"I don't know what that means."
Brennan looked around curiously. On the field, the bludgers stopped mid-flight, falling to the ground with a heavy thud. Players began to land, looking at each other curiously, staring into the sky where Draco and Harry continued to chase each other.
Hermione's mouth open and closed as she struggled for words. She stared helplessly at Ginny, who shrugged in confusion, and then glanced down where most of the players had gathered. "You caught the snitch," she said again when she looked back at Brennan. "That ends the game."
Brennan stared at the small gold ball lying on her open palm. "But . . . I'm not a competitor. This . . . object . . . was simply there. I reached out and . . ."
High above everything, Harry noticed the bludgers fall to the ground and pulled up, cursing. Draco came to a hovering stop beside him.
"Damn you, Potter," he snarled.
"Get off, Malfoy," Harry responded, his face a mask of dislike. "Where is it?"
Draco paused, blinking. "I don't have it. I thought you did."
"What? No." Harry shook his head, confused. "You didn't catch it?"
"No." Both men looked around for the flutter of golden wings. The players below looked up, waiting for a signal from one of the seekers. "But if you didn't . . . and I didn't . . ."
Movement in the stands drew their attention as people turned and pointed to the top seats. "No . . ." Harry said softly. "It's not possible . . ."
"We won!" Booth slammed his tankard on the table. The crowd at the Three Broomsticks listened avidly as the argument that had begun at the untimely end of the Quidditch match continued.
"We were ahead 120 - 90!" Ron yelled back. "We won!"
"But Bones caught that little ball," Booth argued. "We won!"
"I didn't see her on a broom," Ron pointed out. "Doesn't count. We win!"
"What d'you mean it doesn't count? She's my wife! It counts! We win!"
"Well, you didn't see my wife interfering with the game! No points! We win!"
"I wasn't . . ." Brennan began. Hermione touched her lightly on the arm.
"Reason and facts are useless at this point," she said, shaking her head. "They're having too much fun arguing."
"Look, pal, Bones is a . . a muggle, like me," Booth shrugged. "So, it has to count. Bones!" He looked over his shoulder at her. "What's that . . . that cookie thing?"
"Cookie thing?" she repeated, stumped.
"Yea." He snapped his fingers. "The cookie thing, you know, that Latin cookie thing . . ."
Brennan's face cleared as she laughed. " 'Ipso facto Colombo Oreo?' That Latin cookie thing?"
"Yea!" Booth pointed a finger at Ron. "Bones is a muggle, I'm a muggle, ipso facto Colombo Oreo, her points count! We win."
Ron shook his head. "Those aren't even real words! Hermione," he said, searching for her, "those aren't even real words, are they? He can't use those!"
"Well . . ."
"Look," Booth interrupted. "What do you usually do when this happens? Who gets the points?"
"What . . ." Ron's mouth hung open as he stared at Booth. "What do we usually . . . ? THIS DOESN'T HAPPEN!" He placed his hands palm down on the table and leaned forward. "You can't just . . . just grab the snitch out of thin air! Seekers are rare, it's an unusual skill . . . you have to be fast and agile and . . ."
"And a muggle, apparently." Booth crossed his arms over his chest and sat back, his expression smug. "Bones just grabbed it, didn't she? We win."
"No! That's not . . ."
A burst of laughter echoed across the pub, coming from a small table where George and Lee sat examining heavy, dust covered volumes. Around the room, voices quietened and arguments faded as heads turned in that direction.
"This is brilliant," George laughed again. "Bloody brilliant." Noticing the silence he looked up into the faces staring at him. "Brilliant," he said again. He walked to where Booth and Ron sat and slapped the American hard on the shoulder.
"We just saw the first muggle/wizard Quidditch match ever," George announced. "And I'm wizard enough to admit it, he played pretty damn well." He hauled Booth to his feet. "Let's hear it for the Yank!" he yelled, clapping and cheering loudly as, only slightly abashed, Booth grinned widely and lifted one fist in triumph as he rotated in a slow circle around the room.
