Summary: My version of short ficlets of scenes we don't see from Book 7 while Harry and friends were on their quest. In canon (that's NOT AU). SPOILERS. If I gain the inspiration (or someone has a request?) I will consider looking at the previous books too.
Warnings: SPOILERS of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' in particular. Rating may rise.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or its characters. They belong to J. K. Rowling and Bloomsbury books. Words in italics are direct quotes from Book 7 pg210-211.
After Harry, Ron and Hermione infiltrated the Ministry. The Order contemplates, and is surprised.
"According to our sources Harry, Ron and Hermione were responsible for the breakout of muggleborns and fiasco in the Ministry last month."
The few Order members present exclaimed their shock and surprise over these words with a jerk or 'what' in response.
Arthur Weasley, his wife and Tonks in particular seemed most stunned out of the lot with Remus Lupin a close second. The former demanding how they were certain of this while Tonks sputtered over how they managed to get in, Molly wondering why the three had bothered when more muggleborns were rounded up each week as her husband stared at the dark-skinned wizard across from him as though he knew the man knew something he was missing.
"Yaxley was overheard raving about the incident not too long ago. The Death Eaters naturally did their own investigation and our source was able to discover a number of events that occurred in conjunction with that day."
Finally noting her husband's odd expression Molly Weasley asked the all important question "Such as?"
"You know Umbridge had gotten her hands on Alastor's eye? Part of the reason an intruder was discovered was because somebody had nicked it right out of its socket, probably about the same time the leaflet-makers called in the commotion about a miniature bomb."
"What happened there anyway?" asked Tonks in genuine curiosity.
Shacklebolt answered in kind, "I managed to get a look at it, not that there was much left mind you, but it looked like something Fred and George might have engineered in all honesty. A harmless device clearly used to distract by making a loud noise and harmless smoke."
Huffing in disapproval, Molly really hoped no one else would take note of such a thing in case her sons got into more trouble.
"Kingsley, nearly anyone could have taken that eye. What makes you and your source believe it were the kids? Everyone knows the Ministry's security has drastically increased since You-Know-Who took over. The building is ridiculously hard to get into even for those that work there, never mind three non-graduates; one of whom is a muggleborn herself and the other Harry Potter!"
"Difficult but I very much doubt impossible."
"Kingsley..." Arthur sighed clearly aggravated. The others either waiting for the better explanation they knew was coming or mirroring Arthur's own expression.
More amused than annoyed the Auror calmly informed them of the other evidence available, answering each of their questions in turn to the best of his ability "Wait. There's more. Not only did two Reg Cattermole's – ",
…here Arthur interjected that the man worked in Magical Maintenance for those that didn't know.
" – bump into each other at the Atrium floo network, three Ministry workers (one of which was Cattermole) was seen alongside the escaping Muggleborns, but Yaxley apparently got caught in an apparate which delivered him onto the doorstep of Number 12, Grimmauld Place. I don't think he has been able to get inside or I think we would have heard about it but whoever he sided-along with disappeared shortly after they arrived."
Tonks' and Arthur's mouth's promptly fell open at this news while Molly Weasley looked ready to launch into a panic attack; both parents feeling hyper-sensitive about the missing possibly endangered kids.
"He confirmed its location though? He was brought into the secret?" Lupin anxiously asked. Receiving a nod Lupin confirmed once again that he had seen the Trio there shortly before the incident, helping to cement the idea that they had unwittingly revealed the place to the Death Eater and at the very least were involved in the Ministry attack.
Having picked up on a significant part of Kingsley's description and after forcefully pulling herself together, Tonks probed "Two Cattermole's? They got in by polyjuice?"
"Must have. Turns out that Mafalda Hopkirk arrived as usual outside the Ministry that morning, but never actually made it into the building until she stumbled in after the intruders had escaped. She said she had been attacked from behind and left in a disused building where she woke up sometime late morning. Cattermole, who was violently sick, suspiciously after he had met Hopkirk on his way to work, did not make it in until later. His wife was one of the ones on trial that day but he said he was persuaded by 'Hopkirk' to go home because he was clearly unwell. I suppose the guilt of not being their for his wife was too much and he came back ahead of time-"
"They probably didn't know about his wife. A big risk to take really. They can't have known their taken identities very well or known precisely what was happening inside the Ministry. They must have just surveyed who was the easiest to impersonate simply by who turned up early or alone."
"The third person was Albert Runcorn, who also never made it into work that day despite having being seen there."
Arthur jerked upright stopping any further comments "What?"
"Darling what's wrong?"
"Runcorn? You're sure? And Cattermole? That's just..."
"Arthur? Are you alright? You've gone pale..." noted Lupin.
