Doctor Rodney McKay was just adjusting the straps on his vest and running a mental inventory of the gear he'd packed ready for the mission his team was about to embark upon when the stargate they were gathered in front of started to activate.
"What's going on?" he heard Colonel John Sheppard, the military leader of both the entire expedition and this particular team, yell across the gate room.
"We don't know sir!" one of the technicians yelled back. "The gate just started dialling on its own – and something's blocking the shield from going up! It's like Atlantis is overriding the command!"
"Well shut it off!" Rodney yelled to the technician over the noise the gate and the commotion the unscheduled activation had caused.
"I i can't /i - Atlantis won't let me do that the city has completely locked me out of any system that has to do with the stargate," the technician said as he continued to type away on the keyboard in front of him, presumably looking for any exception to Atlantis's lockout.
Before Rodney could move from his spot a safe distance in front of the activating gate to see what the man was doing wrong or missing, something came through the stargate and landed on the floor in front of him. He looked down and saw it was a person, then he looked to each side of himself and saw that the rest of his teammates were spreading out around the body on the floor, guns aimed and looking ready to fire. Rodney quickly followed their lead.
When the person lying on the floor looked up and started to stand, Rodney was faced with a green-eyed boy wearing black-rimmed glasses that had messy black hair which reminded him somewhat of Colonel Sheppard's hair. He tried to move forward quickly enough to catch the boy as he saw the bright green eyes roll back into the boy's head and his body crumple to the ground.
"What the- CAN WE GET A MEDICAL TEAM OUT HERE!" John yelled as he bent down to examine the boy.
"What's going on out here?" Dr. Weir asked as she came out of her office. She immediately noticed the body on the floor as one she did not recognize. "Who is that?"
"We don't know ma'am, he came through the stargate just as Colonel Sheppard's team was getting ready to leave. The gate just started to dial on it's own, I tried to put the shield up but Atlantis locked me out," the stargate technician informed her.
Elizabeth nodded her head and looked back down at the group gathered around the boy. "Where's the medical-" Before she could finish her sentence Doctor Carson Beckett and several of his staff appeared in the bottom level of the gate room and immediately took charge of the boy who'd not yet woken.
Carson quickly began to assess the situation. "What happened?"
"He fainted. He's probably going to have a pretty nasty bump on the head from were he hit the ground," John offered.
Carson nodded and checked his new patient for any injuries that would need treatment immediately, seeing that the patient was in a condition to be moved he motioned for two of his nurses to bring a stretcher over. The young man was swiftly strapped on to the stretcher that was then quickly carried into the infirmary where John posted two marines inside the room before he picked up the boy's bag to be taken for inspection.
Harry let out a hiss of pain as he woke and shifted on the hard bed in an effort to get more comfortable, he brought a hand up to his head and felt bandages. "Bloody fucking hell, my head hurts!"
"Aye, I bet it does, lad." Harry heard beside him and startled. He would have fallen off of the bed if the man who'd spoken hadn't grabbed his arm to steady him. "Easy there, son."
Harry groaned as he settled back onto the bed. He noticed that the world was significantly blurrier than it was meant to be, and reached up to his face again. "Where're my glasses? I can't see a bloody thing," he asked the blurred blob of white and blue standing next to him.
"Here you go," the white blob said in a Scottish accent as he slid Harry's glasses onto his face for him.
Harry blinked his eyes several times before they acclimatised to not having to struggle to focus. He looked around and recognised the muggle medical equipment, he frowned and turned to the Scottish man next to him. "Where am I?" he asked.
The doctor seemed to hesitate before answering. "You are very far away from home," the doctor said. "Now, may I have your name?"
Harry frowned at the obvious side step of his question, but gave his name anyway. "Harry Potter, sir." Harry watched as the doctor wrote that down on the clipboard he held. "How about you tell me who you are and what happened to me?"
The doctor looked up. "I am Doctor Carson Beckett, and you fainted from being over-exhausted and hit your head."
"Oh," Harry said. He looked over at the two armed men that were standing in the room, eyes firmly fixed on him. They were clearly military; they had that look about them, and were wearing identical uniforms. Harry groaned. "Who are they?" he asked indicating the men who had their hands wrapped around really big guns.
"Don't you worry about them," Dr. Beckett said, avoiding another of Harry's questions. "Now, how old are you?"
