A/N: This was written for hypercell. Check out her account! The story takes place right before the fifth book, at an undisclosed and possibly nonexistent time when Tonks is staying at Grimmauld Place.

Tonks woke up with an urgent need to use the bathroom.

She rolled over so she was facing the ceiling and sighed. She had been staying at Grimmauld Place for more than a month and she still hadn't managed to get past the portrait of Sirius's mother (or THE PICTURE, as she thought of it) without waking it. There was a bathroom nearer than the one past THE PICTURE, but someone (she suspected Ginny Weasley, in an attempt to get the twins in trouble – an attempt which had worked – or maybe Sirius, with the same goal in mind) had charmed it. Now, every time someone went in, all the snakes became animated and said, in Snape's voice, "Slytherin stinks! Gryffindor rules!" That wasn't so bad, and Snape's reaction had been highly amusing, but when someone left, their hair turned scarlet and their skin gold. It was irreversible and didn't go away on its own until 24 hours later. Not even Tonks' Metamorphmagus skills could turn her hair pink again.

Tonks rolled back over and groaned. The feeling was getting worse. She would have to try to get past the picture without waking it.

Tonks tiptoed downstairs. She carefully avoided every one of the many obstacles, especially the troll's leg umbrella stand. She breathed a sigh of relief as she passed it without knocking it over. She used the bathroom quickly and hurried back to her room. She made it past everything silently, or at least quietly, and THE PICTURE stayed asleep. "Yes!" cried Tonks in as loud a whisper as she could. She spun around, not noticing the rather ugly vase sitting in a corner. She bumped into something and turned around just in time to see the vase fall and shatter loudly. THE PICTURE woke up and began to scream.

Tonks sighed, pointed her wand at the picture to close the curtains covering it, and went back to bed, thinking, "That's every night for more than a month now, but I was close tonight. Maybe tomorrow I'll make it…"

(It never crossed Tonks's mind that maybe she was getting better because every time she broke an object, it was removed and placed somewhere she couldn't trip on it.)