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Jinxed Hearts by Emcnary
Chapter 9 : Chapter 9
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 1

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Everybody in the kitchen froze, watching the scene in front of them.

“MUNDUNGUS FLETCHER, WOULD YOU LIKE TO TELL ME WHAT WAS SO PRESSING THAT YOU FELT THE NEED TO LEAVE YOUR POST?” Dumbledore bellowed at Mundungus, pulling him close enough that their faces were inches apart.

“Beggin’ your pardon, Albus—” Mundungus started in a nervous voice.

“Be silent,” Dumbledore interrupted him in an icy tone before dumping him unceremoniously into one of the empty chairs around the kitchen table. He turned to face the others in the kitchen. “Do not interrupt, please, while I tell you all this news. It is imperative that we act immediately. Harry and his cousin were attacked this evening by Dementors.” Dumbledore held up his hand, signaling everyone to remain quiet. “He cast a Patronus and was able to drive them away. I must go to the Ministry to act on his behalf.”

“I’m going to Harry,” Sirius said, getting to his feet.

“No,” Dumbledore said, placing a hand on Sirius’ shoulder. Sirius made to protest, an angry look crossing his face. “I’m not certain there aren’t more Dementors lurking around Little Whinging. You will be of little help to Harry if you are locked away in Azkaban.”

“But somebody must go to him,” Molly said with a look of panic on her face. “Those relatives of his—”

Dumbledore held up a hand once more. “Remus. Nymphadora.  Apparate directly to Arabella Figg’s back garden. Alert me at once if his uncle attempts to remove him from the house.”

Tonks and Remus rose quickly from the table. She glimpsed Dumbledore striding back to the fireplace as she turned to push open the kitchen door. She sprinted up the stairs to the entry hall two at a time and ran towards the front door, Remus close behind her, both ignoring the shrieks of Mrs. Black. They continued running until they reached the alley. Tonks had barely turned the corner before she turned on the spot, landing a moment later in Mrs. Figg’s back garden, Remus arriving seconds later. Tonks made sure Remus had spotted her before she cast a Disillusionment Charm, Remus doing the same before leaving Mrs. Figg’s garden at a run. They made their way down Wisteria Walk to Privet Drive. Once they reached number four, they ran to the side of the house where they had previously spied under the kitchen window. Tonks ducked low as an owl swooped down towards the open window, nearly clipping the top of her head. She stopped under the window and used a nonverbal finite to cancel her Disillusionment Charm so Remus wouldn’t crash into her when he arrived. As she knelt to the ground, she could hear Harry’s uncle bellowing about owls from inside the kitchen before he slammed the window shut.

“That’ll be a letter from the Ministry,” Remus’ voice whispered close by, still breathless from their sprint to Privet Drive. Tonks saw his form appear, crouched next to her as his Charm lifted. “I should let Dumbledore know.” Remus conjured his Patronus and murmured a message before sending it on its way.

“This is where your wolfie hearing comes in handy, I reckon,” Tonks whispered, catching her breath as she settled to the ground on her knees. “Now that the great oaf’s closed the window, I can’t hear a thing of what they’re saying.” Remus reached into an inside pocket of his robes with a smile and pulled out a length of flesh colored string Tonks recognized as Extendable Ears. “Excellent,” she whispered with a smile, wondering idly when he had confiscated them from the twins. She pulled out her wand and gave it a small flick towards the window, raising it just enough to slip one end of the Extendable Ear through the crack, holding the other end to her ear. She could now hear everything from inside the kitchen.

Tonks raised her eyes to Remus’ in alarm as it became clear from the conversation that Harry was leaving. She got to her feet, but remained crouched below the window. She wanted to be able to move quickly in case Harry decided to make an exit. Tonks looked up sharply, startled by the sound of an owl smacking into the window above her head, followed quickly by the window being hastily opened again. She listened intently, hoping that the letter delivered by the second owl was something to put Harry at ease enough to stay; she’d had a rough day and didn’t want to add being jinxed if she was forced to chase him down and convince him to stay put. Tonks let out a breath as she heard Harry say that he’d changed his mind and was staying.

