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SIYE Time:4:12 on 23rd June 2018


Only the Best
By Celtics534

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Category: Alternate Universe
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Nymphadora Tonks, Other, Ron Weasley
Genres: Action/Adventure, Romance
Warnings: Death, Disturbing Imagery, Extreme Language, Intimate Sexual Situations, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Sexual Situations, Spouse/Adult/Child Abuse, Violence, Violence/Physical Abuse
Rating: R
Reviews: 29
Summary: Metropolitan Police Inspector Harry Potter was having an amazing twenty-four hours. He slept a full eight hours, had a good pint, and met the most incredible red-headed woman. Of course, that was all nulled by the dead woman lying in Whitehorse Road Park.
Hitcount: Story Total: 4031; Chapter Total: 372





Author's Notes:
Huge thank you to Arnel and gryffindormischief for checking over this chapter… well every chapter so far. Their ideas and comments help a whole lot.




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“According to everyone’s descriptions, Susan was almost a hermit. She didn’t go out drinking or to parties. She would stay home and play games or read. She had many friends on her PlayStation account, but most have never met her in person,” Harry muttered under his breath. He had constructed a chart on a large cork board photos and pieces of paper with facts across the landscape. Not only did Harry have Susan Bones information, but he had added Cho Chang’s as well,re-reading it for what felt like the hundredth time.

Though technically the cases weren’t confirmed to be linked, both Tonks and Harry had agreed that the likelihood of having two killers use milk as their weapon was unlikely. How many people could be sneaking in a poisonous concoction from North America?

He'd set the board up in his office which meant infinitely more foot traffic though the sparse room as everyone came to look at least once. Many suggestions came out of the numerous investigative minds. Some thought the markings were a distraction. Others thought the killer was going to leave a message in the stomach contents. That was where Tonks drew the line. “That would just be sick.”

“And killing people by making them over-drink milk, isn’t?” Harry had asked when she had exclaimed her disgust.

Now here they were, a week later working on finding any and all connections. There were some small things, the unity of the lettering on both bodies, the discovered locations and how the body was positioned. It was the lack of connection between the girls that confused Harry the most.

Typically, a killer would have a trait… a rhyme to who they choose, but Cho and Susan were nothing alike. Cho an outgoing woman who enjoyed parties and dancing. Susan a homebody who enjoyed playing video games. They didn’t go to the same pubs, they weren’t from the same neighborhood, there seemed to be nothing linking them together.

“I feel so useless stuck in here, just looking at that board over and over again,” Tonks groaned for the third time that day. “We’ve looked over all the facts we have, and nothing has made a connection. Harry, we should come up with something else.”

Harry wheeled around to look at his partner. “Like what? We can’t patrol the streets, we don’t know what we are looking for. We can’t place a stake on a building because we have no hint to where the next strike may be. I don’t know what else to do,” he didn’t yell, or sound mad, just tired.

“I know!” Tonks, however, did raise her voice. She was clearly aggravated, not with him just the situation. She looked down towards her feet and repeated herself, “I know. I’m just going spare here, mate.”

“Well, I’m not particularly chuffed about it either,” Harry reminded her as he sat on the loveseat in his office.

Tonks had placed herself in the armchair, knees brought up to her chest. “We need something soon, but nothing is panning out. That couple in the store, nothing! They just turned out to be ‘old family friends’, and Amelia confirmed it. That man… that man we can’t find him anywhere. No one saw an elderly gentleman near her.” Tonks placed her head down onto her knees, making her voice muffled, “We have nothing again.”

Tonks was usual the glass half full person and watching her slowly turn to the dark side made Harry snap into action. He jumped from his seat and stared intently at the cork board. “There must be something linking the two girls,” Harry had taken to muttering a lot within the last few weeks. “Something…” He went over to his desk and placed Cho’s and Susan’s files right next to each other.

Susan grew up near Leeds, while Cho was from the South side of London. Cho worked for a book publishing company… Susan a tech. Cho graduated from the University of London, and Susan went to the Imperial College in London. The last location Susan was spotted in was a retail store, while Cho was last noticed in a club. Harry was tempted to push the papers from his desk in frustration. Nothing on their files were correlating, unless someone had an issue with London universities.

Tonks, who had been silent though all of Harry’s searching finally lifted her head and said, “We’re stuck playing their game, Harry, and there is no telling what this person is going to do next.”

