Will It Ever be Normal by MyCreation
Summary: Four years after the War, Harry and Ginny are enjoying their first summer after marriage in a vacation. Their lives are slowly evened out after war with the help of friends and family. But the enemy is always lurking in shadows and Will it ever be normal for the Potters.
Chapter 1: The Enemy strikes when least expected
Chapter 2: Plans - More Plans
Chapter 3: A Warning Received
Chapter 4: The Saviours return
Chapter 1: The Enemy strikes when least expected The Enemy strikes when least expected
Harry and Ginny Potter are sleeping peacefully in their hotel room after one of the best weeks in their lives. A week passed in their fortnight South African Safari tour. Ginny had a successful season with Holyhead Harpies and Harry’s progress as an Auror was good over the past year. Though Harpies narrowly missed the championship, she cemented her position in their starting team and nominated for Emerging Chaser of the year.
They choose muggle tour in Africa to relax and enjoy some alone time with each other escaping the annoying Wizarding press which made prying into their personal lives their job. They left England a week after the Quidditch season as she was shortlisted to attend the national training camp for Quidditch world cup starting 15th of June.
Ginny wanted to have Teddy with them but their Family and Andromeda insisted only two of them. She was only convinced after Harry mentioning about second and proper honeymoon but had some nagging feeling.
End of autumn and start of winter weather with warm sunny days and balmy nights made their tour even more delightful. The Luxury Suite made their stay even more gratifying. It had a bedroom with king sized bed, a living room, a dining room, an equipped cooking area and two luxurious bathrooms. The best feature to them is a lavish balcony on the east side with large comfy lounges where they spent their late evenings and early mornings over the past week.
After two days of nothing but staying indoors making love, they spent next couple of days exploring local wonders and evenings in the beach. Their first Safari trip was a magnificent experience where they caught sight of three of big five.
Ginny was very excited when they came across African Lions and both decided to spend most of next week in Safari. They went to shopping and dinner yesterday and slept early morning after mind-blowing sex.
Harry is lying on his back while Ginny snuggled into his chest with her head rested on his shoulder at the crook of his neck. She is secured protectively with his arm around her waist and her arm around his chest and their legs intertwined.
Ginny awoke from her sleep with some unpleasant sensation, the same she felt yesterday night at the end of dinner. Harry and she were having a great time when they both felt an odd feeling.
They returned to their hotel immediately and it took some time to calm and go back to joyful mod which led to wonderful lovemaking late into the night. They slept only a couple of hours ago and she is tired and should sleep till afternoon but her gut feeling is something’s not good.
She shifted her eyes towards Harry and looking him sleep peacefully without any concern made her happy. Slowly freeing herself from him, she got up and kissed his forehead. Putting on a robe, she moved to the balcony and sat in comfy lounger looking at the orange sky before sunrise.
With the pleasant morning weather and sounds of birds around, she sat lost in memories of past few years starting from few weeks in her fifth year where Harry and she dated.
Her sixth year was a nightmare where Voldemort took over England and death eaters taught at school. Harry and she broke up publicly. Deep down both of them knew they loved each other but waited for him to fulfill his destiny.
She learned very less from professors and some friendships formed that year, not due to chance but by choice are true and strong. Harry and she went through hell after the final battle. They matured as persons and became normal again with their love and trust in each other.
Harry’s world crumbled the night after the memorial at Hogwarts when he sat and recounted the events of the final battle. When the majority of the wizarding world celebrated their victory on evil, their hero couldn’t digest the truth that his life was a lie till then.
He is the noble and most honorable man there, forgave them all but she will never forgive those who used her Harry as a means to win the war and those who never treated him the same as every other child. She is selfish about Harry and she is happy about it because that was what pulled them out of hell after the war.
After four years, their lives are slowly approaching normal. Harry became powerful, rather he harnessed his full potential after that foul piece of Voldemort left him. They experienced some odd but pleasant things after they expressed their love and promised each other that ‘they had enough and their lives are their own, they will live for each other and for family and friends not for the whole world’.
They came to know about that after their wedding and their feelings are strengthening with time. They can feel each other emotions and speech is not required every time if they are in touch. It’s as if they had some part of the other in them.
Their Godson played a big part in evening their lives along with their family and friends. A familiar presence felt and a hand came and rested around her shoulders, she felt secure and home and leaned into that presence without breaking her thoughts.
Harry awoke feeling comfort leaving him to find Ginny missing beside him. He looked around the room to find her but she was not there. He got out of bed, put a robe on and moved to the balcony and found her sitting in the lounge looking at the sky deeply lost in thought. He moved beside her and placed a hand around her shoulders and she leaned towards him as if asking him to hold her.
He sat beside her and pulled her into his lap. She happily moved into his lap and leaned into him with her back pressed against his chest and head rested under his chin. He securely moved his hands around her waist and circled her and she placed her hands over his.
He understood what happened and why she awoke from her sleep. He slowly moved his head to one side and said ‘We will contact our family first thing in the morning. It’s not even six, let’s stay for some time. Love you Gin, I always will’.
Even though speech is not required to convey their feelings, they like to hear when the other says ‘I Love you’.
Hearing this she turned her head and looked into his eyes replying the same and asking to hold her close for some time mentally. He conveyed he will do as she likes. She gave a small peck on his lips turned resting her head on his shoulders and closed her eyes.
He kissed her on top of her head and moved her hair over one shoulder and started running his fingers slowly through her hair calming her. He liked running his fingers through the length of her long silky hair. He still liked it though she cut it to mid back for Quidditch. He kissed her cheek laid his head back and closed his eyes.
The sound of ringing doorbell woke them. Looking at the morning light, she understood it’s sometime after sunrise. Ginny got up and moved to the bedroom to change while Harry went to check on the door.
He opened the door to find the receptionist with another stout middle-aged man who looked in some sort of a hurry. Looking at Harry he addressed ‘Are you, Mr. Harry Potter’.
Harry had a bad feeling about this thinking the local Ministry found them and replied ‘Yes’ somewhat dejectedly. Ginny moved beside him and linked her hand with his.
The new man replied ‘Mr. Potter, I am Abraham Smith and it is best if we talk somewhere private’.
Harry understood this, thanked the receptionist and allowed the man inside and closed the door.
Leading him to the living room and motioning to a chair Harry asked ‘Mr. Smith, we can talk here, what do you wish to speak about’.
The man looked at the couple and answered ‘I am from Dept of International Co-operation of South African Ministry. My boss and the Minister requested your presence immediately’.
Harry sensed Ginny’s frustration and he had to admit he felt the same but he needed to stay focused. He asked ‘Mr. Smith, can you please tell us why? You can see we are not interfering with any of your activities and we are touring as muggles here’.
Mr. Smith politely answered ‘I am not supposed to give any details sir. If it helps you there was a call from English Minister an hour ago asking us to find you and my boss immediately sent me’.
Harry looked at Ginny and they both knew something bad happened. Kingsley will not involve the Ministry unless it’s about their family or them. An unspoken agreement was passed and she went to the bedroom to pack their belongings while Harry spoke ‘Mr. Smith, please give us ten minutes, we will change and come with you’.
Mr. Smith was shocked by this and asked ‘Mr. Potter if you don’t mind my question How are you so sure that I am who I am and not an imposter, which I am not by the way’.
Harry smiled and said ‘I sensed you are a Wizard and know you are telling the truth. That’s why we agreed immediately to come with you’.
Mr. Smith looked questioningly at Harry who immediately added ‘I don’t pry into others minds as you are suspecting. I felt you are not lying’. The ministry official knew about the savior Harry Potter and assumed him to ask all sorts of questions even before listening to what he has to say. He was surprised to find the savior as a normal man much younger than him.
‘We heard how you defeated the dark lord in a duel and how you are reforming your world. To say the truth, I never expected you will tour our country anonymously’ Mr. Smith told trying to make a conversation.
Harry replied ‘Well I don’t know what you heard and that was not how it happened, My friends and me, we had help from a lot of people in the fight against Voldemort and now I am just doing my job’.
Mr. Smith kept his eyes on Harry studying him during this brief conversation and to say that he is impressed is an understatement, there is strange feel around Harry and it’s even stronger when Mrs. Potter is around him.
He felt like this young man is more powerful than he looks. His thoughts were interrupted by the voice of Mrs. Potter from bedroom ‘Harry, I need you here to finish packing’ and Mr. Potter went inside excusing himself.
After ten minutes both the potters came to Living room dressed in formal muggle clothes and Ginny adjusting her handbag said ‘Mr. Smith, we are ready to leave now’.
Looking at their lack of luggage, Mr. Smith thought they are coming to Ministry for a visit and said ‘Mrs. Potter, I would suggest you bring your belongings as well’.
Ginny said ‘Oh, We are fully packed and our belongings are in here’ and pointed at her handbag. After a brief discussion, they decided to go down settle the hotel bills and take a portkey to ministry.
They landed in a small room and Mr. Smith led them to another wing and pointed to Dept of International Co-operation Head’s room. The room is spacious and well decorated with many portraits and pictures.
Behind the Heads desk sat another middle-aged man who rose upon seeing them and greeted ‘Mr. and Mrs. Potter it’s an honor to have you here even though the circumstances are not agreeable’.
Harry replied ‘the pleasure is ours Mr. Fourie, I will not lie to you it’s never an agreeable circumstance when you intrude the vacation of newly married couple’. Mr. Fourie laughed heartily and said ‘that’s a good one Mr. Potter, why don’t we discuss more over tea’ and started pouring tea gesturing the three of them to sit.
He started ‘we received a call from English Ministry an hour ago requesting our help to contact you and pass a message that you are to return immediately from your vacation. Your Minister himself spoke with ours to take this on priority. We shall go to our minister and discuss your travel if you want to go back’.
Harry and Ginny sat holding their hands looked at each other and assured each other that all will be fine.
Ginny turned towards Mr. Fourie and said ‘We understand that it is serious if Kingsley himself called here. We are ready to head back home’.
Mr. Fourie smiled and said ‘Good Mrs. Potter, let’s go meet our Minister and decide further after tea’.
He led them out and they walked to another wing and reached the Minister's office. Minister’s secretary led them inside. The room is large and resembled head master’s office at Hogwarts. Behind a large desk sat an aged man who looked up from his paper and called ‘Harry Potter, come in have a seat’.
