A message from the Author: This is a Harry centric story featuring a Harry/Tonks pairing. The story really gets started in chapter 3. The first two chapters use past and current events to introduce new characters and provide information which is critical to the story.
I would like to give a special thanks to old-crow for doing some beta work on this story for me. He's corrected many an error and keeps me thinking about where I'm taking the story. Thanks to his efforts this is a much better read. So thanks!
Thank you all for reading and reviewing. I appreciate all of your feedback and comments. I'm glad to see so many of you seem to be enjoying reading it as much as I'm enjoying writing it.
Anyway, enough of this garbage let's get on with the story!
Disclaimer: Nothings mine, its all Rowling's.
Chapter 1 – Jake Trapp
…Summer after 'Goblet of Fire'
"Waiter!" Jake said with a wave of his hand. He almost laughed out loud as the nervous little man who had been helping him since he came in to eat rushed over, tripping over another patrons chair as he hurried to respond to the summons.
"Yes sir? Is there something I can get for you?"
"I think I'm all set, how about a check?"
"Of course sir, right away!" the waiter said, quickly skittering off to fulfill his request.
Jake's eyes twinkled with mirth at the young mans antics as he watched him practically run away. He wasn't the largest man around coming in at only five foot ten inches tall, but when combined with his muscular build, long dark hair and the numerous tattoos and scars he had accumulated during his years in the American Military he tended to be an imposing figure.
After paying his check and being sure to give the waiter a generous tip for the entertainment he provided, Jake left the small diner and wandered aimlessly through the streets of London, not really caring where he ended up. A few years back he had left the States to do some sight seeing around Europe and had never returned. Though he occasionally cursed the weather, he had fallen in love with England and all her quirks and attitudes and had decided very quickly that this was where he wanted to make his home.
Growing up he had never known what a real home was, well he'd had an idea, but had never had one to call his own. He had been shuffled around from foster home to foster home and even spent some time in an orphanage before he finally grew old enough to take control of his own life at which time he had joined the Navy. After serving in an untold number of skirmishes, he had finally had enough and moved away.
Turning a corner Jake ran into an oddly dressed woman.
"I'm sorry ma'am. Are you ok?" he asked as he extended his hand to help her up.
An odd feeling moved within him as he took in the lady's appearance. He had felt it many times before in many different countries but had never been able to explain or figure it out. It was almost as if he had another sense. It was like seeing, hearing or feeling, though not with his eyes, ears or hands.
The woman took his offered hand warily and allowed him to help her up before thanking him and hurrying off. Jake stood still staring after her for several minutes. The odd feeling had intensified slightly when their hands had touched. Shaking himself out of his reverie, he finally turned and continued on his way.
Jake slowly walked down the street stopping occasionally to browse in the many shops windows, not in a hurry to do anything. Looking up he found a curious sign hanging above the door of a small shabby looking establishment.
"Hmmm," he muttered softly to himself, "The Leaky Cauldron." As he looked at the entrance to the pub, he began to get that same strange feeling he occasionally had. Curious as to what answers this place might hold for him, he stepped towards the door intent on seeing what the story behind the Leaky Cauldron was. He was about to enter when he heard a scream from a nearby alleyway.
Completely forgetting about the pub, Jake ran down the street to the alley, stopping next to the wall just short of the entrance. With a smooth practiced motion, he took a quick look into the alley to assess the situation before returning to his position where he was concealed from view.
'Five individuals. Two in black robes, two in street clothes, one down.' he thought quickly. The next instant he was on the move, sliding silently into the alley and taking up a position behind some large trash bins. Working his way forward, he moved into a position close to the individuals, removing a large knife from within his right boot as he did so.
"Avada Kedavra!" one of the black robed figures cried out.
Jake watched impassively as a green light left the tip of a stick the individual had been holding and slammed into the chest of one of the normally dressed people. He was surprised to see the man fall over, apparently dead.
'Ok,' he thought again, 'light from the sticks, bad.'
