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Draco sat in the armchair in front of the opened windows. The commuting traffic had lessened but still he put up a muffling charm to filter out the motor noise. The sheer curtains billowed as the autumn winds blew in. A bright light shined down on the page he'd been reading over and over. He glanced out the windows into the fall night. A near full moon was fighting with the clouds over which should rule the sky. Victorious beams stretched into his room. He reached for the snifter of warmed apricot brandy precariously perched on a tall stack of books next to his chair. He drank a deep sip as the clock struck eight. He wondered if Potter was at the Golden Hind. For the past week, Draco had gone every night but Potter hadn't made an entrance. Draco had been there as a reward for making it through another day without killing Weasley or himself. But tonight, tonight he knew Benjy would be there. Puddlemere United was in town. Draco shook his head at the memories of when Benjy was in town. The relationship wasn't all bad. In fact, Draco reminisced most of it was good. Benjy was gone most of the time and when he was around, the sex was brilliant. It was just too bad he had wanted to get serious. Clingy, is what Draco had though before and that was the truth. He hated partners who were too needy. Those that lasted the longest were those who said that least. Draco took another sip of brandy as that insight made him feel even worse.

He should firecall Blaise. Blaise was always good for lifting him out of his malaise by taking him to some exclusive club in London. But then in the morning he would feel like shit and Weasley would make snide comments about not being able to keep up. The past few days had been a blur of interviews and reshuffling of the golden files. The only real clue was that they were sure the thief was a woman who wore disguises. She was reported as having brown, blonde, red, black, and white hair. Short and long. And, Draco had noted, this witch usually just took small magical items. The most expensive items no longer seemed related to the case. He stared at the words on the unturned page. It was useless to try and build a wizarding system like HOLMES. Muggles used computers to compensate for their lack of magic. Could they have surpassed what magic could do? Draco's throat constricted at the thought and he had to cough. The brandy spurted out of his mouth and all over the yellowed pages. He dried the book with a spell, no damage was visible. His childhood beliefs and conviction as a youth still had a hold on him. It wasn't that he would harm a Muggle or deny a Muggle-born entrance to the magical world; it was just a feeling that they were different and given the choice he would never choose to be a Muggle. The thought of his distant cousin living in Chelsea came to him. He wondered if she would allow him to venture into her mind like he had done with Sarah Longbottom, would he find magic still inside of her. No, he wouldn't even make the offer; the magical world was better off without her being a part of it.

The fireplace flared. Draco recognised the trainers before the rest of the body stumbled out.

"Potter, what do I owe the pleasure?" he said, without rising from his chair.

Harry dusted off his robes and then ran his fingers through his hair. "Sorry, Draco, for not giving a warning. I hope I didn't disrupt your evening," he said while looking anxiously around the flat.

Draco chuckled. "Potter, there's no one here but me. Pull up a chair and have a drink. I do believe you promised to have one with me once or twice."

"Yeah, um, sorry about that. The case has kept me working overtime." Harry cleared the chair nearest Draco's of books and parchment and quills.

"And your visit has to do the case, I suppose. Not a social call?"

Harry tilted his head and looked at Draco questioningly. "Um, yeah, the case. But if you're hungry we could go into London. Iris has introduced me to some brilliant restaurants."

Draco shook his head as he poured Harry a snifter of the apricot brandy and warmed it with his wand. "No, Potter, I'm drinking my dinner tonight. I supposed you're here to ask if I've made any progress on HOLMES. The short answer is no, none worth talking about."

"And the long answer?" Harry asked as he took the glass from Draco.

"The long answer is that I don't think it's possible. At least not in the same scale as the Muggles have," Draco said. He could see the disappointment in Harry's eyes. In fact, he thought, Harry looked horrible. "Potter, are you having doubts that you can solve this without something like HOLMES?"

Harry nodded as he downed half of the warmed alcohol in his glass.

"Slow it, Potter, this brandy is more potent than the stuff I'm sure you're used to."

Harry lowered the glass with a grin. "Good," he said and then finished the rest.

Draco raised a brow but who was he to lecture Harry on his drinking. He poured him another and he wondered briefly what Harry was like when pissed.

"Is Dawlish on your case?" Draco asked, thinking that might be the cause for Harry to just drop by.

"No, he hasn't said a word to me all week. I did get a note from Kingsley saying I should limit Iris' visits to our world. I have my suspicions about who complained."

"It wasn't me," Draco blurted out.

Harry laughed. He reached over and touched Draco on his arm, giving him a quick pat. "Didn't cross my mind that it was, Malfoy. No, I think it was Savage. He's pretty rigid about proper protocol."

"Ah, I know the type. I hope that doesn't cause a problem for you two," Draco said, thinking maybe he should send Savage a bottle of this brandy if pissing off Harry brought him to his flat. Draco bit his lower lip knowing that he should probably slow his drinking down, too. Even while looking knackered Harry still was appealing. Obviously, going without sex for more than two weeks was affecting his judgment.

