Title: In Which Mycroft is Surprised
Category: Harry Potter/Sherlock crossover
Warnings: hints of very one-sided flirting between two guys. NOTE: none of the characters in this story (that's all of Sherlock BBC and Harry Potter worlds) are seriously involved. This isn't a slash fic, people.
Characters: Mycroft Holmes, Harry Potter, and Anthea
Source: Inspired by esama's various HP/SH crossovers…especially "Potter in Baker Street" and "Whispers in Corners".
Surprisingly, it took Mycroft two weeks to 'politely abduct' Mr. Potter. The truly surprising aspect? He had actually been trying for the last ten days. His more subtle efforts (which had easily caught both Doctor Watson and DI Lestrade) all appeared to be in vain: either Mr. Potter was the world's most oblivious teenager, or he was deliberately ignoring all attempts to get his attention. The latter thought was…quite worrying, actually, and Mycroft came rather close to taking drastic actions. Fortunately, he was able to get ahold of Mr. Potter without having to resort to more…illegal methods.
From the moment he had watched Mr. Potter move into 221C Baker Street, Mycroft knew that the teenager would be the perfect informant on Sherlock: just curious enough to ask the necessary questions and observe the detective, and likely in need of money that would help smooth over any moral issues he might have with the situation. All observations indicated that Mr. Potter was polite, rather quiet, and completely unflappable (a good trait to possess when one is living in the same building as Sherlock Holmes). He appeared to have made a mistake with a girl somewhere along the line, learned a lesson, and now had matured enough to accept the newfound responsibility. For all intents and purposes, Mr. Potter seemed to be a completely normal teenager with nothing interesting (read: dangerous) about him.
At least, that was Mycroft's impression until one of his agents sent him CCTV footage of the boy laying out five thugs in a span of ten seconds.
The footage had not actually caught the action, as anything truly interesting had taken place in a side alley that (unfortunately) did not possess a camera. What it did show was Mr. Potter entering the alley, followed shortly by five men of ill repute, nothing of interest for exactly seven seconds, one of the men flying back out of the alley and landing unconscious just inside the camera's field of vision, and then Mr. Potter returning the way he had come with an expression that could only be classified as mild annoyance. An agent on the scene confirmed that the other four men were in a similar state of unconsciousness as the first.
It was at this point that Mycroft had his assistant do a thorough background check on the teenager, mentally cursing himself for not doing so before (he always did background checks first…why on Earth had he decided to not do so this time?). The search turned up a surprising lack of information: a few primary school records and a birth certificate, nothing else.
There were two—and only two—things that left this kind of hole in Mycroft's records. He tackled the easier one first, contacting London and then calling Cardiff when that failed to turn up the necessary results. Having confirmed that no, there was nothing they knew of that had been living in Surry for the given duration, he spent another hour steeling himself for an unavoidable meeting that he was already dreading. Having to maintain an appearance of inferiority, when he could easily topple their entire ministry with a few choice words, was nothing short of infuriating.
[It should be noted at this point that Mycroft was very stressed out over various other events going on in the world (like stopping WWIII…again). The realization that the individual who had moved in with his little brother was not as safe as he had initially believed did not help the situation in the slightest. So maybe it was not terribly surprising that he failed to notice said little brother had also been digging through his records—long before Mycroft had thought to do so. It would actually take until the week after Mycroft had succeeded in kidnapping Mr. Potter for him to notice the subtle changes to his own birth certificate (Sherlock's usual method of pointing out the gaping holes in his brother's security system). Sherlock, Mycroft decided resentfully, needed a new hobby. And possibly a one-way ticket to Antarctica. John Watson's influence was either waning or encouraging in the wrong direction.]
The meeting went more or less as Mycroft had expected. They were arrogant, snotty, and reeked of a (misplaced) sense of superiority. In response to his very pointed questions, they were vague and long-winded, making an appearance (and not a good one) of answering his query without actually saying anything. Strolling out of the building far too many hours later, Mycroft decided that their only redeeming qualities were their lack of efficiency as a ministry (especially in their interpersonal communication) and their blind willingness to underestimate him. The combination had allowed him to depart with far more information on one Mr. Harry James Potter than the Ministry believed they were releasing.
