Hagrid and Sirius were both searching the mess of the house for any survivors. Sirius because he was desperate to have not lost his best friend, his godson, or Lily, who'd grown on him. Hagrid because he had orders from Dumbledore to bring Harry Potter to Privet Drive. Hagrid found his goal first and, with a slightly apologetic look over his shoulder at the still frantically searching Sirius, quietly left without telling him.
Sirius halted his movements half an hour after the half-giant had disappeared, his ears finally registering the lack of noise his friend had made when he was searching.
"Didn't even let me say goodbye," Sirius mourned softly. "Dammit!" Still, Sirius would at least gather everything that he could from the house and take it down to the Potter vaults in Gringotts. Lily's jewellery, diaries, schoolbooks and research journals; James' awards, journals, family portraits, invisibility cloak and the prank diary; both of their wands... there was a third wand. Sirius growled, but gathered it up as well. It was very tempting to break this wand, but it might come in useful some day – such as when he took those Death Eater bastards to court – so he held himself in check, and refrained from breaking the wretched thing.
At midnight, Harry Potter was left on the doorstep of number four Privet Drive, with a note for his aunt telling her to take care of him. By dawn, the child was gone, whisked away by merciful fate to the far side of the globe where the sun was a mere two hours from setting, to a very different doorstep.
"Hitsuzen has brought us a customer," a tall, elegant woman declared serenely, though there was a measure of surprise in her tone as well as she looked down at the small bundle for a moment before she bent to pick it up.
"What do you have there Youko? Started stealing babies now?" Watanuki asked as he saw the bundle in his employer's arms.
"No Watanuki, the child simply appeared here. But what to do with the child?" she asked, looking out at her front gate. "Well, I opened the dimensional gates for that group the other week, maybe I'll send this little one off after them. But what payment?" she wondered, only to spot the letter in the folds of his blanket. Withdrawing and reading it, Youko frowned. "It seems that the child has already lost everything precious to him," she observed sadly. "That's no good at all, it really leaves very little else for equal exchange."
"Er, Youko, what's that?" Watanuki asked, pointing to the mark on the boy's head.
Youko looked again, then back to the letter, and smiled. "That, Watanuki, is the symbol of his fame in the United Kingdom. I think that would make equal exchange perfectly. We'll need to find something in the store room that can be sent with him to care for him, make sure he gets fed, cleaned, stays healthy and doesn't get stepped on, not to mention remove that scar."
Watanuki sighed as he followed his boss back into the building. She was in a good mood again. That was almost as bad as her being in a bad mood or hung over.
"Harry James Potter, born at eleven fifty-seven on July the thirty-first, you are going to give me that scar, yes you are! Yes you are!" she cooed, tickling the baby's nose with her own, a huge grin infecting her whole visage.
"I don't know why you'd want a scar," Watanuki complained. "Especially on your face."
Youko snorted. "I'm not going to transfer his scar to me, idiot. It's going to go into storage until someone comes who does want it, and will pay a fair price."
Watanuki could only roll his eyes at his boss behind her back. "Alright, so who or what are you going to send with the kid to look after him?"
Youko started to hum as she browsed through the storage shed, one arm cradling Harry while the other brushed things aside. Shifting one box aside, Youko froze completely.
"Perfect," she breathed, moving again, picking up the thing that she had found. "Now I just have to collect my payment. Let's do this in the comfort of the main lounge."
Half an hour later, with all the magic done, Youko was grinning like a maniac. "Oh yes, that scar is definitely worth it!" she crowed. "Both the inter-dimensional tripping and his caretaker!"
Watanuki could only shake his head at his crazy boss. What was so great about the scar? It had glowed black when she'd peeled it off, okay, not normal, but what was the big deal? Really? And what the heck was that statue that she'd sent with the kid? He didn't remember seeing it when he'd cleaned up the storage shed before.
Baron Humbert von Gikkingken had gone to live with the space-time witch after his adventures with Miss Haru into the Cat Kingdom. Not immediately of course, he'd promised that the Cat Bureau would always be open to her after all, but she hadn't needed them again and there had been no other business in that time either. So he'd gone to see the witch and had withdrawn himself from society completely, asking that she let him rest, undisturbed, until someone came to her who would need his help for something hopefully more long-term than a get-out-by-dawn adventure that had set his heart pumping in his wooden chest.
That time had come at last, after he didn't care to know how long, and he was rather surprised to find that he was looking down at a baby who had eyes just as brightly green as his own. Youko had explained the situation to him and then sent them both off, promising that fate would guide them to wherever they needed to be.
Their first stop on the inter-dimensional tour that Youko had set up for the boy appeared to be completely unsuitable however. A military encampment, even a hospital, was no place for a child. Especially not with alarm blaring about fresh wounded, indicating an active war-zone.
