(1939-08-30) All-London Dueling Tournament
Details for All-London Dueling Tournament
Summary: The Wizards and Witches of London gather for a chance to show off their dueling skills. The Auror Office is particularly well-represented.
Date: 30 August 1939
Location: Community Hall, South Verdic Alley, London

The Community Hall has been set up for the All-London Open Dueling Tournament. Bleacher seating has been erected around the edges of the room, with more comfortable padded seats for those who have paid a bit more for their tickets and a box for the Very Important Wizards who might be in attendance. A raised strip is in the center of the room, showing the phases of the moon in each direction with a full moon in the center, a traditional arrangement. Runes project shield charms to protect the crowd from errant spells, but signs remind all visitors to be mindful of the action. Hawkers move up and down the aisles selling chocolate frogs, whizz-bangs, licorice wands, and other such treats and drinks to the spectators.

It is a festive occasion, and that atmosphere permeates the room as various wizards and witches in a riot of colors and big pointy hats mill about, several of them gathered near the judge's stand while others inspect the dueling strip to make sure that everything seems to be in order. There is music playing from nowhere visible. The hands on a big clock on the wall come one tick closer to the official beginning. It will be only a moment now.

A figure clad in a classic fencers outfit dashes through the main doors and makes a beeline for the registration table, her emerald green robes flapping behind her and leaving a lightly scented trail in the air. Coming to a screeching halt in front of the table Kat asks, "So? Am I too late to register? Please do say I am not. It has been /ages/ since I had a good duel!"

The wizard at the table, who has an enormously bushy beard, shakes his head, "No, no. Sign here." he turns around hte register and hands over a quill.

Arthur has already registered and has chosen to lean against the wall quietly watching the happenings around him. A lit Chesterfield cigarette hangs pinched between his lips, the soft smoke slowly raising up towards the ceiling. As Katherine enters, he watches her for a moment before returning to his cigarette. Taking a long hard drag off of it, causing the cherry to glow brightly for a moment before exhales. He is wearing a well tailored grey suit with a black dress shirt, matching slacks and a light tan trench coat and white scarf over it all.

Graham enters into the community hall and overlooks the setup they've gotten for the dueling tournament. He isn't wearing his work robes so he's not coming right from the office for once, but is dressed in his everyday else attire still. The young man takes a moment to glance around before he'll continue onwards. He spots a familiar face and move over "Ah, Kat how are you?" he'll ask friendly he's likely seen her about the office but not outside of it in a bit.

A reedy wizard in unrelieved black robes and the traditional, if not as frequently seen, pointed hat, stands up at the judge's stand, and, murmuring, "Sonorus", puts his wand to his throat, "GOOD EVENING!" booms out over the crowd, getting the attention of most of those in attendance, who scramble to their seats, "Welcome to the All-London Open Wizard Dueling Tournament! Competitors, please come up to the dueling strip and make ready. This will be a double-elimination tournament format, with the winner becoming eligible for higher-level tournaments. Continued victory may earn a place in the All-World Wizarding Duels, to be held next year in Minsk!"

Arthur takes the last drag off his cigarette, his eyes closing as his lungs fill with the smoke slowly fills his lungs. As he moves forward towards the stage he puts the cigarette out in an ashtray, looking over at Graham, he offers a polite nod, "Cohen." he says slowly with a nod, before is at the designated location. His arms coming up as he stretches a bit.

The young man turns back returning the nod "Nightengale." he speaks in return though it seems Katherine is still registering. Graham will walk closer to the table but he's facing the way of the stands for the moment as if trying to decide where to sit that gives him the best point of view of the events.

Katherine grins at Graham, "Hi Graham! You're not competing? That's a shame." Then the duellists are called to the stage and she joins the procession, making her way over to where she's directed by the official.

The judge announces the competitors and gives the rules of the tournament, which are fairly standard, though, of course, the power of harmful spells is to be held back to avoid… serious injury. Soon, the tournament begins, and wizards are stunned, blocked, and thrown through the air with the greatest of ease. The healer's table in the corner sees its fair share of visitors, and the apprentices get their practice in counter-hexes and spell damage. Eventually, there are only four competitors left. "The next round will feature Auror Initiate Katherine Sykes and Mister Fezziwig Fergus." The latter a dapper looking Scots wizard with kilted robes and a red spade-shaped beard.

Graham grins over to Kat at her words "I think we dueled enough in school." He speaks lightly remembering the dueling club well enough. "Good luck though i'll be watching from the stands." he says as the duelers are called to the ring, he'll move to find a good seat which he'll take and watch the blocked off areas for dueling his arms are crossed over the other perhaps taking the warning about stay spells seriously.

Katherine finished arranging her hair which was most recently messed up by a near miss with a Knockback Jinx. Using a little round hand mirror to make sure both hair and make-up are in good enough condition to get on stage again. Then she winks at Graham and starts climbing the steps to the dueling stage, taking her place on the opposite end from Fezziwig. IN a stage whisper she calls out to her friend. "Well, doesn't he have a fanciful name, even for a wizard?"

Arthur between duels has simply been returning to the wall, lighting up another cigarette and rather enjoying the brief break. His eyes closing as he relaxes, though as they announce the next one, his eyes slowly move to the stage and he watches. Taking a long hard drag off his and exhaling the smoke again as he watches.

