Hello all :) This is my 'revival' project, I guess. Story starts pre-Prisoner of Azkaban and will most likely carry on through all of Harry's remaining years at Hogwarts.
Genre: Family, Drama, Hurt/Comfort
Rate: T, because I'm paranoid. Also, past child abuse and Hogwarts' 'safe' environment.
Pairings: Past Sherlock/Lily, other than that canon (John/Mary, Harry/Cho-Harry/Ginny etc.)
Disclaimer: BBC Sherlock (c) Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, Sherlock Holmes and co. (c) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Potter (c) J. K. Rowling
Chapter One – Crashing
"Mycroft's pressure point is his junkie detective brother Sherlock. Sherlock's pressure point is his best friend John Watson. John Watson's pressure point is his wife. I own John Watson's wife, I own Mycroft."
There is nothing to be done.
"Come on, for Mary, bring me your face."
"Let me flick your face."
"That's… not… Lady Smallwood."
John is in danger. Mary is in danger.
"Why are you smiling?"
"Because Sherlock Holmes has made one enormous mistake which will destroy the lives of everyone he loves and everything he holds dear."
They will never be safe.
"Sorry, no chance for you to be a hero, Mr Holmes."
As long as he is alive, John will never be safe.
For John. For Mary.
Pale eyes startled wide open. Sherlock breathed erratically, gripping his simple, grey uniform trousers under the table with such strength that his knuckles turned deathly white. Frantically looking around him, he noticed the loud sound had been a result of his heavy, horrible cell door having been open and shut.
And in front of him stood a middle-aged man in a pin-striped suit.
Sherlock quickly let go of his trousers, placing his hands together in his lap to hide their trembling and leaned back in his chair. His face smoothed into a careful expression of casual disinterest.
"Mycroft," he drawled uncaringly. "I see they wouldn't allow you your beloved companion."
Said man sighed and took two even steps to fall into the empty, bolted chair. "Unfortunately. I believe they said something along the lines of 'dangerous items'."
"If I wanted to kill you, I would choose an infinitely more satisfying method than poking your eyes out with your own umbrella. And if I had wished to commit suicide, I would have been long dead, despite however successful these idiots think they have been in removing any 'dangerous items' from my person," Sherlock muttered disparagingly. "How mind-numbingly dull."
Mycroft raised a well-maintained eyebrow. "Indeed. However, I believe this may prove to alleviate your boredom momentarily."
With this, he opened his non-descript dossier and extracted a few files, which he placed on the table within Sherlock's reach. Taking them and looking them over, Sherlock's gaze brushed over them analytically for a few seconds, before an absent smile pulled at the corner of his lips.
They were a few photos depicting a wrinkled, red-faced baby wrapped in a pink blanket, some including a woman with short blonde hair and a tired smile holding said baby, respectively a greying man gazing at them with a proud smile, a joyful tear sparkling in the corner of his eye.
Among those photos were the copies of a birth certificate which read:
Emily Jane Watson, born February 8th 2015.
"I am told your goddaughter and her mother are both healthy and have already been released from the hospital. The good doctor may deign to visit to deliver the news himself in a few days."
"We're not naming our daughter after you."
"I think it could work," Sherlock looked thoughtfully at the ground, then, "Jane."
"As a middle name. She was… someone of importance to me."
John studied his face with some surprise, but didn't push. "I'll talk it over with Mary. Sounds good though. Got to have something of mine as well."
Sherlock carefully wiped any traces of a smile and set the files back on the table. "Entertaining as this is, you are not one prone to sentimentalisms." Mycroft snorted quietly, privy to a previous situation in which he himself had uttered similar words. "Why are you here, Mycroft?"
Mycroft tapped his fingers against the table once, twice… then he carefully reopened the dossier and turned pages until a point, where he stopped and slid a finger thoughtfully down said file.
"While in the process of carefully erasing your tracks within Appledore, one of my men came across some papers. They appeared to be information which the late Mr Magnussen had unearthed only recently and had not yet taken the time to submit to his 'vaults'."
The older Holmes brother continued regarding the file with great consideration, not sparing Sherlock even one look.
"Tell me, brother dear, does the name Lily J. Potter ring a bell?"
Sherlock's eyes widened fractionally, before he grew cold, merciless. His light eyes turned icy as he glared, remaining silent.
"She has been thoroughly researched and had been marked to be added to the list of pressure points on you. Issue is, I have never before heard of her in my life, thus this must be someone you took great care in hiding from me, and incredibly seem to have succeeded in doing so. Care to enlighten me as to why that is?"