"No, it's not a major issue. Even though the culprit is probably magical, it appears that most of the action is on the Muggle side. Did I mention that we have another corpse with those puncture wounds?"

Draco's eyes widened. "Was it a Squib or Muggle?"

Harry sighed. "Squib. It crossed my mind that we might be dealing with another Umbridge who is trying to rid any trace Squibs from the wizarding world. Maybe the others are just to throw us off that track."

"You really are desperate for a magical HOLMES," Draco said with a quick laugh. "The potions and wounds don't fit that scenario."

"Yeah, I know. It just makes me sick that we have someone on our side killing Muggles and Squibs."

A strong wind blew through the room. Papers scattered about and book pages got ruffled. Draco quickly shut the window and tried to straighten the mess but gave up as Harry laughed at him. "Always thought you'd be a neat freak."

Draco rolled his eyes. "Spoiled by house elves, Potter. And before you ask, no I don't want one. Nosy critters and if you ask me not as loyal as they claim to be."

Harry winced.

"Look at that elf we came across at my cousin's home. Told on Helena right way. She shouldn't have done that," Draco said, knowing he should probably leave the subject of house elves alone.

"I think the elf still thought the parents were alive in some way," Harry said in Shandy's defense.

Draco thought better than to argue with Harry. Even an elf could tell that when flesh was falling off bones, the witch and wizard were dead.

"Speaking of Helena, I had Iris search HOLMES for any dead Muggles that might be connected to her when she said she lost her magic," Harry said.

"And—?" Draco was not surprised that Harry wasn't going to let go of that case so easily. Even Draco had been surprised how quickly and easily she had been released.

"Nothing."

"Ah, still doesn't mean she didn't do it," Draco said.

Harry grinned. "I agree."

The room darkened as the clouds made a comeback and obscured the moon. The candles on the mantle automatically lit. Draco added flames to the fireplace as a chill set in. Harry seemed to relax as the fire crackled.

"So why won't HOLMES work, Unspeakable Malfoy?" he said as he helped himself to the bottle of brandy and poured another. He topped of Draco's before setting the bottle down on a table instead of the nearby stack of books.

Draco knew the explanation would be long; he lifted his legs and rested them on a footstool that he Accio'd from another room. One appeared next to Harry's feet also. Harry followed suit and rested his legs on it, too. For just a moment, Draco couldn't say a word. He was caught up at the sight of Harry Potter in his flat drinking brandy with him by the fire. It was nice.

"Too much random information. Magic deals with specifics. Just like Apparating, you have to have a place in mind. But the biggest problem is the quality of the information. As you and I know, Aurors haven't always been the best record keepers, and, what they put on them isn't always the truth."

"So you've given up?" Harry said with a yawn worthy of a lion.

"No, not given up, just thinking that I might have better luck if I practised with some solid closed cases and see if I can replicate the outcomes. I'm working on the algorithms to pick out information that could possibly be related."

Harry yawned again. His eyelids drifted lower. "Maybe talk with Pince. Seems like she would have something to scan books for information. I used to think she knew every word in every book."

Draco smiled. As if an Unspeakable wouldn't have a way of searching books. "I'll do that tomorrow," he said thinking he would appease Harry and then realised he was talking to himself. Harry had fallen asleep. Draco cleared his couch and levitated Harry over to it. He carefully removed his boots. Harry gave a few moans of discomfort but then snuggled into the blankets and pillows Draco Accio'd from his bedroom. He removed the glasses, setting them on the coffee table, within arm's reach. Draco stood there looking at Harry and shook his head, remembering times when he would have killed Harry, or rather called others to kill him if he found him alone and asleep. Draco felt a peace come over him. Harry trusted him...completely. No words would have convinced him that was true, but Harry coming over and drinking as much as he did, wanting to talk shop and then falling asleep proved it was true. Draco spelled the fire to keep burning and then walked between the piles of books to his own room. Tonight he would sleep well.

