Chapter 20 : Murderer
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So, they had apparated to Teddy and Dominique’s cozy home without a moment to lose. James knocked eagerly on the door, finally feeling a sense of hope for the first time since Al had first been wounded, since James had been informed he had a piece of Parker Namken living inside him, and since this whole ordeal had begun.
Teddy answered the door, most likely panicked by James’ furious knocking. He answered, his eyes wide and startled, but when he realized it was only James and Norah, he calmed.
“Why the bloody hell were you knocking like that?” he asked incredulously.
“We know how we can find Dominique. But we need your help,” said James.
“Whatever it is, I’m in,” said Teddy without delay.
James grinned. “I had a feeling you would say that.”
Teddy brought them in to explain the situation, so James and Norah followed eagerly into the living room of the house, where they sat down to explain. James told him everything—how he had demanded a prophecy regarding how to rescue Dominique just as he had done for Al’s fate, how Pansy and Teddy were the key to rescuing Dominique, and how Teddy would have to pretend to be Parker Namken if everything were to work.
At first, Teddy didn’t seem onboard, not because he didn’t want to help but because he wasn’t sure he could pull it off. He doubted he could successfully convince Pansy Namken that she was his son. But he did know one thing—he had to try.
So when Teddy agreed, they moved from one home to the next. With Teddy in tow, they then showed up on Harry and Ginny’s doorstep. Ginny answered the door, seeming surprised to see all three of them.
“What’s going on?” she asked uneasily, seeing their expressions.
“We think we can help get Dominique back, but we need to talk to Dad. Is he here?” he asked.
Ginny nodded and stepped aside, opening the door wider for them to enter. “In his study.”
“Thanks, Mum,” James said, and he kissed his mother’s cheek as he passed her.
They weaved through the house and let themselves into Harry’s study. Harry was sitting at his desk, rubbing his forehead in pain as he tried to collect this thoughts and think of his next move. He looked up inquisitively at his visitors.
“James,” he greeted. “It’s late. What’s wrong?”
“Nothing—hopefully. I think we have a way of getting Pansy Namken to talk.”
Harry stood straighter as his curiosity grew, and he rubbed his chin. “What did you have in mind?”
“We use Teddy,” said James curtly. “Teddy is a metamorphmagus. He could become Parker. If Pansy Namken sees that we have her son and if she thinks we may hurt him, she could tell us where Dominique is.”
Harry looked to Teddy, who was nodding along enthusiastically with James’ words. Just as Teddy first seemed, Harry seemed worried about the idea.
Teddy tried to convince him otherwise. “I can do it, Harry. Let me do this. For Dominique.”
“Think of the consequences,” coached Harry. “What if she sees through the deception? Parker is her son; I could pick James—my James—out of crowd of fake James Potters. Parents know their children.”
James looked to his father and managed a smile before focusing back on the conversation at hand.
“Don’t let me get close enough,” said Teddy dismissively. “Don’t let her talk to me. Just let her see me as her son.”
“Dad, think about it,” persuaded James. “If she sees through it, then fine, it doesn’t work. But what do we have to lose by trying? Dominique has been Parker’s hostage for nearly a month. We have to do something.”
Harry pursed his lips, and after many moments of thinking in heavy silence, he sighed in defeat. “You’re right. It’s something. It’s better than anything we’ve had so far.”
James, Teddy, and Norah felt a sensation of victory then. An expression of relief and triumph came over them. They felt as if they were finally accomplishing something. Perhaps, if all went well, they could finally get Dominique back.
“Here’s what we’ll need to do,” said Harry and began to debrief them on how they would go about the façade. “Teddy, you’ll have to sign some paperwork. You’re not employed here at the Ministry, so you are under no contract or obligation to help us. Legally, if we accept your help, we have to have your written consent. I’ll have one of my Aurors prepare the paperwork. Now, since only James and I have seen what Parker looks like today, one of us will have to share a memory in a pensieve for Teddy to study. Pansy will know her son’s every feature, so Teddy’s disguise has to be perfect. Will you be able to do that, Teddy?”
“I think so,” he answered, nodding. “I’ve never used my abilities like that. I’ve never morphed into someone I know. I’ve never had to concentrate on changing my features like that, but I should be able to.”
Harry had a point. Teddy had never used his metamorphmagus abilities in such a way. He had changed his appearance, sure, but he didn’t know if those people even existed. They were just different features, maybe of people who didn’t even exist and never would. He had never attempted to truly take on the features of someone he knew and become that person.
