Elementary (Harry Potter AU) | Joan Watson/Sherlock Holmes friendship, Gregson | 1938 words | PG | Harry Potter AU where Joan and Sherlock attend Hogwarts | AO3
In which Joan Watson is sorted into Ravenclaw, gets the most annoying best friend ever, follows a plan and finds herself somewhere completely unexpected.
Note Made for fushiforever in the castleland 2012 gift-giving.
Joan Watson isn't good at getting new friends, or first impressions, or small talk. So it doesn't surprise her when she spends most of her first week at Hogwarts sitting by herself. It doesn't worry her all that much either. She'll get friends eventually; she always does.
She was sorted into Ravenclaw, but she doesn't know what that entails yet. English boarding school traditions baffle her, but she's adapting. Apparently, Ravenclaw means she's smart, and she likes the sound of that.
At the end of the first week, something different happens; when a small boy sits down next to her at breakfast. She smiles at him, but he barely nods back and they spend the meal in silence. After another week it's become routine; she doesn't question it and she isn't one to decide where anyone else sits anyway.
"What's your name then?" she finally asks after another week.
"Sherlock," he says and she notices he turned towards her before she even opened her mouth.
"I'm..." she starts.
"Joan Watson. Yes, I know. American. Mum or Dad is a mediwizard, Dad, I think. One sibling, younger than you by one year. You only moved to England recently. I would think because the schools are better here and your parents want you to get the best education possible."
"What? How?" Joan is dumbstruck, and that doesn't really happen to her all that often. Sherlock looks at her like she's slow. She uses some more time not knowing what to say and when she's finally ready to articulate it, he's already moving on.
"My father has decided that I need to make friends at school, because that's what he did at my age and I've decided on you."
With that he turns back to his meal, like that concludes the conversation just because he's said what he needed to say. When she gets up from the table, he falls into step with her and she realizes that she really doesn't mind.
She finds that it's relatively easy to be Sherlock's friend. He only occasionally requires someone to talk to, he's perfectly happy spending an evening with her in the library and he knows everything about everyone.
Another month passes and Sherlock is still her only friend. She doesn't really think about it much, but sometimes it hits her, sitting in the common room and looking at the rest of the Ravenclaws laughing by the fire.
Sherlock catches her looking and says "Surely, you must know why they keep a distance." And he looks at her with the most condescending look she's ever seen on an eleven-year-old boy. She just looks back at him because, of course, she doesn't know why; it's just the way it's always been.
"They feel threatened by you." She smiles at that and shakes her head, but Sherlock presses forward. "You are self-composed, confident and possess features society deems attractive. You seem to have it all together and that makes everyone that doesn't uncertain and awkward. No one likes feeling like that, so subconsciously they avoid you."
"Oh," she says.
Sherlock really does know everything about everyone. Joan likes to figure out people for herself, get to know them by knowing them, not their facts. People are puzzles that needs to be solved. But she still uses some of Sherlock's observations because they make it easier to make friends. She doesn't completely buy into his explanation about why she doesn't make a good first impression, but she tries to be more forward and daring, not waiting for the others to talk to her.
And it's nice, it's good. She's braver now than she's ever been and she likes herself all the more for it. And she might get more friends, but it's always Sherlock she sits down with after a long day.
Oren begins at Hogwarts when they start their second year and she claps harder than anyone when he is sorted into Gryffindor. Just around 10% of her is sad that he's not in her house, but she hides that from Oren and gives him a thumbs up when he looks at her across the room.
Sherlock catches it, of course, but in a moment of rare tact he doesn't say anything.
Years go by, and they both change, but really they are still the same.
Joan asks him once if he doesn't want to make other friends besides her.
"No. I only befriended you at my father's request. And while I find it quite enjoyable to be your friend now, I do not want to go through that again." he says.
So she drops it, and thinks that she doesn't really wish him on anyone else anyway.
When she tells him she's decided to become a mediwizard like her dad, he just rolls his eyes like he's known she would do it all along and starts talking about something else.
She hates it when he does that. Makes it seem like she didn't have a choice, like he's always seen her whole life laid out in front of him and knows where it will end up. She wants to break free of that, to go her own way, do something unlike herself just to mess him up.
She begins to date Liam in their sixth year. He's a Gryffindor and she likes how different they are. He's brave and daring, he believes that rules are something that happens to other people, and it's refreshing.
