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Innocent by MarauderLover7
Chapter 62 : Evaluating Options
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 5

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“Maybe something about a pack,” Harry said, staring up at the ceiling of the library.

Sirius, who was flipping through a book on dark magic – more out of habit than out of hope of actually finding anything to destroy the Horcrux – glanced over.

“A pack?” he asked.

“Mmm,” Harry said. He rolled over and scribbled something down onto a piece of parchment that was already covered in words and scratched out sentences that would hopefully form his Animagus incantation. James, Lily and even Remus had always had very neat handwriting; Harry had taken after Sirius with his semi-legible writing. “Like you, me and Moony. We’re all dogs, or wolves, so it’s a pack.” Sirius ducked his head so Harry wouldn’t see the slightly sappy grin that had spread across his face. Things had been a bit... strained was the wrong word, but the best one Sirius could find... between him and Harry over the past week, after the Snape incident, but Harry still considered him family, if nothing else. “What do you think?”

“I think that sounds like it could work,” he said, trying to sound casual. “Maybe-”

“Hoot,” Remus said, appearing in the doorway. Cradled precariously in his arms were about fifty envelopes.

“Post’s here,” Sirius told Harry, chuckling. “Is Dumbledore getting you to distribute Hogwarts letters, this year?” Sirius asked. “You’ve got enough there.” Remus scowled, and threw the pile at Sirius, who managed to catch two, get poked in the eye by one, and missed the others entirely; they fluttered to the floor. Harry crawled over and scraped them into a messy pile, while Sirius swore and muttered rude things about Remus under his breath. Remus glanced up sharply, and looked at Harry, but he didn’t seem to have heard. Sirius wasn’t looking forward to having to censor himself once Harry had excellent hearing too. “How was lunch?” he asked Remus, who’d flopped down onto the couch.

A grin – probably not dissimilar to the one Sirius had been wearing a moment ago – appeared for a brief moment – making Sirius roll his eyes; Remus was still oblivious. Harry saw the expression and made a sound like he was smothering a laugh before he promptly buried his face in the carpet. Sirius watched his shoulders shake, but Remus hadn’t noticed; he was frowning now.

“It was good,” he said, “but I’m concerned.” Sirius waited, and Harry passed him the stack of envelopes, watching Remus curiously all the while. “She’s worrying about something. Has been all week, I think, but whatever it is, is really getting to her. She looked tired.”

“Did you ask her about it?” Sirius asked.

“Well, no,” Remus said, shifting. Sirius rolled his eyes again.

“So now you’re both worrying – her about whatever her problem is, and you about her.” Remus blinked. “You could offer to listen,” he continued. “She’s allowed to say no, if she doesn’t want to share.” Remus made a non-committal noise, and gestured to the letters in front of Sirius.

“Anything interesting?” he asked. Sirius arched an eyebrow to show that no, he hadn’t missed Remus’ rather obvious attempt to change the topic, but didn’t comment. He sifted through the pile, and frowned.

“Half of these are for you,” he said.

“I couldn’t be bothered sorting them at home,” he said.

“Do you want them?”

“Burn them,” Remus told him, making Harry chuckle. “They’re probably all hate mail anyway, or petitions, or job offers.” Sirius grimaced; Remus had had two job offers; one from a jewellery place in Knockturn Alley that specialised in silver, and one from the Department of Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, asking Remus to join the Werewolf Registry Office.

Sirius used his wand to cut an envelope open. Gingerly, he extracted a piece of heavily perfumed, pale pink parchment and held it at arm’s length. “Dear Sirius,” he read aloud. “I know it’s been years since we’ve corresponded, but your newfound innocence has inspired me to try to renew our connection. I’ve been thinking about how unfairly you were treated by the Ministry, and, while I can’t speak for all of them, I’m of the opinion that you should be... compensated. I, personally, was thinking-” Sirius cut off, choking.

“Thinking what?” Harry asked, as Sirius cast a hasty Incendio and destroyed the letter.