"Expelliarmus!" the other robed figure yelled out.
The stick the other normally dressed figure had been holding flew from her hand and she was hurled backward. A groan escaping her lips as she slid down the wall she had hit.
The men in the cloaks laughed as they stepped forward.
"Well, well, it would seem you Aurors aren't so tough after all."
The woman looked up defiantly as she held a large wound on her left shoulder that was bleeding heavily.
"This one still seems to have some fight left in her, what do you think we should do about that?"
The cloaked man laughed ominously as he slowly raised his wand, drawing out the moment to further terrify his victim.
Jake's eyes narrowed as he witnessed the scene. 'No.' he simply thought before leaping into motion.
As he emerged from his hiding place, he could see the surprise in the eyes of the cloaked men even though the cowards were wearing white masks. He raised his arm with a sharp motion as he ran forward, throwing his knife towards the man on the far side who was raising his stick towards the young woman on the ground.
The man let out a yell of pain and dropped his wand as the knife entered his chest, his hands rising to the wound as he fell to his knees.
The other cloaked man's eyes changed from confusion to anger as he realized they were being attacked by this 'muggle' and raising his wand began firing curses at the stranger.
Jake was all business as he continued forward now having to dodge the multi colored lights coming from the man's stick. Narrowly dodging a red beam of light, Jake swung his leg across the front of the man kicking the stick away from his grasp making a quick mental note of its location as it clattered away across the alley. Continuing to spin, he re-planted his foot on the ground and swung around striking his assailant hard in the side of his head with his left elbow and following it up with a hard punch from his right fist.
The cloaked man dropped like a sack of stones and was out cold. Jake stopped in a ready position before the man had even hit the pavement and quickly turned his gaze back to the other man to find him lying on the ground dead, the knife he had thrown still sticking out of his chest.
After making a quick visual sweep of the alley, Jake removed the knife from the dead man's chest, wiping the blood from its blade on the man's cloak as he did so. Replacing the knife in his boot, he slowly made his way over to the young woman.
"Are you alright?" he asked softly as he stepped towards her.
The girl had a wary look in her eye as he approached, but he knew she had witnessed what happened and that she was aware he had helped her.
"Yes mostly. Thanks." she said shakily. "Names Tonks by the way."
Jake smiled kindly and removed the long sleeve shirt he was wearing over his t-shirt. Folding it up, he pulled her hand away from the wound on her left shoulder and held it firmly in place.
"Jake Trapp. We need to get you to a hospital."
He was surprised to see her shaking her head. "No, I just need my wand."
"My wand." she repeated, "That short stick over there."
Turning to see where she was pointing, Jake saw the stick that had been taken from her during the fight. Placing her hand back on his makeshift bandage to hold it in place, Jake went to retrieve the strange object. He started to hand it to her when he hesitated. He was a little bit nervous about giving it to her considering what he knew of its capabilities and what he didn't know about her and the situation he had just found himself involved in.
"What exactly is this?"
Tonks lowered her extended hand as she saw his hesitance to give her what he no doubt perceived to be a weapon. "It's a magical wand. It allows me to focus and use magical energies."
Looking at the wand he was holding, Jake realized he was experiencing the same odd feelings he had felt time and time again over the years. "Magic is real then is it?"
"Hmm, that explains so much." Jake said mostly to himself though Tonks heard what he said.
"What do you mean?"
Jake turned from the wand to face her. "All my life I've had these strange feelings that come and go. I've never been able to figure out what it was until now. I can feel it when I hold the wand and when I look at you."
Tonks nodded. "It sounds like you can sense magic. Maybe you're a wizard?"
"You're kidding right?"
Tonks smiled. "Not at all, I can check if you want me too, but I'll need my wand."
She could tell he was still a little bit nervous about giving her the wand back. "Tell you what, how about you let me fix my shoulder then I'll give it back to you and we can talk about it some more."
Jake could tell she was in pain and even with applying pressure to the wound with his temporary bandage, the injury was still bleeding. Keeping a watchful eye, he carefully handed Tonks the wand.