They've been dating for six months when Sherlock starts to notice the clues. He points them out to her in his obnoxious way. She doesn't want to believe him and they have a huge row. They both say things they don't mean, and it's not even about Liam in the end. It's the first big fight they've had and as Joan storms off she knows it's going to take more than the usual sulking and tea to make it better. But dammit all to hell, because Sherlock is right, and now that he's pointed it out it's all she can see. She confronts Liam about his drug use and he denies it all. So she breaks up with him. Not so much because of the drugs, she would have wanted to help him through that, but because he lied to her.
She goes back to the common room after, and for the first time in years she feels alone. But then Sherlock is there and gives her one of his rare hugs and she falls into it. He sits them down on a couch and she cries a bit into his shoulder. And she knows that they might not be completely alright now, but that they will be soon.
They graduate. It's the first and last time she meets Sherlock's dad. He's only there briefly, and if he's surprised that the friend Sherlock has chosen is a small, American witch with a bad hairstyle, he doesn't say anything. Sherlock just mumbles something about his dad only being there to keep up appearances and trails off towards the lake. She says something to her own parents, who's proud and smiling, and goes after him.
Theirs might not be the most traditional of friendships, but she knows when he needs her.
Joan starts her mediwizard training and they lose touch for a while.
A year into her training, Joan is broke. She moves into Sherlock's townhouse in Diagon Alley and it's like coming home. Sherlock's dad is still generous with his money, if nothing else and she doesn't have to pay rent. Sherlock doesn't really want or need to work; his latest obsession is advanced potions and the house is full of ingredients and cauldrons full of potions in various degrees of finished. She almost steps into a simmering green potion in the bathtub one day. She doesn't ask him to move it because it's his house, and she doesn't need that bath, but the next morning it's gone.
Sherlock also enjoys making other people feel stupid and currently he's taking that out on the Auror department. He calls it consulting and she tags along some days.
Joan finishes her training two years later and instead of applying to a new opening at St. Mungo's, she spends more time with Sherlock. He's started bothering the Department of Mysteries now. He drags her there one day after a long rant about what a silly name that is for a department, and it's like they are just begging him to stop by and solve everything. He introduces her to a wizard called Toby Gregson; he used to be an Auror and is apparently running the department. She can tell he likes Sherlock in a way most people don't and she likes him all the more for it. Gregson also lets them stay and play as he describes it or deduct like Sherlock does. And it's fun, and interesting. She never realized how many rooms and objects where hidden down there.
Gregson still works closely with the Auror's office on strange cases and he lets them come along. Sherlock is in his element then, showing off and solving cases. Most of the Aurors doesn't like him, but Gregson never loses faith. Joan watches and learns. She gets to use her medical knowledge, and while this is not quite something she can put on her resume, it's still fun.
It's been six months and she knows it can't continue forever. She doesn't want to rely on Sherlock for money her whole life; she needs a job, a life of her own and something she can be proud off. She thinks she's braver now than she's ever been, so she goes to a couple of interviews and she talks to some friends of her dad's and she tries, she really does. But none of the positions sounds as rewarding as the work she does with Sherlock.
After two weeks of looking for something else, she joins him one day. She just misses it too much to stay away. Gregson smiles at her when she walks in and she finds she's missed that, too.
"Hi." he says. "I thought you'd left us for good."
"I'm just back for today. I'd love to stay, but I need get a job that actually pays." She smiles at him and is on her way past him to find Sherlock, her thoughts already on the veil he's been talking about all week, when Gregson calls her back.
"Miss Watson. About that. I actually have a position open here in the department, it doesn't have many promotion opportunities, and the pay isn't all that good, but we could really use a mediwizard around here, and I've seen how good you are with cursebreaking." He stops speaking then and looks at her expectantly and she can tell that he's been wanting to offer the job for ages, and that it suddenly rushed out when she gave him an opening. She might not be a Sherlock Holmes, but she's gotten quite good at reading people.
"I'd love to take the job." she says, smiling widely. The flaws he mentioned might be real, her parents will be disappointed, and it was never what she planned for, but now this is all she wants. Maybe her faith really was sealed when Sherlock sat next to her at breakfast and decided they were friends. But she still believes in a free choice of her own, and she was the one that decided they were best friends.
And when she walks up behind Sherlock and he turns to smile widely at her, she knows she's made the right decision.