Daniel Jackson was bouncing on his toes as he pounded on the door to the VIP suite that Harry had been assigned.
Opening the door, a sleepy Harry stared at Daniel in confusion.
“Morning Harry,” Daniel said in an excited tone of voice one would recognize come from a small child on Christmas morning.
Harry looked at Daniel in puzzled expression before turning his head to look at something in the room before turning back. “It’s 5:30 in the morning, Daniel.”
Daniel nodded his head. “You promised you would look over the artifacts we found on PX7226.”
“PX7226?” Harry asked sleepily.
“The land of the Serpent Lord… they wrote in parseltongue,” Daniel reminded him.
Harry looked back in the room before looking at Daniel and repeating. “It’s 5:32 am.”
“Yeah,” Daniel nodded his head.
Slowly Harry closed the door, leaving Daniel looking at it in confusion.
“Dr. Jackson,” an Airman stepped up to Dr. Jackson, having seen just what happened and asked, “Have you had any sleep tonight?”
“Ummm… yeah… I think so,” Daniel replied. “I’ve been working on trying to find anything that I think Harry can translate for us.
“And have you been drinking coffee?” the Airman asked.
Daniel nodded his head. “I found this new blend called Death Wish. I think someone sent to me as a joke but it’s really good. They claim to be the strongest coffee in the world.”
The Airman closed his eyes for a moment. “And how much have you had?”
“Ohhh… ummm… one or two,” Daniel answered.
“Cups,” the Airman’s voice betrayed his hope.
“Pots,” Daniel said with a smile.
The Airman nodded his head as he let out a sigh that was bordering on a sob. “Come with me, Dr Jackson,” he requested as he gently took Daniels arm.
“Where are we going? I need to get Harry to look at the artifacts,” Daniel babbled.
“Sir, do you remember what the General said would happen if you drank too much coffee?” the Airman asked as he led Daniel down the hall.
“But it was only two pots,” Daniel whined.
“Your friend is evil,” Harry growled as he set his tray down on the table across from Colonel O’Neill.
Swallowing his mouthful, Jack replied, “Which friend.”
“Daniel,” Harry snarled.
“What did he do this time?” O’Neill sighed, looking around the mess hall for the man in question.
“He woke me up at 5:30 am so I could translate things for him,” Harry hissed.
“Was he vibrating in place like a dog who wanted to play fetch and you had the ball?” Jack asked.
“More like I had a nice juice steak and he was waiting for me to give it to him,” Harry proclaimed.
“Right. He OD’d on caffeine again,” Jack stated before returning to his food.
Harry shot Jack a dirty look before asking, “Which means?”
“Which mean he’s in the hands of our lovely and graceful Dr Frasier,” O’Neill stated as he glanced over at the few members of the medical staff who were in the Mess Hall.
Harry let out a snort before saying softly, “Chicken shit.”
“And you, Grumpy, are not a morning person,” Jack pointed his fork at Harry.
“You try being woken up at 5:30 in the bloody morning by someone who acts like a 5-yr. old on a sugar high,” Harry snapped.
“No, he’s completely different when he’s on a sugar high. This was a caffeine high,” Jack countered. “And I’ve worked with him for years. Try sharing a tent with him after you tell him he can’t play with his rocks anymore because the sun has set.”
“Talking about Dr J again?” Ferretti asked, placing his tray down next to Harry’s. “What did he do this time?”
“Woke me up at 5:30 in the bloody morning,” Harry growled as he stabbed his food.
“OD’d on caffeine,” Jack translated. “And Harry is not a morning person.”
Harry gave Jack the British version of the middle finger.
“Dr J tends to get a bit excited and forgets about things us mere mortals needs to survive like eat, drink, sleep…” Ferretti pointed out.
“Hermione,” Harry grumbled before shoving a fork full into his mouth.
“But look on the bright side. Frasier will keep him until his caffeine level is closer to normal level,” Ferrite offered. “No one wants a repeat of what happened last time.”
“What happened last time,” Harry asked.
