|SIYE Time:1:18 on 14th December 2017|
Category: Post-Hogwarts, Post-DH/PM
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama
Warnings: Dark Fiction, Death, Disturbing Imagery, Extreme Language, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Negative Alcohol Use, Violence
Story is Complete
Summary: The last thing Harry Potter wants is to be lumped with a trainee Auror, especially not one that idolises him. As he guides her through the realities of being an overworked Auror and tentatively settles into adult life with Ginny, a dark plot brews on the horizon...
Hitcount: Story Total: 39279; Chapter Total: 1658
Awards: View Trophy Room
Harry was going home. He’d actually begun to physically sway when Robards barked at him to go home and get some fucking rest, because he’d only go and make stupid mistakes like a wanker and then the rest of the department would have to clean up his bloody mess.
Well, that’s how Robards had put it anyway.
‘You should get some sleep too,’ said Harry. ‘Then I’ll meet you at, what, seven did we agree?’
Theia nodded. ‘Yeah, sounds good. You go. I’ll just file the interview transcript before I head off.’
‘It’s nearly over, Theia,’ he called over his shoulder as he left. ‘Done by the weekend I reckon!’
She smiled as he left, reluctantly allowing herself to get excited at the prospect of it all being over. If Fischer wasn’t going to give them a name, he couldn’t blame it on anyone else, and both she and Harry were starting to doubt there even was anyone else involved anyway. Still all avenues had to be thoroughly searched, and they’d drawn up a schedule to interview the list of DA members. She and Harry would be starting with Dennis tonight, to ease themselves in, and moving on to Michael Corner, Zacharias Smith and the Patel twins tomorrow.
She handed the completed transcript to Susan, then, on a spur-of-the-moment decision, took the elevator down to the morgue.
It was cold and white down there. Her breath coiled before her, her clacking shoes echoing against the shiny tiles. Bessie’s team moved through the corridors silently, it would have been ghostly if it hadn’t been so sterile.
‘Bessie?’ she called.
‘Howay pet,’ called a voice. Theia followed it, and found herself in a rather warmer office, though it still gleamed white. Bessie was sat at a desk, holding a probity probe over Fischer’s belongings and frowning intently.
‘I came to ask if you’d found a DA coin,’ Theia asked. ‘If it turns out he just nicked one, it could save us a lot of wasted time interviewing people, Harry’s pretty sure no one in the DA would-’
‘Nothing like that,’ said Bessie impatiently. ‘But what in the bleedin’ hell is this?’ She held up something small and black, like a small brick. ‘It keeps singing. I’ve scanned it for dark magic, but nothing’s come up.’
Theia took a step closer. ‘That’s a mobile phone. Muggles use them to talk to each other.’
Bessie snorted disbelievingly. ‘It’s not doing any talking. I found it in his jacket pocket.’
‘May I?’ asked Theia, holding out her hand. Bessie shrugged and handed it over. It was a Nokia, a similar model to her mum’s, and as Theia pressed a button, the small square screen lit up with a faint green colour.
She tapped the buttons to scroll through the call log, Bessie watching with a distrustful intrigue and wincing at every beep. ‘He just calls one number, over and over again.’
‘What? What do you mean he calls a number? What do numbers have to do with it?’
‘It means he’s only using it to talk to one particular person,’ Theia explained patiently. ‘It’s been ringing, you say? Making noise?’
‘It’s barely shut up, it’s been driving me mad.’
Theia gulped. When her mother watched detective programs on the telly, the Muggle policemen could track phones, figure out who was using them and exactly where they were. But Theia had no idea how to do any of that stuff, and most of the people she worked with were just as clueless as Bessie. There was, in her opinion, only one option.
She rang it, and held it to her ear. A moment of silence, the prospect of the call hung tantalisingly in the air, and then, finally, the whirring beeps of the phone ringing.
