|SIYE Time:18:49 on 23rd September 2018|
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley
Genres: Drama, Fluff
Warnings: Mild Language
Summary: Even with the war over and evil defeated, there are still fights to be won before Harry can truly have his peace.
Hitcount: Story Total: 2080
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've had this little plot line dancing in my head for quite some time now and decided it was time to let it out while I try to finish the next chapters of my other stories. This is going to be at most 2 or 3 chapters when finished--just a short little jaunt into the canon post-Voldemort world. Story is rated R simply for the use of some language.
“You know, one of these days you may actually beat me,” Ron said smugly as he leaned back in his chair, smiling down at the chessboard as he folded his hands behind his head. “You almost had me there for a bit.”
Harry ran a hand through his hair, still squinting at the board as if scrutinizing how Ron had managed to best him, again. His chess pieces lay strewn across the board, some of them still managing to stir feebly.
“Don’t worry too much,” Ginny said soothingly from the spot on the floor where she was huddled with Hermione. The two witches had set up shop there, pouring over a mixture of magazines and textbooks as their boyfriends entertained themselves with their chess game.
“I think Dad’s the only one who has managed to beat him since he was eleven,” she added as she put a hand on his knee.
“I just don’t--I had him--and then--” Harry said in disbelief as he shook his head and gestured towards the board.
“Like Gin said, mate, I wouldn’t worry too much, You’re not the first and won’t be the last,” Ron added with a smirk as he brought his hands forward and cracked his knuckles.
“You’re getting good though. I’ve taught you well,” he added as Harry gave him an exasperated look over the table.
“Are you two done?” Ginny asked before Harry had a chance to retort. “We’ve been waiting over an hour for that game to be finished.”
“Why?” Ron asked.
“I didn’t envision spending the first evening we’ve all had free in a while watching you two squinting at chess pieces,” Ginny replied. “I would have liked to have some real fun.”
“You were just going to take him to some dark corner of the house and snog him anyway,” Ron said dismissively as he gestured towards Harry. “And that’s not something I really wanted to be a part of.”
The sound of someone knocking at the door sounded from the kitchen as he spoke. The four teens looked up for a moment, but the sound of footsteps in the kitchen walking to answer the door turned their attention back to the conversation at hand.
“I don’t think I’m the only one here who would have enjoyed a bit of alone time,” Ginny retorted as she glanced at Hermione--who had surreptitiously picked up a nearby book and began to page through it. Even though her face was partially obscured by her hair, Ginny could just make out the blush that had crept up her cheeks.
Ron could only splutter as he looked back and forth between his girlfriend and sister. Harry snickered in amusement at his friend's’ discomfort, momentarily forgetting his confusion over being beaten so handily at chess.
But before Ron could gain his wits about him or anyone else could capitalize on the situation, the sound of Mr. Weasley’s raised voice interrupted the moment.
“You are not coming into this home without a proper warrant.”
The four teens exchanged worried glances as Ron and Harry began to rise from their chairs-- hands reaching for their wands automatically.
“Arthur, I know this is a difficult situation, but it’ll be easier on everyone if you just let us do our job.”
The voice wasn’t familiar, but the calming tone and the fact that he knew Mr. Weasley by first name indicated that the Weasley patriarch did know this person.
“You can’t actually be seriously about this, Owen,” Mr. Weasley replied--his voice full of disbelief. “What has Kingsley said about this?”
“The Minister is currently traveling overseas as part of a delegation that’s meeting with the Magical Congress of The United States of America,” the man named Owen replied. “We haven’t been able to reach him. We’ve tried, Arthur,” with a bit of pleading in his voice.
“You are not coming into my home until Kingsley--”
“We have the warrant here,” another voice replied quietly as sound of parchment being exchanged sounded unnaturally loud in the otherwise quiet house. “It was signed off on a few hours ago. There’s been a lot of pressure from the gobl--”
“To hell with them,” Mr. Weasley swore angrily. “It was a war!”
