Chapter Two: License to Carry
Ed grimaced as he hauled Roy through the Muggle-Repelling Charms around the old telephone booth that served as the Canadian Ministry of Magic visitor's entrance. The sooner they reached the Ministry atrium, the better, because Roy, under the influence of the Muggle-Repelling Charms, was throwing every insult he could think of at his brother. Greg Parker cast Ed a sympathetic look as he shifted over to make room for the pair in the phone booth.
"Roy, do us both a favor and shut up," Ed burst out as Roy took a breath. "You're the one who agreed to do this, remember?"
"Eddie," the Boss stepped in, a hint of warning in his voice. It wasn't Roy's fault that he was being affected by the Ministry's wards; Ed huffed and backed down, though he shot Roy a look daring him to keep throwing insults.
For his part, Roy looked rather sheepish as the booth descended away from the Muggle-Repelling Charms. When the booth ground to a halt and the doors opened, it took a nudge from Ed to get Roy moving into the atrium of the Ministry building and once inside, Ed was forced to tow Roy along as his younger brother gawped at both the atrium and the hustle and bustle of Toronto's magical population.
Compared to the British Ministry of Magic, the Canadian building was austere, favoring a more subtle cream and bronze color scheme on its walls and ceiling. Instead of being inlaid with symbols, the ceiling of the atrium was a series of ogee (1) arches made of marble and decorated with intricate carving. Magical creatures of all shapes and sizes adorned the sides of the arches, their stone features regarding the bustle of the atrium with regal disregard. The floor of the atrium was maple wood, each plank carefully chosen to compliment and bolster its fellows. Though the wood was as old as the building, it gleamed as if freshly cut, laid, and polished. Unlike the British Ministry, the atrium sported no fountain, nor any grand statues. Instead, there was a monument in the center of the atrium with the Canadian Ministry's seal carved into one side, a Canadian maple leaf carved into the opposite side, and lists of names inscribed on the two remaining sides.
Roy's attention was caught by the names and he glanced over at his brother, puzzled. "Is that a memorial?"
Ed nodded soberly. "It's a memorial for every wizard who's ever fallen in the line of duty," he explained quietly. "The explanation we got is that the guy who sponsored the bill for the memorial visited England and wasn't too impressed with the British atrium's fountain – it's a big gold monstrosity that glorifies wizards over just about every other kind of magical being."
"So they used to have something different here?" Roy asked curiously.
Greg spoke up from the opposite side. "If they did, it's long gone." Gesturing at the memorial, he added, "That memorial is over two hundred years old."
Glancing back, Roy allowed a soft whistle. "It looks so normal…"
The Boss chuckled at the comment. "Magic or not, people are people, Roy," he chided, keeping his tone nonjudgmental. He veered towards one of the elevators, holding the door open for his two companions. To the elevator operator, he requested, "Auror Division, please."
The operator inclined his head, setting the elevator in motion. Around the elevator cage, several of the support chains rattled and gears ground against each other as the elevator descended into the Ministry's depths.
A witch was waiting in an office, her gray eyes intent as the three men entered, Ed and Parker greeting her and Roy glancing around the office curiously. After a quick look around, Roy shifted to look at the woman and fidgeted at her piercing, challenging stare, unsure of how to handle himself around an unknown witch; so far he was one and one with wizards – one had tried to kill him while the other had offered to be his new partner.
Once the door was shut, silence draped the small space; Roy forced himself to meet the witch's eyes as she stared at him, her expression challenging and her eyes a mix of sad and determined. After a minute or so, Roy decided to throw caution to the winds and blatantly returned the challenging look, squaring his shoulders and tilting his chin up defiantly.
"Revan Vao," Locksley began, breaking the stalemate. The three men jumped at her abrupt statement. "The first and perhaps only person to earn Giles Onasi's trust after the deaths of Giles' wife and son." Roy swallowed hard at that tidbit, but waited for the witch to finish. "If not for Revan, I doubt Giles would ever have recovered from their deaths…in fact, I doubt any of you ever would have met Giles in the first place."
"He was suicidal?" Ed questioned, his eyes dark and troubled.
"I suppose that's one way to look at it, Auror Lane. But one thing was for sure; after his family died, Giles was determined to take Watson down, regardless of the consequences. And if he died in the effort…well, I suspect that was the outcome he favored. Then Revan came along and he refused to let Giles destroy himself, despite everything Giles could – and did – throw at him."
"And then Revan died as well," Parker observed grimly.
A nod. "Yes," the dark blonde witch confirmed. "How Giles survived Revan's death, I truly don't know." After a beat, she met Roy's eyes again, all but tossing a gauntlet down in front of the Guns 'n' Gangs detective. "So, Detective Lane, tell me why I should let you fill Revan's shoes. Particularly when you and Giles are each as broken as the other."
Roy reared back, shocked by her frontal assault and the bluntness of her words. "He's the one who asked me," the detective protested weakly.
Surprise flashed across the woman's face; she hadn't known that. "I see," she murmured, but her expression was unimpressed and unconvinced.
The dark-haired detective looked down, suddenly ashamed. Two months and he was already looking to replace Jerome? Replace his best friend…inconceivable, impossible…but he had no more choice in the matter than Onasi did; once he was back on the job, his Sergeant would expect him to get a new partner, just like this woman expected Giles to get a new partner. "I-I suppose he asked me 'cause I just lost my partner and I helped take down the guy he hated," Roy mumbled, not looking up.
