Disclaimer: See prologue chapter.
Background: See prologue chapter.
A/N: See prologue chapter.
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Privet Drive – Anthea
It was late in the day when several nondescript cars arrived on the street causing everyone outside to stop what they were doing and watch their progress. The cars stopped, aligning themselves on the side of the road, coincidentally in front of Number 4, and several people got out of the car, gathering around the first car.
"What did the Dursleys do?" asked the neighbor from Number 7 to the neighbor who lived right next door to the Dursleys.
"It probably has to do with their good-for-nothing nephew," said the neighbor.
"A five-year-old child? Involved with the government?" asked another neighbor, disbelievingly.
The next door neighbor snorted and said, "Bad blood, according to Petunia."
"It's her nephew, though, isn't it?" asked the neighbor from Number 7.
"She must have been the exception," said the next door neighbor.
They all fell silent at that, thinking, watching as several of the government people surrounded Number 4 and entered the house while several others headed in their direction.
"What's happening?" asked the next door neighbor as soon as the government agents were within earshot. "What did the Dursleys' nephew do?"
The woman who was in the lead raised an eyebrow while she ignored the question to ask her own to the woman, "Are you Mrs. Gideon from Number 3?"
"Yes. Who are you?" asked Mrs. Gideon, narrowing her eyes at the brush off. Of all the rude things…
"Jill," said the woman simply, which none of the neighbors thought was her actual name. She consulted her phone that was in her hand before she turned to another pair of the neighbors and asked, "And are you, Mr. and Mrs. Spencer of Number 5?"
The neighbors got the feeling that the woman they now knew as Jill was already aware of who they were, but the pair nodded their agreement.
The woman nodded her agreement and said, "All of you are residents of this street, correct?"
Everyone nodded their agreement.
Jill smiled and said, "Is anyone still in their house or is this everyone?"
Everyone looked around, confirming whether or not everyone was out before Mrs. Gideon said, "This is everyone on our street except the children and the Dursley family. What's this about?"
Jill made a note on her phone that she still had out and said, "How well do your children listen to you?"
"I beg your pardon?" asked several of the families that had children.
"If you asked them to do something, would they do it?" asked Jill.
"Of course!" said the parents at once.
"Hmm," said Jill before she continued, "You better hope so or else you could face jail time."
Several people paled at that statement.
"We are law-abiding citizens!" said Mrs. Gideon at once. "I've done no crime!"
"I have committed no crime either," said Mr. Spencer.
"We are hoping it stays that way as well," said Jill.
"Are you blackmailing us," asked the neighbor from Number 7.
Jill smiled again, and it wasn't a nice smile, as she said, "Of course not. The government never blackmails anyone. We encourage compliance."
"I haven't seen any identification," said Mr. Gideon, holding his wife's arm to silence her.
"You don't have the clearance to see my identification," said Jill simply.
Several more people paled at the implication.
"Now as for what this is about, Mrs. Gideon, it is simple. Should anyone come ask you about the whereabouts of the Dursley family, all you have to do is say that they moved several months ago and you haven't seen them since," explained Jill.
"Why would we do that?" asked the man from Number 11.
Jill looked at the man for a moment before she looked at the agent standing beside her.
A gloved man held up a laptop and Jill said to the man, "Mr. Anderson?" The man from Number 11 nodded his confirmation that it was him. "Is this your computer?"
"What? No, it is not," said Mr. Anderson.
"I think you will find that your fingerprints and personal information are stored on it along with condemning information."
"It's not mine," insisted Mr. Anderson.
"When was the last time you've seen the Dursley family, Mr. Anderson," asked Jill as if she didn't hear Mr. Anderson's denials.
Mr. Anderson was silent for several seconds before he said, grudgingly, "Several months ago, when they moved."
Jill gave a slight smiled and said, "More convincing next time, Mr. Anderson."
Mr. Anderson nodded his agreement and the agent known as Jack resumed his position beside Jill silently, still holding the laptop for the neighbors to see.
"Does anyone else have any questions?" asked Jill sounding pleasant.
All the neighbors shook their heads, eyeing the laptop still in Jack's hands like one would a snake about to strike.
"I hope you get along with the Deans. They've bought Number 4 and have moved in three weeks ago," explained Jill.
The neighbors silently acknowledged the information the government agent gave them as they watched her nod at them. Then, Jill and Jack - finally putting away the laptop - walked away from them.
Just as Jill and Jack got close to Number 4, agents suddenly started to come out of the Dursley house and a moving van pulled up. Jill nodded once to Jack, who acknowledged the order with his own nod, and he headed towards the opposite end of the street as a lookout.
Jill, also known as Anthea, walked up to the lead agent coming out of the Dursley house.
"Did you find it?" asked Anthea at once.
The agent held up the baby blanket and passed it to Anthea while saying, "It was exactly where you said it was."
Anthea nodded, not expecting any different.
The agent shook his head and said, "I can't believe those people stuck a child in a cupboard under the stairs. There were two extra bedrooms, one presumably for guests and another full of broken toys."
Anthea made a note on her phone for her boss so she could bring it up when he went to visit Mr. Dursley in the hospital.
"Was there any sighting of a Mrs. Arabella Figg on Privet Drive?" asked Anthea, looking up from her notation.