Tonks let Jakes bloodied shirt fall to the ground as she took the offered wand. She was very careful to move slowly and keep it pointed away from him. Having just seen what he had done to the two death eaters that had killed a muggle, her partner and disarmed her with relative ease, she didn't want to give him any reason to doubt her.
She grimaced in pain as she placed the wand a little too close to her arm accidentally touching the open wound with its tip. After taking a deep breath to push the pain away, Tonks muttered an incantation and moved the wand slowly in a clockwise motion causing a soft blue light to surround her shoulder.
Jake watched curiously as a blue light escaped from the tip of Tonks wand. He found it fascinating to watch the wound heal as if it were a movie being played in fast forward. "That's a pretty handy trick."
Tonks smiled and nodded in agreement. "Yeah, I've got a lot of use out of that one being as clumsy as I am." Now finished healing her shoulder, Tonks carefully offered the wand back to Jake, continuing to move slowly and making sure the tip was never pointed at him. She was surprised when he shook his head and didn't take it.
"You sure?" she asked.
"Yeah, I've always been a pretty good judge of character and something tells me you're ok."
A companionable smile found its way onto Tonks face. "Thanks," she said.
Pointing the wand as Jakes shirt, she cast a quick cleaning spell to remove the blood stain and then frowned as she had to cast it two more times before all of the blood was gone. "Cleaning spells were never my strong point," she said causing Jake to chuckle as she handed him back his shirt.
Jake put his shirt back on as Tonks slid her wand into a holster on her forearm. Taking an offered hand, she then pulled herself to her feet.
"So, what was all this about?" Jake asked as they surveyed the alley.
Tonks sighed and was about to go into a long explanation about the Death Eaters when several popping sounds interrupted the pair. Tonks wand instantly appeared in her hand as she faced the new arrivals. Jake took up a position next to her with his knife at the ready.
A moment later Jake felt a hand on his arm and heard Tonks whisper to him. "It's ok, they're Aurors like me."
Jake lowered the knife and looked at her curiously. "Aurors?"
Tonks nodded. "Coppers."
Lowering the knife, Jake quickly stashed it back in his boot. As he stood back up, Tonks took hold of his arm again and quietly spoke.
"Follow my lead. If they think you're a muggle they'll obliviate you."
'Muggle? Obliviate?' he wondered. That didn't sound good, whatever it was. His eyes narrowed slightly and head tilted as a look of curiosity appeared on his face.
Tonks could see his confusion but didn't have time to explain. "Please." she implored him, "Trust me."
Jake looked into her begging eyes for another long second before giving her a short nod. He saw her give him a quick smile and felt her squeeze his arm before she let go of him once again stashing her wand in its holster as the other Aurors approached.
"Auror Tonks." Kingsley Shacklebolt said in greeting to the Jr. Auror as he approached.
"And you are?" he said turning his gaze to Jake.
"Jake Trapp," he said offering the Head Auror his hand.
Kingsley returned the greeting with a shake and a nod before returning his attention to Tonks.
"Johnson," she said with a small waver in her voice, "and I were heading for the Leaky Cauldron when we observed two men in black cloaks pull a woman off the street and into the alleyway. We followed but were too late to prevent that one," she pointed at the death eater Jake had killed with his knife, "from casting the killing curse on her. She screamed briefly before the curse hit her and she fell."
Tonks took a deep breath before continuing. "At that point they turned on us and we noticed they were wearing white Death Eater masks. We drew our wands but before we could cast any spells, that one," she now indicated the other Death Eater who had just been re-stunned by Kingsley's companions, "used the killing curse on Johnson and the other one disarmed me."
"They were about to torture me when Mr. Trapp appeared and killed one with a knife and knocked the other one out. He then helped me heal my arm and then you arrived."
Kingsley looked deep in thought for a few minutes as he assimilated her words while gazing around the alley. With a nod towards Tonks, he turned to Jake.
