Disclaimer: All characters belong to J.K. Rowling. The interpretation of said characters is all mine.
A/N: Thank to everyone that has reviewed so far and for all the kind words and constructive criticism as well. I'm still working on my writing style and ironing things out as I go so please forgive any grammatical errors. Also I'd just like to acknowledge snape504 and Nym Potter for their very positive comments and I'll try and keep up the good work. As well as thank Lorddwar and Kassien for their wonderful stories that helped inspire me to write my own. Also in this chapter Harry goes shopping.
Harry woke up the next morning and felt something very soft pressed up against him, rubbing into his back. He noticed their positions had changed during the night and Tonks was now pressed up against his back with her arm around his chest holding him to her. Harry just relaxed and snuggled back into Tonks just a bit before drifting off back to one of the most restful sleeps he could ever recall.
About an hour later or so Tonks awoke to find herself curled up against Harry with her arm wrapped around him. She slowly pulled her arm away and rolled over onto her back, Harry awoke right afterwards and rolled to his back as well. "Morning Harry, sleep well again?" she asked.
"Yeah Tonks, no nightmares, thanks" he said gratefully if a bit sleepily.
"Okay well I have to get dressed and pop over to my flat for a shower and a clothes change. Then I have to get into work" she said "It's a short day today, just have to finish up a couple reports and then I'm going to head to Hogwarts and talk to Dumbledore about our shopping trip" she stated.
"Okay Tonks sounds good I sure hope he agrees" he said wistfully.
"I'm sure he will and if not we'll figure something out, now why don't you continue working on your mindscape and the relaxation techniques in that Occlumency book" Tonks said as she was getting out of bed.
"Oh wow she looks so hot in that nightgown", thought Harry. "Stop it Harry, your staring, get yourself together. She just likes teasing you is all", he thought to himself.
"Umm... will do Tonks, so when will you be coming back?" He asked.
"Well if everything goes alright with Dumbledore today I'll be back in the morning around 8 o'clock to take you to Gringotts" she replied. "If he disagrees and wants you to stay here then I'll be back tonight and we can figure something out okay?" She asked.
"Alright, that sounds good then" said Harry.
Harry was a bit torn, he hoped Dumbledore would agree but it meant a night without Tonks sleeping with him. However if Dumbledore did agree he'd be able to get out of the house for awhile and go shopping with Tonks.
"Okay Harry, well keep reading and practicing and if all goes well I'll see you in the morning and we can get started" said Tonks as she transfigured her night clothes back to jeans and a short t-shirt. Giving him a bright smile and asaucy wink she apparated back to her flat to shower and change.
Tonks quickly jumped in the shower and washed up before getting out and dressing in simple black work robes and threw on her blue auror cloak. She apparated to the Ministry and headed up to her desk to finish up some paperwork. After about 3hours of going over arrest forms and requisition forms she had finally got it all out of the way and was preparing to leave for Hogwarts.
Heading back downstairs to the main lobby she went to a free Floo station and threw apinch of floo powder into the flames. "Hogwarts Headmasters Office" she spoke plainly.
"Ahhh greetings Nymphadora, what can I do for you?" Headmaster Dumbledore replied.
Tonks bristled at her name but decided not to say anything as she was trying to get him to agree to take Harry from Privet Drive, even if just for a few hours.
"Hello Headmaster, I was just wondering if you had a minute of two?" she asked.
"Of course Miss Tonks please come through" he replied.
"Well at least he got my name right that time" she thought, "/maybe this will go ok." /
Tonks stepped into the fireplace and stumbled out into the Headmasters office landing on her bum. Jumping up and brushing herself off a bit she walked over to the front of the Headmasters desk.
"Please sit down Miss Tonks. What can I do for you?" asked Dumbledore.
"Well it's about Harry sir." She said.
"I see you spoke to him last night I take it then" he stated.
"Yes we talked for a bit and well he's pretty torn up, but I think he'll be alright"she said.
"Well that is good to hear then" replied Albus. "Is there anything else you wanted to discuss?" asked the Headmaster.
"Yes there was Professor, I wanted to know, well Harry wanted to know, if he could make a short trip into Gringotts Saturday morning to collect some galleons from his vault?" Tonks said.
"I'm not sure if that would be wise" stated Dumbledore. "Harry really shouldn't be away from the protection his Aunt's home affords him."
"It wouldn't be for that long Professor, and I would be with him the entire time as his guard. I could probably get Remus to accompany us if you think that would be safer" she asked hopefully.
"Well with the two of you to accompany him and make sure nothing happens I think Ican allow it." Albus said smartly.
"Thank you Headmaster. I'll talk to Remus this afternoon and let Harry know in the morning, we'll be sure to be extra cautious" said Tonks.
"Is that all Nymph... Miss Tonks" asked Dumbledore.
"Yes, I'll just be on my way then, Headmaster" replied Tonks.
She stepped back over to the floo and threw a pinch of floo powder in and spoke"Ministry of Magic", in a clear voice. Stepping into the fire she tumbled out and just caught herself from falling on the other side in the lobby of the Ministry. Brushing herself off and turning for the exit she strode out the doors and headed towards her flat.
Harry spent the day trying to get into a new routine he was planning on following. He got out of bed right after Tonks left around 6 am and began his morning exercises. After a set of crunches, sit-ups, and then push-ups until his arms ached. Afterwards he dragged himself to the shower. Letting the hot water sooth his sore muscles he washed all the sweat from his body, and got out. Toweling off he pulled on another set of Dudley's huge pants and belted them so they would stay up. Pulling over another one of the billowing shirts, he took out the book on Occlumency and began to go through it again.
