|SIYE Time:7:26 on 23rd February 2018|
Category: Wanted: Dead or Alive Challenge 2012-3
Warnings: Mild Language
Story is Complete
Summary: A simple question uncovered the fact that not all of the Death Eaters had been accounted for. Harry and his Auror team hunt down the remaining Death Eaters.
Hitcount: Story Total: 2903
Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.
I thought this challenge was very fascinating, but this story was written in one day. I apologize in advance if there are any typos. It does end a bit abruptly, but I wanted to get it submitted.
Updated ending - hope you enjoy :)
Harry pulled his cloak a bit closer around him to protect himself from the biting November wind. It was a cold, dreary day and the fact that he wouldn’t see Ginny for another four weeks wasn’t helping. He headed into the Leaky Cauldron for lunch. He supposed he could have gone home, but he’d found himself craving their ham and mushroom pie.
“Hello, Harry,” Hannah Abbott greeted him. “Just one?”
Harry nodded, “Unfortunately.”
“Follow me,” she said as she led him to a more secluded booth in the back.
“Thanks,” he said. “I already know I want some ham and mushroom pie and a glass of butterbeer.”
“Good enough,” she said with a smile. “I’ll be back in a few.”
Ever since a group of Ministry witches had attempted to dose Harry’s food with love potions, Hannah walked Harry’s order through herself to ensure nothing untoward happened. Harry sat back in the booth, relaxing a bit. It had been a rough week in Auror training. Harry and his fellow trainees — Seamus Finnegan, Katie Bell, Michael Corner, Terry Boot, and Susan Bones — had reading the older files on the Death Eater investigations. It did not make for pleasant reading.
Dawlish wanted the trainees to become familiar with both how the Death Eaters worked as well as how past Death Eaters had been caught. While Harry had witnessed many atrocities through his bond with Voldemort, he was very happy there were many atrocities had had not. Reading about them was bad enough; he couldn’t imagine actually witnessing them.
“Here you go,” Hannah said as she slid a steaming pie onto the table.
“Smells great,” Harry said with a smile. “Thanks, Hannah.”
"You’re welcome,” she replied.
Twenty minutes later, Harry was full and felt much better. Hannah headed back over and picked up his empty plate.
“Harry, do you have a few minutes?” Hannah asked.
“Of course,” he replied gesturing for Hannah to sit down.
A bit nervously, Hannah slid into the booth across from Harry. “Harry, I heard you are looking through old Death Eater cases.”
“How did you hear that?” Harry asked a bit alarmed.
Hannah smiled. “I heard Terry and Michael talking when they were here for dinner the other night. Don’t worry; they were in a private room. I was the only server.”
“Okay,” Harry said a bit relieved.
“I don’t know if you remember or not, but my mother was killed during our sixth year,” Hannah said.
Harry nodded sadly. “I do remember, I am very sorry for your loss.”
Hannah smiled. “Thank you. It’s been hard, but my father and I are muddling along together.”
Uncertain what to say, Harry just nodded. Hannah continued, “I was very angry for a long time. My mum was a seamstress, she never did anything to anyone and she was murdered. We never really found out what happened.” She looked down nervously before seemingly gathering her courage and continuing. “Would you see if you can find out what happened to her? When we asked at the time we were told it would probably go unsolved, but now that it’s not so…corrupt I was hoping you might be able to find something out. I just…I think it would make me feel better to know that whoever murdered my mother is in jail or can’t hurt anyone anymore.”
Harry listened with mixed emotions. He understood the anger and the need for answers, but if Hannah’s mother had ended up like some of the victims he’d been reading about would she really want to know? He watched her steadily. He didn’t know Hannah that well, she’d been in Hufflepuff and he had shared some classes with her, but he didn’t really know her.
“You know it might not be pleasant, right?”
She nodded grimly. “I know. Do you know what happened to your parents? I mean what really happened?”
“Yes,” he admitted. “That’s what I hear when Dementors get too close.”
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I just want to know.”
“I’ll see what I can find out,” he promised. He pulled out a quill and a piece of parchment. “Tell me what you know so I have a starting place.”
By late afternoon, Harry was starting to feel very frustrated. It had taken a while, but he’d finally found the file on Hannah’s mother and it was a very thin. Mrs Margot Abbott had been murdered during an attack on the Whitechapel area of London where she worked in a small shop. She and three others had been tortured and killed by a group of Death Eaters led by someone named Alrick McGillroy.
