First there was L himself. Then there was Beyond Birthday, BB or simply B. That day, Petunia Dursley nee Evans arrived at the door of Wammy's house with her nephew, Harry Potter. He, like the other two boys, was only nine. Also like the other two boys, he had a mess of black hair, wore clothes that didn't quite fit him right, had bags under his eyes and was almost ludicrously thin.
"If I didn't know for a fact that each one of them was an only child Quillish, I'd think they were bloody triplets," Roger said to his friend once they'd settled the boy in one of the rooms and Petunia had explained to Quillish everything about their new charge.
"They do all bear an uncanny resemblance," Quillish agreed. "Though what Mrs Dursley had to say about the new boy is quite extraordinary, especially if it is actually true."
"Oh? What did she have to say about him?" Roger asked. "I suppose he's some kind of genius of course."
"He may be, but apparently we shall have to take him to Charring Cross Road, through a dingy old pub called the Leaky Cauldron, and to a bank called Gringotts in order for him to be able to reach his full potential," Quillish said, rubbing his forehead, fighting off the potential headache.
"Apparently, after the boy turned his teacher's hair blue when she accused him of something his cousin did, a man called Albus Dumbledore came, and I quote, 'put blocks on the boy's mind, potential and magic'."
"Magic," Roger repeated, disbelieving.
"Magic," Quillish re-stated firmly. "Only one way to know for sure of course: go to this Gringotts place. Once that's done, if all this about magic proves to be true, the boy's new name will be Merlin."
L and Beyond had come to see the new boy who looked just like they did.
"The only way they're going to have to tell us apart are the colours of our eyes and the stains on our shirts," Beyond commented.
L didn't answer, though he acknowledged that the comment was quite accurate. L himself had dark grey eyes, Beyond's eyes were practically red, and this new boy, for the short moment they had already seen him, had shockingly green eyes. He reached out and knocked on the door of the new boy.
It opened, and there were those shockingly green eyes peering out from hair that looked just like theirs, in a face that was another mirror for the two boys standing side by side.
"You're odd," Beyond said immediately, narrowing his eyes and focusing just above the new boy's head. "You've got two life counters and two different names. Which one is you?"
"Beyond!" L scolded, though he was clearly also intrigued by this announcement.
The new boy frowned. "I'm Harry," he said.
Beyond nodded. "Alright then," he said. "That's good. Because the life counter for Tom Marvolo Riddle slash Lord Voldemort has less time left on it than the one for Harrison James Potter."
"Beyond can see how long people have left to live," L explained. "He sees their names and the seconds of their lives counting down. He says."
Harry just nodded his understanding.
"So the other person who has their timer over your head only has 126,144,600 seconds left, roughly, so he'll be dead about four years. You, on the other hand, have a nice, cosy 2,278,496,000 seconds left of life. Which is a little bit over seventy two years."
"L, Beyond, please return to your rooms," Quillish called as he walked up the hall towards them. "I need to borrow your new triplet for an outing."
Quillish Wammy didn't even blink when the way to Diagon Alley was opened up for him, nor when he saw goblins working as tellers for the bank of Gringotts. They all certainly blinked when he requested an interview with someone about Harry Potter's accounts and the possibility of having him checked for spells and enchantments that were detrimental to him.
Of course, they obliged. For once they seemed to be dealing with a human who knew how to think and wasn't that conniving coot Dumbledore or someone that the Ministry would want to put into prison. It was a refreshing change.
While Harry was being disenchanted – and there were a great many spells on his person, and the soul fragment attached to his scar wasn't even the most damaging of them, though it was gotten rid of as well – Quillish went over the Potter family accounts, as well as looking into the private holdings of Lily Evans-Potter, the boy's mother. The wills were finally read, then sent as evidence to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement by the goblins, as the wills proved that Sirius Black was innocent of certain crimes, and they wanted to be able to earn him interest again, which they couldn't while he was incarcerated.
