The Face of the Enemy
That evening Queenie could not wait to tell Jacob of her hour with Bob Holden. She talked continuously as they prepared bread and pastries for the next day; she told him of the ring wand she had begun to make under Bob’s instruction. She showed him the returning portkey and explained about making it with a wand core so that it could remember.
Jacob was quiet, enjoying her excitement, as he went through the routine of preparing for the next day. “You certainly have your work cut out for you,” he said. “As much as I love having you here to help me prepare for tomorrow, I think that if you can arrange it with Bob Holden, you should consider portkeying to his workshop in England after you finish work. You could even use the opportunity to visit your sister. That way there would be no chance of being observed. I don’t know how much flexibility you have at the Wand Permit Office, but perhaps you can arrange to have your hours coincide with his.”
“We will have less time together,” said Queenie.
“Yes, we will, but I can prepare for the next day and we will have the night together. You need to learn as much as you can as fast as you can and I need to know about magic—not just the history of magic. I need to know the context of magic; what can be done; what you can do; what you can’t do—what can harm you.”
“What is troubling you?” asked Queenie.
“You don’t know?” he asked.
“No, I like you to tell me; it’s much better.”
Jacob smiled and nodded his appreciation, “Ok, what I know so far is that we are in great danger from your MACUSA. What I don’t know is what we can do to protect us and ours—I need to know. When you told me about what the wand examiners do, I realized that by examining wands for the magic used they were searching for possible violations that they can use to begin a more thorough investigation.
“When are you scheduled to have your wand examined?”
“Not for another four months, why?”
“The wand examiners will notice any wand use out of the ordinary,” Jacob said. “That is what they look for—a change in pattern, not just serious crimes. It is probably how they first discover no-maj marriages. I need to see what is revealed when you examine a wand.
“You should use your registered wand for everything you would do for yourself and use one of the unregistered wands that you have made to assist me, as when you duplicate my clothes so that they never wear out and I don’t have the expense of washing them. Think what an examiner might make of you disillusioning a no-maj. What questions would he be inspired to ask? How would you answer?”
Queenie had not thought about this. The shock in her face made it clear that she had not.
“This is why I need to know magic—not to do it, but to understand what can be done. You have lived with magic for all your life. It is normal for you; you may not realize what could be dangerous if discovered. I will bring a fresh perspective to our problem of MACUSA spying.
“You know what I say is true; you already go to great effort to hide your Legilimency. It’s not just about what your father cautioned you; it’s about what the MACUSA would do if they learned that you were an unregistered Legilimens.—Are potions masters required to register? Are portkeys?”
“Potions Masters are not registered, but they must be licensed to sell potions. A portkey is a controlled magical item, registered for authorized use.”
“Are sales records reported?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” she said. “What are you thinking?”
“I have been reading the history you have provided,” he replied. “Very violent, as violent as we in the non-magical community even when you include our wars. Oh, the number of dead cannot come close to those in our wars but the willingness of so many witches and wizards to quickly resort to physical force against someone who steps out of line and for the others to so readily acquiesce is truly barbaric. This is what we face. And you are the one in the middle of all this savagery.”
“Oh, Jacob, it’s not as bad as you think,” said Queenie, thinking only easing Jacob’s anxiety, but beginning to realize the value of his perspective. “We can always move to England. You will have no difficulty starting up a new pastry shop. We will have each other and our children will go to Hogwarts.”
“Yes, we may have to,” replied Jacob. “And that’s all right. I would enjoy starting again in England. But it is as bad as I think. Go into my mind; follow my thoughts; let my words guide you.
“Remember what Bob said—witches and wizards don’t innovate; they follow the lead of the non-magical population. I have been troubled by this ever since you told me. Bob’s examples were of technological innovations such as coppicing. But I think that it is much more. The people who immigrated to the New World were seeking a new life where they could live as they chose. They were fleeing the old oppressive regimes of kings and landed aristocracy. The few witches and wizards who first came, found that their power made them supreme. They brought their own version of the old oppressive regimes.
“The Statute of Secrecy was signed in 1689 in reaction to the no-majs’ own reaction to the wizards. With the signing of that pact of secrecy, wizards began to officially enforce an extreme withdrawal from no-maj society, closing the door on any benefit they might gain from such an interaction. This was a time of beginning for the no-maj people—this was the beginning of the Age of Enlightenment.
