AN: Just a few words about this story. First off, a lot of stuff has changed. I'm not going to say too much here, but there are things that are canon that in this story will be completely different. They'll be explained throughout, but they won't always be clear from the beginning. The main difference is that Harry, in this story, is very much like Sherlock Holmes. He can deduce, solve people and is rude, sometimes cruel and arrogant. I've based him off a variety of versions of the Holmes character as well as, hopefully, adding some of my own stuff. I read a HP fanfic that did something similar but made him be inspired by the books, in this Harry can just deduce things like Holmes himself and so is more of a modern/magical Holmes - which is something that I thought would be super interesting.
Also, if any of you are coming into this hoping for a romance between Daphne and Harry, then I'm sorry to disappoint but that's not going to happen. Their friendship is very much that, a friendship, one which is set on the background of murder and mystery. This story is very much going to be about the two of them, like the Sherlock Holmes books, TV shows and films. I've read a few of the books, watched most of the TV shows a couple of the films so I feel like I know a decent amount about the characters. Also, Daphne is going to be very much her own character, both different from Watson and fanon.
Special thanks to Taliesin19 for betaing this for me!
But that's it, as usual I own nothing and if you guys want to get in touch feel free to PM or leave a review. I hope you all like it!
Chapter One: First Impressions, Twice Over
Everyone my age has the same story.
They tell it over and over again to one another. To people who weren't there, who missed out on the chance simply for being born a few years too late.
It's the same one every time but with minor variations because no one ever knew him. He had no friends. Plenty of enemies, sure. Fans or those who simply remained indifferent amidst the tales of awe and wonder. And though they all had different opinions of him, their story stays the same. And they continue to tell it as if it were somehow unique to them.
Why? Because they're obsessed. Because all it took for him was one look, one instant to be able to unravel them completely. But now it falls to me to tell my story—one of the few versions that, despite sharing the same beginning, takes a much different turn.
This is the story of how I met Harry Potter. Saviour of the Wizarding World. Infamous detective. But more importantly, my friend.
Taken from Chapter One of The Chronicles of Harry Potter, written by Daphne Greengrass
Daphne Greengrass dragged her trunk along the carriage, trying to balance her owl on top as she searched for a compartment. She glanced through the glass each time she went past one, finding them all full of older Hogwarts students, despite arriving at Kings Cross ten minutes early so as to make sure she got a seat.
Astoria had burst into tears as soon as they'd arrived and begged Daphne not to go. Her tears had then started their mother crying as well which had, in turn, made Daphne join them. It was the only part of going to Hogwarts that she knew she was going to hate, not being able to see her family every day. She had enough experience with that already.
Peering into yet another compartment, expecting to see a group of Hogwarts students, she was taken aback by the sight of a small, bespectacled boy sitting alone in the compartment with a snowy white owl sitting a cage on the seat next to him. He had a mop of messy black hair that stuck up in odd places, making it seem as though he had only just got out of bed. His head was bowed slightly as he read the book that lay open on his lap while he took notes. Other books lay scattered on the seat next to him, pieces of paper strewn over them, covered in long, curvy handwriting. Daphne knocked on the door before sliding it open.
At the sound, the boy turned to her, his emerald green eyes fixing on hers for a brief moment with a rather calculating expression on his pale face.
"Sorry, is that seat taken?" Daphne asked, smiling nervously and gesturing to the seat opposite him that wasn't taken up by paper and books. When he shook his head, looking back down to his work she asked "Do you mind if I join you?"
He simply raised a hand, gesturing at the seat and never raising his eyes to look at her.
"Thanks," she said, a little unnerved as she pulled her trunk into the compartment and shutting the door behind her as she did so.
It took a long moment for her to heft the heavy trunk into the overhead compartment above the empty seat. And all the while the boy said nothing, too focused on writing his notes, his hand darting across the page just as quickly as his eyes as he read.
When she'd finally managed to put her trunk away, she opened it and retrieved one of her textbooks before sitting down. She waited a moment, not sure if she should say anything. This boy, whoever he was, clearly wasn't a social butterfly. But after another few minutes of awkward silence Daphne spoke, unable to take it any longer. "I'm Daphne, by the way."
"Harry Potter," he said glancing up at her and registering the shock on her face.
