First of all : yeah I''m still kicking; no I didn't realize it had been whole year; I had to wait a year for someone to point out that my autocorrect used fallow instead of follow; no, I'm not over Good Omens; yes, I write slow.
Love you all guys, and thanks for sticking with me,
without further ado:
When John slunk out of the warmth of his bed for a second time this morning, it was to the sight of both Harry and Sherlock sitting in the kitchen, looking like they would rather be still asleep. Kitty on the other hand was disgustingly chirpy and talking a storm over a bowl of...was it raw baby spinach? Oh God, it was.
"She refused choco pops." Mumbled Harry into his arms, like he heard John's mute disbelief over the state of matters as he stood rooted on the spot in his sweatpants and old man's flippers. John squinted at his daughter, who waved a leaf at him in greeting and after a moment of consideration took out his phone and snapped a picture as a proof of his loneliness in continued sanity in this madhouse. With a quirk of his mouth he made one more, catching Harry, who took quite a lot of space by sprawling on the table with nose squashed into old wood, refusing to even rise his head up as he waved his hand tiredly.
"Finally joining us in the land of the living?" Droned Sherlock, lowering The Times to peer through half closed and tinted stormy blue eyes all over John's silhouette, smirking smugly before hiding in the lecture. Bah! Like he had any ground to stand on, still in his sleep clothes, two different socks, bed hair that rivaled Harry's and lovingly nursing empty cup, apparently with no intention of getting up anytime soon. Lazybum.
"Needed my beauty sleep." Harry turned his head, cheek still squashed against the wood and snorted, lips twitching before he nestles once again in his arms.
"You poor soul, didn't get a wink, did you?" Sherlock cackled, joined by Kitty, who never passed a chance to emulate the worst habits, as evidenced by the half of dry toast squashed firmly between her high chair and left buttock. John rolled his eyes. Ganged up on the first thing in the morning, and his own flesh and blood, too. How insulting. He hugged his daughter, pressing a kiss to her hair, breathing in the soft baby smell. And spinach.
Of course. Nothing strange here, no mister.
He plucked the mashed tost, throwing it out as he moved to the counter, clicking on the recently overused coffee maker, hanging on its musical hum to keep him standing. They may have be fundamentally British but, a thing your own parents never instruct you on is that a cup of tea does nothing when you have a small child demanding attention at whenever o'clock. It does even less so when you also have insomniac partner, insomniac teenager and too many years of war to feed your nightmares. Not to mention a cat that, for such a smart animal, still tries hunting pigeons by bashing her head on the window.
Blinking off sleepy fog he set on the quest to find his cup, setting a sugar bowl on the table as he brushed Harry's shoulder, feeling it jump and relax almost immediately under his hand. He made a little detour, smoothing Sherlock's hair before leaning in to kiss his forehead, smiling as he moved closer. Like a pair of cats, those two.
He watched Belle trot from the other kitchen entrance, her tearful terrifying meowing truly heart-wrenching as she tried to wind around his legs. He took a look at her bowl. Yep, as he thought. It was drying next to his prize over sink, hidden by the set of beakers. Still wet.
Belle was wonderful cat. And a fine connoisseur of food which usually meant that no, nobody forgot to feed her, but she will act as if they did no matter how many times she got to eat. She already looked like a fluffy balloon, since they only just realized that she somehow knew how to fit in her kibble container when they weren't home.
Belle, in word, was an awful liar liar fluff on fire.
John took her bowl, filled it with tap water and swiped his cup from the rack, happy enough that it wasn't used in nefarious ways. Again. At the sound of the coffee filling the cup Harry pushed his empty one, adorned by 'Let me charm you' cursive writing and tiny silver stars, toward John with lightly slurred words.
"Pour me the drink as black as my soul." John smiled wolfishly, put Sherlock's coffee close to him and then filled Harry's with warm foamy milk, enjoying the momentarily stupefied expression. Harry's nose wrinkled and with a sleight of hand that should be not possible, he switched the cups. They both watched in expectant silence as Sherlock looped his fingers around the handle, put the drink to his mouth, blew on it gently and then took a delicate sip. And then another, before frowning and then eyeballing Harry, who had his hands clasped around periodic table, tapping insolently at 'He' and taking a gulp with smug smile. Sherlock squinted at John with the kind of 'can you believe that?' expression.
