Chapter 4 : Godric's Hollow Attack
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"I think you should publish a book on all the things you run into. Seriously!" Iris laughed, grabbing onto my arm as she regained her composure. I felt the familiar tingle in my arm that she put in me when
ever we touched.
"I think there are laws against that, actually." I told her, taking a drink from the water bottle I had. I leaned back on the couch, grinning at her. "Confidentiality and everything."
"We could change the names!" Iris tucked one leg underneath her as she turned towards me. "Raine could be.... Thunder or something. And the guy she tackled could be Coffee Thief!"
"It was a bit extreme to tackle someone for stealing coffee. She does have a wand for that." I mulled over the story I had just told Iris about earlier this week.
"You apparently don't mess with Raine Nott and her hot beverages." Iris said with a giggle.
"Enough about my work week... any big stories or gossip that I should know about?" I asked with a wiggle of my eyebrows. Iris rolled her eyes, grabbing her tea cup and taking a sip.
"Of course not. I have too much trouble writing gossip that might not even be true. It could really ruin someone's reputation, you know?" She sighed, setting down her cup. "The editor is actually threatening to let me go if I don't come up with a good story soon."
I placed my hand on her knee. "Do you really want to keep working for a paper that you don't enjoy what you do? I could give a call to my Aunt who runs the Quibbler. Could get you in there for the time being."
"I don't think I could write about Nargles, but thank you, Al. That means a lot." She smiled at me, reaching forward with her hand and stroking my cheek affectionately.
Though Iris and I had only been seeing each other for a few weeks, I felt like I knew everything about her. She absolutely hated her job at the Daily Prophet, but really hoped to be moving out of her department and into an actual reporting position. Her parents, who had had her later in life, were in support of whatever she did. She was an only child and always had wanted a younger sibling. She currently lived in a small flat with her friend, Alicia, but really wanted her own place.
"So I was thinking...we spend most of our weekends together..maybe we should have an official sleepover." Iris's cheeks flushed at her words and I found my own face growing hot. A real sleepover. Though it sounded childish, I definitely understood the adult innuendo she put behind her words. I swallowed hard.
"When were you thinking?" I asked, running through the odds of Scorpius being at Rose's flat on a given night.
"Why not tonight?" She looked at me hopefully.
It was that moment that the doorbell chimed through the flat. I found myself mentally kicking the person behind the door. I thought about not answering it, but when it chimed for a second time more urgently, I gave Iris an apologetic smile before getting off of the couch and going towards the door, swearing under my breath. As I pulled open the door, Aidan and Luca entered without so much as a greeting.
"I swear butterbeer is getting more expensive every day!" Luca groaned, setting the case of butterbeer down on the kitchen table.
It was then that I realized it was Friday night. While we had cancelled last week, we hadn't cancelled this week's dorm mate hangout. In fact, we had decided to do it at our flat this week. And I had completely forgotten.
As if on queue, there was a loud POP and Scorpius appeared next to Aidan with a large grin on his face.
"Right on time!" Aidan cheered, clapping Scorpius on the back. I glanced towards the couch where Iris had turned towards us with a quizzical look on her face.
"Iris, is that you?" Scorpius had located the source of my attention and everyone immediately turned towards the couch. Iris's face grew red at the attention.
"I am here on your mate's night, aren't I?" She asked quietly, though she already knew the answer. I rubbed the back of my neck awkwardly.
"I'm sorry Iris. I completely forgot about tonight." I went towards her, but she was on her feet before I made it close.
"It's no problem, Al. Really." She insisted, but wouldn't look me in the eye. I ran my hand through my hair, a habit that I was not too fond of.
"Can I come over tomorrow?" I asked and she gave me a small smile and a nod before kissing my cheek and apparating away.
"Did we interrupt a proposal or something?" Scorpius asked, popping open a butterbeer and handing it to me as I came into the kitchen.
"She wanted to have a sleepover." I told them and Aidan winced slightly.
"Sorry mate. For a good shag, we definitely would have re-scheduled." He turned a chair around, sitting on it backwards.
"No, we wouldn't have! We don't cancel those for you." Luca chimed in, only to receive a smirk from Aidan.
"That's because I always get good shags. Potter doesn't."
"Who even says she'd be a good shag?" Scorpius reached into one of our cupboards and pulled out poker chips.
"She's a ginger. They're always good shags. Feel like you should know that, mate." Aidan laughed as Scorpius's cheeks tinged pink slightly at the mention of his red-headed girlfriend.
