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11 November 2016 @ 07:00 am
FIC: The Strange Case of the Missing Twins ... (Padma & Parvati)  
Title: The Strange Case of the Missing Twins, the Black Kneazle, and the Sepia Photograph
Author/Artist: ely_baby
Characters: Padma Patil & Parvati Patil
Prompt number: 147
Word Count: 8,000
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Unreliable narrators. Some very light sexy bits.
Summary: Something happened to the Patils, but what exactly?
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling, various publishers including, but not limited to, Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros. Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author’s Notes: This is very, very, very silly. I wanted to try something different, and I hope it’s at least fun to read. Little warning: I haven’t written something new in months and I feel rather rusty. Sorry about all my rustiness clearly being transported onto paper. Thank you to my beta for her invaluable help. She’s the best. Thank you to the lovely Mods for being ever so helpful. katmarajade, this is very probably not what you expected for this prompt, but I hope it’s still going to be an enjoyable reading! <3



The Strange Case of the Missing Twins, the Black Kneazle, and the Sepia Photograph



*


MR SEAMUS FINNIGAN – AUROR TRAINEE AND MISS PARVATI PATIL’S FRIEND WITH BENEFITS



Should I start from the beginning? Yeah, okay, you’re right, stupid question. Yes, yes… I know the drill. I’ve questioned people, too, you know? There’s no need to—alright, alright, mate! Honestly, I was about to start talking, anyway. No need to nag a fellow Auror trainee, here.


Alright, the beginning… the beginning… Yesterday morning then. Woke up pretty late; it was Sunday, you know, and we did stay up late the night before. Alright, we were up all night. Not up-up, but you know… down, like on Parvati’s bed. Anyway, that’s Saturday night. Sunday morning… I woke up with a pair of sexy lips wrapped around—what? You said, start from the beginning and give me all the details.


Yes, you said details. I swear.


Oh, alright…


Parvati woke me up at around ten, we had sex, took a shower and then had a quickie in the shower, and—yes, it is true. No need to pull that incredulous face, mate. You took her to the Yule Ball, didn’t you? You must know what she’s like.


You were fourteen. So? I did plenty at fourteen after the Yule Ball with my date.


And no, it was not Dean, thank you very much!


Alright, alright, I’m going back to the subject at hand. Stop being so bossy, boss. As I was saying, we had sex in the shower—three times at least—and then I went to get myself a cup of tea.


Padma was studying on the sofa in their tiny living room. I mean, it was Sunday, probably nine in the morning, and she was already up, drinking coffee like her life depended on it, and studying the hell out of her books. She didn’t even look at me when I walked out of Parvati’s room, but I could see she was already annoyed. She spends all her time being annoyed, that one. Her nostrils did that flaring thing and she did that sort of noise that Parvati does too when I tell her that I want to try something new in bed and she doesn’t want to.


I even said hi and she ignored me completely. But, Merlin, she looked ready to kill someone. She looked a bit like shit, too, you know. With those very unattractive rings around her eyes – they are really dark, to be honest – and her eyes were really, really red.


What did I do? I just got myself a cup of coffee and sat on the armchair across from her and went for some small talk. You know, the usual. “How are things going on at St Mungo’s?” “When do you have your next exam?” “Have you pulled Terry out of his misery and shagged him rotten, yet?”


And apparently a) that was coffee that she had made for herself and herself only – and it was a lot of coffee, I swear, b) she was studying and I was an idiot for disturbing her, and c) whatever she did with Terry or whoever else was none of my business.


And that’s when all hell broke loose. I mean, have you ever heard a Banshee screaming? I have. I’m Irish, I’ve heard lots. Well, she was worse than a Banshee.


Who? What do you mean who? Padma of course! Out of her mind, that one. I mean, she just screamed at me for a good ten minutes. For what? I don’t even know. Didn’t even get a word she was saying. Something about me being loud and walking around in my underwear in her kitchen and drinking coffee. I mean, can’t I even drink coffee? Do I have to ask if I want to brew me a cuppa? Apparently so. And my underwear? I was seriously doing her a favour. Oh, come on, you’ve seen me in my underwear, and Parvati never complains anyway.


But Merlin, Harry, seriously, you should hear her scream! Such shrilly and unsexy sounds, especially that early on a Sunday morning. She disturbed Parvati, while she was choosing what to wear to go and do some shopping with Lavender, and she was definitely not too happy to have been disturbed by those Banshee-like screeches, and… Merlin! I reckon a couple of times people came to the door to tell them to give it a rest, but I don’t think they even heard them.


I’ve never heard anything like that, especially from two sisters. They can get pretty mean when they are angry. So, apparently Parvati was a slut that was making all their ancestors turn over in their tombs – had they not been cremated and their ashes dispersed in the Gange – for the amount of boys she took home, and Padma was a stuck-up bitch that needed to loosen up and enjoy a dick every now and then.


No, no! Not my words. Merlin, I would never talk about them like that! That’s what they screamed at each other. Yeah, not very nice. Nothing new, though. They’ve been screaming at each other ever since they moved in together. It’s their way of communicating, I think. Is it weird? I don’t know. I don’t have a twin. Probably. It wasn’t the first time they did it, anyway, so…


What did I do? Well, what would any intelligent and dashingly handsome young man do when two sisters are fighting? I got out of the way. I burnt my tongue as I gobbled down the coffee, Summoned my clothes, and left. I went to the Leaky to laugh at Neville as he tried and failed to ask Hannah out on a date for the umpteenth time. Had a couple of pints and met up with friends.


No, not Dean. I do have other friends, you know. And Dean was working anyway. Course, I asked him. Got to paint some girl naked, he said. Can’t wait to see the picture, to be honest, they’re always masterpieces. So I spent the morning at the Leaky, had some brunch, too, not just pints, you know. I’m not an alcoholic; I’m just Irish.


