SECOND CHANCE


A/N: Hello readers, long time, no see! I know, I have been awfully busy and somehow this was the hardest chapter I have written for this story to date. It may not be on par with the rest but it is what I could do without further delay so, here you go…


Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and the other characters; they are the property of J. K. Rowling. I am merely playing with them. No money is being made from this fanfiction.


Chapter 8

Interlude

On Saturday, during lunch; Moody had stomped off to the two 'puffs' to handle their detentions. They had to meet him every two days at six o' clock for their detentions. Rumor had it that the old auror had made life hell for their attackers and that they were his most favourite students in Hogwarts. Harry could not help but look proud of himself whenever someone in Hufflepuff praised him for it. It was rare to see Hufflepuff house getting some glory and that made him kind of a hero in there too. Safe to say, life was going on good for our time-traveller.

Everything was not going so well, of course; while Charlie had kept his distance from the couple after the Halloween, Harry had too much experience with such Malfoy-esque people and knew that it was only a matter of time before he made another move. His grades especially in potions had started to suffer due to long hours he put in practicing battle type spells determined to make the most of his time travel; and not to mention, Quidditch.

It was with trepidation that Harry, rather Mark, as he was called and known as, and Tonks made their way to Moody's office. Remembering his visit to fake Moody's office in his fourth year, he was not surprised to see the office looking nearly the same with dark detectors and other instruments covering nearly every corner of the room. Grudgingly, he admitted that Crouch Jr. had done a very thorough job in impersonating Moody.

Moody gestured for them to take a seat before him and looked deep in thought, after a few moments' silence, he started speaking in his usual gruff voice, "I will be honest, you two have the most potential for becoming aurors that I have seen in quite some time."

Harry and Tonks managed to look not too proud of themselves, but sat a little straighter in their respective seats.

"Regardless, you still have another year here before you can even try to appear for the training examination. I hate to see potential going waste and I would hate to see you two bollocksing it up when I am not here after this year." He continued. Harry and Tonks shared a glance wondering where this conversation was heading to.

"It is for this very reason I propose if you would like to take your Defence NEWT this year rather than the next year." Moody finished and looked at them expectantly.

Harry was almost jumping in joy, thinking it over once again, he could not see any fault in it. Seeing as the next year was going to have Quirrell as the DADA teacher while being possessed by Voldemort. Only concern he could see was it would attract unwanted attention from the Dark Lord that two of the students took exams of the subject he was teaching, a year early.

Tonks on the other hand blurted out, "Why? I mean we are neck deep in homework without NEWTs being this year as it is." She explained seein Moody's raised eyebrow.

"The standard of teachers in this particular subject has been rather lacking with a few notable exceptions. I was merely hoping that you two would secure required NEWT score in Defence this year only and thus make it easy for entry in Auror academy." Moody explained. "I would rather you take your time before making any decision, of the sorts; but give me an answer before December. I would have to pull a few strings to get everything done smoothly if you choose so." He said and then stood up waving his wand to clear some space in the office.

"Now, as to your detention; seeing that the two of you got it after wiping the floor with Weasley and his goons, I thought why don't we see if you are as good as everyone think you to be." Moody said. Neither Tonks nor Harry like the smirk on his face one bit.

Two and a half hours later, Moody was still sporting the same smirk and though he was bleeding from a few places and his breathing was a bit labored, he was the better off of the three duelists. Harry and Tonks, on the other hand had gotten their butts handed to them. Apparently, Moody was holding back when he had first dueled Harry for his DADA OWL exam and had underestimated the kid. Now, he had wiped the floor with the two.

"You have got the stamina and teamwork down pat. You just have to work on increasing your arsenal and experience. That's what I am here for in these 'detentions'." Moody spoke after the three used their combined healing knowledge and experience to heal themselves. None of them wanted to face the wrath of Madam Pomfrey, especially after she had to treat Mark and Tonks just a few days back.

"You laddie, you have to work on keeping your surroundings and partner in perspective; trust her to take care of herself." Moody growled to Harry who nodded sheepishly, he tended to go into tunnel vision whenever he dueled and Moody had used that against him expertly.