Quillish also got a list of properties owned by the Potters, and a list of payments that were being made from the Potter accounts, all of which were to stop immediately, as Quillish did not approve of people lining their pockets with the money of others for no reason. Stealing was bad enough, stealing from an orphan child was certainly worse. A number of legal suits were filed that day, and a letter sent to the paper requesting a private tutor, as Harry would no longer be going to Hogwarts, or any other boarding school, just to learn magic.
Making a request for the reclamation of any and all stolen property went down fantastically with the goblins. They were able to track where everything was if given the incentive, and as well as being paid it meant that they would get to pull the rug out from underneath Albus Dumbledore. Quillish was losing respect for the man by the second.
When business at the bank was concluded, Harry was an obviously happier, more inquiring and astute child. There appeared to be a literal weight removed from his shoulders as well, which Quillish could only see to be a good thing. The locks on the vaults were changed so that nobody could get in and help themselves any more, and both the scar that had been hiding behind Harry's hair and the budding eye problem were gone. The near-sightedness had apparently been caused by a spell as well, and the goblins had very efficiently removed it, fixing the boy's eyes completely.
A cart ride later and a bag of gold coins heavier, Quillish and Harry inspected the shops in Diagon and Knockturn Alley both. Entrance-level books of every subject were purchased, as well as several books of history, politics, and a few things that Quillish had almost turned up his nose at for being so absurd, until he realised that everybody in the area was wearing robes, and most of them also sported pointy hats.
Mail catalogues were collected, a subscription to these people's newspaper was taken out, and, of all things, an owl was purchased so that the mail orders could be delivered to the shops here. They didn't seem to understand about her Majesty's Royal Postal Service.
"You met L and Beyond," Quillish said to Harry as they drove back to Wammy House.
"Yes Sir," Harry answered.
"Like them, you won't be going by your real name any more, alright?"
"I already introduced myself to them as Harry."
"Yes," Quillish said. "But they both know that's your real name, and won't call you by it often, or at all once we tell them what your new name will be, do you understand?"
"Yes Sir," Harry answered, nodding.
"Your new name will be Merlin."
Harry blinked, then smiled. "All the people who are so taken by the Boy Who Lived stories make that not seem as big-headed as it could be," he allowed.
Quillish chuckled in agreement.
"Which makes you M," L said when Harry gave him and Beyond his new name.
Beyond nodded. "I get called B as often as Beyond, so M and Merlin... Hey! You got rid of the other name over your head! How'd you do that?"
"I didn't," Harry, now Merlin, answered with a smile. "According to the goblins, there was a piece of someone else's soul attached to this scar I had, but they took it away for me, the extra bit of soul and the scar both."
"Goblins?" L questioned, clearly sceptical.
Harry nodded and pulled out a book from one of the bags that Quillish had left in his room. "I think this is the right one," he said, turning the pages. "Yep! Here, see? Goblins, who run the bank of Gringotts, where nearly all the witches and wizards of Great Britain keep their money."
L and Beyond stared at the page, and more importantly, the moving picture that was beside the text.
"Belief in what you said about goblins has now risen from one percent to ninety-nine percent," L intoned.
"Aw, still don't believe me a little?" Harry pouted, though he was also smiling. "That's fine. Maybe Quillish can take all three of us next time I have to go there for something."
Roughly a year had passed since Harry's arrival at Wammy House, and the boy had mastered three modern and three ancient languages, had a sound understanding of even the most complex mathematics, had a degree in several even more complex sciences, and had exhausted the knowledge of every book available on anything even remotely magical. On the flip-side, he barely ate anything and only moved from his large, comfortable chair to get another book when it was necessary.
"You need a physical activity of some sort to be more rounded," Beyond declared, taking a book from Harry's hold and setting it to one side.
Harry didn't bother objecting. He'd already read that particular book twice already. He was just going through it for errors now. Grammatical, spelling, or in the author's theories. Non-urgent. Correcting books was a hobby.
"Even L gets out and does something physical now and then, so you have to too!" Beyond continued, grabbing Harry by the wrist and tugging him out of his chair.
"You cannot play tennis with three people," Harry pointed out.
