Chapter 2 : two
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“Does my father know yet?”
“He was the one who found him. They want a team over there right away to begin the investigation. He’s hoping we can get there before any of the trails have gone cold, though if it’s anything like the others, the only thing that’s going to be left behind is his wand snapped in half.”
“Round everyone up Scorp, and meet me at the appariation point. I’ll be there soon.” He nodded his head at me before walking out to gather everyone.
In a span of one month, this person had managed to kill four wizards. That was one wizard each week, and it didn’t matter how many times we searched the crime scene, there was nothing to be found to tell us who did it. Whoever it was, they were good. And if they were good enough to kill Dean, then that meant that they knew what they were doing. It was a thought that somewhat scared me. We hadn’t had a mission like this in a long time, before I was even an Auror.
Granted there had been murders or crazy wizards who threatened to expose the wizarding world, but they had all been caught in a matter of days, a week at most. And now we were on a month without nearing a single clue as to who was behind these murders. It was maddening.
There was only one thing that needed to be done before we left, and it was the one thing I wasn’t sure I wanted to do. I walked down the hallway towards the Head Auror office, and passed the group that Scropius had already begun to assemble. We had every top Auror that we had on this case. It was a priority to us in the office, and we even had some Aurors working around the clock to try and find the killer. I had already been passionate about catching the guy, it was my turn to prove to my father how good I could be, but now I knew that I wasn’t going to let Dean’s killer get away easily. He may not go down without a fight but that always made the capture that much more satisfying in the end. And this capture was definitely going to be satisfying.
I stopped in front of the door marked Harry Potter Head Auror, and let out a breath I hadn’t realized that I had been holding, before I knocked on the door. There was one good thing about having my father as the Head Auror, if I needed him; he was only a few doors down from mine. However this time, I didn’t need him for anything, it was a matter of making sure that he was ok. I walked in, and there he was, behind his desk looking at something he held in his hand, though from my position in the doorway I couldn’t tell exactly what it was.
“You’re taking it rather well,” I said as I walked across the room and stood in front of him.
“There comes a point in life, especially in this field, when someone’s death doesn’t take as much of a toll on the outside of your body as it does the inside. Dean was a good man, a good friend,” he said, putting down what I could now see was a picture of Dean, “and he will be missed. Just do me a favor while you’re out there today, find Bella and let her know. Make sure she’s alright, and let her know that she’s welcome to come to dinner any time.”
“I will dad, and I’ll find the bastard behind this too.”
“That’s my son. Now go on, I still expect a full report from you later.”
I saluted him, in the mocking way that we always did whenever he had to give me orders, and then turned and left his office. There was a lot riding on this case, and I wasn't going to let my father down. I would catch this killer, even if I had to do it with my last breath.
When I got to the apparition point, the group was already there. Some were somber, silently mourning Dean’s untimely death. Others were abuzz with excitement, ready to take on this case full force. I looked at each person, slowly studying their features. After I had lost my first man during a mission almost two years ago, I had made a point to try and remember everything I could about each person going on a mission with me, even if we expected it to be a risk free operation. If there was one thing that I had learned while being an Auror, it was that there was no absolute risk free operation. There was always a chance that some unforeseen circumstance could come about with deadly results.
“Alright,” I called out, silencing the small chatter that had taken over the group, “we are going to be apparating into the master bedroom since that has the most coverage and the least likely place for someone to spot a bunch of people just randomly showing up. From there, we will check out each room, looking for any clues that can tell us who is behind this. We will make our way downstairs, the body is in the living room which is right in front of the entrance. Jordan, you're our best for figuring out the cause of death, so I'll leave that to you. Tori, I want you to find Bella. I figure since you were friends with her in school, she'll take the news easiest from you. Lets head out everyone.”
I was the first to arrive at the scene, and took the small moment alone to glance about Dean's bedroom. He was a very tidy person, and if I wouldn't have known better, I would have wondered if he even slept here at all. It didn't take long for the group to assemble, and only a few stumbled on objects as they appearated in.
