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t0nksy in ootp_united

Who: Tonks... and everyone else minus Snape. I'm too lazy to type names but not this excuse. Ahem.
When: Three days after Snape and Tonks started watching Peter.
Where: 12GP.
Why: Kingsley has news!


Tonks was tied. She had been guarding the rat for most of the day alone. Snape was off doing some sort of Death Eater business. Tonks didn't ask what. She didn't need to know.

She was leaning lazily on the table, her head resting on one arm while the other was pointing the wand at the rat to keep him in a suspended state. It was boring, but Tonks had mastered the spell that Snape had taught her, so it didn't quite hurt as much anymore. She had forgotten every time to bring something to read before they switched off the guard.

Despite all of the creatures that probably inhabited the house, all was quiet and still. Tonks found herself drifting asleep. The past couple of nights hadn't been the most relaxing, and all she wanted to do now was just rest her eyes..

Just for a few minutes..

It would be fine. Just a few..


Quite suddenly, the fireplace flared and none other than Kingsley stepped out, looking harassed. He took in the scene at the table with some surprise, blinking at the sight of the caged rat.
Tonks jumped, slamming her knee on the bottom of the table as her eyes fluttered open in a panic.


With wide eyes, she found Kingley's. Glancing to make sure that Peter was still nice and captive, she smiled lightly and relaxed. "Ello, Kingsley." As she rubbed her knee with her free hand she spoke in a sing-songy voice. "Whaaaatcha dooinn'?"

Yep. She was tired.
Kingsley opened his mouth to ask, but decided against it. He wasn't here to make conversation. He had news to deliver.

"I have a bit of news that what remains of the Order is probably not going to be happy to hear," he announced. "They need to be called here immediately."
"Oh." Tonks frowned lightly and sighed. It was going to be another one of those nights, wasn't it? She almost prefered the exhaustingly boring task that was guarding Peter Pettigrew.

Normally she would have instantly sent her patronus to alert the others. But it had changed lately. And it was embarassing in the current situation. And they may not be able to recognize who it belonged to.

"Could you call them? I'm sort of all-magiced-out." She looked pointedly at the rat in the cage with tired eyes.
Kingsley's eyebrows went up a fraction, but he nodded in reply before drawing his own wand and giving it a practiced flick. The silvery shape of a Patronus shot out of the end and disappeared.
Of the three other main members of the Order, Remus arrived first, looking sleepy. He'd managed to throw on a rumpled shirt and pair of jeans, at least, but his hair was a mess. Sleep didn't come often for him, so he took it where he could and didn't wake up too easily.

"Yes?" he murmured, stifling a yawn.
"Wotcher, Remus," she mumbled sleepily, waving once, and slowly slumping down further into the table.

Tonks stared blankly at the rat on the table as her eye twitched a few times without her permission.
"Hello, To--are you all right?"
"Pfft," she replied simply, waving a hand in dismissal. Her eyes were half-open, but focused on Peter.
Sirius was next to emerge from the fireplace, brushing soot from his hair and looking distracted. He'd been playing guitar (when wasn't he, these days?) when Kingsley's Patronus showed up, and he wasn't too happy about being interrupted.

"What's going on?" he asked, taking in the awkward scene.
"I have a bit of news," Kingsley replied. "It's ot so much alarming as it is irritating, but, nonetheless, it must be dealt with."
*not, I can spell...
Kingsley rubbed his chin and sighed; a rare action for him.

"Casey Pickett has woken up," he announced. "I was at St. Mungo's on other business and was informed that she had been complaining very loudly for some time about being left in the dark as to the whereabouts of her brother. She seems to have made a full recovery..."
"I will refrain from repeating her exact words, but the gist of her tirade seemed to suggest that she wants us to save her brother again," Kingsley replied.
"Oh no," Sirius shook his head and adjusted his t-shirt, which read Where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket? "That is not going to happen. Twice we've tried that, and twice it's been an absolute disaster."
"Mmm," she sat herself up and leaned back in her chair, keeping the wand as steady on Peter as possible. Blinking a few times as if to clear the burryness from her eyes, she ran her free hand through her bright pink hair... that currently had the smallest bit of mousy brown roots.