“We understand that,” the man called Owen spoke again, somehow still remaining calm in spite of Mr. Weasley’s outburst. “We don’t like this any more than you--but you need to step aside or we will remove you from your home.”
“Arthur,” Mrs. Weasley’s calming voice interrupted any impending objection from her husband.
Before any of the teens could turn to each other and process what the hell was going on, the sound of several sets of footsteps sounded heavily across the wooden floor. Mr. Weasley appeared first in the doorway looking very flustered as his eyes roved from teen to teen.
Only a moment later, three men and and women followed Mr. Weasley into the sitting room--each clad in Auror robes and traveling cloaks.
They too looked slightly flustered--almost nervous--as they surveyed the group of young witches and wizards.
“What’s going on?” Ron asked as he drew himself up to his full height and looked questioningly at his father. He was easily the tallest in the room.
But before Mr. Weasley could reply to his son, a dark-haired auror stepped forward, his eyes falling on just one of them as he spoke.
“Mr. Potter, I’m Auror Owen Savage. My colleagues and I have been sent here to bring you into Ministry custody for questioning,” the man spoke as he stepped towards Harry.
Harry’s face fell into one of confusion and concern as he looked around at his friends.
“W-what have I done?” he asked in disbelief as he addressed Auror Savage. He’d spent the time directly after the Battle of Hogwarts and the few weeks of funerals and gatherings fairly sequestered here at The Burrow. There wasn’t much anyone could think of that he may have done to warrant a whole band of Aurors showing up at the doorstep.
“We have information that indicates that you were involved in the break-in, robbery and damage of Gringotts Bank this past May,” Auror Savage replied. “The goblins have filed official charges and a warrant has been issued for your immediate detainment in these matters.”
“I--” Harry began, but his voice fell off as he struggled to process what was going on. Ginny--who had standing beside him, quietly took his hand and he looked down at her in a fog of shock and confusion.
“Am--am I being arrested?” Harry asked in clarification as he tried to shake himself out of his shock.
“We do have directive to take you into custody,” Auror Savage added with a nod.
“This is insane!” Ron shouted. “Why are you only arresting him?”
Several sets of eyes quickly swiveled towards and focused on Ron at his outburst.
“Hermione and I--”
“Ron,” Mr. Weasley cut across sharply. “Not another word,” he added in warning in a tone that was so unlike his normally jovial nature.
Ron immediately fell silent and Hermione stepped up beside him and took his arm in hers in an effort to calm and hold him back. Ron looked down at her, both exchanging worried glances.
“Right now, we only have the authority to take in Mr. Potter,” Auror Savage interrupted the tense situation, seemingly ignoring the fact that Ron had nearly admitted to being involved. “We just have a few questions,” he added quietly as he addressed Harry again directly.
Harry swallowed heavily, his eyes once again searching the faces of his friends and adopted-family in slight desperation. He looked to be at a total loss as to what to do and the look of worry on all of their faces was not helping.
“Ok,” Harry said finally with a shaky nod and the nervousness in his voice palpable. “Ok--I’ll come with you.”
The Aurors looked slightly relieved that they would not be in a situation where they would need to forcibly take the Savior of The Wizarding World into custody.
Auror Savage nodded.
Harry glanced down one last time at Ginny, giving her hand a slight squeeze before he extricated himself from her grip and took a step towards the small group of Aurors.
“Mr. Potter, can you please turn and face that far wall,” a blonde, muscular Auror ordered calmly as he gestured towards the direction Harry had just moved from.
Harry paused mid-stride.
“W-what?” Harry asked, not sure he’d heard correctly.
“Please face that wall,” the Auror repeated.
Harry hesitated for another second or two before he slowly turned to face where Ron, Hermione, and Ginny were standing.
“Please place your hands behind your head.”
