June 21, 1999

"DMLE! Don't move or we'll cast!"

The three men turned, while the fourth quickly scooped a handful of Galleons out of the register and into a cloth sack. "It's done, let's get out of here!"

"I said freeze, you low-life sacks of shite!" The four men turned, one blowing a hole in the wall of Dervish & Banges and running out to the streets. "Incarcerous!" Ropes flew out of her wand, wrapping around one of the crooks.

"Tonks!" Savage shouted, gasping for air as he finally caught up. "Dammit, wait for me!"

She ignored him, running through the hole in hot pursuit of the other three, racing down the cobblestone streets of Hogsmeade. "Stupefy!"

Her spell flew over their head. One of them skidded to a halt, turning back and bringing his wand to bear. "Everbero!"

The dark blue light of the Bludgeoning Hex streaked towards her. Tonks reacted almost instantly, her legs thickening, muscle tissue growing and expanding as she morphed. Lightening the rest of her body, she barely had to squat in order to leap five feet into the air, pulling her legs tight against her body as the spell passed harmlessly beneath her. She landed, body back in a more normal configuration, and smoothly continued chasing them.

Unfortunately for her partner, Savage, who'd emerged from the shop and was running behind her, took the hex directly in the face, falling to the ground with a cry of pain.

"Reducto!" Tonks enunciated, but before the spell left her wand, her foot landed on a stray pebble. Trying to balance herself from the unexpected misstep, her arm flung to the side and her Reductor Curse went wildly off mark, smashing into the side of Scrivenshafts and blowing out an entire wall of the shop.

She barely noticed, though, her arms windmilling as she twisted and fell to the hard stone ground. A moment later, the tell-tale cracks of apparition sounded, the remaining three thieves having made their escape.

"Ow!" She said, rubbing her elbow and sitting up.

"Donks, ewe idjet!" Savage said, speaking through his broken nose and missing several teeth. "'ook what ewe did!"

A crashing sound drew her attention, as part of the roof of Scrivenshafts collapsed. "Gods damn it!"

"Good morning, Mum," His mother looked half-asleep, fumbling in the cupboard for a mug to make her tea. "I've already got a cuppa for you at the table under a warming charm. Your breakfast is just about ready, too."

She shuffled over to press a kiss to the side of his head and ruffle his hair before taking a seat and gratefully sipping out of the steaming mug. "I did such a great job raising you," she said after a few more drinks. "What time did you even get up?"

"Four-thirty for my workout, started breakfast about two hours later. Any plans for today?"

"Nothing beyond going back to bed. I shouldn't have let your godfather talk me into that second bottle of wine."

"It was a pretty wild party. Good thing I insisted on family-only, huh? Can't imagine what the press would say about Lady Potter, rising star of the Wizengamot, letting loose like that!"

She groaned. "Hey, cut me some slack. It's not every day that my only son graduates from the Auror Academy at the top of his class!" She unfurled the napkin that he'd designed into a fan, setting it on her lap as Harry placed a piece of quiche and several slices of melon in front of her. "Looks wonderful! Thank you, honey."

"No problem. It was a nice way to distract myself from my nerves."

"First days are like that. By the way, I'm surprised you didn't invite Ginevra to the party last night. Everything okay?"

He shrugged, turning back to the stove. "I did invite her, but she's still a little upset that I missed her graduation from Hogwarts."

His mother at least had the good grace to wipe away her frown a few moments after he sat down at the table with his own plate. "That's hardly fair. You were still at the Academy when she graduated."

"Well, you know how Ginny is."

"I do, indeed," she said, the sour tone that was so often present in her voice when the topic of his girlfriend of four years came up.

Thankfully - in his opinion, at least - his father chose that moment to step into the kitchen, already in his crimson auror robes. "Harry. All set for your first day?"

"As ready as I'll ever be!"

"Not with those wrinkles in your uniform, you're not." Harry scrambled out of his seat, examining stepping closer to the window to examine his own robes in the morning light.

"Oh James, really. His robes look fine."

"Fine's not enough, Harry's the Head Auror's son. There's expectations within the Department. He has to be better than fine."

Squaring his shoulders, he nodded at his father. "I will be."

His father looked him over once more, apparently satisfied at what he saw. "Now, because of our relationship, Amelia's decided it would be inappropriate for me to assign you your first partner. She's decided to hand that responsibility to Rufus."

"What?!" Lily scowled. "Why him? He's hated you ever since you were promoted instead of him!"

Harry put a hand on his mother's arm to placate her. "It's okay, Mum. If he's harder on me than the others, it will just make me that much of a better auror, right Dad?"

"Right," James confirmed, just a hint of uncertainty present in his voice. "And remember, at the Department I'm Auror Potter… err, Potter."

Lily laughed gaily, standing to set her empty plate in the sink. "Have a good day, you two. I love you."

"I still don't understand why you thought it was a good idea to use a Reductor in this situation."

"They were using violent spells against us! I mean, just look at Tom, he's a mess."

Amelia Bones, the Director of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement rubbed her aching temples. The owner of Scrivenshafts had chewed her out for almost thirty minutes, over not only the damage to his building, but the loss of his inventory. Combine that with the fact that the thieves made off with over fifty Galleons from Dervish & Banges, and all in all the DMLE's public reputation had taken a major hit this evening.

"Eye'n done, won' work wif 'er!" Savage ground out, having delayed meeting with mediwizards until they'd filed their report. Tonks secretly thought he just didn't want to miss her getting chewed out by Bones. "Yer a menath!"

"Hey, don't blame me for your bad reflexes, Pops! We would've got all of them if you could keep up with me!"

"Tonks, that's not helping," Bones said. "Savage, will you reconsider?" He made a rude gesture and left, seeking out the on-site healer.

