Terrific chapter image by Mrs.Lovett @ TDA
I claim no ownership of Rowling’s work. However, all OCs mentioned herein belong to me.
Nymphadora Tonks - Gretchen Mol
Sergeant Alan Brodie - Edward Woodward (about thirty years ago!)
Murron - Leelee Sobieski
Mary MacFarlene - Zooey Deschanel
Chapter Four The Schoolhouse
Tonks awoke the next morning at a quarter past eight. The sun had already ruptured the horizon and from the window in her room she could see it painting the dewy green with pleasant, tawny rays. A man wearing a tweed cap led his pony and cart down the High Street, whistling as he went. The tune reverberated off the cluster of buildings surrounding The Honeybee
It’s like a fairy-tale
, she thought to herself, snatching her policewoman’s uniform off the chair she had laid it on the night before. A few tell-tale wrinkles snaked down the sleeves of her jacket.
Tonks frowned, thinking of the neat as a pin Brodie.
Brodie! Ugh, she had almost forgotten about him. He had probably risen before dawn and scoured the entire island for signs of vandalism. Something about the man made her feel incredibly lazy, or at least, inattentive.
Like a rookie, she noted bitterly. Well, she certainly wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of berating her for appearing slovenly.
Picking up her wand from the nightstand, she pressed the tip of it to the most offending wrinkle in her jacket and tried to iron it out. Of course, her mum had always been better at housewife spells. Tonks sighed as she watched the wrinkle straighten, but not disappear entirely.
Oh bloody well.
After dressing quickly, she headed downstairs to the tavern to find the grouchy Sergeant. As luck would have it, she had forgotten to tie the laces of her shoes and nearly landed on her knees at the bottom of the stairway.
Brodie looked up at her from where he was sitting in the back room.
“Good morning,” Tonks panted slightly.
“Morning,” was his crisp reply.
Stooping, she hastily fixed her shoelaces and stumbled over to his table. A pot of lukewarm tea sat in the very center of it, offsetting a pretty daisy in a vase. Tonks snatched a piece of rye toast from a plate near her elbow and munched thoughtfully.
“Did you sleep well?” she asked Brodie, only realizing after how stupid her question had been.
As it was, the Sergeant looked as though he hadn’t slept at all. There were unattractive bags under his grey eyes, leaving his face puffy and somewhat sallow.
“I have insomnia,” he muttered, as if to excuse his appearance.
“Oh.” Tonks was just about to offer him some of the sleeping potion she always kept on herself, but then remembered what a foolish thing that would be.
“Did you enjoy your walk last night?” she asked instead.
Brodie cleared his throat, keeping his eyes on a few rough sketches he was working on. “Quite. In fact, I thought we’d start with the school today. If the wee ones are behind any of the vandalism, we might be able to root out some trouble there.”
Tonks swallowed another mouthful of dry toast and coughed. “I thought we were going with the ritual theory.”
Which reminded her…she had to contact Kingsley.
“Aye, aye.” Brodie waved his hand. “But we ought to keep abreast of several leads. Of course, it’s entirely possible that some of the children might have seen something and, in turn, be more forthcoming than the adults. I saw a group of younglings on the green last night. There seems to be no curfew here.”
“Do we have the authority to establish one?” Tonks asked, forgetting, for a minute, that as a constable she should know the answer to her own question.
Brodie, however, didn’t seem to pay any mind to her flub.
“That’s a last resort. We’d have to get permission from the Justice of the Peace first.”
“Who is he?”
“Uh…one Kentigern Rook. A sort of gentleman farmer. We’ll have to meet with him as well.”
“Of course.” Tonks craned her neck a little, trying to see past Brodie’s hands to what he was drawing. “I didn’t know you were an artist.”
Brodie shook his head, this time displaying a rare bit of amusement. “Not at all. I’ve sketched us a rough map of the island…at least, what I know of it. It might be handy to keep a copy on you. We wouldn’t want to get lost.” He handed Tonks a sheet of paper.
She studied the map intently. Brodie’s attention to detail impressed her. He had memorized a fair bit of the High Street and the surrounding lanes, including the harbor.
