Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Hollow

Protection, Confrontation, Deception

by kinoth 11 reviews

Harry is a little more damaged than everyone believes, but for once it works to his advantage.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Harry, Moody, Tonks - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2006-11-29 - Updated: 2006-11-29 - 7470 words

Tonks let herself in to the front door of Number Four Privet Drive with a cheery "Hello, Harrykins!" Ignoring the lack of response, she walked to the kitchen and found the dour figure of the Boy-Who-Lived restocking the refrigerator.
"Dursleys returning soon?" she asked.
"Yes. Vernon called to inform me that they would be returning tomorrow afternoon. After threatening my life, he also stated that if he noticed food missing from their stocks, I would be in trouble."
Tonks scowled at Harry's back. "And you let him talk to you like that?"
Harry shut the fridge door and turned to face the young auror. "He is unaware of the changes that have occurred in my situation. Also, the man cannot conceive of me being anything more than an annoyance. I see no problem with replacing what I have eaten, but should he attempt to harm me, he will be given one lesson in how to behave. He will not need a second."
"Damn, Harry." Tonks rolled her eyes at the glacial tone of voice. "Thanks for meeting my quota of scary guys with prouncements of doom for the day." She sat down in a chair at the breakfast table as Harry joined her. Behind him, the kettle filled itself with water and settled onto the stove as teacups flew out of the cabinets. "Been practicing, I see."
"As much as I can." Harry replied. "You may as well tell me what you have found- you are practically vibrating out of the chair."
Making a face at spoiling her surprise, the witch fished out a book and announced "I've found that spell I told you about! After I found it again, I found out that it's more of a ritual than a spell, really- it was done when someone married in to the Black family, but there doesn't seem to be anything that ties it specifically to the bloodline or anything. It's supposed to keep the target from being able to give out any secrets the other person in the ritual doesn't want made public, and it even specifically says that it works against Legilimency and it sounds like possibly even Veritaserum! Look at this page-" She stopped and flushed as Harry laid a finger against her lips. "I'm babbling, sorry."
The dark haired teenager removed his finger from her mouth and slid the book over so he could read it. After a few moments of skimming the paper he looked up at her. "The ritual sounds perfect. Would it be considered bad form to assume there is a catch of some type?" Harry inquired.
Tonks propped her chin on her fist. "Well, I can see why you'd think that, but it didn't look like it. Now most people would see that it involves blood and shy away from it, but this is more like a ward for thoughts than anything else, and blood wards are the most powerful there are." she mentioned conversationally.
"That would be why Dumbledore used them on me, yes." Harry noted, "and while the power to resist Legilimency is the aim, we need to ensure that there are not obvious detrimental effects." The boy paused. "Did you take Arithmancy, or do you have any additional knowledge which may assist us in determining the outcome of the ritual?"
"No," Tonks huffed, "I was always an action kinda person, not a bookworm."
After careful perusal of the books- a diary of a former head of the Black family and a scroll of notes- Harry could find no obvious flaw in the ritual, but still had reservations relying on it.
"Look Harry, other than this, we would have to wait until my Occlumency could beat Dumbledore's Legilimency- or at least his passive scans. I know you've gotten a lot better all of a sudden with your emotionlessness, but it was hard enough for me to get basic shields in place. Besides, it looks like the worst that happens is that it fails without backlash."
Harry narrowed his eyes in what Tonks assumed was grudging agreement. "Very well. Tonks. I will memorize my parts and you do the same. You will also need to acquire the tools needed."
"I'm ahead of you on this one, Harry," Tonks said, smiling. "Since this doesn't need a ritual circle or anything, let's sit somewhere comfortable"
The Boy-Who-Lived settled into the center of the Dursley's couch at Tonks' direction after moving an end table close enough so that Tonks would be able to reach it during the short ritual. Meanwhile Tonks unshrunk the silver knife and chalice, and poured a measure red wine into the sliver bowl before setting both implements on the table. She walked very carefully to stand in front of the seated wizard. Her hands trembled and she concentrated on keeping her breathing even as she quickly grabbed the hem of her shirt and pulled it over her head. She watched as Harry likewise disrobed and continued to look straight into her eyes. She had never been so glad of his lack of emotion before.
Tonks opened her mouth to speak, but instead shifted to straddle Harry's legs on the couch. She twisted slightly to pick up the chalice and almost fell over backwards, but a warm hand on her back steadied her until she could regain her balance. As she straightened, she handed the cup to her seatmate and picked up the knife.
