Allen scrambles to grab his exorcist coat and the wand that had lain forgotten for the past few days, gathering dust, after he'd practiced with it. He was already running late, having gotten engrossed for too long in a book on tracking spells. This would most definitely not endear any more to Finder Renal and he was not looking forward to the pointed look he'd get when he arrived, disheveled and out of breath.

Closing his door behind him, Allen runs towards the designated Gate, panting lightly as he skids to a stop in front of Komui and Finder Renal. Komui hides his smile behind a cough and hands over a small bag.

"From Reever."

Allen nods as he takes it. He opens it and peers inside. Various detectors and what looks like a shield talisman are inside.

"Reever said that just turning them on and seeing what they do should be enough to test if they'll work. I think he also added the modified ones that should be able to work in the presence of magic."

"Okay." Allen turns to Finder Renal and smiles apologetically. "Sorry for the delay."

Finder Renal purses his lips and says, "I don't believe that there's been an allocated duration for this mission?"

Komui nods. "Whenever you're done, Allen, you can -" He pauses and frowns, looking at the Central Golem, "Have you… have you named it?"

Allen cringes. "Um. Reggie?"

Komui snorts. "I will make that note then. Have Reggie contact me so that I can send Finder Renal to pick you up."

Allen nods. To Finder Renal, "I don't expect it to take more than 2 hours. But something might happen. Although," he looks down at the bag of equipment and then up at Finder Renal, "perhaps, after I finish talking to Sirius Black and Harry Potter, you can help me determine if the equipment is working adequately in the presence of magic."

Finder Renal tilts his head and says nothing.

Allen resists the urge to sigh. Well, at least he'd tried.

Komui claps his hands to dispel the awkwardness. "Well then! Have a safe journey you two!"

Finder Renal enters the Gate first, disappearing into the bright light. Allen takes a steadying breath before following the Finder. He braces for the familiar crawling sensation that morphs into a warmth that no one else feels and steps through.

They exit the Ark onto the same dingy alleyway, although this time the alleyway is at least illuminated by London's hazy sunlight.

Allen rubs at the strap of the satchel as he follows Finder Renal down the same path of alleys and side streets. He hates that he has to be accompanied everywhere. Sometimes, more frequently now than when he'd first joined the Order, he finds himself wishing for the days when Master Cross and him and Timcanpy were traveling together. There was less bureaucracy.

(Though Allen would very much not like to relive the debt collectors that he can still sometimes hear in his nightmares. Those debt collectors were more tenacious than some of the Akuma he'd met.)

Finder Renal quickly escorts him tp 12 Grimmauld Place, bowing once before leaving back the way they'd come.

Allen watches him leave and then lets out the sigh he'd been holding back. Perhaps this 'year-long' mission would be good for him. At least it'd get him away from the Order, where each minute makes him feel more and more alienated and desperate for something, anything to relieve him from this misery of suspicion and hatred.

He heads towards the door and knocks, adjusting the satchel.

The door swings open to an empty hallway.

Allen lifts an eyebrow as he steps across the threshold. He'd really forgotten how eerie magical buildings could be. One as old as this must especially be steeped in magic, and halfway to being sentient.

Clearing his throat as he makes his way down the hall, Allen stops by the staircase. He doesn't feel comfortable walking around without one of his British hosts. Especially since he has a feeling that half the objects in this house are cursed and he does not trust his ability to not accidentally touch one.

There are loud steps from above him.

Allen looks up to see Sirius Black thunder down the stairs, coming to a stop a few steps below the landing. "How did you get in?"

Shrugging, Allen says, "The door opened."

Black's face twists but nods. "Can we get this over with? Harry doesn't have anything to do with whatever is happening at Hogwarts."

Allen nods, "I would agree but your Headmaster wanted to check. Lead the way."

They head up the stairs to the same drawing room that Allen had used the fireplace in. Before, Allen hadn't had the chance to look around and he takes his chance to now. The room is… dusty. It seems in worse condition than some of the mansions that Master Cross had made them sleep in or clear out.

The boy who must be Harry Potter is sitting on one of the couches, fiddling with his sleeves. Black shuts the door behind them with a soft 'click' that makes Potter look up. There's a slight sound from the door and Allen frowns as he stares at it for a moment. He can't see any shadows of eavesdroppers from under the crack but he doesn't remember if there are other magical techniques for eavesdroppers. No matter, there's nothing he can do about it now - not that it should matter in a house full of supposed allies.

