'HP: Dolen Amser'
- The Past is Another Country -
A/N: I don't own squat, save for the plot.
New Bookcover seems to be satisfactory. Doing Daniel's hair was a real pain, but I think it came out all right. Would've preferred it to be a bit lighter though. Work on that later. Is it just me, or do they look like something straight out of anime?
This chapter fought me, and I'm still not satisfied with it. Going out as is though, because I'm getting tired of the struggle.
The-Boy-From-New-Zealand was making an impression amongst the professors. Snape's only comment at the first weekly meeting of, 'He's… acceptable,' was just the start.
Sprout was impressed with how he handled his Venomous Tentacula. His use of a variant of the stunner spell that encompassed the entire plant, instead of hitting it one vine at a time was brilliant in her opinion. That was something not normally taught until seventh year.
McGonagall was pleased with his Bird-Conjuring Charm, as he got it on his second try. However, she noted that he wasn't taking the course very seriously. While it was ingenious, purple and pink crested love birds weren't quite what she had in mind.
The same was mentioned by Flitwick about the Water-Making Spell, with the only difference being that he did it on his first attempt. Blake's follow-up of changing it into ale earned him extra credit.
Vector actually gushed over the lad, saying that Blake had the utmost politeness – though that might have had something to do with how he first greeted her, with a gentlemanly kiss to the hand. His background with Arithmancy was sketchy, but he was handling it rather well.
Babbling was just as enamoured by the young man, and said that his only problem was the tendency to write runes freehand. Although, she did say that his examinations of the proper devices normally used were… 'intense'.
"So," Dumbledore summarized for their first meeting, "We can all agree that young Mr. Blake is settling in to Hogwarts rather well, yes?" The only one that didn't nod was Snape, of course. "Excellent. Now, we need to focus on…"
Tony wasn't sure what to do with himself. It was no secret that he carried a torch for Tonks, but then again so did a lot of other Puffs. He was so certain that he'd get up enough courage to ask her out this year. Then Blake came swanning in, bollocking that all to hell and gone. It didn't help that Jim was so damned nice, either. He actually liked him, when he wanted to hex his bits in.
So needless to say, he was at a quandary. It was the end of the second week, and everything came to a halt in his head. What was really perplexing, was the fact he was grateful that it wasn't that prat Weasley – Charlie, not Percy. Percy had a permanent quill up his backside… backwards. Charlie was so full of himself that he wondered if there was a hidden twin somewhere in his head. And speaking of, their little twin brothers were always amusing. Thankfully, they took after their eldest brother, Bill, who was a rather nice bloke.
"You're sulking," Alex said from across their shared room. "What's got your feathers ruffed, Tony?" The glare he got from his best mate made him smirk. "You know she does what she wants. Be happy for her."
Looking back at his feet at the end of the bed, Tony equivocated. "Dunno what you're talkin' 'bout." Okay, so that was more of a denial.
Chuckling, Alex laid it out for him. "Mate, I've known you since first year, so don't pull that with me. You've been pining over her for two years, and cursed the idiots that upset her. That, more than anything else, set you up as a 'big brother' or worse… put you in 'The Friend Zone'," he said dramatically. "So, tell me one thing: Do you love her like a sister, or just 'love' her?"
Blinking, Tony stared at nothing. "I'm not sure," he eventually said.
"Least it wasn't Charlie," Alex said, goading him.
"That idiot wouldn't know a good thing, if it bit him on the arse!" Tony shouted.
Laughing, Alex shook his head. "With all the time he's been spending with Hagrid lately, looks like he'll get that chance."
Tony looked at him, completely confused at the non sequitur. "Huh?" was his intelligent response.
"Rumour has it, Charlie's thinking about making dragons his career," Alex explained.
Tony smirked. "Maybe we'll get lucky, and he'll get scorched at the interview."
A similar scene was happening in Tonks' room. Her dorm mate Bridget Spiers was laying back on her bed, oscillating between reading a book and glaring at Tonks. Feeling eyes on the back of her head, Tonks turned from her desk. "What is it?"
"You're a bitch, you know," Bridget blurted.
Brow up, Tonks tried to remember anything she might've done lately, and came up short. Her hell raising was rather light, this early in the year. "What'd I do?"
Harrumphing, Bridget stared back at her book. Stared, as opposed to reading. "Nothin'," she grumbled."
Frowning, Tonks left her desk to sit on the side of her bed. She tilted her head sideways, so she could see her better. "I've been ignoring you, yeah? I'm sorry. Whatever I did, tell me so I can fix it."
"Not that," Bridget shook her head slightly, then placed the book down on her chest. "You can 'ave anyone you want, and you go after the new guy quicker than you can say Quidditch."
"Oh." This was going to be one of those conversations. Sighing, she got up and went back to her desk.
