Snuffles scratched hopefully at the door, Tonks watched until the disgruntled visage of her cousin took the dogs place.

"You are no fun at all." he said quietly pushing his way past her and up the stairs to the dingy dark lounge.

She looked down at her hands, they shook quietly to themselves, she could not think back to the last time she ate a full meal. It could be days ago, it felt like months. Her stomach gave a disgruntled grumbling in protest. However, food tasted stale in her mouth, the only substance that tasted true to itself was the water that she drank religiously from the tap in the kitchen.

Remus had only visited once in the time she had lodged here. His room lay empty, objects left as if waiting his immanent return.

She felt awful, she knew he had a job to do and she would never dream of stopping him, he wanted to do his bit and who was she to stand in his way. However part of her longed for him to fail, for him to come home to her and tell her the words she loved to hear whispered in the early morning meant for no one but her.

Her hand moved gently over her goose bumped skin, reassuring herself that she was still alive.

She quietly got to her feet from the bottom step where she had placed herself as Sirius had tried to amuse her in his somewhat juvenile way.

When she walked in to the lounge, it was to find Sirius in conversation with someone in the emerald gleam of the fire.

Her stomach clenched as she gazed over the back of the chair. Remus's head floated in the eerie glow. His eyes flicked to hers for barley more than a second, but she could see it their, burning deep behind the sunken eyes. She knew the look well it was the same one that she wore when she thought of him, as she lay alone upstairs.

Remus made his excuses and she watched as his face flickered out of existence.

The tight knot in her stomach lifted but the heavy pain in her chest remained, pressing in on her like the weight of the world bearing down. When Sirius asked her, later on, why she kept clinging to her chest she would tell him it felt like part of her was missing. Something she never realised she had given up was gone.

Sirius looked up at her from the threadbare rug, his eyes a mixture of pity and anger.

"He doesn't look good does he." it was a statement not a question. It was true he did not look good, and Tonks had seen him in all phases of the moon. Whatever it was that he had been sent to do was not good for him. She just wished that he would tell her what it was.

She sank down in to the armchair, pulling her knees in to herself and resting her head between them. Sirius looked at her for some time before climbing in to the chair next to her.

"He does love you; you just have to give him some time that's all." Sirius rested his head on her shoulder nudging her gently with his fore head. Through the tears, she could make out his slightly dog-eared grin. "He's a good boy he'll come home when he's called for."

Tonks shot out a hand and dug Sirius hard in the ribs.

"Ok, maybe I deserved that." he said rubbing the impact spot. "But I'm right and you know I am."

She stared at him, somehow he always knew what to say eventually, it might not always be at the right time but when he got it right…

"Thanks." she said putting the extended arm around her cousin and resting her head next to his.

"No problem, I told you I'm here for you." he sighed. "It's not like I have anyone else is it?"

The green flame flickered across the room highlighting the sunken features of the Black house.

It seamed so long ago that the sound of happy voices had rung around the halls. However, even they had been tainted, why was everything tainted. There was nothing easy.

After a short while the pain in her chest lessened, her breathing returned to normal and the tears seamed to stop flowing. Sirius sat in silence, waiting for her to make the first move.

"I just miss him." she whispered quietly.

Sighing Sirius pulled her back in to a bone-breaking hug.

"He knows. I know he knows. He has to do what he has to do, as do we all." he pushed his hair back from his face and looked her directly in the eyes. She knew this was not her fight, this was all there fight, she just wished it did not have to be there fight all on her own.

"You have work to do, leave a bitter twisted fool to destroy himself." he shoed her to her feet.

"You missed the old bit!" she said sarcastically over her shoulder.

The growl followed her up the stairs to her room.

The light of the fading sun lit the room, the one down from Remus's abode. She opened the closet and pulled out emerald robes, they seamed appropriate. Maybe she should change the colour of her hair to match; she thought twice then ignored it.

She traced the outline of her chain through the material of her t-shirt; it brought back day trips to Muggle London and history lessons from one of the only teachers that she had ever had the predisposition to take any notice of.

He had given her the trinket as they had waited outside one of the old buildings in the heart of London. She wore it hung around her neck to hold it close to her heart.

She checked her reflection in the dusty mirror wiping away the tear that she had not even noticed falling. The empty feeling weighed heavily in her chest. She breathed deeply letting out a rattling sigh as the traitorous breath escaped from her mouth.

As she arrived at the Ministry, she struggled to hold herself together. Arthur Wesley greeted her I the atrium, unable to talk freely in the lift, an air of toper most secrecy was in place over the order. She followed him out the lift and along to his tiny deserted office.

Arthur checked the corridor before propping the door closed with a muggle fire extinguisher devoid of its functioning parts, which lay scattered across the desk.

"Any news?" he asked gently unsure where to look as the water began leaking from her eyes.

"He's alive, Snuffles talked to him this morning." she said quietly staring down at her hands. Sirius had talked to him but as soon as he had seen her he left did he not want to talk to her? Was that it?

Arthur placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder.

"Don't tell me he will be ok, because we both know that he's got the hardest job of all of us hasn't he? He's persecuted wherever he goes, no one trusts him because of what he is…"

"A genuine caring individual?" said Arthur sitting on the edge of the desk.

Tonks sniffed heavily, it was hard to talk about it, there was so much wrong with the basic principle of the two of them being together.

"I should go." she said taking a step towards the door.

"You know he does love you."

Tonks paused hand on the rusty red extinguisher.

"Really? Cause he has a funny way of showing it."