Title: A Science Other Than Deduction
Written: post-series 02 (pre-series 03, obviously)
Fandoms: Harry Potter Series/BBC Sherlock
Summary: Sherlock firmly believed that “caring is not an advantage.” However, there was certainly curiosity… and he just became curious about a certain green-eyed girl who always seemed to be murdering terrorists without leaving a trace. Oh, yes, it was only curiosity… until it became something more.
genderswap (Rule 63), crossgen (16/38), magic, murder, character death (canon).
Harry was an enigma. There one day and gone the next in a swirl of a light blue dress and sparkling green eyes. If Sherlock had to admit it, Harry was aesthetically the most beautiful woman he had ever beheld. When he met Irene Adler his thought was, “Never as beautiful as Henrietta.”
The fact that Adler appeared naked in front of him was also distressing. Naturally he took her measurements. It happened in the flick of an eye. He was the world’s only consulting detective after all. Still, the thought was insulting.
Sherlock knew he’d told no one, not his brother, not John (well, nearly), not Mrs. Hudson, about his engagement to the elusive sprite who had at times taken over his entire thought process so that all his brain could do was chant, Henrietta, Henrietta, Henrietta. It was most vexing at times, especially when he was trying to work. However, the taste of her sweet lips was reward enough.
They’d had an argument earlier that day. Sherlock had been sitting in Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place when she brought it up. “I’m so glad I’m practically of age. You’re lucky I have no guardians left. They’d surely thrash you.”
He was drinking tea and almost coughed it up. “You’re only eighteen?”
She looked at him with wide eyes. “Oh, I forgot. You’re a muggle.”
Sherlock wasn’t quite certain what a muggle was. He was aware that it wasn’t quite an insult. No. Never that. Harry loved him too much. He could sense it in the turn of her wrist, in her dilating pupils, the quickness of her breath whenever he came near her.
At first he thought it was a class distinction. Harry obviously was from a wealthy background, though she had a neglectful upbringing if the way she ate food was anything to go by. Her dresses were always a myriad of silks and bright colors. Once, when he asked her why, she said that she wanted to be noticed for something other than being Henrietta Potter.
Someone known then. That also supported his original conclusion.
Except that Mummy had a box at Ascot and, unlike the rest of his family, the Holmeses were extremely proud to hold a minor title that now fell to Mycroft. He was the fifth Baron of —. Not that he used it. Sherlock wouldn’t either.
Sherlock put his teacup down. “What does that have to do with anything?” he queried, taking in her purple gown that was embroidered with some sort of silver thread that seemed to shift and sparkle without the aid of light. Most curious.
“We have different age denominations. For you, I would have to be eighteen. For us, only seventeen.”
Sherlock clenched his jaw. Mummy certainly wouldn’t like this. “Only seventeen?”
“This July. However, it is June, my darling.” She smiled that enigmatic smile at him and continued her tea. “For your sensibilities, we can wait a year and be married next August. Will a summer wedding suit?”
Sherlock could only stare at her. Sensing his utter lack of mental processes, Harry put down her cup and came and sat in his lap. Despite himself, Sherlock opened his arms to cradle her against him.
“You thought I was older.”
“That is a correct conclusion.”
“I’m sorry I’m not. I suppose we met at the wrong time.”
“You should have told me sooner.”
“When? We usually meet when I’m standing over dead bodies.”
Sherlock hummed. This was quite true. “Mummy won’t be pleased.”
Harry was now combing her fingers through his curly hair, a task which seemed to absorb her. Normally, Sherlock would have thought how simple minded she was. Now, he couldn’t. Now he understood that sometimes Harry would just focus on a mundane task so she could think. He wondered if this was a non-Muggle trait as well.
No, Anderson was still just an idiot. Always would be. Anyone could come to that conclusion except Detective Inspector Lestrade, who was a cut above the rest of the primates on the force of Scotland Yard.
“Don’t I have superior breeding traits?” Harry mused. “That helps most mothers.”
“Mummy isn’t ‘most mothers’.”
“Of course not. How could she, being your mother? I only wonder what your brother is like.”
Then she kissed him and Sherlock couldn’t seem to care that he was holding a sixteen year old girl in his arms. He was kissing Harry, as she liked to be called but he could never quite manage. She was his world, his potential murderess who even when dragged in front of Scotland Yard, seemed to have some lawyer named Kingsley Shacklebolt turn up and have her released within the hour.
