Scorpius ran a hand tiredly through his hair, shuffling through the papers in front of him. He wished he had been able to convince Lily to help him sort through all of Percy Weasley’s file. Lily had a gift for spotting patterns that he had never been able to emulate. However Lily had declined informing him that she had no desire whatsoever to go snooping through her uncles was file.
“I don’t want to think differently of him.” She had said quietly with a mildly sad expression on her face. “It’s different than if it was Uncle George or Uncle Bill’s file. But Uncle Percy, we all know that whatever he did during the war wasn’t anything he was proud of. We all know he’s spent the rest of his life attempting to make up for it.”
Harry Potter had reacted much the same when he had given the file to Scorpius.
“I only want to know anything that relates directly to the case. Anything else is Percy’s own business.” He had said with solemn eyes.
Scorpius had nodded quietly and retreated to his office with the file alone. He wondered if Lucy cared what was in her father’s file or if she like the Potter’s felt that her father had atoned for whatever sins he had committed during the war and that it was his business.
Scorpius himself had looked at all his family’s files years ago when he had first gained access to the ministry criminal records and war files. He had taken a day off and booked out a private meeting room and read through every one. His mothers had been blessedly empty, only a passing mention in her war file that she and her sister had been sent to stay with their cousin in France during the last two years of the war. His father’s records and files had been less disturbing than he had expected, having expected the worst. His grandfather’s files had been traumatic and he hadn’t gone to Azkaban to visit him that year, informing his father that he was entirely unable to get any time off work. They had both known it was a lie but they had let it slide that year.
Percy Ignatius Weasley’s war file was… difficult. It almost seemed as if every act contradicted itself. He had been promoted to Junior Assistant to the Minister of Magic by Cornelius Fudge. Records between Cornelius Fudge and others among the ministry suggested that he had done so in the hopes of using Percy to spy on Albus Dumbedore and the Order of the Phoenix. At the height of the war Percy had reported directly to Doleres Umbridge, the senior undersecretary to the Minister of Magic. When she was reassigned as head of the Muggle-Born Registration Committee Percy had taken over many of her former duties as senior undersecretary. Over the next year Percy Weasley had led an awkward balancing act between pretending loyalty to the ministry and subtly assisting the Order of the Phoenix.
His records demonstrated that Percy Weasley had had a hand in editing several family trees to imply several muggleborns had wizarding relatives, many of which had been given obscure fake connections to the Weasley family which Doleres Umbridge had been unable to disprove. He had also been involved in the destruction of several ministry documents relating to the possible whereabouts and movements of Harry Potter and several key members of the Order of the Phoenix.
Naturally there were also war crimes on the list. Most disturbing was his role in the death of Ted Tonks and eleven others after revealing the whereabouts of three of the Order’s safe-houses. In is trail Percy had insisted that he had believed these safe-houses to be out of use, a belief confirmed by members of the Order who reported that when Percy had joined the ministry the safe-houses had indeed been out of use and ad only been reused due to the high demand for safe-houses. Percy had revealed the locations in order to cement his position within the ministry at a point where rumours had suggested that Minister Thicknesse was uncertain of his loyalty and had found him easily disposable.
Percy had been in infrequent contact with the Order through Aberforth Dumbledore and it was through Aberforth that Percy knew of the battle of Hogwarts and came, fighting on the side of the Order. During the battle Percy was personally responsible for the deaths of three deatheaters, Agustus Rookwood, Pius Thicknesse and Abigail Gibbon.
Following the war Percy’s knowledge of ministry employees was key in determining who aligned with the deatheaters because of threats or were under the imperius curse, and who truly sympathised with the deatheaters cause.
Scorpius stared at the list of twelve people that had died in the safe-houses. He wondered if he could get Lily to look into who the living relatives of these people were without linking it to Percy Weasley. He copied the list and sent it to Wesley, their other secretary, instead.
Putting the file to one side Scorpius sighed. He wondered if Lucy knew anything about her father’s experiences of the war or if like Draco Malfoy it was never to be mentioned in their home or among polite circles. Wondered if anyone had ever sneered at her for her father’s involvement in the war or if that was reserved for the children of confirmed deatheaters such as himself.