Harry wanted to object. He wanted to deny how lost they were, but he couldn’t. They seemed to be stuck at the bottom of a pit with a grate placed over the top. They could see the light, but there was no way out and their masked culprit was pouring water all around them, rapidly eating up space and air.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


“So, Moody has decided me and Tonks need a break. To take some time and come back with a clear head. In other words, a mandatory holiday,” Harry took a sip of his pint, feeling the condensation on his fingertips. He and Ginny were sitting at a table in one of the local pubs near their flats, forgoing a home cooked meal in favor of something hearty and professionally prepared since both had had a long day. Ginny had dealt with a slight, possibly career ending, scandal for her keeper, while Harry was still unable to make any progress on his case a fortnight after the second murder.

“Maybe it’s not such a bad thing,” Ginny tried to console him. “I mean how long has Moody been working in this field?”

“Since before I was even a thought, as he tells me often.”

Ginny let out a small laugh and continued her train of thought, “So, he might know a thing or two. Take a break come back with a clear and fresh mind. Sometimes your best conclusions come when you’re not trying hard to think of them. Besides he’s going to have someone else continuing to work up the case, right?”

Harry nodded and let out a deep sigh. “I know… It just sounds much better coming out of your mouth, as opposed to Moody’s.”

“Well, I’m sure that’s true about a lot of things.”

Harry shrugged and picked up a chip moodily. Ginny rolled her eyes, but let him have a minute to brood. When she had enough of his sulking, she reached across the table and thumped him on the back of the head.

“Ow!” Harry complained as he rubbed his injury.

“Well,” Ginny insisted sitting back, “you’re being ridiculous. Just listen to Moody. Take the week, go somewhere nice, maybe somewhere with a beach. Get a nice tan, so that way I can admire that scorching body of yours.”

Despite himself, Harry laughed. “Yes, dear.”

Ginny smirked and grabbed his free hand and held it. “Good, now that is settled, do you want pudding? I’m really feeling a sticky toffee.”

“It’s not quite settled,” Harry claimed with sudden inspiration.

She shot him a quizzical look. “What do you mean?”

“Well, I don’t really want to sit on a beach all alone, now do I? So, maybe you know someone who’d fancy joining me? Preferably, someone with red hair and who would look great in a swimsuit.”

Ginny grinned at him. “I don’t think Ron can get the time off, though to be honest he doesn’t look that good in his swim costume, but…” She paused and tapped her chin in mock consideration. “I might be available.”

Harry placed his hand over his heart. “Well, I guess I can make do,” he smiled at her. “Moody is giving me another week before my ordered holiday, could you get the time?”

She batted her hand at him in a who-do-you-think-I-am gesture. “Please, they owe me some time off for fixing the problem today,” she batted her eyelashes theatrically at him. “So, where are you taking me, Inspector Potter?”


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


By Friday, a week after Harry’s dinner with Ginny, there still had been no boundless additions to their leads, meaning Harry was going on holiday to a mix of emotions. Ginny had volunteered to plan the whole thing, letting him focus all week on the case, not that it made much difference. It did mean Harry had no idea where they were going, though. All Ginny asked was to visit her parents’ house the day before they left, because it was Bill’s birthday the day after they were scheduled to go and she wanted to celebrate with her family.

Harry was fine with it, but butterflies started to settle in his stomach as they approached Ginny’s childhood home. Ginny had talked about her family numerous times, hell, he had already met two of her brothers, but it was still unnerving to meet her entire family.

“You look like you’re going to sick-up, my dear,” Ginny told him from the driver’s seat. She had a small smirk tickling her lips as she turned down a one-lane road. “Is it because of the long drive or because you’re basically going into the lion’s den?”

“See, calling it a lion’s den doesn’t help…” Harry told her, closing his eyes with a wince.

She chuckled. “Sorry, you’re right — “

“Can I get that in writing?”

“I should call it the lioness’ den because it’s my mother you have to worry about.” Harry groaned, making his girlfriend laugh. “Really, Harry, you’ll be fine.” Ginny took one hand off the steering wheel and placed it on Harry’s leg. “My mother will love you, trust me. She will claim you’re too skinny and rush off to get you something to nosh on.”

Harry took a deep breath and grabbed her hand, turning it over and intertwining their fingers. Apparently, contact was all he needed. The fluttering in his stomach calmed to a feeble flapping. Ginny made a right turn, allowing another car to pass them first, going in the opposite direction. The road was bumpy and filled with holes that could pop a tire.

“Is this really the best way to get to your house?” Harry asked as Ginny swerved around a crater in the road.

