Chapter 1: 1x01 - Pilot
"Diane! The Inspector wants to see you in his office" Sargent Hick's voice drew DC Diane Radland's attention from her monitor. Glancing at her watch, she got to her feet, walked to the office at the far end of the room and knocked on the door.
"Enter" Jacob Bonnie's voice came through the door, and Diane pushed the door open "DC Radland - please, have a seat"
"Thank you, sir" She sat down, folding her hands on her lap. Jacob looked at the report on his desk, then handed it to her.
"There's been a break in at the Happy Hands Adoption Agency, and I'd like you to go down to the scene and help with the investigation" He said "Two servers have been stolen, and the Agency would like them back" He paused "However there is something you should be aware of before you down to the offices"
"There is some confusion about how the crime was committed" Jacob gestured to the report "There's no indication of where the thieves got in, or how they bypassed the motion detectors and so forth"
"None at all?" She stared at him in surprise.
"None" He paused "Which is why they have called in another department to help with the investigation"
"Another department?" She asked, worry furrowing her brow "Is this going to end up in a turf war with a bunch of pinheads?" He laughed.
"No - they are not like the guys from the XLG" He grinned "The people from S.O. 642 are very professional" She smiled, then blinked a few times.
Harry Potter, MIB
Episode 1x01 : Pilot
"Good morning, and welcome to Happy Hands Adoption Agency" The receptionist beamed at her "How may I help you this morning?"
"DC Radland with Covenstone CID" Diane replied, flashing her warrant card "Would it be possible to speak with someone about the burglary?"
"Of course" The receptionist replied with a smile "Mr Smith is in his office - third on the left"
"Thank you" Diane slipped her warrant card back in to her pocket, then looked back at the receptionist "Has anyone else arrived?"
"I am expecting some people from another agency and I was wondering if they'd arrived?" The receptionist shook her head.
"Not as far as I know" She paused "Would you like me to let you know when they do?"
"If it's not a problem"
"Not at all" The receptionist grinned "Third on the left"
"Thank you" Diane grinned, then turned and walked down the corridor towards Mr Smith's office.
The receptionist looked up from her desk as a black sedan pulled up outside the Agency building. A moment later, four people, in very well tailored suits, got out and looked around.
"Odd looking family" She thought "Unless it's two families?" She looked at the way the they were interacting, then shook her head almost at once "Not a family" She watched as they walked up to the door, then her eyes widened slightly as she realised they each had a bulge in their suit jackets.
"Oh my" She lowered her hand to rest on the building intercom, then smiled as the four newcomers walked through the door.
"Good morning, and welcome to Happy Hands Adoption Agency" She beamed, looking the four of them up and down "How may I help you?" The younger of the two men pulled a badge from his back pocket, and handed it to her.
"My name is Special Agent Potter, and these are my colleagues Special Agents Lovegood, Weasley and Bones" Harry smiled at her. She looked down at the badge in her hand, then up at the four Agents in front of her.
"I've never heard of S.O. 642" She said, smiling politely.
"We're pretty new" Harry admitted "We work with the police force on the more unusual cases - the ones that seem very hard to solve"
"Oh" The receptionist blinked a few times "Well - there is a detective from Covenstone meeting with Mr Smith at the moment. Would you like me to see if they are available?"
"No - that's okay" Harry held his hand up, then turned to the other three "Bill, Sue - can you find the server room and see what you can get about how the machines were taken?"
"Yes, boss" The two Agents nodded, and walked off down the corridor. Harry rolled his eyes then turned to the second young woman.
"Lu - you're with me"
"Yes, boss" Luna nodded.
"What did I tell you about calling me boss?" He asked, pretending to pout. Luna paused, frowning. Then she grinned.
"That it if we called you sir one more time, you would give us to Tracey and Oliver as test subjects?" She asked, still grinning. Harry smirked.
"Oh yeah - I did say that" He paused, then shrugged "Okay - boss it is" He turned back to the receptionist "You mentioned a Mr Smith?"
"The servers don't have any personal information on them" Steve Smith said "With all the recent problems, we've split the data in to two sets" He paused "There's also something else that is a little strange?"
"Which is what?" Diane asked, then turned as their was a knock on the door.
"Come in" Smith called out. The door opened to reveal to people in dark, black suits "May I help you?"
"My name is Agent Lovegood" The young woman said, walking in to the office "This is my boss Agent Potter" She handed her badge to Smith, then glanced at Diane "Covenstone CID?"
"DC Radland" Diane nodded, looking the two people up and down. They were both well dressed, but she noticed the gun-shaped bulges under their jackets "We were just discussing the server theft"
"I understand that there are no signs of a break-in" Harry said as he and Luna sat down either side of Diane "Are you sure it's not an inside job?"
"I trust all my staff" Smith replied "And there is the matter of the motion detectors and security tapes"
"Have you talked to your IT guy?" Diane asked, making Luna smile "If it was someone on the inside, then they could have disabled the security systems" Smith looked thoughtful, then shook his head.
"I've worked with Anton for fifteen years - he is beyond reproach"
"Would it be possible to speak with him?" Luna asked, then held up her hand before Smith could reply "If he is a suspect, we would need to talk to him anyway, and if he isn't, he might be able to tell us more about the security system and how it could be bypassed" Smith nodded in understanding.
"I'll ask him to meet us in the server room" He said, standing up, then paused "That is if you don't have any more questions?"
"I believe DC Radland was asking what type of data was on the servers when we interrupted" Harry glanced at Diane "Detective?"
"Yes" Diane nodded, frowning slightly "Mr Smith was explaining that the data is split up in to two segments" She turned back to Smith, who sat down again.
"We are only involved in the placement of children with families, so we have no details where the children come from" He explained "The information that was taken was in regard to the children when they come in"
"And no one could learn anything from it?" Luna asked "They couldn't use it to track down the children?"
"No" Smith shook his head "The only thing it shows is when the children were born, and when they were brought in to the Agency. We don't even keep records of the birth parents" He paused "However, as I was explaining to DC Radland when you came in, there is something slightly odd about the two servers that were taken"
"Who are you?" Susan and Bill looked round as a young man in jeans and a t-shirt walked up to them. Bill smiled, then pulled out his badge.
"Special Agents Weasley and Bones" He said "We were just investigating how someone could have stolen the servers with out actually coming in to this room" He paused "Who are you?"
"Anton Harris" The man replied "I'm in charge of IT" He paused "What did you find out?"
"That whoever took the servers did it without leaving any finger prints, or even disturbing the mounts they were housed in" Susan replied "And they also didn't leave any footprints or marks of any type anywhere in the room" She paused "Which is fairly impressive" Anton looked at them curiously.
"Would you be able to tell us what was on the servers?" Bill asked, interrupting him.
"The two servers in question kept the records of all the children brought in to the Agency for adoption" Anton replied.
"Both of them?" Susan turned to face him, looking curious.
"Yes" Anton nodded "Which, now you come to mention it, does seem a little strange"
"Do you have any other copies of the data?" Susan asked.
"No" He shook his head "They were two parts of the same mirror"
"No backup tapes?" Bill looked over at the rack in the corner. Anton followed his gaze, then walked over to the rack and started looking through them. A few moments later, he pulled one out and took it over to the computer in the corner.
"Give me a moment to look throu...." He started, then trailed off "Well - that's a little odd"
"What is?" All three of them turned as Harry, Luna, Diane and Mr Smith walked in to the server room. Anton gestured at the screen.
"The backup tape from two nights ago is blank" Anton replied, staring at the screen. He pulled out the tape, and put another one in. A few seconds later he shook his head "Same from four nights ago" He span his chair round until he was facing them "It'll take me about half an hour to check them all, but my guess is that they'll all be wiped"
"They were after the data" Luna said, glancing at Harry, who nodded in agreement.
"Okay then" Harry looked around "Mr Smith - if we could take a copy of the security tapes, we'll examine them to see if you've missed anything" He turned to Diane "Thank you for your assistance DC Radland, but we'll take over the case from here"
"Wait a moment....." Diane turned to face him, but he held up his hand.
"Yes sir?" Harry smiled.
"Sorry - I didn't introduce myself. I'm Special Agent Potter, and this is Special Agent Lovegood and DC Radland from Covenstone CID" Luna nodded while Diane glared at Harry "And don't call me sir - I was never a teacher" Anton looked at him curiously, while Luna, Bill and Susan smiled.
"Sorry, Agent Potter - what can I do to help?"
"How far do the backup tapes go back?"
"Four months" Anton replied "One for each day, plus one for each month"
"If Mr Smith doesn't mind, could you check out each one? If the blanking only goes back so far, then it might give us an idea what data they were after"
"Okay" Anton nodded. Harry grinned, then turned back to the rest of his team.
"Bill, Sue - finish up here, and we'll see you back at the Bureau"
"Luna, with me"
"Yes, boss" Harry nodded to the others, then turned and walked out of the server room.
"Hey - wait up!" Diane stormed out of the Agency office as Harry and Luna walked over to their sedan. They both came to a halt, and turned to face her.
"Yes, DC Radland?" Luna smiled politely.
"What makes you think you can just walk in to my crime scene and take my case?" Diane yelled "What gives you the right to do this? Who the hell are you?" Harry stared at her for a moment, then slipped his hand in to his jacket, and pulled out a piece of paper.
"Read that" He smiled "It will explain everything" Diane took the piece of paper and looked down at it. She glanced through the first few paragraphs.
"This doesn't...." She looked up, then trailed off as she realised she was alone in the car park.
"Sir? Do you have a moment?" Jacob turned from the water-cooler as Diane walked up behind him.
"Of course" He smiled "How'd it go at Happy Hands?" Diane rolled her eyes "That well, huh?"
"Who the hell are they?" She asked "They just waltzed in to the crime scene and took charge, then pretty much kicked me out without a by-your-leave" Jacob smiled.
"642 a top secret agency that do things a little differently" He replied, picking up the cup and taking a drink "Their charter grants them a fairly wide latitude to pursue their cases as they see fit"
"So that's it? There's nothing I can do about this?" She shook her head "That just doesn't seem right"
"Well" He looked at her thoughtfully "Perhaps if you went to talk to them in their own offices, they might be willing to include you"
"Sir? You think I should go, cap in hand, and beg them to let me play with them?" She stared at him in disbelief. He smiled back at her.
"You are interested in this case, yes?" He asked. She nodded "And you have to admit, the Agents from 642 have got your interest?" She nodded again "And will you be able to just let it go?"
"No, sir, I won't" She shook her head in annoyance.
"Very well - do you have any cases outstanding?"
"No, sir - I was helping Beth and Liz with the Dreyfuss case, and was waiting reassignment" Jacob looked at her thoughtfully, then smiled.
"You've got until the end of next week" He said "If you haven't got yourself involved by then, I'm going to have to find you something else to do" Diane looked at him curiously, then nodded.
"Thank you sir" She paused "Sir?"
"I don't suppose you might know where they might be based?"
Twenty minutes later she drove in to an empty car park and brought the car to a halt.
She looked around, then stared in surprise at the far end of the lot.
"A portacabin?" She looked at the large blue container crate in disbelief "This is the head quarters of a top secret government agency?" She got out of her car and walked towards it, then stopped. She frowned, and took a few steps back.
"Well..... okay" She blinked a few times, trying to understand what she was seeing.
"Kind of screws with your brain, doesn't it?" She looked over her shoulder to see Agent Lovegood stood behind her, a slightly amused smile on her face.
"How....." Diane turned back, gesturing at the portacabin "It's...." She trailed off "What am I missing?"
"It's a long story" Luna grinned "And I will be happy to explain if you'll answer me one question"
"It's an interrogative statement used to determine knowledge" Luna replied in a dead pan tone. Diane stared back at her, looking even more confused "But that's probably not what you wanted to know, is it?"
"Not really, no" Diane shook her head.
"What do you see?" Luna pointed down to the end of the car park "When you are stood here, and when you take three steps forward?"
"When I'm stood here, I see a large, blue, metal crate that looks like it should contain slightly less large wooden crates" Diane took three steps forward "And here it looks like a blue police box" She turned back to Luna "In fact, if I didn't know better, I'd say it looks exactly like The TARDIS from Logopolis?"
"Good eye" Luna grinned "The majority of people think it's from the latest series"
"No St John Ambulance logo on the door" Diane said blankly, then, with another glance at the far end, she continued "So why is there a TARDIS at the end of the car park? Also - how go you get a large blue crate to turn in to a TARDIS?"
"Do you really want to know?" Luna stared at her intently. Diane stared back, then nodded "Okay then" Luna started walking towards the crate. A few moments later, she stopped and looked back "Coming?"
"Bigger on the inside"
"She just accepts it"
Luna stopped at the door to The TARDIS, then looked back at Diane.
"Ready?" Diane glanced at the door, then back at Luna.
"Okay" Luna smirked, then clicked her fingers. The door swung open, and Diane peered inside "What do you think?" Diane looked in to the open doorway, then turned back to Luna.
"It's bigger on the inside?"
"Yes - it's bigger on the inside" Luna grinned "Still want to know more?" Diane stared in to the open doorway, then nodded "That's the spirit!" She took Diane's hand, and pulled her in to the office beyond the door "Welcome to S.O. 642, also known as The Muggle Investigation Bureau" She waved her hand to the left "Over there is OpTech, and on the right we have Medical and The MLA"
"Muggle Liaison Agent" Luna beamed "You already know Harry, William and Susan, and the other team is made up of Pansy, Fleur, Hannah and Neville who, along with Hermione and Terry, you'll meet later, because right now, there is someone else you should meet" They came to a halt in front of a door with the plaque "DOIC" on it. Luna knocked twice, then turned to Diane.
"Just be yourself, be honest and ask any question you can think of" She paused "Except DOIC's first name - you really don't want to ask that, because trust me, it won't end well"
"Come in" A voice came from the other side of the door.
"Okay - have fun" Luna patted her on the shoulder, then turned and skipped away. Diane stared after her for a moment, then turned and opened the door.
Luna walked over to her desk, and sat down.
"Do you think she's the one?" Hermione asked from her right. Luna turned, and realised the other members of her team were also waiting for her answer.
"Who had bigger on the inside?" She asked, then laughed as Bill grinned at her "I'll pay you tomorrow"
"Much appreciated" Bill grinned.
"And to answer the question at hand, I think so, yes" Luna nodded "She's able to see the entrance, which is a big point in her favour, and she didn't run away screaming when she looked inside" Luna paused "And according to her Inspector, she is quite intent on looking in to this" She leaned back in her chair "She also properly identified the model of our front door, which is fairly impressive in and of itself"
"But...." Susan asked, but Luna shrugged.
"There isn't one" She said "Well - aside from the obvious"
"Yes, m'am" Diane nodded, sitting down opposite a young woman "From Covenstone CID"
"Don't call me m'am" The woman gave a brief smile "I'm either DOIC, Director Tonks or simply just Tonks" She paused "For the moment, I will accept Director"
"Yes, Director" Diane nodded.
"So, Detective Radland, why are you here?" Diane took a deep breath, then let it out slowly.
"I like puzzles" She said simply "I like thinking about them, working at them and solving them" Tonks nodded "My Inspector tells me it's what makes me such a good detective"
"So what puzzle is currently keeping you up nights?"
"Well - the fact this building appears to be bigger on the inside than the outside is somewhat interesting, and the way it changes from a TARDIS to a large, blue, metal crate depending how far away you are has got me a tad curious, but mostly it's the servers" Diane leaned forward, putting her hands on her knees "I have seen a lot of thefts in my time - both as Uniform and CID - and in all that time, I've never found one that I couldn't work out"
"You were on this case what? An hour?" Tonks grinned "Can you usually solve them that quickly?"
"No" Diane shook her head in amusement "But no fingerprints? Nothing on the security tapes?"
"You don't think it's an inside job?" Tonks asked curiously "It would explain the complete lack of evidence, after all"
"It's possible" Diane nodded thoughtfully "But Mr Smith seems to trust his staff, and I didn't get the idea that any of them were in on it" She leaned back in her chair "But if it's not an inside job, then I have no idea how they could have pulled it off" Tonks looked at her with a slight smile.
"Would you like to know how it was done?" She asked. Diane stared at her.
"You know?" She asked, her voice full of surprise "How?"
"How was it done, or how do I know?" Tonks asked, still smiling slightly.
"Either" Diane replied "Or both"
"Well - it's like this" Tonks slid her desk draw open and pulled out a long, thin stick of wood "They did it by magic. And the reason I know that is that I am a witch"
Bill dropped the report back on to his desk, then looked around at the other four.
"Do you know what I don't understand?" He said, leaning back in his chair.
"Based on your last performance review, I'd say nearly everything" Hermione replied with a grin. Bill rolled his eyes.
"I love you too, boss" He laughed "But what I don't get is why mages would go to all the trouble of stealing two servers from a muggle adoption agency"
"It is a tad odd" Hermione nodded, then grinned "You don't think it was Arthur, do you?" Bill shook his head, still smiling.
"My sire would never come this far in to the muggle world. Even assuming he would want to, The GAPO would never let him" He sighed "But I suppose it is always possible that someone could have taken them as a joke - a bit of muggle baiting"
"But what are the odds they would take those two servers?" Susan asked, then glanced at Luna, who was just about to reply "That was rhetorical"
"Drat" Luna snapped her fingers, making the team laugh.
"They were stored in the same rack, and on adjoining shelves" Harry said "Maybe whoever took them was aiming for one and took two instead"
"But...." Bill trailed off, waving his hand absently "It seems so.... pedestrian"
"True" Hermione nodded again "Unless they are familiar with the muggle world, they'd not know how annoying this would be"
"And they didn't stick around to watch" Luna pointed out "The usual muggle-baiters would stay to enjoy the results" She glanced at Susan "Anything?"
"No" Susan shook her head "The four of us were the only mages there, and the only other trace I picked up was off our friend in Nim's office"
"So they took something they wouldn't understand, and couldn't possibly use and didn't bother to hang around to see the chaos" Hermione frowned "So what are we missing?"
"A witch?" Diane looked Tonks up and down, then at the wand on the desk "Like Evil Edna? Or more like Glinda?" Tonks laughed.
"To be honest, a mix of both, with a bit of Tabitha thrown in" She said after a moment "You don't have a problem with this?"
"Right now? No" Diane replied "Tonight, when I'm thinking about the events of the day - almost certainly"
"Good answer" Tonks picked up her wand "No doubt OpTech and probably Minnie could give you a more detailed explanation, but basically we - witches and wizards - are born with the ability to manipulate energy in ways that other people can't" She pointed her wand at a bookshelf in the corner of the room, and it lifted off the floor "We can levitate things" She lowered the bookcase, then summoned one of the books "And summon them" She looked at Diane "With me so far?"
"Good" She waved her wand again, transforming the chair next to Diane in to a large hat-stand "We can also transfigure matter from one from to another, or make disappear completely" She flicked her wrist, and the chair vanished. Diane reached out and waved her hand where it had been.
"Where did it go?" She asked, looking back at Tonks.
"What makes you think it went somewhere?" The Director asked.
"Preservation of matter" Diane replied promptly "Nothing is ever created or destroy, merely modified from one form to another" She smiled "It's one of the basic laws of the universe, and while I can't be completely certain, I don't think that you have the power to change the basic laws of physics" Tonks laughed again.
"You are definitely going to get along with Minnie and the OpTech staff" She said, still smiling "And yes - when we vanish things, they go to a...." She paused, then shrugged "A magical holding place - I don't know the exact details. Even when we destroy stuff, we merely transport it to one of the many active volcanoes around the world so it gets vaporized"
"Okay" Diane nodded again.
"There are a lot of other spells - ones that can help you speak a foreign language, ones that can make you fly, ones that can cook and clean and wash and dry and so on" Tonks paused "And there are ones that are less nice"
"The Dark Side of The Force?" Tonks gave a short laugh.
"Like everything in life, magic is neither good nor bad, but can be used for both" She nodded "Which is where we - the agents of The Muggle Investigation Bureau - come in"
The next morning, Diane walked in to the CID office at Covenstone Police Station, and up to the Inspector's office. She knocked twice, then put her hands down by her sides.
"Come in" Jacob called out, and Diane pushed the door open and walked inside "Good morning, DC Radland"
"Good morning, sir" Diane walked up to the desk, then came to a halt, unconsciously standing at attention. Jacob looked at her poise, then smiled.
"Did you learn everything you needed to know, Diane?"
"Yes, sir, thank you" She nodded, then bit her lip "Sir...."
"Yes, Detective?" Diane took a deep breath.
"Yesterday afternoon, The Director of S.O. 642 offered me a job" Jacob resisted the urge to smile.
"It seems that one of their police liaison officers resigned a few weeks ago, and they have been looking for a replacement" Diane continued "Apparently they think I would be suitable...." She trailed off as Jacob smiled "And you know all about this, don't you sir?"
"Yes, Diane" He grinned "Sorry"
"You...." She paused "I forget - what's punishment for calling a superior officer names?"
"That depends on whether you are taking the job or not, and whether you do the name calling before or after you are transferred" He smiled "You are taking the position, I take it?"
"Only with your permission, Jacob" She said quietly "You put me up for my job here, and then you were willing to take me in to CID despite my lack of experience. I owe you everything, and I won't run out on you" He smiled back at her.
"You have my blessing, Diane" He replied "And while it might make you want to revert to calling me names again, there's something you should know" He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his desk "It seems that S.O. 642 have been watching you for a while. I was approached a week or so ago about them offering you a position"
"Really?" Diane lost her formal pose, and Jacob gestured for her to sit down.
"Would I lie to you?" He asked, then waved his hand "Don't answer that" She snorted in amusement "I know you enjoy your job here, and I didn't want to just transfer you without asking, so when the case at Happy Hands came up, I assigned you to it to see how you'd do, and if you'd be willing to find out more about them"
"Oh" She stared at him blankly "It was all a test?"
"More or less" He nodded apologetically "If you had let it go, or if you'd decided to stay here, that would have been the end of it" He shrugged "But since you want the job, I'd say it was worth the effort"
"And you don't mind me leaving?"
"As long as you come back to say hi every so often" He grinned "Seriously - if you want to take this job, take it" She gazed back at him, then grinned.
"Thank you, sir" She paused "For everything"
"You are most welcome" They stood up, and shook hands "When would they like you to start?"
"As soon as is possible" Diane replied "Do you want me to work my shift today?"
"No - that's okay. The paperwork for the transfer will be filed by the end of today, so you can officially start tomorrow" She grinned at him.
"Thank you again" She hesitated, then bounded round the desk and gave him a brief hug. After a moment, she straightened up and wiped her eyes "Well - so long"
"Take care" He smiled "And I mean it about keeping in touch - I want to hear all about your first week" He paused "I have a feeling it's going to be very interesting"
"Oh yes" She grinned.
Five minutes later, she walked out of the main doors Covenstone Police Station, and turned down the main road.
"Which is where we - the agents of The Muggle Investigation Bureau - come in"
"The Muggle Investigation Bureau?" Diane asked, and Tonks nodded.
"The full story is kind of long and complicated, but I can give you the cliff notes if you want?" Diane nodded "Okay then - if you are sitting comfortably, I'll begin"
"Along side your world - the muggle world - there is a world of witches and wizards. They have their own government and their own society, entirely separate and distinct from the non-magical world" Tonks paused "However, for all the differences between the two worlds, there are a few things they have in common - including the more darker and disturbing aspects of humanity"
"Such as?" Diane asked, and Tonks sighed.
"Discrimination, in one form or another" She said simply "The urge to look down and belittle people because you consider them inferior"
"Of a sort" Tonks nodded "But the most prevalent form of discrimination isn't about skin colour, or religion or sexuality - it's about blood purity" Diane raised her eyebrows in curiosity "There is a faction that believes the further back you can trace your magical ancestry, the more pure your blood is. And the more pure your blood is, the more people should respect you and the more superior you are" Diane nodded.
"It's all nonsense of course" Tonks continued "Agent Granger is one of the most powerful witches in a generation, and she is a first generation witch. Me? I am from one of the oldest families in the magical world, and I am about average" She shrugged "Anyway - about fifty years ago, a war erupted in the magical world over the topic of blood purity. A man named Tom Riddle decided that the pure-bloods - those who have a long magical lineage - should be in charge of the magical world, and everyone else should serve them or die"
"Sounds like a nice man" Diane rolled her eyes.
"Truly a prince amongst men" Tonks shook her head "The war he started lasted nearly twenty years, and cost the lives of nearly three hundred mages on both sides" She paused as Diane frowned "What?"
"How does a war last twenty years and only take three hundred lives?" Diane asked.
