Chapter 10 : Fire and Rain
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I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
James Taylor, "Fire and Rain"
Disclaimer: I don't own the Harry Potter books or anything associated with them nor do I own the lyrics or the song used.
Being good at something.
“Just watch James, he’s good on a broomstick,” Abigail whispered.
It can come naturally or it can take work.
“You’ll be fine,” Jack tried to console me. “Just trust yourself to know what to do.”
When it doesn’t come naturally you have to work at it.
“Listen to what they say,” Abigail instructed. “Follow their advice and it’ll work.”
If you don’t have the time to work on it, you have to act like you know what you’re doing.
“You don’t seem that out of your element,” Jack said, watching wearily as I held the broom with two hands and swung my left leg over it in preparation for take off.
You try to swallow your nerves and your pride.
“You okay?” James asked, watching a little apprehensively as my broom wobbled.
“I’m five feet in the air on an inanimate object that is meant to clean the ground; not leave it. What do you think?” I snapped, reminding myself not to look down and trying to ignore my rapidly beating heart and shaking body.
If it’s too obvious that you don’t know what you’re doing to play it off…well, you basically just have to go with it and hope for the best.
“Merlin, don’t let me fall,” I muttered, rising higher, clutching my broom tighter, and hoping that my sweaty palms wouldn’t cause my grip to falter too much.
When you just aren’t good at something, no matter what you do, all that’s left is to accept it and avoid it for the rest of your life.
“I. Fucking. Hate. Broomsticks,” I mumbled to myself as I landed back on the ground with wobbly legs and a pounding head.
* * * *
In my classes at Hogwarts the thing that my teacher’s hated the most was that I knew what I was doing. I would skip class, I would purposefully botch up essays, and I would make it seem as though I was doing as little as possible while actually doing twice as much work as the average Hogwarts student.
You see, while others were in class, I was doing my own work. We didn’t pass our exams by luck; we passed them because we really did work hard and learned what we needed to. Our grades were in the toilet, our participation was worse than my grandparent’s marriage, and our popularity with the student population was nearly equal to the Carrows but we didn’t care.
To us, not having anyone know what we were up to and making sure that no one could guess what we were going to do next was a part of our image. We were untraceable.
“What are all of those for?” Meg Ann asked me Wednesday night after I had spent the morning doing yet another one of Murphy’s killer workouts.
“It’s kind of complicated,” I replied, following her gaze to the stack of books that were piled up on the table in front of the couch that was usually used for dads who were paying or friends that were giving opinions.
She picked up one of the books and flipped through it.
“It’s about the Second War,” she said, looking at me in surprise. I nodded absently and she frowned. “Why do you have books on that?”
“Because I don’t know much about it,” I replied vaguely, not really wanting to get into the whole James/Scorpius/family thing.
“You’ve never cared about it before,” she pointed out and I just shrugged, knowing that there was no point denying it.
Up until my seventh year I didn’t even know who Harry Potter was. I had heard of him, sure, and I knew that he was worshipped by half the Wizarding World but I always just rolled my eyes at it. They worshipped loads of people after all. I should have learned about it for my History of Magic OWL but you can really only study five years worth of material for so many classes and since I already knew I was bound to fail the HOM exam, I didn’t even bother trying and got my expected D.
In my seventh year the Second War came up again for the written part of my Defense Against the Dark Arts NEWT. Thankfully, it was less about what happened and more about the cause and effect of everything which was much easier for me to learn. Tyler spent the last five months before the exam going over the different protective strategies people used, the loopholes in the Death Eater traps, and the ultimate way Harry Potter was able to save the Wizarding World. No extra fluff needed.
Thanks to him I was able to pass the written Defense NEWT with flying colors—much to everyone’s surprise. I half expected them to run tests on my wand and work to see if there was any way I could have cheated. Most of my teacher’s at Hogwarts had done it at one time or another anyways. But they didn’t. As far as I know.
“So why do you care now?” she pressed when it became obvious that I wasn’t going to say anything more on the topic.
“I just do,” I told her in annoyance. “Can you bug off please?”
“Fine,” she huffed. “Tell mum I went home.”
“Will do,” I muttered.
