Author's Notes: First, I must apologize for the far too long wait. This started as a oneshot which I continued due to requests. Therefore I had no long-reaching plan for this, and so when inspiration dried up, it took me a long time to think of another chapter.
As such, this is the final chapter, meaning this story is complete. I want to thank all who have read, reviewed, favorited, alerted, and added this to a C2. I never expected such a response, and I am very grateful. I hope you enjoy the ending. By the way, I resurrected Amelia Bones. I can do that, you know. This takes place right after chapter 4. Chronologically, it's the last chapter.
What No One Missed
A young man with a shaved head peered around the edge of the messy cubicle belonging to one N. Tonks. "Tonks? What the hell did you do to piss off Bones this time?"
The young Auror, currently crouched under her desk, shrugged her shoulders. "Buggered if I know. How bad do you reckon it is, Williamson?"
He peeked over the top of her cubicle, returning with a grim face. "I'd say worse than the Great Purple Robe Catastrophe of 1995."
"Better suck it up and grow a pair, Tonks." Williamson furrowed his brow. "Could you actually do that?"
She flipped him a two-fingered salute as she crawled out of her hiding spot. Standing tall, Tonks smoothed her robes and strode confidently to her doom. She was an Auror; she'd battled Dark wizards and grown up under a Black. She could handle indignant department heads. If only she could remember what she'd done.
"Yes, Madam Bones?" she said respectfully when she reached the front of the room, facing the rather intimidating witch.
"Not here," she said brusquely. "In my office, now."
Thoroughly bewildered, Tonks followed her boss down the hall. What had she done? She was no stranger to being chastened, but she always knew when it was coming. This ambush left her feeling unbalanced, and she had the wild urge to shout out, "I didn't do it!" Tonks mentally shook her head; immediate denial had never worked at Hogwarts, and it wasn't going to work here.
"Would you like to explain the meaning of this?"
Tonks leaned back from the magazine shoved in her face, trying to focus on the headline. Ah. Yesterday's Witch Weekly story revealing her and Harry's relationship.
"Well, as you can see –"
"Do you realize what you've done?" Bones thundered.
Tonks creased her brow. "Er, is the answer anything besides shagged?"
"Shagged," Bones repeated, beginning to walk back and forth behind her desk. "Shagged. Shagged." Amazingly, she began to laugh. "Shagged!"
Tonks simply stared. Sure, she'd known that their relationship would blow a few minds, and she was well prepared for a bit of scandal, but the unflappable Amelia Bones was not one she'd expected to overreact. And why was she acting as if Tonks had done something wrong? Harry was the age of consent.
Bones ceased laughing as quickly as she had started. "Oh, my dear," she said in a surprisingly sympathetic voice. "You really have no idea, do you?"
Tonks cleared her throat, assuming a properly professional stance and tone. Best just to get whatever this was over with. "Madam Bones, I am unaware of any transgressions I have committed, and if it please you, I would appreciate it if you would enlighten me."
"Very well." Bones tossed the magazine on her desk and took a seat, folding her hands. "As you said, Auror Tonks, you shagged."
"I don't understand. Harry is sixteen, the age of consent. I haven't broken any laws."
"No, you haven't. What you have done is invoked a very old one."
"Um … okay. What exactly did I do?"
"You'd better sit down." Tonks did just that, her stomach beginning to do flips at the seriousness of her boss's tone. Bones leaned forward. "Tonks, you and Mr. Potter are married."
Tonks began to guffaw, relaxing in her seat. Bones had really had her going there for a while, thinking she'd done something horrible. She supposed this was the normally stern Head's idea of a joke. It wasn't a bad one up until the punch line, really.
"That's a good one, Madam Bones," she admitted, still laughing. "I mean, you had me well worried for a moment. Married – oh yeah, that's funny!"
"Do I look like I'm making a joke?"
Her laughter faded to an uneasy chuckle. "Well, no, you don't look it, but with all due respect, I don't think I've ever seen you smile."
"I'm not anywhere close to smiling now. I wish this was a joke." Bones stood and selected an enormous book from the shelves behind her. When she dropped it onto the desk, a cloud of dust rose up, making both women cough.
"'Ye Ancient Rites and Rituals, Volume Three: On the Subject of Matrimonial Contracts,'" Tonks read off the cover.
"Turn to page 394," Bones instructed. Tonks did so. "Section two, article C, first paragraph. Read it aloud, please."
"'Wherein a witch or wizard of minority (that is, less than seventeen years of age) engages in consensual sexual intercourse with a witch or wizard of the age of majority, and furthermore makes a public declaration of notice, the two parties shall be joined in matrimony from that point forward.'" Tonks stopped, blinking, before reading it again to herself. And then a third time.
