A Study in Magic
by Books of Change
Warning/Notes: This is a BBC Sherlock and Harry Potter crossover AU. The HP timeline and BBC Sherlock's timeline has been shifted forwards and backwards to match up. One major BBC Sherlock character's gender has changed for the sake of the plot. The story was planned and written before season 2, but incorporates elements of season 2 as much as possible. Readers beware!
Chapter Eighty: Fallen
Fifteen minutes had passed, and the final task of the Triwizard tournament was going in earnest. The audience seemed to hold their collective breath as they watched the three champions tackle the maze. At the moment, Fleur Delecour's skirt was on fire (again), Viktor Krum stomped one flatfoot after reaching a dead-end, and Cedric Diggory ran for his life as an enormous Blast-ended Skrewt scuttled after him, the spells he threw over his shoulder bouncing uselessly off the Skrewt's black and shiny exoskeleton.
John, who was among the thousands sitting in front of the Triwizard tournament's live broadcast, paid no attention whatsoever to the spectacle. She was too busy listening to Dumbledore and Shin.
"It's not just how Harry would react if Lord Voldemort harms you two," Dumbledore said. "We are only able to keep Lord Voldemort at bay because of you … specifically you, John."
"I don't remember doing anything," John protested.
"It is not a matter of doing," said Dumbledore calmly. "It is a matter of being."
John blinked. Sherlock, on the other hand, looked at the headmaster with piercing eyes.
"You've told us four years ago that you had nothing at all to do for Harry's security because everything has already been done," he said. "Time to elaborate on that, don't you think?"
"I agree," said Dumbledore. "I had only a vague notion of what had happened back then, but I have a better idea now. It all began, I'm convinced, the day John was born…"
Harry circled high above the maze, feeling increasingly restless. The urge to jump in and intervene for one the Champions was getting harder and harder to fight off, especially when one of them did something he thought was totally stupid. Indeed, he almost shouted at Cedric when he kept shooting jinxes at the Skrewt, for it was obvious to him the monster's armor was magic-resistant, so one ought to target the Skrewt's fleshy underbelly.
The headset Harry wore made a fizzling sound, and his phone turned purple.
"You can come down now," said Julia's voice. "We should fine with just the fixture cameras."
Harry sighed, relieved. "Okay."
He flew over to the editor's booth, just as Viktor blasted a hole through a hedge, on the opposite direction of the trophy. He shook head as he dismounted.
"Viktor Krum has no sense of direction, land-bound," he declared.
"Why didn't he map the maze beforehand?" Hermione grumbled. "It's not like the hedges were going anywhere."
"Not everyone is clever like you," said Julia, lips twitching. "Come on, sit down, and put your feet up. I have a feeling this is going to take a while."
Harry looked at six holographs Julia was monitoring and editing on the fly. The largest one on the right showed Viktor Krum wiggle through the hole he made, only to fall into an enchanted mist. Though they couldn't see him, they could hear him; the Bulgarian coming out of the mist was turning the air around it blue, literally.
"Yeah…" said Harry ruefully.
"You've told me about your father's late friend Mr. Lee, John," Dumbledore began. "You suspected he was a wizard, based on the fact you once saw him jump twelve feet in the air when he thought no one was looking. June Hu also brought to my attention that, according to you, this Mr. Lee looks like Master Lee, the first wizard to have successfully and repeatedly performed a spell considered legendary."
John gaped slightly at this. Sherlock stared at John, looking deeply betrayed.
"When did you tell him? Why did you tell you him? Why didn't you tell me?!" he hissed furiously.
"Uh, I don't know, I forgot," muttered John, avoiding Sherlock's eye.
"You mentioned it in passing," said Mr. Shin. "You then left shortly afterwards, claiming it was Benedict's nap time. I've been told he dislikes sleeping. You probably forgot all about it while trying to put him to bed."
"Y…yeah, that sounds about right," said John hastily. "So what about Mr. Lee? Did he do something? How? I recall you saying he was a lousy wizard who could only do one thing."
"You recall correctly," said Mr. Shin dryly. "He happened to be present when you and your sister were born. You said as much."
"I did?" said John blankly.
Now Sherlock was studying John with grave concern.
"Motherhood ossified your already vacant brain," he declared. "We've agreed to this before, but I think it bears repeating: You're never doing this again."
"I definitely don't want your DNA," John agreed. "But back to Mr. Lee—what did he do?"
"Something really stupid," said Mr. Shin, while Dumbledore chuckled immoderately.
