Chapter 16 : 15- The Mind of a Minister
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All three Aurors had their wands out, pointing around the thick wood around them. “Homenum Revelio.” Harry said, but no bright light appeared to reveal any hidden persons. “Everything seems clear but stay on your guard.”
“Harry, we need to call for backup.” Fay said, not daring to take her focus off the wooded area surrounding them.
“And order them where?” Naomi said also readying herself for a fight. “Mundungus didn’t tell us where we are and now he’s made a run for it.” The two fell silent, obviously waiting for an order from Harry. Harry now had a choice. Go in and risk being ambushed or retreat and risk losing the chance to catch out another Death Eater. As Harry thought of this, another thought forced its way into his head. A Death Eater that could have inside knowledge of Lucius Malfoy. The impulse was too strong.
“We go in, but stay alert.” Harry ordered and the three of them started advancing on the house. As they opened the door, Harry once again used the Human Presence Charm and, again, nothing happened.
“Lumos.” The three of them chanted and light poured into the dark, musky house.
The entrance hallway was almost completely destroyed. Boxes were overturned everywhere, spilling their contents onto the floor and as they moved forward, they found that the rest of the house was in the same sorry state. Chairs and tables had been broken and smashed to splinters, the couches had large, gaping slashes in them and splashes of scarlet blood was still trickling slowly down the otherwise baby blue wallpaper.
“Oh my...” Naomi breathed looking around at the destroyed house.
“Poor bastard must have put up one hell of a fight.” Fay said as she moved on to inspect the kitchen, though Harry was far too focused on the blood that was splattered on the wall, blood that, in Harry’s opinion, looked far too thick to be human.
“Come on out, Boris.” Harry said to the room. “We know you’re here.” Naomi stared at Harry and, though nothing instantly happened, Harry heard something rub against the carpet in the corner behind them. Naomi too seemed to have heard it and walked towards the only box that had not been overturned. Harry bent to open the box, his wand at the ready, and when he removed the lid found a bald, skinny face looking fearfully up at him with a pair of cloudy hazel eyes.
“Alright you caught me, just promise to make it quick and painless and- Hang on.” The bald headed man said in a nasally voice, staring at the scar on Harry’s forehead and he pulled himself out of the magically enhanced box. “So, what do you lot want then?” He said as Fay came in to investigate the commotion. “And how did you know I wasn’t dead?”
“Salamander blood.” Harry said indicating his head towards the blood on the wall. He knew this old hiding trick all too well though, he had to admit, Slughorn’s Dragon blood had looked far more convincing.
“How did you know we were coming?” Naomi asked looking around the place. “This must have taken you ages to do.”
“Most of it was already done when you got here.” Boris explained, repairing a couch with a wave of his wand and sitting on it. “But I guessed the Dark Mark would keep people distracted while I hid myself.”
“Expecting company Boris?” Harry added also looking around the destroyed interior.
“Oh, like you would be here if you didn’t know.” He said, rubbing his eyes. “The real ones are upstairs in a safe. There are protective enchantments around them.”
“We’re not here for that.” Harry said, his wand still out. “Though we will deal with them later. Right no though we’re taking you to the Ministry for questioning, we’ll tell you more when we get there.”
Boris looked around at his destroyed house and then turned to Harry and said, very weakly “Fine, but I want protection.”
Harry was not surprised by this. It was obvious that Boris knew full well what his customers were capable of. “Who are they?” Harry asked.
“I can’t give you names.” Boris replied looking more nervous by the minute. “Not real ones anyway but I think I can give you good enough descriptions.”
“Is there nothing more you can give us?” Naomi pressed. “Numbers? Locations? Anything that might revolve around what they’re planning?”
Boris looked flustered at this though his head still shook. “No, I promise. It was always the same three, we always met here and we always kept it strictly to business. This was before I knew who they really were.”
Harry felt slightly disappointed by this. If the Ministry archive had been tampered with, then descriptions would be of much less value then they used to be.
“What exactly did you think they were going to do with an Erumpent Horn?” Fay questioned, looking down on the man as though he were dirt on her shoe.
“Potions!” The little man exclaimed. “Their original dealer had failed in his attempts to travel his own stock to the country so he put them in touch with me and said that they were potioneers.”
“Wait,” Harry said, raising a hand. “Their original dealer?”
“Yeah,” Boris said, sounding a little perplexed by Harry curiosity in this part of the story. “An old buddy of mine in Egypt. He couldn’t get the ones they ordered from him into the country so he sent them my way.”
“Are you saying that they have access to more?” Naomi pressed.
“Well…” Boris stumbled. “I mean they have a contact but-”
“A contact whose details you’ll be giving us.” Fay interrupted threateningly.
Boris stared fearfully at her with a pair of wide eyes as he nodded.
“Look, the real one was only supposed to be a sample!” Boris explained as though they were the ones he had swindled in the deal. “They told me they were satisfied and so I sold off one of the fake ones!”
“Oh, well that’s alright then.” Naomi said in a snide voice that made Boris sink deeper into his couch.
