41 - Report
With squared shoulders and an air of confidence, Harry entered the police precinct. This attitude was mostly just an attempt to mask that he was feeling far more awkward than the situation probably merited. While Harry had lived through a great number of experiences, and despite his relatives' claims about his criminality, entering a police station was entirely new.
Still, Nick wasn't answering his phone, Harry didn't have Hank's number and he should probably do something about this.
So the wizard had trudged his way over to Nick's workplace in the hope of subtly waving the man over and giving him a quick heads-up. Then his duty as a friend would be done and Harry could go back to his bakery and start cleaning up at least some of the mess.
There was only one problem with that plan – he couldn't see Nick anywhere in the hustle and bustle of the police station. After a second visual scan of his surroundings provided him with no different result Harry sighed and walked up to the officer near the entrance.
"Uh, hi," he said to the Asian man. "I'd like to speak to Detective Burkhardt, please? Or Detective Griffin?"
The man had the look of someone who had been working here so long that he'd seen it all. Strangely enough, it made Harry feel a lot better about coming here.
"Is this regarding one of their cases, sir?" the officer asked him in a professional tone.
Harry blinked. "Erm. Well, no. Something happened that I should probably inform them of, is all."
"Right," the officer answered and paused for a moment. "My name is Sergeant Wu. Maybe you could tell me what happened?"
And, fair enough, this sergeant was probably making sure he didn't let just any random bloke with bad intentions walk up to one of his colleagues. Like a reporter, or a fan.
Or, you know, a criminal.
Harry shrugged and figured he might as well tell this officer about it instead.
"When I went downstairs to start prep work in my bakery, I found that someone had smashed the shopfront window," he explained short and to the point, "There was also a bloody message on the door."
"Huh," the officer responded, "When you say 'bloody message' what exactly does that mean?"
"Uh, I took a photograph." Harry looked up the photo on his phone and turned it around to show the policeman.
When the policeman just stared at it in silence for a moment, the wizard helpfully offered: "I suppose it could be animal blood?"
The officer, Wu, cleared his throat. "Death to all Grimms?"
He grimaced and admitted, "I've been called that before – for some reason."
"For some reason?" the man repeated with a touch of incredulity. "Could you be more specific?"
Harry frowned. The truth would be rather difficult to explain, what with the whole being magically transported from a different world and yet being somehow similar to what in this world was known as a 'Grimm'. Which Harry, in his more morbid moments, privately suspected had something to do with the whole 'Master of Death' debacle that he really didn't want to get into.
He shook his head. "Not really, no."
"Riiiight," the Asian officer said in a deadpan and then just seemed to accept that and move on. "Well, I can see how this might be disturbing. We can file a report about this and have a test done on the blood. Is there any reason you can think of why anyone would want to threaten you?"
"Oh," Harry needed a moment to process the unexpected turn this conversation had taken. "Uh, I don't think that's necessary – filing a report. I mean, nothing was stolen and I can just replace the window. I just figured I should let someone know?"
The wizard could repair the damage easily enough, and cleaning up the blood wouldn't be that hard either, though it was be a bit of a nuisance since he couldn't exactly use magic out on the street when anyone could see.
It was rather ironic that Harry would need to clean up the crime just as it had been committed – under the cover of darkness.
"Someone just threatened to kill you, sir," the policeman drew him from his musings, "doesn't that seem like reason for concern to you?"
Harry blinked. "If someone wanted to kill me you'd think they'd just go for it. Why warn me first? Seems rather counter-productive to me. It's probably just vandalism, or someone trying to scare me," he decided out loud. In his experience attempted murder hardly ever came with an advance warning.
Unless, of course, when it did.
Sergeant Wu stared at him as if he was somehow missing the obvious.
"Harry?" a deep, familiar voice drew his attention. "What brings you here?"
He turned around and found himself facing the tall figure of the police captain. "Captain," he greeted the man with a respectful nod, which seemed just about appropriate when meeting the man on his turf.
A silence fell between them while they stared at each other.
It was getting rather awkward, so Harry finally sighed and gave in, answering the question. "I was just hoping to talk to Detective Burkhardt for a moment."
"Oh?" Renard queried conversationally, "May I ask what it concerns?"
The wizard shrugged. "Nothing serious, just a little heads-up about… stuff."
The captain just looked at him, his whole being radiating a calm, confident sort of patience. It was an intimidating stare to have focused on you, the wizard could admit to the privacy of his mind. He could easily believe that this man made a good leader, if he could make even the likes of Harry – who was never very good with authority figures - just about want to comply with that expectant air.
But Harry wasn't the type of person who gave in without a fight, so he just stared back with pure defiance.
"A death threat apparently," Sergeant Wu interposed into their heavy silence and Harry blinked, having almost forgotten the other man was there.
The captain frowned deeply, stepping closer. Dark eyes ran across him with a careful, assessing gaze – searching for injuries? Was that concern? Or just gathering knowledge?
Unintentionally, Harry shifted under the scrutiny, his earlier stubbornness falling away when he realized that he was probably being a bit silly – fighting over a line in the sand that might not even be there.
