Ginny waited up, expecting that when Harry had walked far enough to work off some of his anger, he would come home again. It was not like Harry to stay angry. He never did when it came to her and so Ginny had expected him to be with her again very soon. But midnight came and went and still there was no sign of him. Ginny wandered about the empty house, checking on Teddy, going to find Kreacher in the kitchen and began to realize just how alone it could feel in this big old house without Harry there. Ginny shivered at the realization, growing more and more convinced as she did, that if Harry wasn’t going to be here, she didn’t want to be either. She would need to find her own place to stay in while he was away, but Harry was being so stubborn, she wasn’t sure he was ever going to understand that.
Slowly anger changed to worry when Harry still didn’t come home. Not knowing what else to do, Ginny called Ron.
“Ginny what is it?” a bleary-eyed Ron had asked from her fire.
“Ron, Harry is missing. Did he come to your place tonight?” Ginny asked.
“No, I thought he went home with you,” Ron told her. “Didn’t he?”
“He did, but we had a fight. Harry got really angry and he left. I think something’s the matter Ron, but I don’t know what. He won’t talk to me, but I didn’t like the look in his eyes when he left.”
“Bloody hell,” Ron said. “Let me go get Hermione.”
Ginny waited as her brother disappeared from her fire to be replaced a moment later by Hermione.
“What time did he leave?” Hermione asked without preamble.
“A little before ten,” Ginny reported. “Hermione he looked so odd when he left.”
“Ginny, has he said anything to you about the French memory training?” Hermione asked.
Ginny scowled. “The Auror department is all he does talk about Hermione, that and how he’s working so much he’s hardly here and how he doesn’t want me to move out now. He promised me I could Hermione. We’ve planned this for six months, but when I tried to talk to him about it he just grabbed his cloak and ran off.”
“Oh Merlin Ginny,” Hermione said. “You don’t know, do you?”
“Know what Hermione?” Ginny said indignantly. “All I know is that this is the first time in my life something this good has happened to me and instead of being there to support me, instead of being happy for me, Harry is acting like a child, having some sort of tantrum and running off just because he’s not the center of attention.”
Hermione pulled her head from the fire to speak to Ron. A moment later she was back. “Ron is going to try to find Harry. Do you want me to come over and stay with you for a while?” Hermione asked.
“No thanks Hermione. I’m plenty old enough to stay by myself. And if Harry’s going to run off and leave me here with Teddy, then that is what I’m going to do. I’ll stay here and take care of him,” Ginny stated defiantly.
“Ginny, you need to talk to Harry. He needs you,” Hermione pressed.
“Yeah right, like he needs to break his promise to me,” Ginny argued.
“It’s not like that Ginny,” Hermione insisted. “He really does, he…”
“He has a funny way of showing it,” Ginny said cutting her off with a scowl. “If Ron finds him, just ask him to send the git home, okay?”
“I’ll tell him,” Hermione promised and she pulled her head from the fire turning to Ron who was dressed and ready to go out. “Where do you think he went, the Leakey Cauldron?”
“Yeah probably, that’s where he went last time,” Ron said. “I don’t know how late I’ll be Hermione, but I’ll find him.”
“I just hope he doesn’t do something foolish,” Hermione said.
“Who Harry? Nah, he’d never do anything serious Hermione, you know that. He just gets himself in these moods where he cuts himself off. Ginny’s just never been with him much when he’s like that,” Ron reminded her. “I’ll just go find him and get him to go home.”
Ron Weasley apparated from the front room of his flat in Hogsmeade to the doorway of the Leaky Cauldron at just past midnight. His prediction had been spot on, and as expected Harry was there. Finding him had been quite easy. One look at his friend though and he knew the next bit was going to be more difficult.
“Harry mate,” Ron said sitting down at the bar next to him.
“Hey Ron. Join me in a fire whiskey?” Harry invited.
“Sure, maybe one,” Ron agreed warily.
The bartender brought him one and he nursed it gingerly as he contemplated the best way to help his friend.
“Trying to drown old memories again Harry?” Ron asked.
“No. I’m trying to drown new ones,” Harry told him in a disgruntled tone as his anger from earlier that evening had started to dissipate, slowly turning to sadness.
“Is it working?”
“Not really,” Harry said. “But sitting here is easier than going home and making any more like that. What are you doing here anyway?”
“Ginny called me. She’s worried about you Harry,” Ron told him.
Harry looked at his friend earnestly for a moment, a flicker of hope on his face.