“We’re not quite sure,” O’Neill admitted. “But there were three trashed rooms, the elevator somehow ended up misaligned in the shaft and four Marines begged to never have to work with Daniel again.”
Harry let out another snort as he shook his head.
“And if you’re lucky, Dr Frasier won’t release Daniel until some time this afternoon when Dame McKnight will be returning with new rocks for him,” Jack suggested.
“Which he’ll want me to translate,” Harry countered.
“Possibility, but I doubt it. If they’re from Egypt then they probably won’t have any of the stuff you can translate. Beside Daniel will only drag you around until he learns to read the language himself; after that we’ll have to pry him away from it,” Jack stated.
“And if he can’t figure out a way to learn it?” Harry asked.
“Then think of it as job security,” Ferretti replied.
Jack rolled his eyes. “Daniel will learn it, it’s just a question of how long will it take. And you being able to translate for him will make it go along a lot faster.”
Ferretti made some agreeing noise as he quickly glanced around. “Hey Jack, I think you’re running low on coffee. You should get some more.”
Jack looked at his nearly full cup before looking over at Lou who nodded his head towards the side.
“Yeah, you’re right. I should top it off,” Jack stood up, cup in hand and walked towards the coffee urn.
“That was subtle… not,” Harry grumbled.
Ferretti shrugged his shoulders, “Well subtle isn’t my middle name. It’s Brent.”
Harry glanced at Lou for a moment before turning back to his food. “So, what did you want to talk about while Jack wasn’t around?”
“I wanted to know how you were doing. I mean a lot of things have happened in a short amount of time and I wanted to make sure you’re handling it,” Lou said before taking a bite of his breakfast.
“I’m fine,” Harry replied.
“No, I’m fine is Dr J’s line… normally when he’s bleeding but he’s found some rock to study,” Lou stated. “Come to think about that’s Major Carter’s line when she had something to study. And Jack’s and my line when we want our team checked out first. So that can’t be your line.”
Harry gave Lou a look that was reminiscent of Teal’c’s raised eyebrow.
“And that’s Teal’c’s look for when someone is being stupid. I see that a lot around Jack,” Lou pointed out.
“And Teal’c never used the I’m fine line?” Harry asked.
“Well… yeah but we tend to believe him… until he passes out,” Lou stated with a shrug. “What can I say, he has a better poker face.”
“So, what does your version of I’m fine mean,” Ferretti asked, nudging Harry’s shoulder.
Harry turned his attend to his plate as he played with his food. “It means… I’m dealing with everything. Not like throwing a fit will change anything.”
“Nope. Never worked with my girls. But that’s doesn’t mean you have to grin and bear it,” Ferretti pointed out. “I’m pretty sure everyone is expecting you to have at least one door slamming, ‘fuck off’ fit,” Ferretti explained.
Harry glanced over at Lou. “Never had much luck when I tried that. Normally called an attention seeking liar or something like that.”
Lou hmm’d in agreement as he played with his food for a moment. “People look at you and see a kid. They don’t like to think that bad things to happen to kids. They don’t like thinking about things kids sometimes have to do to survive. And they sure as hell don’t like thinking of kids having to fight for their lives or even having to kill to survive.”
“But bad things do happen,” Harry replied softly.
“Yeah they do. And all we can do is help them heal,” Ferrite stated. “And try to make sure it doesn’t happen to the next kid.”
“Is it safe to come back?” Jack asked as he stood in front of his chair.
Lou glanced over to Harry, who shrugged his shoulders in response. “Yeah, I guess so,” Ferretti drew out. “We’re done talking about you... at least for now.”
“Talking about me?” Jack said as he sat down.
Lou made some noise of agreement as he drank some of his coffee.
“So….” Jack looked back and forth between Harry and Lou.
“So?” Lou echoes in reply.
“So, you were talking about me,” Jack stated.
Lou once again hmm’d in agreement, as Harry remained silent.
“Sooo…” Jack drew the word out.
