Category: Romance, Angst, Crossover (Harry Potter/Pirates of the Caribbean)
Disclaimer: Don't own them, yadda yadda yadda.
Author's Note: Here is my contribution for the Pairing List That Ate Fandom--complete with deus ex machina plot device! This takes place during the backstory for PotC, when Jack is stranded on the island.
EDIT: I can't believe I didn't thank cakemage for the beta! *slaps wrist* Bad Shannon!
"Some guys have all the luck," Charlie Weasley's partner sighed, eyeing the redhead enviously.
"That's what you say now," Charlie replied dryly, "but when I come back with another broken arm and a series of new burns, you know you'll be the first one to laugh."
Moira Brady grinned. "Aw, you know you love it. But the Caribbean..." She sighed again. "I've always wanted to go there."
Charlie made sure his wand was securely in his arm holster. He slipped a gold chain around his neck. "Didn't you work in Florida? The Everglades, wasn't it?" He paused. "Why aren't they sending you, anyway? You have more experience with Vipertooths."
Moira shrugged. "It's not the same. Besides, one of the Longhorns just hatched. Mommy dearest needs some extra attention. And the Andean team is meeting you there, aren't they?"
He picked up a large insulated container--the type the reserve used to transport eggs. "Yeah. I just hope I get the right island this time. When I had to bring that last one back for quarantine, I Apparated to seven different islands before finding the right one."
"Well, that hot guy will be there again, won't he?" Moira asked, eyes sparkling mischievously. "He can always give you a hand."
Charlie glared. "Don't start that again, Brady."
"Whatever you say, Weasley." She wiggled her fingers at him. "Have fun with Jorge!"
He Disapparated to the sound of hysterical giggles.
Charlie was fairly good at Apparition, having used it on nearly a daily basis since he began his job as a Dragon Keeper. Transcontinental Apparition, however, made him nervous--he was always afraid he would get splinched, or worse. He could have used a Portkey, but those were strictly regulated by the Department of Magical Transport. There were ways of getting around the regulations, but the Weasleys tried to stay out of the eye of the Ministry these days.
So Charlie would depend on his Apparition skills to get to a remote island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. He gripped the object on the chain around his neck as he Apparated. One of his brother's friends had given him the small pendant. He claimed it had come from an Aztec ruin he had explored. Bill had broken in wryly, "Don't you mean 'pillaged'?"
David had grinned. "You're just jealous 'cause you know my cursebreaking skills are better than yours." The two had argued for an hour before Disapparating Merlin-knew-where to settle the debate.
Charlie felt sand shift under his feet. He waited a few moments to let the nausea pass, then opened his eyes. He hated long-distance Apparition.
He quickly changed his opinion when he noticed where he was. The sun shone brightly in a clear blue sky. Waves gently lapped at the shore; the water was nearly the same shade as the sky above it. Charlie would have divested himself of his heavy black protective gear, but reminded himself that he had a job to do. He set off to locate the team.
After an hour, he sat beneath a nearby palm tree and regrouped. They obviously weren't there. Grumbling, he stood, preparing himself to Apparate to another island.
"Well, hello, guv. Who're you?" he heard a man behind him slur drunkenly. He whirled around, his wand at the ready.
"Well, now, that isn't a very nice way to greet a man, is it?" the man smiled, holding his arms wide. He was dressed very strangely--and for a wizard to notice this, it was very strange, indeed.
"Who are you?" Charlie replied. His eyes swept the area, looking for any others.
"Captain Jack Sparrow, at your service. I'd tip my hat, but it seems to have been taken from me." He bowed awkwardly. Charlie hurried forward to steady Captain Sparrow before he keeled over.
"Well, Captain, my name is Charlie Weasley. I'd say it was a pleasure to make your acquaintance, but I really need to be going. So, if you'll excuse me..." Charlie sheathed his wand and stepped back. He'd Obliviate the good captain, but he wasn't sure how the charm would react with the alcohol in his bloodstream. Besides, he'd probably put the entire conversation down to drunken imaginings.