“In 1689, John Locke published An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Prior to that, the no-mags’ Thirty Years War was brought to and end with the signing of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The various no-mag factions were beginning to learn how to live with each other. But, for the wizarding community, the door was being forcibly shut to developments in the no-maj world—shut to the Enlightenment that would in 200 years give birth to The United States.
“The principle that every individual is endowed with inalienable rights by virtue of his nature as a human being and that the purpose of government is to ‘secure’ these rights is the foundation of the United States government. This principle does not exist for the wizarding world.”
“But that is not true,” said Queenie. “We have a president and a congress much like the American government.”
“Only in name,” replied Jacob.
Queenie gasped at what she saw in Jacob’s mind: The Magical Congress was just a more modern version of the old Saxon Witenagemot, a kings council that would give its imprimatur to the kings wishes—not a true deliberative body—not a true law making congress—not a true separation of powers.
Queenie did not know about the Enlightenment; her history of magic in America did not include it. “Do you really think that the magical world was unaffected by the Renaissance and the developments that followed?”
“I don’t know,” Jacob replied. “Certainly it was affected as it followed the doings of the non-magical world. But enforcement of International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy came at the beginning of the Enlightenment which grew out of the Renaissance, leaving the political thought of wizards mired in the pre-enlightenment era and retreating to the era of the Dark Ages.
“Don't you see, my beloved intended, when America’s founders were completing the constitution that would govern us, the wizarding world in America was creating Rappaport’s Law, banning no-maj/magical contact. The wizarding community was moving back to the dark ages.
“It was not that long ago, just prior to the turn of the century, that mandatory wand registration was made the law, enabling the MACUSA to track the magical use of every witch and wizard. It’s as if the American no-mag government had the ability to track the movement of every individual. The magical community regressed further back into the dark ages.”
Queenie said nothing; deep in Jacob’s mind she tried to understand. “It can’t be as you say. I know that there is too much MACUSA regulation and control, but people are not hauled in for doing magic to help no-majs. What is important to the MACUSA is that we don’t reveal magic to the no-maj.”
“But they could be; every witch and wizard’s actions are tracked through the registry and examination of their wands,” said Jacob. “Don’t try just yet to come to any conclusion. Just review in your own mind what you know of how things work and what you know of your own history. If you can show me anything in the history of the MACUSA that would indicate a lessening of control, I want to know; I very much hope that I can be shown to be wrong; I just don’t see how I can be.”
“It’s fear, isn’t it?” she said after a long period of silence. “An unwarranted fear of the no-majs who never really had the power to harm us.”
Jacob nodded his agreement, “The actual harm done by the no-majs to witches and wizards in the past was primarily the result of collusion with some witch or wizard. We can’t correct all the wrongs, but the MACUSA is tracking you. We need to know how to avoid them. We need to know what they are actually doing.”
Queenie passed along to Bob, Jacob’s suggestion of portkeying to England for study with him and reducing her hours of work at the Wand Permit Office so she could do so while taking into account the five hour time difference between New York and England. Bob was agreeable and Queenie was able to obtain authorized portkeys for travel to and from England to visit her sister on a regular basis. Once she had portkey authorization, she had no real problem arranging to work a half day schedule. She only had to emphasize how alone she was now that her sister was in England and hint that this was more important to her than her job. She would begin tomorrow.
It was late that afternoon when she saw Ruggero Pantano rushing through the hall. She quickly used legilimency to enter his mind and follow along within him as he disappeared around a corner. She returned to her desk and without much thought continued her afternoon routine as she concentrated on Panty’s current thoughts.
He was excited. A witch was being held and for the first time he would observe the interrogation. He would record and report back to president Seraphina Picquery. Entering the interrogation room, his excitement changed to anger and resentment as a wizard charged with doing the interrogation accosted him.
Queenie was serene in her observation. Through Panty’s mind she listened to what he heard being said. “You’re late. Sit there and don’t speak.”
“I was sent by…” Panty attempted to say before he was abruptly shut down. “I know! That is why I waited. Now, shut-up, sit down, and observe the face of the enemy as you were instructed.”
Panty sat down, thinking: Maitland, you arrogant ass. You may be on top now, but I will get you—somehow I will get you. He nevertheless remained silent as he listened— as he glared at Maitland.
