A Study in Magic: The Application
by Books of Change
Warning/Notes: This is the sequel to A Study in Magic, which is a BBC Sherlock and Harry Potter crossover AU posted here. The HP timeline and BBC Sherlock's timeline were shifted forward and backward to match up. One major BBC Sherlock character's gender was changed for the sake of the plot. Readers beware!
Chapter Twenty-Four: Three Truths and a Lie
Harry remained kneeling at Snape's side, simply staring down at him, until John hauled him back to his feet.
"We'll mourn the d**khead, just not yet," John whispered through gritted teeth.
Harry nodded numbly. He did not know what to feel, except shock at the way Snape had been killed and the way he stood his ground and kept the diadem up even as he faced death.
Why are you always like that? Hate me but do me right at the same time…
John marched up to Voldemort, who was still on Hogwarts grounds. Fear filled Harry as he compared John's compact and unassuming form to Voldemort's visage— his white snake face, his red eyes and towering black-robed stature.
"Oi, V!" John shouted.
"You dare speak to me?" said Voldemort.
"Yeah, I'm talking to you. Give me one reason why I shouldn't shoot you in the nadgers."
Voldemort's lipless mouth curled. "Your bullets can't reach me."
"So bloody sure of yourself. Remember Sebastian Moran? I'm a sharpshooter like him."
John tossed a coin high into the air, drew her gun and shot it clean through. The punctured coin landed in front of Voldemort's feet.
The Dark Lord narrowed his red eyes. "You killed my servants," he realized.
John nodded once.
"Why?" Voldemort asked with terrible menace.
"It's very simple, V," John answered. "I'm Harry's mum. If you threaten my son, I will kill you."
Voldemort laughed. "Love. Caring. Bravery. A foolhardy bravery that skirts insanity, but bravery nonetheless. I do admire that. You will serve me better than Moran. It's not too late. There's no need to die for a boy who isn't even your own. I can be generous."
John gave Voldemort the two-fingered salute. "Harry is my boy, f**k you very much."
"Now, John, no flipping off Dark Lords who can turn you into a toad," Sherlock admonished as he joined John's side. He tilted his head and gave Voldemort an appraising look. "So you are Tom Riddle. As megalomaniacs go, you at least dress the part."
My parents are insane, Harry thought as he felt his voice returned to him, bit by bit.
"You must have had interesting dreams for the last three days," Sherlock noted. "Harry had a mind-block against you until we decided to send some doctored dreams your way. That's how you learned about Godric's Hollow at all. Too bad what happened there, hmmm?"
Harry felt two bodies sidle next to him. Julia to his right, Neville to his left. Neville had his Batman pyjamas on. Julia was wearing red footie shorts and half of her hair was missing. Both had bits of grass and dirt and heaven knew what else.
If Harry was Sherlock, he would've tried to deduce the reason why Neville and Julia smelled like they'd trawled through a dusty attic and then put their heads too close to an open flame. But all Harry could think at the sight of them was:
"Too bad about Snape, too," Sherlock continued. "You learned about his real allegiance from the dreams, didn't you? If you must know, it's not a recent thing. It's been brewing for fourteen years. Snape had one thing that made life worth living. Just one thing," he raised a finger. "Harry's mother alive and happy. He loved her, you see. Loved her all his life. He asked you to spare her life, and you gave her the option of fleeing. But then you went ahead and killed her anyway."
"He desired her, but soon got over it."
"Ever heard of this thing called lying, Riddle?"
And now Harry felt winded as the strange dichotomy of Snape despising him and yet doing everything in his power to keep him alive resolved itself. The reason why Snape demanded he looked at him before he died … he wanted to see Lily's eyes staring back at him. The reason why Snape sneered at his potion making, but never graded his essays unfairly… not because they were better, but because his writing resembled Lily Potter's. Remus told him that: You have a similar writing style as her. And I'm always struck at how you two write the 'g's and 'y's the same way…
…Your mother needn't have died...she was trying to protect you…
Voldemort laughed again.
"You think you can defeat me with mere words? You cannot fight against me and win. See the enlightened wizards and witches behind me who have realized the futility of fighting against me. I am Lord Voldemort. I am the greatest wizard to have ever lived. I can give and take away magic. I conquered death!"
Voldemort whipped out his wand.
Harry responded in kind: "Protego!"
A shield of the likes Harry had never created before spread between him and Voldemort. Harry never channelled this much power when casting a spell. Voldemort's curse—a tremendous wind tunnel made of fire—bounce off the surface and hit one of the giants.
A loud cheer echoed through the night. Harry looked back and saw them: hundreds of people marching out from the castle. He could see his fellow Advocates, the Order members, all the Weasleys, Ron, and Hermione. A crowd of house-elves armed with knives and cleavers, their face's hard with malice, flanked the people, with Dobby and Kreacher in the lead. A herd of Centaurs emerged from the Forbidden Forest, armed with bows and arrows. Dumbledore with Mr. Shin by his side, Jason and Jeremy bringing the rear. Seventeen former werewolves standing side-by-side, hand-in-hand, Lupin and Tonks in the centre, forming a shield with their bodies.
