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The Moody Mysteries

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Old September 8th, 2005, 5:08 pm
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The Moody Mysteries

Proudly presenting the first in a series of mini mysteries that I wrote originally for the Riddle thread. Feel free to try to solve them, or just read them and enjoy them. Feedback thread can be found here.

I've included the answers in spoiler tags so you can have a go at solving them if you like.
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The Case of the Broken Broom

Alastor Moody looked up as the wizard entered the Leaky Cauldron. White-haired, elderly, and barely more than five feet tall, he was wearing robes of a dark purple. Designed to make him sink into the background, thought Moody. The old man looked around the interior of the pub, glaring at everyone with an air of suspicion. He lingered on Moody.

"Mr. Moody?" asked the wizard. He stepped forward towards the table where Moody was sitting.

"Yes," said Moody.

"I'm Rudolf Raniplex," said the old man. "I sent you an owl last week." He removed his thick glasses and sat down opposite Moody.

"I remember," said Moody. Rudolf Raniplex had taken ownership of the Comet Broom Company less than a year previously, and he lived life in a way that made Moody proud. Mr. Raniplex seemed to see dangers everywhere. Since taking over management of Comet, he had become even more paranoid, convinced of industrial espionage. The previous week, he had sent Moody several owls, asking Moody to come to his home. He had a rather large collection of Muggle artifacts, and he was concerned that some of them may have been bewitched to cause him harm. He'd wanted Moody to examine the Muggle made objects. Yet, he had refused to specify a time. He had wanted to meet in person to arrange that, and as he refused to leave Diagon Alley while in London, meeting at the Ministry was out of the question. "I'll be happy to visit your home," continued Moody.

"Excellent!" said Mr. Raniplex. He scribbled an entry in what appeared to be a small diary. "Come over around seven. I'm happy to have you stay for dinner."

"I look forward to it," growled Moody.


That evening, shortly before seven, Moody knocked on the front door of Mr. Raniplex's house. After a long moment, the door opened, and Kingsley Shacklebolt appeared.

"Kingsley?" said Moody. "Where's Mr. Raniplex?"

"He's dead, Alastor," Kingsley said solemnly. "In the backyard. According to his diary, the two of you spoke today?"

"Yes, he wanted me to examine his Muggle possessions."

"I'm afraid we'll have to ask you some questions about what you spoke of," said Kingsley.
"Anything to help. What happened to him?"

"Fell off his broom, landed in his vegetable garden, right on top of a stake he was using to grow tomatoes. Not pretty. Went straight through him."

Kingsley led Moody out the back, where a small crowd of Aurors was examining the scene. Mr. Raniplex was laying face down in the vegetable garden, the cloak he was wearing tented slightly where the stake had gone straight through him.

"We've got a witness, a witch living next door, who saw him flying overhead just after six," said Kingsley. "Coming in to land, she said, from the northwest." He pointed to the sky off to his right. "She said that the broom started bucking suddenly, as though he'd lost control of it. Then, he fell about fifty feet or so. We're still trying to determine the exact height."

"What's that?" asked Moody, pointing towards a small bag being examined by a young Auror.

"Rudolf was carrying the bag when we found him, slung over a shoulder. His left, I believe. It didn't have too much inside it, just his wand, a pair of glasses, and a few sickles, but it also had a few leaves of bound parchment. The pages are blank, but they've got the Comet insignia on them, and they've been marked with today's date. We think that there's something written on them, and we're trying to figure out what charm he used to hide the writing."

"What about his broom?"

"Definitely not a standard Comet," said Kingsley. "Doesn't match any of the factory models available. We think it's hand made."

"He made it himself?" asked Moody.

"Looks like it," said Kingsley. "We've done some basic tests, and the flying charms are the same ones being used on all the new Comets. So we figure he'd made it recently, last year or so, sometime after he took over."

Moody looked at him. "You think one of the charms failed, don't you," he said. It wasn't a question.

Kingsley nodded. "That's the theory at the moment. The charms may be working on the new factory models, but Rudolf was old, nearly two hundred, and it seems he's lost his touch at broom-making. And you know what he's like. He'd never fly a broom he hadn't made himself. Charm failed just as he was coming in to land." Kingsley turned to Moody. "You've examined brooms that have been privately charmed. You want to have a look at this one?"

"I'll look at it," said Moody, "but I won't find anything. And I suggest you arrest the witch next door for his murder."

Kingsley looked at him in shock. "Good Lord, Moody," he exclaimed. "Why?"

Why does Moody suspect the witch next door, and what could her motive be - if she is guilty?

Spoiler: show
Raniplex needed his glasses to see things at a distance, which is why he was wearing the glasses to look at the people in the leaky Cauldron yet took them off when speaking to Moody. Thus, he should have been wearing them while flying. However, as they were in his bag, this indicates that somebody removed them from his body after he died. The only way this could have happened was if somebody put them there. Moody realised that the only way for this to have happened was if the witch next door was the one who killed Raniplex, then tried to find something in his bag. When she became aware of the approaching Aurors, she hurriedly crammed everything back into the bag, inadverdantly including the glasses. The only thing in Raniplex's bag of value were the pages with the Comet logo; details of the new Comet brooms bewitched to keep their information hidden. Moody concludes that the witch next door killed raniplex in an attempt to find the information about the new Comet brooms.


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Old September 9th, 2005, 4:59 am
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The Case of the Assassin's Arrow

Alastor Moody took a deep gulp from his hip flask and leaned back in his chair. The fireplace at the Three Broomsticks was a nice place to relax, but of course, he never let his guard down too far. He looked out over the bar. He didn't particularly like being here, but years of experience had taught him that people often came here for meetings of a less than savory nature, and the fireplace was an excellent place to overhear them.

Tonight, however, wasn't turning out to be the most productive evening's work. The closest he had come to discovering Dark wizards was overhearing a few Hogwarts students discussing their plans to get revenge on the potions teacher at their school.

Moody sighed, then stood to leave. The snow visible through the window was a dark grey in the fading evening light. Just as he stepped foot into the snow, there was a crash, then a whistle. Moody looked up as an arrow stuck into the wooden doorframe of the Three Broomsticks next to him. He looked up; one of the second storey windows of Honeyduke's had been smashed.

Moody pulled the arrow out and hurried inside and up a narrow staircase to the second floor. He came into a storeroom. On his right were aisles that went away to the far side wall. On the wall along his left were multi-paned windows that looked out over the street towards the Three Broomsticks. One of the panes a few windows down had been smashed completely, leaving no glass at all in the small frame, so it was almost impossible to tell that the glass was missing, especially in the dim light. On the floor underneath the broken window, Moody could see a man laying in a pool of blood.

Moody dropped the arrow on the floor and ran back to the top of the stairs. "Call a healer!" he shouted down. He turned the fallen man over. There was a large wound in his neck. He looked up at Moody. His mouth moved, but no sound came out. His head fell, and he didn't move again.

Movement behind him, and Moody turned around. A woman was coming towards him from the stairs.

"Who are you?" demanded Moody. His hand went towards his wand.

"I'm a healer," she said. "I was downstairs." She knelt down beside Moody.

"It's too late," said Moody. "He died just now."

"I know this man," the healer said. "He's Tim Tangall, head of Tangall Butterbeer."

"You know him?" said Moody, turning to her. "How? Where do you know him from?"

"Just from the paper," the healer said. "I've seen some articles on him. What happened?"

Moody looked up at her. "He was killed," he told her.


Kingsley Shacklebolt arrived at Honeyduke's a few minutes later. Moody met him outside.

"What happened, Alastor?"

"Assassination," said Moody. "He was shot by a crossbow. The bolt was in the doorframe of the Three Broomsticks, but I brought it with me. It's upstairs in the storeroom at the moment."

"Where was it shot from?"

"Upstairs," said Moody. "I haven't had time to search the building. I've been interviewing the customers. But nobody saw anything."

"I'll have the building locked down, search the upper floor," said Kingsley.

Moody and Kingsley went into the Honeyduke's shop, a rickety two storey building that leaned over the street. It was confined inside; shelves crammed full of products threatening to collapse into the cramped aisles.

The two aurors went single file up the narrow staircase to the second floor. The aisles, while still narrow, were not packed as tightly, for this area of the shop was used purely for storage. There was a layer of dust on the floor, thick at the base of the shelves, but thinner in the center of the aisle where traffic prevented the dust from building up.

"Look, Kingsley," said Moody, pointing at the floor. The layer of dust on the floor here had been scuffed recently. The trail lead them to the end of a row of shelves. "This is undoubtedly where the killer stood, just far enough down this aisle so that poor Mr. Tangall wouldn't see him until it was too late."

"It offers a clear shot at where Mr. Tangall was standing," said Kingsley, pointing at the body on the floor. "And the broken window would have been directly behind the victim." He turned to look down the aisle. "Moody, look!"

Moody turned. At the end of the aisle, leaning against the wall in the darkness, was a crossbow. Moody picked it up. "The bowstring is still attached," he said.

"Is that important?" asked Kingsley.

"Very," said Moody. "Normally the bowstring is removed so the bow can retain its springiness. It looks like whoever shot Tangall ran off in a hurry when they saw me. The killer's probably still close by."

Kingsley looked thoughtful for a moment. "Tarquin could help us."


Kingsley turned to Moody. "Tarquin Templeton, one of the younger aurors. He has a hobby of studying ancient Muggle weapons. Not too bad with potions either."

Moody fixed Kingsley with a piercing gaze. "Wizards who are familiar with Muggle weapons, especially ancient Muggle weapons, are rather few and far between," he growled slowly.

Kingsley gave Moody a shocked look. "If you're suggesting Tarquin was the assassin, I can promise you he wasn't."

"You know him well enough to vouch for him?"

"No," said Kingsley. "But I saw him in his office at the Ministry just as I was leaving to come here. Unless he could be in two places at once, he has an airtight alibi."

