"He spanked you?" Hestia exclaimed.

"Shh!" Tonks hissed, anxiously glancing around. "Not so loud."

Nymphadora Tonks had wasted no time telling her best friend all about last night' occurrences.

"And then he just sat there for a bit, rubbing my back and comforting me," she was explaining. Hestia didn't take much notice, but to Tonks, that fact made all the difference.

The two trainee aurors were on their way to an assignment. It was just a routine check-Mrs. Mellory's neighbour hadn't seen her out and about for a while and was getting worried-but Tonks relished any chance to be out and about, doing Real Auror Work.

"Anyways, I never thought they punished trainee aurors like that," she told her friend. "You'd better watch out, I bet Shacklebolt spanks hard."

"Not bloody likely," Hestia Jones retorted. "He'd never spank me."

"Oh, yeah?"

The witch nodded. "Shacklebolt would never."

"What does he do when you mess up then?" Tonks asked curiously.

Her friend shrugged. "I don't mess up," she replied, then glowered at Tonks' snicker.

"What?" Hestia asked defensively. "I don't."

"Oh, please," Tonks said between laughs, "I was at Hogwarts with you for seven years, I know what you're like. There's something you're not telling me here, so spill."

Hestia didn't answer her, but the crimson hue creeping up her neck gave her away.

Tonks took her chance.

"I bet he hexes you."

"He'd never!"

"I bet he puts a bat-bogey hex on you, or a pepper breath, or..."

But her friend stayed tight-lipped.

"Fine," Tonks shrugged. "Don't tell me. But I'm gonna find out what it is, you mark my words."

"Oh, shut up," Hestia retorted. "Besides, we're nearly there now."

Tonks looked up and saw a big, well-tended manor.

"Well, no wonder her neighbours haven't seen her out and about, not when she has all these gardens to walk around in," she commented.

"Should be an easy in-and-out job," Hestia agreed.

"Hey, wanna grab some firewhiskey before we go back?" Tonks asked.

No drinking on duty was a strict rule, but one that was rarely enforced. Whenever a task took less time than expected, the trainee aurors would find a pub to crash, or a lone park where they could smoke, or they'd play Dares and-well, perhaps best not mention that.

Hestia was already pulling on the doorbell when Tonks came out of her daydream.

The two witches waited patiently. Nothing.

Hestia rapped on the wooden door. "It's aurors Jones and Tonks from the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, requesting entry before we are forced to hex our way through..."

Nothing happened. If an inhabitant wasn't at home, or just wouldn't answer their door, protocol dictated to alert their commanding officer and get permission for Alohamora.

Tonks was already typing into her portable Walky-Typie when the door opened.

She gasped at the scene before her.