Title: The Unspoken Ally
Fandom/Genre: Harry Potter/NCIS Fusion
Relationship(s): pre-slash Tony DiNozzo/Sirius Black
Content Rating: R
Warnings: canon-level violence, language, fanon accepted conspiracy theories
Tuesday August 3rd 1993
International Confederation of Wizards European Headquarters
Interpol Magic Branch – European Regional Unit #4
When Tony arrived at work he was expecting a normal Tuesday. He was not expecting to pull into a parking spot and immediately see the most junior member of his team laying in wait. And yet, there he stood, frantically scanning the area looking for something; Tony assumed it was him.
Groaning to himself, because it was far too early to have to deal with nervous twenty-one year old children from Ohio, Tony got out of the car and begrudgingly waved in the other agent’s direction as he grabbed his bag and morning coffee out of the vehicle. The borderline frantic flight across the lot that was made to Tony’s side quickly turned Tony’s annoyance into concern that perhaps something serious had happened.
“Everything alright Jeff?”
“Uhh, yes? No. Maybe? I’m not sure. I just know Chief Mason wanted to see you as soon as you came in,” came the nervously stammered reply.
Tony just stared at the ‘kid’, taking in his nervous twitching, and wondered not for the first time how he had passed the U.S. Magical Federal Investigation Academy and not only gotten a badge with them, but a posting to the IMB before he had two full years on the job. There were bets around the Castle that he was either related to someone high up in either the States or the ICW…or had pissed someone off that was also pissed at someone in the office here. It had taken Tony two and a half years to get an assignment with IMB and even that was considered ridiculously early in his career; the last person to do so from the U.K. was Amelia Bones in the late ’60s.
Just over two years later and Tony was still marginally surprised he hadn’t been assigned to Unit #2 in Stockholm which was typically where new agents went to learn the ropes. It was too cold for anyone to request, but was a stable enough region both magically and muggle that it didn’t tend to cause problems for law enforcement. He was certain the prime assignment had to do with Croaker’s influence and the fact that he was working on his ICW Mastery in ‘Defense & Law’. He theoretically could have floo’d or portkey’d into the Castle for any classroom work he needed to complete, but this arrangement made his life about ten times easier.
“Did Mason seem angry? Is that why you’re down here trying to give me plenty of warning?”
“He didn’t seem thrilled,” Jeff admitted as the two began heading into the Castle, waving badges at the security desk as they passed.
“Okay,” Tony responded and stopped in the middle of the stairway leading to their third floor bullpen area. “As far as I know I haven’t done anything to piss anyone off. There’s no movement on any cases right now either; just the usual surveillance. So exactly what aren’t you telling me?”
He watched as a flicker of desperation and nerves came over the kid’s face and raised an eyebrow staring him down until Thompson finally answered, “Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban last night. The news was released an hour ago to all departments and ten minutes after that is when Mason stormed into the bullpen and loudly requested you be sent up to him when you got in.”
“And you made the connection between the two because?” Tony questioned carefully, continuing his walk and glancing around the faces in the office once they entered. Thankfully, no one was paying him any more attention than usual.
“You’re the only person from the UK with O.C.,” Jeff replied as they stopped at Tony’s desk.
“But I’m not the only person from the UK assigned to Unit 4,” Tony reminded the younger Agent. “Mason got promoted to Unit Chief last month. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Hell, we don’t even operate in the UK,” he continued, at this point reaching for straws because he figured Thompson was correct in why their boss wanted to see him right away. “I know! Maybe I’m the new Lead Agent for the Task Force.”
“You’re not the new Lead Agent Tony,” Jeff replied sarcastically. “You haven’t even finished your ICW Mastery.”
“Hey, it could happen,” Tony shot back, even if he knew he was deluding himself on that point. “Alright, let me get settled and I’ll go see what the bossman wants,” he added, prompted by Jeff’s look. “Now…go find something productive to do,” he added and pointed at the younger man’s desk across the room before dropping down into his own seat.
Once the other agent left his desk Tony glared at the stack of new surveillance reports he had planned on going through this morning and tried to find anything remotely time sensitive that could delay him from going to see Unit Chief Martin Mason on the fifth, and top, floor of the Castle where all the administrative offices were located. It wasn’t until he had skimmed the first six that he realized, unfortunately, there had been zero developments with any of the agents they had undercover in the various crime rings or Mafia families – muggle and magical – for the region of Europe Unit 4 covered.
