Disclaimer: See prologue chapter.
NOTE 5/5/2013: I have edited this story. Nothing too major. I have added a teeny tiny prologue to the beginning and combined the previous chapters 1 and 2 into one chapter. So you may want to go and read the new prologue too! :)
Background: See prologue chapter.
A/N: See prologue chapter. Also if you are curious as to why I have edited the story and/or why it has taken me so long to update send me a message, or look at my profile, and I will get back to you as I don't want to take up anymore space or babble on while you want to get on to reading the actual chapter.
Thanks for all the reviews, favorites, alerts and putting me in your communities! It means a lot to me as always! You guys are still blowing me away with all the support! I love it!
Sherlock suddenly broke off as he started to cough and he reached for his cup so he could pour himself a cup of tea. Mycroft couldn't help but scowl at his brother.
Then he glared at his brother. Sherlock did that on purpose!
Sherlock raised the cup of tea to his mouth and took a drink.
"Bastard! You did that on purpose!" said Mycroft, resorting to name calling and swearing. His brother was finally in the middle of something interesting besides the phones breaking and he had to "conveniently" go into a coughing spell. How typical!
John and Lestrade raised their eyebrows. It wasn't often that Mycroft was driven to such a point by Sherlock as Mycroft was known to keep his cool and he thought name calling was just downright petty, especially in the company of others. It just goes to show how stressed Mycroft has been these past twenty-four hours.
Sherlock lowered his cup of tea and opened his mouth to respond with a scathing remark when John interrupted first, after he got over his slight shock, and said with his eyebrows still raised, "Now, Mycroft, normally I would agree with any name you would be calling your brother, on principal, not because it's you who called him that but because normally Sherlock deserves it," Sherlock frown at that because how was that helping him, as John, not looking in his direction to see his expression, continued, "but is it really necessary to insult your own mother's relationship with your father?"
Sherlock's frown immediately turned into a neutral look as he tried to suppress his grin until he had some coverage as he mentally applauded John in his head and gave him a mental compliment, "Nicely done, John, nicely done." That was the way to get through to his brother and underhanded. He brought his cup of tea up to hide his grin, and of course, to soothe his "cough."
Lestrade wasn't bothering to hide his grin. He was just pleased he wasn't the one being annoyed by Sherlock this time and it had the bonus of ticking off Mycroft which was always a plus in his book especially since Mycroft always thought he was at his beck and call and "abducting" him whenever he pleased.
Mycroft stared at John as if he had never seen him before, before deciding John probably spent too much time in the company of his younger brother and had obviously learned some tricks. He inclined his head and said, "Touché, Doctor Watson, touché." He turned towards his brother and said, "You imbecile! You did that on purpose!"
Sherlock lowered his cup of tea, again, turned his stare at his brother and said, "Can one not have an excess of phlegm in their throat anymore, be able to cough to clear it and then have a drink of tea to soothe their sore throat from the coughing?"
"No," said Mycroft drily.
"Now who is being the bas-" John cleared his throat, "imbecile?" Sherlock said, changing the insult mid-word as he didn't want to insult Mummy after all, marvelous woman that she was, and her feelings were the only ones he cared about in this situation.
Mycroft just stared at his brother. Then he took a deep breath to focus; it wouldn't do to strangle his brother, think of the all the explaining he would have to do, not to mention all the work and paperwork involved. No better to control his temper.
"Just drink your tea so you can finish telling the story," he said trying to keep his patience with his brother. He has had years and years of practice already; it shouldn't be too hard. It really shouldn't.
"Story? This isn't a story, Mycroft! This was a very traumatic -" said Sherlock before he was cut off.
"Traumatic?" questioned Mycroft, as if he were doubting that the earth was round, the sky was blue and the grass was generally green. "When has anything in your life been traumatic and then you admit to it?"
Sherlock glared at his brother with a look that said, "You know when but I am not going say it out loud."
"I thought so," said Mycroft with a small smirk which caused John and Lestrade to trade confused glances at the exchange they missed and Sherlock to glare at Mycroft even more. "Now will you finish telling your... tale?"