Harry turned to look over his shoulder--but before he could protest, the Auror stepped up to stand closely behind him.
Slowly Harry brought his arms up and placed his hands against the back of his head.
“Owen, really?” Mr. Weasley spoke up once again to protest this latest development.
“We just need to make sure you’re not carrying anything dangerous on you,” Auror Savage explained directly to Harry. “For our safety and yours,” he added as the blonde Auror began to search Harry--checking his pockets and body for any hidden items.
Harry’s face began to color with embarrassment as he was searched in front of his friends--his eyes narrowed in frustration as the reality of the situation began to take hold.
The Auror searching Harry quickly disarmed him of his wand as he pulled it out of Harry’s jeans pocket. He then produced Harry’s wallet from the back pocket.
“He’s clean,” the blonde man affirmed as he moved to hand both the wand and wallet over to a nearby colleague.
“We will take those,” Mr. Weasley interrupted as he stepped forward to intercede.
“We’re following policy, Arthur,” Auror Savage tried to explain.
“You have a body-only warrant to take Harry himself in for questioning,” Mr. Weasley replied as he waved the warrant he still held in his hand.
“You do not have anything here that gives you power to confiscate his personal effects for search and seizure. Until you have that, we will hold his wand and other items,” Mr. Weasley challenged--his jaw set in angry defiance.
Auror Savage opened his mouth to reply, but thought better of it after a few moments. He turned to the blonde Auror, who still held Harry’s belongings and nodded to his colleague as he gestured for the Auror to give the items to Mr. Weasley. Mr. Weasley stepped forward and took Harry’s wand and wallet and handed them to his wife.
Having still had his hands up during the latest exchange, Harry started to bring them down to his sides now that he understood the search was over and clear.
“Mr. Potter, please...please place your hands behind your back,” the blonde Auror again instructed--this time sounding slightly unnerved at what he was asking of the famous teenager before him.
Harry’s eyes again went wide with disbelief and confusion as the man took hold of wrists and helped guide them behind his back. With a gentle wave of the Auror’s wand, a set of enchanted handcuffs appeared and encircled Harry’s wrists--pulling the teens hands together and shoulders slightly back as they gently clicked closed.
Ron was breathing hard as he watched on, looking desperately from his father, mother and girlfriend as if waiting for someone to do something. Ginny was watching Harry intently, her jaw set and her mouth in a tight line as she too tried to keep her outrage in check.
“Is that really necessary?” Mrs. Weasley asked disbelievingly. “He said he would come with you--willingly,” she added as she stressed the last word.
“It’s protocol, ma’am,” the brown haired woman nearest Mrs. Weasley spoke up gently. “I’m sorry.”
Standing there in the middle of the Weasley’s sitting room, having just been searched and handcuffed like a dangerous criminal in front of his loved ones, Harry hung his head and dropped his gaze to the floor. There was a defeated air about him as he looked anywhere but at the group gathered there--simultaneously embarrassed and mortified by what was happening to him.
“If you could, please turn and face the doorway,” Auror Savage instructed gently.
This time, Harry did not show any outward sign of questioning or resistance--instead choosing to turn obediently towards the doorway between the rooms. His eyes were still firmly focused on the floor beneath his feet--but from the side you could see his jaw working in frustration.
The brown-haired, female Auror who had just moments before addressed Mrs. Weasley’s questions, stepped forward to stand before Harry.
“Mr. Potter...you are currently being arrested and detained for questioning on charges levied against you for your alleged involvement in the break-in and destruction of Gringotts Bank. You do not have to say anything at this time...but it may harm your defence if you do not mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do or say may be given in evidence,” the female Auror explained as she reiterated the charges and explained Harry’s legal rights to him as the rest of the room remained silent.
“Do you understand the charges and your rights?” she asked gently.
Harry nodded nearly imperceptibly, still not lifting his gaze to meet anybody else’s.
