|Scene Title||Spring Cleaning|
|Synopsis||Shrieking and sarcastic portraits, moping elves, must be another scene at Grimmauld! Tonks and Sirius apply a bit of elbow grease to the place!|
|Location||#12, Grimmauld Place|
|Date||Apr 07, 1995|
|Watch For||Pill Sneaking, Colors and mood|
Hopefully nobody's deciding to do some IMPORTANT ORDER BUSINESS right now. Hell, hopefully no one's deciding that they remembered they live here at the moment. Why? Because they would be walking into a mess. Well, a nice smelling mess, but it's essentially chaos.
Walburga's portrait looks like it's been screaming none stop. She's had a break or three, when she realized that the screaming wasn't getting anywhere and her oil-painted vocal cords (har har) were hoarse, but then something would bang or bump or 'BLOODY HELL OW OW' and she'd be at it all over again. Kreacher's sniveling may or may not also be heard, muttering about how the halfblood freak is messing with his mistress' house, and this time, it's /really messing with it/…. but outright sabotage hasn't happened yet, so he may be peeking in and about.
And what exactly has the House of Black in an uproar? Progress. The Main floor will find itself spotless. Or about as spotless as a floor can be when there's furniture from another room shoved into it. But the old wallpaper's been removed, the walls scrubbed. The floor shines. Even the mounted Elf heads seem to have been cleaned. Several boxes sit on the stairs, the address reading 'Andromeda Tonks', but there's signs that seem along the vein of "DO NOT TOUCH THIS MEANS YOU KREACHER OR ELSE YOU WONT HAVE YOUR HEAD MOUNTED" in Tonks' chicken scratch. The dewallpapered walls will have some memos taped up in Andromeda's meticulous handwriting, describing, in detail, and in steps that a pre-Hogwarts student can understand, how to do household spells /properly/… but by the looks of it? Tonks gave up.
She's currently in the first room, of which has had near a similar treatment to the main hallway. Buckets of paralyzed doxies are shoved to the door jam, most of the dark and icky has been removed, and as mentioned before, the stripped and proven safe furniture now sits in the hallway, while she's got a mop and is happily scrubbing at walls, standing there in rolled up to the knees breeches, a tube top and a 'kerchief holding her pink hair out of her face.
When the front door of #12 Grimmauld Place opens and its master enters, Sirius pauses to take stock of the changes in the hallway. The shrieking of his mother is only acknowledged with a stunning spell sent her way. No difference, she'll be roused again in no time. The upheaval in the house will keep her agitated for days. "Kreacher?" he calls out and when the elf appears, bowing low and managing to make it look sarcastic.. Sirius hands over the stack of parcels he has in hand. "Put these away, where they belong. That does not include fireplaces, rubbish bins or the boiler. These are cleaning supplies and other necessities that we require." The elf then disappears with a few rude comments muttered in a rather audible fashion. They are ignored.
Glancing up and down the hall, Sirius looks about with a frown, albeit one that manages to look bemused. The notes from his cousin are given a faint grin and he heads in the direction where Tonks sounds like she is. Before he can say anything, there's a snide voice calling from a portrait, "I never thought I would say this, but Merlin's Beard, about time you got home. Make that beastly mongrel of a half-blood cease the ruination of my family's home!" The painting and its occupant are shot a warning look, "Shut it Phineas. We're cleaning and making it inhabitable." At least Tonks is." The buckets of doxies are noted in passing and he says, "That would be faster with magic." He saw Andromeda's notes, and figured Tonks was still having difficulty with them.
Any snide remarks from Phineas were probably met with cheerful attempts at conversation. Hey, if it wasn't for him, she wouldn't be here… or something. Hearing Sirius from behind her, she grins. "Eh, good old manual labor never hurt anyone… Besides…" She points to a wall panel to her right that looks like it might've offended someone recently because it does look charred. "The spell mum gave me to remove the wall paper didn't go exactly as planned. Was easier to just grab a few muggle books and read up on the job and do it that way." She pauses and glances around. "Oh, it's quiet. Aunt Wally get tired again? She's just thankful I didn't think t'bring in the boom box."
