The Case of the Blown-Up Cottage

Part 7

by Cyberwolf (wolf at

AN: (sigh) This chapter had some trouble coming together. It didn't want to. The phrasing and stuff is sort of strange...but it's just meant to be a transition to the next, anyway. So please make allowances for the bad writing here! ^^;;
"What are you talking about?" Lestrade demanded, glaring at both Willis and Holmes. She felt like glaring a little at Henry too - the kid had been loud - but the baby, still snuffling, was currently facing away from her.
"I think it's best if you see it for yourself," Holmes replied. He looked at Willis. "How were you going to meet them?"
"Portkey," Willis answered, though neither the question nor the answer made much sense to Lestrade. Willis pointed at a seemingly random spot on the far end of the pit. "They told me to look for a big piece of gray tile there, and since the house had only blue tile, I think it'll be fairly easy to find."
"Shall we?" and then both Holmes and Willis started walking towards the spot Willis had pointed at. Lestrade, who'd been lost in thought trying to find any reference to ports and keys and what tiles had to do with any of it, only noticed that they were walking away by the time they were a good twenty feet away from her.
"Zed it, Holmes, wait for me!" She really hated this.
By the time she caught up, Willis and Holmes had stopped around a large jagged piece of gray tiling sticking up from the earth. Henry, still on Holmes' shoulder, had fallen asleep - probably worn out from his crying, she shouldn't wonder. Holmes looked up as she approached. "On my count, Lestrade, place your hand on the tile."
Lestrade had had to do some pretty unusual things in connection with Holmes - not the least of which had been actually reviving him - but nothing had ever been as seemingly inane as what he was asking now. Besides, all this cloak-and-dagger, uncomprehensible over-her-head stuff was making her cranky.
"Why the zed should I?"
"So you can have your questions answered. That is what you want, isn't it?"
Was it ever. She nodded her acquiescence, looking incredulously at the piece of gray tile that supposedly would clear this whole matter up.
"One, two," Willis counted. "Three!"
Lestrade, for some reason unknown to her - it was just a piece of tile, right? - took a deep breath and touched the tile. Immediately she felt a jolt - the world spun around her - and she felt a tug, like an invisible hook just behind her navel jerked her forward.
She stumbled forward as the world stopped spinning, noticing dimly that the world was different now. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Willis hanging onto a nearby chair for balance; she then looked at Holmes, feeling rather irked when she saw him standing square on his two feet, not looking out of balance at all. Henry was even still asleep on the detective's shoulder.
Then her attention was drawn by the other people in the room they were now in. There were about a dozen of them, ranging from people barely out of their teens to gray-haired and grim-faced men (and one woman). They were all dressed in, well, robes, in a rainbow of colors. And they were all on their feet.
And they were pointing sticks at her.
'This is so weird it's not even funny,' Lestrade thought, feeling an urge to laugh and another to demand what the zed they thought they were doing.
"Willis!" shouted one man, who had his stick pointed threateningly at Holmes. "What are you doing, bringing uncleared people with you! You know the terms of the liaison agreement!"
Before Willis could open his mouth, another voice said, "Put your wands - " 'wands?' Lestrade wondered. 'As in, magic wand?' " - away, my good Aurors and Order members. I can vouch for them."
Lestrade turned to see what had to be the oldest man she'd ever seen enter the room. He, too, was dressed in robes - purple ones, with silver stars, and with a floppy pointed wizard's hat on his head. He had long silver hair and an equally long and silver beard, both reaching below his knees. He looked like those pictures of friendly wizards in the storybooks of Lestrade's youth.
He came closer to the three, as behind him the people in cloaks put away their 'wands' obediently.
Lestrade was staring at the old man so, she almost didn't notice Holmes step up beside her, nodding his head in a gesture of respect and recognition that she rarely saw. "Hello, Professor Dumbledore."
The old man - Professor Dumbledore, what kind of a name was that? - smiled widely. His blue eyes sparkled behind half-moon spectacles. "Lock, my boy, it's good to see you again."
AN: Pretty obvious now that Holmes is a wizard, innit? Backstory next chapter. Maybe not the whole backstory, but some of it anyway. Been wondering...if Holmes had gone to Hogwarts, what house d'you think he'd've been in?

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