(1939-10-15) A Different Kettle of Fish
Details for A Different Kettle of Fish
Summary: Hit Wizards discuss a new case involving the theft of important Muggle documents. A few Aurors stop by for moral support - and fish and chips.
Date: 15 October 1939
Location: Magical Law Enforcement, Ministry of Magic
Plot: Tinker, Tailor, Wizard, Spy

Inspector Peregrine Urquart is sitting at his desk, with a rolling chalkboard of magical variety nearby, levitating, and with the pictures on it moving, a few of them clustered in one corner and having the look of MLE booking photos. He has a cigarillo in his fingers, his feet on the desk, and a slim file open in his lap.

A tall figure swoops into the room, nodding and smiling to passing colleagues. His feet seem to move automatically to a desk, not far from Peregrine's, where he plucks a top hat from his head and slings a long coat over his chair. Then, running a hand over his hair, he moves up behind the inspector and squints at his chalkboard. " Anyt'in of interest, inspector?" He intones with the strong vowels of a Southern Irish accent.

Peregrine looks up, apparently lost in thought until he was interrupted. He says, "Oh… Sergeant O'Donnell. Yes, yes there's much of interest, unfortunately not much in the way of answers. But that's always the way, isn't it."

" Hmmm," Patrick hums, still peering at the board, " Not'in you might a hand with? I'm somewhat free, mysel'," He nods his head towards his own chalkboard and then crosses his arms, " It seems you two get all the interestin' cases, eh? If you can't find much in the way of answers, maybe you could send a humble sergeant to do some ol' fashion legwork."

"This is actually a fascinating case, and I'm sure we'll need help, yes." Peregrine pulls out his wand and easily moves the board without a flick of it. "This." he says, pointing, "Is the Muggle Ministry of War. Two weeks ago, there was a break-in there. And the muggle papers and wireless reported that there was nothing taken. Indeed, they can't seem to figure out how they got in or out in the first place."

Patrick peers closer at the picture. " So, you reckon it was either a muggle master criminal, or the work of some wizarding folks, hmm? But what would be the point of one of ours breakin' in and not taking anything? Seems a bit excessive to work your way into a government buildin', even if it is a muggle one, and leave without liberatin' anything." He strokes his chin a little bit, " Unless, of course, the muggle government is keeping it on the hush, not wanting to cause panic, you know."

Peregrine points with the cigarillo in his hand, "Precisely the latter, Sergeant. What more perfect a crime than stealing that which no one will admit to missing. Our sources within the Muggle Ministries indicate that there is a /terrible/ furor over what's gone walkabout."

Peregrine is sitting at his desk with his feet up, a chalkboard levitating nearby with the usual case pictures and diagrams drawn on it, and is talking to Patrick. The inspector motions with his wand, and starts to draw, "The security on the place is, for muggles, about as impressive as it gets. And these… radar station locations, whatever that means, are considered vital to their war effort. Basically, we are convinced that the person or persons responsible is a wizard, and the potential for violation of the Statute of Secrecy is /huge/."

It's about time the Ministry's resident blob of sunshine came wandering through. The small redheaded woman slips into the office, dressed to the nines in a tailored suit (as always) and heads to her desk. Everyone knows it's Rena's desk. It is quite unmistakable from the others in the room by virtue of the fact that there is a shiny blue paper crane hung from the lamp; and a number of children's drawings tacked up in the vicinity, rather than wanted posters.

Depositing her smart little hat on the desk, Rena seems ready to get to work; however, something about Peregrine's conversation with Patrick distracts her. All he had to do was say "Muggle" to get her attention and draw her slowly in their direction.

A frown creases Patrick's brow. " But we have no wizardin' motive, right? What would they want in a muggle… raider centre? Soun's a little bit dubious to me." He glances quickly over his shoulder at the approaching auror. " Oh, hello there, gorgeous." He winks and a smile lights up his face. " Maybe you could lend an ear to your dear colleagues over here? There's a bit of mischief afoot in the muggle world." He looks at her suit. "Nice outfit. Same as yesterday, hmmm?"

Peregrine waves the cigarello holding hand, "Auror Irene Odori - call her Rena, Sergeant, everyone else does - may I introduce Sergeant Patrick O'Donnell of the MLES. Sergeant, Auror Odori." He clears his throat, and nods, "No, we don't have a clear wizarding motive as yet. However, as I said, the preliminary investigation leads to the belief that there was magic involved. Either that, or this is a muggle master criminal who should be filching the crown jewels instead of documents that aren't worth anything unless they can be delivered to the continent."

