Special Appearance by: Kreacher
|Scene Title||Black's House Of Horrors|
|Synopsis||Tonks and Sirius go on an info gathering mission|
|Date||September 5th, 1994|
|Watch For||Elf Heads and Troll Legs|
London - #12 Grimmauld Place
It seems that something Lupin said got through to Sirius's brain. Knowing Dumbledore's a very busy man, and well, what else does Sirius have to do with his time? So he called upon Tonks to join him in a quick trip back to London to the old homestead. Out of practice with Apparition, the pair have taken Buckbeak for the journey from Hogsmeade. Luckily, it's a nice night for a flight. Nothing like riding a broom, but enjoyable enough. Under the cover of darkness the pair land in the back garden of Grimmauld Place. It's safe enough to land there and settle Beaky in what with all of the spells and wards the elder Black placed on the home. Leading the way, Sirius enters the home from the back and the only signs that anyone has really been in the place are his own faded tracks from about two months before.
So, to sum up Tonks' first ride on a Hippogryph? AHHH OMG OMG OMG AHHHH. Yes, even abbreviated because it adds to the emphasis. Anywho…
Sliding off of the bird, Tonks' land legs doesn't really come in immediately, especially with her natural clumsy penchant, and she ends up falling over the moment she gets off the bird-thing. "Oof," is muffled due to a faceplant in the likely dead, or dying, yard. She pushes herself up and dusts herself off before following behind Sirius. She eyes it carefully, and a bit fearfully. She's heard stories about this place from her mother, before Mum was disowned, and they were never good.
Sirius is there to grip Tonks by the elbow if she seems too unsteady. He's aware Buckbeak takes adjusting to…. and too slow, there goes Tonks down into the ground. "Last time I was here, mother's portrait was a little on the obnoxious side if you made too much noise. Just a word of warning," he says mildly as a distasteful expression forms on his face. "The place is a total nightmare. I haven't a bloody clue as to what the elf's been doing since mum passed." There's no sadness or regret in his tone as he refers back to dear old Walburga Black.
The door to #12 is opened and Sirius's wandtip flares with light. A few flicks of the wand and the gaslamps light themselves so that they can find their way up to the study.
Haha, it's always too late with Tonks and her two left feet. Still she nods to what Sirius says and she notes the lighting. "You think it'll wake him up?" Tonks is asking about the light and in reference to Kreacher. Almost trying to make sure she doesn't wake the portrait up, she glances around before stepping through the doorway. She moves an umbrella stand away, noting the troll leg with a grimace.
"Who? Kreacher?" Sirius asks with a whisper as he smiles grimly over his shoulder. "Probably. Batty old elf." He too grimaces at the umbrella stand. That thing was always a delightful addition to the decor. Matches the elf heads too. Anyway, he gestures the way up to the study. Once there, the door has a reluctance to open, grudgingly doing so with a groan of protest.
Inside the study, a few more swishing motions of the wand and lamps flare to life. "Nox," is muttered and he keeps his wand out. Never know what surprises his family has left lurking in the shadows. He makes for the writing desk when there's a shuffling noise from the hallway.
"Master must be back. Returning from prison, always was a disgrace to Kreacher's mistress. Friend of mudbloods and traitors.. who else could be here.. Oh yes, Kreacher wonders."
When the light happens on the elf heads, Tonks' hands are quick to cover her mouth before she lets out a screech. She just stares with those wide eyes at the thing. Mum /wasn't/ kidding after all! She keeps her eyes fixed on that display as she tries to follow Sirius. She unfortunately, due to that, ends up tripping on a bit of carpet and goes careening into the wall with a THUNK and sliding down with a groan which fortunately wasn't as /loud/ of the thunk.
That didn't take long. For the elf and the portrait that is. As soon as Tonks trips, the curtains fly open from Walburga Black's portrait and the hideous figure on the canvas opens her mouth and screams various insults. Most of which are directed at Tonks and her mother. No names, just generalizations, but that's more than enough.