"Can we not talk about Scorpius shagging my cousin?" I asked, taking the seat opposite Aidan as Luca waved his wand, cards appearing in front of him as he began to shuffle them.
"Do you think Lily would be a good shag?" Aidan asked our other two mates. "She is probably a fiesty one. She's got that Potter spunk!"
I threw the nearest thing at Aidan, which happened to be a bottle cap. It missed by a few inches.
"I'll murder you, Aidan." I growled towards him, receiving a barking laugh in response.
"Watch out. He has a license to kill now that he's an Auror." Luca smiled good naturedly at me as he started dealing cards out.
"Potter couldn't kill a fly let alone one of his best mates." Aidan responded easily. I opted to not reply as I sighed, picking up my cards. Scorpius picked up his too, ending Aidan's teasing towards me.
"Any word on the Pureblood registration?" Luca asked me, placing some of his chips in the middle of the table.
Rumors had been spreading over the past week about the Ministry putting together a Pureblood registration system to keep a closer eye on Pureblood families. Really, the only reason there was talk about it was to calm those who were becoming extremists against Purebloods. There wasn't anything that would be done about the registration, so it didn't make much sense as to why it would be put together at all. I hadn't bothered to ask Father if the rumors were true or not.
"Not that I've heard of." I answered, putting my own anti in the pot.
"I don't understand all the fear. The war has been over for ages." Scorpius mumbled. I knew his family had been under a lot of heat after all the pressure had been placed on the Purebloods. Although Scorpius tended to stay away from the limelight, I knew it still got to him.
"People are afraid. If something isn't done, then that fear is only going to get worse and the extremists are going to act up more and more. People could get hurt." Luca said, taking a swig of his butterbeer.
"We can't live in fear of our own shadows. It's pathetic." Aidan chimed in, rolling his eyes.
"Think how Purebloods would react to being asked to register onto any sort of list." Scorpius added and my thoughts immediately wandered over to Raine, who nearly bit off a fellow Auror's head for even bringing up the subject of the Registry.
"Better than people getting hurt at the hands of the extremists, don't you think?" Luca asked. This was the hard part about the troubles we were facing. You could see both sides, but unless you were invested in one side strongly, it didn't seem to affect you as much.
"We don't do things because we are bullied into doing them by extremists. We don't do things because of fear. I feel like we should have learned that from History of Magic back at Hogwarts." Scorpius growled. I felt the tension getting high. Luca never understood the Pureblood side of things and though I couldn't blame him, being in Slytherin should have given him a better understanding of where Scorpius was coming from.
"I don't think Dad would let it go through anyways." I interrupted before things got worse.
"Fold." Luca threw his cards forward.
"A galleon says Al still doesn't get that shag tomorrow night." Scorpius changed the subject with a snicker.
"I'll take that bet!" Luca said and I rolled my eyes at the group.
"I'll raise that bet to five galleons that he doesn't get it."
"Thanks Aidan." I grunted.
The following day, Iris sent me an owl telling me she got called into the office and wouldn't be able to see me that evening. Whether it was true or not, I still had to give Scorpius a galleon since I had ended up betting in my favor the night before. Iris's letter had a frown face at the end, so I could only hope that she actually did get called in and I wasn't getting stood up. Nevertheless, any motivation to leave my flat was completely erased. As five o'clock rolled around, I was in my Slytherin pajama bottoms and a Weird Wizard's t-shirt, eating popcorn and watching a documentary on wand-making.
"Are you sulking?" Scorpius asked, coming into the living room. I looked up at him with a raised eyebrow.
"Why would I sulk?" I asked. Scorpius dug into his pocket and showed me my galleon. "Course not. She had to go to work."
"Or so she said."
I sighed, rolling my eyes. "I believe her, mate."
"If you say so!" Scorpius sang, putting the galleon back in his pocket with a grin. "You sure you are going to be okay by yourself watching your documentaries or do you need a shoulder to cry on tonight? I can cancel with Rose."
"Bugger off, Scorpius." I growled at him, throwing a kernel in his direction. He laughed and shook his head at me, turning towards our flat door.
"If I find tissues with your tears stained into them, don't say I didn't offer!" He called before slamming the door shut behind him.
About halfway through my bowl of popcorn, a silver gleam of light caught my eye near the window. I saw the patronus sneaking its way through the window and into the living room, landing gracefully on top of the coffee table. When the beautiful Jaguar appeared before me, it's eyes searching the room to make sure we were alone, I didn't have to question who's patronus it was. When it spoke, I wasn't surprised to hear Raine's voice.
