This also appeared as one of my entries in the Second Wave of the Sentinel & Guide Fuq-Q-Fest. The challenges answered were:
First Wave Easy Challenge #21: Who is Blair's father?
First Wave Medium Challenge #12: Crossover challenge – cross the guys with another show. Harry Potter.
Second Wave Easy Challenge #10: A new facet of the Sentinel/Guide relationship makes its appearance in Jim and Blair's lives. What is it?
"No way in hell," Ellison stated, finality in his voice, but not a hint of give. He folded his arms in front him and planted his feet, determined not to let the intruder near his Guide.
"Mr. Sandburg must come with me," Snape pronounced, not at all impressed with the Detective's posturing. "We can't have an untrained Wizard and Shaman running around; he needs a proper education. And he's not safe here."
"He's been doing just fine so far," Jim argued back. "I protect him – and I need him."
The Potion Master's brows rose. "For what?" he scoffed.
After squirming for a moment, Ellison finally decided that he would have to lay all his cards on the table, if for no other reason than whatever magic this guy had could take Blair away against his consent. Softly, he admitted, "To be my Guide."
Severus drew in a quick breath. "You're a Sentinel? Well, this changes everything."
Now that it looked like he was out of danger (and he knew Jim was going to beat himself up about this later, but really, who would be expecting someone to just appear in their living room? And that he was from someplace called 'Hogwarts' School for Witchcraft and Wizardry', and that Blair had to come with him?) Sandburg decided it was time to speak up for himself.
"I don't care if it changes anything. You could at least have had the courtesy to call first, or don't they do that where you're from?" Blair growled. Not giving the taller man time to respond, he continued, "And what do you mean, I have to go with you? I'm not going anywhere. And I may be a Shaman, but what the hell do you mean I'm a Wizard?"
Severus glared at him. "If you would be quiet for one moment," he gritted out between clenched teeth. "I would tell you."
Skimming a hand through the air in an 'After you' gesture, Blair perched on the couch arm while he waited for the other man to speak.
Huffing a bit, Severus said, "I've been trying to contact you ever since I found out about you."
Sensing more to his words than what the mysterious man was telling them, Jim said, "When you found out?"
Severus sighed, and sank down into the armchair. Turning to Blair, he asked, "Would it surprise you to know that your mother and I had a relationship around thirty-five years ago?"
Blair started. "Uh…yeah, actually. You don't look old enough."
Severus chuckled hollowly. "Wizards live about three times longer than muggles – regular humans. I'm actually fifty-five."
Wanting to believe, but not daring to hope, Blair said, "So…you're saying you're my…"
"Father, yes." Severus nodded, then shook his head. "Needless to say, it was a great shock to find out about you. I was concerned that my mother might have been injured in the last of the Death Eater riots – thankfully, she hadn't been. It was when I was searching for her that I came across you. I thought she was my only living relative, so I used a 'Find Family' spell – which found you."
"I'm glad your mother is okay," Blair offered.
Severus inclined his head and smiled tiredly. "So am I."
They sat in silence for a moment, and then Blair ventured, "Naomi never told me about you."
"Nor me about you," Severus returned softly. He sighed, running a hand through his dark locks. "And I'm sorry for the high-handed tactics, but some rather…unsavory characters…from my somewhat checkered past have found out about you, and I'm afraid of what they'll do."
"So you came here to protect him?" Jim asked skeptically. "He doesn't really need any 'training'?"
Snape shook his head, then changed his mind and nodded. "In point of fact, I came here to take him back to Hogwarts, which is warded against intruders. It would be easier to protect him there. I didn't know he had any magic in him until I got here. I may be a Wizard, but his mother is a muggle, which means he only had a 50% chance of having any magical ability." He smiled wryly. "It was quite a shock to find out he is both a Wizard and a Shaman. And yes, actually, he could use training – he doesn't need it, but magic is another weapon one can use to defend one's self. It would be wise if he got some instruction."
"I'm always up for learning new things – but I have a life here, I can't just leave on a moment's notice. Are you sure these people are after me?" Blair asked nervously.
"And how do we know we can trust you?" Jim interjected. "I mean, you show up here and say he's a Wizard and he has to come with you – how do we know any of this is true?"
Shooting the Detective a withering look, Severus said, "I appear from out of nowhere in the middle of your den and you don't think I can do magic?"
Jim growled. "Being able to do magic tricks doesn't make you Merlin."
Severus laughed. "Of course no; no matter how long Wizards live, we do eventually die. Merlin was rather long-lived for our kind, but he did pass on. At the ripe old age of four-hundred and twenty-three, I believe."
Blair blinked, then said excitedly, "You mean it was real? That whole thing about King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table…" He trailed off in disbelief.
"And Merlin, yes," Severus finished. "Not quite as the muggles would have it, but most of the larger details were true."
Shaking his head and holding up his hands, Jim interrupted with, "Okay, this is fascinating, but can we get back to the matter at hand?"
Snape glared at him. "And what, exactly, would you consider proof? I'm sure turning someone into a toad would convince someone of your ilk, but that's a complicated process, and I don't have the proper potion ingredients. And of course, there's the fact that neither of you would volunteer, I'm sure," he said dryly.
Returning the supposed Wizard's glare full-fold, Jim gritted out, "How about you turn yourself into a toad?" He was smarting at the implied insult in the other man's comments.
"How about you do that appearing thing?" Blair suggested, not wanting this disagreement to come to blows. "Can you…disappear from here and reappear across the room?"