"Hello," Allen starts, pasting his brightest, welcoming smile on his face, "I'm Allen Walker."

Potter glances at Black before nodding slowly, "Harry Potter."

"It's nice to meet you," Allen says, as he considers sitting in one of the armchairs across from Potter before ultimately deciding against it. The thing doesn't seem like it's been sat in in ages, probably for a good reason.

Looking at Black, who's leaning against the side of the couch with his arms crossed, and then back to Allen, Potter says, "Sirius said that Dumbledore asked you to look at me because of some sort of magical creatures that are at Hogwarts?"

Allen lifts a skeptical eyebrow, moving his gaze to Black. The man doesn't seem like he has any idea about Akuma either. Pursing his lips, Allen considers his options.

On one hand, Dumbledore had clearly decided that not telling the rest of the wizards in the Order was the best move. But that was always a bad move in Allen's experience. People, wizards or not, who had experience with Akuma were always more likely to be visited by the Earl after a tragedy. Allen had no compunctions about telling people about the Akuma. In fact, he'd much rather that everyone knew so that no more Akuma were created.

A thought that the Vatican didn't agree with. So Allen kept his mouth shut except in moments like these where he was technically allowed to divulge their 'secrets'.

"Not quite magical creatures in the way you're thinking," Allen starts, "They're actually something that we call Akuma. They're -" he pauses, thinking. In a manner of thinking, Akuma could be thought of as being magical creatures and created by magic but…

The way the Earl twisted the souls of the dead was grotesque and wouldn't be considered any sort of magic that wizards and witches tended to approve of. But they were still people, hurting and twisted by the compulsion to kill.

"They're created by someone called the Millenium Earl. They're not magical creatures in the sense that you think of them. Rather they're created by twisting the souls of the dead and tying them to the mortal plane by harnessing the will of their grieving loved ones." Allen watches Black's face take on a green tinge and Potter's face grow pale. He hopes that he didn't scar them too much, but there is never a good way to explain. "I won't delve too much into the details but if the Akuma are congregating around Hogwarts, I'd like people to know in case they're approached.

"Essentially, Headmaster Dumbledore has asked me, through the Black Order, to determine the reason as to why the Akuma are gathering near Hogwarts when they never have before. Normally the wards around the school, and other magical dwellings, repel the Akuma so if they're gathering now there must be something new causing it. My job is to make sure that the Akuma don't overwhelm the wards and get rid of whatever is drawing them to Hogwarts."

"How do you get rid of the Akuma?" Black asks, voice low and serious.

Allen watches him for a minute, trying to determine why he's asking. "You can't. Akuma can only be freed with Innocence. At best, you might be able to cast a few protego in order to repel them and hold them off. But your best bet would be to run, hide, and call for me. And just make sure you don't provoke anyone that doesn't seem like themselves."

"What's Innocence?" Potter asks.

Smiling, Allen looks back to him and says, "Well we don't really know but it's this."

He closes his eyes and invokes Crown Clown, lifting his arm to show off the transformation. They stare at him in wonder as his left arm shifts and the white cowl settles on his shoulders.

"It chooses its wielders for reasons we haven't been able to determine and takes different forms." He releases the invocation and crosses his arms, "As long as you can contact me and make sure you stay away from the Akuma you'll be fine. Getting hit, even once, by an Akuma can be dangerous so it's vital you don't get hurt."

The two stare at him.

Allen mentally cringes. Maybe he's out of practice talking to civilians. He hasn't been allowed to talk to them (except for the heat-of-the-battle yells to get out of the way) since the 14th had awakened. "I don't think you'll have to worry about that though for now. I'm really just here right now because Headmaster Dumbledore wanted me to make sure that the increase was not tied to Potter -"

"Harry."

"Harry then," he attempts what used to be a reassuring smile, "But I highly doubt you have anything to do with it, Harry, as Akuma don't tend to care about people and tend to only track Innocence. Your Headmaster insisted though," he resists the urge to roll his eyes, "So I'll just run a couple of tests and then we can all be on our way."

"What kind of tests?" Black asks suspiciously.

Allen lets the satchel drop softly to the ground and pulls out the Innocence-detection machine that Reever had packed. "This will let me know if there are any traces of Innocence on your body, which there shouldn't be, but we'll just check."

