Chapter 5 : 5- A Meeting with the Minister
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Marietta Edgcombe gripped the list of her new employees tightly as she walked down the long brightly lit corridor leading to her office. She passed many of those named on the list as they checked and double checked the capabilities of their Portkey and Floo Network tracking.
“Miss Edgecombe.” Called a wheezy voice from the left of her and a short dirty faced man ran towards her. “I’ve been able to compile the list of addresses of known resistance members you asked for.”
“Very good, Turl.” Marietta commented. “Get it down to Arabag and tell him to find them on the Locator-Globe. I’ll send a message to Mosby. We’ll be able to send some of our forces and with any luck we’ll at least find a clue of their whereabouts.” The man gave a toothy grin before scuttling off in the opposite direction as Marietta continued towards her office door.
When she opened the ornate door, she found her office in total darkness and noticed the night time scenery of the enchanted window. “Bloody Maintenance Department.” She muttered as she drew her wand and lit the candles of the chandelier above her. As she did so, she heard the door behind her close and, as she turned, heard its lock click. “What the-?” But before she could finish there was a flash of red light and her wand flew from her hand and the large role of parchment she was carrying flew into the air before drifting to the floor, unravelling itself. She turned and found the source of the spell at once.
Sitting at her desk chair was a tall, black-haired man with a lightning bolt scar on his forehead and round-rimmed glasses over his green eyes which were now staring at her intently. As she stared at the man, it was only now that she realized that his time with the Aurors had given Harry Potter a much tougher look than Marietta had remembered.
“Marietta.” Harry greeted, his wand pointed at her in one hand while holding her wand in the other.
The two stared at each other for a moment and Harry found himself happy to see fear in her eyes. After edging her way a little closer to the door, Marietta then slammed herself against the wood and screamed as loud as she could.
“Oh no, you’ve thwarted me.” Harry said sarcastically when she finished and Marietta continued to stare at him.
“What do you want?”
“Information.” Harry replied simply and Marietta gave a small smile.
“And what makes you think I would tell you anything?”
“Because you owe me.” Harry answered harshly. “I saved your life back at Azkaban, remember, when Tyrus was just a curse away from finishing you off and now, whether you like it or not, you’re going to answer all of my questions starting with everything you know about Mosby’s plans.” Marietta seemed to wince slightly as Harry said this and he knew she would soon experience the inability to control herself.
“He plans total control and dominance over the entire Confederation.” She answered in a mechanical voice it was obvious she had not expected.
“It’ll be easier for both of us if you just give into it, Edgcombe. Here, take a seat.” And Harry kicked the chair that was tucked into the other side of the desk and, begrudgingly, Marietta took the seat. “Now, how does Mosby intend to take on the Confederation?” Harry asked as he reclined back into Marietta’s plump desk chair.
“Where the Confederation’s concerned, he plans a single crippling attack to dismantle and disband the Confederation. Word has already spread of the British Ministry’s defeat and we know the rest of the Confederation to be afraid.”
“And how do you know that?”
“Through our counterparts at the Scandinavian Ministry.” She answered and Harry’s face contorted.
“So, you have spies there.”
Marietta laughed. “We have more than spies, Potter. We’re in control their too now.”
Harry bolted up right. “What? How?”
“Marius Yvault.” She said slowly.
Harry shook his head. “No, I killed Marius when the Ministry was attacked.” Harry felt his heart hammer as he said this and he could tell Marietta was enjoying the reversal on who felt the most comfortable in their position.
“He survived. Cecilia Lox rescued him and last night he and Nolan broke into their Ministry, Imperiused several Aurors and high ranking officials and released Akrahn Colby. Your buddy Minister Boyson is now on the run after evidence was found that he was helping the Dark Wizards and assisted in the murder of his predecessor, Minister Elof Soelberg. As far as their community is concerned he was confronted by his Head of Magical Law Enforcement Tyreece Molden and a number of faithful Aurors when he fought his way out and escaped. There is now a five-thousand galleon bounty on his head.”
Harry stared into Marietta’s eyes seeing nothing but the truth but he could not believe it. He felt anger and frustration rise within him though he forced himself to keep a cool head. “What about Akrahn Colby, where is he now?”
“Still in Scandinavia gathering more followers, although from what I hear he’s been harping on at Mosby to bring him here.”
