Disclaimer: I do not own HP and I make no profit from this fic.
Special THANKS to my beta KT! (you are awesome!)
The first part of this chapter is written in first person but the rest of the chapter and fic will be written in third person. I usually don't like writing first person narrative but I think it was needed to get the feeling across and I was just trying to try something else.
Just letting ya'll know!
Pairings will be DM/RW, RL/AW, KS/PW, maybe slight SS/NL.
Chapter One: A Day at Work
Staring at the monument they built for the Battle of Hogwarts was becoming a pastime of mine at the ministry. I would come to work two hours early just so I would have time to look, to remember.
Not like I could ever forget.
I place my hand over the names we lost, people from both wars. As Harry had demanded, it had become a memorial for all those lives that Voldemort destroyed, and now served as a reminder to the Ministry. The Ministry seemed to be running more smoothly now, it had taken almost four years to clean house but Shacklebolt managed to do it. I never doubted him; he is what we need in the ministry right now.
A strong hand.
I was planning on resigning today. I had written a letter of resignation almost a year ago and had planned on bringing it in, on telling the Minister that I didn't need to be the Head of the Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects anymore as the small department had already lost most of its use after Voldemort was gone and the Death Eaters imprisoned. I pause as I feel a hand on my shoulder.
Pressing against me.
It's Percy and he looks worried. Of course he's worried, he's been showing up early every day this week, he has realized that I come here to look at the monument. But he doesn't say anything and just looks at the name my hand is currently covering. He knows whose name it is and I see him struggle with his thoughts. His mother is gone.
My wife is dead.
I hear the clock chime and it makes the monument vibrate for a second. I stare up at it one more time before I let Percy lead me to the elevator; he talks about the new things the Minister is planning. He was promoted to the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister about two months ago and I have never been prouder of my son.
So why can't I forgive myself?
He walks me to my office and I smile as he starts to complain about his brothers. Bill just had a child, my first grandchild; Charlie was still with his dragons. Fred and George were still running their shop and they were still making so much money; Ginny was now playing with the Holyhead Harpies but from the last owl I received she might be thinking of retiring early so she could come back home. Ron was now an Auror now, thanks to Shacklebolt allowing anyone who was at the battle to become one. I doubt he would have been able to get the NEWTs needed after all that had happened that year.
It's because of you.
I sold the Burrow two years ago and moved into the city, it just made more sense after the funeral. I throw the letter on my desk and sigh as I realize I won't retire today, Percy leaves to go to his office and I take a seat at my desk and look over at the portraits there on the wall. Harry, Ron, and Neville smile up at me as they all stand beaten and bruised after their Auror training.
And it scares me.
I can't lose anyone else; I don't think I would be able to survive if I lost my children. I see a flash of blue in one of the pictures and turn to see Teddy Lupin smiling in the arms of his father, his mother died the same day my wife did. He laughs as his father frowns in the picture, trying to get the kid to be still. Lupin looks up at me and gives me an apologetic smile for his son who laughs uncontrollably and then the picture repeats itself.
I can't go back now.
I quickly look away from the picture and I hear a small knock on my door. I close my eyes as I pray it isn't you, but as I look up into the hazel eyes that regard me my cheeks warm. I force a smile to my lips and you smartly stay at the door and start talking about something you want my help with and I listen. I don't know why I can't stop thinking of you like this and I think again about the resignation letter in my desk again. You make a small joke and laugh and I can't help but stare.
I move forward.
I grab the jacket I left here overnight and shut my door behind you as I say something about how I hate going outside during winter. You lead me through the hallways that I am all too familiar with and then we are passing the monument again as we leave. I try not to look at it and instead choose to glance at you but find that you too are looking at the monument sadly. You see me staring and offer an apologetic smile -you do that a lot- and then we floo to the city where you think a cursed object is.
But I'm scared of where I am heading.
Because I'm afraid it might lead to you.
Neville groaned as he opened his eyes. It took him a few seconds to adjust to the scenery around him and he felt his stomach drop.
Why the hell was he sleeping in the Auror office?
He looked down at the paper work that was stuck to his hand and groaned outwardly. He stayed here all night to finish it and it only looked half done. He ran his hands through his sandy hair and tried to tell himself that the headache he was feeling was because he had just slept in a chair all night and not because he was aggravated with himself about not finishing this. He groaned before he sat up again and looked at the offending paperwork.
If only he could just get away with having half of it done.
"Neville?" The young man turned to see Ron looking at him in surprise. "Why are you here so early?"
