Disclaimer: Criminal Minds and Harry Potter do not belong to me.
July 30, 2009 (8:30am)
"Can I help you?"
"Judith Tinkerton?" JJ asked the middle-aged woman standing behind the screen door.
"Yes," She acknowledged. "What can I go for you?"
"Ma'am," Aaron spoke gently as he showed her his identification, "we're Special Agents Hotchner and Jareau with the FBI. We'd like to speak to you about your daughter, Emma. May we come in?
The woman's breath hitched and she hesitated only a moment pushing the door open for them.
"Thank you," JJ said with a soft smile.
Once inside, the woman showed them into a living room occupied by two children, both around ten years of age. "Simon, Annabelle, can you please go outside and get your father from the garage. Then I'd like you stay in the yard while we talk with these people."
"Sure mom," the boy said as he got up off the floor and turned off the cartoons they had been watching. They both disappeared a moment later and Judith motioned for the two agents toward the sofa.
"This is about the man in Hartsville," she stated as she sat on the loveseat, "Evans, the chocolate man. Have they found his body already?"
"No, Ma'am," Aaron said evenly. "Mr. Evans was found, alive, yesterday morning. We are, however, hoping that you might be able to provide us with an idea as to who might have done this before he goes after Mr. Evans again."
"I don't know how I can help," She said with a sad sigh as a man in greasy overalls joined them. "Donald, these people are with the FBI."
Donald Tinkerton was wiping his hands on a tea towel and nodded in greeting to the two. "How can we help you, Agents?"
"Mr. and Mrs. Tinkerton, we know about Emma," JJ told them plainly. "We know that she was a First-Generation Magic User and going to school for magic."
The parents looked at each other and the relief shared between them was obvious. "When Emma disappeared we went to the magical authorities," Donald told them crouching down beside the loveseat next to his wife, holding her hand for support. "But because she was a first generation witch it wasn't a priority for them."
"When we threatened to go to the local police and tell them what we knew, the spelled us so we couldn't speak about anything magical unless someone else told us they knew first." Judith shook her head. "It was several weeks later before someone from that world came to even look for her, but their spells wouldn't work. They told us the locator spells only do that when the person is dead."
"Is that why she was killed?" Donald asked, "Because she had magic?"
"Yes," Aaron nodded. "All the other victims possessed magic as well."
"We believe," JJ explained to the couple, "that Emma somehow drew the Unsub's attention in the few weeks she was home. Of all the other victims, she is the only one with a specific window of opportunity. We can, hopefully, find what it was that happened that alerted him of who and what she was."
The parents exchanged looks before Donald answered. "Emma was always so careful. There are laws against underage magic and she was almost obsessive about following the rules; she didn't want to have her wand taken from her. So she kept her wand in a case with her school things. She didn't want the temptation."
"She still had the occasional bought of accidental magic," Judith told them. "After her first year, a wild dog had gotten into the yard and scared her and the twins. A burst of magic saw the dog transfigured into a rabbit."
"We still have it, actually," Donald laughed lightly. "Simon and Annabelle dote on the ratty thing."
Judith smiled at her husband before turning back to the agents. "She was terrified that she'd be expelled for it, but she didn't even get a notice for it. Emma was so relieved."
"And during the summer she went missing," JJ pressed gently, "were there any instances of accidental magic?"
"Just one," Judith nodded. "When Emma went off to the Academy in Seattle, she kept a correspondence with her friends from school here. During the summer, they would all spend a couple weeks at the end of July at a Bible camp outside of Greenville."
"There was an accident, one night," Donald took up the story. "Some of the boys were being cruel, teasing Emma and her friends, and it got out of hand. They had locked Emma in one of the port-a-potties and wouldn't let her out. She had always been a little claustrophobic and in her panic her magic lashed out. It tore the door off its hinges and blasted the boys away from it. It was witnessed by several councilors who were about to intervene and they all had to have the memory modified by the magical government."
"Can you remember the name of this Camp?"
"Palmetto Bible Camp," Judith supplied readily. "Several of the local clergymen volunteer there and a lot of the families send their children there. It came highly recommended."
: - : - : - : - : - : - : - : - : - :
When Derek next woke it was to the soft murmur of voices coming from behind the kitchen door. He sat up on the sofa, stretched the muscles in his back and arms, before rising and making his way into the other room.
