SOCA or the Serious Organised Crime Agency
“You look good behind the wheel, Mills.” Draco smirked and he ran a gloved hand along the leather seat and reached up to pull the belt across his chest. She’d picked him up just after midnight in one of those non-descript sedans that looked straight from the yard’s carpool. “Glad you finally decided to take my advice.”
The witch gave him a sneer, tightening her hands in their fingerless red gloves on the steering wheel before throwing the car into gear and peeling away from the curb. She was dressed smartly in muggle denim trousers and a burgundy turtleneck with a matching leather jacket tailored to fit her perfectly. Her dark hair was in an intricate knot at the base of her head and her make up minimum.
She took the next corner at speed and laughed as Draco cursed loudly and scrambled for a hand hold. “Don’t go buying one of your fancy penis extensions for me yet blondie. I only learned to drive on of these things because I needed Defensive Driving for my SOCA qualification.”
“I love how the entire wizarding world has been fallen under ‘Serious Organized Crime.’ “Draco laughed a bit hysterically, bracing himself againt the seat as they took another sharp turn. “I guess wizards really are kind of like the mafia in many ways.”
Millicent chuckled in agreement, shifting gears expertly as they sped through the deserted city streets. Forty minutes later they were pulling up to a small farmhouse just outside the city. The place was a police safe house, with a large enough yard and woods to guarantee privacy and secrecy.
As he stepped out if the vehicle, he scowled across the hood at his friend, shaking out his tense limbs. “You do know that defensive driving is only for extreme situations and not all the time right? I must have lost ten years off my life!”
The witch rolled her eyes. “Don’t be dramatic Dray. Not as many as ten surely… more like three.”
He gave her a sharp glare as she chuckled, following her into the house where CS Davies and Inspector Donovan were waiting. Both men with in civvies, cups of coffee in hand.
“Good to see you up and about Prince.” Davies said gruffly, getting up to shake Draco’s hand. “I thought I’d lost one of my best for a while there.”
Draco found himself flushing. Davies wasn’t one to give compliments freely. He reminded Draco of his godfather in some ways and the blond had a lot of respect for the no-nonsense commander. Not ones for small talk, they soon gather around the worn dining room table and begin the debriefing.
Draco told them everything he remembers, everything except Granger’s name of course. That kind of kryptonite was too dangerous for anyone else to handle. There were already plans being laid against the jumped up know it all and the band of furies Draco called his family were the ones most suitable to rain down their wrath upon the Gryffindor bitch.
It took a couple hours and two more pots of coffee for them to break everything down and go over all the information. He could feel the frustration coming from the others, it was a frustration he felt himself. There was no way that the case would ever be truly solved in the muggle world. Not with Granger being an Unspeakable. Even if Davies were informed of the fact, the Ministry of Magic would never let one of their spook squad face muggle justice. Not for Draco. Not for anyone.
Both Draco and Millicent knew that the culprit would soon face her comeuppance but the men sitting with them wouldn’t have the same luxury. They would never know what happened, the secret of Granger’s downfall would be all but radioactive even after the fact.
In fact, Sylviene had already made them all swear blood oaths never to reveal Crow’s true identity. No one else would ever know what the five of them knew. Not if they wanted to avoid the wrath of the DoM and its long memory and sinister reach.
By the time they wrapped up and said their goodbyes the sky was already starting to brighten. Draco was exhausted and hungry and put up little protest when Millicent suggested they stop for breakfast. There was a food truck near a construction site and they sat on the hood of the sedan, eating thick waffles hot off the griddle and loaded with the toppings of the full English breakfast. Grilled tomatoes and mushrooms, thick cut sausages and crispy bacon topped with a poached egg. All piled high on two thick waffles in a sturdy cardboard carton. Tall recyclable cups filled with steaming hot tea sat on the car behind them, strong and expertly doctored by the friendly truck owners.
They both ate in compensable silence as the sun rose over the city, the quiet of the dawn broken slowly as more and more construction workers arrived for work. Draco sprung for desert- crepes filled with strawberries, dark chocolate and piles of whip cream. Millicent gave the concoction a doubtful look, glancing down at her tummy before saying ‘fuck it’ and grabbing the second fork.
