|SIYE Time:9:53 on 27th July 2021|
Murder on the Hogwarts Express?
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Category: Hogwarts Express Challenge (2006-3)
Genres: General, Humor
Story is Complete
Summary: A Death Eater is found lying prone on the floor of the baggage compartment and the prefects call Harry in to investigate.
Hitcount: Story Total: 3391
Possibly not what the Challenge instigators had in mind but Harry and Ginny wouldn't let it go until I'd written it down.
Harry opened his eyes, a large scowl advertising his displeasure. ‘What in the name of Merlin has got the rest of the train so worked up?’ he asked, referring to the loud talking that was coming from the corridor of the train. ‘How am I supposed to catch up on my sleep with all that racket going on?’
Luna glanced up from the copy her magazine. ‘I was wondering the same thing myself?’ she replied. Harry watched in disbelief as she went back to reading her magazine without further comment. He had already psyched himself up for one of her bizarre comments and he felt strangely let down by her positively normal remark. His attention was still on her when the carriage door opened and Ron stuck his head in.
Harry turned his attention away from Luna to address his friend. There was a slightly alarmed look on his friends face which had him a little worried. ‘I thought you had a Prefect meeting to attend?’ he asked. Ron had left him alone with Luna not five minutes ago, dragged out of the compartment by an officious Hermione who demanded his presence at the final Prefect meeting for the year. Ron had been very reluctant to leave, claiming that it was bad enough having to actually perform the Prefect duties without listening to the current Head Boy and Girl rehash them all over again.
He looked to his left and right before speaking as though trying to hide what he was about to say. ‘I was but there’s been a bit of a situation come up that needs your expertise,’ he said in a quiet voice. ‘Hermione wants you to come and sort it out before the rest of the train gets wind of it.’
Harry followed Ron down towards the end of the train, passing many groups of loudly talking students. Judging by their excited voices Harry was fairly certain whatever the Prefects wanted to keep quiet was already out of the bag. Eventually they reached the end of the train to find three Prefects standing guard in front of the door to baggage compartment. It was here that the most students had gathered, some of whom were currently trying to bribe the Prefects to let them have a peek in the door. One of the Prefects was actually caught with one hand on the handle of the door and a very large cauldron cake in his other hand. When he caught sight of Ron the Prefect tried to act like he was holding the door closed but Ron wasn’t having any of it.
‘Oi,’ he yelled indignantly. ‘What are you doing Stebbins? You’re supposed to be guarding the door not running a peek show. I’ll take that,’ he said plucking the cake out of his hands and tucking it in his pocket. ‘Can’t have you giving into temptation while my back is turned, can I now?’ he asked with a large smirk. He gestured for the Prefect to open the door to let him and Harry enter. Before Harry had a chance to slip inside he felt something brush him lightly and a familiar scent wafted into his nose. Suppressing a smile he paused for a moment before entering the compartment. Ron followed close behind, taking a large bite out of the cake as soon as the door was closed.
He was alarmed to discover the body of a man lying prone on the floor with a very big knife sticking out of his back. ‘One of the seventh year students found him there while he was stretching his legs,’ Ron informed him in between large bites of the cauldron cake. The rest of us Prefects had a quick meeting and decided since you’ve had the most experience with Death Eaters you should be the one to run the investigation.’
Harry was confused, and more than a little disgusted at Ron’s ability to eat around a dead person. ‘What investigation?’
‘You know gather clues, interview people, the sort of thing people normally do in a murder investigation.’
Harry snorted. ‘I know what a murder investigation involves Ron,’ he said patiently. ‘I’m just wondering why you all seem to think I’m the one who should solve it. Surely that will be the job of Aurors.’
‘Well Hermione thought that since the murderer obviously has to be travelling on the train, that it would make sense to try and capture the murderer before he or she has a chance to escape at Kings Cross Station. She convinced us you would be the best person to run it.’
Harry rolled his eyes. ‘Ron I’m a sixth year student not a bloody modern day Sherlock Holmes,’ he replied exasperatedly.
Ron looked very bewildered. ‘You’re not a what? Hey that rhymes,’ he said looking very pleased with himself.
‘Merlin give me strength,’ Harry said as he banged his forehead against the compartment wall.