colour


~~~~~~0~~~~~~



The morning brought an empty couch. Harry had left a note dangling in the air by the fireplace. Draco grabbed for it and tried to decipher the scribbles. There was yet another issue for creating HOLMES, deciphering Potter's notes.

Draco,

Thanks for the brandy, I swear next time is on me. I'm sorry but I shattered the glass when I was looking for my glasses. I left a few galleons on the table. I'll keep you updated. I have faith that you'll come through with HOLMES. HP.


Draco crumpled the piece of parchment and threw it into the fire. He saw the money on the table, which he'd return to Potter. Draco had found the mismatched set of bar glasses when he had moved into the flat. He glanced at his pocket-watch and then sipped his tea. He had a few moments before meeting Ron at the entrance to Knockturn Alley. The day had finally come, and for some reason Draco wasn't as apprehensive as before. He looked in the mirror and straightened the frogs on his formal Unspeakable robes. He didn't want to leave any doubt for anyone who saw him walking through Knocturn Alley that he was on official Ministry business.

"What's the occassion?" Ron said as Draco approached him near Gringotts. "Trying to impress the warlocks?"

"No," Draco replied shortly. "Not that I need to explain my attire to you but given where we are going I wanted to make sure no one would question why I was there."

Ron snorted. "Yeah, well, good luck on that. The Daily Prophet can easily print that you Imperio'd me."

Draco's stomach turned. "You don't think..."

Ron burst out laughing.

"Shut it Weasley. Let's just go and get this over with."

Draco kept pace with Ron as they walked through Knockturn Alley towards Borgin and Burkes. The scent of dark potions and incense hung heavy in the air. As they made their way along the winding path Draco realised that none of the shops here had appeared in their files. He wondered if the witch didn't like dark magic or that the Knockturn vendors wouldn't report any thefts to the Ministry. If he had to guess he would go with the latter.

He rolled his eyes as an old witch waved shrunken heads in front of his face. They were fabricated along with the bones reported to be human, which were just badly transformed animal bones. The poisonous candles, though, those were usually genuine. He remembered his aunt had a collection which she brought with her when she invaded the Manor with the Dark Lord. Ron, he spotted, was being left completely alone. So much for his uniform demanding any respect.

The sign saying Borgin and Burkes est 1863 creaked as it swayed in a non-existent wind. Draco took a big gulp before opening the door for Ron to enter first. The establishment seemed even more stuffed with furniture and shelves full of unusual artefacts than ever before. It could have been in defiance of the current Ministry or perhaps the old families had decided to rid their homes of dark magical items.

"Ah, Master Malfoy, what may I help you with today?" Mr Borgin asked as if he'd just seen Draco the previous day. The old wizard looked ancient. He shuffled towards the counter and started removing items laying there.

Ron stepped forward to speak, but Draco pushed him gently aside. Borgin wasn't going to say anything to Auror Ron Weasley. Weasley stood for everything the wizard detested.

"We are working a stolen items case, Mr Borgin. We were hoping you might have some information."

Borgin's eyes narrowed. "I didn't send for you, how did you know?"

"Know what?" Draco asked.

"Know about the knife of course. It was on the top shelf of that curio cabinet right there behind you. Went missing last week."

"Was it valuable?" Draco asked.

Borgin nodded. "Oh yes. The blade was dragon-breath forged and the handle goblin carved."

"And the goblins let you keep it?" Ron asked, causing both Draco and Borgin to look his way.

"The blade was cursed. One poke or slice and the animal would be dead," Borgin said to Ron and then turned back to Draco with an almost desperate look.

"Animal?" Ron asked.

"Yes, animal, Auror Weasley. Borgin wouldn't be selling items that might be used against a fellow wizard or witch."

"Oh, oh, right."

"Do you know who stole it?" Draco asked. Hopefully speaking up for Borgin had won him some points.

"Didn't see her do it, but she was the only patron that day. I hadn't seen her for many years. I don't think she knew I recognised her with her short ginger hair but I knew her parents. Good customers they were. I believe she's your cousin, Master Malfoy."

"Helena?" Draco asked. "Helena Malfoy? It seems hard to believe she'd come here after being released from the Ministry holding cell."

Borgin smiled. "You'd be surprised who comes here, Master Malfoy. You'd be surprised. As to Ms Malfoy, she said her name was Emmy Baker. I don't argue with customers, especially paying ones. She bought a few cutting quills, a deck of cards, and a very nice bracelet. It wasn't cursed, of course, but the rubies were exquisite."

"Do you want to file a formal report?" Draco asked.

Borgin shook his head. "No."

"And if we find the knife?" Draco asked.

"Then you may keep it, Master Malfoy."

~~~~~~0~~~~~~



"I don't think we need back up to talk to your cousin, Malfoy," Ron said as they made their way back to Diagon Alley and then rushed to the Leaky Cauldron.

Within a few minutes they were near Paultons Square, appropriately dressed as Muggles. Draco directed Ron towards #28. He elbowed him once as Ron seemed overwhelmed by the wealthy town homes. Draco took a moment's pride that his cousin had done so well for herself, even if she was a thief.

They hesitated for a minute as they composed themselves and caught their breath. Then they knocked. There was no answer.

"Should we take a look?" Draco asked. He wasn't quite sure about the Auror procedure in entering a private home uninvited.

"Look but don't touch." Ron responded drew his wand out of the pocket of his jacket and whispered the door opening spell.

"Oi, what's with the white?" he said as he stepped into the flat.

"Yes, we'll have to make sure we check the floors for dirt before we leave." Draco went into the sitting room. Nothing looked any different than before. The paintings were on the walls and the white furniture sparse but tasteful. This time, however, he ventured into the other rooms. Everything was perfectly in place and no clutter what-so-ever. It felt frigid. How could anyone live like this? Even the closets contained perfectly aligned shoes. The sweaters were expertly folded while dresses and jackets hung in neat rows.