Nodding, Severus said, "Yes, I could do that. I could go halfway across the world, and be back in seconds. But would that convince your Sentinel?" He said the word 'Sentinel' as if it were synonymous with 'idiot'.
His face reddening in anger, Jim suggested, "Why don't you go halfway across the world – back to Hogwarts, in fact – and just not come back?"
Blair sighed, and, rising from his seat on the couch arm, walked over to lay a hand on his friend's shoulder. "Jim, if I'm in danger…"
"Which we don't know for sure," Jim interjected.
"…if I'm in danger, and Severus can protect me, then we should at least try," Blair cajoled.
Jim huffed. "It's the people from his 'rather checkered' past who are planning to hurt you."
Kneading the tense muscles beneath his palm, Blair said, "Yes, but even without a checkered past, sometimes people from it will come after the ones you love," he said gently, reminding Jim of Oliver, Lila, Veronica…all people from the Sentinel's own past.
Sighing slightly and leaning back into Blair's touch, Jim grumbled, "Fine. I'll give him a chance. But there's no way he's taking you anywhere without me." He gave his Guide a stern look.
Blair only smiled. "I wouldn't have it any other way, Big Guy."
Severus' clearing of his throat brought them back to reality. "I have to interrupt this tender moment," he said only slightly caustically, "but have you decided what you want me to do to prove myself to you?"
Jim shrugged, sighed, and gave in. "I guess the teleporting across the room thing would be enough." He shot Snape a hard look and said, "But that still doesn't prove whether or not we can trust you, only whether or not you're a Wizard."
"Jim, unless Naomi suddenly shows up and vouches for him, there's most likely no way he could prove whether or not we can trust him," Blair pointed out. "But if he says someone is after us, then maybe we should go with him. I mean, sure, he was a little pushy at first, but if he really wanted to hurt me, he could've just yanked me out of here. We should give him the benefit of the doubt."
"Thank you," Snape said primly, folding his arms in front of his chest. "But your Sentinel has a point – these are dangerous times, and it is only smart to be wary. Hogwarts is in Britain, and I would have to Apparate – er, teleport – with you there. Using Wizarding channels, you wouldn't need a muggle passport, but once you were there, I or another Wizard would have to bring you back. And you," he turned to Blair, "wouldn't really be safe until the war is over. Which could be some time."
Jim's eyes narrowed. "What do you mean, 'these are dangerous times'? We defeated the Al-Quaida; there are no large-scale wars going on."
Snape shot him a withering look. "No muggle wars. But there has been a Wizarding War going on for several years." He sighed. "Lord Voldemort is a sadistic and evil…thing. I'm not sure you could refer to him as a man any longer. He makes Adolf Hitler seem like a minor irritant. And he's very…peeved with me, at the moment."
"What did you do?" Blair asked curiously.
Snape gave a gallows laugh. "I was a double agent, and I betrayed him. He's had people tortured for less. Much less…" his words tapered off, and his expression grew hazy, as if he was thinking of another time and place.
Jim had been monitoring Snape with his senses since he had arrived. The Sentinel could sense no deception on the Wizard's part, and was angry to realize that his Guide, his lover was in danger because of this man, who they had only met today! He knew it was not Snape's fault, however, and tried to rein in his rage. "Will Blair be safe at Hogwarts'?" he asked in a clipped voice.
Nodding curtly, Snape said, "It's probably the safest place he could be."
Waving his arms to get the other two's attention, Blair said, "Hey! Hey! I'm still here, guys. And however much you two want me to be safe, it's still my decision whether or not to go."
Giving his lover an uncomprehending look, Jim said, "Chief, you can't honestly mean that you don't want to go where it's safe?"
Blair scowled at his partner. "Weren't you the one who, not one minute ago, was wondering whether or not we could trust him?" He gestured at Snape, who was watching the two with interest.
Jim shuffled his feet and cleared his throat uneasily. "Well, I was…listening…to Snape, and he is telling the truth about all of this, the war… If you're in danger, I want to do everything I can to keep you safe. And if that means we go to Britain, then we go to Britain…provided you agree, of course," he groused. How was he supposed to keep Blair safe if Blair was against it?
Blair sighed and nodded. "I suppose I'll have to. It's a good thing the semester is over; otherwise I might lose my job. And speaking of jobs, what are you going to tell Simon?"
Jim shrugged, unconcerned. "I'll tell him it's a family emergency and take sick leave. I closed all my open cases yesterday, so I won't be leaving him in the lurch. If this goes on long enough to use up my vacation time, I can always take a leave of absence."
Blair's expression was equal parts awe, disbelief, and pure love. Reaching out to take Jim's hand in his own, he said, in a choked voice, "You'd do that for me?"
"To keep you safe, I'd do anything," Jim vowed softly, squeezing his partner's hand.
Severus cleared his throat uncomfortably. When the two men had turned his way, he said, "I'm sorry to interrupt this touching moment," and he did, indeed, sound apologetic, and not as snarky as before, "but I don't know how much time we have, so you should both pack and get your affairs in order quickly so we can leave as soon as possible. I'm going to go and set up wards around this building that will alert me if anyone dangerous shows up." With that, he disappeared from sight.
They were both silent for moment, then Blair turned a piercing gaze on his partner. "We'll be okay, Big Guy," he said softly. "I swear it."
Pulling his lover into a hug, Jim spoke gruffly into Blair's tangled curls. "I know we will, Chief. I know we will."