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28 August 2008 @ 11:58 pm
In honour of your birthday, I come bearing fic.

It's not finished, alas, because this has been the week of sick instead of the week of writing, but I have the rest all sketched out and will be completing it very soon!

Remember how you mentioned that you loved Sherlock Holmes? I couldn't help it. Potter as Holmes (it's a stretch, however Holmes's very limited genius seemed not so outrageous when I thought about Potter's DADA genius) and Granger as Watson, because she's far more useful than Ron ;-)

And there's a small amount of steampunk creeping its way through because you know how much I love flying Ford Anglias and their period equivalents!

Author: blamebrampton
Title: The Fettered Wand
Summary: As the old Queen declines and the turn of the century approaches, Wizarding Britain is in the grip of a crime wave. The greatest criminologist in England has turned his mind to the problem, behind which he suspects an old nemesis, and someone who may or may not be an enemy.
Rating: PG so far, M overall
Word Count: 2700 this part
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: If you're not Leochi and you've not read any Sherlock Holmes, this will make no sense, and also, you have missed out! Currently unbeta-ed and unfinished, but given with love!

“Can you see them, Granger?”

Harry Potter’s bark was familiar to my ears, as readers of these chronicles will know. At the shake of my head he took the brass spyglass from my hands and swept the city beneath us.

“There!” he pointed, eagerly. “Take us down!”

I followed the line of his finger. Below us, on the rooftops of London, a slim figure was running nimbly across the elevated chimneys of Belgravia. “With speed, Granger!” Potter declared. “With speed and we shall have him!”

It did me good to see my pale colleague so invigorated. It was always the case, in the thick of the chase Potter was alive. I smiled to myself as I opened the valves to bring the airship down from our surveillance height. It was pleasing to see him thus, with his eyes bright and hair amiss. For long weeks he had been closeted in his studio, experimenting on his new potions that he believed would uncover certain signs of magic usage.

I had thought that I had perceived a more acrid tang in the smoke of the air on many afternoons when I had visited him in those rooms, yet I could hardly blame the man if his imagination craved stimulation. I knew that my own life lacked salt in those weeks I went about my everyday business as a Healer, yet at least my work days brought me a broad variety of people and cases into interact with. How much worse must it be for Potter, with all that boundless strength and keen, if overly focussed, intelligence?

“There! The Mews, Granger! Bring us down near West Halkin, I shall apprehend our character and see if his face fits my theories!”

He was all but laughing now. I smiled as I thought of Auror Weasley who had set us off on this chase but two hours ago. If he could see his friend so animated, it would set his heart at rest.

I gave the tiller a gentle nudge, and brought the floats of our airship back a few pounds further. The heart of the Lily, a compact copper-wrapped engine, chugged quietly at me, promising to behave until she was needed to inflate those gaudy balloons above us once more. I knew what she was saying, for I had built her with my own hands. Engineering was not a skill Potter had deigned turn his prodigious mind to, declaring it one more suited to those of a practical mien.

Below us, the black-clad miscreant found himself out of room to run. He balanced lightly on a gutter and looked behind him, to see no one. He looked about, in every direction the coast was clear, and I could see his body relax. Above him, Potter swung silently from the ship’s ladder, wand at the ready. I watched, carefully, impressed at the way Potter made neither a sound nor created a shadow in the young man’s view. My associate lifted his wand, and whispered the words that would bind our burglar, for such was the character below us.

Yet he was no longer below us, and Potter’s spell fell on air. At the last possible moment he had Apparated away.

It took Potter a moment to climb the ladder again, and I half expected him to be angry. What I did not expect was laughter. “Again! This is the third time that he has given me the slip! And I am still not sure if we are chasing a master criminal or a master game player, Granger!”

Lily was as silent as the wind,” I apologised, feeling he must at least regret the near miss.

“That she was, my friend! Come, let us take her back to Marylebone before the travelling Disillusionment wears off.”

I took one last look at the now vacant space, before turning the ship to sail over Belgrave Square, and the Palace beyond it. “How does he do it every time?” I muttered to myself.