He couldn't be serious could he? He couldn't be Harry Potter. The Harry Potter. The Boy Who Lived. She knew he would be her age. In the back of her mind she'd been looking forward to meeting him, meeting the boy of legend. But he definitely wasn't what she'd been expecting, at least judging by his appearance—baggy jeans that didn't fit him properly and taped glasses that had been broken in half. Hiding underneath his long fringe, Daphne could just make out the lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead.
Realising she'd been staring, she moved her eyes back down to his, but they were concentrated on the book once again.
"The Boy-Who-Lived? I mean THE Boy-Who-Lived?"
Harry nodded. "So I've heard; the whole of the Leaky Cauldron was rather eager to tell me," he said, turning a page in his book. "When did they break up, your parents?"
Daphne felt as though she'd been punched in the stomach. Open-mouthed she stared at him, not sure that she'd heard him correctly. How could he know? How could he possibly know about that? It took her a moment to speak, still reeling from his words. She wanted to object to what he'd said, to deny it, maybe even throw insults at him for knowing something she'd never told anyone, but curiosity got the better of her. "How do you know about that?"
"Can't have been easy," Harry continued, ignoring her question. "Still, you're clearly eager to learn at school. A refreshing change. Every other pureblood I've met simply wants to coast through. Probably because they've been so exposed to this world that they think they know how it works."
"How did you know I'm pureblood?"
"Your trunk and earrings," Harry told her, pointing to them both, "they're both expensive. The trunk is new, too, so it's not an heirloom of some sort and diamonds aren't exactly the kind of thing that every eleven year-old has. The fact that you're also wearing a ruby ring suggests that they aren't your only valuable items. That and you recognised me by name suggesting your family is magical. Also, there's a family crest on your trunk, it's kind of give you away. The Greengrasses can trace their heritage back almost 15 generations, yes?"
"I never said I was a Greengrass."
"Insignia," Harry said. "Like I said, slight giveaway. I may have been brought up by muggles, but I've read a lot about this world as soon as I found out I was a part of it."
"Okay," Daphne nodded, trying to process what had just happened. "But what was that about me looking forward to Hogwarts? And how did you know about my parents?"
"Your textbooks are all well-read. You're rich, you didn't need to buy second hand. So, you've done the reading yourself. More than once. That and several of them aren't on the reading list. As for your parents, the man's chain you're wearing, it was your father's, something to remember him by. That, the bags under your eyes and the fact that only your mother was here to send you off all point to separation."
"That was amazing," Daphne breathed, staring at the boy in front of her. She had spent her whole life living with magic but had never seen anything quite so special. "Where'd you learn to do that?"
"I taught myself. My aunt and uncle didn't like me asking questions, so I found a way to get answers on my own. Astonishingly, their reasons for secret keeping were mind-numbingly petty, but it was a useful skill to develop."
Daphne wanted to ask more but at that exact moment there was a knock on the compartment door which was then opened to reveal a rather round-faced boy with dark brown hair. Daphne could see, even from her spot by the window, the welled up tears in his eyes.
"Sorry," the boy said, his face flushing slightly as Harry's eyes turned on him. "But have you seen a toad at all?"
When both Harry and Daphne shook their heads he began cry, the tears streaming steadily down his face. He brushed them away with the back of his sleeve, trying to stem the now flowing waterfall.
A wave of sympathy crashed over Daphne as she looked at the boy before her.
"I've lost him! He keeps getting away from me!"
"If you've looked in every compartment then try looking in your trunk," Harry advised, turning to the window.
"I already have," the boy said with a small sob. "I looked everywhere but I couldn't find him. Then Hermione suggested I come and search the other compartments for him but..."
"But you didn't look; I mean really look, did you?"
Harry glanced at Daphne, as if looking to her to share in his exasperation. "People never do. Did you look under your clothes or under your books?" he asked impatiently, getting up from his seat to face the boy who was staring back at him slightly open-mouthed, making it clear that he hadn't.
Daphne had done the same once when she'd been looking for her wand the day after she'd bought it from Ollivander. She'd searched everywhere in her room, turned the house upside down in her hunt for it. She'd felt so stupid when she'd found it under her school robes in her trunk when she could have sworn she'd left it on her desk.
"Thought not. It's safe to say your toad's under there just looking for a little safety. Goodbye."
There was a brief moment in which the boy stared at Harry, not sure whether to say anything or not, before Harry slid the door shut in his face. He let out a sigh before throwing himself back down on his seat, receiving an angry hoot from his owl which he ignored, preferring instead to stare pensively out of the window. His movements, Daphne thought, could almost be described as theatrical, just like his grand deductions were. It was simply amazing; there was no other word for it. There was also the way he'd basically insulted the crying boy and yet helped him at the same time.
