A/N: If you read this while it was split into chapters, it is the same as before, just with a bit added at the end.
Tonks stood in front of the full length mirror and adjusted her hair, shortening it in the sides and lightening the shade to a medium brown. Shaking her head so the hair fell naturally, she smiled in satisfaction. It looked good, time to pick an outfit. Opening the closet door, she rummaged around in the back, finally pulling out a pair of dark jeans and a red t-shirt with a dragon on it. Donning the clothes, Tonks morphed so her frame fit the masculine outfit. Her boobs disappeared as her shoulders broadened, and her hips straightened out as well (not that they were particularly curvy in her natural form). Turning, she grabbed her new leather jacket (sort of boxy and covered in buckles), and headed down the stairs.
"I'm off!" she shouted into the kitchen to her mum as she opened the door.
"Be back by midnight!" Andromeda called after her, not looking up from her cooking.
"Course mum. See ya," she replied, flying out the door into the bright sunshine of mid July. She was home for the summer holidays, her last one, and fully intended to take advantage of the summer.
"Hello Tonks," Charlie Weasley greeted as his best friend appeared with a crack at the edge of the wards of the Burrow. "You look good," he added looking at his friend.
"Thanks," Tonks responded, smiling. "I went shopping last week, and saw the jacket. I fell in love immediately. Only problem was I was shopping for dresses. I had to leave and come back after changing forms."
"Yup. You have to let me take you shopping some time."
"No thanks," Charlie groaned. "Bad enough when I get dragged shopping by my mum. With you I would have to suffer both the men's and women's sections! Besides, I did that once. Never again."
Tonks sighed sadly. She really wished Charlie would let her take him shopping, as she desperately needed a shopping buddy. Her female friends loved shopping, but didn't quite get why Tonks felt the need to shop both sides. They didn't quite get that Tonks shopped both sides because she was both female and male.
"Come on," Charlie said interrupting her thought. "You said we were going somewhere fun tonight. Mind telling me where?"
"Oh, right. We're going to the movies."
"Muggle moving pictures with sound. You love them. Oh, and use he today. Less confusing that way."
Charlie simply nodded, holding his hand out so Tonks could apparate them wherever they were going. Tonks smiled brightly. Only Charlie accepted her changes without so much as a blink. (And yes, Tonks always used her in her head.)
Tonks could remember vividly the first time she realized exactly what the difference between boys and girls was. She was eight years old, and a boy in her class was talking about his new sibling.
"He is so small. And smelly and noisy. I don't see why my parents had him."
"How do babies even get made?" another boy asked.
"My brother said a man sticks his thing in a girl and a baby happens," a girl spoke up. "But I don't know what his thing is."
"I know," the first boy responded proudly. "It's a," he checked around for a teacher, "penis" he finished in a whisper. "Girls don't have one of those."
"What about boobs?" the girl asked. "My mum has those, but nobody in our class does."
"I think they come later," a second girl provided. "My sister started getting them this year."
Dora (don't call me Nymphadora) simply sat listening to everyone talk. She had never really thought of the difference between girls and boys. After all, she liked playing football with the boys just as much as she liked playing dolls with the girls. Adult boys and girls might look a little different, but she could change how she looked.
When Dora returned home that afternoon, she asked her mum, "How did you know I was a girl?"
"What do you mean?" Andromeda asked, putting her book down.
"Well, a boy in school said the difference between boys and girls was that boys had a penis and girls didn't."
"Well, that's part of it," agreed Andromeda. "So what is your question?"
"I can change how I look. So how did you know?"
Andromeda looked her daughter in the eye. She seemed genuinely confused. "Well, honey, you can change some things, but not fundamental things such as being a girl or a boy."
"Oh," Dora simply responded, leaving the room.
It wasn't until Dora was eleven that she thought about what her mum had said about not being able to change whether she was a boy or a girl. She was sitting in the Hufflepuff common room with her new friend Charlie, demonstrating how she could change her hair and eye colour at will.
"Brilliant!" Charlie exclaimed excitedly. "Can you change other things?"
