“We're going to a show tonight,” Scorpius announced over breakfast. “We can go buy tickets this morning for whatever is still available. Bound to be seats at some show, and I'm happy with any of them.”

I paused in buttering my toast. “What, tonight? I can't, I have to-”

“You don't have to work,” he interrupted. “We're on holiday, remember?”

“It's not work,” I hedged, “but it is something I have to do.”

I could see him getting annoyed, but it was true. I couldn't just leave that little kidnapped girl in Ambrosia's hands without at least trying to rescue her. I'd never be able to look myself in the eye again.

“Are you going to tell me why you were so mental about Ramses last night?” Scorpius asked suspiciously.

I drank my coffee to give myself a moment to think.

On the one hand, telling him might make him more protective so he was sure to keep Ramses safe. On the other hand, he might do that by packing us all up and going home. Probably it was best not to tell him anything at all, although he wasn't going to like that.

“I'm working on that,” I said eventually. Evasion has always been one of my strong suits. “Look, I have to do this today, and I don't know if I'd make us late for a show tonight. We can go tomorrow night.”

Scorpius gave me a long look, and then went back to his bacon. “All right, Rose. But you need to tell me what's going on.”

I wasn't so sure that was a good idea. Maybe I could tell him bits of it, at least. “We'll talk about it,” I said, carefully avoiding any sort of promise to actually explain.

“When do you need to go do whatever it is you're doing?”

He sounded bad-tempered. I couldn't really blame him. I watched him feeding Ramses and wished I could just trot out to see the city with them and forget all about Ambrosia and whatever she was doing. But I pictured Ramses being kidnapped, like Anita Spiker's daughter, and I couldn't do it.

“The sooner the better,” I told him. “I'll try to be back as soon as possible.”

Scorpius sighed, wiping dribbled eggs off Ramses's chin. “Try not to destroy any buildings, Rose.”

I left him to it, and set out to do something I'd never done before. Kidnappings couldn't be that much different than felons on the run, could they? Either way, it was a person who didn't want to be found. They left trails without realizing it. Surely some of my skills would transfer over.

Surely I had some skills.

I went back to Anita's first, since I hadn't any details on her daughter or the kidnapping. The building in Queens didn't look any less run-down and depressing today. I felt very sorry for Anita Spiker as I knocked on her door, looking at the peeling avocado-green paint and brown carpet of the corridor. It was a dingy place to live, and she must be in complete despair over her little girl.

Anita opened the door, her curls confined in a ponytail today. She looked a bit hollow-eyed, as if she hadn't slept in a long time. She had taken the chain off this time, though. Maybe she wasn't as afraid of me now.

“What do you want?” she said, and I heard the faint trace of her accent again. Caribbean maybe? I couldn't tell.

“I want to talk to you about your daughter,” I said in a low voice. “Can we speak privately?”

Anita gazed at me with distrust, but she waved me inside. I looked around quickly as I walked into the tiny living area. Her flat was even smaller than mine, and looked as if she had not lived there long. There were no personal mementos visible, only bare furniture and a small pink backpack lying forlornly on the coffee table.

I wasn't sure how long Anita would let me stay, but I sat down on the ratty old chair next to the couch. She saw me glance at the backpack again as she sat down in front of it.

“They brought me that. To prove they had her.”

“Do you know where they're holding her? Or who is holding her?” It wouldn't be Ambrosia herself. She was good at acquiring underlings, and from what Heckie had told me, she had better things to do anyway.

Anita shook her head. “I don't know. They haven't said. They haven't even let me speak to her.”

“I'm going to try to get her back,” I said, and Anita stared at me.

“Why?” she asked baldly.

“Because I'm a mum too.” I met her eyes, and she looked down at the pink backpack again.

“I can't help you. If they see me leaving here, they might kill her. If they saw you here, they might kill her. You shouldn't have come.” She didn't look happy, but she didn't look as terrified or angry about this as she had yesterday.

“I know. That's why I need to find her fast. If there's anything you can give me, that would help a lot.”

“They took her from school. The teacher – she's a Muggle – they hexed her, but she saw them. Big, she said, at least six feet. Wearing odd clothes, and she saw their wands. She wanted to go to the police, but I knew they could never know. Not the Muggle police, that's for certain. I had to wipe her memory after she told me what she'd seen.”

I nodded. It was probably the best way to handle it. Getting Muggle authorities involved would only get them killed, and complicate everything. “Did you go to Magical Law Enforcement?”

