okay with what Cas was doing.
He walked to class alone, hoping Cas would sit next to him like he had been all week.
“Hey…you okay there, Dean?”
Dean was lying on Charlie’s bed again, looking up at the poster of Scarlet Johansson Charlie stuck to the bottom of the other bed.
“You’d think staring at this would make things better,” said Dean as Charlie lay next to him.
“Yeah, you’d think that,” said Charlie, sighing, “What’s up?”
Dean just stared up at the picture.
“You’d think adding a picture of Felicia Day would help?” asked Dean, trying to change the subject.
Charlie gave him a look. Dean gulped.
“I trust Cas, you know, I know I do, but…I just can’t trust April. I don’t know why, I just can’t,” said Dean.
“Of course you can’t, Dean.”
The smile made Dean squirm. It felt like she was seeing past something Dean never wanted people to see.
“It’s not that, I just…I have a bad feeling about her. The bad type of bad, too, not just that, 'ooh, something’s weird about her’, like a 'looming death’ kind of bad,” said Dean.
“That does sound like a bad feeling. I don’t know too much about her, either. She went to the Yule Ball with Cas, didn’t she?”
Dean tensed, slowly nodding.
“Yeah…they did go to that together.”
“Speaking of the Yule ball, me and some of my friends are going to be going into Hogsmeade next week, do you want to come?” asked Charlie.
“What friends?” asked Dean.
“Probably Gilda Dupont, Golem DeSantis, Ed and Maggie Zeddmore, Harry Spangler…Aaron Bass. You know, Aaron has been talking about you. Said you were fun at the Yule Ball.”
“Aaron? That short one, right?” said Dean casually.
Charlie rolled her eyes.
“You want to come with us or not?” asked Charlie.
Dean thought about the Yule Ball. He did have a lot of fun, especially because of Aaron and his words.
“Sure. Wouldn’t hurt, right?” asked Dean.
“Awesome,” she said.
Dean found Cas in a random, little known crevice of the castle. Dean only had to walk over for Cas to notice him.
“Hello, Dean,” said Cas.
Dean had been wondering the castle, finished with his homework and needing time to think. He didn’t think he would find Cas around some random place during his walk, but Dean couldn’t say he was surprised. Cas always seemed to pop up whenever he felt like it.
“How’s the task prep going?” asked Dean, sitting down next to Cas.
“…Good…I’m going to be doing some research and work with April during this weekend at Hogsmeade,” said Cas.
“Oh, you’re going to Hogsmeade as well?” asked Dean nonchalantly.
Cas seemed to falter.
“You’re…You’re going to Hogsmeade? With who? I thought Donna wanted to go on her own to see Sam, that it was very hush-hush because Sam wanted it to be just them,” said Cas.
“Wait, you remember that?-Never mind. First off, I am going to at least walk Donna over to her date because like hell will I let some guy come around and possibly drug her and steal her kidneys. Second, I am going with Charlie and a few of her friends.”
“You hang out with Charlie’s friends?” asked Cas.
Dean shrugged, grinning.
“Her friends are pretty nice, especially that Aaron guy.”
“You know, Aaron Bass? I’ve been hanging out with him all week, he’s pretty cool. His Griffindor friend Golem DeSantis is a bit intimidating, but he seems like a cool dude.”
Cas shifted around nervously.
“You mean Aaron from a grade under us? That Aaron?”
“Yeah. I met him at the Yule Ball, and I don’t know, we sort of hit it off there. After hanging out with him all week, well, he’s just gotten cooler, you know?”
“I don’t know, he seemed a bit like a snob when I talked to him last time,” said Cas a bit quickly.
“He hasn’t been much of a snob around me. He’s pretty down to earth, actually. I helped him out with some homework too, so it’s not like he’s snobby about that either,” said Dean.
“I don’t think you should hang out with him that much, Dean,” said Cas, avoiding Dean’s eyes.
Dean narrowed his eyes.
“Why not? And don’t tell me it’s because he’s a 'snob’,” said Dean.
“I just…I don’t want you to hang out with him,” grumbled Cas.
Dean stood up.
“Cas, you don’t get to decide who I hang out with.”
