Chapter 4 : A Turn of Events
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This summer had been so eventful I was almost sad to see it go. Joining the Order, getting to know everyone who went to it, becoming friends with some and finally meeting Harry Potter. He turned out to be a surprisingly nice person, though I think I may have scared him a little with how forward I was. It was just a shame that I was back to the usual monotony of working and sleeping, and the excitement appeared to be over.
The magical maintenance workers had decided to be nice to us for a change, and the windows were bleached orange by the setting sun. I wished I could go and enjoy it rather than stay on guard here. Sure, my flat in Islington wasn’t the nicest of places, as the one next door did have a very odd smell emitting from it, and there was a Muggle stabbing in the street next to mine a few days ago. Though it did sound like a much nicer alternative to staying here until the early hours of the morning.
I was meant to be finishing some dreary old report, but that was enough to make anyone’s minds wonder, so I decided to catch a few minutes of sleep instead. I was beginning to doze lightly when someone decided to rap angrily against my door and burst in, uninvited.
“I knew you were trouble. As much as everyone likes to ignore your misdoings, I will not stoop to that level. Sleeping at work is not and will not be tolerated.” I raised my head to see Dawlish fuming away in the doorway.
“Sup, Dawlish. I just had a lovely dream where you were a ballerina. You were rather good at pirouettes.” I was trying to hold back the laughter, but for some reason Dawlish didn’t find the situation anywhere near as funny.
“Sleeping and insulting people in a superior position to your own! If you want to succeed in the Ministry, Tonks, this is not the way to go about it. Shacklebolt will not be happy to hear about this when he finds out.” Dawlish gave a pompous nod at that point. Well, he wasn’t going to be too happy when I told him where Kingsley was.
“I hate to break it to you Dawlish, but Kingsley’s at a conference in Munich. He’s not going to be back until next week. By that time you won’t have any evidence to support this wild accusation you’re making. For the record, I wasn’t insulting you; I was merely complimenting you as your pirouettes were good.” Tonks – one, Dawlish – nil, I thought smugly.
Dawlish didn’t take being knocked down a peg too lightly and managed to splutter out, “Don’t think this is the last of it, Tonks. I will see that you are gone from here. Your behaviour is nothing but a hindrance to the Auror department. I will make sure it will not continue to be.”
“I hope you can get that big head of yours through the door before I kick you out Dawlish,” I chuckled darkly, imaging what I could do to him if it didn’t risk getting fired and possibly sent to Azkaban. Oh what fun I would have.
Dawlish gave me one last sneer before sauntering out of my cubicle. That man was naturally dislikeable. Luckily the feeling was mutual with most of the Aurors who worked here, so we could always have a good gossip about him.
I heard a patter of footsteps head towards my cubicle and saw the gossip hungry, Amina Khan, standing where Dawlish was a few moments ago. Despite being in her mid-forties and prone to blurting out other peoples secrets, I really liked Amina. She was one of the few other female Aurors in the department, so it was nice to have a woman to talk to from time to time.
“What did you do to set off Dawlish today, Tonks?” Amina asked with an evil glint in her eye.
“Nothing out of the ordinary. The basic winding up techniques, that’s all.” I gave her the most innocent look I could muster before cracking up. “I may have mentioned that I had a dream where he was a great ballerina and pondered whether his head could fit through the door or not.”
“I’m surprised Dawlish didn’t throttle you,” Amina chuckled. “Now, are you coming to the pub with me and the others after work? I must tell you about this Italian fellow I met while undercover in Brighton. He had the most fabulous green eyes and the most gorgeous body. Even you would gush over it. I even pretended to like seafood for him, despite it making me break out in spots.”
I was sure I wouldn’t be missing out on this one. Amina had so many toy boys I could barely recall a single one. Besides, I had to go and guard that door. “I’m afraid I’ll have to pass this time. I have to finish this report and then I’m having dinner with a friend.” Wow. I actually managed to keep a straight face when lying. Usually, I burst out into laughter and admitted everything.
Amina’s face fell a little before replying. “Oh well, I’ll just have to tell you about him some other time. Have fun Tonks.” She gave me a little wave before heading out of the cubicle.