I was only left in silence for another ten minutes before my mum came down but it was long enough for me to get the gist of all the books: Harry Potter is amazing and we should all throw ourselves at his feet. Natasha’s family was mentioned once, her grandfather being included on a list of known Death Eaters but no one talked about them much. The Malfoy’s, on the other hand, seemed to be a particularly popular topic, often times getting a chapter or two dedicated solely on their involvement. Some praised them, saying that they had bravely put their lives on the line for the better of the Wizarding World. Most put them down, calling them selfish, tenuous, sketchy, and superficial.
“Do you want to get something to eat?” my mum asked when she saw me. “I’m starving and Peter’s working late.”
“Sure,” I agreed immediately, folding down the page I was on.
“What are you reading?” she asked, walking over and picking up one of the books. She raised her eyebrows, just as surprised as Meg Ann had been. She flipped it open and read the first page while I pulled on my black combat boots. Her eyebrows rose higher the more she read but she didn’t comment and lead the way out once I was presentable enough to be in public.
“Where do you want to go?” she asked once we were outside. I pulled at my camo shorts, wishing I could make them longer without having them look weird. I always forget how much colder it gets at night.
“I don’t care,” I shrugged. “Ethnic food or pub?”
“Pub,” she decided. “New Direction?”
I nodded in agreement and we turned left.
“I don’t understand the appeal of the Leakey Cauldron,” she mused as we walked. “The food really isn’t all that appealing.”
“It sucks,” I agreed, not seeing any reason to be nice about it. “But I think it’s more about finding people you know. It’s the gateway and there area always people staying in the rooms above the pub. Plus, Tom’s awesome.”
“Tom?” she asked in confusion.
“The bar guy,” I said. “I met him last year when I didn’t feel like cooking. There were usually a few drunks but it was better than most, especially on Fridays since the Leakey Cauldron attracts a lot of families. We had to stick to topics that happened five years ago because his short term memory isn’t doing so well but he’s really a pretty interesting guy.”
“I see,” she said, looking bemused.
“Oh, and he calls me Elizabeth,” I added. “Apparently he had an ex-girlfriend whose name was Taylor and it didn’t end well. Eventually he just forgot my first name all together so he just calls me Elizabeth but he gives me free hot chocolate every time I come in.”
“So if I told him I was you do you think he’d believe me?” she asked.
I looked at her critically. We don’t really look all that different. We have the same wavy hair, stand at nearly the exact same height with less than an inch difference, and have the same hazel eyes that Meg Ann inherited as well. When our hair was left natural it was the same color but as usual mum had added red and mine was black.
When it comes down to it, though, the only thing that really sets us apart is our noses and my slightly darker skin tone; we share clothes all the time and even wore similar make-up since she is the one who taught me how to do the smoky-eye and colored liners. She moved past the thick liner quite a few years ago but I have a feeling she could still pull it off if she tried.
“I think you could pull it off,” I decided. “But the accent might throw him off a bit. You still sound American from time to time.”
New Direction was packed when we got there but the bar attracted the majority of the customers. It seemed to consist mostly of Hogwarts students, probably recent 17ers, with the odd person who had just gotten laid off from their job. You can always tell them apart because they come in their work clothes and are so smashed that they wouldn’t make it to work the next day if they tried. The most noticeable girl this time had dark red hair and was wearing plain gray robes. Her hair was falling out of her bun that was pined so tightly that it must have been flawless just a few hours earlier and she was slamming her cup down harder than strictly necessary every time she wanted a refill.
“Table for two,” mum told the hostess. She nodded and led us to the far end, away from the bar.
“Can I start you off with any drinks?” she asked.
“I’ll have a butterbeer,” I told her.
“Two please,” mum said.
“Are you still not drinking?” she asked when the waitress left.
“Not much,” I shrugged, taking a sip of my water. “It’s just not worth it all.”
“That’s what your grandfather said too,” she smiled. “So why are you researching the Second War?”
I considered evading the question but knew it would only lead to an argument.
“Scorpius and Rose are both getting ready to meet each others families. James said he would be on Scorp’s side of the whole thing if I read up on the war.” I was expecting her to reprimand me or give me advice about how it shouldn’t affect my opinion of the Malfoy’s or Scorpius (which I already knew) but she surprised me by zoning in on something completely different.
“Who’s James?” she asked as our drinks were set in front of us.
“James Potter. He’s Rose’s cousin. I went to Hogwarts with him but he was a year ahead.”
“So is he the boy you’ve been into for the last month?” she asked casually and I choked.
