Emery got up with a brighter outlook than he’d had the previous morning. Today, Miles would be coming to join him. Today, he’d begin work officially as a deputy investigator. It was one step closer to his dream of being a forensic investigator. One inch closer to being able to find people who’d gone missing as his father had.

He still remembered the helplessness the family had felt, him most especially since he’d been the last to see Nathaniel, when the older man had disappeared. The wardens had nothing to go on. All their leads had led to nothing. He’d heard that day about forensic investigators. With a magician on the case, the wardens had said, there would have been less questions and more answers. Perhaps they would have even found the missing man. Perhaps their mother would not have had to die still wondering where her husband was and if he was safe. Perhaps, without the stress and worry to exacerbate her condition, she wouldn’t have died at all.

He shook the thoughts away. He had to get ready. Hassett would be picking him up today and he didn’t want to keep the man waiting. He dressed and bounded out into the corridor.

He quickly drank his tea and brushed his teeth. Snatching a slice of bread from the counter and vowing to wash the dishes from the previous evening when he got home, Emery dashed out the door. He exited the building just as a dark green car pulled up to the curb.

He was still eating when he climbed into the back seat. “You’re not as spiffy as you were yesterday, chief,” Hassett remarked. “What happened to your tie?”

“Not interviewing today. Don’t have to dress up,” Emery replied amid bites of bread. “They going to give me a uniform?”

“Yes, the investigators wear uniforms, though theirs are – or yours, rather – are a bit less military inspired and more office-like,” Hassett replied with a chuckle. “You will be wearing a tie, you know.”

“I figured,” Emery said, not sounding very enthusiastic about the idea. A moment later, he added, “I hate ties. I feel like I’m being strangled.”

Hassett chuckled again and said, “So why did you decide to become an investigator?”

“I don’t want anyone to have to go through what we did,” Emery said softly. “Our dad disappeared a few years ago… shortly after we started at the Academy. The wardens who came to investigate wanted to call in a forensic magician but there was none available. By the time there was one the trail was cold.”

“So you want to be able to help people the way he could have helped you if he’d gotten there sooner. If there were more forensic mages, then cases wouldn’t wait so long the trail would go cold.” Hassett nodded and kept silent for a little while. H pulled into a parking garage and turned off the car. “Here we are, Emery,” he said. “Excited about seeing your brother today?”

“And how!” Emery replied. “I could hardly sleep thinking about it.”

“When he gets here, Morrissey will probably set you to work on one of the cases we’ve already been on. He’s forming this team because the department needs more of your kind. Eventually there will be a whole forensic squad, but for now it’s just a team of five people.”

Emery nodded. It seemed he wasn’t the only one with plans for the future.