Only the Best by Celtics534
Summary: Metropolitan Police Inspector Harry Potter was having an amazing twenty-four hours. He slept a full eight hours, had a good pint, and met the most incredible red-headed woman. Of course, that was all nulled by the dead woman lying in Whitehorse Road Park.
Categories: Alternate Universe
Only the Best by Celtics534
Chapter 1: Chapter 1Author's Notes:
“I can’t believe you were in jail for a whole night!” Ginny Weasley sniggered at her brother, who was scowling. They were sitting in a small London pub, eating fish and chips and sharing a pint. Ron, her youngest brother, had just explained why he wasn’t at Victoire, their niece’s, birthday two days ago.
“It’s really not funny, Ginny,” Ron hissed at her, “prison isn’t all it cracks up to be.”
Ginny gave a small laugh. “Out of all my brothers, I would have thought the first to be arrested would have been Fred and George.”
Ron snorted. “Yeah, well, I always wanted to do be first at something.” He took a long drink. “What did you think I would be first at?”
“First Weasley to eat an entire pie in under a minute.”
Ron’s indignant noise was cut off by the tinkle of a bell over the door. Ginny watched her brother’s eyes roam over to the noise, then saw his face drain of color. She turned in her seat to see what had spooked Ron. A man had walked through the doorway. He was wearing a pale blue button-down shirt and black jeans. His black hair was unruly, going every which way, something Ginny found incredibly sexy, but it was his eyes that hypnotized her. They were a beautiful shade of emerald that seemed to glimmer in the low lighting of the pub.
The man seemed to do a quick survey of the room, as if checking for danger. When his eyes landed on Ron, Ginny could have sworn the stranger’s eyes lit up with humor. He made his way towards their table, scooting around the patrons standing around watching the football match on the television in the corner. Once he reached their vicinity he gave Ron a cheery smile. “How are you doing, Mr. Weasley?”
Ron refused to make eye contact with the man, instead he looked down at his half-eaten plate. “Fine, Detective Inspector Potter.”
Now, Ginny never prided herself on being the smartest person, but even she could add two plus two. “Wait,” Ginny’s drawled, looking between the two men, “is this who…”
Ron gave a quick jerk of his head. His face was steadily taking on the attributes of a tomato. Ginny started to shake with suppressed laughter. What were the odds that Ron’s arresting officer would go to the same bar as him?
Ginny held out her hand to the man. “Nice to meet you.”
Inspector Potter, as Ron had called him, gave her an appraising look and shook her hand. “Like wise, Miss?”
“Weasley. This dope,” she pointed at Ron with her thumb, “is my older brother. So, Inspector, Ron didn’t tell me why you arrested him. What did he do?”
The Detective Inspector gave a small chuckle. “Public intoxication and public indecency.”
Ginny’s eyes went wide as she turned quickly to her brother. “Ron,” her voice was filled with uncontainable amusement. “What would Mum say?”
“Oh, don’t tell Mum,” Ron moaned pitifully. “She would make me move back home.”
“You would deserve it. Clearly your too immature to be away from your mummy,” her voice was dripping with humor. Ginny turned her attention back to the black-haired man. “Would you like to join us?” Ron let out a destressed moan as she gestured to the empty chair next to her. “I would love to hear your side of the story. I’ll even buy your pint, as payment for this future blackmail.”
Potter let out a derisive snort, but took the empty chair. “Alright you have yourself a deal, Miss Weasley.”
“Excellent! What will you have?” Ginny asked as she stood up to head over to the barkeep. Harry listed off a local brand and she quickly ordered it. When she returned she placed the cool tankard in front of the inspector.
“Alright,” Ginny started reclaiming her own seat. “I know the basics. Ron was arrested after a few pints with his mates, but he hasn’t said anything past that.”
Their new companion took a sip of his lager, before saying, “I would say more than a few pints. He was a BAC level of point one hundred and twenty by the time I got him into the station.” Ginny shot her brother an alarmed look. Ron usual was pretty good about not getting to out of control.
“What did he do before you took him in?”
Ron groaned again as his arresting officer continued, “He was pissing on the side of the bar when I walked by. I called out to him to stop and he turned to face me and… well…” the Inspector’s cheeks darkened slightly.
Ginny rounded on her brother, her tone full of disbelief, “You pissed on a Coppa?” Ron placed his head in his hands as Ginny started to laugh. Even Potter gave a few chuckles.
“I’ve been on the force for years now, but you are the first person to do that to me,” the Inspector claimed playfully, making Ginny laugh harder.