Sitting up, Bridget began to get irate. "Oh? Is that all you have to say?"
"What do you want me to say?" Tonks asked in a monotone. "Thought of everyone, you'd understand."
"What's to understand?" Bridget said a bit louder. "So he's like you! Big deal! At least give someone else a shot! I mean, come on! Can you think of all the things he could do?"
Ice settled at the bottom of Tonks' stomach. Standing slowly from her desk again, she turned to face her dorm mate. "Like what, Spiers?" she asked in a flat voice. "Become the lead singer for whatever pop crap you're listening to lately?" her voice went up a few notches. "Maybe he could stir your honey pot in ways you never knew?"
The crimson hair and frigid stare told Bridget she might have gone too far. Of course, the sudden stinging hand print to the side of her face was a rather blatant clue as well, solidifying that thought.
"How Dare You?" Tonks shrieked. "You know the shite I've had to put up with, and now you want to do it to him?"
Holding her face with her mouth wide open from the pain, Bridget back-pedalled rapidly. "Dora, I…"
"Don't you 'Dora' me," Tonks snapped. "Do me a favour and don't talk to me." With that, Tonks grabbed her Charms homework and left the room.
"Tonks!" Bridget called after her.
She didn't even look back. "Fuck off, Spiers!"
Several girls were busy trying to vacate the hall – or stood still, acting nonchalant and not looking at her – but she didn't care. She knew where she was going, and didn't give a flip who noticed.
Stalking through the common room and scaring a few of the younger years, Tonks went down the boys stair. Two lefts later, she entered Jim's room without knocking.
Startled from his own homework, Harry looked up and saw a very upset pseudo-girlfriend. Her eyes were glistening, and her hair changed from crimson to oscillating between various colours as soon as she closed the door.
He stood up, and immediately went into combat mode. She didn't look physically hurt, but if someone did anything, the hexes were going to fly. "What happened?"
Dumping her homework on the unused bed, Tonks made a beeline for her boyfriend. Wrapping him in a clinging hug, she buried her head under his chin. "Why?" she said under her breath as she fought her tears.
Right arm around her back, left hand cradling her head, Harry felt her shaking and was trying his best not to demand the name of the soon to be dead person. Rocking her slightly, he murmured, "I don't know. Are you hurt anywhere? Did something happen? Who do I need to hex?" he fired off rapidly. "Who was it?"
"No one," she mumbled. "Jus' Bridget. She's been there for me with all the talk and the boys and the name-calling and now she wants to do all of… that… with you." Giving up, her tears spilled out. "I thought she was my friend!" she blubbered.
"Damn," Harry said under his breath. He couldn't exactly go off on a girl for being stupid, or thoughtless. Honestly, he looked at it as if it were another fangirl after him. But now he had to be consoling, and was rather pants at it.
After her small breakdown ebbed to light hiccuping, he conjured a handkerchief for her and started mumbling. "I dunno what to say. I'm sorry."
"Don' haff ta say noffin'," she snuffled through the handkerchief. After she got the majority of the wetness gone, she looked up at him. "I swear I won't do that to you. It's demeaning and embarrassing and insulting and…"
Harry hushed her with a kiss. Unlike the occasional pecks they've been giving each other over two weeks, this was a real snog. Two minutes later, their mouths parted and closed. "Thank you," he whispered as he rested his forehead on hers. "Thank you for standing up for me. I was about to do the same before you told me who it was. Although, I think bolts of light and screams would've been involved."
Tonks giggled slightly and leaned back to pull his head down. "Thank me again."
It was the next morning before either of them realized that their kissing reduced them to their base forms. Thankfully, Harry either kept his scar hidden or Tonks simply hadn't noticed it. His hair had grown a bit after all.
They ended up sleeping in the same room – in different beds to start with, thanks. Harry woke up the next morning, only to find that Tonks was cuddled up to his back. Yes, that was awkward, but it was rather nice all at the same time. Apparently, he'd had another nightmare and she settled him. That was both interesting and informative for each of them.
They eventually got up late for breakfast, where he told her he had an appointment in the hospital wing. Of course, she had to come along and invited herself. Alex and Tony both shrugged at their departure, and went back to eating.
Arms around each other's back, a familiar face became visible when they turned the corner in the hospital wing. Tonks was floored, and her hair briefly turned stark white. "Mum! What're you doing here?" she shrieked.
It was at that point that Harry wanted to hide in a very deep hole. Instead of letting go of him, Tonks clamped herself more firmly to Harry's side. The look on Andromeda's face made that feeling peak. "Uhm… Morning Mrs. Tonks," he mumbled. His mortification was rather blatant with his deep lavender hair.
