Title: "No Condemnation"
Disclaimer: I do not own any person, place or thing you may recognize. I do, however, own Rhett Bartlett; the Dorsey case, including Kasey Henson and his mother, Jillian; and the name Silene Marie Black.
Warnings: language; case related violence; mentions of past character death; female Harry
Fandoms: Harry Potter and NCIS
Characters: Silene Black, LJ Gibbs, Chris Pacci, Cassie Yates, an OC agent, Kreacher and an unnamed observation room tech, with background appearances by Stan Burley and Brett Langer; mentions of Director Morrow, Ducky Mallard, Vernon Dursley, Severus Snape, Shannon and Kelly Gibbs, Pedro Hernandez, Abby Scuito, Mike Franks, Sirius Black, Lily Potter and a reference to Bellatrix Lestrange, though she isn't specifically named.
Spoilers: set pre-series, but with spoilers for Gibbs' backstory, and a minor spoiler for SWAK; all 7 Harry Potter books, specifically Order of the Phoenix.
Summary: Agent Gibbs is being even more of a bastard than normal. Pacci's new Probie isn't willing to let it go with the accepted reasoning that that was just how he always got the last week in February, and goes digging into the past. How will Gibbs react when he finds out what she's discovered?
Word Count: 2,2695/5,102
Author's Note: So, I recently got an idea for a larger crossover between these two fandoms. For part of that story, I needed to come up with a reason why Gibbs would choose Silene over Ziva if it came down to a choice like the one she forced between herself and Tony at the end of season 6. Seeing as Silene doesn't have any half-siblings to kill in order to gain Gibbs' trust, it had to be something else. I figured something to do with Shannon and Kelly is really the only thing that would compare to Ziva killing Ari.
Anyway, there may be other short background pieces as I work on the larger crossover set in mid-season 8. The second chapter will be posted on Thursday. Let me know what y'all think.
Edit: This is what I get for writing out of order. I was working on the larger crossover and realized that some of the things I had in mind for that didn't quite work with a couple of the things that I had already written. That means I have to go back and edit everything. This particular piece didn't require a lot of editing, as there wasn't anything incredibly specific for Silene's backstory, but I reworked it anyway, adding almost a thousand additional words and placing a few hints at some things that weren't there originally.
For the most part, this story doesn't have to be reread in order to understand what happens in other pieces, but if you do, let me know what y'all think.
Silene watched from her desk as Agent Gibbs snapped something at his agents, sending them scrambling for something that would appease their grumpy boss. In the two months she had been at NCIS, she had noticed that most people tended to avoid Gibbs if at all possible, but this week, it seemed to her that everyone in the building was giving him an even wider berth than normal, even her boss.
If she had had to guess, she would have said that Chris was the closest thing to a friend that Gibbs had at NCIS, or at least in the bullpen. She supposed that he seemed close to Director Morrow and the ME, Dr. Mallard. But even Chris was being extra cautious when approaching the other team lead.
After watching Gibbs snap something else at Burley and Langer that sent both agents scrambling for the elevator, Silene turned to Chris.
"Is there a reason Gibbs seems extra testy today?" she asked.
Chris looked at her for a moment before turning to look over at the other team's bullpen. He regarded Gibbs thoughtfully until the other man smacked his computer angrily and stormed towards the back elevator.
"No one knows exactly why, but rumor is that he's always more of a bastard the last couple of days of February than he is at any other time throughout the year," Chris said. "Been like that since he first started back in ninety-two."
"Has anyone tried talking to him about it?"
Chris turned back to her with one eyebrow raised while Rhett snorted. "You have met Agent Gibbs, no?" Rhett asked. "Agent Grumpy, Irritable, Bearish Bastard? He doesn't talk. He growls. He snaps. He orders. He demands. He glares. But he doesn't talk. If you want to try, by all means, try. Just let me know. I'd love to be there."
Silene bit her lip, unsure. There was something else going on here. She was certain of it. There was an aura of sadness around Agent Gibbs that he seemed to be covering up under the overall irritability and bastardness. She recognized it because it was one that she carried around with her and covered up under the guise of being a ditzy airhead.
