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Chapter 1

A Faceless Stranger

Donovan stood under the shadows, hiding on the flat rooftop of a building. He had a pair of muggle binoculars with him and he held them to his face as he scanned the students heading to the train which would soon be leaving Hogsmeade Station back to King’s Cross. That’s him, he thought as he watched a boy of 15, almost 16, with raven dark hair and round glasses levitating a trunk with an owl cage on top of it as he neared the train. I just have to follow him after he gets off the train until he’s back in the care of his aunt. Donovan thought as he pulled out a camera, and focussed it on Harry and his friends, Hermione and Ron. He snapped pictures of them every few seconds until they had boarded onto the train.

“OI! Up there!” Someone shouted from nearby, and down below on the street.

“Shit,” Donovan muttered under his breath as he jumped from his hiding spot and ran towards the wall of the small shack building on the flat roof top. Seconds later, two wizards levitated from the street below and landed on the roof.

“Petrificus Totalus!” One of them shouted and sent the spell towards Donovan. “What the bloody hell…?” Jane muttered as she saw the hooded figure running straight for the brick wall.

Donovan jumped, diving head first into the wall, the spell just catching him as he disappeared through the bricks in a manner similar to the way people passed through the barrier of platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross.

Jane and the other auror, Patrick, were running after him but tried to slow down when they saw the second spell that Jane had cast rebound back from the brick wall, which had apparently become solid once more. It was too late; they both still smacked against the wall and bounced back to the roof top.

“Bloody hell,” Patrick cursed as he got up, rubbing his sore spots from his collision with the wall and he offered a hand to Jane. “Who was that? And how did he do that?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” Jane replied as Patrick patted the bricks and prodded them with his wand. He tried several spells at the wall but to no avail.

“He was obviously watching the children board onto the train. Do you think he was a Death Eater?” Patrick asked, turning to Jane.

“I don’t think so,” She replied pointing to a black duffel bag the man had obviously forgotten in his haste to escape, “these are muggle things and I don’t think Death Eaters would be found with them.” She began to rummage through the items in the bag. “We should take these to Arthur Weasley, he might know more of what they are and we need to get hold of Dumbledore and report this. I think you’re right, that bloke was spying on the students.”

“I reckon he was spying on Harry,” Patrick said as he pointed to a cut-out of Harry’s picture from an article of an old edition of The Prophet. Jane frowned at this. This couldn’t be good news. She turned to see the train disappearing in the distance. “We better go,” She gathered the bag together and the two of them apparated to Grimmauld Place, the headquarters for the Order.

Donovan landed like a stiff board onto the carpet of the small office in his apartment. He landed so hard that he was knocked unconscious.

“Shit!” He cursed in his mind once he regained consciousness hours later. He struggled to free himself from the binding spell. He was angry that he had let his guard down. It had been a close call, and he was cursing himself for his stupidity. From the way he landed he had a clear view of the clock. He cursed again when he noticed the time. The train would be arriving at King’s Cross station very soon and he lay motionless on the floor, his eyes the only thing that could move. The spell put on him was strong, and he focussed all of his energy on the counterspell he needed. The unfortunate thing was that what he needed to do required that he utter the words. After a few minutes of struggling he was able to move his lips just enough to whisper. “Finite Incantatem,” he muttered and breathed heavily as the bind came off completely. He scrambled to his feet and looked around.

“Damn it!” He yelled, once he realised his bag was gone. He still had his camera around his neck and was glad to see it unharmed. He placed it on the desk that he had in the room. He would develop those pictures later. He quickly pulled out a piece of chalk from his robes and drew a rectangle on the wall. He drew a circle in the place where a knob should be, making the rough sketch look like a door on the wall. He removed his black robes and straightened out his muggle clothing before strapping his gun holsters onto himself, placing one gun on either side of him. He placed one wand in a special holster directly underneath one of his guns. He picked up a jacket and put it on, completely hiding the guns from view. Donovan turned around to the sketch on the wall.

“Male toilets, King’s Cross.” He called aloud. The chalk lines glowed a bright green and a door appeared on the wall. He opened it and passed through before closing it behind him. To the people on the other side it looked as if he had come out of the toilets.

He looked around the platform area and noticed students and their families coming through the barrier. He saw a group that was having a conversation not far off. A whole bunch of them had the flaming redheads of the Weasleys. Donovan knew that the youngest boy with red hair was Ron Weasley, friend of his target, Harry Potter.

He walked closer to the group, hoping to see if Harry was with them. He remained inconspicuous and out of view as he moved nearer until he could now hear part of their conversation.

“…think Moody’s warning will change anything?” Ron asked Hermione. Donovan scanned the group but couldn’t see Harry.

“I do hope so, but at least we’ll be getting news from him more often this summer. Oh, looks like Mum and Dad are ready to go. Send me an owl if you hear from Harry or anything, OK?” Hermione asked. Ron nodded and they said goodbye, and Hermione followed after her parents. Donovan still scanned the crowd but Harry’s name caught his attention.

“Since Harry has left already, there’s no reason for us to stay here any longer,” Tonks commented to Remus, but he shook his head.

“You know what Dumbledore said about what happened in Hogsmeade today. He’s sure that man was going to attempt to find Harry here. We need to make sure he’s not around. Have you seen anyone who looks like him?” Remus said, scanning the crowd again.

Donovan stayed hidden from view, but was still able to catch their conversation.

“No, I checked all of 9 ¾ and I didn’t see anyone who looks like him,” she replied and held up a copy of the photo from the man’s passport that he had left in the bag back at Hogsmeade.

Shit Donovan thought yet again when he took a look at the pair and noticed his passport. It seemed that was all he’d been doing all day: cursing his stupidity. He knew he should better get out of there if those people were looking for him and Harry had already left. He was too late! He would have to figure a different way to get what he wanted. Donovan quickly left the area, trying not to be noticed.

He walked, dodging his way through the crowded station when he realised he was being followed. His quick observation told him that there were six of them walking along behind him in the crowd, trying to reach him. He quickened his pace, just barely; still pretending that he hadn’t noticed their presence. They were getting closer. As he neared the doors, Donovan made a dash for the exit. At once, five aurors, and Remus, were running after him.

“Where did he go?” Tonks called, being the first one to reach outside and Remus was close behind.

“There!” He cried as he spied the man disappearing along the corner into an alley. They ran after him and entered the dead-end alley, instantly pulling out their wands. The others were coming behind them.

“He’s gone!” Tonks said after scanning the whole alley and not finding any sign of him. She kicked a rubbish bin in frustration, and upset its contents.

“Look at this,” said Remus, picking up something that had fallen on the ground. It appeared to be the man’s face. “I think it’s a mask of some sort,” he added and pointed to a wig that was still inside the bin. Everyone else crowded around the silicone face.

“So this means that he mustn’t look like this picture then? That’s very clever, but now he could be anyone!” Tonks fumed, mad that the guy had escaped yet again.

“What I’d like to know is how he got away,” Lupin commented as he shrunk the items and put them in his robes, maybe Arthur would know about them. “And how can he turn walls into portals, or something like them? I’ve never heard of such a thing!”

“I don’t know, but we better go. We should inform Dumbledore about this too.”

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