"Well, can you change your face to look like some else? Like Marta for instance?"
"Dunno, never tried. Why?"
"Well, 'cause it'd be brilliant. Just think, you could pull pranks, and if you got seen, they wouldn't realize it was you."
Dora sat there for a moment, and looked across the room at her roommate, Marta. Screwing her face up in concentration, she willed her features to match her roommates.
"Not bad," Charlie admitted. "You definitely don't look the same, but you don't look like yourself."
"That's probably a good thing. I'd feel bad getting her in trouble," Dora admitted, letting her face return to normal. "But simply not looking like myself might be enough."
"Probably," Charlie agreed. "After all, I would still look like myself."
The two continued to chat for a little while until Charlie had to return to his own common room. Sitting alone in the squishy chair, Dora began thinking. If she could change her face completely, how much more could she change. She thought back to the conversation she had with her mum when she was eight. She thought about how much she had fun with Charlie, and how her best friend was a boy when all the other girls thought boys had cooties. With a big yawn, Dora gave up on her thoughts. She was a girl. He mum said so. The staircase let her up into the girls' dormitory. Deciding she couldn't answer the question that night, she went up to bed.
She was twelve the first time she actually tried it. It was spring break, and she had gone down to local park with the intent of playing footie with the neighborhood boys. Running up to the boys, who she had played with on many occasion last summer, she asked, "Can I join in?"
"Boys only," one of them responded.
"But I played with you last summer. And I'm just as good!"
The boy looked at her chest, where the small beginnings of breasts had appeared over the year. "You're a girl. Boys only. Now shove off."
Dejectedly, Dora wandered off to the playground, sitting on the swings. It wasn't fair. She was the same person she was last summer. Just because she had started growing breasts… She stopped. No, that was the problem. Boys and girls were different now. Not the same. They had different friends, played different games, wore different clothes. She took a deep breath and looked around. There was nobody there. So, concentrating really hard, she focused on morphing her body. She thought about what Charlie looked like, what it felt like before she had breasts. Opening her eyes, she looked down.
"Yes!" she shouted in excitement. For where previously she had small breasts, her chest was flat as ever. Running home, she charged up into her room, eager to look in the mirror.
It wasn't until her first Hogsmead trip in third year that she felt brave enough to do anything with her skills. She had spent the last year and a half practicing, morphing her face, hips (because those had started to happen), chest, and more. So, the night before Hogsmead, she grabbed Charlie after dinner and pulled him into an empty classroom.
"Whoa Dora, what's up?"
"I need a favour."
Charlie grinned. Needing a favour was a big deal because then she would owe him one. As in he could ask her to do anything and invoke the right of favour. "All right, what do you need?"
Dora felt her heart speed up and her palms grow sweaty. "I need," she paused, gathering her courage (she was only a hufflepuff after all), "I need to borrow a set of your clothes for tomorrow?"
This was the moment, Dora thought. The moment where she might ruin everything and convince Charlie think she was some sort of freak. "I want to buy boy clothes and need to be dressed as a boy," she stammered out quickly.
Charlie just stared at her for a moment, not saying anything. Dora wiped her hands on her slacks. They were sweaty and warm. Just before she decided to cut her loses and run off, Charlie simply said, "Oh. They might not fit."
Dora stared back. That was all he had to say?
"You know, cause I'm… a bit wider than you are."
"You don't think I'm… weird?"
Charlie shook his head. "You have a special power. I mean, you can change how you look. Makes sense you'd want clothes for all the ways you can look."
Dora stood there, in disbelief. This was not the reaction she was looking for. At best, she had been hoping Charlie thought this was some sort of prank or adventure she was doing. She leapt forward, engulfing him in a hug.
"Oph, that's a little tight."
"Thank you Charlie! Thank you thank you! And don't worry, I can make them fit okay." She backed off, ending the hug, and the two went their separate ways, Dora nearly bouncing in excitement. She still had a best friend.