His younger brother merely continued to glare venomously, his jaw tightly clenched and one of the veins in his neck throbbing with his agitation.
Mycroft pursed his lips in exasperation and a touch of anger. His brother had already created enough of a disaster when he selfishly killed a public figure in cold blood for the sake of his doctor and his little wife. That he continued to refuse to cooperate was certainly not making his situation any better.
He would have to resort to alternative methods with this particularly sensitive problem.
"No matter. I suppose you are aware of Mrs Potter's untimely demise 12 years ago?"
"Get to the point, brother," Sherlock's voice shook with barely restrained fury.
"It may come as an interest to you that she has left behind a son," pale eyes slid back to regard him cautiously. "And that said son is being raised in a questionable manner. Most probably against the wishes left in her will."
"'Most probably'?" Sherlock asked in slight disbelief. Mycroft was not one to rely on unconfirmed data, except perhaps when under extreme duress.
"Lily Potter's last will and testament has not been read yet, unlike that of her spouse. One wonders."
The detective frowned and his gaze dropped to the table. He remained in thoughtful silence. Mycroft gathered the photos and placed them back in the dossier, closing it with a soft snap and rising from his seat.
"Whatever the circumstances, I'm sure the least you can do to honour her memory is to ensure her child's safety and happiness," Mycroft prodded.
Instantly, Sherlock's hands banged on the table, the sound echoing loudly within the small room. "Do not speak of matters you know nothing of, Mycroft," his baritone voice rumbled quietly, dangerously.
He merely nodded stiffly and turned to leave, his lips a thin line of discontent.
This time, brother dear, I'm afraid I hold over you knowledge of the one thing I wish I did not.
Rhythmic tap-taps could be heard within the small, well-off neighbourhood. Coming to stand right at the entrance to it, Sherlock Holmes looked up to the sign naming it.
His pale eyes analysed it warily as he hesitated to advance. Him, the great consulting detective, the high-functioning sociopath, daunted by the sight of a quaint, monotonous residential area? Preposterous.
Sherlock knew that he was most likely about to make a great mistake. What, really, was he doing here, digging up graves, reopening old wounds and all that nonsense? And for whom?
For Harry Potter, apparently. The nearly-thirteen year old son of a woman whose name he had not heard in years. A woman who he had tried hard not to think of ever since she had been found dead in her own home, together with her husband.
Mycroft had been right that he had been aware of her death but not of her reproduction, and following his dear brother's visit, Sherlock found himself in greater turmoil than he already had been. For six months he was plagued by the thought of a little boy with bright red hair, Lily's bright, wild hair, and an even brighter smile, by the thought of a boy with Lily's features bowing his head fearfully, arms thrown over his head protectively as he curled into himself, away from those abusive hands, away from danger…
Much as he had tried to further this matter from his mind, he was unable to. And so, although Sherlock was very much aware of the sensitive ground he was treading on, he knew he had to see for himself, and after he had been dealt a blow, he would finally be able retire to his – empty, so very empty – flat in Baker Street and tend to his injuries and maybe finally heal, after all these years. He would return to his Work, aid the hopeless Lestrade and his subordinates, withstand Mrs Hudson's nagging and Mycroft's snooping, entertain the Watsons once in a while and all would be right in the world.
With his definition of peace and tranquility in mind, Sherlock took a deep breath and made the first step into Privet Drive. Then the next, and then the one following it…
Immediately after his release from a six-month imprisonment – a mere slap on the wrist compared with the sentence he should have served for first-degree murder, had he been an ordinary citizen who could not escape without difficulty from a penal institution – he had conducted some research into the mysterious son of Lily and James Potter.
Not much had surfaced during this investigation. Indeed he had been able to extract the name of the child, Harry – what a dull name, he had expected more – who was currently residing with his relatives in Surrey, and that he had previously attended St Grogory's Primary School, along with his cousin. Once he had finished primary, he had fallen off the grid. There was no mention of a Harry Potter in any local secondary school, and further research showed that he was not studying anywhere else within London either. Either the boy was a drop-out, or he had been sent to a boarding school. But what self-respecting little white picket fence family would send their own son to a local school and the supposedly hated relative to a boarding one, which would no doubt prove to be expensive?
Inquiries made to the Homeless Network revealed that the boy was often seen tending to the garden or being chastised by his aunt or uncle, but that he himself did not get out of the house much, and that during the academic year he was nowhere to be found, which supported the theory of the boarding school.
