Marius woke up early to find that there was a repetitive pounding on his front door, realising that apparently his wife was not going to get up and answer it he slowly went downstairs and opened the front door to find Remus Lupin and Nymphodora Tonks looking rather apologetic.
"Sorry about this Mr Black, but I was informed by your sister that Sirius was probably here and that you might know more about the current Harry situation than anyone else."
"To you intend to oppose my daughters plan? I cannot guarantee the continuation of your lives if you do."
Tonks smiled brightly and said, "Don't worry Uncle Marius, we're cool with it."
Marius scanned their faces and seeing no hint of a lie in them, allowed them in the house.
"Please go into the kitchen," he said, "We had might as well wake Sirius up, if theirs three of us I'm sure that it'll take considerably less time, unless of cause his sleeping habits have changed since the age of sixteen."
"Nope," said Remus dryly, "It used to take James and I half an hour using a combination of bed cover removal, cold water, shaking, jumping on his bed and Wormtail biting him in order to wake him up on a Monday morning"
"Interesting," Marius mused, "Walburga by the time he was fifteen resorted to sending in Kreacher with orders to do nothing that would cause permanent damage. "
"No wonder he hates the little bugger." Said Tonks, "Sleep deprivation is a serious offence"
"One that your mother is guilty of? Andromeda and Narcissa would always be up way ahead of the rest of us"
Tonks winced, "I hate morning people"
"Then how come you're up at six am?" Marius questioned
Tonks glared at Remus who grinned sheepishly.
"I've not actually been to sleep, I was just getting into my pyjamas with a cup of tea at half three, when the doorbell rings and he comes in telling me he needs to talk to me urgently."
"I did promise to make it up to you with dinner." Remus pleaded. "And it was urgent, I felt that you were obliged to know what your relatives were up to."
"And I'm grateful for it, you daft sod." Said Tonks, giving him a kiss on the cheek, "I just wish you hadn't done at half three."
Marius smiled, here was an opportunity for the family to celebrate when the mess was over, family dinner at the very least, hopefully with fewer duels and disownings as the last one had had, when Sirius had stormed out of dinner grabbed his stuff and illegally apparated to the Potters house. The notice that had come through six months later that his younger brother Alphard had left all his gold to Sirius had caused a major argument between Druella and Walburga and both Sirius and Alphard being blasted off the family tree by a fuming Walburga in front of a terrified and upset fifteen year old Regulus.
They walked into the kitchen and Remus immediately burst out laughing, Sirius had curled up so much that his black furry tail was actually inside his mouth; the three of them crept closer to the sleeping animagus and on Marius's signal Remus and Tonks cast the aguamenti charm, Sirius coughed and spluttered before realizing what had happened and shook himself all over them before transforming back into his human form, looking extremely grumpy.
"Sirius, I did warn you that there would be an early start." Said Marius
"Early, before midday not early before dawn." Grumbled Sirius, he looked resentfully at Remus, who had just kicked him, "What did you do that for?"
"Because your being a moody git" said Remus, "Marius do you think that we could stick him in the shower?"
"Yes we'll put him in the shower; he'll need a haircut and change of clothes as well"
"What's wrong with my clothes?" protested Sirius.
"You look like a tramp." Tonks informed him
"Thanks! See if I defend you to lovebirds from Ted now." Said Sirius childishly.
Remus and Tonks glanced at each other puzzled, "Sirius, we've only just got together, and we haven't told anyone." Tonks said.
"Ah yes must you forget mes Amis I am Sirius Orion Black, matchmaker extraordinaire, it's been painfully obvious for the past month that my sweet little cousin has a crush on Moonykins"
Remus glared at him, "I thought we agreed that that nickname didn't was out of bounds."
Sirius shrugged and Tonks poked him with her wand until they reached a spacious bathroom.
"Now Sirius," said Remus patronisingly, "This is a shower, do you remember how to use it?"
"Cause it certainly doesn't smell like it" said Tonks cheerfully.
Sirius glared at them and went to shut the door, Marius stopped in just long enough to say, "Don't cut your hair and beard yourself, we'll get Agalia do it, we don't want you looking like a member of the weird sisters!" before Sirius locked the door with a huff. Thirty seconds later the shower started and the three of them started away to leave Sirius to shower in peace.
"I should probably wake Agalia up if she's going to cut Sirius's hair." Said Marius, he turned to them rather awkwardly, "If it wouldn't offend you, would you mind both borrowing some robes? I've got a load of my brothers' and sister's and I think it would probably be to your advantage if you don't turn up wearing what you currently are."
They glanced down at their outfits, Remus in his threadbare fawn suit and Tonks in her jeans and black jacket.
"Where can we change?" Remus asked.
They came back down from one of the spare rooms into the kitchen half an hour later to find a grumpy Agalia attacking an equally grumpy Sirius (who was dressed in his grandfather's best formal robes) with a pair of scissors. She was nearly done and had succeeded in getting his hair to shoulder length and had was midway through shaving the matted beard off with an old fashioned razor.
"Sirius I swear if you do not keep still, I will commit homicide and claim that the razor slipped" Agalia said in a tone of immense exasperation. He stopped struggling and she shaved the last bits of soapy hair off his chin. Remus waved his wand and Sirius's hair dried. Agalia instantly attacked it with a brush and succeeded in tying it back neatly with a black velvet ribbon. She then turned and appraised Remus and Tonks, who were now resplendent in Forest Green and Midnight Blue robes.
"Remus, you're fine... unless you want me to try dyeing it to remove some of the grey."
He very politely said, "No thanks" and she moved onto Tonks, "Right, you'll do except from the hair, go for your natural colour."
Tonks obediently changed it from her usual vivid pink to a light brown, Remus smiled at her, she looked beautiful.
"Mind out of gutter, Moony" said Sirius, striding past him to the front door, "You need to keep your mind on the mission not the misses"
Remus kicked him again as the five of them made their way onto the front drive, gripping each other, Remus said, "One, Two, Three" and they apparated away.
They arrived with a crack outside the large oak front doors of The Riddle House and Marius knocked smartly, they waited a minute before they heard a "If you're going to be so pathetic Wormtail, I might as well hand you to them as a gesture of goodwill" and Lord Voldemort answered the door. Remus and Sirius tightened their grips on their wands but Marius just rolled his eyes and he and Agalia marched past them, saying "Nice to see you again, Tom" and shaking Voldemort's hand before going to find Maggie. Voldemort raised an eyebrow and turned away leaving the door open. Remus, Sirius and Tonks grasped every last inch of Gryffindor (and Hufflepuff) courage and stepped into the den of snakes.