Harry awoke to silence and darkness at first. He lay quiet for a moment and focused his thoughts. Yes the music was still there, deep inside him, simpler now and content. The room brightened when he thought about the darkness. He knew without seeing that the sun had set and night had come to Atlantis.
A figure came through a door. Without his glasses Harry couldn't tell who it was. As he groped for them the person spoke.
"Aye welcome back. Ye missed one heck of a sunset." It was Dr. Carson Beckett.
Harry found his glasses on the floor next to the cot he was lying upon. He put them on and looked around. There were two other cots set up in what seemed to be an alcove off of the gate room. Sheppard was moving around on one and on the other Grodin lay quietly.
"The others?" asked Harry.
"They're fine. They just seem to be sleeping. Whatever the three of you did up there it looks like it took a lot out of you but apparently you got us all out of quite a predicament."
"Uh yes," Harry replied. "I'm not really sure what happened. I just knew I had to get to where I was. Where I could help."
"Well, yes. You, Major Sheppard and Mr. Grodin. It is interesting that the three of you have the strongest expression of the ATA gene out of our little group here."
Harry didn't really know what to say. "Um. Well. I guess, if you say so."
"Dr. Weir would like to speak to you now that you're awake. Col Sumner too." He clicked his radio. "Dr. Weir, Col. Sumner. Mr. James is awake and Major Sheppard is stirring." He paused. "Yes they all seem to be fine. Just a wee nap for the three of them." He smiled at Harry as he said this.
A few minutes later Dr. Weir and Col. Sumner came in followed by Dr. McKay who was telling them, "This isn't just a floating city. It's a starship. And it wasn't just sitting there on the bottom of the ocean. It has been mining the sea floor for resources. Until it shut down completely, I think it had even shifted location several times in search of materials. Even now with almost no power left, relatively speaking compared to the power that would be required get it, us, into space, it is filtering the sea around us and pulling dissolved elements out of the water. Gold. Silver. Iron. And much much more."
"Her," came a voice from across the alcove.
"What?" said Rodney.
"Her, she," said Major Sheppard as he sat up on his cot. "Atlantis is female."
"Oh come now Major. How can you possibly begin to anthropomorphize something built by an alien civilization that is tens of thousands of years dead and gone?"
"She is a ship. A city sized starship." insisted Major Sheppard.
"And she is very happy that we are here," added a third voice. Everyone looked over to the corner cot where Peter Grodin had quietly awakened and had been listening to the conversation.
"Why do you say that Mr. Grodin?" Asked Dr. Weir.
"Because well.." He looked lost for a moment and turned in the cot to look across Major Sheppard to meet Harry's eyes, "It was the feeling I got when Harry and Major Sheppard called me over to help them with the flight control station. I just felt welcomed and safe and... well, home."
"Yes," said Sheppard. "Yes," Harry echoed him.
"Yes, yes, yes," said Dr. McKay dismissively. "And next thing up is the welcome home party in the gate room. With beautiful alien women in scanty clothes skipping through the gate to welcome us as their saviors from the monsters of the Pegasus Galaxy. I have more important things to do then to talk about feelings and personified spaceships. This is Atlantis not Moya, Major Sheppard. Flyboy." Sheppard visibly winced. "Did you know that during your little nap time we discovered what looks like miniature space vessels in a hanger above the gate room? They look like they were designed to fly through the gate. Gate ships. Yes that's what I think we'll call them." He turned and left the alcove.
Sheppard looked eager to run out and see them right away.
Dr. Weir turned to Dr. Beckett and quirked an eyebrow. "Dr.?"
"Yes, Yes I think that it will be OK. Let me just give him a quick once over. I'm sure it will be all right for him to go."
"Thank you Dr. Becket. Gentlemen I need to get back to the control center. Please come to see me in the morning. I've selected an office just behind there and will try to be "in" after 9 am Earth time. We still haven't determined the day length of this planet yet. Hopefully by tomorrow the astronomers will have figured it out and we can start to organize schedules." She left them with that and walked away with Col. Sumner.
Dr. Becket listened to Sheppard's heart and lungs, poked and prodded him here and there and then started waving a small lozenge shaped box with a glowing screen that beeped and pinged as it moved around the Major's head and torso.
"What's that Doc?" asked Sheppard.
"Just a little something out of Area 51 that I picked up before we left. It's a diagnostic scanner and I'm sincerely hoping that we find more of them here in Atlantis. Handy little gadgets to have around."
Dr. Beckett cleared them all to be up and around while cautioning them to take it easy and get a good night's sleep. "I'll want to see all three of you before noon tomorrow, just for a minute, to be on the safe side. If anything happens and you need me I'll be right with you. Just call me on the radio anytime. Even in the middle of the night. I would prefer that the three of you sleep here tonight so I know where to find you."
"Thanks Doc," Sheppard called to his back as he exited.
There was an awkward moment while the three of them didn't look at each other. Grodin broke the silence. " 'Flyboy'. See I told you Dr. McKay likes you Major. Usually his nicknames for people aren't nearly as sweet as that."
"Sweet?" Sheppard rolled his eyes. "Please." He seemed a bit flustered. He didn't say anything else as he reached down for his boots.
Harry could see that this subject had been broached before. Grodin sounded like a matchmaker.
Their radios, which were also on the floor next to the low cots, all crackled. As one they reached for them and put them on.
"Major Sheppard, now that you're up and about will you please report to the hanger above the gate room. Stat," came Col. Sumner's voice.
"Right away Col. Sheppard out," he replied. He looked at his two temporary roommates. "Duty calls." Without tying his boot laces he was up and out of the room in a flash.
Harry and Grodin looked at each other. Harry broke the silence. "Mr. Grodin..."
"Call me Peter, please Mr. 'James.' "
"Peter. And I'm Harry, not..., Hairy."
Grodin's appealing smile flashed, "I'm sure, Harry."
Harry hesitated. Is he flirting, he asked himself? "Good cover. How did you..."
"Recognize you? I was at Hogwarts a couple of years ahead of you. You joined the expedition team late and other then attending a meeting or two together, along with a lot of other people, in the past few weeks, we haven't really spoken together before today. I never got a good look at you until up in the gate room and then it just kind of clicked. And on the roster you were listed as 'Harry James'..."
"Well, yes. After the war and all the fallout I just used my middle name when I went back to school. It helped me keep a low profile."
"You didn't go back to Hogwarts?"
"No. Oxford. Linguistics and ancient history. A hobby of mine that turned out to be god sent as I tried to rebuild my life after the war, out among the muggles. After my early life...," he let the thought trail off into silence. He didn't want to talk about this.
Peter only gave him a moment, "I do understand. I'm muggle born and what with the backlash against us as the war was threatening just as I was finishing at Hogwarts my family used some connections and I went to engineering school in the States."
"I see. Well..."
Grodin, no, Peter, smiled one of his big grins. "Well. We'll have plenty of time to talk about this. I think there is at least one witch amongst us. Miko Kusanagi, a scientist in Dr. McKay's group. I'm not sure about any others.
"Why don't we get ourselves together and go out and see what is happening out there? We have a city to explore!"
"Yes." said Harry.