All eyes were on Dean now. Every Hogwarts student, every pretty Beauxbatons face (and those two ugly ones in the back), every scary looking Durmstrang kid (as well as that one shifty looking one), and all the professors, were all gazing at Dean Winchester who just announced his surprise about the Hogwarts Champion for the Triwizard Tournament in a very public fashion.
“Do you have something to say about the randomly selected Triwizard Champion for Hogwarts?” asked Professor Shurley in a tone that meant he was not in the mood to joke, “Any questions, queries, concerns, objections on the matter?”
Dean stood, his bow legs shaking as he opened his mouth and closed it. HIs face turned crimson as he slowly sat down, putting his head on the Hufflepuff table.
There was a long, very, very awkward silence before Professor Shurley cleared his throat.
“Uh…so…sorry about that, Monsieur Azazel, Professor Alistair,” said Shurley in a stumbling fashion, “Anyways…uh…that’s all for now…please come meet with me after dinner if you have been chosen as a champion…that is…uh…all?”
Professor Shurley glanced over to the heads of the other schools.
First to Monsieur Frederic Azazel, proviseur of Beauxbatons. He was a sinister looking man who truly did break the stereotype of Beauxbatons. Monsieur Azazel merely gave Shurley a glare that made the professor jump.
Next he turned to Professor Christopher Alistair, and Dean could swear if a man could make him jump out of his skin with just a look, that psychotic looking man would be it. Now this creep, he rolled his eyes, grimacing at the professor.
Shurley shrunk into his chair.
“Yup, that’s it. Just eat dinner and stuff,” squeaked Professor Shurley halfheartedly.
Slowly, the group began to speak to each other once more.
“Smooth move, Dean,” said Donna, scooching away from him.
Dean saw Bobby move away too.
“Oh come on, do you really think being near me would actually ruin your reputation at all, Bobby? Really?” asked Dean.
Bobby avoided eye contact. Dean could still feel the eyes on him from all sides. He put his head back on the table.
“Maybe people will forget about this tomorrow?” said Donna.
Dean glanced up, his head still on the table.
“Wow. That almost sounded truthful,” said Dean.
Donna gave Dean a sympathetic look.
“Yeah, they’re going to be talking about this for a while,” said Donna.
Dean groaned, wishing he could take that little outburst back.
So, if there was anything Dean could take out of that night, it would be that the walls in Hogwarts are soundproof and no amount of willing sound through those walls helped.
Maybe Dean shouldn’t be eavesdropping on the discussion with the Triwizard Champions. Scratch that, he definitely shouldn’t and he could possibly be expelled for doing something so stupid.
But this was…this was Cas and Cas was Cas. He was some quirky little nerdy dude who’d rather watch the bees than go to Defense Against the Dark Arts class (which, yeah, Dean could admit that the professor of that particular class was on the Oh My Merlin I Won’t Be In the Same Room With Him and His Rape-y Stares Alone category on Dean’s Professor List in his head, but that doesn’t mean Cas should miss class, it’s not like he’s the one getting that real ‘special’ eyesex attention from the creep). Cas just wasn’t the type of person Dean would ever expect to volunteer for the Tournament, especially since Cas hadn’t said anything about it to Dean. If Dean knew Cas was going to try something so stupid, he would have done something, dammit, he would have stopped the idjit from putting himself in harms way. And now, instead of being able to do anything on Cas’ behalf, Dean was stuck pacing the hallway outside of the Great Hall.
The doors opened in their slow, imminent way. The three champions walked out of the Great Hall, each with their own headmasters. Dean tried to avoid the other schools as much as possible. Dean was getting a horrible vibe from those two other headmasters and Dean was rarely wrong about people.
“Uh, Cas, uh-”
“Get out of my face!” shouted Cas, glaring at Professor Shurley. Dean blinked, watching the professor cringe.
“But, Castiel, I just wanted to-”
“I don’t need help. I just want you to leave me alone, Professor.”
Something about the way Cas was acting made him think the professor was more than just a professor to Cas.
Dean tried not to think about the relationship. There were too many possibilities that would make Dean sick.
“Castiel, I’m only trying to help,” said Professor Shurley.
Cas wasn’t having it.