Looking at the Potters he added ‘It’s always nice to meet Potters but I am afraid we don’t have much time to make acquaintance. Kingsley and Arthur asked me to find and send you back immediately’.
Harry is slightly taken aback by the strange greeting. He composed himself and sat in a sofa pulling Ginny to sit by him and said ‘Minister Peterson, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Can you please tell something about this emergency? Is it related to our family?’ worriedly.
Minister looked between them and replied ‘Kingsley informed me it’s a family emergency and you both are needed there. I am sorry I couldn’t inquire further, he was in hurry’.
Ginny stiffened beside him and looked worried. Harry put an arm around her pulling her close and rubbed her palm with another calming her. Turning towards the Minister he said ‘Thank you, sir, we appreciate what you and your Ministry are doing for us even when you are not informed about our tour. No offense sir, it’s personal and we are doing it muggle way’.
Minister Peterson eyed the couple for a minute and replied ‘English ministry is an ally. Kingsley is an old friend. Monty and I studied together Harry’.
He then told Mr. Fourie and Mr. Smith to contact their magical transportation team and inquire about Portkey.
After the ministry employees left Minister said to Potter’s that it’s difficult to arrange ‘cross-continental Portkeys’ in short time and they are arranging Portkeys to a Gringotts secure location in Egypt and they will make further travel arrangements.
Telling them about Goblin involvement he asked ‘Harry, I believe your relationship with Gringotts and Goblins is good considering you are the heir of noble and wealthy family’.
Harry replied ‘I won’t say it’s great but it certainly improved in past couple years especially after I was sworn as heir and my marriage recently’.
Minister slightly relaxed and said ‘I presume you are crediting Mrs. Potter for this’ turning to Ginny he continued ‘I must appreciate you for maintaining good relation with Goblins. They are not only helpful in managing gold but many other family deeds. I hope you continue good work, Mrs. Potter’.
‘I try to do my best sir. I had the opportunity to visit them many times with Harry after the war and having two Gringotts employees in the family made things easier. Oh, Its Ginny sir, Mrs. Potter makes me feel older’.
‘That’s good to know Ginny. I advise you to be strict in matters of gold when dealing with Goblins. They respect those who respect and save gold’ advised the Minister.
‘You said Monty and I, are you referring to granddad Fleamont Potter Minister? Ginny asked excitedly.
Harry and She did some research on Potter family ancestry to find any surviving members or friends but they didn’t come across this Man and granddad’s portrait never mentioned him.
‘Monty and I were contemporaries in school. We were Gryffindor and good friends. He became a potions master while I joined English Ministry after school. My parents moved here when I was in the sixth year and five years later I followed them after realizing family is important than many things’. The old man started explaining them about his relation with Potters.
‘I attended Monty and Euphemia’s wedding and they even sent me a picture of the baby many years later when he was born. All of our friends passed away during the first war and later, my relations with England remained to a personal level. My children and their children are settled happily here and the war in recent years further limited our contact.’ he finished his small tale with mixed emotions.
‘Now with the war is over and lives are returning to normal, you can come on a vacation with your family and when you come, you must visit our home. I am pretty sure your friend will be very happy to meet you even though he is a portrait’ invited Ginny.
‘Thank you, Ginny. You are welcome here again and there are many locations which are good to tour with a guide. I assure you, your tour will be a secret as you desire and some of my family members will be most happy to accompany you’ the Minister also offered sincerely.
‘Thank you, sir, we loved Safari and planned to do it next week but had to drop it now. We consider the offer next time’ replied Harry.
‘You were brought here very early in the morning, how about a nice English breakfast’ asked the Minister.
‘We just had Tea in Mr. Fourier’s office but some solid food is always better any time’ said Ginny who is really hungry. Harry didn’t show it but she knew he is as well.
Three of them finished breakfast and chatted about some things and half an hour later Mr. Fourier came with few other Ministry officials who brought three Portkeys and handed them to the Potters. A ministry official from transport department explained them their function and gave the details about their destination and a letter to show the contact person from Gringotts in Egypt. A healer gave them basic potions to carry along with them and asked them to have little rest after every Portkey.
The Potters thanked all the officials again and Ginny reminded Minister of her invite to England. They were led to secure location where Harry held Ginny protectively to his side while she hugged him around his middle and activated their first Portkey and vanished.
The Night before — Ministry of Magic England
An emergency meeting is underway in the DMLE meeting room to tackle the latest kidnapping. Minister Shacklebolt, his secretary Percy Weasley, heads of DMLE and Auror Dept are present with some senior and important members. Arthur Weasley now a member of Minister’s advisory council is also in attendance.
‘What exactly happened and how sure are you about this? There isn’t any time or I would have gone to the location’ Kingsley asked Mr. Robards.
‘The auror in duty escorted them to a nearby park after lunch and left them around 3.00 pm. The exact time of the attack is unknown but it happened after that. We were reported at 6 when another auror went to check on them as a routine. She was cursed and left behind and kid’s missing. Their intentions are unknown. No one claimed the attack or sent any demands’ finished Mr. Robards explaining the situation.
‘I sent Dawlish’s team and they are saying there was some struggle. They ambushed her, she traded some spells with them but they had the advantage of numbers. No Portkeys were used. They must have Apparated. No clues were found and we cannot detect or track them’ Mr. Wallace sighed helplessly.
‘They must have been following and tracking the family from quite some time. This looks like an orchestrated kidnapping with the motto to demand money or discredit Potter and Weasley families as revenge’ reasoned Dawlish.
‘We found no leads to track them, sir. Even our best ‘Clues and Tracking’ teams found nothing. Those who did this had a chance to kill her but they left her after cursing badly. They used border dark spells but not unforgivable. They didn’t touch their picnic basket or took anything from her. They must have taken the kid and moved to other location before Apparating’ explained Mr. Williamson a senior official of DMLE.
‘There must be something to start our search. Even the best of criminals will have some weakness. No one’s perfect’ Kingsley replied sternly to Mr. Williamson. ‘How do we move forward now? I want this case categorized as Code ‘Z’. Stop all other routine activities in both DMLE and Aurors Dept and prioritize this. The kid must be found ALIVE’ finished Kingsley emphasizing ALIVE to all the attendants.
‘I sent for all the Aurors who went as escorts to their house in past two months. They will be interrogated for any clue. I already assigned out best in this case. Proudfoot will lead a team of six. They are all assembled here’ Mr. Robards gestured to a small group seated at the end of the table.
‘I suggest we divide into small groups and enquire all the old death eaters, neighboring families and any other people she contacted in past week. This would have been easier if she gained consciousness but the healers are saying it will take at least two to three days before she wakes up’ finished Mr. Wallace.
‘Add their house and Gringotts bank as places to be searched for clues. Ronald, are you sure you want to be a part of this? You know as an auror you cannot disclose the details even to family’ Kingsley asked Ron who is seated in a small group of Aurors.
Ron looked thoughtful for only a minute and said ‘Course I want to be a part of it Minister, He is family. We haven’t fought the war and won to live in fear. I will do anything to find him’.
‘Very well, we meet again at midnight. We are not resting until the kid is found. I suspect they took the kid as a hostage for bargaining or else they would have killed him there itself. This case is most sensitive and should not be disclosed to any outsider. I don’t want panic among the public, it will only make matters worse. I expect all of you to maintain tight lip over this and maintain confidentiality.’ finished Kingsley ordering them to start their work.
They were divided into four groups with the larger group assigned to investigate all the death eater families. Ron along with other two is to look at their house and question neighbors. Dawlish and Proudfoot are investigating the Auror escorts and Ernie and one other two are to look at Gringotts, Diagon Alley and Knock turn alley. Once all the officials left the room only Kingsley, Arthur, Percy, Mr. Robards, and Mr. Wallace remained behind.
‘Where are the other kids in your dept Robards, some of them are bright and experienced in these situations’ enquired Kingsley.
‘Ten from my team are attending training in Italy and most of them are junior Aurors, Potter and three others are on leave. The best among others were here’ answered Mr. Robards defensively.
‘I don’t see any reason to kidnap the kid. There was no death eater activity in past two years and most of them were either dead or under watch. I suspect this is for other reasons. Our family lost more than enough to war and barely escaped with everyone alive. We are slowly reaching normal and the kid is bright light and hope for happy lives ahead. I don’t know what else we should lose’ Arthur Weasley hung his shoulders dejectedly and sank down in his chair. He seemed older than his fifty years.
‘You have faced worse situations than this Arthur. We will track them and get the kid alive. Your son’s right, we haven’t fought and won to live in fear or beneath some dark lords. We will provide even more security to your family till the situation improves’ encouraged Mr. Wallace.
‘What about the rest of your family Arthur. I suggest we alert of them to stay on guard. How is Molly holding up? Asked Kingsley
‘Molly went to St Mungos after receiving the news. Percy, why don’t you inform the others about this after going out? Also, ask them to come and stay at Burrow tonight. It’s best if the family stays together’ He told his son and continued ‘I am going to St Mungos after this meeting Kingsley. Are you coming?’
‘I am Arthur. Gawain and Nicholas please try to solve this quickly. Our priority is the kid and his life. We will give them any ransom. Contact me if you have any progress, I will be at St Mungos or the Burrow tonight if not in my office’ ordered Kingsley but it sounded more like a plea or a request.
‘What about Ginny and Harry dad, how should we contact them? I don’t know where they are, all I know is they are out of Europe’ Percy asked Arthur.
‘Hermione may know something. Why don’t you ask her to join the others at the Burrow?’ Arthur replied and added looking at the others ‘I suggest we bring her into this case if we don’t make any progress by midnight’.
She is not officially a Weasley but Arthur is certain that it will happen once she and Ron mature in understanding their relationship. He always considered her and Harry members of his family and they are even close after the war. Also, she is the brightest witch and has the unique ability dealing complex situations.
‘She may be pain arse but considering this situation I agree with Arthur. We will decide after midnight. Robards and I will also leave and come back by 11.00’ concluded Mr. Wallace.
With that, they dispersed from the room and went to their jobs. Percy moved to his office and floo called all family members and Hermione to come to the Burrow immediately. He went home to pick Audrey and baby Molly.
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Chapter 2: Plans - More Plans
Author's Notes: I am Sorry for the delay in posting the update. Thanks to the reviewers.
