Author: Pitry
Title: Disorganised Crime
Characters: Harry Potter, Neville Longbottom
Rating: PG
Warnings: none.
Summary: In Muggle London, heroes end up in jail.
Author's Notes: Written for the hp-friendship fest on LJ, for the prompt "Harry and Neville: the two normal guys who are in fact heroes". Many thanks to my wonderful beta kjmom1, without whom this would have been much less readable.

After three days of rain, Neville was so wet he had forgotten what not being wet felt like. His hair was wet. Both his shirts were wet. His socks were wet - and smelly, too. And so: wet, covered in mud, and severely lacking in sleeping hours, Neville Longbottom was starting to think that his career choice of an Auror was a mistake.

But there were still Death Eaters to catch. He wasn't going to have any poor kid go through what he went through, or have any of his friends suffer the same fate as his parents'. He was an Auror now, at least until all the Death Eaters were caught. Now, if only the blasted Death Eaters would stop hiding in forests and start walking around cities like normal human beings, he'd be much, much happier.

Next to him, Harry stopped abruptly. Did he hear something? Neville mouthed 'what' to Harry, who gestured with his head to his left. Something was moving there. Neville could feel it too now - he didn't see anything, not really, but just at the corner of his eye... something was there.

Harry raised three fingers. Neville nodded. Harry lowered one finger. Neville prepared his wand. One finger left... then none - "Stupify!" they shouted at the same time.

Something - someone - fell to the floor of the forest with a satisfying thump. Harry and Neville walked towards their newly caught prisoner. Harry was still cautious, walking slowly and carefully, and Neville imitated him - better safe than sorry, after all, and it wouldn't be the first time a Death Eater had pretended to be caught. Neville still had a very itchy scar on his right hand from last month's chase, courtesy of Dolohov.

This time, though, the man on the ground was not faking it. His wand had rolled a few feet from his hand. Harry picked it up, and looked at it for a moment, then shook his head and sighed.

By now, Neville had got a good look at the fallen man. He scratched his ear, slightly embarrassed. "He's not going to be happy when he wakes up," he said.

"He wasn't even supposed to be here!" Harry said angrily - but, Neville thought, he sounded rather embarrassed as well. "I guess we better wake him up. Rennervate."

On the ground, Dawlish groaned, then rubbed his head, his usually fair hair now brown from the mud, tree leaves, and twigs. "What the hell was that for?" he demanded.

"We thought you were Yaxley!"

"Do I look like Yaxley?"

"Trees kinda got in the way - we just saw someone sneaking about!"

"Of course I was sneaking about - I was trying to get Yaxley!"

Harry made a disgusted voice. Dawlish groaned again. Neville sighed. "I don't think we're going to catch Yaxley, not after this racket."

"Yeah," Dawlish was now getting to his feet, slightly wobbly and dizzily. "He'd have Apparated or something by now."

Harry kicked around in frustration. Not long after, they Apparated back to the Ministry, to give Kingsley and Gawain Robards the bad news.


Harry still looked down and frustrated as they left Kingsley's office. He pointed his wand carelessly at his clothes, trying to make them at least dry, if not clean, but he wasn't making too good a job of it - his bad mood was getting the better of him. Next to him, Neville dried his own clothes.

"We'll catch him next time," he said. Harry just shrugged. "C'mon," he sighed. "I'll buy you a beer before we go home."

"S'alright, Neville, I'm not going - "

"Wasn't a suggestion. Come on. We both need something to cheer us up." And eat, Neville thought to himself. He was starving, and his flat would be dark and cold and have no food in it. He didn't feel comfortable dropping by Hannah's smelling like that. He knew Harry's flat was probably the same, except he was unlikely to drop by Hannah's under any condition.

Harry thought about it for a moment. "Yeah, okay," he said, and they left.

They didn't go towards any wizarding establishment. Instead, they walked into a Muggle pub, close to the Ministry. Harry preferred it that way, Neville knew. He always got too much attention when they walked into the Leaky Cauldron, even more than Neville, and after today's disappointment, they were both better off not hearing any of that. The Muggle place might have been a bit dirty and full of people and noise - and he wasn't sure how edible their food was, either. But at least it was one place they could sit down and eat quietly and no one would say a word.

