Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Dark Angel
Chapter 4: Converging Forces
July 26thth, 2006
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry, UK
Harry and Alec left their room that morning, skipping breakfast. The pair was heading out towards the Quidditch Pitch; it was the location they had been using to spar in the mornings. It was away from the school so the professors were unlikely to see them and there were plenty of wide open spaces for them to maneuver around.
The sun was shining brightly; there was a light breeze with a few clouds dotting the sky. The temperature was in the low 70s so they were wearing nothing more than shorts and t-shirts. It took just a few minutes once they were outside for them to jog to their usual location. The entrance to the grounds was near the spot but off to the side so they would be out of site of anyone just walking by from Hogsmeade but someone actually walking to the school would see them.
"You ready to get your ass kicked?" Alec asked. Normally he and Harry were fairly evenly matched. Where Harry was a little stronger, Alec was a little quicker, lighter on his feet. It was usually a tossup as to who would win on a given day, but today was different. Harry while healed would still most likely be feeling the last twinges of his injuries giving Alec the advantage.
"Only in your dreams, little brother. I guess it's time I popped that ego of yours again. After all, I wouldn't want you to stop looking up at me…I mean to me." Harry knew Alec hated it when he called him little brother. It wasn't because he was younger; it was because Alec was an inch or two shorter than Harry.
"Oh don't start that shit again. You know you haven't grown in like 6 months; it's only a matter of time before I'm taller than you again. Then what will you have nothing but your sad jealousy that you will never measure up to me."
"I forget which one of us was the top of our unit. Oh yeah, that was me. Maybe I should have let you get your ass kicked some more, than it could be as big as your ego."
Alec looked at him strangely for a second before laughing loudly. "Dude, that didn't even make sense."
Harry blushed a little "Yeah I know but give me a break, we haven't eaten yet. You can't expect me to be at the top of my game."
"So, anything goes?" Alec asked.
"Magic or martial arts since you need all the help you can get to have a shot at me." Harry replied cheerily. It went unsaid that neither would move at their full speed, it simply wouldn't be a good idea to expose all of their capabilities should they be seen. Their strength could be explained away by training, at least to a certain extent that and it was hard to truly judge how strong an individual is. Moving so fast that you seem to blur is a little harder to explain away.
Alec scowled for a second before getting into position.
Harry laughed and moved into position.
What followed would have passed for the model of martial arts demonstrations. Perfectly timed punches were blocked or dodged. Kicks were traded. Bodies thrown.
Harry flipped backwards moving out of the way of an arcing crescent kick. Landing, he dropped and spun on his knee swinging his opposite leg out to sweep Alec's feet.
Alec jumped straight up to avoid the attack and whipped out his wand. A dark purple bone breaking spell shot from his wand.
Rolling out of the way at the last minute, Harry jumped to his feet and snapped off another basic front kick to force Alec back.
It was easy to counter Harry's simple attack but he failed to see it for the feint it was. He grunted softly, when his wrist was grabbed in a vice like grip and twisted painfully. His fingers lost their strength and his wand fell to the ground.
Harry, a little overconfident with the success of his attack held Alec's wrist for a second too long. He found himself flying through the air when Alec grabbed Harry's wrist with his free hand, twisted onto his back pulling Harry down on him before propelling him back over Alec's head with his feet.
His body twisted in midflight to better absorb some of the impact, but it didn't stop him from slamming into the broad trunk of an ancient oak tree. Shaking his head for a second, Harry was forced to dodge out of the way of another incoming spell.
An explosion broke the tranquil silence of the summer morning followed by the creaking moan when the ancient tree toppled over.
A steady stream of spells was keeping Harry from getting to close to Alec so he finally pulled his owned wand and began retaliating. Cutting curses, bone breakers, stunners, explosive hexes all began to fly as the pair lost themselves to the thrill of the match.
Neither one noticed the two figures running towards them
Sirius and Remus were walking up the path from Hogsmeade. Remus was laughing at his friend. He hadn't seen Sirius this animated in years. At first, Remus had been concerned that Azkaban had permanently changed his friend, he shuddered to think what he would have been like if he had been in prison for more than a year. When Crouch was ousted from his position, Amelia Bones his replacement began going through the records of the suspected Death Eaters and discovered that a number of them, including Sirius had never been given a trial.