"Pay honor to your opponent." the Master of Ceremonies calls, and Fezziwig offers a very polite bow to the Auror across from him. "Make ready!" He draws into a classic dueling stance, wand thrust out in front of him, other hand arched up over his head. "Begin!"

Broderick pushed slowly through the entrance of the Community Hall, his eyes flickering about, seeing exactly what he had walked into. Spotting two competitors about to begin, he moved quickly and quietly towards the bleacher style seating. As he did he tried to not take his eyes off the two, a slight smile creasing his lips in anticipation.

Graham chuckles though he'll sit lightly watching between a few of the duels are happening until Kay is up. He'll focus on hers for the moment a schoolmate and dueling foe during their club days its always interesting to watch how these things go.

Kat takes one step to the side and waves her wand in a very recognizable pattern as she call out, "Petrificus Totalus!" A bright green streak of light leaves the tip of her wand, heading for her opponent.

Fezziwig is fast off the mark, and as Kat is raising her wand, he calls out, "Stupefy!" The bright red flash of light shoots from the end of his wand, and sails down the short distance between them to hit Katherine in the chest, knocking her back and making her thud, unconscious, against the stage. Her own binding spell goes wide, coming just a moment too late, and is absorbed by the wards before it can do damage to any innocent bystandards. Kat will be awoken by the healers a few moments later, probably good as new, save for a headache.

Arthur takes another drag off his cigarette, letting out a small clap as the duel seems to come to a finish. His hand moving up and pulling his cigarette out from his flips as he taps the butt of it, causing the ash to call to the floor. "Well done." he says nodding slowly.

It appears that the Office of Magical Law Enforcement is quite well-represented in the final rounds of this year's tournament, as the next pairing is announced, "Auror Arthur Nightingale and Auror Initiate Broderick Longbottom, ready yourselves and report to the strip." Somewhere in the crowd, an equally leather-lunged hawker is calling, "CHOCOLATE FROGS! GET YER FROGS 'ERE!" without the benefit of an amplification charm.

Over at the Healer's table Katherine comes out of her stupefaction grumbling and in a foul mood. At least she's blaming herself instead of Fizzi-what's-his-name. As she comes back to the waiting area for the duelists people might hear her mumble, "I should have stuck to defense. Got cocky and overeager. You'd think I was back in first year Dueling Club." and so on and so forth.

Arthur hears his name called and takes another slow drag off his cigarette as he makes way towards the stage, exhaling the smoke slowly as he snuffs it out in an ashtray and moves besides the stage to wait for the previous duelist to make their way down or be removed. His right hand moving up to run through his short hair slowly.

Broderick slowly rose as he heard his name called, moving slwoly along the bleachers to the steps that would lead him to the dueling stage. He turned to give Arthur a friendly smile and nod, "Good luck, Arthur." he added, coming to a stop and awaiting the sign to take their places.

Graham will clap along with the crowd though he does follow as they take Kat off to the healers if he catches a glance once she's back up again he'll give a reassuring smile not teasing in the slightest and it was only one round right? The next two called to duel re-focuses him to the arena.

"Pay honor to your opponent." The Master of Ceremonies instructs Arthur and Broderick. Then, after they salue, "Make ready!"

Arthur nods at Broderick, "Hoy! Best ah luck da yeh doo, Longbottom." he says with a smile, bringing his wand up and offering him a quick salute with a smile on his face, after he made his way up to the stage. Rolling his shoulders a bit as if loosening up. "Longbottom, dry an take id, easy on meh face? Yeh know gotta stay pretty." he says with a chuckle, as they are told to prepare, Arthur's right foot slides back and his positions his body weight on the ball of his left, foot, his wand down slightly in a defensive posture.

Broderick returns a laugh to Arthur as he requests his face to be left just the way it was. "I will try my best, Arthur. Though, you know my wand sometimes has a mind of its own." he said slipping his wand from his waist. Once out he offered Arthur a proper salute before pointing his wand tip down and just infront of him. As he did, he slid his empty hand up and to the small of his back and his left foot slightly behind him for a better stance.


Katherine's muttering subsides as the newest duel begins and her focus goes to studying the two opponents styles. After all, she might have to duel one of them soon and it will not do to lose twice in a row.

As the duel begins, Arthur suddenly turns his left foot takes a quick step forward, his wand shooting up to a more aggressive position and stance as he flicks it and says, "Expelliarmus!" using the disarming charm, his eyes focused on Broderick as he watches, his spell shoot off towards his opponent. After the spell is is off, he takes another quick step forward, putting the weight now on his right foot and his wand dipping in a defensive posture again.

Broderick's instincts kick into play as he watches Arthur raise his wand to attack. "Protego!" he calls out, cuasing a small magical sheild to develop before him. But, the charm did not seem to have the strength to counter the disarming charm. He felt his wand slide from his hand and onto the floor before him. A slight groan slipped past his lips as he glanced between Arthur and his wand.

With a frustrated grunt, Broderick moves forward quickly, his right hand reaching out to snag up his wand. Not the most graceful of acts needed in a duel, but it seemed to work. With wand in hand he then stood straight once more, preparing for the worst as Arthur would soon be casting his next spell.