By the following afternoon, Charlie was regretting his decision. Not to lend Dora clothes, no that wasn't it. His decision to go shopping with her. She had begged him, saying she had never shopped for boy's clothes before, and therefore needed his help. Not that Charlie was much help. His mum still bought most of his clothes. But, two hours in, he deeply regretted it. Dora had been saving her pocket money to go shopping for a year! That was a lot of pocket money. Add that to her desire to try on everything… well, needless to say it was a long process.
"What do you think of this one?" Tonks asked. (She had been dubbed Tonks after the first person stared suspiciously when he called her Dora).
"Um… It's nice?" Charlie supplied, looking at the shirt Tonks was wearing. It was a simple t-shirt, with a dragon flying across it.
"Nice? I thought you loved dragons!"
"I do, but… can we go to Zonkos now? I'm out of dungbombs," Charlie begged. Luckily, the mention of dungbombs caused Tonks to readily agree, changing back into her borrowed clothes and pay for her purchases.
"Sorry," Tonks sheepishly apologized. "I guess I got a little over excited."
"Just because you don't appreciate fashion!"
"I do, I just appreciate pranks and candy more," he defended as the duo entered Zonkos.
"Charlie, can you call me Tonks all the time?" She asked one afternoon late in third year.
Charlie looked up from the Transfiguration notes he was reviewing. Finals were only in two weeks, and he was hardly one to study during the rest of term. "Sure. Why? If you don't mind me asking…"
Tonks' bright blue hair darkened a few shades. "Dora just doesn't feel right. And I never liked my full name."
"Can't say I blame you."
Tonks smiled slightly. Charlie always knew what to say to cheer her up. "Well, anyway, Tonks seems like a better name for me. You know, not really a girl or boy name."
"Or a first name for that matter."
Tonks punched him playfully in the arm. "Well, now it's a first name. Because I'm Tonks. Just Tonks."
Putting away his notes, Charlie stood up. "Come on, let's head outside Tonks Tonks. There is no need to spend a perfectly good day cooped up indoors. Besides, Hagrid has some nifflers I'd like to introduce you to."
The next morning, Tonks stood nervously in front of the mirror. Today she had finally decided to go to class in one of her 'male morphs' as Charlie had named it. Outside of Charlie, nobody at Hogwarts had ever seen her male form (or at least while realizing it was her) so she was nervous. Very nervous. What if people didn't understand? What if they mocked, insulted, or worse- cursed her. With one last deep breath, she summoned all of her Gryffindor bravery and exited the room.
At first, nobody paid her much mind. After all, she was wearing a standard male Hogwarts uniform, and her hair was a boring black (as to not draw even more attention). She made her way out of the common room and down the stairs to her normal rendezvous point.
"Morning Tonks!" Charlie greeted from where he was lazily leaning against a column.
"Looking good. Although I'm not sure I can spend an entire day with you looking like that."
Tonks froze. She thought Charlie would be the one to stick by her no matter what.
Seeing her face, Charlie quickly explained, "Not the… you know male bit… the black hair. You always have colourful hair. Black just really isn't your colour," he stammered, trying to reassure his friend.
Tonks breathed in relief. "Well, I doubt it will stay black all day."
"True, your hair is like a mood ring."
"Hey!" Tonks protested as her hair changed to a dark red.
"See," smirked Charlie, "You might as well give up."
"Fine," Tonks muttered, forcing her hair back to black. "Let's go to breakfast."
The two entered the Great Hall together and sat down at the Hufflepuff table (they ate breakfast at Hufflepuff, lunch at Gryffindor, and dinner at their own tables).
"Hello Charlie," greeted Marta. "Where's Dora? You usually come to breakfast together."
"I did come to breakfast with Tonks, she's right beside me."
Marta looked up, staring at the boy next to Charlie. "Dora?" she spluttered.
"'Ello," greeted Tonks as she swallowed a bite of eggs. "And I'm going by Tonks now."
"Erm… You look like a…"
"Boy?" Marta nodded her head in agreement. "Yah. I thought I'd try it out today. What do you think?"
"Its…um… different?" Marta supplied, looking down at her food. "I have to go… forgot my potions book in my room. See you later," the girl stammered, running off.
