My first ever upload.
This story will cover everything, and I mean everything! Ootp - DH - and Teddy briefly
Currently doing an edit of these first few chapters, I'm updating things a little bit, and filling some gaps.
Thanks for reading, reviews are really appreciated!
Nymphadora Tonks shifted uncomfortably in her seat. Surprisingly, it wasn't the dank, dark and mind numbing coldness of the kitchen of 12 Grimmauld Place that caused her to do so, nor was it the fact that she was sitting in the Black family home, a place she had heard scary stories about since she was a child. Rather, the cause was a pair of dark blue eyes that lingered for that for just that little bit longer than they should. She felt like they were staring deep down inside her, and analyzing her in a way that nobody ever had before.
It had all began a few weeks prior in the Auror office. Tonks was a very capable Auror, much more capable than she was on her own two feet. She'd been mentored by Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, and was his final student before his forced retirement. She had excelled and in doing so, gained Moody's respect, which she felt was a big deal. Yet, despite her skills and commendable success, she was still the new girl in the department, and always handed paper work over fieldwork.
Given Fudge's displeasure at the stories Dumbledore had come out with, the Auror's were being leaned upon very heavily to do very little to show that something big was brewing on the horizon. But it was, and everyone could feel it, especially the Aurors. So effectively life these days was dull. Tonks had always had an appetite for the dangerous; she was fond of putting herself right in the middle of trouble and then attempting to work her way out of it. She always had been like that. And now, she would have sacrificed all the weird sisters records she owned, her broomstick, Merlin, even her wand, just for something interesting to happen.
Her friends weren't around anymore; some had gotten married and now had families, so friends were quickly replaced by other couples or families, and the few single friends were abroad, traveling or working. She'd made friends with Kingsley Shacklebolt from work who was much older, but very friendly and witty in that adult way, yet strangely cheeky. He'd been the first real Auror she'd met on her first day, which far from daunting, was the most exciting day she'd had to date, though admittedly a little bit of letdown given all the certificates and forms she'd had to sign. Kingsley had been the only fixture of fun since she began earlier this year.
The two of them, for weeks, had dropped hints about a belief in Dumbledore, before finally, Tonks had bitten the bullet and spoken out rightly to him about it. Her mother, Andromeda, had always been in contact with Dumbledore, and had distilled trust in him over anything in Tonks since she was young. It was then, on a lazy afternoon just before the summer, which felt like any other day, when it all began. Tonks sat in her tiny little cubicle, doodling on some parchment with her quill, ignoring a pile of Ministry Memo's on her desk that nearly screamed at her to begin.
"Life on the bottom rung of the Auror ladder a bugger?" A deep voice asked.
Tonks jumped from shock and instantly hastened to look as if she was doing work, before realizing it was Kingsley.
"Oh god, you scared me," Tonks gasped, and Kingsley laughed. "How do you think it is? I'm almost wishing someone would get into trouble just so we could have something to do."
Kinsley nodded at someone Tonks couldn't see and the turned back to her.
"Funny thing about wishes, they can sometimes come true," Kingsley said, winking before disappearing to his cubicle.
Tonks was about to stand up and chase him to ask what in the name of Merlin he was going on about, when Moody appeared over her cubicle wall. Which far from surprising now as it used to be, given his retirement, was now commonplace, as he'd been coming in every few days and seeking meetings with Kingsley.
"Don't call me Nymphadora!" Tonks snapped at him.
"I want you to come with me tonight for a meeting with some acquaintances of mine," Moody growled.
"Who? New Auror's? Am I getting an intern?" Tonks asked, and in her rising state of excitement, managed to knock a bottle of Butterbeer on her desk and all over the memos.
Moody moved closer to the desk siphoning the liquid back into the bottle with a flick of his wand and then, almost at a whisper, he spoke.