The information (all memorized, as it was physically impossible to commit it to paper or hard drive…interesting) included average academic and astonishing 'extracurricular' records for a decidedly unsafe boarding school, a war record—both front lines and behind enemy lines, the legal documents for his godson, and bank account statistics. Not a whole lot of data (compared to what he could access on most citizens), but it contained enough to make Mycroft wary. It became of the utmost importance that he speak with Mr. Potter in order to assess the threat level the teenager was to Sherlock.
Unfortunately, Mr. Potter appeared to be as oblivious as the rest of the wizard world to subtle attempts to catch his attention.
Strolling down the street with Teddy in his arms, Harry absently wondered where Hermione had ever gotten the impression that he was too paranoid for his own good. If anything, this week proved that he was not paranoid enough. Given the number of inconvenient, suspicious, and sometimes frankly odd occurrences that had been following him around London lately, he had come to the opinion that the world was out to get him. Or that Fate was going through a particularly nasty phase of humor again. Both were equally likely.
Alright, so maybe it wasn't quite that abstract. It was fairly obvious that Someone was trying to catch his attention, probably to deliver a series of not-so-subtle threats…or maybe to offer him a nice cup of tea? The wizarding world had taught him to anticipate all possibilities, but given the pattern of his life thus far, the latter option was highly unlikely. To continue, this individual was almost certainly high up in some government organization (too expensive of an operation and with too much control to be otherwise), whether legal or illegal remained to be seen. And he/she was definitely a muggle: no wizard would ever have come up with that phone-ringing trick…though it was a rather good one, the Twins probably would have gotten Ideas from it.
At any rate, Someone was attempting to catch his attention, and Harry was trying just as hard to ignore the odd ringing telephones, black cars that tailed him, and the way the CCTV cameras followed him down the street. It was only sheer paranoia that had saved him from getting into a cab he had hailed…which turned out to not be a cab after all (and following that incident, he refused all methods of muggle transportation aside from his own two feet).
It was really getting very annoying, especially now that he had Teddy to look after. With no one else to worry about, he would have been all for waiting for the game to step up a bit; to see what other tricks this Someone would pull out of his/her sleeve when he/she became frustrated with his lack of response. He wasn't too worried about the damage that could be done to him, and these opening moves would tell him a great deal about his…opponent? Had they progressed that far yet? However, that argument was moot point, as he was unwilling to risk any harm coming to Teddy, and the more unpredictable his 'opponent' became, the harder that would be to ensure.
Harry sighed and glanced casually over his shoulder to verify that the black car was still tailing him. Yep, right on target. He shifted Teddy to one arm, the Elder Wand making its presence known by digging into his hip. An individual with this many resources would probably know about the wizarding world, and maybe even his role in it. However, while there were many ways to neutralize a wizard's power, there were none that actually worked on Harry (courtesy of being the Master of Death…there had to be some advantages after all). And…with that argument, he essentially ruled out his mental objections, which put the ball in his court, so to speak.
With a wry grin, he stepped to the curb and raised his free hand in the air to hail a 'cab'.
Mycroft waited, slightly impatiently, for his assistant to bring Mr. Potter to meet with him. He was a little suspicious as well: the teenager had done an excellent job avoiding all attempts to contact him so far, and yet he suddenly slipped and called a cab? Odd, very odd, yet to believe that it was anything but a coincidence would imply that Mr. Potter was perfectly aware of what was going on around him. And that level of awareness was…worrying. Very worrying. Especially considering that the teenager was now living in the same building as his little brother.
He straightened as the black car pulled into the empty warehouse, stopping a few yards from him (a position that allowed for private conversation and yet enabled his assistant to defend him if necessary). As he watched, a rather thin, short, bespectacled teenager unfolded himself from the car, shifting the baby in his arms to minimize disturbance. The boy glanced around with an air of mild curiosity, seemingly unaware (or ignoring) the potential dangers of the situation. Upon spotting Mycroft, the teenager gave a slight grin and walked forward until he was standing a few feet away.
"Hi," he said in a cheerful tone.
Mycroft stared in something close akin to disbelief. On any lesser individual, this would have amounted to visible, jaw-dropping astonishment. Mycroft was far to trained to react in such a plebeian way (to react at all, in fact); but, seriously?