"Magical wars are not like muggles ones" Tonks replied, then - after a moment's thought - continued "Riddle was more like Bin Laden than Hitler - he lead a lot of people who were insanely loyal to him, and intended to overthrow the government by stealth, rather than force of arms"
"Oh - okay" Diane nodded "That's why the body count was so low" Tonks tilted her head to one side "I mean compared to wars in the muggle world" Tonks smiled and nodded.
"I suppose from that point of view, it was quite low" She sighed "Anyway - the war came to an end on Halloween, 1981 when Riddle was killed by a boy named Harry Potter" Diane opened her mouth "Yes - I do mean Agent Potter, and yes he was about eighteen months old at the time, and yes I can explain that later, and no - you should not ask him, or any one else in the Bureau about it" Diane smiled and closed her mouth again.
"Unfortunately, Riddle returned from the dead thirteen years later and restarted his war. It only lasted three years, and was brought to an end by most of the people you met out there" Diane stared at her for a few moments, frowning.
"They would have been what? Eighteen?" Tonks nodded "Wow"
"They don't like to talk about it much, but they are true heroes and some of the finest people I know" She smiled "I am proud to know them, and to have them working under me" She paused "Are you with me so far? Because I am just about at the point where everything changes and goes a little.... kaka" Diane nodded.
"Okay then" Tonks took a deep breath "By the time the war ended, Riddle only had thirty five followers left, and they were all sentenced to death for their crimes" She saw Diane frown "Crimes which included torturing, raping and murdering men, women and children, arson, terrorism and genocide - and crimes for which none of them showed any sort of remorse, instead boasting that they would do it again"
"What about Riddle?"
"Killed in the final battle of the war - by Agents Potter, Granger and Lovegood" Tonks replied "Again - not something you should ask them about" Diane nodded "As I said, all thirty five of his followers that survived were sentenced to death by our government. However one of the leading lights in our world - a man by the name of Professor Dumbledore - argued that they should not be put to death because the magical world needed their knowledge, skills and bloodlines"
"When Harry, Luna, Hermione and the others protested, Dumbledore, and a few of his most loyal supporters, attempted to turn them in to pariahs and outcasts - he marginalised them and started a series of rumours to suggest that their motives were not as pure as people thought" Tonks stopped as she realised how angry she sounded, and took a deep breath "Sorry - they have told me to let this go, but sometimes...." She trailed off "To give you an idea, the loyal supporters included Harry's godfather, Hermione's fiance and Luna's great-uncle"
"That's....." Diane trailed off "Did he succeed?"
"No" Tonks smiled "Despite spending a month trying ruin them, Dumbledore failed to stop the executions, and all thirty five were put to death" She paused "But because of what Dumbledore had tried to do, Harry, Luna, Hermione and fourteen other mages - including me - left the magical world for good. We cut all our ties - in some cases leaving our families and loved ones - because we didn't want to be a part of that world any more"
"Wow" Diane stared at her "Were all seventeen victims of Dumbledore's plot?"
"No" Tonks shook her head "Only eight were the subjects of the smear campaign. The rest of us came with them because we couldn't stomach what Dumbledore had done, and because to abandon the eight that were leaving would have been a betrayal of everything we believed" She took another deep breath "We left in July, 1998 and had every intention of never returning. Unfortunately, ten years later, almost to the very day, two members of our group were tortured to death, along with their parents"
"Oh god" Diane's hands flew up to her mouth "Was it mages?"
"Beyond a shadow of the doubt" Tonks nodded seriously "But when we went to the magical government to demand they punish the killers, they laughed at us and told us they would look in to it when they had the time. Apparently we forfeited all right to magical help when we left the magical world"
"Well - that sucks"
"Yes and no" Tonks waved her hand around "Two days after our confrontation with the government, we went to our government and made them a proposition we thought they'd like"
"A unit to investigate magical crimes against muggles?" Diane asked with a grin.
"The magical government only cares about protecting its secret - they are like The Volturi...."
"...only without the kindness and morals. If mages commit a crime against muggles, the muggles are obliviated - they have their memory of the incident removed - and the mages are told not to do it again. Maybe they are sent to prison for a few years, but nothing like the punishment they deserve" Tonks leaned back in her chair "The Volturi are the governing body of the vampire nation - something else I promise I will explain in due course"
"Oh - okay"
"Anyway - now magical criminals get brought to justice, their victims get a sense of closure...."
"And you get to stick it to the world you left behind?" Diane asked with a smirk.
"I won't say that isn't fun" Tonks admitted.
"Did you find the ones who killed your friends?"
"No" Tonks shook her head "It's still an open file, and we haven't given up, but so far...." She trailed off "Anyway - that's pretty much the history of our little unit and an explanation of what we do" She paused, then looked at Diane intently "So - what do you say?" Diane stared back at her in confusion.
"What do I say to what?"
"Do you want to come and work with us?" Tonks asked.
"You do know I'm not a witch, right?" Diane said after a few moments.
"I do actually know that, yes" Tonks laughed "But each team has a liaison to the muggle police - to help smooth over any problems like you and Agent Potter had earlier today - and there is a vacancy on Hermione's team. I'd like you to fill it" Diane stared at her for a few more moments, then smiled.
"Yes" She nodded "I do"
"Okay then" Tonks grinned "Despite our top secret nature, we are part of the police hierarchy, so it would only be a transfer, as opposed to changing jobs. Do you think your Inspector will agree?"
"I think so, yes" Diane nodded "Jacob might seem a bit gruff, but he just wants me to be happy"
"Jacob?" Tonks raised her eyebrows in surprise.
"He was one of my instructors during training, and he gave me my start at Covenstone. We've remained friends, even though he is my boss" Diane smiled "If he wants me to stay, I'll stay, but - like I said - I think he'll be happy for me"
"Very well" Tonks smiled "Talk to him tomorrow, and let me know what happens. If you are going to start, you'll need about a month of training - mostly to avoid you freaking out at the magical aspects of the job - and then you'll be sent out with Hermione's team" She stood up and held out her hand "Welcome aboard, Special Agent Radland" Diane shook her hand, smiling.
"Thank you, Director" She grinned "I'm sure the coming months will be very interesting"
"Oh yes" Diane said to herself, with a slight grin "Very interesting indeed".
Diane is sat in a theatre, watching a show featuring three magicians.
One of the magicians staring at Susan with a look of confusion.
A child, with a completely blank expression, walking towards a plain, black van.
Luna staring at a young woman with a disgusted expression.
Tracey Davis staring at a computer monitor with a confused expression.
A fleet of UFOs floating above a village.
Harry, Luna and Hermione approaching the burned out wreck of a car.
Oliver Wood showing a set of printed records to Tonks and Hermione.
Tonks staring down at the body of a woman lying on a metal table.
Oliver handing a floppy disc to Hermione.
Hermione and her team approaching a large warehouse.
The inside of the warehouse full of spell fire of various colours.
Harry, Hermione and Luna stood in front of Tonks, who has a shocked expression.
Series 1 of "Harry Potter, MIB"
A final shot of two people with red hair watching Harry and Hermione from an elevated walkway.
Chapter 2: 1x02 - You Should Be On The Stage
Personal Journal, Diane Radland
4th July, 2010
SAIC Granger suggested I keep a journal of my experiences working for The MIB, so that I can learn more about the magical world and how to deal with it.
Tomorrow I start working with Agent Granger's team as I have finished my training at.... wow. I guess the spells Agent Lovegood put on this work. I can't write the location of where I trained, but I can refer to it as The Academy.
I won't bore you with the details of the training - I am not sure I'd be able to tell you even if I wanted to - but suffice to say I have been given enough knowledge to learn how to detect the more basic spells, how to spot people under the influence of various types of magical control and the various groups and agencies that The MIB work with every so often.
But now - now training is done, and I start my probation as Special Agent Diane Radland,Police Liaison to The MIB.
I wonder what my first case will be?
"Good evening and welcome! We are the Marvelous Magical Masons, and we are here to entertain you with unparalleled feats of magic!!"
"Meeting, five minutes" Diane looked up as Susan sat down at the desk opposite her.
"A new case?" Diane asked interestedly, making Susan grin.
"Bored of studying?" Susan smirked.
"Maybe a little" Diane admitted "I mean - I know I have to learn all this, but I have spent the last week doing nothing but reading" She gestured to the pamphlets and books on her desk "Reading about the magical world, about CSAW and The WGC, about MIB procedures...." She trailed off "I just want to get out and about"
"I remember" Susan smiled at the memory "We did nearly a year of training before we started" She sighed "Then again, we had The White Room to let off steam in, so it wasn't so bad"
"The White Room?"
"Our training facility" Hermione walked up the set of desks "We got the idea from our school, and from one of the Star Trek series"
"It's capable of replicating any environment you wish, and can supply a number of enemies of various types if you want to fight" Susan explained as Diane looked at both of them in confusion.
"A holodeck?" Diane's eyes went wide "You have a holodeck in here?" She looked around "Where is it?"
"I'll show you when we come back" Susan smiled, then - when Diane pouted - added "You're going to want more time to play with it - trust me on that"
"Good morning everyone" Hermione looked at her squad, then rolled her eyes "Once - just once - I'd like you to say good morning back. Is that too much to ask?"
"Apparently so" Harry replied with a grin.
"There was a robbery in a warehouse in Bury last night" Hermione flicked her wand and a picture came up on the screen behind her "Five tonnes of mahogany was stolen, and while there is evidence of a break in, the entire theft was carried out in ten minutes"
"That's...." Diane started, and Hermione nodded.
"Impossible" She continued "Even if they had a truck that could carry it, they would need around a thousand people to load it in that time, and I am pretty sure someone would have noticed a thousand people descending on the same warehouse"
"So it was a magical theft?" Bill asked.
"Almost certainly, yes" Hermione nodded "However, there is something else that makes this a little strange" She flicked her wand again, and another picture appeared "This warehouse was situated in the middle of a large industrial estate. The other warehouses contain copper, bronze, silver, computer parts and any number of things that are far more valuable" Another picture appeared "But this was the only warehouse touched"
"Is mahogany useful in the magical world?" Diane asked "I mean.... if it is a magical theft, would they be stealing it for use in the magical world?"
"Possibly, yes" Hermione looked thoughtful "But the only person who would use that much wood is Ollivander the wand-maker, and he wouldn't be involved in this"
"Are you sure?" Diane looked around to find the other members of the squad nodding "Okay then" Hermione smiled.
"I know we've given you the idea that the magical world is full of...."
"Bastards" Harry supplied.
".... but there are one or two decent people in it, and Ollivander is one of them" She paused "Besides, there is a theory that the wood gathered for wands has to be pure, otherwise any wands made are corrupt and won't work properly" She shook her head "Anyway - we've been asked by the local police force to investigate and see if we can find out what's going on" She looked at the pad in front of her "Bill, Susan- can you go to the warehouse and do a few scans" The two agents nodded "Harry, Luna, Diane - talk to the owners and managers" She looked up "Any questions?"
"How are we going to get to Bury?" Diane asked as they returned to their desks "Because I think it would be about a four hour drive, even on a good day"
"There are plenty of magical methods of travel" Luna replied "But there is a reason why the entrance to our Headquarters looks like it does"
"It can move?" Diane gasped in surprise "Really?"
"We have two squads to protect the entire country" Harry smiled "We travel around a lot, and this seemed the easiest way to do it"
"Don't people notice?" Diane up her bag and slipped on her jacket "If a Tardis suddenly appeared at the end of my road, I think I would probably be curious"
"All our entrances are warded against magical and non-magical people" Luna put her own jacket on "With very few exceptions, everyone who sees it will see it will ignore it - their mind will supply something they expect"
"That's why I saw a big blue crate?" Diane asked, and Luna nodded "But then it turned in to the Tardis"
"Once you got inside the notice-me-not wards" Luna nodded again "For reasons we haven't quite figured out yet, a tiny percentage of the population - maybe one in ten thousand - are immune to the wards" She paused "Two weeks ago, we were all quite happily working away when a guy with a red bow-tie and a woman with startlingly red hair burst in on us. Scared us half to death"
"What did you do?" Diane said with a laugh.
"Wiped their memories, sent them out again" Harry grinned "They didn't remember a thing, and we added them to the specific exclusion list so it won't happen again" She glanced at her watch "We should be going - we're using Exit Three today" She walked off towards the entrance, and Harry and Diane fell in line behind her.
"So we're just going to appear in Bury?" Diane looked around as they walked through the offices "Really?"
"Yup" Harry nodded, grinning slightly "We have four main doors, and two emergency exits" They reached the entrance chamber, and came to a halt "The four main doors can be programmed independently, so we can go to four locations at once, while the two emergency exits are fixed to two specific locations"
"GCHQ and The Cabinet War Offices" Luna added, before Diane could ask "Two of the safest and most secure places in the country"
"That is so cool" Diane whispered, then blushed "Sorry - I am still kind of getting used to the magic" Luna and Harry grinned.
"We understand" Harry walked up to the third door from the left, and tapped a few numbers into the pad next to it. A moment later, it flashed green "Okay - everyone ready?"
"Then lets go" He said, and pushed the door open.
Diane emerged, blinking in to the sun, and looked around.
"We're...." She shook her head, still looking around "We've moved" Luna and Harry grinned at her, and she blushed "I know - I promise I will get used to it at some point"
"You'd think so" Luna smiled "But even after nearly thirty years in the magical world, there are still things to learn, and new things to see" She looked around "I think we need to go - that way"
"Mrs Jameson?" Harry walked in to the site office, Luna and Diane coming up behind him.
"Office twelve, along the corridor, up the stairs and third on the right" The woman looked him up and down "Reporter?" Harry smiled, and flashed his badge.
"We're investigating the theft" He said kindly, putting the badge back in his jacket.
"Oh - okay" She smiled "I hope you catch whoever did it. She doesn't deserve this kind of trouble" Harry looked round at Diane and Luna.
"Could you go and talk to Mrs Jameson?" He asked "I'll be up in a second"
"Yes, boss" They nodded, and walked down the corridor. Harry turned back to the woman behind the reception desk.
"Has Mrs Jameson had a lot of trouble?" He asked, pulling out a notepad. The woman looked at him sceptically "Oh - don't worry. I'm not investigating her. But any information we can get might help in finding out who did this" She gazed at him a moment longer, then nodded.
"A week ago, her brother's office was robbed, and two days before that her parents shop was burnt out" The woman explained "It seems like the entire family has had nothing but bad luck"
"Do you know if they have any enemies?" Harry made a note, then looked up the receptionist.
"Not that I can think of, no" She shook her head "They are nice, attend church regularly and give to charity" She paused "I can't think of a single person who would want to do them harm" Harry made a few more notes, then nodded.
"Thank you for your help" He smiled, then turned and walked down the corridor.
"And you don't remember anyone else hanging around?" Diane asked, sat opposite Mrs Jameson.
"No" Betty Jameson shook her head "The only people who've looked around the warehouse recently were buyers - I've known them for twenty years" She leaned back in her chair "The security system didn't pick anything up, nor did the CCTV around the estate"
"Do you think it might be related to the theft at your brother's office?" Harry asked, coming in to the office. Jameson looked up at him in surprise, making him smile "The receptionist mentioned it - she thought it might be related"
"I don't see how" Jameson admitted "My brother lost a number of laptops, monitors and hard drives, and my parents lost pretty much everything" She sighed.
"She mentioned that it had all started around two weeks ago" Harry pulled out his notepad "Did anything happen around then that you can remember?"
"No" Jameson shook her head "In fact - that was just after we came back from holiday" Diane leaned forward.
"All of you?"
"Yeah - we took a family holiday to Blackpool, just like we used to when we were young" She paused "My mother has been diagnosed with cancer, and so we all took some time off to give her a proper holiday" She smiled "But I don't see who that could be connected to this"
"It probably isn't, but the more information we have, the better our chances of solving the case are" Luna said with a smile "I know it might be a bit of an imposition, but could you make a list of what you did on holiday - places you went, if you went to see any shows and so on?"
"Of course" She nodded "Would you like me to talk to my parents? And Peter?"
"If you could give us their addresses, we'll go and talk to them - you probably have a lot to do with the theft and all" Diane said, glancing at a nodding Harry.
"Okay" Jameson quickly scribbled down two addresses "My brother's office, and my parents home" She paused "Where can I send the list of activities to?"
"You have an email address?" Diane asked as they walked back towards the entrance portal "Do top secret agencies usually have public email addresses?"
"It's better than a postal address" Luna replied with a slight grin "Since we don't have a permanent address of any type, we can't receive post"
"And pulling down files from a mail server is a lot easier" Harry continued "The server is based in a remote location and we access it via a magically encrypted connection that can't be traced"
"Wow" Diane walked in silence for a few minutes, then she looked up "So what's next?"
"Well now - now you get to see something else that might surprise you" They came to a halt in front of the Tardis "We have to interview Mrs Jameson's parents and her brother, and we can't just pop up at their places as well"
"So... what? We're going to use another form of magical transport?" She paused "Apparation? Portkey? Surely not the floo?" Luna and Harry laughed.
"No - not the floo" Luna glanced at Harry, then clicked her fingers. The doors at the side of the Tardis flew open, and a moment later, a black sedan came rolling out. She turned back to Diane "You coming?"
"Mr Cabal?" Harry smiled as a middle aged man opened the door "My name is Special Agent Potter, and I'm investigating a theft at your daughter's warehouse" Bert Cabal looked at the badge, then nodded.
"Betty said you'd be coming, although why you want to talk to us is a bit of a mystery" He stood aside and let Harry in.
"Peter Cabal?" Diane flashed her badge "My name is Agent Radland, and this is Special Agent Lovegood"
"What makes her so special?" Peter asked with a smirk.
"She is my supervisor, and her secret identity is Kalestra, High Queen of The Fairies" Diane replied in a deadpan voice. Peter laughed.
"What can I do for you, Agent Radland and Special Agent Lovegood?" He asked.
"We were investigating the theft at your sister's warehouse last night" Luna said, pulling out her notepad "She mentioned that your office had been broken in to as well"
"And you think it's connected?" He frowned "Is that possible?"
"We aren't sure" Diane explained "But this run of bad luck your family has been suffering all started after you went on your holiday together, so we wanted to ask you if you could remember anything that happened during the holiday that might have some bearing on this?"
"Well - we did the normal holiday things" Bert said, glancing at Elsie "Did Betty tell you about...." Harry nodded "The kids went to the Pleasure Beach - we didn't go with them - not exactly our sort of thing"
"Mine either" Harry admitted.
"There was the magic show though" Elsie said, sitting up slightly.
"They were on at North Pier" Peter said, putting two cups of tea down in front of Diane and Luna "We thought it would be a bit of fun" He paused "They were really good"
"How good?" Diane asked, looking at Luna questioningly. She nodded.
"Well - they made a few things appear then disappear" Peter said, his eyes losing focus for a moment "And..... do you remember that film about the magicians?"
"You might have to narrow it down a bit" Luna said with a polite smile. Peter blushed.
"It was about two rival mages who were both trying to do the same trick - where a guy walks in to one box and comes out of another one"
"The Transported Man?" Diane asked "From The Prestige?" She smiled "I loved that film"
"Me too" Peter smiled "But they did that trick really well, and then they did a bit of mind-reading"
"Don't tell me - they got everything right?" Harry asked quietly "No mistakes?"
"They were perfect" Elise nodded "Didn't get anything wrong at all"
"And one of you....."
"Betty" Bert nodded "She volunteered, and they told her all about a teddy-bear she had as a child named Gadalriel"
"Gadalriel?" Harry raised his eyebrows.
"She couldn't pronounce the name correctly" Bert smiled fondly "So - you think they had something to do with it?"
"It's unlikely, but not impossible" Luna said, getting to her feet. She opened her bag, and pulled out a card "This is our contact information - if you think of anything else, please feel free to get in touch with us"
"Of course" Peter stood up, followed by Diane.
"Hopefully we can get this sorted out quickly" Luna continued "I don't know if we'll be able to return your property to you, but hopefully we can find those responsible"
"I would appreciate that" He smiled warmly at them, then looked at the card then back up at Diane "Is this your number?" Diane smiled, then shook her head.
"It's the contact number for the squad" She said in a kindly tone. He sighed.
"Better than nothing, I suppose" He grinned.
"Do you know how long it might be?" Bert asked as he showed Harry to the door.
"I'm afraid I don't" Harry admitted "We usually try to get them sorted as quickly as possible....."
"But you can't just click your fingers and say 'bibbidy, bobbidy, boo'" Bert smiled.
"Pretty much" Harry nodded "I'll be in touch when I know something"
"That's all we ask" Bert smiled "Thank you for taking the time to come and talk to us, and good luck"
"You are most welcome" Harry tilted his head, then turned and walked through the front door and down the drive, where he found Luna and Diane waiting for him.
"We think we've got a lead" Diane said as the three of them headed back to where the women had left the car.
"Me too" Harry said "Bert and Elsie both mentioned a magic show they went to that sounded a bit.... off"
"So did Peter" Luna said. They arrived at the car, but instead of getting inside, she leaned against it "Is it possible?"
"Probably, yes" Harry nodded "You know what The Ministry is like - they wouldn't care as long as the secret is kept"
"Real mages?" Diane asked, looking at each of them in turn "I mean - your type of mages?"
"It would make sense" Luna replied "It would explain the ease with which they can pull off their illusions"
"But....." Diane started, then trailed off "But...." She paused, then shook her head "I know there is a reason why you should be wrong, but I can't put it in to words" Luna grinned.
"You are wondering why people wouldn't notice that the illusions are too perfect" She said, and Diane nodded, a smile of relief crossing her face "Well - people expect to see a show, and most of them will assume their mind is filling in the gaps to make it look better than it is" She looked at Harry "Are we clear?"
"There's no one in sight" He nodded "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" She smiled, and they walked back behind the car.
"Okay - give us a moment" Luna said, then Harry crouched down and vanished "Okay, Agent Radland - watch this, and tell us what you see" Luna walked forward along the car, then, at the middle point, she suddenly changed in to Harry. As Diane watched, Harry came out from behind the car and walked up to her.
"So - who are you talking to?" He asked her. Diane looked him up and down, then smiled.
"You're going to tell me Luna, aren't you?" She asked, and a moment later, another Harry appeared from behind the car.
"Give the girl a kewpie doll" The second Harry said, while the first transformed in to Luna.
"But if I didn't know about magic, I would assumed you swapped places with him" Diane continued "Even though that would be patently impossible because there was no way you could have done it that quickly"
"And that's how they are doing it" Luna explained "Magic clearly isn't real - it can't be real - so anything the audience can't explain, they will just assume it is part of the trick"
"So that covers the how" Diane nodded "But there is still the question of why?"
"I think we can answer that too, but we need to talk to the SAIC first" Harry pulled the door open and jumped in to the car. Luna and Diane exchanged amused glances, then did the same.
"It was definitely magic, and pretty large scale at that" Bill said. He looked round the meeting room he was using for the presentation of his report "Sue found residue of five distinct portkeys, and there were also faint traces of a dozen apparations"
"The cameras?" Luna asked.
"Invisibility cloaks or spells" Susan said from the side of the room "We found a few demiguise hairs near the storage pallets that contained the mahogany"
"Demiguise?" Diane asked.
"Ape like creature that can make itself invisible" Hermione supplied "Their pelts are used to make invisibility cloaks and potions"
"So - they apparate in under cloaks or spells, place the portkeys on the wood and then..... what?" Harry asked with a frown "The cameras would have shown the wood vanishing, even if they didn't pick up the portkey auras"
"The cameras didn't cover that area" Bill explained "They only cover the entrances to the warehouse, and the skylights" He waved his hand, and the screen threw up a number of images "Which, from a certain point of view, makes sense - you can't steal something without going in, and you can't take it away without going out"
"Unless you do it magically" Hermione nodded "Good work you two" Bill and Susan smiled "So - Diane, Harry, Luna - what have you got?"
"Along with the robbery at the warehouse, Mrs Jameson's brother's office was robbed, and their parents' shop was burned out, all in the space of the last two weeks" Harry said, glancing at his pad "In fact, ever since they returned from a family holiday in Blackpool"
"Something happened in Blackpool?" Bill asked.
"They went to a magic show" Luna said "A very convincing magic show that included a number of tricks that shouldn't be possible for muggles" She paused "And a mind reading act"
"Who were the performers?" Hermione asked, leaning forward in her seat.
"One second......" Diane flicked through her notepad "According to the brochure, the group is called The Marvelous Magical Masons"
"Mason?" Bill said in surprise "The Masons?" Luna shrugged.