From what she had seen so far, Harry Potter really was a mystery.
"Which house do you want to be in, then?" Daphne asked, drawing Harry back to the world inside the compartment.
Of course, what else would it be?
"At least there I might find someone interesting for a change."
"You're very full of yourself, aren't you?"
"With good reason," he said. "How about you? What House do you want to be in?"
"My parents were in Slytherin," Daphne said, remembering her mother's words from earlier. "Dad's not bothered which house I get sorted into as long as I'm happy. That's the great thing about him working in the auror office. He sees that houses don't really matter after school. Mum says the same, but I know she wants me to be in Slytherin like her. The rest of the family too. It'd be breaking tradition if I got sorted into any other house. I mean, the last person in my family not to be sorted into Slytherin was my great-great Uncle Benji, and nobody talks about him."
"You don't want to be an outcast."
Daphne frowned. It wasn't just a deduction this time; there was something in his voice that betrayed an inner sympathy. He didn't just see what she was feeling, he knew it. She tried to look at him, but he had cast his eyes back down to his work, refusing to meet her gaze.
"I want to make mum happy too," Daphne admitted.
"But?" Harry probed, "obviously there's an issue, or you wouldn't be so insistently hesitating. You don't want to be a Slytherin."
"No," Daphne muttered.
"Then don't. What do you think would make your mother happier? Her daughter doing well, being happy and surrounded by like-minded people, or being sorted into the family house," Harry said simply, as if it were the easiest thing in the world.
The argument that had been ready to start on Daphne's lips died away at his words. She'd spent so long focusing on the idea that her mum would disapprove of her being sorted into a different House because Slytherin was truly the right House for any pureblood, that she hadn't considered the idea that the opposite might happen. What if he was right? Would Daphne's happiness mean more than keeping with tradition? In families like the Malfoy's perhaps not, but she wasn't a Malfoy. For one, the Greengrasses hadn't sided with You-Know-Who in the war. So maybe the pureblood ideals wouldn't matter as much.
A hollow kind of silence settled between the two of them, Harry's focus back on his book and Daphne's eyes staring unseeing out of the window. She only looked up when she heard the door open once more followed by the appearance of a familiar face. It wasn't the boy with the toad this time. The newcomer was an auburn haired girl that Daphne had known since early childhood. Tracey Davis stared exasperatedly at her.
"I've been looking for you everywhere," Tracey announced. She ran a hand through her hair, sweeping it back out of her face. "Thought you said you were coming to sit with us?"
"I was, but when I checked, the compartment was full." Too much Malfoy for my liking, Daphne added silently. "So I thought I'd come find somewhere else."
"They weren't stopping," Tracey muttered darkly.
So Tracey had seen through Malfoy's smarmy persona then, Daphne thought. Draco Malfoy was an arrogant, opinionated git that nobody liked, but everyone fawned over just because of his father. Daphne had spent the majority of her childhood trying to avoid any interaction with him, but the kind of gatherings that her mother always went to often forced the issue. There were only a few purebloods her age that went to those kinds of things and her mother always insisted that she should try and make friends.
"So, there's room if you still want to come join us." Tracey paused, noticing Harry for the first time. "Your friend could come too?"
Harry glanced up at her, his eyes darting up and down. He said nothing, instead cashing his eyes back down to his work.
"Or not?" Tracey frowned, but then she shrugged and looked expectantly at Daphne. Daphne almost hesitated. She had strangely been enjoying her conversation with Harry. Yes, he was rude and abrasive, but he'd cared enough to talk about her life. She wondered why he didn't want to be that open with anyone else. But that was his choice, not hers, and besides, Daphne had barely seen Tracey for the last few weeks since she'd gone to France with her parents for the holidays.
"Would you mind helping with this?" Daphne asked, gesturing to the trunk as she got to her feet.
Together, she and Tracey managed to haul it back down without too much effort, and then they headed out of the compartment, Tracey taking the lead. As she got to the door, Daphne turned around to look back at Harry. His head was still bowed over his work, but there was something different about him. Something she couldn't quite put her finger on. It looked almost like he wasn't reading at all, just staring.
"See you around," Daphne said eventually.
He glanced at her and nodded, making a small humming noise as he did so. Daphne turned away, sliding the door shut behind her and following her friend down the corridor.