"It's the Order of the Phoenix, we're meeting again to–"
"THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX! You want me to join! I don't believe it! I heard it about it when I was young and I've always wanted…" Tonks yelled as other workers in the cubicles looked over at the strange pairing.
"Quiet," Moody cut across her fiercely. "Do you want everyone to hear? What would happen if Dawlish over there was imperiused and went straight to You-Know-Who? It's a secret organization Nymphadora, if you do indeed choose come; you'll have to learn!
Moody glared at her with both eyes, and Tonks looked up at him apologetically. Though her body was quickly filling with exhilaration that made it hard to seem meek enough to please him, or stand still.
"So, would you like to?" Moody growled after he seemed satisfied with the unspoken apology.
"You bet," Tonks whispered back with a wide grin and a grin.
Tonks stood in her flat that night, at seven, just as Moody had asked. She was dressed in her usual purple and green Weird Sisters T-shirt, and her most comfortable jeans, though they were slightly work through and ripped, but she loved them for that reason. She had her cloak in her hand and was filled to the brim with nervous energy, and that was preventing her from being still again. Every time she did, she would tap her feet, drum her fingers, or pick at her cuticles, until she couldn't stand it and would have to stand again.
Finally she heard a familiar clunking noise, and a knock at the door. After a long process of revealing who he was, and in turn revealing who she was, Moody finally entered. His eyes, normal and magical, instantly scanned the room. Most people perhaps would have felt self-conscious having their boss, well ex senior colleague, in their house, but Tonks had never been one for that.
"You need this," Moody growled, thrusting a tony piece of parchment at her. "Don't read it now. Before we go I have to tell you something. Albus makes sure everyone knows before they arrive. Sirius Black will be there."
"What!" Tonks gasped. "You know where he is? Why haven't you handed him in?"
"It's not like that Nymphadora. He is, and always has been according to Dumbledore, on our side. You have been told what you need to know, if you want more you have to ask him. We are late. Let's go."
Tonks and Moody had walked for block after block. Tonks was already bursting with question. Sirius Black? How was he innocent? Moody stopped her before every alleyway as he scanned it. Tonks rolled her eyes the first few times, laughing to herself; her head was still reeling at the news of Sirius. One of her evil cousins was now suddenly good? They approached a block of exactly the same houses when Moody stopped her. They where standing in a garden in the middle of the street, looking onto the identical houses. Tonks instantly noticed that something wasn't right. The houses were missing a number.
"Read the scroll," Mood growled
Tonks dug deep into her jeans pocket and pulled out the little scroll she'd been dying to read since given it.
The headquarters of The Order of the Phoenix is located at Number 12, Grimmauld Place, London.
"12 Grimmauld Place," Tonks said out loud looking to Moody. "There is no 12, I looked up before and – oh."
12 Grimmauld had magically appeared between number 13 and number 11. Moody checked all around the area, and then the two crossed the street. Moody slid his wand down the door of the building and it opened after a series of loud clicks.
Tonks felt her body shiver as she stared inside. Moody took a few steps in, but Tonks stood in the doorway, her instincts screaming at her not to enter a building.
"What are you doing?" Moody growled, finally noticing she wasn't following.
"This doesn't feel right Mad-Eye," Tonks whispered, looking around the gloomy and narrow hallway.
"Just get inside or someone will see you," he snapped. "Trust me"
"It's those people skills of yours I miss at work," Tonks laughed, trying to shrug off her nerves.
Moody growled something about being serious, and she swallowed a line about being as serious as the mass murdering Sirius, as she remember he was not supposed to be that person apparently and the joke did not feel right. He ushered her forwards grumpily. Privately Tonks thought he should have been proud of her following her instincts. She followed Moody down the corridor that creaked as they walked.
Tonks was just admiring the walls, which were barely visible under the cobwebs, when suddenly she found herself flying through the air, only to land sorely, and squarely on her backside. She swore to herself, knowing this would always be her first impression with this group, when a pair of soft hands gripped hers and pulled her upright. She had not expected the soft skin; she had thought Moody's rough hands would help her up like always. Instead she was caught by a different man, and from her position on the floor, she stared up at him.