"I didn't leave." Neville mumbled, defeated, as he started writing on the paper in front of him. Maybe he could finish enough before everyone else got there.
"Paperwork?" Ron snorted before he glared at the stack on his own desk. "It's the one thing I hate about being an Auror."
"Did I just hear someone complain?" An older wizard walked into the room and glared over at Ron who stiffened a little at the sight of the man. "The same someone who during his interview told me it was his life mission to become an Auror, how despite not finishing school you would be such a great asset to our office that I would be a fool not to take you?"
"That was me." Ron smiled as Harry patted the older wizard on the back. "And I think I have been a great asset, Robards."
Gawain Robards was the Head of the Auror office; he was a small old wizard that always looked like he had just walked out of a battle. The older man smiled over at Harry before he grunted at Ron and made his way to his office. Ron just sat in his chair and groaned.
"He hates me."
"He hates me too." Neville tried to help but the redhead glared at the wavy haired man.
"He doesn't hate you, he thinks you're brilliant, you showed him how even the regular muggle plant in his office could be used as a poison." Ron shook his head at Neville before mumbling something about over achieving before looking at Harry who was still smiling down at the redhead. "And what are you so happy about?"
"Why do you think?" Harry asked almost innocently as he sat down at the desk in front of Ron's.
"You're happy because you finally decided to give me half your fortune?" Ron tried but Harry's smile widened.
"You're happy because they finally decided to take my advice and make July 31st 'Harry Potter' day?" Ron tried again and Harry just shook his head.
"No, and for the last time stop sending Minister Shacklebolt memos about that."
"You're happy because Luna said yes?" Neville tried and both of the other Aurors looked at him in surprise.
"Yes to what?" Harry asked as he eyed Neville.
The wavy haired Auror blinked at Harry a few times before his eyes widened. He coughed and turned away from them before mumbling, "I guess she hasn't owled you yet."
"You're happy because you have two tickets to the next Chudley Cannons game and you want me to go with you." Ron tried again.
"What?" Harry turned away from Neville and looked at Ron. "I'm happy because Viktor Krum just got scouted and is now playing for the Chudley Cannons."
Ron's eyes widened but Harry seemed to not care anymore about their game as he turned back to Neville. "Said yes to what?"
"Viktor Krum is going to play for England?"
"Yes, now Neville what did she say yes to?"
"The same Krum that went against you in the Triwizard tournament? The Krum?"
"Yes, the Krum! Neville you better-"
"Oh." Neville suddenly jumped up from his seat and grabbed all the paperwork on his desk. "I better go talk to Robards about some of this."
Neville hurried away from and ignored how Harry called after him as Ron kept pestering the brunette with more question about Krum. Neville walked into the Head's office and smiled at the old wizard who seemed a bit surprised to have Neville walk into his office unannounced.
"Sorry sir, I was wondering if you could give me an extension on my paperwork." Neville stated quickly before handing the man the sheets he had finished. "I can give you the rest tomorrow but-"
"I did try to get them done on time but then I must have fallen asleep last night because when I woke up this morning-"
"Mr. Longbottom, if you do not shut up I just might accidentally hex you." The old wizard stated smoothly making the younger man quiet at once. "You can give me the work tomorrow, I don't care. I do however need you to take this to Kingsley for me."
The older man handed Neville a rolled up parchment and the young Auror looked at if for a second before nodding at the older wizard. Robards made shooing hand motion towards Neville and the sandy haired man quickly turned and left the office. He thought about grabbing something from his desk before he saw Harry sitting in his chair obviously waiting for him, he smiled sheepishly at them before going out the door and heading out on his mission.
A minor and more than likely not life threatening mission but a mission still the same.
It wasn't Neville's fault if Luna had owled Neville before Harry, after all Harry was the one dating her and he knew how forgetful she could be. Neville briefly wondered if Luna thought she had owled Harry and when she got back in two weeks if she would be surprised to learn she hadn't.
But Neville wasn't going to say anything else about the subject.
It was none of his business.
He tapped his foot impatiently as he waited for the elevator doors to open. He could here the clinging of the old metal and quickly put the rolled up parchment in his pocket so that he wouldn't risk it falling out of his hands.
Being an Auror didn't really mean he was any less accident-prone.
But it had helped with his clumsiness.
He glanced behind himself in the hallway to see wizards moving to their offices as the workday began and smiled. He took a deep breath as he heard the doors open and turned his head only to freeze as he was staring into the black eyes of none other than Severus Snape.
