221B Baker Street; same day/time as Mycroft and Anthea
After listening to all the details of the case that Lestrade has, Sherlock closed his eyes and leaned back against his chair. The case was a fairly simple one – barely a blip on his radar if not for the serial aspect, Lestrade should have lead with that when he first brought the case to Sherlock – but according to Mummy, he was supposed to ease into crime solving now that he had Harry to watch out for…whatever that meant.
Harry was happily engaged in a conversation with Molly about his parents and no, he wasn't stuck on that. Why would he be jealous of dead people? Unless he was jealous about a sudden connection Harry now had with Molly Hooper?
That made about as much sense as him being jealous of a connection between Harry and Mycroft – it was something that wasn't going to happen.
Besides, Sherlock didn't get jealous.
He turned his mental attention back to the case. He didn't want it to seem like his mind was straying.
Sherlock opened his eyes and saw that both John and Lestrade were watching him.
"You've got three murders – serial now, always love those – and the murderer has performed some kind of forensic countermeasure – or Anderson is being especially inept – by destroying the hands, feet, teeth and face?"
"That's right," said Lestrade, ignoring the comment about Anderson with practiced ease, not having the patience or the will to deal with it after his emotional morning dealing with magic again.
"Did you look for any other identifying marks on the bodies?" asked Sherlock, closing his eyes again.
"There were none," said Lestrade shaking his head while John took steady notes.
"On any of the bodies?" Sherlock reiterated.
"No," said Lestrade.
"What about the crime scene? Were the teeth still there?" asked Sherlock.
Lestrade shook his head again and said, "There was nothing. The murderer took the teeth as far as we could tell…unless the damage happened to the teeth while the victims were still alive and they swallowed them." Lestrade sounded slightly ill at the thought. "All the victims were killed in alleyways so the crime scenes are not as well preserved as we would like."
"Fascinating," said Sherlock with a slight grin.
Lestrade and John shook their heads at his inappropriate humor.
Sherlock's eyes popped open and he said, "I suppose the bodies are still in the morgue?"
"We have no way to identify them or notify next of kin," said Lestrade, with a furrowed brow.
"A simple 'yes' would have been sufficed," said Sherlock, standing up.
"You want to go to the morgue right now?" John asked staring at Sherlock.
"Yes! Before any more evidence gets ruined," Sherlock said looking at John.
"You can't just look at pictures?" questioned John, gesturing at the folder underneath Lestrade's hand on the table in front of the sofa.
Sherlock fixed John with a look before he said, "Pictures won't work. I need to see the bodies…Crimes scenes too but since the murders happened in alleys days and weeks ago now they won't help. I suppose I'll just have to wait for a new one…."
John cut Sherlock off before Sherlock could dig his hole any deeper and said, "And what are we going to do with Harry?"
Sherlock abruptly stopped talking and looked confused.
"Harry. What are we going to do with him? We can't take him to the morgue with us and we can't leave him here by himself," John explained.
Sherlock was silent for a moment before he looked at Lestrade but before he could say anything, John said, "Lestrade needs to come with us. We can't see the body and/or bodies without both a medical examiner, like Molly," John gave Sherlock a pointed look and continued, "and the DI in charge of the case."
Sherlock continued his silence for a moment as he thought of possible solutions. "I suppose we can ask Mrs. Hudson if she wouldn't mind watching him for a few hours."
John looked surprised for a moment before he said, "You don't want to bother Mycroft? It seems just like the thing you would bother him with."
Sherlock rolled his eyes as he said, "He's busy being the British Government today. The one time I would need him –"
John cut Sherlock off. "Are you actually admitting you need Mycroft?"
Sherlock ignored John – and Lestrade as he let out a snort of laughter – as he got out his phone to text Mrs. Hudson, knowing that she wasn't busy today.
"Plus Harry is more comfortable with Mrs. Hudson," Sherlock explained.
John raised an eyebrow – wanting Sherlock to explain more – as Lestrade said, "It's the creepiness factor your brother has going for him, isn't it?"
Sherlock didn't answer – they all knew the answer regardless – as he sent off another rapid fire text.
"You can't just go down the steps and ask her in person?" Lestrade asked.
"No. This is faster," Sherlock replied as he sent another text.
John just shook his head. "What did Mrs. Hudson say?"
"She'd be absolutely delighted. What else, John?" Sherlock explained as he sent another text.
"Oh how about something along the lines that 'she's not our housekeeper'?" John replied with a slight grin.
Sherlock's lips went up in a half-smile as he said, "Somehow I doubt she will pass up any opportunity to watch Harry."
John's lips twitched some more as he shook his head. "Oh, I bet."
Sherlock and John grinned at each other while Lestrade shook his head at them. They were like a pair of children.