"Radar," Rena remarks from the sidelines with a warm smile. Although she is correcting Patrick's pronounciation of the word, there is no ill-will behind it. His calling her "Gorgeous" causes a little self-conscious blush to tinge her pale cheeks, but the smile remains in-tact. Peregrine introduces them properly, and the young woman says: "Just call me Rena. Everyone does. Auror Odori is an awfully big mouthful… and I'm not sure I look much like the name, anyway."

Pausing, she draws closer and glances at the hovering chalkboard: "What's the row, then?" Rena asks in a slightly more serious tone. "I thought you said something about a possible breach of the statute of secrecy." And there really are few crimes so serious as that in the Wizarding world. Especially in these troubled times.

"Rena, of course," Patrick offers her a hand to shake, " And you can, of course, call me Patrick. Or Paddy if you're feeling especially friendly that day. Someone's broken into this muggle, er, ray-darr place. The muggles say not'in's missing but we suspect wizarding involvement." He looks back at Peregrine's board and sighs a little, " I don't suppose you have any leads, inspector? Any direction in which we might point inquiries? I'm awful good at that door to door t'ing."

Peregrine grins, "No, somebody broke into the Ministry of War and stole the locations of the radar stations, which are a secret. And to answer Auror Odori's question, if a Wizard were to sell this information to the Germans, it would have a distinct impact on the war. Hence a violation of the Secrecy Statute."

The inspector motion with his wand towards some of the moving photographs, "These are some of the subjects who we've had in the past. Unfortunately…" he begins to cross them off, "These two are in Azkaban. We think this one is dead. This bloke was in the pokey in Hogsmeade over a jinxing incident. That leaves very few leads. However, there may be one more."

"We'll stick to Patrick… for the time being." Rena replies, slipping her slim hand into his to shake it lightly, but warmly. Her dark eyes sparkle with friendly mirth, and one gets the impression that she isn't nearly the irritating pest that most people consider Aurors to be.

Returning her attention to Peregrine and his mugshots, the redheaded woman folds her arms and perches herself on the edge of his desk. This /is/ serious business. "Does the Ministry of War know that it's been stolen from? I mean… I'd be worried if they didn't. But that is a problem, even if they do. The M.A.C is going to be spinning on its 'eels trying to sort this mess out before it becomes a fiasco."

Patrick nods to the inspector, smirking a little bit. " Yes, exactly, Ministry of War and their ray/dar/…" He puts the emphasis on the 'dar' and then nods smugly, "… It is indeed shaping up to be a fiasco." He glances at Rena, " They know, yes, but they're tellin' their fellow muggles that not'in's been takin'. Not to cause panic, and such." He squints back at the board as Peregrine points to the prisoner mugshots, " Solemn lookin' fellows, eh? How sure are you that one's dead? A suspiciously convenient alibi, hmmm." He grins to himself, " One more, you say?"

"He didn't look very well after I deflected his cannon curse…" Peregrine opines, "And St. Mungos said there was nothing they could do… I mean, it's not /impossible/, but I'll mark it as highly unlikely for the moment." He coughs momentarily about his surety of death, and then continues, "Our remaining lead is a squib who worked in the Ministry, near where the records were stolen. He's mysteriously taken ill, and has been on leave since the incident…" Not a white suspicious there. He levitates another photograph, this one a regular muggle one, from the folder on his desk and onto the board, "Meet the rather unfortunately named Mr. Romeo Romero…"

Peregrine, Patrick and Rena are gathered around Peregrine's desk, discussing something seemingly quite important. Beside them floats a chalkboard, and a number of moving, black and white mugshots of dubious-looking criminal types.

To say that Rena looks somewhat non-plussed by Peregrine's remark about the man he deflected a cannon curse into… might be an understatement. She's a gentle soul, and hates violence. Of course, one might say she made a very odd career choice, given that little personality quirk. However, shifting uncomfortably on her perch upon Peregrine's desk, she tilts her head slightly and remarks: "Your squib fellow might be the most obvious lead. Not that that indicated guilt. But, 'ave you checked up on 'im yet?"

Hypatia strides into the room with her wand in her hand as she levitates in several bags of food. "Right, so.. Who had what?" she calls to the room in general. She's still pretty much the rookie around here so when someone wants fish and chiiiips…. Guess who gets to trot off across town. The fact that she can blend in well with Muggles helps.

