AUTHOR'S NOTES:I know that readers are waiting for the next chapter of 'What Should Have Been' but my muse didn't seem to want to work on that story. It wanted to work on this instead. And despite how the story starts off, Harry actually isn't disabled in this story.

Story Summary: After Lily's death, James takes Harry to the States and later joins NCIS where he meets a beautiful redhead who happens to be married to a gray-haired Marine.


(NCIS x-over)

Godric's Hollow



James Potter's head was throbbing as he returned from unconsciousness. Looking around, he noticed that everything was blurry and his glasses were missing. He could vaguely hear crying and he wondered where Lily was. Starting to get up, James cried out at the searing pain in his left leg. His wand was missing and every movement seemed to make the pain worse. "Lily!" James cried, coughing as the dust from the rubble continued to settle.

Finally getting to his feet, James again called to his wife but there was still no response, only the continued cries from the upper level. "Harry," James said, quietly as he hobbled as fast as he could to what was left of the stairs. Blocking out the pain as best he could, James slowly crawled up the stairs. But just as he neared the top, some of the wood gave way and James fell to the ground, hitting his head again.

The last thing he heard before losing consciousness again was Harry crying and someone calling his name.


Sirius Black knew something was wrong. He could feel it in his bones and as his flying motorcycle neared Godric's Hollow the feeling got worse.

And when he saw the Potters' house, Sirius almost crashed as he landed in the driveway. Letting the motorcycle fall to the ground, Sirius ran into the partially demolished house, looking for James, Lily, and Harry. "James! James!" After a few minutes, Sirius managed to find James covered in debris. "James! Prongs, can you hear me?" Sirius grabbed one of James' arms and pulled it over his shoulders and dragged his best friend from the rubble before going back in to look for Harry.

The stairs looked unstable but Sirius went quickly, managing to get to the upper level of the house just as the remainder of the stairs collapsed. The entire floor gave a shuddering lurch and Sirius shouted, "LILY! HARRY!"

There was crying coming from down the hall and Sirius ran into the room, tripping over Lily's body. Looking up, Sirius saw Harry in his crib, crying. He seemed completely unharmed, except for the lightning shaped cut on his forehead. Getting to his feet, Sirius hurried to pick up Harry. "Hey, come on now, Prongslet." Looking at Lily's body, Sirius set Harry down for a second before picking up Lily's body. After carefully picking up Harry as well, Sirius headed towards the back of the house and jumped out an open window, landing in the bushes below.

"Sirius?" said a deep, gruff voice.

Sirius stood quickly, holding Harry with one arm while he withdrew his wand. "Who's there?" A large shadow came around the house and Sirius breathed a sigh of relief when he saw it was Rubeus Hagrid, the gamekeeper at Hogwarts. "Hagrid, what are you doing here?" Sirius said, looking at the half-giant.

"Dumbledore sent me to get Harry," Hagrid said, looking at the baby in Sirius's arms. "I'm supposed to take him to his aunt and uncle."

"I'm Harry's godfather, Hagrid," Sirius protested. "Besides… James might want a say in what happens to Harry."

"James is alive?" Hagrid said, looking shocked. Looking down at the still form of Lily Potter, he asked, "Is she…?"

Sirius nodded sadly as he handed Harry to Hagrid. Picking up Lily, Sirius led Hagrid to the front of the house where James was lying against the motorcycle. Once he'd laid Lily down, Sirius took Harry back. The young child yawned once before snuggling against his godfather's chest and falling asleep. Looking up at Hagrid, Sirius said, "We need to get James to a hospital. Then we'll need to…" Sirius stopped for a moment as he looked down at Lily. James had loved Lily from the moment he'd first laid eyes on her. How could Sirius tell his best friend the only woman he'd ever loved was dead?

Washington, DC

United States

10 Years Later

On the playground, Harry Potter couldn't take his eyes off of the cute red-headed girl on the swings. As he watched from the jungle gym, he saw her looking at him and looked away, quickly.

Heading over to the tire swing, Harry wondered why he couldn't just talk to her. Sure, she was a couple years younger than him but from what he'd seen she was also a witch. So they had that in common.

Across the playground, James smiled as he watched his son. Harry also seemed to have a taste for redheads and the young girl he had his eyes on was cute.

"If we keep bumping into each other I'm going to start thinking you're falling in love with me," Shannon Gibbs said as she came up behind James. "And Jethro wouldn't like that," she added with a smile.

"Harry's got a crush on your little girl," James explained with a grin. "Although he's pretty shy about it. Must have gotten that from his mother."

Shannon laughed as she watched Harry as Kelly walked over to him. "Let me guess… You were attracting girls from the day you were born."

James smiled and as he looked at Shannon he was reminded of Lily.

"You never talk about Harry's mom," Shannon said, looking at James's expression as it went from charming to pensive.

