Chapter 2 : 2- Home, Work and Kidnap
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Harry Potter woke up with a start to the loud crying of a baby. His one year old son, Albus Severus, was hungry or needed changing or whatever else it was that babies cried about. He felt his wife, Ginny, getting up from the bed to tend to the baby. He felt even more tired than he had done when he went to sleep.
His eyes still closed, he tried to think of why that was. The answer then sank unpleasantly into his mind. The night-time raid on a Dark Artefacts dealer that had taken place the previous evening had taken a lot longer then he and the Auror Office had originally intended. Everything from illegally made wands to cursed pendants had been found within the man’s basement… after the dealer and his companions had attempted to fight back of course.
Mercifully, The Minister for Magic, Kingsley Shaklebolt, had given Harry permission to have the morning off before meeting with the Head of the Department for Magical Games and Sport about the final security details for tomorrow's Quidditch Final.
Harry lay in bed, half asleep, listening to the sound of Ginny singing to baby Albus. He wondered if all mothers naturally came with the gift of a beautiful voice or whether he had just gotten lucky to marry a woman of many talents.
He heard her stop and go downstairs, probably to feed Albus, and began to ponder if he should go down after her. But at that thought he suddenly found himself more comfortable than ever before in the plump, king sized double bed and fell back to sleep.
What felt like mere seconds later he awoke to “Kreacher is sorry, Master Potter, but Kreacher must obey Mistress Potter’s orders.” And sheer cold was splashed across Harry’s face and he fell out of bed with shock. He looked up, brushed the damp jet-black hair out of his face and saw his elderly House Elf, Kreacher, on his now soaked bed holding an empty vase in his brown wrinkled hands. “Master Potter must get up and come for breakfast now or he’ll be late.” The Elf commanded in a cracked, elderly voice.
After fumbling with his horn-rimmed glasses, Harry looked at the clock beside his bed and saw that it was already eleven o’clock. Getting to his feet, he said to Kreacher “Tell Ginny I’ll be down shortly.” The House Elf bowed, clicked his fingers to dry the bed and, with a loud crack, vanished as he Disapparated downstairs.
Harry looked at his sopping wet reflection on the wall mirror before drying himself with a wave of his wand. His jet black hair returning to the messy state it had grown accustomed to and the water covering his pale white face drying off too.
His time with the Dark Wizard fighting Aurors and Ginny's well nourished cooking had made Harry stockier then he had been in his school days at Hogwarts and had given him thicker arms and legs though he still retained his slim physique.
After getting washed and dressed, he started making sure he had everything and picked up his Mokeskin pouch. It had been made much larger on the inside thanks to a well-practiced Undetectable Extension Charm by one of his dearest and oldest friends, Hermione Weasley, several years previously and Harry was grateful for the space. He checked inside to see a small pile of solid gold Galleons; among which was the fake Galleon he and the other members of the Defence Against the Dark Arts organization, Dumbledore’s Army kept on them. A Sneakoscope; a colourful spinning top which activated and span around whenever someone untrustworthy was around and a small two-way mirror, repaired from a small shard of glass and whose twin now belonged to his best friend and fellow Auror, Ron Weasley. Harry checked his robes and found his father's old Invisibility Cloak stowed away in an inside pocket.
Satisfied that he had everything, he hung the Mokeskin around his neck and went downstairs, hoping some breakfast might help wake him up. He saw Ginny preparing the breakfast and his two sons sitting at the table. “Next time, can you just set the alarm?” He said as he kissed Ginny.
“Now where’s the fun it that?” She teased back with a smile, her long ginger hair shinning in the morning Summer sun as it dangled around her shoulders and her bright brown eyes twinkling.
As he sat down, she placed a plate of bacon and eggs in front of him and sliced up pieces of buttered toast in front of his two year old son, James; whose shag of dark red hair already held a messy style not unsimilar to Harry's.
“Good Morning, James.” He said to his son who had his mouth full of a piece of toast though replied with a cheek-bulging smile all the same. Harry wolfed down his breakfast and ordered Kreacher to bring down some fresh Floo powder.