Phew, I was worried I was going to let it slip then. I waited a few minutes to make sure that Amina wasn’t going to appear again before grabbing the invisibility cloak Mad-Eye had left me, a Fifi LaFolle novel and my bag. I didn’t understand why people were shocked that I read romance novels. Personally, I would have thought they would have been more shocked that I read, but each to their own.
I did a quick scan of the office to make sure nothing incriminating had been left behind before setting off to the Department of Mysteries. I was even looking forward to it a little as I was armed with a new book.
I was desperately trying to fight back the wave of tiredness which was about to immerse me. I had finished Romance in Paris a while ago, and I hadn’t found anything to keep my interest since. The walls of the Department of Mysteries were plain black so there was nothing to look at there. I had contemplated making noises at people when they walked passed, but the only person who had done so was an unspeakable called Croaker. I swore he was deaf, so I didn’t bother.
I was entering a semi-unconscious state and was about to nod off when I heard the sound of approaching footsteps. I instinctively jumped up from the floor and raised my wand. While doing so, I could feel my Fifa LaFolle novel slip off my lap, and I saw it skid across the corridor.
Crap. What on earth was I meant to do? Did I dare risk it and run across the corridor and rescue my book? Then again, this was the Department of Mysteries so odd things did occur. A romance novel being found in the middle of corridor shouldn’t be too strange. But most romance novels didn’t have ‘Property of Tonks’ written in the inside cover. Perhaps it would be best if I went and retrieved it.
I ran as lightly as possible across the dark floorboards. Thank Merlin I was wearing an invisibility cloak, as I could hear the footsteps become louder and louder as they approached me. I had nearly made it to the book when I saw the mystery person get there before me, bend down and grab it. I couldn’t even make out who the person was due to the corridor only being lit every few feet or so.
Ok, I had officially screwed up. The next Order meeting would be awful. Mad-Eye wouldn’t be joking around now, and I would have him casting looks of disappointment at me for the entire meeting. Everyone would hate me. I would have betrayed all the secrets just for some stupid romance book which didn’t even have a good ending, as Isabella ended up with Patrick not Edward like she was meant to. Damn, I should stop getting side-tracked. The ending of the book was a matter of little importance compared to the situation at hand.
The book stealer obviously wanted to know what it was, as they moved over to a torch and the sound of ruffling of pages ensued. I could now make out the back of them. The person appeared to be a male due to the short hair, but it was too dark to make out the colour of it. He was moderately tall and wore a cloak. Nothing which identified him. I could hear the man emit a chuckle, and I wondered what he could be laughing out. The book wasn’t that bad.
Then it hit me. I was a trained Auror. I was more than capable of taking this person down. All I had to do was walk as carefully as possible, no tripping over allowed, stun him, grab the book and run. I could manage that. Oh and I guess I should wipe his memory for good measure. I didn’t want anything getting out.
With my wand arm out at the ready, I began to edge towards the mystery man. I would show Mad-Eye and Kingsley. All those times they laughed at me during training. Now, I was going to take this book stealer down. Well, hopefully.
I managed to make it past him and was now facing him. His face was bent down at the book and he was laughing at something. This was it, my moment to attack. “Stupefy!” I yelled out, and the following thud told me I had been successful in my quest. Haha, take that book stealer. You get what you deserve for taking Romance in Paris.
The man’s face was now in the torches path, and I could see who it was. It wasn’t a Death Eater or a Ministry employee. It was Remus. Crap. This was possibly a bigger mess up than the book skidding down the corridor.
What on earth was I going to do? Should I leave him there and pretend I never did anything? At least I wouldn’t have to face any awkward questioning about it later. But let’s face it, he could easily look up on the schedule to see who was on watch and know it was me. The only course of action would be to revive him. He already thought I was weird so this shouldn’t change his opinion drastically.
Well, here goes nothing. I may have potentially ruined any friendship I may have had with Remus, but it was the right thing to do. I bent down over him and whispered, “Rennervate.”
Remus’ eyelids slowly opened and he had a dazed expression on his face. He didn’t even notice my presence and the only thing he said was, “Merlin, my head.” He slowly sat up and rubbed the back of it. It was only then when he noticed me standing there.
