Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Sherlock Holmes. I probably won't remeber to write this at the beginning of every chapter, so let's assume that if I didn't own them while writing the first chapter, I probably won't start magically owning them later.
This is the first time I'm doing this, so I don't have a beta. Sorry for any spelling/grammar mistakes. Also, I'm aware that the title to this story is totally lame, if anyone has alternate suggestions, they would be welcome!
A Study in Friendship
Harry raised his quill, preparing to press it to his parchment, but then put it down again feeling torn. He had thought long and hard about what he was about to do, and he had made his decision, but it still felt like he was betraying his friends and Cedric's memory by doing this.
He had tried so hard to be selfless, to be good and noble and strong, to be worthy of the love his friends had given him. All his courageous actions ever since he had started going to Hogwarts were for his friends' benefit. Merlin knows he had never acted courageously or nobly before then. As a child he had been sneaky and selfish, he had cared for nobody but himself. He didn't think he was a bad person, but having grown up with no one to care for him or help him he had learned to look out for himself before anyone else.
Then, he came to Hogwarts and met his wonderful friends who enjoyed spending time with him, and cared about him like no one else in the world had done before. He hadn't wanted to disappoint them, hadn't wanted them to know the selfish side of him. The one that stole candy from a classmate, and then traded it with Piers Polkeiss in exchange for him keeping Dudley's gang away.
He thought of Hagrid's face when he told Harry that he would be a great wizard just like his parents. Dear Hagrid, who was so sure that Harry would be brave and noble and kind, just like his parents were. Harry had so wanted to be worthy of the high esteem that the man who was his first ever friend held for him. He wanted to be worthy of Hermione's affectionate hugs and Ron's companionship. So he had tried to be what they all wanted him to be, he tried hard and succeeded in acting in a way that was worthy of their admiration and friendship.
Still, he felt lonely sometimes. He knew that despite his big actions, in his heart of hearts he was still the Harry from Privet Drive. The selfish Harry who cared only for his own safety. Like that night, when they had gone to retrieve the philosopher's stone. His actions had been flawless, but in his heart he had wished that he had never discovered what the three headed dog was hiding, that he could go back upstairs to his lovely four-poster bed, and let someone else deal with the problem. He wished the same thing the night he went down to the chamber of secrets with Ron. The he would feel guilty for feeling that way, and he would wish that he could really be as brave and noble as his friends thought he was.
Sometimes, he wished that he could find someone that would know him for who he really was, and still care for him even if he was selfish and cowardly sometimes. It was a lonely feeling, knowing that there wasn't a single person in the world who knew him for who he really was and still loved him for it.
Still, even despite the bouts of loneliness and guilt, Harry was usually happy and thankful for the wonderful friends he had. But all of that was going to end now, and that was why Harry hesitated so, even though he knew that what he was about to do was necessary. He didn't want to betray his friends, it was the last thing he wanted to do, but he had to! He was so tired of the fear and the pain, of the nightmares. Being locked in his room for four days had given him a lot of time to think: he thought about how the dementor incident was just the beginning, how he didn't want to spend the rest of his life being afraid. He was sick of being the one who jumped into danger to save other people. He thought about how it was the time to do something to save himself.
And he decided that it was time. After four years of keeping to the charade, of acting like the good little Gryffindor he so wished he really was, he was going to do the cowardly and selfish thing.
He lowered the quill to the parchment again, and began to write:
No, that was no good. He needed to be more respectful if he wanted to reach an agreement with the dark lord.
To the Dark Lord,
I know that I am the very last person you are expecting to hear from, considering how much you want me dead, but that's actually the reason I'm writing to you. I want to know why you want to kill me. We both know that what happened to you when I was a baby had absolutely nothing to do with me, it was my mom's sacrifice that saved me. Also, as you must know from spending a year attached to the back of Quirrell's head as he taught us, I'm a completely average wizard, and have no special powers whatsoever, so I really can't think of a way in which I would be a threat to you. I escaped you by pure luck, and since I can't count on getting lucky next time, and I really don't want to die, I think it would be in my best interest to get you to stop wanting to kill me. Only, I don't know why you want to kill me in the first place. Once I do know, maybe we'd be able to work something out between us. Maybe I could spy on Dumbledore for you or something?
Harry read over the letter and grimaced. The whole letter sounded incredibly stupid. The whole idea of sending Voldemort a letter was incredibly stupid, but Harry could think of no other way to contact Voldemort, so he'd just have to settle for the letter, even if it didn't sit with him right- writing Voldemort a letter, as if he were his friend or something! Still, there was nothing for it, he wanted to survive and if doing something stupid and idiotic (and traitorous) was what it took to make it out of this war alive, then so be it.