This was the savior of the British Wizarding World?
The boy must have seen something in his (non-existent) expression, as his seemingly innocent grin turned slightly vicious. Ah, so it was going to be like this then. Well, best get down to it.
"Mr. Potter," he began, and the teenager did not seemed surprised in the slightest that Mycroft knew his name, "It has come to my attention that you recently moved into…ahh, 221C Baker Street," he pretended to read from his notebook, "And considering your…rather intriguing past, certain individuals are interested in your reasoning for the decision to move to such a mundane spot. Considering the quality and quantity of your assets, you could easily have chosen any spot in London. Why Baker Street?"
It was blunt and to the point, far more so than any 'information session' that Mycroft had held before; however, his first impression indicated that an ambiguously worded question would lead them to talking in circles for hours, and Mycroft actually had other things to do with his day. Still, he was irritated with the individual in front of him, irritated with the situation in general, and most of all, irritated that he had to throw his cards down on the table without anything to go on.
Mr. Potter appeared to be oblivious to the slowly building storm stewing in Mycroft's mind. Instead, he peered at the notebook.
"How much information on me do you have written down in there?" he asked, intrigued and slightly amused, as if he was well aware of the difficulties of that particular endeavor.
In all reality, the notebook contained nothing on Mr. Potter other than the teenager's name. After numerous attempts to write down the information that he had learned in the Ministry, Mycroft had decided that there must be some 'security spell' on Harry Potter which prevented the precise thing. He had wasted an idle moment contemplating what he could do with that particular spell, before giving up the matter as a lost cause.
"Surprisingly little, in fact," Mycroft replied, and the teenager gave him a knowing grin. "Now, would you care to inform me of why you did not choose one of your multiple properties to reside in?"
"Oh, you know, far too large for the likes of Teddy and me," Mr. Potter answered without actually saying anything. "Unfortunately, sir, it appears that you have me at the disadvantage here, as you know my name and I do not know yours…" he trailed off waiting for Mycroft to fill in the blank.
"Oh, I am no one of consequence," Mycroft replied, refusing to be redirected. "If your properties in London were too large—and I agree, they are rather impressive in size—then why did you not choose one of your smaller ones…say that apartment in Cardiff? Or do you have some reason to stay in London?"
Mr. Potter eyed him a little more warily, as he revealed the depth of his knowledge. The teenager's response, however, appeared to be as oblique as his previous ones.
"You know," Mr. Potter began, with a hint of something (amusement? mischievousness? knowing?) in his voice, "It's odd that you mentioned that particular property. Because this brings us around to the fact that this isn't the first time I've been kidnapped by a government official in the past month."
"Oh?" Training alone prevented Mycroft from blinking at that statement; because, well, he had not actually known that. His mind began racing through government employees and dismissing them just as quickly, because none of them had the necessary information to be suspicious enough to kidnap the teenager. And why bring this up after he mentioned the property in Cardiff? What did Cardiff have to do with anything?
"Yes," Mr. Potter continued, blithely oblivious to the turbulence of Mycroft's though pattern. "I was intending to settle down in Cardiff, originally; however, the incident convinced me to try my luck elsewhere. Yet here we are again. Although," he paused to glance around the warehouse, towards the car, and then back to Mycroft, "I have to admit, this is a much more impressive and intimidating set up."
Good Lord, the teenager actually sounded approving. This was ridiculous.
"And," Mr. Potter added, in the tone of a punch line to some obscure joke, "At least you aren't flirting with me." He gave a slight smirk, as if waiting for Mycroft to catch up.
Flirting? Mycroft felt a deep sinking sensation in his gut; which from past experience indicated that his subconscious had already figured out what was going on, but his conscious mind had not quite yet caught up…
"The captain didn't seem to be able to help himself, even when—no especially when—interrogating me." Mr. Potter apparently felt that Mycroft needed a hint. Mycroft would have been offended and indignant, except the teenager's words finally allowed him to make the connection.
Cardiff…government…flirting…captain…! He barely stifled a groan and fought off the urge to pinch the bridge of his nose to ward off the oncoming headache. Firmly resolving to have words with one Captain Jack Harkness about the importance of sharing all vital information whenever he contacted them about a problem, he shot a mild glare at the teenager.