“Tonks? What happened? Did you manage to catch the attacker? All I remember is a flash of red then being on the floor.”
Now, how did I go about explaining this? “Er, Remus, there was no attacker. It was me. I saw you take my book, so I assumed that you were a Death Eater or a Ministry person so I attacked. I’m so sorry, and I wouldn’t have done it if I had known. If you hate me, I can understand.”
Remus was silent for a few minutes before bursting into laughter. “You read romance novels? And Fifi LaFolle ones on top of that?” Wait. He wasn’t bothered about me attacking him? And the only thing he felt the need to comment on was the genre of my book? Perhaps we could still be friends.
“Of all the things you comment it’s my book. Aren’t you mad at what I did? I feel so awful,” I cried out. The one time I thought I could impress everyone and for it to go drastically wrong. It was a typical Tonks moment.
“Of course I’m not mad. It was an easy mistake to make. James and Sirius did a lot worse to me when I was at school,” Remus laughed. “Besides, I think your book choice is a lot more shocking. I never would have thought that Edward's ‘deep, dark eyes penetrating into my soul’ would be the sort of thing to interest you.”
Thank Merlin the corridor was so dimly lit, as I wouldn’t have wanted Remus to see how red my cheeks were going. “Erm, well, there is a certain literary element to books like those, which inform the reader a lot about life and emotions you may feel during it. What are you doing down here anyway?” I swore he wasn’t scheduled to be on watch after me. I would have remembered otherwise.
“Sturgis couldn’t do his shift, so I volunteered to do it myself. Not having a job does have its benefits at times.” Remus cast his eyes down to the floor at the last part.
“Having a job isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Like today for example, I had to file over two hundred pieces of parchment without magic, because using a spell may disrupt the order or something like that, I got into an argument with Dawlish and then pretend I had social life to cover up for the work at the Order.”
“What do you mean you don’t have a social life? I would have thought someone like you would constantly be busy. Is there no lucky man in your life, Tonks?” Remus had a mischievous look on his face while asking me that.
“I’m afraid not. I haven’t found one who reaches my high standards. I’m still living with hope that the male species will be able to produce such a thing.” I sensed that this conversation was going to be one that would continue, so I joined Remus in sitting on the floor.
“Don’t be so doubtful Tonks. What are your criteria for a perfect man? Perhaps I can help with my insight knowledge,” Remus asked earnestly. I suppose it couldn’t hurt.
“I don’t want anyone like Dung, he’s alright as friend, but I can only tolerate him for so long. Not like Moody either, it would be awful being with someone like him. I suppose in between those two. He would have to be intelligent, funny, like romance stories, if there is such a man, mind, nice and generally someone who I can talk to about anything. Do you see what I mean about it being near impossible?”
Remus looked as if he had suddenly realised something in his head. He opened his mouth but no words came out, so he was left gaping there like a goldfish.
“What were you going to say, Remus?” I was curious as to what could have made him speechless.
“Oh, nothing. I just realised something that’s all.” He glanced down at his watch and then said with a sense of urgency, “You’d best be on your way Tonks. It’s nearly six o’clock and the employees will be coming to work soon.”
I was glad he mentioned it, as I did want to nip home and have a shower and a Wake-Me-Up potion before getting to work. “Thanks Remus. I’ll be seeing you at the next meeting. It was nice talking to you.” I stood up and stretched my arms out to prepare myself for apparating home and Remus got up too.
“Erm, Tonks, could I have the cloak? It might be a bit difficult explaining why I was here otherwise.”
“Oh sure, sorry about that.” I folded it up and then placed it into Remus’ waiting hands. They jerked a little when my fingers lightly touched them, and it caused my own hands to react the same.
“Sorry about my hands, they sometimes do that.” Remus sounded very embarrassed.
“No problem. I’ll see you around,” I replied merrily before setting off towards the Atrium. Well, that was an odd turn of events. I wondered what Remus was thinking about when he suddenly stopped talking. And that weird hand thing. It was all very mysterious.
Author's Note: Only Tonks would stun her future husband :P I hoped you liked the chapter, as it was fun to write. If you want to be awesomely brilliant you could leave a review, as they really do mean a lot to me and I appreciate every single one! Thanks for reading
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