Their first encounter wasn't what one would consider a true encounter. It was really only when one of them learned the other's name, but it was still an important event. It was what led a seven year old Lawliet to become the detective L.
Lawliet (who refused to acknowledge anyone using his first name) had been living in an orphanage since he was three, but had only begun to enjoy this fact after he had been taken to Wammy's House. Mr. Wammy allowed Lawliet a great many freedoms he had not known at his previous home. Lawliet got to eat cookies and cake and ice cream for snacks (which began to outnumber his regular meals after a few weeks), he could stay inside and read when the other children wanted to play outside, he could go outside and explore under the bushes when the other children wanted to play board games inside (anything that was the opposite of what the other children wanted to do was generally a good idea to Lawliet), and best of all, he could use the computer when Mr. Wammy didn't need it.
Lawliet had quickly mastered many of the everyday functions of the computer (faster even than Mr. Wammy could teach him) and had moved on to navigating the Internet. When Lawliet first found some news articles with rather grisly pictures of murder victims, he had paused.
These are what dead people look like, he thought. He was most curious because he knew that his own parents were dead (he did live in an orphanage after all) but his memories of the two people he assumed were they didn't match up with the pictures at all.
Death must be different for different people then, Lawliet supposed, though he couldn't imagine how. Dead was dead after all. He decided to ask Mr. Wammy about it when he returned with their customary afternoon tea (and cake, of course).
Unfortunately, Mr. Wammy's reaction to what Lawliet thought was a perfectly reasonable question was greatly exaggerated (and not at all conducive to answering said question).
"Oh my dear child," Quillish said sadly. "My dear boy. I don't- I'm so sorry my boy, but I'm afraid I don't quite know how to explain this to you."
"You could start with why there are different types of dead people in the first place," said Lawliet reasonably as he licked a bit of butter cream off his fork.
"I- My boy, I don't think that-"
"I remember what my parents looked like and they looked nothing like the people in these photos," said Lawliet as he forked another piece of cake into his mouth. "The article said these people were murdered, so what does that mean? What about that made these people look like this?" Several crumbs fell past his lips and rolled down his shirt to catch on his pants where they had bunched from the scrunched up position he was crouching in on the couch. Lawliet caught a larger crumb between his forefinger and thumb and quickly brought it back to his mouth (no piece of cake would escape him).
Quillish stared at Lawliet a moment in shock before he sighed rather sadly again and turned to face the boy fully. "Lawliet, do you truly remember your parents before you were sent to the orphanage?"
"Oh yes. They were quite still, but they were sitting at the table and weren't so very messy," Lawliet looked at Mr. Wammy with wide eyes as if asking him why that was important at all (he knew about his parents, it was the people from the articles he was curious about).
"Well…" Quillish thought hard. He could do what he would do with any other child who asked him about such a dark topic and explain, gently and in very simple terms, about bad people doing bad things to good people and how sorry everyone was afterward… and then Lawliet would go look up more information in the library or the computer and likely be insulted that Quillish had talked down to him (that had happened once and only once and Quillish did his best not to underestimate Lawliet's understanding again). "Those people were murdered, they were killed by another person. Someone attacked them, with a gun it looks like, and that is why their deaths look so… messy."
Lawliet thought about this as he sucked more butter cream off his fork. "This person with the gun then- why is he not in the picture?"
"Well he likely wasn't around when the bodies were found," Quillish was growing uncomfortable with the sudden turn the conversation was taking.
"Why not?" Lawliet seemed to be asking more out of reflex than anything else. Scraping the last of his cake off the plate with his fork (he had been warned about licking the plate) was much more important. Quillish really should have known better than to assume this meant Lawliet wasn't paying attention.
"Because most killers don't like to be found," was his reply.
"Then how do you know they are there?"
That, Quillish thought, is an easy answer at least. "Well, the police usually track them down."
"All of them?"
"Pardon?" Now Quillish was really confused.
"The killers. Do the police find them all?"
That was maybe not so easy… "Well, they do try, but- ah, no. Not all of them."