“Is everyone clear on the task at hand? Jordan, I want you to head down right away, we will have enough bodies to search the rest of the house.” I was met with silence for a moment, until a chuckle sounded out. “Can I ask whats so funny Rodgers?”
“It's just-” but I was never able to find out what he had deemed so funny as the door had slammed open causing at least half of us to jump.
I looked over and there stood a tall brunette holding out a badge, indicating that she was a muggle police officer.
“Everyone clear out of here,” she shouted out. “You are disturbing a crime scene and for that, you could be fined. If you go now however, I will forget this ever happened.”
“We don’t have to go,” I told her, trying to hold back a chuckle. If only she knew that we were actually more suited for this job than she was.“You see, we are investigating this murder as well.”
“Let me see your badges then?”
I reached into my pocket, and grabbed the badge that was there in case we were to ever run into a muggle while investigating. “Is this proof enough for you?”
“Fine, but then what are you all doing up here instead of with the body,” she asked us, seeming happy that she may have caught us on a lie.
“I suppose,” I told her, “doing the same thing that you are. Searching the house for any clues as to who had killed Dean Thomas.”
“Oh, well, I guess that does make sense. I’ll leave you to it,” and then she turned and walked down towards the other end of the hallway before ducking into another room.
“Well, now we know that there are muggles about, so wands away, and no funny business. Let's get to it.”
The group quickly split up, some going downstairs with Jordan to begin the search and a few stayed behind to look over the master bedroom. I had decided to follow after the woman and headed towards the other end of the hallway. There was something appealing about her and the way in which she seemed to demand attention and held herself. I briefly peaked my head into each room as I passed, looking for anything that seemed out of order, but everything looked almost as if it hadn't been touched since the last time I had been in this house.
I had finally caught up to her as she peaked into the loo.
“Anything in there,” I asked, though I was sure I knew the answer. What would one find in the loo anyways?
“No, just the loo,” was her response. I could tell that she was a bit let down that she didn't find anything and I couldn't blame her really. This case was puzzling in so many ways, it would have been nice to find something.
“Rotten luck, that was her last hope,” I told her, hoping that maybe the news of us finding nothing as well would cheer her up a bit.
“Well then,” I said, gesturing towards the staircase.
She seemed a bit defeated, but finally turned back towards the loo to shut the door. At least I had thought that's what she meant to do but instead, she walked in. I gave it a minute, thinking that maybe she needed to use the loo herself but when the door didn't close behind her, I decided to follow her in. It wasn't until I was right up behind her that I looked up and noticed what she had already.
There, on the mirror, was the word 'Wanderers' written in bright pink lipstick. I had to contain the bit of joy that surged my body at finally having a clue! Of course this could only mean that our killer was of the female variety. And the fact that the word Wand was underlined lightly must mean that they themselves are a witch! I couldn't wait to tell my father of this new development. I felt sure that this meant we would finally be able to figure out who was behind these killings.
“You know, I could kiss you right now for finding this. This brings me one step closer to catching Dean’s killer.”
“You act as if you know the man,” she said, looking at me.
“I do,” I admitted, which caused her to gasp. “He was a friend of my fathers. They were in the same year. He wasn’t terribly close to Dean, but I did see the man from time to time. He was a nice guy; he should have never ended up this way. Though few who do end up this way ever deserve it.”
“Well, I’m sorry for your loss,” she told me.
I shrugged my shoulders, not really sure what to say, though I wanted to say something, anything more to keep her talking. After a few moments of silence, I had decided to just leave it at that and walk away before something stupid came out of my mouth like it always did.
There were a bunch of people in the living room when I got there, and could see that the muggles did not appreciate having us here. Some were shooting weird looks at Jordan as he checked over the body, spouting off several theories of what happened. Of course he was careful to not spout off his ideas about magic, and I personally couldn't wait to hear them later.
Beyond all the bodies, I managed to catch a glimpse of Dean's body. It was now resting on the floor, though the markings on the couch told me that that's where he had been previously. I couldn't help but blanch at the sight of his body. Whoever did this must have been particularly upset with him as it was the most mangled any of the bodies had been.
