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Chapter 42 : Dates with Todd
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“What’s going on?” Todd asks again.
“Nothing,” I say. “What are you talking about? I just couldn’t find my shoes in that mess of a room.” Todd gives me a strange look, but nods.
“Well, are you ready to go?”
“Yeah.” We walk to the door, Remus trailing behind us. I turn and look at him.
“Bye, see you tomorrow.”
He smiles at me. Turning to Todd, he says, “Now, don’t have her out too late. Be good and,” he looks at me, “don’t do anything I wouldn’t. Have fun.” To my surprise, he hugs me. “Really Dora, have fun.”
“Bye,” he calls as we walk out the door. I feel bad for leaving him. Really, I wanted to turn around and go patrol the halls of Hogwarts with him, but I couldn’t. Really Dora, have fun. I should try. Todd’s hand grazes mine. I go put my hands in my pockets. I miss. How do you miss your pockets? I try again. Miss! Why can’t I find my pants pockets? Oh, wait. I’m in a dress. I laugh.
“Did I do something funny?” He missed it? Remus wouldn’t have.
“No, I was trying to put my hands in my pockets. But I don’t have any.” He smiles. We walk out the building and he walks toward a cars. He opens the door and I get in, then he goes to the other side and starts the car.
“Put your seatbelt on,” he says, glancing at me. I look around. Seatbelt? Nana never said anything about seatbelts. He has this thing strapped across his body, and I see one on my left side, so I put it on. Riding in a car is nothing like I thought it would be. There’s music coming out of the door, and Todd’s looking straight ahead. Apparation would have been so much faster, even if it is my least favourite mode of travel. It’s gets you where you need quickly.
“So,” he says, “how’d ya like those cds?”
“Er-I haven’t had a chance to listen to them yet. Been busy with work and stuff.”
“Oh.” After a slight pause, he starts talking again. “So, what is it ya do for work?”
“I-er-”What do I say? “I-I catch bad people and put them in prison.” Yeah, that about sums it up.
“So why are ‘bad people’ trying to break into a boarding school?” Huh? How did he know that?
“I really can’t talk about that,” I say.
“Where did ya go to school?”
“I went to the boarding school I’m supposed to be watching.”
“Does it have a name?”
“You know too much already,” I say mysteriously. I saw people on a muggle movie do it once. He laughs.
“Okay, so what do ya do for fun?”
“I watch the tele, and listen to music, and play-er-” I can’t say Quidditch. What’s that muggle sport my dad was telling me about? “football. And just talk to my friends.” I shrug.
“Oh.”He stops. I get out of the car. He walks around and joins me.
“Well, come on,” he says, taking my hand. We walk into the restaurant. It’s beautiful. It looks like it came from the Victorian age.
“How many?” A waitress says.
“Right this way,” she smiles and takes us to a small table with two chairs. He pulls out my seat for me. It reminds me of how Remus always did that. No, don’t think about Remus, you’re here with Todd. The waitress places menus in front of us.
“Thanks,” I smile.
“Can I get you any drinks?”
“I’ll have a tea,” I say.
“Same for me.” She takes the menus and walks away. “You look great.”
“Thanks,” I say. “You look good to.” We’re quiet again. I look at the menu. I see Chicken Marinara. I wonder if it’s as good as Remus’. The waitress comes back with our drinks.
“Have you decided what you want to eat?”
“Er- Chicken Marinara.” She writes it down.
“Stuffed Manicotti.” She leaves.
“Listen, Dora, ab-”
“Please, it’s Tonks.” I don’t know why, but I didn’t like anyone but Remus calling me Dora.
“But-never mind. About what happened back at your flat-”
“What happened?” He looks at me.
“What’s going on between you and Remus?”
“Nothing. Absolutely nothing.”
“Why was he there?”
“We were paired up to do a job tonight.” Can we not do this? You’re not going to understand, you’re a muggle! “I feel bad for leaving him to wonder the halls by himself, but he told me to come.”
“This is all for the job you can’t talk about.” I nod. He sighs. “Do ya want to be here?” Maybe, I don’t know. I’m on a date with you, and all I can think about is what Remus would be doing.
“Yeah, of course Todd.” Our food comes.
“If you need anything else, just tell me.”
“Okay,” Todd says. I start eating. It’s not nearly as good as Remus’.
“So,” Todd begins. “Why can he call you Dora?” I smile at him. I hear the unspoken and I can’t.
“He refused to call me Tonks, no matter how much I hit him.”
“But what’s wrong with Dora?”
“Dora is a nickname, sorta. My full name is Nymphadora,” I shutter for effect, “but I go by Tonks. Everyone calls me Tonks.” I shrug. “He wouldn’t stop calling me Nymphadora, something I don’t even let Mum do. After a while, I gave up. I told him to call me Dora. He’s the only one, besides my parents. Even my boss calls me Tonks.”
“Oh.” That’s all? Oh.
“Well, we’ve talked about me enough. What about you? What do you do?”
“I’m in my last year of grad school. I’m going to be a lawyer.”
“Cool,” I say. We eat in silence for a while. After the food had disappeared, Todd asks if I want desert. I shake my head.
“Do ya wanna do anything else?”
“I don’t know.” God, it’s been forever since I did this. He pays for the food and we leave. Walking down the street to his car, he grabs my hand. It feels nice. He leads me over to the passenger side and opens the door. I smile at him. He gets in and starts driving down the road.
“So, I guess ya just want to go home?” He glances over at me. “You seem tense, Tonks. What’s wrong?”
“Other than the fact that this is the first date I’ve been on in nearly a year, and the first first date in longer than that? Nothing.”