"You lass, you need to work on your balance and coordination; I know it's hard as your body is almost constantly in change but I meant it when I said that you two had to most potential to become aurors that I have seen." Moody said in a softer voice to Tonks whose eyes looked surprisingly shiny.

"Good job, you two. We will meet again in two days' time. There better be improvement then." Moody growled dismissing them.

The two nodded and walked towards the door when Moody's voice sounded again, "Ah, almost forgot; next time you have to bring me two rolls in parchment on 'Useful curses and jinxes in numerically disadvantageous situations.' With your weaker hand." He smirked enjoying their groans. "Get going then." He chuckled.


"Are you okay, Tonks?" Harry asked as they walked towards the Hufflepuff common room.

Tonks, who still looked that she would cry anytime nodded and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. "Yes, just that I always wanted to be an auror when I heard all the horrible things my relatives have done. My mum was a Black you know, and they were quite evil. Disowned my mum when she married dad, just because he is a Muggleborn." She spoke "Being an auror is my way to make some repairs for what they have done." She continued.

"I am sure you would be a fantastic auror, Tonks. And just because your relatives were evil does not mean you would be like them. Your mum is a fine example of this." Harry spoke and gave her a pat on the back unsure what more to do when Tonks looked even more teary.

"Thanks, Mark." Tonks wiped her eyes again and turning towards Harry started to move her face closer to his when they were startled by Peeves emerging from behind them cackling madly pelting the Weasley twins with chalk.

"Er, uhm, right; let's get moving before he decides that we would be better targets." Harry said awkwardly and started again towards the common room. 'What is this with girls crying and kissing me?' he thought.

Tonks gave Peeves her most venomous glare and stalked off towards the common room behind Harry.

Once in the common room the two decided to finish off Moody's assignment as it would take the most time. The facts were not too hard to find with all the extra reading material Moody had provided the two with but the temptation to write using their dominant hand was too much and thus almost an hour was spent without any work being done.

Letting out a frustrated sigh, Tonks closed her eyes and threw another ruined parchment away. She bolted upright as an idea struck her. Flanking at Mark who too was tearing off a ruined parchment, she got up and slid her chair besides his.

"What are you doing Tonks?" Harry asked her warily.

"Oh nothing, just got an idea." She said with a devious gleam in her eyes.

Now turning his attention completely towards the smirking girl, Harry gestured for her to continue. Tonks just sat down on her chair and grasped his right hand with her both and started drawing circled on the back of his hand.

"Uh, Tonks; what are you doing?" Harry asked in a shaky voice, blushing a little.

"Oh silly, now you will not be able to use your right hand, and thusly complete the homework with your left." Tonks said brightly.

"That makes sense, but what about you?" Harry spoke after swallowing nervously due to Tonks now pressing her whole side against his right hand.

"You finish yours first, I will do mine tomorrow." She said sighing exasperatedly.

"But wouldn't that take twice the time?" Harry was persistent.

"Oh hush you" she said rolling her eyes and kissed him squarely on the lips, "Besides, we were not getting anywhere anyway." She said enjoying his breathless, wide eyed look "Now, hurry up." She chirped and continued to pretend reading a book on the table pressing herself fully to his right arm.

Harry just touched his lips again, thinking about the kiss. Taking a deep breath, he started on his assignment trying not to notice Tonks now pressing her more and more to his right side.

By the time he had finished, Tonks had fallen asleep using his arm as a makeshift pillow and the common room was empty. He cleared off the table and tried to extract his arm from her without rousing her from her slumber but did not have much success.

"Good night Tonks" he said kissing her forehead and drifted off.


They were woken up the next morning by none other than a very stern looking Professor Sprout. "Miss Tonks, Mr. Jacobs; what is the meaning of this?" she asked.

"What's the meaning of what?" Tonks said squinting at her, her brain only half kicked into gear due to sleep.

"This, sleeping in the common room. Together." Sprout hissed gesturing in their direction.