Patrick nods and shrugs at Peregrine, and then says, " Well, that sounds dead enough to me. And yeah, I agree with Rena- this Romeo Romero figure looks like a shoe-in for lead suspect. Of course, being a squib, there's not much magical mischief he could get upto to fool his way through a secure muggle building. But he might have been an inside man, you know? Alertin' wizardin' folks of coin to be made and takin' a cut on the side." He nods again as Rena asks her question, " If you haven't, I'd be happy to knock at his door."

Patrick's head turns as Hypatia comes in, and his face seems to glow. " Oh, over here," He waves, his voice somehow bursting into even stronger vowelled Irish when it is raised, " I believe I ordered one of those battered fish things?"

"Hypatia!" Peregrine says, giving her a wave with his now-burnt-out cigarillo. An issue he quickly puts to right, before beckoning her over. "You know Auror Irene Odori, I take it? This is Sergeant Patrick O'Donnell. We're talking about a case. I think you should help Sergeant O'Donnell with the assignment he's about to get."

Peregrine then turns and looks between the two other MLE Wizards, "No, the information I've given you is about as far as I've built the file thusfar. And yes, I agree, our only lead at this point is Romero." He puts his cigarillo between his lips and spins a notepad around, "I sent a pair of constables to his home, which was empty with the bed unslept in and three days of post left in the box. However…" he flips the page and rips it off, then posts it on the board with a flip of his wand, the writing transferring into chalk below Romero's picture, "Here are a list of his usual hangouts."

Hypatia hands out fish and chips left and right and eventually makes it over with Patrick's order. "Here you are, Gorgeous," she teases, setting the Irishman's food down for him on the desk. She nods then to Peregrine. "Yes, Inspector. And I've met the Auror once or twice, I think? The Sergeant and I know each other."

Rena smiles brightly at the arrival of food: "Chips!" She says enthusiastically, clapping her hands together. Apparently, someone is hungry.

Smiling gratefully at Hypatia when she hands out the food, Rena eagerly unwraps her own portion and digs into it with great fervor. However, her attention (divided though it may be) remains fixed on the problem at hand, and she examines the list of places known to be hangouts of the Squib gentleman. When they hit upon a certain Burlesque theatre, the poor woman gets a sudden catch in her throat and chokes. Swallowed the wrong way, probably.

Coughing and red-faced, Rena quickly pardons herself from the group and flees to get herself some water… and frankly, to get herself away from the others for a moment, hoping that her recognition of the place goes unnoticed.

Patrick and Rena (pre-water-dashing) are gathered around Peregrine's desk examining a set of photographs, leads and casefiles. The newly-arrived Hypatia has bundled orders of fish and chips into the appropriate hands. Patrick, the tall Irish sergeant, takes one gratefully and winks at the greek witch. " Gorgeous today, is it? Must be in a good mood." He glances back at the inspector as he slips the fish from the packet and nibbles on the edge. He frowns a little bit, seems to undergo some sort of internal conflict with his sense receptors, but then proceeds to rip a big of… mostly batter, in true British style.

He looks back at the list of Romero's haunts, and shrugs a little. " Not anyt'in I'd… Know about… Inspector," He says in between mouthfuls, " Maybe ask someone a bit more… clued up on muggle spots, eh? But I'd be happy to… check on them. In theory, though… He'd have to find somewhere he could… Sleep, you know? Three days is a long time to be hanging rough."

Shelley steps into the office, carrying a few files, and spots the group around Peregrine's desk. But most importantly, perhaps, she spots the bundles of fish 'n chips - and she is not too wizardly to be above a little food from a chippy. She shifts the files in her arms to free one hand enough to scoop up one of the bundles are she approaches. "Thanks, Abbott," she remarks casually, since the woman seems to be minding the order. Whether Shelley had actually requested the food that she's taking, however…

One of the hit wizards, a burly bloke by the name of Greggson, casually reaches out an 'zaps' Shelly's hand with his wand. "That's mine, innit, Prewett?" he says, gathering up his food and retaking his seat. Hypatia smirks and shakes her head. "There's an extra in that bag over there, Prewett," she responds. She winks then at Patrick. "Oh I'm always in a good mood with you around, lovey." Such camraderie. And she leans in to examine the photographs…

"Wait, I know this one. It's a dive off.." She grins. "The Sergeant and I can handle those if Auror Odori wants to take the others… Well." She stops and inspects Patrick. "Maybe Sergeant would prefer the massage parlour?"

