3 Broken Hearts, Chapter 11
Disclaimer: Still just playing in a pair of sandboxes. Do not own, couldn't ever make a claim to. Didja miss me? I missed y'all! Enjoy the chapter.
Warnings: none for this one, just more procedural
While Harry and the team moved into the second house on Muir Island, the police had their own duties to see to.
The old man in the dusty archives received a phone call from an old friend the morning after he'd gotten the computer alert.
"Good morning, Surrey Police Archives. How may I help you?" the man chirped brightly into the receiver.
"John Grant?" the voice stirred a nearly forgotten memory.
"Matilda Marshall? Good heavens, it has been too long! To what do I owe the honor?" John replied.
"Got your messenger patronus, and need to follow-up. Can we send a team through?" was the brisk, efficient answer.
"Certainly! So you're in the Auror squad now? Do you need the coordinates?"
"Confirm them please, for the record. And yes, got transferred two years ago. Good to talk to you, John, we should meet for tea sometime, catch up."
John agreed, and confirmed the coordinates, then signed off to wait. He pulled what information was currently available on the case, made copies, and then prepared tea. The investigators arrived just as the kettle boiled.
"John Grant, Archivist?" a tall, bald headed, black man asked from the warded circle.
"Yes, Auror. Welcome to the Surrey Police Archives," John answered, giving permission for the group of men and woman to cross the ward line and enter the archives proper.
"Thank you, Mr. Grant. Allow me to introduce the team. Amy Porterhouse." And a sandy haired woman nodded her head as she walked across the room. "Vince Eglatine," a brunet man with one scarred cheek nodded hello. "Theo Proudfoot," another man, raven haired and wearing a bone choker nodded politely from beside the speaker. "Alastor Moody," a grizzled, older man with an oversized, constantly moving blue glass eye, grunted from the other side of the speaker. Everyone was wearing dark colored suits and pale shirts, which impressed John. Someone gave a damn about their appearances to the Muggles, and probably deliberately sent wizards that could handle themselves in the greater world.
"And I'm Kingsley Shacklebolt. Now, we're here to investigate the report of Harry Potter being found?"
"Yes Auror Shacklebolt. Here are copies of the report thus far," John passed out the manila files to each Auror. "Constable Stephens is meticulous, there's a lot there. Seems there was an explosion at what appears to be the boy's Muggle Uncle's residence, most likely magical in nature." The group quietly flipped through the paperwork in their hands as John spoke. "There are several law enforcement groups working on this, as well as plenty of health and welfare people. Young Mr. Potter is currently missing. Rumor has it some weird group of people have him in Scotland, and fabled Muir Island is involved," John explained the basics, leaving out that the group involved specifically with the Potter boy were superheroes. He wasn't sure how in touch with the Muggle half of the world this group was, and the idea of powerful humans without magic would confuse, if not anger some wizards.
He needn't have worried.
Moody, reading quickly through the file, growled out, "Superheroes? Tony Stark? Merlin's beard, what a mess." The unblinking blue eye spun crazily for a moment before angling towards Shacklebolt. "Well, rookie, what next?"
Shacklebolt contemplated his answer while reading his copy. "There's obviously quite a lot we're missing about this situation. Why don't we split up and interview the good Constable, and visit the scene in," he flipped a few pages, "Little Whinging."
Porterhouse and Eglatine volunteered for the interview, leaving the other 3 to visit the home site.
"Remember, Disillusion any wand movements, try not to Obliviate anyone, and Moody?" Shacklebolt said as the group dispersed.
Moody grunted, "The eye, I know."
Shacklebolt smiled at his mentor. "Let's get going. We'll meet here in 4 hours."
A chorus of agreements and the team split up. The two went upstairs, quietly building the usual cover story of being a part of a division of MI6. The remaining 3 took the time to finish reading the file and discuss all the possibilities. John served tea and remained unobtrusive.
A good hour later, the wizards thanked John, and apparated to the address in Little Whinging.
When they appeared on Privet Drive, they found the place swarming with people. Some wore clean suits, resembling walking statues of tinfoil, others in regular clothes, and a handful in brightly colored, skin tight uniforms.
"Huh, superheroes," Proudfoot grunted, casting not quite nervous looks around the property, as they came to a stop at the taped line across the driveway and front lawn.
"Okay, how does this change our approach?" Moody asked Shacklebolt.
"Hm. They may not believe the cover story. Spells may not affect them. Play it as it falls?" Shacklebolt responded, looking down at Moody.
The Disillusionment that he'd chosen had hidden all the scars on his face, as well as the magical eye. It was hard for a lot of the rookies to reconcile the images, but the vets just ignored the differences. Water cooler gossip thought Moody preferred the unscarred look, but Shacklebolt disagreed, since he'd never seen Moody use the glamour anywhere else but with Muggles.
"We can give it a try," Moody agreed, nodding his head.
The trio fished badge wallets out of their pockets, and left them open on their suit pockets as a uniformed cop came to the tape line.
"Officer, could you direct us to whomever is in charge? MI6, I'm Shacklebolt, this is Moody and Proudfoot," the Auror introduced his team.
The officer glanced at the badges, and lifted the tape to allow the three access. "You'll want to find Inspector Hollan. Last I saw, he was with Captain Britain, over by that tree there," the uniform pointed towards the backyard and the towering maple.
'Thank you." The Aurors walked toward the tree, where a besuited man stood, holding a recorder in one hand, quietly speaking into it.
