Chapter 8 : success, arrests, and someone else's plan
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-Rose: The Fraternity’s vault, Gringotts
Saturday 30th October, 5.23pm
“You are an absolute idiot,” Scorpius said, fairly calmly, considering I’d locked us both inside a vault.
“I think that’s relative,” I said. “Lumos!”
The light from wand-tip showed piles of gold and various Muggle weapons- but the vault stretched back into darkness. I prodded a gun with my toe. It looked menacing, even as it lay still.
“I’ll find the gargoyle,” Scorpius said, lighting his own wand. “You figure out a way of getting us out.”
I tapped my earpiece. “Hugo? Dom? Lily? James?”
There was no response. I was on my own. Well, with Scorpius. I heard a crash and some swearing. Well, I might as well be on my own.
“Lumos Maxima,” I said, my voice hushed in the quiet of the vault. The ball of bluish light hovered over my head, clearly illuminating the vault door for me.
“There’s always a way out,” I said softly.
And I was right. I’m always right, for one, but getting in was always harder than getting out. But at the moment, blasting out on the dragon seemed like an attractive option.
We’d have to go back for Freddy though- and Lily would complain about abuse.
I shook my head, clearing it of mad thoughts. We can’t escape on the dragon.
I was a thief, and this was a vault of stolen things. “C’mon,” I said to myself. “Think about this logically. Your mother is Hermione frigging Granger. You are the Thief Queen of Logic.”
I waited for an epiphany.
“How the hell did the Fraternity manage to get an eight-foot gargoyle in here without the goblins noticing? It weighs a bloody ton,” Scorpius said, puffing with the weight. He was pushing the stone in front of him, and it ground against the floor loudly.
“I don’t know. Levitate it,” I said shortly.
“Can’t use spells on it, can we? How are we getting out?” he said, collapsing.
“I don’t know.”
“Do you always think things through this much?”
I held up a finger to quiet him. “Just gimme a second...”
How did the Fraternity get an eight-foot gargoyle in here without anyone noticing? With no spells?
“Lumos Maxima,” I said, sending another ball of light to hover above us. “Scor- you’re a bloody genius. Look for a key.”
“I know, I know. Wait- what? Why?”
“Because the Fraternity must be able to get in and out somehow,” I said, scanning the door. I checked my watch. We had five minutes before the unmanned sweeper patrol found Lily and James.
“You honestly think that the Fraternity are stupid enough to have a key to get out?”
I tapped the door, my ear pressed against the wood. “No, I think they’re clever enough to have a key. They can’t move stolen goods in and out of Gringotts under the noses of the goblins, can they? They need their own way.”
Scorpius sighed, sounding annoyed. “Perfectly logical. Well, seeing as we’ve strayed into la-la cuckoo-land, then I suppose this will work- accio key!”
He held his hand out and put his other on his hip, looking a bit like a pissed off Dom.
I shot him a disparaging look. “Don’t be ridiculous-”
A key landed in his outstretched hand. We both gawped at it.
“No bloody way.”
“GET THE GARGOYLE IN THE CART BEFORE THAT PATROL GETS THE WHOLE OF GRINGOTTS ONTO US!”
The unmanned patrol was a box on wheels with an aerial, and was currently whizzing off down the cart tracks, beeping angrily in search for authority. We were busted.
“Jesus, Lils, there’s no need to shout,” James moaned. “I think you burst my eardrums.”
If there is one thing I despise about James, it’s his inability to be serious. Personally, I shout in high-stress situations- like Lily, Dom, Vic, Molly, Roxy, Lucy, Aunty Ginny, Mum, Grandma... like all of my female relatives.
“SCORPIUS MALFOY HELP ME WITH THIS FUCKING GARGOYLE YOU PRICK!”
Scorpius rolled his eyes at James, and I kicked him. “C’mon!”
We clambered off the cart, pulling the gargoyle with us. James waited until the last possible second before jumping off as well, and as soon as he did so, a tiny red light began to flash, and a tinny klaxon sounded.
“She’s figured out I’m not a goblin,” James said sadly, watching the cart as it slowly trundled off, the siren still wailing.
“You’ll get over it,” Scorpius said, dragging James inside the vault. Freddy staggered to his feet, waving at a body on the floor.
“I had to stun him!” gasped Freddy. “He saw me, but I don’t know how to wipe memories...”
“Obliviate,” I said, pointing my wand at the prone goblin form. Poor bloke.
