|Scene Title||Purple Haze|
|Synopsis||The new girl in the village is just nutters|
|Date||Sept 14, 1994|
|Watch For||Collar, leash and the flying football tackle|
|Chronology||There's a new hope on the Horizon|
There are still boxes out in front of the small dwelling in Hogsmeade, even if there's no one to be seen with them at the moment. Each of them is labeled clearly - FLAT #16, IVY LANE, HOGSMEADE - with a small American flag in black and white on one side of the box denoting their origin. At least there's a reason for them being there, though, as someone's been moving into said small flat since earlier in the morning. Lying in front of the boxes is a rather large spotted tan cat, which looks much more like something that's come right out of Africa than anyone's pet… And yet it's wearing a pink collar with tags. She seems to be taking the job of guarding the boxes very seriously.
It's not long before someone exits the flat, wearing jeans and an old t-shirt, both of which are currently covered with dust of all colours. Whomever lived in the flat previously had a thing for making dust more interesting… It's just that cleaning it - even with the benefit of magic - is nigh impossible. In her hand is a Muggle cellphone, and the expression on her face is sort of a resigned acceptance of the fact that it's not going to work so close to Hogwarts. She'll just have to resort to owls.
As the cell phones of the day are much too large to tuck into pockets, she tosses the thing atop one of the boxes, and heads back into the house. A muffled spell can be heard, before a cloud of bright purple dust exits the open door in a billowing haze.
It probably was the firewhisky that got Sirius to "agree" to it. Yes, she had a worn collar and a leash in that satchel. It was a joke that came out after they'd imbibed and got a bit past the serious stuff. Then she made the comment about going for a walk, to show Jilly that yes, someone does take after Padfoot when Remus isn't around. And eventually, we have the scene.
Which is… One seriously (Siriusly?) large Irish Wolfhound tearing away from a girl with bubblegum pink hair, who has that leash in one hand and trying to tackle that dumb dog to get the collar on. This looks silly from her point of view because Tonks is about as graceful as an elephant on skates /Sober/. Sirius probably is doing better (probably cheated when he shaped, got rid of some of the effects), but who knows. He might fall over too. So in general? Chaos involving a girl and her disobedient dog.
The large black dog is indeed pelting away from Tonks. Bolting from the woods and down onto Ivy Street. If any dog was capable of looking amused, this one is definitely meeting that expression. Tongue lolling, ears flapped back in the pelting, tail wagging, a rather booming bark escapes. He lets Tonks get oh so close with the collar, before dancing away on all four paws. Someone's mood improved after going through a bottle (or two) of Old Ogden's Firewhiskey. This is much better than the brooding mode he was in.
The cat sits up, tilts its head, and mrowls back toward the house. It's not right away that the woman re-emerges. After all, there's quite a bit of cleaning to do in there. Luckily, by the time she's finished, there won't be a speck of dust left.
"What's wrong, Mo?" she asks, peering around the doorframe, hair nearly as colourful as Tonks' with all the dust in it. Holly frowns at the scene down the street, as she recognises the woman who appeared in the British paper while she was visiting for the Quidditch game. Not a lot gets past a lawyer, though even the least observant of people would be able to recognise Tonks. Who seems to need a little help controlling her dog.
"It's okay, girl," Holly says when the cat starts emitting a low growl. Mozambique creeps atop one of the boxes, ears flattened, and watches. Holly, meanwhile, attempts to go after the enormous black dog. After all, if she can own a scarily huge housecat, surely she can take on THE GRIM. Actually, given that legends and myths of that nature usually don't reach the States with any seriousness, she has no idea that large black dogs mean death.
So she does the smart thing, and tries to tackle it.
Oh hey, Purple smoke. Why didn't she see that before? Tonks stands up for a moment, regarding the area, and trying to figure out why there's purple smoke over there, and what someone's doing. She then blinks when Padfoot gets away. "C'me — " Tonks' brown eyes just suddenly pop wide open despite the fact she's inebriated. There is some strange witch trying to tackle her cousin!… er her Dog! "Oi!" Tonks doesn't know what to do. She could windmill her arms and try to scare Sirius away, but she knows that the dog-man'll just take this as another game.
So, yeah, we'll let the crazy witch decide on her own how foolish it is to tackle a dog that can give rides to most nearly grown prepubescents. Tonks'll remove her wand and kind of wave it at the purple smoke, in a hope to disperse it a bit better and not have it be a choking hazard. Maybe the disaster of Visitor Colliding with Ground would have averted by then.
Padfoot probably isn't helping with Mo. When is a dog, not a dog? Animals can sometimes pick up on that. The cat, the new resident, he knows they're present, but he's just feeling too playful to pay them much mind. In fact, he skids to a stop, kicking up some dust to add to the purple smoke. He barks out a laugh at Tonks, a bark that turns into a YELP as he's tackled by Holly. HEY, where'd /that/ come from!?
