Chapter 2 : I
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Sitting at her desk, Carmen Parker watched the spoon swirl around in her coffee. Either the Wizarding world was being exceedingly boring or Davies was trying a new tactic to get her to quit by giving her no work. She could not decide which would be worse. The almost empty desk before her was a rarity she did not much care for and she was growing tired with nothing to occupy her mind.
“Miss Parker?” a voice asked from the door way. Relieved, Carmen looked up at the office secretary. “Mr Davies would like to see you,” smiled the blonde.
“I very much bought that liking has anything to do with it,” Carmen stated in a monotone, causing the secretary to give her a peculiar look before tittering away on her stilettoes. Well at least she was better than the previous one Carmen mused to herself as she gathered her notebook and quill before exiting her office.
Mr Harold Davies was a self-righteous and arrogant man with an inflated sense of self-importance that Carmen found almost intolerable. It was often observed that whilst being a Ravenclaw in his Hogwarts days, Mr Davies must have drunken away his brain cells until he was left with the two that remained. How he had become Head of the Wizengamot she would forever wonder at.
“Carmen, my dear,” he said upon her entering his office. The look that graced his face however suggested he thought she was anything but his dear. Not bothering with a greeting, Carmen waited for him to continue. “I have an assignment for you,” he stated rather obviously. “I’m afraid it is rather a toughy, you must let me know at once if it is too much for you and I will hand it over to one of the more senior members but they are all rather busy at the moment,” he elaborated with an unnecessary amount of hand gestures.
Carmen allowed herself to sigh internally. This was always the way: Davies would call her in, give her the hardest assignment they had in the hopes that she would fail, go on about how she had to come to him if she couldn’t handle it, exaggerate the details of the case to try and unsettle her… The routine was almost as familiar to her as brushing her teeth.
“Of course you may have to deal with some rather traumatising stuff my dear,” he rambled. “Gangs are always rather repulsive so I doubt this member will be any different. I hear his eyeball was split in two when they brought him in – still in the socket and everything – quite disgusting, I assure you.”
“May I have the file?” Carmen interrupted, eager to get on with some real work again. It had been months since anything interesting had cropped up and while gang cases were often fairly straightforward, it was at least better than watching her coffee for hours on end. Unless of course they had brought in another Hunter, then the case might actually be a real challenge – the Wizengamot was very reluctant to acquit a Hunter. Or better yet, if they had brought in a Rider. But she sincerely doubted that: Riders were impossible to catch.
“Yes, yes,” Davie muttered, clearly unamused at being interrupted. “He is in cell 13, they think he is some member of one of the rouge gangs that lurk around Knockturn Alley,” he added on in a final attempt to unsettle her. Carmen simply took the file and left without another word. Merlin she was insufferable Davies muttered as the click of her heals echoed in the hallway.
Cell 13 was a dingy little room at the far end of the stone corridor. It was rarely used on account of the number being deemed unlucky but no doubt Davies had wanted to awake her suspicious side – a side which, needless to say, did not exist.
The broad shouldered guard shimmied his way down the narrow corridor in front of her, disgruntled at having to walk all the way to end. Wordlessly he unlocked the cell door for her, having been there long enough to know that Miss Parker was a woman who hated to be told anything twice. She handed her wand to him and stepped inside as he shut and locked the door behind her.
It took several moments for her eyes to adjust to the dim lighting of the cell and she made a mental note to ask someone to improve it. Carmen had been inside many holding cells in her time as a Defence Lawyer and had been greeted by many different sights. The one before her was nothing spectacular.
“My name is Carmen Parker and I shall be defending you before the Wizengamot when they assign your trial date,” she began, addressing the figure hunched on the bed.
“Why on earth would you do that?” the figure mused, plucking at the pathetic excuse of a mattress. “You and I both know that I am guilty Miss Parker, I see no reason for you to defend a guilty man.”
“Yes well, you and I may define guilty in slightly different ways,” she stated, taking a seat on the rickety chair in the corner of the small room. “Now it says in your file that you have refused to give any personal information such as your name or age when asked which, really, is rather unhelpful.”
“My name is of no relevance, call me Dudley Doyle if you will,” the man smiled secretively. Carmen raised her eyebrows in disapproval before studying her client for the first time. His skin was a slightly darker shade than her own, hinting at a mixed race parentage; his hair was closely cropped with a indecipherable design shaved onto the left side of his head stretching from his temple to just behind his ear; his jaw was strong and his cheekbones sharp but what surprised Carmen most – and this was a woman not easily surprised – was the softness around his eyes.
“Well then, Mr Doyle,” she emphasised his name, making it clear she understood it was not his real one. “Would you care to tell me what gang you belong to?”
“If I won’t tell you my name, you can hardly expect me to tell you that,” he snorted.
“Why were you in Silver Street on the night of August 11th?”
“I was having a picnic,” he deadpanned.
“Do you know the identity of the opposing gang?”
“Yes, they were the Rainbow Butterflies.”
“Are you aware that a body was pulled from the debris?”