We stayed for a couple of hours… nah, maybe three or four, but it was Sunday, you know. And we got to play some—what? Not pertinent? It is rather pertinent, thank you very much. Because Parvati made an appearance, too, so—what time? Probably five – okay, so it might have been more than four hours that I stayed there. She looked a bit upset; actually, she looked very upset. And of course I tried to ask her what was wrong, but she wouldn’t tell me. And that was definitely five in the afternoon. Yes, mate.


What did I do? Well, I bought her a drink, and yeah, she downed it; she clearly needed it. I even offered her a shoulder to cry on or to get a room at the Leaky, but she wasn’t really up for it, apparently. It must have been serious. She said something about Padma, but I figured they had another row. Either that or they still hadn’t stopped fighting since that morning. She had an ugly photograph of herself that she kept waving about, though. That’s weird, isn’t it?


She left twenty minutes later. I tried to follow her, but she kind of made it impossible for me to. Well, she just… you know… got away. Anyway, that’s the last time I saw her. Five o’clock, she was at the Leaky. I bet the others can vouch for that. Not that you shouldn’t not believe me. I mean… I’m an Auror, right?


What? The black Kneazle? Where was it? The twins’ living room? No, I don’t know where that comes from, I didn’t see it. Didn’t even know they had a Kneazle. Probably Magical Menagerie? Don’t they all come from that shop?


But you know what? Parvati would never get a Kneazle. Why? Cause I’m not too fond of them myself. She’d never do that to me.


*
MISS LAVENDER BROWN – MADAM PRIMPERNELLE'S BEAUTIFYING POTIONS’ ASSISTANT AND MISS PARVATI PATIL’S “BFF”



When did I see them? I see them every single day, ta very much. I’m a good friend, you know. I’m actually Parvati’s BFF – oh, good. You wrote that already. Yeah, I see Parv—what? When did I see them yesterday? Well, you didn’t specify! It’s not my fault if I’m in shock, my best friend has just been murdered by her evil twin. Yes, I bet that’s what happened. You had to hear what Padma called Parvati. Such mean words. I bet she murdered her and ran away with her boyfriend. That Boot boy. Such a loser he is.


Alright, so I got to their place at around ten. Parvati and I had planned to go shopping, but she was in such a foul mood when I got there, that I knew straightaway that our day was ruined. Obviously, it was all Padma’s fault. Padma and that Irish idiot that for some reason Parvati keeps around. I mean, she doesn’t even like him. She says that he never shuts up about himself. Not even while they’re in bed. Merlin, I told her to hex his balls off when he keeps babbling about how good he is, but she is too soft – and he is too good at going down on her, apparently.


Yeah, okay, okay, I should keep going. I know. Don’t rush me, Harry!


As I was saying, I got to their place at ten. Padma opened the door and she did that thing with her eyes where she rolls them and her eyelids half-lower as if she is double annoyed to see you. She muttered something about irritating Gryffindors and said that Parvati was in her bedroom. She didn’t even say hi, you know. So bloody rude, if you ask for my opinion. And why? Just because she and Parvati had had an argument! The umpteenth ever since they moved in together.


So, apparently, Padma couldn’t sleep at all the night before, because Parvati and Seamus were at it all night. I mean, like, it was Saturday night. Who sleeps on a Saturday night? Ravenclaws, apparently. Because she was up at seven on Sunday morning—that's what Parvati said—to study. Study at seven on Sunday morning. How crazy do you have to be?


Then there was Seamus being his usual idiot self, and she got mad at him and Parvati got mad at her for screaming at that ungodly hour. So basically, Parvati said that they fought for half an hour and then they stopped talking to each other. That’s what they usually do, you know? They scream, and scream and scream, and then they stop talking. Then they talk again days later, and Padma doesn’t even apologise.


What? Of course it’s always her fault! And no, I’m not being impartial only because I’m Parvati’s BFF. Padma is just unreasonable. Sleeping on a Saturday night! Honestly! And just because Parvati brings home a guy every now and then, I mean… come on! Who doesn’t do that? Apart from Padma, naturally. She’d rather keep Boot in his misery and not even let him put his hand under her prim, proper shirt than have a bit of fun.


Anyway, once I was all caught up with the morning’s events, we were finally ready to go to do our weekly shopping. Needless to say, it didn’t really go that well at all. Parvati was in such a foul mood that we just sat at Florean Fortescue’s for the whole morning, eating ice cream while I had to listen to my best friend’s complaints about her sister.


Padma called Parvati a slut basically. How can you say that to your own sister? Your twin! I really don’t know! I was horrified. I had to have two ice creams to manage not to burst into tears. Parvati was well upset, yes. She was fuming. She said she wanted to hex her sister so hard that morning. She always says that, though, but she never does anything, I swear. She’s an Auror. She fights bad people. I didn’t say like Padma… but basically… yeah… bad people like Padma.


What time did we part? Well, it was almost midday, and we would usually go and have a drink at the Leaky, but she didn’t want to see Seamus, because she was sure he was there getting drunk with his pals, and she just wanted to kick him in his Bludgers that morning. She wanted to kick anybody actually. No, not me. She never wants to kick me… Not that I’m saying that she has violent tendencies, but you know… sometimes you just want to kick people. That’s all.


Yes, yes, yes. Getting there! We paid for our ice creams and she said something about popping in to work for a moment. She said something about checking on some items they had confiscated from Pansy Parkinson’s Manor. She and her partner—no, I don’t remember who her partner is, but you are her boss, shouldn’t you know? Ah, touchy, aren’t we, Mr Youngest Head Auror to Have Ever Been Appointed? Oh yeah? No, I’m not going to talk, then. Really? Oh, I’m so scared. Please. Well, make me, then!