To Roy's utter shock, Sergeant Parker intervened, his voice calm and steady. "Madame Locksley, I can understand your reservations, but from what Eddie told me, Giles will have to get a new partner regardless of whether it's Roy or someone else. Both Roy and Giles share a uniquely tragic experience – they lost partners whom they considered their best friends. Which one of your Aurors can offer the same?"
"Of those I have available, none," the witch admitted softly. "And if Detective Lane had magic, I confess many of my reservations would be non-issues, but he does not."
"Nor does any member of my team, ma'am," Parker countered.
"Your team may hold Auror status, Sergeant Parker, but the majority of your work is still in the Muggle world," was the flat rebuttal.
"What if we went half-and-half?" Roy blurted. "I mean, I've still got a job at the 12th Division, so it's not like I can up and move to your Division anyway…"
"And Giles is still Team One's Auror liaison," Ed pointed out. "He's not exactly a regular Auror any more, is he?"
A thoughtful expression spread across Madame Locksley's face. Almost to herself, she murmured, "No, he's not." She tapped her fingers on her desk, considering all three men, clearly waging a silent debate with herself. Roy glanced over at his brother, feeling more unsure of himself by the second…maybe this hadn't been such a good idea…
"He would be the first wizard to legally carry a gun, Detective Lane," Locksley drawled, a cunning glint in her gaze as she reclaimed the attention of the three men and pinned Roy with her eyes. Roy swallowed…he'd known Onasi had no idea of how to handle a gun, but he hadn't known guns were illegal in the magical world.
"You would have to teach him how to use it properly and how to be a Muggle police officer, all without the two of you getting caught by the Muggles you work with," the witch continued, a slow smirk spreading across her face at the doubtful expression on Roy's face; at the sight of that smirk, Roy internally straightened to attention, though he kept his expression from reacting. As the witch continued to outline the challenges he would face, Roy even let his eyes fall to the floor, biting his lip doubtfully.
"You would also have to ensure that no one, not even your superior, discovers that Giles is a wizard." Almost smug, she leaned back in her chair, but couldn't resist a final volley. "Are you willing to take on that responsibility? Are you willing to partner with a wizard who may never learn to trust you?"
It was clear what she expected the answer to be, but Ed was working hard to hide a smirk. If Madame Locksley had truly wanted Roy to drop the idea of working with Giles like a bad habit, she shouldn't have challenged him. For all that the witch professed to respect her 'Muggle' Aurors, it seemed that she hadn't learned anything at all from them.
The smug expression on Locksley's face vanished as Roy brought his head up, light gray eyes glittering in the light of the small office and a wicked half-grin on his face. "When do we start?" the detective asked, a lilt of mocking in his question.
Giles did his best to keep from blanching as Roy dropped two more tome-sized Muggle…no, darn it, techie…books on the stack Giles already had in his arms. "That's the basics," Roy remarked. The basics? "We'll start with those and focus on the stuff you'll need to know for the day-to-day. Once you've got that under your belt, we'll add in the court stuff, just in case."
"Just in case?"
Roy shrugged nonchalantly. "You never know when the DA might need you to testify in court about how and why you took down a particular bad guy. You'll be new, so the DA will probably stick with me at first, but sooner or later, you're going to see stuff that I'm not around to see and you'll end up testifying."
"Not around?" Giles questioned worriedly.
For a moment, Roy stared at him, then comprehension dawned. "Oh! Not like that, honest."
Then Giles got the point and he nodded, cutting Roy off. "Two different viewpoints," he concluded. He eyed the books, sighing internally. "But what if it happens early on? And what's a DA?"
That earned the Auror a grimace. "Then we pull an all-nighter getting you up to speed on how to work with the district attorney," Roy admitted, quirking one brow up and earning an understanding nod from Giles. "But let's not borrow trouble; we've got enough of a challenge on our hands." The detective tilted his head to the side. "I'd start with teaching you how to handle your gun, but it sounds like it's going to be another couple of days before the paperwork for your license gets squared away. Can't get you a gun till that's done."
Giles nodded glumly; he'd been shocked by how complicated it was to get a gun. "How long, do you know?"
"Well, between the magic stuff and you getting fast-tracked for Guns 'n' Gangs, it'll be faster than most people, but, yeah, probably still a week." Roy grimaced, making his way to the seating area of the law library he'd dragged his new partner to once Madame Locksley had agreed to let her Auror become an actual, genuine cop.
"Will your Sergeant be okay with you choosing your new partner?" Giles inquired cautiously, setting his load down on the table Roy pointed to and glancing around to make sure they couldn't be overheard.
"Don't know," Roy replied, "Your superior promised to handle that part, but I think my Sarge is still mad at me over going rogue. He probably had someone who loves rules and procedure all lined up for me."
Giles couldn't help a tiny smirk at that. "There are two types of people in the world; those who follow the rules and those who get things done."
Roy shot an answering smirk back at Giles. "Don't let Ed hear you say that."
Cracking the first book open, the Auror pretended to consider that, then offered up, "Okay, three types of people…you've got the first two and then you've got Team One." As Giles started to wade through the complicated legal jargon, Roy sputtered with laughter in the background. Partway through the first section, the Auror paused, blinking at the word he'd just read. "Roy? What's a DUI?"
 A pointed arch with an 'S' shaped curve on both sides. Also called a keel arch, for its resemblance to a boat's keel