After a long period of writer's block where I had half the chapter completed, I've decided to finally finish and update. Thanks so much for the reviews and other support, it really means a lot to me!
GoldenSteel: Yes, I very much think that Harry would attempt to convince Holmes of Sirius' innocence…that might not show up just yet, though. Harry and the others are still trying to get used to our favorite detective.
Williams: I'm glad that you find my characterizations satisfactory! They're all so much fun to write, but challenging as well. I felt like Bertha's disappearance was just the kind of thing Holmes would pick up on.
ShadowedHand: I'm happy you're interested in this, and yeah, it's a bit difficult to make these two series work together with the different timelines and all. I'm doing my best, and thank you!
narutofan020: I'm not sure why either, but I'm glad you decided to check it out!
Maximus Potter: Here's the update!
This chapter, still Watson's POV, picks up after the events in Chapter Three when Harry has his first real conversation with Holmes. I hope you all continue to enjoy the story!
Dobby's Polka-Dotted Sock
The door of their quarters had just snapped shut behind Mr. Potter and already Holmes was striding for the exit himself.
"We shall speak with the Deputy Headmistress first, Watson." So the two made their way to the teacher's lounge. There, they found Professor McGonagall enjoying a spot of tea with her colleague, Professor Sprout.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Holmes, Dr. Watson," the dignified Transfiguration instructor greeted. "How may I help you?"
"I was merely curious, Professor, as to what happens to the assignments that your students hand into you."
"The assignments?" She asked, clearly confused by this seemingly random query.
"Yes, when a student hands in a written assignment to be graded, what does the professor do with it?"
"I would say it depends upon the teacher. I myself keep all of them."
"I pass them back to the students," Professor Sprout offered.
"Most of the others leave them to be disposed of with the other rubbish," McGonagall concluded. Holmes nodded, eyes closed, and stood there a moment. Finally, his eyes snapped open with a start.
"Thank you, Professors, you have been most helpful." And then he abruptly strode from the room, leaving Watson to shrug at the two women before following.
"And how exactly was that helpful?" Watson asked his friend once he caught up. "The evidence we're looking for has likely been destroyed."
"Yes, very clever of our adversary. But, the professors were indeed useful. Or rather, Professor Sprout was."
"Sprout? She hardly spoke ten words, Holmes!" Sometimes he could feel nothing but bewilderment for the detective, and he was supposedly the one who knew him best.
They had ended up back at their quarters, and Holmes went back to the pieces of parchment he had been talking with Harry Potter over, picking up the original and pressing it to his nose, inhaling deeply.
"Hm…certainly the scent of smoke, burnt parchment…but something more. I seem to be woefully rusty regarding recognition of magical smells, old friend," his friend admitted, and Watson knew it was a serious blow to the man's ego to do so. He couldn't help but feel privileged that he was the one Holmes confided such things in.
"I'm sure it will come to you. The first task isn't for quite some time yet," he reminded the other man.
"Yes, I do wonder what it shall be. A test of courage, the judges said. And likely something of a spectacle. An arena, I should think. Our Mr. Potter and his fellow champions will likely find themselves battling some type of ferocious beast." This deduction seemed to restore some of Holmes' confidence, even as he absently straightened the portrait of a certain Woman.
"You really think they'll put school children up against that?" He asked, slightly disgusted by the thought. That was part of the reason he had chosen to be a doctor and not a healer; the disregard that wizards seemed to have for the safety of themselves and others sometimes astounded him to a sickening degree.
"I'm quite sure. Nothing to worry about, doctor, I'm sure they'll set up some necessary precautions." Something made him suspect Holmes was enjoying his worrying and was trying to wind him up on purpose. The things he would do just for the fun of it, honestly. "Well, nothing for it. Watson, I need you to ask Professor Sprout for samples of each of the plants she has growing in the greenhouses."
"Every plant, Holmes? There's at least three greenhouses from what I remember," he couldn't help but point out, though Watson somehow knew his friend wouldn't care.
"It is essential to the case, my good man, surely you can at least understand that."
"Professor Sprout likely has a class soon, I can't just go barging in."
"Then after classes."
"That's dinner, Holmes! Not everyone starves themselves like you do. And speaking of which, you're eating by tomorrow," he added firmly, and the detective grimaced.
"I do not eat—"
"Yes, you do. When a case is long-term, you eat."
"I'll eat tomorrow if you get those samples by tonight."