Tonks deflated. While she wasn't best friends with Martha, her reaction was hardly reassuring. "Should I not do this?" Tonks asked Charlie, whispering in his ear.
"Of course you should. You told me you wanted to, and I'm not letting you go all Hufflepuff just because one person ran off awkwardly."
"Hey, no insulting my house while sitting at our table!" protested Tonks. But inside, she smiled. Charlie was always there for her, always providing advice and reassurance.
By the afternoon, Tonks was feeling fairly miserable. Mostly people just sort of stared at her, but a few people had thrown hexes and curses. Charlie, of course, had stayed alongside her as much as possible, cursing back. The professors had hardly been better. Snape had sneered at her, muttering something about unnaturalness under her breath. Even her head of house, Professor Sprout had stumbled over 'Ms. Tonks' when calling on her. Needless to say, as she left the Great Hall, splitting of from Charlie, as they had different classes in the afternoon, she was terrified. She was considering heading back to her dorm room when her friend Alice caught up to her.
"I think it's kinda cool," Alice had admitted. "I mean, you can be whoever you want. And you're really brave. People shouldn't hex you for just being yourself."
"Thanks Alice. That means a lot to me," she responded pulling her friend into a hug. "I knew not everyone would approve or understand, but its just been…"
"A long day?"
"I think it will get better. I mean, this is the first time. Nobody was expecting it. Are you going to… you know… do this again tomorrow?"
"Go out in a male morph? I don't know. Some days when I wake up this feels right. Other days a girl body feels right. And sometimes, I want something in-between. I guess… I guess what I'm saying is I want to feel comfortable going out in whatever form I feel like on a particular day."
Alice nodded. "You sounded very wise there." Tonks laughed, glad that a second friend understood. "I know Charlie is always there for you, but so am I."
"Thanks Alice. Shall we go to Transfiguration?"
It was November of fourth year when Tonks realized for the first time what her gender identity would mean in terms of dating. For, earlier that morning, Dumbledore had announced the annual Winter Ball would be held on December 10th. Which was four weeks away. Sitting on a balcony over looking the quidditch pitch, she listened to Charlie describe how he would run a practice. He was Gryffindor's star seeker, and was hoping to make captain next year, as their current captain would graduate at the end of the year.
"So Tonks," he asked. "What do you think?"
"Um," she spluttered, having not really been paying attention. "Sounds good?"
Charlie sighed. "Well, you clearly weren't paying any attention. What's on your mind?"
"Why? It's not like it doesn't happen every year."
"I know, but fourth year is when everyone expects you to bring a date. First through third years are only there for the first half, and nobody expects them to be dating. But fourth year…"
"It's all about who brings who. Yah, I know."
"So who are you going to bring?"
Charlie stammered. "I, uh, don't plan on bringing a date?"
"Come on. Your popular and athletic. There has to be a girl you want to bring."
Charlie stammered some more, turning slightly pink. He muttered something under his breath, quickly looking away.
"What did you say?"
"I… uh…. I said that I don't have a girl I want to bring. I… don't like any girls. Well, not that way at least."
"Oh. Well at least if you did like someone you could ask them."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, at least they won't be offended. Even if they don't like you back."
"They might be offended," Charlie muttered under his breath. Louder, he asked, "and someone would be offended if you asked?"
Tonks shrugged. "Most people don't want a date for the ball that might show up as a guy or girl depending on their mood."
Charlie slumped slightly. He hadn't really thought about that. While it seemed totally natural to him, and most of the school didn't make a big deal about how Tonks looked day to day anymore, he knew most people still thought it was a little weird. "You know, we could always go together." Tonks stared at him. "As friends. I mean, there isn't anyone I want to take, and you don't want to worry about how others will react to you. Since we're already friends, we could just go together."
"Are you sure? I mean, I'd love to go as your friend, but are you sure there isn't a girl you'd rather take?"
"I'm sure," Charlie nodded. "Tonks, will you do me the pleasure of accompanying me to the Winter Ball this year?"