Scorpius and James were bagging up the gargoyle, and attaching buoyancy aids to it. Hopefully, it would stay dry and we would be able to easily drag it back through the tunnels.
I piled our dry suits, rubbish and backpacks up where Freddy had sat. “Not enough time to change,” I panted. “We need to get out fast.”
“Incendio,” Lily said, pointing her wand at the pile- Molly reckons that the Ministry is going to invest in a DNA program, and we really don’t need the hassle.
James jumped in. “Crap. Cold. Very cold.”
“Man up,” Scorpius said witheringly, and lowered the gargoyle down to him, where it then bobbed in the water like a large, ugly, stone duck.
James passed a rope around it, and ducked under, his Bubble-Head Charm rippling as it touched the water.
Scorpius jumped in, his mouth forming an O as he hit the water. “Holy shit, that is really cold.”
“Man up,” Lily told him happily. She was so going to gloat with James later. She cast a warming charm over herself and jumped in, swimming down the tunnel powerfully.
I checked around, one last time, and a movement caught my eye. A man stood in the vault entrance, gawping.
I Stunned him, then and ran over, Modifying his memory as quickly as I could. I checked his pulse- it was fine. He’d be okay. Probably.
“Spirant,” I said, and the bubble grew over my head. I jumped in, shivering at the cold blast of water, and swam away.
The Sunday Prophet- 31th October.
BRUTAL BANK BURGLARY- by Molly Weasley
Two vaults were broken into and two security personnel killed in a lethal attack on Gringotts last night made by ruthless killers.
Last night, a group of highly dangerous and armed criminals broke into two as yet unnamed vaults at Gringotts, killing two goblins and severely injuring another. A wizard was also incapacitated in this bloody and vicious attack. The victims were reported to be in St. Mungo’s early this morning, awaiting Auror questioning.
It appears the thieves managed to tunnel their way into Gringotts using highly advanced Muggle technology called ‘drills’, and from there broke into another vault. It is unknown how the thieves managed to evade the many enchantments and protective charms surrounding the vaults, but Senior Auror Ernest Macmillan ruled out insider knowledge- “the Ministry cannot comment too extensively at this time, but it is not believed that the thieves were intimate with the workings of Gringotts- they had a ‘lucky break’. However, finding the culprits responsible and bringing them to justice is the top priority at the Auror Office- as well as recovering stolen items”.
The thieves’ gold booty has been estimated to top fifty-four thousand Galleons, and the public is being warned to stay vigilant.
-Rose: The Leaky Cauldron
Monday 1st November, 3.58pm
I folded up the paper and grinned, throwing it down on the counter.
“How much do you reckon is true?” Hannah asked, stacking new bottles behind the counter, a checked tea-towel over her shoulder and her cheeks glowing in the nearby fire’s heat.
“It’s one of Molls’....” I said, pretending to weigh it up. “Probably about fifty-fifty?”
Hannah laughed. “That much? I swear the reporters get paid on how much bullshit they write.”
“Fantasy is a popular genre these days,” I said, swinging up to sit on the counter. Hannah hit me with the towel but didn’t make me get down. I mean, it was a Monday, and about four o’clock. Nothing was happening, and the pub was dead. Hannah disappeared into the back- Monday was paperwork day- so I slid down from the counter and started to polish glasses. It made me look industrious.
“...an’ wiv’ the break in at Gringotts,” I heard someone moan from the other end of the bar. I glanced over.
Pansy was attempting to serve him Firewhisky but the strangely familiar bloke was magically enlarging the glass she was pouring it into. And I could tell from the way that she was screwing up her nose she was seriously struggling with how many measures she was pouring in, and trying to calculate the cost.
The guy looked awful, but I wasn’t surprised- it was Pansy serving him. She used to go to Hogwarts with my parents, insisted I called her Miss Parkinson, and since Hannah hired her –she is far too nice-the Malfoy’s won’t step in the pub and more money has gone missing from the till than I think Pansy can count to.
I popped up by her shoulder. “Isn’t it time you took a break, Pansy?” I said, stressing her Christian name with relish. Technically, I was her senior.
She scowled, and even though both she and I knew she’d just come off a break, she passed the bottle of Firewhisky to me and scuttled off into the back. I stuck my tongue out at her retreating back.
“So ‘ow much do I owe?” the guy asked, looking confused and slurring his words. I realised where I’d seen him before.
I smiled winningly. “It’s on the house mate! You look like you need cheering up. Tell me of your woes.”
He pointed a grimy finger at me. “Why iz it that bar folk always listen?”
