Disclaimer: Don't own anything.
Summary: Crossover w/SGA. Harry's twin is thought to be the BWL. After disappearing the night of Voldemort's attack, Harry is found and raised by the Sheppard family. Plagued by strange dreams of a deserted city and a fearsome enemy, will Harry find the means to save them all? Will he save the wizarding world from their folly?
A/N: This story will take place mostly in Stargate Atlantis universe after Voldemort's downfall, which will be quick. There is a minor crossover with Torchwood, but other than some people and specific events, it is not a major setting and pretty much never mentioned after chapter 2.
October 31st, 1981, Godric's Hollow
James and Lily Potter were parents to fraternal twin brothers living in a modest home on the outskirts of Godric's Hollow in Wales. While this might seem to be a perfectly normal family, in truth, they were anything but. James and Lily were magical; they had met each other while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. Over the course of 7 seven years, James had sought after and finally won the heart of Lily Evans. The pair was married shortly after graduating in 1977.
Being able to use magic wasn't the only thing that set them apart from a normal family. Shortly before their sons were born, they received a visit from Albus Dumbledore, their former headmaster and the leader in the fight against Voldemort, the darkest wizard of their time. The news wasn't good. It seemed that there was a good chance that one of their unborn sons was destined to be the savior of the wizarding world by ridding them of the threat of Voldemort.
As much possible the two pushed the prophecy to the back of their minds. There was nothing to be done about it until their sons were born. So on July 31st, 1980 Lily Potter gave birth to a pair of boys. Both had dark brown almost black hair but the first born had hazel eyes like James while the younger of the two had brilliant green eyes like Lily.
It was a few weeks after they returned home that Albus Dumbledore once again visited them. After studying the two boys while they were sleeping, he came to the conclusion that Thomas, being the elder twin, was more likely to be the one mentioned in the prophecy.
Without meaning to, James and Lily began to favor Thomas over Harry. Now Harry was never neglected but any attention he received from his parents was an afterthought. Harry got fed when Thomas was hungry, changed when Thomas needed it, put down for a nap when Thomas was tired. He was never put first but he wasn't ignored.
James was the first to realize what they were doing and began making a conscious effort to spend more time with Harry and put him first. This was never more evident than one day while playing with Harry, Lily told him to come over and play with Thomas instead. "Lily, I'm playing with Harry." He protested making no effort to move.
Lily glared at James for defying her. "James, Thomas is the one in the prophecy. He needs your attention not Harry."
"We don't even know if the prophecy is about either of them, it could be Neville Longbottom. I won't ignore one son for the other." James said while bouncing a plush toy in front of Harry always moving it
just out of his grasp. Harry's giggles were more than enough of an argument for James to keep playing with him.
"I just know Thomas is the Chosen One. Harry will always be a nobody compared to his brother. We need to do everything we can to make sure Thomas reaches his potential." Lily asserted hotly.
But James ignored her and continued to play with Harry. From that day onward, he made sure to always give Harry the attention and love he deserved since he was certain that Lily wouldn't. It bothered him though. Lily had never been like this in school, she had always treated everyone equally regardless of their magical talents and now here she was dismissing one of their own children before they even knew his potential.
Sirius Black, godfather to both Thomas and Harry and James' best friend, agreed with him. He had grown up under the expectations of parents and knew what it felt like to be forced to be something you aren't.
Remus Lupin, another close friend did not entirely agree with Lily but felt she was right to give Thomas more attention. If he truly was the Chosen One, he would need all the love and support he could get because he would always be singled out in the Wizarding world, never allowed to live a normal life. It was a situation that he was intimately familiar with as a werewolf.
And so time passed as it was wont to do. Gradually, James and Lily were drifting apart because of the continued tension over the two boys and the ever increasing threat from Voldemort. It all came to a head on that fateful Halloween, 1981.
James and Lily had just put the boys down for bed when James felt the wards around their home shatter and collapse. Voldemort had found them.
"Lily, take Thomas and get out of here. I will get Harry." James said urgently moving over to Harry's crib.
"James leave him! We don't have time and Thomas must be kept safe!" She had already picked Thomas up and was hugging him to her chest. A look of concentration passed over her face followed by one of pain making her gasp "James, I can't apparate. There must be wards up."
"Stay behind me." James ordered, preparing to die for his family.
The door to the bedroom and a good portion of the wall exploded inward. In the resulting confusion, Voldemort stepped in and stunned James before he ever got a spell off. Sparing a moment to sneer at the fallen form of his foe, Voldemort reflected on the pain and torment he would suffer on waking when he realized both his children were dead. It would be far worse than simply killing the man and his mudblood wife.
Lily paled when she saw James collapse. Feeling a sense of hopelessness, she put Thomas back in his crib and turned to face Voldemort.
Voldemort, standing straight and tall, his wand held tightly in his pale hand asked in an emotionless voice "I'm not totally without pity. Choose which of your sons will be the first to die. Who knows maybe someone will rescue you before I kill them both."
Lily didn't even have to think about it. Thomas must be protected at all costs. There was only the briefest feeling of guilt for being so cold to Harry in his short life but she pushed it away. "Harry. It should be Harry."
Voldemort's body shook softly as he chuckled. "And they call me cold. If only they could see you, a veritable pillar for the light, sacrificing one of her sons with no remorse. No, I don't think people would react very well to that at all."
"I love both of my sons!" Lily shouted which caused both Harry and Thomas to start crying.
"Of course you do, you just love Harry less. Regardless, you will not be awake to see either of them die." And before Lily could move, Voldemort had stunned her. Like her husband, the pain she would experience would be much more enjoyable for him to watch than merely killing her outright.
On a whim, he decided to honor Lily's decision and moved over to Harry's crib. "You're better off this way boy. Clearly your mother doesn't care about you." He paused for a second before aiming his wand at Harry and chanting "Avada Kedavra!"
October 31st, 1981, Torchwood 3, Cardiff
Founded more than 100 years ago, Torchwood was created as an independent organization by the Queen of England to safeguard the nation against alien threats. But in order to safeguard then nation, they had to understand the aliens and their technology so Torchwood was also a search and retrieval organization, investigating disturbances that could be alien in nature and confiscating any technology they found for study and assimilation.
Soon after its founding, Torchwood was brought in on the secret of the wizarding world. It was felt that in order to be truly effective in protecting the British Empire from unknown threats they would need to know the difference between magical threats and alien threats. Since that time, the line had been blurred on occasion and while Torchwood did not take an active role in the wizarding world, they did keep their eye on current events and would investigate strange incidents.
Over time Torchwood grew. While the British Empire faded into the mists of time, Torchwood remained vigilant. With the development of the global political stage, Torchwood began to recruit members from other nations, augmenting the organization with skills and insights from the other countries. But still, their operations remained centered within the UK.
Torchwood 3 was one of the smaller facilities. It only maintained one active team ranging between 5 – 7 agents. Being located in Cardiff Wales atop a temporal-spatial rift kept them busy dealing with the alien artifacts and beings that were drawn to the area because of the energy given off by the rift. It was a relentless job that sometimes took its toll on the team but drew them together into a tightly knit group as well. They were comrades forged in the fires of adversity.
Captain Jack Harkness, a tall good looking man with dark brown hair and pale blue eyes that appeared to be in his late 30s was sitting behind his desk in the Torchwood 3 facility. He had been in charge of the
facility for quite some time now and was enjoying one of the first quiet nights in the last few weeks. Unfortunately for him, the quiet was soon shattered by an alarm blaring throughout the facility accompanied by the red flashing lights.
Emerging from his glass enclosed office, he ran down the stairs to the main level and asked "Anna, what do we have?"
Anna, a slight proper woman with short brown hair and gray eyes was standing over a computer station that appeared to have been pulled out of a science fiction movie. The screen was flashing in time to the lights flashing around them. Dimly she noted the sound of footsteps on the metal walkways and she could only assume that the rest of the team was rushing over.
Jack was growing impatient when Anna refused to answer. She was apparently analyzing the data and waiting for the rest of the team to arrive. Once everyone was assembled she looked up and was tempted to stick her tongue out at Jack. He could be so easy to tease but now wasn't the time and the look on his face was enough to tell her that it wouldn't be appreciated.
"There was a level 4 magical disturbance just outside of Godric's hollow. I don't have any data on survivors but the magical discharge was immense."
Jack thought through the situation for a moment. Normally, they tried to stay out of the wizarding world but a level 4 event was too big to ignore. "Ok, we're going in. Anna you coordinate from here. Michael, Diana and I will investigate the site of the disturbance."
Anna nodded in understanding.
Michael Sheppard, a man in his late thirties with dark brown, messy hair left to prep the car. He was fairly new to Torchwood but he was an American that had been trained in the military so Jack was happy to have him along. It never hurt to have someone trained to defend themselves.
The only negative Jack had found with him so far was that he had a family. It had been Jack's experience that agents with families tended to put them first when the chips were down. To make matters worse, Michael had a son that had just turned 13. While Jack personally liked him, he thought that one of the other branches might be a better fit in the long run.
Diana was the oldest of the four. She was in her late forties and was in quite good shape for her age. Her jet black hair was pulled back into a pony tail and she was dressed in a pair of jeans and a black long-sleeve turtleneck. While Michael was readying the car she went and retrieved some basic equipment, a hand held scanner and the side arms. Part of her hoped someone got in their way, the guns may look like normal pistols, but they were anything but. They had been modified using alien technology so now they had more in common with Star Trek phasers than a typical gun.
Five minutes later, the trio was on the road, following directions given to them via radio by Anna. Luckily given the time of night, there was virtually no traffic on the road. The engine in the black van roared as it shot down the dark roads. Even traveling at close to 200 kilometers per hour, it took them close to 45 minutes to reach the site.
The three were quiet as they got out of the van and approached the smoking remains of the home. It appeared to have collapsed in on itself as a result of whatever had happened. The entire second floor was gone and gaping holes dotted the walls. It was surely on the verge of collapsing, so much so that Jack decided it wasn't worth the risk of investigating directly.
"Ok spread out but stay away from the house. I don't want anyone hurt when that thing collapses."
Before splitting up, Diana handed each one a small hand held scanner that could be used to take energy readings. Jack started to circle to the left side of the house while Michael took the right side and Diana focused on the front.
It didn't take long for Jack to find something. In addition to the high levels of necromantic energies permeating the ruins of the home, Jack found something quite unexpected. There lying on the ground was the unconscious form of a young child. He was had no blanket or anything to give a clue to his identity, just a set of generic blue pajamas.
A tiny voice in the back of his mind was urging Jack to save the boy. Assuming that there was no one else to care for the boy, he would be alone in the world. It was impossible to not to see the parallels between him and this child. Since reviving after the encounter with the Daleks, he had been disconnected from everyone, different, forced to keep everyone at arm's length for fear of how they would react to his secret.
Jack took a moment to study the home. It would have been impossible for someone to still be alive in the ruins of the home. If this was indeed an attack the way it appeared, then it wouldn't be safe to make the boy's survival public. He was alone, like Jack.
Strong, calloused hands gently lifted Harry from the grass. A sliver of concern sliced through him when Harry didn't even stir. Jack could only hope that he would recover from whatever had happened. One arm cradled Harry to his chest while the other reached over to activate his earpiece.
"Everybody, wrap things up. I found a survivor and we need to get him checked out."
Back at Torchwood, Anna frowned there was something wrong with Jack. She couldn't quite put her finger on it but he was rattled.
Even though he was carrying Harry and moving carefully, Jack was the first one to reach the van. By the time Michael and Diana made it back, Jack had rigged up a makeshift method to keep Harry secure on the stretcher they routinely carried in the back on the van in case of injuries.
Diana was the first to arrive being the closest since she was searching the front portion of the ruined home. She saw Jack standing at the rear of the van and moved over to him swiftly. "Have you gotten anything out of them? Do you know what happened here?"
Jack finished securing Harry to the stretcher before answering Diana's question. His head shook side to side and his body moved slightly so that Diana could get a view of the stretcher.
She leaned in and caught a sight of the unconscious child. "I guess not." She answered her own question dryly. Even if the child had been awake he was clearly too young to know more than a few words. "Was there any indication as to who lives here or if there might be any survivors?"
Michael had arrived in time to hear Diana's second question. "I didn't pick up any signs of movement or anything else within the house. Whoever lived here, they must be dead." There was a note of detachment in his voice. It was his Michael's way of dealing with the deaths they saw while on the job.
"Poor kid." Diana added sadly at the same time, she moved over to the passenger side and stepped in.
"We need to get him checked out back at Torchwood." Jack said briskly. "Michael, get in the van. I want to get out of here before any wizards show up." Normally Michael drove but this time Jack got into the driver's seat and took off into the night. Some instinct was urging him to get back to the base as soon as possible. There was something putting the boy in danger and he could only hope that he could find the answer in time.
