Chapter 12 : Terror
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It was a night of terror. It is just that nobody knew it yet. People have died all over Great Britain, but none of the cases were seen because first it took a long time for each case to be discovered, and then when discovered they were seen to be individual events. But when three similar events happened in London, did the police begin to put two and two together, and they did not like what they came up with. Encrypted messages were sent to all police departments across England, and later included all of Great Britain.
People were being killed in their homes in random locations all across GB, there was no forced entry there was no cause of death. All they could point to was dead people. Sergeant Seth Parkinson was the first to recognize the hand of magic. He called the number that Kingsley Shacklebolt had given him.
Harry Potter was the first to apparate the Sergeant’s location. Splendid in his red robe and Aurors’ badge, he entered the central Police Station, announced himself and asked for Sergeant Parkinson. The Sergeant hustled out, saw Harry and brought him into the command center. There was a large wall map of London. Bright red markers marked the locations of the killings. There was also a map of Great Britain and it too was filled with markers.
Harry had only one word, and it was not pretty. “Yes, definitely the work of a wizard gone mad.”
A captain said it could not be the work of one man, and that they were all too far spread out.
Harry explained that it was no big deal to go from London to Glasgow in a few seconds. “There is no way we can tell in what order these events occurred. And, yes, it is most likely that it is only one man.”
The captain declared the impossibility thereof. Harry disapparated to Paris, bought a subway ticket and returned to the London Police Station and handed it to the captain. He then disapparated to Glasgow bought another subway ticket and returned to London, and handed that to the captain. “It is easy, it can as I have said be just one man. Gentlemen, we are in trouble.”
Harry took out his note book and penned a note to Ron:
1. Give Hedwig a package with a snitch in it. 2. Send Hedwig to find Yaxley and drop the package in front of the place where he is.
3. Track Hedwig, when the snitch stops, apparate there and capture Yaxley 4. Bring Yaxley to the Ministry Atrium
5. Thanks, Harry
Ron wrote back: “Working on it.”
Harry said to those gathered at police headquarters, “Now we wait. It will take Hedwig about an hour to find Yaxley, then Ron will capture him and bring him to the ministry. Kingsley, assemble the Wizengamot.”
“You can go wherever you want instantly, why will it take an hour to do this?”
“Hedwig is not a wizard; she is an owl. Wizards use owls for their postal service. Hedwig should be able to find Yaxley even if we cannot. The snitch that she is carrying is simply a game piece used in quidditch, similar to your soccer, but played on brooms in the air. It vibrates at a very unique frequency which Ron can track with the equipment in the Rook. Once the snitch stops moving we assume that Yaxley will be there, and Ron will apparate to that location and hopefully capture Yaxley.”
Harry continued, “Gather up all of the papers that we have and we will go to the Ministry to see what will happen.”
Kingsley saw what Harry wanted to do, he told the police seniors to come with him. They went out the front door and were besieged by reporters. Kingsley saw three TV reporters who had portable cameras, “You, You and You… get into your trucks and follow us.”
Harry took the papers and apparated to the Ministry. Kingsley got in a police car with senior officers and drove to the ministry, they went right into a large garage. Three TV vans went inside, and the door was closed. They walked to a blank door, Kingsley opened it with a key and they all stepped into the atrium of the Ministry of Magic. TV cameras were up and running. Kingsley stood in front of the cameras.
“Welcome to the Ministry of Magic. We regret very deeply and are acutely ashamed and embarrassed that this event has come to pass. This is clearly the work of a single rogue wizard. At the moment we have several Aurors that is Ministry of Magic Officers, who are tracking this individual whom we believe to be one Corban Alexander Yaxley. We expect to apprehend him and bring him here to the ministry within the hour. In the meanwhile, please feel free to visit and examine this atrium at our Ministry. Presently we are about one hundred fifty feet below the surface of the ground in central London. We are on the eighth level, above us are levels seven through one, below us are levels nine through twelve.”
At this moment, Harry apparated to the atrium. He just popped into existence before the eyes of the astonished cameramen. “I am Captain Harry Potter, at the moment we are searching for Corban Yaxley and we expect to bring him here within the hour. We will be taking him to the Chamber of Death on the 12th level of the ministry, where the full Wizengamot is awaiting his arrival. Yaxley may or may not be the wizard responsible for last night’s terror, but it is the best supposition that we have at the moment. Please enjoy the hospitality of our Ministry until the suspect arrives here in the custody of our Aurors.” Harry waved his wand and a table filled with coffee, tea, and pastries appeared before those assembled in the Atrium.