Thankfully, Amelia was more concerned about seeing justice done than the reputation of the Ministry and pushed for trials. While the majority of the suspected Death Eaters were found guilty, there was a handful, Sirius included that was proven to be innocent.
Once Sirius had recovered, the first thing he had asked about was Harry. He had been terrified to learn that Albus had given Harry to Lily's sister. Both he and Remus had heard enough horror stories to know that he wouldn't be treated well. Then Albus explained that Harry was in someone else's custody having been granted it by Lily and James in the event of their deaths. This had mystified Sirius because it had never been mentioned before and he was supposed to be Harry's godfather.
It hurt to know that he might never see Harry again but at the same time he was comforted by knowing that he was being raised by someone chosen by his friends and not those awful muggles.
Last night Albus had contacted Sirius and told him that Harry had returned to England and was currently staying at Hogwarts. Of course, Sirius wanted to rush over immediately until Albus told him that Harry and his friend were already in their quarters for the evening. Instead, Albus suggested that he and Remus come over after breakfast and perhaps take Harry and Alec to Diagon Alley.
Sirius had been so hyper after the talk with Albus that Remus had almost stunned the man just to get him to shut up. Then, after keeping Remus up half the night, Sirius dragged him from bed just after dawn so they could get an early start.
Now here they were walking up the path that led from Hogsmeade to Hogwarts. "Padfoot will you calm down, we're almost there. Harry's probably still eating breakfast."
As they drew nearer to the entrance to Hogwarts' grounds, the sounds of fighting could be heard. Explosions started to break out followed by a loud rumbling sound. Sharing a nervous look with each both men pulled out their wands and ran up through the gates and toward the battle for that is what it sounded like.
What they saw stopped them both dead in their tracks. There were two teenagers fighting and one of them looked like James. Sirius gasped, it must be Harry. The blood in his veins ran cold when he saw the other boy cast a dark purple curse at Harry. Though they weren't close enough to hear the incantation, both men recognized it as a bone breaking spell.
Sirius let go of his startled gasp when he saw Harry dive out of the way. Harry twisted his body while still in the air and cast a blasting curse. He watched as Harry pulled in his hands, curled in and rolled to his feet when he landed.
Remus too was stunned but he was shaken out of it when Harry's opponent dodged the blasting curse, a deep hole marked the spot he had been standing. Moving quickly, Remus cast "Stupefy", the red beam and the words were enough to get Sirius to do the same.
As soon as the spells were cast, Alec and Harry heard the incantation and turned their attention towards their attackers. Alec neatly side stepped the two spells, forgoing the more dramatic acrobatics in favor of the simple dodge. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Harry circling away towards the brown haired man. Trusting Harry to take care of that threat, he focused his attention on the other man, the one with clear blue eyes and straight shoulder length black hair.
The only thing that saved Remus from Harry's attack was his werewolf enhanced reflexes and senses. At the last moment, he caught something moving at the edge of his vision. When Remus turned, Harry realized he'd been spotted and began darting forward throwing spells as a distraction.
Alec was casting increasingly powerful spells, keeping Sirius on the defensive. At the moment, Alec was more interested in questioning the man then in killing him. He wanted to know why he was attacked and it looked like Harry would soon have the other man neutralized.
Remus tried to call out but it was obvious that Harry saw him as a threat based on the spells flying his way. So he had no choice but to fight back, unlike Harry though, he restricted his spells to Stupefy and Petrificus Totalis.
With a final burst of speed that had Harry close to blurring, he spun around dodging Remus' last attack. As he spun, he grabbed Remus' outstretched arm and twisted it behind his back, putting enough pressure on it so that it was painful but not to the point of breaking.
"Drop the wand now!" Harry called out loudly while at the same time, tightening his grip on Remus' arm.
Seeing that Sirius was hesitating, Alec cast a stunner at Sirius' feet making him jump back. "Do it! Or next time I won't miss and it won't be a stunner."
Totally confused now, Sirius knelt down and placed his wand on the ground. He didn't understand what was going on. Why would Harry attack Remus? Why couldn't Remus escape now, the strength he had as a werewolf should have been more than enough to let him break Harry's grip? How had this kid known such advanced magic or been able to dodge his attacks? All these questions were running through his mind as he stood up.
Sirius tried to explain "I think this is just a misunderstanding. We heard you two fighting and when you" pointing at Alec "cast that bone breaking curse at Harry, we just reacted."