Tony’s job, as one of the youngest, and therefore inexperienced, operatives on the task force was to catalogue surveillance reports the undercover agents and CI’s submitted bi-weekly and look for patterns and connections between them so no surprises cropped up. It wasn’t exciting and it was far different then what he had been doing in the UK; but he also knew it was important work. Having been undercover himself when he was still working in the UK he had relied on whomever was doing there what he was doing here to keep his cover airtight.
That it gave him time to work on his ICW Mastery research, as the job utilized typical office hours, was a bonus.
With a final, resigned, sigh Tony stood up from his desk and headed out of the office area the Task Force was assigned.
Once he reached the fifth floor and the Chief’s office Tony glanced around for the man’s secretary, surprised to find the harpy wasn’t at her desk and instead Mason’s door stood wide open giving the older man an easy view of the hallway. A mere five seconds later he heard the normally good natured man near bellow, “Paddington! Get the fuck in here now!”
“Boss?” Tony asked, after hurrying into the room and closing the door behind him. “Everything alright?”
Martin Mason was not a man to be fucked with; and that was exactly how he had introduced himself to Tony in June of 1991 the day Anthony Paddington, newly transferred to Unit 4 from the Department of Mysteries, began his job under the then Lead Agent of the Organized Crime Task Force out of Unit 4. He might be a good three inches shorter and and carry at least twenty pounds less muscle than Tony; but he had also been an active field agent since 1968 – first with the United States’ Magical Federal Investigation Bureau before transferring to Interpol’s Magic Branch. That he held degrees in both magical and muggle law only helped the man know every loophole there was to catch criminals and throw the book at them.
And he’d been in a lousy mood since he got his promotion a month ago. In fact, when the Regional Director for Europe had arrived and gave Mason his promotion the man cursed a blue streak and threw a glass vase across the room at said Director because, “I shouldn’t have done my god damned job so well. I’m only 45 fucking years old and you’re putting me out to pasture. What the fuck?!”
Tony saw each and every bit of that man at the current moment.
“Sit down Tony,” his boss finally replied after a moment of silence, gesturing towards a seat in front of his desk. “I’ve only been here a little over an hour and already I’ve got a headache.”
“It’s not entirely your fault,” the older dark haired man admitted, lighting one of his constant cigarettes and leaning back in his chair. “I got a phone call this morning. An actual, honest to Merlin, phone call. It was from Amelia Bones.”
Tony visibly winced at that information. It hadn’t ever been totally confirmed for Tony, but one of the first rumors he had been told upon arriving at the Unit was of the failed engagement between two up and comers in the IMB. Apparently as a “Brit” he should be warned; Martin Mason and Amelia Bones had been hot, heavy and engaged…then Voldemort had become more than just a run of the mill dark wizard in ’72 and started really tearing up the UK so Amelia had left the United States IMB Unit she was assigned to and headed back to the British Auror Office. The fact that she had left while Mason was deep undercover with the Bonanno and Massino Families in Brooklyn and hadn’t left any information except her engagement ring was all anyone really needed to know as to how that relationship had ended.
“So anyway, here’s me having a nice cup of coffee in my office. I’m getting ready to go over the reams of parchment work this fucking desk job generates and low and behold the phone rings. The phone that only ever rings for the really big emergencies Tony. That phone.”
“Yes Sir,” Tony responded respectfully, staring the man, one he genuinely did respect and like, straight in the eyes.
“And to my eternal surprise it’s Milly. Now, the last time I spoke to her was…oh, I’d say, about twenty years ago. Two days after I finally got out from a two year undercover gig and realized my fiance was no longer in our house. A year and a half after she had left no less. So, my morning has been shit.”
“Yes Sir,” Tony replied again, half wishing he had made a bet on whether or not the rumor about his boss and the head of the British DMLE was true and half wishing the floor would swallow him up.
“So, Milly proceeds to tell me that Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban…and then wanted to know if you knew where he was.”
Tony waited for him to keep speaking and when he realized that instead his boss appeared to be waiting for him to answer he couldn’t help his reply, “I’m sorry sir. But was there as a question in there?”
“If I wasn’t so pissed I’d almost be proud that I finally dragged a smartass out of your stuffy upper-class British brain. But I am pissed so, do you know where Sirius Black is?”
