Don't own Sherlock or Harry Potter.
Outside his parent's house in Godric's Hollow, Albus Severus Potter looked sadly at his reflection in the lake he was leaning over. Gazing back at him was an almost perfect replica of his father as a young child; the great Harry Potter, savior of the Wizarding World. Albus gave a sigh that was half exhaustion and half frustration.
How often had he heard those words? "Oh, you must be so proud! To be the son of the greatest wizard of this time! And to look just like him as well!" Why must he be proud of that? Why couldn't he just look at his dad and see a father, a man, and not some great Messiah that everyone else claimed him to be?
And everyone thought he lived the easy life, and he sort of did, but the freaking pressure! Everyone expected him to be perfect; an exact replica of his father from personality to potential. They all seem to forget that not even his father is perfect, but he tried to fulfill their hopes never the less. The young boy, three years away from Hogwarts and still prone to bouts of accidental magic, looked at his reflection again and traced his eyes.
That was his one difference with his dad. His less than savory childhood had made the savior of the world suffer from bad eyesight, while his son got off lucky and still had rather good vision. For a moment the reflection blurred, and in its place Al saw his father looking back at him from the water, his face younger and looking like the mirror image Al himself was often compared to. For a moment pure, hidden helplessness and anger filled the young boy's mind, but it disappeared as he slapped at the reflection, disturbing the water and making the image disappear.
Albus let out a shaky breath and closed his eyes, feeling the chaotic emotions return to their place beneath the surface of his mind. He didn't want this; he didn't want this life, perfect as it was, he didn't want to be compared to a believed perfect being any more.
He didn't want the pressure.
He didn't want the expectations.
He didn't want to be perfect.
Seven years old or not, he couldn't take it any more!
And so, with a loud crack and the smell of ozone, Albus' last bout of accidental magic took him away from it all.
"Oi, lad, are you alright? What're you doing out here so late?" Albus started and turned to see a man looking down at him. He was currently lying on concrete and had no clue where he was. Looking up at the man, Al took in his silver hair that was cut close to his head and his hazel eyes, before looking down.
"I'm alright, I think. But I don't know where I am." The silver-haired man frowned at that before offering his hand to the young boy. Al took and was lifted with little trouble so that he returned to being planted feet first to the ground.
"Well, I guess I can take you to the station so that we can contact your parents. My name is Gregory Lestrade; I'm a Detective Inspector here in London." Albus nodded but he was somewhat confused; they didn't have inspectors in the Wizarding World. Just Aurors, so maybe this guy was a muggle version of an Auror? Al was normally really cautious about following strangers, but his confusion to where he was made him a little more trusting. Plus, the man seemed to be sincerely concerned about getting Al back to his parents.
His parents, names Harry and Ginny…
Lestrade swung around as the boy behind him let out a frightened keen, and hazel eyes took in the completely terrified look on the younger one's face. "What's wrong, lad?"
Albus shook his head frantically, curling forward a little. "I…I can't remember my parents' last names!"
The young boy watched as the man in front of him looked shocked, before concern took over and he ruffled Al's hair carefully. "Well," the man said after a moment, "no sign of swelling, so hopefully it's not a concussion. None the less, we definitely need to get you to the station."
Al nodded shakily and stayed close to the man as he made his way to this tall looking building that was covered in glass. They entered the building that read "Scotland Yard" in the front, and made their way without trouble to an office with the title "D.I. Lestrade" on it. A lanky man and shorter man with a kind smile were outside the office, and the wispy-looking man stepped forward at the sight of the Inspector, before pausing when he saw Al.
"Lestrade, who is this? None of your children are this young, or allowed to be around you as per your wife's request to the court."
Lestrade flinched and the young brunette behind him frowned at the older one. "Yes; thank you for reminding me, Sherlock." The tall man, called Sherlock, eyed the boy a moment longer before nodding and stepping back closer to the office. The silver-haired Inspector nodded to the shorter man, greeting him with a friendly, "John" before opening his office door and ushering them all in.
