Harry Potter was frowning. Scorpius found it frightening just how much he looked like Albus in the morgue when he did that. Albus scowling and frowning was however not abnormal. Lily always said that Albus got a disproportionate amount of their grandmother Weasley’s genes compared to the rest of them. And Merlin had he seen Molly Weasley Sr. scowl when things didn’t go her way.
But Harry rarely frowned. Scorpius though he could count with just his two hands the amount of times he had seen Harry Potter frown. Even when Professor McGonagall had called him and Draco Malfoy in when Scorpius and Albus had gotten in trouble in their fifth year for convincing the houseelves to spike all the Gryffindors pumpkin juice with firewhiskey and gotten the whole Gryffindor House tipsy. Harry had grinned and reminded McGonagall that at least they hadn’t escaped from Hogwarts on Thestrals and broken into the Department of Mysteries and destroyed all the prophecies in their holdings.
But Harry Potter was frowning at the problem of these Cluedo Murders.
“So run me through this again.” He sat as he leaned his back against the door in Milly and Scorpius’ office.
Milly sighed, pulling her glossy dark hair up into a ponytail. “The murders are based on the muggle game Cluedo. As a result we know the last weapon will be a lead pipe. Lucy Weasley is currently going through her records of the past five years of what she may have sold that could be interpreted at the lead pipe, however the murderer did break that pattern with the spanner. The irritating thing is that there are more rooms than weapons in the game. It could be the study, hall, lounge or billiard room. And these don’t really narrow us down to a location. It could be anyone’s study, hall, lounge or billiard room, or the murderer could take some creative liberty with it like she did with the dining room. It could be your hallway at Grimmauld Place. It could be the ministers office here. It could be my lounge at home. There is no way of narrowing it down according to location.”
Scorpius picked up where she left off. “There are patterns within the suspects. They were all official deatheaters or heavily involved in Tom Riddle’s regime within the Ministry. They are also all quenwood addicts. We’ve already got Guffy looking up a list of all living deatheaters and ministry workers who were heavily involved in deatheater operations during the war. However the only other way to narrow down potential victims is to test them for quenwood substance abuse.”
Harry sighed. “You won’t be able to test everyone on your list.”
Scorpius nodded. “We’re planning on screening it for top suspects of substance abuse. Victims have also until now all been male so we would only be testing men. As you know Albus has been involved in testing suspects apprehended as part of the quenwood trade.”
“But you’re going to need my go ahead.” Harry said, rubbing his scar thoughtfully.
“Yes Sir.” Scorpius nodded.
Harry sighed deeply. “Make your list. If you can somehow get it narrowed down to about 25 people I’m sure I can pass it by the minister. The trouble is that we’re screening possible victims, not possible suspects so we can’t as such have arrest warrants to bring them in. Plus obviously those that are quenwood addicts aren’t going to willingly be tested for it.”
A knock sounded on the door and Harry stood up straight and opened it. Albus stood outside and waved a file at Scorpius.
“Latest autopsy of Michael Maynard. Death by tea. Quenwood addict. Signs of a struggle, bruising, cut on eyebrow the like. Apparently also had problems keeping it in his pants as he has three different sexual diseases, but I don’t think that’s directly relevant to the case. You should also know that when this case ends you’ve reached your annual quota on my looking at dead people.” Albus announced.
“Damn, it’s only March.” Milly said with a grin, grabbing the file and flicking through it.
“I’d like to point out I don’t even get paid for forensic work. I’m a healer. I should be stitching you up when you fight the bad guys, not poking in dead peoples bloated guts.” Albus replied peevishly, shoving his hands deep into his pockets.
“Lovely visual Albus.” Harry said mildly, a soft smile on his face. “Are you fishing for a pay rise?”
Albus rolled his eyes. “I’m fishing to not have to go back to the morgue for the rest of the year.”
“You know, Hollens asked if you could be transferred to forensics.” Harry said with a grin.
Scorpius snorted. “Merlin, then we’d have to see him scowl like that every day.”
Albus was already shaking his head furiously. “How do people not get that I just don’t like dealing with dead people!”
Harry put his hand on Albus shoulder and flashed an understanding smile at him. “I get it. Hollens knows too.”
“He’ll probably still try to lure you over to the dark side though.” Scorpius said, playfully tossing a crumpled up paper ball at Albus’ head.
Albus caught it just before it hit him and glared at Scorpius. “It’s all your fault too.” Albus muttered, throwing the paper ball back at Scorpius who ducked it.
“Alright, make your list Scorpius and Milly. Albus, back to healing.” Harry said firmly, the command softened by the smile on his face.
They all three chorused ‘yes Sir’ and Harry left the office with Albus behind him.
Lucy looked up from the pile of records on the counter as the bell over the door off Diagon Alley rung.
Scorpius flashed his trademark Malfoy smirk at her, holding up a bag of pumpkin pastries. She smiled politely back wondering to herself if he really didn’t have better things to do on his lunch break then turn up at her shop. He wasn’t even interested in antiques for goodness sake.
“I figured I would bring you lunch.” Scorpius said smoothly, looking at the organised neatness of the piles of records on her counter.
He suppressed a grin. Funny, in some ways she was so opposite from her father Percy Weasley, and in others so obviously his child. Her piles had a neatness to them that almost seemed fake, all lined up as though she had used a ruler to measure the exact distance between them, and the height of each stack to make them correlate.
“How is it going?” He asked, cautiously placing the bag of pumpkin pastries down on the only clear space on the counter.
Lucy pursed her lips. “It’s frustrating. I’m working on the premise that anything even vaguely resembling a lead pipe could be used. Then attempting to contact those who bought those items to see if it is still in their possession.”
