Chapter 19 : Because there's always a plan B
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Six days later and the wizarding world still hadn't overcome the shock. Not only Death Eaters attacked the Ministry but also Matthias Barge, the head of the Auror Department proved to be the traitor who helped them in. Details about what the Death Eaters wanted or what their plans for now on were, fortunately didn't got leaked, but the true identity of Apostollo and the fact that Harry Potter was now to replace Matthias made it all the way through Daily Prophet's first pages. And the bad news continued since it was obvious that the Death Eaters and their leader, Artemis, were crazed by the fact that they didn't get what they wanted. New attacks and deaths were revealed everyday and people could do nothing but panic.
Meanwhile, Ron thankfully made a full recovery and Hermione was exonerated from all charges and now they were both back at the Potter residence with their kids. On the other side however, Harry was going crazy with all the work he had to do just so he could get rid of all the reporters. It was almost impossible to convince them that everything would be alright while he wasn't so sure himself.†
He still hadn't forgotten the second goal of Artemis after acquiring the book; killing Ginny. The problem was that while he would like to spend every waking hour with her, making sure she's safe, he couldn't; because as Hermione and the Daily Prophet's first page had said, the auror office would be doomed at this point without him, and God knew how much people needed aurors at this hour. So as a solution he had some aurors watching over Ginny's every move; however that proved to be not all that helpful since he was still worried about her when he was away and Ginny was so irritated by the presence of the aurors all around her, that she was driving them and everybody else crazy with her nerves; her pregnancy hormones didn't help either.†
"Gin, honey, they're here to protect†you; don't you think that you could at least let them use the facilities?" Harry told Ginny as they were arguing again about the aurors.†
"I don't care what they're doing here! They're bossy and disobedient and messy and I want them out of here!" Ginny yelled.†
"Gin, this is hard on all of us but you have to be patient and..."
"And what? What is going to change? I don't even know why you had to bring them here, I'm perfectly safe here! I mean, what do you think is gonna happen? That Artemis will blast her way into our house with an axe and cut my head off?"
"Gin, this isn't funny", Harry sighed. "My people found four women dead last night. I can't risk your safety. Why can't you understand that?"†
"Why can't you understand that I cannot breathe with those people all around me?"
Harry shook his head and closed his eyes for a few moments; when he opened them he looked at her pleadingly.†
"I can't keep having the same fight with you over and over again", he said.†
"Neither can I, so just get rid of them".†
"I can't leave you unprotected".
"I'll be fine", Ginny rolled her eyes. "Just get them out of my house!"
"Do you want me to quit my job? Is that what you want?" Harry asked her.†
"What? How do I want that?"
"I can't leave you alone, so that means that either you're gonna have to tolerate the aurors or that I would have to quit my job and be here all the time!"
"But I am not alone! Ron is here! Hermione is here! The kids are here!"
"Ron is helping George with the shop half of the day, Hermione is at the Ministry with me and I won't even bother to say anything about the kids; they're going back to school in half a month anyway", Harry said.†
Ginny sighed and started walking up and down the living room, while her eyes were welling up.†
"Fine", she said half sobbing. "Fine then, just leave them here to mess up my bathroom, mud my carpets and eat all of chocolates you brought me!"
"Gin", Harry sighed and walked over to her.
He sat on the couch and pulled her next to him, since she was now too heavy to sit on his lap.
"I'm sorry but I can't work, I can't give instructions and I can't even think right when I'm worried about you; and I'm worried all the time".†
Ginny exhaled and glared at him.†
"I hate you when you do that", she told him, averting her eyes to the ceiling.†
"What?" he asked confused.†
"You know what! That 'I can't imagine my life without you so please do what I ask' kind of thing! You do it all the time and you know that I cannot resist it or stay angry with you!"†
"Does that mean you will allow the aurors to stay and keep†you†safe and†mesane?" he asked her.