"Remus," Moody said roughly. "This is Nymphadora Tonks, Andromeda's daughter, the other Auror Kingsley and I were– "
Tonks wasn't listening; she was drinking in his appearance with curiosity. He looked aged but the more she looked into his eyes the younger he seemed. They were blue, a very dark blue, but they were kind. They didn't sparkle like hers did, but there was life and youth behind them, that juxtaposed his thin, tired looking face. There were scars across his face and a lot of premature gray within his light brown hair. His clothes were shabby but he did not have the air of unkemptness like Mundungus Fletcher, who stood on his right. It was as if he forced himself to look this way. It bore the markings of loss and some kind of punishment.
"What a very interesting entrance," he said to her, a very small, barely noticeable, smile on his lips.
Tonks attempted to stand, trying to shake off this strange need to keep staring at him, but lost her footing for a second time and stumbled a little, knocking over something else with a loud crash. A loud screaming suddenly broke out, followed by a selection of swear words from a black haired man who'd appeared at the top of the stairs screaming just as the loud as the original voice. Before long there was an ear ringing silence and everyone turned back to Tonks, who smiled apologetically, as she felt color flush into her cheeks and hair.
She realized that she hadn't let go of Lupin's hands. She dropped them quickly and pretended to scan the room searching for the object that she'd fallen over as she'd attempted to stand, which, upon spotting it, looked like the hollowed foot of a troll. As Moody continued his introductions, Tonks glanced upwards to find Remus still looking at her. His head was tilted slightly and he seemed to be quietly examining her, his hands behind his back. They locked eyes again, very briefly.
"Falling over as you arrive. Great impression. From all I've heard, it wouldn't be you if you didn't though," Sirius had said smiling around at the few people who'd gathered.
It took Tonks a moment to forget that she wasn't looking into the eyes of the psychopathic murderer anymore. He still had the same dark hair she'd seen in pictures, but his once handsome face was now gaunt and tired looking. He no longer had the haughty good looks, but they were still evident somewhere in his features. It was a struggle to forget the instincts that were telling her to attack him, but with a deep breath, they were gone.
"And it wouldn't be Moony, if he didn't come to the rescue of those he believed could not rescue themselves" Sirius laughed again as the man who'd caught her seemed to disappear.
Tonks could tell he was putting on some bravado, perhaps to smooth over the incredible awkwardness she was feeling at the sight of him.
"How have you been? How's your mother?"
Sirius had dropped the humor, looking awkward now, which did not suit his features at all. Tonks took a moment, looking around at the apprehensive faces staring at her. Moody nudged her lightly, and she remembered what he said, and strangely, words her mother had said about it She swallowed the uncomfortable feeling, the fear, the nerves, the instincts, and grinned.
"We're both fine. How's my psychotic murderous cousin?" Tonks asked, making sure it sounded very sarcastic.
Sirius looked at her for a moment, inspecting her as the Lupin man had, and then a wide grin broke over his face.
"I have a feeling you're going to fit in very well around here," Sirius said.
He held his hand out indicating the steps ahead of them and Tonks walked in that direction. She had her hand near the pocket of her robes that the wand was in, and her fingers were twitching. She couldn't lie and say walking with her back to a man, that up until five minutes ago had been the biggest villain she'd known, aside from Voldemort, made her feeling nothing less that edgy and vulnerable.
Tonks had spent the whole meeting listening intently, keeping an eye of Moody and Sirius. Dumbledore had arrived, Snape and McGongall coming soon after him. He had spoken at length about the dangers of the Order, what had happened the year previously with Harry, which seemed such a believable story when he told it, that she had no idea how people could believe otherwise. Then he told them of the first thing that was of complete importance to all of them. It involved the Department of Mysteries and they would all be sneaking around it to guard a prophecy. The meeting had drawn to a close after two hours, and Snape, Moody and Dumbledore all left instantly.