Theia waited, her heart thudding, trying to avoid looking at Bessie’s bewildered face. Was Fischer telling the truth? Was she about to speak to the person he had been working with, or possibly for?
The burring tones stopped silently, there was a click and a fuzzy sort of silence. Someone had picked up.
She hadn’t really thought it through this far, she hadn’t expected it to work, so her voice shook as she nervously called, ‘hello?’
They hung up.
Her heart seemed to stop in anxious disappointment, and though she tried twice more, the mysterious person on the other end of the line did not answer again. She looked down at it, frustrated and feeling completely in over her head. She briefly wished she’d been like Judy, stuck making coffee while she learnt how to do stuff like this.
She straightened up, pulling her shoulders back and looking at Bessie with as much professional authority as she could muster. ‘I’ll want to look at this again soon, Bessie, probably tomorrow,’ she said. ‘Could you please, er… Could you make sure it’s properly stored and labelled?’
Bessie raised an eyebrow. ‘Well, I wasn’t going to sling it in the bin, pet.’
Theia flushed. ‘Right, no, of course not, I just-’
‘I’m gan home, kid. You should too, get some sleep, and then you’ll know what you’re doing and stop making a tit out yerself.’
He felt a small warm hand on his shoulder, achingly familiar, gently shaking him awake. ‘Harry,’ she whispered.
‘Hmmph?’ he mumbled, face pressed into the sofa.
‘You wanted waking up,’ said Ginny. ‘After two hours, you said.’
Body aching, he forced himself into an almost sitting position, feeling faintly dizzy and yawning widely. He felt something warm being pushed into his hands, and the scent of coffee hit his nostrils. ‘Thanks,’ he mumbled, before taking a sip. It burnt his tongue, but he was too exhausted to react.
He felt Ginny softly push his glasses onto his face, and the world came into view. She was perched on the edge of the sofa, looking down at him sympathetically. ‘Can’t it wait til tomorrow?’ she asked. ‘You’re half dead.’
He shook his head, and spoke through another yawn. ‘It’s go-o-ot to be tonight. It’s the only time she’s sure he’ll be home.’
‘Is it even necessary anymore? You’ve got the guy, haven’t you?’
He gave a non-committal hum. There were moments of feeling overwhelmingly satisfied, but increasingly more where he felt like he was being played for a fool. ‘Well, maybe… Nearly over anyway.’
‘Really?’ she asked, her eyes lighting up.
He smiled sleepily. ‘Course. This is just tying up the loose ends now.’ He yawned again. ‘It’s just Dennis, I don’t need to speak to anyone else tonight, I’ll start on some others tomorrow. Everyone’s going to chip in. Should take no time at all.’
‘Wish I could come and see him,’ she said, her eyes misting over slightly. ‘Bless him, I’ll always remember him coming into the Great Hall wrapped up in Hagrid’s coat. He fell in the lake, d’you remember?’
‘Blimey,’ said Harry. ‘Hard to imagine he’s only a year younger than you.’ He grimaced. ‘And dating Theia.’ He was not sure who he was more protective over; Dennis or Theia.
Ginny laughed. ‘Let’s have them round for dinner this weekend.’
‘Really? You don’t like her very much.’
‘I don’t mind her!’ she protested, but her ears had gone red and she looked down at her knees. ‘I suppose I could try harder though. And Teddy will be round, it’ll be nice, you know he likes showing off his hair colours to new people.’
‘True,’ mumbled Harry, standing and stretching. ‘I better get going, I won’t be long.’
‘You better not be, coming straight from work, having a two hour kip and then going again isn’t healthy.’
‘Pfft,’ said Harry teasingly, waving a casual hand. ‘I can cope. Right, see you later then.’
Say hello to him for me,’ she said, smiling.
Theia waited anxiously outside the tower block. She didn’t want to look like she was loitering in case she was approached by someone, but Harry was due any minute now. The air was crisp and cold, occasional bursts of wind sending damp leaves skipping across the cracked grey pavement.