“Good. We’ll make sure your appearance is perfect before we bring you anywhere near Pansy. Now...We have to avoid letting you and Pansy speak. I don’t think Parker would ever give up Dominique’s location, and if he were given the opportunity to speak to Pansy, he would tell his mother to not say a word no matter what happened to him. So we will have to utilize a private interrogation cell. One of them has a two-way window. You can see in to the other room, but they cannot see you. Teddy, we’ll have to put you on that side of the cell where you cannot see Pansy; that way only Pansy can see you but can’t interact with you. Now, if we’re really to get Pansy to talk, then just seeing her son won’t be enough…”
“I know…” muttered Teddy. He had already thought about that. “Do whatever you need to do to get her to talk. Whatever you need to do.”
“Teddy,” Harry said slowly. “Things could get…”
“Harry, I don’t care. I want my fiancée back. Do you what you need to do. If you need to hurt me, then hurt me.”
“I’ll have my Aurors refrain as much as they can, but if Pansy needs further persuading…”
“I understand,” nodded Teddy again. “A little physical pain can’t hurt me anymore than the emotional pain I’m already in.”
Harry looked to Teddy sadly and nodded. “All right then. Then let’s go to the Ministry and do this. I’ll contact my on-call Aurors for the day and have them prepare the paperwork. While you are signing the paperwork and the Aurors prepare Pansy, James and I will pull a memory for you.”
Teddy grinned. “Let’s do this.”
Once they arrived at the Ministry, they parted ways as Harry said. Harry contacted the Aurors on call for the evening, and after they arrived, Teddy went with one of them to sign the paperwork while Harry took James and Norah to his office to prepare the memory for Teddy. Harry pulled out the pensieve he had been granted by the Ministry for similar purposes, and he looked to James in question.
“We were both there that night Dominique was taken. We’ve both seen him. Shall I?” asked Harry. He assumed that picturing Parker Nakmen’s face was the last thing James wanted to do. Parker had caused them both so much pain, but with the added fact that a piece of Parker resided in James and with how enraged that made James, Harry thought it best if he relived seeing Parker’s face.
James shook his head in refusal, though. “No, I’ll do it.”
“James—” Harry began, but James cut him off.
“I want to do it. I have the memory of being at the coffee shop with him, too. I have more to pull from than you do. Teddy has a better shot if we use my memories,” said James. He knew he was right. As much as just the simple thought of Parker’s face made James want to tear him apart from the inside out, James knew he had to do this for Teddy.
Harry knew he was right, too, for he nodded and said nothing of disagreement. “Very well,” he said, and he motioned to the pensieve.
Norah gave James’ hand an encouraging squeeze from next to him. James passed her a sad smile and moved toward the pensieve.
He came to a stop in front of it and placed the tip of his wand against his temple. He closed his eyes and began to remember. He remembered the night Dominique was taken from them. He remembered Parker appearing in the dark of Clancy’s flat. He remembered his threats, his menacing expression when he gave them their ultimatum, his tall figure, square face and jaw, long hair, and thick brow. He remembered Parker’s face when he had touched James’ scar and sent a horrendous pain blazing through his arm.
As the memory formed, he pulled his wand away from his temple and the airy, silver wisp began to take shape. He opened his eyes to see it dangling from the tip of his wand, and with pursed lips, he dropped it into the pensieve.
He gave a heavy sigh, trying to maintain his anger, as he backed away from the pensieve. Harry looked to him with deep concern then. “Are you okay?”
James didn’t answer, but Harry knew his next words were answer enough. “Parker has to die.”
James’ words resonated deep within Harry then. Harry had never felt such undying hatred. His hatred for Parker rivaled that of his hatred for Voldemort, and he had always done his best to believe others were capable of redemption, but there was no redemption for Parker. Parker had taken Albus from them, and for that, Harry wanted him dead, too.
“Parker will die,” said Harry with condemnation. “This war will end in Parker’s death.”
Harry didn’t know how, but one way or another, Parker would die by the end of this. Whether it was at the hands of James or the hands of himself, Parker Namken would be sent to the deepest pits of hell.
Before James could speak, the door to Harry’s office opened and Teddy and Briggs let themselves into the office.
“Paperwork is all signed, Mr. Potter,” said Briggs.
“Good. And the memory is ready. Teddy, are you ready?” asked Harry.