"Not sure - should I know the name?"
"An American family - very powerful. They could buy and sell most of the British Houses with pocket change" He paused "They had a Class B vault in Diagon Alley, to give you some idea"
"Wow" Susan exhaled "But why would they be ripping off tourists over here if they are so big?"
"Because of what happened after the war" Hermione said, looking up from the computer in front of her "The majority of the family was light, or at least neutral, but the eldest and youngest son, and the only daughter, all sided with Voldemort" She smiled "Their family disowned them, cast them out and removed their access to the vaults"
"A pureblood family did that to their heirs?" Luna asked in surprise.
"The family matriarch fought in the purity wars back in the 20s" Hermione smiled "She wasn't happy that three of her grandchildren betrayed what she had been fighting for" She looked at Diane "Confused yet?"
"About the specifics, yes" She nodded "But I get the general idea" She paused "So they are doing magic tricks for tourists to make a living. How does that lead to stealing and arson?" Hermione looked over at Harry and Luna.
"We wanted to show her, but we needed your permission first" Harry explained.
"Of course" Hermione nodded, then turned to Diane "Diane - think about something you did as a child. Something you wouldn't mind the rest of us knowing" Diane stared back, then nodded. Hermione gazed at her for a moment, then smiled.
"When she was eleven, she played cricket for her school - the first time a girl had made the team. She made two catches and then......" Hermione trailed off, looking sympathetic "She caught the last ball of the match, winning the game, but broke her arm when she landed. It was her first and last match" Diane stared at her.
"You can read my mind?" She asked.
"Yes" Hermione nodded "But we are all bound by an oath not to use it for evil or dark purposes" She paused "While I admit testing you wasn't entirely ethical, I didn't take anything I can use against you - no secrets, nothing personal or private" Diane gazed at her for a moment longer, then nodded.
"What about investigations or interrogations?" She asked curiously "Can you use it on suspects or witnesses?"
"Only with signed permission from the DOIC and the SAIC" Hermione said "And only when other methods have failed"
"Other method...." Diane started, then shook her head "You know what - I don't want to know" Hermione laughed.
"Suffice to say, it is likely that The Marvelous Magical Masons are using legilimency - the skill of reading minds - to learn about anything they think could be useful, then they swoop in and steal it" Hermione stood up and walked to the front of the room "Okay - we have a theory. Given that we can't just go in and arrest them, how do we prove it?" There were a few moments silence, then Diane raised her hand "You don't have to raise your hand"
"Sorry" Diane blushed "But would I be right to guess they'd know about you? About The MIB?"
"Probably not" Hermione shook her head "Dumbledore has kept our existence as secret as possible because he doesn't want to give the magical world the idea that he is not in complete control" She paused "But they would know we were mages......." She trailed off, looking at Diane "Are you sure?"
"Yes" Diane nodded.
"Okay then" Hermione smiled "Lets get to work"
Next time on "Harry Potter - MIB"
With one squad called away
"SAIC Boot got a call from CSAW - the entire squad is in Truro fighting a master vampire"
The MIB are faced with a heartbreaking case
"Emily - do you know where you were?" Diane asked the girl in a soft voice. Emily looked back, tears streaming down her face.
And soon the problem becomes even more pressing
"Another girl's been taken"
"The Night Was Dark" - coming soon
"So, sweetie - would you like a drink?" Harry stood up from the table and looked back down at his date.
"Just a coke please" Diane replied with a smile, stroking the back of his hand.
"Coming right up, sweetheart" He turned and headed over to the bar. Diane watched him go for a moment, then looked back at the stage.
"You and Agent Potter have tickets for tonight" Hermione said, sitting down in front of her two squad members "Front row table, near the center. They should be able to pick you out as a volunteer"
"They won't be suspicious?" Diane asked "I mean - if I am too obvious a choice, won't they pick someone else?"
"Probably not" Harry shook his head "They are somewhat full of themselves and want to prove they are the best"
"And that they can act in full view of the world without The Ministry doing anything" Hermione added.
"So - your basic pureblood?" Diane asked, making the other two laugh.
"Pretty much, yeah" Hermione nodded, then she became serious again "Diane - when I looked in to your mind, I only looked for the most significant memory in your mind. I doubt that these three will be so kind"
"I pretty much figured" She nodded "But I'd rather sacrifice my privacy for someone else's belongings - or their lives"
"I'm just warning you that when we catch them, and bring them in, they might start talking" Hermione glanced at Harry, then back at Diane "Do you want everyone you work with knowing your deepest, darkest secrets?"
"It's not my first choice, but if there's no other way....."
"There is one" Hermione cut her off "Luna and I will do the questioning, and we will both take an oath to keep anything we learn about you to ourselves - we'll even agree to have our memories wiped if you want"
"You can do that?" Diane asked in surprise.
"It's not easy, and we really try to avoid it when not entirely necessary, but if you ask - if there is anything you want us to forget - we'll be happy to do it" Diane stared at her in slight awe.
"Thank you - that's quite an offer" She said after a few moments "I'll take the oath part, and how about we wait until after you question them to see if the second part is necessary" Hermione smiled and nodded.
"Agreed" She looked at Harry "You'll keep her safe?"
"With my life" Harry grinned. Diane leaned over and kissed his cheek.
"You are very sweet, you know that?"
"I actually do know that" Harry grinned back "Okay - you've got the afternoon off, and I'll meet you back here at six for the show at seven"
"Here you go, love" Harry put the glass down in front of her, then sat down next to her "I didn't think you'd want ice - I know how much it annoys you when it melts"
"Thank you, dear" She picked it up and took a drink "Looks a bit quiet tonight" She looked around "Then again, it's the middle of the week"
"I guess it picks up on Friday and Saturday" Harry nodded, then leaned over and whispered in her ear "Works better for us" She smiled and let herself blush.
"I love you too, darling" She said quietly, then took another drink.
"Is it just me, or are they getting way too into this?" Luna looked at Susan, then back at the image. They were sat in a van parked over the road, watching their agents on a magical screen.
"Those two?" Susan smiled "They're just acting"
"One of your instincts?" Luna asked with a slight smirk.
"Maybe" Susan admitted "But, that aside, Diane would have been given the standard induction to our squad, including the no dating, no flirting, no screwing rules, and she doesn't seem the type to break it"
"So this is just an act?"
"Partly, yes" Susan nodded "Plus I think they are both having fun" She looked at Luna "You have to admit, there aren't a lot of times we get to enjoy ourselves"
"I suppose" Luna grinned "But you know we have to tease them about it, right?"
"Oh - absolutely" Susan nodded in agreement.
"Ladies and Gentlemen - can we have a volunteer from the audience?" Beatrice Mason looked around the audience, then down at the table near the front "How about you, young lady?" Diane looked around, then up at the pair of mages on the stage.
"Oh I couldn't...."
"Go on, honey" Harry gave her a nudge "Might be fun" Diane grinned at him, then stood up.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, our volunteer" There was a polite round of applause as Diane walked up on to the stage. Beatrice smiled at her "So - what's your name?"
"I know you've done a bit of undercover training and, from what Jacob said, one short operation, but this will be slightly different" Hermione said as she and Diane walked towards the exit.
"Because they can pretty much read my mind and they'll know if I am lying?" Diane asked.
"Yes" Hermione nodded "So even though you are acting undercover, you have to be yourself and act yourself. They'll detect if you are trying to keep secrets"
"But I am keeping a secret" Diane frowned "Won't they pick that up?"
"That's where the warehouse comes in" Hermione said "Keep thinking about the shipment coming in, and that should get their attention" She paused "But, just in case, you'll have Harry with you in the room, Agents Lovegood and Bones watching from over the road and the rest of us will be ready to storm in at a moment's notice"
"You're worried they might retaliate?"
"Probably not, but better safe than sorry"
"Diane Radland" Diane replied, smiling bashfully.
"And you're here with your boyfriend?" Beatrice looked out at Harry.
"Yes" Diane nodded "My pookie" She waved at Harry, who waved back.
"Okay, Diane" Beatrice smiled "How do you feel about a little mind-reading trick?" Diane looked at her skeptically, but nodded "Cool" She paused "Look in to my eyes. See only my eyes" Diane stared in to her eyes, and slowly brought up the image of hundreds of crates of dvds arriving at her warehouse, and her walking out from it, locking it behind her.
For a moment, she thought she felt a slight tickle in her mind, but she dismissed it as imagination. She mixed the image of the crates with the event Hermione had taken from her mind earlier that day, then added an image of an invoice - one that contained the address of the warehouse on it.
"How's your arm?" Beatrice asked after a few moments. Diane frowned.
"You broke it when you were younger - in your first cricket match for your school" Diane stared at her for a moment, then smiled.
"I'd almost forgotten...." She trailed off "But how?"
"Magic" Beatrice beamed at her, then turned to the audience "Ladies and Gentlemen - lets have a big hand for our volunteer, Miss Diane Radland!" The audience started applauding as Diane walked down off the stage, blushing red, and sat down next to Harry.
"And now, for our final trick, the transported man!"
"Did you get anything?" Hewitt asked his sister. Beatrice nodded.
"A whole warehouse of dvds - movies that are due for release over the next three months or so" She smiled "If we get them, people will pay quite a bit for them"
"Genuine article" She said, making her brother smile "So - do we go for it?"
"We do" he nodded.
Three nights later, Diane leaned back in the passenger seat of the sedan, and sighed.
"It took two weeks for them to hit Mrs Jameson's warehouse" She said quietly "How long are we going to have to wait?" There was a ping from the communicator on the dashboard "Or - you know - tell me to shush"
"Shush you" Luna said with a grin. She leaned forward and picked up the communicator "What's the buzz?"
"We just picked up ten apparation traces" Harry's voice came back "Min and Bill have thrown up the anti-apparation wards, and we're just about to move in. Move up to the doors and make sure they don't escape that way"
"Yes, boss" Luna replied "What about anti-portkey?" There was a muffled curse from the other end, making Luna smile.
"Okay - Sue has just raised those as well" Harry said, sounding slightly abashed.
"Cool. We're going now" Luna slipped the communicator in to her pocket, then looked at Diane "Ready?"
"Ready" Diane nodded.
"Erm, sis? Where are they?" Castor glared at his sister "I thought you said they'd be here"
"It's what I saw in her mind" Beatrice replied, waving her hand at the empty space in front of her "They were here"
"Could they have been moved? Delivered?" Hewitt looked around.
"No - it was going to be a week" Beatrice frowned "Unless....."
"Unless what?" Castor walked up behind her "What are you thinking, sister of mine?"
"Unless this is a trap of some sort" Beatrice looked around "What if she lead us here?"
"But how could she lead us here?" Hewitt demanded "You said she was definitely a muggle"
"She is!" Beatrice insisted.
"But we're not" Hermione flipped off the cloak she had been wearing, and pointed her wand at the group. A moment later, Harry, Susan, Bill and Tonks did the same, surrounding the rest of the thieves. Hewitt reached in to his robes, but Hermione twitched her wand "I wouldn't if I were you"
"Who are you?" Castor asked, looking around.
"My name is Tonks, codenamed DOIC" Tonks walked forward while the others kept their wands trained on the group "You are all under arrest for theft, breaking and entering and arson"
"By whose authority?" Castor asked with a sneer.
"By mine" Tonks said with a grin "Your magic will be bound, and you will be handed over to the muggle authorities for trial and punishment" She looked at Hermione "Agent Granger?"
"Yes, boss" Hermione pulled out ten pairs of cuffs from her bag and walked towards Beatrice "These will temporarily bind your magic and enable us to transport you to our holding cells. They won't cause you any pain. Please hold out your hands" Beatrice stared at her for a moment, then she flicked her hand and her wand appeared.
"PETRIFICUS TOTALUS!" A bolt of blue light came from the far door and smashed in to Beatrice, paralyzing her and sending her crashing to the ground.
"I would advise the rest of you to cooperate" Tonks said in a polite voice "We can paralyze all of you and transport you that way, but we prefer not to" She paused, then her voice became hard "Now drop your wands"
"And that's it?" Diane asked as Beatrice's still paralyzed body was levitated in to the cells in the second subbasement of The MIB Headquarters.
"Pretty much" Harry nodded "Finite incantatum!" The petrification spell faded and Beatrice sat up.
"You can't hold us here" She yelled "You have no right...." Harry waved his hand, and Beatrice's voice cut off.
"Silencing spell" Harry grinned at Diane's surprised expression "And we hold them here until tomorrow, then we cast the binding spells and hand them over to the police" He looked along the line of cells "They'll be safe here tonight - we have a number of monitoring cells set up and Padma is on duty tonight"
"Our Muggle Liaison office" He said as they walked back towards the squad room "She's the one who will be taking them tomorrow"
"On her own?"
"Once they are bound, they are really not a threat" He smiled, then held the door open as they entered the squad room.
"I can imagine" She smiled, and sat down behind her desk. He sat down opposite her, and looked at her with a grin.
"Well - your first case is done with, Agent Radland. How does it feel?" Diane smiled back at him.
"It feels good"
Personal Journal, Diane Radland
8th July, 2010
As Harry said, my first case is over. And I think it went pretty well.
I mean - I still have a lot to learn about the magical world, and I am only just realising how powerless the majority of the non-magical world is against those who would do us harm, and every so often I wonder why mages don't just take over the country because quite honestly even though we outnumber then by ten thousand to one I am pretty sure if a war started, we wouldn't stand a chance.
But I am also learning that The MIB is made up of people who truly value the non-magical world, and will fight for it. And even though they have the power to stop all crime, they don't exercise that power because it would make them no different from the mages they fought a war against.
So - to sum up - I am learning just how much I have to learn.
But, to be honest, there are worse ways to spend my time.
Chapter 3: 1x03 - The Night Was Dark
Personal Journal, Diane Radland
4th September, 2010
When I was introduced to the magical world, I thought it was wonderful. I mean - they had a TARDIS for gods' sake - how can you not love a world like that?
And during my training, I got to see unicorns, dragons, fairies and pixies. Everything I dreamed of as a little girl came true, and it was beautiful and magical and wonderful.
The rational part of my mind knew there was a dark side - DOIC's explanation of how 642 came in to being, of the war against Voldemort and about how The Lost Seventeen were treated afterwards was an indication of how bad it could be - but that was all..... it was all theoretical. I mean - I knew it existed, but because I had never seen it, I didn't think about it all that much.
Even after my encounter with the Masons, I still considered the magical world to be a gloriously brilliant place.
Now? Now I know better.
1st September, 2010
The eight year old girl looked up as the figure in black came in to the room.
"Your mother has paid the ransom, Emily" He glared at her "It looks like I won't get to finish my experiment" He shook his head "But don't worry - someone else will take your place, and I'll get what I want from them" When she didn't respond, he walked over to her and knelt down in front of her.
"You could have been the future of humanity, Emily dear, but now - now you'll be just like all the rest" He sighed sadly "And you won't even remember your brush with greatness" He pulled his wand out of his robes, and pointed it at her "Obliviate!"
Charlene Thomas looked up from her book and let out a slight gasp of surprise. A young girl was stood in the middle of her garden, wearing a nightie and pink socks.
"Hi?" She said hesitantly, standing up. The girl looked up at her.
"I want my mummy" She said quietly.
"Okay" Charlene knelt down in front of her with a kind smile "Who is your mummy? What's your name?" The girl stared at her for a moment, then her face fell.
"I don't know" She said, and burst in to tears.
Hermione walked in to the squad room, looked around, then walked over to Diane's desk.
"Good morning, SAIC" Diane said with a smile "How can I help you?"
"Jacob is outside" Hermione replied "He is wandering around, looking a little lost"
"Jacob?" Diane stared at her "My Jacob?"
"Your Jacob?" Hermione asked with a smirk, making Diane laugh.
"As opposed to some random Jacob I've never heard of" She said, still smiling "Would you like me to go out and talk to him?"
"If you could" Hermione nodded "This is supposed to be a top-secret Headquarters - having someone camped out in front of them kind of spoils that a little"
"Yes boss" Diane jumped to her feet, then bounded to the entry way.
A few minutes later, she emerged in to the Autumn sunlight, and walked over to where Jacob was pacing back and forth.
"Good morning, sir" She called out, making Jacob jump slightly. He turned round, then his face broke in to a wide smile.
"Diane" He walked over to her, then gave her a quick kiss on the cheek "How've you been?"
"Very well, thank you sir" She replied, matching his smile "I'm sorry I haven't been back yet, but I have been kept fairly busy"
"I can imagine" He said, his smile fading "And I wish I could say this is merely a social call, but since I make it a habit not to lie to my friends....."
"You need my help?" She asked, then she glanced behind her "Or the help of 642?"
"A case has come across my desk, and I admit - I don't know what to do with it. I was hoping that since S.O. 642 apparently deal with the strange and unusual, they might be able to help" Diane looked over her shoulder again, then turned back to him.
"If you'd like to wait here, sir, I'll see what I can do"
"Thank you" He smiled warmly "And you could call me Jacob"
"I'll keep that in mind, sir" She grinned, then turned and walked back to the entrance doors.
"You want to invite him in?" Hermione asked.
"He seems desperate" Diane replied "And he thinks we can help"
"You know we'll have to obliviate him afterwards" Hermione said calmly. Diane opened her mouth, but Hermione continued "I know you trust him, Agent Radland, but our continued existence is only ensured by absolute secrecy"
"Oh - I know" Diane nodded "I was just going to say that I agree" Hermione smiled.
"Very well - lets see what DI Bonnie has to say for himself"
"Jacob, may I present my SAIC, Hermione Granger. Hermione - DI Jacob Bonnie, my former boss and mentor" The two shook hands, then Diane continued.
"My boss has agreed to look in to this, but with a few provisos" She said with a smile "And I am sorry, Jacob, I am so, so sorry but you have to agree to the provisos before we can tell you what they are" Jacob looked at her thoughtfully.
"You trust her?" He asked. Diane nodded at once "And you think these rules are necessary?" She nodded again "Okay then"
"Just like that?" Hermione looked between the two of them "You trust her that much?"
"I have never known her to lie to me, and from what I've learned, S.O. 642 is highly classified" He smiled "I would guess these provisos relate to that classification?"
"Yes" Hermione nodded.
"Then who am I to argue?" He asked. Hermione looked back at Diane.
"I can see why you enjoyed working for him" She said, then she gestured to the way they had come "If you'd like to follow us, we'll take you to meet the rest of the squad" She started walking, and Jacob looked over at Diane.
"A portacabin?" She laughed at his expression, then held out her hand. He took it, and together they set off after Hermione.
A few minutes later, he slowed down, forcing Diane to do the same.
"What's wrong?" She asked.
"I just have a feeling I need to go back...." Before he could finish, Diane yanked on his arm, sending him stumbling forwards. A moment later, she let him go.
"Has the feeling gone?" She asked, and he nodded, staring at her in utter confusion.
"I promise I will explain once we get inside" She said, and he nodded again "Just bear with me for a little longer, and it will all make sense"
"Okay" He said, walking forwards again "But whatever this explanation is, it had better.... be.... what the hell?" Diane turned, and realised they'd crossed the line that marked the outer limit of the camouflage charm.
"It's a Tardis. What does it look like?" She asked, trying not to laugh. He stared at her for a few moments, then shrugged.
"You know what? I'm not going to ask" Diane laughed.
"Good plan" She grinned as they walked up to the door, then she pushed it open, and he peered inside. After a moment, he turned back to her.
"This would be the classified part, right? I mean - I haven't been back to Hendon in a few years, but I'm guessing this isn't standard police issue?"
"To say the least" Tonks said, walking up to them "DI Bonnie - I'm DOIC, and I'd like to welcome you to S.O. 642. If you'd like to come this way, Agent Granger has assembled her squad in the conference room"
"DOIC, I am at your disposal"
"Magic is real" After he had been introduced to the team, Hermione had given Jacob a brief outline of what The MIB did, and how they did it.
"Yes" Diane nodded.
"And no one knows"
"Not that many people, no"
"Okay" He paused, then looked at Hermione "Can you use magic to wipe someone's memory? Make them forget who they are?"
"If you wanted to, yes" Hermione nodded "Mostly it is used to help trauma victims and victims of abuse, though that is very rare"
"Why?" Jacob asked curiously, then shook his head "No - sorry - that can wait" He looked at the rest of the group "Yesterday morning, a woman named Charlene Thomas brought an eight year old girl in to the station. The girl couldn't remember her name, her mother's name or how she had ended up in Miss Thomas' back garden"
"Amnesia is not uncommon in the muggle - non magical - world" Bill pointed out.
"I know" Jacob nodded "But I looked through the files, and learned that this girl was Emily Taylor"
"Oh my" Susan exclaimed. Jacob looked at her.
"You've heard of her?"
"She was abducted four weeks ago" Susan nodded "Taken from the paddling pool in her back yard" She paused "The police had no idea how it was done, and no clue as to who took her" She glanced at Jacob "No offence"
"None taken" He replied "Her parents paid the ransom the day before yesterday, and she was returned almost at once - but again, we have no idea how" He paused "And she's not the first"
"How many?" Hermione asked quietly.
"Seven matching this MO, and those are the ones that have been reported" Jacob said, anger tingeing his voice. Hermione let out a sigh.
"Why come to us?" Luna asked after the room had been silent for a few moments.
"Because while I didn't know about the magic thing, I know that S.O. 642 have a reputation for dealing with strange cases, and for solving them" Jacob said, smiling slightly "And since Di joined you, I thought she might be willing to help out an old friend"
"You're not that old...." Diane started, then paused "Oh, wait - you are" There was a ripple of laughter through the room.
"Well - setting aside the comedy stylings of Miss Mac - I think that these kidnappings make more sense when you introduce the magical world in to them" Jacob continued "I mean - you've said you can remove people's memories?"
"Yes" Hermione nodded.
"And you can move things around? From one place to another?"
"Yes" Hermione nodded again.
"So - say - if you were inclined to kidnap a child and demand a huge ransom payment, it would be easy for you to do it?" He looked around the room to see everyone nodding in understanding.
"But why?" Susan asked, looking around "It just doesn't make any sense"
"Why not?" Jacob looked at her questioningly. Susan looked back at him, then held up her hands.
"First - there is not a lot of kidnapping in the magical world" She said holding up a finger "Most parents put tracers on their children, and if the children wander off, or go missing, they can find them in pretty much the blink of an eye. Consequently, the practice - for want of a better phrase - has all but died out"
"Second - the only time there was a lot of kidnapping was during the last war, and while I admit that more than a few muggle children were taken, it wasn't for ransom" She paused "It was for.... less savoury purposes" Jacob shivered.
"Lovely" He said.
"It's why we fought to stop them" Susan added, making him smile "And thirdly - there are better ways to get money from people if you employ magic" Susan finished "There is a spell that makes someone do whatever you want - you could just ask them to give you the money, then make them think it was their idea" She shook her head "Going to all this trouble just doesn't make any sense, especially for mages"
"Why especially for mages?"
"Because - as a society - we are incredibly lazy" Tonks explained from her seat in the corner "When you can summon your shoes, or blink from one place to another with little effort, it tends to make you somewhat... sedentary"
"Were there any signs of...." Bill started, but Jacob shook his head.
"None of the children show signs of molestation or physical abuse" He said quickly "It was one of the first things checked. The only odd thing that no one could explain was a few faded bruises on their arms"
"I thought you said....." Diane started, and Jacob nodded.
"I did - the doctors were pretty adamant that the bruises were older than the length of time the children were missing, and none of the parents could say for certain that they weren't" He leaned back in his chair "So - can you help?"
"I think so" Hermione nodded "Would we be able to get a chance to talk to some of the children? Maybe perform a more... thorough examination than your doctors could?"
"Probably, yes" Jacob said "The DCIs from six counties have agreed this takes top priority and will gladly welcome any help"
"Okay" Hermione looked at Tonks "If we could, I think Pansy and Fleur would be the best to talk to them" Tonks sighed.
"We got a call from CSAW just before the Inspector arrived" She said with a frown "A vampire has risen in Truro, and they asked for backup"
"The whole squad?" Hermione raised her eyebrows "For one vampire?"
"Mr Giles indicated it was a Master Vampire from the line of Aurelius, and that all the signs pointed to it being fairly powerful" Tonks grinned "He seemed quite excited by the idea" Hermione laughed.
"That sounds like Rupert" She looked around "Okay - looks like it's just us" She paused "Diane, Susan - go with Inspector Bonnie...."
"You can call me Jacob"
"Cool" Hermione nodded "Go with Jacob and arrange to talk to some of the children who've been taken and returned" The two agents nodded "Bill, Luna - see if you can arrange to talk to the woman who brought her in, and do an examination of where the girl...."
