How Did That Happen?
Harry couldn't tell you how it happened, or why it happened, or even what happened. All he could tell you, was that it happened.
It was an ordinary day, a day like every other. Certainly Harry would never have believed, even with all his adventures, that the day would lead to an extraordinary event.
But of course, it did.
It started with a time turner, one that he'd discovered in the room of requirement.
One he was pretty sure had once been in the possession of his bushy haired book worm friend.
He was examining it, trying to figure out what it was about fairy wings that caused the strange time traveling phenomenon, when he happened to accidentally bang it against a table.
He expected the powdered fairy wings to simply cascade out the cracked glass.
He didn't expect the device to start glowing, and he definitely didn't expect the world around him to start spinning at a most alarming rate.
He probably should have though, this was Harry Potter we were talking about after all.
It took a while, a long while for the world to stop spinning, and a little longer for Harry to recover and stop barfing up his dinner, but finally he felt well enough to stagger to his feet, and find out just what mess he'd got himself into this time.
He certainly wasn't at Hogwarts any more, that much he could tell you.
Harry stared in confusion at the cobble stoned road, littered here and there with horse drawn carriages and old fashioned street lights.
'Oh boy' he mumbled.
The sound of a door opening made him spin round, wand in hand, only to come face to face with a vintage pistol, held in the finely shaped fingers of someone who looked remarkably familiar.
The stranger stared back.
Slowly Harry glanced up to read the plaque over the door.
221b Baker Street
There was just no way, no way at all he was standing in front of the most famous fictional door in London, with the most famous fictional character in London.
The most famous fictional character, with a gun.
That didn't quite come out the way Harry wanted. He wanted to ask how in hell he was standing in front of a man that was by far his favourite person in the fictional world.
Thank you Aunt Petunia for giving Dudley those books, and thank you Dudley for chucking them into his second bedroom.
Of course, he should probably be reassuring the man that he wasn't there to try and rob him or something. Yeah, probably a good idea to get that gun pointing away from him.
'Um…I'm not trying to do anything!'
Well now he just sounded more guilty. Wait, what was he supposed to be guilty for in the first place, his being there was an accident.
'So I noticed' the man replied blandly, eyeing the stick in Harry's hand.
Harry glanced at his wand, then slowly tucked it away, hoping to Merlin that no questions would be asked about it.
'Well, what are you waiting for boy?'
'Come in. I assume you're here because you have a case for me'.
A case? Well, in a way he did kind of have a case. But even if this man was real, and even if he was a genius, there was no way he'd be able to help.
'Oh, ah, no, that's ok. I'm sorry to bother you' Harry spoke.
The man narrowed his eyes, then stepped to one side.
Harry went inside.
The man closed the door and motioned for Harry to follow him upstairs. Idly Harry wondered where Mrs Hudson was, and what brought the man to the door looking for all the world like he was going to shoot the person on the other side.
Oh Harry hoped he hadn't done something stupid, like make a huge unexplained explosion right in front of the apartment.
They reached the man's rooms and he strode to a well worn seat, placing himself quite regally on it and crossing his legs, regarding Harry with a rather creepy stare.
Harry inched to the nearest seat and gingerly sat down, the man's gaze unsettling him. Was this how all the clients felt? Book never said just how weird it felt to be stared at.
The man let out a weary sigh.
'Your clothes, your manners, your very being, it isn't right. You are clearly from this country, and yet there are no clothes like that here. They are not from abroad, nor are they tailored…'
Harry subconsciously fingered his cousin's worn jumper.
'You are scruffy, but not in the manner of a street rat. I would say brought up in a neglectful environment, but that is not important to this explanation. The cloak you wear is unusual, and I do not recognise the patch…'
Oh crap Harry still had his school robe on!
'However it does suggest a school, and know of no schools with such a motif, either here or over seas. You have the remains of some very unusual herbs under your fingernails, and the fresh clump of moss on your shoes is native to the highlands of Scotland…'
That would be his recent herbology class, or possibly potions. Man this guy was good.
