Nymphadora Tonks was a bored witch. She had just been through her first meeting of the Order of the Phoenix, a secret organisation led by Albus Dumbledore, and found the entire thing rather pointless. What Alastor saw in this group remained a mystery, but it was the only group making a stand. As the daughter of a Bloodtraitor and a Mudblood, the metamorph had no delusions how things would go for her if Voldemort won and therefore wanted to help the fight. It might not be what she expected, but it was better than not doing anything. Or at least that's what she told herself.
The Order had spent three hours going over reports which had revealed nothing of importance. After all, it was to be expected that the Dark Lord would reach out to longtime supporters, bribe Ministry officials and prepare for war. Overthrowing a government required money, supplies and fighters after all, and it took time to get everything ready. A quick chat with her surprisingly innocent uncle revealed that nothing exciting was going on at this place and that she was invited to a shared bottle of Firewhiskey whenever she felt like it. So to counter her boredom, Tonks decided to explore Sirius' gloomy house, chasing after the rumoured vault overflowing with Galleons and other treasures.
However, after fifteen minutes of carefully checking each room Tonks had only come across magical pests and an odd gallery of beheaded house-elves instead of the hidden rooms and secret passageways she has been expecting. This was the home of the infamous Black family, there ought to be something interesting in the rotting house. So she was quite surprised when an orange Kneazle was sitting still in front of a closed door and staring at the richly decorated wooden surface. After a quick check that neither the animal nor the door held any of the nasty surprises the Blacks were infamous for, Tonks had found her mystery. Someone had locked it from the inside with a complex array of simple spells. The Kneazel switched its gaze from the locked entrance to her, as if to urge the witch to do her magic and get it open. And since Sirius had allowed her to poke around, that was exactly what she did.
Once open, Tonks saw her suspicions confirmed. Behind the ornate door was no bedroom. Instead, she was looking into the Black library, with its unusually high ceiling, dozens of shelves, thousands of books and a pair of deep blue couches standing on a large, colourful Persian rug. But before the Auror could further marvel the interior design an orange blur streaked past her and jumped over the backrest of a settee.
"Crookshanks!" a female voice shrieked and Tonks realised that if a door had been locked from the inside, usually someone was in the room. "How did you get inside here?"
"That would be my doing. He was staring at the door and didn't move much. Nice locking spells by the way, but you forgot that anyone who really wanted in would simply blast the door apart. Or the wall around it, for that matter."
The girl spun around and looked at her with a triumphant expression. She had long brown hair cascading over her shoulders in a bushy mess of curls, nearly hiding a pair of chestnut coloured eyes which, oddly enough, had a triumphant gleam.
"Ha, so Molly had to ask for help. I guess it was only a matter of time until I had to say goodbye to the peace and quiet."
"No need to get melodramatic, Princess. But tell me, why would Weasley need help?"
"You don't know? I thought she sent you here..."
"Nope, Sirius told me to look around the house and I came across your cat."
"Oh…" the younger witch managed to get out before there was an awkward pause which was ended by Hermione babbling. "His name is Crookshanks and I am Hermione Granger. I think we got off the wrong foot. Sorry for being rude there, I just didn't have the best day so far."
"Name 's Tonks," the metamorph said, amused at the sudden change of attitude.
"There was a Nymphadora Tonks when I first came to Hogwarts. She was in the class of, 1992. Are you by chance related to her?"
"Well… How… Em, that was me. But please don't use it that name!"
"Oh…Okay… You, uhm, look different now."
That comment made Tonks snort before thinking back to how she looked during her seventh year and thanking any and all divinities that it had not been one of her green and neon yellow phases. After a moment of concentration, her hair grew past her chin, switched from bubblegum pink to a dark blue and extended further three inches before reverting back.
"You're a metamorphmagus! They are supposed to be really rare. I've read a book about them but it raised more questions than it answered and I always wanted to talk to one but there are so few of them…"
"Breathe! Merlin girl, are you some kind of alien who doesn't need oxygen?"
"Sorry, sometimes I get excited and then I just prattle on. Usually, I also end up embarrassing myself," Hermione mumbled while her cheeks turned pink.
