Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Summary: Tonks is posing as a Hogwarts student when someone slips something into Harry's drink. With Death Eaters on the prowl and the Boy Who Lived not only missing, but stoned out of his mind and horny to boot, what's a girl to do?
~ Lunchtime Disturbance ~
Albus Dumbledore was not a wizard prone to panicking. This was the reason he kept his cool when Ernie MacMillan came running up in a right agitated state one fine Hogsmeade weekend in early the days of Spring. Still, Dumbledore would have to admit to some degree of alarm at the sight, as the urgent look on MacMillan's face did not bode well. Something was clearly up and, knowing the nature of the universe, it undoubtedly involved Harry in some manner.
Cause enough for some concern.
"Headmaster! Headmaster! Professor Dumbledore!" the sixth-year Hufflepuff was screaming as he barrelled through the Great Hall, causing lunch to come to an abrupt halt as those students who had not gone down to Hogsmeade that day stared curiously at him.
"Please, Ernest," he told the anxious young wizard as he stumbled up to the staff table, "calm yourself. Now, what is the problem?"
MacMillan was sucking in great gulps of air as he tried to catch his breath, leaning against the table while clutching at a stitch in his side. Shaking his head he managed to gasp out, "Harry."
Dumbledore was not surprised.
"Potter?" asked Professor McGonagall, who also did not seem surprised. She did, however, sit up in her seat, as did most to the other professors. "What's happened now?"
"We - we were in the - the Three Broomsticks," MacMillan panted, now able to at least stand upright. "The members of the DA, y'know? We were having some butterbeers when... Harry..."
His curiosity piqued, as well as a slight twinge of worry, Dumbledore looked on as MacMillan seemed to find himself unable to describe what had happened. The boy was waving his hands aimlessly, as if that might somehow convey his meaning.
"What happened to Harry?" he asked.
"He started smiling," MacMillan answered, sounding as if he still couldn't believe it. This probably had something to do with the fact that Harry been in a near constant state of depression since the death of his Godfather, Sirius Black. The Boy Who Lived hardly ever smiled these days. Indeed, Dumbledore could not remember seeing Harry crack so much as even the faintest of grins in the past nine months.
Hoping that perhaps MacMillan was simply overreacting and that this was simply the first sign of Harry breaking out of his depression, Dumbledore said, "Ah well, butterbeer does have that effect on people."
MacMillan looked at the headmaster and said, "We thought so too, at first. But then... sir... he started giggling. Then laughing. Hysterically."
Now this, perhaps, was cause for worry.
Dumbledore could see McGonagall out the corner of his eye. She was visibly worried and clearly sharing a similar thought to his own; that Harry was having a breakdown of some sort. Even if it were cathartic in a way, it was still not something they would wish upon the young wizard.
"And then Malfoy," muttered MacMillan, an expression on his face that was now a mixture of worry and delight. Seeing the professors' interest he explained, "The prat must've heard or seen Harry laughing, so he came over and tried to insult us - just like he normally does."
"And what was Harry's reaction?" asked Dumbledore a tad nervously.
He knew full well the strength of Harry's anger; his office having been on the receiving end of it shortly before the end of the previous school year. Unlike Ron Weasley, whose temper was permanently set on a hair-trigger, Harry bottled his fury inside an internal prison more heavily fortified than Azkaban. It was as if he cultivated it, let it grow and feed upon itself within that cage in which he held it inside. This naturally meant that when something did manage to escape; it did so with a terrifying force and suddenness.
If Draco Malfoy was imprudent enough to avoid the warning signs; Dumbledore shuddered to think of what an enraged Harry would do to the boy.
This single word, uttered like a benediction, shook Dumbledore out of his musings. He, as well as everyone else in earshot, stared at MacMillan with confusion. The Hufflepuff boy was gazing into space, an almost demented grin on his face.
"I beg your pardon?" asked McGonagall incredulously.
"Er... sorry, Professor," apologised MacMillan, shaking himself out of his memories. He looked at the headmaster and tried to explain. "It was Harry, y'see. Leastways we think it was. Malfoy was going off about how Harry was starting to sound like Loony, er, Luna Lovegood. Naturally we were all getting ready to hex the bas, uh, the git, when Harry started laughing even louder. That's when... well... Malfoy... his clothes..."
Professor McGonagall's eyebrows were in danger of crawling past her hairline, over her head and down the back of her neck, when she heard this. Minerva, Dumbledore knew, was an exceptionally intelligent witch and had easily been able to infer what MacMillan was trying to tell them.
"Do you mean to tell us," she asked incredulously, "that Potter cursed Malfoy's clothes off?"
The thought, and accompanying mental image, were enough that Dumbledore had to struggle not to break into a grin.
MacMillan, however, shook his head and sounded perplexed, "That's just it, Ma'am. Harry didn't even have his wand drawn. He was just sitting there. Laughing. He actually fell out of his seat he was laughing so hard."