Lawliet looked up from his plate as he stuck the last forkful of cake and cream in his mouth.
After that afternoon conversation, Lawliet would not be kept away from the computer. He could be found in front of it at almost any hour of the day (making it difficult for Mr. Wammy to do work on it) or night (Mr. Wammy often had to carry him still protesting back to bed as the other caretakers simply could not argue with the boy). Lawliet had become obsessed with "checking up on" cases mentioned in the news. At first Quillish was certain that Lawliet was only checking old articles and dailies for mentions of "found" criminals. It was only several months later that he discovered Lawliet had learned hacking somewhere (Quillish would soon begin a new rule about checking books out of the public libraries just for Lawliet) and was actually reading police reports as they were filed.
Lawliet meanwhile had hit upon something that puzzled him. He had gone through many of the reports for Hampshire County for the past ten years and he had found something from around eight years ago that seemed… odd.
A family of four had been found dead in their home with no marks upon them and no signs of forced entry and nothing apparently missing. Witness reports described an "eerie cloud" that had floated over the house before the bodies were discovered. The cause of death was listed as an 'accidental death due to inhalation of toxic fumes'. But the coroner's report could not find any traces of those fumes, or, really, of anything at all.
Lawliet frowned. He was certain he had read something similar somewhere else. He looked quickly through his files catalogue. There—listed under the reports for Durham County (practically on the opposite side of the country)—a similar report. A husband and wife with a visiting friend—all dead, no forced entry, no marks, nothing taken, and… "a mysterious cloud." Lawliet bit his thumb. This was too odd, but… It could still be a coincidence.
He began to scour police reports from all over the British Isles. In Devon, Suffolk, Yorkshire, Sussex, Cornwall, Aberdeen, Perth, Inverness, London…. All dead, no marks, a strange cloud over the home, and cause of death listed as 'accident.' Unless there was something very wrong with gas pipes in British homes, something was going on. Lawliet looked at the various dates on the files. Or rather, he thought, something had been going on…
The date of the last reported incident, from Somerset County, was October 31 1980… so five years ago then. But this last report was inconsistent with all the others. The strange cloud was the same and there were no marks on the bodies, but everything else was different. The door had obviously been forced open and was broken. In fact, quite a lot in the house was broken—including the house. The roof on the second floor was caved in and the windows were shattered. Most unusual however, was the presence of a survivor, an infant boy who, according to the report was alive and crying when the authorities arrived. The police began investigating the grounds around the house and questioning neighbors while waiting for a representative from Child Services to come fetch the boy when… the report ends. Cause of death… 'Accident: natural gas explosion.' No further mention of the boy. Child Services never arrived and the police ceased all investigation.
Lawliet frowned and bit his thumb harder. This was not right. Mr. Wammy had told him that the police found killers. That they tried. This did not show that. He was… angry. This was not right. There was a pattern. There was a killer! Why did they not see that? Granted, none of the other cases he had looked through were this odd, but surely it would be obvious to anyone looking. Then again, some of the cases he had looked over had been quite simple but were still unsolved. Lawliet had thought perhaps the police were waiting for something, but maybe that was not the case…
Lawliet chewed his thumb as he looked at the open case file. He stared at the names listed. He especially stared at the name of the infant boy that had vanished. Why had the police stopped the investigation? Did they stop the other investigations too? Is that why no one noticed a pattern? Or… did they stop investigating because there was a pattern? Lawliet stretched his legs out of his crouch on Mr. Wammy's chair and crawled to the floor. I need to speak to Mr. Wammy, he thought. Mr. Wammy would help Lawliet do what he needed to. Police were supposed to find killers. If they could not find them on their own… If they did not want to find them… Well. If they could not do their jobs, then someone else would.
Lawliet paused as he turned to the door. He looked back to the computer screen. He would have to look for more than just killers. He needed to find this Harry Potter and make sure he was alright because he knew that the boy wasn't supposed to have lived.
In their first real encounter, only Harry noticed the other boy. Harry himself, like always, went unnoticed. He was eight years old.