October 31st, 1981, Godric's Hollow
Albus Dumbledore along with Alastor Moody, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Sturgis Podmore arrived at the ruins of the Potter Home not long after Jack and his team left.
Sirius wanted to break down at the sight of the ruins and Remus had to fight to retain control of the wolf within him.
Alastor just shook his head at the loss of another two soldiers in the fight against Voldemort.
Albus only hoped that they had arrived in time to save the Chosen One. The explosion of magic could mean nothing else. Whatever had happened had destroyed Voldemort, there was no other explanation for such a powerful blast of magic. It was unfortunate that James and Lily were dead but it would make it easier for him to mold the boy into the figure head that would lead the wizarding world according to his design.
It was a struggle for Sirius to control the tears that were welling in his eyes. A wave of lethargy washed over him. He wanted nothing more than to collapse on the ground and wail his loss to the night. But he couldn't do it, James and his family deserved to be laid to rest. It wasn't right that they should by lying in the ruins of their home.
Unknowingly the group of men mimicked the Torchwood team and spread out to approach the home from different angles. Unlike Torchwood, they had the advantage of magic to keep them safe and allow them to enter the home.
Dumbledore was first inside. He was followed by Remus. Alastor, Sirius and Sturgis were entering from the rear of the home.
"Albus did you hear that?" Remus' keen hearing had picked up a whimper coming from what used to be the study.
Blues eyes twinkling in humor Albus responded "Not all of us are gifted with enhanced senses Remus. What was it you heard?" As long as Remus remembered his place in the scheme of things, Albus was willing to tolerate the man, werewolf or not. Now for once, the curse was coming in handy.
"It was this way." Remus focused on the noise and led Albus into the study. What he found was astounding and he called out for Sirius. "Sirius, they're in the study. They're alive."
Albus struggled with himself. He maintained his cheery front but inwardly was gnashing his teeth. This would make his plans much more difficult. Ah well, no use crying over it now. With a wave of his wand, he cleared the debris from the floor and approached the prone forms of James and Lily. To his relief he found Thomas as well. It must have been the boy that Remus heard since he was crying tiredly. Amazingly there wasn't a scratch on him; the power the boy must have to accomplish such a feat at his age was staggering. "Come we must get them to Hogwarts quickly. It is possible that Voldemort has done something to them."
Remus nodded and along with Albus levitated the bodies of his two friends. Thomas was cradled in his arms by the time Sirius arrived in the study along with Alastor and Sturgis. "Oh thank Merlin, they're alive." Then he frowned when he realized that someone was missing. "Wait Remus, where's Harry? Have you found him yet?"
Absently Remus shook his head. Like Lily, he had never really paid much attention to Harry. Thomas was more important in his mind.
Albus too looked around but was unconcerned as long as he had the Chosen One. "Sirius I fear that Harry was most likely killed in the magical explosion that Thomas was responsible for. You should be happy that Voldemort is banished. Thomas is going to need your support now, forget about Harry."
"I'm not leaving here until I find him." Sirius said stubbornly and left to search the rest of the home.
"Come, we can't waste any more time here." Albus ordered everyone back to Hogwarts, leaving Sirius alone to search for Harry.
October 31st, 1981, Torchwood 3, Cardiff
By the time they arrived back at Torchwood both Diana and Michael were pale. Jack had been pushing the van to its max speed at over 250 kph. It was only thanks to a few special enhancements that enabled them to drive that fast. The time of night was the other reason that Jack could push their speed so high; there was virtually no other traffic on the road.
Michael waved both Diana and Jack away when they moved to take the boy out of the van. "Go inside and make sure Anna has everything setup. I want to know if there is any residual damage from the incident." During the brief trip, Michael had been caring for the boy as much as possible. For some reason he reminded him of John his own son, with his messy black hair.
Jack was going to protest before deciding it wasn't worth the battle. He shared a brief look with Diana before they both shrugged and went inside.
Diana was a little surprised by Michael's attitude. He was normally unaffected by their cases but something about this one had gotten under his skin. It was best to leave it alone for now and make sure it didn't become a problem down the line.
Holding Harry carefully in his arms, Michael made his way swiftly from the garage to the med-bay. His long black trench coat was flaring behind him as he moved. The heavy steel door slid open as he approached. Inside the med-bay was brightly lit, the pristine white walls reflecting a portion of the light back. There were a pair of gurneys in the room and a host of medical apparatus arrayed around them.
"Michael, place the child on bed 1. I will begin the tests." Anna said briskly. Her normal outfit now covered by a white lab coat.
Reluctantly Michael did so. However, he refused to take more than a step or two from Harry's side. Anna decided to avoid a confrontation and as much as possible moved around Michael. The only time she forced him to move away was when she took an x-ray of Harry to make sure he had no broken bones. While she was running her tests, Jack walked in and began to observe.
Michael was waiting patiently but Jack was growing frustrated and was shifting his weight from side to side. Nervous energy was making him jittery. Something was wrong, he knew it. Anna was too quiet and running too many tests for everything to be ok and why hadn't the boy woken up yet? All this and more was running through Jack's mind when Anna brought him back to reality.
"I'm sorry Michael, Jack, but I think the boy is dying." Anna was nothing if not direct and her blunt assessment of Harry's condition shocked everyone in the room.
"What? Why? There's nothing visibly wrong with him." Jack protested strongly. This couldn't be happening. He sympathized with the boy, felt like he had found a kindred spirit of sorts. And now…now Anna was saying that the boy was going to die. No! He wouldn't let it happen. Somehow he would save the boy.
Anna looked sad herself. It was hard to detach yourself from the death of a young child. It didn't matter how many dead bodies she had seen, they had always been adults but this was different. He was a child, an innocent. He hadn't had a chance to live yet. "No, he isn't hurt physically. But, whatever happened at that house left its mark. His body is saturated with necrotic energy. For some reason it is centered on the cut on his forehead." She finished pointing to the strange lightning bolt shaped cut marring the otherwise flawless skin.
Diana had lost a child to illness herself and she had no intention of losing another one, even if the boy wasn't hers. "Isn't there something you can do to siphon them off or purge them somehow? I mean what the hell is all this technology good for if we can't even save one little boy?" She finished gesturing to everything around them.
Anna was already shaking her head "There are a few things we could try but he is so young they would kill him. I'm afraid there's nothing I can do."
Necrotic energy…necrotic energy…the power of death. The phrases kept running through Jack's mind over and over again. When the answer came to him, he wanted to kick himself for not realizing it immediately.
When he had been traveling with the Doctor, he had died when fighting the Daleks. Something, he still didn't know what, had brought him back to life. Most people would thank whatever god they worshipped and move one but Jack soon found that this particular gift was a curse. He didn't age and he couldn't die. Fatal injuries took only moments to heal, the worse the injury the longer it took but he always came back. As he thought of it, he had a surplus of life energy flowing in him that kept him from dying. Maybe at some point in the future, it would be expended but for now, he was immortal.
If the boy was dying from the necrotic energies that had saturated his body then maybe an infusion of his own life energy would be enough to counteract it. Unfortunately there was only one way he could think of to do that and he didn't want to expose his secret. Anna knew of course as his second in command but Michael and Diana were still in the dark.
Letting his shoulders slump in defeat, Jack pulled over a stool and sank down onto it. "Diana, Michael go home. It's been a long night. I will stay here with the boy in case something happens." After seeing the looks of protest, Jack added "Please I just want to be alone for a while. You can visit him in the morning."
The two had worked with Jack long enough to know when his mind was made up. So after saying goodnight, they both left. Anna was getting ready to leave as well but Jack stopped her. "Anna, would there be any harm in transfusing the boy with my blood?"
To say Anna was surprised would be an understatement. This whole sequence of events since Jack had found the boy was mystifying to her. Normally her friend held everyone at arm's length. She had never seen him get involved with someone, let alone a child. "Ok Jack what's going on? Why did you send the others away?"
"Just answer the question first?" Jack asked doggedly.
Anna leaned against a table covered with various pieces of equipment. "Well, given that your unique condition makes you a universal donor, no there would be no harm. What would be the point though? He is not anemic or in shock?"
"You said it yourself; the necrotic energies are slowly killing him. We know that for lack of a better explanation I have surplus of life. I'm hoping that by transfusing some of my blood that will counteract the necrotic energies."
Anna closed her eyes and gave the matter some thought. "It might work, assuming your theory is correct. But before I agree to this I have two questions you have to answer. Why do you care and if the boy survives what will happen to him?"
Jack stood and began to pace back and forth.
Anna noticed than even pacing he never moved more than a pace or two away from the boy. "Ok Jack, what's up? Why do you care what happens to this boy?"
Never stopping, Jack looked up at Anna and she almost took a step back, surprised at the raw anguish and wanting that was written all over his face. "Anna…" He began softly.
"The truth Jack or I won't help." She said sternly and crossed her arms in front of her chest.
Her tone finally forced Jack to stop his pacing. "Anna, he can't die. I don't know I just…He's the same as me. All alone, there's no way that someone could have survived in that home. Someone has to fight for him; someone has to help him…" His voice dropped to whisper "The way no one could help me."
Anna heard him though and frowned. "What's going to happen to him if this does work? We can't put out an advert asking if someone is missing a boy. Whatever attacked that home may come back if they know the boy survived."
Jack moved back to the stool and sat down again. Anna was no longer surprised when she saw Jack run his hand through the boy's hair. "I know. In truth, I don't know what will happen to him. If this were a different situation, I may consider adopting him myself but he would always take a backseat to Torchwood and that wouldn't be fair to him."
"Well, I suppose he could always go to an orphanage, it's not like he could give away any secrets. Regardless though, we don't even know if this will work and if it does it may take multiple treatments."
Jack was getting frustrated now. "Look, I know this may not work but the longer we sit here and debate the matter, the more likely it is that he will die." Trying to calm himself, Jack took a deep breath and sat down "So can we just do this thing? Or are you going to talk long enough so that he dies?"
Shock and hurt fought for dominance on Anna's face, hurt finally winning. She held up her hands in surrender "All right, all right we'll try it. I just wanted to make sure you knew what you getting into."
It didn't take her long to setup the transfusion. Jack was sitting next to the unconscious boy, a clear tube running from his arm to the boys. Slowly Jack's blood filled the tube and made its way into the boy. After what she deemed was long enough, she unhooked both of them. "All we can do now is wait."
October 31st, 1981, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry
Sirius Black didn't make it to Hogwarts for a few hours. All that time had been spent combing the ruins and surrounding land for any sign of Harry. There was nothing. No signs that he had been taken, no spell traces, and worst of all no body.
By the time he made it up to the infirmary in Hogwarts, he was exhausted and there were dark circles under his eyes. He assumed that given the events of the night, Poppy Pomfrey, the school nurse would not let any of the Potters out of her sight for at least one night, if not more.
When he walked in, it was to find James talking heatedly with Dumbledore. "James you must focus on Thomas. He is the Chosen One."
Whatever James was going to say was lost when Sirius closed the door to the infirmary, attracting the attention of Albus, Lily and James. Sirius took a moment to note that Lily was holding a sleeping Thomas who appeared to be unhurt. He was happy that at least one of his godsons had escaped unharmed.
James took in the sight of Sirius' haggard and downcast face and the fact that he didn't have Harry with him. Sagging back into his pillow "Did you at least find his body Padfoot?" James asked softly.
Sirius hopped onto an empty bed and shook his head. "I'm sorry mate. There was no sign of him anywhere. I didn't get any traces of portkeys or magic either."
Lily turned to address James from her bed. "See James, I told you he was probably killed by the backlash of Thomas banishing You-Know-Who. It is regrettable but there's nothing we can do about it." She said all this like she was explaining how to make a potion or cast a spell. There was no remorse or sadness in her voice whatsoever. In fact, as soon as she was finished speaking she turned her attention back to Thomas.
"Lily is right James. As I said Thomas is the Chosen One. He will need you more than ever now."
"I don't believe you, either of you. Our son may be dead and you Lily, say it is regrettable?! What in god's name is that? Harry is our flesh and blood, our son, not some piece of garbage to just be discarded." James was turning red. He wanted to yell and scream at the world but he was trying to keep from exploding.
Sirius saw all this and knew James was struggling. "Come on mate, I'm sure she didn't mean it like that." He didn't really believe his own words; he had seen the way that Lily ignored Harry and it saddened him to say that her attitude now didn't surprise him.
"James, it's better this way. Harry would have just gotten in the way. Thomas is going to need training and he will have all sorts of obligations to fulfill in our world. Now we don't need to worry about Harry at all."
Albus remained silent, watching as the two Potters argued. Lily was doing an admirable job of pushing James away even though she surely didn't understand what she was doing. Of the two, Lily had always looked to him as a mentor and guide in the wizarding world far more than James ever had. If she kept pushing, it was very possible that James would leave which would make it much easier to ensure that Thomas was raised believing in Albus' way of thinking about the future of their world. As tempting as it was to try and prod things along, he knew he was better off leaving them to battle it out. Nothing would end tonight, but the seeds were being planted.
