Disclaimer: Don't own anything here. Just a college kid with a shaky imagination and a lot of material to work with.
Warnings: Mild language and violence.
Revision 2.13.14: Major plotholes fixed, along with a number of minor grammatical problems.
Enjoy the chapter.
Harry didn't sleep much after their nighttime visitor. Nobody did. He spent the wasted time staring suspiciously into the darkness, waiting for everything to explode and the mysterious magical island power to try and snatch him up.
And to make it worse damn it, there still wasn't any search party in the morning.
Apparation at risk of serious harm was sounding more and more appealing by the minute. Except that it now meant leaving a bunch of hopeless muggles alone on an island that had possibly torn their plane from the sky just to get its hands on Harry. Which meant that wasn't even an option.
So it went without saying that when later that morning, word had spread that Kate and Jack were going to search for the plane's cockpit and its transceiver Harry immediately volunteered his services. Anything to get off this bloody island quicker.
And so, with his Minnie Mouse rucksack strapped to his back, sandals replaced with dragon hide boots and leg holster replaced with its more accessible counterpart on his arm, Harry left with the small group made up of him, Kate, Jack, and another British chap named Charlie. They headed off in the general direction of smoke Kate had noticed the night before.
Jack took the lead, with Harry in a close second and Kate and Charlie trailing a little further behind.
It was Kate that broke the heavy silence nearly half an hour later.
"May I ask you something?" she directed at Charlie.
Charlie brightened, "Me? I'd be thrilled!"
"Have we. . . ever met anywhere?"
He put on a thoughtful face, a grin creeping forward, "I look familiar, right?"
"Yes!" Kate said, "So we have met!"
"No, no. But you can't place it?"
"No, I can't."
"Oh yes. Well, you know, you all, everybody," he started to sing in a high pitch like a mad man, "You all, everybody! You know, Drive Shaft, the band?"
"That's you?" Kate asked incredulously, laughing a little. Harry blinked, no idea what was happening.
"Yeah, I play bass. In Track 3 I even do backing vocals."
From Jack's expression, he had no idea what they were talking about either, only looking back over his shoulder in exasperation.
When Charlie noticed their confusion, he was mildly mortified. He tried singing again.
"You all, everybody! You all, everybody! Acting like you're . . " and on seeing their continued blank looks, he whined, "C'mon now, how can you two not know it? It's everywhere!"
Jack just chuckled helplessly, raising his hands in defense as Charlie swerved to Harry.
"And you! You're British, for crying out loud! You can't not have heard it!"
He laughed a little sheepishly, "Sorry mate. Don't listen to much music myself."
Charlie stopped in his tracks, horrified. "Don't listen . . . don't listen to much music!?"
His outrage sent Kate into another round of laughter, Jack looking on in even more exasperation.
"Don't have much time for it," Harry shrugged, hoping to placate the man and only making it worse. Charlie lost the ability to speak coherently completely, "Don't. . . time. . . how?"
Shaking his head he tried again. "Alright, that's it. After we get off this bloody island I'm taking you and you," Charlie said angrily, point at Jack and then Harry, "to London. We're gonna sit down and you're going to listen to all the good things you've been missing in your miserable lives!"
The mood was somewhat lighter after that, and they made good time. As it got dark, a rainstorm hit them out of nowhere, stunting any conversation and turning their moods sour.
Harry used the excuse of the rain to slip his lighter set of battle robes – made of a darkened dragon hide reminiscent to leather - from his bag. Set in a style similar enough to a muggle overcoat to pass, Harry shrugged it on over his shoulders as he walked. Spelled to be impervious to rain, he felt more comfortable immediately.
"Don't suppose you have another one of those in that bag of yours?" Charlie called out from behind him, and Harry smiled apologetically shifted his rucksack back over his shoulders.
"Sorry, I don't come that prepared," he lied, trekking on and only feeling a mite guilty at his magical advantage.
The itch between Harry's shoulders grew astronomically and the air, thick with magical pressure. Fingers twitching to hold his wand, he picked up his speed, soon outstripping even Jack as his eyes flitted in heavy scrutiny of the dense forest around them. And while the others shared questioning glances behind his back, they followed just as quickly.
Finally, hours after they began, they entered a crushed clearing where the nose section of the plane stood partially suspended in the trees.
Harry gestured the others forward, waiting until they all crawled inside before following.
Humidity had worked its way through the interior, and that, along with the steep incline and the growing odor of the dead made the climb to the cockpit to be a very unpleasant experience. When Jack managed to finally pry open the cockpit door, a body of one of the pilots flew past them, nearly taking Charlie with it.
"Bloody hell," Harry muttered in synchrony with Kate's own "Damn."
Jack climbed his way into the cockpit, helping up Kate next. Harry followed, noting the complex equipment that littered the room, the body of the remaining pilot, and the jungle reaching through the front glass of the plane. He stepped aside to give Jack ample room, having no idea what a transceiver even looked like, let alone where it would be.
"So what does a transceiver look like?" Kate asked, reading his mind.
Not entirely sure what one of those looked like either, Harry remained by the door. Kate moved forward, bravely searching over the remaining pilot's body as the doctor shifter in between the two front seats.
And then the body in the pilot's seat shot up in a gasping coughing fit, causing everyone to jump simultaneously.
Jack took charge without hesitation, moving forward as the man struggled to breath.
"Here," he said, grabbing one of the water bottles they'd brought along and opening it quickly. "Here you go," he tilted the bottle forward, letting the man take small sips, "Slowly. That's it."
"How. . . how many survived?" the pilot attempted, coughing liquidly.
"At least 48," Jack answered seriously as he examined the man further with a furrowed brow, "Does anything feel broken?"
"No, no," the man rasped. "Just my head's a little dizzy, that's all."
From his voice alone, Harry could tell there was probably more wrong than that. Jack seemed to agree from his telling frown.
"You definitely have a concussion."