"Oh, cheers!" Harry said enthusiastically when Neville came to the table with two hamburgers, chips and beer. They both started wolfing down the hamburgers in silence. They didn't have much to talk about, not after three days in the woods. After all, they already knew all there was to know about each other.

They never got to finish their hamburgers, though. Harry froze all of a sudden and looked up. Neville was still so deep into the food, that if it weren't for Harry, he wouldn't have noticed the two men who were standing above them.

"Hello, fellas," one of them - the bigger one, Neville noted - said.

"What d'you want," Harry mumbled with a mouth full of chips.

"Harry Potter, right? And you're Neville Longbottom?" the other one said.

Neville nodded slowly and swallowed the food in his mouth. Harry had already finished his and was now starting to get up, but the bigger man put his hand on Harry's shoulder. "Nah, stay seated for now. I'm Detective Inspector Smith, this is Detective Inspector Jones, we need to ask you two a few questions."

Neville looked at Harry in alarm. Muggle police? But the two men were already sitting down on the benches - effectively blocking any escape route Harry and Neville could take.

Harry looked at the policemen - no, not at the policeman, Neville saw, past the policemen. He already knew what Harry was looking for, and what were his conclusions. There were too many Muggles around, and no easy way out. They couldn't magic their way out of this without drawing too much attention, and Kingsley would not appreciate having to send a team of Obliviators after them.

Having reached the same conclusion at the same time, both Harry and Neville relaxed. Cooperation seemed the way out of this, even if Neville found it extremely suspicious that the police already knew their names.

"How can we help you, Detective - or is it Inspector?" Harry smiled an insincere smile, and took a sip from his beer.

"Detective's fine," Smith said.

"Do you boys know a bloke called Antonin Dolohov?" asked the one next to Neville - Jones.

Harry tried to mask his reaction, but the beer glass gave him away, when half the beer got spilt on the tray, the table, his already filthy trousers, and Detective Smith's now dirty clothes.

Smith didn't seem to mind the beer, but instead smiled in satisfaction. "Thought so," he said.

Dolohov, of course, had proven extremely hard to catch. He wasn't just hiding in the woods. Neville and Harry had been on his trail for three months, before they finally cornered him - right there, in London, he was lurking under the cover of darkness. Neville knew he had managed to hit him with a curse, but when they went to find him where he fell, he had given Neville that scar - and disappeared. That was the last they had seen of him.

"We're going to need the two of you to come with us," Jones said.

This couldn't really be happening.

"Um, look, Detective, we've just come back from a, er - " Neville looked wildly for an excuse, which Harry provided, in a rather suspicious manner, " - Camping trip."

"Camping trip, right, we're tired and hungry and we want to go home and clean up, any chance we could drop by tomorrow or something?" After we've had a chance to send someone from the Ministry to make you forget all about us, of course, Neville thought.

"'Fraid we can't do that, lads," Smith didn't look at all as if he cared about Neville and Harry's inconvenience, "since, you see, we've just recovered Dolohov's body. You two are murder suspects."

This could not possibly be happening.

"Come on, get up."

"Is there any chance you'd let us finish our food at least?" Harry tried.

"Sorry, lad," was Smith's response. In Neville's opinion, he didn't look sorry at all.

If Neville thought that, once outside the pub, they would be able to draw their wands and get the whole thing over with, he was wrong. As soon as he and Harry got up, they were grabbed by the two men, and unceremoniously handcuffed. Presumably, Neville thought, because the police thought they were dangerous murderers and didn't want to give them the chance to overpower the detectives.

Which, of course, made their prospects of overpowering the detectives rather slim. For just a moment, Neville considered telling the policemen they were not, in fact, dangerous murderers and that this was all highly unnecessary, but he had the impression they weren't going to take his word for it.

He and Harry didn't get a chance to talk in the police car. They didn't get the chance to talk when they entered the police station, where they were immediately separated and searched - "No keys, no wallet, no ID, no phone, a few coins - some foreign coins - and a stick of wood? What, you wanted a souvenir from your camping trip?" Detective Jones laughed - and then Neville found himself sat in an interrogation room, in front of both Detectives, and bombarded with questions.

"We're going to start with really simple stuff," said Detective Smith. "So you can just relax, Mr Longbottom. How long have you known Harry Potter?"

