Prompt: Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? I would like to see [Luna] going on a search for some sort of elusive something.
I really don't think this is a good idea.
Hermione's quite adamant that you can't steal a ley line. It just can't be done. So whatever it is that's throwing off the magic here, it's something we can and should investigate...right here. I know you and Ginny claim you're done but don't you think you're better off on a nice, easy, investigation with a lot of free time? If both of you weren't married to your jobs so much then—well, never mind, I know I promised I'm staying out of it. But the work here is going to be easier, and more important, than looking for some missing ley line.
Besides, Luna—she's brilliant and all that, but have you heard of any of these associates? No offense, but there's a lot of bureaucracy bouncing between different wizarding governments and from what I've seen of your itinerary you'll really have to deal with that. Do you have Portkeys set up or what? Surely you can't Apparate that far...
Obviously I trust you. Just don't be afraid to back down if you don't like the mission—I wouldn't want you to get stuck in something you really don't care for.
Thanks for letting me know. You're probably right, you can't steal a ley line and the investigation here is more important. But that's why we need someone like you on the case, you're not as likely to go flying off the handle with dumb suspects as I would be. Plus, maybe you can help Hermione with her hypotheses?
And I appreciate you staying out of the deal with Ginny. I'm sure we'll go back to being friends, but it's probably good for me to get away for a while.
The Association for Cooperation in Magical Emigration is brilliant. Well, okay, that's what I've heard from Luna, but I'll be fine. They've got some Portkeys set up, and beyond that we can take Muggle planes or something.
I don't mean to scare anyone but apparently this is likely part of some bigger, international crime threat. Nobody who wants to kill anyone, thankfully, nor even any ideology...just large-scale theft. Even if they can't steal ley lines they can cause lots of trouble. So, you handle this end and I'll see what the rest of the world has to offer!
Hello from sunny N'Djamena! I'm sending this by Muggle post—I'm not sure how long it'll take to reach you but I thought you might like to get some mail.
Since the first signs of something odd were reported around Greenwich we thought we'd check every fifteen degrees of longitude—where the other time zones change, on paper. Of course in practice it's all a bit confusing what with the Muggle borders and all but we figured it's as good as any a place to start.
Harry says the Undetectable Extension Charm was your idea, so thank you very much. I've brought along my camera just in case I get the chance to document anything unusual, and Harry has a cheap broomstick for short-term outings. Yesterday we crossed into Cameroon to talk to some magical astronomers there—they've cast some marvelous spells on their telescopes so the synchronization is very straightforward. They assured us they'd have noticed even the slightest funny business about longitudes so it's safe to say that we're not chasing anyone near here, thank goodness!
I think you'd quite appreciate it, if you ever had the chance to come by, but I know things must be busy back home. Give my love to everyone!
Harry and I are in Kigali today. We're up in the hills so it's not as warm as it had been previously, although my Bittleweed hat does help keep me in the shade, so thank you again for that.
We haven't spent much time with the wizards in the city itself, because I warned Harry that Eric Ruggerthorn probably fled here. After the exposé you published about his attempts to bribe the Wizengamot with Mokeskin and Chimaera eggs he's been afraid to come to justice, the coward. I asked Harry whether he wanted to go after him but he reminded me we have a duty to the task at hand.
He's been quite the gentleman and even offered me his Invisibility Cloak, just in case we needed to hide from Ruggerthorn. I told him it wouldn't do to have me hide and leave him all by himself, unless we wanted to share it. Which would have been fine by me but he thought it probably wouldn't fit.
Since there's no news here about the ley lines we're leaving the city tomorrow and meeting some witches off to the east. If all goes well I hope to buy some imigongo to send along with this letter—it'll look nice on the walls, I think. I'll get some for Harry too, he'll appreciate the bright red colors. Very attractive for a cute Gryffindor.
Bonjour Fleur (and Bill),
Well, I didn't expect to wind up in France by traveling this far east, but here I am in Mayotte. We came here because of all this bother about the ley lines—I'm still not sure we're going to find anything but Luna's convinced there's something to it, so here we are.