"Deal," Watson sighed, it was the best he was going to get from his friend.
When Watson returned rather late that night from the greenhouses, arms laden with countless plant samples, it was to a rather odd sight. Or rather, sound. He could hear the screeches and wails of the violin from within their rooms, that was nothing unusual. What was unusual was the very oddly dressed woman alternatively plugging her ears and yelling at the door.
"You are being much too loud! I am trying to gaze into the beyond, but I cannot do so if—"
"May I help you, miss?" He asked, though not sure if he really wanted to get involved in whatever this was.
"Oh, I did not see you there. Now, you are? No, no, don't tell me." The woman's eyelids shut behind very large glasses and she appeared to be thinking quite hard. "You are here to help—with the case. You and the other are very close—brothers, yes?" Her eyes snapped open with a hopeful expression.
"Sorry," Watson said, smiling as he shook his head. "That would be Mycroft. I'm just a partner: Dr. John Watson." He would have offered his hand, but his arms were rather full.
The woman was flushed red in embarrassment. "Oh, yes, I see now. I apologize, normally I am much, much better, but my connection to the Inner Eye is a little off what with all this—" A long, drawn out screech ripped through her sentence, and Watson wondered whether it had been planned. "Oh!" She huffed, stomping her foot almost like a child.
"The musician is Sherlock Holmes," Watson informed her, and then reached forward, rapping on the door with his cane. "Holmes, open up! I've brought those samples you asked for."
Seconds later the door was wrenched open, the detective practically beaming at the sight of all those plants. "Excellent, excellent, Watson, set them on the coffee table." He was ushered in by his excited friend, and just managed to stop him from slamming the door in the poor woman's face.
"Holmes, first you need to apologize."
"What?" The other looked quite perplexed at this, which caused their sort-of guest to bristle slightly.
"Your playing has been keeping—sorry, what did you say your name was?" He wasn't too sure if she had mentioned it at all, really.
She drew herself up and began, "My name is—"
"No, no, don't tell me," Holmes interrupted, and Watson felt even more certain that the man really had been waiting just inside the door, listening in. "Sybil Trelawney: Divination Professor at Hogwarts for just over thirteen years. That would be quite the accomplishment if anyone actually considered your subject worth teaching. You live in the tower just to the left and rarely venture from it because you say the real world clouds your Inner Eye. But that is not the real reason; you are afraid for your life. This would sound silly coming from someone of seemingly little consequence and who everyone thinks is a fraud, except you're not completely. You have made at least one prediction, of which you have no memory of, but you suspect it is the reason you were hired. Not that that gives you much comfort; you claim you spend your evenings gazing into the beyond, but judging by the rather strong smell of sherry on your breath, you merely attempt to drown your loneliness and misery. Quite the wretched existence, wouldn't you say, Watson?"
It was bad enough when Holmes did things like this, but did he always have to be dragged in for a second opinion?
Before he couldn't so much as give an "Er…", however, Professor Trelawney had launched herself at the detective. He at first worried it was an attack, but he needn't have; the professor merely clutched at Holmes' shirt and sobbed openly.
"Good heavens, madam!" Holmes spoke, clearly as surprised as he was and much more uncomfortable.
"Y- you- you understand! Th- thank you," she said over and over, and it took a minute for both to realize what she was expressing was gratitude. "No one else here understands—but you saw it all! Y- you saw me, you understand!"
"Well now, do have a seat," Holmes guided her as gently as he could to the couch in the front room, and Watson had to smirk a little at the man's brief display of kindness. "Something strong, I think, Watson."
"Right," he replied, limping off to the cupboard.
What felt like hours to Watson, but in reality was probably only a short time, Holmes and the professor were giggling like children over their drinks, talking together about some sort of nonsense, and just generally being too loud to allow him to sleep. So he sat up with them, watching them drain each bottle dry, and wondering when it could possibly end. Professor Trelawney had already been partaking in sherry before coming to their doorstep, surely she would have to stop soon?
But it was early morning before the woman quite literally dropped off onto their sofa, causing the detective a round of hyena-like laughter. Watson decided to remind the other of his presence by easing him up off the chair and begin to both walk and carry the dark-haired man to his bed. It would be no good to let the man doze off in some uncomfortable position as that would only make him twice as irritable and childish in the morning. Besides, he felt he had to do everything in his power to make sure Holmes got somewhere around the proper amount of sleep.