Suspicions were lurking in the back of Sherlock's mind about the odd circumstances of Lily Potter's offspring, and he was not sure how he felt about them being true. But, at the moment, he could theorise no further, because residence Number Four was upon him, and the detective had never felt so jittery in his life.
Raising one gloved hand, he knocked professionally on the door, as he would when looking to interview a friend of the victim. After a good, solid two minutes, the entrance door was pulled open to reveal a woman in her mid-thirties of well below-average physical qualities, clad in an unattractive, housewifey floral dress.
The woman was analysing him as much as he her, though in a much less subtle and objective manner, if her hands which were patting her hair attentively into her coiffure were a sign of anything.
"Yes?" she offered pleasantly, smiling at him and blinking all too often.
Sherlock fought the urge to roll his eyes in advance at the tediousness of all that was coming. He returned the smile shortly. "Are you Mrs Petunia Dursley?"
"I am. Can I help you?"
"I am an old friend of Lily's. I knew her when she was studying at University. Sherlock Holmes," he extended his hand to shake hers. Mrs Dursley's eyes had grown cold at the sound of her sister's name, but she appeared surprised at the mention of college.
"I didn't know that she ever attended University. But I am afraid my sister has been dead for quite a few years," the latter was stated without much sorrow and longing.
"I am aware," he returned calmly. "However, it has come to my knowledge that her son is currently in your care and I would very much like to meet him, if it is not much of a bother. Lily and I had been quite close."
At this, Mrs Dursley's horse-like features turned wary and reluctant. Clearly, she was not eager to present her nephew to the general populace. However, something in his clothing or manner of holding himself convinced her that he might be a powerful man who could retaliate if denied, because she took one more assessing look, then invited him in.
He got to meet the uncle, Vernon Dursley, and he deduced that he held a 'man = head of the house' reign, that he had a raging temper, his sister was as atrocious and obese as he and he was most likely having an affair with someone from the office. Also, by the constipated look on his face when Harry was brought into the discussion, he was the one most offended by the boy and thus most likely the one who inflicted injury the majority of the time, either verbal or physical, much as Sherlock loath to even consider it.
'Duddykins' was unfortunately out with his friends at the moment and was unavailable to meet him. Sherlock was indifferent on this, mostly because he had already deduced that the boy was spoiled rotten and well on his way to either various health issues as a result of his obesity or acts of delinquency and use of various substances, but also because he was not a deciding factor in this investigation and not responsible for his cousin's care and custody.
So here Sherlock found himself, politely nursing a cup of bland tea as he occupied the couch in the Dursleys' living room. Mrs Dursley was 'entertaining' him with some dull small-talk he paid no attention to while Mr Dursley went to their neighbour's house to bring their nephew home.
Sherlock was further displeased with the fact that the vulgarly obese man had to go in person to call the boy home because they would most obviously never deign to buy him a cellphone of his own, even in a day and age where the world revolved around these devices.
He was unable to glean the exact degree of Harry's abuse from the house, beside the fact that he was likely not allowed many – if any – privileges and that he was severely disliked and thought of as an embarrassment, as proven by the fact that there were no pictures to be found of either Harry or his parents anywhere within the residence.
The opening and nearly slammed-closing of the front door startled Sherlock and he was momentarily disgusted at how clearly affected he was by this whole affair. The army doctor had been too much of an influence on him over the years, he was growing soft.
His disgust was wiped from his mind, as were most of his thoughts, the moment he locked eyes with a pair of emerald ones.
Deep within his mind, there was an alarm blaring faintly, forewarning some ominous comings. Overcoming stupor, Sherlock's bright, ever-changing eyes were racing over the slight form and the other features of the boy, over his dark, messy hair, his gaunt, angular face, his lanky limbs and long digits.
Something came crashing, maybe a heavy weight on Sherlock's shoulders, maybe his heart dropping into his gut, or the cup of lukewarm tea slipping from his fingers. He became vividly aware of two glaringly obvious facts.
1. Harry does not, in any form or shape, resemble James Charlus Potter.
2. Mycroft is an unredeemable, manipulating arsehole.
To be continued…
But we all already knew that about Holmes Senior.
If you're looking for more, Chapter Two will be up on Sunday, November 13th, after which there will be regular updates every other Sunday.
Ask me anything. Whether I answer depends on your question and its relation to the plot.
Read and review, but, most importantly, stay tuned! ;)