Sherlock, still glaring and disconcerted that he lost another round of verbal sparring with his brother, finished off his tea without answering Mycroft for the moment, taking longer than was extremely necessary.
Mycroft just sighed at his brother's pettiness. He wondered how many times he had done that since this whole fiasco begun.
When Sherlock was done with his tea, he set his cup down, leaned back in his chair, put his hands together in front of him and looked at his brother.
Mycroft let the staring contest go on for a few seconds before he said, "Well? Are you going to continue or not?"
"No," said Sherlock simply.
"No?" said Mycroft, sounding incredibly incredulous and frustrated.
"Is there an echo? No," said Sherlock, still not blinking or looking away from his brother's face.
Mycroft, frustrated beyond belief already with his brother, turned to look at the other two occupants in his office and demanded, "Well? Which one of you will like to continue on?"
John and Lestrade exchanged a look before John inclined his head to Lestrade who said, "I guess I will since it's my mobile that is ringing."
"Hmm, how dull," said Sherlock, still not blinking or looking away from his brother who chose to ignore him for the time being with practiced ease since he was about to get his answer.
"Whenever you are ready then, Detective Inspector," said Mycroft, ignoring what his brother had said.
"Right," said Lestrade, clearing his throat, somewhat awkwardly at the intense stare Mycroft was giving him. He wondered briefly if Sherlock learned his stare from Mycroft or if it was the other way around before he said, "As I was handing over my phone..."
Twenty-four hours, fifty minutes before in the bank...
As Lestrade was handing over his mobile, it started to ring and everyone in the bank, bank robbers/hostage takers and hostages, except for the woman still on the ground unconscious from being pistol whipped, alike stared at the phone with a morbid fascination and wondered who on earth was calling.
Lestrade quickly glanced down at his ringing mobile to see who was calling and noticed it was Sergeant Donovan. He was supposed to be back at the crime scene at least twenty minutes ago.
The phone stopped ringing.
The leader growled, pointed his gun at Lestrade and said, "Who's calling you and why?"
Lestrade said, as calmly as he could knowing how on edge, and trigger-happy these men were, "A coworker wondering where I am."
"Are you the boss or something?" asked the leader with his gun still pointed in Lestrade's face.
"Something like that," said Lestrade as his phone started to ring again. Donovan didn't like to be ignored.
The leader, not liking that answer or the fact that the phone was ringing again, let out another growl and took the mobile, still in Lestrade's outstretched hand, and was about to throw it across the room, if only to stop it from the annoying ringing, when he noticed the caller ID.
"Sergeant Donovan? Why would you have a Sergeant calling you?" asked the leader angrily, his mind immediately jumping to the two possible worse cases in this situation, in his mind at least. "Are you a copper? Or are you in the army like our good doctor over there? Give me your wallet? Carefully." He threw the mobile now across the room after it stopped ringing for the second time and it broke into more pieces than any of the others which just goes to show how much more strength went behind throwing his phone than them, even Sherlock's. Plus he didn't want the phone to ring for the third time.
Lestrade noticed the other hostage takers shift slightly at the possibility that he could be with the police as he was carefully and slowly handing over his wallet to the leader and realized that this could mean trouble for him when they found out and Lestrade had no doubt that they wouldn't find out. He just couldn't let innocent citizens or children get hurt and he couldn't remember if there was anything in his wallet that had "Detective Inspector" on it. At least, they didn't say for him to hand over his badge so it may take a while for them to find out. Hopefully, they didn't frisk anyone although they wouldn't find his gun. He doesn't carry when he goes to Sherlock for help for obvious reasons.
He instinctively held back the automatic, "Take it easy," that wanted to come out, as that could identify him as a cop especially since you always hear that line on the telly from them, as the leader actually took his wallet from him.
Lestrade held his breath as the leader opened his wallet and started to go through it. The leader went through Lestrade's more carefully than he went through anyone else's. Finally, he pulled out Lestrade's driver's license which Lestrade knew didn't have 'Detective Inspector' on it.