Tonks shrugged. "It's his loss."

Scrimgeour, up til now standing quietly in the corner, growled in irritation. "Wrong, it's your loss. That was your seventh partner in two years. No one wants to work with you, you're way too reckless."

"Reck- are you kidding me? I have the highest arrest rate in the department!"

"And the most complaints for excessive force, and the highest damage bill, too. I should have your badge for this."

"Easy Rufus," Bones said, her calm tones cutting through the tension. "Tonks, you need to straighten up. There's a reason that we have the protocols we do; sometimes the bad guys may take advantage of that, but that's part of the job."

She flushed at the forthright criticism from the Director, who Tonks held in the highest esteem. "Sorry."

"You're on desk duty until we can find you a new partner."

"Desk duty?!"

"Nymphadora," the undercurrent of anger finally appeared in Amelia's voice, shutting down any reaction Tonks might have had at the use of her name. "Aurors don't work alone. If we can't find someone willing to partner with you, then you're out."

"Okay," she said quietly.

"You're on your last chance. Don't make me regret giving it to you."

He'd been standing at attention for almost ten minutes. Ten minutes, of total silence, is an absolute eternity, but Harry gave no indication of discomfort. How could he? He was finally an auror! His father had been grooming him for this day since he was old enough to grip a wand for Merlin's sake!

Rufus Scrimgeour filled in the last line of the parchment in front of him, setting it aside and finally looking up. "Potter."

"Yes, sir."

He opened a desk drawer, withdrawing a personnel file. "NEWTs in Charms, Transfiguration, DADA, Runes, and Potions. Top marks in duelling, stealth, decision-making. First in your class at the Academy. Glowing recommendations from each of your instructors." Tossing the file onto his desk, he glared at Harry. "No doubt a bunch of brown-nosers looking to gain favour from your father."

Harry didn't react, exerting considerable self-control to keep his gaze locked on the wall behind Scrimgeour rather than roll his eyes. The Senior Auror continued, "It's customary to assign rookies to a Senior Auror, such as myself, to allow them to benefit from the hard-won experience our veterans can offer."

"Yes, sir."

"That being said, it's been years since we've had such a… stellar trainee join our ranks. I'm sure that there's nothing you already don't know, that right Potter?"

"No sir."

"Don't be modest. Everyone here's heard your father bragging about his son for years. He's not the type to exaggerate, is he?" Harry didn't know how to respond to that, so he didn't. "I asked you a question, Potter!"

"Err, no sir."

"Excellent!" Scrimgeour's grin promised ill tidings. "In that case, after considering your record-breaking marks at the Academy, your remarkable qualifications, and your obviously rock-solid temperament, I've decided that such an extraordinary new auror deserves an unprecedented assignment.'

"That's not necessary, sir."

"Nonsense! Come along, let me introduce you to your new partner."

Harry followed the Senior Auror out of his office, walking into the DMLE's 'bullpen', a cubicle-farm where the lower-ranked aurors all shared space. He came to a stop, a smug grin making its way over his features as he gestured for Harry to step closer. "Meet your new partner, Potter."

Stepping forward, Harry looked around the cubicle wall, getting his first look at who he'd be answering to for the next eighteen months. His eyes ran along a pair of slim, long legs that were propped up on the desk, encased in a pair of black tights. Just a hint of pale flesh peeked out, a too-short Kinks t-shirt riding up with each breath. The tight shirt did nothing to disguise the shape of her breasts but his eyes didn't linger, continuing their path along the scoop-neck of her shirt to the graceful lines of her neck, up to her heart-shaped face, where a lock of pink hair rose and fell as the woman gently snored.

"Junior Auror Tonks," Scrimgeour said loudly. "TONKS! Wake your lazy arse up!"

Her long eyelashes fluttered, and one brown eye opened to peek up at who interrupted her sleep. "Oh, it's you," she muttered, before adjusting the balled up auror robes she was using as a pillow and closing her eyes again.

"Get up and meet your new partner. Nymphadora-"

"Don't call me that!"

"-Tonks, meet Harry Potter."

The look she gave him was about as unflattering as he'd ever received. "This kid? He looks like he should be sitting down for his OWLs, not joining the DMLE. The fuck is this about, Scrimgeour?"

"Remember our chat this morning, Tonks. You're on thin ice. Carry on, you two," And with that, he walked away, whistling happily.

"It's a pleasure to be working with you, Auror Tonks. I've heard some impressive stories about you from my father and my godfa-"

"Listen up, kid. You're my punishment for being more interested in getting scum off the streets than I am in kissing the right arse. I'm not your friend, I'm not your instructor, and I'm not interested in showing you the ropes. Remember three things, and I won't have to rearrange your face: number one, when we're out there-" she jabbed her finger towards the exit. "-stay quiet and don't get in my way. Number two, don't ever refer to me as anything other than Auror Tonks, 'boss', or maybe - maybe - 'Tonks' if I should ever decide you've graduated from your nappies and found some use other than staying out of my way."

Harry tried not to sigh. "And number three?"

Tonks stood up and stretched, the threads of her t-shirt suddenly straining as her breasts quadrupled in size. "Don't fall in love, kid, you'll never be able to handle me."

Harry had prepared to be an auror his whole life, but not even he could stop from rolling his eyes at that. "That won't be a problem."

"Don't say I didn't warn you!" she chirped, a wide smile breaking out as her hair shifted from shoulder-length pink curls to a flaxen-colored bob. "Well, let's get to the morning briefing!"

A/N: Obviously, this is an AU story. Voldemort's not around.

Updates will be slow for this one while I work on my many other fics. Still, this one should be fun!

Stay safe, healthy, and happy! ~Frickles