Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.

A Noteworthy Hufflepuff
By Silver Sailor Ganymede

The first time a Hufflepuff had done anything worthy of Draco's attention was during his second month at Hogwarts. He had simply been walking to Charms with Greg and Vince when a girl with astonishingly bright pink hair had run straight past him down the staircase.

He had barely had time to consider that the girl just had to be a Gryffindor because only Gryffindors would be so stupid as to run up and down staircases, and to wonder how on earth her hair had ended up such a ridiculous shade of pink, when a voice reached his ears from the floor above him.

"Miss. Tonks, get back here this instant!"

It was Professor McGonagall, which all but confirmed Draco's suspicions that the girl was a Gryffindor. But then he noticed a flash of yellow on her robes before she disappeared from sight, and momentarily he was shocked. Who had ever heard of a Hufflepuff doing something worthy or rousing Professor McGonagall's temper?

The second time that a Hufflepuff caught Draco's attention was on the day of the Hufflepuff-Gryffindor Quidditch match. The girl in question had very oddly coloured hair, just like the other Hufflepuff's had been. It was streaked through with black and yellow – Hufflepuff colours which, in Draco's opinion, looked horrific on just about anyone. How glad he was that he hadn't been sorted into Hufflepuff!

"You're a bloody idiot, Perks!" she was shouting at a sixth-year boy whom Draco recognised as the captain of the Hufflepuff team. "How could you let the Gryffindors win? They have a first year for a Seeker, a bloody first year!"

"But it's Harry Potter," Perks whined, and Draco's eyes widened in alarm as the girl's hair began to change from it's awful black-and-yellowness to bright, flaming red. Evidently her hair was naturally as ginger as the Weasleys', but she'd charmed it for the game.

"That doesn't excuse you from having played such a bad game, you moron!" she was screaming again. "My god, I should have just stayed on the team myself…"

He could have sworn that her eyes had turned as red as her hair. Draco took this as his cue to leave before either of them spotted him.

It was a seventh year girl who, once again, caught Draco's attention and caused him to wonder if the whole group of final-year Hufflepuff girls were mad enough to get mistaken for Gryffindors.

This one had bumped straight into him in the corridor after apparently tripping over her own feet. This was the kind of behaviour that Draco thought more typical of a Hufflepuff.

"Watch where you're going," Draco snapped.

"Sorry, kid, sorry," the girl muttered, and Draco was struck by the feeling that he had heard her voice before, but of course that would have been idiotic. He had only seen two Hufflepuff girls of this age, really, and one had acted like a Weasley and the other had looked like a Weasley; this one seemed to be neither. She had mousy brown hair and grey eyes.

Grey eyes? Draco frowned. Yes, and they were exactly like his own and his mother's; pale icy grey with hints on black around the edges. He had never seen anyone else with eyes like that – 'Black eyes' his mother had called them, but this girl was no Black, and she certainly wasn't from any pureblood family Draco had ever met.

"Your eyes are like mine," he found himself murmuring, trying not to reveal quite how astonishing this was.

"I guess I do," she laughed. "I wonder what it would look like if my hair was like yours as well."

Then, with a flash, he mousy hair had become as silvery as Draco's own. He tried to stifle a shriek of shock as the girl began to laugh.

As she walked away from him, her hair changed colour again, from silver-blonde, to black streaked with yellow, to that most acidic shade of bubblegum pink, and Draco felt his heart stop momentarily. It wasn't three Hufflepuff seventh-years who had caught his attention over the course of the year; it was one.

"Wait," he called out to her against his better judgement, "What's your name?"

"Nymphadora Tonks," she replied.

Draco never did find out why, when he had mentioned the name 'Nymphadora Tonks' to his mother upon returning home for the summer, she had turned ashen and told him never to speak of 'that filthy little mudblood' ever again.