Finally, it’s the dark haired witch who brook the silence. “When are you leaving?”
“This afternoon. Sylviene managed to get the untraceable portkey to her estate in France. After that I’ll be taking a flight to Berlin. My muggle visa is up to date so there won’t be a problem.” Draco licked the last bit of cream from his little plastic utensil. “Neville and Mufty have already helped me move all my potions to Zabini Manor and Viviana will be keeping an eye on them for me. Blaise and I met with Jodie from the café downstairs and those two ladies seem to have everything in hand.”
Millicent nodded, searching the empty carton for any stray globs of cream.
“Longbottom going with you?”
“He’s meeting me in Berlin in a few days. It would raise too much suspicion for him to just up and leave England. He has some legacy business to take care of with his grandmother anyway. There’s also some event at the weasel den that he’s promised to attend.”
He curled his lip at the mention of the red headed clan but said nothing more. Neville had grown up with these people and remained close to them. Draco had no place dictating who his lover held dear, nor did he desire such. One of the reasons he liked the man was his capacity for love and his innate sense of self and compassion.
Both men had lives, interests and circles independent of each other and the blond appreciated the difference in their worlds. It went beyond being just former house rivals. Both men had grown up so differently, with different backgrounds, values and examples of what it was to be family. Both men had bloomed under different conditions and had built lives for themselves with trusted and beloved people to share them with.
He’d been pleased when Neville had stated, in no uncertain terms, that he was coming with Draco on his trip. Of course, they’d just finished making love and had both been strung out in post coital bliss; but the warm feeling in his chest of knowing that his boyfriend? … man friend? … lover?, would be accompanying him on his journey had lingered long after.
He smiled to himself as he helped clean up the debris and got back into the car. This wasn’t the way he’d intended to take a much needed vacation abroad but he would make the best of what he had. He scoffed to himself, shaking his head as the city whizzed by. Merlin, he was even starting to think like a bloody Gryffindor.
Millicent dropped him off at his apartment and he took the time to look over everything carefully before grabbing his luggage and picking up his cell phone to call Blaise. His fingers had just grazed the screen when all the hairs on the back of his neck stood up.
Without a second thought he ducked as a blade whizzed through the air where his neck had been, tucking himself into a roll that brought him over to his bed. There was no time to go for his gun safe but thankfully the knife sheathed under his pillow slipped into his hand easily. He turned to his attacker, knife up and ready and started in surprise at the gold armor and wide smile of crooked black teeth.
The blond gaped somewhat stupidly for a moment. “Shadowskull?”
The goblin laughed, a rusty hoarse thing that sounded like bedrock cracking; before bringing his long, sharp spear to thump on the wood floor. He leaned against the massive weapon and cocked his head at the still crouching blond.
“I came to see if you still had your wits about you, Wixen.” He looked Draco up and down slowly before nodding to himself. “Seemed I was right in naming you ‘dhec or daan haakhaan’. “
“Friend of the … People?” Draco didn’t relax, he wasn’t foolish; but he did stand; knife still at the ready. The goblin warrior nodded, his armor gleaming in the light streaming in the loft’s bare windows.
“Aye. Most would not have survived your enemy’s chosen strike. Even with the indicium in your possession and its many protections, the strength of the witch’s spell would have devastated your mind if you did not possess the strength of will and mind that you do.”
That black, vicious grin was back. “Fortunately for you, little Prince, you have remained strong. I would have been very displeased if I had found you weak and enfeebled and had to put you down like a wounded steed.”
“Yes. “ Draco inhaled sharply, forcing his heartbeat to calm. “How fortunate for me indeed. I am fond of having my head attached to my neck.”
Shadowskull barked a harsh laugh that was more growl.
“You are an interesting one… for wizardkin.” He snarled the last word like it was a curse. Maybe it was… for a goblin. Draco could only guess. “Grandmaster Zyrzekt is very intrigued with your muggle for-en-sick methods and he has my father’s ear. Already the great archive grows another wing of caves, the scholars are ever hungry for knowledge.”
“Really? I didn’t think that the goblins saw any value in muggle sciences. ”Draco blinked, surprised. “Most see it as useless drivel.”
