Hi, here is the next chapter and I'm finally introducing Ai / Shiho into the mix. Happy reading.
Back at home Harry informed Sirius and Shinichi about what he had found out.
"So Kid is a wizard. And he tries to find the murderers of his father. There must be a connection between Kaito Kid then and those murderers." Shinichi said.
"Yes, and if we searched all the class lists of the high schools around Tokyo we'll easily find him as I saw his face. You and he look scarily alike." Harry said.
"You said he was mainly after jewels recently?" Sirius asked.
"Yes, the biggest jewels there are. And he always makes it a big show. Well, that probably is to get the murderers of his father out of their hiding place." Harry confirmed from what he had read in the files of the second department of the Tokyo police. "Do you have an idea?"
"Perhaps. I heard about a very magical stone during my work. I was briefed on the most precious gems and one stood out to me, as it sounded like something Voldemort could be after. The gem is called Pandora. Over time it was lost what kind of jewel it is, but it is known that it is one of the biggest jewels. Pandora, following the myths, is a stone that, if held into the moonlight, shows a second stone inside the normal jewel, which will shine bright red. At a certain time if you hold the stone into the moonlight at a full moon, a tear will be produced from the stone, which will give the drinker eternal life." Sirius said.
"Precisely. And an organization that is after Pandora killed my father eight years ago." They heard a voice coming from the kitchen.
They jumped from their seats and saw a boy of seventeen standing there relaxed.
"I thought as you probably would find out my identity anyway, I could as well come and discuss with you if you couldn't keep my secret. After all, you seem to have your own secrets as well. And I never really steal anything as I give it back every time." Kid said.
"Pff, you really have guts I have to give you, that. We can discuss this and then decide what we do. Well, I think introductions are due. You already know my name, Harry Potter." Harry said.
"Yes, the famous Boy-Who-Lived who is missed in his home country because they are unable to get rid of one dark lord on their own. Well, my real name is Kaito Kuroba and the first Kaito Kid was my father, Toichi Kuroba." Kaito said.
"Sirius Black, infamous prisoner of Azkaban, but completely innocent. Well, as far as a master prankster can be innocent." He admitted.
"Shinichi Kudo." Shinichi said.
"Ah, that definitely explains how Harry knew that I wasn't you. Definitely a good method of identification." Kaito admitted. "I had suspected that there was more to you than it seemed. No normal primary school student should have seen through my tricks. What happened to you?"
"Nasty clash with a criminal organization." Shinichi answered.
"Hm, they don't by any chance have a member called Snake?" Kaito asked.
"Never heard that name. I know of two called Gin and Vodka. There also was a man called Tequila, but he got blown up." Shinichi answered. "Where did I hear the name Kuroba before?"
"Well, my father was famous as an illusionist all over the world." Kaito said.
"No, it was something else. Ah, now I remember. My mother took lessons from him in disguising herself when I was a child. And she mentioned him in one of her essays." Shinichi remembered.
"Ah, yes, I met her once. She was a bit vain about her age. I gave her a rose as a present and told her it was because she was such a pretty auntie. She didn't look happy at all." Kaito told them.
"Yes, that would have set her off. She hates being called old." Shinichi confirmed.
"So back to the topic. Can you describe that man or any others you met?" Harry asked.
"Snake is about one meter and ninety tall, bulky built, but all muscle. He wears a black trench coat with a black normal hat. I think nearly all he wears is black. His minions whom I don't know the names of, also mostly wear black. They've shown themselves a few times now. I found out about Pandora when I followed them to the hideout of their boss. But when I directed Nakamori and his team there, they abandoned the place. They killed my father because he didn't want to hand over the diamond he stole. They also knew his true identity. I only know that they belong to an organization, but I don't know if it is the same you talked about." Kaito explained.
"It sounds like it is the same organization. The guys I know also mostly wear black. From a member in the low ranks just before she needed to go on a lengthy hospital stay, thanks to injuries from being shot by another member, we found out that they all wear the colour black. They are involved in all kinds of crime. That they are looking for a magical stone is concerning." Shinichi said.
"I think the same. So do we have an agreement? We don't rat each other out and share information? I'll see if I can find out more on my end and you on yours?" Kaito asked.
"Do you promise to stop stealing as soon as you get them?" Shinichi asked.
"Yes. I only started stealing after I found out about my father's murder. If I had another idea on how to find them I wouldn't resort to stealing. While giving a great show is really exiting, I don't really like showing up Inspector Nakamori all the time. While it is quite funny sometimes, he is the father of my best friend. But the guy is so easy to trick most of the time." Kaito said.
Shinichi looked at Harry and Sirius. They nodded.
"Okay, we can work together. I think it would be best if we exchanged mobile numbers to contact each other quickly if necessary." Shinichi said.