“What?” I asked as calmly as I could after my coughing had subsided. My voice was hoarse from the coughing and I took a sip of the water knowing I shouldn’t have been surprised that she said it so easily. When I came back from break my sixth year her first question when I got off the train was—“Who’s the guy?” I hadn’t even said anything yet. It was really creepy.
“Is he the boy you’ve been into for the last month,” she repeated slowly and I cocked an eyebrow.
“What are you on about?”
“Oh really Taylor, I taught you that trick,” she scoffed and I shrugged. “How do you know him?” she pressed.
I sighed but answered; glad she had decided to let it go at least partially. “He’s in training too. His dad’s the savior guy and our boss. He runs the whole department.”
“Are you friends?” she asked, raising an eyebrow quizzically.
“Of sorts,” I shrugged and she let it drop completely. I would talk when I wanted to.
“Can you pick up Meg Ann’s cake from Stellar Bakery on Thursday?”
“Sure thing,” I agreed easily.
“Perfect,” she said. “And I just thought you should be pre-warned…the Weasley’s are coming.”
“Which Weasley’s?” I asked. “I didn’t think Meg Ann was friends with any of them.”
“She’s friends with Roxy,” she said carefully.
“Please tell me you didn’t invite the whole family,” I groaned.
“I thought you and Fred were better!” she defended.
“We’re better, doesn’t mean I want him at my house,” I exclaimed. “Beside’s, Scorp got the day off.”
“Well maybe it will be a chance for them to bridge the gap,” she suggested optimistically.
“And maybe it will just grow wider and the night will end in a food fight,” I retorted and then thought it over.
“Don’t go getting any ideas,” she warned me.
“I was just thinking of the possibilities,” I defended myself.
“Hey nice job at the Ministry by the way.”
“Oh thanks. Drat!”
* * * *
Thursday saw a relatively easy boot camp. We arrived at ten in the morning where we learned about crime scenes, the questioning of witnesses and suspects, and leads. They gave us a lunch break and we were expected back at four to practice the techniques on our mentors.
“You want to grab lunch and practice?” James asked me as we were leaving. Kyle pushed passed us hurriedly, mumbling something about how he was so late. I looked at James questioningly.
“His girlfriend,” he informed me. “She’s not a very understanding, patient, or, well quite frankly, likable kind of person. He tries not to cross her.”
“Okay then,” I said, having seen enough screwed up relationships to know that it’s often best to leave it alone. James knew him well-enough to know whether he should be concerned. If he wasn’t, I wasn’t going to waste my time on it.
“So lunch?” he asked.
“Oh yeah, sure,” I shrugged. “Where do you want to go?”
“Butterbeer Café?” he suggested and I wrinkled my nose. “Or not,” he laughed. “I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who doesn’t like that place.”
“I like it,” I defended immediately. “But, well Tyler’s a bit of a picky eater. He pretty much eats at the Butterbeer Café, at pizza restaurants (a Muggle thing), or…well that’s pretty much it so when I’m not with him I tend to stray away from those places.”
“So what’s your favorite place?” James asked. I thought about it for a minute before asking,
“Have you ever been to Betsy’s Sandwich Shop?” He shook his head no. “It’s a tiny joint on the far end of Diagon Alley so it’s a bit of a hike…”
“We have three hours,” he shrugged. “Let’s do it.”
We flooed into Diagon Alley and started making our way up, far past Weasley’s Wizard Weezes and my mum’s store, into the more rundown side that most people avoid since all of the nice shops are closer to the Leakey Cauldron.
“You come up here a lot?” he asked and I shrugged.
“Tyler used to live up here,” I told him. “He knew Betsy but she actually past away a few years before he showed us because he hates the food. It’s run by her son now.”
“So, who’s Tyler?” he asked.
“Just a friend of mine from Hogwarts,” I shrugged.
“Does he know Scorpius too?” he asked. “I think he mentioned him at lunch.”
“Yeah,” I smiled. “He and Scorp are cousins but Tyler was in my grade. We’ve been friends since third year.”
“Was he in Gryffindor? I mean, is that how you met him?”
“No, he…well, this is going to sound weird but he’s my ex-stepbrother,” I admitted, laughing at how stupid it sounded. We joked about it all the time but it was the first time I had ever said it to someone outside of our family.
“So your parents were married and got divorced?” he clarified.