"Twenty-five," Harry answered. He was getting irritated with the doctor's lack of answers. Harry looked over to the doctor and saw that the older man was wearing a look of surprise.
The doctor cleared his throat. "You're quite a bit older than I'd guessed," Dr. Beckett told him as he wrote more down on his clipboard. Harry glared at the doctor, his annoyance at being thought much younger than his twenty-five years clearly showing on his face. "Settle down, I wish I looked younger, you should be happy about it!" The doctor said with a smile.
Before Harry could retort a man walked in wearing the same uniform as the men who still held guns pointed at him.
"Ahh, I see our mysterious guest has awoken."
"His name is Harry Potter, from his accent I'd say he's from Earth, England specifically and he's twenty-five," Doctor Beckett informed the man. Harry huffed and folded his arms across his chest.
"Now you know all about me, how about you tell me who you are?" Harry said, getting tired of having to keep asking.
"Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard," the man answered and then turned to the doctor. "Can he be released Doc? Weir wants to talk to him."
"Aye, he's free to go with the understanding that yeh get him a meal sometime in the next hour," Carson informed John.
"Will do. Come on Potter, let's go!" John said as he turned around and left the room, not checking to see if Harry was following.
Harry glared at the retreating back, then let out a startled gasp when he felt strong hands grab both his arms. He looked to either side of himself and glared at the guards who had grabbed him, one arm each, and were proceeding to manhandle him off of the bed.
"Hey! Hey, stop! Let go of me!" Harry said in a panic as he tried to wrench his arms from the two strong guards holding him - whatever the Veil had done to him had clearly sapped his strength and he hated to be dragged about like this. "Is this really necessary? Come on, let me go!"
"Calm down, this is just a precaution - they aren't going to hurt you, though they'd better be a little more gentle," the doctor said trying to reassure his patient, and suggest to the guards to ease down a bit.
Harry looked at the Doctor's smiling face and forced himself to calm down - wherever on Earth he was there were rules and laws to protect prisoners, that was assuming this was a legitimate military gig, which Harry very much hoped it was - he let the guards pull him from the room. He noticed the way people in the corridors they passed through stared at him, and his face burned bright red. He kept his head down as he walked in between the guards the rest of the way.
"Idiots! Get back to work - this isn't some television show that you can just slack off and watch!" Harry heard a voice filled with arrogance yell in front of him, he looked up and his steps faltered as he met the most beautiful blue eyes. "Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum, let go. You Alice, come with me, we don't have all day!" The blue-eyed man ordered and grabbed the sleeve of Harry's shirt. The man dragged Harry along and Harry was too stunned by the snarky man to argue.
The man pulled Harry into a conference room that already had a couple of people in it, a woman in a red top, and Colonel Sheppard. He was pushed down into a chair as the man addressed the Colonel who had reached the room enough in front of Harry to already be comfortably settled in his own seat.
"Colonel, I found your lost puppy - you should keep a closer eye on him."
Harry glared at the man. "I am not a dog, in case it's escaped your notice, and does everyone here really have to manhandle me, if you want me to go somewhere all you have to do is ask. Nicely," Harry said, crossing his arms, and if you'd asked anyone in the room they'd have sworn he pouted too.
"Yes, yes, whatever. Let's get on with it, some of us have work to do," the man said waving his hand dismissively at Harry.
"Mister Potter, I am Doctor Elizabeth Weir, that is Doctor Rodney McKay and I believe you've already met Colonel Sheppard," the woman said. "We would like to ask you a few important questions, is that all right?"
Harry stared at the woman hard, weighing his options. He knew if he said no, it's not all right, they would probably throw him in some kind of jail cell and try to persuade him to change his mind, he also knew that since the Veil had sent him here (assuming it had worked correctly) they might know where his godfather was, so cooperating would most likely be a good idea.
"Very well, ask away - it's not really like I have much of a choice," Harry said.
"Okay, let's start with how did you get here, Mr. Potter?" Weir asked.
"If I knew where 'here' was it would probably be easier to answer that question," Harry retorted, glaring at the people sat around the triangular table.
"That's classified information, Mr. Potter," Dr. Weir told him.