When she looked up to compliment him, she noticed the Sergeant stealthily hiding a drawing of a robin in his briefcase.
Liar, she thought to herself, biting back a smile.
After they had both finished a good cup of tea, they left the backroom of the inn and proceeded through the tavern out onto the street. Dermott was sweeping the cobblestones outside and he waved them both off with a hearty grin.
Crossing the green, Tonks allowed herself to marvel at the charming simplicity of Willoway. Shopkeepers were going about their business, opening their stores and setting some of their wares out onto the street. Women in long, flowery dresses and skirts strolled leisurely along the High Street. And when they drew nigh of the school, Tonks noticed a whole group of apple-cheeked boys kicking a dusty ball about in a small meadow.
“School mustn’t have started yet,” she told Brodie, but then heard soft, lilting voices come wafting out of the one-storey schoolhouse.
Where the bee sucks, there suck I
In a cowslip’s bell I lie
There I couch when owls do cry
On the bat’s back do I fly! 
She smiled, squinting as they stepped out of the relative shade of a row of cherry trees into the schoolyard.
“Shakespeare,” Brodie noted dryly. “The Tempest, if I’m not mistaken.”
“How adorable!” Tonks bleated.
Brodie glanced at her, his eyes unreadable. “If you want, I’ll talk to the lads first. You can handle the girls inside.”
And she left him to the gamboling boys in the meadow. Upon entering the school building, she noticed an empty classroom to her right which most assuredly was assigned to the boys. On her left there was a second classroom filled with girls. A tall, buxom young woman stood by the blackboard, her black hair falling carelessly down her back in a tumble of well-groomed curls.
Tonks felt instantly jealous and wished she could imitate the sleek look instead of sporting her short, dirty-blond locks.
The singing had stopped, much to her disappointment and the teacher was addressing her students in a warm, chirruping voice.
“Remember, whoever finds the frog-eyed stone first will chose the game at recess today. Now off you go! And don’t leave the school grounds.”
The girls scurried out of their desks and Tonks stepped to the side in the hall, allowing them to pass. But one child stopped in the doorway, a grin spreading across her milky features.
“Dora! Hullo Dora!” Lessie, the young girl from the Apothecary, waved excitedly at Tonks.
“Hi Lessie, it’s nice to see you again,” Tonks replied with a genuine smile.
Lessie glanced at her young friends. “See, I told you I knew her!” And with that the girls trotted out into the sunshine, leaving Tonks alone in the hall.
“Good morning!” The school teacher turned slightly to look at her visitor, one hand working vigorously as she erased the small chalkboard at the head of the classroom. “You must be Auror Tonks. Lessie has told us all about you. She was so excited to meet a real Auror.” The woman paused, dropping the eraser onto the chalk tray and dusting her hands on her pants. “I’m Mary MacFarlene, by the way. Please, come in, come in!”
Tonks stepped slowly into the room, her mouth opened slightly in shock. “Excuse me, Miss MacFarlene-”
“Umm, Mary. I’m a bit confused. I wasn’t aware that there was a magical school on Willoway.”
Mary, who had set about tidying her desk, raised her eyebrows. “This is the only school on the island, if that’s what you mean.”
“Then…then what about the Muggle children,” Tonks replied, her mind working feverishly. There had to be a school for the non-magical children somewhere, unless…unless…
“Muggles!” Mary looked amused. “I’m afraid there haven’t been any Muggles on Willoway in over fifty years.”
“What?!?” Tonks gaped at the schoolmistress and then quickly glanced out the window at Brodie. He was standing in the middle of the meadow, talking to some of the older boys.
“Is that the Muggle copper you brought along with you?” Mary asked, craning her neck to see out the window. “My, he is a sight in his pretty uniform, aye?”
“Yeah,” Tonks answered numbly. “But…I’m sorry, I’m just confused. I thought Willoway had a mixed populace of magical and Muggle residents.”
