Chapter 27 : Chapter 27 Proof of Life
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“Why was I just kicked out of my room?” he said as he scratched his head absentmindedly, his other hand reaching up to rub his tired eyes. Mrs Weasley turned on the spot in shock, her mouth open wide.
“Oh Ronald dear, you’re awake!”
“Obviously,” he muttered as he took the chair next to Hermione who gave him a small smile.
“Well sit down dear, I’ll get you something to eat.”
“I’m already sitting mum,” he muttered through a soft yawn.
“Sorry dear,” she said as she bought the frying pan and a plate over to him, filling it with a hearty breakfast that he would normally scoff down. Ron looked down at the plate as he picked up his knife and fork, and began eating slowly chewing each mouthful while he was lost in thought.
“So why did those Aurors kick me out of my room?” he said after swallowing a mouthful of sausage.
He looked around the table as the faces of everyone there looked at him incredulously.
“Oh you wouldn’t know yet,” Hermione said after a pause. “The Death Eaters made contact last night.”
Ron’s mouth dropped open in shock as he put his knife and fork down. Looking towards his mother he said in awe,
“Merlin, what did they say?”
His mother who was once again in the kitchen shook her head to herself as though she had repeated this story many times.
“I don’t know exactly what they said, Sirius gave the note to the Aurors before I could see it.”
Ron looked around almost frantically, trying to see Sirius, the same question he had just asked on the tip of his tongue.
“Don’t bother looking Ron, he’s at the ministry,” Fred or George said.
“Well what did they say?” Ron said again impatiently.
“They said to wait.”
Ron turned around in his chair, his gaze falling upon his second eldest brother Charlie, who was leaning casually against the wall behind him, a new and large burn shining on his lower neck.
“Blimey, when did you get here?”
“A few hours ago,” Charlie replied as he stepped forward, squeezing past the table in the cramped kitchen, in order to get himself some breakfast.
“Well what else did they say?” Ron said imploringly.
“Nothing really. But they gave the impression that they can hear us, the whole house is being searched. Hence why you got kicked out of your room.”
“Oh,” Ron said quietly, looking back down at his plate, not seeing the forced smile Hermione gave him. Charlie sat down on his other side, his plate laden with his own breakfast.
“So how are you going?” Charlie muttered in an undertone to Ron as Ginny entered in the back door, the basket that she was holding full of chicken eggs.
“Here you are mum,” she said as she placed the basket on the counter.
“Thankyou dear, now I found that bracelet you were looking for last week, I put it on the mantle for you.”
“Thanks,” Ginny said, almost sounding half hearted as she left the kitchen in search of the missing bracelet.
“Ron?” Charlie muttered again, nudging his brother whose mind was clearly somewhere else.
“Oh um,” Ron began, focusing on the conversation. “I’m alright.”
“Are you sure?” Charlie asked, concern growing at his brothers’ change of behavior.
“I’m alright,” Ron said softly, trying to assure his brother. Ron looked up as George’s concerned face fell on his, he quickly looked back down at his plate, wishing everything would go back to normal. He picked up his knife and fork again, cutting the rind off a piece of bacon before placing it into his mouth.
“Mum!” Ginny cried frantically from the living room. “Mum there’s something here!”
There was a flourish of wands whipping out and chairs scraping as the kitchen occupants hurried into the living room in response to Ginny’s cries, tripping ungraciously over each other and the abandoned chairs. It was Fred who reached her first, taking the piece of parchment she had found out of her shaking hands.
“What is it?” said Hermione as she too reached Ginny, looking her up and down as she began talking at great speed, a stray tear of shock dripping down her face.
“I-It was just on the floor so I picked it up, I didn’t know what is was.”
“What is it Fred?” Mrs Weasley demanded as she rounded on her daughter, placing an arm around her, pulling her close.
Fred looked up at her from the piece of parchment, not speaking. He handed the offending piece of parchment to his mother, opening his mouth to speak just as the front and back doors burst open, the Aurors who were patrolling outside bursting in with their wands held high.
“It’s them isn’t it Mum.”
Mrs Weasley stared down at the parchment, stony face and pale until she then handed it straight to the closest Auror.
“Yes,” she replied, rubbing Ginny’s back as the Aurors began barking orders at each other. “It is.”
Sirius sat silently with his hands on the table, his fingers subconsciously drumming away to a beat of their of their own. He had been sitting in the Auror Head office for hours as he waited grimly for some sign that his godson might still be alive, as various Aurors popped in and out of the room, all telling him that they still had no leads. He looked out of the window, looking into the busy corridor of the Auror Office as people rushed about, as the flying memos soared above everybody’s heads.