"How. . . long has it been?"
"16 hours," Jack said evenly, eyeing the man's external injuries carefully and prodding the man's abdomen, noting every wince.
"Sixteen? Has anybody come?"
"But it shouldn't be long before they find us," Kate added hurriedly, as if trying to convince herself.
The pilot groaned miserably, "No. . . no. . . ." before he suddenly struggled to stand up against Jack's supporting arm.
"Calm down, you need to relax," Jack ordered.
The pilot shook his head fervently, and Harry felt his sense of unease continue to grow as the man talked. "We. . . . we lost. . . . lost radio contact six hours in. . . turned back. . . towards Fiji. We never. . . regained radio contact before. . . . When we crashed. . . we were nearly a thousand miles off the original course. . . they're looking for us in the wrong place."
Everyone shared a moment of horrified realization.
Jack took a steadying breath, obviously still the most collected in the group.
"Alright, that's alright. We just need to find the transceiver –"
The pilot shocked back into awareness, "Yes, yes, it should be," he said while lurching forward, "over here."
He pulled out a small handheld device that must be the transceiver and sat down again heavily.
"Alright, good," Jack said, attempting to sooth the highly erratic man. "That's what we were hoping for. Listen, you should try not to move too much."
"No, no. I'm okay. It's okay," the pilot said in obvious denial as he fiddled urgently with the dials. After a few moments of silence that were only filled with the pilot's heavy breathing, the man shook his head.
"It's no use. It's not working."
Harry fought the urge to throw his arms up and laughing hysterically. He could do the math. A thousand miles off course, there's no way this island would be anywhere near the parameter covered in the official search. The authorities couldn't find them. Everyone was stuck here.
The day got better by the hour.
He pinched his nose, refusing to panic. Panicking made things worse. Harry had been through enough bad situations to know that. And he had definitely been through some very bad situations. Was this any worse than Voldemort? Or that insane Warlock from Greenland? The time he'd woken up naked and tied to a stake in the basement of that one crazy witch? Hardly.
Besides, it wasn't like he was in this alone. All of his friends were probably searching for him already, realizing that his flight hadn't made it to LA. Hermione probably had a tomb of locating spells just for this occasion. He'd just have to hold out until she got them working. Try not to attract the magical island's ire.
Piece of cake.
"Where's Charlie?" Kate asked suddenly and everyone looked around questioningly.
This, Harry realized with a sinking feeling, was the point in every single one of his adventures that shit hit the fan. He'd been through enough to recognize the warning signs. It was time to go.
"We should find him and head back to camp," he suggested quickly, not like the growing sense of off-ness filling the air.
"Charlie?" Kate called out louder. Harry heard a thin door open, possibly the one to the lavatory before Charlie came into view below them.
"Here! Sorry," he mumbled, "had to use the loo."
Before anyone could even think to respond, the chilling mechanical thrashing that had haunted them since last night bellowed from outside. As he said: Shit, meet fan.
"What the hell was that? The pilot asked in innocent cluelessness.
"Shit," he answered, weighing the dangers of pulling his wand and facing the thing now. His dreams haunted him with the potential outcomes.
He glanced around quickly for anything that could be used as a weapon for the others. They had to be able to defend themselves. There was a fire axe in a box near the cockpit entrance that he made note of and quickly dismissed. It was no use. Whatever the thing outside was, he had the feeling it was not fire axe hacking material.
Kate had pressed herself up against the inner wall, glancing around frighteningly, and Jack hurried to the remaining fogged up window in an attempt to see. The noise grew louder and the very floor of the plane shook with the moving vegetation outside.
The pilot, in a stupid move that Harry would blame mostly on blood loss and a bad concussion moved to the open window where the glass had been knocked out, in an apparent attempt to get a glimpse of the thing.
Harry's eye twitched as he began to climb on top of the equipment and stick himself out the window entirely. Jack called out in warning and Harry threw himself forward as his own hero-complex kicked in.
"No,no no no," he said very firmly. "We do not stick our heads out in the open for unknown, most likely very dangerous monsters to see. They like to maim, kill, and generally eat things, see," he said in what he thought was a very reasonable tone as he pulled the protesting man down. If he wasn't seriously injured, it might have actually been a challenge.
"What are you doing?" the man asked as he trying to shrug him off, for some reason heavily distressed about not getting a closer look at the crazy ass magical island monster.
To be fair, it was highly unlikely any of the other's in the plane had ever faced a monster face to face before, and would therefore hardly know the etiquette of said monster-facing. Keeping that in mind, Harry kept from screaming in the man's face. "Use your brain, mate. That doesn't sound like something we want to catch a face-to-face with," he explained in his best inside voice to the now angry and still irrational pilot.
Something slammed into the plane, hard. They all stumbled, but at least the pilot was beginning to look a little more understanding.
"We should go," Harry dropped the hint helpfully as the plane was slammed forward again, swinging heavily to the right. Everyone gave terrified nods of agreement and rushed out of the cockpit.
By the time they'd reached the bottom part of the plane, the pilot was gasping for breath and clutching his chest in pain. Harry threw one of the man's arms over his shoulder to take some of his weight, and hurried him along. He got a grateful look in return. It was nice to be appreciated.
They all took a deep bracing breath, hesitating to go out into the open before another loud roar and the tearing screech of metal being ripped from metal coming from the cockpit above them urged them outside.
Kate, Jack, and Charlie raced on ahead, quickly gaining ground as Harry struggled to carry most of the stumbling pilot's weight in an awkward stumbling run.
"You. . . you should leave me," he gasped out.
"Not a bloody chance," Harry gritted through his teeth, his feet skidding through the mud.
Ahead of them, Jack looked back, hesitating when he realized their trouble before doubling back to help with the pilot's other arm. Damn, the man's hero-complex was as bad as his own. Hermione and Ran were right, it was bloody annoying to watch.
