It was a cold December night, the wind howled across the barren peaks of the Scottish mountains and the nearby village of Hogsmeade had been snowed in days ago. The snow piled even higher in the middle of a valley, where an ancient castle sat above a frozen lake. The sun had set hours ago and now darkness reigned as the clouds hid the moon and the stars.
Inside the castle, a young man named Harry Potter was fuming. The wizard was supposed to do his Transfiguration homework, but the book about conjuring animals had been set aside as the Gryffindor tried to measure how fucked magical Britain truly was. Disappearances had become a regular thing and no one was safe. Even influential characters like Amelia Bones could not avoid gruesome fate at the hands of Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters. The late Head of the Magical Law Enforcement had been found executed in a most gruesome way and, if the off-record rumours were to be believed, raped a dozen times.
Professor Albus Dumbledore, the famous headmaster of Hogwarts, had tasked him with retrieving vital intelligence that could turn the war against the Dark Lord. Usually, such tasks involved violence and attractive girls, at least according to these James Bond novels Hermione was fond of. Unluckily for him, he was not James Bond but just Harry Potter.
Harry couldn't understand why Dumbledore didn't just tie Slughorn to a chair and made him drink Veritasserum. It's not like he would have to torture Slughorn or anything. One answer and the potion master would be free to go.
Thinking about Dumbledore's questionable decisions brought back painful memories. The Battle of the Ministry had been a sobering experience. There had been explosions everywhere; smoke, blood and spellfire. The Death Eaters had been holding back, only Dolohov resorting to lethal force. And still Sirius was dead, Ron, Ginny and Neville had been severely injured while Hermione barely survived. Unable to avenge his godfather Harry had at least made sure that the Russian Death Eater paid dearly for nearly killing his best friend. Consumed by a previously unknown fury, the raven-haired teenager disregarded caution and unleashed a torrent of spells which only ended after an overpowered blasting curse broke through Dolohov's shield and decorated the Time Room with his entrails.
Believing Hermione dead had been the worst moment of his life and pure, gut-wrenching agony had overcome Harry afterwards. Not because of what he did to Voldemort's follower. Frankly speaking, he didn't think twice about that. No, Harry felt absolutely horrible for nearly getting his friend killed. Sirius died in the battle but the way he had taunted his cousin, how he jumped out of cover only to stand directly in front of the Veil made Harry think that his godfather chose going out with a blaze of glory over slowly rotting away in his ancestral home, broken by Pettigrew, broken by Azkaban, broken by a year in Grimmauld Place. Still, had he had just listened to Hermione the whole disaster wouldn't have happened, they wouldn't even have been in England.
Ever since Harry felt strange around Hermione. He couldn't place the feeling but it was pleasant and maybe slightly distracting. It was not at all like his crush on Cho Chang but something entirely new. He didn't have the urge to run his hands over her admittedly nice curves and yet he noticed a strange protectiveness over his friend. There was also the strange scheme Hermione has been cooking up for the past month, ever since Ron and Lavender had gotten together. Harry had no idea what it was about because it looked like it was supposed to make somebody jealous and Hermione would rather take a blasting curse to the head than go out with the boy who spent the last five years constantly belittling her. Well, maybe Hermione was trying to make Lavender jealous...
To make things more complicated, he was feeling another type of odd whenever he saw Dean Thomas with his girlfriend, similar to something crawling inside of him. That was definitely not normal, not even in a world with an import embargo on flying carpets.
Harry needed someone he could talk to. Normally Hermione would be his first choice. But since she was the problem and they were once again fighting over that bloody Potions book, he needed someone else he could talk to. Ron was also out of the question since he spent every waking moment with his hands on his girlfriend's arse and tits. Not that he was not happy for his friend, if anything Harry was envious of Ron because the redhead had someone who made him forget the ever looming war. And it helped that Lavender, despite being somewhat air-headed, was easy on the eyes.
Harry shook his head, turned back to the half-forgotten essay and dipped his quill into an inkwell. But before writing a single word his focus drifted away once more. He also needed a date for the bloody Christmas party Slughorn was throwing. He was the Chosen One, somehow supposed to save the wizarding world. Harry had no idea how he should accomplish that feat. But because the public had high expectations for him instead of aspirations to do something themselves, everything he did was critically watched.