“Yeah, actually this is the only road leading to the house… Well, really, it’s just a long driveway to the house. It’s about two kilometers to the end of the road,” she glanced over, hands still connected. “Who knew meeting the Weasley family would scare big, bad Harry Potter.”

“Well, you do have a lot of brothers, who I’m sure wouldn’t like what we do in our down time.”

Ginny snorted. “And that’s why we don’t discuss that topic, with them… or my mother for that matter.”


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Ginny had never placed much stock in the idea of fortune telling or the ability to see the future, but after Harry was introduced to her mother, she thought she might just have the power. Molly had taken an instant liking to the detective inspector. When he had put out his hand and offered to shake hers she pulled him into a strong hug and immediately led him to the kitchen.

“Looks like mum’s gonna fatten up your new beau,” Fred called across the yard. He and George were walking around the side of the house, clearly coming from the back garden. Once they reached Ginny they each placed a hand on her shoulder. “So, how does Ronnie know that strapping young man in there?”

Ginny felt her eyebrows raise. “He still hasn’t told you?”

George shook his head. “No, and you know how much we despise being out of the loop. So, Gin-Gin, Ginny, our beloved younger sister, will you bring us into the inner circle?”

The beloved sister in question scratched behind her left ear unconcerned. “I don’t know. I wouldn’t want to betray my brother. Sibling loyalty and all that.”

“But Ginners — “

“Why would I ever want to help someone who calls me that?”

George continued his plea as if she had never spoken, “Don’t you want to see Ron’s face turn the color of his favorite vegetable.”

“Okay, first of all,” Ginny said putting up a finger, “Ron’s favorite vegetable is potatoes not tomatoes, so unless you’re going to wipe his face in the dirt…” She added a second digit. “Secondly, he hasn’t done anything offensive enough to make me want to spill,” she added a third and final finger. “Lastly, Harry tells the story much better that I can. Treacle tart is his favorite pudding, by the way.”

The twins smiled at their sister gleefully. “I knew you took after us,” Fred said with a laugh giving Ginny’s back a hard slap. “Come on Georgie, we have a coppa to bribe.” Together they trailed after their mother and Ginny’s boyfriend.

‘I might regret that later,’ Ginny thought as she made her way to the back of the house. She figured she would give her mother a few moments to try and interrogate her boyfriend. It wouldn’t be right if she didn’t. The back garden had a large screened tent, with a nice wood floor, that Arthur had placed a space heater in so people could be outside during the cold season. Bill was holding Victoire and Fleur stood beside him, talking to Arthur. Ron was lounging in a chair, while his date, Lavender, talked his ear off. Charlie couldn’t make it because he was back in Romania, so almost the whole Weasley gang was present.

Ginny headed over to Bill so she could say hello to her niece. Bill smiled at her as she approached, he whispered something into his daughter’s ear making her giggle. Victoire was only two, but a clever two. Ginny pressed a kiss to both Bill’s and Victoire’s cheeks.

“How are you two doing?” she asked as took Victoire from Bill’s arms and gave the little toddler a hug. Both responded to her and Victoire set off in her baby speak, tell her favorite aunt all about her day. Bill smiled, watching his daughter enjoy the attention of her aunt, who made the best shocked faces.

Ginny placed the child down and whispered something in her ear. Victoire giggled and ran, the best a two-year-old could, towards her uncle Ron, who was still stuck with Lavender. “You set her on Ron, didn’t you?” Bill asked his sister.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Ginny claimed innocently. She watched as Lavender squealed when the little one reached her. Ron hated when Lavender spoke to the baby, everyone but Lavender knew that. He loathed the baby voice she favored when dealing with anyone below the age of eight.

“Sure, you don’t?” Bill drawled, winking at her. “So, did you bring Harry with you?”

Ginny looked at her oldest brother in surprise. “You know?”

The man in question nodded, laughing slightly. “I figured it out when Ron mentioned he knew him.” He gave her an appraising look. “Not a bad choice, sis.”

She smirked at her brother. “Trust me, I know.”

“Where is he, by the way?”

“Oh, Mum has him locked in the kitchen somewhere… Not to mention Fred and George are trying to bribe him to find out Ron’s story.”

Bill chortled. “And let me guess, you suggested the object to bribe with?”

“Once again, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Mmhmm.”

“Anywho, I should probably go save him from being overfed. I won’t want him to upchuck in the car, now will I?” Bill smiled at her as she walked towards the back door. The kitchen was almost set up like an interrogation room,Harry sat on one side of the table, alone, while the twins sat across from him. Molly hovered by the stove, clearly listening.

