'HP: Dolen Amser'
Chapter Two
- Play it Again, Hatty -

A/N: I don't own squat, save for the plot.

Oddly enough, Harry found an empty compartment in the middle of the train. He was barely plopped down when Tonks came in, dragging her trunk. "There you are! Give a lady a hand?"

Harry smirked and golf clapped at her. Before she got too mad, he stood up and got a hold of her trunk. "Sorry. Couldn't resist that one." He winced from the slap to the back of the head, and put her trunk up while chuckling. "So. You're the reason Andy's so good at teaching morph stuff?"

"Yeah," Tonks said as she sat down. "You're the reason we've had take out for a couple of months?"

"Sorry about that," Harry said sheepishly as he sat across from her. "I was a real mess. Had a block that blew the circuit breakers when it failed, then I'm the sixteen year old 'who the hell is that, and did it hurt' bloke. She's been a godsend, your mum. I can at least hold a face now. Still have mood hair though."

Tonks just sat there, staring at him with an odd grin on her face.

"What? Did I mess up?" he asked, feeling his face with his hands.

She shook her head and wiped an actual tear from her face. "Don't be offended, but I have to do this." With that, she half stood and hugged him. "I thought I was alone," she whispered. "Everyone wanting funny faces, or boys wanting big tits, or some film star, or some shite."

"Hey," Harry said, patting her back. "Sit down." Pulling her to sit next to him, he conjured a hankie and blotted her eyes. "You want to talk, I'm here. Get a lot of flack, myself. So, you need a vent or something, just gab at me. I definitely understand." Absently, he drew his wand to lock the door and hit it with a notice-me-not charm.

A fourth of the trip was spent in a fit of tears, venting, and outright shouting over how stupid people could be. Harry gave as good as he got, and ended up agreeing with the majority of what she said.

The next fourth was spent getting to know each other. Their sense of humour was on par, and both thought it hysterical that the easiest hair colour they could do was the stereotypical gender. Light blue for him, light pink for her.

While he couldn't go into too much detail about his past, he was able to tell her that he was an orphan; his transfer was directly related to his metamorph block coming down; and he thought the wizarding world was full of hypocrites – to which she agreed most emphatically. Not once was he dishonest, but he was skirting the line there in a few places.

Her past was a bit more involved. Since she was raised in a wizarding family, she never had a block and had spent years trying to enhance her talent – which was the direct opposite problem that he had.

Halfway through the trip, Tonks noticed that none of her friends had showed up. He apologized for 'fixing the door', and undid it. Realizing that he saved her from crying in front of other people, she yanked him by his collar and planted a firm kiss on his lips with a 'thank you' and a huge smile.

It wasn't ten seconds after the notice-me-not was down, before someone was knocking on the door. After it slid open, a fair haired bloke lit up with a smile. "Tonks! Been looking everywhere for ya, mate!"

"Tony! Get your arse in here," Tonks said with a grin. "Jim, this is my Quiddich fellow Beater, Tony Rickett. Tony, this is Jim Blake, transfer student and fellow sixth year."

"Nice to meet you, Jim," Tony said, shaking his hand. He flopped across from them and eyed their hair. "Trying to be charming?" he asked, wondering about Harry's hair.

"No, it comes natural," Harry deadpanned.

Snickering, Tonks explained. "He's a late bloomer metamorphmagus. Me mum's been teaching him the basics all summer."

Frowning, Tony gave her a look. "Wouldn't that be more your bag?"

"I know!" Tonks complained. "Didn't tell me shite until four days ago. And then! She didn't even tell me that he's a metamorph!"

"Probably thinks you'll run away with him," Tony said with a grin.

"Tempting," Tonks said, looking at Harry with a smirk. "Very tempting."

Noticing how they both weren't blushing, Tony decided to distract them. "So, Jim. You play Quidditch?"

"Seeker," Harry replied without thinking about it. For some reason, he couldn't stop looking in Tonks' eyes.

"Seeker?" they both cried. "Oh, please tell me they sorted you as a badger!" Tonks begged.

"Yeah mate," Tony nodded with wild eyes. "We lost Thompson when he graduated."

Harry blinked and looked over at Tony. "Wait. What were we talking about?" Oh hell, keep your head in the game Potter!

"You. Quidditch. Seeker. Hufflepuff." Tony enunciated. "You play seeker, right?" At Harry's nod, he grinned. "Any good?"

Swearing to himself, Harry just nodded. "Not to be immodest, but I'd like to think I'm a bit of all right."

"You definitely are," Tonks whispered, before catching herself. "Wait. Quidditch. Right. You get sorted yet?"

Harry shook his head. "Nope. They wanted to wait, and watch me make a spectacle of myself after the firsties are done."