Teen Witch Weekly ran a multi-piece series about him the Daily Prophet even published commentaries on the Gryffindor Quidditch practices. Due to the spotlight, going stag was not an option. Harry knew that he was not a very open person and if he went without a date he would spend ten minutes in a quiet corner before sneaking away and the Minister would once more complain about his lack of "moral building appearances".
Sadly his list of cute girls who didn't stare at his scar like it was a delicious steak was rather short. Katie Bell would have been nice company for the evening. She always had been a good friend even though they did not spend much time together outside of the Quidditch team. After the Goblet of Fire had declared him the fourth champion, the brunette chaser had been one of the very few who stood up for him. Somehow she managed to curse Ron, insult him in front of Snape, make an embarrassing remark about the size of his wand and land the redhead in detention for the entire incident back when they were not on friendly terms. But Katie was currently in St. Mungo after nearly dying to the cursed necklace she was imperiused to carry. It didn't help that Harry knew exactly who was responsible for his friend's fate and yet no one took action.
The other witch he considered was Luna Lovegood. While she was no classical beauty, it was undeniable that Luna was cute. Combined with her kindness and understanding nature one would think that she was the perfect girlfriend. And yet Harry's relationship with her was anything but romantic. There was no fire whenever they touched, no burning lustful glances. They were simply two kindred spirits who lived through more than anyone should have to. At the moment he needed someone for a serious conversation and Luna was definitely not suited for this. While she was a great friend and Harry trusted the undeniably odd girl with his life he didn't need another riddle now. She made sense more often than not but her wisdom was well hidden behind tales of fantastic creatures, which may or may not exist.
The Gryffindor reflected that this year had left him with even fewer people to talk to. A change of perspective was what he needed right now but without the chasers and the twins, there was no one he trusted. Someone older, with more life-experience, would be perfect right now.
But the only adult whom Harry trusted died last summer. He had no one else. Technically Hermione was an adult too but she didn't count. She was special but somehow adults were supposed to be much older. Older than him at least. Then a realisation hit him. Maybe he could kill two birds with one stone. There was another person he could trust. Someone who made his summer so much more bearable. Someone who only technically was an adult and would not be opposed to a night at a Christmas party.
"You look absolutely stunning in that dress," Harry remarked hoarsely as they walked through the empty corridors towards the room Slughorn arranged for his holiday celebration. His companion was wearing a short, close fitted dress which hugged every curve and revealed far more skin than the magical world deemed acceptable. He knew that she picked her attire to see him flustered and that she also knew her plan was working.
"Tell me, why am I doing this again?"
"Because you are the only one I trust with this. I have no one else," Harry replied and flinched at how desperate that sounded.
"What about Remus?" she asked teasingly.
"Besides the fact that I won't turn up with a guy twice my age as my plus one? Lupin completely ignores me. The supposed best friend of my parents did never contact me. Outside of his teaching role I have not spoken to him more than ten words. When I was forced into the tournament Sirius helped me despite being a wanted man. Sure, it wasn't much but he did as much as he could short of sneaking into Hogwarts. But Remus did nothing. Same story last year. For a supposed honorary uncle he sure treats me nearly as bad as my real uncle," he spat, slightly surprised at the bitterness in his voice.
"And to think I wasted half a year pining over that sorry excuse for a wizard… Sorry I couldn't do more about your relatives. I tried but by the time the Department of Inheritances acknowledged your emancipation you were already at the Burrow."
"Don't be, you tried at least. It's not your fault Dumbledore left me there and stalled the Ministry," Harry retorted. Dumbledore, balancing several full-time jobs as well as the leadership of a civil war, had no qualms whatsoever to sacrifice a pawn or two to ensure his victory. And for Dumbledore, Harry was just another pawn in the great scheme. Someone to be used and sacrificed if necessary. It might seem rational in the bigger picture but that didn't mean that he'd have to like it.
"I know. Still, I feel like I should have done more. I mean, the Order spent two summers watching you waste away there and nobody did anything to help you."
"The Order doesn't give a shit about me but you did. You did more than anyone else, more than my friends... although to be fair to Hermione she at least remembered that phones exist. But you, you talked to me when everyone else was ignoring me again when my friends left me to rot at that hellhole. You thought me Occlumency. You decided to waste an evening by coming to this party. And did I mention that you look lovely tonight?" Harry said as he once more tried not to stare at the woman next to him. They had helped each other dealing with the Battle of the Ministry during the summer, but that didn't mean that he was blind.
"Only three times so far," came the cheeky reply.