Harry was prone to small bouts of mischief once he realized that they had no intention of punishing him for harmless pranks. John came home one day, sat down to finish his book, only to discover that plot stopped having any sense and the characters mysteriously changed their names overnight. It's how he realized that every single cover was replaced. On every book that belonged to John except the oldest ones kept on the highest shelf. It must have took Harry hours to do this (it certainly took some time to fix it), but it must have been worth it, since he was giggling like a madman the whole time he re-shelved tome after tome. It was far nicer then one day flapping face first into bed and realizing that your covers didn't suddenly became fluffier and nice smelling but gained about four cans of shaving cream and a 'that's a warning' post-it note. John was quite aware that it was deserved but not at all happy that Sherlock got scout -free.
"The world weeps for you." Sherlock locked his eyes with Harry before plucking a vial of a vile concoction from his untied dressrobe. The low pitched moan that followed was one of the few things that remind them that Harry was still ultimately teenager, one that had a PhD in being dramatic enough to please the ghosts of Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde.
Harry hated taking potions with great passion. They tasted like socks juice mixed with gelatin for the improved sliminess factor. He had been fed with mud, blood and Haggis, but still the appetite stimulant potion was the one of the last appetizing things he ever tasted, preceded closely by Polyjuice and Skele-Gro. Harry grabbed the vial, popped the cork with one finger with dexterity of someone with worrying experience and drank it in one swallow, shuddering as it slipped down in its globy, slinky glory.
"What do you want for breakfast?" John slipped the vial from his unresistant fingers, replacing it with banana and vitamin shake that was a mixture of potions, herbology and old fashioned veggie-fruit combo. With pained expression he finished it with three swift gulps before biting into banana to get rid of the revolting mixture lingering on his tongue.
"Vodka and souls of the damned". Growled Harry darkly over the rim of his stolen cup, tipping it generously with milk. If he can't get away without drinking the vile white liquid, then he very well will strive to kill the taste of the gym locker towel with fistful of sugar cubes and black, black coffee. He raised his hand and whispered a blessing over it, knowing that this shit had fifty-fifty chance of working, but if it could work even for no-maj then why not for wizard? He needed all the luck he could get.
Kitty, at the sight of banana proclaimed imperiously 'bana bana' and Harry sighed passing the rest of the fruit toward her, where it was gleefully munched on. At least she looked ecstatic. Belle certainly didn't as she tried to climb on Sherlock's lap only to be thwarted. She finally raised her tail in the air and like haughty queen flopped over the carpet in the main room, very aware that she could and would trip over anyone who dared to not mind her.
"Eggs and toast it is." Agreed apropos nothing John, before shuffling over to the fridge, humming something under his nose. Merlin and Morgana, the good mood was spreading and Harry didn't want to know exactly what got into John. Not after the last time. Nightmares. Nightmares all around. There are things people are not meant to see.
Harry, in truth, was exhausted.
Sherlock believed that Harry rested the best by being kept in motion. He would be right on that account as idleness was a poison that crawled in Harry's brain and made him no better then a dog chasing his own tail in pointless sickening circles. It didn't change the fact that he was as tired as that one single fuck still left partying hard in his head. For the last few evenings he messed around with Mycroft's Monkey that insisted on being called Mr Smith. It was nothing unusual, because Harry had met at least four different 'Mr Smith's' who would come and teach him things and he would bet his wand that none of them thought that babysitting teenager in a basement flat would be a part of their job.
Harry might have committed tiny tactical mistake-many times over-by calling him and his 'friends' a different name every five minutes, thus earning a few brand new bruises, mostly gained by inattention. They were easily healed later, of course, what with his own (strangely successful) proves in the art of potion making and the fact that Sherlock was still somehow better at it. It was ultimately a small price for having his latest minder finally loosen up enough to crack a smile and accept a cupcake. Hitting things-or people in this case- was, Harry admitted, very good therapy and by extension a way to learn to protect his arse a bit better. He liked it quite a bit more then being hit with paint pallets and nursing the egg sized bruise on his thigh, even if the game itself was in fact brilliant. (Grace disagreed with a 'violence breeds violence' speech. Sadly, Harry could not afford to become pacifist on the drop of his hat, he left it for people who had an opt-out option.)