"My son's been gone for...and he was right there...in front of me-" physically shaking himself out the red balding man tried to explain to his concerned looking companions, "I saw both of them, in the lift. Reg was having problems repairing the weather conditions in Yaxley's office and I gave him some advice. But if what you say is true, I probably just told Ron 'how' to fix the damage. I know what you are about to say," he held up his hands in a stopping motion,
"But for a second there it seemed like he was going to call me 'D...' something. I thought it was weird at the time – you can't really mistake 'Arthur' for anything 'D' related – but I let it go. Runcorn was also acting strange."
"Well that's another reason. Runcorn, the real one, grassed a lot of the muggleborns awaiting trial, Mary Cattermole herself in fact, into the authorities. Knowing his personality firsthand it really makes no sense and all tests have failed on the three for Imperious curses. On top of that, some workers noticed the presence of two patronus', neither of which was belonging to the three. Both Hopkirk and Cattermole admitted to being unable to ever perform the charm properly whereas Runcorn was tested to have a bear patronus. As for the animals recognised, they were a stag and an otter..."
"Harry's and Hermione's" the werewolf said in revered comprehension.
"If Ron was Cattermole, then it makes sense Harry was Runcorn and Hermione, Mafalda."
"Oh Merlin, I must have given Run...H-Harry a bit of a shock."
"How so dear?"
"I was angry over Runcorn's involvement in Dirk Creswell's arrest and stopped him from leaving the lift. I exchanged some words, shall we say, and a bit of a warning about Dirk and his friends undoubtedly remembering his involvement. I expected him to gloat instead he said –,
'Arthur,' Harry interrupted, 'you know you're being tracked, don't you?'
"– I thought he was simply threatening me and said so, but –,
'No,' said Harry, 'it's a fact! They're watching your every move –'
"– if that was Harry..."
"They do know that you've had high contact with Potter before, it's not unlikely that your family is being monitored in case he shows up. Though I haven't heard any memo on you being tracked, it could be very possible." Kingsley solemnly considered.
"Isn't that sort of information kept on Level One in Umbridge's office anyway Shacklebolt? If one of them did take Mad-eye's eye they'd have had to have gone inside and could have come across Arthur's file while there, right? Even with that bomb thing going off surely someone would have noticed his entrance?"
While Shacklebolt answered his fellow Auror's questions; not needing to bother with the last one as the metamorphagi remembered Harry's cloak, Lupin, Arthur and Molly began pondering another puzzle.
"What could they have wanted in Umbridge's office?"
"I don't know honey. Perhaps they wanted to get her back for fifth year still."
"Oh Arthur, don't be daft! They break into the Ministry of Magic just for some childish pranks? I hardly think Hermione, never mind Harry or Ron would be so stupid!"
Coming back into the main conversation Kingsley mentioned that Mafalda had been dragged down with Umbridge and Yaxley into the courtrooms, that apparently a disembodied hand and wand stunned the latter two before breaking the arrested out and chasing the dementors off, "I think its safe to say whatever they had gone there for, it had something to do with Umbridge."
"And the muggleborns?"
"If I know those three," grumbled Lupin, "They would have grasped whatever opportunity was presented to them and freed the muggleborns simply because they were there and being freely tortured by dementors."
"That or they figured they had already given themselves away and with time on their potions running out tried to use them as a distraction."
"Merlin those three are gutsy."
"I can't decide whether what they pulled was incredibly stupid, a thing of genius or a bit of both!"
"They did get away with it Molly dear."
""Only just Weasley. They weren't caught or everyone would know about their 'failure' and Potter would be publicly handed off to the Dark Lord. Still I imagine getting away from Yaxley outside Number 12 was awfully close and this is all providing the three weren't harmed at the end of it all."
"Don't say that! I'm sure they're fine; Mione's got more than enough brains for them all and Harry's good on his feet and getting out of complicated situations and-"
Lupin placated his wife before she could get herself (or Mrs. Weasley) more worked up about the kids they were all worried about. "Let's just hope they don't try that again, or something equally risky or I imagine the Death Eaters redoubled efforts will put a wrench into their mission...whatever it is."
The small group became quiet for a time each pondering their own thoughts, until Arthur Weasley gained everyone's attention again by obsessing once more about anything and everything muggle; "Remus, what is a wrench and how could it possibly interfere with their plans?"
A/N: I'm taking a guess that the apparition of Albus and Kreacher's presence and want to protect his Master's house from more vile invaders and thieves would stop anyone suspicious getting into the house without his current owners presence, someone who hasn't returned. Plus Sirius' mother would no doubt have spurted all she knew seeing as how beautiful purebloods were once again within her house perhaps convicting everyone who stood in that house. I know it's a long shot, but it makes sense to me.
I don't think I've portrayed Tonks very well. I tried to get her clumsiness and youngish aura into the mix as well as making her sound like she knew what she was doing, but I don't think it worked...
The wrench question, I have a feeling Mr. Weasley would already know what a wrench was given the Ford Anglia he used to own, but it seemed a good way to finish so its there anyway despite my misgivings.
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