Looking at each of them in turn, Andy had the expression of a scientist examining protozoa under a microscope. "Morning, Jimmy," she said with a singly upturned brow and a smirk. Turning slightly to her daughter, she explained. "I'm here for his bi-weekly check up. You're going to be seeing a lot more of me this term, dear. Now what's this about you and Bridget getting into an screaming match?"
"Oh, shite," Tonks said under her breath. That was going to be a real dampener on her fun this year. Holding her chin up, she took the high road. "Bridget had the audacity to try to con me into letting her use Jim like so many boys attempted with me," she said with a haughty voice. "I showed her the error of her ways. It involved a hand print and her left cheek. They were introduced to each other with a rather loud smack."
Head cocked, Andy looked to Harry. "And what do you think about that?"
Swallowing, Harry forced himself to speak. "It's been my experience to not get involved when ladies argue, until the wands come out. Otherwise, there's jeopardy towards my person."
Grinning with pink hair again, Tonks turned her head to look up at him and patted his chest with her free hand. "Good boy."
Andy aborted a chuff of a chuckle, which ended up sounding more like an inelegant half snort. "We'll talk about this later, dear. For now, I need to run Jimmy through the drills." She may not have liked the situation, but it was hard not to smile at their antics.
The drills consisted of colour changes of skin, hair and eyes; adjusting nail and hair length; and the ability to hold said changes for a specific time. Harry also entertained her with the faces he had learned, and completely unnerved her with how accurate he got with Snape's.
While that was going on, Tonks sat with Poppy to simply watch someone else go through it for once. It so reminded her of her own upbringing, that she realized just how much her mum helped her.
"You all right, dear?" Poppy asked, seeing the look on Tonks' face.
She nodded with a small grin. "Yeah. Just remembering what a force of nature me mum is. She ran me through these for years, and seeing Jim go through them reminded me."
Andy heard that and flicked her eyes towards her daughter. The hint of a soft smile was present when she decided to tweak her a bit. "So, Dora. If you fell out with Bridget last night, where did you sleep?" Violet hair and pink faces from the two teens said it all, and Harry lost his current morph in abject and stark terror.
"Common room!" they both lied at once. Andromeda's laughter overshadowed Poppy's attempts to keep a straight face. The school's mediwitch just earned twenty galleons from various people in total. As per their agreement, half of that was going to her insider: one Pomona Sprout.
When Andromeda returned home that afternoon, she slumped into her husband's arms and lamented over her daughter growing up. If she had either of their abilities, her hair would be stark white over it.
The second half of September and most of October was as blasé as the first two weeks of school, on the surface at least. Tonks absolutely refused to speak to Bridget; and the sisterhood stood behind her when they found out what had happened. It got so bad, that they had a rearrangement of rooms – shocking the house.
If anyone saw pink or blue hair, blue or pink hair was found right next to it. Jim and Tonks went everywhere together, and had publicly acknowledged their relationship. This of course crushed a lot of witches, and infuriated a lot of wizards. More than once, Jim had to fend off leers and intimidation over the matter.
Classes continued without much fuss. The only notable exception to the norm, was that Snape didn't berate Jim hardly at all. Jim's expertise with potions wasn't challenged, and there was an honest question and answer session over various ways to both improve the potency of some potions, and trying to discover a way to make skelegrow and skeleknit not taste like yak piss, and have them work as well.
Needless to say, they didn't succeed. But it wasn't from the lack of trying though. Harry was determined, and made it his end of year thesis for the class.
Kyle Pike on the other hand, the local timeframe equivalent of Draco Malfoy – and elder brother of Kris Pike, whom Harry pranked along with said Malfoy with invisibly thrown snowballs, was another matter. While he wasn't as blatant as Malfoy, he was one of the ones that started rumours. One of which stated that Jim Blake was 'Nympho' Tonks long lost twin. This disgusted most, but no one figured out who began that rumour.
However, his snide remarks in public were a fair bit smoother in application than Malfoy's. Instead of confrontations, he would talk about them as if they weren't there. This was countered by Harry and Tonks discussing the hazards of inbreeding. Even though they were outwardly talking about different breeds of dogs, it was still an interesting series of 'non confrontations'.
The Weasley twins had a pool going as to who was going to draw wands first. Current odds for the colourful duo at ten to one against.
Quidditch practice gained many observers from the other houses, much to Alex's annoyance. Oddly enough, the tutoring sessions that Jim was giving to Digs seemed to gain more attention than the practices. Harry was bothered to find out that Charlie was one of the 'stalkers' in that respect. Not knowing the other two, he guessed they were the other two seekers from the colouring of their ties. Both were seventh years that he didn't know.
And speaking of seekers, the one for Gryffindor wasn't very fond of the newest metamorph. Apparently, he thought that this was his year to date Tonks. Harry was greatly disappointed with him, since he actually liked the bloke, from the one time they met during fourth year. Fed up with his antics, they took the mickey out of him in the middle of the Great Hall at dinner, when Jim changed himself to look just like him.
