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home on the outskirts of Godric’s Hollow in Wales. While this might seem to be a perfectly normal family, in truth, they were anything but. James and Lily were magical; they had met each other while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. Over the course of 7 seven years, James had sought after and finally won the heart of Lily Evans. The pair was married shortly after graduating in 1977. Being able to use magic wasn’t the only thing that set them apart from a normal family. Shortly before their sons were born, they received a visit from Albus Dumbledore, their former headmaster and the leader in the fight against Voldemort, the darkest wizard of their time. The news wasn’t good. It seemed that there was a good chance that one of their unborn sons was destined to be the savior of the wizarding world by ridding them of the threat of Voldemort. As much possible the two pushed the prophecy to the back of their minds. There was nothing to be done about it until their sons were born. So on July 31st, 1980 Lily Potter gave birth to a pair of boys. Both had dark brown almost black hair but the first born had hazel eyes like James while the younger of the two had brilliant green eyes like Lily. It was a few weeks after they returned home that Albus Dumbledore once again visited them. After studying the two boys while they were sleeping, he came to the conclusion that Thomas, being the elder twin, was more likely to be the one mentioned in the prophecy. Without meaning to, James and Lily began to favor Thomas over Harry. Now Harry was never neglected but any attention he received from his parents was an afterthought. Harry got fed when Thomas was hungry, changed when Thomas needed it, put down for a nap when Thomas was tired. He was never put first but he wasn’t ignored. James was the first to realize what they were doing and began making a conscious effort to spend more time with Harry and put him first. This was never more evident than one day while playing with Harry, Lily told him to come over and play with Thomas instead. “Lily, I’m playing with Harry.” He protested making no effort to move. Lily glared at James for defying her. “James, Thomas is the one in the prophecy. He needs your attention not Harry.”
“We don’t even know if the prophecy is about either of them, it could be Neville Longbottom. I won’t ignore one son for the other.” James said while bouncing a plush toy in front of Harry always moving it just out of his grasp. Harry’s giggles were more than enough of an argument for James to keep playing with him. “I just know Thomas is the Chosen One. Harry will always be a nobody compared to his brother. We need to do everything we can to make sure Thomas reaches his potential.” Lily asserted hotly. But James ignored her and continued to play with Harry. From that day onward, he made sure to always give Harry the attention and love he deserved since he was certain that Lily wouldn’t. It bothered him though. Lily had never been like this in school, she had always treated everyone equally regardless of their magical talents and now here she was dismissing one of their own children before they even knew his potential. Sirius Black, godfather to both Thomas and Harry and James’ best friend, agreed with him. He had grown up under the expectations of parents and knew what it felt like to be forced to be something you aren’t. Remus Lupin, another close friend did not entirely agree with Lily but felt she was right to give Thomas more attention. If he truly was the Chosen One, he would need all the love and support he could get because he would always be singled out in the Wizarding world, never allowed to live a normal life. It was a situation that he was intimately familiar with as a werewolf. And so time passed as it was wont to do. Gradually, James and Lily were drifting apart because of the continued tension over the two boys and the ever increasing threat from Voldemort. It all came to a head on that fateful Halloween, 1981. James and Lily had just put the boys down for bed when James felt the wards around their home shatter and collapse. Voldemort had found them. “Lily, take Thomas and get out of here. I will get Harry.” James said urgently moving over to Harry’s crib. “James leave him! We don’t have time and Thomas must be kept safe!” She had already picked Thomas up and was hugging him to her chest. A look of concentration passed over her face followed by one of pain making her gasp “James, I can’t apparate. There must be wards up.” “Stay behind me.” James ordered, preparing to die for his family.
The door to the bedroom and a good portion of the wall exploded inward. In the resulting confusion, Voldemort stepped in and stunned James before he ever got a spell off. Sparing a moment to sneer at the fallen form of his foe, Voldemort reflected on the pain and torment he would suffer on waking when he realized both his children were dead. It would be far worse than simply killing the man and his mudblood wife. Lily paled when she saw James collapse. Feeling a sense of hopelessness, she put Thomas back in his crib and turned to face Voldemort. Voldemort, standing straight and tall, his wand held tightly in his pale hand asked in an emotionless voice “I’m not totally without pity. Choose which of your sons will be the first to die. Who knows maybe someone will rescue you before I kill them both.” Lily didn’t even have to think about it. Thomas must be protected at all costs. There was only the briefest feeling of guilt for being so cold to Harry in his short life but she pushed it away. “Harry. It should be Harry.” Voldemort’s body shook softly as he chuckled. “And they call me cold. If only they could see you, a veritable pillar for the light, sacrificing one of her sons with no remorse. No, I don’t think people would react very well to that at all.” “I love both of my sons!” Lily shouted which caused both Harry and Thomas to start crying. “Of course you do, you just love Harry less. Regardless, you will not be awake to see either of them die.” And before Lily could move, Voldemort had stunned her. Like her husband, the pain she would experience would be much more enjoyable for him to watch than merely killing her outright. On a whim, he decided to honor Lily’s decision and moved over to Harry’s crib. “You’re better off this way boy. Clearly your mother doesn’t care about you.” He paused for a second before aiming his wand at Harry and chanting “Avada Kedavra!” October 31st, 1981, Torchwood 3, Cardiff Founded more than 100 years ago, Torchwood was created as an independent organization by the Queen of England to safeguard the nation against alien threats. But in order to safeguard then nation, they had to understand the aliens and their technology so Torchwood was also a search and retrieval organization, investigating disturbances that could be alien in nature and
confiscating any technology they found for study and assimilation. Soon after its founding, Torchwood was brought in on the secret of the wizarding world. It was felt that in order to be truly effective in protecting the British Empire from unknown threats they would need to know the difference between magical threats and alien threats. Since that time, the line had been blurred on occasion and while Torchwood did not take an active role in the wizarding world, they did keep their eye on current events and would investigate strange incidents. Over time Torchwood grew. While the British Empire faded into the mists of time, Torchwood remained vigilant. With the development of the global political stage, Torchwood began to recruit members from other nations, augmenting the organization with skills and insights from the other countries. But still, their operations remained centered within the UK. Torchwood 3 was one of the smaller facilities. It only maintained one active team ranging between 5 – 7 agents. Being located in Cardiff Wales atop a temporal-spatial rift kept them busy dealing with the alien artifacts and beings that were drawn to the area because of the energy given off by the rift. It was a relentless job that sometimes took its toll on the team but drew them together into a tightly knit group as well. They were comrades forged in the fires of adversity. Captain Jack Harkness, a tall good looking man with dark brown hair and pale blue eyes that appeared to be in his late 30s was sitting behind his desk in the Torchwood 3 facility. He had been in charge of the facility for quite some time now and was enjoying one of the first quiet nights in the last few weeks. Unfortunately for him, the quiet was soon shattered by an alarm blaring throughout the facility accompanied by the red flashing lights. Emerging from his glass enclosed office, he ran down the stairs to the main level and asked “Anna, what do we have?” Anna, a slight proper woman with short brown hair and gray eyes was standing over a computer station that appeared to have been pulled out of a science fiction movie. The screen was flashing in time to the lights flashing around them. Dimly she noted the sound of footsteps on the metal walkways and she could only assume that the rest of the team was rushing over. Jack was growing impatient when Anna refused to answer. She was apparently analyzing the data and waiting for the rest of the team to arrive. Once everyone was assembled she looked up and was tempted to stick her tongue out at Jack. He could be so easy to
tease but now wasn’t the time and the look on his face was enough to tell her that it wouldn’t be appreciated. “There was a level 4 magical disturbance just outside of Godric’s hollow. I don’t have any data on survivors but the magical discharge was immense.” Jack thought through the situation for a moment. Normally, they tried to stay out of the wizarding world but a level 4 event was too big to ignore. “Ok, we’re going in. Anna you coordinate from here. Michael, Diana and I will investigate the site of the disturbance.” Anna nodded in understanding. Michael Sheppard, a man in his late thirties with dark brown, messy hair left to prep the car. He was fairly new to Torchwood but he was an American that had been trained in the military so Jack was happy to have him along. It never hurt to have someone trained to defend themselves. The only negative Jack had found with him so far was that he had a family. It had been Jack’s experience that agents with families tended to put them first when the chips were down. To make matters worse, Michael had a son that had just turned 13. While Jack personally liked him, he thought that one of the other branches might be a better fit in the long run. Diana was the oldest of the four. She was in her late forties and was in quite good shape for her age. Her jet black hair was pulled back into a pony tail and she was dressed in a pair of jeans and a black long-sleeve turtleneck. While Michael was readying the car she went and retrieved some basic equipment, a hand held scanner and the side arms. Part of her hoped someone got in their way, the guns may look like normal pistols, but they were anything but. They had been modified using alien technology so now they had more in common with Star Trek phasers than a typical gun. Five minutes later, the trio was on the road, following directions given to them via radio by Anna. Luckily given the time of night, there was virtually no traffic on the road. The engine in the black van roared as it shot down the dark roads. Even traveling at close to 200 kilometers per hour, it took them close to 45 minutes to reach the site. The three were quiet as they got out of the van and approached the smoking remains of the home. It appeared to have collapsed in on itself as a result of whatever had happened. The entire second floor was gone and gaping holes dotted the walls. It was surely on the verge of collapsing, so much so that Jack decided it wasn’t worth
the risk of investigating directly. “Ok spread out but stay away from the house. I don’t want anyone hurt when that thing collapses.” Before splitting up, Diana handed each one a small hand held scanner that could be used to take energy readings. Jack started to circle to the left side of the house while Michael took the right side and Diana focused on the front. It didn’t take long for Jack to find something. In addition to the high levels of necromantic energies permeating the ruins of the home, Jack found something quite unexpected. There lying on the ground was the unconscious form of a young child. He was had no blanket or anything to give a clue to his identity, just a set of generic blue pajamas. A tiny voice in the back of his mind was urging Jack to save the boy. Assuming that there was no one else to care for the boy, he would be alone in the world. It was impossible to not to see the parallels between him and this child. Since reviving after the encounter with the Daleks, he had been disconnected from everyone, different, forced to keep everyone at arm’s length for fear of how they would react to his secret. Jack took a moment to study the home. It would have been impossible for someone to still be alive in the ruins of the home. If this was indeed an attack the way it appeared, then it wouldn’t be safe to make the boy’s survival public. He was alone, like Jack. Strong, calloused hands gently lifted Harry from the grass. A sliver of concern sliced through him when Harry didn’t even stir. Jack could only hope that he would recover from whatever had happened. One arm cradled Harry to his chest while the other reached over to activate his earpiece. “Everybody, wrap things up. I found a survivor and we need to get him checked out.” Back at Torchwood, Anna frowned there was something wrong with Jack. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it but he was rattled. Even though he was carrying Harry and moving carefully, Jack was the first one to reach the van. By the time Michael and Diana made it back, Jack had rigged up a makeshift method to keep Harry secure on the stretcher they routinely carried in the back on the van in case of injuries. Diana was the first to arrive being the closest since she was
searching the front portion of the ruined home. She saw Jack standing at the rear of the van and moved over to him swiftly. “Have you gotten anything out of them? Do you know what happened here?” Jack finished securing Harry to the stretcher before answering Diana’s question. His head shook side to side and his body moved slightly so that Diana could get a view of the stretcher. She leaned in and caught a sight of the unconscious child. “I guess not.” She answered her own question dryly. Even if the child had been awake he was clearly too young to know more than a few words. “Was there any indication as to who lives here or if there might be any survivors?” Michael had arrived in time to hear Diana’s second question. “I didn’t pick up any signs of movement or anything else within the house. Whoever lived here, they must be dead.” There was a note of detachment in his voice. It was his Michael’s way of dealing with the deaths they saw while on the job. “Poor kid.” Diana added sadly at the same time, she moved over to the passenger side and stepped in. “We need to get him checked out back at Torchwood.” Jack said briskly. “Michael, get in the van. I want to get out of here before any wizards show up.” Normally Michael drove but this time Jack got into the driver’s seat and took off into the night. Some instinct was urging him to get back to the base as soon as possible. There was something putting the boy in danger and he could only hope that he could find the answer in time. October 31st, 1981, Godric’s Hollow Albus Dumbledore along with Alastor Moody, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Sturgis Podmore arrived at the ruins of the Potter Home not long after Jack and his team left. Sirius wanted to break down at the sight of the ruins and Remus had to fight to retain control of the wolf within him. Alastor just shook his head at the loss of another two soldiers in the fight against Voldemort. Albus only hoped that they had arrived in time to save the Chosen One. The explosion of magic could mean nothing else. Whatever had happened had destroyed Voldemort, there was no other explanation for such a powerful blast of magic. It was unfortunate that James and Lily were dead but it would make it easier for him to
mold the boy into the figure head that would lead the wizarding world according to his design. It was a struggle for Sirius to control the tears that were welling in his eyes. A wave of lethargy washed over him. He wanted nothing more than to collapse on the ground and wail his loss to the night. But he couldn’t do it, James and his family deserved to be laid to rest. It wasn’t right that they should by lying in the ruins of their home. Unknowingly the group of men mimicked the Torchwood team and spread out to approach the home from different angles. Unlike Torchwood, they had the advantage of magic to keep them safe and allow them to enter the home. Dumbledore was first inside. He was followed by Remus. Alastor, Sirius and Sturgis were entering from the rear of the home. “Albus did you hear that?” Remus’ keen hearing had picked up a whimper coming from what used to be the study. Blues eyes twinkling in humor Albus responded “Not all of us are gifted with enhanced senses Remus. What was it you heard?” As long as Remus remembered his place in the scheme of things, Albus was willing to tolerate the man, werewolf or not. Now for once, the curse was coming in handy. “It was this way.” Remus focused on the noise and led Albus into the study. What he found was astounding and he called out for Sirius. “Sirius, they’re in the study. They’re alive.” Albus struggled with himself. He maintained his cheery front but inwardly was gnashing his teeth. This would make his plans much more difficult. Ah well, no use crying over it now. With a wave of his wand, he cleared the debris from the floor and approached the prone forms of James and Lily. To his relief he found Thomas as well. It must have been the boy that Remus heard since he was crying tiredly. Amazingly there wasn’t a scratch on him; the power the boy must have to accomplish such a feat at his age was staggering. “Come we must get them to Hogwarts quickly. It is possible that Voldemort has done something to them.” Remus nodded and along with Albus levitated the bodies of his two friends. Thomas was cradled in his arms by the time Sirius arrived in the study along with Alastor and Sturgis. “Oh thank Merlin, they’re alive.” Then he frowned when he realized that someone was missing. “Wait Remus, where’s Harry? Have you found him yet?” Absently Remus shook his head. Like Lily, he had never really paid
much attention to Harry. Thomas was more important in his mind. Albus too looked around but was unconcerned as long as he had the Chosen One. “Sirius I fear that Harry was most likely killed in the magical explosion that Thomas was responsible for. You should be happy that Voldemort is banished. Thomas is going to need your support now, forget about Harry.” “I’m not leaving here until I find him.” Sirius said stubbornly and left to search the rest of the home. “Come, we can’t waste any more time here.” Albus ordered everyone back to Hogwarts, leaving Sirius alone to search for Harry. October 31st, 1981, Torchwood 3, Cardiff By the time they arrived back at Torchwood both Diana and Michael were pale. Jack had been pushing the van to its max speed at over 250 kph. It was only thanks to a few special enhancements that enabled them to drive that fast. The time of night was the other reason that Jack could push their speed so high; there was virtually no other traffic on the road. Michael waved both Diana and Jack away when they moved to take the boy out of the van. “Go inside and make sure Anna has everything setup. I want to know if there is any residual damage from the incident.” During the brief trip, Michael had been caring for the boy as much as possible. For some reason he reminded him of John his own son, with his messy black hair. Jack was going to protest before deciding it wasn’t worth the battle. He shared a brief look with Diana before they both shrugged and went inside. Diana was a little surprised by Michael’s attitude. He was normally unaffected by their cases but something about this one had gotten under his skin. It was best to leave it alone for now and make sure it didn’t become a problem down the line. Holding Harry carefully in his arms, Michael made his way swiftly from the garage to the med-bay. His long black trench coat was flaring behind him as he moved. The heavy steel door slid open as he approached. Inside the med-bay was brightly lit, the pristine white walls reflecting a portion of the light back. There were a pair of gurneys in the room and a host of medical apparatus arrayed around them. “Michael, place the child on bed 1. I will begin the tests.” Anna said briskly. Her normal outfit now covered by a white lab coat.
Reluctantly Michael did so. However, he refused to take more than a step or two from Harry’s side. Anna decided to avoid a confrontation and as much as possible moved around Michael. The only time she forced him to move away was when she took an x-ray of Harry to make sure he had no broken bones. While she was running her tests, Jack walked in and began to observe. Michael was waiting patiently but Jack was growing frustrated and was shifting his weight from side to side. Nervous energy was making him jittery. Something was wrong, he knew it. Anna was too quiet and running too many tests for everything to be ok and why hadn’t the boy woken up yet? All this and more was running through Jack’s mind when Anna brought him back to reality. “I’m sorry Michael, Jack, but I think the boy is dying.” Anna was nothing if not direct and her blunt assessment of Harry’s condition shocked everyone in the room. “What? Why? There’s nothing visibly wrong with him.” Jack protested strongly. This couldn’t be happening. He sympathized with the boy, felt like he had found a kindred spirit of sorts. And now… now Anna was saying that the boy was going to die. No! He wouldn’t let it happen. Somehow he would save the boy. Anna looked sad herself. It was hard to detach yourself from the death of a young child. It didn’t matter how many dead bodies she had seen, they had always been adults but this was different. He was a child, an innocent. He hadn’t had a chance to live yet. “No, he isn’t hurt physically. But, whatever happened at that house left its mark. His body is saturated with necrotic energy. For some reason it is centered on the cut on his forehead.” She finished pointing to the strange lightning bolt shaped cut marring the otherwise flawless skin. Diana had lost a child to illness herself and she had no intention of losing another one, even if the boy wasn’t hers. “Isn’t there something you can do to siphon them off or purge them somehow? I mean what the hell is all this technology good for if we can’t even save one little boy?” She finished gesturing to everything around them. Anna was already shaking her head “There are a few things we could try but he is so young they would kill him. I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do.” Necrotic energy…necrotic energy…the power of death. The phrases kept running through Jack’s mind over and over again. When the answer came to him, he wanted to kick himself for not realizing it immediately.
When he had been traveling with the Doctor, he had died when fighting the Daleks. Something, he still didn’t know what, had brought him back to life. Most people would thank whatever god they worshipped and move one but Jack soon found that this particular gift was a curse. He didn’t age and he couldn’t die. Fatal injuries took only moments to heal, the worse the injury the longer it took but he always came back. As he thought of it, he had a surplus of life energy flowing in him that kept him from dying. Maybe at some point in the future, it would be expended but for now, he was immortal. If the boy was dying from the necrotic energies that had saturated his body then maybe an infusion of his own life energy would be enough to counteract it. Unfortunately there was only one way he could think of to do that and he didn’t want to expose his secret. Anna knew of course as his second in command but Michael and Diana were still in the dark. Letting his shoulders slump in defeat, Jack pulled over a stool and sank down onto it. “Diana, Michael go home. It’s been a long night. I will stay here with the boy in case something happens.” After seeing the looks of protest, Jack added “Please I just want to be alone for a while. You can visit him in the morning.” The two had worked with Jack long enough to know when his mind was made up. So after saying goodnight, they both left. Anna was getting ready to leave as well but Jack stopped her. “Anna, would there be any harm in transfusing the boy with my blood?” To say Anna was surprised would be an understatement. This whole sequence of events since Jack had found the boy was mystifying to her. Normally her friend held everyone at arm’s length. She had never seen him get involved with someone, let alone a child. “Ok Jack what’s going on? Why did you send the others away?” “Just answer the question first?” Jack asked doggedly. Anna leaned against a table covered with various pieces of equipment. “Well, given that your unique condition makes you a universal donor, no there would be no harm. What would be the point though? He is not anemic or in shock?” “You said it yourself; the necrotic energies are slowly killing him. We know that for lack of a better explanation I have surplus of life. I’m hoping that by transfusing some of my blood that will counteract the necrotic energies.” Anna closed her eyes and gave the matter some thought. “It might work, assuming your theory is correct. But before I agree to this I
have two questions you have to answer. Why do you care and if the boy survives what will happen to him?” Jack stood and began to pace back and forth. Anna noticed than even pacing he never moved more than a pace or two away from the boy. “Ok Jack, what’s up? Why do you care what happens to this boy?” Never stopping, Jack looked up at Anna and she almost took a step back, surprised at the raw anguish and wanting that was written all over his face. “Anna…” He began softly. “The truth Jack or I won’t help.” She said sternly and crossed her arms in front of her chest. Her tone finally forced Jack to stop his pacing. “Anna, he can’t die. I don’t know I just…He’s the same as me. All alone, there’s no way that someone could have survived in that home. Someone has to fight for him; someone has to help him…” His voice dropped to whisper “The way no one could help me.” Anna heard him though and frowned. “What’s going to happen to him if this does work? We can’t put out an advert asking if someone is missing a boy. Whatever attacked that home may come back if they know the boy survived.” Jack moved back to the stool and sat down again. Anna was no longer surprised when she saw Jack run his hand through the boy’s hair. “I know. In truth, I don’t know what will happen to him. If this were a different situation, I may consider adopting him myself but he would always take a backseat to Torchwood and that wouldn’t be fair to him.” “Well, I suppose he could always go to an orphanage, it’s not like he could give away any secrets. Regardless though, we don’t even know if this will work and if it does it may take multiple treatments.” Jack was getting frustrated now. “Look, I know this may not work but the longer we sit here and debate the matter, the more likely it is that he will die.” Trying to calm himself, Jack took a deep breath and sat down “So can we just do this thing? Or are you going to talk long enough so that he dies?” Shock and hurt fought for dominance on Anna’s face, hurt finally winning. She held up her hands in surrender “All right, all right we’ll try it. I just wanted to make sure you knew what you getting into.” It didn’t take her long to setup the transfusion. Jack was sitting next
to the unconscious boy, a clear tube running from his arm to the boys. Slowly Jack’s blood filled the tube and made its way into the boy. After what she deemed was long enough, she unhooked both of them. “All we can do now is wait.” October 31st, 1981, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry Sirius Black didn’t make it to Hogwarts for a few hours. All that time had been spent combing the ruins and surrounding land for any sign of Harry. There was nothing. No signs that he had been taken, no spell traces, and worst of all no body. By the time he made it up to the infirmary in Hogwarts, he was exhausted and there were dark circles under his eyes. He assumed that given the events of the night, Poppy Pomfrey, the school nurse would not let any of the Potters out of her sight for at least one night, if not more. When he walked in, it was to find James talking heatedly with Dumbledore. “James you must focus on Thomas. He is the Chosen One.” Whatever James was going to say was lost when Sirius closed the door to the infirmary, attracting the attention of Albus, Lily and James. Sirius took a moment to note that Lily was holding a sleeping Thomas who appeared to be unhurt. He was happy that at least one of his godsons had escaped unharmed. James took in the sight of Sirius’ haggard and downcast face and the fact that he didn’t have Harry with him. Sagging back into his pillow “Did you at least find his body Padfoot?” James asked softly. Sirius hopped onto an empty bed and shook his head. “I’m sorry mate. There was no sign of him anywhere. I didn’t get any traces of portkeys or magic either.” Lily turned to address James from her bed. “See James, I told you he was probably killed by the backlash of Thomas banishing YouKnow-Who. It is regrettable but there’s nothing we can do about it.” She said all this like she was explaining how to make a potion or cast a spell. There was no remorse or sadness in her voice whatsoever. In fact, as soon as she was finished speaking she turned her attention back to Thomas. “Lily is right James. As I said Thomas is the Chosen One. He will need you more than ever now.” “I don’t believe you, either of you. Our son may be dead and you
Lily, say it is regrettable?! What in god’s name is that? Harry is our flesh and blood, our son, not some piece of garbage to just be discarded.” James was turning red. He wanted to yell and scream at the world but he was trying to keep from exploding. Sirius saw all this and knew James was struggling. “Come on mate, I’m sure she didn’t mean it like that.” He didn’t really believe his own words; he had seen the way that Lily ignored Harry and it saddened him to say that her attitude now didn’t surprise him. “James, it’s better this way. Harry would have just gotten in the way. Thomas is going to need training and he will have all sorts of obligations to fulfill in our world. Now we don’t need to worry about Harry at all.” Albus remained silent, watching as the two Potters argued. Lily was doing an admirable job of pushing James away even though she surely didn’t understand what she was doing. Of the two, Lily had always looked to him as a mentor and guide in the wizarding world far more than James ever had. If she kept pushing, it was very possible that James would leave which would make it much easier to ensure that Thomas was raised believing in Albus’ way of thinking about the future of their world. As tempting as it was to try and prod things along, he knew he was better off leaving them to battle it out. Nothing would end tonight, but the seeds were being planted. “I honestly don’t know who you are anymore. You’re certainly not the woman I married. That woman would never have ignored one of her sons, regardless of the circumstances. I know she wouldn’t have called the disappearance or death of her son regrettable.” Sirius jumped in. He didn’t want things to escalate further. Both his friends had tempers and were liable to say something they would regret if they weren’t stopped now. “Hey now, tempers are running a little high. Nothing is going to happen tonight and we need to start making arrangements for Harry. But all of that can wait until the morning.” James looked like he wanted to protest before he gave in. “Fine!” He rolled over with his back to Lily not wanting to look at her right now. Away from the prying eyes of his family, James let his tears for his lost son fall. “I’m sorry Harry, I’m so sorry. If you’re out there, I swear I will find you someday.” November 1st, 1981, Torchwood 3, Cardiff It had been a long sleepless night for Jack. Anna had left about an hour after the transfusion was completed once she was sure that
Jack wasn’t going to pass out. She wouldn’t have left the boy alone but she knew that Jack was not going anywhere; it would take the rift opening in the middle of the facility itself to get him to move right now. In the middle of the night Harry woke and started to cry. There was no thought or hesitation on Jack’s part. He picked Harry up and rocked him gently in his arms until Harry calmed down and fell into a natural sleep. Jack hoped that it was a sign that the transfusion was working. After Harry was asleep again, Jack retrieved a more comfortable chair from Anna’s work station. He settled into the soft chair and leaned his head back letting his eyes close for a moment. But his anxiety over Harry kept him from falling asleep. The need for a physical connection was strong enough that Jack decided to just hold Harry for a while, letting him sleep in his arms. To his eternal embarrassment, Jack’s team found him the next day in the same position. He was leaning back in the chair dozing. Harry was asleep on his chest, held securely in Jack’s arms. They both slept on oblivious to the fact that he was being watched by his teammates. The flash of light in the dimly room was enough to startle Jack from his sleep. In the process, Jack jostled Harry awake. But his cries were weak and he seemed to move lethargically. “Anna?” Jack asked nervously. Anna saw it too. She was happy that the boy was awake but something was still wrong with him. “Jack please put him back on the gurney so I can run the tests again.” At least this time, there were only a few tests that she would need to run, since some things wouldn’t have changed from a few hours ago. Michael and Diana were concerned as well but not just about the boy. They were worried about Jack. He seemed so attached to the boy. Neither was sure what would happen if the boy died. For now there was nothing they could do but stand and watch as Jack returned the boy to the gurney and Anna began her scans. “You should have seen it Anna, he woke up briefly just after you left. He has the most amazing green eyes. I’ve never seen such a pure intense shade before.” Anna just nodded her head absent mindedly while going over the results of the scans. She was pleased; the effects of the transfusion were promising but not quite enough. “Jack, I’d like to do another transfusion.”