"A threat to you? Or to the Detective you want to speak to?" the captain asked him to clarify.
"To him," the officer answered for him, having apparently given up on waiting him out. "Written in blood, even. Because that's apparently something that people do outside of horror movies."
Then Sergeant Wu turned back to Harry asking in a dubious tone, "are you sure it's not just red paint?"
Harry met the captain's eyes and nodded, wordlessly signifying that the man was at least partly correct in his speculations that Nick was also a part of this.
Then he glanced back at the sergeant. "It's blood," he informed the man with absolute certainty.
Wu looked a little disturbed at that assertion. "Because of course it is," he commented drily.
Both Harry and the captain ignored it. "Come with me," the tall man said authoritively and started walking away.
The wizard stared after him for a moment. Right. He nodded politely at the helpful police officer and walked deeper into the Prince's domain.
He followed the captain into what he assumed was the man's office and closed the door behind him. Renard made a slight motion with his hand, wordlessly offering him a seat.
Harry sat, a little embarrassed by his earlier reticence that had no other reason than his own stubbornness.
"Tell me what happened." The man's tone of voice was inviting, masking the order so that it felt almost like a request, but not quite.
The wizard sighed but gave in and told the man about the broken glass and the threat written on his door. "I took a picture, if you wanted to see," he ended his summary.
The captain simply held out his hand, so Harry handed his phone over. After staring at it for a moment, Renard returned it and looked at him thoughtfully.
"From the way you're talking, it seems that you don't consider this a legitimate threat," the captain stated calmly.
"That's not true," Harry protested, because he wasn't ignoring this - he was here, wasn't he? "I came all the way here to tell Nick about it. I did feel that he should know."
Sean Renard shook his head. "I meant that you don't appear to be worried for your life."
Well that was true. But then, the threat seemed a little… silly. "In my experience, attempted murder generally includes more…" he made an awkward gesture with his hands and when he realized they were acting without his conscious input immediately drew them back to his chair, "well, attempted murder."
When the captain just raised an eyebrow at him Harry looked away and muttered, "The amount of unnecessary drama around it seems to be just about right, though."
Renard expertly ignored his muttered statement and repeated Harry's earlier words. "In your experience, you say… Does this happen to you often?"
Harry wisely decided not to mention any other messages in blood he may have been faced with when he was twelve. "Well, there was the breadknife incident, wasn't there?" he offered, referring to the attack by the Mauves Dentes that the Prince was already aware of.
"I see," the captain replied. "As for the threat – Detective Burkhardt is currently at a crime scene. I will inform him about this threat upon his return."
"Right," Harry said. "And how will you explain why a written threat to murder Grimms written on my door applies to him?"
"I'll merely inform him that you came in to report this incident. That you seemed worried about it and were looking for him," was the man's calm response. And fair enough, that did sound reasonable. Except…
"Do we have to report it," Harry asked with a grimace. "I mean, nobody even entered the bakery. At most that's vandalism, isn't it?"
"What makes you so certain no one entered?" Captain Renard asked mildly, "They may have left unpleasant surprises inside, or taken something that is not immediately obvious."
The wizard opened his mouth, hesitated for a moment and finally answered, rather lamely, "I just meant, I didn't notice anything missing, that's all."
"I see," the captain said, his dark eyes intend upon Harry's own. "So you have no way of knowing if someone had entered the premises without your permission? Or stopping such a thing from occurring?"
Harry blinked and looked back with true surprise, because how could the man possibly know about his wards, with so little to go on? As far as the wizard knew wards weren't even a thing in this world.
"Erm," he said and then just - didn't say anything.
The captain didn't push, he merely nodded seemingly finding Harry's response answer enough. "Please file a report with Sergeant Wu. I will make sure to inform my Detective."
It was clearly a dismissal. Harry grimaced but there was really nothing to protest so he nodded in agreement and left the man's office.
Immediately after he left the quiet room, the sounds of the ordered chaos of crime solving rushed over him again.
He frowned and walked back towards the sergeant he'd spoken to earlier – and also the direction of the door. For a moment he considered leaving altogether. Because, really, who cared about filing a report on a bit of vandalism that probably resulted from teenage Wesen challenging each other to a dare?
At the door he glanced back and found his gaze caught by the piercing eyes of the captain, capturing Harry's own even through the length of the room and the window of his office.
He sighed and dutifully walked to Sergeant Wu, giving in to the inevitable. It wasn't worth the fight.
"I'd like to file that report now, please," he informed the man, trying not to show a defeated air.
Sergeant Wu nodded and didn't make the slightest mention of the earlier interruption. Instead the man waved him over towards an empty desk, "Right, this way. We just need to fill out a few forms."
Half an hour later, Harry was still answering repetitive questions about what had happened, as well as cursing the police captain in the privacy of his mind. If he'd known in advance the comprehensiveness of the forms he'd be asked to fill in, the wizard never would have come here in the first place.
Bureaucracy was more frightening by far than a simple death threat written in blood.
(Word Count: 2140)