“Never you mind,” he muttered, shocked and embarrassed. Remus was having trouble stifling his laughter, and Sirius shot a rude hand gesture in his direction when Harry wasn’t looking.

“What was in it?” Harry persisted.

“I’ll tell you when you’re older,” Sirius said firmly, choosing a normal, parchment envelope. Harry wrinkled his nose, apparently catching on, and nodded. Sirius cut that one and got a scent of something bitter – which set his instincts on edge at once – but the curse triggered before he could react.

There was a cracking sound as the bones in his hands snapped. Sirius swore, tears springing into his eyes, and his wand and the envelope dropped onto the desk.

Finite,” Remus said, almost immediately, but it did nothing, and Sirius’ wrists were next. His vision flickered and he heard Remus try another countercharm. Pressure started to build in his forearms, and he clenched his teeth, preparing for the breaks. Harry shouted something, and light blinded Sirius, but then the feeling in his arms faded. He sagged in his chair, breathing through his teeth.

Remus was already crouching beside him, casting charms to dull the pain, and other ones to inspect the damage. Harry vanished with a pop and returned a few seconds later with their post-full moon supplies.

“The Skele-gro bottle, please, Harry,” Remus said. Sirius groaned; Skele-gro was foul stuff, and it itched and ached like mad. Remus conjured a glass and filled it halfway. Then he held it to Sirius’ mouth and Sirius reluctantly gulped it down.

“Bloody hell,” Sirius gasped, trying to keep the potion down. Remus helped him drink a glass of water after that, thankfully.

“It’s not that bad,” Remus said.

“It’s awful,” Sirius choked, and Remus smiled wryly.

“And yet you feed it to me monthly,” he said, looking amused.

“Only if the break’s too tricky to fix with a wand,” Sirius countered, wincing as heat raced through his hands. “And that’s not often these days.” Remus smiled and nodded, to concede his loss, and Sirius poked his tongue out.

“I don’t think that looks right to me,” Remus said pointedly, obviously mock-offended by the gesture. He unscrewed the cap of the Skele-gro bottle and held it up rather menacingly, poised to pour. “I’d better give you another dose, just in case-”

Sirius clamped his mouth shut, and lifted his arms up to fend Remus off, but without the use of his hands, or being able to bend his wrists, he knew he’d lose if Remus actually decided to make him drink. Sirius considered his options and did the only thing he could; put his head down onto the desk, and managed to do so without jolting his healing hands too badly.

It had seemed like a clever idea – fool-proof even – but he hadn’t noticed the pile of ashes that had replaced the cursed envelope and the book Sirius had been reading. A cloud of black billowed up around his head, making him sneeze. Remus and Harry burst out laughing, and Sirius kept his eyes shut tightly, grateful they hadn’t been open when his face hit the desk.

S-scourgify,” Remus managed, apparently taking pity on him. There was a scrubbing sensation on Sirius’ face and then it stopped and he deemed it safe to look up. Harry was sniggering, but Remus had pulled himself together. Sirius rubbed his wrist on his shoulder – very gently – because it was starting to itch. “Are you all right?”

Sirius wriggled his fingers very carefully. They were rather stiff, but not sore anymore, though he didn’t feel brave enough to move his wrists just yet.

“Never better,” he grumbled. Needless to say, they were far more careful sorting through the letters after that. Sirius refused to let Harry help at all, and sent him to the other side of the room to keep working on his Animagus incantation. Harry went rather reluctantly, and didn’t work at all; instead, he rolled his wand between his fingers, and kept an eye on Sirius and Remus.

None of the other letters were anywhere near as eventful, however. Someone had sent Remus an envelope filled with some sort of potion, but both he and Sirius smelled it and were able to incinerate it before it could cause any problems. Sirius received a whole stack of fan and hate mail, three interview requests – which he promptly destroyed – and an envelope with the D.M.L.E. coat of arms on it. The last, he inspected curiously, and cast a few charms on before he deemed it safe enough to open.