His conclusion was that he really did spend too much time wondering about Lucy Holly Weasley.
Lucy had assigned Geoffrey the task of watering her plants. This had two main benefits. One she didn’t have to do it. Two, the both of them could breathe a sigh of relief for ten minutes without one another’s company and Lucy could make herself a cup of tea while he listened to the quidditch results on the radio.
It was Molly’s day off and Lucy had convinced her to come spend the day with her. Despite the fact that Lucy genuinely did enjoy spending time with Molly, she had the ulterior motive of getting Molly to remove some runic curses from a chess set she had bought in. Molly had grumbled good-naturedly about it, but gotten stuck in.
“Mack Perry asked me out on a date.” Molly announced airily.
Lucy snorted loudly looking up from the finances she was working on. “Surely not.”
“I said yes.” Molly replied with a grin.
“Why in the name of Merlin would you do such a thing?” Lucy asked with a laugh.
“Because he’s a perfectly decent boy who is my age, has nice hair, works as a cursebreaker so we have plenty to talk about. He’s nice.” Molly summarised.
“He’s too nice.” Lucy insisted.
“Oh is that why you have a thing for Scorpius?”
“I do not have a thing for Malfoy.” Lucy said.
“I’m your older sister, don’t bother lying to me. I always know best.” Molly replied with a grin.
Lucy scowled at her and continued with the neat organisation of her finances. She would have to bear in mind that fine she had had to pay for the goblin silver incident for next month’s purchases.
“Plus I don’t mind them too nice.” Molly continued.
“You and Mack together would be a disaster. You would both be far too nice to each other and never get anything done.”
Molly rolled her eyes at Lucy. “You’re exaggerating. Care to tell me yet why you have an assigned bodyguard from the auror department?”
“I like his company?” Lucy attempted.
Molly looked at her and they both burst out laughing. It was clear to anyone with eyes that Geoffrey and Lucy did not particularly enjoy one another’s company.
“You know I thought Rose was an idiot for setting you up with an auror, but maybe she just had the wrong auror for you.” Molly said as she finally triumphantly lifted the last curse off the chess set, watching the last rune glimmer and go dull.
“He got me licenses for my plants and to sell goblin silver.” Lucy said quietly.
Molly raised an eyebrow. “So now you just need him to get you licenses for the crystal balls, the carpets, the cursed brooches…”
“Shush, auror upstairs, remember? Plus I don’t need a license to sell cursed brooches. The brooches are perfectly legal.”
“Thank Merlin something in your shop is. Can I buy one?” Molly asked leaning over the counter and looking at Lucy’s display of brooches.
“Who are you planning on cursing?” Lucy aske curiously. Cursing anyone was rather out of character for her placid sweet older sister whose only real fault was a tendency to sarcasm which typically went over peoples head anyway because they always expected her to be flawlessly pleasant. She found it amusing just how often Molly’s round-about insults went over her cousin’s heads just because they didn’t expect Molly to say anything even remotely unkind.
Molly smiled. “No one, I just think they’re pretty and I want a nice one for my cloak. I can remove the curses myself.”
“The blue one belonged to an Egyptian cursebreaker from the 1700’s and has a load of funky curses. I can’t quite figure them all out, but you should have fun with it.” Lucy said absentmindedly as she picked up her competed finances and placed them back in their binder under the counter.
Molly was studying it cautiously as Geoffrey came downstairs and settled himself on the chair behind the counter that he had claimed as his own.
Personally Lucy believed that this whole business of her dating aurors was ridiculous. Aurors made life boring. Or maybe that was just Geoffrey. Uncle Harry, Uncle Ron and Hugo were hardly boring. And she supposed her brother Arthur wasn’t a lost cause.
She yelped as a loud crash sounded behind her. Whirling around she caught Geoffrey looking at her sheepishly a mess of glass at his feet, swirling purple fumes rising gradually from the spilled liquid on the floor.
“For the love of Merlin, hold your breath Geoffrey!” Lucy yelped, whipping out her wand and hastily cleaning up the mess.
The liquid was a lost cause but her immediate worry was Geoffrey who’s sheepish smile was sliding into a lopsided goofy grin.
