Chapter 18 : Familiar Head of Hair
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Life in Hogsmeade was dull. Most of the job was trying to mingle with people, pry into their lives, and pretending to spy on Dumbledore. It was quite frustrating actually. I made a sport out of avoiding Dawlish. I ended up spending a lot of time with Savage and Proudfoot. They were a bit older than I was, but we knew some of the same people. They knew of Charlie Weasley and a couple other stars from my year. I found it hard to be upbeat and my hair was stubbornly brown. I tried to make it red one day, I barely go the roots the change before giving up
A small bubble of hope grew and diminished one day when I got an owl. My first thought was of Remus. I knew he wasn’t supposed to write, it’d be dangerous, but I was foolishly optimistic. It turned out to be a letter from George Weasley. My little seed of hope died as quickly as it had been born. I read the letter, curious as to why he’d write me.
After reading the letter a few times, I gathered that he was going to be in town to scope out Zonko’s. He wanted to meet me for lunch. He made it seem like a friendly invitation. I had a feeling he was going to make it more than that, but I agreed to meet up with him. I wanted to see a familiar face.
I wrote George back saying that a visit from a friend would be more than welcome. I didn’t think of it as a date, we were meeting in the afternoon at the Three Broomsticks. When I got there, he was sitting at a table near the back. He had a blue sweater on. I couldn’t help but notice his resemblance to Charlie. I sat down. He smiled broadly and said hi. I tried to smile back, but smiling was something that seemed to belong to a different Tonks. We ordered Butterbeer. Madam Rosmerta eyed the two of us with interest. She was always intent on knowing everyone’s business.
“How’s work been? What do they have you doing up here?” George asked after taking a few sips of his Butterbeer. I told him that I had to guard the school and Hogsmeade with three other Aurors. “That’s all?” He had an incredulous look on his face. I leaned close and told him in a low whisper that we were to spy on Dumbledore. We both laughed.
“Actually,” I said leaning backing my chair for a moment then leaning halfway across the table. “I think the other Aurors are spying on me,” I said in a low whisper. George shot me another dubious look. “Well, I figure that I’m awfully junior for a position like this. They must know I’m friendly with Dumbledore. I think they hope to get some information on him through me.”
George raised his eyebrows. “So your position here doesn’t have anything to do with your skills as an Auror? Nothing to do with your battle in the Department of Mysteries? And naturally, they’re not interested in your talent as a metamorphagus?”
“I doubt it,” I said in a gloomy voice. “I’ve been hauled in for chidings so often that I’m surprised my file doesn’t have its own drawer. My role at the Department of Mysteries…” I let out an involuntary shudder. “I caused more harm than good, and that’s where—” I stopped, I didn’t know if George knew about Remus and I. “Well, as everyone’s noticed, I’m not quite living up to my metamorphagus skills.”
I had been hoping George would leave my unfinished sentence alone. I could tell by the look on his face that he wanted to bring it up. “What did happen between you and Remus?” he asked with the guilty look of someone who had found their information through unofficial channels. I raised an eyebrow, feeling a tad shocked that Molly would discuss that with her sons. “I talked to Bill about it. He told me that Remus was going to pop the question.”
My face fell slightly. “I don’t know what happened,” I said in a small voice. I explained how Remus had broken things off before, always saying he was too risky, too old, and not a good partner. “Each time we’d mend things up. But this time he said we couldn’t keep getting back together. Then…” My voice quavered, “I walked in on him and another woman.”
George swore loudly enough for the people next to us to look over. “Remus is more of an idiot that he looks.” George had a hard look in his eyes.
“I guess that makes me the idiot who loves the idiot. Typical.” I had a self-loathing grin on my face; it was the closest I had come to smiling in quite a while.
“Oh come on, Tonks. He’s a fool. Any man would want you.” George was talking in a level voice, but his eyes flickered with passion.
“They would want what? A woman who can change her appearance? That’s a great thing to be sought after for. Or is it my style and grace? I fall over more than a toddler in clown shoes.” George laughed. I wasn’t trying to be funny. I was glad that my self-depreciation lifted someone’s spirits. I had always made fun of myself, but I couldn’t smile about my faults anymore.