The parchment that fell out was crinkled, as if the sender had changed their mind and scrunched it up before changing their mind again.

Mr Black,

I am writing on the behalf of someone mutually known to the both of us. I know you don’t owe either of us anything, but I could really use the help.

Yours sincerely,

Gawain Robards.

Robards hadn’t used official Ministry parchment, nor had he signed with his position and office; he’d only used his name. Sirius re-read the letter and knew the ‘someone’ could only be Marlene. His stomach clenched unpleasantly. He hadn’t seen her for over a month – not since she’d been guarding him and Harry in the Ministry holding cells – but things had been understandably tense between them. She hadn’t even come to his trial, though he suspected she had something to do with Peter showing up, since her mentor was the one who’d brought him into the courtroom.

Still, he thought, uneasily. Why does he need my help? After a few moments of thought – permeated only by a headshake at Harry and Remus, who were looking troubled – he reached the conclusion that he knew Marlene better than anyone... Dumbledore, McGonagall, Mad-Eye or even Robards himself knew her, of course, but not as well as Sirius. And even Sirius didn’t know her as well as he’d used to. Who else could Robards ask for help? Sirius wondered. He toyed with Amelia for a moment, but he was fairly sure that Robards would have tried her before Sirius.

Sirius shoved the letter into the pocket of his jeans and stood.

“Padfoot?” Harry asked, sitting up. Remus was watching him warily. Sirius scratched his aching wrists and then pushed his chair back under the desk.

“I’m going to the park,” he said. “Either of you want to come?”

*                        *                        *

“Is Marlene okay?” Remus asked, sitting down on the bench next to Sirius. Sirius tore his eyes away from Number Thirteen – which he’d been staring at for the last ten minutes – and gave Remus a rather guilty look. Then he tossed a piece of parchment at Remus, which Remus read and passed back, his suspicions confirmed. “Are you going to see him?” Sirius shrugged.

“I probably shouldn’t,” he said, his eyes now fixed on Harry, who was sitting on a patch of grass, watching something near his trainer-covered feet. Remus thought he was listening to their conversation; his head was tilted too far in their direction for it to be coincidental.

“He’s right that you don’t owe her anything,” Remus said, to test Sirius’ reaction. As he’d expected, Sirius rounded on him, looking furious.

“I know things haven’t been friendly between her and me lately,” he said in a low voice, “but if she’s in trouble...” He shook his head. “She’s still an old Order member – she’s still family – and she doesn’t have anyone else!”

“No, probably not,” Remus agreed calmly.

“I’d do it for anyone – you, obviously, Amelia, Bean, Dung, Em-”

“I know you would,” Remus said, holding up his hands. Sirius seemed to have expected an argument of some sort, and looked bewildered when none were forthcoming. Sirius glanced at Number Thirteen again, and then quickly away. His eyes landed on a cluster of children on the other side of the park. Most of them were wearing brightly coloured hats – Remus assumed it was a birthday gathering of some sort – and were also still wearing their school uniforms.

“We’re family,” Sirius said, his eyes drifting from the laughing children, to Harry, who was sitting quietly, watching the birthday party too. “If it was Reg, I’d help him, even though we didn’t always see eye to eye.” Remus helpfully didn’t point out that Regulus was dead, and had been for years.

“Reg never tried to kill you,” he said quietly, glancing at Harry to make sure he wasn’t overheard; Sirius hadn’t told Harry the full story, which Remus thought was probably for the best.

“D’you think he’s lonely?” Sirius asked.

“Erm,” Remus said, thrown, “well, er... I’m sure your parents are with him again – if you believe in that sort of thing – and James and Lily will be watching out for-”

“Not Reg,” Sirius said, looking exasperated. “Harry.” Harry’s eyes were still fixed on the kids on the other side of the park – they were singing a cheerful chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ – and he was wearing the strangest expression. It was a little curious, but also sad, and guilty and embarrassed.

