|Scene Title||Raising Michigan|
|Synopsis||Holly is sorta kidnapped and taken to meet her client|
|Location||Not telling, Neener!|
|Date||Oct 12, 1994|
|Watch For||Chocolate Frogs|
The time has come. For people to act quickly, irrationally and against the sage advice of cooler heads. While the more rash of the group waits at the designated meeting spot, Kingsley apparates into Hogsmeade and waits for Tonks's arrival. He's involved in this ill-advised fiasco in waiting for a few reasons. The hunt for Sirius? He's in charge of it, and to make sure at least one person here can keep their temper in check and their head cool.
It's not even a second before Tonks Apparates next to her fellow Auror. She thought about disguising herself, but at this moment, she's just too grumbly to care. That's sort of why her hair has settled on a very vicious shade of red (at least it stopped it's rainbow effect that was doing as she was stomping her way to the Floo Network). She chews on her thumbnail and regards Kingsley. "I'll be good," she assures him. "I won't swing a spell unless she makes it difficult," these are said in very quiet tones. Yes, Tonks /does/ plan on talking first. Sort of. She approaches the American's flat and gives a sharp rap of knuckles on the door.
Kingsley looks sidelong at Tonks, and doesn't even bother to ask if she wants to rethink this. There's little use in it, he already knows the answer. There's a sympathetic look on the man's smooth face, it's there briefly before his expression is once again impassive. He walks alongside Tonks and approaches the American's door. Silent and collected, he waits before speaking.
It's not too long before a face appears at the now-fixed window next to Holly's door. Hair pulled back in a ponytail and wearing casual clothes, she smiles when she sees Tonks. There's someone with her, though he looks familiar in some regard… Oh, well. Can't place a name with the face at this point. Giving the 'I'll be there in a minute!' sign, Holly vanishes from the window.
Tonks didn't make the most wonderful impression on Holly the last time they met, but she's not one to hold grudges over the exchange of a few words. That doesn't get anyone very far. And honestly, the more friends you have than enemies, the easier things are. So she answers the door.
Were she British, she'd likely invite them in for tea. However. She's not.
"Hey. Was wondering when I'd see you again. Who's your friend?"
"Kingsley Shacklebolt," Tonks offers with her thumb. "Holly Maplewood," There. Introductions done. She takes a breath, trying to make sure she doesn't jump into the mess based off of her oh so lovely mood. "We were wondering if you've a few minutes to chat. About things." She hopes she doesn't need to emphasize what 'things' are. "If you've a free schedule and all tonight." HINT HINT INVITE THEM IN.
Kingsley nods his head in a cordial manner once the door opens and Holly appears. "On subjects that are best not discussed on doorsteps," the auror points out in a tactful manner. What goes unsaid are the topics of this discussion, as well as the fact that he's been supplying Holly on the sly with casefiles.
During the gesture of extending her hand to shake Mr. Shacklebolt's hand, Holly almost comedically stops and gives Tonks the Weird Look she reserves for people who are crazy. Someone's got ants in her pants today. Even so, the fact that Holly is familiar with certain things, she allows the look to fade once the novelty of the abrupt greeting passes. After withdrawing her hand, she stands aside so they can enter. "Fair enough," she says. "I guess you won't mind if the house is a little messy, huh?"
"Thank you," Tonks offers, her voice genuinely grateful. She steps in and cracks her fingers. She'll move into the first room, glancing around. "Nah, you should see my flat." She'll wait until Kingsley enters, Holly's closed things up and they're all standing around in semi-comfort. That's when Tonks decides to try her Plan (tm). Which is simply, "Point number one: we've a source of information on your case that you'll be a fool to turn down. Unfortunately, here's not the place to talk either." Please say Kingsley is moving into a strategic position to subdue her should this go awry, "So we have the standard quandrum of 'doing this the easy way or the hard way'. Easy way means you lend us your wand temporarily, for your and our contact's safety, and wearing this for the trip." She pulls out a piece of cloth that's clearly meant to be a blindfold. It should be noted that, as far as anyone can tell, Tonks' own wand /isn't/ drawn.