Harry was raised in sadness factory, growing up with self-preservation being in his morning and evening prayers and it taught him that being slow meant being in pain, hungry and ultimately would lead to also being very dead. The realization that mental recovery was more like tiptoeing turtle, bumbling and awkward, then a quick graceful hare, had the unfortunate consequences of meltdowns of epic proportions. The last one thankfully didn't cause any damage but for John throwing his head backwards as Sherlock did his fast talking, and thus getting a crick in his neck.
Smoking was a 'no no' in Baker Street.
Harry knew that he got off the hook lightly, (if watching increasingly disturbing pictures of lung damage and statistics and then having Sherlock sigh sadly at the character traits list he made - before he crossed half of it and rewrote it with things Harry doubted very much that they applied to him - could be called light It gave him ideas, though) maybe because for all that time he tried very hard to not cause problems, but minutely became overcome with this grand new stupidity highs. Like having a smoke would cure his doubts and issues. Ha! If only…He was finding brand new ways of breeding idiocy, but thank Merlin for those people.
Harry was of course grounded. He didn't exactly know how it manifested as he still had his food and his bed and he was not told to do something that included awful, gooey and smelly substances or cleaning or even being banned from going out, but he apparently was. He didn't have any idea how doing his homework - which was mostly done already long before that? - in the quiet corner of Mrs Hudson living room constituted as any kind of punishment or if he was meant to enjoy it as much as he did. He wondered if perhaps his therapist was a part of it. It sure as hell sometimes felt like the universe itself punished him for being a total moron by leaving him guessing.
Grace was wonderful, as always, but he would be grateful to not have a prodding and tentative talk about addictions, thank you. Harry didn't quite know how he ended up liking a person that made him cry and rage and hide under the blankets wishing he could disappear, but here he was. Spilling his guts too many times to think about it and drinking superb cappuccino curled up on the comfiest chair he ever sat on in company of hideously ugly teddy bear.
Within two hours session they talked about friendships and being stuck in a situations that don't have a good working solutions. The most important thing that he carried out of this discussion was that the way he felt indebted to his community didn't equal their right to his person. (No matter that such a debt did not exist in the first place.) He was not a public property, a point he strongly agreed on on principle, but not yet accepted as a fact.
Harry also agreed that the best solution for his guilt at not telling his friends everything after years of keeping big secrets from them, (which was a wise decision at this moment, no matter his mixed feelings on the matter,) was to write the list of everything he wanted to speak with them about and just find the right moment after they meet up again. To calmly explain that there are things he will not say, things that need to stay a secret, things that he needs to deal with on his own, but he will welcome their support. The ground for success was searching for a fine balance between hogging his hurts too close to his chest and putting too much pressure on his friends by oversharing. His relationships with other people should not become his crutch, they were not trained professionals and putting them in this position will end badly for all included.
That conclusion was…liberating. To know that he didn't have to spill the beans, as there were topics that left him raw and hurting, topics that were ugly and scary and few people he knew would be able to give him any advice at all and most would probably pat his head and tell him not to worry about it. As if it ever worked that way. Still, it was hard to think about choosing what he wanted Ron and Hermione and maybe Ginny too, to know. It was good thing that he didn't have to decide right now. A small ritual to clean his mind might be in order. Later. When he will have a strength to raise his arse from the chair, search for the booklet, herb's case and drag down storm water from the roof.
"Are we doing something today?" Asked John, putting down a plate with scrambled eggs on the table. Sherlock scowled at it like it insulted his whole ancestry, but got up to get plates and cutlery - Harry knew he would jab at his food with vengeance and take a few reluctant bites if only to spare himself the 'children learn by example' lecture. Those mercurial eyes suddenly crinkled in the smile that didn't make it to his lips but showed in his whole face at the sight of the back of John's head. It looked like an angry blond porcupine. He stepped closer, gently smoothing up the stuck up hair, running his hand down to the nape of John's neck, thumb lightly skimming the place under the ear. John was blushing, even when his smile was a tad too sharp for innocent thoughts.
