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Chapter 3 : Revelations
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credit to the amazing aurevoir for this wonderful chapter image of Lucy!
“Cara, do you think I’ll die if I jump off right now?” Danny asked mischievously, his eyes twinkling at such a risk. He looked down from the Eiffel Tower Observation Deck, not at all afraid they were so high up.
“Danny, did you not hear that tour guide lady? She said the Eiffel Tower is about 81 stories high! Around 320 meters!” Cara exclaimed, turning around to face her best friend with wide eyes. She had to marvel, however, at how fearless Danny was.
Danny laughed carelessly as he threw his arms around her. Excitedly, he replied, “But you’ve seen me fly! Maybe I’ll fly down to the bottom like a bird.”
To Danny, he was invincible. Anything and everything was possible.
Cara had to resist the temptation to snort; her mum had told her it wasn’t ladylike or polite.
She didn’t doubt her best friend’s abilities. She had, after all, seen that he could fly. Cara wasn’t ready, however, to let Danny declare a death sentence upon himself.
“Danny, I think your parents would be quite sad if you were to die. Maybe there’s a limit to how far you can fly. I don’t think the Eiffel Tower is the best place to test that theory,” Cara told him, gripping his hand tightly.
Danny might not have been scared, but Cara didn’t think that tall heights were a laughing matter.
Danny squeezed Cara’s hand back, shooting her a reassuring smile that had Cara suspecting maybe Danny could read minds as well to figure out her fear of heights.
Behind them, a soft click of a camera went unheard by the two youngsters as they continued to squabble good naturedly about whether there could be limits to flying.
Even as the party of six made their way down and Mrs. Sanford had to repeatedly make sure that Danny and Cara didn’t fall behind, the two never once let go of each other’s hands.
“… so that means I’m right! If you can’t swim down to the bottom of the ocean, then you can’t fly up to the top of the sky!” Cara told Danny triumphantly, grinning at him and showing off the first of her lost teeth.
They had a competition to see who would lose their first tooth, a competition that Cara had barely won. Danny had promised an entire day of playing “dress up” with Cara because she had won; he still remembered how Cara had tried to force him into a dress.
Scratching his head and trying to work out whether the same logic that applied to sky as it did to the ocean, Danny commented, “Well nothing’s impossible! Mummy said I can do whatever I want. Isn’t that right, Mummy?”
Mrs. Sanford, who had taken to walking behind the two children, smiled gently at her son. “Yes of course, Danny, but you can’t do something that will hurt yourself or anyone else, remember?”
“And me! Mrs. Sanford, you forgot about me,” Cara piped up, her eyes blinking innocently at Mrs. Sanford and her best friend. “Danny will always be my best friend. So us being separated is impossible, right?”
Before his mum could reply, Danny wrapped both of his arms around Cara and gave her a big hug. “Yes. I promise that we will always be best friends. We’ll never be separated.”
Danny didn’t know what he was doing when he knocked on the door of a rented flat in the middle of Muggle London.
Albus wouldn’t approve of what he was doing, but at the moment, he didn’t care.
Danny didn’t approve of interfering with an investigation that belonged to Aldridge, as annoying as Aldridge was, because it went against the rules of the Department.
He supposed it was an unspoken acquiesce on both of their parts to silently allow the other to continue along with what was necessary to find the Palmers’ murderers.
“Danny! What are you doing here?”
The front door had swung open, revealing a young woman with curly red hair and piercing blue eyes.
Danny’s eyes immediately sought Rose Weasley’s fourth finger on her left hand, where a large shiny engagement ring gleamed in the natural sunlight.
“Rose, I need your help,” Danny said, his eyes snapping back to the woman in front of him. From behind Rose, Danny could spot a blonde figure hovering in the background. “It’s important.”
“Of course, come on in,” Rose replied breathlessly, glancing behind her before opening the door to the fullest and stepping aside. “Scorpius, we have company.”
Scorpius Malfoy, with his blonde hair looking scruffier than usual and his light grey eyes stormy, nodded curtly at Danny. “Sanford.”
“Malfoy.” Danny replied, nodding in acknowledgement. He tried to the best of his ability to keep the hostility away from his voice, though Danny wasn’t sure that his uncertainty was undetectable.
Biting her lips, Rose ushered both men into the living room as she rushed away to grab tea and sugar for the three of them.
The three minutes of Rose’s absence were perhaps the most awkward three minutes Danny had ever endured.
All of a sudden, the realization hit him. The days of pranking each other in the Hogwarts corridors and trying to outdo each other on the Transfiguration exam were long gone.
Malfoy and Rose were fighting stereotypes, prejudice, and unsupportive families in order to be with each other, and Danny was trying to track down the murderer of his best friend.
