Horn of Amalthea
A Harry Potter/White Collar crossover story
Synopsis: The White Collar division has a new case when a priceless jeweled horn is stolen from a private residence. Unbeknownst to them, the object is actually a dangerous wizard artifact. Two worlds collide as Harry and his friends must team up with the FBI to recover it while hiding their true identities from Muggles.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all affiliated names, places, spells, and characters belong to J. K. Rowling (and I think Warner Bros/Universal Studios?) Anyway, they're not mine and I didn't earn any money off of this story. White Collar and all affiliated names, places, characters, and cons belong to the USA Network, a part of Universal Studios company. Again: no money was earned by anyone as a result of my work here.
Harry Potter Spoilers: Takes place about 5 years after the final chapter of book 7 and disregards the epilogue (I try to stay true in spirit, however I couldn't have certain characters in the middle of having a family when I send them halfway across the world on exciting missions). Pairings are canon. Also DISREGARDS THE FACTUAL TIMELINE of Harry Potter. This takes place in the wonderfully vague and ever-changing timeframe of "present day" and NOT in 2003 or whenever 5 years after the final battle took place.
White Collar Spoilers: Takes place about 6 months after Season 2 and disregards anything that has happened in season 3, as I began writing this before season 3 aired. The Music Box saga has concluded, and our team has Moved On.
Finally, this story has been pre-read and semi-beta'ed by LetheSara. Thank you for your helpful advice!
Chapter 1: Here Today, Horn Tomorrow
Neal Caffrey sat back in his cushioned chair with a sigh of contentment and flipped open the newspaper. He casually scanned the articles as he took a sip of his coffee.
Well, technically it wasn't his cushioned chair. Or his newspaper. Or his coffee. Okay, the coffee was his but the delicate porcelain cup he drank from was not. They all belonged to June, one of his favorite people in the world and not just because she opened her home (and late husband's wardrobe) to him but mainly because she didn't care that he was a conman. Used to be a conman. "Still occasionally likes to brush up on his skills" man. He sipped a bit more of the wonderful coffee before turning the pages.
"Neal?" June's voice floated from inside his apartment. The guest apartment attached to her house that she rented to Neal for an abysmally low price, much to the chagrin of Peter Burke, the FBI agent in charge of making sure Neal didn't escape from his tracking anklet. Initially recruited to help the FBI solve a case, Peter struck an unusual deal with Neal: help solve more cases and stay out of jail. It was a deal that didn't need too much convincing for Neal. Now, the two had forged a tentative friendship that had only grown closer over the past couple of years. "Ah, there you are," she smiled, spotting him on the terrace outside. "You have a guest this morning." She stepped aside and Peter walked out onto the patio.
"Peter," Neal greeted with a smile. "Want some coffee?"
"Don't mind if I do," he replied, sitting at the table with Neal. He reached over, grabbed a cup and poured himself one. "Would you like to join us, June?"
"Oh no, thank you," she replied genially. "I was just about to head to the store for a bit of shopping. Neal, is there anything you would like me to pick up for you while I'm out?"
"No, thanks, June. I'm okay."
With another warm farewell, June left the apartment as Peter sipped the coffee.
"This is good," he complimented to Neal.
"Thanks. It's Blue Mountain. Imported directly from Jamaica and absolutely divine." Neal studied Peter over the newspaper as Peter busied himself with arranging the coffee saucer and plate of fruit on the table.
"It is good," Peter agreed. They sat in silence for the next few minutes as Peter snatched the sports section from the pile on the table and began reading. The wind tousled Neal's hair and rustled the edges of their papers.
Finally, Neal couldn't take it anymore. He folded his paper and set it aside. "What?" he demanded.
"What what?" Peter replied innocently.
"I'm the one asking questions," Neal said. "What are you doing here?"
"Enjoying breakfast. And reading the sports section of the paper."
"You never come to just 'enjoy breakfast'. What's up? A case?"
Peter folded his paper and set it beside Neal's. "Yeah," he admitted with a sigh. "Another case."
Neal unfolded his arms in confusion. "Why didn't you just call me on the phone like you always do? 'Caffrey, get to the office ASAP'," he mocked in an over-the-top imitation of Peter.