"Greg Lestrade," the leader read out before he placed the driver's license back in the wallet and throwing it across the room to join the rest. "So, Greg Lestrade," and Lestrade didn't like how the leader was saying his name, "I didn't find any evidence in your wallet but that doesn't mean anything so, are you a copper?"
Lestrade knew he didn't have too long to think about his answer or else it would be obvious so he went with his first instinct, after all, John was still standing despite it all and he was in the Army and could cause problems, and besides that overweight fellow, Mr. Dursley, looks like he is about to answer for him, and said, "Yes. I'm a Detective Inspector."
The three other hostage takers in the bank exchanged glances and, even though they were still masked, Lestrade could tell they were nervous which made them even more dangerous as they were more bound to panic then.
The leader, on the other hand, raised his gun some more and said, "Give me one reason why I shouldn't kill you now and save me all the hassle of you and Army Doctor over there trying to plot something to save everyone?"
Sherlock made a derisive sound. Lestrade closed his eyes. This always happened to him. He shook his head minutely to himself. It probably wasn't going to end well either. The leader turned towards Sherlock.
"Something you wanted to say?"
"Yes," said Sherlock.
"What is it?"
"First off, the past couple of lines? Not original in the least, any movie made in the last twenty or thirty years could have told you that," started Sherlock.
"Sherlock," said John and Lestrade, almost immediately, sounding slightly panicked. The hostage takers were trigger-happy after all.
Sherlock ignored them which was nothing new while the rest of the hostage takers and hostages watched them with fascination as if they couldn't believe this was happening in the middle of the situation they were in.
"What's the final thing?" growled the leader angrily.
"What makes you think it's the final thing I have to say?" asked Sherlock, sounding genuinely curious.
The leader, having learned something while trying to get the man's name and guessing this person was what caused his associate to fire the shot when they were in the vault now that he spent a few minutes with him, pointed his gun at the man's supposed roommate.
"You were saying?"
Even Lestrade could tell that line wasn't original but he could see the way Sherlock's eyes narrowed slightly when the leader pointed his gun at John. It made him wonder if there was anything to what Sergeant Donovan was saying at the station the other day. Then he mentally shook his head. Now wasn't the time to be thinking about office gossip. When was the idiot outside going to call in anyway? Oh God, he's starting to sound like Sherlock now inside his own head. This day just keeps getting better and better.
It was at this time, one of the phones from one of the teller's station, Mr. Wall's if Lestrade wasn't mistaken, started to ring. Everyone except the leader and Sherlock turned to look at it.
It stopped ringing for a few seconds before it started to ring again.
The leader turned his head to left as if trying listening to something only he could hear. John and Lestrade traded a look while Sherlock just stared at the leader with a gaze that always made people feel very awkward with a small smile on his face which made John and Lestrade trade another look and wonder what on earth Sherlock was smiling about.
The phone stopped ringing again for a few seconds before it started again.
"Aren't you going to answer that?" asked Mr. Dursley, quite rudely, in Lestrade's opinion.
The leader glanced quickly in Mr. Dursley's direction, obviously forgetting he had asked Sherlock a question, before he redirected his gun from John to the phone and he shot it. Several of the hostages jumped and one of the kids let out a terrified shriek.
"SHUT UP!" shouted the leader and Lestrade had to wonder quickly what caused the leader to unravel because he had suddenly lost his cool and you would have to be blind as a bat not to see it as he had started to pace the room.
Another one of the phones started to ring and the leader shot it too before it could even ring for a third time.
Lestrade knows his colleagues are watching the security feed, they have to be, as the hostage takers didn't disable anything, so they have to be able see that their calling right now isn't helping and they should back off for a moment, regardless if it gave away the fact that they could see inside the bank.
The leader suddenly pauses in front of the vault as if considering it and everyone watches him silently, Sherlock included and Lestrade suddenly got a very bad feeling about what was about to happen next.
"Everyone into the vault, please," said the leader in a forced calm and Lestrade had to wonder if the leader didn't suffer from a mood problem and he wasn't the only one wondering it either if the looks on several of the other hostages' faces were any indicator.
"We'll suffocate!" cried Mrs. Dursley, clutching her son to her tighter as if it would somehow protect him.
