A/N: This chapter was so not my fault. Truly it wasn't. I was at a creative writing workshop/society a while back and we had to 'build a world' around prompts pulled from a hat. For my first prompt I did a Sherlock Holmes sketch. After sharing it my other Holmes-obsessed friends decided that the second thing everyone wrote should be Sherlock fanfiction. I jokingly said I'd mix things up by writing a HP/Sherlock crossover.
The next prompt I drew? 'Your literary world is identical to ours, except that trading dragons is illegal.'
Cue my mouth dropping open. I'd have been mental to not take advantage of such a perfect prompt. It was fate I tell you. FATE!
General Disclaimer: If I was J.K. Rowling or Steven Moffat, I wouldn't have broken EVERY SINGLE PERSON'S HEART with "The Casual Vacancy" and 'The Angels Take Manhattan'! *starts sobbing*
John blinked. After a few moments he decided that it must be the petri dish of fetid toenails on the hall table that was making him hallucinate. For that was the most likely cause of Sherlock staring at little Jamie Potter in the middle of their flat. Still, it never hurt to check before rushing off to hospital. "Hi to you too. Sherlock, why is one of the neighbours' children here?"
"We're babysitting." His flatmate didn't glance up. Nor did he shift his scrutinising gaze from the young boy, who was looking decidedly right back, determined to win this new game.
"Ah." Definitely an hallucination. He might as well play along; what was the harm. Plenty of time to dial 999 later. "You...volunteered to babysit?"
"Ginny needed time to write," Sherlock drawled slowly, still not taking his stare away from the now-fidgeting Jamie, "and taking care of three children wasn't productive to her goal. So she delegated. Please keep up, John."
"She let you babysit?" John said, before his train of thought caught on to the truly surprising implication. "Wait, you agreed?"
"I already said I volunteered."
"You are not a parrot. Act like it."
John made an effort to close his gaping mouth. Jamie by this time was looking amused at the entire situation with the silly adults. Or perhaps he was still just enthralled with the staring contest. "Why did you volunteer? Is this some sort of delayed breakdown from the failed case?"
Sherlock sent him a single glance of disdain as Jamie let out a cheer. "For an experiment." The consulting detective answered as though it was obvious. He then proceeded to ignore the doctor. "Jamie, what do you know about Merlin?"
"Wiza'd!" Jamie said extremely happily, having gotten Sherlock to look away before himself.
"Correct." Sherlock frowned. "Do you recall anything else about him?"
The little boy scrunched up his face in thought. His hand ruffled his hair in a way identical to his father. "Weally st'wong. Like daddy!"
"Right." Judging by the impatient set of Sherlock's jaw, this impromptu interrogation wasn't going the way he'd hoped. "Tell me, are your clothes 'muggle'?"
Jamie looked at the adult as though debating whether he'd lost his mind. "Yea'."
"Are mine muggle?"
"Nuh-uh." Was Jamie imitating Sherlock's 'how-moronic-can-you-possibly-be' expression? Christ, had the child decided Holmes was a suitable role model? John couldn't help but check the window for flying pigs. He was slightly relieved that this entire thing was a hallucination, even if there did turn out to be other side effects from breathing in apparently toxic, decaying fumes. In the meantime, for just a moment Sherlock was clearly shocked at Jamie's answer. Though everything was righted when he rapidly hid the slight signs.
"So, you've been questioning a child?" John wished he could be shocked by this.
"Easier than questioning the parents."
John gaped for a few moments before making a beeline out of the room. "I need tea. Yes, tea. That's absolutely what's needed. Tea and biscuits for Jamie, and normality will be set right."
"Black for me." Sherlock called out lazily, returning to scrutinising a bored Jamie.
"Get it yourself!" The doctor called back in frustration. There was the faint sound of a head hitting a wall. A slight smile slipped onto Sherlock's lips. This grin rapidly disappeared as a loud screech and thud of something falling came from the other room. In the next second the doctor had raced back in, his furious yet commanding expression harking back to the Captain Watson of past.