"Good morning, Agent Morgan," Harrison greeted him at the profiler entered.
"Morgan," Spencer smiled warmly at him.
The pair was sitting at the table, papers and pictures spread across the entire surface between them. Each of them held a coffee mug in their hand and seeing him eying the beverage, Harrison motioned to the carafe warming on the coffee maker beside the stove.
"Help yourself," he told the agent with a nod. "There's cream or milk in the fridge and sugar in the container right there."
"Thanks," Derek acknowledged and went about preparing himself a cup.
"Mr. Evans has been kind enough to go through the victims with me," the young psychologist told him. "Hotchner was hoping we could find more commonality between them, other than the magic thing, that might connect back with the killer."
"Any luck so far?" the dark skinned man queried, leaning up against the counter.
"Nothing we didn't already know," Spencer admitted with a sigh.
"Agent Moffat has been looking for information in the Wizarding World," Harrison told them. "But that's going to take time still. As it is, they won't find anything on them since they left that world and reintegrated into non-magical society."
"What makes you say that?" Derek asked, moving across the room to take a seat at the table with them.
"Wizards, in general, are snobs," the man answered bluntly. "It's not as prevalent here as it was back in England, but the prejudices are still there. They tend to view anything non-magical as inferior and not worth their time. That includes people. A witch or wizard that's given up their place in magical society is considered a traitor and as far as the magical world is concerned they no longer matter or exist."
"That's a rather narrow minded view of things," Spencer stated.
"That may be," Harrison shrugged, "but it's the way it is in that world."
"So, there's nothing new to be found about the victim's lives," Derek started carefully, "what about their deaths?"
"They all died the same way," Spencer pointed out, leafing through some of the photos.
"But not at the same time," Derek motioned to the files. "The autopsy reports gave us varied times of death. Why?"
"He was meticulous." Harrison set aside his half empty mug and Derek noticed the slight tremor of the man's hands.
"Anything that he would have said or done," Spencer said lightly, having notice the mild shakes as well, "it would have been specific. Structured and ritualistic, he wouldn't deviate from that."
"It was all very well rehearsed," Harrison nodded, staring at the surface of the table. "I was meant to die with the coming of the third dawn; they all were."
"So why didn't you?" Derek asked gently.
The man shook his head, absently fingering the strips of gauze that still wrapped the lesions on his wrists. "I honestly have no idea. My only guess would be Magic, but it wasn't anything conscious on my part. I could only hazard a guess."
"So best guess," the agent prompted.
"Magic is sentient." He offered them a small smile at their expressions of disbelief. "It's a popular theory amongst the old families and there is evident that supports it, especially in recent years. Because of the inbreeding of the pure blood families, our society was dying out. More and more babies were being born without their magic and being cast aside by their bigoted families."
"Like Alisabeth Carrow," Spencer said.
"Yes," Harrison nodded. "On the other side of things, we were also seeing record number of First Generation witches and wizards being recognized by schools across the world. So instead of our population dwindling to such a proportion that we would cease to exist in a handful of generations, we're seeing a boom of magical children being born to non-magical and half-blood families."
"It wants to survive," Derek speculated, earning a large smile from the man that sent a spark of electricity coursing through his chest. He ignored it, knowing now was not the time to question whether or not he was attracted to the man that had kissed him only hours before.
"Yes," Harrison acknowledged and pointed to the profile pictures of the other victims. "With that in mind, my best guess is that their – and my own – magic tried to keep them alive as long as possible. They were put into a magical stasis, appearing for all intents and purposes to being dead, until they could escape or be rescued."
"But other than you," Spencer reminded them, "we've only ever found bodies."
"Magic is not infinite," Harrison explained. "Everyone has their limits and sooner or later their magic would no longer be able to sustain them. The limits would be different for every one of them. Some could have been hours, or days, or weeks, but they were essentially buried alive. Their magic would have drained itself completely and they never would have immerged from that stasis."
"So why were you the exception?" Derek asked, carefully extracting a picture from the only unopened file and placing it in the center of the table. The photo from Harrison's grave site showed the still bound and mutilated body of the man sitting before them lying in the dirt.