I decided not to linger in the living room, and instead, began to make my way through the main floor. It was as I had suspected, everything was still in the same spot that it always was. And not surprisingly, there were no more clues to be found. As a matter of fact, the only interesting thing to be found, was in the very last room. There she was, the girl from upstairs, lips pressed up against some other mans, as he ran his hands through her hair. What was I thinking, of course a girl like that would already have a boyfriend. Besides, she was a muggle, there was nothing there for me anyways. I cleared my throat a bit, and had to hold back a chuckle as the two jumped apart rather quickly.
“My appologizes,” I told them, “I didn't realize that this room was taken.”
“Oh, it's not,” she responded. “Or I mean to say, that its not what it looks like. Actually, I guess it is exactly what it looks like but, oh bullocks.”
This time, I did chuckle. I couldn't help but think about how cute she looked while she was flustered. There was a spark in her eyes, one that lingered on being mischievous, but not quite. It was a beauty that couldn't quite be matched. And again, I had to remind myself that she was a muggle and one that was clearly taken.
“Al,” I heard someone shout my name. My face dropped as I recognized that voice, it was Victoire, or Tori as we all had taken to calling her, which could only mean one thing. And that was when I heard the piercing scream that confirmed my thoughts, Bella Thomas was here.
I spun around and left the kissing couple behind me as I headed back towards the living room. I had hoped that we could keep Bella from seeing her father like this, but it appeared that Victoire had been unable to keep her away.
They were easy to spot among the sea of people, as Bella thrashed her way through the group of people that surrounded her father. What I saw next, was probably one of the saddest things that I had ever had to witness. I watched as Bella's eyes finally made contact with her fathers body, and saw the color drain from her face, the pain well up in her eyes, and the look of horror that took over her. Her body slumped and fell to her knees on the ground as wracking sobs began to drown out everything else.
“What is she doing here,” I finally asked Tori as I approached them.
“She wanted to see her father Al, and who was I to deny that?”
“An Auror,” I whispered furiously, and glanced around to make sure that no one had over heard. “What if she were to let something slip about magic with all these muggles around? What then Victoire?”
“How was I to know that they were here? Besides, if it had been my father, I would have wanted to see him too. Wouldn't you have wanted that same option?”
“You know what, it doesn't matter any more. Just make sure that she doesn't say anything.”
“You can be a right git sometimes Albus Severus,” she said, and I winced at the use of my name.
I watched as the muggles began to pack up and leave. It was obvious that we weren't going to find anything else here today. Maybe with the light of a new day we could go back over everything and find something new, but for today, everyone was spent and nothing was revealing itself as strange.
“Alright everyone,” I called out, “let's pack it in for the day.” Then I turned to the two girls next to me, the one still sobbing uncontrollably, “Bella, why don't you come stay with us for a bit. I know my parents would love to have you over for dinner tonight, its the least we can do.”
“If it's alright with you, I would like to be alone with my father for a bit,” she said, though her voice was so low I had to concentrate to hear it.
“Take your time,” I told her. “Tori, will wait outside for you and bring you over whenever you are ready.”
“Thanks,” she whispered as she ran her hand through her fathers hair, trying to smooth it down.
Victoire and I made our way to the front door, and just as we were about to step out, we could hear Bella speak to her father, “it's all my fault, I'm so sorry.” She repeated that a few times before she was once more drowned out by her sobs.
“Poor girl,” I said, as I closed the door behind us, “thinking its her fault her father is dead.”
“It's a common thing,” Tori replied, “I think its something along the lines of survivor's guilt. She feels bad because she's alive but yet her father is not.”
“Well whatever it is, she has to know that it's not her fault.”
AN: Hey everyone, thanks for reading chapter two. I hope that you are all enjoying it so far. First I must apologize for any mistakes in this chapter, I'm still working on getting a beta for this story. Second, don't forget to let me know what you think! It only takes a minute and every review really makes my day!
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