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Harry / Tonks ship

Author Notes:

Back when I asked for help with my banner, I promised a cameo for the one I used. So here's Cami's part. I'd like to thank her again for 1) doing the banner and 2) for not eviscerating me with how I threaded it into the story

"I should be boarding the Hogwarts Express right about now."

Remus lowered his paper and gave Harry a confused look.   "It's 10:59.   It leaves the station in one minute, Harry.   Shouldn't you have been onboard already if you were going?"

Harry smiled sadly.   "I usually spend the end of the summer at the Weasley's.   They always, ALWAYS run late getting to King's Cross.   But we - I mean, they always manage to make it on time."

"It's okay to miss them, you know."

"Yeah."   He sighed and went on in what appeared to be a change of topic, but Remus knew that it really wasn't.   "I didn't like saying what I did to Ron and Mrs. Weasley."

"Wasn't it true?"

Harry nodded.

"Then I don't see a problem."

"I know it had to be said.   I just wish it hadn't been me who had to say it."

"You're an adult, Harry.   Sometimes we have to do things we don't enjoy."

"Yeah.   Doesn't mean I have to like it, though."

"There are some good points to being an adult, though," Nim said as she entered the room.   She walked over and kissed Harry.   "That for instance."

Harry gave her a goofy grin.

Remus rolled his eyes.   "Merlin, you two are sappy."

"Gred and Forge mentioned that yesterday, I think."

Remus just shook his head and turned back to his paper.   "Good article on the Malfoys in here."

"What's it say?"

"The thrust of the article is her divorce of him.   It also repeats the current charges against Lucius.   Draco isn't mentioned at all."

Nim nodded.   "Well, he has until Christmas to say something.   Assuming the Head Deezer doesn't, do something to him before then."

"Head Deezer?   Wouldn't that be Lucius and not Voldemort?"

Tonks shrugged.   "Head Deezer, Moldywart, Dark Tosser.   Whatever you want to call him."

Remus choked on his tea.   "WHAT?   Where'd you get those names?"

"I've learned that the aurors have a very twisted sense of humor," Harry put in.

"She would have to be pretty twisted to date you," Remus said with a teasing grin.

"There's twisted and then there's twisted," Harry said.   Feeling unaccountably brave, he said, "As far as my girlfriend goes, the only twisted I'm interested in seeing is a few pretzel shapes."   Harry stood and left after a quick kiss on Nim's cheek.

Remus watched him go with a confused expression.   "I don't get it."   He turned to Dora.

She was blushing, which was the first time he'd ever seen her do that.   "Um . . . yes, well . . . it goes back to our discussion the other night.   I was teasing him about some of the things I learned when I read Godric's copy of the Kama Sutra . . ."   She trailed off, head lowered in embarrassment.

Remus was laughing so hard he couldn't breath.   "Oh, he's finally teased you back, Dora."

"Who said I was teasing?" she muttered so softly that Remus wasn't sure she'd even said it.  

In a louder voice, she went on, "So, Harry recommended I talk to you about a pair of mirrors James Potter and Sirius had?   He thinks that between you and me, we can create something similar to use to communicate with Mum and Aunt Cissy."

Calming himself, Remus nodded.   "Lily was the one who did all the research for them, but I think I remember most of what was cast.   Now, what did you have in mind?"

Nymphadora Tonks apparated to just outside her parents' house.   One second later, Harry Potter appeared beside her.   He immediately stumbled and fell into her.

"Hey, you okay?" she asked.   "I thought it was floo travel that did that to you, not apparating."

Using her shoulder, Harry pulled himself upright and said, "Apparating is fine.   Chasing apparition, on the other hand . . ."

"You followed her?" Cissy asked as she joined the two.

Harry nodded, finally standing under his own power again.

"Impressive," she commented, waving a hand in an inviting gesture back toward the open door.

Entering the door, Tonks nodded and said, "Mum.   Dad."

"Nymphadora, how are you?"

Tonks rolled her eyes.   "I'm doing fine, Mum.   How're you?"

"Quite well, dear.   Thank you for asking."

"Hey, Cami," Ted Tonks greeted his daughter, but his attention was on Harry.   "Lord-Baron," he greeted Harry stiffly.

"Mr. Tonks," Harry returned respectfully, confusion evident on his face.   The man had treated him much better when they met at Sirius's Will reading.

"Ted, be nice to the poor boy," Andy chided her husband.