"Come downstairs, we'll send an owl to him," said Moody. He turned and headed back towards the staircase.

"Did you hear anyone disapparate?" asked Kingsley as the owl belonging to the shop's owner flew out the window.

"No," said Moody. "And I didn't see anyone flying away."

A few minutes later, the owl returned. The message on it's leg said that Tarquin was coming and would arrive by broom within a few minutes. True to his word, Tarquin arrived before ten minutes had passed.

"How can I help you?" Tarquin asked, stepping into Honeyduke's.

"We want your opinion," said Kingsley, standing up from where he was sitting on the bottom step of the narrow staircase. "A murder, with an old muggle crossbow."

Tarquin looked surprised. "The victim was killed with an actual weapon?" he asked. "Not a curse?"

"The killer probably knew that a curse would be traced if we tested his wand," said Moody.

"That's probably true," said Tarquin. "If I could examine the arrow I might be able to identify its maker. Do you know where it is?"

"It's just a narrow flight away," Moody said dryly.

Tarquin walked to the narrow flight of stairs, glancing out the windows as he passed them. He hurried up them and they heard him walking on the floor above them.

"Don't worry, Alastor," said Kingsley. "He's good. He'll identify the maker of the arrow."

"I don't think it will matter," said Moody. "The murderer has already given away everything."

Who was the murderer, and how did they give themselves away?

Spoiler: show
Moody laid a verbal trap which Tarquin fell into, revealing himself as the murderer. Moody said "A narrow flight away," which indicated the narrow stairs. however, Tarquin (who knew that the arrow had gone through the window as he was the murderer) couldn't be sure if Moody had said, "A narrow flight away" or "An arrow flight away." Thus, he looked out the window to where the arrow had hit the doorframe of the Three Broomsticks. only the murderer would have known to look there, as an innocent person wouldn't have known the arrow went across the street until they got upstairs and saw the broken window.


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Old September 10th, 2005, 8:06 am
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The Case of the Reluctant Rendezvous

If there was one thing Alastor Moody hated, it was waiting. But with the increased threat from the Death Eaters, it was necessary. It was no longer safe for Aurors to use dead drops, leaving a secret message in a hidden place to be picked up later. The risk of interception was too great. Live drops - actually handing a message to another person - had been standard for the last few months. And they had the distinct advantage of allowing surveillance at the same time.

So, Moody sat in the Leaky Cauldron, watching the people walking outside, waiting for his contact, and looking for known Death Eaters. Kingsley would be along soon.

Diagon Alley was a long and somewhat crooked street. The shop fronts leaned out over the street, creating shadows over the pathways. Just across the way was the entrance to Vertick Alley, half hidden amongst the shopfronts. It was cheaper to rent in Vertick Alley than Diagon Alley, and a lot of smaller shops that didn't have the patronage to rent in the main street were found in the side street. Still, there were quite a few interesting shops in the smaller lane, including the only place that Moody knew that sold muggle medical supplies, a small shop called Sultanfus Surgical Supplies.

Movement and a flash of colour got Moody's attention. A group of witches and wizards were coming through the Leaky Cauldron. Tom, the barman, quickly moved from behind the counter and lead the group out to the magic wall. A few minutes later he returned alone.

"Tom," Moody growled softly as the barman walked past him, "what was that about?"

"Foreign wizards," explained Tom. "Come from India or some such place. Just took 'em out and opened up the wall for 'em."

"You're too kind," Moody said quietly, and he turned back to the window.

Outside, he could see the foreign group. He didn't pay them much attention; no Death Eater would draw attention to himself by being part of a group that stood out so much. But he noticed with irritation that the group was breaking up. He'd be seeing them everywhere. He turned to look at the other people in the street.

A wizard in bright orange robes stood outside Quavis' Quidditch Supplies, staring dreamily at the newest Comet.

One of the foreign group walked past the crowd in the front of the glassblower's shop and into Vertick Alley, coming out a moment later with bottle of anti-acne potion and a rolled up bandage.

A family of redheads that Moody recognised as the Weasleys stood outside Fortescue's icecream parlour, and young Charlie was jumping up and down pointing at the doorway. After a moment, the Weasleys went in.

Another of the foreign group looked into Eeylops Owl Emporium, then went in, emerging a few minutes later with a barn owl.

A pair of teenagers (Hogwarts students, figured Moody) came out of Olivanders, one of them talking excitedly and looking at the others new wand.

The crowd in front of the glassblower's shop moved away as the glassblower stopped working, and they ended up looking into the window display at Flourish and Blotts, which contained several books covered in lace parading up and down in front of the crowd.

Moody looked up as he saw Kingsley walking into the Leaky Cauldron towards him. But Moody did not stand, and Kingsley walked past without stopping. The message exchange would have to wait until the danger had passed.

What is the cause of the danger?

Spoiler: show
The foreign wizard walked into Vertick Alley and got a bandage - which, being a Muggle item, he could only have gotten at Sultanfus Surgical Supplies. It's very unlikely that a foreign wizard would have known about such an obscure shop. Add to that the fact that the wizard walked straight past a glassblower demonstrating his skill (which usually makes something interesting for a tourist to stop and look at), and Moody realised that this wizard knew diagon Alley far too well to be just another tourist. Until they know who he is and how he knows Diagon Alley so well, the foreign wizard is a potential threat.


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Old September 10th, 2005, 9:22 am
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The first in a series of stories featuring Moody's arch nemesis - Lawrence Logana!

The Case of the Dastardly Death Eater

Alastor Moody was normally a very careful individual, but in the last week, he'd become even more so. He'd also been pleased to see that the other aurors had followed his lead in vigilance.

"Constant vigilance," he growled at them every morning. "You must maintain constant vigilance at all times. To do otherwise could prove to be a fatal mistake."

The reason for this increased state of awareness was simple. Six days ago, a Death Eater by the name of Lawrence Logana had escaped from the Ministry's prison while waiting to be taken to Azkaban. Logana had killed almost a dozen aurors with the burning curse (a most painful way to die) and was rumoured to be one of Voldemort's strongest supporters. After a year in the prison, he had been sentenced to life in Azkaban, and when the judgement had been passed down, he had smiled. At the time, it had seemed like insanity. Now Moody knew the truth behind the smile. Logana had been planning his escape for ages.

Moody sat at the window of the Leaky Cauldron. He and Kingsley Shacklebolt were conducting surveillance of Diagon Alley. Kingsley was at the other end of the alley, near Gringotts, and there were aurors in Knockturn Alley and Vertick Alley as well.

Moody liked using the Leaky Cauldron for surveillance. It was the main entry into Diagon Alley and its sidestreets (apart from apparating) so Moody was sure to see most of the people coming and going. Also, it was dark inside, which allowed Moody to remain hidden easily, and the windows gave a good view over the street. A perfect spot for spying.

There was only one thing that would make it hard to find Logana. He was a metamorphmagus, and he could be anyone. The Ministry's description of him would be worthless. Moody would have to go by behavior alone.

Moody carefully watched the people on the alley, carefully looking for even the slightest suspicious activity.

A wizard emerging from Zonko's pulled the door shut a little too hard, and it set the bells on the doorframe tinkling wildly. He was holding a rubber chicken which promptly turned into a singing trout.

A young witch ducked as an owl flew low over her head to its owner, a Hogwarts teacher Moody recognized as Professor Flitwick. When she straightened, she was yelling at him, and the diminutive teacher was apologizing profusely.

A witch went into Honeyduke's, pausing for a moment before pushing the door open. After a moment, Moody could see her through the window buying a bag of chocolate frogs.

An old wizard came out of Eeylop's Owl Emporium and tripped over a cage. The owl inside hooted wildly, and the old man stormed angrily back into the store.

Moody sighed. This was almost impossible. Everyone outside, and everyone inside as well, was a potential suspect and murderer. And given that there wasn't a shred of evidence that said Logana was anywhere near London... Moody sighed again and took a deep gulp from his hip flask.

A shadow fell across the table. Moody looked up. There was no one standing over him. It was someone outside. Moody wheeled around to the window, caught a glimpse of an arm with the Dark Mark on the inside of the elbow, then there was a tremendous bang, and Moody felt horrible heat on his face.

The next thing he knew, he was picking himself up off the floor. His left eye was in agony, and when he lifted his hands to his face, he felt the warm stickiness of blood. He knew instantly that he'd lost the eye. Around him, he could hear people screaming.


That was Kingsley's voice. Moody turned to it.

"Moody, what happened?"

"It was Logana," gasped Moody as Kingsley helped him back into his seat. "He hit me with the burning curse through the window. Same curse he used to kill the other aurors. Thank heavens the glass is so dirty, otherwise it would have burnt me to a crisp." This last sentence he said with dry humour. "He must have been on the street the whole time. Did you see anything?"

"No, unfortunately," said Kingsley. "There's a curve in the alley, I couldn't see this part of the street. I came running when I heard the curse. Did you get a look at him?"

"No," said Moody irritably. "I was only paying attention to what people were doing, not what they looked like. Curse my stupidity!"

"I'll have the other aurors spread out," said Kingsley.

"No use," said Moody. "They don't know who to look for."

"Well, we'd better get you to St. Mungo's," said Kingsley, helping Moody to his feet.

Moody put his arm around Kingsley's shoulders, but stopped suddenly. "Wait!" he said.

Kingsley turned to him. "You remember what Logana looked like?"

Moody turned to him. "No, but I know who does!"

Who does Moody intend to ask about Logana's appearance?

Spoiler: show
The witch entering Honeydukes paused for a moment. This behaviour is common among prisoners, who always have the prison guards open the doors for them. After being in the Ministry's prison for a year, this habit had become engrained, and it happened again while Logana (disguised as the witch) entered Honeydukes. thus, Moody intends to ask the clerk in honeydukes for a description.