He looked back down at the table as he clenched his hands together into a fist, leaning back into his chair as the sudden urge to rock on it came. He had been trying not to think about what Harry might be going through, if he was even alive. But when he did he often wondered if Harry knew something like this was going to happen, if he knew that his life would be put at risk, sort of like what the muggles called ‘the sixth sense’.
The order had said beforehand that he needed more protection, but he had said no. He said his godson was old enough to look after himself now. He wished he had just agreed with them now, even if it would have made Harry angry and frustrated, maybe if he had they wouldn’t all be in this position.
He was pulled from his thoughts as Auror Baker opened the door silently, stepping inside and closing it behind herself.
“How are you doing?” she asked as she placed a thin folder onto the table before sitting in the chair across from him.
“I’ve been better,” he replied truthfully. Baker smiled understandingly as she pulled her chair in closer, the legs making a horrible scrape on the floor.
“I bought you a coffee, thought you might need it,” she said as she placed a paper mug infront of him, opening the folder with her other hand.
“Thanks. Any news?”
“Actually yes,” she replied as she riffled through the paper in the folder, coming to the page she wanted. She took out the page and put it on the table infront of him.
“We are pretty certain that your godson is alive.”
Sirius looked at the small sized piece of parchment that was sealed securely in a plastic wrapping, his heart leaping as he read the words Roonil Wazlib.
“That’s Harry’s writing,” he said uncertainly, looking up as Baker nodded.
“Roonil Wazlib? What does that mean?”
Baker looked back down at the folder, taking another piece of parchment and holding it up a little, reading the words that were written there.
“Ron Weasley gave a brief statement about this. Apparently last term at school his ‘self spelling quill’ malfunctioned and his name turned into Roonil Wazlib, which turned into a kind of joke between he and Harry.”
Sirius sighed with relief as he relaxed back into his chair, not completely sure what to make of this. Seeing his uncertainty Baker opened her mouth to explain.
“Sirius this is a very good sign. We now know that Harry is alive, conscious and is still able to think reasonably clearly. These are all very good signs.”
Sirius nodded his head, the impact of her words taking time to fully settle in. Not wanting to get his hopes up too much, he began to say,
“So did they make any demands?”
“Two, and they’re not unexpected either.” She again flipped through the folder infront of her, taking a larger piece of parchment that was also sealed in plastic wrapping and handing it to Sirius also. Sirius looked down at the parchment with apprehension, not entirely sure if he really wanted to see it.
You will give full media coverage providing the public with detailed information as to what the ministry is doing in it’s attempt to free Potter. That includes newspaper, magazines and radio. You will also give a full media conference where the head of the Auror department will make a full statement and answer any questions. You have 48 hours.
Sirius looked up, letting out the tense breath he hadn’t realized he was holding.
“Why would they want all this?”
“It’s simple really, they’re testing how far we are willing to go. Normally in kidnap cases we try to keep as much as possible out of the media, try to keep things quiet so that important information isn’t leaked out.”
“But don’t they have spies in the ministry though? Couldn’t they find out easily enough?”
“Yes and no. As you know this investigation has been kept very under wraps, so not many spies would hear about the investigations, mainly just rumors. But yes, with the right sources they could find out, which is part of the reason they want this. They want to know how truthful we are going to be when we follow demands.”
Sirius nodded, beginning to understand a little more.
“But why would they want a conference if it’s going to be plastered all over the news papers and radio?”
“We think the conference is mainly to put added pressure on the office, and hope that we might slip up and reveal something important. There are probably many reasons to these demands, but we just need to focus on fulfilling them.”
“So what do you need to me do?” Sirius asked as he picked up the coffee, feeling the warmth through the cup. Baker again flipped through her folder, quickly finding her place.
“Not too much really. The Daily Prophet will need a recent photograph of Harry and you may need to give a statement yourself at the conference tomorrow morning.”
“Tomorrow morning?” he asked in dismay. “Why are we waiting that long, what about today?”
“They’ve given us 48 hours so we need to take advantage of that. We also need ample time to organize some things and get some people together. But if all goes to plan there will be a front page article in the Evening Prophet tonight, just to let them know that we understand what they want.”
Sirius nodded, silently disagreeing with having to wait for so long. He looked back down at the smaller piece of parchment that Harry had written on, a small part of him jumping for joy while a larger part was filled with doubt. What if they had killed him after he wrote this, what if somebody forged it?
He looked up, worry etched over his lined face.
“Just take this one step at a time. Things could be a lot worse.”
He looked back down at the parchment, hoping she was right as he nodded silently.
A/N sorry it took so long for me to update! been on holidays and had SEVERE writers block. oh well here it is. uhhh next chapter will be up around tomorrow afternoon/evening, and is considerably longer. uhhh anyone been wondering exactly how they managed to get Ron and Harry? i tell you how! a traitor! lol tell me in your reviews who you think it is and i promise you shall know next chapter!
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