He finally managed to drag his feet into his own room and fall wearily onto the bed, quite aware of the long days to come.
"I beg your pardon?"
"Please, Madam, for the sake of the investigation all that is required is a simple answer." Holmes, bright-eyed and focused upon the case as ever, watched the hospital matron expectantly for her answer.
"I hardly see how fluxweed has anything to do with the Tournament, much less where I get it from. At any rate, Professor Sprout is the expert in plants, Mr. Holmes."
"I assure you, Madam Pomfrey, it is an essential piece of information. Professor Sprout has a class at the moment, and I do believe I have troubled her enough for the time being."
Watson couldn't help but smirk at that, remembering how long it had taken the poor herbologist to gather up samples of every plant in her greenhouses.
"Well, if I recall correctly, she collects it near the Forbidden Forest, it grows naturally. But if you wish to know more, I would recommend talking to Professors Snape or Hagrid."
Snape. The doctor found that quite interesting that one of the primary suspects in this case seemed to be tied to whatever trail of evidence his friend was currently following.
"I see. Thank you for your assistance," Holmes replied and swept from the Hospital Ward in his usual manner. When Watson caught up, the detective was making a beeline for the stairs.
"So, are we off to have a chat with Professor Snape, then?" He inquired.
"Good heavens, no. Not yet. The Potions Master is something of an enigma, Watson, and I am quite sure he enjoys being so. We must take great care in approaching him, and only when the facts are laid out plainly. Now, however, we are paying a visit to Professor Hagrid."
A short time later Watson tapped on the door of the groundskeeper-turned-professor's hut with his cane, immediately eliciting a series of booming barks.
"Back, Fang, back!" Came the gruff voice of Rubeus Hagrid before the wooden door was pulled open. "Hullo!" The giant man smiled in welcome at his visitors. "Somethin' I can help yeh two with?"
"We just have a few questions, my good man. Sherlock Holmes," Holmes shook the other man's large hand, and Watson watched with some amusement as his friend was bobbed up and down. Then it was his turn, his cane proving quite useless in keeping him grounded.
"John Watson, yeah? I remember yeh from yer 'ogwarts days. Yeh was always by yer lonesome." The huge man observed. He could feel his friend's eyes on him, and Watson knew Holmes was likely storing away this latest piece of information on his partner for later use. "Come in!"
The two followed the man inside his home, which proved to be a little one room apartment, functioning as kitchen, dining space, and bedroom altogether. It seemed to Watson almost shameful compared to what luxury Hagrid's colleagues and pupils enjoyed at the castle, but he felt perhaps that the man was quite happy here. They sat themselves around the table and a large boarhound dog came to inspect the newcomers, choosing eventually to rest his head on his master's lap.
"So, what can I do fer yeh?"
"Well you see, Madam Pomfrey referred us to you as I had some questions regarding the procurement of supplies. Mostly herbs or other ingredients." Hagrid nodded, and after a pause, Holmes added, "Specifically fluxweed or knotgrass."
"Oh yeah, well, Professor Sprout usually collects the fluxweed from round the Forbidden Forest. But the knotgrass, I have ta go inta the Forest fer that."
"I see. But it grows naturally in the wild. In abundance?"
"Oh sure. It's not 'ard ta find."
"And how does Hogwarts get supplies for potions that come from animals, such as skins or horns?"
"Ah, those have ta be ordered specifically by Professor Snape. I think 'e gets them from some Apothecary on Diagon Alley." Hagrid nodded once, quite certain of his answer.
"Well I think that's everything that I need. Thank you for your help, Professor." Holmes stood and left again, leaving Watson to politely refuse the teacher's offer of food.
"This is turning out to be simpler than I thought," Watson remarked to the detective.
"Oh?" Was all Holmes said.
"Well, whatever lead you're following seems to be pointing right at Professor Snape. It seems to me, Holmes, that he had something to do with that parchment with Mr. Potter's name."
"That's where we differ, old boy. To my view, Professor Snape is merely an unwitting enabler."
His friend would speak no more on the subject, and so the doctor was left to ponder the man's words all the way up to the castle.
I am so, so sorry for the delay. Honestly I just hit a huge writer's block and was completely stuck. I think I'll just post what I have now so that you all finally get an update. At any rate, I hope you enjoyed it and I am completely open to suggestions on what kind of antics Sherlock Holmes will get up to at Hogwarts. Thanks for reading and please review!