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Harry stalked into the room and cast a reviving spell on the prone figure that lay on the thin cot in basement’s windowless room. When they remained motionless, he summoned a cold bucket of water and dropped it on top of them.

“Malfoy.” Harry said, watching as his quarry awoke and began to strain against the invisible bonds that had been placed around him.

“Potter.” Malfoy hissed, staring at Harry with cold blue eyes. Hate still filling them even after all the time that had passed. “I see you’re still running with the Aurors. A disgrace to the wizarding world you are.”

Harry looked at Malfoy with disgust and pity. He found it quite ironic how Malfoy called him a disgrace, and meant it while he lay prone on a cot, his robes tattered and torn, not fit for wearing except perhaps while cleaning the thestral stalls at Hogwarts. His greasy, blonde hair lay limp across his forehead and it seemed that it had been quite a few weeks since he had had a proper bath.

“Ah now Malfoy – I wouldn’t go that far. Let us not forget how far you have fallen.” Harry said calmly, knowing his lack of emotion would irritate him more than if he had voiced his true opinion. “I’ve not been the one living in hiding, going from hidey hole to hidey hole. Now I will loosen your bonds,” he continued holding up his wand, “if you promise to behave. I need answers and seeing as you’re the first one of your lot to get caught by us, you’ll have the pleasure of giving me the answers I need.”

“Do what you want Potter. I’m not giving you any answers – not willingly. I hope you’ve brought some Veritaserum along on your journey – it will be the only way you find what you need to know.” He spat, a half-mad glint flicking through his eyes.

“If that’s the way you want it Malfoy – that’s fine with me. Just remember – you’ll reveal everything if we administer the Vertiaserum. I do hope you have no deep, dark secrets from the past you don’t want shared.” Harry countered, watching as traces of panic flashed through his eyes. “Shall I leave you to mull it over?” Harry moved from where he stood above Malfoy to the edge of the doorway. “You can have a few hours to mull it over and I’ll be back to get your answer. I’ll be sure to have some veritaserum with me in case your answer isn’t the one I hope you’ll give.” He didn’t wait for his enemy’s answer before he opened the door with a flick of his wand and stepped through.

Locking the door behind him, Harry placed his wand back into his robes and let the breath he was holding out of his lungs in a silent whoosh. He hadn’t thought seeing Malfoy after so many years would have an affect on him. The last time he had seen him was after the final battle with Voldemort. Both had been boys then, quickly being thrust into manhood by forces they couldn’t control. Harry had come across Malfoy attempting the Avada Kedavra on a fourth-year in the ruins of the Potions classrooms. Having the element of surprise on his side, Harry successfully disarmed him, and had kept watch on him until Ministry officials could arrest his schoolmate. Draco had been dragged off, cursing all that crossed his path, starting with Harry. At the time, Harry thought he’d seen the last of Draco, and had taken comfort in the thought of him being sent to Azkaban to await trial for his crimes. His comfort had been short-lived however, when a few months later; Malfoy senior had staged an elaborate escape for his son and fellow death-eaters. This action had thrust Harry into the war he hadn’t wanted to fight. Harry and his auror team had caught the escaped Death Eaters in the years since then, but the younger Malfoy had evaded them. After having no communications regarding him near the end of the war, it was assumed that he had died. Draco Malfoy had been the last wizard Harry expected to find at the base of the mountains in Yekaterinburg.

Looking back at the door to the room that held Malfoy, Harry knew that, this time, he would not let him escape his crimes. He nodded at the guard across from the door to come forward.

“Yes Mr. Potter?” He asked.

“Again, Dylan, please call me Harry. We’re all equals.” Harry commented amazed that the older auror held him in such high regard. The team on this mission was fairly new – all were experienced aurors but with the exception of Yuri none had worked with Harry before. Even after a month of living and working together, Harry had to tell them to call him by his first name or last name only.

“Sorry- Harry –“Dylan corrected, “what would you like me to do with Malfoy?”

“Keep watch on him for now. Take note if he says anything – but don’t talk to him. Even if he speaks to you first – ignore him and come find me right away.” Harry explained his face serious. “I want him to feel isolated. He’ll crack easier if we ignore him.” Dylan nodded as he took his place beside the door. “Right then. Someone will be down in a few hours to relieve you – and remember – do NOT talk to him.” With a final nod, Harry turned and proceeded up the stairs to the main level of the house.

*~*

Harry looked about the kitchen as he entered it. Most of the team was present, with the exception of Dylan McKee and the aurors who were in the field on death-eater surveillance.

“Good morning everyone. As you’ve probably all heard, last afternoon, Ariadne Calileigh and I captured a death-eater last night. Draco Malfoy.” Harry paused as an audible gasp echoed through the room. “As many of you know, Malfoy has been wanted by the Ministry of Magic for 5 years now. Once we are finished interrogating the suspect he will be escorted back to Britain to stand trial for his crimes against the wizarding world and the muggles he attacked during Voldemort’s last stand and the recent war.”

