AN: Sorry for the long wait, I've finally been able to get back to writing again and all of your reviews, alerts and favourites have helped me loads, so please keep them coming!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Primeval, they and their characters belong to their respective owners – I just like playing with them from time to time.
"Meat?" Abby asked.
"Yes, meat," Harry looked at her as if she was an idiot. "The swarm is always hungry - a lot of meat, the bloodier the better – will draw them in. Either that or blood packs, the ones that you have at a hospital." He directed this towards Cutter and Stephen, as Harry felt that they were in charge. "You said, earlier, that someone was killed?"
"Yeah," Stephen nodded. "One of the golfers." Harry tilted his head, confused.
"Golfer? Nevermind …later," Harry grabbed the end of his braid. "That is a good thing."
"Good? How is that good?" Claudia asked, scandalised.
"It means that the swarm will be roosting – sleeping - until they scent blood once more." He explained. "That is why it is good – it will give us time to prepare."
"How did you even know to come? Why did you fly through the anomaly?" Abby demanded.
"I didn't know about the swarm before I got here." Harry stared at Abby as he answered. "This young one was missing from the flock and was seen going through the shineway. The young ones are always curious about them, but they get confused on the other side, often losing their way home. I go to bring them back; they do not belong on the other side. Sometimes I am too late, those are not good days." A sad look entered the strange green eyes.
"You've been through a lot of anomalies then?" Cutter was now extremely curious, the only other person who knew about the anomalies was Helen, and they couldn't seem to trust her information, while Harry seemed perfectly happy to share. "How long have you been with the pteranodons?" Harry looked confused again. "With the flock, I mean."
"I have lost count of the number of shineways, but I have been with the flock, since I was very small. What year is it now?" Harry moved back slightly towards the pteranodons, Cutter could see he was looking for some form of comfort as he had a glazed look in his eyes, stuck in past memories.
"2007." Captain Ryan stated. He, like all the others, looked intrigued by Harry.
"Hmm, that would make me… 27 years of age, or around that." Harry stated casually, before turning to Connor, who had reappeared while he was thinking and stared curiously at the laptop he was holding. "What is that?" He asked, his eyes bright with curiosity, and it helped the others snap out of their shock. They had thought that he would be much younger than that from how he looked.
"This is my laptop." Connor said lamely, blushing as Harry moved to his side and peered at the screen from up close. He cleared his throat, and Harry turned his head towards him at the noise. "It's a small, portable computer." Harry nodded in understanding, surprising everyone again.
"Harry," Cutter started, and the young man looked at him with those strange eyes. "Do you remember when you first went through an anomaly?"
"Of course," He stood back a bit from where he had been leaning over Connor. "It was on my seventh birthday, July 31st 1987."
"Right, okay." Cutter shook his head; he would try to get more from Harry after a plan was sorted out. "Connor, what have you found?"
"Ah, okay – I've set the search for aerial carnivores from the same period as those guys over there as they came through the same anomaly. Um, Harry… could you come and take a look at these pictures?" Connor asked timidly, and Harry quickly leaned back over him to see the screen.
"This one," Harry pointed at one of the pictures. "But in a swarm of hundreds, maybe thousands."
"Uh…" Connor looked at the picture and gulped.
"Connor," Cutter said sharply.
"Anurognathus," He stated shakily. "Tiny pterosaur from the late Jurassic – like a flying piranha fish that can detect blood from hundreds of feet away and as a swarm can strip flesh from bone in minutes*." A few faces paled as the information Harry had given them was confirmed.
Cutter stared down at the ground, thinking of a plan, before glancing up to fix on Harry, who had moved back to the pteranodons and was hissing to them softly.
Suddenly the larger pteranodon turned its head towards the hotel, screeching, even hopping backwards with its wings flaring outwards. Captain Ryan and his men raised their guns at what they thought was an obvious threat, but Harry soon jumped into the way, hissing with an obviously concerned tone towards the alarmed pterosaur. The younger pteranodon was huddling in on itself, and Cutter could see it was frightened of how the other pterosaur was acting.
"Harry!" Stephen called, "What's wrong?" He was worried that the pterosaur would accidentally hurt the young man in its agitated state.
Harry however soon had the pteranodon calmed down enough to approach and was hissing at it soothingly.