"We were in school together," Neville answered. "Abroad."

"Really?" Detective Smith checked his papers again. "Says here you were home-schooled, and that Potter went to... ah, yes, that was it, St Brutus's Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys."

Neville blinked. In the end, he went for, "Your records are wrong."

"Okay, let's fix them then," Smith said cheerfully. "Where did you go to school?"


"Where, Mr Longbottom?"

Think, think, think - "France. Beauxbatons Academy." - and hope like hell they didn't decide to ask Harry the same question, although he suspected they would.

"France? Really?"


"Parlez-vous fran├žais?" The other Inspector, Jones, muttered something.

"Beg pardon?"

"Never mind," Jones said, with a small snort.

"So, how do you two know Antonin Dolohov?"

"It's a... long story."

Smith raised an eyebrow. "We've got all night, Mr Longbottom. Just for you two."

"We met him through work." Not exactly true, but close enough. Their work, after all, had plenty to do with Dolohov.

"Really? Speaking of which, Mr Longbottom - what is it that you do?"

Damn. "We work for the government," he hazarded.

"For the government? Is that right?"


"Funny. Our records must be wrong about that as well. No one told me you were a government employee."

"Well, you know how it is, bureaucracy," Neville was improvising wildly, waiting for the question that would destroy the house of cards he'd been building.

"Yeah. What do you do?"

"Beg pardon?"

"In the government, Mr Longbottom. What do you do?"

Damn. What did Muggles do? Times like these were the times he felt very, very sorry he never took Muggle Studies at Hogwarts. He looked around desperately for clues. Pens, notebooks, police uniform, through the window he could see a dancing school...

"Dancing schools," he said the first thing that came to his mind.

"Dancing schools?"

"Supervision. Over dancing schools. I'm a dancing school supervisor."

The two detectives looked at each other. "You work for the government, in supervising dancing schools?" Smith repeated slowly and carefully.

"Someone has to," Neville mumbled. "You know, to make sure they're up to scratch... and really teach... dancing..."

"Of course they do," Smith said in his friendly voice. "So, Mr Longbottom, what was it in your fascinating line of work that introduced you to Mr Dolohov?"

"He... came to us... to get a permit... to start a dancing school." Neville knew, of course, he was digging himself in deeper and deeper, but the police detective did not seem to mind. He was writing it all down, as if it made perfect sense. For a wild moment, Neville dared hope that Muggle society really was that weird and that this made some sort of sense to the Muggles, but the small smirk on Detective Inspector Smith's face was hinting otherwise.

"Did you like Mr Dolohov, Mr Longbottom?"


"Yes, Mr Longbottom. Did you like him?"

"Not really."

Smith nodded, and wrote it down. "You know, Neville - can I call you Neville?"

"Sure," Neville mumbled.

"You know, Neville," Smith started again, "I've been wondering something. I imagine, in order to get a permit to start a dancing school, Mr Dolohov would have had to pay some fees?"


"And show diplomas and stuff, prove to you guys he's a certified dancing instructor."

"Yeah, sure."

"Sure. Right. And you know, work with the Council, show the place he got is safe and everything..."

"Yeah..." Neville was getting a very bad feeling about this line of questioning.

"Fire regulations?"

"Yeah. Exactly. Fire regulations. To make sure the fire is only in the authorised areas."

Smith opened his mouth, then closed it again, wrote a bit more in his notebook, then put down the pen carefully. "So, Neville... how much of Mr Dolohov did you actually get to see?"

"I'm sorry?"

"You said here you didn't really like him. But I can't imagine you'd spent that much time with him. Actually, Neville, if he's one of hundreds of people who need permits for, er, dancing schools, I can't see how you'd remember him at all."

Neville didn't answer. Every time he had answered until now, he just made things worse. Perhaps the best line of action would be to simply shut up... and hope Harry was having a better time with it.

If he didn't already mess things up for the both of them.

"You don't have anything to say about that, Neville?" Detective Inspector Smith sounded a lot less friendly now. "Maybe you'll have something to say about this, then. I got three witnesses who have identified both Mr Potter and yourself, said you were running down Guilford street towards Russell Square, doing what all three witnesses described as 'chasing Mr Dolohov', last month on the 24th, around 11 p.m."