Oh, alright. Only because I care about Parvati and I want you to find her. Her or her body. Because, you know… Padma definitely has that homicidal streak in her, you can tell from her face… And no, it’s not identical to Parvati’s. They are very different. Padma has more wrinkles to begin with…


Oh, okay! Stop nagging!


So rude.


She went into work and I didn’t see her for the rest of the afternoon. Yeah, that’s basically it. When I Floo Called her later last night, she wasn’t there, and neither was Padma. I don’t know what time it was; probably eight?


Yeah, I saw the Kneazle. It looked rather cute, but I’m not a Kneazle person, so I didn’t stop to pet it. What? An old-looking photograph of one of the twins? Not really, no. Why is that important? How can you not know either? Aren’t you the Auror?


So disorganised. Honestly.


*


TERRY BOOT – GRINGOTT’S EMPLOYEE AND MISS PADMA PATIL’S SUITOR



Have you found her? No, obviously you haven’t, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. Am I right? Oh, Merlin! I don’t have a clue what might have happened to her, but I haven’t been able to sleep nor eat ever since I read that article on the Prophet.


Of course, I read it this morning, so I wouldn’t have slept anyway, but still. I haven’t had breakfast or lunch or a snack. And I usually have them all. I read the other day that a balanced diet is—oh, yes, yes. I’m sorry, Harry—Mr Potter—Mr Head Auror. What shall I call you? Harry is fine? Are you sure? I wouldn’t want to sound disrespectful.


I swear I’m not having you on! Why would I?


Listen, can we get back to the subject at hand? Padma is missing and it’s a tragedy. Oh, Parvati is missing, too? Yes, yes, definitely a tragedy as well. But Padma… I mean, Padma! She’s like an exotic flower. A beautiful goddess that has descended from the heavens to grace us mortals with her presence. A wonderful young beauty who—what? No, no, no. Of course we’re not together. No, she’s not my girlfriend. I… she… we don’t… who said that? Did Padma say that? Because if she—ah, no, of course not, she’s missing, she couldn’t… Was that Finnigan? And Brown! I bet it was them! They cannot mind their own business, those prying Gryffindors!


Sorry, Harry. Yes, I do remember you were in Gryffindor, too…


But anyway, Padma and I are not together. We spend some time together and I think she looks like an angel, smells divine, and her voice is as melodic as the song of a bird, but like… I mean… It’s definitely not like I’ve ever thought about her for days on end, without being able to focus on work or life or anything else… no, no… nope… absolutely… Don’t know what you’re talking about…


Yesterday? Of course, I’ve seen her yesterday! I always see her on Sunday. I bring her lunch, because you know, she’s busy. She’s studying hard for her exams. She’s the best Healer in her year, did you know? She’s so clever. And beautiful. Did I mention she’s beautiful?


Yes, of course we can get back to the narration of yesterday’s events. Oh my, I hope I’m not hindering your investigations with my babbling! I should get to the core of the events straight away, don’t worry.


So, I went to Padma’s flat around midday, she was looking gorgeous all hunched over her copy of The Healer’s Helpmate, with a quill in her hair and coffee spilled all over her t-shirt. She was a vision. Yes, I’m serious. Why wouldn't I be? Anyway, she looked rather cross, and when I asked her why she was rather cross on such a bright Sunday morning, she said that I couldn’t understand.


But I understood anyway. Apparently, Finnigan was at their place again on Saturday night and he and Parvati kept at it for the whole night. And Padma? Padma came home late from the hospital on Saturday and she had to wake up early to study yesterday morning, and they didn’t even care about her. She couldn’t sleep for five minutes straight! And when she woke up and made herself a cup of coffee that idiot Finnigan thought it was for him and downed it himself.


Honestly. Had I been there, I would have told him exactly what I think about him. My poor Padma! Disturbed as she tried to study hard for her exams!


She was so angry; she didn’t even eat. And I couldn’t either. I was so angry for her. My poor, poor Padma! She said she’s thinking about finding a new place where to live. I obviously offered my flat, but she said she’d rather live under a bridge than move in with somebody—anybody, not just me. I totally understand, I think… I mean, I would have loved if she had moved in with me… I have an empty room… and my bed is so big, actually… I mean…


But yeah, anyway, not going to happen, apparently. Not in the immediate future, at least…

It doesn’t matter, though, I’m not going to cry anymore over that. She said that she’s too busy with research anyway… She’s working on counter spells and potions to cure people who have become stuck in their Animagus forms, you know? Apparently, it happens, especially when they are upset. Or when they don’t want to change back into themselves. Not that I understood much about it when she explained it to me, but it must be something extraordinary. Incredible. I was well impressed.


So yes, we had lunch, but didn’t eat anything, and then she gently asked me to go back home because she had to go to St Mungo’s and bring home something she needed for her research. Such a great student, she is! I can only imagine what a great Healer she’ll make! I’m sure she’s going to revolutionise St Mungo’s!


Was that the last time I saw her? Well, technically, yes. I think I saw Parvati in Diagon Alley later that afternoon, but she looked quite ghastly. She’s definitely not as pretty as her sister is, in general, and she looked horrible that afternoon. When I went back to Padma’s flat last night, they weren’t home. I only heard a cat’s meow and that’s all. I bet it was Parvati who got it, anything to disrupt my Padma’s concentration. Even getting a little furry monster.


That Parvati. So childish, honestly.


