Chapter 3 : Ain't It Fun
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absolute gorgeous chapter image by bathtub. @ tda
Currently sitting in the Potter’s front room, a cup of tea in her hand, courtesy of Mrs Potter, Melody sat patiently and alone waiting for Harry and Hermione to arrive. Both were out following leads and had forgotten that they had asked Melody to come around to talk about the case so far. Melody would have been annoyed but the treatment she was getting from Mrs Potter was not dissimilar to her own mother’s treatment of her so she was quietly content to sit in that front room all day.
Sipping the last of her tea, Melody placed the cup onto the coffee table and stood up, stretching her slightly stiff legs. Noticing a lot of pictures on top of the fireplace, she made her way over and smiled as she looked at them all. The majority were family pictures with the three Potter children at various ages. One was taken on the beach, another at the last World Cup which had been held in Germany and the last one she came across, the most recent, was from last Christmas. The family were laughing happily together, a common feature throughout the series of memories and Melody couldn’t help but smile. Walking to the end of the fireplace, she noticed what looked like three old photographs; one was of Harry and Mrs Potter on their wedding day, another of Mrs Potter’s parents, Molly and Arthur Weasley and the last was of a couple she had never seen before but knew instantly who they were; Harry’s parents. It was hard not to see the resemblance between father and son, even now in his older age, Harry was the still the image of his father, from the unkempt hair to the glint of mischief. And Harry’s mother, Lily Potter was as beautiful as she had been foretold. Her eyes were the key feature and Melody realised that was where Harry inherited his own, striking green eyes from. It was strange looking upon the pictures and a part of Melody felt like she was intruding on their lives, looking into moments that her eyes weren’t allowed to see but another part was happy to see them because they made her feel good; if, after everything they had been through, Harry and Mrs Potter could still be happy then Melody and the whole world could be too.
A cough interrupted the young girl’s thoughts and she jumped, startled by the noise. Turning to face the source of her now racing pulse, she came across a handsome and familiar face. Whether it was because she knew his father and they looked alike or whether it was because she had seen his face countless times over magazine and more recently the papers, Melody found the face of 26 year old James Sirius Potter to be comforting, rather than unfamiliar. The Tutshill Tornadoes star player was currently under house arrest at his parent’s house, due to string pulling by both Harry and Hermione otherwise he would have been sitting in a cell at Azkaban, awaiting his trial.
He stood taller than his father, his height having come from Mrs Potter’s side of the family but the similarity to his father was notable. There was no way he would never not be recognised as the first born of the famous Harry Potter. Dark brown, unkempt hair and stubble adorning his cheeks, he had changed since his Hogwarts days, noted Melody as she glanced over him. However, it was quite obvious that James Sirius Potter was attractive and by the looks of it, he knew it too. He stood at the door, arms folded across his chest, an arrogant look on his face. Whether that was because Melody was giving him the once over, in a none lust filled way, she didn’t know but she quickly brought her eyes back to his.
“Sorry if I startled you,” He spoke politely yet his face betrayed the nicety in his voice, “Mum told me to come and get you. Dad’s in his office with Aunt Hermione.”
Melody nodded and picked up her bag which lay at the bottom of the sofa before walking towards James, a small, polite smile on her face. “It’s fine, no harm done.”
They left the front room and walked in a semi comfortable silence, climbing the stairs up to Harry’s office. Melody felt him glance at her but said nothing, instead focused on the door to the office, which was now in view.
“You’re the rookie law enforcer, aren’t you?” Melody turned to look at James, “the one my dad’s got trying to help me out of this unfortunate situation I seem to be in.”
“I am, Melody Kerrigan. Rookie law enforcer playing-at-detective,” Melody smiled a little, “And I’d say the situation you are in a little more than unfortunate, don’t you?”
James shrugged, “I guess so, depends which way you’re looking at it. I’m not guilty, therefore this situation is unlucky for me,=.”