Neville had to remind himself that the man had been a good guy as he took a step into the elevator looking down at the ground. He could almost hear the man beside him roll his eyes and quickly looked up to see Snape looking boredly as the doors to the elevator.
Snape had gotten out of imprisonment because of his help with the final battle; his involvement had undoubtedly saved many people's lives. Neville stared at the shoulder length black hair for a second before Snape turned so that they were facing each other. Neville flushed with embarrassment immediately as he realized he had been caught staring.
"Can I help you?" A silky voice asked coldly.
Neville had to fight back the urge to shiver as he stared at the man. He tried to think of things to say to excuse himself but just ended up staring at the man longer. He took a deep breath to control his reactions and was ready to show Snape how the man no longer effected him but as Neville spoke, his voice squeaked.
"W-what are y-you doing h-here?" If it was at all possible for the 21-year-old Auror, he felt like he suddenly sank a foot and was 11 all over again.
"I see your time out of school hasn't changed much." The older man said dryly as Neville felt his face flush. "But I guess while I have no reason to tell you why I am here today, you might go tell Potter and then he might accuse me of being up to something."
Neville knew Snape was just trying to sound rude as he frowned at the name of Potter but the truth was Harry Potter was probably the only wizard that trusted Snape one hundred percent; and there was no way the greasy git did not know that. He glared a bit as Snape for talking badly about Harry but the older man went on as if he didn't care.
He probably didn't.
"If you must know I have a meeting with the Minister of Magic." Snape sneered a bit at this and Neville found himself wondering if the man would ever change.
"About what?" Neville asked curiously and then felt himself shrink more at the dark haired man glared at him.
"That is none of your business, now I will ask you nicely Mr. Longbottom to remain quiet for the remainder of our time in this elevator." Snape finished coldly as he turned his head back to the doors again.
Neville groaned as he realized this was the second time someone told him to shut up in the past ten minutes.
This was going to be a bad day.
Ron glared at Harry.
Harry glared at Ron.
Both of them suddenly fell to the floor with a loud bang as both of their chairs vanished beneath them. They both his their heads on their desks before they looked up to see Elphias Doge smiling down at them, trying to not laugh as he held his wand in his hand, beside him was none other than Colin Creevy smiling happy with a camera in his hands.
"I thought press wasn't allowed in here." Ron groaned as he glared at the small man beside the old Auror before looking at Doge. "And why did you do that?"
"Aurors are supposed to be ready for anything. Constant Vigilance!" Doge threw his arm up in the air as he laughed heartily before turning to Colin, "And Mr. Creevy here is supposed to have an interview with our respected Head of Office."
"Potter, Weasley, stop slacking!" Robards stuck his head out of his office and glared at the two Aurors on the ground. He turned to Colin Creevy and eyed the skinny man before motioning for him to come into his office.
Colin looked like he would rather be anywhere but that man's office but swallowed slowly before he made his way in, the door shutting behind him.
"Colin going to be an Auror?" Ron looked at Harry quizzically but the other man just shrugged. "I'll be damned."
Ron stood up before he noticed a paper airplane land on his desk and looked over at the other two. The other Aurors were looking at the airplane before they looked at Ron expectantly, the redhead reached forward and started to unfold the piece of enchanted paper.
Report for duty at 0900.
Ron looked up at Harry who looked at the paper and smirked. Ron looked over at the clock and swore before he tore out of the room and he tried to ignore the need to hit Harry for laughing at his expense. So what if he had to report for general guard duty? It beat having to stay in that office all day not doing anything.
He looked at his watch to see he only had three minutes when he ran to the stairs; he couldn't wait for the lift. He hopped the stairs three at a time with his long legs before jumped through the door, he slid to a stop as he found his way into the lobby and wiped the sweat from his forehead when he saw Dawlish.
Dawlish smirked when he saw Ron and waved the Auror over. Ron took a deep breath as he tried to get his heartbeat to slow down from the run; he passed by the monument only to spot the heads of silvery blonde hair. He felt his mind groaned before his body slumped at he stared at Dawlish disbelievingly.
"You sent us a Weasley?" Ron tried not to growl as he heard Lucius Malfoy's voice echo with disdain.
"Ron is one of the best we have, top marks in training and hasn't failed a mission yet." Dawlish patted Ron's back approvingly. "He is more than capable of handling a simple escort mission."
"Why do I need to do this anyway?" Ron looked up to see Draco glaring at him. Draco's mom was dusting off his sleeve as the blonde sneered at Ron. "I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself."
"He is right, Narcissa." Lucius looked at his wife who glared coldly at her husband.