Baron quickly scooped up his charge and ran towards the nearest door. Being in the middle of the road was not a safe landing place for an only-maybe-mobile but currently sleeping infant.
"What -?" a soft, gentle voice just about yelped in surprise. "What is a child doing here?"
"We just landed," Baron answered. "In the middle of the road."
"Not a safe place to be just now," the blonde, glasses-wearing man observed. "I'm Father Mulcahy, the assigned chaplain of the four-oh-seven-seventh, please, come in and explain. We may have to go to Colonel Potter about this."
Baron smiled gratefully. "Potter did you say? This boy's name is Potter."
"Perhaps they're related?" Father Mulcahy suggested.
"Little Harry here is British," the Baron said. "What little I have seen so far indicates an American unit."
Mulcahy nodded. "That's correct, still, it's not that big a world, so they may be related anyway. Now, you haven't introduced yourself."
"I am Baron Humbert von Gikkingken," the cat statue said, taking off his hat and bowing politely to the collared man. "Thank you, by the way, for not having dismissed me as an irrational impossibility. That's always difficult to work with when meeting new people."
"I can imagine."
Baron spent the next ten minutes explaining to Father Mulcahy all that he could about himself and his new ward, and how they had come to be at the 4077th.
"I was right, this is going to need to be told to Colonel Potter. You are welcome to stay in my tent with young Harry until the wounded have all been seen to. I should really be getting to my own duties now," the priest said, getting up from his chair and leaving the tent to minister to the dying and act as an extra coreman where needed.
Baron stayed in that tent for three days, Father Mulcahy only coming in to bring food for Harry, sleep for an hour, change his clothes and then go back out again. There were a lot of wounded it seemed, and if everyone was as active as the priest seemed to be, then he wasn't the least bit surprised that Colonel Potter hadn't yet come barging in with questions.
The fourth day, however, that changed. Father Mulcahy returned to the tent, bringing a bottle of milk for Harry and a scone for the Baron as usual, but with behind him another two men and a woman filed in as well.
"Baron Humbert von Gikkingken, these are Colonel Sherman Potter," Father Mulcahy said, gesturing to the eldest man, "Head surgeon, Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce," he continued.
"Call me Hawkeye," the black-haired man said.
"And our head nurse, Major Margaret Houlihan," concluded the introductions.
"Margaret, please," the major said, smiling politely.
"And this," said the Baron, moving over to where Harry was just waking up, "is Harry Potter. He's just a little over a year old."
"Cute kid," Hawkeye observed, smiling as he moved a little closer, a delighted twinkle taking up residence in his hazel eyes. "Something you didn't tell us Colonel?"
Sherman Potter huffed. "Most certainly not," he objected.
Baron shook his head in agreement. "No, Harry and I have come from a different dimension, or at the very least, a different decade. Harry was born in nineteen-eighty-eight," he explained. "And lost his parents on Halloween night, nineteen-eighty-nine."
Margaret's face morphed into one of sympathetic emotion. "Poor baby," she cooed gently, moving closer, reaching out to pick up the baby boy, hesitating at the last moment and looking to the Baron.
"By all means Margaret, please, be my guest," Baron said, stepping aside and smiling up at the peroxide-blonde woman. "I can't really give Harry the proper hugs that he deserves at that age, though I can manage most everything else fairly well."
Margaret had Harry in her arms and resting against her bosom in an instant.
Smiles went around every face in the tent at the sight of Harry blinking those green eyes of his and yawning cutely.
"Well, let the physical begin?" Hawkeye suggested, holding up a clipboard that he'd brought in with him. "Then we can introduce this kid to the rest of the camp."
"BJ is going to love him," Margaret said, holding Harry expertly while Hawkeye checked the kid over.
"BJ loves all kids," Hawkeye countered. "But I agree. Little Harry here isn't Beej's Erin, but Trapper nearly adopted a Korean kid, and he's got two little girls."
"We're keepin' this one," Colonel Potter said firmly, eyeing Father Mulcahy. "I know the orphanage is where kids should be going, but we'll hang on to Harry personally until someone more official than me says we can't. Besides, I know how busy the sisters are with all the kids they've got already."
Father Mulcahy just smiled.
BJ Hunnicut did love Harry when he saw the boy. So did all of the nurses, Radar and Klinger. Even Winchester was enamoured with the child, and agreed to letting the fourth bunk in the Swamp be converted into a cot for the child. He played a lot of Mozart and Bach for the young mind to grow with, always setting a record to play for the child before rushing off to scrub for surgery – records which the Baron made sure didn't keep going around when they'd reached the end.
Baron helped Radar and Klinger in the office when someone else in the unit wanted to watch Harry for him, and by Christmas the bundle of joy was talking.
