Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling and Warner Bros. I do not own Harry Potter or anything related to the franchise.
Chapter 1: Protective Detail
Author's Note: The idea for this story popped into my head nearly a year ago, and has since taken on a life all its own. While Free Life has always remained my focus, this story has refused to be ignored. The chapters will be short. I have 13 written currently, all ranging from around 500-2000 words each, and there will likely be somewhere in the range of 20-25 total. Like my other side project, Long Lost Brother, this story will skip a lot of time between scenes as I have no desire to rewrite all seven years of Harry's education. Unlike Long Lost Brother, however, I actually have long-term plans for this story, so there is no need to fear abandonment.
That said, this story is a far departure from my usual fare, both in what I normally write and what I normally read. I rarely if ever will pick up a story that is not from Harry's point of view, while the entirety of this story will be from Tonks' point of view. Strange dichotomy, I know. But I just really loved the premise and the way Tonks' character came alive as I began writing. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I have writing it.
“Good evening, Nymphadora,” the headmaster greeted. “Thank you for coming.”
“It’s just Tonks, sir,” the teenaged Metamorphmagus replied with a resigned exasperation.
“You should never be ashamed of your name,” Dumbledore counseled.
“Yes sir,” she replied in an attempt to move the conversation along.
“Please, have a seat.”
She strode to the chair opposite the headmaster’s desk. This was not her first visit to his office, yet she still found her eyes being drawn to various instruments and knick-knacks scattered throughout the office and, of course, to the brilliant phoenix sitting on his perch near the window. She would not be surprised if it turned out to be the only phoenix she would ever see in her life.
Settling herself in the offered chair, she focused her attention back onto the headmaster who was seated at his desk with his hands steepled under his chin, gazing almost absent-mindedly in her direction.
“I suppose you are wondering why I called you here,” the man stated after a short silence.
“Yes, the question had crossed my mind,” she admitted, and Dumbledore gave a brief chuckle in response.
“I understand you have expressed a desire to become an auror.”
Tonks smiled and sat up straight in her seat. “Yes. Profosser Sprout has helped me for the past two years to make sure I have everything I need, and she helped me through the application process. I’ve been granted conditional acceptance into the auror training program pending my NEWT scores.”
“Congratulations. Training to become an auror is a laudable goal, one I commend you on. There is nothing more refreshing than seeing young people with a genuine desire to help others, a quality you appear to have in spades.”
“Thank you, sir,” Tonks replied, feeling a rush of heat suffuse her face at the praise.
“In fact, it is that very quality of yours that caused me to seek you out today – well, that and your rather unique ability,” Dumbledore explained mysteriously.
“Sir?” Tonks queried. There was little doubt as to what unique ability the headmaster was referencing. Metamorphmagi were one of the rarest beings on the planet. There were only a half dozen documented people with the ability in the entire world.
“May I presume that you are familiar with the story of the Boy-Who-Lived?” Dumbledore asked out of the blue.
Tonks rolled her eyes. “Of course, sir. Everyone’s heard of him. He only defeated the worst Dark Lord in ages – and as a baby to boot!”
The headmaster smiled indulgently. “Yes, of course. What you may not have considered, however, is that his story did not end that night. Unfortunately, neither did Voldemort’s.” Tonks jumped at the name. “Harry Potter defeated him, yes, but Voldemort was not killed. His body was destroyed, yet his spirit still lingers in this plane. I have stymied three attempts of his to regain corporeal form, but I fear it is only a matter of time before he succeeds.
“As for Harry Potter, he has grown up outside the influence of the wizarding world. So far as I am aware, he is ignorant of his true nature as a wizard as well as his status as an icon in our world.”
“Harry Potter thinks he’s a bloody Muggle?” Tonks blurted out in her shock.
“Not at all, my dear,” Dumbledore replied, confusing her even more. “He does not even know the wizarding world exists, which precludes such concepts as Muggle and wizard. You could say that he’s like any Muggle-born child in that respect.”
Tonks sat in silence gaping at the headmaster. How could Harry Bleeding Potter not know about the wizarding world or that he is a wizard?
“I don’t understand,” Tonks finally stated into the silence. “What does any of this have to do with me?”
“I’m afraid not everybody was pleased that Harry Potter defeated Voldemort.” Tonks flinched again at the name. “Many of his servants still roam free to this day. Since I placed Harry with his Muggle relatives, there have been several dozen attempts by various witches and wizards to reach him. Of them, I have confirmed over half a dozen to have been performed by former Death Eaters. While he lives with his relatives, Harry Potter is untouchable. I have erected the most powerful wards in existence, fueled by the blood relation to his mother’s sister, to protect him from harm of all kinds. No one seeking Harry Potter to harm him physically or use him for any means other than that which is to his direct benefit can find him. Not one of those several dozen attempts succeeded – not the Death Eaters looking to harm him nor even the admiring witches looking for his autograph. So long as he lives with his aunt, Harry Potter is untouchable.”
Dumbledore paused, and Tonks took a moment to think over his words. It made sense that he would protect the Boy-Who-Lived, and in light of all the people that had tried to get to Harry, keeping him out of the Wizarding World seemed logical as well. The one thing that was not adding up was why he was telling her any of this. What did he want from her?
“What you may also have never realized, never bothered to think of the timing, is that, this summer, Harry Potter will turn eleven years old.” Suddenly, all the puzzle pieces Dumbledore had been handing her began to fit together. “The blood protections I have invoked should protect him from Voldemort still, but there are many others who would seek his downfall – or seek to use him for their own selfish gains.”
“You’re saying he needs protection,” Tonks stated aloud as the thought was still forming in her head. “But you could go to anyone for that. You need me because…” And that is when realization fully dawned on her. “You want me to…” She shook her head. It was ludicrous. He couldn’t possibly be asking her to….
“Yes, Miss Tonks. I would like to enroll you into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – as a first year.”
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