"There was an attack in Godric's Hollow. Come immediately." She said and with a swift movement, the patronus was gone.
I didn't even bother to change out of my clothes as I grabbed my wand I had discarded into the couch and apparated straight to Godric's Hollow.
In my defense, when someone says "immediately" that typically means you don't have time to blink let alone change into decent attire. When that someone is Raine Nott, you don't spare any of your time with the small things like that. When I apparated onto the crowded main street of Godric's Hollow, the weird looks were immediate. People began whispering to one another as I pushed my way through the crowd, talking about the weird "Potter boy" and wondering why an Auror would dress this way.
I couldn't blame them. I wasn't even wearing socks or shoes.
When I managed to get to the front of the crowd, I noticed a home was completely blocked off by a few Auror guards and about 4 Aurors were standing in a group, talking in hushed tones outside of the front door. MLE Officers mulled about, trying to control the growing crowd. The house looked completely normal, like nothing was abnormal about it. As soon as Raine's eyes fell on me, she got silent and raised an eyebrow.
"Weird Wizards? Really?" She asked, staring down at my shirt. I wished I would have brought a cloak.
"You said to come immediately." I responded, crossing my arms over my chest to hide my shirt. I watched Raine's eyes wander down to my feet, but she held her tongue.
"Glad to see you actually listened." A few of the Auror's snickered at her words. She gestured me forward, towards the modest home and through the front door.
I hadn't expected the home to be in complete order, but when we entered, I was completely taken back. The place was a mess. The walls were crumbling, the furniture was upturned and torn, and I don't think there was a single thing that would have been salvageable. The thing that I noticed the most, however, was the distinct metallic smell that hit my nose. Blood. A lot of it. It was covering almost every bit of furniture and even smeared on the wall.
"What the bloody hell happened here?" I asked quietly. I stepped further into the home, stepping over a dismantled end table.
"The Burke family was attacked while visiting the eldest of the family, Ophelia Burke. Lycan Zippen, a muggle born who lives a few homes down, came in and demanded that the family state their business for being in Godric's Hollow. When they refused to indulge Lycan, he became violent. Three of the family members were brought to St. Mungos along with Lycan and they have sustained serious injuries. No deaths."
I couldn’t read the expression on Raine's face when the MLE Officer recited the occurrence to me. She was staring at a portrait that was hanging crooked on the wall, a frown deep on her face. I would have thought she was petrified if it wasn't for her chest moving up and down to signal she was breathing. I took a tentative step towards her, but when she didn't move, I put a hand on her shoulder. She leapt slightly, but turned her eyes towards me. It was like she was just realizing I was there.
"You okay, Raine?" I asked her. She blinked a few times, composing herself.
"Why would they have to justify a visit to their grandmother?" She asked quietly so no one else could hear her. She crossed her arms, trying not to look as vulnerable as her question made her.
"They shouldn't. It's the atmosphere these extremists have made that they think Purebloods need to explain their every move." I told her and she nodded once, but I knew this whole situation hit her deeper than she would say out loud.
"Brother!" I heard James as he came stomping from the back of the home. "Horrid mess, huh? Hate to be the elf that cleans this up!"
"People were hurt, James." I mumbled, sighing at James's non-chalantness about the situation.
"Well obviously. There isn't this much blood unless some serious damage was done." James grabbed the portrait that Raine had been studying and straightened it.
"This is a crime scene, Potter. You can't touch everything!" Raine growled at him, slapping his hand away from a vase that had tipped on it's side.
"It's my crime scene, Nott. I can do what I want." He siad with a smirk, grabbing the vase and putting it up-right.
"Your crime scene? But I-"
"You were told to stay away from anything regarding the troubles, Nott." Stanley's voice came from the doorway as he waddled into the room. He seemed bigger than the whole house and I genuinely wondered how he fit through the front door. "So yes, this is Potter's case."
"But Sir, I-" Raine began, but Stanley cut her off with a cold glare.
"You are the last person that would be on this case, Nott. You have too much of a personal investment here." Stanley boomed loud enough to grab the attention of everyone on the first floor. I could see Raine's cheeks flush pink slightly, but she didn't let her embarrassment show.
"If there is anyone that the Burkes would want on this case, it would be me." Raine told Stanley, standing her ground. She had a point. I couldn't imagine the Burkes and Notts weren't good friends.