He woke Hedwig up from her nap, and gave her the letter to give to Voldemort.
"Take this to Voldemort Hedwig"
She gave him a sharp look, almost as if she was wondering if he was crazy.
"No, I really mean it, bring this to Voldemort, it's a matter of life or death to me, and when you're done don't come back here. Uncle Vernon is in a really volatile mood, and I'm scared he'll lock you back up in your cage if you so much as make a sound. Anyways, I don't have the means to clean your cage now I'm locked in here, this place isn't fit for you to live in. Go to Ron and Hermione, they'll take good care of you till school starts up again."
Hedwig hooted reluctantly, but took off towards the sky.
As he watched Hedwig become a speck in the sky and vanish, he wondered at the fact that despite feeling guilty for what he had just done, there was a happiness blooming inside him. He was happy to be helping himself for once, to be doing something useful.
He turned away from the window with a slight smile on his face, not noticing the gray eyes that were watching him from the house next door.
Sherlock Holmes, of number two Privet Drive, watched the Potter kid through his bedroom window. It seemed as though he given his owl a letter and then sent her off to deliver it. But that didn't make any sense, pigeons were used for delivering mail, not owls, and anyways, who used a pigeon to send mail nowadays? It was completely illogical! Another strange puzzle piece in the already complex mystery that Harry Potter had presented him with. The strangeness of the mystery didn't bother him, on the contrary: he was feeling positively giddy at the thought of such a complex and mysterious problem. He glanced at the boy's window again. He had not seen the boy leave the room for four days, he was probably locked in there. Further proof that the boy was being abused.
He had told the police of course, about how the Dursleys were abusing their nephew, but Lestrade said that he couldn't just arrest people because someone had suspicions that they were abusive. That made Sherlock angry- they weren't suspicions, they were deductions!
He had explained to Lestrade how suspicious it was that the Dursleys, who were always so ridiculously obsessed with showing what a normal, average family they were, were so quick to speak about how their nephew was a hooligan and a criminal. Almost as if they didn't want anyone to trust the boy or look too closely into his life.
He told Lestrade how the clothes that the Potter boy wore weren't some stupid punk fashion statement like the adults seemed to think, Sherlock knew enough about the way youth his age dressed to know that his clothes weren't the kind that were torn on purpose. His clothes were the kind of clothes poor people wore because they couldn't afford anything better- ugly, old, torn up. And yet the Dursleys were very well off, and had just bought a new car that had cost quite a bit of money according to Vernon Dursley's boasts.
He asked Lestrade if he didn't think it was suspicious that the boy always kept just far enough away from his uncle's reach, almost subconsciously. As if he had been conditioned for years to stay out of the range of Dursley's fists.
Lestrade had listened patiently, and looked like he wanted to believe him (at least in that Lestrade was better than the DIs in his previous home in London, the ones who wouldn't listen to him when he insisted that little Carl Powers had been murdered. Lestrade listened to him and heeded his advice ever since he had helped solve that easy little robbery case) but in the end, he had sighed and told Sherlock he couldn't start arresting people because of torn shirts and vague suspicions. He asked Sherlock if he knew how many times the police was called because a neighbor heard a child screaming and thought he was being abused and it turned out that the kid was just throwing a temper tantrum. The DI told Sherlock that if he could convince the Potter boy to complain, or if he witnessed Potter being harmed, then he would be able to do something about it.
Sherlock had scowled and stormed off, mumbling about stupidity and incompetence.
What Sherlock hadn't told Lestrade was that he suspected that Potter was hiding a secret that was far bigger than just being abused, which was the reason that when he finally saw Dursley harming Potter with his own eyes a couple days later, he didn't go straight to Lestrade, but instead kept it to himself.
From the very start he had suspected that there was something more to the whole situation than just a normal case of abuse. For one thing, not only was Potter scared of the Durselys, the Dursleys we afraid of Potter in return. It sounded funny that the Dursleys were scared of Potter, considering how they treated him, but it was almost like they treated him that way so that he would be too scared of them to do something to them in return. Sherlock saw how they always watched Potter out of the corner of their eyes, flinching whenever he made a sudden movement.
Another strange thing was the owls that were constantly flying in and out of Potter's window. He had absolutely no idea what the meaning of that could be, which was strange because he was usually very good at figuring out the meaning behind strange situations. The way he saw it, every action in the world led to a reaction, and every reaction had an action that led to it. If something seemed strange or impossible, it was only because you didn't know what caused that thing to happen. So there was a perfectly reasonable explanation behind the owls, Sherlock just had to figure it out.
So far, Sherlock's theory was that Potter was part of a secret group. A dangerous one if the way the Dursleys watched him was any indication. It wasn't only the owls and the way the Dursleys acted around Potter that led him to this conclusion, it was also the way Potter talked and acted- as if he weren't really a part of this world, as if he came from somewhere different.