After about fifteen minutes there was a commotion in the atrium, and Ron appeared with Yaxley bound and gagged and levitated. They floated past the cameras. Harry announced “Ron and I are going to take Yaxley to the court chamber, if you will be so kind as to follow Minster Shacklebolt to the court room. Thank You.”
By the time the police and the reporters arrived in the court room / death chamber, Yaxley was already securely bound to the defendant’s chair. Harry stood on one side of him, Ron on the other. Kingsley showed the police officials to seats in the gallery behind the accused, and then took his place at the president’s podium in front of the Wizengamot, which was seated on tall risers behind him. All 100 members of the Wizengamot were present.
Kingsley spoke, “Witches and Wizards of the Wizengamot, and visitors here in invited, it is with deep sorrow that we meet here today in the aftermath of over 230 Muggle deaths caused by a Wizard who may be Corban Alexander Yaxley, who is in the dock before you for your examination. Major Harry Potter will begin the examination and presentation of evidence.”
Harry stood forward, there was a table in front of him with 20 folders on it. “Wizards and Witches of the Wizengamot, these folders were given to me by the London Police Department, some of their senior members are here to observe our proceedings. With them are members of the British Television services. I do not think that their signals can reach their trucks in our garage, but they are recording these proceedings for later broadcast to the people of Great Britain.
“Each of these folders represents a family that was killed last night. There was no breaking and entering. No signs of forced entry or otherwise. Examination of the victims shows no possible cause for death other than the fact that they are indeed dead.”
Harry walked to his right, to the left of the table as viewed by the Wizengamot. He opened a folder “Harold and Janice Victor of Oxford, son Ronald, Daughters Alice and Victoria.” Harry closed the folder and marked it with a “V”.
He went to the next folder “Frederick and Helen Olson of Southampton, sons Russell and Charles” Harry closed the folder and marked an “O” on it.
He went through the entire table of folders one at a time, closing them and marking them. When he was finished the folders on the table read VOLDEM-RTLIVE-I-YAXLEY. “There was nothing at all random about the selection of victims. Clearly not all of the victims have been discovered yet. I doubt that they were killed in this order, but He has clearly sent us a message.”
“I call as a witness Garrick Ollivander. Mr. Ollivander is well known to all of us, the Ollivanders have been making fine wands since the year 382.” Harry turned to look at the reporters, “That is 382 BC.”
“Mr. Ollivander, will you please examine this wand taken from this defendant. What can you tell us about it?”
Ollivander picked up the wand and examined it. “Hickory, Dragon Heart String, 12 ¾ inches, unyielding. I sold this wand to Corban Yaxley when he was eleven years old.”
“Thank you Mr. Ollivander, you may leave.”
“Captain Ron Weasley, will you please examine this wand. Please perform the Priori Incantatum charm on this wand.”
What happened next was a pure nightmare as victim after victim appeared from the wand. Harry opened folders and compared victims of the wand with the pictures in the police reports. He had to jump around a bit, since the victims were not killed in the order that Harry had laid out on the table. There were many victims for which there were no pictures, either they had not been discovered yet or else pictures were not taken.
When that was done, Ron put the wand down on the table.
Harry conjured a table directly in front of Yaxley, “Witches and Wizards of the Wizengamot, I am now going to examine Yaxley’s memory.” He sat down across from him. Harry held up his right index finger and the tip of it glowed blue. Yaxley’s eyes locked on the blue light which remained after Harry removed his finger. Harry looked into his eyes. He used a pensive-scope with was able to project these images on a screen erected behind him. There was no need for Harry to speak, the memories spoke for themselves. The TV cameras were catching all of this.
When he was finished Harry reached up and grabbed the blue light in his hand and Yaxley was able to look around the court room again.
Kingsley had not called for a vote but the first marble rolled down the chutes and was displayed in the rack at the front of the court. It was black. More marbles began to roll, they filled the rack, and when they stopped there were 100 black marbles in the rack.
Kingsley announced “Corban Alexander Yaxley, the Wizengamot has found you guilty.” He dismissed the marbles. “Does the Wizengamot find for the death penalty?”