"Mr. Trapp, it would seem I owe you thanks for saving one of my Aurors. Would you mind explaining the events of today from your perspective?"
Jake nodded. "I was doing some window shopping and was about to go into the Leaky Cauldron when I heard a scream and came to investigate. When I arrived the lady on the ground was already dead. I managed to work my way forward without being seen until I was behind that dumpster over there." Jake tilted his head to the right indicating a trash bin not far away.
"I drew my knife just in time to see a green light hit your other Auror and another light disarm Tonks here. They were advancing on her when I dispatched the one and knocked out the other. I then helped Tonks with her shoulder."
Again Kingsley nodded as he thought through the events of the day. "Once again thank you Mr. Trapp. I believe you saved a life today. I don't expect there will be any charges filed in this case with the exception of the surviving criminal."
"Criminal Sir?" Tonks interjected, "Don't you mean Death Eater?"
Kingsley sighed. "I'm afraid I mean criminal. Unfortunately our esteemed 'Minister' in all his wisdom is not recognizing the return of the Dark Lord. That means these men are not Death Eaters. There are, however, still many laws on the books that are left over from the last war so he will be charged with possession of Death Eater paraphernalia, attempting to incite hate/fear for wearing said paraphernalia not to mention he's an accomplice to the murder of the muggle as well as personally killing a law enforcement official. He'll be lucky if he only ends up with a life sentence in Azkaban rather than the Dementor's kiss."
Tonks nodded in understanding. It seemed the Minister was operating at his usual level of competence.
"Mr. Trapp, we'll need your personal information so that we can contact you in the future if it becomes necessary."
"I know how to get a hold of him." Tonks quickly said.
Kingsley nodded. "You're excused Auror Tonks. Please make sure your reports on my desk no later than Friday. Due to the death of your partner you'll be on administrative leave until further notice."
"Yes Sir." she said to Kingsley before turning to the man next to her. "Come on Jake."
With a quick nod towards Kingsley, Jake followed Tonks out of the alley. They walked down the street in silence for several blocks, each contemplating the events of the afternoon. Looking at his companion Jake noticed she seemed a little on edge.
Tonks looked back at Jake and smiled. "Yeah, I'm fine."
He looked back at her taking in the forced smile on her face for several long seconds before shaking his head. "No you're not. Come on."
Placing his hand on the center of her back he led her into a nearby muggle pub, pushing her onto a stool at the far end of the bar. Waving to get the bartenders attention Jake tapped his fingers on the counter in front of him. "Whiskey."
Tossing a towel he had been cleaning a glass with over his shoulder, the robust man tending the bar picked up two shot glasses and a bottle of whiskey as he made his way over to the pair. Setting the glasses in front of them he poured them each a drink and started to leave.
"Leave the bottle," Jake said tossing a small pile of pound notes on the bar in front of him to let the bartender know he was serious.
With a quick nod the man set the bottle down and left to help some other patrons.
Picking up his glass, Jake held it up towards Tonks who followed suit.
"To the next great adventure," Jake said before swallowing the glass of amber colored liquor in a single motion. Setting the glass back down on the bar he picked up the bottle of whiskey and poured himself another shot before noticing that Tonks was looking at him curiously.
Tonks shook her head and swallowed her drink. "Sorry, I just know someone else who refers to death that way."
Jake nodded and filled her glass. Placing the bottle back on the bar he picked up his drink and took a sip. "It really is you know."
"The next great adventure." Gesturing around to nothing in particular he continued. "Surely you don't think this is all there is do you?"
"No, I suppose not. Being a witch and learning about all sorts of magics I know there's more, I just don't know what."
Jake nodded and sat staring at his drink for a long while. "Did you know your partner well?"
Shocked by the subtle shift in topics, Tonks looked up quickly from her own drink to find concerned eyes looking back. A moment later she looked back down. "No. Not really. We were only put together two days ago. I don't think he had a wife, just a sister somewhere. I feel sorry for her."
"How do you feel about it?"