"But that wasn't enough," George added, speaking over the subsiding revelry. "Not only do we play a muggle/wizard Quidditch match but we can't even say - definitively - who won because for the first . . . time . . . ever . . ." he said slowly, emphasizing the words, "the snitch was caught by someone in the audience. And not only some random bloke but . . ." he paused dramatically and then wrapped one arm around Brennan's shoulders and pulled her up next to him. ". . . It was caught by A MUGGLE!" Brennan glanced around uncertainly, smiling faintly at the applause and celebratory calls of her name.
"This day will live forever in the history of muggle/wizard relations," George added theatrically. "We will be debating the outcome for years to come. I don't know who that poor chap is whose bones were rotting in the field outside the village," he added, "but I think we all owe a debt of gratitude to him. So," he concluded, releasing Brennan and lifting his mug, "here's to ol' moldy!"
"Here here," the gathered multitude chanted and raised their own drinks.
"Oh!" Brennan exclaimed loudly before pulling out a chair beside Hermione. "Today's events almost distracted me from remembering to show you the image Angela sent last night." She picked up the large backpack she'd brought with her that morning and, withdrawing several pages, spread them in front of Hermione. "This is her rendering of how the person you found buried may have looked." Several people pushed closer to the table to get a look at the image. "I have several copies," Brennan said and passed them among those closest.
Harry picked up one sheet. "He looks familiar," he murmured, a frown forming between his eyes.
"Yea, a bit," Ron agreed, studying the image over Harry's shoulder.
"Your friend," George said, staring down at the unsmiling face on the page, "she did this just from the bones?"
"Angela did, yes," Brennan nodded. "She's very good at her job."
A grizzled old wizard passed by on his way to the men's room and paused to glance at the image in Harry's hand. "Ah, so it's ol' Wonky, then, the bones you found?" he said, shaking his head. "Pity." Harry grabbed his arm as he started to amble on.
"Wait . . . you know who this is?" he asked, shaking the page he held.
"Well, yea," the wizard nodded. "It's not a very good picture but that's definitely old Wonky."
"Wonky who?" Harry asked, his voice urgent.
"It's Wonky Shunpike, idn't it?" the old man answered, in a tone that said the identity should have been obvious. "With that snozz, who else could it be? Disappeared more'n forty years ago. Might be close to fifty now," he said. "'bout time he was found."
Harry's attention was caught by a veiled, hunchbacked witch sitting by herself in the corner who had suddenly begun to choke. Sounds of coughing and wheezing escaped from beneath the thick, black lace covering her face. His eyes narrowed. "Hermione," he said quietly, nodding toward the corner when he had her attention.
Hermione stared for a short moment before her jaw dropped. "No," she said, turning back to Harry. "Surely not . . . he wouldn't try that again!"
"Worked for him before, didn't it?" Harry asked, his voice tight. "And the match today, all that wagering to do . . ." He nodded. "Only one way to find out . . ." Pointing his wand at the witch he yelled out, "Mundungus!"
With a brilliant flash of light the veil was ripped from the witches head, revealing a stumpy, wrinkled old man sporting a few strands of faded ginger hair stretched across a bald, spotted head. Eyes wide and alarmed, he jumped up and dashed for the door.
"Impedimenta!" Harry yelled, sending Dung crashing to the floor. Harry and Ron hurried over, wands pointed down at the panting wizard.
" 'ere now," Dung grumbled. "You coulda hurt me w' tha bleedin' spell."
Ron searched his robes and removed his wand before dragging him back to the chair he'd just vacated.
"As you could have hurt unknown innocents with that fake Wolfsbane Potion you sold the werewolves?" Hermione asked archly, her face etched with dislike as she faced the old criminal. On hearing this the crowd around them began to mutter angrily, talking among themselves and moving restlessly. After a glance at Hermione, Harry and Ron spent a few minutes clearing the room. Brennan and Booth stood off to the side, watching in silence.
