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Chapter 2: Thursday, 1st April, 2032
Thursday April 1, 2032
Today was like every other in the Auror office: self important witches and wizards rushing around acting as though they were working The Big Case. The only exception was the team that was actually working the case because they weren’t acting like they needed to be rushing around. Lives were at stake.
Two younger Aurors walked into the department chatting with each other. The taller of the two was straightening his tie, looking anxiously around the floor while the shorter sipped calmly at his large cup of tea.
“Technically, we’re not at work yet, Al. You should calm down.”
“The old man’s gonna kill me, mate, if I look anything less than my best in the office.” Albus pulled a tie clip out of his pocket.
“Stop exaggerating. He’ll be disappointed at worst; we all know he’s the most casual dresser in the entire ministry.”
“Yeah, but he also spent a year running around naked in a forest during the war. More likely he’s comparing me to you and your stupid pureblood dressy-ness.” Al finished buttoning his suit and grabbed Scorpius’ tea.
“One: I do not think he ran around naked in the forest. Two: It is not my fault that pureblood ideals are ingrained to my very nature. Three: If I don’t get my tea back in two seconds, you will not live to see another day.” Al grumbled but gave the tea back.
Someone moved in to block Albus and Scorpius’ way. “You know, if you want me to keep this death threat quiet, I’m going to need some compensation, Mr. Malfoy.”
“Oh, Luce, I do have my tea back,” Scorpius held up his cup. “However, if I was in need of your services I would have taken you out somewhere nice, your choice.”
Lucy looked at Scorpius, disappointed. “Wow. I might’ve been impressed by your thoughtfulness if we hadn’t done the exact same thing the last ten times you’ve owed me.”
Albus, who had just finished punching in for work, tossed an arm around his cousin and grinned. “Right tosser, isn’t he? Not letting me my tea and you your jewels and showy flowers for the desk.”
“Exactly,” she said as she shrugged out from under Al’s arm and went over to the refreshment table to pick up a croissant. “Next time get me diamonds, Scorp, or I’m not helping you. God knows I’m the only reason you still have this job.”
Scorpius kissed her on the cheek as he refilled his tea. “I know. You’re the best friend ever.”
“Oi, what about me?”
“I’m obligated to like you; you’re my partner.”
“Did all those years at Hogwarts mean nothing?”
“Precisely. I was only close to you to get a good snog from a certain cousin... or two of yours.”
“Yeah, and how’d that work out? One’s married to her job and the other is married to an Irish Muggle.”
“Both outcomes were expected really, Rosie was only interested in the passion than the emotions, perfect relationship for our fifth year, really, all those bloody exams. Roxanne fell head over heels for my Pride and Prejudice scheme.”
“Yeah, not being your wingman for another one of those overly difficult pick ups by the way.” Al took Scorpius’ tea again.
“Come on, we both know that she would’ve dragged you over to Madam Puddifoot’s in a heartbeat if you so much as smiled at her and said ‘I think that’s a prime example of what romance should be’ about whatever book she was currently reading.”
“I’ll have you know that acting it all out is so much more fun. Plus, she adored it. I think the courtship was her favourite part of the entire relationship.”
“Hence, why it ended in less than six months,” Al dead panned.
“She was obsessed with how Muggle centuries old romance-like it was. It was necessary to end it. Reading all that Eyre and Bronte and Austen and Shakespeare, it’s...” Scorpius reclaimed his tea, and sipped, taking his time to think of the right word, “unnatural and well, un-pureblood.”
“Aw, and here I was thinking we were past all that,” Lucy chimed in.
“Oh, Luce, that’s not the best part. He’s being a hypocritical little git. Scorp was obsessed with Jane Austen in sixth year.” Al took Scorp’s tea for another sip. “Kept insisting that he had it on good authority that she had at least some leprechaun blood in her somewhere.” Al and Lucy laughed about the misinformation.
“It’s a shame I’m so much older than you guys, I would’ve loved to have been at Hogwarts for that.”
Scorpius snatched his tea back. “Yeah, I bet,” he muttered, not liking them laughing at his expense.