*


MISS LUNA LOVEGOOD – MAGIZOOLOGIST AND… NOT SURE ABOUT HER RELATIONSHIP WITH EITHER TWIN



I don’t really know Padma that well, even though we were in the same house. No, I don’t know Parvati either, I’m afraid. They both seemed lovely back at school, though. I’m sure they would love to hear everything about the Crumple Horn—oh, no. I don’t have any information about their disappearance, I’m sorry, Harry.


Why am I here?


Well, I went to see Ginny’s trainings with the Harpies this morning and she wanted me to tell you that she says hi, Harry, and that she looks forward to tonight. You do remember you promised to take her out to dinner, right? No? I think she will be very disappointed if you forget about it. Like last time, when she didn’t talk to you for a week afterwards.


No problem, really, Harry. I should probably go, now. I am leaving for Antarctica in twenty minutes. I’ll see you next month if I manage not to miss the Portkey back home. It’s a rock. The Portkey, I mean. My dad chose it. He didn’t want to disrupt the penguins’ environment with something more striking.


Thank you, Harry. Say hi to Padma and Parvati when you find them.


*


MISS SUSAN BONES – MISS PADMA PATIL’S FELLOW HEALER TRAINEE



Yes, of course I was at St Mungo’s, yesterday. I’m a trainee. They enslave us to work every other weekend, while Healers don’t actually do more than Monday to Friday, nine to five. I was there since seven in the morning. On a Sunday morning. And people complain about their Auror jobs…


Not you, Harry, just… you know, people.


Yes, Padma swung by in the afternoon, which was weird if you ask me because she didn’t have to, but she is weird, that one. Always studying, always researching, always experimenting… Do you remember Hermione at school? Same, only worse. A freaking know-it-all… So, actually, not that weird that she was there at all. I am not sure what she’s working on. Probably something that has to do with Polyjuice Potion, I think. I just know that she was working with transformed patients. Yeah, we get a few. Some of them ingested some badly brewed Polyjuice, some others were hexed and some others had been stuck in another form against their will. Some of them don’t want to go back to their own form either – like this man, he’s a registered Animagus but doesn’t want to change back to being human because he can’t stand his wife anymore, and would rather live in the garden as a naked mole-rat than in his own house with his better half. The wife was not impressed, let me tell you.


Anyway, yeah, great service she’s doing, but I’m not sure what she’s actually doing-doing, you know? I know she was working on some potions, but like… I don’t even know. Yeah, that’s probably what she came to retrieve yesterday afternoon, but I didn’t really talk to her that much. Just said hey, and she nodded back. She looked pretty irritated for Merlin knows what reason. She did have an ampoule of something with her when she left; but we always bring things home to observe how they behave over a certain amount of time if we don’t want to stop overtime at the hospital.


She was there for about twenty minutes, didn’t talk to anybody and didn’t even say bye when she left. Honestly. I mean, she was clearly annoyed… all Boot’s fault, naturally, he has been pestering her for months and no matter how many times she hits him with the flowers he buys her, he just won’t understand that she’s not interested.


Those idiot Ravenclaws… aren’t they supposed to be intelligent?


*


MR NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM – MISS PARVATI PATIL’S AUROR PARTNER



I only saw Parvati for like five minutes, yesterday. I didn’t even talk to her. I heard her talking, yes, and she sounded rather upset about something. I think it was Seamus who was making her upset. When he saw her, he just threw himself at her. I mean, he laughs at me because Hannah pretends to be uninterested in me – when she totally is into me – and he can’t see that Parvati just barely stands him. I mean, she told me. He is a pain in the arse. But he’s just being Seamus, you know.


What are we working on? Oh come on, Harry, you know it! Do I really have to say it all over again? Just for the sake of the investigation? Alright, alright, I do know how it works…


So, Miss Parvati Patil and I, Mr Neville Longbottom, are working on what you, Head Auror Harry James Potter, assigned us to: the Parkinson Manor’s confiscation. A dull and useless job, if I may… what? I may not? Oh well, it is dull and useless… The Parkinsons haven’t got any dark artefacts anymore; they got rid of them all right after the war. Everybody knows that. But of course, orders are orders, so…


So, we just got all those suspicious items they had in the dungeons, and we are testing them for dark magic and cataloguing them. Nothing so far. Just a jar that changes water into Butterbeer, a necklace that makes you look prettier when you look at yourself in the mirror – Parvati didn’t want to take it off – and a camera that we still don't understand the function of. Exactly, when you don’t know what they do, they are always suspicious! That’s what I told Parvati. She scoffed at me.


Nothing that would have had us going in on a Sunday for an emergency. Plus, I think I would know if there was something important happening with our case, right? Yes, well, I heard that there was something happening in our office, but that it wasn’t something that required my presence. Parkinson was there, but she’s there every other day, and yes, she might have had a little altercation with Parvati, but nothing serious. I mean, of course it must have been serious, and I heard that something went missing, but like… Can you really trust Parkinson? Like honestly…


Yeah, that’s basically all I know. That and the fact that I have a date with Hannah next Saturday and I have to go and rub it in Seamus’ face. So… be right back, mate.


*


MISS PANSY PARKINSON – VICTIM OF SOCIETY AND OF MISS PARVATI PATIL



She attacked me and stole my camera. That’s all you need to know. Now, you should get up from that chair, looking contrite and ashamed that someone who works for you would behave in such a way, and go and call her in, right now. And she should apologise, resign from her job, kneel in front of me and cry and—what do you mean she can’t do it? Of course she can! And she better get on with—missing? Who’s missing? Patil? The Patils? Both of them?


So, wait a second, if it’s not to apologise and ask Patil to humiliate herself in front of me, why did you ask me to come in? Do you think I don’t have better things to do than being here all afternoon, waiting for you while you talk with your friends and drink tea? I have tons of things to do, I’m afraid.


No, I cannot list them down for you.