"'S alright, I get a lot of that. So let's go over the frequently asked questions. Yes, I can look like a Veela, no I do not have a gag reflex, no I cannot make my boobs as large as watermelons and I can't grow odd limbs or materials either. Found any answers you were looking for?"
"Uhm, no, but why do people ask about your gag reflex?"
"Think about which head half of mankind uses to think and how that could be related to the gag reflex," Tonks replied smirking. She had come to terms with how many people saw her, and it was either laugh along and remember their face or curse everyone. Yet she still greatly enjoyed to fluster others and the innocent always were the best targets.
"What… I don't get… Oh… Ohhh. Uhm, no I wanted to ask something else. Some books claim that metamorphmagi have a base form while others argue against that. Which one is right?"
"Well, I have a base but it's neither what you'd expect nor is it fixed. A metamorph needs magic to hold a form. If a form is uncomfortable to be in it is far more difficult to keep it. For example, I can shrink my nose and it stays that way for days but I can't keep a beard for more than five minutes. The base form is just what feels most comfortable, like your favourite pair of sweatpants. If you'd stun me now not much would happen since this is basically the form I'm most comfortable in. I think my jawline would become a little sharper while my eyes would get a touch darker. Oh, and the tattoos would fade since they are only morphed."
"So your base form has pink hair, magenta eyes and a dozen piercings?" Hermione asked with a mixture of awe and scepticism while her eyes trailed the ink dragon on Tonks' neck and down her cleavage before the younger witches realised what she was doing and quickly averted her eyes.
"Yes, yes and no. The base is a representation of your personality, not how your genes look like. If you change it changes as well. At least that's how I understand it, but magical theory was never my strength. And while the piercings were put in with a morph they have no reason to go anywhere. So they would stay even if I'm unconscious. Of course, I can simply shift them around," Tonks replied grinning and slightly altered her nose so she could remove the ring from the right and put it in her left nostril. "So, any more questions?"
"How does it feel to shift?"
"It's natural to me so I'm not sure how to describe it. I guess the closest approximation would be the Polyjuice potion but you are a little too young to use that."
"Actually I brewed some in my second year and it worked, at least for Harry and Ron."
"Huh, two guys at once and in that your second year. Kinky," the older witch deadpanned.
"Wait, what did you use the potion for?"
"We believed that Draco Malfoy was the heir of Slytherin and wanted to ask him some questions disguised as his friends. Judging by your reaction that isn't the normal use of Polyjuice, right?"
"No…" Tonks began speaking but was unable to stop herself from laughing. "Hermione… Hermione, most people use Polyjuice to experience the way sex feels for the other gender. Usually, a couple would take a dose of each other and then test out their new plumbing, literally fucking themselves."
"Oh my God, I brewed a sex potion at Hogwarts. In my second year."
"If I remember correctly Malfoy had two other boys following him everywhere like lovesick puppies so maybe a sex potion wasn't a bad idea to get juicy secrets out of him."
"Ewww, that's disgusting."
"I would call it advanced interrogation techniques, but ewww sounds about right. And while I'm mildly impressed that you managed to brew Polyjuice in your second year, I can't help but wonder why you chose to spend a month brewing a potion when you could have looked up both the Slytherin and the Malfoy line in books like 'Nature's Nobility: A wizarding genealogy' or 'Magical Heritage'?"
"There are books on that?"
"Well, how else are the purebloods supposed to keep track of their inbreeding?" Tonks only half-joked.
"Ugh, so I turned into a cat for nothing while I could have simply read a book in the library?"
"Well yes, but you have to explain the cat part a little more. Because, as far as I know, you're not supposed to turn into a cat. Or any animal really."
"You aren't supposed to accidentally use cat hair either," Hermione replied sulkily as her thoughts went back to that Christmas and Bulstrode's thrice damned pet.
"Ouch. Well, I've got to ask, how was being a cat?"
"I didn't become a cat, I became a weird hybrid between human and feline. I had fur and paws but at the same time I also still was bipedal and had normal legs. The ears, however, were great. They looked odd and everything sounded weird but it felt simply heavenly to scratch myself behind them."