"We are not going to play tennis Merlin," L said calmly. He'd been waiting by the door while Beyond did the barging in. "We are going to learn self-defence. Far better to be able and find it unnecessary, than for it to be necessary and not be able."
Harry couldn't refute that logic. No one ever could with L. Harry sometimes wondered if that was what the L stood for: Logic.
"Alright," he said. "What style of self-defence are we going to learn?"
"We have three options," Beyond said with a grin. "Martial arts, guns, and blades."
"That is very broad," Harry pointed out. "I'm sure that there are different styles within those to choose from."
"I picked capoeira," L supplied as he lead the way through halls and down staircases, Beyond still dragging Harry along even though he had more or less agreed to participate. "It is more practical to be the weapon myself than carrying a weapon that someone else may then take and use on me."
Harry looked at Beyond, who shrugged.
"I agree with L," he said. "Though knowing how to use a weapon might be a good idea, so that if someone comes at me with one, I can take it from them."
Harry frowned as he thought. "In one of the novels I was reading the other day, it mentioned a fighting style that sounded interesting. I looked it up, but it had been misspelled in the book. Another that seemed interesting was Parkour, which is being able to run away, even up a vertical wall, which could potentially come in useful. So I think, if I must have an active portion to my day, then I will study Bartitsu and Parkour."
L and Beyond both stopped and looked at Harry, and blinked a moment at him.
"That is a very good idea," L allowed, nodding slowly.
Beyond smiled. "I think I like it even better than L's choice," he said.
"However, there is not an instructor in Bartitsu available right now, but Wammy has already found me a capoeira instructor, so you will practice this with us today, and inform Wammy of your own choice later," L instructed.
Ultimately, the 'triplets' as they had become known, took to all three activities.
It was another day, another year, and the triplets were solving more and more mysteries, closing cases for various police forces around the world in their spare time. They were eleven. Harry had gotten a letter of invitation to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He'd sent a reply saying that he would be taking on a private tutor rather than attending their school. It was time to buy his wand. The one thing he hadn't been able to do two years earlier.
L and Beyond were coming with him and Wammy this time as well, just as Harry had promised them. Oh, he'd been proficient in 'wandless' magic for a year-and-a-half, and as of nine months ago had only had to vaguely mumble the incantation, rather than needing to call it out so clearly for all the world to hear. Still, Harry wanted a wand so that he could study how they worked and the effect that they had on magic, and if having one meant that a non-magical person like L, or even an ever-so-slightly magical person like Beyond, could work magic the way that Harry did.
So now the three of them stood before the door of Mr Ollivander's wand shop in Diagon Alley, ready to try one stick after another, with plans to go to Ichihara Custom over in Japan after they were done here. Wammy had been most pleased to find that there were more books for Merlin to consume available in different countries and languages, and that the whole of the 'magical world' wasn't confined to the fools in Diagon, Knockturn, Hogwarts and the local Ministry.
"I must say," the old man said as he appeared from between his shelves. "I was wondering when I would see Mr Potter, but I had not expected to see three of him."
"The old man needs his eyes checked," Beyond stated.
L and Harry nodded. What did they care if it was rude? They were children, and could get away with it for a while yet. Furthermore, they were geniuses, so they'd be able to get away with poor manners for even longer than most children could.
"This is my oldest triplet, Abel," Harry said, pointing to L, who was only ever called L by people from Wammy's or when he was working on a very high-profile case. "He likes strawberry cakes."
"This is Beyond, the second born," L added, pointing to the boy in question. "He likes strawberry jam."
"And this," Beyond said, laying a hand on Harry's shoulder, "is our youngest triplet, Merlin, who likes his strawberries fresh and unprocessed and without lots of extra sugar for some odd reason."
"I sometimes dip them in cream or chocolate!" Harry objected.
"Only Merlin got a letter from Hogwarts, but all three boys will be trying for wands if you please," Quillish said, holding back a smile at the little act that the boys had performed. Actually, Harry was the oldest of the three of them, born on the thirty-first of July, and L the youngest born on the thirty-first of October, with Beyond being indeed in the middle with his birthday on the fifteenth of September, but when outside Wammy's House and saying who was oldest without including actual dates, they went in order of who had arrived at the orphanage.
