The next morning despite it being Christmas Day, the Ministry of Magic found itself unexpectedly open. Not only had the department of Auror's opened but the head of the department and Minister of Magic were present. The head of the department a short, plump man wearing enormous thick glasses clears his throat. Bob Ogden cleared his throat as his eyes sparked most dangerously. "Auror's, the Minister of Magic is here." Bog Ogden sternly said.
"Thank you, Ogden," said, a stout female with thick bobbed hair, Minister of Magic, Eugenia Jenkins. "Thank you all for being here so very early this morning. I know that most of you want to be with your families and others have been all duty all night and are exhausted."
Pausing to glance around, Minister Jenkins says, "Now I am certain that all of you are now aware of what occurred last night at the Malfoy Ball?"
The Auror's nod as Minister Jenkins continues, "Not only were innocents attacked, but several guests lost their lives including some of our own. I have four families that I must give my condolences, this Christmas morning!
Now, I don't care if the ministry must pay overtime, but I want those monsters caught! I will not allow for no other result! Find them!"
"Yes, Minister Jenkins!" The Auror's chorused as the short Minister of Magic nodded her head in approval.
Turning towards Ogden, Minister Jenkins says, "Keep me informed and in the loop, Ogden. I don't like this at all."
"Because it's bad for the election," Ogden joked.
Minister Jenkins frowned, "This is no time for jokes, Ogden! I am perfectly serious when I say and worry that this is merely a prelude of things to come."
"Yes, Minister," Ogden obediently said as Minister of Jenkins shook her bobbed head, before stomping away muttering, "First, the Squib riots, and now this! What's next?!" Her security forces follow her away as they head over to the minister's office.
Turning back to his Auror's Ogden says, "I want every single lead followed up. I don't care how minuscule it is as long as it is taken off the list! Now be off with you all!"
"Yes, sir!" The Auror's said, before rushing off in pairs to get the job done.
Rubbing the bridge of his nose, Ogden turns to his second-in-command, Elphinstone Urquart. "Urquart, I trust that you've been keeping an eye on Moody and Scrimgeour?"
Elphinstone warily looks glances away as he nervously rubs his slicked black dark hair with a widow's peak. "Well," Elphinstone starts to say as Ogden sighs, "And what have they done now?"
"I didn't mean to say anything, sir," Elphinstone sheepishly said. "But the two are like vampires and werewolves. I would hazard to say that it would be safer to separate the two."
"I know, Urquart," Ogden said in resignation. "But they have to learn to work together. And I fear that dangerous times are ahead of us. They cannot continue to waltz off as lone wolves as they have done before."
"I know, sir," Elphinstone confessed. "But it certainly would be a lot kinder on our ears, our mugs and teacups."
"Yes, well, I can certainly imagine," Ogden drily said, before moving away to handle a report coming in.
Elphinstone moved away and returned to his office to find the two devils sitting on opposite sides of the doorway waiting for him. Blinking, Elphinstone drily said, "Merry Christmas to you both! But why aren't you out in the field as ordered?"
"We both have something private to speak to you, sir, ALONE," Alastor Moody emphasized as he shook his ruddy hair.
Trying not to sigh nor rub his forehead in sheer frustration, Elphinstone says, "Alright, which one of you goes first?"
"I will, sir!" Rufus Scrimgeour said as Moody for once didn't even attempt to fight for the spot. Which frankly was a lot more frightening.
"Fine then, Scrimgeour, you first," Elphinstone said. "But let's be brief."
"Yes, sir," Scrimgeour replied as Elphinstone shut the door behind them, before walking over to sit behind his desk. Sitting down his chair creak as he says, "And what is this about, Scrimgeour?"
"Sir, I have found a clue!" Scrimgeour excitedly said as his lion-like mane shook.
"Go on," Elphinstone said with some interest.
"Auror Moody-," Scrimgeour paused with distaste evident in his mouth. "-and I were tasked with going over the witness testimonies. A guest heard one of the masked figures shouting, something about a dark lord. I believe that this dark lord and Lord Voldemort are one and the same!"
Elphinstone speculatively says, "Scrimgeour, I know you are eager to find clues, but that is no proof of your conjecture. May dark wizards call themselves lords of some sort. That does not mean much in the scheme of things."
Scrimgeour instantly deflates, but a stubborn gleam doesn't go out of his eyes. "I'll just have to find the proof, sir."
"Very well, Scrimgeour, but I want all your energy tasked to this case and not to finding connections between the two cases is that understood?"
"Very well, now cease to sulk, Scrimgeour, it doesn't become a grown man of your age. Go and let, Moody in."
Trying not to visibly sulk, Scrimgeour marches over to the door and says, "It's your turn, Auror Moody."
Moody doesn't even shove his way inside, which causes Elphinstone no small heart attack. Being the paranoid Auror that he was Moody doesn't speak until he is certain the door is locked and secured against spying. "Moody, what is this about?" Elphinstone somewhat spooked gestured due to Moody's behavior.
"Sir, do you recall our last conversation about Tom Riddle the missing felon? Alastor inquired.
"Well, sir, I do believe this here is proof that my theory is not simply a fantasy."
Elphinstone begins to chuckle and says, "Oh Moody, you and Scrimgeour are far too much alike than either of you would ever care to admit too." Alastor Moody stiffens at the insult as Elphinstone continues, "Why just now Scrimgeour was trying to convince me that this was the work of some dark wizard by the name of Lord Voldemort!"
Only years of training keep Alastor from flinching nor revealing his astonishment. "I see, you're right, sir, it's absolutely preposterous," Alastor quickly said as Elphinstone stared at Moody as though he was speaking in other tongues.
"You quickly changed your tune, Moody," Elphinstone warily said as he eyed Moody. "Are you sure you are alright, Moody? I can arrange for a few days of absence if needed give that you've been under a lot of stress."
"No, sir, that won't be necessary," Alastor truthfully said. "I shall now take my leave, I've got a partner which to train." Elphinstone stares as though he had just seen a ghost and blankly watches the Auror leave.
"He must be under Imperious curse," Elphinstone finally muttered to himself not entirely unconvinced that wasn't the case. Making a note to keep an eye on the Auror, Elphinstone finally got to work. Last night's incident reports weren't just going to write themselves!