Chapter 6 : Grim Discoveries
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Gawain Robards suddenly appeared at Privet Drive. He wasn’t surprised to see the street deserted. None of the Muggles were to be seen. He wrinkled his nose at the stench of burnt wood and melted plastic. He glanced at the sky to see how much more light they would have even as he heard several faint pops behind him. He heard their gasps as they took in the ruined street.
After seeing the extent of the spells, he had demanded at least five Magical Reversal squads. He turned his attention to the various houses, noticing scorches and several burned out homes. There were other odd things that could have only been achieved through magic. Maybe five squads weren’t enough. Perhaps he should call in a few more teams.
“Auror Robards?” The Magical Reversal Lead, Thaddeus McQuillen, approached him, looking around at Privet Drive, not wanting to believe what his eyes were seeing.
“You know what you need to do,” Gawain replied heavily, “just make certain you get all the information from the Muggles before erasing all this.” He waved his arm about him. Thaddeus nodded and turned to his squads, issuing commands. Gawain watched as the squads split up into pairs and began covering the street. A flick of a wand here and a flick to the right caused trees to stand up tall once more and cars to right themselves.
“I thought you and I might speak with Mr. Potter’s relatives,” Thaddeus nodded towards the only house that wasn’t obviously damaged.
There was damage, unseen as it was – the heartbreak of losing a relative to Voldemort. Gawain expected that Mr. Potter’s relatives would be heartbroken. “Why do you think they left the house alone?”
Thaddeus considered. It was an odd question considering Mr. Potter had been killed, but people reacted differently to death. “Perhaps the wards protected it. We know that Professor Dumbledore placed wards on the house, even if we don’t know what wards he used.”
Gawain nodded slowly. “That makes sense. Very well, we’d best get a move on then.” They made their way to the front door carefully. Debris littered their path. Gawain knocked. He waited until a woman opened the door slightly, watching them warily. “Mrs. Dursley?”
“What do you want?” She demanded harshly, her eyes noting the wands they carried. Pain flickered in her eyes before she glared at them.
“To speak about what happened here,” Gawain held up his hand when she started to shut the door. “We can make it so your neighbors don’t remember anything odd happened today.”
“What about me?” Mrs. Dursley demanded, “What about my husband and son?”
Gawain exchanged a look with Thaddeus. “Very well, we can arrange it so that you, your husband and son will have no memory of what happened today either.”
“I meant,” Mrs. Dursley snapped, “that my family doesn’t want to know about that boy or his freakishness.”
Both men nearly stepped back at the vehemence in her voice. “You don’t wish to know about magic?” Thaddeus blinked, surprised by her request.
Mrs. Dursley shook her head. “I ask you. What has it brought me? I’ll tell you what it’s brought me - an unwanted nephew and now this!” She motioned about her at the destruction, pain once more flickering in her eyes. “So no, I can safely say that none of us wish to know about that boy or any freakishness.”
Gawain nodded slowly. “Very well, we can arrange that also. But before we do, may we discuss what happened today?”
Mrs. Dursley opened her door reluctantly to let them in.
After she had sat in a chair in the living room, Gawain cleared his throat. “If you tell us everything that happened here today, we can arrange for you to remember your nephew left home and no knowledge of his talents.” He purposely kept from using the word ‘magic’ or ‘wizardry’ given the way Mrs. Dursley had reacted at the door.
“You’re certain about that?” Mrs. Dursley demanded. She looked torn between not wanting to speak about what happened and not ever having to worry about having that unnaturalness in her house again. Her heart ached to think about what her husband and son had had to endure because of her nephew. And now he was gone, or dead.
Gawain nodded. “Very sure, Mr. McQuillen is a very accomplished Obliviator, which means,” he hurriedly assured her at her look of terror, “that he can change what you remember concerning Mr. Potter.”
“All right,” the lure was too much for her to remain quiet. She quickly told them what happened following several loud explosions that had rocked the house. “And not one of them lifted a finger to stop that freakishness.”