"I do not talk like that," Peter protested. Neal just looked at him in disbelief. "Besides, I thought if you got to enjoy your morning and relax for a few minutes that would be more conducive to your consultations with the Bureau." After Neal just continued to stare at him with a look of utter disbelief on his face, Peter finally gave up. "It was Elizabeth's idea," he confessed, referring to his wife. She had a soft spot for Neal. "But forget it. I'll tell her it didn't work." He stood up brusquely and picked up the saucer and newspaper. "Get moving. There's a meeting in my office in twenty minutes."
With a sigh, Neal picked himself up off the chair and grabbed his hat. "Time to catch some bad guys," he grinned at Peter. As usual, Peter just rolled his eyes and ushered Neal out the door.
"Who here knows anything about the Horn of Amalthea?" Peter asked, pacing in front of the conference table. Diana, Jones, Neal and one or two others sat around, looking at the projector screen in front of them. Neal raised his hand. "Anyone besides Neal? Okay, Neal, what do you know about the Horn of Amalthea?"
"What don't I know?" Neal replied with a grin. "A priceless artifact modeled after the mythical horn of Greek mythology. Also known as the Horn of Plenty. The horn itself is carved from white moonstone, which gives it an ethereal iridescent shimmer. The tip and opening edge are plated in 24 karat gold, as is a thin chain designed for carrying. The body of the horn is carved with scenes of the Greek god Zeus playing with Amalthea, the mythical goat who raised him as a child. Those images are embedded with other countless jewels and precious metals. All in all, a breathtaking piece. Easily worth millions."
"Thank you, Neal," Peter said. "Might I ask why you never went after this horn if it's so valuable?"
Neal took a deep breath with a casual shrug. "To be honest, this thing has popped in and out of so many hands it was hard to keep track of it. At times it was even thought to be as mythical as the stories from which it originated. It's hard to steal something when your contacts believe it is nonexistent."
Peter grinned widely at him. "Well, for once it appears you've been outdone." He clicked his remote and a picture of the horn appeared. "Ladies and gentlemen, as of this morning, the Horn of Amalthea has been officially stolen."
Several thousand kilometers and one large ocean away, Harry Potter poured himself an afternoon cup of tea from his Ever-Warm Cascading Teapot and flipped open the file that appeared on his desk during his lunch break.
"Hey Harry, whatcha got there?" Ron Weasley popped his head inside the door and peered to read the folder upside down.
"New case, I think," Harry mused, setting the file down for Ron to see.
Ron grabbed the file and headed to the round table and sat down. Rolling his eyes, Harry picked up his steaming, always fresh-brewed tea and headed over to join Ron at the table. "Should I call Hermione?" Ron asked, looking up.
Harry shrugged. "Might as well." He took out his wand and flicked it, summoning some biscuits and a chilled jug of pumpkin juice for Ron, who hated tea. Ron left the room only to return moments later with Hermione Granger, now Hermione Weasley, in tow.
"When did you get this?" Hermione asked, helping herself to a cup of tea from Harry's magical pot.
Harry shrugged. "It was on my desk when I got back from lunch. We decided to get you before really reading it. It looks like another case."
Hermione bent her head over the paper, her wavy hair falling down over her ears.
"Blimey, let us read it, too," Ron protested, sliding beside her.
Harry continued to drink his tea. "Just fill me in on the case. I'll read the details later."
Hermione looked up at them. "It looks like a lead came up on a new magical item. There's not much in here on it, except there was a report of a Muggle reporting the item stolen from his home in America."
"America? We're going overseas?" Ron asked.
Hermione nodded once. "So it seems. We leave in the morning."
"Wicked," Ron breathed, his eyes lighting up in excitement.
"No time for that, Ron," Hermione said abruptly. "We need to get packing. Let's go."
She left the office, no doubt to head to the Floo network that lead to the streets of London and their home. Hermione insisted on living in a non-magical community, to help bridge the gap between both worlds when they were eventually ready for children. Smiling, Harry grabbed the file and began to read it more thoroughly. Before he got too far, however, he sat back with his lukewarm tea and reflected on the past couple of years.
For several years, he, Ron and Hermione had become Aurors, tracking down dozens of dark wizards and witches. Lately, however, the numbers had dwindled to the point where the Auror department decided to branch out. Harry, partially bored of performing the same defensive spells over and over again, had volunteered to head up one of the new branches: Department of Magical Artifacts. Quite similar to the Misuse of Magical Items department, the Auror branch focused exclusively on the acquisition of dangerous wizard artifacts so they wouldn't fall into the wrong hands. Mainly, dark wizard hands.