Night was falling, the misty grey dusk of London causing the street lamps to slowly grow in brightness. She felt oddly nervous, but she was sure it was just how tired she was. Fischer’s face was haunting her too, remembering the odd, knowing smile she’d glimpsed on his face just as she closed the cell door on him. He was holding something back, she knew it, but the rest of the department seemed to be under the impression that it was all over and done with. Robards had insisted they interview the rest of the DA members on the list to find out if Fischer really was working with one of them, but there was something unsettling, something that frightened her in a cold sort of way, something she felt she had missed.
There was a loud crack from the nearby alley, and Harry’s shadowy figure appeared, the collar of his coat pulled up against the wind. ‘Evening,’ he called to her. ‘Hope you got some sleep.’
She saw him step carefully over an orange-handled needle. She hoped the streetlights washed her out so much that he couldn’t see her blush as she greeted him. ‘This way,’ she said quietly, leading him into the building. From the stairwell, she could hear a woman yelling at her kids. ‘Er… No, not the lift, let’s take the stairs… Sorry…’
Harry didn’t seem at all fazed, and for that she was grateful, but she still felt guilty as they climbed the cold concrete stairs, their legs heavy with exhaustion. Though she was quite fit, she found herself breathless, and was grateful that Harry didn’t feel the need to talk.
She thought about telling him about the phone, but she still was unsure as to whether or not she had done the right thing. In her eagerness to do something, she hadn’t even considered waiting and giving it to her boss to look at, and she realised now that, having been raised by Muggles, Harry might know how to use it too. He probably wouldn’t have said “hello” like a nervous child either. Then again, if she had left it, perhaps they would have missed their chance anyway. If the person on the other end had been ringing, perhaps they had grown suspicious that they hadn’t heard anything.
They had reached the landing, and she stood outside Dennis’s door, her heart thudding. She felt anxious as she knocked lightly. She wondered if he would be angry with her. Probably not as angry as Harry would be when she told him about the phone.
They waited only a few seconds before his face, bright and cheerful, appeared. ‘Theia! I wondered- Oh!’ His face seemed to fall at the sight of Harry, and he stared, mouth slightly open.
‘Hi Dennis,’ she said, trying to keep her voice light. ‘I invited Harry round, I hope it’s all right… thought the pair of you might like to catch up.’
‘It’s been such a long time, Dennis,’ said Harry, clapping him on the shoulder and smiling warmly. ‘Theia mentioned you, and I thought we could have a chat about what you’ve been up to.’
Dennis looked rather startled, he nodded rapidly. ‘Blimey, yes, er… Wow, all right… Um, why don’t you come in, H-harry?’
They entered, and though Dennis seemed a little taken aback, he very quickly became star-struck by Harry, and within minutes he was handing them both cups of tea while gabbling enthusiastically about being in Gryffindor.
‘It was so exciting, I knew it was a special house, the moment you were pointed out to me, to be in the same house, well, it just filled me with pride, you know? Our house was unbeatable. Fantastic. Nothing could stop us, we had the world at our feet.’
‘Sounds like Slytherin,’ Theia teased, laughing lightly.
Dennis gave an awkward duck of the head and a shifty grin. ‘You know what I mean, in a different way. We were all destined for brilliant adventures.’
Harry smiled at him, and though his voice was kind, Theia watched him carefully. His eyes had been searching the room. ‘Did you have any adventures, Dennis? You never came back to Hogwarts, did you?’
Dennis seemed to freeze for a few seconds, before staring down at his tea. ‘No, I didn’t.’
‘Sorry,’ said Harry casually. ‘I understand it’s tough to talk about. Certainly took me a while. I’m just interested to know what you’ve been up to, Ginny and I were delighted to hear how you were doing.’
Dennis looked up from his mug of tea very slowly. ‘Really?’ he asked. ‘Ginny asked after me?’
