|London's Most Wanted
Author: mosteloquentemily PM
John Watson was left alone. Then, he met an unlikely pair of the friends: Harry and Ginny Potter. Now Sherlock's back and they'll have to flee the British government before long... And Lily Potter's off to a rather chaotic Hogwarts. But, this Scorpius boy doesn't seem nearly as bad as her parents believe. (Lily/Scorpius)Rated: Fiction K - English - Romance/Mystery - Harry P. & Sherlock H. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 4,347 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 26 - Updated: 11-29-12 - Published: 11-10-12 - id: 8690697
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
John flipped open his phone, but he knew there was no use. He would never receive another text from him again. No more calls just so that he could borrow his phone because he didn't want to get up from the couch. No more tea together, no more investigations together. He was gone.
It had been a couple months since Sherlock died. Jumped off of that bloody building. Abandoned him. John was beginning to feel the effects of losing his best friend. His only real friend, really. Since the war, Sherlock had always been there, not that he had given much comfort or therapy. But in a way, running around with him in London, solving things and putting his life in danger time and time again, always trusting that the other had his back, that was all he needed anymore.
He glanced down at his phone again, silently berating himself for getting lost his memories again, and felt his heart freeze. He had a text. Praying fervently, hoping dearly, and trying to restrain tears, as he did every time someone texted him, he clicked it; knowing in the back of his mind that it couldn't be Sherlock. It wouldn't be Sherlock ever again.
And, of course, it wasn't. He let out a resigned sigh. Familiar disappointment bloomed in his heart and he brusquely knocked away the tears that had slipped down his face.
It was from his therapist. Former therapist, John reminded himself. He was never going back there again. He wasn't going crazy! He didn't need to lay down on a couch and talk about his feelings. That wasn't going to bring him back. When will these people learn that whatever they do, it's not going to help?!
The message was a reminder that he was set up for appointment tomorrow at two o clock. Not one that he set up, of course, but they always scheduled them because his doctor said he had to. And he always canceled them, because his heart said he had to. Thank you, he replied, always polite, but I have decided not to resume our sessions. I believe that I can cope now, wishing against conscience he could just scream at them over the phone until they would leave him alone.
Grabbing his cane and pulling on his jacket, John headed for the door, grabbing his small shopping list off the refrigerator as he went. It was strange that he had so much time now, to do such mundane, unexciting things. Remembering a time before all the sadness, he grimly resolved to not row with the machine at the grocery this time. There would be no Sherlock to laugh at him, anyway.
And it was then that John knew that he had lied to the therapist. He couldn't cope. He would never cope again with Sherlock gone.
"Dad!" said a small, high-pitched voice near Harry's ear, "Hey, Daddy! It's time! It's the day, Dad! C'mon! Get up!"
Harry blearily sat up in bed, blinking a couple times, and saw that it was his son who had so rudely awakened him. Trying to conceal a yawn behind his hand, he asked shortly, "James, it's five o clock in the morning! What could you possibly need?"
"Dad... it's the day. When Mum said that we had to wake up early because we're going to Diagon Alley! To get my school stuff! For Hogwarts!"
Harry met James' reproachful eyes and grinned rather sheepishly. "Er... just testing you. You're right." He saw that the bed was empty next to him. "So Mum's already downstairs?"
"Yes, Dad," James said slowly and clearly, as if he really wanted Harry to understand. "Everyone's up and dressed and eating breakfast. Except you." Then he ran out of the room, summoned by some unspoken call downstairs.
Harry groaned. Of course, Ginny had said last night that everyone had to get up at five today so that they could beat the crowds in Diagon Alley. And of course, he had slept in. Cursing, he ripped the covers off of him and dressed in his Muggle clothes as quickly as he could. This took him a rather long time, since he still was using Dudley's hand-me-downs, which would never fit him. Rolling up the sleeves to his sweatshirt four times and securing his jeans with a thick belt, he bolted out the door and down the stairs, hastily stuffing his wand in his back pocket.
