|Scene Title||Reunited and it feels so gooood.|
|Synopsis||Harvey arrives at Hogwarts with cargo.|
|Location||Hogwarts - Bullpen|
|Date||August 15, 1996|
The Hogwarts' Auror bullpen was not - contrary to the popular student assertion that 'you can't miss it' - easy to find. Nevertheless, no one who saw Harvey Specter striding through the school would think anything except that he knew exactly where he was going. No one stopped him, only a few brave souls even had the guts to say hello.
He's sharp, he's pretty, he's confident and a total stranger; that's enough to send most hormonal teenagers scattering for safe vantage points.
Eventually, he does manage to find the damn thing, leaning casually on the doorjamb and letting dark eyes flick over the faces working around the room. Only when he finds the one he's looking for does his expression change - his whole damn face lights up with that reckless 'little boy in trouble' grin and he whistles sharply through his teeth.
"Knew you'd look good with a tan. Shoulda listened to me sooner."
Because even after almost twenty years of knowing Jake, some things just never change.
And like most everyone in the bullpen, Jake’s expression is grim at best. Too much to do, and just not enough time. Especially not for him. And wasting it on paperwork? Nothing sticks in a former-SEAL’s craw like having to sit at a desk and do white-collar work. Which is why, when the whistle comes, his expression lights up like a newbie year muggle-born’s first experience with Butterbeer. “Harv! ‘Bout damn time you got here. How was the flight over?”
He is ignoring the comment about the tan, because that’s just what he does.
“C’mon over, pull up a chair. Try not to frighten the locals too much when I introduce you around either.”
Harvey's pace through the bullpen is slow, deliberate and yet casual - both hands in his pockets and that crooked little half smile on his face. He doesn't pull up a chair, instead walking around and then leaning back against the edge of Jake's desk. It lets him talk without too much hazard of bored, nosy Aurors reading lips they shouldn't. "If the locals are anything like your wife," he quips back dryly, "they'll be fine." Because Siobhan Morgan's entire family is pretty terrifying. He's quiet for a minute, studying his friend and their surroundings and then his friend again with his characteristically unnerving eye for details. "Flight was fine. Long. Siobhan gave me a nine-hour education on all fifty of your point man's rules. Mutt's downstairs with the gamekeeper. Needed looking over or something before she can be in the school." He pauses just long enough for effect. "The dog, not your wife." A little twitch of a smile isn't enough to hide the worry in his eyes. "And you?"
Because that's the question he's been dying to ask since the plane landed, so of course he has to hide it in a pile of other bullshit.
Oh boy does Jake ever let out a hearty laugh at THAT. IF YOU ONLY KNEW, HARVEY. They obviously have a lot to catch up on. “You made sure she was certified for therapy, too?” There’s a pause, before he smirks back. “The dog, not my wife.” He holds up a file folder threateningly. “You be careful now. I’m deadly with one of these things. Kill you with boredom in five minutes flat.” That kind of sort of answers the question of how he’s doing. But then, he also opens a drawer that shows off a nice stack of potions. “I’ve got to hand it to the potions master. They pack a powerful punch. I feel better than I thought I would.”
The way he’s sitting, with his elbow poised on the desk and two fingers holding his head up at the temple lets him look square at Harvey and not have any of those lip readers catch what he’s saying. “And Jethro, he’s got a lot of rules, but they’re working. He’s got a consult now from a former IDF operative to top it off. No shit’s going down in here, I can guarantee it. He, Jet, will want to meet you. And I want you to get a feel for the rest of the team we’ve put together. You obviously know Siobhan. And then there’s Jethro, Dr. Charity Brennan, Professor Snape, the guards we brought over, Sio’s brother Jack who’s part time, Maura, Gideon, and I think we’re hoping young Cianan will eventually help.”
Also, in other words, he’s being evasive and doesn’t wanna talk about how he feels.
"Certified to cause therapy," Harvey mutters under his breath, but there's a smile around the corners of his eyes. "She steamrolled right over Louis. I think Jessica might be in love." Another little pause. "The dog's fine, too."