They remained crouched under the window, listening to the conversation play out as two more owls delivered letters and the window shut once more. Tonks cringed as she heard Harry’s uncle continue to yell and speak harshly to him. She watched Remus’ expression become more tormented the longer they listened, his mouth set in a frown. His hand tightened around his wand, gripping so hard that his knuckles turned white. Tonks placed her wand on the ground and reached out her hand to rest on his. She stroked her thumb across his knuckles until his grip relaxed. His expression softened slightly as his lips turned up at the corners in a faint smile.

Tonks could tell that Harry’s uncle was nearing the end of his patience. She moved her hand from Remus’, picked up her wand and held it at the ready. Finally, the uncle lost his temper and she heard him order Harry out of the house. Bugger. Tonks brought the memory of receiving her letter admitting her to the Auror training program to mind and quickly conjured her Patronus, murmuring “he’s chucking him out” before sending it on its way. She hoped it found Dumbledore before they needed to stop Harry from leaving. Tonks closed her eyes and listened carefully as Dursley yelled at Harry. She realized another letter had arrived as she heard him complain loudly once more about owls. Tonks heard a scream before the angry voice that Dumbledore used on Mundungus earlier filled the kitchen.

After hearing Harry ordered to bed, Tonks and Remus listened for a few more minutes to make certain that everyone else in the house had gone to bed as well. “Let’s head back,” Remus whispered. He stood and reached his hand out to help Tonks up from the ground. They left the Durselys’ garden, not bothering to Disillusion themselves again given the late hour of the night. They retraced the path from Privet Drive to Wisteria Walk, making their way back into Mrs. Figg’s garden.

“Would you mind Side-Along Apparating back?” Tonks asked with a yawn. “I’m completely knackered, and I don’t really want to add to the absurdity of my day by Splinching myself.”

“Of course not,” Remus said, putting his arm around her shoulders. He reached his other hand out, running his long fingers along her jaw and brushing his thumb across her cheek. “When was the last time you slept?”

“I believe most of the Order saw the last time I slept,” Tonks replied with a cheeky grin.

“Nodding off during talk of Goblin relations doesn’t count,” he said, returning her grin.

“I woke up nearly two days ago to go for a run before work.” She slid her arm behind Remus, gripping his waist. “I’ll sleep when this is all sorted.”

They returned to the alley near Headquarters and began walking the short distance to number twelve. Tonks watched Remus’ face. His expression had returned to the frown he’d worn while listening to Dursley shout at Harry.

“It bothers you terribly, doesn’t it?” she asked him quietly. “The way they treat him?”

“It does,” Remus said with a nod. “Don’t mention it to Sirius. He’ll be in a foul enough mood without Harry’s family adding to it.” He looked over at her, a slight grin replacing his frown. “I’m impressed with how you stayed on your feet leaving Headquarters earlier,” he said. His grin turned into a mischievous smile. “I’m surprised you didn’t stumble taking those stairs the way you did.”

Tonks smiled wearily at him. “Do you remember what Kingsley said at the first meeting I attended? After I tripped and landed on Mad-Eye’s lap?”

Remus looked at her with a thoughtful expression. “I recall something about being able to remain on your feet when it counts.”

“That’s right,” Tonks said. “Mad-Eye’s banging on about ‘constant vigilance’ during my training wasn’t just about being aware of my enemies. He helped me gain more of a sense of my body and my surroundings. Not just were the next spell was coming from, but being aware of what other obstacles could be there.” They climbed the steps to the front door, pausing for a moment on the topmost step.

“Sounds like Mad-Eye was a good mentor.”

Tonks nodded in agreement, stepping through the door Remus held open for her. “I just remembered Dumbledore said Harry cast a Patronus,” she whispered as they walked through the entrance hall, Remus’ hand on her lower back. “How the hell did he manage that?” Even through the chaos of leaving Headquarters earlier, she’d wondered about how he had cast such an advanced Charm.

“I taught him,” Remus said with his shy grin.

“You taught him?” Tonks stopped abruptly and looked up at him.

“I did.”

“That’s rather amazing.”

“He’s quite a talented wizard,” Remus said as he nudged her forward.

“I’d say he’s not the only one.” She smiled at him as she began down the steps towards the door leading to the kitchen.