This was confirmed to him the day he had witnessed Potter being harmed by this uncle. "Your lot" Vernon had said, "Your lot don't get on our news".
As for the nature of the secret group, Sherlock had a suspicion, but it was such a ridiculous one that he didn't even acknowledge it in his own mind. It was preposterous to think that there were people that could do ma-. Never mind. He wasn't thinking about that ridiculous theory.
And yet, the noise that Sherlock had heard definitely hadn't been a car backfiring. The noise had startled Sherlock who had been studying the earth in his back yard and comparing it to the earth in the park down the road. When he saw the the commotion involved Potter, Sherlock snuck into the Dursleys' garden and crouched behind a bush, observing the confrontatin, hoping it would shed some light on the mystery that was Potter. But far from explaining things to him, the encounter just left Sherlock with even more questions than before. Sherlock was observant enough to see that no car on the street had backfired, and he had studied the sounds of a gunshot enough to know that the sound wasn't of a gun being fired either.
The Dursleys had seemed to think that Potter had made the noise, and while Potter had insisted that he hadn't, he didn't seem to think it was a stupid assumption on the Dursleys' part. When Vernon had accused him of making the noise, he should have retorted that Vernon was obviously being stupid for suspecting him of making the noise when it couldn't possibly have been him. After all, the kid hadn't been holding anything in his hands that could have made such a sound, and yet Potter didn't think it was strange that his relatives were accusing him of making a sound he couldn't possibly have made.
And that stick that he had pulled out of the pocket of his jeans, holding it like it was a weapon, it looked disturbingly like a magic wa-. No. He wasn't thinking about that absurd theory.
Still, Vernon Dursley had started choking Potter, when he suddenly let go as if electrified, but Potter had not touched him. No, no, no, no, no! He refused to consider something that was absolutely impossible.
And yet, that was the only possible explanation for all the bizarre things he had been noticing ever since Potter had come back from his supposed school. And it fit perfectly- why the Dursleys who were so obsessed with being normal, were so scared of anyone looking at him too closely, how they were scared of him despite the way they treated him.
But magic? Impossible!
The mystery was enough to drive Sherlock mad, which was the reason he hadn't told Lestrade that he had seen Potter's uncle strangling him, even though that would have proved that he had been right (And there was nothing Sherlock liked better than proving that he was right). If Potter was removed from the Dursley's care, he could be taken to a foster home where Sherlock would never see him again! And that would be unacceptable- Potter couldn't leave until Sherlock had unraveled the mystery that surrounded him.
Sherlock knew it wasn't right to let Potter stay in an abusive environment when he could get him out of it, and despite the fact that he wasn't a very compassionate person, he still hated the fact that a kid, only two years younger than himself, was being treated like a prisoner in his own home. So he had come up with a plan. A brilliant plan (as all of his plans were). A plan that would allow him to keep Potter where he could observe him and still get him away from his disgusting family.
Sherlock had deduced that the Dursleys were going out tonight when he had seen Vernon enter the house carrying a bag from a place that rented out tuxedos. Tonight, the house next door to his would be empty save for Potter who would probably be locked in his room.
Sherlock could easily break into number four. Once he was there, he would pick the lock to Potter's room, and introduce himself. He would explain how he had deduced that Potter wasn't being treated right by his relatives, how the police wouldn't do anything, and offer Potter the opportunity to move in with him to hide from his relatives.
Sherlock was a great actor, and could easily play the part of the horrified and sympathetic seventeen-year-old neighbor (He would even be partially sincere) and Potter would be delighted to get away from his horrid relatives. He would move in to Sherlock's house where he would be safe from his awful family, and nice and close to Sherlock, so that Sherlock would finally be able to solve the mystery that Potter presented.
It was a perfect plan, the only part he was worried about was convincing Potter to leave his relatives and move in with him. It made perfect sense to Sherlock that Potter should leave his family and come with Sherlock, but Sherlock wasn't a normal person, and he wasn't sure if a normal person would want to go along with the plan. Maybe it broke some stupid social convention that Sherlock had never bothered learning?
No, he reassured himself, Potter would be happy to leave the awful people who lock him in his room and move in with his nice, sympathetic neighbor, the plan was foolproof!
And then, when Sherlock solved the mystery that surrounded Potter, he would turn Dursley in to the police and let them deal with Potter and his family. And then everyone would be happy (except for Dursley who deserved to suffer anyways), it would all turn out perfectly!
At least, that's what he thought...
So, how's that for a prologue? I'd really be thankful for any constructive critisism, because I have absolutely no idea if this is any good or not. Should I continue? Should I burn this? Let me know!