Status: Completed First Published: 2008.03.08 Last Published Chapter: 2008.08.10 Last Updated: 2008.08.11 Favorite Story Of:23 users
Advisory: Mild Violence, Substance Use or Abuse, Contains Spoilers
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Harry’s beloved Auror Department is crumbling around him and only one final humiliation awaits before its extinction. No longer permitted to call himself an Auror, Harry is drawn into an investigation that begins with the discovery of lethal self-spelling wands that are being passed off as children’s toys.
“You’re not buying the special powers explanation, then?”
After the children have gone to bed, the discussion turns to Albus’ promising magical abilities and the complete lack of them in James. Luna’s traveling forms are explained and Harry asks Hermione to consider his reorganisation plan.
Harry and James go through security but discover a problem with the planned events minutes before the speeches are due to finish. Despite Harry’s efforts, the Aurors are humiliated. Harry realises Kingsley must have conspired with Ron, Hagrid and Aberforth.
Sunday afternoon at the Burrow. George presents the children with samples of his self-spelling toy wands. Ollivander arrives and they all witness James producing a killing curse with the self-spelling wand he got from Aberforth. Ollivander tests James. Harry learns that Mrs McForlan may be hiding something.
“Polyjuice? How would Polyjuice reproduce the unique way I ingratiate myself with my discerning customers, may I ask?”
It is Hermione’s first day as reluctant Head of Department and with Harry’s encouragement she makes a few changes. Harry visits Aberforth to quiz him about the wand but can’t resist asking a very personal question.
Harry catches up his fellow ex-Aurors as they search a Muggle tip and an old fishing boat. Hermione, having just turfed out the pub across the bay, arrives as Harry finishes briefing them on their discovery. Harry hurries across the village for evening dinner, but finds the front door wide open and the bungalow apparently empty. Harry bribes Draco into helping him guard the cells.
“Administration what? We just didn’t want to miss the fight.”
An exhausted Harry goes to the Burrow looking for Ginny and the children. Jenny McForlan secretly hands Harry some papers and Ron arrives to take him to the Ministry. Hermione addresses the combined Law Enforcement staff and introduces new appointments. Harry and Ginny are interviewed about the attack on Mrs McForlan and the detective Rivale suggests an organisation known as the Cozen may somehow be involved.
“I’ll make us a nice cup of tea. That’ll calm your nerves.”
Harry briefs Rivale and they fake a story that Harry has been demoted again for messing up the investigation. Harry learns a little about Rivale and the tragic circumstances of his son’s death. Harry confides in Rivale and together they begin the hunt for Thicknesse, but Rivale suffers an ignominious start that betrays some of his anti-Muggle feelings.
“Aberforth says you are too honest for your own good.”
An angry Harry sets out to find Rivale. Together they question a dubious local shopkeeper known to have dealings with Thicknesse. Having had enough of Rivale’s intimidating methods, Harry throws him out and the shopkeeper agrees to help a sympathetic Harry. Rivale refuses to believe the shopkeeper could possibly know what he claims to know. Harry questions Draco again and begins to half-suspect his father’s involvement, something Draco strongly denies.
“So, are you going to tell me exactly why I’ve stood in this puddle for four hours?”
Harry and Ron discover a fake wand factory and quickly organise a raid. That evening, Harry returns to the Rivale residence where a celebration party is in full swing. There, in a dark, smoke-filled room an old acquaintance has been waiting for him. Harry pays a late night visit to the Ministry records office.
“That’s your father, dear. He’s always doing something embarrassing.”
A secretive Hermione appears to have somehow cracked Baron’s magical protections and is pushing Harry to move forward with his own plans. The children are taken to Hogwarts where they will remain guarded. James wants to know what is going on and Jenny is introduced to Dumbledore’s portrait.
“So, putting ‘Gran, Harry made me do it,’ at the bottom is out of the question, then?”
They return to Hogwarts and Neville reluctantly agrees to go along with Harry’s scheme but suggests a few changes. Ron makes one last plea for Harry to reconsider, but the Owls are released and the next morning the wizarding population goes into uproar. Harry interviews Thicknesse’s son in London.
“Why don’t you give the old Crucio another go? Maybe I’ll feel more than a tickle this time!”
Hogsmeade is in flames and there is fighting in the grounds at Hogwarts. Professor McGonagall completes the device that will track Baron. Ginny persuades Harry to take her as they investigate a mysterious entrance on the far side of the grounds. Harry interrupts a mad Baron while he is torturing Draco, apparently desperate to extract some secret.
“No, because the moment you fire on that unarmed boy, I’ll be too busy punching your lights out.”
Rose wakes and finds Jenny peeking through a gap in the tent hangings. Getting up, she too watches as James, Ollivander, Aberforth and Hagrid return afresh from their night time excursion into the Forest. Ollivander attempts to explain about the unique wands James and Aberforth will share through a series of demonstrations.