Erlanger was an exhausting person to deal with. He loved the sound of his own voice and never gave Harry a chance to forget it. Harry, who was struggling to stay awake after his hectic night, didn’t particularly care to hear the tales of Erlanger’s tales of childhood glory.
“I’m really glad you’re working this with me Potter.” Erlanger said for the fiftieth time around noon. Harry nodded absentmindedly. He was so tired. He wasn’t quite sure what or who they were investigating, only that Erlanger kept saying that he was glad to have Harry with him.
“I think we make an excellent team.” This was something else that Erlanger said constantly. Harry didn’t believe it. If he hadn’t been so tired he would be constantly at ends with Erlanger. Erlanger took his silence for compliance and his closed eyes for happiness.
“Aren’t you glad we’re doing this?” Erlanger asked. When Harry didn’t respond Erlanger pocked him with his wand.
“What? Yeah. It’s great.” Harry said. “What exactly are we doing?”
“Watching.” Erlanger said. “Look over there.” Harry watched as the extremely small wizard Erlanger pointed out left a muggle shop. It wasn’t hard to tell he was a wizard; modern muggles didn’t wear umbrella hats and bellbottom corduroys.
“That’s what we’re doing?” Harry asked. “Checking a violation of the secrecy statute? “
“Yeah.” Erlanger said. “That’s what we do.”
“No it’s not.”
“That’s what all my cases have been. Minor incidents, secrecy violations and the like.”
Harry was shocked. This wasn’t what Auror’s were supposed to do. They were supposed to hunt Dark Wizards, not dotty middle aged wizards who couldn’t keep up with the muggle trends and occasionally forgot that wands were not supposed to be drawn in the presence of muggles.
“This is what you assignments have been?” Harry asked. He was dumbfounded.
“Haven’t yours been the same?” Erlanger asked in surprise.
“No.” Harry said. “I hunt dark wizards. That’s what our job is. That is what I do. “
“They probably give you all the good cases because you’re so experienced.” Erlanger said.
“Why would this take all week?” Harry asked. He was getting more irritated by the second at the thought of the Auror Department’s resources being wasted on such trivial things. There were real issues, real people who needed to be caught and instead of doing that Williamson was wasting their time. He was sure that Williamson had put Erlanger up to this; giving him this mediocre case and asking Harry to tag along.
“I dunno.” Erlanger said taking a large bite out of a corned beef sandwich he had stashed in the pocket of his jacket. “Say can I ask you a question?”
“I’m not really sure what’s stopping you.” Harry muttered. Louder he said “Go ahead.”
“Why do you insist on being partners with Weasley?”
“Weasley. You’re partners. Why partner with another junior Auror instead of a more experienced Auror? Everyone on the force would be more than happy to have you study up under them.”
“What like you?” Harry snapped. The words were out of his mouth before he could stop them and he stared at Erlanger with wide eyes. He hadn’t meant to say it but Erlanger just wouldn’t shut up. Far from being offended Erlanger looked happy.
“We make an excellent team, Potter. I won’t deny it. I would be happy to take you on.”
“I’m fine where I am thanks.” Harry said coolly. “He’s leaving; do we need to follow him?”
“No.” Erlanger said. “We’ll get him later. Are you sure you don’t want to be under my wing? I’ve got a very impressive track record.”
“Are you sure?” Harry asked as he watched a clearly drunken wizard draw his wand on a frightened group of muggles. “Because I think he’s not supposed to be doing that.” Erlanger looked surprised by the man and looked at Harry sheepishly.
“Maybe we should just let this one go? I mean, he’s not doing anything harmful and I’ve never actually apprehended anyone before.” By now, the wizard was hanging several muggles upside down by their ankles and shouting a long list of filthy words at anyone who told him off. Harry ignored the clearly incompetent senior Auror and left their hiding spot to apprehend the disorderly man. Harry felt no anxiety or fear as he approached this man, On the contrary Harry felt a strong sense of purpose as he walked toward the group. It wasn’t Dark Wizard hunting but it was justice and that is what Harry found he lived for.
