Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J. K. Rowling, Bloomsbury and Scholastic. "CSI; Crime Scene Investigations" belongs to Anthony Zuiker, CBS, Viacom and Alliance-Atlantis Communications. No copyright infringement is intended and no money has changed hands.

A/N: It will be written from the CSI point of view, but I might make mistakes about episode continuity. That's why I'm going to try and avoid the personal aspects of the team.

Happy Birthday, Demoncat! Sorry it's late. Everyone else, enjoy!


Sunday, August 14, 2005, 2:00 AM

"You've got to be kidding me! Who in their right mind would let that guy anywhere near the slots?"

"I don't know. Benny's the best. This place was a little bold even for him, though."

Two bored casino security guards were watching the monitors during the graveyard shift and chatting about the day's gossip, anything to stay awake without resorting to the battery acid that was commonly referred to as coffee in the break room.

Something caught the first man's eye and he said, "Hold it! Camera ten!"

Two men were chasing each other through the corridors, shooting at each other. But it wasn't bullets flying through the air. It was strange multicolored lights, beams, spirals, sparkles and blasts. Both seemed to be adept at dodging the other's attempts and neither one was hit. The one who seemed to be the pursuer was dressed like he was just coming off the stage for a production of "The Phantom of the Opera", dressed all in black, including a hooded cloak, and wearing a white mask over his face. The one being pursued was dressed casually in a black tee shirt, blue jeans and sneakers. He was Caucasian, with long dark hair tied at his neck and glasses. The lights were coming from sticks held in either man's hand, but just what those sticks were, the guards couldn't tell from the cameras.

The guards watched the fight continue through ten different camera views, when suddenly the "Opera" reject was hit from off camera by a blast of green and remained where he fell. The one in glasses whipped around to face this new threat, which hovered off the screen at stage left. Shocked recognition was plain on his face, before he, too, was struck by the green light and thrown into a wall, where he didn't move.

"Call the cops, Jack."

3:30 AM

Grissom walked through the crime scene with Brass, getting his first impressions. The walls of the corridor were littered with sprinkles of color and target-centered blast marks. The marks were angled, seeming to indicate trajectory, but otherwise seemed to be normal, something that he would easily be able to understand. But the color was odd, and it didn't seem to have been formed by pigments, either. Certainly something to liven up a case that was already looking pretty lively.

He waded through the sea of field-techs who were photographing and collecting what evidence they could. Some of the color was in the carpets, and swatches were being cut out for analysis back at the lab, along with the photographs and the surveillance camera footage.

Grissom and Brass reached the first of the two bodies, the one everyone was calling the Phantom. No one had removed the mask yet, knowing that the team leader would want to do that for himself. He first took his own photos of the body. The hood of the cloak had fallen back to reveal long, straight, platinum hair. The clasp of the cloak was silver and fashioned as two coiled snakes, one on either lapel. His hands were covered by good leather gloves, and both held significant objects.

In his left hand was a beautiful cane. The grip was silver and fashioned as the head of a viper. The eyes were sapphires or sapphire look-a-likes and the mouth was open to reveal dangerously sharp fangs. The body of the cane was black lacquer and silver tipped. An impressive piece, to be sure. Brass said, "Guy had a thing for snakes." Grissom just "hmm"ed noncommittally and photographed the cane head.

In the corpse's right hand was a stick, but not just a twig you might pick up off the ground. Grissom shot it and then pulled it from the dead hand. It was a wooden pointer or wand, the handle carved beautifully into two twined ribbons. It was a fairly dark wood, and it was polished to a high sheen. He bagged the wand and labeled it.

Finally, he came to the mask. Painted wood, it had large eye and nose holes. It was otherwise pretty unremarkable. Grissom reached down and pulled the mask off the face. Phantom was a middle aged man with gray eyes and an aristocratic face. Lines suggested a habitual sneer, and Grissom could easily see the man haughtily looking down his long, straight nose at people. He photographed the face and stood, moving onto the next body.

He was a young man, twenty to twenty-five years old. Jet black hair that grew in several different directions was worn at shoulder length, probably to maintain control, but possibly as a stylistic statement. He was average height and physically fit. He wore a tight, plain black tee shirt, blue jeans and black trainers. Square, wire-framed glasses had been thrown askance on his face when he hit the floor. Unlike Phantom, this man's eyes had closed after being hit and he had dropped his wand, which lay next to him on the carpet. His face seemed to exude pain.

Something wasn't clicking right for Grissom. Why did Victim #2 look so different from Victim #1 if they died by the same cause?

That question was answered a second later when the "corpse" drew a shallow breath. Eyebrows flying into his hairline, Grissom quickly put two fingers to the young man's throat and found a weak pulse. "Brass, get some paramedics in here. This kid's alive. Barely."

That's the prologue. This story will be written in six parts, this Prologue, four Acts and an Epilogue. I might be evil and put commercials in there just for laughs. I don't know yet. Reviews are always appreciated!