"I bet I know quite a places that would feel heavenly if I'd scratch you there," the Auror shot back with a husky voice and Hermione blushed beet red. With wide eyes, the Gryffindor could only gape at the metamorph, taking in her smug, toothy grin and the effort it took her not to laugh out loudly.
"Sorry, but I'm the biggest tease you'll ever meet so don't give me these perfect openings," she warned with a raspy whisper that sent shivers down Hermione's spine. "How 'bout I'll apologise by getting us some takeaway and then you can tell me why you were holed up in the library behind a dozen locking charms?"
"It's alright, you don't have to buy me food."
"I'm getting some for me anyways so 's no big deal to pick up enough for two people. Now tell, is there any unhealthy but really tasty food you've got a craving for?"
"I've always wanted to try Kebab but since my parents are dentists and Hogwarts doesn't serve it either I never had any..."
"You've never experienced the pure deliciousness of a good Kebab? Say no more, Tonks will come to your aid
in this time of need," the metamorph announced dramatically before striking an exaggerated pose, twirling around and disapparating with a loud crack, leaving behind an utterly confused and still flustered Hermione, who could only blink at the nearest bookshelf.
The young witch stared at the empty space which had been vacated by the other woman minutes ago. Despite thinking through many possible scenarios, a friendly, although admittedly odd, stranger tearing down her wards just to buy her dinner didn't cross her mind. But that was not the reason Hermione couldn't stop thinking about the short conversation. She vividly recalled the moment Tonks leaned in closely and she had felt the metamorph's breath on her ear while the scent of cinnamon drowned everything out. How her raspy voice made the Gryffindor feel like she was back in the blazing heat of the Mediterranean sun. Again and again, that scene played out before her inner eye, while she was unable to get a grasp on herself.
What was wrong with me? Teasing usually gets under my skin, but never this bad. I still have goosebumps on my arms for Christ's sake. But that voice… Tonks' voice was bubbly yet at the same time had that deep rasp I want to hear again while she's behind me, one arm around my stomach while the …
With a firm shake of her head, Hermione tried to focus back on the reason why she was holed up in the Black library in the first place. How a stressful day had gotten even worse. But before her thoughts could leave the gutter, a sudden crack made her jump and stumble over her armchair.
"You okay down there?"
"I'm fine, you just surprised me," Hermione grumbled but took the offered hand and let herself be pulled back on her feat, desperately trying to will the blood from her cheeks.
"So, you never had Kebab before?"
"Then this will be messy," Tonks warned before wiggling with a white plastic bag Hermione had not noticed before. The older woman handed her a warm tinfoil bundle and several paper napkins before fishing out another bundle for herself.
Having no idea how to eat it, the Gryffindor sat back and watched how her new friend peeled off the metal wrapping and then simply took a bite. Hermione, her thoughts finally back in safe territory, did the same and was assaulted by a wave of garlic, cabbage, spices and grilled meat. While she ate, Tonks prattled on about the different styles of kebabs and where you could get them.
"Wait, Vienna?" Hermione cut in when Turkish pizza and the Austrian Capital were mentioned in the same sentence.
"Yes, about half a mile from the Western bank of the Danube, across the university there's this small restaurant that sells all kinds of Anatolian food. My friend Alice lived in the area and we'd go there every time I visited. Mum sometimes asks me to get something from there."
"Your mother sends you across three international borders for takeout?"
"So? It's a ten second trip at most."
"Ten seconds? But, but that's at least a thousand miles!"
"Magic!" Tonks said after a dramatic pause, which made Hermione roll her eyes. "Actually, it's closer to five seconds."
"But this is not from Vienna, right?"
"Don't worry, you'll find the best kebab in Frankfurt, so no stopover."
"You have been in Germany to get me dinner?" she asked shrilly before her mind caught up with her mouth and the Gryffindor continued in a soft tone. "Thank you. I… I didn't mean to scream, you just caught me off guard."
"I noticed that I do that quite often," Tonks quipped.
"But honestly, don't you think it is a little too much to travel to another country just for takeout?"