“Most Wizardkin. Arrogant fools.” The other corrected. “Your For-en-sick logic solved a puzzle that our goblin magic could not. The horde would not deign dismiss strange magic if it can serve the people.”
“Ah… I see.” Draco quirked a pale eyebrow, “Well… You seem very chatty today. The last time we met I got the impression that you didn’t speak much. I also got the impression that you didn’t speak fluent English.”
“My job was to observe. Report.” Shadowskull tipped his head to the side. “To determine what, if any, alliance could be made with the exiled Prince.”
‘And?” Draco kept himself still, knife still up and ready. “Has a verdict been reached?”
”You are not boring.” Golden armor clanked as the goblin shrugged. “The Grandmaster is intrigued by your knowledge of both the muggle and magical world. You are an interesting one, little Prince. That is certain.”
Draco frowned. “And… Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”
That wicked grin flashed again. “We goblins like things interesting.”
He reached behind his and snapped something off the back of his armor. It was a small packaged wrapped in parcel paper and sealed with the dark green wax of Gringotts bank. He threw it to the blond who caught it deftly, never taking his eyes from the being in front of him. That seemed to please the goblin and he nodded once again.
“Grandmaster Zyrzekt desires to share knowledge with you. He sends a gift to symbolize his wish to open negotiations.”
Draco glanced down at the parcel, his mind racing. What an opportunity. If he were anyone else, he would drop everything at the chance to visit the horde once more. But he was not everyone else, and his life was complicated enough right now.
“I accept this token and agree to open negotiations.” He bowed his head slightly, still not taking his eyes off the goblin before him. “But it will have to wait until I return from my journey overseas.”
“Aye. Zyrzekt will be pleased indeed.” Shadowskull thumped the butt his spear twice against the floor. “He has chosen the token well and is sure that you will find use for it on your journey.”
And without even a goodbye or fare thee well, the goblin was gone; vanished silently into thin air like a house elf. Draco stood there frozen for a few seconds before sinking unto the bed with an almost hysterical wheeze.
Great Merlin’s ghost. What the fuck was all of that?
He tossed the knife unto the bedding, wiggling his cramped fingers and examined the package carefully. The paper seemed aged but not dusty. The large wax seal dominated one side of the flat parcel. He carefully lifted the seal with the knife and opened the wrapping.
They were letters. Letters, documents and a few loose photos. Sharp grey eyes scanned them quickly, only to stop suddenly at one of the pictures. He gasped in shock, mouth falling open as he slid off the bed and sat on the thick rug with a thump.
“Morgana’s frigid titties.” He breathed, tuning over the photo and seeing the names written there in faded spindly script. He turned the photo back over and carefully set it aside before picking up the letter siting to the top of the pile.
With slightly trembling fingers he slid the envelope open and took out the thin folded paper. The writing was the same spider’s crawl from the photo, faded with time and creased as if the letter was folded and refolded many time.
“Dear Papa…” he read to himself, skimming the words until he reached to the sign off at the bottom. “… your ever loving daughter… Elfriede Günter- Schwetz. Sweet merciful Gaia. He had a child.”
The blonde sat back against the bed in a daze, the paper slipping from his fingers unto the bed. Turned out that Wilhelm Gerhardt Shwetz, one of the infamous masterminds of the theft of the Spartak Valentyn Ruby; had a secret child that no one knew about. A child whose mother’s name was Günter apparently.
He looked back at the documents spread before him, his heart starting to race as he pushed up to his knees. These were Wilhelm’s private documents. Most likely from his private vault. No one else had ever seen these. If there had been any information on these, Draco would have known about it. For all his impatience with Draco’s lifelong obsession, Lucius Malfoy never hesitated in using his authority to source information about the case from the Ministry.
But this…. This was….. It seemed that the goblins had held something back. Even after all these years, they’d held something back. Draco felt a wide smile creeping unto his face, his eyes bright as he started sifting through the old documents; eager to delve right into this new mystery.
Oh, that old hobgoblin knew him too fucking well.
He picked up the photo once more, taking in the sepia toned image of a man and child standing in front of a quaint little house, the numbers 329 carved on a plaque on the stone wall.
He let out a breathless laugh and slumped back down to sit on the rug once again, his mind whirling with all new plans and ideas.
This… Merlin’s saggy balls. This changed everything.