Scooting forward, the witch moved so that the rim of the chalice pressed against both bodies and brought the tip of the knife to her chest, right above her heart. She recited the rather long incantation she had memorized phonetically, absently wishing she had taken Ancient Runes in school rather than Magical Creatures. After Harry had added his portion of the spell, she readied herself for the pledging.
"I, Nymphadora Eugenia Tonks," she began, hissing slightly as she pressed the blade in and caught the thin crimson ribbon in the bowl, "do pledge to you, Harry James Potter." she paused and reversed the blade, pressing it over the younger wizard's heart. At the slight assent of his head, she cut him shallowly and placed the knife aside and watched as both trails of blood commingled in the bowl. "I pledge the fidelity of the secrets you will reveal unto me."
After a few moments Tonks gestured slightly and Harry whispered a healing charm as he pressed his finger over her wound, sending a spike of power through he chest that made her hiss through her teeth. Swirling the cup as Harry healed himself, the metamorphmagus lifted the chalice to her lips and drank, smearing her lips with the fluid. Grimacing at the taste, she nonetheless spoke in a clear voice. "I promise that my heart shall never betray that which you wish kept silent."
Ducking her head and finally breaking eye contact, she kissed the small scab over Harry's heart, leaving a perfect bloody lipmark. As she raised her head, she looked into those incredibly green eyes and saw the spark of power that now always lay there. "Will you accept my promise and guard my heart?"
"I do and shall." Harry intoned.
Taking a second drink, the lavender-haired girl shuddered at the taste. In a raspy voice she continued. "I give my bond that my mind shall never divulge your thoughts which you share with me."
Tonks pressed her lips against Harry's 'third eye' in the middle of his forehead and pulled back to look him in the eyes. "Will you accept my bond and protect my mind?"
The light within the wizard's eyes was more noticeable now, almost brighter than the ambient light in the room. "I do and shall."
Her third draught drained the bowl, and she could not contain a full-body shudder as the metallic liquid coated her throat. Placing the bowl next to the dagger Tonks tangled her hands in Harry's dark locks and tilted his head back. "I give my oath that my lips shall never betray that which you tell me in confidence."
The metamorphmagus pressed her lips against Harry's for a moment before backing away. "Will you accept my oath and secure my speech?"
Harry opened his eyes and met hers. "I do and shall." His voice carried hints of the power that had resonated so powerfully on this couch last week.
"Will you accept my promise- the pledge, the bond, and the oath- given freely to you? Will you guard, protect, and secure me, that I may never betray that which is revealed to me?"
Harry answered slowly, in the same formal tone that the ritual had been written in. "I, Harry James Potter, accept your promise- the pledge, bond, and oath- given freely, sealed by our blood. I promise to guard, protect, and secure you, Nymphadora Eugenia Tonks, that you will never betray that which I reveal to you."
Tonks' eyes smiled, even as her voice held steady. "So shall it be." Pursing her still-glistening lips, she kissed Harry once, then repeated the phrase in concert with him a second time, along with a second kiss. On the third repetition Harry spoke alone, and a cool, pleasurable sensation flared in her hindbrain as their lips met. Deepening the kiss, she parted hers lips slightly to flicker her tongue against Harry's and let out a soft, pleased whimper. She pulled back to catch her breath but felt it catch as Harry's warm hands ran up her bare back. His hands trailed up and set themselves on her shoulders, keeping her from moving. She opened eyes she didn't remember closing and let out a noise somewhere between a moan and a growl.
"Tonks," Harry began, but was cut off as she wormed her arms up between his and pushed out, breaking his hold on her. She quickly grabbed his head and pillowed it between her suddenly-expanded breasts. As she ran her fingers through his inky hair she bent down to murmur in his ear.
"I'm going to fuck you now, Harry." she sing-songed with breathy emphasis on the obscenity.
The skinny frame of the Boy-Who-Lived abruptly bore her into the air as he rose smoothly from the couch, turned, and dropped her onto his recently-vacated seat before stepping back. "Tonks- get control of yourself." he demanded, his voice resonant with power.
Whether it was his voice or the unceremonious landing on the couch, Tonks shook off the lust that had swept through her body. "Harry, I... I don't know what made me say that." she stammered. She could feel the heat radiating from her flushed body, and the desire that drove her to grab him coiled in her stomach.
"During the final kiss there was a flare of magic. I believe we ignored a major clue- this spell was only used once the couple was married, not before. It must cause powerful lust or love as a side effect."