We're just about to head out after staying a little longer than we expected. Sure enough, it turned out that there was some magic going on that we hadn't expected. I asked around while Luna went offshore to try and get at the meridian directly (she's getting good at the Bubble-Head charm, have you taught her?). She didn't find anything, and I had a lot of trouble figuring out who to ask—my French is rubbish and it's not even most people's first language here anyway. But eventually I learned that the poltergeists here are much friendlier than the British sort so they've been making noise that's nothing to worry about. Faoud, the local ACME agent, was very apologetic about not being around to explain, but he'd been away on business involving jewelry theft (and took care of that).
So, now we finally are leaving. Hope everything's well at home, I feel a little bad about being away from real work for so long on a wild goose chase but Luna's good company and these are places she's wanted to visit anyway, I'm glad I can do that for her.
Hermione said you were going to Russia eventually and if I put this in the post now it would hopefully get to you by then. Well, I know how the post works.
Anyway is it true you're in the place where the tsar got killed? Were your lot behind that too? Guess it's too late to matter if they were. Just wondering why you're going everywhere. Hermione thinks it's rubbish but how am I going to be smart if no one ever explains anything to me?
Also is it true you're with a mad witch? I've seen pictures and she looks cute, well done.
Thanks for writing, it's good to hear from you. And no problem—this is sort of a strange trip, everyone's confused about the best way to write. Post is good as long as we're here.
Yes, we are in Yekaterinburg. And no, as far as I know, there were not any wizards or witches involved. Well, Luna thinks Rasputin was a wizard, but she could be wrong. Just another place with bloody memories—but you're right, that really doesn't narrow it down as far as wizards or Muggles go.
Most of my travel for work is on important business but this particular assignment is a bit...stranger. Luna, my friend from school, thinks someone has "stolen" the prime meridian or some other magical line like that. Well, obviously you can't steal the prime meridian, and that's why Hermione's a bit short about things. But we're investigating other places where strange magic might be acting up, just like it did back home.
Luna...isn't mad, exactly, she just comes up with some goofy ideas. This is one of them. But she was there for me at school when hardly anyone else was and she means a lot to me.
She does look cute, doesn't she? Although we're not together, that way.
Take care. Whenever I get back we should have a pint. You can meet Luna, she's nice. Maybe I'll have her bring one of her dad's tabloids (he writes a paper) and you can sort of see where she's coming from.
I owe you one. Kind of. Let me explain.
Luna and I are still looking for whoever's responsible for this funny business about the ley lines. So she thought we ought to search around in Amritsar—there's always a lot of visitors passing through, wizard and Muggle alike.
We met up with a witch who was visiting the Sikh temple, and Luna explained what we were at. Ms. Kaur reckoned we ought to get a little ways out of the city, somewhere where it's less crowded, so we headed out to a more magical suburb. Sure enough, old-hat stuff by now. We did all the tests we've been running through, again, nothing much came of it but I can't say I was expecting it to really. Luna claims it would have revealed something if only India picked a normal time zone and stuck with it rather than being a half-hour off of everywhere else. I told her there's enough people there they can pick whatever time they want.
But then we decided it was getting late by anyone's measure, and rather than try and start for a little while, we'd just spend the night there before heading out. Ms. Kaur suggested we rent a flying carpet or something—obviously down here they're more for practical travel than tourism but there's so many people passing through Amritsar anyway that it's a decent deal. And thanks to your efforts of course we'd never gotten to ride one back home, so we figured, why not.
It was easier to fly than I expected, for the first go. Maybe I'm just used to the general principles from Quidditch, I'm not sure—obviously the posture and all is different but I got the hang of it pretty quickly and after that it was pretty relaxing. Well, I guess I just got caught up in it all and...er...I sort of kissed her.
Okay, more than "sort of," she liked it quite a lot and we got to snogging. Until we almost upset the carpet. But she didn't seem to mind that.