Arthur flicks his wand up again, "Flipendo!" as he takes another step forward moving forward towards his opponent. After his spell is cast, the same gesture as before putting the weight on his leading foot and his wand, moving down in a defensive gesture.

Graham watches the duel go back and forth. He knows there's something to be said for persistence and so he's glad its not over as quickly as it would have seemed to be. He will continue looking between them for the next cast spell perhaps analyzing there movements as well.

Katherine seems very pleased at Broderick's refusal to surrender just because his wand dropped almost at his feet. Nothing worse than a duel that's over too quick because of a quitter. And she shows this opinion by clapping loudly at the exchange.

Arthur flicks his wand up again, this time taking a step back as his wand comes up in an offensive gesture, "Stupify!" he says, his wands flicking and his hand and arm and shooting out towards Broderick. In a quick flourishing motion, Arthur takes another step forward and slightly to the right, his body weight shifting to his back leg as he keeps his wand up in offensive posture.

Broderick had slid back about three feet due to Arthur's previous attack. Trying to regain his balance, and the offensive, he lifted his wand "Expelliarmus!" he called out, casting a jet of red light towards Arthur. But, being off balance the spell was shot wide and his body was left open allowing the stupefy charm to contact him directly in the chest. He was lifted from the ground and sent backwards, landing hard and unconscious.

Broderick is dragged off to be revived by the healers. At least stunning charms are easily reversed! That delays the beginning of the next match a few moments, before they call, "Auror Initiate Katherine Sykes against Auror Initiate Broderick Longbottom. The winner to fight Auror Nightingale for the championship!"

The young man sitting in the stands watches as each takes stance though they both cast. He winces as the stunning spell strikes true. Graham will clap along with the crowd as he gets carted off though the annoucement gets a look back to the ring thinking this will be a pretty good match really.

Katherine makes her way over to the stage. Once Broderick join her she salutes him with his wand and smiles slightly, "Good show last round, Longbottom. I liked the hutzpah of not surrendering when you lost your wand. Good luck and may the best initiate win." She then settles into her dueling stance, very much like a Muggle fencer's on-guard, except for the fact that she leaves her back hand loose behind her.

Arthur tucks his wand back into his leg Holster, his hand moving to retrieve his Chesterfields and lighter from the inside of his trench coat. As he lights it he makes his way over to the Healers, waiting for them awaken Broderick, when he comes too, he takes a long hard drag off his cigarette, looking at Broderick with a smirk, "Hoy! Good show!" he says patting the intiate on the shoulder, "Best luck do yeh." he says softly with a smile, moving back to lean against the wall.

When Broderick came to, he glanced around. As Arthur spoke and tapped him on the shoulder, all Broderick could do was offer a soft, painful, laugh. "Glad I could provide you some entertainment, Arthur." he said, then hearing his name called once more gave an exasperated sigh and moved over to the Dueling stage. He smiled kindly to Katherine and offered a salute of his own, his wand in his right hand, while his left was tucked into the small of his back. "Well thank you, Katherine. I hope I can provide just as much a challenge for you as I did Arthur." he said, though this might not have been the best choice as he had just been soundly handled by Arthur…

As soon as the judge gives the signal to start the geniality leaves Kat's expression. Broderick seems to be double unfortunate, having just been stunned not 5 minutes ago /and/ standing across from an annoyed Katherine thanks to her lost duel.

With a swish of her wand and a sharp jab at Broderick Kat send a red bolt of light flying at her fellow initiate while she spits, "Stupefy!" out in a sharp, no-nonsense manner.

A groggy Broderick raises his wand was the official gives the signal, "Protego!" he calls out, but only a mere second before the jet of red light struck him again directly in the chest, sending him once more to the ground.

Arthur watches the match idly from his spot on the wall, slowly taking long drags off his cigarette as he watches this round end rather quickly. Though opposite from what he saw with Katherine in the round before hand. His hand moves and taps the butt of his cigarette, the ash falling down to the ground. He was hoping for a few moments more of a break before he had to get back up, but watches as the Healers moves to take care of Broderick again, the announcement will be coming soon and Arthur takes a small sigh he moves towards the stage, snuffing out his cigarette as he moves to take his place for when it is his time.

Likes Arthur did before her Kat walks with the Healers as they take Broderick over to their table and waits until he's been awakened to shake his hand, "Sorry for the quick endind. Thank you for the duel." And just about at the same time the announcer calls both Katherine and Arthur to the stage, "Auror Initiate Katherine Sykes against Auror Arthur Nightingale for the championship!"

Graham sits forward as the final match is announced and is interested to see how the two from his office will do with the this final duel. The young man sits back though as he waits for things to start he is glad to be simply in the stands watching.

Broderick stirs at the healers table, though does not decide to sit up just yet. He offers a wave of his hand as Katherine thanks him, a bit too out of it to really reply. He heard the announcement for the Aurors to step to the stage for the championship duel, and couldn't help but smile. If it wasn't going to be him, at least an Auror he knew would be taking the title of Champion.

The event may be nearly over, but there is still time for a late-comer to arrive at the match to see how things have fared thus far. Trying to stay as inconspicuous as possible to ensure that she doesn't distract from the goings on, Rena moves quietly along. However, the little redhead stands out for her pretty floral-print Muggle dress and her hair colour. There's no real hiding when you're a ginger. Pausing beside Graham, she holds a finger to her lips before smiling. No need to say anything.