Neville said nothing.

"Where were you on the 24th, around 11 p.m., Neville?" Smith asked.

Neville said nothing.

"You know," Jones said, "I'm impressed."

"Oh?" Smith asked his partner.

"This is the time they usually start quoting American telly and ask for their phone call," Jones explained.

That was, more or less, the exact point in which the interrogation really went downhill.


Five hours - and many frustrated shouts from his interrogators - later, and everyone seemed to have had enough. Neville finally got something to eat, although he wasn't quite sure he could dignify what was on the plate with the word 'food' - and led to a holding cell.

The good news was that the Muggle police had rules, regulations, and no reason to want to hurt Neville - yet. This wasn't like being captured by Death Eaters. In fact, it was one of the more pleasant holding cells he'd ever been to. And, being fed - despite the disgusting food - and possibly even being allowed to sleep - although the cell's small bunk didn't seem very inviting in that respect - he was already in a much better state. And no one had beaten him, hurt him, used the Cruciatus curse on him, or any of the things Death Eaters were prone to do to Aurors. As far as imprisonments went, this one was actually not that bad.

The bad news was that he was imprisoned, that he had been parted from his wand, that he had no idea when they would let him see Harry again or give him a chance to contact anyone, and that he was imprisoned.

Neville started pacing up and down the small cell. Four steps in this direction, five steps in that direction, three more, and he was back where he had started. It was small and uncomfortable and mostly confined and he wasn't very happy with either.

He had asked them where Harry was, but no one had answered him. He had asked them whether they would let him contact anyone - even though he didn't know how to use a telephone - but no one had answered that, either. He had asked how long was he going to be kept there, and still he was completely ignored.

He continued pacing. No one came. He tried calling for someone. No one came. He went back to pacing. No one came. He sat down on the bunk and looked gloomily at the bars. No one came.

He was starting to get worried, despite himself. Still, no one came.

Someone showed up after a couple of hours. A policeman was leading Harry - to the same cell.

"Harry!" Neville jumped to his feet, but Harry shook his head slightly. Neville understood him to say, wait for the guard to go away.

Harry watched passively as the policeman locked the cell again, walked down the corridor, and disappeared out of sight.

"Harry!" Neville said again.

Now, Harry answered him. "Dancing school inspector?" he asked. "Really?"

Neville laughed. "I couldn't think of anything to say! I don't know what Muggles do!"

"Dancing - school - inspector?!"

Neville shrugged. "Does it matter?" he asked. "The Ministry will get us out of here soon."

"Yeah..." Harry said, unconvinced. He started pacing up and down the room, like Neville did not long before. Four steps, five steps, three. Four steps five steps three. Four five three. Four -

"Knock it off, will you," Neville said and sat down on the bunk. "You're driving me crazy."

"Sorry," Harry mumbled. He leaned on the wall and tapped his foot on the floor. Neville yawned. All of a sudden, the exhaustion of the entire day - the entire week, really - fell on him.

Harry tapped his foot some more, then started pacing again. Four, five, three, four, five, three...

"D'you want the bunk?" Neville asked. Harry shook his head. "You sure?"


"Okay. I'm going to try and get some sleep until Kingsley gets here. Don't cause a trench in the floor."

Harry grinned sheepishly. "I won't," he said.

Neville turned his back to Harry and tried to fall asleep.




"Are you still awake?"



"Don't mention it."



"How can you sleep?"

Neville turned around and stared at Harry. "I can't sleep when you're talking to me," he pointed out.

"Sorry." Harry didn't even have the decency to look abashed. Neville closed his eyes in resignation.



"D'you want to talk for a bit?"

"You sure?"

Neville sat down on the bunk. Harry - finally, no longer pacing! - sat down on the floor in front of him. "Yeah, alright," Neville grumbled. "Let's talk for a bit."





"Eleven-forty... ha! Eight!"

Harry laughed and shook his head. "Oh, no," he said.

"What?" Neville protested. "No way. Eleven forty eight is good! Carry the one... forty-four makes it... six... damn!"

"So, start from the beginning?"

"I hate this game. Who thought of seven anyway?"

"What, the number?" Harry asked in confusion.


"This one is from... I think that was the first Muggle Studies lesson with Alecto Carrow, actually," Neville thought about it for a moment. "I can't remember, you know?"

