Chapter 9 : 8- An Unplanned Promotion
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Naomi looked up at Harry and for a moment and she seemed speechless. Eventually, she said “I can’t believe it. How can she? We’ve been best friends for years. How can-” But Harry cut her off.
“Whoever you thought you knew was an act. She might have been planning this for years for all we know.” But Naomi cringed in pain and put a hand to the back of her head. Lavender went over to her.
“I should take her to Saint Mungo’s.”
“One last thing,” Harry assured the Healer, his attention still on Naomi. “During your confrontation with the buyer that killed Fryloin, you stated in your report that he had you cornered but you were reaching for your wand.” Naomi nodded her head, clearly not in the position to speak. “Could Emily have seen you go for your wand?”
Naomi looked back up at Harry and he could see her eyes darting as they pieced together the clues.
If Naomi had succeeded in reaching for her wand and struck the man first, he would have been taken in by the Aurors, interrogated and possibly caved in as to what he was doing. If the two were in fact working together, he would have been a liability.
Naomi closed her eyes and shrugged uncertainly as she shook her head, a single tear escaping from her eye.
“Thank you.” Harry said gratefully before pointing his wand at the empty vial on the table. “Portus.” He said. “This should take you to the reception at Saint Mungo’s.” Both Lavender and Naomi placed their hand on it and after Harry gave Naomi one last weak smile, they vanished in a flash of blue.
Harry left the room and found Ron, Phillipa and Gawain waiting for him. “Well?” Ron said impatiently.
“She’s clear.” Harry replied. “It was Emily who attacked her. There was definitely an insider and… I think it was her.” Ron looked sickened at Harry’s statement and Phillipa put a hand on his shoulder. “And Dawlish?” Asked Harry.
“Imperius Curse. Took us a while to get his head straight but he’s got no memory at all after a few minutes into the match.” Phillipa explained.
“Shall we proceed with the Death Eater?” Gawain suggested and the three of them nodded.
They approached the door with a thick, black two on it and Harry led the way into the room.
The room looked almost exactly the same as the one Naomi was in only with no wooden cabinet full of potion ingredients and a thin, dark-red haired man was sitting on one side of the rectangular table. He looked up at his interrogators. He couldn’t have been much older than thirty in Harry’s opinion. He had heavy bags under his eyes as though he had not slept in days and his pale skin, though not as white as Malfoy’s, still clashed with the colour of his hair.
“So, where would you like to start?” He asked in a croaking voice. There was an air of sarcasm in his cold tone.
“Who are you?” Ron asked, trying not to hide the contempt in his voice.
“I don’t think that’s very relevant to you, blood traitor.” He stared at Ron with the same kind of bitterness that was in Ron’s question.
“I'm afraid it’s not up to you weather a question is relevant or not.” Phillipa retorted, but the man just laughed.
“Are you a Death Eater?” Gawain pressed.
“As much as one can be nowadays I suppose.” The man replied, a slight smile remaining on his face.
“Is Emily Bates working with you?” Asked Ron who was now leaning on the table.
The man laughed slightly again and said “I can honestly say that I do not know an Emily Bates.” This did not seem to settle Ron.
Harry pulled out the small spherical object that fell out of the man’s robes at the stadium. “What is this?” Harry asked placing it on the table. The man’s attitude change instantly and he looked Harry directly in the eye. Harry could tell he was an Occlumens of a very high level.
“Because do you know what I think? I think that this little thing has been illegally imported from somewhere and that you’ve secretly been on the hunt for one for a while, along with other illegal goodies such as Erumpent Horns; so secretly, in fact, one of you might even go so far as to kill your seller if compromised, am I right?”
There was definitely an air of a man who had been ousted about the Death Eater sympathiser as Harry explained his theory. “The longer you don’t know, the better.” The others sighed in frustration and Gawain pulled a small vial out from the pocket of his robes.
“What do we think?” He asked indicating the vial of Veritaserum.
“Will it have an effect?” Phillipa asked Harry who had not broken his eye contact with the man.
“No harm in trying. Well, to us anyway.” Ron stated, staring at the Death Eater who was still looking between Harry and the orb that was placed on the table.
Gawain walked over to the man, his wand drawn and simply said “Drink.” The man hesitated for a moment, than obeyed and opened his mouth and Gawain tipped the clear liquid into the man’s mouth. After they were sure he had swallowed, Phillipa spoke.