"I loved Lily from the moment I saw her," James replied as he and Shannon sat on a park bench. He choked up a little and sighed. "I miss her every day. Harry was hardly a year old so he doesn't even really remember her."

Shannon was about to reply when she saw James looking around. "What's—?" But before she could finish the question, James grabbed her and dove for the ground as gunshots were fired from somewhere. "Kelly!" Shannon shouted, panicking when she didn't see her daughter.

As Shannon started to get up, James kept her pulled down. "I'll find Kelly. Just stay down."

Shannon raised herself a bit as James got up quickly and pulled out a 9mm, looking around. "But—"

"Stay down!" James ordered, looking at Shannon before turning back to the playground. Looking around, he whirled about when he heard a noise from behind.

"Dad!" Harry whispered loudly as he and Kelly crouched beneath the bottom of the slide.

When James couldn't find anyone who looked suspicious, he holstered his weapon just as several police cars pulled up nearby. Looking at Kelly and Harry, he said, "The two of you just stay here for a second, okay?"

"Yes, sir," Kelly said with a nod.

Harry nodded as well. "Sure thing, Dad."

James stood and pulled out his badge as the cops approached. "Special Agent James Potter, NIS."

As James drove home, he looked at Shannon who was sitting in the passenger seat. "We have a BOLO out on Hernandez. And Metro Police are taking your van home. You're okay, Shannon."

"I just can't thank you enough, James," Shannon said with a sigh of relief. "Ever since that afternoon when I saw Hernandez kill that sergeant I've just been so scared."

James nodded as he headed down the road. Glancing in his rearview mirror, he said, "Blue car behind us."

"We're being followed?" Shannon said, starting to turn around before James stopped her.

"Just keep looking straight," James instructed. "I'll try to shake 'em." But as James started taking side streets and roundabouts, he couldn't lose the blue car following them. "Just sit tight," James said, looking in the rearview just as the other car rammed them from behind. "Bloody Hell!"

"Mommy!" Kelly shouted as the other car rammed them again, sending them through an intersection.

James swerved to miss an oncoming car just as another car sideswiped them.

"Dad, look out!" Harry screamed just as another truck crashed into the car.

Protection charms could only do so much against another car.

Still, James had no doubts that the spells on his car were what had saved the lives of himself, Shannon, Kelly, and Harry.

Not that any of them had gotten away unscathed.

Shannon had a couple of broken ribs and some minor internal bleeding, James had a broken arm and some cuts and bruises, and Kelly had suffered a traumatic head injury.

Harry's injuries had been the worst, though. As he'd been leaning against the door when the car had been hit from the side, he'd suffered fractures to his hip, pelvis, and lower back. The doctors expected a full recovery, even though Harry still couldn't move his legs.


Standing outside Shannon's room at the hospital a week after the accident, his right arm in a cast and sling, James wished that he could do something more to help Shannon and Kelly. The American Ministry of Magic had different rules about using magic to heal muggles and getting a healer into a muggle hospital. As if that weren't enough of a problem, there were loads of muggles in the hospital who saw Harry and James's injuries and a miraculous recovery would draw suspicion.

"Special Agent Potter?"

James turned to see Jethro Gibbs hurrying down the hall looking worried. "Gunny," James said, holding out his good hand.

After shaking hands with James, Gibbs asked, "Shannon and Kelly? Are they okay?"

James tried to slip back into 'agent mode' but he couldn't help remembering coming to after Lily's death. "Shannon has a couple broken ribs but she can go home in a few days. Kelly's still unconscious."

"Will she be okay?" Gibbs asked, quickly. If something happened to his little girl… his princess…

"You should talk to the doctors," James replied, dodging the question. Once Gibbs went in to see Shannon, James headed up to the Pediatric wing and found Harry awake and watching TV. "Better not get used to this," James warned as he sat down next to Harry's bed. "No TV at Hogwarts, you know."

"How can I go to Hogwarts like this?" Harry asked, dismally as he looked at the back brace he wore and the traction rig around his hips and waist. "I've got 3 months before I start school. What if I still can't move my legs?"

"Harry, we'll figure it out," James promised. "And you're going to be fine."

"But what if I'm not?" Harry asked. "What if…?"

"Hey," James said, leaning forward and taking his son's hand. "We'll deal with it then."


When he got home, James carefully eased his jacket off his shoulder and after the jacket fell to the floor he hung it up with a flick of his wand.

"Good to see you haven't completely given up magic."

As the house lights turned on, James saw Sirius sitting in an armchair, a big grin on his face. On the couch was Remus Lupin who looked only slightly worse for wear. James smiled as the other two men stood and embraced him. Wincing as the three-way hug jostled his arm, James stepped back and studied his two friends. "What are you two doing here?"