Tonks found herself entranced by the way measured way he spoke, the sexy messiness of his hair- she wrenched her thoughts away from that line of thought with difficulty. "How are you so unaffected, the soul damage?" she panted.
Harry shook his head once. "No, I felt it too, less strongly perhaps. I have a natural resistance to mental commands- I can fight off the Imperius Curse. This attack was less painful, and easier to fight off."
"I don't know if I can break it, Harry." The witch whispered. Hell, I don't know if I want to fight it, a wicked part of her mind thought privately.
"I can fight it off, but unlike the Imperius, even though I have resisted, it continues to attempt to influence me. I can feel your feelings as well, perhaps as a side effect of the spell."
"So we let nature take its course." Tonks offered. "You're an attractive man, Harry, and I can look like whoever you want."
The raven-haired boy's only reaction was a tiny twitch of his eyes. "You deserve better, Tonks." He stated solemnly. "You deserve free choice uninfluenced by spells. I will simply dissolve the promise-"
Tonks launched herself clumsily from her seat on the couch and managed to strike Harry with enough force to knock him down. The auror scrambled up his body and straddled his hips as she came face-to-face with him. "Don't be a noble ass, Harry. I'm not a blushing virgin, I'm making this choice myself, and I choose you. Now." She kissed his blood-slick lips violently, the once-harsh taste almost arousing.
"Tonks-" Harry began. The auror groaned in frustration and silenced him by claiming his lips once more. After a moment, Harry pulled back. "Not on the floor, my room."
With a breathy, sensual moan, she stood and grabbed the boy's left hand to pull him up as well. He came to his feet with incredible lightness and lashed out with his other hand, fingers leading in a jab to her chest. The last thing she heard before darkness was his voice intoning "Stupefy!"
Tonks snapped back to consciousness and immediately attempted to move before finding she was tied down. She opened her eyes and found Harry staring back at her levelly.
"Harry... if you let me up now and kiss it better, I won't smack you like you so richly deserve."
"You still feel it."
Tonks blinked at the non-sequitur and blurted "Yes" before her thoughts caught up. "Merlin and Morgan, Harry! Yes, I still bloody want you. Let. Me. Up!"
The Boy-Who-Lived knelt before the chair she was tied to. "I attempted to break the ritual bond and was unsuccessful. If you are conscious and we both attempt to dissolve the oath, it may work."
"I'm not going to do it, dammit." she spat. "I started wanting you before the damned ritual crap, and I still want you- no, I need you." Tonks could feel a liquid heat flashing through her body that sapped at her will and clouded her reasoning, growing hotter with every moment. "I'm aching for you." She strained against her bonds in an attempt to get close enough to kiss him but was stopped as he stood again.
Harry Potter stared at her as if carved from ice, the only sign of life was the light which began to leak from his eyes. He searched her face, then scanned her body as she shivered and moaned as if it were his hands that caressed her. When they locked eyes again she felt a frigid spike slide into her mind and gasped as her nipples hardened. The tendril of thought had battered aside her rudimentary Occlumency defenses and felt as if he was directly stimulating the pleasure center of her brain. The auror's eyes grew impossibly wide and she strained to pull more air into her lungs before slumping against her bonds as her eyes rolled up to show the whites. She could no longer form words, moaning something that sounded like his name as he limbs spasmed then then panting heavily until she regained her breath. Some base portion of her brain noticed that the chair was inching forward as she struggled, and she began struggling with more fervor to close the gap between them.
Just as quickly as it had begun, her ardor cooled as the same mental invasion that had aroused her forcibly separated her thoughts from her emotions. The body thrashing against the rope bonds felt as if it belonged to someone else, even as she looked through its eyes. As she began to collect herself, she noticed a calm, incredibly powerful presence surrounding her.
What's happened to me? I couldn't even think straight, I just wanted... well...
Part of the magical backlash from the ritual seems to be driving us to mate, Tonks.
The embarrassment that the auror would normally feel about discussing her actions seemed almost nonexistent, a flickering shadow of emotion easily ignored. And you haven't found a way to stop it?
No. Harry's mental voice, while tightly controlled, held a faint touch of apology. I do not actually know Legilimency, and am afraid that if I attempt to affect your mental state any further that I will cause irreparable harm.
So we, uh, 'mate'. Tonks thought haltingly. I told the truth when I said you were attractive, Harry. The circumstances might be horrible, but I- I won't regret this.
The Boy-Who-Lived was silent for so long that Tonks began to wonder if he would leave her trapped within her own mind forever. Finally, through the stillness, Harry's thoughts came to her. I... care for you as well, Tonks.