Arthur's name is announced with Kat's, and Rena's attention immediately darts to the stage. Her heart practically jumps. A look of surprise and faint anxiousness shows in her eyes as she stands up on her toes, looking for Arthur.

Arthur runs his right hand through his hair slowly, closing his eyes for a moment before he makes his way up on to the stage. Waiting for Katherine to be across from him, before he offers her a small salute, "Hoy! Skyes, like ah dold Longbottom, mind da face." he says offering her a small wink and smirk. His left hand slips down, opposite from what he has been using the whole duel and he slips back on his left foot, putting all his weight on the ball of his right boot. His wand moves and points down in a defensive posture as he stares across at Katherine, "Best ah luck da yeh." he says nodding.

Katherine takes her own dueling stance after saluting Arthur and flashes him a grin, "Don't worry Pretty Boy. I can do plenty of nasty things without even getting close to your face." Then she waits for the judge to signal the beginning of the duel.

She knew she was arriving late, but Rena didn't realize the match was going to happen so quickly. Arthur is on stage with Katherine, and her eyes are drawn to the man instantly. If only it weren't rude to call out and wish him luck… Given the circumstances though, she just nudges Graham to scoot over and let her have the edge of his seat. It won't be long, of course. All she can do is watch with both sets of fingers crossed demurely on her lap.

Graham is indeed about to greet Rena when she shushes him he raises an eyebrow but will move to allow space for her. He is confused at the reaction towards the names of those dulling however or the look on his face is something like that. He will turn back though as they take their places and prepare to cast their first spells looking to be offense and defense which often plays out during duels first round.

As the two Duelers on stage begin, the first spells cast by both of them, fizzle with a few randomly colored sparks coming from the ends of their wands. While it takes them a few moments, for both of them to recover the quickly are back at it again, preferring for the next portion of the round.

Katherine flicks a slightly confused look at the tip of her wand when the spells fizzle but almost immediately goes back into the stance. Flicking her wand through the motions for one of the classic of the dueling strip she sends a bolt of light flying towards Arthur while she bites out an, "Expeliarmus!"

The spells failing gets the young man's attention. He hadnt seen that in quite a while only when the cast seemed to change their mind and not be focused on the one spell. Graham looks back and forth now waiting for the next spells to be cast aah disarming he follows the rally to see what defense will be offered.

Arthur flicks his wand wand down in a defensive manner, going to cast the deflective charm, but is a moment too late. Causing his wand to be knock from his hand and fall a few feet away from, him. His eyes move slowly between Katherine and his wand. Clearly thinking about his situation.

Arthur's eyes move between his wand and Katherine one last time, before he suddenly flicks his wrist with out a wand and says, "Stupefy!" his wand discarded, for the time being. He would rather go down with a fight then get hit scrambling for his wand. Though much to his surprise, a soft blue light does escape his hand heading towards his opponent.

Katherine was not expecting a wandless cast. At all. Before she can ever get her spell off Arthur's Stupefy hits her in the chest, sending her unconscious to the floor.

The judge raises his arm, "and the winner is Auror Arthur Nightingale!"

Rena's dark gaze remains focused on Arthur for the most part. Biting her lower lip as the first rounds end in draws, she shifts a little on her seat ledge. Her breath catches in her throat as his wand is knocked from his hand - which Graham will surely hear - and her fingers no longer stay crossed. Now, they clutch at the fabric of her skirt nervously as she waits to see what Arthur will do…

Much to Rena's surprise, the man manages to find Luck on his side. He casts a spell without his wand, and Katherine is taken down by a Stupefy. The crowd begins to applaud, and she is at least one beat behind due to disbelief. Once it sinks in, she bounces to her feet and claps vehemently with a big smile on her features.

Graham watches as the same disarming happens though different duelists aware of his friend next to him and her reactions, but it plays out much differently. The wand flying off he watches to see what Arthur will do. The wandless cast is a success and the match ends with a stunner hitting Kat. He winces but the magic was good and overall a good duel. He will clap along with

Arthur moves over and picks up his wand, tucking it in his leg holster slowly. His hands moving to the inner pocket of his trench coat as he pulls out his pack of Chesterfields, he is certainly surprised, he won't lie he expected to be taken down right there. As he lights the cigarette he takes a long hard drag off of it, the cherry growing brightly before he exhales. His first stop is to the Healers tables, waiting for Katherine to wake up, when she does so he pats her shoulder and says, "Good Duel, Skyes." offering her a small nod.

As she comes out of her daze and Arthur congratulates her Kat nods at him and smiles slightly, "Good duel yourself, with a little help from Lady Luck this time, Nightingale. we have to do it again some time." Then she pulls out her little mirror and starts working on her hair, for the third time in the day.

"Excuse me, Graham," Rena says hastily to her friend as she slips away from him and into the crowd. People are already beginning to rise from their seats, as the match has ended, and it's a little difficult for the small woman to inch her way through them. But, she is determined to at least be seen by Arthur so that he knows she was there, rooting for him in the end.

Stumbling a bit at the edge, Rena finally manages to get close enough to reach out and tug on Arthur's sleeve. "Hoi! Big champion got the time of day for a friend?" She says with a grin.