Meters ahead, Charlie tripped and splashed into the mud before him. In her panic, Kate didn't notice and continued running forward. A screaming roar and momentous mechanical clicking bellowed in reminder behind them.
As the gap between them shortened, it was clear that Charlie's foot was trapped in the roots. And there was no ignoring the thrashing of the monster growing closer behind them, the sound of the very trees being uprooted following them.
Harry and Jack shared a look as they stumbled forward, and when Jack made to step away Harry shook his head sharply, beating him to the chase.
"Don't even think about it, doc. I got this one," he shouted, shifting all of the pilot's weight to Jack. The man opened his mouth to protest, but Harry ignored him and continued, "This man's going to need a good doctor later! Go, I'll grab Charlie!"
Not looking to see if the doc accepted his reasoning, Harry branched off in a wild swing to Charlie and shouted over his shoulder, "We're right behind you!"
When he reached Charlie, sliding to his knees and splashing them both with mud, the man was hysterical, "Thank you, thank you. I can't get it loose! It won't come loose!"
He had no idea how the man had managed to get his foot so twisted up in the roots, but they only had moments to spare, and no time for subtly. He jerked his hand forward, wand sliding forward at the silent command. "Diffindo!" he shouted, and Charlie stumbled loose as the roots cut cleanly apart.
Harry lunged forward, pulling Charlie up with him just as Jack and the pilot disappeared from sight into the trees before them.
"It's no use, I've twisted it!" Charlie moaned in horror as he stumbled heavily, "It's gonna get me, Jesus, it's gonna get me."
Another ghastly roar from the monster, closer this time, made it clear that there was only one thing left to do. Harry mentally cursed his and Charlie's luck.
Heaving Charlie to his feet again, Harry pushed him forward, "Quick, get to those trees to your left."
If some weird magical monster was going to have a go at someone, it wasn't going to be the poor injured muggle. Not today anyway.
He made sure Charlie had a running start as he braced himself, before turning around, tightening himself into a ready battle stance. Goosebumps broke out over his skin, and his hair rose as if he were standing on a live wire. This was most likely going to end painfully and probably on the grisly side.
And suddenly, just as soon as he turned around, catching only the faint wisp of black smoke fading into the trees to his left, the repeated clicking and momentous roars of the monster receded. The rain stopped, the sky cleared, and sunlight washed over him.
Birds started singing in the distance.
Dripping wet and ankle deep in mud, Harry blinked. "You have got to be bloody kidding me."
He looked around. Charlie was already somewhere behind the tree line, fear being a good motivator despite his foot injury. Kate, Jack, and the pilot were long gone.
"Charlie?" he called out hopefully. No response.
He sighed, raising a wand hand, "Point me."
The wand spun haphazardly in his palm. Harry stared at it blankly, never having that happen before. He sighed again, shoving his wand firmly back in its holster.
"Damn," he mumbled angrily, before looking to the sky, shouting, "I took a bloody muggle plane to avoid things like this!"
The heavens gave no inclination they heard. Heaving a heavy sigh, he trudged forward, "Today is just not my day."
As he wandered into a thicker area of trees, he heard his name being called out from the distance.
"Harry can you hear us?"
Letting out a small laugh of relief, he called gratefully, "Over here! I'm over here!"
A few moments later they all managed to stumble into each other. Aside from being caked in mud, they all looked okay. Relatively, anyway. The pilot still looked like shit.
They all looked relieved to see him. Charlie in particular was staring at him in a wide eyed wonder. The man obviously hadn't expected to see him again. Or, he was stuck on the fact that Harry had pulled a wand and spelled him loose of a bunch of roots. Either way.
He studied the man for a moment.
"Did you see it?" Kate asked, resting her hands on her thighs and breathing heavily.
He shook his head, "It was right behind me, but it left as soon as I turned around.
Charlie let out a weak chuckle, wrapping an arm around Harry's shoulders in relief, "That was a close one, eh?"
He didn't particularly want to think about just how close. He braced himself, prepared to claim "HALLUCINATION!" if the man cried of witchcraft, but no accusation came.
The other British citizen just looked at the others hopefully, "Don't suppose we can go back now?"
As they all moved forward, Harry shrugged. Well, if Charlie was fine with keeping quiet, he certainly wasn't about to complain. Or maybe the man was truly blind, and didn't even notice.
The journey back to camp was slow, mainly because of the pilot, whose name was revealed to be Seth. Jack gave a precursory examination and walked away with a severe concussion, several cracked and possibly broken ribs, and minor internal bleeding at his best guess. Move the wrong way, and the man risked puncturing a lung. He was having trouble remaining conscious, let alone walking in a straight line.
Jack and Harry had returned to either side of him, keeping him mostly off his feet. The drawback being that they had to stop frequently for water and rest.
Each time they stopped, Jack would try the transceiver again in hopes of catching a wayward signal. Each time he failed, Harry's spirits fell a little more.
The fates were out to get him. Life definitely hated him for getting him caught up in this mess, he thought miserably.
When they finally reached sight of the familiar beach, the sounds of a fight reached them quickly. As they moved closer, he caught glimpsed of the struggle through the trees and it almost had him wishing they could turn back around.
Jack passed Seth off to Harry and rushed forward to break it up like the good Samaritan he was. Kate and Charlie followed quickly, for moral support.
Harry took the moment to stop in his tracks. Having already filled his adrenaline quota for the day, he took his time heaving Seth forward, the poor man inching step by step.
When he reached the opening, nearly the entire camp had gathered around to watch. Oh great, it was Asshole – what was his name? Oh yeah, Sawyer – yelling red-faced at Sayid.
"—you don't think I saw them pull you out of line before we boarded? Come on, bring it!"
Sayid wasn't taking whatever the accusation was well, struggling to get past Jack who had to forcibly hold him back.
"What's going on?" Harry asked, trying his best not to sound long-suffering. He focused on setting Seth down on a log of driftwood, and handed him some water before turning to face the scene directly.
