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When Tonks came to, she was lying under the craggy lip of a gully about a mile from the village high street. Uncurling her bruised legs, she dragged herself out into the fiendish morning sunlight where balmy breezes teased her cheeks.
Sergeant Brodie opened one of his desks drawers and withdrew a manila folder. “It’s all very routine,” he said, extracting a stack of papers. “You can read the complaints yourself if you like.”
So this is what he meant by flying, Tonks thought as Sergeant Brodie set the tiny seaplane down in a basin of iron-colored water.
Tonks was late meeting up with Brodie at the island’s inn. Much to her surprise, the magical populace of Willoway was not only abundant but outgoing. After she left the Apothecary and made her way through the village, she was regularly stopped by witches and wizards who wanted to make her acquaintance.
Tonks awoke the next morning at a quarter past eight. The sun had already ruptured the horizon and from the window in her room she could see it painting the dewy green with pleasant, tawny rays. A man wearing a tweed cap led his pony and cart down the High Street, whistling as he went.
Tonks had the space of a second to make up her mind. Should she cast a Memory Charm on Brodie or leave him be? If Kingsley had been here, she would have gone with the former, no doubt about it. But as it was, Kingsley was in London…and not answering her messages.
Tonks flushed, realizing that she must not appear authoritative to him. “I’ll have to report this to the Ministry. In fact, I already have. You are the magistrate of Willoway, yes?”
Up ahead, a small dog-like figure crossed the lane…and promptly took the form of a human shadow.
Portrait in Red
This is evil, Tonks realized then and there. It’s not some dark, fanged thing hiding in a forest or an old dungeon, but here, now, in a sleepy little town.
At once, Tonks felt her resolve shatter and as it did, she pointed her wand at Murron’s jar of daisies.
“Magic.” Rook’s eyes lit up at once. “And if I were you, Sergeant Brodie, I would surely ask Constable Tonks all about it.”
The crowd parted, slightly, just enough to reveal the prone figure of Sergeant Brodie lying sprawled on the grass of the green beneath the May Pole. Someone had stunned him….
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