‘Of course,’ said Harry. ‘She and Colin were close friends.’
Theia winced. There was a flash of something in Dennis’s eyes, she saw his shoulders stiffen. She knew this was a bad idea. He didn’t like talking about his brother, this was cruel…
‘Yes, I suppose they were,’ said Dennis slowly. ‘Did she ever tell you about the day out we planned?’
‘So she could try Coca Cola?’ asked Harry. ‘Yes, she did. She still carries the bottle cap around with her, you know.’
‘I had the idea of going to the cinema,’ said Dennis. He paused. ‘How’s she been?’ he asked at last, not meeting Harry’s eyes. ‘She was one of the last to talk to Colin, I’ve often thought about her.’
‘It took us all a while to adjust, but things are well now,’ said Harry lightly. ‘But what about you, Dennis? Theia tells me you’re a student at a Muggle University now. I have to admit, the last time I saw you, you were just a kid, it’s so hard for me to imagine you doing adult things.’
‘Yes,’ said Dennis vaguely, who seemed to be thinking about something else. ‘I went back to Muggle school… Just started at university…’
‘Abandoned the wizarding world completely, have you?’ asked Harry.
‘Harry!’ scolded Theia, appalled at his bluntness. ‘I told you about this-’
But Dennis spoke over her, his voice uncharacteristically low and cold. ‘The wizarding world abandoned me. They didn’t want me. They didn’t want a Mudblood.’
‘Not your friends,’ said Harry gently. ‘So many of us cared for you, Dennis, you had the whole DA. Your brother’s friends. I’m sure they’d have wanted to look after you.’
‘Can I get you any more tea?’ Dennis asked abruptly, rising. ‘Biscuits?’
He didn’t wait for an answer, and hurried quickly to the kitchen. Theia turned to Harry, furious, and (without remembering that he was her boss) smacked him on the arm. ‘What are you playing at?’ she hissed. ‘He doesn’t want to talk about that stuff!’
‘It’s why I’m here!’ Harry whispered back frantically, pulling his hands up into a shrug.
‘I didn’t think you’d start interrogating him!’ Their voices were so quiet that they were both relying on exaggerated expressions and some fairly over-the-top mime to understand one another.
‘It’s not an interrogation, it’s an interview-’
‘Interview my arse-’
‘Would you like some dinner?’ Dennis’s voice jolted them, and they both looked up to see him standing awkwardly in the doorway. ‘There won’t be much, but I can stick a pie in, if you’d like, it won’t take long.’
‘That’d be great, thanks,’ said Harry.
‘I’ll get Mum round,’ Theia added brightly, hoping that her presence would take the pressure off Dennis a little. ‘I did tell her she could meet you, Harry.’
She rose and left as Harry asked for directions to the lavatory, giving him a final warning glare as she did. But her mother must have been out, for the flat next door was filled with a cold silence. ‘Mum? Hello?’
An unpacked shopping bag sat on the counter, and Theia absent mindedly put the milk in the fridge, yawning widely and frowning slightly. When she’d got home, she had gone straight to bed without saying hello, she had no idea if her mum had been in then either.
She could hear Váli mewing unhappily from her closed bedroom door. Mum must have shut him in there. She opened it, and let him jump up into her arms, where he continued to chirp in a distressed sort of way. ‘What’s wrong, huh?’ she asked him. ‘What’s got you in such a state?’
She could not place why, but she suddenly felt very uneasy about leaving Harry and Dennis alone together.
After gently dropping Váli onto her bed, she practically ran back to Dennis’s flat, her legs tingling with the same adrenaline she had felt at Runcorn’s house. She burst into Dennis’s living room, hand hovering near her waist ready to pull out her wand, but Dennis was still clattering about in the kitchen, and the sound of rushing water in a sink was coming from the bathroom.