Hurley jumped, brightening as he turned and caught sight of Harry. "Harry! You're a detective, right? Maybe you can help sort this all out!"
Everyone turned to face him, intrigue, surprise, and hope intermingling on their faces. Great. Being in law enforcement meant he was now some kind of authority figure. Ignoring the fact that his kind of law enforcement targeted the criminally insane of the wizarding world and was not crowd control.
He ignored the itch between his shoulders. "Help with what?" he asked cautiously, stepping forward.
Sawyer shrugged off the man holding him, the father of Walt, "We found a broken pair of handcuffs in the jungle. And this guy," he continued, pointing angrily at Sayid, "was sitting in the back row of business class the whole flight, hands folded underneath a blanket."
He crossed his arms, raising an eyebrow. So they had an escaped criminal amongst them. That was more along what he was used to. Still, muggle institutions didn't exactly fall within his jurisdiction. "You said you found the handcuffs off in the jungle?" he asked for clarification.
"Yeah. Over there!" Sawyer said aggressively, pointing to the west side of the island. "Now you think Mr. Terrorist is on board and the plane going is just a coincidence? I don't think so!" he roared.
Harry shrugged, unphased by the yelling, "I'm not an air marshal, and I wasn't informed about a prisoner." Sawyer opened his mouth, but Harry sent him a sharp look, continuing, "But I do know that Sayid was on the beach shoreline helping me directly following the crash, nowhere near that side of the jungle. Unless you want to argue that his handcuffs somehow broke apart in mid-air and—"
Sawyer snarled, "And who made you boss? How do we even know you're a detective? You could just be saying that!"
Harry stared at Sawyer a moment longer, feeling everyone else's eyes on him. He sighed, having hoped to avoid this exact thing.
Of course, Harry wasn't an international detective. Not in the sense everyone assumed anyway. He was just another everyday Auror. Because of his familiarity with the muggle world and the nature of his targets, he was usually in the field handling cases that bled over the lines into the non-magical world, because wizarding criminals had a habit of leading a chase all across the globe.
Having a relatively secure muggle identity with a definable position in the government was par for the course.
On the occasions that he needed to work with muggle law enforcement, Harry played the role of a liaison officer between the Interpol National Central Bureau of the UK and British Intelligence. But he was more technically a member of the MI11 – British Military Intelligence Section Eleven – as the Auror Department was called by the few government Mundanes in-the-know about the magical community.
Kingsley had even given him a flashy badge, and using it was a hell of a lot easier than Obliviating every muggle official he'd ever talked to and then dealing with the paperwork that generally created. Harry made it a habit to carry the badge around as it got him past most long lines and out of more difficult questions.
He reached into his coat's inner pocket now, pulling said badge out and flipping it open in Sawyer's face, "MI11, British Intelligence and Interpol liaison Officer Harry Potter at your service," he said dryly. "Detective was just easier to say," he explained, snapping his credentials shut.
Irritated, he looked into the crowd, who were watching wide eyed and suitably shocked. Seriously, everyone always underestimated the guy with a Minnie Mouse rucksack. "Now, if anyone has any credible information regarding those handcuffs or an escaped prisoner feel free to come forward. Otherwise, stop accusing people blindly. The last thing we need is to turn on each other. Understood?"
Harry made sure to make serious no-nonsense eye-contact with them all. He was not about to make this speech again.
Sawyer snarled, but Kate interrupted before he could get much farther.
"Stop it!" she said sharply, drawing everyone's eyes to her. She had been staring at Harry to, but she shook her head now, returning her attention to the larger crowd, "Harry's right! We have more important things to worry about! Now, we found the transceiver, but it's not working. Does anyone know how to repair it?"
Everyone shifted uncomfortably, before Sayid raised a hand in tired admittance, "Yes, I might be able to."
Sawyer threw his hands up in the air, "That's great! Let's just have the terrorist fix it!"
"Hey, calm down man. We're all stuck here, let's treat each other with a little respect," Hurley came to Sayid's aid.
"I don't need your advice, Lardo."
"Hey," Jack said strongly to Sawyer, finally interrupting the drawn out scene. "Give it a break."
Sawyer looked up at him in anger, before shrugging with a vicious smile," Whatever you say, Doc. You're the hero."
Harry refrained from dropping his own reprimand, adamant to remain out of the spotlight as much as possible.
"Is that the pilot?" a young man asked, finally noticing Seth.
Jack stepped forward quickly, "Yes. He was the only survivor."
"Does he know when the rescuers will finally get here?" A woman called from the back.
Jack looked back to Seth, who didn't seem particularly aware of the conversation, let alone prepared to answer the question. Everyone who had made the morning trek shared loaded looks.
Jack looked at them helplessly for a moment more before turning back to the crowd, "No," he said firmly. "But we can't just rely on the hope that the rescue teams are going to find us. We need to get the transceiver working so that they can pinpoint our exact location."
That was a solid enough answer, better spoken than anything Harry would've come up with. The last thing they needed was for everyone to panick as much as he almost had when he'd learned the full truth.
Everyone accepted the news in disappointment.
Jack continued, "In the meantime, we need to set up so that we survive until someone gets here. We need food, water, and shelter. I suggest we form groups focused around maintaining each of those."
As the talking commenced, Hurly had inched his way to Harry's side. "Dude!" he whispered, nudging Harry's shoulder and looking around conspiratorially . "Why didn't you tell me you were 007?!"
Keeping a hand on Seth's shoulder to give the pilot some semblance of balance, Harry glanced at Hurly in amusement, only vaguely knowing the reference. "Uh, what gave you that idea?"
"British Intelligence? Interpol? Please," Hurley repeated, with a yeah-come-on tone of voice. "Do you have any cool gadgets?'
"I think you've been watching too much telly."
Hurley eyed him, "Whatever you say man."