Alec got nervous when the man said Harry's name. With a negligent wave, he summoned Sirius' wand while he was thinking. How could they know who he was? The only people who knew they were in the wizarding world were the professors here at Hogwarts. "You better have a good explanation why you know who Harry is or I swear you won't like the consequences."
Harry was ok with Alec taking the lead on this one. Whoever this guy was that he was holding, he was strong. It was only his enhanced strength and training that prevented him from getting away. Then he heard the other man mention his name, and he froze for a second in surprise. The only reason he could think of was that these two were in some way connected to Manticore or the Breeding Cult.
Remus felt Harry's grip slacken a little. Moving as quickly as possible, he tried to pull away from Harry. Unfortunately, while he was fast and strong, Harry was simply better in both areas.
Harry's training kicked in as soon as Remus began to struggle. A little extra pressure and a quick jerk of his hand snapped Remus' arm and seriously damaged his elbow.
All 4 men heard the wet crack when Harry snapped Remus' arm. It was followed almost immediately by a low moan of pain. If Harry wasn't still holding onto Remus, the man would have collapsed to the ground.
Panic began to set in again and Sirius hurried to say "I'm your godfather. Remus and I were best friends with your dad when we were in school. We thought you were being attacked. Please, let me take Remus to Poppy in the infirmary. She can confirm my story." He was almost pleading with Harry at the end.
Harry gave a brief nod to Alec. "Ok, we follow you in but you're not getting your wands back until we are satisfied that you're who you say you are."
Feeling a little pity for Remus, Harry stunned him and then levitated him. Seeing the concerned look from Sirius he explained "This way, he won't feel any pain."
Sirius felt a little better after hearing Harry's brief explanation. He was still a little worried though at how casually his godson had broken Remus' arm.
Alec poked him in the back. "Come on, you lead the way. If you've been here before, then it shouldn't be a problem."
Sirius shrugged his shoulders and led them into the castle. After all his visits to the infirmary during his time at Hogwarts, he could lead them there blindfolded. Not wanting to risk Remus' health, he took them on the most direct route he knew.
Soon enough they arrived at the infirmary. While Harry levitated Remus' body onto a body, Sirius called out for Poppy. The grey haired woman came bustling out of her office to see who was calling for her. "Sirius Black, I hoped I had seen the last of you. What are you doing back in my infirmary?" The words were sharp but there was affection underlying them.
"Remus was hurt. I'm hoping you can help him." Sirius answered, not wanting to give away what really happened.
Poppy walked over to the bed where Remus was lying. Her wand moved slowly over his prone body scanning for all injuries and illnesses. "What happened? His arm is broken and the elbow joint is severely damaged. Even with Skelegrow, it will take some time to heal this injury."
"Ummm…maybe you should just get Dumbledore; I don't think these two trust me right now." Sirius said somewhat sheepishly. Poppy wouldn't be able to confirm his story, she would have no reason to know that he is Harry's godfather.
She stared at him quizzically for a moment before shrugging her shoulders and fire-calling Albus. After a brief conversation, Poppy stepped away from the fire to allow Albus to come through into the infirmary.
Albus took in the sight of Remus' injured form and asked "What has happened here?"
Sirius quickly laid out the story and how Remus had gotten hurt. Albus confirmed that Sirius was indeed Harry's godfather after which some of the tension left the room.
"What were you boys fighting about? I've never even seen you quarrel." Albus asked curiously.
"We weren't fighting, we spar every morning. It helps us keep our skills sharp." Harry said honestly.
Sirius looked at him skeptically. "You spar like that every day? Those were dangerous spells you were using? What if one of you got hurt?"
"We heal quickly." Alec answered sarcastically. "Besides, we've trained like this for years, never had a problem until today when you two decided to play with us."
Albus cut Sirius off before he could say anything else. Truth be told, he was a little disturbed by the level of fighting himself. Low level spells were one thing but to include cutting and blasting curses, someone could be killed. "Regardless, I would prefer it if you allowed Poppy to examine you to make sure you have no injuries."
Both Alec and Harry shrugged before moving over to sit on an open bed.
Poppy nodded at Albus' suggestion and began running her scans over them. "Other than the fact that both have slight temperatures, just under 100 degrees, there is nothing wrong with either of them. Just sit there while I get a fever reducer." She scurried off to a large cabinet and removed two pale green potion vials.