"The way-chaser is here." He said calmly, but when he turned to face them, they could see the anger and hate in his eyes.
"Who is the way-chaser?" Cutter asked.
"A human female, about your age," Harry nodded towards Claudia. "She follows the shineways, and brings chaos and misery behind her. She abuses the shineways and the gifts that they offer us." His eyes darkened as he spoke of her.
"Helen," Stephen murmured to Cutter. "It has to be her." Cutter nodded and he could see that Claudia understood too. They glanced at each other and then to the Special Forces team, before Claudia sighed.
"Should we split up? Or wait until we have dealt with the creatures first?" Claudia offered, as she looked at Cutter.
"It will not take all of us to deal with the swarm." Harry stated, appearing at Cutter's side. "She will be gone though; if she knows there is no way for her to meddle in events." Cutter nodded at the words.
"Go, before she's gone again." Cutter told Captain Ryan, who nodded his head, before heading off with his team.
"How do you know all of this Harry?" Cutter asked softly, and Harry turned his head to look up at the other man.
"The shineways told me." He stated, as if it was perfectly normal, and Cutter's eyes widened in disbelief. "They do not speak to you?" Harry questioned cautiously.
"No, they don't." Cutter blinked. "And we can't talk to your friends over there either." Harry chuckled lightly.
"Oh, I knew that." Harry smiled cheekily. "Otherwise, you wouldn't have needed me to tell you that my friends didn't hurt anyone." Cutter smiled back at him.
"Harry," Cutter hesitated for a moment while Harry continued to stare at him. "Are you going to return through the anomaly once the swarm is gone?"
"No. It is time for me to remain on this side. Once the swarm is through, the shineway will close soon after." Harry smiled mysteriously. "Besides, you seem to need help and guidance with the shineways, just as the flock once did. It would be remiss of me not to help my own species." Cutter laughed at that, as Harry headed back towards the two pteranodons, and they were soon hearing hissing from his direction.
Cutter turned to the rest of the group, where Connor and Stephen seemed to both be deep in thought, whereas Abby was glaring slightly in Harry's direction while holding tightly onto Rex. Claudia was near to him and she was glancing often between him and the hotel in the distance.
Hearing a silence from Harry's direction, Cutter looked over and saw him resting his head against the beak of the larger pteranodon, his eyes closed, while stroking softly with both his hands. He was saying goodbye, Cutter realised. He watched Harry rest a hand against the beak of the young pterosaur next, before he turned around.
"My friends have agreed to draw the swarm away by flying the bait through the shineway."
"What about you?" Abby said rudely.
"I will be staying in this time." He said; although his voice wavered slightly, and one of the pteranodons behind him let out a mournful shrill.
"Are you sure?" Connor asked, knowing it had to be difficult.
"It is the right thing to do." Harry smiled in thanks at Connor, who blushed at the attention.
"So, what's the plan?" Connor asked, though not to anyone in particular.
"Right, here's what we do. Abby, Connor, take your things and Rex back to the car, and then get a few blood packs from the paramedic at the hotel. Stephen, stay here with Harry. Claudia, you're with me, we are raiding the hotel kitchen." Cutter explained. "Meet back here as quickly as possible – but be careful, we can't afford anyone getting hurt. Let's go." The team quickly split up, heading off to their assignments.
Abby stormed angrily towards the hotel, Connor trailing behind her, lost in thought. Not hearing anything from her usually chatty roommate, she spun around.
"Are you not even going to apologise?" She snapped.
"Huh?" He looked towards her quickly, her voice breaking into his thoughts. Seeing he had no idea what she was talking about, she elaborated.
"You let Rex escape, and now everyone knows about him!"
"Oh, I am sorry about that Abby, truly, I have no idea how he got out!" He looked at her with wide chocolate eyes from under his hat. Abby almost wanted to forgive him from that look alone, but then Rex's chirping made her break free from his puppy-dog eyes spell. She turned around, not wanting to be caught by that look again, and started heading back to the car. "Abby!"
"Not now Connor, I'll deal with you later." Connor sighed and started following her again while thinking: 'but you were the one who brought it up in the first place.'
When Claudia and Cutter reached the hotel, they found Captain Ryan standing outside.
"What happened?" Claudia asked when they reached him.