Then Ron added, “From what Hermione says, she thinks you’re jealous.”
Harry’s face fell. “I’m not jealous. I’m happy for her Ron, I really am. How could she possibly think I’d want all the attention she’s been getting? I hate that sort of thing, you know that. But Ginny’s really enjoying it and I’m happy for her to have it, honestly.”
“I know that Harry, and I think Ginny does too, but you haven’t told her what’s going on with you mate. Don’t hide it from her, she deserves to know.”
“I tried to tell her, I really did. But the next thing I knew she was going on about how I couldn’t be happy for her and how I wasn’t keeping my promises to her. I am happy for her Ron I really am, so I just decided to keep my mouth shut so as to not spoil it for her.”
“And by doing that you’re shutting her out. Didn’t you learn anything by doing that to Hermione and me, Harry?” Ron asked.
“This is different,” Harry retorted.
“How? How is this different?” Ron demanded.
“We’re not kids, neither of us. I know the memory training is causing this depression, and I know now that I’m done with it, it will work itself out eventually. I also know Ginny needs my support not my problems. So, that’s what I’m going to give her; happy, cheerful, supportive Harry. I’ll just keep the dark crap to myself for a while. It’ll go away, eventually,” Harry said. “After all it’s not like Voldemort’s out there messing with my head anymore.”
Ron shook his head slowly and frowned. “Hermione would be handling this better than me, you know that?”
“Yeah, I suppose,” Harry agreed.
“But Harry, trying to drown your problems in fire whiskey probably isn’t the answer mate.”
Harry stared down into his glass.
“Probably not,” Harry said reluctantly.
“Let’s take you home and try some coffee instead,” Ron suggested.
Harry stared from his glass to his friend.
“If you want, I can try to talk to Ginny,” Ron offered.
“Does she ever listen to you Ron?” Harry asked.
“Not really, but I could try if you want,” Ron said.
Harry shrugged. “Yeah alright. I can’t really afford to be hung over tomorrow. Thanks for coming after me.”
“No problem Harry. Come on mate, let’s go.”
Harry was still sober enough to pay for their drinks, but he let Ron be the one to apparate them both to Grimmauld Place. Harry opened the door to let them both in and was immediately greeted by a fiery, red-haired, angry tornado.
“Harry James Potter, don’t you ever run out on me in the middle of a discussion again!” she said yelled angrily, emphasizing her displeasure by jabbing her pointed finger into his chest.
“Ginny, is this really the time?” Harry asked tiredly. “Besides I’ve got Ron here with me.”
“I know that Harry. I called him when you didn’t come home.”
“Ginny,” Ron tried to grab his irate sister by the arm to take her aside.
“Thanks for bringing him home Ron,” Ginny said shaking him off. “I’ll take it from here.”
“I need to talk to you,” Ron tried to persuade her.
“Ronald, it’s the middle of the night. This is hardly the time for a heart to heart discussion. Thank you for bringing Harry home like I said, but I really do think all of us should be going to bed. Harry, if you could show Ron out? I’m going upstairs.”
Ron shrugged at his friend.
“You see the problem?” Harry said under his breath.
“Yeah I do,” Ron agreed in a very low tone. “She’s worse than Mum to be honest. Sorry Harry, but I don’t think there’s much I can do.”
“Thanks for trying Ron,” Harry said looking defeated.
“Good night Harry,” Ron said apologetically. “And good luck.”
Harry sighed as he returned to the landing from seeing Ron out, pausing to gaze up the stairs as he realized he was hearing Teddy’s whimpers from above. Feeling guilty and discouraged he trudged tiredly up, stopping in the doorway to Teddy’s room. There, Ginny was pacing the floor with the crying baby cradled lovingly in her arms. She talked soothingly to Teddy, who continued to whimper, while shooting daggers at Harry as soon as she saw him standing there.
“I guess we were a bit too loud?” Harry said, stating the obvious.
Ginny’s only answer was to glare at him.
“Shall I take him Gin?” Harry offered.
“That’s okay Harry. I’ve got him. You go on to bed…please?”
Her words made it sound like a request, but her tone certainly didn’t. The way she said it made it sound like a command, and Harry was quite certain that if she hadn’t had Teddy in her arms, her hands would have been on her hips causing her to sound and look incredibly like her mother.
