Chapter 7 : The Discovery
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Draco surveyed the crime scene. He recalled the previous murder and soon came to realize something: this crime scene was a mess. The methods looked the same, but if he were to assume the murderer was a serial killer, he would come to the conclusion that the person was becoming more psychotic.
He heaved the box-like machine he was holding onto a mahogany table and pointed his wand upwards. With a swirling motion, he said, “Obsaepio!”
He, then pointed his wand to the floor and casted the same spell; he did this for every wall and window. Then he walked over to his duffle bag and took out a miniature version of an astronaut suit. He used the Engorgement Charm to enlarge it, and wore it. He then switched on the machine, using his wand.
The machine was called Aero-Dementor, mainly because it sucked in air just like a dementor sucks in the soul. It is used to create a vacuum (or reduce the air pressure to minimum) in a laboratory environment. But with a little bit of tweaking by the Officinarum, it now has the ability to assess every air particle it sucks in.
He had to use the Blocking Spell, a newly invented spell, to seal off the whole room. The room has now become the equivalent of an air-tight container; nothing can go out, nor can anything go in. It was pure genius. He had to wear the astronaut suit to prevent himself from shrivelling into a corpse.
While the machine was sucking in air, he walked around the whole room and searched every nook and cranny of it.
Magic is energy at its core, just like heat. It has been theorized that, due genetic mutation, wizards are able to produce excessive amount of energy. Due to electric potentials created by living cells, humans are able to produce electric currents. Humans also get energy through food and breathing in carbon dioxide. Wizards and witches produce extra energy that build up little by little until they are at an important phase in their lives. A wand helps them redirect their energy in a controlled. Only a few are able to release this energy without the need of a wand.
Another thing about magic, or energy, is that it is always conserved. So if a wizard uses magic, such as for Dissapparation, the energy he uses or releases is never lost. An energy potential, or imbalance of energy, causes a reaction. Therefore the total amount of energy in the air will either be more or less.
That is where the Aero-Dementor comes to use. It analyses the energy gained or lost by the air particles. Each spell has a different energy potential, and by figuring out how much energy is gained or lost he can figure out what sort of spell has been cast in the room.
Draco waited until the device made the beeping noise. Then he restored everything back to its place, and recorded the readings on the machine.
Well that is the last of it, thought he. Now I can relax and think about her. I wonder where she is……
“You must be Astoria Greengrass,” said a woman who had a striking resemblance to a vulture, a starved vulture at that.
“And you are Madam Pince?” Astoria asked, politely.
“Yes. I will be handing you a portkey shortly that will take you to the Archives. Once you are there will be asked to fill in your information and sign a book twice, once you enter and once you leave. Please do not make any attempt to steal any page, or alarms will be set off. The alarm system is very delicate.”
Astoria listened to her with rapt attention. She had no idea where this Archive is or what it contains.
“Any questions, Ms. Greengrass?”
“Er, yes. How would I be able to search for the items I require?”
“The Archive is divided into rooms by the year. In each room, there are sections for each year. We store information according to the year they entered Hogwarts. So, it would be a good idea to know in what year was this particular person enrolled.”
Astoria’s head started to spin. If she messed this up, she might as well kiss her job goodbye. She wondered whether Draco was having a much better day than her. Then she stopped herself from wondering.
Why do I care about that, she thought. Why would I even think about him?
“Ms. Greengrass, It’s time,” announced Madam Pince, walking ahead.
“Yes, ma’am,”replied Astoria, following her.
She was standing in a large circular dungeon. The walls were made of large eroded and moss covered stones. There was no door, nor was there any window; just a wooden dais in the middle of the dungeon. On top of the dais was an ancient and bulky book. She investigated the book.
The title “In Archive de Hogwarts Schola Veneficii et Magia” , which she assumed meant “The Archive of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry”, was embellished in gold. The book had a black hardcover with intricate gold designs on it. She opened the book and read the first page:
You are now accessing the Archive of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You are asked to read the instructions carefully:
If you turn the page you will find yourself face-to-face with a blank table. You will fill out the table and sign it. This is your sign in form. It will be visible until you have finished using the Archive and signed out. If you haven’t signed out within the same time next day, an emergency lockdown will take place. You will be locked inside the dungeon until the next year.
To search in a particular decade, you simply have to find the right tag and open the page that is tagged. Then you must tap on the decade that you require. This will trigger a magical phenomenon and ten doors will appear. Each door represents a year in the decade. You may then proceed to the next chamber.