"I don't care how capable he is, I want him to have a guard while he is here." She turned to Draco and the blonde regarded his mother with a bit of a frown. "You will do this, for me."
That seemed to win the argument though Ron had been silently rooting for them to decide that they didn't need him. Draco huffed before he patted his mother's hands then looked at Dawlish and gave the man a nod. Dawlish looked at Ron, the redhead still trying to figure out what was going on.
"You will guard Mr. Malfoy for the week while he is in the city." Dawlish gave Ron's shoulder a squeeze as Ron's face paled and he looked at the blonde. Draco seemed to brighten at the fact that Ron didn't want to guard him either and smirked at the redhead.
"I know this must be a big step from all the other 'missions' they've been sending you on Weasley. Getting coffee and taking people's lunch orders is what you normally do, isn't it?" Draco drawled with a smirk as Ron's face flushed a little.
This was going to be a rough week.
Percy tried his best not be annoyed at the bushy curly hair that was now in front of him. He took a deep breath as he remembered how Hermione had always gotten along with him at school.
She was smart.
And now she was the Junior Assistant to the Minister of Magic and therefore, a potential threat to his future goals. She already had a better record than him in the Ministry; her involvement with the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures had already changed how most wizards viewed werewolves and house elves. Not that the house elves appreciated her involvement, but they had finally found a truce in order to get the girl to leave them alone.
She had also changed most of the laws in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement; she had been a force to be reckoned with against the laws that favored purebloods. And now she was Junior Assistant to the Minister of Magic and Percy found himself feeling slightly threatened by her.
His only thought to soothe him was that he had been Junior Assistant to the Minister of Magic at a younger age than her, and was now number two to the Minister himself.
The Minister seemed to find the fact that Percy and Hermione were constantly disagreeing to be of great amusement. He had told Percy that he thought the two of them together really evened things out, that she was good for Percy. The redhead didn't know whether to feel insulted that the Minister actually thought her being there was good for him or to be insulted by the fact that the Minister seemed to think there was something more between him and the girl.
Either way, he was insulted.
He bit on the back of his wooden quill, having had to stop buying the feather quills because of this habit since the feathers always left a bad aftertaste in his mouth; he looked over at Hermione who was now sitting at the other side of the room at her desk.
The Minister felt that they needed to share an office until the two learned to get along, but at the same time their office was directly in front of the Minister's now Percy didn't have to worry about leaving his desk unmanned for a few minutes because if he wasn't in the office to greet whatever visitor was coming to the Minister then Hermione was there.
It did make his job a bit easier.
But he would never tell her that.
Percy looked over the door of the Minister's office, the window in it showing him that the large black man was pacing back and forth in the room. Percy looked over at Hermione who seemed to be busy signing different memos from the other departments. She seemed to feel his eyes on her as she popped her head up and smiled at him.
"If you want to take a break, you can go ahead, I don't think I'm leaving for another hour." Percy felt the urge to thank her for offering to let him go on a break, and then another urge to let her know she could shove it up her 12 OWLs she had received.
He himself having had earned all 13.
"No, thank you Hermione." Percy stated pleasantly as he stood from his chair and walked over to the Minister's door. He gave her small nod and she beamed up at him before he tapped on the door and opened it slightly. "Minister?"
Kingsley Shacklebolt was a large man, he stood well above six feet making him taller than Percy's dad. The man turned as he heard Percy and slowed from his pacing as he regarded the smaller man. "Yes Percy?"
Percy entered into the office and shut the door quietly behind himself as he took a few steps in. "Is something bothering you sir?"
"Hm." Shacklebolt just took a deep breath and sighed as he walked over to his desk. "It's just the threats seem to be growing more recently and I just got a note from Robards this morning letting me know he thinks that something is going to happen soon."
"Is that why Neville was in here this morning?" Percy asked as he put his arms behind his back, "Who do you think is writing out the threats?"
"That's the thing, I thought after we prosecuted some of these people that the threats would stop." Shacklebolt ran a hand over his shaved head. "And Severus is denying any protection."
For the past three months the Ministry had been receiving death threats against ex-Death Eaters that the Ministry had cleared years ago. At first no one paid too much attention to the threats because they had received stuff like that for years, until Dolores Umbridge was killed just after being released from Azkaban.
Most Death Eaters had been sent to Azkaban, and people who had helped the Death Eaters had been sent for a shorter time. Those people usually left the country almost immediately afterwards though, in hopes of living out a peaceful and quiet life elsewhere. The only people Percy could think of being in immediate trouble would be the Malfoys, who were so well protected at their home they ignored most of the Ministry's warnings and Severus Snape, who was likewise well-protected at Hogwarts where he taught potions.