Diana stepped forward “Transfusion? What? Why would that help?” Anna looked to Jack, not sure how to answer without giving away Jack’s secret. “It’s ok Anna; they have a right to know.” Anna wasn’t sure where Jack was going with this. His secret was always at the front of his mind and it was a little surprising that he would be willing to share it now. So she was going to let him take the lead. Michael was more than a little upset. Torchwood was all about secrets, but they weren’t supposed to be keeping secrets from each other. “What?! What do we have a right to know?” Jack put on a show for Diana and Michael, acting repentant and somewhat defeated. “It was a few years ago before you two joined up. We were experimenting on an alien device that had washed up through the rift.” Anna saw what Jack was doing and agreed that it was probably for the best. His apparent immortality would raise too many red flags, especially within Torchwood. It was only safe for the leaders to know and if Jack could be believed, the queen herself. She added her spin to it because it would also let Jack know she knew what he was doing. “There was an accident, it destroyed the device.” “What does that have to do with Jack?” Michael demanded. Jack glared at the younger man for a moment. “I was the one running the experiment. We hadn’t learned much about the device, only that it was some sort of medical diagnostic or healing device.” He paused for a moment, unsure where to take the story or describe its effects on him. Thankfully Anna picked up the slack. “Jack was unhurt by the explosion but something about the energy powering the device changed him. He became something of a universal donor and his natural regenerative abilities were greatly enhanced.” “What does that mean exactly?” Diana asked, probing for more information. She had an idea what they were saying but she wanted confirmation. “It means that I heal from most wounds in minutes.” “Is that why you’re never sick?” Michael asked, his curiosity getting the better of him. He was still upset that they kept this secret, but part of him could understand the reason. Given the nature of their work, it would’ve been hard not to be a little suspicious of such an
accident. “Does anyone else know?” “Yeah, I haven’t gotten a cold once since it happened. To answer your second question, yes the higher ups are aware of my condition. Everyone felt it was best to keep it quiet. With what we do, it was felt that too many people might get the wrong idea.” Diana nodded reluctantly, she could understand that logic. It was true a lot of the Torchwood personnel would not trust Jack if they knew about the changes from the accident. “Ok, I guess I can understand that. But that doesn’t explain the transfusion.” The light bulb went off in Michael’s mind. “Yes it does.” He turned his attention to Anna “You said that the boy was saturated with necrotic energy right? Basically it was all the energy or magic or whatever the hell you want to call it associated with death.” Anna and Jack both nodded. Jack remained silent more than willing to let Michael come up with the explanation and ignore any inconsistencies with his story. Plus, it was evident that Michael understood the reasons behind the transfusion. “So you’re betting that whatever that device did to you that amped up your body’s natural healing can be transmitted through your blood. You’re hoping that somehow it will purge the kid’s body.” Diana was looking from Michael back to Jack and Anna. “Is that possible? Can you save him with a transfusion?” Anna finally felt like the ground under her feet was firming up again. Diana’s question and Michael’s suppositions put her back in the driver’s seat, able to control the conversation. “Yeah, it was Jack’s idea actually. We already did a transfusion last night after you left and I must say, I’m very happy with the results. According the scans, most of the energy has been purged but there is still enough there to kill him in a few days time. That’s why I want to try another transfusion.” Jack needed no prompting. He quickly scooted the chair close to the gurney and held out his arm. Anna wasted no time in setting up the equipment necessary and once again watched as blood from Jack slowly made its way through the clear plastic tubing into the boy. “If this works, what’s going to happen to him?” Diana asked, her maternal instincts coming out. Like Jack, she had moved to stand next to child. Gently she ran her fingers over his face. Anna smirked at Jack. This would be fun. “Diana raises an important question Jack. If this does work, I would like to make sure that he is
available for tests.” He glared at Anna for a second before sitting up straighter in the chair. He had been hoping to avoid this discussion until he had come up with some sort of plan. “I don’t know. I suppose he can give him to a local orphanage once we are sure that he will be ok.” Michael had a thought about that. The previous night, he had talked with Maggie, his wife, about the boy. John, their son, had been asking when he was getting a brother for quite a while now but Maggie wasn’t able to have any more children as a result of complications during John’s birth. “Maggie and I can take him in. But…” He stopped for a second to glare pointedly at both Jack and Anna. “If we do this, he will be ours. We make the decisions regarding his well being and I’m going to want something from the queen herself on this.” “Michael…” “No Jack. I’ve seen it happen before in the States. He’s a little boy and he will be part of my family. This is permanent; I’m not relinquishing control just because Torchwood later decides he might be interesting!” He finished forcefully. “Michael…” Jack tried again. “No there’s no negotiating here. Either you do this my way or find some other solution.” “Michael, I agree. The kid doesn’t need to be some test subject in the future. The bit with the queen though…” Jack said congenially. When he saw the look on Michael’s face he gave in. “Fine, I will see if I can call in some favors.” Michael nodded in satisfaction. “Good, then with that out of the way, I will just go have a word with Maggie.” “Ok that’s enough guys. You can work out the details later but right now I need you to leave the med-bay. All this noise and tension isn’t doing my patient any good.” Jack was stuck there until the transfusion finished and Anna was insistent that he remain and rest afterwards. A few hours later, Jack called for Anna over the comm. “Anna, come to the med-bay. There’s something wrong with the boy.” Pushing up from her desk, she quickly made her way across the catwalks and down the stairs to the med-bay. “What is it Jack? What’s wrong?”
“It’s the boy. It looks like he’s in pain.” Anna smiled at him for a moment and then she saw what Jack was talking about. The boy was still unconscious but he seemed to writhing in pain. It was heart breaking to hear his little whimpers of pain. She repeated her tests from earlier to see if there had been a setback. “The good news is that the necrotic energy has been completely purged from his body, even his scar which had the highest concentration.” “Then what’s going on?” asked Jack. “Jack, can you hold him steady? I want to check his pupil responsiveness.” Jack moved silently, gently holding the boy’s head in place while Anna pull an eyelid open and flashed the penlight. She was pleased to note that the pupil contracted quickly but something else was off. “Jack, I thought you said he had green eyes?” “He does why?” Anna checked his other eye and found the same thing. “Because now they are a mix of light blue and green. If I didn’t know better, I’d say he had your eyes.” Jack moved around so he could get a better look. He couldn’t stop his gasp. “But how…I’ve given blood before and nothing like this has ever happened.” When Anna moved away, Jack scooped the boy into his arms attempting to soothe him. “I’ll want to run some more tests when he is better but…well…I have some ideas but I don’t want to say until I get the results of the test back.” Jack looked like he was about to protest but he had worked with Anna long enough to know that he wouldn’t be able to get anything out of her before she was ready. “Fine, just let me know when you come up with something.” Much to Jack’s annoyance, Anna locked down her computer in the med-bay so he couldn’t sneak a look at the test results before she was ready. So he was stuck waiting in there for close to four hours. During that time, he barely left the boy’s side, whenever he would cry out or whimper in pain, Jack was there to hold him and provide what comfort he could. Anna finally walked in when Jack was getting ready to leave the room and threaten her with physical violence if she didn’t tell him something. “There are times when I really appreciate working at
Torchwood. We never would have been able to understand what was going on with him otherwise, at least not for several weeks at a minimum.” “As much as I appreciate the sentiment, I would rather get some actual information.” Jack all but growled. “Ok, ok you know I open up to you, share a few of my personal feelings and this is the reception I get.” Seeing the look on Jack’s face, she decided that maybe joking around wasn’t the best approach to take at the moment. “So, you want to know about him. Well it appears that whatever had happened to him to infect him with the necrotic energy had damaged his DNA in a manner similar to radiation poisoning. It is possible that he could have survived but it would have been unlikely. Even if he had survived there probably would have been physical changes. I doubt his body would have ever reached its full potential physically.” “And what about now? Why did his eyes change color? Is that another symptom of the damage?” “That’s just it, the damage is being repaired. Presumably, the boy is a wizard given the event and the location so I don’t know if this is his magic’s doing but I have a feeling it is more than that. Since your blood has such unique properties, I think it is somehow working with his magic and repairing that damage using your DNA as a template. If I’m right, in essence you will be like a third biological parent to him. I won’t know for sure until I can do a DNA comparison once the process is complete.” There was a part of Jack that was thrilled. If something should ever happen to him, there would still be a legacy passed on. “But why is he in pain?” Anna shrugged “I don’t know Jack but the basic building blocks of his body are changing. That can’t be pleasant. I would give him something, but I don’t know how he would react. Unfortunately, he’s just going to have to wait it out.” “Jack why don’t you go take a nap or something. I’ll watch him for a while and you look like you need a break.” A nap wasn’t in the plans for Jack though. As soon he left the medbay he was peppered with questions from Diana and Michael. Even though he didn’t want to talk about it, he repeated the explanation given to him by Anna.
Michael patted Jack on the back while grinning. “I suppose this means that you will be an uncle, poor kid.” His grin was more than enough to take any sting out of the statement. “You know most guys prefer to father kids naturally.” A little surprised by the turnaround from earlier Jack welcomed the joke and stage whispered to Michael so that Diana could hear him clearly as well “Yeah, but at least this way I didn’t have to deal with a hormonal pregnant woman.” One of Diana’s eyebrows arched dangerously and she warned both men in a severe voice “I will pretend I didn’t hear that. We don’t want to make the boy an orphan twice over now do we?” “Oh, Diana you know I love you.” Jack said, honey dripping from his voice. His eyes always gave him away though. He couldn’t stop the sparkle that always seemed to fill them whenever he was trying to sweet talk her. “What are you doing out here anyway? Did Anna finally run you off?” She asked completely ignoring his previous statement. Jack started to walk towards his office again. His heavy footsteps echoing softly off the cavernous walls as he climbed the metal stairs. “Yeah, something about needed a nap, but how can I sleep knowing that he is in pain?” “Than what are you doing?” Asked Michael. “I’m going to make a few phone calls. I’ll call in a few favors and make sure there are no problems with you adopting him.” There was a steely tone in his voice that told everyone that come hell or high water, Michael would be leaving with that boy. “Have you given any thought to a name for him? I’m getting tired of calling him ‘the boy.’” “Yes we have. Maggie always liked ‘Jason.’ She is thrilled to get a chance to use it.” Michael finished cheerfully. Jack nodded in approval but didn’t say anything. If circumstances were different, he would adopt Jason himself, but there were responsibilities that he could not forego. Diana knew Jack better than Michael did and she put a hand on his shoulder to forestall any more questions. “Do you need any help?” Jack shook his head and closed the door to his office behind. He wanted to do this alone. If he couldn’t be Jason’s dad the least he could do is make sure that Michael could be.
July 31st, 1986Godric’s Hollow The birthday celebration for Thomas Potter, the Bow-Who-Lived was an event trumpeted across the British Wizarding World. It was a circus at the Potter home, dozens and dozens of witches and wizards were in attendance, celebrating not just the birthday of their boy savior but the defeat of You-Know-Who. There would have been hundreds had not James put a stop to it, ostensibly in the name of security. James and Sirius were avoiding the party as much as possible. In the five years since the attack, James and by extension Sirius had grown more distant from not just Lily but Thomas as well. At first, he was grieving the loss of Harry. The Ministry had set aside a small team of Aurors to search for any signs of kidnapping or at least his body but after 3 weeks, the search was called off when there were no leads. James and Sirius had been devastated. That was when the separation started from Lily and Albus. Lily, Remus and Albus had been unconcerned with Harry’s death. The break with Remus was more dramatic. James had been getting the funeral for Harry together when Remus approached him. Never one to be bashful or shy away from an issue, Remus plunged right in “James, I think you should reconsider the funeral for Harry.” “Why, have you found something?” James asked, hope creeping into his voice. Remus had the grace to at least look a little apologetic “No, no I’m sure he’s dead. It’s just I don’t think it would send the right message to the wizarding world.” “Message, what the hell are you talking Remus? This has nothing to do with the wizarding world.” Remus was tempted to just shut up and leave well enough alone but he decided that this was too important. “James, think about it. What is the wizarding world going to think if they find out that their savior couldn’t save his own brother? It would destroy everyone’s confidence in him.” James had heard this argument before from Albus but he never thought one of his best friends would parrot it back to him. “Remus, the wizarding world can go to hell for all I care. Harry deserves a funeral and I don’t care what kind of message it sends.” The werewolf’s eyes flashed amber for just a second in frustration.
“James, Harry is gone. It is for the greater good that you just let him fade away. What harm does it do?” He just couldn’t believe it. This was a man that he had stood beside for years despite the fact that he was a werewolf. When most wizards would have turned away, James had stayed and done everything he could to make Remus’ life easier and less lonely. Now, to have him spout this crap, he felt betrayed. “You know what, fuck you Lupin! If you’re so concerned about the greater good than what the fuck are you doing here?! You’re a danger to everyone. Who knows who you could infect? So why don’t you go off and live in isolation I mean it would be for the greater good after all.” Things just degenerated from there. Since that day the two former friends hadn’t said two words to each other. Now James and Sirius were standing in the empty room that used to be Harry’s bedroom. “Just look at them out there Padfoot. I never wanted this for my children.” They could see Lily fawning over Thomas, obliging his every whim and lapping up the attention as the mother of the Boy-Who-Lived. “She’s ruining him and nothing I’ve done can stop it.” “I’m sorry Prongs. I really wish things were different and I know it’s awful but I wish it had been Longbottom and not Thomas.” James just nodded because he had wished the same thing many times. Unfortunately, wishing didn’t make things better; it just made him more bitter about the whole situation. “Ever since we heard that damned prophecy, Lily has been different. She really isn’t the woman I married.” “What can you do? You would be vilified if you divorced her. She and Dumbledore would spin it as some sort of attack against the BoyWho-Lived.” “I know it’s wrong but I find myself pulling away from Thomas more and more. He’s becoming the type of person that I always hated when I was growing up and Lily does nothing but encourage it. I can’t help but wonder what Harry would have been like if he had a chance to grow up.” James’ voice broke at the end. It had been five years but it still hurt every day. Albus looked up from where he was seated at a long table laden with birthday presents. He saw James and Sirius standing in a window on the second floor. It was amazing how foolishly the two were behaving. It was close to 5 years since Harry had been killed and still the two men refused to celebrate the events of that Halloween night. Privately, he agreed that the fuss made by the
Wizarding World was somewhat silly given that their savior had no memory of that night and could not consciously replicate what took place. If it wasn’t necessary for Thomas to be his protégé he would have taken the boy down a few pegs, but the adoration would serve him well as he grew older. Voldemort had never understood that point. He never could fathom how powerful such faith and loyalty could be when wielded by the right person. If James and Lily had been any other couple within the Order of the Phoenix, Albus might have stepped in to help them mend their relationship. This way was so much better though. By distancing himself from not just Lily, but Thomas as well James had effectively caused the wizarding world to turn their backs on him. Now, he would never have the blind trust that could have come with his position as the boy’s father. It made it all that much easier for Albus to step in as the wise benefactor looking out for a hero shunned by his own father. “Grandpa Albus, where’s my present?” Thomas half asked, half demanded. All around him presents were piled high. There were toys of all types, clothes, multiple broomsticks, everything and more that a boy could ever want and much more than a boy could ever need. Wordlessly, Albus produced his present, wrapped in bright purple and silver paper. Thomas ripped into like it was the first present ever received only to toss it onto the stack with everything else when he saw it was just a book. Albus wanted to gnash his teeth but held his tongue. The book was a series of lessons in leading people couched in the form of fairy tales. His own parents had given him the same book when he was a young boy and the affect it had on him was profound. Lily frowned at Thomas’ behavior finally. It was one thing to treat the other witches and wizards that way because in truth, they were beneath him. They should be grateful for any attention her son might give them, but Albus Dumbledore was not to be treated that way. He was a great man and could help make sure that Thomas accomplished even greater things when he was grown up. “Thomas apologize to your grandpa. It was a very thoughtful gift.” Thomas looked like he was going to argue or whine. It usually worked when he wanted to get his way but at 7 years of age, he knew when his mother wouldn’t be moved. So he grudgingly apologized. “Fine thanks for the book.” Albus smiled and ruffled the boy’s dark hair. “Think nothing of it my boy. Books were never my favorite present at your age either.”
Things went back to normal after that with Thomas preening under the attention of the gathered witches and wizards. He never even noticed that his father and god father weren’t there. In addition to Albus, their absence was only noted by Lily and Remus. Lily simply didn’t care if her husband was there and Remus was annoyed that they continued to waste their time on the memory of Harry. July 31st, 1986London Michael and Maggie were sleeping peacefully in their bed. Despite the fact that it was summer, they were snuggled under a thick blanket. Their peaceful slumber was rudely disturbed by an energetic almost 7 year old boy leaping onto the bed. Since they didn’t know when Jason’s birthday was, they decided to use October 31st because it was the day they decided that Jason would become a Sheppard. A couple of years after adopting Jason, Michael was transferred to Torchwood 1 in London. Despite the change they still kept in touch with Jack and true to his earlier prediction, Jason considered Jack to be something of an uncle. John, their other son, had immediately jumped into the role of big brother. In his mind, adopting Jason was the best because he didn’t have to wait 9 months for him to be born. As Jason got older, he began to follow John around like a little puppy. Thankfully, John lapped it up and soon enough Jason was a fixture whenever he was doing something with his friends. John had quickly made friends with the other Americans that were part of Torchwood or simply expatriates living in the area after his dad transferred to London. One of the results of this was the prevalence of American sports, primarily baseball. Jason in particular seemed to excel at the sport. The only downside for Jason and John playing baseball was that while the UK had an existing program in baseball, it was nowhere near as prevalent as in the US. Although Jason loved playing baseball, he was also a big fan of going with his dad to Torchwood. John on the other hand was looking at colleges. In a move that had taken his parents by surprise, his #1 choice was the Air force Academy in Colorado. Maggie wasn’t happy that he would go so far away and Michael was a little disappointed that he wouldn’t follow his example and join Torchwood. But John loved to fly and there wasn’t really an opportunity to do any flying in Torchwood. “Dad wake up!” Jason shook his dad’s arm. “You promised we could go into Torchwood today.”
Michael groaned and buried his face further into his pillow trying in a vain attempt to drown out the voice of his son. But it was not meant to be when Jason kept shaking him. Without warning, Michael’s arm shot out and grabbed Jason around the waist. Effortlessly, he lifted the boy up even as he swung his own body into a sitting position. “Arghh you’re a little monster. You know what we do with monsters don’t you?” “You have no one to blame but yourself. You wanted to adopt him.” His wife called out once Michael was forced out of the bed. Jason screamed and laughed as his dad swung him over his shoulder. He beat his hands against Michael’s back trying to get down. “No, dad don’t. I’m sorry. I forgot.” “That’s what you said last time.” Michael carried Jason into the bathroom and turned the shower on, cold water only of course. “I think it’s time for my little monster to learn his lesson.” Before he could protest or squirm his way out of his dad’s grasp, Jason was shoved under the ice cold spray of water. In the seconds before Jason got out of the shower, he was drenched with ice cold water. His dad was laughing at his shocked expression but Jason got his revenge by jumping onto him and soaking Michael’s t-shirt and sweatpants with water too. The water did nothing to dampen Michael’s good mood. Michael simply grabbed a towel with one hand and began toweling them both off. “So what do you want for breakfast today little man?” “Can we have pancakes?” Jason’s eyes lighting up with hope. Michael smiled down at him. “Of course as long you promise not to jump on our bed again, at least while I’m in it.” Whispering so his wife wouldn’t hear he added “Now if it’s just your mother, than you have my permission.” “I promise…I promise.” Michael shook his head and scooped Jason into a fireman’s carry again. This time he brought him into the kitchen before setting him down. “Ok you set the table and I will make us some pancakes.” While he was cooking, Michael watched Jason set the table and pour two glasses of orange juice. There were times that he was so proud of both John and Jason, he didn’t know what he would do if something ever happened to either of his children. If Michael had one fault when it came to Jason, it was that he could be a bit overprotective. Both he and Maggie couldn’t help but think
it was a reflection of how they came to adopt him. It was nothing too extreme but he ended up worrying more about Jason than was absolutely necessary even if it didn’t stop him from letting Jason experience everything the world had to offer. While they were eating breakfast, Michael looked over at Jason and asked “Are you sure want to go to the office? Wouldn’t you rather play baseball?” Michael felt it was his duty as an American in the UK to support both his sons’ love for their national pastime. Jason was a little young for it still but they did play catch a lot and Michael admitted to himself that he might be a little biased but Jason had a heck of a throwing arm. “Daaad! You promised and I have practice tomorrow anyway.” Jason tried to look assertive but it was wasted on his father who thought he looked adorable and couldn’t resist ruffling his hair. “Who am I to argue? You can meet Jessie; she’s heard lots about you.” Privately, Michael hoped that Jason would join him at Torchwood when he was old enough but he would never push him into it. Just like he was doing with John, it was up to his sons to decide what they would do with their lives. It didn’t stop him from cheating a little now and then. Hence the occasional visits to Torchwood. That was part of the reason why he made sure that Jason played sports too. Even if he wasn’t any good, he wanted Jason to have the experience and to make friends and not be stuck with him at Torchwood all the time. Despite Jason’ insistence on going to Torchwood, they did play catch for a while. Michael knew that Jason wanted to do well. He had been playing first base the last couple of games and really liked the position. Not that he would ever say anything but the games weren’t very exciting to watch yet. The kids were just too young really but this was Jason’ second year so at least the coaches would pitch the ball. Next year would be the first year that the kids would pitch and Michael was looking forward to that. It was close to lunch by the time they finally arrived at the power plant office that served as the front entrance to the facility. Jason bounded inside, running around the front desk when he saw his aunt Diana. “Aunt Diana!” He protested when he was wrapped up in a hug, squirming around until he could escape her grasp. Diana had decided that she was getting too old for active field work so now she was a logistics agent. Unfortunately, she couldn’t stay at the Cardiff branch because there wasn’t an opening so shortly after Michael; she had transferred to London as well. She arranged for flights, equipments, or to clean up messes. It was her job to make
someone’s death look natural when the cause was something alien. The job was a little gruesome at times but overall much less stressful than before. “What’s the little monster doing here today instead of enjoying the fine summer day?” Jason whipped around to glare accusingly at Michael when Diana used the dreaded nickname “Dad you promised you wouldn’t tell anyone!” Michael just shrugged innocently and walked through the door. “It wasn’t me. I deny everything.” His laughter was echoing off the walls when Jason raced after him. Michael had learned early on that it was a bad idea to let Jason run around Torchwood unattended. His son had the most alarming habit of setting off alien devices at the worst possible time. Unfortunately, he was about to get another example of that when Jason raced ahead of him. When he transferred to London, Michael began spending most of his time in the labs studying alien artifacts. Recently Michael brought in someone new to his section. Her name was Jessie Kelly; she was an expert with computers and had a PHD in physics. Since she was new, she had yet to be introduced to the whirlwind that was Jason Sheppard. If she had she never would have left one of their latest acquisitions on her desk for him to snatch. Jessie was busily typing away at her workstation when Jason grabbed the small square shaped device from table. He spun to face Michael and held up the device. “Dad what does this one do?” “Jason no…” But it was already too late. The device sent out a visible shock wave. Jessie screamed as the wave overloaded her monitor causing the screen to crack and spark. Smoke started leaking out of the monitor from not just Jessie’s monitor but all the other monitors within a ten foot radius. “How many times have I told you not to play around in here?” Michael asked sternly. This time it was funny, but it could easily have been something far more dangerous. “I’m sorry dad, I forgot.” Jason said softly putting the device back on the desk. “Jason some of the technology in here is very dangerous. What would you have done if someone had been hurt? How do you think I
would feel if you had been hurt?” Jason started to tear up a little. “I didn’t mean for anyone to get hurt.” Michael knelt down in front of Jason and looked in him straight in the eye. “I know you didn’t but that’s why you have to be careful. None of this is a game Jason; I need for you to understand that. Ok?” Jason nodded. When Michael opened his arms, Jason surged forward wrapping his arms around Michael’s chest and burying his head in his shoulder. Michael picked him up and rubbed his back soothingly when heard Jason whisper “I’m sorry.” Sensing that the atmosphere needed to be lightened a little, Michael turned to Jessie. “Jessie, this is my little monster, Jason. Jason this is Jessie she’s a new member on my team.” Jason turned his head to say hi. Jessie smiled brightly. She remembered what it was like to be a kid around so many gadgets. Her father had always been tinkering with something and on more than one occasion she had done the exact same thing. Of course her father’s inventions were not based on alien technology so the effects were less dramatic. “You have an interesting way of introducing yourself.” “I’m sorry.” She just waved off his apology. “Oh don’t worry about it, I wanted a new monitor anyway but your dad wouldn’t spring for it.” In fact it had been the new monitor but Jason didn’t need to know that. “Really?” He asked her suspiciously. Jessie nodded. “Now why don’t you call me Jess, that’s what everyone else around calls me?” Michael mouthed a silent thank you to her over Jason’ head. “You feeling better now buddy?” When Jason nodded, Michael set him back down on the floor but it was clear that he still felt awkward. Jess sat down in her chair again and asked “So Jason, besides trying out alien devices what else do you like to do?”
Perking up Jason started going on about baseball and his team. Michael seeing that Jason was getting over his scare added “Jason I’m going to my office to get some work done. Are you going to be ok here with Jess?” After getting a nod from Jason he added “Remember don’t touch anything unless someone tells you it’s ok.” Jason put his hands behind his back to show he wouldn’t touch anything which made Michael smile. Then his dad started to walk back up the stairs but before he was out of earshot he called out “Don’t let the little monster walk all over you.” “Daaad!” August15th, 1988Godric’s Hollow “That’s it! I can’t take this anymore!” James yelled at Lily. “I couldn’t agree more! You’re an arrogant self-absorbed ass just like you were in school!” James was packing his things even as he continued yelling at Lily, finally letting his frustration out. “Ha! That’s funny, this coming from the woman who gave up her friends because they were beneath her. Hate to tell you this but you’re the worst kind of social climber. You and the thing that you turned our son into are nothing but parasites. When was the last time you did something for yourself?” “Why should I? The wizarding world owes me; I’m the mother of the Boy-Who-Lived.” “Exactly, you’re nothing more than a self-aggrandizing bitch using your son as a tool for your own well-being. Hell for all we know Tommy isn’t even the Boy-Who-Lived!” James snapped and clicked his trunk shut at the same time. Lily’s voice had risen in pitch as she got angrier. “Oh and who else would it be, that insignificant waste that you still mourn? If Harry was so powerful than how come he died that night and Thomas lived? Why you still care about him, I’ll never know.” “At least I don’t fawn over that spoiled brat. Has he shown any accidental magic? Hey, maybe he’s a squib? Wouldn’t that be something, the great supposed savior of the Wizarding World is a nothing!” “Get out! Get out of this house! You are a horrible father and I will make sure you don’t get custody.” “That’s fine with me! I don’t want him; you and your pets are
welcome to him. Good luck with your life Lily; I wish you all the worst!” Then James disappeared with a pop. Unbeknownst to Lily, James had bought another place in London to get away from her and Thomas. So it was there that he apparated to. With a tired sigh, he grabbed a lager from the refrigerator and sat down on the sofa feeling drained. It was a little depressing to realize that he wasn’t sad about leaving his wife or son. In his eyes both of them had become horrible people and he couldn’t be bothered to deal with them anymore. The only think that kept him sane was his job in the Department of Mysteries and Sirius. Not that his job was terribly exciting, for the most part all he did was investigate magical disturbances. Still it allowed him to travel around the country at least which in the past meant that he was around Lily and Thomas as little as possible. Perhaps the bigger reason he liked the Department of Mysteries was because it seemed that most of the employees there put little stock in the Boy-Who-Lived hype. In fact, they were the ones to ask how he knew that Thomas was the one to defeat Voldemort. That was probably the first time he began to wonder if Harry had been responsible for Voldemort’s defeat. After he finished his lager, he started unpacking. Before going to bed, he spent some time putting up mail wards, he fully expected Lily and the press to begin a smear campaign against him and he wasn’t really up to dealing with all the inevitable howlers that would result. August15th, 1988Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry Albus Dumbledore was sitting behind his desk listening to Lily Potter rant about James. He kept a carefully constructed mask on his face, one which conveyed sympathy and concern. “You say James left you Lily?” Albus asked, growing irritated with her continued screeching. Lily stopped her ranting and sat heavily in one of the available chairs. She glanced at the upholstery in distaste before answering. “Yes, the bastard abandoned Thomas and me. I don’t know who he thinks he’s fooling but everyone knows that a boy needs to be with his mother. I will see to it that James never gets custody and if I have my way, he’ll never see Thomas again.” Albus leaned forward and called for a house elf to bring them some tea. “I’m very disappointed in James. He never could see the bigger picture the way you could. I had always hoped he would recognize
how important he was as a father to Thomas.” “No, he would rather spend all day moaning about Harry. God, I wish he hadn’t been born then we would still be a family.” She took the cup of tea offered by the house elf without even a glance at the poor creature. “The werewolf is the only one of those three that is worth anything. I never would have guessed it.” Albus agreed with Lily though he wasn’t really surprised by Black. The man had never followed rules or taken anything seriously. Still, it wasn’t a good idea to let her continue to explore that line of thinking; she mustn’t come to depend on anyone other than himself. “With James refusing his responsibilities, I fear it will fall to me to be a mentor to Thomas.” Lily perked up. There was no other family in the Wizarding World that could claim to have Albus Dumbledore as a mentor for their children. But she couldn’t appear to be too needy, even to Albus; she was Thomas’ mother after all. “Oh, I wouldn’t want to put you out like that Albus. You already have so many responsibilities with running the school and the Wizengamot.” “Nonsense Lily. It would be an honor to work with Thomas; he is such an agreeable boy.” “Well if you’re sure.” Lily acquiesced. August15th, 1988London It was a sunny day and the temperature was warm but comfortable. There was cheering and clapping coming from the assembled parents as they watched their children play. Nothing stood out as unusual except for a small group off to the side. Michael and Maggie like all the other parents were cheering for their son who was playing 1st base. Currently, it was the 4th inning in the game and Jason had just managed to tag out the runner, so there were two outs. His team was winning 5 to 3. At age 9 though, this was the first year that they started keeping records but the games were still only 6 innings long. It was also the second year that the kids pitched the ball. Chris, a new member of the Torchwood team was sitting next to Jess, along with Diana. Chris was a medical pathologist and generally an ass. But he was good at his job which was the only reason people put up with his acerbic personality. Against his will, he had been dragged by the rest of the team to watch the stupid baseball game. He felt that there were far more valuable be things he could be doing with his time, hell there were more valuable
things they all could be doing with their time. “So tell me again, why you dragged me out here?” He whispered to Jess. She was attractive and at first he thought she might have a crush on him, but lately she had been rather cool. Mentally shrugging his shoulders at the thought, it was her loss. Jess just rolled her eyes. It was too bad really, he was fairly good looking but his personality was so abrasive she quickly gave up any ideas of pursuing something with him. “We’re here because Jason is playing. Didn’t you ever play sports as a kid? Didn’t you want people to watch you?” “Course I did, but I played a proper sport. Football at least makes sense; I don’t understand why baseball is so popular with the Yanks. And anyway, why should we all be here? He’s Michael’s kid, not mine.” “Yeah, well some of us have known him longer than you and happen to like him.” The noise from the crowd grew louder again and Jess turned to see Jason rounding second base on his way to third. “I missed it because of you!” She hissed. “What do I care how the brat plays? I’d be just as happy if he never came around the office too. He’s always getting in the way.” “Chris…” Jess said warningly. Anything else he might have had to say was lost as Jess ignored him to focus on the remaining innings of the game. Afterwards Diana was walking next to Jason going over the game. “You’re getting pretty good out there kid. Are you going to stick with it?” Michael was walking behind them and watching with a smile on his face. It was nice to see how well Jason interacted with the team. Michael was very grateful to Jess and Diana especially. They had known Jason for years now and were practically part of his growing family. That in and of itself was a shocking thought; something he had never expected but welcomed none the less. “Heck yeah. Coach Ryan says I’m one of the best players he has and it’s a lot of fun.” The grin on Jason’ face gave truth to his words. Michael clapped Jason on the back. “At least if he’s going to be a monster he can do it on the field rather than our office. I don’t think we have the budget for another bank of computer monitors.”