Harry frowned. He did not recognize the name. Heading to the main file room, he pulled the file on Alrick McGillroy. McGillroy was a Death Eater born in 1958. He had attended Hogwarts and been a member of Slytherin House. He’d been imprisoned in Azakaban in the 1980s and had escaped from Azkaban when Voldemort broke out his followers. There were indications that he had fought in the Battle at Hogwarts, but after that nothing. He hadn’t been killed or imprisoned.
He looked up to find Kingsley Shacklebolt peering into his cubicle. “Hello, Minister.”
“Please, call me Kingsley. I’ve known you since long before I was Minister.”
Harry smiled shyly at that. “I have a question maybe you can help me with.”
Kingsley dropped into the other chair in Harry’s little cubicle. “I understand Dawlish has you reviewing some old cases.”
“He does,” Harry acknowledged. “This is an older case. Four women were killed in Whitechapel by Alrick McGillroy. I can’t find anything about McGillroy — nothing to indicate he was killed or capture or on the run, nothing.”
Kingsley frowned. “Nothing?”
Harry shook his head and showed his research to Kingsley.
“This is very concerning,” Kingsley said as he looked up from Harry’s notes.
“I’m afraid that more Death Eaters may be unaccounted for after the Battle,” Harry said. “I pulled some more files.”
“Why don’t we take these into the conference room?” Kingsley said.
Together the two of them carried several boxes of files into the conference room and began digging into them. Over the course of the evening, Harry developed a deeper respect for Kingsley. He was a great investigator, but at the same time he listened to Harry’s ideas and questions.
By ten that evening, the room was littered with crumpled pieces of parchment and cold cups of tea. Seamus had come to find Harry and was roped into helping them. The three of them were energized despite the late hour. Kingsley taught the two younger wizards a spell to display information up on the large wall. Displayed on that wall were the names of thirty Death Eaters who had fought in the Battle at Hogwarts, but whose whereabouts were unknown.
“Excellent work, gentlemen,” Kingsley said. “We have our work cut out for us.”
“Kingsley,” Harry said. “I found several references in these files to the ‘Black Law.’ What is that?”
Kingsley’s eyebrows rose. “Damn, I hoped never to hear about that again.”
“What is it?” Harry pressed.
“When Sirius escaped, a law was passed that allowed for a thousand galleons award for capturing anyone who escaped Azkaban — dead or alive.”
Harry swallowed thickly. He had always been concerned his godfather would be captured and sent back to Azkaban, not that he would be killed on sight. “Damn.”
“Is it still an active law?” Seamus asked.
Harry looked over at Seamus. “We were talking about raising money for war victims; this might be a good way.”
“It would,” Seamus said. He looked over at the Minister. “Would we be allowed to do that?”
“I have no problem with it,” Kingsley said. “I will talk to Dawlish in the morning. I want your trainee class to work with Dawlish to develop a plan to track and recapture these Death Eaters.”
The next morning, Harry was waiting nervously with Seamus while the others gathered in the conference room. Dawlish entered and nodded at the two of them.
“Well done, lads.” Dawlish said before turning to the group and explaining what Harry, Kingsley and Seamus had discovered the night before.
“Sir, is there any way to see if anyone has been given any award money?” Michael asked.
Dawlish raised his eyebrow. “That is an excellent idea. I will check into it. I plan to act as a resource in this project. Harry is the one who discovered the problem so he will coordinate the effort.”
He nodded to Harry and left the room. A small explosion of noise followed as everyone started asking Harry questions at once. He quickly explained how Hannah’s inquiry at lunch had set everything into motion.
“So, what do we do next?” Susan asked.
Harry distributed a list of names. “I’ve broken the list up into groups of ten. Seamus and I will take the first ten, Susan and Katie the next ten, and Michael and Terry the last ten. We’ll start with developing background information. We need to know if there is anything different about these Death Eaters and obviously the biggest thing we need to know is where they might have gone.
“Katie and Susan, I’d like the two of you to head out to St Mungo’s. I want to see if any of our missing Death Eaters were treated the morning after the battle. Find out if there is any way they could have been killed and simply not identified. Michael and Terry, you two are going to work with our Scotland Yard and Interpol contacts. Find out if they tried to escape the country the Muggle way. Seamus and I are headed to Hogwarts. I want to talk to Professor Snape’s portrait to see if he know of any planned meeting place or if he has any ideas where they might have gone.”
Harry watched in not a little amazement as the group immediately got to work. He was surprised they followed his orders so easily. He looked over at Seamus who nodded. “Good job, Harry.”
“Thanks,” he replied. “I spoke to Professor McGonagall this morning and she is expecting us at eleven.”