The metamorphmagus felt the mental contact recede, and within moments the fiery, mind-melting passion roared through her veins again. She strained once more to escape her bonds, but was startled when they no longer held her fast. Before she could fall, hands wrapped themselves around her waist and Harry pressed his mouth to hers. She responded savagely, ripping at his clothes and nipping at his neck. One of the boy's hands trailed down over her ass and she bucked against his waist. All too soon, the haze of lust engulfed her again and she thought no more.
Harry felt Tonks' breathing ease into slumber as the sweat cooled from their coupling. He waited for a time, forming the words in his head before he spoke softly.
"I give you my oath that I will find the truth behind the ritual we used today, and will do anything within my ability to release you from the bond, should you desire. This I so swear."
A swirl of magic, faintly visible even against the light of the afternoon, bled from his hands and covered the woman's form before fading. The tingle of magic against her skin caused the metamorphmagus to pull him closer and murmur his name.
The green-eyed boy regarded her dispassionately for a moment before kissing her forehead gently. "Thank you for understanding, and thank you for caring, Tonks." he whispered, then closed his eyes and slept.
Tonks waited another five minutes or so until Harry had actually fallen asleep before cracking her eye open. After poking him lightly to make sure he had fallen fully asleep, she sat up and stretched, feeling deliciously sore. While Harry seemed to feel emotion only faintly, he was far from passionless. After overcoming his initial inexperience and his unwillingness to harm her, the boy had shown a degree of skill that blew Tonks' previous lovers- few though they were- out of the water. It was as if he had read her mind and gleaned information about exactly what pleased her- and knowing his abilities, it was completely possible he had.
The young auror sighed contentedly as she found her wand and cast a few cleaning charms on Harry, herself, and the sheets, then followed it up with a pregnancy ward she dredged up from memory.
Placing her wand next to Harry's glasses on the nightstand, she used the excuse of the small bed to snuggle close, draping herself over his body. She had only been able to actually rest with someone once before, and while the relationship had soured quickly, she had enjoyed it immensely at the time.
She only hoped that the sex wouldn't poison another relationship with a friend.
After their nap and shower- no charm in the world could reproduce the feeling of showering with someone- Tonks sat down with Harry at the breakfast table and had a late lunch.
"So, now that I have this handy mental block for your secrets, why don't you tell me what you couldn't before?"
The wizard finished chewing and looked at her levelly. "You may wish to finish eating. You seem to lose your appetite when you hear unpleasant information."
Tonks' heart clenched. "Harry, you're not inspiring confidence in me, here."
"I am merely trying to look out for your best interests Tonks." He replied mildly. "The first and most important piece of information I wanted to share with you was a prophecy."
"I have been a child of prophecy since before my birth. I learned about it only recently, but Voldemort has known of it- though not the whole of it- since shortly after it was uttered. It is the reason he killed my parents; it was an attempt to foil the prophecy before it was completed."
As Harry recited the lines of the prophecy, the pink-tressed auror became more and more confused. Finally, she focused back on the pale boy sitting with her. "So it's you or him?"
She blinked. "And what is this 'Power the Dark Lord knows not' stuff?
"According to Dumbledore, it is love."
The metamorphmagus almost snorted her tea through her nose. "He thinks it's bloody what?"
Harry shrugged slightly. "I was not in the best frame of mind when I was told the Prophecy. Given my current inability to feel emotions deeply, I would assume that he is mistaken. Additionally, when my upbringing is taken into account, I am unsure that I truly understand what love is or how it would feel."
Tonks slumped in her chair and looked defeated. "So what can we do? What can I do?"
"Voldemort has decades of experience with magic, including the Dark Arts. Dumbledore has given me no extra training to combat his strengths, made no attempt to suggest educational paths I should have taken to be better prepared. While I attempt to correct these deficiencies, I need you to be my eyes and ears in both the Wizarding World and the Order. Once I have a solid grounding and will not be an impediment, the two of us will need to undermine Voldemort's Death Eaters via guerilla tactics before I am able to face him in combat."
At Tonks' still-forlorn look, the dark-haired wizard placed a hand on her shoulder and looked her in the eyes. "I know that this may sound hopeless- it is not. Simply by your willingness to act, rather than stand passively by as the Order has done, you will make a difference."
The witch couldn't help but smile. "Alright, Harry." Nudging him with an elbow, she sat back up and leaned in to his personal space. "You sure do know how to sweet-talk a woman. Now, how about you explain what you did at Gringotts the other day..."
The ungainly forms of Vernon and Dudley Dursley waddled into the house as the floor creaked under their combined weight.
