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SIYE Time:10:13 on 25th April 2024
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Mystic Dream
By GryffindorHealer

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Category: Post-Hogwarts
Characters:Harry/Ginny
Genres: Action/Adventure, Crossover
Warnings: Death, Disturbing Imagery, Extreme Language, Intimate Sexual Situations, Violence
Rating: R
Reviews: 24
Summary:

“I don't go looking for trouble,” said Harry, nettled. “Trouble usually finds me.” Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 5, The Dementor

Harry and Ginny start a working holiday in Washington DC, he to attend an international law enforcement conference (with a secret Magical track), she to interview some American Magical athletes for a book she's working on. The boys are safely off to Hogwarts, Lily Luna with her grandparents. It's supposed to be a pleasant Busman's Holiday...

Hitcount: Story Total: 3168; Chapter Total: 135
Awards: View Trophy Room




Author's Notes:
Things become a bit more complicated when new information is verified, and another agency shares jurisdiction...

This story is a crossover with NCIS, featuring Ginny and Harry Potter (Married couple), Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Ellie Bishop, Timothy McGee, Nicholas "Nik" Torres, some Guest Stars from other fandoms that don't count as a crossover, and some Original Characters.


Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. It's a bit of homage to several things. Have fun finding the nods, eh.



My thanks to the great help I got on this from fellow members of the Harry and Ginny and The Ginny Lovers Discords. Beta reading, constructive criticism, brainstorming, and other suggestions, y'all make this a whole lot more fun.

Posting schedule, each week.




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Act 2 Scene 5: Shared Jurisdiction - Tuesday 15 January 2019 12:03

The guard at the gate to the Navy Yard waved the taxi in after Harry presented his Muggle ID and the authorization letter. He settled back against the seat, glancing at the photograph and name of the taxi driver. The license displayed in a slot on the thick Perspex between the back seat and the front. It wouldn’t stop a spell, he thought, yet it’s there to protect the driver from Muggle weapons. He shook his head slightly.

‘Thinking odd thoughts?’ Sean O'Lochlainn asked, shifting in his seat. 

‘No, actually, unless reading Mr. Khan’s license here is an odd thought,’ he replied. Quite a few other Aurors considered the Unspeakable an odd wizard. Harry counted enough unusual witches and wizards among his friends, the Boffin sitting next to him simply added one more.

On the other hand, he really didn’t feel a need just now to get into extended conversations with O'Lochlainn either.

O'Lochlainn watched as Harry paid the cab driver when they arrived, shaking his head as they exited the taxi, watching it drive away. ‘I have no idea how you can keep track of Muggle money. I’ve enough difficulty with Galleons, Knuts, and Sickles.’

‘Really?’ Harry’s eyebrows raised while regarding him as they walked toward the building. ‘Bit surprising, considering where you work.’

O'Lochlainn laughed. ‘Not that unusual, actually. There was a Swiss wizard I knew once, well, actually he was born in Germany, renounced that when he moved to Switzerland, and eventually became an American. Changed his name when he went to live among the Muggles, hiding from Grindelwald. He couldn’t figure out money either, brilliant otherwise.’ He opened the door and waved Harry in ahead of him. He followed as Harry walked to the receptionist check-in, going through the procedure to obtain their visitors passes. He paused before entering the lift. ‘These make me a bit nervous,’ he said quietly, entering.

‘You use the lifts at the Ministry all the time.’ Harry didn’t bother hiding his incredulous look. O'Lochlainn shrugged as the doors closed and Harry pressed the button.

‘Those are, well, you know. Not sure how … these folk keep theirs moving.’ Harry snorted as the door opened to the Bullpen. Gibbs nodded a greeting and entered, evidence bag in hand. He pushed the button for the next floor as the door closed. Harry grinned at O'Lochlainn tensing as the lift started, straight up. Gibbs caught the interaction, reached forward and hit the Stop button.