"There is nothing here. I'd be surprised to find a crumb big enough for a mouse. And I'm not about to Accio the knife," Ron said as they met back up in the living room. "Remember what Borgin said, one nick and you're dead."

Draco sighed and pulled out a pair of gloves and his wand from his jacket pocket.

Ron looked at him quizzically. "Dragon hide?"

"Yes, I need them for my potions work but I think they will do for this, too."

"Your life, Malfoy."

Draco put on the gloves. "Accio goblin knife," he said with a flick of his wand. Nothing appeared. He repeated the spell with the same result.

"We should try the other place you and Harry went to," Ron said.

"Chrysos Hall," Draco said. "It should be better now that the bodies have gone. Just an old dusty manor. Maybe Helena decided to move back there. She does have an elf to help her."

~~~~~~0~~~~~~



"Bloody hell, Malfoy, is everyone in your family filthy rich?"

The manor, which now belonged exclusively to Helena Malfoy, appeared in the distance at the top of the hill. Draco surmised it could fit the whole Weasley family including grandkids with each having their own room. The four stories of windows sparkled like diamonds in the morning sun.

"Filthy is the appropriate word, Weasley. We had very little to do with this side of the family. I never inquired why that was but I assume it had to do with my father and his disapproving of them and their jealousy of us."

The walk up the windy path seemed shorter this time. Maybe because it was now autumn and the leaves on the estate trees were at their peak colour.

This time he wasn't surprised at the lack of protection spells. The house elf would keep Helena safe.

"State your name," the doorknocker said.

"Draco Malfoy and guest," Draco responded without hesitation.

"Be welcome," the doorknocker said and the door opened.

The moment Draco entered he knew something was wrong. An odd sense of deja-vu came over him. The rays of the sun hadn't reached the high windows; the entrance hall was dark. He and Ron both took out their wands and held them up lighting the hall with a Lumos. Draco put his other hand out, stopping Ron from walking any further. He whispered his family spell.

"She's not here," Draco said. "And the house looks worse than before. I'll call the elf.".

"Don't think that's going to work," Ron said and pointed at the top of the stairwell. Hanging on a plaque was a mounted elf's head.

"That bitch," Draco spat out. "The elf had betrayed her but I didn't think she'd kill him."

"I should call for Hermione," Ron said. "She could tell whether the elf was murdered or not."

Draco shook his head. Even though he and Hermione talked about Arithmancy and possible spells for HOLMES, he didn't think he could handle both of them at the same time. "Wait until we're done. I don't want a gaggle of Aurors and Level Four people traipsing through here destroying evidence."

Ron snorted. "Malfoy, this place has been ransacked."

Draco blinked as he held his wand high and turned around. The furnishings were all gone, even the chandeliers and sconces. "We should check the rest of the house," he said, wondering when this had happened and if Helena had done it. "The bedrooms and sitting rooms are upstairs. Let's see if they're empty now, too."

At the top of the landing they both held out their wands lighting the elf's face. Shandy was much too young to have died from natural causes. "Left is where I found the bodies in their sitting room. Harry went to the right; I'm not sure what he saw down there."

They ventured left retracing Draco's steps from a month before. Each room was empty with only spiders and mice left.

"It's almost like it's been returned to its original Muggle state. I can't even feel a hint of magic," Draco said, commenting more to himself than to Ron.

They opened up more and more doors until they came to a far stairwell, leading up to the third floor.

"Let's finish this floor first," Draco said and turned around. It took them a few minutes to make their way down the desolate hallway. The wooden boards were in need of polishing and squeaked with each step. They came to Shandy's mounted head and passed it without looking. Ahead they found a barren library and a study and a bedroom.

"Look!" Ron said as they exited the bedroom, "there's something hanging on the wall."

They rush down the hallway and found a massive green tapestry draped against the wall. Ron tried to push it aside but only the bottom corner gave way.

"Don't bother, Weasley. Family house-magic is keeping it in place. It's the Malfoy family tree." Draco raised his wand, and recognised the many names embroidered in black and silver thread, all connected by golden branches. He quickly found his name and then Helena's. With his finger he began to trace his name to the Malfoys' origins centuries ago. He used to do the same thing when he was a child in Lucius' personal study. His finger stopped three levels up at his great-grandparents. There was a mistake. "Weasley, give me some light here," he demanded. Ron brought his wand closer at once. Its cool blue light increased the intensity of the names in silver. "Who is Natalie Malfoy? My great-grandfather didn't have a sister, only two brothers."

"She married a John Berry born 1802 and it looks like they didn't have any kids. It's also strange that there is no record of death," Ron said.

Draco shook his head. "The name sounds familiar but I don't know of any wizarding family with the name Berry."

"Any other names you don't recognise?" Ron asked.

"Give me a minute." Draco looked for other names that he didn't remember from father's tapestry. "Look, another one without children. I always thought my father's maternal grandmother was an only child, but here it says she had a brother named George Pemberton. I don't understand. Oh shit, I bet they married Muggles."

Ron laughed. Draco turned towards him and scowled.

"Maybe we should continue looking around," Ron said. "Do you think anything might be behind the tapestry? Since you're family, maybe you can draw it back"

Draco stepped to the edge and pulled it to the side. An ornate carved door was revealed. "Brilliant," he whispered and reached for the crystal door handle, turning it with ease. But the door barely cracked open. "Something is leaning against it. Help me push, Weasley." They both put their shoulders to the door and pushed with all their strength. The door budged open.

"Wh-what!"

"Bloody hell!"

"I—I don't even know where to begin," Draco muttered as he stared at mountains of stuff piled upon piles of more stuff. He covered his nose as the stench rotting animals and musty clothing and papers was overwhelming. He could barely discern one item from the next. A feeling of terror started to within him. Visions of the Room of Requirement the day of the fiendfyre came to him in overwhelming speed. "I—I've got to get out of here," he croaked and turned around to exit the room.

"You okay, mate?" Ron asked out in the hallway and put his hand on Draco's shoulder.

Draco was bent over holding his knees gasping for air. He nodded. He was too overcome to comment on Ron's friendly words and touch. Somehow he found comfort in it. He knew in this moment that even with all that happened between them, that stupid Auror Weasley would protect even him.

"What, what is that in there?" Draco said, struggling to get the words out.

"It's called a hoard. Worst I've ever seen."

Draco looked up at Ron. "You've seen this type of thing before?"

"Yeah, a few times over the years. Usually in the house of some old wizarding family that has lost their fortunes or loved ones in the war. Sometimes people lose too much and then they hold onto everything. They start to hoard stuff."

"We should show Harry this."

Ron shook his head. "No, Harry doesn't need shit like this. Whoever did this is sick, Malfoy. They're not taking care of the items; they just to possess everything. Harry would never understand it."

Draco rose up. At least he could breathe properly again. He leaned against the tapestry. "We should find out if it's Helena," he said.

"I'll check. You stay here. Let me borrow the gloves, though." He took the gloves from Draco's hands and squeezed back through the opening of the door. Draco stared down the long hallway while holding back the tapestry. If it was Helena who had come back, why had she not she recognised all that she still had? She could have lived here with her house-elf and been part of the wizarding community, no matter that she had lost her magic.

"It's her." Ron said before he even reappeared in the doorway, carrying one of large sacks Aurors used to transport evidence. He set it before Draco and opened it up. "Bugbear hide, I presume. The goblin knife and a shitload of Chocolate Frog cards, which I only gathered a few."

"Should we find and arrest her?" Draco asked.

"No, not yet. I think we need to catalogue the items. I also want to find out where the house furniture has gone. Why would she leave this hoard and get rid of everything else? If we report this now, knowing Dawlish, he'd take us off the case."

"True," Draco said, feeling overly weary.

"Why don't we call it a day? You're not looking to well and I want to talk to Hermione about the elf."

