Hello All! As you can see I'm back from vacation xD I know I should probably be working on the four other fics I've neglected ever since my trip, but this plot bunny football tackled me as I was walking my little sister through the park. It threatened me with bodily harm if I didn't write him out. Hope you enjoy!
His first remembered thought was "Harry? How dull."
William Sherlock Scott Holmes was dead, and had been dead for nearly two weeks now. Harry James Potter, however, was nearly two weeks old. Harry was a strange child, he never cried for one. He scarcely ate, for another, worrying his parent's to no end. He didn't sleep much, despite not crying. He simply lay there on his back, muttering nonsense to himself with a scowl on his face.
Harry James Potter. All three of those names were so unbearably boring. Sherlock decided right then that he would never allow himself to be known as "Harry Potter", and so whenever anyone called him by name he protested with a loud shriek. (Sherlock was smart enough to know that if he simply started talking, as much as he wanted to, he'd be labeled as a freak and sent to be experimented on.)
However, despite how boring his name was, his life was far from it. As far as he could gather, they were in the middle of a war. And not just any war, a magical one. His parents (James and Lily Potter) were soldiers in it, but were forced into hiding for some unknown reason. The man they were fighting against was a 'monster' they called Voldemort (and who others stupidly called You-Know-Who) who wanted to kill 'muggles'. 'Muggles' were apparently what Sherlock had been in his first life.
When his name had actually been 'Sherlock'.
He was a wizard, now, however. As was his father, though his mother was a witch. They used all sorts of spells all around the house, and Sherlock committed each one to memory for when he'd get a wand of his own. However, Sherlock deduced that most magic was simply a –matter of will, seeing as how James would unconsciously flick his wand to stop things from falling to the floor and breaking when "Uncle Paddy" knocked things over. And how Lily just wiggled hers and colorful bubbles exploded from it.
Life was good, interesting and comfortable. It would have been perfect if not for one thing…John was gone.
Gone. Sherlock had no idea if John had actually died the same time as Sherlock, or if he was still in a hospital somewhere recovering. He did know and understand, though, that it was highly unlikely he and his only friend would ever meet again. Sherlock's tiny, newborn chest ached at this thought. And James was startled, though somewhat relieved, when his infant son started crying for the first time in his short life.
Ronald Bilius Weasley was an odd child. Nobody doubted it. When he was first born, all he would do was cry and cry. It was hard to get him to stop crying long enough to feed him. And as soon as he was done, he'd cry some more. It wasn't the normal type of crying that babies did. Ron sobbed, great fat tears rolling down his chubby cheeks, his chest heaving and his little hands fisted over his heart, as though his heart was breaking. He didn't make the babbling noises that his older brothers had when they were small. When he was around two years old, he simply started saying simple words like "hungry" or "tea" or "bored". Then he'd giggle softly, before his eyes would go all distant again.
Then there was his hair. While all of the Weasleys, past and present, had been fiery redheads, Ron wasn't. He had golden blonde hair. Furthermore, he lacked the freckles that spotted all of his family.
He worried his parents, his mother especially, when he didn't even bother trying to walk until he was three. And then when he did, he walked with a heavy limp, wincing with every step. His frantic parents had taken him to the healers, but they'd found nothing wrong with him. So, they all assumed Ron would be stuck with a limp for the rest of his life.
The oddest things however, was Ron's apparent obsession with the strange word "Sherlock". His parents had never heard it before, not until their toddler started sobbing the word out in his sleep. "Sherlock….Sherlock…" over and over. When he learned his letters, it was the first word he spelled out. He wrote it over everything, carefully and neatly. Once his parents asked him what a Sherlock was, Ron had smiled and uttered two words of utter nonsense: "Consulting Detective".
He didn't show any signs of magic until he was eight, which was far later on in life than even his little sister, Ginny, who started randomly levitating when she was four. He didn't have many friends, and tended to just watch people from afar. Throughout his life, his parents took him to mind healers, to see if they could find just what was wrong with young Ron. They always came back to the same thing: Sever chronic depression.
But why was a little boy, in a large loving family, depressed?
Hermione Jean Granger was in denial.
She was NOT a girl, she was not. She was a boy. Not even that, but a man! Her parents always laughed at her when she said so. She retaliated by chopping off all her hair.
Hermione was a bright little girl. She started walking, talking, reading and writing earlier than all of her peers. She enjoyed reading mystery books and watching cop shows, and even said she wanted to be a police detective when she grew up. But then she'd grow sad and distant.