"Emily - thank you - reappeared"
"What are you going to do?" Harry asked "And, come to think of it, what am I going to do?"
"You are going to look at the case files for the other kidnapping. See if you can detect any patterns - who was taken, whether they knew each other - that sort of thing"
"Meanwhile, I am going to talk to The Oracle" Harry looked at her sympathetically.
"Sorry" He said "You'd know I would do it if I could" Hermione waved her hand dismissively.
"I know, but aside from Luna, I've got the least to lose, and this would be a waste of your talents" Luna nodded "Okay. We meet back here at six this evening for a sit-rep?" Everyone nodded "Then lets go"
"So who's The Oracle?" Diane asked as she, Jacob and Susan walked towards the hospital Emily Taylor had been taken to.
"It's kind of a long story, full of drama, intrigue and the odd stray elephant" Susan said with a smile "But to make a long story slightly less long, he is one of only three people we are still in touch with in the magical world" She sighed "When we left, we burned our bridges pretty thoroughly - we wanted nothing to do with it ever again"
"I can imagine" Diane said, while Jacob merely looked curious.
"But a few years after we left, we were contacted by these three people. It seems that - despite being close to Dumbledore - they realised that they had been wrong siding against us" She smiled "It took a few years for us to trust them properly, even with all the magical ways to make people tell you the truth, but now they provide us with information when we need it"
"And if someone in the magical world was kidnapping muggle children, you think this... this Oracle would know?"
"Hopefully, yes" Susan nodded "But the downside is they can't leave the magical world and come to us - it would look too suspicious - so it means that we have to go to them"
"And that's bad?" Jacob asked.
"Pretty much, yeah" Susan said "Imagine if you were investigating The Corleone family, and could only do it by walking in to the Don's study" Jacob's eyes widened in surprise.
"Will she be okay?"
"Yeah - she'll be fine" Susan grinned "I know she looks like she wouldn't say boo to a skrewt, but SAIC was Harry's Battle-Commander and the only person to use The Rod of Osiris in battle without dying" She realised they were both looking at her with the same confused looks "She'll be fine"
As she walked down the street to Hogsmeade, Hermione flipped the cloak up over her head, completing the Changeling Effect. Tracy and Oliver had spent two years developing it, and had made four for the department to use.
"The problem with disillusion spells, glamours and polyjuice potion is that they can be detected" Oliver said, holding up the cloak "Disillusions leave a strong magical signature, glamours can be somewhat flaky and polyjuice only lasts for a certain while. Not to mention that Mad-Eye can see through all three"
"But you've got a solution?" Tonks asked.
"We have" Tracy nodded as Oliver slipped the cloak on "The cloak is infused with a mix of polyjuice and demiguise hair, but also has a tiny EMP generator in that will futz with any magical detectors in the area" Oliver flicked the hood over his face, and suddenly turned in to another copy of Tracy "As you can see - the illusion is perfect....."
"....even down to the voice" Oliver said in Tracy's voice "And it generates no magical reading whatsoever" He smiled "The only caveat at the moment is that you can't use it in a strong electromagnetic field or near a strong power source - we are still trying to stabilise it for that - but since you'll mostly be using it to travel back to the magical world, we don't see that being such a problem"
She glanced at her reflection as she passed the sweetshop and smiled. TechOps had done their job well - she was average height, average weight, had dirty blond hair and a plain, uninteresting face.
In short, she was completely forgettable.
Which was just what she wanted.
She arrived at The Three Broomsticks, then - with a final look around - ducked inside.
Charlene watched the two agents walking around her garden, trying to work out what they were doing.
After a while, she gave up, and walked over to Luna.
"Excuse me....." Luna turned and smiled.
"Miss Thomas - how can I help you?" She asked with a polite smile.
"I'm just wondering what you're doing" Charlene said, watching as Bill walked round to the side of the house.
"We're just looking for traces of how the girl arrived" Luna replied "Either someone brought her in to your garden, or someone dropped her off and made her walk in on her own"
"And you're looking for footprints?"
"More or less, yes" Luna nodded "Although there might be other traces - they might have brushed against your plants, or got something from their coat on the wall" She smiled "There is almost no one who can walk through the world without leaving a trace, and we are very good at finding those traces" She turned as Bill came back from around the corner "Are you done?"
"More or less, yes" He nodded "I think I might have got something - traces around the front hedge"
"Cool" Luna grinned, then turned back to Charlene "Thank you for letting us examine the scene, Miss Thomas - we'll be going now"
"Oh.... okay" Charlene smiled "Do you want me to show you out?"
"We'll find our own way, if that's okay" Luna smiled again.
"Okay" Charlene nodded "I don't suppose..... could you let me know how it goes? I mean - I am worried about her"
"You'd have to talk to DI Bonnie, ma'm" Luna said calmly "We are only advising and assisting - it's still his case"
"Okay" Charlene smiled. Luna and Bill turned and walked away, vanishing round the corner.
"So what did you find?" Luna asked.
"She was returned by portkey" Bill replied "She pretty much appeared where Miss Thomas said she did"
"That's pretty precise magic" Luna sighed "So whoever did it probably has a lot of experience"
"We might be looking at someone in The Ministry" Bill nodded "Or at least someone who has contacts in the transportation department"
"Hopefully it's the second" Luna said quietly "And hopefully the contacts are unaware of what the portkeys are being used for" She paused "Otherwise this could be way more serious than we think"
"Mrs Taylor?" Diane spoke quietly, then took a step back when Emily's mother turned round.
"My name is Agent Radland, and this is Special Agent Bones" Diane said, glancing at the bed. Emily was gazing back at them, looking slightly curious "I believe you know DI Bonnie?"
"Yes - we met when...." Amelia Taylor trailed off "When my daughter came home"
"I'm sorry to disturb you, but we'd like to talk to you daughter" Diane continued.
"She doesn't remember anything"
"I know, but Agent Bones is trained in dealing with this sort of thing, and I think she'll be able to help" Amelia looked at Susan hopefully.
"Really? You can get her memories back?" She asked, hope filling her voice.
"I can try" Susan nodded "I have had a lot of success with other, similar cases, and I think it is important for everyone we try to find out where Emily was" Amelia stared at her for a moment, then nodded.
"Please.... please try" She said softly. Susan smiled, then walked forward and sat down in the chair next to the bed.
"Hello Emily - my name is Susan" She said in a kind voice.
"Hello Susan" Emily replied, giving her a soft smile "Are you friends with Jacob?"
"Yes" Susan smiled, then she looked over her shoulder "And that's my other friend, Diane" She looked back.
"Emily, your mother tells me you've lost your memory - that you don't know who you are?" Emily nodded, her face falling "I think I can help you, but you have to do something for me, okay?"
"Okay" Emily replied.
"Your mother told me that you had a favourite stuffed toy when you were a child? A bunny or..... an elephant?" Susan asked, staring in to Emily's eyes "Can you try to remember it?" Emily's brow furrowed a little, then a look of happiness came over her face.
"Little Blackberry!" She cried out happily "Daddy won it for me when we....." She stopped, then looked over Susan's head "Mummy?"
"Emily?" Amelia bounded forward and swept her daughter in to her arms "You remember?"
"Mummy!" Emily buried her head in her mother's shoulder. Susan leaned back in her chair smiling slightly.
Hermione drained her third glass of butterbeer, put it back on the table then glanced at her watch.
"Is it too much to ask for him to be on time, just once?" She said to herself.
"Apparently so" A soft, silky voice said from behind her "But you are welcome to leave - I will not take it personally" Hermione grinned, then stood up and turned round.
"Thank you for coming, Severus" Snape returned her smile.
"You are most welcome, Miss Valentine"
"Emily - I just have one more question" Susan said. Over the previous ten minutes, she and Amelia had been talking to Emily about everything and nothing, making sure her memory had fully returned. The young girl had answered every single question without any mistakes.
"Yes Susan?" Emily, now ensconced on her mother's knee and in her mother's arms, nodded. Susan glanced at her colleagues, then took a deep breath.
"Emily - can you remember anything about the past three days?" Emily stared at her for a moment, then slowly a single tear trickled down her left cheek. A moment later, more tears followed it, until Emily was crying heavily.
"No" She said, tears streaming down her cheek "I can't" Susan smiled sympathetically, and handed the young girl a tissue.
"Don't worry about it - it's not important" She said quietly "You've been very brave, Emily, and I am very, very proud of you". Emily coughed, then let a small smile cross her face.
"Cross my heart and hope to fly" Susan grinned "Now - you should get some sleep" She glanced at Amelia, and mouthed the words "Thank you" Amelia simply smiled, then hugged her daughter more tightly.
Out in the corridor, Susan pulled the door to behind her, then looked at Diane and Jacob.
"She has a block on the last three days - one of the strongest I have seen. I could have tried to break it - to get in - but I am pretty sure it would have fried the rest of her brain" She said in a quiet but angry voice "But whoever put it there did a half-assed job, and it spilled over in to the rest of her mind"
"But you fixed that?" Jacob asked.
"Yes" Susan nodded, still sounding angry "While she was thinking about Little Blackberry, I managed to push the block back to where it should be, and heal the rest of her mind" She paused "Whoever did this needs to be stopped. They need to be found, stopped and repeatedly poked with giant pointy sticks for the rest of time" She let out a long, slow breath.
"We should get back - SAIC is going to want to know about this" She glanced around, then pointed towards one of the supply cupboards "In there" Jacob stared at her, then shrugged.
"Okay" He followed Susan and Diane in to the cupboard, then he felt Susan taking his arm.
"This will feel a little odd" She said, but before he could reply, there was a tiny jolt, and he found himself staring at a pale green wall. Susan let go of his arm, then walked round to stand in front of him.
"You okay?" She asked. He nodded "It's called apparation, and it's one of the magical forms of transport. It can feel a little uncomfortable if you are not used to it"
"No kidding" Diane shook her head, trying to clear it "I don't think I'll ever get used to that"
"Well - we should go to the squad room - the others should be back by now" Susan strode towards the door, leaving Jacob and Diane stood on the apparation pad.
"Should I just try to stop being surprised altogether?" Diane laughed.
"Might be wise, sir" She held out her hand, and he took it.
"Okay then" He said, then together they followed Susan out of the room.
"I was surprised to get your signal" Snape leaned back in his chair, toying with a glass of fire whiskey "I thought it was six weeks until our next check in"
"It is" Hermione nodded "But something has come up, and I needed to know if you, The Fountainhead or The Pandorica knew anything about it" She looked around casually, then leaned forward "Someone has been kidnapping muggle children, Severus - kidnapping them for ransom" Snape stared at her for a few moments, then leaned forward, resting his arms on the table.
"How many?" He asked intently.
"Eight so far" Hermione replied "No abuse, no molestation - just kidnapping for money" Snape frowned "I don't suppose you've heard anything?"
"No" He shook his head "You are sure it is purely money?" He asked "No abuse of any type?"
"The odd bruise, but nothing that suggests anything like what the Death Eaters got up to" Hermione replied "This does seem to be purely related to money" Snape leaned back in his chair.
"I admit - it sounds.... unusual" He paused "I'll have a look in to it, and let you know" Hermione smiled.
"Thank you" She stood up "How's Dorabella?"
"She's fine, thank you" Severus grinned, then looked round as the door opened "And now I think you should be going - - it looks like the others might be along soon"
"Thanks" Hermione nodded, then she turned on the spot, and vanished.
She reappeared in the apparation chamber and walked out in to the squad room to find it in chaos.
"What's wrong?" She asked as Luna bolted past her. Luna paused and looked over her shoulder.
"Another girl's been taken"
Next time on "Harry Potter, MIB"
The squad finally gets a break
"We found the servers from the adoption agency"
But just when things are looking up
"DOIC - there is a fleet of UFOs over Fairlands Valley"
Diane has a far more serious problem to face
"Hello little sister"
"My Family And Other Aliens" - coming soon
The following morning, Tonks strode in to the squad room.
"Good morning" She said seriously "I've been in contact with Thames Valley, and they're happy for us to take care of the ransom payment, so this is how it's going to go" She paused "We don't want to advertise our involvement, or tip off the bastards that did this, so DI Bonnie is going to be the one that carries out the drop off"
"Okay" Jacob nodded.
"Agents Potter and Lovegood will be on overwatch, Agents Weasley and Bones on identity confirmation and Agents Radland and Grange will be trailing Jacob in Changeling Cloaks"
"They won't be noticed?" Jacob asked.
"We're very good at what we do" Oliver said from behind him.
"Okay then" Jacob smiled.
"Angelica has been missing for twenty four hours" Tonks said quietly "By this time tomorrow, I want her back with her parents, and I want these bastards in custody" She paused "Or hacked in to a million pieces - I am good either way" There was a ripple of laughter through the room "The drop off is set for two hours from now. I want you all back here in at T minus thirty"
"Yes boss" Everyone replied.
"Luna, Harry - see Tracy for the overwatch tech. Di, Hermione - Oliver has the cloaks"
"Okay" Tonks looked around the group "Ninety minutes, then we go"
Jacob caught up with Diane as she walked towards the TechOps office.
"Di - can I ask you something?" He said.
"As Jacob" He added. She stopped, and turned to look at him.
"Okay" She looked around, then pulled him in to a side office "What's up? Are you worried about the drop off?"
"What?" He looked at her in confusion, then shook her head "Oh - no. I've done it before, and - mages aside - I can't see this being that different" He smiled "No - I want to ask you about what happens after this. After we save the girl and catch the bad guys, what happens next?"
"Sorry?" She said, making him smile again.
"We've known each other for too long, Di - you are hiding something" Diane sighed.
"Agent Granger and DOIC said we could help you, but only if we obliviate you after we are done" She bit her lip "We aren't going to wipe your memory completely, but you'll forget everything about the magical world and my involvement in it"
"What about the case?"
"You'll know that we caught the criminals, and that the girls will be okay, but not the details" She bit her lip "Are you angry?" Jacob smiled, then shook his head.
"I kind of figured" He said kindly, then paused "I won't forget our friendship?"
"I promise" She leaned over and kissed his cheek. He laughed "Now - do you want to see something really cool?"
"Jacob - here's the case" Hermione handed over a small, black briefcase "The fifty thousand pounds is inside - unmarked, small bills, non sequential numbers, just like they asked"
"Okay" He nodded "Is there a track...." He started, then trailed off "You know what? I don't want to know, because if I know, then they might find out" He smiled "How are we going to get there?"
"We'll provide you with a car - drive to the staging point then walk from there" Hermione replied "We will have you under surveillance the whole time, but the spell we put you under earlier will make sure you won't consciously think about it" He nodded "Okay then - lets do this"
"They've paid the ransom already?" The figure in black stared at his associates.
"Yes, my master" The young woman nodded.
"But I have barely started, and The Lamplighters are demanding updates" He said quietly "The first of the OPC merchandise is ready and they require the cloak" He sighed "Very well - prepare her for transport, and remove all this from her memory"
"Yes, my master" She nodded again.
"I will be gone for half an hour - I have to report to the Leader-General" The figure straightened his robe "I want her ready to go when I return"
"Yes, my master"
"Time and tide and buttered eggs....." Jacob said as he walked down the street. Contrary to his experience, the kidnappers had picked the most deserted part of town to make the drop, and there was no one around.
"Not even my shadows" He thought, wondering where Diane and Hermione were. He looked up, and saw the street sign the kidnappers had told him to leave the case at. He took a deep breath, then walked over and stood underneath it.
"Just put the case down" A voice in his head said "Put the case down and walk back to the car" He resisted the urge to react, then he rested the case against the wall and turned and walked away.
Five minutes later, he reached the car. He pulled the door open and climbed in side.
"The case is gone" The voice said again "We saw who took it, and we're following them now" He smiled, then started the car, and pulled out of the alley.
Layla McMullan walked down the alley, clutching the briefcase to her chest.
When The Master had told her she couldn't use magic during the pick up, she had been a little curious, but after five years of following him, she had learned to follow his orders without question.
"And if I do this right, then my future will be set" She said to herself.
"Yeah - I wouldn't count on that" Layla span round, almost dropping the briefcase, and came face to face with two women.
"Normally I would start with your name" The second woman said "But since I don't know that, I'll skip ahead" She pulled out her wand "My name is Special Agent Granger, and you are under arrest for kidnapping, conspiracy to extort money, child abuse and extortion. You will come with us to stand trial for your crimes" Layla narrowed her eyes.
"If I don't go back, Miss Granger, they'll kill her" She said "And since I'll never talk, you have to ask yourself - is it worth sacrificing a child just to get me?" She grinned "So what's it to be? Putting me on trial, or saving the life of the girl?"
"You know what? I think we'll do both" The second woman said "STUPEFY!"
Five minutes later, Hermione flicked her hood up, and Diane found herself facing Layla again.
"User the portkey, and take her back to base" Hermione said quickly "It will put you both in the cells, but there'll be someone waiting for you to let you out"
"Probably a good thing" Diane smiled "Do you know where you're going?"
"Yes - the directions were pretty clear in her head" Hermione waved at the unconscious body of Layla "Let the squad know I am on my way, but only to come when I trigger the beacon"
"Yes, boss" Diane nodded, then took hold of Layla's hand "Be careful"
"Yes mother" Hermione grinned, then - at Diane's worried expression - added "Don't worry - counter-espionage is not something I indulge in carelessly"
"We'll be waiting for your signal" Diane smiled, then she triggered the portkey and she and Layla vanished. Hermione took a deep breath, then turned on the spot and apparated out.
"Welcome back" Luna pulled the cell door open as the portkey flash faded "Is that her?"
"No - SAIC Granger and I got drunk and picked up a random girl" Diane said with a grin "Or, to put it another way - yes. This is Layla McCullan - lately a member of The Crimson Wave" She stared down at the unconscious woman "Can we kill her?" Luna laughed.
"Sadly, no" She pushed the door closed and sealed the lock "While we do have a fairly wide latitude, it doesn't actually extend to murder" Diane pretended to sigh, making Luna smile "Yeah - I think it sucks as well"
"SAIC has taken her place, and said that you should storm the castle when she triggers the beacon" Diane continued, walking towards the squad room "I am guessing Jacob and I aren't invited?"
"I'm afraid so" Luna replied as she held the door open "But don't take it personally"
"Don't worry about it" Diane waved her hand dismissively "You are going to arrest four powerful mages, none of whom is going to come quietly" She smiled "We'd only be in the way, and probably get ourselves - or one of you - killed" She paused, then frowned "Won't you be left short-handed?"
"DOIC is going to fill in for you" Luna replied. Diane raised an eyebrow quizzically "I know that she doesn't look like a field agent, but she was a Master Auror before she left the magical world, and was on the front line of Harry's war"
"Thank you" Tonks said, coming in from her office "It's good to know I am not over the hill just yet" Luna blushed slightly.
"My apologies, DOIC" She said, still slightly red "I was just...."
"Don't worry about it" Tonks grinned, then she glanced at Diane "Luna explained, I take it?"
"Yes, boss" Diane nodded "We'll keep a candle in the window" Tonks smiled, then she pulled out her wand.
"Everyone assemble in the squad room. Two minutes" Her voice echoed through the building, and people started filing in to the room. Tonks waited until everyone had arrived, then she walked to the front of the room.
"SAIC Granger is currently infiltrating The Crimson Wave" She announced "Once she is in, she will send us the signal and we will move in" She glanced at Diane and Jacob "Due to the nature of this incursion, DI Bonnie and Agent Radland will be remaining here" They both nodded "The rest of you - full battle armour and side-arms"
"Sir, yes sir!" The other agents answered, then they filed out of the room, leaving Tonks, Jacob and Diane.
"SAIC Boot and the others should be returning soon, but until then, I guess you are in charge" Tonks said with a grin "Have fun"
"Rookie Agent to Acting DOIC in four months?" Jacob pretended to wipe a tear from his eye "My little girl is all grown up" Diane slapped his arm "So - we just sit and wait for them to come back?"
"Pretty much" She nodded, then looked around "Would you like to see The White Room?"
"Layla - how did it go?" Hermione looked around as a man robed in black stalked up to her "Have you got the money?"
"Yes, my Master" She nodded, and held the briefcase out.
"Were you followed?" He asked, taking the briefcase and opening it.
"No, my Master" She smiled "Just like you said, the street was deserted and the man who dropped off the case didn't hang around"
"Excellent" He snapped the case shut "The girl is ready to be returned, and her experiences have been blocked"
"And you got what you need from her?" Hermione asked.
"More or less" He nodded "We should only need to take one or two more girls before the cloak is complete"
"Are we prepared for the return? I mean - is everyone else here?" She asked.
"We've just been waiting for you to come back" The man nodded "Where do you think we should leave her this time?" Hermione slipped her hand in to her pocket, and pressed the button TechOps had given her.
"How about the local police station?" Hermione suggested "I mean - since you four are going to end up there, then it would be easier to take her with us"
"Pardon me?" He stared at her in confusion.
"I should explain" Hermione pulled out her wand as the sound of six apparation cracks filled the air "My name is Special Agent Granger, and you are all under arrest for kidnapping, torture, extortion, conspiracy and child abuse"
"You and whose army?" He laughed.
"That would be us" Harry said, walking in with Luna "We have the other three in custody - you've got no where to go" The man stared at her, then smiled.
"You'd think so, but you'd be wrong" He raised his hand "GLACIOUS!" A wall of ice appeared around them "Have a nice day now, Special Agent Granger" Turning, he bolted for the nearest door.
"FREEZE" Oliver threw himself at the man running towards him, tackling him to the ground. Drawing his fist back, he punched the man in black twice, then drew his wand and pointed it at his face.
"You are under arrest, so I advise you to stay down or I will punch you again" He yelled. Padma walked up beside him, then smiled.
"I am beginning to understand why you are not a field agent" She said with a smile. Oliver grinned up at her.
"Give me a hand?" He stood up, then together they pulled the man up and threw him against the wall.
"Hold out your hands" Padma ordered, pointing her wand at his throat. The man slowly raised his hands, then he smiled.
"You think you've won - you think you'll get to them" He laughed "You don't even know what you have found" Oliver and Padma exchanged glances.
"Then why don't you....."
"AVADA KEDAVRA!" Padma yanked Oliver to the ground, then she rolled over and raised her wand, scanning the building opposite.
"He's gone" Oliver said, then he looked over his shoulder "Because he got what he came for" She looked round to see the man in black slumped against the wall, clearly dead.
".....which is why I am sure whoever killed him was the person he was working for" Oliver finished his report, then sat down. The whole team, along with Jacob and Diane, were being debriefed after they had returned from The Crimson Wave's base of operations.
"That's disappointing" Tonks sighed, then - at the looks on Oliver's and Padma's faces - waved her hand "I don't mean you two - you performed in an exemplary manner, and short of taking the curse yourself, there's nothing else you could have done" The two agents nodded.
"But we've already questioned the others, under veritaserum, and none of them know who he was reporting to" She continued "So either he wiped their minds, or he never told them. Either way it doesn't help us much"
"What about the girl?" Jacob asked.
"Her mind was wiped as well, but it was done a lot more precisely than with Emily" Hermione chipped in "She can remember her name, her family and her life, but she can not remember thing about her time with The Crimson Wave" She frowned "Which, to be honest, is probably a good thing"
"What did you find?" Hermione's face darkened considerably at Diane's question "Or - you know - how 'bout them Dolphins?" Hermione let our a short laugh.
"I'm not angry at you, Di" She said quietly "But the room I found Angelica in was....." She paused "The nearest thing I can think of it is the surgical bay at the end of Revenge of The Sith" Diane blinked in surprise.
"They were doing medical experiments?" She asked.
"Experiments, tests - whatever you want to call them" Hermione nodded "There were also phials of blood - from the looks of them from every child they took"
"That's......" Diane started, then shook her head "That's abominable" She looked back at Hermione "Any idea what they were trying to learn? Or do?"
"No" Hermione said shortly "Whatever it was died when the leader was killed"
"There were no notes or...." Jacob started, but Hermione shook her head.
"We went over the entire building twice - there was nothing" She looked at Tonks "Whatever it was that they were doing went to the grave with their leader. The only bright side is that they can't do it to anyone else"
"Which is not an inconsiderable thing" Tonks smiled "I know this seems like a defeat, but I am very proud of all of you. We saved the girl, we've restored Emily's memory of her life, and we've stopped the group who was doing this" She looked around "Work's over everyone - you can go home, sure of a job well done"
"Yes, boss" Everyone replied.