Please be informed that you are not allowed to possess any food or beverages during your time in the Archive. You must wear gloves (provided to you) while you are handling materials in the archive. You are not allowed to take, tear, or fold any parchment that the Archive provides.
Wishing you all the best in your research,
She had not known that the rules would be that strict. If she ever got out alive she will murder her boss. Now that she thought about it, this was the hundredth time she had a threatening thought about her boss. Who knew Harry Potter would be such a horrible boss?
After signing in, she searched for the 20th Century and flipped the book open to that page. She found 1980 and tapped it. Instantly, the blank moss-covered walls had ten openings. The openings were, then, plastered with metal doors that appeared out of thin air. On each metal door, a year was embossed in.
She pushed the handle of the door that said 1988, and entered. The chamber was huge and dimly lit. It resembled a library, with its shelves marked alphabetically and reading tables in various intervals. On the shelves there were large cardboard boxes, with labels on their sides. The labels read the names of each student in that year.
Astoria found a three-shelved trolley that she rolled over to hunt down the boxes with the victims’ names, and began her investigation.
Draco found Astoria at her cubicle. She was reading a piece of parchment with intense concentration.
“Good afternoon,” he said politely.
She looked up distractedly.
“What is this?” she asked, gesturing to the parchment she was reading.
“A piece of parchment.”
She rolled her eyes and said, “Yes I know. This letter is from my mother, telling me that the Greengrass’ are invited to a dinner hosted by the Malfoys. She also said that if I don’t attend this dinner, which is tonight by the way, I will break my parents’ hearts or worse shrivel them into nonexistence.”
Draco stared at her, not sure whether he should believe that Mrs. Greengrass wrote all that.
“Well that would be very unfortunate, wouldn’t it?” said he, not being able to generate a better reply.
Her eyebrows rose. “Yes, it would. But my mother likes to be mellow-dramatic.”
“Bloody hell, Draco! I am NOT going to any social gathering that involves me being a filthy pureblood! And that involves me me being put forth to find a potential suitor”
“How quaint of you,” replied Draco, sarcastically. “But I didn’t organize this dinner. It is planned by my mother. I didn’t even know about it until early morning today. ”
She blushed. “Oh, I thought…..”
“You thought what?”
“Nothing, nothing at all,” she said, a blank expression taking over face.
Draco drew a breathe and worked up the courage to ask.
“I actually wanted to ask you if-”
“Listen, I need to talk to you about something before I hand in this report to Potter.”
He glanced at a thick pile of parchment. “What is that?”
“Some findings for the Serial Wizard Killer case.”
He still could not believe people would use such a lame title for the murder case. Although, it came as no surprise to him when he heard that Weasley came up with the title. Since “the Trio” saved Britain, the citizens have buttered up everything “the Trio” did. It disgusted him.
“Draco, I just found out that Flavius Blishwick, Triton Burke, Arista Burke, Theodore Nott, Blake Yaxley, Marcus Flint were all a part of a gang of pranksters called the Sly Serpents.”
His expression was blank. “Yeah, so?”
“Draco, the Hoggy-Warts stated that you were a part of it as well.”
“The Hoggy-Warts, your school’s monthly newspaper.”
“Hogwarts had a newspaper?”
“Yes! And according to that, the infamous Malfoy heir joined the group as soon as he entered his first year.”
“I know that, Astoria. I joined but we disbanded in my fourth year because Nott, Flint, Yaxley and Blishwick graduated.”
“You never told me that!” Astoria got up and slammed her desk. “Draco! This could be a crucial part of the investigation! Your life could be in danger!”
He smirked, as he asked, “Are you worried for me, Tori?”
“This is serious, Draco! I can’t believe you were a part of those bullies!”
Draco looked offended. “This was my past, Tori. You can’t possibly be appalled. You knew who I was.”
“Yes but I didn’t know that you physically and mentally hurt people! Those were kids! You played pranks on them, you and your gang. And now someone who was severely affected by one of your pranks is out to get you.” Then, she pulled at his robe, and inched closer to him, and said, “One. By. One!”
Draco pulled free of her grip and stared at her angriliy. “You have no right to judge me! I came here thinking that it would be a good idea to have lunch together. Obviously, I was mistaken.”
Astoria, getting riled up, barked, “I could never go out with someone who didn’t possess even an ounce of humanity! Someone who had such a ruthless and cruel past.”