“What an amazing coincidence, we will be there for lunch,” Seamus remarked with a teasing glance at his partner.
Harry laughed. “Isn’t it though?”
The two men started reviewing their list of names. Harry sighed, “I think we should also head out to Malfoy Manor.”
Seamus raised an eyebrow, but nodded. “Aye, I guess that does make sense.”
After making another copy of the list of names, the two headed out for Malfoy Manor. As the approached the gate, Seamus whistled. “Damn, you could fit five of my family’s house in here.”
“I know,” Harry said. “No wonder Malfoy was always such a ponce, raised in a place like this.”
The two showed their IDs to the Ministry guard at the gate. Lucius Malfoy was in Azkaban, but Draco was under house arrest and under Ministry guard and his movements were tracked. Narcissa, it turned out, was not actually a Death Eater and she was given probation and community service.
“Peacocks?” Seamus laughed as they walked down the lane to the house. “That seems like a Malfoy kind of thing to have.”
Harry laughed. “Can’t see a huge call for security peacocks though.”
The two were still laughing as they knocked on the door. To their surprise it was answered by Draco.
“Yes,” he sneered at them.
“We need to talk to you and your mother,” Harry said. He could tell Malfoy would rather just slam the door on them, but didn’t dare.
“Fine,” Draco said grudgingly. To Harry’s relief Malfoy didn’t take them into the room where Hermione had been tortured months earlier, but rather to a smaller room in the back of the house. “I will get my mother.”
Seamus wandered around the room once he and Harry were alone. “It looks like they’ve been selling off some of their belongings.” He gestured to an area on the wall were a portrait or painting had obviously been removed. The room was clean and bright, but a close examination showed empty spots on the shelves were it seemed as though items had been removed.
“They were heavily fined,” Harry said. “I guess it’s not too surprising they need the money.”
“Didn’t Mrs Malfoy come from a wealthy family as well?” Seamus asked.
Harry smiled. “She did, but my godfather was head of the family and I inherited his estate. Bellatrix’s estate was awarded to Andromeda as the next oldest sister and the only one without Death Eater ties.”
The sound of footsteps in the corridor ended their conversation. A few moments later, Narcissa Malfoy entered the room followed by her son. Harry noticed that Narcissa was elegantly dressed and fully made up even though they were not expected. He wondered if she dressed like that every day.
“Mr Potter and…” she arched an eyebrow inquiringly at Seamus.
“Seamus Finnegan,” he supplied.
“Mr Finnegan,” she acknowledged as she sat down. She gestured for the two men to sit on the couch across from her. Draco stood near the fireplace watching the two with a resentful gaze. “What can we do for you?”
“We have discovered that several Death Eaters have escaped capture,” Harry explained. “We were wondering if you had any idea of a plan to meet up if things went wrong.”
Narcissa laughed. “No, it was considered a sacrilege to even consider a back-up plan. I know if my sister had heard anyone plotting an alternative, she would have killed them on the spot.”
“What about after the first war?” Harry pushed.
A startled look crossed Narcissa’s face. “There were rumours, actually.”
“What kind of rumours?”
“Rumours of a Death Eater colony in South America,” she admitted. “Lucius once told me about a place that had been set up by Tiberius Avery. It was a place they could go if they felt pressure from the Ministry to ‘lay low’ as he put it. I’m not certain if it is still in existence.”
“Do you know where it was?” Harry asked.
She shrugged. “Some place that started with an A.”
“Argentina?” Harry asked after trying to remember what countries were actually in South America.
“That sounds right,” she said. “Lucius said they had made arrangements with the government there so they wouldn’t be investigated. I don’t know anything else about it.”
Harry handed her the list of names. “Do you know anything about any of these people?”
Draco drifted behind his mother to read the list over her shoulder. She looked up over her shoulder at her son who was unconsciously rubbing his left forearm.
“I thought Brown and Tennent died in the battle,” Draco said.
Narcissa nodded. “Brown certainly did. I went to his funeral.”
“Where is he buried?” Harry asked.
She provided the details, but neither of them knew anything further about Tennent’s death other than the fact that they’d both had heard he died.
“If you like, you may look through Lucius’s study,” Narcissa said standing as if to indicate that she had nothing more to ad.
“Mother,” Draco said sounding horrified.
“What?” Narcissa looked at her son. “Are you afraid they’ll find something incriminating? Your father is already in jail and he won’t be leaving. It doesn’t matter what they find.”
