Scion of Gryffindor
16 - Harry and Tonks
Harry / Tonks ship
Kelly Shacklebolt entered the dining room after putting her daughter to bed. The group had just finished a late dinner. Taking her seat again, she asked, "Where's Harry?"
"He went up to his room. He said it's been a long day between Hogwarts and the grilling we gave him afterwards." Tonks chuckled. "Can't blame him, really."
"Hmm. I suppose not. Anyway, there are a couple of things I think you all should be aware of. Now seems as good a time as any to discuss it."
Remus frowned. "You know how he dislikes people talking about him behind his back."
"As long as we don't actually decide anything, what does it matter? Besides, it's not like anything I'm going to tell you is privileged."
Remus was still uneasy with it but waved his hand in a request to continue. In all honesty, he was curious what the usually quiet Kelly wanted to bring up with them.
"When was the last time Harry had a haircut?" she asked him.
Remus blinked at the unexpected question. "I have no idea. Before this month, it's not like I've lived with him."
"He told me a story about his aunt cutting off his hair. He re-grew almost all of it overnight. He figures it was unconscious magic of some kind. Since then, he hasn't had a haircut. Based on how he told it, it sounds like this story took place before Hogwarts."
"No haircuts in at least six years?" Tonks asked in interest.
Kelly shrugged. "That's how it sounded to me."
"Hmm, I'll have to talk with him."
Remus looked at Tonks blankly.
Instead of answering directly, she morphed herself into a recognizable likeness of a feminine Remus.
He blinked before nodding in comprehension. "You really think he could be a metamorph?"
She shrugged and reverted back to her more common form. "No telling until I talk with him." A slow grin formed. "Oh, this could be fun. I've never tried to train another morpher before."
"Assuming he is one," Kingsley warned her. He turned to his wife. "You said there were two things he told you?"
"Yeah, he indicated that there was a witch he fancied."
Remus gave a half-smile. "This is news?"
"I'd not heard directly from him that there was anyone he was actually interested in. He says that she doesn't know yet. The reason I bring this up is twofold. First is his protection."
"Doing our job for us?" Kingsley asked in amusement.
"He's letting me live here, too, Kay. The least I can do is to help in whatever way I can. What I was thinking was not only his - well, their - physical protection, but also their privacy. With the whole Boy Who Lived thing, you know the press will be all over it if they get wind of anything."
"True," Kingsley said pensively. "Well, we'll just have to play that one by ear. Privacy Spells and Glamour Charms if needed. If he turns out to be a metamorph, that'll cure the problem."
"He'll have to go out occasionally as himself," Remus pointed out. "He IS a high profile individual. Sooner or later he would have to be seen in public or they'd accuse us of some nefarious kidnapping and brainwashing scheme."
"Okay, so any business outings he can go as himself, but if he goes on any dates, he goes in one disguise or another?" Kingsley summed up.
"This is getting convoluted," Remus said half-jokingly.
"Now that you've actually given him permission to go out," Kelly said dryly, "we can discuss my second point. Has anyone actually talked to the young man about dating?"
Remus and Kingsley looked at her blankly. "He took one of the Patil girls to the Yule Ball during his fourth year and went on a date with a Ravenclaw last year." Remus said. "He HAS dated before."
She rolled her eyes. "Clueless," she muttered. "Male, rich, famous, good looking." At their continued blank look, she added, "Sixteen year old libido."
The two men's eyes widened before they both winced.
"You two clearly haven't had to deal with dating a teenaged wizard," Kelly said with a truly wicked grin directed at her fidgeting husband. "Do you two see where I'm going with this?"
Kingsley, seeing an out, asked Remus, "Has anyone given him the little wizards and witches talk?"
"Why are you asking ME?"
"You're basically his uncle, Remus."
"You're a parent."
"Of a six year old girl! He's closer to you, and you know it."
"Yeah, but . . ." The Shacklebolt couple watched in amusement as Remus fumbled for a moment. "His relatives would have already covered this, wouldn't they?"
"Considering what you know of them and his upbringing, can you really imagine Vernon Dursley having that conversation with him?" Godric asked pointedly.
"You! He's your grandson! Why don't you give him the talk?" Remus was clearly grasping at straws, much to the amusement of everyone else.
