Alright. With this story I've been struggling with Chapter 3 for quite awhile. I've reached up to 3000 and 4000 words but it hasn't taken the direction I wanted it to, therefore Chapter 2 has been slightly re-written as I'm taking this story into a different direction and rewriting Chapter 3 which should be posted up very soon. The alterations made are short but extremely vital and start when Harry meets the teenage girl. Chapter 3 will soon be up.
Tonks stumbled over her feet in an undulating flail of limbs the second she appeared out of thin air in front of Grimmauld Place. Tonks straightened up hastily, embarrassed and worried that someone had seen her. When her eyes did a quick survey of the street, Tonks sighed thankfully when she noted there was not a soul to be seen. It was, after all, just six o'clock in the morning.
Tonks started walking towards the entrance gingerly, as she could feel her inner thighs aching slightly, possibly, and most certainly, due to the intense provocative practices that she and Harry had engaged in the night before. Tonks hoped that there was nothing unusual to her stride. She did, of course, want to keep a relatively low profile and remain inconspicuous, as to not draw attention from the other members of the Order. Tonks sighed irritably, shaking her head, shivering. Maybe I'm being a little paranoid? Tonks reasoned with herself. But then another thought crossed her mind. No, there was no such thing as being too careful around the Order. They catch on to everything with the smallest details... I'll have to watch out for them... Mad Eye especially.
Tonks entered the narrow and tenebrous hallway, intent on not knocking over the umbrella stand this time. As she proceeded down the dark stretch of hall, her feet thudding on the hollow floor, she suddenly turned and noticed her reflection on a mirror in the hall way. Although Tonks was fairly certain she had a flustered countenance, her reflection in the dirty mirror surprised her.
Her spiked pink hair which was ordinarily dishevelled looked frighteningly even more disarrayed. Her red lips were noticeably smudged and Tonks spotted several love bites trailing down her neck.
"Fucking hell, Nymphadora," Tonks hissed quietly, flicking up the collar of her jacket in order to cover up most of the red marks. Still trying to keep her cool, Tonks continued down the hall, rubbing her lips frantically and trying, blindly, to lighten her pale complexion. Tonks was so pre occupied in arranging her features that she didn't notice the umbrella stand...
Tonks tripped with a yelp and started cursing when the dreaded portrait of Mrs. Black started wailing derisively. A door swung open and someone muttered amusedly, "That must be Nymphadora."
Fighting down a blush, Tonks quickly dusted herself off and glared up at the unknown person who had used her first name, indignant and offended. "Don't call me Nymphadora!"
Tonks spotted Remus chuckling and directed her glare at him. Then she took in the whole room and almost fainted when she saw that all eyes were on her. She entered shyly, still blushing, and somewhere at the end of the table everyone was seated around a gentle voice spoke, "Late, Nymphadora?" It was Dumbledore, heartily amused as always.
Not having the energy to react apprehensively to the repeated use of her first name, Tonks just mumbled a barely audible apology and took a seat next to the skulking Snape, who glared at her disparagingly. Tonks began her report on Harry's status stoically, regularly averting her eyes from everyone else's. Occasionally Tonks glanced up and met Remus' eyes and noticed something in them, something... unreadable. He continued to stare at her oddly until his nose suddenly cringed as if he had detected a malodorous scent.
Oh, God. Tonks thought, panicking. He knows something is up! He knows, he just knows...
After the meeting had adjourned, all of the members began to shuffle out of the room. Tonks tried frantically to escape through the door before a hand grabbed her right arm and pulled her back gently.
"Can we talk?" Remus asked lowly, keeping cautious of the hearing range of the people around him.
Tonks swallowed and nodded mutely, allowing him to guide her into an empty room, away from the other members of the Order. Away from everyone. Tonks sat down on an old, black leather couch and clasped her hands together nervously, looking down at the ground passively while Remus paced the length of the room, apparently deep in thought. Finally, after what felt like a life time, he spoke, "So, what's been going on between you and Harry, Tonks?"
Tonks glanced up at him and tried to arrange her features so that they showed surprise and confusion, but failed and only managed a painful looking grimace.
"Nothing, don't know what you mean," Tonks said, too quickly and too high pitched.
Remus crossed his arms and raised his eyebrows at her incredulously, not believing her.