She shook herself slightly, and sat down on the squashy sofa, hands trembling as she entangled them into her hair. What was wrong with her? Was she just tired? Worried about Harry’s reaction to the phone incident?
Harry returned, throwing her a slightly concerned look. ‘All right? Where’s your mum?’
‘What? Oh, she must have nipped out for ciggies or something.’
Harry didn’t respond, or sit, but began to casually walk around the small living room, eyes sliding easily over the Muggle posters and shelf full of criminology books. ‘This where you’ve been getting all your theories then?’ he asked her.
‘I’ve helped,’ said Dennis cheerfully, as he returned into the room. He was carefully balancing three plates, each with a generously portioned piece of pie. ‘Sorry there’s not much, I wasn’t expecting you… We’d eat in the kitchen, but I have uni stuff all over the table, so plates on laps, I’m afraid.’
‘You’ve helped?’ asked Harry, taking the plate Dennis was offering to him.
‘He’s been brilliant,’ interjected Theia fervently. ‘I’ve been picking your brains, haven’t I, Dennis?’
Dennis laughed lightly. ‘I think you’re overselling it somewhat. I just regurgitate theories. You both look shattered, I expect you’ve been out actually getting stuff done, have you?’
Harry seemed to tense, and gave Theia an odd look, but she had no time to entertain his paranoia. ‘We’re exhausted,’ she told Dennis. ‘Worked practically non-stop since Monday.’
‘Oh, dear. How did it go?’ asked Dennis. ‘Any luck?’
‘Luck enough,’ said Harry. ‘That’s a nice picture you’ve got in the windowsill, Dennis.’
Theia craned her neck round to look at it. She had seen it before, but never taken much notice of the generic mountain scene.
‘Thanks,’ said Dennis pleasantly. ‘Did some travelling after the war to take my mind of things, you know.’
‘Did you?’ asked Theia, startled. ‘You never told me about that.’
‘Colin and I always planned to,’ said Dennis. ‘I didn’t really enjoy it much, to be honest, but…’ He shrugged.
‘Where did you go?’ asked Harry. His voice seemed measured and controlled.
‘Lots of places,’ replied Dennis, whose voice was equally tense. ‘Why?’
‘Well I don’t really want to talk about it.’
Harry considered him, and though Theia now knew him quite well, she couldn’t read his expression. The silence stretched and she looked down at her pork pie, feeling a twisted knot of guilt and anxiety in the pit of her stomach.
‘The thing is, Dennis, I’m not sure how much Theia has told you, but there’s been some funny business lately, and everyone who was in the DA could be implicated.’
‘What sort of funny business?’ asked Dennis.
Theia looked at him. He knew what sort of funny business. She had told him. She had told him. Guilt stabbed at her again. Why wasn’t she saying anything? Her mouth felt dry. Why on earth was she so paranoid? She was probably just tired.
‘Whatever happened to your DA coin, Dennis?’ Harry asked.
‘Buried with my brother,’ said Dennis sharply. ‘We shared one, you see.
‘You don’t have it with you?’
‘Didn’t you hear me?’ asked Dennis, his voice rising. ‘It’s buried. With my brother.’ His eyes flashed angrily, and he raised a shaking hand over his mouth. ‘Sorry,’ he said. ‘It’s… It’s hard for me. I thought you would understand.’
‘Of course I do,’ said Harry quietly. ‘My apologies.’ He leaned forward. ‘I’m not trying to upset you. I just have to ask you these questions. To eliminate you from the investigation.’
Dennis stared at him for a very long time. Theia supposed he was insulted. Finally, with a slow glance to her, he spoke. ‘From what I’ve gathered, some Death Eaters are vanishing.’
‘Something like that,’ conceded Harry.
‘And obviously because my brother died, you think I’d have a good motive, correct?’ The bitterness spat from Dennis’s mouth, Theia was now so overwhelmed with guilt and uncomfortableness that she started shovelling forkfuls of pie into her mouth, as though trying to make the situation seem casual.
