Seriously, Black

Moody's Little Problem

Chapter 10

Moody's Little Problem

A/N: For some strange reason, upload has gone screwy. I am submitting these pages as Word Documents, all of the italics are where they should be, but when they upload, it is putting large portions in italics. I have tried to fix it, but it is not accepting the fixes. I may have to start writing all of these in HTML, which is a real pain. Please bear with me on it.

Hamilton

Ministry of Magic

Department of Magical Law Enforcement

Amelia Bones was a troubled woman; one of her most trusted employees had, in her mind, gone rogue. Alistair Moody, a living legend among his co-workers, was suspected, at least by her, of committing at least one murder, that of Gerald Mosser. It was just too convenient that the man had supposedly committed suicide within a short time of Moody guarding him. And speaking of 'convenient' there was the matter of the Death Eater Dolohov killing the guard suspected of beating Severus Snape, then effectively committing suicide by walking into the waiting arms of the Dementors that Dolohov had to know were just outside the door. A scan run on Dolohov's soulless body showed signs of the Imperius Curse. Someone obviously did not want the guard speaking or Mosser and Dumbledore's secret relationship coming to light. She could place Moody at the scene of Mosser's death but he was off duty the day Dolohov had gone on his rampage. Wanting a sounding board for her thoughts, she called in Frank Longbottom.

"What's up, Boss?" Frank asked.

Amelia laid out her train of thought regarding Moody and his possible complicity in the two deaths. She would not be able to bring in the unauthorized dosing of Mosser with Veritaserum into evidence, it was a violation of DMLE rules concerning the proper procedure of questioning a suspect. The fact that she tried to allow him to resign and live in obscurity with her little bit of blackmail also would not be received well.

"Sounds like a right mess. Even if you could prove the charges, you would probably end up getting sacked as well. The question is: what do you want to do about it?"

Amelia took on a feral look. "I want to find out if Moody was here the day that Dolohov killed that idiot jailer. I also want to put together an airtight case using any method that is needed. If he was in on this, somebody is pulling his strings. I plan on using whatever leverage I can get to make sure that those strings are cut and that he owes me. I also want you to have any information that I dig up in the event he decides that I am expendable. So the first thing is to check the incoming logs here at the Ministry and find out if he slipped in on his day off. Even if he did not announce himself, the auto-log will show his presence. After that, go to Mosser's flat and check for magical signatures. Take Williams with you; he has been doing an internship at Scotland Yard learning some muggle techniques. He was in here earlier talking my ear off about some procedure calledfingerprinting. I personally do not believe that Mosser could have screwed that large hook into the ceiling to hang himself. If he used magic, the hook will have his magical signature on it, if he did it by hand, it might have a fingerprint on it. Williams has already fingerprinted Mosser's body, I am sure that we can somehow find things with Moody's prints to compare."

"What if he calls your bluff? Are you willing to be sacked?"

"One worry at a time. Get me the information, we will decide where to go from there. I plan to get Moody in here tomorrow and, one way or another, find out what his wand has been up to. The sanction for Unforgivables was lifted over a year ago, if I find one on his wand, his butt is mine for the taking. Now, get moving."

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

Hole in the Wall Pub

Essex

Alistair Moody had just settled in for a drink in a private room at his favorite pub when he felt a telltale itch on his right ear. No one at the pub knew him, each time he came here he cast a different glamour on himself so that he could not be tracked by his habits. It was just an extension of Constant Vigilance, as was the itch in his ear. That was caused by the activation of one or more listening charms he had cast in different places which would activate when his name was spoken. This particular charm was in the office of his boss, Amelia Bones. He quickly pulled out his wand, cast a privacy bubble around himself, then made another wand motion which brought the conversation in Bones' office to an audible level. As he was listening, he nodded to himself, remembering a quote he had heard about a former American President, one who had been forced to resign; "Just because you are paranoid does not mean that you don't have enemies!"