Harry could hear the voices of his family in the kitchen. There was Lily's high pitched squeal; from the sound of it, James had used his bacon as a wand, an old favorite to entertain the high maintenance five year old at breakfast. Ginny's voice was reverberating louder than that of the children, reprimanding James for playing with his sister's food, even though everyone knew that Lily much rather preferred to play with the bacon, anyway, than to eat it. And of course, Harry couldn't hear Albus, because he knew that his youngest son was probably engrossed in reading one of the old text books that Hermione had lent him, oblivious to the antics of his siblings.
He burst through the door, causing a great racket for an entrance, as he intended. James and Lily hopped up immediately, racing to the father, who scooped them up in a big good morning hug. Even Albus looked up from A Standard Book of Spells, Grade Five to smile vaguely at him.
"Who wants to go to Diagon Alley?!" He asked loudly as he grinned at his wife, thinking that he had the best life he could have imagined.
Harry insisted on walking from their town house in London to the Leaky Cauldron.
"Lily's only five, anyway," he said privately to Ginny, "She's a bit young for traveling by Floo Powder. I wouldn't wand her ending up in Borgin and Burke's- trust me."
James was so excited to be going to the wizarding marketplace. He had been anticipating this visit for a long time- even before his letter from Hogwarts had arrived. He couldn't wait to get a wand and learn spells at school that even Albus didn't know. He chuckled at the thought of his brother hanging upside down from the ceiling, his usually perfect black hair getting all messed up, like his and Dad's almost always were. And he would get to meet other young wizards at Hogwarts- make new friends besides his rather irritating younger siblings and his tiresome cousins, Lily and Hugo Weasley.
Lost in blissful thought, James wasn't concerned with watching where he was going. So, when he literally knocked over a man who was hobbling along the sidewalk, leaning rather heavily on a cane, it took him by complete and utter surprise.
The piece of paper that the man had been clutching flew out of his hand and into the wind. His cane clattered noisily to the ground. James grabbed both quickly and thrust a hand to help him up, apologizing all the while.
"I'm so sorry, sir, are you all right? I wasn't paying any attention. I'm so sorry. Here's your cane." James cast a concerned eye over the now bedraggled and harried man in front of him and saw that he really wasn't very old at all. So what's the cane for? He wondered curiously.
John hadn't been paying much attention either. So when the youngest of the family with the overexcited little girl with the long red hair and the father whose jet black locks stood out messily (so like Sherlock's used to) slammed into him, he was quite a bit surprised to find himself sitting hard on the cement walk. He accepted the boy's helping hand, brushing the dust off his slacks. "I'm sorry?" he stuttered, still startled. "What did you say?"
"Oh... I was just making sure your leg was all right. With the cane you've got there, I thought..." the boy trailed off uncertainly when he saw the look on John's face.
The boy thought something was wrong with his leg. More like what's wrong in the head. His psychosomatic limp that his therapist had used to go on and on about. That Sherlock had used to go on and on about. John could feel the tears welling up again (they came so swiftly these days) and blinked furiously to get rid of them before mustering a hasty reply. The last thing he wanted to be seen as was some blubbering weakling. "Oh, nothing's... wrong." He could barely get the lie out. "Just an old habit." One you've picked up again because he's not there to make you forget about it in the excitement, he told himself morosely.
James stared up into the sad man's face. He could tell that he was holding back tears with great effort. The man had an admirable self-discipline. He glanced past, to where he could see his family was gesturing impatiently for him to rejoin them, then looked back to where the man was standing, holding his cane loosely and searching his pockets for the paper he had had earlier. "Here," James said suddenly, carefully handing him the list he had picked up. "Look, are you quite sure you're all right?"
"Yeah," he insisted, straightening up in an attempt to look stronger and more like the soldier he used to be. "Fine."
So James left him standing there and hurried to the Leaky Cauldron to join his family, and when he looked back, the man was still there, checking his phone, and looking sad, lost, and dazed.