Living with those two taught Harry that 'smoldering eyes' was not an euphemism, as they practiced that particular trick a lot. Secondhand embarrassment at this…eye fucking was a daily happenstance, but he prevailed. First two weeks were spend blushing so hard that they teased him by making cow eyes and exaggerated blown kisses. He and Lestrade bonded over mutual mortification that two people can be this sappy without pet names and indecent public cuddles. Now he just rolled his eyes, slurped his coffee and waited for the storm of feelings to pass, armed with the weight of experience and stronger stomach.
Kat thumped her plastic cup on the table and demanded to be put down from her place next to him. He watched her trot to her toys, smeared in green, dragging Miss Bee by one slightly worse for wear wing. He made a note to patch up that poor toy before crisis strikes and came back to his plate, chewing listlessly on buttered toast. At least she could escape this mute torture.
No, Harry wasn't being maudlin, he just wanted to find a pillow and marry it for few hours. For a whole night - another night in the row, for the matter - he had some strange dreams. Not nightmares exactly, but mirages full of technicolor shapes with no features, moving in circles in the never ending dance, a large cat with a white patch on its breast hunting balls of smoke that felt malicious and slimy, clinging to its paws like tar. An old woman with a bundle of clothing at her feet, sitting by a stream or a river, washing off blood and dog fur from button-down shirt with all the patience in the world. He would wake up and fall asleep minutes later, only for a dream to repeat, more or less in the same pattern. He had a headache, one that had nothing to do with a scar, so suspiciously quiet since that first and only vision. Worse was a feeling that he already knew what those dreams meant, but just procrastinated, as was his wont. He wanted to be wrong. He was on vacation, damn it, no saving humanity from supernatural threats till September. He should have office hours too, not starting all the excitement early in the year.
Sooner or later he will have to check it up, probably sooner, so he won't be hemming and hawing till forever. Taking those two lovey-dovey lumps with him too, because he can not risk exposing Statue of Secrecy to Archie or Lotta, and there is no snowball chance in hell they would let him get away with going alone. They hammered into his head that even spies have backup and going into sticky situation by himself, when there are people who can watch his four letters, was the high of idiocy.
They would know.
Harry was reluctant to break the trust they had in his common sense, however undeserved it was. He smuggled a dragon at eleven and stole a car at twelve, one would think that he shouldn't be trusted even with electric toothbrush, but apparently it was 'within norm'. Harry just nodded along in suspended disbelief and thought that maybe he should make sure that Kat never finds out about his…adventures. As precaution. Magic or not, she was shaping out to be a Gryffindor through and through, no need to encourage her. Or give her ideas. The point was - John and Sherlock were the first people, except briefly Remus Lupin, who protected him by giving him skills to protect himself instead of trying to wrap him in the bubble foil and cotton and then unexpectedly throw him at danger to either sink or swim. Going out without backup was like dismissing all they'd taught him and throwing their efforts in their face for the thrill.
And he owed them. He owed them big. He didn't know why they took him in, he tried to solve that mystery and tackled the matter at every possible angle he could think of and came up empty handed. They just did.
Steadfast John made sure that Harry never lacked anything, be it food, warmth, attention…Watched movies with him, put books under his nose as Harry discovered topics that didn't bore him to tears, who teased him about Archie and kept bringing home new bottles of nail polish for Harry to try on.
Sherlock took a world apart and explained it parts in ways that would confuse other people, but were perfectly clear for Harry. He observed and noted and drew conclusions and just knew what Harry needed sometimes before he did, giving freely as much as he was able. He understood and it was wonderful feeling to know that someone did.
Mrs Hudson just smiled at him with crinkled eyes, so often. Bought him a heavy jacket while glowering at her boys for forgetting things so basic and chatted his ear off when they baked in her small kitchen. Loaned him her sofa when he needed a nap and not a one place upstairs remained untouched by Kat's little hands.
Mycroft put a cat carrier and a manila folder in his hands with' temporary guardianship papers, sign', and Harry wouldn't admit under the pain of long and painful torture that he wanted to hug the stuff out of that standoffish idiot and, by Merlin, one day he will.
