The Archives

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 It took a full afternoon to right everything in room 108B, but only then did they find out what had gone missing: Zelda's journal. In the chaos of their room, the black, leather-bound notebook had disappeared from the drawer in Zelda's nightstand. She wouldn't have even missed it, but she had written down everything that had happened the entire year.

In the weeks after its disappearance, Zelda cursed herself for not using a code name for Leo. They couldn't think of anyone who would want the journal besides Susan, but they had no proof. Either way, whoever had the journal didn't seem to want it for any purpose other than to scare them.

And Zelda didn't have the chance to worry about it in the weeks that followed. The fourth years GITs had more advanced spells crammed into their course load in one month than they'd learned in all of first term. Plus, when Zelda wasn't drilling charms into her brain, she was at Leo's side for political events and all public appearances.

At their first chance, when Leo didn't have to cut any ribbons or smile and wave as he attended to the needs of the nation, Zelda accompanied him to the national archives. The marble, columned building which held what they hoped would help them better understand what St. Germain was up to, sat hidden in the crooked streets of Erimount's Castle District.

Zelda couldn't stop her heart from racing as Leo grasped her by the hand and pulled her through the nearly empty rotunda. A receptionist at her desk did a double-take as they breezed past. Leo nodded his head to her and they headed up the wide stairs into a towering room filled with endless rows of books.

"Where do we even start?" Zelda asked as she eyed the thousands of spines that filled the shelves.

Leo hooked a thumb in the pocket of his blazer with a satisfied look. "Lucky for you, I did most of the research for my law degree in these archives." He placed a hand on the small of Zelda's back and steered her down the nearest aisle. "I know just where to start."

They reach a wall, turned right, then headed up a winding, iron staircase. All the while Zelda could feel the warmth of Leo's hand pressed to her back. They hadn't been alone like this since New Year's Eve, and the lack of opportunity to just be themselves without the eyes of the public on them, couldn't have come at a better time. At the top of the stair they found a long room with shelves of leather folios.

Leo started down the furthest aisle. "I'm going to look for the last known registration of magical creatures in Olisand."

"And that would be in here?" There had to be thousands of folios in that room alone.

Leo nodded. "This is the room of records for the International Magical Relations Committee. If it has to do with magic, and it happened in Olisand, it will be in here."

Zelda started on one end of the room while Leo started on the other. The first row of folios all held information on cases of misused magic. She poured through file after file of cases where fairies and humans alike used magic to make unnatural gains in the world – the most common seemed to be magic used to create vast amounts of wealth that would damage world economies by deflation.

Zelda read the labels of the folios for what felt like hours before a remotely relevant title caught her eye: Lord Barnabas and his gold spinning goblin. It was the first mention of a magical creature besides fairies. With a hunger that made her fingers tremble, she unwound the leather cording that bound the folio together.

Inside was a police report of a faded typeset on time-yellowed paper. The first page was a missing person's report filed by Lord Edmund Barnabas at the disappearance of his eldest daughter. The report indicated that his daughter of eighteen years, dark skin and dark hair, might be found with a pointy-eared gentleman. The second page of the report detailed the results of a raid on the ancestral mansion of Lord Barnabas himself when the Lady of the house tipped off inspectors that her husband had made a deal with a goblin. The man with pointy ears, dark hair, and green skin had taken their daughter as a reward for the treasure he created for the Lord. A room in the house was found filled to the ceiling with spools of gold thread, but any evidence that a goblin had been kept on the premises couldn't be found. An inspector from the International Council of Godmothers confirmed that the gold had been created by magic and it was promptly destroyed.

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