"I stunned the old hag," Sirius says in a blase manner. There's a drawl from Phineas, "Talking of your own mother that way? You, the last remaining Black? I can't say that I'm surprised, you did run away and never had much pride in the family.." Sirius then pulls off his robes and drapes them over Phineas's portrait, muffling out the, 'Well I never!' that's heard. He rolls up his shirtsleeves and withdraws his wand, "I think you just got a bit carried away with the spell. How'd you make Auror again, and so young?" Now he's teasing Tonks as he sets about firing off the spell that's essentially a severing charm at the stubborn wallpaper. "With a bit more help, this place could look livable again in months. Although, I still think I should just burn the place down and rebuild.."
"When they say 'cleaning up dark wizards' they usually don't mean it /literally/." Tonks watches Phineas get blocked and she shakes her head. "Just goes to show that apparently I was sorted into the right house." She steps gingerly around the puddles she's made with her bare feet (FEAR HER BRIGHT GREEN TOENAIL POLISH). Want to bet she's slipped and fell on her ass more times than she can count? "The wallpaper's been the hardest. The glue's old so it makes a mess when you're pulling it off." She sets the mop down, handle end first, and glances around the room. "Perfect! One down and…a bazillionity left to go!" She pauses, "Kreacher didn't throw away my packages yet did he? The ones on the stairs?"
"No, can't imagine they do," Sirius says as wallpaper peels itself neatly from the walls, rolling at the baseboards. "It's a badge of honor being from this gene pool and sorting into anything but Slytherin." Turning from the wallpaper, he casually flicks his wand at the puddles Tonks is creating, and they evaporate. Seems like he's anticipating a slip and fall scenario, and is being proactive about it. "The packages are still on the stairs.. I wonder if we could bribe him into helping speed this along."
There's a 'Thank Merlin' uttered for the packages' continued existence. Then again, she didn't tell Kreacher what was in them. She moves out of the empty room and sets the mop in the bucket and gingerly grabs the packages from the stairs. She's trying not to wake the portrait up now that she's got someone other than Phineas to converse with, and then she's back in the empty room. "Like I said, had to send these to Mum," the boxes are opened with a flick of her wand (which was drawn from her back pocket as always), and another flick has the contents removing themselves. While not the 'scarlet and gold' that was requested, the wallpaper and paint buckets that are withdrawn are shown to be a rich deep walnut color, the wallpaper having a beige base. It's not dark or dreary, but it can still be considered proper and fitting for the old house. "What'cha think? And Kreacher? Maybe, but I tell you what, Sirius, this whole do it yourself thing? It's great. Oh, so going to feel it later, but I can see what Dad rants about all the time." Damned Hufflepuffs.
"Mmm… well.. having him on board with the cleaning will help immensely. Or damn, if he'd just clean properly anyway." Then again, if Kreacher did his job, Sirius would have one less thing to complain about. The new wallpaper and paint are met with approving nods. "I do still want scarlet and gold for the damnable drawing room. I want it more cozy." Possibly filled with squashy furniture, like the Gryffindor common room. So many fond memories of that. "Plus, it was one of mum's favorite rooms.. so redecorate dramatically." It's sound reasoning in his head.
Tonks regards her cousin for a moment, "Actually, bold colors in the red spectrum aren't 'cozy', they're passionate. People in red rooms are more likely to be agitated in some way, did you know that?" Yet, the other box she'd brought in is flicked with her wand, and more of the same is removed, this time, with the requested colors. "One step ahead of you."
"Your point being? I know what I want in that room, get rid of the green and silver, it /will/ be scarlet and.." Before Sirius can get going on a rant or reiterating what he wants, Tonks is ahead of him. A grin splits across his face, "Excellent. I can transfigure the furniture to make it match." Since he really doesn't have much against the furniture. It's comfortable, it's rich, just wrong colors and very shabby. Nothing that can't be fixed. "We'll get to the drawing room on this floor last, since that's where a good deal of the nasty objects are tucked away at."
