FOOD FOR THOUGHT by WyrdSmith
A/N: Okay, kids, here's the deal. I have half of 'Did You Know?' update done, but surrendered to a screaming migraine. Anyone who has read my notes in 'Bright New Day' understands that plots abound during those hours as I try to distract myself from the urge to whimper and beg for coma. Two deaths this week to estranged members of my family, and subsequent barragement from siblings I have 'divorced' for reasons even the most Hufflepuff amongst us would support, sent me into migraine hell. On the plus side, that means another story now working.
I will still follow planned schedule, although 'Did You Know' next chap will probably be out tomorrow night instead of tonight. Now, here's my question to you all. This will continue to happen, because of the migraine-thing. I will write more stories that have nothing to do with what's working, but will not lose my dedication to the primary stories I have working. What I want to know is, do you folks want me to post the new stories as they come, or save them until the others are done? Either way, they'll be written.
As for this story, it is a Mycroft/Harry Potter – possibly a triad with Mycroft/Harry/Sherlock, with a few minor pairings. I don't see this story being more than five chapters, although anything is possible, I suppose. It is clearly AU, and I am writing on the assumption that most readers are informed about the HP universe and know at least enough about Sherlock BBC to not be lost. If you need more, I highly recommend looking up the FFN author IBegtoDreamandDiffer. (She has symbols on either side of her name, but damned if I know how to make them happen on my keyboard. Just look up SherlockBBC; she has dozens of stories there.)
As always, thank you Pikachumomma, for getting me into this mess. I owe you - really. (I'm not actually sure if that's a promise or a threat – depends on my mood.)
Read on, my friends. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think of this story, and the answer to my question, please. Thank you! Blessed Be.
Mycroft Holmes looked up to see his PA, Anthea, standing in front of his desk. In one hand she held her ever-present Blackberry and in the other was a bright green file folder which she placed directly in front of him on his desk.
Oh, dear. Bright Green. Something to do with Sherlock.
Sighing internally as he wondered what his socipathic brother had done now, he nodded slightly to Anthea and opened the file. Even as he began to read, he noted with the part of his considerable brain that he reserved for situational awareness that his assistant had moved to seat herself across the office, her eyes fixed on the Blackberry as she texted busily. He raised an eyebrow slightly. As she had not returned to her own desk in the outer office, claiming instead the seat she had designated as hers within his office, clearly she expected to be needed once he read the file.
Blue eyes darkened in interest as he absorbed the information in front of him with rapid ease. Reaching the end of the second of two pages within the file, he flipped the page over and scrutinized the photo on the back. After a brief moment, he raised his eyes quizzically to peer at Anthea, who responded promptly, "None of the photos taken, from any source, are of any better quality than that."
Keeping the fuzzy photograph in his hand, he leaned back in his large, comfortable chair and gracefully crossed his legs, tapping a finger thoughtfully on the edge of the photo as he considered. The last known address was 'somewhere in Surrey', over twelve years ago? "No hints anywhere of this person until now? In… any part of the country?" His sharp eyes noted the slight hesitation of his assistant's fingers as she listened to his question while working her Blackberry like a lover. He knew full well the answer to his question had been affirmative, but judging from the miniscule smile that formed on his assistant's face after her brief pause, that answer had now changed.
His deduction was confirmed when she glanced up and his own Blackberry chimed quietly, Anthea explaining, "I just forwarded new information. It seems that Mr. Evans is a well-known gentleman from the Morgana Province." Anthea knew better than to try to verbalize any more than that. Even here, the sanctity of that particular project was absolute. She couldn't have spoken of it if she wanted to. Only certain items of electronic equipment, those from the more exclusive lines of WTW, would ever communicate any of that information, and not even Mycroft Holmes would give voice to the Morgana Project without additional measures being taken. After a briefest pause to process her words, he removed his Blackberry from his pocket and held it in his left hand, discreetly tapping a seemingly random pattern on the back as if lost in thought. Instantly, a low, gentle hum billowed out and blanketed the office, effectively rendering all possible methods of surveillance, both magical and mundane, useless. This fact was confirmed when the scrambled code Anthea had entered from her own Blackberry emerged on his screen in a flood of gibberish – to the eyes of anyone other than Mycroft Holmes. To him, the message was clear and somewhat shocking.
