Chapter 14 : 13- Wand Weaknesses
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Harry took a step back slightly. He too, like Bailey, was breathing heavily.
“Harry, what’s wrong?” Neville asked. It was clear that he knew something was wrong but Harry didn’t answer. Instead he raised his wand and ropes flew from the tip of it, binding the vulnerable Bailey to the chair he sat in.
“I need to talk to the others.” Harry said, still shaken from the Life-Debt’s interruption though thinking fast. It was beginning to make sense now, the Quidditch attack, the assault on the Scandinavian Ministry. Kingsley had been right. It wasn’t just the Death Eaters revolting, it was indeed Dark Wizards globally, and if this was the case, what were the others planning?
Harry turned to leave the room and Neville followed him, still waiting for an answer. As he left, Ron and Gawain were waiting for him just outside the door of Rowle’s interrogation room. “Rowle doesn’t seem to know much of the latest Death Eater activity. Apparently he only heard from them just before the Quidditch attack took place.” Gawain said.
“But we’ve still got enough on him for a life-time in Azkaban.” Ron snarled.
“I still think I can get more out of him though. So how did you do?”
But Harry wasn’t listening properly, he didn’t answer but simply said “I’m going to tell the others what I saw.” And he walked out of the interrogation corridor and indicated the others to follow, all of whom had with questioning looks on their faces.
“Everyone gather round!” Harry announced to the remaining Aurors and, as they did just that morning, they formed a small circle round Harry. “As you know, we recently got back from capturing Thorfinn Rowle.” Some of the Aurors smiled at this and looked on Harry with a slight amount of pride. “We also,” Harry continued “Captured one of the Death Eater sympathisers that was involved in the Quidditch attack. Bailey Miller. After interrogating him I learned that one of their Death Eaters used Polyjuice Potion to disguise themselves as Emily Bates to infiltrate the Aurors.” Nobody was smiling anymore, they were all too focused on what Harry was saying and snarling at this heinous act of trickery and murder. “I also learned, that the Death Eaters Edmund Selwyn and Rabastan Lestrange are also involved and that the Quidditch attack was just the beginning of what their planning. You see, I can now confirm that Grindelwald’s followers acted at the same time because their plan is for all Dark Wizards to rebel as one against the Ministries of the Confederation.”
The atmosphere chilled as Harry said this, for it was what he warned them to be a worst case scenario just that morning. “We need to hunt these guys down, now more than ever before they can plot their next move.” And once again, Harry started giving out new orders to his Aurors.
As the last of the Aurors left, Harry turned and saw that Naomi, along with Natasha Walton and a woman Harry had never seen before standing with Ron, Neville and Gawain.
“Is it true?” Natasha asked. “Are the groups working together?”
“I fear so.” Harry answered and Natasha’s age began to show itself.
“I have some information for you,” She said wearily. “It turns out that the Erumpent Horn that didn’t explode was a fake.”
“A fake?” Harry replied, stunned.
“Yes,” She said. “Now if you’re right about this rebellion, then I need to speak with Kingsley. This is my new senior assistant, Kitty Griffiths, she can help you with the security details you wanted to talk to me about.” She indicated the woman standing next to her and Kitty held out a bony hand to Harry. She was a pale, slim, tall woman who had long red hair that reached all the way down to her hips and wore long dark blue robes.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you Mr Potter.” She said as Harry shook her outstretched hand and, as Natasha hurried out of the Office for Kingsley, Harry indicated for Kitty to enter his office.
As they walked in, Kitty marvelled at his office. “Wow, I’m sorry but is that a Pensieve?” She asked as she began examining the basin.
“Uh, yeah, Kaman left it for the next Head to take Office.” Harry explained.
“Oh I’m sorry.” Kitty startled. “It’s just my Uncle had one just… you know, it doesn’t matter.” She said as she gathered herself before starting again. “Naomi said you wanted to discuss the security for the prisoners. Well I was thinking, if you’ve already got everything out of them, that we just send them straight to Azkaban.”
Harry thought about this and said “Gawain says he could get more information out of Rowle, which right now we need more than anything, and I’m pretty sure we could get more out of Bailey but I can’t see us getting anywhere with Nolan. The Death Eater we caught at the match.” Harry added, seeing the inquisitive look on her face.
“So, what do you plan to do with Dawlish?” Harry hadn’t thought of that. Although he had been under the Imperius Curse, he was the one who had killed Kaman.
