Raising Teddy

Chapter 18

“What is it?” Harry asked when they were alone.

“Something has happened.” Kingsley said. Harry had a nasty feeling it was something to do with Hogwarts and even though he knew it was an irrational assumption he couldn’t stop the sinking feeling in his stomach.

“Is—what—it?” Harry couldn’t get the words out, his throat was choked up.

“Oh. Harry, no it’s nothing terrible.” Kingsley said clapping Harry on the shoulder with a small laugh. But the laughter was short-lived and Kinglsey’s face turned grave.

“I need the two of you to do something for me.” Kingsley said.

“What is it?” Ron asked. Kingsley looked around the room. All the Auror’s were quiet; their eyes focused on the three men huddled together in the corner. Kingsley shook his head.

“There are too many people here.” Kingsley whispered. “We’ll go to my office.” Kingsley began to walk away, motioning for Harry and Ron to follow him. The group of three was almost at the doors of the Auror Department when they were blocked by none other than Leon Williamson.

“Where do you think you are taking my Auror’s Shaklebolt?” Williamson asked looking down on Kingsley, which was quite difficult seeing as Kingsley was six inches taller than him.

My Aurors.” Kingsley said in a dangerous voice. “Last time I checked I was the Minister of Magic and the Auror Department was part of the Ministry. I may do with my Auror’s whatever I please. I suggest you step out of the way before I have to take severe measures.”

Williamson looked as if he had just eating at least twelve acid pops. His face was twisted grotesquely, but he stepped aside and allowed Kingsley to pass with Ron and Harry behind him. In the Minister’s Office, Harry tapped his feet anxious against the legs of his chair.

“So what is it?” Harry asked. Kingsley was sat at his desk, pinching the bridge of his nose. He let out a long drawn-out sign.

“The Ministry is worse than I thought.” He said after a long silence.

“What’d you mean?” Harry asked.

“We had suspected,” Kingsley said shuffling the papers on his desk.” That there was a certain level of corruption within these walls, as there is in any government. With the recent…regime it’s become hard to tell where the allegiances of my employees lie.”

“You think we...” Ron said. “That we’re the ones who—“Kingsley held up a hand to silence him.

“I know,” He said. “That the two of you are probably the most loyal to my administration. That is why I need your help.”

“Our help with what?” Harry asked.

“Weeding out those you…have less than favorable ideals.” Kingsley said.

“What does that mean?” Harry asked.

“Corruption.” Ron said. “You want us to help find corrupt employees?”

“Yes.” Kingsley said. “I understand if it isn’t something the two of you aren’t willing to undertake. However, please understand that as of this moment there are very few employees I would trust with such a delicate matter.”

“You want us to investigate corruption in the Ministry?” Harry asked.

“Yes.” Kingsley smiled

“How?” Harry asked.

“You’ve already done it.”

“You’re talking about Williamson aren’t you?” Ron asked.

“You know about Williamson?” Kingsley asked surprised. Harry and Ron began to explain. They told Kingsley everything, about how something with Williamson always seemed off, how he suddenly ordered the cessation of the Lestrange case. How he always viewed Harry with a sense of loathing. How they followed him to the river and how he met with the Lestranges; how the paid him for their freedom.

“You followed him?” Kingsley said. “Without permission?” Harry nodded, but he had the odd feeling that he had done something incredibly wrong.

“We aren’t exactly good listeners.” Ron muttered. But Kingsley was smiling at the two of them and he looked happier than Harry had ever seen him before.

“Well, the two of you have certainly out done yourselves this time.” Kingsley said brightly.

“Sorry?” Harry asked. “I’m still not sure what is happening.”

“Williamson has always been…wavering. I suspected he got a taste of what he wanted under You-Know-Who’s regime. He had an awful lot of power. This is what I want the two of you to do…”

Kingsley kept Harry and Ron in his office for well over an hour as he explained the finer details of what he wanted them to do. Harry felt a sense of elation the more Kingsley talked. Finally, he was going to be able to do what he had joined the office to do; hunt Dark Wizards. There were still several major issues to work out but as Harry left the office with Ron he felt rejuvenated and fulfilled with a new sense of purpose. Harry and Ron sat down at their respective desks.