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Old September 12th, 2005, 1:13 pm
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The Case of the Worrying Wands

The doorbell to Mr. Olivander's Wand Shop tinkled softly as Moody stepped inside. The air hung close around him, for it was musty and smelled of being held inside for too long. The look of the shop was much the same; a thin layer of dust covered everything, with the addition of cobwebs in the harder-to-reach corners.

The old wizard behind the counter at the far end of the shop looked up at the noise. Mr. Ollivander had a mysterious look about him, as though he was aware of hidden things, or had a deeper understanding of the world. "Ah, Mr. Moody," said Ollivander slowly. He stepped out from behind the counter and approached Moody. "What can I do for you?"

"You keep records of each wand you sell, yes?" Moody kept his normal eye fixed on the old wizard; his new magical eye was rotating in all directions, taking in the entire shop. It was a handy thing, Moody had to admit, almost worth losing Lawrence Logana for. Almost.

"Of course," said Ollivander. "I remember when you came in for your wand. Oak, with a hair from a unicorn's tail, sixteen inches. Rather long..." He turned away and looked over the shelves behind him.

"Yes, a nice wand for charms," said Moody. "But I lost it some years ago."

"Oh, that's a shame," said Ollivander. "One of my better wands... But surely you didn't come here just to reminisce?"

"No," said Moody. "The Ministry has received word that several wands have been found, apparently copies of Ollivander wands."

Mr. Ollivander stopped, put down the box in his hands, then turned to Moody. "Copies of my wands?"

"I'm afraid so," said Moody.

"Why would anyone do this? Is there a motive?"

"Apart from the money?" said Moody. An Ollivander wand could fetch upwards of twenty Galleons on the overseas blackmarket. "It seems they're being used as traps." Several of the wands had exploded. Remains of the wands had been tested and displayed distinct characteristics of the wands Ollivander made. However, the wood used in the wands originated in Germany, and Ministry records indicated Ollivander only used timber grown in the UK for his wands.

Ollivander sighed, leaning against the countertop. "Someone using copies of my wands to harm people? Does the Ministry have any suspects?"

"No," said Moody. He took a slow step towards Ollivander. "But we think a Death Eater, or maybe even several, may be behind this."

"A Death Eater?" asked Ollivander, looking up. Moody saw the despair in Ollivander's dark eyes. "Why would a Death Eater make copies of my wands?"

"The targets of these attacks seem to be half-blood witches and wizards, as well as Muggle-borns," said Moody. "Death Eater activity seems to be behind these attacks."

At that moment, the bells on the door tinkled as a young witch in Hogwarts robes came in. Moody turned to her, then looked back to Ollivander. "I'd appreciate it if you could come by my office at the Ministry. There are some questions I'd like to ask you."

"Of course," said Ollivander. "I can stop by on Monday. Mid morning?"

Moody nodded. "That's fine," he said. "I'll see you then." Moody headed for the door, stopping next to the witch. He looked at her bag, and his magical eye could see the name on the schoolbooks inside. "Are you Kylie Schobel?"

The witch looked up at him. "Yes," she said, looking at his bright blue eye.

"My name is Alastor Moody, I work as an auror for the Ministry of Magic. I'd like to ask you a few questions."

Moody lead the young witch across the alley to Fortesque's and asked her some questions concerning the imitation wands, but she knew very little. But she did say that there had been a few fake wands going around at Hogwarts. Moody looked at her intently at this, but then she said that the fake wands merely turned into rubber chickens.

The witch looked at the clock on the wall, then jumped up in horror. "It's 10:30!" she cried. "I'll miss the Hogwarts express!" She jumped up and ran out.

Moody walked outside, where Kingsley was waiting for him.

"Why did you meet that witch?" he asked as they walked back towards Ollivander's shop.

"It will take too long to explain," said Moody, "and there's something I need to do first."

Why did Moody question the young witch, and what does he need to do?

Spoiler: show
Moody realised that Ollivander was actually an imposter, as the real Ollivander has silvery eyes, not the dark eyes. In all likelyhood, Ollivander is his nemesis Logana. With this danger, Moody knew that he had to get eh young witch out of the shop, with the pretense of asking her some questions. After he had the witch out of harms way (keeping watch on the shop the whole time with his magical eye), Moody intends to go back and arrest Logana.


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Old September 14th, 2005, 5:23 am
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The Case of the Curious Codenames

It had been a wet day. Rain had come in from the east that morning and lingered for the entire day, and had only begun clearing after darkness fell. Moody had spent some time on his porch, looking out over the street as the rain had fallen. It was quite a sight, rain, when viewed with a magical eye. It was almost as if he could slow time down; he could see every detail of its flattened shape and the glare from the lamplight reflecting off each drop.

However, after the rain cleared, Moody had left the porch and gone inside. He'd read the paper once again, eaten his dinner (a casserole with mashed potatoes on the side; he was rather partial to potatoes) with a mug of home-brewed butterbeer, then he'd gone to bed.

He'd laid in bed for a long while. Normally he could get to sleep quickly, but for the last week, his mind had been too active to rest. He had what was quite possibly the most important case of his life weighing heavily on his mind. Less than two months ago, a Death Eater named Lawrence Logana had escaped prison, and Moody had lost his eye in an attempt to capture him. And just a week ago, Logana had appeared again, disguised as Mr Ollivander, of the wand shop in Diagon Alley. Twice Moody had gone up against Logana, and twice he had failed. The first time had been because Logana's metamorphic abilities had given him a perfect disguise, and Moody had let his mind slip.

The second time, Moody was unable to act because an innocent young witch was at risk. He'd taken her away, but by the time he'd returned, Logana had vanished. Moody still wasn't sure how he did it; he'd been watching Ollivander's shop with his magical eye the whole time.

Some time after midnight, he awoke. He lay in bed, listening. There! He heard it again! A soft crunch, coming from outside. Someone was coming up the gravel path that led to his front door. Moody swung his feet out of bed and pulled a robe around him. It obviously wasn't a death eater. They were too stealthy to make such a racket as they approached, and they wouldn't have used the path. Picking up his wand, Moody headed for the door.

"Kingsley?" he asked. He stepped aside to let the auror through.

"Sorry to bother you at such a late hour,' said Kingsley Shacklebolt. "We've just intercepted a message sent from a Death Eater in Liverpool."

"It must be important if you couldn't wait until morning," said Moody. "What's so special about it?"

Kingsley pulled an envelope from under his cloak. "We're almost certain it's about Ollivander."

Moody gave Kingsley a surprised look. "Ollivander?" he said incredulously. "I thought the Death eaters had killed him."

"Yes, we had been working under that assumption, but we've received word that the Muggle police had been notified of an old man being forced into a house in Liverpool, and he matches Ollivander's description, right down to the robes."

"That's great," said Moody. "Get a team together and we'll raid it, rescue Ollivander."

"Not quite that easy, I'm afraid," said Kingsley. "We've had the house under observation for the last day, but there's been no activity at all. It turns out that the house is empty. Nobody's lived there for almost six months."

"They must have moved him," said Moody. "Any idea where?"

"Well, we're working on the assumption that the Death Eaters involved live in the Liverpool area. We've got a list of suspected Death Eaters from that area." He indicated the envelope.

"Let's have a look," said Moody. He opened the envelope. A list of names fell out; Comet, Cupid, Dasher, Dancer and Donder. Also in the envelope was a coded message:

Apaxu, ewor I wehn mvgrb kaijx gbpr br ymib mdh.

"Have the boys managed to decode this?" asked Moody.

"Not yet," said Kingsley. "But it's been at the Ministry for the last three hours. We'll be informed as soon as they get something."

"What about the name?"

"Well, we're certain that the codenames are those used by the five suspected Death Eaters in Liverpool. There's Sal Abelardo, Peter Bircham, John Cantrell, Timothy Delmarin and Telly Ephesos."

"What do we know about them?"

"Sal Abelardo is a farmer. His wife works as a bookbinder and apparently is ignorant of her husband's Death Eater connections. Peter Bircham works as a janitor at St. Mungo's. He is single. John Cantrell is a junior photographer for the Daily Prophet. He and his wife share a house downtown with his sister. Tim Delmarin, unmarried, makes remembralls. The fifth member is Telly Ephesos, who fancies himself an explorer and spent twenty years in China and now sells broomstick servicing kits. He is married and has no siblings."

"Anything else?"

"We've already intercepted some messages," said Kingsley, "but we've been able to glean only a few facts. Cantrell and 'Dasher' and their wives sometimes take vacations together. 'Cupid' is highly dissatisfied with his job. Mrs. Abelardo regularly corresponds with Mrs. 'Donder.' Neither 'Comet' nor 'Dasher' has ever been outside the country. Mrs. Abelardo was once engaged to the brother of 'Donder.' Finally, Bircham makes monthly trips to Berlin."

Moody looked up at Kingsley. "I'm willing to bet that the message does indeed have a clue to Ollivander's location," he said, "but we've got to be careful. We'll only have one chance at this. Once we decide to raid one of these men's places, we won't be able to raid any of the others. They'll send a warning first thing, and Ollivander will probably be killed." He stood and went into his bedroom, emerging a moment later fully dressed. "Let's go."

"Go where?" asked Kingsley.

"I'll tell you on the way," said Moody.

Where is Moody planning on raiding?

Spoiler: show
This one's tricky. First Moody figured out who was who, and this bit is just a logic puzzle.

Abelardo - Dasher
Bircham - Cupid
Cantrell - Donder
Delmarin - Comet
Ephesos - Dancer

'Dasher' can't be Cantrell, who vacations with him, or Bircham or Delmarin, who are single. Since he has never left the state, he can't be Ephesos either. Therefore 'Dasher' is Abelardo. Similarly, 'Donder; can't be the single Bircham or Delmarin. Since he has a brother, he can't be Ephesos. Therefore 'Donder' is Cantrell. The worldly Ephesos cannot be the dissatisfied 'Cupid' or the provincial 'Comet'. So he is 'Dancer'. And the well-traveled Birchman cannot be 'Comet', so he is 'Cupid'. That leaves Delmarin as 'Comet.