“I would have thought Kingsley or Natasha would have made that decision.”
“I guess, but every time I ask either of them they’re too busy and, technically, you’re next in charge for this kind of thing.”
Harry considered this for a moment and decided “I want to talk to him first. Give him one last chance to defend himself. He’s earned at least that over the years.”
Kitty smiled at this and said “Wow, Natasha wasn’t kidding when she told me about you.” Harry gave a small laugh and Kitty handed him a piece of parchment and as Harry looked at it, he realised it was a form for Azkaban. “Just fill this out and I’ll make sure he’s taken as soon as possible.”
Harry nodded and added the last two things that he needed done. “Also, Chief Auror Malone is currently at the location where we caught Rowle. It’s a bit of a mess.” Harry said giving Kitty an apologetic smile.
“I’ll send someone from the Muggle Liaison Office.” She said returning the slight smile.
“And one last thing, I overheard Bailey saying they were working on trying to break Nolan out. Although that could’ve just been Bailey trying to impress Rowle.”
“I’ll arrange for more Law Enforcer’s to be assigned to the Night Guard. Our usual Night Guard Head is still in Saint Mungo’s so I volunteered to be in charge tonight anyway.” And Kitty pulled from the pocket of her robe, a clip board and stated scribbling on it. “Anything else?” She asked and Harry shook his head. “Well just send the form to me when you’ve made your decision about Dawlish. I’ll see to it that Nolan is taken to Azkaban.”
“Thank you,” Harry said as he moved to get the door for her. “And you’re welcome to try the Pensieve any time.”
Laughing, Kitty gave her own thanks as she walked out and left the Office.
As Harry walked back towards the interrogation rooms, he saw Naomi standing next to Neville. “Neville, do you have Bailey’s wand?” Harry asked.
“Yeah, here.” Neville said handing over the wand.
“Filch has been placed under the Imperius Curse.” Harry said as he took and examined the wand. “It’s how Bailey snuck out of Hogwarts to speak to Selwyn. See if McGonagall is still here first before you do anything though.”
Neville nodded, slightly shocked at this and started to leave. “Neville,” Harry called out and Neville turned. “Nice job in the interrogation.”
Neville smiled and said “Bailey’s a competent Wizard when he puts his mind to it but you just needed to shake his confidence a little and he’ll fall to pieces.” Neville explained “I taught the sod, I know what he’s like.” And Neville walked off.
Naomi followed Harry as he headed towards the Interrogation corridor. “Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten and I still want you to come with me.” Harry said.
“No, I-” Naomi started but Harry cut across her.
“Make sure you’re ready to go. I won’t be long.” And Harry continued into Dawlish’s room alone.
Dawlish, like everyone else Harry had interrogated, was sitting in the chair at the small rectangular table. He, however, was not bound to the seat. He looked sickly pale and his short wire like hair was tangled and matted. He looked up at Harry and it was obvious that he hadn’t slept well the night before and, judging by the mess on the small table, he hadn’t eaten either. “Potter,” He croaked, it was obvious that he hadn’t spoken since his interview yesterday. “I’d offer my congratulations, but given the circumstances of your rise to Headship, I know all too well that that is the last thing you want to hear.”
Harry replied. “Then you’ll know that it’s up to me to decide what happens to you.”
There was a long pause until Dawlish finally said “Yes, I figured as much. Well, just so you know, if you do decide to let me go, I’ll leave the Auror Office willingly. The last thing you need to deal with is claims of wrongful termination and all that lark.” Harry was a little taken aback by this. He’d never really grown to particularly like Dawlish due to his unsocial habits but there was no denying that the man was a first class Auror with countless successful missions in his name. Harry also knew that the being an Auror was his life. No family. No hobbies. Just the Auror Office.
“I’ve caused more trouble than I have solved.” He went on. “Hell, if it weren’t for Kingsley… I would have been in Azkaban years ago.” Harry knew what this meant. Not only had Dawlish been placed under the Imperious Curse and used by the Death Eaters as an insider for the Auror Office during the last war but they had also used him again when they took over to hunt down and imprison Muggle-borns.
Harry didn’t need Legilimency to see the remorse now streaming from Dawlish’s eyes. “And now because of me Kaman’s dead. My friend’s dead by my wand.”
