Hammond gave Jack an annoyed look – which he then transferred to the bird that was perched on the edge of the table, its claws scoring deep gashes in the once exquisite finish.
"Most people leave their pets at home when they come to work…"
Fawkes gave Hammond a look that was just as annoyed as the one the General had given him, and then promptly ignored him, preening his brilliant feathers with his beak.
"Sorry, sir. He followed me."
It wasn't like it was all that easy to keep your magical, singing, healing bird home when he didn't want to be there, after all.
"Can't we find him something else to sit on?"
"Actually, general," Daniel said, speaking up. "They perch."
"Birds…" he explained, realizing from the little vein that was beginning to pop out on Hammond's forehead that he didn't really care for the correction. "They, um… they perch…"
Sam hid her smile, but not before Jack saw it. He gave her an admonishing look, but she wasn't cowed by any means.
"Colonel? When are you going to see your friends again?"
Friends was a polite way to refer to anyone from the wizard world.
"I should be seeing Harry today, sir, if all goes well."
"Good. When you see him, have him find out how to keep him away. Please."
Of course, if something happened and Fraiser needed him there… well, that would be another matter entirely. Hammond had never seen anything like he'd seen when the bird had shed tears on one of his wounded lieutenants and had healed her on the spot.
Ignoring the battered table as well as he could, Hammond looked over at Teal'c.
"Please continue the briefing, Teal'c."
Harry Potter was standing next to the fireplace when Jack O'Neill arrived. He had to admit that for a Muggle, Jack was getting pretty good at using floo powder, because when he came through he walked out of the fireplace like he was coming out of the room next door. Even Harry sometimes stumbled.
"Hi, Harry. How's it going?"
"Good." Harry watched the fireplace, but no one else appeared. "Sam isn't coming?"
Jack shook his head.
"She's visiting with Brandon Steele and those guys. Wanted to check out the American version of a wizard school."
"Oh." He sounded a bit disappointed, but Jack wasn't surprised. He knew Harry had a bit of a crush on his second in command. So did he. Although he'd never admit it, of course.
"She'll be by next time, most likely."
Just then Sirius walked into the room, and echoed Harry's smile when he saw O'Neill had arrived.
"Jack! You're early."
Harry shook his head.
"He's right on time. You're late." He gave O'Neill an amused look. "Sirius has been distracted lately."
"Yeah?" Jack looked over at Sirius. "Everything okay?"
Black nodded, but it was Harry who answered.
"He's taking over the Defense Against the Dark Arts classes this school term."
"Wow… that's... great."
"You don't know what that means, do you?"
"Sure I do."
He didn't, though, but wasn't going to admit it. When he got back to the SGC, he'd ask Teal'c – or Carter if she had returned from Ashton's.
Sirius gave him a knowing look, but didn't press. He had Jack pretty well figured out by then and knew that he'd go back and ask – and come back next time well briefed.
Are you ready?" Harry asked, not pressing, either. Not because he had Jack figured out, but because there was something else on his mind. Something far more exciting – at the moment, anyways.
"I don't know, Harry… it's really not that good an idea…"
"Are you kidding? It's brilliant. Ron and Hermione are going to help…"
O'Neill looked over at Sirius for some help of his own, but the wizard just smiled.
He scowled, but it was true. He had promised. But only because he hadn't really expected to have to do it.
"Fine," he said, finally, giving up. "Bring on the broomsticks."
How hard could it be? Besides, if he got lucky, the things wouldn't work for him anyways.
Author's note: So! It's over. I know I promised to have it done a lot sooner, but I just couldn't do it. Hopefully it was worth waiting for, and I'll try to do better on whatever I do next. Let me know what you think – if you're of a mind to.