Plans - More Plans
Kingsley, Arthur, Mr Robards and Mr Wallace reached the meeting hall fifteen minutes prior and waited for all four teams. Five minutes later, Percy came in and took his seat.
‘Did you inform Hermione about the situation, Percy?’ Kingsley asked him.
‘Yes Minister, I called her to the Burrow with the family and explained to everyone. They are ready to help in any way possible. She is in her office along with Twins now’ replied Percy.
‘Where are the others, son?’ Arthur asked about his family worriedly.
‘At the Burrow, Dad. Bill was checking the wards around the house now. Angelina went to St Mungos with Mum. I owled Charlie before coming here’ Percy explained while Dawlish, Proudfoot along with their group walked in.
Ernie and another wizard that went to Gringotts came in next followed by a team that went to interrogate the remaining death eaters. Ron and two others were the last to come five minutes late and the Meeting started.
‘Dawlish, found any lead form our Aurors? Mr Wallace asked starting the meeting.
‘Nah. We interrogated them for any suspicious people that visited the Tonk's residence. None visited their house except Potter and Molly Weasley over the past couple of months. Mrs Tonks and the Kid didn't visit any one recently either. They usually go to the community park every evening. Today they went a little early because the Kid was bored’ finished Dawlish.
‘Jenkins was on duty today, Sir. Boy had a date and left them early at half past three. We gave him truth serum, he doesnt know anything about the Kidnap. He said he surveyed the entire park before leaving and there were only few other muggles, none suspicious. Mrs Tonks assured him they will leave in fifteen mins as the kid was reluctant to leave the slide.’ Proudfoot added. It's clear he was frustrated they couldn’t find anything.
‘Sturgis, Williamson what about the former death eater families? Mr Williamson asked, hopeful of some clue from them.
‘Visited Malfoy, Nott, Parkinson, Rockwood, Yaxley and Flint families, Sir. All of them said the same thing that they have nothing to do with this and they are ready testify under Veritaserum. Some of them even criticised the integrity of our Ministry, saying they are targeted for every crime’ answered Williamson.
‘None of them seemed suspicious or they were lying about this. We told them to inform us if they find anything and you all know what they will do. We found nothing from them’ said Sturgis dejectedly.
By this most of the members in the meeting sighed and looked dispirited. Kingsley looked furious with all his subordinates but said nothing as he was mad at the whole situation. Arthur was observing everyone and smiled hopefully at Ron but he didn’t get the required response.
‘What about the other two groups, Have you found anything? Mr Robards asked hopefully for any small clue.
‘We checked the Tonks residence. The wards were intact and property was untouched. Their neighbours also didn’t find any suspicious persons over the past week. I searched her mail and nothing foreign was found, only regular mail and some letters from Gringotts. We also couldn’t find anything else’ Ron answered and hung his head in despair.
Many thoughts were running in his mind. What will he answer to his best mate and sister, they expect more from him. He did everything asked of him but the search yielded no results. He has this feeling that they all were searching for some small clue that is out there in the open but masked for naked eye. He wanted his two friends by his side but he couldn’t have them, one is far away enjoying his workoff and the other is near but at odds with him now.
‘We surveyed Diagon Alley, Gringotts and Knokturn Alley, Sir. There was nothing of significance in Diagon alley and none enterd Gringotts with any Kid today. The Goblins were reluctant initially but agreed to help us when we took Harry’s name. You all know about Knokturn alley, we couldn’t search it completely during night. We informed all the barmen and shop owners to stay alert and inform us about any new or suspicious men. Whitby is stationed at Leaky tonight’ finished Ernie, who also looked helpless.
Everyone looked at one another and didn’t know what to say. Arthur hoped to find something but seemed helpless after the answers. Senior members that experienced other similar cases before remained neutral awaiting some instructions and junior members that are facing the situation first time lost their morale. Many things happened after war, Ministry rounded death eaters within next year but there were no kidnappings. The remaining death eaters either fled the country or attacked openly and succumbed to the Aurors and DMLE. Those who fled the nation were tracked and brought in for trails and sentenced for their crimes.
There were no serious crimes or notable dark magic usage over the past two years and everyone believed their lives became normal. This happened when they least expected. Kingsley and his men worked tirelessly in rebuilding the Ministry and new nation but this one event will be a coffin to their hopes of a new world. Not only that, it will thrash the hope of Potter and Weasley families for a happy future.
Kingsley knew that and he is not ready to accept the defeat in hands of mysterious wizard. He decided to fight with all he had. ‘I think we are missing a small clue that will open the case for us. It’s almost ten hours and there aren’t any claims or demands. There is some ulterior motive that we are missing here. There are some rituals to track the persons but we need his blood. Any ideas from any of you’ he asked.
‘Minister, don’t you think this looks like something to blackmail Harry directly. We haven’t checked his house yet, we may find something there’ suggested Percy.
‘I suggest we have a small team to continue our work tonight and start early in the morning. They might send some thing by morning or we will start from scratch tomorrow’ Dawlish suggested.
To say that Kingsley was furious by this would be an understatement. He looked at everyone around the table and found that Dawlish openly stated what many of them were thinking. He can see they can achieve nothing working without hope. This is another case for many of the officials seated around and he thought he is mixing personal and professional issues but he can’t help it. The kid is son of his friend and most precious in the lives of Potters. He don’t want to face Harry when he comes to know about the kidnapping of his Godson.
‘I think it’s best if we send someone to check Potter’s house for anything useful. If we go thru all the hate mail both the Potters received over the past few months, we may find some lead’ stated Mr Wallace.
Kingsley eyed him and Mr Robards for some time as if reading them and stated ‘I decided to bring Miss Granger and Misters Fred and George Weasley into this. They will help us in filtering mail and searching Harry’s House. I believe she can give us at least a clue. Percy, please bring them here. Robards, Wallace, I need five good men tonight on this case. Two to assist Miss Granger, One to stay vigil at Tonks's house and one other will go to Hogsmeade. I will inform Minerva about this and ask her to stay on guard. Ron take your brothers, go to Harry’s house and search for any clues’ Kingsley ordered them.
When Mr Wallace and Mr Robards were discussing with other senior members, Percy came in with Hermione and Twins. Arthur looked at Hermione hopefully. She smiled encouragingly but the smile didn’t reach her eyes. They sat behind Arthur and waited.
‘Weasley and McMillan from Aurors, Turpin, Peasegood and Hooper from MLE will stay the night. Peasegood, you are experienced of the lot, so you are going to Hogsmeade. McMillan, Turpin, you are to stay with Granger. Hooper, you are good at disguise, watch over Tonks residence. Weasley take your brothers to Potters house and check for anything suspicious on this case or not. Granger, Turpin knows about Potter’s detained Mail. For Mrs Potter’s mail we must contact Holyhead’ Mr Robards passed the instructions about night's activities.
‘Gentlemen ... and Women as well, let’s call it a night and meet again here at half past six tomorrow morning. Hermione, go thru the case file. All of us are hopeful that you will find a clue and point us in right direction. You can use this room, feel free to coordinate with others’ said Kingsley but it sounded more like a plea.
‘Good luck Miss Granger. We are all eager to see how you fare tonight’ Dawlish said seriously but the sarcasm was evident.
Proudfoot scoffed at that and said ‘not again’ and Williamson muttered ‘don’t start now’ while Ron frowned at this and glared at Dawlish from the other end of table.
‘I bet you will be more than eager come morning’ snapped Hermione with resentment.
Most of them at the meeting knew about the enmity between Potter, his friends and Dawlish. Dawlish loved to find faults and rail against Auror batch of Potter and took every opportunity to censure their actions from the start. Potter’s win against him at end of training displays made a large dent to his ego. The fact that Potter and his friends only excelled after joining Auror dept made things even worse. The final straw was a year ago when Dawlish crossed the line and made a rude comment about Ginny. They duelled and Potter thrashed him in the second floor corridor as if he was a green boy.
Dawlish was mean towards their batch but his dedication towards duty and Ministry was never doubted. Later he was promoted as law enforcement official (moved out of Auror Corps) and Potter was warned for attack on seniors. They never crossed paths before this case and things will only turn interesting now.
All the officials except the assigned five left the room. Mr Robards and Mr Wallace asked to contact them for anything necessary and they too departed. Hooper left first to Tonks residence followed by Peasegood who said he will come back in couple of hours from Hogsmeade.
‘What about Harry and Ginny, we should inform them about this. I would have contacted him but don’t have a means to’ said Ron. He knew Harry very well. Harry doesn’t want to be kept in dark about the issues if it concerns him or those he love and doesn’t want others to take decisions for him.
‘Hermione, do you have any way to contact them’ Arthur asked her knowing full well she has an answer.
‘We can contact their hotel and they will connect us with Harry or Ginny. All we have to do is go to Muggle London’ answered Hermione. She wanted to add more but restrained.
‘I sense a ‘but’ in your answer, Hermione, It’s been a long day. Save us all from these riddles and Tell us what you know’ said an annoyed Percy.
‘Well it takes nearly 15 hours from there to here by muggle way. Even if we contact them now, it will take a day for them to reach here. That’s the catch’ Hermione sighed.
‘Bloody hell, they really went on airplane’ exclaimed Ron
‘We can try and arrange some Portkeys if you can tell us exactly where they are’ reasoned Kingsley.
‘They asked me not to disclose their tour plan but this is an emergency, they are in South Africa Minister. I have their hotel address’ answered Hermione. She also wanted Harry and Ginny to come home as soon as possible. The presence of Harry in situations like these always improved confidence.
‘Great, I know South African Minister personally. I will contact him right away. Why don’t you give me the address?’ Kingsley asked her. He is happy at least the issue of bringing Potters home quickly had a solution.
Hermione checked her hand bag and took a pamphlet and passed it to Kingsley. He took it and left the room with Arthur in tow.
‘Go home Perce, have a few hour of sleep and come early. We are here and there’s not much we can do now’ Ron told his brother.
‘Seriously, sleep is not an issue now. I can stay with Hermione and coordinate with you all’ Percy said. He didn’t want to leave his family in these moments again.
‘Tomorrow will be a long day, Percy. Your help is most needed in the morning, after we find something tonight’ Hermione also added.
Percy got up with a sigh, asked to contact him for anything and left. Hermione asked Lisa Turpin to get the detained mail of Harry and called the Twins to come closer and started reading the report. Ron and Ernie sat opposite to her while Twins stood behind her and read from above her shoulder.