"I've been dead for a thousand years. What I knew is more than a little out of date, Remus."
"Come on, Lupin. Find that famous Gryffindor courage and admit that you're the only reasonable choice," Kingsley goaded.
Remus just groaned and cradled his head in his hands.
Tonks, face solemn, stood and came to a formal pose. She addressed Kingsley in a quiet voice, "Kingsley, I hereby request exemption from the guard duty during his . . . social outings."
Kingsley blinked up at her in incomprehension. He suddenly realized that she'd been very quiet during the talk since it had turned away from potential metamorph training. "Oh, Tonks . . ." he said in mixed concern and dread.
She turned to Remus and gave a humorless grin. "I'd offer to give him the talk for you, Remus, but the things I'm more interested in showing him wouldn't be the same kinds of things a responsible parental figure should be teaching him." She turned back to Kingsley. "I feel capable of performing all my other guard and tutor duties in a professional manner, but I would feel better, personally, if I could be excused from this."
"He's our boss, Tonks," Kingsley said quietly, eyes asking a question.
She shrugged. "I've been fighting this for some time, Shack. With luck, I can keep this from him. If it gets in the way, we'll deal with it then." When she saw that nobody had any more comments, she quietly left and went up to her room.
"I assume you heard all that?"
"I saw the Extendable Ear."
Chuckle. "You are the son of a Marauder."
"So . . ."
"I won't ask you what you will do about Tonks. Just be very, very careful whatever you decide."
"Master of the monosyllabic answers this evening?"
A twisted grin. "Yeah."
"Very funny. Remus will be along soon. What's your plan?"
A wicked grin. "Guess."
Remus knocked on the door, half-hoping Harry was asleep. The light under the door had indicated otherwise and was born out when Harry called out, "Come on in."
Remus did so. "You're still awake?"
"Yeah. I was going to go to sleep but couldn't. Too much on my mind after the day I just had, I guess. Doing some revision instead," he waved a hand at the open books on the workspace in front of him.
"Yeah, good idea." Remus paced back and forth before stopping abruptly and looking at the open books. "Defense?"
"Yeah," Harry said. "Looking through Dad's sixth year textbook. Between you and Tonks, you've already taught me most of the dueling information in there. Some of the other stuff is interesting, though."
"Yeah, yeah. That's good." Remus was pacing again.
"I'm planning on using my new knowledge to overthrow the aurors and will use Fudge as my personal training partner. Usually as a target dummy."
"Then you wouldn't mind being my collector and getting all the Death Eaters together and collecting their brains? I figure it'll be about fifteen grams. I have a nice dark ritual I'd like to try out."
Harry laughed. "Remus, you aren't listening to me, are you?"
Lupin stopped and grinned sheepishly. "No, I wasn't. I apologize. What were you saying?"
"Never mind. What's on your mind, or did you just come up here to check if I was asleep?"
Remus rubbed the back of his neck. "Kelly and Kingsley pointed out that I needed to have a talk with you."
"Really? About what?"
Remus closed his eyes and visibly braced himself. "Witches."
"Witches. Female magicians."
"I know what they are, Remus," Harry assured him in amusement. "I know several. Three even live here in this house."
"Yes, well, I didn't want to talk about witches so much as WITCHES. Er, the difference between wizards and witches." In his agitation, he didn't notice Harry was losing his fight against the impending grin. Remus reached into a pocket and pulled out an object that resolved itself into a thin magazine once he'd reversed the Shrinking Charm. He thrust the item into Harry's hand.
Harry looked down at what appeared to be an informational pamphlet. What Wizards Should Know About Witches.
Remus was speaking. "I'm sure you've long since noticed that witches are built differently than wizards, Harry."
Harry nearly rolled his eyes and did his best to block out Remus's voice. His pre-Hogwarts education may not have been the best, but it did cover the basics, which included health and sex education. Besides, Dean's magazines were very educational in their own right. He opened up the magazine and was moderately surprised that it had a picture of a witch in her mid thirties completely starkers. She was standing and did a slow turn with an impressive lack of modesty. The text along the sides told of all the physical differences in dry terminology. The next pages went on to describe some of the venereal diseases that could affect wizards. The last page admitted, somewhat grudgingly, that there WERE preventative methods available to both witches and wizards, but it didn't go into any kind of detail what they were. Instead, it preached the benefits of abstinence.