"Unca Hawk dunk?" Harry asked, having pulled himself up on the edge of Hawkeye's bunk so that he was standing. He'd crawled over. Since Harry had moved in, the Swamp had really cleaned up. The gin-mill was still there, it would never leave, but there was floor without random stuff sprawled everywhere. All of the pieces of the games had been found again, the old gorilla suits rediscovered and taken out for cleaning, and there was a fence around the stove to make sure Harry didn't get too close and burn himself.
Hawkeye smiled down at Harry. "Soon kid," he answered happily, "I just got off twelve hours of surgery, I think I deserve a few drinks. Don't you?"
"Yes Harry," Baron said from the table between Hawkeye's bed and BJ's. "Working for twelve hours solid to save people's lives is very good. I'd say that deserves a drink of the man's choice. I would prefer my tea blend, but to each their own," he said, pouring a martini for the doctor.
Hawkeye chuckled and accepted the glass with gladness. "Ah, mother's milk," he sighed happily.
"Milk?" Harry asked. He knew what milk was. He liked milk. But this was Hawkeye and BJ's funny-smelling water. He was fairly sure that it wasn't milk.
"Not that kind of milk Harry," Baron said quickly. "Hawkeye was being metaphorical."
"Not sure you should be using big words on the kid," Hawkeye said, then shrugged. "But yeah, sorry Harry, this isn't actually milk. I just call it that sometimes, because it makes me feel better."
Harry nodded slowly, taking that in. He didn't really understand, but he sort of did. It wasn't milk, but Hawkeye liked the funny-smelling water the way that Harry liked milk.
"Where Beej an' Mister 'Chester?" Harry asked.
"Making sure with their last patients," Hawkeye answered. "Should be in soon. Might even bring Sherm with them."
"Someone say my name?"
Hawkeye, Harry and the Baron looked up at the door to see Colonel Potter, still in his bloody white scrubs, standing in the door.
"Hello Colonel," Baron greeted. "Can I pour you something?"
An easy, if somewhat tired and drawn smile made its way onto the old Colonel's face. "Much appreciated," he said, moving into the Swamp and taking up a deck-chair. "BJ will be along shortly, but Charles' last one is having complications. He can handle it, but he'll probably go to the O-club before coming back."
Hawkeye and the Baron nodded their understanding.
"Some way to spend Christmas," Hawkeye observed, far too soberly.
"At least there's the party tomorrow night, and the wounded can all enjoy some Christmas cheer with the orphans from Sister Theresa's," the Baron reminded the two men. "Harry and I have been making presents for everybody while you've all been hard at work saving lives and running the camp, so there's that to look forward to as well."
"Presents?" Hawkeye asked, grinning down at Harry now, sitting up and pulling the kid into his lap. "Where have you been hiding them?"
Harry grinned back and shook his head. "Uh-uh! It's a 'prise for 'morrow!"
It was too. Harry and Baron had made medals for everyone at the 4077, medals with their name, rank, and something special about them carved on. Baron explained that he'd found the metal and done the carving, while Harry had found the ribbons, boxes, and decided what extra little thing would go onto everyone's medals.
"I've always known that the doctors, nurses and coremen deserved medals for the work that they did here," Father Mulcahy said with a smile, eyes glistening behind his glasses as he read what was on his own little medal. 'Practically Perfect Padre'. Harry liked what his 'Papa Potter' called the camp chaplain.
Harry and Baron were given a book that Baron could record Harry's life in, with some photos, comments and advice already in there, courtesy of the medical staff. There were photos of Harry with every single member of the unit, and an extra one with Klinger in his favourite dress. His medical history was in there too, since Hawkeye and Margaret had made sure that Harry had all of the shots they could give him that were standard for the time, as well as a couple of extras when they could manage it.
Baron was thrilled with the gift, and he promised that Harry would appreciate it as more than a chew toy when he got older.
"Hey Sydney!" Hawkeye called. "You've been away too long! Come on, you haven't met the kid yet!"
"Kid?" Sydney Freedman, asked, his eyes going wide in his face as he got out of the jeep and was dragged to the Swamp.
"Harry Potter, Baron von Gikkingken, may I present Sydney Freedman, psychiatrist and poker friend," Hawkeye said, grinning from ear to ear as he picked up Harry, settling the almost-two-year-old onto his hip so that Harry was closer to eye-level with Sydney.
"Pleased to meet you Dr Freedman," the Baron said, leaping up gracefully from the floor to Hawkeye's bunk then onto the table. "May I pour you a drink?"
"Sure, if I'm not dreaming," Sydney agreed.
Baron chuckled and mixed a martini for the man. "I assure you Dr Freedman, you are quite awake, and sane. If you like, I'll explain?"
Sydney nodded as he accepted the drink.
BJ sat up from where he'd been lying, re-reading the most recent letter from Peg for the fifth time, and pulled out the poker things, dealing for five.
