Nymphadora Tonks tried to forget her memories of her uncle for a very long time. Not for the usual reasons someone would try to forget something. These memories weren't traumatic or dark; on the contrary, they were her happiest ones.
She used to envy her classmates who had big families, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. Her father's parents had died before she could meet them, and he was an only child. Mother never talked about her side of the family, except for Uncle Sirius, of course. Technically he was her cousin, but she always called him uncle. He would visit every second Thursday of the month, bringing her chocolate frogs and dolls that could speak. He would play with her for hours and would tell the funniest stories about the pranks he and his friends did in Hogwarts. She had a clear memory of the day when she accidentally magicked herself in the middle of a lake and a giant black dog pulled her to the surface and dragged her to the side of the lake. When she opened her eyes, coughing up water, it was Uncle Sirius again. Later she asked him about the dog, but he just shook his head and said that she must have imagined it from the shock. Another time, she came back crying from school. Mother couldn't get a word out of her, but Uncle Sirius just took her hand, lead her to a hidden corner of the garden and he transfigured leaves into animal-shapes until she calmed down. Then he gently wiped her nose and asked her:
"So what is all this crying about, Dora? Who hurt you?
"They called me a blood traitor. Said dad was a mudblood, and called mum terrible names.
"Oh, Dora" he hugged her close, and let her sob on his shoulder "Listen to me. You are the most unique little witch I have ever met. Can your classmates turn their hair blue, or change the color of their eyes?
"No" she sniffled.
"See? You are more special than any of those bullies. Be proud of who you are, Dora because no pure-bloodline can make up for a bad personality. Believe me, I know."
Then one Thursday, Uncle Sirius doesn't come. She walks into the living room and mom is sobbing in the kitchen, the Daily Prophet in a thousandth piece scattered all over the floor. Dad is hugging her, trying to calm her down.
"Mom? Dad? What happened? Where is Uncle Sirius?"
"He is gone. He isn't part of this family anymore. You can't tell anyone you are related to him, Nymphadora. We won't even speak about him. He doesn't exist from this day on."
"But why? Dad?"
"Listen to your mother. It's for the best."
She doesn't want to make mother cry, so she doesn't talk about Uncle Sirius anymore. She only understands what really happened months later, when she finds an old newspaper in the library. The headline reads: Sirius Black sent to Azkaban for murder. Her hands shake as she unfolded the paper, reading that dreadful article. When she is finished she crumples the paper and throws it as far away as she can. She doesn't want to believe it, not at first. But the evidence is overwhelming. So she tries to forget about him, forget all those happy memories of a killer. She becomes an Auror, serving justice, and she never mentions anyone who her uncle is.
It's Dumbledore who tells her the truth when he recruits her to the Order of the Phoenix.
"No, that can't be. There was too much evidence..."
But then she remembers the black dog, and it makes too much sense not to be true. She can't forgive herself for hating him for so long. She doesn't know how she will ever face him again. She is the first one to arrive to Number 12 Grimmauld Place for the first meeting of the Order. She apparates there and arrives with a loud thud. She looks around. The house is old and dusty, it doesn't seem like a place where someone is living.
"Expelliramus!"
She curses herself for not being more careful as her wand flies out of her hand. Tonks slowly turns around, with her hands raised.
"What are you doing here?!"
It's him. Azkaban has taken its toll on him. He looks way older than he is, and there is a slightly crazed look in his eyes, replacing the friendly glimmer that used to be there.
"Dumbledore sent me, to the Order of the Phoenix meeting. I mean no harm.
"The meeting. Of course" he mumbles "Forgive me. I'm a bit paranoid these days."
He lowers his wand and Nymphadora breaths in relief.
"What did you say, what's your name?"
He doesn't recognize her. Of course not, she was just a little girl when they last met. But there are things that don't change. She morphs her hair into a dark blue colour, and makes her eyes match his.
"It's me, Uncle."
"Nymphadora?" his voice trembles.
She moves first, hugging him close. She doesn't know which one of them starts crying first.
"I'm so sorry that I believed them. I tried to hate you, I tried to forget you, but I couldn't. I missed you."