“But nothing. I don’t stop you from hanging out with April, even when I don’t trust her. I at least I trust you enough to let you hang out with someone I don’t exactly trust.”
“No. Stop it. Don’t. This is ridiculous - you’re ridiculous. I’m out of here.”
Dean began to walk away.
Dean turned to Cas with a look of disappointment.
Dean walked away, Cas staying where he was.
“Hey, there, Dean.”
Dean grinned, walking over.
“Hey, Aaron,” said Dean.
“And this must be Donna?” said Aaron.
Dean had dragged her over. Dean was just not going to let her go alone to find some guy that no one really seems to know about. Donna rolled her eyes.
“Dean, seriously, I can do this on my own! Merlin’s Beard! - Oh, uh, hi. Yeah, I’m Donna. So you’re Aaron? Dean’s been talking about you quite a bit, you seem pretty cool.”
Aaron smiled, crossing his arms.
“Oh really? I didn’t know he’d been talking about me to his friends.”
Dean laughed nervously. He had been a bit. Aaron seemed like a cool guy, why shouldn’t he brag a bit about a new friend?
Before Dean could respond to that, he saw Charlie and her friends rushing over.
“Okay,” said Charlie, a bit out of breath, “So, this is Maggie Zeddmore, a Griffindor. I think You’ve met Golem. Uh, these are Ed Zeddmore and Harry Spangler, they’re slytherins. And yeah, you know Gilda already. Donna, right?”
“It’s very nice to meet you all,” said Dean as everyone gave him, Donna, and Aaron their greetings.
“What are we waiting for?” asked Aaron, “Let’s get out of here.”
Dean had learned a lot about Aaron Bass during his week of hanging out with him. Aaron was a muggleborn and had groan up as a bit of an awkward outcast as a child. Or at least, he thought he was muggleborn. It turned out later that his grandfather was actually a squib and had chosen to live in the muggle world.
His friend Golem - he had come from a family who had worked for the wizard family Aaron’s grandfather had been a part of. Each generation worked for that same generation in Aaron’s family. Apparently, Aaron is the last wizard left in the proud family he came from. They’re population had dwindled, partially from the fact that they would only marry into pureblooded families and partially because mental illness from too much past intermarrying had lessened anyone’s want to actually marry into the family. The family had also participated in several acts against humanity as Death Eaters and several died in Azkhaban. Supposedly, a few people managed to be good, despite it all. One person in the family in particular had been rumored to be one of the greatest heroes of all, but the records of some of the members of the family were a bit sketchy at best. Either way, Aaron was the last of the Prince Family, and Golem, as the DeSantis closest to Aaron’s age, was chosen to protect him.
The two were decently inseparable, but Aaron was known to sneak away from him on occasion. 'I just don’t like being looked at so intensely all the time’ Aaron remarked once, 'I need some space sometimes’. Much like what they were doing now.
“Come on, Dean,” whispered Aaron, dragging Dean out of the Three Broomsticks.
Dean stifled a laugh, turning the corner on the street.
“Dude, they’re going to notice in like five minutes that we’re not there,” Dean said through a grin.
“Yeah, I don’t think they will if Golem and Harry are both hitting on Maggie. I mean, it’s obvious both of them like her, and once Ed sees that, oh man, let the distraction commence.”
Dean barked a laugh.
“You’re an evil genius, you know that? A friggin’ evil genius.”
“I’m not in Ravenclaw for nothing, Dean Winchester. Now, come on, I heard Honeydukes has half-off Berty Botts Every Flavor Beans,” Aaron said, then whispered, “I have an in with this guy there - He’ll make I get sure only flavors I want. You know, I heard you like pie…”
Aaron moved his eyebrows up and down. Dean hid his face for a moment.
“Know a way to a guy’s heart, don’t you?” said Dean.
Aaron wobbled his head.
“I may know a few things about getting to a guy’s heart. Something about the stomach, right?”
Dean was about to respond, but then he saw him. Cas. Walking down the street. With April.
Dean faltered, tensing up and freezing for a moment.
That was when Aaron put his arm around Dean’s waist.
“Follow my lead,” said Aaron, a mischievous look in his eyes.
Dean relaxed for a moment.
“I…You don’t have to do anything man, I’m not looking for anything,” said Dean.