Oh,” Remus said. “You shouldn’t have changed the subject so abruptly-”

“‘If you believe that sort of thing’,” Sirius chuckled. “Honestly.”

“Do you?” Remus asked. Sirius looked surprised, and then, looking a little sheepish, nodded.

“You?” Remus inclined his head, and they shared an awkward look and then glanced away. “So,” Remus said, digging up a chunk of grass with the tip of his shoe, “Harry?”

“Yeah,” Sirius said, seizing the topic with relief. “Harry.”

“And his loneliness,” Remus agreed.

“Exactly,” Sirius said, and then sighed. “He hasn’t said anything, but I’ve wondered...”

“He’s got you and Kreacher, and me,” Remus said.

“Yeah, a lunatic house elf-” Sirius said this far more fondly than Remus had expected, despite knowing how far Sirius and Kreacher’s relationship had come. “-the world’s most irresponsible godfather – who was on the run from the law until very recently – and-”

“A werewolf?” Remus suggested, chuckling.

“I was going to say overly mature, overly studious godmother,” Sirius said, shrugging. Remus chuckled. “I mean, we have fun – I know we do – and thanks to Azkaban, I’m really only twenty three...” He gave Remus a grin that made him look twenty three, instead of thirty. “But I’m not a kid anymore. I can’t be, because Harry needs a guardian more than he needs a sibling... for the moment anyway.” Remus rather thought that Sirius was a bit of both, but was curious about what Sirius had to say, and didn’t mention it. “But he needs a friend or something,” Sirius continued. “Someone his own age. I had Reg, growing up-”

“James and I didn’t have anyone,” Remus pointed out. “And neither did Pete.” There was a moment of silence after Peter’s name – Remus wondered, briefly, how he was coping in Azkaban, and was sure Sirius was doing the same - and then Sirius nodded.

“No, you didn’t.” Sirius clenched his fists; Remus didn’t think it was an angry gesture, but rather one that was to try to stop the ache that Skele-gro usually left as a parting gift. “And I know for a fact that Jamie was lonely before Hogwarts, and over the holidays. Why do you think he wrote to us all so much? And you can’t tell me that you never wanted a friend-”

“Friends were an impossibility for me back then,” Remus said, staring at the party-goers again. “I was too dangerous.” Sirius punched his arm, and then swore and clutched his hand. Remus chuckled before he could stop himself, but his amusement was quickly replaced by concern. “Are you all right? You haven’t re-broken anything, have you?”

“Bloody git,” Sirius muttered, inspecting his hand. Remus hid another smile. “And no, I haven’t. It’s just tender.” Sirius wriggled his fingers and then shook his hands. “A second opinion would be nice, you know,” he muttered, after a moment.

“Let’s see, then,” Remus said, trying to get a look at Sirius’ hands.

“For Merlin’s sake, Moony!” Sirius said, looking exasperated again, and this time, smacked the side of his head. “Worth it,” he said, before Remus could express any worry about his hands. “An opinion about Harry.”

“I think him being lonely is possible,” Remus said after a moment’s thought. “He seemed to enjoy his time with the younger Weasleys when they broke into Amelia’s office, and I know he didn’t like Hydrus Malfoy, and had mixed opinions about Draco, but I do think he appreciated the company, regardless.”

“That’s what I thought too.”

“You’ve already thought about it?” Remus asked, a little surprised.

“Quite a bit,” Sirius admitted. “When we were first living together, he told me he didn’t want to go to school, and I agreed – because he didn’t want to – but when I thought about it more, I realised it was too risky to let him out of the house – and have him away from me – when we were in hiding. Keeping to ourselves was a necessity, and he never complained, so I let it be. Ever since the trial, though, I’ve started to wonder...”

“You could always ask, you know,” Remus said.

“I know,” Sirius said.

“Then why haven’t you?”