Anyway it was sort of distracting trying to focus on the flight the rest of the way. Which is too bad because what I did see of Punjab was beautiful. Apparently the Patil twins (they were in my Hogwarts class)' family isn't from around here at all though? I wish I'd gotten to know them better.
Point is, Luna and I are somewhat more than friends now. And it's all thanks to your ban on flying carpets back home. Sort of. Or maybe we could have gotten to this point much more quickly and it's only your policies that made it take this long, whatever. I'm in a brilliant mood about things, obviously, so I'll count it as a point in your favor.
Yours in gratitude,
Hello! Luna and I are in Dhaka today. I have never seen so many rickshaws. Actually, I'd hardly ever seen any rickshaws but...let me back up a minute.
When I say "Luna and I" I mean "working together on the ACME case" but also "as of quite recently, dating." Not that it alters our itinerary much, except that there's a good deal more snogging. No baring souls or declarations of love...all right there is a bit of that too, but that's Luna for you, straightforward as always when it comes to that sort of thing.
Back to the rickshaws. Everyone takes them—locals and migrants and tourists, wizards and Muggles. The wizard who was pedaling us around today had specially rigged his out—some other kind of Undetectable Extension Charm in the back for storing suitcases, and some other spells to zip through traffic. Your dad could take lessons. But when it looked like we were circling around I asked him where we were going and he said to pick up a Mister Potter. Well Luna thought this was a great joke and I explained I was Mr. Potter. He'd been expecting the scar to be some giant thing and he was still casual about the spells, even assuming we were lost Muggles! Presumably they just explain away everything strange but really, the nerve.
He makes a good profit this way too, you could take lessons from him. One stream of clients in the Muggle world, one in ours, and no one's any wiser. (Of course changing currency gets to be a nightmare. ACME have helped us out along the way but Luna's really been brilliant at sorting everything. Thank goodness one of us took Arithmancy.)
And the driver played right along when she asked around about stealing ley lines, he said he wished hehad so the time around the world could be whatever he wanted. Watching-Cricket-O'Clock this and Half-Past-Bread-Snack that. It sounds like some goofy clock you could make, like the one at the Burrow maybe? When I mentioned this he got all excited about how you could do it with Muggle technology. I lost track of it pretty quickly, although Luna interrupted several times to mention how inverted runes would probably be useful. Not sure how he was patient enough to finish explaining, but somehow we managed.
Hope work's going well. Luna sends her love. Not that way though.
Hello from Phnom Penh! It rained all day today so we've been staying inside mostly. Yesterday we went to the river and tried to see whether anything was strange—nothing yet but we're getting close. I'm afraid the Mistingens have interfered with some of our early calculations so we can't rule anything out yet.
I wish you could have seen all the plants there, both magical and Muggle. There are so many creatures! I'm enclosing a picture of the giant river carp—Daddy thinks it's related to the Chibbering Carp that lives farther upriver. Of course those are very rare and hard to see so we didn't risk disturbing their habitat, but they have to be around here somewhere. We're supposed to preserve the biodiversity too so no grass clippings or anything like that for you (I can't trust the owls not to munch on it either).
The wizards here have been helpful but, not speaking Khmer, it's difficult to negotiate. We eventually found a room to rent from an older couple who grow wand trees. There's only one bed though and Harry let me have it. I offered to share and he said he was fine—I can see right through him, he gets cold feet I'll bet you and is too noble to make me put up with them. He's very considerate like that.
We're dating now, I suppose. The good news is that we've already finished with all the poltergeists we expect to meet and none of them teased us about it. So it was for the best we waited.
Hope you're well!
We're not sure if you'll get this in time but if you don't, that's fine. Cho has a lot of horror stories to tell about the Chinese mail system but some of it she has to be exaggerating on. (Did I tell you she works in Dad's office now? Muggle artifacts and that kind of thing. Wouldn't have taken her for a bureaucrat but Dad says she's great.) But basically, we've made a lot of progress on the case back here—Hermione says she knew it all along, of course. Take your time coming back, though, you might as well enjoy your vacation. And if you do get this in time, don't give up on the off chance you come up with anything...things still don't quite add up. Oh well.