Teddy moved forward preparedly. “I’m ready.”
He approached the pensieve as the others backed away, and without a moment’s delay, he leaned forward and was pulled into the pensieve. Teddy felt himself falling into nothing; the memory felt like nothing but darkness until he landed on the floor in the middle of a living room. On one side of the room stood Harry and James, and on the other stood Parker Namken and a Death Eater with Dominique in his grasp.
Teddy was started at seeing Dominique again. She seemed so real on her knees, her hands magically bound together as the Death Eater menacingly kept his hold on her neck. Teddy could see the pain and desperation etched into her expression, and it tore at his heart. His heart ached for her.
He walked toward her then and reached out, expecting to feel her soft hair, but instead he felt nothing. That was when he remembered that this was nothing more than a memory. This had already happened. This was something Dominique had truly experienced. Anger fueled him then, and he did his best to ignore his fiancée’s desperate cries and focus on his task at hand.
He moved to stand before Parker then, ignoring Harry and James some distance behind him. He heard James’ shouts from behind him.
“Do something!” James shouted to Harry.
Harry began to speak then as Teddy moved around Parker, circling his study. “We won't play a part in your games,” Harry said sternly. “I will not negotiate, nor will I choose between my son and my niece.”
Teddy stopped in front of Parker then, studying the curve of his jaw. He gave a jump when Parker suddenly retorted to Harry. “Choose, Potter!” roared Parker. “Or you won't have a choice at all! Now give me back my mother!”
It was strange to be so close to the villain who had caused so much harm. Teddy felt as if Parker could reach out and strike him at any moment, but no matter how close Teddy got to him, Parker wouldn’t be able to hurt him here, even if his voice and expression made Teddy feel otherwise.
James and Harry made a few exchanges, but Teddy continued to study Parker. He memorized his appearance. He memorized the shade of his eyes, the length of his hair, and the curve of his brow.
“Your final decision, Potter?” asked Parker.
Harry spoke again. “Final decision. We will not choose between Albus and Dominique, and we won't return your mother.”
As Teddy memorized each feature, he felt himself begin to change. Teddy grew in height until he matched that of Parker, and then he grew out his hair to match his length, his copper locks shooting a deep shade of brown. Teddy raised one of the locks to compare it to Parker’s, making sure they matched.
“You sure?” chuckled Parker, and he raised his wand. Teddy looked down, for Parker’s hand and wand seemed to protrude through Teddy, yet he felt nothing. “Because if you don't choose, then Albus will continue to die a slow and painful death in St. Mungo's, and Weasley right here will come with us, and I'm free to do as I please with her. Things like this—Crucio!”
Teddy gave a start and cried out then. He whipped around to see Dominique roll to the floor and howl in pain as Parker placed the Cruciatus Curse on her. She thrashed, her screams piercing through the room.
Teddy ran to her side, again forgetting that he couldn’t change a thing in the memory. “Dominique,” he begged, reaching for her and feeling a deep pain when realized again that he couldn’t help her.
From behind him, James roared with outrage and lunged forward, but Harry tried to hold him back, and they exchanged further arguments.
Reminding himself that he couldn’t help Dominique, Teddy rose and returned to Parker’s side to continue taking on his appearance before the memory was over. Teddy began to study Parker’s eyes, and he changes his to match Parker’s grey ones when James’ fist came swinging through Teddy’s face. Teddy stumbled backward and through James to see James raise his fist to swing a punch at Parker. Parker, however, was prepared. With his free hand, he swiftly caught James’ fast moving punch by the wrist. James collapsed to his knees in pain in front of Parker.
He fell down and screamed out, grabbing onto his pained wrist with his other hand.
Teddy, horrified, watched his friend bear an unimaginable pain.
“LET GO!” James begged, tears in his eyes from the pain. “AHH! Please, let go!”
“Enough!” demanded Parker. He released his wrist with a throw of his arm, and as soon as James was freed, he crawled away from Parker, holding his wrist tightly to his chest.
Teddy approached Parker again and finished his transformation. His changed his facial structure, and when he knew he mirrored that of Parker, he turned to look at Dominique again one last time.
“We’re coming for you, Dominique…” he whispered.
And then the memory was over.
Teddy was sucked up into the air, and he emerged from the pensieve and found himself back with his feet firmly on the ground in Harry’s office. He stumbled back and righted himself. Once he had his balance, he looked to those in the room, who were all looking to him in horrified surprise.
