So sorry for the long delay! Here is the next chapter. Thanks so much for the reviews and the questions, it really made me think about some of the things that I'd forgotten to explain. x Hopefully most will be addressed sooner rather than later.
For those of you who were wondering about Harry having seemingly lost the ability to levitate things I think that I should explain a little bit. In my mind he had control enough to show his father but when trying to impress both Cassie and Hermione he got more unsure of himself meaning that he ended up blocking his magic a bit. I've always thought that Harry had more confidence issues that anything else when learning something new so this is my little spin on it.
Really hope you enjoy. :)
Sirius and Minerva got back to Jack's house to find it empty. Looking around the place they couldn't see any signs of a struggle and looked at each other. Sirius shrugged, "Do you think they already went to Janet's?"
"Check your phone. Maybe they left a message."
Putting his hand in his pocket Sirius cursed, "Damn must have forgotten it!" Arching her eyebrow Minerva smirked, "Oh so you're not a wizard anymore then I take it?" Sticking his tongue out at her catty tone he flicked his wand and silently summoned his phone to him. He started to check for a message as he mumbled, "Smart arse."
Sauntering into the kitchen she called over her shoulder, "And pert too." Sirius nearly choked at the cheeky tone of his former teacher. It seemed meeting her old friend Andy had lightened her up more than any of his joking ever could. Coughing he recovered as quick as he could while dialling the number for his voicemail, "How is one supposed to be able to tell through all those layers you wear?"
Putting the phone to his ear he grinned to hear her spluttering in the kitchen as she fought for a reply. It seemed at least he could still get one up on her occasionally. As the messages began to play however the grin slid from his face. When Minerva came back into the hall she stopped what she'd been about to say at the look on his face.
Locking eyes with her he said grimly, "We need to get to Jack. Now."
Jack was furious. That arrogant, despicable, cocky snake head! The bitch wanted her toys back, some of Cassie's blood AND a sample of Harry's too! It didn't matter that he had no intention of letting her leave the base, alive or dead. The bitch thought he'd just hand over what would be essentially be the life of his son to her all because she felt superior to them.
Just as he was about to do something foolhardy there was a soft crack in the corner of his office. Turning sharply he saw Sirius and Tabby looking at him grim faced, "What did we miss?" Quickly Jack filled him in on what had happened to Cassie, the demands Nirrti was making and Harry's new found ability.
Luckily Jack had gotten permission a little over seven months ago to fill in Tabby and Sirius about the Stargate program. It had taken quite a bit of cajoling but eventually Hammond had agreed that it would be easier in the long run to let Tabby and Sirius know their side of the story. To say that the two had been shocked would have been an understatement.
Sirius had laughed and thought he was joking while Tabby remained silent in thought, presumably going over everything she knew from the moment she'd met Jack. Luckily for him Teal'c and Bra'tac had agreed to help with a demonstration. He had not been expecting the reactions they'd gotten though.
Sirius had growled out, what sounded like, "Parasites." while Tabby had narrowed her eyes at the symbiote in anger. The shocking part about it all was that the thing seemed to sense her hatred and retreat back into Bra'tac. The two Jaffa had been surprised but Bra'tac had nodded to Tabby. Jack couldn't be sure but he thought that the old warrior had been pleased by their reactions, hers especially.
Sirius spoke dragging Jack back to the moment, "So Harry is a Parseltongue. That's…bad…unexpected…unfortunate. Shit I don't know but I don't like it!" Tabby raised her hand to silence him, "We'll worry about that later, for now the priority is on getting Cassie better. Jack, do you think that Nirrti can actually help her?"
Jack nodded, "Yeah. The real question is; will she? Even if we met her demands there's no telling what the snake will do. They're a bunch of self-serving egotists with a superiority complex that puts your Voldemort fellow to shame."
