The Result of a Carefully Collated Commitee Report
As always, I own nothing.
It just so happened that just as the Kents were about to try finding a police station, the Notice-Me-Not charms Voldemort shattered through on his arrival finally reabsorbed enough ambient magic to spring back online. Martha and Jonathan suddenly found themselves with the urge to get the hell out
, and by the time they thought to wonder where, they were fifty miles away in the middle of nowhere.
The two of them glared at the map.
“So we’re agreed,” Jonathan said.
“We are,” Martha replied grimly. “This map is
geographically deficient, and we can’t see any good signs. There aren’t any other options. On three?”
Jonathan nodded. “On three.” He waited while Martha shifted the baby to her lap so she could free up her hands, and placed his fist on his palm. “One, two-”
“Ha!” Martha shouted, jostling the baby, “Paper beats rock, we’re going- oh, I’m sorry, darling!” she crooned, picking the child up and rocking him, “I didn’t mean to scare you. Uncle Johnny’s going to turn the car around because we don’t want to get lost again, do we? No, we don’t!”
Jonathan grumbled as he looked for a spot to turn around. He glanced over at Martha. “Uncle Johnny? Really?”
“What, you don’t think we’re going to leave this poor child here without keeping tabs on him? Who knows what sort of family he could end up with! They might beat him, or starve him, or keep him in a cupboard or something!”
Jonathan sent her a dry look. “We need to get you off those historical soap operas, honey. They’re not good for the brain.”
“Don’t you dare be threatening my stories now, Jonathan Paul! I know where you keep your ‘special reading’.”
Jonathan’s head jerked right. “Keep your twitchy hands off my magazines, woman! Those things have classic models!”
“Oh, it’s fine you to drool over a few dirty pages, but heavens forbid your wife tries to get in a little romance!”
“From those? Ha! Geroldobar couldn’t do romance if his life-”
Martha gasped. “You read them?”
Jonathan turned red. “Couldn’t find anything good in the reading basket for the bathroom.”
“Why didn’t you bring in one your magazines?”
“Automechanica in the bathroom
? Where it could get wet
?” Jonathan stared, aghast.
“Obviously the two of you share a special relationship,” Martha muttered. The baby giggled, and Martha’s look softened. “Am I being silly?” The baby gurgled. “Oh, I see. And what about my errant bedwarmer, here?” The child found his foot and began chewing on it. Martha laughed. “I suppose I can agree with that.”
“Hey! What happened to male solidarity?” Jonathan protested.
“He just knows better than to bend the truth, don’t you? Don’t you, baby b- oh, Jonathan, look!”
A small light to the left rippled through water flooding down her window. “Is it the fire?”
“I don’t think so, but I don’t think it really matters, do you? Light means people!”
They steered toward the light and discovered it was coming from a farmhouse just off the road. Jonathan put the car in park and Martha stayed inside with the baby while he ran up to the doorstep. Clenching his hat to his head, he rapped on oak door and waited.
After a minute or so, he tried again.
As he was about to knock a third time, the wind picked up and knocked him off balance. He slammed into the door and almost stumbled to the floor when it gave. “He-hello?” he called out, dripping on the linoleum tile. Still nothing.
He made his way back to the car with some difficulty, the wind having decided the rain shouldn’t have all the fun to itself. Jonathan staggered as he pulled open the passenger-side door. “Seems like it’s empty,” he said, raising his voice so Martha could hear him, “But it’s definitely got people, Lord knows what they’re doing on a night like this.”
“Do you want to wait for them in the car?” Martha asked.
“Well…” The wind slammed the door into him and the car. “No,” he said, recovering. “I don’t like the looks of this storm. We’ll wait in the living room and hope we can get them to put us up for the night, or at least until this rain lets up. Can’t last too long.”
As it turns out, he was right. Within twenty minutes of their relocation to the living room (and subsequent access to the fireplace), the rain turned to snow, and the wind became violent enough to shake the house. Little Clark (Martha insisted they name him. Jonathan still thought “the baby” was a perfectly decent name; after all, it was good enough for nine months before!) began to cry as the ancient structure groaned. Martha comforted him while Jon checked all the doors and windows. Satisfied, he went back the living room to wait for the storm to blow over.