“What that potion legal?” Molly asked cautiously, watching Geoffrey as though he were a particularly interesting specimen under a microscope.
Lucy glared at her. “Yes. It was only half-done though and at the middle stages the fumes can tend to make people a bit loopy and well…”
Geoffrey dropped and Molly quickly caught him with a cushioning charm.
“… Makes them sleepy.” Lucy finished, scowling at Geoffrey’s limp form.
Clearly having aurors around wasn’t quite as boring as it was supposed to be. The bell over the entrance from Knockturn Alley rang loudly and Lucy looked up to see a short witch peering at her behind thick-rimmed glasses.
“Um, while he’s out, could I purchase one of your Romanian crystal balls?” She asked timidly.
Lucy smiled brightly. “Most certainly he should be out for about fifteen minutes, which would you like?” She knew his presence had been bad for business!
Molly shook her head as the short witch happily left the shop clutching a paper bag with her crystal ball.
“It’s a good thing that dad always warns you before visiting your shop.” Molly mused with a smile.
Lucy smiled softly back. Molly’s career as a cursebreaker had always been a sore point with their father who had expected Molly to rise within the ministry. Percy only saw Lucy’s career as marginally better because at least it was a ‘business’. And then of course because when he visited her shop was the poster girl of respectability.
Lucy glanced down at Geoffrey. “Perhaps I should call Albus. He’s an auror healer after all.”
“What in Merlin’s name have you done to Geoffrey?”
Lucy looked up in surprise. Scorpius was standing in the doorway, his wand directed at the bell which he had succeeded in freezing before it had warned her.
“He smashed a half-finished potion.” Molly said with a pleasant smile at Scorpius.
“Was it legal?” Scorpius asked.
Lucy resisted the urge to stomp like a toddler with a tantrum. “Yes it was.” She replied frostily.
Scorpius sent off a quick owl to Albus to request his presence in Lucy’s shop before turning to Lucy and Molly.
“I actually have a few questions. For both of you. Can you close up the shop?”
Lucy nodded, not bothering to say out loud her grumblings about this whole case being absolute murder on her business. She turned the signs to ‘closed’ on both doors and activated the alarms, keying them in to let in Albus.
“Tea?” Molly asked cheerfully and Scorpius shot her a grateful smile.
“What do you know of your father’s involvement in the war?” Scorpius asked carefully.
Both Lucy and Molly stiffened, eyes darting to one another.
“Not much.” Molly replied softly. “We never talked about the war at home. And nobody talks about the war in front of dad at The Burrow. We know he worked in the ministry. We know that he was in the battle at Hogwarts fighting on the side of the Order. That’s all we know.” She turned around handing him a cup of tea.
Scorpius noted that both Molly and Lucy had the same neatness and tidiness. They orbited around each other with a practised ease, soft smiles and witty words.
“I see.” He said quietly. Lucy regarded him steadily. He sipped his tea and cleared his throat.
“I have a vague theory that whoever is using the objects from Lucy’s shop for these murders is doing it as a subtle revenge on your father.” He mused thoughtfully.
He caught the sharp glance that Molly shot Lucy and stiffened. Ah. He had merely assumed that Lucy had told Molly about all of this because they were sisters and Albus and Lily knew. He supposed that at least it was good to know that all the auror departments business wasn’t known by the whole Potter-Granger-Weasley clan.
“Have you informed our father?” Molly asked quietly.
“No. There is as of yet no direct threat to him or any of you. It’s like an obscure side-plot to the main line of the case. I thought I would raise it in case either of you thought of anything relevant.” Scorpius said.
Molly laughed softly. “No. Everyone is very careful to never discuss our father’s involvement in the war in front of us. It’s as though he wasn’t there at all.”
Scorpius nodded and drank the rest of his tea as Albus arrived, looking out of the window thoughtfully until Albus tapped him on the shoulder.
“Wesley said to let you know he put his research for you on your desk.” Albus said with a grin.
Scorpius nodded and winking at Lucy, who glared at him, headed back to the auror department to try to pull together the awkward and distracting leads he had on this investigation.
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