One mistake in thirty odd years. One blemish on the record of greatness. However, even God can't call himself perfect. As Hannibal reflected on his past, there was one event that was locked deep in the recesses of his mind, hidden away from his ego like needle to a balloon.
A doctorate program had offered Hannibal an escape from a police force closing in on him in Florence. While nothing could compare to the art and culture, Hannibal had to move on to an area of the world unsuspecting of his secret. Studying to be a surgeon was quite boring. There was little about the human anatomy that was not known by Lecter, so he found that he spent most of his time reading up and observing human behaviors. The most intriguing at the time having been American Collegiate interaction between the sexes. Hannibal would attend parties and observe the customs of these young ones. While at times he became side tracked with a hunt, Hannibal eventually immersed himself in this new culture, adapting like the monster he was made to be. However, it was on one chilled November night that he committed his sin against himself.
He met a woman calling herself Mary Graham. She was stunning in her own right. While others saw the lush dark hair and brightly lit eyes, Hannibal looked deeper and saw a cunning woman out for her own. It was then that Hannibal made his mistake. Despite the signs of her mischievous nature, Hannibal underestimated her. It was only after a night he could only blurrily recall that he knew of his failings. By then, the woman had disappeared, and Hannibal had no idea what secrets he had spilled.
Nine years later, the thirty-three year old was comfortable with his increasing status among the elite circles in his Boston residence. Though he had decided midway through his residency to go back for a degree in psychiatry, he had made many connections including Alana Bloom and started his own office. Now, rumors were beginning to spread about a new serial killer, dubbed the 'Chesapeake Ripper'. Hannibal had put the final touches to his web; only thing left to do was to sit back and watch the feasts walk into his parlor.
At least, that was the plan. Fate had other ideas. While Hannibal had spent his years building his stature, Mary Graham had been busy. The night that Hannibal could only semi-recall was a crystal clear to Mary. She had attended a Fraternity bash held on the edges of the local campus, pushed there after a fight with her husband, Thomas. The fight centered around his job as a boat mechanic and his alcoholism which fueled their impoverished state. No one could blame Mary for wanting to get away. However, Mary wanted more than to get away; she wanted to forget everything. After two cups, Mary noticed a man around her age in his mid-twenties. She sought comfort in his arms, influencing his decision to partake in more alcohol. By the end of the night, Mary had made love to a stranger who passed out after the act. Not wanting to hang around the man further, Mary took to the street, slowly making her way to the diner.
The doorbell had rung, announcing her entrance to all of the early-birds. Mary stumbled to a booth and ordered a cup of coffee. After a while of contemplation, Mary used the diner phone to call her husband. He had picked her up and that had been the end of the fight. Nine months later, Mary delivered William Graham into this mad world.
The birth of William had been a joyous occasion. It even calmed the fighting between Mary and her husband for a year and a half. However, it was only a temporary reprieve. Soon the fighting began again as her husband began noticing William had features that belonged to neither him nor his wife. Mary tried brushing his concerns off by saying that other family relatives had high cheek bones or dimples, but her husband fed his concerns with whisky and scotch. Mary tried to make the marriage work for five years. After that things were out of hand and their last fight resulted in a domestic dispute report to the police. No longer able to take the fighting and drinking, Mary packed a bag and left.
It had been years since she had seen William or her late husband, but she had moved on with her life. Now a happily married to a Lawyer in California, Mary had no wish to open old wounds or reminisce on what could have been. As far as she was concerned, she had never been married before and she was expecting her first children, a set of twins. This time she would protect her happiness. She was Mary Lowry.
When Thomas Graham married his high school sweet heart Mary, he thought that it had marked his happily ever after. After nearly twelve years of marriage, he had been proven wrong. It started with a miscarriage, quickly followed by him spending his night drowning his worries away with alcohol. Then work became slow and money became short. At seven years, his wife and he had grown distant, only close when fighting. It had looked like the end of their marriage, but a miracle occurred.
Will was born. At first, Thomas Graham assumed that he had become intimate with his wife during a drunken state, but has a year came about his suspicions grew when William displayed traits that neither he or his wife possessed. While his wife tried assuring him with tales of distant family he had never met, he returned to find comfort in drinking. He spent the next five years going between black-out states, until the police got involved. With a slap to his wrists with a Domestic Abuse charge and a rude awakening of his wife leaving him, Thomas sobered up long enough to seek help.