"Oh yes," Bones replied to her unasked question, Tonks being incapable of speaking for the moment. "It's very old legislation put forth during the Middle Ages in order to prevent encounters between inappropriate parties. Given that one is required to give public notice of the relationship, it hasn't been invoked in a very long time. In fact that's probably the reason it remains to this day; it's been forgotten."
Some sort of strangled noise issued from the young Auror.
Bones continued in a businesslike manner. "I'm only aware of what happened because your name and Mr. Potter's appeared on the marriage registry. Given his past, you can imagine we keep rather close tabs on Mr. Potter." She pulled out a roll of parchment and slid it in front of Tonks, who managed to focus her brain enough to note the two names, including her dreadful given name. "So? You've landed in a marriage with a teenager. What do you have to say for yourself?"
"You have to be shitting me!" Tonks blurted out loudly.
Her boss arched her eyebrows. "I am most decidedly not 'shitting' you, Auror Tonks. You are indeed married."
"Huh," was all Tonks managed in a weak voice.
Bones rose, taking Tonks by the hand and escorting her to the door. "I'm sure it will all work out," she said not unkindly. "You've been trained to adapt to unexpected circumstances. Consider this a lifelong mission."
"Okay," Tonks mumbled, still in a daze.
"Oh, and congratulations."
"Are you sure?" Harry asked for the fourth time.
"I read it with mine own eyes, Harry."
"Yes, but are you sure? This has to be some kind of joke. It's just too ridiculous to be true, even in this occasionally archaic world." He grinned. "Like the arranged marriage stunt you fell for."
Tonks scowled. "I did get you back for that. If you've forgotten, I'm sure I can arrange another showing."
"No, that's quite alright, thank you," said Harry hastily. "It's still very fresh in my mind."
Rolling over on her back to gaze at the sky, stretched out underneath a tree at the Burrow, she sniggered. "At least we gave you proper wanking material."
Harry sputtered indignant denials, so incensed that Tonks suspected she had stumbled upon the truth. Not that she cared, guilty of a few inappropriate dreams herself.
"And you're sure?" Harry asked once more after he calmed down.
"No, I'm lying. Really had you going, didn't I?"
Harry slumped against the tree, making a face. Suddenly he sprang up, walking toward the house with a purposeful stride.
Tonks scrambled to her feet. "Where are you going?"
"To buy you a ring."
"No." She made a face, and he grinned. "I'm going to find Hermione."
"When in doubt, I go to Hermione. If it's in a book, she knows about it. If she doesn't know about it, she won't stop until she does."
She shrugged, catching up with Harry and taking his hand. "Hermione it is, then."
To say the news of their apparent nuptials went over badly was an understatement. After many tears, throats hoarse from yelling, and pleading owls to Amelia Bones, it finally became a matter over and done.
Until someone (it was never clear as to who) decided they needed an after-the-fact wedding.
Tonks refused point blank. Harry was alarmed. Molly persuaded. Andromeda threatened. The twins took bets. Bill gave advice. Ron asked about the food. Ginny asked about the dress. And when Dumbledore offered to officiate, it was settled for the day after Harry's seventeenth birthday.
Which is how Tonks found herself in her childhood room at her parents' home, frowning at the mirror.
"Sweetheart, you can't make that face on your wedding day."
"I'm wondering if a white dress is really appropriate." Molly and her mother blanched, and Ginny and Hermione burst into giggles. Tonks hurried to continue. "Not that! I just meant since we're already technically married."
"Nothing about this is the way I imagined your wedding day," Andromeda said firmly. "You're wearing the dress."
"Fine, fine." As dresses went, it wasn't terrible. More of a cocktail dress than a traditional wedding dress, it was very simple and, of course, white. She wore flats; Tonks had enough trouble maintaining balance without the added difficulty of heels.
"Are you ready?" Ginny asked, fussing over a few stray pink hairs.
"Oh, yeah." A multitude of raised eyebrows faced Tonks. "What? It's not as if I have a choice in the matter, right?"
"Suppose you don't, at that," admitted Molly.
"Okay, then. Let's go get me married. Again."
Harry stood in the garden outside, waiting for his bride. The term still made him laugh. The Weasley men and Neville gathered around him, uncomfortable in fancy black dress robes.
"Harry," Ron said in a low voice. "Your Firebolt is in the kitchen. One word and you could be out of here before she can say 'jilted.'"
"Thanks, Ron, but I'm good. Really."
"Are you sure? Because –"
Charlie elbowed his younger brother. "Shut up, Ron. If he wants to do it, he wants to do it. And it's already done."
"I'm just saying –" This time, all it took was a look to quiet him.
Dumbledore appeared, beaming. "Ah, the wonderful celebration of young love! It is time, my dear boy, it is time. Let us have a wedding!"
In due order Harry and Tonks found themselves facing each other in front of all their loved ones. When Dumbledore made the traditional request for any who opposed the marriage to speak up (which both found queer, since legally they already were), they were surprised to see much shifting and murmuring. Everyone had been, if not supportive, at least resigned to the inevitable.