"Inspector Hollan?" Shacklebolt queried as they got closer.
"Yes?" the man was middle aged and nondescript, "Oh, MI6? Here to see about terrorists?" the inspector turned off his recorder and faced them.
"Yes sir. Need to follow the investigation to determine the likelihood of insurgency and possibly suspects. This is Proudfoot, and Moody. They'll be your contacts with our office. I'm Kingsley Shacklebolt. What do you know so far?"
Proudfoot and Moody moved over to the remains of the house, quietly casting a few detection spells as they went.
Shacklebolt and Hollan went over what the police currently knew, until a superhero in red, white and blue stripes interrupted them.
"Inspector," Captain Britain said as he rejoined the men.
"Captain Braddock. Let me introduce Agent Shacklebolt from MI6."
"Agent," Britain said, looking over at the newcomer.
"Captain," Shacklebolt could remember a semester in Auror School, where a Muggle-born wizard had offered to tutor several of their year mates in current events in the Muggle world. Captain Britain had been mentioned, though not much was known at the time.
"Agent, Inspector, my friends from America have determined that the radiation threat is gone. All instruments are only picking up background level readings," Braddock explained.
"Fantastic," the Inspector breathed, quite relieved at the news. He plucked a radio off his belt and turned away to speak into it.
"Radiation?" Shacklebolt was concerned. The others were picking up magical residue from some kind of spell work. The energy required to attract the attention of Muggle science equipment was incredibly high, and was in the class typically reserved for spells like the Unforgiveables. Those left unmistakeable traces though, and hadn't been detected. Moody was the best at discovering those traces, and he'd found nothing.
"Yes. A pair of scientists have been tracking unusual levels of radiation, but it's safe now. MI6, correct? Looking for terrorists?" Braddock explained some of the work going on around them. He felt this man and his compatriots weren't quite telling the truth, but had no reason as yet to reveal their duplicity. Maybe Meggan had something useful.
"Yes, we're looking for a particular group of supremacists. Racists that want to deport all supposed foreigners," Shacklebolt admitted. It was the least that the Death Eaters wanted.
"Would they have access to the equipment needed for a dirty bomb?"
"Maybe." It wasn't out of the realm of impossibility. Purebloods probably wouldn't sink low enough to learn about Muggle style bombs, but Kingsley wasn't completely sure. He was glad he had been taking updated classes about Muggles since joining the Corps.
Braddock touched a finger to his ear, getting a report via communicator. "Agent, if you'd come with me? My partner has something." He turned back to Shacklebolt and indicated the approaching newcomer.
Meggan fairly floated over the ground as she walked, her golden hair like a fiery cloud behind her. Shacklebolt was mesmerized. The captain smiled, knowing the impact Meggan had on some people.
"Brian! Captain Rogers found something unusual over by the house, wants you to have a look," she said to Braddock when she came to a stop.
"All right, lead the way. Agent?" Brian asked Shacklebolt to accompany them. The Auror easily agreed.
The trio wended their way through the slowly clearing yard to another costumed hero, also in red, white, and blue, standing beside the hovering image of a woman in black and plaid, wearing a pointed witch's hat. She was older, hair pulled severely back in a no-nonsense bun, a pair of pince nez wire frame glasses perched on her patrician nose. She had a stern look about her, like she'd never brook any nonsense.
Shacklebolt nearly cursed, barely keeping the words behind his teeth. If Hogwarts knew already, everything had changed about this investigation. His superiors weren't going to be happy.
"Captain Braddock, I found this hologram while clearing part of the house away. It's stuck on a repeating loop," the new man informed them, words clipped in a distinctly American way, once they were close enough.
"Rogers," Braddock said, tired and exasperated. This whole thing kept getting stranger and stranger.
Steve shifted in place a little, and the image sparkled at is came to life, solidifying to opaqueness.
"To whomever triggers this missive. I am Deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall, of Hogwarts School. The place you are standing at once was the home of the Wizarding World's savior, Mr. Harry Potter. We are desperate for news, and would give aid to anyone who might be sheltering the lad. If you are a witch or wizard, please respond in the usual fashion. If not, please disrupt this spell, and I shall know," the image came to a stop for a few seconds before Steve moved again, allowing the image to fade to translucency.
"Well, what do you make of that?" Braddock asked the group at large.
"Seems strange," Shacklebolt was trying not to freak out, this had bad news written all over it. He didn't know if Captain Britain was read into the Wizarding world, and knew nothing about the other man. "Hogwarts? What kind of name is that?" He needed Moody here. This was out of his depth of experience.
"Spells are tricky things, Agent," Rogers said, "They can do many things, including leaving such messages. I've encountered quite a few while on the job."
That information stunned Shacklebolt to the core. Where in the world was magic such a known entity?
"Just what kind of job do you have?" Shacklebolt's curiosity was getting the better of him. Moody would curse his ass.
"Why, saving the world, Agent," Steve's smile was at once innocent, and full of mischief.
"Do we have a recording and scan of this?" Brian wanted to know.
"Yes we do," Meggan offered quietly from beside him.
"All right, let's see if we can't get someone's attention. Captain?" Brian nodded, taking the lead, and thus, responsibility for what might happen.
"Of course." And Steve Rogers pivoted neatly on a heel, and took 3 long strides up to and through the pale image of McGonagall.
Kingsley Shacklebolt held his breath, wondering if everything was about to blow up in their faces.