"Why?" asked Sherlock, though he figured it out. He just wanted the man to admit it.
"EVERYONE IN THE VAULT! NO ARGUMENTS!" yelled the leader. The last part was directed at Sherlock and Vernon Dursley, who both looked like they wanted to protest, much to Sherlock's displeasure as he didn't want anything in common with the unpleasant, loud man.
The three other hostage takers ushered the fourteen hostages, Mr. Wall and Mr. Jackson helping Ms. Moore as she had just started to come around, into the vault. The leader then shut the vault, essentially locking them in.
After a moment of silence in which nobody spoke, not even Sherlock, though there was occasionally sounds of pain from Ms. Moore, and their eyes were able to adjust to the dim light of the vault, there was the sound and outline of somebody moving and everyone heard a male voice say, "This is all your fault, boy, isn't it? You did something freakish?"
"No, Uncle Vernon, I promise. I didn't do nothing," said a small voice in fright. Lestrade realized it was the other boy that was with the family.
Everyone looked in their direction to see that Mr. Dursley had grabbed the boy by his shoulders and was talking very close to his face, giving him the occasional shake to emphasize a point.
"Like I'm going to believe that. You are going to be in so much trouble when we get home, I'll tell you," said the man, Vernon.
"You can't honestly be blaming a five-year-old for something four grown men are doing, can you?" asked Sherlock in his most scathing voice with a cross of his most patent tone which suggested that the man he was speaking to was particularly idiotic.
He also had a frown on his face. This was the second time that he and everyone else had heard the man say the word freak or a derivative of the word in regard to the boy and he had a weird feeling about it… One that he could not identify but made him want to… protect the boy from it. It required further experimentation and research on. Or maybe it was what he had to eat for lunch? Mrs. Hudson's biscuits today did look questionable…
"It is none of your business how I speak to my nephew," said Vernon, glaring at Sherlock while simultaneously shaking the boy again.
Lestrade frowned rather deeply at that along with John and the others who were in the vault, except for Vernon's wife and son who were obviously used to his rough treatment of the boy, and Lestrade said, "You'll find it is my business on how you talk to and treat your nephew."
"Any decent person would make it their business," said John to the agreement of everyone in the bank who wasn't related to the man.
"Without a doubt and there is no way a five-year-old is responsible for this so get it out of your infinitesimally small brain," said Sherlock as if he were speaking to an obtuse five-year-old himself. The boy, himself, was staring at them all as if he had never seen anyone like them before.
Vernon sneered at them and opened his mouth to no doubt berate the three of them when Vernon's wife interrupted him and spoke quietly in his ear which caused him to grin slightly. Sherlock, John and Lestrade didn't like that at all, especially since it wasn't exactly a pleasant sight. When she was done whispering in his ear, he straightened up and looked at the three of them.
"Well," spoke up Vernon, moving himself and the boy so that they were both in front of Sherlock, John and Lestrade. "Since you three seem to be so concerned about the boy, you deal with him during this entire mess that we know he caused." He then shoved the little boy at them to their shock as well as everyone else who was watching the scene unfold.
Sherlock, who was standing in between Lestrade and John, caught the boy before he could fall or smack into any of them. It wasn't his fault, after all, that his rather daft uncle shoved him at three people.
"Now wait a minute, you can't just do this," started Lestrade.
"How are you going to stop us? You didn't even stop a bank robbery!" sneered Mr. Dursley.
"That is hardly his fault, Mr. Dursley," said Sherlock as he steadied the boy some more using gentle hands. "Besides, I'm sure we can manage this perfectly well, Lestrade. Think of it as an experiment!"
"I've seen how your experiments ended," said Lestrade with a rare scathing look at Mr. Dursley. He always got touchy when someone, excluding Sherlock, insulted his ability as a policeman.
"Those were obvious failures. This will be a success," said Sherlock with a grin at John and Lestrade.
There were two snorts from the adults of the family which were ignored by Sherlock, Lestrade and John.
"You're already failing the first part, Sherlock," said John.
"No, I'm not," said Sherlock.
"Yes, you are. Children aren't experiments. You're scaring him. He probably thinks your going to do something very bad to him," said John with a nod towards the boy.