"You know Nym…"
"Don't call me Nymphadora," Tonks threw in, her hair switching from electric blue to a fiery red before both started laughing. At some point during the last summer, they reached an agreement that Harry was allowed to call her Nym in private and her usual reaction became a silly inside joke that made no sense whatsoever, yet made both of them smile like loons.
"You are far less intimidating in a dress that switches its colour to match your hair."
"I could be naked and you'd be trembling with fear. Alright, maybe not fear… But that's not the point, I can't even stay mad in this dress. It ruins my terrifying reputation."
"You know, she-who-must-not-be-named, that I never imagined you wearing a dress and matching heels?"
"I like that name. And the heels are not the only matching thing. Usually, I prefer shorts but you can't go to a wizard party in hotpants."
"And why not?" Harry wanted to know. The memories of the witch next to him in such pants were indeed distracting and the cause for more than one cold shower after the last summer.
"Because I don't want to hang around fifty fat old guys with raging erections."
"Your outfit could have fooled me," he said and poked the bare side the dress revealed. Her skin felt remarkably soft, despite how toned she was.
"Believe me, it would have been much worse. So what exactly are we doing here?" Tonks asked as they rounded another corner on their way to Slughorn's clubroom.
"It's rather complicated, but foremost I needed someone to talk to, so the evening wouldn't be a total waste of time," Harry admitted.
"Look, I have a lot going on right now and I need to get some of it off my chest. Dumbledore is giving me stupid tasks, the Minister sends me letters asking for my support with this or that while the Prophet calls me 'The Chosen One' and expects that I can solve the Voldemort problem on my own. Usually, every death is blamed on me since I'm doing nothing to stop Riddle. I have this boring party to attend and why not use it to solve some issues. You are one of the few people I trust and the only one I can talk to about anything. I need help figuring things out."
"So, besides the usual stuff, what got your knickers in a twist?" Tonks wanted to know. Catching the hidden meaning in his words, she quickly erected a privacy ward around them.
"I guess the biggest problem is Voldemort. Dumbledore wants to keep this secret, but I know when I need help. Do you know what a Horcrux is?"
"Eh, should I?"
"Not really. The question was rhetorical," Harry explained lamely. "Uhm, anyway, a Horcrux is something that anchors part of your soul in this world. As long as you have one you turn into a fancy ghost when you die and can be brought back. That's what Voldemort did. Apparently, Slughorn told him something about them and now Dumbledore wants me to get that memory."
"And how should you do that? I swear the old man is getting more senile every day."
"Apparently Slughorn liked my Mum. So now I have to suck up to him to get him talking," Harry said, unable to keep the bitterness out of his voice. He didn't like using his parents for anything and yet, Dumbledore had left no room for debate.
"Yeah, that's not going to happen. If one of the most powerful wizards since Merlin and second best Legilimens in Britain can't get that memory, you don't even have to try. And especially not by sucking up. Better not waste your time on that."
"No buts Harry. Well, maybe I'll let you touch mine later but that's not the point now. You need to take a break. You have been fighting your entire life, whether it was Voldemort or those bloody Dursleys. So when we walk through that door forget Voldemort, Dumbledore's stupid tasks and the whole war. You earned yourself a break. You need to talk about serious stuff? I'll still be around tomorrow and we can deal with your problems then. Tonight, 's just me and you. Slughorn paid for food and booze so let's have some fun," Tonks suggested to a red-faced Harry. Apparently thinking of her butt had that kind of effect on him. Frankly speaking, he didn't catch much of what she said after mentioning touching her backside.
"Somehow I doubt Slughorn will allow me to have fun," Harry mumbled darkly as they entered the room. Sure, the ceiling was covered in magical ice that somehow had snowflakes falling out of it and the large Christmas tree in the corner was delightfully decorated but still he felt like he just walked into a trap.
"Harry my boy, splendid to see you. And who is your lovely companion?" the Potions professor asked from right next to them before they could even attempt to disappear into the crowd.
"Good evening Professor Slughorn, meet Dora Tonks," Harry said and awaited his friend to complain about her name. She looked rather pensive for a moment but snapped back to reality before he could ask what she had been thinking about.
"Good evening Professor."
"My my, I certainly don't remember you from any class. In which year are you dear?"
"Hufflepuff class of '92. I would be surprised if you knew me."
"Well Harry, I never knew you were hunting for older women. Quite a catch you have there. She looks like a keeper. Enjoy the evening," the old teacher stage whispered and winked, unaware how close he just avoided being cursed. Had Tonks been a Veela, the teacher would be dodging fireballs by now.