He flips it on and places it over his left arm to calibrate it and make sure that it is still working with the magical interference. Thankfully, whatever adjustments that Reever had made seem to work, though the sensitivity seems altered.

Standing and turning to Harry, Allen smiles, holding it out. "It's just a detection machine. Won't' hurt you or anything."

Harry looks at Black who nods once before nodding to Allen.

Allen brings the machine over and waves it over Harry's body. To no one's surprise the machine's readings do not show the presence of Innocence.

Turning it off, Allen smiles and says, "You're all good." He doesn't understand why Dumbledore insisted on this farce. If Harry had had Innocence they would have known years ago and the Akuma would have followed the boy. Allen might not know exactly what was going on with this war but Dumbledore's preoccupation with Harry is worrying and familiar.

But it's none of his business. For now at least.

"I know this was a really weird experience," Allen laughs awkwardly, "...Do you have any questions?"

The pair stares at him and Allen scratches the back of his head.

"Are you joining the Order?" Harry asks, ignoring the look that Black sends him.

Allen snorts, "No. We've simply been hired by them, and your Headmaster, to solve this problem. We have our own problems," and War, "and can't afford to be caught up in a Wizarding War. Besides, most of us aren't even wizards or witches."

"You're not a wizard?" Black asks, tone lightening.

"Errr. Sort of?" Allen pulls out his wand, "I can do some magic - I was taught by my Master, who is definitely a wizard of some sort, when I was younger - but we're unsure if it's that I'm actually a wizard or if it's because of the Innocence hosted in my body. I never threw sparks or anything like that as a kid, as far as I can remember, until my Innocence activated. Most of the wizards in the Order are Finders. I think I'm the only Exorcist who can do magic, which is why I'm here. None of the other parasitic types seem to have had the innate ability to do magic.

"Master's thinking was that I might have had some sort of magical ancestry generations ago and the Innocence activated that." He waves a hand at their wide eyes, "But that's all theoretical stuff that we leave to the Scientists."

"If your people aren't wizards, how do they know about us?" Black's eyes narrow.

"My understanding is that the Vatican has always had an agreement with the Ministry? But I'm definitely not the person to ask. Headmaster Dumbledore would probably know more than me."

One thing that Master Cross had never bothered to teach him was the history behind the Order, not to mention any of the policies and protocols in place. At one point, Allen had considered sitting in on the classes that the Order had for new Finders but then things had happened too fast and Allen never had the chance. So now he mostly finds out about policies and protocols as he stumbles upon them.

Black hums thoughtfully but doesn't share any of his thoughts.

Allen glances between the two of them and asks, "Anything else?"

"You'll be at Hogwarts this year though?" Black lowers his crossed arms.

"Yes, I'll be teaching… Muggle Studies, I believe it was called? Headmaster Dumbledore and my supervisor," not that he'd had much of a choice, "believed the position would allow adequate time for any investigation that I needed to do."

"What happened to Charity?"

"Um," Allen blinks, "Who is that?"

"The former Muggle Studies professor," Potter interjects.

"I don't know? I wasn't involved in any of the preparations that your Headmaster might've made."

They both look distinctly unsatisfied with that answer but Allen truly does not know what else he can tell them. He has no clue what Dumbledore or Komui might've done in order to place him in this position.

Allen looks behind him at Reggie, silently asking, 'time?'

The golem bobs and flashes the time across it's body.

Almost an hour since he'd arrived. He'll send a message to Komui and then go about testing the rest of the equipment once he leaves.

"I'll take my leave then. If you have any other concerns you can pass them through the Headmaster," who will hopefully pass them forward, "but I'll need to return now." He glances at Harry, "I expect I'll see you when the term starts."

Harry looks at him, with a vaguely suspicious look that feels familiar, and nods.

Gathering the satchel off the ground, Allen pushes open the door which squeaks rather harshly and frowns at the yelp that comes from upstairs. There's nothing after though so he dismisses it.

Black escorts him to the door and Allen steps outside, breathing in the crisp air. This will probably be the longest time that he's spent in his home country since he left the circus.

Allen shakes his head to get rid of the melancholy thoughts and beckons Reggie down. "Please send a message to Komui that I have finished my meeting but that I will be testing the other equipment that Reever sent, so Finder Renal does not need to leave immediately.