"Fine", she said. "BUT...only if you give them direct orders not to eat my chocolates!"†
"Done", Harry laughed.†
"Do not laugh for I am deadly serious! If I catch one more of those bulimic monsters with chocolate all over their mouth, I'm gonna get really really vicious!"†
"Huh...at the office I've got aurors fighting off Death Eaters everyday but somehow I'm more sorry for those poor people I brought here!"†
"Haha, that was really funny", Ginny said ironically. "I'm glad that while I'm pissed off, you have the time to be funny!"
Harry laughed and hugged her.
"Will you stop driving them crazy?"†
"I will", she sighed.†
"Will you be really cautious and only leave the house when you absolutely have to?"†
"Will you be careful who you let into the house?"
"Will you stop hating me for tonight and kiss me?"†
"No, that's your job", she said but he was already kissing her before she could finish her sentence.†
"Mr. Potter the office called..." the auror that came into the room stopped when he saw them and they jumped apart. "I'm sorry, am I interrupting?"
"Yes", Ginny replied angrily.†
"No", Harry laughed. "What is it?"†
"Well, Dolohov will be transported to Azkaban in a few hours and you said you wanted..."
"Oh, yeah, right", he said and got up.†
"Yeah, right, what? Where are you going? It's almost midnight", Ginny complained.
"I know Gin but I wanna be the one to take that monster to prison after everything that he did to James", he told her.†
"Yeah and after all it's possible that the Death Eaters will try to free him, we'll propably gonna need you sir anyway", the auror said.†
"Fine", Ginny sighed. "Just make sure you punch Dolohov for me, okay?"†
"Okay", Harry smiled and winked at her. "I'll propably be really late though, so don't wait up for me", he added and noticing the frustrated look on her face he went on. "But I promise you that tomorrow I'll come back at noon and I won't go back except there's a huge need".†
A smile spread on Ginny's face.†
"Okay then", she said and got up. "It's a deal", she added and kissed him goodbye.†
It was really hard for Harry to resist the burning feeling inside him and not kick the hell out of the man that was sitting opposite him in the questioning room; yet as he had told James they were not like them, revenge wasn't the solution and more importantly there were just too many witnesses. Harry glanced at the two aurors behind Dolohov and sighed; they were supposed to be there in order to protect him but he really wished he could do the interrogation without them or the aurors behind the glass. It would be easier to...express himself.†
"Who would have thought that you would actually get something out of all of these Potter?" Dolohov said.†
"What's that suppose to mean?"
"Look at you; you're the Head of the department now, aren't you? Last time we were together in this room, you were just a pathetic little auror", Dolohov smirked, but Harry did so too.
"Yeah, a pathelic little auror that had basted you", Harry reminded him and Dolohov's smirk faded.†
"I got away eventually".†
"True", Harry shrugged. "But at least I gave you that scar on your face as a reminder of our meeting".
Dolohov growled but didn't say anything. Harry opened the file that was in front of him.†
"You are accused of being a Death Eater, escaping custody, five known murders and kidnapping my son", Harry finished, the rage inside him burning. "Are you admitting to those accusations?"
"No, actually", Dolohov said and Harry raised his eyebrows. "I also kidnapped Malfoy's son and I'm admitting six murders, if you count me killing that mudblood old classmate of yours...Dean Thomas, was it?"†
"You did that?"
"Yeah, I did that", Dolohov laughed as Harry's hands were actually trembling from anger.†
"Listen to me, you scum", Harry said with a hollow voice. "I'm gonna get you into prison for the rest of your pathetic life and I'm gonna personally make sure that your life in there will be as miserable as possible".
"And here I thought you didn't like me", Dolohov smirked.†
"Go to hell", Harry said as he stood up picking his stuff. "And stay there", he added as he walked to the door the aurors behind him opened for him.†
"Wait, Potter" Dolohov said and Harry turned. "Aren't you going to offer me a deal? Like letting me free if I tell you where you can find Artemis or something like that?"†
Harry walked in front of Dolohov again.
"No", he said. "I am not going to do that".
"What kind of an auror are you?" Dolohov laughed.†
"The kind that wants to see monsters like you behind bars. I will find Artemis and I will give her what she deserves and I don't need your help to do that", Harry replied. "Now excuse me but I don't think I'll be able to restrain myself for much longer if I keep talking to you", he added and made to leave again.†
"That's too bad then", Dolohov laughed watching Harry's reflection in the glass. "You won't even get to hear my offer".
