Author's note: I own neither Harry Potter nor Sherlock nor The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Features mild slash.
Chapter 1: Albus Severus Potter
Albus Severus Potter drunk the first day of school rush in like it was water. He loved the chaos, he always had loved having a purpose, having some form of time crunch. He lived for those rare, precious minutes of pressure, and he was only 11. He smiled a lot back then. Sure, there was some pressure from being the first of his siblings to go to Hogwarts – James had been going to muggle school for as long as Albus remembered – but that made him all the more excited. James had even tagged along to see his younger brother off before leaving for his first year at college.
Albus was packed in record time and soon enough they were all headed out the door. They piled into their dad's car, the one he had for work as head auror. Albus zoned out, ignoring his father's conversation with James about some boring Ministry business, and Lily's complaints about not going to Hogwarts. They arrived at the busy station, Albus looked all around him with wide eyes, trying to take in it all. His eyes swept over the people, mentally separating the tourists from the businesspeople, as his older brother had taught him.
They made their way to barrier between platforms nine and ten. Albus hesitated, was he really expected to walk through a solid wall? By all accounts it didn't make sense. He had been reading his brother's physics books in his spare time, he would know. His father noticed, and reassuringly grabed his hand to lead him through the barrier. He winced as he stepped through, but it didn't hurt, and before he knew it, they were on the other side, in the middle of a platform filled with people pushing trolleys. The sound of hooting owls filled the air.
Thick white steam, coming from the scarlet Hogwarts Express made the whole scene hazy, almost like something from a dream. They waded through the crowd until they as good as ran in to Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione. Hugo, who Lily was so thrilled to see she forgot to be upset about not going to Hogwarts yet, and Rose were with them. She ran over and hugged him as the adults started talking. He felt a wave of relief at seeing the familiar face of his cousin.
"Al! Aren't you excited? But also kind of nervous? I have some spells down just in case, but I'm not sure if they'll be enough..." Rose always chattered when she was nervous.
Al laughed, "Calm down, it'll be fine." he told her with a faux arrogant air. It didn't stop his nervous fidgeting or the hint of wild nervousness in his voice.
"Rose, how nice to see you." James walked up and extended a hand for her to shake.
Rose took it and replied "Nice to see you too." though she didn't manage to hold in her laughter.
Recently James had started acting all "proper." Albus assumed it was muggle school getting to him.
Their ears perked up as they heard Ron say from nearby, "If you're not in Gryffindor, we'll disinherit you, but no pressure."
Ginny scolded him for it, but as far as Albus and Rose were concerned, it was too late. What if they weren't in Gryffindor? What if they were in Slytherin?
"He doesn't mean it." Hermine said.
It still didn't help. Ron said something to Rose, but Albus wasn't listening any more. He turned to his father and mother, but they were both involved in the conversation. James was nowhere to be found, probably talking to Uncle Percy. He looked around, searching for a distraction, when his brother's words returned to him. He had time, he should probably practice his "deduction," as James called it. So he did. That older woman with a young boy, she was his grandmother, the ring on her finger said she was married, but a certain look about her said widow... That man nearby, he had two kids, but no wife, and no ring, but he didn't look sad, and nor did the kids, though they all looked hassled, divorced then. Probably she divorced him...
"It's nearly eleven, you'd better get on board." his father announced, bringing Albus back down to Earth.
"Bye Al!" Lily latched onto him for a moment, before kissing her brother on the cheek and running off to play with Hugo.
"Bye Lil." he replied with a slight smile.
"Don't forget to give Neville our love." Ginny told Albus as she hugged him, "See you at Christmas."
Albus nodded, only half listening as his nervousness mounted.
"I expect you to have top marks and practice your deduction." James said, shaking his hand, before pulling his little brother into a hug, "Good luck, Al."
"Thanks James." he replied, forcing himself not to cry.
Albus detached himself from his older brother and hugged his father.
"Bye, Al." his father said, "Don't forget Hagrid's invited you to tea next Friday. Don't mess with Peeves. And don't duel anyone till you've learned how."