Harry looked at each of his fellow aurors. He could tell by the looks that passed over their faces that, with the exception of Calileigh, they all knew the atrocities that Malfoy had committed. He made a mental note to speak with her later to see why it was that she knew nothing of the evil that was Draco Malfoy. Taking a seat at the end of the table, Harry unscrolled the parchment in front of him and picked up the quill that was lying beside it.

“Now – onto why I’ve called this impromptu meeting. Our mission has taken a great leap forward with this capture. I’ve begun the interrogation of Malfoy, but for the moment he’s not talking. As I told McKee – no one is to talk to him. He’ll eventually be more forthcoming if we ignore him. I also mentioned to him that we will employ the use of veritaserum if he doesn’t give us the information we want.” Harry motioned towards a woman at the end of the table. “Irene – I took a sample of Malfoy’s hair last night after his capture. I want you to take this,” Harry reached in his pocket and drew out a small vile containing Malfoy’s hair and levitated it down to where she sat. “And get started on finishing the polyjuice potion. I expect a batch must be near completion?”

The older witch nodded as she caught the bottle. “Yes, with this hair sample we should be able to have some ready by the end of the day tomorrow.”

“Excellent. The rest of his gang won’t be suspicious by a long absence then.” Harry scribbled a bit of information onto the parchment in front of him before continuing. “Now, we must decide who is going to head into the nest once we have the location and other critical information from Malfoy.” Harry looked around the group, trying to assess who he thought should go into the nest.

Because they were dealing with a male death eater, the women in the group were out. After an incident where the polyjuice potion a female auror had taken during a mission went sour and the transformation didn’t fully take and her death occurred; a rule was put into place that stated men would have to impersonate men and vice-versa. That left, Harry, McKee, Yuri and five other men that could head into the nest disguised as Malfoy. Harry automatically took himself out of the group, as head of the mission, it was up to him to delegate to the others during times like this. If he had still had Tonks as his co-partner, he’d have ignored the rule and did the infiltration himself. However, with Moody and Lupin pairing him with Calileigh, Harry didn’t feel entirely comfortable leaving her behind.

Harry looked from Yuri, to the other three that were seated at the table. Two of the other men were absent, as it was their turn to set up camp near the base of the mountains and watch for signs of death eaters. Harry planned on making a trip out to camp later to fill them in on the latest development. Just as he was about to bring about another order of business about, the man beside Yuri cleared his throat. His eyes swung back towards the man that commanded his attention.

“Yes O’Connor?” Harry said acknowledging the wizard. Aaron O’Connor was around 10 years older than himself, with blonde hair and blue eyes.

“I’d like to volunteer for this sir.” O’Connor spoke as all eyes around the table moved to look at him.

Harry nodded and made some notes on the parchment in front of him. “Are you sure? “ He asked.

“Yes, I’m the best suited, I think.” O’Connor answered, his hands fidgeting nervously on the table top. “I’m about his size and colouring. If something were to go wrong with the polyjuice I’ll be able to sneak off easier than someone of say Yuri’s stature and colouring.”

“Those are good points Aaron. If there are no objections from anyone else, then you will be the one to go into the death-eaters nest.” Harry looked about the table to see the rest nod in agreement. “Yuri – I want you and Aaron to start preparing. You’ll follow him as far as possible without getting noticed.” Scribbling some more words down on the parchment, Harry set his quill down and rolled it up. “Thank you all for meeting this morning. We’ll gather again for another debrief tomorrow morning. Hopefully by then the interrogation will have moved forward and we will know the location of the nest. For now, we shall carry on as if things were normal. The death-eaters have eyes and ears throughout the town. We can’t let them know we have their ring-leader.” With that, Harry stood and left the room.

*~*

Sitting in the comfort of his attic room, Harry reviewed the notes from the meeting. He needed to find Yuri and Aaron later to discuss the plan they were preparing. For the time being he needed to be alone. Seeing Malfoy after all these years had thrown Harry for a loop. Memories Harry had long buried came back to the surface to swim in front of his eyes. Pausing in his reading, Harry pushed his glasses off his nose, closing his eyes as he pinched the bridge with his thumb and index finger.

Get hold of yourself Potter. He thought to himself. Calming his thoughts, Harry drew on his occlumency skills to push them back down. I must invest in a pensieve when I return to England. He mused as felt his mind clearing. He couldn’t let the Malfoy of the past cloud his thoughts right now. Sticking to the task was of the utmost importance.

Opening the middle drawer of the desk, Harry withdrew a new piece of parchment to write his daily report on. In the excitement of yesterday he had forgotten his daily report, sighing he resigned himself to having to include two days. Harry hated writing these reports but knowing the importance of them once the mission was over. Much of the trial would focus the reports that the auror team gave to the Wizengamot. If even one part of the report was questionable or wrong in anyway, it could be thrown out and the accused released. Harry knew there was no way he was going to allow Malfoy to slip through his grasp again. Taking a deep breath, he dipped his quill into the ink well and started to write.