“And just so you know, we suspect them to be a much smaller number. Had they come calling and seen your little set, they’d know you were only hiding and find you.”
At this, Boris’ eyes widened even further before he looked pleadingly at Harry.
“Fine,” Harry said. “We’ll arrange a safe house for you.” At this, Boris seemed a little more reassured, stood up and indicated the way out. “Once, of course, you’re heavily fined for smuggling a Class B tradable material.”
Boris looked back at him as though Harry had asked to turn over his mother before slouching back into his defeated demeanour and continuing to follow the Aurors.
Within five minutes, they were back at the Ministry. Harry had sent Boris off with Fay and Naomi to an Interrogation room and when Harry returned to his office, he found Kingsley, sitting at Harry’s desk looking into the Pensive sitting in the centre of the desk.
“Excuse me, Harry.” Kingsley said still staring into the Pensive. “But when Percy informed me that the Ministry files had been tampered with, I had to talk to you.” Harry took the seat opposite Kingsley as he continued “One of our Heads of Departments must have turned against us, whether due to an Imperius Curse or of their own free will, I do not know but they are the only ones with access to the archive with the exception of myself and Percy, though I highly doubt that Mr Weasley would turn against us that easily.”
Harry felt uncomfortable at this. The thought of one of the Ministry’s own Heads turning on them was a terrifying thought. “We have checked the Glass Viewers that are placed around the archives and they seemed to have been Confunded, even more efficiently than those at Malfoy Manor. We need to figure out who the mole is, Harry, and I ask you to think very carefully about who you ask to help you, we do not know how many informants this mole could have. Although, Mrs Hermione Weasley has offered her assistance to me and I have confided the situation to her.” Harry nodded, already trying to think of a plan.
“I got your message about the Amethyst Orb and have followed your idea of letting George figure out a solution. I have temporarily employed him to the Department of Experimental Charms; I thought it would speed up the process if he had help.” Again Harry nodded but Kingsley then said, a little gravely “I also think that, with the help of Percy, I have found the identity of the man who escaped you at the Quidditch match.”
Harry’s mind stopped thinking and his attention was now completely on Kingsley, who was indicating the Pensive. “If you would, please.”
The two looked into the Pensive and before Harry knew it, he was beside a slightly younger version of Kingsley who was running, faster than Harry had ever seen him, down a narrowing street. When Harry looked, he saw that he was been chased by a group of black cloaked men, the two of which that had masks on seemed to be leading them.
“Stop him!” Cried the larger of the two masked men and jets of light flew past Kingsley as he ducked to avoid them. Kingsley turned a corner and after running for a few more steps, came to a halt at a walled off dead end.
“Well, well,” Sneered the smaller of the two masked men as he panted. “It seems you’ve got nowhere else to run, Shacklebolt. Though I’ll hand it to you, you sure made us work for this one.” As the man said this, both he and his larger partner took off their masks and Harry recognised Walden Macnair and Augustus Rookwood, both of whom were now in Azkaban after their capture at the Battle of Hogwarts.
The entire group had their wands pointed at Kingsley. Harry counted seven of them in total and saw, to the right of Rookwood, the muscular, dark haired man that had escaped the Quidditch attack. When Harry turned back to look at Kingsley, Harry was shocked to see that Kingsley did not only look tired but he had a defeated look on him that Harry had never seen on Kingsley before.
“So this is what the great Auror Shacklebolt has been brought to? The new leader of the Order of the Phoenix has been turned into a pathetic wreck.” Rookwood said harshly, taking aim with his wand.
“Remember, Pius and Yaxley want to question him personally-” The muscular man started but Rookwood cut across him.
“Well I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if he was ‘accidently’ killed in a fight. I don’t know about you, Elfrin but I prefer to kill those who have the intention of killing me.”
But before Rookwood could cast his curse, Harry, whose heart had skipped a beat at the Death Eaters name, heard Kingsley pant out the word “How?”
“What was that?” Rookwood said mockingly.
“How did you find me?” Kingsley asked again and Rookwood laughed insanely.
“Well, who am I to refuse a dead man’s request? Let’s just say you should have showed the Dark Lord a bit more respect, especially the inexcusable use of His name.” At this, Kingsley’s entire expression changed to one of realisation and, before any of the Death Eaters could do anything, Kingsley had swiped the air with his wand and pointed at the wall beside them. It exploded with the force of a bomb that knocked the Death Eaters and their cronies to the ground and Harry saw the shadowy outline of Kingsley sprint through the dust, stunning those that tried to get back up and run past the Death Eaters, out of sight.
Before the dust could settle, Harry found himself rise out of the Pensive as the memory came to a close. “Mosby Elfrin,” Kingsley said, still looking down into the Pensive. “He was a Law Enforcer who made his way up the ranks by imprisoning Muggle-borns and going after members of the Order if they fell for the Taboo. Percy did some research and his file’s gone too.”
“So the files of everyone who we know to be a part of the Death Eaters are gone?” Harry asked and Kingsley nodded.