By this time Harry had woken up enough to be of use, Tonks had already started snoring softly; "Well you see, professor Sprout, we were doing Professor Moody's assignment an I guess we fell asleep." Harry replied trying to look sheepish.

"Next time, Mr. Jacobs; do try to finish your assignments before falling asleep and more importantly, make use of your dormitories." Sprout snapped and walked away with a huff.

Sighing, Harry cast a tempus charm and seeing that it was still quite early, tried to drift off to sleep again; a good decision, seeing that Tonks had somehow managed to grip his hand again.

But sleep did not come for him, and he laid there trying in vain to clear his head and will himself to sleep. As Tonks took a turn and ended up more on hi than on the chairs, his thoughts drifted to the kiss she had given him the previous day. 'Did she mean anything by it?' he asked himself. If it had been the Tonks of old, he would have said that no, she did not mean anything; but this Tonks was different. But, on the other hand, she had returned to her usual playfulness around him. The more Harry thought about that, the more confused he got. Time travel or not, girls were still a mystery for him.


As the days passed and his visit to the Tonkses neared, Harry was caught in a dilemma. What should he tell them about himself? He was under no illusions that they would not catch him somehow or that he would be able to fool them completely. The Blacks were masters of misleading and subtlety was not his strongest trait. A part of him wanted to trust them completely and tell them everything fully, it would be nice to be able to talk to someone freely about that stuff and Tonks was his friend in the previous timeline. Another part of him wanted to be wary of them and tell them only half-truths, after all he didn't know if they would not try to stop him from changing time or make some changes themselves.

With a frustrated sigh, he concentrated on changing the name 'Harry Potter' to 'Mark Jacobs' and intoned "Confundo" on the Marauder's map. He was preparing it for their excursion to meet Andromeda and it would raise a lot of questions is Tonks saw the map showing him as Harry Potter, especially when he was still confused whether to tell them or not.

The letters blurred for a moment but again righted themselves and the dot showed 'Harry Potter' as if mocking him. Harry cursed viciously and wished he could overpower the bloody parchment into submission but Moody had stamped off that habit quite well and had gotten him to fine tune his magic.

It had taken time, certainly, but Moody had started just after that dueling competition. He had asked him to balance a hair at a particular level all the while maintaining a shield to stop Moody's attacks from harming him. A hit or any fluctuation in the chair's position would result in disqualification and Harry being practice dummy for Moody's lessons for next lecture. He had been given another wand by Moody which he used left handed for levitation, his own for the shield.

He had whined about it at first. "I certainly do not see the need of this 'fine-tuning'." Harry had said arrogantly, the hidden 'I can overpower almost anyone' was not so hidden. Moody had trounced him soundly without breaking even a sweat and after Harry had magically exhausted himself, had said; "What would you do now, boy? Anyone with a touch of skill and almost equal magical power can hold out until you exhaust yourself; what then?"

It was due to this lesson, Harry was determined to get the map to change without using all his might. Also he wanted to see how much power Crouch Jr. would have had to use to confound the Goblet of Fire in his fourth year. Taking a deep breath to clear his head, Harry started again. "Confundo" he pushed his will to make the change happen, he poured more and more of intent behind the spell, magical power was still not significant enough to be noticed by someone having as much as Harry but the change happened and the dot on the map now showed 'Mark Jacobs'. Harry sighed again and wiped the map off with a muttered "Mischief managed" he would see if the change holds till tomorrow morning.

Saturday evening, two disillusioned figures could be seen making their way through Hogsmeade if one looked carefully enough. Harry and Tonks had successfully snuck out of the common room and subsequently out of the school and Tonks was expressing her astonishment quite vocally. Harry was very thankful for the silencing sphere Moody had taught them.

"That was amazing Mark, and that map you have; bloody brilliant. I am jealous; you have the coolest gadget in the History of Hogwarts and you came here just this year." Tonks gushed.

"Well at least I came this year, what would have happened had I remained in America altogether?" Harry teased.

"Then it would have been a bloody nightmare." Tonks shivered in mock horror, "And I am glad that you came here this year." She spoke quietly and Harry did not hear her.