To his relief, Ron finally finished off the cauldron cake. ‘So since you’re in charge Harry what do you want me to do then?’
Harry ignored his friend and crouched down in front of the corpse, examining the scene carefully. He reached out tentatively with his hand and prodded the corpse and knew instantly who was behind this. A slight smile crossed his face, which he managed to hide before he turned back to Ron.
‘Well Ron I think I should examine the body while you and the rest of the prefects go and interview everyone to get their alibis?’ he suggested confidently. Ron nodded his head and turned around immediately to leave the compartment. ‘Oh and I’ll be running some pretty heavy diagnostic spells so you’d better tell the prefects guarding the door not to let anyone in. Someone could get hurt if they come in at the wrong time. Make sure you knock before you come in and I’ll let you know if it’s safe.’ Ron nodded his again and left him alone in the compartment.
‘Accio Cloak,' he said softly and held out his hand in readiness. Ginny slowly appeared, as though being unveiled, looking particularly mischievous. She didn’t seem the slightest bit perturbed that Harry had known she was there.
‘I guess I should start collecting evidence then,’ he said giving her a cheeky look as he transfigured a quill into a large magnifying glass.
‘Put that magnifying glass away,’ she told him as she edged closer to him. ‘We both know there’s no need for it.’ Harry grinned and did as instructed, laying the magnifying glass on top of the nearest trunk.
‘So Mr Hot Shot Private Eye,’ she said as she moved even closer, ‘why don’t you ignore the body on the floor and start investigating what I’ve got under my robes,’ she suggested as she moved closer and kissed him.
Completely forgetting that they had broken up less than twenty-fours hours earlier, Harry responded to her kiss, letting out a small groan as she pressed against him. Spinning her around he backed her up until she was braced up against the wall, kissing her all the while. He slid his leg in between hers and he pressed his own body even closer until all he could feel was her. He had only just started investigating under her robes when a knock came at the door.
‘Harry are you in there?’ he heard Ron call out.
‘Just a minute Ron, I’m in the middle of a spell,’ he called out in a strained voice. He quickly grabbed the invisibility cloak and tossed it over Ginny. Conjuring a large bag he looked desperately around the floor and started throwing anything he could find into it. He was just about to open the door when Ginny hissed at him.
‘Harry your shirt, it’s all untucked at the back. And you should do something about your hair as well or you’ll give us away.’
Harry started to tuck in his shirt but it was difficult with just one hand. ‘Here hold this,’ he said thrusting the evidence bag into her hands. He straightened his hair quickly and finished tucking in his shirt before reaching for the door. By the time he opened the door he’d managed to compose his face into an appropriately grave appearance.
Ron stepped into the room and began scanning the room. ‘Don’t tell me you’ve finished collecting the alibi’s already,’ he asked, desperately trying to hide his nervousness. If Ron found him with Ginny after only just breaking up with her he would probably be very angry with him.
His friend continued to search the room with his eyes. As his eyes turned in Ginny’s direction he looked very puzzled. ‘What’s that?’ he asked, pointing at the bag of so-called clues which now appeared to be floating in mid-air.
‘That’s um,’ Harry stumbled, his fear had caused him to forget the proper name of the bag, ‘well it’s the stuff I’ve picked up, and you know clues, that sort of thing.’
‘Why is the evidence bag floating like that?’ Ron asked with a quizzical look.
Harry thought quickly. ‘Oh well I thought it would be a good idea to keep the area as uncontaminated as possible,’ he finally said, thanking the gods effusively for all those episodes of Law and Order his aunt had watched.
Ron appeared thoughtful. ‘Good thinking mate. Wouldn’t want anyone to get away because you hadn’t done the job properly. Can I see what you’ve collected so far?’
‘Sure,’ Harry replied, plucking the bag out of the air quickly before Ron could get any closer. He began emptying the contents on top of a trunk. The first piece of evidence was an unused ticket to Birmingham.
‘So you’re thinking the murderer dropped this.’ Harry nodded his head dumbly. ‘Guess we’ll have to ask where everyone lives then.’ He reached back into the bag and found something soft and squishy and wrapped in plastic. When he drew it out Ron laughed heartily. ‘That’s not evidence, that’s my lunch. I came back to get that.' Harry’s face reddened as he quickly moved onto the next clue. It was a hairpin. At this clue Ron began to look very pale. ‘Mate that looks like the clip that Ginny wears all the time. You don’t think something’s happened to her do you.’
