AN: Drunk!Sirius and unsure!Tonks memories and angst. What was I thinking? But in my defence, I shall just say that this is another writing exercise. (And it's like a quadra-drabble, being over 400 words long . . . but you don't really care, d'you?)




Truths

When Tonks finally found him, Sirius Black was rather drunk.

She hovered in the doorway of the master bedroom, hair and cheeks hot crimson, arms akimbo, eyes glitteringly bright. "Oh gods, Sirius."

Creeping forward, she dropped to her knees, clearing the empty firewhiskey bottles from her path and slowly crawling to his side. "I came as soon as I got off my shift. How did you hear?"

"Moody." He took a swig from his last full bottle and dropped his arm unsteadily. "Remus?"

"He's coming. He should be here in a few minutes."

She loosened his grip on the bottle, setting it by the mangled dresser to her right. "If you want to be alone, I can just pop back out that door," she said, leaning against his shoulder.

Silence.

Sirius let out a shuddered breath – then he reached over and pulled her closer, arms wrapping around her shoulders, chin resting on her head, chest heaving with sobs.

"I thought – was safe. Harry faced Voldemort – he survived. 'Sides, we've Dumbledore. Knew what He wanted."

Tonks snaked an arm around his back. "And she was in Azkaban."

"Yeah." He sighed. "Never worried 'bout Cissa – just follows that ferret. Malfoy. But Bella . . . s'not safe anymore. Specially for your mum. D'you remember Bella?"

"Not well. I saw her once, in Diagon Alley. Before we moved into our Muggle flat. I thought she looked pretty."

"Bella wassa bitch," he slurred. "Hated your dad. Made his life hell – Dea's too. Didn't like me – cause of Gryff'dor. Disgrace to Blacks."

He loosened his grip on her shoulders a little. "Bella liked Cissa an' Reg, tho. Not saying much. Cissa's a drowned rat. Reg'lus . . ."

She felt tears dropping on her hair, and rubbed his back soothingly. "I met Regulus once, when I was small."

"Mm?"

Tonks nodded, trying to shift into a more comfortable position. "Mum needed to ask Auntie something, so she stopped by here – brought me along too, for some reason. Auntie called me a freakish half-blood. Then she and Mum started screaming about something." She paused. "Probably about Dad and me."

"M'good old Mum," Sirius said softly.

"So I wandered out to the garden, and chased around some garden gnomes until Regulus found me. He showed me all the different flowers, then helped make daisy chains until Mum took me home. I never saw him again. But I remember he was nice, and shy."

"Reg wasn't evil. Justa fool. Silly little fool. Trusted Bella, an' died for it." He leaned down to look at her, eyes glassy and questioning. "Harry . . . ?"

She tried to smile assuringly, but it was a forced grin, her lips slowly twitching downwards into a frown. "Harry's not like Regulus, Sirius. He'll be safe. I promise."