"Good thing it isn't up to them. They got themselves into this mess and now we have to clean up after them." Stanley glared at Raine and I found myself backing up at his narrowed eyes. "Purebloods think we would drop everything for them."
"That's a little extreme." I found myself saying, much to my own surprise. All heads snapped towards me in pure shock. James looked most fearful, shaking his head at me for speaking up.
"What was that, Potter?" Stanley asked dangerously. I glanced at Raine, who seemed a little hopeful that she wouldn't be the only one on this side. I then realized that I needed to say something. Anything.
"We can't generalize Purebloods because of Death Eaters. We can't lump them all together. We are supposed to go on a case by case basis, or did I forget what the Auror's office stood for?" I tried to puff out my chest slightly to feign confidence. By the unamused look on Stanley's face, I failed at that.
"And this is coming from a Potter? What would your father say, hmm? Think he would be all for Pureblood equality when not even Purebloods believe we are all equal?" Stanley bit towards me and I felt like I was slapped at his words and for bringing my father into this.
"Now wait a minute." James cut in, stepping towards me and Raine. "Father has nothing to do with this."
"You would just think that his own son would understand that Purebloods will always pose a threat to the community, whether or not this is the age of war nor not." He retorted easily. "They are so headstrong in their beliefs that it is only a matter of time before they try to rise again."
"It's this kind of attitude that has the extremists attacking innocent people!" Raine hissed.
"Innocent? You really think all of you are innocent? Your families attacked countless innocent people only years ago." Stanley countered. I think I could see the vein in Raine's neck ready to burst.
"That is enough." I heard someone from behind me and was completely shocked to see Father standing in the doorway, his cloak wrapped tightly around him. He had a passive look on his face, but when he made eye contact with me, I could have sworn I saw a bit of pride.
"Mr. Potter-" Stanley began, but Father looked at him and he seemed to stop in his tracks.
"I thought I should come down here when I heard about the attack. Make sure that justice was brought for the man who committed this attack on the Burkes." Father said calmly, not addressing what he had walked in on.
His words, however, were anything but passive. He was telling Stanley that what his stance was on the entire situation and I couldn't have been prouder to be his son. I glanced at James who looked as relieved as I felt. Stanley looked like he had been slapped in the face by Father. The home was silent as those who had been watching noticed the stance of Harry Potter, the one person who might have actually had a vendetta against Purebloods.
"Who is point on this case?" Father asked, glancing at the three of us Aurors.
"I am." James stepped forward and I could see Raine's jaw clench in dislike. The action didn't go unnoticed by Father either as he glanced at Raine, and then at me.
"James, I expect a full prosecution for Lycan. Stanley, I want the press to be aware of exactly what is going on in every step of this prosecution. People need to see that the Ministry will not stand for this type of violence towards any group of people and that there will be severe consequences for those who do not obey our laws or think they are above them."
My heart swelled with pride.
"Yes, Sir." Stanley mumbled, turning and waddling away from the house. Father turned towards Raine and myself. He gave Raine a small smile.
"Miss Nott, I could use your assistance with this. Can you please go to St. Mungos and get the official statements of the Burkes? They will trust you more than any other Auror in our department." We both knew that Father was throwing her a bone and the smile was a sympathetic smile, but Raine took it anyways.
"Yes, I can do that." She said, giving him a small smile in return. Raine went to leave, but turned towards me and gave my shoulder a light squeeze. "Thanks, Potter."
With that she left. My arm felt incredibly warm where she had just touched.
"Are you sleeping with Nott?" James asked. I looked at him like he was completely mental.
"James Potter." Father scolded his question in such a public environment.
"It's a legitimate question! She doesn't touch people." James shrugged and I rolled my eyes, turning towards where Raine had just been.
Come to think of it, it was the first time she had given me any inkling of a friendship. Maybe I was finally breaking through to her. Or she was going crazy. I wouldn't be surprised by either.
"So.... tell me about Iris." I looked up in shock at Mum, who was trying to thumb non-chalantly through the rack of dress robes.
"Who told you-" I started, but sighed and groaned. "Lily. Lily told you."
"Are things serious?" Mum asked, not looking in my direction, trying to seem discreet. But I knew her. She was itching to hear absolutely everything about Iris and I.