As they walked through the door, Tonks realized the room was still full of various Weasleys and Sirius, all waiting for word on Harry. Sirius was the first to speak, standing abruptly when they walked in. “What’s going on? Is Harry all right?”

“He’s fine, Padfoot,” Remus said softly, before taking a seat at the table.

“His uncle did try and put him out, but Dumbledore scared the daylights out of his aunt with a Howler,” Tonks said. “I reckon he won’t try it again.”

“Thank Merlin he’s all right,” Molly said fretfully. “Albus sent word that he’ll be on his way back soon and we’re all to stay put for an emergency meeting. You lot,” she gestured to the kids still sitting around the table. “Off to bed.”

Before the kids could leave the kitchen, a snowy white owl flew swiftly through the fireplace, carrying multiple scrolls on its leg. It swooped through the kitchen, landing on Sirius’ shoulder, holding out its leg for him to untie the letters. As Sirius’ hands worked on the ties, the bird began pecking impatiently at his hands.

“Ouch!” Sirius pulled his hand away, bringing a finger to his mouth to ease the wound. “All right, old girl, I get it. Calm down.” He managed to untie the letters, looking them over before handing one each to Ron and Hermione. The owl left the perch of Sirius’ shoulder and fluttered to where the teenagers sat at the table. She began nipping at their hands and hooting at them as they attempted to open their letters.

“I’ve never seen an owl act this way,” Tonks said as she sank exhaustedly into a seat. “Bloody bird’s a menace.” She watched as the owl continued to peck and hoot at Ron and Hermione, giving Ron a deep cut on one hand.

“It’s Harry’s owl,” Sirius murmured as he read the parchment. “He’s angry,” he said as he looked up and crumpled the parchment in his hand. “I believe he told Hedwig here to peck us to death until we wrote him with some news. Hedwig,” he called the owl sharply. She left her spot at the table and flapped over to rest on Sirius’ shoulder again. “We’ll get it sorted and get him out of there as soon as possible.” The owl hooted softly in response and flew up to perch on top of the cupboards.

“Some sort of bird whisperer, are you?” Tonks asked through a wide yawn. The adrenaline rush of the impromptu mission was wearing off and her exhaustion from two days of work and guard duty was once again catching up to her.

Sirius chuckled at her as he placed the rumpled letter into a pocket of his robes. “I’ve been communicating with Hedwig for quite some time.”

“Bugger. If I’m going to survive even five more minutes of being awake, I’m going to need an entire carafe of coffee,” Tonks said. She attempted to rise to her feet.

“No you don’t, dear,” Molly said, pushing her back down into her chair. “I’ll get your coffee. All of you.” She turned and pointed to the Weasley kids and Hermione. “I said off to bed.”

Molly’s renewed demand for bed was met with complaints and grumbles from all around. With some effort, and arguments from all the kids, she managed to clear the kitchen for the meeting. Order members began filing in. Mad-Eye and Kingsley first, followed by Emmeline, Dedalus, and Hestia. Lastly, Sturgis and Bill. Minutes later Dumbledore arrived with Arthur in tow, ready to get down to business. Tonks and Remus explained what they’d overheard at the Dursleys’, earning scowls and huffs of anger from Sirius. Dumbledore didn’t say much about his dealings at the Ministry, other than he’d managed to keep Harry from being expelled for the moment.

“We can’t leave Harry there any longer, Albus,” Molly said in a pleading tone.

“I do not intend for him to remain at Privet Drive much longer, but his removal from their home must not be done in haste,” Dumbledore replied firmly. “I do not believe Vernon Dursley would take kindly to a group of wizards showing up on his doorstep demanding to take Harry. He must be removed under cover.”

“How do we get him out undetected?” Sirius asked. “Floo?”

“Their house doesn’t have a properly working fireplace,” Arthur answered. “The Ministry’s watching the Floo network besides.”

“He’s too young to Apparate,” Remus said.

“Can’t use a Portkey,” Mad-Eye grumbled. “It would have to be unauthorized, and we don’t want to draw attention by doing something illegal.”

“Why don’t we lure them out of the house and travel by b-b-broom?” Tonks said around a wide yawn.