“Look at that, Ron, another thing you’re first at,” she told her brother, cheerfully slapping the man in question’s arm in mock celebration. She turned back to the Inspector. “I’m surprised you’re not madder, Inspector Potter.”
Harry waved her off. “Nah, it could have been worse. Also, call me Harry. I mean, I’ve already seen a lot of your brother, you and I should be on a first name basis.”
Ginny snorted. “Alright, Harry, but that means I’m Ginny.”
Harry shot her a quick smile. “Deal.” Then he turned to Ron. “Can I be on a first name basis with you, as well?”
Ron slowly removed his red face from his hands. “Might as well, you know me better than some of my mates.”
Harry laughed and raised his beer in a salute. “Great, to knowing way too much about Ron.” Ginny laughed while raising her glass. All three took a long drink. The three started talking as if they had been friends for years, even Ron once his initial embarrassment was over. They discussed the Weasley family and what it was like to have so many brothers. Harry talked about being apart of the Metropolitan Police. The time just seemed to run, till most of the patrons had vacated the bar and only a few tenants were left nursing their drinks.
“Well,” Ron said as he stood up and stretched, “I’m heading home. I’m sure Lavender is worried sick about me.”
Ginny rolled her eyes at Harry. “His girlfriend,” she told the confused looking man in an undertone. Harry nodded his understanding and stood himself. He offered a hand to Ginny, which she took with a laugh. “Not that drunk, yet, Inspector.”
He chuckled and shrugged. “You don’t need to be drunk to accept a gentlemanly action.”
They walked out of the pub into the crisp, night autumn air. Ron pointed his thumb down the street to the left. “This is where I leave. Which way are you, Harry?” Harry pointed the opposite way. “Alright, well, you’re the same way as Ginny. Have a good night.” He gave them a quick wave and deserted them.
“Where are you off to?” Harry asked rubbing the back of his neck.
“Sudbury Hill,” Ginny said, pointing to the tube station a little down the way. Harry snorted. “What?” she asked semi-defensively. There was nothing wrong with living where she lived. She had a nice little flat that wasn’t too noisy at night. Not to mention the fact that it was only a twenty-minute bus ride to Wembley Stadium where she worked as press agent for the Tottenham Hotspurs Football Club.
Harry continued to chuckle as he said, “That’s where I’m going as well.” He stuck out his elbow and offered her his arm. “It would be my honor to escort you, Miss Weasley.”
She took his arm, but shot him a skeptical look. “Really?”
He started to lead the way towards the station down the road. “Oh yeah, I’ve lived there for… must be five years now, since I was twenty.”
“I would have thought you would have wanted to be closer to Scotland Yard.”
Harry shook his head. “No, I hate how loud it can get in the middle of the city. I prefer the quiet just outside life.”
As they entered the station Harry pulled out his Oyster card and payed for his way in, Ginny did the same in the adjacent booth. Together they made their way up the set of stairs that would lead towards their final destination. As they waited for the next train they continued one of their conversations for earlier.
“So, who is your favorite brother?” Harry asked gesturing to a bench. They sat side by side. He gave her a sly grin. “You can tell me, Ron won’t be offended anymore.”
Ginny laughed. “They’re all my favorite for different reasons.” Harry gave her a blank look so she explained, “Bill was always there when I needed guidance. Charlie was always there for exciting adventures. George and Fred were always there when I needed a laugh. Ron, being the closest to my age, was a good playmate.”
Harry counted on his fingers. “That’s only five. Ron mentioned earlier that you have six.” Ginny must have scowled because Harry quickly backtracked, “You don’t have to tell me about the last brother.”
Ginny shook her head. “No, it’s fine. He is just such a git. We haven’t heard from him in almost ten years. He walked away from the family, because my dad gave him an opinion he didn’t like.”
Harry gave her a cognitive look. “And he hasn’t tried to reach out?”
Again, Ginny shook her head. A clear male voice called over the speaker that their train would be arriving in one minute. Harry stood up and offered his hand to her for the second time that night. “Keep this up and I’m going to have high expectations,” Ginny joked.
Harry gave her a lopsided grin, that made her stomach flutter. “Only the best for you.” The train pulled in to a stop with a loud screeching noise. The doors opened rapidly spilling out passengers. The pair waited for the line of riders to leave before they hopped on.
The train was almost completely empty, being such a late hour. They took two seats in view of the door. The clear voice from before reminded them to “mind the gap” as the exit slid shut. The train then started to move, pick up speed.