Anita shook her head. “By the time I got home, she was waiting for me with the backpack. That bitch Anastasia. If I could have killed her and still gotten my baby back, I would've done it.”

The look on her face gave me a bit of a chill, but I couldn't entirely blame her. I sort of thought I might not be responsible for my own actions if it were Ramses.

“Do you have a photo of her? I'll start looking. My job at home is to track down missing persons.” So I could drag them back to be arrested, but that seemed beside the point.

Anita nodded and got up. I waited until she was in the other room before picking up the backpack and looking it over carefully. It smelled slightly of sulphur, and there was an odd black stain on it. Not blood. I knew a blood stain when I saw one. That looked more like oil.

I set it down quickly at the sound of footsteps, and Anita came back into sight with a small photo clutched in her hand. She didn't sit down again, only stood there staring blankly, as if she weren't sure she should take this last, final step of disobedience to the kidnappers' instructions. I stood up and held out one hand, hoping she would trust me.

“Her name is Georgia.” She handed me the photo.

The little girl smiled up at me from the black and white wizarding photo, waving to the camera and twirling, carefree and adorable with a missing front tooth.

“I call her Gee,” she said then, and there was a faint trace of a smile on her lips. She looked tragic and beautiful and reminded me a bit of my cousin Dominique, who did beautiful and tragic for book signings but was always ferociously honest in her love for her son.

“I'll do everything I can to get her back to you,” I promised Anita. I didn't know where that had come from, but it felt like the right thing to say. The honest thing to say. I really was going to do everything I could. I hoped it was enough.


I decided to start in my usual place: seedy wizarding pubs. New York had just as many of these as London did, according to the desk clerk, who gave me a long list of likely places. Even though it was far too early for the general drinking crowds to be out, someone was bound to be there.

Any self-respecting magical community had pubs populated at all hours by wizards and witches of questionable character. Often these people were relatives of mine.

New York didn't fail me. The first pub I went to had at least a dozen people there, drinking and eating and generally looking disreputable. No one had heard anything about a kidnapped little girl, though, and no one admitted to recognizing the name Anastasia Leatherby or any of Ambrosia's other known aliases.

At the fourth pub, I met a wizard anthropologist who was studying hags and ghouls, sitting at the opposite end of the bar from what was clearly a hag drinking a Bloody Mary. I hoped it wasn't literal. No one in the pub knew anything, just like the first three pubs, but it wound up being my first lead anyway.

The anthropologist, Ulysses Puckett, kept me there chatting for twenty minutes after I mentioned my grandparents had kept a ghoul in their attic for years.

“Fascinating!” he exclaimed, nearly dropping his quill in excitement as he shuffled papers for a fresh sheet. “And did you ever notice if it behaved differently around women than around men? Did it by chance have a preference for striped tube socks?”

I finally got him off the topic of ghouls, steering the conversation to the local underbelly of society. This wasn't usually quite so easy, since I had to dance around the subject, but something told me there was no need for that with Ulysses Puckett.

I leaned closer to him. “Where would I find the types of crooks who might kidnap a little girl?”

“Oh, you're in the wrong part of town for those sorts,” he told me. “You ought to try Midtown.”

He must've seen from the blank look on my face that I hadn't the foggiest idea where those were, and kindly looked over my list of pubs, circling the likeliest places and adding a few of his own. It was like a guided tour to shopping for hired guns in New York City.

“If you stay in Manhattan, these are your best bets,” he concluded finally, passing the list back to me. It was now noted heavily with names, locations, and small sketches of street crossings.

As glad as I was for his help, I hated feeling stupid and helpless. I was out of my element here. It wasn't a nice feeling. I needed a partner, I thought, thinking wistfully of Victoire. Not that Victoire would be any help, since she'd never been to America and only did surveillance anyway.

I left Mr. Puckett scribbling notes about the hag at the bar, or possibly about the Weasley family ghoul, and went on to the Flatiron District. It wasn't far from our hotel, actually, and there was a handy Apparition point next to a monument to some Muggle naval officer. Suddenly running into Puckett seemed like very good luck. Being able to Apparate like a local made me feel more confident.

The confidence stayed for five more pubs. By the time I'd exhausted the seedy pubs in Hell's Kitchen and the handful in the Garment District and moved on to the Meatpacking District, the confidence was long gone. I trudged into pub number twenty-seven feeling a fluttery panic that I had promised something I could never deliver to a terrified mother. I hoped my interference hadn't made things worse, at the very least.

