Almost six and a half months later – June
"Gibbs," Ziva greeted as she tossed her bag under her desk and sat down.
Gibbs looked over at Ziva briefly before taking a sip of the coffee he had become re-addicted to since returning from 'LA'. He had not bothered to correct anyone and tell them where he really had been from October to December. Who would believe him if he told the truth, anyway?
Tony entered the bull pen, looking rather sour. He threw his wallet into a drawer and then slammed it shut.
"Someone seems to be throwing a hissy fit," Ziva said.
"I'm not throwing a hissy fit, David," Tony snapped. "I found out where all my clothes went while we were 'working with Callen in Los Angeles'."
"Do you want me to ask?" Ziva queried after Tony did not elaborate.
"Some guy took it all and used a different outfit for each of his thirty-seven thefts."
"You have over thirty-seven different outfits?" Ziva asked. "I am a woman and I do not have that many!" She began laughing at her partner.
"Some of us care about the way we look, Ziva," Tony said through clenched teeth.
"You getting the clothes back, DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked.
"I don't want them back," Tony answered. "They're contaminated with criminal germs!"
"Good morning, everyone!" McGee said cheerily, stepping into the bullpen and making his way to his desk.
"There's no reason to be chipper this morning, Probie."
"What's with you?" McGee asked his coworker across the bull pen.
Tony only twitched his lip and sat down at his desk.
"His clothes were used in a series of robberies," Ziva supplied.
"Bummer," McGee said unsympathetically. "I've got news that will make you happy, Ziva."
"You don't get to say something that will make Ziva happy until you can tell me something that will make me happy, McGee," Tony said, stepping up to McGee in order to get in the junior agent's face.
"WalMart's having a sale on suits this weekend," McGee said with an annoying smile.
"That's not funny, Probie."
"What news do you have for me, McGee?" Ziva asked.
"I got a letter from Professor Sprout this morning. You were right. Sirius Black is innocent."
"Oh, yes, I am aware, McGee!" Ziva said with a smile. "Flitwick told me all about it in the letter I got two days ago! He said I would have enjoyed the look on Snape's face."
"Did he tell you the whole story, though?" McGee asked, his eyebrows drawing together.
The smile slipped off of Ziva's face. "I would expect nothing less from such a man as Pettigrew. Nor would I expect anything less from Fudge. He is far more concerned with keeping his position than anything. I would not expect him to believe anything without hard proof, no matter how much sense the explanation might make without it."
"Hold the phone!" Tony exclaimed. "You keep in contact with your patrol partners?"
"Yeah, of course," McGee answered. "You don't?"
"Why am I just hearing about this now?"
"You must really be behind, DiNozzo," Ziva said, pointing a pencil at her partner. "Ducky and Madame Pomfrey write to each other. Abby even keeps up with Snape."
"Gibbs doesn't keep up with McGonagall!" Tony pointed out. After a pause, Tony looked over at his boss. "Do you, Boss?"
Gibbs reached over to the side and held up a folded piece of old fashioned parchment, complete with a wax seal and loopy, green ink.
"But that's impossible," Tony said in disbelief.
"Clearly it is quite possible, Tony," said Ziva, obviously enjoying the scene before her. "Professor McGonagall and Gibbs managed to depart on good terms."
"What must Madame Hooch think," McGee began wondering aloud. "She worked with the same guy every day for over a month and she hasn't heard one word from him since he left."
"Well, she was still feeling a little bit dizzy from the poison when we left," Tony began making up excuses. "I didn't want to bother her. The Weasley twins have my contact information though. They might share with Hooch."
"Tony! They are minors!" Ziva snapped.
"They're not going to send me stuff yet, Ziva! They're going to be business men, and want a contact in the US for when they're ready to spread."
"They don't seem like they'd be very efficient business men to me," McGee said.
"They're the reason Colonel Mann and our resident alien here are still alive, Probie," Tony objected while pointing at Ziva.
"They set up that broom?"
"What, you think I did it? I was busy tailing Neco with Gibbs."
"Then they arranged the thing with the giant squid, too. That was that '100% guarantee'," McGee said, making sense of it all.
"You did not know that, McGee?" Ziva asked.
"I stopped asking questions three weeks in, Ziva," McGee justified himself.
"Guess what!" said a bouncy voice, running into the bull pen.
"Abby!" Gibbs growled. "What are you doing up here?"
"I get to go back next year!" Abby squealed, handing a letter to Gibbs. "I've been invited to help with – " Abby paused and looked around before whispering, "the Muggle Studies class! Isn't it great?"
"Congratulations, Abby," Ziva said with a broad smile.
"Hey, maybe you should take Tony with you so he can apologize to Madame Hooch in person," McGee suggested with a quirk of his eyebrows.
"I don't have anything to be sorry for, McBigMouth," Tony said through clenched teeth.
"What'd you do, Tony?" Abby asked dangerously, stepping up to Tony.
"He has not said or written one word to Madame Hooch since he left," Ziva said, holding up a finger for effect.
"Tony!" Abby exclaimed, punching him in the shoulder. "That's not nice! You're going to send her something tonight!"
Tony rubbed his shoulder with a painful look on his face. "You're wearing rings, Abby."
"Well that's what you get!"
Gibbs picked up his phone, listened for a moment, and hung up. "Grab your gear! Dead Marine at Quantico."
Tony, Ziva, and McGee grabbed their bags, badges, guns, and followed Gibbs to the elevator.
"Tonight, Tony!" Abby called, holding up her ringed fist threateningly.