Molly plied him with coffee, dragged from the depths of her wardrobe a bag that he rarely parted with and introduced him to the pleasure of binge watching Netflix series.
Even Lestrade sicked his kids at him, so he wouldn't feel alone. (Not that it worked very well, as he was not good with crowds and hugging strangers while Ellie and Will were not good with no crowds and personal space.)
It made him feel…included. A part of this strange family from the moment he walked those seventeen steps and joined the circus. And Sherlock's parents…they liked him, just like that, no questions asked. Called him "dear" and "love" and even "sweetheart" like he didn't just drop out of nowhere.
For some reason they all wanted him here, (insomnia, restlessness and issues included,) in all his grumpy glory and he hoped, quietly, that they maybe, possibly, loved him about as much as he came to love them. That maybe, possibly, they will let him write or visit and that they will not forget about him. They felt…like family, more so then even Weasleys because they were…his. Just his, not shared with, not borrowed, not loaned. They choose him and cared for him and wanted him.
And he wanted them back.
"Harry?" Harry's head jumped up from his mostly empty plate, he slid his arm from the table and blinked as John's face came to focus. "Deep thoughts?"
Harry didn't quite thought about it, he just leaned over and pressed against John's stomach, his long arms wrapped themselves around hard middle as he breathed in and out evenly, taking in the aroma of freshly laundered jumper to stop himself from babbling embarrassing things. It was a bit awkward, with his legs still tucked under the table, body twisted halfway, glasses digging in one side of his face, but it didn't matter, because there were hands on his back holding him gently, safe and secure. John was very good at that hugging business, Harry would easily give him five stars. It was nice knowing that he could share this existential sludge of a life with people who make it worth the hassle even when it might not be for forever.
"Sorry for being such a prick." Murmured Harry from his place, making John chuckle and pat his hair, like he understood all the things Harry didn't know yet how to say aloud. He probably did. John was good with gauging feelings, bit worse with expressing them.
"You are a pain in arse but you are our pain in arse." Said John fondly, grasping his shoulder. Before it turned awkward they heard the sound of a cleared throat and Sherlock's strangely even voice.
"John? Come see this." Sherlock at some point left the table and was standing between window and sofa, staring bemusedly at something out of their line of sight. They shared a look, Harry climbed to his feet and then tiptoed in his buffalo slippers into the room, stopping over Belle as he followed John. The man stood gaping in disbelief, leaning against Sherlock's side, rubbing the bridge of his nose. Harry crawled over the couch and put his arms on its back to see what was behind.
On the previously somewhat clean floor lay…spinach. Or more is to say, Miss Bee completely caked and lying in the pool of green mush, probably taken from the little pocket on Kat's stomach, and banana peel with a company of Pinky Pie pink plastic plate full of jelly beans. Hairy jelly beans. So that's where they went…
Harry took his phone and made a picture, sending it to Lotta.
Planned murder. Culprit caught in the act.
We'll call it Bee My Leaf
That's horrible and you know it.
U love it. Go t to sleep it s too early to function
That horrible bae of yours. talk later?
Not my boyfriend. Later, Lazybum
Liar. U love that humaansized puppy
Philia. Look it up once you scramble out of bed, Lazybum
Harry watched the cursor for a moment and then just shrugged when no answer came. He knew that no amount of denying would convince Lo that he and Archie were just friends. Friends who sometimes smooch, when the mood strikes. Nothing romantic there. Just two guys being dudes. They liked each other and world was full of hetero-normative shit and literal shit right now so, whatever they had was perfect to them, no need to over-complicate.
"Sweetheart, what are you doing?" Asked finally Sherlock after a long time of just watching Catherine put her filthy hands in the mess she'd made with enthusiastic splash. She looked as happy as a clam in her elephant patterned outfit and Sherlock's worn-out deerstalker perched precariously on top of her curly head, but she kept inching closer and closer to the carpet and furniture and no matter how absorbing her little…arrangement was, there are some things that just couldn't be sacrificed.
