After what seemed to Harry to be a pleasant jog through town, Tonks and Harry finally arrived at the mall. Harry was slightly winded, but he could already tell he was going to enjoy this training if the runs were like this. As much as he enjoys the feeling of freely flying through the air on his broom, the rush that goes through him as he seemingly glides through the groups of other pedestrians comes in a close second. Well, as far as exercise is concerned anyway.
It was the first time in a few years that Harry had been at the mall. The only time that he was ever allowed to go to the mall was when his aunt and uncle were going on a shopping spree for Dudley, and they made him carry all the packages. This was definitely the first time he was in the mall shopping for himself. He hoped it wasn't too obvious to Tonks that he wasn't really sure what to do.
"So, where would you like to look first, Harry?" Tonks was obviously excited about this trip. "I know we need to get you some better exercise clothes, but what other kind of stuff do you need?"
'How did I know she was going to try to make me take the lead,' Harry asked himself. "Well, I agree that I need some new exercise clothes. Let's start there and see how far we get by the time we need to head back home. I'd like to get out of Dudley's hand downs of course, but I can wait on that if we don't have time."
"Harry, I'm sure we'll have no problem getting you all decked out. You just worry about getting some decent clothes for a change, let me worry about everything else."
As they agreed, the first store they went into was an athletic apparel store. There were colors, styles, and fabrics that boggled Harry's imagination. 'It shouldn't be a surprise; I guess I'm just spoiled with the wizarding world. Between Hogwart's black robes, and the few different dress robe styles I've seen, I just never expect to see this much variety,' Harry thought to himself as he was taking in the sight of this store.
"If you think this store is something, just you wait, Harry."
After about an hour in the athletic apparel store, Harry decided on several new outfits to allow him a nice selection regardless of weather or activity. He also purchased a few pairs of shoes, 2 pair of running shoes and a pair of hiking boots.
Next on their list of stores to visit was a more general purpose clothing store. Harry walked into this store and just knew that he and Tonks were going to spend most of the rest of the afternoon in this store.
It turns out that Harry was right. Over the next couple hours Harry and Tonks sorted through several different styles for Harry. He picked out outfits in the jeans and a t-shirt hang out with friends style, then moved into more of an everyday khakis/Levi Dockers with a polo shirt or a short sleeve button up shirt. Tonks even convinced him to purchase a nice suit. Nothing too special, but she did tease him about someday taking a girl to a nice Muggle restaurant some day soon, and he'd be thanking her then. Harry, was still of the mindset that no girl would want to get that close to a walking time bomb, but after seeing himself in the mirror, had to admit the suit did look good on him. Along with the suit, Harry also purchased several dress shirts, pants, and a few ties to mix and match as needed. Even with all of the things that have been going wrong in his life lately, Harry felt like a new person walking out of the store.
As they were walking out of that store, Tonks leaned over to say to Harry, "If you feel like a new person now, just wait until we burn all those old clothes later tonight." Until Tonks said that, Harry didn't think his grin could get any bigger. He was wrong.
They made one last stop before going back to the Dursley's. On the way out of the mall, they found a small one stop eye glass store where Harry was able to not only get a new eye exam, but pick out his own glasses. Unfortunately, his new glasses would not be ready until the next day, but Tonks promised to pick them up on her way to the Dursley's for him.
When they were finally ready to head back to the Dursley's, Tonks shrunk all of the packages and then they jogged back home. Once they arrived at the Dursley's, Harry ran up to his room to put his new clothes away. Then after a quick shower, he dressed in one of the nicer outfits they had purchased. He was not really expecting something special for dinner tonight, he just wanted to wear something as far from what he had been forced to wear all his life as possible.
Harry wandered downstairs to discover that not only had Dobby finished making dinner, but Tonks hadn't left yet.
"Wow Harry, amazing what some new clothes will do to you. The girls at school are going to be fighting for a chance to go the dance with you," Tonks exclaimed with a smile.
Harry felt his cheeked start to burn even while he gathered the effort to correct Tonks. "Somehow I doubt that once they all realize being my girlfriend will put them on the Death Eater Top Ten list."
"Harry, I'm only going to say this once. Unless you're secretly pining away for someone that you won't even look at or talk to in the last few years, anyone you might decide to ask to go out with you is already a target for the Death Eaters. The majority of them know it too. You can't just sit around and mope about the could-be's, the might have been's, or the should have done's. You have only one life to live. Don't waste it over some crazy evil wizard. Life is too precious to waste wondering about that kind of stuff. Live your life to the fullest, and do your best against Voldemort. No matter what else happens, I'm sure your parents and Sirius would be proud of you. I know they would be proud of you for the way you handled yourself in the Ministry that day."
"But nothing, Harry. We both know it's true. Maybe if you were able to accept that fact and try to get what enjoyment out of life you can, maybe you wouldn't be moping around all the time."
Harry had a hard time believing that Tonks would be talking to him like this. Granted, she was closest to his age out of all of the Order Members he had met, but she was talking to him in the way that so far only Ron, and Hermione have been able to do. Maybe she was right. He decided he'd have to take some time later to think about it.
Right before the silence could become uncomfortable between the two of them, Dobby came bouncing into the room like his usual bubbly self. "Mr. Harry Potter! Your clothes! They are most surely better than those old rags Mr. Harry Potter had before. Come, come, it's time to eat. Dobby made sure to fix an extra special dinner after Mr. Harry Potter's shopping trip!"
Harry and Tonks sat down to a meal that could easily be compared to meals at Hogwarts, or even Mrs. Weasley's cooking. Even Dobby sat down and joined them at Harry's insistence. The meal passed quietly as Harry still contemplated Tonks' words. 'Maybe I should try to enjoy life. Really though, if I'm going to let Voldemort force me to just sit closed off somewhere insulated from any feelings for anyone, then he's already won.'
'I don't want to see any of my friends die though.'
'They might die anyway. Tonks is right, my friends have been my friends for years now, Voldemort already knows who they all are and they've been at risk all along. By pushing them away I'll only make them an easier target. If we're together and united it'll be harder to get to one of us.'
Tonks was watching the transition of various expressions appear and change on Harry's face with a curious expression on her own face. She always thought it was amusing how someone who was so closed off about what he was feeling could so defiantly pin his heart to his sleeve with his expressions. She could imagine the argument going on inside his head and it didn't look particularly pleasant. She was not the only one who hoped Harry would be able to make it through this latest obstacle.
After finishing dinner and thanking Dobby for making it, Harry hurried up to his room to continue thinking about what Tonks had told him earlier.