Where: Ginny’s office at the Ministry
Who: Draco Malfoy and Ginny Weasley
Summary: After being suspended for talking to the Prophet about the serial killer, Ginny interviews Draco.
Draco made his way to the lifts. Von Straten hadn't actually said that he was "fired." He called it an "indefinite suspension." Draco shook his head. That was probably so it would not look like what it was -- retaliation for telling the Prophet what they didn't want the public to know. Harry was so angry he was barely speaking to anyone in the department. Now, Draco had been ordered to Ginny Weasley's office for a "debriefing" on the case. Draco made it there without any new unpleasant encounters and knocked at the door.
Ginny had been waiting for Draco’s arrival with mixed feelings. She’d sat through the meeting where the Prophet article had been discussed and she’d watched with fascination how Von Straten’s head had become redder and redder. In the end, after a lot of talk from both his assistant Head of Department and the Department’s legal advisor, he’d agreed with a suspension. The fact of the matter was, Ginny couldn’t entirely disagree with what had happened and hadn’t been happy at all when she’d been assigned the ‘debriefing’. But, given the redness of his face and his temper, she’d decided to not object and go ahead with it.
When she heard the knock on her door, she calmly called out, “Come in!” And waited for Draco to take a seat.
Draco opened the door and walked in with the casual confidence he always wore like armour. "Miss Weasley," he said.
“Mister Malfoy,” Ginny nodded in return. “Please take a seat so that we can get this over with.”
When he sat down, she placed a fresh pile of parchment to her right and took hold of the DictaQuill that she was required to use. Taking her wand she pointed to the quill and said, “Activate.”
The quill hovered above the parchment. Turning back to Draco, she told him, ‘From now on all that we say will be written down. This is not negotiable nor can it be legally challenged. After you’ve told me that you understand, we will begin this interview.”
Draco's face was unreadable. He was annoyed at the attitude but understood it given everything that had happened. He just didn't know if he was willing to tell everything he suspected under these conditions. He nodded, "I understand."
Ginny nodded. “All right. Let’s try to not waste time here and get right to the point. What made you decide to feed the Prophet the particulars of the investigation? You knew the Ministry has a media ban on everything to do with the investigation, especially after the first leak.”
Draco took a deep breath. "Because not to do so would put more lives in danger and prevent us from investigating the cases until after the victims were already dead."
“But why use the Prophet? You are a respected Auror, Mr. Malfoy. Why not put in a request to Heads of the various Departments and request them to inform the public? You must know that that is the procedure to follow?”
“Because they would refuse. And even if they did agree, they would have taken too long to come to a decision. We needed the information out immediately," Draco said.
Ginny took a deep breath and closed her eyes. The fact was, she agreed with Draco’s reasons. She’d been a part of the investigation from the start and had seen what had happened to the victims. She’d also spent a lot of time profiling the possible killer and wanted him caught just as bad as Draco did.
“So you talked to the press, without permission and so in fact, putting your job on the line,” she said, trying to get back to the interview. “You do understand that this suspension you’ve been placed under means that you no longer will be part of the investigation and so will no longer have access to the information?”
“Yes, I do," Draco sighed. "But at least the investigation has a chance of catching him now. If someone disappears, they will be reported missing. We won't have to wait until their body shows up in an alley.”
“What makes you so sure? Surely there must be something else you are thinking to have made you act like you did. Are there things or people you are suspecting but have not shared with the investigating team?”
It felt strange to talk about the investigating team like she wasn’t part of it.
“Miss Weasley, I am basing this, in part, on your own profile. First, he took an elderly Muggle with few friends, who wouldn't be missed, then a Muggle man with little standing but at least a job. After that, a squib but with little local connections. Last person was Cho Chang, a local Witch. He is escalating. Not in what he does or how often, but in who. He is going up in value by his own sense of that," Draco explained.
“All right, but the investigating team had already established this before Cho Chang’s death. There must be something more that you are suspecting that made you take this step,” Ginny prodded, her mind working fast. What was Draco implying?
"There were several indicators that he stalks his victims first," Draco said, "He knows their routines, their patterns. He took each one in such a way that they would not be reported missing until after they were already dead. Cho Chang was taken after the holidays during a time when she had a break from her normal Quidditch practices."
“Again, fitting with the profile the team has been working with,” Ginny answered, knowing that her profile was accessible to everyone with Auror status and higher. “So combining what you’ve just told me, you are worried about the combination of the killer finding people of higher value and stalking them,” she pressed on, knowing that she was getting closer to what he was worried about but not yet seeing it.
"Higher value to him, at least," Draco said "Which means higher standing by Wizarding traditions."
“So what you are saying is that Cho Chang was of higher standing than the last victim, who was a squib,” Ginny said with a raised eyebrow. “And that, if he will keep on following this pattern, what we expect he will, that the next victim could be someone even more powerful.”
"Yes, he will most likely go for a pure-blood next," Draco said. "And if we know when the Wizard or Witch disappears, we might be able to find a suspect."
Ginny wrinkled her nose as she thought about his words. Slowly she was beginning to see where his thoughts and suspicions were going. “The first victims were a set of three,” she said slowly, looking him straight in the eye. “If we go with the three theory and the increasing value one, the last one should be one of very high standing.”
"Someone of high magical and social standing in the Wizarding world," Draco said.
Suddenly a thought occurred to Ginny that she wanted to test on Draco. “You must also have suspicions on what his goals are with these actions he’s taking. We’ve discussed the Usurpo Veneficus Spell before. Why would anyone want to use that particular spell?”