Fourteen Years Later…
The sun was high in the sky, the sky was clear, and England was treated to a beautiful day. But Daphne Greengrass, qualified healer and junior on the Magical Bugs and Diseases ward, wasn't aware of any of this pure wonder. All around her there were men bustling around her. They had already taken her statement and were proceeding to examine the room. The thought of it made her feel sick. She'd seen dead bodies before, of course she had, but she'd never seen one out of a morgue. She remembered his eyes, they'd been open wide and bulging, desperately screaming for help that would never come.
It was supposed to be a normal day. When she had woken up that morning, she hadn't even thought for a second that this would happen. But then, who woke up and thought they'd find a corpse? Not just a corpse, but a ruined office. There had been books strewn everywhere, glass shattered all over the floor. Not to mention the creepy note from someone who claimed that they were 'killing for muggleborns'. Who even did that? What kind of person thought that murder could be for a good cause?
The voice was gentle and soothing. Daphne looked up into the face of the auror that she had spoken to earlier. Hopkins, he'd said his name was Hopkins. His face was stoic and hard, his grey eyes rested on her own but there was a calmness there. "How are you feeling?"
"I'm okay," Daphne lied.
How could she possibly be okay? She'd just been here to do her job, a simple in and out, and then back to the ward for a day of shouting, abuse, and barely any gratitude. But that was the life of a healer. Double-shifts, no sleep, and snippets of human decency being over-shadowed by complaints.
"I was wondering if you wouldn't mind speaking to an associate of mine?" Hopkins asked. He looked hesitant like he didn't want to be asking the question.
"Another auror?" Daphne frowned, confused. "But I thought you'd taken my statement?"
"Not quite. He…consults for us," Hopkins explained. "Now, you don't have to talk to him if you don't want to, but it could be a great help."
She just wanted to go home and get this over with. Just one more conversation, and then it would all be over. Hopkins turned away and headed to a small huddle of robed figures. One of them nodded and walked across the hallway that Daphne had found herself in, and towards the front door.
There was a brief pause, and then another man walked in. He was tall and dressed completely different to any of the other aurors. They all wore their Ministry mandated robes, long and black and absent of all colour. Whereas this man wore an outfit that Daphne could only describe as muggle. A dark grey blazer, black shirt and matching trousers with a pair of battered dark, brown boots. She knew plenty of wizards and witches who preferred to dress like their muggle counter-parts, but the sight still made her frown. If he was trying to make a statement, it was working.
It was only as he drew closer that Daphne recognised him. It had been years, and they'd both done a lot of growing up, but there was no mistaking the messy black hair, round-glasses or scar on his forehead. This was none other than Harry Potter.
Hopkins met him halfway across the hall and started muttering hurriedly. Some of the other aurors were staring at Harry with a mixture of apprehension and disapproval. Whatever he was doing there, it was clear they didn't like it.
Harry said something that Daphne couldn't quite hear. Hopkins nodded, and she watched as Harry disappeared into the office. About a minute later he returned to Hopkins' side, and together, the two men headed towards Daphne.
"Miss Greengrass," Hopkins began as he drew closer, "this is -"
"We've met," Harry interrupted. "You're a healer, now?"
Daphne glanced at Hopkins who shrugged. At least some things hadn't changed then. "Yeah, I qualified a few years ago, it's why I'm here. I work on Bugs and Diseases. Part of what we do is making sure that people with extreme cases of diseases are settling back into their home lives."
"Especially when they live alone," Harry added.
Daphne frowned, not entirely sure how he'd made that particular leap. He'd begun moving as he talked, applying pressure to the various oak floorboards as he did so. There was a squeak on the second one nearest the door. He stopped, moving up on the ball of his feet and then applying pressure. More squeaking. He nodded. "Still, house-elf must be kept busy." He frowned, crossing over to the table nearest Daphne where an empty vase stood. He lifted it, running a finger along the surface of the table. "Used to."
"She was sent away two weeks ago when Mr. Fawley insisted," Daphne told him, "he said he didn't want her wandering around an empty house on her own. He'd already been with us for a few months, and I think he felt guilty about leaving her here. She works for one of his relatives now. That's part of why I'm here, he had no-one to look after him."
"What did he have?"
"Cerebrumous Spattergroit," Daphne answered, "it's a type of sub-strain of Spattergroit."
"The pustules thing?" Hopkins asked, a look of disgust on face.