“What about you?” Ginny asked, breaking their comfortable silence, “You never mentioned your family.”
Harry stiffened slightly but said, “No, I didn’t. I don’t really have a family.” Ginny felt guilty. She had just met this man and had clearly asked way to personal of a subject. She started to apologize, but Harry waved her off. “No, it’s fine. I was raised by my aunt and uncle. They never really wanted to deal with me, so as soon as I turned eighteen I was out of there.”
Without thinking Ginny placed her hand on his arm. “I’m sorry.”
He gave her a noncommittal shrug, but faced her with a small smile. “No harm, no foul. Now tell me what’s it like to work with the Tottenham club.” Ginny explained all about some of the incidents she had dealt with over her the last year of working with the club. Harry was an excellent listener. He asked good questions and laughed at all her bad jokes.
It was only a thirty-minute ride, but they had one transfer from the green line to the blue. They kept talking until they reached the exit of the final tube station. Again, they were in the cool outside air. She pointed in the direction of her flat. “I’m going this way.”
Harry jerked his thumb the opposite way. “I’m down that way.” They both stood in silence, neither seeming to want to be the first one to leave. Ginny really had enjoyed Harry’s company. He told good stories, listened to her, and if she was honest with herself, she enjoyed looking at his dapper face.
“What are you doing for breakfast?” Harry asked, rubbing the back of his neck.
“Uh, I assume I’m eating it,” Ginny said mischievously with a grin. She was thinking he had the same thoughts about her, as she did about him.
Harry snorted. “Well, would you like to eat it with me?” He pointed to a café down the road a little from the station. “I tend to pick something up there in the morning before work, but if you want to join me we could sit in their dining area.”
Those butterflies from before returned to Ginny’s stomach as she nodded her head. “That sounds nice. What time?”
“How about half past seven?”
“Perfect,” Ginny pulled out her phone and navigated to the contacts screen. She past it over to Harry, who looked confusedly at her. “Put your number in.”
Harry made an understanding circle shape with his mouth and pulled out his own phone. He clicked on the screen a few times and handed it to her. “Fair is fair,” he told her as he placed in his number. Ginny shrugged her agreement and added her info. Turning off the screen with the button on the side, she handed him back his mobile.
“So, I’ll see you tomorrow?” Harry double checked as he stuck his device back into his pocket.
“Bright and early,” Ginny told him, and then she boldly pressed a kiss to the Inspector’s cheek. “Have a good night, Harry,” she said as she turned around and headed towards her flat. As she walked she counted to five, at the final number she looked over her shoulder. Harry was still standing in front of the station watching her as she walked away. She caught his eyes, making him blush and he gave her a little wave and turned around and headed away.
Ginny returned her attention to the direction she was walking, a smile forming on her lips as well.
Harry buttoned up the collar of his shirt. He had another ten minutes before he was supposed to meet Ginny at the café. The café was only a five-minute walk from his flat, so he took decided to try to tame his hair one final time, a lost cause as always.
Never in a million years would Harry have expected running into the guy who pissed on him in a pub. Never in another trillion years would he have thought he would be asking the guy’s sister on a date for breakfast. The world loved its twist and turns.
He had really like Ron and Ginny. Ron was sarcastic and seemed to be loyal to people he cared for, which he proved when he stood up for his, as Ginny put it, bitch of a girlfriend. If they had met in school they would have become fast friends. Ginny… Well, Ginny seemed to have the full package. Humor, beauty, and overall personality.
When he had entered that pub last night, when he scoped the room for potential threats, something he always did, he had instantly noticed her. Her long red hair had reflected well with the soft light of the room. Her face was covered in freckles, something Harry had never known he loved till he saw it on her. When she had looked towards the door she had on one of the most incredible smiles he had ever seen. Overall, Harry was surprised his jaw hadn’t dropped to the floor when had seen her. He had gone over to their table, under the pretenses of mocking Ron, but really, he had wanted to see her up close.
Harry made sure he had his keys, wallet, and phone, before leaving his flat locking it behind him. He walked at slow pace. As much as he wanted to get there and see Ginny again, he didn’t want to seem too anxious. Really though, he was thrilled she had agreed to meet him again.
As he rounded the corner of the street which was attached to the café, he could see Ginny’s red hair bobbing along in the throng of people, coming from the other direction heading towards his recommended dining choice. She was wearing a pair of dark jeans and white blouse with a brown leather jacket unzipped covering her arms. Even in something so simple Harry thought she looked really, really good.
“Hello there, Detective Inspector Potter,” Ginny said comically, as they reached their destination at the same moment. She was smiling at him. That same smile that had drawn him to her last night.