Lucy grinned at Scorpius. “I’ll just have you know that I have plenty on Albus, courtesy of the family dinners.”
Albus choked and reached for Scorpius’ tea yet again. Scorpius pulled his arm away and glared at his friend. “Are you kidding me? We’re standing right next to the tea. We’ve been standing next to the tea the entire time. I’m done; I’m leaving. There’s work to do.”
Lucy smiled and leaned against the counter. “You’re right, I should let you guys get to your meeting. You’re already late.”
Albus and Scorpius turned to Lucy. “What do you mean? We would know if we had a meeting.”
“Impromptu. Not to mention that good ol’ uncle Harry sent me to tell you guys. We had a nice chat, didn’t we, boys?”
“No wonder she was in Slytherin,” Scorpius whispered to Albus.
“What’d you get for making us late? And why would he want us to be?”
“Oh, my dearest cousin, uncle Harry gave me a very nice bouquet of flowers and promised the last slice of raspberry pie at the next dinner.” Lucy smiled. “Worth every minute. As for why, you should be able to figure that out.”
Albus stormed out and Scorpius was only a beat behind, telling Lucy before he went, “Somehow, I can’t find it in me to hate you right now.” As they rushed to the Meeting Room, Lucy shouted out behind him: “It’s our similar natures, dear!”
As Al and Scorpius walked into the Meeting Room, it was obvious that they had been waiting for them for a while. The glares came from all but one. Harry Potter stood at the head of the room, smiling. The two latecomers sat in the back of the room, looking properly abashed.
“I’m beginning to think that you boys don’t understand what an honour it is to be working on this case. I know you two are the best in your Auror class, but it’s no excuse to be late. Everyone here has seniority over you.”
“Sorry, sir,” Scorpius said, while Albus sat with his arms crossed sourly.
Harry nodded in acknowledgement of Scorpius’ words and then gave Albus a disapproving once over. “Pride of Portree tie clip? And don’t think I didn’t see you finish getting dressed when you arrived this morning. How is it that you arrived fifteen minutes early, but still manage to be late for a meeting?”
Al fingered his tie clip and glowered. “Pride of Portree have been one of the top three teams for eight years now, I’ll have you know.” He ignored the second quuestion.
After that, the team quickly got to business. They talked about everything learnt about Tudor & York so far. Two males from wizarding families that used to be quite well known in the Muggle world, but lived in the shadows of the wizarding society. They had a distinct pattern: Tudor & York would go on a spree in a well-known public area of the United Kingdom’s wizarding community, killing anyone and then, at first about a month later, but with a rapid escalation, they would take a prominent civilian and keep him or her for about two weeks or however long one could endure the toture.
Katie Bell, a criminal psychologist hired as a consultant on the case, was the most important part of the meeting, as she brought a lot of helpful information to the case. According to her expertise, Tudor & York are both dominant males, and both psychopaths. Though the two have only been working together for a short amount of time, approximately six months, the serial that brought the torture element has probably been doing this longer, due to the level of sophistication of the crimes. “The most important thing to remember that the two would not work well together under normal circumstances. Their relationship is forced and they merely tolerate each other.”
“How do you know all this? You’ve said before that this, uh, what you do, is an imprecise science. I mean, you never really tell us how you come to these conclusions, it may be that half the time, you’re just pulling fancy words out of a hat,” Scorpius interrupted in his usual cutting tone. Al elbowed him and hissed, “Scor!”
“I can assure you, Mr. Malfoy, that I have an 87 percent success rate,” Katie countered.
“Compared to the 36 percent of the entirety of your colleagues.”
“A statistic that has more than doubled in the past thirty years.”
“Still not a very good number though, is it?” He tetchily replied.
“It’s promising,” she said shortly. She addressed the entire group next: “While it’s true that I could be wrong, this really is the most likely possibility for your suspects.”