"Yes, Uncle Vernon?"
"Get our luggage out of the car and make it quick, freak!" the mustached man bellowed.
Harry walked out to the boot of the Volvo and pressed the latch, only to see his cousin smirking from the front door. The rotund teenager was dangling the keys from one meaty hand while the other curled into a tight fist.
The skinny wizard paid his relative no mind as he whispered the unlocking spell and removed the suitcases from the card before using the featherweight charm on both. Once he crossed the yard and placed both pieces of luggage inside the house and closed the front door, his uncle strode out to confront him.
"You aren't allowed to do your freakishness outside of school, boy." the man growled in a low tone.
"Wizards cannot do magic without a wand, and I do not have mine with me, sir." Harry replied evenly as he turned to face the man.
"Oh you don't, do you?" Vernon smiled viciously and began pulling his fist back.
Carefully, as he had practiced hundreds of times in the past week, the Boy-Who-Lived tapped the magic that existed within him and felt it flow through his body. As the big man began to throw his punch, Harry reinforced the magic in his arms and intercepted the fist, stopping it with a loud smack. His right hand, palm open, hit Vernon in the chest with a meaty sound, and he silently cast a banishing charm at the moment of impact.
The obese man's incredible bulk was launched down the hallway silently before crashing to the floor of the kitchen. Harry followed quickly in the body's wake, consciously submerging himself deeper into the well of magic he tapped. His glowing gaze pinned the piggish Dudley to the chair from which he had attempted to rise before settling back on the prone figure. The light from streaming in from the window washed out much of the pale boy's face, leaving only the unnaturally lit eyes to focus on. They narrowed as if in thought before Harry began to speak at a slow, measured pace.
"As I said, Vernon, wizards cannot do magic without a wand. Indeed, I should not be capable of doing magic of any kind without alerting more wizards. In spite of that fact, there are no warnings and I use no wand. You may not understand the significance of this, so I shall explain it in a way that your underdeveloped, fat-choked brain can comprehend."
With a negligent gesture, Harry levitated the corpulent man in the air where he scrabbled for purchase, eyes wide. "I am unconcerned by the laws of the Muggle or Wizarding Worlds. I will no longer accept your abuse without retaliation, as I have in the past. I am no longer an unwilling slave, I am a human being just as you are. While your ability to torture and belittle me without the intervention of Child Services has been greatly aided by the work of wizards, those wizards did nothing to change the fact that you are a petty, bigoted man and every word and blow has been struck by your own choice."
Harry moved closer and continued staring into Vernon's eyes. "I am not the merciful, forgiving God you pretend to pray to when you appear at church. I do not have his understanding, and I do not have his compassion. Should you strike me, I will not turn the other cheek; I will kill you rather than allow you to harm me again. I do not desire your understanding, I acknowledge that you will always hate me for the simple fact that my care was thrust upon you, that I was a burden to you. I hated you for this, once; I had dreamt of ways to make you suffer after I was able to use magic without supervision. Now that I can, I am indifferent to you. I do not desire your death, but should you make yourself a hindrance, your continued existence is not required."
The Boy-Who-Lived turned and walked back towards the staircase to the second floor. "I hope, Vernon Dursley, that we will not need to speak of this again."
Harry stood in the back garden of Privet Drive, staring off into the distance.
"Good evening, Tonks." he murmured, without turning.
The grass flattened as the young auror stumbled and fell with a surprised noise. "Dammit Harry, how'd you know I was there?" she groused, "I thought I did a excellent job of sneaking up on you."
The boy turned to the patch of ground where the invisible witch lay and helped her to her feet, giving a miniscule twitch of his lips that Tonks had come to interpret as a smile. "You did do an excellent job- I could not hear or see you. I have, however, known your approximate location since you arrived ten minutes ago."
Tonks' head popped into view as she scowled. "Whaddya mean you knew?"
"I believe I mentioned it shortly after we performed the ritual. I felt what I believed to be a constant sense of desire and passion trying to cloud my judgment. In truth, I believe that the ritual forged a connection between us. Due to the symbolism in the ritual itself, I would be unsurprised to find that the dominant emotion in its creation would be love, lust, affection, or something similar. After exhausting the original emotional charge and further experimentation, I can tell in a general sense if you are well, conscious or unconscious, and your general mood or dominant emotion. When you Flooed in to Ms. Figg's , I could determine your location, which I used to track you."
Cocking her head to the side, the witch looked thoughtful. "Sounds dead useful. D'you think it works both ways? I can't say that I've picked up on it myself."
