Chapter 2: The Modern Don Quixote
In the Chill of November air, Dennis’ dragon hide boots crunched through the underbrush, his face a mask of frustration. He was so sure that he had him this time, the elusive and slippery as all hell, Draco Malfoy. How could his hunters lose him this time? It wasn’t like Malfoy had a wand or any friends, having alienated both sides during the war. His hunters had chased and cornered the former Death Eater in this very forest only to lose him as they closed in.
Dennis made his way to the camp that his men had set up. Sitting in front of the fire was an overstuffed red armchair waiting for him. It was an odd sight, this encampment. Mismatching tents with occupants of all ages and cleanliness. Each tent surrounded the focal point. Not the roaring fire, but Dennis’ very own tent.
Dennis was no longer the small boy who fell out of the boat on his way to Hogwarts. He was tall and gangly but had begun to build wiry muscles underneath from the months on the run during the war, then the six months he had been hunting Voldemort’s followers. His men respected him because he was good at the hunt despite being the youngest man in camp. It made him uncomfortable at first when grown wizards deferred to him, a fifteen-year-old. He was used to it now. He was the one who changed everything, suggesting feeding the muggles the wizards who were no more than criminals anyway. It kept muggles off of the muggleborns. In the beginning, he had tried to find the children before their families turned them in but after losing the sixth child in a row to that hellhole, he changed tactics. Thanks to him, the wizarding world was mostly safe.
He folded his body into the red overstuffed chair. It had been Colin’s favorite chair and it kept Dennis on his path, reminding him exactly what he was doing. He was hunting the bastards that killed his older brother at the Battle of Hogwarts.
He covered his face with his large hand, massaging his temple. The Weasley debacle in Diagon Alley was not supposed to happen. Once he heard, it was too late to save them. They were already behind the gates of Redcar, the magical concentration camp.
Things didn’t work out the way that they were supposed to, time and again, as several of the worst criminals that had been handed over, were given freedom merely for placing wards and magical retardants around the camp. It was a disgrace to his mission. It trapped the innocent and released the guilty. The muggle government and Ministry were obviously cut from the same cloth. It didn’t sit well with him. His stomach twanged with guilt but he tramped it down hard. He was the new savior of wizarding kind. He didn’t see Potter out there protecting the muggleborns.
“Sir, it has been confirmed he is gone.”
“And did you find his trail?” Dennis’ continued to massage his temple.
“Yes, but you are not going to like it.” The man said tentatively. “Does Grimmauld Place mean anything to you?”
“Damnit.” He murmured. “I will go alone.”
“With all due respect, Sir, I don’t think it’s wise. He has been giving us the slip for months. At least take a small strike team.”
“If I show up in front of Hermione Granger with a strike team, we will all be sorry.” And none more than him. She was a few years older than he was but that didn’t stop him from crushing on her, for the last three years.
“Malfoy would never go to Granger. Would he?”
“Probably not. They loathe each other. Another reason for me to go alone.” If Malfoy was there, that meant Hermione was working against him. He couldn’t have that. He would do what he could to bring her to his side. If anyone had a reason to hunt down Voldemort supporters, it was that woman.
There was no rest for the wicked. He slowly left the comfort of his chair and with a wave of his wand he was completely packed, his tent folding neatly into the size of a paper football. He didn’t bother to fill his men in on his comings and goings. If he wanted them, he would summon them via the DA coins that Hermione made back in her fifth year.
As each member had fallen at the final battle, Colin had collected their coins. Probably to help him remember which ones had actually died. When Neville carried his dead body into the Great Hall, Dennis wouldn’t leave him. Colin had been the only family he had left. The next day as he prepared Colin’s body for his funeral, he had found the horde of coins. It took Dennis a while to figure out that those particular coins were from the DA. He held on to them, clutching the last things he had of his brother. It was ironic that only a month later he had doled them out to use in another war.
He shook his head and went back to the woods, searching out the trail Malfoy had left. It didn’t take him long as two of his hunters were still casting revealing spells. With a grunt, the men made way, watching silently as Dennis did what he did best, he latched onto the magical residue and used it to propel him to his destination. It didn’t matter that he had never been there, Malfoy’s magic would ensure that he arrived safely. This was the reason that Dennis Creevy shot up through the ranks. No one else could follow a trail the way he could.
With a low crack, he stared at a row of muggle housing and searched out the place he was looking for. His piercing gaze flowed from one building to the next only stopping to frown at the small line between number eleven and number thirteen.
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