“It was- What?” he paused. “A body?” Carmen could barely contain her smirk but had to give him credit for hiding the shock from his face even if it was evident in his words.
“Yes, still unidentified. Young girl, barely out of school…” Carmen trailed off at the look on the man’s face. The defiance had vanished, the humour dispelled. “Do you know her?”
“No,” he replied coldly and something told her that that was the last she would get from him today, not that she had gotten an awful lot from him at all.
“Look, who-ever-you-are,” she clipped. “I am here to help you, when I return tomorrow I expect you to be ready to cooperate.”
“What for? We both know I am guilty: I am a member of an illegal gang who was caught in the middle of an illegal gang war that destroyed half a street and resulted in a body being pulled from the wreckage. There is no way they can find me anything but guilty – they have a multitude of crimes to charge me with anyway. Why they haven’t just sent me to Azkaban already and have done with it I cannot say.”
“You would be surprised. It is my job to defend you and I am rather good at my job. But I need your cooperation,” Carmen looked him straight in the eye. “Besides, they need to know your real identity before they can sentence you,” she added as an afterthought. He chuckled. Rising to her feet, Carmen paused at the door, turning around to face the man once again. “Until tomorrow Mr Ignotus,” she nodded.
“Mr Ignotus?” the man frowned.
“It is Latin for ‘unknown’.”
Carmen’s desk was littered with photographs and old Year Books from Hogwarts. She had narrowed down the possibilities drastically but she just couldn’t seem to find the perfect fit. Of course it was always possible – in fact it was very probable – that the man had altered his appearance. She was fairly certain that he was around her age, slightly older perhaps. Early thirties. But that only served to frustrate her more as she could not recall him from her Hogwarts days.
Perhaps he was foreign. Yet he spoke English with no discernible accent. Maybe he was older still; old enough that she would never have noticed him at Hogwarts. It was possible. It was all possible. Sighing loudly to herself, Carmen could not help but wonder why no one had invented a spell that revealed the person’s identity. It was probably due to some law to protect an individual’s privacy. Nevertheless, it was mighty annoying.
“Miss Parker?” the secretary popped her head around the door without waiting for a reply to her knock. “It is almost ten, the office shut an hour ago,” she yawned, as if to prove her point further.
“Yes, yes,” Carmen muttered without looking up. “I was just finishing off here. You don’t mind if I take these home do you?” she asked absentmindedly, waving some photographs in the air. The secretary just shrugged, not having a clue what Carmen was holding.
“Exciting case?” the woman asked as Carmen levitated a stack of Year Books into her brief case, shrinking them so they would all fit.
“Not particularly,” was Carmen’s blunt response. She never was one for conversation, especially not when she had pressing matters on her mind. And there was just something about this man’s identity that simply demanded to be uncovered. “Goodnight,” she remembered before leaving the office and apparating to her apartment building.
“Goodnight,” the woman sighed after she had vanished.
Opening the door to her flat, Carmen was immediately greeted by a rather large ball of fluff curling itself around her legs. Bending down, she rubbed behind the cat’s ear to return the greeting.
“Hello darling,” she purrs.
“I’m a darling now am I?” a male voice replies.
“I was talking to Hamilton, not you,” Carmen teases before Drew steals a quick kiss. “There is nothing dear about you.”
“How was work?” he asks.
“Same as always,” she responds, knowing full well he was not particularly interested. “You?”
“Terrible! Parkins made us redo the entire ground floor design just because one of the rooms was the wrong size which meant moving all the supporting walls which meant changing rooms upstairs as well, it was a complete disaster, we might as well have just started from scratch again…”he rattled out.
Carmen headed to the kitchen and began pulling leftovers out and throwing together a mismatched meal as her fiancée prattled on about Mr Parkins’ idiocies. She had met Drew Corner at Hogwarts, he had been the year above her and also a Ravenclaw, but they only started dating a year or so after she had graduated. He was smart, not overly obtrusive, minded his own business, had a way with words that would have made any other girl weak at the knees and somehow understood how Carmen worked – which was a feat Carmen herself was unsure she had mastered.
“Come to bed with me,” he whispered in her ear as she put her dishes in the sink, his arms coming around her waist to hold her against him. Leaning back, Carmen closed her eyes for a moment, enjoying his touch. But there were more important things at hand.
“I’ve got to go through these files first,” she gestured to her bag. Drew let out a disappointed sigh before kissing her goodnight and heading for the bedroom by himself. In his opinion, his fiancée worked too hard for too little credit.
Pulling out the files and returning them to their original size, Carmen set about trying to figure out the identity of her new client. Narrowing her options down, she decided she would eliminate them first before thinking more outside the box. He was somewhere between 25 and 40 which narrowed it down to the years books between 2016 and 2031. He was male. He could not be under polyjuice potion as that would have worn off by now. All his features however could have been charmed to look different which would last considerable longer than polyjuice potion but would not completely change his face. Somewhere he must have slipped up. Somewhere he must have been lazy. Somewhere she had to recognise something.