It stopped three days later.
The next one lasted a week.
The Department of Magical Weather would later report that the forced impact of that much dark magic being released by Voldemort’s death, occluded by an unknown magically-warping foci (samples of non-glassed sand found on site included), and filtered by what few scraps of warding were left, rent the area’s weather control spells like tissue paper and distorted the humidity matrix in a completely unforeseen manner.
All the Muggles knew was, they got snowed for six months. A year later, the population of Britain jumped by almost half again. Some historians also seem to randomly note that the cable lines snapped three months into the blizzard. At any rate, nobody really questioned it when an American couple that came in as two people left as three. In fact, the British couple whose farmhouse they borrowed were quite relieved that the Americans had both found the house in time and had the good sense to run a farm in the winter, especially that last part.
Now, you would think, common sense, a Dark Lord disappears before the biggest snowstorm anyone can remember, something went wrong, yes? Well you wouldn’t be thinking like a wizard, and that’s why mudbloods will never amount to anything in the wizarding world. Rubeus Hagrid and Sirius Black arrived to discover the Potters’ house in flames. Obviously, since they could only find two skeletons afterward, a male and a female, it meant that James Potter escaped with his child while Lily sacrificed herself in a magically suicidal spell to destroy Voldemort. Always knew Lily was cracked, people did, nattering on about rights and muggle shiense, but for once it the crazy got put to good use!
She became universally hailed (in Great Britain) (and some parts of Canada) as the Wife What Done 'erself In, or the Wife What DEId. Books were written, stories were told, songs were sung, and a play was cast that never really got off the ground because of artistic differences. And as people explored her life, her courage, and her love, they came to realize her inspiration: her son. Harry became the Boy Who Inspired, and as wizards and witches everywhere thought of his life on the run, they took heart in his sacrifice, and vowed to make it worthwhile. More books were written, more stories told and songs sung, and this time a play actually did get off the ground as a thirty-minute musical with portraits. Children everywhere became heartily sick of the phrase “If Harry can…”, and secretly wished they could be on the lam, too.
Sirius Black was aware of none of this. The night of the fire, he swore vengeance on Peter Pettigrew, and left in the morning on the hunt. Peter might not have been very brave or smart or ambitious, and sure as hell
wasn’t very loyal, but he was very, very clever
. Nearly a year later Sirius was halfway around the globe and still two weeks behind Peter. Remus Lupin met up with Sirius in Beijing (the werewolf had apparently pretended to be drunk in order to allow a Russian whaling boat to gang press him into the crew and take him to Shanghai, where he again used the drinking trick to fall off the side and fake drowning, using the current to drag him ashore. He then used his extensive knowledge of Chinese to persuade a village to tie him up and ship him to Lanzhou, where the local police (pleasant fellows, called themselves the Biad or Triad or somesuch) trained him in the art of Drunken Fist by chasing him through the city every day. Eventually, he decided it was time to move on, and used his newfound alcoholic skills to land on a moving train. He felt torn at leaving such good friends, but judging by the wails and gnashing of teeth he left behind, it was better that way. A real goodbye would have been so much harder. Sirius was quite impressed.), and the two of them set a grinding pace to catch up. Unfortunately, such was Peter’s skill that they wouldn’t return home again for years.
Unaware of the hubbub they left behind, Jon and Martha had their own issues to deal with.
“Pa? We’re home!” John raised his voice as they entered the house. He paused when they stepped into the kitchen and frowned. “Pa…?”
They heard a faint cough from upstairs. “Jon…?” a weak voice rasped.
Jon was up the stairs before it had a chance to fade. “Pa!”
Martha followed him up the stairs at a more careful rate, and walked into the room to see her husband frantically checking over his father. “Are you all right?!” he exclaimed.
“Hello, Samuel,” Martha said calmly.
