Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all related concepts are owned by someone who isn't me. I will never seek or accept money for the circulation of this work.
Harsh Idea for Tonks- this is probably the most likely piece I would convert to a full-on story. For those unfamiliar with my other work... well, this isn't "Wordhammer's Collection of Slapstick", y'know? Warning- angst ahead.
Harry (Tonks) Potter
Rated: T for mention of sex and use of foul language.
Genre: for this prologue, it would be Tragedy. The regular story would probably be Suspense
Summary: The difference between a weapon and a hero is really a matter of choice. Following an intense summer together before Harry's sixth year, Tonks has to make that choice. Like Edith Wilson...
Harry stood in front of Tonks, looking a little lost. She had shrunk his trunk down to carry it in his jacket pocket and Hedwig had been sent on to rendezvous with him at school. Their departure point had been masked from muggle observation. Harry had his portkey (not ironically, it was a skeleton key) in his other pocket. All that was left to do was to say goodbye to each other.
"Tonks, you have been... "
"Aw, don't say it Harry," she said while ruffling his already gravity- and comb-defying hair. "I know how you feel; I've been in your head more than you have these past months."
Harry blushed and smiled. Tonks loved it when he smiled. Blushing was even better.
He took her hand down from stroking his temple and held it in both of his. Clearing his throat, he continued, "I need to say it though. You have been a life-saver. I was so... lost after Sirius... died-"
Tonks spoke sternly to correct him, "Sirius was killed, Harry. Never forget that." She had taken her hand back to shake a finger at him.
Harry shuffled on his feet a bit and he held his hands out from his sides slightly, as if not quite resolved on what to do with them. "Right. That's not what I wanted to say though. I needed help and I needed tutoring but more than anything I needed... you. There's no way I would have known it before we had this summer together, but you're my salvation. I may not be ready to beat him, but I'm ready to figure out how, and make it happen. I will find a way."
She couldn't help herself; she licked her lips, slid her hands down her sides and across her hips and then wriggled like a pole dancer. "Ooh! You make me all shhteamy when you talk like that!"
Harry grinned and stepped forward, kissing Tonks the best way she'd taught him. She really shouldn't take all the credit for it though- she'd taught Charlie Weasley to kiss that way too, but only Harry made her knees weak...
Harry caught her around the waist as she stumbled into him and they ended up falling onto the grass in a heap of laughter and teasing touches.
A quiet 'chirp-chirp' emanated from her wand and Tonks slapped Harry's hip to encourage him to get off of her. "Let's get a move on then, lover! You have to get to the Express. Adventure awaits!"
Harry clambered up and then aided Tonks back to standing. He stepped backward again but stopped short, as if he had bumped into something.
The Auror looked up from brushing the grass clippings off her bum to see Harry's face draw very pale, almost green. "What's the matter, Harry?"
Time slowed to a crawl. Tonks saw a red line draw across Harry's neck, and then his whole head just fell backwards, rolling down his back to hit the sidewalk with a 'splut'. Blood spilled out over his collapsing body in a pulsing fountain powered by his last heartbeats. Her panicked review of his body picked up a sheen of metal being pulled back behind him and her wand jumped into her hand, erupting in curses at the unseen attacker.
Within seconds, she had transformed a goblin beneath an invisibility cloak into a bloody tangle of half-visible fabric mixed with blood, flesh and shattered bones.
But there was Harry. And Harry's head.
Tonks cried out a wail and sank to her knees. It was only after her lungs couldn't force any more pain through her throat that she collected the wherewithal to send messenger patronuses to Shack and Dumbledore. Both were charmed to recount the same warning:
'Harry was attacked. It's all fucked up.'
Tonks couldn't remember exactly how, but Dumbledore had collected her, Harry's remains, the goblin's remains and every drop of blood spilled in the boulevard of Privet Drive and brought it all to Grimmauld Place. They had been joined in the kitchen there by her boss, Kingsley Shacklebolt and her mentor, Alastor Moody. She was now surrounded by the most intimidating men in her life.
Once the explanations had been made (including an embarrassing admission as to the depth of her involvement with Harry), Moody kicked off her chastisement; "Merlin's saggy ballsack, Tonks! How could you have done exactly what you were told not to do! 'Protect him, but no contact'- wasn't that what I told you? Everything depended on Potter's survival, and you've literally FUCKED IT AWAY!"
Through a voice that wouldn't steady out despite her great wishes otherwise, she warbled, "I was helping him to survive! I'd seen what special training he'd had so far- none. Without me, he wouldn't have been able to beat Lucius Malfoy, much less Bellatrix or the Dark Lord. I trained him to defend himself, defend his mind and how to protect others. He was as good as an Auror! Better than me, even."