“Elizabeth Stanley Wohlfort, do you know why you are here?” Maitland asked.
“Where is my son?” she insisted. Panty focused his eyes on the woman and Queenie got a good look at the woman in his mind.
“Answer my question; do you know why you are here?” Maitland demanded.
“Where is my son?” she responded even more vehemently.
“Do not play games with me,” Maitland scolded harshly. “He is safe—they are all safe—for now. What happens to them depends on you and the answers you give.
“We know that you are married to the no-maj William Wohlfort. You have three children, George, Annie, and Calvin. George and Annie are presently at Ilvermorny; Calvin is in the next room in the care of Agrona Davis.”
“The obliviator!” exclaimed Elizabeth. “Bring him to me now!”
“You do not make demands,” said Maitland.
Through Panty’s mind Queenie saw a wand on the table. Maitland held his own wand. She felt the tension in the room through the apprehension in Panty’s mind. Then the situation changed. Panty froze in fear as Elizabeth’s wand jumped into her hand and before Maitland could react, she had taken his wand, conjured ropes and bound him in place before she turned on Panty to do the same.
It was then that Queenie saw Agrona Davis with wand drawn, holding Calvin as a shield, stun and disarm Elizabeth. Panty’s fear clouded his mind, but Queenie was able to see Agrona free and revive Maitland before freeing Panty.
Maitland was visibly shaken by Elizabeth’s sudden attack. Panty could not believe that she had summoned her wand without using a wand.
Queenie waited. It was a full ten minutes before Maitland was able to proceed. He bound Elizabeth with ropes and revived her. She wondered why Maitland had seemed so apparently unable to act for so long.
As she saw the room through Panty’s mind she realized that there were no other aurors. Maitland was charged with the training of new aurors. This would be a perfect training opportunity. Why was Maitland doing this interrogation—Agrona, yes, this is what she would be part of, but why Maitland? He was a trainer.
A partially recovered Maitland continued with an apparent forced calm, “Your husband does design work for the no-majs in a company called Westinghouse, just south of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You live in a brick house and your husband walks to work.”
“You seem to know an inordinate amount about us,” Elizabeth Wohlfort answered coldly. “You needn't go on. I know why I am here; I am here so you can take our children. You will remove my memory of my husband and my children's memory of their father and my husband’s memory of us. You are despicable.”
“Yes, we will; you have broken the law,” Maitland confirmed harshly, as much to verify for himself his own righteousness as to impress on Elizabeth his control over her. “The law must be upheld. You thought you would escape, but we found you out. You may have listed yourself as the widow of Alan Crenshaw who died four years ago in Scotland. You may have coached your children, but we found you out. We always find out.
“You have it in your power to save your children and yourself. You can do nothing for the no-maj. He will have his memory wiped regardless of what you decide, and the two of you will remain with us until it is done.”
There was silence. Panty looked from one to the other. Elizabeth Wohlfort seemed to straighten herself and sit more erect in the chair. “Your law is arbitrary,” she said calmly. “It is within your power to do what you will. What do you want from me?”
“You will tell your children that the no-maj was killed when a truck ran over him near his work. You will convince them of this! A Legilimens and healer will examine them to verify that they believe it and are not faking. They have been lying about their father being dead; now they can continue the same story only for them it will be real.
“You will make no effort to contact the no-maj. He will not know you in any case. You and your youngest will be removed to a secure residence for the time of your parole; you will be watched. Your two older children will continue at Ilvermorny. You will be brought here to be questioned weekly under veritas serum as to your activities and thoughts.”
“Are you going to replace Bill’s salary of $2017/year? Who will pay the tuition for my children? Are you going to toss us into the street and take my wand also?”
“You are in no position to bargain,” Maitland responded harshly. “You will be able to retrieve any savings that you may have. We might provide you with some work here if you are cooperative. You will be released and your wand returned to you when I have confirmation that William has been properly oblivated of all memories of you and your children, and that your children actually believe your story of their father’s death. Your wand will also be examined weekly.”
“You leave me little choice,” she said. Queenie could hear the contempt in her voice. “But I will never work for you; I will make my own way.”
“You have a choice,” said Maitland. “Your choice is whether you and your children will or will not retain a memory of the no-maj—whether you and your children will retain a memory of each other. Make your own way if you want, but you have no escape. We will be watching you and your children. We will be watching your use of magic.