Mr. Potter grinned back, looking altogether too pleased with himself—and he had the right to be. Mycroft had reacted to that last statement, he knew he had, and that would give the teenager all the information he needed to place Mycroft's relative importance in the government. To know about the wizarding world, one had to be very high up in the government; knowledge of Torchwood was even more exclusive. And to know about both…oh yes, Mr. Potter had won this round.
Although, this same set of reasoning worked against the teenager as well. Very, very few wizards knew about the extraterrestrial dealings side of the world, just as very, very few individuals dealing with the extraterrestrials knew of the wizarding world. And from what Mycroft knew of Mr. Potter, the teenager had no reason whatsoever to know what he did. The British Ministry of Magic certainly had no knowledge of the situation, and where else could the wizard have gotten it from. Intriguing…
Mycroft drew himself together before the teenager could get too smug and firmly reminded himself of the reason for this meeting: assessing Mr. Potter's threat level. And while the previous conversation indicated that Mr. Potter had a worrying amount of knowledge (and was willing to use it when necessary), he had yet to see any sign of actual violence in the teenager's personality. Conclusion: Mr. Potter living in Baker Street was not necessarily a bad thing. Now how to use this to his advantage?
"I do hope that this…conversation will not drive you out of your new home, then?" Mycroft asked, not really worried but needing to restart the conversation.
"No, I believe we'll stay there for a while," Mr. Potter answered pleasantly, "It is a rather nice spot, and the neighbors are intriguing. Doctor Watson is certainly nice enough." Well, that brought them around to the subject of interest rather quickly.
"I see. And what is your opinion of Sherlock Holmes?" Mycroft asked, bracing himself for either the indignant defense (John Watson's approach) or the more usual barrage of complaints.
"Actually," the wizard replied in a slightly—dare he say it—sad tone, "I haven't had the opportunity to meet Mr. Holmes yet. Do you think we will get along?" He seemed genuinely concerned about the prospect.
Mycroft took a moment to consider all that he had learned about the teenager in the last few minutes (especially his roundabout, but very intriguing and effective method of interrogation), and decided to answer honestly.
"Mr. Potter, I believe that you and Sherlock Holmes will get along like a house of fire: either very well, or violently with a great deal of property damage."
Mr. Potter blinked at that non-sequitur, then seemed to think about it for a moment and began to grin. Mycroft, who had not been joking in the slightest, made a mental note to upgrade Sherlock's security status once again. In fact, he might as well upgrade the surveillance of the entire apartment complex.
He was just about to continue with the conversation when the realization of what he had just said struck him and he fought back another groan. Roundabout interrogation method indeed—that 'reassurance' had indicated a greater depth in a relationship with Sherlock Holmes than he had wanted to admit. And he had no doubt that Mr. Potter had picked up on it. For the second time in as many minutes, he drew himself back together, giving the teenager a slight, insincere smile.
"Mr. Potter," he began, "Our time together is running short, and thus I will bring us around to the point of this meeting. Your records indicate you have considerable talents, and not only of the…unusual variety. There are certain individuals who would be willing to employ one with your abilities for—well, let us say significant compensation."
"Oh indeed?" Mr. Potter replied, his tone taking on a darker note, "And what do these 'Certain Individuals' want me to do with my 'considerable talents'? And what does this have to do with Mr. Holmes?"
"Nothing much," Mycroft reassured, mentally frowning. Mr. Potter was far too suspicious. "Just…information. And nothing you do not feel comfortable with, of course."
"I see. And of course, I will be compensated for what I do report?"
"Hmm…" Mr. Potter regarded him for a long moment, idly running his hand over his godson's back, as the baby appeared to be waking. "Well I'm afraid that I will have to decline. I am much too busy taking care of Teddy; and anyway, as I'm sure my records indicate, I swore off all of that when I took my godson in. Too dangerous."
"Indeed," Mycroft murmured. He highly doubted it. Those records that Mr. Potter so contumeliously quoted seemed to indicate the precise opposite: the wizard was incapable of keeping his nose out of trouble even if he tried. Still, Mycroft supposed that had been a rather long shot, anyway.