"Don't worry Minister, everything will work out." Percy said firmly and the Minister gave him a look that the redhead couldn't quite place before the older man smiled at him.
"Sometimes it's really nice to hear that." Shacklebolt laughed, his deep chuckle sending a shiver down Percy's spine before the larger man walked over to him.
The Minister was about to pat Percy on the shoulder, something that while Percy did not enjoy he had come to except from the ex-Auror, only this time the Minister hesitated a bit. Percy looked at the man confused and the Minister just lowered his hand before heading to the door. He opened it quickly and walked out, Percy following him until he was back to the office he shared with Hermione.
"How about we all go to lunch?" The Minister smiled happily.
"We can't." Hermione rolled hers eyes playfully. "You have a meeting in ten minutes."
"But I can go get you food if you want?" Percy looked up at the man who smiled down at him.
"That would be great."
"Can you grab me something too?" Hermione asked as she flipped the piece of paper she had been working on over.
Percy clenched his teeth as he smiled at her. She was really such a lovely girl so he didn't know why he had such hostility towards her; he really needed to work on that. He took their orders and left the building, maybe he should go by his dad's office before he left; he had been worried about his father for the past few weeks, the man seemed to walking around in a daze.
Percy passed through the lobby and looked at the monument that had been erected in honor of those who lost their lives fighting Voldemort.
This felt like it was going to be a rough month ahead of them.
Lupin watched the time on the clock on the wall tick by. He had spent most of his day chasing down cursed artifacts and was looking forward to going home. Not that he didn't enjoy running around the country, the job was entertaining as he got to see a lot of places he hadn't been to in a while, but he knew Teddy was probably hating the daycare by now.
He looked over at his drying coat and smiled to himself as he thought about going object hunting with Arthur in the snow that morning. The older man always made the best company whenever Lupin had to go out, they had been through so much together, lost so much together, Lupin didn't know what he would have done if he hadn't had Arthur there to help him after the war.
Lupin knew that Andromeda was always more than willing to take her grandson from the man but he liked asking Arthur for advice, enjoyed how the older man eyes would lighten as he talked about his sons.
Lupin sighed into his hands as the clock ticked another minute forward.
The graying man got tired of sitting and stood up, startling his neighbor next to him and he gave the man a smile as the man proceeded to glare up at Lupin. He just shrugged as he left the office that he shared with several other members of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
He passed the Auror office and saw that Harry and the others seemed to be gone so he kept walking until the came onto Arthur's office. He poked his head into the open doorway to see the man nodding off on his desk.
Lupin had to bite his lip in order to not laugh at the older man as he came in and leaned against the wall. Arthur's hair was still thinning, his glasses askew as his head was flat against his desk, the older man's laugh lines had smoothed a bit in his sleep helping him seem just a bit younger.
The redhead smelled like salt.
The werewolf thought it was a weird scent to be in the room but he had noticed the smell a lot more around the older man. Lupin himself had been around this smell a lot in his life so he knew the source but he had wondered why it smelt the strongest around Arthur recently.
The man never looked like he had been crying.
He bent over the desk so that he could get a better look at the man's face and sniffed. Maybe someone had just been in here that was crying, that was very possible. He regarded the sleeping man for a moment before he turned to the jacket that was hanging; he grabbed it and placed it gently over Arthur's sleeping form.
Arthur gave a deep sigh as the jacket covered him and Lupin let a little chuckle escape his lips. Only to be suddenly head-butted as Arthur jumped up, Lupin fell to the ground as Arthur grabbed his head and turned to the younger man in surprise.
"Sorry Arthur." Lupin rubbed his chin as he eyed the man from the floor. "I had just thought I would give you something to keep you warm while you slept."
Arthur blushed as he grabbed his jacket that was now partially falling off his chair. He smiled thankfully as Lupin before rubbing his eyes in a way that made Lupin think of his young son Teddy.
The redhead was just too cute sometimes.
"Thank you." Arthur murmured softly before he stood up and helped the younger man off the ground. Their hands lingered together a little longer and Arthur quickly let go as he smiled over at Lupin. "How can I help you?"
"I was just seeing what you were up to." Lupin admitted as he rubbed the back of his head.
There was a moment of silence as the two regarded each other when they heard the clock in Arthur's office chime. Lupin stuck his hands in his pockets and made his way back to the door before he turned around.