"You mean he performed accidental magic?" asked Professor Flitwick, who was listening as well.
"Uh, no sir," answered MacMillan. "Harry did it deliberately. He had to have; he did the same thing to those thugs Crabbe and Goyle. In fact, we know he did it to them, 'cause he snapped his fingers in front of those two before it happened."
"Wandless magic?" asked Flitwick, sounding positively delighted.
Dumbledore cleared his throat, mostly to get their attention but also so that he could school his face into something other than an equally delighted smile. When MacMillan was looking at him, he settled his hands on the staff table and asked, "What happened next, Ernest?"
MacMillan gathered himself. "Well, after we'd all recovered from the shock - I might be scarred for life after seeing the three of them just... uhg. After they'd run away, Malfoy was screaming like a baby, Harry stopped laughing and got this funny look on his face..."
"Funny look?" Dumbledore prompted when the young wizard trailed off.
"Yeah. I can't describe it." MacMillan shook his head and continued, "Anyways, you know the transfer student? The girl? Nikki Fraser? Well, she was with us..."
At this Dumbledore felt a sliver of relief shoot through him. Unbeknownst to everyone at Hogwarts save some of the staff, Harry, Hermione and the Weasley siblings, Nikki Fraser was actually none other than Nymphodora Tonks. She was posing as a student, supposedly from one of the lesser known Irish schools of magic, ensuring that the Order of the Phoenix would always have an experienced agent near the Boy Who Lived over the course of the school year.
Young Harry had clearly not been particularly pleased by it, but had eventually relented after much persuasion and pleading. Everyone knew Harry abhorred being given special attention or, even worse, preferential treatment of any kind, but the assignment had been a necessary one when it was discovered halfway during the summer that Voldemort had more than one elaborate assassination attempt planned against the Boy Who Lived.
"I don't really know what he did to her," continued MacMillan, causing Dumbledore's heart to skip a beat. The headmaster suddenly had a terrifying vision of Tonks standing starkers in the Three Broomsticks, a murderous expression on her face and her wand levelled at Harry, who was rolling on the floor with mirth. MacMillan shook his head in puzzlement and said, "All the Muggleborn students seemed to get it, but..."
"What did he do?"
MacMillan looked completely baffled as he tried to describe what had transpired. "He walked right up to her, really invading her personal space. I think everyone thought he was going to kiss her or something like that. Then... then he flicked her nose with a finger and said..."
"For heaven's sake, MacMillan, get on with it," demanded McGonagall. "What did Potter say?"
Professor Flitwick fell off his chair.
"'Meep meep'?" repeated McGonagall, clearly under the impression that she had not heard right.
MacMillan nodded. "Yeah. Then he stuck out his tongue and blew a raspberry at her before he... well, it looked like he Apparated."
Dumbledore half rose from his seat in alarm. "But Harry doesn't know how to Apparate yet."
"I'm afraid he does, sir," said MacMillan. "In fact, right after he meep meeped Fraser, he made a short Apparition jump from our table to the door, where he meep meeped again and blew another raspberry. By the time we got outside he wasn't anywhere to be seen. The others are searching for him right now, but what with his ability to Apparate, not to mention the Aquila in him..."
"Aquila," gasped McGonagall, clutching a hand to her chest and growing very pale. Professor Flitwick, who had just managed to remount his chair, promptly fell off again. All the other teachers who had been listening reacted with similar expressions of alarm, though none of them lost their seats. Dumbledore fell back onto his seat, feeling as if someone had landed a sledgehammer blow to his stomach.
Aquila was a colloquialism used to describe a variety of hallucinogenic and pleasure inducing potions, not unlike Muggle drugs. They were as illegal as any of the Muggle brands, but were unfortunately just as easily acquired, if you wanted them badly enough. Had the pressures and obligations of his destiny, which he had discovered the previous year, weighing so heavily upon Harry that he was seeking solace in Aquila induced euphoria?
No, it simply wasn't possible. Harry would never willingly take any mind altering substances. After his experiences in Occulmency under Professor Snape's tutelage and Voldemort's attempts to influence him, Harry had learned to guard the sanctity of his mind and thoughts with a fierce possessiveness that was frightening.
Indeed, as Severus had unfortunately discovered during an Order meeting several months before, Harry's mental defences were now not only nigh impregnable, but also capable of causing considerable pain in the mind of whomever tried to gain access without permission. The force with which he had been evicted had rendered the potions master insensate for the better part of three days, despite Madam Pomfrey's best efforts.
That meant this incident had to be an accidental dosing.
Or worse, not an accident at all, but something carefully arranged by the Dark Lord.
MacMillan nodded in confirmation, now deadly serious, "Yeah. It was Fraser that worked it out. She took a whiff of his butterbeer bottle and recognised the smell of it, though she didn't say how. That's why Harry was laughing and acting so weird... he's high!"
Right then, Dumbledore dearly wished he was prone to panicking.