(1939-02-10) The Silver Band
Details for The Silver Band
Summary: In which Aurors (and MLE) meet to discuss Dark Arts in London
Date: 1939-02-10
Location: Ministry of Magic, MLE Offices
Related: Why Hugh isn't in a suit

The law enforcement offices are a serious place for serious business. And Aurors are not generally known for being the most conscientious people about small, domestic details. Since Rena's coming to the office some months beforehand, she took it upon herself to be kind to the unfortunate potted plant who had the bad luck of being placed /here/ for the sake of looks. It was in bad shape when she arrived; but now, after a lot of kindness and sharing the occasional glass of water with the plant, it's perked up considerably. At the moment, she is has just finished a drink, and is in the process of pouring the rest into the plant pot.

Hugh stomps up from the floos, his pipe puffing away, and a rather more informal set of clothing on than normal- no suit or tie, presumably the stains still aren't out of the other. Instead he's in a solid pair of trousers, and a dark blue yachting sweater, its sleeves pushed up to reveal his forearms, "Right."

"Hullo, Mister Carruthers," Rena says fairly brightly from where she's fussing over the office plantmascotthing. She gives it another friendly flounce of the leaves before turning away to head back to her desk. Finally looking up, her eyes take in his rather casual appearance, causing her to arch an eyebrow inquisitively. It is then that she remembers; that horrible thing that happened a few days ago - of course!
"Oh! I suppose your clothing is still a mess…" Rena exclaims, her expression somewhat worried. "'Ave you figured out anything new?"

Hugh gives a little nod, as to her deduction, and relights his pipe with a flourish of his wand. "No. No clues yet. But I assume it is Abram that I exploded."

Rena swallows rather hard, trying not to look as pale and… well, nauseated as that last sentence truly made her. Blinking twice, she pulls in a calming breath. Of course, that acrid tobbacco Hugh smokes doesn't help her stomach in the least. Her nose wrinkles slightly, but she regains some control. "I understood from the report that they -erm, one of them was concerned about the ring?" She asks, leaning against a nearby desk. "The one I found in the rubble with 'er name on it."

Hugh gives a nod, "Yes. I have been thinking about that. It must be of _some_ import. Perhaps as a key to this amplifier?"

Rena frowns slightly, folding her arms before herself as she ponders Hugh's thought with regards to the "Amplifier." It seems to be the crux of the matter in this whole twisted case, and she doesn't have a clue what it is. Not yet, anyway.
"But what could a ring 'ave to do with anything? It just seems like a typical, sweet engagement ring…"

Hugh ponders this, puffing away at his pipe, "Well, perhaps it is a lock? Or key? Or perhaps it has some engravings with necessary words."

Shelley steps out from the lift, having had the fun task of running some inter-department errands. It's clearly put her in a wonderful mood, too, if you judge by the frown on her features. Stepping into the room, she glances around briefly, nodding to Hugh and Rena as they stand nearby and wrinkling her nose at the smell of the smoke.

A faint smile is directed at Shelley as she arrives on the scene. Rena is still trying rather hard not to let her normally pale skin turn to a shade of queasy green. The idea of the man she watched being ruthlessly murdered also being just as ruthlessly exploded after death is a bit much for her to bear. And Takeshi undoubtedly lovingly put together sushi in her lunch today, as usual…
"All the ring said was "To my dearest Narelle, 1936-09-01." Do you suppose the numbers are a code, or some-such?" Rena asks curiously, passing a hand over her face lightly. Get a grip, girl.

You say, "Perhaps so. I don't know. All I _do_ know is that the ring is important. Sufficiently important, in fact, that they returned to an area highly likely to have Aurors around it."

"Wait - what?" Shelley asks, wrinkling her brow and looking between the two. "What happened, now? …Lee, are you feeling alright?" She pulls a chair around for Rena - unusually solisitous for the gruff auror but- well. Graham had just informed her, not too long ago, that Rena had helped keep her… theatrics contained when she'd run into the auror's office mid-fit.

Rena was never so grateful for a chair in her life as just now. She turns an appreciative smile toward Shelley when she slides it over to her and takes it with a small sigh. "Hugh - erm, Mister Carruthers 'ad a pretty 'arrowing experience the other night at the Willis ruins," the young woman explains vaguely, motioning at Hugh with her hand. Hopefully he will elucidate further on his own, even if he tends to be a man of few words, generally.

Hugh removes his pipe from his mouth, and gesticulates with the stem, "Something there, presumably this ring, was a matter of such import that three Dark Wizards of some skill felt the need to go back to recover it. This tells me, then, that the ring is important. Most probably to this amplifier. Or perhaps as a clue to the identity of the Dark Wizard."