"Pwaying cwime seen! "Came the joyful answer on unapologetic baby. It was like they were raising smaller version of Mr Bean. One that sometimes needed three baths a day, using up all hot water and causing small floods in the bathroom. As it happens she desperately needed one now and John was steeling himself for the battle. There was also no telling if the clothes will survive the attempts to revive them from the sickly green hell, they just might end up being a collateral.
John turned to look up at Sherlock, who was sporting particularly proud besotted smile. He barely contained the curious mix of resignation and amusement settling in his chest as he poked him in the side with 'This is all your fault' and turned toward kitchen. A second later a wet rag slapped Sherlock on the back of his head, causing Harry and Kitty to laugh at the splat when it slid and landed on his shoulder, wetting his robe and washed out brown t-shirt. John marched to bathroom, opening the door wide only to stop dead, one leg raised in the air. He slowly put it down and slapped his hand over his face and rubbed it vigorously.
"Sherlock, why there is fog machine in our bathroom?"
Sherlock didn't answer, too busy pouting as Harry snapped a picture of John hidden by a swirling mist. The boy kept chortling and only once he calmed down, he made a grabby hands toward Sherlock, hanging over the arm of the sofa like ridiculously large sloth trying to grab another branch.
"You owe me twenty." Sherlock patted his gown and then grumbling lightly pushed money in Harry's hand. Harry blow at the bill and put it in his own gown, patting the pocket with obvious smugness. "Thank you."
John stiffed his helpless laughter and went into the bathroom waving his arms and trying to not brain himself tripping over anything. He turned the machine off and started to fill the bathtub, making a note to get a hold of the picture later.
Something thumped hard on the floor. John sighed, rubbed his nose and turned on hot water, filling the tub.
All in all, it was pretty unremarkable morning.
If Sherlock could, he would make the Dursley's long for something as soothing and mild as Spanish Inquisition. Maybe it wouldn't solve any problems but at least it would make him feel better. A lot better. He was never a fan of large population but people like that made him abhor the thought of belonging to the same species. They were like cancer, corruptible mass of cells, rot that spread in all directions, innocuous and invisible till you dig your fingers in and smell this garbage. Dursley's stood against everything Sherlock believed his whole life. Curiosity. Open-mindedness. Righting the wrongs. Disregard of rules that oppressed the person's individuality and discovery of their sense of self. They were rigid in their so called 'normality' to the point they may have, given time, set themselves back in evolution. And all that didn't even touch how raging hypocrites they were. Dear god, how in the world, how, a household like that managed to produce !Harry. They had no idea what kind of treasure they were giving up.
And the only consolation to be had was Sherlock tearing into them, sparing nothing and finishing with telling them that he and John had no ounce of magic as the dunderheads assumed.
It wasn't enough, but it will be. Soon. Soon when the summer will end.
They made sure that once they will get the ball rolling it would snowball so fast the Dursley's will be buried under the avalanche of their own making within three days - from arrest to incineration. With many, many sticking charges and one of them conspiracy to kill a minor. The gentle, fierce creature that right now sat in the 221C staring into a bowl of water and trying to deal with everything the world heaped on him with just and aid of hedge-witch magic and two idiots who don't quite know what to do with themselves outside of their professions.
Sherlock could beyond a shadow of a doubt admit to himself that he was seething. John's fingers rested lightly at his forehead, smoothing the forming lines. It didn't help much. Maybe because the reason he was suddenly so enraged rested against his side, reminding him of itself every time he micro-moved with a soft crinkle of paper.
He forgot about it. He forgot because it looked like it didn't matter at a time so he deleted it. Until now. Until John did that sort of strangely adorable nose scrunch he did when he was thinking and remembered the letter hastily and carelessly put in Belstaff pocket. And now that accursed piece of paper was burning a hole in his blue gown, causing him a mother of all headaches.
He knew that this needed to be done. That Harry had to be given the option to accept or refuse, needed to make that decision for himself even if he ends up being hurt by it.
Sherlock had read it.
He was not exactly proud of it, but he did. With the mentality that nothing that came out of those people could have any more worth then the paper it was written on. If it contained nothing but threats, nothing but poison and hate he would have burned it without regrets and Harry would never know.