“Hello, Martha,” the old man in the bed responded. His eyes widened. “What’s this? Stealing children from England? There are much better places to get them from, you know.”
Martha snorted. “I have a love life, Samuel, do the math.”
“Martha!” Jon exclaimed.
“What?” she turned to her husband. “The old man’s still blowing hot air, he’s obviously alright.” The baby giggled. “See? Clark agrees with me.”
“Clark?” Jonathan’s father asked.
“Clark Joseph Kent,” Martha said proudly. “Smart little cookie.”
“She just means he agrees with everything she says,” Jonathan grumped.
The old man coughed. “May I hold him?”
“Certainly.” Martha sat down on the bed and gently placed the boy into her father-in-law’s arms.
“Pa, what happened?” Jonathan asked, running a hand through his hair. “You were fine when we left!”
His father laughed hoarsely. “Old age, son, finally caught up. The Halsey boys quit and I had to go outside by myself. Winter isn’t kind to old relics like me. It was just a matter of time.”
“You need to see a doctor!”
“Samuel!” Martha barked, glancing sharply at her son.
“-ninny,” the old man continued, “I’m fine.”
“You don’t look fine!” Jonathan growled.
Samuel Kent lifted his shoulders in a half-shrug. “There’s nothing a doctor can do.”
“You don’t know that.”
“I-” he stopped, glancing at the little boy. “Alright, make your call.”
As Jonathan left, he turned to Martha. “Martha, would be please get me a drink of water? I find my throat is parched from all that hot air.”
Martha snorted again as she stood up, shaking her head with a small smile. “That’s entirely your fault, you know.”
“Yes, a weakness of mine to be sure,” he smiled weakly.
He turned to the boy after she left. “You are no son of hers,” he murmured, playing with the boy’s hair. Clark gooed as he stared up at the strange man. Samuel cocked his head. “A wizard child. But… not human? No, your magic is human. But what is this other side to you? Who are you, young foundling? How did your kind allow you to fall into my son’s hands?” He touched the lightning-shaped scar on the baby’s head. “Marked, you are,” he muttered. “Caused by death- oh, you poor lad, granted by the gods- and blessed by an unearthly
He thought as little Clark gargled a bit and found his foot to chew on.
“You were never meant to be here. No child as bound by power as you would be allowed the escape his destiny.” He smiled viciously. “Well done
.” The boy stared at him. “What? You think I got to be here by following any sort of destiny?” The boy sneezed. “Exactly.
The old man gave him a satisfied nod. “I think you will do.” He shot the child a look. “You are loved, you know. Martha already calls you hers, and Jonathan, he will guard you with his life. But we should give them a small gift, shan’t we? That much is worth the last few bits of my life, I think.”
He reached toward the bedside table and tugged the drawer open. Rummaging around, he plucked a knife out and glanced at the baby in his arms. “You know, I don’t believe a wizard’s ever done this ritual before. They have their wands and potions to fake things nicely. Silly creatures. Hopefully, this will help dilute that a little, but magic is far from the only thing that causes stupidity. Please don’t be too put out, but this will sting just a wee bit.”
With a quick flick, he nicked the baby’s cheek and his thumb in the same swipe and pressed the two of them together. Clark blinked, and before he had a chance to cry, Samuel Kent spoke the words. The two of them lit up and any wizard in the area would have felt the atmosphere charge with life for a second. Then the moment passed, and Clark’s grandfather fell back against the bed, breathing harshly.
“Make… a great life… blood of my own.”
And with that, he closed his eyes. His arm fell to the side and the knife, burned clean of blood, slipped out of his lifeless hand. It dropped to the ground and rolled under the bed. Martha came running into the room with a glass of water when she heard Clark cry, Jonathan behind her. The glass shattered against the floor as she rushed over, picking up her son and comforting him while Jonathan checked his father. And then she was holding Jonathan, too, holding her family close as her husband mourned the loss of his.
Luck held her stomach as she kept giggling around on the ground, ignoring the uproar around her.
Where the heck did that old man part come from?! I blame Jor-El's answering machine.