Stroking his stubble Sirius breached a subject that he definitely didn't want to voice, but knew had to be said, "Why not just get Harry to demand the cure from her?" Sighing Jack leaned against the wall, "He's already offered to do so. Heck I nearly had to restrain him at one point to keep him from marching down to the holding cells! He's not even supposed to know where they are!"
Tabby began muttering to herself, "Can probably sense it. Though why not the ones in Teal'c and Bra'tac?" Sirius blinked, "That's a very good question, but again not the main focus right now." Jack resisted the urge to bang his fist on his desk, "I can't just let Harry walk into a room with a Goa'uld and demand she cure his friend!"
"Why not?!" Sirius was very upset. Over the past couple of years he'd gotten to know Cassie and loved her like a niece. The girl was smart, loyal and above all scary…just like her mother.
"For starters we don't know if Harry can really command the snake head or it was just shock that stopped her before. And secondly too many people are on the base now, if we were to let him try then there's no way we could keep him a secret!"
Jack was surprised to hear Tabby answering for him. She'd apparently come to the same conclusion as he had earlier. Looking up she met his eyes, "I could try and help heal Cassie a little. Put myself under a glamour and pass me off as a specialist of some kind." Jack didn't even have to think before nodding.
The moment he bobbed his head she looked at Sirius who waved his wand in a complex pattern and focused on a mental image as hard as he could. Jack watched slightly mesmerised as Tabby seemed to shimmer and become someone else. In under ten seconds a woman who appeared in her thirties, with dirty blonde hair and a button shaped nose, stood in front of him. He gaped for a moment before meeting her eyes and seeing that she was still Tabby.
Breathing deeply he shook his head, "Magic comes in real handy sometimes."
"You have no idea." The voice was so much lighter than Tabby's that it took a second for Jack to process that she'd spoken. Turning to glare at Sirius he mumbled, "You're just doing that to confuse me."
Tabby frowned, "Don't distract him Jack. He has to concentrate or the glamour will fail and then we'd have a much bigger problem on our hands." Coughing in embarrassment Jack gestured to the door, "Sorry. Does he have to come with us?"
She shook her head, "No. It's best if he stays here anyway. A glamour is hard to maintain when the thing being glamoured is moving, let alone that he's somehow managed to also throw in an audio one as well." Not wasting any more time Jack nodded and left the room with the now disguised Tabby.
Reaching the isolation room he popped his head in the door and saw Janet, "Hey Doc, that specialist you sent for is here." Janet's head snapped up as she frowned when she saw a complete stranger in the doorway. Before she could say anything to ruin the ploy though the 'specialist' winked at her. Blinking she looked closer and saw Tabby's eyes staring intently at her from a strangers face!
Too weird to focus on right now she simply nodded and gestured to Cassie. Catching Tabby's quick glance around the room Janet dismissed her staff. Striding quickly to the bedside Tabby disabled the cameras with a flick of her hand before sliding her wand out of her sleeve and passed it over Cassie with an intense look on her face.
Jack and Janet held their breath for the two minutes it took Tabby to complete her analysis of Cassie. When she straightened up and nodded they both exhaled loudly. Jack looked between Cassie and Tabby for a few seconds before his impatience got the better of him, "Well?!"
"It seems that whatever Nirrti has done is changing her inner core."
Growling in frustration Janet tried to restrain her anger, "What does that mean exactly?"
Looking up Tabby slipped her wand back up her sleeve and went into lecture mode, "A person's core is what decides if they're magical or not. It is linked to physicality's in our brains. Basically whether or not you are able to do magic comes down to one simply thing. If your brain has more complete connections than normal. I don't know all of the science, just enough to properly understand the magic. But what I do know is that Nirrti has forced Cassie's brain to make for too many complete connections."
Jack looked confused as Janet gasped in understanding. Turning to look at Janet he silently pleaded for an answer. She looked briefly at Tabby before turning to Jack, "Bottom line is that Cassie's brain was never supposed to have this many 'complete connections', as Tabby calls them. It's burning her out, in effect frying her brain."