“Because I don’t have a solution to offer yet.” He grimaced. “If he is lonely, then I want to be able to say something other than, ‘thanks for telling me, but bad luck for the time being, kiddo’.”

The children were now playing chasey – some had retained their party hats, but the majority were lying in the grass, like bizarre, conical flowers – and squealing on the other side of the park. Remus watched them, and then looked at Sirius.

“School,” he said.

“School?” Sirius asked, flatly. “Like those stupid little Hogwarts preparation classes they run in Hogsmeade?” Remus blinked.

“They run what?”

“Classes,” Sirius said. “Where you learn about the subjects and the Houses and how to hold your wand properly – which is pretty pointless if you ask me, because pretty much every teacher covers that in the first lesson anyway-”

“They have classes before Hogwarts? Like- like wizarding primary school?”

“Yeah,” Sirius said, “but they’re rubbish, which is why everyone learns from home, or gets a tutor.”

“Did you go?”

No,” Sirius said. “My parents hired a tutor when I turned eleven.” He smiled and Remus just knew it had ended badly.

“What happened?”

“I set her on fire,” Sirius said, grimacing. “It was accidental magic!” he added, hastily. “I didn’t mean to, but... well, these things happen...” He shrugged in a sheepish, but not at all remorseful sort of way. “Peter went.”

“To the classes?” Remus asked, wondering how he’d never known this.

“Yep,” Sirius said. “Seemed really proud of it too – he tried to tell me how to hold my wand on the first morning, and he had this stupid little song that went with it – and so James and I sat him down and told him he should never talk about those lessons or anything he’d learned from them if he wanted to make it through his first day of real school.”

Oh, Remus thought. That’s how.

“But that’s obviously not what you meant, is it?” Sirius asked slowly. “You didn’t even know they existed.” Remus shook his head, and Sirius squinted at him. “So what were you talking about?”

*                   *                    *

“Nymphadora, come here, for a moment, before you go running off,” Mum said. Tonks poked her head into the sitting room. Mum was waving her wand over clothes to iron them – Dad had bought her a muggle iron for Christmas two years ago, and Mum hadn’t even tried it – and gestured with her free hand for Tonks to sit down. Tonks did. “Not on the arm of the chair,” Mum said, looking irritated, as she reached for another of Dad’s shirts. Tonks slid off the arm of the chair rather ungracefully, and ended up on her back on the seat of the chair.

“Better?” she asked. Mum rolled her eyes, but a smile was tugging at her lips.

“How’s training been?” Mum said, after a moment. Tonks’ heart sank. “I’ve hardly seen you, so it must be busy at the moment...” This was followed by a sideways look.

“Pretty busy, yeah,” Tonks said, a little uncomfortably; she couldn’t remember the last time she and Mum had had a conversation that extended beyond what was for dinner, or could Tonks please stop Apparating into the house? “Exams are coming up.”

“And then holidays?”

“Sort of,” Tonks said. “Only in August, and it’s not really a holiday. Normal lectures and things are cancelled, but I’ll still have to tag along with Mad-Eye on specific cases... I was thinking of going to see Charlie and Tom, though.” That made Mum smile.

“How are they?”

“Good, I think,” Tonks said. “They’re both still completely useless when it comes to writing, so it’s hard to tell, but neither of them have been eaten yet, so I s’pose that’s good.” Mum laughed and started on a pair of Tonks’ robes.

“And how are you?” Mum asked.

“Me?” Tonks asked. “Fine. Why?” Mum set her wand down and planted her hands on her hips. Tonks felt those grey eyes on the side of her face and reluctantly met them. “What?”

“You’ve been down, lately,” Mum said. “Quieter. Is it something to do with a boy?” Mum cleared her throat and gave Tonks a significant look. “Or a man, even?”

“What?” Tonks asked, bewildered. “No, it’s just some Auror stuff that’s starting to get to me. It’s nothing.” That was a blatant lie; the whole Smoky-is-Florence thing had been eating a hole in Tonks’ conscience for just over a week now, and she’d resolved to do something about it today... she just didn’t know what.

