Chapter 12 : 11- The Recruitment Process
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Harry, Neville, Phillipa and Susan eventually made it to the Department of Magical Transportation. None of them had said a word to each other throughout the walk as Harry could tell that, like Naomi, the death of Emily was rattling in the brains of Phillipa and Susan. Thankfully, the first person Harry saw was the same person he was looking for.
“Lucy.” Harry called and Lucy Barns turned and seemed more curious as to why Harry was there as opposed to surprised.
“Potter. And to what do I owe this... pleasure.” Harry could hardly fail to notice the sarcasm in the last word but decided to go against arguing.
“We need a Portkey to Number Nine, Water End Road, Beacons Bottem.”
“To where?” Lucy said, an over-reacted questioning look on her face. After Harry repeated the address, she sighed and called for her assistant. “Marietta, bring the globe in won’t you!” A few seconds passed before Marietta came rushing in carrying an aged, over-sized globe that was covered in many different shades of brown. Marietta place the globe on the nearest desk, took a step back and looked back at her boss, as though expecting some form of gratitude.
Lucy walked past Marietta as though she wasn’t even there, taped the globe with her wand and murmured the address that Harry had repeatedly told her.
Once Lucy had finished, a bright yellow spot appeared amongst the brown dullness of the ancient globe and, after a second tap of her wand, the globe seemed to zoom in on the bright dot and show a clear picture of a small detached house in the middle of an empty street.
“Is this your destination?” Lucy asked Harry.
“I’m afraid I don’t know what it looks like, but that’s the address I was given.”
“Helpful.” She replied, rolling her eyes and drawing from her pocket an old quill. She placed it on a nearby table, pointed her wand at it and said “Portus” The quill glowed for a second and Lucy turned to the Auror’s and said “It’ll leave in a second, just place another Portus charm on it when you want to get back.” And before Harry could thank Lucy, she walked briskly through the door that Marietta had come through.
Harry and the others gathered round the quill and each touched a different part of it. Mere seconds later, the entire department vanished and next thing Harry knew, they were just on the outside of the small house that they had seen on the globe. “Follow me.” Harry instructed to the others, drawing his wand and they made their way through the unlocked door of the house.
As soon as Harry had crossed the threshold, he heard a calm, cool voice saying “Identify yourself!”
Harry turned slightly to see Lawrence Marsh, the Auror who had sent the bull Patronus, pointing his wand directly at him. He was a thin man, about the same height as Harry, dressed in a ‘Muggle attire’ suit with scruffy blond hair that draped on to his shoulders and a deep faded scar that stretched from the top of his cheek to the bottom of his chin. “I am Harry James Potter.” Harry started. “Here with Aurors Phillipa Malone, Susan Bones and newly re-instated Auror Neville Longbottom. And you, Lawrence William Marsh sent for us via your Patronus, which takes the shape of a bull.”
Lawrence smiled and lowered his wand. “About time.” He said as the others came in.
“So, what’s this lead on Rowle then?” Harry asked after Lawrence had greeted the others and shook Neville’s hand.
“Well, I heard from a source in the local Muggle police that they’ve been getting calls about how suspicious looking people have been frequently visiting an abandoned house on this street. But every time an officer is sent out to investigate they seem to be repelled by the house and either loses their confidence to go inside or they just can’t be bothered to go and check.”
“Sounds like a Muggle Repelling charm to me.” Phillipa stated. “But what makes you think it’s Rowle?”
“The Muggle who made the complaints saw them first appear a few weeks back. I used Ligilimency on the memory and saw him myself. But although he’s not seen Rowle since then, he’s seen this other bloke coming and going frequently. But, again, because of the Muggle Repelling charm, he’s been unable to check it himself.”
“Probably for the best.” Susan said and Lawrence checked his watch.
“According to the old man, the accomplice normally arrives at about one so we need to make a plan now.”
“Right then.” Harry said, and the four of them turned to listen. “Neville, do you still have your medallion?” Neville nodded and revealed, attached to the inside of his robes, the small D.A medallion that most D.A members now wore as a medal. “Good. Lawrence, have you got any more Polyjuice Potion?”
“Enough for one last trip.” Lawrence answered. Harry knew that Lawrence wasn’t the most inconspicuous person to walk pass.
“Okay, I’ll be under my Invisibility Cloak. Lawrence, if you can point out Rowle’s assistant, I can follow him into the house. Susan, Neville and Phillipa, you guys keep an eye out but stay out of sight until I send the message. Phillipa, Neville, focus on the back of the house. Susan, you keep an eye on the front. Lawrence will join you once he points out the accomplice.”