"I'll see you tomorrow?" He waited until the redhead gave him a nod before he smiled and left.
He needed to go pick up Teddy.
Snape glared at the Auror who was standing in his classroom.
Neville stared intently at the man's desk and not at the man behind it.
"I thought I told the Minister 'no'." Snape said coldly.
"I was just told to keep on eye on things." Neville stated before he finally met Snape in the eyes. "I'm perfectly capable of keeping guard around the school."
"Just promise me you won't be sitting in any of my classes and try to make a potion, its been almost six years since I have had a student as inept as you in my class and quite frankly I don't need a reminder of what an idiot you are," Snape said coolly as he stood and went to the door behind his desk before he turned to Neville.
"I-I'm not s-scared of you anymore!" Neville glared at the older man and Snape just smirked.
As the door closed Neville felt a pang of dread in his chest before he turned to leave the classroom in a hurry. He needed to let the Headmistress know that he was going to be staying for a little while, though she probably already knew.
Snape ran a hand through his greasy hair as he suddenly felt dizzy, he blinked a few times before he walked over to bed and sat down for a bit. He had been feeling a little off since he had left the Ministry but he put it to the fact that he had forgotten to bring a coat and had to walk back to Hogwarts in the cold.
The Minister had left him in the protection of Neville Longbottom?
Snape scoffed as he lay back on the bed. He thought over the events of the day and came down to the conclusion that this was going to be a very bad week. First the Minister claims that he is receiving death threats by name, Snape had never expected to live an easy life after the war…
He had honestly been planning on dying.
He sat up as he suddenly remembered he had to talk to Professor Sprout about her mandrakes she was growing, he wanted to see if he could test some of the sixth years with a challenging potion. He got to his feet and smirked as he realized the dizziness was gone.
It wasn't a long walk to the green houses and Snape remembered to grab his cloak this time. He saw Pomona had her lights on so the teacher was definitely still in the greenhouses; he opened the door, not bothering to knock as Pomona had told him that the greenhouse was open for him anytime he needed it.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before opening them again and looking at the dirt-covered form of Neville, who was currently repotting some plants. Of course the boy would come here, Snape thought, annoyed. Herbology was one of the few things the child actually excelled at.
"Longbottom…is Professor Sprout here?" He gave the sandy haired Auror a curt nod before he looked around the green house.
"She actually just left for the night." Neville said sheepishly as he finished the plant he was working on. He stood and dusted his pants before looking at Snape. "Is there anything I can help you with?"
"Doubt it." Snape said dryly and turned to leave the greenhouse before he felt a hand grab onto his sleeve. He turned in surprise to see Neville glaring up at him and smirked a bit at the kid's sudden courage. "Longbottom?"
"I am sure that I can help you if you will let me." Neville stated flatly.
They regarded each other for a few seconds before Neville's eyes widened as he realized he was still holding onto Snape's sleeve. He let go immediately and muttered an apology as he stared at the ground. Snape grabbed the Auror's chin roughly causing Neville's eyes to water as he gripped hard.
"Do you have something you want to say to me?" Snape smirked as Neville grabbed the wrist that was holding his chin. The Auror forced Snape to let go of his face and Neville stared at Snape in surprise as he took a few steps back.
"I was just demonstrating how rude it is to grab people." Snape stated matter of factly before he looked around the room. "If you demand to be of some service to me, then maybe you can tell me how Professor Sprout's mandrakes are coming along."
Neville rubbed his chin a bit as he glared at the older man before he turned and went over to a row of pots that contained long green leaves. He moved the pots around and studied them carefully before he turned to Snape, still glaring.
"They look like they will be reaching adulthood in a month." Neville stated coldly, his face flushed with embarrassment.
"I see you were of some use then." Snape said boredly before he made his way to the door, he turned to Neville and opened his mouth to say something but then was suddenly dizzy again. He tried to grip the doorframe but his hand slid and suddenly the idiot child he had been teasing was holding him up.
"Professor Snape?" Neville's voice cracked as he held onto the man. Snape tried to glare at him but he felt disorientated. Snape growled as he saw Neville look at him with worry and tried to curse at the boy for getting so close but soon the world was spinning fast and he felt his body go limp before everything went black.
Neville took a deep breath before he threw Snape over his shoulder and made his way out of the door. He had to use magic to help him carry the older man up the stairs as the potions master wasn't the lightest person.
Draco growled as he walked down the street a little bit further before he turned to see Ron running at the back of the crowd. He smirked as he walked into an alley and hoped that maybe the redhead would pass right on by but he suddenly heard the thudding of feet behind him and Ron grabbed onto his shoulder and shoved the blonde against the dirty brick wall.