Bullseye. Now atop a giant dog, Holly has no idea what to do, except continue to … hold said giant dog down, which is not going to be easy. "Oh hey, thanks!" she says to Tonks as she clears away the last of the dust cloud. No reason not to appreciate a little help where it's needed. Perhaps unnecessarily, as she attempts to wrap her arms around the dog's neck, she says, "I got your dog." There's a pause, then… "Does he bite? I guess this is a bad time to ask, huh?" Really bad time. Maybe she's tired from the jet lag. Holly always liked planes. Besides, they do well to tie her into that Muggle world she loves to embrace… Sure, the luggage and all her possessions were sent via magical transport, but she is, after all, a witch.
Tonks stares as the witch manages to get Sirius. And then she stares at what's coming out of her mouth. Americans… THE AMERICANS ARE INVADING—just kidding. Still, it's not something Tonks is accustomed to running into. A quick look back to the flat notes that the woman seems to be /moving in/. "Not deliberately," Tonks says slowly about Sirius biting. "But he does like his freedom, so you can probably let up before he decides to let you know about it." She gives a 'don't be cheeky' look to the dog. "I shouldn't have tried to the collar, really," she looks dejected, though Sirius would know she was getting a laugh out of it. "His owner doesn't keep him collared much, so he's not had a lot of leash training."
Needless to say, Padfoot is not taking this very well. Squirming, he tries to throw Holly off him without trying to hurt her. Not easy to do, since the quickest way would be with teeth. He hasn't stopped squirming enough to notate the accent. There's a bark given that's meant for Tonks before calming down. Somewhat. He saw the look from her.
Okay, okay, good idea. Get off the dog before he kills you. "He looked smaller when he was farther away," she says amid a tangle of legs and a tail and probably teeth.
When Tonks looks toward the flat, Mo gives her a look. MY BOXES.
Eventually, Holly manages to roll off Padfoot in a way that will hopefully leave her and the dog uninjured. Pushing herself to her feet, she takes a couple steps away from Giant Beast (Which is what she will call him from now on and forever) and looks warily between him and the pink-haired woman. "Yeah, Mo likes hers, too," she says, nodding back at the temperamental cat, whose big ears are flattened so much that it looks like they're missing. "You watchin' him for someone?" Holly asks, and once she's sure Padfoot isn't going to jump at her face and rip it off, she relaxes a bit and says to Tonks: "Saw you in the Prophet, I think. I was here for the Quidditch All Star cup a couple months back."
Tonks can't help but grin. "Don't grow them as big over there, do they?" Dogs, that is. Considering just /one/ of their many 'states' is bigger than this entire country, she'd have thought that 'big' was something Americans were used to. But Tonks' tone is jovial, not insulting. She'll walk over to pat Sirius on the head. It looks like a typical 'good boy' sort of pat, but it lacks any condescendation, and is rather affectionate. "I won't put the collar on you. I thought maybe you'd just like to show that cute postmistress how dashing you look with appropriate neck gear." She keeps her tone as if she really is talking to a dumb animal though.
Back to Holly she offers, "My friend, actually. He's kind of absent minded. Goes on trips and forgets to make sure his dog can be identified. So I was just taking him out for a walk." She indicates 'him' meaning Sirius. The topic change doesn't do much to tamper Tonks' mood, but well, there is a note, in slight stiffening of the shoulders, that Tonks goes slightly defensive. "Oh." She forgot she dropped her disguise to go chasing 'Sirius'. "You weren't hurt or anything?"
Padfoot lets out a /whuff/ as Holly gets off him and he vigorously shakes the dust from his fur. NOW the accent is paid attention to, and he looks up at the woman with some interest, taking a sniff in her direction. Another /whuff/ is made at the pat on the head and Tonks's words. Funny cousin, funny. One more look is given to the woman, before he eyes the big cat. Just in the manner of one being curious. He trots away from the witches, moving towards the boxes and the cat. Doing his best to not come across as threatening.
Heeeey, Rhode Island is a lot smaller than the UK! So it's not… every state. Just most of them, like Alaska, and Texas, and Montana, and Kansas, and— okay, so most of them.
But not Massachusetts!
"Ah, there's some pretty big dogs over there, but I've always been a cat person." This is said as Mo lets out a long RRRRRrrrrrrrrr… as Padfoot comes closer. Even so, she's not attacking - yet - because animals can sense something different about creatures like this big black dog. Her tolerance will only extend so far, though, and, should Padfoot get too close, a warning swat will be aimed at his nose.
"No, no, I wasn't hurt." She shakes her head, waving off the question in what she hopes is a reassuring manner. "Just shaken up a bit. Heard about that Sirius Black. That's why I'm here, actually." Dark eyes give Tonks a look much like the cat was offering her earlier, only more of the curious sort than the 'I'm going to eat you' sort.