I sidled up to the bar between a bald man hunched over a glass of firewhiskey and a very tall, athletic woman with the most enormous hair I'd ever seen. She was wearing a gold sequined minidress that showed a great deal of tanned skin, matching gold sparkly stiletto heels that had to be six inches tall, and more makeup than I'd ever seen on one person before, though it didn't hide her strong Roman nose. I suddenly felt very drab, even though I was wearing my favourite pink unicorn t-shirt, with the rainbow glittery horn.

The sparkly woman looked me up and down and then turned away a little disdainfully. I tried to catch the bartender's eye, but she was firmly stuck at the other end of the bar where a a very thin brunette was nursing a very pink cocktail, obviously hanging on the brunette's every word.

I decided to try the bald man first. “Hi, I'm investigating the disappearance of this little girl,” I began, flashing Georgia Spiker's photo at him. “Have you heard anything that could lead to her whereabouts? Anything at all you could tell me would be very helpful.”

The bald man glanced at the little girl, and shook his head. “I don't like to get involved with that kinda thing. Leads to early death.”

“Helping people ain't never lead to early death, Howard,” the tall sparkly woman said loudly. Her voice was deep, a low alto. Maybe even a tenor. “You gotta man up.”

“It does if you're helping the wrong people,” Howard said sourly, then nudged me. “You ask her about criminals. She knows most of them.”

“Shut up,” the sparkly woman informed him. “Honey, let me see that picture.”

I showed her the photo, and she clucked her tongue loudly. “She's so little, she can't be more'n eight or nine. Poor baby. Who do they think took her? Her daddy? You know some of these parents, there's a custody fight and next thing you know somebody's kidnapping their babies and running off to Florida.”

“No, this is definitely not like that. Her mother is being coerced, and someone is holding this girl to force the mother to cooperate.”

Her perfectly painted mouth fell open. “Oh my God. I can't believe the state of things sometimes. Howard, did you hear that?” She poked the bald man in the shoulder with one extremely long and sharp fingernail. It was painted fluorescent pink, with gold glitter at the tip.

“I didn't hear nothin'.” Howard hunched down lower over his drink.

This didn't seem to faze the sparkly woman. She waved him off with a chah! sound. I was starting to like her. “Did you check with Tanny Jack?” she asked.

“Who's Tanny Jack?”

She raised one heavily pencilled eyebrow at me. “Tanny Jack is a bookie, baby girl. He knows where everyone is, cause he's everyone's bookie. You lookin' for a villain in this city, you got to ask Tanny Jack.”

I nodded. Bookies were always a good source back home, too. I felt a bit more in my element at the tie to home. “Can you tell me where to find Tanny Jack?”

“Oh sure, I'll take you over there. I want to put a score down on the game. Are you British? You sound British. I always like to hear a accent, though I'd rather hear it on someone tall, dark, and nekkid.”

I was grinning now; I couldn't help it. “I'm British, yeah.”

“I thought so. I'm pretty good with a accent. I dated a guy once, well not really dated, but he was Scottish. He wasn't tall enough for me though. I like a man who I can look up to, you know what I'm sayin'?”

Since she had to be at least seven feet tall in those heels, I wondered how often she actually found a man tall enough for her.

“I'm Rose Weasley,” I said, sticking a hand out to her.

She shook my hand, careful not to scratch me with her long pink nails. “Mimi Boheme.”

Wow. I wasn't sure if I kept the look off my face well enough. “Wow.”

She preened a bit at my reaction. “Thank you. I picked it myself. For a while there I went by Zsa Zsa LaHore, but I decided to be a little classier, you know? You heard of me, baby girl? I perform on Wednesdays and Fridays at the Rabbit's Tutu, and sometimes Sunday for brunch.”

I shook my head. “I only just got to America a few days ago-”

“Look at you, already workin'. Good for you, baby, you make it work. You might want to get some new clothes, though, that look might have been workin' for you when you were sixteen, but you're a grown-up now. Ain't nobody gonna take you seriously in that unicorn shirt.”

“I tried black leather once,” I said, “but it didn't work.”

“Maybe you ought to get a pantsuit or something, you know like a workin' lady – a real workin' lady I mean, not like them crazy-ass hoes out on the street-”

“Can we go on to Tanny Jack now?” I interrupted. I was starting to feel like she might never stop talking. It was a bit like being run over by a sequin-encrusted steam engine. “It's just that I'm in a bit of a hurry, you know.”