The golem whirs as the message sends.

Allen pulls out one of the detection machines and sets to making sure that the equipment seems to work in the presence of magic.

Time passes slowly as he tests each piece of equipment. Thankfully all of them seem to work when within the wards of 12 Grimmauld Place, though he's sure that there can be additional finetuning done (all of which is beyond the scope of his knowledge so he'll simply take comparison readings for the Science Division to scream over).

He steps out of the boundary of the wards and walks a little ways down the street. One of the machines in his satchel begins whining softly and Allen freezes.

Glancing up at Reggie who also seems agitated, Allen rifles through the bag and pulls out the machine that is going off.

An Akuma detector.

Allen feels his eye activate, pulling him to turn around and look into the copse of trees that hide a park from his view.

Cursing, Allen activates Crown Clown at the tell-tale sound of an Akuma shedding its human body. He drops the satchel on the bench he'd sat on days earlier and tells Reggie, "Stay with it!"

Crown Clown's cowl settles over his face and Allen bursts into the clearing.

There's a sharp scream and sound of an Akuma's bullet.

A Level 2 cackles as it tries to shoot at a crying, running teenager holding a small dog.

"Hey!" Allen shouts.

The Level 2 freezes at his shout and turns to face him. Allen stands firm as the Akuma floats towards him and croaks, "Exorcist?"

Allen doesn't respond, watching out of the corner of his as the teenager to run away.

"Why won't you pay attention to me?" the Akuma screams, voice grating, as it rushes towards Allen.

Jumping to the side and rolling to his feet, Allen dodges the bullet that the Akuma shoots towards him. As the Akuma turns to face him, Allen uses Crown Belt to bring it towards him. Using his left hand, Allen frees the Akuma.

The Akuma disintegrates and Allen holds his breath as the poisonous particles dissipate. The wind makes short work of scattering them.

Allen lets out a sigh as he heads across to park back to where he'd left the satchel. He hadn't expected to truly encounter any Akuma here. He'll have to speak with Komui to have the Finder stationed in the area do some reconnaissance to ensure that there are no other Akuma in the area.

Sometimes the Akuma are solitary but more and more, they have been gathering in larger numbers.

Thankfully, it seems as if there are no other Akuma in the area that his eye can normally sense. Though the Akuma detectors that the Science Division have developed have started to be able to detect Akuma in a larger area than his eye can. The devices, however, generally cannot narrow down a location, unlike his eye.

Allen emerges from the trees to find Reggie bobbing anxiously above his satchel on the bench. Next to the bench, Finder Renal is watching him carefully.

"Exorcist Walker," Finder Renal greets neutrally.

Smiling awkwardly, Allen says, "I found and eliminated a Level 2 Akuma in the park. I could not sense any other Akuma and the detector doesn't seem like it's found any others either. Who is assigned to this region?"

Finder Renal frowns, "I do not believe that there is a specific Finder assigned to this region currently. There has been no reported Akuma activity before. I believe the Finder's in the surrounding regions rotate patrolling this region."

Allen nods, "I'll write a report and submit it to Komui. A Finder probably should be assigned here in the interim just to make sure that this is just a one-off."

They stand in uneasy silence for a moment before Allen forces a smile. "I believe I am finished here if we would like to return now?"

In answer, Finder Renal begins walking away from Allen.

Gathering the satchel from the bench, Allen sighs lightly and follows.


long time no see :'') I am... slowly working on things and prying words out of my brain. I'm in the middle of participating in a bb so it's been a little rough lately but here we are. I've had this done for a little bit now but have kind of been sitting on it while I struggle with my motivation with writing and school. Figured y'all have waited long enough tho so I hope this sufficed. I have a little bit written of the next chapter but that will likely be slow as well :/

sorry to make y'all wait so long between chapters but I'm already so unmotivated for AT even though i so badly wanna finish it so I think this sort of method is what'll be best for it - please feel free to talk to me about it tho! I really love dgm and this wip

FYI - yes, i know that the plot here is a mess, please don't comment on it - I've just been doing what i find interesting and fun and haven't been doing much thinking about it - leaving comments about that is discouraging and makes me even more unwilling to work on AT :|

in other news i started to attempt to do art so if you're interested, follow me on tumblr van-draws (my main is vandrell)

/AL