"That 'poor boy' is dating our daughter and employs all three of you."

That explained the new attitude, Harry realized.   "Yes, sir, I am," he agreed politely.

Ted Tonks didn't say anything; he just stood there and stared at Harry.   For his part, Harry kept his face composed and looked mildly back.   If this man thought he could intimidate him, he was sorely mistaken.   After five years of Snape and various meetings with Lucius Malfoy and Voldemort, Ted Tonks simply wasn't frightening enough to be intimidating to The Boy Who Lived.

"Oh, grow up, Ted," Cissy admonished her brother-in-law after a few more silent seconds.

Mr. Tonks relaxed his stance.   "Mr. Potter, I suppose I should apologize.   You're dating my daughter.   I hope you understand that I had to learn whether you're worthy of her."

"Oh, Morgana," Tonks said, face in hands.   "I'm twenty-two, and Daddy is STILL trying to intimidate my boyfriends."

Harry half-grinned.   "Please don't take this the wrong way, Mr. Tonks, but after Snape in classes; death threats from Lucius Malfoy; facing acromantulas, dementors, and a Hungarian Horntail; and dueling against Voldemort, meeting my girlfriend's parents isn't exactly a terrifying experience for me."

The older man laughed.   "I suppose I can't argue that one."   He stuck out his hand, which Harry immediately took.   "Call me Ted.   Just know that if you hurt my daughter or use any of your positions against her or my family . . ."

Harry nodded respectfully at the implied threat, subtly releasing a breath.   Honestly, he was more nervous than he'd expected to be.   There really was a major difference between physical danger and emotional danger, he reflected.

Frowning suddenly, he turned to Tonks.   "Cami?"

She groaned.

Ted laughed.   "I gave her that nickname shortly after she started playing with her morphing skill.   I caught her trying to change her skin color to match a bookcase in the library.   Hence, 'Cami', short for chameleon."

"Thank you so much, Daddy," Nim said dryly as Harry laughed.

"I think it's cute," Harry said, grinning at her.

"You would," Nim grumbled, much to the amusement of the rest of the room.

"Not to break up the scene, but I believe we had some business to discuss, Lord-Baron," Cissy observed.

Ted nodded.   "That's my cue to leave."

Nim looked to Harry with a question in her eyes.

"Stay or go as you wish," Harry said.   "Both of you.   You're family, right?"

Both looked tempted, but Nim slowly shook her head.   "It's not my place to know my Patriarch's business.   Give a shout when you're ready to leave."   She quickly left the room, her father following closely behind.

Harry frowned and turned to the two sisters.   "Did I just do something wrong?"

They glanced at each other, but it was Andy who answered.   "No, Harry, you didn't.   Technically, she is correct.   What you say to any one of your advisers is not for anyone else's ears.   By that token, I should leave, so you and Cissy can discuss your business with her."

Harry stopped her.   "Please stay.   I'm coming to trust your opinion on a lot of this stuff as well, Andy.   Besides, I can't see either of you telling me anything all that confidential today."

"As you wish, Lord-Baron," Cissy formally said.   She turned and spoke over her shoulder, "Please follow me to the den, and we shall conduct our business."

Harry followed her and quietly asked Andy, "Is she always this formal?"

"Only in situations where she isn't comfortable."

Following the two sisters into a small but comfortable workroom, Harry pulled what looked like a small, crystal paperweight from his pocket and placed it onto the desk.   The sunlight from the window struck it and threw rainbows all around the room.

"Pretty," Andy commented.   "Is that our communications crystal?"

Harry nodded.   "Tap it with your wand and say, 'Contact,' followed by the name of who you need to talk to.   Remus, Kingsley, Nim, and I will all be able to be contacted with it after we finish making the rest of them.   A simple Finishing Spell will end the link.   When someone is trying to get in touch with you, it'll glow and give off a soft chime.   Tap it and say, 'Accept.'"

"When will they all be done?" Andy asked, looking at the crystal curiously.

"Couple days."

"You could market these things, you know," Andy mentioned.

Harry nodded.   "I mentioned it to Nim and Remus.   You may want to talk with them.   They didn't believe me when I suggested it."

"I'll do that, then."

Cissy said, "I believe my discussion will be quicker, so perhaps you'd prefer that before the business?"

Harry nodded again.

"As I mentioned, there were three invitations in your post in addition to the usual piffle."

Harry nearly snorted in amusement at that.