Harry let out an exasperated sigh. “I was telling Lou about some of the stories Moony had told me… but I haven’t told him anything about the poodle.”
“Poodle?” Lou said turning to Harry. “What poodle?”
“Harry… have you ever wanted to take a ride in military jet? Or how about a H.A.L.O.?” Jack quickly asked.
“Halo?” Harry said in confusion.
“Don’t do it,” Ferretti quickly chimed in. “Only the crazies do halo jumps.”
“Are you calling me crazy?” Jack asked.
“Yes,” Lou agreed simply.
“What’s a halo?” Harry asked.
“High altitude low open parachute drops,” Lou told him.
“Oh about 30,000 feet but you open your chute around 28 hundred feet,” Jack replied.
Harry’s eyes got a faraway look in them. “What about using a broom instead…”
Jack paused for a moment. “I’m not sure the Firebolt would be the best broom for that. I mean while they’re fast and maneuverable, I don’t think they would be able to stand up to the stress a halo would put on them.”
Harry nodded his head. “You couldn’t use it at high altitude. They’ve tried and brooms don’t do so well, so you’d have to free fall until you get to an altitude you can use it.”
“You’d need a good breaking system to slow down,” Jack pointed out.
“That would be a lot of stress on the handle and the twigs,” Harry said thoughtfully. “I don’t think anything on the market could handle it.”
Jack nodded his head. “Might want to see if you could make a broom out of aircraft strength aluminum or maybe a composite material…”
“Can’t you guys do something like teleport?” Ferretti asked. “Just teleport in mid jump to the ground.”
Harry and Jack looked at Lou in disbelief. “Where would the fun be in that?” Harry demanded. Jack nodded his head in agreement.
“Right. You’re both crazy,” Ferretti stated firmly.
“I don’t think I’ve see you look better, Harry,” Colonel O’Neill said as he leaned against the wall near Maybourne’s jail cell.
“It’s the prison bars. They take 20 pounds off,” Maybourne rose from his bunk. “I was wondering when you would get around to visiting me. I was afraid you forgot about me.”
“I can’t get that lucky. You’re like a black cat, every time I think I’ve gotten rid of you, you come back,” Jack admitted. “So, you were at my cabin.”
“And it looked like someone had a hell of a party. Crashed your jeep. Drank your beer. Messed up your cabin,” Harry replied.
“Local teens,” Jack admitted with a shrug of his shoulder.
“Damn kids today. That’s something we would never do,” Harry muttered.
Jack raised an eyebrow at the comment.
“Well, the trashing the house and stealing and wrecking someone’s car, is something we would never do,” Maybourne clarified.
Jack snorted. “Mom would have tanned my hide and then given me to dad to deal with if I did something like that.”
“My dad would be trying to figure out what to do with the body after mom was done with me,” Harry admitted.
“Pretty sure the sheriff is going to keep an eye on the kids to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Jack stated.
“Want to bet on how many join the military to escape their parents?” Maybourne asked.
Jack let out a snort. “So why were you at my cabin, Harry.”
Maybourne shrugged his shoulders as he sat down on his cot. “The higher ups wanted to know what you retained from your misadventure.”
“And they couldn’t read the report one of your agents stole from SGC?” Jack asked.
Maybourne snorted. “We both know that there is ‘what happened’ and then there is what is fit for those higher up to know. And unfortunately, some of them remember that.”
“And sometime what’s in the report is exactly what happened,” Jack countered.
Maybourne shrugged his shoulders. “Agreed but they’ll never believe that. You know how they are. They want control and knowledge is first line in controlling everything.”
“The problem with that is that the tighter you hold on to things the more of it squeezes through your fingers,” Jack replied with a smirk
“The same could be said about secrets,” Maybourne commented. “Something like the teenage boy who was with you.”
Jack chuckled. “No secret there. I inherited him. Parents died when he was a baby and his guardian passed away recently.”
“And he left him with you?” Maybourne asked in disbelief.
“Well I’m hardly a pack of starving wolves,” Jack replied.
