Disclaimer: I DO NOT own Harry Potter, the story, or the characters.
The nervousness boiled inside Tonks' stomach like water.
A firm hand gasped her arm. Tonks looked up and saw Mad-Eye by her side. She tried to give him a self-assured smile. She knew that for Mad-Eye, a rough grasp was about the warmest gesture he could bestow.
"Constant vigilance." He said, winking as he past and went through the meeting room door.
Now Nymphadora Tonks was quite alone in a dark and dusky hall of Grimauld Place, her elder cousin Sirius' house. She sighed and looked around. The beheaded house elves stuck on the walls didn't ease that fluttering feeling which was dominating her midsection. Still, she couldn't help but chuckle at the ancient Black family decorations. Her late aunt had the most peculiar taste.
"They're ready for you." She heard a deep voice call from the cracked door. Her ministry boss Kingsley Shacklebolt signaled for her to come inside.
Collecting herself in one last fleeting moment, she gathered courage and entered the dimmed dinning room. Her gaze met several faces sitting around that table. The one directly across from her was Sirius. His worn but jovial face was one comfort she couldn't do without. To his left were Molly and Arthur Weasley and two of their sons. Mad-Eye, Kingsley, the famous sneer of Severus Snape, and the twinkling eyes of Albus Dumbledore also shone at her as she stood before the mysterious group.
Kingsley's deep voice rang out once more. "Ms. Tonks. You are about to be inducted into the Order of the Phoenix. Are you aware of the responsibility you are taking on?"
"Yes, I am." She answered determinedly. "I'm ready."
"How old are you, exactly?" Mrs. Weasley asked a twinge speculation in her tone.
Tonks glanced sideways at Bill. "Your eldest son's age, Mrs. Wealsey. Twenty-five."
Mad-Eye stood up. "Enough Questions. Let's get on with this, shall we?" he said unceremoniously.
"Indeed. " Dumbledore agreed. "For if Nymphadora wasn't more than able and trustworthy, I assure you, she wouldn't have made it this far." He took out his wand and extended his right hand so it pointed to the center of the table. "I suggest we do as Moody says and 'get on with it'!"
The order members present mimicked his actions until each wand pointed to the center of the table. Beams of red light emitted from each and met in a focal point. Kingsley nodded at Tonks and she joined them. A red phoenix rose from the light and over their heads like an eerie, red patronus.
The bonds still intact, Dumbledore called out to her, "Do you vow to serve the other members of this body loyally?"
"I do." She answered.
"Do you, Nymphadora Tonks, swear to uphold justice, tolerance, morality, and love in the Wizarding World?"
"And do you promise to remain silent about the secret workings of the organization and the identities of its members?"
The phoenix burst into flames and the red light disappeared, leaving the room dim and damp once more. Though the red light from her wand was gone, Tonks could still feel the warmth in her fingers. Through the smoke which was left behind she managed to see a wide smile on her cousin's face.
"Welcome, Nymphadora." He said teasingly.
She rolled her eyes. "Don't call me that, you puppy."
The Order members' laughter broke the somber silence.
Without warning, the door banged open and Tonks quite literally tripped over her own feet at the sound, grabbing her wand instinctually as she did so. A strong pair of arms caught her and she looked up into a pair of blue-grey eyes. The man, still holding her up, raised his eye brows at her. It was then at Tonks realized her wand was pointed directly against his throat. She lowered it hastily and her hair flushed red.
"Well, Moony, that's what you get for being late. New Order policy; you must be subject to threats from newly inducted members!" Sirius joked.