“There’s an idea,” Remus said quietly, looking at Tonks with his shy smile. “Lure them out of the house how?”

“Some sort of contest,” Tonks said slowly, thinking back to the times she’d been to Privet Drive. “Their lawn,” she said decidedly. “Some contest involving their lawn. Kingsley, what did that article say in The Telegraph last week. About the Muggle hosepipe ban?”

“Which part?” he asked. “About the fines?”

“Yes! They’re fining people for watering their lawn,” Tonks said. “The uncle’s been watering at night when he’s less likely to be caught and fined. Reckon he thinks he’s quite clever for keeping it under wraps.” She reached for her coffee and took a couple of large gulps to try and keep her thoughts going. “We can send a letter saying they’ve been entered into a contest for the best-kept lawn and get them out of the house by saying there’s a prize-giving.”

“Why do you read The Telegraph?” Sirius asked with a perplexed look.

“The Auror department keeps up on the Muggle news,” Kingsley answered.

Dumbledore held up a hand to stop the interruption. “How long will it take?” he asked.

“I can send a letter by Muggle post first thing tomorrow,” Tonks replied. “If I pay the charge for rapid post, they should receive it the following morning.” She paused and let out another yawn. “I’ll set a Charm to the response card so their answer will show up immediately on a duplicate card I’ll keep. That way we don’t need to wait for a response by post.”

“Clever,” Dumbledore said approvingly. “See to it first thing. I want everybody to return tomorrow afternoon. I’ll need to hear any news that reaches your ears. That is all for tonight.” He stood to leave the kitchen, stopping at Tonks’ seat on the way to the door. “Your day certainly continued to be interesting.” Although his face was weary, Dumbledore was able to give Tonks a slight grin.

“It did, sir,” Tonks said with a tired smile.

“Get some rest, Nymphadora,” he said, patting her shoulder. “I daresay you will need it for the coming days.”

Tonks stood from her chair as the kitchen began to empty, Sirius stalking his way angrily through the door. Remus stopped her by placing a hand on her shoulder. “Give me a moment to check on Sirius, and I’ll help you home.” Tonks smiled gratefully and slid back down into her seat, resting her head in her hands. She thought she was alone in the kitchen until she heard a sniff. She looked up to see Molly standing by the cooker, crying softly into a handkerchief.

“Molly, are you all right?” Tonks asked, getting to her feet and crossing the kitchen to where she stood.

“I’m just so worried for Harry,” she replied, looking up from her handkerchief. “I just hate the thought of him being stuck in that house.”

“We’ll get him out soon enough,” Tonks said, reaching out to put a hand on Molly’s forearm. “Here.” Tonks began guiding Molly to a seat at the table. “Let’s see if I can manage to make you a cup of tea without breaking anything.”

“No, dear, you should be getting home to bed,” Molly protested. “You look dead on your feet.”

Tonks stepped back to the cooker to check the teapot resting on a burner. “The pot is still warm, so it won’t be any trouble.” She reached up to take a mug from the cupboard. “I’m waiting on Remus to help me home anyway.” Tonks poured tea into the mug and brought it to Molly, taking a seat next to her.

Molly took a sip of her tea and sat it down to dab her eyes. “I’m sorry,” she said with another sniff. “It’s just that I care for that boy like one of my own. I know he’s not my son, but he’s as good as. And I’ve worried about him for four years now.”

“From what I know of him, he’s certainly given you loads to worry about,” Tonks said. She placed an elbow on the table and rested her chin in her palm, willing herself to stay awake just a little longer.

“You probably don’t know the half of it,” Molly said with a watery smile. “Watching him return from that third task was awful.” She paused to wipe her eyes and blow her nose. “And then having him sent back to that aunt and uncle of his after it all.” Remus walked through the kitchen door, stopping to look at Molly, who had begun weeping again. “They’re dreadful people, those relatives of his. You watch,” she said brushing tears away from her cheeks. “He’ll show up here looking like he hasn’t been fed in weeks.”

Remus stepped forward and placed a hand on Molly’s shoulder. “Try not to worry. We’ll make sure you get a chance to feed him up properly as soon as possible.”

