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Old 01-29-2006, 01:54 AM   #93 (permalink)

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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: *Nom nom nom*
Posts: 41,625

Hogwarts RPG Name:
Phoebe James
First Year

x7 x8

Ministry RPG Name:
Genevieve James
Law Enforcement

Ministry RPG Name:
Carrigan Howard
Accidents & Catastrophes
Made of Awesome | Ern-la the Best-wa | TZ's Apogee

I'm a bad kid... I read all your comments and I loved them. You guys so rock. I'm rewarding you with my update, but... you might hate me. *loves you all*

They moved quickly through the house, more quickly than either of them expected. Each room was carefully checked for personal possessions which were then shrunk and tossed into a bag Remus was keeping in his pocket. Thus far, they’d found many objects belonging to the Weasley children, including socks and some odd flasks that Tonks was sure belonged to the twins. Molly had also left some kitchen utensils, and there was a pile of fuses they knew belonged to Arthur. Even Moody had left his spare peg leg under one of the upstairs beds.

After each room was cleared, Tonks would perform a housekeeping spell her mother had taught her when she was a child. It worked as a vacuum, sucking up all the hair and bits in the carpet. No sense in leaving something behind to go into Polyjuice potion if they could help it.

The hardest part was removing traces of Sirius from the house. They wanted to be sure no one would ever use Harry’s love for Sirius to hurt him, and so they had to be sure to remove his possessions from a house that had never been a home to him. As a child, he’d been an outcast and later disowned by the people that should have loved him most, and when he’d returned as an adult, it had served as a prison and a reminder that one can’t always escape the depth of one’s roots.

Finally, however, the house was clean, and Tonks and Remus dragged out a heavy crate to store Dark artifacts in. Most of the house had been purged during the Order’s year long stay, but more than a few items were still squirreled away in nooks and crannies. Remus found a trunk in the attic, and Tonks chased Kreacher out of his hole to find his stash before the two met back in the sitting room.

“What about this?” Tonks held up a tall urn containing the ashes of some long-dead relative. She placed it carefully in the crate before looking to Remus.

“Wouldn’t want anyone to raise whoever that is, so we’ll hold onto it,” he tossed a metal gauntlet into the trunk, and it clanked ominously against a metallic box and an ugly old locket. “Isn’t it amazing the kinds of things you keep? How much can you tell about a person by looking in their attic or their closets?”

“Stay out of my closets,” Tonks teased, making a face at a particularly gruesome book she’d found before she hurled it into the crate. “It will eat you alive. I don’t hang things up and I don’t fold them, and if it doesn’t smell… it must be clean.”

Remus frowned and visibly shuddered. “Remind me to intervene on behalf of your wardrobe someday. We’ll have a little cleaning party. You’ll love it… there will be shelves and even hooks for your clothes. Hooks! Imagine it.”

She laughed and reached over the ottoman to grab the next item, an antique picture frame she knew they’d probably leave behind. It was just a bit too far beyond her reach, however, and Tonks toppled out of her chair and bounced off the ottoman. She looked up at Remus from the floor, and he was already laughing.

“Don’t laugh,” she giggled, but her eyes were watering from her own laughter. Through the tears, she watched Remus stand and offer her his hand. In a heartbeat, she put her hand in his, and he pulled her up abruptly.

She didn’t know how it happened. One moment she was giggling about her fall, and the next she had moved right into Remus’s arms. Her hands moved into his hair, and she tilted her chin just so… and kissed him. Part of her brain was wondering how she’d ended up like this, and the rest of her brain was wondering why she hadn’t tried it before when it was so absolutely lovely.

He kissed her back. At least, it seemed that he did, because his hand was on the small of her back, drawing her to him, and the other was touching her hair where it was wispy at her temple. It was all too perfect.

And then Remus shoved her from him hard enough that she tripped back over the ottoman and hit the floor. “What did you do?” His voice was low and dangerous.

“I kissed you,” she tilted her head and looked up at him from her spot on the floor.

“Why?” His features were unreadable, which was odd for Tonks. She could always read him. Always.

“Wanted to.” She hoped her flippant answer would break the tension and bring back their camaraderie, but he just glared at her.

“What are you playing at, Tonks? You can’t just… this isn’t a game,” he snapped before he shocked her by turning on his heel and leaving the room. The outer door slamming let her know that he’d left the house altogether.

Apparently, it also alerted Mrs. Black’s portrait in the front hall. Tonks moved woodenly to pull open the parlor door, which allowed her to hear every word that the portrait screamed. “Mutants! Blood traitors! Out of my house… out out out!” Her words were vile, and Tonks threw her sponge half-heartedly at the picture.

“Shut up, you bat.” The portrait blinked and paused before resuming her tirade. Tonks stood helplessly for a moment before she made a sound like a sob and chucked another sponge, followed by the entire bucket of water. It clanked against the frame before landing in a puddle on the floor.

“I said shut up! You… you horrible horrible creature! Why couldn’t you love him? And even after he spent all those years in Azkaban, and he came back and just wanted to live his life. You still had to make it horrible. You killed him. You did. You and all your kind killed him…” She sniffed loudly and wiped her streaming eyes as she sank to the floor.

Mrs. Black was silent as she stared at the sobbing girl before her. With an audible sniff, the curtains around the portrait clicked closed, and Tonks was alone again. She was always alone.
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