Hermione never dressed or acted like a little girl. She dressed and acted like a little boy who wanted to be older than he was. She wore tiny suit blazers over sweater vests (that her mum thought was adorable), ties and slacks. She always made sure her hair was short (long hair was such a hassle) and if her parents refused to take to to a barber when it got too shaggy, she took matters (and scissors) into her own hands.
When Hermione told her parents she remembered her past life, they took her first to a psychic, then to a child psychologist. She was only five. She told them she was a man named Greg Lestrade who worked for the London Police as a detective. She gave them detail after detail that were all confirmed until they had no choice but to believe her. Especially when her psychologist dug up a five-year-old newspaper article about five people being murdered in an explosion by a man named Moriarty: Greg Lestrade, John Watson, Martha Hudson, Sherlock Holmes and Mycroft Holmes. Hermione cried when she saw that none of her friends had survived. Her mother fainted when she saw that the explosion happened the month before she'd given birth to Hermione.
They took her around the places she used to frequent, though they never spoke to anyone. Hermione smiled when she saw her old Coworkers, Anderson and Donovan. And frowned when they passed the newly rebuilt 221 Baker Street, now a memorial to the famous duo Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson.
Sherlock swore that if he ever met Mycroft ever again, he'd give his brother a hug. As much as he'd resented him in his first life, he was now so very grateful that he'd had a brother like Mycroft, rather than relatives like the Dursley's. They called him Freak, like Sally Donavan used to. But for some reason it hurt more. Sherlock assumed that it was because he no longer had his John with him to soften the blow. They never hurt him physically, aside from denying him food on a regular basis. But Sherlock didn't really mind, eating was boring. But then, so was being locked in a cupboard, which they also did on a regular basis.
Sherlock soon learned how to open it from the inside, so that he had freedom at night when the Dursleys were asleep. When he was five he rejoiced when the Dursleys bought his pig of a cousin his first computer. Computer meant internet. Internet meant information. Information meant a happy Sherlock. Perhaps he'd finally find out where John was, convince him to adopt Sherlock. It shouldn't be too hard, John always had a soft spot for kids.
That night he crept up the stairs, listening to his 'family' snore away. He got onto his computer and began to type. When he found that John had died that night as well, he couldn't stop the tears from dripping down his nose. There went his last chance of ever finding his first and only friend. His John. Oh, and his brother, Greg and Mrs. Hudson were dead as well. If Sherlock hadn't been wary of waking the Dursleys, he would have howled in anguish. When James and Lily had been murdered, he'd been…regretful, but it hadn't hurt nearly this much.
Sherlock forced himself to scan the news sites, studying up on what had happened in the word the last few years. Then he clicked over to his old web site that for some reason was yet to be taken down. Someone was still funding it? Mycroft had in life, maybe his people had never pulled the spending. In any event, he was glad for it. He posted a new message.
"Harry James Potter. Looking for old friends. If convenient, message at once. If inconvenient, message anyway." Sherlock posted it, hoping that, somewhere, John still had his memories and would recognize their old joke. Sherlock sighed, turning off the computer. Until someone responded, he had his magic to practice.
Hermione flicked through random news sites. She came across an article stating that some criminal had the police stumped, even after leaving behind a series of strange clues. Hermione smiled weakly to herself. This is just the kind of case Sherlock would have liked to solve. The clues were all various kinds of tobacco, which stirred something in her brain. She opened a new page on her computer and typed in 'The Science of Deduction', remembering that, before he died, Sherlock had done extensive study on the various kinds of Tobaccos.
When the page loaded, her heart puttered to a stop. Three weeks ago, someone had posted something to Sherlock's website. "Harry James Potter. Looking for old friends. If convenient, message at once. If inconvenient, message anyway."
She opened the Personal Message slide and started typing. "Hermione Jean Granger. Sherlock?"
She waited and waited for someone to answer. After about twenty minutes, she gave up, closing her laptop then sliding out of her chair with a sigh. The next day there was a new PM waiting for her. "John? 11:45 pm"
At precisely 11:44 that night, she turned her computer back on. "No. Greg. Sorry. Is it really you, Sherlock?"
The reply was almost instant. "Hello Greg. Have you heard from John?" Hermione bit her lower lip, wishing she had better news to bring.
"No. But don't give up hope yet. If you and I still remember, there's a chance John does, too!"
"True, but he might not have been reborn yet."