"Frankfurt is closer than Hogsmeade and good food is worth the trip. It's not too far to make it in a single apparation so there's really no difference between Germany and Kensington."
"I thought apparation gets more difficult the further you go."
"Kinda. I can comfortably run for an hour so it makes no difference whether I run thirty or fifty minutes. 'S only difficult if I push myself beyond that hour. Same with apparation. 500 miles is easy for me but if it's further I prefer making two trips. Better safe than splinched across half of Europe."
"Does it hurt?"
"Splinching? Never happened to me but people usually scream when it happens to them so I'd say like a bitch. Anyway, you promised me a story," Tonks said and ate a piece of meat that had fallen on her black coat.
"Ugh, where do I start? My parents and I spent the last three weeks in France and we only came home yesterday. A couple hours later Mrs Weasley ringed and told mum and dad about Vol- Voldemort but made it sound like he was about to blast through the backdoor and murder us all. Molly then graciously offered to take me to a safe location and my mother was sufficiently scared so she agreed. So I was brought here first thing this morning and won't see my parents again until Christmas," Hermione huffed, her cheeks tinted red.
"And now you're stuck here in this awful place for five weeks. I can see why you're mad."
"That's not even half of it. Mrs Weasley told me they'd need help with renovating the house for when Harry gets here. Dozens of magical pests are in here, most of which I've not even heard of, and cursed items are hidden everywhere. There were twenty-three lethal curses in this room, and that's just the ones I've found. I will have to share a room with Ginny once she gets here next week despite having absolutely nothing in common with her. There's no hot water and the bathrooms are covered in mould," the Gryffindor rambled on and Tonks made a mental note to introduce her to rap music, since that kind of lung volume could earn you a lot of money in the industry. Then she processed the last part and felt the kebab searching for a way out.
"Ewww. I mean, I've seen the house elf heads, but that is disgusting. And you're really staying here for your remaining holidays?"
"I guess. After Sirius told me that the ministry can't track my magic in his house I locked myself in here and shut everything else out. The Weasleys tried to get in here four times but couldn't pick the wards and then you came along."
"Merlin, what have I gotten myself into again?" Tonks mumbled to herself but the other witch heard her nonetheless.
"I joined the Order today and thought that we'd do something about the Dark Lord. Instead, they are tricking parents into sending their children away because we need cheap labour to clean this place."
"I am sure that the Order is doing a lot to fight Vol-Voldemort, but I wouldn't know since I was not allowed in the meeting," Hermione complained and was surprised when Tonks began laughing.
"Believe me you don't want to attend these meetings. I've witnessed one and that's more than enough for my tastes."
"But the war…"
"The war is no war at all, just a bunch of people with egos larger than Heathrow, who think they are important because they've heard a rumour that Frank from Magical Maintenance was told by Bill from Accounting that Marc over at the Creature Control Department has seen one of his people talking to Lucius Malfoy. The Dark Lord just returned from the dead, so it'll take him some time to get back in shape."
"So the Order is not doing anything?"
"There are two guard schedules, one for something in the Ministry and the other out in Surrey. Don't ask me, they didn't tell me either. But other than that, there's little going on. Mad-Eye is a member and I expected that we'd be planning ambushes or trying to uncover Death Eaters before they can get back on their feet. I know how efficient the Ministry is, if we want a fighting chance we need to act now, not tell each other how awesome and important these useless reports are. I swear, if they stroked their egos more I'd have to call it wanking," Tonks paused to fish two cans out of her black trenchcoat and tossed one to her new friend. "Here's to broken expectation about the Order."
"Just what is in this cans?" the younger witch wanted to know with an intense look at the burgundy and green cylinder in her hand.
"Some sort of Turkish lemonade with pomegranate flavour, I think. Buying a mystery can is part of the Kebab experience and usually, they're quite good. Cheers!"
"Cheers," Hermione echoed and carefully tried her beverage. While she couldn't say what exactly she was drinking, its unique flavour was certainly pleasant enough. "It is good. A little sweet, but definitely better than I expected."
"Told you… So, General Granger of the Library Fortress, what is your battle plan? Because you can't stay here forever. Eventually, Molly will send someone up here, someone who won't be interested in your story and simply throw you out."