‘Hermione dear, can you read any faster, we are already finished’ Fred called after few moments.
‘Yes George, and they call her the brightest witch’ mocked George.
‘Fred, George I can’t concentrate with you bickering in my ears’. She pulled out her wand, muttered a spell and gave them another identical booklet saying ‘there go at your own pace, don’t eat my brain’.
‘Eat your brain’
‘Why would we do that?’
‘We don’t wish to be like you’
‘Besides who wants to be like you’
‘I can think of only one person and he is too thick to accept it’
‘May be part of your brain can do the trick. What do you say Gred’
‘That’s an excellent idea Forge. It will save our ears from all the bickering’
Hermione glared at both of them by the time they said only one person but couldn’t maintain it by now and smiled. Ron on the other hand turned red first but composed and said ‘Oi you two, you are supposed to help us. Not waste our time’ Ernie who was holding back till then burst out laughing followed by Hermione.
‘That’s enough, I needed it though’ Hermione said to Twins and turned to the report while twins sat beside her and started reading their copy.
After few minutes Hermione asked from her report ‘What can you say about Jenkins, Ron?
‘He is an Ok guy. Still a trainee though. Couple of year’s our junior. He does his work and doesn’t pry in unnecessary matters. That’s all I know about him.’ Ron said looking at her but she only nodded her head from the report.
‘What about those that interrogated the death eater families’ Hermione asked. This time she looked at Ron for his answer.
Ron looked back and answered ‘It’s not Dawlish if you are asking that. Williamson went for it along with a small group. Lisa was in that group’.
‘Who all went to the place where attack happened? There must be something there, it’s written there was a fight’ stated George as if concluding his point.
‘Yes and it also said they didn't use any Portkeys or they Apparated from the spot. So they used some other means’ Fred stated indicating his point.
Hermione took out a muggle note book and pen waved her wand and charmed them so that the pen is writing on it's own. She said to twins ‘you made a valid assumption and I think they thought about it’ pointed at the other two.
‘Dawlish, Williamson and four others went to spot. They said they checked the entire park and no portkey were used. There was a chance that they may have Apparated from another locations in the park’. Ernie answered them.
‘I went there when I went to check Andy’s house. There was nothing in the place of fight. I couldn’t find any clue’ Ron sighed.
Lisa entered the room with a floating sack of mail which interrupted Hermione from commenting. She turned to the other girl, looked at the sack with her, sighed and started reading again. Lisa dropped the sack on middle of the table, took something from her pocket placed it on the table and enlarged it.
‘Thanks Turpin. brought any snack’ Ron asked taking a Butter beer from enlarged case.
‘I am not your elf, Weasley’ Lisa snapped at him.
Hermione suddenly looked at Ron from her report and he raised his free hand in surrender. ‘I didn’t ask her to use any Elf, Mione’ Ron pleaded.
‘Elf.... Ron you went to Andy’s house right? Did you find Kreacher there?’ Hermione asked curiously. All the three who were storming their brains from evening looked at her in awe. She understood she got a point there.
‘Bloody hell, you are brilliant Mione. I didn’t find him there. In fact I am pretty sure he was not in the house. If he had anything to do with this I will strangle that piece of shit' Ron stated getting up from his seat and punching the table with his fist.
‘Ronald! How could you think like that? He was changed and even fought with us in the war. We don’t even know what happened to him. That attitude towards house elves should change’ Hermione rounded on him.
‘Oh come on, Hermione. Please don’t start about House elves again’ Ernie told her.
‘Hey, you two, biker at home. The point now is, where this Kreacher was. House elves don’t leave their house unless master orders’ reasoned Lisa.
‘He is not Andy’s Elf, he is Harry’s and Harry asked Kreacher to help Andy with Teddy. So Kreacher is staying at their house. I don’t think he will answer us’ sighed Hermione.
‘He won’t. Why will he after you coaxed him to become free’ retorted Ron which earned him a glare from Hermione.
Before they started again ‘Merlin, not again. We don’t have any more energy to listen to you. Please, let’s discuss task at hand’ Ernie pleaded them.
Hermione and Ron looked at each other for long minute and she went to her report while Ron glanced around the table and settled his look on Hermione.
After some time ‘what do you want us to do, Hermione? There’s no use sitting ideal until you complete that report’ Ernie asked her.
‘I am almost done. I think we should do few things before morning along with the assigned tasks’ Hermione replied.
‘We better start the assigned tasks now and finish quickly, and then we can have some time for others’ Ron stated not so wisely and got up.
Hermione gave him a filthy look for interrupting her and ordered‘Sit down Ronald. It’s better if you listen to me first. What I wanted to say before you interrupted was we should find Kreacher and check he has any information. We also should check accidental magic in past day and continuously monitor it. I am not sure but we can find something’ Hermione addressed everyone.
‘Well finding bout accidental magic is easy, we can rope in good old Mafalda. How can we contact the elf?’ Lisa asked
‘KREACHER’ shouted Ron in hope to find the old elf but nothing happened and he gave a defeated look at Hermione.
‘KREACHER’ Hermione also tried but the result was same. ‘I think we should check Grimmauld. Ron, Fred, George you are going there to check Harry’s mail, why don’t you also check for Kreacher?’ asked Hermione
‘That we will’ answered Fred.
‘It’s half past two now. We expect you in an hour. We will start with the pile here’ finished Hermione pointing the sack Lisa bought. Ron and Twins left the room after saying they will come back before that.
The remaining three started filtering Harry’s Mail. Arthur came in after some time and said Kingsley contacted the South African minister and he responded positively. Hermione asked him to go home and come back early to which he refused. The Weasley Patriarch conjured a comfy recliner near the table, took a few letters and sat down. After going thru some letters he stopped reading, sighed, removed his glasses, leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes.
Lisa felt bad looking at the state of Arthur. Ernie who was also observing him said ‘Even I am getting irritated reading this bullshit. It must be very hard for him going through that mail and reading that Ginny and Harry are some tart and Casanova’.
‘I don’t know what these morons think about them. I bet none of them knew anything about Harry or Ginny yet they declare they are not good together reading all the shit from papers and magazines’ blurted an irate Lisa, dropping the letter in her hands and leaned back.
‘It is Ok if they express their opinion but either they declare that Harry and Ginny made a blunder to choose the other or depict them as one of them trapped the other’ cried out an annoyed Hermione.
‘Well I think a nice tea is needed to lift our mood. Need a cup you both’ asked Ernie.
‘I need mine hot with two cubes of sugar’ replied Lisa.
‘I need one too’ added Hermione.
Few minutes later Ernie came back with tea and reasoned ‘Kidnapper planned this with caution. I don’t think we can find anything from this mail’.
‘I am not sure we can find anything either but what else can we do at this time’ answered Lisa
‘I think we investigate more from the kids view rather than Harry’s’ suggested Hermione.
‘The Kid’s an Orphan and his family is not famous either. From what we found there are no one that had any feud with his family. I don’t understand why they went after him when there are many other high profile targets’ Lisa asked them.
'Don't let Harry or Ginny hear you say that. They treat Teddy as their own. You know Ginny wanted to take Teddy along with them, Luna and I talked her out of it' Hermione warned her.
'I don't know much about the kid’s family but I strongly believe this is about Harry' stated Ernie.
'Well may be you are correct but I think we should also look into his family history' Lisa gave her opinion.
'He is son of Remus and Nymphadora Lupin. They were actively involved against Voldemort. His paternal grandparents died long ago. Tonks's dad died in the last year of war. Andromeda is from Black family but she cut ties with them when she married. I don't think this is a family issue, Lisa. This is to discredit or blackmail Harry. Oh, for Merlin’s sake, Teddy is God son of Harry and Ginny potter who are very influential and wealthy' reasoned Hermione.
'Yeah, this causes panic among public and papers will have a field day on Harry and Ginny' answered Ernie.
'They both won’t take this well. They will go to any length and not hesitate to fight the Ministry if needed. Mind you they will be backed by Weasleys and other prominent houses' explained Hermione
'Then that can be exploited to cause political unrest. If that’s true then this is a ploy against Ministry. Let's hope it’s not the worst. I pray to god the kid’s not harmed and released with some ransom' concluded Lisa.
‘I still think they must have done more. They only put four of the juniors to do some reading and two others as lookouts. We must be outside now, tracking those kidnappers not sitting here and reading this shit’ Ernie pointed the Ministry’s behaviour.
‘I agree, Ernie. Also from what I read in the report, they concluded they found no clues to work on. This can be interpreted in two ways. Either there are none as they said or they are ready to accept the worst possibility like a conspiracy. It’s clear they are hoping by morning the kidnapper will make an offer’ Hermione pointed the feeble work in this case.
‘How sure you are about the conspiracy, Hermione’. A voice suddenly called from the doorway. The three in discussionwere startled by that and Lisa spilled her tea over the table.
‘Minister, we didn’t know you were here. We are just discussing...’ Ernie shut up after Kingsley stopped him with his hands gesture. Hermione understood Kingsley wanted to hear from her but waited.
‘I wanted you in this case because you are very smart and can see in a way we don’t. You can tell me your point’ Kingsley told her.
‘Well as you heard, there is a possibility that this kidnapping is more than just what it looks like. There are some wizards and witches who were badly affected by recent ministry reforms and many branded Harry as the poster boy for that. They might have a hand in this’ Hermione answered him.
Kingsley understood she is smoothly accusing him for the turn of events but none of them planned or thought Harry will be regarded as root for the changes by public. Press projecting him as next Merlin added more fuel to their belief. ‘You know we never wanted that’ he all but whispered taking a seat at the table.
‘Yes, but you would have done better. We should have done more’ Hermione also whispered regretting her behaviour.
‘None of you are experienced politically and didn’t expect press to twist your wordings, Hermione. I couldn’t openly condemn them because of my limitations’ Kingsley tried to talk reason
‘Well, we all thought Harry was being noble as usual and not accepting credit. By the time we found what was happening, it was already late’ Hermione couldn’t hold herself anymore. She was almost in tears.
‘Most of you were very busy in making the laws and trying to get them passed without hitch. The public always need someone to look up to. It’s always easy to paint one a hero and let him stand for what they believe is best rather than they stand strong when it’s hardest. It also gives a leverage to put blame on him when they fail. We all are fortunate that it was Harry because he is far too noble to exploit them. There’s no use pining over the past, Hermione’ Arthur who was listening silently to the proceedings soothed her.