“Didn’t mean it that way,” Maybourne apologized. “Half the time, you’re more like a mother wolf with a litter of puppies and the rest of time you’re like a big bad wolf with a nice juicy steak.”
“Does that make you one of the three little pigs?” Jack suggested. “Of course, I mean one of the first two pigs, not the third one.”
“Funny,” Maybourne scoffed. “So how you going to work it out? Raising a kid while doing all of this?” Waved his hand around the room to indicate the whole complex. “Let alone keep people like me from him?”
“Besides the fact that I can kind of tolerate you, I was figuring on shooting anyone who bothers him and then dropping the corpse through the Stargate or just zat-ing it three times,” Jack threatened.
Maybourne looked at Jack in surprise. “Never thought of disposing the body through the Stargate. Of course, you’d have a problem of getting the body here, witnesses, the cost of powering up the gate…”
Jack rolled his eyes. “I’m sure that Carter would come up with a way get around that or Daniel would talk to them long enough to make anyone forget anything.”
A thoughtful look appeared on Maybourne’s face, “That would probably work. So, does the kid have a name.”
“Yeah, Harry,” Jack answered with a slight glimmer in his eyes.
Maybourne waited a moment before say, “So what is it?”
“What’s what?” Jack asked.
“The kid’s name,” Maybourne stated.
“I told you what it was. Harry,” Jack stated.
“No, you didn’t,” Maybourne growled.
“Yes, I did. Harry,” Jack replied.
Maybourne pinched the bridge of his nose. “Jack?”
“Yes, Harry?” Jack said calmly.
“Does the kid have a name?” Maybourne asked.
“Yes. Harry,” Jack replied.
“Can you tell me the kid’s name?” Maybourne asked.
“Yes. Harry,” Jack answered.
“So, what is the kid’s name?” Maybourne growled.
An evil grin appeared on Jack’s face. “Third base,” he answered before turning and walking away.
“What! What kind of name is that? Jack! Jack, get back here! Jack!”
“And what about this one?” Daniel said as he handed Harry another scroll.
Harry sighed as he unrolled the scroll and started to read it over. “6 units of flour, 1 unit of water… looks like a bread recipe.”
“Like the last one?” Daniel asked.
Harry sighed as he glanced at the scroll again. “No, this one seems more like a sourdough recipe while the last one was more of a white bread.”
“Interesting,” Daniel said as he wrote down the information.
“Finding someone’s recipe scrolls is interesting,” Harry said dryly.
Daniel glanced over at Harry. “Yes,” he replied in a tone of voice one often hears with fanatics or scholars. We’re learning about the people of PX7226. These scrolls are just a minute peak into their way of life; their society. We’re learning what they eat. What they drank. What crops they grew. What animal they raised. We’re learning about them.”
Having had several years of experience with Hermione, Harry just nodded his head in acceptance.
“And how about this scroll,” Daniel handed Harry a thicker scroll than the previous one. “I doubt it’s a simple recipe given how thick it is.”
“It will probably be multiple recipes. Probably something for a feast,” Harry grumbled.
Daniel looked bright eyes at that though. “Perhaps religious,” he mumbled to himself as he turned away to jot some things down.
Time passed as the two continued their work. Daniel jotting down stray thoughts while trying to organize the scrolls and trying to develop a method of translating them, which didn’t require Harry and Harry reading the scroll quietly. The two were so involved in their work they never noticed Colonel O’Neil walk into the room and sit down next to Harry.
“What’cha reading?” Jack asked.
“I’m trying to figure out why a guy would want to lick a woman’s…” Harry mumbled as he continued to read the scroll, never fully realizing that O’Neil was there or what he’d just said.
“A woman’s?” Jack echoed back.
Harry looked over at Jack and realizing who was there and what he’d just said, his face started to turn red.
“A woman’s what, Harry?” Jack said again.
“Ummm… down there,” Harry stammered as he pointed at his crotch.
“You gave my godson porn, Daniel!” Jack growled.