Harry James Potter has forced the MOM to honor their Oath. The Great Balance is now fully in effect. Potter has announced his 'retirement' and is relocating, hence green file.
Mycroft's extraordinary mind immediately retrieved all of the data, pertinent or not, regarding that young man and the powerful Oath he had redeemed against the Wizarding World, forcing the Ministry of Magic into making binding agreements over the past decade. He had exploded into Mycroft's sphere of influence over a decade ago. That had been a dark time in the world, although most of the mundane people in the world, the non-magical people, had no idea how very dark it had become or how much worse it would have been without Mr. Potter and his remarkable friends. Mycroft Holmes knew because, despite the fallacy that he was simply a man who held a minor position in the British government, he was, in fact, on par with the Prime Minister. Truth be told, if it came down to a pissing match, Mycroft would win. His brother Sherlock's pseudo-facetious manner of referring to his elder brother as "the British Government" was not entirely in jest. And so, Mycroft Holmes was one of exactly three mundane citizens of Britain who knew everything there was to know about the British Wizarding World. If one also counted the Queen as a citizen, the number rose to four.
So… they now officially lived in the Era of Balance…. How very extraordinary! Mycroft exchanged a tiny smirk with Anthea, each thinking of how that fact must sit like a rock in the stomachs of several of the more obstreperous people they knew from both sides of the Balance.
Face expressionless but dark blue eyes alive with interest, Mycroft recalled everything he knew about the situation as pertinent to this latest revelation.
LOST IN THOUGHT
Ten years or so ago, fifteen-year-old Harry James Potter, a remarkable young wizard forced by prophecy and the machinations of Supreme Mugwump (ridiculous title!) Albus Dumbledore and the insane Dark Lord Voldemort into literally saving the world at the probable cost of his own life and soul, shocked the powerful wizard Dumbledore, the Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge, and the entire Wizengamot, by seizing control of his own destiny along with every living witch and wizard. And by that, Mycroft did not mean that the other living magicals had also seized control of destiny. No, he meant that thought exactly as he had phrased it. Harry Potter had seized his destiny, and had also seized every living witch and wizard, the extent of control depending only on where said people had lived during the past quarter century and the extent of their involvement in the last two wars.
During an emergency session of the Wizengamot, called by Fudge and Dumbledore in a joint effort to pass legislation that would have turned Mr. Potter from a free citizen into the enslaved, legal property of the Ministry of Magic under the direct control of Fudge and Dumbledore, Potter surprised all in attendance by emerging from hiding in the courtroom and standing to speak when the formerly vacant Black and Potter seats were called out during the vote. Those seats had been voted en absentius by Dumbledore for over a decade. Potter took full advantage of the shock he caused when he threw his hood back and rose to speak, declaring under force of a vocal-amplifying charm known as a sonorous, "I, Harry James Potter, Lord of House Black and House Potter, do hereby declare that every living wizard and witch in England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and all other potential locations is in violation of the multiple life debts owed to me by Merlin's Law. I name you all fhealltoir fiach saol, traitors of life debt, and I invoke all just punishments upon you according to my rights. Lig Magic breitheamh m'eilleamh! Let Magic judge my claim!"
Mycroft's photographic memory easily replayed the magical holographic video of those moments, provided through the fact that young Potter had thoughtfully brought numerous members of the World Media into the formerly-impenetrable closed session. He had never explained how he had smuggled them in, and none of them were able to reveal the information, having found themselves, like virtually every other living witch and wizard throughout all of Europe and most of Asia, to be suddenly entirely bound to the will and whim of the scrawny teen with eyes filled with cold rage. Within mere moments of the invocation, every magical human or humanoid creature on the planet was aware of the event, as the combined magical obligations of several million witches and wizards raced around the world through the one force that bound them all – Magic. Those who Magic judged to hold a life debt to the young wizard were instantly bound to Mr. Potter's grace. All others, including a chilled and horrified Voldemort and a grand total of two of his Death Eaters, were faced with the realization that the pissed-off fifteen-year-old now held, in addition to his own considerable power, the combined magical strength and mass of over three million wizards and witches. Furthermore, by Right of Forfeit due to the betrayal of their life debts, Harry Potter was now Lord of every noble House and minor Family in Wizarding Britain.