Reluctantly, Draco led them down the hall to his father’s study. This room was dark and masculine with wood panelling on one wall and built in bookcases on either side of the large fireplace. Green and silver curtains framed French doors that led out to a beautifully landscaped garden. A large desk with a leather chair dominated the room. Smaller chairs were on the other side of the desk. It was obvious who was master of this room.
“You can leave, Draco,” Harry said.
Draco nodded curtly and left the room. Harry and Seamus got to work searching the room. The desk had papers pertaining to his estate — his will and the deed to his house. Harry walked along the panelling on the wall while Seamus searched the bookcases.
Tapping the panelling, Harry soon found a false panel. He was able to pop it open and discovered the mother lode of information.
“Seamus, look at this,” Harry said. He pulled out sheaves of parchment detailing plans that had obviously been worked on over a long time. Some of the plans called for legislation to decrease Muggleborn access to positions of power in the Ministry. One plan would have made it illegal for Muggleborns to practice magic. At the bottom of the stack was a sheet of parchment with the words Villa Maria, Argentina written on it.
“I think this is it,” Harry said. “Villa Maria, Argentina.”
Harry stepped out of the Floo into Professor McGonagall’s office. He had to concentrate so as not to trip and he just managed.
“Hello, Professor,” he said with a shy smile.
“Hello, Harry,” she replied warmly. To his surprise, she greeted him with a hug. While he was surprised, he returned the hug gladly. She gestured for him to sit. “You are looking well.”
“Thank you,” he replied. “I’m doing well and I really like Auror training.”
“Wonderful,” she said sincerely. “I am so proud of you.” She poured him a cup of tea and brought her tin of biscuits over to the small table.
“Thank you,” he said as she sat down in the other chair.
“I thought Mr Finnegan was joining you.”
He blushed slightly. “Seamus thought Professor Snape might be more willing to talk to just me. Plus…I was hoping to have lunch with Ginny.”
Professor McGonagall laughed. “I thought you might. I am certain Miss Weasley will be happy to see you.”
Harry looked around the office. “Why haven’t you moved into the Headmaster’s office yet?”
She sighed. “I plan to move in there after the end of term. The tower sustained a bit of damage, but it was low on the priority list for repairs. I’m also transitioning Professor Powell into the position of Head of Gryffindor.”
“I hear she’s really good,” Harry said. “Both Ginny and Hermione have had only good things to say about her.”
Professor McGonagall smiled. “That’s wonderful. I miss teaching Transfiguration, but I being Headmaster brings its own rewards. So tell me about Auror training.”
Thirty minutes later, she was leading him down the hall to the Headmaster’s office. The gargoyle was upright once again. Harry rested his hand on it as he walked by. “I’m glad to see this guy repaired. He was knocked over the last time I was here.”
Professor McGonagall nodded. “I know, so many of the statues and tapestries were broken, some irreparably.”
She gave the password. “Victory.”
The gargoyle sprang aside revealing the spiral stairs leading up to the Headmaster’s office.
“This is where I’ll leave you,” Professor McGonagall said. “I’m certain I will see you at lunch.”
The office was rather different from the last time as Harry had seen it. Professor Dumbledore was slumbering in his portrait. It was odd not to see Fawkes on his perch. Most of Professor Dumbledore’s personal belongings had been packed up giving the office an empty took. Harry scanned the walls, searching for Professor Snape’s portrait.
He finally found it towards the corner. It was quite a bit smaller than Professor Dumbledore’s. Harry wondered if the size of the portrait was related to length of service. He had to bite back a laugh at the thought it might be related to how popular the Headmaster was with the students.
Clearing his throat, Harry said, “Professor Snape.”
Snape glared at him from the portrait frame. “Potter.”
Looking down at the floor, Harry started to say, “I wanted to thank you -”
“Spare me your sentimental outpouring,” Snape cut him off. “I didn’t do anything for you. I did it for your mother. She was one of the few friends I had as a child. There was a reason I didn’t want you to know. I don’t want you beholden to me or me to you. You were simply a reminder every day that she chose him.”
Harry flushed with anger at the rebuke, but he didn’t come here to argue with the man. “Fine, I won’t mention it again. I came here to ask you if you know anything about Villa Maria, Argentina.”
“Villa Maria,” Snape mused. “I hadn’t thought to hear that name. It was used as a safe colony for Death Eaters who were being pursued by the Ministry. I know it was used during the first war and some people stayed there. I suppose it is logical that some people would have escaped to there.”
“We discovered thirty Death Eaters who were broken out of Azkaban, but who we can’t account for after the Battle.” Harry explained. “We are trying to discover their whereabouts.” He read the list of names to Snape.