Neither Harry nor Alec took the proffered potions. A look at Poppy's disgruntled face convinced Harry to explain why "We don't actually have a fever. At our school they discovered that we just run a little hot. 99.8 is our normal temperature."
Alec couldn't resist piping in "You did now that 98.6 is just an average and that people can have lower or higher standing temps."
"Of course I do!" Poppy snapped, but there was something in her eyes that said otherwise. It was clear from looking at Albus and Sirius that they had no clue that people's body temperature could be different.
Albus, again seeking to avoid an argument asked "Why did you attack Sirius and Remus?"
Alec looked at him incredulously; even Sirius was giving Albus a strange look because the answer was obvious. "They attacked me first. Harry and I were sparring when out of nowhere, those two start shooting spells at me. We just fell back into our training and took them out. I distracted Sirius while Harry neutralized Remus."
"What training? Why would you have gone through training like that?" Sirius felt his heart sinking, it sounded like Harry didn't have much of a childhood. It would have taken a long time for him to reach the level shown today.
"We have been going to a military academy since we were 4 years old. Alec and I have been partners and roommates almost the entire time. We were top of our class too." Harry added in proudly though he wasn't nearly as comfortable with that distinction as he made it sound. Because they were so good, it was doubtful Manticore would ever stop looking for them.
Sirius wanted to ask more about this military academy but decided it might be better to wait until they were a little more comfortable with each other.
Silence fell over the infirmary and Harry walked over to the window to look outside while they waited for Remus to wake up.
Sirius followed him over and was about to apologize when he noticed something. Even though it was an invasion of Harry's personal space, he ran his finger across the back of Harry's neck causing the teen to spin around. "What is that on the back of your neck?"
For the briefest of instants, panic flashed in Harry's bright green eyes and then it was gone again. "It's just a tattoo, Alec has one too. It was a group thing we did last year." Harry knew he was babbling a little, he was so used to wearing collared shirts that hid his barcode he had never come up with a cover story.
"Oh" Sirius said faintly disapproving. "Look I wanted to apologize to you and Alec for attacking you like that this morning. Even though I knew you were safe I still worried so when I saw you two fighting, I just reacted without thinking."
Harry studied Sirius, taking in the man, his stance, they way he carried himself and expressed his feelings. It all told Harry that he truly cared about him even though they hadn't seen each other in over 14 years. "It's ok." Then smiling mischievously he added "Just don't do it again, I may be able to kick Alec's ass but I'm pretty sure he can kick yours."
Before Harry could react, Sirius had grabbed him in a tight hug. "It's so good to see you again Harry. I've really missed you."
Alec laughed raucously while he watched as Harry awkwardly patted Sirius on the back before he was finally released. Afterwards, Sirius apologized to Alec as well.
Smiling, Albus left the infirmary, content in the knowledge that Harry would get to know his godfather without further mishap.
A short while later Remus began to wakeup. His groans were the first thing that alerted them. Sirius called for Poppy when he heard Remus. As before she came bustling out of her office, this time she had a sling in her hand as well. Before Remus was fully awake, Poppy had already finished running her scans and determined that the bone was healing nicely and should be back to full strength within a day. The elbow joint would take more time and she was worried about it being damaged further, hence the sling that Remus would be required to wear.
Once he was awake, Sirius described what had happened and the mistake they had made. Despite the explanation, Remus felt that there was something he was missing. As a werewolf, he had enhanced strength, he should have been able to escape Harry with little difficulty and yet he was the one who ended up with a broken arm and elbow joint.
Harry apologized to Remus "Sorry about the arm, just kind of reacted on instinct when you tried to pull away." Inside, Harry knew he would do it again in an instant if he was threatened.
"How did you do that? I'm pretty strong compared to most wizards but you didn't seem to have any problem holding me." Remus asked, voicing the nagging doubt and question he had about the encounter.
Alec answered for Harry, falling back into a lecturing tone he had picked up from one of their Manticore instructors. "It's got nothing to do with strength. All it takes is the correct application of pressure, that's why it was so easy to break your arm. That position requires just the slightest bit of additional pressure to make the break. We've been trained in martial arts for so long; it's virtually instinctual at this point. Like Harry said, it was just a reaction to your struggling, not a conscious decision on his part."