Sherlock's phone dinged with another message – which he glanced at – before he said, "Mrs. Hudson said she will be up in five minutes to get Harry."
John frowned slightly. "Aren't you going to tell Harry that we are going to be leaving on a case?"
Sherlock, engrossed in answering another text, didn't respond.
Lestrade frowned at John before he said, rather sternly, "Sherlock."
Sherlock looked up at Lestrade.
"You can't just leave Harry without saying anything to him," Lestrade explained further.
"Why?" Sherlock asked, not understanding.
Lestrade sighed not understanding how a man so brilliant could be so dense in social situations. "Listen," he said, giving Sherlock his full attention to show him how serious this situation was, "you are now responsible for a young child."
"Yes," Sherlock responded in his 'don't-be-obvious' voice.
Lestrade ignored the tone and said, "A young child who just happens to be the most comfortable with you, of all people, right now. Not John. Not me. Not Molly or Mrs. Hudson. You."
Sherlock continued to stare at Lestrade in silence with an impatient look on his face.
Lestrade also ignored the look and continued, "You would be off to a very bad start if, on the very first day that you have custody of Harry, you abandon him to go chasing after criminals."
"I'm not abandoning him, don't be melodramatic. Harry's smarter than that," said Sherlock, though he glanced in Harry's direction, who had just laughed at something Molly said.
"From what we know of how the Dursleys treated him, can you say for sure that is how Harry will take your and John's actions if you both leave without explaining to him?" Lestrade asked the both of them, letting Sherlock off the hook a little.
"Fine," Sherlock answered, putting his phone down.
Sherlock stood up and walked over to where Harry and Molly were sitting, coming to a stop behind Molly.
"I only knew them when I was at school, Harry, and they were several years older than me," Molly was explaining to Harry.
Harry nodded seriously at Molly. It was obvious that Harry was starved of information on his parents. Sherlock felt that strange feeling again in his stomach.
Molly nodded and explained further. "I can tell you some stories that made it around the Houses – you remember the four houses of Hogwarts that I told you about?" Harry nodded at the question. "Some of the things your parents did – Sherlock!" Molly cut herself off as she saw Sherlock standing behind her. "Was there something you needed?"
"Yes," Sherlock said, looking at Harry, who looked almost disappointed that Molly stopped talking but happy that Sherlock was finished with what he was talking about with Lestrade and John.
Harry looked at Sherlock curiously when he didn't start talking right away. Molly was silent as it was obvious that Sherlock wanted to talk to Harry.
Sherlock cleared his throat. "Right. Mrs. Hudson is coming up to watch you, Harry, while Lestrade, Molly," Molly looked up in surprise at her name being listed, "John and I investigate a promising new case."
Sherlock couldn't help the fact that he became excited again at the prospect of the case.
Harry tilted his head to the right – as if Sherlock was suddenly speaking another language that was incomprehensible to the five year old – looking as if he wanted to ask a question, but instead he just nodded his head in understanding.
Sherlock nodded his head once at Harry, thinking that eventually he will get Harry to stop shying away from asking questions - how would he learn - and started to get ready to leave.
Mrs. Hudson came up the stairs just as Sherlock and John were finished getting everything they needed to leave – John his gun, he never went anywhere without it now though he was going to have to find a safe place to keep it now, and Sherlock his coat and scarf. Lestrade and Molly were waiting at the door.
When Sherlock and John got to the door, they stopped and turned to look at Harry, who was still sitting the seat he was when he was talking to Molly. Mrs. Hudson was sitting across from him.
"See you later, Harry," John said.
"Bye," Harry said in a soft voice, looking at his lap.
Sherlock frowned slightly at John, who shrugged at him, before he said, "See you soon, Harry."
Harry looked up then, eyes searching Sherlock's, before he nodded and looked back down at his lap.
Sherlock nodded, even though Harry was no longer looking, and walked out the door, John, Lestrade, and Molly following him.
Professors Dumbledore, McGonagall and Snape walked quickly but silently down the road, Dumbledore in the lead as he was the only one who knew where Mrs. Figg lived.
Dumbledore walked up to a house that was surrounded by cats – though on closer inspection the cats looked like a cross between felines and Kneazles – and he knocked on the door.
The three professors waited in silence, McGonagall eyeing the cats curiously, while they waited for the door to open.
A minute later, the door was opened by Mrs. Arabella Figg, talking to herself.
"Tufty! I told you to stay out of there!"
Or she was talking to her half-Kneazle cat.
"Ah, Arabella. I was hoping we could have a moment of your time?" asked Dumbledore, sounding serene.
"Dumbledore! What are you doing here? And with Professor McGonagall," Mrs. Figg said sounding shocked though she looked pleased with seeing the two of them. "Though you could have left Professor Snape behind." She finished with a frown on her face as she looked at the Potions Master.