~~~~~~0~~~~~~



What was to be a short afternoon nap turned into a long sleep. Draco woke up on the couch shivering. He'd left the window open again and now the night's chill had set in. He closed the window and started a fire. He stared into the flames thinking about that room, the hoard in Chrysos Hall. A spark of memory hit him and he jumped up. "No—no way. It's a coincidence," he whispered. "But if it's not?" There was just one way to find out. He reached for a piece of parchment and self-inking quill.

Detective Inspector Iris,

My apologies in contacting you on a Friday night but I need some information that I'm hoping you can help me with. Is there a way to look up Edward Berry's ancestors? Can you find out if he's related to a John Berry. John was born in 1802. He married a woman named Natalie Malfoy. I think you can see where I'm going with this. Also, do any of the Muggle victims have the last name of Pemberton? If so would they be related to a George Pemberton? Please return any information you have by owl.

Regards,
Unspeakable Draco Malfoy.


Draco paced the floor, waiting for Iris' response. He wasn't sure how long it would take her to find the information. HOLMES seemed to have all of the answers to their questions. He was sure there was a way to find someone's ancestors, but then maybe it only tracked the information the Muggles entered into it. He'd have to ask.

Two hours had passed. He'd eaten dinner and firecalled Blaise. Finally, he decided that it could take days for Iris to respond and that he should busy himself with something else. He picked up a copy of the Daily Prophet and went to his room, lay in bed and caught up on the news and gossip. As a last resort he turned on the wireless for music and opened the drawer of his bedside table. A bottle of lube and the newest edition of Wizard's Only would hopefully be the charm that made him calm down. It didn't hurt that the cover featured a dark-haired handsome wizard riding a broom, wearing nothing but glasses.

~~~~~~0~~~~~~



The hooting of an owl outside his bedroom window woke Draco up. It was eight in the morning. He shook his head, surprised that he'd slept that long. But then he was having dreams he only wished were true. He gave Iris' barn owl an owl treat and sent her on her way. He unscrolled the note and gave a whoop. John Berry was Edward Berry's great-grandfather. Iris also added that one of the victims mother's maiden name was Pemberton and that she was related to a George. She then went on at length about how odd it was that there was no information for either George Pemberton or Natalie Malfoy before their marriage date. One such case could have been a coincidence but not two. These weren't random Muggles being murdered. These were Muggles distantly related to magical families. For good measure, Iris had sent him a list of the other dead Muggles' names. He would spend the weekend tracing their history. It would be tricky as Directive 1842 made it difficult to gather ancestry information but if worse came to worse he'd ask Granger-Weasley to do it. Draco knew deep down that he would find the names Iris sent him were related to other wizarding families. He also knew that he'd have to tell Harry.