"Yes, that might be best. So, are you any closer to reverting the deaging?" Kaito asked.
"Yes, I've got fairly far. But to really find a cure I would need the poison itself or more information on it. I have isolated a few components of a liquor that turned Shinichi back once for a short time. But before we test it I want to be sure it works." Harry said.
"Yes, it would be bad if something went wrong and he couldn't ever change back again." Kaito agreed.
"That's the reason Harry gave me. If you by any chance can steal the poison from a member of the organisation if you ever come across them, I would be really grateful." Shinichi said.
"I'll see what I can do." Kaito promised.
Harry was on his way to Professor Agasa. Shinichi had sent him a strange message about a new girl in his class. Harry wondered why she was so strange. Normally Shinichi would simply keep to his small group of primary school friends that stuck to him like glue. He thought back to his last case. He had impressed Inspector Megure once more and even Chief inspector Matsumoto had praised his deduction skills. That was pretty awesome. If only there weren't so many murders he stumbled across. He sometimes felt that he and Shinichi were cursed to find crime scenes obscenely often. He finally reached the house and entered through the gate. He rang the bell at the door and was called inside by the Professor.
"Good evening, Professor." Harry greeted.
"Good evening, Harry. Thanks for coming this quickly." The Professor said.
"Shinichi's message sounded urgent so I came as soon as I could." Harry told the older man.
"It's a good thing you did. We were about to call somebody in Shizuoka to follow a lead on the poison Shinichi took." The Professor informed Harry.
"Really, that's great." Harry exclaimed happily.
He really wanted his best friend back to normal.
"Yes it is, but now you should meet my new housemate. She's the reason Shinichi wrote to you." The Professor said.
Harry realised that there had to be more to the story and followed the Professor into the living room where Shinichi was staring at a red-blond girl his age intently.
"Harry, good that you're here." Shinichi greeted him.
"Your message seemed urgent, so what's the matter?" Harry asked.
"Well, this is Ai Haibara who from today on joined my class at Teitan Elementary School. The others drafted her into the Detective Boys immediately and we solved a case with a ring of money fakers. It got quite dangerous in the end because the boss of the gang wouldn't have hesitated to kill us. Ai is a fake name, I don't know her real name as she didn't give it to me. But you won't believe what other name she goes by. Sherry." Shinichi told Harry.
"A member of the organisation? Why the hell is she here and you not up in arms?" Harry asked.
"Because I fled from the organisation. I worked for them as a scientist and in fact I was the one to develop the APTX 4869 that Kudo took and which turned him into a child. I didn't originally plan to develop a poison, the goal of the project was something totally different. But some time ago the organisation killed my sister. I asked over and over again why, but I didn't get information. I threatened them to stop my work if they didn't finally answer my questions and was punished. I was held captive in a storage room of my working place. To escape the organisation, as I knew I would be killed for my rebellion, I took the poison I had developed. I expected a quick death, but like Kudo I shrunk and slipped from the handcuffs that kept me imprisoned. I could flee from the laboratory and the one person I thought could help me was Kudo, so I ran to his house. From an investigation at his house that I was part of I knew he was alive as I had noticed that his old clothes from when he was a child were gone." Ai explained.
"In the testing stage of the poison, when the organisation decided that even if it wasn't the desired result of the project it was very valuable as it killed without a trace, one of the mice returned to its child's stage. So knowing this I concluded that Kudo, who had been given APTX 4869, had been turned into a child. As I was in the same situation I hoped he could help me. He had graciously agreed to not tell the police as it would only endanger him as well."
"I see. And what is this about the call to Shizuoka?" Harry asked.
"A few years ago my sister sent me some diskettes with pictures from her holidays. I watched them on a computer at the lab and then sent them back. After that one of the diskettes with all data on the poison on it was gone as well. So I thought that the Professor that my sister studied under could still have that strange diskette. So we are going to call him. He lives in Shizuoka." Ai said.
"What's his name?" Harry asked.
"Professor Masami Hirota of the Nanyo University." She answered.
"Okay, that's probably a good idea. How much time do you think we have before the organisation is after him? They probably have information that one of their diskettes went missing around the same time you sent the vacation photo diskettes back." Harry deducted.
"I don't know, but they are currently looking for me with all available means. They need me dead because I know too much about them." Ai said.
"Okay, Professor, can you do the call?" Harry asked.
The Professor did and soon he had confirmation that Professor Hirota still had the diskette. He then asked about the name of Ai's sister.
"Akemi Miyano." She informed the Professor.
Both Harry and Shinichi looked at Ai in wonder.
"You're Shiho Miyano?" Harry asked surprised. "Talk about coincidences. I should have remembered that your sister said that your code name was Sherry."