Molly turned to look at Remus, giving him a slight smile. “I’m being silly,” she said, patting Remus’ hand. “Do take Tonks home now. I’ll just go check to make sure Arthur has gotten the kids settled.” Molly rose from the table, still wiping her cheeks, and left the kitchen.

“Poor Molly,” Tonks said, scrubbing her hands over her face. “I feel terrible for her. I had no idea she was that close to Harry.”

“He spends as much time as possible with the Weasley family,” Remus said, reaching a hand down to help her from her chair. “They’ve sort of adopted him into their family.”

Tonks reached up and took his hand, letting him pull her to her feet. “You may need to carry me home, Professor.”

Remus chuckled and placed his hand on the now familiar spot of Tonks’ lower back. “That could be arranged if necessary.”

They walked in companionable silence as they made their way out of Headquarters and down the street to the alley. Remus wrapped an arm around Tonks’ shoulders and Apparated them behind her building.

“Thanks,” Tonks said, leaning her head against Remus’ chest and heaving a sigh. “Walk me up?” she asked as she stepped away to look up into his face. She reached up to brush the hair back from his forehead.

“I’m afraid I need to get back,” he said as he reached up to grab her hand, pressing her fingertips to his lips before releasing her hand. “I should make sure my faithful companion isn’t drowning his sorrows in a bottle of Firewhisky.”

Tonks stepped away to let Remus leave. “I’ll see you tomorrow, then.” They shared a smile before Remus turned on the spot and Disapparated. Tonks slowly walked around and entered the building, feeling like her legs were full of lead as she climbed the two flights of stairs to her door. She let herself in, kicking off her boots and removing her robes as she walked to her bedroom, not even bothering to ready herself for bed before she set an alarm and collapsed into bed.

By the time Tonks arrived at Headquarters the following afternoon she was in a terrible mood. She’d dragged herself from bed early to complete the letter to the Dursleys prior to heading to work. Then she’d skipped lunch to mail the letter and set up a Muggle post box so there was a legitimate address for the response to be mailed; the last thing she needed was the Dursleys’ response to be returned to them because it hadn’t been sent to a valid address. Tired, hungry, and grumpy, she stormed her way through the entrance hall—thankfully not tripping on the troll’s leg that was still taunting her in the hall—hoping there was coffee brewed in the kitchen.

She walked in the kitchen and went straight for the cupboard for a mug, taking a glance around the kitchen. She noticed that, so far, it was just Molly, Kingsley, and Remus sitting around the table. Tonks poured herself some coffee and stalked over to sit heavily in a seat.

“Tonks, dear, you’re looking a bit peaky,” Molly started. “Have you not eaten today?”

“I had some coffee before work,” she grumbled in reply, looking up to give Remus a quick half smile.

“I know that look,” Kingsley said with a chuckle. “Somebody get this girl a sandwich before she jinxes someone.” She glared at him in response, muttering “shut-it, mate” under her breath.

“There’s some leftovers from lunch I’ll scrape together for you,” Molly said, giving Tonks’ arm a pat as she stood from the table. In a matter of moments, she placed a plate holding two bacon sandwiches in front of Tonks, who tucked in quickly, the delicious smell of bacon reminding her just how hungry she was. She was only vaguely aware of the conversation taking place across from her as she devoured her food.

“Better?” Kingsley asked in amusement when Tonks had finished her sandwiches.

“Loads,” Tonks replied with a sigh. “Thanks, love.”

“I only pointed out the obvious. Molly’s the one who saved us all from danger,” he said with a smile. “All that bloody running you do. That’s why you’re always hungry.” He grabbed a napkin from the stack on the table and reached over to brush away something from her cheek. “You have sandwich crumbs on your cheek.”

“I didn’t even run today, I was simply too busy to eat,” Tonks said indignantly, snatching the napkin from his hand and wiping her mouth properly. She looked across the table at Remus, who wore an uncharacteristic scowl on his face. “Are you all right?” she asked. “Did your whiney pooch keep you up too late last night?”

“I’m fine and he didn’t,” Remus replied shortly.