Seth wheezed, and Harry turned to him in concern. "We should get you up to the tent. You can lie down there, try to get some rest."
The pilot cracked open his eyes, agreeing with a nod. Harry helped him up, and they made their way slowly up the sand. As they ducked into the tent, Harry rested Seth down on the cooler, "Here, stay here for a sec. I'll get something set up for you."
He grabbed a water bottle, handing it to the man "Drink some more water. You need to stay hydrated."
The pilot cracked open his eyes, looking over and grabbing the bottle with shaky hands. "Thanks," he rasped, taking a sip. Finding a few blankets, Harry made a makeshift bed while Seth stared on, wheezing periodically. After a few moments the man let out a gruff laugh, "You know, I was about to say I feel like I got hit by a bus, but thinking about it, that's a literal understatement. "
Harry chuckled himself, "It'll be a hell of a story to take back home, surviving a nose dive like that."
He stood up, gesturing that he was ready and helping Seth over. He started to move away, but the man grabbed onto his arm. Harry blinked, settling into a crouch. "I never did thank you. For pulling me away from the window. Dragging me from the plane. If you hadn't been there –"
Harry froze, heard thudding heavily. He swallowed, licking his lips nervously, "You would've been fine."
The pilot shook his head with a wheeze, "No," he said resolutely,, even as his eyes fluttered. "I'd be dead right now if it wasn't for you."
Harry forced a smile, patting the man's shoulder gently, "You should get some rest, Seth."
The man had already passed out, and Harry felt his smile drop.
I'd be dead right now if it wasn't for you.
The hand on Seth's shoulder closed tightly into a fist, a bitter taste rising in the back of Harry's mouth. He'd just dragged the pilot along, that was all. He hadn't wanted to consider–
"He's right, you know," Jack's voice carried over, and Harry craned his head to see the man standing at the entrance. He made his way over, crouching down next to Harry to examine the pilot. "You saved this man's life."
Harry shook his head in sharp denial, standing up so quickly he stumbled a few steps back. Jack turned to the wizard in concern.
Surely he had already known. It was glaringly obvious that the pilot wouldn't have been peachy if Harry hadn't have been there. And Charlie. He had gone back for the man and had refused to consider what his interference might do.
But denial didn't help anyone. Not him, and certainly not Seth and Charlie. His stomach churned. In good likelihood both of them were going to die. And soon.
Jack rose slowly, his expression becoming more concerned, "Harry?"
Harry blinked, turning his gaze to the doctor and pasted on a shaky smile to show he was fine.
"Sorry," he said haltingly, taking a deep breath. "I'm fine. How is he?"
Jack shrugged, still eyeing him carefully. "We got lucky. He's having some trouble breathing, but I don't think there's any fluid in his lungs. He's in bad shape, but he's stable."
Harry looked everywhere but at the pilot, "Good. That's good," he managed.
"So," Jack began again lightly, "British Intelligence. How'd you get into that?"
Harry took the offered out gratefully, running a hand through his hair and ignoring the twinges of pain it caused. "Just sort of fell in to it, really."
Jack snorted, moving over to a bin and grabbing a rag to clean off his hands. "Sounds like a hell of a thing to fall into."
Harry tilted his head back, "How about you? Why a doctor?"
"I guess you could say it's a family tradition."
"Well," Harry said, "We're lucky to have you."
"I don't know how much good I can be," Jack admitted, his eyes flicking to the man lying further across the tent and betraying his frustration. "No equipment. Medicine scrounged up from suitcases."
Harry didn't envy the doc's situation. "Has he woken up?"
Jack grunted. "No. And I didn't remove the shrapnel in the hopes that the rescue teams would get here soon. But now. . . this man won't be able to survive another day with it in there."
Harry made the appropriate disgruntled sound, "Any chance of getting it out without killing him?"
Sighing, he answered, "Like I said, I don't have the equipment, don't have the appropriate conditions." Jack snorted hopeless and then continued, "Don't have any strong anesthesia so there's a good chance he'd wake up to feel every last moment of it. After that, without antibiotics, there's a good chance that he could go into septic shock. If that happens, he'd die anyway."
They had to get off this fucking island, Harry thought bitterly. A noise brought both of their attentions to the entrance where Kate stood, looking adamant.
"I'm going on a hike."
"Sorry?" Jack asked, not understanding.
"Sayid's fixed the transceiver. He says we'll need to be on high ground for even the possibility of getting a signal. We're leaving in half an hour."
Jack and Harry stilled, all of them very aware of what hid in the jungle.
"Are you sure?" Jack asked, wanting Kate to be certain. The question was heavy with the reminder of the dangers.
"Yeah," she said immediately, "This could be our only chance to get off the island, and the batteries on the transceiver won't last much longer."
Jack sighed, looking down at the man lying next to him, "Well, I have to stay here and prep this man for surgery."
Kate's eyebrows raised, "Surgery?"
Jack glanced at Harry before responding. "We've got to get the shrapnel out of him, or else he won't have a chance."
Kate looked doubtful, "But you said yesterday that if you took it out –"
Jack cut her off bitterly with a nod, "Yeah, well that was yesterday when I was sure help was coming. He'll be dead within a day if I don't do anything. This way he'll have a chance at least."
She nodded slowly before turning to Harry, "And you?"
He definitely wanted to get off this island, eyes flicking avertedly at Seth, especially now. And it wasn't an option to just wait until whatever was out there decided to come out to the beach and eat someone. "Yeah," he stood up, "Sign me up."
Kate smiled weakly, "Then I'll see you in a bit."
Jack shifted, looking at the both of them seriously, "Be careful out there."
She gave one last glance in Jack's direction, nodding as she ducked out. Harry made his own way out, "Doc," he looked back, hesitating at the entrance, "Keep an eye on Seth while I'm gone. Don't let him out of your sight."
If he couldn't save the man, then maybe the doctor could.