"What did you do to the kitchen?" John managed to roar calmly. This was still enough to make Sherlock jerk up.
"Let me rephrase." The doctor steamed, on the last straw. "What did the poor kitchen ever do to you?"
Sherlock returned his attention to the now-gurgling Jamie, uninterested. "Did you or did you not find the biscuits?"
"I would have if you hadn't booby-trapped the bloody kitchen! Damn it, I can't even get a cuppa anymore."
"Language, John. It's hardly booby-trapped." Sherlock scoffed. "Not a bear trap to be seen."
Sherlock had a trace of a smile. "Exactly."
"No, not exactly!" John protested, having found himself in the awkward position of siding against a toddler and world-class detective. "What have you done to the flat?!"
Said detective–thoroughly bored–had returned to quizzing Jamie about Merlin. He only deemed John with an answer of, "It's only a bit of paper."
"It's not just a–" but John's vehement yet surely well-constructed argument trailed off at the realisation that no one was paying him any attention. As far as he could tell the others were having two very passionate though separate conversations.
Sherlock was busy waxing poetic about the historical inconsistencies of Tarot cards and the like, while Jamie was gleefully comparing different types of dragons. At least, that's what John interpreted the jabbering ("Drag'n red 's goo. Goo' goo' goo'. Unca Charlee 'add it go bye bye. Bu' was s'ill goo'. No' like daddy ooo don' has it on his belly.") and roaring ("ARRGH! ME DRAG'N! Yea. GARGH!"). Not to mention the fact that the toddler had been flapping his arms and 'flying' around in circles before thumping to the floor with a happy giggle.
John would have found it amusing that neither Sherlock nor Jamie realised that the other had long since left the other's conversation, but he was far too busy being infuriated to care. For no matter what his flatmate said, the git had so transformed their innocent kitchen into something out of a slasher film–and not even a vaguely decent one at that. It was not just a bit of paper: Sherlock had decorated every inch of the room with bloody dancing men cyphers. The 'bloody' even seemed to be literal.
John knew he shouldn't have complained about the pickled eyeballs last week. It was just like Sherlock to decide to do a social experiment to see how far the doctor could be pushed before the latter marched the former to St. Bart's roof to see if the miraculous zombie stunt could be recreated.
Not that John would ever actually do that, of course. But who ever said fantasies couldn't be entertaining?
"Sherlock. Sherlock!" John's shout finally transferred his flatmate's attention from his rant about historical inaccuracies concerning post-Roman Britain and Arthurian legend, to the doctor. "Kitchen. Explain. Now."
Jamie continued to roar, clapping his hands gleefully. Sherlock looked simultaneously bored and annoyed. "There's nothing to explain. I work best with visual stimuli."
"Visual stim–" John shook his head, refusing to be drawn further into the madness, "–no. Just, no. Enough skirting around the question and answer me."
Sherlock momentarily hesitated. The sheepish, uncertain, downright puzzled expression which swept across his face gave even Jamie pause–the latter was balanced mid-leap off the top of the sofa, 'wings' flung wide.
"I'm–stuck." John almost missed the detective's annoyed admittance, having rushed over to rescue Jamie. But once the giggling boy was in secure arms, Sherlock's words hit home.
"What?" John gaped, though a good part of him wanted to grab a camera to record this momentous occasion. First Sherlock wasn't able to solve cases, then he volunteered to babysit, and now he was admitting a weakness? "'The Fall' really did do something to your head, didn't it. Wait, I've been meaning to ask you–err, that commentator on my blog wasn't actually Moriarty, right?"
"Don't be ridiculous." Sherlock said contemptuously, his impatience and aloof manner instantly returning. "Of course it was Moriarty. But as far as the cyphers, yes, I'm stuck. Try to restrain yourself from rubbing it in."
