Chapter 2 : II. Parvarti Patil
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Harry and Ron looked as if they were just slapped in the face.
“Parvati Patil, are you positive?” Ron asked, shocked. His skin had paled behind his freckles and it clashed horribly with his red hair. Harry on the other hand looked as if he had aged ten years in two minutes.
“That’s what he said. I asked him to double check and there was no doubt about it.” Teddy said and looked apologetic. He had known Patil was a friend of his godfather and they had gone to school together and strangely felt as if he was to blame for the unfortunate turn of events.
“Blimey… Parvati.” Ron said looking at Harry. His face was tense and his brow furrowed in concentration. Suddenly, he got up and started walking towards the door.
“It’s time the Auror Department made an official statement.”
Ron, Scorpius and Teddy followed him to the Atrium, where the crowd had grown larger since Ron’s return. They watched as a silence fell over them when Harry stepped up to speak to them.
“In the early hours of the morning, Dedalus Diggle was found dead in his residence outside of Swansea. There were no signs of forced entry but the Auror Office was able to determine that his cause of death was the use of an Unforgivable Curse.” the crowd gasped. “We assure the wizarding population that this is an isolated incident and we will find the culprit and bring him to justice. Do not panic, there is no need to do so. We will return with more information as we gather it. Thank you!”
The reporters rushed to the floo network, eager to get into their offices and write their articles. As the crowd thinned, two women started making their way towards to front of the room. Ginny Potter and Hermione Weasley were wearing cloaks over what appeared to be nightgowns and their faces were tired and worried. Harry and Ron exchanged a knowing look. They knew what the men also knew. Mysterious deaths were never a good sign.
“Teddy, Scorpius.” Ginny greeted as they reached the small group. Hermione was not so pleasant.
“What in Merlin’s name is going on here?” Hermione demanded, looking at her husband as if she was trying to read his mind.
“Not here,” he muttered in reply. “Office.”
The short walk only served to make the women more impatient. They sat down around the office and Harry started talking, filling them in on the events of the night. The murder, the investigation, the wand.
“Well, that’s perfect; we can identify the owner and make the arrest.” Hermione said in her usual bossy way.
“It’s not so easy, Hermione. You see, we already identified the owner of the wand. It’s Parvarti.” Harry said slowly. The women didn’t say anything.
“Parvarti who?” Ginny finally asked, sounding like a small child. Ron made an impatient sound with his tongue.
“Parvarti Patil. Former member of the DA.” Ron said harshly. His sister threw him a look that clearly showed she did not enjoy his tone.
“That can’t be possible. Parvarti would never do this… kill somebody? And Dedalus? But why? She couldn’t have had a motive.” Hermione muttered.
“I’m afraid there is only one way to find out.” Harry said and turned to Scorpius and Teddy. “Mr. Malfoy, Mr. Lupin, please bring Partvarti Patil into Ministry custody for questioning in regard to the murder of the wizard Dedalus Diggle.” he gave the official order. The men nodded and left for her house.
The Weasleys and the Potters were left behind to ponder what would come next.
“Who’s going to question her?” Hermione finally asked, voicing what was on all of their minds. Who would question their former school mate, the witch that had fought alongside them during the war, in regard to her committing a murder.
“Scorpius should do it. He’s the best we’ve got and frankly we can’t do it. Neither Ron, nor I and Teddy is also related to us now. I don’t want us being accused of favoring her. I went to the Yule Ball with her.” He finished, ignoring Ginny’s scowl.
It was the truth, though. Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, the symbol of their revolution was one of the most interesting figures of the Wizarding World. His wedding to the Weasley’s only daughter was an affair that was rivaled only by the weddings of the British royal family. The birth of his children had reporters camping in the lobby of St. Mungo’s Hospital. All in all, everybody knew what the Potters were up to and this was an official matter, so nothing could be overlooked.
Harry resumed his pacing as Hermione left the office to bring some coffee. They would be needing lots of it today.
Parvarti Patil was sleeping when there was a knock on her door. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes and slowly made her way towards the front door. She found herself face to face with representatives of the Auror Office, who requested her wand and escorted her to the Ministry for questioning. She was not even fully aware of what was going on, she just nodded numbly as they informed her of what the charges were.
She was seated in an interrogation room and trembled slightly as she awaited somebody to come in. A young man with blonde hair and blue eyes came in shortly.
“Miss Patil? My name is Scorpius Malfoy and I have a few questions for you.” he started and sat down opposite her. He searched her face, her long black hair was swept in a braid away from her dark complexion and her tired eyes were worried.
“Why am I here? What’s going on?” she asked, her voice cracking. Her mind was trying to get around the sudden change of events that had brought her in for questioning at such an early hour.
“Miss Patil, where were you tonight between 11 o’clock in the evening and 1 o’clock in the morning?” Scorpius started, pulling a notepad and a quill from his pocket and writing down notes.
“I was at home… I went to bed at about half past eleven. Like I always do.” she answered slowly but surely.
The Auror surveyed her. Nothing about her body language suggested she was in any way concealing the truth from him. She was worried and scared but sure of her words.
“Can anybody testify in regard to this?” he asked as he scribbled more notes.
“No, I live alone. My sister came earlier for tea. But she left at about nine, I think it was. Why? What’s going on?” she inquired, leaning towards the table that separated them.
“Are you aware of a wizard by the name of Dedalus Diggle, Miss Patil?” Her face showed no signs of recognition, only confusion. He had half hoped something in her eyes would light up at the mention of the name, seeing as the questioning was proving to be extremely unsuccessful.