"Ignore Rhett," Cassie said, putting a hand on her shoulder. "Agent Gibbs isn't anywhere near as bad with the female agents as he is with the males. Just don't expect an answer."
Cassie's right," Chris said. "You have a better chance than most of the agents with NCIS. But save it for later, okay? How's that cold case looking?"
"I think I may have something, but I'm not sure."
"Yeah? Rhett, take a look. If it looks viable, you and Silene check it out. Cassie, you're with me."
Cassie grabbed her badge and gun and followed Chris to the elevator while Rhett rolled his chair over to sit next to Silene.
"What'd ya got, Silene?" he asked.
"Well, on the surface, this case looks like a standard kidnapping slash ransom demand, where the vic was taken from a popular teen hangout with no witnesses and only a single red rose petal left behind. The parents paid the ransom and got their daughter back, along with a bouquet of roses. The girl was kept in what she described as fully furnished one-bedroom apartment and she never had any visitors. She never even saw her attacker when she was taken, leading the investigating agents to believe she had been drugged. There were no fingerprints at the scene and the timeframe was long enough that any drugs in her system had disappeared by the time she was returned him. There were no leads and no evidence. They couldn't even trace the roses."
"Well." Silene took a breath. So far Rhett had been accepting of her eccentricities and she was fairly certain that he knew there was more to her than what she showed on the surface, but suspecting and knowing were two different things and she was about to prove that she was more than just a ditz. Not to mention that Rhett had been the probie on the initial investigating team, so this could be a blow to his ego.
"I have a friend who lives in Northern Maryland and he mentioned something about a case very similar to this one, where a girl was kidnapped from a popular teen hangout with no witnesses and no evidence. I got curious, so I pulled up the police report and it turns out that-"
"The kidnapper left a rose petal at the scene and sent the girl home with a bouquet of roses."
"Yeah," Silene agreed, carefully gauging the expression on Rhett's face. He didn't seem overly upset that she noticed something he hadn't, but he was also very good at poker, so she couldn't say for certain. "I checked a couple of other precincts in the tri-states. There have been seven other cases with the exact same MO over the course of the last nine years, one case a year. The NCIS case was third and no one ever made the connection because they were all small towns, local jurisdiction."
"You're right. Databases weren't as comprehensive back then as they're starting to be in the last few years. We checked with the FBI and Metro PD, obviously, but didn't spread the search much beyond DC. Other than the MO, were there any other similarities in the cases? Vic characteristics, parents, organizations?"
Silene let out the breath she had been unconsciously holding and offered Rhett a small smile. "All nine cases had three things in common: young women between seventeen to nineteen who had just graduated from high school, a parent who made six figures a year, and-" she pulled out one of the crime scene photos, "-this man in at least one crime scene photo."
"He got a name?" Rhett asked, sounding impressed.
Silene smirked. As if she would leave things half-done. "Kasey Henson, age thirty-nine. He lives just outside Moorefield, West Virginia, in the house he inherited from his parents eleven years ago when they died in a hit-and-run. He was a loner with a sadistic streak growing up, suspected of torturing at least seven squirrels and two pet cats. He majored in forensics at the University of Charleston, but was unable to get a job because he failed the psych eval due to sociopathic tendencies. There was an argument with his parents over his lack of a real job shortly before their accident and I would bet good money that the hit-and-run accident wasn't so much of an accident as it was pre-meditated, or at the very least, a crime of opportunity. Regardless of whether or not he was involved in his parents' deaths, here's the kicker. When she was alive, Jillian Henson was famous in the area for her prized roses, winning multiple blue ribbons at the county fair."
Rhett grinned at her. "Good work, Silene. I am officially impressed. I don't care about everyone else, but no more hiding those talents on this team, you got it?"
She shrugged, a little abashed. "Sorry."
"Don't be. But seriously. There's no need to hide among friends. Any progress on a warrant?"
Silene blinked at him. Friends, she thought. Was she ready for that? "Not exactly. There's nine cases spread out across three states, which technically speaking makes it FBI jurisdiction. However, seeing as no one else has linked the cases, I could probably make a case us taking over. I'm just not sure how that would work out."