“Sir, I didn’t even know Sirius had escaped until I got here this morning,” Tony replied honestly. “I’m not even sure why anyone would be asking me about him. I haven’t even seen the man since I was eleven.”
“Amelia’s asking, through me, because of the 2nd Heir ring you’re wearing,” the older man responded and pointed at the middle finger of Tony’s wand hand. “Apparently, you didn’t hide it well enough in the week between receiving it and heading out here so she knew exactly who you were.”
“Fuck,” Tony hissed under his breath reflexively and then winced. “Sorry Sir.”
“Don’t apologize to me,” Martin said with a shrug. “I’d probably be cursing if I was in your position too. I was surprised as hell when I saw it on your finger to begin with – all my sources in England still tell me that the Malfoy heir is also the Black heir. I just don’t know now if they meant magically or socially. You Brits are damned confusing. In the US we’ve got our Patriarchs or Matriarchs and our Heirs; but that’s only ’cause of the Family Wells. We don’t have any of that Ancient and Noble House ‘I’m more special then you’ bull shit.”
“Yes, but in the States even magicals think it’s barbaric to marry your cousin sooo,” Tony replied and trailed off with a shrug. “Honestly, you can ask about it since you can see the Heir ring but I can’t answer; the details are under a Secrecy clause that our former Patriarch invoked on his Will through the Family Magic. The clause will only break under two conditions; neither has been met yet.”
“Like I said, I honestly have no idea,” Tony replied again. “No secrecy clause on that. And, no secrecy clause on the fact that the Black Family is currently without a sworn Patriarch…so no one is forcing me to lie about knowing either,” he added, wondering if the older Agent would pick up on the stressed word.
“Yes, but you’re also the Heir. No one could force you to lie,” Mason pointed out with a raised eyebrow.
“Sir, can I be blunt?”
“Okay, are you muggleborn?”
“We don’t refer to it as such in the U.S. but, no I’m not. I’m second gen. My father is first gen and my mother is mundane. Why?”
“Okay, that’s early enough that you might not realize the significance of Family Magic, or Family Wells in the U.S., since as a second generation Wizard you’ve only got your Patriarch and you, as the Heir. A Patriarch has control over the Family Magic – full control. The Heir can access the Family Magic when necessary. Blood connected kin can access the Magic with permission from the Patriarch for rituals or ceremonies. With each subsequent generation of blood family the Well grows deeper and richer as each blood family member’s magic feeds it and it subsequently strengthens the cores of those same family members. It’s cyclical in a way. A Patriarch’s job is to protect and nurture his family – thereby strengthening bonds and keeping the Well healthy. A Patriarch could, theoretically seal something as a secret among his family using the Family Magic, but anything that was completely morally repugnant to a family member could be overcome because of that vow to protect and nurture.”
“Cyclical,” Mason murmured and seemed to be thinking of what Tony said. “So, while a Patriarch could secure a secrecy oath about the location of, let’s say for arguments sake, himself, if his cop cousin found the idea of hiding a mass murder deplorable he could break the secrecy oath in order to turn the mass murderer in?”
“Actually yes,” Tony replied and nodded. “But in my case, because of a many things I can’t get into due to the secrecy oaths from Arcturus, we don’t have a sworn Patriarch. That’s common knowledge.”
“You don’t have a Patriarch…but you’re the heir?”
“I said we don’t have a sworn Patriarch…there’s a difference.”
“This is why I never got married or had kids,” Mason responded, shaking his head. “Too many generations and this shit gets confusing.”
“Of course sir. That’s why,” Tony replied to his boss with a serious expression.
“I take back what I said about being proud of the smartass I dragged out of you,” Mason shot back. “Okay, Tony, I believe you about Sirius,” he added a few seconds later. “But that wasn’t the only reason I’ve got a headache or why I called you up here.”
Now Tony was concerned, because for as pissed off as his boss had looked when he walked into the office was exactly how tired he looked now, “Sir?”
“You’ve been ‘requested’ back to England.”
Tony froze and his mind began spinning different scenarios as to why that would be; Amelia Bones had left her tour with the IMB early, because of a war, and had never been invited back. Though thinking back on it Tony wondered how much that had to do with her leaving and how much of it had to do with Martin Mason being a rockstar with IMB and hurt feelings. In case it was the first though, Tony liked working with the international organization and while he had no plans to extend past his initial four year tour he also didn’t want to burn any bridges.