Melody frowned slightly at his attitude. He wasn’t acting like an innocent man on trial for murder. She knew he was arrogant from his pre and post Quidditch match interviews but she figured it was an act. However, she seemed to be sorely mistaken. “Why do I get the feeling you’re not taking this as seriously as you should be?”
Once again, the eldest Potter shrugged. “I guess I’m not. I’ve got you guys to worry enough for me.” They had reached the office door by now and had stopped. As James was walking away, he stopped and turned back to Melody, who had her back to him. “And how could I take this situation seriously? I have a rookie law enforcer trying to prove me innocent,” he departed with a laugh and Melody tried not to look too abashed as she entered the office.
“Melody, it’s nice to see you again. Hermione has been telling me you’ve been doing excellent work,” Harry’s voice was happy and Melody wondered what the reason was behind it. “Please, sit down and make yourself comfortable,” She did as she was told and took a seat on the newly added sofa, installed for comfort the late nights she was no doubt going to be working alongside Harry and Hermione.
“Thank you,” Melody sat cross legged on the sofa and began to route through her bag, digging deep until she found what she was looking for. Pulling something out, she produced a note pad and pen, having decided the Muggle way to do things was much easier than using parchment and quills and flipped through the pad until she reached the page she wanted. With her wand, she levitated it across to Harry.
“I found something odd with Archie’s fiancée’s statement. Her alibi is Archie’s best friend, Shane Western. She relays something about an argument and then going to Shane’s to cool down but why would she go there when her mother lives barely five minutes away? My mum would be my first port of call.” Melody paused, the cogs in her minds ticking over before she spoke again, “But then again, if I’d had an argument with my fiancée, I wouldn’t be the one leaving the house, he would be.”
Watching as Harry looked over her notes, Melody tapped her fingers on her knee. “Even if he was drunk, he should have been the one to go. There wou-“
“Especially when she is pregnant,” Both Harry’s and Melody’s heads turned to look at Hermione, who was sat in the armchair, nursing what smelled like coffee to her chest.
“She’s pregnant?” When Hermione nodded, Melody frowned. “Then the alibi makes less sense. If she was ever going to leave, it would be to her mum’s, not her fiancée’s best friend. Her actions don’t add up at all.”
“But her alibi stands firm. We have to concentrate on something else for now.” Harry passed the notepad back to Melody and sat down in his chair. “We need to work out were both Archie and James were after the Muggle CCTV footage was taken.”
“We have no reliable witnesses on Archie’s whereabouts. All his friends were as drunk as he was and any information from them would be laughed at and dismissed.” The lawyer in Hermione piped up and Melody nodded in agreement.
“She’s right, we need something else to prove where he was all night.” She then turned to Harry, “and we need someone who can verify where James was,” Before Harry could interrupt, Melody put her hands up in defence. “I’m not saying he is lying. All I mean is we need someone to verify it so it stands in court. If he has no solid alibi, he’s going to look guilty,”
“James, come in here please,” Harry’s voice floated out of the room and into the hallway. Within minutes, there was the sound of a door opening and shutting and then shuffling feet on carpet. James appeared at the door, no expression on his face.
“We need to go through where you were the night Archie was murdered,”
There was huff but he walked in nonetheless, taking a seat on the opposite end of the sofa to Melody, who didn’t look at him, still a bit sore from his insult earlier and instead kept her attention on Harry.
“Whilst you go through his statement, I’m going to see if I can find anything to suggest there maybe someone reliable who saw Archie that night,” Melody uncrossed her legs and stood up, grabbing her bag, “I won’t be long,”
She didn’t wait for a response and instead left the office and walked down the hallway alone. Going back to the front room, the only room she knew in the house, she placed her things down on the carpeted floor and sat down next to them. Spreading out all the information she had about Archie from various witness statements and the Muggle CCTV footage, she got to work trying to work out where Archie Wood had been that night.
“How are you getting on?”