Harry hadn't wanted to go with Aunt Petunia to the grocers, but "Duddikins" wouldn't go and Aunt Petunia didn't want to carry all the bags by herself. He sighed to himself as they parked and walked up the block. He hated grocery shopping. It took forever as Aunt Petunia compared prices, eyes narrowed as if suspicious the numbers would change, he never got to pick any of the cookies (well, he never got to eat the cookies either, but he liked the colored packages) and his Aunt would glare and snap at him not to touch anything if he so much as breathed on a display. Then, when they had finally cleared the checkout, he had to put all the bags in the backseat and "Don't you dare let anything fall out! If those eggs break! If the milk spills!" would be ringing in his ears the whole time as his Aunt supervised.
Harry wasn't actually sure why he was made to do such a chore when it was so obvious his Aunt didn't trust him to do it. But then, he supposed he ought to be doing something. He never got to sit around and wait for things to be done like Dudley did.
As Harry and his Aunt approached the store, Harry noticed a boy and a man exiting the ice cream parlor across the street. Harry watched them eagerly because he liked seeing what kinds of ice cream people came out with and imagining what they tasted like. He never did this with Dudley when he got ice cream—it always made him too upset.
The man appeared to be licking a small cone of vanilla. Harry always thought vanilla would taste soft and fluffy. Sort of like scrambled eggs but with sugar. The boy's ice cream was much more interesting. It was a large waffle bowl covered in chocolate with bright pink ice cream with red specks, colored sprinkles, cherries, and chocolate syrup. Harry's mouth watered a bit. He loved imagining what chocolate tasted like because he was sure it tasted just like it smelled and it smelled simply wonderful. He almost ran into a post as he thought about how good the boy's ice cream must taste. Harry shook his head and looked to make sure he was still following his Aunt. She hadn't even noticed him drifting. Good.
Harry looked back across the street. The man and the boy were walking along the same way! He grinned and looked at the ice cream again, wondering what the red flecks were and trying to guess what they would taste like. Sweet probably. Harry glanced at the boy and stared. This… wasn't right he thought. This can't be right.
Harry looked down at himself and fingered his over large Dudley-cast-off white tee. He looked at the boy across the street with the ice cream in a rather baggy white tee. Harry looked back at himself and his over large Dudley-cast-off jeans with the rolled up cuffs and hole in the knee. He looked at the boy across the street in rather baggy jeans that were catching under his shoes and ripped at the hem. Harry looked back at himself and eyed the toes of his over large Dudley-cast-off shoes that had one side duct taped and occasionally fell off him even though the laces were as tight as they could get. He looked back over at the boy—the boy—and noticed worn out tennis shoes with no laces at all that didn't seem to be on his feet all the way.
Harry looked again to make sure the boy was actually eating the ice cream and not just carrying it. Huh, he thought. I guess… It's not my clothes that make me a freak after all.
In their second real encounter, Lawliet (who had become quite taken with Wammy referring to him as 'L' in private) noticed the other boy (it was impossible not to) and made sure not to catch his attention. L was 14 years.
Lawliet wasn't quite sure how Wammy had managed to get him to agree to this. Or perhaps he hadn't actually agreed but had been made to go along anyway. Wammy was devious that way. Lawliet stayed slouched against the wall and wondered what exactly was taking Wammy so long considering this whole trip had been his idea in the first place. Lawliet sighed and brought his thumb up to chew on. He was nervous being in such a large, and above all, loud crowd and it was starting to get to him. He wanted out of it already.
Lawliet and Wammy had spent the last three days or so in London together, a 'holiday' of sorts. Wammy insisted. Really, Lawliet knew it was an excuse to get him back to Wammy's house for a short visit. A visit for the backup 'L's'… Not something he particularly approved of, but Wammy insisted. Of course he did.
Lawliet sighed again and wondered where Wammy was already. They were supposed to catch the 11:20 train to Heathrow so he could catch his flight to New York. He was more than eager to be off, if only to get away from the noisy crowd that seemed only to be getting nosier.