Effectively, he was King. Mycroft considered that statement a moment, then revised it upward to Emperor, possibly even Pharoah. The young man's power was, after all, absolute.
The repercussions within the British mundane government had been felt immediately, as the Queen was jarred from her sleep by the sharp enforcement of the monarchy's side of the Statute of Secrecy, a Merlinic treaty that she had only been able to recall on an as-needed basis prior to that day. Mycroft had already been in attendance with the Prime Minister, and so he did not miss a single instant of the frantic hours and days that followed.
It had been the most exciting, wondrous period of Mycroft Holmes' entire life. To this day, over a decade later, he could remember every emotion and thought that raced through him as he, along with the Queen herself and the Prime Minister, found themselves and their key personnel abruptly inducted into the rather terrifying power and history of the British Magical World. Never before had these three been in the same location at the same time, much less out of the protective sights of their bodyguards and MI2K. Nevertheless, there they were, inexplicably transported through space by means of a loud bang and a truly, sickening physical sensation, emerging shocked and shaken in a large room brightly lit with thousands of floating candles. Mycroft sneered as he recalled how, even after being fully apprised of the situation by a grim-looking but remarkably intelligent teenage girl with the bushiest brown hair he had ever seen, the Prime Minister made loud, indignant assertions that Mr. Potter should be attending them, not summoning them to his presence.
The young woman's response had been priceless, in retrospect. She had simply given the PM a hard stare and said to the other wizards, "Harry was right again. Apparently it is the title that turns formerly intelligent statesmen into pompous windbags." The sputtering from the lime-green-suited former Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, had been entertaining, but no less so than the pinch-faced reaction of the mundane Prime Minister. The Queen, oddly enough, had smirked, and Ms. Granger had smirked right back. Fudge had then been removed from the room, having only been present to drip some blood unwillingly upon the hearthstone and formally cede his title. Mycroft and the Queen had showed no reaction to the resultant blast of light, although the PM had flinched and his advisor had squealed and tried to run away. Both the Queen and Ms. Granger had rolled their eyes at the man's panic.
Those two had certainly formed an odd friendship, if his intel on the Queen's visits with the bright young witch were correct. They had apparently bonded during the months that followed, primarily over the ruthless interrogation of Fudge, who was the Queen's former counterpart, as they relentlessly examined every action and inaction taken by the inept, greedy politician during his time as Minister for Magic. Together, they reduced the man to quivering servility and then sent him, freed of his ill-gotten money and his magic, to live in the mundane world. Recent reports indicate that he had been promoted to Assistant Manager, and had gained two stone from all of the free Big Macs he got as an employee. He was also very fond of their Shamrock Shake, which was unsurprising considering the lime-green bowler hat and suit he wore constantly.
Rumor had it that more than one child believed he was the Hamburglar's nemesis. Eager for acclaim, Fudge had cunningly admitted his guilt as he handed out Happy Meals, and was frequently seen telling stories of his daring deeds to the wide-eyed McKids.
After Fudge was removed from the room, Ms. Granger had then answered their questions, the first of which had been to inquire as to why they were meeting with her rather than with Mr. Potter. She had peered inscrutably at the advisor who had asked the question, before she explained very carefully to the man that Mr. Potter, having mere hours ago conquered half of the world, was a little busy right now. Her attitude clearly said that she felt he should have figured that out for himself. The advisor – former advisor, Mycroft mentally amended – had puffed up like a toddler told to hush while mummy was on the phone. His grating whine had been abruptly silenced by a sharp wave of Ms. Granger's wand, and the "silent" message regarding who had the real power in the room was well and truly made. That message was reinforced by the warning looks sent to the other mundanes in the room by the twin red-headed teens guarding the door and the young redheaded woman guarding, for some reason, the fireplace.