“I don’t believe Martin, Hayes, or Steele would have left the country,” Snape said. “If I’m not mistaken Darcy and Meyer both have children here at Hogwarts, you might want to start there.”
“Are there any hideouts you can tell me about?” Harry asked.
Snape shrugged. “I presume you searched Malfoy Manor.”
“It was searched after the war and is under Ministry guard,” Harry said.
“The Malfoys and Lestranges both have homes in France,” Snape said. “That fact was widely known and the homes were open to anyone with a Dark Mark. I don’t know anything else.”
“Thank you,” Harry said.
Harry hurried down the main stairs. He peaked in the Great Hall and only a few students were there yet, Ginny was not one of them. Leaning up against the wall, he waited for her. It was only a few minutes before large number of students came flooding in for lunch. He could hear a few students rumbling, but most of them passed by him without a second glance.
He saw her beautiful hair as she headed down the stair. As she got closer, he could tell she was talking to Hermione. He watched as she drew closer. She was so beautiful and so animated, he still had a hard time believing that she wanted to be with him.
She looked up as if she detected his eyes on her. Her whole face lit up. “Harry!”
He straightened up as she ran over to him. A moment later, he was holding her in his arms. “I missed you, so much.”
“What are you doing here?” she asked happily after she kissed him. “I didn’t think I was going to get to see you until Christmas holidays.”
“I had to see Professor Snape and Professor McGonagall said I could stay for lunch,” he explained.
Hermione had joined them by that time. He hugged her and together, the three of them headed into lunch. While they ate, Harry listened to Ginny talk about the Quidditch team and classes. He was quite impressed with Hermione’s restraint in not asking any questions in the Great Hall.
Once they’d finished eating, the three of them headed out onto the grounds. A serenity garden had been added to the grounds. It was a beautiful area with plants, benches and memorials to those lost during both wars. Neville had spent quite a bit of time designing the garden with Professor Sprout. There were statues as well as a pond in the centre of the garden.
Casting a warming spell on the benches, Harry sat down next to Ginny with Hermione on another bench.
“So what are you doing here?” Hermione burst out. “What did you have to see Professor Snape about? Did he help you?”
Casting a warming spell on the benches, Harry sat down next to Ginny with Hermione on another bench. He wrapped his arm around his girlfriend and she snuggled into his side.
"So what are you doing here?" Hermione burst out. "What did you have to see Professor Snape about? Did he help you?"
Harry laughed. "I've missed you, Hermione."
She rolled her eyes. "Just answer my questions."
He explained to the two about the missing Death Eaters and the 'Black Law.' Ginny gasped, "Does that mean they could have killed Sirius if they caught him?"
Soberly, he nodded. "I couldn't believe it when Kingsley told me. I'm rather glad I had never heard that before. It was bad enough worrying that he might get thrown back in prison."
Ginny leaned over and kissed him softly. "I think I'm glad you didn't know either."
Ignoring their interaction, Hermione asked, "So what did you find out?"
A pained look crossed his face. "Hermione, I'm not really supposed to tell you any details about an on-going investigation. We're looking for the Death Eaters."
"You always told us everything before," Hermione pointed out.
"I know," Harry said, "but this is an official investigation."
Hermione wasn't pleased, but she understood. A bell sounded indicating the lunch period was over. Hermione stood up. "I need to get ready for class."
"I'll see you later," Ginny said. "I don't have class now."
Although he could tell she was irritated, Hermione still gave him a hug good bye and admonished him to be careful.
After she left, Harry leaned down and kissed his girlfriend. He lost track of time while he held her in his arms. Eventually they had to stop before they got too carried away.
"I've missed you so much," Harry said.
"Me too," Ginny said. "I hate not having you here. I can't wait to finish school. We can be together."
He grinned. "I can't wait. My beautiful girl playing for the Harpies."
"I hope," she said with a smile. "The scouts said they were very interested in me."
Harry nodded as he listened to Ginny talk about the scouts who had visited during the first Quidditch game of the season. He'd heard it all in her letters, but he loved listening to her. She was so happy and so excited.
"So are you going to have to travel?" Ginny asked returning to the topic of Harry's mission.
He nodded and she frowned. "Will you still be here for Christmas?"
"I think so," Harry said a bit uncertainly. "We have a lot of leads to follow up on."
"Good," Ginny said. "I want to spend a lot of time with you."
He smiled. "That sounds wonderful."
She glanced down at her watch and frowned. "I guess I better get back. I have to get my books for my afternoon class."