Sherlock looked down at the boy and noticed that John was right while Lestrade looked around at all the eyes on them and said, "Let's move to the privacy of a corner so we can talk. Yeah?"
The boy gulped as they all moved towards a corner where they could have some semi-privacy and have a discussion.
"Right, so I'm John, this is Sherlock," said John nodding his head at Sherlock, "and that's Detective Inspector Lestrade," he finished with another nod at Lestrade.
The boy nodded his head at John while Sherlock said, in derision, "He knows that already from when the leader out there read all of our names."
"It's polite to introduce yourself to someone you meet," said John calmly.
The boy just stared at them as if he were unsure about them as Sherlock just made a disparaging comment at social niceties.
"What's your name?" asked Lestrade distracting Sherlock from any further comments.
Before the boy could answer, though, one of the others, Mr. Knight, who was panicking slightly, asked, "But why did they put us in the vault?"
Sherlock snorted and said, "The leader of the bank robbery didn't want us to see him lose it, to start with."
Most of the others in the vault looked at Sherlock like he grew another head while John frown slightly thinking and Lestrade asked, "How do you mean?"
"Isn't it obvious?" asked Sherlock, like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"No," said everyone except John, Lestrade and the dark-haired boy, who was watching the three of them intently in only the way a curious child can.
"He had a Bluetooth device in his ear and he was talking to someone when he was collecting all of our information. The person on the other end had obviously hung up on him when the phone rang out there and he wanted us out of his hair for the time being," explained Sherlock.
"How do you know?" asked Mr. Dursley rudely while everyone, except John and Lestrade who were looking thoughtful, looked incredulous.
"I use my eyes and brain."
Mr. Dursley sputtered but before he could say anything Sherlock looked at Lestrade and said, "The leader out there obviously isn't in charge of the whole operation. The person who was on the other end of that Bluetooth connection is. There is possibly a bigger picture here. I just need to find the connection. Are there any other unsolved bank robberies recently."
"It's not my department," said Lestrade at once but he had a frown on his face as he thought about any comments that were made around the station.
Sherlock made a disgusted noise in the back of his throat at that.
"Make all the noises you want but there are departments at Scotland Yard and bank robberies don't fall under mine," retorted Lestrade.
"And what does fall under your department?" sneered Mr. Dursley, determined to find fault with someone for losing his money.
"Murder," said Lestrade, just to shut the man up and it worked as Mr. Dursley sputtered and couldn't come up with a fast enough retort.
There was a lull conversation after that for a few minutes while everyone thought.
Then suddenly from behind the three men, who had all turned to face the rest of the people in the vault, came a small voice that said, "Harry."
'Small children,' thought Lestrade. They usually have horrible timing on answering questions though they had cut the poor boy off and there was the lull in conversation after his declaration for what department he worked with and Sherlock, and everyone else, needed to think with all the data he, they, had so far.
Nonetheless, the three of them turned around at the sound of his voice and John said, "Sorry?"
He looked nervous as he twisted his shirt in his one hand and said, still in a quiet voice, "My name is Harry."
Lestrade looked over at Sherlock and John. Sherlock had an unreadable look on his face, but then unless they were at a crime scene, Sherlock's face was usually unreadable to him in situations like this, not that they happened often. John, too, was looking at Sherlock waiting to see what he would say.
He never got the chance because Mr. Dursley had to put in his unwanted opinion.
"Freak! You are making a menace of yourself!" said Mr. Dursley angrily. He obviously wanted some answers but didn't know the way to go about getting them, especially since he was inserting himself into a conversation where he wasn't welcome.
The boy, Harry, flinched back into the wall of the vault at that and Sherlock turned around on the spot. Uh oh.
"No, Mr. Dursley. You will find that you are making a menace of yourself. You are interrupting an important conversation. Now run your unemployed self back to your wife and son. You gave your nephew to us, remember?" said Sherlock taking one, very unthreatening, step towards Mr. Dursley.
Mr. Dursley sputtered and said, "I'm not unemployed."