Longbottom had been right; there were many things in life whose importance far exceed that of popularity and grades.
Rose returned to the room, a tray in her hands. Pouring each one of them a cup of tea, she asked, “Sugar, Danny?”
“No, thank you,” Danny replied, his voice and throat raspy and hoarse.
Taking the teacup from Rose, Danny readied himself. He needed to suck up all of his pride, all of his loyalty to Albus, and all of his rational thinking if he was going to do this right.
“So, what is it you need?” Rose asked, after taking a ladylike sip of her drink.
Danny took a deep breath. “ I need to hire you as a private detective.”
Rose Weasley, to no one’s surprise, left Hogwarts with 9 N.E.W.T.s: six ‘Outstanding’ and three ‘Exceeds Expectations’.
She had, to no one’s surprise, received invitations from the Healing Program, job opportunities in nearly every Ministry department, and even a spot as a Curse-Breaker for Gringotts.
She had, to everyone’s surprise, turned down every single invitation and begun her life as a self-employed private detective, one of the rare job titles in Wizarding Britain.
Private detectives were used for shady business, and their work wasn’t always strictly lawful. Over the years, they had earned a dark reputation that wasn’t easily rectified and didn’t shine them in a positive light for the British Wizarding population.
Wizarding British folks had no need for private detectives since Shacklebolt became Minister for Magic and Harry Potter became Head of the Auror Department. The two men alone had done enough that people were starting to call it the new ‘Golden Age’.
The fact that the daughter of the Ron and Hermione Weasley was not only a private detective, but was also the long-time girlfriend of Scorpius Malfoy, son of the Draco Malfoy, caused a massive scandal.
Draco Malfoy, who had earned his fortune following the war mainly by dabbling in Muggle businesses and economy, usually stayed in the shadow when it came to the Wizarding world. Having a son who was dating Rose Weasley had people wondering if it was yet another scheme for the Malfoy family to return to Wizarding society prominence.
The headlines generated following the outbreak of Rose’s decisions after Hogwarts hadn’t stopped, even now: six years following their graduation.
News of Rose Weasley and Scorpius Malfoy’s engagement had only stirred the entire community up in a larger frenzy; perhaps it wasn’t a scheme after all. The two oldest wizarding families with a long history of nasty feuds were going to be united with a single marriage.
Rita Skeeter ended her retirement in order to try to give the Wizarding folks “exclusive inside stories”.
“Alright, then,” Rose snapped into her business mode, waving her wand to make a long parchment appear in front of her. Her professionalism didn’t surprise Danny one bit.
“First of all, this is an agreement saying that Scorpius is our witness, my promise that I will not share any part of this investigation to anyone other than you, and your acknowledgement of your request put forth to me.”
Danny took the parchment from Rose, reading it through once, twice, and three times. It was written without any loopholes and the MLE’s stamp of lawful approval was sitting at the very top left of the parchment.
“To sign, you have to wave your wand over it twice because it will then register your wand, you, and make it unable to be changed once signed via wand,” Rose explained when she provided no quill and ink for him.
Blinking in surreal shock, Danny wordlessly took out his wand and waved it twice over the parchment as demonstrated by Rose.
He thought, for a moment, that he and Albus were once again sitting in front of the Gryffindor Common Room’s fire, trying to learn the latest wandwork necessary for Charms from Rose.
Scorpius was last to sign. He, too, silently produced his wand and waved his signature as witness over the parchment, before standing up. Giving a quick peck to Rose on the lips, he nodded at Danny. “Sanford. A pleasure seeing you again.”
“Likewise,” Danny murmured as he watched Scorpius disappear into what he presumed to be the study, closing the door quietly.
Rose, satisfied the contract was correctly signed and Scorpius was out of the room, waved her wand for a third time, and yet another sheet of parchment appeared, this one looking like a never-ending roll, and a quill and ink appearing on the table.
“Second, from you I need all of the specific details, desired outcome, unacceptable situations, and the deadline, earliest and latest. You will need to write all of these down on this parchment and complete all of the following questions, which is designed to change itself based on what is necessary to know for your request. This quill is designed to be able to detect lies. If a lie is detected, then it lightly stings your hand and renders itself unable to write until you write the truth,” Rose informed Danny as she handed him the parchment, quill, and ink.
Danny raised an eyebrow at Rose. He'd known Rose Weasley for 14 years, and she still never failed to surprise him.
“Where’s the inspiration from?” Danny asked quietly as he started to complete what seemed like an interrogation of his life.
“Umbridge. One of Mum and Dad’s old war stories about their fifth year and how she made Uncle Harry write with his own blood. It’s horrible, I know, but a rather effective idea of having the quill being able to be a fool-proof way to detect lies,” Rose explained as she watched Danny work. “I should have made it self-inking but the properties of having the quill being self-inking conflicts with the aspect of having the quill respond to the truthfulness of its holder, so I gave up on the self-inking.”