Harry nodded mutely. Deciding he’d already tempted fate enough for one night, he did what she said. An hour later when Ginny finally entered the bedroom, Harry was still awake waiting, but Ginny ignored him. She went into the loo to change into her night clothes and then simply climbed in beside him in the dark, laying as close to her own side of the bed as possible, facing the wall opposite instead of him. There was no look to check if he was awake, no whispered ‘good night’, no fleeting touch or kiss or anything. She simply ignored him and Harry felt worse than he had when they’d been yelling at each other hours before.
Harry spent the whole of the next day listening to Ginny. Neither of them said anything about their fight the night before and Harry said virtually nothing about himself. He simply cared for Teddy, becoming more and more discouraged and depressed as he thought about another year apart. He did his best to listen as his fiancée read ads for flats and talk excitedly about her plans to move away from him, while he himself felt painfully numb. His eyes felt scratchy and his mind dull but he kept telling himself it was due to the fire whiskey consumption from the night before. Monday would come quickly enough and he wouldn’t have to sit here and listen to this anymore. He took Teddy home sometime after dinner, using it as an excuse to get out of the house for a bit. Harry took his time getting back, determined to find a smile to plant on his face. He succeeded but it wasn’t genuine and Ginny jumped to the conclusion that he was patronizing her again.
“I don’t want to fight Gin,” Harry insisted when it seemed she was going to start up again from where they’d left off the evening before.
“We’re not fighting Harry, we’re discussing,” Ginny told him.
“I’m listening,” Harry replied curtly. “Tell me what you want to discuss.”
“Well it seems to me that all our disagreement started when I started talking about living somewhere else. Am I wrong about that?” Ginny asked.
“No,” Harry said. “It just surprised me that’s all. I know it shouldn’t have, but it did. There’s a lot going on for me right now Gin. A lot I’d love to tell you about, but I don’t want to bring you down,” he said hoping she would ask him to tell her anyway, but she didn’t.
“I appreciate that Harry, because I want to enjoy what is happening to me now. I only wish that you could too. I’m really excited about the Harpies. I know it’s going to make it hard on us for my first year because their rules are so strict for rookie players, but we’ve been apart before. We can do this. I know we can.”
Harry smiled at her enthusiasm, wishing he could absorb her certainty. “But isn’t this different Ginny?” he asked. “This isn’t like you being at Hogwarts and me being here. I could at least come see you at school. I won’t be allowed to do that anymore when you’re with the Harpies. The only time I’ll be allowed anywhere near the stadium is when there’s a game.”
“Which is why I’m thinking I should get my own place. If I had a flat in Holyhead, somewhere nearby the Harpies grounds, I could stay there instead of the dormitories and then you could come see me there anytime, not just when I play.”
Harry said in a confused tone, “I thought rookies had to stay in the dormitories.”
“They do during pre-season training. Once the season starts though, we can live anywhere in the area, provided we attend every game, team event, training session, or practice,” Ginny explained. “At least that’s what I read in the manual.”
“You got a manual?” Harry asked.
Ginny nodded. “I was hoping to show it to you last night, but you left. I really wish you hadn’t done that Harry. Why did you?”
“I’m sorry Gin. I wasn’t thinking straight.”
Ginny pursed her lips together in annoyance.
“Well anyway Harry, that’s why I wanted to go over some of this with you. I wanted you to understand about the flat,” she said.
“So you’re saying you think having the flat will give you a way to see me?” Harry realized.
“I think so,” Ginny said. “At least during the season. I’ve already talked to Mum and Hermione about it. They promised to go with me to look for one next week when you’re away. Then maybe next Saturday when you’re home, I can show it to you and maybe you could help me move?”
Harry smiled but inside he felt his heart plummet down to his toes. He hadn’t felt like this since before he’d asked Ginny to marry him, and he’d never expected to feel this way again. She really was planning to move away from him. Not only that, but she expected he would help her to do it.
“Sure Gin. If that’s what you want,” Harry said with a false sort of cheeriness he definitely wasn’t feeling.
Ginny smiled contentedly, oblivious to his distress or his sorrow or the ache developing deep in Harry’s heart. Harry’s face became a mask. Ginny purred at his smile and did her very best to please him that night when they went to bed. But to Harry the experience was mechanical and distant. This was a Ginny he hardly recognized and he wondered what had happened to them.
Monday morning was the most dismal that Harry had ever had. He took his port key from the kitchen as usual, appearing in the Auror department at the French Ministry shortly before their weekly briefing was to begin. Unlike the classroom setting where he and his British colleagues were schooled, they met in a standard conference room and were grouped with those French Aurors whose duty it was to perform the spells that they’d been learning over the past few weeks. Harry soon learned that there was a special squad skilled in those techniques for memory obliteration, modification and management and the reversal and he and his fellows would be joining them in case work over the next few weeks. Harry listened patiently as they were introduced to the ten memory Aurors who were on the squad and the morning briefing began, led by the head of the French Auror department and Robards counterpart, a Monsieur Anton Fortescue.