Broderick heard the duel play out, with Ooos and Ahhhs followed by the applause for the victor. He slowly kicked his legs off to the side, his head throbbing as he had been stunned and stunned again. He glanced over noticing that Katherine was the one requiring assistance "A close one, good on you." he said to Kat before glancing over to Arthur. "Congratulations to you, Arthur." Then he stepped down, brushing off his tailored suit before looking to the door. "Now, I think it is time for a drink to wipe away the humiliation of defeat." he said with a laugh, and moved towards the exit.

Now that the duels are ended he can stand up stretching from having been seated a while and not really having moved. "It's been too long Rena, how are you?" he asks his tone still light though she moves off it would seem towards those who just duel'd he supposes that he should do likewise. following suit against the tide of the audience. "A good duel both." Graham says once he's close enough to do so.

Arthur nods a little bit, "Eh suppose we could." he says with a nod, "D'was pretty sure yeh had god meh." he says with a small shrug to Katherine, before he looks over at Broderick, "Dhanks, Longbottom." he says patting him on the shoulder again, "Aye have ah few fer meh doo?" he says with a smile, then his sleeve is tugged and he looks at Rena with a smile, "Eh? Big champion?" he says looking around and taking a long hard drag off his cigarette, "Don'd see un here, yeh loosing it Rena?" he teases her with a smile. Looking at Cohen he nods, "Eh dwas luck really. Yeh know how des dhings go." he says with a shrug, "Dhat end coulda gone da anyun, but dhank yeh none da less Cohen." he says with a smile.

Rena's dark eyes fairly dance. She's so happy and relieved to see Arthur acting like himself, fully recovered from the terrible injuries he acquired on duty a short time ago. It was wonderful to see him like this again. "You're the Dueling tournament Champion, you daft man!" She pauses and looks around as Graham arrives and offers his own congratulations. "What the bloody 'ell though?" She asks, planting her hands on her hips. "Where's the prize? They don't even 'ave a pretty girl on 'and to kiss the winner, for lord's sake." This appears to be a truly exasperating thought, and a grievous oversight on the part of the planners.

Moving closer, Rena hops up and onto a chair beside Arthur to put herself on a level with him. Putting her arms around his neck, she kisses his cheek warmly. "There. That's more like it, yea?"

Graham nods to the others words "I do indeed, sometimes it all goes right.. sometimes.. well not so much." it's a simple truth that he agrees with "Your Welcome." he turns back to Rena a she speaks though and will arch an eyebrow at her enthusiasm, and the kiss afterwards. He remains silent looking between the two a moment but he's silent now.

Arthur gives Rena a skeptical look, "Eh? Sure ah am, Dollface." he says with a smirk. Though at the mention of a prize, Arthur taps his chin for a moment, clearly thinking, "Don'd know iffen dhere is a prize." he says with a shrug, "Was jusd…" he starts before Rena gives him a peck on the cheek causing him to let out a small chuckle, "Ah, suppose dhat will do jusd fine." he says with a smile, reaching over and tapping her nose softly. Looking back at Graham, "Aye, coulda gone any way when ah got disarmed, really more luck dhen anydhin." he says nodding, "Hoy! So how yeh been Cohen?" he says with a smirk at Graham, "Yeh made a break in dhat MLF or Carrow nonsense yet?" he asks tapping his chin.

The bouncy little ginger just grins like a kid when Arthur taps her on the nose. Noticing Graham's apparent confusion and possible silent disapproval, Rena freezes for a moment. Then, giggling slightly, she shakes her head and says as an aside behind her hand: "It's a Muggle thing, love." As though it were a conspiracy. Good save - she thinks. "When someone wins a prize, there's a pretty girl on 'and to kiss them on the cheek and 'and it over - whatever it is."

Arthur asks about the Carrow case, and naturally, Rena's spirits dampen a little. Time to be more serious. "You know about the murder, Arthur, yea? The one in Knockturn alley."

The door opens and Shelley - suspiciously absent through the entire thing - comes striding through. "Tell me one of us won it?" she asks, looking between the gathered aurors. There were plenty of them to choose from after all.

"Wandless casting's tough." Graham says to Arthur in response to the luck comment. He is still glancing back and forth but listening as well "I've been alright overall I guess, with the new body found in knockturn Rena mentioned, there's just a bit too much going on." the question about the MLF and Carrow gets a frown "I was removed from the case involving catching Thomas Carrow due to the frame job. I can only provide my information from before." he turns to Rena and chuckles "I understand, plenty well." he turns to Shelley and will motion to Arthur "I didnt enter this one he won."

Arthur hand waves a little bit, "Aye, read da report." he says with a small shrug, "Seems ah bit, eh don't know." he says shrugging again as he looks at Shelley as she enters, "Aye, Cohen." he says gesturing to him with his thumb, right about the same time Graham says he won. Offering Shelley a smirk, "Eh, da whole dhing is ah bloody mess." he says with a shrug, "Eh Frame job?" he says though finally touching his chin clearly in though, "Hmmm." is all he says with a small shrug.

"Arthur won," Rena says brightly in answer to Shelley's question. For an Ex, she gets along with the man quite well, seemingly. "Afraid it was One loss and One win. Arthur one and Katherine lost.