"Nym, forget that idiot," Harry attempted to calm his friend. Since she was not at all relaxing he figured that more words were needed. "You are a precious friend who helped me when I was in a bad spot. You are anything but a trophy to me, no matter what the others say. And you are not old."
"I know Harry, I hoped that I could go an evening without that shit but it was not meant to be. I really should be used to it by now," she huffed.
"You shouldn't have to get used to this."
"Yeah, tell that to the idiots. I just didn't expect that from a teacher. Well, besides Snape of course. He's just an arsehole."
"Come on, let's get something to drink instead of thinking about Snape. After all, Slughorn is paying the bill," Harry suggested, repeating her previous sentiment.
"Hmm, get insulted to get free drinks. Doesn't sound that bad, to be honest. Have you ever tried a Caipi?" Tonks wanted to know, glad for the change of topic.
"Eh, no. What's that?"
"A cocktail. It's basically limes, sugar and Brazilian rum on ice. One of the few Muggle drinks you'll get in the magical world. Trust me, you will like it."
"Am I allowed to drink it? It sounds like pretty hard stuff."
"Merlin kiddo I never thought a teenager would care about that. Are you telling me that you never had a drink?" Tonks asked in disbelief, even stopping on her way to the drink table.
"Nothing besides butterbeer."
She stared at Harry for ten seconds before rapidly blinking several times and mumbling a curse at the Dursleys.
"Helga's saggy tits. Harry you are supposed to have some fun in your life. Between the Dark Lord and what you have been through I sometimes forget that you are just sixteen. Slughorn didn't put all that booze here just to decorate the table over there. Next thing you tell me that you have never been inside a broom closet with a pretty girl."
"Ehm, about that…"
"Fuck me sideways," Tonks groaned before pressing herself to Harry's side and leaning in so that her mouth was less than an inch from his ear. "Are you playing for the other team?"
"What, no. But it's complicated. Well, not the boy thing, I like girls. But no one wants to date me. Everyone wants the bloody boy-who-lived. They want the bragging rights of being with THE Harry Potter. Two years ago they hated me before loving me. Last year it was hate again. And now I am drowning in candy laced with love potions. I only ever had one date and that ended disastrously. At least last year most people hated me," Harry defended himself, distracted by the rather sudden contact which left his arm between her breasts. Somehow during their time spent together the topic of relationships had never been mentioned.
"That sounds awfully familiar. Everyone always was after me because I could be their living wet dream. Congratulations, by the way, you beat the average. It's been seven minutes and you haven't asked me to change anything. That makes this one of my better dates," Tonks said with a mixture of happiness and sadness. While she was a full-blooded tease, it didn't mean she wanted to sleep with every guy or girl she came across. Really, embarrassing them was much more fun.
Harry was about to point out that this was not a date when he realised the implications. Tonks had been a good friend and they spent a lot of time together during the last summer. She had been a ray of hope in his holiday prison. At some point, the platonic affection developed into something different, into a rather long-lived crush. And now she gave him an opening. It was time to do what he was best at, improvisation.
"Nym, you are one of the most amazing women I know. You are kind, funny and loyal to a fault. You tried to get me away from the Dursleys. You really care. Anyone who doesn't see that but only a pretty face is a fool. Besides, your usual looks are far more interesting than the twentieth girl trying to copy the Witch Weekly cover model."
"You sure know how to make a girl feel special," Tonks remarked only half sarcastically as she grabbed two orange glasses filled with a clear liquid and lots of ice.
The beverage tasted strange but good, was sweet for a moment before the alcohol kicked in. Then sweet again, when he got to the sugar at the bottom of the glass. But overall it was pleasant and not painful.
"That's some good stuff," Harry admitted, having neither experience nor knowledge when it came to drinking. But his cocktail was tasty after all.
"Not bad, but I make a better one."
"You can fix cocktails?"
"At least the basic ones. It's certainly easier than Snape's NEWT class."
"I'm still surprised that you managed that without blowing up the classroom."
"Just because I'm a clutz does not mean that I can't brew a potion."
"You nearly burned down your kitchen while making noodles," Harry pointed out.
"That only happened three times and I really shouldn't have told you about that," Tonks pouted, adorably pushing out her lower lip. Harry retaliated by poking her side. This resulted in a tickling war certainly neither befitting their age nor their location.