“Oi.” Harry called. “What do you think you’re doing?” The man turned around with wild look and his loss of concertation nearly killed the muggle screaming in the air. Harry reacted quickly, With his own wand he slowed the muggles decent.
“’Arry. Potter.” The wizard slurred. “The boy…’ho lived. What can I do…fer a kind gent like your...self?”
“For starters, “Harry said. “You can stop terrorizing muggles. Then you can surrender your wand.”
“I could fight…you. ‘Ou know that Potter? We could fight. I would win.”
“Are you sure?” Harry asked mockingly. His wand grew hot between his fingers. “I’ve taken down a lot of bad people. You’d hardly be the worst of them.”
The man lunged and Harry reacted instinctively.
“Stupefy!” He shouted. A hot red jet of light shot from the end of his wand and missed the man be mere inches. The man let out a roar like a lion and shot a violet stream of light at Harry. Harry yelped and jumped out of the way.
“Erlanger!” He yelled. “A little bit of help here!” Erlanger looked at Harry sacred.
“I’m good from here. Thank you.” Erlanger said.
“Are you an Auror or not?” Harry shouted casting another curse at the belligerent man. “Help me!” The man lunges, screaming nearly incoherent versions of the Unforgivable curses at Harry.
“Expelliarmus!” The wand flew out of his hand and Harry caught it. He wasn’t giving up though and he took another opportunity to throw a punch at Harry. However, Harry was fast from years of dodging Dudley and playing on the Gryffindor House team as the seeker. Harry cast another stunning spell and this one was right on mark. The man grew rigid and fell to the ground with a thump.
“Well done Potter!” Shouted Erlanger, as he finally decided to come out of hiding and join Harry. “I told you we make an excellent team.”
“Get the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad.” Harry said panting. “They’ve got an awful lot of memory charms to perform.” Erlanger took an owl no bigger than a tea cup out of a small pocket in his jacket and sent it on its way with a letter no bigger than a postage stamp. Harry took his time binding the man’s hands.
“Do you know his name?” Erlanger asked.
“No.” Harry said. “How would I know his name?”
“I assumed you asked.” Erlanger said blankly. “You didn’t ask?”
“I was going to ask him name when I invited him to tea.” Harry said.
“So what is it?”
“What is what?” Harry asked.
“The name!” Erlanger cried. “What’s his name?
“I didn’t ask.” Harry said. “I was a little bit busy in case you didn’t notice.”
It took nearly ten minutes for the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad to arrive. They weren’t very pleased with the amount of Muggles that had to be dealt with. They shooed Harry, Erlanger and the wizard away claiming that there was no reason for them to be there; they had caused enough trouble as is. Harry and Erlanger tied themselves to the wizard and apperated back into the confines of the Ministry. Level Two was abuzz with the work of Aurors who actually knew what they were doing.
Harry untied himself from the two other men and after Erlanger had untangled himself Harry threw the now awake man into a chair by his cubicle.
“Who’s that?” Ron asked.
“No idea.” Harry grimaced. The man muttered something to Harry. “Shut up you.”
“How’d it go?” Ron asked.
“Absolutely awful.” Harry said glaring at Ron. The man grabbed at the back of Harry’s jacket. “Stop it.”
“Potter!” Williamson yelled, approaching Harry with all the fury in hell. “What kind of riffraff are you dragging into my office?”
“A disorderly. Sir.” Harry said. “Erlanger and I watched him assault at least three muggles.”
“If it doesn’t involve magic then it’s not our problem.” Williamson said smugly.
“It did involve magic.” Harry said stiffly. “Three Muggles suspended in mid-air, by their ankles. Very similar to Death Eater activities at the Quidditch World Cup, if you remember.”
Williamson looked as if he had swallowed a lemon whole. “Very well. You deal with this Potter.”
“Yes sir.” Harry said as Williamson walked away.
