NOTE: First chapter owned by BlueReign with permission to use. All other chapters are my own. Idea both BlueReign
and others I've gotten and gathered over the years.
There won't be any pairings (beyond past Jethro/Shannon and Harry/Ginny), but there will be strong familial bonds between some of the characters. Some liberties have been taken with Shannon's appearance, but it's strictly for the purposes of the story. Despite the appearance of this prologue Tony and Abby will have large parts to play.
Also, the Harry Potter timeline has been shifted forward ten years so that he was born in 1990. This does have importance to the plot.
I don't own either NCIS or Harry Potter. They belong to Donald P. Bellisario and J.K. Rowling respectively. I'm not making any profit. This applies to all chapters, not just this one. I also do not own the first chapter, BlueReign is the amazing mind behind that! Thank you mon cher!
"Bereavement is a darkness impenetrable to the imagination of the unbereaved." - Iris Murdoch
Gibbs walked solemnly down the path; gravel crunching loudly beneath his shoes in the quiet, intense atmosphere. He ignored the many gravestones to either side of him; intent only on two some way down the path, three rows in.
It had been some time since he'd visited, but it had been too difficult after the amnesia. The crushing grief and guilt, new once more, had prevented him from making the trip. He hadn't been able to face the reality and so he had avoided it, focusing instead on the job. When that hadn't worked he'd fled to an isolated beach house in another country. He should have known better than to run from his problems, should have known it never works, but that'd never stopped him before. He had two ex-wives who'd seen so little of him that they barely knew him to prove it.
As he approached the long neglected graves he noticed their neatness first. He hadn't tended them in some time. The guilt he felt about that was pushed firmly to the side. It seemed that someone had taken that duty over for him. There were no weeds around either grave and the flowers he'd left the last time had been removed and replaced with a new bunch. Lilies if he wasn't mistaken.
The second thing he noticed was the boy reclined before the graves, who spoke softly and occasionally gestured as though he were holding a conversation. The boy, who couldn't be more than seventeen or eighteen, was dressed smartly, expensively even. Gibbs's had plenty of experience at distinguishing well-made, tailored clothes with DiNozzo as his senior field agent. That man knew more about designers and fashion than his ex-wives. Though Gibbs did note that the boy was casually rich in a way that suggested he either had more money than he knew what to do with or his wealth was new to him, since he hardly seemed to care about the grass stains he must inevitably be getting.
A feeling of intense violation swept through Gibbs and he curled his hands into fists and gritted his teeth to keep from lashing out at some strange kid who had no idea of the infringement he'd committed. He approached slowly, breathing in deeply as he went. The boy looked up at him, caught mid-gesture and froze. Gibbs was momentarily surprised by vivid green eyes so like Shannon's.
"What are you doing here?" he demanded, voice like ice, eyes hard as steel. The child had wandered carelessly into his sacred space and removed all his own personal touches to replace them with indifferent social gestures.
The boy scrambled to his feet with a sheepish smile, though Gibbs was quick to note the way he kept his limbs loose. The boy's fingers also twitched as though he was holding back from reaching for a weapon. Gibbs glared at him suspiciously when he didn't answer immediately.
"I'm sorry. It wasn't my intention to intrude –"
"Didn't stop you," Gibbs growled. He automatically noted the English accent, but dismissed it as irrelevant. It didn't matter where the child came from, only that he was here, now.
"You're right," the boy said with a weary self-deprecating smile. "I'll be on my way."
Gibbs almost felt remorseful as he watched the boy turn and walk away, shoulders hunched, and he struggled to hold his glare. He hadn't expected the boy to be polite or to give in. He'd expected a verbal fight, some form of backtalk that was so common in teenagers these days, and was disappointed that it hadn't happened. It was hardly fair to use a child barely old enough to shave as a distraction, but he was desperately in need of one. Dark feelings of self-recrimination, grief and powerlessness welled up, shrouding all thought.
His eyes were drawn to the smaller of the two graves and he swallowed past the lump in his throat. A single lily had been taken from the larger bunch and placed before the gravestone. Gibbs' small, reluctant smiled was a painful thing, all hard, brittle edges.
"Looks like you've got an admirer," he murmured, running his hand lightly across the top of the stone. He lingered for a moment before the memory of her laughter and innocent awe of everything grew too much. He turned to the larger stone and touched it in much the same way, trying to remember the way Shannon had felt in his arms, the way green eyes sparkled with amusement as they saw through him in a manner few had since and the way the sun lit her beautiful red hair on fire.
"You wouldn't have tolerated that attitude from me for a second," he said, trying to picture her long-suffering expression, amusement betrayed by the hint of a smile quickly stifled. His faint, pained chuckle was choked off before it could reveal too much about the emotions clawing to get out. "A lot's happened recently," he continued before settling down on the ground much as the boy had.
Harry sank listlessly into the chair in his motel room. He was so very tired. England had hailed him a hero and he thought that in some ways it would have been better if they'd simply reviled him for his role in the war. At least that way he wouldn't have had to deal with the Wizarding world's expectations. He'd never done well with their expectations.
Despite what the Wizarding world had wanted he had not gone into politics or the auror program. He'd instead spent the last six months researching his family tree. The Potter side had been a complete bust. Voldemort's efforts to annihilate the entire Potter line, both for their role as light Witches and Wizards and his role in the prophecy, had been entirely too successful. He'd been a little more hopeful about the Evans line.
After traveling around Britain, parts of Australia and America he'd been left with one last hope: Shannon Gibbs, nee Evans, his mother's cousin. Unfortunately he'd had just as much luck with the Evans family as he had with the Potters. Shannon was dead sixteen years. Harry could only wonder if Voldemort had somehow had a hand in that too.
Even though he'd never met her, hadn't even known she existed until a few weeks before, finding out that Shannon was dead left him feeling somehow hollow. He'd never known family except for the Dursleys and the brief memory of his mother's death. He'd hoped that he'd be able to find some connection to a shared past that everyone else seemed to take for granted.
Still, he'd taken the time to sit at each grave and speak, whether the dead cared to listen or not. It helped him lay to rest the hope of some kind of family, however distant they may be. He'd been interrupted in this farewell, but the man had given him a new focus.
He couldn't help but wonder if the man he'd encountered had been Shannon's husband. It certainly seemed logical, and it would explain the man's hostility. Harry had had more than enough fighting in his lifetime to willing engage a grieving man in a senseless argument. He felt that if he'd learnt anything in his life it was knowing when to pick his battles.
Nevertheless, he was curious about the man in the same way he had been about Sirius and Remus. He was tangible proof that Harry didn't spring from thin air, that he was part of something that spanned many years and many lives and that there were people who remembered that, cherished it even. He had to know more.