“You sure about this Harry?” Neville asked nervously.
Harry nodded and answered “I want to hear anything Rowle might say before we take him. Now let’s get to work. Phillipa, could you put Disillusionment charm on Neville and Susan?” Phillipa obeyed and, after muttering the incantation, tapped the two Aurors lightly on the head preparing them for the pursuit while Lawrence pulled from his pocket, a ready prepared vial of Polyjuice Potion and downed it in one.
Harry watched as three of his Aurors became see-through and his fourth became a short, pale, scarless man with long slick black hair. Lawrence then pulled from his pocket, a Muggle mobile phone. “So it doesn’t look like I’m talking to myself.” Lawrence answered before anyone could ask. Harry then drew from the inside of his robes, his father’s old Invisibility Cloak and put it on.
“Okay, let’s go.” Harry said and the five of them left the house.
As they left, Harry heard a slight ‘pop’ as Neville, Susan and Phillipa Disapparated to their hiding places. Harry followed Lawrence down the pathway and Lawrence checked his watch again. “Any minute now.” He whispered to Harry and sure enough, no more than a minute later, Harry heard another slight ‘pop’ and he saw two blond men walk round a corner. “Yep, that’s the report I was talking about.” Lawrence said into the mobile.
“Who’s the other bloke then?” Harry whispered, watching them carefully.
“No, I can’t do that time. Do you want to go on with the meeting?” Lawrence asked and Harry understood immediately.
“I’ll follow them. Tell the others we have a possible third target.”
“Okay, okay I’m on my way. Call if you need anything.” Lawrence finished and he put away the phone and walked off in the opposite direction, not even daring to look at the two men and Harry set off in peruse.
Harry caught up with the two men and stayed only a short distance away from them. One of the men looked much older and was much taller than the other, with his hand uncomfortably close towards his pocket. The shorter, younger man looked no older then eighteen with neat, clean hair as opposed to the older man’s shabby unkempt look.
Harry followed the two men for some time and neither of them spoke a word until “This way.” Said the older man and the two turned towards an old abandoned house with boarded up windows and whose foundations looked shaky. The older man placed his hand on the door handle, which glowed bright green slightly before he turned it, and the two men entered. Harry only had a split second to slip through and for a moment, thought the creaks in the floorboards that his footsteps made would sell him out. But the two men didn’t seem to notice.
After clearly having its walls knocked down, the entire house seemed to be one big room with two doors, one at the back and the one that Harry had snuck through, and a staircase at the far right hand side. It was dusty and the only source of light for the place seemed to be the lit gas lamps on the bare cracked walls and the slither of sun light that beamed through the cracks in the wooden boards of the windows.
After a few seconds silence, there came footsteps from the top of the stairs and Harry saw the tall, bulky blond man with cruelty in the dark brown eyes that Harry hadn’t seen in over nine years. He had his wand drawn and pointing at the two men and the older man spoke.
“I am Ryan Cochrane. And the first time we met, we had to hunt down and kill a Mudblood who tried to rally a rebellion during the reign of the Dark Lord.” Rowle lowered his wand and turned his attention to the younger of the two men.
“So, you are part of the reconvened Death Eaters?” Rowle laughed as he walked down the stairs. “And you’re apparently the ones who attacked the Quidditch match and killed Albert Kaman? It’s an impressive feat, I’ll grant you. How old are you?”
The young man smiled at Rowle and said smugly “Well it’s nice to know you’re not too hidden away to keep up with recent events. But small talk aside, we both know why I'm here.”
Rowle had reached the bottom of the stairs and stared at the young man squarely in the eye. “Who else has Selwyn assembled?”
“Rabastan Lestrange.” The young man said as though he were offering Rowle a tasty treat and Harry’s heart was thumping fast now. Rowle raised his eye brows in surprise.
“Huh, Rabastan..?And how many of you were lost during the assault on the match?”
The young man turned red slightly and said “One, but that was due to... uh... minor technicalities.”
“Ah,” Rowle said with mock interest.
“But we’re working on getting him out as we speak.” The man said quickly and Rowle approached him causing Ryan to back up and nearly bump into Harry. Harry moved out of the way causing, yet again, the floorboards to creak and Rowle’s attention turned to the place where the sound had come from.
“Were you followed at all?” Rowle asked the two men. They both shook their heads and Rowle pointed his wand at Harry. Harry raised his own wand from under the cloak, ready for a fight. “Homenum Revelio” Rowle said as, with a flick of his wand, Harry thought Protego.