When Sherlock had researched the name he learned the man was a private aid to the Prime Minister. The fact had actually shocked him. Harry clearly had friends in high places. Not as high as Mycroft, but still.
She, however, remained the love of his life. Sherlock had never thought he would love, not even when he first met Harry. The concept was foreign to him and now, a day after he learned how young his bewitching fiancée was, he was faced with Irene Adler, who wanted to play games with him.
Her first text was repugnant to him. Her second equally disquieting. He didn’t answer.
Sherlock wished Harry would text, but she explained blithely that she didn’t have a mobile. “It would just blow up in my face anyway.” He still gave her a blackberry for her seventeenth birthday.
After an agonizing week, she’d called him and said that she couldn’t figure out how to text. At their next meeting Sherlock calmly taught her, smelling the aroma of lilies in her hair and strangely not thinking her just plain stupid, but by the end of it she was passably writing him a text message. Now they were few and far between.
He explained to her that the mobile couldn’t be tracked—courtesy of Mycroft, damn him—and that she could receive a signal anywhere in Britain. Then the call came that would change his life.
“Sherlock,” she said, out of breath. “They’ve found me. I need to leave.” Then the phone went dead. He didn’t hear from Harry again until her first postcard arrived.
Looking back, when he first met her she had been fifteen at the time and yet the weight of the world seemed to be on her shoulders. He’d thought she was older. Sherlock prided himself on deduction and reasoning and yet she had the fully developed body of a woman. She wore the grim smile of a woman who had seen too much, but was nonetheless in her early twenties. Still, she was beautiful. He could not deny it. Her messy black hair was pushed back over her shoulders and she wore a strange red dress that was covered by some sort of gold cloak. This woman seemed something almost out of a fairy tale.
She was, however, standing across from a dead body, her mouth in that hard line as if she were contemplating his sudden death.
Sherlock had run up to them and was able to gain from Harry that the man had just collapsed in the street and she happened to be walking by. They were, however, in an alley with no exit. Her story didn’t match up to the facts, but her hard green eyes bore into him, willing him to understand.
“Dropped dead. No cause,” Sherlock repeated.
“Like a rock,” she replied sweetly.
Sherlock wasn’t certain why but he had believed her.
“Why are you in an alley?”
She looked about her, as if she had been uncertain where she was before. Sherlock could see comprehension dawn on her face. “I needed to change.”
She had no bag for clothes.
“And you are?” she suddenly enquired, her gaze flicking from his shoes up to his eyes, as if wondering why he were so tall. She was tall herself, but nowhere near his height.
“Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective. I’m currently working with Scotland Yard.”
She blinked at him and then nodded. “Lady Henrietta Potter,” she offered. “I’m called Harry.”
Sherlock actually smiled at her. He could see by her right wrist that she was used to repetitive movement and that, although the arm was partially hidden, she had something up her sleeve. The way she held herself told him she was unused to her rank, and should perhaps see his tailor about the outlandish though stunning dress she was wearing. It couldn’t possibly be daywear.
Although her right wrist showed repetitive movement, her left ring finger had an indentation, betraying that she wrote with her left hand and the fact that she was not out of breath meant she had not been pursuing Antonin Dolohov, who’d been on a killing spree with no seeming order to his victims.
“I hope you don’t know my brother,” he said after about 7.5 seconds.
She breathed out. “Why should I know your brother?” Her posture had become defensive and standoffish.
“He’s the Baron of —.”
Harry relaxed again. “No, we are not acquainted. He does not run in my circle.”
What a curious thing to say. Mycroft knew everyone with a title. Why shouldn’t he know Harry? “Consider yourself fortunate. I wish I weren’t acquainted with him all the time.” He looked about quickly to see if the street camera from the little corner shop was trained on them, meaning most likely that Mycroft was watching. It was looking the other way.
Harry moved around the body. “When’s the Yard to turn up? Do they want a statement or may I just go?”
Sherlock opened his mouth to respond, but Harry was already leaving the scene.
“Thank you,” she said airily before she turned the corner and disappeared. After the Yard turned up and Sherlock was finally allowed to leave he thought he saw a young woman with wild hair wearing a pair of jeans. She was holding the same handbag as Harry had been.