After about an hour or so of reading he put the book down and began to visualize his mindscape. The towering castle of Hogwarts came up in his mind and he began to go over it in detail. First he organized all of his thoughts and placed them in the room of requirement. Then he began to design his defenses; the outer layer was the wards around Hogwarts themselves. He visualized the wards keeping people out and being able to repel intrusions.
Then he set up the second layer of defenses in case anyone got past his outer shields. The corridors of the castle itself he stocked with the ghosts of the castle as defenses; Peeves to annoy intruders, the Bloody Baron if he wanted to be a bit more forceful in attacking intruders.
Next he added Nearly Headless Nick and some members of the Headless Hunt to hunt down and attack any intruders. He felt between the outer wards and the ghosts of the castle he should have a pretty good defense against anyone trying to get to his memories, which were still secure in the room of requirements.
After organizing and going over his mindscape Harry felt confident that he would at least have a chance of repelling attacks on his mind. He couldn't wait to show Tonks how he had organized his mindscape and hoped she would be impressed.
Harry tried to keep his mind occupied with the books he was reading and the things he and Tonks had talked about, but he kept slipping back into thinking of his friends and how they were. He decided he should probably at least owl the friends that had accompanied him to the Ministry, and apologize for how things had turned out.
"Well I'll start with the easiest" he thought, as he got out some parchment and a quill and started to write Ron anote.
How are you mate, it's just been a week and things aren't quite so bad here. The muggles have pretty much left me alone all week. I've just been in my room thinking and reading a bit, have done some studying as well (I'm sure Hermione will be happy with that). Anyway I wanted to let you know how sorry I was for leading you to the Ministry and getting you attacked. I really hope you are ok and we are still friends after everything. Let me know if there is anything I can do.
Well that wasn't so hard, maybe he could get through this. Next he decided to write to Ginny.
Hey Ginny, how are things? I hope you didn't get hurt too badly at the Ministry. I feel awful about leading you there with the others and for what happened. You did amazingly well and I was proud that you went with me. Ihope you aren't mad at me for what happened and we can still be friends.
There not the most meaningful letter but he hoped she would understand and didn't hold any hard feelings towards him. "Now I guess I should write to Neville and Luna and let them know how much I appreciate their help" thought Harry.
Hello Neville I hope you are doing ok. I'm sorry about your wand and everything that happened at the Ministry that night. I just wanted you to know how glad I was to have you by my side when everything happened and wanted you to know how much of a true Gryffindor you showed you were that night.
Ok that was pretty easy as well and he really was proud of Neville. Now on to Luna, she had been a real help to him after the fight and the words she had told him at the leaving feast had really helped more than he knew at the time.
Thank you so much for everything you have done for me, not just joining me at the Ministry, but your words at the end of the year, they really helped. I wanted you to know how much it meant to me that you followed me to the Ministry that night. You are a very remarkable and intelligent witch and also a very caring person that helped me see things in a different light. Itruly hope you are ok and will still consider me a friend once we start back to Hogwarts this year. I hope to see you on the train before the term starts.
Ok well now for the hardest one, he truly felt horrible for what had happened to Hermione and hoped she could forgive him for that night.
I don't know where to start Hermione I was so scared when I saw you hit by that curse and you fell it was like everything just stopped. You have always been there for me over the last five years, even when no one else was (Ron 4th year). I can't thank you enough for all you have done for me. Itruly hope you are alright and are completely healed from that night. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you or if you need to talk to me about anything. I've been doing better the last couple of days and am trying to come to terms with Sirius's death. It's still so painful and I keep seeing it over and over, that and you being hit by that curse. I've been reading and doing some revising and studying the last two days just to try and keep my mind from certain things. Please write back and let me know how you are.
Ok that was difficult he still didn't feel he had it right but he had to let her know how much he was worried about her and that he himself was ok. "I hope she is ok," he thought once again.
Harry rolled the notes up and called to Hedwig who was sitting on the headboard of his bed. She flew over to his shoulder and nipped his ear affectionately. There were no presents on his bed this morning so maybe he had been showing her enough attention and affection the last couple of days.
"Hey Hedwig are you up for a few deliveries?" he asked while stroking her feathers.
Hedwig nuzzled into his neck and gave a soft hoot before hopping down to the desk and holding out her leg.
"Here, take these to the burrow for Ron and Ginny" he said as he stuck the two rolled up notes to her leg, "and these two go to Neville and Luna Lovegood" he said as he tied on the other two small notes.
"This last one is for Hermione okay girl." Said Harry softly. "Take that one last and wait to see if she writes back." Harry said.
Harry gave her another affectionate ruffle of her feathers and an owl treat before he sent her off.
"Okay, well that's all done, guess I'll grab a slice or so of the leftover pizza and get ready for bed. Tonks hasn't shown back up so I guess we are still on for shopping," he thought.
Harry ate quickly and stripped down to his boxers and the huge t-shirt of Dudley's and slipped into bed.
It seemed to take him forever to fall asleep, he had gotten used to Tonks beside him in just the past few days. Finally he drifted off and started to dream. This one was strange he was back in the Department of Mysteries and fighting against the death eaters. This time was different though instead of seeing Sirius getting struck by Bellatrix and falling through the veil it was Tonks this time. He tried to jump in front of the curse but was just a bit too slow, the red beam hit Tonks and she stumbled back and through the veil.
"NOOOOOO", he screamed.
He woke up in a cold sweat and panting for air. Where did that come from why was it Tonks this time and not Sirius? He didn't want Tonks to get hurt for being around him, and hoped that nothing would happen to her. He had really gotten used to having her to talk to and she was so fun to be around, and was helping him so much already. "/Speaking of which she should be here soon," /he thought. Better get up and get ready.
After aquick shower and throwing on the best fitting clothes he had, he then put his school robes on over them and sat back on the bed and waited for Tonks to show.