Oh, what would he not do for these people? Nothing. Nothing at all.
Harry stepped forward.
"It's over, Tom!" he shouted.
Silence fell abruptly and completely as Voldemort and Harry looked at each other, and began, at the same moment, to circle each other.
"It's over!" Harry repeated, and in the total silence, his voice carried like a trumpet call.
"Fighting with mere words also, Potter? Will you sound so brave when I take away your magic?"
"You can try," said Harry. "But it's not going to stick. Give away the Muggle blood you received, and you get your magic back. It's that simple. You never understood how it works, Tom: blood, magic, anything. If you did, you would've never made all those Horcruxes."
"You think because you have destroyed the diadem, because you know what it was, you can defeat me?" jeered Voldemort, and his whole body was taut, and his red eyes stared, like a snake that was about to strike. "I, who went further than anyone to defeat death and accomplished it?"
"You don't know anything," Harry retorted. "Haven't you realised? There are no more Horcruxes."
Voldemort's red eyes flashed. "Lies."
Harry shook his head. "No, not lies. Should I go through the list?
"The diadem is gone and so is your snake. You saw it yourself.
"The cup is gone. Dumbledore and Grandmaster Shin destroyed it the day they found it in the Lestrange vault. They even burned the shards.
"The locket is gone. Regulus Black stole it with the help of the elf you used. We killed it with basilisk venom. The elf owns the locket now.
"You know what happened to your diary. I know Snape told you what happened.
"As for the ring … recognise this?"
Harry held up his left fist, showing Voldemort the ring on his finger. Voldemort nostrils flared when he saw the black stone with the gash in the middle.
"The seven Horcruxes you made, we destroyed them all," said Harry. "Do you know why we're not finishing you off right here, right now?"
Harry pointed at his scar.
"Me. I'm still left."
Voldemort did not speak, but prowled in a circle, and Harry knew that he kept him temporarily mesmerized and at bay, held back by the news he did not expect.
"You left a piece of your soul in me the day you killed my first parents," Harry said. "It's the reason why you can see my dreams and why I can see yours. What you feel, I feel, and what I feel, you will feel. You only made this connection stronger when you used my blood.
"Did you know Winky asked me for it and I agreed? Because it was blood willingly given, it didn't strengthen you. It just gave you one more weakness for us to exploit. This is why the prophecy said: either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives."
Voldemort's grip around his wand got tighter as he heard the part of the prophecy he had so desired to know last year.
"You can try killing me. Go on, I'll let you," said Harry, drawing a collective gasp. "That would take care of the last broken off piece of your soul. And then … bang." He mimed firing a gun against his temple. "It'll be all over. But it's best if you repent. Feel remorse. Admit you did wrong, Riddle, for making all those Horcruxes…"
"But," Harry interrupted. "I know you can't. You're not capable of feeling remorse. If you were, you wouldn't have done everything you did. So…"
He drew in a deep breath.
"I'll feel it for you."
Then Harry closed his eyes, removed his mind-blocker charm, and remembered…
The guilt he felt as he overheard Dr. Robert willingly give up his future so he, Harry, could live… him wanting to cling, wanting to stay, making others suffer because he selfishly didn't want to die…
I didn't want to die. I'm sorry. I had no business running away from death.
I'm ready now…
It hit him like a mugger in the night.
The most excruciating Pain.
Pain beyond agony sheered through Harry, through his scar. It was as though his whole being was tearing itself apart. Or he was being rebuilt from the ground up. He couldn't tell which. Then he was not in pain; he was Pain. Though in all, he thought he heard the faintest, most distant scream, echoing not from the grounds or the castle, but from his head.
The pain faded. Became lighter. He could feel things other pain … the chill of the air, the warm something dripping down his face.
Harry opened his eyes and witnessed Voldemort fell backward, arms splayed, the slit pupils of the scarlet eyes rolling upward. Tom Riddle hit the floor with a mundane finality, his body feeble and shrunken, the white hands empty, the snakelike face vacant and unknowing.
Voldemort was dead, killed by remorse, felt on his behalf by Harry, who stood staring down at his enemy's shell.
Fourteen years ago, when Lord Voldemort was defeated for the first time, the wizarding world went so crazy celebrating, Muggles took notice. Great Britain and other affected countries defended their gross violation of the Statute of Secrecy, stating: "we have the right to party." So it was understandable the current Muggle British Government braced himself for another bout of blatantly magical parties when he heard Lord Voldemort was defeated for good.
He need not have bothered. Besides a localized occurrence of shooting stars, spectacular fireworks, lightning, and thunder in a remote region of Scotland, the world went on as usual. The British Government wrote a memo on the Scotland oddity, but otherwise did nothing…
…Except monitor the conversations of certain key players: three of them containing truth, one a lie.