After that, it was a simple matter of decoding the message. The code uses a cypher that slides around, using the previous letter to determine how the next letter is decoded. The process for decoding it is this (it's kinda tricky)...

Each letter is given a numerical value. A=1, B=2, C=3 and so on. To decode the message, we take the numerical value of the coded letter and subtract from it the numerical value of the last plaintext letter. For example, if the coded letter is H and the last plaintext letter was a C, then we take the numerical value for H (which is 8) and take off the numerical value for C (which is 3). Thus, we get 8-3, which gives us 5, and the letter that has a numerical value of 5 is the letter E. So, whenever there is a coded H and the last plaintext letter was C, the H represents an E.

And because we need to know a plaintext letter to get started, the very first letter of the coded message (the A) is a plaintext letter that we can use to decode the second letter (the P).

To decode the first letter (not counting the plaintext A)...

P = 16
A (the last plaintext letter) = 1

So we have 16-1=15, and the fifteenth letter is an O. So the first letter of the code is an O.

To decode the second letter...

O (the last plaintext letter) = 15.

So we have 1-15. Working backwards from A and going fifteen places (after A, we go to Z and work backwards through the alphabet), we end up at L.

Yeah, like I said, it's tricky. I had to create a spreadsheet to do these codes!

Properly decoded, the message says...

Ollivander must be moved from Comet's place.

Moody knows that comet is the codename for Delmarin, thus he plans on raiding Delmarin's house to rescue Ollivander.


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Old September 14th, 2005, 9:24 am
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The Case of the Difficult Date

Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody settled down into the overstuffed armchair beside his fire place and lifted the mug to his lips. It was cold. He muttered at himself, irritated that he had allowed himself to become so lost in his thoughts.

For the last two months, he'd been working on the capture of Lawrence Logana. In fact, he'd heard rumours that he was obsessed with capturing him. Well, not so much as heard, but his magical eye could see through the walls at the Ministry of Magic, and he knew how to read lips. His co workers were talking about Moody's fixation with either Logana or lasagne, and considering Moody hated all forms of pasta, he was pretty sure which one it was.

Moody sighed, then rose from the chair. He left the mug on the table; it could wait until morning. As he headed into the hall, he glanced at the clock. The hand with his picture on it was pointing to "bedtime". One of the other hands, with a picture of Kingsley Shacklebolt, suddenly whipped around to the other side of the clock face, pointing to "travelling". After a moment, it whipped around again, pointing to "Here". There was a knock on the door.

Moody smiled, and wrapped his dressing gown tighter around him. "Hello, Kingsley," he said as he opened the door. He looked at Kinglsey's hand. The Auror was clutching a piece of paper tightly.

"We've intercepted a message," said Kinsley. He held the paper up for Moody to read.
From 6, 5, 2, 3 grows an oak.
I 6, 8, 9, I 6, 8, 9, I 6, 8, 9, it's no joke.
7, 5, 1 rhymes with you.
4, 2, 1 rhymes too.
Moody took the paper, casting his magical eye over it. He couldn't see any signs of magical tampering, and there was no invisible ink or watermark. "Any indication of what this could mean?"

"Not entirely," said Kingsley. "We're certain that it is meant for Death Eaters however."

Moody looked up. "Are there any signs of Death Eater activity?"

"Yes," said Kingsley. "There is a house undergoing renovations in a neighbourhood with known Death Eaters, and there have been signs of magic used in the construction. Magical forensics has analyzed the magic, and they think that the house will be hidden."

"They're hiding someone," said Moody, his eyes lighting up. "They're going to be hiding Logana."

Kingsley nodded. "It's certainly possible. But we don't know when. And if Logana gets into the house and it's hidden, we'll never get him. He could apparate from there to anywhere in the country. That's where we think this letter comes in. A way of letting all the Death Eaters know what day they'll be moving Logana in."

Moody sat back in the chair by the fireplace. "They'll have Death Eaters in force," he said. We'll need at least a dozen Aurors and hit wizards if we're going to have any chance of getting Logana."

"For that many wizards, we'll need to know when we'll need them," said Kingsley.

"Way ahead of you, my friend," said Moody. "Contact the Ministry, and arrange to have a dozen of our best men ready to ambush the house on…"

When does Moody plan to ambush the house?

Spoiler: show
The numbers in the message represent the answer. When the words have been discovered, each letter of the word will match up with a number. Place the letters in order (so letter 1, letter 2, letter 3 and so on), and it will give the answer to the question of when they are moving Logana.

With the answers in place, the poem reads...
From seed grows an oak.
I say, I say, I say, it's no joke.
Dew rhymes with you.
New rhymes too.
Thus, we get

1 = W
2 = E
3 = D
4 = N
5 = E
6 = S
7 = D
8 = A
9 = Y

So, Logana is being moved on Wednesday, and that is when moody plans on conducting the ambush.

Here's a pic I did of Sean Connery as Mad Eye Moody. When i write the Moody Mysteries, this is who I imagine!


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Old September 14th, 2005, 3:06 pm
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The Case of the Lying Legilimens

Moody was awakened by something flapping against his face. He jerked upright, spilling the last mouthful of tea from the cup. He looked around but saw nothing but the waxing moon outside the window. A soft hooting near the window, then, looking down, he saw a letter on his lap. Judging from the hurried scrawl on the envelope, it was from Kingsley.

Moody removed the letter from the envelope and unfolded it. The message inside was written in Kingsley's hand, and the messiness of it spoke of a great hurry.

Come quick to Parksfield Manor. Progress made on last week's attack. Kingsley.

Moody scrunched up the plane, tossed it onto the floor, and then left the office.


Parksfield Manor was an elegant old house built in the countryside outside Liverpool sometime in the 1870s. It spoke of elegance; from the delicately carved gargoyles lining the roof to the tall marble columns alongside the front doorway.

The Parksfields themselves were a quiet family. The elderly Mr and Mrs Parksfield had died several years ago, and the house was currently owned by their only child, a middle aged man named Hugh Parksfield. He had been just as quiet as his parents, and he had never married or had children.

It was around the time when respectable people would be getting ready for bed when Moody walked up the crushed gravel drive at Parksfield Manor. He could see Kingsley waiting for him at the front door.

"Just in here, Alastor," said Kinglsey. He moved aside to let Moody in. "he was found not two hours ago."

Immediately inside the front door of the manorhouse was the corpse of Hugh Parksfield, laying spread on the tiled floor in a pool of blood that had come from what remained of the dead man's throat. It had been torn out, and the flesh around the wound was savagely ripped.

"My God," said Moody. "What was this?"

"Hangley said it was a werewolf," Kingsley told him.

"Hangley's here?" asked Moody. Harold Hangley was one of the most skilled Aurors when it came to Legilimancy, and it was said that a Death Eater could not escape him, no matter how skilled at Occlumency he was.

"Yeah, he's upstairs,' said Kinglsey. "Resting. What he saw was very disturbing."

"Who did he speak to?" asked Moody. "Who's memories did he experience?"

"The maid," said Kingsley. "She was the one who discovered Mr Parksfield's body."

"I'd like to speak to her, and experience her memories for myself," said Moody. "No offence to Mr. Hangley, of course."


Moody sat down on the chair next to the bed where the maid was laying, an elderly woman who gave her name as Sarah. She was looking at Moody with a nervous expression.

"Don't worry, Sarah," Moody said. "I've done this many times before, it won't hurt at all."

Sarah nodded anxiously.

Moody took his wand, held it towards her and muttered "Legilimens," under his breath. Immediately, he saw the world through the maid's eyes.
The crunch of the gravel drive...

The cool chill of the night air...

The horrible snarling, looking up to see glowing eyes gazing at him from the doorway...

A lithe form bounding off into the darkness of the night...

Running to the open doorway and finding Hugh Parksfield there gasping for breath that wouldn't come, then stillness...
With that, the connection was gone. Moody rose unsteadily to his knees. The intensity of the images he saw had left him feeling worn.

"Are you alright?" asked Kingsley, holding a hand out to steady him.

"It was Hangley," said Moody. "I'm sure of it."

Why has Moody accused Hangley of the murder?

Spoiler: show
The moon had set some hours before Moody arrived at Parksfield Manor. However, the full moon is always directly opposite the sun in the sky, thus, the moon would only set at dawn. As Moody was at the Manor around midnight, a full moon would still have been high in the sky. Thus, there could not have been a full moon that night, and without a full moon, a werewolf would be in Human form. The only way that the maid would have memories of a werewolf is if Hangley altered her memories.


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Old September 14th, 2005, 11:19 pm
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The Case of the Busted Bicycle

Mad Eye Moody stepped through the crowd of Muggles and pulled his hat down lower over his magical eye. A woman may have caught a glimpse of it, but he had turned away before she could have a second look. Even still, he could see her behind him, trying to move through the crowd so as to get a better angle for another look at that eye.

Curious, thought Moody, that she's more interested in my eye than the gruesome death…

Moody stood next to Kingsley and looked down at the scene of the accident. "Oh, poor fellow," he said. "Got his trousers caught in the chain?"

The cyclist had indeed appeared to get the leg of his trousers caught in the chain of the bicycle, and he had gone over the handlebars, leaving a tear in the leg, a scratch on the inside of his shoe and a gaping hole in the front of the nearby shop window.

"Have you got his name?"

"Yes," said Kingsley. "He's Morris Mildent, a wizard of some importance in the cauldron industry."

"Important enough to have made any enemies?"

"Doubt it," said Kingsley. "He made good products for low prices. Even death eaters prefer to use his stuff. I doubt they'd kill him unless he was into something bad. Our intelligence on him has given us no evidence that he was anything other than a model citizen."

