Who: Alexander Derrick, Wayne Hopkins
Where: Fat Friar Lane
When: 18 May 2001, night
It had been a rough few weeks for Alex. First, Orpington had threatened him with exposure. Then, the big bad (or at least, bad if you were bad) Gawain Robards had turned up. Then a murder, and then an investigation. Alex felt like he was on borrowed time. He wanted more than anything to leave, just piss off back to London, but in the midst of the investigation that was bound to just rouse more suspicion. So he held tight, tried to keep his head down, and waited for suspicion to fall on him, as it seemed it did on everyone eventually. He wasn’t just afraid of people thinking he was the murderer, he was afraid of being exposed for everything else he had done. And of course, the best way to keep a low profile was to get thoroughly, thoroughly drunk. Well, it was the best way to stop worrying about keeping a low profile anyway.
Alex had already been sent home from the Salty Badger, whose staff knew well enough when to stop serving somebody, and had staggered home to drink some alcohol he knew he already had there. He had drunk some more, and got a craving for fish and chips. However, on his way to the Fat Fryer, he had felt very tired. He had walked far enough. He needed a rest. This kerb was a good place to rest. He sat down and then slowly, gracefully, keeled over. The kerb was hard, but to Alex it felt comfortable as the softest feather bed.
Wayne had met a coworker for drinks, and didn’t realize how buzzed he was until he attempted to Apparate home, and overshot his front door by about 500 feet. Whoopsy. Tipsily giggling to himself, he made sure he had all his fingers and toes, and then spun in a slow circle to figure out which way to point himself home.
And then he froze, his smile abruptly fading as he spotted a body—there on the street—sprawled out— right here on Fat Friar Lane. He ran a few steps toward it, close enough now to confirm it wasn’t anyone he knew well—then froze again, unsure of what to do. Was he supposed to run for help? Stay with the body? Go bang on a door and ask someone else to get help? What if he wasn’t dead yet but was dying, this minute, while Wayne stood here trying to figure out what to do?
Hands shaking, Wayne fumbled for his journal and dashed off a plea for help. In his panic, he didn’t even think to include their location. Then he closed his eyes and took a moment to steel himself before starting to run again toward the body to see if he could help. He didn’t want to see it. He didn’t want to touch it. He was picturing faces—faces from the Battle of Hogwarts—
“Please don’t be dead, please don’t be dead,” he chanted to himself as he jogged the last few steps, once again—stupidly—squeezing his eyes tightly shut. So, of course, he tripped on the kerb, toppling down next to the ‘body’ and clobbering it with a knee as he fell.