‘Wasn’t expecting you to bring a monk with you, Potter,’ he said, grinning. ‘Don’t you guys have elevators?’

‘Oh, we’ve got them,’ Harry laughed. ‘It’s just that the ride is hardly as smooth as yours are.’

‘Not to mention ours go sideways as well as up and down,’ added O'Lochlainn. ‘I’m not a monk, actually, but I find their robes more comfortable than Muggle clothing. Rather feel more like wizard robes. And monk's robes present an image that Muggles interpret and leave me alone when out and about.’

Gibbs chuckled. ‘I expect so.’ He hit the Stop button again and the elevator continued up. ‘Vance is expecting us. Gotta tell you, Kasie wasn’t too happy not to be included. She’s curious what sort of forensic test you’re doing.’

‘Best not to include them, though. Be a bit messy to clean up I expect,’ O'Lochlainn muttered as the elevator stopped and the door opened. He started along the balcony until Harry cleared his throat. Then he turned and followed Harry and Gibbs the other way. ‘Weren’t we going to a meeting room?’

Gibbs and Potter both laughed. ‘Can’t let you folks anywhere inside MTAC,’ said Gibbs, his smile relieving any possible sting in the words. Harry simply nodded as they walked, a wry grin wrinkling the corners of his eyes. Gibbs opened a door with a sign ‘Director NCIS” on it, and they followed him in. Pamela Cook, Vance’s admin assistant looked up from her desk and nodded towards the inner door

‘He’s expecting you, Agent Gibbs.’

Nodding, Gibbs pushed open the heavy metal door to Vance’s office, Harry and O'Lochlainn following him, Harry closing the door behind them. Vance looked up from his desk as they came in, then stood and walked from behind it. Vance shook hands with Harry. ‘Morning, Potter.’

Harry chuckled. ‘Morning, Vance. This is one of our boffins, Master O’Lochlainn’

Vance looked over the wizard. ‘I wasn’t expecting a monk.’

O’Lochlainn laughed again. ‘Tis easier to travel this way. Because they make assumptions based on appearance, fewer people ask questions.’ Vance nodded, turning to Gibbs.

‘You brought the item, I see,’ he said as Gibbs set the evidence bag on the conference table. ‘Do we need to remove it from the bag?’

‘I shouldn’t think so, Director,’ said O’Lochlainn, ‘at least not initially.’ Harry nodded to O’Lochlainn, who took out his wand and approached the bag, looking at it carefully before passing his wand over it several times.

Vance focused intently on his actions. ‘Not sure what I was expecting, but this wasn’t it.’

‘It’s often a slow start to figuring out what magic is involved, Director,’ said O’Lochlainn, continuing his movements.

Harry nodded. ‘Trust me, you don’t really want to be around if it becomes spectacular.’

Gibbs chuckled. ‘I’ll second that,’ he said, walking around the table and sitting.

O’Lochlainn finished his assessment, turning to Harry. ‘Whatever’s inside the bag, your containment spell worked nicely.’ He smiled at Vance’s raised eyebrows. ‘Not seen magic before, have you Director?’

Vance shook his head slowly. ‘Always thought it to be the stuff of books and movies until I took the Director’s position. Not even a hint when I was Assistant Director.’ He nodded towards Gibbs. ‘Thought you were spinning a war story when you briefed me in, and surprised the hell out of me that you did when I realized you were serious.’

Gibbs nodded back. ‘It both surprised and nearly killed me when I learned, Leon.’ O’Lochlainn looked between the two of them.

‘It’s a story for another time, Sean,’ said Harry. ‘We’ve work to do now. Cancel my spell and open the bag.’

O’Lochlainn’s wand moved again, the seal tape separating and the book inside slowly levitating out onto the table. ‘This time may be more visual, Director, as that’s a part of the exam. Please save questions for later, though, this will require some concentration.’ Reaching into the left sleeve of his robes, he pulled out a small clear jar of white powder. Opening it, he poured a circle completely around the book.