"Except Diane and Jacob - you have one more thing to do"
Jacob staggered slightly as he, Tonks and Diane reappeared in his front room.
"You know - I'm not sure I'll ever get used to that" He said, collapsing on the sofa.
"Probably not" Tonks smiled "But not for the reasons you think" She drew her wand, but stopped when Jacob raised his hand.
"I know you have to do this, but I just want to say one thing first" He said, standing up again. Tonks smiled, then nodded "Thank you" He paused "Thank you a thousand times. Without your help, they would have carried on taking children, and we would have had no way to stop them, or even learn who they are"
"You are most welcome, DI Bonnie" Tonks replied.
"I wish I could tell the world what you did, and what you have done so many times before - you do truly deserve more recognition than you get - but since I know that would be impossible, I have to confine myself to thanking you both" Diane leaned over and kissed his cheek.
"I'll be around next weekend for the match as usual" She said, and he grinned.
"Just remember not to talk to me about all this" He laughed "Otherwise I might try to get you sectioned"
"Like you've never done that before" She grinned. He tilted his head in acknowledgement, then turned to Tonks.
"So - how do you want to do this?"
"If you could lie down on the sofa, I'm going to put you to sleep, then remove your memories of The MIB and the more..... interesting facts of the case" Tonks explained "You'll remember that this department helped you solve it, and that the girls are safe and the criminals are in jail, but you won't remember anything else. And, most importantly, it won't seem odd to you that you don't remember" Jacob nodded, then he slipped his shoes off and curled up on the sofa.
"Ready when you are, DOIC" He smiled up at her. Tonks raised her wand.
"Sominus" A pale blue ball of light engulfed him, and he closed his eyes. A moment later, he was asleep.
"Oblviate" Tonks said quietly. For a second, a pink haze appeared, then it vanished. Tonks stared at him intently, then smiled.
"We should go" She said to Diane "If we're here when he wakes up...." Diane nodded, and held out her hand. Tonks took it, and together they vanished.
Personal Journal, Diane Radland
12th September, 2010
DOIC was as good as her word - when I went round to Jacob's to watch the marbles championship, he knew all about the case, but nothing about the magical world.
Part of me realises it is grossly unfair - if/when we find out what those bastards were doing to the children, we will owe a fair part of it to Jacob - but another part of me realises just how fair it is.
Jacob isn't prepared for the darker aspects of this world. Hell - I'm not prepared for the darker aspects, and I live in this world every day.
We have continued our investigations, but the truth is we can not figure out what "they" want the blood of muggle children for. Sure, we have any number of ideas (ranging from keeping an army of vampires to training werewolves as obedient attack dogs) but each idea we have is even more far fetched than the rest.
The simple truth is that, from what DOIC, SAIC Granger and the others have said, no pureblood would dilute their "purity" with muggle blood, and no one else would see the need. And since that covers every single mage, it kind of leaves us at a massive dead end.
But, as DOIC said, this is - ostensibly - a victory. We found them, we stopped them and we saved the girl they took.
I just wish I knew what they were up to.
Chapter 4: 1x04 - My Family and Other Aliens
Personal Journal, Diane Radland
11th October, 2010
The last month or so has not been easy. We are still looking for the people who authorised the kidnapping of the children, and who killed the ringleader, and we are still pretty much at square one.
However there have been a few successes. The MIB have stopped a Dark Lord wannabe from assassinating the Prime Minister, and prevented a magical bomb from exploding in the penguin enclosure of Blackpool Zoo. Which apparently makes us big damn heroes, even if no one in the muggle or the magical world knows who we are.
But now - now I have to face something I have been putting off for a while - for nearly four months in fact. Something that won't be fun nor pleasant, but something that has to be done.
My sister - the Deputy Chief Inspector of Thames Valley - is coming for a visit. And somehow I suspect my change in career path is going to come up.
So the question that is now in the forefront of my mind is - what am I going to tell her?
"And it's first and ten, deep at the bottom of the ninth. The point guard winds up to punt the ball....." James Rider stopped as his little sister Annabelle laughed.
"Do you have any idea what you're talking about?" She asked "Because I think you are mixing up a lot of different sports there" James shrugged.
"Who cares?" He pulled his arm back, ready to throw the ball towards his sister "You ready?"
"Let it rip, big bro" She yelled back, then raised the bat she was holding. A moment later, he flung the ball at her, and she hit it with a resounding "CRACK" that echoed around the park.
"Good god" James yelled, then he started running backwards, watching as the ball arced first up, then started to arc down again. As Annabelle watched, he back peddled across the park, then suddenly he tripped and fell backwards with a slight yelp of surprise.
"Jamie?" She dropped the bat and ran over to where he was lying "Jamie? Are you okay?"
"Yeah, yeah" He winced as he pushed himself up in to a sitting position "I just tripped over.... over something" They both looked over to where he had fallen .
"What the hell...." She said quietly "It looks like... like two computers?"
"They're pretty beat up" James said turning one over "Looks like someone has tried to destroy them" He looked around "Do you think we should tell someone?"
"SAIC!" Harry bounded in to the squad room and up to Hermione's desk "Hermione - I've got something!"
"Well don't give it to me" She replied, not looking up from the book she was reading. Harry rolled his eyes.
"Two kids were playing rounders in Bairstow Park and they found our servers" He said. Hermione continued to read for a few moments, then she looked up.
"Sorry - can you say that again?" She said, staring at him in confusion.
"We've found the Happy Hands servers" He repeated with a smile "Diane and Luna are bringing them in now" Hermione stared at him for a moment longer, then a smile spread over her face.
Staring down at the remains of the two servers, Hermione felt her smile fade. She looked back up at Diane and Luna.
"And this was how they were found?" She asked.
"Yes, boss" Luna nodded "I talked to the two kids that found them, and neither of them did anything to damage them further" She glanced at the two wrecks of computers in front of her "Not that we would've been able to tell the difference - whoever did this went out of their way to do as much damage as possible"
"So there's no chance of getting anything back?" Hermione sighed.
"Oh - I wouldn't say that" Tracey and Oliver came in to the office, both looking interested. Hermione looked at them curiously.
"You can recover information from them?" She asked sceptically "From the looks of the cases, I'd guess the hard-drive has been flayed alive"
"Fun fact - getting flayed doesn't actually kill you, if it's done right" Tracey said with a grin.
"You really scare me sometimes, you know that?" Luna smirked.
"I do actually know that" Tracey laughed "But - to get back to the problem at hand - I think that we probably can get something off them" She paused "The only thing is...."
"...that we don't know if whoever took them did anything with them" Oliver finished "So it's possible that we'll spend a fair while reconstructing what data we can, only to discover it's just the records from Happy Hands" Hermione glanced at the servers, then back at the two TechOps mages.
"Do it - don't necessarily make it a priority, and if you have other cases to work on, make sure they come first. But I want to know why mages would have gone to the extent of first stealing these, then destroying them" She glanced at Luna and Diane "You are sure the kids weren't lying?"
"Pretty sure, yeah" Luna nodded "No signs of dark magic - hell, no signs of magic of any kind"
"Mkay" Hermione smiled "Well - I guess we'll see what we shall see"
"So where's William?" Diane asked as she and Luna went back to their desks.
"Fleur got some bad news late last night. It seems her grandmother is dying, and Bill said he'd accompany Fleur to the family estate" Luna said quietly "Both of them will be on leave until.... well until they aren't, I guess"
"Oh my" Diane said softly "I guess..... well - I guess I never thought of magical people as being able to die"
"You thought we are immortal?" Luna asked in surprise.
"No - not as such" Diane shook her head "But since you live a lot longer than we do, I guess I just forgot that you don't live forever" She shrugged "So - Bill and Fleur? More than friends?" Luna smiled.
"I keep forgetting that you haven't been here forever" She said, laughing slightly "And that we have a tendency to be very close mouthed about our pasts" She leaned back in her chair "Would you like a quick history lesson?"
"If it's not going to make anyone uncomfortable" Diane nodded "I mean - I don't want to pry, or for you to break any confidences"
"Trust me - most of what I'm going to tell you is pretty well known in the magical world, and no one here is ashamed of what we did" Luna paused "I assume DOIC gave you the basic introduction?"
"That you - all of you - fought in a war only to discover your government was slightly more evil than the people you were fighting?" Diane nodded "And that you left the magical world because of this discovery"
"Yeah - that pretty much sums it up" Luna smiled "But it was slightly more complicated than that, at least for some of us" She paused "But in order to understand that, you need a quick lesson in the recent history of the magical world. And by recent I mean the last six, seven hundred years"
"That's recent?" Diane choked.
"Oh yes" Luna nodded emphatically "Especially given that some of us can trace our family histories back to the fall of Atlantis in 4832 BC, and three of us can trace them back to The Twilight, when the Old Gods were driven out of this plane of existence" She paused, then smiled at the dumbfounded expression Diane wore "Too much information, huh?"
"Maybe a little" Diane nodded "So - recent history?"
"Okay" Luna smiled "Around 600 years ago....."
Oliver stared down at the two computers, then looked up at Tracey.
"So - how do you want to do this?" He asked her "You've had more experience in this area"
"True" She nodded slowly "Well - I know we should start with the muggle means of recovering the crashed data, but there's something that looks off about this" She slipped on some latex gloves and turned the first server over, then slowly pried the side of the case off.
"What's wrong?" Oliver asked. Tracey looked up at him, lowering the case down again.
"Whoever destroyed this computer had no idea how it worked" She said after a few moments.
"If I was going to break a computer - really and truly wreck it so that it no one could use it again - I would work from the inside out. I'd start with the hard-drive, move on to the motherboard and then deal with the power-supply and the case"
"Makes sense" He looked at the case "Are you going to tell me that's not what they did?"
"The case is all twisted and warped, the motherboard is slightly cracked and the power-supply seems to have been burned a little but the hard-drive looks to be completely untouched" She lifted the edge of the case again "The inside is almost entirely untouched"
"Which means what?" He asked "That it wasn't done by someone who knew computers?"
"Pretty much" She nodded "In fact, I'd go as far as to say that whoever did it used a spell. Probably a reductor curse, since that would explain the casing and the crack and the slightly burned look"
"So it was mages" Oliver said, and Tracey nodded again "Does that mean we can get anything off it?"
"I admit, I don't know" She said with a sigh, then gestured round their lab "All our computers are hardened against magic. Same with the ones they use out there" She waved her hand at the two servers "I am pretty sure that Happy Hands probably didn't do the same thing, so there's no telling what kind of damage the effect the curse would have had"
"Well - there's only one way to find out" He grinned at her, then slipped on a pair of latex gloves himself "So - what do you want me to do?"
"Wow" Diane leaned back in her seat "When DOIC told me about your departure from the magical world, I didn't realise it meant so much"
"I'm guessing she told you not to ask?" Luna asked, and Diane nodded "DOIC was the next Heir to the House of Black, one of the largest, richest and most powerful of the Houses. Agent Potter was Head of the House of Potter. Pansy, Neville, Tracey, Oliver - all of them Heirs to their family fortunes and they all walked away" She paused "Then there is SAIC"
"Hermione?" Diane frowned "I thought she was a first born witch?"
"She was, but..... well - do you believe in soul-mates?"
"Soul-mates? The idea that two people are meant for each other - that they are two halves of the same whole?"
"I suppose" Diane shrugged "I hadn't really thought about it"
"Well - it does exist, and there are ways to detect it in the magical world" Luna continued "Hermione met her soul-mate on her first day at Hogwarts, a boy named Ronald Weasley. And though it took them a while to figure it out, by the time the war ended, they were deeply in love and engaged to be married"
"Oh god" Diane exclaimed quietly.
"Ron refused to leave the magical world, saying that Dumbledore had been right in his attempt to preserve the bloodlines of the old families" Luna nodded "He told her she had to choose between Harry and him"
"And she choose Harry"
"She choose what she knew to be right - just like the rest of us" Luna said quietly "And because of it, it is pretty likely she will spend the rest of her life alone"
"Except for you"
"Except for us" Luna smiled.
"What about you"? Diane asked, then bit her lip "Sorry.... you don't have to...."
"My mother died in a magical accident when I was eight, and my father was killed in the war" Luna replied "The night we left, I had the magical branch of the Lovegood family declared extinct. The estate, such as it was, was liquidated, and the proceeds given to the Orphans of The War fund"
"Oh my" Luna smiled.
"Honestly? I had very little to stay for, and at least here I know I am doing good" She stood up "Speaking of which, do you want to find out how they're doing with the servers?" Diane smiled.
"I can't think of anything I'd rather do....." She trailed off, staring over Luna's shoulder "Although now I think that we've possibly got something else to do" Luna turned round to see what she was staring at, and her mouth fell open in surprise.
"Yes, Lynda, I am....." Tonks rolled her eyes as one of the other two women on the phone call interrupted her for the fourth time since the phone call had started "Yes, I know that...." She bit her lip, eyes flashing with anger "Madame Secretary... I am aware that...." She stopped as the door to her office flew open and Luna and Diane burst in.
"If you could excuse me a moment, Madame Secretary" She put her hand over the receiver and glared at her agents "I am on a conference call with the Home Secretary and the Head of MI7, and neither of them really want to talk to me. So you'd better have a damn good reason for interrupting me" Diane and Luna exchanged glances, then Luna waved her hand and the television in the corner flicked on. Tonks stared at it for a moment, then she moved her hand away from the receiver.
"Madame Secretary, Mr Jones I'm afraid I have to go" She paused, and Diane and Luna both heard questioning voices coming from the phone "I know you want to talk to me, but it seems that a fleet of UFOs is currently flying over Fairlands Valley" She put the phone down and stood up "Okay then - lets go to work"
An hour later Tonks, Hermione and the rest of her team, excluding Bill, walked along the edge of the boating lake, staring at the sky.
"I know I'm going to regret asking this, but someone did check that the images on TV were real before we came charging down here, right?" Tonks asked looking around.
"I've got a contact at the station, DOIC" Susan replied "Krith assures me it wasn't a prank, hoax, trick or anything else that might make me want to visit him in person"
"Good" Tonks said, then looked at her curiously "Krith?" Susan smiled.
"He has had a lisp since he was a child, but rather than being embarrassed, he says it makes him special and encourages people to remember it" She grinned "He calls me Thuthan The Thorthoreth"
"He knows about you?" Hermione asked, turning to stare at her agent.
"Not really, no" Susan shook her head "Hannah and I went to a party a few years ago dressed as the witches of Oz, and since then the nickname has kind of stuck" She smiled at Hermione "No statutes broken, boss" Hermione nodded, then turned back to Tonks.
"I'd suggest we put this place under surveillance for a few days, Sir" She said quietly "Assuming the UFOs we saw earlier were not from another planet, someone around here created them"
"And you think if we wait long enough, they'll come back?" Tonks asked. Hermione nodded.
"If we set up a cloaked blind, then take alternating shifts, I am pretty sure that they'll come back" She paused "If someone else will volunteer, I'll be happy to take the first shift"
"Count me in" Luna said, but Diane raised her hand "Di?"
"I'm supposed to have lunch with my sister tomorrow, so do you think I could do the shift tonight so I can have tomorrow free?" She paused "Of course, if it's a problem, I'll quite happily postpone the lunch...."
"How long has it been since you've seen her?" Hermione asked.
"A little while" Diane replied hesitantly.
"How little?" Diane blushed.
"The last time was about two weeks before I started working for you" She admitted.
"Okay then - you are definitely going to lunch tomorrow" Hermione said, then looked at Luna "You don't mind taking the shift tomorrow?"
"It's not a problem" Luna grinned at Diane, then looked at Susan "Thu?" Susan reached out and smacked her arm.
"Count me in" She replied "And if you call me that again, I'm going to throw you in the lake"
"OKay Th...." Luna started, then smiled ".....at seems like a fair warning" She looked at Harry "Looks like you get a whole day or so off"
"Not so fast" Tonks said, holding up her hand "TechOps are still looking the servers, and I need someone to liaise with them" Harry nodded "Okay then - looks like we have a plan" She turned back to Hermione and Diane "Where are you going to put the blind?"
"Hey guys - how goes the battle?" Harry asked, walking in to the TechOps lab. Oliver looked round, but Tracey didn't respond.
"Not well, unfortunately" Oliver replied quietly, gesturing for Harry to stay where he was.
"Oh dear" Harry came to a halt as Oliver walked up to him.
"As far as we can tell, both servers were exposed to multiple spells" Oliver continued, watching as Tracey pulled out her wand "Remember the demonstration we got in our first week?"
"Oh yes" Harry nodded emphatically. MI7 - the branch of the secret services that helped muggle-born mages re-enter the normal world when they left Hogwarts had shown them what happened to a few household appliances when they were exposed to magic. The image that had stuck in his mind the most was the microwave exploding when a silencing charm had been applied to it, although the image of a flat-screen tv imploding when the agent had tried to enlarge it was a close second.
"Tracey described it as the equivalent of an EMP device, but with a physical component as well - the motherboard cracked and there are traces of burning"
"So we can't get anything back?" Harry asked dejectedly.
"Oh I wouldn't say that" Tracey said with a smile on her face "I think we can maybe get some of it back, but I don't know how much yet"
"Any idea how long?" Tracey grinned at him.
"DOIC?" She asked and Harry nodded "Tell her it'll be about twenty four to forty eight hours"
"I think if we apply the protection spells we have on all our equipment, we might be able to use magic to pull some data out" Tracey explained "But if the spells are applied in the wrong place, or in the wrong order, or at the wrong strength, then....." She trailed off, then smiled "Imagine trying to restart someone's heart with a focused cruciatus curse, and instead you cast a killing curse" Harry gulped.
"Twenty four to forty eight hours it is" He nodded, making Oliver and Tracey smile "I'll let DOIC know"
Hermione stared out of the blind in to the dusk, then looked over at Diane.
"You don't get on with your sister?" She asked. Diane, who had also been staring out in to the gloaming, gave a little jump of surprise, making Hermione smile "Sorry - didn't mean to startle you" Diane blushed.
"Sorry, boss - I guess I got lost in the scenery" She admitted "You asked me..... something?" Hermione laughed.
"Why did you want to put off lunch with your sister?" She asked after a few moments.
"It's not so much that I want to put it off....." Diane said with a slight smile "It's just more that I don't want to go"
"Two completely different things" Hermione nodded with a smirk "So you don't get on?"
"What? Oh - no. We get on just fine" Diane shook her head "We always have. She's about ten months older than me, so we were both in the same school year" She paused "We went to the same sixth form, the same university on the same course" Hermione looked at her thoughtfully, then an expression of understanding came over her face.
"And you both went to Hendon together?" Diane nodded.
"Qualified first and second in our class" She paused then grinned "Are you going to ask?"
"Do you want me to know?"
"I edged her out in the final exams" Diane said proudly "Then I moved up to Covenstone while she went to Thames Valley but we still managed to have lunch every second Sunday"
"But you haven't seen her since you started here" Hermione said, and Diane nodded.
"She is the DCI of Thames Valley, and it is highly likely she'll be promoted to Chief Inspector within the year" She sighed "And me?"
"You quit a promising police career for a job you can't possibly tell her about without risking her either being imprisoned or having her mind wiped" Hermione nodded with a sympathetic smile.
"So what do I tell her?" Diane asked "I mean - would she even know about MI7?"
"Probably not" Hermione replied "We only know about it because we work for them"
"And it would be harder to keep the secret about magic if everyone knew about the division of the secret service that dealt with it" Diane said with a laugh.
"Also true" Hermione smiled "So - what are you going to tell her?"
"I really don't have a clue" Diane sighed "I suppose I can tell her I'm working for the secret service, but then she'll ask which branch, and I'll tell her it's classified...."
"Do you have to tell her you are working for anyone? Could you make up a job?"
"You want me to lie to her?" Diane exclaimed in surprise.
"What did you tell Jacob the last time you saw him?" Hermione responded.
"But he's just a friend. Okay, a really good friend that I think of like a father, but still just a friend" Diane protested "This is my sister. If I lie to her now, then I'm going to be lying to her forever"
"Well - it's up to you" Hermione said kindly "But - if it helps - we can set it up so you look like you have a job anywhere you want. I mean - just in case your sister decides to look in to it" Diane grinned.
"I'll keep that in......." She started, then she suddenly jumped to her feet and leaned against the blind "Did you see that?"
"See what?" Hermione asked, coming to stand next to her. Diane stared in to the sky for a bit longer, then she lifted up her hand and pointed towards the sky above the kids' playground.
Oliver watched as Tracey finished applying the last of the hardening spells.
"Okay" She nodded slowly as she put her wand down on the desk "Well - assuming I've got the sequences and the strength correct - you should be able to start the extraction spells" She paused "Or, you know, blow the crap out of the both the servers in one go" Oliver smirked.
"Do you think we should warn the others?" He asked. Tracey paused, then shook her head.
"Nah - they'll find out sooner or later" She took a step back "Ready?"
"Yuh-huh" He nodded and raised his wand, then paused "The other system's hooked up?"
"Yes" She nodded "Now - stop stalling"
"Yes boss" He grinned, then raised his wand again "Elaka nomin du matux elas varada nerada mutatum duvan" For a moment, nothing happened, then a stream of light started to flow from the first server to the machine they'd set up to receive the data.
"That's promising" Tracey murmured. Oliver simply nodded, not wanting to break the spell. A few moments later, the light faded and then went out completely.
"That's all" Oliver sighed "Do you want to do the second, or....."
"No - you can carry on" Tracey replied "But I am guessing where going to get just as little from the next one"
"Probably" Oliver admitted, then raised his wand again.
Luna blinked a few times, then rolled over and picked up her phone.
"I was just about to meet the Queen Snorkack - this had better be good" She said in a voice slightly raspy with sleep.
"The UFOs are back" Diane replied quickly "SAIC wants everyone down here on the double"
"I'll be right there" Luna replied, sitting up. As the phone went dead, she bounded out of bed, grabbed her wand and flung open her wardrobe.
"Ha! I have you now! You can not escape, and soon I will RULE THE WORLD! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!" Susan stared at her wife, then turned as her phone went off.
"One second dear" She said, then picked up her phone and flipped it open "Hello? You don't say? You don't say? You don't say? Okay - I'll be there shortly" She closed her phone.
"Who was that?" Hannah asked.
"She didn't say" Susan replied, making Hannah roll her eyes "It was SAIC - apparently the UFOs are back, and she's calling everyone down to the park again" She stood up, then glanced at the Risk game between them "So, world domination will have to wait, love of my love" She paused "Unless you'd like to call it a draw?" Hannah looked down at the board, 95% of which was covered with her tokens, then back up at her wife.
"I think I can wait" She leaned over and gave Susan a quick kiss "Take care, and no talking to strangers"
"Yes dear" Susan smiled, then turned on the spot and vanished.
"We're just waiting for...." Diane started, then stopped as Susan appeared next to them "Never mind" She looked out of the blind again, then turned back "SAIC has gone on a little scout-about, and said we should follow her when we're all here"
"Okay" Harry nodded "Lu, you're with Diane. Sue, with me"
"Yes boss" All three nodded.
"Follow the trial that Hermione has left, but about three or four meters each side" He continued "Diane? Can you....."
"The glowing yellow trail?" Diane nodded "Hermione cast a spell on me before she left to make sure I could"
"Of course she did" Harry smiled "Okay - lets go to work"
The second stream of light faded, and Oliver put his wand back on the table.
"Well - that's all of it" He said with a sigh "I guess whoever blasted them did their job well - that was about one percent of what I'd have expected"
"That doesn't sound like a lot" They both turned as Tonks came in to the lab.
"There is the chance that it is the one percent that will be the most use" Tracey said "But I wouldn't hold my breath" She paused "Unless, you know, you are underwater. Or in a room full of poisonous gas. Or you have to go in to the Gryffindor changing room after a two hour Quidditch match...."
"We get the idea" Tonks said quickly, then looked at the central server "So - shall we take a look at what we've got?"
"Yes, boss" Oliver nodded, then, walking over to the central server, he pulled up the data recovery program and started flicking through the files they'd pulled off the two servers.
"Well..... huh" Tracey said, staring in confusion at the data they were seeing.
"Make them dive bomb the kids again!" Stan Smith said with a grin "I just love hearing the kids scream!" His friend raised his wand, but stopped as they heard two new voices behind them "Quick - over there" They ducked in to the bushes, then watched as two figures strode in to the thicket.
"Are you sure we can do this, sis?" He heard the older man ask "I mean - if HE finds out, he won't hesitate to kill us"
"I know, but right now I think I'd welcome death" The woman replied "I think they're going to give me to Galen next, and....." She trailed off, shivering at the thought.