Kingsley was about to shake Holly's offered hand when it stops, so his gesture is aborted as well. Not minding the mess at all, he enters behind Tonks, remaining silent and letting his fellow Auror talk. Until she mucks it up and he's got to repair the damage. Looking perfectly at ease, it's hard to know if he's ready to act or not. His own wand as well is not drawn, and he says in a calm, reassuring way, "We mean you no harm. We're on the same side here. We just have to take precautions as Tonks has stated."
The strange ways that people do things in Britain is starting to really get to Holly. She isn't a fool, however, she's only barely met Tonks, and she's not too keen on giving hers up, nor does she really want to wear a blindfold, notably in case she does have to defend herself. She meets Tonks' eyes, her own narrowing, a frown appearing on her face as she tries to read the other witch's mind. This fails.
When you decide to become a lawyer for wizards, though, you take chances. She's been hexed, potioned, magicked in more ways than she can remember — all because people with an ounce of magic in their blood seem to have their head in the sand when it comes to the possibility of innocence for one accused. They're like sheep. If someone with authority says 'jump,' they would. Still, one could apply that to the Muggle world, too. Her response to Tonks is initially 'Hm.'
And she finds herself trusting Kingsly more than the red-haired Auror next to him. "Well, first of all, I'll say this. This isn't the normal way I usually do things. Second, you're Ministry. Third, if I'm hurt, maimed, transformed, rooted to the spot, confused, obliviated, robbed, stabbed, hexed, charmed, or dismembered in any way, I'm sending Umbridge an extremely hefty bill. Fourth, if you're taking my wand, Mo is coming with me."
"Mo can come along," Tonks seems easy to actually agree to that. "As for the charm… well…" She shoots Kingsley a look as if to say, 'How do we warn her against Sirius?'. She smiles wanely here though, it's obvious that Umbridge's name does NOT settle well with the young Auror. "It'll all make sense in a few minutes, Holly. And afterwards, even if somehow any one of those things happen, you'd realize that contacting Umbridge is the /last/ thing you'd want to do." And hopefully she realizes just how risky things are going. And she's glad Kingsley is here, though she wants to sit there and gloat that her Plan (tm) IS working. Sort of. But she notes that Kingsley exudes calm, so she hands the blindfold to him and she'll let him take the wand. "You think Mo'll let me carry her? I won't hurt her. I like cats."
"Your concerns are understood and with good reason." Kingsley understands Holly's point of view perfectly well. As for Mo? A brow raises, he doesn't know this Mo, but Tonks seems to. "As for Umbridge, it's as Tonks stated. We're not here as Ministry representatives at the moment, and we mean no harm to your person." Or to the cat. "I promise you that all will be made clear in a few moments. We will use side along Apparition." He explains this, so that Holly does not panic. Wand still hidden from sight, he takes the blindfold from Tonks.
Despite her Muggle clothes, Holly has her wand in her back pocket, which is surprisingly not made out of holly. "Careful with that. They don't sell that core around here," she says as she holds it out for whomever to take it, if they so wish. After it's taken, she crouches down, holding her hand out to the giant cat, which had silently worked her way behind Tonks, presumably to clamp down on a leg should things have gone wrong. "C'mere, baby girl," she says, and when the cat comes to her, Holly lifts Mo into her arms and stands. The thing is more like a small dog than a cat, and while she lowers her ears as she's handed over, she'll allow Tonks to take her. And will growl and grumble the whole time she's being held.
Brushing the tan hair off her shirt, she asks casually, "If we're apparating, why do I need to be blindfolded?"
Tonks shuffles the cat a bit being careful not to jostle it. "Because we have to apparate to an outside location then walk in as there's anti-apparation charms in effect and we want to limit the chance that the surrounding area'll be recognized." Not that Holly knows anything about England's countrysides but the location /was/ suggested by Mad-Eye and everyone knows how freaking nutters he is about security. Tonks does make a face at how big the cat is. Wow.