Jason blushed a brightly. It was evident even with his tanned skin. “Dad you promised not to tell anyone else!” Michael didn’t answer, he just stole Jason’ hat and jogged towards the car. “Dad! Give me my hat back!” He cried as he chased after his dad. Maggie trailed after them shaking her head and laughing at their antics. It was times like these that she missed John the most. He had been accepted into the Air Force Academy and had just finished up his first year. Both she and Michael had been extremely proud that he had made it in because it was extremely difficult. Jason had probably been the saddest to see him go. Despite their age difference John always made an effort to include Jason as much as possible. For all that there was 11 years between them, they were very close. John’s departure was made worse by the hero worship that Jason had started to develop for John. But like all kids his age, Jason was resilient and used John’s departure as a motivation for excelling in sports and school. Jess laughed. “Why can’t we get away with destroying equipment?” “Hopefully the brat keeps up with his baseball then, since he’s too stupid to keep his hands to himself.” Chris half muttered the insult, not really caring if either Diana or Jess heard him. “Fuck off Chris. Jason gets all ‘As’ and ‘Bs’ and for your information he was 7 years old when he blew up the monitors.” Jess argued. “A kid doesn’t have any right being in Torchwood anyway. I’m surprised they let Michael get away with it.” “Lay off man, Jason is a good kid.” Diana just stayed out of it. She knew Chris would never be convinced. Summer, 1991USA It had been a busy summer for the Sheppard family. John had graduated from the Academy back in June and had received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Air Force. To everyone’s surprise, including his own, his first posting was to be to the 48th Fighter Wing operating out of RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk. It was an extremely prestigious posting, especially for someone just out of the Academy. The family had flown back to the US to watch John graduate and to
help him pack. Maggie looked around his room and noted that one thing being in the Academy had certainly done was to break him of his pack rat nature. There were very few personal items to pack and what few there were mostly consisted of photos of friends or family. “So does this mean you can come to my games?” Jason asked hopefully after being told where John was stationed. John, still a good foot taller than Jason, ruffled his hair in response. Laughing when Jason batted his hand away he teased “I don’t know. What’s the point in watching you sit on the bench?” “I don’t sit on the bench. Dad tell him!” Jason ordered indignantly. “I’m a starter. Unlike you, I have a real position first base. All you ever played was the outfield. That’s where they put the guys that can’t play.” John didn’t bother to hold back his lopsided grin. “Oh is that so? Well that may be but you’re still small enough for me to do this.” Without warning, John hooked his arm around his little brother’s neck and gave him noogie. Jason struggled in vain while his parents looked on in thinly veiled amusement. It would still be quite some time before Jason had a chance against John physically. Relenting after a minute, John let his brother go. “I’m sure I can make at least some of your games. Not sure yet how much freedom I will have. So we’ll have to play it by ear ok?” Trying to mask his disappointment, Jason joked “Yeah, well it’s your loss if you can’t make it.” “Honey are you all set to go?” Maggie asked. She understood that Jason was disappointed but there wasn’t anything John could do about it. It was best to just move on to something else. “We have to leave soon if we are going to make our dinner reservations.” “Yeah mom, just give me a minute to change. I’d prefer to get out of the uniform at least some of the time.” John answered while moving into the bathroom to change. “But you look so dashing in your uniform. I bet all the girls fall for you.” Michael heard a groan come from the bathroom and it was all he could do not to laugh. “Leave him alone Maggie. We both know that Jason is going to be the heart breaker in the family. John’s too noble to love ‘em and leave ‘em.” He did laugh when he heard John’s
groan of protest a second time. The next day, John was on a plane back to the UK. The rest of the family was spending some time in the US as a vacation. As a surprise, Maggie had enrolled Jason in a week long summer baseball camp near Chicago. While there, they would be staying with some relatives of hers and enjoying the sights while Jason went to camp during the day. September 27th, 1991London It had been close to a month since the ghosts had first appeared in London and throughout the world. Despite their best efforts, Torchwood was not able to identify the reason for their appearance beyond the link to the mysterious power supply that they were tapping into. When Torchwood first began tapping the void energy it seemed like it was an unlimited power supply. At first there were no drawbacks or side effects to the power, it was the answer to all of Earth’s energy needs. Slowly, over time, ghosts began to appear. They remained indistinct and never took on a defined form beyond a silvery humanoid shape, remaining ambiguous but giving off a feeling of familiarity to those that were near them. People began to associate the ghosts with the spirits of family or friends that had died so the public reaction was very positive. Strangely, the ghosts only appeared when Torchwood increased the power draw on the void energy. And strangely for a reason no one could understand, the ghosts only appeared in urban areas. Once you were away from the denser populations there were no appearances regardless of how much power was being utilized. All of that changed on September 25th. The ghosts changed. They took on material form. No longer were they poorly defined spirits. In the place of each ghost was a grey metallic man, standing over 6’ tall. There were thousands of them appearing all over the planet, each one looking exactly the same. But perhaps their scariest feature was their eyes, black and soulless. Any questions about the intentions of these Cybermen were answered shortly after they appeared. Almost immediately after arrival, the Cybermen began rounding people up and bringing them to processing stations where they were ‘upgraded’ into new Cybermen. Any who resisted were ‘deleted.’ Less than a day after the Cybermen first appeared, a second alien race appeared and began to lay waste to everything in their path, human and Cyberman alike. The aliens were squat robotic looking
beings with a singly eye and a pair of weapons. Their armor seemed to be immune to all weapons. There was no talking, no option to surrender, they simply killed everything indiscriminately. The London branch of Torchwood was the epicenter of for both attacks. Most of the members of Torchwood had been cut down or ‘upgraded’ within the first hours of the Cybermen’s invasion. Michael Sheppard was no exception. He had been talking to his wife when she heard his scream through the phone. That was when she knew he wouldn’t be coming home again. Maggie debated over telling Jason about his father. She still hoped after all that maybe he was still alive. But despite that, she knew that Jason would try to do something to save him if he was still alive in Torchwood. True, his magic wasn’t usually controllable but he had some minor control when the situation demanded it. This is what frightened her, that he would try to use his magic somehow to get into Torchwood. In the end, she told him that Michael was dead. It felt like her heart was breaking again to see the light of hope fade from his eyes. Less than two hours later, a group of six Cybermen broke down the front door of their home. Maggie screamed for Jason to run. Jason refused. He’d lost his dad to these bastards. They weren’t going to kill his mom too. Picturing what he wanted in his mind, he slammed his palms together. His magic always worked best when he could visualize what he wanted it to do and there was strong emotion to fuel it. Much to his dad’s amusement, that was usually when he imitated something he saw in a comic book or in a cartoon. The house shook and the windows near Jason shattered as waves of blue-green energy radiated from his hands in a concentric circle pattern. The energy shot forward. Dispersing as it traveled. It washed over the Cybermen, shattering their metallic forms and a portion of the front wall. The six attackers collapsed to the floor in pieces. Flying above a trio of the squat aliens detected the strange energy coming from Jason’s home. “Anomalous energy reading detected.” One said in a high pitched
mechanical voice. “The source must be exterminated!” The trio began echoing “Exterminate! Exterminate!” Even as Maggie was rushing over to Jason torn between wanting to hug him and scold him, explosions tore into the second level of the home. Dust and debris billowed down the stairs. The three aliens swooped in through the opening they had created. “Anomalous energy reading coming from lower level.” “Exterminate!” Jason was just trying to make sense of what was going on. It barely even registered that whatever these things were, they were hovering a foot over the floor and moving towards the stairs. Maggie pushed Jason back behind her. “Exterminate!” The high pitched voice called out and the lead alien fired an evil looking green beam. Maggie never even screamed. Her body was enveloped in by the beam and for a second Jason could see her skeleton. Then she was on the floor. Blue-green eyes blazed with anger and grief. At that moment, something locked within him broke free. Jason lashed out with everything he had, pouring all of his emotion into one massive burst of magic. Never giving any thought to the amount of power he felt flowing in him. A twister of magic rose up around Jason. The swirling blue green energy swirled faster and faster while growing in height. The twister ripped through the ceiling and rose through the remains of the second floor. The aliens fired their weapons only to have the beams absorbed by the twister. In seconds they were caught in the edges of the twister and spun around through wood and dry wall. The centrifugal force of their spin ripped their weapons and eyestalks from their bodies. Still, the twister grew, fed by Jason’s raw emotions. In the space of an hour he had lost both his parents and for the first time he wasn’t afraid to hurt someone or something with his magic. Despite that,
he could only maintain such a display for so long. As Jason collapsed into unconsciousness, the twister grew wild. It burst from the house and exploded outward. Only Jason was unharmed, at the epicenter of the blast, his untouched body lying in the center of a swath of destruction that ran for three blocks. Luckily for him, all the others in the neighborhood had already been collected or killed. The only things harmed were the remaining aliens or Cybermen. September 28th, 1991Department of Mysteries James was sitting in his office resting his head on the desk. Yesterday had been devastating. Out of nowhere, Diagon Alley had been attacked by strange metallic men that seemed to be immune to all but the strongest magic. Even the killing curse had been ineffective against them though it did seem to cause physical damage. The Unspeakables along with every available Auror had been mobilized to try and stop them. In the end it turned out that shields, a spell any third year could cast was the most effective defense. It certainly didn’t harm them, but it stopped their advance. Unfortunately, the lesson was not learned until too many had died. Then while the battle was still raging, a great force seemed to pluck the attackers from where the stood. Rather than disappear, it was like they were being sucked back to some other location against their will. The defenders waited for three hours but the attackers never returned. Sirius walked in a little after 10am and plopped himself tiredly down in a wooden chair across the desk from James. “So Prongs, what’s on the agenda for today? Now that the attack is over, all that is left is the cleanup.” James lifted his head up from the desk and laughed tiredly. He liked their job investigating magical disturbances. It was interesting and typically low stress. But after yesterday, he would love for a vacation or to investigate a false alarm. Normally, he got annoyed wasting time investigating events that turned out to be bursts of accidental magic but today they would be welcomed. “I don’t know, Croaker sent a note earlier saying he would be by with our next assignment.”
The friends spent another 20 minutes talking about nothing until their boss walked into the office with their new assignment. Croaker was a middle aged man with graying blond hair and stooped shoulders. He had spent almost his entire career within the Department of Mysteries. During that time, he was responsible for the purge of Death Eaters and sympathizers during Voldemort’s rise. That act had opened the door for his rise to director of the Department. “James, Black I know you’re tired from yesterday but I have your next assignment.” “What no good morning?” Joked Sirius. Croaker huffed good naturedly. “It will be good once you and James are out of my hair.” Sirius clutched his hands to his chest. “You wound me mon capitan.” “Right anyway this one is in our own backyard, right here in London.” A frown found its way onto James’ face. “London? After yesterday, there were probably dozens of bouts of accidental magic. What makes this one so special?” “Yes London and no it can’t be accidental magic.” “Why not? How could you know that?” James asked curiously. “Because it was a massive discharge that had been going continuously for close to 20 minutes.” Sirius actually began to get interested. “20 minutes? There’s no way that could be accidental magic. Hell, most adults don’t have enough power to keep anything of decent strength going for that long.” Croaker nodded in agreement. “I know, that’s why I’m sending you two. It shouldn’t be that hard to get by unnoticed, the muggles were hit harder than we were by the attackers.” Sirius jumped to his feet, eager to unravel the mystery. “Come on James, time waits for no man.” September 28th, 1991RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk, UK 2nd Lieutenant John Sheppard was standing in front of Colonel Malcolm Reed, the commander of the US forces stationed at the base. “Reporting as ordered. Sir!” John said crisply. His firm voice
and rigid stance stood in direct contrast to his haggard appearance. His uniform was ripped, bloody and covered in soot and mud. “Lieutenant Sheppard, thank you for coming so promptly.” Reed looked as rough as John. “I know you are tired but I need you to lead a detachment to London.” Why would he be chosen to lead? There were others that were more senior. Yet part of him wanted nothing more than to get to London and check on his family. Since the attacks had begun, there had been only scattered reports coming from London and none of them were positive. “London sir?” Was all John asked despite the myriad of thoughts and questions running through his head. Reed looked at John with a measuring eye. The forces on the base had been taken by complete surprise when the alien forces first began their attack. Sheppard hadn’t balked or frozen like most of the men, instead he lead the charge in containing the aliens. His bravery and inventiveness in improvising weapons and tactics saved quite a few lives at the base. Though Reed knew he shouldn’t, part of the reason he was sending John to London was because his family lived there. The man had earned the right to check on them. “We’ve been asked to provide assistance. They need everyone available to search for survivors and help the wounded.” “Of course Sir. We’ll be ready to leave within the hour.” “John…check on your family while you’re there.” Reed added. “Permission to speak freely?” John asked. He was certainly grateful for what his commander was doing but he was still confused about one thing. “Granted.” Reed had a good idea of what was coming but it was up to John to voice it. “Why am I leading the men? There are more experienced officers that you could have given command to.” The confusion was clear in his voice, but at the same time it was obvious that he felt confident enough in his abilities to complete the assignment. Reed stood up from behind his desk and turned to look out the window. “Yes, there are more experienced officers but you were the one that took action. You were the one responsible for saving this base and the lives of those men out there. Rest assured, it will be noted in your record. The Air Force needs more men like you, able
to think outside of the box in any situation.” Reed turned and faced Sheppard again. “Good work Lieutenant.” If possible, John stood straighter. There was pride shining in his eyes. “Thank you sir.” “Dismissed.” John saluted before leaving. As soon as he left the office, he practically ran to gather the men. A little voice in the back of his head was urging him to get to London as quickly as possible. September 28th, 1991London, UK John’s team made it to London in less than 2 hours from the time he left the Colonel’s office. With so much damage to the roads and highways, he had been authorized to take a HH-60G Pave hawk helicopter. The ten men that were under his command easily fit inside since there was little in the way of cargo that needed to be stored. While in flight, John had received instructions on where to land. Once they were on the ground, John reported in to the civilian that seemed to be coordinating the search and rescue operations. The woman was operating from a white tent. Spread out on a rickety wooden table in front of her was a map of London that had been divided into various sectors. Some of which had been marked off which John could only assume meant that they had been searched already. “Ma’am.” John began while scanning the map for the neighborhood where his family lived. He noticed that it hadn’t been marked off yet. “Not meaning to be pushy or anything, but if you don’t have any objections, I would like to take this section.” He stated while pointing to a portion of the section in question. She was a little annoyed by the request. There was too much of the city that needed to be covered still and now she had a Yank soldier coming in and demanding a specific assignment. “Why?” John may have been fairly young but he knew when an honest answer was his only chance of avoiding an argument. “My family lives in that area. Since it hasn’t been searched yet, it kills two birds…” “We’ve all lost family here.” But her eyes softened a little. Now that she knew the reason, it would be impossible for her to deny his request. “Ok, but check in every hour. Channel 9 is being used to call for medical evacs.”
“Thank you ma’am.” Honestly, her permission wouldn’t have stopped him, but it did make things easier this way. After returning to his men, he commandeered one of the trucks that were being used to ferry people around the city. He drove the route to his family’s home slowly; the roads were littered with debris. Everywhere they looked buildings and homes were burnt out or were missing chunks of walls or roofs. As he drew nearer to his home, the damage changed pattern changed. He heard one of the men mutter “Fuck, it looks like a bomb went off here.” John had to agree. The homes, trees, light poles, all were blown down. It was like looking at a picture of the Mount St. Helens eruption, all the trees were blown over in the same direction, all radiating outward from the volcano’s cone. The men started jumping out of the back as soon as he stopped. “Ok, you know the drill. Look for any survivors. I want everyone to pair up. Compton, you’re with me.” Compton, a marine sergeant in his late 20s, quickly moved over to join John. His years in the service had taught him to read people pretty well, especially the younger officers. It took time to build a mask that covered worry and nerves. It was obvious to him the lieutenant still had a ways to go. “Sir, is there someone specifically I should be looking for?” John remained quiet for a moment despite the fact that it was obvious he was leading them to a specific location. The ruins of his home were in sight and he wanted nothing more than to run over there. At the same time, he knew that as soon as he did, it would be final. He would be the last Sheppard. “My family lived there.” Compton followed John’s arm and saw nothing but piles of rubble. It was hard to tell, but it looked like it was the center of the blast or whatever the hell had happened here. There was little he could say. It would be like pouring salt on an open wound to offer any false hope so he remained silent. Their approach to home had slowed considerably. Each step was taken with a heaviness that conveyed a sense of dread and despair. After what seemed like hours to John but in reality was less than a minute, he had reached what used to be the walk up to his front door. “Sir, if you want I can do this alone.”
Not trusting himself to speak, John just shook his head and forced his feet to move forward. Drywall and wood shifted under his feet. A lump formed in his throat, his home looked like something out of World War II. It resembled nothing more than a bombed out hulk, there was virtually nothing left of it. By the time they reached what was left of the front door, John was struggling to keep himself together. It was the hardest thing he had ever done, forcing himself to step inside. Once he did, his eyes traveled around what was left of the entry way and main hallway. There on the floor were the still bodies of his mom and his little brother. This time, he couldn’t stop the tears that formed and rolled down his face. Compton felt bad for the lieutenant when he saw the two bodies. While moving to examine the bodies, the sergeant noted that the area around the boy seemed to be the center of whatever explosion had occurred. When he was no more than a foot or two away, Compton almost rubbed his eyes in disbelief. It looked like the boy was breathing. It was very shallow because his chest barely moved but unless he was imagining it…Unbidden, his head turned to look at the lieutenant but he was still rooted to the same spot. So Compton knelt down and place two fingers against the boy’s neck. It was almost agonizing the few seconds it took for him to register that there was a weak pulse. “Lieutenant!” Compton said sharply. “We need a medical team immediately!” His knees almost gave out on him. Thankfully, his training kicked in and he clicked his radio. “This is Lieutenant Sheppard we need a medical team at…” Compton tuned him out and moved over to the second body. Unfortunately she did not appear to be as lucky as her son. Even before feeling her neck for a pulse, the man knew she was gone. Help was promised. John allowed himself to look over to the sergeant who just shook his head. It hurt knowing that his mom was gone, but he was rejoicing at the fact that his little brother was still alive. Finally, his paralysis broke and in a flash he was by Jason’s side looking him over for any sign of visible injuries. Nothing appeared to be wrong with him, other than some minor scrapes. “Sergeant, would you mind waiting out front for the medical team? I’d like a minute alone.” John had pulled Jason into his lap and was just holding him gently. There was nothing to even consider. Compton would have asked for
the same if he were in the Lieutenant’s position. “Of course sir.” He stood up from his position by the mother’s body. “And sir, I’m very sorry for your loss.” “Thank you Sergeant, but I’m luckier than many. At least I know Jason has a chance.” Outside, John and his men were being observed. Unseen by any of the men, James and Sirius were watching as the soldiers spread out across the area. The amount of destruction was terrifying. Clearly, the muggles were hit much harder than Diagon Alley was. James didn’t know if that was because of their magic or if they had just gotten lucky. Sirius leaned over and whispered “How do you want to handle this? Whatever happened started in there.” James shrugged before he remembered that Sirius couldn’t see him under the disillusionment charm. “Not much we can do. The only thing is to wait. What do you think happened? There’s magic residue everywhere.” Sirius shifted his weight a little, careful to not disturb any of the loose debris that was all around them. He wrapped his arms around himself to stop the chill that went down his spine. Whoever had been responsible showed incredible power. Honestly, he wasn’t sure if he hoped they were still alive or not. “I don’t know. But whoever did this, we need to make sure that they aren’t dark. Even Voldemort never did something like this.” James actually growled. The mention of Voldemort always had that effect on him. Everyone always assumed he hated Voldemort as much as he did because of Harry. Only Sirius knew that Voldemort just opened up old wounds with Lily and Thomas. “Yeah well, thank god for small favors.” The conversation was cut short by the arrival of a green van with a bright red cross painted on the side. “We know someone survived anyway.” James pointed out when a trio of men with a stretcher rushed into the ruins of the home. It felt like an eternity before they came back out but in reality it was only 10 minutes. Both wizards could feel it immediately. The spells they had cast to find the source of the magical disturbance, a secret known only to the Unspeakables, were still functioning. The spell allowed the caster to trace back the source of any spell or magical discharge as long as the magical signature was known. Normally, the signature would have faded by now but whatever had
been done was so powerful there were still traces of it everywhere. Unfortunately, they were too far away to get more than a basic idea of who they were looking at. “Fuck he’s just a kid.” James was barely able to keep his voice down. “Quick get a tracer on that truck.” “Done.” Sirius whispered quietly. “Ok, let’s get out of here. We can come back once they get wherever they’re going.” The soldiers never noticed the two quiet cracks that signaled the apparition of the two wizards. September 28th, 1991London, UK John and his team didn’t spend much time at the field hospital that had been established in London. It only took a short examination by the doctors to determine that Jason was stable. Immediately, John ordered him prepped for transfer. With his parents dead, the simplest situation would be for John to bring Jason to the base in Suffolk. “Sergeant get the men to the Pave Hawk while I let Ms Hemmer know that we are leaving.” John left to go to the command tent as soon as Compton acknowledged the order. It was a short walk to the command tent from the hospital. There were a number of teams milling about. It was getting close to night fall so the search teams were being recalled. “Ms Hemmer?” She was sitting on a flimsy wooden chair with her eyes closed and a cup of hot tea in her hands. At the sound of John’s voice, she opened her eyes and looked over at him wearily. “Yes? Were you able to find anyone?” She vaguely remembered him from earlier in the day. She studied his face. It was a mixtures of relief and grief. “Yes but there was only a single survivor.” The sound of relief in his voice brought her back to their first conversation. “Were you able to find your family?” She like most of the others had lost people close to her and the sympathy from such an experience was clear in her tone of voice. Before he answered, she knew the answer. “Yes ma’am. My brother survived somehow. My mother didn’t.” He paused for a moment to clear his throat and to get his emotions under control. “I wanted to
inform you that we are leaving. I’m bringing my brother with me but another team will return tomorrow morning to continue with the search operation.” “Any help you can provide is appreciated. I’m happy you found your brother.” “Thank you ma’am.” John saluted before turning and leaving the tent. September 28th, 1991RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk, UK Sirius was more than a little frustrated. They had been at this for most of the day and still they hadn’t been within 10 feet of the boy. It was only his quick thinking that allowed them to track him when he was transported to Suffolk. “Finally, I thought those muggle doctors would never leave.” Sirius muttered when the doctors left the room where Jason was resting. With no one else in the room, James and Sirius dropped the disillusionment charms that had been concealing them. His wand moved a rapid pattern, emitting a pale white trail of light. In seconds James finished and the light encompassed the entire room before fading. “Notice me not ward.” He said absently. Sirius hadn’t moved from his position near the doorway. The examination could be done by James; he would make sure that no one came in. The ward would just prevent people from checking out any noise they made, it wouldn’t prevent someone from coming in if they intended to anyway. Inwardly cursing the amount of effort that had been spent on this investigation, James moved over to the bed. Absently, he waves his wand over the unconscious form to get a general diagnostic of his health. “Good lord!” James exclaimed softly. “What?” James turned his head to look at Sirius. “There’s nothing wrong with him. No injuries, no damage to speak of, he’s just suffering from magical exhaustion.” A queasy feeling formed in the pit of his stomach again. Sirius had to wonder what kind of boy had such power. “Do you think the military knows about him? Is that why he’s here?” James didn’t hear anything else Sirius said. He was struck by the face before him. It looked so much like his own. But that wasn’t
possible, there were no other Potters. It was just Thomas and… “Oh my god. It can’t be.” Could this really be Harry? But how? Yet he had no other relatives aside from Thomas and the resemblance was too strong to dismiss. For the first time in years, James felt alive with the mere possibility that his youngest son might be alive. “James? James!” Still James wasn’t hearing him. Sirius moved to the bed and grabbed James by the arm. “What?” Sirius let go of James’ arm and waited for him to answer. He had yet to even look at the boy not realizing that he was the cause of his friend’s distress. “Sirius look at him!” His voice was choked and he almost struggled to get the words out. It was a fight not to run his fingers through the boy’s hair. It had to be him. There was no other explanation. The small detached part of his brain asked the question though. If it is Harry, then what happened that night? How did he survive? Was Thomas even the Boy-Who-Lived? Unbidden, his hand reached out and squeezed James’ shoulder in comfort. It had been quite a while since he had heard his friend so upset. There was something about the boy that was disturbing him and he turned to see what it was. For a long moment, his brain simply refused to process what he was seeing. Like James, he was arguing with himself about the impossibility of this being Harry and yet who else could it be. “Is it…is it Harry?” Sirius asked softly. At that moment, John walked into the room. He had spoken with the doctors and they were confident that Jason would wake up within a day or two at the most. As far as they could tell, he was merely suffering from some severe case of exhaustion which was probably exacerbated by the emotional trauma of losing his parents. The doctor’s assessment only served to drive home yet again that his parents were gone. It wasn’t 100 sure with his dad, but he doubted the man would have left Jason or mom by themselves otherwise. He almost felt guilty for not being more distraught about their deaths but he was still just relieved that Jason had managed to survive. In time, he would grieve. He’d loved his parents, there was no doubt of that but right now the living were more important. It was with absolute certainty that he knew his parents would’ve wanted his focus to be on Jason. The incongruity of the sight before him didn’t register at first. It was the black robes that both men were wearing that tipped him off to the fact that these were not base personnel. “Who the fuck are
you?” His hand automatically reached for his sidearm. It was only with him because of the recent attack otherwise, he would never carry a weapon when off duty. Both Sirius and James jumped, startled by the harsh question. Instincts had their wands in hand and rising before they even assessed the situation. Sirius recognized the muggle as the soldier that had been in charge of the troops this morning. What was he doing here? Did he know Harry was a wizard? Neither James nor Sirius answered before John motioned with gun. “Get the hell away from my brother!” His hand clenched the gun tightly, ready to fire at the slightest provocation. It was the wooden sticks in their hands that drew his attention now that they were facing him. Wooden sticks…no not wooden sticks…it couldn’t be… could it? “What the fuck do wizards want with Jason?!” Sirius was going to Obliviate the soldier. He clearly knew about magic, but no he couldn’t. He said Harry was his brother, if that was the case than it wasn’t against the law for him to know. “You know about magic?” He asked dumbly. “Obviously.” John replied sarcastically. His gun never wavered. John was fully prepared to shoot one or both these men. “I suggest you put the wands down and explain what you’re doing here.” The tone of his voice made it sound like anything but a suggestion. Sirius wasn’t inclined to give up his only means of defense. James apparently was though. Without hesitation, he tossed his wand across the room so there would be no chance of his retrieving it before John shot him. The risk was worth it. He needed to know if this was Harry. Sirius looked and James and saw the plea in his eyes. Groaning to himself, he too tossed his wand away. “Explain!” John ordered. “Can I sit?” James asked. Without waiting for a response, James practically collapsed in a chair near Jason’s bed. “We work for the Ministry of Magic. Yesterday, we recorded a massive magical disturbance. It was practically off the charts.” James was a little taken aback by the smirk on John’s face. “That sounds like Jason.” “What do you mean?”