And yet, it was no less vile, no less bitter then if it were just hateful ramblings. Sherlock was quite sure, that should he ever met Dudley Dursley again, he will not let his tongue stay behind his teeth. He doesn't need to take out the letter to remember.
'Its good you are not here. Dad is furious. Dad say that they try to make me a sissy but I dropped 9 kg and if I didn't I don't know if I could run that fast from those hooded things. Those freaks turned by and said they were dementids and that they took them away. But they got Pierce and that whiny brother of his and doc said they are alive but not waking. I kinda thing they are done for. Those freaks of yours were here three times. They screamed a lot. Even more when mum gave them your letter. Asked if you took money from your account. Dad says he will leave you pennyless. That was before those weird guys came and said to sign some papers. Mum is pregnent. Dad finally cracked, said he will crack your skull like nuts if he see you'. Started throwing everything out of you're room so I wager you don't have anything to come back to, either way. Don't come back, Potter.
It didn't help anybody.
It didn't say anything they needed to know or didn't knew already.
It can't even be used as a piece of further evidence.
It was not even worth the paper it was written on.
Sherlock moved his head, grasping John's wrist and put his lips on the salty skin over pulse point, lingering. Counting the steady beats until his fury died down to just a simmer burning under his skin. He sat up, rolling his slightly stiff shoulder, chasing away the pins and needles feeling.
"That bad, huh?" John gently tugged him closer, closing the book he was holding. He was still on the same page he was half an hour ago. Sherlock went willingly, slotting himself on John's side and dropping his arm over oatmeal clad frame. He pushed his face in the blond and steel hair, relishing the familiar smell and touch of John's fingers sifting through the curls on his nape. His hand went to his pocket, pulling off the scrunched piece of paper and he offered it to John. Time passed in silence and then fingers stilled. "Well…can you imagine the sex?"
John dressed up Kit and, after exchanging a long look with Sherlock, he took his jacket and phone and disappeared down the stairs. Harry watched as Sherlock slid from the sofa and with a frown etched on his forehead reached for the violin case.
There was a method to that madness.
Sherlock played often. Nearly every day. It was a treat when he was not in a hard place with the case, when the delicate strings would produce symphonies instead of the most hellish sounds known to mankind. A treat Harry relished, as any classical music in Dursley's household, was more dog-and-pony show from people who always tried to pretend they are somehow more erudite and enlightened then they were. Thus Harry's proper table manners and strangely high middle class enunciation and pronunciation. (A fact that always made Dean laugh whenever it came up, mostly because, while Harry was raised in Surrey, he had a proper private school accent.)
Sherlock plays every time there is something weighting on his head. He plays all the things he can not say and all the things that don't fit into words. Harry wished he could do that, too, hen he is high-strung, but the few times he tried his fingers were clumsy, sliding of strings, the pads stung. It felt wrong to torture that poor priceless instrument with his complete lack of talent.
Harry finally packed off the rest of the herbs, having already cleaned off his bowl. It left his head less a jumbled mess but filled with wandering thoughts and he relished the confirming message that came a minute earlier, if only to move his attention elsewhere.
"I'm going to Lotta, so she can scream at me about the lack of value of creams with gold and collagen while we fuel cosmetic industry, do you need something?"
"Pincers. And Kitty's shampoo." Harry winced. Privately he thought that providing ammo - and then spending another half of a morning moping bubbles created by tiny troll grabbing whole bottle and squeezing it into the bathtub in the three seconds nobody was looking - was an overkill. But even two year olds need to be dunked into water every now and then, so shampoo it was. "Will you be long?"
"An hour, maybe bit longer…but, she asked us if we want to have sleepover since her stepmother is blessedly away."
"Plays to all the future step-mom stereotypes, doesn't she?" Harry grimaced. Miss Patricia 'call me Penny' wasn't a bad person, not really. She only belonged to the type of a person who would loudly proclaim they always wanted a child of this chosen gender and had certain ideas about how this child would behave. Unfortunately for her, Lotta was rather too old to be converted to wear anything 'boho' and too stubborn to paint over the enormous bejeweled pirate flag that sat on her wall, no matter how it clashed with a shelf full of tiny crocheted endangered species animals. One of which was packed up rather sloppily in recycled paper and waiting for its time to shine, nestled safely in Harry's bag. He patted it gently. "Her dad will be home?"