“You’re a few years too late on that matter,” hissed Cas.
That was when Cas noticed Dean, just standing there, unsure of what to do.
“Come on, Dean. Let’s get out of here,” said Cas, grabbing Dean by the arm and dragging him away. Dean looked from the professor and Cas, and wasn’t sure what to say.
“Uh…Cas…what’s going on, exactly?” asked Dean.
Cas glanced at Dean.
“Trust me, it’s probably better if you didn’t know,” said Cas, sighing as rubbed his face.
Dean nodded. If there was something Cas didn’t want Dean to know, well, he just had to assume it was for the best. Cas would tell him about it eventually…and maybe scratch that, Dean didn’t know why he thought some guy he met a few weeks ago would trust him.
“Cas, is there a reason why you entered the raffle for a high death rate?” asked Dean.
“I was bored,” said Cas deadpan.
Dean furrowed his eyebrows.
“The hell does that mean?” asked Dean.
Cas looked Dean in the eye.
“You’ve only known me for a few weeks, Dean Winchester. You don’t know where I come from,” said Cas.
There was something dark and ominous in that tone. Dean gulped.
“Well, I won’t know anything unless you tell me,” said Dean.
Cas walked closer and closer to Dean, backing him up into a wall.
“Is that what you want, Dean?” asked Cas, so close to Dean that Dean could feel his breath, “Do you want me to tell you about everything? About my past?”
Dean couldn’t stop looking into those eyes.
“Just anything you feel comfortable saying,” said Dean, shaking a bit.
Cas smiled for a moment, then glanced to the side. Cas sighed.
“Perhaps some other time,” said Cas, moving away.
Dean was about to call Cas back when someone put a hand on Dean’s shoulder.
“Hey, brother, you okay there?”
Dean turned to the voice to find Benny. Dean sighed.
“Yeah, I guess,” said Dean.
Benny raised an eyebrow.
“You sure? I mean, you made a bit of a scene during dinner,” said Benny.
Dean groaned, closing his eyes.
“What about we never talk about that,” said Dean.
“Yeah, that’s not going to happen. You will be teased about that by everyone, and when I mean everyone, I mean…everyone,” said Benny.
Dean punched Benny playfully.
“You’re all jerks,” said Dean.
“Bitch,” said Benny.
“Merlin’s beard, that’s usually the opposite way around. Help me, Benny, I’m turning into a nerd like Sammy,” said Dean, mockingly holding on to Benny’s robes tightly.
“I think you’ve already turned, Mr. Star Trek,” said Benny.
“Hey, I told you that in trust,” grumbled Dean, “At least basically no one here understands what that is.”
Benny just laughed as they walked back to the dorms.
Dean was stuck between a rock and a hard place.
It was only moments earlier that Dean, reckless hero extraordinaire, had stood in between a quite bulky Durmstrang guy and a scrawny little hufflepuff first year.
“Hey,” said Dean only moment’s before, “Aren’t you a bit old to be picking on eleven year olds.”
Which got Dean into his present situation. That Durmstrang guy-Yeah, he was pushing Dean into a wall.
“Is this the best you got?” asked Dean, forcing bravado, “Come on, are we going to fight or make out?”
The Durmstrang guy didn’t move. He just glared at Dean. Then, to Dean’s horror, the Durmstrang guy grinned. And crap, was that the worst choice of snark Dean had ever done in such a horrible situation. They were in a basically deserted hallway with no windows and very little lighting. To Dean’s immense horror, the Durmstrang guy was actually leaning towards him, Dean boxed into the wall with no way to really get away.
Dean could hear something fly in the air as a rock hit the guy’s head. The Durmstrang guy actually growled, turning to the person who threw the frigging rock.
“Cas?” Dean blurted in exasperation and confusion as the juggernaut barreled over to the little nerdy dude.
You’d think people would use frigging spells. What sort of school of magic was this if people weren’t using magic while they fight? But no. Oh, no, for some reason, these guys have to give Dean a frigging heart attack and have Cas fight him in good old fashion fisticuffs…well…sort of. As soon as the lug of a young man got to Cas, the nerdy dude frigging used some sort of martial arts, flipping a guy three times his size.