"Ah, yes, well, if I may have the rings?" Dumbledore said, uncharacteristically flustered.
Ron and Hestia exchanged looks. Ron finally stepped forward to speak to Harry. "Are you sure you want to do this, mate?"
"Ron!" Harry hissed. "Not the time."
He brushed at his hair. "Yeah, I know, it's just that, well …"
"This has gone far enough!" Ted stood up, striding to the front of the aisle. "Dora, Harry, you don't have to get married."
"Dad, we've been over this. We already are," Tonks said impatiently.
"No, you're not." Amelia Bones stood up in the crowd of seated guests. "I agree with Ted. They're about to reach the point of no return. Tonks, Mr. Potter, you are not married. It was a hoax."
Judging by the calm reaction of the guests, limited mostly to knowing grins and a bit of laughter, it was a very widespread, elaborate hoax.
"Uh, what do you mean?" Tonks asked, bewildered.
"I mean we made it all up. That law doesn't exist, the marriage register was faked. I must say, I'm rather disappointed in your lack of detective skills, Auror Tonks."
"You – you were all in on this?" said Harry, looking around. "Even you?"
Dumbledore smiled gently. "While it was certainly not my idea, I found it rather amusing. I was known to enjoy a good prank or two in my time. Why, once in my fifth year, I –" Harry cleared his throat. "Yes, perhaps a story for another day."
"You really didn't think you got it past all of us?" Hestia said, smirking.
"Word spreads fast, and you two have to be the least subtle couple I've ever seen," Bill remarked.
"I knew as soon as I saw the Wrackspurts," contributed Luna dreamily.
Ginny nodded. "I hate to break it to you, but everyone figured it out."
Tonks offered a strained smile. "I suppose I should congratulate you on a prank well done, but, the thing is, we do have to get married."
"Sweetheart, don't be thick. We just explained you don't," said Andromeda.
"You don't understand. Yes, we do." Harry stepped closer to Tonks, placing one hand on her belly. "For the baby."
The silence was deafening. Ted and Molly wore murder in their eyes, and even Dumbledore didn't have words for the moment. Everyone was startled when Hagrid burst into tears, honking his nose loudly in an enormous handkerchief.
"Oh, bless 'im, Harry's gonna be a daddy!" he sobbed.
"When we thought we were married, we just kind of stopped thinking about protection," Harry explained, flushing.
"So you see, we do have to get married," Tonks said with tears in her eyes. "I don't want to be a single mum."
"You won't be," Harry reassured her. Together they turned to face Dumbledore again, patiently waiting for the now-real ceremony to begin.
He cleared his throat. "Oh my dear, I am so sorry, but I must inform you that I am not actually qualified to marry you."
Tonks's shoulders began to shake as if sobbing, and the still-standing Amelia rushed forward. "Don't cry, Tonks, for heaven's sake. I'm legally allowed, I'll marry you and Harry if you want."
A strange choking sound emerged from the Metamorphmagus, and when she and Harry turned around again, it was revealed that she wasn't crying. They were laughing.
"You truly – believe – that I was – stupid enough – to get – knocked up?" Tonks gasped, holding one hand to her aching ribs.
Harry leaned over, resting his hands on his knees, guffawing. "Maybe we weren't so good at hiding it, but you have to give us some credit."
"You're – you're not having a baby?" Arthur stammered.
They shook their heads, both too overcome to speak again.
"Oh thank Merlin, I'm not going to be a grandmother!" Andromeda exclaimed, holding a hand to her head.
"What's going on? I'm really confused," admitted Ron.
Harry and Tonks shared a grin, finally pulling themselves under control, and he gestured for her to begin. "First of all, Madam Bones, I'm the one that's highly disappointed that you would believe me to be so gullible. Of course I double-checked, but I wasn't going to do it while you were in the room. Furthermore, you might want to find a secretary that can tell the difference between you and a Metamorphmagus."
Harry picked up the tale. "So then we did what you should have done: we got to Hermione first."
Hermione stepped forward, smiling rather shyly. "So when Ronald finally got around to letting me in on the secret –" She threw him a dirty look. "– I already knew about it, and that just confirmed it."
"And we just wanted to see how far you were going to take it," said Tonks. "I'm very impressed."
"So now it's all out in the open," Harry declared. "Tonks and I are together, we are not married and aren't going to be anytime soon, and we definitely aren't having a baby." He threw a worried glance at Tonks. "Right, sweets?"
She agreed with a very definite nod before raising one hand to quiet the spreading conversation. "But since we have all this food and booze, might I suggest a party anyway?"
A few hours later, the party was in full swing, During a lull in the music, Harry and Tonks stood up, tapping their glasses for attention.
Harry raised his glass, and everyone mirrored. In unison with Tonks he said, "To what no one missed!"