Daniel head snapped up and he looked at Jack in confusion. “What?”
“Porn,” Jack snapped as he tried to take the scroll from Harry. “You gave my godson porn.”
“Well it started out as a romance. He bought her from the slave market and she was calling him master and bathing him and feeding him. It just got to that point,” Harry explained in Daniel’s defense.
“You gave my 14 year old…”
“…godson porn. I haven’t even given him the talk yet and I doubt anyone over there has ever done that either,” Jack growled.
“It’s not like I haven’t see photos or read the articles. Seamus and Dean had had a few of those magazines that got passed around,” Harry spoke up. “But I can’t figure out the point of the dog in this story.”
Daniel almost teleported over to Harry and snatched the scroll from his hand. “I’ll have you translate this one later… like in 50 years,” he said as Jack growled like a dog. “Ummm… I think I’ll go talk to Sam about… something.”
Harry and Jack watched Daniel escape the room and the door swing shut behind him. “You’re late,” Harry growled after a moment. “You promised that you would save me from Daniel almost 2 hours ago. He had me reading recipes. Biscuit recipes. Cake recipes. Bread recipes.”
“Sorry,” Jack replied. “I was coming to rescue you when the General kidnapped me to discuss some issues concerning the base.”
Harry sighed. “And since he’s the General, you couldn’t come to rescue me.”
“Unfortunately, sometimes my duty to the base has to come first but if you were in serious danger, you would have been my first priority. Death, from Daniel’s lecture on the value of wheat harvest reports, is something we’ve all had to suffer from.” Jack replied with a haunted look in his eyes. “The lecture on the difference between a rock and an artifact is worse than having a cavity filled.”
“So, you use Daniel as punishment when someone is misbehaving,” Harry commented.
“Or Carter. She can lecture them for hours on the workings of the StarGate or some other little bobble,” Jack admitted. “Either one of them is worse than polishing silver in the trophy room or cleaning out bedpans in the hospital wing… both of which your father and I did quite a bit.”
“Polishing the silver is right boring,” Harry agreed. “Or scrubbing cauldrons.”
“Never had to do that. I think Slughorn was afraid I would nick some potions ingredient but Moony was the one who usually did that,” Jack admitted.
“That was Hermione,” Harry commented.
“So, am I forgiven?” Jack asked bumping shoulders with Harry.
Harry sighed wearily. “Yeah. I guess. Just try not to let it happen again. I really don’t want to read ancient recipes or harvest reports.”
Jack nodded his head. “I’ll do my best. I’ll see about roping Lou into the rescue if I get shanghaied again.”
“So, you expect someone to knock you across the head or slip you a mickey and then kidnap you so you can work as a sailor?” Harry asked with mirth in his eyes.
With a snort, Jack said, “It wouldn’t be the first time. Granted most of the time it’s Carter. Daniel uses the puppy eyes of doom to make you do his bidding.”
Harry shrives. “Any way to defeat it?”
“New artifact,” Jack answered. “New scroll. New culture. And so on and so on. Surprisingly, it works on Carter too but that’s usually a new alien thingy ma bob.”
“New book for Hermione,” Harry added in.
“Yeah that was Remus’ weakness too. A new spell was your father’s weakness. The harder and more complex it was, the happier he was. That and Chocolate Frog cards,” Jack stated.
“And my mum? What was her weakness?” Harry asked.
“Charms. And being angry at your father… at least early on. Later their weakness became finding time to explore empty room, or broom closets,” Jack answered.
“No one even told me much about my parent except that mum was good at Charms and dad was on the Quidditch team, was good at transfiguration and like playing pranks,” Harry grumbled.
Jack nodded his head. “Each person handles that stuff differently. Some people can talk about… those who died easily. They still hurt from their loss but they find it easy to talk about the good and bad. Other people are afraid to talk about it. They don’t want to talk about it in case they hurt others by talking about it or get hurt from talking about it. And then there are people who take it all and shove it in a box and don’t talk about. They lock it a way until the grief get so distant that they can start to take things out of the box, bit by bit… but we’re talking decades before they can start to tackle it.”