Tonks thought about the question for several minutes before answering. "I don't know. I guess I'm not as upset about it as I thought I'd be. I mean I'm upset, I just don't feel as bad as I thought I would. We all know the risks of the job and they try to prepare us for this type of thing, it's just, oh, I don't know, it just… it doesn't really feel real I guess."
Jake nodded knowingly. "It hasn't sunk in yet."
"Yeah, I guess."
Taking a napkin, Jake wrote his phone number down and passed it to Tonks. "Here, I've been there, if you decide you need someone to talk too when it sinks in, give me a call."
"Thanks." Tonks said sincerely as she shoved the napkin in her pocket. Picking up her shot glass she downed another drink. Jake followed closely behind before refilling both of their glasses.
"How did you do that by the way?"
Jake grinned as he took a sip of his drink. "Easy, I just picked up the bottle and poured. The tricky part was getting it all to land in the shot glasses."
Tonks rolled her eyes as Jake chuckled.
"Come on, I'm taking about what you did to the Death Eaters. I want to know how you took out two armed Death Eaters without using magic."
Letting out a deep breath, Jake looked her in the eye. "I was in the American Military for most of my life. Hand to hand combat just seemed to come naturally to me." With a shrug of his shoulders he turned back to his drink and took another sip. "Unfortunately most of my time is still classified so I can't talk about much of it."
Tonks nodded in understanding. Several of the missions she had been on were also classified. "Any chance you could teach me some of that?" Losing her wand had made her feel more vulnerable than she cared to admit and she hoped he would be willing to teach her to fight without it. Until she watched him deal with the Death Eaters as easily as he had, it had never occurred to her it was possible to fight them successfully with anything but magic.
Jake gave Tonks a calculating look as he thought about her request. "I suppose I could. How about if I teach you to fight and you teach me about the magical world?"
"Sure!" Tonks said with no small about of excitement.
"So let's start with what it was that you were worried about them doing to me back there and what are these Death Eaters you keep mentioning?"
"Obliviate. Basically they were going to erase part of your memory."
A look of anger crossed Jakes face and he looked like he wanted to say something but Tonks kept talking.
"The magical world is kept secret from the muggles. It wasn't always that way but if you know anything about the witch hunts from long ago I think you can understand why we all went into hiding. Whenever muggles witness us doing magic or find out anything about us and don't have a connection to the magical world we erase those memories from them."
Jake just shook his head, not entirely thrilled about what he was hearing. "Unbelievable. What gives you the right to take peoples memories from them?"
"Hey," Tonks said raising her hands, "I don't make the laws. It's been this way for hundreds of years. And it's not like we do it for fun or erase more than information about the magical world, it's to protect the magical community."
"I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on this point. I don't think I'll ever think its right to take unwilling peoples memories from them. It's our memories that make us who we are."
"I know, and honestly, I agree with you, probably because my dad's a muggle. Attitudes have changed a lot over the years and I'm not convinced the world wouldn't accept us now. Unfortunately I'm only one Junior Auror."
"It only takes one person to start a revolution Tonks." Jake said before moving the conversation along. "Anyway, what are Death Eaters?"
Tonks spent hours explaining all about Death Eaters and the Dark Lord. Jake noticed with particular amusement that she seemed to become much more animated and excited when she spoke about a young man who seemed to be a constant thorn in the Dark Lords side, Harry Potter.
"No one believes Harry and Dumbledore that he's come back, but I do. Harry's amazing. He'd never make anything like that up. If he said it happened, then it did," Tonks said with certainty and a smile playing on her face.
"So, you seem to be a bit taken with this Harry," Jake said with a bit of mischievousness in his voice.
"What?" Tonks quickly replied, all of her attention becoming focused on him in an instant.
Jake just raised an eyebrow.
"I'm not, it's, I mean…" Tonks was blushing bright red. Her embarrassment turned to incredulity as she noticed Jake laughing hysterically beside her. Reining in her blush, Tonks smacked the older man on the back of his head. "Quit picking on me."