"Yes, Sergeant. That is why I think it would be a good idea to involve Hypatia… Errr… Constable Abbot, and perhaps Auror Odori. Both of you have the advantage of knowing more about muggles than some of us." Though Peregrine isn't any sort of wizarding snob, he doesn't frequent East End dives, either. Peregrine is still holding court at his desk, the crime board levitating nearby with the pictures and notes on it, his feet up and a cigarillo in hand. He's not having any fish and chips yet. "Unfortunately, Denny Orwell is on suspension, and I don't exactly approve of his methods, so I can't send him in to do the mugglish part. I'd suggest that maybe you two and Inspector Lovegood start looking in the most likely places. Find Romero. Lean on him hard, and make the little blighter give up what he knows, if anything."

What's the wizarding equivalent of a little time in a cell with a copy of the yellow pages?

Rena returns in due time, quite composed once more. Although she does self-consciously brush back her hair with her hands, and fretfully tug her ever-so-prim suit straight before arriving back at the desk. Pausing upon hearing her name, Rena shakes her head with a slightly regretful smile: "I'm afraid I can't be taking any part in any of the investigating. This is the job of the hit-wizard office, you know." Not that she wouldn't love to tag along… but orders are orders. Worthington wouldn't like her butting into the business of another branch.

Peregrine pulls a lavender inter-office note from his outbasket, scrawls a note on it, and then folds it and tosses it on its way, the little paper aeroplane heading on its way. "Duly noted, Rena. I don't want to put you on the spot. We just seem to be short on people who can… blend in this environment, at the moment."

Patrick notices the arrival of Shelley, but is so involved with battered fish, brown sauce and criminal investigation that he offers only a nod and a brief smile in her direction, and then turns back to the matter at hand. As Hypatia speaks, his eyebrows shoot up, " Massage… Parlour? What on earth…" A glow of understanding ignites in his eyes, " …Oh. Oh, I see." He looks around. Takes another bite of his fish. Then looks back at Hypatia, " Well, anything in the line of duty, eh? I /am/ a sergeant after all. A man must make sacrifices for his work."

He smiles down at Peregrine. " If Rena can't make it, inspector, I'm sure we can handle it. If you can point us in the right directions, we'll catch the little squib with his trousers down," He coughs, " So to speak."

Peregrine buries his face in his hand for just a moment.

"Oh, is it?" Shelley answers - appearing, at least, genuinely surprised as the bag in her hands is seized. "Ta," she adds towards Hypatia, taking the indicated extra bag. "Just let me know what I owe ya," she adds casually. She glances at the board behind Peregrine, and then raises her eyebrows at the conversation. "…there are times I find it best not to ask."

Hypatia just looks at Patrick with the straightest, most admiring face. "You know, I really do admire you for that, Sergeant. It's an honour to work alongside such a clearly principled man." She hold her hand out. "May I shake your hand, Sir?"

Ahem. she looks at Peregrine. "So, Inspector… When do you want us to start surveillance?"

"Don't worry about putting me on the spot. If you really need me, you can make a quick case to Chief Worthington and ask 'im if it's alright. He is a pretty easy-going and understanding man. And besides, anything for an edge in the name of justice, yea?" Rena replies to Peregrine with a slight smile. She's still wishing heartily that she hadn't recognized that particular theatre. Not that she has long to think about it…

Patrick's remark causes the poor young woman to stifle and choke back laughter. Unlike most law enforcement officers, Rena just can't contain her giggles, let alone her sense of humour. Despite her best efforts, she merely brings it down to a snicker behind her hand.

Peregrine takes a moment to free his face from his hand, and looks like he sorely wishes there were a bottle of single malt in his desk drawer. He shakes his head, "As soon as possible. Time is of the essence. We have to stop this information from getting out, then work with M.A.C. to repair the damage. Go kick over whatever rock Elijah has crawled under and take him with you. He'll know which doors to break in."

Patrick stoically accepts Hypatia's hand as he straightens his back and juts his chin out a little bit. " The honour is all mine, constable." But then he glances at the returning Rena and bites back a chortle. Recovering, he nods back at Peregrine. " Aye, inspector, we'll get right on it. I'm sure Elijah will be…" He frowns, "… Well, I'm sure he's around somewhere."

Hypatia smirks at her godfather. "I'll find him, Inspector." She turns then to Patrick. "Oi. You coming then?"

"I live right across the street from Inspector Lovegood - if that 'elps at all," Rena interjects.

"…ongoing situation, huh?" Shelley remarks, as Peregrine starts talking about the urgent need to kick-down doors with MAC in tow. "Well. I wish you the best. I have every faith in your ability to…" her eyes go to Patrick, "…handle the situation." She glances at Rena next, shaking her head slightly. At least she's not gigging on Carruther's desk again. That had been… odd.

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