Professor Snape glared at Mrs. Figg though he held his tongue. It wasn't like he wanted to be here anymore than she wanted him at her most humble abode.
Dumbledore gave Mrs. Figg a pleasant look, though there was a hint of warning in the gaze as well, before he further explained, "We were wondering how life has been treating Harry and his family the past few days. Do you mind –"
Dumbledore cut himself off as Mrs. Figg opened her door wider and gestured for them to come in.
Harry and Mrs. Hudson sat across from each other staring.
Mrs. Hudson blinked.
"Do you want to come downstairs and make some biscuits with me?"
Harry tilted his head to the side.
Mrs. Hudson nodded her head and said, "Of course. That's the best way to make them!"
Harry tilted his head to the other side. That's not how he knew it to be.
Mrs. Hudson watched him for a minute and said, "Come on, dear."
She stood up and held her hand out to Harry.
Harry cautiously reached up to take it while simultaneously standing up.
Mrs. Hudson gave Harry's hand a slight squeeze before she said, "What kind of biscuits do you like?"
Harry only shrugged his shoulder.
"That's fine," said Mrs. Hudson with a slightly strained smile before she continued, "We will just have to make different ones every day until we find your favorite."
Harry's eye went round.
"Of course. Everyone needs their favorite biscuit and until we find yours, we will make different ones every day until we find yours."
"Wow," Harry whispered.
Mrs. Hudson smiled again as they walked down the stairs.
They walked into her kitchen and Mrs. Hudson let go of Harry's hand as she walked around the kitchen to get everything they would need.
Harry, meanwhile, not knowing what else to do looked around the kitchen. It was similar but so different to how Aunt Petunia kept her kitchen.
Harry's eyes watered slightly at that thought before he blinked away his tears. Aunt Petunia never let him bake or eat biscuits before and that just made Mrs. Hudson's kitchen better.
"That's everything then, dear."
She looked at him and then her kitchen counter.
"Be a dear and push that chair over here, if you would."
She pointed at the chair she wanted him to get. Harry walked over to it and pushed it over to where she said.
He stood there for a moment before Mrs. Hudson said, "Go ahead and stand on it. You need the boost to help me."
Harry looked at her, then the chair, before looking back at her.
Mrs. Hudson just smiled encouragingly.
Harry cautiously stood on the chair.
"Do you want to add the sugar?"
Harry nodded eagerly and did just that.
Harry had the best time making biscuits with Mrs. Hudson, who didn't even get angry when he spilled the flour. She just smiled and dabbed some on his nose causing both of them to giggle.
It was long after the biscuits were done baking, supper made and eaten (along with the biscuits), when Sherlock and John came back. Harry, unable to stay awake any longer, was already asleep on Mrs. Hudson's sofa.
"Hello Mrs. Hudson."
Sherlock ignored Mrs. Hudson, walked over to Harry, and looked down at him.
"He all right after we left?"
"He was fine, John."
"What was that, Sherlock?"
"You made biscuits."
"You made them with Harry."
"That's right. Biscuits always make things better."
Sherlock didn't respond. He just reached down, took Harry's glasses off, and tucked them in his pocket.
"When did he fall asleep?"
"Not more than ten minutes ago, John."
Mrs. Hudson hid her smile slightly. Her boys were already so invested in young Harry, and they didn't even see it yet.
Sherlock reached down once more and picked Harry up – Harry curling himself slightly into Sherlock – and heading up the stairs without saying anything more.
John's eyes followed them out of the room.
John turned to Mrs. Hudson before he said, "Goodnight, Mrs. Hudson."
He then followed Sherlock out of the room and up to their flat.
Mrs. Hudson smiled slightly before she turned off her lights and retired to her room.
When John reached their flat, he saw Sherlock closing the door to his room.
John looked at him.
Sherlock scoffed and said, "You've been looking at me like that all night."
"Case bothering you?"
Sherlock scoffed again and said, "I can't do anything on the scraps that the Yard has left for me."
"They had plenty of useful-"
John shrugged, knowing how Sherlock can get, and asked, "Tea?"
John went to their kitchen and made himself a cup of tea before sitting in his seat while Sherlock went to stand at the window.
There was a compatible silence between the two of them for several minutes before Sherlock abruptly turned away from the window and went down the stairs.
John raised his eyebrows at that but continued to drink his tea - not the weirdest thing Sherlock has done in the last few days.
At the door, Sherlock greeted his brother.
Mycroft let out a sigh.
"You have no idea."
"I have something for you."
Mycroft handed over the bundle he was holding.
There was silence for a few minutes before Mycroft spoke again.