He quirked a smile at her and she smiled back at him brilliantly.
Little did he know, but he was already beginning to fall in love with her.
It was six weeks later that he was running after a woman with wild hair and a strange cackle, that he had seen Harry again. The woman had been certifiably insane, yelling at him with a baby voice and going on and on about “Harry Potter.”
“Our Lord will marry her,” she shouted back. “No, she cannot stop it. Think of that much power, that much magic mated together. I can’t even hate her for taking our Lord away, now can I?”
Talking about magic. Clearly insane.
The woman turned and then there had been a flare of a short black dress and black trousers that seemed to be a cross between leggings and those an assassin would wear.
“Sherlock,” the figure greeted, and then Harry was gone again.
He soon found them, the woman slouched in an alley with Harry bending over her, as if to be certain that she was dead. Harry was holding a wooden stick, her hand clenching and unclenching. Sherlock wouldn’t let himself think that it was a wand. The woman had been insane, after all. Harry’s shoulders were rigid with anxiety and her eyes were wild and angry.
She looked at Sherlock in surprise, as if she had forgotten his presence earlier.
“Her name is Lady Bellatrix Lestrange,” she began, her tone dead. “Her husband is Sir Rodolphus but she was a daughter of the House of Black. Because of her I am Countess Black.” She spit out the title.
Sherlock remembered the recent law passed saying that the eldest could inherit. Clearly she was the recipient of this new legislation.
“Oh, and Baroness Potter, not that it matters.” Her eyes flashed angrily at him.
“Who are you?” Sherlock couldn’t help asking. He knew the actual answer but still this woman was amazing and quite terrifying in her anger.
“No one,” she responded, her body deflating. “I wish I were no one.”
Someone then. “Countess Black,” he began, but she glared at him again. “Lady Henrietta—“
“Henrietta,” he compromised and she just shrugged her shoulders. “You were chasing this woman.”
“She killed the only father I ever had.”
“Now you are standing over the body,” he began carefully.
Harry laughed hollowly, slipping the wooden stick up her sleeve.
Bruising under the eyes. Hadn’t slept in nearly a week. Red hands that seemed newly chafed. She had engaged in some new labour to which she was unaccustomed. Wild hair pulled in a bun, and she hadn’t had time to wash it. It had that sheen of oil about it. Her attire, while finely made, was wrinkled, perhaps showing that she had been looking for this woman and had prepared for it and/or she had slept in it. Both seemed probable.
Sherlock caught her eyes, startled.
“I looked you up, you know,” she began conversationally. Then completely changing the subject she asked, “What had she done?”
“Tortured a Colonel into insanity.”
“He couldn’t say. There was evidence of her presence and her methods, however.”
Harry looked at him for more.
“I’m afraid I cannot divulge—“
There was the sound of a police car and then Lestrade was walking toward them. “Don’t tell me, she just dropped dead, too.”
“Yes. Probably unused to running long distances. Look at her shoes, Lestrade, her shoes!”
Lestrade looked. The rest of the team was coming up around him.
“They’re heels,” Lestrade admitted.
“Worn heels,” Harry cut in. “She wore those heels all the time. They were her favorite and I can vouch that she wore them and no others, to my knowledge.”
Lestrade looked at her, taking in her unusual attire. “And you are?”
“Countess Black,” she responded evenly. “Lady Bellatrix was the cousin of the late Earl.”
“Hmm,” Lestrade hummed. “You’ll still need to come in for questioning.”
“Is that really necessary? She’s just an observer.” Sherlock didn’t know why he was defending her. It simply seemed right.
“Fine. Go give your statement to Donovan,” he capitulated.
Sherlock stole Harry’s address off of Donovan; she really shouldn’t leave her notes hanging around for just anyone to find.
Harry was standing in the park of Grimmauld Place, staring at the place between Numbers 11 and 13.
“I can’t go back,” she whispered to Sherlock as she curled into his warmth. “She killed Sirius. How can I go back?”
“And you killed her.” Sherlock finally vocalized what he had suspected to be true since the first time that they met.
Harry said nothing. Nothing to deny. Nothing to incriminate. Instead, “I think he would have liked you.”
“My godfather—Lord Black.”