Scorpius leaned back in his chair, pleased that he got her to say that she could be wrong. He mistrusted the Muggle sciences that had made their way into the magical community over the years. Scorpius didn’t like the term “social sciences.” He knew that social norms and abnormalities were meant to be contradicted and new developments happened almost daily. Why try to figure everything out and sort it all into little cubbyholes when the next day someone is going to come along and ruin it? At least, that was the logic that Scorpius came up with in his fourth year so he didn’t have to tell people that his close mindedness was because he was raised that way. That reasoning only would have brought on a whole different and entirely worse set of problems for Scorpius and his family. While they have improved by leaps and bounds, no longer doing things like floating Muggles in the air at sporting matches, they still owned a slew of Dark artifacts and ate too many apples.
The meeting then turned to Alfred Cattermole, who had gotten some information on Byrne Tudor. “It was hard, let me tell you. The family is quite secretive. Their house has been under a Fidelius Charm for generations, but we can say that they live in Scotland because they have been patients at the Maladies Hospital in Glasgow.”
“Could be they’re just misleading us.”
“Don’t be so stupid, Coote,” Albus said. “I wouldn’t bet on his great-grandmother thinking ‘One day in the future a relative of mine is going to go on a murderous rampage; let’s start planting a false trail a few generations early by going to a hospital across the country!’”
Cattermole forced the attention back to himself by starting his next sentence sharp and loud. “As for the description of Byrne Tudor, we don’t have much to go on. Apparently, he doesn’t get out much,” he joked. He flipped open a notebook before continuing on. “The one person I have been able to get a statement from about Mr. Tudor has said: ‘he’s a tall man with dark hair, cropped short, and the most exquisite cheekbones.’” Alfred had keep his head down, looking at his notes while he spoke and after, to avoid the snickers that went throughout the room.
“Anything else?” Harry said.
“No sir,” Cattermole replied.
“Al and I keep having leads that go back to Belfast and Whitehaven,” Scorpius said. Harry was about to speak when he held up a finger. “They’re right across the water from each other, so we looked into it and turns out there’s been Muggle’s murdered with the same method of operation around Belfast and Dublin. Also, while Belfast has it’s own hospital, Whitehaven is closer to Glasgow’s Maladies than it is to St. Mungo’s.”
Harry nodded. “That’s exactly what we need. We’ll focus our energies in Whitehaven since that’s more under threat. Good job everyone and let’s get back to work.”
Everyone began to file out of the room. Al and Scorpius started to go through the door when each were gripped by the shoulders and pulled back.
“I know about the pie,” Albus said.
“I figured. Lucy’s never been able to keep a secret.”
“But why’d you give away the last slice? I called dibs last Saturday; you had no right to give it away.” Pie is a very serious thing in the Weasley-Potter family.
“You’re very upset about a dessert you wouldn’t have had the chance to eat anyway.”
“What do you mean?” Albus asked sharply.
“Obviously, you’re not going to be there,” Scorpius drawled.
“You’re both going to Whitehaven. You’re leaving tomorrow and this weekend is going to be all work. The department needs people physically in the city.”
Scorpius held up a finger and interjected. “Let me just correct you there. What you really mean is the department needs experienced Aurors physically in the city.” He caught Al’s eye and they said together: “Not us.”
Harry raised an eyebrow. “You don’t want to pursue your own lead?”
Albus balked. “Of course we do! It’s just that we’re Slytherins and have some sense of self preservation. Send a Gryffindor; they’re rash and into the whole my-life-might-end-any-second thing.”
“Are you disobeying direct orders?” Harry smirked. “There’s no way you’re getting out of this, Al. You’ll be in the city with Cattermole, Coote, and Smith. Plenty of stupid Gryffindors, don’t you think?”
“Alright. We’ll go,” Albus said. Harry grinned and the two young Aurors walked out of the meeting room.
When the door closed behind them, Albus said, “Sounds like we’re joining a law firm, doesn’t it?” They both snickered.
Well, that's certainly different than the first chapter! I hope you liked the banter and the new characters (I love Scorpius and Al; I think they're great friends and good for a laugh ^_^). And of course, I had to drop a Drapple allusion in there. Haha, the Malfoys and their apples. Must love 'em.
Please leave a review; it'd be much appreciated!