"Like what?" John prompted.
Mr. Shin sighed. Dumbledore stopped laughing.
"He gave his blood to you," said Mr. Shin.
There was stunned silence for a span of a minute. For a while John and Sherlock just blinked.
"…Sorry?" said John weakly.
"He gave his blood to you, Dr. Watson," Mr. Shin repeated.
"I had the opportunity to interview your sister Harriet, John," Dumbledore explained. "She was able to recall what happened during your birth. Most of the tale should be familiar to you: Your mother and twin brother, sadly, didn't survive. You yourself were doing very poorly, as you no doubt know. What you may not know is that you were at the very cusp of death."
Sherlock seemed to fossilize in his seat.
"Your surviving family held vigil during what they thought was the last hours of your life," Dumbledore continued. "Then in the middle of the night, while everyone slept from exhaustion, Harriet saw her neighbor Mr. Lee sneaking into the NICU."
"He picked you up," said Dumbledore, "held you close and said: poor baby. They say you will die. Don't. Live. Then he cut his hand and let the blood flowing from the wound dribble into the pedi-unit connected to you."
John was speechless for a moment.
"…Why would he do that?" John whispered at length.
"There is an old wives' tale in Master Lee's motherland that says consuming wizard's blood will cure all diseases," said Mr. Shin. "Your father was his friend. He wouldn't have wanted his friend to lose even you, after losing his wife and son. So, being the ignorant, colossal fool that he was, Master Lee added his own blood to the transfusion apparatus, thinking his magic would help you live."
"Idiot," Sherlock muttered.
"I agree," said Mr. Shin quietly. "I need not belabor over how badly this could've ended. I still shudder to think. Yet Lee's stupidity made all the wisdom of the world unwise. Who would've thought the dying baby he gave his magic to would change the course of the world?"
"But I'm not—" John started to protest.
"Would we wizards have Sherlock Holmes's help if it weren't for you?" Mr. Shin asked, looking at John piercingly. "Would Harry Potter have grown to be the young man he is now if it weren't for you? No. A thousand times, no."
John again didn't know what to say.
"You see this sort of thing often when you live as long as I have," said Mr. Shin, smiling crookedly. "Anyway, Lee's stupid idea worked. You lived. You also became the first and perhaps only one of your kind."
"Which is…?" said Sherlock.
"A Muggle who has magic," said Dumbledore.
The moon was hanging low on top of the Forbidden Forest's canopy. The audience whispered excitedly as they watched the gigantic holograph showing Cedric Diggory facing a Sphinx. From the speakers, one can hear the Sphinx recite the following riddle:
"First think of the person who lives in disguise,
Who deals in secrets and tells naught but lies.
Next, tell me what's always the last thing to mend,
The middle of middle and end of the end?
And finally give me the sound often heard
During the search for a hard-to-find word.
Now string them together, and answer me this,
Which creature would you be unwilling to kiss?"
Cedric gaped at the Sphinx for several heart beats.
"Uh … could I have it again?" he asked, looking stupefied.
The Sphinx blinked, smiled, and repeated the poem. The whispers from the crowd grew louder. The students in the editing booth whispered, too, but they weren't talking about the same thing.
"Spider, it's a spider!" Harry muttered furiously. "Oh, c'mon, it's obvious…!"
"Knew it was dangerous," Julia remarked.
"What?" Harry asked, still glaring at the main holograph.
"Letting you film the task," she said. "You looked like you were ready to intervene."
"That happens when you're frustrated," said Harry.
"Remind me to never drive with you. You'd make the most annoying backseat driver," said Julia dryly.
"Wait, do you mean some Muggles drive from the backseat?" said Ron incredulously.
"Well, yes, of course," said Julia, deadpan. "It's very dangerous. Don't try it at home."
Ron looked away, dazed, and muttered how this was even possible. Hermione rolled her eyes at him. Meanwhile, Harry shook his head.
"Oh, give it up," he grumbled, while the holographic Cedric muddled through the riddle, talking aloud. "Krum will un-Stupify himself at the rate you're going…"
"So what?" Sherlock asked impatiently. "John can't use the magic."
"Indeed," said Dumbledore. "John's condition is the exact reverse of Mr. Lestrade's from years past - she has magic, but not the ability to use it. Given its unprecedented nature, it's hard to say the full ramifications. But we do know one effect."
"The ability to drain magic," said Sherlock, unblinking.
