(1938-11-23) Inspector Clues-o
Details for Inspector Clues-o
Summary: Phil makes an appointment with Inspector Elijah Lovegood to discuss saccharine powder.
Date: 23 November 1938
Location: Magical Law Enforcement, MLE
Related: Investigative Journalism, Secret Shopper and An Expert Opinion

When investigating potential criminal activity it is a good idea to get an opinion from a criminal investigator! Which is why our intrepid crime reporter, one Philomena 'Phil' Rowle has sought a few minutes of Elijah Lovegood's time. She turns up at the correct Ministry office, a familiar face visiting the MLE, and is directed to Elijah's office. Like a cliche she has even brought him a pastry, but no donut. Her knuckles rap against the open doorway, "Inspector Lovegood?"

Inside Inspector Lovegood's office, the man moves around like a whirlwind, digging around in files and scribbling things down on random bits of paper. The sounds of shuffling can be heard just before the door opens and reveals Elijah, in his usual white shirt and suspenders, a half-smoked cigarette hanging out of his mouth, and an incredulous look on his face, "Yes?"

"I'm Phil Rowle from the Prophet. I have an appointment with you." She lifts up the bakery bag. "I also thought it might be easier if I brought lunch? Ever had a Bedfordshire clanger?" Phil offers him a confident smile despite their having never met before. The man is given an appraising look, not in a sexual manner but as in seeking hints of behaviour and intelligence, what little she can see of his office over his shoulder is similarly assessed. Shorter, with slightly frizzy hair thanks to the rain outside, Phil is dressed in an opened purple cloak over a dress that hedges the line between wizarding and popular muggle fashion.

Elijah looks the woman up and down and jerks his head toward the inside of her office in a 'come in' sort of way before he turns and moves to sit behind his desk. Not before he takes a moment to shuffle some papers out of his way, of course. He leans back in his chair once he's seated and says, "What's this about? I won't have another reporter coming in here and sullying my good name, again."

While she is curious Phil isn't about the ruin her chances by being nosy. Dropping into a chair in front of his desk she opens up the bag and withdraws a napkin and a couple of plates - got to love magical bags - with clangers on them. A clanger is buttery puff pastry with beef, vegetables and gravy at one end and a sweet fruit puree at the other. Leaving it up to Elijah to decide if he wants the lunch she brough or not Phil takes a quick bite of her own then wiping her mouth with a napkin says. "I'm investigating a popular new substance called saccharine powder. At the moment, because it is illegal very few people are paying attention to it in an official capacity." From inside a pocket she takes out a notebook. "I think it might be dangerous however. Have you ever heard of it, Inspector?"

Elijah fixes one of his rolled-up sleeves that is starting to droop and shakes his head, saying, "I can't say that I've heard any reports on it being anything dangerous, no." He leans forward a little bit, obviously a little intrigued and asks, "Why? Have you heard evidence to the contrary?"

"I managed to try some, it was allegedly harmless but I found the affects to be quite…it gives you a sense of euphoria like many narcotics do, as if you were legless on too much alcohol. After about twenty minutes you have incredible hallucinations. Very powerful ones." Looking down at her notebook Phil flips a few pages. "I sent a sample to be checked over by a master healer skilled in potions and there are some unusual things in the powder. Poisons which are counteracted by other things, for instance."

Elijah raises an eyebrow at the woman's explanation and plucks the cigarette from his mouth, ashing it in a nearby ashtray. "Curious." He exhales a long stream of smoke before he asks, "And what is the name of this healer friend of yours?"
"Not a friend, a colleague of my sister Felicity. Her name is Clover Weaver-MacNair." Phil takes another bite of her lunch, it is a usual working lunch for the reporter. "I am going to meet her again soon to find out the final ingredient. There was something elusive which required further testing. She felt certain that if a large enough amount was taken it would be lethal."

Elijah rubs his chin in concern, cigarette still tucked between two fingers. "I see." His eyes move around as if there are a thousand things bouncing around the insides of his skull at the moment. "I shall have to tag along when you go to visit Miss Clover next time. I have a few questions I'd like answered, myself."

When Elijah expresses a desire to come with her to see the healer Phil nods. "I would be welcome for the company and to hear your thoughts." She comes around to a question finally, "The curious thing is nobody is laying claim to the powder. Even the more dodgy potions sellers in Knockturn don't know where it has come from. Doesn't that strike you as unusual, Inspector?"

"Aye, that does indeed strike me as unusual. How much does a dose of this powder cost?" he asks as he takes the cigarette between his lips again and takes a drag, his dark blues eyes looking over the young reporter.

"The tiny amount I was able to purchase cost me twelve sickles for just under a tablespoon worth. The scarcity of the powder increases the price." Phil taps her pencil against her notebook. "I know that the Broomsticks is offering drinks laced with it to adults at a hefty price."

Elijah 'hrmm's softly for a moment and sets his cigarette down before standing and moving to look out of his window, "That is concerning. A more conspiracy-laidened mind might suggest that there's someone trying to infiltrate the national conciousness before they flip some sort of switch. Remove whatever counter-acts the poison."

When Elijah moves over to the window her gaze follows him. "The hallucinations are quite powerful. They feel real. Every sense is caught up in them; even though I knew I had ingested the powder I still could not convince myself it wasn't all real at the time." Phil chews on the corner of her mouth. "If the idea is to make people crave more I think it will be those rather than the euphoric sensation that will create addicts."

"It's a curious thing, indeed." He looks back over his shoulder once he realizes that Phil is still inside the room. "Yes, there's no doubt about that. We as a race have always been flawed in that we prefer our satisfaction in an instantaneous manner." He rests a hand on the back of his chair and says, "So, where are you off to now? Chasing down leads and such? Because lunch time beckons and no offense to your offer of a treat, but my hunger goes beyond the bounds of what even it can sate."

She laughs quietly then, "I wasn't sure what you were like so…" Phil shrugs it off. "If you are free, Inspector, perhaps we could lunch with Master Healer Weaver-MacNair?" Kill two birds with the proverbial stone.

In almost an instant, the ragged-looking Inspector finds himself wearing a nice vest, tie, and is draped in his long, dark blue, velvet coat. He snatches up his hat from the nearby rack and sets it on his head before he takes up his walking stick, "Well, then. Let's away."

Rising to her feet Phil leaves the clangers there and tucks away her notebook. "I believe she eats lunch in the Cauldron." Which is just coincidentally not far away! She follows Elijah out of the office so they can floo there.

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