"Calm yourself and clear your mind of outside interruptions."
"You mean like for Occlumency?"
"That didn't work to well when I tried to keep from jumping your bones yesterday." Tonks noted wryly.
Harry spread both hands palm up in a half-shrug. "Extenuating circumstances, perhaps?"
Tonks gave a short chuckle before beginning the relaxation exercises that would drop her into a light trance.
"Now," Harry's voice began, soft enough not to jar her fully aware, but carrying a hint of power she instinctively listened to, "focus on your mind, feel the juncture of your thoughts and emotions, and move to where your perceptions join to both."
Tonks nodded her head when she had found the mental representation he was describing.
"Good. Now, do you feel something which you cannot hear with your ears, see with your eyes, or feel with your skin, but rather hovers back near your magical core itself? When you do, sense what it feels like to you and tell me where what you sense is located in relation to you."
The metamorphmagus' brow furrowed lightly as she turned her head slowly back and forth. After a minute she extended an arm and pointed behind and to her right. "There, ten- no, twenty- feet away.
"Very good." Harry complemented her as she opened her eyes and squinted at the light. "Apparently the notes that the Black Heir's diary contained was not a full listing of the effects as it claimed."
"You seem to be able to sense me easier than I sense you." Tonks noted.
"All of my senses seem more acute since the soul damage. I have also been experimenting and meditating more recently."
"The ritual was also designed so that I protect your mind, and knowing where you are and the state you are in would aid in that."
"Fine, fine." Tonks waved away his explanations without rancor and walked next to the boy, who had returned to staring off into the distance. "I didn't see a car outside."
"Vernon and his son arrived home a few hours ago. After he attempted to harm me, we spoke. They are currently out, presumably to find something to eat, as they were told I would not be preparing it." Harry paused, then spoke in a almost-amused tone. "Vernon seems very uncomfortable around me."
The green-haired witch rolled her eyes. "Fancy that." she commented dryly. "What did you hex him with?"
"I did not hex him at all. I did keep him immobile while I spoke with him, but I believe the discussion we had was most fruitful. I am capable of being persuasive when circumstances warrant. While we spoke, however, I also found evidence of Dumbledore's mental tampering."
Tonks made a disgusted noise. "Dammit, Harry. Before you say anything, remember that I have to deal with him if I'm going to spy on the Order. Think about what you're about to tell me so I don't feel like strangling him with his own beard." Tonks pleaded.
The short wizard shook his head. "I do not know the extent of what he has done. In all honesty, from the few clues I could glean from Vernon's mind, Dumbledore seems to have have erased or altered four periods of time. I was surprised that I found any evidence at all."
"Yeah." the metamorphmagus whispered, watching as the Boy-Who-Lived's eyes unfocused again. Losing track of time, she was still studying his profile when he straightened himself, then reached over and pulled the invisibility cloak over her head.
"There were apparitions nearby." he stated.
Tonks' adrenaline began pumping and she unconsciously shifted her form to allow greater mobility. "No one should be apparating in at all. How many and where were they?" she asked sharply.
"More than two, less than six. I do not know exactly where." Harry frowned deeply, perhaps his greatest show of emotion in recent memory. "I am unsure of the range my senses were extended to."
The auror nodded, then gave an affirmative noise when she realized he could not see her. Casting a few quick charms, she gave a triumphant smirk. "Well, they're not trying to mask their presence much. I pick up five people coming from the park at the end of the street. Maybe we should head inside and ward ourselves in and call for the Order?"
Harry shook his head once. "If they are Death Eaters, I would rather have the ability to jump the fence and retreat if needed." He turned and walked to the edge of the house and carefully peered down the road. Tonks hurried over, placing a hand on his shoulder to brace herself as she did likewise.
Five black-robed figures walked down the middle of the street. While their hoods were up, the glint from their masks were visible from quite a distance, marking them as Death Eaters. The five made their way slowly down the lane, apparently having difficulty distinguishing one house from the next.
"I assume that they are using a charm to render themselves unnoticeable?" Harry asked.
Tonks stepped back and cast two spells in rapid succession. "Seems like a muggle-specific Notice-Me-Not charm." She frowned as she thought about that statement. "Why don't they want to be seen? That doesn't match up with the way they work- they're all about creating havoc."
Harry moved back behind the shelter of the house and strode to the Dursleys' woodshed. "I have a hypothesis. It will be tested shortly." The scruffy-haired wizard ducked inside the outbuilding long enough to grab an item before returning to the auror's side. When he returned, Tonks pulled her head out of the cloak to give him an incredulous look.