“Welcome to our foreign colleagues, and thank you for your willingness to assist us. We will assign you in groups of six to manage specific assignments together,” Auror Fortescue began. “At present we are faced with a number of cases and evolving situations which unfortunately will require your services. As you may have been aware, over the past year, both here on the continent and in Britain, we have been faced with a number of wizard artifact related, muggle disappearances. Through our shared channels of communication and with the help of our British colleagues, we have discovered how these disappearances have been accomplished. However we still do not know their purpose. What we do know is that the bodies of some of the muggles which disappeared up to a year ago have begun to surface, usually in populated muggle areas. Your current assignments are related to this.”
“Teams will be formed as follows. Assignments are on the board. You are to head out immediately.”
Names were read and those assembled broke into three teams of six plus two to rotate and fill in on one off assignments as needed. Harry found he’d been signed to work with Emma and Stuart from his own department, along with three French Aurors by the names of Laura Dupont, Clare Laroche, and Tristan Blanc, all of whom spoke excellent English. They had barely exchanged names and made the introductions, when Tristan LeBlanc, who seemed to be the senior Auror in the group, pulled their assignment from the board and led them out of the room.
“We’ll floo to this address,” he told the group. “There is a park near there. We will regroup and make our plans there.”
Harry didn’t question the plan. He simply followed their leader, an older Auror with graying hair and a graying, close cut beard to an apparition point then Apparated to the coordinates he was given. Sure enough, Harry found himself in the middle of a rose garden in a city park. He looked from side to side and found the rest of the squad was with him standing in a gap between the roses.
“So what are we doing?” he asked Auror LeBlanc once their leader was satisfied that they were all there.
“A body showed up in this park this morning. Our contact at the muggle police department tipped us off when it was identified as one of those muggles that disappeared last summer under suspicious circumstances,” LeBlanc explained. “We’ve come to investigate the site where it was found, and if possible, I’d like to visit the morgue to examine the body itself. The muggle examiners have done an autopsy, however they don’t have the means to do a magical examination on it, we do.”
Harry frowned. “I thought this was the memory squad. How does any of this relate to memory modification?”
“After we question any muggle witnesses, we modify their memory about any magical aspects to the event they may have witnessed. We do that here, at the police station and at the morgue. Any questions?”
The trainees all shook their heads in the affirmative and then proceeded to follow LeBlanc to the site where the body was found. Yellow police tape strung between fences, trees and shrubs, cordoned off an area while the police examined it. LeBlanc approached the man in charge. Harry watched him flick his wand from where he had it concealed in the lining of his raincoat’s sleeve. The muggle investigator’s face went momentarily slack before smiling broadly and he invited the Auror squad to join in with the investigation. It was very neatly done Harry thought. The man’s memory had been modified just enough so that he believed the Aurors were expected to be there.
The six Aurors joined the four muggle investigators in examining the area. Their techniques were markedly different, however Harry was fascinated to observe the degree of respect and interest Tristan LeBlanc showed for what their muggle counterparts were doing, to the point of making notes as to what evidence was being collected from the scene. Using the training in crime scene investigation he had received at the British Ministry months before, Harry searched the area for evidence of magical concealment, the presence of potions, or traces of magic of any kind. There were traces of magical transport, but nothing else. Curious about this, Harry watched the muggle examiners measure out a rectangle area and pick up bits of fibers they found within. From the impression on the grass, it was evident that the body had been unceremoniously dumped there, but what interested Harry the most was the magical method that had been used for transporting it.
“Can we get some of the fiber samples they’re collecting for our own analysis?” Harry asked LeBlanc.
LeBlanc smiled at him. “Try it Potter. They have dozens of samples, so I doubt they’ll miss one. Modify the memory of the woman on the muggle team and see if you can convince her to give you one.”
Harry tried it. Modifying the memory of the muggle was ridiculously easy and he was handed the fiber sample in its collection container immediately. The lady investigator hardly seemed to be aware of doing it, and Harry began to realize how simple it was for wizards to modify the behavior of muggles without them realizing it. No wonder it happened so often!
“Thank you,” Harry said smiling at her as he pocketed the sample.