"But do you think we can take the girls? Won't the Lamplighters come looking for them?"
"Lamplighters?" Stan thought "What are they?"
"Maybe, but if we go to the government, they might be able to shelter us" She paused "We've got to try - otherwise we'll be their slaves - their playthings - forever"
"I know" The man nodded "Okay - we know that they'll be coming the week before Christmas. If we get ready to move before....." He trailed off, then glanced to his right.
"I think we're being watched....." Stan had time to let out a slight curse, then he found himself and his friend being dragged out of the bushes and held at wand point.
"Who are you?" The woman asked.
"Stan Smith" Stan replied "This is my mate, Jordan Taylor" He paused "Don't I know you?"
"No" The woman shook her head emphatically "What were you doing...."
"No - I do know you" Stand said, then frowned "I thought you were dead?"
"You shouldn't have said that" The man said quietly "I'm sorry, but you really shouldn't have said that" He glanced at the woman, and then, in unison, they both yelled "Avada Kedavra!"
Next time on "Harry Potter - MIB"
The MIB get a new case
"Two bodies found in a burning car" Padma said "But there is no indication of how they died"
Which leads to an interesting discovery
"Their identities are fake" Parvati handed Tonks a folder "They don't exist anywhere in the world"
And a surprising mystery
Tonks, Hermione, Harry and Padma all stare at the woman's body, identical looks of disbelief on their faces.
"A Heart Of Black" - coming soon
"They were dead?" Tonks leaned back in her chair, looking puzzled "Both of them?"
"Yes" Hermione nodded "The bodies were still warm, and there was no trace of how they died"
"Magic?" Tonks sat up straight "They were killed by magic?"
"Padma thinks it was the killing curse - one each to the chest"
"But you are sure they were the ones creating the UFOs?"
"Yes" Hermione nodded. She picked up a drawstring bag from the floor and handed it to Tonks "Their wands. The last three spells they cast were all related to creating the UFO images"
"They didn't try to defend themselves?" Tonks asked, pulling out the wands.
"Nope" Hermione shook her head "Whoever killed them either caught them completely by surprise, or...."
"Or they knew them" Tonks sighed "Which would make it the second time in three months that someone has been silenced" She closed her eyes "Once is bad, but two is a pattern"
"Would you like me to talk to Terry?" Hermione asked, but Tonks shook her head.
"I'll brief him and his squad tomorrow" She smiled "So - who would have a reason to kill them?"
"Mulder and Scully" Hermione replied firmly "If there was conclusive proof that UFOs were a hoax, they would lose their reason for living and their cult status. So they'd have to kill anyone who could endanger their position" Tonks stared at her with a polite expression.
"Maybe not" Hermione continued "But - to be honest - I can't think of any reason why someone would want these two dead"
"Do you think you could....." Tonks started, then paused "I know how much you dislike talking to your contacts"
"I will see what I can find out" Hermione said quietly, making Tonks smile "But what if we can't find anything out? What if no one wanted them dead?"
"We could look through the park's CCTV system" Tonks suggested "They might have caught something"
"I'll get Tracey on to it right away"
"It'll have to wait until the are done with the hard-drives" Tonks replied, then they both looked up as there was a knock on the door "Come in" She called, and the door opened to reveal Tracey and Oliver.
"We're done with the hard-drives" Tracey announced. Tonks turned to Hermione.
"Want to give me the numbers for next week's lottery?"
"One, Two, Three, Forty Nine, Forty Eight, Forty Seven" Hermione grinned, then turned to Tracey and Oliver "So - what have you got?"
"That's the thing" Tracey paused "We don't know"
"You're meeting your sister for lunch?" Luna asked as she, Diane and Susan walked towards the squad room.
"Yeah" Diane said in a dejected tone. Susan raised her eyebrows.
"You've decided what to do then?"
"Yup" Diane nodded.
"And I'm going to tell her a version of the truth, but not the whole truth"
"Which version?" Luna asked.
"That I have taken a job as an analyst with one of the Intelligence Agencies after a bad experience on a police job" Diane replied calmly "Jacob has promised to back me up, and to explain that he didn't want to write it up because he didn't want to prejudice my future"
"And I assume DOIC has got all the paperwork in place?" Susan smiled.
"Most of it was filed last night, with a few more bits this morning. Every record shows I have been a desk agent with the Secret Service for the past four months" She glanced at her watch "And with that, I think I should be off"
"Have fun" Luna grinned "Don't talk to any strangers, and no making chips or toffee"
"Yes, mum" Diane smiled, then turned and headed towards the nearest exit.
As she reached it, it started to open forcing her to take a few steps back. A moment later, Bill and Fleur walked in, hand in hand.
"Bill? Fleur" She stared at them for a moment, then smiled "Welcome back" They both smiled softly.
"Thank you" Fleur replied quietly "You were leaving?"
"Lunch with my sister" Diane said.
"Can you wait a few moments?" Bill asked "We've got an announcement we want to make"
"Sure" Diane nodded, then followed them back in to the squad room. Bill raised his wand to his throat.
"Could everyone report to the squad room please?" He called out, and Diane jumped as his voice echoed through the building. He lowered his wand "Sorry - I'd forgotten how..... odd that can be if you're not expecting it"
"Don't worry about it" She waved a hand at him dismissively.
"Bill?" Hermione smiled as she, Tonks, Oliver and Tracey came in from the direction of the lab "Welcome back"
"Thanks" He smiled, then looked around as Terry's squad came in from the other side of the room, followed by Padma and her sister.
"Fleur - good to see you" Terry said, walking up to the couple.
"Thank you, SAIC" She nodded, then looked at Bill "Go ahead"
"Yes, dear" Bill smiled, then turned to the group "As most of you know, we returned to France because we learned that Madame De'Marni was dying. Happily, it seems that the call was a little premature - she regained her health and is now back to her normal, peppy self" He paused "But while we were there, with our whole family gathered, we decided that we had had enough of dating" He paused as there were a few gasps of surprise, but he smiled as he saw Hermione's face light up.
"For those of you who aren't the smartest witch in a generation" He grinned as Hermione blushed bright red "I should explain that we did not, in fact, break up" He paused, then he took Fleur's hand "May I say how pleased and proud I am to present Mrs Fleur Delacour, my wife"
"And my husband, Mr William Delacour" The entire room fell silent. Fleur looked around, then turned back to her husband "I told you that would shut them up"
Forty minutes later, Diane pushed the door to the restaurant open and walked inside. She looked around, then spotted her sister in the far corner.
She walked over and dropped in to the seat beside her.
"Sorry I'm late, but something came up at work" She said "Two of our co-workers came back from holiday and announced they were married" She paused "There was a slight party - I got away as soon as I could"
"No worries, sis" Jane Radland grinned "I've actually only just arrived myself - there was a fire at a local business last night, and Christopher wanted me there to show the flag, so to speak"
"Possibly" Jane shrugged "But I think it was just a toaster that got out of control" She smiled "So - what's this I hear that you left Covenstone CID? And why didn't you tell me yourself?"
"You really took her name?" Susan asked.
"Is that so surprising, Mrs Abbott-Bones?" Bill asked with a grin, making Susan blush "And yes - I really took her name" He frowned "Delacour is a name of virtue, honour and integrity. Weasley is a name that..... isn't" He shrugged "Can you think of any reason why I would want to keep it?"
"Good point" Susan laughed "Well - you haven't missed a great deal. We investigated some UFOs over Fairlands Valley and located the two mages responsible"
"They were dead - killing curse to the chest"
"That's less good"
"We also found the servers that were taken from the adoption agency"
"They were wrecked, almost beyond repair"
"That's not so good" Susan smiled.
"Tracey and Oliver think they have got something off it - DOIC and SAIC are looking in to it now"
"That's....." Bill trailed off "Crap - I forgot where I was up to" Susan grinned.
"So tell me more about your wedding"
Tonks and Hermione looked at the screen, then looked up at Tracey and Oliver.
"So - what are we seeing?" Hermione asked after a moment. Tracey smiled.
"It took us a while to get it as well" She said. Then she pointed to the series of numbers on the screen.
"The numbers are split in to four groups of what we think are binary codes" She tapped the left hand side of the screen "The first digit only has two values - one and two - which suggests it is some kind of area code, or maybe a district"
"Such as what region the kids come from" Oliver added.
"The next twelve digits make up a year - the records we have seem to indicate that it's increasing from around 2005 to 2009, with nothing before or after" She paused "The next digit is a one or a zero, which would suggest that whatever it indicates is one of two options"
"The sex of the child?" Tonks suggested. Tracey smiled.
"That would make more sense than the various ideas we came up with" She admitted "And the final eight digits are, we think, some kind of serial number" She paused "Unfortunately, we've only been able to put this theory together by combining a lot of records together. We don't have a complete single record to base anything on"
"Could Happy Hands tell us anything?" Hermione asked.
"Probably not" Oliver said "I mean - they can maybe tell us if we are right about the data structure, but all that would mean is we know some kids were brought in over the last five or six years, and were probably all came from the same region, but since they don't have the out-going records, we wouldn't be able to find them"
"Bugger" Tonks sighed.
"But on the bright side we can be pretty sure that whoever took the servers and wiped the backups was probably trying to hide that these children came in at all" Tracey suggested, then paused "But since we don't know why they'd want to do that, it doesn't help all that much" Hermione let out a soft laugh.
"Well - thanks for all the effort in this. Can you make a copy of the file and circulate it to both squads and DOIC?" Tracey nodded "Maybe someone will come up with something" Hermione turned to Tonks "Okay - I'm gonna go see what I can find out about the mages"
"Okay" Tonks nodded, then looked at Oliver and Tracey "Tomorrow can you hack in to the Valley's CCTV and see if you can find out who killed them?"
"No worries" Oliver nodded "We can do it now if you want"
"It'll wait" She replied "You two can take a break - have the afternoon off. I promise we'll only call in an emergency. Or - you know - if we want to screw with your heads" The two TechOps agents grinned.
"Then we'll see you tomorrow" Tracey grinned. Tonks nodded, then she and Hermione turned and walked out of the lab.
"....so when I asked to be assigned to desk duty, Jacob told me that someone in the Intelligence Community had asked about me. So I went for a couple of interviews and a month or so of background and security checks, I got my transfer" Diane finished her story "I've only just cleared the probationary period, and I didn't want to tell you before then in case it turned out to be nothing" Jane looked at her thoughtfully.
"I suppose I can forgive you" She said after moment "Are you okay? I mean - there are no after effects?"
"I am seeing a counsellor every month, and not being out in the field helps a great deal" Diane smiled "I am doing fine, sis - analysis work agrees with me"
"Then that's all I care about" Jane grinned "So - any guy in your life yet?" Diane rolled her eyes, making her sister laugh.
Personal Journal, Diane Radland
14th October, 2010
I don't like lying to my sister, but I understand the necessity of keeping her in the dark.
Much like Jacob, I don't think Jane would be able to deal with knowing the magical world is out there.....
Or she would deal with it very, very well and attempt to do the MIB's job for us, which would end oh so badly that I don't even want to think about it.
So - she believes I work for the Secret Service, and she gets to live a normal life. Plus the advantage of having that as a cover means I am never going to be free to talk about work, even when we're alone, so I can only talk about my personal life (assuming I get one of those any time soon!)
All in all, it could be worse.
And now I have to cut this short, because DOIC is throwing a belated engagement/wedding reception for Bill and Fleur and apparently a Tonks' party is something not to be missed!
Chapter 5: 1x05 - A Heart Of Black
Personal Journal, Diane Radland
17th December, 2010
"Unique" - meaning one of a kind. And while some speech writers will have you believe that something can be "very unique" or "extremely unique" that is actually pretty bad writing - something is either unique or it isn't. Much like someone is either pregnant or not pregnant.
Or at least that is what I thought. Because in the last two weeks SO 642 has learned that just because someone is one of a kind, doesn't mean that there can't be another one of them out there.
And if that sounds confusing, it's because it is.
Preston New Road, 10th December, 2010
Geoff Palmer glanced at the dashboard, then let out a long slow breath before turning up the air-conditioning in an attempt to keep himself awake.
The welcome party for the new boss at work had gone on a lot longer than expected, and, since he was one of the few people in his office who didn't drink, he had volunteered to be one of the two designated drivers.
His last drop off had been his new boss - a middle aged man named Franklin Washington - and now he was finally driving home at just past one in the morning.
His sat-nav announced there was a turn coming up, but before it finished speaking, there was an explosion up ahead of him.
He slammed on the brakes, bringing the car skidding to a halt. Jumping out of the car, he started to head towards the source of the fire, but was forced to stop as the flames suddenly became more intense.
He backed away, then pulled out his mobile phone and dialled 999.
"Hi - there is a fire on the Preston New Road, just north of the docks turn off. A car just exploded, and.... and I think there are two people inside"
Harry Potter, MIB
Hermione, in her disguise as Katherine Valentine, strode down Diagon Alley, glancing in some of the windows as she went.
Two hours earlier the department had received a coded message from the magical world, indicating that the man codenamed The Pandorica needed to speak to her urgently.
After checking with Tonks, Hermione had taken one of the Changeling cloaks and headed out.
Luckily, The Leaky Cauldron had been more or less deserted, so she had been able to walk in to The Alley without attracting any attention.
She slowed to a halt in front of Ollivander's, then - with a final look around - pushed the door open and walked inside.
"Where's SAIC Granger?" Padma asked, looking around the squad room.
"She got a message from The Pandorica" Luna replied "It was coded as urgent, so she went at once"
"Any idea what it was about?"
"No clue" Luna shook her head "But then again, SAIC might not have known - could be that the message was short and lacking in detail"
"A trap?" Padma raised her eyebrows curiously. Luna shook her head again.
"The encryption and the protocols were worked out between Hermione, Harry and the three mages. They are the only people who know what they are - not even Tonks is privy to the information" Luna smiled "In addition, all five of them are under a spell that ensures they can't tell anyone"
"Even under magical compulsion?" Padma asked in surprise.
"Smartest Witch" Luna grinned "So - what did you want with our resident genius?"
"A new case is coming in, and since SAIC Boot's squad is on The Omega Run, Tonks wants SAIC Granger to deal with it" Padma replied "It's not anything urgent - just something that The Lancashire Constabulary want our help with"
"The police?" Luna looked over at her "What's up?"
"Oh - it's probably nothing" Padma stood up "They just want us to consult on one of their cases" She smiled "Can you let me know when she's back?"
"Of course" Luna nodded.
"Good morning, young lady" Ollivander smiled as Hermione walked up to the counter of his shop "How may I be of assistance?"
"I'm on holiday with my brother, and my wand is acting up" Hermione smiled back "I've been told that you are the best of the best when it comes to wands, and I was hoping you could help me" Ollivander looked her up and down.
"I live to serve - so what's the problem?" Hermione drew her wand.
"The spells I cast all come out wrong, and last night I turned my brother in to a skunk" She put her wand down on the counter, and Ollivander smiled again.
"Miss Valentine - it has been a while" Hermione picked up her wand again, and slid it in to her robes "Thank you for coming - I know it is dangerous and difficult, but I overheard something two nights ago that I thought you would want to hear" Hermione looked out of the window, then turned back to him.
Diane knocked on the door to Tonks' office.
"Come in" Diane frowned at the tone of Tonks' voice, but pushed the door open and walked in. Tonks was toying with an envelope and looked up with a resigned expression "Agent Radland - what can I do for you on this fine December morning?"
"Are you alright, sir?" She asked, walking forward to stand in front of the desk. Tonks smiled, then held up the envelope.
"A letter from home" She said quietly "I get one every year around this time - my mother trying to get me to come home" She dropped it back on the desk "Trying to get me to return to the magical world"
"Was she one of those who...." Diane started, then bit her lip "Sorry - you probably don't want to talk about it" Tonks laughed softly.
"This is one of those things that everyone knows but doesn't talk about" She leaned back in her chair "No - my mother wasn't one of those who hounded us out of the world. But she also didn't stand up for us when we were attacked - she didn't want to stand up to my cousin and the Head of The House of Black, a man named Sirius"
"Harry's godfather" Diane said, and Tonks nodded.
"She felt that she owed Sirius a debt for bringing us back in to the House of Black, and that she could not go against him even when she felt he was wrong" Tonks tapped the letter "Every year, she tries to get me to forgive her, and to come back home" She paused "And because there are only three of us left, she wants me back to ensure the continuation of the family"
"Three of you?" Diane raised her eyebrows curiously.
"Sirius, my mother and I are the last three living members of The House of Black, and since neither Sirius nor my parents will have any more children, my mother believes it is up to me" Tonks shrugged "Given that most of them died in the recent war, I am not sure that the family should be allowed to continue" She looked up and caught the surprised expression on Diane's face "I guess I should explain that they died fighting for Voldemort"
"Oh" Diane paused, then glanced at the letter "Can I ask what you are going to do?"
"The same thing I have done for the past eleven years" Tonks replied, picking up her wand from the desk "Incendio!" The envelope burst in to flames, burning bright red. A few seconds later, she waved her wand again, and the flames died down, leaving a pile of ash. Tonks put her wand back down on the desk, then looked up at Diane "Now - I assume you came in here for a reason?"
"Yes" Diane paused "Although I'm buggered if I can remember what it was" Tonks laughed, a genuine smile crossing her face for the first time since Diane had entered her office.
"Fair enough" She stood up "Oh - I meant to ask - what are you doing about Christmas?"
"CHRISTMAS!" Diane exclaimed, making Tonks stare at her in surprise "Sorry, sir - it's just that's what I came in to talk about" Tonks smiled, then sat down again.
"So - talk"
Ollivander stared at Hermione as she burst out laughing.
"Miss Valentine - are you sure you understood what I told you?"
"Yes, Garrick, I understand" She nodded, still smiling.
"Then may I ask what you find so amusing?" He stared at her in confusion "I just told you that three mages were going to attack a muggle school, kidnap some children and use them in a Dark Revel" He paused "Given what you did to some of the mages who tried a similar thing in the war, I would have thought you'd take this pretty seriously" Hermione smiled.
"I'm glad people still remember" She said after a moment "But while I appreciate you getting in touch to inform me, the attack happened last night, and it has already been dealt with"
"How many were hurt?" He asked.
"None" She replied with a wide grin "The mages didn't get beyond the front doors before they were..... stopped"
"Stopped? You got there first?"
"Not us" She shook her head "We weren't summoned until the Headmistress had called the police, and the police called us"
"Tell me, Garrick" Hermione said with a smile "Have you ever heard of a school named St Trinian's?"
"You want to know if we celebrate Christmas?" Tonks asked in amusement. Diane blushed.
"Well - when you phrase it like that, it just sounds stupid" She said with a grin "But how I am supposed to know? Every time I think I've got a handle on the magical world, I learn something else that contradicts everything else...." She trailed off as Tonks raised her hand "Sorry - that was a tad more.... ranty than I planned"
"No worries" Tonks waved her hand dismissively "But - to put your mind at rest - the magical world does celebrate Christmas, and so do we. We don't exactly close the office down, but we tend to go off duty on the 24th and come back on the 27th. If you want to spend time with your family, you are free to do so"
"But?" Diane asked.
"What makes you think there is a but?" Tonks looked at her curiously.
"You have a....." Diane started, then paused "Okay - that didn't come out right" Tonks laughed "But there is a but, right?"
"Since there are so few of us, we are never really off duty. If something comes up over Christmas, we reserve the right to call you back to work" Diane smiled.
"Much like the police" She nodded "Thank you"
"So are you going home?" Tonks asked. Diane shrugged.
"I haven't spoken to my family yet - my sister might be on duty, and my parents might not even be in the country" She paused "When do I need to let you know?"
"Honestly? You can let us know the day before - using the exit portals, we can have you outside your house at a moment's notice" Tonks smiled "So - anything else?"
"No, sir - thank you" Diane shook her head "I will let you know as soon as I can about the holidays"
"Thank you" Tonks stood up again "Padma said there was a case coming in?"
"Yes, but she wanted to wait for SAIC Granger to return"
"I'm here" Hermione said, walking in to the office.
"Good timing" Tonks grinned "What did The Pandorica want?"
"He wanted to warn me about the attack on St Trinian's" Hermione grinned "And let me say - he was quite tickled by the outcome of the attack" The other two agents grinned at the memory of the previous night.
"So there's nothing to worry about?" Tonks continued.
"Nope - no looming problems or conspiracies or disasters" Hermione smiled "So - what's the case Padma has for us?"
"Early this morning, the police were called to a burning car" Padma stood at the front of the squad room, talking to Hermione's team "Once the fire was extinguished, they found two bodies in the back seat of the car"
"Oh my" Diane said softly.
"Obviously, the two people were dead, and pretty badly burned, but a preliminary medical examination couldn't identify a cause of death" She smiled at the surprised looks that met her announcement.
"They didn't die in the fire?"
"Apparently not, no" Padma shook her head "And there are no external marks, no toxins - nothing to indicate how they died"
"But you found something?" Luna asked.
"Yeah" Padma replied, then looked over at her sister. Parvati nodded.
"They were killed by magic" She said.
"There's more" Bill said quietly, and Parvati nodded again.
"There are spell traces that run from twenty four hours before their death to about one hour before" She said softly "Whoever these people were, they were tortured to death"
After a few moments silence, Tonks took a deep breath, then let it out slowly.
"So you think we are dealing with Death Eaters?" She asked quietly.
"Honestly?" Parvati shrugged "If this was twelve, fourteen years ago I wouldn't hesitate to say yes - the MO is almost exactly the same as we saw during The War"
"But all the Death Eaters were executed" Parvati said with a slight smile "I watched as they were pushed through the veil - we all did"
"Couldn't there be anyone else?" Diane asked "I mean - people who thought like they did, but didn't actually have the guts to sign up?"
"It's possible" Hermione said thoughtfully "But during the last two years of The War, Voldemort virtually ran the country. There would have been no reason for them to hide their allegiance - hundreds of them came out of the woodwork"
"And they were all killed?"
"Every last one" Harry nodded "It wasn't fun, and it wasn't easy, but it was something that needed doing" Parvati watched the exchange, then continued.
"All I know is that these two people were tortured to death by mages - the evidence is undeniable" She looked back at Tonks "So, boss, what do you want me to do?" Tonks smiled.
"We can't hand this back to the police - the fact there is no cause of death will mean they have no clue what to do" She glanced at Diane "No offence"
"So, SAIC Granger, I want you and your team to find out everything you can about these two people. Find out what they did, where they lived and - as improbable as it might sound - if they could have honked off anyone in the magical world enough so they had to be killed"
"Do you want me to....." Hermione started, but Tonks shook her head.
"Not yet no - if it is a new faction of Death Eaters or blood-purists, then I'd rather find out as much as we can before we get them involved" She smiled as Hermione looked at her in amazement "You were going to suggest you talk to your friends?"
"I was" Hermione admitted "I thought they might have heard something"
"Maybe they have, maybe they haven't" Tonks said in reply "But if they start asking around, then whoever is doing this might get tipped off and take more drastic action" She glanced down the hall towards the medical bays "Something I'd like to avoid"
Later that evening Tonks looked up to see Terry Boot hovering around the door to her office.
"SAIC? Do you want to come in, or are you simply guarding my door from unwanted invasion?" She asked with an amused smile. Terry returned it.
"Sorry, boss - I just didn't want to disturb you if you were busy"
"I'm always busy, Terry, but hey - I could use some good news" She stared up at him "You do have good news, don't you? I'd hate to have to kill you this close to Christmas" Terry grinned.
"Then I am glad to say I do have good news" She waved him to one of the chairs and he sat down "We did a check of the wards around the site in Mongolia, and they are completely intact"
"No fading? They are as strong as ever?"
"One hundred percent" He nodded "I've already forwarded the results to the FCMU and The Twelve Ministries - they are as happy as you are"
"I would imagine so" Tonks grinned "And the occupant?"
"Still present, still alive and still in exactly the same position" Terry shook his head "Just like the last twelve checks"
"Excellent" She leaned back in her chair "So - anything else you want to tell me?"
"No, boss" He stood up "The next check will be a month from now, carried out by the SVU" He paused "I understand you got a disturbing case in while we were gone?"
"Possibly" Tonks sighed "Two muggles tortured to death by mages - something we haven't seen since the war ended"
"That's not strictly true" Terry pointed out. Tonks frowned for a moment, then her mouth fell open in surprise.
"You think it might be the same people that killed The Creeveys?" She asked in disbelief.
