What landed on his desk was not a surprise to Draco.
Request form 324
Request of Visitation 2345
Visitation on Anna Jane Waterson
Reason: Appareration in crime scene.
Draco quickly signed the paper and sent it on its way, with only a brief look at the name in question but making sure that he took the name in. Anna Jane Waterson could be important. The Wizards in Magical Law Enforcement were more than just live action, stunt pulling, policemen; they also did boring work.
Draco span round in his chair and looked at the crime board. It was full and had to be extended to triple its size. There were ninety faces looking out at him, they weren’t moving, just staring blankly forwards. These people were already numbers in the system, but their deaths had to be sorted and resolved.
Anna had left Hogwarts and had briefly worked in Administration at the Ministry of Magic. But after the untimely death of her father and the slowly progressing frailty of her mother, Anna left and took over the family News Agents which was a steady income.
Anna hadn’t always been the one to run away, once she would have stood and fought and let her curiosity get the better of her. But now she was more cautious and preferred to keep her head down. To the rest of the world she was just the shop keeper who was unlucky in losing her parents and was a hard worker. But Anna was really a witch who was unlucky and used to be brave.
She was just Anna Jane Waterson, owner of Watersons News Agent, Croxley Green, Watford. Nothing more nothing less, except at the weekends when she used a little magic.
After her mother’s death she had inherited the bungalow in which the two had lived since the death of her father, five years before. It was nothing big; a small main bedroom, a smaller box room, a reasonable sized living room, a small kitchen and a small bathroom. It was adequate for a single woman and very close to the shop. On top of inheriting the bungalow Anna also inherited the small flat above the news agent, which was at the moment on long term lease to a man who she never saw. She was happy as long as she was paid rent regularly, which she was.
Anna peaked out the front window. The lace curtains twitching as she did so. No one was out in the road and nothing seemed amiss. The private hedges were still neatly clipped and the front lawns neatly mowed in strait lines.
A shudder ran down her spine, Anna wasn’t sure if it was that she was cold from being only dress in a towel and having dripping wet hair, or if it was the gruesome scene which was burned into her mind.
Anna looked at her alarm clock, it was quarter to six and she was running late. Normally she would be cycling down to the shop already.
Quickly Anna dressed and for the first time in three years she found her holster and placed her wand in it. Something had unnerved her, maybe it was the carnage that she had witnessed less than two hours ago was very inhuman, and far from anything she had seen during the Wizarding War.
Never the less, Anna placed her helmet on her head, did up the clip under her chin and swung her leg over the frame. Taking a sweeping gaze of the garden behind her and the road in front, Anna set off.
It normally took Anna fifteen to twenty minutes at a reasonable pace to get to the shop, but this morning she made it in ten minutes.
Beads of sweat rolled down her neck and from her brow as she fumbled with the keys. The automatic metal shutters slowly retreated back, but it was all too slow for Anna’s liking. Her eyes kept darting up and down the road and her toes were tapping agitatedly on the pavement. Who or whatever had killed those people could be after her and then there was the possibility of the Ministry coming after her too. They were always watching the every move of most of the Wizarding world in Britain and the magical creatures too. It used to be reassuring but after the experience of life Anna realised that it was more of a hindrance. She understood that she had little chance against any Ministry official; that was clear from the many court cases that she had witnessed as part of the Ministry Admin. The whole system was corrupt and it was simple to buy yourself out of trouble or into power as several people had done in recent years.
Quickly Anna put the key in the lock of the door and threw herself in dragging with her the bike, the pile of news papers and her helmet.
Flicking on the lights, Anna flipped the close sign over so that to the world the shop was open. It was a Sunday morning and soon her usual elderly customers would be arriving and her paper boys would be round any second. Anna walked round to the other side of the counter to the store room where she put her bike behind the door.
Anna then set to work sorting the papers into their rounds; normally this would have been done by a young girl called Chelsea, but she was away on holiday and so it was left to Anna who was glad of the distraction.
The bell tinkled over head, and Anna’s eyes shot up from her pile of papers.
It was Mr Jones, every Sunday he would come in and buy the Sunday Times, a packet of polo’s and one scratch card from the Golden Pot reel. Apparently he had never changed his routine in twenty years.