The blindfold is a joke. No really. But seriously. Kingsley states, untroubled by Holly's words. As Tonks was about to say what he was thinking, he remains silent. "Hold onto my arm," he instructs Holly as he ties the blindfold around the woman's eyes. Once the item is secured, he glances to Tonks, "Are you ready?"
Mo turns her head and eats Tonks' face. Except that that doesn't happen. "Makes sense," Holly says, a smile appearing on her face. She's getting a fairly good idea as to what this might be leading up to, and, if so, she doesn't really mind going along with this at all. It's a good thing they didn't Stupify first and ask questions later…
Sirius might have found himself without a lawyer.
Dark eyes glance at Kingsley just before the blindfold cuts out the light. Reaching out, she'll take his arm, wrapping her own around it. Even if she's rather calm on the outside, there's a definite increase in her heart rate. It's not exactly commonplace to be taken from your home blindfolded. She could end up dead.
"Okay, I'll pop ahead first. Ready for a ride, Mo?" Tonks braces for the inevitable OMGCLAWSINARMS. She does pull out her wand and waves it at Holly's door, securing it from the inside, both with its mundane locks and with magic. And then *POP* and she's gone.
"It's alright," Kingsley murmurs in his soothing and pleasant voice. After Tonks apparates away, he follows suit. The small group winds up in an overrun field with an old barn house that appears abandoned and vacated.. to muggle eyes. Due to the spells on the place, the barn house is actually in a good state of affairs, well kept. The house, not the field. It's still in a remote farming community, and one of the safehouses Moody's familiar with. He leads the blinded Holly forward with slow and deliberate steps so as to not have her trip on the way to the porch.
At least Holly's well-used to apparating, and so she has no real problem going from one spot to the other - except that she half expects there to be swirling blades of doom on the other side ready to cut her to pieces. When this doesn't happen - and, indeed, she smells the pleasant scent of the out doors - her mind is put considerably more at-ease.
Maybe one day they'll trust her. She doesn't say this, though, even if she's thinking it. It's not the time to attempt to convince anyone that she needs //access/ to her client, as she's not entirely sure that's where they're taking her yet. Best not to surprise them by divining the reason for the trip. "Well, I seem to be all in one piece so far," she mutters, the tiniest hint of frustration creeping into her voice.
Sirius is going to love the cat. Tonks is already ahead of them, dealing with any obtrusive protections that would keep them from entering. Once they get through the door, she'll set everything back up right as rain before entering herself. She'll set Mo down so that the cat can explore. "You can get comfortable now. Want some tea? They'll," the informant that is, "Should be along shortly." Kingsley is given a thankful smile because, honestly? she couldn't have done it without him and /would/ have had to resort to stupefying which probably would've been a disaster.
The front door opens into a pleasant, if sparse, living area with a fireplace. Said informant is already here! Seated comfortably on one of the chairs near the fire is Sirius. Even if he's not accustomed to sitting on proper furniture in so long, he's clearly enjoying the opportunity. (Or at the least, his backside is thankful.) Hearing the telltale pops of Apparition, he stays seated, waiting for the arrivals to come inside. "I'd love some tea, thank you for the offer Tonks," he says cheekily before he rises from his seat and looks in Holly's direction.
Kingsley smiles gently, not that Holly can see. He waits until he has the witch inside before removing the blindfold, which goes straight into a pocket. Saying nothing, he takes up a post in front of the door. (Doesn't matter that with magic there are other ways of making an exit.)
Okay, they've held up their end of the bargain, and she's more than grateful to have the blindfold removed. After a quick check to make sure Mo is okay, she turns to the other voice in the room.