"Let's dance," Tonks suggested breathlessly after dodging Harry's finger for the twentieth time. Using his forward momentum and the alcohol's slight buzz she manoeuvred him into the base position for a waltz.
"I can't dance!"
"Neither can I. But it will be fun, you'll see."
Harry's groan of protest was ignored as Tonks dragged him to the dancefloor. Placing one of his hands back on her hip she started leading him across the floor.
It was nothing like the Yule Ball. Dancing there had been stiff and formal while here he was just randomly swaying with the music and simply avoiding stepping on her feet. Only eight other couples were dancing with them, everyone else just sat back, busy stuffing their faces. There were quite a few guests old enough to have children or even grandchildren, who, save one pair, preferred to mingle. A lot of the guests were staring at them, some even shamelessly pointing their fingers. For Harry, that was just an average day in Hogwarts.
"Thanks for coming with me here. Without you Slughorn would probably parade me around like a trophy and insist on introducing me to everyone," he said quietly as the song ended. It had been far better than he expected. Apparently dancing was more enjoyable if you focused on your partner instead of staring at the girlfriend of the guy next to you. Also, the booze helped to take away some of the inevitable tension.
"Just so you know, I'm taking you to the next stupid Ministry function I have to attend."
"As long as we actually get to dance and I don't have to deal with three hundred fans who want to have an autograph. I would never have thought that dancing could be fun," Harry admitted. He was sure that they were missing the tact and were not even aware of the proper steps but that was half the fun. Not caring about anything else, forgetting the war and the expectations for a moment.
"Yes, especially when your partner is not groping you. Although that can be quite enjoyable in a more private setting," Tonks huskily whispered into his ear and Harry could feel his face heating up. He needed a comeback, quickly.
"I might take you up on that."
"Promises, promises," she replied and Harry was not sure who won that exchange but he had a feeling that it was not him.
The next song was a slower number and Tonks pulled him closer, resting her head on his shoulder.
"Nym, when I called you Dora earlier you kinda froze. What's the story behind that?" Harry asked softly.
"You used to call me that," the metamorph said with a shaking voice.
"I can't remember that," he admitted. They talked a lot during the last summer, trying to cope with the debacle at the Ministry but not once did he use that nickname.
"Of course not, you were bloody one. Actually, it was more Doaaa than Dora but still. That brought back a couple memories."
"You knew me before?"
"It never came up? Guess I was too busy poking around in your head then. Mum used to babysit you a couple times. I don't remember a lot, but I think we are the only ones who have a nude picture of the chosen one."
"Nude picture?" Harry stuttered.
"It was after your first birthday, dad bought an inflatable pool and since no one of us had any swimwear nearby we simply went naked. Of course, there were only three inches of water inside since neither of us could swim back then."
"So you have baby pictures of me?" he groaned.
"Mum has three albums full. She always liked you. Actually tried to gain custody of you a couple times."
"We could have grown up together?"
"Maybe. Dumbledore could have placed you with my mum since we are actually your closest living relatives. Well, we and the Malfoys."
"Another thing to add to the long list of Dumbledore's failings," Harry bitterly spat, missing the fact that most, if not all magical courts would have decided in Malfoy's favour.
"But if we would have grown up as siblings we couldn't be dancing like this. And at least he's giving you private lessons," Dora pointed out when the next song began, trying to calm him down and pressing even more into Harry, long past the limits of decency.
"Where I don't learn a single thing. He just shows me a couple memories of Voldemort's past."
"That's all? Dumbledore's fabled lessons are the reason for dozens of rumours down in Hogsmeade. Everyone thinks you are being trained in advanced battle magic or that you are his apprentice. But the old fucker only shows you a couple memories? Doesn't he care about the prophecy at all? You need a way to kill him, not a home movie."
"He still thinks that the power is love. Because I'm sure that snogging Voldemort is the way to defeat him," Harry replied, immensely glad for the privacy charms still surrounding them. "Not like I know the first thing about it."
"I'm sure that there's more than one witch who could help you learn."
"A quick shag between Defence and Charms is not love. That's pretty much all I know," Harry replied, missing the obvious invitation.
"What about Hermione? Surely she could be persuaded for some learning experiences."
"I'm not sure. I mean, she is pretty but I've been feeling strange around her recently. It doesn't help that she's been acting odd and been rather distant all year. Ginny is not better. That girl openly admitted that she's only dating other guys to practice for me. She looks like my mum without boobs for Merlin's sake. And yet I feel like something is crawling inside me every time I see her snog Dean."