Ginny had suspected the scene might look like this, but what she didn’t predict was the awestruck look on the twins faces. “Nah, you’re taking the mickey,” George proclaimed while Fred nodded in agreement.

“No, it happened, but really it was just dumb luck,” Harry told them.

Ginny approached them, taking the chair next to Harry. “Did you tell them about Ron?” Ginny asked her boyfriend after placing a chaste kiss on his cheek.

Fred shook his head, still looking at Harry captivated. “Why didn’t you tell us your boyfriend was a hero?”

Cocking her head to the side, Ginny invited someone to explain. Harry spoke up, “Actually I’ve never told Ginny the story.” Leaning in close he whispered, “It’s not really pillow talk.”

Ginny snorted but waved her hand to signify an explanation. Harry sighed but launched into his tale, “Right after I joined the force there was a man trying to take power… trying to gain an army. Do you know the name Gellert Grindelwald?” When Ginny shook her head, Harry pressed on, “That’s fine, most people don’t. We tried to keep it under wraps. He just wanted power, basically like a kids’ super villain. He wanted to rule the world.”

Harry took a breath and continued, everyone engrossed in his story, “What happened was I became a part of a small team to infiltrate a suggested hideout. Well, it turned out the information was good, but we didn’t know that till we were already in. We split into two teams of three and scouted the floors. Team one to the ground floor, while the team I was a part of took the first floor. We came into a fork, so I went left and the other two went right.” Ginny couldn’t believe that all this had happened to Harry. It sounded like something out of a movie. Molly had stopped pretending not to listen and turned to focus on the inspector. “It turned out both ways led to the same spot. The other two were presented with Grindelwald before I was, so they were in a stalemate. Grindelwald had some prisoners and a detonation switch that would work with the C4 attached to their chests.”

Harry looked around at his audience. “It was just dumb luck I was able to enter the room from behind and sneak up on the man, knocking the switch away from him,” he smiled at Ginny. “Everyone returned home safely. That was the case that put me on the map, which is why I have risen through the ranks so quickly.”

Everyone in the room was silent just looking at Harry, until Ginny, knowing he must be hating the attention, snorted. “Oh, yeah, well, I once score the winning goal in the championship game when I was six.”

Fred and George snorted as one. “For the other team,” Fred reminded her, turning away from Harry to mock his sister.

Ginny waved her hand in a dismissive gesture. “Details. I still made a team win.” From that moment on everyone seemed to forget about Harry’s heroic deeds. Molly went back to cooking while the twins argued with Ginny that scoring for the other team didn’t count. Harry took her hand and gave it a squeeze beneath the table, a signal of his thanks.

The day went by peacefully, with all of her brothers surprisingly on their best behavior around Harry.. In fact, Ginny was quite certain her family was smitten with the boy.

Arthur liked to discuss Harry’s motorbike, enjoying the idea of tinkering with it. All her brothers enjoyed Harry’s police stories, especially Ron’s arrest which left everyone in stitches, except for the man in question and his mother, who reprimanded him. Molly, as expected, loved to pile food up onto Harry’s plate, complaining that he must not be eating right and sending a glare at Ginny in the process. Ginny, for her part, appreciated the fact that her family all loved her boyfriend.

She had never brought a boy home before. Everyone knew she had dated Michael, but she had known he wasn’t worth bringing home. Then there had been Colin, who she never really clicked enough with in a romantic way. Finally, there had been a few dates with Dean, before he was signed to Tottenham. That had been a train wreck, just because he was so overbearing. Harry, however, seemed to fit right into every part of her life.

The night came to a close after cake, Bill’s arms weighed down with countless gifts and his increasingly overtired daughter. All the Weasley children started to leave after the elder brother, first Fred and George headed back into London to their flat over their joke shop. Ron and Lavender bid everyone farewell shortly after the twins, leaving just Harry, Ginny, and her parents.

Ginny offered to help her mother do the dishes, while Arthur started to discuss Harry’s opinions on different exhaust pipes for bikes. Molly washed while Ginny dried, a system they had perfected when she was a child.

“So, Harry seems nice,” Molly started casually, scrubbing some gravy off a plate.

“Yeah?” Ginny decided to match her mother’s tone, giving nothing away.

“Mmmhmmm. I think your father really likes him,” a mischievous smirk appeared on Molly lips. “And I think Harry really likes you.”

Ginny could feel the smug smile grace her face. “Oh, yeah, the boy is besotted, no doubt about it.”