As Harry witnessed this breakdown, he felt a surge of pity for the old man before him and he found himself tearing the Azkaban form in half. “You’re free to go.” Harry said in a cracked voice and Dawlish stared at him. “I’ll get Gawain to take you to the Obliviator’s Office to have your memory locked.”
Harry stood up abruptly but before he could leave, he heard the cracked voice say “I’m really sorry, Harry.” And as Harry brushed a fresh tear from his eye, he left the room.
As Harry left, he saw Naomi waiting for him. “You ready to go?” He asked, trying to regain himself and she shook her head energetically.
“Just give me one second and we’ll go.” And he gave her a weak smile and turned to see Gawain on the far side of the office, talking with Ron. As he walked up to them, Gawain spotted him and spoke before Harry could.
“We’ve just heard from Saint Mungo’s. James isn’t doing as well.” Harry stared at Gawain, stunned for a moment, as he continued “He was splashed on the neck by the liquid that makes an Erumpent Horn explosive. They can’t heal it quick enough before it starts burning through the skin again. He’s having trouble breathing.” Gawain finished.
“And Ernie?” Harry asked, fearing the answer.
“We haven’t heard anything, so I’m hoping no news is good news.”
Harry nodded and then moved on to tell the two about Dawlish’s fate. “I’m letting Dawlish go but he’s resigning from the Office. I need you to take him to the Obliviator’s to have his memory locked.” Ron didn’t say anything but Gawain sighed heavily, gave Harry a fleeting look and left. “Thanks.” Harry said as he past but Gawain didn’t reply.
“Harry,” Ron started but Harry cut across him, knowing he’d try and bring up the conversation they’d had in his office.
“There’s nothing more to say, Ron. Now, there’s a few things we need to know before we make our next move and, while I’m away, I need you to do background checks on Bailey Miller and John Nolan and I need you to find out where Mundungus Fletcher is. Let me know when you find out.” Harry said. Ron looked slightly inquisitive at this but seemed too drained to reply and simply nodded. Harry patted him on the shoulder, said “Thanks” and walked back towards Naomi.
“Why is Dawlish being taken to have his memory modified?” Naomi asked as she ran up to Harry.
“He’s not having it modified.” Harry explained and the two left the Department towards the lifts. “He’s having his memory locked. It means if anyone but someone he trusts asks him about the Auror Office or the work he’s done with it, he’ll forget about everything he knows about the Department. It stops people like the Death Eaters from getting information from him through means of torture or Legilimency.”
They entered the lift and as the doors closed Naomi asked “So, where exactly are we going?”
“Firstly, Diagon Alley.” Harry said drawing from the inside of his robes, the two wands that had been taken from Bailey and Nolan and handed them to Naomi to examine. “The Wand Identifier couldn’t tell who made Nolan’s wand and Bailey’s wand is different to the one he had when he met Selwyn. And then...” Harry continued, replacing the wands back into his pocket and drawing out the small blue orb he had taken from Nolan at the match and showing it to Naomi. “I want to know what this is. Nolan seemed shocked when I showed it to him and when I read Bailey’s mind, he said that maybe Nolan’s escape failed because his wasn’t working so it’s a lead on how they were able to Disapparate within the grounds and it implies that they all might be using them.”
Harry returned the orb to his pocket and Naomi asked “And Mundungus?”
“The Erumpent Horn that didn’t go off was a fake but the Death Eaters still had one that worked so I’m wondering whether they bought the horns from a dodgy dealer and if anyone knows where to find a dodgy dealer, it’s Dung.”
The golden doors of the lift opened and the two entered the afternoon calm version of the Atrium. “But that’s nothing you couldn’t do by yourself, hell, you could have even sent another Auror to do all that.” Naomi said slowing down slightly.
“Mundungus won’t talk to just any Auror.” Harry began. “He’d run at the first sign of danger and while I’m out, I’d thought I’d find out firsthand what we’re up against and as for doing this by myself, I am now a Head of Office, I need some form of protection.” Naomi smiled and the two laughed the rest of the way to the Muggle-free alley that Ministry workers used to Disapparate and as Harry said finally “Remember, Diagon Alley” they vanished on the spot.
When they appeared, they found themselves in front of a long winding, colour-filled street and they started their way towards Olivander’s. As they walked Harry noticed that Naomi wasn’t as energetic as she was when they left and knew that Emily had crept back into her mind. “You okay?” He asked but Naomi just nodded her head vigorously which Harry knew to mean that she didn’t want to talk about it. Harry had hoped that maybe, getting out of the Ministry and helping Harry might have distracted her but Harry knew from past experience, this didn’t always help.