“So, you’re saying everyone is the lock it away type?” Harry asked.
Jack shook his head. “Some are. Snape would be one. He did love your mother in his own way. Others don’t want to hurt you but of course they’re hurting you by not talking about it. And then there are those who just don’t think. They never think that you would want to know about your parents since they are your parents and you should already know everything about them.”
“That doesn’t make any sense,” Harry stated with a shake of his head.
“That’s one of the first rules about humans, we don’t make sense whether we’re magical, or normal. Women make no sense to men and men… well women can figure us out about 80 percent of the time. The rest of the time we make no sense,” Jack explained.
“And the wizard world makes even less sense,” Harry snorted.
“After seeing both sides, I blame pumpkin juice for the insanity,” Jack stated.
“Pumpkin juice?” Harry said in disbelief. “You’re blaming pumpkin juice and not magic?”
“Magic is logical. It’s a strange, twisted logic but then so is the string theory,” Jack stated, “but pumpkin juice makes no sense. Pumpkins are for pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin seeds, not for pumpkin juice. Why try to even juice a pumpkin when they’re not even juicy.”
Harry stared at Jack for a moment before saying, “I think it’s a bit like carrot juice. They say it’s healthy so…”
“Wizard logic… it’s orange so it’s good for you. Orange juice and carrot juice are orange and good for you. Pumpkin is orange so they must be good for you,” Jack comment.
Harry snorted. “That reminds me of a cooking show I saw, they talked about how organic, wild food was good for you. That nothing bad comes for nature. I was left thinking they might want some water hemlock in their salad.”
“Ah the future winners of the Darwin Awards. They forget Mother Nature is a woman which means she has PMS and a cruel streak a mile wide.” Jack explained. “Granted she has a wicked sense of humor after all giraffes can pick their nose with their tongue.”
Harry made a face that expressed how gross that was. “But I guess that explains magic since I’ve heard magic being referred as a lady before.”
“So are Chance, Fate, Destiny and especially Luck,” Jack stated with a grimace. “Luck can be a royal bitch at time.”
“Tell me about it but aren’t Fate and Destiny the same thing?” Harry asked.
“Nope,” Jack said as he popped the P in the word. “We’re all fated to die. Destiny is the way we do it.”
“Lovely,” Harry replied.
“And sometimes Fate will bring us back so we can die again and again and again. You really need to talk to Daniel about that,” Jack suggested.
“I’m sure Daniel would say the same thing about you. Beside you’re the one who fell through the veil and ended up as you,” Harry comments.
“And doesn’t that just mess with your head,” Jack said before clearing his throat. “Time to change the topic… the scroll. The one you were reading when I came in, what was it really about?” Jack asked in order to change the topic.
“Porn,” Harry replied with a straight face.
Jack looks at Harry with an eyebrow raised.
“Not really. It was basically a bodice ripper,” Harry admitted.
“Bodice ripper,” Jack echoes back. “I’m surprise you know what that is.”
Harry rolled his eyes. “You went to Hogwarts. Do you remember how many fun books there were in the library?”
“Yeah, that Jason Ashcroft fault,” Jack stated. “He is a first during our fifth year when he was exposed to the Gryffindor book collection. I guess the idea of reading for fun was such an alien idea to his that he objected to it, so he told his grandmother about all the horrible Muggle books that were there. She raised a stink about it and all non-educational books were removed from the whole school.”
“Even the books that people brought in?” Harry asked.
Jack shook his head. “No but if you didn’t want a book any longer and couldn’t find someone to take it, puff, it was gone. Of course, the first years didn’t know this so they don’t bring any reading material with them. And upper year reading materials wasn’t fit for the younger student.”
Jack rolled his eyes. “Well we know what stage of life you’re at and no, it wasn’t porn… at least not all of it. Your mother was a hard-core Stephen King fan and she got most of the upper years hooked onto his work. She got Alice Stewart, who was Neville’s mother addicted to Agatha Christie. Remus was anything that was American Western. Your father was anything at hand.”