"Yes," said Dumbledore. "Have you ever wondered why you can touch wands without any trouble, John? Wands explode when a Muggle touches them. A wizard and witch will never have this problem because they have more magic than a wand, thus magic flows from the wielder to the wand. An explosion is rapid increase in volume and release of energy in an extreme manner. Therefore one can postulate the explosion is caused by the magic in the wand rushing too rapidly into the Muggle upon contact."
"But for this hypothesis to work, you need to prove non-magicals have a medium that lets magic flow in such a way," Sherlock argued. "You know Muggles by definition don't have magic!"
"Yes," said Dumbledore. "And there is such a medium."
"What is it?" Sherlock snapped.
"Life," said Dumbledore. "Whether we have magic or not, we are both human and alive, aren't we?"
"For a Muggle, Life acts as the medium through which magic flows," said Dumbledore. "For wizards and John Watson, magic itself is the medium that flows in and out. Either way, since magic and life are intrinsically tied together, we might as well say they are practically one."
John nodded slowly. Sherlock glowered at his lap, muttering imprecation against magical intuition.
"The next question to ask is in what direction does magic flow in relation to John," said Dumbledore. "Considering enchanted items rapidly lose their magic when John touches them, it appears that magic flows into John."
"Obviously," Sherlock sneered. "So what will happen when John reaches the saturation point?"
"One may guess," said Dumbledore. "We may never know. The magic inside John isn't just stewing. It is likely keeping her alive. A constant rate of expenditure, as it were; I sometimes wonder if that is why you always felt drawn to London, John. London has known magic for millennia."
John said nothing.
"Now the direction in which all magic flows in relation to John is critical to us," Dumbledore went on. "I have told you before that I decided to use blood wards to guard Harry, using the shared blood between his mother and her sister. By taking him in— grudgingly and resentfully, but nevertheless willingly— Petunia granted Harry a protection that would have lasted as long as he could call her home his home … and until he came of age."
"Doesn't that mean the protection vanished when she died?" asked Sherlock sharply. "She has to live in order call any place home."
"Yes, that is true," said Dumbledore patiently. "Hence I was surprised when I found the protection intact when I visited Harry, you and John at 221B."
Sherlock frowned, like he was solving a very abstruse cryptogram.
"So … John somehow … absorbed the protection?" he asked. "When we visited 4 Privet Drive?"
"That is my guess," confirmed Dumbledore.
There was a moment of silence.
"Therefore it is vital that you live," said Dumbledore quietly. "So long as you live, granting Harry a home, Lord Voldemort cannot touch him. And as long as Harry has Sherlock Holmes, he won't have any trouble finding the remaining soul fragments that keeps Voldemort anchored to this world. That is my honest belief."
The moon had risen fully in the sky, and the crowd was going wild. Cedric had finally solved the Sphinx's riddle and was sprinting down the passage behind her … a passage that led, through the path to the right, straight to the Triwizard Cup.
"Harry, I know you're bored, but you should at least stay awake for the finale," Hermione scolded.
Harry didn't answer, but remained slumped in his chair with his eyes closed. Hermione sighed impatiently and marched over to shake him awake.
He didn't. His head just rolled to his shoulder. His eyes vibrated under his closed eyelids and he face grimaced as though he was in pain. Then, to Hermione's horror, he started bleeding from the nose and ears.
Ron and Julia looked at him and both swore.
"He's having an LV vision," said Julia, turning white.
"We've got to tell Dumbledore!" Hermione cried as she danced uncertainly on her spot. "He has to know!"
"There's no time for that!" Ron hissed. "Let's just collect the memory and show it on the screen like last time."
Hermione gasped. Julia stared at him.
"The Ministry's going to arrest you," Julia whispered. "You're the head of OBH. They'll make you the scapegoat."
Ron swallowed several times. He looked very white under the freckles.
"…The whole point of OBH is exposing You-Know-Who," Ron growled after a moment, with his fists clenched. "If we don't do it, who knows how much longer the Ministry'll drag their feet? It can't be a good thing anyway, You-Know-Who getting angry enough for Harry to have a vision…"
Julia bit her lip, but she nodded.
"Oh Ron," Hermione murmured, moved and close to tears, "Don't worry … If … if the Ministry does go after you, I'll do everything to make sure they won't—"
"Yeah, thanks," Ron muttered, looking away and shaking all over. "Okay, here it goes…"
Up on the roof of a tall, ancient building, an elderly man stole over towards the ledge. He stopped, plugged earphones into his ears, and removed the long bag he was carrying. He then crouched down and busied himself with the bag's contents. When he stood up again, he had a fully assembled rifle in his hands. He placed the rifle on the ledge and adjusted its position. As he leaned forward, looking into the scope, the light from the adjacent building fell upon his lined and weather-beaten face. His two eyes shone like stars and his features worked convulsively, as though he was beside himself with excitement.