“Because people have such interesting stories,” I said, leaning forwards. “Go on, spill.”
-Rose: the Penthouse.
Monday 1st November, 11.45pm
I called everyone for an emergency meeting as soon as I got home- thankfully, we shut early on Mondays, because Hannah got fed up- and with the exception of Vic and Lorcan, they all turned up. We crowded around the Pensive as I drew out the thin silvery memory from my temple, and dropped it in the still water. The scene materialised around us, ink-like spurts of colouring our surroundings, and I pointed out what we were watching-
“Because people have such interesting stories,” I said, leaning across the bar. “Go on, spill.”
Hugo hit my arm. “Please do not use your cleavage to obtain information.”
“A girl has to use her natural assets,” chipped in Molly, but Dom hushed her.
“Just listen to Rose’s memory.”
...that sounds so weird.
The guy sniffed, and held out his hand for me to shake. “Gerald,” he said, “formerly of Gringotts.”
I smiled. “Rose,” I said, taking his frankly disgusting hand. “Currently of the Leaky.” I paused. “Why formerly?”
“Bloody goblins. It’s me fault that Gringotts got broken into twice on the same night, they reckon,” he said bitterly, holding up two stubby fingers. “It’s all me bloody fault, they reckon.”
“I’ve seen the papers,” I said, gesturing down the bar. “It’s awful. But it can’t have been your fault? Go on, tell me what happened.”
May I just chip in at this point and say that I would usually be far more subtle, but the guy was tanked and if I didn’t spell it out from him, he’d never understand.
“Vault six-oh-four and vault nine-three-oh,” Gerald recited.
“See?” I said to the gang, turning to face them.
Let me explain. 604 was the vault we blew up the floor of. We expected that to be discovered- it was also where we’d left the wizard and the goblin. But the other vault, 930, wasn’t the Fraternity’s vault. It was an entirely different vault that none of us had been near.
Dom hushed me as Gerald continued.
“Ah was just mindin’ me own business on front door security- lookin’ threatenin’ and the like- when this massive crash came from the vaults, so ah grabbed a couple of goblins and tried to hotfoot it over there- but where I thought the crash came from, wasn’t where the alarms were going off!
“So ah sent a goblin to see the crash, and I took the other two to the vault wiv alarms playing havoc- nine-oh-three, an’ ah didn’t see nuthin’ there, so ah left the two other goblins there, and went to where I thought the crash was, and the whole floor was caved in, and the goblin was knocked out, and then I gots knocked out too! Which is ‘ardly my fault, innit?”
I murmured sympathetically and poured him another Firewhisky.
“Don’t remember a bloody thing till ah woke up, an’ then I went over to nine-oh-three, and seen the two goblins, all stretched out like, and called the Aurors. But the bloody little money-grabbing goblins said ah were neglectful and I should be sacked. Ah walked out before they sacked me. No goblin is gonna sack Gerald. Nones.”
“They shouldn’t even hire ‘umans if they’re gonna dis-crims-in-ate against us,” he sighed. “Ah know it’s to show they don’t dis-crins-i-mate, but they shouldn’t. It’s unfair...”
The memory dissolved into wispy of murky smoke as poor Gerald started to ramble.
“Another vault was broken into?” Louis said, incredulously.
“Whose vault was 903?” asked Dom.
Lily screwed up her face. “Ah, one of the old families with weird names. Like a bird. Sparrow? Crow?”
“Carrow?” Scorpius said.
Lily nodded. “That’s the guy!”
“Abner Carrow,” I supplied. “He was in Mungo’s when you all were,” I said, as thirteen faces looked at me quizzically.
“Is it just coincidence?” Lucy asked.
“Can’t be,” snapped Dom. “The exact same day?”
“We did change the day...” chipped in Roxy, winding a strand of hair around her perfect finger.
“It should be good, though right?” Louis said.
“What do you mean?” I asked, chewing a hang-nail.
“I understand,” said Lysander. “The Fraternity aren’t going to moan that we’ve nicked stolen items, but if the Aurors think that this other team got in and out through our way, then they won’t be looking for anyone else.”
“It’s strange he didn’t mention that we’d set off the patrol cart,” James said, but Lily shrugged.
“Not really. With the alarms in 903 going off, it was probably ignored- those things malfunction all the time. They’re stupidly sensitive- we got a team of Aurors down once for a bat.”
James looked appalled. "So there was no reason to bust my eardrums then?"
Scorpius met my eyes from across the room, and shook his head slightly. Don’t mention the traitor, his eyes pleaded.
