Inside the Ministry of Magic's lift, a fit young wizard with sun kissed skin and freckles, brushes his locks from his face. "Mr. Black, I find it strange that you've requested a transfer to the filing department from the-," Bertie Higgins paused as he squinted his eyes at the previous occupation. "The Department of Regulations."
The tired dark-haired man with dark eyeshadows with even more gaunt cheeks than before flashes a quick smile. "My health has been declining of late," Alphard Black honestly replied. "And I would like to take care of myself in the meantime."
Which was all true as it was longer considered prudent for him to remain the Keeper of the Halls of Prophecy. The moment he'd been found unconscious, he'd put in for a transfer from the Department. The Head of the Department of Mysteries was in quick agreement and soon a replacement was found. His replacement was a bit cold and stiff, but social skills were not required for this particular position.
"Ah, yes," Higgins said as he somewhat found that to be strange. The lift stops as he says, "Here we are." The two of them make their way out of lift and down the white tiled hallway.
Opening one of the doors, Higgins says, "Right then. You'll be in charge of filing all the incoming personnel information. As well as checking the past information of previous employees."
"The job is simple enough," Higgins said as he pointed to all the rows of filing cabinets. "Any questions?"
"No," Alphard said as Higgins nods his head.
"Very well, then, I'll leave you to start sorting through the pile already found on your desk," Higgins gestured to the growing pile, before closing the door behind him.
With a sigh, Alphard tosses his fur coat into a chair as he wouldn't be needing it. Rolling up his sleeves reveal pale slender wrists that were much thinner than before from sudden weight loss. Glancing through the files, he quickly read the names out loud as cabinets burst open as he without looking flicked his wand. The respective information flew into the assigned files until the large pile was gone.
With a pleased hum, Alphard glances at the time, before hurrying to look inside the filing cabinets. Just about the same time of Auror Saturina Shackleton's death the previous personnel employee had died from a sudden heart attack. Either the old wizard had spoken to Auror Shackleton prior to her death or someone had tied up loose ends. But even if all records had been destroyed there should be clues left behind suggesting that was the case.
Right from the start, Alphard had crossed off, Oswald Bulstrode and Devante Nott from his five persons list because they were Slytherin. Normally, he'd argue that would indeed be the opposite case but not this time. All five members on the list somehow crossed with that of Riddle, either in the same year or in upper or lower years. But they all had at some time been at Hogwarts at the same time.
The reason it could not be either Slytherin was simple, Nott had been an original member of the Knights of Walpurgis. Riddle would have never trusted nor deemed Nott as anything more than a servant. Nor, Bulstrode as he'd been in his 7th year, when Riddle started. Bulstrode and Riddle would not have had much of a relationship while at Hogwarts. However, Murtagh Burke, a Ravenclaw, Linus Gamp, a Gryffindor, and Kain Shafiq, a Hufflepuff were far more likely to be the culprit responsible for Shackleton's death and the person sought out by the child.
Alphard quickly peers through each of the suspect's files and to his dismay finds but internship records while their short stay at the Ministry of Magic. He knew that all three figures upon the completion of his internship had gone into other fields. Murtaugh Burke, had gone on to train under a French alchemist, before gaining his mastery in his late twenties. And since then had made several promising discoveries in the field of medicine.
On the other hand, Linus Gamp, had purchased the Chudley Cannons. He handled the team for fun as his fortune in legal magical beast transport was his family's real source of income. And much like Gamp, Kain Shafiq returned to running the family business of exporting and importing magical textiles including rare Acromantula silk.
Alphard sighed as he tiredly closed his eyes. He knew it was foolish on his behalf to hope that it would be easy to find a clue as nothing in the records suggested anything nefarious beyond small blunders and write-ups of inexperience. But there must be some kind of clue, some tiny smidge that had been missed. With that in mind, he opens his eyes and closes the files shut. He'd have plenty of time to go page by page if needed. In the meanwhile, he would have to better deal with the growing pile of papers on his desk.
Lord Voldemort impatiently tapped his fingers on his marble throne as dark kneeled figures dare not tremble as they kneel before him. The great doors finally open as he is unable to hide his impatience and eagerness at the sigh to the two wizards. A rather dandy wizard with silver gloves bows as the more solemn figure does the same. "Dark Lord," both men said in unison.
Raising his head, Pyrites flashes a debonair smile as he says, "Apologies for our tardiness, Milord. But Lestrange and I finally have finished acquiring the much-needed invitations. Everything is now set in place and now, we but need to wait until the time is upon us."
Lord Voldemort coolly leans back and with crimson eyes stares at the dark-haired, younger Lestrange. "Rabastan is that true?"
"It is Dark Lord," Rabastan solemnly vowed. "An aspiring youth that seeks to enter your ranks was the reason for our success. He should be rewarded."
"And he shall," Voldemort purred. "He shall be given the dark mark upon his departure from dear old Hogwarts."
"How magnanimous of our Master," Pyrites breathless said with sparkling eyes. "Only you, Milord, would be so gracious to promising talents."
"The pureblood youths of today are the lifeblood of our tomorrow," Voldemort said as the kneeling Death Eater's let out cries of praise and flattery. Waving his hand at them to be silent, Voldemort says, "Then I eagerly await the news of your success."
"And so, it shall be, Master," Pyrites wickedly said as Rabastan Lestrange merely nodded his head in reply. If either of the two wizards noted that there seemed to be some sort of emotion lurking in the depths of Lestrange eyes, none of them said a word about it. It was much too late now, there was no going back.