John pushed down a sudden swirl of panic. He had to force himself to concentrate on the immediate incomprehensible issue at hand. No need to worry about supervillains until this serial killer/mob/evil organisation was behind bars or six feet under. "Haven't you enough samples of the code by now? You've proven there's enough to wallpaper a room. Which, by the way, you would do well to tidy up before Mrs. Hudson has your head. You're lucky you're still alive after the gun shots to the wall."
Sherlock scowled, unimpressed. "It doesn't matter how many samples I have if I'm missing the dratted key. Do you recall the book code? I'm missing the word I need to decipher this mess, and there's nothing to compare it to!" His voice's volume increased until, by the end, it had reached a gruff scream.
Jamie giggled at the funny man. Sherlock glared at the toddler for making light of his grievous misfortune. John thus glared at his flatmate for trying to scare a little kid. The young Potter's amused laughter only grew louder.
"Drug raid!" Lestrade's voice rang out far too cheerfully. But the glee halted as he stopped, stricken in the doorway, stunned at the sight. "It–is that a child?"
"The fre–He has a kid?" Donovan peered in over his shoulder. Neither she nor Anderson bothered to hide their gapes.
"It's not his." John said while holding the squiggling boy.
"You have a kid?" Anderson began sniggering. "Oh wait, he's both of yours. Always knew it."
Sherlock snatched the child from an irritated John. "What are you doing here?"
"Didn't you hear?" Donovan started riffling through a desk. "Surprise drug bust. Aka: are you hiding any clues about the serial murders from us? Oh and yes, we did notice you didn't answer our questions about the kid."
"He isn't ours." John exclaimed. "But a drug raid? Why the hell is Anderson here?"
Anderson opened his mouth but Sherlock beat him to the punch. "I expect he volunteered. Again. Don't you have an actual job to do?"
"This is so much more fun." Anderson grinned from his spot on the couch, sniffing at something. "Now, the kid?"
Sherlock paused. "Jamie Potter." He turned to Lestrade. "Son of Harry Potter, our new neighbour. Does that mean anything to you?"
Lestrade crinkled his forehead, confused. "What? No. Should it?"
"Harry Potter." Sherlock repeated with growing urgency, unconcerned that police just trampled into his flat. "A detective who sometimes consults for Scotland Yard."
"The Yard is bigger than just us." Anderson sneered.
Donovan nodded along before lightening as Jamie giggled and slobbered onto Sherlock's scarf. "Awe, he's such a cutie. Why on earth is he with you two?"
"Babysitting." John answered shortly.
Donovan blinked in amazement. "...is that grounds for child abuse?"
"Act your age," Lestrade warned, "and play nice. But no, I don't know anyone named Potter."
"Green eyes, glasses, messy black hair," Sherlock rattled off, "has a scar in the shape of a lightening bolt on his forehead–"
"Wait, scar?" Donovan's eyes widened in realisation, her gaze flickering to Anderson nervously. "Was that 'Harry Potter'? Damn it."
"You know him!" Sherlock shouted out, vaulting over the couch to the sergeant as Jamie shrieked with glee. "Which cases have you worked with him?"
"He wasn't a consultant." Donovan frowned. "He was a perp. Sort of. Years ago he and his friends got in trouble for a spot of smuggling into England."
"Years ago?" Lestrade raised an eyebrow. "How do you remember this?"
Donovan flushed slightly. Her commanding officer's eyebrow continued to raise before realisation crossed his expression as well. He began chuckling. "Oh, the 'dragon'. Good lord, that was ages ago. Interesting case. It was before you got in contact with us, Sherlock, though it would have been right up your alley."
"What happened?" John asked, almost as curious as to Donovan's blush as to their mysterious neighbours.
Lestrade's smile twitched into a smirk. "This was back when Donovan was still a constable. We got a call that some chavs were being brought in; caught in airport security at Heathrow with some sort of ridiculous object..."