I had meant it to be a rhetorical question, but to Potter there was no such thing. “Three possibilities, Granger. Firstly, pure good luck on his part. Increasingly unlikely, I will grant you, but still not impossible. Secondly, we are giving ourselves away in a manner we cannot determine. More unlikely than the first, but still, it could be so. And thirdly, there exists a connection between this character and us that we know not what of, and yet which he is using to its fullest advantage.”

He had my attention now, in full. “Do you think so, Potter?”

“I think all may be the case,” he replied in measured tones. “The evidence will fall one way or the other.”

He looked out over the city, with a wistful air. “Our hooded friend holds the answer, Granger, one way or another.”

“So that was Auror Weasley’s cat burglar …” I commented to break the silence. The figure had moved nimbly, and had shown no signs of a bag, though that meant nothing since shrinking charms were all the rage this year.

Potter looked at me sharply. “My dear woman, what put such an idea into your head? No, I believe that our young friend is either a lackey of – or a fellow agent working against – that malevolent influence behind all of England’s worst crimes.”

And with that he turned his attention to the rooftops below us as we travelled north to Baker Street, and reflected on thoughts he kept within.

I was startled, but took no offence at Potter’s tone. It was brusque, but he was often so to all of us who were close to him. At other times his tone was jovial, sometimes gentle. In truth he was a brother to me, and I felt myself a sister to him, though one who had never been able to protect him from the great tragedies of his life.

I did not need him to expand on his description. For years he had waged a solitary war against Professor Umbridge. A genius of malice whom he had once described to Auror Weasley as: “A great toad sitting above the underworld of Britain, tugging the strings of murder, vice and vileness from her web.”

“A toad, Potter?” Weasley had said. “Don’t you mean a spider?

“Have you seen the woman?” Potter had asked, and Weasley had conceded the point.

We had come up against her several times, the first when we were mere children. Every single encounter had seen her slip out of the noose that Potter had set, her guise as a mild-mannered academic intact, even while her bank balances grew at a rate that could never be imagined on a Ministry salary.

Long periods of time went by when he did not mention his pursuit of her. Indeed, I had been lulled into believing that we were in pursuit of Weasley’s cat burglar when I took the Lily to the skies. Three times we had followed the same slim black figure across the city’s upper reaches, losing him once to a series of shadows, once to the sudden flight of pigeons uprising from Lord Nelson, and today to his own cheeky skill. Potter had let me believe the obvious, which meant that I should have suspected him from the start.

But if Umbridge were at work once more, that meant a more sinister game was being played. I shuddered, and it was not just the cold air blowing up from the city streets that caused it.

I cut the power to the engines and let the Lily idle down to her berth above 221b. Though some of the people on the street below had cast their eyes skywards, no Muggle could see her. The docking Disillusionment depicted her as a cloud, a shadow, a glint of reflected light – whatever a Muggle might reasonably expect to see rather than the small red and gold ship that floated there.

Once the cables were tied and I had checked the flotation spells for the evening, I pushed my goggles up from my face and into my hair, where they nestled among the nest of curls I had given up hope of taming.

“We’re home, Potter,” I said gently, waking him from his reverie.

He blinked, then smiled at me. “So we are, well done, Granger. Shall we go and solve Weasley’s burglar problem for him?”

“Do we have a solution?” I asked, descending the ladder first for modesty’s sake.

“Oh yes,” he called down from above me. “I have been waiting on but one piece of confirming information from one of my Irregulars so that Weasley can make the case, and, unless I am very much mistaken, there it is.”

In the street beneath us, the unmistakeable figure of Dennis Creevey was dodging between carriages as he crossed the road towards our building. I descended the ladder more swiftly, and Potter overtook me as we entered the rooftop door, that he might be sitting coolly in his rooms by the time his young associate was ushered in.

I continued down the stairs to my room. A visit to the Auror offices entailed a walk through central London and, practical as my flight suit was, it was hardly the garment of a respectable young lady, even one who was also a witch.

I had no sooner finished buttoning my walking coat than I heard the rap of Potter’s knuckles on the door. “Are you ready, Granger?” he called.

Hastily pinning my hat to the top of my hair, I opened the door with an air of ease. “So you’re finally done? Marvellous, let’s be on our way.”