"I found the lad outside in an alleyway, looking disoriented. He can't remember his parents' last names and I decided to bring him here so we could register a missing child." John nodded with a concerned frown at the boy, obviously wanting to check him for possible injuries. Lestrade, seeing this, explained to Albus that John was a doctor and would want to make sure Al was okay. The teenager tolerated it with a nervous glance but edged closer to Lestrade.
Sherlock narrowed his eyes at the boy but sighed and turned to the Inspector. "I don't really care about you picking up strays, Lestrade. I'm just here for those cold cases."
The silver-haired man nodded and moved to retrieve said files, and John backed away from Al with a content nod. "You look just fine…er, I'm sorry, what is your name?"
Albus opened his mouth to respond, when he paused and gasped. His eyes widened in terrified realization and tears began to pool in the eight year old's eyes. "I can't remember," he sobbed. "All I know is that people called me Al and I didn't want to live with my family anymore."
John looked startled, obviously not expecting that to be the answer and Lestrade handed the files to Sherlock before moving quickly to the boy and pulling the child to his chest. Al looked comforted by the gesture and continued to babble to the older man. "They all wanted me to be perfect, their expectations all hurt too much! I can't be perfect! I can't! Why couldn't they accept that? Why?"
Gregory patted the ravenette's back gently before tilting the child's head enough that he could look into the other's eyes. "You're not perfect," he said sincerely. "But, no one in this world can claim to be perfect. Perfection is found in the eye of the beholder, and if they didn't see you as perfect the way you were, they would never see you as perfect. But, Al, I promise you this: I think you're perfect. You are a child who is patient and understanding, but couldn't handle the pressure his family gave him. That is completely natural, alright?"
Al nodded shakily, his eyes misting over with tears as this man, the same person Al had only just met mere minutes ago, told him the one thing he had wanted to hear that his family never said. That he wasn't perfect, but didn't need to change to be seen as perfect to someone.
The two pulled away, and Lestrade looked at the two men staring at them (John trying to politely look away and Sherlock gazing at them with an intensity that made Al cower behind Lestrade), before his face broke into a sheepish smile that Sherlock immediately groaned in dismay at.
"Really, Lestrade? You're going to try your hand at raising children again? Don't you think you should reconsider that idea with the unusual track record behind you?"
"No, I don't. This kid needs a family. One that will accept him as he is, and I think the little ragtag group that all of us form would be perfect for him. C'mon lad; let's get you officially adopted, and a longer name. Welcome to the family."
Eyes still misty, Al nodded and followed the Inspector as he went to a different part of the Scotland Yard. It didn't that long at all for people to realize that it would be next to impossible for them to locate Al's family without the last name or even Al's full first name. The adoption process took little time, and the silver-haired man suggested a name to Al that he gleefully agreed to.
By the time the ravenette was leaving the Yard under the protection and care of the DI, Al had changed. No longer was he Albus Severus Potter, son of the Boy Who Lived. Now he was Alexander Secundus Lestrade, adopted son of the Detective Inspector himself.
And, somewhere within the walls of Hogwarts, the quill that wrote the names of all magical children crossed out the youngest male Potter's name, and at the bottom of the list wrote down the name of the newest magical child to enter the earth.
The three years Al had spent as a Lestrade were without a doubt the best years of his life (excluding the fact that he couldn't remember the other eight). Gregory was definitely one of the best fathers one could ever have, when he pushed for free time with his kid. It wasn't odd to see the two of them drag Sherlock and John out camping, the three younger ones entranced as the silver-haired man pointed out the constellations he could see and telling them the story behind each.
And Alex could remember his first few weeks, soothed to sleep by Lestrade as the man read Shakespearian comedies to him, his smoke-rough voice dragging him to his dreams. It didn't take long before Alex was calling the older man "dad" and the two were as close as any father and son.