Sergeant Gregory Lestrade rubbed his eyes tiredly. "Let's take this from the top. So, what is it exactly?"
"An Hungarian Horntail." George Weasley said with a smile, leaning back in his seat.
"An egg, that is." Ron Weasley added as he looked around the interrogation room in fascination. "Blimey, is that a tekephone?"
"A telephone." Hermione Granger said in frustration. "A mobile. But all of you–shush and behave!"
Lestrade began to wish he had taken a long weekend. He looked to his side to share an understanding glance with Constable Sally Donovan, but she was too busy staring at the dark-haired teenager. The latter, in turn, was shifting uneasily under her predatory smile. Lestrade took a calming breath.
"Donovan, try to be professional. The kid's a kid." He whispered to her warningly. She just grinned and turned back to the nervous teenager.
"Harry Potter, aged nineteen." Donovan spoke, emphasising his age. "From Surrey, and single?"
"I have a girlfriend!" Harry blurted out, anxiously running a hand through his hair. George seemed a moment away from cracking up.
"Don't listen to him." The redhead leaned in, winking at Donovan. "Harry's as single as they come–OI! Ron, the hell did you hit me for?"
"He's dating our sister, you git." Ron seethed as George clutched his head.
"But it was funny!" George protested. "The please-woman was about to pounce him."
"Can we get back to why there's a giant black and red 'egg' sitting in the holding room?" Lestrade glared from the fidgeting kids to the blushing constable.
"Erm, sir?" The brunette girl piped in. "I know we're in trouble, but it's really not a good idea to keep that egg here."
The Inspector huffed out in annoyance. "Right, because it's an Hawaiian Horn-"
"Hungarian Horntail." The four kids corrected as one. Lestrade blinked.
"Mind telling me what that is?" He said drily. The teens exchanged a look.
"As unbelievable as it sounds," Harry spoke up hesitantly, looking anywhere but at Donovan, "we had a perfectly legal reason for carrying the egg around. We weren't smuggling it or anything."
Donovan finally joined Lestrade in his frustration. "Fine then, how about you tell us what you weren't smuggling."
Harry fidgeted slightly, flashing a boyish smile. "I know it sounds crazy, but you've put a dragon egg in the middle of Scotland Yard. Oh, and it's about to hatch."
Donovan snorted. "A dragon, yeah. We aren't going to buy that."
Lestrade turned back to the kids and willed himself to say the words that would likely cue the end of his career at Scotland Yard. That is, if anyone took him seriously, and of course no one would. It was ridiculous. "All right, so you have a dragon egg. When you say 'dragon', you mean-"
"-a scaly lizard, flying monster that can breath fire." George nodded. "Yep. But I've heard they're awfully cute as babies. Though this was from my brother Charlie so I wouldn't take that to heart. Mental, that one."
Hermione turned to the redhead and practically breathed flames herself. "This coming from someone who made a salamander eat a firework!"
"Oi!" George held his hands up placatingly. "It only singed some homework-"
"You frightened the first years!"
"They've seen worst." George tried to say with a reassuringly amused voice. This quailed under the girl's intimidating glare.
"He does have a point." Ron instantly leaned away as Hermione spun towards him. "Not about the salamanders! But come on, we faced Fluffy and a cannibalistic plant our first year. The munchkins can take it-"
Hermione calmed down marginally and almost looked swayed, but then the younger redhead unwisely continued.
"-plus, you were the one who decided taking the egg ourselves was a brill ide–umph!" The officers weren't quick enough to stop the angry brunette from pouncing the redhead.
John Watson blinked. "So wait, you interrogated Harry Potter. While hitting on him. Huh. Ginny won't be pleased."
"Ginny?" Donovan asked, her eyes narrowing a touch.
"Ginny Potter. They are married and have three kids. Get over your ridiculous crush." Sherlock waved this insignificant information away, missing the stormy gaze sent his way. "Were they prosecuted?"