Otherwise things are going well here. We were over at Andromeda's for tea, Teddy's running over the place and bumping into chairs left and right. Either he bounces back very well or just uses his Metamorphmagus ability to get rid of the bruises by himself. Andromeda says Tonks was the same way.
Chudley versus Holyhead next weekend, Neville's taking a bunch of us. Wouldn't have taken him for a big Quidditch fan but there you go.
I miss you, hope Hogwarts is doing all right.
I thought our lake was something magical but Zih...Xhi..Shi...West Lake is something else again! Luna's really burned through her cameras, I'll have her show you some when we get back.
On the one hand there aren't any squids in the lake (that we know of)—on the other, Luna was convinced there was a kelpie or something picking off the koi. Took too long to get her to shut up about it, we eventually started walking around and looking at some tombs instead. We're leaving very soon, I'd like to visit again maybe when she's less worked up about the ACME stuff.
Hangzhou (and yes, I did spell that right) is otherwise very nice. I bought Luna an umbrella which she's been carrying around and she poked the koi with it less than I expected. She says she wants to get me some dragon hide boots but I told her that's ridiculous. Still, no telling where we'll go next...actually I suppose there is. The maps she's got are actually quite useful, they automatically rotate to show different projections. I wish I could show these to Remus or Sirius, see what they'd make of them...
Oh well. We're still having fun. Hope to see you whenever we get back.
Greetings from Kobe! I'm sending along a couple pairs of socks, one for you and one for Teddy. As far and robes and all go the wizards here dress rather conservatively like back home but below the knees...they're very fashionable.
Hope he's not giving you too much fuss. I miss playing with him and giving you a night off, don't be afraid to let the Weasleys play with him for a while if you need a break. I'll be home soon.
Of course nothing turned up as far as "work" went although we asked around. Luna was very methodical about investigating the hot springs, she thought they might be connected up some strange way and so we spent a lot of time just walking back and forth and taking measurements. But nothing of consequence.
Then last night we went out for some karaoke...oh my. Luna didn't need any encouragement, just walked up there and tried singing. Of course we don't speak Japanese so she was reading some transliterated thing—people appreciated that she tried, anyway, she'd memorized a couple phrases just to show off. Well, I said I was just going to listen to the others, not sing myself, but a few drinks later...I don't remember much but Luna assures me it was very entertaining to the rest of the crowd. I suppose there are advantages to dating her. (And they said Gryffindors were naturally brave...)
She insists we have to do more of that when we get back. Good thing the Leaky doesn't have anything (although Tom seems to be approaching retirement, perhaps someone else will take over soon...I'd better not give anyone ideas).
Take care, I'll see you soon.
When we get back without having the slightest evidence for ACME that anything is up, you are completely entitled to say that you told us so.
But I'm more than happy we went. I'm not sure if Luna and I would have gotten together back home—it's having her as the one thing that doesfeel normal that's changed things. I should have seen it before, probably—when she was the only one to see the thestrals, the only one outside Gryffindor to fight with us—but this did the trick. So thank you for letting us go ahead with it.
Canberra is fine, we didn't see your parents' friends but it's nice to hear English again. We had dinner in this rotating tower thing that provided a nice view of the city and the area around us, and also gave Luna a chance to make sketches of landmarks that seemed to line up with each other. We had to get more and more desserts just so she had an excuse to keep making maps. Sure enough, none of it lines up in any unusual way, and we got way too full...but dessert was good at the time.
We just got back from the wizarding library here, it's not bad but dwarfed by the Muggle archives. Luna was looking at maps and I was talking to the librarian—she told me there's a lot of oral tradition and spells that just haven't been written down, the country's so sparsely populated that wizarding communities are able to thrive on their own, out of sight from Muggles. You'd like her.