"I haven't really thought about that, or more accurately, I have been trying to avoid thinking about that. I had hoped to have some more peace and quiet before Hogwarts, but with the Weasley coming here this weekend I can say goodbye to that dream as well."
"I thought you were friends. I remember an adorable trio of ickle first years."
"We were friends. Nowadays I am merely tolerating them for Harry's sake although I can't, for the love of everything holy, understand how he can even look at Ron without feeling the urge to strangle the boy with his bare hands."
"Sheath those claws, kitty! And tell what happened because I'm curious now," Tonks chirped, all too well remembering her own time at Hogwarts, when her biggest worries had been avoiding Filch and Snape. Really, what would she give to have to deal with teenage drama instead of Darwish not just figuratively breathing down her neck and décolleté in what he called keeping an eye on the newcomer?
"My falling out was during our third year when his rat disappeared and he blamed Crookshanks and by extension me. He started eighty-five fights over it and did not apologise once after his rat turned out to be alive and a Death Eater, but I could live with that. Ron isn't exactly the most articulate person in Hogwarts so he mostly embarrassed himself. Then, last year when Harry was entered into the Triwizard Tournament, Ron became jealous of him because somebody tried to kill our friend by forcing him into a competition with more than fifty per cent mortality rate. And then he called me a traitor for going out on a single date with Viktor Krum because, according to Ron, I would spy on my best friend for some bloke I just met…" Hermione took a deep breath at this point before continuing with a surprising amount of vulnerability instead of righteous anger. "How am I supposed to ever trust him ever again? Every time I look at him I hear his voice calling me a traitor, calling his best friend a liar as well as implying that I am a slut after ogling my… my tits for half of the evening. I know that I lost a friend and I don't like that feeling. I want things to be like they were before. But at the same time, I know that there is nothing I can do to change it."
"And now you have to spend even more time with him. I can see how this 's going to be a problem."
Hermione nodded her approval while taking another bite from her Turkish sandwich.
"Anything else on your mind?"
"Uhm, there's Voldemort of course, but I don't think you can solve that one."
"I was thinking more along the lines of boy troubles, you mentioned that date with Viktor bloody Krum… Or maybe a few pointers for certain techniques…" Tonks whispered and Hermione shivered again. How did her new friend know exactly which buttons she had to press? And hadn't she been sitting in the armchair across her a second ago?
"No, no problems with that," the younger witch replied as quickly as possible. "But I think I will go mad in this place after a week while having to stay here for more than a month."
"Ah, so you want to sneak out of here. Lucky for you, I am the local expert in that subject. So once finished your kebab we'll be going…"
"Sure, 's only eight thirty. Now, don't take this the wrong way, but you're a tad too young to smuggle into a pub, even with a fake ID, but there's plenty we can do besides getting pissed. Although maybe a glass of sparkling wine would help you unwind."
"I'm not even 16 and you, you're an Auror!"
It was a half-hearted protest at best, which showed just how far Hermione was beyond caring at the moment. When she had been in France, where everyone was served wine, her parents hadn't minded at all. And now she was frustrated and wanted, no, needed to do something about that.
"So? I work for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, not the bobbies. If you were to cast a Confundus charm to get alcohol I'd have to arrest you for assaulting a Muggle, but as long as you don't use magic, I see no problem. And it would be the height of hypocrisy if I'd arrested anyone for underage drinking. After all, no one asks to see your ID if you look like a forty-year-old secretary, which made me the one who had to smuggle the booze to the Hufflepuff dorms..."
"But the Order said that I shouldn't leaving on my own…"
"If only you knew a member who could escort you…" Tonks trailed off, looking far too pleased with herself. It was blatantly obvious that the Auror was getting a kick out of corrupting her, but Hermione didn't care. She had crossed countless lines for Harry and now she needed something to clear her head, even if that meant crossing a few more. Especially lines which the bloody Order had drawn. She needed to forget about the whole mess, even if just for a few hours
Tonks slung her left arm across Hermione's shoulder before vanishing the wrapping of their dinner and casting another charm which removed the aftertaste of garlic. "So, what's the last time you've been to a movie theatre?"