It left two people Tonks had just met, Hestia Jones and Deadulus Diggle, followed by one she knew very well, Bill Weasley who she'd known, and dated, at Hogwarts, and his parents Molly and Arthur. Sirius stayed, as it was his house, as did the Lupin man, who had said very little, but stepped in only to stop Sirius on the numerous occasions he tried to verbally abuse Snape during the meeting. All in all, Tonks thought it was a very eclectic group, but boy did she love them already.
"Can I offer you a drink Nymphadora?" Sirius asked after the meeting.
"It's Tonks. Don't ever call me that name," Tonks said to him, her lip curling.
Sirius laughed, sliding her a glass of mead. Diggle and Hestia had stayed, but were talking to each other. The Weasley's all left together. Lupin was behind Sirius, leaning against the kitchen counter, his arms folded, observing the whole situation from afar. The longer she talked to Sirius, the more she noticed he seemed to be watching Sirius very carefully, still with the same air as in the meeting, of a man ready to strike if Sirius stepped out of line. Tonks couldn't fight the building sense of unease and confusion that she'd had since staring down that corridor. She was staring at an escaped convict, and everyone just made jokes about it throughout the meeting.
"I don't wish to be rude or anything," Tonks said, looking up at Sirius. "But do you mind explaining what in the name of Merlin is going on? I mean I come here and all I get told is that you're innocent, no one bothers to explain why, and I'm meant to resist all urges that a telling me jump this table and hold you down at wand point."
Out of the corner of her eye, Tonks saw Lupin straighten up,
"I'm not entirely innocent. I did attempt to murder Peter Pettigrew," Sirius said, giving a very odd grin at Lupin, who didn't return it.
"Oh that does remind me," Lupin interjected quietly. "Kingsley wished me to inform you that you are in Bermuda this week."
Kingsley was in on it all? Tonks was even more confused.
"Must get to work on that tan then," Sirius laughed, sipping his mead.
More jokes. Didn't they understand how difficult this was for her? That both her resolve and sanity seemed to be teetering very much on the edge
"Could someone tell me what the bloody hell is going on already?" Tonks half yelled. "This is serious!"
The whole kitchen went silent. And everyone seemed to raise their eyebrows, except for Sirius.
"I thought I was Sirius?" Sirius said, grinning again.
"Not the time," Lupin said to him quietly, before resuming his place against the counter.
"Someone tell me," Tonks said emphasizing each syllable.
"Right. Well, er, you may want to get comfortable. This may take a while," Sirius said, looking back to Lupin, who nodded, and then looked up at Tonks.
"All we ask is that you listen, after that you are free to draw your own conclusions. An informed choice seems marginally better than the opposite," Lupin said and Tonks was very strangely reminded of being in a lesson being taught by a teacher.
"It begins the Voldemort going after the Potter's really …" Sirius started and Tonks shuffled in her seat, waiting for the story with a little bit of excitement amongst trepidation.
That night, the story had gone on for quite sometime, parts of it made no sense, parts seemed entirely ludicrous, but, strangely, possibly against better judgment, Tonks believed them. She put in down to the sincerity or genuine heartbreak that he radiated that she believed him. It was aided by Lupin who had added tiny snippets of information that tied things together. She was very much feeling like she was in the presence of a teacher correcting a student, which made a lot of sense when he explained that he was in fact a teacher, or had been. The matter of why they became Animagus was up in the air, perhaps Sirius and Peter were show offs, but she had a feeling they had left something out. Over the days that passed, Sirius was becoming like the older brother she had never had. This group was fast becoming her favorite place to be, aside from a little bar in High Holburn that played her favorite music.