“No problem. Here take another,” she insisted and handed him a second vial which he put into his pocket as well. She attempted to give him a third and Harry found he had to modify her memory again to get her to keep it. “Okay,” she said simply and smiled meekly at him, putting it back in her collecting rack.
LeBlanc smiled at Harry as the younger man rejoined him. “It is easy to over apply the charm to muggles. If you’re going for single point memory modification, the charm has to be extremely light.”
“I noticed that,” Harry assured him. “Is it like that when you reverse a memory charm too?”
“It can be. You have to be careful with muggles. Their reactions are more unpredictable than wizards. Just ask Auror Dupont. She can tell you about that,” LeBlanc said. “You got the sample though?”
“Yes. It shows a magical connection through the reveal charm. I thought we should compare it to what we’ve been seeing in those rugs associated with the muggle abductions,” Harry suggested.
“Agreed,” LeBlanc said. “Laroche, a moment if you please?”
Harry looked up as the tall French woman with dark, short hair approached. she had a long thin face which could have looked severe, but she was smiling which softened it considerably.
“Oui? You have something for me Tristan?” she asked familiarly though still in a business like tone.
“Potter got a sample for us. Take it in. Meet us at the morgue in an hour, okay?”
Harry handed her one of the vials.
“Oui. I ‘ill see you there,” Laroche said smiling at him as the other three Aurors rejoined them.
“Did we get everything we need?” Laura Dupont asked.
“Yes. Mr. Potter got us the samples and we have the impressions for our analysis. Be sure to capture the memory of the site before the briefing tomorrow,” LeBlanc reminded her.
“Yes. Of course. We always do that, you know.”
“Yes, and I will always remind you,” LeBlanc assured her. “Why don’t you take Mr. Potter here to the morgue and get started. We will meet you there.”
Harry smiled down at the petite, witch standing beside him. She had straight shoulder length, brown-blonde hair that she wore with bangs, and light gray-green eyes. Harry stood at least a foot taller than she did which made her seem like a child at first. She was young and lithe but, she definitely did not have the body of a child, Harry realized as she took his arm.
“Hold on Monsieur Potter,” she instructed.
Harry did as she said, telling her “You can call me ‘Harry’,” just as they landed.
“Oui? Yes? That is alright with you?”
“Yes, I prefer it actually,” Harry assured her.
“Then I am ‘Laura’. ‘Ms. Dupont’ makes it sound like they are talking to my mother,” she informed him.
Harry grinned. “So what are we doing here?”
“We have to convince the officials to let us examine the body. Do you want to do the honors or shall I?” she offered.
“I can,” Harry said, and following LeBlanc’s advice from what he’d done before, he executed the lightest charm possible on the attendant at the front desk.
“Oh welcome Mr. Potter,” she greeted them with a smile. “And this must be your partner, no? We’ve been expecting you. Right this way.”
Laura looked at Harry in surprise. “That was excellent,” she whispered as they followed the muggle woman down the corridor. “She really believes we’re supposed to be here. No lapse or anything.”
“Thanks,” Harry whispered back. “I think I’m getting the hang of this.”
They were lead into a tile room with a bank of large steel doors arranged floor to ceiling along one wall. The woman consulted a registry, selected a door and opened it. Inside was a body which she rolled out on it’s shelf for them to examine.
“Thank you,” Laura said. “We’ll check in with you on our way out.”
She discreetly waved her wand while the woman smiled and left.
Harry stared at the body as she did. He had seen dead people before, obviously, and it always bothered him to some degree. But there was something about this muggle man that bothered him more than dead bodies normally did. He watched as Laura cast a reveal charm on the body. It glowed darkly and Harry stepped back.
“What is it?” Laura asked.
“This was caused by dark magic,” Harry said with a certainty that surprised even himself. “I don’t know what type exactly. I don’t think it was the Avada Kedavra curse, but my guess is the muggle autopsy didn’t find anything wrong with this man.”
Harry grimaced as he said it. He didn’t know why he was so certain about this, but just being around the man made him feel irritable, like he’d felt when wearing Tom Riddle’s locket horcrux. It wasn’t exactly the same, but it was similar enough to make him think of his conversation with Dumbledore’s portrait back in February. Harry steeled his resolve, trying to shake off these images from his past, rubbing his forehead as he did. When he could focus again, Laura was staring at him, rubbing her left shoulder absently.
“I agree,” she told him simply. “Let’s get the report. Maybe we can determine what they did find,” and she sat down to access the computer there in the morgue. “What’s the number on his drawer?”