“I bet he has.” Harry murmured. “Tell me more about this attack. When and where is it planned to take placed?”
“At the next Confederation meeting which Scandinavia has graciously offered to host soon.” Marietta explained with a smirk.
“And that’s it? Mosby plans to end it in one attack?” Harry asked already trying to plan a way to thwart the attack somehow. Marietta shook her head.
“He also plans to attack America and, from what I’ve overheard, Romania.”
“Romania?” Harry asked, taken aback by this particular target. Although Romania was amongst one of the Ministries that did not send forces to America to fight against the Dark Wizards he knew that was because their Auror numbers were not the highest of the Confederation. Marietta nodded.
“Though only the Leaders know the details of that plan. All I know is when the attack on the meeting starts so will the attack on the American Ministry and that Mosby is readying an army for travel even as we speak.”
“Another simultaneous attack.” Harry said to himself quietly. He continued to look Marietta in the eye but it was apparent she now knew that, willingly or not, she was going to tell him everything. “And with the Confederation gone and Scandinavia and America in the hands of you lot…”
“After the invasion and defeat of some of our more powerful enemies, we expect the rest to fall like dominos.”
Harry thought about what Marietta had said. “What do you mean by ‘the Leaders’?”
“All those who were the heads of the groups that joined us. Mosby granted them permission to be part of his council.” Marietta explained.
“How many are there?” He asked, remembering the forty-three he had counted from Selwyn’s book.
“Not including Mosby, Marius or Akrahn, there are thirty Leaders on the council.”
Thirty? So discounting Akrahn from the list in the book, there was still a further twelve that had not yet joined the relentless horde that had so easily outnumbered the British Ministry and their reinforcements. And, if that army was the result of thirty forces united, an extra twelve would be plenty, Harry thought, to take on a broken Confederation. There was a moments silence as Harry absorbed the information. With the British, Scandinavian and American Ministries in the control of the Dark Wizards and the Confederation alliance broken, it would surely be a matter of time before the others; France, Russia, Egypt and all those who had demonstrated aggression towards their movement, fell after being overwhelmed by a large scale invasion before the Dark Wizards dealt with the others.
“How does Mosby plan to attack the Confederation? Sneak people into the meeting? A secret passage?” But again, Marietta shrugged lackadaisically and Harry felt himself come close to cursing her.
After taking a deep breath to subside his frustration, he pressed on and indicated the scattered pieces of parchment strewn across the floor.
“Why is Mosby requesting to have a list of his employees?” As Harry asked this, something seemed to twinkle in Marietta’s eyes that Harry did not like.
“Consider it my own personal piece of revenge.” She said in a sinisterly hushed voice and Harry understood at once.
“The parchment’s jinxed.” Harry said and Marietta smiled. “So, what happens to those who disobey orders?”
“Third degree burns.” Marietta replied. “Mosby’s notion on what should happen to traitors, though I can hardly decline the fact that the use of the jinx was my idea.”
“How do I stop it?” Harry asked quickly but Marietta just laughed and, brushing her hair aside, indicated the spot scars that still faintly made out the word ‘sneak’.
“If I knew that do you think I would still walk around looking like this?” After glaring at one another for a moment, Harry then turned his attention back to the large unrolled piece of parchment and waved his wand in its direction. It flew into the air and rolled itself up before landing neatly on the desk. Harry pocketed Marietta’s wand within his robe pocket and placed the list with it.
“I don’t think you’ll be needing either of these.” Harry commented as he noticed her lean forward slightly and eye her wand. “But no doubt Hamnet will set you up with another one.” Marietta reclined back into her chair though she still looked uneasy.
“And Terrence Hassledon,” Harry said after a moment’s silence. “What do you plan on using him for?” Marietta gave a small laugh that still irritated Harry despite it being fake.
“It’s not just Cho’s little lover we’re interested in.” She explained. “Once we have control over him, Mosby plans on using him to get to the higher ranking members of the Muggle government. You never know what kind of information they might have on other countries that would prove useful in our plans.” Harry glared at her, getting angrier by the moment.
“How does it feel betraying the closest thing to a friend you ever had?” She didn’t answer. Harry stood up and Marietta recoiled slightly as he did so. “One last thing,” Harry said. “I’ll be needing back all the files on your colleagues that you stole from the Archive.”