He listened with a bit of amazement at how Bones had put together a supposition that was way too close to the truth. He knew that he had problems, now how could he fix it? The wand would be no problem, he had cast the Imperius with one of his spare wands, he had three of them, he would just get rid of that one. The fingerprint thing could be a bit trickier. He had screwed the hook in by hand to avoid the magical signature. His magical signature would be in Mosser's flat, but it could be explained away by saying he had levitated a tea set for the old poofter. Merlin knows that the old guy had been fixated on his damned tea. At least no one had thought to save the magical signature from Dolohov's Impriused body, and it was too late now. After listening to the rest of the conversation, he decided that it was time for Albus to repay one of his debts. But first, he needed to get rid of any evidence at Mosser's flat.

Moody apparated directly to his own flat and went to a hidden cupboard. Rummaging inside, he pulled out two items he thought that he would never have a chance to use, a wand that had been confiscated and conveniently'lost', and a phial with the initials "LM" on it. He sat down, took off his wooden leg and magical eye, then grimaced and swallowed the contents of the phial. A few painful seconds later, Lucius Malfoy had returned from the dead. He stood, picked up Lucius' wand, then looked in the mirror, giving a sneer that was identical to that of the original. He was hoping that he would not be seen, but if he was, the shock of seeing someone who had their soul sucked out should be sufficient to get the drop on any intruder. He would put the wand back in the evidence room later.

Apparating directly into the dead man's flat, Moody quickly made sure he was alone, then grabbed a rag and wiped off the hook. He then, using Lucius' wand, screwed the hook in a bit tighter. That would take care of any magical signature. He cast three more harmless spells to confuse the investigation farther, seeing as Lucius was dead, no one would think to look in that direction. He suddenly froze, hearing a key slip into the lock. Deciding not to tempt fate, he apparated out of Mosser's flat, making five jumps to reach his.

Frank Longbottom and Jonas Williams had apparated to an alley beside the building that held Gerald Mosser's flat. Making sure no muggle paid attention to them, they cast Notice-Me-Not charms on each other, and made their way into the entrance and up the stairs. Frank slipped the key into the lock; as he turned it, he heard the tell-tale POP of apparition. He and Jonas drew their wands and burst inside, Frank going left and Jonas to the right, rolling to make a smaller target. A quick search gave no clue as to the identity of the intruder. Frank conjured a piece of parchment and quill, then began recording the magical signatures in the room while Jonas began dusting the flat for prints. Since they had no database of wizard's fingerprints, they could only use the results by comparing them to existing suspects after ruling out the decedent's prints. They spent a couple of hours processing the scene, then apparated directly back to the office.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Office of the Headmaster

Albus Dumbledore was also having a lousy day, one to match Director Bones'. He had awakened that day knowing that not only were his carefully laid plans going down the toilet, but that one of his closest friends had apparently committed suicide after quitting his job and leaving Albus in the lurch. He was not really ready for what he faced when he opened the door of his office to Alistair Moody.

"Come in Alistair, what can I do for you?"

"Dumbledore, we need to speak." The use of Albus' surname spoke volumes to him, Moody was stressed, even more than usual, and not here for anything small.

"Certainly, now what is on your mind?"

Moody laid the whole story out, the murders and the investigation. Dumbledore was shocked that Moody had killed Gerald, however the circumstances behind it would justify the killing since it would protect him and his job. At one point he thought of killing Moody to protect the secret and wondered where he could dispose of the body, but he figured that Moody would probably come back as a ghost and blow the whistle on him. Fortunately, Moody himself came up with a better plan.

"I want to place my memories of the events in your pensieve. You go through them, then Obliviate me and place some new memories in that will explain away any timeline problems. If the memories are not there, they can't use them against either of us."

"Hmm, that just might work. I assume that at some point you will want the memories back?"

"Better believe it. If I'm going to be sent to Hell someday for my misdeeds, I at least want to remember why. Now, can we get to it?"

"Certainly." Albus opened a cabinet and withdrew his pensieve. As Moody withdrew the memories, he deposited them in the instrument. Once they were done, Albus stirred them, then placed a hand in and was drawn into Moody's memories. Roughly a half hour later, he withdrew, shaken. The mind of Alistair Moody was not a pleasant place. He thought long and hard about what he wanted to implant, then raised his wand and spoke the incantation, "Obliviate!"