Teddy wanted to ask them what was the matter, but then he remembered what must have been the matter. He had changed his appearance while in the memory; he looked exactly like their sworn enemy.
“S–Sorry,” he felt obligated to say. “Did I do okay…?”
“Oh yeah,” swallowed James, biting his lips and appearing to be holding in a deep and tormented anger. “You did more than okay…”
“Yeah, you’re spot on,” agreed Harry. “Now, come on. Let’s get you situated. James and Norah, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait here.”
“You mean we can’t watch?!” asked James.
“I don’t have anywhere for you to watch without Pansy seeing you or either of you jeopardizing Teddy’s role as Parker,” explained Harry.
“Fine,” sighed James in defeat.
“We’ll come right back here as soon as it’s over.”
Then Harry, Teddy, and Briggs left the office. They made their way to the interrogation cell, and Harry opened the door to the sterile room with nothing but a chair in the middle. Harry nodded toward the chair, and Teddy sucked in a deep breath before he moved for the chair and slowly lowered himself into it.
Briggs moved quickly then. He waved his wand, and magical bonds shot themselves around his wrist and ankles, binding them together and locking him to the chair.
“You good?” asked Harry, seeing Teddy’s startled expression.
Teddy nodded. “Good.”
“Briggs will be in here with you doing the…threatening…,” said Harry. He pointed to the mirror across from Teddy. “I will be on the other side of this mirror with Pansy, and she will be watching your every move. As soon as I walk out that door, you’re no longer Teddy Lupin but Parker Namken.”
“I got it,” said Teddy. “I can do this, Uncle Harry.”
Harry smiled. “I know you can.” Then he turned to Briggs with his final instructions. “How you go about the threatening or interrogation is up to you, Briggs. I trust you. Use your instincts. I’ll come back for you both after we’ve cracked Pansy, but until you see me walk back through that door, you both continue to do your part. Understand?”
“Got it,” said Briggs as Teddy nodded.
“Give it about five minutes before you start.”
With that, Harry left and closed the door behind him. He then went to collect Pansy from her confinement cell. It was time to set the plan into motion. When he opened her cell, Pansy looked to him lazily from where she lay on her bed.
“What now, Potter?” she groaned in annoyance.
Harry let a smirk pass across his face, and he pulled out his wand. He gave it a wave, and magical bonds sprang onto Pansy’s wrists. She sat up with a groan.
“I want you to come with me, Namken,” he said. “I’ve got something to show you.”
With a roll of her eyes, she stood and moved toward him. Harry pressed his wand to her back as a threatening reminder as they exited the cell and began to move through the halls to the interrogation cell. Harry opened the door and nudged Pansy in.
Curiously, she stepped in. She looked around in confusion until she noticed the window and then recognized her son on the other side. She raised her bound hands and ran at the glass in desperation. “Parker!” she cried out wildly.
Harry grinned. He had gotten the exact reaction he wanted.
Pansy continued to beat at the glass in the hope of Teddy disguised as Parker hearing her.
“He can’t hear us. In fact, he can’t even see us. He has no idea you’re here,” said Harry.
Pansy whipped to face him then, and she ran at him threateningly. “You bastard! Let my son go!”
She beat at Harry’s chest with her bound hands, but Harry waved his wand and her body went still. Harry pushed her away from him and to the glass so she could continue to look through.
“My son is dead because of yours,” threatened Harry. “What did I tell you I would do to your son if mine died at the hands of yours?”
Pansy’s eyes began to swam with tears then, and she believed Harry’s every word.
“That’s right,” Harry spoke further as Pansy remembered. “I said I would kill Parker myself if Albus died at his hand. Well, guess what, Pansy? Albus died two weeks ago. It’s time for the same to happen to Parker.”
“You wouldn’t kill him!” dared Pansy. “What about your precious job?! You’ll go to Azkaban again!”
“Do you think I care?!” Harry tested her. “I’ve been there once before. I know what it’s like, and I know that a lifetime in Azkaban while knowing my family is safe from your demented son is better than living freely with the idea Parker could still cause my family harm!”
The five minutes Harry had told Briggs to wait for must have expired then, for Briggs moved from leaning against the wall and began to circle Teddy. Harry and Pansy quieted to listen to them. “Name the Death Eaters working for you.”
Teddy said nothing. He pursed his lips and looked daringly to Briggs, but he remained quiet.
“I said, name the Death Eaters!” demanded Briggs.