How foolish was I? thought he.
“There was a minor lapse of common sense from my part to think that I could be associated with you. Good day, Ms. Greengrass,” said Draco, in a cold and formal tone.
He pulled hard at his robe, to straighten it. He, then, turned around strutted away, with his long dark robe swishing violently behind him.
Astoria, having calmed down slightly, did not seem to regret her sudden loss of temper. She felt completely justified acting that way. According to her, he completely deserved it.
“Well, that was very mean of you,” said a known voice, behind her.
“Ginny,” said Astoria, acknowledging the owner of the voice.
Every time Astoria saw Ginny, she was amazed at how large she had become. Her due date was nearing, so she seemed exceptionally large today.
“What do you mean? He completely deserved that,” said Astoria, defending herself.
“Tori, a lot of people have horrible pasts, but that doesn’t mean we should judge them. If it were so, then I should be judged as well. I succumbed to Voldemort's manipulation once, and it cost my life.”
“Yes, but you were only a child then-”
“So was Malfoy. He was still in school. He knew no better.”
Astoria was puzzled by this argument between them. “Why are you defending him?”
Ginny smiled. “That is a very interesting question. Actually I don’t really care what happens to him. If I were in your place I would have blasted him out of this office.” She paused, as her gaze towards Astoria intensified. “I think I should blame my hormonal imbalance for feeling sympathy for him. The poor bloke seemed so lost.”
Astoria’s eyes widened in surprise. “Sympathy?”
“Yes, sympathy. I think the poor fellow needs someone to guide him to the right path.”
“Well, who is that someone? Potter?” asked Astoria, nervously.
“Well, frankly I don’t think any of us would voluntarily want to put up with such task. Our hatred runs too deep. No, Astoria, I was talking about you.”
“Me?” asked Astoria. For some reason, she wasn’t surprised. Great! Yet another person who thinks I should be paired with him.
Ginny raised her eyebrows. “You are attracted to him. Don’t deny it. You were born in the same environment he was. You both were raised similarly. But you escaped your family, and he didn’t. Now he is confused between whether he should be like us, or like his family.”
“But what if I turn into him.”
Ginny laughed. “My dear, I am pregnant with the child of a bloke who defied death at least a million times. If I knew he would live to this day, I would have married him sooner. What I am saying is, I don’t know the future. I hated Divination anyways.”
Ginny held her hand up in defeat. “I was just saying that you were being too judgemental, that’s all.”
Then she turned around and walked into her husband's office to wait for him.
Astoria sighed and looked down at the letter sent by her so-called mother.
It has been a while since you have visited us. I hope you are actively looking for employment elsewhere. I just found out that Mrs Halldora Bulstrode is looking for a secretary in her office. You may want to apply there. It has been a disgraceful month, since you decided to accept working under Harry Potter. Listen, daughter, I know it hasn’t been long since you arrived from Italy, but in Britain, we purebloods still despise that so-called hero. He has disgraced the reputation of all purebloods, including your family. So fraternizing with people like that is not healthy.
That brings me to the main topic of this letter. A week after Daphne’s wedding, Mrs Narcissa Malfoy wrote to me saying that she would be honoured if the Greengrasses attended a dinner hosted by them. She even went further, by complimenting how brilliantly the wedding went. Of course, Daphne and Blaise are on their honeymoon so they will not be able to attend, so you must accompany us to the dinner. I will not tolerate any excuse. If you do not come, then the little reputation our family has will be tarnished because of your childish decision. It will break our hearts to see our only non-married daughter not fulfilling their parents’ wishes. It is high time you realized that you are a Greengrass through and through.
This dinner is also the most brilliant opportunity to get to know young Draco Malfoy. He is a very much eligible bachelor. You are beyond the age of finding suitors. It is high time that you find a husband for yourself, and we believe that Malfoy is the perfect match. But you must do your best, because I have heard rumours that Mrs Parkinson has released that insolent whore (pardon my language, but you must admit, dear, her attires are too forward) of hers to snag the charming lad. I hope you will be able to fulfill these wishes of your loving parents.
Loving you always,
A/N: WOW! that was a quick uupdate. im trying to finish this fanfic ASAP. but dont wanna hurry too much, otherwise I'll mess it up. Also, please, please, review!! i need to knw whether you guys are liking it or not, and other thoughts about this fanfic.