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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 12:42 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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As Draco started flipping through the file he had been handing, he was pleased to see just how thorough St. Mungos had been when they had examined Potter the first time around. It made his job easier now and hopefully it would lead Draco to come to a conclusion faster than if he had not had the official ministry and St. Mungos papers.
The fact that Potter pointed out that this folder would be the one containing the most information about the horcrux scar, despite fully and entirely not believing in that hypothesis. It spoke to a different kind of trust that he had for Draco, once where he trusted his professionalism, even if they had no reason to trust each other personally. It was a huge relief and made Draco more keen to work hard on the case.
“I will definitely look into that,” he stated, still feeling that it was a valid theory, and that the two might have a connection, even if it seemed fairly unlikely. Then again, Draco knew better than to think anything concrete about a case like this, especially considering just how little he still knew.
At times, Draco found himself completely overwhelmed, feeling uncertain if he would ever find out what was going on with Potter, but he also didn’t want to be proven to be worth of nothing. It was the first time he had ever dipped his toe at shoving up in public since the war and he was no keen on his debut being a complete and utter failure.
“The more information I can get my hands on the better,” he said, even if he was certain that Potter would already know this. “Helps me see the big picture.”

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 1:27 pm 

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Harry’s attention stayed on Malfoy, trying to judge his reaction to the material as he flipped through it. It wasn’t Harry’s responsibility to ensure the quality of work conducted by emergency intake Healers a decade ago, but he still wanted to do good, and provide material of relevance.
"Yeah," he breathed, softly. "I thought so."
That had also been Harry’s conclusion when he had stormed up and out of the study earlier today. While Harry was still very satisfied with Malfoy’s work, it was going to take a lifetime to figure out if they were attempting to look into reasonings when they didn’t have every possible symptom available to them. Harry had, instead, decided to shoot with loose hail, to look wide and uncritical.
"That’s everything St. Mungo’s has on me," he said, nodding towards the box. "Most of it is probably irrelevant. I’ve asked the DMLE to send over anything I’ve ever worked on, to see if anything jumps out."
It was a massive undertaking he had asked of the DMLE, though their case work was meticulously organized. It came down to volume; over the years Harry had probably worked on close to a hundred cases at the Auror Department.
“I was thinking to start with the cases where I’ve been injured,” he said, using the word injured quite loosely.
Suddenly overcome with the workload related to that, especially doing so manually, made Harry lean forward, resting his elbows on his knees. In lieu of rubbing his eyes, Harry’s palms traced the lines of his undereye and cheeks. “Hence the medical journals. But I’ve got nothing better to do, so I might flip through every case.”


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 1:46 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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For Potter to even consider flipping through his old cases was a surprise to Draco, having been of the understanding that Potter probably wouldn’t be of too much help on the case itself. Yet again though, he was proven wrong and Potter kept proving that he wanted to fix this just as much as Draco did.
“Yeah, I understand your medical journals better than I am going to understand your case files,” he said, not that Potter needed an excuse to look through his cases, but it made sense to Draco that that would be the way to separate it. After all, Draco had been the one to finish the healers education but he had nothing at all to do with the DMLE, at least not on a voluntary nor professional basis.
By every day Potter spent at the manner, it was like they were becoming better at working together, garnering a better understanding for each other and the way they liked it work. It helped Draco find more ease in having someone around constantly; feeling less edgy and anxious about the entire ordeal.
This case really was a job for an even bigger team than just the two of them, but Draco didn’t want other people running around the manor, for one thing, and a whole other thing was the fact that he doubted that he would ever be able to explain anyone else what he was actually looking for. He was lucky that Potter was keen to ask questions and seemed to understand his answers, but it really was far more luck than anything to do with Draco’s ability to explain.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 2:25 pm 

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Harry let his hands fall from his face, using his right to gesture to material that still wasn’t there.
"You’re most welcome to anything that arrives," Harry had to clarify. If Malfoy preferred reading through every case Harry had ever worked on, Harry had no objections to it; other than the fact that it might be inefficient.
"Rough estimate, about half - two thirds, maybe – involved dark objects, but it’s case specific whether or not I personally was in contact with it."
The common identifier to every case Harry had ever worked on was that they were considered to be war-time cases. Harry had made a career in dismantling Voldemort and Death Eater’s magic; while it was something Harry had found his piece with; it was more by design than by choice. But to be fair, Harry had entered the Auror Academy missing a year’s worth of education; he hadn’t been in a position to argue when that decision had been made for him.
Harry paused for a moment, before adding, "Are you still thinking it’s passive magic?"
Once again, an unwilling smile pulled at the corners of his mouth. "Is there a possibility this was a curse? If it’s active magic it’s different folders."