"It's slightly worse than that. Though it has all of the normal symptoms, primarily purple pustules, it also comes with confusion or memory loss. In Mr Fawley's case it was the latter, which is strange."
"In what way, strange?" This time it was Harry that had asked. He had stopped his pacing and was instead staring intently at Daphne.
"Well, one of the main points of reference we have comes from 1877, but it's barely been seen since. There have been a few isolated cases, but I've never heard of anything affecting someone like this. Usually people forget names, places, but they can still remember some of the sensory details, or they get them confused with other memories. But Mr Fawley was different. He couldn't remember anything about certain parts of his life, but others he was perfectly fine."
"In what way?"
"Well, he couldn't remember how he got to St Mungo's or what he'd been doing beforehand. I thought that was strange, so I told Healer Andrews, but he told me to stay out of it."
"The hierarchy of bureaucracy," Harry muttered bitterly. "The only system that allows the promotion of stupidity over intelligence."
"You're not saying this is linked to whatever wound him up in the hospital?" Hopkins frowned. "I mean it's a disease, right? Rare, sure, but not unheard of."
"Do you know the statistical likelihood of a man who isolates himself contracting such a rare form of a highly contagious disease? Which, if I'm not mistaken, is an airborne disease, yes?"
"I assure you the chances are not high."
"But that's nothing like what we're dealing with here," Hopkins said.
"Isn't it?" Harry asked.
He moved over to the door. It was an old, large oak door. The frame it stood in was cracked and splintered. Daphne had noticed a dark boot print when she'd walked through it earlier that day. The office itself had been a mess, notes everywhere, books scattered on the floor and… She took a deep breath, she didn't want to picture that again.
Harry hunkered down and was staring intently at the boot print. He hummed before turning back to the aurors.
"If Miss Greengrass is correct, which I believe she is, and not everything with this man's illness is as it seems, then it makes logical sense to assume that this crime scene may not also be as it seems, no?" He looked around at the assembled aurors, one of them shrugged, another fidgeted uneasily under Harry's hard stare. "Note which door has been broken."
"That matters because…?"
"Because, had this been an actual break-in, then surely it would be the front door that would have taken the brunt of the intruder's beating," Harry pointed out. "Yet, it is perfectly fine. This, however, is broken. Of course, the intruder could have worked his way through whatever protection blocked the first entrance and alerted Mr Fawley to their presence here—" Harry stepped on the squeaky floorboard again, bouncing up and down a couple of times to make his point. "—But if you look closely you'll see a small droplet of blood imprinted on the door."
Hopkins frowned and gestured to one of his aurors. A tall woman that Daphne thought looked vaguely familiar stepped forwards. She crouched down, and there was a long moment of silence as she looked for what Harry had seen. But then she nodded.
"Blood," Harry continued, "that could only have come from the killer after he committed the crime."
"He?" Daphne asked, despite herself. Everyone turned to look at her, and she suddenly felt like a small child speaking up in front of a room full of adults. They stared at her like she'd been one of the first things to crawl out of the ocean, all except Harry.
He nodded, the ghost of something that looked like a smile on his lips. "Footprints. There were some left by the killer as he escaped through the window in the office. Judging by the boot size and the gait, I'd estimate that he's about six foot four. Also, the bruising on the neck suggests larger hands, rather atypical of a woman."
Daphne grimaced a little but she couldn't help but agree with him. She could remember exactly what he'd looked like, the shape of the bruises, everything. He had been a tall man, strong, even after his time in St. Mungo's. It wouldn't have been easy for anyone to overpower him like that, not without magic anyway. Everything so far seemed to point to a murderer who had no magic—the broken door, the note, the way that Mr Fawley had died, and the smashed window through which they'd seemingly made their escape. Any wizard would have just disapparated. Anti-apparition wards were expensive, after all, and the expertise needed to craft them wasn't easy to come by. Fawley was rich, but even he might have trouble.
"But what about the note?" the female auror asked.
Harry frowned and turned to her, but unlike when he had looked at Daphne, he didn't appear to be pleased with this woman. Instead, there was a thinly veiled look of disappointment on his face.
"The note," Harry said bitterly, drawing his wand from the inside of his jacket. He gave it a quick flick, summoning it to his hand. It had been written on a folded sheet of paper, ripped on one side and scrawled hastily. "'There is no alternative, no other course, they sought to eradicate us and yet they go unpunished. I do this not for myself, but for muggleborns like me who were not so fortunate.'"