"I would love to learn that." Sirius said. He was an Auror so anything that might give him an edge was worth looking into.
Harry offered "We can teach you but it will take years for the moves to be second nature. They can be more a risk than an advantage if you have to put any thought into them when you are in the middle of a fight."
Sirius lost a little of his excitement. He didn't know why he was surprised, magic was similar. Maybe it was because it was a muggle fighting method he just thought they would be easier to learn. "Still, I'd like to learn if you're willing."
It occurred to Harry that this could be part of what they were looking for. "Yeah I could teach you." He would take it over with Alec first, but if he were to teach Sirius wherever he lived, it could be the perfect opportunity for Alec to work on cracking the data disk they had retrieved from the Breeding Cult. Of course that assumed that wherever Sirius lived was near someplace that actually had electricity.
"So what were you two doing here today anyway?" Alec asked after a lull in the conversation.
"Actually we came to take the two of you on a tour of magical London. Given the time, maybe we can have lunch here and go this afternoon."
"That sounds good to me; it will be nice to get away from this castle."
So a short while later, the four of them left the infirmary to go and have lunch in the great hall before leaving for London.
August 3rd, 2006
It had been close to a week since he had learned the location of 494 and 701. Since that discovery, Ames had begun having Richards cast the locator spell daily to ensure that the two transgenics didn't escape him. Every day came back with the same result, the pair was staying at Hogwarts, and they had apparently made no effort to leave. Not fully trusting Richards and his magic, Ames had also stationed some men in Hogsmeade outside of the school and yet there had been no sighting so they had not left the grounds of the school.
So, today he was meeting with one of the surviving Breeding Cult families. It was humiliating that he had to ask them for help. The only thing that kept Ames from shooting the man and wiping out his entire family was the knowledge that once the 494 and 701 were dead he would be doing exactly that. The traitorous families had been allowed to live for long enough; their betrayal would no longer be ignored.
So it was that Ames White and Jonathon Richards found themselves in a small brightly lit restaurant just off of Diagon Alley. It was still early in the day, just after 11am and thus few people were present yet. On the table in front of him was a goblet filled with a disgustingly sweet concoction that he was told was pumpkin juice, apparently a favored drink in the wizarding world.
Ames was growing frustrated when after fifteen minutes the man they were to meet had yet to show up. Finally, after another ten minutes, he and Richards stood up to leave when they were approached by an aging wizard.
"My apologies gentlemen for keeping you waiting. I was unavoidably detained." Despite the man's words, there was no apology in his voice. He had made them wait simply because he could.
Ames White gritted his teeth and nodded, accepting the apology at face value and sat back down after gesturing to a chair for the man to sit as well. "It is quite alright."
The man was tall with deep brown hair and hazel eyes. His face was rather sallow and he bore a somewhat sickly look. Ames found himself mentally sneering at how quickly the British families had fallen if this was the product of their breeding activities.
"I must say, I was surprised to be contacted by you. We cut our ties with you long ago."
"Yes, be that as it may, we require your assistance. Though you and the other families were allowed to live following your betrayal our mercy does not come without a cost."
The man, Titus Nott, stared at the two men like they were bugs to be stepped on. "Do you think we are ignorant of our history? We know you would have acted already if you were ever going to. You're too afraid of exposing yourselves; you'll never achieve true power as long as you are afraid to wield what you already possess. So tell me why should I help you?"
Ames leaned back in his chair, his shoulders slumping in apparent defeat. Let the man think he was safe, it would make the cleanup that much easier. "There are two young wizards from the United States that have found out about our activities. Unfortunately, they were able to take refuge in the wizarding world before we were able to eliminate the threat. As to why you would help us, the answer to that is simple, revenge. One of the wizards we are after is Harry Potter."
"What?!" Titus exclaimed more loudly than he intended. His mind was reeling, for years now the shade of Voldemort had been roaming around waiting until Potter was captured so that his blood could be used to give him a new body. The blood of any enemy would work but Voldemort wanted to use Potter's blood to pay him back for his earlier defeat. "Where is he? I want him. You can have the other one but Harry Potter is mine!" He said fiercely.
"Sorry, his fate has already been sealed. He and his friend managed to disrupt an initiation rite. For that insult, they are to be bled dry after we have some fun with them first."
"No, I need him or at least his blood. You can have him afterwards."