Mosby sat at the desk of his newly cleaned office staring at the message that had appeared in his small, Dragon skin-bound message book. He had been elated from the moment he had entered the Minister for Magic’s office, as though he had been given a trophy for the incapacitation of Kingsley Shaklebolt. On top of that was also the success of the death of Aaron Kirke, but the message before him seemed to have spread the combination of excitement and blissful satisfaction throughout his body like wildfire. The fact that Cecilia was still on at him for allowing the remaining resistance to escape seemed insignificant a failure for him to be troubled.
All of a sudden, the large golden mug that resided on his desk shook violently and before he knew it, the outline of the object glowed brightly and began to change shape; getting bigger and taking on a more human form. Before he knew it, Mosby was looking at a slightly dazed Bailey Miller stumbling before him, a large gold medallion dangling around his neck.
“It works!” Bailey exclaimed as he ricochet off of the book shelves.
“One hour exactly.” Mosby said looking at his watch, unconcerned with Bailey’s dizziness. “Looks like you do have your uses after all, Miller. At this rate you might still be Head even when Nolan returns.” Bailey gave Mosby a smug smile, whose meaning was sullen as he swayed on the spot, as Mosby wrote on and handed over a folded piece of parchment. “Have your Department focus on making these and ship them out as soon as they’re ready-” But before he could finish, there was a loud knock at the door. “Who is it?” Mosby asked loudly and the door opened allowing a large round man with shabby blond hair and, from what Mosby could see, a number of teeth missing.
“Um, Dugson, Minister. Armaldo Dugson.” The man answered as he went to close the door behind him.
Mosby looked at Bailey as though hopping he’d answer for why Dugson was here. “One of our ex-Azkaban prisoners, Mosby.”
“Okay.” Mosby said as he looked back at Dugson. “What is it, Armaldo Dugson?” But as Dugson began to ramble, Mosby noticed a slight dent appearing in the thick crimson carpet.
“Is that so?” Mosby said in answer to Dugson’s inaudible rant as he walked closer to the oval indent. As quick as he could, Mosby went to draw his wand but, before he even touched the handle, he felt someone grip his wrist tightly. As he began to fight against it, he felt an invisible someone punch him across the face, knocking him against the wall behind his desk.
Bailey began to draw his own wand, looking baffled at what was happening as Dugson looked gormlessly at where Mosby had once stood. There was a flash of red light that hit Bailey in the head making his forehead hit the shelf he had rebounded off moments ago. Mosby drew his wand and aimed at where he suspected their attacker to be standing.
“Cruci-” But a second flash of red sent his wand into the air. As their assailant removed his Invisibility Cloak, he caught Mosby’s airborne wand in his own wand hand to join it with his own. “Potter,” Mosby growled as he felt his lip swell.
“Minister,” Harry greeted as he advanced on the unarmed man, pocketing Mosby’s wand while his own pointed directly at his heart, the exact same target of the curse that had killed Kaman.
“I must say, I am impressed.” Mosby said looking around the office.
“I’m glad one of us is. It took months to plan my way in when the Death Eaters were in charge and that was with two others.” Harry then drew away his wand and waved it across Dugson’s face who then turned on the spot and left the office, the same vacant look on his face.
“So, you’re working alone then?” Mosby asked with interest and Harry turned back to face him and saw a trickle of blood dribble from his lip.
“You know, I’ve found myself attacking people physically a lot over the past week.” Harry commented as he examined the now slightly bruised knuckle that he had punched Mosby with. “What about you? After all, you did get top marks in your hand-to-hand combat exam for the Aurors.” As Harry said this, Mosby’s dark eyes grew slightly wider.
“Been doing your homework then, I see.” Harry re-aimed his wand back upon him.
“But you just didn’t make the cut. Anger issues don’t go down well in the Auror Office. Obedient, calm and precise one moment and off the chart angry the next. Even when they were desperate for more fighters against Voldemort they turned you down.” Mosby winced at the sound of the name. “What’s wrong? Isn’t he the reason you tried out in the first place? Trying to become his number one spy at the Ministry. I bet Selwyn looked a right fool when you returned with nothing more than an invitation to train as an Enforcer.” Mosby remained silent though Harry could tell he was worried about how he knew this much about him. “And yet he still recruited you this time around. He must’ve been desperate.”
