Ushan Bones: The Life of an SoS Task Force member
Based on a true story as recounted by Zoë @SnitchesWitch
Justice for Melinda. Part One
If you were to imagine a member of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, I am probably not what would come to mind.
I grew up with a surname that people recognised, and for good reason. Just about every witch and wizard in my family worked for the Ministry. In fact, most of them were part of the Magical Law Enforcement department, working hard to defend the wizarding world, to enforce the law and keep us safe.
And then there was me.
The odd one out
A Ravenclaw in a family of Gryffindors, I never saw myself as an Auror. Chasing down dark wizards and risking your life every day was commendable, but definitely not my thing.
No, I felt safest behind a desk. Going over Ministry intelligence, finding clues, leads, developing theories. Then passing the information along to Aurors who would take care of the problem.
I was good at my job, delving into research, seeing things other analysts had missed. Which was probably why I was the first to notice traces of magic appearing out in the Muggle world.
Needless to say, my findings were largely disregarded by my superiors. Historically, the wizarding world always chose to ignore anything that could mean a threat to our way of living for as long as possible. But I knew something was happening, and with the help of my aunt Susan, a brave, veteran Auror, I plunged into the field for the first time. And what we found terrified us both.
Those traces of magic became known as The Calamity. An untraceable magical anomaly that caused objects, artifacts and beasts to behave in unexpected ways, especially around Muggle areas.
And I became the head of the new SoS Task Force, although certainly not by choice.
From the desk to the field
My family’s connections helped me recruit top Aurors for the new team. My years behind a desk meant I knew who the best witches and wizards hiding behind the scenes were. A new program was set up to inform the general public of what The Calamity meant and urge them to enlist.
Suddenly I wasn’t hiding behind my desk anymore, but for some strange reason it felt right. I was still using my skills for something important, but I was also out on the field making a difference. It was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.
We chased down leads, collaborated with other magical governments. Every Ministry resource was at our disposal. We were beginning to make a difference. Then tragedy struck.
The Calamity incident
That day started out just like any other, with a Ministry Owl delivering the latest reports right to my window. Another suspected Calamity incident to investigate.
Ever since The Calamity was first identified, we rarely went a day without at least a minor incident. It took about as much work to contain the traces of magic as it did to hide what was happening from the public, both Muggles and wizards. Stirring our population into a panic would help no one.
But this report was different. Somebody had been killed. One of our own.
Melinda had been one of the first witches to enlist, and had quickly become a close friend. During her training she told me The Calamity terrified her, but felt that she needed to help however she could.
She actually reminded me so much of myself. Melinda had no interest in working anywhere near the field; she liked her desk job just fine, thank you very much. But she was a smart witch, an out-of-the-box thinker.
In fact, Melinda had come up with the idea of blending our magic with Muggle technology to help us fight The Calamity. As a Muggle-born witch, she was familiar with mobile phones and Muggles’ penchant for video games. She was the mind behind the upcoming Wizards Unite game.
My hands shook as I read the report.
She had been found dead in the back of a Muggle vehicle. Alone. Our Task Force Mediwitch believed her death had been caused by internal trauma caused by a free fall. Everything seemed to indicate it was a Calamity related incident.
The Missing Broomstick
Melinda hated Apparition, and her fireplace was not part of the Floo network, so she flew home every night after work. In fact, she loved flying. She owned an ancient broomstick she adored. Passed down her wife’s family for generations, it had been a wedding gift. She used the broomstick to fly everywhere.
The report suggested The Calamity had made Melinda lose control of the broomstick, and she had fallen to her death.
But the broom was missing. And our investigators believed Melinda had been alive for some time after the fall, but unable to move or seek help. Things didn’t add up.
The Muggle Menace
I Apparated to the Muggle area where Melinda had been found. The Task Force had immediately secured the area, using several Confundus Charms to keep Muggles distracted and unaware of what was going on.
I could not bear to see Melinda, so instead I turned my attention to our surroundings. The only sign of the broomstick I could find was a bent bristle on the ground.
Knowing how important that broom was to her, I took my wand and cast Appare vestigium, but the golden light evaporated as soon as it left my wand.There were no signs of any magical activity surrounding Melinda’s body, which was strange but not unheard of for a Calamity-related incident. There was no magic to be traced.
So instead I focused on the broomstick itself. I used a modified version of the Four-Point spell on the bristle to make it point me towards Matilda’s broom. With one of the team’s Aurors as back-up, I followed the bristle down a few streets and into an apartment complex.
What we discovered there was a Muggle who shamelessly showcased the worst of his kind.
The Unashamed Culprit
This Muggle had found Melinda and, instead of assisting her and possibly saving her life, he had taken her broomstick and left her to die alone.
He was what Muggles call a conspiracy-theorist. Without wasting any time, and with no regards for the woman he left behind, he recorded and published a video recounting the incident, and his take on the wizarding world.
You may view the official Task Force File #521 memories of the incident and the subsequent action taken by the team below.
The video below has been properly labeled in compliance to Statute of Secrecy guidelines
Video published by Task Force member Zoë @SnitchesWitch
Not all is as it seems
As terrible as the Muggle’s actions had been, the exposure had been contained, and the man Obliviated.
But as I took the broomstick and prepared to Apparate to Melinda’s house to notify her wife of what had happened, another Task Force member ran into the room.
The preliminary investigation was finished. There was no sign of The Calamity anywhere.
Someone had killed Melinda Miller.