"Oh, come on, you must remember!"

Neville's fingers traced again the thin scar that stretched from his eye to his cheek. "Yeah, it was the first lesson," he remembered now. "They didn't slash us in the face afterwards. I think Snape told them off... Yeah, yeah, must be the first one! Now I remember. She said something about Muggle-borns and then I asked her something about her own Muggle blood. So she slashed me in the face for that. Your turn. The one that looks like snake-bite, on your arm."

Harry chuckled. "It actually really is a snake bite!" he said. "Voldemort's snake. The one you killed, actually. We were in Godric's Hollow..." his voice faltered for a moment. Neville didn't help him out, and eventually he picked up on the thread again. "Anyway, we walked right into Voldemort's trap. The snake was trying to hold me until Voldemort got there. I was trying to get to my wand... then it bit me. Anyway, that's that story. Back with you. That burn mark under your ear."

Now it was Neville's turn to think of his scars quietly, of the price they had to pay. "That's the Sorting Hat," he said quietly. Harry remained silent.


Neville was lying on the bunk now, but he wasn't tired. His feet were dangling from one end, half on the floor, half in the air. Harry was leaning on the bunk, and telling his story with such enthusiasm that Neville couldn't help but catch some of it, despite the subject matter.

" - And then she says, 'It would be better if you talked to him, that way I wouldn't have to slip him any love potion'! Can you believe her?!" He flailed with his arms, incredulous.

Neville sniffed. "You should have told her I was taken," he pointed out.

"Yeah, I know, that was the only thing that made her finally leave me alone, when I got together with Ginny, but then she would have started asking me who you're dating, and then what would I say?"

"That I was dating Hannah Abbot," Neville suggested.

"Nah, Hannah will back in Hogwarts in September, right?"


"So, Romilda can simply walk to her and ask her if it's true. And then Hannah would have to tell her that - "

"It is true."

"What?!" Harry half-jumped from his place on the floor, and yelled so loudly that Neville was afraid the guards would come running.

"Watch your volume, will you? I don't want them thinking I'm trying to kill you or anything; they already think we're murderers, remember?"

"Yeah, sorry," Harry mumbled. "But - how? I mean, when? When did that happen? Why didn't you say anything? How?"

"We decided to take it slow, you know, not advertise it or anything," Neville tried to explain.

"Not even to your friends?!"

"We were going to tell you guys! Sooner or later. We wanted to make sure it's going to work out."

"Okay, okay," Harry shook his head. "Still, you could have told me!"

"Yeah, I suppose," Neville said reluctantly. "I just... I didn't find the right time. Hey, I'm telling you now."

"Fine," Harry made a face and rolled his eyes. "Anyway, when did it happen?"

"Last year, I guess. You know how we did all that stuff with Luna and Ginny? Well, Luna never came back after Christmas, and then Ginny didn't come back at Easter." He paused for a moment, looking for the right word, the right explanation.

"It was getting lonely," Harry completed it for him.

"Yeah. Exactly. I started spending loads of time with Hannah. She really wanted to keep on doing things, keep on organising things... her mum's Muggle-born, you know. She was already dead then, she died the year before. Death Eaters. So she wasn't..." Neville was lost for words. "She wasn't in danger." His chuckle was full of irony, the irony of that whole damn war. "But she wanted to do it. For her."

"Yeah," Harry said quietly. Neville knew he understood.

"Anyway, so I was seeing her a lot, that entire year. From the get go, right, from when we started. And then with Luna and Ginny gone, and a lot of people scared after Michael Corner got caught... But Hannah insisted on going on. So we spent a lot of time together. And it just... happened."

"That's brilliant," Harry said. "Absolutely brilliant."

"Yeah, I think so, too."


"They totally should kick Lynch off the team."

"And replace him with who, exactly?"

"Casey, no question about it."

"Casey's a rubbish Seeker."

"He was great in the game in June."

"No, he just looked great, because Keenan's an even worse Seeker."


"First kiss." Neville was now the one sitting on the floor, and Harry lying on the bunk, looking at the dark ceiling above. He rolled his eyes at the question, but still rolled and faced Neville, supporting his head on his arm.

"Cho Chang."

"Huh," said Neville with satisfaction. "Knew it."