Almost done, I'm so broom-lagged it's hard to stay awake but I'll just send this tomorrow and we'll be on our way!
Well, here I am, back in France. I swear, if you wanted to mess up the time zone lines you could go around the world without leaving France.
Anyway, this is New Caledonia. Apparently. Let's just put it this way, you know perfectly well that I haven't been able to study geography or anything like that at Hogwarts.
Luna says I should write to you and I guess I probably should, I don't know. I dragged her to a Quidditch match a few days ago back in Australia—it wasn't hard, really, she still fancies herself an announcer. The Thunderers won a blowout against some rubbish opposition. I can't imagine how Australia manage a decent national team—they've only got two good clubs, who both hate each other. I suppose it's just Chasers from one team and Beaters from the other so no one has to learn to make new friends...?
I hope you're doing well. I have to admit I didn't imagine meeting anyone new but technically she's not new. Knowing you you'll appreciate the humor of it all though.
Not very many wizards or witches here in the city, though there's one studying Flobberworms on a nearby island. Lots of old military buildings though. For all our talk about Unforgivable Curses the Muggles are a lot more ingenious when it comes to ways to kill each other. The good news is by now I know how to say "I apologize for being an ignorant foreigner," "yes, I did get that scar in a war," and "would you like to ride my magical broomstick?" in French.
How's the joke shop coming? I know you were giving George some ideas for that—I'm sure you're brilliant at that kind of thing.
See you soon!
Dear Harry and Luna,
I'm sending this by owl so it'll be waiting for you in Tuvalu. Hopefully you'll be ready to come home by then.
We looked into it some more and it turned out that the people who were originally complaining about the ley lines...were actually Muggles. Yes, in the absence of any actual knowledge of the magical world, they independently came up with the same rubbish conclusions that...well, actually, everything the Quibbler prints makes far more sense than the wizards and witches who believe in ley lines and ought to know better. Honestly!
So now you must be asking how a bunch of raving Muggles came to the attention of the Ministry. Well, Carmen—the one ACME has been out to get—made it look like they knew more than they did and tipped them off, so they'd concentrate their resources on that instead of looking for an actual wizard who's really on the lam. Whitebeard, he's called, but no use looking for him—he and his associate could be anywhere by now.
Anyway, Ron and some friends from ACME tracked Carmen down—don't ask me how, he'll explain when you get back. She's refusing to give the others up but the Muggles are back to their pseudoscience and she's safe in custody, so it's all fine. And apparently you two appreciated the vacation...!
See you soon. We can't wait to hear all about it.
There's nothing to worry about, we found Whitebeard and his crony!
We got here in Nukulaelae, the closest atoll we could find to the International Date Line. We figured that maybe one ley line would be nothing by itself, but if Carmen was causing trouble at Greenwich and she had someone located on the opposite side of the world, working in sync, perhaps together they'd redefine "killing time." So we went out for a ride over the ocean, just to see what we could find. Harry's broom is no flying carpet but it'll do and we don't mind sitting in very close quarters...
Well, anyway, what did we find but a couple of them sitting on a raft Whitebeard had transfigured out of a couch. We didn't want to Stun them or anything since they would fall into the water, so I (Harry writing now) just came down, showed off my scar, and claimed I had them surrounded by others and threatened to Untransfigure the raft. Well, Whitebeard came quietly. His accomplice put up a fuss, claimed they should have just stayed in Greenwich all along to lose themselves in a crowd...But we've got them under control now and the ACME people will be here soon to transport them back with us.
The authorities will have lots of time to interrogate them once we get back. It'll be back to work for us—Luna's going to Somerset for an internship at the Snidget Reservation and Harry's looking forward to the normal Auror routine again. It's going to be a bit anticlimactic to go out on dates to Muggle restaurants after all this, but we care about each other very much and we'll have a very good time wherever we go, we're sure.
Still, if you find anything about them, let us know. The other guy appears to be a Muggle, can't tell much about him except that ACME have been looking for him for a long time too.
They call him Waldo.
Harry and Luna