A/N: Welcome to my new plot Bunny. It grabbed hold over 6 months ago and just wouldn't let go. The story is basically complete on my hard-drive and is only about 80 pages long. So this will be a short fic. I especially want to thank again my muse, Les Dowich, without whose support for this fic - it would still be a mess of a document. Les encouraged, supported, helped suggest what needed to be expanded and let me know right off what was rubbish. This is an NCIS/HP crossover that will span 2 separate time periods and three separate plots. Enjoy. PS: I own nothing except Brian Boswell.
November, 1032 – Hogwarts Castle, Scotland
Everything had tumbled around him, everything. His own child – his sweet, beautiful daughter – murdered by that ... He slammed his hand down on his desk causing several bottles to dance on its sleek top. In his other, he crumpled the piece of parchment that had succinctly, and in dry tones, set down his child's fate in words of black, indelible ink. Setting the silencing wards around his office, he let loose with a scream of sheer pain and heartache, sinking to his knees on the unforgiving stone floor, letting his tears fall into his hands as he covered his face, hunched over in grief.
How could he tell his wife? She was already dying; this would surely finish her off. No, he would keep his silence – for now. Better she think her daughter was not talking to her than to discover she was murdered. Wiping his hands across his eyes, he slowly pushed himself up to stand in front of his desk again, smoothing out the parchment and gazing at it one last time, memorising every line, every word – carving them into his heart with every stroke of the quill – before consigning it to a hidden compartment in a drawer.
When his wife passed, that would be it. He could no longer stay in this place where every hallway rang with the ghostly laughter of his blessed girls. The school was up and running, they didn't need him. They didn't need a sour old man spreading doom and gloom amongst the students.
He summoned over a bottle of mead, pouring a generous measure into his flagon and lifting it in a silent toast to the memory of his daughter, Helena.
Thursday, September 14th, 2006 - London
Brian Boswell, on loan to the Auror department from the North American Ministry, always felt out of place whenever he walked into the Ministry offices of his current assignment. For starters, he never dressed in robes. He preferred modern, everyday, casual wear – or Muggle clothes, as his British counterparts delighted in pointing out. He would just smile and remark that at least he knew how to blend in with the general population. And he did.
American magicals were very adept at never being sussed out because of what they wore – of course it helped that most Wizarding communities tended to be centred close to the art districts in most cities, or congregated in rural areas where paranoid Americans tended to leave strange people alone. They were looked upon as being "eccentric" and generally avoided or tolerated with askance looks. In the artist communities, they looked just like one of the artsy types and didn't even warrant a second look.
Brian had grown up in Massachusetts, attending the prestigious Salem Academy – a private school that had all appearances of a standard high-achieving, college-preparatory boarding school that pumped out students well able to enter the Ivy League University of their choice. The students regularly mixed with the townies and, in a town famous for its magical roots, no one looked twice if a wand accidentally was spotted peeking out of a pocket. There were town stores that sold fake wooden wands by the dozens, among other non-magical items to perpetrate the urban myth of the area. And the Muggles ate it up. "Magic" was a popular trend, especially in that area of the country. In order to better blend in, the school had long ago decided to register with the local Muggle authorities as an elite school. It managed to obtain all the credentials that a regular Muggle school had; all of its instructors holding Muggle teaching certificates and degrees as well as Mastership in their chosen magical field of study. The students were required to pass not only North American Ministry of Magic, or NAMoM, approved qualifying exams upon graduation, but they also had to meet the Massachusetts High School graduation requirements, taking their required exams, as well. They intended for their students to be prepared to handle anything in this modern world.
His mother had been a local witch of renown, who taught Arithmancy and all of the Muggle math courses at the academy using her free time to create new spells. Growing up, he had found her to be beautiful, and brilliant, but absent-minded in the raising of her only progeny.
His father had been a Navy lieutenant – strict and exacting in what he expected from his son – but willing to let Brian find his own niche in society. His father was what the British euphemistically call a Squib – or a non-magical born to a magical family. He had been thrilled when Brian had his first bout of accidental magic at the age of four and had summoned a cookie from the jar on top of the refrigerator.