Snorting, Tonks grabbed him by the collar again and pulled him so that they were touching noses and were going crosseyed, trying to look at each other. "When they put the hat on you, you think Loyalty, Hard Work, and the Colour Yellow. Get me?"

"Got you," Harry whispered.

There was a sigh from the other side of the compartment. "Dammit. New guy. Metamorph. And the one we love is all over him like jam on toast."

When Tonks didn't even flip him off, he sighed again. "Break her heart and I break your face, Blake," Tony said quietly.

After the trolley went by, they tested Harry's Seeker skills by having him catch jumping chocolate frogs, and were suitably impressed.

The last fourth of the trip had the pair of metamorphs trying to outdo each other in cracking Tony up. First, they did impressions and reproductions of comedy acts with the actual faces and voices. Then, they started punning and joking of the more colourful variety until the poor sod had to visit the loo to avoid an accident.

They really got him without even trying. As they stood to fetch their uniforms, Tonks noticed something was missing. "Jim? Where's your trunk?"

"It's in my pocket."

"Ohhhh," she nodded. "So that's what that was."

Harry lifted one eyebrow. "Wouldn't you like to know?"

"Oh I definitely would," Tonks said under her breath, while Tony was red-faced from laughing so hard.

"Stop it! You're killing me!" Tony complained.

After they got off the train, the bellowing of 'Firs' Years o'er here!' had Harry in a bit of nostalgia. He spied a few familiar redheads going about their business, and marvelled at how young everyone looked. Tonks ended up taking him by the arm over to the carriages.

Completely unthinking, Harry went to the front of the carriage to pet the thestral – which nickered at him. Tony's "What're you doing Jim?" had him swearing at himself again.

Tonks saw Jim's hair turn black while it looked like he was patting the air. Gasping, she stepped up to him and didn't realize her own hair went natural. "These are thestrals," she whispered.

"I know," Harry replied.

Looking up at him, Tonks could see that his actual eye colour was green. "Your parents?" she asked quietly.

"Yeah," Harry whispered.

Patting his back, she nodded. "C'mon. You went natural. Let's get you in the carriage."

Snapped out of it, Harry's hair went light blue out of reflex. He glanced to see Tonks looking at him with so dark it might as well be black hair, and deep purple eyes. "Only fair," she said. "Saw yours." Smiling gratefully, Harry let her lead him to the carriage door while she fixed her hair up pink.

Harry was stopped from going into the Great Hall by Professor Flitwick. "Mr. Blake. If you would have a seat and wait for the first years, Professor McGonagall will tell you what to do for the sorting."

"All right," Harry said, before turning to Tonks. "Save me a chair?"

"Damn right, I will," Tonks grinned. "C'mon, Tony, we got us a new Badger to plan for."

Chuckling, Flitwick conjured a chair for Harry to sit in. "Planning on wearing yellow, Mr. Blake?"

"Absolutely," Harry grinned.

Harry waved at most of the passers by with a smile on his face. Their confusion as to what he was doing out there was rather comical. After everyone was in, there was a bit of a wait. He still wondered why the staff had the first years climb all those bloody steps from the lakeside dock.

While he was contemplating digging his trunk out so he could fetch a book, the outer doors opened. Seeing Professor McGonagall lead the first years through made him smile. He about came undone, though, when he saw an eleven year old Cho Chang looking positively terrified. There goes that crush, he thought to himself.

"Ah, Mr. Blake. Good Evening," McGonagall greeted him as he stood up.

Harry took her by the hand and kissed her knuckles like a gentleman. "Pleased to meet you, Professor. I've been told there's some form of sorting?" There were stifled snickers from the first years at his smirk.

McGonagall's stern appearance wavered slightly. "Yes, Mr. Blake. If you could wait here until the Headmaster calls for you?"

"Of course," Harry nodded. "Hey kids! You excited yet?" There was a small chorus of 'yes!' from several of the new students. "Me too!" he grinned wide.

He sat again and listened to the sorting. Cho went to Ravenclaw just like last time, and he rolled his eyes at the thought of it being different. Then he heard Dumbledore's speech.

"Well done, everyone. Now, I'm sure you were wondering about the young man that was sitting at the door. He's a transfer student that will be in his sixth year here. Professor McGonagall, if you please."

"Blake, James!" McGonagall called out.

Coming through the doors, Harry's smirking grin was out in force. "Hi everyone!" he waved. Looking over the different house tapestries, his hair mirrored their house colour as he looked at them, before settling on his standard light blue. Posing for a moment, he let his inner Sirius out. "Jim Blake: All around sexy beast! Signed photos available by owl post!"

