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Chapter 14


Searching For Answers


Several of the Swamprat’s players had taken to the sky over the depths of the bayou to help search for Rose. Because they weren’t members of the Order or the Ministry they hadn’t a clue that Rose had been found. Danny, the seeker, and his team knew these swamps like the back of their hands, having grown up here. They knew all the hiding places.

The bright moonlight overhead cast a shadow underneath the hundred year old trees that resembled that of an ancient old monster that they all heard about as children. The wildly bent branches looked like mile long arms of the infamous Teddy Bogus. Although adults, they couldn’t help but recall the stories told by the family elders to keep the kiddies in line and have the hair on their necks stand up.

Hovering close to the treetops Danny notices a vehicle that had to have been thirty plus years old traveling down a secluded highway and moves in for a closer look. The car drove along a bit slow although that could be due to the age of the vehicle itself.

**********


Hermione hovered close to Rose’s side in the hotel suite while Mr. and Mrs. Weasley spoke with the Healer that had been called to check on Rose after her ordeal.

“I assure you Mr. Weasley, she is quite alright, nothing a good rest can’t handle.” He pats the Minister’s shoulder while placing the other arm around Mrs. Weasley. “She’s a strong girl, just like her Mum, she proved that tonight.”

Mrs. Weasley had one hand over her heart trying to calm her self a bit. “Neville, what a good friend you are, such a sweet boy.”

Even after all these years and growing up Neville couldn’t help but blush at the words of Mrs. Weasley.

Ron stood in the corner of the room with Harry and Ginny, watching Hermione and Rose intently. “I want to be with Mad-Eye while he questions the louse,” Ron said out loud, more to himself than to the others.

“Ron, you should be with your wife and child, you being there while they question Cullen will only make things worse,” Harry reasoned.

Ron glared at Harry as he never had before. “Do you honestly expect me to stand around here while that bloody moron is in the Ministry’s custody? I’m going to make sure he is punished severely, even if I am the one that has to do it.”

Harry could only imagine the ire Ron felt for Cameron Cullen and knew that if the tables were turned there would be absolutely nothing that could keep him away from the creep.

**********


Daisy slept soundly for the first time in quite some time. After waking she felt guilty for actually enjoying her rest when Draco had probably not had a decent sleep since his abduction. She swung her legs over the side of the bed and placed her feet onto the cool floor. She ran her fingers through her hair and stood, taking her dressing gown from the foot of her bed. As she walked down the hall she yawned as she put on the dressing gown. The smell of fresh brewed coffee filled the room and she smiled at her guest.

“Sleep well,” Daisy asked as she poured her own cup.

“With one eye open,”

Daisy joined Tonks at the table, curling her legs into the chair.
The Ministry placed Tonks in the house with Daisy thinking she was the best option. She didn’t act of look like your typical Auror. Her short, gravity defying hair was blue this week and her skirts were nearly as short.

Daisy had grown accustomed to the company but it still couldn’t fill the void left by Draco’s absence. The children were asking fewer and fewer questions and that bothered Daisy as well. Tonks was able to keep the children entertained and Daisy thought that is might just be for the best. If Draco didn’t make it home it might prove to make it easier on the children. They were so young and impressionable.

*********


Ron looked on without anyone’s knowledge of his presence and held firm to his ire for the man who sat across from Mad-Eye. The dark stone wall behind Cullen made him appear all the more pale; he looked as though every ounce of blood had been drained from his body. Ron had arisen in the dead of night, nicking Harry’s invisibility cloak and apparated back to the Ministry in London. It proved to be a daunting task to stand so close to the man and not say or do anything. Controlling his staggering breath was becoming just as laborious.

“Come in,” Mad-Eye bellowed before a knock was even heard.

Harry burst into the room and looked about intently. It was empty aside from Cullen, Mad-Eye, their chairs and the table that sat between them. As he stood is dismay, Mad-Eye rose from his chair and escorted Harry back through the door.

“Have you seen Ron,” Harry blurted as Mad-Eye shut the heavy door behind him. “He slipped out and Hermione is beside herself with thoughts of what Ron has gone to do.”

“Relax Potter,” Mad-Eye said just as calm as he would if he were discussing the weather. “He’s fine, he’s in there,” and he pointed into the room from which they just came. Before Harry could object or question Mad-Eye, he turned to return to the room. “Let’s just humor him and let him be, for now.”

Cullen continued to sit without the least bit of emotion and stared into what Harry thought to be nothing more than empty space. And at the same time Ron glared into Cullen’s eyes trying to see the motivation behind what he had done.

Harry conjured a chair next to Mad-Eye and sat, waiting to see what was about to transpire. The musty smell of the damp stone only added to the eeriness of the cramped quarters. He had spent many a night and day in here interrogating death eaters and he always had the same feeling. He supposed it reminded him too much of the cupboard under the stairs. Without windows, the days and nights began to run together making you lose all sense of time, much like his summers at Privet Drive. His daydreaming was soon halted when the door flung open.

Severus Snape crept into the room in his usual stealthy manner. Although Harry still despised the sight of him, he had proven himself to be a born again good guy who despised law breakers, whoever they may be. He slammed a vial onto the table in front of Cullen and swooped low and hovered.

Harry knew at once what the vial contained, having been threatened with it a time or two, himself. The colorless, odorless liquid was none other than veritaserum. The potion that would make even the toughest of men spill their deepest, darkest secret.

Snape sneered into Cullen’s ear. “You may not voluntarily speak but this will make you explain why you feel it necessary to abduct helpless little girls.”

Harry had to admit Snape could be very intimidating and an excellent brewer of potions, but at this point all the intimidation in the world hadn’t made Cullen utter so much as a word. He acted nothing like the arrogant Quidditch player he and Ron had encountered in Ginny’s office just a few short months ago.

Just as Snape and Mad-Eye were about to administer the contents to Cullen he fell to the floor where he began to jerk violently. Mediwizards rushed into the room and directed everyone else out. Mad-Eye spun and with one great motion heaved at the air and stepped from the room and dropped the bundle.

Ron appeared partially on the floor and stood as he rubbed his backside. His face had shown red with built up aggression. He didn’t speak; he should have known Mad-Eye would have seen him even with the cloak.

Mad-Eye spoke, “Harry, go inform the inconsiderate bum’s family he’s okay.”

Ron didn’t say a word he only waited for the lecture much like those he had heard as a young boy. He knew he would catch nine kinds of hell for leaving without telling anyone. There had been entirely too many people disappearing lately. But Mad-Eye didn’t say much more.

“How ‘bout some tea,” Mad-Eye asked as he dropped a heavy hand onto Ron’s shoulder.

“No, thanks, I just want to see that man locked up in Azkaban,” Ron huffed as he wondered why everyone kept offering him tea. What he needed was a good stiff fire whiskey.

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