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Chapter 1: Clothes and a Date
Harry Potter sat on a park bench a few blocks from number four Privet Drive breathing heavily. 'If Voldemort doesn't kill me first, this running thing certainly will' Harry thought to himself. He had recently decided to start working out, so he was both physically and mentally prepared for as much as possible. This was the second morning Harry had gotten up early to run, and he quickly decided four blocks each way was about his limit for now. Later, he would ask his fat lump of a cousin if he could use his weights. Dudley was about the only one who would even acknowledge Harry's presence. Since he had been back to from Hogwarts, his horse faced Aunt and grumpy dolt of an Uncle had gone on to just ignore him as long as he repaid the favor. They were still rude, crude, and socially unacceptable in Harry's book, however this summer he hadn't minded staying with them, of course he had only been back for two weeks and anything could happen in the six more weeks he was to remain there.
Just as Harry got ready to head back, he noticed a slight blur out of the corner of his eye. He turned casually and began jogging farther away from Number Four. If someone was after him he would lead them away into a secluded spot then try to get the jump on them. He made a right at the next street and quickly hid in the bushes after rounding the corner. Sure enough he heard a slight panting and a rustle of cloth. "Invisibility cloak" he said quietly. When he was the other person was almost directly in front of him he jumped out of the bushes. With a soft thud he sat squarely atop his invisible pursuer.
"G'off, Harry." came a familiar woman's voice.
"Tonks, Is that you?" he said, quickly jumping up and pulling the cloak off the woman.
"Sure as hell isn't Princess Diana." She snapped while rubbing her bum "How the hell did you know I was there?"
He shrugged "I saw you move at the park then I could hear you panting when you came round the corner. I just got luck when I tackled you."
"Well I will say one thing Harry, if the Quidditch doesn't work out for ya, you could always play rugby. Can I have my cloak back before I get into trouble?" she asked while snatching it out of his hands. "Just what are you doing jogging anyhow? You never did it before."
"Oh I-Hey wait a minute, how long have you been watching me?"
"Me personally, just every other day this summer. The Order has been keeping tabs on you for quite a while now I guess."
"Well I need to get back. Can you run that far?" he asked innocently.
Tonks rolled her eyes and smiled. "Can I run that far? Harry I'm an Auror. We had to run 5 to 10 Kilometers a day. I think I will be OK running five blocks. The question is, can you make it that far?"
Harry frowned slightly, "I hope so." With out another word he took off at a slower than before pace, trying to conserve energy. Now, panting heavily and sweating profusely, he plopped down onto Mrs. Figg's front lawn. "No more…can't go…any further."
Tonks, seemingly unaffected from running, was laughing at Harry's lack of stamina. "Cor Harry, I thought you were kidding about getting back."
After catching his breath some he scowled at her. "I never said was fit, but you still don'tneed to laugh."
After seeing Harry's seriousness she sobered up. "I'm sorry. I know I shouldn't have laughed, but you should have seen the look on your face. If I hadn't known better, I would have thought you ran all the way from London." Harry grumble and got up to walk across the street to Number Four. "Harry I am your order guard every other day, if you want I can help you."
He stopped and turned around to face her, he smiled and nodded. "I would like that. Who is here the other times?"
"Well I'm not sure, but I think it's Mundungus the other mornings from five until one, like me. From one until nine at night, there are random rotations; and nine until five Remus and Mad Eye take the night shifts. I am surprised you didn't know that. I thought Dumbledore had told you." She said the last part thinking she was going to get in trouble for sure now. "Harry, please don't say anything. I don't want to get yelled at for telling you."
Harry sighed. "I already knew Tonks. I just wanted to confirm who would be ignoring me this summer."
She ruffled his always-messy hair, "Don't worry Harry, I won't ignore ya. I get bored anyhow and need something to do." With that she shooed him on his way and went into Mrs. Figg's house to keep watch from her front windows.
"You know dad will flip if I let you use that stuff." Dudley said.
"Come on Big D, I'll sneak down while he's at work. He'll never know." Harry lightly pleaded.
Dudley sighed, "If you get caught Potter, I know nothing about it. It's your arse not mine."