"What if I'm in Slytherin?" he asked, whispering so only his father could hear.
His father crouched down so their faces were at the same level. "Albus Severus," he said quietly, "you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew."
"But just say-" Albus insisted, trying to get his father to see the disaster that could occur.
"-then Slytherin House will have gained an excellent student, won't it? It doesn't matter to us, Al. But if it matters to you, you'll be able to choose Gryffindor over Slytherin. The Sorting Hat takes your choice into account."
"Really?" it sounded too good to be true.
"It did for me."
Albus looked at his father, his eyes wide in surprise. The slamming of doors all along the train forced him back to reality. He jumped into the carriage and his mother closed the door behind him.
"Why are they all staring?" Albus demanded, as he noticed so many pairs of eyes aimed at him.
Ron replied, "Don't let it worry you. It's me. I'm extremely famous."
Albus laughed, joined by Rose, Hugo and Lily.
The train started moving and Albus craned out the window, waving frantically at his father as he walked along the train. But his father was soon out of sight and eventually he pried himself away from the window. He found himself alone. All the other kids had gone to look for compartments already. He found Rose and sat with her, they were soon joined by Scorpius Malfoy. He and Rose argued while Albus daydreamed. With one thing and another the train ride passed.
The train rolled to a stop. There was chaos as hundreds of students flooded off the train. Older students were making their way to horseless carriages, but younger students, like Albus, found themselves lost.
"First years over here!" Hagrid called out from the shore of a giant, glassy lake.
Albus couldn't help but grin at seeing the familiar face. As he approached the shore of the lake, he saw a fleet of little boats, the type that would be used with paddles, all bobbing in the water.
"Oy, Al! You look just like yer father when he was yer age!" it was Hagrid, his voice boomed over the din.
"Hey Hagrid!" Albus called out.
"So, everyone partner up and get in one of the boats." Hagrid announced.
Albus found himself sitting with a nervous looking girl who wouldn't meet his eyes.
"Keep yer hands and feet in the boats!" Hagrid called out, and the boats began to move as if by their own volition.
Albus was used to magic, his parents used it all the time, they had a house-elf for goodness's sake, but they rarely did anything this large scale. Albus was trying to figure out what spell was responsible and how long it would take for him to learn it, when the girl across from him spoke up.
"Hey, I'm Lauren Finnegan." she smiled and extended a hand.
"Albus Potter, but you can call me Al." he took it and they shook hands.
When silence fell, she continued "Your dad is the Harry Potter?"
"Is there any other?" Albus replied, kind of confused.
She laughed, "No, I suppose not."
Albus simply shook his head and changed the topic, "What house do you want to get into?"
"I don't know. I guess Gryffindor, though as long as it's not Slytherin, it'll be fine with me."
"Silence!" a man called out, it was Neville "The sorting will now begin."
Lauren was silenced as the hat began to sing. It sung of each house, telling their qualities. And then Neville started calling out names, all in alphabetical order. The mentioned students stepped forwards. Some seemed nervous, others calm. Scorpius was sorted into Gryffindor – lucky! – while Lauren went to Slytherin. Finally Albus heard his name echo around the chamber. It was eerily silent. He was sure no one else had received this level of attention, but it just made him more nervous. With a steadying breath, he strode to the hat, with speed born of nerves, and put it over his head. It fell until his eyes were covered and all he saw was rough cloth.
"You're smart very smart, brilliant, in fact, but you're not much of a wizard. You actually did show signs of magic eventually, but not much, no not much at all. But you're here, and here to stay. Now, where to put you? All your family's been in Gryffindor, but your intelligence is your greatest quality. You'll do well in RAVENCLAW." it called out the last word for all the room to hear.
Albus found himself running to the Ravenclaw table, a wide grin across his face. It didn't even consider Slytherin, and that was a victory in its self! It had said he wasn't much of a wizard, but if he wasn't a wizard, why was he at Hogwarts, and why did any of this matter, he wasn't Slytherin! He was breathing fast, his face was flushed. The others at his table were cheering him on. It took him a moment to calm down, but he did and soon enough he was breathing normally. He really needed to stop getting so nervous.