He was definitely a wizard but that did not mean he had been educated at Hogwarts. He could have been home-schooled. He could have studied abroad.
Something was not adding up. Why would a common criminal, a member of a gang that was rarely seen, change his appearance for a fight? A fight that probably was not planned that far in advance? No matter how many times she looked at the photographs before her, she could not recognise his face which strongly suggested he had changed his appearance.
He could not have done so after they had capture him or, from what she had heard, during the fight itself. Such magic was advanced and required time and patience. So he must have been prepared. But why? Maybe there was something about himself he wanted to hide. Maybe his face was too recognisable to risk being associated with a gang… Flicking through the year books once more, Carmen circled all the potentially well-known graduates.
There was the Minister for Magic’s daughter; the sons of Mr and Mrs Fairchild who were renowned for being the richest wizarding couple in Britain; Henry Philips, whose parents were part of the Muggle aristocracy; the Potter siblings; Samuel Pike who had made Keeper on the Wimbourne Wasps while he was still at school; Scorpius Malfoy, heir to a vast fortune and one of the biggest estates in England; the Sovay brothers; the Rightwoods; the Turpins; Evelyn Mason’s son; Logan Parise; Ethan Doyle… The list was endless.
Once she had compiled a list, Carmen crossed off the girls, the ones that had recently been in the Prophet, the ones who she had seen within the last three days… It was no use. They all seemed to be accounted for. Sighing in irritation she packed the files back into her bag with the list and headed for bed. It was almost two in the morning. She had to be up in four hours.
“Good morning,” the secretary smile, nudging Carmen’s office door open with her hips as her hands were full of the records Carmen had requested as soon as she had arrived this morning. Carmen nodded absentmindedly, pulling the first record off the pile before the secretary had even set them down. “I also thought you might like the copies of the Prophet from the last three months. I can get more for you if you?”
“Thank you and I’ll see if I can find anything in these first… Have you got today’s Prophet? I want to know what they’re writing about the incident,” she muttered distractedly. The secretary immediately pulled out a fresh looking Prophet and handed it to her. “Thanks, that’s all for now,” she barely even registered as the woman left the room, shutting the door quietly behind her.
It wasn’t until three hours later however, that Carmen actually looked at that day’s issue of the Prophet. When she did, she was surprised to find that the street fight the Aurors had ambushed and which had brought her her current client was not on the front page. Instead there was a huge photograph under the title: Weasleys Protest Against Minister’s Call For A National Identification System.
The article was poorly written to say the least and focused more on the Minister’s furious reaction than on the actually issue at hand. From what she could gather, the Minister had called for a national identification system that would include blood status and ancestral occupations – specifically whether any ancestors had been involved with or known Death Eaters.
And the Weasley family did not approve.
Carmen could not understand how a family that had lost so much could be against such measures but the Weasley were notorious for ‘putting the past behind them’ and ‘not upholding prejudices’. Personally, Carmen was all for some form of identification system as it would certainly have saved her hours on this case.
The picture was a little faded, several years old by the looks of it. It featured the entire Weasley family in formal attire, posing in front of a large memorial tower. Carmen remembered the event, it had marked the twentieth anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts. The picture must be very old then – thirteen years old to be precise.
She recognised most of the faces of course, having been at Hogwarts with most of the children. Dominique had been in her year, they had been fairly close and still kept in touch occasionally; there was Rose Weasley, still an innocent child before fame had taken its toll on her and she had become wild and unpredictable; James Potter looking far more serious than she ever recalled seeing him in real life and beside him-
“Oh my god,” Carmen inhaled, grabbing the paper and practically running from her office. She pounded twice on Davies’ door before slamming it open. This was not good. Inside, Davies shot from his chair, fumbling with his trousers as a tall woman rose from the ground between his legs, licking her lips.
“Good afternoon Parker,” Orla Smith smirked, straightening out her skirt. “You know it is polite to wait until someone responds to your knock before open the door,” she added, striding around the table and towards said door.
“Yes, yes,” Davies nodded frantically, having finally done up his trousers. “Knocking. Waiting. Yes,” he blabbered.
“I’ll see you in court then Parker,” Smith grinned humourlessly before leaving the room, the door swinging shut behind her. Brilliant.
“Please tell me she is not prosecuting my case,” Carmen turned on Davies who had resumed his seated position.
“Afraid of losing are we Miss Parker?” he sneered.
“Not at all, her presence just irritates me,” Carmen shrugged before shaking herself and reminded herself of why she was here to begin with. “Sir we are going to need an injunction on this case. If it goes public there will be no end of trouble,” she stated, over her initial panic.
“What on earth for?”
“Because my client is not a Mr Doyle,” she placed the paper before him and pointing to a figure just left of centre. “The man you are currently holding prisoner in Cell 13 is, in fact, none other than the missing Fred Weasley.”
Hello lovely readers, thanks for clicking on my story and I hope you enjoy it. I'm in the process of getting a blog together for this story as well (the link is on my Author's Page) which will give you details on updates etc. Anyway thanks for reading and reviews would really be appreciated, Irish Myth.
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