“Brilliant as always, Rose,” Danny smiled, and for a moment, everything seemed alright, because no matter what, this was Rose Weasley, the girl who could easily ace a NEWT exam without studying.
Everything seemed alright for a moment because Rose Weasley was the most reliable person.
Albus was extremely aware of the people around him.
Lucy was nowhere to be found in her office at five o’clock, and Albus was sure that she’d murder him in his sleep for going inside her office alone.
One minute, two minutes passed, and Albus was feeling anxious. People were starting to stare and whisper.
It wasn’t like Lucy to be late, but it wasn’t unlike Lucy to change her mind to help him. She’d done that many times before at Hogwarts, usually when it came down to a Transfiguration or Potions essay due the next morning.
Albus was ready to leave when he finally heard the footsteps of the high heels that Lucy always wore.
“Where were you?” Albus demanded as a harried looking Lucy rushed past all of the cubicles, towards Albus and her office.
“Not now,” Lucy hissed, jabbing her wand at Albus’s arm. “Inside, quickly.”
Obediently, Albus shut his mouth and entered Lucy’s office. He watched, bemused, as Lucy performed several charms on her own office inside the Ministry for Magic building, no less.
“Do you always do that? What’re you scared of? A fellow Ministry employee overhearing us? It’s not like we’re committing a crime,” Albus remarked, almost derisively.
Lucy turned around, glaring at Albus as she strode to her large mahogany desk in the middle of an office that resembled Lucy in many different ways: serious, organized, and full of information. A family portrait hanging on one side of the wall.
“The Muggles’ Liaison Office is a complete wreck. I came from an emergency meeting with Shacklebolt, my dad, Brantley Gibson, your dad, Uncle Ron, Aunt Hermione, and Rickard Bode. They- ”
Albus interrupted, “Why were you in that meeting? And why wasn’t the Head of the Muggles’ Liaison Office there? And doesn’t Bode have a right-hand man?”
“Gibson is the Head of the Muggles’ Liaison Office. Shacklebolt had him transferred from being a Junior Assistant,” Lucy replied, annoyed at being interrupted. She took a seat at her desk, gesturing for Albus to do the same.
“Bode isn’t the type to trust others. Since the International Confederation of Wizards is taking such an interest in our IMC Department, Bode wanted everything hands-on. It’s driving Molly mad because she’d been looking for that promotion ever since Dills retired early, leaving only Bode in charge of the entire Department of International Magical Cooperation.”
Albus blinked in surprise. He had been so wrapped up with investigating the Palmers’ death that he had almost forgotten the implications the death of the Muggle Prime Minister.
“Well, so what’s the big deal? Why’s it such a wreck?”
“The only reason why Gibson was transferred is because the last Head of the MLO was completely incompetent. Davies, remember him? He only got the job because he had a Squib sister, in my opinion. But since Gibson took over, apparently there are a lot more angry Muggles than Davies let Shacklebolt know about,” Lucy explained.
Albus replied, “Is Davies a shady character?”
“No idea. Gibson got the job because Shacklebolt had to fire Davies. The Palmers were murdered in their summer home, so they weren’t living at 10 Downey Street, the place where Muggle Prime Ministers usually live. They were away on vacation at their old house where Cara had grown up in when they were murdered. Their summer home doesn’t have nearly as much protection as 10 Downey Street does, but all the same, it’s not completely unprotected either.”
Lucy was beating around the bush. Albus was sure of it as Lucy absent-mindedly twirled her quill around her fingers. None of this was news to Albus, and none of this explains why the top Heads of the Ministry for Magic were all panicking.
“Just tell me, Lucy,” Albus said firmly. “What is it?”
“The Muggles want to take Danny in for questioning. They believe he is a suspect in the deaths of the Palmers.”
She didn’t know who she was anymore.
What was an identity? How could a person’s identity be measured?
There were many questions she wanted to ask, and none of them she dared to voice. He was dangerous enough, without trying to question his motives and intentions.
If I get out of here… When I get out of here, she mentally corrected herself.
She refused to give up. Just because she had her name stripped from her, her background erased, and her life endangered, she would not give up.
Whether she was Cara Palmer or Georgiana Davis, she would not give up.
Because there was one person far more important than she was.
Author's Note: Sorry for taking so long with this update! What did you think about Rose's appearance? Her estrangement from her family? Did Lucy's revelation shock many of you, or was it expected? Thank you to my wonderful beta, Jchrissy (Jami), for editing this!
Please leave your thoughts down below, and thanks for reading!
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