Scion of Gryffindor
17 - Everyone Else's Reaction
Harry / Tonks ship
Harry timidly came down the stairs early the morning after speaking with Tonks. He remembered everything that he and Tonks had talked about, but he was concerned that in the cold light of morning that she would want to be "just friends".
"What's this?" Godric asked, coming upon Harry who was standing uncertainly outside the door to the dining room.
"I don't know if I want to go in there," Harry admitted.
"Ah, you and young Nymphadora spoke last night?"
"Yeah. We agreed to give it a try." Harry frowned. "At least I think we did."
"So why are you standing out here like a frightened puffskein? You're a Gryffindor, Harry. You should stride boldly forward, remember?"
Harry gave him a crooked smile. "So I should hold my head up, stride forcefully in there, throw her on top of the table, and ravish her?"
"Based on what she said last night, I don't think she'd object." He ignored the strange sounds coming from Harry's throat as the young wizard seemed to be trying to simultaneously cough and swallow his tongue. "As entertaining as that scene might be to an old ghost like me, I think a bit more tact might be called for if you're actually trying to court her, Grandson."
Harry finally got his voice under control. "I'd appreciate some advice. I'm rubbish at this dating stuff."
"Young, rich, powerful, good-looking lad such as yourself? I find that difficult to fathom."
Harry sighed. "Oh, I've had witches ask me out. The problem is that they're not trying to date Harry Potter but rather the Boy Who Lived."
Godric nodded pensively. "Yes, I see what you mean. I can advise you, of course, and probably even win the young lady's hand for you. I was rather good at it in my day."
Godric raised a hand to calm his heir. "Please try to remember that it was a different age, Harry. I did nothing immoral. Now, as I was saying, I probably could help you win Nymphadora's heart, but then it wouldn't be YOU. I can advise you in the generalities, as can Kingsley and Remus if they're willing. I think you'll agree with me that I shouldn't - what's the phrase? - spoon feed, hand-hold, script it out for you. You get the idea."
Harry deflated just a little. In the abstract, having a script to follow sounded like a wonderful idea, but he understood what his ancestor was saying. "You're right. Okay, so do you have any GENERAL suggestions?"
Tonks timidly came down the stairs late the morning after speaking with Harry. She remembered everything, of course, but was concerned that in the cold light of morning that he would want to be "just friends".
"What's this?" Kelly asked, coming upon Tonks who was standing uncertainly outside the door to the dining room.
"I don't know if I want to go in there," Tonks admitted.
"Ah, you and Harry spoke last night?"
"Yeah. We agreed to give it a try." She frowned. "At least I think we did."
"So why are you standing out here? You're a Slytherin. You know what you want, and you go and get it, remember?"
Tonks gave her a crooked smile. "So I should walk in there, throw him on top of the table, and ravish him?"
Kelly laughed. "As entertaining as that scene might be, I think a bit more tact might be called for."
"Spoilsport," she muttered just loud enough for Kelly to hear. Tonks was rewarded with another laugh from the other woman. "I'd appreciate some advice, Kelly. I'm rubbish at this dating stuff."
"Young, powerful, good-looking, auror, and a metamorphmagus? I find that hard to believe."
Tonks sighed. "Oh, I've had wizards ask me out. Many, many wizards. The problem is that they're not trying to date Tonks but rather the metamorph."
Kelly nodded slowly. "Yes, I see what you mean. My advice? Be natural. If you're not honest, the relationship is doomed in the long run. Also, remember that you're the older one in the relationship by a fair margin, so that could mean some problems."
Tonks looked distressed. "You think this is a mistake, don't you?"
Kelly shook her head. "Not at all. I'm Kingsley's senior by three years. You're, what, seven years older?"
"Six and a half."
"Six and a half, then. I'm just pointing out that at your ages, six years is a lot. In all honesty, though, he's more mature than his years would indicate."
"And I'm not?" Tonks asked with a crooked grin.
"I didn't say that."
"You didn't have to. Tell me honestly, though, do you think I'm making a mistake?"
Kelly let out a breath. "Personally, I don't see what you see in him, but then I'm not you."