For a moment, all was quiet, frozen.
Dean slid to the ground.
“Assbutt?” Dean said, “Really?”
Cas sort of just shrugged. He walked over and extended a hand. Dean took it as Cas helped him up.
“Thanks for the help. That guy…Merlin’s beard, it’s like all of those Durmstrang kids are complete psychopaths,” said Dean.
“Not really,” said Cas, “Dorothy seems to be a kind girl. Gruff, yes, but kind.”
“Yeah, speaking of Champions, why did you decide to be one?” asked Dean as they began to walk.
Cas tilted his head.
“Didn’t I already tell you?” asked Cas, walking ahead, “I was bored. I put my name in.”
Dean put his hand on Cas and turned him around.
“I’m serious, Cas. Nobody walks into a massacre without a reason,” said Dean.
Cas looked away and sighed. Even with his pokerface, Dean could sense that Cas was torn about the matter.
“Look, Dean,” Cas said, “It’s…it’s really complicated. And, besides, you’re the only person who really thinks anything bad’s going to happen.”
“Because something bad always happens, Cas,” said Dean, “I mean, have you not looked over the records on the past Triwizard Tournaments? Hell, even the people who win die.”
“This is none of your concern,” said Cas.
“Like hell it isn’t,” said Dean, “When something has to do with a friend of mine, I’m not just going to take it lying down.”
“You’ve only known me for a month, maybe. This is none of your business,” said Cas, his voice deeper and more serious.
Dean faltered for a second.
Before Dean could say another word, Cas strode off, leaving Dean alone in that dark hallway.
Dean jumped a bit in his seat.
“Dean, you okay?” asked Donna.
Dean turned to her and tried to slap on a smile.
“Yeah, why?” asked Dean, his foot tapping nervously.
“Well, you’ve been staring at the door the whole time in all the classes we’ve been in today,” said Donna.
She glanced around.
“Are you looking for that Cas guy?” asked Donna in more of a whisper.
“No,” said Dean.
Donna raised an eyebrow.
“Sue me for wondering why my friend hasn’t been in class for the past two days,” said Dean.
“Doesn’t mean you need to watch the door constantly. If somebody’s not in here by fifteen minutes into the class, I highly doubt they’d stride in forty minutes into it,” said Donna.
“Why are you so worried about the guy, anyways? If he put his name in the lottery for the Triwizard Tournament, then he must have enough skills to survive some pretty insane challenges,” said Donna.
Dean had a bad feeling that Cas may have those sort of skills. You don’t get those sort of skills from growing up in a healthy, happy household, either, that’s for sure.
“That doesn’t mean a person gets to play hooky every single frigging day,” grumbled Dean, as he turned his gaze reluctantly to his textbook.
“Oh, cheer up, Dean, I’m sure we’ll see him in herbology, he always seems to go to that class, at least,” said Donna, trying to sound peppy.
Dean gave Donna a halfhearted smile.
“Yeah, maybe,” said Dean, though, something told Dean that it was highly doubtful.
Dean lay on Charlie’s bed, staring up at the top of the bunk bed.
“You gotta get off my bed at some point,” said Charlie, laying next to Dean, “How do you think I get all the ladies? I gotta get my beauty sleep, and my naps count in that.”
Dean glanced over at her.
“Is it weird?” asked Dean.
“You on my bed? Yeah, a bit. I mean, if you keep at this, people are going to start talking, and I don’t want people thinking I’m suddenly straight.”
Dean blinked, then shook his head.
“No, not that,” said Dean.
Charlie grinned giddily.
“Stop that,” said Dean, throwing a pillow at her.
“Why? It’s adorable to see you worried about that Cas guy,” said Charlie, sitting up.
Dean rolled his eyes.
“I’m…I’m not that…”
Charlie gave Dean a look.
“So, you’re not worried about dreamy Cas?” asked Charlie.
Dean looked away.
Charlie kept looking at Dean. Dean sheepishly smiled.
“So what if I’m worried about the guy. And-hey- I never said the nerdy dude was dreamy,” said Dean.
“Yeah, but I can just see it in your eyes,” said Charlie.
Dean rolled his eyes.