Harrison cringed at the image and his fingers seemed to move to his own lips unconsciously, as if reassuring himself that the stitching wasn't there anymore. "I don't know," he whispered after a moment. "There have been times in my life where any other person would have died: the night Riddle tried to kill me as a baby, that night in the forbidden forest, now this. Three times I've been led to Death and that bastard still won't take me."
"Do you want to die?" Spencer asked with a frown.
"Of course not," Harrison snapped, shooting a glare at the psychologist. "I'm not suicidal, but you get to a point in your life where you're no longer afraid of death. I was ready to – hell! I expected to die when I was seventeen years old! But I didn't. I came back and beat the sadistic son of a bitch that tried to do it! And then, twelve years later, there I am again. In that tomb, with that bastard praying over me and anointing me for his god, I fully expected to die! But I'm still not bloody well dead!"
At his words both Spencer and Derek perked up. "Say that again," Derek told the man in a rush.
"What," Harrison blinked at them in confusion, "that I'm still not dead?"
"No, the part about the tomb," Spencer said excitedly. "You were held in a tomb!"
"I've already mentioned that," Harrison said slowly.
Derek shook his head. "You only mentioned stone walls and that you thought you were underground; any form of basement in the area could look like that."
"But a tomb is something specific." Spencer grabbed a piece of paper and a pen. "Can you describe it?"
"White stone walls, underground," Harrison shook his head. "It was hard to see, there were too many deep shadows past the candles."
"Tell me," Spencer urged. "Tell me about the shadows."
"They were shadows." Harrison looked at the Doctor like he had lost his mind.
"Trust him," Derek said, reaching out a placing a comforting hand on the other man's arm, all too aware of, and trying to ignore, the now familiar jolt travelling up his arm. "Close your eyes and try to see it. He'll talk you through it."
Harrison glanced at Derek, uncertainty clear in his eyes, before nodding and closing them.
"Harrison," Spencer began cautiously, "I want you to think back to the first clear moment you have of the room you were held in. Tell me what you see."
There was no immediate answer, and Derek was uncomfortably aware of the fact that he had not removed his hand from Harrison's arm. But feeling the trembling beneath his palm intensifying, he gave the slender arm a reassuring squeeze.
"I can barely make out the ceiling," Harrison swallowed noticeably but didn't open his eyes. "The candles don't give up much light, but enough that I can see that it's made of stone."
"It was white," Spencer coaxed. "You said the stones were white."
"Yeah," He said hoarsely. "Aged, dirty, but they were white."
"Try to hold the memory there; tell me, what can you see beyond the candles? Tell me about the shadows you're seeing."
"This would be so much easier with a pensieve," Harrison murmured, then inhaled sharply an opened his eyes. "Gods, I'm so stupid!" He bolted from his chair, knocking it over at the sudden movement, and reached the phone across the room.
"Harrison?" Derek stared at him while he dialed. "What is it?"
"A pensieve!" He exclaimed, pausing and turning to the two baffled federal agents. "It's a magical artifact. With it, and a wand, memories can be extracted and viewed. I don't have to tell you about where I was held. I can show you!"
: - : - : - : - : - : - : - : - : - :
"Did you ever go to summer camp?" David asked Emily from the back seat of the Hartsville PD SUV as it pulled into a spot outside the cabin-like office.
"I spent most of my youth in foreign Embassies and Consulates." She unhooked her seatbelt and climbed out of the vehicle. "Camps were never part of the itinerary."
"I spent every summer from age nine, until I was seventeen, here," Lieutenant Thompson told them as he climbed out of the driver's seat. "And my parents were Atheists. But there's not much to do around here in the summer and a lot of parents send their kids here to keep them out of trouble."
The cabin door opened and an elderly woman exited to greet them as the trio approached. She smiled brightly at the local officer and swept him into a brief hug. "Jerry Thompson, aren't you a sight for sore eyes!"
"Hello Franny," the Lieutenant blushed at the display and motioned to the two federal agents. "These are Special Agents Rossi and Prentiss with the FBI. Agents, this is Reverend Daisy 'Frantic' Westergreen; she has run the camp for more than three decades."
"Agents," the woman greeted them each with a shake of their hand. "I hope you don't mind asking your questions while we walk. I'm needed down at the lake to oversee the kayaking races in a few minutes."
"We promise to be as brief as possible, Ma'am," David began as he followed the woman away from the graveled lot and toward a path through the trees.