He grinned at my tease, but let it alone. In his hand he clutched a slip of paper, and from the smile that played about his lips, I could tell that his proof had indeed, arrived. I was content to wait until we reached the Ministry to hear it, though, as his convoluted explanations were best heard in a relaxed setting, preferably with a drink to hand and a comfortable armchair.

The clutter and bustle of the streets were a strange contrast to the otherworldly beauty of the skies above, but on this bright autumn day a fresh breeze was blowing over the park and not even the slightly over-ripe scent of carnations from the flowergirl on the corner could distract me from the beauty of the day. We had walked scarcely half a mile when Potter suddenly stopped, bent and scanned the ground behind him as though he had dropped something.

I knelt beside him, unsure of whether I was searching for a shilling or aiding him in a ruse.

He picked up a coin from the ground, one, which I could swear had not been there an instant before, and made a show of displaying it to me. “Two men following, Granger,” he muttered through his smile. “Rough-looking louts, be aware and look handy.”

I nodded at his find and asked, through my own smile, “There’s an alley, could we not just Apparate the rest of the way?’

“And miss finding out who is following us?”

“Of course not,” I sighed. I put my hands to my hat in a pretence of adjusting it, and removed the largest pin, which I dropped into my inner coat pocket beside my wand. “Because being accosted by strangers is so stimulating for a lady.”

Potter grinned broadly. “Just slap then, Granger. Or hex them silly.”

We resumed our walking and, as I had suspected, were rudely jogged into the alley as we passed. Our two burly assailants led with their wands, I clutched my hand to my heart – near my pocket.

“Potter and Granger?” the larger one asked.

“It’s them, I’m sure of it,” his colleague muttered.

Potter raised his chin. “And what of it? Who are you to ask?”

The two oafs grinned at each other. “We’ll be rich,” said the first.

It was all the distraction I needed. I threw the hat pin at the smaller man, its sharpened end plunging into his arm and delivering the dose of sedative it held. The larger man was dropped by a swift Stunner, delivered with my left hand, and Potter was applauding me before he had even hit the ground.

I rolled my eyes at him and cast a small Disillusionment at the entrance to the alley. As I retrieved my hat pin, and wiped it clean on the man’s garments, I checked their pulses and found them both strong.

“The idea was to question them, Granger,” Potter muttered over my shoulder.

It is possible that I was not as patient in my reply as I could have been, but I turned to him and declared, “And if only you’d lifted a wand to put either of them in a Bodybind, you’d be able to do that right now. As matters stand, it will be five minutes.”

“Though you should probably bind the two of them, nonetheless.”

That was not Potter’s voice. We looked up to see a familiar slim figure standing in the entrance to the alley.

“Mr Malfoy,” Potter greeted him. “What brings you here on this fine day?”

“Mr Potter,” Malfoy bent his head courteously. “My coachman told me that he had seen the two of you being pursued, I’m apparently a little late to be of any real help.”

“Not at all,” Potter grinned. “Is it an enclosed coach?”

Malfoy nodded. “Might I put it at your disposal? I assume you are taking these two to Auror headquarters.”

“Where you yourself were just headed.”

A flash of surprise crossed the young aristocrat’s face, and was quickly suppressed. “An interesting assumption, Potter, what leads you to it? The fact that I’m in a coach and therefore must be carrying something large? That a visit to the Aurors might be the only thing able to bring me into Muggle London? A splash of mud on my right shoe?”

Potter shook his head, and a small smile crept across his lips. “More this.” He proffered the piece of paper that had been in his hand since Baker Street.

Malfoy took it, read through it, and then looked up sharply. “One of your famed sources, Potter? Well done, they seem to have found out the news but moments after I was aware of it myself.”

“Shortly before, unless I am much mistaken,” Potter said, the smile still in place.

Malfoy returned the paper to his hands. “Oh now that would be absurd, wouldn’t it? Shall I send my coachman in to help you with your two rather large problems?”

“That would be much appreciated.”

“I will be waiting in the coach. Mr Potter, Miss Granger.” With a bow, he turned and left.

I waited until he was out of earshot before I turned to my old friend. “We’re trusting him to take us to Weasley?”

“Oh yes, Granger, we are.”

He held out the paper to me, I took it and opened its folds.

