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Welcome to Charming, the year is now 1894. It’s time to join us and immerse yourself in scandal and drama interlaced with magic both light and dark.

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It’s quite unusual for a caster's patronus to be their favourite animal, but very possible that it will take the shape of a creature they’ve never before seen or heard of. — Amy
As he fell, Ford recalled the trials of Gulliver during his interactions with the Lilliputians.
Potato Wars

a bone to pick
August 22nd, 1892 - Murdock Greyback's Office

Timoleon Maxime didn’t look very pleased, and had anyone felt the need to approach him, say to ask for the time or to let him know Murdock was ready for him, they would have thought twice. He was already in Greyback’s office with his back pressed against the visitor’s chair (although he’d considering sitting in his chair, albeit briefly, but decided against it without knowing what kind of mood the man was going to come back in), white-knuckling The Daily Prophet, with his feet propped against Greyback’s desk.


It was going to be the damn Daily Prophet that plunged Hogsmeade into chaos if they kept reporting things like this, writing words that would only serve to scare the population. They had it under control. Under control in the sense that no one knew what the hell was going on, but at least the public didn’t know that. Leo had scouted around some of the scenes but hadn’t found anything discerning which was disappointing. If he could get the upper hand on the matter and bring results to Ross while bypassing Murdock… he might just get his job yet.

His attention shifted as he heard  the tear of the paper along the rightmost edge, as he’d been gripping it a bit too forcefully. Leo hummed as he turned toward the door to the office opening. “How was the meeting with Ross?” Not that he cared - he just wanted information. Leo pulled his feet from the desk back to the floor and tossed the open paper onto his desk.

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Thank you Stef for this beauty<3
This fucking year! Kidnapped nieces of the Chief Warlock, that whole fiasco with the moron in the black lake, and now a series of fucking murders! Jesus Christ- what a disaster. It would be lovely if they could find the perpetrator by the end of the day and just cruise through the rest of the year with petty thefts and occasional garroting. He could live with that.

He snapped open his office door a little more aggressively than he meant to, using wandless magic to open it before him, sending it slamming into the wall, and then closing it again, causing the windows to rattle in their panes.

'Maxime,' he greeted through gritted teeth. His deputy wasn't his favourite person in the world, he didn't dislike the young man, he was capable enough they just had very different personalities and it showed in their interactions. He read the front of the Prophet that Maxime threw onto his desk and groaned - that rag would be the death of him.

'Ugh, almost exactly as you would expect' he admitted, and let the matter of the feet on his desk slide for the moment. 'I've put more boots on the ground in Hogsmeade' he confirmed for the other, 'And it's been agreed that Ross is the face of this - no one will be making a career on this one' he thought that sort of behaviour was gauche at the best of times, but the idea of utilizing such a tragedy for their own purpose was entirely disgusting to him.

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MJ is a National Treasure
Leo wasn’t sure how he felt about Greyback; the man was interesting to say the least but he was at least good at job. He showed up. He’d like him a hell of a lot more if he was easier to bend, easier to break, but so far the man was like a brick wall. The Greybacks had to have secrets, and Timoleon was going to work to expose them. It just sucked that right now these gruesome murders were taking up so much of his time that he hadn’t had time to shadow him yet.

Cocking an eyebrow, Leo couldn’t help but frown. “More boots on the ground?” He leaned forward. “Are you sure that’s a good idea? These murders are happening quickly and more people means you’re giving the murderer a wider selection. It’s like offering people on a silver platter.” Although he didn’t have other ideas. Protective spells? A curfew wouldn’t help when the attacks happened at all hours; quite frankly. They were screwed.

“I think we need to tail the suspects, especially Lestrange. She looks like she’d enjoy a good murder while eating her breakfast cereal.” Leo glanced at his boss. It wasn’t as if he actually thought Lestrange did it; in fact, if he had to pick anyone it’d be Chopra - that man was an odd one and the nursery rhymes he hummed drove Leo to the edge. It was only a matter of time before he killed Chopra when visiting him in the coroner’s office just to stop him from humming.

He soaked in the information of Ross being the face of this. It wasn't the worst idea. Leo didn't comment on it.