He ducked out before Jack could respond, exhaling as he did so. Charlie was sitting further down the beach, throwing stones out into the water. Adjusting his glasses, Harry walked over.
Charlie glanced over, chucking another rock into the waves, "Hey, mate. What's up?"
"Just checking in," Harry plopped down next to him.
"Right. Well I'm fine, just dandy."
"And your leg?"
Charlie huffed, throwing another rock, "Well I made it back to camp, didn't I? I think most of my problems were the hysterics involved." He glanced at Harry with a sardonic grin, "Not too used to crazy island monsters chasing after me. Sorta lost my head. Sorry 'bout that."
Harry cracked a smile, "Could've happened to anyone."
"Not you, I noticed," Charlie pointed out. "Get chased around by freakishly loud island creatures often?"
He chuckled, "Not really my area. But I'm sure we have a manual about it someplace."
The rock star grinned.
His stomach growled, loudly enough to draw Charlie's attention.
Food. Food was very important. And something he'd want to fill up on before he went on another hike. "Catch you later, Charlie," he said, standing up. "Be careful, yeah?"
"Righto," Charlie said, picking up another rock. "I'll do that."
He had emergency rations in his rucksack, Hermione was sure to fully stock him with a mix of Nutritional Potions and weird supplemental health bars that combined the best – the worst, in Harry's opinion – of both Muggle and Magical supplemental health bars. But he liked to avoid the dry, leathery substance and accompanying foul liquid at all costs.
He spotted Hurley sitting on a log nearby and raised his hand in greeting.
"Hey man," Hurley called out.
When Harry drew nearer the man leaned over and whispered, "So, uh, how're the pilot and the other guy?"
Harry shrugged, "They're in bad shape. But the doctor knows what he's doing. I'm sure he'll do the best he can."
His stomach chose that moment to growl obnoxiously and Hurley looked sympathetic.
"If you're hungry, there might be some pre-packaged meals left over from last night."
Aeroplane dinners. Possibly the one thing that was worse than Hermione's alternative.
"Or if you play it on the daring side, there was this one guy walking around offering some sort of raw fish or something. Not really sure what it was. Couldn't understand the guy at all, he was speaking like, Chinese."
Harry thought he knew who Hurley was talking about, "Korean," he corrected.
"Yeah, maybe," Hurley said.
He rubbed his growling stomach in thought, "Fish, you say?"
Hurley shrugged, "I guess, I mean what else could it be? It's not like there's a supermarket right around the corner."
He'd spent a few weeks in Korea tracking down a thief interested in starting a magical mural collection of questionable tastes. While the hoe there hadn't been his favorite dish, it did beat the plane food and nutrient bars spectacularly.
Hurley read the interest on his face in mild horror, "Raw fish? Really?"
"Hey, there are worse things. Like say, aeroplane dinners," Harry pointed out.
"Well, I don't know how you're going to talk to him. The guy doesn't speak English."
"Mmm, you don't need to worry about that. I speak Korean," Harry said lightly.
"What?" Hurley asked in amazement. "Dude!"
In all honesty, Harry technically couldn't speak Korean. But, due to his many exploits abroad and his dealings with a large number of non-English speakers he had long since bought a translator. Expensive, yet far better than the irritating translation spells that were hell to learn and varied from language to language.
Because of the translator's cost, Harry bothered to wear it – a ring - only when necessary. Plus, he already wore a gold wedding band and two bulky ancestral rings that marked him as the head of both the Potter and Black houses. Too much jewelry and he started to feel a little too Wizarding upper crust for his tastes. Like Malfoy. Merlin knew his old classmate had no shame about the jewelry. Last time Harry had seen him, the man was wearing bangles of all things.
But wearing it was definitely worth a shot at some decent food.
"Seriously, dude, how could you possibly know Korean?" Hurley asked incredulously.
Harry waggled his eyebrows mischievously, "International detective, remember?"
"And you say you aren't 007. How many other languages do you know, man?"
Including the 6,700 recognized languages present in the muggle world today? 8,200. At least that was according to the somewhat shady shopkeeper he'd bought the nifty thing from. He wouldn't know for certain having only tested out around twenty of them.
"That's sweet! You should definitely go talk to that guy and his wife then. I think they were having some trouble with the no-one-else-speaking-their-language thing."
He nodded, knowing how uncomfortable it was to not understand anyone else. "Do you know where they are?"
"Yeah, further down the beach that way," Hurley said, leaning over to point.
"Great, thanks." He stood up.
"No problem! Tell them I said hi! Oh yeah, tell them who I am!"
"Right," Harry said, chuckling at the man's antics. He walked down the beach, reaching into his shirt and pulling up the silver chain from around his neck. A number of rings, charmed pendants, and keys dangled from the end and Harry fumbled through them, hands passing over a ring with a cracked stone before he found his mark.
Unclasping the chain, he pulled the plain silver band from the rest and slide it on to an open finger. He paused at the ancestral rings, considering on taking them off, but decided against it. The rings recognized him as the Head of two wizarding houses, and their magic registered that he was alive in the House of Lords. If all else failed, which with the way his luck was running was a practical guarantee, it would be a comfort to his family until they found him and he got off this bloody island. He shoved the chain back under his shirt.
Once he reached a far corner of the occupied beach he saw the Korean man standing knee deep in the water, searching the shallows. A woman, who must have been his wife, sat on a stone ledge closer to the water. Seeing Harry approaching, she stood up and called out to her husband.
Harry smiled affably as the man turned to them. He raised an arm in greeting, twisting the ring on his finger and focused on thinking of speaking Korean. "An nyeung haseyo! Je ireum-eun Harry imnida."
The man look startled, stepping forward, "You speak Korean?"
"Yes! Although I've never been good with keeping formal and informal straight. I apologize in advance."
The man let out a relieved laugh, shaking his head, "No, no, that is fine. Can you tell us what's going on? Why haven't we been rescued yet?"