‘What is that?’ Vance stepped closer, corners of his eyes creased in concentration.

‘Salt,’ replied Harry. ‘He’s creating a containment, a safety precaution. Later we can explain more if you need it, but now like he said, this requires some concentration on Wizard O’Lochlainn’s part.’ 

O’Lochlainn nodded briefly to Harry, ‘Some quiet explanation while still preparing is alright, Head Auror, but yes please be silent while I’m working after that.’ He added four spots of salt equally distant from each other around the circle, before replacing the salt container in his sleeve. His wand tip spread the small piles until each touched the circle, starting at the top of the book. The tip glowed briefly, tracinging a softly glowing rune as it moved. He repeated this at the other three cardinal points.

‘North, East, South, West,’ Harry murmured to Gibbs and Vance. ‘Each point will indicate something about the item being analyzed. Now we need to be silent.’

Slowly passing his wand over the items, O’Lochlainn stood straighter. Then, with a deep centered breath and eyes focused intently on the book, lightly touching the tip of his wand to the cover, whispered, ‘Tabula Subscriptio.’

The black leather cover roiled. Vance's eyes widened as multicolored mist rose off the book, swirling, changing densities, hints of lightning flashes within. Then slowly it began to separate five ways, easing towards the edge of the containment circle and the cardinal point runes outside of it. The largest cloud swirled the slowest, thick white lead-colored threads weaving around dark grey amidst flashing black and red highlights, coalescing above the North rune.

The second largest whirled and twirled in a dizzying blur of fiery copper, green, gold, and black-tinged purple threads. Slowly, reluctantly, this cloud parted, defining itself into copper and gold drifting to the East, green and gold to the West, the gold threads shimmering between the two. Black and purple threads arcing across the book, linking now four clouds. The smallest two slowly, stubbornly drifted to the South rune and each coalescing into a murky grey cloud of various swirling densities studiously avoiding each other.

Vance startled when a snake bounced between North to East, back to North then to West. Then in a strobe flash almost missed, a light red thread connected the South-east cloud to the East.

O’Lochlainn’s wand descended and slashed across the air above the book, and the clouds vanished. The wand tip broke the ring of salt, and the black book resumed apparent innocence.

Eyes closed, the wizard breathed slowly, deeply. Vance looked between him, Gibbs, and Harry. Harry nodded, his hand rising, fingers combing through his hair, mussing it even further. O’Lochlainn opened his eyes, turning to face Harry. Their eyes met, and Vance could almost swear passing silent words.

‘The North, that was him,’ Harry said softly.

O’Lochlainn nodded slowly. ‘Yes, based on examining a few other places known to be where he cast spells. East and West, a witch and a wizard, both adolescents, but all three of those connected somehow. On the East side of South, that wizard is the connection between the book and East. The one on the West side of the South is the one that concerns me the most.’

‘Who is “him”?’ Vance asked. ‘And you can actually tell that? About whoever touched this?’ Harry faced him, dropping his hand.

‘The wizard that… enchanted this book,’ Harry replied. ‘A very nasty individual, narcissistic sociopath. He was responsible for a large number of deaths, both directly and indirectly. Sean mentioned examining three sites known to be places where that wizard killed someone. I went with him to witness one of those tests. As to who touched it, it’s less physical touch, though that’s part of it, and more magical interaction with the object. So what you saw today represents both the quality and the relative sizes of the magical signature impressions and their interactions with the artifact.’ He pointed to the diary. ‘To the North of the object we saw the strongest magical signature. So this is indeed his diary and it should be in that vault I mentioned yesterday.’ He pulled a chair away from the table and sat. ‘What is it about the South and West that got your attention, Sean?’

‘I can’t tell anything about that individual. Which implies quite strongly that they never touched it directly themself, and that they used minimal magic manipulating it. They knew all about the protections around it, as well as our forensic spell. They knew exactly how to conceal themself.’ Harry stared at the book, his hand again rising to his hair.