Harry was the only one to come away from Ollivander's with a wand, but going to Florean Fortesque's Ice Cream Parlour quite made up for it. So did the fact that even L got a working wand from Ichihara Custom.
Now between cases and studies and physical activities, Harry would teach his older brothers how to work magic.
There were new orphans to be welcomed when they return to Wammy's House. They're only little still, and had actually come from three other orphanages that Quillish has connections with, but they must be given new names and tested to see how they rank.
"Ooh," Harry said with a smile as he spotted them. "I like that one," he said, pointing to the blond with his hair cut like a girl's.
Beyond smirked. "Of course you do," he said. "He's both cute and disturbing."
"Children are designed to be cute, no matter the species. This is to ingratiate themselves to those older than them so that they won't be eaten," L intoned. "I think the albino has potential."
Harry snorted. "They're here L, they've all got potential."
Beyond chuckled. "In which case it is up to me to like the red-head with his tinted glasses, since you two have claimed the others. Fine by me, I liked him already anyway. His hair looks like strawberry jam."
Harry and L both chuckled and went to greet the five-year-olds who had just arrived at Wammy's House. In short order they were re-named Mello, Near and Matt in direct contradiction to their natures; Mello was not at all mellow, Near preferred to be away from people, and there was no way anybody would be walking all over Matt and getting away with it, even with him being only five.
"L, Beyond, Merlin, leave the new children to settle in. It's time for you to choose a musical instrument," Quillish called, summoning them away from their new little projects.
Privately, Quillish was beginning to think that the day Merlin had arrived was the best thing that could have ever happened. Beyond had been beginning to show signs of going down the wrong path, as it were, and driving L to be more isolated as a result. Having Merlin join them had stabilised Beyond and made him less aggressive, while also drawing L out just enough to not treat emotions and social interactions as something to keep at arms length while studying, but to actually participate in them as well.
He just might have well adjusted geniuses on his hands! Oh, happy day! Even Roger had to appreciate that, and the man didn't even like children to begin with.
"What is it Mello?" Harry asked, turning from his computer to give the younger boy his full attention.
"There's a man here to see you!" Mello announced. "He says his name is Padfoot. Do you know him? Ooh, what are you working on?"
Harry chuckled. Since his godfather had been acquitted, and Dumbledore (among others) had been locked up, Harry had been in regular contact with the man, though they'd never met face-to-face. Sirius had been rather busy taking over the job of Headmaster of Hogwarts after all. The man had probably finally broken down from Harry not actually attending the school.
"Yes Mello, I know him, and I'm writing a book," Harry answered, pressing save and standing up.
"On what?" Mello asked, not peering at the computer but taking Harry's hand to lead him down to where Padfoot was waiting to meet him.
"Dementors, thestrals, inferi, vampires, werewolves, and the like," Harry answered. "Their relationships to each other and the best ways to deal with them."
"In the case of werewolves that's 'with courtesy', except during the full moon in which case it is 'from the greatest distance possible unless they're on the wolfsbane potion'," Sirius said with a grin as Harry and Mello entered the room he was waiting in.
"Werewolves are real?" Mello asked, his eyes wide.
"Merlin," Sirius said sternly, fully knowing that he'd get into trouble for calling his godson Harry while he was here. "Are you telling innocent non-magical people about the magical world?"
Harry laughed. "I have proof that if you give a non-magical a correctly-attuned wand, they can do magic just as well as anybody else," he said happily. "Therefore, what does it matter?" Harry turned to Mello. "Yes Mello, werewolves are real. So are vampires. I'll show you some of my books later if you like, but I think my visitor would like some privacy right now, okay?"
Mello nodded, just a little sullenly. "I'll go find Matt and bug him for a while."
"You're work for the week is all finished and perfect then is it?" Harry asked.