Molly turned to look at her daughter, pausing her wash. “I think it’s mutual, Ginny dear.”

Placing down her towel down, she leaned to kiss her mother on the cheek. “Again, no doubt about it.”


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


The holiday in Florida had been just what the doctor ordered. Ginny loved being in the bright sun, laying on the beach outside their small cottage. It wasn’t completely private, but it was still incredible to be able to walk along the waves hand and hand with Harry.

Between late mornings in bed and long nights cuddling, watching the waves crash against the sand in the moonlight, Ginny couldn’t have been more relaxed if she tried. Harry seemed to be the same. He didn’t mention the case once, and now on the day before of their return Ginny decided to bring up one of the small reasons she picked Florida.

“So, you remember how you told me White Snakeroot could be found in America,” Ginny asked as she cut some fruit for them to eat throughout the day.

Harry nodded from his position of flipping pancakes. “Yeah, why?”

Ginny cut an apple into perfect slices. “Well, it just so happens there is some in Florida and I may have asked around and found were we could get some.”

Her boyfriend stared at her, stunned. “Why?”

Ginny couldn’t prevent her eyes from rolling. “I thought you might like to take some home, maybe have one of the lab people do some tests on it. You were saying that you didn’t know how the plant worked…”

Harry gaped at her. Smoke started to rise from the bottom of the pancake, distracting Harry as he flipped the now burnt cake. He threw out the questionable breakfast option and instead of pouring more batter on the skillet, Harry went over to his girlfriend and wrapped his arms around her from behind.

“You are,” Harry placed warm kisses along Ginny’s neck, extracting a moan from the redhead, “the most,” the kisses trailed up towards her ear, “incredible woman I have ever met.” He lightly nipped on her earlobe, drawing a pleasurable groan out of the woman in his arms.

Ginny set her knife down and turned in Harry’s arms, leaning back against the counter and pulling Harry in close by his shirt. She lowered his head to hers, connecting their lips. Harry happily returned the pressure, slightly opening his mouth to grant her access.

She broke from his lips and started to mimic his previous actions, kissing his neck, sucking lightly on a pressure point that sent shivers running up Harry’s spine. “Tell me something I don’t know,” she murmured in between kisses moving along his jawline.

“I love you,” he softly blurted out, making Ginny stop her actions, so she could look into her boyfriend’s eyes. She saw surprise, but truth was in his dark green orbs as he studied her back. “I know it’s soon,” he told her quietly, “but it’s true.”

‘Yeah, it is soon,’ Ginny thought wildly. They had only been dating for two months, just under two really, but unbidden into her mind came the image of her walking down an aisle. Her friends and family lined up in chairs, standing and watching her walk towards the other side of the passage, her arm wrapped in her father’s. There at the end, was the emerald-eyed, blacked-haired, awkward, handsome, Harry Potter. His smile lighting her way.

She felt as if her heart had expanded and crawled into her throat. She had never had those thoughts previously. Never with any of her other boyfriends - none them had ever felt right standing there waiting for her. No, Harry was right. Was that love though?

Then she remembered what that scene signified. A wedding. A marriage. Having a family together. Being with each other for the rest of their lives. Did she want that? If she did, it would be with Harry, man who she felt more comfortable with, who made her toes curl, who made her laugh, and set her heart at ease more than any other person in her life.

She steeled herself, preparing to admit something she never had to any other man, at least not to the same degree. For a while she thought she had loved Michael, but really it was just childish love. The idea of being in love, really, but Harry… There was nothing childish about it.

Harry was looking directly into her eyes. “You don’t need to say it back or anything,” he told her in an undertone, “I know it’s way too fast, but — “

“I love you, too,” Ginny cut him off. He stared at her for a few moments, eyes wide, as if waiting for her to retract her sentence.

When she didn’t, his lips twisted into a goofy smile, making her grin like a maniac as well. “Yeah?” he asked.

She nodded and he closed any gap between the two of them, pressing his lips hard on hers. ‘Yes,’ Ginny thought as Harry directed them towards the bedroom, twisting the knob to the stove off as he went, ‘this is what love should feel like.’


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


“Good idea, Potter,” Moody said as he sat behind his desk, “going to a place where you could get access to the poisoning ingredient. We’ll have Snape check it over, see if they feed the plant while it’s alive or if it can be given to the cow after it’s been plucked.”

“Thank you, sir,” Harry nodded to his superior. “It was actually my girlfriend’s idea to go to Florida.”