Mum and I were currently shopping for the annual Second-Wizarding War Gala that was to occur in just a few short weeks. The Ministry put on the gala every year around the time the second wizarding war ended to celebrate the big day. Father had to make a few speeches, much to his dislike. Those invited had an extravagant meal and tended to be a nice way to say goodbye to the rainy spring and welcome summer. Father absolutely hated the event, but he never missed making an appearance, nor did he let any of us kids try to skip out of it.
"We only just started seeing each other." I told her, letting the tailor wrap their measuring tape around my ankle a bit too tight.
"You haven't dated anyone in a while, Albus." She was looking at me this time with raised eyebrows and I could only roll my eyes in response.
"I know, Mother." I groaned. She sighed, moving around the rack she was entranced in and watched the tailor taking my measurements. "Where is James anyways? How'd he get out of this?"
"He is working." Mum said with a wave of her hand. I thought about the Burkes case and wondered how much progress he was making. "He tends to look like a troll during these events anyways, so there really wasn't much hope. He doesn't know how to clean up very well."
"That's so nice of you to say about your son," I told her with a laugh.
"I really do wonder how he gets women so often." She mulled and I couldn't help but snort. I wondered that all the time about James. "So will Iris be your date for the gala?"
"I'm not sure. I haven't talked to her about it." In fact, I hadn't talked to her since she cancelled our date a few nights ago. I wondered if she was giving me the cold shoulder or if she really was as busy as she said she was.
"It's only two weeks away, Albus." Mum scolded. I felt a pin poke me gently in my rib cage and I cringed away slightly.
"Sorry." The tailor mumbled but I gave him a small smile to let him know it was fine.
"She's very busy, Mother. She might not be able to go." I told her, which was true. Or at least based on what she had said.
"Well what about Raine Nott? Your partner? I'm sure she'd be a lovely date." Mum pressed. "Your father seems to like her."
"Father pities her for being a Pureblood, which she hates, by the way." I put my arms out at the instructions of the tailor. "And I am not taking Raine Nott as my date, nor would she ever consider it herself. I don't need a date."
"I just want to see you happy, darling." Mum reached up and stroked my cheek with her thumb. I sighed and gave her another eye roll.
"I am happy, Mum." I told her, but she didn't look too convinced. I decided to throw her a small bit of information as an offering. "Iris has red hair like you."
Her whole face lit up at my words.
"Does she really? You know they say you always tend to be attracted to people who remind you of your mother." She grinned. I cringed at her words.
"I'm not attracted to Iris because she is like you, Mum."
"What's she like?"
I paused for a moment, wondering if Mum was going to hunt Iris down and question her the way she was questioning me. I wouldn’t put it past her. She was always very invested in her children's love lives. I think it was why none of us had serious relationships.
"She works for the Prophet. Relaxed personality. Poised." I rattled off a few general things with a shrug.
"And is there anything going on with Raine Nott? James seems to think so." Mum asked and I groaned in response. Ever since Raine had showed any sort of nicety towards me, James seemed to think it was a declaration of love.
"There is nothing going on between Raine and I. We are partners. James is delusional." The tailor waved his wand and his tape measure disappeared. I jumped off of the stool and landed next to Mum.
"I just want to know if I should be expecting a request for my engagement ring or not." Mum teased, waving her hand in front of my face.
"I'm not proposing to anyone!" I squeaked and she laughed, wrapping her arm through mine.
"Just make sure you do before James, okay? He would lose my ring if I gave it to him."
"It's lovely to know you think so highly of your son."
"I think very highly of you." She winked at me, dragging me from the store and into the busy Diagon Alley. Rain was just starting to come down on the streets and people were rushing to their final destinations before the rain really picked up.
"What about Lily? Doesn't her love life interest you?" I asked, hoping to get the topic off of me.
"She is in love with her job. I don't think she remembers what being held by a man feels like."
"Dear Merlin! I thought you were in your 20's! You are no longer a teenager anymore. Do we need to have that talk again?" She asked, pulling me towards our favorite ice cream shop.
"No. Please. No." I moaned and she laughed at my expense, patting my arm.
"Good. Now buy your Mum some ice cream. Your wallet probably needs to get rid of some of the weight that is surely there." Mum opened the door to the parlor with a mischievous grin.
"Why do I have a feeling you are going to get an extra large?" I asked, walking in.
"Because I am."
Author's Note: So we are diving a little bit into the deeper stuff now! What do you guys think? Does it all make sense? Do you like that Raine is acting a bit nicer to Albus or do you think there is something hidden there that we aren't seeing?
How did you like getting some more Ginny Potter? I always loved writing her into things and was super excited I had room to do so this chapter!
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