“No, I can’t say it rings a bell.” she said looking at him with wide eyes. She shook her head and rand a hand down the length of her hair.
“And you are not aware that he was found dead earlier this evening in his home?” Scorpius pressed on, now looking straight at her face.
“No, why would I? I wouldn’t know… never met him.” she shrugged.
“And also, you are not aware that your wand was found at the scene of the crime?” This time shock swept across her features.
“My wand? Of course not! It was on my bedside table like it always was. That’s not possible.” her voice shook as of she had just swallowed ice and instinctively she reached for her pocket. The wand wasn’t there however, it had been confiscated.
“I’m afraid, Miss Patil, that it is. A wand was found at the scene of the crime and our analysis revealed that it belonged to you.” he concluded, waiting for her reaction.
“Mr. Malfoy!” the woman raised her voice, losing her temper. “That could not have been my wand. I bought my wand in Diagon Alley when I was eleven years old and have had it with me every day ever since. You are making a mistake and you are confusing me with somebody else. I demand to speak with one of your superiors, either Ron Weasley or Harry Potter!” she snapped, leaning back in her chair and folding her arms across her chest. Scorpius looked her up an down once more and nodded, leaving the room.
Ginny had left around eight o’clock that morning to get ready for work. Both she and Hermione knew that their presence in the Ministry could do next to nothing for Parvarti and so it was a case of getting to the bottom of everything, something that only the Aurors could do. Scorpius entered the office just as the women were leaving.
“She says it’s not her, Potter.” he said, looking defeated. “She says her wand was in her possession at all times, she denies having a second wand, the one that we took from her and she even denies knowing Diggle. We could just feed her some Veritaserum and be done with it.”
“That’s against the rules, Malfoy. What will all our work mean if the testimony we get from her cannot be presented in front of the Wizengamont?” Harry replied sharply.
“Then I don’t know what we can do. She won’t say who the owner of the second wand is and without that we’re stuck.” he said, sounding defeated and throwing his notepad on his desk, for him to look over the notes.
“That’s because she isn’t lying.” a voice said from behind them. Dean Thomas, Harry and Ron’s former classmate entered the office and placed a stack of papers on the desk in front of the Head Auror. “The wand that was in her possession is the wand that Ollivander sold to her in 1991. It’s her wand.”
Harry looked like he was going to be sick. “Call in a meeting, ten minutes, conference room.” he instructed and motioned for Scorpius to follow him. There was no way of coming up with answers alone, so he would need the input of his colleagues on this one.
It was strange for him at first, having to share information with so many people, delegating tasks to others and leaving research to somebody who wasn’t Hermione. But the years had taught him that he couldn’t do everything alone and with the dark times over, it was up to him and his team to maintain the peace and the prosperity of the wizarding world, a peace that had cost so many lives.
“Good morning team!” he greeted as the entered the room, looking at the people gathered around the round table. Scorpius Malfoy, Teddy Lupin, Dean Thomas, Fred Weasley Junior, Derek Smith, Jeremiah Clarkson and Simone Berkley were the main team, assisted by Brent Grantham and Penelope Shepard, who were in charge of forensics and a whole lot of clerks and assistants and press liaisons that together formed the Auror Department, run by Harry Potter and his second, Ron Weasley.
They returned his greeting and sat in silence, looking at him. “So far, we have one dead body, a wand that belongs to a witch the fought in the war and a second wand that she claims is the one she bought in Diagon Alley. We’ve got no signs of forced entry, no prints, neither Muggle or magical and Dark Magic at the scene of the crime. Any ideas?”
“What if she’s lying Harry?” Fred questioned.
“She doesn’t appear to be. I questioned her myself, she was a little concerned when we brought her in, but after I asked about the wand, she snapped and demanded to see somebody else. She is really confused and appears to have no knowledge of the victim’s existence.” Scorpius explained, raising his hands to rub his temples. The lack of sleep was catching up to him and his mind seemed to be slowing down.
“If there is Dark Magic involved only a few people could be responsible, isn’t that right? How about we question the usual suspects, Death Eaters and such?” Smith suggested. He was the youngest addition to the team, just fresh out of training and sometimes seemed to think that the answers to certain questions were so obvious they shouldn’t even have to think about them.
“All the non-Imperiused Death Eaters were imprisoned and there hasn’t been an escape from Azkaban in years. Besides, if we start hauling in former dark wizards there is bound to be panic among the population.” Ron said. “Besides, who knows if any of them have taught these curses to other people. We can’t force a confession out of them and rounding up every witch and wizard they ever came in contact with would take years. It’s not something we can do and expect to be successful at.” he finished.
It seemed that they had come to a halt in the investigation. With two wands, one very un-likely suspect and one victim, there just wasn’t enough to make heads or tails of anything. Loud noises from the corridor made them turn their attention towards the shouting.
“I don’t bloody care if they’re in a meeting. As Head of the Law Enforcement Department I am allowed to walk in if I have an emergency and this is an emergency!” Hermione was shouting, probably at a young intern that had tried to stop her from entering the room. The door opened and a pale Hermione made her way in, carrying a stack of papers. She hurried towards the table and threw them in front of the Aurors.
“We’ve had a new report. Hestia Jones was found dead in an alley just outside of Hogsmeade.”
AN: Another chapter :). I'm so happy that people read this story. I got over twenty reads only in the first hour after validation. Thank you so much for reading and for reviewing.
Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize.
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