"None of that," she scolded the agent with a whap of the back of her hand to his shoulder. "I may be older than dirt, but around these parts folks just call me Franny."
"My apologies, Franny," David smiled at her.
"Now, what does the FBI want from me?" Franny asked as she took the lead on the narrow path.
"In 2007 there was an incident with one of your female campers and a port-a-potty," Emily said bluntly, causing the camp founder to stop and turn to face them.
"You're talking about Emma Tinkerton," she frowned sadly. "A real shame what happened to her; and the others. I've been praying for Harrison since I heard he was missing."
"You know Harrison Evans?" David asked with mild surprise.
The matron smiled lightly and nodded. "Harrison approached me last August. He came out for our final weekend as a guest counselor. He offered the campers lessons in baking and making chocolates. He made these peanut butter s'mores that were downright sinful! He was slated to do it again at the end of this season."
"Do you get a lot of volunteers?" Emily queried.
"It's the only way the camp has remained open for as many years as it has," Franny admitted. "But I doubt you're here about my volunteers."
"Actually, that's exactly why we're here," David told the woman.
Franny scowled at the law enforcement officers. "I beg your pardon?"
"Franny," Lieutenant Thompson started gently, "in 2007 Emma Tinkerton went missing a week after she returned home from Palmetto."
"And you think one of my volunteers-" the reverend shook her heard fiercely. "No, it's not possible. Anyone of my volunteers has to adhere to State regulations and bylaws. I have police checks done on anyone before I allow them to spend any time with my kids! Besides, they're all good people! Members of the communities, parents, parishioners, Priests, Bishops, hell, even Rabbi Risikoff comes out for a couple of weeks with his children."
"And we can eliminate most of those individuals, Franny," Emily tried to assure the distraught woman. "We just need to know who saw the incident with Emma and the boys that locked her in the port-a-potty."
With a sigh, Franny started walking again. "I'd have to go through the files for all the names. It may take me a day or two."
"We're only looking for one in particular," David told her, "One of the priests from the area, male, in his mid to late thirties at the time. He would have seen the altercation that night but would have kept his distance."
Franny spun on the senior agent, her eyes wide with horror. "You – you're saying that this killer is a man of God?"
"You've been following these killing like every other person in the state, Franny," Thompson said. "Some of the details have been kept from the public, but the profile the FBI has developed fits a suspect."
"His name was Justin Hill" Emily stated. "He went missing in 1986. We believe that he's returned to the area under another name. We just need to know who he is now."
"There is such a limited window of time from when Emma returned home from school and when she went missing, that we think that's where Hill found Emma Tinkerton," David informed her. "Her parents told other agents about the incident here at the camp a couple of weeks prior to her disappearance."
"A priest?" Franny clarified after a shaky breath.
"Of the Anglican, Catholic or Lutheran faith," David confirmed.
"I am an ordained minister with the Anglican church," the woman said sharply, sounded offended. "None of my fellows would dare commit such atrocities!"
"Franny," Thompson approached her and put a comforting hand on her arm. "I don't want to believe that this sociopath is anyone I know either, but the facts are there. Please, all we need is a name."
Her nostrils flared but a moment later she sighed. "I can think of two who were there that week," Franny told them in resignation. "Neither is of my faith, and I will have to check my files to be completely certain, but I think they were the only Clergymen that volunteered that week."
"Who were they, Franny?" Emily pressed.
"Father Adam Stetsons of St Ann's in Bishopville and Father Edward Hughes of St. Peters in Wedgefield."
: - : - : - : - : - : - : - : - : - :
The strand was like mercury, silver and fluid, and inconceivably being drawn from Harrison's temple by the end of Agent Moffat's wand.
"That's it," the white haired wizard urged the visibly shaking man beneath his wand tip. "I know it's unpleasant, but I can feel we're almost done."
With eyes screwed shut, Harrison nodded as a bead of sweat trailed down the side of his face. He inhaled purposefully through his nose and a few seconds later the strand of mercury snapped off and Harrison leaned back in his seat with a sigh.
"I didn't realize it would be painful," Spencer said, almost apologetically, as the magical agent moved to a stone basin that had been placed on the coffee table in the living room.