Mycroft had met Ms. Granger's steady gaze calmly as he assessed the situation and unobtrusively placed himself in the best possible position to protect his Queen. Ms. Granger had immediately reassured him that they were in no danger from those in the room, and that the wizarding guards were here to protect them, not harm them. Phenomenally skilled in the art of reading people, Mycroft knew without a doubt that Ms. Granger spoke the truth, and relaxed somewhat.
Oddly, the Queen had never seemed in the least concerned, except to ensure that the mouthy Advisor was not capable of interrupting them again. Ms. Granger had then calmly explained that Mr. Potter's instructions had been to secure the safety of the Queen, the Prime Minister, and Mycroft Holmes, along with the few people who had been deemed either important members of their entourage or important to the smooth transitioning of power. At this, all three of the powerful mundanes had shown alarm, thinking that Mr. Potter and the wizards meant to seizure their government as well. The snickers of all three redheads in response to their reaction had been … disconcerting … but Ms. Granger had only offered a small smile as she explained that the last thing Mr. Potter wanted was to take over the mundane side of things.
As she went into a lengthy but remarkably concise explanation of the history of mundanes versus magicals and the fears and predjudices of wizards toward mundanes – known back then as 'muggles' – Mycroft Holmes began to understand more clearly what these extraordinary teenagers had accomplished and were yet intending to achieve. Mr. Potter wanted nothing less than to bring Wizarding Britain and Mundane Britain into sync with each other, slowly expanding their influence until all of the world's governments served to check and balance each other.
Coincidentally, he secured his own freedom in the process. When Mycroft learned of the multiple times that Potter had defeated the Dark Lord and his minions with no reward save endless harassment and the attempt at enslavement by those who ran the government, he was only barely able to suppress his desire to stand and applaud the absent young man. Mycroft felt that Mr. Potter truly deserved the power he held, and the elder Holmes' only real concern was to whether Potter would see that power as something to be used – or abused. Ms. Granger's pragmatic attitude soothed those worries considerably.
Potter's first action as Overlord was to issue a Proclamation declaring slavery and subjugation of any sentient beings, magical or mundane (with the detailed exceptions of Potter's penalty-bond as well as that of a race known as 'house elves', who apparently preferred enslavement), to be heinous and punishable by death. He then permanently executed Voldemort for those crimes among others, which also greatly reassured Mycroft as to his aspirations and the wizarding world as to their own survival. The young wizard accomplished the task within hours, simply by calling upon the freed Death Eaters. As it turned out, all but two were bound to Potter via the life debt magic, which meant that only two of the Dark Lord's followers would have survived to the present day without the young man's actions in repeatedly defeating Voldemort and his followers. There was also something about a basilisk that Mycroft still wanted to get data on.
In the end, Voldemort's execution was remarkably straightforward. Potter sent his commands through the penalty-bond, and all of the former Death Eaters who were near the Dark Lord hit their former master en masse with killing curses. Potter then tapped into the massive magic available to him to find the small slice of Voldemort's newly-released soul and retrieve anything that it matched. Potter's own horcrux, a concept that disgusted Mycroft and the Queen wholeheartedly, was ripped from his scar and left the young man stunned and bleeding on the floor. The dour, large-nosed man healing him had been pelted with five items bearing bits of the Dark Lord's shredded soul. When the furious, wildly-hissing snake had slammed into the greasy-haired man, it had shocked the man so badly that he had severed the snake's head in a burst of accidental magic that had greatly embarrassed the sarcastic wizard. Mycroft had been vastly amused to learn in the later briefing, courtesy of two snickering redhaired twins, that bursts of accidental magic in an adult wizard were roughly comparable to premature ejaculation.
