Getting Away With Murder
In a stunning revelation, Auror Andrew Williamson was accused of the murder of Astoria Greengrass. Williamson, who until now was thought to be a reputable member of the Department of Law Enforcement was not available for comment. "Glad they finally got him," happy shopkeeper Abraham Blotts, part-owner of the London bookstore told the Daily Prophet. "The poor, poor girl. I hope they give him to the Dementors. My sympathy is with the family." We at the Daily Prophet echo this sentiment.
Williamson, married and father of a son, lived on the surface the quiet life of an upstanding family man. His motivations remained unclear, until the Daily Prophet discovered facts that shed some light on his character and showed a very different person. Williamson had a fierce dislike for the Greengrass family and the Ministry, culminating in statements where he cynically mocked Mrs. Bletchley-Greengrass after her sister had just died (see page 2: The Horrifying Words of a Killer). "It was horrible," says Mrs. Bletchley. "He just threw her death into my face. I simply can't believe there are people this malicious."
Pivotal in the case turned out to be the close examination of the wand found at the crime scene, which already had been determined to have cast the Killing Curse. It was now identified as Williamson's second wand. "He possessed two, both bought here," renowned wand-maker Gaius Ollivander confirmed for the Daily Prophet. "The wand the Aurors showed me was his, certainly. I remember every wand I ever sold."
According to rumours, former Auror and famous Boy-Who-Won Harry Potter was thought to be a suspect, before the new findings were able to firmly consign those rumours to the realms of fantasy. Potter, who announced his relationship with the older Greengrass sister and his intentions to marry the young widow only two weeks ago, catapulting them straight to the top spot on the list of Britain's celebrity couples, didn't want to comment on what in his words were "groundless […] suspicions by a few […] people."
In a Daily Prophet Exclusive Interview about her imminent wedding to Potter in autumn and the sheer fairytale romance between a war hero and the heiress of one of Britain's most notable pureblood families, Daphne Bletchley also expressed her displeasure at the delayed proceedings and the initial suspicions. "Obviously, the mere idea that Harry, the man that fought against the Dark Lord, might be involved in my sister's death is simply ludicrous and shouldn't even merit commenting on. I personally told Head Auror Robards this, and he reacted most rudely. One does wonder if he is the right person for this position." Department Head Pius Thicknesse issued a sharp rebuke into the direction of the Auror Office. Investigations are pending.
Robards himself did not want to be quoted and blamed Williamson for the false lead. It seems clear that after this despicable attempt of framing his famous former co-worker in an attempt to save himself, Williamson will be sure not to expect any kind of mercy from the Wizengamot.
– Read the society section for the full interview with Daphne Bletchley-Greengrass, and the continuation of this story on page 2.
Sterling Greengrass was in his study on the ground floor.
He was sitting in a straightbacked wooden chair, with some ornaments cut into the brown wood, which made it look fancy, but not any more comfortable; surrounded by floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with books. There was a large desk, in front of two open French doors leading out into the garden, letting the muggy air inside, still with no cooling draught to speak of.
On the desk, an almost full cut-glass bottle and a glass with an amber liquid stood on his right; a small stack of paperwork was pushed to the other side, the centre covered by the front page story the Daily Prophet had run this morning. He stared at it, the mouth stretched into a thin slit, his grey lips nearly disappearing, as he started to cackle.
"Wanted to get rid of her sister, and got stuck with Potter instead. Priceless!"
The picture that came with the article included three persons; the woman rigidly proud, with a frosty smile, an Auror captain looking apoplectic, the Boy-Who-Lived uttering the full quote, including the words the editor had edited out.
"Prissy, stuck-up bitch," he mumbled. "Thought maybe I wouldn't notice if she didn't tell me, eh? Bah! We'll have that will changed alright."
His hand crumpled up the page, clutching the ball of paper and throwing it with an effort into the fireplace, to the other, sealed document that was already smouldering there. He lifted the glass, holding it at eye-level, and sniffed at it.
And then he downed the drink.
o ] [ o
Maybe two dozen people crowded on the high street in Hogsmeade, facing a small house with a garden. She stood at the back, having come last; but before long, she started pushing her way ahead, to the fence, past a man in wrinkled Auror robes, past his look of sadness that brushed her and touched nothing. She arrived just in time to witness how two men in Hitwizard-attire dragged a third man out of the house; ignoring his shouts until one of them had enough and silenced him.
Behind them, a small boy, no older than five, ran after the wizards through the garden, fear on his small face, vainly trying to reach his father's hand.
"No! Dad! Where are you taking my Dad?"
His distressed shouts went unanswered. She saw him trying to pull on one wizard's sleeve, and he pushed him away, annoyed.
"Clear off, boy. This is Law Enforcement business."
The other looked at him, but said nothing. The child stumbled, fell down, bursting into tears. No one came to pick him up. She looked at his mother, usually a pleasant-faced middle-aged woman, now red-eyed and sobbing herself.
"Why? What has he done?"
The man tried to say a few words and grab her hand, which one of Hitwizards batted away, and pushed him on, roughly. A small smile slipped over her face. His wife broke down, weeping, burying her face in her hands.
They passed her and his eyes caught hers; he froze and stared at her, face ashen.
She stood very still then, just looking at him; on the grassy wayside at the main road of Hogsmeade, where they had dragged him to, right next to her, preparing to portkey him away. Her voice was quiet, but cold.
"I told you I would remember you."
In the crown of the old oak above her head, the birds sang. It was a warm, sunny day. She turned around, pulled something out of her pocket, and vanished.
Thanks to everyone who read and reviewed. I enjoyed reading all the comments, as much, hopefully, as you did reading the story. From those to whom I couldn't respond, I'd specifically like to mention G Fawkes. Thanks as well to everyone who helped me at various points in the writing process, all of whom can be found at the Dark Lord Potter forums. You guys rock. And finally, now that I've proven to myself that I can finish stories, I'll get back to my old stories. The next update will probably be for The French Affair. Maybe I'll see some of you there?