|SIYE Time:7:50 on 27th July 2021|
Harry Potter, Private Eye
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Category: Hogwarts Express Challenge (2006-3)
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Tragedy
Warnings: Death, Sexual Situations, Violence
Story is Complete
Summary: On the way to King's Cross, a body is found on the Hogwarts Express. Harry can't believe who died, but fortunately, he doesn't have to. He searches for the killer and finds out the truth. It helps that Ginny is in danger, to give him an incentive to play hero.
Hitcount: Story Total: 4144
Harry was in autopilot. After Dumbledore’s funeral, they had boarded the Hogwarts Express and were being borne home. Harry vaguely thought about how the Dursleys would feel about him being home early. But he honestly couldn’t find himself to care. He was in the compartment with his best friend Ron Weasley, his now ex-girlfriend Ginny Weasley, and his other best friend Hermione Granger. He, Ron, and Hermione couldn’t talk about anything really important between them because Ginny was there, but Harry wanted his mind off of it. After all, they had just left a funeral.
He and Ginny weren’t as close now since he had just broken it off with her, and although Hermione looked as if she wanted to call him on it, she held her tongue. They just sat cherishing their last few moments together before they headed their separate ways.
Ron had engaged Harry in a game of chess but Harry wasn’t paying much attention. So naturally, he was losing spectacularly. Ginny sat there playing with her pygmy puff Arnold, while Hermione watched the chess game with hollow enthusiasm. The witch with the chocolate cart had passed by, and Harry had bought everyone some chocolate to get their minds off the depressing events. Harry had just opened a chocolate frog. The benign face of Albus Dumbledore was staring back at him from the card that came with the frog. Harry felt a tear slide down his cheek and brushed it off before placing the card in his pocket.
“That’s game,” said Ron quietly, after Harry lost the game. Harry nodded. Ron moved to set up the game again but Harry shook his head.
“No thanks Ron. Here, play Ginny.” Ginny shrugged her shoulders and the two of them set up for a rematch. Harry moved and sat next to Hermione.
“Harry?” she asked tentatively. Harry tore his gaze away from the window and looked towards her, indicating he was listening. He didn’t really feel like talking too much.
Hermione leaned next to him and whispered in his ear, “What’s up with you and Ginny?” Prepared for the question, Harry turned back to her and whispered, “I’ll tell you later,” before returning his gaze to the window. Hermione sighed, and Harry had the distinct feeling she already knew what he did. Harry munched quietly on the remainder of his chocolate frog and then announced he was going to the bathroom. Hermione immediately said she was going to talk to some prefects, and Ron got up to follow her. Ginny just decided to lie down in the compartment and wait for them.
Harry stepped out and closed the compartment door behind him. He waved at a few D.A. members and passed by Neville, who looked a bit lost.
“You alright there Neville?”
“Huh? Fine, just fine Harry.”
“You lose something?”
“No, no I didn’t. Just looking for some- some water- for my plant.”
“How’s that plant anyway?”
“The err Flitterbloom?”
“Yeah, that one.”
“It’s err fine. But I’ve gotta go Harry. Nice talking to you.” And Neville walked away. Harry stared after him. Neville seemed, well, different. Harry couldn’t put his finger on it. He shook his head and kept walking to the bathroom. He stayed inside for a few minutes and when he came out he was met with complete and utter chaos.
“Murder! That’s what it is!” Harry headed towards the voice.
“Someone was murdered. We’re having a prefect meeting right now, why don’t you come with me?” Harry, in a daze, followed Cho and he reached the prefect’s carriage.
“Cho,” nodded the Head boy, whom Harry didn’t know.
“Harry, why are you here?”
“I thought he could help you know, he’s really good at investigating things.”
“That makes sense. All right then. Is everyone here? Where are Ron and Hermione?”
At that moment, the two of them entered the room, looking the worse for wear. Hermione’s hair was all over the place and she looked like she had been on the floor. Ron looked nearly identical. The prefects all sniggered.
“Ron you have some dirt on your nose. Here let me get it.” And oblivious to his protests and the other prefects’ laughs, Hermione tried to get rid of the smudge on Ron’s nose. But it refused to come off.
“Listen you two. Someone was murdered on the train.” They both looked at each other and froze.
“We’ve decided to appoint Harry Potter in charge of leading the investigation, since he’s known to being good at finding things out. None of the adults are really on the train anyway so it’s up to you Potter. Everyone else: dismissed. And if Potter needs your help, by all means, help him.”
“Well, how bout someone showing me the body for starters?” Harry asked, gradually settling into his role. Hermione walked out with Ron and the two began heading back towards their compartment, then stopped.