"I have to talk to Professor McGonagall," Harry said. "I'll walk you back."
Harry stared at the list of names. Two weeks into the investigation, the task force had been able to cross six names off their list. Three of them had been killed in the final battle or had died from wounds sustained in the battle. The paperwork had either been misfiled or the names had been spelled wrong in the reports. The two fathers of the Hogwarts students had been found in hiding near their family homes. To Harry’s dismay, one of the Death Eaters had been killed before the final battle and his body had been turned in for the reward. Unfortunately the records on exactly who was paid had been lost.
The sound of a door opening caused Harry to look up. Seamus and Katie were returning from their walk around the town of Quimper, France. The whole task force had been in France for three days after intelligence suggested that several people were staying at the Lestrange estate on the outskirts of town.
Seamus tossed a bag of pastries on the table. “Here you go, boss. These are really good.”
Rolling his eyes, Harry said, “How many times have I told you not to call me boss?”
Seamus shrugged as he sat down across the table from Harry. Katie poured some coffee for both herself and Seamus. “Harry do you want some?”
“I’m good,” Harry said. “So what did you find out?”
“The girl at the bakery told us a few families were staying at the large estate,” Seamus said.
“Families?” Harry asked aghast at the news.
Seamus nodded sombrely. “She said there are several children.”
“Damn,” Harry swore. “We need to get some intelligence on exactly who is there.”
He sat back in his chair as he considered his options. “Katie, do you want to take a fly with me?”
“Of course,” Katie replied. “Let me change into something a bit warmer.”
“Good idea,” Harry said. He headed up to the room he was sharing with Seamus. After putting his Invisibility Cloak in his pocket, he pulled on warmer socks and another layer beneath the jumper he was wearing. He grabbed his new Firebolt from the corner and returned to the kitchen. His cloak was hanging on a hook by the door.
“Ready,” Katie said as she also returned to the kitchen. She was carrying her Comet.
Turning to Seamus, Harry said, “We’ll try to check in every two hours. Don’t send anyone else over unless we’ve missed two check ins.”
Seamus nodded as Harry and Katie headed outside. Katie cast Disillusionment Charms on both of them and there brooms before she wrapped herself in her Invisibility Cloak. It was an older cloak made from Demiguise hair, but it was still working well. Once Katie was invisible, Harry wrapped himself in his cloak and the two of them flew off to the west where the estate was located.
Harry flew happily through the trees located on the Lestrange estate. No matter what the reason, he always loved to fly. He could hear Katie flying slightly behind him, she didn’t fly quite as fast as he did.
There wasn’t much activity at the large main house, so the two of them flew down the hill to the smaller house. Together they hovered over the house.
“It looks like they are teaching the children,” Katie whispered.
Harry nodded before realizing Katie couldn’t see him. He blushed; glad now that she couldn’t see him. “You’re right. I count five women and eight children.”
They watched for a few minutes before heading back up to the main house.
“Homenum revelio!” Harry whispered.
“Five people in the house,” Katie said quietly.
“Look that balcony door is open,” Harry returned. “Let’s see what we can find out.”
The two landed and propped their brooms up against the house. Harry first cast Silencing Charms on both of them so squeaking feet wouldn’t give them away and then cast a linking charm so they would know where the other was at all times.
They crept through the house and found the five men drinking and playing some sort of card game in the largest reception room. After observing the men for a while, the pair crept back to the upstairs room.
Cancelling the Silencing Charm, Harry said, “I didn’t detect any protective wards or anything down there.”
“I know,” Katie said. “Part of me wanted to rush in and apprehend them now.”
“Me too,” Harry admitted. “Let’s get back to the house.”
Cupping his hands around a warm mug of hot chocolate, Harry explained what they’d found at the house.
Susan looked up from the parchment where she was taking notes. “Did you positively identify them?”
Harry nodded. “Hughes, Green, Caldwell, Claymore, and Hubbell.”
She checked off the names of the list. “We should observe them for a few days to ensure they follow the same routine. I'll talk to our contact in the French Ministry. We can shut off their Floo access so they can't leave that way."
“We’ll take shifts,” Harry said. “I want to know for certain that those are the only ones in the house. Test periodically for any wards or defences they may have established. I want a plan to lock down the women and children in the small house. That way the women can’t help them and the children don’t get injured. Katie, how old do you think the kids were?”
“The youngest was probably about two or three. I saw three toddlers and the other five were probably six to eight,” Katie said.