"Of course," Tonks responded, pulling her best friend into a hug.
The evening of the ball, Tonks opened her trunk and pulled out her dress robes. She had two sets, a dress her mother bought her, and set of wizard robes she had bought with her pocket money in Hogsmead last month. She loved both sets. The dress was a stunning bright pink, that matched her favorite hair colour perfectly, while the wizard robes were a rather modern style, resembling a muggle suit more than traditional robes. She had talked to Charlie earlier that week, asking him whether he cared what she wore. After all, his mother would likely see pictures of them together. Even if he told her they only went as friends, he might not want pictures of him accompanying a guy to the ball. There was also her mother to think about. She loved her mum, but she was a traditional witch. Tonks wasn't sure how her mum would react to her walking around as a man, so she hadn't told her yet. She hadn't told her father either, but she was pretty sure he had seen some of her guy clothes. Sighing, she picked up the dress. She figured she would try it on and see how she felt.
An hour later, Tonks exited the common room to find Charlie waiting for her, flowers in hand.
"You look lovely," he said. For truly, she did. She had decided on the pink dress, her hair short and spiky in a matching pink. Instead of heels, which would be a disaster as she was already clumsy, she wore black dragonhide boots (a fifteenth birthday present from her mother). "I brought you flowers," he added, "but I didn't know if you would want a boutonniere or corsage, so I left them plain.
"Thanks. They are prefect," she responded, transfiguring the ribbon holding them together into a bracelet. Siding the flowers onto her wrist, she paused. "Oh no! I left your flowers in my room! Accio flowers!" she called as another student opened the portrait. A moment later, a bright pink (unnaturally so) rose flew out of the common room into her hand. Carefully, she stuck the flower to his robes with a quick sticking charm. "Perfect."
"Perfect indeed. Shall we?" Charlie asked, taking her arm.
The ball was a blast. The Great Hall looked amazing, decorated with trees, snowflakes, and ice sculptures. They danced all evening to the fast, fun music, swapping out partners occasionally with their friends (Tonks maintained it was better to alternate who's toes she was stepping on) and occasionally stopping for a bite to eat. At nine, when the younger years went to bed, the music changed. The band began playing waltzes and other slower songs. As all their friends partnered up to sway to the slow music, Tonks and Charlie hung back.
"I don't really feel the need to slow dance, do you?"
"Not really," Charlie agreed. "Besides I think my toes need a break from your dancing skills."
"Hey! My dancing skills are awesome."
"Unique, certainly. But also a bit dangerous for your friends," he laughed in response. "Come on, this song lasts forever. Let's head out to the gardens."
Tonks agreed, and the two made their way out into the magically enchanted gardens. They were full of flowers and ice sculptures, yet the air remained warm enough for them to wander around without any jackets. After passing several couples making out, the two found a bench at the edge of the garden.
"No kissing couples here," remarked Tonks.
"Probably because the teachers can see this bench fairly easily," Charlie replied, pointing out the window next to the teachers table that overlooked the corner.
"Well, since I have no plans to kiss you, sorry, I'm not worried."
"No problem, kissing you would be like kissing one of my siblings."
"You've got a lot of those."
Charlie nodded. "Talking about siblings, he said in a low voice, pointing to a couple just out of view of the window.
"Is that Bill?" Tonks asked in disbelief.
Charlie nodded. "I wonder what mum would say if I told her."
"Not unless he tried to get me in trouble first," Charlie agreed. "With six siblings, you always have to have blackmail in hand."
Tonks shook her head in disbelief. "I'm glad I'm an only child," she laughed.
Charlie had always been there for Tonks and everyone knew they were best friends, so naturally, when he came bursting into the Hufflepuff common room, a look of desperation across his face, she was fetched.
"What's wrong, Charlie?"
"Not here. Can we go somewhere else?"
She nodded, and guided him out of the room into an empty classroom near the Hufflepuff entrance. "So, what's wrong?"
"Bill walked into a classroom I was in." Tonks rolled her eyes in exasperation, urging him to go on. "I was… um… making out with someone."