"Will you stop trying to get away from me?" Ron hissed before he was suddenly shoved back against the other wall.
"Don't you dare touch me!" Draco yelled as he pulled out his wand and pointed it to the redhead across from him. He watched Ron pull out his own wand as the blue eyes glared at him. "It's not my fault that you can't keep up!"
"You are deliberately making this harder for me!" Ron pointed his wand accusingly at Draco.
"As I said earlier, I am more than capable of taking care of myself in this city." Draco drawled out boredly, "Don't tell me that the Aurors have no other use for you except as a chaperone?"
"You're just mad because your mum wanted you to have a guard." Ron stated as he gripped his wand tighter as Draco sneered at him. "Or are you so much of a mother's boy that you can't even say no to her?"
Draco regarded the redhead in front of him with a bemused expression. He felt his grip on his own wand tighten as he stared at the wizard he knew was lesser than himself, at the poor student he had teased in school that had made it out of the war as a hero. He felt himself tremble as the redhead insulted him, his hair sticking up slightly as his face pinked a little in rage.
"You're just mad because my mother's still alive!" Draco said and as the last word left his lips his eyes widened as a blue streak of light passed right by his head.
The small hairs on his skin rose as the near impact of the magic before he raise his wand and set his jaw at the redhead that was now raising his wand to give another blow.
Draco dodged before he threw a spell at Ron who just blocked it. Ron attacked next sending light straight for the blonde and Draco dodged it only by inches before he sent another one. He could feel his hair falling out of the band that he had it tied back in before he frowned at the redhead who was now sending another spell towards him.
So the redhead had finally learned silent spell casting.
The blonde felt himself fall against the wall before he moved just in time to avoid another flash of blue light. He turned and sent his own red light towards the Auror who looked pissed the more Draco was able to dodge.
Draco was able to block another spell; he sent one of his own and watched as the redhead dodged it with ease. Ron growled as he sent another spell towards the blonde and it caused the wall behind Draco to explode. Draco was suddenly pulled forward, and he was shoved up against the other wall before the bricks from the last wall even touched the ground.
He shoved his wand against Ron's neck as the redhead had his pointed at Draco's chest. They were glaring at each other as they both took deep breaths. Ron's blue eyes were filled with such unadulterated anger that the blonde actually shivered under the redhead's hold.
It had been so long since he had seen eyes like that.
"I hate you!" As the words left Ron's mouth Draco knew the other man meant every word at that second as he tasted something coppery in his mouth.
"Good." Draco sneered before he felt Ron let go of him and the redhead took a few steps back. The blonde regarded the other man for a second as he watched Ron wipe his face and as they remained silent, the words Draco had spoken earlier hit him like a brick.
That was a new low, even for the blonde.
He opened his mouth to apologize but struggled to make a sound as Ron eyed him in annoyance. He watched the redhead dust himself off before he walked over to Draco again and held out his hand.
"You duel well."
Duel? Draco scoffed in his mind as he stared at the redhead's hand that was being offered to him. That wasn't a duel, it had been a fight!
Draco grabbed the hand and found the words he needed to say as he opened his mouth this time, "I'm sorry."
Ron blinked at the blonde a few times as the shook hands. His frown deepened and Draco suddenly looked at the ground. The redhead didn't seem to know how to take this reaction and he stuttered a bit and Draco looked back at him before he heard the redhead snort.
There was a moment of silence before suddenly Ron was laughing hard. Draco stared at the redhead with a blank expression, as he didn't know how to react. Ron looked like he was about to start crying any second as he finally patted Draco on the shoulder and took a deep breath.
"I can't believe you actually know how to apologize." Ron took another deep breath before he looked at Draco. "My god, I have to tell Harry."
"You will do no such thing!" Draco flushed lightly at that and glared at Ron.
Ron just patted Draco's shoulder again before he started to leave the alley. There was a small group of Muggles trying to look at what was happening and when they saw Ron they immediately started to ask questions.
"I heard an explosion!"
"Who are you?"
"It's okay." Ron lifted his hands and they quieted a bit. "Me and my friend got in a fight and he set off some firecrackers to scare me."
None of the Muggles looked like the believed him.
"What he means is that while we were making out in the alley way, we scared the lady upstairs and she thought we were thieves." Draco placed his arm suggestively around Ron. "She threw her vase at us and we knocked over a few trash cans trying to dodge."