‘Only San and Neville openly pointed those reforms are a collective effort and not Harry’s alone. I know Harry more than anyone but I failed him there’ Hermione replied crying openly.
‘Gavin Hunt is far wise than most and anticipated the press to do something like that. As for Neville, he supported his best friend. Gavin’s life in Slytherin taught him many things, Hermione. If it helps you, neither Harry nor Ginny hold a thing against any of us’ Arthur told Hermione placing a comforting hand on her head.
Hermione looked at him and found he was neither lying nor just saying to make her feel better. She knew Harry and Arthur became close after war. Ginny was always close to her dad while Harry looked up to Arthur as a father figure and after their marriage Harry became the youngest son of their family. She excused herself and went out.
Hermione came back to find the other four seated at the table, Arthur and Kingsley are having tea while Ernie and Lisa are going through the letters.
'I believe you came to say something, Minister before you were side tracked by me' Hermione asked Kingsley taking her previous place.
'Ah, Yes Hermione. I came to share details about the Potters. And your doubts are required now' Kingsley said looking at her pointedly stressing the word doubt.
'Any new updates about them' asked Arthur.
‘Well, Peterson called back. He said his team are on the way to office and will send word with one official immediately when they locate the address. We decided to ask Goblins for help with Portkeys.' finished Kingsley.
'That's good. Goblins will not hesitate to help them. How are you planning to contact Gringotts' questioned Arthur?
'I am planning to send Percy immediately in the morning. I hope we find something before they are here. I cannot face them else' told Kingsley.
‘They won’t be pleased even if we find Teddy safe. They will probe how this happened in first place’ Hermione corrected him.
‘I need your help to explain them about this when they are here’ Kingsley looked at all of them hoping they are agreeing with him.
‘Well I will help you to explain them but don’t think I agree with what you did or done. I will not stand in between when Harry hexes you, Minister’ Hermione told him emphasising Minister.
Kingsley looked at her wide eyed and hoped it won't come to that situation. Arthur laughed while Lisa and Ernie were looking between Kingsley and Hermione. Kingsley composed himself and asked ‘So, Miss Granger, report your progress?’ rather sternly.
She observed him and answered ‘Weasley boys went to Potter’s house and yet to come back, we haven’t received any updates from Hogsmead, Diagon alley or Tonks House. We completed this half and about to start the other before you interrupted us’ sounding very official and picked a letter.
‘That’s not much. I expected better’ Kingsley immediately told her turning towards Arthur.
‘What more do you expect in two hours at night, Minister. I think you haven’t contacted Professor McGonagall yet which should have been done’ Hermione told him sarcastically.
Kingsley who was looking at Arthur suddenly turned towards Hermione and said ‘Hermione, thanks for reminding, I forgot about Minerva speaking with Ministrer. Come on Arthur, let’s not disturb the kids anymore’ Kingsley said getting up.
‘I let you know it’s not me who is disturbing them’ Arthur said getting up.
Kingsley left the room saying ‘Hermione, I suggest you contact certain Weasley boy or else he might get sidetracked’ and Arthur followed him smiling.
‘Hermione, did you jist flirt with the Minister’ Ernie blurted.
Hermione and Lisa looked at each other and then at Ernie and laughed. ‘Oh Ernie, that’s not flirting, it’s just silly banter. I know Kingsley as a friend before he became Minister’ Hermione told him laughing.
‘He was trying to lighten the mood after the little crying episode’ Lisa added looking at Hermione and she had the decency to feel embarrassed.
They went back to mail and nearly after half an hour Peasegood arrived and said he searched Hogsmead and found none suspicious. He also said he alerted three broomsticks, Hogs head Inn and went out to have a nap till morning.
At around quarter to four, Weasley boys arrived exhausted.
'We searched their house and mail. There were no threats, nothing related to Teddy or ransom' said Ron dejectedly.
'There's no sign of Kreacher either, Mione. I believe your doubt about him knowing something was correct’ Fred stated.
'Yeah, we also had a look at Andy's house. He is not there either' George added.
Then there are two missing or kidnapped here' Ernie concluded.
Hermione took the report and updated the findings. Ron enlarged the Butterbeer case and offered everyone and gave Hermione a muggle drink he brought from Harry's. Slowly one by one all of them dosed off around the table.
It was how Percy and Bill found them when he came at six in the morning and woke them.
'Look at them Perce, sleeping peacefully without any care in the world. Dad was thinking they are working their asses out here' Bill commented smirking
'I let you know we were really working and didn't know when we dosed off' Hermionetold replied sleepily.
'Easy there, Mione. Aren’t you picking fight with wrong Weasley' Bill countered.
'William Weasley I know you are not Ronald' Hermione shouted at him.
'Who said anything about Ronald, Hermione' Bill asked innocently. She blushed but Ron came to her rescue. 'Stop winding her up, Bill. Why are you here?'
'Oh little brother, I came to help you but Kingsley asked me to go with Percy and deal with the Goblins' Bill replied
'There's a meeting scheduled in half hour. Go home, freshen up, have something and come back. There's a long day ahead. Leave the report, Hermione'
'Where's dad, Perce' Fred asked
'He and Kingsley went to St Mungos. Get up and move everyone or you will be late', Percy ushered them out.
‘Someone has to stay here to co-ordinate with others. What if Peasegood or Hooper come back or someone tries to contact us’ Hermione asked Percy.
‘We sent Peasegood home and Hooper will be relieved and asked to report at the meeting. Williamson is on his way. We will hand over the report and leave to Gringotts. If you delay, we all will be late for the meeting. Go home and come quick’ Percy explained.
Lisa and Ernie left to their flats while Weasley boys and Hermione went to the Burrow.
Percy started reading the report ‘Hmm, they found a new thing, Bill. Kreacher’s also missing. I need to floo Mafalda, they pointed we didn’t check accidental magic yesterday’ Percy said and went to the fire place. They left for Gringotts after ten minutes when Williamson arrived.
An hour later, Harry and Ginny are sitting in the visitors Lobby of the Egypt's Gringotts branch waiting to meet Goblin, Rowktooth. They avoided physical exhaustion and conserved their energy by following the advice of Healer from South Africa.
‘What do you think would have happened, Harry. I hope it’s nothing serious’ Ginny asked looking at him. He felt her worry and knew he had to stay strong for both of them.
‘I couldn’t think of anything for certain, Gin. It must be something serious or they wouldn’t bother us' he told her. When she was not convinced, he added 'Don’t worry, Gin. We will be there in a couple of hours. I hope it’s nothing serious’ looking into her eyes.
He moved one hand around her waist, hugged her to his middle and kissed her on top of her head. She rested her head on his shoulder and tried to calm down but she had this weird feeling which she hadn’t felt in couple of years. She refused to acknowledge it but knew something bad happened or is about to happen to her family. She is picking almost same feelings from Harry and knew they couldn’t help it. All she want to do is reach home immediately and have a good look at all her family and friends and make sure they are good.
‘Our friends and family faced the War and came out alive. There are no death eaters now and I don’t think it is happening again. They are good and strong, Gin, Let’s hope nothing bad happened’ Harry said moving his fingers soothingly through her hair.
‘That’s all we can do know. Will it ever be normal for us?’ she asked looking into his emerald eyes. The answer that came to his mind immediately was 'yes' but it felt like an empty promise even to himself. She saw the conflict on his face and asked ‘Promise me, you will not pull some stupid noble act again for whatever reason. Anything there, we are facing it together’.
He turned sideways and placed both of his hands on her cheeks. Looking into her dark chocolate eyes, he replied with equal determination and sincerity ‘I already promised you, Gin. If you want to know again ‘I love you and I have no intention to leave you ever, no matter what. You are the most important person... no strike that, you are part of me, Gin, the reason of my happy life. You make me complete. I love you and always will, never doubt that’.
She was moved by his words and happy tears leaked from her eyes by his truthful answer and the feelings she felt from him. He gently rubbed the tears from her cheeks lovingly. She cupped his cheeks and whispered ‘thank you love’.
He slowly moved forward looking into her eyes and gently touched her lips with his whispering ‘No, thank you love’. They sat there whispering loving and encouraging words to each other. After some time a goblin came and took them inside.
Back to index
Chapter 3: A Warning Received
Author's Notes: A big Thank you to the reviewers.
A Warning Received
Weasley twins flooed to the Burrow followed by Hermione and Ron. Hermione and Ron went upstairs to freshen up while twins went to the kitchen where they found Angelina playing with Victoire and Fleur preparing breakfast. George gave Angie a peck and sat beside her. Fred took the plate of eggs and fried bread from the counter which also earned a hit on the back of his head from Fleur.
“When will you boys start making your own breakfast?” Fleur asked annoyed and started preparing more.
George saw Fred’s mouth full of eggs and asked “Why should we do such thing when we get delicious breakfast every day?” and added, “Courtesy of you Weasley women of course,” looking at Fleur and Angie.
He then took Victoire from Angie and she went to assist Fleur.
“Did you find anything?” Fleur asked them arranging breakfast on the table.
“Nothing much. We found that Kreacher is also missing. There’s a meeting scheduled at half-past six. They will decide further action then,” George replied.
They were interrupted by an owl tapping on the window carrying the Daily Prophet. Fleur opened the window, released the owl of its weight and gave it a few treats. She opened the paper and shrieked “mon dieu”.
Angie rushed to her took one look at the paper and cried out “Bloody hell!” then shouted “GEORGE”
Fred and George rushed to them and were shocked by the headline. Fred recovered first and shouted “RON, MIONE GET DOWN NOW,” and followed that with series of swear words.
Victoire started crying and ran towards Fleur who lifted her and chided Fred to stop yelling.
Audrey rushed down first holding baby Molly. Hermione came next followed by Ron who was still wearing his shirt. “Why the hell are you shouting Fred? We are only upstairs, I bet half of the town heard you,” Ron asked.
“Why am I shouting? Here look at this. I will see how calm you can be,” Fred gave a dirty look and threw Daily prophet into Ron’s hands.
Hermione took it from Ron and started reading. Audrey came to her side while Ron stood behind them. They were shocked to find the headline that read
‘Harry Potter — Become a Squib’
We at Daily Prophet received an anonymous letter early today morning stating they kidnapped ‘the Saviour of Wizarding world’ and ‘the boy who lived’, Harry Potter’s Godson and will release the boy only after Mr. Potter turns into a squib.