Hermione and Ron joined without second thought and Hermione preened at the possibility of finally using her rune translating skills. They traveled around the country neutralizing potential threats. They destroyed some of the exceedingly dangerous artifacts upon discovery but brought back many more to the Ministry for study in the vaults by other wizards and witches.
Hmm, Harry mused as he drained the last of his tea, this will be the first time I've been to America. It's somewhat surprising considering how many artifacts get smuggled across the pond.
Indeed, though the three of them spent the last couple of years traveling, they were always within distance of home. Harry was never away from his wife, the former Ginny Weasley, for more than a couple of days. This new case might take weeks, or even months. Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, he put on a game face and redirected his attentions to the file in his hands.
I have to study this file before we head to America. In the back of his mind, he wondered if he was just stalling before telling Ginny the news. Nonsense! He scoffed. Still, when he finally did pack up and head home, it was with idle thoughts of if he would arrive the next morning covered in hexes.
Thankfully, when Harry walked into the office the next morning, it was hex-free and he was actually smiling. Despite his trepidation, Ginny had been thrilled to get some "alone time with the girls" as she put it. She helped him pack with a cheery hop in her step and even made sure Harry had all of the right Muggle clothes for late September in New York City.
The door to his office opened and Ron bounded in, followed by Hermione. Ron cheerfully waved to Harry and bid him good morning but Hermione still had her head bent over her pack.
"Ron," she muttered, "I'm still thinking we missed something. I packed my runic translation books, a few on defense so we can brush up, one or two on American Muggle customs, Muggle clothes..." she trailed off as she entered, looking up. "Hello, Harry. Are you ready?"
He nodded. "It doesn't sound like you are, though," he said, motioning to her bag.
She made a face in reply. "Giving us only a night to pack. It's mental!"
"'Mione, we're going to be somewhere civilized. We can always pick up any magical items we might have forgotten from their wizarding community once we arrive in the States. We're going to be late for our departure, though, if you don't hurry."
That seemed to jar her into her senses. "Oh goodness, you're right! We need to hurry."
She grabbed Ron's arm and dragged him out of the room. With one last chuckle, Harry grabbed his Always-Hot Bottomless Travel Mug filled with sugary tea, shut his door and trailed after the two.
"Ow!" Ron protest, shaking his arm free of Hermione's tugging. "Where are we going, anyway?"
"Portkey Transit Authority," came the prompt reply. "Any other means of travel takes much too long or the distance is too great. Now hurry, the lift is here."
They stepped inside the giant elevator that dropped fast enough to make Harry's stomach lurch. Gulping his tea to settle his nerves, he leaned against the walls until they had safely stopped and the doors opened.
"Good morning my bright-eyed travelers," a perky voice greeted once they stepped out.
Harry groaned. "Really, Ian, is this the time?"
Ian Harrington, one of their fellow Aurors, grinned back at Harry. "Sorry, I couldn't resist," he replied in a normal voice. "I thought a bit of cheer might get you into the spirit of your trip."
"Not at this ungodly hour," Harry said.
Ian shrugged. "It's still dark in the States. That will give me plenty of time to catch you up on this case before porting. The Aurors briefed me on your situation and I'm to escort you to the Portkey room until you leave.
"Why you?" Harry asked. While it was standard procedure to have an Auror brief them on cases before departing, it was unusual to see Ian assigned to the task.
He shrugged. "The higher ups felt it was my unit's turn. We drew lots. I lost. Anyway, all of the information for your lodging is all in the packet I gave Hermione."
"Hey," Ron protested, "why did you give it to her and not one of us?"
Ian grinned. "I don't relish the idea of having to Owl Post new information to you in the middle of the case."
"One time!" Ron cried, his ears turning pink. "That happened one time and it was fully justified."
Ian shrugged again and turned away. "Wouldn't have happened if you put it in the Expandable Bag assigned to you. Besides, she's your wife. Why are you getting so upset?"
Ron mumbled something under his breath that sounded suspiciously like "lock me out of the hotel room" which Harry didn't fully catch but Hermione must have because she elbowed Ron sharply.
"Anyway," Ian said, leading them down the hallway, "you're scheduled to meet with the American liaison wizard at 8:00." He turned and grinned at them. "New York is five hours behind us. Your timepieces will magically adjust, of course."