Hermione changed the topic, talking about John would just make them both depressed. "Where are you?"
"Surrey, England. I see that you are in London. Lucky."
"Yeah, except I'm a bloody girl this time."
"It could be worse."
"You could be trapped with negligent 'caretakers' who are more than happy to keep the Freak locked in a boot cupboard."
"Bloody Hell, Sherlock, I'm sorry."
"Why? It's not your fault."
They ended up talking for the next three hours, until Hermione's parents came into her room to find her half asleep, but still typing away. They made her say good-bye to whoever it was and turn it off. After she did so, they tucked her in and her mother asked "Who was that, dear?"
"Sherlock" she said happily before drifting off.
Ron knew he was worrying his family, and he felt bad for it. He saw when his mother would chew on her bottom lip, staring after him with sad affection in her eyes. His brothers, who usually teased and pranked everyone, were abnormally gentle and protective when it came to their youngest brother. His little sister looked at him strangely, but fondly. Strangers peered at him as though he were some sort of interesting bug. His father was loving, but distant, as though he were afraid to do something wrong that would break his child.
Nevertheless, Ron couldn't help his stupid limp. Sherlock had been the cure in his last life, but Sherlock wasn't here. John…Ron…had heard about children remembering their past lives, though they'd almost always forgotten with time. But Ron was nearly ten now, and he still remembered so much, so clearly. He remembered the manic gleam in Sherlock's beautiful ice green-blue eyes when he got an idea, or an interesting case. He remembered the serenades and concertos Sherlock would fill the flat with, with his violin. He remembered the taste of his and Sherlock's tea when Mrs. Hudson made it just right. The smell of decaying things in their fridge. Mycroft and Sherlock's silly rivalry.
The bomb. Whenever Ron closed his eyes he could still see the dreadful thing sitting there. Gregs' men had supposedly dismantled it, so Greg had brought it up for Sherlock to take a peek at. Mycroft had shown up…John still wasn't sure why. And Mrs. Hudson had brought them all up tea and biscuits. John had been standing by Sherlock's side as his best friend was rambling on about things way over John's head. He remembered Sherlock turning and beaming at him, then he'd suddenly gone pale and shoved John off of his feet.
Then the bomb went off.
John was still barely hanging on, but he could see Sherlock's usually bright eyes, dulled. His mouth open. Blood dripping from his nose and mouth, his long neck bent at an awkward angle. John, reached for him, entangling their hands. Then he died, heart aching with the knowledge that Sherlock had tried to save him.
That had been on July 30th. Three weeks later, Ron was born. Everything had been a bit of a blur at first. When he was able to think clearly, his first thought was "Where's Sherlock". Then everything came back to him at once, and he was stunned into silence as he realized he was one of the strange few who remembered their past lives.
He also realized it was unlikely the same had happened to Sherlock.
His tiny frame was racked with great heaving sobs, which roused his parents from sleep at two in the morning. He felt bad for it, but couldn't stop his tears. As Molly held him closely, telling him everything would be alright, he desperately wanted to believe her. But it wasn't. Later, when he learned the magic was real and oh he was a wizard, it hardly seemed to matter because…Sherlock wasn't here to make it matter. He knew just how pathetic that sounded, but he didn't truly care.
Being a wizard meant no computers. Which meant he couldn't figure out what had happened after John Watson had died, if Sherlock had survived after all (although deep inside he knew the bomb had killed his amazing friend instantly), or looking for any clue that might tell him Sherlock still had all his memories as well.
Ron sighed, trying to concentrate on the book he was reading. He was going to Hogwarts next year, and he wanted to be well prepared. Footsteps coming from behind alerted him to the fact that he wasn't alone anymore. Two tall lanky bodies dropped down, one on either side of him. Ron managed a small smile. Fred and George, his two favorite siblings. They were inquisitive, intelligent, but mischievous. They reminded him of Sherlock, though they'd never be as brilliant.
"Hello, Ronnikins," started Fred, the twin with slightly more prominent ears.
"Whatcha up to?" asked George, the twin with a pointier nose.
"Reading," said Ron simply. "It's boring." Both twins laughed a bit at this, before offering to take him flying on one of their old brooms for a Quidditch practice. They were in their second year at Hogwarts, and both had already made Beater on their team. They were set on making Ron a Keeper or Chaser as soon as he was old enough.
"Alright," agreed Ron as he allowed the twins to pull him to his feet.