"I honestly don't know who you are anymore. You're certainly not the woman I married. That woman would never have ignored one of her sons, regardless of the circumstances. I know she wouldn't have called the disappearance or death of her son regrettable."
Sirius jumped in. He didn't want things to escalate further. Both his friends had tempers and were liable to say something they would regret if they weren't stopped now. "Hey now, tempers are running a little high. Nothing is going to happen tonight and we need to start making arrangements for Harry. But all of that can wait until the morning."
James looked like he wanted to protest before he gave in. "Fine!" He rolled over with his back to Lily not wanting to look at her right now. Away from the prying eyes of his family, James let his tears for his lost son fall. "I'm sorry Harry, I'm so sorry. If you're out there, I swear I will find you someday."
November 1st, 1981, Torchwood 3, Cardiff
It had been a long sleepless night for Jack. Anna had left about an hour after the transfusion was completed once she was sure that Jack wasn't going to pass out. She wouldn't have left the boy alone but she knew that Jack was not going anywhere; it would take the rift opening in the middle of the facility itself to get him to move right now.
In the middle of the night Harry woke and started to cry. There was no thought or hesitation on Jack's part. He picked Harry up and rocked him gently in his arms until Harry calmed down and fell into a natural sleep. Jack hoped that it was a sign that the transfusion was working.
After Harry was asleep again, Jack retrieved a more comfortable chair from Anna's work station. He settled into the soft chair and leaned his head back letting his eyes close for a moment. But his anxiety over Harry kept him from falling asleep. The need for a physical connection was strong enough that Jack decided to just hold Harry for a while, letting him sleep in his arms.
To his eternal embarrassment, Jack's team found him the next day in the same position. He was leaning back in the chair dozing. Harry was asleep on his chest, held securely in Jack's arms. They both slept on oblivious to the fact that he was being watched by his teammates.
The flash of light in the dimly room was enough to startle Jack from his sleep. In the process, Jack jostled Harry awake. But his cries were weak and he seemed to move lethargically. "Anna?" Jack asked nervously.
Anna saw it too. She was happy that the boy was awake but something was still wrong with him. "Jack please put him back on the gurney so I can run the tests again." At least this time, there were only a few tests that she would need to run, since some things wouldn't have changed from a few hours ago.
Michael and Diana were concerned as well but not just about the boy. They were worried about Jack. He seemed so attached to the boy. Neither was sure what would happen if the boy died. For now there was nothing they could do but stand and watch as Jack returned the boy to the gurney and Anna began her scans.
"You should have seen it Anna, he woke up briefly just after you left. He has the most amazing green eyes. I've never seen such a pure intense shade before."
Anna just nodded her head absent mindedly while going over the results of the scans. She was pleased; the effects of the transfusion were promising but not quite enough. "Jack, I'd like to do another transfusion."
Diana stepped forward "Transfusion? What? Why would that help?"
Anna looked to Jack, not sure how to answer without giving away Jack's secret.
"It's ok Anna; they have a right to know." Anna wasn't sure where Jack was going with this. His secret was always at the front of his mind and it was a little surprising that he would be willing to share it now. So she was going to let him take the lead.
Michael was more than a little upset. Torchwood was all about secrets, but they weren't supposed to be keeping secrets from each other. "What?! What do we have a right to know?"
Jack put on a show for Diana and Michael, acting repentant and somewhat defeated. "It was a few years ago before you two joined up. We were experimenting on an alien device that had washed up through the rift."
Anna saw what Jack was doing and agreed that it was probably for the best. His apparent immortality would raise too many red flags, especially within Torchwood. It was only safe for the leaders to know and if Jack could be believed, the queen herself. She added her spin to it because it would also let Jack know she knew what he was doing. "There was an accident, it destroyed the device."
"What does that have to do with Jack?" Michael demanded.
Jack glared at the younger man for a moment. "I was the one running the experiment. We hadn't learned much about the device, only that it was some sort of medical diagnostic or healing device." He paused for a moment, unsure where to take the story or describe its effects on him. Thankfully Anna picked up the slack.
"Jack was unhurt by the explosion but something about the energy powering the device changed him. He became something of a universal donor and his natural regenerative abilities were greatly enhanced."
"What does that mean exactly?" Diana asked, probing for more information. She had an idea what they were saying but she wanted confirmation.
"It means that I heal from most wounds in minutes."
"Is that why you're never sick?" Michael asked, his curiosity getting the better of him. He was still upset that they kept this secret, but part of him could understand the reason. Given the nature of their work, it would've been hard not to be a little suspicious of such an accident. "Does anyone else know?"
"Yeah, I haven't gotten a cold once since it happened. To answer your second question, yes the higher ups are aware of my condition. Everyone felt it was best to keep it quiet. With what we do, it was felt that too many people might get the wrong idea."
Diana nodded reluctantly, she could understand that logic. It was true a lot of the Torchwood personnel would not trust Jack if they knew about the changes from the accident. "Ok, I guess I can understand that. But that doesn't explain the transfusion."
The light bulb went off in Michael's mind. "Yes it does." He turned his attention to Anna "You said that the boy was saturated with necrotic energy right? Basically it was all the energy or magic or whatever the hell you want to call it associated with death."
Anna and Jack both nodded. Jack remained silent more than willing to let Michael come up with the explanation and ignore any inconsistencies with his story. Plus, it was evident that Michael understood the reasons behind the transfusion.
"So you're betting that whatever that device did to you that amped up your body's natural healing can be transmitted through your blood. You're hoping that somehow it will purge the kid's body."
Diana was looking from Michael back to Jack and Anna. "Is that possible? Can you save him with a transfusion?"
Anna finally felt like the ground under her feet was firming up again. Diana's question and Michael's suppositions put her back in the driver's seat, able to control the conversation. "Yeah, it was Jack's idea actually. We already did a transfusion last night after you left and I must say, I'm very happy with the results. According the scans, most of the energy has been purged but there is still enough there to kill him in a few days time. That's why I want to try another transfusion."
Jack needed no prompting. He quickly scooted the chair close to the gurney and held out his arm. Anna wasted no time in setting up the equipment necessary and once again watched as blood from Jack slowly made its way through the clear plastic tubing into the boy.
"If this works, what's going to happen to him?" Diana asked, her maternal instincts coming out. Like Jack, she had moved to stand next to child. Gently she ran her fingers over his face.
Anna smirked at Jack. This would be fun. "Diana raises an important question Jack. If this does work, I would like to make sure that he is available for tests."
He glared at Anna for a second before sitting up straighter in the chair. He had been hoping to avoid this discussion until he had come up with some sort of plan. "I don't know. I suppose he can give him to a local orphanage once we are sure that he will be ok."
Michael had a thought about that. The previous night, he had talked with Maggie, his wife, about the boy. John, their son, had been asking when he was getting a brother for quite a while now but Maggie wasn't able to have any more children as a result of complications during John's birth. "Maggie and I can take him in. But…" He stopped for a second to glare pointedly at both Jack and Anna. "If we do this, he will be ours. We make the decisions regarding his well being and I'm going to want something from the queen herself on this."
"No Jack. I've seen it happen before in the States. He's a little boy and he will be part of my family. This is permanent; I'm not relinquishing control just because Torchwood later decides he might be interesting!" He finished forcefully.
"Michael…" Jack tried again.
"No there's no negotiating here. Either you do this my way or find some other solution."
"Michael, I agree. The kid doesn't need to be some test subject in the future. The bit with the queen though…" Jack said congenially. When he saw the look on Michael's face he gave in. "Fine, I will see if I can call in some favors."
Michael nodded in satisfaction. "Good, then with that out of the way, I will just go have a word with Maggie."
"Ok that's enough guys. You can work out the details later but right now I need you to leave the med-bay. All this noise and tension isn't doing my patient any good."
Jack was stuck there until the transfusion finished and Anna was insistent that he remain and rest afterwards. A few hours later, Jack called for Anna over the comm. "Anna, come to the med-bay. There's something wrong with the boy."
Pushing up from her desk, she quickly made her way across the catwalks and down the stairs to the med-bay. "What is it Jack? What's wrong?"
"It's the boy. It looks like he's in pain."
Anna smiled at him for a moment and then she saw what Jack was talking about. The boy was still unconscious but he seemed to writhing in pain. It was heart breaking to hear his little whimpers of pain. She repeated her tests from earlier to see if there had been a setback. "The good news is that the necrotic energy has been completely purged from his body, even his scar which had the highest concentration."
"Then what's going on?" asked Jack.
"Jack, can you hold him steady? I want to check his pupil responsiveness." Jack moved silently, gently holding the boy's head in place while Anna pull an eyelid open and flashed the penlight. She was pleased to note that the pupil contracted quickly but something else was off. "Jack, I thought you said he had green eyes?"
"He does why?"
Anna checked his other eye and found the same thing. "Because now they are a mix of light blue and green. If I didn't know better, I'd say he had your eyes."
Jack moved around so he could get a better look. He couldn't stop his gasp. "But how…I've given blood before and nothing like this has ever happened." When Anna moved away, Jack scooped the boy into his arms attempting to soothe him.
"I'll want to run some more tests when he is better but…well…I have some ideas but I don't want to say until I get the results of the test back."
Jack looked like he was about to protest but he had worked with Anna long enough to know that he wouldn't be able to get anything out of her before she was ready. "Fine, just let me know when you come up with something."
Much to Jack's annoyance, Anna locked down her computer in the med-bay so he couldn't sneak a look at the test results before she was ready. So he was stuck waiting in there for close to four hours. During that time, he barely left the boy's side, whenever he would cry out or whimper in pain, Jack was there to hold him and provide what comfort he could.
Anna finally walked in when Jack was getting ready to leave the room and threaten her with physical violence if she didn't tell him something. "There are times when I really appreciate working at Torchwood. We never would have been able to understand what was going on with him otherwise, at least not for several weeks at a minimum."
"As much as I appreciate the sentiment, I would rather get some actual information." Jack all but growled.
"Ok, ok you know I open up to you, share a few of my personal feelings and this is the reception I get." Seeing the look on Jack's face, she decided that maybe joking around wasn't the best approach to take at the moment.
"So, you want to know about him. Well it appears that whatever had happened to him to infect him with the necrotic energy had damaged his DNA in a manner similar to radiation poisoning. It is possible that he could have survived but it would have been unlikely. Even if he had survived there probably would have been physical changes. I doubt his body would have ever reached its full potential physically."
"And what about now? Why did his eyes change color? Is that another symptom of the damage?"
"That's just it, the damage is being repaired. Presumably, the boy is a wizard given the event and the location so I don't know if this is his magic's doing but I have a feeling it is more than that. Since your blood has such unique properties, I think it is somehow working with his magic and repairing that damage using your DNA as a template. If I'm right, in essence you will be like a third biological parent to him. I won't know for sure until I can do a DNA comparison once the process is complete."
There was a part of Jack that was thrilled. If something should ever happen to him, there would still be a legacy passed on. "But why is he in pain?"
Anna shrugged "I don't know Jack but the basic building blocks of his body are changing. That can't be pleasant. I would give him something, but I don't know how he would react. Unfortunately, he's just going to have to wait it out."
"Jack why don't you go take a nap or something. I'll watch him for a while and you look like you need a break."
A nap wasn't in the plans for Jack though. As soon he left the med-bay he was peppered with questions from Diana and Michael. Even though he didn't want to talk about it, he repeated the explanation given to him by Anna.
Michael patted Jack on the back while grinning. "I suppose this means that you will be an uncle, poor kid." His grin was more than enough to take any sting out of the statement. "You know most guys prefer to father kids naturally."
A little surprised by the turnaround from earlier Jack welcomed the joke and stage whispered to Michael so that Diana could hear him clearly as well "Yeah, but at least this way I didn't have to deal with a hormonal pregnant woman."
One of Diana's eyebrows arched dangerously and she warned both men in a severe voice "I will pretend I didn't hear that. We don't want to make the boy an orphan twice over now do we?"
"Oh, Diana you know I love you." Jack said, honey dripping from his voice. His eyes always gave him away though. He couldn't stop the sparkle that always seemed to fill them whenever he was trying to sweet talk her.
"What are you doing out here anyway? Did Anna finally run you off?" She asked completely ignoring his previous statement.
Jack started to walk towards his office again. His heavy footsteps echoing softly off the cavernous walls as he climbed the metal stairs. "Yeah, something about needed a nap, but how can I sleep knowing that he is in pain?"
"Than what are you doing?" Asked Michael.