“Good morning Mr Jones.” Anna said, trying not to show that she was near screaming.
“Good morning Anna.” He said in his rough voice. He shuffled round to the papers, selected the Times then continued his usual route.
The office was quiet, but it was a sleepy quiet nothing terrible. It was after all early on a Sunday morning and no one was ever awake at that time of the morning or week.
“Mr Malfoy, please can you see the head.” Said a very short man with a balding head and tiny black eyes,
“Yeah,” Draco sighed, getting up out of his chair.
“Hello Sir, how can I help?” Draco asked, sitting down in the empty chair,
“The Granger case, I would like you to take it on as a side line...this is personal to me and I know that you will take is seriously. Also you must stay on the Hounslow case and keep and ear to the ground. Your family connections may help in finding the perpetrators of this horrific crime. I am looking to move that case onto my own agenda as well. Other than that...Malfoy I would say that I can help you.” Harry Potter said smiling slightly, and grimacing when the cases were mentioned.
“Why are you giving me the Granger case?” Draco asked, puzzled by his bosses choice.
“You don’t care as much as the rest of your colleagues would, and therefore it will give you a better chance in solving the problem.” Harry said looking over his glasses at Draco.
“Okay, so how are you going to help me?
“I think that you are due a pay rise and two weeks holiday...do what you will in those weeks, but keep your mind off the cases.” Harry said in a final tone, and picked up his mug.
“Coffee?” Harry asked as he crossed the room to the coffee pot.
“No thanks,” Draco replied politely.
Harry and Draco’s friendship had never really existed; it was just about there now. They were civil towards each other and Draco held respect for his superiors and Harry for his employees. Also Harry found Draco’s connections invaluable, along with his distinct knowledge of the styles of dark magic which belonged to that last Death Eaters and their children who, many of, had turned Neo-Death Eater.
Because of the mutual respect and Harry’s need for Draco’s connections they had formed a relationship of sorts, which surprised Ginny the most.
The bell tinkled again. This time two people walked in, they were chatting animatedly. Mike Small and Josh Reynolds were two of Anna’s paper boys; they took the two longer routs on the rounds.
“Morning boys,” Anna said calmly.
She pulled out two trolleys from the pile behind the counter and pushed them round to the two boys.
“Josh, Number thirteen is away today so you don’t need to deliver to them.” She said forcing a small smile on her lips.
She filled the two trolleys with the papers and then sent the boys on the way.
“Three pound and seventy five pence please,” Anna said, handing Mr Jones his scratch card.
“Thanks Miss.” He said gruffly.
He took five pence out of the change she had given him and then began to scratch away at the card.
“Anything?” she asked, trying to act normally.
“No, two shoes and one shamrock,” He said in a monotone.
“Better luck next time.”
Just as Mr Jones left the shop, two more figures entered the shop.
Anna’s face blanched. The two figures were dressed in dark blue robes with silver M’s embroidered on the left breast; one of the men fell back and flipped the open sign over to closed.
“Anna Jane Waterson?” asked the man who was further into the shop than the other.
“Yes.” She gulped.
“We are from the Ministry of Magic.” Said the same man, “I am here to ask you why you apparated from Hounslow municipal pack at four thirty A.M. this morning?”
“I was out for my run, I like to get away from here and vary my running.” Anna lied.
“Please may we check your wand?” the man asked, though Anna was sure that it was more of a statement rather than a question. But she was lucky the man had bought her lie.
Anna reluctantly handed over her wand.
The man held her wand and watched as her last spells were replayed. Luckily she hadn’t really used her wand in the last month or so. To get to the party she had taken the tube and a bus, she preferred it that way.
“Thank you Miss, sorry for the inconvenience.” The man said before leaving with his companion and turning right out of the shop.
Anna felt nauseous.
What was she going to do if they found out if she had been at the party?
Just then the door opened again and Milly walked in.
Milly was the other person who worked in the shop with Anna. They were quite close friends and got on well with each other.
“Oh, Anna you look dreadful. Go home; I’ll sort out the shop.” Milly said concern etched on her face.
“But, you can’t manage on your own.” Anna said weakly.
“Go home.” Milly demanded.
Anna smiled weakly at Milly and opened the door to the store room and pulled out her bike.