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 2:47 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Despite what Potter had told him about not needing definite answers all the time, it still seemed an almost impossible task to Draco to share anything that he wasn’t absolutely certain of. He tried to open himself more up to sharing though, finding that Potter often had insights that he hadn’t considered or was sitting on knowledge that hadn’t been relevant to share just yet.
“It might be a mix,” he stated, his gaze staying on the file, though he wasn’t blind to how much Potter was fidgeting about, something he seemed to do a lot. It wasn’t too bothersome after all, and it seemed to just be a part of what Potter was doing.
“Active magic might have made you vulnerable to magic and have allowed passive magic to attach itself to you,” he stated, a loose hypothesis that had been flowing around in his head but that he hadn’t been able to tie into something with a more solid foundation. However, he was really trying to open up to Potter and show him exactly what he was thinking about these things.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 3:05 pm 

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Harry’s smile widened at that, happy to hear what Malfoy was thinking without much prompt. It was easier, liking it better when it felt like a conversation rather than an interrogation.
"I’ll look into that," he promised, the work still indefinitely into the future. If Harry didn’t hear from Aziz within the next hour, he would have to assume nothing would arrive today. It was certainly a bother, Harry able to draw up the files himself had he been able to go look for them, but for now all he could do was to kill time until it arrived.
Hands on his knees, Harry pushed himself out of the soft seat of the armchair. He took a deep breath, eyes to the room in search for a purpose.
"Cases with particularly interesting dark object, or one’s where I’ve been knocked on my arse," he summarized, a persistently juvenile smile still at his lips when he glanced back over at Malfoy. "You got it."


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 3:25 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Even if Draco absolutely loved getting to dive into the work on this case, he could still feel a sense of relief in having Potter look over some of the case files for him. Draco had never worked on a case that was this before in his life, so it was with a sense of comfort that he had someone else with him to help guide him through it, even if that someone was Harry Potter.
“Yeah, preferably both,” he stated, finally looking up at Potter and finding it impossible to not mirror the smile that was on his lips, though it was short lived. He glanced down at the files again and over at the box that Potter had brought to him, realising that there was a lot of reading for him to do, only in the medical files.
He wouldn’t even dare think of how much there was going to be once Potter’s files got in as well.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 3:46 pm 

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_____

Harry had already retreated to his room for the night when Coote knocked on the door to inform him that a package had been delivered to him through the Floor. Though still not in bed asleep, Harry had found the news so disorienting he might as well have been awoken with them from a slumber. By dinnertime, Harry had abandoned any hope of hearing from Aziz before Sunday at the earliest.
In the dead of night, Harry had snuck out of his room, suddenly wide awake and engaged.
When he arrived at the kitchen, Coote’s description barely seemed accurate. For a split second, Harry thought a coffin laid in the middle of the kitchen, only to come to realize it was a massive wooden travel chest. Familiar with the effectiveness of the Ministry’s compression charms, Harry’s face paled at the sheer amount of paperwork he had requested. A note attached stated that this was the cases Harry had worked on during the last five years; fewer and further between but decidedly more documented, the process drawn out the further away they came from the war.
Wandless and under strict instructions not to use any magic, Harry awkwardly undid the latches in the kitchen; like the material from St. Mungo’s, the chest resembled an endless archival cupboard, the files running in two parallel lines lengthwise. Not wanting to trouble Coote for his help to move the chest, Harry picked out a few folders detailing a 2009 case, and headed for the study.

Packed away in the Manor, Harry had opened the file in hand, skimming through the initial situation report. He remembered the case enough to pick it as one that was of immediate interest; the pollutions of a woodland creek that had eventually been traced back to an unstable, discarded object burrowed in the riverbed.
Caught up by the subject matter at hand, Harry opened the door to the study with his elbow. As the door gave way, Harry was immediately startled by the lights being on, eyes darting up from the paper.
Surprised, but maybe not surprisingly, Harry found Malfoy sitting at his desk, working.
"****, I’m sorry –" Harry started, disoriented; for the first time yet, he felt like he was intruding. "I didn’t think you’d be up still."