Moody knelt down on the street and examined the body and the bicycle. It was an old bike, with a few spots of rust, and the swept back handlebars common to bicycles from the sixties. Morris was wearing neat clothes, if not the latest fashion. A pale green knitted vest over a patterned yellow shirt and light grey trousers, and a bicycle clip around his ankle.

There were footsteps from behind them, fast footsteps. Moody stood up to see a young wizard come running through the crowd. He whispered something in Kingsley's ear, then ran off again.

"Just got word from the Ministry," said Kingsley, coming over to Moody. "His wife said that he was in quite a rush this morning. Important meeting, apparently."

"Who with?"

"No idea," said Kingsley. "He didn't tell his wife." He sighed. "Moody, I don't even know why the Ministry wants us here. There isn't even any evidence of foul play, and even if there was, we don't even know if the culprit was a wizard."

"No?" said Moody, looking up at him. "I would say there's plenty of evidence."

What evidence is Moody referring to?

Spoiler: show
Morris Mildent often rode his bicycle. He even had a bicycle clip, a clip of metal that goes around the lower leg to keep the fabric of the trousers away from the chain. The only way that the chain of the bicycle could catch his trousers is if the clip was on the wrong side. Mildent certainly wouldn't have put the clip on the wrong leg. The only explanation is if the bicycle was changed to putting the bicycle chain on the wrong side of the bike. Mildent, in a rush that morning, wouldn't have noticed this change, thus the chain cuaght his left leg when the bicycle clip was on the right leg where it was not needed. Magic is the only way that this change could have been done, so the person responsible must have been a witch or wizard.


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Old September 15th, 2005, 7:43 am
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This is the beginning of the current story arc of the Moody Mysteries. The next few myseries will get progressively harder and trickier, leading to the final installment. However, the final installment has not been released in the Riddle Thread yet. I am planning on posting it in here at the same time as it is posted in the Riddle Thread, but I will not be including the answer in spoilers until it has been solved. I'll also link to the Riddle Thread so that people reading the Mystery in here will be able to ask questions about it and even have a chance at solving it.

EDIT: The latest Moody Mystery has been posted both here and the Riddle thread.

The Case of the Locked Library

Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody had been working hard, and often over the last week he had not left his office at the Ministry of Magic until well past midnight. Indeed, last night he hadn't gone home at all, catching only a few hours sleep leaning back in the chair in his office.

Moody sighed, stifled a yawn, and stood the papers he was working on onto their bottom, rapping them against the old wooden desk to neatly arrange them. He stood, turned to the door, and was hit in the face by a paper plane. He recognized the hurried writing scrawled across the wings as Kingsley's.

"Darn it, Kingsley," muttered Moody as he unfolded the plane. "You want me to lose the other eye as well?" He quickly read the short message on the plane:
Moody, something fishy going on at Hogsmeade Quidditch pitch. Locker 94.
Moody sighed and wished for a moment that he could put it off until morning. Then he remembered that it already was morning, and with a crack he disappeared.


Moody arrived in the middle of the main street of Hogsmeade, a roughly cobbled road that ran crookedly through a collection of shops, taverns and tea rooms. It was dark, but not overly so; the full moon overhead was casting noticeable shadows despite the thin cloud. The street was empty except for a witch who had apparently emerged from one of the shops seconds before Moody had appeared. She had, Moody guessed, been startled by his sudden arrival, for he had seen her jump and drop the papers she had been carrying.

Moody rushed forwards to help her; kneeling, he muttered an apology. As he rose to give the papers back to her, he felt a wand press hard against the back of his neck.

"Don't move, Auror," said a strangely distorted voice from behind him. Moody at once recognized the Careyen charm, a piece of magic that disguised a voice perfectly. He spun his magical eye around, but the person was wearing the mask of a Death Eater, and had evidently charmed that as well, for Moody could not see through it. "Lower your wand."

Moody could see other Death Eaters approaching. He had no choice but to obey. He replaced his wand in the pouch that hung from his belt. A hood was slipped over his head, cutting off his vision.

As Moody was lead away, he cursed himself. He'd walked straight into a trap. They'd obviously prepared for him, charming the hoods so that Moody couldn't see through them.

After a moment, Moody was put into some kind of carriage; at least he assumed so, given the sound of hooves clip-clopping. He could feel two Death Eaters sitting on either side of him.


When the carriage stopped, Moody was roughly dragged from his seat. He had no idea where he was, for they had taken a long circuitous route, the many turns confusing Moody's sense of direction. Moody was lead up a flight of stone stairs, he heard the creaking of a door, and then he was marched down a hallway with a wooden floor. He was pushed; falling into a leather sofa. The hood was pulled off.

Moody blinked against the sudden light. Standing around him were no less than half a dozen Death Eaters. "We'll be back. Don't go anywhere." This last was said with an amused snarl. They turned and left, locking the door behind them.

Moody looked around; he was in a library, the walls of which had also been charmed so his magical eye couldn't see beyond the books on the shelves. He was curious that they had let him keep his wand; perhaps they they had forgotten, or they may have been so confident in their preparations that they just didn't care.

Moody pulled his wand from its pouch, pointed it at the door and said, "Alohomora!" Nothing happened. He tried the windows, but the spell just ricocheted, blasting some of the books onto the floor where they smoked gently. He tried to apparate, but all he got was the distinctive headache that came when you tried to apparate when there was an antidisapparation spell in effect.

Moody cursed. The doors and windows were locked with magical, the walls were sealed so they he couldn't even see through them let alone blast a hole in them, and he was unable to disapparate. Besides, even if he could blast his way out, he'd be facing at least half a dozen Death Eaters, and there was simply no way to win against those odds.

He needed to let Kingsley know about this. A new instance of Death Eater activity could be indicative of a new threat against the wizarding world.

Moody smiled. Kingsley would know about this in no time at all.

How was Moody going to inform Kingsley?

Spoiler: show
Moody simply used one of the books to make a portkey. Easy, huh?


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Old September 15th, 2005, 8:57 am
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The Case of the Absent Auror

Moody ran up to the doorway to Kingsley's house, rapping hard on the door. "Kingsley!" he called. "Are you in there?"

There was a squeak as the window of the house next door opened. "Quiet, will you?" came an irritated voice. "That fellow with the funny taste in clothes? He's not been home all night. I saw him running out the door this afternoon, urgent, I'd say."

Moody turned and ran back down the path. It was a safe bet that Kingsley knew something was going on with the Death Eaters, but where was he? And What was in Locker 94?

When he was safely out of view of the Muggle's house, Moody apparated to Kingsley's office at the Ministry of Magic.

"Kingsley?" Moody looked around the office, but it was empty.

"Looking for Shacklebolt?"

Moody turned around. The voice belonged to one of the cleaning wizards who prowled the hallways after hours.

"Yes," said Moody. "Do you know where he is?"

"Nope," said the cleaner. "But he's not been here since this afternoon."

Moody sighed, muttered a thanks to the cleaner and walked out. This was a problem. There was major Death Eater activity taking place, and Kingsley was nowhere to be found. Moody realised that there was a very good chance that Kingsley had been captured as well. And if he was, then there was a very good chance that he was being held in the same mansion that Moody had escaped from less than an hour ago.

Moody apparated to Hogsmeade, to the very street where he had been captured. He turned his eye to the ground, quickly spotting the telltale magical trail left by the Gretelan charm he'd surreptitiously performed after being captured. Moody quickly set off after it.

Moody had been correct; his captors had taken a circuitous route, and it was some time before he spotted the mansion ahead. Moody wished he was approaching this building with at least a dozen Aurors, but there simply wasn't time. Kingsley could very well be fighting for his life or being subjected to torture.

Moody crept close to the mansion, his magical blue eye swiveling, warning him of charms and jinxes placed for protection. It was hard, but he was afforded some cover by the darkness.

Moody was approaching the door when his magical eye saw two Death Eaters inside approaching. He quickly dived behind a row of low shrubs.

The door opened, and Moody could hear the Death Eaters' footsteps as they walked down the stone stairs.

"Has Moody been found yet?"

"No, but it's doubtful he's still in the grounds. We did capture another Auror, guess he came looking for his friend."

"Is he in the library?"

"No, not much point in the boss speaking to him, he knows nothing. He's in the dungeon, cell AA24."

Their voices trailed off as the disappeared down the path.

So, Kingsley was here, held captive. This was going to be too easy. Moody stepped inside and headed downstairs.

When Moody found the dungeon, he realised it was not going to be as easy as he thought. The cells were marked with three digit numbers, not with the combination of letters and numbers the Death Eaters had spoken of. Moody looked at the cells along the wall next to him; 001, 002, 003.

And then he heard the sound of footsteps: Death Eaters. Moody ran along the corridor, he wouldn't have time to break into every cell, he'd have to find Kingsley first. And, Moody realised, he knew exactly which cell Kingsley was in.

Which cell is Kingsley being held in?

Spoiler: show
The cell numbers have been encoded. The number of lines used to write each letter multiplies by the number. Three lines are used to draw the letter A, so the answer is 3 x 3 x 24. Thus, Kingsley is being held in Cell 216.


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Old September 15th, 2005, 10:33 am
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The Case of the Curious Combination

Moody and Kingsley jumped over the fence of the Death Eaters' mansion and landed rather heavily on the road on the other side.

Moody looked both ways along the road, but he couldn't see any Death Eaters. It seemed they were in the clear. Not that their escape had been easy; Kingsley had got his leg caught in a paralysing jinx and had needed to be carried by Moody for a few minutes until it had worn off.

Moody led the way along the road, heading off into the forest alongside after a kilometer or so.

"Thanks, Alastor," said Kingsley. "I owe you one for that."

"Don't mention it," said Moody. "Although, there was something about that place that had me confused."

"What was that?" askcd Kingsley.

"Just something one of the Death Eaters said. Made it sound like I know more than I do."

"Any idea what it could have meant?"

Moody shok his head. "Not yet. In any case, I got your letter about Locker 94. What's in it?"