“I’m not looking for anything either. Doesn’t mean I can’t help a friend out, right?” said Aaron.
All Dean could do was smile.
They began to walk, hip to hip as Cas and April walked away from the entrance of Dogweed and Deathcap.
“HEY,” said Aaron unnecessarily loudly, “ISN’T THAT YOUR FRIEND CAS?”
Dean was trying his best not to laugh.
“I THINK SO,” said Dean loudly, “I DON’T KNOW THOUGH.”
Cas sounded so confused. He was glaring at Aaron, who had dragged Dean even closer to him, if that was possible.
"COME ON, DEAN, LET’S GO OVER TO MADAM PUDDIFOOT’S. I HEARD EVERYONE GOES THERE,” said Aaron over dramatically, clinging to Dean as he winks in Cas’ direction.
Dean can’t help but let out a cackle.
“BUT OF COURSE,” said Dean melodramatically, picking Aaron up bridal style and skipping diagonal through the street, right past a gaping mouthed Cas and a slightly weirded out April, “LET’S.”
When they were in, they both burst out in laughter, Dean dropping Aaron immediately.
“I loved that skipping, nice touch,” said Aaron through bursts of laughter, “It was like riding a comfortable horse.”
“What can I say, I like a little flourish on my work every once and a while,” said Dean, his face turning red from all the laughing, “Seriously, man, you made that way easier to handle. Is there any way to repay you?”
“By us a pie, and I’ll be good to go.”
“Have I told you you’re the best yet, or do I save that for another time you save me from looking at April and Cas?” asked Dean.
“Save it for the next time. I’m sure I’ll think of something even more ridiculous to do. We could act like officials from the Ministry of Silly Walks,” said Aaron.
“Monty Python will be proud of us,” said Dean, laughing just thinking about it, “Now, come on. Let’s try on hats at Gladrags Wizardwear then spy on Donna to make sure Sam Wesson won’t drug her and steal her kidneys.”
“You had me at hats,” said Aaron.
Dean was glad he became friends with Aaron. This was a great distraction.
Cas stopped Dean in the hall. He had been walking around after he said goodbye to Charlie, Aaron, and the gang.
Dean raised an eyebrow as Cas ran over to him, looking tired and out of breath.
“Uh, Dean, I wanted to ask you something,” said Cas.
Dean crossed his arms.
“What? You think you’re allowed to just ask me questions now? I thought you didn’t trust me. Why would out trust my answer?” asked Dean.
“What is Aaron to you?” blurted Cas, “I-I mean, I don’t know much about, uh, love and…Love and I don’t have experience with all of that stuff, I’ve never been prone to it, but I just want to know, I want to know what Aaron is to you. I’m sorry I didn’t trust you, I’m sorry.”
Dean couldn’t help but laugh a bit.
“Cas…Come on, Cas, calm down. Aaron’s just a friend.”
“And what do you mean by friend?” hissed Cas quickly.
“It’s not much business of yours. It’s not like you have any claim on me. If you have to know, he’s just a friend friend, but you’re really being ridiculous about all of this.”
Cas’ eyes looked so lost when Dean said that, and Dean couldn’t help but turn away, hide the pain he felt from that look.
“I…I know I don’t have any claim on you, Dean,” said Cas in an almost broken voice, “You’re not some object, I don’t think of you that way. I just…I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach, and I just know there’s something wrong with Aaron.”
“Well, maybe I feel like that whenever I see April, but you don’t see me acting immature or selfish about it. I let you make your own decisions about it, despite how I felt.”
It was infuriating for Dean, for Cas to act like this even when Dean had been completely fine with his closeness to others.
“Maybe I don’t want you to be close like that to other people,” blurted Cas.
“I’m close like that with a lot of people. I’m close like that with Charlie. I’m close like that with Benny. I’m close like that with Aaron. I’m close like that with Donna. I’m close like that with you.”
“But…I just want you to myself.”
Cas said it so quietly, said it to the floor.
There was a pause. Dean unsure of what to say as he turned to the pathetic looking Cas.
“I just think of you with all these other people, and…I just want you with me, not them.”