They’re private.


And that doesn’t mean that I don’t have anything to do.


What? Just because I saw her yesterday? Right before she disappeared? Is that why I am questioned here like a common criminal? I didn’t do anything to her. Of course, I would have gladly slapped that insolent expression off her face when she told me that I couldn’t—what? What time was it? I don’t know. Probably about three in the afternoon?


What do you mean what was I doing at the Ministry on a Sunday afternoon? I was just… you know… what do people do at the Ministry on a Sunday afternoon? They try to avoid the queue at the offices. Oh. Are the offices closed on Sunday afternoon? Really? I didn’t notice… Well, I was too distracted by your friend Patil who was rummaging through my belongings, the ones she and your friend Longbottom got from my house. My mother has been inconsolable ever since you got her precious jar.


What happened exactly? Can’t you ask Patil? Oh right, she’s missing. Are you sure she’s just not simply hiding in her house because she doesn’t want to come to work? I mean, I’ve heard of a lot of people who fake being sick and disappear to avoid work – I’ve never done it, naturally. I’ve never had a job either. I don’t need to work, thank you very much. Nobody in my family has ever worked either. We’re rich and we don’t—oh, don’t you dare interrupt me! I am not going to tell you anything if you keep interrupting me, Potter. No, I don’t believe that you can send me to Azkaban for that. Shall I remind you that your employee attacked me? And that she stole something of mine? Well, of course I’m going to tell you how that happened! Just let me talk.


I was swinging by the Ministry at around three-ish yesterday afternoon. I had things to do, of course. What are those things? Things. Just things. Nothing that concerns you. What do you mean I can’t answer like that? Oh alright, I wanted to retrieve my jar. My mother was really upset that you’d kept it, and yes, just because it’s a treasure trove of Butterbeer and she might have a little, insignificant problem with Butterbeer. It’s not even alcoholic, so what?


But yes, I was wrongly informed that the Aurors assigned to my case don’t work on a Sunday. Who? I can’t possibly—oh, okay, Finnigan. Last Saturday night, he was at the Leaky Cauldron with a bunch of obnoxious friends; he was drunk and I extorted some innocuous pieces of information. Anyway, I came here, found their office—not too difficult at all, their names are on the doors—and found my belongings lying on their desks like a second hand shop of whatnots.


I had just found my camera and was right about to collect my jar, when Patil arrived, looking rather awful in my humble opinion, and started screaming at me nonsensical things. Like I was trespassing and that I had no permission to stay there and that the investigation was not over yet and I couldn’t collect my own things from their office.


What a big, fat liar. She didn’t give a damn about my very precious belongings! And I’m sure they’re worth more than her life. She was only concerned with my camera. I don’t even know why, but she wanted it. It’s an undeniably normal camera, I swear. I mean, my father might have modified it a little bit, but it’s nothing too evil. It’s more like a joke, you know?


Of course I know what it does, I’m not an idiot, thank you very much! No, I can’t tell you. You’re going to hassle daddy if I do, and I swear—oh, alright! It traps the person you snap a picture of, into the photograph. But nothing bad happens to them, I swear. They’re just trapped there for a bit. It’s very useful when you have to deal with someone who is annoying you to no end. No, it’s not painful. Ask Millicent. I’ve taken tons of pictures of her. She’s such a drag when she starts talking about Theodore Nott and how handsome he is, when he is really not. I mean, she thinks that he has muscles, when he’s actually all flabby and fat and pretty flaccid. I know because Daphne told me, naturally, not because I saw anything.


I’ve never slept with him.


Not even after Draco Malfoy’s last Halloween party, when we were both wasted and ended up in Narcissa Malfoy’s bedroom.


Not even then. I swear…


Anyway. Yes, indeed, Patil wrestled the camera from my hands and she basically disappeared with it! She didn’t even apologise for singeing off a lock of my beautiful hair with her stupid hex. Look at this!


Of course she knew what the camera did. I told her! She wouldn’t have understood anything otherwise. Why did I tell her? Well, she kept asking me—screaming at me, I swear—what that thing did. She was so annoying. I was that close to snapping her picture, too.


Yes, she left me there, in quite a state, with a lock of her hair in my hand—I am not completely defenceless, you know—and left.


Of bloody course I went to report her behaviour immediately.


What? Of course I’m not going to answer a few questions about other suspicious items you may find in my house. I won’t and you can’t make me! I refuse! Who do you think you are anyway?


I hate you, Potter.


*


HEALER AUGUSTUS PYE – HEALER IN CHARGE AT ST MUNGO’S AND MISS PADMA PATIL’S SUPERVISOR



Of course I saw Miss Patil, yesterday. Contrary to what some trainees think, Healers do work on weekends, you know. We just don’t complain as much as the youngsters, because we’re used to doing some hard work every now and then.


What is she working on? Of course I know, I am her supervisor, she answers to me about pretty much anything she does. Like every other trainee, but she’s the only one who is coming up with something interesting this year, all the others are slacking a bit with their research—especially Miss Bones, but don’t tell her I told you.


What is she working on? Nothing! That’s the thing! Not even—oh, Miss Patil, of course! She’s very clever, very clever indeed. In fact, she’s developing a potion that will allow all humans who are stuck in a non-human form to regain their normal features. She’s obviously developing a counter potion first, because we only get that many non-human humans and we are not allowed to test our developing potions on our patients.


Yes, she’s created a potion that is changing people into animals and—well, Transfiguration would be too simple to reverse, don’t you think? A simple Finite Incantatem and the person is as good as new! Now, it’s much more complicated to reverse the effects of a potion!


What is she changing people into? Anything, really. Trolls, Crups, Kneazles. Anything that might be useful for her research. Of course she asks before changing people! Well, she’s going to ask, at least; she hasn’t started testing the potion yet; not that I know, at any rate.