Sherlock smiled, and it wasn't a pleasant smile, and said, "Keep telling yourself that."
"Why you –" said Mr. Dursley and he took a threatening step towards Sherlock with his hands out as if he were going to strangle him when Lestrade and John intervened.
"Calm down," said John but Mr. Dursley didn't listen, just kept trying to get towards Sherlock who was watching the scene impassively while the rest of the hostages in the vault stared at Mr. Dursley incredulously. They were all hostages stuck in a vault and this Mr. Dursley seemed intent on strangling another hostage. Unbelievable!
"If you are about to do what I think you are, remember what I said my department was," said Lestrade, "and attempted murder fits under the definition of my department as well."
"Vernon," said Mrs. Dursley clutching her red-faced son to her and Mr. Dursley, who was calming down, looked over at his wife. When she got his attention, along with everyone's, she whispered, as if no one else in the vault could hear, "Think of the neighbors."
Lestrade and John exchanged incredulous looks when they felt Mr. Dursley calm down completely after that. An attempted murder charge won't calm him down but the threat of neighbors finding out what could happen did. Lestrade just shook his head at John as they both let go of him. These people have their priorities wrong and made them wonder what poor, little Harry did to make them hate him so much. After all, if they didn't hate him, why would they give him to three strangers after they made some comments about how they were treating him?
"Yes, what would your neighbors think," said Sherlock with an eye roll.
"Sherlock," said John with a sigh at the end and Lestrade couldn't help but agree with John. They had just stopped the man from killing him, no need to make him try again.
"Go back to your wife and son, please sir," said Lestrade, trying to remain professional.
Mr. Dursley just grunted but he walked back over to his family, put his arms around both of them and glared at Sherlock, John and Lestrade, who ignored him having turned back to Harry.
"That man is an overgrown walrus," said Sherlock with an eye roll as he turned his full attention back to Harry and the bank robbery problem.
Harry grinned slightly at the insult, having thought it himself several times.
"Be nice," said John, though he did grin.
Lestrade remained silent.
"I speak only the truth as I see it and my eyes hardly ever let me down," said Sherlock as he rubbed his stomach very slight that if Lestrade wasn't watching him, he would have missed it. Lestrade wondered why he was doing that. He better not be getting sick. A sick Sherlock was even worse than a healthy Sherlock and judging by John's expression he noticed the movement as well and had experience with a sick Sherlock.
Sherlock looked back at Harry, and said, "You don't look like a Dursley, judging from Mr. Dursley's and his son's hairstyle and color, chin, nose, eye color, et cetera. You're related to them through Mrs. Dursley so you're last name isn't Dursley, correct?"
Harry looked at Sherlock with big eyes, bemused, not sure what to make of the fast speech that was said to him.
"You know, Sherlock, most people just ask someone what their last name is," said John with a small smile in Harry's direction to let him know that no, Sherlock was not crazy. Lestrade didn't know how well that smile was interpreted by Harry.
"Simpletons," said Sherlock, still looking at Harry for an answer.
Harry finally processed what was said to him and said, "No, it's Potter."
Lestrade wondered if he was related to any of the Potters that belonged to the world he hadn't belonged to since he was eleven but he couldn't think on it anymore because Sherlock was talking again.
"Harry Potter?" asked Sherlock. "What kind of name is that?"
Harry looked confused and John said, while Lestrade rolled his eyes, "We can't all have names like Sherlock Holmes, can we?"
"Hmm, fair point," said Sherlock nodding his head.
Lestrade looked at Harry and said, "Ignore him when he gets like that."
Harry nodded his head but Sherlock shook his head and said, "Now, Lestrade, he was left in my care. He should be listening to me."
"Not when you're insulting his name," said Lestrade.
"Technically all three of us are supposed to watch him," said John.
"Was I insulting his name?" asked Sherlock, ignoring what John said.
"Yes," said John, rolling his eyes at Sherlock's behavior, Lestrade and Harry, nodding his head.
Sherlock looked at them all for a moment before he gave a very indignant sniff, in Lestrade's opinion, moved to the side, leaned against the wall and got into his thinking pose.
"Did we hurt his feelings?" asked Harry, sounding concerned.
