Disclaimer: I don't own anything. You should know that by now.

A/N: Special thanks to Cyndi, my beta! You're amazing!

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He's dead. Sirius is dead.

Nymphadora Tonks repeated the words over and over in her head, but it didn't make them seem any more real.

Just last week they had gone to the Ministry to rescue Harry and his friends, and now... I'm sorry, Sirius. I should have been fighting by your side. That's what family is for, right?

She lay her head on the table and felt tears come to her eyes. This wasn´t how things were supposed to be.

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Charlie Weasley rubbed a hand over his eyes as he walked down the stairs. Since Dumbledore had called the emergency meeting late last night, Charlie hadn't slept. Apparating from Romania had been easy, but hearing the news about Sirius had been anything but.  He hadn't really known Sirius – he'd only met him one – but he still felt the blow. Somehow he had deluded himself into thinking the Order was invincible, but now the truth was like a slap in the face.

Charlie entered the kitchen with a sigh, but stopped short when he saw someone sitting at the table, her head down and her shoulders shaking. He started to take a step back, but she suddenly looked up in surprise.

He cleared his throat and gave her an apologetic look. "Sorry... I was just coming down for something to eat... I didn't know anyone was down here... sorry," he said again.

She shook her head and her brown curls swished around her shoulders. "No, don't apologize." She smiled slightly, and Charlie saw evidence of tears on her cheeks.

"Are you alright?"

She nodded. "I will be. It's just so fresh, you know?"

Charlie could have kicked himself. Of course! She's the one who's related to Black – his cousin or something. He cleared his throat again. "I'm really sorry for your loss." Oh, brilliant, Weasley. Original.

But she didn't seem to notice his awkwardness as she smiled up at him. "Thank you... Charlie, right?"

He nodded. "Yeah, that's right. And you're Nymphadora?"

She wrinkled her nose in distaste. "Please, call me Tonks. 'Nymphadora' makes me sound like an old hag."

Charlie laughed. She was charming. He took a step forward, meaning to take a seat at the table, when his mother came in.

"Oh, Tonks dear, Dumbledore wants to see you. He's upstairs – can you come?"

Tonks nodded and pushed back her chair. "Of course, Molly, I'll go right away." She turned to Charlie. "See you around?"

He smiled. "Yeah, see you around."

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Tonks flopped down on the bed with a sigh. What a night this had been. Dumbledore, after making sure she was alright, had insisted she stay at headquarters. He assured her that it was only temporary, that she could go back to her flat in a few weeks when things had a chance to settle down, but Tonks wasn't so sure.

Actually, being at Number Twelve had a calming effect on her battered soul. It was nice having people around, people who understood what she was feeling. Everyone in the Order had liked Sirius and missed him now that he was... gone, and Tonks didn't feel alone in her grief. Sure, no one had known Sirius like she had, but still, it was something.

Her thoughts turned to Harry... poor Harry, who had been shipped off to his relatives' house for the summer... poor Harry, who had no one to talk to about Sirius, no one to share his grief. Tonks determined right then that she would do everything within her power to bring Harry to Grimmauld Place this summer, even if it was only for a few weeks.

With another sigh, she pulled the covers up to her chin and let the warmth encompass her. She didn't want to think about Sirius right now. It just hurt too much. Instead, she searched her mind for a more cheerful thought and quickly landed on the memory of beautiful blue eyes. Weasley eyes. But not just any Weasley... He seems so nice. I hope I can get to know him better while we're both here at headquarters.

With that thought lingering in her sleep-ridden mind, Tonks drifted off into a world of dreams with a smile on her face.

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Charlie sat down beside his father at the breakfast table the next morning and poured himself a glass of milk. "Morning, Dad."

Mr. Weasley nodded sleepily. "Morning, son... seen this morning's paper?" He passed over a rumpled copy of the Daily Prophet.

Charlie scanned the front page quickly. "Rubbish, as usual. Trying to pretend as if Voldemort's return is no big deal."