"Oh. Well, that's not too bad. I mean, he might be Head boy this year and all that, but your mum doesn't know about the girl he is dating. You can always hold that over him so he doesn't tell."
Charlie buried his face in his hands awkwardly. "That's not all," he mumbled. "It's not so much that I was kissing someone so much as who…"
"Who was she? A slytherin?"
Charlie gulped and looked down, muttering something under his breath. Tonks poked him, prompting him to look up again. "It wasn't a…her…" he stumbled out awkwardly.
Tonks paused a moment, looking her friend in the eye. He seemed thoroughly embarrassed and awkward. "Oh."
"I guess that's why you didn't to take a girl to the ball last Christmas?" Charlie nodded. "I take it Bill wasn't expecting that?"
Charlie shook his head. "I don't think so. He was about to take points or something, then noticed who it was. He kinda turned bright red, and we ran."
He shook his head. "I'm not telling you who. At least not yet."
"Do I at least know him? Is he nice? Attractive?"
"He's nice. Least I think so. And very good looking."
"Okay, so you ran off leaving your brother staring at an empty classroom?" He nodded. "Right, time to go talk to Bill."
"No! Wait, I can't do that! You can't do that! What if he…"
"What if he what? As far as I can tell, he didn't seem mad or anything, just suprised. Hell, he might even know already. Come on, we're going," she announced, grabbing his arm and practically dragging him out of the classroom.
Fourteen flights of stairs later (couldn't Gryffindor and Hufflepuff be closer?), they were standing outside the portrait.
"I'll go in. You wait here," she commanded. Charlie simply nodded. "Nimbus 1500," she said to the Fat Lady.
"That's the password dear, although I wouldn't advertise that you know it," she replied, swinging open.
"Oh, Gryffindor is aware I know the password." Stepping into the common room, she looked around for Bill. "Anyone seen Bill?" she called out into the room after ascertaining he wasn't there.
"He's upstairs," Percy replied. "I can get him for you."
"Thanks, but I know which room is his," she responded, climbing the staircase up to the seventh year boy's dormitory. Opening the door, she found Bill alone, sitting at his desk. "You're coming with me," she announced.
"Charlie sent you?"
"No, I dragged him up here myself. But he didn't want to come inside, so I said I'd fetch you. Come on. Let's go." Marching out of the room, she paused on the top step to make sure Bill was following.
Once she had the elder two Weasley brothers outside the common room, she dragged them into an empty classroom. "Okay boys. Time for you two to talk. I'll see you later," she finished, walking out the door.
"I told my mum," Charlie stated as the two sat in front of the lake, basking in the warm sunlight shortly after spring break.
"Huh?" Tonks asked, looking up from her book.
"I told her I was gay."
"Oh. How'd that go?"
"Surprisingly well. Bill was there. He sorta kept her calm so she didn't say anything before she you know, processed it."
"That was nice of him."
Charlie nodded. "It was. It's all thanks to you though. If you hadn't made us talk…"
"You would have," reassured Tonks. "It might have taken a little longer, but you would have."
Charlie shrugged. "Maybe. But thanks, anyways." He paused for a moment, silence filling the space between them. "You ready for the OWLs?"
"Ugg, don't remind me! I need to get Os and Es in all the core subjects if I want to be an Auror! You're lucky, not having to study."
"I do! I need an O in COMC for sure. And I need to do well in charms and DADA."
"Still, less than I need. Why do you even want to be a dragon tamer? It's a dangerous job."
"So is being an Auror."
"I guess," she shrugged, opening her book again. "Potion, delightful," she sighed, laying back in the grass. Charlie simply laughed, pulling out his charms notes.
As Tonks waved goodbye to her friends and found her mum on the platform, she thought back to what Charlie had said a few weeks ago. He had told his mum he was gay, and she was okay with it. And everyone knew how much Molly Weasley wanted grandchildren (even though she had seven children of her own!). Maybe, just maybe, it was time to talk to her parents.
Finding her dad, he hair turned bright pink in excitement. "Hey dad!"