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Thank you Stef for this beauty<3

'There is no right answer on this one' he explained, 'This person doesn't need to be beside these people to kill them.' he mused, lapsing into investigator mode with the other man.  Mulciber was still technically on the hook, but he had all but discounted her, or at least of all the suspects he thought her rather far down the list.  Either she was a genius who just happened to trip up in killing her husband - or she had just been the unlucky one to discover her husband in his death throws.  But then she wouldn't be the first murderer in history to hide their real target by stacking the deck. 

'so time and distance are no impediment, nor indeed does access seem to be a problem.' he sounded out for the other investigator.  His dictation quill had begun taking notes of the musings.  'so taking people off the street won't help until we know how he targets people - but a few more bodies on patrol might help us prevent a death, these deaths are slow - the sleeper, Mulciber, the young man who cut himself to shreds...' he scrubbed his face with his hands, as though trying to scrub the image of the young mans corpse from his memory. 

'If we have aurors out on the street we might be able to stop a death until a healer can be summoned.'

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MJ is a National Treasure
He tried not to roll his eyes and hoped he was successful enough that Greyback didn’t notice. He wasn’t an idiot - if the person was beside them while they were killing it would make their job a hell lot a lot easier. Leo doubted too, there was an invisibility cloak involved because someone would have bumped into the murderer when they were crowding around Hunt as he… well, offed himself. Had something been whispering in his mind telling him to do it? He couldn’t fathom why his death was so much different than the others in its brutality.

“More boots, fine.” Leo frowned at the man. He still didn’t think it was a good idea but there was no point in arguing with the man; more people to witness murder and scar them for life if it happened in public again. “They’re getting bolder for sure. I wonder if they watch it happen, from a distance. Any seers on that suspect list?” He pursed his lips together. No. There weren’t, which ruined that theory of watching the deaths through some crystal ball.

Timoleon snorted, then. “Tell St. Mungo’s and Hogsmeade Hospital each healer needs to take a shift with a few aurors. A forced partnership. Cut the middle man bullshit and have them on the scene when it’s happening.” He didn’t care if they’d be scarred or blamed either if they weren’t able to keep the victim alive. "Twenty-four seven. I'm sure we can get people to brew wide-awake potions to pass out for those who want to help longer than they're scheduled for."

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Thank you Stef for this beauty<3
'Certainly more gruesome' he harumphed, from falling asleep in public to to the stone ediface, in every sense of the word that had become of Mulciber and that poor boy, forced to flay himself a live in public. Murdock shuddered at the thought.

'Nothing from usefulseers yet' he explained, 'Prewett the unspeakable, apparently saw something of Meeks murder, but he has an iron clad alibi and took veritasarum to put the thing to bed, and there was something in the way he said 'yet' -that rather implied he very much doubted they would get to anything useful ever. As per usual he didn't see much of use.' Murdock didn't see much use in seers. In an ideal world there would be a set of them working in investigations, trying to predict things that would save lives but apparently they couldn't make it work like that which to Murdocks mind made them almost useless.

Murdock nodded thoughfully, 'I'd agree with that, if we thought the hospitals would give over the man power, or at the very least ensure that whoever is on shfit is able to apparate at a moment's notice.' he concurred, 'Probably wouldn't hurt to have a few curse breakers sitting at the ready as well,' he mused, although, like seers, in his experience curse breakers liked to ruminate on cursed objects, working slowly and methodically - which in this case would help almost no one. With a nod his quill noted the younger man's suggestion.

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MJ is a National Treasure
Leo hadn’t actually seen any of murders and had declined to see the bodies when they’d come in - a coroners report was enough for him to know he had no desire to witness anything, and if he was lucky he wouldn’t have to deal with this outside of his job. The weird notices in the Daily Prophet led him to believe that there were five deaths left if they didn’t do something, but then what? Everything returned to normal, or was something even bigger going to happen?

Leo’s eyebrows knitted together before he snorted. “Yeah, well we both know seers are about as useful as weather witches.” And in a perfect world they’d be lined up somewhere downstairs trying to aid them instead of being useless little things with a power they didn’t deserve; there wasn’t a purpose of having the ability to see the future if they couldn’t figure out when it happened and prevent it if they could. At least weather witches told him if he needed an umbrella or a jacket.