“Yep,” I laughed. “My dad married his mum third year. It was kind of a become friends or…well I guess be enemies. Anyways, they were only married for a few months but we spent Christmas break at their house and after that there was really no going back, you know? It was just one of those things that you can’t live through and not become friends so when they got divorced it didn’t really make a difference to us. His mum hates me because of my dad.”
“So is he more like a brother or a friend?” he asked thoughtfully.
“Well…I guess a friend mostly because of the whole divorce debacle and the way it worked out but he’s one of those people that I know will always be there no matter how bad I screw up and yet we’ve screwed up so much together that we’d never be anything more than friends,” I thought about for a second and then asked, “Does that even make sense or am I talking gibberish?”
“No, it makes sense,” James shook his head. “He sounds like my cousins.”
I considered for a minute before nodding.
“Yeah, cousin works,” I decided. “Or maybe even half-brother so long as it’s on my dad’s side. My mum adores him way too much for him to be her son and I’m pretty sure he couldn’t be related to my mum’s parents.”
We walked in silence for a few minutes until we finally reached the corner that Betsy’s was on. It was an older building with stone steps that lead to the small, square porch. The shop itself was a bit tilted towards the road but I had been in it enough times to know it wasn’t going to fall. It was painted a light pink with a deep purple roof but inside everything was dark browns and light creams.
“What can I get you guys?” a peppy guy with ginger hair, round glasses, and a white baker’s hat that was falling to the right side of his head asked.
“I’ll have…the Extreme Egg Salad,” I decided. James looked at the menu for a few minutes before deciding on the Special Surprise. I grinned and the guy behind the counter whistled.
“That’s brave mate,” he laughed and James looked confused.
“You never know what’s going to be in that,” I told him. “It’s different every time. I’ve never gotten up the nerve to try it.”
“I’ll give you a bite if you share yours assuming it sucks.”
I considered and then nodded. “Sure,” I shrugged.
The guy rang us up and we forked over the sickles.
“There’s a cool fountain another block down if your up for it,” I told him and he nodded, looking a little nervous even though he tried not to let on. I knew this area must have been foreign to him. Strange as it was, this area was probably foreign to Meg Ann too. I would have to bring her sometime. It was easy to forget how different our childhoods and Hogwarts years had been.
There were a few people milling around but most of the shops were shut down. It wasn’t Knockturn Alley bad but it wasn’t Downtown Diagon Alley good either. It was a pretty forgotten and left alone area. A lot of the shops were closed down and the houses and flats were the type that would include a drunken landlord or at least a few wanna-be struggling artist neighbors who really had parents who could pay for their rent. It was more my scene with colored hair, funky robes, and make-up clad people.
“I didn’t even know this was here,” James said, frowning as the fountain came into view. It was made of marble, hundreds of years old, but it was still used by the local people. “Does it still work?”
“I’m not sure,” I admitted. “I haven’t been here for almost a year but it was running then.”
James flicked his wand and the fountain began running again. I watched, mesmerized, as the water flowed down over the sculpted plants and kids before falling back into the round pool below. We sat on the side and unwrapped our sandwiches, James a bit more apprehensive than me.
“I say we try it at the same time,” I said, indicating his Special Surprise.
“And we have to finish the bite,” James added. I grimaced but agreed and pulled a large piece off of his bread.
“One,” I counted, eyeing the piece pinched between my right index finger and thumb.
“Two,” James said, unwrapping it a bit more so that he could bite off a decent amount.
“Three,” we said at the same time. I popped my piece into my mouth and he took a bite. I didn’t even have a chance to look at his face as I started gagging. Mustard. The condiment that never should have been invented. I made a face as I swallowed it and looked up to see James’ amused face.
“I didn’t think it was that bad,” he said and I just shook my head, wishing I had water to get the taste out of my mouth. He, apparently being the smart one, conjured up a goblet and filled it with water before handing it to me.
“I hate mustard,” I explained. With that taste gone I started thinking about the other part of the sandwich. “Aside from that it wasn’t too bad though.”
“I like it,” James shrugged. “But I really don’t think I want to know what’s in it.”
I nodded in agreement and tore off part of my own sandwich for him to try. We spent the next hour testing each other on the techniques we had learned, laughing as we tried to come up with crazy scenarios that we would be put in and created fake suspects and witnesses that we pretended to be while the other tried to get a confession.
“Why does my favorite store to shop at matter?” he asked as we made our way back downtown so we could floo back.