"Are you sure –"
"It's a lot –"
"Mummy is thrilled."
"Thanks for that."
"– has a godfather who wants to be a part of his life."
Sherlock raised an eyebrow at his brother.
"Circumstances, dear brother. He's being vetted."
Sherlock ignored the stab in his gut as he said, "Of course."
Silence again before Mycroft spoke once again.
"There is a lot of mystery surrounding the boy – despite everything that is known."
Mycroft observed his brother to really see if his brother understood – he didn't, how could he after all – before he inclined his head.
"The renovation team will be here tomorrow to fix up the place for the three of you. Might I suggest you take John and Harry out of the apartment?"
Sherlock rolled his eyes and said, "Goodnight, Mycroft."
Sherlock shut the door and went back upstairs. He ignored John sitting in his chair, drinking his tea, instead heading towards his room – his old room as he has come to think of it – to put the things his brother gave him for Harry.
It looked like it was a set of clothes that would fit Harry much better than his cousin's castoffs as well as tide him over until they could go shopping – which is apparently planned for tomorrow as his brother planned for the renovations to happen then.
There also was the one thing that Harry asked for – his baby blanket, presumably from his parents – and surprisingly in much better shape than he anticipated.
Sherlock looked at Harry, curled up in the middle of his big bed, as he started to whimper slightly in his sleep. He was obviously in a middle of a nightmare.
Without knowing what exactly drove him to it, he picked up Harry's baby blanket and put it over him. Naturally, it was much too small to actually cover him completely, but as soon as Harry felt the blanket in his sleep, he seemed to calm immediately and his sleep settled.
Sherlock frowned slightly before turning and leaving the room.
One glanced around the sitting room showed that John had chosen to retire to his room. He walked to the window, absentmindedly picking up his violin and playing softly as he stared out the window.
Hogwarts – Dumbledore and Snape
"Well, I certainly hope that visit was helpful for you, Professor Dumbledore, as I, for one, found it extremely unhelpful," Professor McGonagall said as she and Professors Dumbledore and Snape walked back up to the castle.
"I found it extremely enlightening," replied Professor Dumbledore as they reached the castle doors
Professor McGonagall made a disgusted sound before she said, "Good night."
"Good night, Professor McGonagall."
Snape inclined his head slightly in her direction, which she returned, before Professor McGonagall headed towards her rooms.
"A word, Severus, if you would."
Snape just raised an eyebrow at the headmaster.
Dumbledore smiled serenely and led Snape to his office.
Once they were seated in their respective chairs, Dumbledore looked at Snape.
"What are your thoughts of everything that has transpired in the last twenty-four hours?"
Snape leaned back in his seat slightly and said, "Unexpected."
"Indeed. You also have a question."
"Why were you allowed to use Legilimency on the Squib-"
Dumbledore let out a slight cough at the word, but Snape ignored him and continued, "but we were unable to use it on the Muggles when I asked?" asked Snape, mouth in a slight frown.
Dumbledore smiled serenely at him and said, "I don't recall you asking such a question when we went to interview the Muggles on Privet Drive, Severus."
Snape scowled and said, "You knew very well what I was asking when I turned to look at you when we started to get the same answer from the Muggles."
"Perhaps," Dumbledore said with a slight nod of his head.
Snape scowled some more and stared at him.
Dumbledore was silent for a moment before he explained, "I recognized the same scheme from before. Mycroft Holmes is definitely involved in Harry's life and I intend to find out how."
Snape was silent as he thought about what Dumbledore said before he said, "I thought you said Mycroft Holmes was a last resort?"
"He is though that does not mean I am blind to his manipulation of situations," said Dumbledore as he reached for his lemon drops.
"His manipulation of situations?" asked Snape.
Dumbledore didn't answer the question, instead he said, "I'll need your help, Severus."
Snape frowned. He did not want to get entangled in a situation that involved Mycroft Holmes, even if it involved the Potter boy.
Looking at something over Snape's shoulder, Dumbledore said, "You swore a Vow."
Manipulation of situations.
Snape's frown deepened and he held in a sigh as that, more than anything, explained everything to him.
Unknown location – Unknown
He put his trophies in his pocket.
He had done it again. He was really starting to enjoy this feeling – this high – that killing gave him. Especially since he committed the murder that he set out to do in the first place! He certainly showed that man who thought he could play him for a fool and it was beautiful.
He was going to be sad when he finished killing the last three people he needed to be able to hide his original target, not that the coppers could identify his victims. He had taken certain trophies – precautions – in that regard.
He touched his pocket where they were.
Though…there was no one to stop him if he wanted to kill more than the original seven he set out to do.
Did he really have to stop since he was enjoying it so much?
He grinned to himself and patted his pocket once more.