“Should we tell Neville, d’you think?” Ron asked.

Harry should his head. “Better not. You know what Kingsley said.”

“What was that bout, earlier?” Neville asked jovially as he took a seat at his own desk.

“Nothing, just a bit of catching up.” Harry shrugged. He felt awful about lying to Neville, but it was for the greater good

For the Greater Good.

Harry shook his head to clear it and began to bury himself in his work. Throughout the day Harry would look at the door to the head Auror’s Office which was closed as tightly as possible. These periodic checks were all he could do to get him through to the night when he and Ron were allowed to officially begin investigating Williamson and the rest of the Auror’s under Kingsley’s command.

He thought about how awful it must be to not trust the people you’ve worked with for years. The Auror’s were supposed to be a team; not only were the supposed to protect the Wizarding community from the evils of witches and wizards gone wrong, but they were supposed to protect each other. They were supposed to trust one another. Right now, there were few people Harry felt he could trust.

As the sun set through the artificial windows in the office, Harry’s excitement grew. One by one the Auror’s left the office, to go home, to go out, or simply to just go. Ron and Harry stalled as they did the day before maintaining that they had an extreme amount of paperwork that still need to be completed to Williamson and Proudfoot’s satisfaction.

“If I never see another one of these,” Ron said throwing a file on the floor. “It will be too damn soon.”

“It’s not that bad.” Harry said. “It could be Divination homework.”

Williamson seemed to have decided not to leave the office. Harry had already sent work that he would be unable to pick Teddy up that night, but that didn’t stop his eyelids from beginning heavy and his brain from becoming foggy. If Williamson would just leave, if Harry could just sleep…for a few…minutes…

Harry awoke being roughly shaken by Ron.

“Get up.” Ron said. “C’mon Williamson is leaving.” Harry stifled a yawn and straightened his glasses. Williamson was indeed leaving; Harry watched as she donned a travelling cloak and locked the Head Auror Office door.

“Potter. Weasley.” Williamson snapped. “What are the two of you still doing here?”

“Paperwork.” Ron said, holding up several files for show. “We’re almost done.”

“Leave it for tomorrow.” Williamson said. “I’ll show the two of you out.”

Harry and Ron had no choice but to leave with Williamson. He was, after all their direct superior. So they stood up and gathered their things, muttering to each other for not disguising themselves. Williamson made them walk out first and locked the Auror doors with a loud thud.

“After you.” He gestured. Ron and Harry had no choice but to step into the lifts and wait for Williamson to accompany them. Williamson, however didn’t climb into the left with them, rather he pressed the button for Level Eight and waved them on their way.

“I think he knows.” Ron said.

“Really? I had no idea.” Harry said. “C’mon. Let’s go back.”

Ron redirected the elevator to Level Two. Harry pulled the Invisibility Cloak from underneath his robes and threw it over himself.

“Do you think the two of us would fit in that still?” Ron asked, with a hint of longing in his voice. “I hate the disillusionment charm; it makes me feel all cold and wet.”

“Sorry mate.” Harry said from the cover of the cloak. “Hermione and I barely fit; I doubt the two of us will.”

“When did you and Herm—oh.” Ron’s ears turned a brilliant shade of red before he let the subject drop. The lift opened and an invisible Harry and camouflaged Ron stepped out and made their way back to the office.

“D’you think he’s even here?” Harry whispered to Ron.

“It’d be a bit stupid to come back.” Ron said. “If he knows he’s wanted.”

“Didn’t stop me.” Harry said pulling on the doors. “It’s locked.”

“Well you’re not exactly normal are you?” Ron said. “Did you try Alohomora?”

“Gee Ron I didn’t think of that. I was just about to.”

“Go on then.”

Alohomora.” Harry whispered pointing his wand at the door. He gave the golden handle another tug, but it didn’t budge. “I’m going to try Sirius’ knife.” Harry pulled the small switch blade type knife out of the pocket of his robes and worked it into the crack between the door and the door jamb. After a few minutes of working the knife there was a small click.

“I think I’ve got it.” Harry said, he pushed the door with his hand. “Yeah, it’s open. C’mon.”

Harry and Ron crept through the empty Auror’s Office.