‘That’s not what we’re saying, Dennis-’ began Harry quietly, but Dennis spoke over him loudly.
‘Plenty of people died in that battle, and plenty of people died before it too. What, are you going round interviewing everyone who lost someone? There must be dozens of people, hundreds, maybe, with good motives. Why do you care so much about Death Eaters anyway?’
‘Let’s just have a chat, Dennis,’ said Harry, who was clearly keen to deescalate the situation. ‘You’re not being held in any sort of suspicion.’
Dennis looked at Theia unhappily. ‘Why have you sprung this on me?’
‘I’m sorry,’ she said, and she meant it. This was humiliating. ‘This is getting a little out of hand-’
‘Let’s not talk about you at all then, Dennis,’ said Harry swiftly, noting Theia’s furious glare. ‘Ginny misses you very much, she’d love to see you.’
Dennis scratched the side of his face, and looked down at his food. ‘I’d like to see her too. Always looked up to the both of you. Theia told me she does Quidditch now.’
‘That’s right. She’s Chaser for the Harpies.’
‘I used to love watching Quidditch,’ said Dennis wistfully.
‘We should go to a match some time,’ Theia tried hesitantly. Dennis actually seemed to consider it, before giving a jerky shake of the head.
‘I’m happier as a Muggle.’
‘You must miss this world a little, Dennis,’ said Harry.
‘No. I don’t, thank you. And anyway, I never finished school. I could never fit in anymore.’
The rest of the dinner continued in awkward silence interspersed with even more awkward chit-chat. Dennis would shut down whenever Harry tried to pry into his past, so before long Theia found herself loudly babbling about whatever inane subject sprang to mind. She was horribly embarrassed and ashamed to have subjected her boyfriend to this; the paranoia that had been left over from the last few days had sunk away, and now she was just keen to get to bed, preferably in Dennis’s arms.
Harry’s eyes continued to rove around the little living room, pointedly ignoring Theia’s scathing looks, but as the dinner ended and he and Dennis rose, he turned to Dennis with a more sympathetic expression. ‘Sorry if I’ve been a bit blunt, mate. Work’s been getting to me, and I’m dead on my feet.’
‘It’s no problem,’ replied Dennis, showing him to the door. ‘We’ll catch up when you’re better rested. Perhaps get in touch first next time so I’m a little better prepared?’
‘Sure, I-’ Harry stopped abruptly. He had glanced over his shoulder in the middle of pulling on his cloak, and was now frowning down the cramped little hallway.
‘Everything all right?’ asked Theia.
‘That little door,’ said Harry, nodding to the study. ‘I thought it was the bathroom earlier, but it’s locked. What is it?’
‘It’s just the study,’ said Dennis.
Harry stared at him. ‘You lock your study?’
‘Yeah, well, it’s a dodgy area round here, isn’t it? I’ve got valuables in there.’ He seemed to now be trying to rush Harry out of the door.
‘But your computer is in your living room… Open it, please.’ Harry’s voice was now sharp and commanding, his heavily bagged eyes narrowing.
‘Harry!’ exclaimed Theia. ‘Stop it!’
‘I’d rather not,’ Dennis was saying uneasily.
‘You don’t have to, Dennis,’ she said furiously. ‘Harry doesn’t have a warrant or anything, he can’t just go poking around people’s homes.’
‘I’d really appreciate it if I could have a look around,’ said Harry, pushing back against Dennis.
‘Harry, stop it! Go home! You’re just being like this because you’re tired-’
But Harry stormed past, drawing his wand and pointing it firmly at the door. ‘Alohamora!’
................. ........................................ .......
The door swung open. Blood was thundering through Harry’s ears, that odd hunch he’d had, here it would be vindicated…
He stepped into the room, ignoring Theia’s shouts behind him.