"I met Severus during your whole dog and pony show." And doesn't Jake just get a look for that. "And it's possible I danced with Maura. Was she the one with the combat boots and two left feet?" It's unusual for Harvey to be bad with names, but he'd been paying attention to other things that weekend. His wrist twitches like he might move his hand, but both stay firmly in his pockets. "You wanna come show me around?" They've known each other long enough to make it obvious that he's not just being polite.
“I’ll take that as a yes.” Give Jake credit for being thorough about what expensive presents he wants delivered and how, right? “No, the combat boots means you danced with Tonks. Maura’s the one that the dog is for; so she can lose the damn medallion around her neck. I’m hoping that earns me brownie points with Sir Michael.” He’s not sure he even explained what the problem is with the darn thing, or why it might earn him a few points of goodwill. But, he pushes himself up off the chair at the verbal prompt.
“You’re going to love this place. And by love it, I mean hate it. The stairs always lead somewhere different. The doors are pictures that talk back to you too.” But first, he gestures at one of the other people working desk duty and then nods at the closed folder on his desk. “Get that up to Jethro.”, then he stuffs his hands in his pockets and leads the way out into the hall. “So what’s on your mind, Harv? Aside from my stunning good looks, that is.”
Out of every client he's ever had, Jake is the only one of whom Harvey doesn't need to always ask questions before doing something. Jake needed the dog, Harvey got the dog. He trusts him enough that explanations can come later, so no; he has no idea what the brownie points are for, but it really doesn't matter much just now, either. Pushing off the desk, he straightens and laughs, low and almost under his breath. "That's an awful tall order, Morgan. A body like that takes up an awful lot of thought and you expect me to ponder something else besides?"
Once they're both out in the hall, however, he lets the teasing slide and there's visible worry lurking in the corners of his mouth and eyes. He's quiet for a while as they walk, hands back in his pockets and eyes down as he chews over his own thoughts first. "Wanna give me the real story now, Jake?" Because he's not buying the drawer full of magic potions routine.
There may or may not have been a chortle from one of the guards as they go past the bullpen perimeter. And Jake totally has that bemused smile on his face while they wander the hall and he points out classrooms and offices. Places he shouldn’t go, and all the crap that Siobhan already spent 9 hours telling Harvey about. He’s absolutely secretly hoping he bores his best pal enough that he starts snoring rather than asking…
… that question right there. That’s the one. “I figure with the potions and magic props on top of the chemo, I have about a year left. But we both know I’ll be useless before that. And I’ve already told Jet… you keep this between us, Harvey. They’re fighting the good fight over here, you know? If there’s something I can do beforehand. Something stupid and dangerous and will no doubt get me killed… I’d rather go out like that. I’m already tired; my arms look like they got track marks on ‘em if I let the glamor slip. But I swear… if you’ve ever seen what that fucker Shadow’s done to some people.” He whistles, low in his throat. “I’d rather go early and help bring him down than wither away like I am now.” He’s being totally serious about that. “But if you tell Siobhan I said that, she’ll kill me herself. So zip it.”
Jake speaks, Harvey listens. It doesn't take too far into the answer for him to go entirely pale and he has to count out his breathing inside his head to keep himself from making a rookie mistake and stumbling or stopping altogether. He's not that wet behind the ears, not anymore. Still, it takes a minute for the full weight of Jake's statement to sink in and then he has to stop.
Both hands clench to fists in his pockets and he turns toward a nearby window to stare out over the grounds. Forget Siobhan, the look on his face right now says Harvey is seriously considering homicide in the wake of that confession. He works his jaw for a minute and swallows for a minute and finally just lets his eyes slide closed. Just a brief flash of pain, of agony crosses his face, an instant in time where Please don't is on the tip of his tongue.
Instead, he licks dry lips and nods sharply.
"Okay." He's still pale, but his voice doesn't shake. "What do you need me to do?"
Jake may not know the extent of Harvey’s feelings for him. But they HAVE been best friends for two decades. And he knows it’s got to sting. In a way, he has the easy part. He might be dying, but when he’s gone he’s gone and it will be up to the living to move on without him. Which is why his hand clasps one of the lawyer’s shoulders. And for a brief moment he looks nearly as pained. He knows he’s putting a lot on everyone’s plate. “I’d like it if you stayed on here. Jet will still need a lawyer for the company. And you… you’ll need people around you, pal. I know you will. So don’t give me any of the usual bullshit.”
