Sirius kept his distance from her and slowly put his wand back in his pocket, trying not to alarm her. Evelyn had stared at him for a few moments with a crazed look in her eyes before wrapping her arms around her knees and rocking back and forth. Sirius couldn't be sure, but he thought she was crying.
He ignored the frantic knocking on the other side of the door and bent down so that he was level with Evelyn but still at a distance from her.
"Evelyn?" He said softly.
"Get away from me!" She screamed back. "Don't...don't do whatever it is that you people do."
"I wouldn't do that to you, Eve. Look, I promise" Sirius said as he took the wand out of his pocket and threw it on the other side of her bedroom.
She looked up at him as he called her Eve. Her lip was trembling as she asked:
"Why did you call me that?"
"Because I've always called you that. I know how much it bothers you."
For a moment every ounce of anxiety and fear left Evelyn's face as she gave Sirius a look that he had seen on her face so many times before, a look that showed she wasn't amused by his antics. He almost wanted to laugh with joy but he composed himself.
"Which given the circumstance, I guess isn't very nice of me."
Evelyn felt tears swimming in her eyes, this was too much for her. These kind of things had always been too much for her. She was so fragile, maybe she really was better off...No. Not that. Never again.
"What do you want from me?" Evelyn asked with every ounce of strength she had.
There was a knocking on the other side of the door.
"Well," Sirius said standing up. "I want them gone and I think you do too."
"Who are they? What do they want with me?" Evelyn asked.
"Well," Sirius thought for a moment. He hadn't the slightest clue where to begin. "we'll get to that later. But you have to trust me."
Evelyn stared at the young man before her. He was handsome, he was tall, he was apparently strong, and he was the boy in the photograph, only older and more worn. Could she trust him? He was kneeling by her side again and Evelyn felt herself flinch away.
"Do you trust me?" This near stranger asked Evelyn. She did know his name. He had told her his name in the cafe that one time. As far as Evelyn knew, she had only been around this strange man three times, once in the photo, once in the cafe, and now, when he appeared out of thin air.
"No." She answered truthfully and whatever strength that was left in her face broke and she looked like a terrified child.
Sirius grew increasingly frustrated. He didn't know what he could do for her. The only thing he did know was that seeing her like this was horrifying.
"Do you remember anything about me?" Sirius's answer was immediate as Evelyn began to shake her head more vigorously. "Eve, Try. Please"
On the word "Eve," She looked at him, searching his eyes. They were complex in person and as she stared into them she heard herself say:
"You're the boy in the photograph. Your name is Sirius and...and" Evelyn closed her eyes tight. Sometimes, as she just woke or as she fell asleep, she had a sort of vision, maybe a nightmare. But she was so sure it had to do with this boy. But as she closed her eyes, she remembered the same scene, the one she was always remembering. All she could remember. She was sixteen and in the park and someone was trying to rob her.
"And the stupid dog!" She spit out, frustrated at her own inability to remember.
"What?" Sirius asked, his whole body tense.
"Nothing. I was 16 and there was a dog and it's nothing. But it's the last thing I remembered before it all got..." Evelyn stopped, not willing to admit any more.
"In the park." Sirius said quietly. "You saw a dog and a man tried to hurt you. So, you hit him and then a dog attacked him. Chased him halfway around the park," Sirius added with a slight laugh.
Evelyn stared at him in shock for a second before the commotion on the other side of the door became louder.
"Look, you are have to trust me. I know this is a lot to handle right now. But at one point in your life. For one summer, you trusted me. I won't ask you to remember, I know you can't. But you trusted that dog and that means you can trust me. So, when those other two men walk in here. I want you to pretend that we all fixed your toilet because it was leaking, do you understand?"
"No," Evelyn said her whole body shaking.
"Just try, please. I'll explain everything soon." Sirius himself was this close to breaking. "Leaky toilet?"
"Leaky toilet." Evelyn repeated unsteadily.
Sirius stood, hesitated for a moment, and then walked out to face the men on the other side.
The two wizards were both infuriated and for a few confusing seconds, screamed obscenities at him.
"And what in the name of Merlin are you doing?" One finally asked.
"Figuring out her story," Sirius said defiantly. "Judging by her reaction when she saw me, I had the feeling that my cousin Bellatrix had something to do with what happened to her. We do look alike at times," Sirius said dryly as both of the wizards were silenced. "From what I can make out, Bellatrix attacked the muggle, perhaps tortured her, and then performed a memory charm, so the muggle had no recollection. Only," Sirius hesitated, "Perhaps the spell wasn't effective or perhaps seeing Bellatrix set off a strong reaction in her without the muggle quite knowing why."
Sirius had the distinct impression that the reason Evelyn remembered had everything to do with him. Or maybe he just wanted her to remember because of him. He said this all calmly, trying to sound almost bored although his every nerve was aware of Evelyn on the other side of the door, perhaps seconds away from danger.
"Well that's just great," Said one of the ministry wizards angrily. 'Now, let us do our jobs."
"No." Sirius said forcefully. "Given the nature of the attack, she is very distrusting of wizards. I think the only reason I got her story was because of my slight resemblance to my cousin, so I was familiar. I preformed a memory spell. Thinks we were all here to fix her toilet. You can check if you want."
The wizards pushed their way through the door and to her everlasting credit, Evelyn was standing there, a picture of calmness.
"Oh, hello." Only Sirius could hear the shaking in her voice. "Did you forget something in the loo? I can't thank you enough, that damned thing has been leaking for weeks."
"No ma'am. Have a good day now." Sirius's fellow Order member said before they bowed out the door.
"What sort of tricks are you trying to play?" The other wizard yelled in an outrage. "This is a big problem. You are-"
"Given the nature of things recently," Sirius said cooly. "Is this truly a big problem? Shouldn't we be worried about more important things then mentally deranged muggles?"
Both of the wizards said nothing. The angry one took off in a huff.
Sirius stared at his fellow Order member who began to speak:
"I know that you are stressed but this is no way to behave. This could have been dangerous for all of us. Stop being so impulsive. You'll get us all killed."
The man apparated, likely back to the Order meeting. The very place Sirius was expected to be. The very place he should be. But Sirius knew the place he should be, he had to be, he wanted to be, was with the sobbing girl on the other side of the door.
So with that thought in his mind. He opened the door, walked straight into the girl's kitchen, put on the kettle, and got out some tea before he turned to face the girl. Once again Sirius was impressed by how brave she was. She still had the courage of the old Evelyn despite how badly shaken up she was. He sat on her shabby couch and took a deep breath
"Well, I suppose it's time I tell you everything. But where to start? I guess I should tell you who I am because that's the most complicated bit and the rest of my story, your story, our story really won't make sense unless you know. My name is Sirius Black and I'm a wizard..."