“What are the odds that Ron’s only just woken up?” Ginny asked, looking at the clock which now said quarter to twelve.
“Impossible. Do you really think Hermione would let him over sleep, life- risking night-time raid or no?” Harry said, laughing.
Ginny smiled before continuing “Oh, and remember to try and be home on time tonight. Mum and Dad are coming for dinner and I don’t want to wait up for you... again.”
Harry smiled at her, took a pinch of Floo powder from the jar his House-Elf had bestowed, said goodbye to his family and stepped into the large, dining room fire place. “Ministry of Magic!” There was a flash of green flame as Harry threw the powder into the fire place and before he knew it, he was in the familiar hustle-and-bustle that was the large emerald coloured Atrium of the Ministry of Magic.
He made his way to the Auror Office on the third floor replying to the occasional “Good morning, Mr Potter” or “Morning, Harry” that greeted him. Harry eventually made it to the wide cubical-filled department to find his best friend, Ron Weasley, deep in conversation with the Head of the Auror Office, Albert Kaman.
Albert was a tall, well-built Wizard whose hair was losing its once light-brown colour and whose face was also showing signs of his late age. However, his dark-brown eyes still gave off the strength and the 'ready for anything' look that someone a quarter of his age would be jealous of. Ron on the other hand had barely changed at all since Hogwarts, in Harry’s opinion, with the exception of being slightly taller and possesing more confidence in his once slouchy posture.
“Morning guys.” Harry said to the two of them.
“Ah, Harry.” Said Albert in a bright, loud voice. “I was just talking to Ron about tomorrow’s match and who he’s supporting. His sister or his team?” Albert gave a bark of laughter as he slapped Ron across the shoulder. Ron looked slightly sulky.
“Of all the teams, in all the world, Ginny had to join the Holyhead Harpies.” Harry knew for a fact that ever since Ginny had joined the Holyhead Harpies four years ago, Ron’s precious team, the Chudley Cannons, hadn’t won a match against them and now that they had finally made it to the finals of their league, Chudley Cannon fans everywhere were not getting their hopes up.
“Hey, Harry!” Harry turned to see his Auror protégé, Naomi Pryce; an ebony skinned, slim Junior rank Auror. She was much shorter then Harry, not even reaching his shoulders, and her shoulder length, straightened black hair curved around her rounded face which was now smirking at him cheekily. “I just passed Terry Hetlim in the corridor and he told me that he’s ready to meet when you are.” Ron groaned and Harry patted him on the shoulder.
“Come on, Ron” Harry said, smiling.
“But he’s so boring. He’s got no sense of humour and he constantly smells of Doxy droppings. He makes a dead owl look like a party animal.” Harry laughed and he, Ron and Albert started their way to Hetlim’s office.
“Oh, Naomi.” Harry said as he walked out and Naomi caught up and walked beside him. “When you next see Emily, let her know that you two will be helping the Law Enforcers on Muggle patrol tomorrow.” Naomi looked downtrodden. “Look, I know you were hoping for a stadium position but there are none left, and odds are nothing will happen anyway.”
“You mean apart from the massive game of Quidditch going on in the middle of the arena?”
Harry smirked. “Very funny. I’ll see you later.” And Harry, Ron and Albert left the Department for the office on the fourth floor.
The meeting took longer than Harry expected and after two hours of Ron secretly mocking Hetlim by taking a deep breath and holding his nose when he got near Ron or giving him a rude gesture when he was getting a file from a cabinet, they finally left the office trying to hold in fits of laughter. When the three Aurors got back to their department, Harry found John Dawlish, the bulking, wire-haired Deputy Head of the Auror Department, leaving Harry’s office looking rather flustered. “Dawlish?”
“Ah, Harry, there you are. I’m afraid Draco Malfoy is in your office and is refusing to leave until he sees you. He says it’s urgent.” Harry thanked Dawlish, went into his office and, sure enough, there was Draco, his blond hair line already receding and his skin slightly more tanned than usual. The last time Harry had seen Malfoy was at a Ministry Charity Fund Raiser over a year ago and remembered that his wife, Astoria Malfoy, had been pregnant around the same time Ginny had been with Albus.