"Not entirely sure," said Kingsley. "We're almost certain it's got something to do with the Death Eater activity here."

"Well, let's go and find out for sure," said Moody, and both he and Kingsley disapparated.


They appeared again on the sand under the goal hoops at Hogsmeade Quidditch Pitch. They hurried inside to the locker room, and quickly found Locker 94. There were five dials on the door, with five numbers on each.

The first dial had the numbers 1, 2, 4, 5 and 8.

The second dial had the numbers 3, 4, 8, 10 and 12.

The third dial had the numbers 10, 13, 17 19 and 21.

The forth dial had the numbers 23, 25, 28, 32 and 37.

The fifth dial had the numbers 48, 51, 64, 77 and 82.

"Do you know the combination?" asked Moody, looking up and down the corridor.

"No," said Kingsley. "There's no record of what the combination has been changed to. We'll just have to try randomly until we guess the right one." He reached out for the first knob.

Moody looked carefully at the locker and saw the telltale magical aura of a powerful jinx. His hand suddenly shot out and grabbed Kingsley's wrist. "Don't touch it," he said. "It's been jinxed. If you get the wrong code, I'm pretty sure that the locker will cease to exist, and it will take everything in the vicinity with it."

"Any ideas on how we can open it then?" asked Kingsley.

"Well," said Moody, "if this is something important for the Death Eater activity, it was probably dropped here by one person and will be picked up by a different person. That means that both people must know the code."

"Surely the Death Eaters wouldn't be so stupid as to send the code through the mail," said Kingsley incredulously.

"No, they probably encoded it."

"But even the best codes can be broken."

Moody looked thoughtful for a moment. "Then perhaps the code wouldn't have been the combination at all. And if that's the case, I think I know what the combination is."

What is the combination to Locker 94? And how was it encoded?

Spoiler: show
The code was sent by giving the formula to find the numbers, not the numbers themselves. Any wizard seeing it would be unable to understand it, as few wizards would understand such a level of maths. After all, we've never seen Harry and his friends studying alegebra. The code was...

(X x 3) - 2

This means that you take a number from the first dial, multiply it by three, and then subtract two from your answer. This number must appear on the second dial. You then do the same thing with this new number. The only solution that works is 2,4,10, 28, 82. Thus, this is the combination.


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Old September 15th, 2005, 12:17 pm
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The Case of the Mysterious Message

The door to Locker 94 opened with the squeal of metal on metal. It was empty save for an envelope sitting on the shelf.

Moody reached out and picked up the envelope. Moody took his wand out of the pouch on his hip, and with a muttered, "Stemara" the glue on the flap lifted and the envelope opened.

Inside was a single piece of parchment. Moody opened it.
ac b ce a bc e bcd be ade cde bcde be bcd cde acde ce bc bc e bc bc d ce acde be ac de b ce c bce ace cde cde bc ce be ac ce bce ade b e acd ce d ce ce bcd de b ce de bde ce c e bcd c e ad ce ad ce e c abe ac bcde d ce c be ade ac ad be d ace ac ce c c ce e ac b ce e ac ce ad ade e de ad bcde ade ade ac b ce ace bde e ad ce ad ce e c abe ac bcde a bc e de ce ac b ce e bc ac ce ad ce c cde bcde bcde c ade be bcd ac bcde ac b ce bce ace cde cde bc ce bce e ad bde ce ac ac b ce d bcde ade ade be ade a bc ce e ade ce c ac bcde b e acd ce e de bcde bcd ac e de ac acde be ac b be bcd ac b ce bce be bcd be ade ac ad abe acde b bcde de e bcd e ad ad e bcd cde ce ade ace de b ac b be bcd cde ade e bcd c ce ab a ce de ac ade acde ce e ade bc ce abe ac bcde b e acd ce e ac ce bcd ac b b e bcd c a ace ac bcde bcd b be ade de bc bcde de bde cd bcde ad b be bce
Kingsley looked from the parchment to Moody. "What is it? What does it say?"

What does the message say?

Spoiler: show
The letters in the message are only the first five letters of the alphabet. To decode the message, Moody used zeroes to represent the letters that were missing and ones to represent the letters that appeared in each grouping.

For example, the first grouping "AC" meant that the A and C positions were ones, and the B, D, and E positions were zeroes:

1 0 1 0 0

From this, Moody converted the ones and zeroes from Binary into Decimal numbers. 10100 is the binary representation of 20. From here, Moody merely picked the letter from the alphabet that corresponded to the number. The 20th letter of the alphabet is T. thus, AC represents the letter T.

After going through the entire message this way, the message was revealed:
The plan is going well. All bewitched Muggle items have been checked and are ready to be distributed. Death Eaters across the UK are ready to place the altered goods into the Muggle market. The Boss is pleased to have a contact within the Ministry who can arrange such things, and expects Weasley to have a tenth hand put on his clock for him.


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Old September 15th, 2005, 1:48 pm
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The Case of the Worried Weasley

Kingsley looked at Moody in shock. “It must be a fake!” he exclaimed.

“Yes,” growled Moody. “But proving it will be difficult.”

“It certainly will be,” came a voice from the shadows. Kingsley and Moody spun around. The voice belonged to Cornelius Fudge.

“Fudge!” gasped Kingsley. “What are you doing here?”

“Here to help, Mr Shacklebolt,” said Fudge. “Although I must admit it seems I’m here unnecessarily.”

“I know many people who’d agree with that assessment,” muttered Kingsley.

Fudge apparently didn’t hear him; instead, he placed the tip of his wand to his forehead, and a moment later a wisp of silver shot out of the end and out the open door that led to the Quidditch pitch.

Fudge smiled rather too pleasantly. “This nasty business with the Death Eaters will be over soon,” he said.

It was only a few minutes before Arthur Weasley appeared. “You called, Mr Fudge?”

“Ah, thank you for coming,” said Fudge. “It seems you’re in a spot of trouble.”

Arthur looked taken aback. “What?” he said. He turned to Moody. “Alastor, what’s going on?”

Moody sighed. “We discovered a message in Locker 94,” he said slowly. “It mentions you by name, implicates you in some very serious Death eater activity. We’ve yet to confirm the letter’s allegations. I’m certain that the investigation will clear your name.”

“Yes, I’m sure as well,” said fudge hurriedly. “But until then, we must take certain precautions. “I’m sorry, Arthur, but I’ll have to take you into custody.”

Moody noticed Fudge’s hand move towards his wand.

“Cornelius, you can’t be serious,” said Arthur incredulously, stepping back.

“Don’t make this more difficult than it has to be,” said Fudge.

He made a gesture, and then a Dementor came forward from the shadows behind him. Arthur gasped and stumbled backwards even further.

“Fudge, there’s no need for this!” said Kingsley.

“Orders from the ministry, Shacklebolt,” said Fudge. “No Ministry staff shall knowingly enter a situation where he or she will be likely to encounter Death Eaters without a Dementor. Just to make sure that the Death Eaters don’t try anything.”

“Arthur Weasley is not a Death Eater!” roared Moody, stepping forward and moving in front of Arthur.

“I’m afraid all the evidence seems to indicate that he is, and I’m not about to take any risks,” said Fudge.

The Dementor began to glide forward, towards Moody. Moody raised his wand and shouted, “Expecto Patronum!” A giant silvery bear leapt from the tip of his wand and charged down the Dementor, which vanished out through the door to the Quidditch pitch.

“Moody!” roared Fudge, stepping forwards. His face had turned a bright beetroot red in his fury. “I’ll have you arrested for that!”

“No you won’t,” said Moody. “The note is fake and I can prove it.”

How can Moody prove the message is a fake?

Spoiler: show
The Weasley members are Arthur, Molly, Charlie, Bill, Percy, Fred, George and Ron. As this is shortly before Voldemort's downfall, both Ron and Harry are still infants, and Ginny hasn't been born yet. There are only eight members of the Weasley clan, and any extra hand would be the ninth, not the tenth. If the letter was genuine, whoever wrote it would surely know how many children the Weasleys have.

All of the previous Moody Mysteries have now been posted. From now on, whenever there is a new Moody Mystery posted here, it will also be posted in the Riddle Thread, and the post here won't have the answer given beneath it until it has been solved in the Riddle Thread. You are all more than welcome to come into the Riddle Thread to ask questions or try to solve the next Moody Mysteries. In fact, the next moody Mystery is the main reason why I posted all these ones in this thread. You can't solve the next one unless you know what has come before.

So, re-read them again and get ready for what (I hope) is a challenge.


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Old September 15th, 2005, 3:14 pm
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The Case of the Mysterious Mastermind

Alastor Moody settled down to bed as the sun began peeking above the horizon. The last twelve hours had been some of the most difficult of his life. It had started yesterday as Moody was finishing at the Ministry of Magic, when he’d received a message from his long time friend and associate Kingsley Shacklebolt. The message had lead him to Locker 94 at Hogsmeade Quidditch Pitch, where they had found a letter implicating Arthur Weasley in Death Eater activity. Moody wasn’t at all convinced, and the note had turned out to be a fake.

But other things had happened too. Moody had been captured by Death Eaters, and what they had told him indicated that, somehow, Moody knew more about what was going on than even he knew! He’d heard it himself; Death Eaters at the mansion where he had been held speaking of the “Big Boss’s” plans to interview him. Moody lay in bed, his mind too active to sleep. What could he possibly know about this that the Death Eaters thought was so important that the mastermind behind this activity wanted to speak to him about?

A crunch on gravel from the front door. Moody was immediately upright in his bed. His hand reached out to the wand on the bedside table, and Moody quickly got out of bed. Pulling on a robe, he walked carefully towards the front door. Passing his clock, he saw that the hand with Kingsley’s face was pointing at “home”. Whoever his visitor was, it wasn’t Kingsley. Moody spun his magical eye towards the front door. Nobody there.

Slowly, Moody reached out to the door handle, his wand at the ready. He turned the handle and slowly turned, pulling the door open.