“There’s a lot more to you than you think,” George said vaguely. I snorted disbelievingly. “Even when you change your physical appearance, you’re beautiful. Charlie showed me a drawing he did of you—”
“Charlie did a drawing of me?” I asked feeling surprised by the news. Charlie was quite skilled with a pen, but he was very shy of showing me his work. “I didn’t know Charlie told people we dated,” I said feeling rather squeemish.
George smirked. It amazed me how much the man smiled. “He didn’t call it dating. But, he did tell Fred and me some of his stories.” George was grinning now.
“If that’s why you’re here, you’re wasting your time,” I said coolly. I despised the idea of someone being interested in me for a reputation I had with his brother.
George looked taken aback. “Of course that’s not why I’m here. If I wanted to shag someone, I wouldn’t have to leave London. Heck, our store clerk has been clambering at Fred and me for some time. I wouldn’t even have to leave work for that. You’re a nice person, or you were a nice person.”
I felt cut by George’s remark. I didn’t realize how cold I had become. It wasn’t just with George either. The person I had been a year ago that time laughed easily, smiled a lot, didn’t mind the occasional suggestive remark from an attractive man. “I’m sorry, George; it was unfair of me to say that.” I reached across the table and put my hand on George’s arm squeezing it gently.
“Do you want to go on a walk?” he asked tentatively. I agreed and he led me out of the bar. We wandered around Hogsmeade; it seemed that George knew the town very well. “How are the other Aurors you’re here with?”
I looked around to make sure they weren’t following us. “Proudfoot’s alright. He snores really loudly though.” George shot me a quizzical look. “We all share a flat. I’m two room away from him and I can hear it every night.” George sniggered. “Then there’s Savage. He’s a nice guy. He’s only a few years older than I am. Dawlish is our leader. He’s a git.”
George had a nasty look on his face. I wondered if the Weasleys were writing a book about me for all the information they passed around. “Dad’s mentioned him,” George explained. “Dawlish was the one who was all for prosecuting Dad when they found out about his flying car.” George and I weren’t walking anymore. We were on a side street near the Hogshead. “Why do you think he’s a git?”
George looked at me with earnest curiosity. “He’s a bit creepy. He follows me around at work and he, uh, broke into my flat last fall. Not to mention he’s always—”
“He what?” George asked with a disgusted look on his face. “I can’t believe he didn’t get hauled in for that.”
I laughed coldly. “He ran off to Scrimgeour and said I invited him over and we had a fight.” I was going to say that was also the first night I spent with Remus, but I was distracted by George’s hand. It was brushing some hair out of my eyes. “I can’t stand my hair this color. I’ve been trying to change it.” I said glancing up at it. George said he liked it any color.
George leaned in, I could see all the freckles on his nose. “George… are you sure you want—” He kissed me gently on the lips and I let out a quiet. “This.” His lips were cracked but they scraped so nicely against my skin. I kissed him back; there weren’t sparks and I knew that his wouldn’t make it to my list, but it was nice to feel someone.
We broke apart when I heard Proudfoot’s voice. “Tonks? Oh…uh…” He looked like he was going to go as red as a tomato.
George took it in stride. “Well, that was a very interesting idea, Tonks. We’ll have to discuss it more later. I should go back to London; I expect Fred is waiting up for me.” He winked and left.
Proudfoot was blushing fiercely. “Sorry,” he mumbled looking at his feet. It looked like this was the first time he’d seen someone snogging. “Dawlish sent me out to find you,” he said in an undertone. I raised an eyebrow. “I hate working for him.” I was surprised to hear Proudfoot talk so openly with me. I didn’t say anything. I still didn’t trust him.
It was early October before anything interesting happened in Hogsmeade. George did write to me a few weeks after our get together. He was quite funny in his letter. He asked if I wanted to continue our discussion where it left off. The letter had a very professional tone to it. I decided against it. George was a lot of fun, and quite cute, but he reminded me too much of Charlie. I kept George’s letter. It made me smile when I felt bleak.
I spent a lot of nights in the various hot-spots in Hogsmeade. There weren’t very many hot-spots so I spend most of my time either at the Three Broomsticks or at the Hogshead. I kept to the Three Broomsticks mainly. During one of my nights at the Hogshead, I thought I saw a familiar head of hair enter and exit quickly. I got up and followed it out. I caught a glimpse of a robe swishing around a corning into a side street. I followed it hoping that I wouldn’t have a bout of clumsiness. I entered the dark alley and didn’t see my prey. I started to think I had imagined it all together when I heard his voice and felt his hands cover my mouth.