Alone now, Harry pulled out a chair and sat opposite the old felon. "I think a fake potion isn't the reason Mundungus was running," Harry said. "I saw you choke when old Connell identified this man as Wonky Shunpike." He placed the image on the table in front of Dung. "Why? Do the bones we found at the memorial site belong to Wonky Shunpike? Is that who it is?"
Mundungus pushed the photo away with one grubby finger. " 'course I know the man. 'e was me best mate, wadn't 'e?"
"Your best mate?" Ron asked, his voice scornful. "And you killed him and buried him outside Hogsmeade?"
"I bloody well did not kill 'im," Dung said, insulted. "It were those fancy muggles what did it!"
Hermione and Harry exchanged a shocked look. "Muggles killed a wizard?" Hermione asked, her voice raised high in surprise.
Dung shook his head at them as if they were the children they used to be. "Wonky was a Squib, wadn't 'e? 'Course, me, I didn't hold that against 'im," Dung added, nodding self-righteously. " 'e was alright in my book, ol Wonky."
"Yea, you're a regular hero, Dung," Harry said acerbically. "Why did muggles kill Wonky Shunpike? And how did he end up buried here, in Hogsmeade, with no one knowing about it?"
The crooked old wizard let out a huge sigh and sat back in his chair. "Me and Wonky, see, we had this money makin' opportunity." Hermione groaned and closed her eyes. "These fancy muggles, them what liked the fancy suits, they wanted to buy some gold. So, me and Wonky, we sold 'em some gold." He shrugged carelessly.
"You sold them leprechaun gold, didn't you?" Hermione asked quietly.
"Leprechaun gold is real?" Booth interrupted. Immediately, he waved his hand. "Never mind. Of course it is."
Ron looked over his shoulder at the Americans. "Yea, it's real." Turning back to Mundungus he added, "The only problem is that it disappears after a few days."
"Worked like a charm it did," Dung continued. "We 'ad a real money makin' concern goin'." He shook his head sadly. "And then we ran into them blokes again and before I could get us out of there, one of the buggers pulled out this . . . thing . . ." he held his hand in the shape of a pistol, "and Wonky's 'ead fair exploded, it did. If I hadn't gotten us away, me 'ead would 'ave 'ad a 'ole innit, too."
"And you didn't tell anyone? You just buried him, without telling his family?" Hermione was appalled.
"Well, 'e was a squib, wadn't 'e?" Dung said by way of explanation. "That ol' bitty 'e was married to was always telling 'im she'd be better off wiffout 'im, and the boy, too. I gave 'er what she wanted. 'e was already dead, wadn't e? I didn't do nuthin' wrong."
Hermione stared at him, open mouthed. "I can't begin to list everything you did wrong, Dung." She shook her head. "You are going to have to explain this to the Wizengamot."
"I'm sorry," Brennan stepped forward. "What just happened? This man has identified the remains? And the events that lead to his death?"
"It seems so, Dr. Brennan," Hermione answered.
"So what happens now?" Booth asked.
"He will face the Wizengamot," Harry explained. Seeing their questioning gaze, he added, "The Wizengamot is our High Court. There will be a trial and he'll likely end up in Azkaban . . . wizard prison," he concluded.
"What about the men who killed him?" Brennan asked.
"We don't administer muggle justice," Hermione said. "And given your shorter life spans, they may not be alive now anyway."
Booth and Brennan looked at each other. "So that's it?" Booth asked.
Harry shrugged. "That's it. We know who it is. That's the important thing."
Brennan glanced at her watch. "We still have time to make our flight home," she said to Booth.
"Sure, since the Quidditch match ended prematurely!" Ron grumbled.
Booth slapped his shoulder. "Don't be a sore loser, Ron."
"We didn't lose! You didn't win!"
"We didn't lose!"