Why? Do you think she has? And was she successful? Oh, you mean that she tested it on herself and then disappeared? Is that why I’m here? Nah, she’s way too intelligent to do that! She wouldn’t take anything dangerous, first of all, and then she wouldn’t test it on herself. Who would come to her rescue if she was the one who was transformed into an animal? That doesn’t make any sense at all if you ask me. She’s way too intelligent to do that…


*


MR DEAN THOMAS – AUROR TRAINEE, ASPIRING PAINTER, AND MISS PARVATI PATIL’S FRIEND WITH BENEFITS



I’m not Parvati’s “friend with benefits,” Harry. I swear. I mean, maybe—maybe—we’ve kind of had sex a couple of times, but we were both rather drunk and I don’t remember much about it anyway. Actually, to be honest, I don’t even remember if it was Parvati or Padma I slept with. In fact, Parvati might have mentioned a couple of times that she wanted me to try to help Padma relax, and she might have set me up with her once or twice. To be honest, though, I was completely off my face, so I don’t remember much.


Probably it was Parvati, though, because I’ve never seen Padma drunk.


Don’t tell that to Seamus or Terry, though! I swear they’re going to kill me if they knew that I slept with either girl. I mean, Seamus might act like a big manly man who doesn’t care about romancing a woman, but he’s completely gone for Parvati, and Terry… Merlin, can anybody at all be any more pathetic than he is? Padma can’t stand him and he just keeps trying to go out with her. I heard that even Neville is less idiotic than they both are. I mean, did you hear that he’s going out with Hannah next week? It is true, then: the harder you try, the luckier you get.


But yes, officially, I’m just painting them. Well, I’m drawing the girls and some bits of their house to send to their grandmother in India. She’s very old-fashioned and she doesn’t particularly like pictures, so… Yes, I’ve drawn Padma in a sari, Parvati in a sari and out of a sari—didn’t send that one to her grandma—and their house. The kitchen, their bedrooms, their bathroom… I’ve just got started on the living room.


Yes, that’s why I have their house keys, so that I can go there when they are not home and I can just sit there and do what I have to do and get me some food from their fridge. They said I can! I’m not stealing it. I swear I have their permission, Harry.


So, yep. I went to their flat yesterday afternoon and I was not surprised in the least for the fact that they were not there. They are never there on a Sunday afternoon, that’s why I go there, so I can paint in peace without having to listen to the two of them bickering all the time. Where are they on a Sunday afternoon? Easy. Padma is usually at work or in the library to do whatever a Healer should do, and Parvati is at the pub or out shopping with Lavender.


But I knew straightaway that something was wrong there.


Well, first of all, their living room was in a state. I mean, it’s always in a state when Padma is doing a long shift and Parvati is home alone and doesn’t have time to tidy up, but Padma shouldn’t have been working this weekend, so… that was suspicious.


Then there was the Kneazle. They would have told me if they had gotten a pet, mostly because they would have asked me to draw that too, to send it to their grandmother. It’s a magnificent animal, too. Black, long fur, dark, sparkly eyes, he purred straightaway when—what? It’s a she? Well, she purred straightaway when I walked in there, rubbing her muzzle all over my ankles and giving me some friendly pecks. Of course, I rubbed her between her ears and she purred even more, but then… Merlin, the moment I opened the fridge to get me a sandwich… she attacked me! Like a demon! And she hissed and her eyes… she looked like Parvati when Seamus starts talking about marriage. Crazy.


Completely and utterly crazy.


Of course I did not run away, screaming like a girl, though—no matter what Seamus says.


I locked her in the kitchen—without even having the time to make me the sandwich—and then and there is where I found the second very suspicious thing. A photograph! On the floor! I mean, a photograph of Parvati! Or it was Padma, I don’t know. But it didn’t look very good indeed. She was screaming, her hair was a complete disaster and her eyes looked like they were blood-shot. I’m not sure as it was a sepia photograph. But I mean, I spent weeks drawing them for free—because I’m their friend, naturally, not because I could raid their fridge—because I thought they didn’t like pictures, and I find that!


Well, to be honest with you, she didn’t look like she was too happy to have been photographed. A monster, honestly. She looked like she was trying to claw her way out of the picture, too. Like that’s possible. But she did look rather scary…


I turned it around and placed it on the coffee table. Couldn’t bring myself to look at it while I was working. I finished the living room, though. I mean, if they got a Kneazle to guard the fridge, there’s no reason for me to keep going there and pretend like I’m working.


Am I right, mate?


*


MR RONALD BILIUS WEASLEY – AUROR TRAINEE ASSIGNED TO THE CASE OF THE MISSING PATIL SISTERS



Are we going to the Leaky, tonight, Harry? You know Hermione is working late and I really don’t—what? No, you can’t go out with Ginny! You promised! I know she’s your fiancée, but Harry! I’m your best-friend. You can’t spend all your time—no, of course I don’t want to talk to Ginny about it… You know she gets all crazy for no reason when I talk to her about letting you spend some time with me… No, okay. Okay. Yeah. Say hi to my adorable little sister from me, will you? No, course I’m not sarcastic, mate…


Right, so the case, I bet you want to know everything about it, don’t you? Oh, okay, you already know pretty much everything there is to know, you had to do the questioning this time, Mr Head Auror… But you don’t know how we managed to find the twins! Ah!


What do you mean you think you already know? Oh come on, Harry! You always have to show off, don’t you?


No, I’m not sulking.


No, I’m not four.





Oh, alright. I’ll tell you, just because if you’re late for your date because of me, Ginny will have my bollocks.