"Why, you thought it was Ginny?"

"No, but there were loads of rumours about you and Hermione."

"Why does everyone always think there's something going on between me and Hermione?!"

"Well, you did spend every free second together since first year, so."

"Yeah, but I also spent the same amount of time with Ron."

"Oh, trust me, there were rumours about that, too."

Now Harry sat up straight. "When?" he demanded.

Neville had to think about it for a moment or two. "Fourth year, I think. Yeah. Fourth year. Oh, and sixth year, too."

"Sixth ye - but Ron was with Lavender then!"

"Yup. Exactly. Have you ever seen two people who are more wrong for each other?"

Harry considered this for a moment. "Okay, fair point," he conceded. "Yours?"


He half expected Harry to yell in surprise, the way he did when he heard about Hannah. His other fear was that Harry would find this funny. But Harry just nodded. "Yeah, I've wondered about the two of you for ages," he said. "When was that, fifth year?"

"Are you kidding me?" Neville found himself laughing now. "She scared the hell out of me during fifth year. Well," he amended, "the first half of fifth year. We actually became friends at some point after Christmas. But she had this crush on Ron all that year."

Now Harry smirked. "Ron?!" he asked.

"Yeah, didn't you notice?"


Neville rolled his eyes. "You spent all that time with Ron and you didn't notice how she kept on trying to hang out with you guys and laughed at all his stupid jokes and all that?"

"I thought she was just looking for friends..."

"Yeah, that too. Anyway, then in sixth year she said she wasn't really into Ron anymore and I was trying to work out the courage to ask her out."

"And did you?"

"No. You got there first."

"I got - when did I ever date Luna Lovegood?!"

"Slughorn's party."

"Oh." The expression on Harry's face reminded Neville of a little kid who got caught stealing candy. "I couldn't take Ginny, could I? And I wanted to get Romilda off my back. And Luna's cool. I just didn't think about it like that."

"Eh, it's alright," Neville dismissed the apology. "You couldn't know. But I thought you were dating, so I didn't ask her."

"So when did you guys kiss?"

"Last year. It was mostly awkward. We figured we best just be friends then. She is cool, though. Really cool."


"Four-thousand-three-hundred-sixty... one - aaaaaaaaaaargh!"


"There was a time, though." Neville thought for a moment of Harry's words. They weren't looking at each other anymore. They were both sitting, side by side, on the floor, staring at the window. Maybe it was easier to have that conversation that way, when he didn't have to look in Harry's bright green eyes. "I mean, we always hoped, you know? That you'd resurface, that you'd reappear. But there was a time. I guess after Luna never came back. Ginny kept on saying you weren't dead, you couldn't possibly be dead... but we had no way of knowing. There was this rumour... maybe someone in Slytherin started it. I dunno. That you were caught and disposed of quietly. That You-know - that Voldemort didn't want it advertised."

"And what did you think?"

Neville closed his eyes, held his head in his hands, and thought. He remembered that day. The Carrows smirked, more evil than usual. Snape was actually seen walking down the corridors of Hogwarts. And a whisper, a whisper about Harry Potter... "I thought you were dead," he said quietly.

Harry shifted next to him. "But you kept on fighting," he said.

"It just made me want to fight more."

Harry didn't answer.

"It was like my mum and dad. I knew what you fought for. I knew what you stood for. I knew why you did it. I couldn't just say, you know, I'm a pure-blood, it's not my fight. But yeah. The longer it took - it wasn't your fault, we couldn't know how hard what you had to do was. We just knew there was no sign of you, and I thought, Harry wouldn't just disappear without doing something. He wouldn't disappear like that when Hogwarts was being ruined by the Death Eaters. He wouldn't disappear like that. I thought you were dead."

"Look," Harry said all of a sudden, and Neville raised his head. "It's dawn." A thin line of red light could be seen through the window.

Neville jumped on the opportunity to change the subject. "Where is Kingsley?! I would have expected the Ministry to show up here by now."

"Just a few more hours, I reckon," Harry said. "When we don't show up for work they're bound to start looking for us."

"It's Saturday," Neville pointed out. Harry swore. "You did call someone, didn't you?" he asked him suspiciously.

Harry flushed. "Yeah," he mumbled.

"Harry... who did you call?"