“Anyone know where the body is?” Ernie headed towards them and led them to the body, which was at the back of the train. They passed Harry’s compartment and headed onwards until they got to it. Harry flipped the body over and stared.
They had on a black cloak, and were unmoving. Ernie offered to cast a diagnostic spell on the body.
“I’ve been training to be a healer, you just cast a diagnostic spell and it will tell you what’s wrong.” Ernie showed Harry how to cast it, and Harry cast it on the body. Floating words appeared above it.
“Cause of Death: Oxygen Deprivation. Bruises around the neck and throat, along with a laceration near the left lung. Left lung was also punctured.”
“Ok, we got the cause of death. Now, to see who our victim is.” Harry pulled off the cloak and stared into a pair of lifeless eyes.
“No, it can’t be.” Harry shrank away from the body in horror. He was looking at Ginny Weasley. He mentally pulled himself away from her and spoke in a calm, detached voice. He was ready to attack this case. He would have to wait to grieve until after he found the person who did this. If he could find them, this all would disappear. This just couldn’t be happening. Not right now. He had to find them first. There would be time later. Ron had a grim determination etched on his face while Hermione looked on the verge of tears. He had to be strong, for both of them, for everyone, for himself.
“Ron, Hermione, I’m going to need you two. We’re lookin for Blaise-”
“Zabini,” finished Ron and Hermione together.
Harry remembered how Pansy had said Blaise liked Ginny, and he was the first suspect on Harry’s list. He headed to the Slytherin compartment and threw it open.
“Potter,” growled Crabbe and Goyle. They were the only one’s there, and they looked lost.
“I’m looking for Blaise Zabini. Seen him?”
“Nope,” they responded. Harry frowned. He would have to keep an eye out for him. He walked past his compartment, and just for a reality check, peeked in to see if Ginny was there. She wasn’t, but Neville was.
“Hey Neville.” Neville jumped. He was watering a plant the looked suspiciously familiar.
“Neville, why do you have a devil’s snare?”
The plant responded by reaching out it’s vines towards Neville, who had up until a moment ago been watering it. It grabbed Neville around the neck and yanked at him, attempting to strangle him. Hermione cast an incendio and the plant shriveled up and fell back, harmless for the moment.
Neville rubbed his neck, which now had some cuts and a bruise forming near his throat.
“Neville, where was that plant when I ran into you in the hall?”
“The compartment over. I moved it back in here so I could be with you all. It was lonely over there so I came in here.”
“I think that plant might have killed Ginny.” Ron looked at Harry and they made eye contact. Ron quickly broke away and stared at the floor. Harry could understand. It was painful to bring up Ginny’s death too.
“You heard me Neville. I don’t know if you knew that it was a devil’s snare or not, but Ginny died. She died from a lack of oxygen. And I think that plant did it.”
“But it’s been in the compartment the whole time with me.”
“You left though,” pointed out Harry.
“Luna and a couple of Ravenclaw’s were there with it though. I asked her to watch it when I left to get water.”
“Thanks Neville.” They left the compartment and tracked down Luna. Harry interrogated her and then the other three Ravenclaw girls who had been with her. All their stories agreed, so Harry had to find some other way that Ginny had died. It wasn’t the plant. Harry passed by her body one last time and cradled her in his hands. He threw the cloak off completely and pulled her to his chest. Her sleeve was torn. Harry brushed his hand by it and something caught his eye.
“The dark mark?” Harry asked incredulously.
But then her body began to change before his eyes. The lips he had kissed before changed. Her hair grew shorter, and her legs grew longer. A minute later, in her place was-
“Blaise Zabini?” asked Ron, who had just come to find Harry. He looked worried now. Harry was too. Ginny was still missing.
“It wasn’t Ginny. She’s alive. Blaise must have used polyjuice,” concluded Harry.
“And he was a death eater, look,” commented Hermione.
“But then, where’s Ginny?” The question hung unanswered in the air.
“I think we need to find Pansy.” Harry went over to the Slytherin compartment again and found Crabbe and Goyle staring stupidly at one another. Pansy was lying down next to them, asleep.
“PANSY!” roared Harry. She sprang awake and glared at Harry.
“WHAT POTTER?” she yelled back.
“Where’s Ginny,” Harry asked.
“Blaise Zabini wouldn’t tell me either and he’s dead now. So why don’t you tell me where she is?” Harry said in a deadly calm voice. Ron shivered at Harry’s implied threat.
“I’ll be back to deal with you.” Harry slammed the door shut and walked around to another compartment.
There was blood along the wall inside the compartment Harry was in. It was right next to where the body had been found. Blaise must have been attacked in there and crawled out to get help before he died. Harry wandered inside the compartment with Hermione right behind him. Ron had stayed to talk to Pansy. Inside Harry found something sharp in there. It was a small blade, covered in Blaise’s blood.
