Fandoms: Harry Potter, Supernatural, and Sherlock (bbc).
Word Count: 3,520
A/N: This is sort of a demented'verse/Sherlock crossover. It was requested by dairygirl in my comment-fic meme. She wanted the trifecta crossover with emphasis on the Winchesters and the kids, and I gave her one with emphasis on John and Sherlock. She didn't seem to mind in the end.
Summary: Sherlock finds something interesting at lunch, John is curious, and Albus might just be a little psychic.
“Order something, Sherlock,” John said. Sherlock sighed and turned his attention away from the table behind and to the left of John.
“Yes, fine, I’ll have what he’s having,” Sherlock told the waiter, who nodded and then thankfully got out of Sherlock’s line of sight.
“What’s so interesting then?” John asked. Sherlock had to commend the man for not turning to look for himself. Others wouldn’t be quite so considerate, and would, overcome with curiosity, alert the subject of study to Sherlock’s scrutiny, thus altering the subject’s behaviour and ruining the game.
“Hmm?” Sherlock said, meeting John’s eyes and feigning confusion – though he knew John didn’t believe him, after all, Sherlock was never confused.
“Oh come off it,” John said. “I know you haven’t listened to a word I’ve said since we’ve sat down.”
“Of course I have,” Sherlock defended. “You’ve been going on about that older gentleman who keeps coming into your surgery because he’s convinced himself he’s sick when really he’s just bored with his job and dissatisfied with his marriage.”
“Oh, well, my mistake then,” John said. “Still, there’s something in here that’s caught your eye. Tell me what it is, before I have a look for myself and spoil everything.”
“How much do you know about the world, John?” Sherlock asked and, again, the fact that John didn’t accuse him of changing the subject was a point in his favour – and one of the many things Sherlock rather liked about his colleague, or, well, friend, really.
“A fair bit, I think,” John replied. “You know my life experience almost as well as I do though, so you’ll have to be a bit more specific if you want me to give you an answer you haven’t already deduced for yourself.”
“There are things that can be known, but not spoken of,” Sherlock replied, “lest we be regarded as insane or mentally unfit to solve crimes.”
“You’re a self-professed sociopath already, Sherlock,” John said.
“Yes, but that’s more of a benefit to solving crimes, isn’t it?” Sherlock replied. John frowned. John never liked talking about this subject, Sherlock wondered why he had brought it up at all. “What I’m saying is that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies.”
“Hamlet,” John answered correctly and studied him. Sherlock met his eyes and waited for John’s annoyingly slow synapses to fire in the correct connection. “You’re talking about ghosts.”
“Indeed,” Sherlock answered and then leaned back and smiled at the waitress as their food arrived. John watched the waitress as she walked away, and Sherlock was just about to wrinkle his nose at how uncharacteristically crude his friend was being, when he realized that John was only using it as cover for turning in his chair so that he could view the family sitting behind him. Sherlock found himself smiling rather proudly.
“I see a young family with three children and two guests,” John said. “I do not see any ghosts.”
“I didn’t say there were any,” Sherlock replied. “I asked if you knew about them.”
“You’re wondering if I believe in ghosts?” John asked. “What does that have to do with-”
“Not believe,” Sherlock corrected. “I asked if you knew about ghosts.”
“Ghosts exist?” John said.
“Ghosts, poltergeists, black dogs and hell hounds, shape-shifters, vampires, werewolves...” Sherlock whispered. “And then there are the people who hunt them, two of which are sitting behind you.”
“How do you know?” John asked.
“About the paranormal or about the two guests sitting with that young family?” Sherlock asked in return.
“Both,” John said. Again, his gaze was steady – Sherlock could tell that John wasn’t sure if he should believe him, or if Sherlock was insane, but he also had not discounted the idea that Sherlock was correct...which really, was a measure of his intelligence, as Sherlock was always correct. Well, most always correct, there was always something.
“One has to be able to tell the difference between a murder by a human and a murder by other forces,” Sherlock said. “Sometimes the two are confused. In one of my earlier investigations, I was enlightened as to the existence of a few hidden societies. Switch seats with me.”
“Switch...” John started.
“Oh come on, John,” Sherlock said. “We’re eating the same thing, just switch seats so you can see properly as I explain.”
They switched seats with minimal noise, thankfully the group of interest contained children, so the attention of the adults rarely left the table. Although Sherlock regretted losing his own ability to observe the group, with his back to them, his voice would carry less.
“The two Americans,” Sherlock began, “take a good look at them.”
“How do you know they’re American,” John asked.
“I have ears, John,” Sherlock said. “Now look at them.”
“Large blokes,” John said. “Wardrobe’s very blue-collar.”