"Wait, when did you talk to my sister?" Shiho demanded to know.
"The last time was two weeks ago. She's still recovering from being shot by Gin. The damage has mostly healed but there was a complication with her not taking well to one of the medicines she had to take which slowed the healing down a bit." Harry answered. "We were planning on contacting you once she was out of the hospital to get you out of the organisation."
"Akemi is alive?" Shiho asked trembling.
"Yes, and she'll be eager to see you again." Harry assured her.
It broke a dam in the girl and she started sobbing uncontrollably. Harry went over and took her into his arms. He felt that she needed somebody to comfort her now. Meanwhile Shinichi and the Professor got the car ready to drive to Shizuoka. Once Shiho had calmed down a bit she and Harry joined the two in the car. After all, even if Shiho had developed the poison, she didn't remember every little detail about it. So getting the diskette was still important.
It seemed that the curse had struck again. Professor Hirota had been killed and everything looked like an accident. But there were clues that it wasn't one if you looked closer. The receiver of the phone lay in its normal position even if the phone seemed to have fallen onto its head with an open book on top. That one was too much to be a coincidence. Harry and Shinichi went to work, even if Shiho didn't believe that they could solve this case as there was simply no proof that could reveal the culprit.
The room the professor had died in had been locked, there was only a very small space under the door and as the key to the room lay under a notebook, nobody thought that it might be possible to create a locked room. The diskettes were all gone and a lot of data seemed to have been deleted from the PC. The investigation of the answering machine revealed that a total of thirteen messages had been recorded and one to their surprise was the voice of Vodka.
This meant that while the organisation had found out about the diskette gone missing and that it was probably with Professor Hirota, they hadn't acted yet as they wouldn't have made a mistake like leaving the vice of one of their members on the tape. They would have either exchanged the tape or destroyed it if they had been the culprits of this murder.
The people that had announced that they would come by this evening had been called, or had come by themselves and the police had asked them for their alibis. There was an old acquaintance, Michio Morioka, with whom the Professor regularly played chess, a model, Akira Shirokura, who had been a student at the university where the Professor taught and who wanted a certain photo from him for an article and the father of a new student for the university, Kazuhiro Hosoya, who wanted to ask the professor for a letter of recommendation. The latter's statement that the professor had been fairly drunk played a big part in the belief that it had been an accident caused by drunkenness.
"I know you two are known to solve ever the most difficult cases, but this seems to be a clear case of an accident. Just accept that you're checkmate." Shiho said and put one of the chess figures that lay around onto the phone.
Harry grinned as did Shinichi.
"Oh, no, this is clearly a murder case and thanks to you, I now know the trick of the culprit." Harry said.
"Huh?" Shiho asked shocked. "It wouldn't work to place the notebook onto the chess figures, the bottom is too stable to let them all fall away under the notebook. You could never make sure that the key ended under the notebook with none of the figures under it."
"Watch and learn, Ai." Harry said and Shinichi set about getting everything they needed for the demonstration.
Soon Harry had called all the people involved in the case together. Thankfully the investigating inspector was Yokomizo whom Harry already knew from previous cases, so he wasn't being difficult in letting Harry assist with the case.
"Thank you all for your patience, I have solved the mystery behind this case and I will now reveal how the culprit let this room look as if Professor Hirota died in an accident, even if it was murder." Harry said.
"What? Who are you to claim something like that?" Mr Hosoya asked annoyed.
"Ah, I seem to have forgotten to introduce myself. I'm Harrison Black, I'm a detective." Harry introduced himself.
"The Hawk?" Professor Hirota's wife asked.
"Indeed. And I have spotted the trick that the culprit used to lock this room after he murdered Professor Hirota." Harry spoke. "The culprit, after he had hit Professor Hirota over the head with the statue, was faced with the sudden situation of having to hide his involvement with the murder. I think it wasn't a planned murder, otherwise there wouldn't have been so many clues to how the room was locked left. First there is the phone. The receiver is firmly in position and that is impossible if the phone simply fell to the ground. Another strange part is that there are totally thirteen messages on the tape. That makes you believe that the phone and the tape might have played a role in the trick to close the room to make this look like a locked room murder. My cousin has got some materials to show you which trick the culprit used. Conan, please show them."
Shinichi stepped forward, a new tape for the answering machine in his hands.
"You see, the culprit only had one chance to get out of the circle of suspects. He had to make it look like an accident and for that he needed to get the key into a position in the room where nobody would think a trick could have been used. If I draw a good part of the tape out and put the tape into the answering machine, I have a lot of distance that I can cover. I take the tape to the door and then I pull the tape through the key. From there I return with the tape towards the phone. All of this in a straight line to make sure the tape doesn't get caught anywhere. Now I use three pawns from the chess set and place them in a triangle formation." Shinichi explained. "The loop of the tape I place around the pawn that is closest to the phone and I last place the notebook onto the pawns."