The mysterious letter quoted ‘Mr. Potter always said he loves his godson. I want to know if it’s true’. The mysterious kidnapper demanded Mr. Potter to become a squib to save his godson. He quoted ‘I want Mr. Potter to swear an unbreakable vow in front of Wizarding press at Ministry Atrium before five today evening vowing to never use magic again in his life. I won’t trouble myself with wordings. What I demand him is, become a squib and never use Magic. He and his friends can come up with them”
The letter was not signed and delivered by an owl that left immediately. We are yet to find the truth about the kidnap of Mr. Potter’s godson, Edward “Teddy” Lupin. Daily Prophet also ran a story last week that Potters are in America enjoying their second honeymoon. Whether the Wizarding Saviour can come back from America before five in the evening is to be seen?
Does the Ministry knew about the kidnap of Potter’s godson and wanted to remain quiet? Will the Ministry sacrifice a toddler for the savior? Will Mr. Potter really becomes a squib? We at Daily Prophet will bring you further updates in exclusive mid-morning and afternoon editions today.
Story by — Matt Hornby
Series of curses left Ron’s mouth after he read that. Audrey and Hermione started reading it again. Fleur shouted at Ron to stop cursing and closed the ears of Victoire who started crying again.
“Merlin’s pants, this is absurd,” bellowed Hermione. She threw her hands into the air and looked around. Looking at the shocked and blank faces, she said in a low voice “He can’t take the vow. He can’t become a squib”. The fear that Harry may decide otherwise was clearly evident on her face.
“We won’t let him, Mione,” Ron assured her with determination and pulled her into a hug.
“Come on, Ronald, let’s hurry to ministry. I want to look whether such a vow is possible,” Hermione said after composing herself.
“We are also coming,” Fred stated.
“No, you get Molly home and let’s all move to somewhere safe. This jerk looks like a psychopath. We cannot take any more chances with the safety of this family,” Hermione replied with a hint of panic.
“The Burrow is one of the safest places, Hermione. There’s no threat for any of us here,” Fleur reasoned
“Yeah, that idiot targeted Harry, not others. He would have had one of us by now,” Audrey added.
“That’s true, Mione. Why don’t we leave them here with twins? It’s impossible for anyone to breach the wards without alerting us,” Ron tried to calm her.
“Ok, but contact Molly and get her home. We will send Ministry escorts to Andy after reaching the Ministry,” Hermione reluctantly agreed and moved towards the floo.
Fleur followed Hermione, pulled her aside and said “the search for Teddy is even more difficult now, Hermione. You must calm down and stay focused on finding him. All the others will only focus on Harry”.
The war changed Fleur into a mature and calm woman. She blended into Weasley family and stood by them in thick and thin. Ginny and she became close and even Molly grew to accept her as a daughter.
“Thanks, Fleur. I needed that,” Hermione said and hugged her.
Hermione and Ron flooed to the Ministry immediately and they were greeted by Ernie who was pacing in the Atrium.
“Ron, Mione, Have you seen the Prophet?” Ernie shouted upon seeing them enter the Atrium.
“Yeah mate, it’s a shock. Found anything?” Ron inquired.
“Had the meeting started? What are you waiting here for?” Hermione asked Ernie at the same time.
“Thought you want someone to go and inquire at the Prophet Office,” Ernie replied.
“That... that’s a good idea. If you go early you can find out something from them before the office is flooded with people and they manipulate everything,” Hermione agreed.
“Let’s go then. We will find something or we will drag that blasted Editor and writer here,” Ernie told Ron.
They parted ways as Ron and Ernie went to Prophet Office and Hermione moved to the elevators.
Hermione strode into the meeting hall that was already occupied with Mr. Wallace, Mr. Robards, Williamson, Peasegood, Dawlish and few other Aurors and DMLE members. She was followed by Lisa after few moments.
Lisa came in shouting Mione “Have you read this,” holding Prophet. That caught everyone”s attention and Williamson asked, “what’s new Ms. Turpin”.
Hermione made copies of the newspaper and passed them to everyone to look on their own. That caused an instant outrage among the occupant and all started saying something or cursing openly.
“Williamson, go to the Prophet Office and get this moron here now,” barked Wallace above the commotion.
“Ron and Ernie already went there, Sir,” Hermione told him.
Kingsley and Arthur came in followed by Percy, Bill, and Hooper. Once everyone sat Kingsley looked at several copies of newspaper and said “all of you read today’s Prophet then,” and got a nod from the table occupants.
“What’s the report, Miss Granger,” Robards asked Hermione.
“Hope you solved the case,” Dawlish added in a derisive tone.
“Enough, Dawlish,” denounced Kingsley and silenced him with a glare. He then asked, “Hermione, Report”.
“Well Minister, we found Kreacher, Harry’s House Elf was also missing and concluded Kreacher’s absence is related to Teddy’s kidnap. There’s nothing notable in the detained Mail or at Harry’s house. We also wanted to look for any accidental magic recorded yesterday afternoon so that we can search these locations. Peasegood said he informed all the possible men and women in Hogsmead and Hooper came just now” finished Hermione.
“How is Potter’s elf related to this case, Ms. Granger,” asked Mr. Wallace.
“Kreacher is Harry’s house elf but Harry asked Kreacher to stay with Mrs. Tonks and help her with Teddy” explained Hermione.
“This is a clue that can give us something. I suggest we put Magical creature department to find him,” Robards suggested and asked ‘did you find anything, Hooper?”
“No Sir, none came at night but today morning at around 6, a reporter from Prophet came to their house. I sent him away saying it’s a private property. He didn’t disclose anything about the news they received,” Hooper finished his report.
“I already asked Mafalda for the data about accidental magic. We can get the details in half an hour,” Percy told them.
“Good, also we already made arrangements for Mr & Mrs. Potter’s travel. They are expected here before ten,” Kingsley told them.
“That’s fine, what do you suggest about the news, Minister,” Mr. Wallace asked.
“If you give me permission, Minister” Dawlish started and continued after getting a node from Kingsley, “I think we are giving more than necessary importance to this case because the victim is related to Potter”.
That statement caused an instant outrage among the assembled group. Weasleys and Harry’s friends protested loud and Kingsley asked “Why do you think like that” silencing everyone.
“I doubt we take the same interest in another normal wizarding family, Minister. This looks like a family feud and the Kidnapper clearly stated his desire. He is very smart and seems to have planned this carefully. All we can to do is either give what he asked or leave hopes on the boy,” finished Dawlish.
“You mean we should leave Harry to settle this and do nothing,” Hermione asked him incredulously.
“Good thing you shared your opinion without beating the bush, Mr. Dawlish. Let me make this clear to everyone that has a same or similar opinion. Potters were neither normal wizarding family nor Mr. Potter a normal wizard. Your statement of we won’t show the same interest in other families must be seriously looked into. We will discuss that after this case is settled. To make you all clear we don’t succumb to demands or threats of the abductors, how clever they may be” Kingsley told sternly emphasizing the word clever looking around the table.
Making sure his words were registered, he stated “Edward Remus Lupin must be found. I expect you all to work accordingly. Mr. Wallace, Mr. Robards, do you have any inputs” Kingsley asked both the heads. Before any of them could respond, the hall doors opened and a fat person in full body bind was levitated inside by Ron and Ernie.
“We didn’t find the Editor. Brought this chunky plump and the letter they received,” Ron told them giving the letter to Robards. Robards passed it on to Hermione and asked her, “will you do the honors?”
She levitated the letter and muttered an incantation making a replica the size of a blackboard, appear on the wall.
Dear Daily Prophet,
I believe you take the pleasure publishing this.
I heard you mention that you love that half-breed godson of yours. You are a disgrace to wizarding community and failure as a wizard. I expected you to protect your loved ones better with your history, but you left them and chose to pleasure with that blood-traitor tramp. The world is not a safe place and now we have something you hold dear. I will give you one chance though.
All I demand is simple “Become a squib”. Take an unbreakable vow in the Ministry atrium in front of everyone before five tomorrow evening and prove that you love this cur. Your intelligent friends can come up with wordings. I am watching you, Potter.
Hope you choose wisely.
Hermione finished reading the image loudly and dropped the letter onto the table and started examining it.
“There is no magic on that, Mione. We checked it,” Ernie told her
“The parchment is also normal and the ink used is a standard one,” Hermione sighed and sat back.
“Percy, take that for analysis” Kingsley ordered making a copy of the letter and released the newcomer from his binds.
The plump man got up with some effort and lunged towards Ron shouting “How dare you to arrest me. I work for the Daily prophet”.
Ron easily avoided his punch and said “I will freeze all your body parts except that jowl. We only need answers from you”.
“Mr. Hornby, we have some questions for you and release you after answering them,” Wallace told him.
“I won’t speak anything unless my editor and lawyer are here,” Hornby snapped.
“Hornby, you can answer our questions willing or we force them out of you. Weasley, get Veritaserum,” Robards ordered Ron left the room.
Hornby looked at everyone around the table and no one tried to object the head Auror. Defeated he agreed to answer muttering “this will be in tomorrow’s news,” and sat at the other end of the table opposite Kingsley.
“How did you get this letter,” asked Robards pointing the letter
“I believe you read the news today. I suggest you read it,” ridiculed Hornby.
“Careful Hornby, don’t provoke me. I am already exasperated,” warned Robards.
“It’s true then, Mr. Potter’s godson was kidnapped and you are trying to cover up the news,” Hornby asked eagerly. His face lit up like a Christmas tree. The moment the words came out of the plump man’s mouth, Robards fired a hex and Hornby got stuck in his chair and yelped.
Robards said, “Answer, Mr. Hornby” in a calm tone.
“It was around four, we received a postal owl addressed to the chief editor. It was an odd time to receive a letter. So, I opened and read it. Immediately understood that news is for today’s newspaper and we revised the front page and published the letter. I stacked it for Mr. Cuff but your men took it,” finished Hornby accusing Ron and Ernie.
“So Instead of alerting DMLE, you publish these kinds of letters and create panic and unrest among the public,” Hermione berated and gave him a filthy look.
“McMillan, escort him to a cell. He will stay here until the case is settled,” Wallace ordered Ernie. Ernie levitated the protesting plump man with is chair outside.