“Not just large, muscular,” Sherlock said. “The way they carry themselves says military, but not official military – trained by someone military then, but never actually in the army themselves.”
“How can you tell?” John asked.
“Haircuts,” Sherlock answered. “Although one of them has a near-military cut, it’s not regulation. The younger – that’s the taller one – has never had his hair cut short. When his hair falls in his face, he is not annoyed – he’s used to it. When he is embarrassed, uncertain, or wishes to withdraw from the conversation, he tilts his head in such a way as to hide his eyes behind the hair...these are all unconscious habits formed from a very young age and never broken.”
“Ok,” John said. “So, military training, but no military - what does that have to do with ghosts?”
“There are very few people who would appear to be military, but not military – there are paramilitary enthusiasts, and there are Hunters,” Sherlock explained. “The reason I know those two are the latter is because they are currently armed – at least two handguns, possibly a blade in a boot, judging by the stiffness of the ankle.”
John looked disturbed by that.
“Oh really, John,” Sherlock said. “You’d be the pot calling the kettle black.”
“Yes, but I’m...well...” John trailed off sheepishly then changed the topic, as he always did whenever Sherlock came close to asking how it was John had retained possession of his army-issued handgun. “What does hunting have to do with ghosts?”
“Not hunting as you know it, John,” Sherlock explained. “They hunt the paranormal, those things that we believe to be the stuff of childhood nightmares – they seek out and destroy, so that the majority of us can continue to believe that they are only childhood nightmares and nothing else.”
“And just because they’re military, but not military, and armed, you’ve jumped to that conclusion?” John asked.
“I never jump to conclusions,” Sherlock said in disdain. “When they sat down they examined the silverware – why? Certainly they weren’t critiquing the cafe on the basis of whether the silverware was actually silver – they hardly seem the type. No, they were assessing a potential weapon – therefore they are used to constant war. The war against the paranormal has no set battlefield. Their knowledge of this, as well as the fact that they are constantly aware of all exits and other patrons, indicates that they are not only Hunters, but seasoned Hunters, and this is where it starts getting interesting-”
“It hasn’t been interesting so far?” John replied, a little wide-eyed.
“No, not at all, John,” Sherlock replied. “Look at their faces. How old are they?”
“Young,” John answered. “I’d say at least ten years younger than me, the taller one anyway, the other might be closer to your age, but...still younger.”
“This is indeed a rarity,” Sherlock said. “Most Hunters come to the profession after personal tragedy – a loved one is killed by something supernatural and they seek out the truth and become a Hunter as means for revenge – our two American subjects, in contrast, were raised in the profession. I’m assuming, by an ex-military father, who no doubt was the one seeking revenge – judging by the most obvious poor parenting choices, I’d say the mother was killed.”
“Maybe it was the other way around,” John offered.
“No, I already considered it,” Sherlock said. “But they treat the redheaded woman with a strange sort of reverence – they were raised without a female presence and regard the feminine as something sacred because of it.”
“This is all based on the idea that ghosts actually exist and you haven’t gone ‘round the bend,” John said, rubbing a hand down his face.
“Forget everything I just said then, and look at them for yourself,” Sherlock replied. “What do you see?”
“Military, like you said,” John sighed. “I’d even say first hand war experience, a lot of it...it’s in the eyes, and the way they look at each other. Their fingers have been broken before. But no, the eyes, I’ve seen that look on...well, adult child-soldiers.”
“America doesn’t have child-soldiers,” Sherlock said softly, though he really wanted to say ‘well done, John’. “So, what war have they been fighting?”
“I don’t know,” John said. “One that I don’t know about.”
“One that happens in secret, all around us, every day,” Sherlock replied. “And I’m willing to wager those two brothers have been in it since they were old enough to hold a pistol.”
“Brothers?” John said.
“At first, I thought lovers,” Sherlock replied, “but no, they’ve both...appreciated...the waitress and there’s a similarity to expression. Therefore, the familiarity comes from being siblings and fighting together.”
“Brothers in arms then,” John said.
“Both,” Sherlock replied.
“What do you think they’re doing in England?” John said, “And armed, no less?”
“Any American raised to be a Hunter would not wish to be separated from weapons for long, which is why they are armed,” Sherlock answered. “As for what they are doing in England, it is quite obvious – they are visiting that young family...and that, my dear John, is where this gets fascinating.”
“Because they have friends?” John asked.
“Because they have friends who are wizards,” Sherlock replied.
“Wizar- Sherlock, are you on drugs?” John asked.