"Dora, don't play coy please. I can smell him on you." Remus pointed blatantly to his nose and wriggled it. "The perks of being a were wolf, remember?"
Tonks internally screamed at herself for her negligence – of how she had handled the situation. She should have predicted something like this. How could she not have possibly thought of it? Fathomed it?
Without warning, Tonks burst into tears and started weeping into her trembling hands. She felt thin arms close around her and rub her shoulders reassuringly until her sobs lessened.
"Well, that wasn't the kind of reaction I anticipated I would get out of you," Remus joked softly, still rubbing her shoulders comfortingly.
With swollen, teary purple eyes, Tonks raised her head to meet his eyes, trying desperate to exude the genuine apology and regret she felt. "I'm s-so sorry Remus! I s-shouldn't have dared d-do this with your best friend's son like this, I'm – I'm... oh please forgive me. What must you think of me?" Tonks commenced positively wailing again.
Remus was more than a little taken aback at Tonks' primal exposure of her feelings to him. This certainly wasn't the Nymphadora Tonks he knew.
"Dora please calm down, please!" Remus begged. "I'm not angry at you, I'm not, please stop crying!"
Eventually Tonks stemmed her flow of salty tears and calmed herself down. She pulled away from Remus' arms, angrily brushing at her eyes, embarrassed.
"I'm fine," Tonks sniffled.
"I'm glad," Remus replied, placing a hand on her shaking shoulder.
They stayed like that for several minutes, in intensely awkward silence before Tonks finally broke it.
"You're not mad?"
"B-but, he's..." Tonks stammered weakly.
"I know, Tonks, I know," Remus assured her soothingly. "Don't worry." He stopped rubbing her shoulder and allowed her to finally turn to face his face. He wore a comforting and solicitous expression.
Tonks tried to say something but didn't. She opened her mouth then stopped, incapable of uttering any coherent words in her confusion.
Remus smiled at her confused face. Then Tonks found her voice, weak and squeaky.
"Why aren't you mad?"
"Well," Remus started slowly, choosing his words very decisively. "Uh... I truthfully do not think that what you're doing with Harry is necessarily a bad thing. Probably definitely not something that the Order, especially Dumbledore would approve of, but... in a way, I think that whatever kind of relationship you have with him is... good."
Tonks laughed at Remus' timidness and raised her eyebrows, evidently encouraging him to elaborate. Remus caught on and frowned slightly in concentration as he once again tried to find the right words.
"I personally think that – after all Harry's been through – that it's very good for him to have someone in which he can share an intimate relationship with. What you're doing is a very dangerous method, admittedly, but... this just might help him." Remus' eyes were wide and glazed over. Tonks blinked at him unsurely, but still very much fastidious.
"You see... I think that Harry has been wallowing in a very unhealthy depression and guilt. He won't confide in me, or anyone else, no matter how much we try. He feels so falsely isolated from people and from himself. At times it's so infuriating! He's evidently in pain yet he doesn't allow anyone to get close enough to comfort him. He's too damn modest for his own good. Just like James was..." Remus trailed off and stared into space, immersed in nostalgia that made Tonks realize just how much older he was compared to her. Then he snapped out of this and looked back at her searchingly. Tonks looked back, disbelieving. Of all the various reactions she would have anticipated from Remus she certainly hadn't expected what she had just heard. But he had become eventually desperate when it came down to Harry's well being, and now he was willing to accept any kind of method to get Harry to battle his depression.
"Do you care about him?" Remus asked, deadly serious.
Tonks nodded. "Of course! I've been trying to help him deal with his chronic pain and I... I think it's working... I do, though, think that I may have been a little selfish lately..."
"What do you mean?," Remus asked, oblivious to her sudden nervous squirming and shifting.
"We've kind of been having... more sex than confiding lately and I... feel really bad about that. God, he's just a child!"
"He's mature beyond his years though," Remus added thoughtfully.
Tonks nodded in mutual agreement, thankful that Remus had not commented on the sex, then stifled a giggle when she recounted how childish and laid back he had been in the morning.
More silence. Then Remus asked, "It's not just about the sex though is it?"
Tonks eyes widened in shock. "No, no! God, no! I do really care about him... and in a way I guess we're both helping each other out."