“And you?” Harry asked. “What did you read?”
“Spider Robinson and Harry Harrison,” Jack answered.
Harry shook his head. “Never heard of them.”
“Don’t worry about it. When we get a chance, we’ll hit a book store and get you some books to read,” Jack stated.
Harry nodded his head; a slight smile graced his lips.
General Hammond looked up from his desk at the knock of his door. “Enter,” he commanded as he closed the file he had been reading.
His assistant opened the door and said, “Sir, Dame Helen McKnight is here to see you.”
“Please show her in.” Hammond instructed his assistant.
“Yes, sir,” he said as she stepped out the way. “Dame McKnight.”
Dame McKnight walked into the room. Her back straight, a steely look in her eyes as she took in the room.
“I’m afraid you won’t find any frogs hiding in coat pockets,” Hammond said teasing his former school teacher.
“Steven was the one who like to bring the frogs into school. You were the one who liked spit balls,” Helen commented.
Hammond’s assistant cleared his throat. “Sir, would you or Dame McKnight like any refreshments?”
“Coffee. Blacker than my soul and strong enough to remove rust,” McKnight ordered.
“My usual,” Hammond ordered.
The assistant nodded his head. “Two regular coffees,” he repeated the order before leaving the room; closing the door behind him.
Helen raised an eyebrow at Hammond in a questioning manner.
“And you won’t have to fish out the eggs shells out of your cup before you can drink it,” Hammond commented.
Helen snorted. “Mr. Winslow. I nearly forgot about him and his irritating habit. I could never understand his need to add eggshells to the coffee.”
“They claim the eggshells help take the bitterness from the coffee when you’re using the grounds for the second or third pot. Not that I believe them,” Hammond explained, “but I do understand your frustration now.”
“More than once, I came close to hexing that man. He ruined more pots of coffee than you can imagine,” Helen stated. “I’m surprise you remember that.”
Hammond laughed. “I learned some of the best swear words from you each time Mr. Winslow made coffee for the school.”
“Mrs. Melat would add salt to the coffee grounds before brewing. Unfortunately, she would always over salt it, so it tasted like coffee make with sea water,” Dame McKnight explained.
“During my first tour of duty, I had a sergeant who insisted that we had to add cayenne to every pot of coffee we brewed at night,” Hammond put in.
Dame McKnight cringed at the thought. “Oh, that is a cruel and horrible thing to do to the poor defenseless people who had night duty.”
“The day he left for his new duty station, practically everyone celebrated,” Hammond chuckled.
“I can’t image why. I’m surprised he wasn’t ordered to stop doing that,” Helen stated.
“Probably because it worked. The men were more alert after drinking a cup of his coffee than they would be after drinking regular coffee,” Hammond comments. “Besides they got used to the taste after a while.”
“I might have to start doing that with our night shift,” Helen stated with a smirk.
“Just don’t let them know were you got it from,” Hammond stated. “I really don’t want to spend the rest of my life as frog.”
Dame McKnight laughed. “You would make a better bull dog than a frog.”
Before the General could reply there was a knock on his door. “The coffee,” Hammond announced before calling out to the Airman to enter.
The Airman carried in a tray loaded with a coffee carafe, cups, sugar and cream. He quickly set the tray down and poured the coffee. “Ma’am, how would you like your coffee?”
“Black, please,” Helen replied.
“Yes, Ma’am,” the Airman said before presenting the cup to the General’s guest. He then quickly poured the General a cup and handed it to him. “Would there be anything else you, Ma’am or you, General need at this time?”
“No, thank you.” Helen said before taking a sip of her coffee.
“Not at this time,” Hammond answered in a tone that said he was dismissed.
Once the Airman had left the room, and firmly closed the door, Dame McKnight said, “I’m going to steal him before I leave.”
Hammond chuckled. “Many people have tried and failed. It seems as if he enjoys the insanity of this place.”
