On a dark, cloudy night, a tall man with a wiry frame darted down a dark alleyway. Sweat dripped down his forehead, his long straw-colored hair stuck to his face, and his heart hammered in his ears as he rounded a corner. He looked over his shoulder and saw that his pursuer, an man who looked to be in his early twenties, was keeping up with him. His eyes widened and he turned around, pushing himself to run faster. His legs felt like they would give out any time soon, he'd been on the run for days after he and his co-workers were attacked. A part of him wanted to give up, but he knew that if he did then everything would have been for nothing.
As the man darted around another corner, he pulled out his wand and pointed it down at the ground. "Bombarda!"
The small explosion tore through the concrete, causing smoke to rise into the air. Jagged, sharp pieces of concrete rested in the small crater that had formed due to his spell. The man then cast a quick levitation spell on the pieces of concrete high into the air, with the sharper tips pointing straight down. The man held his breath as he waited for his pursuer to round the corner, his body nervously twitching as he listened carefully for footsteps.
As soon as he saw his pursuer round the corner, he dispelled the charm on the concrete and let gravity do its work. He smirked as he saw the surprise on his pursuer's face. There was no way that they would be able to get out of this, they had rushed headfirst into the man's trap. The chunks of concrete fell, at this speed and height the man was sure that his pursuer would die instantly, and the man would be known as the one who could do what Lord Voldemort had failed to do.
Kill Harry Potter.
The chunks of concrete were inches away from striking Potter dead, when they suddenly bounced off and hit the ground, breaking into tiny pieces.
"W-what?" the man asked. "Y-you should've been dead! Why are still alive!?"
"I cast a quick Protego." Harry said as he slowly approached the man. "Honestly I was a bit surprised that you'd use such an obvious tactic. Then again, dark wizards like you seem to have a habit for underestimating people."
Harry couldn't help but smirk as the man's face paled of all color once his sanity finally broke. With his last resort having failed, the man turned to run.
'Really?' Harry thought to himself. He sighed and pulled his wand out of his pocket, aimed, and cast a quick succession of stunning spells at the man's back. The man hit the ground and a sharp cracking sound soon followed.
"William Little." Harry said as he casually strolled up to the writhing figure. "Wanted for five counts of murder, assaulting an Auror, smuggling dark artifacts, and engaging in practices of dark magic."
Potter roughly yanked Little's off the ground and bound his hands together. He noticed that the broken remains of Little's wands were lying on the ground.
'He must have broken it when he fell.' Harry thought to himself.
"You gave us quite the slip back at your house, Little." Harry said. "We thought you'd fled the country, but you decided to get something from Gringotts instead."
"Is there any reason for that?"
Little didn't say anything, he only glared at Harry.
Harry shrugged. "You're not going to talk, huh? Oh well, I hope you're looking forward to getting a comfy cell at Azkaban."
Harry heard heavy footsteps, and he turned to see Ron panting and wheezing as he ran up to Harry.
"Took you long enough to get here Ron." Harry said. "I thought you were right behind me."
"It's not my fault that I'm not built to run for miles non-stop!" Ron shouted. "You could've slowed down you know."
"If you're going to be working as Aurors, you have to at least put in the legwork." Harry said. "Besides, you've been putting on some pounds lately-you could do for some exercise."
Harry ignored the heated glare Ron sent his way and turned back to face Little. "Anyway, I haven't been able to get him talk. We should take him back to headquarters, maybe a little overnight stay in one of the cells will open him up."
"Heh. Do you really think that will break me, Potter?" Little asked. "Just like the others, I am dedicated to the cause. I would never yield to the 'hero' who so mercilessly slayed our Lord."
"Your lord killed thousands of innocent people." Harry said. "After everything he did, I'd say he got what was coming to him."
A sinister smile bloomed on Little's face. "And what about the rampage you went on, hm? You and our Lord both spilt blood for your own cause, but at least he didn't try to cover it up with pretty words like 'justice'."
Harry smiled sharply. "No, he didn't. He just needed to cover it up with lies and propaganda designed to get idiots like you under his wing."
"Well at least he wasn't driven by the death of some little Mudblood and their filthy family."
Harry slammed Little against the wall of the alley and was about to hit him in the face, when he felt Ron rest an arm on his shoulder.
"Harry don't. He's just trying to get to you." Ron said.
"How can you be so calm!?" Harry shouted. "Didn't you just hear what he said!"
"I did." Ron said. Harry turned to see that his best friend's face was red, his free hand was clenched in a fist. "But we have to do things by the book, we knew that when we became Aurors."
Harry frowned. "Tch."
He let go of Little, and the man smirked at Harry. The sight made Harry's blood boil.
"You know Ron, why don't you be the one to take him to headquarters?" Harry asked. "You can take the credit for this guy's arrest."
Ron blinked. "Wait, why do you want me to-"
"I don't want to talk to Scrimgeour." Harry said. "Not tonight. I know I'll end up saying something stupid, and that'll give him the excuse to kick you out the front door."
The two stared at each other in silence for a moment before Ron sighed. "Alright, I'll do it."
Ron grabbed Little, and with a loud crack, apparated out of the alley. Harry followed suit and apparated away, leaving the alley empty once more.