Suddenly, Charlie noticed the lightness around his neck--and the glint of metal in his companion's hand. "Oh, are you looking for this?" Jack held up the medallion.
"Yes, I was. Now give it here." Charlie glared. He knew that particular glare was intimidating--he hadn't lived with Molly Weasley for nearly twenty years without picking up a few things.
To his surprise, the man didn't even lose his drunken leer. "I think I'll keep it." He placed it in a pocket and held out a bottle filled with a dark liquid. "Rum?"
Charlie should have known not to combine a magic item with a strong charm like the Apparition spell. He finally got around asking when in time he was. After learning he was lost in the 18th century, he had decided not to use a Summoning Spell on the amulet--with his current luck, he'd blow the island to bits.
Charlie and Jack lounged by a fire Charlie had summoned. The rumrunners whose cache was stored on the island wouldn't be happy when they dropped anchor, but it was better than drinking nothing. Besides, it numbed the pangs Charlie felt when he realized he might not make it home.
"So... how'd you light the fire so fast?" Jack asked.
"'m a wiz... wizard," Charlie replied, hiccupping at the end of the sentence. Mum would have his hide if she ever found out how much he was drinking.
"A wizard, eh?" Jack said. He didn't move from his position in front of the fire, but something about him suggested he wasn't as affected by the rum as he showed. "What else can you do?"
Charlie screwed up his face in concentration. "I dunno. Loads of stuff."
"Can you get us off this bloody island?"
Charlie shook his head--something he regretted when the world began to spin. "Not while I'm drunk--sorry, mate." He had no desire to get splinched--especially when he didn't know the rules about Apparition for this time period.
"Damn," Jack muttered. He quickly recovered his lighthearted mood. "Well, I guess a little more rum won't hurt."
Charlie woke with the sun shining in his eyes. He shifted slightly--and swore fluently. He should have known better than to fall asleep in an exposed area. He winced as he touched his sunburned face.
"That looks painful, mate," Captain Sparrow said cheerfully. He sat beneath a tree, eating coconut meat.
"The curse of being a redhead," Charlie replied ruefully. "'Sides, I'm used to burns." He stood unsteadily, wishing he had a hangover remedy available. He stripped out of his clothing and walked down to the water. It was pleasantly warm. The salt stung the various cuts he had acquired on his search the day before.
"You never did tell me what you do," Jack called. Charlie could feel the other man's eyes on him. If his face hadn't already been red, he would have blushed.
"I'm a dragon handler at a reserve in Romania," he replied, keeping his back toward the captain. He muttered a Cleaning Charm at his hair. It wasn't much, but it would have to do until he got back. If he got back.
"Sounds dangerous." Jack's voice sounded closer. Charlie looked over his shoulder. Jack was standing along the shore, allowing the tide to wash over his feet.
Charlie shrugged. "It's what I love to do. Whatever happened to your ship, anyway?"
Jack's face darkened. "My crew mutinied. They stranded me on this island and left to find my treasure." He kicked at the sand.
Charlie didn't know how to reply to that. "Oh."
"So, Wizard Boy... you never did tell me what else you can do with that." Jack gestured toward Charlie's wand, which was still in his arm holster.
Charlie turned and waded out of the water. "Well..." he said. "Accio!" His clothes flew toward him. He caught the pile and started to pull on his pants.
"How d'you do that?" Jack asked, curious.
Charlie shrugged. "I don't know how--I just can. I mean, I went to school and everything, but I don't know the mechanics." Charlie knew he shouldn't be telling Jack all of this, but he needed to talk to someone. Who knew when they would get off this godforsaken island?
Night fell once more. Charlie successfully avoided the sun for the rest of the day, but his skin still radiated heat once the sun went down. He hoped that the Healers' salve would work on sunburn.
Another night, another fire, another bottle of rum. Jack Sparrow was quite a character. The pirate had stories about hundreds of exotic places. He was precisely the sort of man Molly Weasley had kept her children away from when they were growing up.