"Perverts." The woman closest to them glared at both of the men before she turned and walked away. The other Muggles just glared at them before they walked away mumbling about youngsters.
"Didn't they teach you how to lie in Auror training?" Draco smirked as he let go of Ron's shoulders.
"I just don't have as much practice as you do Malfoy." Ron leered almost playfully before he looked at his watch. "We better get you to your hotel."
"Already trying to get me in bed?" Draco teased as he walked by Ron.
"I'm not doing that!" Ron defended as he walked beside the blonde. "I just need to get you there and then I can go home."
"Pity." Draco sighed and he saw Ron glare at him.
This was going to be an interesting week.
Kingsley sighed into his hand as he paced around the window to his office. He had been doing this too much recently but it did seem to help his thoughts. He paused briefly as he looked over at the clock and realized that the building had been closed for an hour now.
It explained the noise his stomach suddenly made.
He sighed as he straightened up his desk, knowing full well that it wouldn't look the same when he came in the next morning because Percy would have most likely put new paperwork on it. At least the redhead put the paperwork in order of importance, even taking the liberty to throw away some memos he felt the Minister didn't need to waste his time on.
He grabbed his jacket and threw it on before he opened the door to leave.
"Finally done?" Shacklebolt knew that after being an Auror for over twenty years he really shouldn't have been surprised to find another person in the next room, and if he was surprised to at least not act it, but he couldn't help but jump a little as he stared at the small redheaded man that was now standing up.
"You've been waiting this whole time?" Kingsley found the idea of Percy waiting for him to be preposterous but at the same time he would have probably been just as surprised if the redhead hadn't been waiting for him.
"Of course." Percy gave the man a smirk as he pushed up his glasses before he started to make his way out into the hallway, the Minister following right beside the smaller man.
Kingsley tried to not think about the vivid red hair that was now moving side to side as he kept looking back at the taller man that was beside him. He knew the younger man was talking but it was more than likely just words for conversational purposes, as Percy would have talked to him in the office if it had been important.
Percy slowed as they made their way into the lobby and glanced up at the monument, the horn-rimmed glasses falling slightly on his nose as he sighed. The Minister fought the urge to pat the young man on the back before he heard someone calling him. Percy gave them some space as he walked over to the monument and Kingsley talked to the member of the Wizengamot who had forgot to ask the Minister to the dinner that was happening in two days.
After Kingsley promised he was going to go and waved the man off he turned back to Percy who was now rubbing his hand against the names carved. The older man didn't know if he should call Percy over and interrupt the moment but he felt like he was staring at something personal.
He walked over to the smaller man and was about to say something when Percy looked up at him. The kid's white skin covered in freckles, his enchantingly blue eyes staring up at the man questioningly. Kingsley savored the look, he motioned towards the exit and Percy followed him willingly.
The Minister honestly couldn't remember the moment he realized he was attracted to his undersecretary but he had noticed that one morning that Percy was the pale skinny man that followed him everywhere and then the next, the Minister hadn't been able to take his eyes off those thin hips that would lean against the door frame while the redhead read a memo.
There were threats running around the ministry, the Magical Creatures Department wanted a raise in funds and yet the Minister couldn't stop thinking about the way Percy bit his lip if he was thinking too hard, or the way the redhead chewed on the back of those wooden quills he had bought for when he working on paperwork.
Shacklebolt blinked his eyes a few times as he realized he was now staring at the redhead. He felt his face heat up and smiled sheepishly at the younger man who nodded in understanding.
"Sorry Percy, I've a lot on my mind."
"Just get some rest, we have a busy day tomorrow." Percy said as he looked at his watch and then nodded at the Minister before he turned to make his walk to the apartment he lived at not too far from the Ministry.
Kingsley had the urge to call after him and ask him to dinner but had to stop himself as he watched the younger man leave.
He had to control himself.
He couldn't touch Percy, the young man was too innocent, the young man had put his future into the Ministry of Magic.
The Ministry that Kingsley now controlled and he wasn't going corrupt the young man with that power.
The Minister sighed before he turned and apparated to his home in the country, away from the city.
He had more important things to deal with at the moment then a momentary crush on the young man he saw everyday.
Woooooo sooo here's the first chapter to 'Trouble in the Ministry'.
This chapter was mainly to establish what's going on…..then again the first chapter is usually for that isn't it? Haha This story will focus on each character…..equally I hope but I'm making the main pairing 'Draco/Ron' because…..they will actually do stuff that makes this fic M.
Aha aha aha
Hope you enjoyed the first chapter!
Thanks to my beta again!
Review and let me know what you think!