Jake let out another laugh as she blushed again and took another shot of whiskey. Finishing his glass, Jake stood a little unsteadily and threw a few more pounds on the bar.
"Come on kid, let's get you home."
Tonks nodded and got up from her stool. Jake broke down in hysterics as she ended up on the floor in a ball of limbs and chair as she ran into the table next to where they were sitting. Jake continued to laugh as he helped the giggling girl up from the floor.
"Thanks Jake." Tonks said as she hung limply within his grasp.
"No problem." he replied. "Tonks?... Tonks?..."
Jake shook his head and chuckled as he realized she was out cold. Shaking his head, he picked her up, tossing the small girl over his shoulder before walking a bit uncertainly out of the bar.
Looking around as he began making his way down the street, Jake was surprised to find the streets were mostly deserted. Glancing at his watch he discovered it was almost one in the morning. Not knowing where she lived or what else to do, he walked several blocks to a brick building that housed five stories of units and climbed the many steps to the fourth floor where his apartment was located.
After making his way inside, he took Tonks into his bedroom and laid her down on the bed. She groaned softly and rolled over before a whisper escaped her mouth.
"Night Harry," she said softly before fading back into oblivion.
Jake couldn't help but grin and after removing her shoes, threw a blanket over her and went back into the living room to sleep on the couch.
Tonks woke the next morning and let out a groan as the pounding in her head let her know in no uncertain terms that she had gotten a little carried away the night before. She lay still for several minutes using her internal magic to calm her aching head before she was finally able to sit up.
'Must be Jake's place.' she thought as she took in the unfamiliar surroundings. The last thing she remembered was falling on the floor of the bar they'd been talking in. Throwing aside the blanket that covered her she was glad to find she was still fully clothed, though she wasn't really surprised. Something about Jake made her feel comfortable and safe. She found she already trusted him even though she had only known him a very short time.
After slipping on her shoes which she found on the floor next to the bed, she took a good look at her surroundings. The room was simply furnished with basic hardwood furniture. A few odds and ends were scattered about and some dirty clothing littered the floor. The walls held a few pictures but they were all of landscapes and buildings rather than family and friends.
After taking a moment to stretch, Tonks stood from where she was sitting intent on finding her host. The minute she opened the door to the bedroom the smell of bacon hit her nostrils making her stomach feel a bit queasy.
"Morning Tonks!" Jake greeted his guest merrily as she appeared in the hallway.
"Uugh." Tonks grumbled as she wrapped one arm around her stomach and covered her mouth and nose with her other hand.
Jake couldn't help but laugh. "Come here."
Tonks wandered over to where he was working in the kitchen looking warily at a glass filled with a suspicious looking dark red concoction that Jake placed on the counter in front of her as she approached. "What's this?"
"A cure for what ails you."
Peering into the glass she held she found the mixture appeared to have stuff floating in it. Bringing it closer to her nose, Tonks took an experimental whiff. "Oh my god!" she exclaimed pulling back quickly with a grimace on her face. "What the hell's in this?"
"Don't ask a question you don't want to know the answer too." Jake said with a grin on his face. He found himself extremely amused as he watched the young woman in front of him debate about the 'drink' she held. "I'd just pinch your nose and drink it down quick if I were you."
Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, Tonks held up the glass. "Cheers," she said before pinching her nose and throwing back the contents of the glass.
The 'goop' as she was best able to describe it seemed to crawl down her throat. Pinching her nose seemed to help with the smell and taste but as soon as she had finished the glass she found herself doubled over coughing violently. Her mouth, nose and throat felt like they were on fire and her eyes resembled leaky faucets as the tears ran freely down her face.
Jake was laughing hysterically. "Showers that way," he said pointing down the hall.
Unable to respond, Tonks ran down the hall slamming the bathroom door behind her before she stripped off her clothes and jumped in the shower with only the cold tap turned on. Between fits of coughing she managed to swallow a fair amount of the ice cold water before she finally got herself under control.