"What in the bloody hell do you think you're going to do with that, Harry?"
He looked at the small bag he held, then returned her gaze placidly. "My offensive spell repitoire is limited to touch range at this time. Therefore, I must improvise."
Dismissing further attempts to discuss his weapon, Harry turned Tonks' attention back to the street. The two watched as the Death Eaters found the Dursley house and scrambled into positions in the front yard. After a few moments of discussion, the five figures raised their wands and pointed them at the house.
"On my mark!" yelled a shrill voice, "One... two... three!"
All of the robe-clad wizards cast the same spell, the lights from their wands pooling together before lancing out at the house. Just as the spell struck the building, a latticework of shielding flared into life. The collision of the two spells caused an almost-subsonic vibration and a shower of sparks that skittered across the lawn and sizzled fitfully against the driveway.
The wards held against the second barrage, though the grass began scorching where the sparks fell to earth. An electrical hum could be heard, slowly gaining in both volume and pitch.
"...Wards won't hold out forever, y'know." Tonks commented, keeping her tone light with some effort. She was so jittery from her forced inaction that she was sure the invisibility cloak's edges were visible where it bounced.
"You are correct, of course," Harry replied. "Come." He turned and lead both of them away from the house and hopped the hedge separating them from the house next door.
The high shrubbery concealed both witch and wizard as they crept closer to the Death Eaters. Harry knelt and unzipped the bag he had brought, hefting the weight inside. As the chanting began again, the teenaged wizard stood and banished the object without fanfare at the row of wizards directly across from him.
Tonks could not contain her smile as the lurid green bowling ball slammed into the four black-robed figures in the front row, sending them crumpling to the ground in a symphony of pained cries. The ball then reversed its motion, swerving to hit the fifth wizard who took a glancing blow to the cheek before dropping.
The bowling ball swooped down and buried itself in the ground, the figure with the shattered mask barely scrambling away in time. One of the other Death Eaters fired off a Blasting Curse that was nimbly evaded by the sphere as it turned to impact heavily against another robed wizard. A general cry of retreat was sounded, and before the ball could strike again, all of the figures silently disappeared.
Harry let the urethane ball settle gently back into his hands and packed it away. "I will meet you on the front porch before the Order arrives." he stated before leaving quickly to hide the bag.
Tonks had worked herself up into a towering rage by the time the Order finally arrived at Privet Drive. Harry watched from his seat on the concrete slab in front of the door as the metamorphmagus levelled her wand at Kingsley Shacklebolt, the Weasley Twins, and Dumbledore. Tonks' auror partner offered her a hand sign that caused her to lower her wand slightly, but did very little to calm the irritated woman down.
"Merlin!" she snapped. "What took you so bloody long?"
The headmaster ignored her question and looked around curiously. "What attacked the wards, Nymphadora?"
"Five black-robed wizards in white masks- hmmm, maybe they could be Death Eaters!" she ground out sarcastically. Tonks hair began cycling colors as she visibly reigned her anger in "I managed to stop them, but their portkeys triggered before I could subdue them."
Dumbledore met her eyes for a moment before walking over to the Boy-Who-Lived, leaving a fuming metamorphmagus facing her auror superior. The shaven-headed wizard paled noticeably as she levelled the full force of her anger on him.
"Thanks for the backup, Shack."
Kingsley couldn't suppress a wince as Tonks began to unload her irritation on him.
As the aged wizard approached the porch, he noted that the fury that Nymphadora had shown was mirrored by the boy's eyes. Stopping a few feet away, he slid his wand back into his sleeve and inclined his head.
"Harry, I see-"
"How could you?" the young wizard growled suddenly, startling the older man. "Those damned Death Eaters were here long enough to throw spells at the wards for what- ten minutes?- before you showed up! Tonks had to fight them off herself! Excellent job the blood-wards did if they didn't hide me, and who knows how long they'd last?"
The Headmaster of Hogwarts was uncharacteristically speechless by the random outburst and had only managed to open his mouth before Harry cut him off again.
"I could have helped her, of course, but for some reason the esteemed Headmaster hasn't used what political clout he has to prove I need to defend myself- despite Dementor attacks in a Muggle neighborhood!"
The emerald-eyed boy narrowed his eyes and continued. "Of course, you've done a terrible job all around- what kind of man allows a scared fourth-year to compete in the Tri-Wizard Tournament when more experienced wizards have died? A suggestion from you to Barty Crouch could have had me answering questions under Veritaserum to determine the truth- and that or a pensieve would have cleared up questions about Voldemort's resurrection.