Dumbledore sighed and shook his head. "It was an admirable effort, Nymphadora, but it was all undone when you took him to your bed."
She mumbled, "Actually it was his bed. Not that I'd normally call that a 'bed'. We mostly ended up on the floor."
Shack's deep voice cut through to her spine. "Now is not the time for your levity, Auror Tonks. Your relationship compromised your ability to protect your subject, and the boy died from that inattention."
She bowed her head and started crying again. It didn't matter to them, how much he'd meant to her. Their concern was for their lost weapon. Harry'd had the right of it after all- it just came to him too late to matter in his choices.
The men began arguing amongst themselves, dismissing Tonks to sit in her chair with her grief. She thought back through all of her efforts since rescuing Harry from his isolation at the Dursley's. It had been a real challenge, drawing him out of his shell, but once he had opened up to her, she discovered a man of much passion, great hope and an iron will, when it mattered. She had fallen in love with a man who appeared to be a boy but thought and acted like a hero. Her hero.
That was it, then. She had lost her hero, as had everyone else that was depending on him. With Harry gone, the wizarding world might as well shrivel up and concede control to the Dark Lord right now.
Paying slight attention to the barking of the old men, she realized that they had reached the same conclusion. She saw only one solution, and it gave her a pang of fear to even consider it, but it was the right thing to do. What he would do, if he could.
"I'll be him," she said.
Albus raised a hand to quiet the others. "What was that, Miss Tonks?"
"I'll take over for Harry. I'll be him. No one else could do this- Polyjuice is well known to both sides, and aside from that, I'm the only one who knows him well enough to pull it off."
The headmaster gave her a leading look. "I doubt that anyone could make that claim, Miss Tonks."
"I've been in his head. I taught him Occlumency, the long way."
Mad-eye scoffed, "In two months? Impossible."
"Not if you're dedicated, and the other person trusts you completely. I earned his trust, and he shared his life with me. I got eight weeks of Harry Potter boot camp. I can guarantee that no one on this Earth knows him anywhere near as... intimately, as me."
Albus Dumbledore's eyes twinkled just slightly in the torchlight. "I think, in that case, we may have a chance. We can explain Harry's absence from the Express- it wouldn't be the first time his journey to the school was fraught with difficulty. Are you certain of this, Miss Tonks? You won't be able to stop once you start, or the entire subterfuge will assuredly blow up in our faces. Are you ready to become Harry Potter?"
Tonks rubbed her tears from her eyes and gave them all a wry smile. "I think it's great how you're calling me 'Miss Tonks' now, sir. I think it means that you actually believe I can do this. But from now on," Tonks paused and shifted form to match the man she had lost, "... I'm Harry. I need to change clothes."
Harry-Tonks stood up from the table and slid past the men staring at him. He strode out of the room with as much confidence as he could muster and then tromped up the stairs to kype some of Sirius' old clothes. It would honor them both.
Also, it would fit better than the thong, tights and bra beneath his robes that were currently pulling at tender parts in very uncomfortable ways.
Kingsley looked at the other two men and grumbled, "I think her first assessment was more accurate. This is all fucked up."
Dumbledore sat back and drew quiet, lost in thought.
Moody gave the headmaster a doubtful look and then turned back to Kingsley. "You may be right, but this is the best option, given how completely Tonks has upturned our cauldrons!"
Albus smiled and gave them a look of unexpected optimism. "I think our situation may be less precarious than I had first assumed."
"Are ye mad, Albus? The Dark Lord is returned, his agents are infecting the Ministry, we've just uncovered a plot by the goblins to take a hand in this conflict, your own life is hanging by a thread... ," at this, Moody gestured at the Headmaster's blackened right hand, "...and the keystone of our strategy to take down the Dark Lord himself was just murdered. Now, the stability of British Wizarding society rests on the ability of a metamorph to keep her focus, from now until the end of the war. In my experience, Tonks barely can remember what she had for supper by the time breakfast is served. What makes you think things 'aren't so bad'?"
Albus looked up at the ceiling and replied, "With Harry's death, this house's ownership should be in question, with the most-likely inheritor being either Bellatrix Lestrange or Draco Malfoy, depending upon how the Black family traces their line of succession. Yet the Fidelius Charm, which depends upon the owner to be in on the secret and still having trust in the Secret Keeper, is still functioning perfectly. Curious. Tell me something, Alastor."
"Do you remember what you had for supper last night?"
The wizened and mutilated Auror took several moments in thought before replying, "Stew. With cornbread."
The warlock smiled and assured his friend, "It took you time because it was an unimportant detail. Miss Tonks has experienced a sea change, Alastor. Her priorities have been dashed to the rocks and reassembled. I think she'll do fine, as our Harry."
"You trust Snape," Kingsley countered.
Albus raised his dessicated hand and nodded, "Yes, I do."