"Uhm, I'm not sure…"
"So 's been far too long. Put on something that doesn't look like you want to hibernate in it, and then we'll be off."
"What's wrong with my jumper?" Hermione wanted to know, as she played with the light blue, woollen hem and suddenly felt self-conscious. Tonks might not look like a model, but she certainly had her own style. The leather coat, black hot pants and knee-high boots were guaranteed to leave an impression but also made the Gryffindor feel severely underdressed.
"You look like I picked you up from an advertisement for Sherborne Girls, not like you're going out tonight. Don't you have something that's more fun?"
"I think I can dig up something"
Five minutes later, Hermione was back down, now wearing a simple white shirt under her grey coat and her hair in a loose ponytail, the jeans the only part which remained unchanged. She was no stranger to scrutiny thanks to her roommates, and yet the Gryffindor found herself squirming under Tonks' eyes. She blamed the adrenalin because even after four years with Harry as her best friend, sneaking out wasn't something she had become used to. And yet the metamorph only gave her a gentle smile before introducing her to the practical side of apparation.
One magical displacement later, Hermione found herself in front of a small cinema near Swansea, Tonks arm around her back as the metamorph pushed her towards the dark entrance. "Are you sure that it's open?"
"Of course, I'm a regular here."
True to her word, the doors were open and once inside, muffled music came through the walls as Hermione looked around the dimly lit entrance room, noticing the lack of clients. It was a fairly small business, just two registers at the counter and another one for food and drinks. A man with balding hair and a bad shave stood behind stood one, counting the day's takings and remained oblivious to them until Tonks decided to make him jump by shouting across the room.
"Hi, Uncle Frank."
"Hello, Nymphadora, who's your friend?"
"That's Hermione. Hermione, meet my honorary uncle Frank. He and Dad were best friends in Hogwarts."
"Anything good running?" Tonks wanted to know, apparently not caring all too much about pleasantries.
"I have Crimson Tide, but other than that it's looking bleak. There're plenty of good movies across the pond, but they won't be released over here until autumn."
"What's it about?"
"Submarines. It's not The Hunt for Red October, but still decent. You want the small theatre again?"
"Sure. Twenty quid?"
"Like every other time you're here. Let me get your bags of popcorn and cokes, then you're good to go."
The Auror slid the banknote across the counter before Hermione could even think about paying herself and shut down any offer for paying half the price while her uncle prepared popcorn and pulled two red cans from a fridge they couldn't see. Frank led them to a pair of doors labelled "Screen 3" before he disappeared behind a staff only door. Tonks lead her to the last of eight rows, conveniently filled with nothing but double seats. Hermione felt her cheeks burn again as this outing was constantly jumping back and forth between a friendly movie night and an unofficial date. Or maybe that was just her imagination, coming up with explanations for hidden schemes where there were none. They hadn't done anything which would indicate a date. After all, she had bought Harry dinner a couple of times and they were most definitely not in a relationship. Hermione was quite sure that she would have noticed that. Bloody hormones. And why does she have to smell so good?
The lights went out and the movie started playing and even though she had her eyes on the screen, Hermione wouldn't remember a single scene. There was a submarine in a harbour, her crew standing in the pouring rain after a man had been promoted, Her though remained on the witch next to her, not even an armrest separating them. Objectively speaking, Tonks was the worst possible seat neighbour for a movie, constantly cracking jokes, retelling anecdotes or mocking the story on the screen. And yet, Hermione didn't mind at all. She laughed along whenever the Auror imitated Captain Ramsey or says something which completely shatters the tension of a scene, enjoying the carefreeness of the moment and the respite from Order related worries.
Without much thought or control over her actions, Hermione let her head drop on Tonks' shoulder and then froze in shock. She could feel those intense magenta eyes on her and didn't even need to look up to see the surprised expression on the Auror's face.
Oh god, what have I done? And more importantly, why? Why can't I get her out of my head? Why do I want to run my fingers through Tonks' hair? Alright, Tonks is funny, and cute, and ... But I have seen plenty of cute people and didn't become an awkward wreck until now. Well, maybe she is more than just cute...