Sobering down again, Rena moves from standing on the seat and then sits down like a lady should. "Yes," she says to Arthur, glancing up at him somewhat grimly: "It was my fault. I found Graham alone in the room full of bodies in the MLF meeting 'ouse, with Mister Carrow unconscious beside. I didn't know what to think at the time and I… jumped to conclusions." Her chin dips, and her shoulders slump a little. Not one of her finest hours.

"The whole damn thing is a tangled up, mangled up mess. And I think more'n one person is getting framed. It's just a crying shame nobody's called a meeting to put all the pieces together, yet." Rena then remarks, beginning to get that stubborn glint in her eyes again.

"…if I missed the two of you beating each other senseless in a duel, I'm going to be deeply disappointed," Shelley remarks. "And we couldn't exactly have both of them win, could we?

"That is a bloody mess," she adds, agreeing with Rena, and pulling a chair over for her own use. She sits backwards on it, most unladylike, and rests her arms and chin on the chair's back. "If you ask me, Luke Carrow's in on it, but he's out of the country. The fellow stinks like a fermented fish. Sat there with a smile on his face, explaining about this… last minute fundraising meeting scheduled for eight. Could be a ruse to get their chosen victims there, which would mean the whole thing was orchestrated by people inside the Army of Truth itself."

Graham listens to Arthur's words and his question about being framed but Rena speaks first he nods to her conclusion. "It was no coincidence we both got letters to go to that house that night Rena and the whole thing was tidy, my name being brought up not only by the injured witness but Thomas himself when he confessed." he moves on to the new of the issues "The body in knockturn alley not only had items with Thomas's full name on them but a book with locations of the terror plots in it. Like the confession we got wasn't putting the bow on the present enough for most." he sighs "Not to mention all of these things piling up making us all look bad."

Graham's recounting of the night causes Rena no small discomfort. Her expression is hidden though, by virtue of the fact that she looks down at her hands in her lap quite pointedly to avoid eye contact with anyone. Fortunately, the crowd has all disbursed from the community hall by now, leaving the Aurors to talk in peace.

Rena begins to slowly work up her courage as the others go back and forth about the case. Furrowing her brow, she remarks very quietly from the sidelines: "You know the broken wand they found by the body in Knockturn? They didn't find the other 'alf…"

Arthur shrugs, "Occam's razor, he suggests looking at the group that has gathered." tapping his chin for a moment, "So iffen we just assume da simplest is true an right, lets do dhat." he says nodding slowly, "So les jusd fer a second asumme da followen dhings are drue dil, someun proves otherwise, yeh know process ah elimination?" he says nodding, "Thomas Carrow, was ah mastermind who plotted dis all, formed da MLF and organized da Terrorist attacks. Cohen is a spy an is or was worken fer da MLF. Da body found, on Knockturn? Sum un caught him and played vigilantly."he says looking at Rena and giving her a nod, "Aye, read dhat." he says to her.

"If all that's true - all we have to do is find the rest of the MLF and we're high as a golden snitch," Shelley responds. "And we certainly got more evidence pointing that way. And - hell - maybe Thomas Carrow was a masterful liar, and Luke Carrow just has an untrustworthy face," he has a really untrustworthy face… "It's possible, but it doesn't sit right with me. That last minute meeting, the wrong damned flyers on the podium - just waiting for us to find them. The attackers leaving just Thomas Carrow behind, alone, and putting him at risk like that… One survivor, now conveniently out of the country, to tie up the whole thing…"

Graham doesnt seem happy with even pretending to think the way they are asking, but he follows along. "Than Thomas would be where he should be. We have been handed the evidence. It would be a matter of making a case against myself and as Shelley says finding the MLF members." he shakes his head though even saying this.

Rena glances between each of them gathered before drawing a slow breath. "Doing it Arthur's way is best. It's just critical thinking, Graham - the second you take it personally, your judgement starts to slip." She says, furrowing her brow slightly. "We need to stop thinking about what proves or disproves someone guilty 'ere because then our feelings get involved. Just focus solely on the facts of the case and weigh them against the facts of the people. No emotion. Just solid facts. Otherwise, we're going to keep running in circles, chasing our own tails."

Hesitating a moment longer, Rena shifts on her seat and continues: "Solid evidence like this. Fact: Only the bottom 'alf of a broken wand was located at the crime scene in Knockturn Alley. Fact: The reason nobody found it is that other 'alf of this same wand was already in the possession of the M.L.E. It was found three years ago in a Knockturn Alley stabbing - an unsolved case. Fact: The top and bottom 'alf match perfectly."

Arthur shrugs, "Until yeh have evidance, don't mean dhat it has da sit right witd yeh." he says nodding, "Id's ah game yeh know." he says nodding, "Dis all ah game we'd been playen." he says nodding, "Da crook, always plays wid ah loaded deck, because we always ah step behind, because he knows he'd dun it before we do, so he dries da keep a step ahead as we chase after him." he says nodding, "Now most are dolts, who forget da die dheir shoes, so dhey drip an fall." he continues, taking another long hard drag off his cigarette, "But iffen, dhey are not? Dhen what? We have da fall back on da evidence, ain'd no un perfect, dhere is a bloody error some where in dis mess, dhey wan'd us da be tangled." he says nodding slowly, "So let em tangle dhings, da easiest dhing da do is da start ad da basics when yeh untangle it." he says shaking his head, taking a slow hard drag off his cigarette.