Harry’s charm seemed to have worked as Rowle lowered his wand. “This whole place is falling apart.” Ryan said looking around the house in disgust.
“Another reason why you should take our offer Thorfinn.” Rowle turned to the young man at the mention of his first name.
“You ask me to join you, yet I haven’t heard from Selwyn personally in nearly a decade and you have yet to tell me your name.” Knowing the piece of information he wanted was coming, Harry pulled from his Mokeskin his own D.A medallion and tapped it with his wand.
“The name’s Bailey Miller.” He replied, trying his best to look down his nose at Rowle.
Rowle laughed again and said “Well then, Bailey Miller, say I decided to join Selwyn, what would happen in the long run?”
But before Bailey could reply, Ryan interrupted. “Rowle please, we should take their offer. We can’t even protect ourselves properly without being noticed. The time has come to act.” Rowle looked at Ryan, considering him for a while but before Rowle could even respond, they heard the sound of a gentle gust of wind that Harry knew to be the others placing an Anti-Disapparition charm around the house. Before any of them could react, both the front and back doors exploded and Lawrence, Susan, Neville and Phillipa burst through.
Harry threw the cloak off of him as the fighting broke out.
Rowle had locked himself in a duel with Susan while Bailey shielded himself from Lawrence and Ryan threw himself into a fight with both Neville and Phillipa.
Harry ran forward to help Susan and sent a Stunning spell at Rowle who blocked it and retaliated with a Killing Curse. Harry ducked to avoid it and as he did so, from the corner of his eye, he saw Neville hit Ryan with a Full Body-Bind Curse and he hit the floor with a thud.
As Harry aimed his wand again at Rowle, a jet of silvery light had shot from Rowle’s wand and hit Susan in the stomach. She coughed and specks of blood shot from her mouth. She then limped to the floor and showed no sign of getting back up.
Harry sent another Stunning spell at Rowle which missed by inches and instead cracked the bare wall behind him. Rowle then pointed his wand in the direction of Lawrence and Bailey’s duel and, before Harry could do anything, shouted “Confringo!” A jet of purple light shot across the room, over Lawrence’s head and hit the wall behind him. The resulting explosion shook the entire house and Lawrence, who was closest to the wall that was hit, was blasted off his feet. Both Harry and Bailey were also knocked to the floor and through the dust, Harry saw the outline of Rowle forcing Bailey to his feet. “We need to go now!” He shouted and the two ran out of the large hole the curse had made.
Harry pointed his wand through the hole in the wall, in the direction of the two shadowy figures and cried “Stupify!”
Although Harry could not see whether his spell had hit, he heard a grunt of pain and someone fall to the floor.
As Harry got up he heard Neville cry “No!” And through the dust, saw him pursue Rowle through the hole in the wall. Phillipa too had given chase to Rowle and Harry heard the crash and bangs of dueling from outside. Amongst the crashes and bangs however, was the increasingly loud creaking and groaning of the house.
“Lawrence!” Harry called. “Lawrence, we need to get out of here!”
“Righto.” He heard Lawrence say wirily. “Where’s Susan?” He asked and Harry, unable to see clearly through the dust, raised his wand.
A bright light emanated, as though from behind her, reveling the position of Susan and Harry ran to her. She was unconscious and blood was still trickling from her mouth. Harry flung her arm round his neck and carried her through the closest of the holes in the wall. As Harry carried Susan into the street he found Bailey, unconscious on the pavement by Harry’s Stunning spell. Harry could also see Neville and Phillipa dueling fiercely with Rowle and as Lawrence ran past him, he heard a loud crash from behind him. Harry turned and saw the entire house collapse and the frozen figure of Ryan disappear beneath the large amount of rubble that collapsed to the ground.
Lawrence helped Harry with Susan and laid her carefully on the ground. “Look after her.” Harry ordered, turning his attention to the duel before him. Harry wasn’t sure of the extent of the boundaries of the Muggle Repelling charm but was sure that if they kept going, surely someone would see the three people sending jets of light at one another.
As Harry took aim, he saw Rowle point his own wand at Neville and start “Avada Ke-”
“Expelliarmus” Harry cried. This spell did hit and Rowle’s wand flew out of his hand and Neville took advantage of Rowle’s vulnerability.
“Stupify!” And a jet of red light hit Rowle squarely in the face and he fell to the ground, his nose bleeding copiously.
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