The agent shook his head and said, "Not from any of my men."
Anthea nodded her head and said, "It's like we discussed in the car, she likely doesn't keep too close a watch on what happens here, not wanting the Dursleys to become too suspicious of her."
The agent nodded his head in agreement and said, "Do you think we will have any problems with not confronting Mrs. Figg?"
Anthea shook her head and said, "No. Not with the whole street backing up the claim that the Dursleys moved months ago. She probably missed things before and this will create more doubt on her reliability."
The agent nodded his head slowly. It sounded like a sound plan as it then forced the people looking for the Dursley family to seek out their boss as he is the only one who would have the information.
Anthea looked up and down the street and said, "Let's continue moving the Dursley's out and moving in the new family to Number 4. We don't know how much time we have left. Jack is on the lookout for Mrs. Figg but that doesn't mean we should just rely on one set of eyes. Make sure everyone is always on the lookout for Mrs. Figg."
"Yes, ma'am," said the agent with a nod and he went back to direct the men and women under his command.
Anthea watched them while occasionally checking her phone and sending out messages.
Finally twenty minutes later, with no sign of Mrs. Figg, they were done and the Dean family – consisting of a middle-aged husband, wife and two grown up sons attending university – were completely moved in.
Anthea nodded at the family in the doorway of the house before they went inside. Anthea looked over at the neighbors who were still watching what was happening at Number 4. She raised an eyebrow in their direction and they scattered, muttering under their breath, and went back inside their houses.
Anthea nodded to herself, satisfied, as she – and everyone else – got into the cars, the baby blanket on her lap.
"We're ready. Head back to the office, Fredrick," said Anthea to the driver.
"Yes, ma'am," said Fredrick.
They left Privet Drive and just as the last of the car turned the corner, three people suddenly appeared on the empty street.
Outside of Azkaban – Mycroft's car
Mycroft checked his watch as he sat in the back seat of his car that his assistant was kind enough to replace as she took the one they came out in. It was nearly dinner time and he suspected his assistant would be back at the office momentarily, Operation Indigo being completed to perfection as it was a relatively simple operation.
As for what he was waiting on, Mycroft was anxious to see if Mister Black could accomplish it. The prison was supposed to be inescapable and the liquid in the bottle was just a simple Muscle Strengthening Potion according to his source – the rest of the escape would be up to Mister Black and Mycroft was looking forward to seeing how it was accomplished in the next few hours.
Luckily his assistant was kind enough to send some paperwork with the car when she sent the replacement one so Mycroft settled down in his seat and went to work.
A few hours later, Mycroft heard a whining sound that was similar to that of a dog. Mycroft ignored it, thinking it was a stray.
A few minutes later there was another whining sound accompanied by a bark causing Mycroft to look up, involuntarily, and out the window.
There was a massive black dog, with dirty fur and haunted eyes, which didn't make sense on a dog – how could a dog be haunted? – in the brush by the side of the road.
But then, Mycroft suddenly understood.
That was Sirius Black – the eyes gave him away. They were haunted in the same way.
Though the smug look that crossed the dog's face briefly as it's eyes meet Mycroft's were also a giveaway.
Mycroft was impressed despite himself.
"Get that dog inside the car," Mycroft told his driver as he moved to put his paperwork away.
"Yes, sir," said the driver, going outside to pick up the dog and put him in the back with his boss.
The dog looked at Mycroft once more with a look of smugness - which Mycroft is very used to seeing on Sherlock's face – before he passed out.
His informant who gave him the bottle said that the potion contained inside would only last thirty minutes after the recipient took it before they crashed hard so Mycroft wasn't particularly worried about his physical health – at least as far as the passing out was concerned.
Mister Black still had quite a few things to accomplish - medically speaking - before he would be ready for what Mycroft had planned for him.
"Let's go back to the office," said Mycroft once the driver was back in the car.
"Yes, sir," said the driver.
Mycroft spent the entire drive watching the dog as he slept.
Privet Drive - Dumbledore, Snape, McGonagall
"Well that was surprisingly unhelpful," said Professor Snape after they interviewed the last of the neighbors on the street.
They had done the interviews after they found the house that had had the wards, Number 4, occupied with a family claiming they've been there for three months, the previous owners apparently having moved out months ago.
The story was confirmed by every neighbor, including the children.
Either the wards malfunctioned months before or someone was trying to give them the runaround and Professor Snape absolutely hated that as much as he hated dunderheads in his Potions classroom.
Dumbledore nodded his head and said, "There is one more avenue left to us. Let's see what Arabella has to say before I go to extreme measures."
"Extreme measures?" asked McGonagall lips pursed.
Dumbledore absentmindedly nodded his head as he headed in the direction of Wisteria Walk.
"What extreme measures?" asked Professor Snape as he kept pace with his colleagues.
"By going to the one person in the Muggle government who I swore I would never ask for help from again," said Dumbledore, gravely.
"The Queen?" asked McGonagall, sounding unconvinced. It didn't sound like extreme measures to her.
Dumbledore shook his head and said, "Mycroft Holmes."
Professor Snape felt dread fill his stomach as McGonagall's lips pursed even further. He just knew there was a reason why he didn't want to have deal with Potter this early before his school career – if this was the kind of mess he was going to cause…
They continued on their way to Arabella Figg's house.