Malfoy Manor targeted 6am today.
Something dangerous stolen.
House-elves outraged, but burglar escaped.
Suspect a Dark Artefact.
“Dennis Creevey saw this?” I was surprised.

“Creevey’s man on the spot saw it, he’s had round-the-clock surveillance out there since I realised the Manor was the next target.”

“Naturally. And so this is enough to make you trust Malfoy?”

Potter’s smile was back. “Oh no, my dear Granger, the fact that I know exactly where Malfoy was when his home was bring broken into is enough to make me trust him.”

“Which you’ll explain when we reach Auror headquarters, yes?”

Potter laughed. “That would be far too soon. Today I will tell you both, and Auror Weasley, too, who the burglar is. But as for what our young Mr Malfoy has been up to, I have several more questions of my own to answer before I share that information with anyone else. Still, you know what this all means, don’t you?”

I could not help grinning at the excitement in his eyes. I did know. “The game is afoot?”

“Indeed it is, Granger,” he said, clapping me on my shoulder as he walked past to assist Malfoy’s coachman with bundling the prisoners. “Indeed it is.”
AMY 凛☆ラブ☆アタックtomatoe18 on August 28th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
I'm obviously not Leochi, but this... this is just brilliant. *is in awe*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 28th, 2008 03:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you, dear.
(no subject) - tomatoe18 on August 29th, 2008 12:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on August 29th, 2008 01:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tomatoe18 on August 29th, 2008 01:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on August 29th, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tomatoe18 on August 29th, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Bubbaabsynthedrinker on August 28th, 2008 02:34 pm (UTC)
A.C. Doyle is my all time favorite. That coupled with the HP theme has cemented me as one of your most ardent admirers forevermore.

The dirigible over the chimneys of Belgravia has such a sense of romance and of time and place, that it really crystallizes itself in the mind of the reader. Very well done!

What a lovely gift for Leochi.(Not bad for us either) Thanks


Edited at 2008-08-28 02:37 pm (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 28th, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks, dear. I am a dedicated Doyle lover, too, and was very happy to have an excuse to read through a few recently in preparation for this. I just wish this week had gone the way I'd planned, as it's only a short story and I'd have loved to have put it all up in one hit. Ah well ... soon.
(no subject) - absynthedrinker on August 28th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
acromantularacromantular on August 28th, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
oh, this is fun!
Thanks to leochi for inspiration, and please write quickly!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 28th, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you, and I will be back to it as soon as I feel a little better, am sadly too stupid at the moment. But it is all but wholly plotted out, so shouldn't take too long.
June: beholderwinter_june on August 28th, 2008 02:55 pm (UTC)
Truly amazing! I feel like I've fallen inside a Holmes/Russell book. What a wonderful universe!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 28th, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And I do think that Conan Doyle would forgive the clockworkery, as he was a keen science fiction writer in his own right!
down the hills and round the bendsnorton_gale on August 28th, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC)
This is fantastic! Leochi is a very lucky girl. I looooooooooooooove Sherlock Holmes too, and you've done a magnificent job of echoing Conan Doyle's style and transposing it to the HP world. Dr. Granger is fab as the narrator, and the steampunk details are fun (the goggles, flight suit, and airship).

Eager for more!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 28th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC)
You know there'll be a clockwork monster, don't you? More will be coming soon. I had thought I was just too stupid to write last night, but it was impending bleagh, so I'll just get well and then finish it off! (Maybe in a couple of parts, you've met my inability to write a short short story)
(no subject) - norton_gale on August 28th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on August 28th, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - norton_gale on August 28th, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on August 28th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - norton_gale on August 28th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Azure Jane Lunaticazurelunatic on August 28th, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC)
Oh! That's a fic worth celebrating! I especially like slightly-mad!Harry. I like him a lot in general.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 28th, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC)
One too many Killing Curses to the head ;-)
(no subject) - azurelunatic on August 28th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
uminohikariuminohikari on August 28th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
*laughs* This is an awesome crossover!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 29th, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks, dear, but I do wish the fic fairies would come and write the rest of it for me so I could just sleep away the weekend and next week!
trichinopoly ash: ron: squee!aldehyde on August 28th, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
ok i will go read now and then come back.
leochi is very very lucky!
trichinopoly ash: ron: squee!aldehyde on August 28th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
gods! you put in everything, from the geography and umbridge as moriarty [loved how you used the toad/spider quote] and CREEVEY AS AN IRREGULAR, how perfect!