John gave Sherlock a long look before he said, "No, he's just gone into his mind palace to think. It's better if we leave him there. He can be a pain when he's bored."
"His mind what?" asked Harry, hesitantly, he wasn't supposed to ask questions, as Lestrade nodded his agreement to what John said.
John explained it to him and Harry looked at them wide eyed before he asked, again still hesitant, "When he deletes things, are they gone forever?"
John and Lestrade exchanged a look and even Sherlock, who had been listening to John explain and even elaborated certain points when John was being an idiot about it and not explaining properly especially since he had not gotten anywhere in his mind palace with his new bank robbery case, apparently he hadn't stored anything recent about bank robberies, looked at Harry curiously for a moment.
"Why?" John asked curiously.
Harry looked around the room to see if anyone was paying attention to him, specifically his uncle and aunt, and said in a whisper, "I have nightmares sometimes and I think it's the night my parents died. If I make my own mind palace thing and delete the nightmares, would they be gone forever?"
John and Lestrade look at Sherlock who was now looking at Harry very intently and said, "How long have you been living with your uncle and aunt?"
"Since I was little," said Harry.
"You're still little," pointed out Sherlock.
Harry shrugged his little shoulders and said, "I dunno. They said I was fifteen months old when I was left on their doorstep." Harry clapped a hand over his mouth.
"Left on their doorstep?" questioned Sherlock.
"People still do that?" asked John confused. He thought people stopped that after the sixties.
Lestrade let out an angry sigh. He hated to see things happen to children like this.
"Forget I said anything!" said Harry in a panic with another glance towards his uncle and aunt. They hated it when he brought up the night that ruined their lives.
"They can't do anything to you here," pointed out John.
"Your uncle and aunt gave you over to us to watch you and Lestrade is a Detective Inspector, no matter how inept, and can arrest people even though he is currently a hostage in a bank and I very much doubt that he is going to let them take you back even after all of this," said Sherlock.
Lestrade was very confused. He had never seen Sherlock try to comfort a child before though he was doing an okay job at it as far as he could tell anyway. Lestrade had to wonder the reasoning behind it especially since Harry interrupted his thinking time.
"That's right," said Lestrade when Sherlock gave him a pointed look when he didn't say anything after ten seconds.
Harry stared at them all, in the way only a child can, to see if they were telling the truth and the three of them stared back at him before he finally nodded his ascent.
"Don't think you can change the subject on me. Why grown-ups think they can do that, I'll never know," said Harry, though he mumbled the last part to himself and Lestrade had half a notion to grin to himself and he probably would have if he wasn't in a vault in the middle of a hostage situation.
"What subject is that?" asked Sherlock and he was grinning. That was never a good thing.
"About deleting nightmares," said Harry.
He was getting more confident the longer he spoke to them was Lestrade's thought as he and John watched how Sherlock would handle this. He was the one who had the most knowledge on deleting memories and information so he had to answer this question.
Sherlock was watching Harry closely as Harry looked at him earnestly. He really didn't want to have the same nightmare anymore.
Instead of answering again, Sherlock asked, "Did you try talking to someone about your nightmares?"
Harry shook his head no and said, "They don't like it when I talk."
There was no question as to who the 'they' were.
Before Sherlock could respond, however, the bank manager, Mr. Hunt came over and asked Lestrade, "How long are they going to leave us alone here for?"
Lestrade opened his mouth to answer but before he could, Sherlock said, "Honestly, does no one think?"
Sherlock gets very irritated when people interrupt him except if you're a child apparently.
Mr. Hunt looked at Lestrade confused, who just shook his head knowing what was coming next from Sherlock, and said, "I'm sorry?"
"Let me ask you this, Mr. Hunt. Why would the bank robbers or hostage takers now, whichever term you prefer, I'm honestly on the fence, take everyone out of the vault when they know there is no way out of here unless they let us out and so no way for us to cause trouble for them and deliberately put us in a room where they actually have to watch us?"
Mr. Hunt and everyone else in the vault looked at Sherlock as if he were a weird science experiment causing Sherlock to turn to John and ask, "Really, what is it like in everyone's mind that they don't think of things like this?"