Last edited by Nymeria on Mon Jun 21, 2021 4:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 4:06 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Even though Draco had actually went to his room to sleep after he and Potter had had dinner, he had soon been struck by an idea he wanted to work on. He knew just how little he slept normally, so he didn’t really feel like he disturbed his own sleep cycle too much by getting up and getting to work.
Not for the first time since working on this case, Draco had completely lost track of time, only realising that he had probably been sitting there for a lot longer than he thought when Potter suddenly entered.
It made him jump in his seat, the wand he had stuck in his hair wobbling as he did, but ultimately staying where Draco had placed it.
“I wasn’t,” Draco stated, knowing that it was probably a silly thing to say, but he really hadn’t been lying when he had told Potter that he was retreating for the night. The case was simply taking over his thoughts, desperate to see new angles to it and trying out new approaches to everything.
“It’s fine. What time is it?” He asked, having taken to not wear the watch he had gotten from his parents at his 16th birthday, as was customary, simply because it held too many ugly memories. However, he also hadn’t gotten around to get a new watch, so unless he was somewhere with a visible clock, he never knew what time it was.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 4:54 pm 

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It wasn’t that Harry didn’t believe Malfoy, but the matter of facts was that Malfoy was still in his robes and Harry had already changed into his pyjamas, having been moments away from calling it a night when Coote had knocked. While that still left Harry fully clothed in a set and a pullover, it added another layer of awkward vulnerability, still unaccustomed to being around Malfoy this time of night.
"A bit to one," Harry guesstimated, figuring it didn’t really need to be more specific than that, this side of midnight.
He lingered in the doorway, uncertain whether or not the question was intended to mark Malfoy’s departure from the study.
"Do you mind if I sit?" Harry eventually asked. In the question was the ask for permission to stay in the study past what Malfoy utilized it, still hesitant to use the room freely. "Hasan has just sent over the last five years’ worth of work, and I thought I’d get a head start."


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:58 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Draco really hadn’t meant for it to get so late when he had returned to the study, but that just went to show how much there was to do on the case. It made sense that there would be plenty of stuff to keep them busy for a long time, but Draco still couldn’t have anticipated both of them returning to the study after having already called it a night.
It made him smile a little, the merest tug at the corner of his mouth.
“Go ahead,” he stated, trying not to notice that Potter had changed into his pyjamas, clearly more dedicated to going to bed than Draco had been. In a way, Draco had probably known that there was a big risk of him getting an idea and wanting to run to the study, but mostly it had just been because he hasn’t wanted to commit to changing.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 4:23 am 

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Harry nodded a silent thanks, finally allowing himself to properly enter the study, closing the door behind him. He headed off for his desk.
As he passed Malfoy’s desk, Harry thoughtlessly glanced down at the work laid out in front of him, though he didn’t linger for long enough to recognize the material. As of late, material was plentiful and diverse, Harry having lost track of what was where, no longer able to differentiate it by sight.
"What’s keeping you up?" he asked, as he sat himself at his desk, reaching for the quill and inch well.
It wasn’t that Harry expected to be any kind of inventive this side of midnight himself, but he figured he could still manage a few hours of clerical work before dozing off. The arrival of the files proved that Aziz had spent the entirety of his Saturday and first hour of his Sunday at the office; Harry felt like it was the least he could do.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:19 am 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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The question surprised Draco, having not expected Potter to want to make small talk, but maybe it was fine. They were both up extremely late after all, so it probably wasn’t any wonder that Potter was going to wonder why Draco was up this late.
“I had a thought and couldn’t sleep before I checked the journal,” he said, lifting briefly up in the journal that had started it all, which was now placed on the rightmost corner of his desk, clearly abandoned by now. Things like these tended to spiral for him like that, one thing quickly taking the other and a new idea following up on the former. It was part of what made Draco love this work so much, but also why he slept and ate so little most of the time.
“Things kinda spiralled,” he admitted, glancing over at Potter, who had taken a seat at his own desk. It was weird to see Potter try and get work done in his nighties, but it also spoke to the absurdity of their situation, which brought a weak smile to Draco’s lips. “Are those files from the ministry?”

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:40 am 

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Though Harry had never worked as intensely around the clock as Malfoy seemed to do, he could sympathize with the sentiment. He hummed a small confirmation and an acknowledgement.
"Yeah, some of them," he spoke, an unnecessary addition, as he turned the file to read the serial number stamped on the spine. "These two are from November 2008."
Harry’s eyes glanced towards Malfoy, surprised to find him turned and looking at him. The intentional punchline to the joke was immediately diluted, disarmed by the barely-there smile. It suddenly didn’t feel necessary to state that these files were a mere fraction of what had arrived.
"The rest are in a chest on your kitchen floor," he said instead, a smile to his voice as he glanced down to open the file up again, pulling a blank piece of parchment paper within writing distance. "I’d have moved it over, but my Healer’s put me off magic for the time being."


