Several days later Dumbledore sent word for all of the Order of the Phoenix to meet that night. Sirius had offered his parent’s old house to Dumbledore to be used as headquarters. Seeing as it now belonged to him, and considering his father had used many spells and charms to keep out unwanted visitors, it should work perfectly. Dumbledore made sure to add to and enhance the wards as well as adding the Fidelus charm. These measures took several days. Now that everything was in order, the day Sirius was dreading had arrived. Remus knew his friend disliked being in the old house. After all he had ran away from there when he was sixteen years old.
Remus hated leaving Sirius in that house alone but Dumbledore had him going out on missions for the Order. He had been following known Death Eaters from the first war. Following them when they left their “respectable” jobs and noting where they went and who they met. Truthfully, he had not learned much so far. The more time Sirius spent in the house the more depressed he seemed to get. Memories of the family he hated where everywhere. Not only memories of his family but also their “pureblood” obsession. It was certainly a mystery to all how Sirius Black had ended up so different from his family.
At least today more people would be moving into headquarters. The Weasley family should be arriving by mid morning. “That lot will definitely bring some life to the place,” Remus thought to himself. The twins, Fred and George, are known for their practical jokes. Remus thought to himself, “Its no wonder those two are the ones who nicked the Marauders Map from Filch’s office.” He smiled as he thought of the similarities between the twins and himself and his friends. Remus made his way into the kitchen for breakfast. He was surprised to find Molly in full cleaning mode.
“Oh, Remus dear, I didn’t wake you did I?”
“No. I’ve been awake for awhile, I was just expecting you a little later.”
“I figured it best to come on and start in here so we could all have lunch together.”
“Need some help?”
Remus and Molly worked together and soon had the kitchen ready for inhabitants. Around mid morning the rest of the Weasley family found their way into the kitchen. By this time, Molly had begun to cook lunch so Remus led the children upstairs to pick a bedroom to start cleaning. Sirius, having heard the commotion of everyone on the stairs, made his way from Buckbeak’s room.
“Ah, I see our guests have arrived, Remus.”
“Yes, Molly is working on lunch so we thought we would start cleaning up here.”
With that the “purging” of the house was under way. The irony of the situation was not lost on Remus. The Black family, with the exception of Sirius and his cousin Andromeda, were deeply involved in the dark arts and many were Death Eaters. Now the ancestral home of the same family was being rid of the darkness, neglect and decay so it could be used as headquarters for those who fought everything the Black family had stood for. Hopefully, the process would help to rid some of the gloom from Sirius as well.
Before long Molly called them down to eat. The break from cleaning was silent. Everyone was either to busy stuffing food in their mouths to talk or was lost in their own thoughts. Molly’s voice broke the silence suddenly “Okay everyone, finish up! Oh, Sirius, the paintings in the front hall?”
“I’ve tried already Molly. My dear Mum intended for them to stay. I have come to the conclusion that she must have used a permanent sticking charm. Our only option is to tell every one to keep the noise down out there so as not to wake them and especially “her” up.”
“Phase two begins,” Ron mumbled darkly. They worked all afternoon and finally managed to get three more of the bedrooms ready.
“What time is the meeting tonight?” Sirius asked.
“About eight so, we had better get cleaned up ourselves,” came Molly’s cheerful voice.
“I’ll be back for the meeting,” Remus stated. At the inquisitive look he received from Sirius he said, “Need to get a few things from the house.”
Later that night, Remus eased into the front hall, careful to not wake anything up. As he stepped away from the door, he heard the doorknob turn behind him. He turned to see Arthur Weasley closely followed by two new people. Remus placed his fingers to his lips indicating they should be quite and let Arthur lead them both past him. The first was a tall, black wizard Remus recognized but could not recall his name. The second was a shorter person who had their cloak over their head. Before Remus could catch a glimpse of their face, they tripped on the hat stand and fell into Remus, knocking both of them to the floor. The next thing Remus knew, the hall was filled with screams and wails. The only thing he could see was a mass of pink hair that then turned bright red. Remus moved the hair from his face, determined to scold the clumsy oaf. To his surprise behind that now red hair was a beautiful heart shaped face. Her frown and quite, “Oh, I’m sorry,” melted his anger and frustration in an instant. Her face was only inches from his and he became very aware of her body on top of his. Then he suddenly realized the hall had become quite and the two of them had an audience.
“Remus, I see you’ve met my cousin,” said a very amused Sirius.
“Not formally,” he whispered.
“Oh my!” She got to her feet and began to apologize to everyone.
“Sh! This way,” muttered Arthur.
The hallway emptied again as everyone made their way down the stairs and into the kitchen leaving Remus still lying on the floor. Sirius sat down beside him and whispered, “My cousin seems to have knocked you off your feet.” Remus could hear the mischief in his voice and tried to not look too embarrassed. “Still a bit shocked I suppose,” he replied.
The both of them got to their feet and joined the rest in the kitchen. There were more people there than Remus had expected. The bald wizard who had arrived with Arthur stuck out his hand and said, “Sorry about that back there. My name is Kingsley and the one who fell on you is Nymphadora Tonks. She may be a bit clumsy at times but she is a fully qualified Auror just the same.”
“Remus,” he responded as he shook his hand.
The meeting was then called to order. Everyone found chairs as they waited for Dumbledore to continue. Formal introductions were made and reports were given. Remus relayed all that he had learned, which wasn’t much and tried to listen to others as well. He kept finding himself distracted, stealing glances at the young woman.
“ What is wrong with me,” he chastised himself. “This is the first meeting of the new Order of the Phoenix.” Remus shook his head and pulled himself together. For a moment he thought he saw Sirius grinning at him but the next second decided he was just paranoid for Sirius seemed to be focused on whoever was speaking.
The meeting was soon adjourned and people began to shuffle about. Molly Weasley asked who would be staying to eat and began making preparations. Her husband, Arthur, joined her and several others left. Remus remained seated lost in his own thoughts until Sirius’ voice in his ear brought him back to reality.
“So, tell me old friend,” Sirius whispered.
“And what am I to tell you?” Remus asked, trying to avoid the conversation all together.
“Where were you just now?”
“Sitting here,” he responded hoping his friend would leave it alone. Truthfully, he wasn’t sure where his mind had gone. He was trying to place that wonderful aroma that was lingering. Sirius let out a laugh that brought him back to his senses.
“Sorry. What were you saying?” Just then Remus felt a small hand on his arm. He turned to see her beautiful face grinning ruefully at him. “I really am sorry about before. I didn’t see it and I’m dead clumsy anyway. I hope you’re ok?”
“Just knocked off his feet Tonks,” Sirius said with a mischievous grin. “How are you cousin? How is your mother?”
“I’m sorry,” Remus began “I thought Kingsley said your name was Nymph…” he never finished his sentence. She wheeled around with fire in her eyes. “DON’T-CALL ME-NYMPHADORA!” she practically screamed.
“I’m sorry,” was the only words he could find. He was caught off guard by her outburst. He noticed every eye in the room was now looking their way and felt his neck and face turning red.
“I prefer to be called Tonks,” she stated to the room at large looking rather embarrassed in her own right. With that she turned and left the kitchen well aware that every eye watched her go.