Tonks shut her thoughts down by simply leaning her head to her left, resting it atop of Hermione's hair and the scent of cinnamon and leather became even stronger. Before the younger witch had time to get used to this new position, an arm was wrapped around her back, holding her firmly in place. From the corner of her eyes, Hermione could see Tonks face and the gentle smile which made her stomach lurch. They were not just toeing the line between friendly outing and date, they had smashed right through it.
Tonks resumed her commentary, the raspy whispers now almost directly in Hermione's ears and the younger witch got lost in the sensation, confused by the urges she felt and oblivious to the mutiny and intrigues which played out on the screen. The older witch interrupted her considerations once more by leaning in towards the Gryffindor and stopping when they were just fractions of an inch apart, giving her ample opportunity for an out before closing the distance and softly kissing Hermione on the lips and shivering when she began to respond.
What began chaste and reluctant quickly became more and more heated. Hermione's hairband was the first thing to go as Tonks trailed her right hand through the thick mess, the left busy caressing her lower back. The metamorph marvelled how responsive the younger witch was, shivering under her touch and yet clearly craving more, more contact, more pressure. Tonks used her left to flip Hermione over, pulling her onto her lap. The Gryffindor froze for a second, staring wide-eyed as if she just had realised what she was doing.
When the kiss ended, Hermione found herself staring into vibrant magenta eyes, their foreheads resting against each other, arms wrapped around her waist, holding her firmly against the older witch. She wanted, needed more and yet the small bastion of rational thought demanded an explanation. This was all so strange, so new and part of her brain was screaming for a break, for some time to process going from occasionally sneaking glances at Lavender to straddling a woman at least five years her senior. A much larger part wanted nothing more than never stop and just surrender to the impulsive nature she usually kept on a short leash.
"Are we really doing this?"
"Certainly looks like it."
That answer left countless questions unanswered and Hermione fought the urge to ask what exactly this was, afraid of the answer and yet desperate to find out through actions and not words. It was new, but it also felt oddly right and she was desperate for more. However, there was one thought she couldn't stop from slipping out.
"I've never done this before."
It was an open statement because frankly, there were a lot of things Hermione hadn't done at this point. Especially not with another woman. Therefore she was quite surprised when Tonks didn't even blink at her confession but merely pecked her on the lips.
"I got you."
The metamorph kissed her again, eventually trailing down towards her jawline while the younger witch writhed in her lap, desperate to get more. More contact, more skin, more anything. The taste of pomegranate dominated everything when a tongue slipped past her lips and a moan escaped Hermione. And as if Tonks could read minds, she wiggled a hand under Hermione's shirt, caressing her lower back and sending shivers up her spine. The Gryffindor finally got the opportunity to fulfil her earlier wish and began to play with Tonks' hair when she wrapped one arm around the metamorph's head in a desperate attempt to find something to hold onto as hands and lips were everywhere. The older woman was driving her mad, kissing all over her throat and back towards her mouth, the earlier gentleness replaced by a growing need. Hermione arched her back, trying to get some friction through her shirt and jeans as the impromptu makeout session was having quite an effect on her.
The lights came back on and Tonks reluctantly pulled back an inch, captivated by the dark brown of Hermione's eyes. Both witches were heavily panting, sporting identical goofy smiles as the Gryffindor tried to articulate her thoughts.
"Wow. That was… wow!"
"Do you want to…"
Hermione had no idea what Tonks had wanted to suggest, but at this point, she didn't care. There was only one way to find out and the brunette was desperate to do so. Gryffindor was supposed to be the house of the bold and at that moment, Hermione was certain that the hat had decided correctly when it chose Lions over Ravens. She barely registered the feeling of being squeezed through a tube before an unfamiliar apartment appeared around her. Looking around the new place, she didn't notice that Tonks used the short respite to drop her cloak on the floor before drawing her back into an intimate embrace.
"Now where were we?"
That's it for this story, there won't be any updates, sequels or spinoffs. I've been tinkering around with this plot bunny for quite some time, ever since reading "Dignity in Fear" by Xtremebass, which was the inspiration behind this story.