It's… Well, it's a moment. You hear enough about a person, and even if you're trying to defend them, you have preconceptions. Holly can't help a chill, because she recognises the face from the posters, and for awhile, her abject surprise is displayed in her silence. In the way that she's standing - hand just out to the side as if she'd been about to go for her wand. She never does, but the precaution on Tonks' part was probably a fair one.
Slowly, she brings her hands to fold in front of her. She hardly looks professional for a meeting with her potential client given the old clothes she's wearing, but it's not exactly a normal case, either. "No thanks, Ms. Tonks." Then to Sirius: "Sirius Black, I'm Holly Maplewood. I'd like to represent you at trial."
Sirius' comment is met with Tonks sticking out her tongue. She just walks over and fuzzles the top of his head in an obvious gesture of affection before she sets about making tea for all of them as well as seeing to some small things to snack on. Holly may decline now, but well, Tonks'll be prepared. Something for the cat is also whipped up and she sets it down on the ground for her. Holly will also find her wand settled on the table close to her. Tonks then sets up sentry by — hopping up on the counter, reaching into robes and pulling out her stash of sweets. Nom.
Looking much cleaner than he has as of late, apparently Sirius got here early to make use of the available facilities in the house. He doesn't need to study Holly any, being familiar with how the woman looks. The smile he gives doesn't /exactly/ meet his eyes, as he's apprehensive about this meeting. (Despite that he just took part in kidnapping for it to happen.) When Tonks fuzzles his hair, he reaches out to playfully swat back at her. "I know," he says before continuing, "Sorry about the mystery here, but as you can see it's necessary."
Kingsley remains by the door, keeping an eye on the room, and an ear open to the outside. He /is/ an Auror, just not as paranoid as Mad-Eye.
It appears that the way to Mo's heart is through her stomach, because the cat gives Tonks a rub before the witch hops up on the counter. BFF.
That this happens to be a 'convicted' killer - convicted in the sense that he's spent time in prison, even without trial - Holly seems to be more at-ease that the average person might. Either she really is, or she's very good at faking it. Knowing her career, it's very plausibly the former.
"I don't have any of my files. I wasn't told we were meeting you here…" She pauses to glance at Tonks, "even if I had a good idea. The thing is, Mr. Black— " She sits down in a chair roughly opposite him. "Despite the sensitive situation that applies, I can't go to court without a client, and you can't be acquitted without a trial. I'm not saying you have to come with me now. I wouldn't recommend it even if you wanted to. But at some point, you're going to have to stop — "
Holly isn't entirely unfazed. She licks dry lips, taking a moment to take a couple breaths. "You're going to have to stop hiding. I mean, that's if you want to do this. If not, then we can go our separate ways at your word."
Mo gets scritches while Tonks chews on a red licorice rope. AT the mention of Sirius coming out of hiding, she tosses concerned looks to both of the older Order members. exposing Sirius would possibly mean those who've been leading the Ministry on a goose chase will also be exposed. At the look, though, from Holly she mumbles a 'sorry'.
Settling back into his seat once Holly sits in her own, Sirius eyes her steadily and listens. For once, he's not acting impulsively, aside from the kidnapping. "I realize that I do have to stop hiding for this to happen, and I am grateful for the opportunity that you have presented." He sits forward, folding his arms across his lap. There's no apologetic look from the man about Holly being brought here without her files. "The thing is Miss Maplewood, is that if I turn myself over.."
"He goes back to Azkaban," Kingsley says as he finishes the thought process. "/If/ he even makes it that far. High profile prisoners have been known to meet with accidents en route." Still, the man speaks with little emotion and a great deal of control. "Standard procedure. The accused is returned to Azkaban while awaiting verdict."
Holly knows little of Azkaban. She's never met a dementor, though she hears they're horrible. Really, the only thing she can do is nod. "Unfortunately, that's standard procedure anywhere," she says, agreeing with Kingsley. Charges of murder generally carry no bail. "Even if I have serious doubts about your guilt, getting around something designed to protect both the prisoner and the public is going to be difficult."