"You're right. Since you're the one who made the link, we should get jurisdiction. I'll talk to Chris and see what he says. At the very least, we should be able to get lead, since we're the only one with a viable lead. In the meantime, go ahead and type up your findings. I'm gonna go grab lunch. Want me to bring you back anything?"
She shook her head. "No, thanks. I have something from home."
"Fine. I'll see you in an hour."
Silene watched him go for a moment before she began typing up her notes from the cold case. She had become very proficient at typing in the two years since leaving the British wizarding community and it only took her twenty minutes to get everything in proper form. As she collected the finished copy from the printer, she noticed that Agent Gibbs had come back and was glaring at something on his computer screen.
She studied him, trying to figure out what it was that was bothering him so badly. He must have sensed her gaze because he looked up and glared at her. She had to admit, it was pretty impressive. If she hadn't grown up with Vernon Dursley and suffered under Snape for six years at school, she would have taken a step back at the intensity.
As it was, compared to some of the things she had faced down over the years, she didn't find Gibbs to be the slightest bit intimidating. Well, maybe a little bit. But there was no way she was letting him know that.
She met his glare with a level look and held it for several moments to let him know that she wasn't looking away simply because he caught her staring, then turned to walk back to her desk. She held the report to her chest, tapping the top edge against her bottom lip thoughtfully.
There was definitely something more going on with Agent Gibbs and she wanted to know what it was. Snape had always accused her of being dangerously curious and incapable of keeping her nose out of things that didn't concern her and, loathe though she was to admit it, he may have had a point. She often found herself unable- (or unwilling, though she would never own up to that)- to resist investigating things that caught her fancy.
She dropped her report on Chris' desk and sat down, hesitating only briefly before turning to her computer. It didn't take much digging for her to discover that he had been married one more time than everyone thought. A second search revealed that his first wife and their daughter had been killed on the last day of February, shortly before he joined the agency.
A glance at the calendar revealed that today was the twenty-eighth.
Well. That certainly explained why he was being even more of a bastard than he was typically known for being. But it didn't explain why no one knew. It had been fairly easy for her to find out. It wasn't as if the news was in a classified file somewhere. The marriage and birth announcements had been in the paper archives, as had the obits.
Additionally, there was a four-inch article on the shooting and subsequent car accident that had killed Shannon and Kelly. A follow-up article a few months later revealed that the man believed to be responsible had been found dead down in Mexico.
The Mexican police report said that he had died in a gang related shooting, but Silene would bet her Map that Gibbs had been the one to kill the man. If she had had the skill, she would have done the same after Sirius' death. Well, perhaps not, knowing what she did now, but she definitely would have made the bitch suffer.
She looked over at the man again and found him studying her intently. She kept her gaze open and non-confrontational, no trace of the knowledge in her eyes. He had been keeping this a secret and she understood. He didn't want pity and he didn't want condemnation for his actions.
There was, after all, a reason why she had never told anyone about her attempt to crucio the bitch.
His computer beeped and he looked away. She continued staring at him for a few moments longer before turning her gaze out the window, thoughtfully.
She wanted to do something to let him know that she knew and that she understood how he was feeling. She became withdrawn and sullen on certain days of the year, so she got it. But what could she do without putting him on the defensive.
She was still sitting there, lost in thought, when Rhett returned.
"Penny for your thoughts there, Probie," he said as he sat down at his desk.
"Huh?" she said, looking over at him. "Oh." She shook her head with a soft smile. "It's not important. Is it okay if I take my dinner break now?"
"That report ready?"
"On Chris' desk and I emailed you a copy."
"Great. Be back in an hour, unless something comes up."
She nodded and headed for the elevator. There was a small park just outside the Yard that was perfect for what she needed. Once there, she glanced around to make sure she was alone and aparated back to her home in Alexandria. No one was at home, but that was okay.
"Kreacher," she called.
The elf popped up in front of her. "Mistress is calling?" he asked.
"Yes. I have some things to attend to in my office. I will take dinner there."
"Yes, Mistress," he said, bowing slightly and popping back out of sight. She made her way into her study and pulled out a pen and paper. As she ate, she crafted several rough drafts before she was satisfied with the letter she wanted to send.
Once Kreacher removed the remains of her dinner, she took out a piece of parchment, selected an emerald green ink and, using her best calligraphy, began to write.