Sirius sauntered through the kitchen door then, walking over to take a seat next to Remus. He smirked as Tonks asked Remus if he was sure he was all right. “Don’t mind him,” Sirius said, reaching across and stealing Tonks’ mug of coffee, taking a large gulp. “Full moon’s next week. He’ll be a grumpy sod for the next few days.”

Remus snatched Tonks’ mug from Sirius before he drained it entirely and handed it back across the table to Tonks. She muttered a thanks, taking a drink while wondering what it was that had turned his mood. He had seemed his usual self when he’d left her building the night before. Well, that morning really, she reflected. She was still so exhausted that the last few days were running together as one big blur. She sat and finished her coffee as people began filtering in, preparing for the meeting.

She looked up when she heard a cheerful “Tonks” from behind her. She turned to see Bill Weasley smiling at her as he closed the short distance between the door and where she sat. He placed his hands on the back of her chair and leaned his head down close to hers.

“Wotcher, Bill,” Tonks said in amusement. “Is there something I can help you with?”

“Not help, necessarily,” Bill said with a shrug. “Talked with Charlie today. Wanted to fill him in on what was happening with Harry and news from the Order.”

Bugger. This conversation certainly did not promise to improve her mood. From the smug look on Bill’s face, Tonks didn’t think she would be thrilled with what he had to say. She obviously didn’t mind anybody knowing that Charlie had been one of her best friends during her Hogwarts days, but she didn’t want anybody to get the wrong idea, especially not Remus, who already seemed to be in a foul temper. “What did your adventurous brother have to say?” Tonks asked cautiously.

“Just asked about how you are. Said you were ‘the one who got away’,” Bill said with a smirk.

“Tell your daft brother to stop being so sentimental,” Tonks said, shaking her head. “We’re just friends.”

“Just friends, eh?” Bill asked knowingly.

“Of course ‘just friends’,” Tonks said in irritation, turning to face Bill properly. “Now, can we please drop this? As lovely as your brother is, I’d much prefer a partner who’s a bit more mature and lives in the same country.”

Sirius snorted loudly at this. Tonks hoped Remus would catch what she was trying to say and understand that her relationship with Charlie was nothing more than friendly. One quick glimpse at him filled her with disappointment as she noticed that he had leaned back in his chair a bit, arms crossed at his chest and appeared to be no longer listening. Thankfully, the conversation came to an end as Dumbledore arrived and called the meeting to order.

Nobody had much to report since they had just met late the previous night, and there wasn’t any news on the street about the Dementor attack. Dumbledore gave a quick run-down of the events of the previous day for any members who didn’t know the full story, and Tonks shared what she had done with the letter to the Dursleys. He also asked for a show of hands of who would be willing to be part of the Advanced Guard that would escort Harry to Headquarters. Most everyone in the room raised their hands, Tonks included, of course. The meeting ended with tentative plans to meet the next day—if the Dursleys responded as quickly as they hoped—to begin planning the mission.

As soon as Dumbledore ended the meeting, Remus quickly pushed back from the table and left the kitchen. Tonks looked around to Sirius, who was in conversation with Kingsley. Rather than wait and ask Sirius about Remus, she decided to go find him instead. She got up from her seat and left the kitchen, ascending the stairs to the entry hall. She guessed he had gone up to his bedroom, and so began quickly climbing the stairs to the upper floors, hoping to catch up to him. Tonks reached the first landing and almost ran straight into Hermione.

“Is the meeting over?” the girl asked. “Can we come back downstairs?”

“We’re finished for now. You should be all right to go downstairs.” Tonks cringed as she heard a door slam above her. “Did Remus pass by you?” Hermione nodded. “Which door is his?”

“It’s the door facing the stairs,” Hermione said, watching as Tonks quickly started up the steps again. She reached the second landing, tripping on the top step and stumbling. She got her balance and strode to the door in front of her and gave it three loud knocks. Remus opened the door. By the surprised look on his face, Tonks guessed that he wasn’t expecting her to follow up him upstairs.

“What’s got your knickers in a twist?” Tonks asked without preamble. They both turned sharply when a door opened to the right. Ron and the twins looked curiously out into the hall. Tonks raised a hand and wandlessly slammed it shut and cast a Locking Charm. “You’re obviously in a snit about something,” she said, placing her hands on her hips.