Moody's eyes went out of focus and Albus began feeding in the altered memories. They would seem distant to him, but would hold up under Legilimency or Veritaserum. He had no doubt that Amelia would use one or both on Moody. He just wished that he was able to be there to see what would happen when they tried to get the drop on him. There was no way that Moody would willingly take Veritaserum, his paranoia would not allow it. That meant that they would have to stun him to administer the drug, he mentally tipped his hat to whoever could successfully do that. Finishing, he placed the bulk of a conversation into Moody's mind, then withdrew.

"Alistair, are you alright? You looked a bit distant there." Moody shook his head.

"Sorry about that, Albus. I just lost my train of thought. What were you saying?"

Albus smiled his patented 'Grandpa Alby' smile. I said that I believe you are correct. With Voldemort's defeat and the effectiveness of the Aurors, there is no real reason for the Order to continue. Little Harry is fine where he is and it seems that the Death Eaters are being brought to justice. You may tell Madam Bones that I will be sending out owls to all of the members tonight disbanding the Order of the Phoenix. We will, however, remain vigilant and ready should the need ever arise."

"Thanks Albus, I'm sure she will be glad to hear that. If there is nothing else, I suppose I will head back home. Thanks for seeing me today."

"Anytime, old friend."

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

Ministry of Magic

Department of Magical Law Enforcement

"So, is it alright for me to drop off Drake tonight? I want to take Sarah on the date of her life to pop the question to her."

"It's fine with me. Where do you plan to take her?"

"I got an International Portkey to Paris. Dinner in the Wizarding section of La Tour d'Argent,then up to the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower for the big moment."

"Did the ring come from the family vault?"

"Naw, couldn't find any nice ones in there that were curse-free, so I had one made just for her. Some of the stuff in that vault scares me, and I was raised around it! ….Oh, hey Mad-Eye, thought you were off today?"

"Boss called for me, and I need to pass on a message. Anything new?" Mad-Eye gave a scan with his magical eye, the only wand showing was the young girl intern from Hogwarts who was using a charm to fold parchments for a mass mailing. He glanced at Amelia's door, looked through it to see her shuffling papers. All normal here.

"Just the normal 200 or so Pettigrew sightings," Frank said wryly. "I swear, every time someone sees a rat in this city, they call us."

Moody went up to Amelia's door and knocked, all the while watching her for any unfriendly movement. As such, he never noticed the silentStupify that came from the intern's wand and hit him squarely in the neck. He dropped like an old pile of rags. The 'intern' went up to Moody, removed three wands, then opened the office door.

"Thank you for your help, dear. Why don't you go into the lounge and wait for the polyjuice to wear off, it should just be about ten minutes or so." The bystanders were treated to the sight of their boss nodding in deference to a seventeen year-old intern and scooting down the hall to do her bidding.

"Amelia, you do know that I plan on using this for a Patronus memory, don't you?" Sirius chortled.

"Hush Black, you can be Obliviated, you know. The worst part of this whole thing is that if he is not guilty, I can never toss that Constant Vigilance saying up to his face while reminding him that he fell for the oldest trick in the book."

"I wouldn't know about that," Frank said. "He would probably get a kick out of it. It's not as if he does everything 'by the book'. With Mad-Eye, the ends justify the means. So, shall we take him in and start the questioning?" At Amelia's nod, Frank bound Moody with conjured ropes and levitated him into Amelia's office. "Sirius, duty call, when do you want to drop off Drake?"

"We'll be there at five pm. Good luck on whatever you guys are up to." With that, Sirius nodded at Amelia, then left the office.

Knowing that Moody had built up a tolerance to Veritaserum, Amelia gave him almost triple the amount, then Enervated him. He glared at her for a moment, then the Veritaserum kicked in and his eye took on an unfocused look. She started the questioning.

"What is your name?"

"Alistair Fauntleroy Moody." Frank sniggered. "Yep, the potion is working. No way would he ever admit to that otherwise."

"Shush, Frank. Moody, what do you know about the death of Gerald Mosser?"

"I heard he committed suicide. When I left him, he seemed depressed, but he was alright otherwise." At this, Amelia looked surprised, but continued.