“It’s retail psychology. The stores you shop at say a lot about you. How much you spend, the atmosphere you like, the type of image you go for, the importance or lack there of for your appearance, etc.” I explained. “It matters.”
When we got back we practiced the techniques on our mentors and it was actually really fun. We even got to try some Muggle tactics like the whole good cop/bad cop things they do in TV shows. Just so everyone knows, Kyle sucks at being the bad cop. He kept laughing when he was supposed to be scary.
I thought that was pretty good practice and was fully ready to call it a day when we left but apparently the Dark Wizards in the world disagreed with me. That night I was in bed gossiping with Natasha before we turned out the light when a patronus in the form of a stag came running through our wall.
“Attack in Knockturn Alley. Boot camp cancelled, report to the ministry immediately.” It vanished seconds later and I continued to stare at it.
“Well are you going?” Natasha asked excitedly.
“Oh, right,” I said, shaking my head to clear it and running to our wardrobe to change.
“Don’t die!” she called after me when I was leaving a minute later.
“I’ll do my best,” I laughed, pulling a sweatshirt over my head and grabbing my wand on the way out.
I walked into the Auror headquarters just behind two others and was followed shortly by three more. Harry, Ron, James, Teddy, and the blonde with the pixie cut I had seen on my first day were all in Harry’s office already, talking over each other.
“Here’s the situation,” Harry said when we were all inside. “There was an attack on Knockturn Alley with Fiendfyre. It should be under control now but I want Caspian, Eduardo, and Charlie to double-check everything and make sure nothing has been missed. Mari and Ryan go with them I want every bit of evidence you can possibly pick up. Nothing gets missed.
“Teddy, take Taylor and James to the scene and run them through everything. We went over interrogation techniques today so I want you talking to any possible witnesses. Put your training to use. Lionel and Cherry start looking up every record we have on any Fiendfyre in the past twenty or so years. I want a suspect and I want as much done before we get in a battle with the MLE as possible.”
“Why would we be in a battle with the MLE?” I asked as James and I followed Teddy.
“Because they want to get their hands on something like this,” Teddy said grimly. “It’s our jurisdiction because Fiendfyre is dark magic but they want a big break to get them back in favoritism with the press. Right now they’re dealing with a few things in court about mishandling raids and what not. Don’t you read the paper?”
“Some,” I shrugged. “But what claim do they have to this.”
“None,” James said. “Aunt Hermione’s already on it for us but Lucy Bones arrived at the same time I did and she’ll be fighting for MLE. Aunt Hermione will win but it could mess up the search for a bit and we need immediate reactions for this.”
“We’re flooing,” Teddy announced, holding out the floo powder for James and I before taking a handful for himself.
The street was demolished. Buildings were burnt down to nothing but ash and a few charred objects. People, mostly sketchy people, were standing nearby, kept away by a rope that created an invisible barrier. Smoke made the light that was cast by more than twenty wands eerie and foggy. I shuddered as I noticed two corpses.
“We can deal with bodies later,” Teddy said, following my gaze. “That’s a bit much for your first time on the scene. Let’s start with the civilians. Remember, you want to make sure they don’t lie to you, make them trust you, and whatever you do don’t try to force an answer out of them. They need to tell you what they saw, not tell you what you want to hear because it will rebound against you. You can watch and step in when you feel ready.”
I followed him over to the line of people and listened as he spoke to an older woman who had her arms wrapped tightly around herself. I watched the people, looking for someone who would talk without knowing what they were saying was important. Finally, I spotted her, a girl around fifteen who was wrapped in her mother’s arms and a red blanket. Her face was dirty with a bit of ash on her cheek and red around her eyes. I slipped away from Teddy and walked towards them.
“Hi,” I said, being as nice as I could. “I’m Taylor,” I said, holing out my hand for first the mother, and then the girl to shake. “Did you guys see the fire when it was still roaring?”
“It hit our building,” the mother said. “We lived just over there,” she pointed near the end of the row of buildings that had been hit.
“Can you tell me what happened?” I asked. “From when you got back to your house today to when I came over here.”
“I got back late,” the mother said and I inwardly sighed. She would know what to say and what not to. I wanted to talk to the girl. “Hayley was already asleep and I had just gotten off work. I fixed myself something to eat and went to bed. Next thing I know someone’s screaming and then Hayley was there, grabbing my arm and telling me we had to run. When we got outside our building was being lashed with flames. Auror’s showed up just as our building collapsed and put the fire out. Going home obviously hasn’t been an option.”