"Well there's a lot of classified information that I'd have to divulge to tell you how I got here," Harry snarked back. Dr. Weir frowned. "I'll make a little deal with you, you tell me where I am, and I'll tell you how I got here."
"I'm not sure that's a good idea Mr. Potter." Harry frowned and then looked around the room, hoping to think up a good argument. His eyes widened when he spotted the symbol from his book on the sleeve of John Sheppard's jacket, it then dawned on him that he'd heard Doctor Jackson mention a John Sheppard when they'd chatted the day before.
"You all work for the SGC," Harry blurted out excitedly.
Doctor Weir raised an eyebrow. "How do you know about the SGC?" she asked.
"I was there yesterday, talking with Dr. Jackson. I saw the stargate, it was amazing," Harry told them.
"So you know Dr. Jackson," Weir said.
"Yes. Very nice man, a little over-excited at times but yes, I met him yesterday when I dropped into his office," Harry said. Elizabeth gave him a sceptical look then made a note on the laptop that was open before her.
"What did you discuss with Dr. Jackson?" she asked, only briefly looking up from the screen.
"We talked about... wait, where's my bag?" Harry asked looking around the room.
"We have it. You understand we can't take any risks, Mister Potter," Dr. Weir answered.
"No, you don't understand, I need it, it's got a very important book in it!" Harry exclaimed.
Dr. Weir frowned. "We didn't see any books in it," she said. "Actually we didn't see much of anything in your bag."
"You wouldn't," Harry muttered to himself as his fingers patted down the side of his leg seeking out the hidden pocket that housed his wand.
"I didn't quite catch that...?" Weir asked him.
"Nothing, ma'am," Harry said as he reached into his pocket to palm his wand and summon his bag. " i Accio bag /i ," he whispered, then hid his wand again before anyone could see it as the bag floated in through the door to land in his lap. He looked up into the shocked faces of everyone in the room and smiled.
"How the hell did you do that?" Colonel Sheppard asked, rising from his seat.
Harry ignored him as he shuffled through the contents of his bag until he found the shrunken book and poked it with the tip of his wand, softly invoking the spell to return it to it's regular size. He set the book on the table in front of him, hands clasped beside it.
"This is the book I need. The symbol on the front is clearly the same as the one on your jackets," Harry said, and pointed to the symbol, careful not to touch it after what had happened the last time.
McKay quickly jumped up and crowded Harry to get a close up look at the book. "Where did you get this book?" he asked as he reached out to touch the cover.
" i Don't touch that /i !" Harry yelled hitting McKay's hand away. "The last time I touched the symbol on the book I ended up in Doctor Jackson's office."
Rodney scowled at him but kept his hands away. "Answer the question - where did you get the book?"
"A contact of mine had it in his possession and sent it my way," Harry said with a small grin on his face as he remembered Fawkes, a phoenix that had once belonged to Albus Dumbledore, dropping the parcel containing the text into his lap a few days before.
McKay looked at him for a second then carefully picked up the book and took it over to his own seat.
"Yes, you may look at it," Harry said sarcastically.
McKay ignored him, but the others were giving him odd looks, so he snapped at them. "What?"
"How were you able to bring the bag to you," Dr. Weir asked, apprehension evident in her voice.
"I guess I'm just special," Harry said as he took an apple out of his bag and started to eat it.
"Are you an Ancient?" Weir asked him, looking hopeful.
"No, I'm not, though I suspect I might carry the gene, like Sheppard there," Harry told her and then took another bite of the apple.
"How did you know-" Sheppard started but Harry cut him off.
"Remember I talked to Dr. Jackson," Harry said as he threw the apple core in a bin in the corner of the room.
"That doesn't explain how you were able to bring the bag to you, and I am certain that when we went through your bag the book was not there," Dr. Weir said, irritation beginning to show in her tone.
"And I've still not been told where I am, so really, we could do this all day, or we could trade secrets. With regards to the book, you just didn't know where to look," Harry said, smirking slightly.
"Mister Potter, welcome to Atlantis," Dr. Weir said finally giving into Harry.
"Wow, that's bloody brilliant!" Harry exclaimed. "Whereabouts on Earth is Atlantis then?"
"Not on Earth. We're in the Pegasus galaxy," Weir answered him.
Harry's eyes widened. "You mean I'm in a whole other galaxy?" he asked. He cradled his head in his hands; he needed to think about how this changed his plans.