John couldn’t help himself. “He’s always been a little disturbing.” Unsure if the man was joking or not, James continued on “Well we were able to determine that this boy was the cause of whatever happened.” There was a pause while James gathered his courage. “Do you know anything about him?” A roll of his eyes told James that he was being stupid. “He’s my brother so I would say yes I know something about him.” John was a little disturbed by the looked utter despair that seemed to overtake the man. So he was unprepared when his partner asked “Was he adopted?” Really, James was jumping to conclusions too quickly. The name or the fact that this man considered Harry his brother wasn’t an indication either way. Chances are they wouldn’t have known Harry’s real name anyway. Now John’s eyes narrowed. He didn’t like the direction this was heading. Jason was his family, and no one was going to take that away from him. “Why?!” James wasn’t in any condition to explain at the moment so Sirius had to take the lead. “Please, it’s very important.” It was obvious that they were desperate for the information for some reason. “Yeah he was. Doesn’t matter though, he’s my brother and you’re not taking him anywhere.” Hope returned to James and he straightened in the chair. His eyes were almost eager and youthful again when he turned to Sirius. “It has to be him. What are the chances?” The desire to believe is strong, but he needs to be the cynical one right now. This could devastate James otherwise. “Do you…do you remember when he was adopted?” Sirius was almost hesitant. Even if this was Harry, what would happen now? Clearly, he’s been living with a family and probably loves them. If this soldier is any indication, they love him as well. “Look, what’s this all about? If you not here to try and take him away, then why all the questions?” Again, it was the almost desperate look about both men that moved John to answer after getting another plea from Sirius. “Fine, but I want an explanation.” Once both men nodded John answered. “We didn’t know his birthday so we used the day my dad found him, October 31st.”
“Oh my god, Sirius it’s him. He’s alive.” There were tears making their way down James’ face now. Sirius couldn’t deny it. The coincidence would be too great between the resemblance to James, being adopted, and October 31st. He started to move over to be closer to his god son but John stopped him. Waving the gun pointedly. “No way…Stay away from brother. Now I’ve answered your questions. It’s your turn to answer mine.” Now that he had found Harry, he’s not going to give him up. So James figured the easiest way was to explain what happened. “How much do you know about the wizarding world?” “Not much.” Said John. Left with no recourse, James describes the first rise of Lord Voldemort. After that, he went into the birth of the twins, the prophecy which he only touched on, and finally he described the events of that night October 31st. Sirius picked up the story then. “I searched for hours but I couldn’t find a single trace of Harry. But what I don’t understand is how your father came to find Harry. Did someone turn him into the muggle authorities?” “First of all, his name is Jason not Harry. Secondly, let’s say I believe your story. What do you expect to happen now? Because I can tell you that legally he is my brother and I will fight you tooth and nail if you try and take him.” “I…” James swallowed a little nervously because of the intense look John was giving him. “I guess I never really thought that far ahead. I’d always hoped he was alive somewhere but to just come across him randomly like this…” John sighed and against his better judgment holstered his gun. “If Jason is your biological son, maybe we should ask him what he wants to do. Can you prove that he is your son? Nothing personal but I’d like to see some hard evidence.” “There’s no magic that I’m aware of that can tell you a person’s parents. Some families like Sirius’ have a family tree that magically updates itself to show all the members but even that wouldn’t prove anything since there are no pictures.” This was turning into a real mess but he owed it to Jason to find out the truth. He knew his brother well enough to be confident that
even if this guy was his biological father, he would stay with John. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a small radio that he had taken off of Jason before the medics had arrived. There were advantages to having relatives work for Torchwood after all. “Torchwood 3, this is John Sheppard, come in.” John waited. He was transmitting on the personal frequency that Jack had designated for his family to use if they ever needed him. After a short wait, a tired sounding Jack came back over the speaker. “John is that you? Are you ok? What about your family?” There was another sigh before John answered. “Yeah it’s me Uncle Jack. Umm mom and dad are dad.” It wasn’t the kind of news that he was used to delivering and he didn’t know any other way but to just put it out there. “God John, I’m so sorry. What about Jason?” Jack hoped that at least Jason survived. Over the years, he’d found that he rather liked being an uncle. “Oh…sorry I should have told you that too. He’s unconscious but the docs think it is just exhaustion.” “That’s great news John. Is there anything I can do? Cardiff wasn’t hit as hard as London.” “Actually there is. I have two wizards here with me. One of them claims that Jason is his son. Do you have anything that we can use to prove it one way or another?” “Wizards? Really? Huh…Yeah, I do in fact. I can be at the base in the morning with the equipment. Normally this would take weeks but you know we have certain advantages.” John laughed at the joke since he had been thinking that exact same thing a few minutes ago. “Thanks. See you in the morning.” After putting the radio away, he turns his attention back to James and Sirius. “Ok, Uncle Jack will be here in the morning and he can run a test to see if Jason is your biological son.” “Why do you keep calling him that?” “What Jason? I told you that’s his name.” “No, why do you keep referring to him as his biological son?” The question came out a little sharper than Sirius intended. James understood John’s position though and tried to calm Sirius down. “Sirius just shut up ok.”
“I know this has to suck for you. First you thought your son was dead and now you’re hoping that he’s my brother. But the fact of the matter is that Jason knows he was adopted but for most of his life has seen my parents as his mom and dad. So this isn’t about you and what you want. It’s about what Jason wants.” “Uncle Jack was my dad’s boss at the time. He probably knows the circumstances of what happened so I suggest you meet back here tomorrow morning. Now I’ll probably regret this but I’m going to trust you not to do anything that would make me hunt you down.” John finished coldly. As hard as it was to admit, James agreed with John. “He’s right Sirius. It should be Harry’s…sorry Jason’s decision. Maybe this Jack will have answers for us.” Grumbling his agreement for now, another question popped into Sirius’ head. It had occurred to him before but then all the drama started and he forgot about it. “Wait you know about magic and you weren’t surprised about Harry…I mean Jason. Sorry, that’s going to take some getting used to. Why isn’t he at Hogwarts? Shouldn’t he be a first year? It was a good point James realized. Why wasn’t he at Hogwarts? Did his family not want him to learn about magic? John shrugged. “He didn’t want to go. Told me that none of his friends were magical so he’d rather stay with them.” Sirius didn’t know what to say. It never occurred to him that someone might not want to go to Hogwarts. “But, why wouldn’t he want to learn about magic? There is so much in the wizarding world that…” Suddenly, Sirius trailed off. He didn’t want to insult Harry’s brother. Now it was John’s turn to be a little scornful. “Oh he’s had some training. Even got a tour of that alley place in London. Said he wasn’t impressed.” “Not impressed? But what about flying? Did he at least try to fly a broomstick?” James asked, equally horrified. He didn’t have anything against muggles but even though he was married to Lily, a muggleborn, he’d never really taken the time to see what the muggle world had to offer. John couldn’t help it. He laughed at their stricken expressions. It was just so like Jason to do something like this and leave him to explain it. “Broomsticks, you’re serious? I thought he was kidding about that.”
“No they’re great. Some of them go over a 200 kilometers per hour.” James supplied enthusiastically. Now Sirius and James were confused because John looked a little abashed. “Umm, well I might have ruined that for you a little.” Despite the circumstances, John found himself liking the two men and he could sympathize with their situation. “What did you do?” James asked accusingly. He better not have made fun of his son for wanting to fly. “I’m in the US Air Force. For Jason’s 9th birthday, I got him a flight on an F-15E Strike Eagle.” When he saw the mystified looks on their faces he explained. “It’s a fighter jet.” Now his face bore a combination of pride and embarrassment. What they didn’t know was that John was embarrassed for them because they were so proud of the top speed. “Yeah…you see the top speed of the F-15 is just about 2,700 kph.” James couldn’t speak. He just mouthed 2,700 a few times. It was almost impossible to fathom going that fast. Sirius only said “Fuck!” John smiled crookedly and nodded in agreement saying “Yeah, it’s pretty damn cool. I’m not ashamed to admit, I scored some major big brother points with that one.” September 29th, 1991RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk, UK John was sitting by Jason’s bedside reading a book. The Colonel had been gracious enough to give him the morning off so that he could sit with his brother. The book had been sitting in his lap unopened for close to a half hour now, his mind kept returning to the encounter the previous night. It was such a bizarre coincidence, that more than anything was what bothered him. At least they both seemed nice enough. He chuckled softly remembering their reaction to his description of the F-15 fighter. It was their attitude that bothered him though, as if there was nothing in the non-magical world to compare to magic. Sure, John had seen some of the things that could be done with magic and would be the first to admit that it was powerful but that didn’t mean that it was the answer to every problem. “Mmmm….” Jason mumbled and began to stir. “Come on little brother. Wake up. You can do it.” John urged quietly. Absently he brushed Jason’s hair away from his forward when he
started to blink his eyes open. “John?” Jason muttered weakly. His eyes were still blinking trying to focus on his surroundings. “It’s me kiddo. You don’t know how good it is to hear your voice.” Said John emphatically before running his fingers through Jason’s hair, intentionally ruffling it. Jason gave up opening his eyes for the moment. “Now I know it’s you. Only you do that to my hair, whenever you want to annoy me.” John laughed at the put upon tone of his brother’s voice. “Of course I do, it’s part of the big brother credo.” Then John sobered up. “Are you ok? Do you hurt anywhere?” Tears began leak from Jason’s closed eyes. His face screwed up trying to fight it but his voice came out despairingly “They’re gone aren’t they?” Suddenly, John found it hard to breathe. It was such a simple question but the answer was far more profound. For the first time in his life, he wished that he wasn’t the older brother. But he couldn’t grieve now, Jason needed him, needed him to be strong. “I think so. There’s been no word from dad and I tried your radio.” Jason’s watery eyes were open and looking at him now. “I…I saw them kill mom.” Jason stopped and his expression became horrified. “Oh god! Did I kill anyone? When they killed mom…I couldn’t think… I just hated them so much…” Never one to be very touchy feely, John grabbed Jason into a tight hug. He began whispering in Jason’s ear while rubbing his back soothingly. “No you didn’t kill anyone.” “But how do you…” John pulled away so he could look Jason in the eye but he was still holding by the shoulders. “I was the one who found you. My team searched your neighborhood. You and mom were the only ones not taken. Do you understand?” His brother nodded and wiped the tears from his eyes. “Hey Uncle Jack is on his way.” “Really? Why? Don’t they need him at Torchwood?” John regretted bringing it up now. His brother didn’t need to deal with this right now but it was too late to back out. “Jason…ummm…
not sure how to say this. Ok, after you did whatever it was you did, and I want to hear about that later, a couple of wizards showed up to investigate. Well, it turns out that one of them might be your biological father. Jack is coming so he can run a test to check it for sure.” “But I thought they were dead?” “You know as much as I do.” A little timidly, Jason asked “You’re still my brother though right?” John rolled his eyes and snorted. “I thought you were supposed to be smart. I’ve already started looking at 2 bedroom apartments. Until we find one though, you can have my bed and I’ll take the couch.” “John, you know I…um…” Jason trailed off blushing lightly. “Yeah I do too.” John knew what Jason was trying to say. Not long after, John left briefly and came back with a tray of breakfast for his brother, along with the doctor. After a thorough examination, Jason was pronounced fit but he would spend another night in the infirmary for observation. Shortly after the Jason had finished breakfast, Jack entered the room. He was a little surprised to see Jason awake but it lightened his mood considerably. In his hand was a black leather case that held the equipment necessary to run the DNA comparison. “John, Jason you have no idea how good it is to see you alive.” There was a look of relief in their uncle’s eyes that they had never seen before. Always in the past he had been one to brush off adversity and charge ahead but obviously this time was different. The three spent close to an hour catching up and sharing stories of Maggie and Michael Sheppard. Jason asked about Torchwood and whether it would continue or not. John was more than a little surprised by the bitterness that was in his brother’s voice, it would be something he would ask about later when they were alone. To the best of Jack’s knowledge there was no plan to shut it down but there would hopefully be additional oversight now. At 11am, James and Sirius finally made their appearance. Jack could see the resemblance between Jason and James immediately and wondered if he had made the wrong decision all those years ago. James was thrilled to see Jason awake but he was a little unnerved
by the color of his eyes. Harry had brilliant green eyes but Jason seemed to have a mix of that green but a pale blue as well. After introductions, Jack took a DNA sample from both Harry and James and began to run the analysis. While the computer was running, he explained what happened the night that he and Michael had found Jason. James wanted to be angry with the man. He wanted to hate him for taking away his son but he couldn’t say that he would have done things any differently. It was true that without magic, they would have been killed in the wreckage of his home. “How did you know about the attack if you aren’t wizards?” Sirius asked suspiciously. “The organization that I work for, Torchwood, was made aware of the wizarding world by order of the Queen more than 100 years ago. Since then, we have come into possession of certain technologies that detect energy. Magic at its heart is simply another form of energy that you have learned to harness.” As much as he wanted to, Jack couldn’t tell them about Torchwood. The name itself was publicly known, but their charter was not. “I apologize for causing you so much pain. When I found Jason that night, we could only assume that everyone was dead. We were able to determine that most of the attack was with what we call necrotic energy or death magic if you will. Well, I was afraid that Jason would be attacked again.” Sirius wasn’t totally satisfied with Jack’s answer on how they detected the attack but working for the Unspeakables he recognized official secrets when he saw one. James on the other hand couldn’t fault the man’s logic. There were many Death Eaters that had tried to go after Thomas because he’d vanquished Voldemort. “Was Jason hurt?” Jack pondered his answer while looking at Jason. Finally he decided that it shouldn’t trouble him too much to hear. “Yes, he was unconscious and had a strange lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead. But the greater concern was the fact that his body was saturated with the necrotic energy. Our doctor was able to purge it from his body and now we are stuck with the little monster.” Jack finished with a smile. John and Jason knew that there were portions left of the story. Their dad had given them more details on Jason’s condition if not the circumstances.
James on the other hand was wondering why Jason would have any death magic in his system. “Are you sure your machines were right? Because the only way that could’ve happened would be if he was struck with the killing curse or been the victim of necromancy. And since he is not a zombie, it had to be the killing curse.” Before Jack could answer, the computer beeped signaling that the test was complete. After looking over the results briefly, Jack nodded and announced “Jason meet your biological father.” Chapter 2: The Early Years June 29th, 1992RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk UK “My father?” Jason asked softly. No this wasn’t his father. He may have contributed his DNA but Michael Sheppard was his father. Jack looked at Jason trying to gauge his reaction. “Yes, there can be no doubt that James Potter is your biological father.” “Dad’s dead. He’s not my father!” Jason said hotly while pointing at James. James couldn’t deny how much that hurt but he refused to back down now, not after finding his son again. John tried to be supportive and added “Hey, we always wondered what they were like. Now you have a chance to get to know him.” Jason turned and looked at John like he’d betrayed him, but he refused to say anything. “Harry…” James began only to stop when he saw the glares coming from both Sheppard brothers. “Jason, I’m know what it’s like to lose your parents. I’m not trying to take their place, really I’m not. I’d just like the chance to get to know you again.” “Just go away, all of you!” He practically yelled. It was too much, Jason just couldn’t deal with this right now. And to emphasize his point, he rolled over in his bed so he was facing away from everyone. Fighting his own tears, James prepared to leave but before he did, he made a promise. “I’ll be here Jason, if and when you want to give me a chance.” 9 months had passed since that painful day when Jason lost his parents. During that time, he had settled into life in Suffolk.
Because he was living on the base with his brother, there were still kids his age to hang around with but he was slow to make new friends. It would simply take time to get over the death of his parents. John had received a promotion to 1st Lieutenant for his role in the base defense. It was much quicker than the typical timeline but there was precedent for it. Along with his new rank, he was moved onto new aircraft for flight training. Just before Jason started school, he received his flight status for the F-15. When Jason had first started attending the school located on the base, John had been concerned because he received multiple phone calls from concerned teachers. They were concerned about Jason; he didn’t show any interest in any of the subjects and barely participated in class. It was a natural reaction to their parents’ deaths but still John didn’t want Jason to sink any further. From his own experience, he knew that Jason needed some sort of outlet. What John didn’t know was that his parents’ death was not the only thing bothering his little brother. Almost immediately after waking up on the airbase in Suffolk, Jason began experiencing strange and vivid dreams. He didn’t realize what was going on at first, not until the dreams began recurring every few days. There were two distinct dreams that kept recurring; one was simply eerie while the second was terrifying. The first dream found Jason alone in a place unlike any he had ever been. The halls were lined with futuristic doors and panels like what he had seen in science fiction movies. All of it was colored with soft browns and tans. Transparent green decorative panels filled with a bubbling liquid and miniature trees lined many of the corridors. There were computer panels and displays were lifeless and covered with a sheer silk like cloth everywhere he looked. The light that filtered in through the windows was muted like it was being filtered. None of it on its own seemed impossible or fantastic. Even in his dreams, his experiences from Torchwood prepared him to accept such things. But he had never seen anything on such a grand scale because altogether the individual pieces painted a picture of a technologically advanced wonder. When the dream had occurred the first time, Jason began to call out because surely someone must live in such an incredible place. But there was never any reply. Every time the dream came again, Jason found himself exploring the abandoned city and he imagined what it must have been like when people walked the halls and filled the city with laughter and life. Now, in his dreams the city was only filled with the ghosts and fading memories of those who had once lived
there. The second dream was more disturbing. These were the dreams that woke Jason up in the middle of the night. It was less of a dream and more of a string of flashes of fighting and death. In it, he was in the same city but this time it was filled with people, they looked human but wore strange white and tan clothes that seemed to be a mix between modern and ancient styles. Initially he was excited to see people filling the city but he quickly learned that they were facing a fearsome enemy that was pushing them back from all their territories. There were only flashes of the enemy, pale teal skinned beings with long white hair. Some looked like they the face of an insect while others appeared more like normal people but Jason knew he should be afraid. Jason was afraid to tell anyone about his dreams, even John. He was afraid that he would be taken away from his last remaining family. So he did what any 11 year old would do and remained silent, slowly withdrawing further into himself. In the end, there were two outlets that helped Jason begin to move past his grief and dreams to live life once again. The first had been when John signed him up for one of the martial arts classes taught on base. Reluctantly, Jason went to the first class. It was a mixed class of adults and kids so it gave Jason a chance to meet more people his age. More importantly, it gave Jason an outlet for the anger he had felt since the attack. Aikido provided him the outlet he needed to release his hurt and focus on something other than his feelings. Jason also enjoyed the class because it was something that he could do with John and for a time it allowed him to forget about his dreams. The second outlet only came after Jason had begun his martial arts classes. James delivered on his promise. He never pressured Jason and let his son set the speed for everything. It wasn’t that long before James began visiting Jason a couple times a week. It was slow going at first. There was a lot of guilt on both sides. Jason felt guilty because he was getting to know James and felt like he was replacing his dad. James felt guilty for all the years that his son had been lost to him. As time passed, the two became more comfortable with each other. Early on, Jason had told James flat out that Michael was his dad but he would like James to be his friend. The words had stung James’ heart, but he was happy that Jason wanted him in his life. Many of their initial meetings were spent learning about each other and what had happened in the intervening years since Jason’s
disappearance. Jason shared most of his childhood, regaling James with tales of baseball games and adventures with John and his dad. The only topic he left out were his visits to Torchwood. As bizarre as it was, he was an 11 year old boy that had a top level security clearance. It was the only way that his dad had been able to bring him into Torchwood, so out of loyalty to his father if not the organization, Jason kept the secret. James for his part gave Jason a more thorough picture of life in the wizarding world. He promised to give Jason a personal tour of the Ministry when he wanted one in addition to showing him the sights in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Like Jason, James shared most things but never brought up the subject of Lily or Thomas, only to say that things hadn’t worked out. Even if he himself disliked or perhaps hated his wife, he didn’t want to color Jason’s opinion of her. Like John, James was concerned with Jason’s general lack of enthusiasm about anything during those initial months. He had thought to tutor Jason in magic but with his current state of mind, didn’t think that it would be helpful or safe. That changed after Jason began his martial arts classes and began to take a healthy interest in life once again. The early conversations on Jason’s experiences with magic had been an eye opener for James. It had always been his assumption that Jason had simply performed an incredibly powerful piece of accidental magic. As it turned out, Jason had received some training in calming and centering himself. Apparently, Torchwood while not participating actively in the wizarding world had done enough research to learn that accidental magic was usually brought about by strong emotions. In giving Jason training to meditate so that he could calm and center himself, they inadvertently taught him to control not only his emotions but to a lesser extent it gave Jason control over his magic as well. There had been the occasional incident of wandless magic from someone who was sufficiently powerful but those incidents were few and far between in the wizarding world. Now the question James was faced with was whether to tutor Jason using a wand or continue to explore his wandless magic to tap the limits of Jason’s talent. He had even gone so far as to talk to his boss about it. Croaker had been surprised to learn that Jason was capable of controlled wandless magic. It gave him some ideas that decided to have researched in the department. Specifically, if children were capable of wandless magic prior to getting their wands, what happened to change that ability? Was it a lack of use? Did magic
fundamentally change as a person aged? Perhaps it was the use of wands and the strictly governed methods for casting spells? Personally he didn’t think it was the wands themselves, they were simply a medium to access one’s magic easier. Rather it was the incantations and wand movements that were used when training young wizards and witches. The children were taught to only use their magic in a very specific way. It was his thought that this was the most likely reason. The adults capable of wandless magic were the ones that were the most creative that strove to work outside of the normal bounds of what was taught in magical institutions. Never before had Croaker had an opportunity to work with a child that had learned some control of their magic without attending school. He recommended that James try one of the new wand alternatives that they had been testing. The prototypes had not been very successful not because they didn’t channel magic as well as a wand but because the individual still had to replicate the traditional wand movements. Together, they formulated a plan. Once an appropriate focus was found for Jason, they would use Hogwarts material for him to learn spells but James would focus only on the effects of the spells themselves leaving out movements or incantations. Since Jason wasn’t going to a magic school there was no time table they had to work towards if it ended up taking longer. Jason was excited to begin learning magic. After the death of his parents, he was more determined not to go away to school. And seeing what he was capable of that day, Jason knew he needed to learn more about what could and couldn’t be done so he never hurt someone unintentionally. Plus, he thought his focus was pretty cool looking. It was a black dragon hide fingerless glove. What would normally be the core of a wand was dissolved into the solution used to cure the dragon hide. In essence, the entire glove became infused with the core, which in this case was the powdered claw of a nundu. Once the initial excitement wore off, Jason discovered the hard truth. Magic was going to take a lot of effort to learn. His days were quickly filled. If he wasn’t in school or finishing his homework, he was at Aikido or spending time with James being tutored in magic. The constant activity helped to keep his mind off his dreams and to let the ghosts of his parents rest in peace. June 29th, 1992Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry UK
Thomas Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived had an eventful first year at Hogwarts. It began on the Hogwarts Express which left from Platform 9 3/4s. To his delight, the press was out in force snapping pictures and begging for his time before he officially became a 1st year student at Hogwarts. He smiled and waved good naturedly to his adoring public before climbing on board. In an effort to be seen by more people, Thomas chose the middle car. While waiting he began to go over his instructions from grandpa Albus. His honorary grandpa had recommended that he make friends with at least one half-blood or muggleborn. There assistance would be beneficial after school was complete. Besides it wouldn’t be proper for the savior of the wizarding world to be seen as prejudiced. Overall, the train ride proved to be uneventful. Of all the students that came to see him, he chose to be friends with Seamus Finnegan and Parvati Patil, a half-blood and pure blood respectively. There were other options that he left open until after the sorting. It simply wouldn’t do to associate with Hufflepuffs or Slytherins unnecessarily. Unknown to Thomas, Albus had threatened the sorting hat in order to ensure that Thomas was placed in Gryffindor. Albus had strongly doubted that he would make it in on his own merits. The boy was simply too sure of his own abilities and felt he was deserving of special attention. Slytherin would have been the natural place for him in any other situation. And so Thomas along with his new friends was sorted into the ecstatic Gryffindor house. Tragedy struck the school on Halloween; a muggleborn witch by the name of Hermione Granger was killed by a troll. She had spent much of the afternoon and evening in a girl’s bathroom crying after being tormented by Thomas and his two friends. It was on that day that the students and teachers began to see the real Boy-WhoLived. He wasn’t a savior or even a nice boy; he was a spoiled, selfimportant brat. Many felt that Thomas Potter was indirectly responsible for the death of a girl whose only crime had been to offer help when he was struggling with the levitation charm. It had been a mad scramble on Albus’ part to cover up Thomas’ role. While he could keep the public ignorant of what really went on, he couldn’t control the students themselves. But it was too late to change his plans now. Albus was confident that when Thomas was found having rescued the Philosopher’s Stone from Voldemort, he would once again regain the favor of the students. And so Thomas and his two cohorts followed the carefully prepared
clues laid out by Dumbledore. First discovering what was contained in the Forbidden Corridor. Then the trio learned of the various forms of protection. Despite the clues, there were pieces of information that Albus practically had to wave in front of Thomas’ face in order for the boy to make the necessary connections. At times, Dumbledore wished that Thomas were more intelligent but the Savior of the wizarding world didn’t need to be intelligent, just brave, powerful, and charismatic. When the end of the year rolled around, Thomas, Seamus and Parvati found themselves struggling through the protections around the stone. By some twist of fate, Thomas managed to make it through without killing either himself or his two young friends. In the end, he faced Professor Quirrell and the spirit of Voldemort. In the shadows, observing was Albus Dumbledore. He frowned when after retrieving the stone from the mirror of Erised Thomas was unable to defeat the simpering DADA professor. Doubt began to niggle in the back of his mind when he was forced to step from his hiding place and kill the hapless professor to keep Voldemort from retrieving the stone. When Thomas awoke in the infirmary, Albus spun a tale worthy of Shakespeare himself describing Thomas’ victory of Voldemort and the preservation of the Philosopher’s Stone. He had ensured that Seamus and Parvati overheard the description so that they could spread the news around the school and restore faith in the boy. Unfortunately, the other first years and the professors had witnessed Thomas’ performance in class. Based on his less than spectacular results, most found it difficult to believe that Thomas would have been capable of defeating Quirrell let alone Voldemort. Quietly, dissent began to grow in the halls of Hogwarts as students and professors lost faith in the notion of a boy savior. June 29th, 1993Suffolk UK To the casual observer, Jason would look like your average twelve soon to be thirteen year old boy. He had friends, he continued to play baseball, he excelled in school, and he spent most of his free time practicing either his Aikido or his magic. It was true that he had been able to largely put his parent’s deaths behind him with the help of his brother and James but there was still one problem that was plaguing him. The dreams that had first started after the attack, those dreams still continued. In the time since they had started, the dreams had changed slightly. During the dream in which the city was empty, Jason found himself drawn back to the same room over and over. It appeared to
be empty but for a pedestal that appeared to have some sort of control panel positioned in front of it. The third time he was drawn back into the same room, Jason gathered the courage to step on the pedestal. Immediately, the room sprang to life and a woman that appeared. She looked to be in her mid 30s with shoulder length auburn hair and a slim figure. This woman or hologram, whatever she was seemed to be conveying some message but Jason was unable to understand her language. Until he could find some way to understand what she was saying his reason for being drawn to room would remain a mystery. The second dream hadn’t changed so much as moved forward in time. Over the months, Jason realized he was seeing some great war play out on the monitors. He witnessed as countless space ships were destroyed. Tears fell as he watched the enemy strip whole worlds of their inhabitants. Every morning he woke from the dream he said a prayer of thanks because he didn’t want to know what happened to those people that were taken. His imagination was bad enough but something told him the reality was probably much worse. Taking advantage of a long weekend, Jason visited Jack in Cardiff. It was the first time since his parents’ death that he visited any Torchwood facility. At one time, he’d wanted to join Torchwood like his dad, but ever since the attack he blamed them for what happened. If they hadn’t spent so much time studying aliens or their technology instead of stopping them at their source his parents would still be alive. His visit to Torchwood wasn’t a sign that his feelings were changing. No, he had ulterior motive. Jason hoped that Jack would have something on the language he was seeing in his dreams. Using drawings of the characters seen in his dreams over and over again, Jason was able to show Jack the language he was looking for. After allaying Jack’s suspicion regarding the source of his information, Jack agreed to check the Torchwood database. As a Christmas present from Jack, Jason got a specially made dictionary that could be used to translate the language Jason saw in his dreams. It would take time to learn, but finally he would be able to at least understand the panels and displays even if he couldn’t understand the spoke language. The only major change in Jason’s life in the last years was that he was staying with James now. Shortly after Christmas, John had been deployed over to Bosnia as part of the US’ Peace Keeping efforts and providing humanitarian aid. No one was happy about it, but that was life in the military. The only other option would have
been for Jason to live with Jack. Instead, James had rented out his flat in London and rented a small home in Suffolk so that Jason wouldn’t have to change schools or leave his friends. The relationship that James had with Jason could never be described as parental. Together with Sirius, they did everything they could to make sure that Jason had fun. The last thing James wanted to see was his son spending more time in books rather than out enjoying his childhood. Rules were not something that was enforced often, the only exception being something that would put Jason’s safety at risk. Luckily one of the areas that were the most fun for all three of them was practicing Jason’s magic. The gauntlet had been a major step forward in accessing and controlling his magic. It had taken many months, but eventually, Jason learned to channel his magic without being angry or frightened. That was the point when he started to leap forward. The only time James let Harry read a book on his own was after he had mastered the material. So far, Croaker had been correct. All he had to do was to describe the effect to Jason in order for him to replicate it in some way. For Jason that was ok, but what he had the most fun doing was trying to do what he had seen in cartoons or read in books. “Ok Jason so you want to try a friendly duel?” James asked teasingly. They were practicing in the field behind his home which he had warded to prevent anyone from wandering onto the scene. “Sure but just don’t feel too badly when I beat you.” Jason quipped. They separated and moved to opposite ends of the field. When they both were in position, James called out “I’ll give you a freebie, so take your best shot.” Jason had no illusions about winning this duel; he had only finished the second year material when it came to traditional magic. And his less conventional attacks took too long but since he was getting a freebie, he’d take advantage of it. James watched as Jason raised his hand. Soon enough a ball of blue-green magic swirled into existence. Groaning, he should’ve known not to give Jason a freebie. The sphere bounced on Jason’s hand a few time before he whipped it at James. As it sped towards James, the sphere split open and grew in size.