So, we went to the flat Parvati and Padma are sharing in Diagon Alley this afternoon, and we found exactly what Dean said there was: a crazy Kneazle and an old-looking photograph of one of the twins. Again, as Dean said, the Kneazle looked like a feral beast, and the twin in the picture looked rather terrifying, if you ask me. Screaming and looking very annoyed for some reason.


We also found some paintings—probably left by Dean; some putrescent flowers—probably left by Boot; some disgusting sandy hair in the shower—you can imagine who left that.


So, long story short, we got the Kneazle and sedated her—because she was honestly… like… you know Crookshanks, right? Yeah, nothing like that. Crookshanks is a lamb compared to that one—and we got the photograph. We had to press it in between the pages of a book, though, because I swear, she was not a nice view.


Yes, we brought them to the Ministry and inspected them and, after attentive examination, we came to the conclusion that Padma was the girl in the picture, and that the Kneazle was, indeed, a female.


We were right about to get to the bottom of the case ourselves—I swear, Harry—when things happened so quickly, we could barely keep up with them.


Pansy Parkinson arrived and she started screaming about her freaking camera. She tried to hex us, but we blocked her and then… Unexpectedly, when she finally saw the camera that we had retrieved from the twins’ flat and Padma’s photograph, she started laughing maniacally—yes, that’s the word I’m looking for—and literally rolled on the floor holding her belly.


We called in Seamus to escort her out, but the moment he walked in, the Kneazle, somehow, managed to escape the very secure cage we put her in, and attacked him. Like, honestly, she jumped at his throat. Seamus is allergic to Kneazle fur, by the way, did you know? Not a nice scene, Harry, let me tell you.

When we managed to Stun the animal again, we had to call a Healer because Seamus was not a nice view: scratched, sneezy, and swollen. Susan Bones was sent from the Ministry and Merlin! She should be radiated from her job. She didn’t pay Seamus any mind at all, she just focused all her attention on the Kneazle, repeating things like, “You really did it! Merlin, what a perfect transformation, girl!”


Parkinson was still laughing while all this was happening.


Seamus was still sneezing all over my desk.


Susan was being kind of useless.


And that’s when the Kneazle regained consciousness again – I swear she’s superhuman – and jumped on the photograph before we could stop her. She grabbed it and jumped over the shelves, the highest ones we have in our office. In five seconds she had torn it to pieces.


And five seconds later Padma was grabbing the animal with her bare hands and screaming things like, “You’re the worst sister in the world!” and, “I am never changing you back!”


Seamus suggested to Stun her, too, but we obviously couldn’t. Right?


Parkinson was still laughing.


Susan was still being useless.


I tried to separate Padma from the Kneazle, but I got scratched and bit—not sure who did what. So, yeah, we just waited for them to finish fighting.
After twenty minutes, there were chunks of fur all over our office and some blood, too. And that was all over Hermione’s picture, by the way. She was horrified when I told her.


Anyway, as suddenly as they had started fighting, they stopped, and then—completely out of the blue—Padma was hugging the Kneazle and petting her and telling her that she was sorry. The Kneazle was licking her and rubbing her muzzle all over Padma’s face, so yeah… women, right?


Long story short, turned out that Parvati had taken Parkinson’s camera to snap a picture of Padma and keep her out of the way for the whole weekend while she planned to bring home some company.


Not Seamus apparently.


Yes, Seamus was rather upset about it.


Padma, though, had brought home some of the potion she was working on, yesterday, and left it in the kitchen with a ‘Drink Me’ label on it. Yes, for Parvati. Parvati fell for it rather easily if you ask me, but you know… Better not point that out to her. Not that she understands us, I think… She’s still a Kneazle.


I mean, Padma promised to work hard on the counter potion, but she went out with Terry tonight… Left her sister with Dean.


Yeah, Seamus was not too happy, again, but you know… he’s allergic, so…
That’s all. All’s well that ends well, right?


So… You sure you can’t come out for a pint, then, Harry? To celebrate a case solved?


I know we didn’t do much, but like…


Alright, no, I don’t want to talk to Ginny about it.


I’ll see you tomorrow, then.


Enjoy going to a boring, fancy restaurant with a girl, mate.


Yes, I know Ginny is amazing and fun and beautiful and that you’re going to end up at her flat doing—excuse me? What are you going to do to my sister?


Harry. Harry! Come back here right now!


Harry! Don’t you dare!


She’s my little sister… My pure, sweet little sister…


Harry…


Oh, bloody hell.


FIN

 
 
 
sunshine_sundaesunshine_sundae on November 11th, 2016 08:35 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful! So creatively written and such an original and fresh plot. I liked the voices you developed for each character (Pansy was my fave) and bizarrely, although none of his words were recorded, you could totally feel Harry growing in frustration with his unhelpful witnesses. You captured the twins' relationship perfectly. I have a sister - I understand! I also loved how the climax and denouement came through a retelling from Ron. He sounded just so done with it all. Overall, such a fun and delightful little tale. Well done!
Ely-Babyely_baby on December 13th, 2016 09:24 pm (UTC)
Oh golly! Thank you so much for such a lovely comment. When I got your review I kept on grinning like a madwoman, and now I am still giggling as I re-read it. I am really glad you enjoyed the story and I have to admit that Pansy is my favourite too! Although, I have a soft spot for Ron as well.. Poor him! What with Harry preferring to spend time with his sister rather than him! LOL! But yes, Harry was definitely frustrated by the end of it.