Dean didn’t notice how close Cas become. He was mere inches away from Dean. Dean’s eyes had no choice but to scan Cas’ face, his eyes subconsciously darting from eyes to lips, then away. He didn’t know why he did that. He wasn’t sure if he was ready to know.
“Dean…you're different…from anyone else…I just want us to be okay.”
Dean felt hot. He took a step away, hoping to get some breathing room. He felt shaky and nervous.
“We’re…we’re okay, Cas, we'll always be okay. Even if I get angry at you, I could never be angry at you for forever. It’s just not in me. I couldn’t.”
Cas took a step closer.
“Are you sure? Are you sure we’re okay?”
Dean laughed nervously.
“Of course we are, Cas. I wouldn’t lie to you.”
Cas hugged Dean. Dean’s arms acted on their own accord, hugging Cas back unconsciously.
“I’m sorry about that…you can be friends with anyone, I’m the one in the wrong here. I…I don’t know what came over me there,” mumbled Cas into Dean’s chest.
“It’s…It’s fine, really. Don’t worry about it, Cas.”
Cas looked up, smiling.
“Good,” he said.
They stood there for a while, just holding one another as Dean wondered whether or not that was a normal thing to do with your best friend.
You know what I love about the Destiel & Misha Collins fandoms?
They are the biggest bunch of sweet, caring, loving people I have ever seen.
Our overlord is, after all, Misha, a man whose primary goal in life is to spread kindness. He leads by example, getting his hands dirty and doing the heavy lifting to make this world a better place. He doesn’t leave the work to others, but believes in making a change in the world, one act of kindness at a time. He picks up trash out of lakes, builds orphanages in the heat of Haiti, and collects feminine hygiene products for homeless women. Not to mention, always treating fans with dignity and respect, welcoming and supporting differences in cultures, genders and sexualities. And best of all, he encourages others to do the same.
And it is working.
His work and generosity has inspired Jared and Jensen to become more active in the causes that they care about and encourage the SPN fandom to spread more kindness and acceptance. They boys even said that Misha’s success with RAK was was of the reasons they decided to start AKF.
The Destiel/Misha fandom almost always fights hatred with love. Every time I have seen an actor or writer get hate from people that dislike Destiel, it is immediately followed up by calls from our fandom to spread love. It has happened so many times. Just a few examples are when Jensen & Misha got hate for their sunset pictures, Felicia Day was targeted, Jensen got insults on his pictures of his daughter, Jared was told to kill himself, and most recently with Kathryn Newton got hate for congratulating the boys on their TCA win. And the Destiel fandom’s response is not to fight fire with fire, but rather to fight hate with love. In all of these occasions, we chose to flood their twitter feeds with support and even works of art like this.
This fandom is against any kind of bullying, so much so that one of our members started an SPN anti-bullying campaign to report and stop fandom bullying on Twitter. Where J2′s wives get ugly hate and get called beards, I have seen almost none of that against Vicki (unless it is against Misha and Vicki together). In fact, the families of the actors get tons of love (even from the Cockles shippers who are like - yay for free love between Misha and Vicki and Jensen and Daneel).
This fandom has hosted two DestielCons where no hate for any actor or ship was tolerated. There were even Sam love and multi-shipping panels. And most in this fandom love Sam as a part of Team Free Will. When I published this post I got a ton of feedback and almost all of it was from Destiel fans exclaiming how much they love Sam.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are a few bad eggs in every fandom and Destiel is no exception. But I follow a couple thousand blogs, probably most of them Destiel or multi-shippers, and I honestly never, like never ever see any Sam, Jared, or any other actor or family member hate. The closest thing is the pretty legitimate criticism of the awful writing team of Buckner/Ross-Leming and SPN’s treatment of women and LGBTQ+ characters. And, yeah, I have seen it taken too far. And I always cringe with second hand embarrassment because I know that the vast majority of this fandom is not like that. And the same goes for the Wincest & non-shippers - I’ve got nothing but love for the majority that also support all of the cast and their families and all fans.
For the most part, this fandom is a big love-fest, full of peace, love, and death to normalcy for everyone. So, fandom, this is a big thank you from me to you for fighting hate with love and for following in Misha’s footsteps by making the world better one random act of kindness at a time.