An attempt to dive out of the way did nothing for James. The sphere swerved and caught James in mid-flight, sealing him inside. Both of Jason’s hands began to glow with power again. He clasped his hands together and a solid beam burst forth. The sphere was ripped apart by the impact. Jason watched as the sphere absorbed the impact for a moment before it began to shred. Then the world went black. A few minutes later, Jason moaned and woke up. He saw James standing over him with a smile on his face. “That was cute.” “What happened?” Asked Jason as he sat up. “You made that sphere opaque, you never even realized that I apparated behind you.” James explained. Grasping onto James’ outstretched hand, Jason pulled himself to his feet. “Maybe I should stick with more conventional attacks.” Surprisingly James shook his head. “Those are good, but that sphere was a very clever idea. I think what we need to do is help you perfect some of them. Wherever you get the ideas is good they just need some work to make them more practical.” Now it was Jason’s turn to snicker. “My source? I read too many comic books and watch a lot of cartoons, that’s my source.” “God when Sirius hears this…you truly are my son.” As soon as he said it, James knew it was a mistake. “Jason I’m sorry I didn’t mean that.” “No…no I mean it’s true after all.” He paused and turned to face James. “I’m sorry I can’t be the son you want. It’s just…” James didn’t let Jason go on. He wrapped Jason in a tight hug. “Jason, I don’t want anything more than spend time with you and get to know the incredible young man you are becoming.” Trying to lighten the mood, James added “Now what say we have another duel but no freebies this time?” “You’re on.” Jason laughed relieved to move past the awkward situation. June 29th, 1993Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry UK The second year at Hogwarts was no less exciting for Thomas than
his first year. Sadly, Thomas continued to build on the bad reputation he had established for himself in his first year. By making use of his status as the Boy-Who-Lived, he forced Katie Bell, a chaser for the Gryffindor quidditch team off so that he could take her place. In fact, with this one move, he had accomplished something he’d been unable to do the previous year. He turned virtually the entire Gryffindor house against him. The house may have been willing to overlook what he did eventually but it was not to be. His father may have been a star chaser and team captain in his day but apparently Thomas hadn’t inherited his talent. There was no questioning his flying ability but his personality kept getting in the way of his playing. He insisted on taking the spotlight and refused to pass the quaffle. As a result, Gryffindor lost their first match to Hufflepuff in a spectacular manner and ended up coming in last place for the year. Around the same time as his first game, strange incidents began to occur in the school. First the caretaker’s cat was petrified. Then whatever it was decided to move onto students. Like the first year, Albus was completely aware of what was going on. The school wards had immediately detected the dark object, a diary, as soon as it was brought onto school grounds. It was his hope that this year Thomas would show some of the skills that would be necessary for him to defeat Voldemort when he rose once again. Lily began to question Dumbledore’s leadership for the first time after the attacks on the students began. She was concerned about her son; the Boy-Who-Lived needed a safe environment in which to learn. He shouldn’t be subjected to all the stresses brought about by the supposed Heir of Slytherin and the attack. Unlike Lily, Thomas loved the spectacle caused by the attacks. The newspapers were all over Hogwarts, giving him even more attention than the previous year. So lost was he in his own glory that he failed to take note when the headlines began to change from praise to condemnation because he was doing nothing to stop the attacks. Things began to escalate until finally Dumbledore was removed from his position as Headmaster. But he felt he couldn’t leave. Thomas could be hurt or even killed if he wasn’t monitored so Dumbledore, with the help of Fawkes managed to stay in one of the unoccupied guest quarters. At the end of the year, young Ginny Weasley disappeared into the Chamber of Secrets. Normally, this would have been dire news but Dumbledore was hopeful when Thomas and his friends managed to find the already opened entrance to the Chamber of Secrets in a
long disused girl’s bathroom. Perhaps Thomas was finally coming into his own. Sadly, his hopes were quickly dashed when the shade of a 16 year old Tom Riddle rapidly brought Thomas to his knees. Again, Dumbledore was forced to step in and save the Boy-WhoLived from certain death. The doubt at the back of his mind that began the previous year was stronger now. Was it possible that Thomas wasn’t the Boy-Who-Lived? But if that was the case, who was the Chosen One? Neville Longbottom was a genius when it came to herbology but was otherwise an unremarkable wizard. The only other possibility was the younger Potter twin, but he hadn’t been seen since that night all those years ago. Even if he was still alive, Dumbledore had no idea where he was or who had raised him. Sighing, he looked down at the unconscious boy. For now he could only hope that Thomas was the Chosen One but he would keep his eyes open. August14th, 1995Suffolk UK Jason was 15 now. His birthday had been legally changed back to July 31st after learning of it from James. School was going well, Jason wasn’t the top of his class but he was near enough that grades wouldn’t be a barrier to whatever college he ended up going to. His magical training was stepping up too. About halfway through the year, James began bringing Jason to the Department of Mysteries so he could train with a few of his fellow agents. After the school year was done, Jason had a well-deserved vacation. He spent the entire month of July in the US playing baseball at an All-Star Camp. It had been a combined birthday present from John and James. He had been so excited because it gave him the opportunity to learn from players in the major leagues. On the first day, the kids were sorted into groups based on age, skill, and position. In the UK, Jason was considered one of the top first baseman for his age group, but he didn’t expect that to carry over to the US, because honestly there wasn’t a lot of competition. So it came as a surprise when he found himself in the top skill group for his age. Jason found it was easy to make friends and his accent ended up being a great ice breaker. It always drew some attention and had people wondering why he played baseball until he explained that his parents were American. The highlight of the camp for him was playing with Mark Grace, the first baseman for the Chicago Cubs. Like all good things, before he knew it the month was over and he was on a plane back to the UK. What he didn’t realize until he was back in the UK was that the
entire time he hadn’t had a single dream. At least not one he could remember anyway. After so long now, they didn’t disturb him the way they used to but he still couldn’t understand what they trying to show him. He’d managed to learn enough of the written language so that he could at least get a general sense of what he was reading even if he didn’t understand every word. In a moment of insight, he was able to begin learning of some of the spoken language as well when he tied the holographic lecturer to what he was reading. It was very slow going but he was making progress. The other dream, the history lesson, as he came to think of it was the dream he still dreaded somewhat. It had become steadily darker. Whoever the inhabitants of the city were, it was obvious that they were losing the war badly. The people themselves were beginning to fracture. In the beginning they seemed to be unified in how the war was fought, but lately they seemed to be fighting with each other almost as much as they were fighting with the enemy. Shortly after his return, John walked into his bedroom looking unusually proud of himself. “Ok, I’m not sure I want to know what has you smiling like that.” Jason said from his place on the bed. “What, can’t I bask in the awesomeness of my birthday present?” John asked affronted. He pulled out a chair from Jason’s desk and plopped himself down into it. John had been gone for close to a year but when he came back, Jason moved back in with him. James however had decided to stay in Suffolk to be closer to Jason. John’s laugh was infectious and soon Jason joined him after first rolling his eyes at his older brother. Not that he would admit it out loud, but his brother did get him the best birthday presents. “So what’s up?” “Well, I thought you might like to join me at a little ceremony this coming weekend.” Said John casually. All Jason did was groan. A ceremony meant he had to get dressed up and he hated wearing a suit. “Do I have to?” John faked a hurt expression. “I guess it doesn’t matter if my little brother isn’t there to see me get promoted to Captain. It’s not like it’s a big deal or anything.” “Really? Captain already?! Wow John, that’s great!” Jason gushed. It was true, there was still a bit of hero worship going on with his
older brother. Now he was no expert on military protocol but knew that it was pretty unusual to make Captain so quickly. So he knew his brother must be pretty damn good. “Does that mean you want to go now?” John couldn’t help teasing a little. “Why didn’t you say so? Of course I’ll be there!” Then Jason was off his bed and rummaging through his closet trying to find his suit. It was only a few months old so it should still fit. Holding it up, he asked “Do you think it needs to be pressed? I don’t want to embarrass you.” “Hey, you could never embarrass me.” He couldn’t stop his eyes from roving over the suit though. “Still, it could probably stand to be pressed. We want you to look you best for any of the teenage girls that may be on hand.” “John!” Jason yelled as John ran from the room. August 14th, 1995Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry UK After a fairly uneventful third year, Thomas found his fourth year to be the worst year yet. Despite a promising start when the Headmaster announced that Hogwarts would be hosting the TriWizard Tournament, things rapidly degenerated. The students had just begun to warm up to him again after third year. Everyone seemed thankful to simply have a quiet year for a change. Plus, it helped that for once, Thomas tried to stay low profile after the disasters of his first two years. Even his quidditch had improved; he learned to be more of a team player. This more than anything helped his standing in his house. But all that good will was lost when the Goblet of Fire spit out a fourth name as a champion in the tournament. Fleur Delacour, Viktor Krum, and Cedric Diggory had all been chosen as champions representing their respective schools. The students in the hall had just started to celebrate when a new name burst forth from the goblet. Even Dumbledore looked disappointed when he read the name and announced that Thomas Potter would be a champion as well. Lily was furious. She flooed over to Albus’ office as soon as she read the story in the Daily Prophet. “Albus, what game are you playing at? Thomas should not be in this tournament.” She practically screamed at him.
“Lily, it’s a pleasure to see you this morning.” Her angry pacing stopped for a moment and she glared at her former Headmaster. Her green eyes had darkened with anger. “How could you allow this to happen? You promised me that he would be safe!” There was only so much screeching that Albus could take in the morning. So Albus let go of his magic and felt it radiate off him in waves. “I’ve given you much leeway over the years but don’t forget your place Lily Evans.” Albus said. The feeling of power overwhelmed her and for the first time in many years, Lily found herself cowed. “I apologize Albus. I am just so distraught. Is there anything that can be done to help Thomas? My little boy is not ready for something so difficult.” On that Albus had to agree. He wasn’t sure that Thomas would ever be ready for something like the Tri-Wizard Tournament. “Of course, I will give Thomas some private tutoring. It must be kept secret though because it could be viewed as an unfair advantage by the other champions.” He watched as Lily finally was calm enough to sit down in one his chairs like a rational adult. “Pardon me Lily, but something else appears to be upsetting you.” “You knew didn’t you?” Accused Lily, her temper once more rising. “You knew that brat was still alive!” It took a moment for Albus to realize what brat Lily was referring to. After all, he was the Headmaster of a school of brats. There was only one brat that Lily would allow to upset her this much. “Harry? Are you saying that Harry is alive?” This could be the answer to his prayers if Thomas turned out not to be the Chosen One, than it would have to be Harry. “Who else would I be talking about? The ungrateful cretin actually had the gall to send me a letter. As if I care that he’s alive. He probably just wants to leech off his brother’s reputation.” “But how did he find out you’re his mother? Surely he disappeared before he had any conscious memory of you as his family.” Albus was confused and this annoying woman was not exactly forthcoming with the information he needed. She sniffed “As if he would be smart enough to remember such a thing. No, James somehow found the wretch. Who knows what lies he told him, but he sent me a letter asking if I would like to meet. I
was glad he was dead, why would I want to meet him now? Especially since he must be a squib if he is not here at Hogwarts.” “Quite right, why disrupt things now?” Albus asked rhetorically. He would have to investigate this. Hopefully the boy was not a squib. It was possible he attended a different school or possibly was home schooled. Lily left not long after, content in the knowledge that Albus would begin tutoring Thomas personally. In her mind, this was just another sign of her boy’s potential. Too bad she couldn’t lord it over her friends, they would die with envy. At the same time that the students once again turned their backs on Thomas, the Wizarding World sang his praises. The general opinion held that if the Goblet was going to spit out a fourth name, then surely that person must be worthy and capable of great things. It was this outlook that supported Thomas when no one other than Seamus, Parvati or Albus would even look at him. With the private tutoring and advanced information, Thomas was able to muddle his way through the first two tasks. Against all odds, he managed to make it through to the third task in second place overall. In his mind it should’ve been first place but the judges were prejudiced against him as the fourth champion. Somehow he made it through the labyrinth of the third task relatively unharmed. He was nearly at the center of the maze. The cup was visible on a brightly lit pedestal in the exact center. Then his blood chilled, Cedric was almost at the cup. No, he wouldn’t let some Hufflepuff steal his glory. Too much work had gone into getting him here. Without a moment’s thought, he unknowingly cast the spell that would save Cedric’s life. After stunning Cedric, Thomas moved without guilt or hesitation and grabbed the cup. Instead of being announced as the winner of the tournament, he was transported to a decrepit cemetery where he was quickly restrained by Peter Pettigrew. In horror, he watched as Peter completed a ritual to bring Voldemort back to full health using Thomas’ blood. “Ahh, the wizarding world’s would-be savior, Thomas Potter. I must thank you for donating some of your blood.” The newly embodied Lord Voldemort strode menacingly over towards Thomas until he was close enough to run one long boney finger down the side of Thomas’ face. “It isn’t here. Where is it?” Voldemort muttered. “What isn’t here my lord?” Pettigrew asked, moving up to stand next to his lord.
Voldemort felt the connection to each of his horcruxes; he could sense each of them. After all, each horcrux contained a portion of his soul. In his haste to unravel this mystery he didn’t think to check the location of his other horcruxes only their basic existence. No, this wasn’t possible. Three of them were missing. Nagini, his diary and the boy were gone. That could only mean that this wasn’t the boy he’d attacked. The backlash of his spell had damaged his memory from that night so he’d always assumed that Dumbledore had gotten it right. But now, now he would have to investigate this to determine if the boy was indeed dead or merely hidden from him in some way. While searching within himself Voldemort realized there was an unintended side effect of the ritual performed. There seemed to be a link between him and the Potter boy. It was different in nature than sharing a piece of his soul; it seemed to be more of a physical connection. If he was correct in his assumptions that he would be able to torture the wizarding world’s savior from anywhere. True the connection would work in both directions, but Dumbledore would never put his precious Boy-Who-Lived at risk. “Release him Wormtail. Let the pitiful boy spread the news of my return.” Voldemort said with a cold laugh before apparating away. August 14th, 1996Suffolk UK Life continued on for Jason Sheppard. He had just finished his sophomore year of high school. Since there was a large contingent of American kids on the base, the school he attended was modeled after the US school system. In the non-magical world, things had settled into a routine. Jason was a rarity in his school. He was popular and excelled in academics as well as being the starting first baseman for his varsity team. Consequently, he crossed cliques having friends in both circles. His Aikido training continued but rather than serving as an escape mechanism it was something that he and John could do together. If only his life in the magical world were as simple. Shortly after the beginning of the new school year, Jason had come home to find John and James arguing. “He has a right to know!” John said sharply. “I don’t want him to get hurt because he didn’t know what was going on.” “He’s too young. It’s just going to worry him.” James argued. “Then it’s a good thing it isn’t your decision to make. I’m his legal guardian, so I will be the one to decide what he needs to know.”
John didn’t like pulling the guardian card because he felt like it was throwing Jason’s adoption back into his face. But the fact of the matter was that John was in charge. Jason thought it might be a good idea to step in at this point before tempers flared any higher. Putting his backpack down next to the door, he asked “What would worry me?” Both John and James jumped at the sound of Jason’s voice. John gave James a hard look before explaining. “James has just been bringing me up to speed on current events in the wizarding world. He has some things that you need to hear.” James watched as Jason came into the room and sat down on the sofa next to John. He ran his hand tiredly across his face before beginning. “The Department of Mysteries has determined that Voldemort has returned.” “You mean Thomas was telling the truth? Then why is the Daily Prophet calling him crazy?” “Our esteemed Minister, Fudge, would rather hide his head in the sand than admit that Voldemort is back. He’s using his contacts at the Daily Prophet to run a smear campaign against your brother and Dumbledore. So far it seems to be working.” James stopped there which left Jason a little confused. If this was the news, then why were they arguing? None of it really affected him directly unless Voldemort decided to start attacking the muggle military. From what he read the man was brutal but not an idiot. John scowled when James stopped. “That’s not all that James has to share with us.” James gave in. “Do you remember when I mentioned a prophecy to you?” When Jason nodded, he continued. “Dumbledore thinks your brother is the one mentioned in the prophecy. However, we don’t agree.” “Who’s we?” Jason asked. John got up and walked into the kitchen while James began explaining again. “The Unspeakables. Look, um…if it isn’t your brother, there is only one other possibility.” It was with a sinking feeling that Jason asked “Who’s the other possibility?” John chose that moment to walk in with a beer and handed one to
James. “Tell him.” “You, you’re the only other one that Voldemort could have ‘marked’ before his body was destroyed. Ok, let’s take this from the beginning.” James went on to describe the prophecy and the method for Voldemort’s immortality, specifically the creation of his horcruxes. “That’s really fucked up.” John said succinctly. James swallowed half the beer before going on. “We think that the night of the attack Voldemort inadvertently made you one of his horcruxes.” Jason paled at the very thought that he might have part of Voldemort’s soul in him. “No whatever your uncle Jack did to help you that night destroyed Voldemort’s soul. There is no trace of it or any link to him in you at all.” Both Jason and John sagged back into the couch in relief. “How many does he have?” For the first time since he began his explanation, James smiled. “Including you, he had six. However, once we finished celebrating his downfall, we began searching for any trace of him using the same spell I used to find you. We never found any evidence of the man himself but we did find evidence of 5 objects infused with his signature, one of which was his familiar, a massive anaconda.” “So do you have all of these horcrux things?” Asked John. This wasn’t a battle he could fight for Jason but he would make damn sure that he had as many advantages as possible. “The snake is dead and one of the others was destroyed back in mid ’93. The remaining 3 are in our custody, we’re not sure what to do with them just yet.” James continued on explaining why they felt that Jason was more likely to be the one mentioned in the prophecy. Essentially it boiled down to the fact that Thomas appeared to be nothing more than an average wizard. He’d yet to show any signs of having any extraordinary power or talents that would set him apart. Jason on the other had while being above average in power had shown himself to be extremely capable in free form magic as they had taken to calling what he did. To help put both Jason and John at ease James told them that the
resources of the Department were searching for the best way to destroy Voldemort so that Jason would not be at risk. The downside was that his magic training was stepped up as well so he spent a large amount of his free time with James and the other agents. But, the training was more for protection from Voldemort’s men should Jason be found. Croaker and others felt that Voldemort simply had too much power and experience to be defeated in battle by a teenager, no matter how talented. During a tour of the Department of Mysteries one day in early October Jason saw something that made him think he was dreaming. They had been walking through the Death Chamber when he saw it, an ancient arch with a tattered curtain hanging from it. But it wasn’t the arch that took him by surprise; it was the writing on the arch. It was the same as the writing in the city that he saw virtually every night now. “What is that?” “That’s the Veil; we think it is a one way door into the land of the dead. The Ministry used to use it as a method of execution for criminals because anyone that passes through it dies and can never return.” Jason couldn’t take his eyes off the arch. He knew that what James said was only partially right. It wasn’t that it was wrong, but Jason knew that it did more. It was a like a TV, it could be tuned to different locations. The characters on the arch seemed to designate the different locations that it could be set to. But right now it was in its default position, which was set to nowhere. In its current setting, anything that passed through the arch would be destroyed. “Ummm dad?” Jason said distractedly. James stopped abruptly. Did Jason just call him dad? He’d always hoped Jason would feel comfortable enough with him one day to consider him a father but he never expected it to happen. “Yeah Jason.” He said his voice thick with emotion. Jason didn’t realize what he had called James so he asked his question. “If the Veil sends everything to the land of the dead, why not throw the horcruxes through. Voldemort’s soul wouldn’t be anchored here anymore then.” As much as he wanted to, he stopped himself from rolling his eyes. Some of the things that wizards came up with truly amazed him. “Huh?” James was still trying to process the fact that Jason had called him dad.
“What’s wrong with you?” “You called me dad.” Said James. Now it was Jason who looked flustered when he remembered what he’d said. “Oh, I guess…I don’t know it just slipped out. Do you mind?” James just shook his head emphatically. “God no.” Before Jason could pull away, James had grabbed him in a tight hug. “Umm, so what was your question again?” Jason laughed and repeated it. For his part, James looked gob smacked. It wasn’t something that they’d ever considered before and on the surface it appeared to be such a simple solution. With Jason’s idea in mind, the Unspeakables spent the next few months trying to determine if there was a downside to sending the horcruxes through the Veil. Given the nature of the work, it was mostly theoretical but in the end, everyone agreed that even if they weren’t destroyed when they passed into the Veil, they would no longer be on Earth so if Voldemort were to die, his soul would be tethered to the land of the dead which is where he should be anyway. By the end of Jason’s sophomore year and near the anniversary of Voldemort’s return, the Unspeakables eradicated the remaining fragments of Voldemort’s soul. Thus, the Dark Lord was stripped of his immortality without any loss of life. Despite the success with the horcruxes, Jason was still troubled. Since he had seen the Veil, his dreams had grown more urgent. It almost felt like the city was calling out to him and somehow it was connected to the Veil. Now he just needed to figure out what to do. August 14th, 1996Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry UK The summer following the Tri-Wizard Tournament, Albus called the Order of the Phoenix together again for the first time since Voldemort’s disappearance in 1981. It was also the first time since their divorce that James and Lily were in the same room. “My friends, I wish we could come together in better circumstances.” Albus began the meeting. “It is as I feared, Voldemort has returned.” James rolled his eyes when most of the other members flinched at the mere mention of the man’s name. There were times that James
wondered why he even bothered with this group, it was an effort for James to even pay attention, and Albus had a tendency to ramble even at the best of times and now was no exception. Though it took him close to an hour to get to the point, Albus finally said that for now people should be on the lookout for Death Eater activity but there was nothing else to be done. After the meeting broke up, Lily cornered James. “So you found that useless son of yours.” Taken aback by her snide tone, James was lost. He had no idea that Jason had tried to contact Lily. “What? I’m not sure what you talking about.” “Harry, unless you have some other son I’m not aware of.” “I don’t see why you would care, but I found him 4 years ago. God Lily you should see him, he is a great kid.” James stopped himself when saw that Lily didn’t care at all. “How did you know?” “He had the nerve to send me a letter. As if I would ever want to meet with him.” Her voice had sunk from snide into outright hostility. “I don’t know what lies you’ve told him, but keep him away from Thomas and I.” Even after all this time, Lily still hadn’t changed. How could he have been so wrong about her? As far as he was concerned the only good thing to come from his marriage had been Jason. Before the argument could escalate any further, Albus came over to speak with them. “James, Lily I was looking for you.” Albus motioned for the two to sit down. When they were both seated, he explained his suspicions. “I’m concerned about Thomas. After he escaped from Voldemort at the end of the tournament, I examined Thomas personally.” Lily leaned forward worriedly. “What is it Albus? Is there something wrong with Thomas?” While Lily showed a mother’s concern, James remained impassive. In truth, he cared little for his son. He had grown into a person that he simply couldn’t abide. “I fear that the ritual used to return Voldemort to his body has created a physical link between Thomas and Voldemort. I suspect that Voldemort can use that link to physically harm Thomas. Now you shouldn’t worry too much because it would also affect Voldemort as well but as his parents you need to be aware of the dangers.”
“Albus, can’t you break it?” James asked the more pertinent question. “What happens if Voldemort is killed?” “I hope that we can find some way to break the connection, which is why I included James. It is my thought that with the resources of the Department of Mysteries involved we should be able to find a way to sever the link. But if we don’t than Thomas may very well die along with Voldemort.” His eldest son may not be someone he was proud of but that didn’t mean that James was willing to let him die. He promised to speak to the head of the Department. Per Albus’ instructions, they did not relay any of this information to Thomas. The specter of Voldemort was hanging over Thomas when he entered Hogwarts for the beginning of his fifth year. Whereas in the past the students had been cold or distant from Thomas, this year with the smear campaign running in the Daily Prophet many of the students were openly hostile. Few if any believed his claims that Voldemort had returned. His credibility was not helped by the fact that virtually all of the returning students knew he’d shot Cedric in the back. Even Seamus and Parvati had distanced themselves from him, having grown tired of being isolated from the rest of the school. This year the Ministry stepped into the running of Hogwarts with the introduction of Dolores Umbridge as the DADA professor. In addition to tormenting Thomas throughout the year, she cemented Ministry control of Hogwarts resulting in the eventual sacking of Albus Dumbledore as Headmaster. In her new position as Headmistress, Dolores convinced the students that either Voldemort’s return was a stunt orchestrated by Thomas and Dumbledore or to remain silent if they truly believed that Voldemort had returned. By late March Lily had had enough. The Ministry campaign had started to spill over from Thomas onto her. She was becoming the laughing stock of the British wizarding world. On the last Saturday of March, Lily came to speak with Thomas during the Hogsmeade weekend. “Thomas this can’t go on.” Lily said after erecting some privacy wards around their table in the Three Broomsticks. “What can’t mom?”