Hmm. They must have been related closely for Harry to become his heir. He would have asked, and normally he would have, but the pain in Harry’s voice was strangely tugging at what he thought was his heart.
“He liked pranks.” She looked over at him. “He would have known that you were playing a prank on the whole world.”
“What prank?” he had to ask.
“You’re not a sociopath.” And with that, she kissed him gently, a mist of rain beginning to fall around them.
“You haven’t slept,” Sherlock pointed out when he finally drew away.
She shrugged. “You kissed me back.”
It was answer enough, and she walked away from him. In a blink of an eye, somewhere around Number twelve, Grimmauld Place, she disappeared.
No, Harry was not his girlfriend. However, Sherlock wanted her to be.
When he met John Watson and glanced at his phone, his first instinct was ‘brother’ when he saw the name Harry engraved on the back. Then he thought of her. Instead, when they were in a cab together, he took a leap of faith and said, “You have a sister who was recently divorced or separated.”
He was right.
The morning was bright and fresh. Sherlock wanted to get away from John and his tea making fetish (really, it was getting to the vexation plateau) and he decided to get away for just half an hour. Barts was always an option. However, the main cadaver was a man who had, once again, died of nothing, shock clearly written upon his face.
They all had shock on their faces, at least when Harry was around and sometimes when she wasn’t. Still, lilies seemed to linger in the air as if she had disappeared only a moment ago.
Sherlock always noted it. The Yard never did, fortunately.
Snow had fallen earlier in the morning, but Sherlock didn’t quite mind as his feet crunched through it. His overcoat was more than enough protection. He looked at the sign of the name of the small park. St Andrews. Only a ten minute walk to King’s Cross, then.
That’s when he found a man, quite dead and half frozen, at the bottom of a tree. A look of cruelty twisted his mouth but his eyes were wide, as if he couldn’t quite believe what he was seeing.
“Looking for me?” a cheeky voice asked, and Sherlock looked up quickly enough to catch Harry who had jumped into his arms. She was light, too light, but Sherlock didn’t want to let go of her. He was afraid he would never let go, and was uncertain as to the implications.
“Henrietta,” he greeted. “This doesn’t look suspicious at all.” He nodded toward the dead man who had sandy blond hair and freckles. His lips were also turning blue. Yet still Sherlock held her close to him, rationalizing that it was to keep her warm. She killed him, a voice insisted, and yet he could only admire her all the more.
No evidence. No cause of death. He’d been over every crime scene with a fine tooth comb and there had been nothing except one blonde haired woman had snagged a piece of unidentified cloth, that turned out to be a dead end. Fortunately, Lestrade had managed to keep these strange happenings out of the press. Harry was safe that way. And Sherlock wanted to keep it as such.
Harry was wearing a fur lined cloak, hood fallen backward to betray her hair that was in a high bun, and warm boots. Again, Harry was wearing all black, which made her green eyes, sparkling in exhilaration, that much more enthralling.
“Say I’m your colleague. No suspicion at all.”
Sherlock laughed, actually laughed so that his head fell back and it came loud and deep from his stomach. “I have a colleague. He’s a doctor.”
“Yes, the one you live with. That’s not at all suspicious, of course. Everyone thinks you’re lovers.”
Sherlock raised a brow at her, but Harry only continued.
“I read his blog. Nice work on the Blind Banker.”
That immediately brought Sherlock to thoughts of Sebastian. How that wretch would adore to trap Harry into one of his sordid escapades, leaving her heartbroken, alone, and possibly dead of spirit. Sherlock could never allow that to happen to her—never. The thought was insupportable.
Sherlock hummed in annoyance and Harry kissed him quickly and lightly as if this were a long practiced habit. He wished it were.
“Don’t be like that—the dead body?” He knew he was being obtuse but Sherlock frankly didn’t care.
“Well,” Harry began seriously. “I don’t recommend being that cold.” Her eyes sparkled in laughter and she burrowed herself close to him. “Can I tell my adopted family you’re my boyfriend?”
Sherlock pinched his nose and then led her away from that damnable tree. He objectively knew that he should report the body but he’d have to deal with either Dimmock or Anderson or quite possibly both. Frankly, Harry was more important to him than another dead end crime scene. “Of course I’m your boyfriend.” The words felt foreign on his tongue and yet he wanted to lay claim to this beautiful young creature, who very well could be a murderess. He wondered if he had become complicit. Yes, he realized, ever since he had allowed Lestrade to think that she was only an observer.