"I'm going to make a few phone calls. I'll call in a few favors and make sure there are no problems with you adopting him." There was a steely tone in his voice that told everyone that come hell or high water, Michael would be leaving with that boy. "Have you given any thought to a name for him? I'm getting tired of calling him 'the boy.'"
"Yes we have. Maggie always liked 'Jason.' She is thrilled to get a chance to use it." Michael finished cheerfully.
Jack nodded in approval but didn't say anything. If circumstances were different, he would adopt Jason himself, but there were responsibilities that he could not forego.
Diana knew Jack better than Michael did and she put a hand on his shoulder to forestall any more questions. "Do you need any help?"
Jack shook his head and closed the door to his office behind. He wanted to do this alone. If he couldn't be Jason's dad the least he could do is make sure that Michael could be.
July 31st, 1986, Godric's Hollow
The birthday celebration for Thomas Potter, the Bow-Who-Lived was an event trumpeted across the British Wizarding World. It was a circus at the Potter home, dozens and dozens of witches and wizards were in attendance, celebrating not just the birthday of their boy savior but the defeat of You-Know-Who. There would have been hundreds had not James put a stop to it, ostensibly in the name of security.
James and Sirius were avoiding the party as much as possible. In the five years since the attack, James and by extension Sirius had grown more distant from not just Lily but Thomas as well. At first, he was grieving the loss of Harry. The Ministry had set aside a small team of Aurors to search for any signs of kidnapping or at least his body but after 3 weeks, the search was called off when there were no leads.
James and Sirius had been devastated. That was when the separation started from Lily and Albus. Lily, Remus and Albus had been unconcerned with Harry's death.
The break with Remus was more dramatic. James had been getting the funeral for Harry together when Remus approached him. Never one to be bashful or shy away from an issue, Remus plunged right in "James, I think you should reconsider the funeral for Harry."
"Why, have you found something?" James asked, hope creeping into his voice.
Remus had the grace to at least look a little apologetic "No, no I'm sure he's dead. It's just I don't think it would send the right message to the wizarding world."
"Message, what the hell are you talking Remus? This has nothing to do with the wizarding world."
Remus was tempted to just shut up and leave well enough alone but he decided that this was too important. "James, think about it. What is the wizarding world going to think if they find out that their savior couldn't save his own brother? It would destroy everyone's confidence in him."
James had heard this argument before from Albus but he never thought one of his best friends would parrot it back to him. "Remus, the wizarding world can go to hell for all I care. Harry deserves a funeral and I don't care what kind of message it sends."
The werewolf's eyes flashed amber for just a second in frustration. "James, Harry is gone. It is for the greater good that you just let him fade away. What harm does it do?"
He just couldn't believe it. This was a man that he had stood beside for years despite the fact that he was a werewolf. When most wizards would have turned away, James had stayed and done everything he could to make Remus' life easier and less lonely. Now, to have him spout this crap, he felt betrayed. "You know what, fuck you Lupin! If you're so concerned about the greater good than what the fuck are you doing here?! You're a danger to everyone. Who knows who you could infect? So why don't you go off and live in isolation I mean it would be for the greater good after all."
Things just degenerated from there. Since that day the two former friends hadn't said two words to each other.
Now James and Sirius were standing in the empty room that used to be Harry's bedroom. "Just look at them out there Padfoot. I never wanted this for my children." They could see Lily fawning over Thomas, obliging his every whim and lapping up the attention as the mother of the Boy-Who-Lived. "She's ruining him and nothing I've done can stop it."
"I'm sorry Prongs. I really wish things were different and I know it's awful but I wish it had been Longbottom and not Thomas."
James just nodded because he had wished the same thing many times. Unfortunately, wishing didn't make things better; it just made him more bitter about the whole situation. "Ever since we heard that damned prophecy, Lily has been different. She really isn't the woman I married."
"What can you do? You would be vilified if you divorced her. She and Dumbledore would spin it as some sort of attack against the Boy-Who-Lived."
"I know it's wrong but I find myself pulling away from Thomas more and more. He's becoming the type of person that I always hated when I was growing up and Lily does nothing but encourage it. I can't help but wonder what Harry would have been like if he had a chance to grow up." James' voice broke at the end. It had been five years but it still hurt every day.
Albus looked up from where he was seated at a long table laden with birthday presents. He saw James and Sirius standing in a window on the second floor. It was amazing how foolishly the two were behaving. It was close to 5 years since Harry had been killed and still the two men refused to celebrate the events of that Halloween night. Privately, he agreed that the fuss made by the Wizarding World was somewhat silly given that their savior had no memory of that night and could not consciously replicate what took place. If it wasn't necessary for Thomas to be his protégé he would have taken the boy down a few pegs, but the adoration would serve him well as he grew older. Voldemort had never understood that point. He never could fathom how powerful such faith and loyalty could be when wielded by the right person.
If James and Lily had been any other couple within the Order of the Phoenix, Albus might have stepped in to help them mend their relationship. This way was so much better though. By distancing himself from not just Lily, but Thomas as well James had effectively caused the wizarding world to turn their backs on him. Now, he would never have the blind trust that could have come with his position as the boy's father. It made it all that much easier for Albus to step in as the wise benefactor looking out for a hero shunned by his own father.
"Grandpa Albus, where's my present?" Thomas half asked, half demanded. All around him presents were piled high. There were toys of all types, clothes, multiple broomsticks, everything and more that a boy could ever want and much more than a boy could ever need.
Wordlessly, Albus produced his present, wrapped in bright purple and silver paper. Thomas ripped into like it was the first present ever received only to toss it onto the stack with everything else when he saw it was just a book. Albus wanted to gnash his teeth but held his tongue. The book was a series of lessons in leading people couched in the form of fairy tales. His own parents had given him the same book when he was a young boy and the affect it had on him was profound.
Lily frowned at Thomas' behavior finally. It was one thing to treat the other witches and wizards that way because in truth, they were beneath him. They should be grateful for any attention her son might give them, but Albus Dumbledore was not to be treated that way. He was a great man and could help make sure that Thomas accomplished even greater things when he was grown up. "Thomas apologize to your grandpa. It was a very thoughtful gift."
Thomas looked like he was going to argue or whine. It usually worked when he wanted to get his way but at 7 years of age, he knew when his mother wouldn't be moved. So he grudgingly apologized. "Fine thanks for the book."
Albus smiled and ruffled the boy's dark hair. "Think nothing of it my boy. Books were never my favorite present at your age either."
Things went back to normal after that with Thomas preening under the attention of the gathered witches and wizards. He never even noticed that his father and god father weren't there. In addition to
Albus, their absence was only noted by Lily and Remus. Lily simply didn't care if her husband was there and Remus was annoyed that they continued to waste their time on the memory of Harry.
July 31st, 1986, London
Michael and Maggie were sleeping peacefully in their bed. Despite the fact that it was summer, they were snuggled under a thick blanket. Their peaceful slumber was rudely disturbed by an energetic almost 7 year old boy leaping onto the bed.
Since they didn't know when Jason's birthday was, they decided to use October 31st because it was the day they decided that Jason would become a Sheppard. A couple of years after adopting Jason, Michael was transferred to Torchwood 1 in London. Despite the change they still kept in touch with Jack and true to his earlier prediction, Jason considered Jack to be something of an uncle.
John, their other son, had immediately jumped into the role of big brother. In his mind, adopting Jason was the best because he didn't have to wait 9 months for him to be born. As Jason got older, he began to follow John around like a little puppy. Thankfully, John lapped it up and soon enough Jason was a fixture whenever he was doing something with his friends.
John had quickly made friends with the other Americans that were part of Torchwood or simply expatriates living in the area after his dad transferred to London. One of the results of this was the prevalence of American sports, primarily baseball. Jason in particular seemed to excel at the sport.
The only downside for Jason and John playing baseball was that while the UK had an existing program in baseball, it was nowhere near as prevalent as in the US. Although Jason loved playing baseball, he was also a big fan of going with his dad to Torchwood.
John on the other hand was looking at colleges. In a move that had taken his parents by surprise, his #1 choice was the Air force Academy in Colorado. Maggie wasn't happy that he would go so far away and Michael was a little disappointed that he wouldn't follow his example and join Torchwood. But John loved to fly and there wasn't really an opportunity to do any flying in Torchwood.
"Dad wake up!" Jason shook his dad's arm. "You promised we could go into Torchwood today."
Michael groaned and buried his face further into his pillow trying in a vain attempt to drown out the voice of his son. But it was not meant to be when Jason kept shaking him. Without warning, Michael's arm shot out and grabbed Jason around the waist. Effortlessly, he lifted the boy up even as he swung his own body into a sitting position. "Arghh you're a little monster. You know what we do with monsters don't you?"
"You have no one to blame but yourself. You wanted to adopt him." His wife called out once Michael was forced out of the bed.
Jason screamed and laughed as his dad swung him over his shoulder. He beat his hands against Michael's back trying to get down. "No, dad don't. I'm sorry. I forgot."
"That's what you said last time." Michael carried Jason into the bathroom and turned the shower on, cold water only of course. "I think it's time for my little monster to learn his lesson."
Before he could protest or squirm his way out of his dad's grasp, Jason was shoved under the ice cold spray of water. In the seconds before Jason got out of the shower, he was drenched with ice cold water. His dad was laughing at his shocked expression but Jason got his revenge by jumping onto him and soaking Michael's t-shirt and sweatpants with water too.
The water did nothing to dampen Michael's good mood. Michael simply grabbed a towel with one hand and began toweling them both off. "So what do you want for breakfast today little man?"
"Can we have pancakes?" Jason's eyes lighting up with hope.
Michael smiled down at him. "Of course as long you promise not to jump on our bed again, at least while I'm in it." Whispering so his wife wouldn't hear he added "Now if it's just your mother, than you have my permission."
"I promise…I promise." Michael shook his head and scooped Jason into a fireman's carry again. This time he brought him into the kitchen before setting him down.
"Ok you set the table and I will make us some pancakes." While he was cooking, Michael watched Jason set the table and pour two glasses of orange juice. There were times that he was so proud of both John and Jason, he didn't know what he would do if something ever happened to either of his children.
If Michael had one fault when it came to Jason, it was that he could be a bit overprotective. Both he and Maggie couldn't help but think it was a reflection of how they came to adopt him. It was nothing too extreme but he ended up worrying more about Jason than was absolutely necessary even if it didn't stop him from letting Jason experience everything the world had to offer.
While they were eating breakfast, Michael looked over at Jason and asked "Are you sure want to go to the office? Wouldn't you rather play baseball?" Michael felt it was his duty as an American in the UK to support both his sons' love for their national pastime. Jason was a little young for it still but they did play catch a lot and Michael admitted to himself that he might be a little biased but Jason had a heck of a throwing arm.
"Daaad! You promised and I have practice tomorrow anyway." Jason tried to look assertive but it was wasted on his father who thought he looked adorable and couldn't resist ruffling his hair.
"Who am I to argue? You can meet Jessie; she's heard lots about you." Privately, Michael hoped that Jason would join him at Torchwood when he was old enough but he would never push him into it. Just like he was doing with John, it was up to his sons to decide what they would do with their lives. It didn't stop him from cheating a little now and then. Hence the occasional visits to Torchwood. That was part of the reason why he made sure that Jason played sports too. Even if he wasn't any good, he wanted Jason to have the experience and to make friends and not be stuck with him at Torchwood all the time.
Despite Jason' insistence on going to Torchwood, they did play catch for a while. Michael knew that Jason wanted to do well. He had been playing first base the last couple of games and really liked the position. Not that he would ever say anything but the games weren't very exciting to watch yet. The kids were just too young really but this was Jason' second year so at least the coaches would pitch the ball. Next year would be the first year that the kids would pitch and Michael was looking forward to that.
It was close to lunch by the time they finally arrived at the power plant office that served as the front entrance to the facility. Jason bounded inside, running around the front desk when he saw his aunt Diana. "Aunt Diana!" He protested when he was wrapped up in a hug, squirming around until he could escape her grasp.
Diana had decided that she was getting too old for active field work so now she was a logistics agent. Unfortunately, she couldn't stay at the Cardiff branch because there wasn't an opening so shortly after Michael; she had transferred to London as well. She arranged for flights, equipments, or to clean up messes. It was her job to make someone's death look natural when the cause was something alien. The job was a little gruesome at times but overall much less stressful than before.
"What's the little monster doing here today instead of enjoying the fine summer day?"
Jason whipped around to glare accusingly at Michael when Diana used the dreaded nickname "Dad you promised you wouldn't tell anyone!"
Michael just shrugged innocently and walked through the door. "It wasn't me. I deny everything." His laughter was echoing off the walls when Jason raced after him.
Michael had learned early on that it was a bad idea to let Jason run around Torchwood unattended. His son had the most alarming habit of setting off alien devices at the worst possible time. Unfortunately, he was about to get another example of that when Jason raced ahead of him.