and the tone! hermione reads just like watson, and harry like holmes. i'm kind of a big holmesian nut - my journal's titled after something in one of my fave stories and i seem to be the only person on lj with 'holmesian apocrypha' as an interest :P

which would explain why i'm so excited by this, hee.
(no subject) - blamebrampton on August 29th, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Pureblood Princessraitala on August 28th, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC)
Brilliant - I can't wait to read more. It has just the right tone and swing to it :D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 29th, 2008 12:43 pm (UTC)
Cheers, dear. With luck I will feel like a productive human being again soon.
Leochileochi on August 28th, 2008 06:55 pm (UTC)
Awww, darling, you're a pearl! Thank you, thank you so much - I'm really in awe of the kindness of all people on my LJ - I'm so looking forward to read this, as soon as I will have finished responding to all the sweet messages I got today. (I've been at it since I came back from work a couple of hours ago.)
This will definitely be my Good-Night-Story. You're perfectly right, I adore Sherlock Holmes and I'm so touched that you did something putting both Holmes and HP world together.

Thank you, thank you! <333
Leochileochi on August 28th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC)
You've really caught the tone so perfectly, I had to chuckle all the time.
This is simply wonderful! I really loved the hair-pin scene and the way Granger reported the whole story. She's so perfectly "Watsnonish" and Potter is so perfectly "Sherlockish" it was a delight to read.
Thank you again for a most welcome, awe-inspiring and truly amusing story.
So looking forward to the next part.

Oh, and I'm really sorry you're not feeling well. Hope your ailment will be cured in no time, dear!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 29th, 2008 12:44 pm (UTC)
Thank YOU for your many kindnesses and for sharing your talent with all of us so generously! And I will be back to the next part just as soon as I feel less like a plague victim. XXX BB
(no subject) - leochi on August 29th, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Amazing Little Ecosystemwinterthunder on August 28th, 2008 11:13 pm (UTC)
This is brilliantly done! I love the Lily, Hermione's hairpin, all the tiny little details!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 29th, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I hope it'll be finished in the not too distant future, once I finish languishing.
kestrelsparhawkkestrelsparhawk on August 29th, 2008 12:17 am (UTC)
Hi, I'm Sherry Potter...
Absolutely perfect. I was laughing from the first two paragraphs -- Hermione as the sententious Watson is just so absolutely right. And Potter's voice -- Sherlockian AND his both. *continues to rave, but in mumbles* I could see the victorian city, which considering I'm not precisely visual was such a joy. And a ripping adventure as well. Umbridge as Moriarty -- oh yes. I look forward to Holmes/Potter staying on her trail -- and the mystery of a possible ally, possible enemy. And, yes, Draco. That part's sexy which Doyle never managed to be, and still as intelligent as Doyle. I feel guilty liking it so much, since it's not MY birthday present, so I'll just be a hobbit about it and say I deserve the present because it's not my birthday!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 29th, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Hi, I'm Sherry Potter...
I think that a Hobbitian presents for all theory is a perfectly good idea! And I'm glad that you could see things, I didn't feel I'd written enough atmosphere into this first part, compared to what was in my head, but alas there was also a lot of plague in said head.
anabellhenryanabellhenry on August 29th, 2008 04:33 am (UTC)
In. Love.

Please get well soon and write more!

Seriously, it's great fun. Both dialog and narration sound just right while the magical twist is enchanting. I do hope you're on the mend, not just for selfish reasons. Meanwhile, I'll pull out a little Jeremy Brett to tide me over.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 29th, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
Ooooh! I love him! I am trying to get well quickly because I want to get back to this story. I love Holmes ...
(no subject) - anabellhenry on August 29th, 2008 01:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
violetagevioletage on August 29th, 2008 06:25 am (UTC)
*applauds rather wildly* wow, the tone, the attitude, the crispness, all the little touches, you've done something wonderful here. Hope you feel better soon so you can continue
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 29th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
Cheers, dear. I do, too, because I was having loads of fun writing this before I was struck down with mank. I blame my J and his germs.