Holy buckets, I need sleep. But I can't, because I received a very disturbing piece of mail this morning. Apparently, the Malfoy boy is getting pretty close to sneaking Death Eaters into Hogwarts, says Bellatrix. Yeah, right. She's doing this just to scare me, but I took it to Dumbledore anyway, just in case. So it's ten o clock at night right now, and I'm sitting outside of the Hufflepuff common room with Professor Sprout. For the thousandth (it seems like) time today, I'm explaining that she didn't tell me when or how or anything that a smart Death Eater would keep secret. I'm starting to wish I had volunteered to guard Gryffindor tower. I would have been with McGonagall and wouldn't sound like a broken record. I didn't volunteer for Gryffindor, because Gryffindors had a nasty habit of sneaking out at night. A habit that, I'm sure, that Ginny has inherited. I don't need to argue with her tonight about staying in the tower, so I'm stuck repeating the letter to Sprout. I'm hungry, too. It's around midnight, and I haven't eaten since my quick sandwich at dinner. I'm contemplating running down the hall to the kitchens when I hear muffled yells.

"What the hell?" I say, jumping to my feet.

Sprout does the same and, with a look at one another, we both run to take the formations that Dumbledore assigned us in case of an attack.


Damn it! Damn it to hell! I can't see a thing. I'm lying flat on my stomach with one hand on Ron's shoulder and one on Neville's. We've just seen Malfoy come out of the Room of Requirement, but he's thrown some of Fred and George's darkness powder and it's gone pitch black. I don't know what we're going to…

I've just remembered, my mirror! I take my hand off of Ron's shoulder; all of us trying to keep as quiet as possible so the Death Eaters don't know where to shoot jinxes. I pull out the mirror and whisper,

"Nymphadora Tonks"

Her face lights up in a small square on my hand.

"Not now Ginny," she says hurriedly.

"Seventh floor, Death Eaters!" I say urgently, "They moving, we can't see!"

"Ok," she says, and closes her mirror.

We lay there listening and finally hear the footsteps recede enough for us to move. I stand up, pulling at Ron and Neville's robes to get them to follow. Thanks goodness, the darkness has started to dissipate, and we can see our way out of the corridor.


I love my job. We moved fast enough to catch them on the fifth floor, and I'm dueling now. It's amazing, and the only time I'm even semi-graceful. God only knows what my hair is doing right now. Excitement and adrenaline usually have an interesting effect on it. I know this isn't the time for an analysis on Death Eater dueling form, but this one is rather good. He, or she, is…ahem…a bit large, but whoever it is moves really quickly. It's annoying. The one McGonagall's dueling is slower; she'll take him down in a moment. I know this is bad, but I'm having a bit of fun. It's been horrible these past few weeks, waiting for the storm to break. I think I'll stun him now, I'm tired of him. I'm…

I'm going to kill her. Two redheads just came down the stairs. One of them is Ginny, who is currently taking out Death Eaters like she's been doing this for years. She's not going to hear the end of this one—


Shit, they've upped the ante with the dueling. They're dueling to kill now.

I'm trying to fight my way over to Ginny, but it's not happening. None of the Death Eaters are letting up enough to run over. How did I start dueling three? When did the other two get here? Wait a second, was that Snape? Why the hell isn't he dueling? He's running with the Malfoy boy…Maybe he's taking him to Dumbledore's office. Damn, I've never seen Harry run that fast! He just stunned Greyback and whoever Ginny was fighting, but now he had sprinted out of sight. But now, we're winning…


It's been a week. A whole week since Harry walked into the hospital wing and gave us the news. A week since we found out that Lupin gave in and got engaged to one of Tonk's friends. Another metamorphmagus; she's in a support group or something…A few days since Dumbledore's funeral. Anyway, we're back at home now. I actually haven't seen Tonks since the funeral. She had some mission with Kingsley and hasn't been back yet. I'm dying to use my mirror, but I don't want to put her in danger if she's undercover. She sent a patronus to my dad this morning, saying she's ok and that she'll stop by tomorrow. My parents have gotten pretty attached to her since the battle. My mom still isn't…comfortable with us, but she only brings it up when she and I are alone. She's stopped making it into a family discussion. This is happening less and less now, because wedding plans for Bill and Fleur are in full motion. Mom and Fleur's relationship got loads better when Fleur didn't ditch Bill after Greyback attacked him. Things are really crazy around here now…


Why in god's name Kingsley picked me to go on that mission, I will never know. He bloody well knows I only passed Stealth and Tracking by a stroke of luck. I've been undercover now for longer than I care to be at any given moment. It was worse than guarding that stupid prophecy two years ago. But it's alright; I'm heading to the Burrow now. I promised the Weasleys (Ginny mostly) that I'd stop in when I got off of duty.

Mr. Weasley's there when I apparate at the end of their road.

"How are you Tonks?" he asks with concern.

"'M okay," I tell him, "A little tired, but that's all."

"Good, good," he says, "You should probably go see Ginny first," he says smiling, "she's been worried sick about you."

"Wotcher," I smile back, "It's horrible that I can't tell her that I'll be safe," I tell him, "I know she believes in me and everything, but it would be nice if I could reassure her."

"Those who live in dangerous times don't have the luxury of reassurance, unfortunately," he smiles sadly.

"Ain't that the truth?" I say, as we walk into the house…

LbN: Ok, so their relationship is a bit too perfect right now. Time for a fight, don't you think?

I played the fool today

I just dream of vanishing into the crowd

Longing for home again

Home, is a feeling I buried in you

I'm alright, I'm alright

It only hurts when I breathe

And I can't ask for things to be still again

No I can't ask if I could walk through the world in your eyes

Longing for home again

Home, is a feeling I buried in you

I'm alright, I'm alright

It only hurts when I breathe

-"Breathe" Melissa Etheridge