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Law and Aurors, act 3 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Law and Aurors, act 3
Okay. Back to work. Detectives found a body, a young girl in a cloak. A witness heard "Avada Kedavra." Kingsley (during OotP year) is in New York following a lead on Yaxley, and happens on the scene. He contacts NYC magical law enforcement, who tell him that they more or less have to leave it in Muggle hands under local law. The victim is identified as the daughter of Caradoc Dearborn, whose disappearance turns out to have been escaping into Muggle society when he fell in love with a Muggle girl during the last war. His wife was killed years ago, and now his daughter, Delia, is gone. Kingsley and the local law enforcement guy come to the interrogation, and Kingsley ends up staying. Meanwhile, local guy (Antonio) and the local witch prosecutor, Sophie Liebowitz, have to go see Adam Schiff (who's in on everything) to figure out how to go about prosecutin a magical case that happened in the middle of Grand Central. Sophie's not pleased to have Kingsley on board, and the local magical council is apparently obsessed with lack of justice under Barty Crouch, Sr, and won't want to extradite.


Teaser
Act One
Act Two




Office of the District Attorney
Claire Kincaid looked like she was about to start making a neat, perfectly logical, precise argument against what Adam was trying to tell her, so he looked to Jack McCoy, who was shaking his head.

"This is something you think we should be keeping under wraps?" he asked.

"What I think or don't think isn't the point," Adam said. "Let's just say it's classified. And their ways of keeping it that way are a lot better than the military's."

"And they maintain an entire legal system?" Claire began. "Here, in the middle of New York?"

"Argue it with a bet din," Adam said.

"Oh, come on, Adam," Jack said. "That's not the same thing--"

"You think we should be handling Jewish law? Campus problems?" He didn't wait for an answer. "Doesn't matter. When it's just their own thing, they handle it. But this is a murder. I don't want the president of Columbia handling murders in his dorms, and I don't want the magical court handling a murder in Grand Central." He snorted. "Far as I know, the girl didn't even know she was a witch."

There was no time for any further objections after that, because Sophie Liebowitz appeared, as always, at exactly the time Adam had called for her. Along with her was the scruffy-looking wizard who served as head of investigation at the place they jokingly called Precinct Thirteen and a Half. Adam involved himself with introducing everyone to everyone else, hoping Jack and Claire had the werewithal to get their shock under control by the time he finished. They seemed to manage it.

Adam went to his desk, indicating two chairs for his visitors.

"All right," he said. "What've we got?"

Sophie waved her wand, and a manila file appeared. She handed photographs to Jack and Claire.

"Hey--" Jack said, looking oddly delighted. "This picture..."

Adam took one. He'd seen wizarding photographs before, and wasn't impressed with this one. It was obviously taken at a distance, and showed a good-looking young guy and his daughter, sitting on a fire escape, their legs swinging over the side. The girl had been the Grand Central victim. "Dearborn," he said. "You've been keeping an eye on him."

"He had enough protections to keep us away longer than you'd expect," Antonio DiNucci said. "But yeah, we spotted him about six months ago. He's living as a Muggle, working in a bank."

"Is that what he did in London?" Adam asked.

"We don't know. He wasn't hurting anyone. No reason to check up. The INS might know--he came in on an ordinary Muggle visa."

"Smart, considering," Sophie said.

"Considering what?" Claire asked. "What's happening?"

Sophie and DiNucci looked at one another awkwardly, and finally Sophie said, "What you need to understand is that things happen in our world that often never surface outside of it. England--well, the U.K. in general, I guess--has had a kind of low grade civil war going on. A lot of people wanted to keep the community 'pure'--kind of like our nativist militias. They were pretty violent about keeping Muggle-borns and half-bloods out of the community."

"Oh," Claire said dryly. "Good."

"Yeah. Well. Anyway, they wouldn't much like Dearborn marrying a Muggle--that's, well, you. There was an... how do you explain it?"

DiNucci shrugged. "No better than they do. The guy in charge of the movement picked the wrong place to attack. The magic bounced back on him and killed him. Movement fell apart. You know about Barty Crouch, right?"

Adam nodded, then looked at Jack and Claire. "Took zealous prosecution into whole new territories. Now and then, he decided it would be a good idea to skip the whole process and toss suspects into prison."

"What's the fun of that?" Jack asked.

Sophie ignored him. "Some of the followers stayed there and claimed... oh, various things that don't matter in context. A whole lot of the others came over here, claiming that they needed asylum."