‘Can you tell who the witch and wizard are?’ Gibbs stepped forward, eyes on O’Lochlainn, who shook his head slowly. He opened the evidence bag, wand swishing and flicking and the book floated back inside of it, closing and sealing as the book settled. Then he too pulled a chair back, sitting down.

‘No, only that they were young and that the Diary affected them both. A strong effect, considering the fact that even separating to East and West they remained connected by those other threads. The flash connection between Southeast and East, that’s probably the book being exchanged.’

‘How do you know they are a witch and wizard?’ Gibbs kept his focus on O’Lochlainn, and Harry recognized his interrogation mode patterns. ‘Potter said the strength of the magic is detectable, and if someone is familiar with the, what did you say, signature? How can you tell gender?’

O’Lochlainn nodded, slowly. ‘It’s much like now, being in this place with you. Hard to explain, actually, there’s simply a sense in the interaction between us and who we are.’ He chuckled, eyes sparkling. ‘Sometimes it has more to do with how the witch or wizard identifies. That can result in some intriguing results.’

‘But this time, that’s not it. This time, you said a young witch and wizard.’ Gibbs pressed the point. O’Lochlainn nodded. Gibbs turned to Harry. ‘But how?’

‘It’s similar to some evidence you collect, fingerprints, DNA. Like what I’ve read about DNA in forensics, you can identify an individual, match to them, and determine their sex. Apparently there are a few unique characteristics about magical signatures and gender. Though it can be subtle.’

‘Why were you there, Potter?’

‘I’m attending the Conference. In fact, this morning we did a presentation on this very charm.’

‘No,’ responded Gibbs. ‘Why did you come to the crime scene?’ Vance turned to Harry, his own eyes now alert. Harry ran his fingers through his hair again, then sat straighter and dropped his hands to the table.

‘I told you, Ginny and I went for a run. More like a walk for parts of it because of that snow.’ Lochlainn now turned to Harry as well. Harry avoided O’Lochlainn/s eyes. He’d improved in his abilities at Occlumency over the years, and knew avoiding eye contact as the safest way to prevent it. ‘When we saw the police and yellow tape, something told me to go check it out. Rather like your gut telling you things, I expect.’ He glanced between Vance and Gibbs. Harry caught Gibbs’ eyes and stared, hard, willing him to remember he’d told the Potters not to mention the dream.

Before Vance could say anything, his desk phone buzzed. He walked over and picked up the handset. ‘Vance.’ He listened, turning to look at Harry, then Gibbs. ‘Wait a half minute or so then send them in.’ Everyone in the room now looked at Vance, who turned to Gibbs. ‘Bishop and her probationary agent are outside.’ He turned to Harry. ‘With your wife, and an agent from Special Investigations MACUSA. I’ve not heard of that agency before.’

‘Is Ginny all right?’ Harry stood, turning and taking a step toward the door before stopping. Breathing deep, he said slowly, ‘Yeah, they’re my Yank equivalents.’

Bishop opened the door, leading the group into the room, followed by Ginny. She spotted Harry and walked straight to him, taking his hands in hers, their eyes locked on each other. Gibbs and Bishop both watched the silent conversation.

‘I’m fine, Harry,’ she said quietly.

Gibbs turned to Bishop. ‘What happened, Bishop?’

Vance’s gaze shifted from Potter to Bishop.

‘I did some more searching this morning, primarily about Mrs. Potter,’ Bishop replied quickly. ‘I just felt like she was hiding something and I needed to find out.’ Gibbs nodded, once. ‘I didn’t find much, and what I did find seemed odd. So I decided to follow her, remembering she’d mentioned an interview meeting this morning. While we were there, a“’ Bishop glanced between Vance and the fourth person in the room, suddenly unsure who knew what about whom. ‘Then a firefight broke out.’

‘A firefight.’ Vance’s eyes danced between Bishop, to the Potters, to the tall woman with short, dark hair.