"Tonks?" Remus asked cautiously.
"How do you feel towards Harry? I mean... really feel?"
Tonks ran a hang through her unruly pink hair. "I don't know. I just... I care about him but I'm not sure if I feel something... deeper for him. I literally can't come to terms with how I feel about him. But I do know something..."
Tonks paused, taking a deep haranguing breath then went on. "I think he loves me," Tonks admitted, her voice faltering. "It's just the way he looks at me and touches me... I think I led him into something that neither of us could ever have saw coming."
Remus managed to nod in apparent understanding, but inside he couldn't help but think that maybe, possibly, Tonks was not as in control of the situation as he initially thought she was. Remus genuinely feared for Tonks. Her feelings towards the boy who was the closest thing to a son he had been heavily conflicted. But he knew that Tonks was deliberately trying to ignore what she truly felt. She was unconsciously denying it...
Harry had been unable to fall back asleep since Tonks had left him just one hour ago. For some strange reason, his stomach seemed to wrench at the mere intangibility separating them. Harry solemnly yearned to see her again on a regular, preferably prolonged basis. He sometimes wondered if he perhaps was becoming too obsessed over Nymphadora Tonks but decided to fervently dismiss this, as it made him blush and embarrassed.
Every time Harry's thoughts lingered towards her his mind became boggled. He remembered how much older she was compared to him. But Tonks had responsibilities and maturity as an Auror, however young she was. Harry reasoned that she must have had plenty more experience when it came to romantic relationships than he did.
Harry felt stuck – sinking, in a vast hole of mixed feelings and emotions which he was frustratingly not mature or experienced enough to comprehend.
Suddenly feeling unpleasantly disorientated, Harry threw himself onto his lumpy bed, the springs groaning predictably under his weight. Harry finally accepted it: he was in no way in control of the situation. Like always, his life and his faith depended on the decisions and feelings of others, now presently Nymphadora Tonks. Harry then tried to recall how he had suddenly become so involved in a promiscuous relationship with Tonks, full of sex, giggles and kisses...
TWO WEEKS EARLIER
Harry Potter lay down in his small bed feeling incredibly low on energy and mood. He felt immensely unmotivated to do anything other than sleep and lay down in his bed, stuck with his thoughts about his life and how eventual and soul crushing everything seemed to him. He felt consistently disturbed about and about every other little thing that continued to disturb him – a disturbance seemed irrevocable and constant. Harry knew that he would face more adversity. That when he returned to Hogwarts he would instantly be overwhelmed with the criticism, stares and accusation from every person he was known to, which was a lot. Harry's previous anticipation to return to Hogwarts had long since diminished... long ago, when he lost most faith in the higher powers around him, especially Dumbledore.
Harry shifted in his bed and tried to get comfortable – to let his mind abandon all thought or worry, to no avail. Although his body and mind yearned for sleep, he couldn't seem to get it. Harry checked the alarm clock beside his bed: 6:04. Sighing in frustration, Harry picked himself off his bed and decided to take a walk around the neighbourhood to clear his thoughts.
When Harry walked down stairs and passed the living room, he wasn't surprised that the Dursley's didn't ask him where he was going. In fact, they hardly noticed Harry anymore. Since last summer they steered clear away from him – out of fear or respect, Harry couldn't figure out. But his recent lack of human interaction had recently began to bother Harry somewhat, and he found himself strangely wanting them to acknowledge him, belligerently or irritably, any human interaction what-so-ever would have sufficed for Harry...
Harry started walking around the mostly deserted neighbourhood languidly, with his hands tucked deep into his pockets. The retiring residents of the area sometimes glared at him but other than that, no one dared make any contact with Harry. The sun had long since set when Harry reached the park. Twilight was just beginning to crawl across the sky, laden with forboden. Harry knew that he would have to already return to the Dursleys soon and the very thought made him sick.