Tonks doesn't understand the science, as it were, behind animagi. She's a natural shapeshifter and all. "Padfoot, don't antagonize the cat," much. He'll do as he pleases. Tonks moves to run her fingers through her hair and when she gives a shake, she decides that she wants to be cyan instead.
And there's those magic words.
It's almost automatic now. "We're trying everything in our power, to get him back to Azkaban Miss…" A nice little segue to get her name. "So, there shouldn't be anything to worry about."
Padfoot just sniffs in the cat's general direction, not getting too close. At the warning growl from the cat, his ears perk forward. About to try and communicate with the cat, Holly now has his attention. Say what? Tonks giving the standard line from the Ministry doesn't bother him, it's all a grand joke to him. (Mostly.)
"You can call me Holly," she says. "I'm not here to worry, I'm here to represent him for trial. Took a bit of runaround with the Ministry to even allow it, and I still don't know if they're — Well, I'm kinda concerned that he never got a chance to defend himself. And the way people think around here, you'd think he was — I'm getting ahead of myself, sorry." There's a pause, as she collects herself, and holds out her hand.
"I'm Holly Maplewood. I'm an defense attorney back home in Michigan. Heard about this case and had to take it. I was a little disappointed when I arrived that the Ministry hadn't actually said anything to anyone about the fact that I was coming, but considering how long it took me to just persuade them that I wasn't 'in league with Black,' I shouldn't be too surprised."
Mozambique is about three seconds away from leaping at the dog's face, though when Padfoot's attention wanders, the cat takes the opportunity to slink off the boxes and escape into the house.
Tonks is a great actress. It comes with the territory. But this, she can't help but stare at the Lawyer with a slack jawed expression. Reaching out carefully she takes her Hand. "Nymphadora Tonks. Tonks." It's emphasized. She continues to stare at Holly as if she just proclaimed herself Lord Voldemort's Mutant Bride or something. "You… want to /represent/ Sirius Black?" She swallows. Her heart beats in her chest. Sirius, did you hear this?
"Fud - the Ministry, they won't allow it. His case was closed and shut Hallowe'en back in Eighty-One when he killed twelve muggles and one wizard." Releasing her hand she continues, "And he killed someone at the Quidditch Cup just this summer."
Cat gone, not that Padfoot fully notices. Sorry, greatly distracted by the witch with the funny accent. Sorry, what? Plunking his butt down, he has a seat there by the boxes, peering at the witches, not caring if he's looking too curious for a normal dog. The expression he's giving? Same as Tonks's, but only on a dog's face. This is.. uh.. unexpected. This woman is either deluded or this is a sick joke.
"It's not gonna be easy," she says, giving Tonks' hand a shake before releasing it. "They threatened to lock me up if I did it. It's why it took so damn long to get here." Her work is cut out for her, certainly. Not only does she have to convince the ministry that this is the only fair way to accuse someone of murder, but she has to convince almost all of the United Kingdom as well. "My dad's family were all defense attorneys," she explains. "Innocent until proven guilty. And no matter what I've looked at, all I see with this case is hearsay. Circumstantial evidence with no backup to prove it. I don't know if he did it or not, and I personally don't care. What I'm here to do is prove it one way or the other."
Hell. If it were up to her, she'd see to it that Voldemort had a fair trial. Sure, he'd be convicted faster than he could kill all the people in the court, but that would be because of all the direct evidence against him.
"You're nutters," Tonks can't help but say. And she means it. It opens up a strange opportunity, to be sure, but Tonks works in the ministry. Sirius black is /guilty/. According to them. And Sirius black is a great way to sit there and make sure nobody realizes that Lord Voldemort is gaining power even as everyone stands around chitchatting under the light of a purple dust cloud and within the shadow of moving boxes. "Still…we'd need to catch him first." Tonks remidns herself she needs to be indignant - her MURDEROUS TRAITOROUS blood relative and all. "Tell me," She leans forward a bit, "Why /do/ you want to give him a trial, despite the fact the case was, last I heard closed. And he /was/ seen disposing of someone at the Quidditch cup with the Killing Curse."
Padfoot is so beyond caring right now that he looks too interested in what the humans are saying. Oh wait, better sniff at one of the moving boxes. Okay, done, back to listening. He does flash a look to Tonks as if to say, 'we're so talking after this.'
"Yeah, I get that," Holly says, as if this is amusing to her. A lot of defense attorneys get that, though. Sometimes it seems like prosecutors are the only good guys. Hell, it's not easy to stand up for someone accused of murder. And despite the fact that they're supposed to be judged innocent until proven otherwise, nearly everyone in the courtroom at the start of trial - including the jury - has made the decision of 'guilty' already.