Mello pouted. "Oh fine," he grumbled, stomping off.
"What sort of work does a five-year-old have?" Sirius asked when the door had closed behind the child.
"This is Wammy's House Padfoot," Harry said. "The breeding ground of geniuses. Mello has advanced chemistry, micro-biology, French, German, and philosophy homework to do, at least, as well as get in the required amount of play and physical exercise. And as he gets older, the subjects will pile on."
Sirius smiled and shook his head, clearly overwhelmed or ignorant of the stuff Harry was talking about, possibly both. "Alright," he said. "I just wanted to come by and deliver something personally that belonged to your father. I was hoping to give it to you when you came to Hogwarts this year, but you're not, so you bust my bubble a bit."
Harry cocked his head. "You were holding onto something?" he asked. "I was under the impression that the goblins had managed to get everything back."
Sirius nodded. "Dumbledore only just relented his secret stash of your parent's stuff last month," he said. "And I asked the goblins if they'd let me deliver this one myself, since the chances are it wouldn't have impressed your guardian and he would have gotten rid of it without knowing what it is or its significance."
Sirius held out a parcel wrapped up in plain brown paper and tied with twine. "Goblin wrapped," Sirius explained a little sheepishly.
Harry just nodded and took it, pulling the string and ripping through the paper. "It's a cloak," he said, pulling the odd looking cloth out of the paper.
"It's the original invisibility cloak," Sirius explained. "The one given by Death himself to the youngest of the Peverell brother. It's been passed down through the generations, parent to child, and now it's yours."
Harry blinked in stunned amazement at the story. "I am descended from the famous Peverell?" he asked in a shocked, harsh whisper.
Sirius nodded solemnly. "Also, there's this," he said with a wince, producing a slim box and holding it out to Harry as well. "Basically you defeated Dumbledore in some manner, which I hasten to add is not at all a common thing, think you're the first to do it, so you, er, won this. The Elder Wand."
Harry stared at the box and his jaw dropped. "I've already got a wand from Ollivander and a custom wand from a very skilled crafter in Japan. Another wand?"
Sirius shrugged. "Puts you as owner of two of the three Deathly Hallows Merlin," he said. "The last one is the Resurrection Stone, if you're interested in finding it at all."
Harry sighed. "Might as well make it a full set," he said, just a little despondently, then brightened up. "This might actually help me with my research."
"You mean that book about dementors, thestrals, inferi, vampires, werewolves and the rest?" Sirius asked, arching an eyebrow.
Harry grinned cheekily. "Thank you for putting me in touch with Moony by the way. He's been really helpful."
Sirius nodded. "We're both happy to help you any way we can Merlin," he said. "Oh, and one more thing."
"I'm starting to worry about your 'one more things' Padfoot," Harry interjected.
Sirius chuckled. "You remember the goblins took a bit of soul out of your scar and healed it up?"
"Found something else with a bit more of the same soul attached to it when I was clearing out the old house, and another clearing out my cousin's vault. So far that's three, and I'd make my bet the git set up the Resurrection Stone to be another, probably covered in a curse because Dumbledore has been hunting for it most of his life," Sirius said.
"And Tom Riddle got the mythical stone how?" Harry probed.
"Family heirloom, according the Dumbledore's memories, which is the only reason he couldn't take it when he was in school," Sirius supplied promptly.
Harry frowned. "Which makes four. There's got to be at least two more. Six is a more magically significant number than four, and five more than three, since I'm fairly sure making me a soul container was an accident and he probably doesn't know he did it."
Now Sirius frowned. "What makes you say that? About there being two more I mean," he asked.
"I did a profile of him," Harry answered. "Just, you know, for curiosity's sake. Superstitious kinda guy really. Liked things to be significant in terms of numbers and dates, even if people were always irrelevant to him."
"I guess I'll organise a search party then. Thanks Merlin," Sirius said, ruffling Harry's hair. "You figure out where the stone is and I'll fetch it for you too if you like."
Harry smiled. "Thank you Padfoot."