“I’m not in a snit,” he said. “I just wasn’t aware that an adventurous young dragon keeper was pining away for you.”

“Charlie isn’t pining for me,” she said with a roll of her eyes. “Nor I for him.”

Remus gave a noncommittal grunt. “What about Kingsley, then?”

“What about Kingsley?” Tonks asked huffily, taken aback by his question. Did he honestly think she was involved with Kingsley? She caught site of the fringe across her forehead turning from pink to bright red as she became angry. “He’s my friend. Would you appreciate it if I wondered about you shagging Sirius?”

“I don’t call Sirius ‘love’ or sit in his lap,” Remus said.

“I don’t sit—” She stopped and glared at Remus for a moment before coming to a decision. “You know what, Professor?” She closed her eyes in concentration and morphed the rest of her hair fiery red. “I’m revoking your ‘Nymphadora’ privileges.”


“You heard me,” Tonks said. “You may call me Tonks like the others.”


“Because you’re being a prat, that’s why!” She turned and stomped off towards the stairs. “Tell Molly I’m skipping dinner tonight.”

“Where are you going?”

“Home,” she called over her shoulder. “I feel the need to go for a run.” Tonks thundered down the two flights of steps down to the entrance hall, tripping on the last step and landing on her hands and knees. Hearing voices from the kitchen, she quickly hopped to her feet, wanting to leave before she could encounter anybody lingering downstairs after the meeting. She slammed the front door behind her, not particularly caring if Mrs. Black was wailing in her wake.

Less than five minutes later, Tonks was jogging through the streets near her flat, ignoring cross walks and dodging through rush hour traffic trying to make her way to a nearby park where she could really run. Once there, she picked up her pace and began to vent out her frustrations. She tried her best to let the sound of her breathing and pounding of her steps clear her mind. But no matter how much she increased her stride, she kept picturing the scowl on Remus’ face when they were sitting at the table before the meeting. She truly felt she had been completely bloody obvious that she was attracted to him. Frustrated, Tonks took a deep breath and continued her pace, choosing to picture Remus’ shy smile rather than the scowl he’d worn earlier.

Once the sun started to set, Tonks decided she should return to her flat for a shower and bed. She wanted to take Dumbledore’s advice and get some rest before the next mission. She let herself into her flat and immediately heard a tapping sound. Turning toward her kitchen sink window, she saw Harry’s snowy white owl on the ledge. She opened her window to let the owl in and untied the letter from her leg. She opened the parchment and rolled her eyes at the writing.

Don’t be too hard on Moony. S

Tonks grabbed her quill and wrote bugger off under his message and tied it back to Hedwig’s leg. “Take this rubbish back to Sirius and tell him to give you a treat since I haven’t got anything for you.” The owl hooted once at Tonks and took off out the open window. She shook her head as she headed to the bathroom to take a shower.

Having finished her shower, Tonks pulled back her tie-dyed shower curtain to reach for her towel. She let out a shriek as she caught sight of Hedwig perched on her bathroom sink. “Bloody bird, you really are a menace.” She dried off and wrapped her towel around her before she untied the parchment. Written under the first two messages was simply no.

Tonks crumpled the parchment into a ball and tossed into the rubbish bin next to her sink. “I’m sending you back to Sirius empty handed and then I’m going to bed,” she told Hedwig. “Feel free to give him a good peck for me the way you did for Harry.” The owl turned from Tonks and took off from the sink. Tonks followed her out of the bathroom and slammed the window closed after she’d flown through. She towel-dried her still red hair and pulled on a t-shirt before setting her alarm for the next morning. She flopped face-down on her bed, pulled the duvet over her body and covered her head with her pillow, quickly letting sleep take over her body. Drifting off, Tonks hazily thought that if the next day were as mad as the last two, she would have to end the week with a bottle of wine.

A/N: Sorry, sorry, sorry this story has been so long without an update!!! I solemnly swear that I'm going to try to submit updates every Monday. You know what would help remind me? A review or two!!!

As always, I am not JK, and these are her characters, not mine. The scene at Privet Drive when Harry receives his letters from the Ministry is from Order of the Phoenix, chapter 2.

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