"It's not," Harrison's voice wavered and he reached for one of the bars of dark chocolate that he had placed there prior to beginning.
"The person relives the memories as they're extracted," Moffat informed them evenly while he dipped the tip of his wand into the flowing liquid inside the basin. The mercury-like memory was deposited and the agent tucked his wand up the sleeve of his suit jacket.
Standing behind Harrison, Derek fought the desire to wrap around the man protectively and settled on sitting on the sofa beside him. He glanced that the dark haired man before place a hand on the still trembling shoulder. "Are you certain you want to do this?"
"No" he admitted, snapping a bit of chocolate off and placing it on his tongue.
"You don't have to take them, Harrison," Agent Moffat told them and folded his arms over his chest. "I can take them into the memory."
"But you won't be able to answer their questions," Harrison swallowed and shook his head. "I can handle it."
"Never thought you couldn't," Derek told him with a soft squeeze to the shoulder. "But if this works the way you say it does, it's not going to be a pleasant experience."
"You think?" Harrison snapped but immediately blushed and shook his head at himself. "I'm sorry."
"You're already stressed out, Harrison," Spencer pointed out to the shaky man. "There is no need to further strain your emotions. You're recovering not just physically and emotionally but, if I understand things correctly, magically as well. Putting yourself, literally, back into that situation may not be the best for you at this time."
"You don't have anything to prove," Derek assured him quietly, "not to anyone."
The dark haired wizard nibbled on the chocolate a moment then nodded. "Extracting the memories was bad enough," he admitted. Harrison looked up at Moffat. "Thank you."
"Will you be alright while we're viewing this?" the magical agent asked while the other two came to stand beside him.
"The wards are in place," Harrison nodded. "No one's getting in now unless I let them in."
"Very well," Moffat placed a hand on either man's arm and a moment later the three agents' eyes frosted over with a silver light as their consciousness was taken into the pensieve.
The dozen pillar candles barely cast any light in the large chamber, but it was enough for them to see the man bound to the altar in the center of the candles light. His lithe, nude body was tied as he had described: clean white ropes at his wrists, ankles, and across his abdomen. Green eyes were darting about, apprehension but no real fear beneath them as the memory Harrison took in his surroundings.
"This is remarkable," Spencer said quietly as he looked about the area with wide eyed amazement. He stepped outside the illuminated area and into the shadows beyond the candles. "The conscious mind would never have been able to capture all the details, but subconsciously it's there. Even hypnosis doesn't produce this kind of clarity! If we could bring this technique in to all our investigations-"
"Believe me, Doctor Reid," Agent Moffat interrupted the excited Doctor. "The CIA has tried. Unfortunately, the process of memory extraction only works on a magical mind."
Derek was aware of the conversation going on between the two men, but his focus was solely on the distressed figure whose memory he found himself in. He noticed the vivid bruising and swelling around the dislocated shoulder but otherwise the man appeared in good health. The whisper of attraction to the man's physique was easily ignored, given the situation.
"This must have been the same night as the abduction," he stated, halting the discussion between Spencer and Moffat and bringing them back to his side. "The shoulder hasn't been tended to, and there's no evidence of the dehydration or starvation yet."
The last of the chloroform induced haze cleared while they watched as Harrison growled in frustration and began to struggle against his bindings. His arms twists in the ropes, jaw clenching and teeth gnashing against the gag as the cords rubbed his wrists red in a matter of seconds. The pain from his shoulder was evident on his face but he didn't even pause in his efforts.
For several minutes he tried every angle as he attempted to free his wrists. Blood was beginning to seep between the ropes and with one last jerk of frustration he finally relented. He inhaled deeply through his nose and closed his eyes. After a moment he tilted his head back so he could see the ropes securing him in place. He stretched his arms further, hissing at the discomforted this caused his shoulder, and wrapped his palms around the length of rope.
"Folfo," he muttered around the fabric across his mouth, repeating is several times.
"What's he saying?" Spencer whispered as the trio watched the frustration slowly give to desperation.
"Solvo, it's Latin for 'release'," Moffat explained. "It's the counter spell to 'Incarcerous', a spell of binding."
Derek walked around the altar to gain a better view of the cords securing Harrison to the altar. "It looks like it is working, somewhat." He pointed to the end of the rope knotted to a metal loop imbedded into the stone. "They're loosening."