Thank you again! You completely and utterly made my day. Xxx
kittyaugustkittyaugust on November 12th, 2016 01:11 am (UTC)
This was adorable and very funny. Great work.
Ely-Babyely_baby on December 13th, 2016 09:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. So glad you enjoyed! Xx
call me trys: me myself and Itryslora on November 21st, 2016 05:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the smile.
Ely-Babyely_baby on December 13th, 2016 09:18 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you for the comment! x
Machiavellian Puppet Master: politics--obama rainbowtjs_whatnot on November 23rd, 2016 02:24 pm (UTC)
Oh man! I AM such a sucker for this shit! Like, I laugh, I cry (from laughing), I try to solve the mystery, but mostly I marvel at the brilliance. <3

Great job!
Ely-Babyely_baby on December 13th, 2016 09:19 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you so very much! I usually suck at solving mysteries myself, so I wonder why I even try.. He he! I'm really glad you enjoyed it, though! And so happy to hear that it made you laugh! That was what I was going for! Thank you again. Xxx
articcat621: pic#120760023articcat621 on December 14th, 2016 04:30 pm (UTC)
What a fun and creative way to tell this story!! Mysteries are difficult to write, so kudos to writing this! <3
Ely-Baby: Ely-Baby @ Selina Fenechely_baby on December 14th, 2016 08:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! Mysteries are definitely hard to write, so I don't know why I even try! Glad it wasn't a total disaster! Thank you again. Xxxx
Rozarka: smiley balloonthimble_kiss on December 15th, 2016 03:45 pm (UTC)
I must admit, I'm not the first to click on a gen fic, but when I saw your name on the masterlist I opened this in a tab to read, and I am so glad I didn't miss out on this comedy gem! I was cackling throughout, at everyone's ruthlessly displayed quirks, at Harry's implied presence, steely focus and fraying patience, at the zany brilliance of it all! What had happened came slowly into view, more clearly with every new angle, and the mystery in itself is just so creative and funny, but on top of that the use of unreliable narrators and the characterizations are just wonderfully clever. It's like turning a caleidoscope a notch and shaking a new dazzling picture into view. *g* The POV captures something essential about each person in a way that's a little, delightfully mean, but basically pretty fond and good-natured. I think my favourites were Pansy's uncompromising vindictiveness and Seamus who was just perfect in his self-absorption, and oh my, poor Terry! *facepalm* And sweet Luna whose errand and parting comment made me grin like a loon, and Ron providing the perfect summary in the end, but now I've forgotten Lavender sassing Harry, and gah, too. many. favourites. :D

I think perhaps Harry was my favourite after all. I just loved how his reactions, seen through each new witness, provided a thread through the story that tied everything together. ♥ Poor Harry, I'm so glad he got a nice end to his day after all of that!
Ely-Baby: christmasely_baby on December 16th, 2016 03:58 pm (UTC)
Aww. Thank you so much for such a lovely comment, Roz. And thank you so much for believing in me and reading a story that you might have overlooked at first just because I wrote it. That is lovely and it made my day.

I have to admit that it's definitely not one of my best works, and I only wrote it like this because I wanted to experiment and had to write something quick since I had an essay deadline coming up. Despite this, I had fun writing it and I'm glad it was an enjoyable reading!

Ron is definitely one my favourite. And Pansy. But yeah, Harry is the star of the piece. I can just imagine him being very professional, but rolling his eyes continuously at the absurdity of the witnesses' statements.

I am the worst at writing mysteries and I don't even know why I try. I like them, so that's probably why. LOL. I can never solve them either, so really... I'm just a disgrace for the genre. But what a lovely image that of the caleidoscope. I haven't thought about this and it certainly fits the way I constructed this story. It made me smile and giggle happily to think about it in these terms.

Thank you so much again. I am so glad to hear that you liked it. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You made my day. Xxxx
Rozarkathimble_kiss on December 16th, 2016 04:22 pm (UTC)
Aw, give the story a few months and try to read it again and see if you're happier with it. :) I mean, I get that not every story one writes will be one's favourite, but I think you're underselling this one. I had so much fun trying to piece the puzzle together (I didn't completely but I was definitely on the right track) and I was delighted that the answer was so thoroughly magical! No way are you a disgrace for the genre! And the serial monologue form was a very serendipitous choice even if a pragmatic one - it really worked perfectly for the comedy aspect.

Are you going home for the holidays, by the way? I hope you'll be able to, but I wish you a really wonderful Christmas, regardless where! ♥

(P.S. When I mentioned Luna's parting comment, I meant Xeno's very ecologically aware choice of a rock portkey. Still giggling at that. He would. :D)
Ely-Baby: Ely-Baby @ Selina Fenechely_baby on December 16th, 2016 09:08 pm (UTC)
Aww. I'll follow your advice and read it again after some time. In the meantime, though, I'm not reposting it on AO3. I wouldn't have posted the one I wrote for nextgen fest either, but they posted it themselves. Thank you for all the compliments and for the encouragement. It's truly appreciated. Ad LOL. Xeno would definitely, wouldn't he?

Totally going back home for the hols. Not looking forward to the trip, though. There's a strike exactly that day that will affect the Gatwick express. Exactly what I need. Uff. I'll be happy when I'll walk through my door in Como.

Hope you're going to have awesome holidays too! Filled with love, family, friends and peace and relaxment. And yummy food. <333 xxx
Rozarkathimble_kiss on December 16th, 2016 09:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks, babe. *hugs* I'm sure it will be a lovely Christmas; we're all very happy that my sis and family will be traveling here for this year's holidays. Excited to see them all, especially my precious auntlings! And I'm so glad to know you'll get to celebrate at home. I've got all crossables crossed for a smooth journey there and back for you!
Ely-Babyely_baby on December 16th, 2016 11:25 pm (UTC)
Sounds like an awesome Christmas already! It's going to be lovely, Roz. So happy for you, you deserve all the best.

Thank you! I'm crossing all crossables too! Thank you! You're the sweetest. <33