When he transferred to London, Michael began spending most of his time in the labs studying alien artifacts. Recently Michael brought in someone new to his section. Her name was Jessie Kelly; she was an expert with computers and had a PHD in physics. Since she was new, she had yet to be introduced to the whirlwind that was Jason Sheppard. If she had she never would have left one of their latest acquisitions on her desk for him to snatch.
Jessie was busily typing away at her workstation when Jason grabbed the small square shaped device from table. He spun to face Michael and held up the device. "Dad what does this one do?"
"Jason no…" But it was already too late.
The device sent out a visible shock wave. Jessie screamed as the wave overloaded her monitor causing the screen to crack and spark. Smoke started leaking out of the monitor from not just Jessie's monitor but all the other monitors within a ten foot radius.
"How many times have I told you not to play around in here?" Michael asked sternly. This time it was funny, but it could easily have been something far more dangerous.
"I'm sorry dad, I forgot." Jason said softly putting the device back on the desk.
"Jason some of the technology in here is very dangerous. What would you have done if someone had been hurt? How do you think I would feel if you had been hurt?"
Jason started to tear up a little. "I didn't mean for anyone to get hurt."
Michael knelt down in front of Jason and looked in him straight in the eye. "I know you didn't but that's why you have to be careful. None of this is a game Jason; I need for you to understand that. Ok?"
Jason nodded. When Michael opened his arms, Jason surged forward wrapping his arms around Michael's chest and burying his head in his shoulder.
Michael picked him up and rubbed his back soothingly when heard Jason whisper "I'm sorry."
Sensing that the atmosphere needed to be lightened a little, Michael turned to Jessie. "Jessie, this is my little monster, Jason. Jason this is Jessie she's a new member on my team."
Jason turned his head to say hi.
Jessie smiled brightly. She remembered what it was like to be a kid around so many gadgets. Her father had always been tinkering with something and on more than one occasion she had done the exact same thing. Of course her father's inventions were not based on alien technology so the effects were less dramatic. "You have an interesting way of introducing yourself."
She just waved off his apology. "Oh don't worry about it, I wanted a new monitor anyway but your dad wouldn't spring for it." In fact it had been the new monitor but Jason didn't need to know that.
"Really?" He asked her suspiciously.
Jessie nodded. "Now why don't you call me Jess, that's what everyone else around calls me?"
Michael mouthed a silent thank you to her over Jason' head. "You feeling better now buddy?"
When Jason nodded, Michael set him back down on the floor but it was clear that he still felt awkward.
Jess sat down in her chair again and asked "So Jason, besides trying out alien devices what else do you like to do?"
Perking up Jason started going on about baseball and his team.
Michael seeing that Jason was getting over his scare added "Jason I'm going to my office to get some work done. Are you going to be ok here with Jess?" After getting a nod from Jason he added "Remember don't touch anything unless someone tells you it's ok."
Jason put his hands behind his back to show he wouldn't touch anything which made Michael smile. Then his dad started to walk back up the stairs but before he was out of earshot he called out "Don't let the little monster walk all over you."
August 15th, 1988, Godric's Hollow
"That's it! I can't take this anymore!" James yelled at Lily.
"I couldn't agree more! You're an arrogant self-absorbed ass just like you were in school!"
James was packing his things even as he continued yelling at Lily, finally letting his frustration out. "Ha! That's funny, this coming from the woman who gave up her friends because they were beneath her. Hate to tell you this but you're the worst kind of social climber. You and the thing that you turned our son into are nothing but parasites. When was the last time you did something for yourself?"
"Why should I? The wizarding world owes me; I'm the mother of the Boy-Who-Lived."
"Exactly, you're nothing more than a self-aggrandizing bitch using your son as a tool for your own well-being. Hell for all we know Tommy isn't even the Boy-Who-Lived!" James snapped and clicked his trunk shut at the same time.
Lily's voice had risen in pitch as she got angrier. "Oh and who else would it be, that insignificant waste that you still mourn? If Harry was so powerful than how come he died that night and Thomas lived? Why you still care about him, I'll never know."
"At least I don't fawn over that spoiled brat. Has he shown any accidental magic? Hey, maybe he's a squib? Wouldn't that be something, the great supposed savior of the Wizarding World is a nothing!"
"Get out! Get out of this house! You are a horrible father and I will make sure you don't get custody."
"That's fine with me! I don't want him; you and your pets are welcome to him. Good luck with your life Lily; I wish you all the worst!" Then James disappeared with a pop.
Unbeknownst to Lily, James had bought another place in London to get away from her and Thomas. So it was there that he apparated to. With a tired sigh, he grabbed a lager from the refrigerator and sat down on the sofa feeling drained. It was a little depressing to realize that he wasn't sad about leaving his wife or son. In his eyes both of them had become horrible people and he couldn't be bothered to deal with them anymore.
The only think that kept him sane was his job in the Department of Mysteries and Sirius. Not that his job was terribly exciting, for the most part all he did was investigate magical disturbances. Still it allowed him to travel around the country at least which in the past meant that he was around Lily and Thomas as little as possible.
Perhaps the bigger reason he liked the Department of Mysteries was because it seemed that most of the employees there put little stock in the Boy-Who-Lived hype. In fact, they were the ones to ask how he knew that Thomas was the one to defeat Voldemort. That was probably the first time he began to wonder if Harry had been responsible for Voldemort's defeat.
After he finished his lager, he started unpacking. Before going to bed, he spent some time putting up mail wards, he fully expected Lily and the press to begin a smear campaign against him and he wasn't really up to dealing with all the inevitable howlers that would result.
August 15th, 1988, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry
Albus Dumbledore was sitting behind his desk listening to Lily Potter rant about James. He kept a carefully constructed mask on his face, one which conveyed sympathy and concern.
"You say James left you Lily?" Albus asked, growing irritated with her continued screeching.
Lily stopped her ranting and sat heavily in one of the available chairs. She glanced at the upholstery in distaste before answering. "Yes, the bastard abandoned Thomas and me. I don't know who he thinks he's fooling but everyone knows that a boy needs to be with his mother. I will see to it that James never gets custody and if I have my way, he'll never see Thomas again."
Albus leaned forward and called for a house elf to bring them some tea. "I'm very disappointed in James. He never could see the bigger picture the way you could. I had always hoped he would recognize how important he was as a father to Thomas."
"No, he would rather spend all day moaning about Harry. God, I wish he hadn't been born then we would still be a family." She took the cup of tea offered by the house elf without even a glance at the poor creature. "The werewolf is the only one of those three that is worth anything. I never would have guessed it."
Albus agreed with Lily though he wasn't really surprised by Black. The man had never followed rules or taken anything seriously. Still, it wasn't a good idea to let her continue to explore that line of thinking; she mustn't come to depend on anyone other than himself. "With James refusing his responsibilities, I fear it will fall to me to be a mentor to Thomas."
Lily perked up. There was no other family in the Wizarding World that could claim to have Albus Dumbledore as a mentor for their children. But she couldn't appear to be too needy, even to Albus; she was Thomas' mother after all. "Oh, I wouldn't want to put you out like that Albus. You already have so many responsibilities with running the school and the Wizengamot."
"Nonsense Lily. It would be an honor to work with Thomas; he is such an agreeable boy."
"Well if you're sure." Lily acquiesced.
August 15th, 1988, London
It was a sunny day and the temperature was warm but comfortable. There was cheering and clapping coming from the assembled parents as they watched their children play. Nothing stood out as unusual except for a small group off to the side. Michael and Maggie like all the other parents were cheering for their son who was playing 1st base.
Currently, it was the 4th inning in the game and Jason had just managed to tag out the runner, so there were two outs. His team was winning 5 to 3. At age 9 though, this was the first year that they started keeping records but the games were still only 6 innings long. It was also the second year that the kids pitched the ball.
Chris, a new member of the Torchwood team was sitting next to Jess, along with Diana. Chris was a medical pathologist and generally an ass. But he was good at his job which was the only reason people put up with his acerbic personality. Against his will, he had been dragged by the rest of the team to
watch the stupid baseball game. He felt that there were far more valuable be things he could be doing with his time, hell there were more valuable things they all could be doing with their time.
"So tell me again, why you dragged me out here?" He whispered to Jess. She was attractive and at first he thought she might have a crush on him, but lately she had been rather cool. Mentally shrugging his shoulders at the thought, it was her loss.
Jess just rolled her eyes. It was too bad really, he was fairly good looking but his personality was so abrasive she quickly gave up any ideas of pursuing something with him. "We're here because Jason is playing. Didn't you ever play sports as a kid? Didn't you want people to watch you?"
"Course I did, but I played a proper sport. Football at least makes sense; I don't understand why baseball is so popular with the Yanks. And anyway, why should we all be here? He's Michael's kid, not mine."
"Yeah, well some of us have known him longer than you and happen to like him." The noise from the crowd grew louder again and Jess turned to see Jason rounding second base on his way to third. "I missed it because of you!" She hissed.
"What do I care how the brat plays? I'd be just as happy if he never came around the office too. He's always getting in the way."
"Chris…" Jess said warningly.
Anything else he might have had to say was lost as Jess ignored him to focus on the remaining innings of the game.
Afterwards Diana was walking next to Jason going over the game. "You're getting pretty good out there kid. Are you going to stick with it?"
Michael was walking behind them and watching with a smile on his face. It was nice to see how well Jason interacted with the team. Michael was very grateful to Jess and Diana especially. They had known Jason for years now and were practically part of his growing family. That in and of itself was a shocking thought; something he had never expected but welcomed none the less.
"Heck yeah. Coach Ryan says I'm one of the best players he has and it's a lot of fun." The grin on Jason' face gave truth to his words.
Michael clapped Jason on the back. "At least if he's going to be a monster he can do it on the field rather than our office. I don't think we have the budget for another bank of computer monitors."
Jason blushed a brightly. It was evident even with his tanned skin. "Dad you promised not to tell anyone else!"
Michael didn't answer, he just stole Jason' hat and jogged towards the car. "Dad! Give me my hat back!" He cried as he chased after his dad.
Maggie trailed after them shaking her head and laughing at their antics. It was times like these that she missed John the most. He had been accepted into the Air Force Academy and had just finished up his first year. Both she and Michael had been extremely proud that he had made it in because it was extremely difficult.
Jason had probably been the saddest to see him go. Despite their age difference John always made an effort to include Jason as much as possible. For all that there was 11 years between them, they were very close. John's departure was made worse by the hero worship that Jason had started to develop for John. But like all kids his age, Jason was resilient and used John's departure as a motivation for excelling in sports and school.
Jess laughed. "Why can't we get away with destroying equipment?"
"Hopefully the brat keeps up with his baseball then, since he's too stupid to keep his hands to himself." Chris half muttered the insult, not really caring if either Diana or Jess heard him.
"Fuck off Chris. Jason gets all 'As' and 'Bs' and for your information he was 7 years old when he blew up the monitors." Jess argued.
"A kid doesn't have any right being in Torchwood anyway. I'm surprised they let Michael get away with it."
"Lay off man, Jason is a good kid."
Diana just stayed out of it. She knew Chris would never be convinced.
Summer, 1991, USA
It had been a busy summer for the Sheppard family. John had graduated from the Academy back in June and had received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Air Force. To everyone's surprise, including his own, his first posting was to be to the 48th Fighter Wing operating out of RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk. It was an extremely prestigious posting, especially for someone just out of the Academy.
The family had flown back to the US to watch John graduate and to help him pack. Maggie looked around his room and noted that one thing being in the Academy had certainly done was to break him of his pack rat nature. There were very few personal items to pack and what few there were mostly consisted of photos of friends or family.
"So does this mean you can come to my games?" Jason asked hopefully after being told where John was stationed.
John, still a good foot taller than Jason, ruffled his hair in response. Laughing when Jason batted his hand away he teased "I don't know. What's the point in watching you sit on the bench?"
"I don't sit on the bench. Dad tell him!" Jason ordered indignantly. "I'm a starter. Unlike you, I have a real position first base. All you ever played was the outfield. That's where they put the guys that can't play."
John didn't bother to hold back his lopsided grin. "Oh is that so? Well that may be but you're still small enough for me to do this." Without warning, John hooked his arm around his little brother's neck and gave him noogie.
Jason struggled in vain while his parents looked on in thinly veiled amusement. It would still be quite some time before Jason had a chance against John physically.
Relenting after a minute, John let his brother go. "I'm sure I can make at least some of your games. Not sure yet how much freedom I will have. So we'll have to play it by ear ok?"
Trying to mask his disappointment, Jason joked "Yeah, well it's your loss if you can't make it."
"Honey are you all set to go?" Maggie asked. She understood that Jason was disappointed but there wasn't anything John could do about it. It was best to just move on to something else. "We have to leave soon if we are going to make our dinner reservations."