L and Beyond were both suitably impressed by the invisibility cloak, and the wand, but more by the cloak. L was almost giddy with the possibilities it provided for spying on suspects and them never knowing. Beyond suggested it would be useful for kitchen raids, and L nearly passed out with elation. He lay on the floor for a solid minute, twitching every now and then, a little trail of drool coming out of the corner of his mouth.
"Earth to L," Harry called at last, a chuckle in his voice.
"Earth to L," Beyond repeated, grinning. "Are you hearing us?"
"L to Earth," L answered, blinking as he sat up at last. "Heaven is really nice and has strawberry cake."
Harry and Beyond burst into laughter, and L caught on shortly.
"It's a good thing that the good guys have this thing, and not the bad guys," Beyond said when they'd calmed down. "Can you imagine a crime in the middle of the city where no one could actually see who did it?"
L shrugged. "It happens all the time and you know it," he said plainly. "Even invisible, a person still leaves behind physical evidence."
"Footprints," Harry supplied.
"Weapons always leave distinctive marks," Beyond agreed. "I'm just saying it would be a bit of a pain is all."
L agreed to that.
"No one else is getting it," Harry promised his two best friends. "According to Padfoot, it's a family heirloom anyway, so you guys can borrow it, but I have to be able to give it to my own kid some day."
"Mello then," L quipped with a smirk.
Beyond laughed at Harry's indignant gaping, and then roared with even more laughter, clutching his belly, when Harry just pouted and blushed, practically admitting it when he wasn't even more than six years older than the blonde boy.
"I should never have taught you two humour," Harry groaned.
It was two years after that when Sirius came by again, a ridiculous grin on his face and the Resurrection Stone in a little red velvet box.
"He's completely dead," he announced happily as he slipped the ring onto Harry's thumb – it was a bit big to stay on the thirteen-year-old's fingers yet. "And it was right where you said it would be too," he added.
Harry grinned. "Thanks Padfoot," he said. "It's always nice to know when you're right."
"Merlin," Sirius said, looking Harry in the eye. "You know that the magical world has ways of adopting people so that -"
"Yes Padfoot," Harry said, cutting the man off. "I'm writing books about magical theories now, since I've run out of books to read, remember?"
Sirius chuckled. "Yeah yeah," he said. "I was wondering if you'd let me adopt you."
Harry's smile dropped. "Really?" he asked. "Don't take this the wrong way Padfoot, but I'm happy here, with L and Beyond and Mello and -"
Sirius laughed, laying a hand over Harry's mouth. "I don't mean to take you away," he said gently. "I just mean to get all my money when I eventually die. I don't really want any of my other living relations to get it, if you know what I mean."
Harry relaxed. "I do," he agreed. "I agree, but I'll have you know I've already adopted L and Beyond as my brothers, so we're a bit of a package deal."
Sirius laughed. "That's fine," he said, grinning. "It's fantastic even. Would really piss off some high-brows if non-magical people were to inherit my vast fortune."
Harry grinned back. "We're pleased to be of assistance."
It wasn't until later that Harry remembered Beyond saying that the other soul would be dead at about this time. It was a little uncanny, but certainly gave credence to the red-eyed boy's claims.
"Merlin," Beyond said when Sirius was gone.
"Your life counter is gone," the red-eyed teen informed his green-eyed brother. "And L's and mine are both dramatically extended and blurred. Would you care to explain that to me?" he asked, his arms crossed over his chest.
"Why do you assume it's got anything to do with me?" Harry returned, fluttering his eye-lashes in mock-innocence.
"Because you've been researching all sorts of death magics for the past few years?" Beyond suggested sarcastically. "Because it's your life counter that has vanished perhaps?"
Harry sighed and showed his brother the stone. "I'll explain it when you, me and L are locked up in his room with the security off," he promised.
"Ooh, a juicy one," Beyond said, propping his chin over L's right shoulder, staring at his computer screen. "You haven't had a case this interesting ... ever."
"What do you expect Beyond?" Harry quipped, settling his own chin against L's left shoulder. "The regular diabolical criminals all got found out already. It takes time for new ones to think about showing up, and even more for them to actually be a real challenge."