‘Yes. A firefight. Then,’ Bishop waved at the woman, ‘Agent Addison here showed up with a small team, and the fight abruptly ended. Whoever was… shooting, they evaded capture.’

‘Hello, Gibbs,’ said Addison, one corner of her mouth turned up in a smirk.

‘Hello, Addison,’ Gibbs replied, then turned to Vance. ‘Director Vance, Agent Addison MACUSA Office of Special Investigations.’

‘By which you mean, you’re an Auror like Potter here. I’m briefed in, Auror Addison, though today is the first time I’m hearing about your agency.’

Addison nodded slowly. ‘That will help.’ She turned to Harry. ‘The suspect left a message, rather hurriedly and before Apparating away. Your wife insists you need to know about it. Large red letters painted on the wall in an alley saying, “Enemy of the Heirs, beware.” Just that. Mean anything to you?’

Harry looked at Ginny, who nodded, then back to Addison. ‘Enemy, just like that. Not “Enemies?”’ And heirs is plural?’

Addison frowned, then nodded. Patil held her camera out, and Vance motioned her to bring it closer. He and Gibbs looked at the image in the preview monitor. Gibbs nodded, looking at Harry. ‘Enemy. Singular. Why are you asking about that?’

Harry turned away from Ginny, though he kept her hand in his. ‘That book we just examined, the reason it’s evidence is, it was put into the possession of a young witch just before she went to our boarding school where we all learn how to use magic. It was cursed to place the holder under strong compulsions, leading to a sequence of unfortunate events. At the start of it, those words were painted on a wall, but instead it said “Enemies of the Heir.” It’s one more bit to verify what we learned. Can I have a minute or two to talk with Ginny?’ He looked to Vance at that, who matched his glare. Then Vance’s eyes softened, and he nodded. Harry turned and walked to a corner of the office, Ginny’s hand in his as she followed.

‘Face to the wall, Gin,’ he said quietly. ‘We know Gibbs reads lips, and I wouldn’t put it past Vance either.’ She nodded, once, when they stopped facing the wall. Fingers bent as if holding a wand, his hand moved and she felt the Muffliato take effect.

‘Are you really all right, Gin?’

‘Yes. I’m fine.’

Harry chuckled, softly. ‘You know that’s my line.’

She glared at him, then nodded, slowly. ‘Scared, still, yes. My interview with Zelasny went well, then when I reached for the door handle to leave, I flashed a sensation like I felt during the Carrows Year. So when I left the building, the first thing I did was dive for cover. Whoever it was, Harry, they definitely wanted to kill me.’

Harry focused on her brown eyes, blazing flecks of gold swirling around, reassuring himself. She reached up and lightly stroked his cheek with her empty hand. Their foreheads pressed together, then they turned back to face the wall. ‘Gibbs asked how we knew to find the crime scene,’ he said quietly, despite the privacy charm. ‘I told them our cover story. I didn't add anything about our shared vision dream.’

She nodded. ‘Good.’ She pulled back, meeting his eyes briefly before turning away again . ‘Do you think that vision was aimed at both of us?’

‘Don’t know yet. We did verify that’s Tom’s diary, so I think that connection is involved.’ He saw it, cold fear flitting through those blazing eyes, rapidly shoved down to where only she and he could feel it. ‘And the Tabula charm revealed four other signatures, one of them very vague. Sean thinks they know the Tabula and how to confuse it.’

She nodded. ‘The other magical signatures? Us?’ The answer to that flashed across Harry’s eyes. ‘They know?’

‘No. Sean could only identify a young witch and wizard, not specifics. One of them is probably Lucius Malfoy’s.’

Ginny let out a sigh. ‘How, then? There aren’t that many that know about my part in it, and fewer about what it really is.’

‘I know. Or I don’t know, but I’ve got a suspicion it will be that fifth, faint signature. That’s not for here. Later.’

‘We’ve got a full night ahead of us, Harry. Tonight’s the Benefit Gala.’