"And we gave it to them?" Claire looked at her incredulously. "Nativist militias?"

"INS vs. Cardoza-Fonseca," Sophie said. "They had a legitimate and very well-founded fear of persecution."

"There's a difference between persecution and prosecution of hate crimes!"

"Not when the government is rounding up people whose families have bad reputations and tossing them in prison without any evidence." Sophie shrugged. "It's a hot-button issue, because, yeah, some of them are the bad guys. Others aren't. Some of the pure-bloods who came over are just relatives of people who were involved. Given Crouch's behavior, it wasn't unreasonable to assume they'd get hauled in. So they got asylum. And the ones who weren't quite so innocent got in under the same umbrella." She sighed. "We actually did try to appeal through our channels--we don't have the INS's procedures, and we do some things differently, but the Supreme Magical Court decided that the parallel between our function and theirs was clear enough that we had no grounds for objecting to the Muggle ruling."

Claire shifted uncomfortably, and Adam understood. It was one thing to talk about protecting immigrants and asylum-seekers, and another to think that they were just putting out a welcome mat for half-baked eugenicists who were in trouble because they wanted to purify their gene pool. "And they all carry weapons," she settled for. "Marvelous."

Adam just shook his head, hoping Claire wouldn't start in on gun control. The magical community made Texans look like New Englanders when it came to carrying personal weaponry. She wouldn't get past square one with anything that started to sound like she was attacking the right for an adult to carry a wand. "Never mind all of that," he said. "They're here. However they happened to get here, they're here, and they brought their fight with them. I want to know how someone got through and started working in a Muggle school where she'd find the Dearborn girl."

"No one vetted their records?" Jack asked suddenly. "When they came over, I mean?"

"Overstressed bureaucrats," DiNucci said.

"Think Briscoe and Curtis could go talk to them?"

Adam smiled. "I'll have Van Buren set it up."




Near Burr Island Magical Penitentiary, East River
"They hid an island?" Rey asked as a young undercover wizard cop--he looked maybe eighteen--disembarked on the southern shore of Mill Rock and casually worked a few spells on the shrubbery. "An island?"

The kid shrugged. "We gotta keep 'em somewhere, don't we? It's not like Rikers is gonna hold 'em. No one was using Mill Rock, so we asked if we could use it as a gate." He looked at Kingsley Shacklebolt. "You're sure they're clear on this?"

"I showed you DiNucci's seal. How many times do you intend to question the arrangement?"

"Okay, man, whatever. I still think it's fishy."

The shrubbery around the old dock suddenly shifted, twining upward like snakes, and created a prickly arch, under which the fast running water seemed to run into impenetrable darkness."

"So where is it really?" Lennie asked.

"Unplottable," Shacklebolt said. "Don't ask for it to make sense in Muggle physics; it won't. It occupies essentially the same space as Mill Rock, if I understand correctly. It's a very impressive bit of magical engineering."

The kid didn't look particularly impressed as he pulled up a small boat and loaded them all in. He didnt' talk as they made their way under a series of iron girders to a small, rocky outcrop with an old-style military fort on top of it. He led them inside, and stood guard when they went into the interview room... which was the same as any other interview room Rey had ever been in, which was kind of comforting, when he thought about it.

Malvina Burke was brought in a minute later, looking much more composed than she had in her apartment. When she spoke, it was with a cold accent that Rey associated with villains in a lot of the movies his kids liked. She raised an eyebrow at Kingsley. "Muggle investigators?" she said with a sneer. "Surely, the Aurors haven't descended that far. Though with a clown like Cornelius Fudge in charge..."

"Rufus Scrimgeour is in charge of the Auror division," Shacklebolt said. "And Mr. Dearborn has asked for a fuller investigation than is our typical approach."

"What's to investigate? I killed the little half-blood fool."

"No," Lennie said, "you didn't."

"Oh, really?"

"No," Rey said, hoping he was picking up on Lennie's idea. "There were about four people there. Maybe you were with them, but you weren't alone, were you?"

"What does it matter? I performed the Death Curse, and she's dead."

Lennie shrugged. "Yeah, well, call us crazy, but we like to get all the accomplices, too."

Burke curled her lip, then turned back to Shacklebolt. "Surely, you don't intend to allow these... people... to interrogate a pure-blood and a countrywoman in this manner?"

"In fact, my dear Miss Burke," Shacklebolt said, "I'm rather enjoying it. And I believe I'll add my own question--with whom have you been corresponding?"