“Good morning, Miss Weasley. Are you hungry?” Harry asked in an over the top dapper voice.
Ginny gave a hearty laugh. “First thing you get to learn about us Weasleys is that we are always hungry.” She led the way into the small building. For a weekday morning, it was almost empty. Just a few couples and families scattered around eating and chatting.
They went up to the counter and each ordered a coffee and a few pastries. Harry pulled out his card and paid for it before Ginny could even get out her wallet. She gave him an appraising look and said, “Still ever the gentleman, I see.”
As Harry signed his name on the tablet screen he responded, “Only the best for you.”
Ginny picked up their order and headed towards one of the free tables in the back of the room. “Is that your favorite response?”
“I want to make sure my new favorite red-head is treated right,” Harry told her as they sat opposite each other.
“New favorite, huh?” Ginny raised an eyebrow as grab a Danish. “And who would be the first?”
“Oh, Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Have you heard her sing. Also, have you seen that outfit? That shell bra looks fantastic on her.”
Ginny spluttered into laughter, choking slightly on her drink. “Ah, and fashion is something you learned on the force, huh?” she said once she could speak again.
Harry gestured down to his outfit. It was a simple white shirt that held all his epaulettes with black tie and black trousers. “I mean I think this speaks for itself. It’s our main focus.”
“Ah, yes, that where all my tax pounds go, your outfits.”
“And I can see you don’t regret it.” He sent her a comical flirty wink across the table, making her snort.” So, what are your plans today?”
Ginny took a sip of her coffee and took a bite out of her Danish. “Two of the boys were out way too late last night drinking. Let’s just say they put Ron to shame. Ironically they are a few of his old classmates.”
“Where did they get up to their hijinks?”
“Southern London. Have you heard of the Hogshead?” Harry shook his head so Ginny continued, “It’s a beat up old pub. The barkeep is a little temperamental, and well, Thomas and Finnegan are quite a duo when drunk.”
Harry nodded his understanding and took the a croissant and gestured for Ginny to take the final Danish, which she did happily. “So, how do you deal with something like that?”
“What you would expect. Call the media to ask them not to print the articles that are surely written. Then call the pub and try to calm the old man down.”
“Not that I’m trying to part from your company, but shouldn’t you be making those phone calls now?”
Ginny smiled at him, sending his stomach for a loopy loop. “My colleague is finding out which papers have bought the rights to the story. I get to call the pub. Abe and I have dealt with each other a few times now.”
“Ah, had a few drunken nights with Abe yourself, huh?”
Ginny snorted. “If only. No, Finnegan is always getting in trouble with his drinking.” She gave him a sly look. “But now that I’m friendly with a certain Inspector…” she batted her eyelashes in a mock flirty manner.
Harry couldn’t contain his snort. He smiled sweetly at her. “Only the best for you, luv.”
“Already at the nickname stage I see, darling.”
Harry laughed. He looked down at his watch. There were ten minutes before the train was scheduled to reach the platform. “Are you heading towards the inner city? We could ride the rails together.”
Ginny chuckled. “As romantic as that sounds, I’m taking the bus to the stadium today. I plan on working from the office today. I have no desire to have this conversation in person with Abe today.”
“Fair enough,” Harry said as he stood up. He offered her a hand, making her roll her eyes at him but, smiling all the same. “Allow me to walk you to the stop then, Miss. Weasley.”
“My hero,” Ginny said playfully batting her eyelashes and lacing her hand on her heart. They walked out of the café laughing and standing closer to each other than polite company would dictate. In the end they reached the station just as Ginny’s bus arrived. She gave Harry his second kiss on the cheek as she boarded, swiping her payment as she went. Harry watched as she took a window seat and gave him a little wave as the bus started to move.
Harry walked to his designated train platform. As his ride approached he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket.
‘My companion isn’t nearly as cute as last night’s.’ Harry couldn’t contain a snort as he read Ginny’s text.
He quickly typed back a response, ‘Maybe if they had on a sea shell bra…’
Harry boarded the train as he received her answer, ‘You’re right, here let me ask him.’ Before Harry could more than let out a snort she sent another message. ‘He says he’ll pass, but maybe next time.’ Another bubbled note appeared. ‘Maybe you could request a change in uniform? Though, I bet more crimes would be committed, just so they could see you in that nice little get up.’