"I wanted to call Hermione! But I couldn't remember her phone number. I usually just send an owl, you know."

"Okay. So not Hermione. Who did you call?"

"How many people do you know with a phone?" Harry started mounting his defence.

"Harry. Who did you call."

"My cousin," Harry mumbled. Neville just stared at him.

"Your cousin," he repeated.


"Your Muggle cousin."


"Who lives with your Muggle aunt and uncle."


"Who hate and despise everything about you?!"

Harry mumbled something indistinct.

Now it was Neville's turn to flail his hands in frustration. "We're going to stay here forever. I'm going to spend the rest of my life in a Muggle prison. Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom, heroes of the Battle of Hogwarts, stuck in a Muggle prison."

"Don't be so dramatic," Harry said in an irritated voice. "They'll figure out eventually. Someone's going to check up on us. And if not during the weekend, then on Monday when we don't show up to work."

"I'm not going to get any sleep until Monday," Neville said. It was a mock accusation, of course, and he said it with as much humour as he could muster beyond the frustration, but Harry still jumped to his feet and started pacing up and down the small cell.

Neville watched him for a while. "How come you're like that?" he asked at last. "I mean, is it the waiting? Or being locked up?"

"The waiting. Locked up. Both. Dunno. I hate being stuck in small spaces like that. I hate being stuck."

"Didn't your aunt and uncle make you live in a cupboard or something?"

"Yeah," Harry said and kept on pacing, up and down, up and down. A few more rounds of circling the cell, and he sat down again next to Neville.

"We got captured at one point," he said. "During Easter."

"Yeah," Neville nodded. "Hermione told me about it." He understood now, he thought, but still, Harry talked.

"She just kept on screaming and screaming. There was nothing we could do, stuck in the cellars. Locked up. And she was screaming."

"Hey," Neville put his hand on Harry's shoulder. "War's over. We won."

"Yeah." Harry rubbed his eyes. "Er, I kept you up long enough. Go to sleep."

"You sure?"

"Yeah. They'll probably come to wake us up soon, so you'd better get some sleep while you can."

"Now he says that," Neville shook his head in mock exasperation. "Now he cares." Harry smiled. "Good night."

"Good night," Harry answered.


Someone was calling Neville's name, shaking him. He sat up in an instant, his eyes shot open, his hand automatically grabbed for his wand. But it was just Harry. Neville didn't feel like he slept at all.

"What is it?" he managed to say groggily.

"Guard's coming."

"How long was I asleep."

"Erm. Ten minutes? Give or take."

Neville groaned. "I am going to demand my own cell," he said. Harry smirked.

They both stood up as Detective Inspector Jones stopped before their cell and opened the door. "Oi, you two. You're free to go. Your boss just showed up and explained everything."


"At last! What took Kingsley so long?"

"You know," Jones scratched his ear, "I get it that you MI5 types can't go on telling us where you work, but next time try and work on your cover story a bit, alright? Let's not repeat those 'dance school inspector' shenanigans."

Neville opened his mouth to ask what 'MI5' was, but Harry stepped on his foot and he closed it again. He could get that information later from Harry. They followed the detective in silence into the reception area, where they saw Kingsley - and another man, one Neville had never seen before. His dirty blond hair and embarrassed grin made him look almost childish, and stood in vast contrast to his height and heavy build.

"Hi, Harry," he said, and Neville realised who it was an instant before Harry introduced them.

"Neville, that's my cousin Dudley, Dudley - Neville. How did you get to Kingsley?" Harry asked in amazement.

"Well, I got your message, and realised I needed to find someone from... your lot. But I didn't know how to contact anyone, see? So in the end, you remember Hestia Jones? We, er, spent a lot of time with her last year. When she left, she gave me this - " he sneaked a look at the police officers, who were finalising their release with Kingsley, and settled on, "thing. To contact her if I ever needed to. So, anyway..."

"So, anyway, who's up for breakfast?" Neville asked.

"Oh, yeah, I'm starving!" Harry answered immediately.

"Brilliant. Dudley, you're coming?"

Harry's cousin started mumbling something about his parents and work and that he really needed to go home, but Neville said, "Come on, just breakfast, won't take long. And you'll really enjoy the conversation, Harry and I have got loads of catching up to do."