"I received some documents that show huge errors on the part of the ministry, but there's no background. No reports, nothing stating your side of the story. Only allegations. Standard Procedure," And she clearly emphasises the phrase, "Has already been tossed out a window here. Given what the Ministry's already done, they might not have any chance but to make some concessions."
Tonks frowns at this. She doesn't agree to Sirius going back to Azkaban. There's an even uttered, "He can't go back there. You don't understand…" She shakes her head, lifting her leg so she can rest an arm on her knee. "Maybe … I can take you there. We can come up with a reason, like maybe you want to inspect his cell, figure out how he escaped or something." She shakes her head though about the last, but doesn't comment about how Crouch just sent Sirius to Azkaban without so much as a 'kiss my ass'.
There's no suppressing the chill that sweeps through Sirius's body at the discussion of procedures, Azkaban and not making it there. So he flatly states with a slight tremor to his words, "I'm not going back, and I can't. I have details to share with you that only a few people know, and then you'll see why I can't." Besides, he'll find a way to escape again, so long as his secret isn't known about. Which he may tell Holly about at this meeting. Although, when Holly says that about Azkaban, he barks out a rather bitter and hollow laugh. "It's inhumane, that place. Haven't you taken her to see it yet?" Sirius says, directing the last bit to Tonks. "There's no protection where the Dementors are concerned. They're dark creatures.." Before he can rant further, he forcefully makes himself shut up, especially as Holly's not done. The witch has some ideas, she does.
Kingsley clears his throat and actually shows hesitation before he speaks up again, "No. He can't. If he makes it that far, the Dementors will not show restraint." There's an expression of apology for having to be so blunt on a sensitive topic. "We can arrange a visit to Azkaban for you, Miss Maplewood, if you like."
No, Holly really doesn't understand. She understands what people say, but the feeling a Dementor gives you is something a person can't just read about to understand. "I'm sorry, I've never seen one," she says to Sirius, her tone showing some sympathy, even if she can't empathise.
Looking away when Sirius mentions the conditions in which he was kept, Holly has a very brief dance with the idea of advocating prison reform. She's already meddling more than a foreigner should, though. Sometimes it seems like this country is just so wrong with everything it does that she can't help wanting to fix it.
Between the two Aurors, she offers a nod. It's probably best if she sees the conditions for herself. At least then she can make an educated argument against such things if they come up prior to trial. "You have to understand, though, at this point, there's absolutely nothing except animosity between you and them. If you even want to have a chance of going to trial - of having a jury acquit you - you're going to have to give something, too. You can't just walk free while this is going on— "
Before they can say anything, though, Holly holds up her hand. "I'm not telling anyone I've spoken to you. From now on, anything I say to you is subject to attorney-client privilege, until they agree to conditions we'll set forth."
Tonks looks almost offended by Sirius' comment about taking her to Azkaban. "I've been busy!" She whips out something horrendously pink from her robs and aims it at the table. It floats carelessly towards the table and lands close to Sirius. For Holly agreeing to the visit to Azkaban, Tonks does have the presence of mind to ask, since she /is/ a Yank and all, "You /do/ know how to conjure a patronus, right?"
Tense, and looking on the verge of bolting, Sirius eyes the others in the room. "I'll stop hiding. /Provided/, that Miss Maplewood can demand that I not go back to Azkaban. The quaffle's in her possession, and the game's in her play for now." He glances to Tonks, knowing she's probably going to react the most and says firmly, "Once Miss Maplewood's secured alternate accommodations, I'll hand myself over. I am also prepared at this time to tell Miss Maplewood how I escaped, and what happened that day those muggles were murdered." Fortunately, Tonks distracts him by throwing that pink notice his way. Picking it up, he reads over it, and says a few rather rude things about Umbridge.