Harry kissed him again, long and slow, as if she were unsure of the movements. Sherlock hadn’t had much practice himself, but he tried to relate how precious Harry had become to him, how much he wanted her in his life.
When they finally broke apart, he asked. “How long has he been like that?”
“Do you really want to know?” She stopped them at the gate and looked him in his blue eyes. “You’ve deduced that I’m involved. His name is Barty, by the way. Bartemius Crouch Jr.” What a horrifying thought. She did know her victims. This was most likely a personal vendetta. “You’ve deduced that I’m involved.”
“They all have died from natural causes,” he parroted. That’s what Molly concluded. Then again, it wasn’t her finest moment. She had so few of them, actually, but this was clearly idiotic. The look of fear and surprise on their faces alone meant that someone else was present, at the very least. He’d looked in police archives and had found that this was not the first slew of cases. In Little Hangleton an entire family had been murdered. The gardener was blamed. Sherlock didn’t believe it for a second.
Harry pulled him out of his thoughts. “Why can’t you just say it?”
Sherlock grabbed her arm and forcibly moved her forward, away from this Barty’s corpse. There were student dorms but he prayed that no one was looking out their windows or at least that they could not identify them. “I’d rather you not end up in prison,” and right there at the corner of the street he kissed her hard.
Harry kissed him back.
John was just making a cuppa when Sherlock returned to Baker Street.
The next time Sherlock saw Harry was on the other side of a window in Scotland Yard. “We finally caught her,” Lestrade said confidently. “The witness. She was at another crime scene.”
Sherlock had seen it but by then Harry was gone. He had assumed she had disappeared but apparently not.
The victim was a man with greasy hair and a hooked nose. There was no shock on his face, only a calm resignation. He appeared on the verge of speaking something, but the only interesting aspect of the scene was that he had somehow burnt the words, “I’m sorry, Harry,” into the stone wall behind him.
There was a second message—the second of the tattoos he wore, that was hidden up his right arm. It read, “I love Lily.”
The first had been one of a scull eating a snake. Really, taste could only go so far and the man had none at all. He was like John that way and his jumpers, but worse.
Lestrade took in another deep breath before entering the room. However, a moment behind him was a man in a pressed pinstriped suit, tall, imposing, his skin as black as the moonless sky, and utterly terrifying.
“I’m Kingsley Shacklebolt, and I’ll be representing Lady Black,” he stated imperiously.
Needless to say Lestrade got nothing except that Harry had known the man was in trouble and had tried to warn him, and that Lily was her mother’s name.
She had airtight alibis for the actual time of the murder in one Nymphadora Tonks, who swore in a signed affidavit that they had been shopping.
When Lestrade had asked where the shopping bags were, looking Harry up and down in her immaculate white dress that came down to the knees and swirled outward, Harry only said, “With Tonks.”
Security footage actually backed them up and the tapes appeared not to be tampered with. They even showed Harry getting a call and sprinting away. Sherlock knew, for a fact, that Harry didn’t have a mobile.
Sherlock made sure to be directly outside the door to the interrogation room when Harry was released. Shacklebolt looked him up and down before glancing to Harry.
“My boyfriend,” she supplied, grinning at her lawyer, as if questioning him to say anything about it.
“Isn’t he a bit old for you?”
“Isn’t Remus a bit old for Tonks?” she said with a teasing smile.
The man sighed. “You are incorrigible.”
“As always,” she replied.
He looked Sherlock over. “Does Dumbledore know?”
What an odd name, Sherlock thought, but then Harry was standing beside him.
“Dumbledore only cares that I spend a month with my aunt every summer.” She made it sound horrible and taxing and a shadow came into her eyes. Sherlock kissed the top of her hair to show her that she was wanted and she was loved.
Loved. He had never felt love before, but this overwhelming feeling where he could just as easily die from not holding her in his arms to over joyously happy that he was wanted by her must be love. He’d even taken to playing the violin. John had remarked on how happy his pieces had sounded.
“He’s a muggle,” was Shacklebolt’s last attempt.
“So were my grandparents,” Harry replied stubbornly.
This of course was not the last time that Harry made it into the interrogation room. Shacklebolt was always there.