'Overall I would have to say that the only possibly explanation for you being here, and your sudden and rather loud appearance on my doorstep, is time travel. Most likely from the future' the man finally finished.
Harry slumped back in his seat. How in the world was he going to talk his way out of this one?!
The man steepled his fingers together.
'And then there is the matter of that peculiar stick of yours. One would almost think you were trying to…make something happen with it'.
'Alright look. I honestly didn't mean to do…well whatever I just did. I didn't mean to time travel, and I definitely didn't mean to land on your doorstep. It was all a complete accident, one I'm not even sure how I managed to do' Harry finally said.
The corner of the man's mouth twitch upwards, just a little. Harry scowled. Great, the guy found this amusing!
He was much nicer in the book.
'And the stick?'
Oh no, there was no way Harry was going to tell him about wands and magic. For one thing the man was all about science, he wouldn't believe him. And for another, who knows what the rules where when it came to magic in this time. Would he get in trouble like he did with the incident with Dobby?
'I'd rather not say' Harry replied.
Not a very good answer, but then with this guy what answer would be a good one? Risk the secret that was the magical world, to possibly be laughed at, or even worse, risk it and have a small chance of the man actually believing him? And then what?
The guy was supposed to be a fictional character for Merlin's sake!
The conversation, if it could be called that, was interrupted by the door downstairs opening and closing, and footsteps coming up the stairs.
'Good evening Watson'.
'Ah yes, evening'.
The slightly more muscled man caught sight of Harry as he hung his coat on the rack.
'A new case'.
'In a way' the man replied with a little smirk.
Harry could tell the doctor was curious. He might as well have a neon sign flashing above him stating that he wasn't from this time line with the way he must have stood out.
'Pleased to meet you sir' he said, what else could he say?
'Ah yes, and to you…'
'Oh, um…Harry sir'.
'Harry. So you have a case for out detective then?'
Harry was saved from answering, only to regret not being able to.
'He is a time traveler John. He has somehow found his way from his school in the future, to here'.
'By the devil! What makes you say that?!'
Harry tuned out the explanation, glancing round the room. Messy, book wasn't lying about that at least. Was that a human hand?!
'Now be reasonable! Surely this can't be right?!'
Harry turned back to the men. There was one question he was burning to ask them, and since they were getting nowhere with this…whatever this was. An interrogation? Anyway, they weren't getting anywhere, so he might as well ask it now.
'Excuse me, I was hoping you could answer a question for me'.
The pair looked at him with interest. Well, here goes nothing.
'Does the name Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, mean anything to you?'
Nothing, absolutely nothing. They were just standing there with blank looks.
'Nevermind' Harry huffed.
He was hoping one of them would confess that the name was a pseudonym, that the so called fictional book was just a ruse to hide some big secret or something.
He needed to stop using his imagination.
'Shall we get back to the matter of your stick? Or perhaps, you're more inclined to call it something else?'
Man wasn't distracted easily, Harry gave him that.
'It's just a stick, nothing spectacular. I use it for self defense'.
It was the truth at least.
'May I see it?'
Oh hell no!
The man actually rolled his eyes!
'I will not break it. I simply wish to study it'.
Well, there was no harm in letting him hold it. He was a muggle, right?
Harry silently drew it out and handed it over, watching warily as the man scrutinised it.
'How peculiar, it's hollow, and there is something inside'.
'You said you wouldn't break it!' Harry spoke in alarm, as it looked like the man was going to snap it to get at the core.
'And I won't. However I am curious as to what is inside'.
'It's a feather'.
'A feather?' the doctor echoed.
'Yes, just an ordinary feather. But it's special to me' Harry added, hoping they would let it be.
The detective narrowed his eyes. Then, quite suddenly, he brandished the wand, just as Harry had done when they met a while back.