“I don’t blame him. StarGate. Aliens. Laser beams. It’s a bit like something out of a science fiction novel or movie,” Helen stated.
“Magic wand. Flying on brooms. And evil wizards. Your life is like something out of a fantasy book,” Hammond replied.
“Thankfully neither of our lives are like a romantic comedy or worse a teenage drama,” McKnight comment.
Hammond sighed wearily. “Some days, this place is like that or something from the Three Stooges.”
“It’s better than the Keystone Cops, which I have to deal with,” Helen admitted. “And then there are the French.”
Hammond open this mouth to reply then shut it. After a second, he said, “I know I shouldn’t ask but what is wrong with the French… magical people?”
“You know of the tales that the French are the best lovers in the world?” Helen said.
“Yes,” Hammond said, drawing out the word.
“They believe it,” Helen stated simply. “And they insist on trying to demonstrate it every chance they get, whether or not you want them to.”
“At which point in time you curse them with something like jock itch, crabs or blue balls,” Hammond said jokingly.
Helen stared at Hammond for a moment for exclaiming, “Fuck!”
“I’m taking it that you never thought of that,” Hammond said with a smirk.
Helen glared at Hammond in reply.
Hammond hid his grin behind his cup of coffee. Sighing to indicate he was changing the topic to something more serious. “While its need nice to reminisce about my time as your student and your issue with the French. I’m sure you’re here about some other matter aside from the artifacts that Dr Jackson and Major Carter are no doubt investigating at this very moment.”
Helen sat silently for a moment before saying, “Due to my position, I have a number of contacts around the world that sometimes supply me information.”
“And I’m assuming this information is concern Mr. Potter,” Hammond suggested.
Helen nodded her head. “Best estimate is that Dumbledore will know Harry’s location in a day or two. Three at the most.”
Hammond nodded his head. “This base or Colonel O’Neill’s residence?”
“Residence at first but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that he will search the minds of Jack’s neighbors for any information he can find,” Helen admitted.
“Do you believe that Dumbledore and his followers would attempt to infiltrate this base?” Hammond asked.
“In a heartbeat,” Helen stated.
“And what does your department plan on doing about it?” General Hammond asked.
An evil grin appeared on Helen’s face. “Arrest them when they try to break in to O’Neill’s home then drop them into a deep dark hole and forget about them.”
“Until the British Magical government starts asking for their return,” Hammond commented with a sigh.
“Which will never happen,” Dame McKnight replied with a knowing smile.
Hammond raised an eyebrow at that statement. “I think you’ll need to explain that statement further.”
“First off, Dumbledore little group isn’t something that the British government would like to admit exists within their own border. Granted they don’t want to admit to their Dark Lord and his followers either,” Helen explain. “So, the disappearance of any of the member will in general be ignored.”
“Even the disappearance of Dumbledore?” Hammond asked.
Helen shook her head. “That’s where we get to the next part. How they arrived here. You have to understand that on average the British magic population are idiots. They have almost no concept of modern transportation. They still think on the order of coal fired steam trains and horseless carriages and I don’t mean the ones they use at Hogwarts. So, for them the only logical way to come to America is by portkey.”
“Which I would guess is government controlled,” Hammond injected.
Helen nodded her head. “Every magical government in the world has agreed to direct portkey to foreign counties to that country’s Visitor and Immigration centers.”
“Which would mean he would need to take an illegal portkey to enter the States,” Hammond stated.
Helen grin grew wider. “Exactly. There will be no record of Dumbledore or his followers entering this country legally and of course our sensors didn’t detect an illegal portkey either. Of course, a man like Dumbledore would never use an illegal portkey.”
“And butter doesn’t melt in your mouth,” Hammond stated.
Helen snorted. “It’s requirement of the job.”
“And what if they escape capture?” Hammond asks.
Helen look down at her coffee cup for a moment as if searching for answers or forgiveness in the dark liquid. “We kill them. If they set a foot on this base, my agents will kill them. We can not let them get hold of Mr. Potter or learn about the StarGate.”