Merlin's beard! As if the reasons for your visit hadn't been enough for one year, we caught Sirius Black, just four days ago! You'll be pleased to know, that he was, in fact, innocent. I'm sure you would have loved to have seen Severus's face upon gaining knowledge of such a thing. However, I'm sure he would also love to see yours upon your reading that, though Sirius is innocent, he is still 'a fugitive at large'.
You've heard everything poor Sirius was accused of. It was discovered by three acquaintances of yours, Mr. Potter, Mr. Weasley, and Miss Granger, that an old friend of Sirius's was to blame. Peter Pettigrew went to school with Sirius, Remus, and poor James. For the past twelve years he had been in his Animagus form of a rat as the Weasley family pet. Yes, Pettigrew is an Animagus, as is Sirius! Naturally we were all astounded to find out that James, Sirius, and Pettigrew had become Animagi at school under our supervision, but that is not the point of this letter.
Pettigrew, as it turns out, committed all the crimes that we had been accusing Sirius of all these years. I'm still not at all sure how this happened, but it did. Remus, Potter, Weasley, Granger, and Sirius himself were so close to bringing Pettigrew in and clearing Sirius's name! As you know, however, a rat is a rat, is a rat, is a rat. Pettigrew slipped away at the last moment and no one has heard of him since. Sirius is still blamed for crimes he did not commit by the much larger part of the magical community. It is quite depressing to be sure.
Don't think things all bad, though. Sirius is a very clever man and will avoid capture quite easily. And while Pettigrew is a coward that will refuse to show his face, his comfortable life as a pet is over. He will now live just like any other rat or beggar on the streets, and he will not do so forever. The day will come when we will find him and clear Sirius Black's name!
I hope you and all your colleagues are doing well,
Dear Agent McGee,
I've attached a recent newspaper clipping to this letter rather than write down everything. I will merely tell you that it is all wrong. Sirius Black was framed by his old school friend, Peter Pettigrew, who we all thought was dead. Pettigrew scurried away from us at the last minute and finding him again will be very difficult. While Dumbledore was able to explain every small detail of Sirius's frame-up to Minister Fudge, Sirius is still a wanted criminal. Fudge refuses to take any action in clearing the poor man's name without hard, cold proof. I think you know as well as I that it will be a long time, perhaps too long a time, before we can acquire such evidence. However, this is a topic that upsets me greatly, and I'd prefer it not to be mentioned again.
It took a while, but Hogwarts settled back down after you left. Classes continued, students still sneak out of their dorms, there's still magic in the hallways, and pranks galore. It's almost as if nothing had happened to disturb the normal way of things. I consider this a positive. Hogwarts is strong enough to move on. We took our time to grieve, and now we show that we are quite unstoppable.
There has been a rise in interest in Muggle Studies and in crime fighting since students came back from Christmas Break. I believe you and your colleagues have helped us in more ways than any of us thought. This large interest is a huge step in the directions of our worlds understanding each other.
Tell me of what things the troublesome NCIS team has been getting into!
-Professor Pomona Sprout
It has been quite a while and much has happened. I won't bother you with writing the past week's events down, as I'm sure you'll hear all about them from Agent McGee and Officer David, perhaps maybe even Miss Scuito.
I've only recently discovered that you managed to hide even more from me and the staff during your stay. I had the Weasley twins in detention a few days ago. They told me they had a hand in catching Neco! Would you care to explain this to me? Let me rephrase, as I know what your answer to that question will be. Tell me what part you had the Weasleys play in your scheme. Yes, scheme. It was a scheme that captured who needed to be captured, but a scheme none the less.
I'm positive you'll take interest in the fact that the Ministry has been keeping tabs on you and your team since your departure. You lot made quite an impression on Fudge and Umbridge when you dropped in for that ball. Before you ask, I have no idea why they are keeping track of you, nor do I have an idea as to why they would wish to do such a thing. I'll readily admit to being glad you're gone, help though you may have ended up being.
Miss Brown is recovering quite well, as are Mr. Diggory and Miss Madley. Brown and Diggory have expressed wishes to return to school next year. Miss Weasley took no time to come back at all, and returned to classes at second semester. The Madley family, unfortunately, have taken up residence in France. The Madley children will now attend Beaxbatons, another school of our kind. Be thankful you were called to Hogwarts rather than Beaxbatons. I'm sure you would have snapped the necks of a few of those little high maintenance darlings.
I did hear all about your past week. Let me know when Pettigrew's been caught and Black cleared. I love hearing about cleanups that I don't have to do paper work on.
I didn't ask the Weasley twins to do anything in that 'scheme'. They volunteered themselves to DiNozzo, and we took them up on their offer. You should be proud of your Gryffindors. If they hadn't done such a good job we would have lost at least two people before we came home.
Director Sheppard said she's still having to deal with Minister Fudge, though she's assured me that the Ministry won't be keeping tabs on my team any longer. Believe me when I say that she was angry to hear about it, and that it has been taken care of. Jen's not one to mess around with.
Keep a close eye on Lavender and Cedric next year. Make sure they get help if they need it right away, and let them know that they can come to the staff if need be.
As for Beaxbatons, those 'high maintenance darlings' can't be worse than anyone we've dealt with before. Beaxbatons probably has a more agreeable staff than Hogwarts, at least.
Enjoy your vacation time,
P.S. If anything happens to Abby when she visits next year, I'll come back and deal with the issue personally.
Here we are, 492 pages, 7,176 paragraphs, 150,313 words, 1 year, 1 week, and 1 day later, finally finished! Thank you SOOOOOOO SO SO SOOOOOOOOOOO much for sticking with me! I've really enjoyed reading all your reviews and writing this story for you. I'll miss you all a lot, but keep your eyes out. I'm not done writing stories yet. You can't get rid of me that easily!
I'll give you double thanks and an e-ice cream cake if you leave me one last review! :)