"Did you cast an Imperius on Antonin Dolohov?"

"No."

"Why were you in the Ministry building that day?"

"I left my retirement papers in my locker, I picked them up to finish filling them out at home." This was another surprise for Amelia. She had no idea that Moody planned to go back into retirement.

"What was the message that you planned to give me today?"

"Actually, two messages. The first is that Dumbledore is disbanding the Order of the Phoenix, but he wants you to know that should the need arise, he will be there to help, and the second message is that I am retiring in order to go to work at Hogwarts as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor."

"Merlin help those poor firsties," muttered Frank.

Amelia took Frank aside. "Well, I have absolutely nothing. Should I just Obliviate him and let him give the messages like nothing ever happened?"

"No, put your cards on the table, apologize to him for having to do it this way, and wish him luck in his new job. He won't complain, and it will give him a boost knowing that you have so much respect for his capabilities that you would take such drastic measures. Any one else, I would Obliviate, but not him."

"I'll go along with you on that, but I can't help but feel that somehow, I've been played, and big time."

"Maybe, maybe not. If you have, then he is way out of our league. All of his wands check out, nothing that we can use there. Someone is interested in Mosser's death, the foreign magical signatures in his flat prove that, but we would have to come up with a suspect to compare it to. It doesn't match Mad-Eye."

Amelia sighed. "Alright." She pointed her wand at Moody and Enervated him. He glared.

"Amelia, is there some good reason that I am tied up in your office feeling like someone has been taking a walkabout through my mind?"

"Actually Alistair, there is. I had evidence in two crimes that pointed to you as the perpetrator. I knew that conventional methods would not be useful, I could not see you submitting to Veritaserum whether or not you were guilty. I felt that a bit more… unique approach would be called for."

Moody looked at her admiringly. "Nice work. Let me guess, you and that little intern bint Polyjuiced each other and you tagged me while she shuffled papers in your office. Did you get what you wanted?"

"What I got cleared you." She waved her wand and banished the ropes. "I apologize for the drastic measures, but I have too much respect for your abilities to think that you would go as a sheep to slaughter."

"No need to apologize, I would have done the same thing. If you keep your wits about you like that, you might just survive the next Dark Lord that comes down the pike."

Amelia held out her hand. "Congratulations on your retirement and your new job at Hogwarts. It has been very interesting serving with you these past few years. Give Dumbledore my best and thank him for his efforts. It's a shame that some of his Order members cannot be recognized for their efforts, but have him pass the message that the DMLE does appreciate their efforts."

"I'll do that." Moody gave a half bow. "Madam, Frank." He turned and left the office, all the time watching with his magical eye in the event that the surprises were not finished that day.

"Dumbledore! Damn, he keeps popping up. For a Hero of the Light, he is sneakier than Salazar Slytherin himself. He and Moody deserve each other. Well, at least I have the pensieve memory of Mosser's outing him as a poofter. I suppose if I ever need it, I could take him down. It would really play well in the press, Headmaster of Hogwarts being light in the loafers."

"Sounds worthy of Moody himself. Is it alright with you if I take the rest of the day? I need to let Alice know that Drake will be spending the night."

"Go ahead, you have enough time built up that you can take a personal day or so. Good luck with the 'Triple Terrors', just don't let them terrorize any more six foot muggles in mouse suits."

"You know that they are never going to hear the last of that, don't you? I dread the day that Sirius decides to take them to Disneyland."

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

At a castle in northern Scotland, Albus Dumbledore had finally decided on a course of action. He took the Pensieve memories that Moody had left, gathered them into a number of phials, then went into his private bathroom. Pouring the silvery memories into the toilet, he took hold of the flush chain and gave it a solid yank, watching the memories swirl around and disappear down the drain. Moody would be better off, he reasoned. Those inconvenient memories would also never come back to haunt the great Albus Dumbledore.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

Later that evening, at a manor house, a grey sewer rat sat unnoticed behind a clump of weeds watching the Longbottoms greet Sirius and Sarah as they dropped off Sirius' adopted son. After the couple left, he rat made its way into the woods, transformed into a plump, prematurely balding man who apparated away with a small POP.

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