Sherlock and Alex had a more tenuous relationship that could be viewed like that of an older brother having to learn how to share his father and friend. Theirs' was more akin to a type of sibling rivalry as they battled for Lestrade's attention, but none the less they were fond of each other.
John was the eldest brother in the odd little family; the one Alex would go to when he wanted Sherlock to be in trouble and the one to hide behind when Sherlock was mad. John himself didn't seem to mind the designation, and simply went with it like he did with many of Sherlock's odd schemes.
And holding them together like a lynchpin was Gregory Lestrade, the one who made the ragtag family possible. He created a saying that was often exchanged in the group when one of them felt overwhelmed by the pressures of the world. "You're not perfect, but I still love you." A reminder of their humanity, and both a chain to keep them down to earth and a platform to help them rise above the obstacles in their path.
To say that you love someone was, to Lestrade, and by extension the rest of the group, to claim that the person you are speaking of is, in your eyes, perfect. No one can be perfect, but to say you love someone is to say that, to you, they are the closest they can possibly be to perfection.
Alex took these words to heart and began to follow in his adopted father's footsteps. His bond with the man compounded the longer he was with him, and it wasn't a stretch to say that, by the end of the second month, neither of them could remember that they weren't blood related.
But this forgetfulness was shattered the summer of Al's eleventh birthday. They had just been relaxing at breakfast when an owl fluttered through the open window. Suspicious and nervous (well, Alex was nervous; Lestrade has dealt with worse from Sherlock), the two Lestrades eyed the owl before turning to the letter the avian had dropped. Feeling a pit begin to form in his stomach and not knowing why, Alex reached out and opened the letter.
Dear Alexander Lestrade,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Al can't remember dropping the letter as he fainted.
Everything started out as a perfectly blank space, but then a light flickered on. Then another. And another. Pretty soon, lights were turning on in waves like a reverse version of a rolling blackout and, with each light that turned on, Al let out a pained sound as a memory came rushing back.
The missing eight years of his life (minus his own birth, thank God) was returned to him harshly, the knowledge filling his mind like an overflowing river. After what felt like hours of torture, the lights dimmed to a more comfortable brightness, and Al forced himself awake.
"Al! Are you alright, son? What happened?" Alex looked up at his adopted father and smiled, though it was a hesitant thing.
"My memory came back, dad. This letter is real, and my old family members were wizards." Alex ran his hand through his disheveled hair nervously, not noticing how it had lightened for look more like his adopted father's silver-grey. The elder Lestrade contributed it to the stress and trauma of remembering eight years in about ten minutes, and didn't mention it yet.
Gregory didn't speak for a moment, taking in his son's pale visage and the letter lying innocently on the floor. He carefully picked up the letter and Alex, then walked to the living room and set him on the couch. He sat next to him and grabbed Al's hand, his own relaxed to show he wasn't upset. "Do you want to return to your old family, Al?" The boy looked shocked at his question, but he continued. "I understand if you want to return to them. They probably miss you a lo-."
"Dad," Al interrupted, squeezing his father's hand to keep his attention. "I don't want to go back. This is my family now; you and me and Sherlock and John. We're a family; one of the best ones I've ever seen. They've had three years to accept I'm gone; I don't want to leave. At all."
The Inspector grinned and squeezed his son's hand back, showing him the letter. "Great. Now let's get this thing's list and get you the stuff you need. No idea where we're going to find a pewter cauldron in London, so…"
The trip to Diagon Alley was rather uneventful, seeing as both had seen more insane-seeming things in Sherlock's apartment. The wand Al had gotten was ten and a half, ebony with phoenix feather. Ollivander called it pliable, but had seemed somewhat confused about Alex being there with his dad. They also got Al a tawny barn owl that he named Silas, though the avian seemed more fond of the elder Lestrade as it could perch on his shoulder without fear of being shrugged off.
