Title: Evening The Odds

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not.

Rating: K+

Summary: HP, SG-Atlantis. John didn't know why he hadn't seen this coming.

Spoilers: SG-A 3.10, "The Return, Part 1"; Post-series AU for HP (no DH)

Notes: For ccmom. Set two years after "Third Life's the Charm", but not quite as optimistic. Spot the Tolkien reference.

John didn't know why he hadn't seen this coming. Really, he should have known better; as much as he missed it sometimes, his Aunt hadn't been entirely wrong about magic. The moment it had become a factor in his life again, it had only been a matter of time before everything came crashing down.

He'd only had four years at Hogwarts before the Second Voldemort War had begun systematically destroying everything he'd ever loved; he'd had even less time in Atlantis before Helia had dropped out of the stars and declared her sovereignty as though it were a foregone conclusion.


He hadn't needed to hear the word to understand what the Ancient Captain and her crew were thinking: it was written in every glance, in the tones of their voices. Unclean; unworthy. Had she been a little blonder and more masculine, he might have thought himself three decades in his past, facing a Malfoy.

Never mind that no Ancient had actually lived in Atlantis for millennia: ten thousand years would not suffice. Never mind that it had been their own fault they'd lost the city, that it had been humans who'd given it life again and made it habitable, that John's people had begun to call it home. All the arguments in the world would never convince them that the humans who had succeeded them deserved equal consideration.

And the IOA was just taking it. How long before Helia and her people decided that humanity shouldn't be left in control of the Milky Way, either? How long before they stepped through their Astria Porta, backed by resources and technology Earth couldn't match alone, to kindly show the barbaric Tau'ri how it should be done? When that day came, it would be too late to oppose them.

John had thought long and hard about that as he left Elizabeth's office the night before their scheduled 0800 departure. Life wasn't fair, he'd told her; it was only fairer than death. But there might be something he could do to even the odds, just a little.

"Is it ready?" he asked, slipping into the nearly-bare office where Carson was packing a few last things.

The doctor looked up, blue eyes narrowing shrewdly at the silvery spill of sensor-baffling fabric draped over John's arm. "Aye. Finished brewing three days ago. Planning to use it, then?"

"No time like the present," John said grimly. "It's undetectable, less permanent than most of the other options, and might even encourage them to rethink their attitude a little."

Carson glanced up at the place on John's forehead where the famous lightning bolt lay concealed under glamour, then sighed. "You don't need to justify yourself to me, lad," he said. "It's in there."

John opened the Charmed cabinet and smiled grimly down at the cauldron of extended-release Felix Horribilis.

"Sorry, girl," he said, reaching out to stroke the wall. Then he threw the Cloak over his head and picked up the cauldron.

He had a city to anoint.