Teddy said nothing again.
“Look, we can do this the easy way or the hard way. You killed Mr. Potter’s son, so he isn’t really an exemplary rule follower right now, so I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if I broke the rules a bit.”
And then Briggs raised a fist to emphasize his meaning. Harry expected him to wait, to simply threaten the punch, but that wasn’t what happened. Briggs sent his fist flying, and it collided with Teddy’s jaw.
Teddy howled in pain as his jaw rattled with the impact. Teddy groaned, his head rolling back, and then he leaned forward to spit blood out of his mouth and onto the floor.
Teddy spoke then, and Harry knew Teddy’s words were to encourage Briggs, to show him that he still didn’t care if he had to endure the pain. “Is that all you’ve got?”
The punch, however, did its job on Pansy. She cried out as she believed her son to be punched. “Stop it!” she demanded. “Stop!”
“I’ll make him stop,” began Harry, “and maybe I’ll even let Parker live. If you tell me where he is keeping my niece.”
Pansy looked to Harry in disgust then. “That’s what this is about,” she snarled. “You brought me in here to get me to talk! You’re using him just to get what you want! Well, Parker would never talk. He will never tell you, and he wouldn’t want me to say either. So I won’t.”
“If you care for your son as much as I think you do, then I think you will tell us exactly where she is,” said Harry.
Briggs continued his interrogation. He hit Teddy a few more times, more and more blood pooling in Teddy’s mouth with each hit. Pansy winced as she watched, and she cowered into herself deeper and deeper with each strike.
Pansy stayed true to her word. Even as Briggs continued to punch him and Teddy grew blue in the face, even as Briggs began to kick at Teddy’s legs, Pansy still said nothing.
It became more and more difficult for Harry to watch his godson endure the pain. He had to hide his face from Pansy to conceal his pained expression, but Pansy didn’t look to him either. She stared longingly at her son with tears running down her cheeks, her eyes glued to him so she could watch each and every hit Teddy took, as if she could endure the pain with her son.
When Teddy was groggy, his head lolling forward limply and blood leaking out of his mouth, Briggs moved in front of Teddy and blocked him from Harry and Pansy’s view. Harry perked up then, concerned about what would happen, for he knew Briggs was trying to have a conversation with Teddy without Pansy noticing or hearing. Harry’s concern for Teddy’s well-being only grew because he knew that Briggs had to be asking if more drastic action was okay with Teddy.
Teddy must have approved, for Briggs then backed away from him. He pulled his wand out again and pointed it at Teddy’s arm. Harry watched curiously, unsure of what Briggs would do.
Briggs muttered a curse, and then he began to trace letters in the air with his wand. As his wand moved, each movement began to carve itself into the flesh of Teddy’s inner forearm. Teddy threw his head back and screamed in pain and letters cut themselves into his skin and blood rolled freely down his arm and to the floor.
Pansy flinched and cried out again. She beat her bound hands at the glass, watching in pain.
Harry held back tears then for Teddy’s pain, wondering what Briggs could possibly be carving into Teddy’s flesh. Harry watched Briggs closely then, and Harry could see the pain in Briggs’ expression for inflicting such pain, yet Briggs continued to do his job as Harry had instructed.
The first letters finally began to take its shape on Teddy’s arm, blazing red with his blood.
Harry spoke up then. He didn’t know how much longer he could take Teddy’s pain. He had to push the process along. “Tell us where she is, Pansy. Save your son from this pain.”
“He would never forgive me,” muttered Pansy through her tears.
Briggs continued to draw as Teddy’s screams escalated, ringing in their ears.
“He never has to know,” encouraged Harry. “Parker never has to find out you told us. He never has to know that we’ve rescued her. We’ve already captured your son; he’ll never know freedom again, so he will never know you told us. But if you do tell us, I can promise to spare his life. If you tell us, he can live and he won’t have to endure anymore of this pain.”
“I can’t,” said Pansy, but Harry could see her beginning to break.
“Come on, Pansy,” begged Harry. “Look at your son! You can save him from this pain!”
The word on Teddy’s arm finally took its shape.
Pansy shook her head in horror then.
Briggs lowered his wand and gave Teddy a minute to pant in pain. When he raised his wand to Teddy’s other arm, though, Pansy finally broke.
“STOP!” she cried out, turning to Harry with desperate plea. “All right, stop! Just make him stop! They’re at the abandoned Lestrange Manor!”
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