"Bugger," she said breathing heavily. With her fit past her, Tonks turned up the hot water and went ahead and took an actual shower. After finding clean towels under the sink, she dried herself off and cast several cleaning charms on her clothes before putting them back on.
"I should curse you into the next century for that!" Tonks growled much to Jake's amusement as she returned to the kitchen. "What the hell were you trying to do to me?"
"How do you feel?" Jake said still chuckling.
"I said, How. Do. You. Feel?" he repeated annunciating every word of his question slowly.
Tonks looked shocked for a minute before she realized her hangover was only a memory now. "Umm, better, but I'm not sure it was worth it," she said grumpily.
Smiling, Jake handed her a large plate of eggs, bacon and hash browns which she eagerly took before sitting at the small kitchen table and diving in hungrily.
Pouring two cups of coffee, Jake joined her.
"Thanks," Tonks said accepting one of the steaming cups.
"Aren't you going to eat?" she asked feeling a bit rude to be eating in front of him.
"I ate while you were in the shower," Jake replied.
With a quick nod, Tonks returned to her meal though she set a more sedate pace than she had initially. "Thanks for taking care of me last night. I can't believe I got that shnockered."
"You did ok… for a light weight." Jake said grinning. He found himself smiling a lot around Tonks.
Tonks groaned. "You get some sort of sick pleasure out of busting my chops or something?"
Jake looked thoughtful for a minute. "Yup."
"Great," Tonks said rolling her eyes, "the big brother I never wanted."
"Hmmm, yeah, that'll work. Big brother… I like that," Jake said reaching over and ruffling Tonks pink hair.
Tonks just shook her head but she couldn't help but smile back at Jake. She really did like him and to be honest she had always wanted a sibling.
"So," Jake began, "tell me all about the wonderful world of magic. You got a broom and a black cat?"
You are instructed to report to the office of the Head of Magical Law Enforcement Amelia Bones office at 2:00PM on July 14th concerning the matter of the death of Auror Johnson.
Tonks rubbed her eyes as she re-read the letter for the tenth time. She had gone over what happened in the alley over and over in her mind and knew she had done everything correctly, but for some reason she still felt nervous about the meeting she had to attend in a couple hours time.
"Don't worry about it Tonks," Jake said. "You didn't do anything wrong. They're probably just ready to put your lazy ass back to work."
It had been four days since the incident with the Death Eaters and Tonks had spent almost all of her time hanging out with Jake.
"I know, I know, there's just something about being called in to your boss's office."
"Auror Tonks to see Madam Bones." Tonks said as she entered the Head of Magical Law Enforcements outer office.
"Please have a seat, she'll be with you in a moment." the receptionist said.
Tonks took the offered seat and sat nervously fidgeting her fingers as she waited. A few minutes later Kingsley Shacklebolt entered the office.
"Hey Tonks," he said with a smile.
"Try not to look so nervous Tonks, it's all good."
A wave of relief passed over Tonks at his words and smile as he let her know everything was fine.
"Madam Bones will see you both now."
Getting up from her seat, Tonks followed Kingsley into the office standing next to him in front of Amelia's desk.
"Have a seat Aurors." Amelia began with a gesture towards a pair of chairs sitting in front of her desk.
"Head Auror Shacklebolt, I have reviewed your records concerning the investigation into the death of Auror Johnson and find that Auror Tonks was not at fault in that incident." A small smile appeared on her face as she saw Tonks visibly relax and let out a sigh of relief.
"Auror Tonks, your record will be cleared of this incident and you are returned to active duty effective immediately."
"Thank you Director Bones." Tonks replied happily.
Amelia nodded. "You're quite welcome Auror. Dismissed."
Tonks nodded and left the office in very good spirits.
The next several months passed quickly for Tonks. She spent most of her free time with Jake and the two became very close. Tonks continued to teach Jake everything she could think of about the wizarding world and just as he had promised, Jake taught Tonks how to fight muggle style.