“I’m really sorry,” I said. “We’ll do our best to find you a place to stay for the night. If you wouldn’t mind I think Teddy would appreciate it if you recounted your story to him. He’ll want to know more details of the fire since you saw it happening. He’s the one with the blue hair just over there.”
She nodded. “Come on Hayley.”
“Actually,” I said quickly. “I was wondering if I could speak with Hayley for a moment. I just want to make sure we’ve got all perspectives covered.”
“It’s okay mum,” Hayley nodded at her. “I don’t have anything to hide.”
Her mother smiled and nodded before walking towards Teddy.
“I don’t know what happened,” she said once her mother was gone. “I just heard a strange sound and here that’s never good. I looked out my window, saw the flames, and panicked. I knew I had to get my mum out and then we came outside. I really don’t know much more than she does.”
“Hayley, you have make-up on your face,” I said calmly. Her mum may have been oblivious but I wasn’t. “I’m not going to get you in trouble, I promise, and your mum can continue believing that you were in bed but I’ve snuck out before and I know you weren’t in bed. The clothes instead of pajamas under your blanket are a give-away too.”
“Look, my mum’s waiting,” she said, trying to get away.
“Hayley please wait,” I stopped her. “I can either talk to you now or I can make you talk to me later but I don’t see any point in dragging your mum into this. I know you didn’t start that fire but I need you tell me what you saw so that I can find out who did.”
She studied me for a minute before nodding slowly. “Okay,” she agreed. “I was out with my friends, we were—”
“Don’t tell me,” I cut her off. “Trust me, it’s irrelevant and I don’t want to risk knowing and having to lie to my boss.”
“Okay,” Hayley said, the ghost of a smile appearing on her face. “Well when I got back there were these three people down on the other end of the street. I had flooed in using that fireplace over there,” she pointed to a particularly dirty one across from her old building, “and I didn’t really think much of it. There are a lot of sketchy people around here, you know.
“Anyways, I didn’t really want them to see me, just in case, so I stayed where I was, knowing I could floo back out if I really needed to. But then they all took out their wands and they cast some spell that I couldn’t hear at the building right in the middle. It was an old shop that had been shut down for years. No one knows what goes on in there now. You can hear movement and people talking from time to time but everyone avoids it.
“The building just burst into flames, huge ones and then it started to spread but it wasn’t normal, it was like it was alive or something. There were all of these shapes and animals and a snake started chasing two people who were running from the building. The three people who started it just laughed and apparated away. I didn’t really stop to think after that, I just ran inside and woke up my mum and I grabbed this blanket on the way out so that it would hide my clothes. A few minutes after we got out Aurors showed up and put the fire out. I don’t know who called them, I certainly didn’t think of it.”
“Hayley, the three guys, do you remember anything about them? Did you see their faces or their hair or how tall they were?”
She shook her head.
“They were all wearing clokes,” she remembered. “Dark ones that helped them blend in. I don’t know if it was all guys either, I didn’t hear their voices. Two of them were pretty tall though, and one of them was a good foot shorter. But I don’t know how tall they were. I’m really bad at guessing stuff like that.”
“And the people who ran from the building,” I pressed. “Did they get caught in the fire?”
“I don’t know,” she shook her head, biting her lip nervously. “I ran in to get my mum and when we got out they weren’t there anymore. They were two guys though. One had lightish hair and blue eyes. The other one had black hair green eyes. They were both taller than I am.”
“Okay,” I agreed. “Go back to your mum. Thank you,” I added as an afterthought.
“This is what we know,” Harry was saying a few hours later when Teddy, James, and I joined everyone in the conference room.
“Three people started the fire, two people fled the building they were attempting to destroy, and the building they were attempting to destroy used to be an apothecary.”
“A sketchy apothecary,” I mumbled under my breath.
“How so?” Teddy asked. I winced, not meaning for them to hear.
“Well it was run by Drake Godfrey,” I said, shrugging a little bit. He continued to stare at me, as did a few others.
“Drake Godfrey,” I repeated, confused by their faces. “He’s, like, one of the sketchiest people out there. The apothecary was a cover for a million of his dealings. He sells drugs, makes fake wands, and has an ask-with-the-right-price-and-we’ll-deliver type business. I’ve never known him to dabble in the dark arts but he’s been on the MLE radar for a while. I’m sure they have a file on him.”