As Tonks continued to chatter about the map, Harry reflected upon their journey out of Hogwarts. They were nearly caught by filch but some quick thinking by Tonks had saved them. Harry wished he still had his dad's invisibility cloak, not only to see Tonks' reaction but also for the ease of movement in the castle. But the cloak was still with Dumbledore, speaking of whom; he had sent Mark Jacobs a note expressing desire for a meeting with him tomorrow in his office after breakfast.

In a way, Harry had been anticipating this ever since his hit and run attack on Halloween but he was still wary of the Headmaster. Long hours of thinking about his past life had made him aware of many manipulations the old wizard had done in order to enforce his plans and Harry was very cautious to keep Dumbledore guessing so that he cannot stop him from making some changes or worse, controlling him somehow and being the puppet master.

Tonks knocked at the door of Tonks' residence and it was opened at once by her mother. "Nymphadora, Mr. Jacobs." She greeted, though her voice was quite cold. Tonks winced at her name.

"Mark please, Mrs. Tonks, good evening." Harry greeted.

"Wotcher mum." Tonks said cheekily waving at her mother.

"Care to explain why have you two snuck out of the school at night while we could have had this meeting tomorrow, which is Sunday." Andromeda asked.

"Oh mum, you need to loosen up a bit. After all, how many students can say that they successfully snuck out of Hogwarts?" Tonks said dragging Harry off to the couch in the sitting room.

Mrs. Tonks looked absolutely furious and Harry wondered what kind of trouble Tonks would be in but then she too came into the sitting room and took seat on a chair before them. "Mark, to what do I owe the pleasure of this meeting?" she asked.

"I wanted to discuss my presence for the Christmas party." Harry said and Andromeda raised an eyebrow in curiosity revealing nothing much.

"Uh… I just wanted to ask if it would be alright if I brought another guest." He said nervously, Andromeda merely raised her other eyebrow, "Well, would it be okay if I brought Harry Potter to the party?" he asked.

Now Andromeda was very curious, how in the name of Merlin did this boy know Harry Potter enough to be able to bring him to their party, and he was a foreigner to boot. Her mind got working and she started to connect the dots. 'Harry Potter is related to the Blacks via his grandmother, Dorea; none of the disowned Blacks are survived by any children apart from me, that is; means this Mark Jacobs is actually Harry Potter. But how? And this boy was able to one of our family spells, all the more reason to believe that my hypothesis is indeed correct.' Deciding to startle him enough to get answers from him she carefully blurted out, looking that she was shocked "You are Harry Potter."

Tonks looked at her as if she had lost her mind, or gone bullocks in her words, while Mark, Harry looked at her in shock, 'How did she find out?' he thought, "H-how?" he could blurt out after nearly three minutes of stunned silence in the household. Tonks looked at him in hurt and betrayal at hearing his voice, it was almost a confession.

"Are you or not?" Andromeda pressed giving nothing away.

Sighing wearily, Harry answered "Yes I am." 'Looks like the secret is out, eh.' Tonks looked almost to the point of tears but held them at bay, she wanted to hear more of the story as she was certain her mother would squeeze out of Mark, Harry. 'Damn, what do I call him now?' Andromeda smirked in satisfaction.

"Well then, Mr. Potter; mid telling us how are you here, or must I say how are you now?" Andromeda asked.

Harry contemplated his options, he could tell them, he was more and more inclined to this one as Andromeda had certainly showed the she had brains or that she is a very good bluffer; she could, nonetheless, point out holes in his story lest he hides something. And she was Sirius' cousin, his favourite cousin, he could trust her. That made his mind up; sighing he said, "Okay, but you would have to take an oath of silence till I say it is okay to come out with the truth."

"Why would we do that?" Andromeda asked.

"The oath, or I tell you nothing; this information is very sensitive." Harry said, by now he had his wand out, he did not know how to do the memory charm but he could very well pretend, couldn't he?

Seeing his wand pointing at her and looking at the resolve in his eyes, Andromeda sighed and took the oath. "Thank you, Mrs. Tonks." Harry said and when Tonks did not take the oath, he sighed wearily and said, "You will have to take the oath too, Tonks."