More marbles began to roll down the chutes all at once, and then they rolled out onto the rack in front and when they stopped there were 100 red marbles in the rack.
“Corban Alexander Yaxley,” Intoned Kingsley Shacklebolt, “the Wizengamot has voted for the death penalty.”
“Major Harry Potter. Please carry out the death penalty.” One of the court room orderlies came to Harry and lowered the chair down so that Yaxley was laying on flat his back. Another orderly handed Harry the axe. It was a huge axe, very heavy, with a nasty round cutting blade. The orderly told Harry, “This axe will find its mark on its own, you only need lift it and then let it fall in the correct direction.”
Harry lifted the axe, paused and then let it fall. Yaxley’s head was severed cleanly and rolled through the death arch which was behind his chair. The orderlies came up and untied the body, and then Harry and Ron lifted the body and tossed it through the death arch.
The Wizengamot filed out Harry was left alone with the policemen and the reporters. Harry found a place to sit, Ron stood behind him. He looked at the officers and the cameramen. They began to ask questions.
“No our justice is not like English common law. If he was not guilty we would have seen that, but as you have seen the evidence was conclusive. We have shown that his wand was used to commit these crimes.” Harry broke the wand, and tossed it into a waste basket where it burst into flames. “We have examined his memory, and saw him in the act of committing these crimes. I will examine these folders some more for there is more code hidden in them.”
“Appeal? How does one appeal the truth? He could have spoken up at any time and we would have stopped to listen to him.
“I do not know why he started doing this, I have looked deep into his memory but I could not find any place where he may have snapped. We know the history of Mr. Yaxley, and he was already under sentence of death prior to this event. We could have executed him without further ado, but we wanted you people to have certain closure for this tragic event.”
“Ah yes, that is the arch of death. Please do not go near it. If you pass under it, you will never come out again. Once upon a time, maybe 500 years ago I do not know, Wizards wanted to plumb the secrets of death, to discover if there was a heaven or a hell. I do not know the results of this examination. No one has ever returned through that portal to tell us.”
“Yes, there is some very deep magic in this hall, not all of it good, I am afraid to say. It is better that it remains hidden here than to be let loose in the world above.”
A reporter asked “You introduced yourself as Captain Potter, yet the minister called you Major Potter.”
“Yeah, that was a surprise to me too, after all, I am only 20 years old. But the Minster of Magic is entitled to do as he pleases, and is rather fond of doing things like this. Good work earns immediate rewards, or so he would tell you if you asked him.”
“A pay raise? Well, I suppose so, not that it matters, the Potter family already has more money than I could ever possibly spend. I do not work for money, I work because the work is needed to be done and because I am not about to sit down and look at the walls. But I do not live for money, I live for life, every breath, every day, these are gifts from the most gracious God himself. A value far greater than money.”
“Well if there are no more questions let me guide you back upstairs. On this level to your right and to your left are more courtrooms, for little stuff, you know, you got people taking others to court all the time, right. This is the tenth level, and the Hall of Mysteries. Nobody knows what is down there except the Witches and Wizards who work down there, and they will not talk. Ah here we are back up to the atrium.”
“No, I do not have an office in here, I work on my own estate near Exeter, I have a castle there, filled with magic, and we do magical research. The methods we used today to locate Yaxley were only devised a week ago otherwise we would have brought him in before this happened. Fascinating work, and I get to keep my own hours, not that it makes all that much difference, the mind is always working… always working. Put your thoughts to good use, and live life like you mean it.”
Harry opened the door at the back of the atrium, and the visitors stepped into the garage at ground level.
“Yes,” Harry said, “this side of the door is at ground level, that side of the door is 150 feet below ground level, but that is how magic works, yes? Have a nice day, and if we can do anything for you just give us a call.”
Harry led them outside and then apparated back into the ministry, where he went up to Kingsley’s office.
Harry sat down, and Kingsley said, “Well, it is time to start our new Auror classes.”
Harry waited wondering what would come next, but what did come next was not what Harry expected. “I want you and Ron to conduct these classes, and if it is acceptable to you, I want you to run them at Potter Hall. I expect two to five students they can either apparate in, or can room and board at the Hall if that is acceptable to you. I want Major Weasley to manage physical training in conjunction with Masters Kim Ping and Won Fu, and for you to handle the intellectual side of the training.”