“Actually, as the Dark Lord had Aurors like John Dawlish and Caitlyn Tyrus in the palm of his hand, He wasn’t all too fussed.” Harry’s wand hand twitched with anger as he said this.
“You know, I could have made that sorry excuse of an Auror kill any one of you that day at the Quidditch match. You, Kingsley, even that ginger Blood-traitor. And every day I wandered if I made the right choice. Wandered if I should’ve finished you there and then. But that old fool Kaman was the more sure shot out of all of you.”
Harry flicked his wand, making Mosby flinch, and ropes flew out of the tip and bound themselves around him. Grabbing him around the neck of his robes, Harry threw him into the desk chair and aimed his wand threateningly.
“You have one chance, Mosby.” He said quietly though with rage fuelling every word. “End this now and I may allow you to live to an old age. You’ve separated me from everything and everyone I love. My home, my friends, my family, and if you think I won’t do anything and everything in my power to get them back, you are in for a nasty surprise. If you agree, you can help us right this, you can save yourself. But if you continue, I will fight your armies, I will thwart your plans and I will tare you apart bit by bit before I come back here and make you regret the day you made me your enemy because, you see, you’ve made a very fatal mistake and have made me desperate.” There was silence before Mosby answered.
“So, you’re not here to kill me then.” Harry could hear the spitefulness in his voice and gave a small laugh.
“Why would I kill you only to have Cecilia or Felicia or someone else who’s far more capable then you take charge?” Mosby’s face contorted and Harry lowered his wand as he said “Shall I take your answer as a no then?”
Harry looked around the office when he saw Mosby’s own Dragon skin bound book on the desk. He picked it up and saw the last message Mosby had received but had not yet hidden.
Operation Flame and Fang is a go.
Beneath where the book had been, Harry noticed several pieces of parchment all entitled ‘Peace Treaty’ and although they had not yet been signed by the Ministers of the Ministries outside of the Confederation, their names were still written in slanted gold letters above where they would place their signature.
As Harry read the one on the top of the small pile, he noticed just how much of the information was cleverly written threats in disguise.
Harry looked back at Mosby but, as he did so, the door burst open. Harry dropped the book and turned, wand at the ready to see Lawrence, Cho, Dennis, Lee, Sturgis Podmore, Hestia Jones and the Italian Auror Enzo being marched in by Dugson, Runcorn and the man Lawrence had Imperioused. Mosby scowled at the three unwilling traitors as Harry began handing out wands to those who didn’t look like they were about to pass out giving Hestia Mosby’s, Enzo Selwyn’s and Cho Marietta’s. He then retrieved the wands of Dugson, Runcorn and Bailey, who was still laying face down unconscious on the floor and placed them within the pockets of Dennis, Lee and Sturgis who were all being held up by Cho, Enzo and Hestia.
“Listen,” Harry whispered as he pulled Lawrence to one side. “As soon as you get through the fire place, get to this address.” And Harry handed him a folded piece of parchment with an address that Andromeda had written down for him. “I’ll meet you there but I you need to take Cho and retrieve her boyfriend. They plan on using him to infiltrate the Muggle government. Best take Enzo with you too just in case.” Harry added noticing that, despite supporting several injuries, the tanned, black-haired, round faced Auror was able to support Lee with one well-built arm and ready his wand for action perfectly fine in the other.
“Will do but Enzo might be a bit of a problem.” Lawrence whispered back.
“Well, he doesn’t speak English.”
Harry sighed. “You’ll find a way. Just take the fireplace to Number Twelve, Grimmuald Place.”
Lawrence nodded and as he pointed his wand at the large ornate fireplace, he whispered “I dropped that little present of yours and well done for in here.” Harry nodded, grinning slightly as he watched the seven of them vanish in a blaze of emerald flames.
Harry turned back to face Mosby. “I warned you.” He said as he raised his wand to the ceiling. “You have made me desperate.” And as the wand tip glowed, a loud bang could be heard from above them. More eruptions followed suit and, though muffled by the number of floors that were between them though, they were unmistakeably violent. Harry then walked into the fireplace himself and as the flames licked at him, he could hear Mosby’s shout of fury combined with the destructive explosions of the Auror Office die out as he was transported away from the Ministry.
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