"…Identified target," the man said eventually. "Ready when you are."
There was a pause. Then the man spoke again.
"Target surrounded," he said. "What do you want me to do?"
A high, cold voice answered, seemingly from the very depths.
"Kill the spares."
"… Your speech makes me wonder if you have suicidal tendencies, Dumbledore," said Mr. Shin, heavy with sarcasm. "Should I set you up with a therapist?"
"Thank you, but no," said Dumbledore calmly. "No therapist deserves to meet the likes of me. They may commit suicide themselves."
"You are certainly giving me the temptation," Mr. Shin retorted. "If an old man must die, let it be me. People actually want you around."
"Don't say such horrible things," Dumbledore chided. Then he glanced at the holograph featuring the Triwizard Tournament broadcast. "The final task is over. Apparently Voldemort has chosen not to move today. Shall we move on? Young Master Benedict seems to object to his current surroundings."
John and Sherlock's reply was drowned under Benedict's cries.
"You know, Dumbledore, I agree with Dr. Shin," said John as she, Sherlock and Dumbledore followed after Shin (Benedict crying all the way). "We're not ready to compose your epitaph just yet. Aim for retirement or something."
"I do like the idea," said Dumbledore, smiling. "But June Hu needs to live long enough to give Jacqueline away at her wedding, and then dance at the reception."
"I'm not dancing," Shin snapped.
"She will want you to," Dumbledore said.
"I still refuse."
"She will cry."
"No she won't," Shin scoffed. "But that reminds me, I need to call my daughter."
"Why?" John asked after she and Sherlock looked at each other and grinned.
Mr. Shin smirked briefly as he went ahead, opening the door and stepping out to the open.
"To tell her something she's been waiting to hear for—"
Mr. Shin suddenly jerked in a terrifyingly familiar way. Then he crumpled to the ground.
John froze. She knew what she had seen. She'd seen it unfold numerous times in the Middle East. But for a second that seem to encompass eternity, John doubted all the years of experience. This couldn't happen. Not to that man. Not the…
"Oh shit," John mumbled as she stared at the still body, which had blood slowly oozing underneath. "Oh, shit…"
The wall behind them exploded, scattering debris. The peopled around them started to scream as a student—blond, short and stout—also crumpled to the ground like a broken marionette.
John turned and pushed both Sherlock and Dumbledore out of the line of fire, screaming:
The audience at the Quidditch stands stood as one as they stared at the screen. Their screams of horror joined the screams coming from the speakers next to the screen, which showed a crowd of Muggles running away blindly from the bodies splayed on the pavement, dark liquid pooling beneath them.
"WHY IS THIS HAPPENING AGAIN?!" Fudge wailed. "DUMBLEDORE, WHAT ARE YOU—"
But Dumbledore wasn't paying attention to the Minister of Magic. He was staring at the empty seat next to him, with an expression that looked so much like crushing despair.
There was one person missing from the top box: Grandmaster Shin. He was nowhere to be seen.
He had vanished.
John clung to Dumbledore, who fought against her grip. For a man at least a hundred and twenty years old, he was incredibly strong. On her chest, Benedict screamed hysterically.
"Let me go to him," Dumbledore begged. "Please…!"
"You can't save him," Sherlock muttered, holding him back from the other side. "It's too late."
Dumbledore lurched forward. His normally bright blue eyes were wild. John had to look away.
"I can still…" Dumbledore started to mutter.
Sherlock made a move that left Dumbledore shoved against a pillar. Then he slapped him, hard.
"Pull yourself together!" Sherlock roared. "Think! Why would LV kill him? The magical security he put on the Department of Mysteries will be gone when he dies!"
"No…" said Dumbledore, his eyes still wild and empty.
Sherlock slapped him again.
"You can't panic now!" he shouted. "Your world is in danger! Shin's entire family is danger! You can cry later! Just – not – now!"
Dumbledore stared uncomprehendingly at Sherlock for a long, drawn moment.
Then, finally, he vanished with a small pop.
Sherlock wrapped his arms around John immediately. Together they huddled behind a pillar, Benedict sobbing hard between them.
"Dumbledore, you poor man…" he muttered.
Final Notes: I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.