“Are you still enjoying it?” Mum asked. “You know when you first joined, I worried that you might not be able to-”

“I can handle it,” Tonks snapped, and Mum bristled.

“Don’t you take that tone with me, Nymphadora Gladys Tonks,” Mum said, lifting her wand in warning. “You’re obviously stressed at the moment but that doesn’t mean I’ll tolerate you being rude.”

“Don’t call me Nymphadora,” Tonks grumbled, feeling guilty.

“I’ll call you whatever I want to,” Mum said firmly, ironing the creases out of another pair of robes. “So what’s this Auror stuff that’s bothering you?”

“I’m not supposed to talk about it,” she said.

“This is me, though. Come on, I’ll bet all of your friends know,” Mum said, arching an eyebrow.

“Actually they don’t,” Tonks said.

“Oh,” Mum said, apparently thrown. Tonks thought shock was a fair response; generally Tonks was reasonably open about her problems, so it meant it was something important if it was being kept a secret. “All right, sweetheart,” Mum said, looking troubled. “I’ll leave Auror things to you, then, all right?” Tonks smiled, grateful it was Mum she was having this conversation with; she and Dad probably saw eye to eye on more issues than she and Mum did, but Dad would have tired to convince her to open up and ask for help. Mum, as a Slytherin, usually knew when to back off and let other people deal with their own problems.

“Sounds good to me,” Tonks said. She whispered her Sidekick’s passcode and checked the time. “Bugger,” she said, and Mum opened her mouth to tell her off. Tonks slid off the couch and bounced to her feet. “I’d better go, or I’ll be late,” she said over the top of Mum’s voice. She kissed Mum’s cheek. “Love you!”


But Tonk had already turned on the spot. The living room melted around her and became the alley around the corner from the visitor’s entrance to the Ministry.

“All right,” she told herself. “By the time I get to Level Two, I will have decided.”

She took a deep breath and climbed into the phonebox. Giving herself a deadline seemed to have helped a bit; she wasn’t coming in for training (that wasn’t until that afternoon) but Florence and Yaxley were studying in one of the lecture theatres, and had extended the offer for Tonks to join them. Mad-Eye was in his office, with their list of blue-magic wielding suspects. She could go to him, or she could go to Florence, and she’d been distant with both lately, so there’d be questions, she was sure of it. And she’d have to give answers.

It was Mad-Eye she went to, as had probably been inevitable. He didn’t look up when she walked in, but she thought his eye was probably trained on her through the top of his head.

“Nymphadora,” he said, and then he did look up.

“Sir,” she said nervously. An odd expression settled itself on his face, one that was hopeful and wary all at once. “I- It’s Florence. Florence Prewett,” she managed, before her nerve broke. Mad-Eye gestured for her to sit.

“I know,” he said.

“You what?” Tonks whispered, glad that she had sat, or her legs might have given way.

“I know. Have for a few days. Prewett’s Lovegood’s cousin, which is how she knew her and was able to organise the first interview. And Lovegood’s a good sort as far as upholding confidentiality, but the way she defended Smoky’s identity made me think it was personal. And I was right. Prewett’s on the list, had access to Greyback – as well as motive if she’s a werewolf, and because of Clarke’s death – and she got an O for her Transfiguration N.E.W.T.; fourth highest score we’ve ever had, behind Potter, you and Black, so she’s capable.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I almost did,” Mad-Eye said. “Then I realised that you already knew, and I wanted to see how you’d handle it.”

“A test?” she asked weakly. “I haven’t slept for days, and I’ve been worrying and, and- and it was a test?!”

“Prewett’s involvement isn’t,” Mad-Eye said, looking grim. “But your response was.” Tonks couldn’t even find the energy to be angry.

“Did I pass?” she asked.

“It’s never that easy,” he sighed.