Harry shook his head emphatically. ‘I’m positive she’s alright because I saw her not long ago.’ He let out the breath he had been holding when Ron seemed to accept this. Harry almost groaned when he saw the fourth clue he drew out. It was a little green button that matched perfectly with the blouse he had been trying to get his hand inside when they were interrupted. Thankfully Ron didn't recognise it. The final clue that he drew out was a timetable for classes.
‘Well we can rule out the first and second years then,’ Ron concluded after looking it over. ‘They don’t have Arithmancy and Ancient Runes. Listen mate why don’t you keep running your spells while I take this lot to Hermione. I’m sure she’ll be able to work it all out in no time. She’s brilliant after all,’ he said proudly.
‘Good idea mate,’ he said as he watched his friend leave. ‘Oi Ron, don’t forget your lunch.’ He didn’t want his friend to have any reason to come back in the next hour or so.
Ginny removed his cloak as soon as the door was closed and resumed her position against the wall. ‘Now where were we up to in your investigation Mr Potter,’ she asked, arching her eyebrows suggestively. He quickly resumed his position against her body but his hip struck something hard. Reaching down into her pocket he drew out a pair of handcuffs.
‘So how come you have these handcuffs, then?’ he asked, dangling them in front of her face.
She blushed quite prettily. ‘Well that was just in case you were planning on being uncooperative.’
“I didn’t know you were so kinky Miss Weasley,’ he murmured before kissing her once more. He wasn’t sure how long they kissed but it seemed like just moments before he heard someone pounding on the door again. Ron called out to him but this time he was highly agitated.
He burst the door open just as Harry finished covering Ginny up again. Luckily Ron was too preoccupied to notice his dishevelled state. ‘Ginny is missing,’ his best friend announced dramatically. ‘And what’s more we know she’s been somewhere near this corpse. Hermione recognised that green button from the shirt Ginny was wearing today and another fifth year said the timetable is identical to his. Put that together with the hairclip and we reckon something has happened to Ginny.’
‘Well either that or she murdered the Death Eater,’ Luna added as she came up alongside Ron. ‘I’ve heard people can do strange things when they just break up with someone. They become vulnerable to mental attacks from Blue-banded Circadilias.’ Harry was certain that Blue-banded Circadilias didn’t exist but he couldn’t resist asking what they did. ‘Oh they infest the hearts of people who’ve been crossed in love and convince them to do things that are totally out of character. I’d say murdering a Death Eater is not something Ginny Weasley normally does,’ she added.
Ron looked horrified at her pronouncement. “My sister is not a murderer’ he yelled. ‘She’s most likely been kidnapped. You’ve got to do something Harry,’ he begged.
‘Me?’ Harry said without thinking.
‘Yes, bloody you,’ Ron insisted. ‘You’re a hero go do whatever it is hero’s do. Be heroic or something.’
A large snort of laughter from the corner gave Ginny’s presence away. A totally outraged Ron faced Harry accusingly. This time he seemed to have put the clues together rather fast. ‘Have you been snogging my sister instead of running this bloody murder investigation,’ he demanded.
At this point Ginny collapsed on the ground laughing uncontrollably. ‘Oh Ron,’ she spluttered in between laughs. ‘Nobody’s been murdered. If you had just touched the so-called corpse like Harry did you would have worked out immediately that it was a fake.’
The total lack of blood was also another dead giveaway,’ Harry added with a smirk.
Ron was totally confused at first but then he gave Harry a deathly glare. ‘Fine,' he snapped. "If there was no murder then would you care to explain exactly how one of the buttons from my sisters blouse came to be lying on the floor?’
‘No idea mate,’ he said holding his hands up innocently and backing towards the door. At this point he suspected that he might have been a little premature in declaring that there was no murder. He was also rather certain that he would not be called on to investigate the next one, largely because he was likely to be the victim. 'I reckon I should go find out who lost their ticket to Birmingham,' he suggested, taking off at a run,
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