Shelley frowns. "Three?" she asks. There were three? She only /remembers/ the two? Was there a third she'd forgotten? Not a happy thought to consider.
"Even if it were for mere sentimental reasons - I think you're right. They wouldn't have /all/ gone back. You saw three of them, though?"

Resting her elbow on the arm of the chair, Rena plants her chin on her upraised hand and remains silent for some moments as Hugh explains the situation to Shelley. At length, however, she stirs a little and says: "If it's so key then, good job we've got it safely tucked away 'ere at the office. But then again… what do we /do/ about it? Could it be used as bait for a trap?"

You say, "Heard, really, rather than saw, I'm afraid. I was dealing with zombies. Or rather one zombie, but there may have been others raised. And naturally, none of them were there when the excavators went in, after I got out."

Got out, covered in earth, dust, and 'bits'

"Zombies?" Shelley asks in surprise, and lets out a shudder. "This just gets /better and better/."

Hugh leans over and grabs a file, "Take a look through that, Prewett. I wrote it all up. You do _read_ reports, don't you?" He hands it to Shelley.

Shelley fixes Hugh with a frown, and reaches across to take it. "I do," she says, a bit of a chill leaking into her voice. That's the majority of her day, now. She flicks it open, letting her eyes rake over the page for anything that pops out at her.

Rena squints at Hugh, giving him a slightly warning or chiding look with those expressive, dark eyes of hers. It's not Shelley's fault that she can't go on active missions and gets stuck with desk work. It's easy to see how much it bothers the woman sometimes - and Rena can be a little defensive. However, she continues to sit there in silence, glancing between the other Aurors as the details are divulged.

Hugh replaces his pipe in his mouth, and puffs at it a few times, crossing his enjumpered arms, as he waits for the woman to get through with reading

'Father'? Shelley mouths quietly, a frown on her features. "A family of dark wizards?" she asks. "And mention of a book they want. Do we have all of the scraps of books saved from the fire, somewhere? It looks like I have a lot of reading on my plate," she says with a wry expression. "And it looks like we should be checking any locations the Willis' had access to, to search for this book. Have we checked their vault at Gringots, yet?"

"Not to my knowledge," Rena offers unhelpfully. She's been working an entirely different and much older case during the last week and a half or so. It's been all she can handle on her own plate recently. Of course, she remains deeply concerned with this one, and is more than willing and eager to help in any way that she can. "These people are vile. We need to move as quickly as possible with a solid game-plan and figure out what needs to be done. Maybe break the tasks up amongst several people so we can each work on a piece of the puzzle."

Hugh shakes his head, "No. No, I don't believe we have. We should bring those papers to the Lawyers, and see if the Goblins will open their vaults. I'm guessing 'no'." He looks to Shelley, "Can I dump you with the paperwork?"

Shelley lets out an aggrevated with. "Yes," she agrees. That's what she's here for. "And I'll follow up this book angle, see if I can find anything that might contain hints about this amplifier thing."

Rena offers Shelley a wry, but appreciative smile again. It may be dull compared with footwork. If things were reversed and Shelley was able to be on active duty once more and Rena do the paper-chasing, things would probably be better all around. Things as they are though, they just have to make the best of the situation. "Thank you," she says - because it's a thankless sort of a job.

With suddenly far more work to get done - and some paper work to drop off with the chief - Shelley excuses herself. She nods to Hugh, with a tight and not entirely happy expression. Rena gets just a hint of a smile with her nod, though.

Hugh waits until Shelley is out of view, "I don't think she likes me. Shame. Fine looking young woman. Was, even at School."

Rena seems somewhat surprised by Hugh's remark. Of course, half the things Hugh tends to say surprise her, so that is hardly unusual.
Giving herself a moment to think on it, the young woman flicks a somewhat skeptical glance at Hugh, saying: "Oh, I don't know. You can never really tell with Shelley. Sometimes she acts like she dislikes the people she likes. Just one of those people." A light shrug is given. "Give 'er time and she'll warm up to you more, I'll warrant."

Hugh shrugs, and returns his attention back to the business in hand, "Alright. We also need to find out what other relatives the Willis' had. What close friends. Where else may get sought. Oh, and I suppose if the ring is believed to be at Gringots, perhaps we should put the word out to thieves that we want to know if someone tries to hire them."