Moody gave a half smile. “You have a good woman there, Potter.”

“Don’t I know it.”

“Well, dismissed, Potter. Tonks should be here by ten. Boot and Bell will update you both on their lack of progress when she arrives.”

Harry left the office and headed to his own. Never had he felt this relaxed. When he was a child he was always stuck dealing with his horrible aunt, uncle, and cousin. Then there was always some case that would be driving him batty. Now, after a week on holiday he felt loose. His head didn’t feel encumbered by too many facts. The pressure of discovery felt easier on his shoulders. And he was inclined to think it might have had more than a little something to do with the amazing girlfriend he traveled with.

Taking a seat in his stiff-back chair; Harry looked at the cork board still present in the room. He kept his eyes trained on the side by side photos of Cho and Susan. They had nothing in common, but then, Harry felt as if he’d earned a light bulb lit over his head. What if that was the point?

Harry stood and started to pace back and forth in the room. What if this person was purposely choosing victims who had no connections? Chaos theory at its core. At first there seems be no method to the madness, but there was something… Something that brings everything together. Maybe it’s the opposing traits of the women that made the killer choose them.

Being so lost in thought, Harry didn’t even notice Tonks slip into the room. She didn’t speak, she just took a seat in the armchair tucked against the far wall and sipped on her tea, patiently watching Harry walk around and around, a smirk on her face. “So, have a good holiday?” Tonks finally asked, breaking Harry from his reverie.

He jumped and stopped moving at the sound of her voice. “Tonks,” he asked, “when did you get here?”

“I would guess about sixty paces into your walk,” Tonks picked at an imaginary string on her sleeve. “So, what’s on your mind?”

Harry pointed at the board. “Chaos theory.”

“Okay, add some more words to that sentence.”

“What if the reason our killer picked Cho and Susan was because there was no visible pattern? What if they were picked so there would be no definite formula?”

Tonks placed her tea down on a table beside her. She stared at her partner, eyes narrowed. “If that is the case, what can we do to prevent anything happening?”

Harry ran his hands through his already messy locks. “I haven’t figured that out yet.”

“Well, I guess that’s better than having nothing.”

“It’s only a theory, but it’s the one idea that I’ve had that makes any sense.”

Tonks stood from her chair and walked beside Harry, placing a hand on his shoulder. “It has merit, there is no doubt. It just means… It just means we have nothing to work with, like before.”

Harry closed his eyes, trying to get his mindset back to discovery mode. “I know, but at least it helps us reason the way the killer might.”


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


“In conclusion,” Tonks said pointing her finger at Terry Boot, “you found nothing.”

Boot shrugged, accepting defeat. “No matter what lead we followed we found nothing. We talked to all of Susan’s and Cho’s friends again, zip. Both their families, zilch. We re-examined the footage from the club and the store, nothing conclusive.”

“What about inconclusive?” Harry asked looking at Katie Bell, who had shifted awkwardly at the mention of the recordings.

Boot glared at Bell, but she leered right back. “I thought I saw someone with a similar feature at the club and then again at the store,” Bell told them, turning to look at Harry.

“Wait, really?” Tonks questioned, sitting up in her chair. “We looked over those tapes numerous times, but saw nothing.”

“It was small, and I may be wrong, but one of the men dancing with Cho had the same ears as the man who talked with Susan.”

“No offense, Bell, but why would you be so adept at recognizing ears?” Harry asked, trying hard not to pass judgement.

“My father is a plastic surgeon,” Bell explained. “When I was young he liked to point out distinct features on people. The crook of a nose, the dent in a chin, maybe the way a certain line of freckles falls on someone’s arm, things like that. The man in the retail store has a little indentation on the top of his ear. If you go to thirteen minutes past midnight in the club tape, the person with Cho brushed his hair behind his ear showing off a very similar notch.”

“Boot pull it up on the computer side by side,” Harry commanded, pointing at his desktop. Boot followed his orders. Once he placed the videos beside each other, he paused at the moments Bell mentioned. Bell took the mouse from her partner and zoomed in on both tapes, and sure enough, both men had a small little cavity on the top of their left ears.

“No shit,” Tonks muttered, clearly seeing it as well. She pointed at the club image. “But this man dancing with Cho has dark brown hair and the man in the store had pure white.”

Harry wanted to slap himself in the forehead. “Wigs,” he told the group.

Katie nodded. “That’s what I thought, as well, but there is no proof.”

Tonks turned to her partner and smirked. “Good thing most of our job is assuming, isn’t it?”
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