The next thing he knew, he was being shaken awake. There was darkness and the feel of fabric across his face. His hands were tied behind him. His magical eye could see nothing; whatever was across his face had been bewitched so it was impenetrable to his eye. All he could tell was that he was, once again, in a carriage. He could hear the same clip-clop of hooves, and it even smelled like the same carriage. The same smell of freshly cleaned leather seating.

Moody cursed himself. This was the second time he’d been captured in twelve hours. He knew exactly how it had happened – while he had been imprisoned in the mansion, the Death Eaters had set a trap at his house, and then set it off when they were ready to capture him. It seemed that they were most anxious to have the Boss interview him.

After a while, the carriage stopped. It hadn’t seemed to take as long this time. Perhaps he had been unconscious through most of the trip, or perhaps they had taken a more direct route rather than going over the same road again and again as they had last time. Moody figured that the latter was likely to be the case. After all, the boss was anxious to speak to him, and a carriage travelling back and forth over the same stretch of road would be noticed.

Moody heard the door open, and then hands grabbed him roughly and pulled him out of the carriage. He was lead up steps, then into a corridor (he could tell by the feel of carpet underfoot). He heard a door open ahead of him and then close behind him. He’d been lead into a room. He was pushed down into a chair, and the hood was taken off his face.

It was a large room, with tall floor to ceiling windows letting in the dawn light. There were Death Eaters around the walls, out of the way, but still close enough to attack Moody in case he tried anything. Moody was sitting in front of a wide desk, with a lamp and several quills standing in an ink bottle to one side of the writing area where, beside a pair of thick glasses, a sheet of parchment lay. Moody could see writing on the parchment, but the hand was an untidy scrawl, and he couldn’t make it out from the angle he was looking from.

And sitting behind the desk was Kingsley Shacklebolt.

“Kingsley?” said Moody quietly. “What’s going on?”

“I thought it would be obvious, my friend,” said Kingsley with a note of sorrow in his voice. “I’m the one behind the Death Eater activity.” In his hands was Moody’s wand. There was no way Moody could get it before he was felled by a curse from the Death Eaters.

Moody met his eyes. “I don’t believe you,” he said.

Kingsley leaned back with a heavy sigh. “It’s true, Alastor,’ he said. “I sent the note to you concerning Locker 94 so that you would come to Hogsmeade where I had created a trap for you. Not a very imaginative trap I know, but I knew you’d see anything more complex in a second. I was hoping that you’d inform the other Aurors about it first, but you didn’t.”

Why was that?” asked Moody.

“That letter was genuine,” said Kingsley. “Arthur Weasley had been instrumental in making sure that the Muggle objects were correctly placed into the Muggle market, but you happened to spot that one stupid mistake and get Weasley off on a technicality.”

“Are you telling me that you never realised that the mistake was there?”

“Of course I realised,” said Kingsley. “But my hands were tied. The note was already in place in the locker. I couldn’t get it without alerting the ministry. That’s why I was hoping you’d alert the other Aurors. They’d have found the letter and never realised the mistake, and Arthur would have been out of the way for good.”

“Kingsley, I can’t believe that you wouldn’t know how many children Mr Weasley would have.”

“You think I wrote the note? Of course I didn’t! I’m not going to risk leaving anything that Aurors would get their hands on. You think they wouldn’t recognise my handwriting?” Kingsley sighed and leaned back in the chair. “Once we realised that after your escape you were returning in search of me, I faked my own imprisonment to avoid suspicion.”

“Why didn’t you just capture me again when I came looking for you?” asked Moody. “I was alone in your mansion…”

“And you were prepared,” said Kingsley. “Any attempt to recapture you at that time would have certainly killed more than a few of my Death Eater associates, and there was no way we could guarantee that you would send a message before we overpowered you. Your capture had to be on our terms, not yours.”

Moody leaned back in his chair. “And your capture will be on my terms,” he said.

For a moment, Kingsley looked confused, but before he could say anything, the windowed wall behind him was blown inwards with enough force to knock everyone in the room to the floor. A team of Aurors burst in, and a flurry of stunning spells left the Death Eaters in the room lying helpless on the floor. Moody quickly snatched his wand from Kingsley and held it pointed directly at him. “Don’t move,” he growled.

One of the Aurors came over to moody. “A dozen Death Eaters, all in custody,” he said. “That Gretelan charm you put on yourself worked fine.”

“Good work, Dawlish,” said Moody.

“We’ll Take Kingsley straight to the Ministry, interrogate him.”

“Oh, that’s not Kingsley,” said Moody.

Dawlish looked at him. “It’s not?”

“Not with a story with so many holes in it,” said Moody. “It’s just someone in disguise. Polyjuice potion, no doubt.”

“So who is it?”

How did Moody know it wasn’t Kingsley, who is impersonating Kingsley Shacklebolt, how did Moody know it was them, and what was it that Moody knew about this situation that warranted being interviewed by The Boss?

This Moody Mystery is currently unsolved. If you have any ideas about the solution, you can pop over to the Riddle thread and post your ideas.


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Old September 26th, 2005, 8:56 am
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The Case of the myserious Mastermind has been solved!

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There were three things that told Moody that it wasn't Kingsley. The story he was told had three holes in it.
  1. If Moody was the only one who knew about the note, how did Fudge get there? Fudge would have had no way of knowing anything was going on.
  2. If the note in Locker 94 was meant to be found by Aurors, why was the locker jinxed to vanish if someone tried to force their way in? it was only luck that Moody was there to notice it had been jinxed.
  3. Also, if the story was true, Kingsley would have known about the jinx. And yet he just reached out to open the locker. it seems very stupid to risk the entire success of the Death Eater's plan on the reflexes of a single Auror. there was no reason to risk it all like that.

As to the question of why a note implicating Arthur would be sent to a Death Eater when it was a fake....

I was planning to use it as another Moody Mystery, but I've realised that you'd remember this and it would be way too easy.....

The letter was originally planned to be picked up by a Death Eater who would then be captured by Aurors.

The Death Eaters had a weak link, a Death eater that, for some reason (I hadn't thought of why yet) they didn't want and were going to sacrifice. They planted the letter in Locker 94 making sure that an Auror found out about it. This would ensure that Locker 94 was under constant observation (which is why Fudge was there with a Dementor). The Death Eaters would then instruct the poor loser Death eater to pick up the letter, giving him the code. The Death Eater would collect the letter, and then be captured by the Ministry. The Ministry would then be distracted - they would have a Death Eater, as well as a note implicating Arthur Weasley in Death Eater activity. the Death Eaters were hoping that this distraction would give them enough time to be able to complete their fiendish plan easily.

I would have worked it into a Moody Mystery, but as I said, all it would take is for one of those smarty pants in the Riddle Thread to say, "Hey, why would a note meant for a Death Eater be a fake?" and I would have to say, "Oh, there's a reason why," and they'd instantly remember it. So I decided to just tell you.

The Big Boss was Rudolf Raniplex, who appeared to be the victim in the first Moody Mystery, "The Case of the Broken Broom", given away by his distinctive thick glasses laying on the table. It seems that he had faked his own death. The exact details of what happened in that mystery will be sorted out in the next installment...

And Raniplex wanted to interview Moody because Moody knew about raniplex's extensive collection of Muggle artifacts (which were the ones that had been bewitched for return to the Muggle Market.) Raniplex wanted to know if the Ministry suspected the artifacts were from his estate. After all, the Ministry would have been keeping an eye out. if they had picked up one of the artifacts, it would only take Moody to say, "Hey, this is from Rudolf raniplex's collection," and the ministry would get suspicious.


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Old January 21st, 2006, 2:04 pm
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Re: The Moody Mysteries

This is the latest installment, also posted in the Riddle Thread. the answer will be posted here in spoiler tags as soon as it is solved. Feel free to have a go at solving it yourself. If you want to ask any questions about it, or if you think you know the answer, you can ask me in there.

The Case of the Repealed Release

Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody stepped into the phone booth, closed the door and picked up the receiver. He dialled in five numbers – 62442 – and heard a voice through the ear piece. "Welcome to the Ministry of Magic. Please state your name and business”

“Alastor Moody, Auror. Appointment with the Minister of Magic.”

“Thank you,” said the voice, and Moody hung up. The booth began to sank into the ground, emerging a moment later in a long hall.

Moody stepped out as the door opened and headed down the ornately decorated hall, stopping in front of one of the numerous fireplaces that lined the walls. He took a handful of powder from the pot mounted on the wall alongside, and through it into the fire. “Office of Algernon Peabody,” he said loudly, then tossed the powder in and stepped into the suddenly green flames.

He stumbled out of the fireplace into the office of the Minister of Magic. “I thought you were going to get the hearth fixed, Algernon,” Moody grumbled as he caught his step. “That loose brick is still there.”

The old man on the other side of the desk groaned. “I’m going to let my successor deal with it,” he said in a creaky voice. “I’m old, Alastor, and I’ve become accustomed to it.”

Moody sighed and brushed the last few pieces of ash from his robes. “Your owl said it was urgent,” he said, stepping forward.

“Yes, yes,” said Peabody. “It seems that this recent business with Raniplex has re-opened an old case.”

Moody sat down, his magical eye making a quick sweep of the office. Not out of any distrust for Peabody – quite the opposite. It was just habit. Constant vigilance. “Belinda,” he growled.

Belinda Boothby was a witch, currently in the Ministry’s prison in London, awaiting trial for the murder of Rudolph Raniplex. However, the discovery by Moody just a few days ago that Raniplex had in fact faked his own death had thrown a proverbial spanner in the works, although Moody had never liked using Muggle axioms.

“It seems we are going to have to let her go,” said Peabody. “We don’t have anything to hold her on, after all.”

Moody pursed his lips. Peabody was right, after all. Belinda Boothby had been held - seemingly unjustly, it now seemed – for nearly a year in the Ministry's medium-security prison under London.