Sirius glares over his shoulder at the decrepit elf and growls, "This is my house now, I'll come and go as I please. I need you to find something for me." The elf gives Sirius a look of the utmost loathing as he performs the deepest of bows, "Kreacher lives to serve the noble house of Black and to do what master tells him to do." Hearing the THUNK from downstairs and Mrs. Black's shrieking, he groans and snaps at Kreacher, "Shut up. Find mother's list of contacts and don't dawdle!" With that, he sweeps from the room to go find Tonks.
Tonks is up and against the wall now, /staring/ at the hideous thing that's screaming at her. If she hears Sirius, she'll just lift a shaking hand at the screaming portrait. "That.. That isn't /natural/…" she manages to choke it. It doesn't look like it's human, with it's rolling eyes and it's drooling, screaming mouth. And the things it's saying about her mum—makes what Aunt Bella said positively rosy!
"Stupefy! SHUT IT YOU OLD BAT," Sirius roars and aims a series of stunning spells at the painting, patience very thin with this entire house. "Keep it up and the cousin you disowned will be marrying back into the family," he growls threateningly before making a grab for Tonks's arm, "Come along. Upstairs. I've got Kreacher looking for the list of contacts she kept." The threat of course isn't particularly heeded by the painting, a reflection of a rather hateful, frightening witch.
Grabbed! and then yanked upstairs, and likely pushed because Tonks is still stunned by the fact there's a portrait screaming obscenities at her, and there's severed elf heads there… "How… I never met the woman, how does she know?" Oh god… "Why would anyone put that up—why the elf heads…" She stares at Sirius, "What kind of nutter family did we /come from/?" She had hints, of course, Andromeda did make commentary, rare as it was, about her family, but Tonks grew up in such a warm, loving environment she had no means to even envision such a world that the Blacks immersed themselves in.
Oh and she'll comment about that marrying thing later.
"She says that about everyone. She blasted your mother off the family tree in the drawing room, same with my name and a few others." Sirius's mood hasn't lightened at all since setting foot onto the property of #12. Once inside the study however, he starts tearing into things. Some items a bit more cautiously than others. Kreacher may or may not find the list of contacts before he does. If the elf does, it's a tossup as to how fast he'll deliver the book. "As to the elf heads, a lovely aunt of ours decided to start that tradition, and you really don't want me to answer that question do you? Here, pick a corner and start looking. Should be a black velvet book of sorts with the family crest on it. If it's not in here, Kreacher's probably snogging it someplace. Just ah, be careful, pretend you're raiding the home of a Death Eater." Which technically, she is.
Sirius is just stared at, and she shakes her head. Taking a deep breath, she does indeed pick through things. Her motions are quick, but careful, showing her training well. She had recently done this just recently. She frowns a bit and then glances behind her, "You familiar with anyone named Douglas Biddles?" It's sort of off hand at the moment, and in her mind relatively harmless. Papers are glanced through, and she scans each one quickly before deciding on whether or not it's important. "You can always order him to bring the things he stashed away to you," is also said on the snogging Kreacher comment.
"Douglas Biddles," Sirius repeats, more to himself and he shakes his head, "It's not familiar to me. Why do you ask?" It's enough of a distraction that something silver sprouts legs and darn near gets him on the hand before he's giving a wave of his wand to stop its momentum. A grumble is heard from him, possibly something unsavory, "Already did that. He never quite listened to me, being a blood traitor and all that."
"Just work related stuff," Is Tonks return answer. she hrms at some stacked papers before setting them aside. Her next comment could be something of a joke, who knows, "Maybe amend the request with a 'please'? at the end?" She never encountered Kreacher so she can't really form a firm opinion on it.
There's a barked out and harsh sounding laugh from Sirius as he continues sifting through things. Namely some nasty looking books of his father's. "Please never worked with him and it's not going to start working now. He bent over backwards for my parents and brother, hardly paid mind to anything I ever told him to do." Not that Sirius ever really asked anything of the elf, or bothered much beyond what was required.