Scorpius nodded thoughtfully, pulling out a pumpkin pastry and passing it to her. Lucy accepted it without thinking about it, sinking her mind once again into the records in her pile, nibbling absentmindedly on the crust.
Scorpius pulled a pastry out for himself and dug into it while watching her face, taking note of the way she bit her lower lip thoughtfully in between nibbling on her pastry, turning pages carefully and placing them neatly in stacks as though it was an art form.
Suddenly she stilled, her whole form stiffening as thought she had been hexed.
“I found it!” She exclaimed victoriously, holding it up and waving it under Scorpius’ nose who couldn’t help staring at her large brown eyes that seemed if possible wider than ever, sparkling with triumph.
Belatedly he took the sales record from her hand and looked at the photo of the object. A metal rod, made of lead, inscribed with lines.
“Its what is commonly referred to as a Merlin’s Rod, they’re inscribed with Ogham script. They were made out of lead and buried with wizards and witches in the Romano-British period primarily in the Midlands and South-East, South-West of England. The inscription in a spell that made the grave essentially invisible to muggles and repelled them from the area, much like the spells placed upon Hogwarts. However as the Romans invaded England they were also often inscribed with curses against other witches and wizards. The Roman invasion of Britain was seen by many witches and wizards as a threat to the traditional ancient magic practiced in Britain, as we can see today it was since we primarily use the classical understanding of magic using Latin spells. These Merlin Rods were influenced heavily by the Roman lead curse tablets used by the Roman magical community which also became popular in Britain.” Lucy explained excitedly.
“So what’s special about this one?” Scorpius said, waving the photo in the air.
Lucy rolled her eyes. “You could read it you know, its all in there. This one has inscribed the typical muggle repelling spells, but also a curse on Ronan Therin who destroyed six muggle settlements under orders from the Roman army. It is believed that Ronan Therin is the earliest recorded ancestor of Salazar Slytherin. The ‘Sly’ was added later during the early medieval period.”
Scorpius looked at the photo with narrowed eyes. “It says all that in this bunch of lines?”
“It’s Ogham Script.” Lucy repeated calmly, looking up at him with those cow eyes of hers that he realised he adored.
“If you say so. Who owns it?” Scorpius said with a shrug of his shoulders.
Lucy snatched the papers from his hands and flicked the page while Scorpius took another bite of his pumpkin pastry.
“I sold it to a squib called Fergus Raymond who collected wand-like objects. If you ask me he was a bit obsessed with them because of his own inability to ever use a wand. Was desperate to include the Elder Wand in his collection and would never listen to sense when I informed him it no longer existed. However I was informed of his death two years ago by his only living relative, a witch called Mrs. Emmalina Ashford Warrington. She contacted me to value each object in his collection. I believe she sold some objects, and kept others but she never informed me what happened to the various objects. I’ll send her an owl.” Lucy said.
She was already a flurry of movement, efficiently writing a neat polite missive to Emmalina Warrington. She went into the back room and came back out with a small barn owl that took off through a small round window high up near the ceiling, clearly specifically designed for owl post.
“You mind if I get a copy of this?” Scorpius asked, indicating the records for the Merlin Rod.
“I assumed it was a given.” Lucy replied, already making a copy of the papers with a flick of her wand and passing it to Scorpius.
“Thank you.” Scorpius said with a wink, flashing Lucy the Malfoy smirk again.
Lucy had the frightening urge to somehow smack that irritating smirk, and infuriating wink off his face, but she had always believed in passive resistance, so instead she carefully put on her polite, uninterested face and blinked at him slowly.
Scorpius, recognising her carefully constructed calm façade dared to wink at her again and dash to the door. He turned to her just as his hand touched the door handle.
“You look pretty today Weasley.” He declared with a grin, before the tinkling of the bell announced his departure.
He risked a glance through the window to see Lucy looking after him with a stunned expression, staring at the pumpkin pasty in her hand as though it would somehow explain to her what had just happened. Scorpius grinned. Flustered Lucy was his favourite kind of Lucy. Of all the Weasley girls she was the hardest to crack. And therefore the most satisfying he decided.
Milly waved to Scorpius as he returned to the Auror Department.
“Guffy got back to us with the list. All living deatheaters and people closely involved with deatheater operations through the ministry during the war, all male. I sorted out all the ones living abroad. We’ve got it narrowed down to 45 people. Want to have a look?” She asked, waving the list at him.
Scorpius grunted in acknowledgement, taking the list from her. In reality he was quite ready to admit that looking at a list of names which he knew included his father and grandfather was not at the top of the list of things he wanted to do today.
He picked up a red quill with a sigh, seeing all those that Milly had already struck a line through. He flicked to the back of the list, figuring he’d do it backwards. No matter what, Malfoy always landed approximately in the middle anyway. His eyes widened as he say the second to last name on the list.
Scorpius Severus Hyperion Malfoy did not believe in coincidence.
“Milly, send Harry a note. I think we can start with just bringing one potential victim in.” Scorpius said as he circled the name of Seigfred Warrington with the red ink quill, smiling in satisfaction.
Seigfred Warrington, the husband of Emmalina Ashford Warrington. Who owned the Merlin Rod, the potential last weapon in this demented game of real-life muggle cluedo. Right now Scorpius would bet his auror badge that Seigfred Warrington was a quenwood addict.
Scorpius pulled up Seigfred Warrington’s file of war crimes. It got even better. Warrington had been involved in six raids of muggle residential areas as a deatheater during the war. Just as Ronan Therin had been instrumental in the destruction of six muggle settlements. Their murderer really did like a bit of dramatic flair.
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