Harry suddenly wondered what had happened to the gun, it had been in his hand one second, and gone the next. A hidden holster perhaps.
The intrigue vanished as the most incredible, amazing, completely awe inspiring thing happened.
The wand shot out a spark.
It was quite pitiful really, but that wasn't the point. The point was that the wand reacted.
The wand reacted to a muggle.
A fictional muggle.
And that couldn't be right.
'Holy Merlin you're a wizard!'
Harry sat back down, after having jumped up in excitement. Suddenly he felt quite smug with himself.
'You're a wizard' he repeated.
The man just stared at him.
'You know, you can do magic'.
'Magic is not possible'.
Oh, but time travel was?
Harry suddenly remembered one of the first things Hagrid had told him.
'Have you ever made anything happen, anything you couldn't explain when you were angry, or scared?'
Ha! He succeeded in getting a pensive look on the man's face. The doctor was staring at both of them in confusion and a little alarm.
'There were times, when I was a child. But there has not been such an incident for years'.
'You didn't get a letter, when you turned eleven?' Harry asked in confusion.
The matching confusion answered his question.
'Why eleven? I assume this letter has something to do with this school of yours'.
'Yes, and when you turn eleven your magic has stabilized enough to let you be taught how to use it properly' Harry replied.
'What in the world are you talking about?!' the doctor spoke.
The detective waved him off, gazing at Harry with an odd expression.
'Mycroft did mention a letter. It was nothing more than a hoax, so he threw it away'.
'But you didn't get a visit from a teacher? All muggleborns, err that's a magic person born to non magic parents, receive a visit to help guide them into the magical world' Harry pressed.
The man pursed his lips.
'There was no visit'.
Odd. Maybe Harry was overreacting to this. Maybe it was nothing more than an unusual reaction. The spark wasn't much to look at after all.
'Do you know your family history?'
'I never cared for such learning. I knew enough to ensure I lived up to their expectations of me'.
Sounded kinda familiar, very Dursley like. Nevermind.
'It is possible that a line in your family was magical. The school doesn't bother sending out a teacher to those with magical parents, even if they were raised in the non magical world'.
'So they miss people' came the reply.
Harry blinked, he supposed they did. That was rather a sad thought, all those kids missing out on learning magic. It still didn't explain the abrupt stop in accidental magic.
'You know I think the reason why odd things stopped was because your magic began to work in a different way'.
It was a sound theory. The magic could have even made the man the genius detective he was today.
Could have, Harry could still be wrong about this whole thing and under some serious trouble with the ministry for doing this.
The man fell silent, appearing to think it over.
Then he glanced at the wand he still held, and flicked it again.
The sparks were a bit stronger this time.
Harry wondered if the Leaky Cauldron had been built yet. He was pretty sure it was.
'I know a place you can go to get your own wand, and to learn more about the magical world'.
He had definitely got the man's attention.
'Charing Cross Road, in a pub called the Leaky Cauldron'.
Oh he really hoped the thing was there, otherwise he was going to look like such a fool.
The man was silent for a while. Then he jumped to his feet.
'You're taking this seriously?!'
'There's only one way to find out! The game's afoot!'
It didn't take too long to reach Charing Cross, but long enough for Harry to start panicking and rethinking his plan of introducing the pair to the magical world.
How did he get himself into these messes?!
Thankfully the pub was there, he really needed to pay more attention to magical history.
'This, is the entrance?'
The man didn't look too impressed. Though, he could SEE the pub, which all but confirmed Harry's theory. A quick glance saw the doctor looking baffled.
Harry hadn't been too impressed the first time he saw the pub either, so he let the slightly sarcastic tone slide.
'Yep, come on through'.
He led the pair out the back way, or rather he went first and the man half dragged the doctor behind them. Smirking he tapped the bricks to let them into the alley.
'Welcome, to Diagon Alley' he grinned.
It faded a little when he realised the man had a blank look.