That day, a decade or so ago, had marked the beginning of what was now known as 'The Great Balance.' Great Britain in all of her glory now served as the role model for the world's countries. Magical Great Britain had modernized and integrated with Mundane Great Britain, although it remained secret from the vast majority of non-magical people. And Mundane Great Britain now had access to the remarkable abilities and protections of Magical Great Britain. Thanks to Mr. Potter, Ms. Granger, most of the Weasley family, Mr. Malfoy (the younger), Ms. Parkinson, Ms. Lovegood, Mr. Longbottom, and various other teenage members of the group formerly and presently known as 'The Defense Association,' the two governments of Great Britain regulated each other, and the country in its entirety had benefited immensely by the arrangement.
Although Mycroft now had numerous items that had been created by Weasley TechnoWizards, a private company created by Frederick, George, William and Percy Weasley (reputed to have been funded by Mr. Potter), the man known as the 'British Government' had never once actually met Mr. Harry Potter. He had been in the younger wizard's presence many times, but with only a few exceptions, the brilliant young man had used his Team to carry out his edicts. It seemed that Mr. Potter, like Mycroft himself, preferred to work from the shadows of power. His effectiveness in doing so was extraordinary.
Still tapping the blurred photograph in his hand, Mycroft took some time to enjoy the memory of the first time he had ever seen Harry Potter. After that initial briefing with Ms. Granger, she had escorted Mycroft, the Queen, the mundane Prime Minister, and the various men and women who made up their entourage, into the huge amphitheater that hosted the Wizengamot. Their entry stirred the unsettled, oddly-dressed people into a muttering, wildly-gesticulating crowd. Seated calmly in a large, throne-like chair on a dais of what Mycroft would have called the 'stage' (carrying out the theater analogy) was Harry James Potter. He looked thin and wiry, with wild black hair and piercing green eyes and a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead. Mycroft and his party were courteously seated at their own table off to the right, given clear visibility of the entire room. Guarded by the redheads and Ms. Granger, they watched as the crowd tried to turn into a mob and were put down hard by Mr. Potter's implacable use of the penalty bond. Looking around in awe, the mundanes realized that all of these people had made it the task of the child seated in the throne to defeat the most dangerous wizard seen in this world in over a millennia. Not only that, but these people were present in this room right now because they had gathered with the express purpose of enslaving Mr. Potter. They were now furious to find that he had turned the tables on him, and struggled like bugs on a pin to get away.
When Mycroft voiced that analogy aloud, Ms. Granger smirked somewhat evilly and tapped a harsh finger against a glass jar she had placed in the middle of the table. Peering closely, Mycroft made a mental note of the distinctive, poisonous green markings around the eyes of the beetle that was imprisoned in the jar, and wondered if he should inquire. Given the malicious look Ms. Granger wore as she tapped the glass, he decided in favor of discretion.
An elderly man with awful robes and ridiculously long hair and beard peered over half-moon spectacles at Mr. Potter, before he rose imperiously to his feet and the babble ceased. Mycroft later learned that this wrinkled eyesore was Fudge's accomplice, the ridiculously titled 'Supreme Mugwump', Albus Dumbledore. The man's attempt to approach the throne failed as his feet were immediately secured to the floor by Mr. Potter, who watched him silently with mocking, green eyes. Mycroft recalled noting the old man's duplicitous body language, finding his efforts to disguise his rage with false concern and faux wisdom to be utterly transparent. Apparently, Mr. Potter saw through him as well, as a smirk formed on the attractive young face.
Dumbledore had met Mr. Potter's eyes and said into the silence, "Harry, you realize you are not the only one to whom the wizarding world owes an unredeemed life debt. I am the defeater of Grindelwald, please recall. Should I choose, I, too, can call upon the penalty magic of vast numbers of unfulfilled life debts, and as my claim is older and the wizard I defeated more powerful than Voldemort, I will be able to take away your status." Excited shouts and relieved smiles ran rampant throughout the gathered Wizengamot, only to fade into puzzled stillness at Potter's lack of reaction. Mycroft, of course, easily interpreted that Potter was confident and unafraid.