Harry replied, “I’ll have to consult with Ginny about some of this. After all it is her home, but if she is ok with this, then I am ok with it. Aurors should know more about families than what they get at Hogwarts, and may or may not have had at home.”
“Well, Harry, I’ll be waiting for your answer, if you cannot do it at home, then you will have to do it here at the Ministry somewhere, or maybe at Won Fu’s premises.”
Harry left Kingsley’s office, and floo to the Hall, collected his broom, and then floo to Harpies Stadium. He climbed on his broom and then flew high above the stadium. He watched the team fly, and saw Ginny stalking the snitch. Harry dropped down behind her and flew under her. He reached up and nabbed the snitch right from under her nose. Peeling off in a safe direction he flew up and then came down in the middle of the pitch. Ginny came down and landed next to him.
“Nice move,” she said, “I will indeed remember that one. Gwenog mentioned something to me which I want us to consider. She wants to hold a summer camp for new prospects, and guess where she thinks is the right place to hold it?”
“And guess what,” Harry replies, “Kingsley wants to start a new Auror’s class, and guess where he wants to hold it?”
Ginny and Harry had a good laugh, and walked to the office. Gwenog asked Ginny, “Did you ask him, will that work for you guys.”
“Well, let us sit down and talk this through,” Replied Ginny, “Kingsley wants us to host Auror classes during the year. We will have to fit these together. It is far better for us to have a house full of people than to look at the walls by ourselves.”
Harry floo back to Potter Hall and found Ron there. He sat down and spoke with him. They were to be instructors for the new crop of Aurors. They decided that classes would begin on September first, run thru May 15, and there would be a limit eight students. Ron would manage the physical side with Kim Ping and Won Fu. Harry would manage the didactic side of the classes.
Ginny and Gwenog floo to the Hall, and it was decided that Quidditch camp would run from June 15th to August 15th. The Harpies would provide manpower to switch Harry’s bedrooms from double beds to a pair of twin beds in each room, but that Harry would buy and store the twin beds. Per-diem would be covered by the Harpies, and Harry, Ron and Ginny would assist as instructors with the typical salaries. Harry would solicit campers from 6th and 7th year students.
Having this schedule in hand, Harry floo to the Ministry and visited Kingsley with his plans. “It is a tight schedule that you will be running, Harry, my boy, but it looks good to me. You will of course give time off for the Christmas holiday. You can advertise this to the graduating 7th year students when you meet at Hogwarts.”
So it was that on a Friday in April, Harry asked for and received permission to hold an assembly on Friday Afternoon. The Great Hall was filled.
“There was a terrible terror incident involving a wizard in the Muggle world. Over 230 Muggles were killed by Corban Yaxley. I am going to run TV reports that were recorded inside the Ministry. This is the first time ever that Muggle reporters did reporting or anything else from inside the Ministry. You can see why Minister Shacklebolt allowed this. We did not edit this tape, but the muggle network did, because at the trial, we went through every one of the attacks. I think you will find it interesting, and if you grew up with muggle TV about justice in GB, our justice will look very stark and harsh in comparison. I will only say that to whom much has been given, much more is expected. We as Witches and Wizards hold ourselves to a much higher standard.”
The Video ran for about 45 minutes. “Any Questions?”
“You killed that guy?”
“Yes, I did, I did not know that I was going to have to do this. Now I know. By the way, the court orderly told me I only had to lift that axe, and it would find its target all on its own. So I just lifted it, and the axe actually did the rest.”
“No more questions, if you have any you can see me privately. Now I have an announcement from Minister Shacklebolt. If any seventh year student wants to become an Auror, now be the time to apply to the Ministry. I have forms with me. The class will be limited to eight students, so you will want to be one of the best. You will need a reference from Headmaster McGonagall.”
“I have one more announcement. The Hollyhead Harpies will be running a quidditch camp this summer. The Harpies are an all-woman team, so the camp is open to 6th and 7th year female students, with 7th year students receiving priority. I have the application forms with me, and you will need a reference from your team captain and if you are under 17, you will need your parents to also sign the form. The camp is from June 15th to August 15th.”
“I do not know if other teams will be having such camps, but Ginny is on the Harpies team, and the camp will be held at Potter Hall. If you write to other teams, you will find out what if anything they are doing.”
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