Kingsley flashes Sirius a look that translates to, 'Stop talking or I'll have to make you.' (A look that's not seen, thanks for distracting him Tonks.) That is before Holly cites client-attorney privilege. Even if that's a foreign concept with the Wizengamot, he's at least familiar with other ways of doing things. Being the more experienced of the two Aurors, he speaks aloud again, "Due to the circumstances, the publicity and so forth, the Minister and Wizengamot could be persuaded to choose a safe house route. Of course it will require more Ministry resources to keep it secured and Black in place."
This Azkaban must be a really awful place. Again, Holly looks pensive, bordering on serious, as her thoughts turn toward what they can do to keep Sirius out of there. That's when Tonks asks about the Patronus. "A what?" Holly asks. It sounds familiar… Oh. Right. "Oh, I've read about them, but I've never had to learn to cast the Patronus Charm," she says, as she struggles to remember the words to it. Something with 'Patronus' in it, she thinks. "I mean, I've seen them. They're pretty."
But they're not at Azkaban right now, and she's very interested in hearing Sirius' side of the story. "As best I can guess - and this was before I knew I'd have you for trial - someone at a distance murdered those Muggles and got away with it. Someone no one saw. Of course, I have no evidence to back that up, so I was hoping you could fill in the blanks for me."
What Kingsley says does seem fair. However… "The charges against Mr. Black are extremely serious. At best, the accommodations are still going to be prison-like. It's not going to be like relaxing at home, no matter how much evidence we have."
"AT least they won't have soul-sucking Dark creatures in it," Tonks'd hope. Still, she closes her eyes about the Patronus. "right, Patronus first, Azkaban later." Maybe Holly can just get a partial one going, and that'll be enough, especially if she has Auror Escort with her.
Brows lifting, possibly in amusement or just incredulity at Holly's words, Sirius refrains from laughing. Even in a bitter or sour manner. He's not familiar with the 'Lone Gunman' theory from America, or what it pertains to. "Peter blasted those muggles and the street. He faked his death and slipped off into the sewers. Undoubtably, it was a spell he learned from Voldemort to be that precise and destructive." He even moves past discussing those 'pretty patronuses' as being life saving necessities. "Pettigrew faked his own death and escaped our grasp this past summer and he's back in hiding. But I'm getting ahead of myself."
Kingsley again looks as if a tell-all with Holly is a bad idea right now, but says nothing else against it. Sirius will do as he pleases. "It's still a better idea than the alternative and its risks."
Kingsley is right to be suspicious. After all, for all anyone knows, Holly could be working with the Ministry to bring Sirius in. It would be the perfect cover; she wasn't searched for beacon charms or anything of the like, which would have been visible to anyone watching for them prior to her entering the safe zone. She might not have handed Tonks her real wand. She might be an Unspeakable, here to cart Black back to the wizarding prison for the rest of his days.
But she's not, thankfully. But they're both taking risks here.
One thing she didn't count on is Peter the killer. Even with admitted suspicion that the fact that Peter's finger being the only thing left of him was a little weird, she never thought he'd be the murderer.
There's the slightest widening of her eyes when Voldemort's name is spoken. Even if she doesn't know how to cast a Patronus, everyone knows who Voldemort is. "I have to admit, that's not near what I expected. There was a finger left behind. Was it not his? Did they not test that, either?" THE CASE IS BUILDING.
Where Kingsley keeps quiet, Tonks gives Sirius a look, "Y'think it's wise to spill all of the beans in one fell swoop?" The whole Animagus thing is sort of an important — and illegal, highly — thing that doesn't /really/ need to be said right now, right?
"It was his alright. He cut it off himself." Sirius says in a bland tone, as he adjusts his posture, not comfortable with sitting still anymore. He waves a hand at Tonks, "It's all relevant, isn't it? She's got to know, right?" Without waiting for an answer, he says flat out, "Peter's an unregistered animagus, he can turn into a rat. I know this because I helped him become one."
"Sirius," Kingsley says, a faint note of warning in his tone. Although if the wizard wasn't listening to his cousin, he's possibly not going to listen now.