He stopped reading, looking up at the aurors who surrounded him as if expecting them to say something. But they just stared at him nonplussed. He sighed.
"Utter nonsense," Harry muttered heatedly. "While it's true he served on the Muggleborn Registration Committee, it is not the reason for his death."
"Then what do you think happened?" Hopkins asked with an air of impatience, apparently sick of Harry's theatrics.
"Fawley knew his guest, he let him in and they talked, that much is obvious," Harry said. "The amount of glass on the floor, it wasn't enough for one."
"There was only one bottom piece of a glass," a different auror interrupted this time.
Harry ignored him. "Fawley clearly knew his killer. He invited him in, but then there was a struggle and Fawley was killed. As Miss Greengrass has already helpfully pointed out, whoever our killer is, they are also well versed in hiding their tracks. If they weren't, they wouldn't be able to hide memory alteration as spatergroit. It isn't much of a leap to assume that they would go to similar lengths to hide their role in a murder."
"This note that you all are so fond in believing is, in fact, nothing short of a hastily, but well made, forgery. You'll notice that the paper itself is rather inconsistent." He held it up to the light. "In parts it is almost transparent and in others, denser. No real paper, of course, is manufactured in this way. It is, if I am not mistaken, a rather adept but flawed attempt at transfiguration."
Harry held it out to Hopkins. "If you please?"
The aged auror took it with a slight frown. Harry waited a moment before waving his wand. The paper shimmered and then changed, becoming rounder, harder. It had gone from being a piece of paper to a large shattered piece of glass. Clinging to the surface were several droplets of dark whiskey that must have been what had caused the paper to look as it did.
"Base of glass number two," Harry said slowly as if he were speaking to children, looking pointedly at the brown-haired man who had interrupted before. "Not a premeditated note of murderous intent. Killers like this wouldn't just leave a note, they'd want it to be advertised for everyone to see. There was no guarantee that the body would be found. Miss Greengrass could easily have given up when her knocking went unanswered. Her diligence, whilst admirable, was not a certainty. No murderer intent on sending such a message would risk their work being undiscovered.
"This was no break-in, ritualistic killing, it was a well concealed but ordinary murder. So, might I suggest you look through a rather different pool of suspects than any muggleborn you can find. Friends or family perhaps? Rather logical given the fact he was attempting to change his will. Or had you not noticed that the papers on the floor were drafts of that very same document?"
There was a stony silence. Harry arched an eyebrow, his finger drumming an irregular beat on his leg as he waited impatiently for a response.
"Alright," Hopkins said eventually, "Abbott," the female auror, who Daphne had thought she recognised earlier but now knew must be Hannah Abbott, stepped forwards, "you and Delaney see what you can find about a will. Jones pull up the old files from the committee, even if it might be a dead end, it's worth making sure. The rest of you finish up here."
An organised bustling began as the assembled aurors, probably grateful of something to do, began hurrying around. Most of them vanished into the office, two stayed in the hall, and the three that Hopkins had singled out headed for the door. None of them looked too happy. But if Harry was right, then that wouldn't matter. His work might have saved them days or weeks of effort and bad leads. Sure, he was rude and abrupt, but he was helpful, just as he'd been all those years ago when she'd first met him on the train to Hogwarts.
There was one thought Daphne couldn't quite shake, however. Despite his prickly exterior, he was helping solve crimes and bringing justice to the dead. Surely someone who hated people as he appeared to, wouldn't care to do that, would they?
"I think that's all we'll be needing from you, Miss Greengrass," Hopkins said, his voice taking on that calm and gentle tone it had earlier. Behind him, Daphne saw Harry roll his eyes. "We'll let you know if we need anything else. Would you like someone to escort you back?"
"I think I should be fine, thank you." Daphne forced a smile, one that she knew didn't even look anywhere near genuine.
"It'd be safer -"
"It's a departmental guideline," Harry interrupted, "to stop accidental shock induced splinching. I think Miss Greengrass has seen enough aurors for one day. Perhaps I should take her?"
"I am quite capable," Harry muttered with a trace of sourness.
Before the head auror could open his mouth to snap back, Daphne quickly said, "I think that might be a good idea. Thank you for your offer though, Auror Hopkins."
"So long as you're sure," Hopkins shrugged. "We'll be in touch if we need anything else."
Harry gave him a disparaging look, and then arched an eyebrow at Daphne. He waited for her to move to his side, and then together, they headed out of the house filled with aurors, away from the body, and Daphne hoped, away from all of this.