Tonks sighed and seemed to nod to herself. In an apparent change of subject, she asked, "What do you know about metamorphs? I mean REALLY know?"
"Honestly?" Kelly shrugged. "Nothing beyond your shape changing abilities."
"Most don't. I didn't until well into my training with Tim." She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I'm going to tell you something about metamorphs that I'd appreciate you never repeat. None of the aurors, including Shack, knows this."
Kelly was intrigued. "Agreed."
"The reason metamorphs exist at all is the same reason any characteristics exist in any species. Namely, it makes them better, or at least more successful, members of that species. In the males, this permits them to be more able to defend his mate and children. Male metamorphs can do more to change their musculature than females. They can literally become stronger. It's not all that much, and in this day and age it's mostly irrelevant, but it's there."
"Fascinating, but where is this going?" Kelly asked.
Tonks continued as if she hadn't heard the question. "In female metamorphs . . . Well, one of the primary goals of any animal is to make itself more attractive and desirable as a mate, right? A female metamorph takes this to the extreme. Under certain conditions, we can LITERALLY make ourselves to be more desirable to potential mates."
"I'm afraid I'm lost," Kelly admitted.
"Under certain conditions, I can KNOW the precise form that any given man would find the most desirable. Thirty-six triple-D's? Here you go. Hair color and style, skin tone, facial structure, eye color, even fingernail length; I can become EXACTLY what any guy finds the most mind-numbingly attractive, even if he isn't consciously aware of it." She smiled without humor. "I can put any veela to shame."
"Okay . . ." Kelly said slowly.
"This is why I have such a hard time dating. I learn what the guy wants even before he says anything about it. And he'll usually tell me before long."
"Oh, Tonks . . ."
Tonks was staring off into space and speaking absently. "I've been attracted to him for quite some time, actually. Not only is he growing into a handsome young man, but between the prophecy and what I know of what he's done since coming to Hogwarts, he's very considerate and brave."
Tonks shook her head. "I'm off track again, aren't I? Anyway, the knowing thing happens when I'm held by someone for more than two seconds. I tripped and fell into him last summer. Do you know what form I got the impression of?"
Kelly silently shook her head. Her presence wasn't even really needed, she knew. Tonks just needed to say all of this, and she happened to be there.
"At that moment, the image he found the most attractive was the form I was wearing right then."
Kelly looked confused.
Tonks smiled slightly. "I was confused, too. Then yesterday when I tripped and fell into him," she rolled her eyes, "AGAIN I got another image from him. It was how I looked at that point."
Kelly was still confused. "You tend to look the same from day to day, Tonks."
Tonks shook her head. "Last summer I was wearing pink hair and eyes. Yesterday it was purple and pale blue. My face was mostly the same but I do tend to alter the structure just a little. You, Shack, Remus, Harry - you all don't see it because you spend so much time around me. I looked different both times, and his image was the SAME different both times. Do you know what this means?"
"He loves you?" Kelly half asked and half guessed.
Tonks's smile brightened the hallway. "He was attracted to ME. Not to any specific form, but to ME!" She almost sounded giddy.
"So explain to me again why you're out here and not in there staking your claim on him."
Tonks's giddiness evaporated as if it had never existed. She started ticking off points and became increasingly upset as she did so. "I'm six and a half years older, I'm an auror, I was a Slytherin, he might have changed his mind since last night, he could have realized -"
Kelly rolled her eyes as her friend worked herself into a panic. "Tonks! Stop. Take a deep breath."
Tonks did so. She immediately looked better and nodded at Kelly sheepishly. "Thanks."
"You're welcome. Now go in there, and go get 'im, girlfriend."
Giving a short laugh, Tonks turned to the door, took another steadying breath, and entered the dining room.
Everyone else in the household was there. Harry and Remus were nursing cups of tea while talking to Godric, whereas Kingsley and Laura were eating breakfast.
Harry stood the instant he saw Tonks enter. He gave her a nervous smile.
She smiled back and made for a chair.
When he saw which chair she was going after, he moved toward it and held it out for her.
She sank into it gratefully and as gracefully as possible.
"Good morning," Kelly said dryly as she took a seat next to Kingsley.
"Huh?" Shack asked, looking up from his bowl. "Oh, morning."