They arrived in a large room barren except for an empty beer bottle set on the floor. Harry recognized the distinctive red triangle as one of the more popular Muggle beer brands. Ian conjured some chairs and settled himself down in one. "Your portkey isn't scheduled for another forty-five minutes. Relax."
"Why did you tell us we had to be here now, then?" Hermione asked.
Ian merely smiled. "Better safe than sorry. And the Aurors wanted to make sure you knew this case inside and out. So have a seat and tell me what you know."
Pleased to be able to show off her knowledge, Hermione happily perched on the edge of a plush chair. "We're seeking the Horn of Amalthea," she began. Harry quickly joined them in his own chair. Though he had scanned through the file, Hermione would have memorized every line. He used this opportunity to pay attention and absorb any information he might have missed. Ron exchanged a knowing look with him and also sat, ready to pay attention. Harry wondered idly if he should take notes.
"It's a magical horn that grants the wielder unlimited amounts of one material thing they want. It's based off of the mythical Horn of Amalthea. This horn was designed over four hundred years ago by an unknown wizard and is encrusted with priceless gems and jewels. It has changed hands multiple times but for some reason always keeps disappearing into the Muggle world."
"It's the jewels on it," Harry said. "Muggles are attracted to it. They find value in it just like a wizard, only for a different reason."
"Intentional, I'm sure," Ian remarked. "A clever disguise added by the maker. Kind of like the anti-Muggle charms, this one ensures that the horn remains solidly in Muggle hands."
"But why?" asked Ron.
Hermione answered him. "Because the spell enchanted on the horn only works for a witch or wizard. Muggles only see it as a priceless and valuable artifact. In fact, I'm surprised it wasn't put on display at some museum."
Ian smiled. "Been there, done that. Been stolen more times than I can count. All by Muggles, of course."
"So what happened to get it back on our radar?" Harry asked. That information hadn't been included in the file.
Ian leaned forward. "Yesterday, a Muggle reported the horn stolen from his private collection. Our American friends indicated that they believe a wizard is behind the scenes, attempting to acquire it. But they didn't say why they thought this."
"I take it this is not a good wizard associated with the Aurors?" Harry asked.
Ian shook his head. "The American branch of Magical Artifacts had no idea where this horn was. Their focus is currently on other artifacts in the country and if they had 're-acquired' the horn, they wouldn't have contacted us."
"Why did they contact us? The Americans have their own branch and this is clearly in their jurisdiction, so why call us?"
Ian leaned back. "Their branch is currently spread thin across the country. In fact, they only have one wizard in the office right now and you will meet him later today. He has his own case he's working on, something about a curse attached to a blue diamond in their famous Smithsonian museum-"
"The Hope Diamond?" Hermione interrupted.
Ian nodded. "Yes, I believe that is what they called it. Anyway, he'll help you if you need it but they called us asking for some assistance. His name is Justin Moretti and he can fill you in a bit more on the theft."
"Will we be working with Muggles?" Harry asked.
Ian frowned. "I'm not sure," he replied thoughtfully. "Honestly, Justin might know more about that when you meet up with him." He glanced at his watch. "Oh! It's almost time for your portkey to activate. I wonder where the transportation wizard is?"
On cue, a tall reedy man with wild hair dashed into the room.
"Gather around the Bass bottle," he shrieked in a high-pitched voice, waving his arms in a rush. Harry wondered if he was going to have a heart attack right then. The man certainly sounded as if he hadn't taken a decent holiday in decades.
The three stood up and each touched a tip of their finger to the empty beer bottle.
"One last thing," Ian said. "You have authorization to destroy this artifact. If possible, study it the best you can before destroying it. But in the end, it's too dangerous in the hands of a dark wizard. Well, that's my cue. Good luck."
Authorization to destroy? Harry thought. That was only given in special circumstances. In fact, they had only destroyed a few artifacts in their career, not counting the Horcruxes their final year in school. A sharp yank around his midsection sent any other thoughts spiraling along with the rest of his body. As usual, it felt like hours as Harry's head swam with dizziness and he fought nausea.
Just as suddenly, it ended.
He landed on something bouncy. Looking down, he realized he stood in another large room with a floor filled with squashy red cushions. That explained his soft landing. Beside the cushions stood a dark-haired man in blue robes.
