First: I don't own the Harry Potter universe or characters.
Warning: some mild disturbing themes. Human dissections.
"A hundred suspicions don't make proof"- Fyodor Dostoyyevsky
Andromeda turned on the radio in the kitchen. So far the the house had remained relatively clean, since Ted had finally stopped trailing dirt in from doing the gardening outside.
The radio buzzed a she skimmed through the channels, twisting the dial until she found the news broadcast.
"...Another murder has been reported. 46 year old woman, Mrs Yuki Li was found dead in her home in Sheffield, by her husband Mr Haru Li, on Saturday evening."
The kettle boiled, she placed a tea bag in her blue mug, leaning against the counter as she listened. A faint frown was on her face.
"Head of Auror department, Rufus Scrimgeour has released this statement: "We suspect the murder is the works of the low level serial killer, The Red Gallery murderer."
The kettle gave a high whistle.
Andromeda turned the volume of the radio down, pouring herself a cup of tea. Pushing all thoughts of tragedy out of her mind as she went along with her day.
Tonks sighed, sitting down in the uncomfortable metal chair. The interrogation room was grey, having a claustrophobic feel to it; designed to make the suspects squirm. Tonks forced her expression to stay stern, this was the side of the job she hated, like a little piece of her was being forced away as she built up her walls to protect herself from whatever mind games a deranged killer would try to play.
But Melanie Stone was different, for one thing she was an Unspeakable, (A scandal the Wizarding radio news and Daily Prophet had milked dry, like a dead cow.)
Melanie also looked completely ordinary, no damage from dark magic, or demented appearance. Melanie's features were soft and docile, she was 31 years old, her skin ivory, with tints of pink on the cheeks. She had medium wavy vibrant ginger hair, with dark roots, and an oval face, with a long button nose. But her eyes….they were a bit peculiar, a deep piercing grey, the grey iris almost blending in with the white sclera.
"Are you going to stare at me all day?" Melanie spoke smoothly, her voice sounding like a news presenter's, clear and direct.
Melanie was a suspected serial killer, a killer who had murdered five people in the last five months, in very creative and somewhat artistic ways. Which was why her hands were handcuffed to the battered metal table.
Mrs Eliza Agarkar
Ms Rebecca Cornhill
Mr Alphonso Merrygold
Mr Arthur Lipworth
Mrs Yuki Li
Tonks struggled to keep her face passive, her hair changing to yellow. "On April 16th at 19:45 hours, you were seen leaving Mr and Mrs Li's house, in Sheffield." Her fingers twitching when Melanie smiled thinly. "Mrs Li's body was discovered three hours later by her husband-"
"The poor man must have been terrified," Melanie said. Tonks gritted her teeth. "I assume you suspect I murdered them?" She arched an eyebrow.
Tonks felt like squirming under the woman's stare. Why did they have to shove this one on her? Was this meant to be character building or rookie training? "Our Witness has identified you-"
"How were they murdered?" Melanie interrupted lightly, making Tonks' passive expression crack. "Was magic used at all?"
"No," Tonks admitted. "All the methods murder were…Muggle orientated."
"And the murder weapons were not found?" Melanie said, frowning. "So I'm being arrested for being in the wrong place, at the wrong time, also why would I murder strangers and not subdue them with magic? I'm a witch." Smiling at Tonks placidly. "I don't mean to belittle you, Ms Tonks….but the flaws in your investigation are too large to ignore…" she said, ruefully. "Especially since I had an alibi for the other suspected murders."
People could be bribed and memories altered, that's what Mad-Eye had always warned her about. Magic could create the most convincing of illusions.
Tonks struggled to remain composed, trying to remain cool, a blush creeping onto her cheeks, a seed of doubt latching on, but she shoved it away. Trust your instinct, Mad-Eye would always say. "Would you be willing to take Veritaserum and testify in front of the Wizengamot?"
"No, there's no need, because I'm innocent." Melanie leaned back in her chair a little, looking as calm as a cucumber.
Tonks was silent, looking at the woman carefully, she wasn't sure what to make of this woman, but the overconfidence was unnerving. There was just something not quite right about Melanie. So how was Tonks meant to play this? Reciting protocol would get her nowhere, so she thought back to her training.
