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TONKS: What are these meetings like, anyway? You don't talk about them much.

GRANGER: It is not professional to complain about one's duties.

TONKS: That bad, huh?

GRANGER: Well...

We enter a narrative frame in which Granger describes a recent DMLE senior staff meeting. Granger and five other people, including Bartemius Crouch senior, stand around a long table.

PAST GRANGER: I have every faith in my trackers, but Potter seems untraceable. Therefore, I propose a strategy that will force Potter to come to us. He has often targetted those accused of using the Torture Curse on Muggles or other wizards, as he believes he knows who has truly used the Torture Curse and who has n–

Barty Crouch interrupts. Ze is frowning sharply and zir speech is drawn in a harsh, rigid style. CROUCH: In my time as an Auror, we called the Cruciatus Curse by its proper name.

PAST GRANGER: Excuse me, Mr Crouch, but the policy of the Auror Office is now–

CROUCH: I understand this to be a policy of Hermione Granger. Another ill-informed, soft–

PAST GRANGER: Mr Crouch, if we use that name in the field, it is so similar to the incantation that it can cause false alarms or serve as a potent reminder of the trauma that civilians or other Aurors may have experienced. Surely you can understand the tactical significance.

PRESENT GRANGER: In private, we can say that it is a common trigger for posttraumatic stress disorder. Muggle science far outstrips our own in understanding the human mind. However, one would hardly appeal to the authority of a Muggle before Bartemius Crouch.

PAST GRANGER: As I was saying, it should be possible to set a trap for Potter.

Kingsley Shacklebolt replies. Ze has a friendly demeanor and zir speech is drawn in a somewhat curvy style.

SHACKLEBOLT: Very logical, but who in their right minds would play the bait?

PAST GRANGER: As a matter of fact...

(hide transcript)

The Aurors under Granger, as a matter of policy and habit, don't say any word that contains the syllable “cru-”. “crew” becomes “team”, “crucial” becomes “essential”, and so on. “Cruciatus Curse”, of course, becomes “Torture Curse”. They also refer to the Imperius Curse, which takes control of a person's actions, as the “Control Curse”. The PTSD issue is much less for that one, but the “false alarm” issue is especially relevant. A casual, indoor conversation is exactly the situation where you need to be the most vigilant against people actually casting the Imperius Curse.

From left to right: Arthur Weasley (Head of Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office), Pius Thicknesse, Bartemius Crouch, Amelia Bones (Head of DMLE as a whole), Hermione Granger (Head of Auror Office), Kingsley Shacklebolt. The books don't specify exactly what career path Crouch took before ze became the head of DMLE, but I decided it was natural that ze had been an Auror at some point along the way.

Arthur Weasley will wake up when they start talking about misuse of Muggle artefacts, which will probably be never.

Tonks is one of the trackers Granger refers to. Ze's very good, but people who haven't worked with zem sometimes have trouble believing in zir skills because of the informal, casual way ze approaches everything.

In the books, Tonks says ze almost failed the “Stealth and Tracking” portion of the Auror examinations, because of zir clumsiness. Because of this, some people might assume that ze wouldn't be a tracker. I chose to assume that ze got a bad score in Stealth, but made up for it by being very good at Tracking.

Approximate readability: 10.23 (1270 characters, 273 words, 14 sentences, 4.65 characters per word, 19.50 words per sentence)