"Wonderful! but first, I need a break. My stomach's whinging," Tonks flicks her wand and begins moving the dressed down furniture back into the room. It's settled neatly but still in a way that it can be easily moved back out. "Never thought it'd be fun cleaning. I never cleaned my room. Mum'd get so mad," she says with a grin as she tucks her wand away, as if she was doing something naughty.
"You don't say?" Sirius says, grinning teasingly at Tonks. "Never cleaned your room? Can't imagine it." There's a lazy wave of his wand, and the shedded wallpaper zooms to rest in a rubbish bag. "C'mon, I'll make you lunch. Then I'll help with the cleaning, I'll do the magic you find ever so tricky." There's a pause, then, "Nice handkerchief."
Yay Lunch! Let's see if Sirius falls victim to Bachelor menuitis or not. Tonks moves to head down to the basement kitchen, only managing to slip on one of the stairs, and moves to settle down at the table. "Heh, doesn't it make me look all domesticated and stuff?"
Sirius groans just a bit at the slipping on the steps. It was bound to happen, Tonks slipping. "Are you trying to look domesticated for somebody," he asks casually as fixings for sandwiches zoom from the cabinets to land on the table. Obligingly, the bread slices itself, and the meats, cheese, lettuce and tomato waits patiently to stack itself between the bread. "Want tea or butterbeer?"
Tonks rolls her eyes, "Please, if I was hoping to be stumbled upon, I wouldn't be standing around in the worst pieces of cloth known to man, slapping walls with a mop." She thinks for a moment, "Or maybe I would. I dunno. But no, there was no ulterior motive other than to make sure my hair was out of my face, and I didn't feel like changing the style."
Sirius smirks and soon enough the sandwiches are ready and settled on plates, one sliding in front of Tonks. Bottles of butterbeer are grabbed for the two and Sirius settles in a seat across from Tonks. The Bachelor menuitis isn't /too/ bad, it could be far worse. The man never really cooked for himself. Everything was made for him until he struck out on his own. When he wasn't crashing with the Potters, he just made do on the go.
Tonks takes a moment to eyeball the meat, before she finds it satisfactory. The salt and pepper shakers are grabbed and she gives each one a shake before she bites into her sandwhich. "Wow, you can put together a sandwich, go you," she says with a grin and a mouthful of food. She's teasing, but to be honest, it is a good sandwich, and it's not long before she's asking for another one.
Sirius takes his time with his own but when Tonks asks for another, he gives a prod of his wand, and another is put together. "Enough of that, Miss Can't Magically Remove Wallpaper," he says, teasing back just as hard. "I'm working on my domestic skills. Course, I wouldn't have to if Kreacher did his job."
That's it, blame the elf. Because it's all /his/ fault.
She beams a smile. "Hey, I can't magically cook either. Why do you think most of my paycheck goes to eating out all the time?" Or the fact she eats most of her meals at home when she has her own place. "I'm going to make a great mum, huh?" Tonks just shakes her head about the elf. She's said her piece about him, and she's not sure if she wants to fight for Kreacher's honor when the damned elf won't give her the time of day right now.
Brows raise in a questionable manner as Sirius looks across at Tonks. "Come around to dinner more often. If I can master the animagus transformation at fifteen, I can bloody well /cook/." That's the way he looks at it, doesn't matter they're in different spectrums! He looks upwards a the copper pots and pans over head. They're clean sure, but they don't gleam like they once did. When Kreacher actually did his job. "I know we're basically going one room at a time, but what do you think about brightening this room up a bit? I know there's no disguising it's underground, but it could look a bit more cheery."
Tonks bites into her second sandwich, glancing upwards to the pots. It doesn't look like Kreacher's sabotaged the kitchen recently, either. That's good news. "We can work on the kitchen next, if you want." She chews on another bite. "Why was this put underground anyway?"