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:01 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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While it probably didn’t mean anything to Potter, it did mean a lot to Draco to be referred to as Potter’s Healer. He knew that he was never going to get proper work in the wizarding world as a Healer, but if he could get Potter to see him as a Healer, even if it was just while he was at the manor, then that was almost enough to Draco.
“I’ll move it here later, or maybe get Coote to do it,” he stated as his gaze returned to the open file in front of him. There were loads of work to do after all, so maybe it wasn’t too bad that both of them gave it a couple of hours now, before finally going to bed for good.
It was oddly intimate in a way.
The manor was always eerily quiet, yet it was a different kind of quiet that fell over the building at night. It seemed almost secret, as if what they were studying couldn’t be studied by the light of day and instead had to be hidden,
“Gotta make sure we don’t make it worse until I figure out what it is.”

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:43 pm 

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_

Surprising even to himself, Harry had managed to skim through the two casefiles in a matter of a few hours, both he and Malfoy having worked quietly and concentrated. Some parts Harry had glossed over, absentmindedly pulling the feather of his quill through his fingers. While reading other paragraphs he had taken rough notes on the scrap piece of parchment, annotating the page and section of the original to revisit it.
One of the cases had proved irrelevant, but the second he thought Malfoy might find relevant. He picked that file aside, tossing the other at a near by surface to start a dismissed return file.
"I’m calling it for tonight," Harry said, his voice tight with both sleep and disuse. Though relevant, it would have to wait until the morning.
He stood up, movements lazy and stiff. Having finally looked up from the parchment, exhaustion made his field of vision blurry, even though he was still wearing his glasses. Harry blinked, now able to see the face of the clock on a shelf across the room; half past 3 in the morning.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:51 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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The hours had passed by in a blur, Draco having not given the time a second thought ever since Potter joined him in the study. It was only when Potter got up and announced that he was going to bed that Draco glanced up at the clock he had on one of his shelves, cursed but at least it ran on time, and realised just how late it had gotten while he had been reading.
It was only then the weariness of the day really set into his body, making Draco realise just how tired he was and how much he had been straining his eyes from reading. Despite the study being fairly well lit, the darkness of the night seemed to seep in everywhere at the manor, something that Draco had gotten used to, but it still made him tired.
“Right,” he stated, unsure if it would be weird if he went together with Potter, finding that it broke the mould of what their relation had been so far. “It’s late.”

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 1:02 pm 

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Harry made a face, agreeing. Time had felt warped, the past three hours barely feeling coherent from their workday, separated by both dinner and an aborted intention of heading to bed.
He took a few slow steps away from his desk, pulling his sleeves back down around his wrists. Barred from using magic, Harry had come to smear the ink more frequently, something he had found annoying but not enough to admit it, not yet. Tomorrow he might ask Coote for different ink, but most likely not until he had attempted and failed to scrub to scrub the ink off his hands.
Harry came to a standstill a few yards ahead of Malfoy, turning towards him when the other hadn’t made any sign of moving.
It seemed to cause Harry’s already fuzzy mind to stall, having meant to call it quits for both of them. For a moment, Harry seemed to consider whether or not he was in his right to insist; he didn’t really come to a conclusion, but spoke none the less, a soft surprise in his voice. "You’re not coming?"


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 1:08 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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The confirmation that Potter wanted Draco to follow him and not just wait an appropriate amount of time before going to bed himself, made him feel much more at ease about going with him. He was tired to the core, knowing that it was stupid that he had spent so much time reading this late, but he felt that he had gotten somewhere, so it was absolutely worth it.
“Yeah,” he said, getting out of his chair as well, the legs scraping against the floor, as Draco was too tired to lift it up. It was probably for the better that they both went to bed for now though, such that they would also have the energy to work tomorrow.
“Coming,” he added, as he went with Potter out of the study.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 1:36 pm 

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________

Despite getting a late start on the day, Harry had still accomplished more than usually given that it was a Sunday. In the daylight, Harry had reconsidered his approach and started going through his cases in backwards chronology. He had made it through three before stopping for lunch, and another two in the hours that followed.
It was around three o’clock when Harry got up and instead helped himself to a seat in the armchair in front of Malfoy’s desk. With him he carried a stack of relevant cases; on top of the pile were a few pages of handwritten notes and a quill to add to it.
Harry had immediately taken a comfortable seat, lifting the files off his lap in order to cross his legs.
"Malfoy," he said in lieu of a greeting, a smile pulling at the corners of his mouth.
Harry was well aware that this was a significant change of pace in what marked their first 5-day work week, but he had decided it to be necessary as their workload had changed. It was a mirror image on how Harry conferred with his team at the office.
"If Coote brings us some tea, will you share with me what you’ve been working on?"


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