CHAPTER 19: THE SERVANT OF LORD VOLDEMORT
I rapped my knuckles on the door of the office suite that I’d become all too familiar with over the past few weeks. I thought I heard a voice say, “Come in.” I couldn’t be sure, but I took the chance anyway. I turned the brass knob and entered. Stacks of paperwork rested on the filing cabinets that occupied every spare inch of the office. Shadows spilled over the space, backlit from the streetlight that kept vigil outside the window. Some might call it cluttered, but I knew there was a method to this madness.
I took my usual place in the wooden chair by the desk. The arm rests had been worn down to a shiny, smooth patina. Other clients had sat in this chair and clutched the sides, fidgeting for lack of a better place to put their worry and concern.
“Well? What do you have for me?” I couldn’t wait any longer.
The detective spun her chair around and placed her feet up on the desk, leaning back precariously. A proper fedora tipped over her eyes. She clasped her hands together and sighed.
“He’s innocent, just as you expected.”
I exhaled, unaware that I’d been holding onto my breath.
“So what happened that night?” I’d come for answers, and I wasn’t going to leave without them.
“The Secret-Keeper was transferred at the last minute. It was a foolhardy choice; one bred out of desperation and misplaced trust. Black handed the responsibility over to Pettigrew. Pettigrew betrayed the Potters and killed all those bystanders.”
“That rat bastard!” I exclaimed. “But…but why would Black do such a thing?”
“I believe he thought he was making the right decision for the Potters’ safety. Which raises the question–does a person who believes that they are truly making the right choice, even if it ends up being the wrong choice, still end up in the clear?”
I had no answer, other than feeling sorry for Black, who had suffered for so long being unfortunately framed. I’m sure not a moment went by when he didn’t feel the sting of what took place that night. The light from outside hit the detective’s strawberry blonde hair–the color stood out against the black-and-white saturation of her sharp outfit.
Something else had occurred to me. “I’m a bit surprised that Snape didn’t intervene more. He had so much vehemence in him.”
“That’s a story for another day,” she replied. I’d have to be satisfied with that, I supposed.
“Did you figure out how Pettrigrew managed the crime?” I asked.
“Of course I did.” I saw the curve of a smirk hidden under the brim of her hat, like she had thought of everything. She probably had. “He changed into his animagus form and slipped away to his master. Rather cowardly, not that it comes as a surprise. Black noticed him in the paper.”
“I don’t know why Black didn’t take care of him right there and then. Twelve years in that hellhole…” Oh, the tales I’d heard about Azkaban.