He had been allowed the cookie as a reward – but only after completing the time-out he'd also earned for trying to climb up to the jar in the first place.
After Salem, Brian had followed in his father's footsteps and joined the Navy, going through the Academy with flying colours, ending up as a liaison between the Navy and NAMoM. The American Armed Services tended to turn a blind eye to magicals – perpetrating an atmosphere similar to one that gays faced: Don't ask, don't tell.
It didn't stop NAMoM from having its own people infiltrate the system, helping when a touch of magic could solve a problem – and making sure that its own citizens were safe.
Every now and then people would be loaned in a gesture of good-will between countries, which is how Brian had ended up in England. He was there to observe and train with the Auror Corp, learning techniques that could possibly be used in their own MLE program.
But he'd be damned if he would wear robes; he just could not roll with that aspect of their group.
He dropped his black leather jacket over the back of his desk chair, sliding into it and reaching for the only sheaf of parchments in his IN box. Multi-coloured memo's zoomed over-head, each colour denoting Department and urgency. He'd been in England for nearly a year now and had learned early on to step out of the way of the Red and Black memos, both of which tended to smoke and snarl as they hurried to their destinations. If they were really aggressive, they would deliberately buzz you and leave a stinging paper cut behind.
Today's assignment was a folder of accumulated parchments with a note attached to the front stating that these had been found in the estate of a wizard who had recently passed away, provenance unsure, but it talked of murder – mayhap ("Yep, I'm in Britain..." he mused) the Aurors should investigate.
He began flipping through the handwritten sheets, curiosity piqued as he noted that there were dates – but only month and numbers, no years. One of the obscure spells he'd been taught in school had been a carbon-dating determinant. Unfortunately it had the effect of obliterating whatever you were testing, so he tore a small piece off of an unwritten corner and putting the papers aside, pulled his wand and got ready to cast the spell, not noticing that his boss had come up behind him.
"What did that little piece of parchment do to you, Boswell?" came the curious question.
Brian turned to see Harry Potter standing near him, hands clasped behind his back as he bent forward to peer at the tiny scrap. Contemporaries, he had of course heard about the fellow wizard while in school – but Salem tended not to exchange students or put much weight on what happened in the European academies. They had not been invited to the tournament held in ninety-four, although the rumour was that their school had been the patsy used to enter Potter's name into the cup. His headmistress had been quite vocal in her vituperative calling down of all officials involved in the fiasco (the corridors ringing with her shouts after the morning papers had arrived), and rumour had it she had sent Headmaster Dumbledore a howler. But Brian, like all the boys in his class, had followed the newspaper reports religiously all year; comparing notes and speculating what they would have used had they been allowed to participate in the challenges. They had all come away with the idea that Harry Potter had been a lucky SOB to have survived at all, much less come away the winner. It could have easily been him that had died in that graveyard.
Making a decision, Brian snapped his wand back into its holder and reached for the folder, handing it to his boss.
"There are no years listed next to the dates. I wanted to see how recent this supposed crime took place. My suspicion is that it is quite old, the archaic use of language and spelling, the dryness of the parchment and the fact that it is real sheepskin, not just the manufactured version we currently have been using for the last sixty years."
Harry nodded as he made a cursory inspection of the documents. "So you decided to carbon-date the parchment?" he asked.
Brian raised his eyebrows in amazement. "Yes! How did you know...?"
"Raised a Muggle, Boswell. I'm quite familiar with various forensic techniques. You'll be using your mother's version of the spell?"
Brian nodded mutely, but snapped to attention quickly enough. "Yes, sir; I was taught it in school."
Harry snapped the folder closed, tucking it under his arm. "Well, then, get on with it, Lieutenant."
Brian dropped his wand back into his hand, and centring himself, cast the spell. As the paper caught flame under the purple spell-sheen, numbers rose above it before dissolving away to ash. Harry let out a low whistle as Brian stared in astonishment.
The numbers had read 1032.