"Good morning," Harry said quietly to Tonks as he took his seat again. "Sleep well?"
"Yes, actually. You?" she asked in return.
"More pleasant dreams than usual, thank you for asking."
Remus made a noise that quickly degenerated into a coughing fit.
Dobby entered the room from the direction of the kitchen and placed a stack of pancakes in front of Tonks. She smiled a thank you at the little elf before looking down at the food.
Her sudden laugh caused everyone to look over at her. The pat of butter on top of the pancakes was in the shape of Harry's lightning bolt scar.
Harry groaned. "Dobby, you're not exactly being subtle here."
The look Dobby gave him back made it clear that he felt Harry was being obtuse. "Dobby is knowing what is being best for Master Harry and Mistress Nimma."
Despite being a Gryffindor (figuratively and literally), Harry found that he didn't quite have enough courage to ask exactly WHAT the elf thought was best for them.
Remus carefully set his teacup down before breaking into laughter. This caused the other adults, minus Harry and Tonks, to do likewise.
Laura looked up from her cereal and looked around. "What are they laughing about?" she asked Tonks.
"They're laughing at Harry and me," Tonks answered, seeing the humor in the situation.
"We're nervous around each other."
"Why? You weren't nervous yesterday."
"We talked last night. We're thinking of going out."
Laura was still confused. "You went out yesterday. You went to Hogwarts."
"No, I mean going out on a date."
Laura looked over at Harry.
He nodded shyly.
Laura turned back to Tonks. "Does this mean you're going to get married?"
Remus, Kingsley, and Godric's laughter renewed.
Kelly managed to calm herself down. "Dear, people date before they decide if they want to get married," she explained to the girl.
"Oh." She thought about it for a moment. Then she leaned toward Tonks and whispered conspiratorially and low enough that only Tonks and Kelly heard her, "Ask him to give you a fast ride. He's good at that." She leaned back and nodded solemnly to Tonks's wide-eyed look.
Tonks looked to the again-laughing Kelly for an explanation. Kelly shook her head while she chuckled and explained the animated chair of the previous day.
The male laughter died down enough that they heard Laura excitedly ask, "If they get married, does that mean Harry and Tonks will have a baby that I can play with?"
Percy and Peeves? Now you've got my curiosity up. If you're in Diagon Alley, we'll be school shopping on the thirty-first, and you can tell me that story then.
You aren't coming back to Hogwarts? How dare you! Don't you know that means I have to be Seeker again instead of Chaser? [smile]
Seriously, if you think you need to do it and you've thought it through, then I say you have the right to make that decision on your own. Besides, this way you get out of dealing with Tall, Dark, and Greasy.
What'd you say to Hermione in response to that howler she sent, anyway? She took the note from Pig, read it, and just huffed. I asked her later, but she refused to admit what you told her.
You asked for suggestions on where to look for a witch worth wooing? Actually, I do. No, you egotistical prat, it's not me. My crush is gone, thank Merlin, and now you're just another brother. Well, okay, maybe more than that considering the former crush and the whole diary and basilisk thing. Dating you would just be too weird, though. I'll tell you my idea for your dream witch when I see you next if you haven't figured it out before then.
Nothing much more going on here. Most of the folks around here are looking decidedly unhappy when your name comes up, but that can't be news to you.
As for Hermione snitching on you . . .
I'm sorry I didn't tell you. Ron and Hermione made me promise not to.
I tried to tell them not to tell the headmaster, Harry. I really did. They just ignored my advice. "It's for his own good," they said.
And, Morgana help me, I didn't fight them. What they didn't tell me was that you were just going to Gringotts. They made it sound like you four were going out somewhere else. They didn't tell me where, exactly, but they certainly didn't say it was just to Diagon Alley. I've had words with Hermione about that since then, I assure you.
Why I haven't told you since it happened, you ask?
Maybe I'm not the Gryffindor you are, but I was afraid, Harry. Once I knew how badly I'd abused your trust, I hoped you wouldn't find out.
Please forgive me.
Your (hopeful) friend,
A bunny (Ginny talking with Hermione about having snitched the Gringotts trip) was submitted by Christopher Estep.