"You have nothing I want Dolohov", Harry replied.†
"No, but you have the book and we need that".
That made Harry turn again and look at Doohov's back.†
"Right", Harry laughed. "And of course I should just go and gift-wrap it for you to take, because you have such an advantage over us, is that it?"†
†"As a matter of fact that is it", Dolohov smirked. "Did you really think that we didn't have a plan B? Or that your kids could beat†me†in a fight if I didn't allow them to?"
Ginny was in the basement, trying to find the basinet they had used for Lilly, because she didn't want to leave everything for when the baby would come and she and Harry had agreed that since they already had like an entire pile of baby stuff they should use those. It was hard to find what she was looking for after all these years though and the pointless searching was getting on her nerves.†
She dropped another box on the floor and turned to glare at the two aurors behind her.†
†"Since you are here", she said irritated, "can't you help me find what I'm looking for?"
"I'm sorry ma'am", the taller one said. "We're only here to protect you from exterior dangers. Our orders are not to intervene in your life otherwise".
"Yeah, but you took those orders from my husband because I asked him to", she tried to explain. "So if I say that I want you to help me, you can do it".
"We are very sorry but this is not the time to defy a direct order", the other auror said.†
"Huh", Ginny said. "So can't help me but you have no problem at all eating stuff".
"What?" the aurors said together.†
"Never mind", the woman growled.†
"Mum can you come up here for a second?" James's voice came from the kitchen.†
"Yeah, honey, I'm coming", she yelled back and she glared at the aurors before climbing the stairs.
"That woman is a handfull", the taller auror whispered to the other. "And what did she mean about us eating stuff?"†
"I don't know", the other one shrugged and they both followed her upstairs.†
"Care to elaborate that?" Harry asked Dolohov standing opposite him again.
The man exhaled smiling.†
"You so ruined the way I had planned for this to come up when you said you didn't wanna make me any offers but anyway", he shrugged. "We want the book, Potter and you're gonna give it to us".
"Oh, and why would I do that again?"†
"Because there's something you don't know", Dolohov said.†
"Oh, please do tell", Harry said tiredly.†
"I didn't grab your daughter that night because I wanted to use†her†as a bargain. I only did it because I wanted to get caught. The fact that it was your son the one who stopped me just made the whole thing easier".
"What are you talking about?" Harry asked, his curiosity overcoming his anger now.†
"You should have allowed the boy to do it, to kill me. You sure gonna wish you did, same time tomorrow".†
"And why is that?"†
Dolohov smiled, raised his hand to his ear and pulled his earring out. He left it on the table and Harry looked at it. It was a round, golden ring totally ordinary except the fact that ever since it left Dolohov's ear a red light turned on right in the middle of it.†
"What is that?" Harry asked Dolohov.†
"It's a signal that I actually send off when I saw your son again. I had to wear it for a couple of days so I can make sure it worked, but now that I took it off you can just destroy it; it has already started anyway".†
"James?" Ginny said entering the living room.
"Hey, mum, do you have a painkiller to give me, I have a terrible migraine", the boy said coming from the kitchen with his hand on his forehead.†
"Really?" Ginny asked placing her hand on his forehead too. "Well, you're not warm, you don't have a fever. I can't give you a painkiller just for a migraine, honey".
"Oh, come on, mum. I've been having those migraines for days", James complained.†
"What? Why didn't you say anything?"†
"Well, you and dad were both so busy since the night at the Ministry, I didn't wanna give you more things to worry about and..."
"James, what are you talking about? Since when do you have those migraines?"†
"It's not such a big deal, mum, stop yelling", the boy sighed.
"Since when, James?"†
"Since the Ministry", James said.†
"You should have told us" she said irritated and grabbed his hand dragging him in the kitchen. "Look, I'll give you a painkiller for now but I'll have Teddy to check on you first thing tomorrow morning, okay?†
"What? No, mum, I'm fine", the boy said.†
"Do not argue with me little Potter", she said strictly as she looked at the shelfs for painkillers, her voice still an octave higher than normal. "No matter what your father and I are up to, your health is always more important, you hear me?"