~~~~~~0~~~~~~



"Number 12 Grimmauld Place," Draco said as he threw down the Floo Powder in his fireplace. After breakfast he had sent Harry a note asking if they could get together as he had something important to share about the case. Harry had replied with his address, saying the Floo would be open.

When he arrived, a house-elf he recognised from during the war greeted him and showed him to the backyard. Draco was confused why Potter would be out there. He never imagined him as the gardening type.

"Over here," Harry yelled from the side of the yard.

Draco crossed a small patch of grass and rounded the corner of the house. His breath caught in his throat. Harry was laying on the ground, fixing what Draco knew to be a motorbike and if his memory served him correctly, he'd heard that it was Sirius Black's.

"Be done in a minute," Harry said as he turned his attention back to his work.

"Take your time. No hurry," Draco said meaning every word of it. He never thought any one could look so good wearing jeans and a greased up white t-shirt.

"So what has you working on a Saturday?" Harry asked as he continued to tinker with the motorcycle.

Draco stepped a bit closer to Harry and cleared his throat. "I found the connection between the disappearing Muggles, Squibs and wizards."

Harry stopped working and tilted his head to the side, glancing up at Draco. His eyes were hidden behind grease speckled glasses. "You mean besides the potions and marks."

Draco nodded. "Yes, Potter, I unearthed a deeper connection."

"What is it?" Harry asked, giving Draco his full attention.

"The dead Muggles all have magical ancestors, third or more generations back."

"Shit! You know this for sure? Who else knows?"

"DI Bustamant. I had her look up a few names to make sure. On the Muggle side they're showing a relative with no records before the marriage. On our side, the records show a relative married a Muggle and when they didn't have any magical children they weren't tracked anymore."

"That's fucking brilliant, Draco. Did you use your HOLMES for it?"

Draco laughed. "No, Potter, I made the connection myself. Only a HOLMES that contained both the Muggle and wizarding worlds' information could have made the connection."

"We have to let Kingsley know. Now he has to make Dawlish put you back on the case. Give me a minute, I'm almost done and then I'm going to send an owl asking for a meeting."

A warm feeling coursed through Draco. He wanted to be back working with Harry and now maybe he would.

"There, that should do it," Harry said a few moments later and then stood up.

"Black's bike?" Draco said.

"Yeah. Got her after the war and started putting her back together again. Have you ever been on one?"

"No, and not sure I would want to."

Harry laughed and wiped his brow adding more grease to his face. "Nothing like it, Draco. Beats a broom or a car any day."

Draco rolled his eyes. "Right, okay, I'll take your word for it."

"No, seriously, I'll give you a ride. You'll see."

Draco shook his head. "And if I say No?"

"Then I'll think less of you as a man," Harry said trying keep a straight face.

"Well then we can't have that. But just a short ride, Potter."

"Okay, then, give me a few minutes to clean up and send an owl Kingsley. Oh and you might want to change your slacks. Jeans or leather work best."

Leather, Draco thought. Potter in leather. He wished he had thought about that last night. He looked at the bike. It reminded him of a mechanical beast. One that was untamed. Chrome glistened in the sun, while the dark-red gas tank seemed to absorb the rays. His attention was averted when a door creaked behind him. He turned around and saw a shed in the corner of the yard. He walked over to the small shed to latch the door, but something inside caught his eye. It was a glass on a shelf, and it looked like one of his mismatched brandy snifters.

Draco opened the door wider and his jaw dropped. It was wizarding space and there in the shed were multiple rows of shelves lining the walls. Item after item was displayed carefully as if each was a valuable treasure. Draco couldn't help but walk into the shed.

On the edge of the top shelf was his name printed out quite legibly on a card and behind it was the sparkling brandy snifter. Next to it stood a blue vase. Draco smiled remembering the moment when he had caught Harry nick it up at Goathland. A button caught his attention as it randomly lit up words that had once said Potter Stinks. His breath caught as he noticed a wand laying there just like any other item. It was his hawthorn wand. The wand Harry had taken down the Dark Lord with. Instinctively, Draco reached for it but then pulled back. It was Harry's, not his.