The young man simply waved a hand graciously at Dumbledore and said, "By all means, go ahead and call in that …. debt. Please do. I want to see how magic handles dispensing the information about your actions that day. However," Mr. Potter smirked and beckoned sharply, causing the gnarled wand the old wizard clutched to soar through the air and slap into the young man's hand, "you will not be using this wand to do it. Hermione, why don't you lend Ms. Skeeter's wand to Albus here? I'm sure she isn't using it." At this, Ms. Granger smirked and reached into a pocket of her robes, retrieving a very short, slim wand and sending it floating over to the old man.
Mycroft and the Queen watched the old wizard pale a bit as he glanced around, before he seized the tiny wand floating in front of him, drew himself up to his full height and said warningly, "Harry, I will do this. Cease your actions at once or I will see you imprisoned."
Mr. Potter had simply laughed at the bluff, and replied, "No, I don't think so. After all, the entire blame for my actions today belongs to you. If you had not tried to enslave me, I would have let everyone stay free. I've known for years what I could do, and despite the crap the Wizarding World gave me, and all of the torture you heaped upon me, I would still have let everyone stay free. But the second you decided to declare me a fucking piece of property, I decided to retaliate. So I hope that each and every witch and wizard in Britain takes the time to personally tell you how they feel."
Dumbledore had glared around as the angry mutterings now turned against him. Wizards were fickle, apparently. The old man had abruptly focused on the Queen and Mycroft, and became furious. Mycroft learned later that apparently it had been Dumbledore's efforts that had kept the mundane government from ever being able to protect its people from the "terrorist" attacks of Voldemort and his people. The white-haired old man had then tried to summon the magic of broken oath for himself, only to find to his horror and everyone else's disgust that his unwitnessed methods in defeating Grindelwald had been somewhat less heroic and altruistic than he had claimed. Furthermore, magic felt no pride in the old man, as the only part of the penalty for a betrayed life debt that it rewarded Dumbledore was the punishment part, which Magic sent zinging through the old man relentlessly. After learning the truth of the defeat of Grindelwald, no one felt confident that Dumbledore was quite the Light Leader he had pretended to be.
After all, as effective as it was, giving a man a blow job and then knocking him out as he orgasmed wasn't exactly heroic, now was it? Apparently, Dumbledore's 'blow by blow' description of his defeat of Grindelwald more figurative than literal. Depends on how you look at it.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Mycroft abruptly brought himself back to the present, closing the file folder and placing it into the desk safe. Anthea followed as he gathered his coat and his umbrella and left the office, heading to 221B Baker Street to visit with his brother.
He was also eager to meet the new resident of 221C Baker Street. He was very curious to find out why Harry Potter, after finally setting the world on track and removing himself from politics, had chosen to move into the vacant apartment in his brother's building.
Mycroft shuddered at the thought of Sherlock's brilliant, dangerous experiments and Potter's power. Because if ever there was a recipe for trouble, this was it.
He wondered what the young wizard looked like now. Mycroft hadn't seen him in person since that last brief glimpse almost two years ago, in which Mycroft had felt someone watching him as he conversed with the team of WTW during a planning session for items that would aid him in his work. He had covertly looked around, only to find himself caught and held by a piercing, gemlike green gaze that inexplicably sent shivers down his spine and goosebumps across his skin. Potter's evaluation of him had been quite intense, and Mycroft had wondered and (he would admit only to himself) fantasized about the young wizard known as Harry Potter.
Having pulled up at Sherlock's building, Mycroft gracefully exited the car and opened the front door to the familiar buiding. Stepping into the hallway, the first thing to register on his senses was the overwhelmingly, wonderful aroma of cinnamon and baking bread. Closing eyes to enjoy the incredible smell, Mycroft considered just why Mr. Potter was baking Mycroft's absolute favorite culinary delicacy.
Nearly floating up the stairs after the aroma, Mycroft Holmes decided that, regarding the mysterious Mr. Harry Potter, today had definitely given the elder Holmes food for thought.
He was going to greatly enjoy sinking his teeth in.