Turning to Tabby hopefully Janet held Cassie's hand, "Can you reverse it?"
"I don't know. I can probably halt the progression but I doubt I'd be able to return her to her old self. Only the architect of this little debacle can do that properly. But I should be able to buy you some time to come up with a way of making her do just that."
Before anyone could speak Tabby had her wand out again and was focusing intently on Cassie. The whole thing only took about fifteen minutes but she looked utterly exhausted by the time she was done. Janet thanked her profusely as Jack held her arm to support her on their way back to his office.
By the time they reached it Bra'tac and the rest of his team were there. As Jack closed the door Tabby slumped onto a stool and Sirius dropped the glamour, leaning back against the wall in exhaustion, "I really hope I don't have to do that again anytime soon."
"It was your own fault for throwing in an audio glamour on top of everything. I can do a convincing German accent if need be."
"Well why didn't you say so?!"
"You didn't ask."
"Stop!" Everyone looked at Jack in surprise, "Sorry but right now that isn't something we need to talk about." Tabby and Sirius nodded before Jack spoke, "So how do we get Nirrti to heal Cassie?"
After a moment of silence Tabby spoke, "We give her what she wants."
Thankfully the shouts of four people were kept from the rest of the base by the silencing ward Tabby had thrown up a moment before speaking. When they started to argue with her she nearly growled before standing up and glaring at them until they quietened.
"We give her what she wants. Everyone in this room knows that she cannot be allowed to leave the base alive now that she has knowledge of Harry. So there is no harm in conceding her wishes."
Bra'tac nodded grimly, "I agree however there are many people here who are watching her every move and cameras on every floor. How do you propose we get close to her?"
The smile that traced across Tabby's lips sent a shiver of fear down the spines of everyone in the room. If they hadn't thought she was dangerous before they most certainly did now.
"Not we. Just me."
"We don't have the time to argue the point. I've stalled the damage to Cassie's brain for now but it won't hold for long. We need Nirrti to heal her and after that I'll make sure that she does no more harm."
Daniel tried to be the voice of reason, "You'll be seen."
Sirius and Tabby shared a dark grin before he decided to feel in the details, "Magic has it's uses."
Jack grit his teeth and glared at the snake head as she moved the healing device over an unconscious Cassie. She was so fucking smug! He just wanted to grab a gun from one of the guards and but a hole between her eyes. The invisible hand on his shoulder helped him to focus on the knowledge that she wouldn't live long enough to do any harm to his son.
When she lowered the hand device and opened her mouth to speak everyone in the room was shocked. The Goa'uld symbiote flew out of her mouth in a gush of blood to land on the bed next to Cassie. Bra'tac moved before anyone else could and pinned it to the mattress with a scalpel he'd picked up in the infirmary.
For a moment everyone just blinked in shock before the former host of Nirrti collapsed dead on the floor. This seemed to have the same effect of a blot of lightening. General Hammond looked at Bra'tac in worry, "Master Bra'tac what happened?"
"I believe the Goa'uld was making a move for a new host Hammond of Texas. It had to be stopped or Cassie would have been lost to us."
"I don't doubt that Master Bra'tac, I'm just surprised you managed to get your hands on a scalpel so quickly."
Janet spoke up, "It's probably my fault General. I've been so worried over Cassie that I have probably been leaving things lying around where I normally wouldn't."
"Completely understandable Doctor. Is Cassandra alright?"
"Her vital signs seem to be stable but I'll have to get her back to the infirmary to run more tests. I just hope that most of the damage was undone before Nirrti tried to take her."
As everyone was moving Jack stepped back against the wall to stay out of the way. Bra'tac came and stood near him before speaking quietly, "Is Tabby gone?"
"I think so. I haven't had any sign from her that she is still here."
"In that case I think it's best if we inform young Harry and Hermione before retreating to your office. I would like to know how she accomplished such a feat."
As the two headed for the door Jack muttered, "So would I."