He wasn't a bad man, though Molly certainly would have thought so. He had a moral code--it just wasn't the same as the rest of the world's. He tried not to kill unless it was absolutely necessary. He got out of most trouble through his wits and his skill with the sword. The man fascinated Charlie.
And it seemed that Charlie fascinated Jack. He kept asking about his work with the dragons, and about the Wizarding world in general. If it weren't for the fact that the two were stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere, Charlie would have been quite content.
Well, Jack was stranded. Charlie knew he could leave whenever he wanted, but he didn't want to leave Jack alone. Anyway, Jack still had his medallion. Charlie had an inkling of what the thing did, and he wasn't going anywhere without it.
Both men eventually fell silent. Charlie watched the light from the flames flicker across Jack's face. The light caught in his tangled black hair, making it gleam for a moment.
Desire hit Charlie like a blow to the gut, and he suppressed the impulse to lean over and kiss the other man. He pressed his lips together and stared into the fire. What if he was wrong? What if he had misinterpreted the look Jack had given him earlier in the day? The result would be... awkward, to say the least.
Even if Jack would welcome his... advances, what would happen once they got off the island? They would go their separate ways and probably never see each other again. Charlie would most likely have to use a Memory Charm on Jack--he had revealed too much about the Wizarding world for it to go unnoticed.
Charlie sighed. A cuff on his shoulder brought him back to the present. "What're you thinking about?"
He shook his head and smiled. He winced as he felt his sunburned skin stretch. "Nothing, really."
"I wager that I know..." Jack said.
Charlie kept his face carefully blank. "What am I thinking, then?"
Jack leaned in and said in a conspiratorial voice, "You're thinking about England, aren't you?"
"Right in one." Charlie laughed weakly.
"Of course I'm right," Jack said loftily. "I'm Captain Jack Sparrow." A roguish grin crossed his features. "Now, about that wager..."
"Wager? I didn't wager anything!" Charlie protested.
"Ah, but I did--and I was right. So now I get to claim a prize." Jack moved closer. Charlie's pulse began to race.
The last thing he registered before all higher thought processes shut down was a pair of rough lips pressing against his.
Charlie awoke suddenly. The stars overhead blazed brightly. He sat up and disentangled himself from Jack. "I want the red one," the pirate muttered, rolling onto his stomach. Charlie laughed softly and looked out to sea.
To his surprise, a ship was sailing toward their island. Charlie suspected it was the ship that had hidden the rum there. He debated sending up sparks to let them know they were on the island, but decided that it would probably scare them away.
He pulled his clothes on quickly, then turned toward Jack. A lump formed in his stomach. He suddenly knew what he had to do--but he didn't relish the task.
He searched the sleeping man's clothing for his medallion. After a few minutes of frantic searching, he finally found it. The chain clasp was broken, so he stuck it in his pocket.
He walked over to Jack and looked down at him. He knelt and placed a soft kiss on his lips. "I'm sorry, Jack," he whispered.
"Sorry for what, love?" the pirate replied in a sleep-roughened voice. His eyes opened, and he smiled.
Charlie closed his eyes for a second. He opened them again and unsheathed his wand. Summoning his will, he murmured an incantation. "Obliviate."
Jack's eyes went unfocused. Charlie grabbed his box and stepped back into the trees. Gripping the medallion in his pocket and focusing on his own time period, he Disapparated.
When Charlie opened his eyes once more, the sun blazed overhead. An assorted group of witches and wizards milled about on the shoreline. "Weasley!" a voice called. "You're over an hour late!"
"Sorry!" Charlie replied. "I got lost!"
"Again?" another man asked. The group laughed, and Charlie attempted to smile.
"Well, let's go then! That Vipertooth isn't going to wait for us, you know!"
"I'll be right there!" Charlie turned toward the water. He pulled the medallion out of his pocket and stared at it. There was an inscription along the edge in a language he didn't recognize. He thought of the man he left on the same beach, two minutes and two centuries ago.
He pulled his arm back and let the mysterious piece of metal fly.