While everyone laughed at his antics – and a back remark of 'You Wish!' from Tony – there was a droning baritone from the head table. "Oh, no. Another one."

Looking up from Tonks' smile, he saw Snape scowling. "And hello to you too, Professor," he said with a grin. That got some additional snickers. Sitting awkwardly on the rather small stool, McGonagall placed the sorting hat on his head.

"Well well well, you're early, Mr. Potter," the hat said in his head. "Or rather, you're here again? What's this?" There was a sudden pressure in his mind. "All right, we're conversing at the speed of thought now. The outside world is going at a crawl for us. I can see what happened to you, Mr. Potter. I must say, that was an unusual combination of spells."

"Any idea on what it means?"

"I'm afraid not. And, you've changed a lot since you were here last. I can see burning loyalty towards those that have earned your trust. It's overpowering your bravery. Although, you are rather clever, as well as quite cunning."

"Badger, then?" Harry asked.

"You have a lot to do in a short amount of time. Six years. But don't count Dumbledore out yet. Use this time wisely, Mr. Potter."

"So, he's really on the side of light? With all the crap that happened in my life, I was starting to wonder."

"I think you'll find that you only have yourself to blame for that. You're in your own past. Think about that."

While he was mulling it over, the Hat spoke aloud. "Better be … HUFFLEPUFF!"

Tonks shot straight up with a shriek of "YES!"

Tony was right beside her. "We Got A New Seeker!"

The hat was pulled from his head, and he saw the entire Hufflepuff table standing and clapping. Turning, he saw Snape's sneer. "Relax, Professor. We really don't bite unless you poke us with a stick," he said with a smirk. Grinning his face off, he walked and skipped over to plop next to Tonks – who proceeded to hug the stuffing out of him.

"Well done," Dumbledore said, quieting the hall. "Well done. Now that everyone's been sorted, I imagine everyone's rather peckish. Gnish! Gnash! Gnosh!" And with that, the hall was suddenly filled with all sorts of dinner.

"He's an odd one, isn't he?" Harry said, chuckling at Dumbledore's eccentricities. "And what's with the human bat up there? It's like he swallowed a lemon or something."

Laughter sounded around him from his comments. "Dumbledore is odd, but he's wonderful all at the same time," Tonks said. "The bat's Professor Snape. He teaches potions and is head of Slytherin house."

"Potions," Harry commented as he filled his plate. "That makes sense. However, why is he using a potion protection potion while he's not teaching? That's just not right. I mean, look at that hair!"

More laughter, and Tonks leaned on him. "Oh, I like you. I'm so glad you got sorted properly! We're gonna take the school by storm this year!"

A blonde haired bloke leaned forward to look around Tony. "Blake? You're a seeker?" Harry just nodded as his mouth was full. "Brilliant! We lost Thompson. Think this Friday we can get you up on a broom?" Harry nodded again. "Fantastic! Alex Truman, by the way. Quidditch Captain and Keeper."

Chasing his chicken down with some pumpkin juice, Harry leaned back so he could shake Alex's hand from behind Tony. "Jim Blake. Hope to do my part!"

"Outstanding!" Alex beamed.

At the head table, another discussion was going on along the same lines. "A Seeker!" Sprout beamed. "Oh, we may have a chance this year!"

"Don't count my Lions out just yet. Charlie's a seventh year, remember?" McGonagall said with a shrewd look.

"I don't like him," Snape said. "Looks to be just as arrogant as Miss Tonks. Small wonder."

"Don't you dare, Severus!" Sprout glared. "Blake's in my house. You even think of despoiling that young man, and you answer to me! He passed all of his OWLs, and got an O in Potions to boot!"

Severus sneered. "We'll see."

From Dumbledore's post feast speech, the majority of Zonko's best selling items were all on the banned list, with 197 items counted. After he was finished, the fifth year prefects started guiding the first years out of the Great Hall.

Tonks had an armlock on Harry's elbow, as she half dragged him toward the Puffs' common room. "Is it just me, or are the kitchens close by?" Harry asked, sniffing the air.

"Yep," Tony said from the other side of Tonks. "If you want a late night snack, just go to the painting of the fruit and tickle the pear."

"Interesting locking mechanism," Harry said. "What do you have do to get into the loo?" Tonks laughter outshone everyone else's at that lurid thought.

Since the door was already opened by the time they got there, Harry had to ask. "So, is there a password, or is there some unseen barmaid that we have to tip to get in the door?" he asked, eyeing the casks of… something.

"It's a knock," Tonks said. "I'll show you later, promise."

Coming into the common room, Harry was floored that the Puffs area was so damned homey. Comfortable looking sofas, chairs, and what had to be loveseats were all over the place, with what looked to be a literal plethora of pillowed lapdesks sitting hither and yon next to all the furniture. There were two hearths on opposite sides of the large room, and a ground floor window that looked out towards the lake.