Once they are out of the room, Arthur asked “what is our plan now,” in general.
“Let’s get the details about accidental magic. We monitor that continuously, put a couple of squads on that and one squad on finding Potter’s Elf,” Mr. Wallace suggested.
“One squad to make a thorough search of Diagon Alley and Knock turn alley. Another to do the same in Hogsmeade,” Robards added.
“I don’t think we can find anything in Hogsmead, Divert them to inquire about postal owls. Also, you should keep two squads at your disposal to deploy when you find a clue. I also need someone to guard Mrs. Tonks in St Mungos,” Kingsley told them.
“I suggest you also provide protection to Weasley family, Minister. He openly threatened the loved ones of Harry,” Hermione reasoned.
“Hmm, we will look into that Ms. Granger. Arthur, can you please ask all of your family to stay inside the Burrow for now’ Mr. Wallace asked Arthur.
‘I already told them, Wallace. I will make sure of that’ Arthur replied.
‘What can you think about this kidnapper from the letter,” Kingsley asked everyone.
“He is a supporter of Pure-blood ideology. He called Ginny a blood traitor,” Lisa immediately replied.
“Yeah, and Teddy a half-breed,” Bill pointed.
“It seems he planned this for quite some time. He chose the time Mr. Potter is away,” Williamson gave his view.
“I think he stalked Potters and their families and carefully selected his target. It looks like he also studied about Potter. How can he put such a condition without hoping that Potter will accept it,” Dawlish told them reluctantly?
“That’s correct. Harry is too noble for his own good. The kidnapper didn’t ask for Harry’s death. He wanted to humiliate Harry and enjoy it when he led his life as a squib,” Hermione told them with disgust in her voice towards the evil plan.
“Hmm, that’s correct, but you all forgot a crucial thing here. He never promised to release the Kid after Mr. Potter took the vow. Whoever this one is, he is very smart and has a bigger plan to destroy Mr. Potter’s life,” Proudfoot calmly told them the depth of this situation.
“Then why tell the world about that. He could have kept quiet,” Ron asked.
“Less than a year ago, we declared all the death eaters were accounted for. There will be a public outcry once the news breaks out. We all will be busy maintaining order and he can carry out his plan with very few wizards behind him,” Wallace explained.
“Divide the squads, Robards. We don’t have much time to waste. Let’s get this bastard,” Kingsley ordered losing his cool.
“No offense, Minister, we can’t spare more than ten from my team apart from Aurors. I need the bulk of my team in few hours to control the situation from further damage. It’s better to avoid any more fuss now,” Wallace told him.
“Why don’t you put hit wizards to handle public for today,” Kingsley asked impatiently. Looking at Wallace’s forlorn expression, the minister understood the head of DMLE already included them in his plans and sighed.
“You can recall other Aurors from training,” Bill suggested hopefully.
“No. That will send a wrong message,” Robards answered.
“Then what’s the plan. We don’t find him unless we search and you are not ready to do that,” Bill arraigned.
“Mr. Weasley, we are doing all the things Robards suggested to get the Kid safe,” Williamson sternly stated.
“Yes, but clearly that’s not enough,” Bill shot back.
“Mr. Weasley, there’s no use in blaming us. You have to understand we are doing all we can. I welcome any suggestions and ideas,” Wallace told Bill in a no-nonsense tone.
“Wallace, Robards, divide the squads, let’s start the work” Kingsley ordered them putting an end to further arguments.
“Williamson, take four and investigate accidental magic records. Proudfoot, your squad will look at all the known blood purists and have one member at their homes. Dawlish, you stay here with your squad ready. McMillan, you take a trainee and go to Prophet. Peasegood, Weasley and five others will search Diagon alley and other wizarding areas. We will put the Magical creatures department to search for the elf,” Robards declared and everyone agreed.
“Also assign someone to Mrs. Tonks at St Mungos, Robards,” Kingsley told. When he got a nod, he continued
“Miss Granger, rope in someone loyal and knowledgeable, research about this unbreakable vow,” Kingsley told her and added, “your services are used when required Bill, for now, this is a Ministry issue”.
All the assigned dispersed to their tasks and only Minister, Heads, Arthur, Percy, and Bill remained inside the room.
“What should we tell the Public, Kingsley,” Wallace asked.
“The truth” Kingsley replied and explained after looking at the raised eyebrows of others “we will say that Teddy was kidnapped and search is underway. Death eaters have nothing to do with it and we are investigating the mysterious letter”.
“Percy, call a Press conference at Atrium in an hour. I will address them,” Kingsley told him and left to his office.
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Chapter 4: The Saviours returnThe Saviours return
By half past nine, the Potters were at the Gringotts bank and greeted by their Accounts manager. They were told to go to the Ministry and directed to a secure fireplace. Harry and Ginny thanked the Goblins for their help and flooed to the Ministry.
They arrived at a commotion in the Atrium. Deciding against drawing attention and waste any more time, they moved towards the lift but a reporter noticed them and shouted ‘Mr. Potter’ and alerted the others.
A swarm of reporters ambushed them immediately and fired questions.
‘Mr. Potter have you decided to take the vow?’ ‘Is the news in Daily Prophet true?’ ‘Are you really in States enjoying honeymoon?’ ‘what can you say about the kidnap’ ‘Is it true you love your friends and family?’
Percy and Bill, waiting for their arrival quickly alerted the DMLE officials and guided the couple away from the reporters to the conference room. Harry and Ginny asked what happened but Percy said 'Not here' and led them inside.
When they entered the room, Ginny immediately ran to her father and hugged him tightly while Harry greeted Kingsley and the other two heads.
Ginny greeted her twin brothers and Hermione the same way. Harry nodded to their family and Hermione and asked “What happened?” looking directly at Kingsley.
Though he expected the blunt question, the Minister only stared back in response.
“We know something happened to our family, tell us, Dad. I had this weird feeling from yesterday,” Ginny demanded in a concerned voice.
“Arthur, please, those reporters downstairs were shouting kidnap. Did something happen to Molly,” Harry asked when he saw Arthur’s hesitation?
“Molly is safe at home, son. It’s not her,” Arthur replied quickly and stared at Harry and Ginny as he couldn’t continue further.
“All your family is fine, Potter,” started Mr.Wallace and stopped when Kingsley shouted “Wallace”.
Ginny repeated ‘all are fine’ a couple of times and looked at everyone around as if to make sure the truth.
She eyed Harry for few moments, suddenly turned towards Wallace and roared “HOW DARE YOU”.
The occupants were shocked by her reaction. She turned to her father and asked, “Where’s Teddy?”
The guilt on the faces of the people around was enough for the couple to understood the situation. Harry’s face drained of color in moments and he stumbled back while Ginny rounded Kingsley
“What happened to Teddy? I want the truth,” and before the Minister replied, Harry quietly said “Take us where he is. I want to see him”.
It took few moments to register his words for them and Ginny stumbled back muttering “No, it’s not true. Not my Teddybear”.
Hermione, who was observing them closely blurted “NO, he’s not injured, Harry”. Before the Potters took a sigh of relief, she said, “Teddy was kidnapped”.
“What? How come he was kidnapped? What the hell were you all doing?” Ginny demanded her family and started crying.
Harry collected himself, moved closer and took her in his arms. She hugged him close and cried into his jacket. Suddenly moving out of his arms she stated, “I want him back”. She looked resolute and Harry said “Kingsley, Tell us everything,” not taking his eyes away from her.
“It’s better if both of you sit for this,” Kingsley told them.
Harry conjured a couch and sat pulling Ginny with him. Hermione handed him the case report and Kingsley started to explain but stopped when Harry lifted his hand. Harry held Ginny close and started reading the report, running his hand through her hair while she calmed down. He suddenly hissed “Where the hell is Jenkins?”.
“There’s no use cursing him Harry. We questioned him with Veritaserum. He abandoned his duty but has no hand in it,” Kingsley told him.
“Yeah, the lad is already half dead imagining your wrath,” Robards added. Harry glared at them both and went back to report as the other’s silently watched him.
‘KREACHER’ Harry shouted suddenly after a minute but nothing happened. He called again twice and swore. Ginny felt his anger due to helplessness but she couldn’t do anything as she too was on same lines.
“He was not there at no-12, Harry, we searched for him yesterday night,” George told him and Harry resumed his work. Once he finished the report, he turned towards the heads and asked “Why didn’t you bring in all the remaining death eaters? What are you playing at wasting time? Where’s Ron?”
“We cannot arrest or detain them for everything, Potter. You know that” Robards answered.
“The hell you can’t. You are bloody head of Aurors” snapped Harry.
‘HARRY’ scolded Hermione but stopped immediately when Harry gave a menacing look.
“Harry, restrain yourself. We are sorry for what happened. All of us are working from last night. Besides, there’s more to this,” Kingsley told him.
“What’s more, Is Andy alright?” Ginny asked immediately.
“She was badly cursed and lying unconscious in St Mungos,” Arthur told his daughter.
“Will she be alright?” Harry asked.
“Healers are not sure what curse was used on her. By the time she was admitted, it already took effect. She’s critical and we can only hope for full recovery,” Arthur explained and Harry cursed again.
“What’s more then?” Ginny asked her dad.
Hermione answered her question by thrusting the Daily Prophet into her hands. Harry and Ginny opened it and were shocked by the headlines. Ginny used a series of swear words and Harry sat there stunned after he read the article completely.
“Oh No, you are not pulling another noble act, Potter” Ginny threatened holding his collar. When he looked at her she grilled “I want my baby home. Do you understand?” Harry came out of his shock and pulled her to him.
“What’s happening now. Where in the hell is Ron?” Harry asked them.
“We are trying to locate the elf and one squad went to check the locations of accidental magic recorded yesterday. Weasley and his team are searching Diagon alley,” Wallace summarised for him.
“We are trying to find a loophole in the Vow, Harry, to buy more time from the kidnapper,” Hermione told him.
“I want in this case, Sir. I want to interrogate all the former death eaters myself,” Harry told Wallace.
“Me too,” Ginny added stubbornly looking at the head of DMLE.
‘Mrs. Potter, you are neither an official of MLE or an auror. Mr. Potter, as for you, it’s not my intention to put you through this but ‘on what grounds you want in’?” Wallace questioned him.
Harry tried to understand the question while Ginny glared at the head of DMLE. It clicked for him why the head of Auror was so formal after he saw the looks on the faces of two heads and the Minister.
