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Chapter 3 - Maroon Magic
His eyes had adjusted well to the darkness by the time he came into the main center square of the village of Hogsmeade. It wasn't too terribly far from the train depot; he could still hear excited yelling and reunifications from behind him. Torches and other sources of light came from a few of the buildings, but not as many as he figured there should have been. In fact, many places had been boarded up and looked slightly neglected.
Before he could dwell on that fact, he came across one such lit building, a small brick establishment with a waving sign depicting three broomsticks crossed. Letting out the ghost of a smile, he turned in its direction without stopping.
"Ye olde English pub," he mumbled, shaking his head. Maybe things weren't so different, after all.
He opened the door with his free hand, hearing it creak in the darkness and silence. It seemed just as deserted inside as the rest of the small town did, and he sighed. Great.
The flickering light from the candles on the wall brought some of the wooden interior to light, swathing the rest in shadow. But he stepped in anyways, ignoring the sudden feeling of anxiety about the truth. Pssh, why was he anxious? There was nothing to be anxious about, he tried to tell himself. Nothing at all.
The door shut behind him, and he glanced around, seeing old man Dumbledore sitting at a table and looking at him expectantly. Patrick was actually relieved to see that the man was out of his 'muggle apparel' and into a fairly sleek looking long grey robe that hid a hint of purple. There was a glass in front of him, even though it looked like it hadn't been touched.
"Waiting long?" Jane ventured, nodding towards the man.
The sparkle appeared in Dumbledore's eyes again and he chuckled. "Not at all."
"Good. At least that's something... Now I don't feel bad because I'm going to ask just what the hell is this about?"
When Dumbledore didn't answer, Jane pinched the bridge of his nose, trying to fend off the impending headache. It was going to be one of these conversations again. Letting out a haphazard sigh, he crossed the room wearily, noting the woman behind the counter staring at the pair of them, cleaning the bar with a rag. She just looked at him sympathetically, as though she knew how talking to the headmaster could be.
"Mr. Jane, you've seen it for yourself..." Dumbledore said lightly.
"Ah, hold on a minute. I've seen things, but I haven't seen it," he corrected, sitting himself down across the table from the old man. "There's a difference."
"And what difference is there?"
"I won't have seen it until you explain what's true."
Adjusting his glasses and leaning back in his chair, Dumbledore nodded approvingly. "I surmise that you've figured out that you're a wizard, which by itself, for someone your age - " he ignored the irritated look on Jane's face; implications of being old brought a retort involving a mirror, or a pot and kettle to the forefront of the blonde man's mind but he stoically stayed silent, " - is impressive, considering the memories were buried deeply in your subconscious."
Jane paused as he let the statement wash over him. Now, suddenly, the tides had been turned from earlier this afternoon, and he assumed that somehow - Dumbledore already knew about the irony. "How'd you know that?" he asked quietly.
"Do you think that had I said half those words to someone who either had that memory accessible or had no memory at all, I would have walked out of your office?" he responded placidly.
It was true. The former would have stopped him on all accounts, wanting to know more, and the latter would have called the asylum.
"So what? What you've shown me is nothing more than what I can do myself." Patrick challenged, frowning before he leaned forward over the table. "And before you say it's 'magic', I've never been trained, so how could I possibly use it?"
The professor didn't lose his cool.
"It's dormant inside all of us up until a specific age. You, being muggle born --"
"Oh, come on! What does muggle mean?" came the pointed interruption to something that had been irritating the mentalist for days now.
"Oh!" Dumbledore laughed, "My apologies. Non-magic humans, like your parents. It happens, on occasion, that a child is born with the gift of magic without anyone in their family having the lineage. It's rare, but it happens..."
Patrick pursed his lips. A rarity - well, that was him in a nutshell.
"...And so you see, Mr. Jane..."
"Patrick," Jane suddenly interrupted, unable to tolerate the formality any longer.
Again, that chuckle, and then Dumbledore lapsed into silence momentarily. Jane leaned back and tried to formulate his next question without seeming like any more of an idiot. It was obvious that the man in front of him - content on playing the old fool, as Patrick just knew that his intelligence wasn't matched - was intent on making him see the truth, even if Jane was as blind as he had physically been not too long ago.
"You actually still didn't answer my original question. I'm untrained. How did you know about me?"
"You're not a very subtle Legilimens," Dumbledore responded with a crooked smile.
There was that other word again. Dumbledore had called it the magical manipulation of memories, and he had scoffed at it before seeing all he had. Even now came the slight admission that perhaps it actually could be achieved...but look at all it had taken for him to go that far. Patrick narrowed his eyes at the admission and didn't break them from Dumbledore's cheery face even as the barmaid brought a bottle of something over and placed it in front of him.
"Thank you, Rosmerta," beaming, Dumbledore nodded towards her.
Taking the hint, Jane nodded, though he didn't break his gaze. "Uh. Yeah. Thanks."
She chuckled as she left, shaking her head but winking at Dumbledore. "Just don't blow his brain any more, Albus. Don't need to clean that mess up, 'cos I just finished from the last time that happened."
"Course not, my dear!"
Her heels clicked on the wooden floors as she went back behind the bar, and the old man looked lost in thought. Well, now was not the time for that. "Legilimens?" Patrick prompted, perhaps more harshly than he intended.