Harry nodded then decided to have some fun with Dudley. "Thanks Dud. If they find out about you smoking and drinking I'll have their memories wiped for ya."
"Y-you can do that? I mean I happen to like them and don't want them in some loony bin." Dudley whimpered.
He clapped Dudley on the shoulder. "Don't freak out man, I'll have just have that part erased. They will still hate me and love you all the same. No changes other than they don't remember that you are really the hellion and I'm an angel."
Dudley snorted. "You know something? You're not so bad Potter. Just remember to keep that stick away from my head and we're good."
"Well Dud, I never thought I would say this but you're not too bad yourself. That doesn't mean I want to hang out with ya or hold your hand, but maybe we should chat more often."
"Just so you know I have to be rude in front of them." Dudley said while pointing up to his parents' bedroom. "Mungle or not I'm sure you can figure that out."
Harry chuckled "the term is Muggle and I'm not a Muggle, you are, I'm a Wizard. Tell ya what, you give me some pointers on working out and I'll answer any questions I can about my world, Deal? Just remember you can't tell your friends or anyone else"
He thought for a second then agreed "I have a couple books in my room, somewhere. I'll find them for ya. I never read them so I dunno how good they are." Harry Nodded in agreement with Dudley. "Hey I gotta go; I will talk to ya later." Dudley dashed off muttering something.
Harry decided to get his money and see if Tonks would take him to get some new clothes 'I need to get some galleons exchanged too' he thought while knocking on Mrs. Figg's door.
"Wotcher Harry" Tonks said as she answered the door. "Miss me or something?" she asked while winking and ushering him inside.
He shook his head at her then greeted his squib neighbor "Hello Mrs. Figg, I hope I'm not intruding."
Mrs. Figg smiled "Certainly not Harry, glad you popped in, tea?"
"No thank you, I just wanted to ask Tonks if she would do me a favor."
"Whacha need Harry?" Tonks asked.
"I need to get some Galleons exchanged and go shopping. As you can tell my wardrobe looks like an elephant wore them." He said timidly.
Mrs. Figg stepped into the conversation "How much do you need Harry? I have some muggle money, how much do you need?"
He shrugged his shoulders "Not sure, How much would a new wardrobe cost?"
"Well if you're not into fashion I think you could get quite a lot for a couple hundred pounds, or about forty Galleons. However that would be the works. New shirts, shoes, pants, shorts socks, underwear, the whole shebang. How much were you looking to spend?" Mrs. Figg informed him.
"I dunno but forty galleons is way less than I was thinking it would cost, so forty would be just fine." He answered.
"Let me get my handbag and see how much I have on me."
Until this point Tonks had been silent. "Harry, you should send and Owl to Gringotts asking them for a conversion card. You know what a credit card is right?" he nodded "Get a conversion card and it will come right out of your vault and you can use it in the muggle world. Quick, easy and hassle free, I got one and it only costs five galleons a year."
"I never knew about those, but I think I will send an owl later." he said smiling.
Mrs. Figg returned shaking her head. "Sorry Harry, I've only got a hundred and fifty on me. Will that be ok?"
"I don't want to take all your cash. What if you need it?" he asked
"Don't worry Harry, I have a bank account that I can just withdraw more if needed or I can write a draft." She said smiling, happy to see Harry finally getting something decent to wear.
He dug into his money pouch and counted out thirty galleons, throwing two more in just for her troubles. Tonks' eyes popped out slightly, "Harry you shouldn't be carrying that much gold around."
He looked at her confused "What do you mean? I only have a couple hundred galleons a few knuts and some sickles."
Tonks looked at Mrs. Figg shaking her head "Kids" she said while smiling hands on her hips she turned back to him. "Harry, that's more than most witches and wizards make in a week. Now you get your cute little bum back and hide that money. Then if you want I will take you to into Staines. There are some clothing stores there. London would be cheaper, but you can't apparate yet and I don't want to go that far without permission."
"Stains will be perfect Tonks." Harry said his thanks and good byes to Mrs. Figg then followed Tonks out and over towards Number four.
"Wanna jog there Harry?" Tonks asked as the two left Number four.
Harry looked at her darkly before responding "Lets not and say we did."