"The hope is that he turns himself in," Holly admits. Though if not, well, he'll have to be caught. "And, judging by that article, he's got a way of getting away when he's cornered."
It's not entirely hopeless, though, for a moment, she looks clearly as if she feels that way.
She arches her eyebrows at Tonks, now looking at the other witch as if she, too, is 'nutters.' "Y'know. In the Muggle world, there's a set of laws, on the books, and physical. People can't fly, they can't use curses to kill, and they can't change their appearance." There's a pause after she allows a little bit of smugness to creep into her voice. "If you're tryin' to frame someone, why not use one of the several different ways available to rearrange your face?"
After this, she shrugs. "Like I said, there's more rules in magic, more physical laws, and a whole lot more ordinances and stuff that makes this all a whole lot harder. N' I told you why I'm here. He deserves a trial."
Whoa, information overload. She wants to regurgitate Ministry propaganda.. stuff she /believed in/ up until three months ago when she was shown Sirius Black in Dumbledore's office. When even her own mentor told her that he was Innocent—framed. "he's not going to turn himself in - if he's innocent that is - if he's aware that they'll toss back into Azkaban without a second thought. Rights be damned." Tonks frowns here, lifting a hand for a moment to tuck under her chin, thoughtfully. "What he deserves, according to some people, is the Dementor's Kiss. If you really want to do this, you've your work cut out for you." Tonks doesn't envy the lawyer. A look is tossed Sirius' way.
Finally, she looks back at Holly, "You've got a theory, if you're familiar with the case. an angle to attack by?" Tonks holds up her hand. "Don't tell me." Not now. "Just make sure you know what you're getting into. You'll be falling head first down a rabbit hole."
There's a rather loud snort from the black dog that could be a sneeze, or well, just a snort. Turn himself in? Not bloody likely. That's a one way ticket back to Azkaban! He's got a godson to keep tabs on, and he's /not/ going back to Azkaban. This witch is clearly nutters. Information overload indeed. Meeting his cousin's look in his direction, he blinks once.
The smugness drops, not because she's been fed information that she didn't already know, but because, yes, even if there's a whole bunch of stuff that could be used in court, it's nearly impossible to put together a case that the Ministry will even allow. And even if she succeeds with that, then there will be people everywhere who want Sirius dead, and with magic, that's easy to do without anyone being the wiser.
Besides, she's talking to an Auror here. "Well, it starts with one. If I've even made you doubt his guilt— " She holds up her fingers to indicate something very small, "Even the tiniest bit, then I've already started." There's no overload of information this time, just that.
Turning back toward the house, she sees the dust has cleared enough for her to start thinking about cleaning again. "Just do me a favour. Don't assume that because I want to defend him, that I'm suddenly his best friend. I'm not going to Azkaban, either. I'm just doing my job." An almost imperceptible twitch under one eye indicates the fact that she's slightly perturbed about the fact that she has to be here at all. Someone should have handled this properly from the onset. "And I'm hoping that I can at least convince Ministry officials to do their jobs while I'm here, too, if nothing else."
"Miss Mapl - Holly," Tonks states. "If you're his best friend because you want to defend him, then Rita Skeeter's got it right because I'm his cousin." It's Tonks' way of saying that relation doesn't matter. "Just that you've got a very large up hill battle. Sirius black's said to be taking the vaccuum that You-Know-Who left. I know repercussions didn't ripple that much during the war, but you can understand why paranoia's running rampant." As for her job? "I'm an Auror. I catch them. I let other people figure out the truth." She tilts her head and gives a whistle to Padfoot, "C'mon, Paddles, let's get you back and get you fed."
there's a pause. "You can feel free to Owl me. I don't know much, but you'd understand why I've a personal vested interest in this."
Padfoot eyes the two witches before getting to his feet. He needs to think, not that there's anything to consider about this woman's barmy idea. While the American mindset of magical folks seems to be a bit more modernized, this area is just downright Victorian. And Fudge's leadership is cack-handed at best. Already on his feet, he starts trotting in the direction of 'home' even before Tonks whistles and tells him to.
"Hm," Holly considers, as Tonks and the dog head off toward home. She crosses her arms over her chest… Not always a good idea to talk about the case, but it hasn't started yet, and this was quite purposeful. If Tonks starts talking about what Holly said, and other people hear it, the doubt spreads… Hopefully enough to convince a few people that a trial is deserved.
Cousin. That's what she gets for not reading Rita Skeeter's drivel. It's a sad day when even family won't stand behind their loved ones; at this point, Holly isn't sure she likes Tonks very much, but the offer of correspondence is appreciated, and will be used.
Offhandedly, she notices the dog seems much more agreeable now.
With a mental shrug, she heads back toward the flat so she can clear more of the cobwebs out. Once that's done, she'll have to write a letter to Minister Fudge.
This is the start of a plot, be prepared!