“What is your name?” A few seconds passed after she asked her question and the man suddenly looked as though he had a bad headache and he started breathing heavily.
“What is the object on the table?” Harry asked again and again the man looked as though he was fighting something in his head and he started laughing insanely.
“You’re pathetic.” He gasped still looking as though he was trying to throw off someone choking him, sweat beginning to trickle down his brow.
“We have your wand,” Phillipa began coolly. “You know we can identify you with that and track down your accomplices from there. Strike a deal with us now and you may have a chance of seeing the outside world again.”
The man didn’t respond but instead intensified his laughing as tears of pain rolled down to join the beads of sweat.
“No use.” Harry said. “He’s been trained in Occlumency to too high a level and he’s too loyal to his lost cause.”
Ron pointed his wand at the man and at once ropes erupted from the arms and back of the chair and bound the man back.
“What, is that the best the Ministry’s top Aurors can do? A couple of questions and some truth serum? Pathetic! Pathetic!” He said again in obvious pain and Harry retrieved and pocketed the orb and the four of them left him in his hysteric state.
Once they had all left Phillipa pulled a wand from the inside of her robes. “Well, I guess at least we have this to identify him with.” But before any of them could reply, Kingsley’s silver lynx appeared from the end of the corridor.
“Would all four of you please report to the Wizengamot chamber at once.” And it vanished on the spot.
“I wonder...” Gawain said as they turned the corner out of the interrogation corridor.
“What?” Harry asked.
“Well, Albert’s dead and Dawlish is being held prisoner. We have no Head of the Auror Office.” The four of them stopped.
“Would they make a decision so soon?” Harry asked.
“I don’t know.” Gawain replied. “But we’re the last remaining Chief Aurors left. There’s no one else.” He finished sadly. They stood there in silence for a moment until Phillipa spoke.
“We... we should go.” She seemed to have forced herself to talk but it still made them start walking again.
They continued in silence and Harry was wondering whether they were thinking the same thing. Who would take Albert Kaman’s place as Head? Phillipa or Gawain surely. They had been Aurors for a far longer than Harry and Ron had and they were two of very few Aurors who had survived the war against Voldemort.
After a few more minutes of walking in silence, they finally reached the huge golden doors with the giant silver ‘W’ engraved in them. As they approached, before they had even touched them, the doors began to open. They went through the doorway and entered the large golden circular room and there, sitting in high stalls that surrounded them, was the full Wizarding High Court, the Wizangamot.
Harry looked up at the stalls and saw, dressed in the special crimson robes with the same silver W as the door on them, Ron’s wife and one of Harry’s closest friends, Hermione sitting alongside the stumpy Elphias Doge, the silver haired Aberforth Dumbledore and, in front of her, the head for the entire Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Natasha Walton. Kingsley was standing on a small platform between Harry and the others and the Wizangamot.
“What have you learned from the interrogations?” He asked, his voice, magically raised slightly so that all could hear. Phillipa spoke first.
“Dawlish was placed under the Imperius Curse shortly after the match started. He was ordered to murder Albert and then on to yourself and Harry.” Kingsley sighed deeply and Harry decided to step in with what happened in his interrogation with Naomi.
“Naomi isn’t the traitor. I used Legilimency on her. It was Emily who attacked Naomi when her back was turned and I believe her kidnap was part of a plan to get her to return.”
“Can you be sure what you saw was accurate?” Kingsley asked, his eyes narrowing.
“In her condition, I don’t think Naomi had the strength or energy to change her memory.” Kingsley nodded in agreement at this and Harry felt Ron shift uncomfortably next to him.
“As for the man Ron caught...” Gawain continued. “He has admitted to being a Death Eater supporter although we can’t get much more out of him, he appears to have been well trained in the art of Occlumency. So we plan to use his wand as identification to find out who he is and work from there.” Kingsley nodded again and correctly took this to be the final piece of information.
“Now then, as you are aware,” He started. “Albert Kaman was killed during this attack and John Dawlish’s position has been suspended, quite possibly permanently. Therefore, we are in need of a new Head and Deputy Head for the Auror Office. Natasha has put forward her candidate choice for the job but in the current situation we need a Wizangamot vote to make the choice final.”
