Harry disappears from the wizarding world for a little while after the fall of Voldemort and only like Ron Hermione and Ginny know where he’s gone
but he’s traveling. he considered backpacking Europe, but then he realized he’d had enough of camping for at least twenty years, so he teaches himself to drive and pulls enough strings to get himself an American drivers’ license and and then he’s off on a roadtrip in a beat-up car that’s still fast as anything. he doesn’t use magic if he can help it because it feels tainted, feels like it belongs to the war, feels like it marks him out again as someone with power and responsibility and the weight of a world on his shoulders. and for now he wants to find out what it is not to be a world-saving wizard, but just to be Harry.
and he meets a lot of strangers (he figures it’s safe enough picking up hitchhikers when they’re more than likely muggles and he’s got his wand if anything bad happens) and he learns what it’s like to be just another face, another car on the road and he learns all sorts of stuff on the radio, tries every genre out there. and it’s nice to listen to stuff that isn’t specifically designed to remind him of the wizarding world, but he finds so much of it surprisingly relatable and sometimes he just breaks down sobbing at the wheel and has to pull over.
and one of the hitchhikers he picks up is a veteran, and Harry doesn’t tell him much but he does say that he’s been a soldier, too, and it’s hard adjusting to a life that you never thought would exist because things were so hard that you could not imagine yourself after. hard to think about settling down and marrying the girl you thought you’d die loving. hard to think that not everyone around you is an enemy. were you a prisoner of war? the veteran asks. or undercover? both, says Harry. and lost, not knowing whether I was on the run or on a mission that was taking a year. I got back alive in the end but something—something’s definitely dead, you know?
how old are you, says the veteran. I’m eighteen, says Harry. the veteran raises his eyebrows. but they both know that some armies, some wars, don’t care about your age.
I think the dead thing is me, Harry says one day, when he’s going seventy in a fifty-five mile zone and the sun is setting in their eyes. when I killed the enemy, I killed myself.
and the veteran looks at him for a very long moment and Harry slows down and looks back at him and at last the man says, no. no, you lived. and you’re going to keep living, son, and one day you’ll be ready to marry that girl, if you love her, and now that you’ve got out of the war, it’s time to get the war out of you.
(they almost have a wreck when Harry pulls over to the side of the road, gets out, sits in the grass and laughs through his tears. flowers start to spring up around him and he feels the magic in his core, but this time it’s peaceful and pure and fun. unspoiled. and he knows it won’t always feel this way but for now things are leaking out of him, joyful things, because he is the boy who lived again, the boy who lived after the war.)
La cucina. (deancas, s9 au, food food food) (ao3)
…if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will eat with him, and he with me. -Revelation 3:20
They are sitting in the library and Dean can still kind of smell it, the scent of cheap shampoo lingering in the air above Castiel’s head, the warm soapy aura of contentment he’s giving off. His cheeks are kind of pink, his hair is damp and curling a little at the back of his neck. He looks like he scrubbed himself within an inch of his life. Dean knows he was in there for half an hour, maybe a little more. Sam had banged on the door and asked if Castiel was okay, and there had been a long silence, and then a very wet and red-faced Castiel in the doorway soaking the rug, telling Sam he was fine, he’d just figured out the right temperature, was it okay if he just- stood there for a while? He’d cleaned himself off already, he said. Sam had told him to go nuts. Dean hadn’t told him anything, because Dean was hiding in his room like a baby, pretending to be usefully getting Castiel some fresh clothes to wear, in reality mostly wondering why the fuck he was freaking out.
Yeah okay, so I posted the hahaha-they-put-Sam-in-a-shot-with-moose-lamp picture earlier today, but I couldn’t shake the feeling I was missing something. Why the hell would they put this in? It can’t just be Serge Ladouceur having a laugh, can it? So, I went back and holy silent story telling, Batman, am I ever glad I did, because wow there’s a lot going on.
First of all, both Sam and Dean are connected to objects in the room. Sam’s connection is obviously the easiest one to spot. From left to right we have the moose man himself, then the silhouette of an actual moose and then the silhouette of a pine tree.
For Dean, the shot is set up to mirror Sam’s.
We have the bearer of the Mark of Cain on the right, and a pine tree on the far left. Therefore, like the moose in the middle representing Sam, the image in the middle of this shot represents Dean. For most of the scene the head is out of the shot, but a glorious beard is visible throughout. There is one shot, though, that shows the entire figure and yeah, once I saw this, I couldn’t unsee it…
To further the connection to Cain, the other in-your-face image in the motel room is the ox. It is on the panel, on the wall. In fact, Dean is framed by them, stressing its significance.
While technically, the Bible never states what Cain used, ask most people what weapon was used to slay Abel and their answer will be the jawbone of an ox. (Additionally, slaying and offering a blemishless ox to God is the Biblical sure-fire way of asking for forgiveness for a sin.)
And there is the way Dean is framed. Torso visible, but head out of shot.
Same for the wooden panel:
torso visible, head out of shot. (Perhaps saying that the figure holding an axe refers to Dean having an axe to grind would be going to far, but at the very least the axe can be a vicious weapon.) The silent story is telling us to pay attention to the Cain-connection.
Why it wants us to do this, I believe, can be found in the following exchange. While talking about the Thinman Sam says the following: “[it] lurks in the background of his victims’ lives until he is ready to kill them” He says this at the exact moment of the screenshot below: Dean lurking in the background, out of focus.
While not exactly in the same position, it does remind me of this glorious season 8 shot:
Dean the predator, going after his prey ruthlessly, single-mindedly, and with a relish for torture that will never cease to scare the living crap out of me.
Cut to the final fight scene and Dean killing a human.
Let me repeat that: Dean killing a human with a BLADE from behind without a hint of remorse on his face or a real human reaction when Sam calls him out on it.
And just to make sure we recall the motel room scene, the shot of his death is framed like this:
Again, we see Dean’s torso, but his head is out of shot. What also strikes me is how incredibly huge this makes Dean look. How inexorable.
So while we have not been explicitly told that the Mark of Cain is affecting Dean, this sure suggests that it is. And even if I haven’t convinced you of the wooden engraving being Cain, at the very least we are seeing that Dean is changing and it is not yet for the better. Rock bottom is yet to come.