But, then again, if this was the truth, it had to be said, and quickly.
It took a second for Dumbledore to answer, his light eyes focusing in on Patrick's face with the sudden intensity that he had seen before, back in Sacramento.
"Have you ever known something about somebody that you shouldn't have, without knowing why or how you knew it?"
Taken aback by the sudden seriousness, Jane furrowed his brow. Candlelight flickered, casting half of the headmaster's face in shadows, leaving quite an impressionable effect. Fighting with himself, Jane moved his memories to the past, to times where he had confused himself - and the other agents at the CBI. Dumbledore's eyes never left him, but softened as the consultant tried to think.
"There...was one time," Jane conceded, running a hand through his hair. "A...while ago. We had a suspect in...and Cho - you met Cho? Slightly superstitious. Probably wouldn't like you...no offense."
He realized he was rambling and did his best to stay on point, even amongst the smirk on the professor's face. Still, he couldn't help it when his voice faded slightly, getting caught in the memory.
"Anyways, Cho was interrogating this guy - who was a complete jerk, by the way. I was watching, the way I tend to do, and it just...came to me. He wasn't breaking, not admitting a damn thing, and I couldn't read his expression...but ... "
There was a pause, during which Jane relived the moment - and then Lisbon's incessant questions about how he had done what he did - while Dumbledore studied the man sitting before him.
"Well, Patrick, that just proves that all your mentalism techniques were supplemented by this unknown talent of yours," Dumbledore said, with a smile.
Jane thought about it. He thought about his uncanny ability to read people, and the recently unsurfaced memory - he was supposed to have been brought up as a wizard, except his father never let him. He thought about Dumbledore just disappearing on the spot back in California, and of the owl that delivered the letter. Not to mention the fact that he walked through a wall to reach a hidden magical train station. And of course the half-giant man and the crazy winged horses.
"Ok, I admit..." Jane started slowly. "You might - might, mind you - have a point with all this magic stuff."
Dumbledore just nodded in response. "Glad to hear it. Now, Patrick, the question is, what do we do with you? You certainly have come far, and have discovered the truth. And while you could go back to California and continue your work, I have a much more intriguing proposition for you."
"Oh? And what would that be?" Jane asked, his voice mocking. "Stay here and learn magic?"
"Right in one," Dumbledore replied, his eyes twinkling. "There is much for you to learn."
Jane laughed incredulously. "Sorry, Professor, but I'm still waiting for this dream to fade away."
"Perhaps I could make it more convincing if I offered you employment?" the old professor said, his voice upbeat.
"Excuse me?" Jane spluttered, completely taken off-guard.
Dumbledore chuckled at Patrick's surprise. "Well, circumstances being what they are, our Muggle Studies teacher, Ms Burbage, has decided to take some time off. And so, we are short one professor this year."
Dumbledore looked at Jane, and Jane stared back, his former surprise now laced with amusement. "Let me get this straight. You want me to teach a bunch of witches and wizards about being muggle?"
"Yes, it's a fairly simple subject. Although Ms Burbage only really focused on physical differences between muggle and magical worlds, like living without electricity-"
"You live without electricity?" Jane interrupted. "That's so...medieval."
Professor Dumbledore carried on as if the interruption had never happened, "Of course, you'd still have to teach the basics, especially for the younger students. But personally I think you would be able to offer a more interesting view on cultural differences, lets call it. Muggle Studies is usually only offered until fifth year, but quite frankly, with your expertise, I don't see why we'd be unable to open up a higher grade class."
Jane laughed again, really unable to believe this was actually happening. He couldn't picture himself as a teacher, much less a wizard teacher at a magic school. And how utterly trusting, if not slightly irresponsible, of Dumbledore to offer him such control over all these fresh, young minds.
"We'd provide you with full accommodation up at the castle, plus teacher's salary," Dumbledore continued, still trying to convince Jane. "And of course, you'd be taking lessons yourself with the best witches and wizards in the country."
There was another pause, and Jane looked up at the old man in front of him. This guy was being serious. So he'd be serious too. Or at least he'd try.
"Alright, Professor, I'm in."
"Wonderful!" Dumbledore called out, clapping his hands together lightly. "Now lets take a quick drink of this delicious butterbeer and head back to Hogwarts. The sorting ceremony is likely to begin quite soon and I don't intend on missing it." With that, he poured two cups full of beer-like liquid and raised his own in the air, joined by Patrick. "Here's to another school year!"
"Cheers," Patrick replied, and after clinking their cups together, he downed the drink in no time, though noting that it was perhaps the best tasting non-alcoholic beverage he ever had.
Dumbledore put his empty cup down, and stood up. "Now, we really must be getting back."
"Alright. And how do we do that? Broomsticks?" Jane replied, unable to resist, following him out of the pub.
Dumbledore just smiled in return, but strode over to him. "Not today. For the moment, take my arm if you will, and hold on tight."
Jane looked at Dumbledore as if he really was a crazy old man, but complied. No sooner had he done so than he felt Dumbledore turn on the spot, and a sudden, crushing darkness took over him.
**Based in part on CBS show 'The Mentalist' - Credit goes to creator (and executive producer), Bruno Heller.