“We’re just friends, Charlie. Besides, I’m not interested in dating right now. I’m more worried about my new friend getting himself killed because of some stupid decision he made on a whim,” said Dean.
“You shouldn’t be talking to me about it, Dean,” said Charlie, “You should be asking Cas.”
“I haven’t seen him all week. It’s like he’s avoiding me or something,” said Dean.
“Maybe you should do something to take your mind off of this, then. I mean, the first challenge won’t happen for another month. I know how you obsess over these things,” said Charlie.
“And what do you suggest I should do?” asked Dean.
“Get a hobby.”
“You could join a club.”
“Benny’s in the Knitting Club. You should check that out.”
“Dean, you’ve been trying to track that Cas guy all week, practically stalking him. You need to do something that’s not creepy, even if it’s only for an hour,” said Charlie.
Dean sighed, sitting up.
“Fine,” said Dean.
Dean found himself surrounded by a gaggle of girls and Benny. Yes, Dean had taken Charlie’s suggestion and decided that it may be good to do something with his spare time besides running around, looking for that nerdy dude. It wasn’t like Cas seemed to want to be found by Dean anyways, and it wouldn’t kill Dean to have some R&R time with one of his best friends.
Dean didn’t take into account that knitting actually needed some skill of some sort.
“I hate this.”
Dean grimaced. What was supposed to be the beginning of a scarf looked more like a mauled clump of mystery yarn.
“Patience, Dean,” said Benny as he finished a sleeve for a sweater, “It takes time to learn how to do this well.”
“Easy for you to say,” grumbled Dean, giving up on undoing any knots he created in his knitting catastrophe and tossing the wad to the ground, “Seriously, this is just the worst.”
Benny glanced at Dean, then handed him another ball of yarn.
“Relax. Once you get into the zone, I’m sure you could make a lot of great stuff,” said Benny.
Dean gazed down at the horror which was the ball of yarn.
“People who find this relaxing are insane,” mumbled Dean.
That was when the door opened, revealing familiar blue eyes.
“Sorry for being late, I had to finish some business elsewhere,” said Cas, walking past Dean.
Cas grabbed a chair, dragging it right next to Dean. He sat down, taking out an unfinished hat from his bag.
Cas blinked, glancing over to Dean.
“Hello, Dean,” said Cas, as if he had been talking to Dean all week.
“We’re talking now?” asked Dean.
Cas focused on the hat.
“Why wouldn’t we be talking?” asked Cas.
Dean opened his mouth, then closed it. He sighed. Maybe he was being too clinging with this new friend of his.
“So, you’re in Knitting Club?” asked Dean.
“He is,” said Benny, “Has been since he transferred here last year.”
Cas glared at Benny. Benny kept knitting, unfazed.
“Oh, uh,” said Dean, suddenly feeling very awkward, “I didn’t know that.”
“You never asked,” said Cas curtly.
“There seems to be a lot of things you haven’t been telling my good friend here, though, haven’t there?” asked Benny, glancing at Cas.
Cas stopped knitting completely, all his energy pouring into a stare that could kill.
“Uh, come on, guys,” said Dean, laughing nervously, “What’s going on here?”
Benny turned to Dean.
“Look, Dean, I’m only saying that maybe your friend should talk more about himself before you start sticking your neck out for him and looking around for him like some lost puppy,” said Benny.
“Maybe not knowing everything would be better for Dean,” said Cas, standing up, “Sometimes knowing too much can be a bad thing.”
Benny stood up as well.
“You know, you and your family have always been a bit sketchy,” said Benny.
Dean stood up, getting in between the two.
“Guys, stop it,” Dean said, “What the hell are you guys talking about?”
Benny kept his gaze on Cas.
“Why don’t you ask him?” asked Benny.
Cas narrowed his eyes.
“I don’t need to take this,” said Cas, walking away and grabbing his book bag, “I’m leaving.”
Benny put his hand on Dean’s shoulder.
“Just let him go, Dean. Honestly, he’s not very good news,” said Benny.
Dean glanced back at Benny. Dean didn’t understand what he meant.
“We’re going to talk about this later,” said Dean.
Dean pushed Benny’s hand away from his shoulder. He strode out the room to try to find Cas, but Cas was too fast. He was already gone.