"Mr. Potter," Dr. Weir said.
"Yes?" Harry asked quietly, lifting his head, sure he must look as exhausted and worn down as he felt.
"Will you now explain what you are and how you came to be here?" Dr. Weir asked softly, her irritation with him gone.
Harry closed his eyes and with a tired sigh started to explain to them how he was a wizard, how he was searching for his missing godfather, how he'd met Daniel the day before, and his hopes for the Veil that had led him to jump through it.
When Harry finished his tale he was met with three very stunned expressions. He then saw McKay's brow furrow and his mouth open to speak.
"Stop. I know what you're going to say, magic isn't real and so my entire story must be called into question. Magic is real, I used it to summon my bag to me," Harry said, not wanting to hear any accusations.
Doctor Weir touched the switch on her headset. "Doctor Beckett? Can you come to the briefing room? Bring your PDA scanner, thank you."
They all waited in silence until the Scottish doctor arrived.
"Elizabeth, what can I do for you?" Beckett asked.
"I'd like you to scan our guest for the ATA gene," she told him and waved in Harry's direction.
Dr. Beckett nodded his head then turned to Harry who was slumped forwards in his seat holding his bandaged head in his hands.
"Stand up, lad," Beckett said as he came to stand beside Harry who followed the directions. Beckett then took readings of Harry, eyes widening as he saw the results.
"Oh my," Beckett said to himself as he checked over the data.
"What is it Dr. Beckett?" Weir asked him.
"He has the most active ATA gene I've ever seen. A lot stronger than Colonel Sheppard's," Beckett told them as he tried to keep his excitement at bay.
"What does that mean?" Dr. Weir asked him.
"I don't know, but I'd like to find out," Dr. Beckett said.
"Under no circumstances am I becoming an experiment. I've told you I suspected I have the gene - now I know I do I'm sure that the difference is down to the fact I'm a wizard. My magical aura, I think it's caused by the ATA gene meaning it would have to be a lot stronger and more active than Colonel Sheppard's or your own for me to have the ability to use magic," Harry explained to them.
"How-" Beckett started to say, but Harry interrupted him.
"I just read the magical signature of everyone in the room. Yours is very faint, an off-white colour meaning it's there, but either not active or not strong enough to use. Colonel Sheppard's is a bit stronger than yours and almost a light yellow. It's unlikely that he'd be able to use magic either," Harry told them and then pointed to Rodney. "You have the ATA gene, but it's not yours, it's come from someone else. I don't know how it has happened, but that's what your aura is indicating. Doctor Weir is a muggle - has no magical signature, no magical aura whatsoever," Harry said, and then yawned. He supposed he was even more tired than he'd thought and retook his seat.
"That is truly amazing lad," Dr. Beckett said, and leaned over to take a look at Harry's head. "All right, I think that is enough interrogation for one night, Doctor Weir, it's my suggestion that this young man needs a decent meal and a good night's rest - doctor's orders."
"Very well. Dr. McKay, Colonel Sheppard, could you please escort Mr. Potter to the mess and then show him... Do we have a room going spare at the moment?" Dr. Weir said with a thoughtful look on her face.
"None that are cleared out and fit for habitation - the Athosians over from the mainland are in all the other spare rooms," Colonel Sheppard told her. "I can have a couple of my men clean one out tomorrow."
"Then it looks like some doubling up is needed. Colonel Sheppard, set up a cot for him in your room," Dr. Weir ordered.
Harry groaned, he did not want to have to sleep in the same room as Mr. I'm-So-Hot-With-My-Cocky-Attitude-And-Grin.
"No," McKay said. "He can stay with me."
Everyone looked at McKay with confused looks; he just looked back and rolled his eyes. "I'm a scientist, he has a nifty high-powered ATA gene I'm just dying to play around with - never mind the whole magic thing!"
Dr. Beckett glared at McKay. "He'd better go straight to bed, Rodney."
"He will, he will," McKay said, glaring back.
"Fine, while you're eating I'll have a cot moved into your room for the night," Dr. Weir said rising from her chair. She looked at Harry with an assessing gaze. "I expect no trouble from you, understood?"
Harry glared up at her. "Doctor Weir, I am not a child, I do not appreciate being spoken to as if I were one, I certainly don't act like a child and don't deserve it."