“Here’s what stabbed him in the lung. That must have been what killed him. Wonder how he got the bruises though. What’s this?” Harry glanced at the floor and saw something he didn’t expect to see. Red hair.
“Is this Ginny’s?” he asked. Hermione nodded. Harry found some more hair. He grabbed it but it was brown. He slowly turned towards Hermione. She burst.
“Blaise was trying to rape Ginny in here. Ron and I came in here just in time. We had to stop him somehow. Ron and I were looking for a place to snog-” she blushed here but continued on, “and found him in here. Ron ran at him in a rage and I came after him. I got a punch in before he grabbed my hair. Ron started strangling him and we kicked him a couple times. When we went to leave, we turned to grab Ginny but she had disappeared. We left him by the wall. He was alive. He wasn’t hurt or anything.” Harry stared at her incredulously.
“I need to make sure Ron has the same story.” Harry left her in the compartment and confronted Ron. Ron confirmed Hermione’s story. So he was almost there. He just needed to find Ginny and figure out who stabbed him in the lung, so he could send them flowers. He wasn’t all that interested now in prosecuting the person, more like thanking them. That Blaise had the audacity to do something like that to his Ginny.
“Pansy, come here. Who killed Blaise Zabini?”
“Ginny Weasley,” she said. Harry glared at her. “What, you asked, I answered.”
“I found her!”
Harry ran over and they pulled Ginny out from under a seat. She had been in the compartment next to the Slytherins. She looked beaten, bruised, and the vibrant glow in her brown eyes had dulled. They now had a glazed over look.
“Ginny, are you ok?” She nodded.
“YOU KILLED HIM!” yelled Pansy.
“No I didn’t!” she cried back.
“Why don’t you tell me what happened Ginny?” asked Harry.
“I- I don’t remember,” she said. Harry glanced into her eyes again.
“You cast a memory charm on her didn’t you Pansy. You killed Blaise, then disposed of Ginny and made her forget what happened. Then you were going to blame it on her.”
“That’s not true!” she shrieked.
“Why would I kill him anyway? I loved him.”
“You loved Malfoy,” countered Harry.
“That was a relationship of convenience. I finally got to talk to Blaise this year and I had fallen for him. But he was lusting over the Weaslette here.”
“I wasn’t lying, Ginny did kill him. She stabbed him with a knife that was lying on the floor. Pierced his lung. He petrified her and I took her out of there. I came back to help Blaise but he was already dead. He had crawled out of the compartment but that was as far as he made before he died from the lack of oxygen. I hid inside a compartment and screamed. That’s how everyone knew something happened.”
“Ginny, is that true?”
“I- I don’t remember.”
“Liar,” accused Pansy.
“Look, Blaise was a death eater. I don’t know when, why, or how, but he was. Plus he tried to rape Ginny. If you really did kill him, it can just be as self-defense, you won’t go to jail, and if you do, it won’t be for too long. So just admit it and you’ll get off easy.”
Pansy stared at Harry. She then made eye contact with Ginny. They seemed to communicate with each other. Then, Pansy’s shoulders slumped.
“Ok, fine. I give up. Turn me in.” Harry stared at her in shock. He didn’t expect it to be that easy. The train was just pulling up to King’s Cross. He and Ginny escorted her off the train and took her to the aurors where Harry explained what happen. He walked away and headed to the Dursleys to prepare for his journey. He then remembered he wanted to say goodbye to Ginny. He went back to her and she had just finished talking with Pansy and caught the last few words Ginny said.
“-for taking the fall for it. Thanks.”
Harry pretended he didn’t hear, but it was no good. Pansy was innocent after all. But would Harry let her take the fall, or would he turn Ginny in?
“Kingsley!” Harry called.
He turned around.
“It was Ginny, not Pansy. Ginny was forced to stab him in self-defense, because she was being raped. It got him in the chest and pierced a lung inadvertently. He later died from lack of oxygen. She’d get off on self-defense wouldn’t she?”
Kingsley stared at Harry thoughtfully.
“Yes she would. We’ll have to call her to testify, but if that’s what happened, then yes, nothing would happen to Miss Weasley.”
“Dawlish, release Miss Parkinson. She’s innocent.”
The two girls stared at Harry, and Ginny’s eyes grew bigger than Dobby’s.
“Shh, Ginny, it’s ok. I talked to Kingsley. I heard you telling Pansy thanks for taking the fall for it, so I knew it was you all along. You won’t get convicted it was all in self-defense. I love you Ginny.” He silenced her protests by kissing her, and then he headed to Ron and Hermione, so he could begin the real journey of destroying Voldemort.
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