The game didn't last very long, much the boys' disappointment. After the last failure of an appointment with a mind healer, (Ron had ended up in tears after refusing multiple times to explain why he was always so depressed and the healer began to shout at him), Molly and Arthur decided to take matters to Headmaster Dumbledore. Apparently, the esteemed Headmaster was an old friend of the Weasley's, and had agreed to try and help Ron get over his depression.
So, Arthur gently led Ron over to the fireplace as Molly hunted down the last bag of their Floo powder supply. "Listen, son" Arthur started. "I know that you're a good boy, and the limp isn't your fault…" Arthur stumbled over what he was saying awkwardly as his wife shot his a murderous look. "What I'm trying to say is, Dumbledore is the most powerful wizard of the age. Be respectful, do as he says, and I'm sure everything will be alright!" Arthur finished brightly with a smile that was only partially forced. Ron, for his part, nodded solemnly as Molly produced a small bag from behind a stack of old newspapers.
They Flooed into Dumbldore's office, Ron stumbling a bit as he accidently landed on his bad leg. The legendary wizard sat behind a large wooden desk, smiling kindly at them all. His beard was long and frazzled, white as snow. His hair was much the same. He wore robes the color of emerald, and silver framed half-moon spectacles sat perched on the tip of his crooked nose. The adults exchanged pleasantries briefly before Dumbledore looked to Ron. "Mr. Weasley?" he inquired, getting Ron's attention. "I and your parents have some matters to discuss. If you would like, you may explore the castle while you wait? It may take a while."
Ron looked to his father, who nodded encouragingly. Then Ron looked back to Dumbledore and gave a nod of his own before turning and walking out the door. The door led him to a series of steps that led to a dead end. As soon as he grew near, however, the gargoyle (That's what was blocking his path, he discovered) leaped out of the way.
Ron, used to strange things like this happening all the time, simply walked passed it and down the hallway. It was an impressive castle, that was certain. But it did nothing to awe Ron as he quietly limped down the hallway. He wandered aimlessly, up and down staircases and around bends. Eventually, he found himself in the dungeons. His curiosity awakened somewhat, as he remembered his brothers saying that the dungeons were where the Slytherin's lived.
He hadn't gotten to explore very much, when a hand with an iron-grip reached out to clamp his shoulder. Ron gasped as he was whirled around to face a man he'd never seen before with pale skin and greasy, stringy black hair and a huge hooked nose. Professor Snape, Ron recognized from his older brothers' many, many detailed descriptions.
"What are you doing, boy?" the man asked, his voice stern and rebuking. Ron flinched a bit, having grown unused to such tones. Then he mentally chided himself, he was a grown man, for pities' sake! Why was it so hard to act like one?
"Exploring. I was told I could while I waited for my parents," Ron explained. "They're in a meeting." The man was still for a moment. Professor Snape had, of course, heard about the youngest Weasley son. The older Weasleys were forever babbling about things they could tell "Ronnikins" in their next letter home. He'd recognized Ronald right away; because of the heavy limp the boy was cursed with. He was surprised by how the boy spoke, however. He sounded much more mature than even Percival, but there were undertones of a dark depression that Severus recognized all too well. Why on earth, though, would that darkness be found inside a ten-year-old Weasley? Previous to actually seeing the boy, face-to-face, he assumed the alleged depression was rooted in Arthur and Molly spoiling their crippled son. But now he wondered if there wasn't more to it.
"Come," Severus told the boy, marginally more gentle now. "I'll not have you wandering around unsupervised to fall through a staircase to your death. You know how to prepare beetles and newt eyes for potions, yes?"
The boy was quiet for a moment, before slowly shaking his head. "Will you teach me?" Severus was surprised at this question, but quickly controlled his emotions before nodding stiffly and steering the boy into his office lab, where he'd been busy brewing for Pomfrey before hearing Ronald's noisy gait come down the hall.
Ron watched and listened carefully as Snape showed him how to dice the beetles into cubes, then smash out the juices with the flat of the blade. Then, how to pull the tiny eyeballs out of the newt's eye sockets without damaging the orbs. He thought of how much Sherlock would have enjoyed this, and he smiled a bit, before realizing that Sherlock would never enjoy it because he was dead. He smile fell away abruptly and his shoulders sagged as though a heavy weight had dropped onto them.
Severus had never truly cared much for most children, but he found himself truly worried about Ronald Weasley. For a moment, the boy had looked almost content at doing an activity Severus would sometimes employ during detention. But then a wave of melancholy had tangibly washed over him. "You're causing your parent's a lot of pain" Severus found himself saying, before he could stop himself.