"No one at all. No one worth communicating with remains there."

"Not even Lucius Malfoy?"

Rey glanced at Lennie, and saw equal puzzlement. But clearly, Shacklebolt had some idea he was pursuing.

"Mr. Malfoy," Burke said icily, "was associated with the Dark Lord by reputation only, and he was unworthy of it. Even under the Imperious Curse--"

"Oh, please, let's not tell fairy stories," Shacklebolt said.

Burke straightened her shoulders. "I haven't corresponded with anyone."

"Not even Wormtail?"

At this, Burke looked genuinely puzzled. Rey thought a kid fresh out of the academy, whose buttons were still shiny, would recognize that the woman really didn't have any idea what Shacklebolt had asked her. He leaned forward. "What about here?" he asked. "You been hanging out with old friends who came over?"

"I lead a lonely life, Detective," she said, and stood. "Now, I believe I have a right to an attorney here. That's one of the reasons I came to this ghastly city."

Lennie rolled his eyes. "Guess some things are universal," he said.




Twenty-Seventh Precinct
"No way she was acting alone," Rey said. "She's covering for someone."

"The D.A. agrees." Van Buren leaned out of her office, cocking a finger to them to call them in. DiNucci had already returned, and was busily playing with the hot and cold tabs on the water cooler. "We had to get someone from their court to sign off on a search warrant for their processing office."

"A wise course of action," Shacklebolt said. "I suspect rather strongly that there's a network growing here, and for various reasons, that's especially troubling at this particular moment in time."

"You want to tell me why?" DiNucci asked.

"Love to," Shacklebolt said, "but I'm not officially permitted to discuss it."

"This about that crazy Potter kid and Dumbledore and all that business with Umbridge?"

"Yes."

"What is going on with that?"

"Don't you read the Daily Prophet? Albus Dumbledore is mad and Harry Potter is attention starved, and it's necessitated the government taking more control at Hogwarts."

"Yeah. Right. What's the real story?"

"As an agent of the Ministry," Shacklebolt said, "I must assure you that every word is true."

"And off duty?"

Shacklebolt grinned widely. "Off-duty, I am wise enough to keep quiet."

Lennie leaned over to Rey. "You feel like you're missing something here?"

There was no time to discuss the subject. Shacklebolt and DiNucci led the way through a Byzantine system of tunnels and across another magical barrier into a ratty office building lined with metal file cabinets. Van Buren insisted that Lennie carry the warrant, and he presented it to a pretty girl wearing a bright purple robe. "We're authorized to look at all the records from any immigrants you've brought in from the U.K. in the last fifteen years," he said.

"You're Muggles!"

"Yeah."

"But you can't--"

"Yes," DiNucci said, flashing his badge, "they can."

DiNucci and Shacklebolt used some kind of magic to make file drawers fly at them from every direction--Lennie had to duck to avoid two of them--and land on an empty table in the middle of the room. The drawers were filled with rolled scrolls.

"These people really need a better database," Rey muttered.

After half an hour, Lennie, who hated computers, was inclined to agree. Not only were the files rolled up, they were were handwritten in elaborate copperplate script for the most part, and the ink blotted in difficult places, making it very, very slow work. There had only been seventy immigrants, but even with all four of them working to find connections, it still took ten times as long as it would with a computer.

Lennie put another scroll down in a box they'd marked Leeds. "You haven't got something up your sleeve to make this go quicker have you?" he asked Kingsley.

"If we knew what we were looking for," he said, "I might. But since it could be any number of things--place of origin, work, anything really--there's no substitute for the old fashioned way."

"I hate to bring it up," Rey said, "but the only thing I'm seeing the same on all of them is the clerk who signed off on them. I'm guessing they don't have a very big staff here."

DiNucci frowned and pulled over the group of scrolls Rey was looking at. "Not big," he said. "But not this small." He raised his wand. "Accio Richard Haines employment file."

A drawer beside the receptionist flew open and a scroll flew out of it. It unfurled. A moving picture showed a squirrelly-looking guy with glasses. DiNucci scanned it, grimaced, and passed it to Shacklebolt.

Shacklebolt pressed his hand to his forehead. "Of course." He turned it and showed it to Lennie and Rey. "He put in for asylum to England in 'seventy-nine. The height of the last war. He'd been in London on a work permit. And he was put out for putting posters up all over Diagon Alley complaining about Muggle-borns destroying British culture and exalting... well, the one we don't name."