“Okay, we need to make sure all eight children are in the school house before we attempt to apprehend the men,” Harry said. "We can turn the women and children over to the French Aurors. None of the women have shown up on any lists of Death Eaters so we don't have anything to hold them. The French Aurors are going to hold them for trespassing until they know for certain the extent of their involvement. Death Eaters weren't big on letting women into their ranks, but there were some."
Over the next week, they flew shifts over the estate and established that there were no additional Death Eaters for whom they had not accounted. Harry decided to go in after lunch hour as all of the women and children were in the school house and the men usually started drinking after lunch.
Harry sat on his bed and looked at Ginny’s picture. He really did miss her more than he thought possible. He smiled as photographic Ginny blew him a kiss. Setting down her picture, he stood up and made sure he was prepared for the mission. He was wearing his Auror uniform with his trusty holly and phoenix wand in his holster for easy access.
Grabbing his Firebolt, he headed down to check on everyone else. He found Katie and Seamus in the kitchen.
“You two ready to go?”
Katie looked rather green, but she smiled gamely. “Ready to go, Boss.”
“I’m ready, Harry,” Seamus said firmly.
“Good,” Harry said as the other filed in for their last meeting. He smiled at everyone. “This is it. Katie and Michael, you will be flying support. I want you to keep a close eye on everyone. If anyone is trying to escape, I want you to notify everyone immediately. Susan, you will be in charge of the school house. Once you have the school locked down, notify us. Seamus, Terry, and I will go in.”
He looked around the room and met everyone’s eyes. Each of them nodded at him. He smiled, “Excellent. Is everyone comfortable with the Communication Charm?”
They all nodded. “Good. Any questions?”
No one said anything. Harry said, “Okay, let’s go.”
Harry waited nervously on his Firebolt for Susan’s message that the school house was contained. Once it arrived, he locked eyes with Katie and Michael. They nodded and Harry, Seamus and Terry landed on the same balcony Harry and Katie had landed on that first day.
They landed quietly and headed down to the ground floor. Seamus performed a surveillance spell and confirmed that all of the men were in the large reception room. Harry held out his hand and counted down from three to one.
When he reached one, they three burst into the room casting spells. Luckily the men were taken by complete surprise. They were quickly rounded up and bound in ropes. Once the Death Eaters were apprehended, the French Aurors were called in to deal with the women and children.
Harry smiled as he looked up at the conference room wall where Dawlish had posted pictures of all thirty of the Death Eaters. There were now sixteen Death Eaters crossed off the list. Snape had been proven correct that Martin, Hayes, and Steele had not left the country. Another team had apprehended them while Harry and his team were in France. Two more Death Eaters were found with the assistance of Interpol who spotted them as they entered Spain.
Harry turned and saw Kingsley in the doorway. “Thank you, sir. We’ve put in a lot of hard work.”
Kingsley nodded. “I read your action reports from France. Everything went well it seems.”
“It did,” Harry assured him. “Everyone worked together as a team very well. We were talking amongst ourselves and we were thinking that flying lessons would be something that should be added. All of us fly fairly well, but Susan and Terry were very unsure of themselves while flying.”
“Flying lesson or flying time?” Kingsley asked.
Harry considered it. “Actually just flying time would be good. Like anything else, it is a matter of practice.”
“Did everyone have good brooms?”
Harry shrugged. “I’m the only one with a Firebolt, so I’m a little biased. The oldest broom was Terry’s Cleansweep.”
“What do you think of a broom allowance?” Kingsley asked.
“Do you mean like a company car type thing?” Harry asked.
Kingsley nodded. “If we want people to use top notch brooms on missions, we should ensure that they have funds to purchase the brooms.”
“That would be great,” Harry said.
"Good," Kingsley said. "Now get out of here. I heard the Hogwarts Express is expected in today and I'm sure Miss Weasley would be very displeased if you weren't there to meet her."
Harry grinned. "Very true."
"Have a great holiday and afterwards we will plan the mission to Argentina."
Two weeks later, Harry found himself packing a trunk. Ginny sat on his bed watching him. “It’s going to be very odd, won’t it? Summertime in January.”
He grinned. “I’m actually looking forward to some nice weather.”
“Dad said that everyone is talking about how well you’ve all done,” Ginny said proudly. “Hannah couldn’t say enough about you the other day when I went into George’s shop. She was so thrilled that you had found the man who killed her mother.”
“She’s really the one who started this,” Harry said. “I’m glad it’s brought her some comfort.”
“Me too,” Ginny smiled. “I am so proud of you, love. Did you see the article in the paper the other day? They were full of praise for you."