It was just his little Will and him. A five year old and a single father. The first place Thomas turned to was the church, followed by the local AA group. They helped set him on a better path, guiding him to keep sober and raise his son. Within three years, a routine was set, only to be broken when opportunity struck. Thomas was offered a better job down in New Orleans, Louisiana. Packing up his eight year old's things, Thomas moved their small family. Thomas could not recall a happier time. Then, on the way to his new town, the Graham family got into a car collision, killing Thomas and scarring the young Will Graham.
Mary Lowry received the call that morning. Will Graham was in need of a home, and Mary did not want her past to catch up with her. It is within a quick reply that Mary set the wheels of fate in motion.
Social Services: "Is this Mary Graham? Sorry, Mary Lowry?"
Social Service: "There has been an accident. Thomas Graham was killed, but your son William is alive. We would like to begin the custody paperwork to send him to you if you would please give us you address."
Mary: "…I am sorry to hear about that, but I do not want custody of Will."
Social Services: "I see… Is there anyone else we can contact for Will's custody?"
Mary: "…Yes… His name is Hannibal Lector… He is Will's biologic father."
Social Services: "Alright. Do you happen to have his contact information?"
Mary: "No. Anyway I have work I need to attend to…Is there anything else?"
Social Services: "No, Ma'am. Have a nice day."
The office phone rang in the middle of a client's session. The abrupt noise startled the patient, but Lecter did not find it an annoyance due to its ability to cut through Franklin's sobbing fit. Excusing himself from his patient, Hannibal picked up his phone, ready to tell them to call back later when the person on the other line introduced themselves as Social Services. Curious, Hannibal paused the phone conversation to turn to Franklin with an apologetic face.
"I regret that I must take this call. If you wish, we can reschedule your appointment for later this week or I can have you wait for an in definite amount of time. Which would you prefer?"
"I would like to reschedule. I just can't stop sobbing right now, so maybe another day would be better."
"As you wish. I am available this Thursday from three to four will that do?"
"Yes. Good bye, Dr. Lecter!"
"Have a safe trip, Franklin."
Turning back to the phone, Hannibal got to the point.
"This is Dr. Hannibal Lecter. What appears to be the problem?"
"We have a boy named William Graham. His father recently passed away and his mother does not want custody."
Not seeing the point to all of this Hannibal tried to speed things along.
"Do you want me to counsel young William?"
"…No. The mother has named you as the biologic father. Would you like custody of the boy?"
Hannibal was stunned. His mind raced, trying to place whether these allegations held any truth. Nothing; there should be no reason why he would have a son. Then, his mind stumbled upon his mistake. Lecter's entire being stopped. He could have a son.
"I do not know for sure if I am really the boy's father. I would like to have a paternity test run."
"…That can be done, but what would you like us to do with William in the meantime? Do you want to file for custody?"
"I will wait until I have results. Who do I contact to get the test done?"
"We will send a representative with William Graham to meet you at the Baltimore Memorial Hospital for the Test. The earlier we get this done the better. When are you available?"
"This Friday at five works for me."
"They will meet you then. Just in case you request custody, we will send the custody paperwork with the representative."
"Very Well. Good day."
Well, things have gotten interesting, Hannibal thought.
The week flew by for Will. After the accident, nothing seemed stable. He kept being pushed into new children's homes and foster families until today. Today, the nice man from Social Services, Matt, came to take him to meet a possible relative. According to Matt, he was going to take a test and if he passed the relative might adopt him. In other words, he might find a real home again.
Will and Matt rode on an airplane then in a taxi. Finally, they arrived at the Baltimore Memorial Hospital right on time. Matt held Will's hand as they strode into the building and found the office. It was only in the waiting room that Matt left Will's side to talk with the receptionist. While waiting, Will observed his surroundings. There was only an old woman sitting in the corner. Was that his relative? Before he could go up to ask the woman, Matt was back and pulled him to take a seat. As minutes ticked by, the woman left and the doctor still had not called for Will.
Nervousness began to eat at Will. Where was his supposed relative? Suddenly, the door flew open to announce the arrival of a regal looking man. Will was quite observant for his age, and as soon as he looked at the man he knew that he was top dog. The man held himself up and walked with confidence. He was the exact opposite of everything Will affiliated himself with. Will began to doubt that they were related, which meant this trip was bust and he would go back into the system. Will did not know when he had begun hoping for family again, but that feeling was flooded away by disappointment. This feeling caused Will to look away from the man and hang his head low.
Throughout the rest of the day, Will stayed quiet and complied with the doctor's orders. He heard the doctor say that it would take a day or two to get the results back, but Will did not care. In his mind, he already knew.
The doctor looked to the men in the room. The results were back and hot off of the fax. Making sure to hold Dr. Lecter's gaze, the doctor handed two copies of the results to the men.
"Congratulations Dr. Lector, you have a son."