Mimi gave me a sideways look. “Calm yo tits, girl. I'll take you there and we'll see what he says.”

Mimi was chattering nonstop as we went outside, mostly about what she thought I ought to be wearing and how I wasn't wearing enough makeup, but she took me by the arm in a surprisingly strong grip and Disapparated with a great deal of flair. Her hair flew in an arc as she pirouetted over her left shoulder.

Tanny Jack the bookie apparently worked in a small stall on a street full of nearly identical tiny shops, all selling cheap merchandise with New York printed on them. Mimi pushed her way through the crowd on the pavement, and I followed in her wake. There weren't many customers in the shop, and behind a small counter at the back was a wiry little man with greying brown hair and nervous eyes. He looked even more nervous at the sight of Mimi storming into the shop.

“Hey Mimi,” he said with false cheer. “You want to put a couple eights down on the game? New Jersey versus Pittsburgh. You can put a Troy on whether the mascots eat each other. You know those Jersey devils are vicious-”

“Yeah Imma get with you about that later,” Mimi said imperiously. “We're on a mission right now though. You heard anything about any kidnappings? Some little girl been kidnapped.”

Tanny Jack looked shifty. I wasn't new at this, I knew exactly what that look meant. My heart skipped a beat. He knew something.

“Show him the picture, baby girl,” Mimi commanded me. I handed the picture to the bookie and he gave it a bare glance.

“I don't know nothin'.”

“Pants on fire,” said Mimi.

Tanny Jack's eyes darted to a panel visible in the wall behind me. Escape hatch, I was betting. “C'mon, Mimi, you know you never admit you know nothin', you live longer.”

“Please, mister – um – Tanny Jack-” people in New York had such weird names, honestly, “Just tell us what you know. I can tell you know something.”

He looked me up and down. “What are you, some kind of cop or what?”

“I'm a bounty hunter,” I admitted.

He groaned loudly. “Mimi, look who you're bringin' into my shop! I can't believe this, what the hell...”

“You tell us about this baby right now,” Mimi demanded, pointing at the photo with one fluorescent fingernail.

“Nothin' doin',” said Tanny Jack mulishly. “I ain't gettin' involved.”

“Hold my earrings,” Mimi said to me, slipping the enormous rhinestone-encrusted hoops out of her ears.

Tanny Jack seemed to realize belatedly what she was doing, but it was too late to run. All he could do was squawk as she grabbed him by the shirt and pulled him over the counter. He landed on the floor in a heap, lying on his stomach, and Mimi put her foot on his neck. The stiletto heel was jammed against his shoulder, her foot was so big. He was struggling, which I sort of thought was brave to the point of stupidity. Or maybe stupid to the point of bravery.

This was way better than going on surveillance with Victoire, I reflected as I watched Mimi grind her sparkly heel into the back of his neck.

“What the hell's wrong with you?” she was saying. “Why you gotta act like you got no sense? You see me askin' you something, I expect you to answer me, bitch.”

“Dammit, Mimi-”

“You better not make me mess up these shoes, either. They cost me fifty Lions in Chinatown. I like these shoes. I don't want to have to put my foot on your neck to make you behave. Answer the question now.”

“I already told you, I ain't gettin' involved!”

“It's a baby, you jackass,” Mimi told him. Her foot seemed to slide a little further into his neck. “She's only like eight years old. We're doing a goddamn civic duty, okay? If you know who took this baby, you tell me right now or I'll put my foot through your skinny little neck!”

“All right, all right!” Tanny Jack yelled. He quit squirming. “Fine, have it your way. It's Kid Shaw, okay?”

I couldn't tell from the look on Mimi's face whether this was good news or not. She seemed to recognize the name, though.

“Kid Shaw took this little girl?”

“Swear to God,” he said, slurring the words into one syllable.

“So where is he?”

“Christ,” said the bookie, pulling a face at her. “You got to calm down, Mimi. Take your pills, okay? Let me up, I'll tell you where he is.”

Mimi didn't move. “You better not be playin' with my emotions, Jackie.”

“I swear to God. He made a payment last week – late – from a new address. I sent Vinnie Mallet out to check it out and he said Kid had a little girl with him, all locked up. We thought it was weird but he's making payments again, so what he does is his business.”

“Imma let you up now,” Mimi said magnanimously, and Tanny Jack got up, rubbing his neck.