Tired as he might be, there’s still a flash of mischief and humor to be dredged up somewhere. “Cole will need your American influence so he doesn’t become too Britainized. So even if you don’t stay, keep in touch with the kid.” And then the playful disappears again. “I know you don’t really get it. But maybe you will when you’ve looked at the files. Think you can stomach it? Not everyone can and there’s no shame in that.” Sheeeeeeez, what the hell kind of stuff is IN those files right? “And… when the time comes, remember that I did things on my own terms. I don’t particularly WANT to die. But if I’m going to anyway.” Then he’d much rather go out with a bang.
That hand on his shoulder makes everything simultaneously better and worse. It's comfort and Jake's got enough of his trust that Harvey isn't afraid to take it, but even as his own hand lifts to squeeze gently the wrist of that comforting hand, he's already moving forward.
If he's moving, he doesn't have to think too hard.
"I'll stay on long enough to get everything settled for sure." After that, he makes no promises. He can't. He's never done this without Jake; there is just genuinely no benchmark for whether or not he can make himself stick around when that's the reality of staying. "Have the files sent to my London office. Donna's already down there setting up shop."
He can understand - on a logical, rational level - wanting to live your life, end your life on your own terms. But that doesn't change the fact that Harvey's a selfish man and always has been. It doesn't assuage the anger, the helpless sense of unfairness that makes everything feel so damn raw. He wants to kill the bastard that even thinks about taking his best friend decades before his time, but cancer doesn't give a guy a concrete enemy to fight. Harvey Specter has spent his whole life 'fixing it' and he can't fix this. It makes him absolutely crazy.
"Yeah," he answers back. "I won't forget."
Not any of it.
And we all know Jake is quick to move the hell on from anything even vaguely resembling real emotion. So he’s got no problem continuing down the staircase that leads to the main foyer. He also knows when he’s gotten as much of a promise from Harvey as he’s going to. “I’ll send it all along as soon as I get back to my cube farm.” He drawls.
He’s quiet too. Maybe he’s re-considering his opinions on the matter. Is it better to be around as long as possible? Or go out in a blaze of glory. His teeth grind together when his jaw clenches, considering. But he doesn’t say anything else about it. “You bring the Tesla?” He had to ask. And it’s accompanied by a little boy grin. “Nobody around here drives fast enough. Bet we could scare the shit out of a few people.” There’s almost an innocent whistle to accompany that.
“And let’s go get the mutt. I want to see this thing. Paid enough for ‘her.”
And Harvey can see both sides of the problem. He's a lawyer; it's what he does. Instead of making it easier, it only makes this harder. In the end, his only real solution is to respect the choice that Jake makes - whatever that ends up being.
"Are you kidding me?" He's quick to allow Jake to steer their conversation back to neutral ground. "You are kidding, right? No way am I going from London to goddamn Scotland on some rickety old train about to derail the next time some kid sneezes." Harvey is not a fan of trains. Floo or Apparation might have been easier, but he knew Jake'd want to get out, so that answered that.
Yes, he brought the Tesla.
"Do we have to? Damn thing shed and drooled enough on the way up." Not that a quick spell couldn't - or didn't - take care of both, but it's the principle of the thing!
“Sneezes. Those Bertie Bott’s every flavored beans have a pepper flavor. Now THAT will make anyone sneeze hard enough to propel a damn boat across the lake.” Jake informs, nodding once and sagely. As if he’s not at ALL exaggerating. He also brightens considerably upon hearing that the Tesla is there. Being chipper might be fake, but he is good at it.
“I didn’t say we’d bring her /with/. But fine, fine. Since you drove all the way up here from London. I’ll let you have your way this time.” Sigh. “I know the perfect place we can stop and grab some chow. They serve a feast here at the school, but you really want to try this restaurant. Trust me.” Which means it’s either really good. Or really, really, bad.
That makes Harvey pull a face. "Pepper? Who the hell wants pepper flavored jelly beans? That's just wrong." Down the stairs and out the front hall - Harvey seems to relax a bit more once they're both outside again, even stepping into Jake's space and elbowing him lightly. "We can go wherever you want," he laughs back. "Just no strippers. They shed more than the dog."
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