Chapter 14 : Nymphadora Tonks
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Chapter graphic by Elena.
Toujours Pur by Linebelle
The small living-room was usually empty at this time of night. The cleaning would have been done, and the people living in this nice, but simple house, would already be in bed, or perhaps, enjoying a cup of tea near the fireplace, both reading a book or quietly talking. However, some unexpected events had taken place, life-long habits had been disrupted. Some of the consequences had been good and some others, bad. A new life had been born, bringing happiness and laughter. Another one had been unjustly taken. No, things were not as they usually were under this roof.
The young woman who had just been called felt a twinge of annoyance. Only three people would ever dare call her that: her parents, and her husband. Make that two. She kept forgetting that her father had been killed. She still hadn’t been able to get used to the fact that her son would never remember the face of his grandfather, and that she would never see that loving face again. But there was no time to dwell on such thoughts tonight, and Remus was still calling her name.
She had taken refuge in her old bedroom, thinking that the familiar surroundings might calm her nerves. But all she had been able to do was pacing. She couldn’t stop thinking about what was coming, and every time she thought about it, it felt as if a new knot was appearing somewhere near her stomach. She knew what had to be done, and what the consequences might be, but she was still terrified. Judging by Remus’ pale face, he felt the same. He tried to smile, but ended up grimacing.
“Dora,” She knew what was coming. “Teddy is upstairs with your mother. He keeps waking up. He can probably feel all the tension...” Remus looked exhausted. “I have been talking with Kingsley, and Molly Weasley, and we all think it would be a good idea if you stayed with him tonight. Hear me out!” He cried, seeing her opening her mouth to interrupt him. “I know what you’re going to say, but what if we both die? Teddy can’t live without his mother!”
“What if you die? He can’t live without his father either! And you know as well as I do that this isn’t about you, or me, or even Teddy. This is about our whole community. This is war. I am not staying behind.”
There was such finality in her eyes, in her voice, that he knew, as he had already known, that there was no need arguing. Of course, she wouldn’t stay behind. She couldn’t. Sighing, Remus took his wife in his arms. Together, they made their way back to the living room. So many chairs had been conjured that there was barely any room left to move around. The whole Order of the Phoenix was here tonight.
Tonks had been right: this wasn’t about them anymore. She had left some words unspoken though, and she knew that Remus had heard them: it was all about Harry. The whole Order had gathered here for one reason. They knew that Gringotts had been robbed that morning by Harry, Ron and Hermione. How they had managed to do it was beyond any of them, and of course they had no idea why they had done it in the first place. Bill had given them all the information he had managed to worm out of Harry himself, and what he had guessed from his former colleagues at Gringotts; it didn’t amount to much. Then, the one or two insiders they still had at the Ministry had contacted them: the Death Eaters had left. It could only mean one thing: Voldemort was worried, and had summoned them all to him.
If Voldemort was worried, then he would want to end the resistance soon. And killing Harry would be his ultimate goal.
Yes, thought Dora, my son is on my mind. He always is. But Harry is more important than any of us. He is the key. He made it clear, months ago, that he didn’t want our help, but we still have to be there. We need to show him that we are fighting too, alongside him. And that he has never been alone. We may not be able to help him in his mission, but we can help clear the way for him.
The Weasley twins, who had been quieter than they usually were, suddenly jumped to their feet in alarm. People in their vicinity, especially all those used to the twins’ pranks, looked around wearily, but Fred and George merely took what appeared to be Galleons out of their pockets.
“The DA is calling its members to Hogwarts!”
Hogwarts, one of the safest places there was. Apparition was out of order inside the school grounds, and Hogsmeade was extremely well protected as some of them had unfortunately already experienced. Right on cue, Aberforth Dumbledore’s face appeared in the fireplace, surrounded by green flames. Everyone present jumped to their feet, wand at the ready, grabbing some Floo powder. The Floo Network could be used tonight; no Ministry official would be around to watch it, and the Hog’s Head was safe: Aberforth had just told them about the secret passageway into the castle.
Tonks turned to her mother: “Take care of Teddy. Tell him his parents love him.”
Andromeda was fighting back tears. She knew her daughter was asking her to take care of her son in the case she didn’t come back. She understood her though, and wouldn’t ask her to stay. Both of them were Black, even though they hated that fact. Most of the family might have been in Slytherin, none of them were cowards. Well, Phineas Nigellus might have been, but he was always the exception.
When Tonks arrived in the Hog’s Head that night, she didn’t feel scared anymore. It had always been the same. She had been in many fights throughout her Auror career, and as an Order of the Phoenix member: adrenaline would kick in, and all worries would be gone. She would be helping Harry at last as she had longed to do for so long. Seeing him alive would make it all real. She knew that Remus had seen him, Bill had told her he had been staying with him and Fleur, but seeing him with her own eyes would be different. It would prove that he was alive, that he hadn’t been a dream.
She barely noticed it when a portrait opened, revealing a passageway to the castle. Soon, it wouldn’t matter anymore if they hadn’t known what Harry’s mission had been. They had tried everything; Minerva had even managed to get hold of Dumbledore’s pensieve, but most of it had already been emptied, probably by Severus Snape, the traitor, the murderer. It wasn’t important anymore. What truly mattered now was the fact that they were all fighting, helping Harry in his impossible task.
Then, she saw him at last, and she was surprised by the sight he offered. Surprised because she had expected him to look as he had when she had first seen him, looking lost in his small bedroom in Privet Drive. She hadn’t taken into account the hunger, the constantly nagging fear, all the nights spent outdoors. The time spent at Bill’s had allowed Harry to shave, and fill up a little, but he was still much thinner than he had been in the summer when she had last seen him. There were dark shadows under his eyes, and his bright green eyes had a ghostly look. He was quite frightening, actually, and for the first time, Tonks thought they might just win. Until then, she had thought it would all come down to Fate: how else could a teenager conquer the most evil dark Wizard of the Age? But now, she could see it.
And she could see in Harry’s eyes that he would accept their help now. The time had come at last. A great battle was going to take place and Harry knew he couldn’t fight it on his own.
She barely registered the events taking place that night. She fought like she had never fought before. One single thought was on her mind: Harry. We must save Harry. Spells were firing off in all directions, sometimes missing her by inches. The whole night passed in a blur, until she found herself on the grounds, looking for Remus. He had been fighting Dolohov. She had just seen his crumpled form near Hagrid’s hut when she heard Bellatrix’ laughter behind her.
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