"I know." Was the boy's reply. He sounded defeated, resigned. "I don't mean to be this way."
"What way?" Severus asked, layering his voice with compulsive magic. It was technically illegal for a teacher to use such magic against a student, but Ronald wasn't his student yet.
The boy hesitated. Ron found himself over taken with the urge to tell the professor. It'd be nice, an inner voice reasoned, to have someone else know what you're going through. After all, other children who remember never have any problems telling people. That's how reincarnation stories end up on the Telly in the first place. Ron chewed on his bottom lip. "You have to swear not to tell."
Severus was surprised. The boy had fought off the magic enough to still be hesitant and ask for reassurance. Also, he said 'swear', not 'promise'. "I swear upon my magic to not tell this secret unless it presents harm to you or others. So mote it be." The magic took, and the loop hole was big enough that Severus was sure he could reason his way around it, need be. "Satisfied?" he asked the boy, who slowly nodded.
"I doubt you'll believe me anyway," the boy began softly as he continued to dice the beetle in front of him. "I remember my past life. All of it. Every bit."
Severus dropped his knife with a clatter. The idea of reincarnation was a controversial one in the wizarding world. It was how some people explained squibs and Muggleborns (wizard souls in the bodies of muggles, or muggles in the bodies of wizards). Every now and then, people would claim to remember their past life as Merlin or Godric Gryffindor. Children were known to remember glimpses and flashes that would fade over time. But to remember everything? Merlin, no wonder the boy was a mess. Assuming he was telling the truth that is.
"Why would this depress you?" Snape asked conversationally as he retrieved his knife. "Many people would think this a blessing."
"It's not," Ron said quietly. "My life was…amazing." The boy's voice had dropped down to a whisper. "I was a muggle named John Hamish Watson. I was a Doctor in the British Army until a wound to the shoulder caused me to be discharged. PTSD left me depressed and with a psychosomatic limp. I was alone for a while, avoiding my drunk of a sister, wandering around London. Then one day, an old mate from school recognizes me and we got to talking. I mentioned that I needed a flatmate, and things happened…and then I met Sherlock." A soft, sad smile found its way onto the boy's face. Severus watched and listened, transfixed, potions forgotten.
"Sherlock Holmes was incredible and brilliant in every way. Bit of a social retard, but I know he did it on purpose to make things more interesting. He was a genius, one glance at you and he'd tell you your whole life story, leaving you wondering how the heck he knew." Ron chuckled a bit. "He was a consulting detective, the only in the world, who worked with the police when they were out of their depth…which was always." The smile was growing. "He'd solve cases by himself, dragging me along with him all through London. Something just clicked between us, right away. Friends from the start, almost. He'd drag me on all these crazy, amasing adventures and I'd write them all down for the world to enjoy on my blog. We were famous for a while, you know.
"He'd get bored easily, so he'd conduct experiments in the flat. Sometimes he'd get a friend to give him human remains to experiment on. He always kept them in the fridge. Can't tell you how many times I nagged him for leaving a decapitated head next to the fresh fruit, or leaving fingers in the bread box. And I'll never forget the one time he came home covered in blood, holding a harpoon over his shoulder like a rifle.
"I can't even begin to explain how amazing he was. He liked to pretend he was heartless, but when our landlady was sick he tried making her tea. He burned it terribly but Mrs. Hudson drank it anyway, bless her. When Lestrade got divorced Sherlock dragged me down the the hotel he was staying at and the three of us stayed up all night devising ways to get away with murder." Ron laughed a bit. "That cheered him up. Even Sally Donovan, who hated him, when her cat died and she was sad, Sherlock anonymously bought her a cactus. He was so embarrassed when I caught him, he tried to make it seem like a joke, saying that the cactus would be harder for Sally to kill."
Severus felt vaguely confused. All of these people that Ron was obviously so familiar with he didn't see the need to explain them. And though Severus didn't have all of the pieces, he was beginning to see the bigger picture. Ron was happy, very happy with his flatmate. Possibly even in love from the way he was talking. He wasn't depressed. He was heartbroken. Severus shifted uncomfortably as Ron continued with his story.