His thoughts were rudely interrupted as the baby in Mr. Potter's arms chose that moment to wake up. The child did not exactly start screaming, but Mycroft could tell that it was only a matter of time. Having no desire to remain in an echoing warehouse with a shrieking baby, he concluded that the meeting was over.
"Well, Mr. Potter, it appears that our time is up. Thank you for the…enlightening conversation and remember the offer if you ever change your mind."
"You're welcome and I will," the teenager replied impishly. He started to head back to the waiting car, but turned around at the last moment. "Oh, I have one more question for you."
"Do you?" Mycroft asked warily, wondering whether to give the wizard another possible opportunity to throw him off track.
"Yes. If I were to ask him, what is Sherlock Holmes's opinion of you?"
Mycroft relaxed slightly. Any other phrasing of that question would have been problematic, but given that the teenager was aware that he and Sherlock knew one another, he saw no problem in answering the inquiry.
"I believe Sherlock Holmes refers to me as his enemy. Archenemy, in fact."
Mr. Potter nodded slowly, as if that had not been the answer he was expecting, and then he ducked into the car, leaving the conversation at that.
Harry shifted the fussing baby in his arms as he slid into the back seat. The dark haired woman who had 'accompanied' him to the garage hadn't so much as shifted since he'd left—if one discounted her fanatically typing thumbs. He considered waiting for her to acknowledge him, but Teddy was working his way into a truly annoyed state, and he figured the mild amusement he would get from her reaction was not worth the hours it would take to calm his godson back down. With that thought in mind, he leaned forward and asked the driver to take him home, not bothering to specify the address.
Slumping back in his seat and beginning the process of settling Teddy, Harry reviewed his thoughts on the man claiming to be Sherlock Holmes's 'archenemy'. There was no way that was true—he'd had archenemies, and they didn't act like that. No, not archenemy, but…this whole conversation had reminded him of talking to Slytherins. Protective Slytherins who didn't want to show that they were protective. Ok, that was good to know, but what did it mean…wait. He mentally reviewed what Mrs. Hudson had told him of Sherlock Holmes, as well as the one photograph she had of the detective. Yes, the resemblance in features and personality was there; slight, but definitely present. Siblings, no doubt about it. Probably older sibling, given the man's exasperated tone when speaking of Sherlock Holmes. And though the man had genuinely wanted him to spy on his…brother (seriously, spy on his brother? Was it physically impossible for him to meet normal people?), Harry had also noticed the subtle probing to determine if he was a threat. So…not close, but very protective. The younger one probably resented that.
The threats had amused him more than anything, although they were very subtle and well done, and would probably have intimidated the hell out of anyone else. Having a wand in one's back pocket (and being the Master of Death) tended to put things into perspective. The amount of information 'Mr. Holmes' had on the subject of his bank account, on the other hand, was worrying—mainly because the goblins would never have parted with it for any sum of money, which implied that the Ministry knew all of it. He'd have to rectify that at the nearest opportunity.
As the car pulled up to his door and he thanked the technology obsessed woman (and hoped that his magic didn't decide to act up, she'd probably kill him), Harry idly mused on possible purposes that the brother of Sherlock Holmes played in the government. Probably legal, he decided, though barely. Much more subtle than Malfoy's attempts to rule the ministry, at any rate. High up enough to have access to the wizarding world and their full records (and that narrowed down the list a bit). Not only that, but high enough to know about both the wizarding world and aliens, given his reaction to Harry's hints about Torchwood. This was unusual in itself; according to Hermione, people generally knew about one or the other.* Capable of utilizing the cities full resources—including the CCTV cameras and what appeared to be a whole fleet of black cars. And seemed to have an absurdly large amount of knowledge regarding everyone and everything…
Harry froze halfway down the stairs to his flat. Oblivious to Teddy's mild squirming and Mrs. Hudson's worried call, he stared straight ahead, mind flying.
Dear Merlin, he'd just met the secret leader of Britain.
Mycroft watched the black car pull away. That had been…well, not exactly disappointing. Yes, the conversation had not gone according to plan, but Mr. Potter genuinely did not appear to be a threat, which was a relief. The wizard had also revealed that he had a worrying amount of knowledge that he had no good reason to possess. Mycroft did not need another puzzle at the moment, but it was definitely something to think about.