He heard Rose being sorted into Gryffindor. That meant he was alone, but he would make friends, of course he would. The rest of the meal passed in a bombardment of questions. The food was amazing, of course, but he felt like he barely had a chance to eat it with all the questions about his dad. He wondered if Rose was getting so many questions about her family. That first night he went to bed happy and full.
The next morning he woke up early, dressed fast as he could. After getting lost several times, he managed to find his way to the dining hall as everyone else was beginning to stream in. Albus was rather proud of himself, to say the least. He deserved it, the rest of the week was no where near as good. That first morning he received the schedule he was to follow for the rest of the year. His first class was charms with the Hufflepuffs.
First, there was role call. That meant everyone stared at him from the get go, the instant his name was mentioned, people started to talk and possibly even dare someone to come over and ask him if his father "really is the famous Harry Potter." By the end of that first week Albus hated his last name. But the worst wasn't role call, no it was the classes themselves. No one expected you to get it right on your first try, but they did expect something to happen. A lot of people messed up, but at least they made something explode or burned a hole in something or even just made sparks in the process.
With Albus nothing happened. It was terrible. Take charms for example, they had started with a simple spell, Wingardium Leviosa, that was it. Albus knew the incantation and he knew the motion, he had memorized it the instant the teacher showed it to them. With a simple, cocky ease, he had sat there, pointed at the feather, done the motion, said the words, and he had done it perfectly mind you. Nothing happened. He tried again, and again, and again. Eventually he lost patience, but even then, no accidental magic, accidental magic had only happened to him twice.
Even when the rest of the class started to get things, he couldn't. He studied magic theory until he understood it perfectly, he spent that entire week holed up in the library trying to figure out why it wouldn't work, he wasn't a squib, not like James. He had done accidental magic, only twice, but still, he was at Hogwarts, that had to count for something, right? The only classes he could really do were herbology and potions, the two classes that required no magical effort whatsoever. Herbology he found to be boring, no matter how cool Professor Longbottom was. Potions, on the other hand, was fun, he loved it. He was by far the best student in the class and the teacher appreciated his natural talent. That potions dungeon soon became his favorite place in the building.
A letter from Hagrid had come earlier in the week, confirming that he would spend his free period with him on Friday afternoon. He had instantly agreed and headed over there at the allotted time, though he had half a mind to skip and get some extra sleep. When he arrived, he was glad he had decided to go. Hagrid welcomed him and asked if he was okay, no one had done that all week.
"Exhausted." he replied and fell on to the couch.
"The firs' week of firs' year is rough, but it's not usually this rough..." Hagrid remarked, as he set about making some tea.
"I can't do magic."
"Nonsense, of course you can do magic. Yer Harry Potter's son!"
"James can't." Albus sighed. He took a piece of paper from his bag and pointed his wand at it. "Wingardium Leviosa." he said, with perfect pronunciation and intonation.
Nothing happened. He said it again. Again, nothing. Over and over until he was sure his point was proven. Then he collapsed back into the couch again.
The weeks passed and eventually, after hours and hours of practice, and hours and hours of magical theory he got it. If he focused really hard, put all his will and effort into the idea of performing a spell and said the incantation and did the motion, he could do magic. His first success landed him in the hospital wing for a week because he passed out from exhaustion. It got better, not much better, but if he ate a lot of chocolate, he could do transfiguration and perform spells and keep consciousness. Soon enough he didn't even need chocolate to remain conscious, though he needed to rest for a while after all the magic he did.
Potions was his main refuge. There he was the best. He learned at an exponential rate and loved it. But that didn't protect him from the teasing. Albus was a Ravenclaw, Ravenclaws tended to keep to themselves, they were all the smartest students and did the best in their classes. But Albus found out the hard way, even though they were smart Ravenclaws were kids, just like the rest. He was snubbed and pushed aside, taunted and teased in a way that was just as immature as anyone else their age.