"Possibly because it was the largest space and it made more sense based on that." Sirius honestly doesn't know.. "I've given up trying to understand what made blood relatives do the things they did. He frowns a bit, washing down his meal with butterbeer. "Nah, probably stick to some of the upper rooms for now. This is at least workable down here." Seeing as this room is the meeting spot for the Order. "I'm fine with doing as much work on the first floor as possible." Because it upsets Walburga Black, and that, is the point.
Tonks nods here. "I've been having fun, actually. It's been a good way to sit there and let off steam." Attacking helpless rooms that have unknown manners of dark critters and other such things in it? "And like I said, physical work feels good."
"I think I'll try getting those elf heads down later.. as well as chucking out the troll head." And there's a hefty bet on whether or not Sirius actually acts on that. For all his protests, the man has some issues that need working out. One of those ways is by shouting back at mother and Kreacher.. and complaining about the place. "I appreciate it. I know it's something I should have been working on more in earnest. I just haven't exactly cared much. But Harry's possibly coming for Easter, unless something else happens.. the Order is coming and going, and I dislike living in a hovel." He would dislike living rundown conditions after Azkaban.
"Sirius," Tonks offers, finishing off her sandwich. She rubs her fingers together, to relieve them of their crumbs. "The house is nice. It's got nice framework, lots of room, really. Just needs a bit of a fix me up." Her tone's optimistic. "Maybe once we get a good dent in it, Harry wouldn't have to go to his other relatives during the summer, either."
There's a snort of disagreement that clearly states Sirius does not share the thought that this place is 'nice'. He's just reveling in tearing down the insides and putting up new. It makes mother scream, Kreacher cry. It's a bit of a win-win situation for him. /WHY/ is he staying put here again? Sure it's /his/ house, but he hates everything associated with it. There are no happy memories beyond the day he left. These thoughts seem evident by the expression on his face before a grin wipes it all aside. "He did say last year he'd like to come live with me."
Oh boy, here we go again. Though, like usual, Tonks doesn't comment on Sirius' shift of mood. Maybe she should get some of those muggle pills and start slipping them into his morning tea. "I mean, he's only with them 'cause their his only family right? With you about, and actually pardoned, he should be able to live with you." Oh if they only knew.
"I believe so.. although Dumbledore said he was to go to his aunt and uncle's. At least that's what Hagrid said that night." Sirius pushes his plate aside, now that it's empty. He nurses at his bottle of butterbeer before saying, "Of course, Dumbledore probably thought I was the traitor by that time." It seems so simple doesn't it? Looking at it from this perspective.
In a way it makes sense, so Tonks just goes with it. She takes a sip of her own bottle, then stretches her arms. The manual labor she'd been doing is beginning to set a tension in her back. Looks like she'll have a night of making eyes at her mom to do some muscle relaxing charms on her back for her. "Who knows, I mean…" A shrug, a truly clueless shrug, "You can always ask the Headmaster about it."
It /does/ make sense, looking back. Then again, Sirius is missing so many puzzle pieces. "I plan on doing just that. Harry doesn't need to go back to his aunt and uncle, especially if he doesn't want to and I'm seeing to it that this place is inhabitable." A flick of the wrist and his wand, the table starts clearing itself, and dishes zoom to the sink. "Shall we get back to that room?"
Standing up, Tonks nods here. "Sure. I'd change into something you don't want to get messed up first. You can do that while I mix together the stuff for the wallpaper." She can do that! She can follow directions.
Sirius pushes back in his seat and rises from the table. He could care less about what he's wearing, it was swiped from his father's wardrobe. Which reminds him, go to Diagon, buy new clothes. "You go ahead and mix up the paste, I'll work on repairing the wall you charred. The wallpaper will go up better." With that, he leads the way back up to the room, and Phineas's muffled shouts of 'What's going on in there!? Stop what you're doing!'