If Tonks had complained of boredom before, she could now only complain of a lack of free time. Tonks love for the group grew with every meeting. Molly and Arthur were among the nicest two people she'd ever met. Molly had been very quick to accuse Tonks of being too thin and made sure she ate great helpings of dinner whenever she cooked. Which was on par with the delicious meals she got whenever she visited her own parents.
Tonks had a habit during the middle of each meeting when things had gotten dull, and not Order-related, to make things levitate behind Moody, which caused him to stop what he was doing and try to source the disturbance. The only person she had barely spoken to was Lupin, who had been absent from the second meeting. She spent meeting free nights at Grimmauld Place with Sirius and whoever else had stayed after. Getting know Sirius again was better than she expected, he reminded her so much of the boys at school she used to get up to mischief with.
It was the fourth meeting that the dark blue eyes flicked up at her, Lupin's eyes, that caused her to shift in her seat. Those beautifully kind eyes just pierced her, making her feel naked almost. Sitting next to Moody that night may have been a bad idea, he always had something to say, so everyone's gaze was constantly drawn to him, and then her. Something was entirely wrong, clumsy she may be, but shy or uneasy, that wasn't a part of herself she ever displayed, and he had a strange habit of causing exactly those feelings in her. She nearly felt the urge to giggle, and Tonks did not giggle.
She tried hard to put this feeling down to her own private nerves. Her first guard duty was coming up and by the sounds of what Dumbledore had told them, this was dangerous, and she could come face-to-face with any number of Death eaters, even Voldemort. But she knew it wasn't true. Though she was nervous, it was that exhilarating kind of nervous. Lupin was something else she could not yet explain. So instead of concentrating in that fourth meeting, Tonks attempted to ignore it, by causing mischief for Moody, her favorite distraction. Yet, whenever Tonks would start to raise her wand the blue eyes would come back towards her and she'd feel herself tingle all over.
"My apologies Nymphadora. I'm aware this speech is a little long winded." Dumbledore's voice said
Tonks, who was not listening, suddenly found herself the center of attention, as all the eyes at the table snapped to her direction. Dumbledore was looking at her and she had the usual feeling like maybe she was being X-rayed by his electric blue eyes.
"Huh?" Tonks stuttered, looking at him stunned as he began to chuckle.
"Tonks dear, you're hair has been changing colors every five seconds," said Molly, with a soft smile.
"Oh, sorry, it does that when I'm…" Tonks paused.
What response could she give? She knew why it was doing it. It was those eyes flicking to her and lingering. She couldn't say that without admitting she was annoying Moody on purpose.
"…when I'm tired," she lied.
She quietly thanked Merlin that all her Auror training had made her quick on her feet when it came to lying. Either that or the fact she knew nobody at the table would know much about metamorphmagus's to question it. Dumbledore quickly continued on with the meeting. Tonks sat up straight and concentrated on her hair, the normal tingling feeling ran through her scalp and then, bright blue. She looked up and everyone had turned back to Dumbledore, but Tonks once again found herself the subject of those dark blue eyes. He smiled at her in a way he had not before, and raised his eyebrow, and she wondered if he was mocking her color choice. Tonks was quickly distracted as Moody asked her to reveal information she'd discovered at the Auror office about two suspected Death Eaters in the department. She showed the notes she'd made from their files.
Not too long later Tonks and most of the Order were standing around with glasses of any drink they desired, enjoying the now traditional time together after a meeting. Tonks and Bill Weasley were standing close together by the fire, catching up. Neither had found the time to talk much during the meetings and they hadn't seen each other since Hogwarts, Remus walked past mid conversation. She hadn't had an awful lot of interaction with him, but he intrigued her so much, everything about him seemed like mystery.
"Who is he, Bill?" Tonks asked trying to sound casual
"Remus Lupin? He was in the original Order, he was friends with Sirius and…" Bill dropped his voice "James and Lily."
"How come I've never heard of him then, or seen him?"