Well, so much for that. "Can you make him show you where he keeps his things?" is asked instead. Tonks frowns as she pulls something that could have very well been confiscated as Dark Wizard evidence and she sets it aside gently. "You really are an oddball," is her observation in regards to how Sirius is with his family.
Sirius fixes Tonks with a look, one that clearly is asking if she's totally deranged. "It's not going to work. Knowing Kreacher, despite me telling him not to dawdle, he's possibly already found the book and is taking his time regardless." This whole house would be easily condemned by the Ministry and confiscated foundation to roof tiles if there was an inkling as to what it contained. Frowning at a midnight blue book with silver sigils on the front, Sirius shelves that back into place. He's so not opening that one. "Why thank you, I take that as a matter of pride," he states confidently towards his cousin.
She stands up. "You should've brought Moody along—" She frowns, and then rubs her forehead. "Forgot, he's teaching, probably can't easily leave Hogwarts." She lowers her hand and glances around for a desk or something, or anything else that might store such things.
"Moody's busy up at the school, and so is Dumbledore. Otherwise this could have been a bit easier," Sirius says dismissively, almost as if not hearing the additional statement from Tonks. The desk gives a shudder, almost as if realizing it's been looked at it. Probably not a good idea to open it.
Some time goes by, probably not too long, but all the same, in this house? Possibly feels like an eternity. Kreacher's shuffling is heard coming down the hallway before he enters the study. In his hands of course is Mrs. Black's list of contacts. A veritable who's who of pureblood society. "Kreacher has done as master asked, serving the noble house of Black," the elf shuffles over, holding the book out while hanging his head in a sort of bow. While waiting for the book to be taken, he mutters, "oh yes Kreacher serves, even if Master is an ungrateful whelp who broke mistress's heart."
The Desk just gets a /look/. Yeah, where's Mad Eye and his, er Mad Eye, when she needs it. Still, it does seem to interest Tonks into trying to figure out how to open it and deal with it. Of course, Kreacher shows up to prevent things. And wow, that elf looks /bad/. She tries to smile at it, "Thanks… Kreacher, right?"
Sirius storms over to Kreacher and takes the book, wasting no time in flipping through the meticulously kept list that's worn with time. He doesn't bother to thank the elf for doing as requested, which would have been the polite thing to do, regardless. The wizard is more or less dismissive of Kreacher's presence.
As the elf is spoken to, Kreacher's eyes bulge as he mutters to himself, as if not seeing Tonks, or knowing he's heard, "It's speaking to Kreacher. The filthy half-blood, it dares to walk in mistress's halls, fouling the air.."
"Kreacher!! Enough! Go clean the kitchen!" Having had enough of the talk, Sirius snaps at the elf.
Tonks throws her hands on her hips and frowns. "Well, at least he didn't scream it." She's still offended by that. She then walks over to try to look over Sirius' shoulder at the contacts name. "Anything worthwhile?"
With a low mocking bow and an expression filled with loathing, Kreacher shuffles backwards from the room and does as told. Once gone, Sirius shakes his head, still looking through the book. "Sorry about that. He was always an unpleasant little toerag. Being alone hasn't helped much I see." He flips through a few more pages, then stops and flips back one. "Milton.. pureblood stock of course, respectable family." The way he says respectable, it might as well be a swear word. "Her! There she is, I remember her now. Ran into their daughter at the last few functions dear sweet mum forced me to attend. Septima, she married into the Faltons if I rememb.. yes, it's right here." He moves swiftly towards Tonks to show her the entry in the book, and there's even a photo from the event. Sirius's finger taps at the face of a much younger Septima.