As Kingsley said this, Natasha stood up. Although she was old, small and bony with curling black hair and a face that drooped with her age, Harry knew her to be a particularly powerful Witch and she spoke with a surprisingly booming voice without the help of magic.
“The Auror I wish to be considered to be Head of the Auror Office is Harry Potter.”
As she said this, Harry’s heart skipped a beat and he felt the eyes of Phillipa, Gawain and Ron all turn on him.
“Very well.” Kingsley said. “All those in favour of Chief Auror Harry James Potter, Order of Merlin First Class, to be promoted to Head of the Auror Office.” Harry watched in awe as people raised their hands, Hermione’s being first up. He watched as Aberforth, Elphias, Percy and Bill Weasley, who were both sitting at the front of the council and even Kingsley along with many others, raise their hands in approval.
“Then it is decided.” Kingsley said after counting the unanimous vote. “Harry Potter shall be our new Head of the Auror Office.” At once there was a round of applause and Harry felt a hand grasp his shoulder and he turned to see Ron beaming at him with obvious effort.
Kingsley raised a hand for silence. “Now then!” He said and his voice drowned out the sound clapping. “Now that we have our Head, we must now decide on our Deputy Head. Harry, please step forward and make your choice on who will be your deputy.” Harry stepped forward to address the council, still feeling light headed from the court's decision. He didn’t even need to think on who would be his deputy. The man who had been there for him since day one.
“I’d like to promote Chief Auror Ronald Bilious Weasley, Order of Merlin First Class, to be my Deputy Head of staff.”
There was some muttering amongst the Wizangamot as Harry said this but Natasha’s voice drowned out the sound as effectively as Kingsley’s did. “If that is your choice Harry and there are no impediments from any of our council…” She then looked around though no one spoke. “Then Ronald Wealsey, I promote you to the rank of Deputy Head of the Auror Office.” Once again there was a round of applause from the Wizangamot, led by Percy, Bill and Hermione.
Harry turned round to see that Ron was gawping at him. Harry smiled at him as he too joined the applause. Ron then changed the direction of his look towards Hermione. Harry turned and he saw her shyly blow her husband a kiss and when Harry looked back, he saw Ron straighten up to a much more prideful position as the applause died down.
“May I make a suggestion to you Harry?” Kingsley asked and for one horrible second Harry thought Kingsley was going to ask him to reconsider his decision. “Now that your Chief of staff count is now at the moment down to two, that you maybe seek to promote some of your Aurors?” Harry didn’t think of this. James Williamson was now in Saint Mungo’s meaning Gawain and Phillipa were now the last two Chief Aurors left. Harry nodded his agreement to Kingsley’s suggestion and Kingsley nodded back. “I then call this meeting of the Wizangamot to a close. Harry, Ron if you wouldn’t mind accompanying me to the Atrium, we must now make a statement to the press.”
The Wizangatmot then made their way out of the stalls but Hermione seemed to be the first one out after clambering over the front few stalls knocking over Deadelus Diggle in the process. When she reached the polished emerald floor she then broke into a run towards Ron, flung her arms around his neck and kissed him full on the lips. Harry turned away, smiling towards Gawain who was smiling back, and Phillipa, who although was smiling also had tears swelling in her pride filled eyes.
“Well done, Harry.” Gawain said and he shook his hand.
Harry turned to Phillipa, who just stared at him for a second and then hugged him, saying “Al always said you’d make it.” And she kissed him on the cheek.
“Blimey, Hermione, let him breath.” Harry heard and he turned to see Bill and Percy approaching and Hermione finally breaking apart from Ron.
“I was sorry to hear about Kaman.” Bill said consolingly, offering Harry his hand and once again Harry felt the grief for Albert rise in him and again, he fought against it.
“Harry, Ron.” Harry heard Kingsley call from the giant doors.
“Coming.” Harry called back. He saw Hermione give Ron one last kiss on the cheek as Harry turned to Gawain and Phillipa. “See what you can find out about this.” And he drew the small orb from his robes. Gawain examined it himself before pocketing it and nod at Harry. It felt weird giving Gawain orders, but Harry told himself not to dwell on it and he and Ron turned and walked towards Kingsley.
“My congratulations to the both of you.” Kingsley said with a smile. “But now, we have already kept the press waiting for longer than I promised.” And the three of them left and made their way for the Atrium.
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