Chapter Ten: Kate Beckett and the Wrap Up (Epilogue)

Kate really hadn't been thrilled when they'd ended up on another case with the team of aurors. She liked them well enough, but she was used to being in charge and in control with every aspect of her investigations. Adding magic made that completely impossible when she knew almost nothing about it.

It had turned out a lot better than the last one, though. They'd been able to get more involved with the aurors' portion of the investigation, and to actually investigate the scenes and people involved in person. There also wasn't the mounting frustration of additional murders taking place while their investigation drug on. That had really been the worst part on the last one, feeling so helpless to stop it all.

One thing she did have to admit, if only to herself, was that it was nice to not be stuck with the paperwork once the case was done. She got a bit of a taste of why Castle sometimes stuck around when they were just filling out forms – it was kind of fun to just hang out with the team and not be the one having to do the work. Of course, Kate was too professional to keep trying to distract the three aurors from their work like her writer was, but it was still enjoyable.

Partway through filling out yet another form, Granger had huffed and looked up at her. "Do all your cases end this suddenly? I mean, it seems like we were in the middle of things and now all of a sudden it's just over."

The other two aurors looked up in interest, obviously feeling much the same way. "Sometimes. Certain cases gradually build on themselves, but with some of them, you just hit one piece of evidence and suddenly everything snaps into place."

"That's always my favorite part!" Castle exclaimed, and then continued talking when no one else seemed inclined to say anything. "It's such a rush when you suddenly figure out how everything just fits. Definitely much better in real life than when you just make it up yourself."

After they'd gotten all the forms filed and reports written, the trio took the four of them back out into the magical district outside the Ministry building. They took a little time to look at things that caught their eyes in the shop windows they passed, and the three of them answered quite a few questions about magic. Enough of them that the detectives even got to ask a few in between all of Castle's.

Eventually, they all ended up at a little tavern restaurant to have dinner together, celebrating the end of the case they'd just wrapped up. It was a little weird, even after spending the afternoon out amongst the shops and the wizards frequenting them, to see the glasses and plates cleaning themselves, or to have the food appear on the tables with no assistance from a server. Not in a bad way, but even after all the floating memos and offhanded spells they'd seen during the investigation, it was still new enough to draw her attention throughout their evening. It would take a lot more exposure than they'd had so far for Beckett to get used to such blatant magic.

While they were eating, the aurors told them a little bit more about the cases that they'd normally take, and Beckett could understand anew why they needed the assistance of her team. Apparently, complicated crimes were just not the norm in the wizarding world, and the few times when such things happened, they were as likely to end up unsolved as not.

That was daunting, but it did make her feel a little bit more sure that it was worth putting up with all the strangeness and the stresses of working with them, to make sure that more criminals were getting caught. If nothing else, the more they'd worked with the three, the more they'd understood how the detectives worked and that should help them in general on all their cases, even if Beckett's team wasn't called in. Certainly she got the impression that aurors went through a fair amount of training, but from what the three had said, it seemed to nearly all deal with apprehending suspects and only occasionally with tracking and actual investigation only as an afterthought.

The idea of being called back to work with the NYAO wizards again on further cases no longer brought on the feeling of dread that it had when this latest case had started. If it happened, it happened. In the meantime, she wished the trio of aurors the best of luck with their other cases and would be glad to get back to her own place at the 12th precinct with slightly more mundane murders.

She may be the one who liked the weird ones, but Kate would much prefer her strain of weird to only include authors with crazy conspiracy theories and oddly placed bodies, not magic. It just wasn't her area of expertise, and she'd be happy enough to relinquish it, at least for a while. Though she couldn't help but be a little curious if there were perhaps some of those unsolved cases the aurors referred to in their records system that might be a little more solvable with the help of her team of detectives. She wasn't quite eager enough to help to actually say anything, though. Her own regular caseload and the 12th's store of cold cases was more than enough to keep her busy without worrying about someone else's.

Still, maybe she'd suggest to the three of them that they should look into it if they had the time. What could it hurt?




A/N: I had someone comment on the last fic that I should really try to incorporate more Castle-type humor. I agreed it was something I was missing. So, I tried... and I gave up. Funny is one of those things that looks painfully easy – until you try to do it! Hopefully this was somewhat enjoyable anyway, and I greatly appreciate everyone taking the time to read, especially those who sent up an alert, favorite, review, etc.

Update 6/23/16: A sequel to this story is now being posted under the title A Message By Murder.