Tonks loved Halloween. Parties with Muggle cousins. Hogwarts feasts. The upcoming pub-crawl she and other first-year trainees planned to make an annual event. The celebrations changed over the years, but the "spirit" remained the same.
Instructor Gulch didn't share her enthusiasm, reminding her the day was still a training day, and dressing in costume was inappropriate. Tonks, who thought her fuzzy orange sweater, black miniskirt, and orange and black striped tights paired with combat boots seasonably fashionable, muttered, "Yes, ma'am," and took a seat. She'd have to behave herself. Gulch was in a nasty mood.
Some resolutions were impossible to keep, and at the end of class her mates promised to lift a pint to her morphing brilliance while she remained to write lines in chalk on the blackboard.
Tonks was almost finished when she heard a sardonic voice.
"Imitation is NOT the sincerest form of flattery. You never learn, do you?"
"Snape and Gulch have challenging noses, I can't resist." She turned to see Edmund Blofeld, her former Advanced Potions partner, standing in the doorway like a giant crow. His beak was impressive, too. "Wotcher," she said. "What brings a Forensics and Potions Division apprentice down to Auror Training? Did you miss me?"
Same old Mr. Uncongeniality. "Okay, let me guess. You finally need a favour." In Potions, he'd helped her countless times, reluctantly answering her whispered questions.
"You owe me several," he said.
"I'm not arguing that."
"I know." There was a pause. "It's just—it's complicated."
He sounded grim. She tried to joke. "If it involves morphing and nude photographs, forget it."
"It involves putting a zombie to rest."
Tonks accidentally snapped her chalk in half. "You raised a zombie?"
Edmund looked down his long nose at her. "Of course not. It's my friend, Samuel Endor. He was obsessed with Death Magic, and killed a few weeks ago during an experiment gone wrong." He thrust a note at her. "He owled me this the morning he died."
I once thought cheating death was worth any price. I was wrong. I cannot undo the spells I have cast, I can only hope if my experiment fails you will go to my grave and kill me again.
"Samuel was born at 5:38 PM on October thirty-first," Edmund said. "Therefore he will rise at precisely that date and time. We have less than an hour."
She almost asked why he'd waited until the last minute, but his set expression told her he'd planned to do the job himself—and realised he couldn't.
He said sharply, "Auror training includes this sort of spellwork, does it not?"
"Yeah." But I never thought I'd actually use it. She said, "Are you sure it wouldn't be better to have an experienced professional—or two—with us?"
"No. It would become public record, and Samuel's family has been through enough."
She hadn't considered that. Tonks put down the chalk.
The London graveyard was gothic and isolated, like something out of one of her Muggle Gran's favourite horror films. The sun had set, leaving the two lanterns flanking the headstone and the glowing tips of their wands to illumine the gravesite.
At exactly 5:38 PM, nothing happened. Tonks sagged in relief—and then jumped back when a zombie erupted from the earth.
"Oh, Merlin. Samuel, why? Why did you do it?" Edmund whispered, although he had to be aware Zombie Sam couldn't answer. Only the body was resurrected.
She cried, "Secundus Mors Mortis!"
The zombie fell to the ground in a "second death."
Tonks patted Edmund's arm. "His soul is beyond the veil," she said. "This isn't really your friend."
He nodded. "You may rebury him."
She blinked. "Uh—how?"
"By spell. Weren't you taught one?"
"Well, we can't leave him here like this. Do something."
Tonks conjured two spades.
His mouth dropped open. "You expect me to dig?"
"And when we're done you owe me a drink." A pub crawl would do him good.
Edmund scowled. "You aren't serious."
"No, but I'm told there's a family resemblance." She grinned and rammed her spade into the earth. "Happy Halloween."
A/N: When I was given the challenge of a Halloween drabble, I immediately looked up old calendars. The only Halloween that fell on a week day was 1991, Tonks' first year as an Auror trainee, so I had fun with that, and yes, I was thinking of Casablanca and "Play it again, Sam" when I came up with the title (I know the line's a misquotation, but it stuck). Tonks writing on the blackboard is an homage to Bart Simpson (who never used my line. I checked, heh). Long time readers may recognise Edmund Blofeld from my R/T stories, and Samuel Endor is both a biblical reference (King Saul went to the witch of Endor to summon the spirit of Samuel) and related to Durmstrang DA Professor Endor, :D, who was impressed by Bella Schwann in my drabble The Dark Lord's Daughter.