"Yes, I think he is using it," Draco said, "but it's more than that. He is making a statement with his choice of victims."
This was new, Ginny thought and narrowed her eyes. “Do explain,” she said, curious herself.
Draco narrowed his eyes, looking at the parchment and quill.
Understanding what he wanted, Ginny gave a slight nod. “We’ve been here for a while. Why don’t we take a brake and have something to drink? Let it show that both Draco Malfoy and Ginny Weasley are taking a break from this interview at 10.30 am. Interview shall resume between 10.50 and 11.00 am.”
When the quill had written the last part down, Ginny deactivated the DictaQuill. “Coffee?” she asked Draco softly.
"Tea, please," he replied.
Pouring each of them a cup of tea, Ginny came back to the table. Placing a cup in front of him, she gently pressed, “Please talk to me, Draco.”
"Cream and sugar, please," he asked politely.
“Sorry,” she said and went to fetch both.
He watched her, trying to size up her loyalties and how much she still cared about Harry. Finally, he decided to test it. "It would have to be off the record," he said, "Even if it meant your job."
“Draco,” Ginny said softly, “a tea break is optional but never required. In fact, given the interview’s contents, putting in the break will get me so many questions I won’t be leaving early today.”
Draco nodded. "This is about Harry, so I need your word."
“You have it,” she said instantly.
He met her eyes, measuring. Finally he took a deep breath, allowing his features to soften. He had never shown any of the Weasleys what he thought of as his "true face". "I think the killer is targeting Harry."
"If I had put this in the record, they would pull Harry and anyone connected with him off the case. That means you, Hermione, myself, maybe even Theo."
“I actually meant why you are thinking the killer is targeting Harry,” Ginny said. “And I agree with what you said, though. That would mean a whole new team and so more time would be wasted.”
"Yes, which is why I didn't tell you that the killer sent a package to the Malfoy townhouse on Christmas day," Draco said, looking her directly in the eyes again.
“Oh Merlin,” Ginny sighed. “That is where you and Harry are living now, right?” She was silent as she processed this. Then, her eyes widened dramatically. “Are you saying that……?”
"It was addressed to Harry Potter and it had the heart of the squib in it," Draco said in a near whisper. "I didn't even show Harry the card."
“What did the card say?” Ginny asked, her voice now lowered to a whisper as well.
"Merry Christmas, Harry Potter," Draco sneered.
Ginny was silent for a bit. “Got any ideas on why it was sent to Harry? I mean… nothing happened to Harry over Christmas, did it? So… was it meant to scare him? To say that he was the next on the list?”
"No, but my house is pretty well warded. Not even visible to Muggles, for example. But whoever did this was able to send a package to our home without us being able to trace it. And they knew Harry lived with me," Draco said.
“Right, so definite stalker activities,” Ginny said. She looked at the clock. “Draco we need to go back to the interview now. I’ll need to keep on insisting, as you well know.” She hoped he understood that at least. “I’ll talk to Hermione when I see her next and explain this to her so that at least she knows and understands.”
"One more thing," he said.
"He sent a heart to Harry, not just any body part. Then the next victim wasn't just any half-blood Witch, but someone Harry used to date. He is sending a message that he wants to hurt Harry. Make him suffer. Tell everyone who knows Harry to be careful," Draco said.
“You’re right and I will. I’ll need to send some owls anyway so I’ll include it in there and will Floo call some other people. I’ll ask Hermione to help,” Ginny promised.
When they were both ready, she took out her wand and activated the DictaQuill again. “Interview of Draco Malfoy by Ginny Weasley resumes at 11.05 am,” she said and waited for the quill to have recorded it.
“Before our break you stated that the killer is making a statement by the choice of victim. Please elaborate on that, Mr. Malfoy,” Ginny said, sliding back into interviewing mode as much as she could.
"I think that when the killer is found, he will most likely be someone whose status is not as high as he expected it to be, given where he started out in life," Draco said.
“The Usurpo Veneficus spell was at one time used to transfer magic from one person to another,” Ginny stated, more for the record than either one of them. “So he is working his way up by taking more powerful victims as he goes.” She sincerely hoped Draco understood where she was going with this.
“So he may be gathering power to raise his own status and challenge those he thinks have wronged him," Draco said.
“And that was your main concern? To warn everyone because the investigating team has not yet determined the killer’s ultimate goal?” Ginny was glad that the DictaQuill only recorded spoken words and not facial expressions.
"Yes, so that we can catch the killer before he reaches his objective," Draco confirmed.
“All right. I think we should end this interview here,” Ginny finally said, knowing he wouldn’t tell her anything more with the DictaQuill activated. “However, since this is such a delicate matter I need to inform you that you are not to leave the United Kingdom until this case has been closed or until you receive word from the Ministry about what actions are to be taken.”
She gave him a pointed look that said she wanted a verbal reaction from him.
"I undestand," Draco said.
“Then this concludes the interview of Draco Malfoy by Ginny Weasley. Time is 11.30 am.” After the quill had stopped scribbling, Ginny deactivated it.
“Draco,” Ginny said, looking up. “Please take good care of Harry, will you? And if you think of anything else… I can read French quite well.”
Draco nodded. "Merci Mademoiselle."
“De rien,” Ginny replied with a small smile. “Oh and Draco? Be careful yourself as well, all right?”
“Tell your brother to be careful too," he smirked. "We're a small club. We shouldn't loose anymore members."
“No we shouldn’t,” Ginny said softly. “I’ll tell him. Thank you.”