“Draco,” Harry said pleasantly as he walked around to his desk chair and waved his wand to conjour one up for his guest. “And what can I do for you?”
“It’s my father.” Draco said curtly not taking the offered seat. “I was wandering whether the Ministry had taken him in for more questioning?” Harry looked puzzled. If the Ministry had taken Lucius Malfoy for questioning surely someone in the Auror department would know and, even more surely, would have told him by now. “As I’m sure you know," Draco said bitterly, though not enough to sound rude. "We’ve been on holiday for the past week but my Father couldn’t come with us. But when we got back this morning we couldn’t find him.” Malfoy saw the puzzled look on Harry’s face and his own expression changed to one of worry.
“Come with me.” Harry said sternly getting up from his chair and leaving his office with Draco behind him.
He walked quickly, his mind racing just as fast. Surely, if something had happened, he’d know by now.
Finally they reached a door which had ‘Auror Office – Tracker Division’ written in gold slanting letters on a handsome silver plaque. They went through it and a large crystal coloured room filled to the brim with high shelves with less than a dozen desks in between. Harry instantly saw the person he was looking for. Seamus Finnigan, rotund but focused, was sitting at a particularly cluttered desk, taking notes with over two dozen crystal ball like objects on his table which Harry knew to be Glass Viewers; a recent magical invention that was used to watch over certain places through the Glass Viewer orb at the other end.
“Seamus,” Harry called “What’s the position of Lucius Malfoy?”
"Hello to you too." Seamus replied with a thick Irish accent and a frown, though when he caught Harry's expression he soon realised the urgency and said “Malfoy? I hadn’t even thought he’d left his manor, hang on.” And he pulled, from a dusty shelf close by, a slightly bigger Glass Viewer compared to the others, pointed his wand at it and said “Lucius Malfoy.”
At once the image of Lucius appeared lying on his bed. “There he is. Looks like he’s just finished lunch.” Harry turned to Draco who looked genuinely shocked.
“I swear, we couldn’t find him anywhere. How long has he been there?” Draco spluttered.
Seamus once again pointed his wand at the ball and murmured “Ostendo Statua.” And the figure of Malffoy started to move backwards. They saw him eat his lunch in reverse, they saw the Malfoy family's own House Elf barge into the room while walking backwards and take the the food away and it kept going until they saw Draco walk in then quickly walk back out again. “By the looks of this he’s been in there all day, and you saw him.”
“What! No I haven’t... I...” He began to look scared now as his eyes darted from Harry, Seamus and the glass ball. Harry had seen Malfoy lie many times in the past and this certainly didn’t seem like one of them.
“Okay, Draco.” Harry said calmly despite his own fears. If Draco didn’t know where his father was and the Ministry apparently didn’t know where he was, then either something horrible had happened or something horrible was about to happen. “Take me back to the Manor, I’ll see what’s what when I get there and search it.” Harry ordered to Draco. Seamus looked concerned and went back to the orb and started muttering different incantations and watching the rerun again. “Come on, Draco.” Harry pressed, and the two left the Tracker Division.
As they left, Harry saw Ron, Naomi and Emily Bates; a short, blond, freckle-faced Witch whom Ron was mentoring the same way Harry mentored Naomi. He called to them and Ron turned saying “What’s up?” Harry whispered so Draco couldn’t hear.
“I think Lucius Malfoy has escaped house arrest, I'm going to the manor to see if it’s true because the Trackers say otherwise. I need you to alert the others to this, I’ll report back as soon as possible.” He then turned to Naomi and Emily. “You two with me, come on.”
And the four of them left with Ron running off in a different direction. “Where exactly are we going?” Naomi asked as she ran to keep up with Harry and Draco's pace.
“Malfoy Manor.” Harry answered.
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by Rusty Weasley