"So you think it could be possible that they key would come to rest under the notebook. With the stable feet of the pawns that wouldn't work, the key would be drawn out under the notebook before it could fall down and the whole trick would be done for." Shiho commented.
"Just wait a moment, Ai." Shinichi said. "I have to do one last thing. The pawns stand upside down."
"Correct. The heads may be round, but with the notebook stabilising the structure they keep standing." Harry threw in. He took his mobile once Shinichi was done. "I think seeing is believing. Let's demonstrate how this will work."
Harry left the room and closed the door. Then he called the phone and waited till the answering machine activated. The key was drawn into the room from under the door and slip over the ground towards the structure. Once the key hit the pawn closest to the phone it was knocked down, the loop around it and through the key's ring pushed on, the notebook fell down and the key was under the notebook. Harry returned to the room.
"Wow, that really worked." Mr Hosoya exclaimed astonished.
"Of course it did." Shinichi spoke up.
"Trust the Hawk to spot something like that." Yokomizo stated. "But as the trick needed a long time to be performed, so only one person could have done it. Mr Akira Shirokura, the one who left a total of ten messages on the tape."
"Now, now, I'll admit that with the trick I could have indeed managed to prepare the room like this, but that isn't proof that I killed Professor Hirota. The only thing that speaks against me is that I left so many messages." Mr Shirokura said, trying to defend himself.
"That would be true, but there is something else. You only came back for one thing. You hoped you could secure the tape unnoticed once the police had left, ruling this as an accident. After all, the tape is full of your finger prints and those are definite proof that you are the culprit." Harry declared.
This shocked Mr Shirokura.
"I had a closer look at the tape when we inspected it and noticed that it was full of somebody's fingerprints. There was no logical reason that Professor Hirota would have left them there, so the only person that could have left them is the culprit. It also proves that this was a crime in the heat of the moment. Otherwise you would have brought gloves and used them like Conan did in the demonstration." Harry pointed out. "I assume you and the Professor got into an argument when you visited him and in the end you beat him dead. You thankfully came up with the trick I had my cousin demonstrate and made it look as if this had been an accident in a locked room. After that you waited until Mrs Hirota returned to make sure she could testify that the room had been locked. You would then have come for your supposed meeting with the Professor, have helped Mrs Hirota breaking into the room and in the mess you could have secured the tape. The only problem with the plan was that we came along earlier than you and called the police immediately."
"I see, it could have worked out either way as while we would wonder about the ten messages, it was better than having silent calls as that would have looked a lot more suspicious." Professor Agasa realised. "And we would have found the finger prints for sure."
"Correct. I think we can solve the rest easily. I think Mr Shirokura will have the discs he took from the Professor somewhere close by. He had to make sure to be ready once the Professor was found after all. In the short amount of time he couldn't have checked them all and found the one he was after." Harry pointed out.
"So, why don't we go and have a look around at your home?" Inspector Yokomizo asked.
"You don't need to do that. All the discs are in my car which is parked in front of the house. Even the one with that photo." Mr Shirokura admitted.
It turned out that Mr Shirokura to be able to become a model had undergone plastic surgery. Professor Hirota had sent him a photo with his former looks and not the one he had asked for where he had been disguised as a woman. Some insensible comments had led to the attack as Mr Shirokura had feared that the editorial office would find out his secret and he had hit Professor Hirota, who had been really drunk, over the head, unintentionally killing him.
"I think Professor Hirota wanted to achieve that you had more confidence in yourself and therefore sent you the picture with your former face, Mr Shirokura. He wanted to tell you that you didn't need to lie to yourself." Professor Agasa told the cuffed culprit.
"I wish Professor Hirota had told me that. It's really tragic." Mr Shirokura said sadly while he was led away.
"That was a brilliant deduction again, Harry." Inspector Yokomizo praised.
"Thank you." Harry said. "I try to help where I can. By the way, we came here for one of the discs as well. When do you think they'll be released?"
"We need to inspect them thoroughly at the station before that can happen, so I would guess a week or so." Inspector Yokomizo said.
"Okay, well, we should go home then." Professor Agasa said.
"I'll come by later. I first need to give my statements at the station, Professor." Harry said, knowing from experience.
"Alright, are you going to call your uncle?" Professor Agasa asked.
"Yes, I'll do so as soon as we are at the station. Please take care of the children." Harry said and then followed Inspector Yokomizo out.
Okay, now things are going to get going again. The alliance with Kaito and Ai being introduced will lead to pushing things forward and a bit away from the Detective Conan manga again. Till next time.