Oblivious, or at least ignoring his reaction, Cissy continued, "First, the Greengrass birthday party.   Unless you know the girl in question, you can decline without any problems."

"I know a Daphne Greengrass from school but hardly know anything about her, let alone what I'll assume is her older sister."

Cissy nodded and made a notation.   "Second, the International Confederation of Wizards September meeting, which will be the twenty-fourth through the twenty-sixth.   The Potter name isn't on any committees presently, so your personal presence isn't required.   There are no hugely important votes scheduled, so your personal presence isn't really necessary.   However, I would highly recommend you at least send a proxy for your vote.   If for no other reason than to let everyone know that you're alive and taking an active interest in the state of the wizarding world."

Harry frowned.   Phrased that way, he could hardly ignore it.   "Where is it?   It moves around, doesn't it?"

"Indeed it does.   This session is in Geneva, Switzerland."

"Could I send Remus?"

Andy grinned.   "Sending a known werewolf?"

Harry shrugged and grinned back.   "It would make quite the statement, wouldn't it?"

Cissy's mouth quirked into a grin.   "It would," she agreed, "however, he is not eligible for exactly that reason."

"Damn.   What's the requirement?"

She shook her head.   "Just a witch or a wizard.   No sending your house-elf.   If you don't want to go, you could sign your proxy over to any of a number of families."

"I'll think about that one.   What's the last invitation you mentioned?"

"The ministry Equinox Ball."

Harry made a face.

Cissy leaned forward and spoke intently.   "Lord-Baron, this really IS something you need to attend.   This is a very high-profile event.   Even if you dislike all the political maneuvering, it is important that you appear at these events.   If you do not, you will not even have any passive support in the future.   The wealthy and important personages seeing you and recognizing you at this event and others like it will go a long way toward cementing your place among the important and influential wizards of Britain."

Harry still looked rebellious.

Cissy pulled out her trump.   "Besides, it's a perfect excuse to take my niece on a date."

Harry's face changed expression.   "Ooh, you fight dirty."

Cissy tried not to smile.

"Fine, fine."

Cissy leaned back in her chair again.   "Two more things.   You want to start thinking about who you want to invite and what event you may want to host."   She held up a hand at his returning rebellious look.   "I am aware you dislike all the pomp and circumstance.   Simply hosting a birthday party and inviting two dozen people will be sufficient, but a Patriarch in your position MUST hold some events if you wish to hold your social position."

"My social position as pureblood society views it, you mean," he said with an edge in his tone.

"Your social position as the powerful and influential view it," she corrected firmly.   "I am well aware of your views on the blood purity issue and so will not even attempt to insinuate you into that group."

"Not that I qualify.   I'm a half-blood after all," Harry said sarcastically.

To his surprise, she merely nodded.   "Not that you take stock in such things, but yes, you are."   She closed the folder in her lap.   "The last thing you need to think about is rather . . . delicate.   A decision is not needed immediately, but you should start thinking about who you wish to be Lady Potter.   Your current age allows you to date a bit, but you should not be . . . indiscreet.   You've already made your opinion clear on marrying for love above any other concerns, so there is no need to speak with you about mistresses at this point.   However, if you change your mind, I would be happy to answer any social questions you may have."

Fighting his blush, Harry nodded.   "You, both of you, were brought up in this culture.   I was not.  I will be relying on you both for advice for some time, I'm sure."   He sighed.   "Frankly, any society that considers mistresses to be normal and acceptable is somewhat foreign to me."

"A common attitude among the muggle-born and muggle-raised," agreed Cissy.

"No doubt.   Okay, I'll think about all of that.   I'll let you know about the Confederation proxy.   When do you need to know?"

"I need to send a reply of whether someone will be there or not within a week.   I need a name a week after that."

"Okay.   Anything else we need to talk about?"

Cissy shook her head.   "Not at this time.   I will contact you with any further issues."   She turned to Andy.

Andy nodded and took over the conversation.   "I've reviewed the high points of the Potter and Black finances and businesses.   In short, you're a very wealthy wizard, Harry."

Harry raised his hand.   "I know.   I thumbed through some of it last month."

"Well, I only have two major questions.   First, please explain the reasoning behind the stock purchases you had Max perform for you.   Second, do you have any objection to combining the Black and Potter accounts?"

Harry settled himself for a long, boring, and necessary conversation.

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Author Notes:

A bunny (proxy his votes) by Chris.