A dark-haired man with slick back hair and a widow's peak hummed at his desk. Elphinstone Urquart was quite in a jolly mood despite the high workload and pressure on the Auror's at the moment. With the Malfoy Wedding attack just barely past and the World Quidditch Cup just around the corner, everyone was rushing about. But nothing could bring down his mood as his beloved witch had finally agreed to accompany him for a bite to eat down in Hogsmeade. It'd be their first dinner so to speak.
A knock at the door caused him to glance up and say, "Come in."
The door opens to reveal the golden lion-like figure of Rufus Scrimgeour and that of the somewhat scarred Alastor Moody. "Just the Auror's I wanted to see," Elphinstone said as some of the joy in his eyes left him. "Please close the door, Moody."
Moody did as he was told as Elphinstone eyed the Auror partnership. The two of them still fought at regular intervals but nowhere near as violent nor as dangerous as before. It was more of teasing than anything else. Not to mention that their reports were once more successful as they worked in unison. Scrimgeour had forced Moody to become that much more patient and Moody, in turn, had taught Scrimgeour to think before rushing in.
The ruddy haired Auror, Alastor Moody says, "You wanted to see us, sir?"
"I wish to apologize to you both," Elphinstone said as they both widened their eyes in surprise. "The both of you came to me with your worries and at that time I brushed them off. And yet here we are months later, and several innocents now dead." Albite Abraxas Malfoy wasn't all that innocent, but he didn't deserve to be slain, before his only son on the day of his son's wedding day.
"As such, I'm assigning you to the Malfoy attacks," Elphinstone said. "The both of you will be the leading team on the attacks, but more importantly in hunting down those following this so-called, Lord Voldemort. Auror Clements will work alongside you three as the Caithness case is in connection to these two unfortunate incidents."
Alastor tried not to wince at hearing the name as he clearly knew that it shouldn't be spoken out loud. "I believe he should be referred to as the Dark Lord, sir," Alastor suggested. "He's a dark wizard and we don't want to give that name he is calling himself any more power."
"A brilliant suggest, Moody," Elphinstone said with pride. "I'll make a note of it and allow the rest of the office to know."
"Your welcome, sir," Alastor drily replied.
"I'm also pleased to see how far both of you have come," Elphinstone said to the embarrassment of both Auror's. "I've heard good things about both of you as of late. And a rare complaint if any at all. Keep up the good work, you two."
"Thank you, sir," Scrimgeour flushed as his golden like eyes darted down in embarrassment.
"That's all you two, the two of you may go," Elphinstone dismissed them as both Auror's mumbled their replies and left his office.
Scrimgeour almost had a skip in his step as he said out loud with satisfaction, "I was right!" At seeing his older partner's face, he hastily says, "Not that I wanted to be right, Moody. It's just a relief to know that my suspicions were correct."
"Yes, I myself find myself quite amazed," Alastor Moody feigned surprise rather badly and sounded rather sarcastic more than anything else.
Scrimgeour snorts and says, "You're just jealous that I cracked the case before you did."
Alastor's lips twitched as he fought back the urge to call his younger partner an idiot. Taking a deep calming breath, he instead says, "I'm so very jealous that we should go out to lunch and you're paying as I have suffered a heart rendering loss."
"Wait, but I paid last time!" Scrimgeour protested.
"Ah, but my heart aches lad, very much so," Alastor said in a Scottish burr as he clenched his chest as if in shock.
"Your heart has nothing to do with your stomach," Scrimgeour snarled.
"Ah, but I really would feel that food would smooth the ache I'm feeling in my heart," Alastor sadly drawled.
Scrimgeour mumbles something about old men under his breath, before saying, "Fine, but it better be cheap this time. Last time I ended up paying galleons!"
"Oh good, I know just the spot," Alastor said with a suspicious twinkle in his eye.
"It's not the Leaky Cauldron is it?" Scrimgeour said through narrowed eyes.
"Nonsense Scrimgeour, where is your sense of adventure?"
"I don't have one."
"And yet you're an Auror."
"Exactly. It's all been drained away."
"You still haven't quit, lad."
"I have a duty to fulfill."
Alastor snorts in derision as he says, "Either way, I feel a bit peckish today. Why not invite a friend or two? I do believe the Prewett brothers are free right now."
"I'm not friends with them," Scrimgeour barked. "Gideon is too talkative, and Fabian is a know it all."
"Is that so?" Alastor said with an amused grin. "What about those friends of yours Tiberius McLaggen and Bertie Higgs."
Scrimgeour makes a face as he says, "Tiberius is occupied at court and Bertie is busy keeping track off all the personnel files as he needs to know exactly who and where the portkeys will be placed for use."
"Lad, you've got fewer friends than a runespoor. And that snake has got three heads!" Alastor shook his head at him.
"I do too have friends!" Scrimgeour indignantly shrieked sounding much more like the young man that he was.
"Really? Name someone else?" Alastor challenged him as they made their way out of the lift and onto the main floor.
Scrimgeour flushes and instead snaps, "What about you?"
"Sure-," Alastor's voice dies off as he stares into the crowd.
"Ha, I knew it!" Scrimgeour said in triumph until he saw the intent gaze of his partner. Instantly reaching for his wand, he whispers, "What's going on?"
"I couldn't catch more than a glimpse of their face, but I'm fairly certain I just saw Albert Runcorn talking to someone," Alastor replied as he kept scanning the crowd, but nothing popped up on his radar.
"Runcorn?" Scrimgeour said as he scanned the crowd. "He's over six feet built like a brick, Moody. Are you sure it was him?"
"No, I'm sure," Alastor said through narrowed eyes, before finally moving forward.
"You never did answer my question, Moody, but why do you dislike Albert Runcorn?"
Scrimgeour asked. "Sure, he's a bit stern with that gravelly voice of his and his pirate black beard. But he always gets the job done nor do we have to like him for it."
"There was a case that I was asked to come to testify for," Alastor grumbled as they made their way out the front steps into the warm sunlight. "Back then, I'd been an Auror for about ten years. Runcorn had been the prosecutor at that time, before his current ascension to his present post."
"And so, then what happened?" Scrimgeour curiously asked causing Alastor to glare at him.
Alastor once more clears his throat and says, "A little girl that was a werewolf attacked her father."
"While in wolf form?" Scrimgeour interrupted.
Alastor stares at Scrimgeour until he looks away as they stroll to a nearby bakery. "As I was saying, the little girl did indeed attack her father but not while in wolf form. However, she did indeed attack him because he'd been beaten her little brother bad enough to break the boy's bones.
Runcorn was in charge of the prosecution that day. He claimed that the little girl was a vicious creature that needed to be put down. Runcorn completely glazed over the fact that the father was both abusive and had almost killed the younger son."
"So, how did it end?" Scrimgeour asked at seeing his partner pause.
"The father was sentenced to pay a fine and the little girl was put down," Alastor brusquely said, before rushing into the bakery shop.
Scrimgeour is silent for a moment before walking inside as the bell rang overhead. Even he knew better to push his partner in his current state. But more importantly, it revealed just how ruthless Albert Runcorn truly was for he would even walk over the corpses of others to climb to the top.