"Five?" Sydney asked, only to watch Baron and Harry both pick up a hand.
"I enjoy the game, and they enjoy trying to teach Harry. He has the advantage in that, as long as he can't remember what's a good hand and what's a bad hand, he has the perfect poker face," Baron explained.
"Harry wins just as often as he loses, but we've taken to just having chips on the table rather than cash, 'cause obviously Harry doesn't have any," BJ added.
"It's real embarrassing losing to the kid too," but Hawkeye was grinning with pride when he said it.
After Harry won that round of poker, a photo was taken of Harry in Sydney's lap that would be added to the kid's book, as well as some advice from the psychiatrist on the page the photo was to be stuck to.
"Why do I get the feeling you're up to something?" Sydney asked Hawkeye and BJ as they walked into the mess tent after the game.
"Tomorrow is Harry's second birthday, according to the Baron," BJ answered, "and we intend to celebrate the occasion. Two is old enough that some of the higher-ups might notice that we've been taking care of him rather than sending him to the orphanage, so we have to have a party before he gets taken away. We're inviting all of the orphanage kids too of course. Just because we've got Harry full time doesn't mean we forgot about them."
Sydney nodded his understanding.
"The kid really means a lot to everyone around here," he noticed.
Hawkeye smiled. "Yeah. He's a ray of sunshine immediately after surgery. He's even getting a proper cake, and Charles got some candy shipped in from Boston for Harry and all the orphans to enjoy as well."
The mess was being decorated with streamers and ribbons that had been ordered and hoarded by the unit over the too many years that the war had been going on in Korea, pulled out every time there was a party. Streamers in red, blue, pink, green, white and purple were all over the place, balloons were being made out of surgical gloves, some even getting faces drawn on them, and one end of the mess was getting table cloths.
"Just have to hope there won't be any wounded tomorrow," Sydney remarked.
"There won't be," Colonel Potter answered, appearing behind them in the line up for lunch. "We got word from HQ, no fighting in our area, and only a little in the area we take over-flow from. Harry should be able to have a happy birthday."
"Will he be getting anything special?" Sydney asked. "I know that out here you can't really get much..."
"You remember the old gorilla suits?" Hawkeye asked, smiling.
"Yeah, but what do they have to do with anything?"
"We sent them off to get cleaned, and then Margaret and some of her nurses took to them with scissors, needles, thread and some stuffing. Harry's getting a teddy bear made from gorilla suit," BJ explained.
"Yours or Trappers?" Sydney asked, turning to Hawkeye again.
"Trap's. We wrote to him first, sent a picture of Harry and everything. He approves the gift," Hawkeye answered.
Harry approved the gift too when he got it, hugging it tightly.
"I think he likes it," Sydney commented to Margaret, who had given Harry the gift, wrapped up in blue paper.
"Wonder what name he'll give it," she answered, grinning happily.
Radar echoed back the question to Harry, who stuck out his bottom lip and scratched his head in thought.
"Sooty!" the child declared at last.
"Alright everyone, it's picture time! Come on, bunch up. Kids down the front, coremen up the back, Harry and the Baron in the middle, that's it! Sydney, you get in there too! Right... timer's set, everybody smile!" Klinger yelled, running back to the group once he'd pressed the button.
The new pictures were in Harry's book by the next day, which was just as well, because the higher-ups did notice a two-year-old living with an army unit, even a medical one, and ordered that he be given to the orphanage.
Sister Theresa came to collect Harry, and the child stood there with his teddy under one arm, and his book in his bag with the clothes that Klinger had made for him, and the Baron beside him. Everyone came out to say goodbye, but just as Sister Theresa was about to take Harry's hand and lead him away, Baron and Harry disappeared.
"What just happened?" the nun asked.
Father Mulcahy smiled, sadly, and Colonel Potter explained to the sister as it had been explained to him, that Harry and Baron had come from a different time and place somehow, and at best guess, they'd just decided that it was time they went somewhere else now.
"I'm going to miss that boy," Charles said, wiping a tear from his eye before it had the chance to form.
"You and everybody else Charles," BJ answered. "But we've got pictures at least, so we won't forget him."
"It's not the same thing though," Margaret said, her voice soft as she did her best not to cry as well.
"Maybe we'll see him again some day," Hawkeye offered, though he wasn't too hopeful. "Maybe we can find another kid to adopt for a while. Maybe the war will end next week and we can go home to kids we won't have to say goodbye to. Marry me Margaret? I'm sure we can manage a kid almost as cute as Harry," he finished, getting down on one knee and clasping her left hand to his chest.
The sadness was cured, somewhat, as Margaret laughed at Hawkeye's proposal. "I'll think about it," she said, smiling. "Thanks Hawk."