"Hey Dora!" her father greeted with a giant hug.
"Dad," she whined in protest, both at the name and highly embarrassing hug.
"Can't I hug you after not seeing you for so long?"
"You saw me during spring break," she reminded him. "And you could wait till after we leave the platform for embarrassing hugs."
Ted shrank her trunk and pocketed as he led her towards the barrier. "Well, if I'm too embarrassing for you, we can skip stopping for dinner…"
"At the diner?" Tonks asked in excitement. There was a small diner she had discovered with her dad when he picked her up from the station during winter break of first year. Since then, it had been a tradition to stop there whenever it was just the two of them.
"That's what I was thinking. Your mum has work until eight, so we have time to eat and make it home before she does."
"Awesome," Tonks agreed, speeding up as she pulled her dad through the barrier.
And hour later, the two were sitting in a comfy booth, chatting away as they ate their food.
"Mhh, Hogwarts just doesn't make fish and chips like these," Tonks said, licking her fingers clean.
"They are excellent, aren't they. How was your semester?"
"Not bad. OWLs were awful, but then you already know that, don't you?"
Ted laughed jovially. "That I do. What else did you get up to?"
"Not much. Flitwick held a dueling tournament this spring. I place first in my year."
"Congratulations. Dueling is a good skill to have if you want to be an Auror."
Tonks beamed. She desperately wanted to be an Auror, but was afraid her clumsiness might work against her. The two continued to chat happily, sharing stories of their year and eating ice cream.
The next morning, Tonks slept in until about noon. Sleep ins were by far the best part of vacation. Rolling out of bed, still mostly asleep, she grabbed a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, putting them on as she made her way downstairs.
"Good afternoon, sleepyhead," her father greeted her as he read the paper. "I can make you breakfast if you want, but you could also skip straight to lunch. Your mum is out shopping, but should be back soon."
"Breakfast sounds great," she yawned slumping into a chair.
Closing his paper, Ted looked up, taking in the outfit she was wearing. "Haven't seen those before," he remarked.
Tonks looked down and realized she was wearing a polo shirt and pair of jeans she had purchased last Hogsmead weekend. Unconsciously, she had morphed into her male form to better fit the clothes. "They're… uh…" she began nervously. This was not exactly how she intended to tell her father.
Ted smiled. "I've known about your 'male morph' as Charlie calls it for some time."
"You do?" Tonks asked, astonished.
Ted nodded. "I saw the clothes when doing laundry after your third year. Add that to a few photos Mrs. Weasley showed me, well I'm not entirely clueless."
"But you didn't say anything."
"I figured you would when you are ready. Come here," he said, gesturing for her to come in for a hug. She complied, letting herself be engulfed in his loving arms.
"Does mum know?"
"I don't think so. She might be a little slower on the uptake thanks to her traditional pureblood upbringing, but don't worry. She will never stop loving you, no matter what."
"Even if I turn dark?" Tonks asked cheekily.
"Even if you turn dark. Hell, there are plenty of family members of mum's she never stopped loving because they turned dark. That's not to say she wouldn't turn you into the Aurors."
"Don't worry dad, I have no intention of turning dark."
"That's good sweetheart, that's good. Now what do you say to breakfast?"
"Dating is weird," Tonks declared with a sigh as she flopped down onto the couch next to Charlie.
"How so?" he asked, not even looking up from his book.
"You know how I was dating that Andrew bloke?" Charlie nodded, still not paying much attention. "Well, I thought I was doing it right. I mean, we went to Hogsmeade together and held hands and all that stuff. But then yesterday he got all annoyed at me."
Sighing softly, Charlie put his book down. "What happened?"
"That sounds like a good thing. At least its usually pretty good for me."
"You still making out with that bloke in empty classrooms?"
"No, new guy. But back to you. What happened after?"
Tonks shrugged. "That was yesterday. Today we kissed again after lunch and he got this weird look on his face and suddenly had somewhere to go. He's been avoiding me since."
Charlie grinned evilly, "Was it a terrible, sloppy, wet kiss?"