"Dad," James said urgently, trying to ignore Lily, who was skipping merrily behind him and singing some cheerful song Mum had taught her about toadstools. "Dad," he repeated, a it more fervently, desperately trying to get Harry's attention before the other children could hear and intrude.
"That man- that Muggle- that I accidentally ran into in the street-" he began to say hastily, but his father cut him off sternly.
"You said sorry, didn't you? You didn't just leave him there, right?
"Yes, Dad, I apologized, but listen. I'm kind of worried about him." His father snorted in disbelief, but gestured for him to continue. "After I handed him the cane and paper he dropped, I noticed that he just sort of stood there. He looked really sad at something he was thinking about, and just stayed in the same place, even after I'd left. I think he was about to cry. And that was a grown man!"
"...I want to check on him," he added, worried. Harry's stern face softened up a bit, touched by his ten year old's concern for this stranger.
"I'm sure he was okay, James. You probably just surprised him, that's all."
James wasn't going to give up. "Dad, he looked genuinely miserable."
"Okay. I understand," said Harry with the air of trying to placate a small child. "How about this: we'll check on him on our way back home from shopping. I saw which apartment he came out of." He turned to Ginny, who had been listening with a rather sympathetic look on her face. "Is it all right if just James and I do that? And you can go ahead with the kids?"
"That's fine," she said, beaming proudly at James.
"Now let's go into this Diagon Alley, James! You've got a wand to buy!"
Lily squealed excitedly again and Albus looked up from his book that he had pulled out while his parents had discussed the sad stranger.
"All right," said Harry, bringing out his wand with a flourish, "Which brick is it, again?"
"James-y! Can I hold your wand?" Lily asked, "Pleaaaaaase?"
"No, Lily, honey," Ginny answered, "Not until you're older. Then you can have your own wand."
James brandished his wand proudly, pointed at Albus and imagining him turned a nice shade of lavender. He had a wand, now! He was a real wizard, who could cast real spells! He twirled it through the air, imagining sparks trailing from the tip, just like his father's did on Bonfire Night. James could hardly wait until he learned how to really use it! Until then, of course, he could just pretend, which was almost as good, anyway.
John heard a knock on the door. He slowly got up and limped his way to open it, irritated that someone would bother him just as he sat down for tea time.
If Molly bothers me one more time, he thought furiously, wishing he had stayed at 221B so that Mrs. Hudson could open the door and send visitors away for him. But the memories in that place had been too much.
He wrenched the door open. "Yes?" He snapped gruffly, already prepared to slam the door closed if it was that annoying girl. It was funny, really. He used to sympathize with Molly, when he saw how Sherlock blindly rejected her, but since the fall, the dreadful fall, she had become repugnant in his mind. The tragedy had not bound them together, it had pushed them apart. Each reminded the other too much of the grand memories, the now painful memories with the consulting detective.
Glancing around the door's edge, John saw that it wasn't Molly, however, who was visiting. It was that young scatterbrained boy who had knocked him over in the street, and a man who looked to be his father.
The man stepped forward, smiling uncertainly, offering a hand. "Harry Potter. My son, James, bumped into you earlier today, I believe?" When John had grasped his hand firmly and nodded, he continued on rather concernedly. "James was very worried that he had offended you, harmed you in some way. He seems to recall you being rather dazed. He just wanted to check up on you, make sure you're still doing all right since then, got home and everything."
"That's very kind," said John. "I'm John Watson. Very nice to meet you. Thank you. I wasn't really paying much attention myself, at the time, I'm afraid. I was rather lost in thought." Suddenly struck by the concerned looks on both of his visitors' faces, he was touched. He opened the door a bit wider, a genuine smile beginning to turn the edges of his mouth upwards. "Would you care to join me? I was just sitting down for some tea, actually."
James eagerly stepped forward, then looked back, begging unashamedly his dad with wide eyes. He seemed to receive permission. "We would love to!" he exclaimed, and the two stepped in as the first guests John had entertained for tea since the funeral.
Little did any of the three know that the visitors would become frequent indeed; this day was only the beginning of a great friendship, and a cure for John.