". . . very sensitive and can easily be hurt if . . ." Remus was still going on in a monotone voice. His eyes were closed, and he looked to be in pain as he recited what almost sounded like a prepared speech.
With his Mage Sight, Harry noticed a tight swirl of magic on the last page. Visually, there was nothing to mark the spot. Curious, Harry surreptitiously tapped it with his wand, thinking it was a trigger of some sort.
It was. Before Harry's eyes, the magazine changed. Beginning at the first page again, Harry skimmed the pages on contraceptives and protection spells, potions, and devices available. Reaching the end of the short pamphlet again, Harry saw that there were now two "buttons". Making a guess, he pressed the lower, new one.
The magazine again changed. It now had information on tips, techniques, and positions.
Remus finally let out a gusty sigh and opened his eyes. "I'm sure you have questions, Harry. I'll answer what I can or you can speak with Madam Pomfrey if you'd prefer."
Harry looked up. "Actually, I do have one question, Remus." He turned the magazine around and handed it to the werewolf. "Is this position even possible?" He tapped one moving picture and looked at Remus with an expression of naÃ¯ve curiosity.
Remus goggled and blushed to the roots of his hair. He cleared his throat. "Um, yes. I believe they had to remove all the bones in her hips first, but it's possible to do. Harry, did you even listen to a word I said?"
Harry laughed. "Remus, I had the sex talk in school when I was ten. Once I got to Hogwarts, one of my roommates has some magazines that proved that witches aren't any different than muggle girls. At least in this way. The second version of that magazine in your hand told me about what magic can do differently for preventatives. That third version, though . . ."
Remus cleared his throat again. "Yes, well you weren't supposed to be able to SEE the second or third versions until I told you about the triggers."
"Mage Sight," Harry answered the unspoken question with an impudent grin and a shrug.
Remus rolled his eyes. "Figures. Okay, the short version. Abstinence is best for a whole variety of reasons, not the least of which is that Ginny isn't sixteen yet."
Harry's expression soured. "Remus, you've consistently teased me about Ginny and Hermione. Why?"
Remus paused in surprise for a moment. "Well, I assumed your interest was in one of the two of them."
"You know the saying about the word 'assume'." The line was delivered calmly enough, but Harry's tone told tales of its own.
The werewolf nodded slowly. "My apologies. Who, if anyone, are you interested in?"
Harry sighed and looked down. "I'd really rather not say."
"Why?" he asked in surprise. Before he could say another word, a whole host of little clues slotted themselves into place in his mind. "Oh, I see. It's Tonks, isn't it?"
Harry's eyes shot up and looked with fear and shock at Remus's amused expression. "How'd you guess?"
"Little things. You enjoyed her tutoring sessions just a little more than could be explained by your fascination with the subject matter. You don't release her immediately when you catch her from one of her falls. You called her good-looking just this evening."
Harry looked uneasy. "You're not . . . upset, are you?"
Remus frowned. "Upset? Not at all. The age difference will cause comment, but she's immature - or at least she acts immature - for her age, and you're too damn old for yours. Personally, I think you two could make a good couple."
"No, that's not what I meant. I was worried you'd be . . . angry with me. For fancying Tonks," Harry explained to Remus's continued blank look.
"I'm obviously too old to understand what you're getting at, Harry. Would you just tell me what you're worried about? I promise not to be angry."
"I thought you might fancy her yourself," Harry admitted.
Remus stared at him for a moment before beginning to chuckle. Harry's look of confusion and slight hurt elevated the chuckles into full laughter. After nearly a minute, Remus composed himself. "Whatever made you think THAT, Harry?"
"You two get along really well, and she IS the only unattached witch I've seen you spend any time with."
Remus shook his head in amusement. "I assure you, Harry, that I'm not interested in Tonks in that way." He paused and gave a strange, little smile. "In point of fact, I'm not interested in witches that way."
That tidbit of information caused Harry to pause for a moment. "Ah."
Now Remus looked wary. "You're not angry or disgusted with me for the fact that I like guys more than I like girls, are you?"
