Chapter One – Lazy Summer Days
Tonks had a case of the giggles. "Try to make them long!" she cried.
Fortunata Haley had a look of pure concentration on her face. She scrunched up her nose, and her earlobes started to elongate.
"Keep going!" Tonks laughed.
Nata squished her whole face up and her ears kept getting longer. They were about to brush her shoulders.
"Okay…stop," Tonks said, holding her sides, laughing. She held out a mirror to show Nata what she had accomplished.
Nata took a look at herself. She promptly put her hand over her mouth and tried to suppress a giggle. "That looks so silly," she cried.
Tonks took a deep breath, and tried to stop laughing. "Did you feel any pain this time?" she asked seriously.
Nata shook her head, "Just towards the end," she whispered.
"Nata," Tonks said, exasperated, "How many times do I have to tell you? If you feel pain, stop."
"I know. I just want to get better at this," she grinned at Tonks.
"You will get better at this," Tonks promised. "Just a couple of weeks ago, you could only change your hair and skin color. Now you're starting to change your body shape. You're doing great."
Nata smiled, and changed her ears back to their regular size. "I can't wait till I can keep changing my hair color, like you," she said excitedly.
Tonks ran her hand through her robin's egg blue hair. She had morphed her eyes to match. "You already do a great job of changing color," Tonks started.
"Yeah, but it only lasts an hour," Nata sighed.
Tonks glanced at the hourglass on the mantle. "It's time for me to go," she said, "Same time in two weeks?"
Nata nodded eagerly. "What's my homework?" she asked.
Tonks thought for a moment. "We're going to work on noses next time. I want to see five completely different noses, allright?"
"Works for me. Thanks Tonks!" Nata ran upstairs, leaving Tonks alone in Nata's living room.
Instead of apparating to 12 Grimmauld Place, Tonks decided to walk for a bit. She thought about the lesson she had just completed with Nata. Nata was a metamorph, just like Tonks. However, Nata had learned about her power only in the previous year. Professor McGonagall asked Tonks to help Nata with her new powers. Tonks had eagerly accepted.
This was only their second lesson. Tonks had already grown fond of the tall, gangly Hufflepuff. In their first lesson, Nata announced that she couldn't wait to get rid of her hair, which was extremely curly and a dark brown.
With the summer heat, Tonks' hair was getting sticky on her back. She scrunched her own nose and changed her hair back to its natural state, strawberry blonde spikes. She felt the back of her head; it was time for a haircut.
"Much better!" she said out loud. A couple of elderly women stopped and started at her. Tonks cursed herself for not checking if anyone was in the area.
Tonks stopped worrying when she heard one of the women mutter, "Kids today."
Tonks suppressed a giggle. She was going to be turning twenty-five in a month, so by no means was she a little kid anymore. Luckily, one of the benefits of being a metamorph was that she could look younger than she was. That was bound to be handy when she was forty.
She realized that she had no idea where she was walking. Tonks didn't care though. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and she had the entire day free. It had been quite a while since she had a free day.
Tonks knew then what she wanted to do. She would go to Hogwarts and see Severus. She never really knew what to call him. It didn't seem right to call him her boyfriend. Technically, she had asked him to marry her, and he did say yes, so he could be called her fiancé. And she wasn't going to go around telling people that he was her soul mate, even though that was what he was.
Nymphadora Tonks and Severus Snape seemed the unlikeliest pair a year ago. But then Tonks had dealt with the most difficult year of her life. On Professor Dumbledore's orders, she had become a Death Eater, to spy for the Order. She had gone through many, many hard times, but Severus had been there to support her every step of the way.
And they had fallen in love.
Though only a few people knew that the two were a pair. Death Eaters had tried to put Tonks under the Imperius spell. Severus was also a spy for the Order. He was in you-know-who's inner circle. Word could not get out that Severus was dating Tonks. It could mean both their lives.
She giggled, remembering that Severus said once they were free to have their relationship public, that he would go to the astronomy tower and tell everyone how he felt about her. That was one promise she was going to make sure he kept.
Without a moment's hesitation, she apparated to Hogsmeade. She slowly walked over to Honeydukes to buy some candy. Some coconut ice for her and Chocolate Frogs for Severus. One night he let it slip that he had been collecting the cards since he was seven. She liked to buy some for him now and again. He showed her his collection once, he was only missing three out of two thousand cards.
After buying the candy, Tonks picked up her pace a bit. This was too beautiful a day to be inside. Fifteen minutes later, Tonks was skipping down the steps of the dungeon. Outside the potions classroom door, which was closed, she cried, "Severus?"
"One minute, Dora. Don't come in, or you'll ruin the air pressure!" she heard him yell.
Tonks waited patiently outside the classroom. Five minutes later, the door opened and Tonks walked in. Severus was standing behind a table that had five cauldrons on top of it. One cauldron was smoking fiercely, while another was making a strange sort of humming sound.
Tonks was fascinated. She went over to give him a kiss, but then saw that the apron he was wearing was covered in slime and what looked to be blood. Very cautiously, she gave him a kiss on the cheek.
"What in the world are you working on?" she asked.
"Oh nothing," he said, avoiding her eyes.