Harry apparated a few blocks away from an apartment he had rented in a small, muggle neighborhood he had chosen to move to after the end of the war. He had wanted to get away from the attention from both the press and the public. The desire for avoiding the press was simple, he didn't feel the need to try and embellish his 'legendary deeds' during the war for the sake of helping news outlets make a quick buck. That didn't stop some people (namely Skeeter) from writing outrageous stories about him. Just the other day he read an article by her that claimed that he was having a secret affair with Luna of all people. The reasoning for avoiding the public was a bit...different.
He just couldn't find it in himself to understand them. When Voldemort had taken over the ministry, many people had just...given up. They willingly threw their lot in Voldemort, whether it be because of fear or if it was a chance for them to act on their closeted desires. Harry knew it was unrealistic of him to expect that the average citizen would put themselves in danger, whenever he saw how carefree they were, believing that everything would turn out fine in the end, it...ticked him off. They'd been given a second chance, and yet people like William Little had already wasted it.
Harry frowned as the criminal's face popped up in his mind. At first glance, you would never suspect someone like Little would be running a complex operation that involved selling off dark artifacts to the highest bidder. Everything he had read up on Little suggested that he was a man who had little talent, and even smaller funds. And yet, he'd been able to afford to go on multiple trips around the world, collecting as many dark artifacts he could before he sold it off to his customers.
Little had someone backing him, Harry was sure of that. The case wasn't anywhere near over. Harry was so lost in his thoughts, that he didn't notice that he'd reached the apartments until he tripped over a curb. His clumsiness ended up saving his life, because as soon as Harry hit the ground, something zoomed overhead and collided against a nearby car in the parking lot, triggering its alarm. Through the rearview mirror, Harry could see a figure wearing Death Eater robes standing on the sidewalk that was on the opposite side of the street that lead to the apartment. As the car's alarm shrieked, causing several lights in the apartment to turn on, Harry pulled himself together and had his wand in his hand.
"Stop right there!" Harry shouted. "Don't move or I-"
The hooded figure turned and ran, Harry immediately gave chase. He raced across the street as the hooded figure grew farther and farther away. Streetlamps and small Surburban houses passed by Harry in the blink of an eye as he kept running. Eventually, signs of civilization soon gave way to wild, green pastures, the hooded figure darted through a small gap in-between two large oak trees and Harry followed suit, ending up in the middle of a clearing. Harry's heart pounded in his chest, and he tried to catch his breath as he scanned the clearing for any signs of the hooded figure. They had vanished into thin air, and there was no obvious sign of their existence.
'Even so, I need to stay on guard.' Harry thought to himself. 'I was lucky enough to avoid getting stabbed, but with how my luck usually is, I can't afford to be careless.'
Harry pulled out his wand and whispered. "Lumos."
The trees loomed over Harry, making the clearing feel tight and claustrophobic. A breeze had picked up, causing the branches of the trees to sway in the wind, the shadows cast on the ground were ominous with the branches appearing to be skeletal hands that threatened to pull Harry deep beneath the Earth. Harry's ears twitched as he heard the soft snapping sound of a twig, adrenaline kicked in and he immediately dove to the right as two blades cut through the night air and sunk a few inches deep into the bark of the tree he had been in front of.
Unlike last time, Harry was quick to get up to his feet. "Stupefy!" Harry shouted as he fired at hooded figure. "Stupefy! Stupefy! Stupefy!"
The hooded figure easily weaved their way past the stunners that were flung at them. They moved gracefully, pirouetting past another stunner before they extended their leg and transitioned to a roundhouse kick that caught Harry in the stomach.
The wind was knocked out of Harry, and he found himself getting flung backwards into a tree. "Gah!"
The hooded figure didn't waste the opportunity that they were given. Another blade slipped out of their sleeve and into their hand. They descended upon Harry, thrusting their knife right between his eyes. Harry managed to grasp the figure's arm, stopping the blade a few centimeters away from his temple. He grit his teeth as he tried to push the blade away from him, his arms shook as the hooded figure pressed forward, the tip of the blade cut Harry's flesh and a small amount of blood leaked down his forehead and onto his eye. As the hooded figure drew closer and closer, Harry was able to see that they had a mask of a lioness on, which literally masked their identity. The only defining feature he could make out was the color of their eyes. They were brown, and for some reason Harry noticed that they seemed very sad.
'That's not very helpful!' Harry chided himself. 'Come on think! How can I get out of this!?'
Harry's arms were beginning to tire, and the blade drew closer and closer to tunneling through his skull. Harry frantically looked around for something that could help him, when he spotted a rock the size of a baseball resting in the grass. Inspired by the actions that Little had took earlier in the night, Harry focused on the rock before shouting: "Accio rock!"
The hooded figure paused for a split second, confused by Harry's words. That split-second delay worked in Harry's favor, as the hooded figure did not react in time to avoid the rock striking their left side. The hooded figure let out a soft, feminine cry and instinctively moved back, causing a sudden shift in weight. With the pressure lightening, Harry was able to push the hooded figure's arm back and knock the knife out of their hand. The hooded figure, realizing the sudden shift in combat, scrambled to get back from Harry before they apparated away, leaving Harry alone in the clearing. With the adrenaline that had been pumping through his body beginning to fade, Harry felt much more tired than he had ever been before.
'Well this proves my theory, doesn't it?' Harry thought to himself. 'Just when I've taken down the 'mastermind' behind the operation, someone tries to kill me a few minutes later. I can't just say that it was a coincidence.'
Harry shakily rose to his feet and stumbled his way out of the clearing. 'They tried to get me with this trap, too bad the only thing they've gotten now, is my interest.'