“Such a small island as this?” Mary said lightly. “Oh, I should think that would be quite impossible. The fact is, all the Muggle and magical families were intermarried decades ago. Sure, we have a few squibs amongst us these days, but we’re all proud half-bloods. Does the Ministry have a problem with that?”
“Of course not,” Tonks said quickly. She made a mental note to inform Kingsley that the Ministry needed to update its census records. As far as she knew, Hogsmeade was the only completely magical settlement in all of Britain.
“What do you teach the children here?” she asked out of honest curiosity. Scanning the walls of the classroom, she noticed several strange tableaus depicting the steps to outdated dances, more common during the days when magic had been intertwined with druidism.
“All the proper rituals,” said Mary, looking suddenly proud. “And, of course, we pay special attention to potion making.”
“For Willoway’s Ointments and Healing Salves,” Tonks mused. “But what do you mean by rituals?” Carefully, she edged her way around some of the students’ desks, catching her hip an a chair and wincing.
She was starting to feel undeniably concerned. These people seemed a little backwards.
“Well, right now, we’re studying purification ceremonies, such as the driving of kine through need-fire.”
Tonks turned to stare at Mary. Certainly, need-fires and cows weren’t the standard curriculum at Hogwarts. Which reminded her…
“A few of these girls seem old enough to be in school,” she said. “Hogwarts, I mean.”
“Ah.” Mary nodded knowingly. “You are indeed a sharp-eyed Auror. Yes, a few of my girls are of age, but we find it best to keep them on Willoway. We’re a very close-knit community here and so many parents cannot stand to part with their children. However, I must say, they get a better education than ever they would on the mainland.”
Tonks couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “I’ll have to report this to the Ministry,” she said, starting to feel like a stick in the mud.
Mary did not seem perturbed. “That’s perfectly fine. I trust, however, that you did not come here solely to reform our educational system.”
“Er, no.” Tonks flushed slightly as she forced her mind back to the original purpose of her investigation. “The Ministry sent me here to look into several matters of vandalism. The Auror office received complaints of magical vandalism. At first, we thought it was a matter of Muggle abuse on the part of a few rowdy teenagers, but-”
“Yes?” Mary’s clever eyes were trained directly on Tonks.
The young Auror stopped herself before she could give any other details away. “I want to know if you can give me any information about the vandalism. Have you seen anything…heard anything…anything at all.” Tonks realized she was starting to sound desperate and blushed.
Mary thought for a moment in silence before saying anything. “The only disturbance I could think of happened three nights ago,” she said. “I was washing for bed when I heard an awful ruckus outside my house. When I opened the door, I saw a dead chicken had been left on my front step and there was a fox running up the street. I assumed the beast killed the poor chicken, though why he left it on my step, I don’t know.”
“Perhaps he was in the middle of his dinner and you scared him away?” Tonks offered. In her opinion, she didn’t think the occurrence was that rare for the country.
Mary, however, seemed acutely disturbed. “I’m not sure,” she said simply, but was interrupted when one of her students rushed into the room holding a bilious green rock aloft.
“Miss Mary! Miss Mary! I’ve found it!”
Tonks stepped to the side and watched as Mary took the rock from the girl and examined it.
“Well done, Beth,” she commented. “And what a lovely specimen of a frog-eyed stone this is!”
The other children were now returning to the schoolhouse, along with the boys who wearily marched into the room on the other side of the hall. Tonks realized her interview with the teacher was over, but not before she had one vital question answered.
“One last thing, Mary,” she said, her voice raised to carry above the din of the students. “If this island is home to only magical residents, then why did you contact the Muggle police to investigate the vandalism?”
Mary shook her head absently. “I have no idea.”
I know this was a shorter chapter, but if I made it any longer, I daresay I’d give away most of the plot. ;)
Thank you so much for taking the time to read! If you have a free moment, please leave a review. I’d love to hear from you.
I’d also like to thank my wonderful beta, californialove, who has helped me tremendously with this fic.
The next chapter should be posted no later than September 6th. Have a pleasant week!
 As Sergeant Brodie said, this song does indeed come from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and is performed in Act Five by the sprite Ariel.