“Agrona, leave the child with me. Go at once to the no-mag’s house and wait for him to return after work. This obliviation will take time. It must be thorough.”
Queenie grasped tightly the arm rests of her chair to physically restrain herself from running to the room where Elizabeth Wohlfort sat in hopeless despair trying to gather the strength to tell her children the lie and do so convincingly. She could disillusion herself and be on them before they knew what was happening, but no, it would not work. She could not apparate to them. She would not be fast enough. Elizabeth’s husband would be leaving work shortly. She could not get there before Agrona. She could not fight them all by herself. Elizabeth and her son were in no immediate danger. She needed to save Elizabeth’s husband first. She had time for Elizabeth. She felt as helpless as did Elizabeth when she saw Agrona hand Calvin to Maitland and leave the room. She felt the rage that she was sure Elizabeth Wohlfort felt. She did not know what to do—then she remembered the “notebook;” she knew what to do. Quickly she walked to the Entering Chamber and apparated home. Selecting a handsome middle-aged man she quickly stirred up the polyjuice potion and drank. Selecting an appropriate suit of clothing, she enlarged it, duplicated all pieces, shrunk back the original, and quickly dressed in the duplicates. She grabbed a large empty jar from her shelves and spelled it with a tap of her wand; she put it in a leather briefcase that she had enlarged.
Taking a moment to check on what was going on in Panty’s mind she apparated to 2000 feet above the city of Philadelphia Pennsylvania. As she fell she could see several factories just South of the city. She apparated to the front gates of one of the factories and asked someone leaving where the Westinghouse factory was. With that she apparated again to the entrance gate to the Westinghouse plant. The gate attendant would not allow her to pass, saying it was dangerous for her to wander about.
“Is there someone who can escort me?” she asked looking around for someone who might help her.
“What about him?” she asked, pointing to a man in some kind of uniform walking toward them. Not waiting for an answer she approached the man while reaching for her wand in her left coat sleeve. With a polite manner and a little help from the imperious curse, she convinced him to take her to see William Wohlfort.
When she was at last standing before William, she asked, “Are you William Wohlfort, the husband of Elizabeth?”
“I am,” he replied. “And who sir are you?”
“Who I am is not important,” replied Queenie. “What is important is that your wife and Calvin are presently being held in interrogation rooms by the MACUSA. George and Annie are at Ilvermorny. You understand what I refer to when I say MACUSA?”
The expression of shock on William’s face told her that he did.
“We need a place where we can talk and not be heard or observed.”
He nodded and led her to the men’s restroom.
Verifying for herself that they were alone, she took out her wand and fixed the door shut. She checked back on what was going on in Panty’s mind and saw that Elizabeth and Calvin had been taken to Ilvermorny where she would tell her children that their father had been killed. It was disgusting to see the satisfaction Panty felt at Elizabeth’s distress. She must have spent too much time watching because William asked if anything was wrong.
“Everything about what is happening to you and your family is wrong,” she said. “But no. Your wife was given the option of telling your children that you were killed or having their memories of you and her obliviated.”
“What? I need to go there right now.” he exclaimed.
“You must not!” she said. “Going there would only put you into their hands sooner and alert them that there is someone who knows what they are doing and is prepared to oppose them. Even now Agrona Davis is gathering more obliviators to come here to remove your memory of your family. Take comfort in knowing that your wife is at this moment at Ilvermorny to tell your children the lie about your death.”
“Are you a Legilimens?” William asked. “Lizzy has told me about them.”
“Yes, at this moment I am in the mind of one of those who observed her interrogation and has accompanied her to Ilvermorny.”
“What do you intend?” he asked.
“Do you know what a pensieve is?” asked Queenie.
“Yes, it’s something in which memories can be stored.”
“Very good,” said Queenie. “Agrona Davis will bring other Obliviators to remove all memory you have of your wife and children. I cannot stop this. Even though I could remove you to a safe location, it would only create a danger for your wife and children when they realized that you were not where you should be, and they would eventually find you. Living on the run is no way to live.”
Taking the jar out of the briefcase, Queenie explained, “I will copy your memories into this pensieve. The Obliviators will come soon to remove your memories. Sometime in the future, I will find you and restore your memories. But I cannot do it until I am sure that you are no longer watched. I am not certain of the procedures used to verify their obliviation of you, but I am sure that they will want to know that what they did worked. I must also figure out how to get you and your family to safety.”