“Well, hey. I’ll take ya home. We’ll go slowly ‘til ya get back on your dating feet, yeah?”
“Okay,” I smile at him.
He walks me all the way to the door. Do I kiss him? He said we would take it slow…
“Tonks, are ya listening?” I jump.
“Sorry, I was thinking. What?”
“I said, how about we go to the movies next week?” Should I?
“Okay.” We go to the movies. And an amusement park (which is really, well, amusing). And more movies and dinners and stuff.
“Hey,” Todd’s voice says from my mobile, “wanna met at the park for lunch?”
“Great, I’ll bring food. Just be there by twelve, okay?”
“Okay,” I say. Todd was okay. At about three minutes until twelve, I apparate to the park.
“Hey, I was about to think you weren’t going to show.” He hugs me. His hugs feel good. “So, I packed some turkey sandwiches, some crisps and a couple sodas.”
“Yum.” We go sit at a picnic table. He sits everything out and looks like he’s about to speak when my mobile goes off. I hold up a finger. “No one ever calls me unless it’s important, just a second, kay?”
“Tonks.” It’s Rebecca. She sounds scared. “There are people here. They-they have Isabelle.”
“Where are you at?” God, if something happens to that little girl…
“Home.” I nod.
“I’ll be there.” I shut the phone and jam it back into my pocket. “Look Todd, I’m sorry, but I really have to go.” I stand and run, trying to find somewhere private to hide. Todd’s behind me, I can hear him following me.
“Tonks, wait.” I run into a play tunnel. I have to get away. Concentrating on Rebecca’s house, I turn. Pass the suffocating darkness, and I land on my feet. Someone else thuds to the ground.
“Todd, what? No, look, go hide somewhere.” Taking out my wand, I run into the house. I sneak in through the open front door. Slowly, I walk toward the back of the house, where I hear voices.
“What is it?” a woman’s voice says. Bellatrix. She will pay. First Sirius, now Isabelle? I don’t think so.
“It’s a device they use to communicate.” A mans voice. I send a patronus to the auror department.
“Who were you talking to?” A third voice. How many were there?
“Just a friend. I panicked.”
“Who is your friend?” Rebecca doesn’t say anything.
“Talk, or I’ll Crucio her again.” Bellatrix. I peek around the corner. I have a clear shot. “Ava-” Crash! Of course, I didn’t see the stupid cd player in the floor. The three Death Eaters spin around quickly, and see me.
“Ah, little niece. Decided to join us for a bit of fun? We thought we’d play with some muggles.” So they didn’t know Isabelle was a witch?
“There are Aurors everywhere,” I lie.
They just smile. “No there’s not. Didn’t my dear sister ever tell you it’s not nice to lie?” Behind Bellatrix, I see a tele floating. Isabelle is a very strong little witch.
“Because what you’re doing is so nice.” A green light comes my way.
“Tonks!” Isabelle screams, dropping the tele. I dodge the spell.
Bellatrix comes out the door. “You shouldn’t have come. Now you’ll join dear Sirius.” She grins. I shoot everything I can at her. Killers, stunners, and other things. She’s good. Her stint in Azkaban didn’t seem to have affected her spell work. I back out into the open, and soon we’re outside. I hear a high pitched scream.
“Isabelle,” I breathe. That’s all she needs. A spell hits my side, leaving a searing pain. I look down. I’m bleeding. I fight harder. Where are the Aurors? After ducking another killing curse, I hear a pop and see Kingsley and Leslie running down the path.
“Two inside,” I say. They nod and run past, Kingsley a little hesitantly. I keep fighting Bellatrix. I can’t seem to hit her with anything. Somehow she backs me against a tree.
“Goodbye, little niece.” She points her wand at me. “Av-” A large rock drops on her head. I look up. Todd.
“Thanks,” I say, running back into the house just in time to hear two faint pops. The Death Eaters had disapparated.
“Isabelle, Rebecca,” I call. Isabelle runs and jumps into my arms, reminding me of my side injury. “Are you okay?” I ask, putting her on the ground. She nods. “Where’s mummy?” She takes my hand and leads me back to the room. She was sitting on the bed, talking to Leslie and Kingsley. “Bellatrix is knocked out in the front yard.
“I’ll get her,” Leslie says. I nod.
“We have to erase-”
“No, they already knew. She’s a witch.” I point to Isabelle. “I was in a pizza place and she levitated a pepper shaker. And today she levitated a tele.”
“Them knowing makes my life easier.” Suddenly, he raises his wand. I turn, wand raised too, to see Todd.
“It’s okay Kings. This is Todd.”
“How many muggles have you told?”
“Rebecca and Isabelle only. I was on a date,” He raises his eyebrows.
“But what about Mr. Remus?” Isabelle asks.
“Isabelle.” Rebecca chides.
Looking at Kingsley, I say, “I was on a date with him, and Rebecca calls me. I leave and apparate here, but he must have caught up and touched me.” I look at Isabelle. “Mr. Remus and I are still friend, kiddo,” I say. I blink, shaking my head. My vision was a little blury.
“But you lo-” Rebecca caps her hand over Isabelle’s mouth.
“Tonks, what just happened?” Todd asks. He sounds shaken. I look at Kingsley.
“The choice is yours.” Suddenly, the room starts spinning.
“Well, the thing is-” it was getting hard to concentrate. I put my hand against the wall. Kingsley stands, looking worried suddenly. “I- I’m a…and Remus is a…And we call you…I think I need…Remus…” I squeeze my eyes shut. “Remus.”
A/N: Isabelle just won’t stay away. I keep trying to put her to rest, but I can’t.
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