Harry asked, “are asking me whether I want in as an Auror or as a Parent.”
‘Yes, Mr. Potter. You can join this case either as an Auror and work in the team or as a guardian’ Mr. Wallace answered slowly.
Harry stood suddenly and replied with a sneer, “you are a fool to think I will sit on the sidelines or follow some damn rules when my godson’s life is at stake”.
“Sit down, Harry,” Kingsley told him authoritatively. “We are already facing enough problems with public and can’t have you start more by picking fights without proof”.
“Arthur, I suggest you take your family to your home and come back for the meeting,” Robards told Mr. Weasley.
“I am not going anywhere,” Ginny told them and sat firmly on the couch.
'Good, then you can help us in research' said Hermione. She pulled Ginny from the couch and forced her to the other end of the room. Ginny was clearly not interested but reluctantly agreed when Harry nodded.
“I requested you to divert Ginny's protection to Teddy but you didn't believe me and crossed that very idea,” Harry accused Wallace.
“Potter, we already increased your wife’s guard for the coming season. Many of her present guards are on vacation and I used others to fill them,” Wallace retorted.
“Yeah, fat lot of good was done,” scoffed Harry.
“Bill, Can we do a tracking ritual,” Ginny asked suddenly from the other end of the table loud enough for everyone to hear.
“We can, but he is the last Lupin. If we take blood from Andy we will get many results coz she’s a Black and it's not worth it,” Bill told her.
“I don't want to leave any option,” Harry told him.
“Then we will do it. We can get Andy's blood from St Mungos,” Bill told him and got up to go but George said “Fred and I will go. You can start preparations”.
“Can I have a look at the accidental magic records,” Harry asked Kingsley and left the room with Percy when told that they are with Mafalda after kissing Ginny on her head.
After some time, Padma Patil came in with two aged wizards and middle-aged witch and met with Hermione.
“Harry, we crossed Mafalda's office. Where exactly are we going?” Percy asked Harry following him to the elevator
“To meet an school friend, Perce,” Harry answered without stopping.
They went to level six and Harry roared “Malfoy” entering the office. All the employees who were inside the office immediately stood from their seats to see what’s happening and Draco came from his cabin and said “Potter” in a low voice. Harry didn't say anything and waited for Malfoy to continue.
“You must believe me. I have no role in it” Draco said in a fearful tone.
“Then you have nothing to fear” Harry replied.
“I already told the same to Aurors, yesterday. You can question me,” Draco replied but the fear was evident in his tone. By this time murmurs started in the office and everyone was waiting for Harry to say something. He kept looking at Malfoy and asked “Do you have anything else to say” and Draco shook his head.
When turned back and started to leave Percy asked “That’s it. You believe him” and Harry nodded and communicated not here. They both left for ‘Improper use of Magic’ office.
They entered Mafalda’s office and Harry asked her for the records of accidental magic. They both chose an empty cubicle and started reading them.
“There are total seven reports yesterday and only four in the afternoon. We can search all of them within half an hour if you wish, Harry,” Percy told him.
“There’s no need, Perce, all the reports are in Muggle areas. Its normal and the kidnapper won’t hide in a Muggle town,” Harry told him.
“How can you say that? We can’t leave any option,” Percy questioned
“One this bastard is a Pure-blood Maniac and two our detectors can’t record accidental or underage Magic in a magical household. They trust the parents to take care of their children,” Harry explained him.
“That means our teams are wasting our time going to these places,” Percy asked in disbelief.
“That’s what I believe. Come on, let’s look at the other records of dark magic and any magical spikes for clues,” Harry told him getting up.
“But the spells traded were not dark. What can we find checking dark magic detectors when there was nothing used” Percy asked confused and followed his brother in law.
Harry and Percy arrived with the records and went to the group that is researching about the Vow. Harry greeted Padma and the others and asked “Mione, will you leave that for some time and help me in analyzing these,” showing the records.
“They were all in muggle neighborhoods, Harry, we don’t find anything there,” Hermione answered.
“I know we won’t, Mione. That’s why we brought dark magic and magical spike records of past six months,” Harry replied.
She looked up suddenly from her book and said “Brilliant, Harry. Why didn’t I think of that?”
“Pad, will you also come and look at this? You please continue about the vow’ Hermione asked the others getting up from her seat.
Harry conjured a small table in another corner of the room with enough chairs and started looking in dark magic records with Ginny and Padma while Hermione and Percy started reading the record on a Magical spike.
“This was recorded yesterday afternoon but not meeting alarm threshold,” Padma immediately pointed. “That’s near Andy’s house,” Ginny immediately said.
“It was recorded at seven past four. That means the kidnap happened then,” Harry told the others.
“There is no another record in past three months. The previous one was in the second week of February,” Padma pointed out.
“Where was that,” Hermione asked her.
“Cheviot Hills, Northumbria,” Padma answered.
They looked at each other thinking about the place but none were certain. Padma again spoke “Harry, let’s take help from The DA”.
“We can’t, Pad, the Ministry won’t accept us operating parallel with them. That will not go well with the public and we won’t get enough support in Wizengamot even,” Hermione told her.
“Your Ministry can go stuff yourself, Mione. I lost faith in them when they couldn’t solve the attack on Harpy’s stadium. I won’t trust them with my family,” Ginny lashed out.
“In case you forgot, your darling husband investigated that. Don’t you trust him?” Hermione retorted.
“Don’t start, Hermione,” Harry told her but she scolded him “It’s not me who started it”.
“What’s this secret you are hiding from me, Harry,” Ginny rounded on him and when Harry didn’t reply, she continued “Merlin help you, Potter if that has anything to do with me”.
“Gin, I cannot disclose the case details. Surely you know that,” Harry spoke in a raised voice.
“Aren’t we going off topic,” Percy asked them trying to calm the situation. Ginny continued to glare at Harry and he spoke “you are right, Pad, I will contact our friends if nothing comes from the next meeting,” Harry told her and turned towards Hermione and said “Mione, can you go through all of this, I want to speak with Bill”.
He came to Ginny kissed her cheek and said something in her ear. She smiled slightly and said ‘Deal’. After Kissing her once more, he moved towards Bill and a few minutes later, both of them left the room.
“Where did they go, Ginny,” Hermione asked when Harry and Bill left the room and Ginny answered ‘Gringotts’.
“Do you think they can perform the ritual in a short time?” Harry asked Bill in the elevator.
“Of course, Harry. Most of the tracking rituals are done on short notice,” Bill assured him.
“They went to Arthur’s room and flooed to Gringotts. They entered the inner offices of Goblins and entered Ragnok’s chamber.
“Lord Ragnok, May your profits multiply,” Harry and Bill bowed to him
“Lord Potter, Mr. Weasley, May your assets flow. How can I be of your service,” Ragnok asked them with a slight bow?
“Ragnok, do you know anything about my godson,” Harry asked clearly.
“I know he was kidnapped, nothing more,” Ragnok replied him truthfully.
“I need your help to find him. We want you to do a tracking ritual,” Harry told him.
“Mr. Lupin’s blood was used in making his Portrait and the remaining was sent to study about lycanthropy. I am afraid we cannot proceed further,” Ragnok explained.
“We wish to use Mrs. Tonk’s blood,” Bill clarified.
“We can do it, there will be many results though,” Ragnok told him.
“What else do you need, Lord Ragnok,” Harry asked him.
“Nothing else,” Ragnok answered with a ‘but’ in his voice.
“Charge it to my vault. I want my godson safe,” Harry told him emphasizing safe and clearly communicating gold is not the issue.
Ragnok called his secretary and asked to contact few others and make arrangements for a tracking ritual. He then asked Harry how the search was going on and Harry answered nothing was found.
“Mr. Potter, are you sure there are no clues in the area. Even with the Master of plans, there will be something because the planner doesn’t execute his plan every time. Usually, it’s the followers,” Ragnok advised. That raised a doubt in Harry’s mind.
“Do you need me here to perform the ritual?” Harry asked him suddenly
“I need blood, Mr. Potter, not you,” Ragnok told him with a smile that looked more like a sneer.
Harry pulled his wand and pointed it to the open space in the room. A majestic silvery stag appeared instantly and bowed to him.
“Hey Prongs, need you to carry a message to the twins,” he continued ‘Gred, Forge get the blood to Gringotts and meet Lord Ragnok’. The stag bowed to him again and disappeared. Harry got up followed by Bill and left Gringotts after taking leave.
They flooed to Tonk’s house and apparated inside the park after speaking with the Auror posted there. They felt the muggle repelling wards and Harry walked towards Teddy’s favorite place.
“Harry, where did they find Andy?” Bill asked walking alongside him.
“It was near the rope climbers,” Harry told him pointing in their direction. They moved near slides and scanned the area. They went to rope climbers and found markings of blood on the ground and also some blood on the walkway curb.
“Harry, if Teddy was playing the slide why did she come here,” Bill raised a question. The slides are first equipment and rope climber was towards the end.
“I also didn’t understand that,” Harry stated and continued “It was written the kidnappers didn’t use any form of magical transport. They Apparated from somewhere in the park,” scanning the entire area.
“If you are the kidnapper Harry, where will you Apparate from?” Bill asked him thoughtfully.
“I will choose that secluded corner behind those bushes and big tree,” Harry told him pointing to the corner and said ‘Bill stay calm for few minutes’.
Harry closed his eyes concentrating on the air and all other things surrounding him. He turned few times breathing slowly and finally settled in the direction of the corner pointed before and said, “I think they Apparated from there”.
“How you can say that?” Bill asked him.
“Trust me, Bill. I have a strong sense of scent. If it was yesterday, I would have been surer’ Harry told him and moved towards the corner and Bill followed. They searched the secluded area for any clues but found nothing. Harry was little disappointed and concentrated again closing his eyes. This time he moved towards the boundary and found the first clue.
“Bill, see here,” shouted Harry and bent over a small bush near the wall. Bill came running and looked over his shoulder and asked ‘Is that blood’.
“Yes, and it’s not Andy’s,” Harry told him. This time he concentrated even hard and moved along the wall. He stopped near the bushes of the big tree and scanned the area. He found the second. He bent down and picked Teddy’s stuffy wolf.
Bill cursed the clues team after looking at it. They searched the area again, apparated to Tonks’s house and flooed to the Ministry Atrium.
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