They continued their flirty banter till Harry arrived Scotland Yard. Before he walked in the front door he asked her what time she would be getting off work and offered to chivalrously take her to dinner. She informed him she should be done with everything, hopefully, around half past five and asked if he wanted to go to a little Indian place a few blocks from Sudbury Station. He agreed and offered to meet at the station around six, time for him to get back to his flat and change into civilian clothes. Claiming that was perfect, she told him have a fun day being on fashion patrol.
As Harry walked into his office, the first thing he noticed was a note from his Detective Chief Inspector, telling him to go to his office. Following the order, Harry headed right to Moody’s office. Alastor Moody was a gruff looking man who had lost his leg in an explosion. He had a fake eye, that tended to roll around in its socket, which made people call him Mad-Eye. With a quick knock at the door, Harry was granted access.
Mad-Eye was sitting at his desk going through some paper work. “Good, Potter,” he said not looking up from his work, “You’re heading out to Stepney. A woman was murder out there a few hours ago. I want you and Tonks on the case.” Moody looked up quickly from his desk.
Harry nodded his assurance, making his chief grunt. “Alright, then,” the grizzly man said, “I’ve already informed Tonks and she should be waiting for you by her desk.” Again, Harry nodded and left the room. He quickly stopped in his office to grab his coat, then made his way to where his partner for the case was supposed to be.
Nymphadora Tonks was a fellow Detective Inspector. Harry had worked a on a few cases with her in the past. She was personable and funny. She loved to change her hair different colors, making kids think she was the best officer ever. The big wigs upstairs weren’t overly fond of it, but Harry thought it was great. As Harry approached the first thing he checked was her hair, which was her favorite shade of bubblegum pink. Once Tonks noticed him she tried to wave, but knocked over her coffee cup in the process. Tonks was the clumsiest person Harry knew.
She flushed as she took a rag and wiped up the mess. “Hey, Potter.”
“Morning, Tonks,” Harry replied in a cheery manner, “You ready to head over to Stepney?”
She nodded as she finished cleaning up the puddle of brown liquid. “Yeah. Do you mind if I drive?”
Tonks was able to get them to Whitehorse Road Park in one piece, though there was a moment when someone wouldn’t get out of her way, and Harry thought she might run through them. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. They parked the car at the walking entrance of the park near the back end of some houses. Yellow tape was posted around the walkway, blocking many curious people from entering.
A constable stood guard, keeping the crowd in line. When Harry and Tonks arrived, they pulled out their warrant cards, making the guard nod them entrance.
A busy scene greeted them as they ducked under the tape. The area was crawling with officers inspecting the ground. In the center lay the victim whose body was covered with a sheet. Even at this distance, Harry could tell the victim was a woman. A gloved woman knelt next to her inspecting her feet. She wore the trade mark coat of a medical examiner. He glanced about, spying a photographer who was taking pictures of various details on the ground.
Harry glanced at Tonks, who nodded and walked towards the photographer. Harry went to speak with the examiner. She was Harry’s age with brown bushy hair. Another person Harry had worked with in the past. Hermione Granger was an over-organized woman, which made her extremely efficient at her job.
“Hermione,” Harry called as he reached her.
She looked at him over her shoulder and gave him a quick nod. “Harry.”
Harry pulled out a notebook. He always made sure to carry something to write in. He liked to take notes, including any thoughts he may suddenly have. “What do you have so far?”
Hermione stood and turned to face him. “Female. Late twenties. She was discovered here by a jogger four hours ago, though the temperature of her body suggests she has been dead for longer. No clothing was found on the body, her handbag, however, was slung on her shoulder. No ID was found in the bag.” She took a breath before continuing, “No visible wounds other than what appears to be rope marks around her wrists. No cause of death yet.”
Harry followed along taking down his notes. “How was the body lying when it was found?”
“On her back.” Hermione moved in closer. “I found a small bit of writing on the inside of her wrist. It looks to be written in lipstick, the same kind I found in her bag.”
“What does it say?”
“It’s looks like the number one,” She gave him a worried glance. “My worry is that this is a start to a message, but that would mean it a possibility to more bodies.”
Harry gave a curt nod. “Possibly, but as of right now it’s just the one. How soon can we find the cause of death?”
“I need to get her to the station, but from there hopefully a few hours. I wanted to wait, so you could look at the scene, find something I may have missed.”
“Okay, thanks, Hermione.”
The woman gave him a wry smile and walked over to another member of her team who was looking over the contents of the bag. Harry knelt at the dead woman’s head. He slowly removed the drape from her face and let out a surprised noise of recognition. Harry couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Dead at his feet was his ex-girlfriend, Cho Chang.
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