Albus had to learn quick, and he succeeded, he grew a thick skin, got smart enough to tell the most personal details from just one glance, that was his main ammunition. Soon enough, they all knew he was brilliant, but it didn't matter, not if he couldn't do a single spell without absurd amounts of focus and chocolate. By the time they went home for winter break, he was begging to go to muggle school like his brother. His parents wouldn't hear of it, they thought it was just temporary. They never really did understand his problem with the wizarding world.
The following 7 years were just as bad. He studied and studied magic and magic theory and anything else he could find, but it wasn't enough, it was never enough. The taunting continued, but that meant he got smarter, he got better and better at deduction. But by the time he was in his 7th year he was sick and tired of it all. He took his NEWTs and didn't even bother to look at the grades he knew were awful. The train took him home with all the other students. They were all excited. He was nervous, but determined. He packed – necessities only – that very evening and set out the next morning for his brother's flat in London, without another word. He left his wand and a letter saying he was gone behind him.
Nervously, he knocked on the door to his brother's flat. He hadn't seen James in a while, sure he came for the holidays, but he always seemed so distracted, thinking of nothing but his undisclosed Ministry job. There was much talking inside before James opened the door. He looked older, tireder and fatter than when Albus had seen him last, and he wore a three-piece suit as opposed to a wizard's robes, but he was James all the same.
"You'll have to wait out here, I'll come out to fetch you in about half an hour." James whispered hurriedly and closed the door.
Albus sat outside his brother's front door for half an hour, thankfully he had left in muggle clothes. He would have tried to observe the passers-by, but he was too busy thinking about what in the world was going on with his brother. He didn't know muggle clothes and habits very well, but he knew James and James's behavior was rather clear. He was obviously talking to someone important who he couldn't afford to have see Albus. After 30 long minutes the door did open. A well dressed muggle man, who Albus could barely begin to deduce, left and James let him in.
"Albus, what a pleasant surprise. What brings you here?" James asked once they were both seated.
They were in the living room it was immaculate and had definitely been set up with business in mind. It looked very professional and didn't say too much about the owner.
"I left home, I want to go to college and live like a muggle, like you do." Albus replied, after a brief pause. He expected questions, a refusal maybe.
"I assume you want me to do your documents, give you a fake identity, enroll you in the university of your choice?" James said instead, with a slight smile.
Albus shook his head "I can get into schools on my own, all I need is the identity."
"You'll also need money." he said, and added on to the end "And new clothes."
"I have some galleons I want changed over into pounds." Albus held up his rather heavy pack.
"Good. Leave those with me."
Albus handed James a bag filled with gold silver and bronze pieces, which James exchanged for several rolls of paper notes with a range of numbers in the corner.
Albus inspected the strange money curiously.
"As for identity, I thought this might happen, so I prepared in advance. Your name is Sherlock Holmes, you're still my brother, my name is Mycroft Holmes. You were home-schooled for several years before being enrolled in an unusual trade school. To say the least, it didn't work out. Got it? You can enroll in whatever school you like. In the meantime, you can stay here, there's a spare bedroom."
"You may settle in tonight if you like. Now, I have a date to prepare for." with that, James, or Mycroft, as he was to be called, left for his room.
Albus, or Sherlock, as he was to call himself, lived in his brother's house until the semester began in the fall. From then on he either lived on campus or rented a of his own flat. He was never short on money, his parents gave him a regular allowance through Mycroft that was a fair amount of money. It helped that Sherlock had gotten in to the school of his choice with a full scholarship. In muggle school he excelled. He was brilliant and sped through his classes, graduating in half the time required for most.
Still, it didn't stop the taunting. Amongst muggles he was too brilliant to fit in, and too used to having to strike first. He once again became the subject of insults and hatred, but he didn't care, at least he wasn't a failure any more. During the ten years following his departure from number 12 Grimauld Place, his parents' home, he only returned once, and that was for Mycroft's wedding to a half-blood witch by the name of Mary Poppins. That was while Sherlock was only in his second year at muggle school. As for the marriage, she divorced him five years later.