Still, the day had not been a complete failure. Despite Mr. Potter's annoying inability to be rattled, his absolute refusal to be bribed or spy, and his mild amusement with the whole situation, Mycroft held the firm belief that the teenager would make a good moral impression on Sherlock.
[It wouldn't be until a week later, when he received a frantic message about an individual sounding suspiciously like his little brother poking around in an area of London that Sherlock had no reason to know even existed, that he began to realize the negative impacts of Mr. Potter's influence.]
*Harry's excuse for knowing about the aliens? Well, apparently the Master of Death was powerful. Really powerful. On a Universal standard powerful. The kind of powerful that could mess with timelines powerful (not that Harry would try or anything. Way too much work to sort things back out afterwards). And this had apparently warranted a special visit from one of the only other equally powerful individuals in the Universe; namely, a certain alien with a police box that broke the laws of modern physics (but not the laws of magic, which had started an interesting debate that Harry really couldn't keep up with—where was Hermione when he needed her?).
And so Harry had learned all about aliens, and Earth's reactions to them, and the Doctor's opinion on Earth's reactions (long, long rants about Torchwood), and what not to do when you run into aliens, and lots more than he ever wanted to know about the Universe; until the Doctor finally decided that he had said enough, and given enough warnings about messing with the time stream, and left.
And that should have been the end of that…except that Harry had run into Jack Harkness (who had warranted a whole hour's worth of explanation from the Doctor) not a week later. Which had brought him to the worrying realization that the Rift in Cardiff that the Doctor had mentioned was actually in Cardiff, Wales Cardiff, as in the city he was currently living in. Which had prompted a move to London (as Cardiff was now too dangerous a place for Teddy to grow up with Torchwood running around; not to mention the aliens), and yet another kidnapping interrogation. Well, at least UNIT wasn't looking for him here.
And of course he told Hermione about it. Imagine his surprise when he found out that she already knew.
(And yes, Harry had turned down the Doctor's offer to travel with him. Because not one of the Doctor's stories had involved a nice, peaceful day on a planet with nothing going wrong, and that was a far too dangerous environment to raise Teddy in. Harry was grown up now; he was mature enough to not need to get into trouble at every conceivable opportunity. No matter how bored he was. No matter how bored Teddy was. He would resist the temptation, damn it! Resist temptation…!)
A/N: So there you have it: Harry meets Mycroft. Apologies for this chapter being a few (oh dear) months late—real life decided to intrude for a time period. And then I discovered the wonders of Final Fantasy VII fan fiction (thank you esama), which threw me off track for a while longer.
Notes on story:
1. Yes, Harry's a little ooc. However, by this point I think he's a little desensitized to the situation, and has more fun playing around with his kidnappers than anything else.
2. Mycroft appears to be a bit off center during the conversation. This is deliberate: he wasn't expecting Harry to be the individual that he is. Remember, his information about Harry comes from the Ministry, and despite Harry killing Voldemort and all that, the Ministry records probably didn't cast Harry in too favorable of a light. And they most certainly didn't include that he was intelligent.
3.a) So now you finally found out what everyone's been hinting at—aliens! For those of you who missed it, I'll break down all the references: in the first chapter, John and Sherlock return from Cardiff, where they were consulting for a case for Torchwood. In the second chapter, Sherlock hacks Torchwood's database and then calls them, under the impression that Harry could be an alien, or alien influenced. In this chapter, Mycroft calls UNIT (London headquarters) and then Torchwood (Cardiff headquarters) to check for alien influence.
3.b) For those who don't know the Doctor Who universe that well, don't worry. It won't play a major part in this story, although I might run a few tangents later in separate fics (such as that case Sherlock had in Cardiff and just how Hermione knows about aliens).
4. Moriarty, in this series, is dead. I'm not including anything from the second season of Sherlock, as I have not seen it yet. Therefore, I'm assuming that Moriarty died in the pool explosion, while John and Sherlock managed to survive. For more details, see the author's note in the first chapter.
And that's it for now. There are about two more chapters for this fic planned: Sherlock discovering the wizarding world, and Lestrade's reaction to all of this nonsense. However, I only have the vaguest ideas for how they will work out, so the next two chapters will probably take a while. A long while. If there is anything anyone wants to see included, though, let me know!