“More like ordered,” the Unit Chief admitted with a frown. “Amelia had requests of both her Head Auror Scrimgeour and the Lead Unspeakable Croaker to get you back in country ASAP.”
“Really Sir?” Tony asked, frowning severely. “I told you, I haven’t seen Sirius since I was eleven and while I liked my cousin; it wasn’t as though we spent much time socializing outside of my house.”
“I wasn’t given all the particulars. However, Milly gave me the impression that there might be something else going on. She seemed particularly peeved about something with the Black situation. All I do know is that her first call was to the Lyon HQ and you’ve been cleared by Interpol’s Director to take nine months away from the Unit to handle whatever you’re needed for in England.”
“Nine months? That’s incredibly specific.”
“Amelia said something about Hogwarts, a magical artifact and Department oversight. Even she didn’t know everything – apparently Croaker literally only told her enough to stress the seriousness of his request. Does that mean anything to you?”
Tony froze and swallowed before nodding without saying anything. There was literally only one reason Croaker would mention Hogwarts and Oversight specifically to ‘explain’ to Tony why he needed to come back to England. The Department of Mysteries had found a new potential and Tony was being sent in as a recruiter.
It was the mention of a ‘magical artifact’ that was confusing the young agent.
That’s when something else registered with him and he asked, “Wait, you said the requests were from Croaker and Scrimgeour?”
“Well, I’m not technically an Auror anymore. I transferred to the D.O.M. in ’89 once I finished my Defense Mastery and was qualified to be an Unspeakable. The DMLE and the D.O.M. are as different as your mundane FBI and CIA. I thought Madam Bones was just combining the questions about Sirius with Croaker’s request to save time and avoid internationally ruffled feathers. The man is brilliant, but he’s not exactly a people person.”
“She…didn’t get into details,” Mason admitted. “And I didn’t realize the divisions were so separate or I would have questioned that myself. I’ve pretty much stayed away from anything to do with England for a while,” he added. “And once I realized that she had done an end run around me up to Lyon and my protests weren’t going to be heard I really, really just wanted to get off the phone.”
“Right,” Tony muttered. “So, I guess I’m heading back to England. When?”
“Like I said, ASAP. Spend the rest of today going through your files and pass them out among the other analysts depending on who you think would be the best fit for your assets. Then pack up your desk and get yourself sorted for the move back.”
“What about my Mastery work?”
Mason exhaled loudly and cursed, “I forgot about that. Damnit. Okay. Let me see what I can do and I’ll get back to you by the end of the day. I promise. How many more classroom hours do you need?”
“I was supposed to start Contracts 3 and take another legal writing and research course this semester. After that, I have Criminal 3, International Politics, Political Ethics.”
“Political Ethics is a thing?!”
“No, I think that’s why there’s a course on it.”
“That has to be it. Because, I did not have to take anything resembling that in the 80s. Anyway, jokes aside, you were spreading the Mastery out over four years correct?”
“Yes,” Tony agreed. “Why?”
“Would you hate using the year you’re back in England and do all your research and writing work for your dissertation – I’ll see if the Professors will stay in correspondence during the year and allow that to count for your legal writing course. And then when you come back next year, you can finish the four actual classes you need.”
“I guess that will work,” Tony responded quietly. “Thank you sir.”
“No, thank you Tony. I’ll be sure to see you before you leave. I haven’t given up on convincing you to stay on with us after your tour is done.”
“We’ll see Sir,” the younger replied cheekily to the older in what had become an almost daily exchange since Tony’s arrival two years earlier when Mason had apparently decided that he saw something in Tony and took him under his wing; handing the younger agent intelligence reports to analyze rather than sticking him in a corner doing busy work or filing parchment.
As Tony drove the half-hour back into the city of Rome, and his apartment, that night he couldn’t help but think of everything he had pushed aside during the day as he only worried about clearing his desk properly so the Agents he had been overseeing were given into the best possible hands.
Sirius had escaped Azkaban. And for the life of him Tony couldn’t think of a single reason why after thirteen years the man had finally decided enough was enough; because, Tony assumed knowing Sirius, if he could escape now he could have escaped any time before that as well.