Melody, hunched over mountains of paper scattering the floor, looked up to see James Potter standing at the door. She shrugged, mimicking his earlier actions and went back to her work. She was doing okay, considering all the odds seemed to be stacked against her. She had nearly figured out his Archie’s last movements; another Muggle CCTV camera caught him staggering to his apartment at 1:32am, an hour before he was murdered. But he was alone which didn’t help Melody with finding out who his killer was. But still, any progress was good progress.
“Look, I’m really sorry about before,” Melody glanced up as James came into the room, hand scratching the back of his neck, a gesture he had inherited from his father, “I didn’t me-“
Melody cut him off before he could start spouting out an unmeant apology. “Don’t. I don’t need false apologies, I’m a big girl, I don’t particularly care what you have to say,” she gave him one more look before turning back to her notes. However, she was acutely aware of the fact he had not left the room and was now currently occupying the small sofa.
“I know but still, sorry,” James cleared his throat. Whether this was to get her attention or he needed to, Melody didn’t know but she didn’t give him the satisfaction of turning to face him if the former was what he wanted to achieve. “But you have to look at it from my point of view. I’m being accused of murder and my dad brings in a rookie to help prove me innocent…it doesn’t give me much faith.”
Melody hated the word ‘but’ and this occasion was no different. Insults always followed the word ‘but’, she had come to learn this throughout her life. And it wasn’t even the insult that was the worst part, it was the fact that the insult was then made to sound nice, pleasant even, like it wasn’t an insult at all. Melody preferred insults to be blunt; it’s how they were meant to be.
Trying her best to keep her dignity and not blow a fuse at the scruffy haired man, Melody simply got up and packed her things away, all without saying a word. Once everything was tidied away, she walked out of the room and headed to Harry’s office, where Harry and Hermione were still working through James’ alibi, by the looks of frustration and defeat on their faces. Giving a polite knock to get their attention, Melody smiled at the tired pair.
“I’m going to head home, I’ve managed to work out some more of Archie’s last movements but there is no one with him on the footage so it’s not helping us, really. Have you gotten any further with James’ alibi?”
She watched on as Harry shook his head, solemnly. It was Hermione who answered her question. “We have a little bit more of an idea but there is still no one to confirm his whereabouts. We can do more searching but I think we’re just going to come up empty handed. It’s frustrating.”
Melody nodded in understanding. “I know that feeling, believe me. Well, I hope you find something. You guys should get some sleep, you look as bad as I feel.”
At this, Harry laughed. “Thank you, I appreciate that compliment.” He stood up and walked around his desk towards Melody. Upon reaching her, he went to hug her, hesitated and then grabbed her hand, shaking it vigorously. Melody bit her lip to stop from laughing. “And thank you again, for everything. When this whole thing is finished, I bet I will have said that to you at least 5 times a day, every day.”
“Well, I think I can deal with being thanked.” Melody fixed her bag on her shoulder and smiled at two of them. “I’ll see you tomorrow, some time.”
She heard them say goodbye before she disapparated back to her own flat. Flinging her bag on the side, Melody made herself a hot chocolate before taking a seat on the sofa, folding her legs underneath her as she warmed her hands with the mug. It was taking a while but she finally realised that they were getting somewhere. She didn’t know where but they were definitely on their way to working out what was happening to James.
At the thought of James, Melody felt herself huff in annoyance. After just one meeting, she realised that she was only helping because of Harry and if wasn’t because of him, Melody would have quit after meeting the arrogant Quidditch player this morning. Just one meeting with him had infuriated her. He was on a murder trial, he should have been grateful for anyone trying to help him seeing as the whole Wizarding World believed him to be guilty, yet he chose to act like an ungrateful child. Melody was furious but she knew she had to keep her cool. Minimum contact with James Potter would be the best thing for everyone, especially Melody.
You're not the big fish in the pond no more
You are what they're feeding on
So what are you gonna do when the world don't orbit around you?
Paramore – Ain’t It Fun