Kreacher's dismissed, though she does give him a bit of a sympathetic look that he wouldn't even likely acknowledge while Sirius goes through his mother's contact book. When he gives a general 'eureka' she turns her attention fully to what he's showing her. Hands will reach out and if permitted, take the book so she can look at the name and the face. "Huh, she claimed Imperious curse for her actions during the First War," Tonks explains. She makes a face, "Just like Uncle Loo."
Amusement twitches at Sirius's mustache, "Uncle Loo? I bet he'd love being called that. Provided you were ever allowed to visit, or inclined to doing so." Smile fading, he taps again at the picture, "Doesn't surprise me. Most of their lot claimed they were forced to do his bidding, just to avoid Azkaban. Only the truly insane like Bellatrix, fully admitted to what they were doing. Of course, some didn't get off so easily, even with the claim of being under the Imperius curse."
"I see him occasionally, at work," Tonks comments quietly. Lucius does make visits there, likely trying to keep things in his pockets, as it were. "As much as I'd love to, I'd rather not cause a fuss with him, especially at work, where he might be able to jeopardize my career." And she's very proud of how far she's gotten at such a young age. "Imperious curse only goes so far. Makes me think he didn't do anything incredibly heinous, unlike Auntie." The last is said with a sneer. She flips a couple of pages forward and back before turning back to Septima's entry. "Were you able to recognize who she was talking to?"
"Good call, and I'm not surprised that he hangs around the Ministry. Probably trying to get an Order of Merlin for himself, like my grandfather did." By buying it. Sirius shakes his head a little, "Best to not provoke him then." His mood has levelled out greatly since this little book was found and Kreacher has been sent off. "No. That still confounds me. I'll know him again if I see him, I just need to get a name. He must be someone the family didn't socialize with or someone we weren't in pursuit of."
Yeah, Tonks is /not/ going to risk her future with a spat with her Fomer-Death Eater Uncle. And of course 'fomer' is used loosely. "What exactly was said," she finally asks of her Cousin.
"When I wandered into the alley, they were discussing places to meet, and of stirrings of the usual. Voldemort's return, Death Eaters gathering." Sirius frowns as he closes up the book and taps it against his thigh. "They talked about using Hogsmeade as a gathering point, then decided not to as it's too close to Dumbledore. Smart move on their part, however, it would have made eavesdropping easier. The pair then discussed using Mrs. Falton's Scottish home."
There's a wince at the name of Voldemort, only becaus she's not been broken of the habit yet. The fact she doesn't outright flail or make a large show of it is probably thanks to her being under Moody's wing for the last three years. "Unfortunately, witness by an escaped convict, as innocent as he may be…won't hold well in getting probable cause to search anything of hers."
Sirius doesn't give a hippogriff's arse about saying the name aloud. He's bold that way. "No, unfortunately not. I'll continue to play the loveable stray around Hogsmeade, see what else I can discover. We may not be able to use the information officially.. but off the record? It continues to keep us on our toes so we aren't caught off guard this time around." He looks at Tonks, then his gaze darts around the room. Suddenly more uncomfortable than he's willing to admit in regards to the memories of this home, he says, "Come on. I can't stay put." The book? It's set down on a side table. While it may be needed later, it's not going anywhere and he can't burden himself down too much with belongings. "Besides, I don't want to risk Buckbeak being seen. Want to fly back to Hogsmeade?"
She regards the book for a moment after it's set down. She'll then pick it up. "Can I take this with me? I want to follow up on who's in here." The people he didn't hear. "I'll promise I'll keep it safe, nobody'll see it." The mention of Buckbeak gives a shudder recalling the flight just previously, but she still grins. "Sure, why not."
Sirius gives a dismissive wave of his hand as he gestures to Tonks to leave first as he starts extinguishing lamps. Clearly, he doesn't care if Tonks takes the book. "I saw that shudder, and don't deny it, you had fun. Come on then."
The book is stashed in her robes, carefully making sure it won't fly out while they're flying. "I'm not denying anything, Sirius," Tonks retorts as she follows him out. She pays /extra/ mind not to make noise, less she wake up that abomination in the house.