"Yeah, I think so."
"And we won't see 'l am sorry I nearly get arrested' cake?" Harry blushed. It was once. And in a noble case. The cake was good, too.
"No, we will eat pizza, go to animal shelter to walk out some puppies, watch Star Wars and plan to overthrow government."
"Good, Mycroft could use some excitement. You can go. Don't forget to meditate. Or your potions."
"Already have them. " He saw Sherlock smirk lightly as he plucked the strings. Harry walked towards door rummaging through his bag, searching for the spare keys should he need them before he nearly walked into door frame. "Oh, before I forget, look up the dryer? I went to see if it's spewed out my sweatshirt but I think something is wrong with it. It whizzes like that haunted radio." Harry throws his hand toward the offending piece, a yellow and orange child toy radio that sometimes turns on on its own when the batteries shift, making awful 'screams of the damned' noise. Sherlock doesn't look. His eyes are closed. He breaths slowly, hands poised to play but not yet touching the strings, like he is composing in his head.
"Uhmmm. Harry? Are you alright with…?" Harry didn't pretend he didn't knew what he was asked about. The letter was…hurtful. But it was expected in a way that just made him roll with the blow and lend him straight on his feet again. Privately he thought that it was the one decent thing Dudley have ever done and that maybe there was some hope for him after all. His aunt's pregnancy was...Harry didn't want to go there. Whatever happens to this child, he hoped their life would be better then both his and his cousin's. In the end he nodded firmly, patted himself for phone and spare coins and headed for the door. "Have fun, kiddo."
Harry was nearly fully down when it comes to him.
Waits, heart nearly in his throat, eyes nailed to the ceiling.
And then he hears it.
It takes being two blocks from his destination for the tears to stop falling, replaying the melody in his head like a broken stereo. He shrugged off his tail nearly five minutes ago but now that he pays attention the feeling of being watched doesn't disappear. He hates it to bits even when he understands the necessity. He shakes his head and catches the sight of Lotta waving at him from the other side of the street, Archie slouching against the streetlamp right next to her in his characteristic 'my expectations for life were low but boy, it still sucks' way that is all in eyebrows. He wipes his tears at the sight but not the smile that stretches over his face.
"Hey, you cried? What happened?" Lotta grabs his arm and drags him toward the shop entrance while searching her bag for something.
"We don't have to kick someone's butt, don't we? You know I'm rather more 'wasabi flavoured play-dough in a bubble gum wrap' then 'fist in the mouth' kind of man." Archie unslouches himself before attacking Harry with a boneless hug nearly smacking Lotta in the face. "But I will protect you."
Harry peers down at the riot of white-ish curls and a body that was known to struggle with the weight of smartphone and existence and wonders if that bit of soft fluff and mischief could protect anything ever that wasn't bucket of chicken wings or double soda.
"Why are all my friends like that?" Harry asks rhetorically and slides an arm around his clingy friend, wrestling him to his side, letting him glue himself there.
"Maybe you have a type? " Lotta finally finds a pack of tissues and dabs at Harry's cheeks, using the advantage of both of his arms being held hostage and that he has nowhere to run. She drops the tissue in her bag and, standing on tip-toes, plucks a daisy from his hair. His heart stops at the sight of it and he tries to swallow the unnamed emotion that comes too close to anticipation for his liking. Lotta puts the flower in the breast pocket of his flanel and smiles in a way that makes her nose all scrunched up. He chances a peek down and pulls his friends closer, scanning the air, knowing it will hardly help except for his peace of mind.
One more confirmation for his theory. When it rains, it pours…
"Annoying and awkward people who follow me around and then complain about places they follow me to?"
"Friends who have samples of your DNA and can frame you for murder. Now come, not all of us are born with your face."
"You are welcome to it." At which point Archie climbs on his tip-toes and kisses Harry's cheek throwing an obnoxious gesture and rather muffled 'no'. The quiet hum behind him tells him that the automatic doors close after them. He pulls them into an empty aisle and shakes his head at the concerned looks he is given. He breaths in and plunges "… I called Sherlock dad."
"Oh fuck. Tell us everything."