“Of course, this incident will be entered into your case files,” Peabody continued.

Moody pursed his lips even more, then let out a sigh. He had the best record of an Auror currently working at the Ministry. Always got his man or woman (or both, in the case of the arrest of a certain metamorphmagus). But to have arrested the wrong witch… To him it was almost unthinkable. He hated mistakes, and he hated it even more that he had made one.

“I know it’s not really an Auror’s job,” Peabody said, leaning back in the high-backed leather chair, “but I’d be willing to allow you to be the one who releases her,”

Moody looked up, surprised. It was a generous offer – if another ministry official released her, then they would certainly read the release papers and see that Moody had arrested her. They’d also certainly put two and two together and realise that Moody must have arrested the wrong person, and that was something he’d prefer not to have leaked out. Releasing her himself would nicely eliminate that problem. Let him keep his blunder secret.

“Th-thank you,” said Moody. “I’ll take you up on that.”

“Very good,” said Peabody. “I’ll have the papers ready in your office tomorrow, you can get the job finished by lunchtime.”


The next morning, Moody arrived in his office to see Belinda Boothby’s release papers sitting on the desk, exactly as promised. He sighed, then picked them up and headed out again. He flicked through the pages as he walked down the long corridor, dodging other wizards, to the long rows of fireplaces. He took a handful of powder, threw it into the fire, and arrived a moment later in the Ministry’s medium security prison. He looked up from the pages as he stepped out of the fire place; the prison was silent compared to the hustle of the Ministry, and the change in sound was always striking. A single wizard was sitting behind a desk on the opposite side of the room, leaning back in his chair and reading the morning edition of the Daily Prophet. He looked up as Moody arrived, and chocked when he saw who it was.

“Mad – uh, Mister Moody, sir!” he gasped, jumping to his feet and throwing the paper onto the desk in a messy pile. “Um, what – how can I…?

“Prisoner release,” said Moody, holding the papers up. “Cell 347.”

“Yes sir!” The young wizard fumbled with the large ring of keys clipped to his belt and unlocked the door on the wall. He lead Moody through it, into the cell blocks opposite. The prison was a multi-storey complex, and the doorway that had come through was on the lowest level. There was a wide, long hallway with the cells on each side, and it was open for the levels above, catwalks providing access to the cells on the levels above. The cold humidity was oppressing, like being buried in a coffin with a body that had been there rather too long. Moody followed the guard down this long hallway, and stepped into an old wooden elevator.

“Level three,” said the guard, and the elevator jerked into motion, creaking as it rose. Moody reached quickly for the rail that ran around the walls of the elevator. It was rather too rickety, he though, and he made a mental not to speak to Peabody about it when he returned to the ministry.

Thankfully, the elevator stopped after only a few floors, and Moody was glad to step out. They walked down the catwalk, and Moody could see the levels below through the metal grating. “Here it is,” said the guard, stopping outside a heavy wooden door reinforced with thick metal bars. He fumbled once again with the keys, and the door swung open with a loud groan. Moody stepped inside.

The witch inside was wearing a simple grey dress, with a belt of thin rope tied around her waist. She looked up as Moody entered, brushing dirty hair away from her face and getting up to bare grimy feet. For a long moment, they stood there, looking at each other. “What’s happening?” she asked after a moment.

Moody lifted the papers in his hand. “These are release papers,” he said in a low growl.

The witch’s eyes opened wide. “I’m being set free?” she gasped.

Moody frowned. “No,” he said.

“But why?” she said. “I’m being held for a murder I didn’t commit! I never killed anyone!”

“I know,” said Moody. “Raniplex is alive and well.”

“Then why won’t you set me free?”

Moody looked at her, a harsh glare. “There’s one little thing about all this that doesn’t quite add up,” he said.

What doesn’t add up?


While you work on it, here's a fantastic banner made for me by Animebirdie, the same talented artist who made my current avatar. Isn't it cool? Just when you though a certain mad old Auror couldn't get any cuter....

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Old January 21st, 2006, 11:13 pm
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Re: The Moody Mysteries

That was solved fast.

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If she was involved in some way, she should not be released.

If she was just an innocent witness, then she must have seen who went through Raniplex's bag, yet said nothing. (After all, Death Eaters wanting to fake Raniplex's death weren't about to leave his glasses inside the bag where they would make the Aurors think about it all.)

In either case, she knows something that she isn't saying.


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Old January 21st, 2006, 11:16 pm
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Re: The Moody Mysteries

The Case of the Sought Sorcerer

Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody (he swore under his breath again at the stupid nickname Kingsley had given him) leaned back in his chair, the wheels rolling on the wooden floor and the leather creaking. It had been a long boring day. Death eater activity had been building up to unprecedented levels in the last few weeks, and while Moody was out in the field more often than ever, it also meant that he had a lot more paperwork as well. And there were no extra hours in the day for him to finish all this work, so he’d been stuck in his office until nearly midnight every night for the last week.

Still, at least he wasn’t alone. Half the staff on Level two had been back late as well, and that at least helped Moody stay focussed on his work. After all, there was no way he was going to let them see him so much as yawn while he was on duty.

“All right, Alastor?”

Moody looked up. Kingsley Shacklebolt was standing at the door of his office.

“Oh, Kingsley,” Moody said. “Come in, come in.”

“You look exhausted,” Kingsley said, sitting down.

“Blame the Death eaters,” Moody growled dangerously. “No more stunning charms, I’m going to curse to kill.”

Kingsley smiled, but somewhat uneasily. Moody knew that Kingsley wasn’t sure if he was being serious or not. He couldn’t blame him; Moody wasn’t quite sure himself.

Moody sighed. “I’m getting damned sick of this office,” he said. “Haven’t set foot outside this room in five hours.”

“You haven’t even had dinner?” Kingsley sounded surprised.

“Not a bite,” said Moody. “Nothing since lunch time.”

“What did you have then?”

Moody looked at him. “Three grapes,” he said.

Kingsley laughed warmly. “I’ll speak to the house elves down in the kitchens, have them send something up for you.”

Moody smiled, twisting his scarred face. “Thank you, my friend,” he said.

Kingsley stood and headed out, closing the door softly behind him.

Moody turned his attention back to the paperwork on his desk. He sighed. Most of this was ludicrous! A few death eaters had been reported in Manchester, and a team of hit-wizards had turned up to arrest a couple of very scared young children who were dressed up as skeletons. A reported usage of the Killing Curse had turned out to be nothing more than the body bind charm. Someone had reported a wizard’s head being blown off by an exceptionally strong Expelliarmus – it had been an exceptionally strong gust of wind, and a hat instead of a head.

Moody sighed again, angrily this time. The entire day had been like this – spent chasing down false alarms. Meanwhile, Death Eaters had destroyed a building in the heart of London, killing 20 Muggles, and requiring massive memory modification and the confiscation of several cameras, an aeroplane had been delayed at Heathrow when a piece of luggage was found in the cargo hold containing several dozen Cornish pixies (a sure way to bring an aeroplane down – they’d tear the plane apart), a Pygmy Dragon egg found in a supermarket (it had actually been hatching! Another five minutes…), the kidnapping of a prominent politician (who still hadn’t been found and the outlook was grim, they’d already found an ear…), a massive car crash on one of the busiest roads in London in the middle of rush hour as everyone was headed home from work (the cause seemed to be a lorry which had mysteriously lost all its wheels), a game show host who seemed to have forgotten the rules of the show which he hosted (Polyjuice potion, thought Moody, and he hoped they found the real host alive and well – he liked that show) and a chair in a local department store which seemed to be eating anyone who sat in it. The Death eaters were becoming bolder in their activities, more attacks on Muggles.

Moody hated this. He was a man of action, not a darned quill pusher. Yet he was wasting valuable time here filling out reports of such stupidity that he couldn’t have made it up if he tried. He sighed and pushed back from his desk, stretching his legs under the desk and his arms above his head.

A plate appeared on the desk, with a domed cover on the top. Moody’s stomach growled, but he ignored it. He wanted to get this stupid paperwork out of the way before he ate. He could never enjoy his food if he knew he still had paperwork to do.

There was a knock at the door.

“Yes?” called Moody.

“It’s me, Alastor,” came Dawlish’s voice.

“Come in,” said Moody. “What can I do for you?”

Dawlish came in and sat down. He placed a thick folder on Moody’s desk.

“What’s this?”

“Owl, just come in from Scotland,” said Dawlish. “The reports of suspected Death eater activity up there. I had a quick look, nothing too serious, and certainly nothing that needs immediate attention, but regulations say that the highest ranking Auror on duty has to examine it and organise any action required.”

“Yeah yeah,” grumbled Moody. “Just leave it on the desk, I’ll deal with it in the morning.”

Dawlish moved the folder next to the plate. “Been to get dinner?”

“Nope, Kingsley sent it up for me. Haven’t had a chance to touch it.”

Dawlish lifted the cover from the plate. “Oh, spaghetti bolognese,” he said. “I’m more of a salad man, myself.”

“Yes, yes,” said Moody, distracted, scrawling his name across the bottom of a sheet of parchment to verify that no, the plates found in a field in Salisbury were not fragments of basilisk eggs.

Moody let his quill fall to the desk and he looked at Dawlish. “Do you know who…” he voice trailed off, then his eyes suddenly went wide. “Dragon dung!” he cursed, leaping out of his chair and over the table. “Where’s Kingsley?” he called, running out the door.

“I – I don’t know!” came Dawlish’s astonished voice from behind him as leapt up and followed Moody down the corridor.

“We’ve got to find him,” shouted Moody. “Now!”

Why does Moody have to find Kingsley?


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Old January 28th, 2006, 8:29 am
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Re: The Moody Mysteries

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In the case of the Difficult Date, we learn that Moody hates pasta. Surely Kingsley, one of Moody's best friends, would know this. there was no way that the real kingsley would send up spaghetti.


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