"Yeah mom, just give me a minute to change. I'd prefer to get out of the uniform at least some of the time." John answered while moving into the bathroom to change.
"But you look so dashing in your uniform. I bet all the girls fall for you."
Michael heard a groan come from the bathroom and it was all he could do not to laugh. "Leave him alone Maggie. We both know that Jason is going to be the heart breaker in the family. John's too noble to love 'em and leave 'em." He did laugh when he heard John's groan of protest a second time.
The next day, John was on a plane back to the UK. The rest of the family was spending some time in the US as a vacation. As a surprise, Maggie had enrolled Jason in a week long summer baseball camp near Chicago. While there, they would be staying with some relatives of hers and enjoying the sights while Jason went to camp during the day.
September 27th, 1991, London
It had been close to a month since the ghosts had first appeared in London and throughout the world. Despite their best efforts, Torchwood was not able to identify the reason for their appearance beyond the link to the mysterious power supply that they were tapping into.
When Torchwood first began tapping the void energy it seemed like it was an unlimited power supply. At first there were no drawbacks or side effects to the power, it was the answer to all of Earth's energy needs. Slowly, over time, ghosts began to appear. They remained indistinct and never took on a defined form beyond a silvery humanoid shape, remaining ambiguous but giving off a feeling of familiarity to those that were near them. People began to associate the ghosts with the spirits of family or friends that had died so the public reaction was very positive.
Strangely, the ghosts only appeared when Torchwood increased the power draw on the void energy. And strangely for a reason no one could understand, the ghosts only appeared in urban areas. Once you were away from the denser populations there were no appearances regardless of how much power was being utilized.
All of that changed on September 25th. The ghosts changed. They took on material form. No longer were they poorly defined spirits. In the place of each ghost was a grey metallic man, standing over 6' tall. There were thousands of them appearing all over the planet, each one looking exactly the same. But perhaps their scariest feature was their eyes, black and soulless.
Any questions about the intentions of these Cybermen were answered shortly after they appeared. Almost immediately after arrival, the Cybermen began rounding people up and bringing them to processing stations where they were 'upgraded' into new Cybermen. Any who resisted were 'deleted.'
Less than a day after the Cybermen first appeared, a second alien race appeared and began to lay waste to everything in their path, human and Cyberman alike. The aliens were squat robotic looking beings with a singly eye and a pair of weapons. Their armor seemed to be immune to all weapons. There was no talking, no option to surrender, they simply killed everything indiscriminately.
The London branch of Torchwood was the epicenter of for both attacks. Most of the members of Torchwood had been cut down or 'upgraded' within the first hours of the Cybermen's invasion. Michael Sheppard was no exception. He had been talking to his wife when she heard his scream through the phone. That was when she knew he wouldn't be coming home again.
Maggie debated over telling Jason about his father. She still hoped after all that maybe he was still alive. But despite that, she knew that Jason would try to do something to save him if he was still alive in Torchwood. True, his magic wasn't usually controllable but he had some minor control when the situation demanded it. This is what frightened her, that he would try to use his magic somehow to get into Torchwood.
In the end, she told him that Michael was dead. It felt like her heart was breaking again to see the light of hope fade from his eyes. Less than two hours later, a group of six Cybermen broke down the front door of their home.
Maggie screamed for Jason to run.
Jason refused. He'd lost his dad to these bastards. They weren't going to kill his mom too. Picturing what he wanted in his mind, he slammed his palms together.
His magic always worked best when he could visualize what he wanted it to do and there was strong emotion to fuel it. Much to his dad's amusement, that was usually when he imitated something he saw in a comic book or in a cartoon.
The house shook and the windows near Jason shattered as waves of blue-green energy radiated from his hands in a concentric circle pattern.
The energy shot forward. Dispersing as it traveled. It washed over the Cybermen, shattering their metallic forms and a portion of the front wall.
The six attackers collapsed to the floor in pieces.
Flying above a trio of the squat aliens detected the strange energy coming from Jason's home.
"Anomalous energy reading detected." One said in a high pitched mechanical voice.
"The source must be exterminated!"
The trio began echoing "Exterminate! Exterminate!"
Even as Maggie was rushing over to Jason torn between wanting to hug him and scold him, explosions tore into the second level of the home. Dust and debris billowed down the stairs.
The three aliens swooped in through the opening they had created. "Anomalous energy reading coming from lower level."
Jason was just trying to make sense of what was going on. It barely even registered that whatever these things were, they were hovering a foot over the floor and moving towards the stairs.
Maggie pushed Jason back behind her.
"Exterminate!" The high pitched voice called out and the lead alien fired an evil looking green beam.
Maggie never even screamed. Her body was enveloped in by the beam and for a second Jason could see her skeleton. Then she was on the floor.
Blue-green eyes blazed with anger and grief. At that moment, something locked within him broke free. Jason lashed out with everything he had, pouring all of his emotion into one massive burst of magic. Never giving any thought to the amount of power he felt flowing in him.
A twister of magic rose up around Jason. The swirling blue green energy swirled faster and faster while growing in height.
The twister ripped through the ceiling and rose through the remains of the second floor.
The aliens fired their weapons only to have the beams absorbed by the twister.
In seconds they were caught in the edges of the twister and spun around through wood and dry wall. The centrifugal force of their spin ripped their weapons and eyestalks from their bodies.
Still, the twister grew, fed by Jason's raw emotions. In the space of an hour he had lost both his parents and for the first time he wasn't afraid to hurt someone or something with his magic. Despite that, he could only maintain such a display for so long.
As Jason collapsed into unconsciousness, the twister grew wild. It burst from the house and exploded outward. Only Jason was unharmed, at the epicenter of the blast, his untouched body lying in the center of a swath of destruction that ran for three blocks.
Luckily for him, all the others in the neighborhood had already been collected or killed. The only things harmed were the remaining aliens or Cybermen.
September 28th, 1991, Department of Mysteries
James was sitting in his office resting his head on the desk. Yesterday had been devastating. Out of nowhere, Diagon Alley had been attacked by strange metallic men that seemed to be immune to all but the strongest magic. Even the killing curse had been ineffective against them though it did seem to cause physical damage.
The Unspeakables along with every available Auror had been mobilized to try and stop them. In the end it turned out that shields, a spell any third year could cast was the most effective defense. It certainly didn't harm them, but it stopped their advance. Unfortunately, the lesson was not learned until too many had died.
Then while the battle was still raging, a great force seemed to pluck the attackers from where the stood. Rather than disappear, it was like they were being sucked back to some other location against their will.
The defenders waited for three hours but the attackers never returned.
Sirius walked in a little after 10am and plopped himself tiredly down in a wooden chair across the desk from James. "So Prongs, what's on the agenda for today? Now that the attack is over, all that is left is the cleanup."
James lifted his head up from the desk and laughed tiredly. He liked their job investigating magical disturbances. It was interesting and typically low stress. But after yesterday, he would love for a vacation or to investigate a false alarm. Normally, he got annoyed wasting time investigating events that turned out to be bursts of accidental magic but today they would be welcomed.
"I don't know, Croaker sent a note earlier saying he would be by with our next assignment."
The friends spent another 20 minutes talking about nothing until their boss walked into the office with their new assignment.
Croaker was a middle aged man with graying blond hair and stooped shoulders. He had spent almost his entire career within the Department of Mysteries. During that time, he was responsible for the purge of Death Eaters and sympathizers during Voldemort's rise. That act had opened the door for his rise to director of the Department.
"James, Black I know you're tired from yesterday but I have your next assignment."
"What no good morning?" Joked Sirius.
Croaker huffed good naturedly. "It will be good once you and James are out of my hair."
Sirius clutched his hands to his chest. "You wound me mon capitan."
"Right anyway this one is in our own backyard, right here in London."
A frown found its way onto James' face. "London? After yesterday, there were probably dozens of bouts of accidental magic. What makes this one so special?"
"Yes London and no it can't be accidental magic."
"Why not? How could you know that?" James asked curiously.
"Because it was a massive discharge that had been going continuously for close to 20 minutes."
Sirius actually began to get interested. "20 minutes? There's no way that could be accidental magic. Hell, most adults don't have enough power to keep anything of decent strength going for that long."
Croaker nodded in agreement. "I know, that's why I'm sending you two. It shouldn't be that hard to get by unnoticed, the muggles were hit harder than we were by the attackers."
Sirius jumped to his feet, eager to unravel the mystery. "Come on James, time waits for no man."
September 28th, 1991, RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk, UK
2nd Lieutenant John Sheppard was standing in front of Colonel Malcolm Reed, the commander of the US forces stationed at the base. "Reporting as ordered. Sir!" John said crisply. His firm voice and rigid stance stood in direct contrast to his haggard appearance. His uniform was ripped, bloody and covered in soot and mud.
"Lieutenant Sheppard, thank you for coming so promptly." Reed looked as rough as John. "I know you are tired but I need you to lead a detachment to London."
Why would he be chosen to lead? There were others that were more senior. Yet part of him wanted nothing more than to get to London and check on his family. Since the attacks had begun, there had been only scattered reports coming from London and none of them were positive.
"London sir?" Was all John asked despite the myriad of thoughts and questions running through his head.
Reed looked at John with a measuring eye. The forces on the base had been taken by complete surprise when the alien forces first began their attack. Sheppard hadn't balked or frozen like most of the men, instead he lead the charge in containing the aliens. His bravery and inventiveness in improvising weapons and tactics saved quite a few lives at the base. Though Reed knew he shouldn't, part of the reason he was sending John to London was because his family lived there. The man had earned the right to check on them.
"We've been asked to provide assistance. They need everyone available to search for survivors and help the wounded."
"Of course Sir. We'll be ready to leave within the hour."
"John…check on your family while you're there." Reed added.
"Permission to speak freely?" John asked. He was certainly grateful for what his commander was doing but he was still confused about one thing.
"Granted." Reed had a good idea of what was coming but it was up to John to voice it.
"Why am I leading the men? There are more experienced officers that you could have given command to." The confusion was clear in his voice, but at the same time it was obvious that he felt confident enough in his abilities to complete the assignment.
Reed stood up from behind his desk and turned to look out the window. "Yes, there are more experienced officers but you were the one that took action. You were the one responsible for saving this base and the lives of those men out there. Rest assured, it will be noted in your record. The Air Force needs more men like you, able to think outside of the box in any situation." Reed turned and faced Sheppard again. "Good work Lieutenant."
If possible, John stood straighter. There was pride shining in his eyes. "Thank you sir."
John saluted before leaving. As soon as he left the office, he practically ran to gather the men. A little voice in the back of his head was urging him to get to London as quickly as possible.
September 28th, 1991, London, UK
John's team made it to London in less than 2 hours from the time he left the Colonel's office. With so much damage to the roads and highways, he had been authorized to take a HH-60G Pave hawk helicopter. The ten men that were under his command easily fit inside since there was little in the way of cargo that needed to be stored.
While in flight, John had received instructions on where to land. Once they were on the ground, John reported in to the civilian that seemed to be coordinating the search and rescue operations. The woman was operating from a white tent. Spread out on a rickety wooden table in front of her was a map of London that had been divided into various sectors. Some of which had been marked off which John could only assume meant that they had been searched already.
"Ma'am." John began while scanning the map for the neighborhood where his family lived. He noticed that it hadn't been marked off yet. "Not meaning to be pushy or anything, but if you don't have any objections, I would like to take this section." He stated while pointing to a portion of the section in question.
She was a little annoyed by the request. There was too much of the city that needed to be covered still and now she had a Yank soldier coming in and demanding a specific assignment. "Why?"
John may have been fairly young but he knew when an honest answer was his only chance of avoiding an argument. "My family lives in that area. Since it hasn't been searched yet, it kills two birds…"
"We've all lost family here." But her eyes softened a little. Now that she knew the reason, it would be impossible for her to deny his request. "Ok, but check in every hour. Channel 9 is being used to call for medical evacs."
"Thank you ma'am." Honestly, her permission wouldn't have stopped him, but it did make things easier this way.
After returning to his men, he commandeered one of the trucks that were being used to ferry people around the city. He drove the route to his family's home slowly; the roads were littered with debris. Everywhere they looked buildings and homes were burnt out or were missing chunks of walls or roofs.
As he drew nearer to his home, the damage changed pattern changed. He heard one of the men mutter "Fuck, it looks like a bomb went off here."
John had to agree. The homes, trees, light poles, all were blown down. It was like looking at a picture of the Mount St. Helens eruption, all the trees were blown over in the same direction, all radiating outward from the volcano's cone.
The men started jumping out of the back as soon as he stopped. "Ok, you know the drill. Look for any survivors. I want everyone to pair up. Compton, you're with me."
Compton, a marine sergeant in his late 20s, quickly moved over to join John. His years in the service had taught him to read people pretty well, especially the younger officers. It took time to build a mask that covered worry and nerves. It was obvious to him the lieutenant still had a ways to go. "Sir, is there someone specifically I should be looking for?"
