Ink And Memory


Caretaker

The Headmaster sat at his desk, with a concerned look. I was across from him with my professional demeanor in place.

"So the incident is closed?"

"Yes. I was eventually able to persuade them that letting me remove the tail without surgery, and modifying the memories of the Muggle medical professionals, was in everybody's best interest."

"No record at the Ministry?"

"None at either Ministry. Technically, a violation on my part, but realistically neither Minister would be worried by the omission. No one complains of less fuss and paper work."

"Have you spoken to him?"

"No. If I had...well, he is honest—and guileless—he could say something without realizing that I would bound to act upon. As things stand now nothing has happened, officially."

"Yes, I'm afraid you're right." [sigh]

"And that would be the lesser problem—if what he might have done came under scrutiny, a more significant issue could be raised—and keeping him out of Azkaban would be impossible."

"I'm not sure…"

"Let us consider a real-life situation, entirely unrelated to this case. After I left St. Mungo's, I was still rather weak and didn't have a wand. I found myself able to summon light objects over a short distance even then. I was able, as I recovered, to increase the size and distance—but still only within sight. Eventually I could Apparate over short distances, still wand-less. I could not, however transfigure objects at any distance or manage any but the most basic charms, and those of short duration. It wasn't until after I got my new wand that I was able to do those things. I was, even then, rather adept and beginning to understand how much power I could summon—but still needed the wand to accomplish my goals."

"I believe I understand your point."

"Of course, it's moot, since he hasn't had a wand in decades."

"Yes, snapped in two when he was expelled."

"As I said, an entirely unrelated story. And he hasn't been bothered with all the unimportant details that followed his...visit to the family.

"Speaking to him now would serve little purpose. I can hardly counsel him to have less concern over injustice, and his indignation will still overpower his caution in a similar situation.

"As an Auror I can hardly recommend less desire for justice. And his being right on that point does tend to cloud his appreciation for the nuances. I can't see any discussion with him on the topic leading to any better outcome in the future. So I will leave it as it lies."

The Headmaster sighed again.

"Yes, I'm afraid you are quite right on that point as well. Still, you should drop by and see him before you leave, he would be very hurt if you didn't."

"Of course, I had planned to. I would hate to miss a chance for tea, rocks, and conversation."

"Ah, yes, his baking is quite formidable. Still a good cup of tea can mitigate many trial."

I left the office and headed toward the Gamekeeper's house.