Ogden failed to notice the Auror's reaction and instead asked, "Is there anything else that either of you can recall?"
"Brother was writing to someone called, Harold Minchum," softly interjected, the voice of Silviu Wilkes.
The Wilkes couple turned to look at their only child left as Mrs. Wilkes anxiously wrinkled her handkerchief in her hand. "Are you sure, Silviu?" Mrs. Wilkes begged. "This isn't something to toy with. Mr. Ogden takes such accusations very seriously."
"It clearly said, Harold Minchum," Silviu once more confirmed.
"I was sneaking around and peeked into brother's things. I didn't get to read what it was about when S.R. ripped the letter out of my hands. He was so angry with me; I'd never seen him like that," Silviu quietly confessed.
Mrs. Wilkes hugged her only remaining child to her chest as Ogden slowly says, "Thank you," Ogden sincerely said. "In that case, I think we have everything. I appreciate your cooperation, Mr. and Mrs. Wilkes"
Turning towards, the still transcribing Auror, Ogden says, "I'll wait for you out front, Auror Clements," before striding down the hall.
"Dear, why don't you retire with Silviu?" Mr. Wilkes said. "I think a good hot cup of tea will do you both good."
Murmuring to her child, Mrs. Wilkes takes her son by the hand as they both retire to more private quarters to rest. It'd been a tiring day for them all. But most importantly, nothing would ever be the same again.
With his wife and only remaining son safely out of earshot, Mr. Wilkes says to his still writing friend. "What do you know, Percius?"
"I don't know what you mean, Secundus," Percius nonchalantly replied, however, the pause in his scribing had given him away.
Mr. Wilkes snorts and leans back in his seat. "I've known you since we were children, Percius, you can't fool me. Now talk."
Percius sighs and says, "It is not my secret to tell."
"Oh?" Mr. Wilkes said as he carefully narrowed his eyes. "And what is that exactly supposed to mean?"
"There are signs that there is an ongoing conspiracy, that's all I can say on the matter," Percius diplomatically replied as he finished up the report. "Please don't ask me for more, my friend. I am not at liberty to speak on the subject matter any further."
Mr. Wilkes's eyes slowly narrow as his Slytherin mind makes a quick and deadly deduction. "Tom Riddle and this new Dark Lord are one and the same, and I bet that the Ministry of Magic is still unaware despite your suspicions," Mr. Wilkes said with satisfaction at seeing his friend stiffen.
Seeing Percius about to speak, Mr. Wilkes waves his hand at him. "Don't worry, Percius, I won't speak of this to anyone. I shan't jeopardize your investigation, it's the least I can do after the terrible tragedy that wretched child descended from my loins has brought forth."
"For what is it is worth, I am sorry, Secundus," Percius sincerely said as he rose to his feet. "And thank you."
"No, thank you," Mr. Wilkes earnestly replied. "You needn't have come given the dreadful circ.u.mstances and still you were willing to come and even put your position on the line for us. It is not a light favor that I shall forget anytime soon, my friend."
Percius clasps Mr. Wilkes on his shoulder. "I know," Percius said in understanding. "I'll stop by later in the week when I can for drinks. I have the feeling that we'll both need it."
"Aye, and I'll bring out the fine bourbon," Mr. Wilkes said with a faint smile. "We'll have ourselves a merry time even if it's only for able to drive our sorrows away for a bit."
The two firmly clasp hands, before Percius strides away leaving Mr. Wilkes to make his way to his family. The small little family would not be getting much sleep that night.
Out on the grounds still waiting for him is Ogden. Ogden glanced sharply at Percius and quietly says, "Did you gain anything else from Wilkes?"
"No, Ogden," Percius flatly denied. "I was just saying some sympathetic words regarding to his plight."
Seeing Auror Clement's closed-off expression, Ogden apologized, "It was not my intention to suggest that your friend and his family were lying. Merely that sometimes it is easier to speak in confidence with someone, one trusts."
Percius stiffly nods his head and accepts the apology. "I'm assuming that you've been so patient waiting for me, sir, is in order to suggest that a certain part of the transcription is revised?"
"That is correct, Auror Clements," Ogden admitted. "Specifically, the part about, Harold Minchum."
"Already done, sir," Percius instantly replied. "As the child was not formally placed under Vertiserum, his testimony cannot be written in the official record."
"Good," Ogden sighed in relief as he rubbed his aching head.
"However, that being said, sir, are we going to investigate quietly on the side?" Percius pointedly inquired.
"I would love too," Ogden said with a tired groan. "However, with elections coming up in December, should the Auror department attempt any type of investigation on one of the front runner candidates for the Ministry of Magic, it will be argued that the Minister of Magic is abusing her power. But worse, is attempting to throw dirt on her rival in order to win the elections."
Percius is silent for a moment, before saying, "I know, sir. However, on the down-low, might I be permitted to take a look a further look at Harold Minchum?"
"Normally, I would never deny your request, Clements," Ogden admitted. "However, we need all hands on deck with the Quidditch World Cup just around the corner. Even it is a possible clue, it's not a substantial one, whereas, we already do have good substantial leads. I'm sorry, Auror Clements, but in the meantime, until we run out of leads, the Minchum investigation will be put aside. Is that understood?"
"Yes, sir," Percius coldly replied.
Ogden privately sighed to himself. He too wanted to run down this lead, however, there were far more important clues. That and if what the child said was true, he didn't want to lose another Auror on his watch. They'd already lost Vinovich, he'd not have another veteran simply disappear, he wouldn't be able to bear it again.