Lestrade shrugged, scratching the back of his neck. "Not sure. I think their case was transferred to special ops. What was it, the Aurors?"
"The Aurors." Sherlock seemed positively delighted. "This was the last you heard of the 'dragon egg'?"
"I'm pretty sure." Lestrade didn't understand the consulting detective's excitement. "It did happen years ago; the only reason I remember it at all is because of the weirdness of the case. Not to mention that it was the Aurors."
"What's so special about this team?" John questioned.
"No one knows anything about them." Donovan took up the explanation like one secretly thrilled to be passing on a bit of gossip. "Mysterious, the lot of them. You know that TV series 'Torchwood'? They're exactly the same."
John began laughing. "What, they're chasing aliens around?"
"Not exactly." Anderson corrected, still not entirely happy after hearing about Donovan's long-ago crush. "This group comes onto weird crime scenes and, next thing we know, the cases've disappeared from the Yard's mainframe databases."
"Very hush-hush." Donovan got into the story once more, her voice now a whisper. "Only the upper officials seem to have any clue about it. But the lot of them are very weird. I ran into them once myself in the city's centre. Believe it or not, a man had been killed inside of a telephone booth. We had gotten the crowd of onlookers under control and had just begun worrying about forensics when they popped out of nowhere. Actually, they did look quite like Captain Jack Harkness now that I think about it–long cloaks, robes and that sort."
Sherlock tapped his foot impatiently. "Jack Harkness?"
"Captain Jack Harkness. Main character on 'Torchwood'." Donovan let out a wistful sigh. "A bisexual immortal who has an utterly incredible smile and–"
Anderson coughed. "So, are we in agreement that the Aurors and Torchwood are the same and that the Potters are aliens? Yes? Good. Moving on: Holmes, which planet are you from, and how did you escape the authorities?"
"Hilarious." Sherlock scowled. "No Anderson, we can rule out aliens. Something strange is going on but it has no markings of the extraterrestrial."
"Markings of the extraterr–Freak, I was joking." Anderson looked at him askance. "It was a joke. Do they have those on your planet?"
"Oh how I abhor your 'sparkling wit'." Sherlock drawled, crossing his arms. "Once again, if you cannot say anything of substance then do shut up!"
Anderson huffed. "Rude bastard." He muttered to himself before turning to Donovan. "I need a drink. You want anything?"
"Blatant thievery!" Sherlock shouted out while Anderson waltzed into the kitchen, but this was all-but forgotten in the commotion that followed. A moment too late John realised that, yes, no one should have been allowed into the kitchen. For all that his flatmate annoyed him, he didn't want to see the consulting detective carted away to an asylum.
"Anderson, wait–" John called frantically. Yet as the wide-eyed man ran back into the sitting room it was obvious that he was far too late.
"You're mad." Anderson intoned expressionlessly, gazing at an unperturbed Sherlock in shock. "You were before, but now? You've gone over the deep end! What the bloody hell is the matter with you?"
Sherlock humphed. "Oh yes, because I'm the person who falsely accuses people, sets up fake drug busts, and then tries to rob citizens. Yes, indeed."
"Anderson," Lestrade rubbed his forehead at the pounding accusations, "you better have a damned good reason for saying that."
Anderson just snorted and quirked a thumb towards the unassuming kitchen. "Go and see for yourself."
Lestrade turned to Sherlock and, after a nod of permission, headed inside with a curious Donovan trailing close after. John sent a worried look at his flatmate as the door closed, but the consulting detective was in his own little world. With his eyes closed, fingers clenched up in a 'prayer' stance, and mouth mumbling random phrases it was clear that he was working on the latest 'clues' to the ensuing mysteries.
John took another anxious look at the oddly silent doorway. "It will be okay, you know."
"Hmm mmm." Sherlock's eyes remained closed.
"I won't let them do anything this time."