Now this year, you force me to attempt to learn Occlumency from a man who hates my family and has the teaching ability of a flobberworm. You are politically outmaneuvered by an incompetent Minister and his sadistic toady. And you are nowhere to be found when Umbridge threatens to use the Crutatius on me, gets Veritaserum from Snape, and tries to overdose me."
Plastering an obviously-false, but wide smile on his face, Harry asked, "But let's ignore all that. Since you're making a rare public appearance at my relatives' house, would you like to see the cupboard that was my room for the first eleven years of my life? Or perhaps you could tour my new room- my cousin's second bedroom, the one where the locks are outside in the hallway, and there's a cat flap they can feed me through! Wanna see?"
Dumbledore's aged face flashed a look of surprise as he shook his head slowly.
Harry stood, using the added height of the porch to look down on the colorfully-robed Mugwump. "Then if you cannot be bothered to arrive in time to backup Order members, cannot explain why you have wronged me so many times, or wish to see my horrid living conditions, then perhaps you need to think about what's going to happen once the Death Eaters report to their Master where I live. You'd better come up with something quickly before I'm hip-deep in black-robed idiots. Good day, Headmaster."
After answering the twins' and Kingsley's questions in the wake of Dumbledore's departure, Tonks found herself in the kitchen of Number Four with the Boy-Who_Lived.
"I still can't believe you yelled at the Headmaster like that." Tonks said, shaking her head. "I was afraid that things would backfire and we'd be in a real spot."
Harry nodded once. "It was a calculated risk- but when Dumbledore and I last spoke, I was incredibly emotional, and vastly more physically destructive. It would not stretch credibility that I would be just as angry and more verbally demonstrative. In addition, Kingsley now knows some of what Dumbledore has done, and perhaps he will ask the Weasley Twins- they know much of what has gone on and would be willing to explain many of the details I could not elaborate on."
"Still- hey, did the Headmaster...."
"He did," Harry noted. "as you spoke with him. It seemed like he was attempting to verify the truth of your words, which I gave. He also probed for how much time you have spent speaking to me, to which I showed that we have had little contact."
The auror blew out a breath and slumped in her seat. "Merlin, I don't want to go through that again. Dealing with the Order like this is worse than the Death Eaters!" Tonks perked up a little bit as a thought occurred to her. "Speaking of which, how'd you come up with the bowling ball trick?"
Harry gave another ghost-of-a-smile. "In my second year, a house elf enchanted a bludger to chase me during a Quidditch game. While the magic he used was different, it allows me offensive ability using spells I can cast wandlessly." The boy's voice became colder as he continued. "The fact that I was able to put Draco Malfoy in a smilar position to the one I was in at that time seems appropriately ironic as well."
That comment made the witch sit up and slam a palm against the table. "What?! Are you sure? How could you tell?"
After finishing a sip of tea, Harry continued. "The shrillness of his voice, the general shape of the Death Eaters themselves- two were blocky and lumbering like Crabbe and Goyle Junior, the blonde hair that fell out of the hood after being hit in the face with the bowling ball." The wizard fished a broken piece of Death Eater mask out of his pocket. "And perhaps this piece of transfigured porcelain will help somehow."
"How in the hell did you notice all of that?" Tonks asked incredulously.
Turning his head to stare at an empty portion of the kitchen, he stated. "Constant Vigilance. Am I correct, Moody?"
The former auror's scarred face and wand hand shimmered into view as the invisibility cloak was pulled down. "Aye lad. That means I can't really say I'm sorry about this. Stupefy!"

Author's Notes:

Bleh. This chapter took forever, ended up changing multiple times (I had a weird, semi-humorous aside about Luna Seeing Tonks' and Harry's oath and becoming quite jealous that I scrapped for being way too out of left field), and I'm still not completely happy with it.
Yes, I know it's a little odd that this weird, emotionally-damaged Harry is getting his freak on and screaming bloody murder at Dumbledore, when it doesn't quite mesh with his previous personality. I hope that I was able to adequately describe that while Harry may not feel the emotion much (if at all), he is perfectly capable of faking an emotion or echoing Tonks' own emotions when it would be prudent to- he's turned into a pragmatic kinda guy, after all.
Next chapter (assuming Tonks and Harry don't get a wild hair and go do something else again), there'll be Moody, Moony, and playing with sharp objects. Fun!
Once again, this was unbeta'd, and largely unspellchecked.
Sign up to rate and review this story