"Yes, of course," he said, filling them in with the story Jack had told the others.
". . . so a group of us is going back into the jungle to try and find a signal for the transceiver. When we get back, I'll let you know what we find."
"Thank you," Jin said with a polite bow of his head, "We'd greatly appreciate it."
"It's no trouble," Harry shook his head, "We're all in this together until we can get off this rock."
The man turned, picking up a tray that was resting on some rocks. "Here," he gestured, walking up to him quickly,"Please, have some."
"Read my bloody mind," Harry said, grinning as he picked up the meat from an urchin, "Thank you. This is very impressive."
"You're welcome. I am Jin," the man said, then gestured to the woman who was watching them from where she stood, "This is my wife, Sun."
Swallowing the seafood, he smiled, "A pleasure. Again, I'm Harry, Harry Potter."
She smiled weakly, nodding politely, "It is nice to meet you, Mr. Potter."
"Harry's fine," he assured, wiping his hands on his pants. "I better be going. They're leaving soon."
Jin nodded, "Of course. Be careful."
"You don't need to worry about me," Harry said cheekily, waving a hand in farewell as he walked away.
He found Kate and Sayid in the middle of camp, preparing to leave. He raised a hand, "Hey," he glanced around nervously, "We about ready to take off then?"
Sayid glanced at him, zipped up a bag at his feet, "Yes, just packing some food and water in case this takes longer than we originally planned."
A blond girl and the guy that Harry remembered from immediately after the crash approached them.
"I'm coming with you," the girl stated imperiously.
Harry's eyebrows rose slightly. She didn't look much like the hiking type, but kept it to himself.
"She's not going. She doesn't want to go," The young man interrupted impatiently.
"The hell I'm not."
He ignored her, staring at them, "It's what she does. She postures."
"You don't know what the hell I do!"
The guy rolled his eyes, "Makes really bad decisions to upset her family, which at the moment, is me."
"Shut up, and stop trying to be charming," She snapped, turning to face them more fully. "I'm coming with you."
Harry's eye twitched. Sayid caught his eye, and then they both turned to Kate. Let her handle it.
She looked both agitated and awkward as she looked between the siblings, "I don't. . . know if that's such a good idea," she said diplomatically.
The girl shifted her weight to one foot, looking Kate up and down derisively, "What are you? Two years older than me? Please."
Harry kept his expression neutral. Wasn't she a piece of work? Reminded him a little of Ginny around her siblings, actually – only a little more grating.
Charlie had walked up to the group and she turned to him, "You're going, aren't you?"
He looked confused, "Yeah, are you?"
Confusion turned to excitement as Charlie eyed the girl with an excited grin, "Yeah, I'm definitely going."
Harry swallowed, stepping forward now, "You sure, Charlie? You can stay here, rest your leg for a bit."
Charlie shook his head, "No mate. Like I said, the leg's fine. And I'm looking to get off this island as fast as possible."
Kate stepped forward, snapping impatiently, "Look. Everyone can come. But we're leaving, now."
Harry eyed Charlie for a moment more, nodding slowly. It definitely wasn't safe out in the jungle, but he supposed this way he could at least keep an eye on the man, for all the good it would do.
On a side note, he learned that the two kids names were Shannon and Boone, respectively. Kids, although they were both probably around his age. The two didn't seem to realize the reality of their situation, treating this like some sort of competition.
As they got further along into the jungle, Asshole decided to make an appearance. The trip was looking funner and funner by the minute, he mused sadly.
Harry kept his distance from the rest, keeping his eyes on the trees around them. Making sure not to disappoint, Sawyer started making a fuss once they reached an open clearing.
"Okay! Wide open space! You should try the radio."
Sayid looked as irritated as Harry felt, "We are not going to have any reception here."
"Just try it."
"I do not want to waste the batteries," Sayid gritted through his teeth.
"I'm not asking you to keep it on all day," Sawyer snapped. Harry pinched his nose, turning to the man, "Look –" he began.
Several bushes rustled and branches snapped to their right. He looked over sharply.
"My god," Shannon whimpered fearfully, clutching at her brother. The rustling sound grew, and growling noises started.
"What the hell's that?" Boone asked, trying to sound slightly braver than his sister and failing.
Whatever it was, it wasn't the same thing they'd heard this morning. This sounded more like a wild animal. A very large wild animal.
"Come on, let's move," Kate said, backing up quickly.
Not needing any futher encouragement they all took off running. All of them except for Asshole, who stood still, facing whatever was caming closer.
Kate tried to turn back to him, but Sayid grabbed her arm and pushed her forward, "Let him go!"
Damn it! The man was going to get himself killed, Harry thought angrily. The man wasn't even trying to get out of the way. He made sure the others kept running before he stopped, turning to slap some sense into the cowboy.
He did a double-take. A huge raging bear was beating him to the punch, running at Sawyer with gaping jaws. The man was about to get torn apart. He had no choice, flicking his wrist so that the familiar weight of his wand slid forward. Merlin, he was going to have all of these muggles on borrowed time before the week was out.
Sawyer raised an arm, and before Harry could do anything himself several piercing shots cut through the air. The bear roared, collapsing and sliding to the man's feet.
Harry looked on blankly, trying to figure out what happened. Gun entered his mind slowly, the man had a gun. The knowledge about the criminal among them flashed through his head quickly, and his hand tightened on his wand.
He heard foliage being crushed behind him, and he slid his wand in his sleeve as the others cautiously returned. Shannon stepped up to his right, "That's," she swallowed dryly, "That's a big bear."
Kate took in a sharp inhale, "Guys, this isn't just a bear," she said horrified. "That's a polar bear."
Shit. She was right, of course.
"That's not possible," Boone said stubbornly. "P;ar bears aren't indigenous to this area."
"Well, this one was," Sawyer said, nudging it with his foot. Kate turned to him sharply, "Where did that come from?"