"Well," Rena says thoughtfully, tilting her head a little to one side and then the other before returning her gaze to Hugh: "The ring is 'ere, safe and sound as I said. But that's not common knowledge outside of the MLE employees - and only them that's involved with the case, of course." A pause for a half a beat, and she adds cautiously: "If these people are desperate enough though, they might figure that out eventually and try something drastic."

You say, "Maybe. But first they'll try other options. The Vault. Friends. Relations, and so forth"

Hugh watches the girls leave. He's still smoking that reprehensible pipe, "Ah, Menzies!" gets yelled across the room.

It's a relatively common refrain, only usually in more hushed, worried tones, and more of an 'aagh! Menzies!', often followed by 'hide!'. This time, though, Susan looks up from her desk, taking a slow breath before narrowing her eyes on the culprit. "Mister Carruthers," she responds, each word clipped.

Hugh removes the pipe, and stalks towards Susan, "You're one of our resident thieftakers. Just the person I want, actually!"

Susan reaches into her desk drawer for a packet of cigarettes, withdrawing one and tapping the end on her desk before the packet is tossed casually back in the drawer and the cigarette tucked between her lips. She snaps her fingers towards him, gesturing him closer and towards the end. Light please.

Hugh slides his wand out, and waggles it. No words. But her cigarette lights. Then the wand goes back away. "So. Thief taker, yes?"

Susan takes her time to puff on the cigarette to keep it lit, just watching him with barely disguised scorn for a long moment. "What do you want, Carruthers, get to the point."

You say, "Who would someone go to to hire, if they had thefts to do, which might include breaking into Grignots?"

"That would depend on who was asking, for one," Susan allows, tapping the end of the cigarette into an ashtray on her desk. "But I know where I'd start my inquiries. I wonder exactly why, however, an auror" to rhyme with scum "is bothering his lofty self with mundane criminals like that."

Hugh puffs at his pipe, "Because, my dear Menzies, it is a capital mistake to hunt criminals. It is better to be waiting for them where they are going to be. I suspect the Dark Wizards may hire a specialist to do a breakin. I wish to know if this will be happening."

Susan beckons him down closer to her. Closer. Closer yet.

Hugh bends only a little, "A simple 'no, I don't know, Auror' will suffice, Menzies."

Susan keeps her voice low, her tone almost reasonable, considering. "Why don't you fuck off and do your job, and I'll do mine? If you've got a fucking break in, then give me the details and I'll take it on. My job. And if I have an excess of coffee that needs drinking, I'll give you the details and you can take that on, auror. Your job."

Hugh frowns, "You mean, in fact, you don't know _who_ I should go and lean on, in order to catch someone who killed four people, and tried to kill several Aurors, who committed Arson, and Criminal Damage, and basically is bad news?" He straightens up, "That's fine. Go back to your catching of people who haven't registered their brooms correctly."

Susan shoots a hand up to grab the front of his sweater and pull him down to her level, leaning right into his face. "I mean, you little sack of overpaid horse shit, that if you've got information on a fucking crime, then I'm expecting it on my fucking desk. Bank job? Gringotts? I know exactly who to fucking bring in, you smarmy piece of lubricated donkey dick, and if you'd spent some time passing on information instead of ramming it up your own self righteous little arses and congratulating yourself in a fucking circle wank over how fucking great you are, then I could have had a fucking confession and another fucking criminal in jail by now." She shoves him away, setting her jaw and rising to her feet. "When I get back, I want the full file on my desk. Fucking amateur."

Hugh looks mildly down at the hand on his jumper, "Do you _mind_, Menzies? I don't have information. I have a deduction. You know who they might go to. So, what I want to say is this. Give me the tools to let me do my job. I think they'll try and hire professionals for that sort of job. I want to know who the professionals are, so that I can set up a trap for a murderer. Clear?"

Shelley steps out of a brief conversation with the chief about the completion of the damned inter-department errands he'd sent her on. She raises her eyebrows at the sight of Susan harrassing Hugh, and crosses her arms over her chest, just letting the two have at it. Carruthers can take care of himself, she's sure.

"Case file on my desk when I get back, Carruthers," Susan insists, taking another long drag from the cigarette before stubbing the end out in the ashtray and leaving it there to pick up later. "And if any of my criminals start waving dark magic around, I'll return the fucking favour. Dickhead." And with that, she's heading for the door already, no doubt to start leaning on her sources to find a suitable bank job mastermind.

Hugh puffs a cloud of smoke, "Do you know, that is a really objectionable young lady."

"She's just charming, isn't she?" Shelley announces as she walks towards Hugh, an amused smile on her features. "Aww. Ruffled your shirt all up. Poor thing."

Hugh flattens out his cableknit sweater, "Well, you know. Sacrifices in the line of duty."