“You really need to chill the hell out, you know that?” he said. Mimi made as if to move toward him again, and the bookie danced backward, hands held up defensively. “Okay, okay! Look, he's out in Tottenville, all right? Over near the boat fuelling place. Go get him, I don't care. Just don't kill him, cause he still owes me money and I need to get paid.”

“Tottenville?” Mimi looked distinctly annoyed, her bright pink lips pulled back in derision. “Goddamn Staten Island. That's okay, we'll Apparate.”

Tanny Jack seemed diverted by this. “You got your license back finally?”

“No. I do what I want.”

If I were six and a half feet tall barefoot and ran around in size twelve stiletto heels, I'd do what I wanted too.

Tanny Jack closed the iron gate behind us as we left his shop, muttering under his breath. I stopped Mimi as we returned to the Apparition point we'd come from, around the corner in an alley.

“You don't have to come with me,” I told her. “You've been loads of help. But this is probably going to be dangerous, and you don't have to come along, you know.”

She looped her arm through mine. This was a bit awkward, since she was a foot and a half taller than me. “Girl, shut up. You don't even know where Staten Island is, do you?”

“No,” I admitted. “But I could figure out how to get there.”

“I'll come with you. It's not even a thing,” she assured me. Her eyes were gleaming. I realized she was enjoying herself, and grinned up at her.

“You ever think about being a bounty hunter, Mimi?”

She laughed. “I'm a artiste, baby girl. I just don't mind throwing some half-assed straight men around sometimes.”


Staten Island turned out to be south of Manhattan. Tottenville was at the bottom of the island, and I could see the shiny black tower of Montain out in the bay.

Mimi shivered when she saw it. “That place scares the crap outta me. You know they keep a Vipertooth in there for the high-security cells? Lookin' at a dragon all day would make me think twice about breakin' out.”

No kidding. We moved on, over to the address Tanny Jack had given us. It was a small house with two of the windows boarded shut, and dingy grey aluminium siding. The landscaping was non-existent. Apparently even American criminals didn't take care of their property. The air smelled like sulphur and diesel fuel, and I could see a large warehouse and some docks two blocks over. It was a hell of a place to be held against your will, especially for a little girl.

Mimi and I stood across the street, trying to look surreptitiously at the house while not looking like we were staring at it.

“How are we going to do this?” she asked. “You got your wand ready? You know some good spells for this?”

Probably not. “Sure,” I said, patting my pocket. My wand was stowed safely there. I didn't want to pull it out until the last minute, since Muggles could be watching. The street looked pretty deserted, but you never knew. The last thing I wanted was to get in trouble in a foreign country where my dad, mum, or uncle couldn't bail me out of trouble.

“Usually I just go up and tell them they're in violation of their bond agreement and ask them to come with me, but since this isn't a skip, I'm not sure what to do,” I admitted.

“I say we just go up there and bust in the door. Take 'em by surprise, you know?”

“What do you know about Kid Shaw?”

Mimi curled her lip. “His daddy was Mickey Shaw, one of Charles Rocke's enforcers, and trained Kid up to do the same thing. He's a bully, and he's stupid. He ain't small, though. I could probably take him, I bet. Except I got my good heels on, so I might not want to break them.”

“I can fix them if you do,” I assured her, though this probably wasn't true. Scorpius could, though. The thought of introducing him to Mimi sort of made my brain melt.

“Well all right. Let's go bust down the door and grab that baby back.”

I was having second thoughts about this plan as we crossed the street, but I pulled my wand out and held it low, against my thigh, so it wouldn't be as noticeable. Mimi had taken her wand out, too. It had gold rings set into the blonde wood. It almost sparkled in the sunlight. It blended well with her dress, actually.

“Do we knock?” I whispered as we hopped the steps to the porch.

“I ain't knockin' for a two-bit lowlife like Kid Shaw. Even his boss thought he was no better than a babysitter if this is the job he's doing. He was a serious hood when Charles Rocke was out. Sad day for the old guard, I guess.” Mimi held her wand up and said loudly, “Bombarda!

The door blasted in, hanging off its hinges, which sort of surprised me, since criminals in the United Kingdom always seemed to have protective spells on their homes. We rushed through the ruined door, and I could hear someone cussing loudly, and next thing I knew a bright blue spell caught me in the shoulder and spun me round, my shoulder burning as if it were on fire.

I landed in an ungraceful heap against the wall, the wind knocked out of me, but Mimi was still up, and she charged the man, bowling him over so that his head whacked hard against the linoleum. He went limp, and Mimi knelt over him, straddling his hips, and gave him a good smack across the face.

