This story is the sequel to A Study in Four. You don't have to read that first, but it may help for you to acclimatise yourself to my universe, and my version of the characters. This isn't a proper mystery, more like a series of drabbles to tide you lot over until I can write the third instalment (which is going to be epic, just so you know). I'm focussing more on character development rather than a complex story line for this one.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter or Sherlock, in any shape or form.
As usual, reviews are appreciated, I was thrilled by the really positive response to my last fic, so thank you to everyone who commented! It was really inspiring!
It was almost the end of May, and at three o'clock on Friday afternoon the whole castle breathed a sigh of relief. The exams were over for another year. Gradually the students began to spill out onto the Hogwarts grounds, and soon the lake was surrounded by people enjoying the summer heat. Amongst them were the two second years, Sherlock and John.
Sherlock didn't particularly like outside. Sunlight hurt his eyes, and pollen made his nose run, but he was feeling restless, and John had been complaining about being trapped in the library for too long. So they found a shady spot by a beech tree, and began to practise their unarmed combat. Soon they had a ring of onlookers. Sherlock had improved greatly under John's guidance, and his strategies were slowly becoming more and more complex. However John still had the upper hand through sheer experience, and his strong beater's arms. Today he was on sparkling form.
"I win," he announced, and Sherlock surrendered, grinning.
"I didn't see-" began Sherlock, but his voice cracked, setting him coughing and spluttering.
"Are you alright?"
"Fine," he croaked, wiping his nose on his sleeve. "Hay fever."
A distraction had arrived in the form of Harry, John's first-year brother. Sherlock flopped down onto the grass to avoid him; the boy had irritated him ever since he had wrongly predicted his sorting. Despite being an heir of Hufflepuff, Harry was in Gryffindor. As the boy began telling the 'hilarious tale' of what happened during his last exam. Sherlock leant against the trunk of the tree, enjoying the warmth against his skin.
Sherlock groaned and opened one eye blearily as Molly Hooper settled herself beside him. The younger Ravenclaw had positively glued herself to him at the beginning of the year, and wouldn't leave his alone. Of course John thought it was hilarious that he'd got himself a 'girlfriend'. He had taken to leaving when the first-year arrived. He had hoped she would have taken offense by now, but some people just couldn't take a hint.
He shuffled away from her, and collided with something hard.
The boy he'd cracked heads with veered away from him violently, yelping.
Sherlock just stared back. The Gryffindor glared at him with shallow blue eyes. The very look of his rat-like face annoyed Sherlock.
"You should watch where you're going," the rat-boy snapped.
"Easy, Anderson," said his friend beside him. "I'm sure it was an accident."
The boy just muttered angrily, scrabbling to his feet and striding away.
"Don't mind him," said the other Gryffindor. "He's in with the popular lot. He was only here because they're on the Quidditch pitch. I'm Greg, by the way. Greg Lestrade."
"Yeah, I know," he grinned. Sherlock shrugged and pulled out the morning's Prophet.
John had settled down opposite, his little brother close by.
"Just the goblin treaty," he said. "A celebrity marriage… they caught the Leeds triple-murderer by the way, it was the gardener. Apparently nobody noticed the earring."
The two shared a knowing look. Sherlock had known it from the very beginning; it seemed the anonymous owl had paid off. But then he was distracted as he noticed a tiny little article underneath an advert for the new nimbus.
"John-" he said seriously, his voice cracking again. He cleared his throat hurriedly. "Look at this."
He shoved the article in front of John. Mr Carson had been found dead.
"Oh my God."
"He was killed, and then dumped there. No trace of the killer."
"Well there wouldn't be," said John. "Not if it was the same person…" he broke off as Sherlock beamed.
"Excellent, John, you're learning to think at last. No, I'm afraid there's no hope."
"What are you two on about?" asked Lestrade.
"Nothing," said John quickly before Sherlock could speak. "Nothing at all."
The next morning, Sherlock joined John at the Hufflepuff table for breakfast.
"Morning," he said. He raised his eyebrows when Sherlock struggled to form a coherent answer.
"Shut up," he rasped at last. "I think… oh go away, Mycroft!"
Sherlock's brother had appeared out of nowhere, he took one look at Sherlock, and burst out laughing.
"Your voice is breaking," he said gleefully. "Good luck, little brother, you never quite know what you're going to end up with."
Sherlock merely glowered as Mycroft swaggered away.
"What are we doing today?" he croaked. Halfway through the sentence his voice dropped down an octave. John bit back a snigger.
"We are going to relax, Sherlock. We need a break."
"You need a break, but I'm bored."
At that moment, Harry Potter and Hermione Weasley walked into the great hall for breakfast. Their presence had become a regular occurrence as they were leading the talks of the negotiations with the goblins. Today however, they had a small boy trailing behind them.
"Who's that?" whispered John.
"Teddy Lupin," Sherlock replied. John waved when the pair glanced their way, and Harry's face lit up when he spotted the two boys, the same way that Sherlock's did when he had an idea…
"Oh no," Sherlock groaned as Harry made his way towards them. "Yes, alright," he said. "We'll take Teddy."
"But how – oh, never mind. Thanks boys, I really appreciate it. I was landed with him last minute, and don't really want to take him with me."
"That's fine, and no, I wouldn't be offended."
"What?" chipped in the woman. "Why would you be offended?"
"He wants to ask me to keep him away from the Slytherins," he said. "That's fine."
"Teddy," said Harry. "This is Sherlock and John. They're going to look after you today."
"Harry," said the woman anxiously. "Are you sure?"
"Don't worry, Mrs Weasley," said John. "He'll be safe with us. Right, Teddy?"
The little boy peeked out from behind Harry's legs and grinned. As John watched, his hair turned bright turquoise.
He's a metamorphmagus," Sherlock explained. "He can't control it yet, but he's only little."
"I'm not little!" piped up Teddy. "I'm seven!"
John laughed. "Are you hungry, Teddy? There's still some breakfast left."
The boy nodded, and Sherlock scrambled to his feet to make room.
"Whoa," said Harry. "You've grown."
"State the obvious, why don't you," sighed Sherlock, but John agreed with Harry. Sherlock was now the taller one, a mass of spindly limbs, elbows and knees. He saw his friend glance at Mrs Weasley.
Oh no, he thought. He's going to-
"Congratulations by the way Mrs Weasley."
She just looked confused.
"Oh, come on John," he whined. "I'm bored, and besides, she will find out soon enough."
"Just ignore him," said John firmly.
"Hermione, let's go," said Harry. "Teddy, we'll be back for you at six o'clock. Make sure you have lunch and dinner, and be good!"
"Yes Harry," he smiled meekly. As soon as the man was out of sight, it changed into a wicked grin.
"So is Harry your uncle?" asked John. "Where are your parents today?"
"He's my god-father," he said carefully. "He looks after me sometimes."
"John," Sherlock interrupted. He mouthed the word 'orphan' behind Teddy's back, and John felt a rush of sympathy towards the blue-haired boy.
"How about," said Sherlock. "We show you around the castle? I've got some frogs in the potions lab we can-"
"NO!" cried John. "You are NOT going to induct Teddy into your world of blood and guts, and there's no way I'm doing that again!"
"Can we go outside?" asked the child eagerly, practically bouncing on his seat.
"Yeah," said John, grinning at Sherlock's unhappy expression. "That's a great idea."