Guy had a better mask than Lucius Malfoy.
'Come on and I'll show you where to get your wand'.
Thank Merlin he had enough to pay for it, though the man was buying the rest of the stuff himself.
He would let him know about the conversion rates though.
Ollivander seemed quite surprised to find a grown man coming in for his first wand, however he shrugged it off and started gathering boxed, all the while the detective stood casting his eye over the shop.
Harry was starting to wonder if he was doing more harm than good by introducing this man to this world. He still hadn't quite got over the fact that the men were supposed to be fictional!
A fountain of sparks cut off his inner thoughts, and he smiled at the man's quite bewildered expression. The good doctor could do no more than stare in amazement.
'Here we are, wood of the sequoia tree, long lived, climbing to grand heights, a good wand for a man who wishes to be the best he can be. And the core, ironbelly heartstring, stubborn, strong willed, but quite passionate. You will reach the stars with this wand'.
And with that cryptic statement, Harry paid the man, grumbling when the holsters were spotted and one added to the price, and the three left the shop.
'Ok, you'll probably want to start learning about this world. First though you'll need some money. That white building is the bank, fair warning its run by Goblins, and they'll exchange your money for the money the magical world uses. I'm not sure what the rate would be for the money in your timeline, you'll need to ask for yourself. I'm going to guess that you memorized which bricks I tapped to let us in here, and you've probably mapped out the alley already'.
He let himself feel a little smug when he realised he'd guessed correctly. What did the man expect, he was flippin famous!
Not that he knew about that of course.
Harry wondered if he should mention it to him, then decided it was better he didn't. He'd already doomed the world by letting the man know he was a wizard, he wouldn't let him cheat on his cases.
Harry stuck his hands in his pockets, intending on having a snoop round this time while he could, perhaps having a peek at Hogwarts, when his hand grasped round an object.
He had time to pull the item out before it's remaining magic sucked him away and dumped him, go fig, back at the school.
Harry ran to the great hall, having mixed feelings about seeing the familiar faces of his school mates.
He hadn't even had the chance to say goodbye!
Or ask for an autograph!
Depressed, Harry slumped onto the bench, huffing about cruel fates. He perked slightly when he remembered the time turner, but his mood fell when all he found in his pocket was broken pieces.
Well, at least he had helped a man.
At least he thought he had helped, knowing him he might have made things worse.
But everything looked normal, so there was nothing he could do but let it go.
The owl landing in front of him changed everything.
What an adventure you pulled me into.
You will already know this, but John decided to finally settle down with a, nice, young woman. It was rather saddening to leave him behind, but wizards and non wizards age differently.
I discovered a few things, things that make even the magical world seem quite dull. Things about time travel, science, and magic.
I'm not sure if we will meet again.
Should we meet once more, know that I will be honoring Doctor John Watson, by using his title.
Oh, and it was decided to allow the books about me to be published exactly as they are. People will remember only a character from a different world. John was quite taken with the name you gave us.
That was it? No thank you, no mentioning what these discoveries were?
What a jerk!
But Harry found himself smiling, if a little sad that the famous duo had in the end been broken up.
At least he now knew why there were fictional books out about a real person.
Wait, did that mean that he had indirectly caused the books to be published in the first place?
Harry shook his head to clear his thoughts, otherwise he was sure to get a headache from trying to figure it out.
As he headed outside he wondered what the man meant by using Doctor Watson's title.
The blue telephone box appearing directly in front of him pretty much halted that train of thought.
'What the hell…!' Harry cried, stumbling back and landing on his butt.
The contraption settled and the door opened with a flourish, bringing out a man that looked way too familiar.
Oh come on! Wasn't one fictional character enough?!
'Who are you?!' Harry exclaimed, wanting to be absolutely sure before assuming anything.
'I'm the Doctor'.
The man then smirked and held out his hand to help Harry up.
'But, you can call me Sherlock'.