“No, John, just the nicotine patches, I’m doing well,” Sherlock said. “I told you; in one of my earlier cases I was enlightened as to the existence of a few hidden societies. Hunters are one – they live on the outskirts of society, mostly blue-collar, and often are mistaken for criminals. Well, technically they usually are criminals, but only in matters of illegal firearms, fraud, and impersonating officials. The other secret society is that of wizards. Wizards, and witches, are like you and me only they can do magic – proper magic, not this sleight of hand business. They use wands, have their own schools and governments, and regulate themselves.”
John looked both disbelieving and concerned, and Sherlock really wished he had some way to prove it.
“When the eldest boy spilled his juice, the mother made an abortive hand-movement towards her pocket, instead of instinctively reaching for the napkins first. Why? Furthermore, the boy seemed confused by the use of napkins, and the fact that the juice was not completely cleaned up and the table left sticky – he is used to his messes being magically taken care of, which is sadly something that his mother is forbidden to do in front of non-magical people.”
“That’s a bit of a stretch, don’t you think?” John stated.
“Look at the middle child, the one who is not facing you, John,” Sherlock ordered. “Then think really hard about the question ‘Are you a wizard?’”
“Am I playing psychic mind games with strange children now?” John asked. But Sherlock watched as John’s eyes focused over Sherlock’s shoulder, a moment later, John startled a bit, glanced at Sherlock, and then smiled sheepishly towards the table of strangers.
“What did he do?” Sherlock asked, genuinely curious.
“He turned around and looked at me,” John said, “smiled, and then made sure his dad wasn’t watching and nodded.”
“Children have excellent intuition, wizard children even more so,” Sherlock replied.
“He’s still staring at me,” John muttered, appearing severely disconcerted.
“He’ll do that for a while, now that you’ve brought attention to yourself by thinking so hard in his direction,” Sherlock said. “He doesn’t realize he’s doing it, but he’ll stare at you until he is satisfied with the amount of information he has gained and then most likely turn around and never think of you again.”
“Ok, so, Hunters, and um...possibly wizards,” John said, taking a deep breath.
“Yes, two groups who are usually mutually exclusive, and when not, tend to either kill or incarcerate each other. Yet, in this instance, they’re not only visiting, but the wizard has gone to great lengths to have them visit. It’s a rare event, given the awkwardness of the younger Hunter around the children, and the fact that his brother can’t get over how...adorable...the children are. If they visited often, they would ignore the children more and take their precociousness for granted. That as well as the fact that Hunters are not prone to international travel given their usual criminal status, as well as the fact that they seem to be armed with their own familiar weapons, indicates they traveled here by magical means.”
John nodded, still glancing over every so often and quickly looking away – obviously he was still under the child’s scrutiny.
“The parents are used to having someone else at the table – I’d say an older sibling, but they seem too young for that. The mother was raised in a predominately male household, given her comfort levels with the current gender ratio. The two hunters are unused to children.”
There was a small commotion behind Sherlock, and he looked to John.
“The oldest boy has to use the toilet, the father is taking him. The mother is in conversation with the two Americans,” John described.
“About sports, no doubt,” Sherlock said. “Given her physique after three children, it is highly likely she was once quite an athlete.”
“I’m still not sure I believe all this,” John said. “Are you sure you haven’t gone mad?”
“Quite,” Sherlock replied.
John shook his head and resumed eating. Sherlock took the lull in conversation as an opportunity to eat as well – if only to appease John.
Then suddenly a small voice piped up from beside their table.
“Do you want to hold the baby?”
Sherlock looked to find the middle child standing with his arms awkwardly wrapped around the toddler – she was facing forward with her feet dangling off the ground and looked quite uncomfortable, but she wasn’t struggling at all. Obviously, in her short life she had grown accustomed to being carried around haphazardly by her older siblings.
“Is that the sleeper-hold?” John asked the child, a little concerned.
“Her name is Lily. She’s my sister,” the child replied. “You can have her.”
“Um,” John said. “I think maybe your parents wouldn’t like that very much.” Sherlock watched as he smiled warmly at the child though, and reached out to rescue the baby from her brother’s grip. “I don’t think she’s very comfortable like that, so how about we take her back to your table.”
“Ally!” another deeper, adult, voice said, just as John lifted the toddler Lily from the child’s arms. “What are you doing?”
The shorter of the two American’s scooped the young boy – Ally? – up onto one hip, and then seemed to realize that John had one of the other children on his lap.
“Uh, sorry, man,” the American said. “We got distracted, and he disappeared on us.”
“It’s alright,” John said, just as the other American joined them.
“Grab Lils for me, Sam,” the shorter American ordered. Sam looked nervous as he reached to take Lily out of John’s arms.
The young boy seemed disturbed by this.
“She’s a good sister,” the child said.