A genuine smile is offered to Tonks. "It's either now when I can set up a proper spin for it, or in front of the Ministry, where I'd be going in cold." They brought her this far, so they must at least have some trust for her. "Really, this is way out of the books, but I'm having to adapt… Back in the States, wizarding law takes cues from Muggle law, but it's a lot different here. I tried to set up formal Discovery and I was shut down. If we want to do this — if we want it to work…" They're going to have to be as sneaky and as cloak-and-dagger as the ministry.
She's just about to tell Sirius that, despite this, he can take his time and tell her when he's ready when he drops the bombshell of all bombshells. Suddenly, the part about Peter just simply vanishing makes a whole lot more sense. "Holy — " She stops herself before she says something radically unprofessional. She stands, paces, thinks, and then sits back down opposite the accused man.
"He cut off his own finger to frame you for his murder. And you say he disappeared into a sewer. This is going to be hard to— " Something dawns on her before she says "Prove." And then, "You helped him become one." Statement of fact. Because no one knows those spells except for the people who've extensively studied them.
You hear that? That's the sound of Tonks' hand smacking her forehead. There's ag rumble about 'glad Mad-eye isn't here' because he'd probably walk over and cuff Sirius over the head. Tonks just keeps her nose out of it now, grabbing herself a chocolate frog. It's one good jump lands on that god-awful pink stationary. A flick of her wand has the frog soaring back to her, catching it head first in her mouth. Mm. Frog.
"See, she needs to be able to present this to the Ministry, of course not all of this information at once. Right now, just issue the terms of turning myself in." Sirius eyes Tonks levelly for her reaction. He almost what he's doing here, almost. "Peter's smarter than I ever gave him credit for. He was working for Voldemort the whole time the rest of us were suspecting each other. I admit, I as good as killed James and Lily, I insisted Peter and I switch places as Secret Keeper. That's why I was intending on killing him, and justifiably so. He just thought and acted faster than I could have imagined." Not exactly tired of talking, but just wanting something to do, he reaches for one of the prepared cups of tea, not minding that it has cooled. "Remus and I, my godson and his friends, we had Peter cornered at the start of summer. You've seen the file, you know I escaped again from Hogwarts. That night, we nearly had Peter. Unfortunately there was a full moon that night."
Kingsley seems to have 'settled' down now that Sirius isn't exactly spilling everything. Although, he's watching the man like a hawk, and just might pull a Moody if things get too out of line.
…There's another piece of the puzzle. Sirius wasn't the Secret Keeper, and there are ways to prove that. Roundabout, difficult, and very nearly impossible ways, but there's proof to be had nonetheless. That's one thing that had Holly baffled. Something she was taking for fact at the time, that she didn't think to question. "No. No, you couldn't have known… I could kiss you right now," she says, sitting back in the chair, allowing her arm to drape over the arm of it so that Mo can rub against it. The can then surprisingly goes over to Sirius and jumps up next to him, mashing her head into his shoulder.
"Wait. Wait," Holly says. She wants to hear the rest of this story SO BADLY, but there's no official way for her to receive it right now. Nothing to write with, nothing to record with, and she wasn't prepared for this meeting. Full moon, Animagus… All of this has meaning to the case, and she wants to hear it properly.
She didn't miss those looks from Kingsley, though, and she certainly heard Tonks' reluctance. "Don't say anymore right now. This is enough to make my week. Thank you. Thank you for talking to me." Finally, she turns her attentions back to Tonks. "If it'll make you feel better, I can stay with you for now so you can keep an eye on me, if you don't think it'll attract too much suspicion." She can make up something for the Ministry. It was for Holly's own safety, et cetera. "Besides, you have something to teach me."
