Harry Potter, head of the Magical Constabulatory Service, is called out one night to the scene of a murder. Normally he wouldn't need to bother with such a small case, except that the victim, Konrad Tschida, was a reporter for a German wizarding newspaper and Harry needs to do damage control before a scandal erupts. However, the crime takes on new importance when it comes to light that Herr Tschida was investigating a conspiracy related to the Russian Wizarding Duma - and the possiblity of a mole within the Minstry.
Meanwhile, Harry and Ginny have finally found a new tenant for their guest cottage. But even she isn't all that she appears to be...
The fic draws many influences from various Spy Fiction stories, both Martini and Beer flavoured, and applying them to the Ministry of Magic and other elements of both British and Wizarding governance.
This work contains the following tropes
- Awesome, but Impractical: The killing curse and most other magical methods of murder are guaranteed to get the job done, but are often seen by others in the area because they're so flashy. This is why the group of Soviet assassins were able to get away with so many hits; they would apparate near the victim, slash their throat, and leave without any flashy spells.
- Big Fancy House: Harry inherited a sizeable estate from his family when he turned 21, which includes a sprawling tudor mansion named Gwynafor, after a nearby river.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Lana is implied to have one in her first focus chapter.
- Famous Ancestor: Or infamous, rather. Dunstan Pettigrew, an agent of Section XIII, is implied to have taken a mission in Hong Kong to get away from his family name.
- Hauled Before a Senate Subcommittee: Harry's main concern as the story begins, since the death of a German national on British soil is bound to bring up plenty of questions and paperwork.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: The office of Konrad's newspaper, Das Krahennest, doesn't even have any muggle repellant charms. Fortunately this method seems to work, since any muggles who wandered into it would be pretty shocked at the sight of a Kobold receptionist.
- Gender-Blender Name: Edith "Eddie" French.
- Government Conspiracy: Centring around the Moscow Clique, a powerful group in Russian wizarding politics that have been controlling the country for nearly twenty years. Konrad and his paper were following a story on them, investigating the possibility of them placing moles inside foreign governments in order to trade money for secrets and vice versa.
- Gratuitous German: Naturally, since Harry and the MCS are dealing with the death of a German reporter. The characters mainly refer to Germans as "Herr" and "Frau" rather than "Mr." and "Mrs./Ms.".
- Intrepid Reporter: Konrad was one before his death.
- Lizard Folk: Kobolds look like two-foot tall walking iguanas and have a habit of dictating what they're doing in a singsong voice. One of them runs reception at Das Krahennest.
- Mega-Corp: Malfoy Apothecary is implied to be the wizarding equivalent of one.
- The Mole: At least one in British intelligence working for the Russians. Possibly a Reverse Mole, as somebody was approached years ago to feed info on the Russians to Section XIII.
- Muggles Do It Better: Played with, as they do it better when it comes to autopsies at least, and even then its less a technological thing and more a cultural one. Medical examiners and pathologists are said to be looked down on by the rest of the Wizarding world due to their association with death. There's only one ME for all the British Isles and Ireland, and Eddie had to be brought in from San Francisco because nobody local wanted the position after the last one retired. Furthermore she examines bodies for both magical and muggle causes of death, and wears scrubs instead of robes because the latter are outdated and unhygienic.
- Never My Fault: Charles Lamb, liaison of Section XIII. He blames everything from the need for section security to the failings of other departments to mere technicalities for his failure to follow up on reports about a mole in the Ministry, but never himself.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Charles Lamb again. When one of the officers within the Ministry of Magic started claiming that somebody was leaking information, he and the Joint Intelligence Committee tried to essentially sweep things under the rug. Justified in that while many people wanted a witch hunt, he wasn't about to start pointing fingers without evidence. He's also not remorseless, as he seems very distraught that several deaths have occurred because of his actions.
- Original Character: Most of the cast, since they're Aurors, investigators, and other government officials that never would have appeared in the books. However, the main trio are still meant to be the focus.
- Posthumous Character: Konrad Tschida, who still retains focus due to his discoveries driving the majority of the plot.
- Shout-Out: Chapter 4's title, "Neunundneunzig Luftballons", is the German title for the popular song "99 Red Balloons". Fitting, since it takes place in Hamberg.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Eddie has purple ombre dreadlocks.