The three brothers, now twenty-four years old, all chuckled softly at Harry's little joke. They were a well-oiled team by now, though none of them actually needed help from the others to solve a case, it was just more fun that way.
"You know, I think I want to actually go to Japan to solve this one," L said.
Harry and Beyond blinked and scanned over the information on the computer screen again.
"Right," they said together, having spotted the pattern at the same time.
"Why?" Harry asked.
"Silly Merlin, it's obviously a new weapon. L needs to learn its full capabilities," Beyond pointed out. "Best to be on hand to actually do that."
"It also increases likelihood of getting killed," Harry pointed out.
"Thrill of the chase is also a factor," L put in. "As are the numerous Japanese sweets that we can't get here."
Harry and Beyond chuckled. Of course it was for the sweets.
"What do you think Merlin? Is it magic-users or non-magicals?" L asked. "You're the expert in that area after all."
"It's a non-magical person," Harry said instantly. "But probably with a magical artefact that is either very new and therefore relatively unknown to the world at large, or ancient and only just showing up again after a very long time."
"If it's the former?" L asked.
"Then the magical world will probably put heavy restrictions on its use if not an outright ban," Harry answered.
"And the former?" Beyond probed, a smirk on his face like he knew the answer already.
Another smirk appeared on L's face as well, identical to Beyond's.
"Then I want it."
L and Beyond chuckled shortly.
"For your research into death magic or just to keep it away from naughty hands like this Kira?" L asked.
"Both," Harry said. Ever since he'd found out that he'd somehow survived the killing curse, and that Riddle had created soul containers, Harry had been researching all things death-related. In his spare time only of course. His real work in the magical world was getting said magical world to update itself. They were still stuck in the eighteenth century while the rest of the world was moving into the twenty-first.
"You need to get off the death-kick Merlin," Beyond teased. "You'll never get a girlfriend."
Harry snorted. "Like you've had any more success," he retorted.
"I have," L stuck in, making a dig at both of his little brothers, a smirk on his face as he tapped on his keyboard. A picture of a tall, thin, attractive if still slightly creepy young woman appeared on the screen. "Her name is Sunako Nakahara."
"And how did you meet her?" Beyond asked, staring in awe at the picture.
"Internet," L answered smugly.
"Duh," Harry added. "You verified that she really is who she says she is though of course?"
"Of course," L agreed. "That's how I got her real name and the picture, outside research. Her screen name is 'kuro-oni13'. I just tracked her IP address to her physical location."
"Of course," Beyond groaned. "So if we go to Japan you'll get to meet your girlfriend in person as well, yeah?"
L smiled a little. "She isn't in the same area, but I suppose we could make a detour."
Harry and Beyond laughed softly at the look on L's face. He normally only got that look when thinking about almost ridiculously large amounts of sugar.
Beyond and Harry reached out at the same time to cover microphone and hold the mouse hostage, preventing L from doing anything once Lind L. Taylor had been killed on live broadcast.
"You aren't going to brag to a crazy person that they just fell into a trap little brother," Harry said firmly, pulling the rarely-used 'I am older than you and you are going to listen to me' card.
"Even with Merlin having all those Deathly Hollows of his, your blurry life counter started looking shorter when you were reaching for the mouse," Beyond said, just as firmly and in much the same tone that Harry had used.
L sighed in frustration. "Fine. At least let me tell him that there is still going to be someone investigating?"
"No," Harry said, narrowing his eyes at L. "If it means that much to you, then I will give the message."
L nodded his permission and Beyond released the mouse for Harry's use.
"Kira," Harry said into the microphone. "And people of the general public. Please be aware that despite this death, the investigation will continue uninterrupted and without fail. The man who was just killed on your screens was a criminal on death row, do not mourn him. A real detective from the collective functioning under the name L will find both truth and evidence. Please also remember, Kira just killed somebody who he believed was the detective L, not a criminal, crossing the line between executing his own idea of justice and just killing anybody who could prove him to be no better than the criminals he has been killing."