“Dugger,” Harry said, indicating one of the people sitting nearby him. “Go over to the MLE and see if you can get your hands on that file. I need it ASAP.”
“But the Apothecary was shut down,” Ron said questioningly.
“Yeah about…five years ago probably,” I agreed. “He went off the grid. No one’s really sure what happened to him but it sounds like no one’s interested in going near the place.”
“Run a business like that and you get a lot of enemies,” Eduardo said.
“That’s assuming he’s the target,” James put in. “The place was shut down. We don’t know who’s been taking refuge in there or what they were doing.”
“Bad news,” Dugger said, re-appearing moments later and interrupting the Godfrey: target or useless lead debate. “MLE got wind and they won’t release any files.”
“Is Hermione here yet?” Ron asked, running his hand threw his hair agitatedly.
“She’s in with the MLE representative,” Teddy nodded. “I saw her half an hour ago. Should we switch the file release to first priority on her list?”
“No,” Harry shook his head. “James is right; the likelihood of him being the target isn’t high. We need to get full control of this case before we worry too much about him. What do we know about the two guys who ran out of the building?”
“Three witnesses described similar people,” Teddy said. “The same hair color and eye color though the height differed. Some said they were as short as 5’5” and another said they were around 6’. But everyone agreeing on hair and eye color says something.”
Yeah, either they are all really good at remembering or someone got to them and they knew that’s what they were supposed to say, I thought. I didn’t say anything though, I was being cynical and there was no need to point out the possibility on the first night when we were clinging to rubber bands.
“No one had a name though?” he asked and everyone shook their heads. “Alright,” he sighed, “Alright.”
We worked all night. There were three people who perished in the fire and we eventually got the names but they had no connection to one another as far as anyone knew: Malcolm Braddock, Elias Borgin, and Margaret Ollivander. The last one had come as a shock to me.
“You know Margaret Ollivander?” Teddy asked, noticing my reaction to the name.
“Yeah,” I said sadly. “She made my first fake wand. Well, my first really good fake wand at least. She was a genius, learned from her dad. Her brother Gideon took over the family shop when Garrick finally passed. They didn’t talk for a while but I suppose he might know something.”
“We already have people keeping an eye on him,” Teddy assured me. “But he hasn’t been open to talking by his own free will so we have to wait for Hermione to clear everything up before we bring him in. How well did you know Margaret?”
“Not well,” I admitted. “I only met her once. Natasha set the whole deal up through her dad.”
“And her dad is…”
“Theodore Nott.” I said. “Once we get jurisdiction or whatever you should really talk to him. He knows Margaret and he used to deal with Godfrey.”
“How many connections do you have?” Teddy asked. I shrugged. I had never really thought about it before.
“Okay,” Teddy sighed. “While Hermione’s working out jurisdiction there’s nothing you can really do so go home, get some sleep and someone will come get you when you’re needed again. It might be an all-nighter tonight too so make sure you get at least a few hours of sleep in, yeah?”
“I actually have to go help with my sister’s birthday party,” I said, forcing myself to stand up instead of allowing myself to go to sleep at Teddy’s desk. “But the thought of sleep is nice.”
“Couldn’t you get out of it?” he asked, looking concerned. “I have a feeling you’re going to be used a lot on this case.”
“I can’t,” I said, shaking my head. “It’s a family thing. Don’t worry about it; I’ve gone 74 hours with only a few minutes to dose off here and there. I’ll manage.”
A/N: Well I'm excited because things are finally starting to pick up. Yeah, about time, I know. But leave your comments, favorite quotes, criticism, or just thoughts in the REVIEW box and I'll try to post the next one quicker.
Chapter 11 Preview:
“You didn’t call Natasha your best friend until third year,” he pointed out. “You practically look for someone to screw up so that you have a reason to not like them and you said it yourself, the reason you became friends with Tyler was because you were practically forced into it and Scorpius was part of the package deal. When was the last time you took a chance in trusting someone?”
“Trust is earned, it shouldn’t be given,” I said, glaring at him.
“Oh please,” he scoffed. “You always bail before people can earn your trust. You did it when we got to Hogwarts. As soon as we got there you looked for a reason to ignore me.”
“I’m not denying that."
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