Eyeing the quill, Leo pressed his lips together as his next statement wasn’t something he exactly wanted on record. Fingers ran through his hair as he sighed and looked up at Greyback. “Someone needs to tell Ross if he’s going to be the face of this ordeal he needs to do a hell of a lot more than say a few words. The hospitals shouldn’t have a choice.” He inclined his head, “Nor should Gringotts if you wanted a few curse breakers. Ross is going to need to put his damn foot down.” He leaned back on the chair and crossed his arms. “Hell, add in an accomplished Legilimen to the team. Between an auror, a healer, a curse breaker and a Legilimen, someone should come back with something useful.” Of course that would be his dream team if he was in charge, but he wasn’t - Greyback and Ross had the final say, which sucked.

“Who do you think did it? Any of them?” Leo had his suspicions but not one of them seemed to scream, I'm the one committing these crimes.

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Thank you Stef for this beauty<3
'Broken clocks the lot of them' he snorted in agreeable amusement, bitter as it was under the current circumstances. As Leon continued his suggestions he again found himself in reluctant agreement with his deputy.

This was why working with Maxime was just a disquieting experience for him. On one hand he didn't much personally enjoy the other mans' company and yet professionally their views aligned on managing major incidents, even if the nuance of their approach might differ slightly. It was sometimes exasperating. He probably preferred him to Fisk, the nepotism of his relationship with Ross had always made him uncomfortable.

Murdock nodded thoughtfully, and as he did the quill wrote - 'Good choices.' he agreed. 'And worth running up to Ross by way of a task force.' He wasn't sure Ross would buy it, he had made a task force suggestion he had been shot down in a big way.

He shook his head, massaging his beard. 'I don't know who did it' he acknowledged, 'I don't think Mrs. Mulciber is on the hook' as hard of a time as she had been given in interrogation she seemed unlikely. Carrow, the unspeakable had been the first to say it was suspicious, but he didn't like to think of a member of the ministry being involved in something like this, but then it wouldn't be the first time. 'What's your gut saying?'

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MJ is a National Treasure
Leo couldn’t help but laugh; Greyback wasn’t his favorite person in the world by any stretch, hell, he wouldn’t even consider him a friend, but at least he listened to suggestions without outright dismissing them. He wasn’t the worst boss, and when he was above him in the ranks one day he wouldn’t be cruel to him. (Either that, or he had to wait for Murdock to retire to move into his spot, and that was going to take bloody forever.)

He nodded his head in thanks. “If Ross is worried about it, tell him I’ll head one myself. I’m good at bossing people around and unlike some of these twats I won’t withhold information. I’d rather one of us be there when it happens than having to rely on witnesses.” Leo said. Because half of them didn’t remember anything or were too caught up in what happened to give details and the other half were asking too many questions and putting their noses where they didn’t belong. All those supposed ‘private investigators’ who’d been cropping up by the hoards were getting in the way - Leo wouldn’t let them anywhere near where he was at.

He sighed and shook his head. “I don’t know, but I agree with Mrs. Mulciber being in the wrong place at the wrong time." As for his gut's intuition... "The Chopras. Mrs. Chopra is weird and if the rumors are true and she murdered her own children… and well, Mr. Chopra could easily cover for his wife, given he’s looked at the bodies. I’m assuming, Greyback, he’s been placed on leave.” Leo pressed his lips together. It was all just theories. He wished he had something more to base his decisions on. It didn't help that Mr. Chopra gave him the creeps whenever they were in the same room.

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Thank you Stef for this beauty<3
Murdock stifled his scoff - he was all too aware that Maxime liked to give orders.

He nodded at Maxime's suggestion, better him than a bungler lower on the food chain - but he knew, or at least suspected that Maxime was ambitious, you didn't get to be the assistant head of a function like the DMLE at his age without it. But in this case he wasn't sure keeping Maxime humble was worth the risk to other lives, and it wasn't like he could do it himself - there were too many other competing demands on his time for him to dedicate himself to the one project.

