The woods were always creepy at this time of the year when the shadows grew deeper and the days were short. The no-maj had legends of evil spirits that could take hold of a man and turn him into a creature with an intense craving for human flesh. These creatures would hunt mostly on the full moon, or when the veil between the magical worlds was at its thinnest around All Hallows. This night it was Halloween. Chris had heard of the Lethifold but they were found mostly in tropical climates. Here in the woods of the northeast of the United States the cannibalistic spirit creature was called a Wendigo, and neither Chris or any of his aurors had yet to prove its existence.
Chris was the Head Auror of a small task force based in Detroit and MACUSA had asked him to investigate a series of brutal attacks on no-maj that seemed to originate from a magical creature in this area. Being outside in the late Fall in the middle of the night on Halloween was an unenviable part of the job description, and he drew his black duster closer around him, incanting a small warming charm as the temperature dropped further. He could already see signs of a long cold winter ahead of them.
Vin was crouched down, trying to gain a sense of the traces of magic found on the ground hoping it would lead them to the creature before it attacked again but so far they had found nothing. The latest victim looked as if he had been half-eaten by a bear or wolf rather than this mythical creature but the rumors of something malevolent in the woods had persisted, and MACUSA could not afford take the chance, not so soon after the recent events in New York.
They had still not located the missing Director of Magical Law Enforcement following the 'revelio' of Grindelwald, and everyone was uneasy at how easily Grindelwald had managed to infiltrate the higher levels of MACUSA, even having the ear of President Picquery before he was revealed as an imposter. Chris had met Percival Graves a few times over the years and he had liked the man, seeing in him a strong sense of justice and yet compassionate too. He was also a brilliant Auror, as adept with wandless magic as Chris.
"Anything?" he asked and Vin looked up, his sky blue eyes half hidden behind long, straggly, light brown hair. The slouch hat kept the light drizzle of rain off his face while an 'Aqua Resistio' had the rainwater bouncing off his buckskin coat.
"If it's magical it ain't leaving much of a footprint."
"So we don't have a lead."
Vin smiled crookedly. "Not what I said, Chris." He pointed into the deeper, darker shadows of the woods surrounding one of the Great Lakes. "Don't need much of a footprint to figure out where it's been and where it's going."
He grabbed Chris's arm and disapparated, taking Chris with him to a point miles from where they'd been standing. Ahead was a wooden shack, old and dilapidated with holes in the walls and roof from years of neglect. Yet there was something about the shack, an aura emanating from it that Chris easily waved away. A 'notice-me-not' charm that had camouflaged the shack. hiding it from no-maj eyes. Once the illusion was gone Chris could see the smoke rising from the chimney of the quaint but homely shack.
After a quick glance to Vin to ensure he was watching their backs, Chris stepped onto the porch and rapped on the door.
"MACUSA. Open up."
The door swung open reluctantly revealing an old woman with hair as white and wispy as snow. Her beady eyes narrowed as he showed her his MACUSA credentials.
"What can I do for you... Auror Larabee?"
"There have been reports of a Wendigo seen in the woods around the lakes... and the tracks led us here."
Although both of them had been ready for any reaction, the witch moved faster, throwing something into their faces as she attempted to disapparate but Chris was faster, shaking off the ash and herb and slapping magical handcuffs on her before she could escape.
"Guess we should take you back to Detroit for further questioning," he stated, and moments later they were back in the city close to one of the flue stations.
Chris handed their prisoner over to Josiah and Nathan.
"See what you can find out while Vin and I get this stuff checked out and washed off."
He had been feeling a little queasy from the moment the magical dust struck him and as he looked across at Vin he could tell he was affected the same way, except now he could no longer look away. Everything about Vin was drawing him in, from his blue eyes to his strong, lithe body. He wasn't aware he had closed the distance between them until he felt Vin's bristle roughened cheek against the palm of his hand. He felt an insatiable hunger for this man and kissed him, savoring the taste as hands waved away clothing until they were naked, locked into a passionate embrace, desperate to touch and taste with an all-consuming hunger for each other. When Chris came back into his right mind he was lying down on the restroom floor on blankets one of them had conjured. Vin was still naked in his arms, both of them sweat and semen-soaked, pleasurably sated for now. The hunger had dissipated leaving behind only the love and affection Chris had felt for Vin for years.
It didn't take long for Nathan to figure out the dust was meant to act as an aphrodisiac among magical folk. However, the same dust affected the no-maj differently, turning insatiable desire to a darker craving for human flesh, causing insanity. They managed to track down the Wendigo, a no-maj turned insane and cannibalistic, which explained the weak magical footprint left behind. Unfortunately there was no way to save him, and Chris sighed as Nathan gave a deadly but humane potion to the malevolent creature that had once been a human being.
Prohibition was enforced in the no-maj world but not by their kind so Chris and Vin ended up at their regular magical speakeasy with the rest of their team, watching Ezra's magical skills with cards while Buck flirted with the new owner, a witch called Inez. Eventually they ended up alone at their table.
"Guess we figured out what she'd thrown over us but I ain't complaining. Wanted that for a while."
Chris nodded, not needing to echo Vin's words except in a single gesture as he leaned over and kissed him softly.
"How about we try it without the magic dust this time?"
Vin smiled. "Lead on, Cowboy."