After a few more minutes walking, they found themselves in front of the small wand shop. Although Harry knew that Olivander must do well for himself, the shop always looked neglected with its dusty looking exterior and falling apart lettering which was barely distinguishable now-a-days.
When they entered, they found Olivander sitting in his chair at the small counter of the shop, carving at a new wand. As the bell on top of the door rang, he looked up slowly but seemed to gain more energy as he saw Harry.
“Ah, Mr Potter. Miss Pryce. How may I help you?” As he said this, he stood up and gave both Harry and Naomi a deep bow.
“I need you to tell me who made these.” And Harry pulled out the two wands of Bailey and Nolan. Olivander took them and sat down as he started examining Nolan’s wand, placing Bailey’s on the counter.
It was a few seconds before he spoke until he said, more to himself then to Harry and Naomi “Sycamore, owl feather, nine inches and yet...” Olivander didn’t finish what he was saying but instead put down Nolan’s wand and picked up Bailey’s. Again, a few seconds later he said “Cherry, rat tail, eight and a half inches.” After a few more seconds silence he placed the second wand back down and said curiously “I’m afraid I can’t be a hundred percent sure.”
“What do you mean?” Naomi asked, picking up the wands and examining them herself again.
“Well, if you’d have asked me a year ago, I would have said Aberthol Evens. He was a master of making wands out of common, cheaper materials such as owl feather and rat tail. But these wands can’t more than a few weeks old.”
Harry stared at Olivander. “So there’s no one else who could have made these wands?”
“Not that I know of.” Olivander stated. “Although, if I remember correctly, Aberthol was training a young Witch in wand making but I heard that she was killed along with Aberthol by a Death Eater. What was her name?” He asked himself as Harry felt a huge brainwave that actually made him feel stupid. How could he have missed it? While it was true that Aberthol was dead, the apprentice was never found and was only presumed dead. Selwyn hadn’t just gone on a murderous attack but had, like with Bailey, been recruiting.
“Thank you, Mr Olivander.” Harry said, opening the door for Naomi.
“Oh, yes, you’re very welcome Mr Potter.” Olivander replied breaking the deep train of thought he seemed to be in and Harry and Naomi left the shop.
“What is it Harry?” Naomi asked when they were back out on the street.
“It’s Aberthol’s apprentice.” Harry explained as he pulled out his two-way-mirror. “Aberthol was killed in his shop and his apprentice was thought to be dead too but because Selwyn was seen at the scene, nobody thought that maybe, the apprentice was the murderer. Ron Weasley.” He said to the mirror and Ron’s face was staring back at him through the mirror.
“Harry, I was just about to contact you.” And before Harry could tell Ron his news, Ron spoke first. “I’m afraid I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is I sent Fay Dunbar to track Mundungus and she’s just sent word saying she found out that he was going to try and sell something to Adam Dervish at the back of Dervish and Banges in Hogsmeade at four o’clock. She’s going to meet you there. The bad news is that there doesn’t seem to be any records of the Wizards you asked about.”
“What?” Harry said, Aberthol’s apprentice vanishing from his mind. “You don’t think the records could have been tampered with do you?”
“Hard to say.” Ron said looking to his left. “Only a Head of Department has permission to go through Wizarding records. Percy’s doing his nut down here.”
When Ron said this, Harry heard Percy’s voice cry “I HAPPEN TO HAVE GOOD REASON FOR DOING MY NUT!” Ron turned back to face Harry.
“Percy’s having a bit of trouble trying to find out if anyone else’s records are missing.”
“You try going through the records of every single Witch and Wizard in the country.” Harry heard Percy say bitterly.
“Look, Ron” Harry interrupted. “I think the Death Eater’s have a wand maker on their side, ask Gawain if he can get anything like that out of Bailey. I also want you to find out the name of Aberthol Evens’ apprentice.”
Ron looked questioningly at Harry. “Aberthol Evens? Wasn’t he the wand maker that Selwyn killed last year?” Harry nodded and Ron turned to his left again and said “Perce, one record of Aberthol Evens please- OW!” But before Ron could finish, he was hit in the face by a thick file and as Ron head left the mirror, Harry lost communication with him.
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