John remained quiet for a moment despite the fact that it was obvious he was leading them to a specific location. The ruins of his home were in sight and he wanted nothing more than to run over there. At the same time, he knew that as soon as he did, it would be final. He would be the last Sheppard. "My family lived there."
Compton followed John's arm and saw nothing but piles of rubble. It was hard to tell, but it looked like it was the center of the blast or whatever the hell had happened here. There was little he could say. It would be like pouring salt on an open wound to offer any false hope so he remained silent.
Their approach to home had slowed considerably. Each step was taken with a heaviness that conveyed a sense of dread and despair.
After what seemed like hours to John but in reality was less than a minute, he had reached what used to be the walk up to his front door.
"Sir, if you want I can do this alone."
Not trusting himself to speak, John just shook his head and forced his feet to move forward. Drywall and wood shifted under his feet. A lump formed in his throat, his home looked like something out of World War II. It resembled nothing more than a bombed out hulk, there was virtually nothing left of it.
By the time they reached what was left of the front door, John was struggling to keep himself together. It was the hardest thing he had ever done, forcing himself to step inside. Once he did, his eyes traveled around what was left of the entry way and main hallway. There on the floor were the still bodies of his mom and his little brother. This time, he couldn't stop the tears that formed and rolled down his face.
Compton felt bad for the lieutenant when he saw the two bodies. While moving to examine the bodies, the sergeant noted that the area around the boy seemed to be the center of whatever explosion had
occurred. When he was no more than a foot or two away, Compton almost rubbed his eyes in disbelief. It looked like the boy was breathing. It was very shallow because his chest barely moved but unless he was imagining it…Unbidden, his head turned to look at the lieutenant but he was still rooted to the same spot. So Compton knelt down and place two fingers against the boy's neck. It was almost agonizing the few seconds it took for him to register that there was a weak pulse.
"Lieutenant!" Compton said sharply. "We need a medical team immediately!"
His knees almost gave out on him. Thankfully, his training kicked in and he clicked his radio. "This is Lieutenant Sheppard we need a medical team at…"
Compton tuned him out and moved over to the second body. Unfortunately she did not appear to be as lucky as her son. Even before feeling her neck for a pulse, the man knew she was gone.
Help was promised. John allowed himself to look over to the sergeant who just shook his head. It hurt knowing that his mom was gone, but he was rejoicing at the fact that his little brother was still alive. Finally, his paralysis broke and in a flash he was by Jason's side looking him over for any sign of visible injuries. Nothing appeared to be wrong with him, other than some minor scrapes.
"Sergeant, would you mind waiting out front for the medical team? I'd like a minute alone." John had pulled Jason into his lap and was just holding him gently.
There was nothing to even consider. Compton would have asked for the same if he were in the Lieutenant's position. "Of course sir." He stood up from his position by the mother's body. "And sir, I'm very sorry for your loss."
"Thank you Sergeant, but I'm luckier than many. At least I know Jason has a chance."
Outside, John and his men were being observed. Unseen by any of the men, James and Sirius were watching as the soldiers spread out across the area. The amount of destruction was terrifying. Clearly, the muggles were hit much harder than Diagon Alley was. James didn't know if that was because of their magic or if they had just gotten lucky.
Sirius leaned over and whispered "How do you want to handle this? Whatever happened started in there."
James shrugged before he remembered that Sirius couldn't see him under the disillusionment charm. "Not much we can do. The only thing is to wait. What do you think happened? There's magic residue everywhere."
Sirius shifted his weight a little, careful to not disturb any of the loose debris that was all around them. He wrapped his arms around himself to stop the chill that went down his spine. Whoever had been responsible showed incredible power. Honestly, he wasn't sure if he hoped they were still alive or not. "I don't know. But whoever did this, we need to make sure that they aren't dark. Even Voldemort never did something like this."
James actually growled. The mention of Voldemort always had that effect on him. Everyone always assumed he hated Voldemort as much as he did because of Harry. Only Sirius knew that Voldemort just opened up old wounds with Lily and Thomas. "Yeah well, thank god for small favors."
The conversation was cut short by the arrival of a green van with a bright red cross painted on the side.
"We know someone survived anyway." James pointed out when a trio of men with a stretcher rushed into the ruins of the home.
It felt like an eternity before they came back out but in reality it was only 10 minutes. Both wizards could feel it immediately. The spells they had cast to find the source of the magical disturbance, a secret known only to the Unspeakables, were still functioning. The spell allowed the caster to trace back the source of any spell or magical discharge as long as the magical signature was known. Normally, the signature would have faded by now but whatever had been done was so powerful there were still traces of it everywhere.
Unfortunately, they were too far away to get more than a basic idea of who they were looking at.
"Fuck he's just a kid." James was barely able to keep his voice down. "Quick get a tracer on that truck."
"Done." Sirius whispered quietly.
"Ok, let's get out of here. We can come back once they get wherever they're going."
The soldiers never noticed the two quiet cracks that signaled the apparition of the two wizards.
September 28th, 1991, London, UK
John and his team didn't spend much time at the field hospital that had been established in London. It only took a short examination by the doctors to determine that Jason was stable. Immediately, John ordered him prepped for transfer. With his parents dead, the simplest situation would be for John to bring Jason to the base in Suffolk.
"Sergeant get the men to the Pave Hawk while I let Ms Hemmer know that we are leaving." John left to go to the command tent as soon as Compton acknowledged the order.
It was a short walk to the command tent from the hospital. There were a number of teams milling about. It was getting close to night fall so the search teams were being recalled. "Ms Hemmer?"
She was sitting on a flimsy wooden chair with her eyes closed and a cup of hot tea in her hands. At the sound of John's voice, she opened her eyes and looked over at him wearily. "Yes? Were you able to find anyone?" She vaguely remembered him from earlier in the day.
She studied his face. It was a mixtures of relief and grief. "Yes but there was only a single survivor."
The sound of relief in his voice brought her back to their first conversation. "Were you able to find your family?" She like most of the others had lost people close to her and the sympathy from such an experience was clear in her tone of voice.
Before he answered, she knew the answer. "Yes ma'am. My brother survived somehow. My mother didn't." He paused for a moment to clear his throat and to get his emotions under control. "I wanted to inform you that we are leaving. I'm bringing my brother with me but another team will return tomorrow morning to continue with the search operation."
"Any help you can provide is appreciated. I'm happy you found your brother."
"Thank you ma'am." John saluted before turning and leaving the tent.
September 28th, 1991, RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk, UK
Sirius was more than a little frustrated. They had been at this for most of the day and still they hadn't been within 10 feet of the boy. It was only his quick thinking that allowed them to track him when he was transported to Suffolk.
"Finally, I thought those muggle doctors would never leave." Sirius muttered when the doctors left the room where Jason was resting. With no one else in the room, James and Sirius dropped the disillusionment charms that had been concealing them.
His wand moved a rapid pattern, emitting a pale white trail of light. In seconds James finished and the light encompassed the entire room before fading. "Notice me not ward." He said absently.
Sirius hadn't moved from his position near the doorway. The examination could be done by James; he would make sure that no one came in. The ward would just prevent people from checking out any noise they made, it wouldn't prevent someone from coming in if they intended to anyway.
Inwardly cursing the amount of effort that had been spent on this investigation, James moved over to the bed. Absently, he waves his wand over the unconscious form to get a general diagnostic of his health. "Good lord!" James exclaimed softly.
James turned his head to look at Sirius. "There's nothing wrong with him. No injuries, no damage to speak of, he's just suffering from magical exhaustion."
A queasy feeling formed in the pit of his stomach again. Sirius had to wonder what kind of boy had such power. "Do you think the military knows about him? Is that why he's here?"
James didn't hear anything else Sirius said. He was struck by the face before him. It looked so much like his own. But that wasn't possible, there were no other Potters. It was just Thomas and… "Oh my god. It can't be." Could this really be Harry? But how? Yet he had no other relatives aside from Thomas and the resemblance was too strong to dismiss. For the first time in years, James felt alive with the mere possibility that his youngest son might be alive.
"James? James!" Still James wasn't hearing him. Sirius moved to the bed and grabbed James by the arm. "What?"
Sirius let go of James' arm and waited for him to answer. He had yet to even look at the boy not realizing that he was the cause of his friend's distress.
"Sirius look at him!" His voice was choked and he almost struggled to get the words out. It was a fight not to run his fingers through the boy's hair. It had to be him. There was no other explanation. The small detached part of his brain asked the question though. If it is Harry, then what happened that night? How did he survive? Was Thomas even the Boy-Who-Lived?
Unbidden, his hand reached out and squeezed James' shoulder in comfort. It had been quite a while since he had heard his friend so upset. There was something about the boy that was disturbing him and he turned to see what it was. For a long moment, his brain simply refused to process what he was seeing. Like James, he was arguing with himself about the impossibility of this being Harry and yet who else could it be.
"Is it…is it Harry?" Sirius asked softly.
At that moment, John walked into the room. He had spoken with the doctors and they were confident that Jason would wake up within a day or two at the most. As far as they could tell, he was merely suffering from some severe case of exhaustion which was probably exacerbated by the emotional trauma of losing his parents.
The doctor's assessment only served to drive home yet again that his parents were gone. It wasn't 100 sure with his dad, but he doubted the man would have left Jason or mom by themselves otherwise. He almost felt guilty for not being more distraught about their deaths but he was still just relieved that Jason had managed to survive. In time, he would grieve. He'd loved his parents, there was no doubt of that but right now the living were more important. It was with absolute certainty that he knew his parents would've wanted his focus to be on Jason.
The incongruity of the sight before him didn't register at first. It was the black robes that both men were wearing that tipped him off to the fact that these were not base personnel. "Who the fuck are you?" His hand automatically reached for his sidearm. It was only with him because of the recent attack otherwise, he would never carry a weapon when off duty.
Both Sirius and James jumped, startled by the harsh question. Instincts had their wands in hand and rising before they even assessed the situation. Sirius recognized the muggle as the soldier that had been in charge of the troops this morning. What was he doing here? Did he know Harry was a wizard?
Neither James nor Sirius answered before John motioned with gun. "Get the hell away from my brother!" His hand clenched the gun tightly, ready to fire at the slightest provocation. It was the wooden sticks in their hands that drew his attention now that they were facing him. Wooden sticks…no not wooden sticks…it couldn't be…could it? "What the fuck do wizards want with Jason?!"
Sirius was going to Obliviate the soldier. He clearly knew about magic, but no he couldn't. He said Harry was his brother, if that was the case than it wasn't against the law for him to know. "You know about magic?" He asked dumbly.
"Obviously." John replied sarcastically. His gun never wavered. John was fully prepared to shoot one or both these men. "I suggest you put the wands down and explain what you're doing here." The tone of his voice made it sound like anything but a suggestion.
Sirius wasn't inclined to give up his only means of defense.
James apparently was though. Without hesitation, he tossed his wand across the room so there would be no chance of his retrieving it before John shot him. The risk was worth it. He needed to know if this was Harry.
Sirius looked and James and saw the plea in his eyes. Groaning to himself, he too tossed his wand away.
"Explain!" John ordered.
"Can I sit?" James asked. Without waiting for a response, James practically collapsed in a chair near Jason's bed. "We work for the Ministry of Magic. Yesterday, we recorded a massive magical disturbance. It was practically off the charts."
James was a little taken aback by the smirk on John's face. "That sounds like Jason."
"What do you mean?"
John couldn't help himself. "He's always been a little disturbing."
Unsure if the man was joking or not, James continued on "Well we were able to determine that this boy was the cause of whatever happened." There was a pause while James gathered his courage. "Do you know anything about him?"
A roll of his eyes told James that he was being stupid. "He's my brother so I would say yes I know something about him." John was a little disturbed by the looked utter despair that seemed to overtake the man.
So he was unprepared when his partner asked "Was he adopted?" Really, James was jumping to conclusions too quickly. The name or the fact that this man considered Harry his brother wasn't an indication either way. Chances are they wouldn't have known Harry's real name anyway.
Now John's eyes narrowed. He didn't like the direction this was heading. Jason was his family, and no one was going to take that away from him. "Why?!"
James wasn't in any condition to explain at the moment so Sirius had to take the lead. "Please, it's very important."
It was obvious that they were desperate for the information for some reason. "Yeah he was. Doesn't matter though, he's my brother and you're not taking him anywhere."
Hope returned to James and he straightened in the chair. His eyes were almost eager and youthful again when he turned to Sirius. "It has to be him. What are the chances?"
The desire to believe is strong, but he needs to be the cynical one right now. This could devastate James otherwise. "Do you…do you remember when he was adopted?" Sirius was almost hesitant. Even if this was Harry, what would happen now? Clearly, he's been living with a family and probably loves them. If this soldier is any indication, they love him as well.