"Charlie! Not cool!" Tonks shouted, picking up the nearest pillow and whacking him on the head. "I am a good kisser, I'll have you know."
"Wasn't that your second kiss?"
Tonks blushed hard, her hair turning a brilliant red to match her face. "No, it wasn't. Back in fourth year Alice decided she needed to learn how to kiss before the ball. So we… um.. practiced."
Charlie laughed, spluttering, "Like in one of those muggle girl movies you had me watch? Was there a pillow fight? Or truth or dare?"
"NO! It was purely for educational purposes."
Charlie grinned, "Sure thing, Tonks, sure thing."
"I'm going to regret this, aren't I?"
"Definitely. But back to your definitely not inadequate kiss, was there anything different between the two?"
Tonks thought for a moment before all the colour rushed out of her hair. "I was male yesterday," she replied softly. "But everyone knows about me, and he said he was fine with it."
Charlie placed his book on the floor and scooted closer to Tonks, wrapping his arm around her shoulder. "You said male yesterday?" Tonks nodded. "And boobs and all today?" She nodded again. "I don't think it was you," Charlie responded.
"What do you mean?"
"It sounds like the first time I kissed the bloke I'm with. I kinda surprised him, and then suddenly he bolted. Thought I had done something wrong. About five minutes later he comes back and asked, 'is it always like that?' I was so confused, until he admitted he had some experience kissing girls and was unimpressed with the whole process."
"So your saying my boyfriend is gay?"
"Maybe. But you should talk to him yourself."
"This is decidedly weird," Tonks admitted as she and Charlie sat at the Gryffindor table, watching the spectacle across the hall unfold.
"Too weird. I'm not sure I can handle this."
"Nor I," Tonks replied, shuddering.
Turning away, Charlie began shoveling food in his mouth as fast as possible, while Tonks simply covered her eyes. Across the room, the spectacle continued. Two sausages later, Charlie stood. "Right, I'm off to visit Hagrid. Tony? Want to come with?"
"Sure," a fifth year replied, standing up across the table.
"Great, abandoning me alone with this. Rude," Tonks muttered.
"Can't stand watching two blokes shove their tongues down each others throats?" a Slytherin taunted. "Or maybe it just reminds you of your own unnaturalness?"
"Unnaturalness?" Charlie asked, pausing at the end of the table.
"Yah, you and that Black girl. Ponces and freaks the lot of you."
The Gryffindor and Hufflepuff's nearest the pair fell silent, as Tonks slowly stood. Pulling her wand out, she pointed it at the offending Slytherin. "My name is not Black," she seethed, stepping forward. "Don't you ever forget that."
"Ashamed of who you are?" the boy shout back, smiling nastily. "Is that why you show off you… freaky habits? To distract people from who you are?"
Tonks opened her mouth, ready to curse the boy, but Charlie shock his head slightly. He made a small hand motion, and Tonks turned.
"Hello Professor McGonnagall. Sorry for the disruption. We were just explaining to Montague here why we were leaving. He thought we were being homophobic assholes, but I assured him that's not the case."
"Language, Ms. Tonks. And just where was Mr. Weasley going? Dinner is not yet over."
"I was headed to Hagrid's with Tony. I know dinner isn't over, but he has a new dog I'm eager to see, and well…"
"Yes Mr. Weasley?"
Charlie, stammer, blushing slightly. "It's just a little weird watching my ex make out with another guy…"
Tonks laughed. "My ex being the other guy. Too weird, even for us wierdos."
McGonnagall stared at the two, slightly confused. "Well, I suppose…"
"The circumstances are understandable given the completely awkward nature of teenage romances and you would really prefer not to know more. Thank you for your understanding," Tonks finished. "I think I shall join Charlie so Tony can return to eating if he so desires."
McGonnagall simply nodded as the pair left the hall. "Right then, Mr. Montague. Detention with me, tomorrow at seven."
A/N: I know this isn't really an ending, but Fluid is not so much a story and a bit of a character study into a version of Tonks. I might add more in the future, but for now I'll call this complete.