“Yes,” John said. “She seems very nice.”
“She’s not mean,” the child argued.
“Um, right,” John said, “of course not.”
Lily giggled and smiled broadly at John.
“Sorry for disturbing your lunch,” Sam said.
“It’s quite alright,” Sherlock spoke for the first time, “though, I’d advise the boy that it’s probably not wise to offer his sister to strangers in the future.”
“Sherlock,” John muttered.
“Albus? Did you offer your sister to a stranger?” the older American admonished the boy in his arms.
“His sister makes him sad,” Albus explained. “Lily makes people happy.”
“How...” John said, staring at the boy with wide-eyes. Sherlock was also staring at the boy – this was impressive. The Americans looked a little close to panic.
“Uh,” the American said, “sorry, he...um...I don’t know...” very inarticulate really.
“Obviously, the child must have overheard part of our earlier conversation,” Sherlock said, waving a hand dismissively. “How very...precocious and adorable. Is he yours?”
“No, um, friend of ours,” the American answered. Just as said friend arrived, obviously back from the toilet with his eldest son.
“What’s happened then?” The wizard asked.
It was only now that Sherlock was able to get a proper look at the man, since his back had been to Sherlock when Sherlock had been observing him at the table. He was quite a bit shorter than his friends, perhaps even shorter than John. Only, he had an odd air of authority – military, no, more like Lestrade, but also like Mycroft, only thankfully less smug. Sherlock scrutinized him as he took the toddler, Lily, from Sam’s arms.
“Uh, Albus apparently tried to give Lily away,” Sam told the wizard. The wizard frowned.
“Apparently he felt that I needed a better sister,” John offered. “Very noble of him really, to offer his own – but, I told him you’d probably miss her.”
“Oh,” Harry said, looking at John, and then over at Sherlock – Sherlock was surprised when the man’s eyes locked with his for a just a fraction longer than normal. “Sorry, I’ll have a word with him about more appropriate gestures of friendships. Have a good day, gentleman.”
“You as well,” John replied with a warm smile – only Sherlock could see the unease behind it – and then the party of Hunters and Wizards made their way back to their own table. Sherlock looked over to see that the mother had been settling the bill whilst they had been in conversation – he watched as she raised a questioning eyebrow at her husband, but his only response was a small shake of the head. The explanation had been deferred to a later time.
John and Sherlock returned to their lunch in silence. Sherlock ran through various scenarios in which Hunters might befriend Wizards. John seemed depressed – most likely due to the child’s comment about his sister Harry. Sherlock watched as the family and their two friends made their way out of the cafe, only there was no sign of the father...
“Mr. Holmes?” a voice came from beside him. Sherlock remained still, but John’s head snapped up, and his body went tense. The wizard stepped beside the table, and eyed Sherlock warily. “I trust we still have your confidence.”
Sherlock nodded – it was the condition on which he had been allowed to keep his memory.
“Who are you?” Sherlock asked, because he suddenly had to know.
“You haven’t worked it out by now?” the wizard smiled.
“Military – but not military, police- but not police, government – but not government,” Sherlock muttered. “You’ve been to war. At some point in your youth you were forced to carve words into the back of your own hand. You married young, and had children sooner than planned. You have enough power or pull to transport two Hunters to the continent...I’m assuming in secret. You are either brave, or foolish enough to trust Hunters with the lives of your children. In this case, I would say brave, given that it is obvious your two American friends adore your children – even Sam, who is only marginally better with children than I am...your wife is athletic, and grew up with many brothers. You are shorter than you are supposed to be, which would lead me to believe you were neglected and malnourished as a child. You keep your hair styled with a fringe for a reason, since you make a conscious effort not to run your hands through it.”
“So, who am I?” the wizard asked.
“It’s very nice to meet you, Mr. Potter,” Sherlock offered his hand.
“And you, Mr. Holmes,” Harry Potter replied. “Now, your confidence?”
“Mine and my colleague’s, yes,” Sherlock said. It was only then that Mr. Potter turned and shook John’s hand.
“Doctor Watson, I presume,” he said.
“Yes, nice to meet you,” John said, an edge of confusion in his voice.
“Love the blog,” Mr. Potter replied.
“Uh, thanks?” John said. Sherlock rolled his eyes.
“Well, best be off,” Mr. Potter said. “I thank you in advance for your discretion, Mr. Holmes. Don’t worry about having told Doctor Watson, I’m never able to keep anything from my wife either. Have a good day!”
And with that Harry Potter waved and disappeared out of the cafe doors.
“I’m not his wife!” John said to no one in particular.
Now with sequel: Two Hunters, a Military Doctor, and a Consulting Detective walk into Diagon Alley...