"Look, what's this all about? If you not here to try and take him away, then why all the questions?"
Again, it was the almost desperate look about both men that moved John to answer after getting another plea from Sirius. "Fine, but I want an explanation." Once both men nodded John answered. "We didn't know his birthday so we used the day my dad found him, October 31st."
"Oh my god, Sirius it's him. He's alive." There were tears making their way down James' face now.
Sirius couldn't deny it. The coincidence would be too great between the resemblance to James, being adopted, and October 31st. He started to move over to be closer to his god son but John stopped him.
Waving the gun pointedly. "No way…Stay away from brother. Now I've answered your questions. It's your turn to answer mine."
Now that he had found Harry, he's not going to give him up. So James figured the easiest way was to explain what happened. "How much do you know about the wizarding world?"
"Not much." Said John.
Left with no recourse, James describes the first rise of Lord Voldemort. After that, he went into the birth of the twins, the prophecy which he only touched on, and finally he described the events of that night October 31st.
Sirius picked up the story then. "I searched for hours but I couldn't find a single trace of Harry. But what I don't understand is how your father came to find Harry. Did someone turn him into the muggle authorities?"
"First of all, his name is Jason not Harry. Secondly, let's say I believe your story. What do you expect to happen now? Because I can tell you that legally he is my brother and I will fight you tooth and nail if you try and take him."
"I…" James swallowed a little nervously because of the intense look John was giving him. "I guess I never really thought that far ahead. I'd always hoped he was alive somewhere but to just come across him randomly like this…"
John sighed and against his better judgment holstered his gun. "If Jason is your biological son, maybe we should ask him what he wants to do. Can you prove that he is your son? Nothing personal but I'd like to see some hard evidence."
"There's no magic that I'm aware of that can tell you a person's parents. Some families like Sirius' have a family tree that magically updates itself to show all the members but even that wouldn't prove anything since there are no pictures."
This was turning into a real mess but he owed it to Jason to find out the truth. He knew his brother well enough to be confident that even if this guy was his biological father, he would stay with John. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a small radio that he had taken off of Jason before the medics had arrived. There were advantages to having relatives work for Torchwood after all.
"Torchwood 3, this is John Sheppard, come in." John waited. He was transmitting on the personal frequency that Jack had designated for his family to use if they ever needed him.
After a short wait, a tired sounding Jack came back over the speaker. "John is that you? Are you ok? What about your family?"
There was another sigh before John answered. "Yeah it's me Uncle Jack. Umm mom and dad are dad." It wasn't the kind of news that he was used to delivering and he didn't know any other way but to just put it out there.
"God John, I'm so sorry. What about Jason?" Jack hoped that at least Jason survived. Over the years, he'd found that he rather liked being an uncle.
"Oh…sorry I should have told you that too. He's unconscious but the docs think it is just exhaustion."
"That's great news John. Is there anything I can do? Cardiff wasn't hit as hard as London."
"Actually there is. I have two wizards here with me. One of them claims that Jason is his son. Do you have anything that we can use to prove it one way or another?"
"Wizards? Really? Huh…Yeah, I do in fact. I can be at the base in the morning with the equipment. Normally this would take weeks but you know we have certain advantages."
John laughed at the joke since he had been thinking that exact same thing a few minutes ago. "Thanks. See you in the morning." After putting the radio away, he turns his attention back to James and Sirius. "Ok, Uncle Jack will be here in the morning and he can run a test to see if Jason is your biological son."
"Why do you keep calling him that?"
"What Jason? I told you that's his name."
"No, why do you keep referring to him as his biological son?" The question came out a little sharper than Sirius intended.
James understood John's position though and tried to calm Sirius down. "Sirius just shut up ok."
"I know this has to suck for you. First you thought your son was dead and now you're hoping that he's my brother. But the fact of the matter is that Jason knows he was adopted but for most of his life has seen my parents as his mom and dad. So this isn't about you and what you want. It's about what Jason wants."
"Uncle Jack was my dad's boss at the time. He probably knows the circumstances of what happened so I suggest you meet back here tomorrow morning. Now I'll probably regret this but I'm going to trust you not to do anything that would make me hunt you down." John finished coldly.
As hard as it was to admit, James agreed with John. "He's right Sirius. It should be Harry's…sorry Jason's decision. Maybe this Jack will have answers for us."
Grumbling his agreement for now, another question popped into Sirius' head. It had occurred to him before but then all the drama started and he forgot about it. "Wait you know about magic and you weren't surprised about Harry…I mean Jason. Sorry, that's going to take some getting used to. Why isn't he at Hogwarts? Shouldn't he be a first year?
It was a good point James realized. Why wasn't he at Hogwarts? Did his family not want him to learn about magic?
John shrugged. "He didn't want to go. Told me that none of his friends were magical so he'd rather stay with them."
Sirius didn't know what to say. It never occurred to him that someone might not want to go to Hogwarts. "But, why wouldn't he want to learn about magic? There is so much in the wizarding world that…" Suddenly, Sirius trailed off. He didn't want to insult Harry's brother.
Now it was John's turn to be a little scornful. "Oh he's had some training. Even got a tour of that alley place in London. Said he wasn't impressed."
"Not impressed? But what about flying? Did he at least try to fly a broomstick?" James asked, equally horrified. He didn't have anything against muggles but even though he was married to Lily, a muggleborn, he'd never really taken the time to see what the muggle world had to offer.
John couldn't help it. He laughed at their stricken expressions. It was just so like Jason to do something like this and leave him to explain it. "Broomsticks, you're serious? I thought he was kidding about that."
"No they're great. Some of them go over a 200 kilometers per hour." James supplied enthusiastically.
Now Sirius and James were confused because John looked a little abashed. "Umm, well I might have ruined that for you a little." Despite the circumstances, John found himself liking the two men and he could sympathize with their situation.
"What did you do?" James asked accusingly. He better not have made fun of his son for wanting to fly.
"I'm in the US Air Force. For Jason's 9th birthday, I got him a flight on an F-15E Strike Eagle." When he saw the mystified looks on their faces he explained. "It's a fighter jet." Now his face bore a combination of pride and embarrassment. What they didn't know was that John was embarrassed for them because they were so proud of the top speed. "Yeah…you see the top speed of the F-15 is just about 2,700 kph."
James couldn't speak. He just mouthed 2,700 a few times. It was almost impossible to fathom going that fast.
Sirius only said "Fuck!"
John smiled crookedly and nodded in agreement saying "Yeah, it's pretty damn cool. I'm not ashamed to admit, I scored some major big brother points with that one."
September 29th, 1991, RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk, UK
John was sitting by Jason's bedside reading a book. The Colonel had been gracious enough to give him the morning off so that he could sit with his brother. The book had been sitting in his lap unopened for close to a half hour now, his mind kept returning to the encounter the previous night. It was such a bizarre coincidence, that more than anything was what bothered him.
At least they both seemed nice enough. He chuckled softly remembering their reaction to his description of the F-15 fighter. It was their attitude that bothered him though, as if there was nothing in the non-magical world to compare to magic. Sure, John had seen some of the things that could be done with magic and would be the first to admit that it was powerful but that didn't mean that it was the answer to every problem.
"Mmmm…." Jason mumbled and began to stir.
"Come on little brother. Wake up. You can do it." John urged quietly. Absently he brushed Jason's hair away from his forward when he started to blink his eyes open.
"John?" Jason muttered weakly. His eyes were still blinking trying to focus on his surroundings.
"It's me kiddo. You don't know how good it is to hear your voice." Said John emphatically before running his fingers through Jason's hair, intentionally ruffling it.
Jason gave up opening his eyes for the moment. "Now I know it's you. Only you do that to my hair, whenever you want to annoy me."
John laughed at the put upon tone of his brother's voice. "Of course I do, it's part of the big brother credo." Then John sobered up. "Are you ok? Do you hurt anywhere?"
Tears began leak from Jason's closed eyes. His face screwed up trying to fight it but his voice came out despairingly "They're gone aren't they?"
Suddenly, John found it hard to breathe. It was such a simple question but the answer was far more profound. For the first time in his life, he wished that he wasn't the older brother. But he couldn't grieve now, Jason needed him, needed him to be strong. "I think so. There's been no word from dad and I tried your radio."
Jason's watery eyes were open and looking at him now. "I…I saw them kill mom." Jason stopped and his expression became horrified. "Oh god! Did I kill anyone? When they killed mom…I couldn't think…I just hated them so much…"
Never one to be very touchy feely, John grabbed Jason into a tight hug. He began whispering in Jason's ear while rubbing his back soothingly. "No you didn't kill anyone."
"But how do you…"
John pulled away so he could look Jason in the eye but he was still holding by the shoulders. "I was the one who found you. My team searched your neighborhood. You and mom were the only ones not taken. Do you understand?"
His brother nodded and wiped the tears from his eyes.
"Hey Uncle Jack is on his way."
"Really? Why? Don't they need him at Torchwood?"
John regretted bringing it up now. His brother didn't need to deal with this right now but it was too late to back out. "Jason…ummm…not sure how to say this. Ok, after you did whatever it was you did, and I want to hear about that later, a couple of wizards showed up to investigate. Well, it turns out that one of them might be your biological father. Jack is coming so he can run a test to check it for sure."
"But I thought they were dead?"
"You know as much as I do."
A little timidly, Jason asked "You're still my brother though right?"
John rolled his eyes and snorted. "I thought you were supposed to be smart. I've already started looking at 2 bedroom apartments. Until we find one though, you can have my bed and I'll take the couch."
"John, you know I…um…" Jason trailed off blushing lightly.
"Yeah I do too." John knew what Jason was trying to say. Not long after, John left briefly and came back with a tray of breakfast for his brother, along with the doctor. After a thorough examination, Jason was pronounced fit but he would spend another night in the infirmary for observation.
Shortly after the Jason had finished breakfast, Jack entered the room. He was a little surprised to see Jason awake but it lightened his mood considerably. In his hand was a black leather case that held the equipment necessary to run the DNA comparison.
"John, Jason you have no idea how good it is to see you alive." There was a look of relief in their uncle's eyes that they had never seen before. Always in the past he had been one to brush off adversity and charge ahead but obviously this time was different.
The three spent close to an hour catching up and sharing stories of Maggie and Michael Sheppard. Jason asked about Torchwood and whether it would continue or not. John was more than a little surprised by the bitterness that was in his brother's voice, it would be something he would ask about later when they were alone. To the best of Jack's knowledge there was no plan to shut it down but there would hopefully be additional oversight now.
At 11am, James and Sirius finally made their appearance. Jack could see the resemblance between Jason and James immediately and wondered if he had made the wrong decision all those years ago.
James was thrilled to see Jason awake but he was a little unnerved by the color of his eyes. Harry had brilliant green eyes but Jason seemed to have a mix of that green but a pale blue as well.
After introductions, Jack took a DNA sample from both Harry and James and began to run the analysis. While the computer was running, he explained what happened the night that he and Michael had found Jason.
James wanted to be angry with the man. He wanted to hate him for taking away his son but he couldn't say that he would have done things any differently. It was true that without magic, they would have been killed in the wreckage of his home.
"How did you know about the attack if you aren't wizards?" Sirius asked suspiciously.
"The organization that I work for, Torchwood, was made aware of the wizarding world by order of the Queen more than 100 years ago. Since then, we have come into possession of certain technologies that detect energy. Magic at its heart is simply another form of energy that you have learned to harness."
As much as he wanted to, Jack couldn't tell them about Torchwood. The name itself was publicly known, but their charter was not. "I apologize for causing you so much pain. When I found Jason that night, we could only assume that everyone was dead. We were able to determine that most of the attack was with what we call necrotic energy or death magic if you will. Well, I was afraid that Jason would be attacked again."
Sirius wasn't totally satisfied with Jack's answer on how they detected the attack but working for the Unspeakables he recognized official secrets when he saw one.
James on the other hand couldn't fault the man's logic. There were many Death Eaters that had tried to go after Thomas because he'd vanquished Voldemort. "Was Jason hurt?"
Jack pondered his answer while looking at Jason. Finally he decided that it shouldn't trouble him too much to hear. "Yes, he was unconscious and had a strange lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead. But the greater concern was the fact that his body was saturated with the necrotic energy. Our doctor was able to purge it from his body and now we are stuck with the little monster." Jack finished with a smile.
John and Jason knew that there were portions left of the story. Their dad had given them more details on Jason's condition if not the circumstances.
James on the other hand was wondering why Jason would have any death magic in his system. "Are you sure your machines were right? Because the only way that could've happened would be if he was struck with the killing curse or been the victim of necromancy. And since he is not a zombie, it had to be the killing curse."
Before Jack could answer, the computer beeped signaling that the test was complete. After looking over the results briefly, Jack nodded and announced "Jason meet your biological father."