He wanted desperately to be rid of them... of every person who had caused him hardship in life. He wished for a miracle, something... anything. Taking a seat on a chained swing, Harry gazed up at the ever greying sky and felt strangely constricted by it... as if the sky itself, the world was closing in on him and forcing him into submission. Sometimes, when Harry looked up and perceived the vastness of the sky, it reminded him of how much of the outside world lay out there, out of his reach. The Earth's blanket of darkness and stars ignited the flares of Harry's melancholic core. He fantasised sometimes of running away into the muggle world and attempting to abandon all ties and responsibilities. Harry would become so immersed in these fantasies that he would get very closely on the verge of indeed packing up and running away from his onslaught of responsibilities and problems. Then he remembered everyone else and how much they needed him... It genuinely shocked Harry beyond belief when he considered the heavy weight and burden on his shoulders... the weight of the lives of others was too much to bear. While other teenagers Harry's age only needed to worry about their own lives, Harry found himself simultaneously trying to keep a handle on his own life and a lot of other people's as well.
Initially, before the weight of dependence began to culminate, Harry welcomed new things and people so casually, without fight into his life, and now he almost completely regretted it. Harry thought himself to be shamefully self fish when he thought of just blowing town and leaving others to deal with threats such as Voldemort by themselves.
"I guess that I'm just destined for this," Harry sighed, resigned to his fate.
A sudden shuffling of leaves from behind Harry caused him to whirl around on instinct and reach for his wand... that wasn't there. Harry swore under his breath and cursed his carelessness when he realised he had left his wand by his bedside. Harry however was determined to remain apprehensive and alert of the unseen threat, of the creeper lurking in the shadows, somewhere behind the hedge. Harry experienced a very sudden déjà vu when he recalled 'seeing' Doby for the first time in a hedge.
"Who's there?" Harry projected his voice forcefully, attempting to make it sound authentically intimidating, with a tone that obviously demanded authority.
There was no answer. Just roaring stillness.
Improvising, Harry picked up a large, wood stick and gripped onto it to mostly reassure himself. There was more shuffling of leaves and Harry gripped onto the stick more tightly. In the roaring silence, the stick resonated the sound of splintering wood.
"Reveal yourself!" Harry declared. Then, miraculously, a teenage girl stepped out from her concealment and Harry's jaw dropped. The teenage girl looked quite developed but Harry conjectured that she must be scarcely beyond girl hood.
Her hair was of a lustrous black and flowing, cascading down her pale face and hanging around both of her large breasts, constricted in a purple tank top. She had abnormally pale skin, without any imperfections, and wore dark, crimson lipstick, accentuating her gothic look. Most fascinatingly, her eyes shoon an unnatural violet – dark violent, and as Harry reluctantly beheld them he felt his heart slide into his throat. The violet eyes contrasted with his and they seemed to penetrate him, and positively knaw him to the bone. Directing his sight downwards, Harry marvelled at her shapely, creamy legs that were exposed in her shorts. Gulping, Harry slyly risked another look at the violet eyes which seemed so strangely intimidating to him and smiled, though his lips trembled excessively.
"Wotcher..." The alluring girl offered shyly.
"Hullo," Harry greeted back, trying to compose his trembling body sufficiently. An arctic, frigid silence overwhelmed them and it was then that Harry actually had time to process what was going on. Blushing, Harry quickly disposed of the stick that he held in front of him limply.
Thankfully, it was then the girl once again spoke.
"You're that Potter kid, aren't you?"
"Uh, yeeah," Harry replied, confused as to how she knew of him.
Her pouty lips twisted into a devious smirk and something like triumph flared in her dark, mysterious eyes. Harry could not perceive whether or not she was observing him with amusement or lust. Her eyes possessed an undefined emotion... something that seemed ambiguous and dark, yet held so much emotion beyond comprehension. Finding his own voice, Harry spoke again.
"How the hell do you know who I am?"
"Oh, everyone around the neighbourhood knows who you are," the girl conceded teasingly. She then adopted a more languid poise and started to slowly walk towards Harry, an ever wide smile on her face. Harry winced uncomfortably when the girl leaned in close to his ear and whispered, "You're the local bad boy on the block, aren't you Harry?" Her hot breath tickled Harry's ear. Then, in a pertinacious act of sudden boldness, Harry slowly turned his head and met her eyes that were so close to his.
"Alright, so you know who I am, but who – exactly – are you?"
The closeness between them disturbed Harry and he felt scorching heat set his body on fire. Adrenaline pumped through his youthful veins and he suddenly felt a tingling sensation in his lower regions. The mere closeness of each other seemed highly arousing to Harry as he immersed himself in her dark violet eyes. Harry clenched his fist when she suddenly leaned even closer towards him, her crimson full lips only inches from his and whispered, "Dora."