“I told you I could take him,” she crowed at me over her shoulder. “Good job distracting him so he didn't get a chance to get me.”

“Yeah, no problem.” I staggered to my feet, my shoulder still aflame with pain. “Is that Kid Shaw, then?”

She looked at him critically. “Looks like him. He got less hair now than the last time I saw him, but I ain't surprised cause his daddy was all bald when he got shot dead by the Muggle police.”

Kid groaned a bit and Mimi hit him again, this time with both hands fisted together. I didn't think he'd be waking up again any time soon.

“We need to find this little girl and get the hell out of here,” Mimi said, getting to her feet and smoothing down her sequined dress.

“Yeah.” I tried to ignore the pain in my shoulder and focus on the house. “She's probably in the room that was boarded off.”

Mimi nodded. “Should be this way.” She headed for a hallway leading off the main room, and I followed her, still walking a bit unsteadily. My head was swimming, from the impact of the fall and from whatever spell he'd hit me with. I didn't know that one. My mother did something with blue flames, it was a bit of a trick of hers, but they didn't burn if you touched them. Not the same thing as this, then.

As soon as we opened the door to the boarded-up room, the anxiety gripping me eased. The little girl was sitting on a mattress on the floor, looking dirty and unkempt but unhurt. She scooted backward away from us, into the corner.

“Who are you?” she demanded, her voice high-pitched with fear.

I pulled out the photo her mother hand given me and crouched down. “I'm a friend of your mum's, Gee. She sent me to rescue you.”

This wasn't actually true, but it was the best way to get her to trust me quickly. Gee seemed a bit wary, but she came closer, and I could see her eyes sharpen. She wasn't as scared now.

“Is my mommy okay? Where's the bad man who was here?”

“I knocked his ass out, sugar,” Mimi said airily. “You don't need to worry about him any more.”

“We're going to take you home,” I told Gee gently. “Just come with us, okay?”

She looked around the room, and then she got up off the mattress, her little sneakers padding silently on the dirty carpeting. She pushed her hair out of her face and sniffed.

And then she screamed.

I whirled around, and Kid Shaw was leaning against the doorframe, his wand in one hand and the other pressing to his temple.

“Damn he's got a hard head!” Mimi exclaimed.

“Stupid bitches,” Kid growled, and waved his wand at us.

I ducked down just in time, pushing Gee's head down next to me, and Mimi jumped sideways. The spell splashed against the wall, and the sheetrock started to bubble and dissolve.

“Are you crazy?” Mimi shouted.

“You can't take that kid,” Kid shouted back. “How did you find us?”

“Shouldn'ta made a payment to your bookie,” Mimi said.

Kid's face screwed up. “If it ain't one person tryin' to kill me, it's another. I had to pay Tanny. Have you ever seen Vinnie Mallet? That mother ain't right.”

Sirens wailed in the distance, growing louder quickly. We all froze, and I glanced toward the window. I couldn't see anything around the boards, but I could tell it was coming this way.

“Muggles,” Kid said in disgust. “Why did you have to be so goddamn noticeable sneaking in here?”

“Who's sneakin'? I busted in here,” Mimi bragged.

“Give me the girl and I'll let you go alive,” Kid told us.

Gee shrieked loudly. I pulled her behind me a bit further. “No, I'm taking her home. You better go before the Muggle policemen get here. This is going to be hard to explain.”

“Maybe I'll just kill them all.”

“They'll shoot you, you idiot,” said Mimi. “Don't you remember your daddy? You can't hex all of them.”

Kid scowled. “Maybe I could.”

“Yeah right.” Mimi rolled her eyes at him. “Let's get the hell out of here, okay?”

The sirens were much louder now. The Muggles would be here any second. Kid started cussing fluently, but he turned and ran. I grabbed Gee's hand and followed him, with Mimi close on our heels.

Kid jumped the back steps completely, landing on the ground and then turning quickly, disappearing with a crack. There was a Muggle policeman coming around the side of the house just in time to see Kid disappear, and his face went slack with shock. His gun was in his hand, and he turned it to us.

Confundus!” Mimi shouted, and the policeman's eyes unfocused. The hand holding the gun fell to his side.

“Wow, you're really good at that,” I said to Mimi.

“I've used that before a few times. Freakin' Muggle cops. Come on, let's get out of here.”

I held tight to Gee with one hand and Mimi with the other, and pulled them both along with me, Anita Spiker's building in Queens firmly in my mind.

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