Draco took a few more steps into the inside of the shed. Names and items were everywhere. It was as if Harry was trying to hold onto every single memory and treasure it. Draco remembered what Ron had said about how Harry wouldn't understand Helena not appreciating what she had accumulated. And that some people can lose too much and then try and hold on to everything. Harry was flawed, Draco thought, but then corrected himself. Harry was human. He'd been affected by his childhood and the war in ways beyond Draco's comprehension.

He quickly exited the shed and latched the door. He transfigured his slacks into jeans and only hoped Potter would choose leather. Harry didn't disappoint. The black leather trousers were nothing like the one's Draco saw at the clubs. Those were for show. The leather Harry was wearing was for a purpose, giving it a whole new dimension. The word that came to Draco was masculine. He knew he shouldn't stare but he couldn't tear his gaze away.

"Ready?" Harry asked as he climbed over the motorcycle seat, straddling it.

"Yes, I think so," Draco said while trying to gather his wits. He quickly joined Harry on the bike.

"Hold on tight, Malfoy." Harry started the engine. The deep loud rumble coursed through Draco, vibrating in all of the right places. No wonder Harry likes this thing so much. But then as the bike began to move out of the side gate and onto the street all Draco could do was smile and hold on.

They cruised down the Muggle streets, the engine's purr causing people to stare. Without warning Harry began to increase the speed and they rounded a corner that seemed to be heading towards a dead end. Only on the last stretch did the bike begin to rise.

"Fuck!" Draco yelled as his they skimmed rooftops and narrowly missed chimneys. He could feel Harry laughing in front of him. Draco held on tighter. And then once again without warning they climbed up into the sky, punching through low puffy clouds.

Draco said as loud as he could in Harry's ear, "Where are we going?"

Harry took one hand off the handle bar and pointed down. All Draco could see was golden trees. The descent made his stomach jump. He closed his eyes and rested his face against Harry's back. He was clinging onto Harry as hard as he could, which made him feel safe. Soon the engine slowed and they landed softer than he had ever done on his broom. Draco slowly opened his eyes when Harry shut off the engine. The world was silent. They were in the midst of rolling hills covered with golden leaved trees. Only the sun's rays pierced through the canopy they were under.

"Oh, Potter."

"Have you been here before?" Harry asked as he got off the bike. Draco did the same, but his legs felt a bit wobbly and bent out of shape. He tried to shake it off. Harry smiled at him.

Draco looked around at the thick carpet of autumn leaves and, yet, there were still plenty on the dark-barked trees. "No, don't think I have."

"Forest of Dean," Harry said. "Hermione took Ron and me here that year."

Draco didn't have to ask what year. He reached down and picked up the most perfect golden leaf he could find and handed it to Harry. Harry took it and looked at him with both a question and a smile.

"Keep it, Harry, because I want you to remember this moment," Draco said. And before Harry could respond, Draco lifted Potter's chin with two fingers and kissed him gently on the lips. At first he thought he'd made a mistake but then Harry pulled him forward into a tight hold. Draco slowly parted his lips and was greeted with a soft throaty moan and the tip of Harry's tongue. The kiss lasted longer than any he remembered; it was as if either pulled away the magic would be gone. Draco was sure that when they stopped that they'd look at each other and wonder what the hell they were doing. Instead, he felt Harry's hands on his shoulders and the kiss ended. Their foreheads met and then they stared at each other.

"I'll never forget," Harry whispered.