Graham exits from his office shutting it and locking and all that for the moment. He will glance about to see who's still in the office he spots one rather angry constable leaving, and a few others he knows remaining "Heya Shelley, Mr Carruthers." he will greet of the others as he moves out towards them. He will stop when he's close enough.

Shelley lets out a quiet snort. "It's a wonder we carry on at all with such dangerous," she remarks dryly. She nods to Graham, answering him with a pointed, "/Cohen/." Geeze. Doesn't he know how to follow her strange, convoluted, and completely unspoken rules of conduct?
Her attention returns to Carruthers as she adds solemnly, "I thought about what you said - about my family. It was a very valid point. The Urquarts weren't much bothered, but some of the more extended Prewett line…"

Hugh looks slightly apologetic. "It is just a theory. But we have at least a _little_ information about the family structure of our perpetrators, at least."

"Prewett." the young auror corrects himself at the answering response. Graham listens back and forth "That's a good start for sure." he will agree though he hasnt been able to get caught up with someone for more information. "I haven't been able to catch up with Rena just yet but have looking over things as you'd said Prewett." he informs about taking her advice.

Shelley nods at Graham, before adding, "Looks like Carruthers here is taking a rather active role, as well." She frowns at the man, adding, "A little - but not much. Neither of the two I saw were Prewetts, anyways. Not even distant relations." Though it remained a possibility that someone in her family could be in cahoots with a family of dark wizards.
"If any of them wanted Alis dead," she adds in a quieter voice, "It was Shannon Prewett, and Theophilus Prewett."

Hugh gives a little nod at those, "Husband and wife? Brother and sister?" A beat, "Father and daughter?"

Graham finds a post to lean lightly against why, why not? He will listen about the family the two names in particular that she has it seems she's thought more about this since the last they spoke. The other asks the questions and he will more or less

"Neither. Shannon Prewett is my aunt by marriage. Theophilus Prewett… Well. I called him 'Uncle' growing up, but I believe he's a distant cousin. And a rather distasteful individual." Shelley makes a face. He was, by far, her least favorite relative.

You say, "Ah, no. No, I meant to one another." He sniffs, "A shame, though. They don't fit the profile for the family. But I suppose we can keep an eye on them."

"Hm." Graham is silent pondering a moment "The family?" he asks the other bringing him out of his thought for a moment at least. The young man will glance over to Shelley a moment chuckling "I got my tip back, did you send a magic cat into my office?" He asks remembering finding this at the beginning of the day and well any chance to lighten the topic for however short time it can be done for.

"Well. Aunt Ulidia is not as unpleasant as her husband," Shelley muses, "But…" She frowns in thought. "They have two sons and a daughter, but Sophie…" She shakes her head. She wouldn't believe that she was involved for an instant. "And Shannon's husband, Uncle George…" she grits her teeth. She doesn't want to suspect her father's /brother/ of involvement in any murders. "They have three children. Also a daughter and two sons."
She smirks at Graham, adding, "As if Ebony would listen to a damned thing I told her to do."
And then the sight of the chief gesturing to her catches her eye. "What now," she mutters under her breath, before turning to go.

Hugh makes a little face, and rubs his face, thoughtfully, then idly twists the tip of his 'tache. "Alright. So, lead one, 'why is Prewett still alive?'. Lead two, 'The family arrangement'. Lead three, 'The ring'."

Graham oh's that family and is glad he didnt say more the more and more he reads the reports he cant shake the similarity. He will grin to Shelley as she moves away but turns to the other auror after his listing. "That sounds like a good summary so far at least." he will say though a bit still pre-occupied.

Hugh pauses, "Are there any former Necromancers who're not in Azkhaban? Because that might be lead four."

"I would be more surprised if there were not then if there were." Graham answers easily enough "Many things we think are hard to hide seem to be right under our nose, like the wizard I caught who had a dragon with him." he shakes his head "It seems impossible but happened clear as day. From what i've seen many dark wizards specialize in one thing or another and so that one wouldn't think to have that branch." he shrugs slightly.

You say, "Actually, what I _meant_ is whether there are any such that we know about."

Graham ponders "I'd have to pull the files to see about known dark wizards known to use that sort of power, but I can do that?" he offers he's only poked his nose into this investigation but proming Shelley he'd do more in it as the responsible thing to do well he'll do so. "The name on the ring too, myabe can help get some intel on that as well." the auror will say.

Hugh nods to Graham, "Please do. And I think the numbers might also be of importance. Anyway, I suppose I should go and see if I can find more at the scene."

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