"Why?" Ames was curious now. This was more than simple revenge. It was clear that Titus wanted 701's blood for something. Did they know about the virus? Maybe they hoped to create a cure from 701's blood.
Titus was rapidly losing the mask he wore to cover his emotions. Voldemort, even in his disembodied state would find some way to punish him if he allowed Harry Potter to escape him. Yet in the end, he hoped that at a minimum the man would be content enough to get his body back that he would overlook the fact that the boy was given over to others. Despite that, he would have a place at Voldemort's side. None could question his standing with the Death Eater's.
"Well find someone else to help us if you're not going to tell me what you're after." Ames said bluntly. It was amazing how fast the man had turned from a condescending snob into an eager sycophant. At this rate, the man would be begging Ames to allow him to help.
"Fine, the Dark Lord Voldemort is still alive. He wants the boy's blood to use in a ritual that would return him to a physical body. If you give me some of his blood, I don't care what you do with him afterwards."
Part of Ames marveled at the fact that Voldemort was still alive and could apparently be returned to his body. Obviously, whoever helped him to do so would receive some reward which was probably why Nott was suddenly being so accommodating. Still from what he had read, Voldemort was an extremely powerful wizard and he wasn't sure he wanted to revive a potentially lethal enemy.
While Ames was considering the implications, Richards took the lead. "If that's all you need, we can give you some of his blood now. He was foolish enough to come to one of our health centers so we have a good size sample."
Ames was boiling; Richards had no authority to make such a claim. Yet he couldn't call him out without weakening their position. For his part, Titus practically jumped at the opportunity to get the sample of 701's blood, even going so far as to offer his pledge to help secure the boy.
The trio spent some time talking about the defenses of Hogwarts and the likelihood of snatching the two young transgenics from the grounds. Nott was convinced that it would be best to wait until the school year started so that the children could be used as spies and to prepare things on the inside. In the meantime, Voldemort would be reborn and could bring his considerable power to bear and in Nott's mind, protect him from any retaliation planned by the Breeding Cult.
Once a tentative agreement was reached the men quickly parted company. Even if they were going to work together there was no trust between them and most likely never would be. If not for a shared goal, there would never have been any accord reached.
Walking quickly, Ames and Richards returned to the apartment Ames was using as his base of operations. "What the hell do you think you were doing making that agreement?"
"I couldn't say anything there but we can never let them have either 494's or 701's blood. If Voldemort were to use it in this ritual, he might gain the same immunity. Instead, we give them the sample of some normal and make sure it is tainted with the pathogen."
Ames' anger melted away when he realized the possibilities. They would be able to use Voldemort and unless by some miracle he found a cure, after 18 to 24 months the man would be dead again. "Well done Richards but how do you know that anyone's blood will work?"
"I don't know what ritual they are planning to use but I imagine that it is simply the man's form of vengeance to use the blood of his enemy."
"For your sake, I hope you're right. If you're not and the ritual doesn't work this will blow up in our faces."
August 5th, 2006
John Smith looked down at the two bodies; it would take a DNA test to confirm their identities. Fortunately, no one was likely to search too hard for a missing hotel clerk and bellhop. Unfortunately, for them, once they had confirmed the presence of X5-494 and X5-701 they didn't have any more information.
Once he and his team had arrived in the UK, it hadn't taken long to determine that the X5s had left Edinburgh. From there, the most likely destination was London, it being the largest city and therefore the easiest to disappear in.
It had been simple leg work that had found the hotel where the two had stayed for a time. Smith and his men had started at the center of the city and spiraled outward focusing on hotels first. Honestly, he found himself to be a little disappointed in the X5s so far. Everything they had done had been extremely predictable, up until their disappearance from the hotel. Since that time, there had not been a single sighting of them
Since learning of the disappearance of the X5s, he had called in additional forces. There were now close to 50 people scouring the area surrounding London for any sign or trace. As of yet, there had been nothing.
Unbeknownst to Lydecker, he had reached out to the criminal community on reaching London. His biggest fear had been that the X5s would escape into the wizarding world. Unlike Lydecker, he did not underestimate these people. So while Lydecker waited to see if he could entice someone to give him information, Smith was reaching out to the criminal element. The ones for whom money was always the biggest motivator. If it worked, he would have an inside track into the wizarding world and X5-494 and X5-701 would have no place to hide.