"I haven't seen you in three days because of this. What are you working on?" Tonks asked again.
Severus sighed, "I can't tell you," he said, still avoiding her eyes.
Tonks was taken aback. Severus had never held any secrets from her before. "You can't or you won't?" she asked.
Finally, Severus looked at her. "I can't," he said simply.
Trying to hide her disappointment, she asked, "On whose orders?"
Severus opened his mouth but Tonks stopped him and said, "Of course. It was Dumbledore, wasn't it?"
Severus nodded. "Doesn't he trust me?" she asked.
"Of course he does," Severus said. "You'll find out about this potion if I ever get it to work."
"It's not going well?" Tonks asked.
"No," he pouted. "I'm not used to potions not working for me."
Tonks allowed herself a smile, "My poor baby," she teased. She fished out the Chocolate Frogs from her handbag. "Maybe this will make it better."
Severus' eyes lit up. "Thanks," he said eagerly, opening up the package. Tonks put her hand to her mouth to suppress the laugh she knew was on the way. Severus had a ritual for eating Chocolate Frogs. He bit off one of the legs first. Ate is completely, only then did he allow himself to look at the card.
When he was done chewing, he turned over the card quickly. "Dumbledore," he said.
"I'll take that one," Tonks said. Severus got so many duplicates that Tonks started her own collection.
"I'll save the rest for later," he said, leaving the packages on the table.
"Let's go outside," she said, "It's bloody gorgeous outside."
Severus looked like he was debating with himself. "I don't know," he started, "I have to keep working on this…"
Tonks gave him what she called, "the look." "Please?" she asked.
After a moment's silence, he said, "Okay. Outside it is!"
Tonks clapped her hands in pleasure. "Goody!" she said.
Severus started walking towards the door. "Aren't you forgetting something?" Tonks asked.
"What?" he asked, confused.
"Your apron, silly," she said.
Severus looked down and smiled, taking off his apron and his dragon hide gloves. He gave her a look that clearly asked, "satisfied?"
"Much better," Tonks cried and started to run towards him. Unfortunately, she slipped on some of the very slime that was on Severus' apron. She landed right on her bottom.
"Damnit!" she yelled. "That hurt!"
Severus was at her side in an instant. "Are you allright Dora?" he asked worriedly.
Tonks groaned, "I'm fine. What am I saying? No, I'm not. My ass hurts!"
Severus helped her up and started gently rubbing her bottom. "This any better?" he asked slyly.
Tonks wrapped her arms around him, now that he wasn't covered in slime. "Mmm…I like this kind of treatment," she said, bringing him in for a kiss.
"Not yet!" Severus cried, moving suddenly.
"Someone needs a breath cleaning spell," Tonks said in a singsong voice.
"Eluoris," Severus said quickly. Tonks felt a stab of guilt. Just a couple of weeks ago, Tonks had wounded Severus during a battle at the Ministry of Magic. Severus, being a spy, had to fight with the Death Eaters. Tonks had thrown "Cadonoceo," at him, not knowing the Death Eater was Severus. That particular spell caused a great deal of damage to the internal organs. Severus had to stay in the hospital wing for a week. He still was not back to perfect health yet. At first, Severus needed ten potions a day. He was down to three now. And all three, according to him, tasted foul.
Severus grabbed her waist and Tonks brought her head up. His lips felt rougher than usual. Tonks noticed that he hadn't shaved today; the stubble was scratching her chin a bit. His tongue slipped into her mouth, exploring.
Tonks then broke the kiss off, really wanting to go outside. She took his hand and they walked out of the dungeon. There was another professor way down the hallway when they reached the main corridor. Quickly they dropped hands.
Tonks looked at Severus. Something seemed…off. Then it hit her. "Are you wearing jeans?" she asked.
Severus looked down at his apparel and shrugged. "I do own jeans," he said.
"Maybe you do, but I've never seen you wear them before!" Tonks exclaimed. He was wearing a pair of black jeans with a black t-shirt.
"Why does it matter what I wear?" he asked, taking her hand again.
"It doesn't really," Tonks said, "I'm just so used to you wearing more formal clothes. It's like if I came here wearing a business suit."
"That would be a sight," Severus said, opening the door leading out to the lagoon. Tonks had to shield her eyes, the sun was so bright. Severus did the same.
They sat down by the lagoon. Tonks laid her head on Severus' lap. "I love summer," she whispered.
"I'm too pale to like summer," Severus said.
"Did you cast a sun blocking charm?" she asked lazily.
He nodded, "I was outside this morning. I cast one then," he cleared his throat. "Dora, I have some news."
Tonks sat up, there was something about his tone she didn't like. "What?"
"It was announced this morning. Draco Malfoy was released from Azkaban."
"Really?" Tonks asked. "Where's he going to live?" Both Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy were in Azkaban.
"The paper didn't say," Severus said.
"If he hadn't tried to put the Imperius curse on me, I'd almost feel sorry for him," Tonks said.
"I know," Severus said.
"Let's now dwell on him any longer," Tonks said. "I can think of thousands of things I'd rather talk about."
But Tonks and Severus didn't do a whole lot of talking that afternoon.