Chapter 28: Metamorphmagism

"Madam Pomfrey, would you be so kind as to tell Nymphadora Tonks to come to my office, please?"

Harry quickly moved out of the way as someone came tumbling out of the fireplace, nearly knocking him over.

"Ooof!" exclaimed a woman's voice.

Harry eyed the witch curiously. She looked young, probably no more than ten years older than him. Nymphadora Tonks evidently understood muggle clothing far better than the average witch or wizard. Although her t-shirt bore the logo of the Weird Sisters, the torn jeans and boots appeared perfectly non-magical. Her short, spiky hair was a vivid bubblegum pink colour.

"Nymphadora, thank you for coming on such short notice," said Dumbledore. "Lupin told you about Sirius?"

"Mum will be so pleased to know he's alive. Sirius was always her favourite cousin, you know. And Headmaster, please just call me Tonks. I loathe the name Nymphadora.

"Professor Snape! I didn't know you were part of this meeting," Tonks said, shaking hands enthusiastically with the Potions Master. "And who are you?" she asked Harry, in a not unfriendly manner.

Dumbledore chuckled in bemusement.

"Can you really not guess?"

Tonks cocked her head, scrutinizing Harry's face thoughtfully.

"He looks a bit like someone I know, put I can't put my finger on who, exactly…"

After a moment, she shook her head in defeat.

"No, no idea."

The three wizards exchanged significant glances. Unwilling to play a passive role in matters that concerned him, Harry quickly extended his hand to Tonks.

"Harry Potter," he said, introducing himself.

Tonks looked very much surprised, but she quickly accepted the proffered hand and expressed genuine pleasure at meeting Harry.

"Wow, I really had no idea. You look nothing like the photos of you in the Daily Prophet, Harry."

That was just as well, in Harry's opinion.

"So, why did you call me here, Headmaster? Wait- you're not going to tell me Harry's a Metamorphmagus, are you?"

"No, I don't think Harry is a Metamorphmagus. He is, however, in need of your skills-"

"What's a Metamorphmagus?" Harry asked quickly.

"It means I can change my appearance at will," Tonks clarified, noticing Harry's puzzled expression. "Watch."

Her hair became a distinct shade of purple before resuming its previous shade of pink.

"Wicked!"

But Tonks wasn't finished. Her facial features grew indistinct, and she seemed to gain a few inches in height. A moment later, Harry was looking at an exact replica of himself.

A sick feeling settled in the pit of his stomach. After months of the Mirror Charm, Harry had forgotten just how much he resembled his father. Had Malfoy noticed the resemblance between "Robert Prewett" and his Head of House, and merely pretended to buy Harry's story? What was the point of gradually changing Harry's appearance, if Draco (and more importantly, Lucius) already knew what Harry really looked like?

Harry quashed the urge to let the alarm he felt show on his face.

"Headmaster, you said we were going to have my appearance change gradually? How is Tonks going to help with that, exactly?"

"Allow me to explain," Dumbledore said. "Simply put, Tonks, I called you here because I need you to help us visualize the gradual appearance change that Harry mentioned."

"Oooh, this should be interesting. What's he eventually supposed to look like?"

"His eventual appearance- his true appearance- his the one you see now."

"You mean this isn't how he normally looks," said Tonks shrewdly. Her attitude became serious. "How much can you safely tell me?"

"Not much, yet," said Severus quietly, casting a significant glance at the Headmaster. "Merely that…it seems some sort of appearance-altering charm was cast upon Harry as an infant. That charm faded almost completely shortly after the start of term. Since then, Harry's been disguised with a modified Mirror Charm, which was removed earlier today. We cannot afford for attention to be drawn to his changed appearance, but we can no longer hide it, either. Hence the need for a transition."

"I see," said Tonks. "Do you want me to arrange for the Daily Prophet to print photos of the transitional appearance?"

"I won't give that Skeeter woman an interview, if that's what you had in mind," cut in Harry angrily.

"There won't be any interviews unless you want them," Tonks reassured him. "And it would be me- disguised as you- who appeared in any photos."

"Well…that would be…okay, I guess. But what about at Hogwarts?"

"A Glamour Charm would work, wouldn't it?" asked Tonks.

"That's exactly what the Headmaster and I had in mind," replied Severus.

"Well, then. Let's get started, shall we?" said the witch cheerfully, rubbing her hands together in anticipation.

Two hours later, an exhausted Harry left Dumbledore's office for the Great Hall. Despite his weariness, his spirits were lifted: Tonks, Dumbledore, and his father had painstakingly chosen a series of appearances and had had Harry practise casting the Glamour Charm upon himself until they were satisfied with his proficiency.

Now that the matter of his appearance was resolved, Harry had more leisure to mull over everything he'd heard today. What was the Order Dumbledore had mentioned, and who was in it? Tonks had mentioned she was an Auror, but Harry had gotten the impression that the Ministry wouldn't approve of her helping Harry disguise himself. She hadn't seemed surprised at his father's involvement, either. Did she already know Severus was a spy? Were Tonks and his father in the Order together?

Harry was not pleased about being kept in the dark, especially since he suspected the Order was actively working against Voldemort. Why shouldn't he, Harry, be involved in the fight as well? Hadn't he faced the dark wizard several times already and proven himself capable? He had as much right as anyone to know what Voldemort was up to and how Dumbledore's "old crowd" was counterattacking. If Dumbledore- or anyone else for that matter- thought Harry would just sit by and be a good boy after everything Voldemort had taken from him, they had another thing coming...