"Then…there was a case that someone was leaving bombs all over. A man named Moriarty…Sherlock's self-proclaimed arch-nemesis. He left clues for Sherlock to follow. Obviously, Sherlock figured them all out easily locating the bombs. We'd thought they'd managed to dismantle all of them. Lestrade had brought one of them up to our flat for Sherlock to examine, to see if he could find any clues to lead us to Moriarty. He did find something; I can't remember what. Then, he stopped smiling and threw himself at me…just as the bomb exploded." All signs of Ron's previous smiles were gone; tears were rolling down his cheeks. "He tried to save me, professor. He almost did, but help didn't come in time. He died right away though, I remember his face…his brilliant eyes…" Ron gingerly put down the knife he was holding before scrubbing at his face with the arm of his jumper.
Before Severus could say anything to try and comfort the boy, Ron started talking again. The words were pouring out of him, like water from a crack in a dam. "Next thing I know, I'm being born. But everything was so hazy. I couldn't think straight. It wasn't for a few weeks until everything came rushing back. I know how rare remembering your past life is. I know I'll never see Sherlock again. He's what gave my life meaning, and I just feel so empty without him. My stupid limp carried over, even my old war wound acts up and that not really there, either. I know it's not fair to my parents, but I can't control it. I have been trying,! But…it all just…feels so pointless."
Severus was saved from responding by a voice clearing. A house elf was here to escort "Master Weasley" to Dumbledore's office. The boy whispered a "Thank you" as he slid off his stool.
Severus placed a hesitant hand on the boy's head as Ron walked passed. "Mr. Watson," the boy stopped. "I sincerely doubt that Sherlock would have wanted this burden for you. He sounds like a man who would have wanted you to move on, and be happy." Ron gave him a sad smile that told Severus he didn't really believe that.
That evening Severus was hardly surprised when Dumbledore told him that all Legilimency he'd attempted to use to diagnose the boy had been unsuccessful, but that the boy had seemed more at peace when he'd left.
Mycroft missed his baby brother. He sat in the large window of his room in his new parent's manor, feeling lonely. It was a novel experience that Mycroft pondered for a bit before sighing and going back to wondering where his beloved baby brother was. He hoped that if Sherlock, like he, had been reincarnated, that he was happy and well taken care of. He held onto the hope that Sherlock still remembered, and that one day they might be able to seek each other out. But, knowing Sherlock, if he still remembered his past life he was probably still miffed at Mycroft for not realizing the bomb was still working…before.
The thought of Sherlock carrying a sulk over with him into his new life made Mycroft smile for a moment, before it slipped away. He watched the white peacocks in the lawn as they strutted about, much like Sherlock would when he thought he'd pulled one over Mycroft. The impressive curves and daunting height of the manor case long shadows over the grass.
Silently, Draco Malfoy slid out of the window seat and padded across the thick carpet to the door of his personal library. His father had stocked it full once he realized his heir had a love for reading, which Draco was glad for. It gave him a chance to familiarize himself with this new world he found himself in. Sherlock would have been over the moon, had he known about all of this…before. Mycroft allowed a smile once more, thinking about all of the experiments his baby brother would have conducted had he had access to Potion ingredients or wand making materials. An image of John and Sherlock bickering over Sherlock keeping a decaying unicorn in the bathtub flitted across mind making him chuckle softly. Then he stopped, a twinge of pain and regret filing him.
Merlin, he missed his baby brother.
Draco browsed the shelves, where the House Elves had put the newly bought books his new Mummy had bought last time she went to Diagon Alley. One caught his eye: The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts. He knew his new Father, Mr. Lucius Malfoy, had served the previous Dark Lord, and expected him to return one day from the dead for his loyal followers, like some kind of Evil Christ. So he pulled it off the shelf before gracefully lowering himself down into a plush chair near the fire.
About forty-five minutes later, he was halfway through the book when his heart leapt into his throat. It was him! He was sure of it. There, on the page, was a picture of an infant with unruly black, curly hair and bored green eyes. Ice green, like the Avada curse that Lucius had once used on an inept House Elf.
Or like Sherlock's eyes.
Mycroft remembered exactly how Sherlock looked as an infant, having been seven years older and very protective, hardly leaving his brother's side. And this "Harry Potter", the Boy-Who-Lived, who Lucius cursed nearly every day, who had vanquished the Dark Lord was the spitting image. A pale finger stroked the picture's cheek as the infant scowled back at him. Yes, it was definitely Sherlock. Sherlock had been reborn around the same time he had. A tad earlier, actually Mycroft thought ruefully. That made his baby brother a bit older than him in this life.
But that was good news, because in almost exactly one year, he would be reunited with Sherlock at Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.