Harry turned off the microphone and turned to his two brothers.
"I admit, I would not have been as eloquent," L said.
"Nice job," Beyond added. "This lets Kira know that even if he kills one L, there will be another to come and take his place, and should turn most, if not all, of his supporters against him."
Harry grinned and threw an arm around each L and Beyond.
"It's true too," he said. "Near, Mello and even Matt would hunt down Kira if none of us were still alive before the case was solved."
"Matt just might do it with a shot-gun rather than an investigation team of any kind," Beyond put in with a snicker.
"We're all putting our lives on the line here, we want to see who we're working with!" demanded one of the men from the team working the Kira case.
"Thousands of other teams just like this one have worked with L via computer before," Watari said flatly. "What makes you so special that this should suddenly change? Especially when L has reached the conclusion that Kira is able to kill with only a name and a face?"
"If you like," announced the digitised voice over the computer link, "you can go home and forget about the case completely. You will live longer if you're not involved in any way, of course."
"You can't just barge in and take over the investigation like that!" objected the man.
"That's what L is paid to do," Watari countered smoothly.
"Also," L's communication program said, "if you cannot handle that your friends and family are suspects in this case, then you should walk away as well."
"Why are they suspects?" Chief Yagami asked, clearly tense.
"Because whoever Kira is somehow has access to police information, and police information regarding this case. Therefore, either one of you is Kira, or is related to Kira, or knows Kira, or Kira is a good friend of one of your friends or relations," the computer expounded.
"That is ridiculous!" Yagami said fervently.
"According to the profile of Kira, yes, it is unlikely that a great number of your acquaintances would be him, her or them. The point, however, still remains. Chief Yagami, if Kira were to be a member of your family, would you believe me if I told you?" L asked.
"Then you must quit the case. Your son is a very likely suspect. If you cannot detach yourself from your familiar bonds, you are a liability to the case," L said firmly.
"No!" objected another member of the team, Matsuda something. "Nobody associated with the Chief would -!"
"I repeat," L cut in. "If you cannot emotionally distance yourself from the suspects, who will be known to you, then you should quit the investigation."
Watari watched as one after another of the team frowned, collected their things, and headed for the door. When Watari was the only one left standing in the room, he turned to face the screen.
"Six lives saved today," he commented with some amusement.
The three of them were sitting in the car across the road from the Yagami residence, a careful and delicate process being executed in its dark interior, hidden by the tinted windows.
Harry's hand was out flat, palm up and the focus of attention as a snake suddenly appeared there. Just a small one. It had to be able to sneak into the house across the street after all.
Beyond produced a small camera and microphone set up, and after Harry had hissed to the snake for a moment, was given the all-clear to attach it to the reptile's head.
"I am still ten percent concerned that it's going to blow up," L commented.
"I have been working very hard with Matt to make sure all technology that is used on Merlin's conjured animals is magic-proof," Beyond retorted. "We've even been using Merlin's own research for combining magic with electrical workings."
"There is less than a two percent chance of an explosion," Harry agreed, "and even if it does, the feed is being instantly recorded on your computer, so as long as the snake finds the evidence, then it doesn't matter."
L turned on his computer and made sure that it was receiving the feed and recording. When he nodded, Harry cast a disillusionment charm, a notice-me-not charm, a silencing spell, just in case someone heard the snake slithering around, and a bunch of different protection spells so that the snake would be safe from being stepped on or squished in any way.
"Still working," L stated.
"And no ka-boom," Beyond prodded smugly.
"Time to go," Harry urged, cracking the door of the car open just enough for the snake to slither out.
"Back to the hotel?" Quillish asked from the driver's seat.
"Don't be silly," Harry scolded. "To the sweet shop!"
Light Yagami was locked up within the week, with ten consecutive life sentences to his name, no chance of parole, and his accomplice, the actress and model Misa Amane. Since she had only just begun taking part and being the second Kira, she was only given two life sentences. The little black books that they had been using were confiscated by Harry. For safe keeping.