“You’re the Boy-Who-Lived. The Ministry and the people should respect that. But after today that won’t be an issue.” Lily finished before standing and cancelling the wards. “But mom how are we going to do that?” Thomas wanted nothing more than to have the students like him again. He was tired of being an outcast. “Grab my hand.” She ordered holding out her hand. When Thomas grabbed on, she apparated both of them to the Ministry of Magic. Lily gave a brief thought to casting a glamour on Thomas to disguise his identity but decided against it. The wards would detect the glamour and raise an alert. The entry hall was virtually empty since it was a Saturday; the only floor likely to have any significant number of people was the DMLE. “Mom, where are we going? How is this going to help?” Thomas whined. “Stop whining! We’re going to the Hall of Prophecies.” She snapped impatiently while waiting for the elevator to arrive. Once they were both inside she pressed 9 for the Department of Mysteries. “What good will that do?” He was craning his neck trying to see everything that was in the department. There were strange devices and pictures of creatures dotted all over the main chamber. Thomas would’ve stopped to look more closely if Lily hadn’t been dragging him along. “There’s a prophecy that proclaims you as the Chosen One, the equal of Voldemort. Once we make it public, the Ministry and the wizarding world in general will give you the respect you deserve.” After walking a ways, Thomas and his mother found themselves standing in front of a heavy wooden door now. There was a banner over the door announcing it as the Hall of Prophecies. “Isn’t there some sort of protection on them? I remember Flitwick mentioning the charm in one of our classes this year.” They were inside now. Lily was scanning the many shelves which were lined with opaque glass spheres that were labeled with various initials to designate the prophecy and the parties involved. “Yes, yes if you aren’t a part of the prophecy, you’ll be driven insane. But since you are the Boy-Who-Lived you don’t have to worry about anything.” “Are you sure? I mean what if it’s someone else.” Thomas asked nervously. He was having second thoughts about this now; he didn’t
want to go insane. “Nonsense, of course it’s you. Ahh, here it is.” Lily pointed to sphere that was clearly labeled SPT to APWBD. Beneath that there were more letters DLV, BWL – JS. Trusting his mother, Thomas reached up and grabbed the prophecy. Chapter 3Downfall of Pride March 30th, 1996Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry UK Thomas stopped just before he grabbed the sphere. “Mom, what are these initials?” He wondered why the initials were JS and not TP. Lily snapped impatiently. “Thomas just grab the prophecy and all this will be over.” She wanted to get this done quickly before someone came along and tried to stop them. “But…” “Now Thomas!” Swallowing nervously, Thomas closed his eyes and grabbed the fragile glass sphere. At first Thomas didn’t realize what was happening. Colors and sounds began flashing through his mind. His senses were overwhelmed by the images that were clamoring for his attention. He struggled to bring one image to the front of everything to concentrate on it and shut everything else out. As soon as it began to come into focus, it would flash away replaced once more by the unending stream assaulting him. To Lily, Thomas looked ok for a moment. Then his outstretched arm began to sag and he made no further movements. A cold pit grew in her stomach and she grasped his shoulder to spin him around. Once her mind processed what she was witnessing, Lily screamed for help. She knew she’d just made the worst mistake of her life. Thomas was facing her with his arm still outstretched but his face said it all. His mouth was hanging open slightly with a thin line of drool just beginning to form. While the lack of expression was frightening enough, it was his eyes that terrified her. They were empty; his eyes weren’t looking out onto the world. His eyes weren’t looking out onto anything. A few minutes passed before her screams attracted the attention of one of the few Unspeakables that was in the office that weekend. The man came running into the room to see who was screaming bloody murder. He was surprised to find that the screams were
coming from the Hall of Prophecies. The man skidded to a halt at the entrance to the Hall when he saw two people; one was an attractive red head that he recognized from the papers. The second was none-other than the Boy-Who-Lived, Thomas Potter. It didn’t take him long to figure out what had happened. For some fool reason Lily Potter had convinced her son to grab a prophecy that he wasn’t associated with. The ancient charms that were used to protect the prophecies had obviously struck him down. “I’m sorry ma’am; we’re going to need to take your son to St. Mungo’s. They will be able to make sure he is well cared for.” He told Lily after spending a brief moment examining Thomas. “What do you mean well cared for? There must be some mistake! Thomas is the Boy-Who-Lived, he is the Chosen One! Someone must have tampered with that prophecy.” She accused the man desperately. The Unspeakable raised the alarm for medical aid before he turned back to Lily. “There is no way to tamper with those prophecies ma’am. Even Voldemort would leave them alone if he wasn’t one of the affected parties.” “Can’t you reverse it? What will everyone say?” Lily was worried about Thomas of course but she was also considering how this was going to affect her socially. It was going to be a disaster. Her only hope would be if she could somehow manage to keep it from the Daily Prophet but the likelihood of that was extremely low given that Thomas would be in St. Mungo’s. “There’s nothing that we can do.” The man said sympathetically. “What were you doing here on a Saturday anyway?” Lily stammered, unprepared for the question. She couldn’t let the man think that she was at fault; it would only worsen things for her. “It…it was Thomas. He was hoping that the prophecy would unite the wizarding world. I…I tried to stop him, to warn him but he wouldn’t listen to me.” By the end, Lily had broken down into tears. Surprisingly the tears were real but they were for her situation, not her son’s. From what he had read in the Daily Prophet, the Boy-Who-Lived wasn’t smart enough or motivated enough to come up with this plan. No he’d put his money on Lily Potter as the mastermind behind this. Soon enough help arrived and after assessing Thomas’ condition, they had him brought to St. Mungo’s. At St. Mungo’s the situation
degenerated rapidly. Any hope that Lily had of keeping Thomas’ condition a secret went out the door as soon as a nurse recognized him. It seemed that despite the smear campaign, people still felt more comfortable knowing that their savior would be around when he was needed. But if he was insane, than now they would be stuck dealing with their own messes. Lily spent the rest of the day at St. Mungo’s playing the role of worried mother. She was using that time to try and keep things from spiraling further out of her control. The next day while eating breakfast Lily got physically ill when she read the headline of the Daily Prophet. There, splashed across the front page ‘Thomas Potter, supposed Boy-Who-Lived, is a fraud!’ She would never live this down. At Hogwarts later that same day, Albus was pacing furiously back and forth in his office. Little sparks of magic were flaring around him almost as a physical expression of his anger. He needed to calm down before leaving for the Order of the Phoenix meeting scheduled to start soon. All of his work and plans were useless now. That vain and foolish woman had cost the wizarding world their savior. Now he would have to convince James that it was in his best interests to have Harry brought to Hogwarts so that he could be trained. Given their arguments in the past regarding Harry, he rather doubted that James would want Harry to die facing Voldemort. Voldemort, now he was an even bigger threat than before. Hopefully, Voldemort would hold off long enough for Harry to learn what he needed to in order to win or at a minimum until Albus was able to find his horcruxes and destroy them. Without them, Voldemort would be mortal and less likely to launch any risky attacks. By the time Albus arrived in the Room of Requirement, he had calmed down enough that he wouldn’t be scaring any of his followers. Despite that, he wasn’t up to dealing with people just yet so he quickly called the meeting to order. He began on their only real piece of business to discuss, the fate of Thomas Potter. When Albus confirmed that Thomas Potter was in the long term spell damage ward of St. Mungo’s, the wails of some of the Order members could be heard throughout the castle. Now Albus was not so foolish as to have disclosed the contents of the prophecy to everyone, but it had been assumed by most if not all of the British wizarding world that Thomas would be the one to save them from Voldemort. It took some doing but Albus was finally able to restore some semblance of order to the meeting. When everyone was quiet once
again, Albus told them that if the prophecy did not refer to Thomas than their savior was still out there, waiting to be found. The turnaround in attitudes and demeanors could not have been more drastic. Wizards and witches that had been on the verge of giving up mere moments ago were now chomping at the bit to leave and begin searching for someone to save them from Voldemort. It never occurred to any of them that perhaps they could simply stand up to Voldemort rather than hide behind a child. James and Lily stayed behind to discuss Thomas’ condition with Albus once the meeting was concluded. The door closed leaving the three alone in the Room of Requirements. Seeing that they were alone, James rounded on Lily and practically screamed at her “I can’t believe you! What on Earth possessed you to do something so stupid?!” “You saw the papers; they were trying to make Thomas sound crazy. I couldn’t let them do that to him.” Lily screamed right back at him. “And the fact that you were becoming the laughingstock of the social scene had absolutely nothing to do with it?” James asked sarcastically. Lily’s flush was enough of an answer for both James and Albus. For the first time since Voldemort attacked the Potters, Albus found himself agreeing with James. “He’s right you stupid, vain woman. You’ve just consigned Thomas to a life of madness. What would you’ve done if Thomas had been the one mentioned in the prophecy? Would you’ve let everyone hear it so that Voldemort could know exactly what he was facing?” Lily didn’t flush this time but she took long enough answering that again both men knew that Albus had predicted her actions perfectly. “Well, I suppose I should be happy it isn’t Thomas then because you could’ve cost us everything with that stupid stunt!” Albus’ tone had changed from angry to icy. “As pleasant as this conversation is though, it is not why I stayed behind to speak with you two.” James swallowed his anger because he had a sinking suspicion about the intended topic. “What do you want to discuss?” Oh how Albus wished that he could dose James with something to make him more pliable, but chances are it would only backfire on him. “I think you know James. Lily told me about the letter she received.”
“You can’t seriously expect me to believe that the squib bastard is the Chosen One?” Lily screeched. There was no way that she would allow James the satisfaction of seeing his precious Harry paraded in front of the wizarding world. “Lily, shut the fuck up right now! I am sick and tired of your bullshit! If it wasn’t for you Thomas would be fine and healthy! Instead he’s stuck in St. Mungo’s possibly for the rest of his life. And what was it all for? All because you couldn’t stand not being on the front page anymore, all because you couldn’t stand having the spotlight on someone else. Well you better get fucking used to it because now that the truth is out people are going to see you for what you, a selfish, ignorant bitch who’s only claim to fame was her son.” “You…you can’t talk to me like that, I’m the mother of…” Her voice trailed off as the implications truly began to sink in. Albus didn’t even glance at Lily. She was useless to him now; it was clear from her behavior that she had not been in contact with Harry since she received the initial letter. “James, I fear I made a grave mistake all those years ago. Now, after Lily’s calamitous actions, I can only assume that Harry must be the Chosen One.” James nodded in agreement. There was no sense in arguing the matter and it may make Albus less suspicious of him. Relief, that’s what he felt when James agreed with him so quickly. Perhaps this wouldn’t be as difficult as he feared. “Then I’m sure you will agree that Harry should come to Hogwarts so he can be trained properly. He must be prepared to face Voldemort.” “There’s a big problem with that Albus, Harry doesn’t want to come to Hogwarts.” Said James matter of factly. Lily snorted “See he’s a squib, he knows he doesn’t belong.” Both Albus and James glared at Lily, forcing her to shut up and back down. “As his parent, I believe that it is your decision to make not his.” “I may be his biological father, but Harry has another guardian from the family that adopted him and I doubt they would force him to come here.” Explained James “But why wouldn’t he want to come to Hogwarts? It is the greatest magical institute in the world.” The confusion that Albus felt was evident in his voice and on his face.
Now James laughed as he remembered how John had explained it to him. “Apparently he took one look at Diagon Alley and decided he would rather stay with his friends. All he will say is that he wasn’t impressed.” Albus frowned, pulled a chocolate candy from within his robes and popped it into his mouth. “I’m sure I can have the adoption overturned, clearly his family is keeping him from learning more about the magical world and mastering his birthright.” “No Albus, I think you misunderstand. His family isn’t keeping him from the magical world; he just didn’t want to leave the muggle world. In regards to mastering his birthright, I’ve been training him for the last five years. And if you don’t think that’s good enough, he’s been training with other agents from the Department of Mysteries as well to make sure he would have a well rounded education.” That news brought Albus up short and wiped the smirk right off of Lily’s face. Both were thinking that the boy must be powerful and talented if the Unspeakables were willing to train him. One the one hand, he wouldn’t have a protégé to guide the wizarding world when he was gone, but on the other hand the boy surely must have a better chance of defeating Voldemort than Thomas. Still perhaps he could persuade the boy to his way of thinking but in order to do so he would still need to have him in Hogwarts. James held up his hand to stop whatever it was that Albus was about to say. “I’ll speak with Harry and his family, but ultimately it is their decision.” Glancing at Lily scornfully James asked a question “Albus is it possible that Thomas’ condition will affect Voldemort as well? Before you speculated that the link would work both ways.” It was something Albus hadn’t considered. “I’ve sent Severus to see how Voldemort reacted to the news, hopefully he will return soon with something positive to report. In truth it is not something I’d considered but it is quite possible that Voldemort will be incapacitated for as long as Thomas is. Unfortunately, we still need to determine his method for achieving immortality before we could take action.” Albus wasn’t willing to share his knowledge of the horcruxes just yet. It’s possible that the knowledge could be used as leverage to bring Harry to Hogwarts. “And break his link to Thomas.” James added. It was bad enough that his son was now insane but as things stood now they would be killing him when they eliminated Voldemort. Like he was doing with the subject of Harry, James felt it best to leave Albus in the dark
regarding certain details such as the horcruxes. There was no telling the lengths the man would go to in order to secure them or end the threat of Voldemort. James wouldn’t put it past him to sacrifice Thomas in order to weaken or kill Voldemort if he knew that the horcruxes were gone. “Of course, of course, I would never do anything to harm Thomas. Please stress the importance of coming here when you speak with Harry. I’m sure there is still much we could teach him.” Said Albus. “I’ll let you know what he says.” On his way out, James glared at Lily a final time. With James gone Lily turn to Albus “Albus you can’t let Harry steal Thomas’ spotlight. I don’t care what James says the boy is worthless. Surely you can do something to remove the curse.” Harry would never accept her back, not after the letter she had sent in reply. Perhaps she shouldn’t have burned her bridges with him, but really what was he thinking by contacting her. “My patience for you has long run out Lily. As a former Head Girl I would’ve thought you to be bright enough to understand that Thomas was the one stealing Harry’s spotlight. If he had truly been the Boy-Who-Lived than the prophecy wouldn’t have driven him mad. No, Harry did something that night to protect all of you. Instead of whining, you should be trying to build a relationship with your other son.” Lily refused to acknowledge the truth of his words. “No, he isn’t my son. I refuse to have anything to do with him!” “Then there is nothing I can do for you. I believe the muggles have a saying ‘Be careful who you step on on your way up because you’ll see them on the way down.’ I think you’ve stepped on a great many people Lily.” With that, Albus left in a swirl of robes leaving Lily to contemplate her rather bleak future. James briefly considered stopping to speak with Jason and John that evening but ultimately decided that it was too late. Since the following day was a Monday, James waited until dinner before heading over. “John why didn’t you say anything? Why did they promote you so quickly?” Jason asked, not even looking up from his dinner. John leaned back in his chair and took a long swallow of beer before answering. “It’s a promotion in name only. Sure I saved those men but my superiors see is that I violated orders to do so.”
Jason clenched his fork so tightly that his knuckles started to turn white. It wasn’t fair; he knew his brother wouldn’t have put people at risk. “But that’s not fair! You said they would’ve died if you didn’t go back.” “Hey, I wouldn’t have gotten the promotion of if the men weren’t related to some VIPs. See that’s part of the problem, I probably would’ve gotten off with a slap on the wrist but their relatives are making a stink so they were forced to promote me.” The only thing that his superiors could do was to go along with the promotion. He knew that he would be getting every shit assignment that came along from now on too. “That sucks John.” James chose that moment to walk in. When Jason had started to live with him periodically, James had been given a key to their place as well. “I don’t think I’m going to like whatever it is you have to say.” John said blandly before finishing his beer. “Am I going to need another of these?” He asked holding up the empty bottle. James shook his head and plopped himself down into the open chair at the table. Jason didn’t miss the greedy look in James’ eyes when he looked at the steak on his plate. “No way, you may be my dad but that doesn’t mean you get to eat my steak.” To emphasize his point, he put one of his arms in front of the plate protecting it from James. John quickly did the same thing after getting another beer. “I’m with him.” Grumbling, James stood again and started to root through their cabinets looking for something to eat. Finally, he ended up grabbing an apple from the counter and sat back down. After staring at the apple balefully for a moment he described the events of the Order meeting and Albus’ desire for Jason to attend Hogwarts. “Wow, I knew Lily was a bitch when she sent me that reply to my letter. I never knew she would do something that stupid though.” Enough time had passed since their parents’ deaths that John could bring them up now without feeling overwhelming grief. “Could you imagine what mom would do if she heard of anyone putting their child at risk like that?” Their mom’s reaction could almost be seen in the way that John brutally hacked into his steak. She would have ripped them apart. “But it definitely sounds like you’re better off
with her out of your life.” “What did you see in her?” Asked Jason. James just shrugged. “She’s not the woman I married. Once she heard the prophecy, she became obsessed with what it would mean for her to be the mother of the Chosen One.” John wasn’t really in the mood to talk more about Lily Potter. He was far more concerned what this latest development meant for his brother. “So what’s the plan? Because I have no intention of letting Jason attend that school. As far as I can see you and the other agents had done just fine training him.” Jason looked at John angrily for a second, upset that he didn’t get a say. “I agree; Jason would learn nothing at Hogwarts. We’ve intentionally kept him away from the traditional teaching methods to see how his magic would develop. Croaker is already putting together plans to begin training other children using the same methods.” “But won’t he come looking for me?” “No, he may come looking for Harry Potter but Dumbledore doesn’t know who Jason Sheppard is. Our hope is that we can take care of Voldemort before Dumbledore makes a move.” Explained James. He took another bite from his apple before he added. “I haven’t told Dumbledore that we’ve destroyed all of Voldemort’s horcruxes yet either. I don’t trust him not to try something with Thomas in the hopes of killing Voldemort.” Jason cut in. “What about Voldemort? I don’t really have to kill him do I?” Both James and John could tell by his body language that the potential answer to the second question had been troubling Jason for a while. John wasn’t happy about that part either. 16 was too young for his brother to kill someone even if that someone was a mass murderer. James shrugged uncomfortably; he didn’t want Jason to be the one to kill Voldemort either. “I don’t know. Prophecies are never straight forward. You might have fulfilled you part when you gave us the idea to destroy his horcruxes.” Unable to look Jason in the eyes anymore he looked down at the table. He felt guilty about what he was going to say next. “We received intelligence this morning that Voldemort is in the same condition that Thomas is. Apparently Albus was right about one thing, whatever weird link Voldemort
inadvertently created between them works both ways.” That news perked both Jason and John up, so much so that John asked. “If that’s the case, why not just go in with a strike force and kill him while he’s defenseless?” “A lot of people want to do just that, but if we do that Thomas is going to die too. We’re hoping that by capturing Voldemort, we can come up with some way of breaking the bond first.” “Still that’s good news; we just need to keep Jason off of Dumbledore’s radar then.” Said john enthusiastically around another bite of steak. Jason didn’t say anything. He was relieved that he wouldn’t have to attack Voldemort but he felt bad for his twin. “Is there anything you can do for Thomas? I can’t help but feel bad for him. I might have turned out like that if Dumbledore hadn’t gotten it wrong when we were babies.” “There is a team looking into that as well but the spell used to protect the prophecies is ancient and not much is known about it.” It was hard for James not to feel relieved that this had happened to Thomas and not Jason. If only he’d tried harder than maybe Thomas would’ve turned out different, not that Jason was perfect but he didn’t walk around acting like everything should be handed to him on a platter. It was true that Jason could come off as being a bit full of himself at times but at least it was for his accomplishments. He’d worked hard to get where he was in school, baseball, and his magic. Jason seemed satisfied with that answer. James stayed for a while after that, just catching up on the latest events in the Sheppard family. It was nice to be able to watch TV with them and simply forget about the tensions and intrigues of the wizarding world. He loved magic he truly did and it was amazing what could be done with it, but at times it was witches and wizards that James didn’t like. He’d never realized until he started living in the muggle world how insular and backward British magical society had become compared to some of the accomplishments of the muggles. April 16th, 1996Little Hangleton, UK Rather than move in and take Voldemort immediately, the Unspeakables decided it would be best to wait for a short time. The additional time was necessary for three reasons. First, it gave the Unspeakables more time to plan. The goal was to not just make off
with Voldemort but to leave no indications of who was behind the attack. Their lives would be much simpler if they didn’t have to contend with Death Eaters attacking the Ministry in a misguided attempt to get their leader back. The second reason was to assess whether Voldemort’s condition was temporary or more permanent. According to their spy, Voldemort’s condition had remained essentially unchanged over the course of the two weeks. There were occasional periods when Voldemort appeared to be semi aware of his surroundings but his incoherent mumblings put even those periods in question. The final reason was to give them time to prepare a room with as many wards on it as possible. It would be disastrous if Voldemort were to recover while in their custody. More than just the loss of life that would no doubt occur; he would have access to some incredibly powerful magical artifacts. Whether it was a result of their planning, luck, or a combination of the two, the raid on Voldemort’s family home in Little Hangleton went off without a hitch. There were only a handful of Death Eaters in attendance at the time. In a move that would take many witches and wizards by surprise had they known, the Unspeakable agents involved were not there to capture but to kill. The Death Eaters had been unprepared for the brutal assault. The outer walls were pulverized in the initial salvo. Gaping holes further eroded the already weakening structural integrity of the home. With a groan, the second floor gave way in places and crashed to the ground. Dust and smoke billowed out. Coughing and blinking rapidly to clear the dust and smoke away, the Death Eaters staggered out onto the grounds. The three that emerged first were cut down by a hail of cutting curses. The remaining two Death Eaters watched their comrades’ fall and responded with a pair of killing curses. Blinded as they were by the dust and smoke, their spells were nowhere near any of the agents. Another hail of curses ended the Death Eater threat. A few minutes passed before the agents approached the home. When no one else emerged, the agents entered the home, taking care not to further damage the walls. They didn’t want to be caught in a structural collapse. Once inside the team of agents, 15 men in total broke into three groups of five. Their goal was not just to kidnap Voldemort but to
raid any potion materials, artifacts, or magical tomes that were in the home. None of them believed that the Death Eaters would simply disappear so it was best to make it as difficult for them to continue their operations as possible. Close to an hour passed before the last team left having gathered numerous books and artifacts from a secret room in the basement. It was also home to some of the grisliest reminders of just why Voldemort needed to be stopped permanently. The red stained walls and scattered bones were a good indication of just what went on in the room and none of the men were sorry to see it destroyed. April 17th, 1996Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry, UK Things just seemed to be getting worse. At first the news from Severus Snape, his resident potions professor and spy had been more than enough to give Albus hope that Voldemort’s second rise would be short lived. At least Lily’s actions hadn’t signaled a wave of terror with Voldemort attacking brazenly. No, she’d managed to buy them time. It was unfortunate that the cost had been Thomas’ sanity but in the grand scheme of things, it was a small price to pay. The situation changed again yesterday evening when Severus brought grave news. It seemed that a new dark lord was taking advantage of Voldemort’s weakness. The Riddle Home that had served as the headquarters for the Death Eaters had been virtually destroyed and there was no sign of Voldemort, only the mangled bodies of five minor Death Eaters. Now Albus prayed that whoever it was that had spirited Voldemort away wouldn’t kill him before Albus had puzzled out where he’d hidden his horcruxes. As a spirit, he might be free from the insanity that had struck down his physical body. To say the Order of the Phoenix was confused when Albus gave them their new instructions would be an understatement. Their standing orders regarding Death Eaters remained but now Albus designated some specific members to begin searching the less reputable areas of the wizarding world to see if they could find Voldemort or word of this new Dark Lord. James in particular had to fight to keep from laughing when Albus presented his latest theory. The man was so single minded. It didn’t seem to occur to him that the attack on Voldemort could’ve come from the Ministry or a light-minded group that wasn’t content to stand on the sidelines the way the Order frequently did. Thankfully the man didn’t try to stick him on one of the teams searching for
this new threat to their world. After the end of the meeting, Lily tried to corner James. It had only been a couple of weeks since she’d destroyed her meal ticket but things were already starting to get desperate for her. None of her friends would answer her letters or respond to her floo calls. Everywhere she went people whispered behind her back or openly called her names. Restaurants she had frequented for years refused to serve her. It seemed like everyone was turning their back on her. James saw Lily coming from a mile away and didn’t bother to hide his smirk at her slightly disheveled appearance. It was a far cry from her normally immaculate attire. Unfortunately, in avoiding Lily, he ran smack into Dumbledore. What followed was a brief conversation that involved James lying through his teeth. Albus wanted to know when Harry would be coming to Hogwarts. Apparently, Albus felt that Harry wouldn’t pass up the opportunity this time. Sadly, he was disappointed. Hoping to stall Dumbledore a little James told him that Harry wanted to finish out his school year but that he would consider starting at Hogwarts next year. Luckily this seemed to appease Dumbledore enough that he wouldn’t be calling for an immediate man-hunt to drag Harry in. August 17th, 1996Department of Mysteries, UK The Unspeakables had been studying the bond that existed between Thomas and Voldemort for three months. In that time, the attacks by Death Eaters had increased in frequency but they seemed to lack organization. The number of deaths was small compared to those during Voldemort’s first rise. Many of the attacks were ended soon after they’d begun by the timely arrival of Aurors. People were beginning to lose their fear of the Death Eaters and gain confidence in the ability of the Aurors to protect them. Ironically, it was the Ministry’s continued refusal to acknowledge the return of Voldemort that hurt the Death Eaters the most. In the past, many would have been able to bribe their way clear of any charges claiming the Imperius curse but without Voldemort and the increased scrutiny from the Daily Prophet those captured were actually given fair trials. Not all of those arrested were convicted because even if they weren’t able to bribe those in charge, people like Lucius Malfoy were still influential enough to call in favors in order to escape punishment. While the Ministry refused to acknowledge Voldemort’s return, it was pretty much accepted by most witches and wizards that he was back. There was simply no other reason for the Death Eaters to begin their attacks again. But the frequent arrests and public trials
did a lot to keep public panic at bay. There just wasn’t the pervasive fear and terror that had gripped their world and only the Unspeakables and Death eaters knew the reason. Now months since Voldemort’s capture, James found himself standing in front of Croaker’s office afraid to go in. Even though he hadn’t been personally involved in the research, he knew that they hadn’t found anything yet. In many respects, he’d lost his son years ago but this was different. Before there’d always been the chance that Thomas would change but this would be permanent. There was no coming back from death, not for Thomas. Gathering his courage, James knocked on the door and entered when he heard Croaker’s voice. “You wanted to see me sir?” James asked Croaker was sitting behind his desk which was covered with reports and assorted knick-knacks. “Yes James, please take a seat.” He motioned absently to the chairs positioned in front of his desk. Tired eyes that had seen far too much in their lifetime studied James for a moment. Croaker absently paged through another report before broaching the reason for James’ presence. “James, it’s been three months now and we’ve found nothing to give us any indication that the bond between Thomas and Voldemort can be broken by anything short of death.” Railing against his boss or the world wouldn’t help right now nor would arguing about the fairness of it all. No, if James let himself go down those paths, he would breakdown. So instead he clamped his emotions down as tightly as he could. “I know sir; I appreciate the effort that the team has put into it. If I may ask, what will you do now?” “As much as I would like to give the team all the time it needs, Voldemort is showing some signs of throwing off the curse. The team thinks it is a combination of his mind being incredibly strong and actually being a party to the prophecy. That being said though, I’m giving the team some additional time.” “What? Why?” Asked James. “I’ve asked them to look into methods of bringing Thomas back after Voldemort is dead.” Here Croaker stood and moved over to a cabinet. Pulling out a bottle of fire whiskey, he poured to glasses and handed one to James. “You may or may not be aware but muggles have had some success with reviving people a short time after their heart has stopped. The team is looking to see if this
method would be effective. You must keep in mind though that this isn’t a sure thing James, you need to understand that.” James downed the drink in one swallow and relished the warm sensation that spread over him. “But there would be a chance?” It felt a little strange fighting for his estranged son, but he couldn’t help but hope that somehow this would be a second chance for Thomas. A chance for him to live a normal life. “Yes, it’s a long shot but it could work.” “James if Voldemort begins to show more signs of recovery…” “I understand we can’t put the wizarding world at risk just for my son, as much as it pains me to say it. How are we going to dispose of Voldemort?” “The same way we did with the horcruxes, we’re going to use the Veil. It is permanent so there will be no chance of someone using Voldemort’s remains in some sort of ritual. I do have a request though.” “Anything.” Said James immediately. Croaker noticed the change in James’ demeanor. The man was sitting straighter. It didn’t look like he was weighed down by the problems of the world. The mere possibility of a solution for his son’s problem was enough change his outlook. “I would like Jason to be there when we end Voldemort’s life, just in case the prophecy is true.” James wasn’t happy about the request but he couldn’t deny the logic of it either. “You know I’m not the one who can make that decision? If John does agree to it, chances are he’s going to demand to be there as well.” “I suspected as much. Still, when you discuss this with them make sure they realize that Jason won’t be doing anything. He’ll simply be an observer. I have no intention of turning that boy into a killer.” James agreed to discuss it with John and Jason. Before he left his boss’ office he brought up another matter. “What do we do about Dumbledore? He’s been pressuring me to bring Jason to Hogwarts and both John and Jason have made it clear that they have no intention of going.” Croaker steepled his hands in front of his mouth. “Well, I think it is time for me to speak with our dear Headmaster. I don’t think it would be in Jason’s best interests to change his training regime
now. Plus, he’s somewhere in his seventh year now, he’d just be bored at Hogwarts.” “You know the old goat’s going to want to know why we are training him. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t go into Jason’s talents.” Croaker looked insulted. “I’ll just tell him we are trying out new methods of teaching magical children. If they’re successful it could revolutionize the way magic is taught. He has no need to know any of the specifics of Jason’s strength.” Suddenly Croaker laughed. “Could you imagine Dumbledore’s reaction to some of Jason’s more unique attacks? Oh, I would give good money to see it someday.” James smiled ruefully, having been the victim of some of those attacks. “Who would’ve thought that muggle cartoons and comic books would be such an effective teaching aid?” “Apparently no one in the wizarding world. It will be interesting to see if Thatcher’s and Harris’ sons are as successful. They’re both showing signs of accidental magic so we’ve started giving them the same sort of training that Jason received to help him learn some basic control.” It was an exciting time to be part of the department that’s for sure. Once Voldemort’s shadow was lifted, James fully intended to join the education teams. He was one of the most experienced Unspeakables having gone through it step by step with Jason. It would be fascinating to try and apply those lessons to new students. That same night, James spoke with John and Jason. Neither was particularly thrilled with the idea of being there when Voldemort was tossed through the Veil. But the discussion went pretty much as James had expected. John would only agree to it if he was there as well, he didn’t want Jason dealing with something like that without him. Jason was more or less ok with it since he wasn’t the one who would be killing the man and he wouldn’t be alone. November 10th, 1996McMurdo, Antarctica John didn’t know what to do. Since his promotion to Major, he’d gotten shit job after shit job just like he’d expected. The latest had been to serve as a glorified taxi driver. General Jack O’Neill had been touring the Lakenheath airbase when a call came in for him. For some reason, he was desperately needed down at McMurdo in Antarctica. So who better to fly the general down there than the major hated by his commanding officers? The flight down had been uneventful until they switched from the
transport to a helicopter. It seems that there was some international research station that was requesting the General’s presence. During the flight to the research station, their helicopter was attacked by some golden glowing missile thing that John had never seen before. He’d put the copter through maneuvers that it sure as hell wasn’t designed for but the damned missile kept swerving and zeroing back onto them every time he lost it. In the end, he’d been forced to land and shut the engine down just before he leapt out of the copter. Then, as if his day wasn’t strange enough, it turned out that the missile was actually something called a drone. They were part of a defense system that have been built millions of years ago by race called the Ancients. To his surprise and discomfort, he was found to have a rare gene that allowed him to use the Ancients’ technology and because that didn’t make him special enough already, he was able to do things that none of the other scientists had been able to. Operating some of the technology had been almost instinctual for him. Before he left to take General O’Neill back to McMurdo he was approached by the leader of the science team, Elizabeth Weir. Apparently, they had found the location of the lost city of Atlantis, in truth it was a city built by the Ancients and flown to the Pegasus galaxy. Well because of the gene, she wanted him to join the expedition and seemed truly surprised when he didn’t give her a ‘yes’ right away. So here he was with a chance to explore an entirely different galaxy and all it would mean is leaving his brother behind. By the look on the General’s face, he wasn’t too happy that John hadn’t jumped at the opportunity. They talked for a few minutes; O’Neill was nothing if not succinct. In short, O’Neill felt that John would be making the biggest mistake of his life if he didn’t join up with the expedition. “With all due respect sir, I have to think about my brother too.” John said. “Hey I’m all about family but tell me this. How are you gonna feel if something happens to him that you could’ve stopped? You don’t strike me as the kind of guy to sit on the sidelines. With the threats out there, can you really sit this one out?” It was true. After Torchwood’s screw-up with the Cybermen, John didn’t know if he could just stand by and do nothing. More importantly, he didn’t think Jason would want him to. Still he’d like to talk it over with his brother first because it would mean an
extended period of time where he would be out of reach, extremely out of reach. “Could I tell my brother what I’d be doing?” He hoped that since his brother already had security clearance, he would be allowed. For the first time, he was really happy that Jack insisted on keeping it active even though Jason’s visits to Torchwood had virtually stopped. O’Neill waited until they finished touching down to answer. He’d grown tired of talking over the roar of the rotor blades. “It would take too long to go through clearance. If you do this he’ll have to remain in the dark like everyone else’s family.” John brightened and he smiled his lopsided grin. “Oh if that’s all, Jason already has Top Secret clearance and SCI clearance as well. But if his current home in the UK is a problem he has Top Secret clearance in the UK too, can’t remember if he went through with DV or not though.” Jack O’Neill thought that there was very little that could surprise him, not after going through the Stargate to other planets and fighting alien enemies for seven years. But this brought him up short. “How old is your brother?” “He’s 16, turns 17 in July.” He was having fun now watching the General try and figure out why his brother would have such high clearance. He would be curious to see if O’Neill had the necessary security clearance to hear the reasons. “Who was crazy enough to give a 16 year Top Secret clearance and why on Earth would he need it?” O’Neill groused. “Actually sir he’s had that level since he was 8 or 9, can’t really remember. Before I answer your second question do you have SCI clearance and if so what classification?” It was really becoming hard to keep in his laughter now. The expression on the General’s face was priceless. If they weren’t in the Antarctic the man probably would’ve stopped dead in his tracks. “I have SCI SI clearance. So what is your brother a genius or something?” John couldn’t help it, he laughed. “No he’s not a genius but you don’t have the right classification for me to tell you what’s going on. So can I tell him about the expedition?” “Wait, what? I’m a freakin’ General, how can I not have clearance?” O’Neill rounded on him and looked at John challengingly. “You know
I am going to find out what’s going on with your brother. I promise you that.” “I believe you sir, I just can’t tell you right now. But can I tell him?” Repeated John. Still grumbling, O’Neill gave in. It was hard to argue against when the kid had more clearance then he did. “Oh for crying out loud! Fine but I want your answer by the end of the week.” John’s conversation with Jason had been surprisingly similar to the one with General O’Neill. Once Jason got over the shock that not only was Atlantis real, but it was in another galaxy they got down to meat of things. “This isn’t another Torchwood is it?” Asked Jason. It was easy to see the parallels between the Stargate program and Torchwood. Both were concerned with alien threats, both were searching for technology; both were probably in over their heads. John leaned forward attentively. He’d suspected that Jason had a problem with Torchwood for a long time but he’d never been able to get the answer from his brother. “The expedition? I’m not sure what you’re asking.” He said truthfully. Jason crossed his arms defensively. He’d never said anything to John because it always felt like he was attacking their dad a little but he didn’t really see any other option this time. “Promise me that whatever happens you’re not just going to be studying alien technology.” “Jason?” “Look it’s just that dad died because all Torchwood does is study aliens and their technology. They’ve never done anything to stop them. That’s not what this is about is it? It’s not just another excuse to study some hi-tech gear and never do anything?” Finally, John thought. Now he could see what had been bothering his brother about Torchwood ever since the attack. “Hey, you think they would be sending a big military contingent if it was just to study some alien gadgets?” Jason admitted to himself that if the military was involved there was probably some ass kicking too. “This sucks!” Jason said simply. “I don’t want you to go but how could you pass the opportunity? I mean if I could go with then I’d have no problems.” Jason looked so hopeful that John laughed. “Sorry, I don’t think
they plan on bringing high school teachers along with the expedition. So you’re ok with this?” “Yeah, I guess. It does suck though. How am I supposed to kick your ass in baseball if you’re in another galaxy?” Before John could protest Jason asked “When will you leave?” What Jason didn’t say was that he didn’t want John to go because if John died out there in the Pegasus galaxy Jason would probably never know. Shrugging his shoulders John said truthfully “I don’t know. I’ll probably be stationed in Colorado Springs until we leave but for something this big it will probably be a couple of months.” December 10th, 1996Department of Mysteries, UK James and Jason were in the Death Chamber along with most of the Unspeakables. Today was the day that Voldemort was scheduled to be sent through the Veil. John would’ve been there but he had been stationed in Colorado Springs pending the departure of the expedition. Even knowing James for more than 5 years now didn’t stop John from threatening him before leaving. He’d promised to make James’ life hell if anything happened to Jason. The threat itself had been vivid enough to conjure images of bombers soaring over Diagon Alley dropping their payloads while tanks rolled up the streets with guns and turrets firing away. After Lily’s horrible actions, James had petitioned for custody of Thomas. With Thomas no longer the chosen one, the courts had spent little time debating the issue. Lily’s actions were proof enough of her poor judgment. So there was little fanfare or public awareness when the court awarded custody to James. Not long after getting custody, James had Thomas transferred from St. Mungo’s to a muggle hospital in London. A number of squib doctors worked at the hospital and were willing to cooperate with the Unspeakables regarding Thomas’ care. The muggle hospital was necessary if Thomas was to have any chance of surviving. The equipment necessary to revive him wouldn’t function in a magical environment. Plus, the muggle doctors would have the best chance of reviving Thomas if the defibrillator didn’t work. No matter the training, the Unspeakables simply wouldn’t know what to do or try if things didn’t go exactly to plan. Croaker had put this day off for as long as possible but they couldn’t delay any longer. Voldemort was showing more signs of
returning to normal. His returns to coherence were growing more frequent but they were still too short for the man to even think about escape. Because of the increased risk, Croaker had brought in virtually every able bodied Unspeakable. Also in attendance was the press. Sirius had thought it would be the easiest way to get the message out that Voldemort was gone. Plus, it would keep Jason’s name out of it and thus give him the freedom of anonymity that Thomas had never had. Standing there with James, Jason found his eyes drawn back to the Veil again and again. It had come to dominate his dreams and the sense of urgency continued to grow. It wouldn’t be long before he would go through. The only thing that kept him from going through now was the threat of Voldemort. With the help of the translation dictionary that Jack had given him, Jason had learned more about the Veil. The Veil was a gateway but unlike the Stargate, it only went to a single preset location, in this case the city that had been plaguing his dreams for years now. There was one other thing that he’d learned as well. When the Veil wasn’t maintaining an active connection to the city, anything that passed through it was kept in storage until it was activated. Jason cringed at the thought of simply turning it on and releasing numerous criminals and worst of all Voldemort himself. Luckily, Jason had learned enough to know that he could purge the storage buffer before activating the connection. This would truly destroy anything that was stored inside it. Because there were so many people in the Death Chamber along with them, there was no need for a glamour to protect Jason’s identity. If anyone outside of the Unspeakables were wondering why there was a teenager present, they quickly forgot when four men trooped into the chamber. Floating serenely in the middle of the men was the catatonic form of Voldemort. Not willing to take any chances, Voldemort had been filled with multiple potions to keep him sedated. Before Voldemort was sent through the Veil, Croaker stepped forward and read off the list of charges against the man. While Croaker was speaking, a small group of reporters huddled closer together and made their move. Wands whipped out and cries of Avada Kedavra echoed off the walls of the chamber. Instantly, three of the men escorting Voldemort’s body fell bonelessly to the floor dead. James shoved Jason to the floor to keep him out of the line of fire.