"Oh, I can really get used to this," Harry said quietly. "It's like Gygax and Tolkein had a lovechild in designing the place. I love it!"

A snickering Tonks led Harry over to one of the smaller couches. He wasn't going to label it a loveseat now, no matter how much he'd like to. While the upper classes all scattered, Tonks had him wait for the first years lecture.

"What's going on?" Harry whispered.

Tonks grinned at him. "Just wait. You'll see."

The main door opened and Pomona Sprout came in with a large smile on her face. She looked around and spotted Tonks with Harry and nodded approvingly. "Welcome to Hufflepuff House, everyone. Here, we look after each other. The rules are rather simple and straightforward. If you see a fellow Puff in distress, help them out or get help from a Prefect or Professor. If someone asks you for help, do your best. And if you can't, see about finding someone who can. There's nothing we can't do with a little work, and we do our best work together. But, that isn't to say that it's all nose to the grindstone here. If you see a friend burning out on their studies, get their mind cleared out by having them do something else.

"The main rules than need to be followed by you firsties are very simple. Be in bed by Nine, and get to class on time. The Fifth Year prefects are the ones you should go to first if you have questions, but that doesn't mean that you can't come see me. My office is right down the hall from the main door, and I always have it open. Now, I'll leave you to the Prefects, while I introduce our other new fellow to how the Puffs do things around here."

The male Prefect ushered the boys down one stairwell, while the female did the same – up some stairs, before they could be heard going down again.

Harry thought that was odd. "Okay, why do the girls go up, then down?"

"Because the stairs are trapped for when you boys get frisky," Tonks said with a grin. "They turn into a slide and set off the ward alarm."

"But that would mean that the girls can just simply go down the boys side," Harry argued. At Tonks nod, he frowned as his hair turned a darker shade of blue. "That's sexist!"

Watching the interplay, Pomona started laughing at what she was hearing. "Of course it is, Mr. Blake. It's the way the world works."

Realizing they were overheard, both of them blushed – which caused Sprout to laugh again. "Oh my! It's been a while since I've seen you turn red, Tonks. And, I can assume that you have just as much control over your colour as well, Mr. Blake?"

"Not at the moment," Harry mumbled.

Smiling, Professor Sprout motioned Tonks up with a finger. "Off you trot, Tonks. I need to show Mr. Blake his room now."

"Glad you made it in here, Jim," Tonks said as she hugged him. She then popped up. "Breakfast at seven?"

"You got it," Harry said, watching her bounce up the stairs.

Seeing the look on his face, she had to ask. "Known her long, Mr. Blake?"

Harry stood while shaking his head. "Just met today at the train station. Her mum's been teaching me how to control my abilities over the summer. Never thought I'd meet someone like me. Thought I was a freak for sure, but now…"

"She's a good girl, Mr. Blake, but she's been hurt by a lot of idiots. I don't think you'll do that to her, though."

"I'm not sure what you mean, ma'am," Harry said, lying through his teeth. They discussed all of that on the train.

Sprout led him down the stairs. "Well, with her abilities, a lot of people only say they like her for what she can do… not who she is."

"Yeah," Harry said quietly. "Had a bit of that bother my own self. Doubt I could do that to someone else… especially her."

A soft smile on her face, Pomona stopped at a door. "This is your room, Mr. Blake. Normally, there would be two per room, but there are only five Sixth Year Puffs this year. The others have been friends for a while. Is this going to be all right?"

"Should be fine. Never really roomed like this before, but it's no problem."

"No wild parties after hours, Mr. Blake," Sprout said seriously. "I know you're new to this, but I can tell she really likes you."

Harry turned his head and stared at her, wide eyed. "I think it's a bit soon to think of things like that, thank you very much. I haven't even done something like that before, and wouldn't even know how to start!" he said, breathing rapidly.

"Calm down," Sprout said, patting his arm. "I wasn't accusing you of anything, just getting the word out in advance. I know you haven't really had anyone in a parental role before, but if you need to talk about things…"

"Thank you," Harry said, flushing scarlet. "Uhm. I think I'll just unpack now and go to bed."

"I'll have your class schedule for you in the morning at breakfast, Mr. Blake. There's a rules pamphlet on your bedside table. It's the standard that all the firsties get. It has a map, a list of the professors, and some common spells. Good night, and welcome to Hufflepuff."

"Thanks, Professor Sprout. I can already tell I'm going to like this place."

She smiled at him as she closed the door. While all of her Puffs were her children in her mind, not knowing his history was bothering her. With that thought, she made a beeline for the Headmaster's office.