“Do you know the name of the victim?” The man had long hair in a ponytail and looked like he had lost a lot of weight very quickly.
“Don’t answer that,” Shacklebolt advised.
John was somehow with him that day at Barts. He’d been nagging about the serial killer that made no mark. “I’d love to see one of the bodies.”
“Think she did it?” he asked, looking at Sherlock.
Yes, Sherlock’s mind supplied. Somehow he hoped he figured out how she did it and what connected all of her victims. Instead, he replied, “She’s my girlfriend.”
“Right.” John put his hands in his pockets. That was clearly enough about that.
Sherlock couldn’t quite believe that he was driving down to Mummy’s for the weekend. Harry had said that she had a project, which made Sherlock hope that it wasn’t another murder. Still, as he sat in the driver’s seat in the little used car that technically belonged to him but which Mycroft looked after, he couldn’t help the sense of elation he felt at the very idea for his journey.
The house was old and large but Mummy liked it that way. Sherlock had grown up in this house until he’d gone off to Cambridge at the age of fourteen.
Harry, he supposed, went to the University of London. Sometimes she would speak of courses and assignments and how horrible her professors were, so he supposed she must be at university. It wasn’t as prestigious, of course, as Oxford and Cambridge, but he doubted Mummy would mind. She believed in the rights and education of women, but didn’t believe they should get too above themselves.
“That is the failure of modernism,” she had once said over dinner. Mycroft had been there as well. Sherlock couldn’t remember if either of them had said anything in response.
When he pulled the car up to the drive, the butler was waiting, and Sherlock hopped out without a care in the world.
“Mummy,” he greeted. “I need one of the Holmes diamonds so I may propose to Henrietta Potter, Countess Black.”
“Lady Black,” Mummy repeated.
Sherlock held her gaze.
“Didn’t you get almost blown up?”
Harry had been most displeased about that. She had railed at him for nearly a half hour before breaking down and crying against his shoulder. It had happened in the flat so John was a little shocked and surprised when he got home and found her like that. He’d left shortly after, but first he’d made her a cup of tea.
Of course, that had been months ago, and Harry didn’t seem so upset by Irene Adler, saying the woman was a prostitute, which seemed to solve the problem. “The Hounds of the Baskervilles,” had made her laugh and kiss Sherlock deeply. She knew he’d figure it out. It was almost as if she had already known somehow. That, though, was ridiculous.
“Henrietta looked after me,” Sherlock answered.
Mummy made a sound in the back of her throat. “I trust she is suitable?”
Sherlock, of course, stayed for luncheon, but was back in London in time for dinner, just as he had planned.
They were having a picnic in St Andrews Gardens. It had, if Sherlock were plebian, become their place. There were no dead bodies that Harry was responsible for. Another dead body would be fascinating and would have added to the ambiance.
He didn’t ask. Sherlock slipped the ring onto her finger.
“You want to marry me?” she breathed.
“Naturally,” he replied. “I wouldn’t have given you the ring otherwise.” He’d leaned over to kiss her then, finding that he was becoming quite the romantic.
She bit her lip. “I want to tell you something, but I don’t believe you’ll believe me.” The strange wooden stick was in her hand and her large green eyes were looking at him imploringly.
“Is it how the men died?” he questioned.
She nodded her head “yes.”
A bunny scurried out of the brush and with murmured words, Harry pointed at the bunny. A moment later and green light flashed out of the stick—the wand—and the rabbit lay dead on the ground.
Sherlock looked around to the families gathered there with their dogs. “How can no one see us?”
Harry took a bite out of her sandwich. “I cast a spell.”
Sherlock couldn’t believe her but all the evidence was there. It explained the dead bodies, the shock on their faces, the lack of tangible proof that anything had occurred.
“Your lawyer knows,” Sherlock concluded.
“Of course. There’s an entire society of us.”
“Why don’t they deal with the murders?”
Harry only hummed before going back to her sandwich, happily looking down at her ring.
The next body was as well dressed as Harry. Tailored slacks, a black blazer, a green and silver striped tie. He was wearing a cloak although it was summer and his hair was so blond it could almost be called white.
The boy must have been in his final year of college. His entire future was ahead of him and now it had been snuffed out like a candle. Sherlock could determine no reason for Harry to kill him. His pointed features were contorted into a snarl, but that would be one reaction to facing death.