September 11- 12th – Left for reconnaissance with A. Calileigh at 12h00 on September 11th. Hiked to the edge of town to continue to the rendez-vous point where the two of us were to relieve the last duo on duty. As we approached the path leading into the mountains I could feel a prickling down my spine. It was the same feeling I had experienced the night before when I accidentally stunned Calileigh in town. Pausing I stopped to listen to the sounds around me. Feeling a presence behind us I sent out the Stupefy curse and heard a body fall to the ground behind us. As I approached the body, I could instantly tell it was one of the death-eaters from the mountain. Getting closer, I realized that the death-eater stunned in front of me was Draco Malfoy. Instantly, I placed a binding spell on him so he couldn’t escape. Afterwards, Calileigh and I levitated the suspect back to the house. Placed suspect Malfoy in holding cell.

September 12th – Went to holding cell to start interrogation of Draco Malfoy. As of the time of this report he is being un-cooperative and is withholding information. I have issued an order to the team to not talk Malfoy. I feel keeping him isolated will allow me to get the information I need from him. …


Harry looked up suddenly from his report. Bollocks. Just as I was hitting my groove. He thought, as the visitor at his door knocked once more. Setting the quill down beside the parchment, he stood and crossed the floor to open the door.

“Yes?” He asked, slightly annoyed when he saw Calileigh was on the other side.

“Mr. Pott – I mean Harry. I just wanted to bring you my report. Yuri said you wanted us to hand everything to you for safekeeping when they were complete.” She stammered as she thrust her roll of parchment in front of him.

Harry pulled it out of her hands and unrolled it. Scanning it quickly, he noted how concise and detailed she was in her writing. Maybe I should talk her into writing my reports. He thought as he re-rolled the parchment and gestured for Ariadne to enter the room.

Conjuring a chair for her, Harry sat in the one pulled out by his desk. “Thank you Ariadne – it looks like you’ve covered everything. Mad-Eye and Lupin will be impressed.” He set the parchment beside the other reports on the desk and motioned for her to sit down. “A few of the others could take a lesson from you on report writing.”

Calileigh blushed as she sat down. She sat nervously on the edge of her chair watching Harry’s movements as he leaned back in his chair. Although she knew he was engaged to be married and had tried desperately to remember the fact, she couldn’t help having a crush on him. “Er- thank you?” She said quietly, her hands fidgeting on her lap.

Harry shifted slightly in his chair and looked at her. “Now Ariadne, I wanted to ask you about Draco Malfoy. How is it that you fought in the War and don’t know about him?”

“Well, uh, it’s not that I don’t know about Draco Malfoy. Well I’ve been told about him and his family. But I just never what he looked like before now.” She said quietly, feeling her cheeks flame once again.

“How is that possible? I realize you’re younger than I am, but obviously not by much. You would have attended Hogwarts during some of the same years as me. You did attend Hogwarts didn’t you?”

Ariadne looked about the sparse room. With the exception of the rolls of parchment on the desk and the battered rucksack in the corner – the room didn’t look lived in. “Well yes - I went to Hogwarts but only for my last few years. I believe your year was finished by then. My father was muggle and my mother was a witch. Mum home schooled me and my sisters. She didn’t think Hogwarts was safe for us. It wasn’t until the Ministry told her we had to attend for our N.E.W.T.s did we go.”

“Really? That’s quite interesting. I thought all young wizards had to attend Wizarding School in Europe.” Harry absently picked up the quill he had left on the desk when Ariadne had knocked and twirled it in his fingers. He wished he had skived some sugar quills from the twins before he left. He found they helped him think.

“Well Mum was top of her class when she attended Hogwarts. She once was offered a teaching position but turned it down to stay at home with us.” Ariadne sighed and tucked her hair behind her ears. She was getting the distinct impression that Harry wasn’t listening to her. Once again she felt like he was ignoring her comments and it was getting her angry.

“I know I seem sheltered Harry, but I am good at what I do. You realize I wouldn’t be here if Mr. Moody and Mr. Lupin didn’t think so.” She said, trying to keep her voice from wavering. “I realize I’m not as learned as you or any of the other aurors on this team. I know it’s too late for me to back out of this mission, but just because I didn’t recognize Draco Malfoy from 20 yards doesn’t mean I can’t contribute. Perhaps you should think about juggling us around. Place me with someone else. Mr. Potter – I’m not sure if I can be your partner.” Feeling overwhelmed by the lack of emotion on Harry’s face, Ariadne jumped to her feet and left the room, slamming the door behind her.

Harry sat for a moment in the silence after Calileigh’s outburst. He stared out the small window at the cloudy sky and mulled over her words. He supposed she did have a point. If she couldn’t do the job Mad-Eye and Lupin would not have sent her along on the team. He leaned back on his chair and moved his eyes towards the ceiling. Why can’t this mission just be finished with? Harry sighed. The sound hanging in the still room. He knew he was going to have to deal with this situation. He just wasn’t sure how to do it and still be able to deal with interrogating Malfoy and sending O’Connor on his way.

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