His father looked grim. "It's just going to feed the unavoidable panic – people won't feel that they can trust the Ministry, which makes our job harder. It's going to be chaos."

Charlie nodded in agreement and took a sip from his glass. He was glad Dumbledore had asked him to help the Order, but at the same time, a part of him longed to be back in Romania. There he could pretend everything was alright, that Voldemort had not returned. He could just live his simple life among the dragon colony and not worry about his family's safety.

He heard footsteps coming down the stairs and he looked up, his eyes widening when a young woman with electric blue, spiked hair entered the kitchen and took a seat across from him. "Morning, Arthur, Charlie."

His father smiled and passed her the plate of toast. "Good morning, Tonks. Sleep well?"

She answered, but Charlie didn't hear her words. Tonks? No way can this be the girl I talked with last night! She looks completely different!

His thoughts must have showed on his face, because his mind snapped to attention at the sound of laughter. "What?"

Tonks, or at least the person who was supposed to be Tonks, smiled and said, "I guess no one told you I'm a metamorphagus."

"Definitely not."

She laughed again, and the sound warmed him. "At least I won't surprise you anymore."

"I seriously doubt that," he said with a smile. "I bet you're full of surprises."

She rolled her eyes in chagrin. "Or full of trouble, as my mum always said."

He believed it. She seemed like the sort who was always into some kind of mischief, but not in a bad way. On the contrary, Charlie thought it intriguing. "Somehow I have the feeling that trouble finds you, right?"

She opened her eyes wide in mock surprise. "How did you know?"

He played along, giving her a serious, thoughtful look and biting back a laugh. "It was just a hunch. I'm sure you're much too sedate and dull to ever seek out trouble – it obviously comes to you."

She laughed and put a hand to her forehead. "My secret's been discovered! All my credibility is gone!"

Charlie was about to reply when his father suddenly cleared his throat. "Er... we'd better go, Tonks, or we'll be late for work."

She checked her watch and frowned. "You're right – I was late yesterday and the boss was not happy." She gave Charlie an apologetic smile. "I've got to go – see you at dinner?"

He nodded. "Yeah, of course."

That seemed to make her happy. With a smile and a wave, Tonks disappeared into thin air.

Arthur turned to kiss his wife on the cheek. "Have a good day, Molly dear. See you this evening." Then he too disapparated.

"What was that all about?" Molly put her hands on her hips and gave her son a stern look.

Charlie squirmed. His mother still knew how to make him feel like a naughty schoolboy. "What was what about, Mum?"

"You know perfectly well what I'm talking about! All that... that flirting between you and Tonks!"

Charlie felt his ears redden. "Mum, we weren't flirting! We were just talking and joking around. Good grief!" He looked up and saw a distinct twinkle in his mother's eyes. "Wait a minute... Mum! Are you trying to play matchmaker here?"

She assumed a look of complete innocence. "Of course not! Why would you think that?"

Charlie rolled his eyes. "Because I know you, that's why!"

She lifted her chin and looked down at him imperiously. "All I'm saying is you could do a lot worse than Nymphadora Tonks..."

"Mum!"

She held up a hand. "She's a lovely girl, and it's about time you settled down."

He sighed. "Mum, we've talked about this. I'm very happy with my life the way it is now. My work is very fulfilling."

She sat down across from him and patted his hand. "I know, dear, but don't you ever get lonely?"

Of course he did, but he wasn't about to admit it. "Look, Mum, I don't want you to push this, alright? I just met Tonks, and if something is meant to happen, it will – but I don't want to rush into anything. Okay?"

He could tell she wasn't happy, but she nodded in agreement. "Fine, have it your way. But I know I'm right."

He grinned, leaned across the table, and kissed her cheek. "Thanks, Mum. I appreciate it." He downed the last of his milk and headed up the stairs with a smile on his face and his heart light. He didn't know what to expect during the coming weeks, but he knew it would be anything but dull.

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