"Hello," he greeted warmly. "I'm Justin Moretti, American branch of the Magical Artifacts. Pleased to meet you." After introductions had been made, Justin led them through the corridors. "I'm sure you guys will want to settle into your hotel. We booked you in a Muggle one, unfortunately but that was unavoidable we felt. You'll be corresponding with the local law enforcement, specifically, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the FBI."
"How did they get involved?" Hermione asked.
Justin pushed open a door and stepped through, holding it open for the others. "The owner of the horn called them immediately after it was stolen. He's rich and naturally has a lot of clout. By the time I arrived there, they were in so deep it would have been nearly impossible to erase their memories and adjust the crime scene. It's probably better this way."
"How are we going to justify our presence here?" Hermione asked. "We're British."
Justin handed her a thin folder. "I've prepared your cover story. You're representatives of a private owner who reported the horn stolen over ten years ago. The current owner acquired the horn only in the last three years and from another Muggle buyer. Beyond that, the horn had vanished into oblivion. We adjusted the records to reflect your story, in case they check and had your branch infiltrate Scotland Yard to add in the stolen report filed ten years prior."
They reached another room. Justin flicked his left wrist back and a wand popped out of his sleeve. He withdrew it and waved it before opening the door. He snapped his wand back to his wrist and pushed it back into his sleeve with a soft click.
"That's brilliant," Ron remarked. Justin beamed at him.
"Thanks! I designed it myself. I used to carry my wand in my back pocket but one time I nearly snapped it, so that's when I designed this device." He pushed open a door which had several tunnels in it. It resembled the Tube – the Muggle underground transit subway in London. "This is the Floo station. It's interconnected with the subway, so it's very easy and inconspicuous to send our wizards in and out anywhere in the city." He pointed to one doorway off to the side. "You'll take that one. It will bring you to the stop closest to your hotel. It's only a couple of blocks away from there, so just follow the map I gave you."
"Thanks, Justin," Harry said.
The American grinned at them. "It's no problem. Glad to be able to help. It's my first time working with overseas Aurors."
"Ours, too," Ron admitted. Normally, the team contacted foreign Aurors when in a country but never actually corresponded with them.
"If you need anything, you can send me an Owl, or a patronus if it's urgent. I'm working on a counter-curse for the Hope Diamond at the moment, as there is a rumor it might be changing hands once again but aside from that, I'm here to help if needed."
"Do you have any suggestions for our next move?" Hermione asked. "Should we visit the crime scene?"
Justin shook his head. "No, the FBI will have cordoned that off. Best to touch base with them first. They might be able to give you a better idea of what's going on. I think a Muggle stole the horn, however, with the intention of selling or giving it to a wizard."
"What makes you say that?" Harry asked.
Justin shrugged. "Just a hunch. But regardless if there is a wizard behind the scenes, this is an item that needs to be back in our possession. It's too dangerous for it to be floating about in the world."
"We have authorization to destroy the artifact," Harry said.
Justin seemed startled at this. "Oh, I wasn't told about that. Do you have a way to destroy it?"
Hermione nodded. "Yes, we have a couple of weapons wrought from goblin silver."
"Okay, that will do. It's a shame really. The horn is a fascinating piece of work."
"It's for the best," Hermione said.
Justin sighed a bit wistfully. "Yeah but still. If you ever get to see it in person, you'll know what I mean. Such a shame. It will be quite a loss."
"You've seen it in person?" Ron asked in surprise.
"Sort of. I saw it through a memory once during Auror training."
Justin checked his watch. "Well, I must be off. It's still quite early in the states but I need to head to Washington DC to get some more information on the curse surrounding the Hope Diamond. I've narrowed it down to four potential curses but a counter-curse needs to be as specific as possible."
"How are you getting close to the diamond?" Hermione asked, curious. "I thought it was under strict security."
"I'm posing as a renowned jeweler bidding to reset the diamond. I'm able to examine the diamond under careful supervision but it is enough to glean bits of information."
"Will it be enough to discover a counter-curse?" Hermione pressed.
Justin shrugged modestly. "Probably. I'm one of the best counter-cursers in the American Auror office. It's my specialty." He stuck out his hand. "Well, I best be off. Good luck to you all."
"Thanks, you too," Harry said, giving Justin's hand a firm shake.
Justin turned on the spot and Apparated out of the room with a loud pop while the three turned and stepped through the subway turnstile.
Author's Note: This story is complete and will be updated at a pace of one chapter per week (on Saturdays). The chapters are all about this length.