As promised, part 2 of my Harry Potter fan fiction novel. You can check out Part 1, here.
Mr. Freebush enjoyed a good rugby match almost religiously, and it was known, throughout the neighborhood that he was not to be disturbed when a match was on, which, unfortunately, could be at any time, as Mr. Freebush had a habit of recording games and watching them at all hours and was possessed of a collection of the best matches, personally recorded, which he also watched whenever he pleased. Needless to say, it was not safe to bother Mr. Freebush at any time of day or night.
So, when a knock came at his door, right in the middle of the best part of the ’89 All Blacks test match with the French, it was with no small amount of annoyance that Mr. Freebush paused said match and stomped to answer said door.
“Whatdoyerwant?” Mr. Freebush grumbled before the door was fully opened, revealing an odd woman wearing a bobby’s helmet and robes. Catching sight of the helmet, he immediately swallowed his annoyance. “Er, sorry, officer,” he started again, then noticed the robes, which confused him.
“Evening, sir,” the woman replied taking off her helmet and tucking it under her arm. “Sorry to call on you at such a late hour,” she continued in a calm, even, practiced manner. “But I was hoping to ask you a few questions.”
“Questions?” Mr. Freebush asked, collecting himself. “What sort of questions?”
“About the incident,” the robed officer said and pointed over her shoulder to the terrible corner.
“Oh,” said Mr. Freebush, like his neighbors, none too eager to be reminded of the incident. “Well, I already answered questions. There was an inquest, you know?”
And for a second this did not seem to land with the officer, but she replied a moment later, “Of course, sir. Just trying to wrap things up. If you don’t mind?”
“Oh, well,” Mr. Freebush grumbled, thinking of poor New Zealand currently frozen on the telly behind him. Still, he wasn’t the kind of man to refuse an officer of the law. “Get on with it then,” he sighed.
“Thank you,” the woman said and fished out a notebook and pencil from her robes, which Mr. Freebush noticed again, which confused him again. She tapped the pencil against her lips and seemed to whisper something to herself, then set it against the open notebook. “Did you witness the event, sir?”
The annoyance was coming back. Mr. Freebush was quite sure he had answered all these questions before, during the initial inquest. In fact, he was sure he had answered them several times.
“No,” he said gruffly. “I was inside watching New Zealand and South Africa in the ’95 cup. I did hear the commotion, of course, but by the time I came outside, I could barely see anything for all the people gathered around.” Mr. Freebush suddenly felt a twinge of guilt at his attitude and added, “ Tragic, really. Just tragic.”
“Did you know the boy?”
“Since he was a boy,” Mr. Freebush replied reflectively. “His mother lives two houses down. I think I may have watched him for her once, years ago, of course. Yes, we watched the Wallabies vs. the All Blacks in 2000. Good boy, though got a bit flaky as he got older. Teenagers, girls, you know.”
The woman gave an absent kind of nod to indicate she was listening as she continued to write. Mr. Freebush was a simple man, not the sort to go poking into people’s business. Leave him to his rugby, and he was content to leave the world to its non-rugby-related interests. Still, some things piqued his concern.
He was quite certain, for instance, that the woman who had come to his door, strange as she was dressed, was an officer of the law simply doing her job, so he was content to do his civic duty and answer her questions. Nonetheless, when, as she was taking copious notes on her pad, she reached into a pocket of her robe and fished out a small pocket watch, he was a little shocked to see the pencil continue writing.
He tried to convince himself it hadn’t been, even when, a second later, seeming to notice this herself, the woman had hurriedly grabbed the pencil out of the air. This small event, though, caused Mr. Freebush to give the woman a more serious look than he had before. He took in the robes and helmet but settled lastly on the thing that he only just realized had been really out-of-place this whole time.
“I’m sorry,” he finally said, causing the woman to look up from her pad. “Is that a broom?”
And, just as before, this didn’t seem to land with her how he expected it to. She peeked over her shoulder, as if just remembering, and took a few seconds to reply.
“Combination service, sir,” she nearly blurted out. “Inspector and sweeper.”
“Keeping the streets clean, as it were?” Mr. Freebush replied with a chuckle and a grin. It took her a moment but the woman laughed as well.
“Have you noticed anything strange recently?” she suddenly continued.
“Out of the ordinary. Specifically around that area.” And she pointed back again to the corner.
“Other than a boy getting run down by a lorry?” Mr. Freebush asked.
“Yes,” the woman replied with a casualness that worried him.
“I can’t really say.”
“Anything strange or unexplained in the neighborhood?” she went on, and for a second he thought about mentioning the pencil, which was by far the strangest thing he’d seen lately, but he was still trying to convince himself he hadn’t seen it.
“No, I don’t believe so,” he said.
“I see,” she replied and made another note on the pad. “Well, thank you for your time, sir,” she added, flipping the notebook closed.
“Oh,” he replied, taken aback by the abruptness. He had expected more, somehow. “Well, carry on, then.”
“Thank you, sir,” the woman said. “I will.”
She stepped back and replaced her helmet, tipping it to him as she turned away from the door. Mr. Freebush was still a little confused by the whole experience but happy for the opportunity to return to the All Blacks and French. However, just as he was closing the door, he heard the officer speak up.
“One more thing, sir?” And he swung the door tentatively back open. “You said the boy’s mother lived two houses down?” the woman asked.
“Yes,” he replied.