"It's kind of hard not to the way you're yelling".
"I hope so" she said giving him the pill and a glass of water. "There's nothing else you haven't say, right?"†
James glanced at her and then looked away quickly.†
"No", he said.†
"Oh, God, what else?" she asked.†
"James", she said warningly.†
"It's just...the scars around my hands", he said after taking the pill.†
"What about them?" Ginny asked.†
"They're kind of itchy for like some days now".
"Okay, that's it", she said. "I'm gonna send Teddy a Patronus right now".
"Mum, it's one in the morning and Teddy will probably be sleeping or doing stuff with Victoire".
"All I mean is that it can wait until the morning", he said and she sighed.†
"Fine", she said. "But first thing..."
†"Yeah, okay, okay".
"Do not roll your eyes at your mother!" Ginny said narrowing her eyes.
"Do not narrow your eyes at your son".†
"I made you; I can do whatever I want!"
James grunted as his mother came next to him, folded her arms around his neck and gave him a big kiss on the cheek.†
"Yeah, keep talking like that and my little sis in there would not wanna come out and really meet you", James told her pointing at her stomach.†
Ginny smacked the back of his head as the boy laughed.†
"I'm kidding" he smiled as he took the glass from the table and walked to the fridge. "You know we..." but his voice trailed off.†
"James?" Ginny said looking at his back.
The glass dropped from the boy's hand and got smashed hitting the floor.
"James!" Ginny shouted walking to him but she was only half way to him and the boy fell on the floor.†
"I don't understand", Harry said looking at Dolohov with disbelief.
He was almost certain that the man was trying to pull off some trick to escape custody again. Dolohov smirked.†
"Well, as fun as I've had until now, it's time to talk business, Potter", Dolohov said.
Harry crossed his arms at his chest, waiting for him to explain.
"This is a transmitter I turned on the day I was captured", the man said pointing at the earring on the table. "It send out a signal that set a really tiny device on".
†"What kind of device?" Harry asked.†
†"It's something we copied from the Muggle military operations; it's this tiny thing that can contain more than...um..say...500 grams of any kind of fluid and then when it's right, release it. Muggles use what they call physics to achieve it, we just used magic".†
"Okay, Dolohov, you know what, do you care actually getting to the point because I'm starting to have a feeling that you're wasting my time?"
†"I will in a minute....but first tell me this: what do you know about the Pozna venom?"
†"The Pozna venom?" Harry repeated.†
"It's a highly poisonous essence that kills through paralyzing and excruciating pain, usually after three days, but it depends on the quantity too. Why?"
"It's aslo known as the 'unstoppable poison', do you know why?"
"Yeah, because there's not one way to create it. Everytime a person makes it, it's different and that's why you cannot find the antidote in the market, the only person that can provide you with it is the one who makes the poison every time".
†"Right", Dolohov nodded. "I'm glad you're already informed on that, it's gonna take less talking from me", he sighed. "Well, I guess we reached the point where I actually explain what's going on, right?"
"Tell me we did", Harry rolled his eyes impatiently.†
†"What if told you that when I took off this earring, a few minutes ago, the device I told you, released 200 grams of this poison, an amount capable to kill like 13 people?"†
†Harry didn't reply; he just stared at Dolohov. He couldn't understand if he was telling the truth or not or if the Death Eaters had actually captured those people wanting to exchange their lives for the book.†
"I know what you're thinking", Dolohov said. "That we captured those people and that we're gonna kill them if you don't give us the book and you're also thinking of ways to save them without doing that, ways not to risk the book, right?"
"I will not give you the book, Dolohov, even if you have those people", Harry said. "Yes we will try to save them but you're not taking the book".
"Really?" he said obviously relishing the moment. "And what if I told you that there are no 13 people? That this device we're talking about was planted into your son's left arm and that a few moments ago 200 grams of the 'unstoppable poison' was released into your little boy's body?"
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