"Why would you assume I would know?" asked John.
"Because you aren't me," said Sherlock.
"Arrogant much?" asked Taylor Davis, the businessman.
"Yes and it is well-deserved," said Sherlock.
Taylor Davis looked at Lestrade in confirmation, as if he were to know somehow.
Lestrade let out a sigh and said, in a reluctant voice, he hated making Sherlock's ego bigger as dangerous things tended to happen, "Yes, it is."
"When will the bank robbers come in here?" asked Mr. Jackson, one of the tellers.
"Bank robbers? Really they were bank robbers first but that became a moot point after they came back in and thus became hostage takers," said Sherlock as he thought over the man's choice in phrases to describe the men.
"Sherlock," said John exasperation, if he wasn't being rude, he was critiquing how they spoke.
Sherlock looked at John who gave him a pointed look. "The hostage takers will only come in here if they want to kill any of us. Otherwise, it will be the police who let us out."
Again, everyone looked at Lestrade for confirmation of what Sherlock said. Apparently, since he was a Detective Inspector, he was the go-to guy for confirmation on the situation.
"He's right as far as I can remember from that department's protocols."
"That's not very reassuring," said Mr. Wall.
"It's not meant to be reassuring!" said Sherlock. "We're in the middle of a hostage situation. We are lucky we were left alone for this long. Really four hours is good from a hostage standpoint. Do you know how often these things end well for everyone, especially the hostages?"
"Really must you talk like that in front of the children?" asked Scott Knight, looking pointedly at the boy in Mrs. Dursley's arms and Harry behind him.
"Children don't like to be patronized and they liked to be told what's going on," said Sherlock simply. "They aren't idiots despite what adults think."
"They don't need to be scared, though, do they?" asked Mr. Wall.
"They have every right to know the same things as adults," said Sherlock simply and he moved back over to the side of the vault that he claimed as his and after a moment of hesitation, Harry moved so that he was close to him but there were at least a couple feet in between them.
After that last proclamation, everyone went back to what they were doing before though they were mumbling to themselves about Sherlock.
"I'm going to check on Ms. Moore," said John after a moment. "I should have done it as soon as we got in here but you know."
"Yeah," said Lestrade, wiping a hand wearily down his face before he went to a spot of the vault to get some space from everyone which just so happened to be next to the questionably dressed young man, who's name escaped him at the moment, and he sat in silence for the next hour though he heard the quiet murmurings coming from Sherlock and Harry and Lestrade could only assume Sherlock was teaching Harry more about mind palaces and if it was possible to delete nightmares.
'Hopefully this situation won't last much longer,' thought Lestrade and just as he thought that the vault suddenly opened and they all heard the leader say as he was right in the doorway of the vault, "That's going to cost you three hostages." He was obviously on the phone with one of Lestrade's colleagues.
They heard a muffled voice on the other end of the phone but then they were more worried about the three other accomplices who had just stepped into the vault with their weapons drawn and pointed at three random people but that didn't mean they were their targets. Lestrade dropped down to cover James Morgan, the name of the university student that was questionably dressed which just popped into his head, if he wasn't mistaken, who was closest to him. He saw John do the same for Ms. Moore who he was checking for a concussion and keeping an eye on her. He couldn't see Sherlock and Harry anymore due to the position he was now in. Then there was the sound of two gunshots, two thuds, panicked screams and when Lestrade looked up from his protective position of James Morgan, he saw –
"Oh my God, Sherlock. What the –" said Lestrade glaring at Sherlock as that was all he could do without choking.
It was decided, thought Mycroft as he watched Lestrade choke slightly on the biscuit that was just shoved in his mouth. He was going to kill his brother and have his best people hide the body.
Future excerpt from John's Blog
Time – Unknown
Yes, Sherlock can be that childish just to annoy his brother as anyone who has read any previous blog entries should know or just to put things off for as long as possible. I do wonder, though, what was going through Mycroft's mind at this point during this retelling. He had such a scowl on his face and I'm pretty sure I saw him poke another hole in his paper that he was taking notes on…