"Something crawling inside you? Like an animal?" Tonks asked with sudden interest.
"Shit, you know what that means?"
"Didn't you pay attention in Potions? Someone has been slipping you something to mess with your brain."
Harry froze for a second before shaking his head. "I… I never thought Ginny would do something like this."
"She might not be behind it. Maybe it's just another admirer trying to take her out of the game before she can try anything by framing her for attempted rape. There were a couple of such cases during my time here."
"What else do love potions do but make you fuck people you wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole otherwise. That's rape, plain and simple."
"What now? I mean, shouldn't I do something about it? "
"Are you feeling strangely jealous right now?"
"And do you feel the desire to rip out her boyfriend's entrails and strangle him with them?"
"Bloody hell, NO!"
"Then let's deal with that tomorrow. You need a break from the war and others fucking you over or you'll end like Frank Jenkins. Poor bloke tried to do all the work and pulled more overtime than the rest of the department. He snapped after three months and had to be treated in St. Mungos. We want to keep you out of there, right?"
"But how can I take a break when people are dying?" Harry asked hesitantly. A day off sure sounded nice but everyone waited for him to kill Voldemort, who would not wait to consider the Gryffindor's feelings.
"Ask yourself, what would you achieve if you were not being here tonight."
"Harry my boy, are you enjoying yourself," an unwelcome voice interrupted them once more.
"Yes Professor, we are having a great time," Harry replied truthfully. He invited Tonks because he needed someone to confide in but her idea of a carefree evening has been great so far. And holding her close while slowly swaying across the dancefloor made him feel strangely happy and invincible.
"You never mentioned that you had connections with the Aurors."
"Well, Tonks is an old friend. We are actually fourth cousins through House Black," Harry explained.
"Ah, so you are trying to strengthen the house. Well, if you need any potion to help with that feel free to ask me," Slughorn said happily before he wandered off towards Neville Longbottom and his date. When he was out of earshot Tonks burst out laughing.
"What?" Harry wanted to know, obviously missing the joke.
"Well, your teacher basically congratulated you for getting some with your cousin and offered you potions that improve your endurance and virility."
"Dora, I don't want to shag you because you are my cousin," Harry immediately replied before he realised how wrong that sounded. "And I don't need that kind of potions."
"But you want to shag me?" Tonks teased, barely suppressing her laughter.
"Well, yes…no," he stuttered while turning redder than the Hogwarts Express.
"So I am not shaggable?"
"No, I mean yes, ehm… Look, any bloke would be lucky to go out with you. Hell, I'm still surprised to be on a date with you. A bunch of Veela courtesans could walk in and you'd still be the most attractive person here," the Gryffindor said and felt like he was digging his hole deeper and deeper.
"More attractive than a troop of Veela whores? I think that you finally lost it," Dora laughed. Harry surely had a way with words. The thought was nice but he certainly had to work on the delivery. And yet it was strangely endearing, reminding her of her Hogwarts days, of easier times. It was a paradox really, whatever happened between Harry, his mother and Voldemort, gave the magical society peace for more than a decade and at the same time, he was a symbol of the fight against the pureblood fanatics under Voldemort's banner and yet to her he was the exact opposite.
"Well, to me at last. I mean sure, twenty half nude blondes are certainly attractive, I'm not denying that. But I don't know any of them and I know you. Like I said earlier, you are the quintessential Hufflepuff. You are kind, loyal and hardworking. You are funny and honest. If a pepper-up potion had a sound it would be your laughter. And your hair can lighten up even the darkest clouds," Harry stated passionately although he wondered where exactly that came from. Sure, he had always liked Tonks but usually, his thoughts were far from that level of sappiness.
The metamorph looked at him strangely for a moment, like he was an especially difficult riddle. They locked eyes and Harry could see that she was furiously thinking before shrugging.
In one fluid motion, she grabbed him by the neck, took one step forward and slammed her lips onto his.
Harry was stunned for a moment before his instincts took over. The same instincts that preserved mankind for thousands of years. As far as kisses went, this was new to him. Cho had been insecure and hesitant, not to mention crying. The Gryffindor chasers had always been friendly and chaste, a playful peck on the lips after winning a game. Tonks, on the other hand, was aggressive, if not outright domineering. A bright fire was burning in her purple eyes and held him captive as they slowly became brighter and a pleasant warmth spread through his body.