Satisfied that Harry understood what had been explained to him, the Auror nodded to Savage and stepped aside.
The blonde Auror who had searched and placed the handcuffs made to lead Harry from the room. But before he could do so, Mr. Weasley stepped forward to stand in front of the teen.
“Harry,” Mr. Weasley called his name gently.
When Harry did not look up at the sound of his name, Mr. Weasley spoke again.
“Harry, look at me,” he implored on as he placed a hand on the young man’s shoulder.
Harry flinched slightly at the touch, his gaze traveling to where the older man’s hand rested on his shoulder before--reluctantly--lifting his green eyes to meet blue.
“Harry, do not say anything. Do not answer any of their questions until we’ve gotten you representation,” Mr. Weasley told him firmly.
“But--” Harry began in a choked voice.
“You don’t have to answer anything,” Mr. Weasley explained. “Do you understand?”
Harry stared desperately at the older man--looking utterly lost and--for the first time--looking quite scared about what was happening.
“It’s going to be alright, son,” Arthur told him quietly as he gently squeezed the hand still resting upon Harry’s shoulder.
Harry swallowed heavily and managed a nod of understanding.
“We have to go now, Arthur,” Auror Savage interrupted quietly as he stepped up beside the pair.
Nodding, Arthur continued to hold Harry’s eyes for another moment or two--trying to relay as much assurance as he could without words--before he stepped aside and let the Aurors begin to lead Harry from the room.
The remaining occupants of the sitting room remained silent as the sound of footsteps grew more faint. Just a few moments after, the sound of the kitchen screen door sounded loudly as it banged against the frame and shut.
“Fuck,” Ron yelled, interrupting the silence as he shoved the table next to him over. The forgotten chessboard and pieces from he and Harry’s game went skittering across the floor.
Strangely, Ron’s outburst did not earn him any sort of reprimand from either of his parents.
His dad was very plainly wrestling with several thoughts at once--simultaneously processing what had just happened while trying to come up with next steps. His mum was watching his dad closely, waiting for his next words in rapt attention.
“Molly, can you send word to Bill about what’s just happened?” Arthur asked, as he turned to face his wife. “And ask him if he could be here within the hour? We may need his help in dealing with the goblins.”
Mrs. Weasley nodded and hurried off out of the room and to the fireplace.
“I’ll have to send an owl to Percy as well. He may be able to figure out how we can reach Kingsley,” Mr. Weasley added as he watched his wife take her leave.
The three remaining teens were each in their own state of stunned silence as Arthur finally turned to face them all.
“Ron, I’m sorry for snapping at you in the middle of all of that,” his father apologized quietly. “We just didn’t need to give them a reason to take you and Hermione in as well.”
“I know,” Ron sighed heavily as his whole body seemed to sag with the release of tension. “I’m sorry. I just couldn’t believe what they were doing--that they were just going to take him.”
His father nodded in understanding.
“And anything we might have said about Gringotts may have been used against Harry,” Hermione chimed in--her face still a mask of disbelief.
“Right. Damn,” Ron nodded, looking slightly terrified that his outburst may have implicated his best mate.
“Let’s not worry about that now,” his dad told him gently. “Right now we need to focus on getting resources together and figuring out what the next steps are.”
“Ginny--are you alright?” Hermione’s voice interrupted Ron’s response as all eyes swiveled towards the youngest Weasley. Ginny had sunk into a nearby armchair and was staring distractedly out of the window that faced the garden.
“Ginny?” Hermione asked again as she stepped closer to the younger girl.
Ginny started at the sound of her name and looked up.
“Hmmm?” Ginny asked, still looking dazed.
“Are you okay, sweetheart?” her father asked this time as he took a few steps towards his daughter.
“Yeah,” she replied breathlessly and rather unconvincingly. “I’m fine. It’s just--we just let them take him,” she added, sounding very much in disbelief at her own words.