I scowled back at him. Even after everything that has happened... I still can’t believe that someone in this room has betrayed us.
-Rose: the Cabin
Wednesday 3rd November, 2.02am
Brrring brrring. Brrring brrring. I rolled over sleepily. Someone’s calling me.
Brrring brrring. And I don’t care.
Eventually, they’ll shut up.
I fell out of bed, my eyes still glued shut, and lunged toward my phone on the dresser. I pressed a button and held it to my ear.
I cracked my eyes open, peering at the too bright screen through slits. My phone wasn’t ringing.
What was, then? And why is it so early?
I rubbed my eyes, and stumbled towards the ringing sound. I opened my wardrobe, and found a cardigan with a bulge in a pocket.
“Hello?” I asked again.
“Scor- Scorpius- is that you? Are you okay? What’s happened?”
I held the phone away from my ear as a hysterical woman screamed down the line. “Mrs Malfoy?” I tried. “Mrs Malfoy, this is Rose Weasley.”
“Rose? What are you doing with Scorpius’ phone?”
No idea. No, wait! He gave it to me to ring Richie in Mungo’s... and I didn’t ring, and I didn’t give him the phone back. Or wash my cardigan, it seems.
“Erm, he lent it me. Why do you need him, Mrs Malfoy?” I said, trying to be polite and abrupt. It was two o’clock in the goddamned morning.
“We’ve had Aurors over! They wanted Scorpius, they said he was involved in the Gringotts break-in, and they were going to arrest him! But he was out for the night-”
My insides froze. I yanked on the cardigan, over my pyjamas. “Mrs Malfoy, calm down!”
I held the phone away from my mouth. “HUGO!” I yelled, trying not to sound as panicked as I felt. “Look, I’ll see what I can do to find Scorpius.”
There was a shocked silence, “You- you will?”
I laced up a pair of randomly grabbed boots, the phone jammed between my ear and my shoulder. “Yes, Mrs Malfoy, I promise. Do you know where he could be tonight?”
“Anywhere- he didn’t say where he was going...”
“Do you think he knows about the Aurors?” I asked. “HUGO ARTHUR WEASLEY!” I screamed.
“Why would he?”
“He works in the Ministry, he might have been tipped off,” I said, jamming my own phone in my pocket, and picking up the house keys. He might have tipped them off, I added in my head bitterly. “Look, I’ll go now, Mrs Malfoy, but I’ll call you if- when, I find him.”
I cut her off, going into the corridor and banging on Hugo’s door. “HUGO! GET UP NOW!”
I heard a grunt, and took that as confirmation he was awake. I went back into my bathroom, and pulled out a packet of paracetamol. My ribs hadn’t fully healed- this was going to be a long day.
There was a banging at the front door. I stepped out into the corridor- my hand over my wand- and then the door imploded. I stood in the corridor, stunned, as four Aurors charged through the cloud of smoke, their wands held high.
Run or stay?
“Yes?” I answered, my voice shaky.
Stay or run?
“What's happened?” I asked. “Is it Mum? Dad? Is everything alright?”
There was no-one I recognised. “Rose Weasley,” a shortish blonde man said catching my arm and spinning me around, plucking my wand out of my hand as he did so, “I am arresting you on suspicion of two counts of murder, two counts of grievous bodily harm and for the theft of goods worth over thirty thousand Galleons.”
He clapped handcuffs around my wrists, patting me down and taking everything else in my pockets too. My face was pressed against the cold wall, and I couldn’t speak for fear and astonishment.
I was being arrested.
Another Auror pushed past me and the blond guy- “Is your brother at home?” he asked me gruffly.
Hugo chose that time to stumble sleepily out of his bedroom, tugging his work shirt on from yesterday and rubbing sleep out of his eyes. “What is with all the banging?” he grumbled. “Who are all these people?”
The Auror stepped up to him and began; “Hugo Weasley, I'm arresting you on suspicion of two counts of murder-”
Hugo’s eyes widened, the last traces of sleep torn away by panic. “Rose!” he shouted. “NO!”
He pushed his Auror out of the way and I tried to kick another away-
-but the blond Auror gripped my upper arm painfully tight, and turned on the spot, dragging me with him, and Hugo disappeared.
A/N: c'mon, this chapter is surely worth a review!
Also, I made 'spirant' up- the incantation for the Bubble-Head Charm. Spirant is actually Latin for 'breathe'.
Also also, I have no idea what Hugo's middle name is, I made that up too :D
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