She was paying attention now.
"It's not our fault that their aunt is kissing Voldemort's arse," Sirius countered. "She doesn't exactly have a right to demand that we risk our lives for him."
Tonks' eyes widened. Yes! Yes, a chance to get out!

"Ooh! I'll go." She sat up straight, suddenly bursting with energy. Only her slightly bloodshot eyes gave away any evidence of exhaustion. She bounced a little in her seat.

"Where we goin' again?"
"Casey won't be released from St. Mungo's for several days yet," Kingsley interjected. "The Healers won't let her go until they're sure that she's stable. The mental damage inflicted on her was quite severe."
"Why wait?!" She smiled sheepishly. "Sieze the day, am I right? We can get her if we really need to.."
"Hold on, hold on," Sirius held up his hands. "Am I the only one who remembers what happened when we went to the bookshop? Then when we relocated Ben? Are we really going to throw ourselves in the middle of that again?"
The sound of Bellatrix's name struck a nerve, and Sirius deflated a bit. He leaned against the counter, rubbing his forehead.

"I know, I know. We can't. I just can't help thinking that this whole thing has been surrounded by a horrible sense of foreboding since the start..."
Kingsley cleared his throat.

"We are, of course, not obligated to help either of them," he pointed out. "But it would be a good idea. The Dark Lord has obviously taken an interest in them, and allowing him to continue to use Ben for his purposes could turn out to be a worse disaster than stepping in and extracting Ben from the situation."
"Obligated or not!" She bounced a bit more. "It's the right thing to do, isn't it? And it's not like we've got any other specific pressing issues at the moment.."

She then looked at the rat and frowned.
Sirius's gaze traveled to the caged rodent, as well, and a distinct frown appeared between his eyebrows. He would much rather have been discussing Pettigrew's disposal...

But Ben seemed to be the victim of spectacularly bad luck, half of it at the Order's hand, and they really ought to do something to help. It just burned him that Casey had the gall to demand it.
"It's dangerous enough doing things like this without someone only half-sane," Remus pointed out to Tonks, gently. "Casey would have a heart attack if you all went without her, and I doubt she's in any condition to go off to save Ben now. Besides, do we even know exactly where he is?"
"We left him in Luton," Sirius said, running a hand through his hair. "God knows where he is now."
"Exactly. So until we know where he is, it doesn't do any good to decide to go now."
Tonks made a pouty face. She slumped in her chair a bit and failed trying to fight back a yawn.

Fantastic. Bloody fantastic. She wanted to go do something more constructive than hold a rat captive tonight.
"I could make a discreet investigation into Ben's whereabouts," said Kingsley. "Whatever I discover will, of course, not be revealed to Miss Pickett unless you decide to take her with you when the Healers declare her stable. We can't have her rushing off into danger on her own." He strode back over to the fireplace and tossed in a pinch of Floo powder. "I have other business to attend to. I'll let you know as soon as I find out anything about Ben."

With that, he stepped into the green flames and was gone.
Sirius watched Tonks yawn, watched Kingsley go, and slammed his fist on the counter.

"I hate this," he announced.
"I hate it more.." she replied sleepily. Tonks smiled sadly.

Boring, boring, boring..

She scratched the back of her head.
Hearing the weariness in her voice, Sirius gave Tonks a critical look.

"Snivellus isn't giving you any trouble, is he?" he asked.
Tonks waved a hand in dismissal.

"Snape's been decent. Almost suspiciously so. If you know what I mean."

She winked, keeping a straight face although she was giggling madly inside of her head.
Sirius stared at her in horrified disgust. "Don't even joke about that!"
"Who's joking?"

She stared at him sleepily, the tiniest smirk tugged at the corners of her lips.
Remus stared at her.

"Er? Er? Geez, Moony. This isn't funny."
"What do you want me to say? She's joking...I think..."

September 2008

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