"I don't know" Terry shrugged "But Ashley and Tania Creevey were the last two muggles to be tortured to death by mages, up until today. It might be coincidence, or it might be connected"
"I always thought that they died because their sons were part of The Lost" Tonks said, closing her eyes at the memory "It never occurred to me that they might have been the target, and Colin and Dennis got caught in the crossfire"
"It does seem unlikely, especially with every Death Eater being executed" Terry replied "But it might be worth considering"
"I will mention it to Hermione in the morning" She glanced at her watch "And now, Terry, you should be going home. You've had a long day, and I can't imagine it was all that easy"
"Not particularly, no" He sighed "But we do what we must. And to stop that monster getting out, I think we would gladly do this every single day"
"You and me both" Tonks smiled "But I mean it - go get some sleep"
"You are aware that such a search would take some time?" Luna smiled at the face in the monitor.
"Yes, Rupert, I am, but all the same, I would be most grateful if you could do this for me" Giles smiled back at her.
"I could never refuse you, Luna" She blushed slightly "I will look in to it, and get back to you in two days?"
"Thank you, Rupert" She grinned widely "How's Buffy doing?"
"She's adapting to motherhood quite well - she and Andrew have barely left the mansion in the last two weeks, but I know they wouldn't have it any different"
"And the twins?"
"Healthy and full of life" Giles grinned "And if you could thank DOIC for teaching our mages the silencing spells, I would be most grateful"
"The kids are screamers then?"
"Oh yes" He nodded emphatically "But Buffy and Andrew silenced their quarters so the rest of us are rarely disturbed" He smiled "How about you?"
"I think they'd have to be screaming pretty loudly for us to hear them all the way up here" Luna laughed. Giles smiled.
"I meant has your scheme got any further?" He asked with a grin. Luna tilted her head to one side.
"Why Rupert, if I didn't know better, I would think you are wanting to hear some gossip!"
"Gossip? Me?" Giles looked affronted "Whatever would make you say that?" He paused "Aside from the fact it is true, I can't imagine why you would think that" Luna laughed again.
"It hasn't got any further, just yet" She said after a moment "There hasn't really been time - we've been a tad busy"
"I can imagine" Giles nodded, then he looked at her kindly "Just don't let the urgent crowd out the important, my dear"
"I will try" She nodded.
"Talk to you soon" The monitor flicked off, leaving Luna staring at the black screen.
"But it's not that easy, Rupert" She said to herself, then looked round as Harry entered the squad room "No - not easy at all"
"So you have no record of them?" Diane and Jacob were walking through Covenstone Municipal Park, talking about the case.
"Nope" He shook his head "So either they have no criminal record, or they've change their appearance since they were" He looked at her apologetically "Sorry"
"No worries" She smiled "It was a bit of a long shot anyway"
"Have you tried the NHS?" He suggested "If they are British citizens, then they will have an NHS record somewhere" Diane stared at him with a shocked expression.
"I knew there was a reason I kept you around" She said after a few moments "Thank you"
"You are most welcome, my friend" He smiled "And, since I know you are probably now itching to get back to work, I won't keep you"
"Another reason I keep you around" She leaned over and kissed him on the cheek "See you soon" She bounced off in to the winter sunlight, leaving him staring fondly after her.
"Padma - do we have any access to the muggle health system?" Diane asked as she returned to the office.
"Yes" The liaison officer nodded.
"Really?" Diane stopped in surprise.
"We kind of put a magical back door in to the records when we were set up" Padma admitted "We thought it would make it easier to identify any muggles that didn't have ID on them"
"Like the couple from the car fire" Diane asked, but Padma shook her head.
"I already checked" She explained.
"And they aren't there?" Diane frowned "Could they be from abroad?"
"It's possible - Bill is checking in to the immigration records as we speak"
"Okay" Diane sighed, making Parvati smile.
"You wanted to solve this yourself?" She asked. Diane blushed.
"Maybe a little" She admitted "I mean - ever since I arrived, I've only really helped a little, and I wanted to do something to prove I can do.... something" She trailed off "I swear that sounded way better in my head"
"I would imagine so" Padma smiled "And how do you not know how much you have done for us?" She paused "You have changed Hermione's squad beyond recognition, and I know that both she and DOIC are very pleased with your performance so far" She smiled as Diane blushed again "But before your head becomes too big to get you out of the door, I suppose we should get back to the case"
"Probably, yes" Diane replied, still blushing. Padma grinned.
"Well - I don't think Bill's checks will turn anything up" She said, then - at the confused look Diane gave her - added "I think that whoever these two are, they've probably had some type of plastic surgery or other alterations, and I don't think we're going to find them in the muggle system"
"So the crime will remain unsol....." Diane trailed off, frowning slightly.
"Say that again" Diane said quietly.
"No - the other thing" Diane waved her hand "You said we wouldn't...." She trailed off again, then, without another word she turned and bolted out of the office.
A minute or so later, she skidded to a halt in front of Hermione's desk, and started bouncing up and down on her heels.
"It's not that....." Hermione looked up, phone still in hand, and blinked in surprise "....can I call you back? No - it's not related to that, it's just one of my agents is stood in front of me looking like she really needs to pee, and I'm worried if I don't talk to her soon there will be a disaster" Diane blushed, and stopped bouncing up and down. Hermione said her goodbyes, then put the phone down.
"So, Agent Radland, what can I...."
"What if they're mages?" Diane said before Hermione could finish, then blushed again "Sorry, sorry - I didn't mean to interrupt you, but what if they're mages?"
"The people from the car?" Hermione asked, looking surprised "Why would mages be in a burning muggle car?"
"Why would mages kidnap children and steal their blood?" Diane countered "I know it's unlikely, but what if I'm right? What if that's why we can't find out who these two people are - because we're looking in the wrong place?" Hermione smiled.
"I'll ask Padma to run an PMS test...." She paused as Diane snorted in amusement "Yeah - I know, but the phrase has been used in the magical world for nearly fifteen hundred years, so I don't think we can get them to change it any time soon" Diane nodded "I'll ask her to run the test and see what comes up"
"Thank you" Diane smiled "And I know - I am probably wrong, but....."
"But if we all try not to make mistakes, then we'd never do anything" Hermione nodded "Either way, we should know by later tonight"
An hour later, Hermione and the rest of her squad, along with Padma and Tonks, walked in to the medical bay.
"So, Healer Patil - what have you found?" Tonks asked as the group. Parvati glanced at Diane, then smiled.
"Agent Radland was right - they are both magical"
"Oh yes! Who's your daddy!" Diane exclaimed, then looked around and realised everyone was staring at her "Remind me not to ever say that again"
"Don't ever say that again" Parvati said with a grin, making Diane smile "But the woman has an PMS of around 225, while the man is around 200"
"What does that mean?" Diane asked curiously "I mean - are they high? Low?"
"The average for the magical world is around 210" Hermione supplied "But that excludes the top five and bottom five percent of mages" She saw Diane open her mouth "I'll explain why later" Diane nodded.
"Since neither of them were carrying their wands, and there was no sign of the wands in the burnt out car, it's going to be nigh on impossible to determine who they are, unless someone comes forward to say they are missing" She glanced at Hermione.
"I can ask my friends, but none of them is in law enforcement, and it's always possible that these two haven't been missed yet" Everyone looked over at Tonks, who nodded.
"Okay. Hermione, can you ask them anyway? We might get lucky" Hermione nodded "Padma - can you do what you do in the muggle world...."
"They don't exist there either" Padma interrupted her boss "Bill finished the immigration check, and these two are not on any records anywhere" She paused "At first we thought they might be illegal immigrants, but if they're magical....."
"Then they wouldn't be sneaking around in the muggle world" Tonks finished her thought, then glanced down at the two people, and frowned "Parv? Is there something.... off about them?"
"Off, boss?" Parvati looked back at them again.
"As if...." She stared at them for a moment, then suddenly clicked her fingers and span round to face her agents again.
"Luna - do you still have the spectrespecs?" She asked hopefully. Luna nodded, then sprinted out of the office.
"Spectrespecs?" Diane looked over at Harry.
"Something she and her dad created when she was a child" He smiled "They show you magical auras and other things that are beyond the usual range of human sight" He looked at his boss "DOIC?"
"I don't want to say until Luna can confirm it" Tonks replied, then blushed "Not after the last time"
"Last time?" Diane smiled.
"It's covered by the official secrets act" Hermione said with a grin "Well - not really, but DOIC said anyone who talked about it would get portkeyed to the top of Big Ben where their clothes would vanish" Diane burst out laughing.
"A vague disclaimer is nobody's friend" Tonks grinned.
"Big Ben again?" Luna asked, coming back in with a pair of 3D glasses in her hand "You know it's not as bad as it sounds" She handed the glasses over to Tonks.
"Okay - lets see...." She slipped the glasses on and looked down at the woman's body "Yeah - just as I thought" She glanced at the man, and nodded again. Turning back to the group, she took the glasses off.
"They've got a magical glamour on" She explained.
"I thought spells couldn't last after you died" Diane looked at her in confusion.
"That's spells that you cast" Susan said "If I cast a spell on Hermione, it will last as long as I let it, whether she is alive or not" She glanced at Hermione "Not that I want her dead or anything"
"You really want that promotion, don't you?" Hermione grinned.
"I just want your parking space" Susan admitted.
"So - can you cancel the spell?" Diane asked Tonks.
"I think so" She pulled out her wand and pointed it at the male corpse "Finite Incantatum!" There was a flash of light around the body, and when it faded it was apparent that his features had changed slightly.
"Anyone?" Tonks looked around. Each of her agents glanced over the body, but they all shook their heads. Tonks shrugged, then pointed her wand at the woman.
"Finite" Another flash of light followed, and - as it faded away, everyone took a step forward and stared down a the body.
Next time on "Harry Potter, MIB"
The squad get a break in their investigation
"We've managed to get more data from the server" Oliver handed a sheaf of paper to Hermione.
Which leads them to a startling discovery....
"But she's dead" Luna turned to face Hermione "I was there when she was pushed through the veil"
...A surprising reunion...
"Hello, lover" Hermione stared in disbelief at the red-headed man in front of her.
...and a disastrous conclusion
The image of a warehouse exploding flashes up on the screen.
"OPC (Part 1)" coming soon
"Finite" Another flash of light followed, and - as it faded away, everyone took a step forward and stared down a the body.
"Does she...." Diane started, then trailed off "Never mind"
"Were you about to say that she looks familiar?" Bill asked, and Diane nodded.
"But that's not possible" She continued "Because the only mages I have met all work here" She paused "And you are all alive, right?"
"Yes, we're all alive" Luna said with a grin "And, before you ask, there is magical time travel, but the odds of this being one of us from the future are remarkably small"
"So why do I recognise her?" Diane asked.
"I don't know, but I do too" Hermione responded.
"Me too" Luna added.
"Ditto" Susan said, and Bill nodded in agreement.
"Harry?" Tonks asked, and he nodded "So - we're all agreed she looks kind of familiar, but we don't know why" She sighed "Okay then - Parvati, Padma - continue doing whatever you need to do to find her" She looked at the rest of the squad "Until we get more information, there's not much we can do, so I suggest we move on to another case" She glanced at the bodies "They're not going anywhere"
Diane walks down the hallway, and stops as she reaches a junction.
"You've reached a junction" A voice says behind her.
"No? Really" Diane turns to find an elderly woman looking at with interest.
"Sarcasm" The old woman smiles "I'd forgotten how much the 642s liked sarcasm"
"Who are you?" Diane asks.
"Never ask that question" The old woman says, suddenly stern "It will lead you down a path you don't wish to follow"
"Then why are you here?" Diane asks, feeling herself getting angry.
"To remind you of something you saw when you weren't looking" The woman pauses "And to warn you that you are starting down a dark path - one that will see death before it is finished" Diane stares at her, then opens her mouth to reply.....
"What are you talking about?" Diane asked, then realised she was lying on her back, staring at the ceiling of her bedroom. She sat up, and looked around her bedroom.
"I have got to stop eating that much pizza before bed" She sighed, then flopped back down again.
The next morning, Diane walked in to the squad room only to find Hermione waiting for her.
"DOIC wants to see you" Hermione said.
"Did she say why?" Diane put her bag on her desk, then turned back to Hermione.
"I think she wants to talk about the holidays" Hermione replied "Find out whether you are going home to your parents or...."
"THAT'S IT!" Diane exclaimed, making Hermione jump.
"That's what?" She asked "Or are you finally going to pack this in and join the circus like you always wanted to?" Diane frowned
"The circus? Please!!" She smiled "It would be a synchronised swimming team or nothing!"
"My apologies" Hermione gave a slight bow "So - what did you work out?" Diane grinned.
"I know where I've seen the woman before" She said.
"Where?" Hermione asked.
"If you'd like to come with me, I will show you" Diane turned and headed towards Tonks' office. Hermione shrugged, then followed her.
"Agent Radland - to what do I owe the....." Tonks started, but trailed off as Diane strode up to her desk, turned three of the pictures round and then picked up the fourth "....pleasure?" Diane looked at the picture, then handed it to Hermione "Or, you know, just keep ransacking my desk as if I am not sat here and not your boss" Hermione stared at the picture for a moment, then looked up at Diane.
"You're right" She said quietly.
"She looks almost exactly like her" Diane nodded. Hermione looked at the picture again, then looked round at Tonks.
"DOIC - we have a..... problem" She handed the photo to her boss, who looked at it.
"You have a problem with my mother?" Tonks asked in amusement "Are you sure you want to bring this up now?"
"No, DOIC" Diane said quietly "Look at the picture - doesn't that kind of look like the woman in medical?" She paused, then trailed off "Your mother?" Tonks looked at the picture again, then stood up.
"Come with me" She strode out, with Diane and Hermione trailing in her wake.
"DOIC?" Parvati smiled as the three agents entered the medical bay "Hermione, Diane - to what do I owe the pleasure?"
"We need to see the woman who died in the car fire" Tonks said quickly. Parvati nodded, then walked over to the far wall and slid out one of the compartments.
"Anything in particular?" Parvati asked. Tonks stared down at the body, then turned to Diane.
"You're right - I don't know how I didn't see it" She looked at Parvati "During the war, did you stay at The Aquarius Base?"
"Yes" Parvati nodded "After the third battle of Hogwarts my sister and I hid out there with a few of the fifth column" She paused "Why?"
"Do you remember my mother?" Tonks asked. Parvati nodded again, then looked down at the body.
"Oh my" She looked up again and nodded "You don't think it's....."
"No" Tonks shook her head "If that were my mother, I'd know - I'd feel it" She paused, then looked at Diane "Which is why we have a problem"
"It's another member of your family?" Diane asked.
"That's the thing" Hermione replied quietly "There are no other members"
"I realise most of you know this, but for Agent Radland's sake, I am just going to go through a quick history of the Ancient and Most Noble House of Black" Tonks stood at the front of the squad room with the rest of the agents assembled in front of her.
"Historically, my family has always been dark. Not necessarily evil, but definitely on the dark side of the magical spectrum" She continued "So when the first, true Dark Lord in five hundred years came along, almost my entire family jumped on his bandwagon"
"Dark Lord?" Diane asked.
"Voldemort" Luna supplied.
"No - I mean what distinguishes a run of the mill bad guy with a wand from a Dark Lord?" Luna smiled.
"That requires more of an explanation" She said "I'll tell you over lunch" Diane nodded.
"So - almost all of my family joined with Voldemort to rule the world" Tonks said "The only exceptions were my cousin Sirius and my mother who - by that point - had been banished from the family for marrying my father" She glanced at Diane "Turns out that when you are the daughter of a pureblood supremacist family, marrying a muggle doesn't go down well"
"I can imagine" Diane smiled.
"At the start of the war, there were five other members of my family still alive" Tonks said "Andromeda - my mother - and her sisters Narcissa and Bellatrix, my two cousins Sirius and Regulus. Bella didn't have any children, and Narcissa had one son - Draco. My cousins both died without issue and I am an only child" She paused, then smiled.
"Regulus, it turns out, was a nice guy. He betrayed Voldemort and tried to destroy him. Sadly he died before he could get anywhere, but still - it makes him one of the only two Blacks I actually like" She paused "The rest - Narcissa, Bella and Draco - were executed at the end of the war"
"You are sure they're dead?" Diane asked.
"I pushed my aunt Bella through the veil myself" Tonks nodded.
"We all witnessed it" Harry added "It was one of the few good things to happen back then"
"So the woman who kind of looks like your mother can't be related to you, because she isn't your mother...."
"I checked" Tonks nodded.
"....and she almost certainly isn't your cousin Sirius" Diane finished "So who is she?"
"I haven't a clue" Tonks admitted "But she definitely can't be a Black"
"Except she is" Parvati said from the door. Everyone turned to face her.
"Parv?" Padma looked at her curiously.
"I did a magical comparison scan" Parvati walked over to Tonks and handed her a piece of paper. Tonks glanced down it, then looked at Parvati.
"I checked it twice" Parvati nodded "I don't know who she is, or where she came from, or - come to think of it - why she would have been murdered and stuck in a burning car, but I can tell you for certain that she is a member of The House of Black" Tonks looked at the paper again, then looked up at the assembled agents.
"So - any ideas?"
Personal Journal, Diane Radland
17th December, 2010
Tonks was kind of freaked out, and she wasn't the only one.
The idea that there was another member of The House of Black running around that NO ONE knew about is bad enough, but the fact she was brutally murdered and then dumped in a burning car is causing a lot of consternation in Dept 642.
SAIC is contacting her three sources, DOIC is actually contemplating talking to her mother and the rest are trying to find out anything they can from other sources (CSAW, The Ghost Communion and The IPWC to name but a few).
I am wondering who that old woman was, why I shouldn't ask who she is and just what the dark path is that we are now heading down
Chapter 6: 1x06 - OPC, Part 1
Personal Journal, Diane Radland
1st February, 2011
It's been six weeks, and we are still no closer to finding out the identity of the mystery woman who has been confirmed - beyond any doubt - as a member of The House Of Black, despite every member of the said House being accounted for.
Not that the last six weeks haven't been busy - we have solved a number of crimes and prevented quite a few more - but the mystery of who this woman is, and why she was tortured to death and dumped in a burning car is something that is starting to obsess everyone in the unit.
And I think that - if we don't find a solution soon - it is going to drive us mad.
Tonks looked up from the file on her desk as Tracey and Oliver came bursting through the door to her office.
"You do remember I am your boss, right?" She asked in an exasperated tone.
"Yes, boss" They said in unison, then Tracey continued "But we found something that we thought you'd want to know immediately" Tonks stared at them for a moment, then jumped to her feet.
"You've found out who those two mages are?" She asked hopefully, then sighed when her two Tech Ops officers shook their heads "So - what is it?"
"Remember the servers from Happy Hands?" Oliver asked with a grin.
"Yes" Tonks nodded. Oliver looked across at Tracey, who smiled.
"We think we know how to decode the data"
Harry Potter, MIB
"Good morning, and welcome to Happy Hands Adoption Agency" The receptionist beamed at her "How may I help you this morning?"
"Special Agent Granger" Hermione flashed her badge, then gestured to the rest of her team "This is Special Agent Potter, Special Agent Lovegood, Special Agent Radland and Special Agent Davies. May we speak to Mr Smith?"
"Is he expecting you?" The receptionist asked.
"No" Hermione shook her head "But we need to speak to him about the theft of his servers" The receptionist stared at her for a few seconds, then nodded.
"Third door on the left"
"Special Agent Radland?" Steve Smith got to his feet as the five agents entered the office "To what do I owe the honour?"
"Mr Smith" Diane nodded politely "May I introduce my boss, Special Agent Granger, and my associates Special Agents Potter, Lovegood and Davies" Steve nodded at teach of them in turn, then looked back at Diane "We need some assistance, Mr Smith, and access to your databases" Steve stared at her thoughtfully for a moment, then turned to Hermione.
"Special Agent Granger - do you have a warrant?" He asked. Hermione smiled, then pulled a folder out of her bag.
"A warrant requesting access to your data, including all the confidential information you have, and a warrant giving us permission to copy the said data and remove it from the premises" Steve took the proffered paperwork, looked over it, then smiled.
"So - how may I be of assistance?"
"We'll need to talk to Mr Harris, and to get a list of all the adoptions for the past ten years or so" Tracey said.
"May I ask why?" Tracey looked across at Hermione, who smiled.
"Diane, Tracey, Harry - can you go and talk to Mr Harris and start downloading the data?" The three agents nodded "Luna - can you stay here with me, and help me explain our dilemma to Mr Smith?"
"Yes, boss" Luna smiled while Harry, Diane and Tracey all left the room.
"Mr Smith" Hermione turned back to their host "This might take a while"
"Mr Harrison?" Diane asked as the three agents entered the server room.
"Yes?" Anton turned, then smiled "Detective Radland? I didn't think I'd be seeing you again"
"Anton" Diane grinned "And it's Special Agent Radland - I have had a transfer since we last met" Anton nodded in acknowledgement "And we are here because we need your help in a case of ours - one that relates to the servers that were stolen from you last year"
"You found them?" He asked in surprise.
"Yes" Tracey nodded "But they were horrifically damaged - we only managed to recover a little bit of data from them - the rest of it was toast" She paused "Which is why we are here"
"We think the data we pulled off the damaged servers was related to a string of adoptions over the past ten years or so" Hermione explained "But with no reference points, we can't figure out what it means"
"And you think that by examining the rest of our data, you can work out what the data means?"
"Yes" Hermione nodded "And hopefully we can use it to find out who took the servers, and why"
"Okay then" Anton nodded "Where do you want to start?" Diane and Harry turned to look at Tracey, who smiled.
"This is what we have at the moment" She said, pulling a copy of the data she and Oliver had downloaded "We think it is a group of serial numbers, dates and other details relating to children, but we just need to confirm that, and use the rest of the data to establish a baseline"
"Why?" Anton asked "I mean - it would tell us what data is missing, but I have a fair idea of that already" Tracey smiled.
"What if all these children came from one place? Or from one agency?" She said emphatically "If it was just a series of random children, so to speak, then it could be put down to vandals and idiots" She paused, then continued in a slightly quieter tone "But what if it is something more specific? What if this was to cover up something that they - whoever they might be - want to hide?"
Two hours later, Hermione lead her team out of the offices of Happy Hands, and to the waiting cars.
When they had climbed into them and set off, she turned to Tracey.
"Did we get what we needed?"
"Yes boss" Tracey nodded, smiling brightly "With the data that Anton provided, I've already been able to cross reference the first two bits of data - they are two children born in the same year, coming from the same adoption agency"
"That's a start, I suppose" Hermione said thoughtfully "Any idea on when you can do the rest?"
"Once we get back to the office, and I can Oliver working with me, I think we can probably get the rest of the data lines decoded" Tracey smiled "And then hopefully we can solve one of the mysteries, even if we can't work out who the two guests in the morgue are"
"Did you get what you wanted?" Tonks asked as Hermione sat down in front of her desk.
"So far as we can tell, we did" Hermione said in a satisfied tone "Tracey and Oliver are reviewing the data now - they've already matched four of the records, and while it is a bit early to say there is a pattern, the four records do all have one thing in common"
"They were all brought in from the same adoption agency - we haven't actually identified which agency yet, but Tracey and Oliver are working on that too, and Luna and Padma are reaching out to the various agencies to see if we can identify it"
"Can they?" Tonk asked curiously.
"I've never known them to fail something they put their minds to" Hermione smiled "And you remember the Christmas party three years ago?" An amused expression came across Tonks' face, and she nodded.
"Okay then - keep me updated on the progress" She paused "But don't move without authorisation"
"Of course not" Hermione pretended to sound offended at the very notion, then grinned "We've waited this long to find out who stole the servers, I think we can wait a little bit longer"
Diane leaned back in her chair, then blinked in surprise as her computer gave a beep.
"Finally!" She said, letting a slight smile cross her face, then leaned forward and started flicking through the list of names that had come up on the screen.
"That's the last strip of data" Tracey leaned back in her seat and looked across at Oliver "Do you want to check it?"
"I've been doing it as we go along" He admitted "Based on what Anton gave us, and what the computers have spit out about the correlation, I think we can assume that we were right - all these children were born in groups of twelve or so, matching the school years over the past decade, and were given to Happy Hands by the same group of people"
"Which means that whoever stole the servers most likely wanted to cover up the origins of these children" Tracey continued "Which kind of begs the question....."
"Why?" Oliver finished.
"I think I can answer that" They turned to see Diane stood at the door, grinning from ear to ear.
Five minutes later, both squads were gathered in the squad room, with Tonks, Tracey, Hermione and Diane stood at the front.