Sirius shrugged as James headed into the kitchen. Following his best friend, Sirius said, "A week ago you tell us there's been a car wreck and Harry was badly hurt. And now you're surprised when Moony and I show up?" When James sat at the breakfast bar with a glass of scotch, Sirius sighed. "Look, we just want to help, Prongs." As Sirius sat down, he asked, "How is the Prongslet, anyway?"

James downed his drink and replied, "Hairline hip and pelvic fractures and he broke his back."

"Will Harry be alright?" Lupin asked, joining the two at the breakfast bar.

James shrugged as Sirius went to the fridge and grabbed three bottles of butterbeer. "The doctors keep saying that Harry will be fine. But he can't move his legs at all."

"Why haven't you just taken Harry to a local wizarding hospital?" Sirius asked, looking at the cast on James's arm. "10 minutes, he'll be right as rain."

"I tried," James replied as he sipped his drink. "But since a load of muggles have already seen Harry's injuries and mine—not to mention the fact that right now Harry's doctors refuse to move him anywhere—there's nothing I can do." Setting his bottle down, he said, miserably. "Sometimes I wish Harry and I had never moved to the States."

Sirius looked down at the bar as he spoke, "James, I'm sorry. Remus and I want to help. So just tell me what to do and we'll do it."

James shook his head. "I don't know what to do. I mean, the doctors are saying that Harry's spinal cord wasn't actually severed, and that increases the likelihood of recovery, but…"

"But?" Remus repeated, putting a comforting hand on James's shoulder.

James took another drink of his butterbeer and finished, "But… It'll be four to six weeks before they can tell how long it'll be before Harry fully recovers." Downing the rest of his drink, he threw in, "Or even if he'll recover."

Sirius was about to say something when the doorbell rang and after putting the butterbeers in the fridge, he went to the door and opened it. "Yes?"

The visitor was smoking a cigarette and stepped inside the house as he said, "I'm looking for James Potter."

"He's in the kitchen," Sirius said, warily as he accompanied the other man into the kitchen.

"Hey, Boss," James said as he saw NIS Special Agent Mike Franks join the group.

"How're you doing, Probie?" Franks asked as he stubbed out his cigarette.

"Been better," James replied, succinctly. Indicating Remus and Sirius, he said, "Sirius, Remus, this is my boss at the Naval Investigative Service, Mike Franks. Boss, this is Remus Lupin and Sirius Black. They're old friends from England."

"Nice to meet ya," Franks said with a gruff nod. "Listen, Probie," he said to James. "I need to talk to you. Alone."

James looked at his best friends and gave them a quick nod.

Sirius took the hint and he and Remus headed out to go see Harry at the hospital.

Once alone, Franks said, "Gunnery Sergeant Gibbs came to see me. Wanted to know where Hernandez was."

James frowned a bit at that news. "Sir, we can't give that information out. Especially to a victim's family."

"I know that, Probie," Franks snapped. "I didn't tell him anything."

"Well neither did I," James snapped back.

"Hmm," Franks said, quietly as he headed for the door. "Well, thanks for the hospitality, Potter."

James nodded and as soon as the door closed, he headed upstairs to try and get some sleep.


There was something in Gibbs's eyes when Shannon next saw her husband when he came to take her home. The anger that had been there was gone and he seemed more relaxed.

On the car ride home, Gibbs said, "I had a talk with Special Agent Franks."

"I know," Shannon replied, wincing as the car hit a bump in the road. "James told me you're joining NIS." After a moment, she added, "Did James tell you about Kelly?"

"The whole magic thing?" Gibbs said, sounding slightly unnerved. "Yeah, he told me." As they headed down the road, he asked, "How's Kelly doing?"

Shannon looked over at her husband and smiled. "Good news, she woke up yesterday."

"Bad news?" Gibbs wanted to know.

Shannon shrugged. "It's some… some medical thing, but Kelly can't see."

As Gibbs pulled into the driveway and parked, he said, "Shannon, I promise I'll be home more."

"It's okay, Jethro," Shannon insisted as she slowly got out of the car. "It's nothing we can't deal with." As she and Gibbs headed inside the house, one thought occurred to her. "Although… you will have to clean up the basement."

"I'm not getting rid of the boat, Shannon," Gibbs insisted.

"I'm not asking you to," Shannon replied with a laugh. "I'm just asking you to clean up and organize a bit down there."

"Alright," Gibbs grumbled as he headed down to the basement while Shannon went to sit down in the reclining chair for a while.


It was 5 weeks before James could finally get Harry transferred to the Gilliam Medical complex—the best wizarding hospital on the east coast. The facility was run by magical healers as well as muggle doctors. After a week, Harry was able to wiggle his toes although James was told that it would probably be another month before Harry would be walking on his own.

While he was going through physical therapy, Harry wondered if Kelly would still be able to go to Hogwarts. Even after several days of magical scans and healing spells, Kelly was still blind and even though Harry tried to help her remain optimistic, she still seemed doubtful that she would be invited to attend Hogwarts.