The stunned shock resulting from the attack gave the Death Eaters a chance to fire off another round of killing curses. Only two of the five curses hit their targets but one of those was the last man guarding Voldemort. Another pair of Death Eaters made their way over to Voldemort in an attempt to spirit him away. Once the shock wore off, the Unspeakables began to fire back. The sheer number of agents would make short work of the attackers but little time was needed for the pair to escape with the Dark Lord. “Dad!” Jason pointed towards Voldemort. James swore under his breath and waved his wand sending a blasting curse towards the two Death Eaters. The explosion forced the two men back but attracted the attention of the other agents. Voldemort was still floating serenely in the middle of the fire fight. From his position on the floor, there was little that Jason could do. But then his face brightened, he waved his hand making use of one of the first spells he learned from James. Voldemort’s body was propelled towards the Veil. One of the Death Eaters yelled “Nooo!” He dove towards Voldemort in an attempt to stop him. A quick thinking agent snapped off a Reducto. The spell slammed into the man’s chest and exploded out of his back. His body stopped in mid-air and fell to the floor with blood pooling around him. The only remaining Death Eater clutched at his arm when Voldemort passed through the Veil. The Dark Mark sent waves of agony up the man’s arm. Smoke started to waft up from underneath his robes; the skin around the mark was blistering and turning black. He screamed himself hoarse as the Dark Mark burned into his skin transforming itself into a normal tattoo. Croaker struggled to his feet from his position by the Veil. He scowled at the dead bodies. If they hadn’t had so many agents here, then the Death Eaters may have escaped with Voldemort. He was never so thankful that the department regularly screened its agents to ensure their loyalty. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to
do the same thing for the reporters but it was a rookie mistake to not check them for the Dark Mark and his men paid for it. After some parting words, he dismissed the reporters that remained. The speed with which the reporters scurried out, eager to write their stories would have been funny if he hadn’t lost so many agents. James told Jason that they would leave to go to the hospital in a minute to see if Thomas had survived but he needed to speak with Croaker first. Jason nodded absently and moved towards the Veil. No one was paying attention to him so he was able to press a series of characters at the base of the Veil. They glowed softly until he finished the sequence at which point the veil itself changed from the black nothingness to a solid white for a moment. Then it returned back to normal. It was weird. Even with the attack, everything seemed anticlimactic. There was no final battle, no titanic struggle of good vs. evil. For some reason, the poem by T.S. Elliot came to mind. ‘This is the way to world ends, not with a bang but a whimper.’ “Jason what did you do?” James asked, having seen the change in the Veil. “Nothing, I just touched a few of the glyphs around the base.” Jason lied. He still didn’t feel comfortable sharing his dreams with anyone or even sharing his full knowledge of the Veil. Croaker examined the Veil himself. “It’s never reacted like that to anyone else. Once things calm down around here, I might ask your help in learning more about the Veil. Everything we know is mostly based on guesswork.” Jason nodded eagerly. It was the perfect excuse to get close. Before he stepped through, he wanted to be absolutely sure he understood how the Veil worked and that he had set the connection correctly. Close to an hour had passed by the time that James and Jason were able to make it to the hospital. At that point, the excitement was over. Just like the Unspeakables had predicted, Thomas had suffered a heart attack at presumably the same time that Voldemort was sent into the Veil. According to the agents that had been observing, it took quite some time to revive Thomas but they were able to do so eventually.
“Mr. Potter, can I speak to you about Thomas?” The doctor’s eyes darted towards Jason, unsure whether he should begin while the teenager was present. “It’s ok, he’s heard worse I’m sure.” James said understanding the doctor’s reticence. The doctor cleared his throat uncomfortable before beginning. “Yes well, your son went into cardiac arrest a little over an hour ago. We were able to revive him but I am afraid that his brain went without oxygen for a significant amount of time.” James didn’t understand half of what the doctor just said. He was not used to muggle medical terminology. Jason had watched enough TV to know what the doctor was worried about. “Does he have brain damage?” If the doctor was surprised that the question came from Jason instead of James he didn’t show it. “We won’t know until he wakes up. There has been another development. His brainwave pattern is noticeably more active than it was prior to his cardiac arrest. We’re hopeful that the procedure to return his heart to a normal rhythm acted as a sort of electro-convulsive therapy and for lack of a better term reset his brain.” James was lost now more than he was before. Jason knew most of the terms, but he would have to look them up later. “Ah, thank you doctor. When will be able to see him?” “We’re still monitoring him very closely but family will be allowed to visit tomorrow.” James and Jason left after watching Thomas through an observation window for a while. Once outside the hospital, Jason contacted Jack to see if he understood the doctor’s explanation. As best as he could, he repeated what the doctor had said for Jack and got back something more comprehensible to a wizard and a 16 year old. “Electro-convulsive therapy is something that is used to treat mental illness sometimes. Electric shocks are given to the person to try and correct the imbalance in the patient’s brain. I guess it is possible that it had some effect but the timing seems a little too convenient.” James nodded “I think it’s more likely that it’s tied to the resolution of the prophecy. The charm protecting the prophecies may fade once they are fulfilled because there is nothing left to protect.”
December 11th, 1996Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry, UK “James, what is the meaning of this?” Albus demanded holding up the latest Daily Prophet. James just leaned back in his chair, completely at ease. The Prophecy was done and his sons were free. Hopefully Thomas would recover but at least Jason would live his life without the shadow of Voldemort hanging over it. “I would think it’s pretty obvious. We threw Voldemort into the Veil of Death yesterday. I really don’t see what has you so concerned.” Albus twisted the paper in his hands unknowingly as he began to pace. “We never figured out what Voldemort did to achieve immortality. He could very well come back but now we won’t have any warnings.” James reached out and snatched the paper from Albus’ hands. “Did you read the article or just the headline? Because if you read the article you would’ve realized that not only did we toss old Voldie into the Veil but his horcruxes as well. He had 6 you know, that’s why he survived that night.” Albus had never wanted to believe that even Tom Riddle would sink so low as to create a horcrux let alone six. The idea of ripping away chunks of your own soul turned his stomach. He’d always hoped that he was wrong about the horcruxes. “But…how…how long have you known?” James smoothed out the creases in the paper and answered absently. “We found them a few years after ’81. We were unsure what to do with them until Harry suggested tossing the disgusting things into the Veil. If they were anchoring Voldemort’s soul to this world then why not let them anchor it to the realm of the dead where he belonged.” He was stunned. Albus flopped into his chair and stared at James completely flabbergasted. “And Harry, what was his role? Will you tell the wizarding world that he saved them?” “Why would I do that? He just came up with the idea. It was the Unspeakables that destroyed the horcruxes, captured Voldemort and sent him into the Veil. Harry didn’t save us, we saved ourselves.” Dumbledore didn’t need to know that Jason was the one that ultimately sent Voldemort’s body into the Veil. It was clear he would try and make Jason some sort of icon. “But our people need a hero, someone to guide them. Wouldn’t it be
better if it was someone we know, like Harry?” “You mean a patsy. Look at how fast the wizarding world turned on Thomas. I would never put Harry through that. Plus the truth is already out there, you can’t unring that bell.” James knew they could go round and round like this all day and he didn’t really have the patience for it. “Albus, unless you have something else, I really would like to go see Thomas.” Albus waved his hand absently. There had to be some way to position Harry as their savior. When he was gone, the wizarding world would need a new hero to guide them. Perhaps he could look into forcing Harry to attend Hogwarts for his 7th year; it would give him the opportunity to win the teenager over. Yes, a call to the Minister might indeed be in order. Chapter 4 To Boldly Go January 17th, 1997Atlantis, Pegasus Galaxy John stared at the event horizon of a stable wormhole. It was strange knowing that he would step through and seconds later emerge in an entirely different galaxy. In fact the whole thing was surreal. Forget security clearance no one would ever believe that the US Air Force had been operating an alien device that was millions of years old to travel to other planets. To make the story even more bizarre, the whole operation was run out of a sub level underneath Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. It was a conspiracy theorist’s dream come true. For a second, he thought that maybe this whole expedition wasn’t such a good idea after all. The idea of having his body disassembled at the atomic level and shot across the universe wasn’t something he signed up for when he joined the Air Force. But at least if this was going to happen, he could step through knowing that Voldemort was taken care of once and for all and his brother was done with the prophecy. A young lieutenant stood next to him at the base of the Stargate. Just looking at him made John feel old and he was just turning 30 this year. “Does it hurt?” John asked while running his free hand nervously through his hair. Aidan Ford, the lieutenant had been the gate twice before so he had some experience even if the trip had never been this long. Ford grinned at the Major. “Yes sir, it hurts like a bitch.” Then he spun and let out a little whoop and leapt backwards into the gate.
‘Oh well, too late to go back now’ John thought. His eyes closed and his P90 gripped firmly, John Sheppard stepped through the Stargate and into the city of Atlantis somewhere in the Pegasus galaxy. The event horizon fluttered and John emerged on the other side. He had to move quickly to make way for his fellow travelers who were beginning to step through the gate after him. Per his instructions, he began to explore the chamber they were in. The walls were a soft brown with frosted white lights built into them. The room itself was large and open, the ceiling was easily 25 feet up and the Stargate located at the far end of the room directly across from a broad set of stairs. Passageways split off in separate directions and he could see small groups of soldiers already spreading out to search for potential threats. In front of him was the set of stairs leading up to the next level. As he moved towards the steps, they lit up. “Are you doing that?” Rodney McKay was moving with John. The man was slightly shorter than John and perhaps a couple of years older. Whereas John was lean and in shape, Rodney was slightly overweight, his gut while not overly large was noticeable in the tight fitting expedition uniform worn by the civilians. “No, it’s probably just the city reacting to our presence.” Something told John that there was more to it than that. McKay was a scientist and a brilliant one at that, at least if you believed what he told you anyway. Unfortunately along with the intelligence came an equal amount of arrogance. In the short time that John had spent with the man, he knew any concerns he raised would be dismissed. Because what Rodney hadn’t appeared to notice was that the city wasn’t reacting to everyone, just specific people, a subset of those with the gene necessary to control the Ancient technology. The top of the stairs opened up into what could best be called a control room. There were multiple consoles covered in white diaphanous cloth. Screens hung from the ceiling black and lifeless waiting to be used once again. There were even the remains of small potted trees that had long since died so that only their petrified trunks remained. Not long after the last of the expedition team arrived, John along with Elizabeth Weir, the civilian in charge of the expedition, and Colonel Marshal Sumner the leader of the military detachment were called to a large room containing a pedestal with a mounted control panel and a holographic image that seemed to be describing what happened to the Ancients that had inhabited the city.
The holographic narrator took the form of a woman in her mid 30s with shoulder length straight dark brown hair. She wore white robe and was for some reason beyond John’s understanding speaking in English. Also in the room with them were McKay and the chief medical officer, a Scottish born doctor named Carson Beckett. The hologram described the Ancients’ arrival in the galaxy after they left Earth millions of years ago. In the years since that time, they seeded various planets in the Pegasus galaxy with the necessary components for the evolution of sentient humanoid life. Over the course of millennia, humans evolved and spread across the galaxy. Then they encountered an enemy, unlike any they had faced before. While the Ancients were technologically superior in every way, the enemy was ruthless and outnumbered them. The war raged for years, planet after planet fell to the enemy until eventually only Atlantis remained. While a great force-field protected them from the enemy’s assault, the Ancients were trapped and eventually submerged the city in the ocean and fled back to Earth to live out their remaining days. Before they could even discuss the implications of an enemy beating a race so advanced as the Ancients, a new emergency demanded their attention. The power sources for the city which relied on technology that had been dubbed a ZPM or Zero Point Module were nearly depleted. By awakening the city, they were draining the last vestiges of power and soon the shield which was the only thing holding back the ocean would fail and the city would be flooded. Colonel Sumner, John, Lieutenant Ford and a small detachment were sent through the Stargate to search for a new ZPM or barring that, a place that they could live until a way back to Earth was found. While on the first planet, the group found a village of farmers and hunters. Their leader, Teyla Emagen told John the history of her people and how every few generations a malevolent race known as the Wraith would come through the Stargate to cull her people. Those taken never returned. They were used as food by the Wraith. The Wraith attacked while they were still in the village. Small one man fighters shot through the Stargate and began using a beam weapon to kidnap the villagers unlucky enough to escape. Before retreating the Wraith ships kidnapped Colonel Sumner and other members of their group along with Teyla and some of the villagers. Rather than leave the farmers to their fate, John took them back through to Stargate to Atlantis. Back at Atlantis, the ZPMs had been fully depleted and the shield was on the verge of collapse. Safeguards built into the city released the mechanisms that kept the great structure submerged. With
surprising suddenness, the city began to rise. In moments, the city of Atlantis floated on the surface of a vast ocean. Now that the shield was not needed to hold back the ocean, the power generators brought by the expedition were sufficient enough to run many of the Ancient systems but according to McKay and the other scientists, the generators would still be insufficient to power shields or weapons if they were ever attacked. It took some fast talking on John’s part but he was able to convince Elizabeth to authorize a rescue mission to free their people and the Athosians. To provide them with a strategic advantage, John was flying a Puddle Jumper. It was a small ship built specifically to fly through the Stargates; it was equipped with weapons and a cloaking device making it a versatile ship capable of both exploration and defense. After flying into the Stargate, John was able to land on the planet near the enemy stronghold undetected. John and his team managed to find the Athosians and missing soldiers only to learn that Colonel Sumner had been taken for interrogation. Using a small hand-held device found in the Puddle Jumper, John was able to track the life signs of the Wraith and Colonel Sumner. What he saw was terrifying. The Wraith Leader was a female with long red hair. Her skin was an almost teal green and her voice had a strange huskiness to it. He overheard her discover the existence of Earth and saw for himself how excited she became when she learned that it was home to billions of people. Try as she might though, she couldn’t make Sumner give up Earth’s location and John watched as she literally drained the life from him. Colonel Sumner aged before his eyes going from a man in his late 40s to a thin emaciated old man that looked to be in his 80s or 90s. For a brief second their eyes met and John knew what Sumner wanted. Grimacing slightly, John sighted carefully and pulled the trigger to fire a single shot, killing Marshall Sumner instantly. John managed to escape with from the Wraiths’ clutches with the help of Lieutenant Ford. Together they got their men and the Athosians out of the alien base, but now before unknowingly waking all of the Wraith that had been hibernating until the next culling. So now John, along with Lieutenant Ford, Teyla Emagen, and Rodney McKay were a team. They went through the Stargate regularly searching for allies and clues that might lead them to a ZPM. Because the Wraith were out there and waking up. John and Elizabeth agreed, it was just a matter of time before they came to Atlantis and they had to be ready.