“Looks like you’re going to have a fun day.” Ron said as the man began to drool on himself. Harry nudged him with the toe of his trainers.
“Oi.” Harry didn’t get a response so he tried again. “OI!” The man jerked awake and looked around disoriented.
“What? What?” He shouted. “You’re Harry Potter.”
“I know.” Harry said. “Who are you?”
“Luca.” The Wizard said. “Luca…Noup.”
“You’re joking.” Ron said. Harry and Luca both looked at him. “Oh come off it. No one’s called Noup.”
“I am.” Said Luca. “You’re a weasel.”
“You’re not the first one to tell him that.” Harry smiled. “Go back to sleep. We’ll talk when you can think.”
“How was it?” Ron asked excitedly.
“How was what?” Harry asked as he began to fill out a new report.
“Working with Erlanger.” Ron asked. “You must’ve learned something working with a brilliant Auror like that.”
“Shut up.” Harry said as Ron laughed. “He spends his days watching wizards who violate the Secrecy Statute and he’s never even fought another wizard. He just sat back and his behind a tree whilst I did all the dirty work. He’s a terrible Auror.”
“He can’t be as bad as…you know.”
“Well he certainly isn’t good.” Harry mumbled. “I think I’m going to drop it.”
“Drop what?” Ron asked.
“The case. The…partnership. Did I tell you about how he kept calling it a partnership? He thinks we made amazing team. He’s like all the terrible people I’ve ever met wrapped up in one. McLaggen, Lockhart, Macmillan. It was awful. Besides, I think that Williamson set the whole thing up. Trying to keep me away.”
“He’s done the same thing to me.” Ron said. “Apparently no I am on loan to the department of record keeping. I didn’t even know that existed.”
“And you’re terrible with paperwork.” Harry added.
“And I’m terrible with paperwork.” Ron said.
The two of them fell into a silence punctuated only by the sounds of quills on parchment and the flipping of paper. Harry was beginning to feel the effects of his long hours and his eyes kept drifting shut, only for them to be opened when Ron prodded him with a wand or a quill or, in one case, the business end of a blast-ended swarkt.
“Thanks.” Harry yawned.
“No problem.” Ron grinned. “I think your friend is awake now.” Ron pointed to the man behind him. Harry turned around and found Luca was sitting upright and looking attentive.
“Follow me.” Harry said, helping Luca up. He walked past the HEAD Auror’s office and into one of several small rooms that hardly saw any use at all.
“Sit.” Harry said, motioning to one of the cahirs. Luca looked hesitiant but Harry noded encouragingly. “Please.” Harry and Luca sat down at the same time.
“Why?” Harry asked after a long moment’s silence. “Why did you attack those Muggles?”
“They was bothering me.” Luca said. “They was there.”
“And you just thought…what? That it would be a good idea to scare them a bit?”
Luca didn’t answer.
“The problem I am having Luca,” Harry said. “Is that what you did is something a lot, and I mean a lot, of Death Eaters have done in the past. Now I don’t want to think you’re a Death Eater but, there is not a lot of evidence to the contrary.”
“I don’t know nothing about any death eaters.” Luc claimed
“I find that hard to believe.” Harry said coolly. “You’ve been raised in the Wizarding World, You’ve certainly heard of death eaters.”
“Doesn’t mean I’m one of them.”
“No. it doesn’t. But this isn’t the first time you’ve had a problem with Muggles.”
“I’m afraid I’m going to have to arrest you.” Harry said. “You’ve violated a lot of laws.”
“Please don’t” Luca said. It was the first time Harry had heard any sort of emotion in his voice. He tried to clasp his hands together, but couldn’t seeing as they were still tied behind his back. He looked up at Harry with large eyes.
“There isn’t anything I can do.” Harry said.
“I have information.” Luca said.
“That’s something for you to tell the Wizamgot.” Harry said. His voice was steely and unmoving. that frightened him.
“It about your boss.” Luca shouted. “It’s information about Williamson.”
“What do you know about Williamson?” Harry asked.
“Everything.” Luca breathed.
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