Gawain and Thaddeus asked her several questions once she finished. There would be no coming back to this family. The point that troubled them the most was that Mrs. Dursley had seen Harry being hit with green light. Then he was there one moment and gone the next. She took them to the backyard where she pointed out what happened and where. Thaddeus marked off from the tree to where she said the frightening mad in the robes had stood. They both started at her description. “You-Know-Who!” Thaddeus exclaimed, horrified, “he was here?”
“And a bunch of other robed people,” Mrs. Dursley nodded. “Nasty people - wouldn’t trust them to wipe their shoes when coming inside a house.”
Gawain shook his head in amazement at what she considered important. Her nephew was killed in front of her and she was worried about his killers wiping their shoes. He touched the tree which was most assuredly dead now. He looked at the spot where Harry was last seen after being hit by the Killing Curse. “Mr. McQuillen? I believe we have enough information.” He remained where he was while Thaddeus Obliviated Mrs. Dursley’s memories. Gawain knelt down and touched what could very well be the last spot that Harry Potter, The-Boy-Who-Lived, had stood.
“Done,” Thaddeus said hollowly, “she told me that her husband and son are at the hospital. I’ll head straight there and take care of them also.” It still hurt when Muggle relative denounced their wizarding relatives. But she had been adamant. “You do know they never wanted him. They never wanted to deal with him because of his wizarding abilities.” He shook his head sadly. “You’d think they’d have thought a bit nicer about him, considering.” He looked at the spot where Harry Potter had died.
Gawain cleared his throat again. “One would have thought.” He jerked his head towards where the squads were forming back up. Their work was finished on Privet Drive.
Arthur appeared outside of the Burrow. He stood outside for a moment. He wasn’t relishing the idea of explaining what had happened at the Ministry. There would be questions about what the Ministry had to say and what was the Ministry going to do. Then there would be what Gawain and he had found out at the Under-Aged Magic department. He grimaced at the parchment in his hand. He could only hope that he didn’t have to answer questions right away. He wanted to consider what he’d learned and figure out how to say it without making a muddle of it. But his slight hope was dashed as soon as he stepped into the house.
“Dad! What happened at the Ministry?” Ron demanded before the door was even shut.
“Something happened,” Hermione pointed out, “that’s obvious.”
Arthur sighed. Everyone came into the room and waited impatiently for him to tell them what happened at the Ministry. “I spoke with Gawain Robards...”
“The Head Auror,” Hermione nodded, “we know.”
“How would you... I see.” Arthur remembered the talks that Minister Scrimgeour had had with Harry the previous year. “Yes, the Head Auror. I felt he should know what you both told me.”
“You told them about Harry missing?” Molly demanded.
“Of course, dear, and about the attack on Privet Drive,” Arthur replied as he took his seat. “Gawain was rather surprised to learn of my, our, suspicions. We went to find out if under-aged magic had been done...”
“But he didn’t do any magic!” Hermione protested. “We were there and he definitely didn’t do any magic!”
“But none had been registered at all this summer,” Arthur ignored Hermione’s interruption and looked at the ceiling as he considered his next words carefully. Only after he collected his thoughts did he look at everyone. “Gawain noticed several dozen Unforgivable curses all along Privet Drive without counting specifically. After a final Killing Curse, there was no more magic registered in the area.”
“What else did Mr. Robards have to say?” Bill asked.
“That he will be looking into this situation personally,” Arthur said gravely, “and he was going to Privet Drive with Magical Reversal squads to find out what happened. I’m certain he’ll inform us of his findings soon enough.”
Molly sat down hard. Her sobs were only punctuated by Hermione’s wails. Ron didn’t look as if he was too far away from crying himself and was spending every ounce of strength he had to save face. Fred and George glared at everyone before storming outside. Arthur pulled Molly towards him without saying a word. There had been enough of that in the house recently - words that should never have been used.
A/N: As always, I hope you have enjoyed this next chapter. Please let me know what you thought about this chapter, especially if you have constructive criticism! I am always looking for ways to improve my writing! Thank you very much!
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