"Whad I am sayen is, instead of dhinking dis or dhat, saying dhat no no dis can't be. Follow da bloody evidence." he says slowly, "Iffen da simplest answer ain't right, dhen find somedhing dhat proves it ain'd right." he says taking another drag, "Led yeh evidence lead yeh, not yeh lead yer evidence." he says with a shrug, "Iffen it ain'd drue dhen prove it." he says slowly, listening to Rena, "So now we have evidence dhat da body in Knockturn was ah plant." he says nodding, "So whad does that dell us? Well da simpliest answer is dhat, da same man involved in da stabbing, put da body dhere." he says nodding.

"Now that's an interesting tidbit," Shelley remarks, her attention fixing onto Rena, and turning the fact over in her head. It does make it bloody unlikely that a vigilante simply found an MLF member and killed them. "We're still no where near identifying that victim? There was a tattoo - it didn't lead anywhere?" She looks at the others curiously. "And what else do we have on that unsolved stabbing?"

"I'm not speaking to the contrary Rena I was summing up the same thoughts, but no I dont have to like it." it is his good name that is attempting to be dragged into the mud afterall. Graham will take a deep breath turning to Shelley "Yes he also had a tattoo on him. I looked into it further seems it's related to a drug cartel, the smokey serpents.. something about it symbolizing how dangerous using their own product." he says though he doesnt have the exact file with him of course.

"It's something we Muggles calls an Oroborus. It's a snake eating its own tail. So yea, it's not exactly a pretty sentiment when you think about it. Smokey Serpents seem to take it as a crime punishable by death if they use their own stuff." Rena fills in some of the cracks of the details.

"As to the unsolved stabbing…" Here, she shrugs her shoulders: "Place: Knockturn Alley. Body: Unidentified. Position: Dumped to the side. Multiple Stab Wounds: Thirty-eight, to be exact. Witnesses: None willing to come forward. So, the crime remains unsolved to this day." Rena ticks off like a brief report.

Arthur just takes his last drag off his cigarette, listening to everyone. "Okay dhen, lets move da Mr. Carrow." he says with a shrug, "Yeh got all dhat figured out, what do we know, by way ah proof witd him?" he asks looking around slowly, as he snuffs his cigarette out in an ashtray. He has a thought but waits to see what everyone else has to say.

"But no tattoos on that body - the three year old stabbing?" Shelley asks, her tone thoughtful. "And no one in the Carrow case has involvement in Smokey Serpents that we're aware of?" She taps the fingers of her left hand on the back of her chair.

"We know he sent a letter to Brad Moody, inviting him to attend an MLF meeting. When asked, he identified the group as reading circle - 'Muggle Literature and Fiction.' He said never to have heard of the Muggle Liberation Front. He was confirmed by witnesses interviewed on South Verdic Alley to have been in his shop during and leading up to the Eye of Truth attacks."

He'll ponder the question on Thomas "As far as against Thomas, I saw him use the cannon curse and the last spell his wand used confirmed it. Something which might be helpful to ge more information on is nailing down the time each of those guests arrived. If too many where all at once.. even in surprise Thomas couldn't have over-powered them all." Graham knows he cant touch that case but it may help. "I suppose the easiest solution there is in the number of people who apparated there that night when I approached the house."

"You know that people apparated into the place for sure?" Rena asks of Graham, quirking one eyebrow curiously. "And that they apparated back out again?" She didn't know that information before. She didn't remember that from the report, anyway.

Glancing toward Arthur briefly, the redheaded girl forms a puzzled frown before saying: "There is a point though to something 'e says. How did one man, Thomas Carrow, manage to wipe out a room full of people. He was a lawyer and a book salesman, for Merlin's sake. Even the most veteran Aurors can't easily turn on a room full of wand-bearing people, single-'anded, without someone stopping them."

Arthur shrugs a little bit, "So dhen, da simpliest solution is dhat the body an Thomas are not connected." he says shrugging, "Dhat ah drug cartel decided da dump da body and ride on da MLF nonsense, da cover it up." he says nodding, "Would explain da three year old body and dis." he says nodding, but then suddenly snaps his fingers, "Except fer da evidence, da notebook, da lighter and da watch." he says nodding, "So witd dhat in mind, what does da evidence dell us is the simplest solution?" he says tapping his chin. Though something Graham says does catch him attention, his brow furrowing for a moment as he lets things mull over in his head, though he chooses not to touch on it at this time. Taking another drag off his cigarette, "According da Luke Carrow's statement, dhere was four." he says with a shrug, "Jusd like Hogwarts ah suppose." he starts with a smirk.

"Iffen yeh are sitting in class an class ain't started yet, someun enters? Yeh don't pay no mind." he says nodding, "Iffen dhey are late, everyun turns an looks." he says taking another drag off his cigarette, "Human nature, so da simplest truth is dhat, dhey entered before da meeting started, each attacked anoder from behind, da rest dhey had a extra moment fer dhem da draw dhere wands, while dhey attacked." he says with a shrug, "We don't know da level of da oder three, but Thomas Carrow?" he says with a chuckle, "He was in da Dueling club an a pretty good Duelist." he says with a shrug, looking over at Graham, "So was Cohen, he was three years behind meh, but only two behind Cohen…" he says tapping his chin, "Twas rather common dhat we all dhought Carrow was pretty good…" he says with a shrug.

