It was mid-June, and an unusually windy day; the windows at 221B rattled as gusts howled through the eaves and whistled through every tiny space. Sherlock was at the window with his violin - the view helped him play, he'd found - and had noted the arrival of the police car, followed by the clatter downstairs of the street door being dragged open and then slammed to against the wind. A few seconds later, Lestrade was knocking at the open flat door. He had a folder tucked under one arm.
"Okay, you've got news." Sherlock thunked the Stradivarius down on the sofa and scratched the back of his head thoughtfully with the bow.
"Yeah, there's been an update on the Edalji case." Lestrade put the folder down on the coffee table.
"Going to trial... I thought you'd want to know as soon as possible."
"Yep. The mutilations case is going through an appeal as we speak, but I don't think George will be feeling all that excited to hear about it. He'll be replacing twelve months for mutilating animals with two years for having sex with his sister, if it all goes through."
"John will be thrilled," Sherlock commented dryly. "They're prosecuting both of them?"
"In theory. Mel says there's pretty much no chance at all that Sarah will do time, not when you consider her age, and the kid and everything."
Sherlock was silent for a few seconds. Yes, well, in theory James Moriarty wasn't going to get acquitted for something he was caught red-handed doing either... "So she still has custody of the baby?"
"Supervised custody - she's in assisted living. They're keeping an eye on her... too early to call what's going to happen there, especially if they're both convicted. Not sure about the details, but it seems she's doing an okay job with the baby, anyway."
Sherlock, lost in thought, turned to the window again. Lestrade sat down on the sofa and reached out for the file, flipping through it.
"I'm sorry, Sherlock."
"Hmm?" Sherlock turned back to him abruptly. "What for?"
"You really wanted George to be innocent, didn't you."
"He is innocent." Sherlock put the violin bow down on a pile of newspapers on the table. "He's innocent of the crime that he was originally accused and convicted of, and I proved that successfully enough that they are ordering a retrial. Though I'm not surprised that Caroline Edalji was far from thankful about it."
"The justice system doesn't always work." Lestrade was not to be put off from his point. "People get let off when they should do time, and people... well, sometimes they get convicted of things they didn't do. The system's run by people, Sherlock."
"Stupid people, apparently."
"You sound so surprised about that." Lestrade sighed and got up. "Anyway, look, it all came off as well as it possibly could. Don't let it get to you."
"I'm not letting it get to me," Sherlock murmured in protest. "I'm fine. I feel fine."
He reached over to pick up the violin again, then reached down for the bow. The violin was not Lestrade's instrument-of-choice to listen to for long periods of time; he knew this for the cue it was, and quickly took himself away.
A/N- Thank you for reading. As disclaimed before, this is based on a real case and many details are as original, such as Edalji's myopia (first noticed by Arthur Conan Doyle himself in a similar scenario to when John notices it) and Doyle's theorised solution to the mutilations. Some characters have been invented; the most obvious one is Sarah. Character-assassination of the real George Edalji, or anyone else, was not intended; this is basically a work of fiction.
The sequel to The Parson's Son is The Somerton Man. You can find it from my profile.