bikefinal


~~~~~~0~~~~~~

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK...


Date: 2013-10-19 10:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] helenadax.livejournal.com
Awwww, that was perfection. Draco and Ron working together without killing each other, the motorbike, the kiss, the way Draco understands Harry's little secret... Well done!

Date: 2013-10-19 05:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iwao.livejournal.com
Oh, bloody hell, what a ride!! This was absolutely perfect! So perfect, in fact, that I don't mind for once waiting till next week for the next episode. I will savour this one all week. And probably re-read it. The artwork was amazing too! And that kiss was such a long way in the making, it felt like magic!

Hats off to you all. Did I mention how PERFECT this is? XD

Date: 2013-10-19 07:28 pm (UTC)
eidheann_writes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eidheann_writes
Aww
What a sweet ending. ♥

Date: 2013-10-20 01:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] khalulu.livejournal.com
Oh, Harry fixing the motorcycle and taking Draco for a ride was great! And I loved the picture of him sleeping on Draco's couch. (And the kissing picture.) Mystery continues to be intriguing. I like Ron passing out the special Frog cards too.

Date: 2013-10-20 04:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fantasyfiend09.livejournal.com
Eeeeeeeee!!

First of all, best art episode!! The tenderness of Draco tucking Harry in with the glow of the fire left me a melted pile of goo, and the kiss over the motorbike (oh, Draco and his cheekbones!!) had me squeeing like a piggy.

I loved Ron and Draco's dynamic. I loved that they decided to fake friendliness to spite Dawlish but then Draco appreciated Ron's recognition of the pattern and Ron was tender and supportive when Draco was upset.

I love the contrast between the two hoarders and how Harry keeps his treasures as if in a museum. It was touching how Ron and Draco both understood that Harry needs those treasures and would be hurt to see how Helena treats her own.

Very creepy to start off in Helena's mind, especially as we don't know it's hers. At first, it reads like Draco's pov, and doesn't than just add to the creepiness! I am very excited that Draco found out how the Muggle victims tie into the case! So excited for more!

Date: 2013-10-20 04:51 pm (UTC)
gracerene: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gracerene
so much amazingness! i loved Ron and Draco working together and Harry falling asleep on Draco's couch and everything with the motorbike. And a kiss, yay!

Date: 2013-10-21 07:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] valkyrie17.livejournal.com
Lovely. I enjoyed Ron and Dracos' interactions, the point where things started to come together and the little touch of romance:)

Date: 2013-10-21 08:03 pm (UTC)
capitu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] capitu
Awwww, wonderful! THANK YOU! I've been waiting for this kiss all season. :D

So many parts that I loved. Ron and Draco working well together, Harry riding a bike, Draco working back again with Harry, Harry's collection of mementos, that kiss. Just awww.

And the art! Beautiful. You artists spoil us. <3

Great episode. I can't wait for the next.

Date: 2013-10-21 11:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chronos-tide.livejournal.com
I've been waiting for this kiss all season.

Trust me, so have we :-) Glad you're enjoying!

Date: 2013-10-22 12:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] calmnla.livejournal.com
Hooray! A kiss! It was no accident the shed door creaked, was it?

Ron and Draco are a good match. New respect for each other. Progress on the creepy Helena. Wow, bad stuff, great imagery. Speaking of images,sweet ones here. Really a heartwarming break from most creepiness. :-)

You all are doing a fantastic job, really,

Date: 2013-10-22 12:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icmezzo.livejournal.com
Wow. Some stunning art this week. Well done, artists. Wonderful work.

Nice job, mystery writer! I am glad Draco was able to put things together and contribute in that way, and I loved the little touches: Harry's shed, Ron and Draco with the chocolate frogs, the ending...and really, how can you go wrong with Harry and Draco on Sirius' bike?

Another great episode!

Date: 2013-10-22 01:21 am (UTC)
ext_90630: (Default)
From: [identity profile] nonajf.livejournal.com
Things are starting to come together!

Date: 2013-10-25 04:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-undaunted.livejournal.com
Simply fantastic.. :) It's getting more and more intriguing. Thumbs up!

Date: 2013-10-25 12:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] serilla.livejournal.com
Another intriguing chapter with great art. Mystery deepens still. At least Draco and Harry are slowly getting their act together. Love how Ron and Draco are partners. Can't wait till next week. :)

Date: 2013-10-25 07:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] your-hucklebery.livejournal.com
This is fantastic. So full of lovely moments. I absolutely love this series.

Date: 2013-11-05 09:02 am (UTC)
birdsofshore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birdsofshore
Art first! The scene with Harry asleep on the sofa is marvellous. The cosy, half-light and the pink glow from the fire make such a lovely, intimate mood. And the tiny part we can see of Draco's face is bizarrely expressive.

The kiss with the motorbike is WOW. Harry's face, Draco's hair and his cheekbones and throat, THE MOTORBIKE, the way they are perpetually frozen JUST ABOUT TO KISS, aaaargh you are killing me, so not Mystery Author :DD Harry looks as if he's anticipating wonderful pleasure, and Draco is all yearning and aasdfghjkfdsdghjk. The way his hand is just skimming Harry's jaw and turning his face slightly. *happy sigh* Also, Harry's bod in the t-shirt <3

I could gaze at this for hours (am probably on the way to racking that up, as I keep coming back to it.) I've said it so many times but the colours are soooo wonderful, these blues and bluey-greens and the red. I basically want you to illustrate my life, MA; your art is so much nicer than the real world.

For the fic: I loved the bike being involved, and the building creepiness, and all of the intriguing elements of the cases, and Ron. Lots of love for Ron. The ending was very nice. So happy to see them getting together.

Date: 2013-11-10 11:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] omi-ohmy.livejournal.com
Draco and Ron working together, and Ron stuffing his face: brilliant. Draco having warm, bonding feelings about Ron was just lovely. And then Harry falling asleep on the sofa! A wonderful moment and I was so glad to see the beautiful art to go with it as well.

Finally, the kiss. Just perfect. :) Again the art work was just right for the moment, and also I liked the touch with the leaf for Harry's collection. I think I'm having some warm bonding feelings of my own now. :D

Date: 2013-11-11 07:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dark0feenix.livejournal.com
Yay for them finally kissing! And to have pretty art to capture the moment too! The whole motorcycle trip was a wonderful idea. Well done!

Date: 2013-11-26 06:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] micehellhpdm.livejournal.com
The perfect ending for the chapter! :D

Superb - of course.

Date: 2013-12-11 08:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wemyss.livejournal.com
Simply brill. (Sadly, I have been perforce unable to comment before now, due to other duties.)