When dealing with a serial killer, profile them, analyse their mannerism and speech pattern. Observe and deduct. "Innocence is the absence of guilt." Tonks looked at her intently.
"And you can't prove a negative," Melanie continued, the two eyeing each other like they were having some sort of dance, eyes locked on. "In some ways the same can be said with the truth, what you believe to be a lie, I could interpret as the truth-"
"Until it's proven otherwise by solid evidence," Tonks interrupted. "So if there's no murder weapon, at the crime scene, where would it be?" Keeping her voice mildl, trying to gauge her Melanie's face was unreadable.
Why a Muggle method? Logically the weapons would be easier to hide, it was practical. But what about pleasure? The main reason most serial killers used magic was so they could feel the power the Dark curses gave them. Dark magic was addictive, some said it felt like a gentle caress, but also powerful and wild. It was a thrill like no other, one Muggle methods of killing wouldn't measure up to.
So was the Muggle method entirely for practical and logical reasons?Or was there a deeper meaning?
….Melanie was raised in a wizarding family. What was the point of the murders? What did she gain?
"The autopsy said it was like a dissection," Tonks said aloud, looking at Melanie intently. "But the body was also displayed like art. Bit weird isn't it?"
"To the ordinary mind," Melanie looked at blankly, shrugging dismissively. "But it's about perspective, really, when you think about it," she added coolly, as if she was completely at peace.
"To a psycho, yeah, it'd be pretty mundane I think," Tonks remarked coldly. "But you seem to understand?"
Melanie tapped her fingers on the table, her neatly trimmed nails making a sharp drumming noise. "As an Unspeakable, I have explored many depths of magic, it's been a privilege really…..but genetics, biology, they are truly breathtaking," she said, scooting around the subject, her answer long winded.
"Ms Tonks, do you know the real difference between Muggles and Wizardkind?" Melanie's eyes seemed to light up.
Tonks searched for an answer, trying to avoid the obvious. "Bones, we're made of thicker stuff."
"Bravo," Melanie congratulated brightly.
Melanie's eyes twinkled with fascination, eyeing Tonks like she was a specimen in a lab.
Tonks tried not to squirm under the woman's intense stare, it felt like she was being undressed. It was disturbing.
Melanie's smile made her skin crawl. "But of course it is a bit more than that. The truth is hidden in the human body," Melanie said plainly, as if the answer was obvious.
Tonks tried not to clench her fists. "So the killer is searching for...what exactly?" Narrowing her eyes at Melanie.
Melanie smiled pleasantly. "Ms Tonks, when a teacher asks the class a question, she wants to see who's figured it out first," she told her cryptically. "Or they'll never learn."
Tonks scowled, trying not to let Melanie get under her skin. Trying to piece the puzzle together, some things were starting to click. But it still felt deranged,
A victim every month= Compulsion.
Dissections + Puzzles = Lesson?
Artistic poses = Expression?
No magic= Deliberate statement.
Victims' link = Unknown?
But if the main focus was biology….Tonks' eyes widened, she'd need to examine their medical records, what genetic trait made them of interest to this killer?
"Something about their genetics is the link," Tonks said. Melanie's expression remained blank.
"Then you have quite the puzzle on your hands," Melanie smiled, before lifting up her cuffed wrists, glancing over at the clock . "Now according to the law, you're only able to hold a suspected criminal for twelve hours, my last hour expired twelve minutes ago…So?"
Tonks felt a rise of frustration, they had no murder weapon, her wand had been checked, house combed clean. And the head of the Unspeakable department was becoming frustrated by the Aurors interference.
It was bad press and bad press didn't reflect well on the Minister.
They had nothing.
The perfect murderer.
Tonks stood up from her seat, all the while staring Melanie down, but the older woman just kept on smiling. "Then I suppose you're free to go, Ms Stone," she said stiffly, un-cuffing her.
Melanie rubbed her wrists, looking at Tonks thoughtfully. Tonks smirked back challengingly, the two women appraising each other.
Let the game begin.
Blame Luther. God that show is addictive.
So, I'm gonna turn this into a series, because Tonks doesn't get enough love. True she wasn't developed that well...
But she's a shape changing Auror! The adventures she must have had!