Lawliet looked up and saw a crowd of red heads that seemed to be trying to be heard over the din of at least a hundred other people. Lawliet wondered if people would stare at him if he crouched down and covered his ears… Probably.
He looked around again for Wammy. How long does it take to buy a newspaper and a chocolate bar? Lawliet glanced around and noticed… where did all the red heads go? He looked about. They hadn't gone further down the platform and they weren't further down the row either. Where did they—but there was one left. One red headed boy from the group with one dark headed boy. Lawliet stared at them. They must be students off to school with their trunks, but where did their group go? And what are they—Lawliet bit his thumb and blinked. The two boys had just deliberately crashed into the brick wall arch between platforms nine and ten.
Lawliet scooted a little ways down his wall and crouched on the other side of a trashcan, balancing on his feet. He chewed on his thumb and watched the two boys pick themselves up and collect their trunks and an…owl? He winced a little at the bird's shrieks. He supposed anyone would be unhappy in the owl's position and the boys had done it on purpose, but he wished the animal weren't so loud.
The boys apologized to an angry station guard and arranged their trolleys properly. The owl was still shrieking indignantly and the boys were looking confusedly at the wall as if it were at fault for the crash and not they. The dark haired boy leaned his trolley against the wall while the red headed boy moaned something at the clock. Lawliet looked about to see if the boys' group were returning for them. No one.
Lawliet looked back at the two boys from behind the trashcan. The red headed boy was saying something to the dark haired boy who laughed a little darkly before answering. He wished he could hear what they were saying. Perhaps he should learn to read lips… That always worked in spy movies.
Suddenly the dark haired boy looked around and seemed to notice all the people watching them (or at least watching the still screeching owl). He seemed to bring this up to the red head, who immediately brightened and started gesturing wildly and speaking quickly. Lawliet noticed the dark haired boy seemed nervous from all the attention (Then why did you crash into a wall? He wondered. What did you think would happen?) but seemed to become more eager as the red head talked. Soon the pair turned their trolleys around and headed for the station's exit.
Lawliet rose from his crouch to follow them.
"Derrick! There you are- I've been looking all over for you my boy."
Lawliet turned and saw Wammy (finally) approaching him with a newspaper in hand. As he drew nearer, Quillish handed Lawliet a chocolate bar, which disappeared into his pocket.
"What took you so long James?"
Quillish smiled fondly at Lawliet. "Ah, well. The line was rather longer than I thought. Then of course, I wasn't expecting you to be hiding behind a trashcan and went looking for you. I thought you'd boarded the train already."
"I wouldn't get on the train without you," Lawliet sulked. "You have my ticket."
"Well, you might have left early otherwise," Quillish grinned. "Shall we go then?"
Lawliet looked off towards where the two boys had left. "Yes. Lets go."
Their third encounter and first real meeting would not occur for nearly eight years when Harry is 20 and Lawliet is 22.
A/N: Yah, so…..why am I writing this again? …uh… Well I kinda got into Harry/L crossover fics thanks to esama's Hell and Back, then I went on to catzi's My Name Is L, and then –after literally an AGE of no updates—uchidakarasu randomly stared Martyrdom and Paradox. I really wish there were more HP/DN crossover fics with Harry and L in them… So, this would be the obvious solution to that. I should warn you—I write most of this in my head on the train ride to and from school, so it's not exactly well thought out or anything. Is this even worth continuing I wonder????
Couple of things--- First, butter cream is awesome. Second, I like the theory (is it a theory?) that Wammy's House is in Winchester which is a town in Hampshire County. All the other counties and cities are of course real. Third, I tried to place Godric Village (without referencing any HP fanstuff- more the fool me) in an area with moorland (supposedly where Godric Gryffindor is from). I chose Somerset County… if you know a better place for it, tell me and I'll think about changing it. Forth, I freaking LOVE vanilla. Fifth, switching between point of views of two such different characters is both had and fun. Am I doing it properly?
Seriously though… should I continue this??? I'll probably write one more chapter, but if no one likes this I'll probably stop. So, review ok?