Disclaimer: This is a fanfiction, meaning I am not getting any profit, nor am I affiliated with anyone related to the marketing, publishing, illustrating, or writing of the books, nor am I affiliated with anyone related to the marketing or script writing of the movies.
Note: This fanfic was inspired by a LJ challenge done by Delleve Miststone; basically, she wrote sentences from various fics, and one of them involved Tonks knocking on Harry's door; the challenge was to write a one shot based on it, and while I took away the original paragraph, she is the one who gave me the idea, and allowed me to publish it on the web.
Also, if you have any questions, please leave me an email, so I can properly reply!
Tonks approached Harry's door slowly, and knocked. She wasn't sure why she was doing so; she just felt she should.
There was a silence, and Tonks wondered if it hadn't been a mistake. She almost turned away when she heard Harry's disgruntled voice call, "come in."
Tonks walked in, and shut the door.
Harry was sitting on his bed, his arms around his knees. He looked, to put it plainly, miserable.
"Are you okay?" Tonks asked tentatively.
"I've been forced to stay at my Godfather's old house, and have constant reminders, how do you think I feel?" Harry snapped.
Tonks had never heard him snap at any adults, though she'd overheard him snapping at his friends. Perhaps he didn't quite think of her as one of the adults – they were only six years apart, after all.
"Well," Tonks began, "it is the safest option."
"That's what they said about Sirius," Harry mumbled. "Look how that worked."
Tonks sighed, and sat down. "You miss him, don't you?"
Harry paused, obviously unsure of whether or not he wanted to admit to it. "Yeah," he said, after a moment.
"I miss him, too," Tonks said. "And I know exactly how you feel."
Harry gave a sarcastic snort. "You have no idea."
Tonks folded her arms. "Do you really think so, Harry? He was my cousin!"
"Yeah, well, Sirius was your cousin, but he was also the only father I knew!" Harry shouted, standing up.
Tonks stood up as well. "Maybe so, Harry, but that doesn't mean I loved Sirius any less, okay? And he was more than just my cousin! He was sort of a second, younger father, a mentor, a brother, and my best friend! Before his arrest, he was my world, and he became my world again the moment he left Azkaban! Sirius may not have been the only father I knew, but I still loved him, and don't you DARE think I didn't cry for hours when he died! Don't you... don't..."
Tonks started crying softly, and couldn't speak for several moments.
"I'm sorry," Harry said quietly.
"You aren't the only one who misses him, and hates having to be here," Tonks sniffled. "Whenever I see that horrible woman I'm supposed to call 'Aunt Estrada', I think of how she ruined Sirius. Whenever I see that family tree, I want to rip it apart faster than you can say 'pureblood.' The first t-time I came here, after... what happened, I wanted to die. I really wanted to die."
"Wow," Harry said, clearly stunned. "That's... wow."
"And I miss him," Tonks continued. "I wish I'd had more time... even one more week."
"Me too," Harry said quietly. "And it was my fault, too."
"It wasn't," Tonks said.
"It was!" Harry shouted again. "If I had used the mirror he gave me, instead of refusing to open it, if I had listened to Hermione-"
"Harry, don't be a dolt," Tonks said sharply. "You-Know-Who would've found a way to find you otherwise, and Sirius still would've come after you!"
"Sure," Harry said. "It was still my fault."
"Harry, did you even hear what I said? Sirius did it for you willingly, and he was going to no matter what," Tonks said.
"That doesn't help," Harry said shortly.
Tonks sighed. You know how it feels, a little voice said.
"I know it's easy to... take blame," Tonks began. "But the thing is, it's not going to do any good. It wasn't your fault, and you need to try and come to terms with that."
Harry stared for a moment. "How can I?"
Tonks shrugged. "That's for you to figure out. But for a good start, remember this – you did not make him choose to follow you. You did not make any of that happen."
There was a long, pregnant pause.
"It's not something you can just get over," Tonks continued. "I know that for a fact, because I've been there. Many times."
"You have?" Harry asked.
Tonks nodded. "I was seven when Sirius was sent to Azkaban... Mum wouldn't tell me why, nor would she let anyone else tell me. I was convinced for years that I'd done something to either make him look bad, or make him go crazy. I was convinced of this until I was sixteen, when Remus finally explained everything – or what he thought was everything. But before? I thought it was because I'd done something wrong."
"And when he died, I blamed myself for not stopping him, not begging him to stay, for... for letting myself be hexed... he jumped in to continue the fight with B-Bellatrix, after all. If I hadn't been hit, he might be alive."
Tonks felt another tear scurrying down her cheek, and wiped it again. "When you're grieving and confused, Harry, you blame yourself. But in the end... unless we purposely and physically cause something bad to happen, it is not our fault."
Tonks realized she'd needed to say those very words to someone, partially to help convince herself of their validity.
"I wish I could see him again, just for another few hours even," Harry said quietly.
"So do I," Tonks replied.
There was yet another pause, in which Tonks wiped away a stray tear.
Harry suddenly seemed to be examining Tonks. "You know, there's something you said when we met."
"I said a lot of things," Tonks said, grinning wryly.
"Yeah, but... you asked me if I would mind hiding my scar... was there a reason?"
Tonks closed her eyes. Unwillingly, she felt her hair growing shoulder length, and she grew an extra inch.
Tonks opened them, and looked in a mirror; what looked like a twenty two year old version of Bellatrix Lestrange stared back at her.
"This is my scar, Harry," Tonks said sadly. "Having to look like a horrible, loathsome creature named Bellatrix Lestrange. She's my aunt, you see."
Harry stared. "Wow..."
"But see... I don't let it rule me anymore. Then again, I can hide it, and you can hide yours... but I've been trying not to hide it. Yesterday, I went into work looking like this, and everything was fine. Nobody tried to arrest me, nobody said anything... they knew it was me, and they accepted it, as long as I did."
"So it's just a matter of acceptance?" Harry asked slowly.
Tonks nodded. "Exactly. Again, it's not easy, but..."
"It can work?" Harry finished.
"Yes," Tonks said.
Remus poked his head in. "Tonks? Harry? Molly's made Meatballs."
Tonks looked back at Harry. "Are you coming?"
Harry smiled. "Absolutely."
The two of them walked down, and for a moment, Tonks felt comforted.
Neither of them were alone.