"Six months ago, I asked Hermione's unit to investigate the thefts of two file servers from Happy Hands Adoption Agency. Partly because it was clearly a magical theft, but also because I was looking to bring Diane into our little band and I needed a way to do it" She smiled across at Diane "Until now, the second part of the plan seemed to be the only part that really worked"
"However, in the last two days, Tracey and Oliver have been working flat out to decode the data, and earlier today they finally finished the last strip" Hermione continued "And, using the cross reference data from Happy Hands, we are now entirely confident that we know what the data represents"
"It's a list of 70 children, all born in the last decade" Tracey said "Their birth dates seem to run in parallel with the school year, and they were born in groups of around 12 to 14" She paused "It is also apparent that the children all came from the same agency before they were given to Happy Hands to place"
"We've talked to Mr Smith, but unfortunately because they deal with thousands of adoptions each year, he can't remember if there was anything special about the children" Diane explained "And annoyingly he has no records of the children being brought in, or who brought them" She paused, then smiled "However a contact of mine in BM and D turned up a series of birth certificates, all registered in a small town outside of Glasgow" She looked across at Tonks.
"Terry's squad is staying here, and I am leaving him in temporary charge" She said formally "Everyone else is coming with me"
"Where are we going?" Harry asked.
"To a small warehouse in Callastone"
"You sent for us General?" The old man looked up as two people came to a halt in front of him.
"Yes" The old man nodded "I have a feeling that Atlantis is in danger - I am not sure what kind, but I would like the two of you and Agents White and Pink to check it out"
"Yes, General" The younger of the two replied, then added "Do you think we need to relocate The Oracle?" The old man looked at her thoughtfully, then shook his head.
"No, Agent Green - I don't believe that will be necessary" He smiled "We are halfway though a cycle, and I don't think it would do to change The Oracle until the current cycle ends" The young agent opened their mouth, but the old man held up his hand "If you still have concerns at that time, I will be happy to revisit them then" The agent nodded.
"We will collect Agents White and Pink, and leave at once, General" The older of the two said, then together they both turned and walked out of the office, leaving the old man to stare thoughtfully after them.
"Callastone" Hermione said in a quiet voice "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy"
"So we should be cautious?" Diane asked with a smirk, making Hermione roll her eyes.
"Do you have so spoil all my fun, Agent Radland?" She asked in an exasperated tone.
"Apparently so, m'am" Diane smiled, then they both looked round as Harry cleared his throat.
"Something you want, Agent Potter?" Hermione asked with an amused grin.
"Me, m'am?" Harry replied with an innocent expression, then added "I was just wondering if you wanted to get started on finding the warehouse, or if we're just going to stand around all day pretending we are movie stars" Hermione stared at him for a moment, then grinned.
"If you insist" She turned to the rest of the agents "The warehouse should be two streets down. But given that the servers were undoubtedly stolen by mages, it is probable that this warehouse might have some kind of magical protection, and possible that we may encounter some of our former compatriots" She paused "In light of that, I think that DOIC and Bill should stay on over watch, while Harry, Luna, Susan and I will go in to search the place" She looked at Bill, who nodded "Agent Radland - find a place near by and wait for us. We'll come find you when you are done"
"Susan - once we are inside, I want you to try and find the central data store and get as much as you can" She looked at Harry and Luna "And I would like you two to search the place from top to bottom for any files, documents or other hard copies of anything"
"Yes boss" They both nodded.
"I am going to stay on internal over watch, for want of a better phrase, and make sure we aren't surprised or caught unawares by whatever or whoever might be there" She looked down at her watch "Once we go in, I want to spend no more than an hour inside - even if we risk missing things I want us out by then"
"Yes boss" The others all replied, making her smile.
"Okay - lets do this"
"DOIC, take the front" Hermione said as the squad approached the warehouse "Bill - the back" They both gave a brief nod, then both walked away.
"Harry - anything?" Harry pulled out his wand and cast a series of diagnostic spells, then frowned.
"Lu - can you cast a re-annus spell? I'm getting something I don't quite understand, and I just want to check I'm not doing it wrong" Luna cast a spell, then cast it a second time.
"You're not wrong" She said, then looked over at Hermione "There are one or two protection wards on the warehouse, but there is another spell surrounding the entire building - one we've seen before"
"Where?" Hermione asked in surprise.
"The complex where Emily and Angelica were taken" Harry said quietly "It is the only other time I have seen this spell" He looked over at Luna, who nodded in confirmation.
"You mean that the people who kidnapped those children are in there?" Hermione asked, pointing at the building across the road. Harry paused, then nodded.
"Okay then - I guess we have two reasons to go in there and find out all we can" She kept her voice level, but the anger was in it clear "Can you take down the protection wards without alerting anyone?"
"Yes, m'am" Harry nodded once.
"Then do it - once they are down, we'll go in through the front door and split up" She paused "One change - I'm going to accompany Susan, acting as her guard" Susan raised her eyebrows curiously "It's not that I don't think you can do it on your own, Sue, but if we are looking at the group that took the kids then I want all of us to be on our guard"
"Yes, boss" The other three nodded. Hermione looked at Harry.
"It's your show, Agent Potter"
"Do you think the old man has lost it?" Agent Green asked the other three Agents as they walked down the street "Do you - any of you - really think that anyone is going to find Atlantis?"
"If the General wants to check it then I am sure he has his reasons" Agent Red replied curtly "And it is not for you to question them, little sister" Agent Green glared back at him for a moment, then looked at the other two.
"What about you two?" She asked.
"I agree with Agent Red" Agent Pink replied simply "We have followed The General for twelve years - I think he has earned our trust and our belief"
"I concur" Agent White added. Green stared back at her for a moment, then shrugged.
"I am not saying he is wrong to worry, but we have kept Atlantis, and OPC, a secret for this long. Why should it suddenly be in danger now?" She looked around "Everyone in the wizarding world has as much faith in the General as we do, and with our friends in government and the school, no one in the wizarding world would ever even consider what we are doing, so why would we ever be in danger?"
"Maybe because of them" Agent Red held his hand up and they all came to a stop at the sight of a group of people stood in front of the warehouse.
"They could be....." Pink started, then trailed off as one of the people ahead of them raised a wand and pointed it at the warehouse "Never mind" She turned back to Red "What do you want to do, sir?"
"Sir?" Green snorted in amusement, then fell silent as her brother glared at her for a moment.
"Agent White - stay out here on security. It might just be them, but it might also be the start of a full fledged attack"
"Agent Pink - if the group manage to break the wards and get in, follow them - but at a distance" He paused "I want to find out what they are doing here and what they are looking for before we take them out"
"Agent Green, you're with me" He looked down at his sister "We're going round to the tunnel, and will try to catch them unawares before they can do too much damage"
"Yes, sir" Red paused, then gave a brief nod.
"Okay - lets go"
"SAIC - the wards are down" Harry announced a few minutes later "And while I can't be one hundred percent, I am pretty sure I did it without setting off any alarms or the like"
"Excellent" She glanced around, then nodded "Okay - lets go"
"This place is fracking huge" Luna said as she and Harry walked down one of the side aisles "Do you think they've cast the same spell we did on the HQ?"
"I don't think so" Harry shook his head "I mean - the spell for our headquarters works by attaching the various internal entrance portals to external points in space" He looked around, then waved his hand "This looks more like a massive expansion charm - a very large expansion charm, based on where the walls are"
"Why do they need this much space?" Luna asked as they continued to walk down the aisle, then she came to a sudden halt "Or maybe they don't - not yet" She pointed towards the far end "The shelves are empty" Harry followed her finger, then turned to her.
"So whatever it is they're doing, they plan to carry on doing it for a long while yet?" He said quietly "Why doesn't that fill me with confidence?"
"Okay - if I'm right about the data distribution lines, then the main computer terminal should be....." Susan and Hermione walked around the corner of one of the shelves, and found a bank of computers, with a shelf of discs behind them "....the main data storage area" Susan clapped her hands together and let out an excited squeak, making Hermione give her an amused grin.
"Does your wife know about this side of you, Agent Abbot-Bones?" She asked with a laugh.
"Why do you think she agreed to marry me, boss" Susan laughed, then she bounded over to the bank of terminals and sat down in front of one of them "This part might be a tad boring, SAIC, so if you'd like to talk amongst yourselves for a little while, feel free"
"I am at your disposal" Hermione gave a slight bow, then turned, drew her wand and leaned against the nearest shelf - scanning the area around her.
Behind her, Susan pulled up the initial computer screen, then reached in to her combat robes and pulled out a small bag of tools. Opening it up, she pulled out a tiny USB interface and inserted into one of the slots on the computer.
"Hopefully, if mages are using this system, they won't have anywhere near the security software we've installed at the HQ" She said to herself "I'm quite surprised they managed to figure out how to turn the thing on without blowing it up"
"Agent Pink - report" Red said quietly. A moment later, a voice came back.
"They've found the storage centre, sir" Pink paused "There are two of them - one of them is trying to break in to the computers, and the other seems to be keeping watch"
"Can you stop them?" He asked.
"That's the thing, sir - I don't think I can" Pink took a deep breath "The woman hacking through our system is Susan Bones, and the woman on guard is Commander Granger" Green span round in surprise, staring at her brother.
"Pink - can you confirm what you just told us?" Red asked intently.
"Yes, sir - I can see her with my own eyes. The former Battle Commander of The Defence Association is here"
"So - where do you want to start?" Harry asked Luna as they walked over to one of the shelves of boxes.
"Pick a number between 12.5 and 29.8" Luna said with a grin, making Harry laugh.
"21.3 recurring" He replied. Luna grinned again, then turned and walked over to the shelf and pulled off one of the boxes "That is box twenty one and a third?"
"Yes" Luna said emphatically, putting it on the floor and pulling the lid off "Do you want to see what's inside?"
"I can't wait" He replied, sitting down next to her.
"Sir - what do you want me to do?" Pink asked across the communication spell "Do you want me to take them out?" Red stared at the floor, then looked over at his sister.
"What do you think?"
"God damn it!" Susan exclaimed, making Hermione turn around.
"Sue?" Susan didn't look up, but started typing a lot faster.
"I've tripped some kind of fail safe, SAIC" She said, still typing at full tilt "The system is starting to purge itself - wiping out all of the data on all of the drives"
"Is there anything you can do?"
"Only what I'm doing now - trying to stay ahead of the purge and get all the data I can" Susan replied without looking round "But you should know that if I had designed the system, I would have put a remote ping in the system to alert whoever owns it that someone was messing with it"
"So they could be on there way?" Hermione asked, and Susan gave a curt nod "Okay - if I leave you here to finish your work, will you be okay?"
"Yes, boss - I'll be okay" Susan let a slight smile cross her face, even as she continued working "Go find Harry and Luna, and make sure they're safe"
"Okay" Hermione pulled out her wand and walked off through the shelves and stacks.
"Pink? Agent Green is going to find the other two - meet up with her and ensure that they are taken care of"
"Yes, sir" The agent replied, then added "Sir - what about Commander..... what about Granger?"
"I'll take care of her" Red paused, then smiled "It will be my pleasure"
"This is......" Luna looked up from the file she had in her hands "Actually, I can't work out what this actually is" She looked across at Harry "Are you having any better luck?"
"I think we have to take it back to Parvati" He said with a shrug "I mean - we all got the same basic medical training, but this....." He waved the file "This is so far in to genetics and physiology that it's not even funny" He dropped the file on the floor, then picked another one out of the box "Lu - have you noticed what all these have in common?"
"The symbol in the corner?" She asked, and he nodded "Any idea what it might mean?" This time he shrugged "Yeah - me neither" She looked around at the files they had gone through "I suppose we should start gathering all this up and take it back to base"
"That's a nice idea, lover, but I'm afraid we can't let you do that" Jumping to their feet, Harry and Luna drew their wands and span round "Is that any way to great your ex-fiance, Harry?"
"Cho?" Luna exclaimed in surprise, but Harry continued to stare at the woman who had spoken.
Hermione skidded to a halt as she heard Harry's voice, then peered round the corner of the shelves.
Harry and Luna were stood in the middle of an aisle, facing off with two people who had their back to her.
But even after a twelve year gap, she could not fail to recognise the voice of the girl who was to have been her sister in law. Harry's surprise exclamation only confirmed what she had already guessed.
"So you remember me then? I'm flattered" Ginny's dripped with sarcasm "I'd suggest you put your wands away - you are surrounded and you won't get off a spell"
"Are you sure of that?" Luna asked in a quiet voice "Because from what I remember of the war, there was no one who could beat us then, and given the standard of your teachers and political leaders, I can't imagine you've got any better"
Hermione smiled at Luna's actions, then slowly drew her own wand and pointed it at the back of Ginny's head.
A second later, she felt a wand pressed in to the back of her neck.
"I'm sorry, Granger, but I can't let you do that" A voice said softly.
Bill leaned back against the wall, then flicked on his communicator.
"DOIC" He resisted the urge to grin as he realised that his boss sounded even more bored than he was.
"Tonks - how do you think it's going?" He asked.
"Not sure" She replied "I take it you haven't heard anything?"
"Not so much, no" He sighed "Do you think we should go in and see what's going on?"
"SAIC told us to wait here" Tonks replied, making him snort in amusement.
"And you always do what your agents tell you to do?" He asked with a grin.
"A ship can only have one captain, young William" His boss replied "And SAIC is far more experienced at fieldwork than I am"
"True" Bill nodded.
"But even with my vast inexperience, I can tell when we are being watched" She continued "The large building by the fence. Can you see someone on top of it?" Bill turned and looked to his left. Squinting for a moment, he stared at the rooftop, then he let out a soft exclamation.
"It's Angelina" He said quickly.
"Played Quidditch with Harry and Oliver" He explained "She stayed out of the final battle because....." He paused "Actually, I don't know why - maybe Harry or Hermione does" He shrugged "And she was also a signatory to Dumbledore's letter"
"Bitch" Tonks frowned "So - is she here because we're here? Or is it just coincidence?"
"No clue" He admitted "Why don't we just go ask her?" There was a pause on the other end of the communicator, then Tonks continued.
"Sounds like a plan. Do you want to take the left?"
"But of course" He grinned "Be careful - while she wasn't the best and brightest, she was no slouch"
"People have said the same about me, young William" Tonks' voice was filled with amusement "So - we go on zero?"
"On zero" He nodded.
"Okay then - three. two. one...... bloody hell!!" Bill drew his wand and span round at Tonks' exclamation just in time to see his four fellow agents running out of the warehouse at full tilt.
"Bill - cover them! Cover them now!" Tonks' yelled, and without a second thought, Bill span round and sent a volley of blasting curses towards where Angelina was stood.
A second later, he started to run towards the other agents, continuing the stream of spells.
"SAIC - report!" Tonks snapped as Bill arrived.
"We were ambushed" Hermione said quickly "Ron, Ginny and Cho - they took us by surprise"
"Angelina is up on the roof....." Bill started, but Hermione held up her hand.
"We need to go - now!" She said, cutting across him "When Sue accessed....." She glanced at her watch, then let out a curse "Shields! Now!" Harry, Luna and Susan all raised their wands and cast a shield spell, but Tonks and William continued to stare at Hermione in confusion.
A second later, the warehouse exploded.
Diane looked out of the coffee shop window, then bounded to her feet as she saw the rest of her squad walking down the street.
"Can I have six coffees please?" She called out to the woman behind the counter "And another hot chocolate for me" The woman nodded, then Diane walked over and pulled the door open just as Hermione and Harry reached it.
"Thank you, Agent Radland" Hermione smiled tiredly, then she and the others filed in and sat down at the table. Diane walked across and picked up the tray, then took it back.
"I didn't know what you'd want, so I got you all coffees" She put the tray down, then sat down at the corner.
"Thank you, Di" They each took a cup, then Tonks looked over at Hermione.
"So - Agent Granger - what happened in there?" Hermione took a drink, then slowly put her cup down.
"It's like this......"
We encountered some of our former..... friends"
"I'm sorry, Granger, but I can't let you do that" Hermione stiffened for a moment, then she relaxed.
"You said the same thing the last time we met, Ronald" She said in a polite tone "And I'm sure you remember what happened next" Turning to face him, she smiled "Are you so eager to have that happen again?"
"What happened last time?" Dianne asked, making everyone else in the room snigger.
"I'll tell you later" Hermione said with a slight grin
"I'm better than I was back then - our teacher has made sure we can look after ourselves" Ron sneered at her.
"Our teacher?" She looked at him "You mean Dumbledore?" Ron stared back at her.
"Dumbledore?" He shook his head "You think we can't find someone better than that?" Hermione gazed at him for a moment, then shrugged.
"Honestly, I don't care who's been teaching you - I just want to know why you are here" She waved her arms around "And what this place is?" Ron stared at her, then let out a booming laugh.
"You don't know?" He laughed in genuine amusement "You really don't know what this place is?" He continued to laugh "The know-it-all doesn't know!" Hermione pointed her wand at his head.
"I am glad you find this amusing, Ronald, but I suggest telling me the truth - and sooner rather than later" Ron's laughter tailed off, but he shook his head.
"I could tell you, Granger, but it won't do you much good" He said with a slight grin.
"And why - pray tell - is that?"
"Because in four minutes time, it won't be here any longer"
"As he finished speaking, there was the sound of an explosion from that far end" Hermione finished "It seems that whoever he was working for implanted a series of self-destruct spells into the building, so that even if anyone found it, they'd never learn what it was for"
"This guy - this Ron - you are sure he was working for someone else?" Diane asked.
"Ronald had one of the finest strategic minds I have ever seen" Luna interjected "But independent thought was never his strong point. If he's doing this then he's doing it for someone else" She looked over at Hermione and Harry, who both nodded.
"Did you get anything? Anything at all?" Tonks asked.
"I pulled down a couple of gig of information files" Susan said, slightly apologetically "I was going to get more, but it was a very old terminal that wasn't very fast" She paused, then added "And it exploded, which made it a bit more complicated"
"And I picked up a few pages out of one of the box files" Luna added "I don't know if they'll tell us anything, but I figure we can go through them when we go back to base"
"Okay" Tonks nodded, then looked at Hermione "Did they escape?"
"I don't know" Hermione admitted "Once we started running, we kind of lost track of them" She looked over at Harry and Luna "Did you see where Ginny and Cho went?"
"They ran off down the aisle, but that was about it" Luna replied.
"I think they turned left at the end" Harry added.
"If Ron triggered the explosion, he would have had a way out" Bill said emphatically "While he might be an arrogant, idiotic fool who couldn't think his way out of a paper bag, he is - as you said - a truly brilliant strategist" Tonks leaned back in her chair and sighed.
"Okay" She drained her coffee "Let's go home"
"Atlantis is destroyed?" The old man stared at his four agents with a slight frown.
"Yes sir" Ron nodded "Once we discovered Granger and her gang of traitors inside the building, I thought it better that we wipe out all the evidence to prevent them from learning about OPC"
"You didn't think about killing them, then?" The old man asked in a light tone.
"No, sir" Ron shook his head "This..... this playgroup that they have started has the backing of the muggle government - if they were killed, the government would investigate"
"You think I am afraid of the muggle government, Ronald?"
"No, sir" Ron shook his head again "But with OPC just starting to bear fruit, I thought that any attention from outside sources - whether the muggles or The Ministry - might be dangerous" He paused "If I did wrong, I apologise and will accept any punishment you see fit" The old man gazed at him, then sighed.
"I suppose you were right to do as you did" He paused "Did they learn anything?" The four agents looked at each other, before Ron turned back to their leader.
"No, sir" He shook his head very emphatically "Potter and Lovegood were stopped before they could find anything, and JFF's security programs would have prevented them accessing the computer systems"
"So we are secure? We can continue the program?"
"Yes, sir" Ron nodded.
"Very good" The old man paused, then narrowed his eyes "One last question - do you happen to know what lead them to our doorstep?"
Oliver looked up from the files he was examining to where Tracey was staring at a monitor.
"Anything yet?" She looked round, and let out a laugh.
"Whoever used this system had no clue how to use it, or how computers work" She said, shaking her head "So the files that Sue downloaded are all over the place" She paused "Although I am finding a lot of references to people referred to as Lamp-Lighters, and the letters OPC"
"OPC?" Oliver stood up and walked over "Where?"
"Here" She pointed to the screen "And here" She pointed lower down "It seems to be a reference to the name of the group...." She trailed off "Or possibly a project they are working on?"
"I think it is both" Oliver replied, walking back to his desk "From the stuff I am seeing here, I think the group was founded to pursue the project" He paused "Although I am not entirely sure what the project is, or what OPC actually stands for" He leaned back in his chair with a sigh "I know that DOIC and the others are counting on us, but I think we should take a break - we've been going at this for hours"
"Maybe a fresh set of eyes would help?" Diane asked from the door "I mean - it couldn't hurt, right?" Oliver and Tracey exchanged glances, then Oliver stood up.
"Have at it"
"So what do Ronald, Ginny, Cho and Angelina have to do with missing servers and a long lost member of The House of Black?" Fleur asked as she and Bill walked in to the squad room.
"I don't know" He said, pulling out her chair. As she sat down, he added "Who do you think is in charge?"
"Dumbledore" Fleur replied at once. Bill frowned.
"But Ron said...." He started, then trailed off as his wife smiled.
"Ron said 'Do you think we can't find anyone better'" Fleur said with a smile "Which is not a denial" She paused, then snorted "Besides, if there is a huge plot afoot in the wizarding world, do you really think Dumbledore wouldn't be a part of it?"
"You have a point" Bill admitted "And I can't see Ron or Ginny turning him down if he asked them to do something for him" He sat down next to her "So I guess the big question is what they are doing?"
"Buggering hell!" Diane let out a gasp of surprise, causing Tracey and Oliver to turn and stare at her.
"Di?" Diane looked up, then blinked.
"Sorry, but if I am reading this right, then there is a lot more going on here than we thought" She paused "We have to talk to DOIC"
Five minutes later, after the entire staff had assembled in the squad room, Tracey, Oliver and Diane walked in.
"Oliver said you had something to tell us" Tonks said. Diane paused, took a deep breath, then nodded.
"We've been reading through all the information that Agents Lovegood, Potter, Abbot-Bones and SAIC Granger recovered from the warehouse" She said quietly "And what we've found isn't good" She looked over at Tracey.
"The computer records match the ones from Happy Hands" She said with a smile "That is to say they contain the same information - a whole slew of children given up for adoption, starting around ten years ago" She paused "It doesn't list their parents by name, but whoever their parents are, they seem to be part of this OPC group"
"They are giving up their kids?" Hermione asked in surprise "Why?"
"That I will leave to Diane, because she's the one who found the key bit of information" Tracey smiled, making Diane blush slightly.
"I think the reason they are so willing to give up their kids is that they wouldn't be able to claim them as their own even if they hadn't given them up" Diane said, then - as everyone stared at her in confusion - she added with a laugh "That really wasn't the best sentence, was it?"
"Not exactly" Harry grinned.
"Okay" Diane paused again, then let out a long slow breath "There were eleven sets of parents on the list, but only up to last year. Then two names were crossed out - listed as terminated"
"A man and a woman?" Bill asked.
"Oh yes" Diane nodded "And I am pretty sure that they are the people we have in our morgue right now" She paused "However there is something worse - something that I think will explain everything" She looked over at Tonks.
"DOIC - according to the records we pulled out of the warehouse, the woman we found is definitely a member of The House of Black"
"But the rest of The House of Black is dead....." Tonks started then trailed off as Diane held up her hand.
"The woman in our morgue is identified in the documents as Narcissa Malfoy, and the man as Graham Parkinson" The entire room fell silent, staring at Diane in disbelief.
"But they were executed - they died with the rest of the Death Eaters at the end of the war" Hermione said after a moment "We were all there - we watched as they were pushed through the veil in the execution chamber"
"Never the less, the records are accurate and I have no reason to doubt them" Diane paused, then looked around the room "Narcissa Malfoy and Graham Parkinson - two people you saw die thirteen year ago - were actually killed just a few months ago"
Personal Journal, Diane Radland
2nd February, 2011
We thought that when we found the people who stole the servers that the mystery would be solved, and all our questions answered.
Instead, it has just thrown up a whole bunch of new questions :-
Why were Narcissa and Graham saved from execution, and why were they subsequently killed?
What does this have to do with the adoption of several dozen children?
What do former members of Dumbledore's Army have to do with helping mass-murdering terrorists escape justice?
What if Graham and Narcissa are not the only ones? What if the other twenty names are also Death Eaters presumed to be dead these past thirteen years?
And - possibly the most disturbing question of all -
If they are, where are they now?
Coming soon - Harry Potter:MIB, Series 2