"She's gone. We've searched the entire hotel and the surrounding gardens and she is nowhere in sight. She might have ventured onto the golf course, and we've started a search there, but she's probably moved on already."
"Damn it." Cutter swore, his hand going to brush through his hair. "Let's just get rid of these pterosaurs." He sighed and headed into the building in search of the kitchen, Claudia and Ryan following behind.
Stephen moved closer to where Harry was standing with the pteranodons, and smiled when Harry turned and caught him.
"Can I…?" He gestured towards the larger pterosaur and was relieved when Harry both understood what he was trying to ask and nodded, holding out a hand towards him.
When they touched, his smile widened, and he felt his stomach flutter. Stephen tried to hold back the blush wanting to colour his face, while feeling a lot like a crushing teenage girl, as Harry hissed something gently to the pteranodon. Harry was still holding his hand, he realised, as the other man lifted it up and placed his hand palm down on the beak of the pterosaur.
It felt softer than he thought it would, as he rubbed his hand back and forth gently across the beak, chuckling quietly as he saw the pterosaur's eyes slide closed in pleasure. After a while he tried to move his hand away, but the pterosaur just reached forward, placing his beak against his palm again, and nudging for more attention, just like a cat would.
"Wow." He breathed out, and he heard a gentle laugh from next to him. Turning his head, he smiled brightly at Harry, who smiled back. "I wonder how it feels to fly on one?" He murmured.
"Amazing," Harry answered, even though he knew he wasn't meant to hear the question. He started hissing and the pteranodons both turned their attention towards him. Stephen was confused, before Harry turned to him and asked, "would you like to try?"
"Huh?" He looked blankly at Harry, before glancing at the pterosaurs and saw that the larger of the two had turned to show its back towards them. "Really?" He blushed as it came out as sort of a squeak. Harry laughed again, and Stephen smiled at the sound, he wouldn't mind hearing that more often. "You don't even know my name though." He said, unsure.
"Names do not matter; spirits do – although I have already guessed that your name is Stephen, as Nick Cutter said it before you separated, and that the others were Connor, Abby and Claudia." Harry nodded his head thoughtfully. "Connor has a very good spirit." Stephen felt a spike of jealousy at the words, but realised they were true. Connor did have a good heart although it tended to make him do stupid things.
"So, how do I do this?" Stephen asked nervously. Harry smiled at him, calming his nerves slightly, as he moved towards the smaller pteranodon.
"Watch me." Harry stated, before using one of the hind legs as a step to curl his arms around the neck gently, before gripping under the wing joints with his knees. "You try." Stephen gulped as he moved to the back of the pterosaur, but it did not even flinch as it felt his weight added to its own. He found it difficult to get a grip with his knees before he felt the pterosaur lean forward, enabling Stephen to shift his weight more easily, and the giant wings unfurled completely.
"You'll be fine, Stephen." Harry called, seeming to sense his anxiety. "He knows what to do; I have been flying with him for many years. Just keep a good hold and feel his movements." Stephen was about to reply, when he felt the muscles under him tense and with a screech, the pteranodon launched itself into the sky.
Stephen heard giddy laughter from nearby and saw Harry soaring nearby on the back of the smaller pterosaur with his arms outstretched. He loosened his grip on the pteranodon beneath him and looked around, and down. All he could do was smile brightly, as he took in the awe inspiring sight. The ground fell away beneath them and Stephen whooped in delight.
It was over all too soon for Stephen, and he knew Harry was glad that he was able to get in one last flight before he was separated from the pteranodons. He slid down to the ground with a thump, and found his legs stiff and slightly wobbly, but they were still able to hold him up, for which he was grateful. The pteranodon turned after folding his wings in and nudged him impatiently with his beak. Stephen laughed and stroked the beak appreciatively as he watched Harry land and jump down to the ground close by.
"Thank you." Stephen said gratefully, when Harry was close enough. "Thank you both," he stroked the beak of the pteranodon one last time, before turning towards where he could hear the others on their way back to them. "Probably not a good idea to mention the flight to the others," He whispered to Harry, who looked up from where he was seated on the grass next to him questioningly. "They'd get jealous and everyone would want a go." Harry laughed quietly and Stephen cheered inwardly at being the one to cause that laugh again.
*information found at the primeval page of Wikipedia