"Awe come on, it's only a mile away." She giggled heartily. Harry just shook his head and continued walking. "Hey I have a thought, How about I bring you some potions to help you with your energy and size?"
"What like steroids? Thanks, but no thanks."
She playfully slapped his arm. "No silly. These potions have nothing in common with those muggle drugs. Besides you have enough emotional outbursts."
Sighing, he knew she would press the issue if he didn't squash it quickly. Heck he could just pour them out and say he drank them. "Sure."
Tonks ruffled Harry's hair and asked "When is the last time you had a haircut Mr. Potter?"
"My name is Harry and it's been quite a few years ago, why?"
"Cor Harry, a few years ago? Tonks asked in disbelief.
"Yeah, my Aunt Petunia got rather upset at my messy hair and shaved it off. Well all but a patch in the front anyhow. Weird thing is, by the next morning it had all grown back. Well it seemed weird at the time anyhow." He shrugged.
Tonks was eyeing him quietly for a moment, "What?" he blurted.
"That's not normal" she said "You know that right?" He gave her a look of confusion, so she explained. "A persons hair doesn't just grow back overnight. Not even a witches or wizards hair. Has anyone ever told you that?"
Harry shook his head while thinking, 'Great, just another thing to make me look like a freak in front of the Dursley's.' Tonks asked him "Whacha thinking Har?"
He managed a weak smile, "Just wishing I was normal like everyone else."
Tonks frowned and stopped walking. "Now why would you want that? Being different is a good thing."
Harry looked over at her and said defensively, "What would you know about it?"
"Uh!" She gasped, and turned her hair red, blue, and yellow. Then she made her face look like a clown's. Harry chuckled when her big red nose started blinking. "Sorry, I guess if anyone else knows…"
She changed back then smiled and hugged him, "No sweat babe I forgive ya." Merlin, I'm hugging Harry 'bloody' Potter she thought. Reluctantly she pulled away and said, "Come on Har, we're almost there." He nodded and followed her in silence the rest of the way to the clothing shop.
Several bags and a hundred and four pounds later they exited the clothing shop. "Tonks I really appreciate you taking time out to bring me here."
"Hey, no problem" she said with a mischievous grin. "I mean it's not everyday I get to see you in all your earthly glory."
Harry winced and blushed for what had to be the thirteenth time. She had walked in the changing room earlier to give him something to try on while he was only in his boxers. He pleaded while giving her his puppy dog eyes, "Please for the love of Merlin, do NOT tell another soul as long as you live. Please Tonks I am begging you."
She thought for a second, "Well, I dunno Har. Teen Witch Weekly would pay a handsome price for an in-depth story." She bit her lip trying not to laugh at Harry's horrified expression.
"You wouldn't?" He squeezed out.
"Well I could use the money." She said.
Immediately he blurted out, "I'll pay a thousand Galleons to keep you quiet."
She finally busted out laughing, drawing a few looks. "Harry, I would never tell anyone and I certainly don't want your money. However…" she trailed off.
"However, what?" He asked.
"How about you take me out for a nice dinner this weekend?" she proposed.
"Out? You mean to eat?" he sputtered.
This drew another chuckle from her "Well most people eat when they go on a date."
"Date, as in Madam Puddifoot's kinda date?"
"Yep, well not to Madam Puddifoot's, but yeah. Listen Harry I know I'm a few years older in age, but I'm very immature and your way too mature. Come to think about it you may bee too old for me when it comes to maturity." She joked "But seriously, I like you Harry. I want to get to know you better."
He frowned, "You mean you want to get to know Harry Potter better. The 'bloody-cursed-chosen-boy-who-lived' or what ever the hell they are calling me."
She reached down and grabbed his hand. "No Harry I want to know you."
He thought for a minute then replied, "Alright Tonks. I'll take you out on one condition."
"Name it Harry." She said.
"I want you to go as yourself. The real Nymp…" She gave him a murderous look, before he finished her first name. "… The real Tonks, I want to know you for who you really are."
She sighed; no one had ever asked her to just be herself. Most guys wanted her to grow her tits and ass or make herself look like some superficial supermodel. "Yes, I will." They joked and laughed the rest of the way back to Privet Drive where Remus was waiting at Mrs. Figg's, since he was about to come on duty.