“I also think we’ll discover that the man Ron’s protégé killed was not a resident of a foreign Ministry, as we first thought, but instead a member of Selwyn’s new crowd who had his file removed as well. I have informed the other Ministries of the Confederation to check their own archives and have alerted them to the threat that we are aware of. They wish to meet with me for more information.”
Harry stared at Kingsley. “Wait, the entire Confederation?”
Kingsley nodded. “A hand-full of the Ministers feel that they too might have information concerning this and I will be organising this meeting, again with the help of Percy and Hermione, and I will be keeping you up to date with it so you can arrange security.” And as Kingsley made to leave he said finally, not looking at Harry “Good job today.” And, leaving Harry speechless, he closed the door behind him.
When Harry finally recovered from Kingsley’s compliment, he turned to sit at his desk. He still needed to sort out a safe house for Boris. But as he sat down, he realised that, on top of Lucius’ open file, was another closed file with ‘Aberthol Evens’ printed across it in slanted black letters. There was a note stuck to the cover of the file and written on it were the words ‘Hope this helps’ in Ron’s cramped handwriting. Harry opened the file and began to read.
Aberthol Edward Evens.
Born: Twelfth, January, Nineteen-Thirty to Edward Samuel Evans (Deceased) (See more detail on page three) and Sian Elizabeth Evens (Née Davies)(See more detail on page four) in Portmeirion Village, Wales.
Died: Twenty-Second, August, Two Thousand and Six.
Cause of Death: Killed by the Killing Curse cast by the Death Eater, Edmund Selwyn (Still at large).
Marital Status: Married to Deborah Sophie Evans (née Dale)(See more detail on page five).
Residence: Number Fifteen, Eastway Close, Portmeirion Village, Wales.
Occupation: Wand Maker at Abe's Magic Makers Wand Shop. *Note: Was mentoring Felicia Hamnet (Deceased) in Wand Making and Wand Law.
“Felicia Hamnet.” Harry murmured to himself. Bailey had called the girl who had turned herself into Emily, Felicia. Was she Emily’s murderer?
As pure hatred for the woman hit Harry, Naomi walked in holding a couple of pieces of parchment and saying “Well, we’re done with Boris. Sent the details of his dealer friend to the Egyptian Ministry and we’ve been able to get these images from him.” She placed the parchment on Harry’s desk and seemed to have seen the anger on his face as she asked “You okay?”
Harry handed Aberthol’s file to Naomi and said “I think I’ve found Emily’s killer. Felicia Hamnet. She was the one who imitated Emily at the Quidditch match.” As Naomi took the file, her hands shaking slightly, Harry picked up the pieces of parchment. There were three pencil sketches which, like most Wizarding pictures, moved in their frame. Two of the pictures were of Selwyn and Bailey each smirking at Harry from the parchment, the third was of a woman with pale skin, vivid high cheekbones and her hair, though it was straight at the top of her head, got curlier the further down her face it got.
“Do you think this could be her?” Naomi asked and Harry could tell that she was trying to keep her voice calm.
“I believe so.” Harry replied now looking at Aberthol’s file that Naomi had put down. “But we can find out for certain.”
“How?” Naomi asked. She was rubbing the bandage rapped round her head.
“Both Aberthol’s wife and mother are still alive, surely one of them must have met or seen Felicia.”
Naomi picked up the picture of the girl and looked Harry squarely in the eye and said “Let me go. Let me go and find out.” Naomi then picked up Aberthol’s file and said “His address is right here. How hard could it be really be?”
Harry gave a slight smile to Naomi and said “Of course you can go but take Fay with you, if the Death Eaters even get a whiff of the fact that we’re finding out their identities, they’re going to attack.” Naomi nodded, placing the piece of parchment and file in the inside of her robe.
“Thank you.” Naomi said but before she could leave, Ron entered, Anthony Goldstein and Terry Boot walking just behind him.
“We think we’ve figured out how they broke into Emily’s house.” Ron said, looking as though he had just lost a fight. “We found small traces of fresh Floo Powder in the carpet of her living room so we believe they got in through her fireplace via the Floo Network, I’ve asked Lucy to find out where they might have used it from.” Harry’s heart seemed to stop. Naomi too was no longer leaving. If they had broken into Emily’s house by using the Floo Network, was it possible that the Death Eater spy was in that Department, or to be more specific for who they were hunting for, a spying Head of the Department?
“You need to bring Lucy down here.” Harry ordered and Ron starred at Harry.
“What?” Ron said as Harry looked at each individual in the room. He trusted Terry and Anthony, both of them had been D.A members and had proven themselves multiple times to be skilled and faithful Aurors and Naomi, though still a junior rank Auror, had more than earned Harry’s trust.
“Okay, listen.” And Harry told them about there being a mole within the ranks of the Ministry’s Heads of Departments.
“And you think Lucy’s the snitch?” Terry asked angrily.
“It makes sense.” Harry reasoned. “She’s a Head of Department so she has access to the Ministry archives and she’s Head of Magical Transportation so it would have been only too easy for her to link Emily’s fireplace to a Death Eater’s.”
There was a moment of silence before Ron said finally “We’ll get her.”
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