"Mr. Potter," she said warningly.
"Fine, fine, no trouble, I get it." Harry sighed, and then broke off his glare. He looked instead a Dr. Beckett. "Thank you, sir, for tending to me. I should have thanked you sooner - I don't know where my manners have gone..."
"Ye're more than welcome, son, and if you have any problems; dizzy spells, shortness of breath, black spots in your vision, you see me right away," Dr. Beckett told him.
Harry gave the doctor a small smile. "I will," he assured him.
Before Harry could say anything else Rodney was beside him again, snapping his fingers in Harry's face. "Come on, come on, I don't have all day to stand around and natter on. I'm hungry," Rodney said, and handed Harry's book back to him.
Harry quickly tucked the book back inside his bag and picked it up.
"Don't worry about carrying that around, I'll have someone put it in Rodney's room when they move the cot in," Weir offered, and Harry nodded and put his bag back down.
"Thanks," he said and turned to McKay.
"Can we go now?" McKay asked, looking irritated.
"All right, but seeing how I don't know this place, perhaps you could move first and show me the way?"
McKay glared at him then turned and stomped out of the room, mumbling something about the English that didn't sound very friendly at all.
Harry chuckled and followed McKay and the Colonel out of the conference room.
After they were done eating, Harry and McKay parted ways with Colonel Sheppard and made their way to Rodney's room.
"While you're staying here don't. Touch. Anything," Rodney said putting a lot of emphasis on his words. "I have everything in a precise order and I want it to stay that way."
"All right, I get it, me no touch stuff," Harry said, looking over at the man walking beside him, straight-backed, chin up and hands clasped behind his back. Harry had to hold back a fit of laughter at the man's arrogant stance.
Harry took his time to study the man. He had short brown hair with a slightly receding hairline that Harry found slightly adorable. He was a little soft around the middle, but Harry didn't mind that so much - he had always found men with a little cushion on them attractive because they were so much different from his own scrawny, bony body. Rodney was also slightly taller than him, but not so much taller that Harry had to strain to look up at him and meet his eyes.
Harry remembered the bright blue eyes that he had first noticed about the man. So far he'd found McKay's personality very refreshing, he'd had enough of all the bullshit people would tell each other at the Ministry just because it was more convenient to them than honesty, no matter how it was phrased.
Harry berated himself - there was no way he could get involved with anyone at the moment, he had too much to do, and he didn't even know if McKay liked other men or not. He sighed as they stopped in front of a door.
McKay put his hand on a small console on the wall to the right of the door and it slid open. The room beyond the door wasn't very big, but it was very open, there was a window on the wall opposite the door, and a bed to the left side of the room. As Dr. Weir had ordered, there was another bed against the wall to the right and Harry's bag was resting on top of the bedding. The next thing Harry noticed about the room was the mess; he looked over to McKay with an eyebrow raised. "Precise order, huh?"
McKay glared at him but didn't answer. "Your bed's over there, the bathroom is through that door and stay away from my laptop, don't even look at it."
"I got that already, don't touch anything kind of covered it," Harry said to him as he went and sat down on his bed. He ignored the annoyed huff the other man made and grabbed his bag.
Harry pulled his wand from the sleeve of his shirt and then reached into his bag for his pyjama trousers, he enlarged them and proceeded to get undressed.
"What the hell are you doing?" McKay exclaimed.
Harry looked at the red-faced man. "Well, last time I checked I was getting dressed for bed. Doctor's orders to get some rest, you know."
"And you have to do it right there?" McKay said, his cheeks flushing redder.
Harry smirked. "I went to a boarding school and lived in a dormitory with four other boys, we all dressed and undressed in the same room, I have no problem stripping off in the same room as you - it's not like I've got anything you haven't seen before."
McKay sputtered as he tried to find something to say while Harry stood and turned to face the bed, pulling down his jeans and boxers and making sure McKay got a good look at his arse as he slid the cotton pyjama bottoms on.
Harry held back his laughter as best he could as he glanced behind him and saw a wide-eyed, red-faced Rodney, gave him an innocent smile and crawled under the covers of the cot. "Good night Doctor McKay," Harry said with a chuckle as he heard more sputtering behind him as he settled down to sleep.