Harry slid the man back into the giant refrigerator and closed the door to find the number on the outside. He and Laura had just pulled up and printed the man’s record and Harry duplicated it for his own review when Auror LeBlanc walked in.
“What have you found?” the older Auror asked.
“The autopsy report Sir,” Laura said as she picked up the pages from the printer. “There wasn’t a mark on him not left by the autopsy. Both Harry and I detected dark magic around his person though.”
“He was killed by a curse then?” LeBlanc asked.
“No Sir,” Harry said. “I don’t think so. That doesn’t leave a magical aura around the body afterwards. What ever this was does.”
“Can you explain that Auror Potter?” LeBlanc asked curiously.
Harry considered his response. “No Sir, I don’t believe I can. But I am familiar with the effects of the Avada Kedavra curse. That leaves absolutely no sign on the victim, provided he or she doesn’t survive. Whatever this is does.”
“And you agree Dupont?” LeBlanc asked.
Again Harry saw the young woman absently rub her shoulder.
“Yes Sir, I do.”
LeBlanc looked thoughtfully at the two of them.
“Very well,” he said. “I’ll take your word for it since you both agree. Have you got all the records you need from here Dupont?”
“Yes Sir,” Laura said.
“Let’s go then. We have three more of these to cover today,” LeBlanc said.
The three Aurors turned to leave. They thanked the receptionist on their way out and LeBlanc waived his wand at her as the door to the morgue closed. The woman would never remember they’d been there.
By the end of the day, Harry had three more vials containing various fiber samples in his pocket. They finished at five, right on time, but instead of going to the French flat where he had planned to spend the night, Harry took the floo to the British Ministry instead. His feeling that the fibers might be an important clue to solving the case wouldn’t leave him, and with the time difference between the two nations, that left him with just enough time to deliver his four samples to the analysis division of the Auror department in London before they left for the day. He had just done that and was headed out again when Wendy spotted him walking away.
“Potter!” she called and Harry turned around just as he reached the lift. “I thought you were working abroad today.”
“I am, I mean I was, but we finished an hour ago and I knew there was still time to deliver some samples we collected here, so here I am,” Harry explained.
“What sort of samples?” Wendy asked curiously as she joined him and Harry pushed the button to call the lift.
“Fiber samples. Wendy, did you know that muggles have been disappearing on the continent as well?” Harry asked.
“I’d heard that,” Wendy said. “Mostly in eastern Europe though weren’t they?”
“Really? The ones I heard about today were in France. Well anyway, the ones that went missing last summer are starting to show up again, only they’re dead,” Harry explained. “The fiber samples I brought were collected at the sites where the bodies were found. They looked to me as though they could be fibers similar to those in the carpets we’ve been tracking here. I thought if they were, that might be important.”
Wendy nodded thoughtfully. “Could be. You know, other than verifying that the same sorts of tactics are being used by every cell, we really haven’t learned much else that’s new since last spring. We really could use a break on this case.’
“We have a broader suspect list now though don’t we?” Harry asked as the lift arrived. The car was empty when it arrived, they stepped in and they continued to talk.
“Yes. We have identified a list of twenty foreign wizards, all involved in the sales of foreign made rugs to muggles which have been determined to have transport charms on them, but that’s as far as we’ve gotten Harry.”
Harry nodded. “Wendy, has anyone plotted the muggle disappearances that have happened outside this country?”
“I don’t think so,” Wendy said. “Disappearances outside our own boarders would be outside our jurisdiction.”
“True, but I wondered if there might be a pattern similar to what we’ve already seen. Couldn’t that be significant too if the pattern and timing of the disappearances is in any way tied to the point of origins for the rugs?”
Wendy frowned. “I think you’re going out on a limb here. Pay attention to what you’re supposed to be doing while you’re assigned abroad and forget about us while you’re there.”
Harry sighed in frustration. “Yeah okay. I suppose I already have enough to do.”
The door to the lift opened onto the atrium.
“Are you going home tonight?” Wendy asked.
“I’m supposed to stay in the flat,” Harry said.
Wendy looked at him speculatively. “You’re here. Why not go home and floo back in the morning?”
Harry hesitated in answering.
“Is there some reason you don’t want to go home Potter?” Wendy asked.
“Of course not,” Harry lied.
“I see. Well whatever it is, I hope you solve it Harry. Life can be too short not to,” she admonished.
Harry said nothing but grimaced slightly. He knew she was right, but he wasn’t sure what he’d find at home if he did go there tonight.
“Good night Potter,” Wendy called.