John scowled at the unseen detectives. "They're only ignorant jerks. Ignore whatever they say. You're the genius who solves all their cases: why should they care how you solve it? Obnoxious gits."
Sherlock peeped out at his only true friend as a whisper of a smile crossed his lips. "Indeed."
"It doesn't matter." John nodded resolutely, choosing to ignore that he had been the first to raise concerns about the kitchen's new wallpaper. "Stupid blighters. I'll make sure they don't try anything again. I'll–nothing will happen. Don't worry. I'll make sure."
"Thank you." Sherlock fully reopened his eyes while dropping his hands. He sent his flatmate a considering gaze. "It means–that means more than you know. Still John, you're being irrational. Nothing will happen. Don't be foolish and exaggerate."
John's frown quirked into a smile. "Because neither of us are prone to melodrama."
"Of course not." Sherlock looked askance at the indication. "Facts, John. Facts! Emotions have no place in it."
"No, course not." John replied just as the door creaked back open. "They don't look happy."
"We can use the toddler as a shield?" Sherlock said absently, ruffling a giggly Jamie's hair.
"Don't be ridiculous, he's far too small." John forced on a fake bright smile for the stormy police. "Ah, so, did you find the tea?"
Lestrade ignored John in lieu of his guilty flatmate. "Bored, are you?"
"Horrendously." Sherlock intoned as Jamie continued to drool over his scarf.
"So you decided to redecorate." A grin cracked through Lestrade's stern demeanour. "Christ, how did you manage to survive Mrs. Hudson's wrath?"
John felt himself relaxing, even while Anderson and Donovan were both peering at the samples of cypher in their hands in disbelief. "She doesn't know yet. He might use Jamie here as a shield when that happens."
"Good plan; also explains the babysitting." Lestrade nodded, smiling at the lad. "Bit small though."
"He'll be fine." Sherlock tugged his much-abused scarf out of the protesting toddler's mouth. "According to Mrs. Hudson he is 'the most adorable little thing ever'."
"You'll be fine then." Lestrade collapsed into a seat. "So–please tell me that with all of that," he made a vague sweeping gesture towards the kitchen, "you've made some progress on the code. Because apparently the 'highly skilled decoders' at the Yard don't think that stick figure cyphers are their division. Prats."
Sherlock hummed before sweeping around to stare at the wall, arms resolutely crossed. "It's–coming along." Though he would deny it for all time, John giggled.
"So you're clueless." Anderson snorted, exchanging a bemused look with Donovan.
"Like you could do better." Sherlock retorted without pause.
"Some of it is bloody well obvious." He pointed at a code on the crumpled sheet he held with a smirk. "Or do you not see how this bit spells out 'Southbank'?"
Within a moment the world's only consulting detective had vaulted across the room and snatched the paper from Anderson's hand. He scrutinised it closely; his raising eyebrows the only sign of his amazement.
"I'm right, aren't I?" Anderson grinned. "Goes to show you shouldn't be so full of yourself, Freak. Some genius you are."
But instead of a witty comeback Sherlock merely continued staring at the cyphers, not deeming the pompous man or the confused others with even a glance. In the puzzled atmosphere cluttering the flat, only one person noticed a bored Jamie turn the skull on the mantlepiece into a toy Hungarian Horntail.
A/N: Lestrade and Donovan weren't obliviated about the dragon egg because the aurors didn't think it was necessary, since they and no one else would believe. It would be the same reason why, say, aliens wouldn't bother memory wiping someone of their abduction, because who would because this 'crazy person' claiming they went on a joyride in a UFO?
Obliviations would only be used if magic needed to be covered up. Whether that means banishing the memory of Nessie in the Thames or of getting rid of Sherlock's suspicions, it doesn't matter. The dragon egg was taken away from Scotland Yard, the 'perps' were arrested by 'special ops', and that was the end of the story.
Also, Jamie Potter is totally awesome. Just saying.