(1939-12-15) The New Magistrate
Details for The New Magistrate
Summary: Peregrine is called to the carpet by his superiors…for some good news.
Date: 15 December, 1939
Location: Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Ministry of Magic

More than a few pairs of eyes are on Peregrine Urquart as he enters the office one Monday morning. It's the sort of reaction that makes a man question if he forgot to shave, or has his shirt on inside-out. The portly Inspector Tibbs breaks the incomfortable tension when he leans back in his chair, nodding to Peregrine. "Shacklebolt wants to see you, Perry. He's got that look in his eye, too." Tibbs gives a little shiver, and a sympathetic look for Peregrine.

Peregrine removes his hat and tosses it onto the hook with an easy gesture of his wrist and thirty-five years of practice aiming at ministry-issued hat racks. He brushes off his robes and straightens his tie self-consciously, "Oh? Is that so. I've nae done anything that would require so august a level of attention. But I'd best face the music, I suppose." He gives a reassuring smile to hide a nervous swallow - nobody likes being called on the carpet. And then heads across the office to find out what this is all about. He raps smartly on the door, "You wanted to see me?" he asks, of the Deputy Commissioner, when given permission to enter.

The tall Deputy Commissioner rises from his seat the moment Peregrine shows himself. "Urquart, come with me." His curt, brusque manner is nothing new. That's just how Solomon Shacklebolt is. But there's something heavier and more purposeful about the way he moves today. He strides out of his office, beckoning Peregrine down the hall to "the Big Office" — the office of Commissioner Ogden himself. Shacklebolt waits patiently for Ogden's secretary to announce his presence, and when given the go-ahead, he leads Peregrine inside.

Despite being the office of the highest ranking member of the M.L.E., the room is fairly typical. The walls tout Bob Ogden's accomplishments through newspaper clippings and certificates of recognition. But it is all very plain and to-the-point. Ogden's desk is relatively small, and well-organized — as is the man sitting behind it. Ogden's broad, round face looks up to peer at his guests through his spectacles. The Commissioner gestures to the chairs before him. "Shacklebolt. Inspector Urquart. Sit, please." Waiting a moment for the men to get settled, Ogden continues. "Inspector, how long have you been with the Department?"

There is only a moment's hestiation when Solomon leads him down the familiar hallway. Peregrine has been in Ogden's office before - probably even before it was Ogden's - whether for praise or because of some spectacular screw-up. In a long enough career, there are bound to be a few of both, but fortunately the ledger balances far to the side of the good, generally speaking. He nods and sits as he is bidden, after a polite, "Good day, Commissioner." He sits, and gathers his robes around him, crossing his legs, though when he's asked how long he's been there, a subtle tightening of his hand on the arm of his chair. Is this it, are they putting him out to pasture? He clears his throat and presses on, "Oh, well… thirty… seven years now, I think. I was a wee sprat when I became a constable, right out of Hogwarts." Was he ever that young? Most of the MLE probably wouldn't believe it. As if he just came with the Ministry building when the MLE moved in.

The Deputy Commissioner sits in silence beside Peregrine, letting the Commissioner take the lead. Ogden smiles and nods, echoing, "Thirty seven years. That's a long career. Longer than my own. It's interesting that you're still an Inspector. Many men in your position would have long since moved on to a more…administrative position. You must have had opportunities in the past. I take it you weren't ready to give up working in the field?"

"To move into administration? Aye, I'm sure it's been mentioned. But I really do like the field work, and I'm good at it. Lovegood, Abbott, and I managed to do a workmanlike job of bringing in those German lads, for example." Peregrine says, honestly. "I thought maybe I'd make Superintendent while I still have some good years left in me, but not if it meant giving up the chance to do what I've always done." The Inspector is also not the most political of hit-wizards. Indeed, he's almost completely devoted to catching criminals, and lets the rest of the niceties hang.

Ogden nods along as Peregrine explains. It's nothing he isn't already aware of, but these sorts of meetings require that certain social protocols be observed. "Your work speaks for itself. The Deputy Commissioner and I agree that it would be a pity to take you away from what you do so well. However…" There is a pause, letting ancipation build in that silence, "…we feel that you can also serve this department better in a position with more authority. Inspector, were you aware that Magistrate Galloway is retiring?"

"Nae, I wasn't. Though I suppose it shouldn't be surprising. He's been at it many a year, and London is a big place, even for Wizards." Peregrine admits, with a wry smile. His eyes narrow, though, as he suddenly realizes that probably isn't just idle social chatter. He glances sideways at Solomon, as if feeling for the rune he's about to step on that will trigger the poison gas, then looks back at the Commissioner, "I suppose that Minister Gambol has already made her decision about whom will replace 'imslef as Magistrate? Anyone I know? I'm sure I can give you a few recommendations…"

Shacklebolt chuckles softly. "The decision is the Commissioner's. But I gather that you understand how important the London Magistrate's office is, and that the Minister is always consulted for the position."