"Yes, according to Luke Carrow, four attackers came in just before the meeting was to begin - while they were setting up - and just after finishing the fundraising meeting. They asked where you were," she nods towards Graham, "and apparated away, leaving only Thomas. No matter our doubts - I think we can all agree that all six of those wizards and witches were not killed by a single attacker."

She shakes her head slightly, adding quietly, "Seems simplest to me that someone's trying to tighten the vice around Carrow." She frowns in thought. "Arthur - could you get in with those Serpents?" she asks. "See what you can find out about the Knockturn victim?"

Graham hears Rena's question and sighs "That's the tough part there were a number of rapid cracks from apparition as I approached the house, but wither into or out of or a mixture of both is too hard to say." He looks back to Arthur and tries to follow along "Far as Luke Carrow, I know it wasnt long after but I stunned Thomas.. and he was only "frightened" of me when Rena said my name why didnt he move or make himself known until she got there? He could have seen Thomas get stupfied from where he'd been." he sighs "Dueling club is one thing, but I dont know if he kept up with those skills, and I wouldnt like my chances with those odds at all. Probably be looking for an escape rather than staying toe-to-toe."

It is clearly evident by Rena's expression that she dislikes the idea of Arthur going off by himself to deal with the Serpents. Not that she can do anything about it or even offer an opinion to sway him if he decides to go. She can only sigh and look…unhappy.

"There's just one more thing I know about the case that might 'elp everyone…" Rena says at length, rising from her chair. "You know 'ow there was fabric found at this latest murder in Knockturn Alley? They identified it as the lining fabric of luggage. Louis Vuitton."

Arthur shrugs a little bit, "Ah could, need dah set up a safe house first." he says nodding, "Sure if I poke around on Knockturn enough, I could start da get in." but the back of his mind he is cringing, drug cartels are rather annoying. "Bit back do da evidence." he says tapping his nose slowly, "We examine da body, latest evidence, conclude it was planted. So we can assume all of da stuff was planted, da wand, da watch and da notebook." he says nodding, "So why pland it all? Like Shelley said, simplest is da tighen da noose around Thomas' neck." he says shrugging, as he takes another drag off his cigarette.

Rena tilts her head slightly and pauses. Turning back to face the others squarely, she remarks: "Seems to me people 'ave neglected to look for anyone who might be Thomas Carrow's enemy. E could've been framed because 'e was a convenient scapegoat, of course. But maybe someone 'ad it in for 'im that is connected like a spiderweb to these other things."

"But all we really have to prove the Umber Alley crime was a set-up was something Luke Carrow told me - that he hands out flyers to the meetings at random, and leaves them behind. Then brings flyers for the next meeting to the current meeting, and hand stacks out to the attendees to distribute. So why did he have fliers for the current meeting on the podium?

"But like he said himself - he must have just grabbed the wrong fliers." And here Shelley rolls her eyes broadly. She doesn't buy it. She trains her attention on Rena, and then Graham. "You knew Thomas Carrow better than me," she remarks. She barely knew him at all. "Were you aware of any enemies? There was that fuss with the Army of Truth some months back…"

The talk of getting a person on the inside of the cartel seems a bit rough but that's there job often of course. "Luggage hmm." he considers trying to run this through he brain to see what becomes of it. A wealthy person? Graham turns towards Arthur and looks to Shelley as well. "That may be the most simple, but.. this time we have to know why. It doesn't make sense. Thomas is in Azkaban and only either catching someone else who we can prove actually did it, or proving he was under the imperious curse. Try give us doubt in case we were trying to free him?" He turns to Rena "That's a good question. His shop was vandalized in the riots because of the muggle books. Hmm.. he also went to Germany to search for my sisters attackers.."

"Seems like we need to break things down into simple sections." Rena says firmly. "One: Find who may be enemies with Thomas Carrow and check their connections to either the Army of Truth, 'ave sympathies to Grindelwald, or else to the MLF. Two: Investigate the connection between this gang and the crimes. Three: Find bloody Luke Carrow and get 'im back on British soil by legal means…" She pauses for breath, looking at the rest critically: "Anything else?" She appears to be ready to get moving.

Arthur takes a drag off his cigarette and hand waves slightly as he moves to leave. "Looks like yeh lot got dis under control again." he says as he makes his way out, exhaling the smoke slowly. "Going da go do a few dhings." he says as he reaches the doors, looking back at them, "Yeh lot stay safe." he says with a shrug.

"Luke Carrow said he was going to stay with his brother," Shelley remarks, "when I spoke with him on…. ugh. August 5th? 6th? Something like that, it's in my notes." Her eyes follow Arthur. "He doesn't have a brother, incidentally. No sibs at all. And hey, Nightingale. Congrats, huh? Have Reece put a rum on my tab."

Arthur hand waves again, "Eh, just luck." he says to Shelley with a shrug, "Ain'd nuffin special bout it." he says with a nod, before heading out the door.

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