Somewhere in London, at a Scotland Yard press conference:
"Mr. Lestrade, what was your experience as a hostage?"
"I was treated well. No abuse. The worst was the boredom, to be honest."
"Do you know where you were kept?"
"What did the terrorists want?"
"It's difficult to say. They didn't give me an itemized list of demands. They could only articulate one thing."
"They wanted to be left alone."
"…But we don't know who they are."
"That's the problem, isn't it?"
In an oncology unit, somewhere:
"This is not a good use of your time."
"On the contrary, the Wizarding world is in good hands. Harry has no interest in exercising his powers as Master of Death and intends to die without ever touching the Resurrection Stone or the Elder Wand again. Therefore, I see no better way to spend my few remaining years besides supporting yours. Now, any news from your daughter?"
"Conception confirmed. Jacqueline wants to name her Regina if she is a girl. Erik if he is a boy." A wistful pause. "I would like to see them."
"Aim to see their second child, so you're guaranteed to cuddle their first."
"That's not how it works, fool." A sigh. "You will stay?"
Albus Dumbledore grasped Shin's hand tighter.
Hogwarts; a sunny if chilly day on a grassy hill that overlooked a black headstone bearing the name 'Severus Snape':
"I still can't believe Dumbledore retired. I'd thought he'd be made emergency Minister for Magic for sure, what with the Statute of Secrecy Revamp efforts and all."
"He never wanted the job, remember? Your dad said Kingsley is doing fine as Minister. I heard Dumbledore would've recommended Babajide Akingbade to lead the Revamp even if he remained Supreme Mugwump. Besides, he's long overdue: he's a hundred and thirty-four years old."
"When most sane people retire at a hundred and six. What would he do, you reckon?"
"Go see places, spend time with friends, write another children book, knit…"
"…Attend a wedding or two. Lupin and Tonks are getting married this summer, yeah?"
"Oh, yeah. And we did not see that coming. At all."
A laugh, "Are we invited?"
"I don't think so. Private ceremony and no reception; they didn't want the fuss."
"Don't expect that from Bill and Fleur's wedding. They invited like half of England and a quarter of France and the ceremony's going to have all the bells and whistles. This means mandatory dancing, Harry. You're not getting away from it this time, Fleur's going to murder you. Oh, yeah, and speaking of dates," a meaningful pause, "what the hell are you three doing?"
The three, as Ron Weasley called them, considered him for a second before looking at each other. Then Harry kissed the spot above Neville's scared eye and touched Julia's lips with his. Both were light, the softest of touches.
"We are deeply in love," Harry declared.
In 221B Baker Street:
"I was right. Snape did love Lily Evans with single-minded love. I didn't expect him to have carried the torch since childhood, though."
"Yeah, who'd have thought?"
Sherlock and John had finished watching Snape's memory. The man's first recollection of Lily Evans as a child, their separation at Hogwarts—Lily to Gryffindor, Snape to Slytherin—and his increasing involvement with future Death Eaters such as Mulciber … which finally culminated in the inevitable break: when James Potter had hoisted Snape into the air and taunted him, Lily joined the group and went to Snape's defense. In his humiliation and his fury, Snape used the unforgivable word: "Mudblood."
"I'm not interested."
"Save your breath."
"I never meant to call you Mudblood, it just —"
"Slipped out?" There was no pity in Lily's voice. "It's too late. I've made excuses for you for years. None of my friends can understand why I even talk to you. You and your precious little Death Eater friends — you see, you don't even deny it! You don't even deny that's what you're all aiming to be! You can't wait to join You-Know-Who, can you? I can't pretend anymore. You've chosen your way, I've chosen mine."
The rest were things Sherlock had already deduced: an adult Snape approached Dumbledore and begged for Lily's protection … he'd told Voldemort about Trelawney's prophecy and Voldemort decided to hunt down all children who fit the criteria … that he would do anything, anything in exchange. After Voldemort vanished the first time, Dumbledore persuaded Snape to keep living so he could protect the one Lily died for: her son. Snape agreed, but made Dumbledore promise he'd never, ever tell…
"Tw*t," John muttered.
Sherlock and John were debating how they could classify Snape's regard for Harry's mother when a rip appeared in the living room. Robert Ransom stepped through, looking shell-shocked. He turned to face Sherlock and John, opened his mouth, but nothing came out.
"Having a baby, then?" John guessed.
The wordless-with-shock expression on Robert's face persisted.
"Congratulations and all that," Sherlock drawled.
"…Thank you," Robert replied, finally. "I guess we can do … I should suggest … we do playdates or something…"
"Benedict's going to be too big for him or her," John pointed out.
"Yes, but your next one won't be."
There was a beat.
"What did I say about your DNA?!" John yelled.
"But we used protection!" howled Sherlock.
Final Notes: Thus ends A Study In Magic: The Application. Thank you for reading. If you suspect there are more adventures ahead for Harry, John, and Sherlock, you are correct. But their adventures in fanfic ends here. Harry, for one, quite outgrew his HP roots, don't you think ;)
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