Harry shook his head. "So long as you don't tell me that you dated Dad, Sirius, or," he shuddered, "Snape."
Remus made a disgusted sound. "No. I wouldn't date Snivellus on a dare. Your dad and Sirius were as straight as it got."
Harry was silent for a moment. "You know, if Tonks and I DO get together, that would leave you kinda on the outside here. Listen, if you had someone you wanted to invite -"
Remus raised a hand, stopping Harry's suggestion. "Thank you for the offer, but there's nobody right now." He tilted his head and peered at Harry. "What makes you think you and Tonks might get together?"
Harry grinned. "I'm the son of a Marauder, Moony. I heard your conversation earlier."
"You . . . And you let me . . . ARGH!" he sputtered out. "I can't believe you let me almost die of embarrassment when you KNEW what I was going to say before I even entered the room! Do you know the look Dobby gave me when I asked him to pick that magazine up? I won't be able to look that elf in the eye for a week!"
Harry laughed. "There IS good information in here, Remus. I didn't know about some of these charms or potions, so it wasn't a wasted trip."
"Hmph. Hey, you heard us?"
"And you're interested in her?"
Harry nodded again, this time shyly.
"As much as the Marauder in me wants to have fun with this, it wouldn't be fair to NOT tell her, you know."
Harry nodded, but he looked scared. "I know."
"Enter," Tonks called, not looking up. She didn't bother to look to see who entered the room. Her auror-trained subconscious noted that they took a seat at her desk, though she never slowed her furious pacing. "Come to tell me what an awful person I am? How about threatening my job? I KNOW it's a bad idea, but that doesn't change the facts." She stopped and flopped down on her bed and rested her forehead on her upraised knees. "Come on, Shack, spit it out. You think I want to seduce a child, don't you?"
"I could probably be talked into it."
Tonks's head shot up, and she stared at Harry in horror.
He raised a hand. "Please calm down. First, you need to know that I overheard everyone's conversation downstairs."
Tonks blushed and buried her face again.
"Next, you need to know that I think I'm falling for you, too."
Her head came back up. She studied his expression for a moment. Quietly, she requested, "Harry, please, PLEASE don't tease or joke about this, okay?"
He shook his head. "I'm not." He gave a sudden wry chuckle and ran a hand through his hair, making it stick up more than should have been physically possible. "Falling for you makes it sound recent, doesn't it? It's not, though. I was fascinated by you when we first met. Since learning more about you last summer and especially these past couple weeks, I've found out that there's a big heart attached to a quick wit and a quicker tongue and mind buried beneath that flamboyant personality of yours." He finished quietly, "I've never been more than infatuated with anyone before. Damned if I know how or why this is happening now."
She almost smiled. "Someone wise once said not to try to examine your heart. It doesn't need to make sense and very rarely tries."
"Sounds reasonable. Who said it?"
"I did, about ten seconds ago." She appeared to be composed but Harry could see her hand tapping rapidly.
Harry laughed nervously before sobering again. "Now what?"
She gave it some thought. "We could ignore it."
"We could," he agreed, "but we'd be miserable. Well, I know I would."
"Me, too. It may be the wise move, but I vote against that one."
"Same here. Okay, what's the next option?"
"Sooner or later we'll need to have a long discussion, but not after such an emotionally trying day. So for now what we should do is kiss each other goodnight and go to bed."
Harry momentarily considered making one of several lewd and suggestive responses to that but decided to let it go without comment. Besides, he didn't know HOW he would want her to respond to any of them. Instead, he nervously stood and walked over. She sat up on the bed and leaned upward as he bent down to give her a light, tentative kiss.
Harry made a pleased noise as he straightened back up. "That's something you'll have to teach me."
"How to kiss properly. My previous experience was brief and soggy."
She blinked before she began to laugh. "You'll have to tell me that story some time. Though I understand that actually LIKING the person you're kissing helps immensely." She grinned up at him as he chuckled and nodded. "Meanwhile, get out of here. We both need our sleep."
"Your wish is my command, my lady. Goodnight."
Now that THAT bombshell is out of the way . . .
If anyone has any good/funny "dating" stories they're willing to let me use, please send them in. I'll credit the ones I use.
[Crys runs off to hide from the H/G crowd.]