“He’ll be alright,” her dad said as he came to kneel before where she was sitting. “I know Auror Savage pretty well. He’s a good man and I could tell that the rest of the group wasn’t any more comfortable with this than he was,” he added in reassurance.
“But the goblins sure seemed hell bent on bringing him in,” Ron muttered under his breath angrily. Hermione again moved to her boyfriend’s side and pulled him close and began talk to him quietly in an attempt to defuse his anger before it boiled over again.
“Ginny,” Arthur Weasley said quietly as he put a gentle hand on her arm. “Ginny, I promise that we will do everything possible to get him out of there. We’re going to use every resource we have to make sure none of this sticks and we can bring him home as quick as we can.”
“And what if we can’t?” Ginny asked, obviously voicing the worry that everyone else in the room had been trying to push to the back of their minds.
“We all know what actually happened--that you three really did break into the bank, steal a dragon and fly out through a giant hole in the roof. It’s all true,” she continued as she looked around at the others. “He may not say anything to them now in questioning--but what if it goes as far as a trial? He can’t lie about it then--they could use Veritaserum if they really wanted to get the truth.”
“Then they could nail us for this too,” Ron said as he cast a glance at Hermione and then shook his head.
“The goblins already know we were there with Harry,” Hermione interjected with a shake of her own head. “The Aurors could have very well have been ordered to take us in with him.”
“Then why didn’t they?” Ron asked.
“Harry’s obviously the much more high profile of the three of us,” Hermione explained. “Arresting him makes much more of a splash if they want to get any reparations for what happened to the bank during the war.”
“And the goblins definitely don’t take lightly to being outsmarted and bested either--especially not by a trio of teenage, Hogwarts drop-outs like yourselves,” interrupted a new voice with a bit of mirth, making the occupants of the sitting room look up towards the doorway.
Bill was shrugging off his traveling cloak as Mrs. Weasley stepped up behind him and took it from him to hang up in the entry way.
“Thanks, Mum,” he added before he turned his attention back to the room, brushing away the strands of red hair that had come loose from his ponytail and had fallen across his scarred face as he took a few steps forward.
“Thanks for coming, son,” Mr. Weasley greeted as his eldest son surveyed the scene.
“It’s not a problem. I came as soon as I could and I’m here to do anything I can to help out,” Bill replied with a nod. “I’m not sure how far I can get with the goblins considering how family is involved--but least I can do is try.”
“We’ll take all the help we can get,” Ron muttered.
Bill nodded again.
“How are you all doing?” the eldest Weasley brother asked as his eyes traveled over each of the occupants of the room. His gaze rested a little bit longer on his sister as she sat in the armchair, still looking as though she was watching the scene from behind a veil of fog.
“I think we’re all a little bit shook up,” Mr. Weasley answered honestly. “It wasn’t anything any of us were expecting and having them take him out in handcuffs was a bit unsettling.”
Bill let out a long low breath of surprise.
“They--they did that?” he asked sounding thoroughly surprised.
“Yeah,” Ron answered for his dad. “They searched him and everyth--”
“Can we not talk about that now?” Ginny interrupted as Ron continued on with his explanation. All eyes swiveled towards the youngest occupant of the room. Her voice had been much sharper than before and held a bit of agitation in the tone.
“Can we instead focus on what comes next and how we’re going to get him out of there?” Ginny continued.
“We’re going to do everything we can,” Bill promised.
“Then let’s do it,” Ginny said with a bit of impatience in her tone as she stood up from the chair. “Let’s stop discussing what has already happened and instead talk about how Bill’s going to seek a meeting with the goblins, how Percy is going to get Kingsley back from America to get the Ministry involved and who we’re going to get for a solicitor to represent Harry.”
When she was done talking, she looked around at the others.
“He’d be jumping into action straight away for any one of us,” Ginny reminded them, sounding incredibly determined--her previous shock seemingly having dissipated as a sense of purpose took over.
“So let’s do this.”
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