He was amazed at how fast Tonks picked up hand to hand fighting. He himself had been told he picked it up far quicker than anyone his instructors had ever worked with, but Tonks was learning it even faster than he had. It would still take years for her to master, but he had no problem admitting he was impressed with her ability to pick up the skill. Eventually they decided it was because of the closeness Tonks had with her body as a Metamorphmagus.
It was a Saturday night and Jake was watching some TV when he heard a knock on his door. Getting up to answer it he was surprised to find Tonks on the other side looking something like a mixture of angry and upset.
"Tonks? I didn't expect to see you tonight. You ok?"
"Sorry, can I come in?" she asked with a hint of sadness in her voice.
"Of course you can, nothing to be sorry about." Jake replied moving out of the way to let her in. "Take a seat. I'll get us some beers."
"Got anything stronger?"
"Course." Jake replied foregoing the beers and grabbing a bottle of Fire Whiskey and a couple of glasses from a cupboard in the kitchen.
Figuring the first glass would be consumed in a single gulp, Jake only poured the equivalent of about a shot into each glass. A moment later Tonks glass was placed back on the table, empty. Jake followed her actions though he took a bit more time to give the liquor a chance to numb her a little bit before placing his glass next to hers and filling each about half full. Replacing the cap on the bottle, Jake picked up his drink and took a sip before sitting back in the couch.
"This Fire Whiskey's pretty good stuff," he said examining the glass. "I particularly like the way it makes a little smoke come out of your ears when you shoot it."
Tonks let a small smile creep on to her face but Jake could tell it was forced. He watched as the smile slipped away and she picked up her own drink and took a sip.
"So what happened with your date?" Jake asked after she was done swallowing.
Tonks was quiet for several minutes before she finally turned to face Jake. "Why did I have to be born a stupid toy?"
Jake sighed having a pretty good idea where this was going.
"I mean it's always the same. No one I go out with ever sees me. I'm just a stupid toy for them to play with."
"What'd he do?"
Tonks took another sip and swallowed hard. "Things were going great. He was being really nice and dinner was great. He asked all about me and seemed interested. We went dancing and started kissing…" Tonks stopped and took another slightly larger drink before continuing.
"He pulled me close and after another minute he asked me if I could make myself a little taller to make it easier to dance. I was a little worried about it but did. I mean I guess it made sense and he didn't ask me to change the way I looked or anything. We danced some more and I was ok with it until he said I should make my breasts bigger to match my new height."
Jake didn't say anything, he just scooted closer and wrapped an arm around her. A minute later she was sobbing into his chest.
"Why? Why doesn't anyone like me? They all want me to be someone else," she said between sobs.
"Cause they're idiots. If they knew what I know about you, they'd be kicking themselves for losing you. You're one of the most wonderful people I've ever met and someday you'll find the one you're looking for."
Tonks let out a halfhearted huff. "I doubt it, they all see a toy."
"All of them?" Jake asked. "Even… Harry?"
He grinned as he felt Tonks smile against his shirt.
"Hey, I know how to cheer you up," Jake said in a much more jovial voice. "How about I go beat the snot out of the little butt hole?"
Tonks let out a snort and looked up with a smile on her face. "Naw, that's ok."
"Awe, come on. As your big brother, I think it's my right to be able to pound the crap out of anyone that makes you cry."
Tonks smiled and gave Jake a big hug. "Thanks Jake," she whispered.
Jake held her for a long time while she was lost in thought about her life and who she was. The silence was so comfortable he was a little surprised when he heard her whisper his name.
"Jake?" she said softly.
"Can I tell you a secret?"
Jake nodded even though he knew she couldn't see him with her head lying against his chest. "Of course."
It was quite for another minute before she continued. "I've never told anyone this, not even my parents."
Jake listened carefully realizing by her words and the tone of her voice she wanted to share something very important, very special with him.
Sitting up Tonks looked Jake in the eye and took a deep breath. "I'm not a Metamorphmagus."