‘I know. We’ll have some time, though, I’m sure. Right now, we need to get back to work with them.’ She nodded, squeezing his hand. He cancelled the Muffliato and they turned back to the group to hear Addison describing the cleanup work at the scene as they joined them. She turned to Harry. ‘We left a crew cleaning memories. So the one question remaining is, what to do about Bishop’s memories?’

‘You don’t do anything about my agent, she’s my responsibility,’ Vance said. Addison shook her head as both Gibbs and Harry turned to him.

‘You had to be informed about the International Statute of Secrecy when you were read in on the secret, Vance,’ Harry said.

‘I was. But Gibbs apparently didn’t have his memories altered.’

‘The event involving Gibbs didn’t surface until after he became an NCIS agent,’ Addison said.

Harry added. ‘In fact, if I remember correctly, it involved the event on the day we met.’

Gibbs nodded. ‘We’d been investigating payroll embezzlement involving a few local banks and the Navy Credit Union, Leon.’ He chuckled. ‘Potter experienced the misfortune of going there to cash some travelers checks, when a robbery happened that was supposed to cover up the embezzlement. He provided some low-key help from inside that still brought the attention of MACUSA.’

‘But how did you keep your memories?’

Addison laughed. ‘We knew for certain because of the time elapsed between when he learned, and we found out he knew that he didn’t tell anyone. So we made Gibbs an offer he couldn’t refuse, to be a liaison on any cases involving both NCIS and magic users.’ She turned to Gibbs. ‘One of my superiors said he believed you do use magic, that intuition of yours. Your “gut” when you’re certain about something.’ She turned back to Vance. ‘We know he’s getting near to either retiring voluntarily or being required to. That’s why Patil’s here, to continue that liaison. But we don’t know anything about Agent Bishop.’

‘She’s got an active Top Secret clearance, dating back to her time with the NSA,’ Vance said.

‘So she says,’ nodded Addison.

‘And I vouch for her,’ Gibbs added. ‘Now that she knows, she’ll find other small details that will help us track down this perp.’

Addison pursed her lips, eyes tightening in thought. Then she nodded. ‘Joint jurisdiction on the case.’

‘We’re already doing that with Potter,’ Vance interjected. Addison turned to him, shaking her head.

‘No doubt, since one of the victims is his employee. I mean, MACUSA is in it as well. This suspect used magic to commit murder in MACUSA jurisdiction. You will need more help than even Potter can offer to arrest them. No offense, Potter.’ Addison could feel the ice coming from Harry’s cold green-eyed glare. ‘ This is the requirement: we’re part of the investigation, or Agent Bishop experiences a memory lapse now.’

Ginny glanced at Bishop, impressed by the NCIS agent’s blank expression. The silence edged on a bit.

‘I’ll accept that if you do,’ Harry said to Vance.

Vance nodded, turning to Bishop. ‘Agent Bishop, you need to understand this completely falls under the Your Eyes Only classification. Anything involving magic is discussed only with Special Agent Gibbs, Probationary Agent Patil, or the Potters.’

‘And me,’ Addison said.

‘Understood, sir. Gibbs, Potters, Patil, Addison.’ The atmosphere in the room warmed a bit.

Gibbs turned to Harry, capturing everyone’s attention. ‘Did you check Barnaby’s log?’

Harry nodded. ‘He left a very brief note that he received a tip on Friday from an “HD in Chi, pos leak dignitary sched at con.” And late Sunday night, the switchboard operator logged a phone call with no other info. Likely that call is what brought him out to the scene.’

Addison frowned. ‘That “Chi” could mean Chicago?’

The skin on the bridge of Harry/s nose creased. ‘Yes, I suppose it could. Why?’

Addison nodded, turning to Gibbs. ‘I know an HD. He’s a private operator. As in he went through the entire No-maj process to be licensed as a private investigator.’

Gibbs inclined his head. ‘Do you trust him?’