June 13th, 1997Suffolk, UK Despite the events back in November, Jason’s junior year of high school had been uneventful. His friends and the other students had been completely oblivious to the death of Voldemort. Jason found it relaxing to be able to get away from all the craziness in the wizarding world. Even now, more than 6 months later, people were still celebrating. Not that he wasn’t happy that the man was gone but it was nice to just be a teenager and not have to worry about anything but sports, classes, and girls. The Unspeakables as a group had been hailed as heroes for Voldemort’s death. Whether it was because the wizarding world needed an icon or was simply used to having one, the masses now seemed a little lost. They didn’t have a shining figure to look to for guidance. The leaders of the wizarding world had been tarnished badly by the whole Voldemort affair. The Ministry was seen as corrupt and lazy because they refused to acknowledge Voldemort’s return until just before his second downfall. And even Albus Dumbledore had lost much of his stature for supporting Thomas Potter, the fraud. There had been at least one positive change though. Thomas Potter had begun to recover from his ordeal. Neither James nor any of the other Unspeakable agents were able to determine the reason. It could have been because of the completion of the prophecy or the reaction of the protective charm to the muggle medical techniques, or even Thomas’ death however temporary. Close to three weeks had passed before Thomas woke up for the first time. His doctors were very pleased with the test results and were confident that if there was any brain damage, it was minimal. Encouraged by the news, James began visiting Thomas everyday and what he found was a different boy. This Thomas was subdued, almost broken. Between the wizarding world turning on him and finding out that he wasn’t the Boy-Who-Lived, the foundation of Thomas’ sense of self had been destroyed. Not only was Thomas dealing with the fact that he was a pariah in the wizarding world but it also turned out that there was some minor brain damage. The area of his brain affected was normally used for coordination and motor control. According to his doctors, he would be able to regain most of his mobility but he would require extensive physical therapy. For the first time in his life, Thomas was forced to work hard and there were no shortcuts to take. Magic couldn’t help him learn how to walk again or even how to feed himself. He couldn’t even whine
to get his way, the situation was simple if he wanted to walk again he had to learn how all over again. His task was made more difficult by the muscle atrophy from spending 9 months in bed. Thomas probably would’ve given up within the first week, but James was there every day. At first Thomas yelled and screamed at his father begging him to do something. Even though it hurt, James knew there was nothing he could do and that Thomas was the only one who could help himself. When James didn’t help him, Thomas grew to hate and resent him for a time. Despite this, James continued to visit every day encouraging him when he needed and comforting him when everything seemed too hard. Slowly over time, Thomas began to improve. After speaking with James following Thomas’ awakening, Jason decided to stay away. Thomas had enough to deal with without learning that Jason was everything he wasn’t. Instead, Jason spent time with the Unspeakables’ agents and continued his training and even began helping out the research team examining the Veil. It was a way for Jason to forget that John was gone. He missed talking to his brother but he doubted that cell phones or even a Torchwood communicator could span galaxies. Not that it had stopped him from trying once. Croaker came down to the Death Chamber one day to speak with Jason about his future. “Jason, have you given any thought to what you want to do after you finish school?” Jason would make an excellent agent and he wanted to plant the idea in Jason’s head. Jason liked the man. He didn’t play games and always gave Jason a straightforward answer to his questions. And there was something about him; Jason just knew he could trust him. That wasn’t to say that Jason didn’t trust James or John because he did but they would always try to protect him first and foremost. Croaker in contrast was not related to Jason and was not inclined to shelter him from any harsh realities. Instead of answering, Jason asked his own question. “Is there somewhere we can speak privately?” Croaker quirked his eyebrow and nodded. “Follow me.” Jason had never actually been in Croaker’s office before but the pictures on his desk and dotting the walls surprised him. The man had never struck him as the kind of person to have pictures of his family everywhere but clearly he was. “My office is completely warded for privacy so anything you say in here will remain between
the two of us.” Jason eyed the chair for a moment but he had too much nervous energy to sit down at the moment. For so long, he’d wanted to tell someone about his dreams but he’d always been afraid. The need to go through the Veil was becoming greater and if Jason was going to do this, he wanted to make sure that it was safe. So it was with more than a little trepidation that Jason described the dream of the city. Croaker didn’t need to know about the war that had been fought by its inhabitants. He told him of the city, the technology, what he’d managed to learn and that the carvings on the Veil were in the same language as the one he found in the city. “You’ve been having the same dream for going on 6 years now and you never said anything? What were you thinking?” Jason actually stopped his nervous pacing. Croaker’s anger took him by surprise. “Who would I’ve told? James? What could he have done? I’ve seen enough of the wizarding world to know that you are too backwards to ever build a city like that. My brother wouldn’t have been able to help either. All it would’ve done was worry them and I didn’t want to do that!” Retorted Jason. “What if it had been Voldemort attacking your mind?” “Yeah because he was in the habit of attacking random kids’ dreams with images of futuristic cities. He didn’t know who I was and my connection to him was broken the same night it was created. “ “Fine but it was still reckless.” “Whatever, I didn’t tell you so you could scold me. I’m not one of your agents and don’t think I’m dumb enough to think that the training you gave me was out of the goodness of your heart. You got something out of it too. I heard about the children that are being trained the same way now. You know you should tell your agents not to gossip so much, news has a habit of getting around.” “Then why are you telling me this?” “Because I’m going to step through the Veil sometime soon but before I do I need a sanity check. I need someone to double check my translations and work. I have no interest in killing myself. There’s something in this city that needs me and I’m going to find out what it is.” Croaker wasn’t even going to ask why Jason wasn’t going to James with this. If the man knew about the dreams, he wouldn’t let Jason
get within 100 feet of the Veil. As a father himself he could understand that and agreed with it completely. As the head of this Department he had different priorities that had to be considered. “What do I get out of this?” “Besides a better understanding of the Veil and what it can be used for?” “Yes, I’ll have that either way.” Croaker said smugly because with Jason’s help they would know more about the Veil. “I’ll give you a copy of the translation manual I have for the language. You can compare it against anything else the Department may have to see if it is from the same source.” Offered Jason reluctantly. Jack had asked him not to spread the dictionary around but in this instance, he didn’t really have a lot to negotiate with. “Ok, I’ll do it.” Then Croaker held up his hand to stop Jason “But, you’re going to be the one to tell James when you go through. I’m not going to be stuck with this.” Jason agreed readily to that condition. In the wizarding world, you were considered an adult at 17 so James couldn’t stop him. But he would leave a recorded message for him none the less. There was no reason to complicate things further by giving him the news ahead of time. June 30th, 1997Ministry of Magic, UK After Hogwarts had finished the year, Albus decided it was time to speak with Cornelius. The man was barely holding onto his position as Minister and had already approach Albus numerous times trying to identify methods to solidify his position. Since the defeat of Voldemort, Albus had also spent considerable time trying to come up with ways of forcing Harry Potter to attend Hogwarts without being seen as the enemy. Already the wizarding world was floundering without a hero, an icon to follow. The war had shaken their faith in the Ministry and himself, a new figure was needed. Harry could be that person, a child of prophecy and the true Boy-Who-Lived. If the boy had been marked as Voldemort’s equal than he was powerful as well. Wizards and witches would flock to him but first he needed to make sure he understood what his role was to be. When Albus entered Cornelius’ office that morning, he was surprised by the similarity between the man and Lily Potter. Both were being destroyed by their own ambitions. Lily had already fallen
and was being shunned by virtually all of Britain’s magical society. Cornelius was well on his way, but unlike Lily he was still clutching onto his position desperately like a drowning man struggling to keep afloat for just a moment longer. “Cornelius how are you doing today?” Asked Albus cheerfully. He wasn’t proud of it, but there was a part of him that enjoyed seeing the pompous man brought down a few pegs. Especially after the smear campaign Cornelius had engineered against Thomas and himself. Cornelius looked up with bloodshot eyes. “Albus oh thank god. Please tell me you have an idea to solve this mess.” Albus pulled his wand but asked “Tea?” After getting a nod from Cornelius, he conjured a small kettle of tea and two cups. Both men filled their cups and took a sip before Albus got to the point. “I do have an idea on that. It is one that should be beneficial to both of us.” Cornelius leaned forward in his chair eagerly waiting to hear whatever Albus had to say. At this point, he would try almost anything in order to keep his position. “The future of the wizarding world lies with its children but after this last year I fear that many parents will chose to send their children to schools other than Hogwarts. When that happens, we will have lost an invaluable opportunity.” “What? What opportunity?” Albus was not happy with what he was about to suggest but he didn’t think that Cornelius would agree otherwise. “While the students are in Hogwarts, we can control everything that they learn and are told. As we saw with Madame Umbridge this last year, the Ministry can have a big impact on what the students are exposed to. This will allow us to restore their faith in the Ministry, thereby securing your position.” The wheels began to grind in the Minister’s head. Yes this could work. Dolores had been able to crush any lingering belief in the return of Voldemort this last year. It would be even easier without a major threat to worry about. She could simply focus on the Ministry’s many successes and the strength of his leadership during these dark times. But if Dumbledore was right, than a large number of students would be returning. “But what could we do to ensure that the students return to Hogwarts?” “I’ve been thinking about this for some time. I believe that you
should sign an executive order requiring that all British wizards and witches complete their seventh year at Hogwarts.” “But why? What about all the younger students?” Cornelius didn’t understand why they should limit it to just one year. Albus wondered again how this man managed to get elected to such a high position. If he had any intelligence, it had atrophied long ago. “Because it will reduce any public protests by forcing the children to attend for all seven years. More importantly, the seventh years are the students that will be entering our society as adults. The other children will have no impact in elections for some years yet.” “I don’t know Albus. My position is shaky at best.” Began Cornelius in a rare moment of honesty. “I need a reasonable excuse for signing this order.” He was truly hoping that Albus had something now. The curriculum he would pass on to Dolores was already coming together. If things went well enough, he may be able to push Albus out of the picture entirely. “Why that is the easiest piece to sell Cornelius. As the premier magical institute, Hogwarts has the responsibility to ensure that the all the British wizards and witches are up to our standards. You can also say that attending Hogwarts can only help the students to perform well on their NEWTs.” “Yes, yes I think I could sell that. I will speak with Percy Weasley to get the order drawn up and I will plan a press conference for later this summer.” August 1st, 1997Ministry of Magic, UK Jason couldn’t wait any longer. He and Croaker had gone over everything. All the translations were double and triple checked. They both were in agreement about the Veil, its function and how to operate it. The only piece that continued to be a mystery was why it only responded to Jason’s touch. No one else in the department was able to activate any of the controls. At first Jason had thought it could be his magical strength. He’d come to realize that he was definitely stronger than the average witch or wizard, not frighteningly so but more than enough to stand out. Yet the men and women that worked in the Department were usually above average in strength as well but there had still been no reaction. When that theory had been proven false, neither Jason nor any other member of the research team had been able to come up with
an alternative theory. They had even looked into the genealogy of the Potters and Evans to see if there was something anomalous. No, Jason was a typical half-blood. There were no magical creatures mixes in, no mysterious links to the founders, nothing to set him apart. On his birthday, Jason came clean to James. “Dad, I need to talk to you about something.” It was never good when you heard that from a teenager. James prepared himself. He half expected to hear that Jason had gotten some girl pregnant. Hell, maybe he was pregnant James thought laughing to himself. Thankfully, there were something that even magic could accomplish and allowing a man to give birth was one of those things. “What?” James asked nervously. For safety’s sake he put his beer on the table and steeled himself for anything. Slowly at first, Jason described the dreams he’d been having for the last 6 years and how they tied into his research on the Veil. He didn’t want to leave everything in a note. His dad needed to understand the motivation behind what he was going to do but Jason was not telling him that he planned on stepping into the Veil. Discretion was the better part of valor after all. James just sat and listened. When Jason had finished all he could do was ask “Why? Why didn’t you say something sooner? I could’ve helped you or protected you or…” “That’s why I didn’t tell you or John. What would you have done to stop me from dreaming? I read the books, I know there are potions but those can only be used on a limited basis. We need to dream.” “I don’t know but you shouldn’t have had to go through it alone!” James said a little louder than he intended to. Having gotten over his initial shock, James was a bit angry that Jason hadn’t trusted him or his brother. Now it was Jason’s turn to get upset. Sure he liked James and called him dad on occasion but that didn’t mean that he would let the man scold him, not for this anyway. “Hey I was 11 years old and my parents had just died. How did you expect me to react?!” Jason stood abruptly and his hands flailed around him as he yelled. “I was fucking afraid that they would take me away from John if they thought something was wrong. What would you have done in my place?”
“Well I sure as hell wouldn’t have kept it a secret for 6 years!” James stood as well. His face was red and he put his palms on the table and leaned towards Jason. “It could’ve been Voldemort or something else trying to hurt you.” That was the one point he couldn’t really refute. Tiredly, Jason ran a hand over his face. “I know, but we already knew that I didn’t have a connection to Voldemort so it couldn’t have been him. After a while they didn’t even bother me anymore. I started to learn from them so what’s the harm?” Jason finished defensively. “Just because it worked out doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have told someone sooner.” Said James stubbornly. It was quite clear to Jason that a note was definitely the way to go for his upcoming experiment with the Veil. There was no way that James would let him go, even if Jason was technically an adult in the wizarding world. Still, he didn’t want to make James any angrier so he tried changing the subject. “What did Dumbledore say when you told him I wasn’t going to Hogwarts?” James moved to the refrigerator to grab another beer before sitting back down. The look he sent Jason said he knew exactly what he was trying to do. “I haven’t told him yet. Figured it will be more fun to see how he reacts when he thinks you’re a fugitive.” Jason choked on the milk he was drinking. “Fugitive? Why would I be a fugitive?” “Honestly, don’t you keep up on current events?” When Jason opened his mouth to protest James clarified. “Current events in the wizarding world?” “Nothing personal but most of the wizards and witches I’ve met outside of your Department are morons.” Why would I want to read one of their newspapers?” For the first time since this conversation began, James cracked a smile. “I’ll give you that a lot of them couldn’t tell their ass from a hole in the ground.” Suddenly James stopped and groaned. Had he really said that? Good lord he needed to get more proper British friends instead of the American ones he’d made since moving to Suffolk. “Right, anyway, Cornelius Fudge gave a press conference last week to announce a new initiative.” Jason really wanted to roll his eyes. James had a habit of drawing his stories out to make them more dramatic but he didn’t want to get into another argument so soon after the last one. “And?”
“In an effort to ensure that the young adults are up to standards, all British wizards and witches are required to attend Hogwarts for their seventh year.” A tension left him that he hadn’t even realized was there. For a moment, Jason had been worried he’d have to go to the stuffy sounding boarding school. “It’s a shame that I’m an American wizard then. Sadly, the law doesn’t apply to me.” “I know and that’s why it’s going to be so much fun when you don’t show up.” That had been the previous night. He’d stayed up late after going to his room detailing out the research he and the team had completed on the Veil. Croaker’s review and agreement with all the assessments was also included because he thought James might need a little reassurance that his son didn’t commit suicide. The letter was waiting for him on the kitchen table. James would find it when he got home from work and long after Jason had walked through the Veil. It was a little after 10 in the morning and Jason along with Croaker and the rest of the research team were in the Death Chamber. “Are you sure you want to do this Jason? I’d be happier sending someone else or at least sending someone with you. You’re the only one the Veil responds to, we won’t have a way of sending anyone after you.” Asked Croaker. “That’s why it has to be, if this side only responds to me than in all likelihood the other end is the same way. Next time I can bring someone else, but we don’t even know if this will work, I don’t want to put anyone else at risk.” “But you’re ok with putting yourself at risk?” “I need to do this. There’s something out there that I need to do and this is the only way for me to get started.” Croaker knew he wouldn’t convince Jason to change his mind and after all the research it should be safe. “Ok then you have a go but remember you just checking things out. I want you there and back in an hour or I swear you’re never using this thing again.” This had better work or James is going to kill me thought Croaker ruefully. Taking a deep breath to calm his nerves Jason prepared to risk his life. He stepped smoothly up to the gate and activated the sequence that would connect it to the corresponding portal in the city from his dreams. This was the first time that they had actually tried to
connect so he had no idea what to expect when he finished the sequence of glyphs. Once the sequence was completed, the Veil flared to life. The black barrier was replaced with a rippling blue field that looked similar to a puddle. It was nothing like the white barrier from before when Jason had cleared out the buffer. Seconds after the Veil activated, alarms started blaring throughout the Ministry. Croaker was the first to realize what was happening. “The wards are collapsing. We need to get out of here.” Without the wards, the magic of the building would destabilize and possibly destroy the entire structure. For just a moment, Jason was torn. Should he flee with the rest of the team or should he go through? His moment of doubt was gone as quickly as it came. While the rest of the agents fled, Jason stepped into the Veil. August 1st, 1997Atlantis, Pegasus Galaxy In a dark room within Ancient city of Atlantis there was an arch that served as a precursor to the Stargates. Whereas the Stargate could connect up to a multitude of locations, the arch we set to a single location and could not be changed. Not long after the Stargates were perfected, the Ancients stopped building arches and only persisted in using the ones that already existed. For the first time since before Atlantis left Earth for the Pegasus galaxy, the arch pulsed with power. A connection was established with the arch and if there had been an observer they would have seen the black event horizon change to a shimmering blue that rippled like water. Seconds after its activation, a figure was spit out from the arch. Jason was wholly unprepared for the suddenness of his exit. It seemed like he’d just stepped into the Veil back in London when he came flying out the other side. Unable to catch his balance in time, he slammed head first into the edge of a nearby control console. The already dark room went black and Jason sprawled onto the floor unconscious. In another part of the city an alarm started blaring. “Dr. Weir?” Peter Grodin, a scientist and expert on Ancient technology called out through the radio headset every expedition member wore. Elizabeth Weir was sitting behind her desk in her office. She tapped her radio when she heard the call. “This is Weir.”
Peter’s voice came through again “Dr. Weir, please report to the control room. There’s something you should see.” “On my way.” She closed her laptop and stood. Her office was located on the same level as the control room and was just a short walk away. Elizabeth emerged from her office at a brisk walk with her hands held behind her back. There were a handful of scientists and technicians manning different stations in the Control Room when she entered. After scanning the room with her eyes, she found Peter at his usual station near the controls for the Stargate. “What is it Peter?” Peter looked up from the monitor he was studying. “A few minutes ago, we registered a massive energy surge in an unexplored part of the city.” Elizabeth leaned over Peter’s shoulder to look at the display herself. “Any idea what caused it?” “No, but look at this.” Peter tapped a button on the console changing the display. “We’re picking up a single life sign now at the same location.” “Get Sergeant Bates up here.” Elizabeth ordered but she never took her eyes off the screen. For some reason whoever or whatever it was didn’t appear to be moving. “Could this be another experiment gone wrong like the creature that was feeding off our generators?” “I have no way of knowing but I’m not showing any power drains from our other systems.” “What about the Genii? Is it possible that they managed to leave someone behind without our realizing it?” The city had taken some damage from the storm that had just abated a week ago. John had sent out search teams as soon as the expedition team had returned from off-world but they hadn’t found any stragglers from the assault team that had tried to capture Atlantis. Peter shook his head again. “We just won’t know until someone can check it out.” Sergeant Bates walked in a few minutes later. He was a marine, 25 years old and in charge of security within the city. “Dr. Weir?” He asked professionally. Elizabeth suppressed her frown. The man was very good at what he did but his attitude towards herself and the other non-military members of the expedition got tiresome. If the man had his way,
the military would be in charge of everything and there would be no civilian presence at all. “Peter had picked up a life sign in an unexplored part of the city. I’d like you to take a team and check it out.” Bates straightened to full attention now that he was given something to meaningful to do. “Yes ma’am.” He tapped his radio and called for a team to assemble in the gate room. Before leaving to meet his team, he turned back to Peter and ordered “Stay in radio contact, I want to know if that thing moves at all.” Like many of the scientists, Peter did not appreciate being given orders by a member of the military especially considering the fact that the military did not hold any authority over the other members of the expedition. But in this case, he acknowledged the necessity of what Bates was asking for. “Of course.” “Be careful Sergeant, we don’t know who or what you’re going to find.” Elizabeth said. “We will ma’am.” Bates may not agree with a lot of Weir’s decisions but he did appreciate her attitude regarding her people. In his experience civilians were usually too quick to put soldiers’ lives in danger but Weir seemed to have some genuine concern for the health and safety of everyone including the military members of Atlantis. Bates waited until his team had assembled before heading out. It took them some time to reach the section of the city where the life sign had been detected. One of his men groaned when they noticed the transporter near their destination. “Well, at least we won’t have to walk back.” Bates joked quietly. The team made its way carefully into the darkened lab. The only light coming from the flashlights built into their P90 submachineguns. “Do you smell that sir? It’s blood.” Bates nodded. It wasn’t strong but once he was aware of it, he recognized it immediately. The light from one of his men’s lights reflected off of something on the floor. Stepping around a console slowly Bates found what they were looking for. “What the hell?” “It’s a kid, what’s a kid doing here?” One of the men asked. “I don’t know but we need to get a medical team down here.” Bates stepped away from the kid and tapped his radio. “Dr. Weir we have a medical emergency.”
“Sergeant?” “It’s a teenager ma’am.” Bates replied. “He looks to be hurt pretty bad.” There was a pause while Elizabeth called for Carson Beckett. “Carson is on his way Sergeant. The teenager, is he one of the Athosians?” Elizabeth was surprised when she heard the normally dour Sergeant chuckle for a moment before answering. “Not unless the Athosians have learned to make Levi’s blue jeans and a Polo shirt.” Peter was listening in on the channel and he turned to Elizabeth and mouthed silently ‘Levi’s’? She was just as confused as Peter now. “Does he have any identification on him?” “I’d prefer not to move him until Dr. Beckett has a chance to check him out.” “Ok Sergeant, keep me posted.” It took Carson and his team close to 15 minutes to get to the lab. “Over here doc.” Bates called out. Carson stopped dead in his tracks when he saw the teenage boy on the floor. If he didn’t know better, he’d swear that the boy was from Earth, there was no other explanation for his clothes. Bates broke Carson from his stupor. “Doc?” “Sorry, his clothes took me by surprise.” His Scottish accent a little thicker than normal was reflecting his confusion. His momentary confusion didn’t erase years of medical experience. It didn’t take him long to identify that the head wound seemed to be his only injury. “We need to get him back to the infirmary. I’d like to do a scan to see if he has any internal injuries.” “Dr. Beckett, there’s a transporter not far from here that you could use.” One of the security detailed offered helpfully. “It would have bloody nice to know that ahead of time.” Muttered Carson as he walked next to the gurney they had brought with him from the infirmary. One of the nurses smiled at Carson only briefly taking her eyes of their patient.
“Sorry Doc, we just found it on our way here.” Apologized Bates. Bates led the medical team to the transporter. The metallic doors slid open to reveal a chamber similar in size to a freight elevator. On the rear wall was a schematic of the city with dots designating each of the available transporters. Once Carson and his team squeezed in along with the gurney, Bates pressed the location nearest to the infirmary. The doors slid shut and a white light flashed. The light faded quickly and the doors slid open. Bates let Carson and his team exit first and then he followed them into the infirmary. He knew the rest of his team would be following them momentarily. From his position by the wall, Bates watched as the nurses moved around and made quick work of the poor kid’s clothes. Despite his mysterious appearance in Atlantis, Bates felt some sympathy for the kid; no doubt he was going to be pretty embarrassed to know that he’d been stripped by the medical staff. Before the nurses slipped on a set of scrubs, Bates notes the kid’s physical condition. The muscles on his torso were clearly defined but not those of a serious body builder. Still if Bates had to guess, the kid worked out and was an athlete of some kind, he just didn’t have the body type of someone who was in shape because of their lifestyle, like the Athosians who were farmers. They tended to be in shape but lacked the definition that came with working out specific muscle groups. But rather than give him any answers, the kid’s condition just added to the mystery. About a half hour after the team had made it back to the infirmary, Elizabeth Weir walked in. She wanted to see this mystery teenager for herself. “Carson what do we know?” She asked after looking the unconscious teenager. Carson was sitting at a microscope looking at the results of one of the many tests he’d ordered. “Aside from a mild concussion and some blood loss from his head injury, he’s healthy.” “When do you think he’ll wake up?” “Probably won’t be for a few hours yet. By the look of things he knocked himself out when he hit his head on one of the consoles in that lab. When he does wake up, the little bugger is going to have one heck of a headache.” “Ma’am, I suggest we put him into isolation until we know more about who he is and where he came from.” Said Bates from his position by the wall.
Elizabeth was going to protest but thought better of it after her recent experience with the Genii. “Do it Sergeant.” Then something caught her eye. Why would Carson have left that? “Carson, why is he wearing a glove?” She pointed to the black fingerless glove on his right hand. Bates had noticed that too, but hadn’t really thought anything of it. Carson moved over and held the hand in question up. “We can’t get the bloody thing off. It’s like it’s glued on.” “Is it dangerous?” Asked Bates suspiciously. “It’s a glove. Nothing showed up in our scans.” Bates didn’t like this. He didn’t like things that couldn’t be explained and there’d been too many things that fell into that category since they got to Atlantis. “Doctor is there any reason we can’t put him in the isolation room now?” Carson gave it a moment of thought before shaking his head. “No he’s stable. As long you don’t try and restrict our access, I have no problem with it.” “With your permission ma’am.” Elizabeth nodded and watched as a nurse along with Bates and his team wheeled the unconscious teen into the isolation room that had been setup shortly after their arrival. It only had a single entrance and there were viewing windows to allow outside observation. “Carson was there anything in clothes?” Carson blushed lightly. “I never thought to look.” He looked around and finally spied the clothes neatly folded on a chair. He and Elizabeth walked over and started going through pockets. Elizabeth was surprised when she pulled a wallet out of one the pockets. “Carson look at this.” She opened it up. There was some money, British Pounds by the look of it. Then she found what she was looking for. “Oh my god.” “What is it lass?” She just handed over the ID card she’d found. “Bloody hell, Jason Sheppard? Do you think he’s related to Major Sheppard?” Elizabeth shook her head and moved over to look into the isolation
room. “I don’t know Carson, John talked about a brother back in Suffolk but how could he possibly have ended up here?” Carson stood next to her and stared down through the observation window. The ID card was still in his hand forgotten. “His hair is messy enough to make him related to the Major.” Elizabeth laughed because the bandage and gauze were making Jason’s hair even messier than it was in the picture on his ID. “He must be related, who else but John Sheppard’s brother would wind up in the infirmary so quickly.” “I guess we won’t know for sure until the Major gets back. Is there any news?” Carson asked. He’d heard that two of the scientists had been killed. “Huh…oh yes. Both jumpers are on their way back. ETA is 5 hours. Can you keep Jason sedated until then? I’d prefer John to be here when he wakes up if it is his brother.” “I can’t give anything too strong with the concussion but a mild sedative should be enough to keep him under for a while yet.” Elizabeth stayed for a few minutes but ultimately decided that the mystery would have to wait until John got back and Jason woke up. Before she left though she asked Carson to keep Jason’s identity a secret. She wanted to see if John recognized him on his own. Six hours later, Elizabeth found herself back in the infirmary waiting for Carson to finish checking out John and the others. Rodney looked shaken but otherwise unharmed. Elizabeth would have to ask John to speak with him, make sure he was ok with the loss of the two scientists. John was a little battered, there was a bandage wrapped tightly around his upper left arm. Teyla and Lt. Ford were also in the infirmary but neither was injured. It was evident that they were there simply to make sure that John was ok. Elizabeth’s attempts to look stern and professional lasted all of 5 seconds, until she asked innocently “Carson, so what’s the damage this time?” John glared at her and tried to sit up a little straighter only to grimace when the pressure bandage pulled tightly across his chest. “Hey I’m not that bad.” “Yes you are Major.” Said Carson. “He has gunshot wound to his upper arm and a fractured rib. Normally, I’d say it will be a few weeks before he can go on active duty again but given how annoying the Major can be…”
“That’s not fair. I’m responsible for the safety of this expedition…” “Aye Major and I’m responsible for the health of everyone including you.” As much fun as it was seeing her military commander get shut down by the CMO, Elizabeth had another reason for being in the infirmary. “John while you were gone we discovered an intruder in one of the unexplored sections of the city.” This announcement got the attention of John’s entire team. Rodney actually looked a little afraid. “Is it a Genii?” Elizabeth sent him a soft look of compassion; he’d been wounded by the Genii in their efforts to extract information from him. It was no wonder that he was a little nervous now. “No we don’t think so. Carson has him sedated right now in the isolation room if you want to take a look.” It was so hard not to just come right out and ask John about his brother but she wanted him to make the identification without any input from her, like a police lineup. John actually turned to Carson for permission which made the doctor smile. “Yes you can go. But I want you here at the end of the week for another checkup.” “Thanks Carson.” John eased himself off the table being careful not to jar his rib unnecessarily. Together with the rest of his team and Elizabeth they walked over to the observation windows one level up. Before looking down at the intruder John turned his attention to Elizabeth. He wanted to get a more detailed report of what had happened. “Did he do any damage? How did he get into the city? “He’s just a kid!” Blurted Rodney. John turned from Elizabeth to see what Rodney was talking about. He didn’t register what he was seeing at first. It had been a long time since John had seen him in scrubs. “Is this some kind of joke?” Teyla was surprised at the hostile tone to John’s voice. “Major Sheppard?” “That’s Jason, my brother.” Rodney, Teyla, and Ford all looked at John strangely. “How could that be your brother? Does he have his own personal Stargate that we are not aware?” Asked Rodney snidely. “Carson is that my brother?”
“Well, I haven’t done a DNA comparison but all his tests come back as human. The only thing that’s unusual is the black glove he’s wearing. We haven’t been able to remove it from him.” “Oh I’m gonna kill him!” Muttered John. Everyone heard him clearly in the quiet of the observation room. “John do you have any idea how he could’ve gotten here?” Asked Elizabeth. She wouldn’t say anything to Sheppard but his reaction was so stereotypical of a protective older brother, she wanted to laugh. There were only two things that could have gotten Jason here without using the Stargate. Either it was tied to magic or it was something from Torchwood. For the life of him, he wasn’t sure which one he’d prefer. Regardless, unless Jason had a way of getting back to Earth he was going to be stuck here with the expedition. The problem that John saw was that his brother would be bored. There wouldn’t be much for a 17 year old high school senior to do here. Plus, he would have to at least tell Elizabeth about magic, probably end up telling everyone. With an enemy like the Wraith they needed every advantage. “John?” Elizabeth prompted again when John didn’t answer. Rodney’s voice broke the silence instead. “He definitely has your hair. Does anyone in your family know what a comb is?” “Very funny Rodney.” Ford piped in. “Jeez Sir, I never even knew you had a family.” “Did you enjoy telling him your ‘horror’ stories when he was younger?” Teyla asked with smile. There were many nights before her people had moved from the city to the mainland that John had tried to scare the Athosian children with stories from Earth. “How old is he?” “Did you smuggle him in as your 1 personal item?” Asked Ford with a grin. John grinned for the first time since seeing Jason. “Yeah he must’ve gotten tired of the box he was sleeping in and got out.” “Carson is there any reason he can’t have visitors?” Asked John. Carson shook his head. “No, he could wake up at any time. It might
help if there was a familiar face there when he does.” John nodded and left to go into the isolation room. “You really couldn’t get that glove thing off him?” Rodney asked curiously. Perhaps it was some sort of Ancient technology. He’d had personal experience with that effect. He had used a personal force field generator that could only be removed by him once it was activated. “No, I thought about cutting it off but it wasn’t in the way or causing any problems so we left it.” Rodney wondered out of the room after that, mumbling to himself about Ancient devices and kids. Back in the isolation room, John dragged a chair over to his brother’s bedside. “I never expected to be doing this with you in the Pegasus galaxy.” A couple of hours later, a groan woke John from his light sleep. John just watched as Jason blinked his eyes open slowly. “It’s about time you woke up. Where do you think you are a hotel?” Jason’s head rolled towards John and his eyes blinked owlishly trying to focus. “John?” Jason grimaced and clenched his eyes shut in pain. “What are you doing here?” He really wanted to be mad at Jason right now, but it was so hard seeing him in pain. It didn’t stop him from asking Jason the same question. “Shouldn’t I be asking you that? Last I heard Stargate Command wasn’t in the habit of offering field trips to the Pegasus galaxy to teenagers.” Jason’s eyes shot open only to snap shut immediately after. His face was tense with the pounding headache he had. “Does that light have to be so bright?” “Sorry, there’s nothing I can do about that. You know, you freaked a few people out by showing up in Atlantis.” Groaning in pain, Jason gasped “God John it hurts.” Jason’s hands were kneading his temples trying to relieve some of the pain. As much as he wanted answers, he didn’t want to see his brother in so much pain either. After standing, he left the room to find Carson. Together, the two men were back in a minute. Carson quickly checked Jason’s vitals and flashed a penlight into his eyes to make
sure they were responsive. The friendly doctor actually apologized for that last one when Jason whimpered, the light felt like a knife cutting into his brain. “Sorry son, I know it hurts and I’m going to give you something for the pain. It will help you sleep.” “Is he ok Carson?” “Aye, the blow to his head must have triggered a migraine, pretty bad one by the looks of it. That’s why he’s sensitive to light at the moment. The best thing he can do is sleep.” “John what’s going on?” Asked Jason weakly. Already the sedative was beginning to work. The pain had dulled somewhat and it was a struggle to stay awake. “You’re in Atlantis Jason.” “Atlantis? That’s the city I’ve been dreaming about?” Now John found himself thanking Carson for the drugs. He probably wouldn’t have gotten that little tidbit of information out of Jason so easily otherwise. “What dreams?” “Huh…John?” “Go to sleep Jason and I am so going to ground you.” August 1st, 1997Elsewhere in the Pegasus Galaxy It had been close to 8 months since the first Wraith Hive shape had been awakened from hibernation. Since that time, automated signals had been sent out across the galaxy to wake the other Hive ships. Slowly, ship and ship awoke from hibernation. For the first time in generations, the Wraith were seen in large numbers. Unlike in times past, the Wraith were not content with a simple culling of the population where survivors were left behind to repopulate their towns and cities over time. This time planets were being stripped of their entire populations and all that was left behind were the smoking ruins of a civilization. In a remote the part of the galaxy, the signal finally reached the final Hive ship. Like on the other Hive ships, all the hibernating Wraith began to wake after receiving the signal. Unlike other Hive ships that were usually controlled by a Queen this one was led by a Lord. Like the Queens, his appearance was subtly different from the other Wraith. His skin was a lighter shade of green and his teeth were less predatory. His body and hands especially were more refined looking
not quite as misshapen as the average Wraith. “Why have awoken early?” He asked one of the other Wraith that were in attendance. “We’ve received word of a rich new feeding ground. One that supposedly supports millions of humans.” “How is that possible? We would have found such a world long before this.” “I don’t know but the ones that provided the information were using Lantean technology.” “The Lanteans live?” If the Lanteans were still alive than that meant their city survived somehow. That city would be his and with it, he could control the other Wraith Hives.