The room was virtually empty, but for dozens of photos of Colin, unmoving, frozen in their frames. A Gryffindor scarf was pinned above a dusty looking bed, a dented Quaffle and football sat side by side. A few cardboard boxes were piled up beneath a window.
He knew then that he was wrong. He could feel Dennis and Theia standing silently in the doorway, watching him stand there like an idiot.
‘Happy now, are you Harry?’ he heard Theia demanding. ‘People are allowed to have private rooms, you know.’
Perhaps to save face, perhaps because he thought something yet could still be found, he began to sweep the room, as he would a cell in Azkaban, running his hands along the window sill, checking the backs of the photos, peering into the cardboard boxes which were filled with old clothes…
‘Do you mind if I scan the place for traces of magic?’ Harry called over his shoulder, ignoring her.
‘No,’ came Dennis’s heavy reply. ‘You’re just doing your job, I suppose…’
Harry raised his wand and muttered the spell, but he knew as he was casting it that it would return clean. He wasn’t sure what he had been expecting. Was he hoping to find McLaggen? Pictures of murdered victims? A big pile of bloody organs?
‘I just took some of his stuff with me,’ came Dennis’s quiet voice. ‘We never lived here, of course, but I like to imagine it like his bedroom. If… If things get too much, I can come in here and…’
Harry closed his eyes, and ran his hands up into his hair. He gave a small, quiet, disbelieving chuckle, hoping Dennis could neither see nor hear it. He’d broken into someone’s place of grief. ‘Sorry, mate, I…’
‘You were just doing your job,’ said Dennis, though he still looked upset. ‘I understand.’
Harry shook his head, bringing a hand down to rub over his eyes and pinch the bridge of his nose under his glasses. ‘Merlin, no, I shouldn’t have…’
‘You’re very tired,’ said Theia. ‘I felt paranoid earlier too. We just need sleep.’
‘I feel so stupid. I’ve done exactly what I said I wouldn’t do when interviewing people, I’ve come in all wands blazing and leapt to stupid conclusions-’
‘Why don’t you go home and get some rest?’ said Dennis. ‘Don’t worry about this. It is a little unconventional.’
‘Yeah… Yeah…’ He followed them out, feeling as though he were in a sort of daze. Merlin, he didn’t even have a warrant. He’d just broken in for no reason… If Robards found out… His head still felt cloudy with exhaustion, he still felt like he was missing something… Yeah, you’re missing a warrant and a sense of morality, you absolute muppet.
He turned back to face them both at the door. ‘Listen, I’ll understand if you don’t want to after that ridiculous display, but Ginny really would like to see you again. Why don’t you both come to mine on Saturday night?’
‘Sure, let me make it up to you as best I can. My godson will be there, we’ll have some food, let him show off, send him to bed and then open a bottle, I haven’t had a nice dinner in weeks. We’ll have a proper catch up, not a… Not whatever this was.’
Dennis smiled, the first genuine smile Harry had seen him do all evening. ‘That would be wonderful. Just perfect.’
Theia was yawning so widely that she only nodded her response, but she looked happy too.
‘Great,’ said Harry, still feeling terrible. ‘Right, well… I’ll give you the details at work tomorrow then, Theia.’ He bade them goodnight, and left.
‘I didn’t realise Harry had a godson,’ said Dennis, as they lay in bed together.
‘Mmm?’ Theia mumbled into his chest. She could feel sleep descending on her like a heavy weight. ‘Yeah, a little boy, about three, I think, maybe four. I didn’t know much about him either, he puts pressure on the press so he’s not in the papers much.’
‘Does he live with them?’
‘The godson? Only sometimes, I think.’ She yawned again, so widely that her next words were almost unintelligible. ‘Teddy Lupin, he’s called, his parents died in the battle. One of the other Aurors told me.’
‘Does Harry love him?’
‘What?’ Theia’s eyes were closed now, she was so close to sleep that she barely understood the question. ‘Of course. Got a cute picture of him on his desk.’
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