“So what do we do?” she asked in a small voice.

“We talk to her,” Mad-Eye said. “And then we go from there.”

“I’ll help,” Tonks said. “I want to know why.”

“You’ll find out why,” Mad-Eye said grimly. “But you’ll do that from the sidelines. I’ll be asking the questions.”

*                     *                       *

“Your wand,” Mad-Eye said, holding his hand out. Florence produced her wand slowly and pressed it into his scarred hand. Then she sat down, folded her ankles and clasped her hands in her lap. Tonks closed Mad-Eye’s office door and cast a few charms to prevent eavesdropping, and also locked it.

“I’m not running,” Florence said, glancing at Tonks over her shoulder. “You don’t need to lock it.”

“Do you know why you’re here?” Mad-Eye growled.

“I know,” Florence said quietly.

“You’re accused of Fenrir Greyback’s murder,” Mad-Eye said. Florence said nothing. Tonks felt like crying, because her silence was as good as a confession. Tonks conjured herself a chair and sat down, hugging her knees to her chest. Mad-Eye gave her a look, and she unfolded herself – reluctantly – and earned a small nod. “I don’t need to tell you how serious this is, do I?”

“No,” she murmured. “But given the circumstances, I think-”

“Circumstances?” Mad-Eye asked.

“Give who it was,” Florence said, with a rather flinty look in her eye.

“Murder’s wrong, no matter the victim,” Mad-Eye said.

“Have you ever killed anyone, Auror Moody?”

“I’m not the one answering questions,” Mad-Eye said, and it was obvious that he had. Tonks hugged her knees again, and this time, Mad-Eye didn’t tell her off.

“During the war?” Florence asked, and Mad-Eye, surprisingly, nodded. “Because you had to? To save someone?”

“In the heat of the moment, because I had no other choice,” Mad-Eye said. “You had a choice-”

“He’d already killed Melvin,” Florence said. “He’s bitten over a hundred, and killed probably just as many others. It might not be war in the conventional sense, sir, but it’s still war. It’s high casualties, caused by one git with an inflated sense of self-importance, and it’s been drawn out over twenty years instead of two, but that doesn’t make it any less horrible.”

“It doesn’t justify killing-”

“You fought in the war,” she said. “If you’d had a clear shot at You-Know-Who, would you honestly have left it, because ‘killing is wrong’?”


“Murder’s wrong, certainly-” Florence said, over the top of Mad-Eye, while Tonks stared between them; it was like watching Chasers pass a Quaffle back and forward. “-so why is the death of one such a big issue?”

“Greyback may have been a murderer, but he was restrained, and not in a position to threaten anybody,” Mad-Eye growled, looking a little flustered. “He wasn’t dangerous at the-”

“Wasn’t dangerous?!” Florence said, looking angry. “He’s always dangerous! He doesn’t need a wand to hurt people!” Tonks remembered the attack on Matt in London, and shuddered.

“He was already being punished for his crimes-”

“In Azkaban?” Florence asked, rolling her eyes. “Greyback’s not human enough to be affected enough by Dementors for it to have punished him at all. He wouldn’t have liked it, obviously, but he’d have been back to his normal, monstrous self within a week of being let out.”

“He might have changed-”

“Azkaban’s a prison, not a correctional facility!” Florence snapped. “If you really believe people can change, then why was Sirius Black’s escape such a big issue? He spent seven years there; surely he should have changed if anyone was going to! You know as well as I do that Greyback wouldn’t have; he’d have come back with a vengeance. I’m not saying I did the right thing – it’s morally questionable, I know that – but I don’t think it was the wrong thing, and I certainly think his death’s got more positives associated with it than it does negatives.”

Mad-Eye and Tonks shared a despairing look, and Florence folded her arms, watching them with a steely expression.


Hi, everyone!
This is just a short message to tell you the next update will come on Sunday the 6th (of October) because I'm away next week. :S
Sorry! :)

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