I am SOOOOO SORRY, I wrote this ages ago and I thought I'd posted it – apparently not! Damn. I am really sorry guys, forgive me? 

twenty two

It took time - a few pained weeks, but John Sheppard was finally released for active duty. It had been a rollercoaster ride. His friends old and new were really enjoying sharing storied about him with each other. He wasn't sure he liked being talked about so much but at least it was all being kept in the 'family' as it were. Elizabeth had been so pleased to see him alive and well she'd forgotten all formality and hugged him tightly, her pretty eyes brimming with tears. The scars on his arm would heal and fad. Eventually no one would notice and that was good enough for John. The curious glances from the scientists of Atlantis would stop too, he hoped. They and the military personal could often be found gossiping, trying to pry. Lorne kept the military in check, they knew not to say anything to Sheppard, lest he rip them a new one. The scientists, under McKay's 'care' we quivering in fear when their head geek 'explained' that gossiping about the man responsible for them still breathing was not nice. Quietly John was touched.

Using his wand, he had once again removed his scar. His eyes he kept vibrant green. Out in the Pegasus galaxy it was damn unlikely he'd be recognized as Harry Potter and honestly, he didn't really care even if someone did call him on it. He no longer felt ashamed of his past. He realized that George, Luna, Neville and countless others hadn't died because of him. They had died in spite of him. He could live with that.

Turning the corner, he entered the main control room. The atmosphere was apprehensive and quiet. Today the kind, strange friends of John Sheppard were leaving to return to their homes in England. They were huddled in the gate room. Teyla and Ginny hugged tightly, Hermione and Rodney were chatting about science and magic. Ronon and Ron were stood silently, watching John enter. There were small, sad smiles on all three men's faces. "hey" John greeted the group. He held his hand out to Ron only to be pulled into a heartfelt hug.

"I'm gonna miss you, mate," whispered Ron.

"Yeah, you too buddy," replied John, emotions chocking his voice.

"Oh, you two!" exclaimed Hermione as she too hugged John enthusiastically, "and Harry, don't you dare leave it twenty years before we see you! You know, you are always welcome, as are the rest of you!" she addressed his team, who grinned happily at her. They had all become friends and teammates over the last few weeks; united by their concern and love for John and a will to help him at all costs.

Shyly he turned and smiled at Ginny. He knew he'd miss her the most. Of all things he'd left behind all those years ago, never being with her was one of his biggest regrets. "See you Ginny," he held her in his arms, the friend who could have been more.

"I'll miss you, John. It's been nice being part of your life again," she held him back trying her best to express every thought, feeling and emotion she had for him in a tight hug.

"Its time," said Elizabeth behind the group.

"Dial it," John replied stiffly.

They stood opposite the 'gate and watched the event horizon form and the pale blue light fill the room. The witches and wizard of his past took a final glance at their old friend, trying to convey their love to him until the last as the trio stepped through and the gate shut down.

A sigh escaped John's pert lips. He really was going to miss them. "Come on, I hear we're having mystery meat stew for lunch and Carson has been banging on about you not eating enough, again!"

"Hey! I eat! What about all the cakes we had last night?" John reminded Rodney.

"Drinking a skin full of Radek's homebrew and creating cakes with you wand does not count!"

As they continued to argue down the corridor, Teyla couldn't help raising her eyebrow. Those two with never change she though and that, more than anything reassured her.