Tonks immediate reaction to that put paid to Charlie's plans. "Cor, Jim! If I wanted someone that ugly, I would've gone after the original. Change back Now! Good. Now don't ever do that again. Give me nightmares, you will!"
Percy glared at his twin brothers, who were in absolute stitches. Harry, noting the humour of the moment, was halted from his next morph by Tonks changing to look like McGonagall, glaring at him. His response was to turn into Snape. After a comically furtive look around, he snogged her while leaning her back in her seat.
The groans and shrieks from around them had them both thinking that would be a good way to get everyone off their backs. It wasn't to be, though.
"Fifty points from Hufflepuff for that Disgusting display!" Snape roared from the head table.
"Twenty more for making me agree with him!" McGonagall countered. "And detention!"
Their abrupt shift to their 'normal' faces, complete with innocent looks to the head table weren't well received. Their eyes twitched at hearing Fred and George gagging behind them, ruining their expressions. Professor Flitwick wasn't helping with his biting his own hand to keep from laughing.
Their detention with Filch was rather light, considering. He had them polish the trophies, and didn't forbid them using their wands. Harry about came undone when he caught the old fart snickering. Apparently, he hated Snape as much as everyone else. Something to do with Mrs. Norris and a potion 'accident'.
The Hufflepuff/Ravenclaw match was the first of the year. It was odd for Harry to wear the gold uniform, but he was happy that he was playing again. Since Ravenclaw was the other 'neutral' team, they had a fair match. That said, they slaughtered the Eagles, 220 to 40.
The hardest thing Harry had to do, was refrain from his signature move – which was a sideways Wronski Feint. That, and a few other moves he'd save for Charlie. The wanker still wasn't taking the hint.
October 31st hit Harry like a bludger when he realized what day it was. Being a Wednesday, he couldn't escape like he normally would, and people noticed that his humour and smiles were forced. He dodged Tonks' questions for most of the day, and asked if he could be alone for the remainder of the afternoon.
Worried, Tonks shadowed her boyfriend and managed not to trip on things for once. Using a not very well done and shimmery disillusionment charm, she followed him to the lake from a long way off. When it was evident that he got to where he was headed, she stayed back some fifteen feet while he crouched and skipped stones over the frigid lake.
She could tell he was upset, and wished he would just tell her what was wrong. However, she nearly broke her charm when he stopped chucking rocks and started to quietly sob, reverting to his normal appearance. Looking about, Tonks cast several notice me not charms.
"Do you hate me, God?" she heard him whisper. "Is that why my life is so fucked? I can't even be just me here either. Hiding in plain sight, without my friends. They're ten now. Well, not Hermione. She turned eleven last month, mum, and won't know me till the train. Miss her bossiness, strange as it sounds. Could do without Ron's laziness, but he was a riot at times too. It is so weird seeing the twins so young."
Tonks didn't realize she was creeping closer until she heard her name, freezing her in place.
"Then there's Tonks. You'd like her, dad. Has your sense of humour, if Sirius is telling the truth. Met her once before the accident, and she even winked at me when we got to Sirius' place. She was gorgeous then, too. Older, sure, but still pretty in pink. Now I'm back here and her boyfriend and it is so… I can't even talk to anyone about this. Fucking Department of Mysteries."
Tonks had her hands up under her chin and was wide eyed at what she was hearing. Sirius? He's in Azkaban. Not like he'd ever be guilty, but still. What is he talking about? Her concentration broke, along with her disillusionment.
"I think I love her, dad," Harry whispered. "Never felt that before, and not really sure if that's right or not. Mum, your sister and her family are a completely bigoted and vile, and I think you'd agree with that. So, how the hell do I know if I'm in love or not?"
Harry heard a small gasp, and whipped about. Unfortunately, his legs were in the process of falling asleep from his crouched position, so he plopped unceremoniously on his arse. Seeing Tonks standing there with wide eyes, his brain froze as a nutter threatened to snatch him up. "Oh, God… How much did you hear?" he said under his breath.
The look of outright panic on Jim's face floored her. His hair parted as he fell back, and she gaped at the rather distinctive white scar over his right emerald green eye. Accident. Met me before it. Don't remember him. His friends are ten. Twins look so young. His face is rounder… Merlin!
Memories flooded her from years ago. Her parents taking her to visit the Potters often when she was six years old. Those same sharp green eyes she lost herself in. Completely adoring their baby boy, and an embarrassing display of possessiveness when she announced to everyone that she was going to marry him someday. Cuddling him to her chest and rocking him. The cries he made when they had to leave for the night.
"H – Ha – Harry?" Tonks stuttered through a wisp of breath.
She knows! Harry turned away, throwing his standard morph up with accidental stark white hair. "Shite!"