Ogden nods to Solomon, then to Peregrine. "So you should be pleased to know that when I mentioned your name to Minister Gambol, she informed me that you were already on her list of recommendations."

Peregrine is usually pretty good at maintaining his poker face, but that leads to an incredulous reaction as he looks between the two supervisors. He stammers something, that seems to be along the lines of 'g'awn! Pull the other one!' But then he seems to realize that the Commissioner isn't joking. "Sir? Me? Magistrate of London? There are thousands of wizards in London, it's one of the most important jobs in Magical Law."

"Deputy Commissioner Shacklebolt and I have discussed it at great length," Ogden explains. "There were a number of candidates under consideration. You're at the top of the pile, Urquart. The question is…do you want it? Are you prepared to be not only an agent of the law, but a dispenser of justice?"

Peregrine takes a long moment, leaning back and steepling his fingers, then tapping them against his chin. He inhales sharply through his nose, then, and looks up, before saying, "Alright. I'll do it. Or I'll do the best job I can, at least. I think I could use a new challenge, and… if you think that I'm your man, Commissioner, I'm willing to give it a go."

Ogden and Shacklebolt rises to their feet. Shacklebolt is the first to offer his hand. "You've made the right choice, Urquart. With the state of things as they are, we need a firm hand a righteous wizard looking after London." Ogden nods his agreement, but his extended hand is interrupted when the door opens.

The new guest is not announced by the secretary, but simply let in. Stepping into the office is the statuesque Minister Titania Gambol, smiling pleasantly as she approaches Peregrine. Behind her is a wizarding holding a camera, with a press pass tucked into the brim of his pointed cap. "Oh, good," the Minister for Magic says. "I'm not too late. So you've broken the news? Congratulations, Magistrate Urquart. We couldn't be prouder." She beckons to Ogden, but extends a congratulating hand to Peregrine.

Peregrine is already reaching forward to shake hands with Shacklebolt, having come to his feet in reflex when Ogden and Shacklebolt did. "Thank you, both." he says, but then, of course, he turns as everyone else does to see the Minister of Magic arrive. He manages to avoid any unsightly stammering, having learned long ago to think before speaking, so he manages a more credible, "A… Thank you, Minister Gambol." He steps forward to accept the offered hand, his grip light. Is he supposed to look towards the camera? He's not quite so familiar with this part.

Minister Gambol keeps a grip on Peregrine's hand, indeed coaxing him to look toward the camera as Ogden and Shacklebolt step into position on either side of the pair.

The photographer lifts his camera, announcing, "Everyone smile!" Then there is a blinding flash and a smell of sulfur.

The Minister releases Peregrine's hand, turning to clasp hands with Ogden, then Shacklebolt. "Gentlemen, keep up the good work. Magistrate Urquart, we're looking forward to great things from you. Ta ta, gentlemen." As abruptly as she arrived, the Minister is sweeping out of the office with the young man from the Daily Prophet in her wake.

Peregrine manages a bit of a smile for the camera, though like a good Magistrate, he also projects gravitas. After the flash of the camera, he mutters a goodbye as he blinks away the swimming bits of paisley in his eyes and shakes his head. "Merlin's Beard!" he exclaims, once they're alone again. "I always hated that bit. The pictures, that is. I think I was in the middle of saying thank you?" A pause, and then, "Does she always sweep in and out like a highland storm like that?"

Ogden waves off any concern. "She's a busy woman, especially in these dark times. That's why we need reliable men like you, Urquart." The Commissioner opens a drawer of his desk, producing a brand new Magistrate's badge, and a document and quill. "Sign here, and the office is yours. Grady Callaghan can show you the ropes. He's your Deputy Magistrate. He's served with Galloway for eight years."

"I'm fairly certain we've met at some point." Peregrine agrees, with a nod, "But I'll be glad to have an experienced hand." The quill comes easily to hand, and he leans over. A momentary deep breath before, in the ornate hand that was taught in Scotland half a century or more before, he signs - Peregrine Charles Stuart Urquart. Putting the quill down, he says, "Thank you again, Commissioner." He extends his hand to shake.

Ogden takes Peregrine's hand for a firm shake. "You've more than put in your dues, Magistrate. Congratulations. Now you'd best be on your way. You'll be wanting to settle in to your new office."

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