"Well he likes to keep a low profile dad told me. You have to have heard of him though. He taught at Hogwarts a few years ago. Snape told everyone that he was– "
Tonks phased Bill out briefly, watching Lupin talking to Hestia and Emmeline Vance. He had such strange habits and mannerisms that Tonks couldn't understand why he seemed to irk her. She interrupted him, not having really listened to what he'd said.
"Why is he so weird? Quiet and pensieve and all that?" Tonks asked.
"Lupin's just different I guess. He has his reasons I'm sure. Bit weird when you think about the fact that his best friend's Sirius" Bill said nodding toward Sirius, who was laughing loudly at Arthur Weasley's muggle card tricks asking if this was truly what they believed magic was.
Tonks stared off at the door Lupin had just passed through and as the room around her slowly emptied she found herself standing next to Sirius, who was making jokes about Snape and laughing with his usual bark like laugh. Lupin soon had joined the small circle of Kingsley, Sirius and Tonks. His hand brushed past hers accidently as he came to halt and instantly she felt her hair change, but had no idea to its color. The small circle turned to her with smiles of curiosity when Lupin finally spoke
"Ah red. A far better choice," Lupin said to her quietly, with a smile.
Tonks went to speak but found her voice caught in her throat.
"Far better than the foul green you've been sporting," Sirius added with a scowl. "Too much green around here for my liking."
Tonks smiled at Sirius, and after a moment, her eyes moved back to Lupin and found him looking at her still even though the attention had shifted to things Sirius was saying. His head was tilted at her, and quizzical look in his eye. Sirius went on with a long-winded re-telling of a story from his Hogwarts days that Tonks had already heard.
"He can tend to get carried away with his stories," Lupin murmured to her, as she was glancing around the room absent-mindedly
"Yes, I've noticed,' Tonks replied.
The conversation died down. Now she was causing conversations to die? What was this! Tonks was usually the one who struggled to stop talking, not start.
"If you don't mind me asking, how did you come across those papers on those two Aurors?" Lupin asked turning to her.
Tonks wondered whether he was questioning how she got them, because she may not have been very skilled. Then she remembered whom she was talking to. Unlike her work colleagues, Lupin didn't seem the type to doubt her skill level because of her age, looks or gender.
"Well, Kingsley told me Moody was keen to inspect these two guys and I just so happened to be morphed into a Dawlish look-a-like this afternoon. Totally by accident of course, and I made a wrong turn into the Records Department and they let me through. Strange coincidence huh?" Tonks said, grinning at her brilliance.
"That's illegal," Lupin said quickly, a somewhat stern look on his face
"I guess, for a good cause, that's the trouble I get into," Tonks shrugged, feeling something tick over at how odd he was behaving to her breaking the rules.
There was a moment of awkward silence.
"You mean aside from the falling over?" Lupin asked casually.
Tonks looked over at him, and he was looking at her, that small smile on his lips again. Was he actually making a joke? Was he even allowed to? Tonks narrowed her eyes for a moment, but couldn't squash the smile that broke through. The two returned back to the group's conversation, but after a few moments, Lupin announced his departure. He shook hands with the others and when he turned to Tonks with his hand out stretched, she grasped it and instantly felt her scalp tingle knowing her hair was probably deepening in colour. Lupin's eyes went to her hair and he smiled at her.
"Red again? Well now you're just showing off, Dora!" Sirius barked.
"Nice to chat to you Nymphadora. Excellent work with those papers," Lupin said softly to her, he edged closer to her. "Though perhaps we should investigate a new nickname for you. Trouble perhaps?"
He pulled back, smiling at her like he never had, before leaving the group. A dazed smile crept onto Tonks's face as she watched him walk out the door. She quickly turned back towards the conversation in front of her. He was impossible to understand, infuriatingly so. Yet, something about that smile made her want to keep her hair whatever color to keep it on his face directed toward her.
To be continued