“I’m just glad they talked about the whole team,” Harry said as he finished packing. “Bill and Fleur have been so great with helping set up the charity for the war victims. We’re able to help fund an orphanage and we’ve been able to help provide money for rebuilding.”
He stood up and helped Ginny to stand. “I’m going to miss you.”
Leaning up she kissed him deeply. “I’m going to miss you, too. Please stay safe.”
“I will, love,” Harry reassured her. “I don’t know when I will be back or even when I will be able to communicate with you, but I will let you know as soon as I do.”
Four weeks later, Harry found himself in the sweltering forest around Villa Maria. It was hot and humid and to Harry's dismay they were camping in the edge of the forest. The Death Eater compound in Argentina was much better guarded and defended than the Lestrange estate.
The Death Eater had taken over an old Nazi compound and had heavily fortified it. The sprawling compound covered over fifty acres of land. A large building was in the middle of the compound and seemed to serve as a gathering place and dining hall for the residents. They had a large kitchen as well as a small clinic. There were houses for some of the families or the higher ranking Death Eaters. Some of the younger single men seemed to live in a barracks type building.
The compound had been occupied for almost thirty years but the number of residents changed greatly. There were some families who had been there for a long time, but there were also a number of transient members. The local authorities reported that they hadn't had any trouble with the Death Eaters or their families. They interacted with the locals and frequently visited town to purchase supplies or even just to get out of the compound.
Thankfully, there were only a few children in the colony. They were educated within the colony and were rarely seen in the village until they were in their late teens.
They had confirmed that twelve of the fourteen missing Death Eaters were in the compound. Two more had been captured back in England. Unfortunately, there were also an additional ten foreign Death Eaters in the compound as well as six families, one of them quite large.
Harry's team was working with both Argentine and Chilean Aurors. They had set up camp and were all working together to gather intelligence on the compound. Translation spells were in heavy use in the camp, but so far everyone was getting along well. Two of the Argentine Aurors had infiltrated the camp under the guise of bringing in produce which happened twice a week.
They had been able to provide a sketch of the compound and dropped several surveillance devices in the camp. In a lucky break, the children had left on a two week holiday to enjoy their summer break. This left a perfect opportunity to shut down the compound. This mission was going to be executed at night. The number of guards was down and they were hoping to surprise most of the Death Eaters while sleeping.
As night fell, the humidity fell off a bit. Harry waited uncomfortably while the Curse Breakers got to work. Finally the head of the Chilean delegation signalled to Harry the defensive wards had fallen. Hit wizards from the Argentine Ministry took out the guards without incident.
Looking around Harry saw that everyone was in place, shifting slightly he pulled a magical flashbang from his belt. Like their non-magical counterpart, the flashbang was a grenade designed to stun. At his signal, Harry and several other Aurors threw flashbangs into the centre of the camp.
To Harry's dismay, he soon saw the green Killing Curse flashing from inside the camp soon after the attack started. Katie and Michael were above the camp dropping more flashbangs and providing intelligence during the fight.
Harry led his group of Aurors into the camp and they were soon engaged in a firefight with the Death Eaters. Unlike the Death Eaters in France, all of these Death Eaters fought back. While Harry and the British Aurors didn't use the Killing Curse, not all of their allies followed the same rules.
The Death Eaters who survived the initial attack barricaded themselves in the dining hall. While the Chilean Aurors seemed to expect a siege, Katie identified a weakness in the roof of the building. Harry led his team down into the building and soon all of the spellfire stopped.
Harry looked around. Seamus had been injured, but none of the Aurors had been hit with the Killing Curse. Four of the Death Eaters had been killed and several others were severely injured, but all of the Death Eaters were accounted for. The British Death Eaters were sent back to the Ministry via Portkey while the Argentine Aurors took charge of the foreign Death Eaters.
"You okay, mate?" Harry asked Seamus.
"I'm fine," Seamus assured him. "A Cutting Curse hit me, nothing major."
"We did it," Harry said sounding a bit surprised.
Seamus nodded as the rest of their group joined them. Hugs were shared by all and they soon made arrangements to return home. As they arrived at the Ministry of Magic, their group was surrounded by well wishers. Harry heard rumours of medals for all of the Aurors. That didn't excite him, but the fact that they now had two weeks off sounded wonderful. A Hogsmeade weekend was coming up and Harry was looking forward to seeing Ginny.
As he headed home that night he was happy to think that they had done it. They'd captured all of the missing Death Eaters and the money they'd received had gone to good causes. He felt like a real Auror, not just a trainee, but a real Auror.
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