Wizard, he thought. She’s killing wizards.
“Draco Malfoy, Earl of —, and eldest son of the seventh Duke of —. What a waste,” Lestrade said, coming up to Sherlock.
It looked like one of her killings. The added twists were the age and the title.
That evening Sherlock cornered Harry in Grimmauld Place. “Draco Malfoy? He’s young enough to be my son! What could he have possibly done?”
Harry sucked in her breath. “I can only speculate.”
“So speculate.” Sherlock could feel his jaw clench in anger. For some reason, this last murder felt personal. It was the first time she had killed wearing his ring on her finger.
“There is a group of terrorists. He was a member.”
“So a vigilante is taking them out,” Sherlock surmised. He could see the woman he loved as a vigilante. She had the fire and the sheer will power for it.
“Certain members,” she agreed. “It seems he has a personal grievance.”
Sherlock stepped forward, further into the house. He noticed that a portrait seemed to depict a woman with wide eyes. “How long will this personal grievance last?”
“I can only—“ she began, but Sherlock wouldn’t have it.
“How long?” He swung his arm around Harry’s waist and held her close, tucking her head beneath his chin.
“I believe it is complete,” she breathed out, as if in release.
There wasn’t another unexplained murder.
Harry appeared at his door one Saturday, telling him it was her seventeenth birthday, as if the whole situation weren’t bad enough. He knew her age and partially hated himself for it, but he couldn’t let her go, could never let her go. He looked down at the ring on her finger and promised himself that they would wait one more year and they would be married. She would be a tender eighteen, and he would be the thirty-eight year old lecher.
Sherlock didn’t know why he let it bother him. What mattered was intellect and this beautiful woman had outwitted the police and murdered eleven individuals, beginning when she was just fifteen years old.
Today, Harry was wearing a nice dress and she had purposefully rung his bell, not knowing he would be in or not, or if she’d have to endure Mrs Hudson cooing over her.
“Henrietta,” Sherlock greeted, looking about for a dead body. It was now a force of habit. Instead he saw two other teenagers dressed for a wedding. The other girl was so young, and so frightened. She had put on a brave face, trying to appear older, but she could never have the resigned look of loss and pain that Harry carried around with her like an albatross.
She kissed him in greeting and Sherlock didn’t care that they were making a spectacle at his front door. “I’m legal,” she promised as she pulled away. Her arms had been around Sherlock’s neck, and he had pulled her in closely. Normally he would have been reticent but not with her. Never with Harry.
“You’re here to tell me something,” he said in resignation and let the three of them up into the flat.
John was mulling around without his cane and was visibly startled with their entrance.
The boy, who was lanky and had a strange face under his ginger hair, looked about him. “Are you sure this is safe, Harry? We don’t even know this guy. He could be a Death Eater.”
The boy went and peered at the tea that was steeping. He looked up at John suspiciously. “Are there going to be biscuits?”
Sherlock could only roll his eyes.
“Ron,” the other girl said, “now is not the time.”
“It’s always time for food,” Ron responded. “And this bloke’s Harry’s friend.”
Harry took Sherlock’s arms and wound them around her waist, her back pressing against his chest. “Fiancé,” she declared, though with a sense of resignation that could only mean she’d had this conversation before.
John choked on his tea.
Harry wasn’t paying attention but had instead turned in Sherlock’s arms. “I have to run. They know it was me.”
“The terrorists?” he whispered back.
“The Death Eaters, yes,” she confirmed. “I—we’re all—we hope it will be over soon.”
Sherlock pulled her closer, taking in the scent of her clean hair.
“Trust no one,” she murmured against his ear. “If you haven’t heard from me for a fortnight—I—“
Sherlock could only hold her closer and wished he never had to let go.
It had been two months without a word, without a postcard, and Moriarty had said he would burn his very heart out.
Something was off about the man, and somehow Sherlock wondered if Moriarty was a wizard. He feared that he might find Harry, that he might use Sherlock to get to her.
So he stood on the top of the building while Moriarty threatened everyone he cared about. John. Mrs Hudson. Almost everyone.
He thought of Harry when he jumped, knowing that if he couldn’t save himself, he had to save her.
And so he did as he felt the impact with the pavement.