Her pleasant breath caressed Harry's nostrils. Mmm, she smells nice, Harry thought to himself. They stayed there, standing suggestively close to each other.
"What a lovely name," Harry whispered, intoxicated by her.
"Thanks, but, uh, Harry..."
"Y-yes?" Harry stammered.
"More importantly, I know who you really are..." Her tone of voice was teasing. She was tantalizingly close to him.
"What do you mean?"
The girl, Dora, leaned in even closer and her full, crimson lips seemed to pout out. Responding, Harry too leaned forward, thinking they were going to kiss until –
"Ah! WHAT THE BLOODY 'ELL?"
In an instant Dora had tripped Harry and thrown him on his back to the ground, knocking the wind out of him.
Gasping for air, Harry looked up at Dora with streaming eyes. "What the hell did you do that for?"
Dora was no longer smiling or smirking. She had suddenly adopted a stern look on her face and she had placed her hands on her hips petulantly. "I would have assumed that Harry Potter would be a little bit more aware of his surroundings and dangers of meeting strangers..."
"What the – what the hell are you talking about?" Harry spluttered, very impatient with Dora's teasing.
Dora pouted. "You are Harry, the Chosen One, Potter, aren't you?"
Harry suppressed the urge to cringe at the Dora's use of his unofficial title. "How do you know that..." Harry blanched then continued painfully, "title?"
"Well you are quite well known in the Wizarding world, aren't you?" Dora replied.
Harry gulped, then realised something. "You're a... you're a witch?"
"You sound surprised."
"I'm sorry; I just didn't think that another magical being could ever be living near me."
To Harry's confusion, Dora sighed irritably, evidently agitated.
"What?" Harry asked, unperceptive and unassuming.
"It's me Harry," Dora said quietly, as if she was disappointed with his lack of... intelligence.
Then, her body morphed before him. Her features turned softer and less angular, more plump and feminine. Her skin seemed to darken in tone and bloomed ivory under the turbulent skies of grey. Her hair shifted pink, spiked slightly and eccentric, yet her body seemed to retain the same contours, though Harry couldn't help but notice that her breasts shrank a little into her chest. The kind face of a woman Harry had definitely met before sparked something in his memory. Her eyes, the only thing that hadn't changed, became all too familiar to him that he felt shocked that he hadn't fathomed why he had felt a slight sense of familiarity the moment he laid eyes on her.
"Tonks..." Harry said, feeling incredibly foolish as obvious but previously inconceivable realization dawned on him.
"Wotcher Harry." Her expression remained stoic however and slightly stern.
Still confused, Harry inquired to her stern countenance. "Did I do something wrong, Tonks?" Harry asked cautiously.
"Why yes, you made quite a detrimental mistake that can actually kill you. If I was a Death Eater I would have easily had the drop on you."
"That's not just a little..." Harry broke off, knowing the answer.
"Paranoid? Definitely not. Being mentored by Mad Eye himself has instilled, regrettably and thankfully, that there's no such thing as being 'too careful'. Especially when you're an Auror."
Harry swallowed knowing she was right. In his despondency and arousal he had been careless. Tonks continued on, passing on what Harry supposed were memory instilled exhortations that were taught to her by Mad Eye himself.
"No. It's a matter of deception. Among Aurors, we always have to be extremely careful in retaining and seeing past disguises. This was a... preliminary lesson in your ability to see past appealing appearances Harry" Harry tried hard not to blush. "If you truly want to be an Auror, Harry, I'd advise you to be more perceptive of the people around you. Especially strangers."
Harry cursed at himself for being such an unknowing fool. He hadn't even passed an unofficial disguises test in the Auror field training system, yet he felt that Tonks had an unfair advantage since she was, after all, a natural Metamorphmagus.
Then Tonks smiled quoting the infamous phrase: "Constant vigilance!"
They both laughed despite Harry's substantial yet presently innocuous mistake, breaking the apparently thick tension.
"I can see that Mad-Eye taught you well, Tonks."
Tonks smiled serenely, though it seemed more genuine and less smirk-like than in her alternate form, Dora. Less... seductive.