Sherlock and John were accepting of Al's new wizard status, though the darker-haired man had seemed far too interested in the Alley and Al's wand for it to be safe.
The wait for the school to start wasn't long, and the two soon found themselves standing next to the train with other parents and children about. Al was standing firmly in front of his dad, but there was a mistiness in his eyes that cleared as Gregory patted him on the shoulder.
"You do your best, lad. Don't let the other kids mess with you, study, and remember: you aren't perfect, but I'll always love you. Got it?"
"Got it, dad." Al's words were a little choked and the two hugged like they wouldn't see each other again before separating. Alex boarded the train and waved at his dad as the train started up and disappeared.
"Hey, are you nervous?"
Alex looked up at the question and took in the boy in front of him. He had grey eyes and pale blonde hair, and seemed to be attempting to look haughty before his nerves gave way. The grey-haired boy nodded and offered the other a small smile. "I'm a bit nervous, but who wouldn't be? Our first year of school, and all that."
"Right." The boy sniffed a little before offering his hand. "I'm Scorpius Malfoy. You?"
"Alexander Lestrade, but I go by Alex or Al." The young Lestrade easily reached out and gripped the other's hand, giving a firm shake before removing it.
Scorpius wrinkled his nose at the last nickname and eyed the other boy speculatively. "Best not say that last one near some of the Gryffindors."
"Apparently the Boy-Who-Lived had another son that would be a first year like us, but he disappeared three years ago. His name was Albus, but went by Al too."
Alex frowned but shrugged resolutely. "Then that's their problem. I went by Al for years; I'm not going to change it just because some people want me to." He then reached into his trunk and removed a book, beginning to read it and dismissing the rest of the conversation. Scorpius smirked at the other's attitude before getting a book to read himself. They spent the rest of the trip in relative silence.
The Sorting was a bit boring, Al decided. All it had was a hat that put people into the house that best fit them, after serenading the room with a catchy song. Scorpius had been put almost immediately into Slytherin, while some red-haired girl that had stared at him some on the way there was put into Gryffindor.
Alex perked up at the call of his name, and he easily made his way to the stool. He perched on the stool with little trouble before placing the hat carefully on his head. It was silent for a moment, then…
Ah! You're an odd one, eh Mr. Lestrade? Or should I say Mr. Potter?
Alex blinked at the voice in his head before thinking back firmly, "I'd rather you didn't, thank you."
Well, you've certainly changed over the years, with your adoption into the Lestrade family, haven't you?
"I thought were supposed to sort me, not ask pointless questions."
Well, you're certainly a Gryffindor with your cheek! But I feel something else; a loyalty that goes beyond the camaraderie of Gryffindor. This feels more like Hufflepuff cohesiveness, to be honest.
"Got that from my dad. When he catches wind of something, he bites down and doesn't plan on letting go."
Indeed, I can see that! Well, I'm certainly not someone to discourage such admiration. I think you'd do best in –
Alex took off the hat and handed it to Professor Longbottom, who took it with a happy and confused look in his eyes. The grey-haired boy ignored the realization or shock that any of the people around him showed, and sat happily with his fellow badgers.
He was ready to begin his magical life, not as a Potter dragged down by other people's expectations, but as a Lestrade accepted no matter what.
He may not be perfect, but that didn't matter anymore. He was loved, and that was all that mattered.
Al's new middle name: Secundus is Latin for "second child" which I thought would be ironic with this being his second name and life.
I'm not trying to imply that Harry and his family were being mentally or emotionally abusive, Al just felt like people wanted him to be something he's not too much and his accidental magic kicked in.
This is a one-shot; I am not going to expand on it or continue it because, as far as I'm concerned, it's complete.
This story really threw me for a loop. At one point it didn't even want to be written, so it sat half-finished on my computer for at least three months. The plot line also changed three-fourths of the way through this, so sorry if it confused anyone.