Kingsly is offered one of her Chocolate Frogs, even while the frog's enchantment is still going on and causing the frog to flail weakly while it's head is still planted firmly in Tonks' mouth. Another one is also offered to Holly while she digests the stuff. As for Sirius' story? It's not that she doesn't trust Holly, she just doesn't think it's good to spill everything in one shot. However, being talked to means she has to deal with the frog. Biting the head clean off, it's only a few chews before she's free to talk (Hey, Tonks is a pro at sweet-eating). "We can come up with some reasons, actually. Kingsley's the man for paperwork and reasons," And incidentally, the reason why Holly has the case file to begin with. "I'm just a grunt. Ugh Ugh."
Of all of the responses to what he's said in brief, 'I could kiss you' wasn't one Sirius was expecting. It is enough to cause him to grin a little, "It has been awhile," he cheekily admits, teasing just a little. Mo gets a smile too, and a scratch behind the ears, and a soft murmur for the cat, "Sorry about spooking you." What? Sorry, for the cat's ears only for now! He's quiet for a few moments before responding further, "Probably for the best we wait until we see if the Ministry is keen on the idea." He shakes his head though, "Don't thank me, I should be thanking you. I was quite fine on the run." Which is a bit of a stretch, but he was coping just fine, and there was a thrill to it all. "But my godson needs me and I have to fulfill my duties as his guardian. I promised Harry's parents.. So.. Miss Maplewood, thank YOU." He doesn't miss Tonks's delicate eating style and just shakes his head, even as he whips out his wand, and summons a chocolate for himself. So /there/.
Kingsley shakes his head at Tonks's offer, refusing the chocolate frog. He eyes Tonks and Sirius as if they were child siblings who are incorrigible. "If the Ministry gives its consent to the safehouse idea, I will rendezvous with Sirius and work with you Miss Maplewood. Since I'm in charge of the hunt."
That poor frog. Even so, Holly holds out her hand so she can take the offered candy.
There's something childishly innocent about the woman that's very carefully hidden under layers of attorneyisms. Notably, she goes for the card first, stuffing her hand over the top of the box to prevent the frog from escaping. "Oh, hey, I don't have this one," she says to herself, locating a pocket where she can put it.
Dear Sirius, your lawyer collects chocolate frog cards.
Holly shakes her head to the thanks, though. "It's a civic duty," she says gently. "Though it does help when you like your client." Standing, she grabs Mo, flinging the oversized cat over her shoulder. "Mr. Black… So you know, this is going to be a potentially long process. It's going to be a lot harder than being 'on the run.' If everything works out, though, you'll be a free man." The pauses, then says, "But there's a chance that it won't. You have to be prepared for that, too. I will do everything in my power to ensure a fair trial for you, though."
Tonks finishes stuffing the frog into her mouth, finishing it off quickly before she hops off the counter. "You're loss," is tossed to Kinglsey — and don't think she missed that look! But Tonks ignores it. She does walk over to grab that ungodly pink paper. "Let Remus know if you see him before I do — he's in for a rough ride," is said to Sirius quietly, before she makes her way to the door. "Humor my mentor and wear the blindfold again?" she asks of Holly. They'll take her back home and then from there, is up to her.
Sirius looks faintly amused that Holly goes for the card first. The grim expression comes back however. "I recognize that. There's also fair warning that I /will not/ go back to Azkaban." There's little doubt that the man will act desperately once again to keep from going back. As for his own chocolate frog, he opens it up, handing the card to Holly as he eats his own chocolate. Still, one can only be so mentally prepared, right? Even knowing full well how little he can stand being locked up. "I'll let him know," he murmurs back to Tonks in passing. He waits for the others to leave, before he disappears himself, back to await word on what will happen next.
Ready to leave, Kingsley eyes Tonks, "Weren't you going to teach Miss Maplewood the patronus? I believe she's in your custody now." He says with what just might be a smile of amusement. Taking the blindfold from his pocket, he tosses it to Tonks before walking out.
Following this scene, Sirius will be in Ministry custody. If any Ministry employee (or connected to Ministry) would like to play guard, let Sirius-Player or Protego know!