“I’m surprised to see such a reputable woman at a place like the Hogshead,” Snape hissed in my ear. His lips were so close to my neck that I could feel his breath warm my skin. I felt the familiar excitement of anger filling my veins. I whipped around, ripping out of Snape’s grip.
“You shouldn’t attempt words you don’t understand, Severus.” I pushed him against the wall and forcibly kissed him. His lips were soft, almost feminine. I was quite surprised that he was returning my kiss with the same ferocious disgust that I was using.
He pushed me away and started to say in his low hiss, “Fifty points fro—” I laughed harshly. There was a glint in his eyes that told me he was quite riled up. I bit his neck aggressively, much harder than I’d usually nibble. We didn’t speak during our time in the alley. Usually I’d say shagging was passionate, erotic, something sensual. This encounter couldn’t be described with the aforementioned adjectives, heck, I wouldn’t even call it personal. It was raw; not innocent raw but raw like a piece of meat cut from an animal while the heart was still beating. I didn’t say goodbye to Snape as I left him there in the alley.
I went back to my flat and cried in my room. I wasn’t upset about doing the deed, it was enjoyable in its own way. I was overwhelmed by the idea that Remus would always creep into my head when I was with someone. Snape could be considered the antithesis to Remus in terms of personality and character, but my mind was on Remus the entire time. I knew if I had said anything the whole time, it wouldn’t have been Snape’s name. I stopped sniveling when there was a knock at my door, it was Savage.
I sat up in bed, still hugging Elton John. “Are you okay?” he asked with a concerned look on his face. He came in and shut the door behind him. I glanced at my wand. “I could leave it open if you want; I didn’t think you wanted to wake the other two up.” Savage sat down on the corner of my bed. His chin did look good. This was the first time I had seen his arms higher up than his forearms. He had some interesting tattoos on his upper arms and it looked like they extended to his shoulder and back. He saw me looking and said, “From my younger days. I still love them,” he said with a slight smile. It was one of the few genuine smiles I had seen since I saw George. He didn’t ask me about my sobbing, or why I had been out so late. We just talked. He asked about the picture I had of Remus and I, he thought it was funny that I had been out to catch his best friend. I felt like I could have Savage as a friend while in Hogsmeade.
A few weekends later, Hogwarts had its first visit to the village. We were all assigned to patrol the streets. I had been out walking, thinking of Remus. I found myself comparing him to Savage quite often. Then I’d crinkle my nose. I couldn’t see myself with Savage, not really. It was a miserable day. In my hurry to leave in the morning, I forgot to put on a jacket. My robes did nothing to protect myself from the sleet.
As I roamed the main street I spotted Harry, Ron and Hermione. I kept a distance until I saw Harry push Mundungous against a wall. I rushed forward. Harry was yelling at him and choking him. The kid was going to kill him. I did the only spell that came to mind. Harry’s hands released Dung long enough for him to disapparate. Harry turned around and started to yell about him nicking Sirius’ stuff. Harry was still blazing on about it being Sirius’ things. I couldn’t get worked up about Dung but we were in the freezing cold so I suggested he go inside.
I turned around to see Dawlish leering at me. “Quite a nasty temper there,” he said jerking his head towards the bar where Harry just went.
“I’m sure that with time and enough help you could learn to control yours half as well,” I said coolly. I walked down the street before he could retort. I walked towards the less traveled parts of Hogsmeade. I knew I wouldn’t find many students there, but I thought it’d be nice to get away from the swarm of students. Unfortunately, I was off on my own that girl was, well, not attacked, but injured. All four of us got in trouble for it. We weren’t held responsible, but it was considered an oversight for four Aurors not to notice something that Dark going on. I leaned over to Savage during that part of our lecture and said that the only thing Dark I had noticed came from Dawlish’s room.
Soon after that, I realized the holidays were soon approaching. It made me feel a great deal sadder to think I wouldn’t be able to hold Remus or laugh with Sirius this year. I continued to soldier on with my work, if you could call it that. I hoped Christmas wouldn’t be as bleak as I thought it would be.
A/N: Ok, Thanks to Diandra for her Snape/Tonks idea. And Thanks to Flor for giving me an idea that hasn't hatched in the story yet. I have a question for *the crowd.* What do you think Savage and Proudfoots first names are? Thanks for reading!
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