Moffat joined him and crouched down for an eye view of the knot. "The gag is hindering the incantation," he said as the ropes relaxed fractionally. "His intent is fuelling his magic, but either the chloroform or the injury to his arm is interfering with his concentration. Even without his wand, he's powerful. Enough so that he should have been able to free himself with the first few attempts."
"Harrison says he's not all that exceptionally powerful," Spencer commented from where he stood.
Moffat stood as the memory Harrison started pulling on the ropes as he still attempted the releasing spell. "In terms of standard magical practices and casting, Harrison Evans is an above average wizard. However, Harry Potter had – and apparently still has – the habit of making even what a wizard would define as impossible possible. I can only imagine what he would be capable of if he allowed himself to explore his true potential."
Something about that resonated with Derek and he had to push it aside with the rest of the things about Harrison Evans that were starting to do more than intrigue him. "Regardless, he's almost free now."
A sharp grating sound echoed suddenly in the quiet, halting Harrison's struggles and drawing everyone's attention to the now visible opening above the set of stairs. A bright light preceded the shadow of a man as he descended, the beam shining directly into Harrison's face and forcing him to look away.
"That's how he kept his face hidden," Spencer commented, approaching the newcomer as he reached the bottom of the stairs.
The man kept the LED light in Harrison's eyes and stopped beside the altar. His head tilted to the side as he noticed the loosened ropes at the head of the stone. A sigh escaped him and he reached into his pocket.
"Mr. Evans," the man said with an air of disappointment, "I had such hope for you; that you would be the one to be humbled and open to repentance. But it seems as if you are too far ensnared by the false promises of Satan. More so than any of the others.
The hand was removed from the pocked and a cloth was pressed down over Harrison's mouth and nose. The man's struggles began anew and already a haze was growing over the scene.
"Can we stop it?" Derek suddenly asked. "The memory, can we stop it before he loses consciousness? We need to see his face!"
Moffat nodded and a second later the entire image froze, leaving the trio of agents the only ones moving. Derek stepped as close as he could to the Unsub, the man's face shadowed by the candles and the bright light of the flashlight. He allowed a smirk of satisfaction to curl his lips. "I can ID him."
Spencer had crept closer to the bottom of the stairs; tentatively placing a foot on one to make sure it was solid for him. He climbed halfway up, looking out of the opening and into the space above. His eyes were wide when he turned back to the others, his finger pointing overhead. "I know where we are!
: - : - : - : - : - : - : - : - : - :
Harrison watched the agents, as their eyes hazed over, and stood with a sigh. Taking another bite of chocolate he walked out of the living room and into the kitchen. He needed something more than plain dark chocolate. It may have been the best thing for him and his magic, but after a while the bitterness was too much.
He set the bar onto the table as he passed and opened the pantry next to the fridge. He stepped inside but reached past the stock of baking chocolate and pressed his hand against a panel in the wall. To the side, a section of the shelving drew back and swung to the side.
This was one of the reasons he bought the century old home. There were two secret compartments in the house. One: upstairs in the master bedroom that led to an alcove where he kept his magical belongings. Then there was the doorway in the pantry that led down to the cellar. The outside doors to the underground space had been removed years ago, but the cool basement was perfect for his more rare and expensive wines and liquors.
Like the case of Dalmore 62 Single Highland Malt Scotch; a gift from Headmistress McGonagall when had opened his shop. One bottle alone sold for fifty-eight thousand dollars. He had a case of twelve. He was, surprised, to say the least but she assured him she didn't spend a dime, as the distillery had been in her mother's family for generations. In return, he had sent her a couple boxes of a liquor filled dragon fruit chocolates he had made with the Scotch.
It was black in the cellar though he knew the chain for the single bulb light was exactly five paces straight ahead from the bottom of the stairs. There were only eight stairs, and the roof was only a few inches above his head.
He made it down six before he felt the hand on his ankle and the world titled.
The breath was knocked from his lungs when he landed. It had been so sudden he hadn't been able to get his hands up to brace his fall. Harrison heard movement behind him and spun onto his back.
The shadow rising up from beside the staircase, the face hidden as he was silhouetted against the light coming from inside the pantry; it was enough to send the spike of fear through Harrison and propel him scrambling back.
"Hello, Lord Black."