"Booth . . . "
"Ron . . . "
"I can't thank you enough, Dr. Brennan, for your help," Hermione said. She, Harry and Ron were standing in the sitting room of the hotel room, saying their goodbyes after returning Booth and Brennan to London.
"It was . . . certainly . . . interesting," Brennan responded. "But, I have to admit that I have enjoyed meeting all of you and learning about . . . your . . . culture." She paused. "How will we get the remains back to you?"
"Oh, we'll take care of those," Hermione answered, waving one hand casually. "Are you sure we can't take you to the airport? It would be a much faster journey."
"No," Brennan answered, glancing at Booth. "I think we'll take our chances with the transportation to which we're accustomed."
"Of course," Hermione nodded. "I understand. But I hope you will accept these small tokens of our appreciation." She pulled a small beaded bag out of the pocket of her robes. Opening it, she withdrew a long wooden box. Brennan opened her mouth to comment on the size of the box relative to the tiny bag but changed her mind. "This is for your daughter," Hermione explained. "It's a hangman's game."
"A hangman's game?" Brennan asked, reaching out for the box. "The spelling game?"
"Yes," she said. "It's actually from Ron's shop. The hanged man climbs up the scaffold and hangs himself if the word is misspelled."
Brennan was thrilled. "Moira will certainly enjoy this."
Hermione next withdrew a thick, rectangular box. "We thought your sons might enjoy this. It's a chess set. They might be a bit young yet but . . ."
Brennan shook her head. "They're four years old. Of course they play chess."
"Oh." Hermione blinked. "Yes, well . . . erm . . . they might need a bit of supervision the first few times they play with this particular set. Wizard's chess is played with the same rules as muggle chess but the pieces take their roles a bit more seriously."
Brennan and Booth exchanged an uncertain glance before Booth reached out for the box. "We'll keep an eye on them."
Ron pulled a bottle from his pocket and held it out. "This is for you, mate. Firewhiskey." He smiled broadly. "Just don't drink it all at once."
Booth's answering smile was just as wide as he took the bottle. "No, I think I learned that lesson."
Hermione reached into her beaded bag once more. "You have your book, of course, Dr. Brennan, but I thought you might also like to have this." She unwrapped a soft cloth to reveal the small golden snitch. "Since you caught it," she smiled.
Five Years Later . . . . . .
The sound of the doorbell barely registered above the screaming of the seven girls running through the house. Booth closed his eyes and prayed his eardrums would survive the night. "I'll get it!" he yelled, to no one in particular.
"It's probably the pizza," Brennan said, coming out of the kitchen.
"We ordered more pizza? How much can a bunch of girls eat?" Shaking his head, he opened the door. "Yes? Can I help you?"
The woman in front of him smiled in a friendly manner. She wore a bright, colorful dress that brushed the tops of her shoes and her dark, silver-tinted hair hung over one shoulder in a thick braid.
"Mr. Booth?" she asked and, peering over his shoulder added, "Dr. Brennan? My name is Geneva Quimby." She held out her hand in greeting. "We've never met and you may not remember me but I assisted with a . . . delivery from England a few years ago."
Brennan and Booth exchanged a glance. "I remember the . . . delivery," Brennan said slowly, accepting a brief handshake.
"Oh, that's wonderful," Geneva smiled. "I would like a moment of your time, if I may?"
Booth moved slightly, blocking the door with his wide shoulders. "What is this about?" he asked suspiciously. "This really isn't a good time. Our daughter has friends over to celebrate her birthday."
"Actually," Geneva said, her grin broadening as she held out a pale green, square envelope, "it's your daughter I've come to discuss."
Brennan reached out for the envelope, turning it over to examine the back. On the flap, in dark emerald ink, were the words Salem Institute of Magic.
And on the front . . .
Miss Moira Caroline Booth
The Purple Bedroom
1407 Crider Brook Way
Thank you very much for letting me journey into the silliness that is Bones meets Harry Potter. As an avid fan of both, I had entirely too much fun with this one. I hope you enjoyed it, too!