"Thanks Harry. I wish I could say the same but I have to admit that I was, and maybe still am, quite a reckless witch."
The tension between them evaporated. Tonks took a few tentative steps towards him and finally engulfed him in a hug.
"It's nice to see you again, Harry," she spoke softly into his shoulder.
"You too," Harry replied, smelling the richness of her hair, the softness of her cheek against his, the warmth her arms provided and the slight brush of her breasts against his chest. Eventually, she released him, something that Harry was just a tiny bit disappointed but vastly appreciative of, as his teenage hormones seemed to be disturbingly active.
Then something tugged at Harry's thoughts.
"So you've been watching me? Ever since the end of summer?"
"Well, yes..." Tonks admitted, somewhat embarrassed. "Are you... bothered by that?"
"Oh no, not at all," Harry conceded hastily. "In fact I can't think of anyone else I'd rather prefer."
Tonks once again smiled prettily at him, both amused and adored by his sweet honesty.
Then something else occurred to Harry.
"Uh, are you sure that it's okay that I'm talking to you and you to me?" Harry asked.
"Well, I'm actually assigned to something additional, again pertaining to you. Dumbledore feels it necessary for you to amp up your Occlumency skills."
"Fuck!" Harry cursed quietly recalling how difficult it had been with Snape the previous year.
Tonks smiled sympathetically. "I know Harry, I know. It sucks. I had to harness my Occulumency skills from Mad Eye and needless to say, it was a bit embarrassing for both of us."
"Well, given that he had on numerous occasions to see into my most personal parts of my mind I guess it wasn't an altogether pleasant experience. Especially for him."
Harry spluttered in shock and Tonks giggled into her hand. He tried desperately not to imagine Mad Eye penetrating Tonks' mind and unwittingly seeing into her most personal thoughts.
"Don't worry, Harry, I won't go as far as he did with me," Tonks assured him, still refraining from laughing. "But, it is important that we improve your Occlumency significantly. We're going to be working on it, everyday until the end of Summer."
Harry grimaced in anticipation of the comings of numerous mental hardships. Tonks patted his shoulder with an ingratiatingly warm smile and added, "But at least I'm the one doing it. It was initially out of Hestia and Mad Eye and both, I can tell you, are quite strict."
Harry felt grateful that Tonks of all people was going to be mentoring him on his most loathed subject surpassing even Potions and Divination. But he still wasn't looking forward to actually shielding his mind. He felt the smallest gratification yet an insidious trepidation filled his heart. His mind after the Department of Mysteries and the Triward Tournament often went to dark places and he ardently didn't wish Tonks to see into it. Yet somehow Harry knew there was nothing he could do about it.
The sky darkened casting gloomy shadows over the park. It was getting late and both he and Tonks noticed it.
"C'mon, I'll work you home," Tonks said brightly.
They began their trudge through the neighbourhood mostly in silence before Tonks tentatively broke it.
"So Harry, I've noticed that you seem quite... down lately."
That was definitely a euphemism if Harry had ever heard one.
"And I'm just wondering are you... okay? You know after..." She broke off and Harry remained abnormally silent.
Tonks cast a sidelong look at him. His face was unreadable, darkened partially by the blackness of the streets. Occasionally, the faint orange glow of pulsing light from an overhead street lamp would pass over his face, briefly illuminating his tight lips and determined eyes that were directed straight ahead of him, unblinking.
Wordlessly, Tonks took his hand in hers and squeezed. Finally their tenuous journey ended and Tonks hesitantly released his hand. Harry's hand burned electric from where she had affectionately held onto him and he turned to smile at Tonks cordially.
"So I'll see you tomorrow, then?" Harry asked, the corner of his lips curling slightly.
"Definitely," Tonks smiled.
Nodding Harry walked through the door of Number Four Privet Drive. His receding footsteps were muffled from Tonks' hearing as soon as the door shut behind him. As soon as she was sure he was gone, she swiftly drew out the clip board titled: Occlumency. She uncorked her bronze quill and started her first observation.
Subject continues to retreat emotionally when traumatic experiences are brought to mention. If all remaining ties are severed, will there be total detachment from the human condition? The major concern is the vulnerability associated with isolation. That is step one.