He looked at here incredulously, "Bear Village? How the hell should I know?"
"Not the bear, Sawyer. The gun. Where'd you get the gun."
Expression closed off of Sawyer's face, "I got it off one of the bodies."
"One of the bodies," Sayid repeated flatly.
Sawyer turned to him angrily, "Yeah, one of the bodies."
Thoughts raced through Harry's brain. Nobody but a copper could get a gun on the plane, unless someone was crafty enough to sneak it on. Still, "You found the constable travelling with the convict," he guessed.
Sawyer smiled in his direction, "U.S. Marshal to be exact," he pulled out a badge as well. "Grabbed this too. Thought it was cool."
Sayid took a step closer, "I know who you are. You're the prisoner."
This was going downhill quickly, Harry surmised as he watched the two trade insults. When Sawyer turned to face Sayid more clearly, Kate darted forward, snatching the gun and pointing it at the man.
"Does anybody know how to use a gun?" she asked in a shaky voice.
Harry finally took a step forward, holding out his hands passively. "Why don't we all just take it easy."
Kate sent him a sharp look, "I want to take it apart."
"There is a button on the grip. Push that, it will eject the magazine," Sayid said clearly. Kate did so and the bottom half of the gun fell to the ground. "There is still the round in the chamber. Hold the grip and pull the top part of the gun to release it."
When she had done so, Kate grabbed all of the pieces and gave them to Harry. He took hold of them, studying her.
She nodded, "You're the cop, right? You should have the gun."
He had handled guns a few times. They were surprisingly handy against targets who didn't know heads or tails about muggle technology. A simple protego could protect them if they got it up fast enough, but they had to be pretty crafty for that.
Still, he wasn't the best one to be holding all of their weapons. "Sayid," he nodded, handing him the gun. The man took it inquisitively.
Sawyer opened his mouth in outrage, but Harry silenced him with a look and held out the magazine, "Here."
At everyone's stares he looked to Kate. "I'm a liaison officer," he explained with a tight grin, "Not a cop. You're going to want someone else holding that."
The atmosphere was tense after that, until they reached a high enough clearing that Sayid felt comfortable pulling out the transceiver.
Sawyer threw his hands into the air, "Oh sure, now's a good time to check the radio!"
Sayid sighed, "We are up higher."
He started, "Bar, there is a bar!" He brought the device up to his face, "Mayday! Mayday!"
Static murmers broke through the radio, causing Sayid to frown and bring the transceiver down. "Feedback," he muttered disbelievingly. Harry looked on blankly, while Kate looked alarmed, "Feedback from what? What would do that?"
He looked at her, "I do not know."
Sawyer huffed, "You just didn't fix it right, obviously."
Sayid shook his head, "No. No, no, no. It is not broken. We cannot transmit because something else is already transmitting."
"From close by?" Harry asked, not liking the turn this was taking. This was another one of those warning signs for shit hitting the fan.
"Yes, the signal is strong."
"Can we listen to it?" Kate asked urgently.
Sayid nodded, fiddling with the knobs. "Yes. Let me get the frequency first. Hold on."
There were a few moments of silence, and Harry looked around the clearing nervously. Static broke out suddenly, and then voices filled the air.
"French, it's French," Charlie exclaimed.
Harry, who still had his translator ring on, twisted it and listened as the message replayed.
"Does anybody speak French" Sayid asked, looking around. Boone pointed at his sister, "She does," he announced.
She looked alarmed, shaking her head, "No, no I don't."
"Don't bother," Harry gritted out. "I speak it."
A male voice replaced the French message, "Iteration 7294531."
Shit. Shit, shit, shit.
"Harry," the voice snapped him out of his panic and he looked up sharply to see everyone staring at him. Sayid stood in front of him, "What does the message say?"
He swallowed dryly, "Nothing good."
"Well. Don't be shy. Why don't you share it with the rest of the class," Sawyer said, waving a hand.
The message started again, fainter this time. Harry swallowed, translating it out loud, word for word.
"Please. Please help me. Please, come get me. I am alone now. I am on the island alone. Please, someone come. The others are dead. It killed them."
"Iteration 17294536," the radio crackled softly, before dying completely.
Everyone was silent. Finally, Sayid let out a shaky breath and broke the silence, "Sixteen years."
"What?" Charlie asked.
"Sixteen years, and five months. That is the count."
"What the hell do you mean?" Sawyer demanded/
"The iterations," Sayid explained shakily. "It is a distress call. A mayday. And if the count is right. . . it has been playing over and over again for sixteen years."
Shannon let out a horrified sob that Harry related to quite well.
"Someone else was stranded here?" Boone asked.
Kate shook her head in denial, "Maybe someone came for them."
Sawyer snorted bitterly, "If someone came sweetheart, then why is it still playing?"
"Guys, where are we?" Charlie asked.
It was a good question. A magical island in the middle of the Pacific that Harry had never heard of before. It wasn't the first time people had been trapped on it, and with no rescue. Meaning this place was hard to find for muggles, possibly equally hard to find for witches and wizards, if his dreams were anything to go by. It might even be Unplottable.
All of it meant that there was a good chance any spell his friends tried from the outside wouldn't reach him. It meant that wherever they were, they might be stuck there for a very, very long time. He couldn't just wait for help to come anymore.
To be continued.
In concern to questions of romance in this fix (slash or otherwise) brought up by some of the readers: I am terrible at writing romance. Terrible. The stuff I write would make your eyes bleed. In concerns to Harry in particular, he is currently married with several children. Why that certainly hasn't stopped people before, I'm using it as the excuse to prevent any terrifying, death-inducing writing that may occur otherwise. With that said, I see this as a purely generic fix with only hints at the canon relationships. Unless I have some major revelation, I don't see that changing anytime in the near future.
Again, updates will always be sporadic at best. Life does that to me. Feel free to review, or ask any questions you may have. Both are always appreciated.
And thanks for reading,