'I'll speak to Ross about it,' he confirmed, 'If there are specific healers, seers, or others that you think might be right SME's* for this one then reach out to them.' he scribbeled a note and some names on his own note pad. 'No one meater.* Its going to take a strong stomach for this one - I don't think we've seen the worst of these deaths.'

'Not yet - official inquiry has to happen first' he remarked, 'shouldn't take long, I'll be shocked if he's here beyond the end of the week. He wasn't sure if thought it was the Chopra's but he certainly thought it was for the best that Chopra be put on leave. He and his wife were solid suspects - the best they had at the moment - which didn't say much

* subject matter experts
* cowardly

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MJ is a National Treasure
Timoleon clicked his tongue before allowing a slight smile to spread across his lips before he slightly inclined his head. “Well I don’t know any seers who I actually like, so none on that front.” He’d vaguely remembered hearing Greyack’s sister was a healer and the thought of dealing with another who was similar to his superior seemed harrowing, but he didn’t want to insult the man by voicing who he didn’t want to work with. Instead he pursed his lips together.

“Walter Staghart. He’s an auror and seems like he wouldn’t mind getting his hands dirty.” He shrugged. “Vincent Iago is an asshole but he’s decent at his job, although I’m not sure an obliviator would be the best in the field for murder. Someone would scream we were hiding something.” Leo rolled his eyes at the very thought. “Cassian Valenduris is as loyal as they come.” He was also a very stoic man, and he’d be lying if he were to say he didn’t want to see the look on Valenduris’ face at a brutal murder. Then again, he was the squad chief so he probably wouldn’t be phased at all.

Humming, Leo inclined his head again. “Good.” He wouldn’t mind not hearing those tunes Mr. Chopra always hummed under his breath. “They’re counting down, aren’t they? What happens if the murderer gets to zero?” He couldn’t help but to voice the question aloud. The murderer slinks back into the shadows unscathed and it’s always a mystery? Or were more people going to die?

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Thank you Stef for this beauty<3
'Well I trust your judgement' he admitted, a muscle in his jaw flexing as he was loathed to admit the truth, that in spite of their personality clashes he did trust that Maxime would be able to get the job done. He knew some of the names that he was rhyming off - Staghart had been on his rader with the incident on the lake, so hearing Maxime discuss him validated the view he already had of the man and his skills - and Maxime's judgement.

Murdock nodded in agreement, 'I don't know, and I dread to think, but as the spectacle of these murders is increasing with each attack it is probably safe to assume that he will try and out do himself.' He snapped closed the notes and passed the spare copy of the full file over the table to the other man. 'Lets just ensure that we don't have anymore murders, and we won't need to find out. But I wouldn't certainly like to avoid turning this person into our Jack the Ripper- the department doesn't need the exposure and the public doesn't need the fear. I don't know if you were here when ripper murderings were ongoing - Muggle London was paralysed with fear - we want to avoid that at all costs.'

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MJ is a National Treasure
Maybe Leo didn’t want to press his luck with Greyback today, but instead of saying something smug to him, he just flashed him a small grin. “Thanks.” Although the single word was filled with words unsaid: as you should, I know, why wouldn’t you? He was going to be Greyback’s successor if it killed him, so he better trust Leo’s judgment. DMLE was going to be his, and eventually he was going to be the Minister of Magic. He’d like to think they wouldn’t be screwed when things went astray with him in charge.

Of course the mood shifted and Leo pursed his lips together before he could frown at Greyback’s statement - he was right. The last thing they needed was a mass murderer on their hands. Hysteria was already ramping up and it was only a matter of time before they had an angry mob on their hands. “Hopefully they don’t take a page out of the Ripper’s book, although it’d be a hell of a lot easier to catch someone murdering prostitutes and not… this.” He couldn’t keep the frustration out of his voice when he spoke and took the file open to him, flipping through the pages, pausing every so often to scan the words.

“I’m going to stake out the Chopras tonight. Nothing official, unless they’re actively murdering someone.” He spared a glance toward his superior, although it wasn’t necessarily a question of asking for permission. He was going to break this case, damn it.

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Thank you Stef for this beauty<3

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