The thought sent Tony back to being thirteen years old and hearing that the cousin, he could admit now, he had been half in hero worship puppy love with had been imprisoned for the mass murder of thirteen muggles and one of his best friends.
The thought that he had betrayed James Potter had never once crossed Tony’s mind even then – that part had to be a case of misinformation.
It was the street explosion that he wasn’t entirely certain of. Tony didn’t think it had been on purpose; if it happened the way it had been reported in the Prophet. Sirius had always been quick to anger and act when he was younger according to all sources; but by the time the incident had happened Sirius had been an Auror and a licensed Hit Wizard set on the same path Tony himself had eventually taken. If the war hadn’t been on, by that point Sirius would have been an Unspeakable himself. They didn’t just hand those qualifications to anyone. You had to be intelligent yes…but more than that you had to be wise. You had to have the capabilities to look at an entire situation and see all potential outcomes.
Something had driven Sirius onto that street and he had missed something vital in the process. That’s why those people had died.
After Tony graduated from the Auror Academy in December of ’87 one of the first things he did was attempt to access Sirius’ case file and trial transcript. All he had found was that it was Classified Level 10; literally only the Chief Warlock and the Minister could access the files. Two days later he found himself being questioned by Minister Bagnold about why he was interested in Sirius Black’s case file and he quickly realized the woman didn’t know about their familial connection. He verbally tap danced around the subject; playing it off as being the only new Auror who had qualified as a Hit Wizard in his class he was interested in what had happened to Sirius as he had also been the only one from his class to qualify for Hit Wizard status. Bagnold had been quickly convinced that Tony was just another empty headed jock with a wand and let him leave.
Even after he finished his first year with the Aurors, and completed his Defense Mastery, which finally allowed him to transfer to the Department of Mysteries in June of 1989 Tony still couldn’t find out any information as to exactly what had happened that Halloween weekend in ’81.
It wasn’t until Arcturus Black finally passed away at the end of May in 1991 and his will was read that anything even began making a bit of sense. It was in Gringotts, under a Family Secrecy Seal that the Goblins activated with the reading of Arcturus’ Will that Tony learned what his Father had known for years.
It was there, sitting with his mother Lyra, Narcissa Malfoy, Andromeda Tonks and Nymphadora Tonks – the only blood family close enough or old enough to be invited – that they learned who the new Patriarch and Heir of the Black Family were. The problem lay in the fact that Sirius couldn’t swear allegiance to the Family from Azkaban. He couldn’t take the ring and corrall the Family Magic. The stipulations set by Arcturus, apparently through a final ritual that had resulted in his death, were that Sirius was the presumptive Lord Black until his death or his 35th birthday; whichever came first. After that Anthony was to take up the mantle and bring the Family to heel.
The secrecy seal was in effect until either Sirius or Tony took up the ring. Arcturus was apparently certain his grandson was innocent and was adamant that a Malfoy would never hold the title of Lord Black. If something were to happen to both Sirius and Tony before either could claim the ring Arcturus had, again in ritual, arranged so that the Family Well would dissipate completely.
Watching Narcissa throw a fit over that information, especially when she learned that she couldn’t inform her husband or son of the facts, in front of the Goblins was almost amusing for the twenty-three year old Unspeakable. It was amusing right up until everything caught up with Tony.
A Family Magic Well without a Patriarch to corral it and filter it among the family was essentially a Well of wild magic being bounced around throughout the cores of those who hold a blood connection to it. Sirius’ death or his 35th birthday potentially meant anywhere from one to five years of wild magic that would need to be brought under control. Or, worse case scenario hundreds, upon hundreds, of years of Magic of their forefathers sent back to into the ether.
He hadn’t been able to stop himself from cursing James Potter in his head after that meeting. The man might have, potentially (as they still didn’t know exactly what had happened), defeated Voldemort using the Family Magic; but he had also deprived Arcturus of at least another generation as Patriarch. The man was only 90 when he passed; their Well could have potentially kept him alive for 75, if not 100, more years.
And now Tony was the one being forced to hold the bag if he couldn’t prove his cousin’s innocence and free him legally. Something Tony’s Father, who had much more political currency, had quietly spent the last thirteen years attempting to do and still hadn’t been able to get anyone to publically admit Sirius had never even had a trial.
“Well,” he whispered, staring out the window of his apartment. “England here I come.”
End Note: Have some more. Lemme know whatcha think.