“I see,” William said with an air of resolve. “You were not prepared. You are working this out on the run. All right then, do it.”
Queenie put her wand to Williams head and began to syphon his memories into the hastily created pensieve. When she had finished she put the jar back in her briefcase and went deep into Panty’s mind to see what was happening before she left his mind. He had entered Ilvermorny with Elizabeth, Calvin, and a healer. Maitland was not with them. Panty was her escort from the MACUSA. They did not want the Headmaster to suspect the real story.
“We should go now,” she said. “You should go to your desk and I will return to keep and eye on developments.”
As he turned to leave, Queenie unlocked the restroom door and entering Williams mind quickly located his images of his children before she obliviated only those memories of their meeting. She apparated to her apartment, and before she placed the pensieve in her cabinet, she tied a black ribbon around its neck in mourning should she fail.
With still ten minutes left on the polyjuice potion, she disappeared the clothing she had worn and lay down to wait. She very much wanted Jacob. She smiled, well maybe not looking like this.
Back at her desk she waited hoping to catch a glimpse of Panty or Maitland. She could not linger outside the interrogation room. She could only hope that they would come her way. It was late; Jacob would be wondering what had happened; she waited, finishing some of the filing work her trip to Pennsylvania had caused to pile up on her desk. She still had not seen them when her supervisor, Mr. Abernathy, noticed that she was still at her desk.
“I thought that you would be off, eager for tomorrow when you will begin visiting your sister,” he said.
“I had to step out for a moment, Mr. Abernathy,” she said casually. “I didn’t want to leave a pile of work for tomorrow. You have been so gracious in letting me work half days, I felt bad about cutting things short today.” It was then that she saw Maitland—the face of the enemy—walking rapidly to the elevators. She quickly entered his mind and relaxed as he left the floor.
“You have always been one of my best girls,” Mr. Abernathy said. “I appreciate your dedication. Don’t work too late.”
Maitland was gone, but it didn’t matter. She was deep in his mind. He was thinking about the interrogation of Elizabeth Wohlfort. She worked her way past the contempt and loathing he felt for her and his attempt to suppress the fear at having been overcome by a wand-less witch. She was looking for something specific. She found it—the location of where Elizabeth and Calvin would reside during her parole. Ahh, a parole of three months would coincide with the end of the school year. That gave her a time frame within which to work. But what could she do in three months. She needed a sanctuary for them and she was not sure England would serve as such if they fled and the MACUSA made a request of the British Ministry of Magic to send them back. They were sure to be discovered if William pursued his work in steam turbine design. Safety was the easiest part of it. Anyone can hide out, but how would they be able to rebuild their lives? As she went deeper, she saw his resentment that the Headmaster at Ilvermorny would not assist in tracking the no-mag parents of the students. She was ready to leave Maitland’s mind and go to Jacob. She had gotten Maitland’s daily routine and the fact that Agrona Davis would manage a team of obliviators who would physically watch Elizabeth’s movements. More importantly she learned that Maitland would obliviate Elizabeth’s memory of her husband and their children’s memory of their father. The lie he told her was only to get her to cooperate until he could get his hands on her children when they were no longer protected at Ilvermorny.
She was about to leave when she picked up a thought. “This is one pack of miscegenators who will not pollute the wizarding community. The gaul of her thinking she could get us to pay her.” But his thoughts didn’t stop there. It was as if that thought triggered a cascade of others. His thoughts continued to the time when the obliviators failed and failed spectacularly. Somehow Alexandros Metaxas had learned the MACUSA was going to pick up his wife for obliviation. He arrived sometime while the obliviators were with his wife. He obliviated all in total. Three having to start over again with no memory. No more knowledgeable than a one or two year old. No one is certain what happened. He and his family disappeared. Did they or did they not obliviate his wife? Aurors have been authorized to kill if capture was not possible. We will find him! She felt him shutter in fear and quickly try to think of something else. He had been scheduled to be among those obliviators. He did not like the idea that Metaxas was loose somewhere in the world.
Queenie left his mind, went to the Entering Chamber, and apparated to her apartment. So that is why Maitland was so terrified at Elizabeth’s unexpected attack. No wonder my owl to Athene went undelivered, she thought.
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