‘Yes,’ Addison replied. ‘He also contacted us, he’s done good work in the past, and never deliberately steered us wrong.’

‘Did his tip include which dignitary?’ Gibbs asked both Harry and Addison. Harry shook his head.

 ‘No,’ said Addison. ‘Just that word on the street in Chicago is someone entered there, asking for more info about the Conference. Then left for here with a target in mind.’

Vance’s phone rang. He walked back to his desk, lifting the receiver. ‘Vance.’ He turned to look at Potter as he listened. ‘I’m quite sure he’s got his own security, Madam Secretary.’

Ginny chuckled at Harry’s slight wince, and the entire room could hear the buzz from the earpiece, if not the words clearly.

‘Understood, Secretary. I’ll see to it immediately.’ He nodded at something else. ‘Yes, maam.’ Then he slowly replaced the phone in the cradle. ‘It seems your well being is highly prized in merry olde England, Potter.’

Harry groaned and Ginny whispered to him, ‘Hermione?’

He nodded. ‘Most probably, yes. I sort of expected something from our embassy, not this, though. What were you told, Vance?’

Vance grinned, turning to Gibbs, Bishop, and Patil. ‘Agents Bishop and Patil, you are assigned personal protection duty with the Potters, per SecNav’s direction.’ He turned to Gibbs. ‘And SecNav got her marching orders from the President.’ Gibbs nodded, then laughed at Harry’s groan.

‘I do not need additional watchdogs,’ Harry said, glaring.

‘Maybe not,’ Vance replied, his grin growing. ‘But you and I don’t get a choice. And it’s a good assignment to keep Bishop from needing to answer awkward questions. I expect it will be easiest if you simply hole up in your hotel. That is, if you don’t have any more business with the Conference.’

‘You know I need to be at the Leo Benevolent Association Ball this evening. At least for a bit.’

‘Well then, Bishop, Patil, I hope you’ve got formal wear,’ Vance said, turning to his two agents.

‘I do,’ replied Patil, ‘but I’ll need to get it from my apartment.’ Bishop didn’t answer at first. Vance raised his eyebrows.

‘Not in my go bag,’ Bishop said softly.

‘We can help,’ Ginny interjected. Bishop turned to her, an unspoken question plain on her face. Ginny smiled wickedly. ‘We know people, Bishop.’

Vance nodded, smile growing even larger. ‘Patil, do you know where the Potters hotel is?’

‘Yes, sir.’ Patil nodded.

‘Perfect. Go get what you need and join the Potters at their hotel.’

She acknowledged the order and turned to leave at the dismissal. Vance turned back to Bishop.

‘You stay with the Potters,’ he said, turning to the Potters, ‘and you can return to your hotel now, I expect.’

Bishop nodded, sighing. Gibbs laughed. ‘Don’t feel bad, Bishop. I’ll need to get something to wear as well.’ He turned to Vance. ‘I may need some more of my team.’

Vance looked thoughtful, then shook his head. ‘I can’t afford any more agents possibly being unduly exposed and placing their memories at risk.’

‘I mean, at the event,’ Gibbs responded.

Vance looked thoughtful. ‘Use Torres.’ Gibbs opened his mouth, Vance held up his hand. ‘Torres,’ he repeated. ‘McGee will be with me.’ Gibbs nodded.

Harry turned to Addison. ‘Do you know if anyone from MACUSA will be at the Ball? I know some are attending the Conference.’

‘I think the Director is. I expect we’ll have someone there. If not inside, then nearby.’ Harry nodded. Then he looked at Ginny.

She smiled at him. ‘Don’t worry, Harry. We can use our two complimentary tickets to get them in.’ He looked at her, and slowly started to grin as well. They both turned to Bishop, who looked at them.

‘What?’

‘It’s going to be fun, Bishop’ Ginny said.

Bishop looked between the smiling faces of the other five in the room. ‘Why am I not so sure about that?’

Ginny winked. ‘You’ll see. We know people.’

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