“It look’s different at night.” Ron said. “Spookier.”

“Ron,” Harry said. “We spend nights in here all the night.”

“You know what I mean.” Ron said.” When the lights are off.”

“Is ickle Ronnie afraid of the dark?” Harry teased. Ron pushed him to one of desks that, during the day, was occupied by one of the most senior Aurors. Harry fell into the desk with a loud thud and several bangs; he had no doubt, set off something inside of the desk. Harry looked at his disembodied feet hanging in the air.

“Don’t just stand there.” Harry hissed. “Help me up, you prick.”

“I can’t see your hands.” Ron said. Harry threw his cloak the rest of the way off of his body and Ron grasped one of his hands and with a tremendous tug pulled Harry off of the ground. “We need to shut that thing up.” Harry waved his wand at the desk and in a moment it was silent. He scooped his cloak up off of the ground and put it back on.

“Let’s go.” Harry said. The two of them continued to creep past the desks of their co-workers.

“What are we looking for?” Ron asked.

“No idea.” Harry replied. “Let’s go over there.”

“Why is it,” Ron grumbled. ”That you never have a plan?”

“You sound like Hermione.”

“Thanks for that one mate.”

Harry placed his hand on the door of the Head Auror’s Office. Perhaps if Williamson was hiding something to do with the Lestrange Brothers, it would be in here. On the other hand, Harry thought that hiding something career ending at work wasn’t a very good idea. The again, Williamson didn’t strike Harry as the most intelligent person. Harry pulled out Sirius’ knife and jimmied the door open. Williamson’s office was very similar to Kinglsey’s, albeit it only took up half the space of Kingsley’s office. A cork board with the top ten most wanted witches and wizards hung behind the desk. Lying on the floor was an old wanted poster of Harry himself. It occurred to him that perhaps Williamson couldn’t be bothered with the cleaning up. Harry walked to the desk and tried to open the drawers with no success, they were all locked tight, even Sirius’ knife couldn’t open them. Harry slammed his fist on the desk with frustration. The walls were lined with books about Dark magic, curses and counter curses.

“Harry.” Ron called. “Where are you?”

“In Williamson’s office.” Harry replied. “Why?”

“I think someone is coming.” Ron entered the office and groped around for Harry’s arm. When he found it, he grabbed it roughly and pulled. Harry stumbled over his own feet before finding his footing and following behind Ron.

“Who is it?” Harry hissed. “Who’d you see?”

“I’m not sure.” Ron said. “But I have a nasty feeling about this.”

“We’ll go in a minute.” Harry said. “I just know there is something here.”

“Harry, we need to go now.” Ron whispered as the door was pushed open for a third time. “Look.”

Williamson opened the door accompanied by the Lestranges. Rodolphus, the older and shorter of the two, looked at the office with apprehension.

“I don’t know why you’ve brought us here.” He said. “You know how I hate to be amongst filth.”

“It will only take a moment.” Williamson said. “Then you and your brother are free to leave the country without fear of being caught.”

“We could have done that right after the Battle of Hogwarts.” Rabastian said.

“But you didn’t. “Williamson pointed out.

“Could you hurry up?” Rodolphus asked. “If you are right, then the Potter brat and his blood-traitor friend Weasley will be lurking around here.”

“They’re gone.” Williamson said. “I sent them off myself.” He grabbed several files from one of the drawers that Harry couldn’t open.

“Did you watch them leave?” asked Rabastian. “Did you see them leave the building?”

“No.” Williamson said coolly. “But I don’t think Potter or Weasley would disobey a direct order.”

“Then we have met a very different Harry Potter.” Rodolphus stated.

“I am done.” Williamson said. “Are you ready to leave?”

“I was ready to leave the moment I stepped foot into this cesspool.” Rabastian scoffed. The three men left the room and as soon as the door shut Harry ripped the cloak off.

“He’s not just taking their gold, he’s helping them escape.” Harry said.

“What do we do now?” Ron asked. “We can’t very well tell Kingsley, we have absolutely no proof.”

“But how do we prove it?” Harry asked. ”Muggle surveillance technology doesn’t work here.”

“I have an idea.” Said Ron. “and it’s good.”

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