"Jesus Christ," DiNucci said. "He came back here talking about how his freedom of expression was violated."

"Yeah," Lennie said. "That one's a real triumph of the free press.

The photograph looked from one to another of them, grinning madly.

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Comments
leeflower From: leeflower Date: December 13th, 2006 02:50 am (UTC) (Link)
It's keeping up nicely. Thanks for the read.
dalf From: dalf Date: December 13th, 2006 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Well done. Made me smile and that is a real achievment today. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2006 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Glad to be of service. :)
From: spitc1899 Date: December 13th, 2006 03:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Sorry I haven't mentioned it earlier, but I'm absolutely loving this.
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: December 13th, 2006 03:46 am (UTC) (Link)
You make me think that watching L&O might be a good idea.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2006 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)
The convenient thing about that is that it's always on somewhere, in one cast variation or another. ;p
gryffin23 From: gryffin23 Date: December 13th, 2006 09:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes! I was hoping you'd post another act soon. I'm thoroughly enjoying this and well, the loyal student in me is pleased that Columbia got a quick mention. ;)
tdu000 From: tdu000 Date: December 13th, 2006 09:56 am (UTC) (Link)
This is interesting. I don't watch "Law and Order" so I'm probably missing quite a bit there. You've written the characters pretty clearly so even though I don't recognise them from the TV, they are recognisable from just this short peice (ie I know who's who). The part I'm really finding interesting is the differences between magical culture in the UK and the USA. You've touched on this before and expanding on it through the relations with muggles is prooving very effective, especially in the short time frame you're using here. I'm now realising I really haven't thought much about Kingsley before. Just how did he have so much contact with muggle society that he could blend into the PM's office with no one noticing? Most wizards would stand out a mile.

Thanks for an interesting read (I think I was getting withdrawal symptons after "Shades" finished).
tamethestars00 From: tamethestars00 Date: December 13th, 2006 01:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I only just caught on to this, and its perfect... a really nice collaboration between Law and Order and the Aurors. It is especially interesting to see your take on the magical law system from another perspective, like how they need a new filing system and how DE's applied for asylum in the states. Keep up the great work!
sreya From: sreya Date: December 13th, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I got such a kick out of all the asylum stuff and the loopholes that can be exploited, yadda yadda yadda. Of course, you missed that exploitation of anyone else under the same grounds nullifies asylum. But then, it's Law & Order, which often misses the nuances. :~p

Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, using Dementors at Azkaban would probably constitute torture, meaning someone could get indefinite protected status if they were going to be sent there, though there could be grounds to keep them detained too. Dang, now you've got me thinking about all these immigration things when I should be thinking about economics and nationality issues!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2006 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
How does the asylum nullification work? (That's actually kind of where Jack's going.) Finding a random case to cite was the fun part. Now I have to go looking through asylum rulings myself to find out how exactly the wizard who let them in was breaking the law, so we can make up a big splashy charge against him, too. ;)

Of course, I doubt Britain wants these guys back.

But you're right--American law would consider Azkaban cruel and unusual. (British law would as well, probably, but for the sake of this story, American wizarding law will be more tied to American Muggle law than British wizarding law is apparently tied to British Muggle law.)
the_jackalope From: the_jackalope Date: December 13th, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am really loving this. The idea that wizards would come here after the war, both those fleeing the Crouch persecution, and those fleeing legitimate prosecution, makes perfect sense. And the interactions are spot on.
eir_de_scania From: eir_de_scania Date: December 13th, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really like this story! Cross-overs are seldom good, but this is.

Oh, and I loved that Kingsley's red sit really was his Transformed robes - one of my Pet Peeves is Wizards habitually wearing Muggle clothes! ;-)
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: December 13th, 2006 05:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Adam nodded, then looked at Jack and Claire. "Took zealous prosecution into whole new territories. Now and then, he decided it would be a good idea to skip the whole process and toss suspects into prison."

"What's the fun of that?" Jack asked.


Hee. Jack is awesome. And I'm really very impressed with the way you're contrasting the British and American wizarding cultures, and law...looking forward to more! :-)
snorkackcatcher From: snorkackcatcher Date: December 13th, 2006 11:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is interesting and most enjoyable, even though I don't know who the Law & Order characters are. :)
st_aurafina From: st_aurafina Date: December 18th, 2006 04:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Catching up on this - it's a really brilliant fusion of the two worlds. I love the prison on Mill Rock, and the way the mystery is unfolding at Immigration.
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