"Why? Why would I trust you when you could not trust me to tell me about it?" Tonks asked at the verge of tears, raising her head defiantly.

Harry winced, "This is not a matter of trust, Tonks. I could not very well go around saying that I had time-travelled." Harry said looking at her.

"Do it, Nymphie dear; we should listen to his reasons before deciding anything. Time travel is not a trivial matter." Andromeda said gently, vacating her seat she switched places with Harry and put an arm around her daughter to comfort her.

Tonks looked none too pleased to do so but she too took the oath and Harry started to tell his story, he told them all; about Quirrell in first year to basilisk in the second, Sirius' innocence and subsequent death, the Triwizard tournament, Voldemort's rebirth, he told them everything without leaving a single detail out. Both the Tonks women were in tears by the time he finished, especially the part about Sirius' death was emotionally jarring for them. Harry did not notice but he too was in tears by the time he had finished his story, Tonks still looked angry at him tough.

Deciding that tea would be good after such emotionally jarring tale, Andromeda wiped her tears away and got up to make tea and Tonks finally had the opportunity to vent her anger on Harry. "So, you became my friend only because you know me from your time?" she started to say in an accusatory voice. She was not angry at being kept in dark, no, she understood the reasoning behind that perfectly; no, she was angry because she thought Harry had approached her only because he knew her in the past; and his responses to her were calculated from the future. Add her increasing attraction to him, she was enraged even further.

Fortunately for Harry, he guessed right about what was bothering his friend that much and he explained, "No Tonks, it's nothing like that. I became friends with you because of who you are, not who I knew you to be. We did not even spend that much time with each other, barely a week, but you were a friend to me then and you are a friend to me now." He also told her about her thoughtful gift to him for Christmas. The toy Firebolt had done a huge part in cheering him up and making him forget about certain things.

Still Tonks looked a bit mollified but still somewhat distant. Harry sighed, he would have to give her time, he just hoped that he did not lose his friend, and dare he admit it, his crush, potential girlfriend, to such a trivial reason. He liked her, more than friends, he knew he was attracted to her but he did not dare act upon it, what if he hurt her, he did not have any experience in dating except from one disastrous date with Cho, and he didn't even know if Tonks liked him that way. Wishing that Hermione were there to help him in this particular matter, he waited for Andromeda to bring tea.

His gaze drifted off to a photograph on the wall, it contained a young Andromeda, around twenty years of age; in her hands was a sleeping Tonks whose hair was still changing colours. Beside her was a tall blonde man, he had blue eyes and a lean build, he had his arm wrapped around her. The couple was laughing happily and there was obvious love in the photograph; he could easily compare it to his parents' photo he had in his album. 'So this is Tonks' father; I have not seen him around here before. He was alive in my time, wasn't he? Tonks did say "My dad is a Muggleborn and he is a right old slob…" wonder where he is now?' Harry thought.

Andromeda had brought tea and saw Harry looking at her and Ted's photograph, a tear came unbidden to her eye as she thought about her deceased husband. Clearing her throat she served the tea and took her seat avoiding looking at the other occupants in the room. Her thoughts weighing heavily towards her innocently imprisoned cousin and her husband.

"So, what do you plan on doing now?" Andromeda asked once they had finished tea.

"What do you mean?" Harry asked confusedly.

"I mean, that now that you are in the past, what do you plan to do? Something tells me that you are not simply going to wait for your time period to end and do nothing in the meanwhile, you were too much at the centre of all that happened in your time." She clarified.

Harry had to give it to the woman, she was intelligent; frighteningly so, and to in a Hermione way. "I uh… I plan to change some things here and there, save the Flamels for example, they could be valuable in the coming war, save Cedric, Sirius; make sure that all that happened on the past does not affect me that badly as it did the first time around." He told her.

Andromeda raised an eyebrow, the boy certainly had thought about it, at length; still, she wanted to make sure that he knew all the consequences of meddling with time. "You do realize that the more you meddle, the more changes would be brought there in the timeline?" she asked.

Harry nodded, "Yes, I know that; but to stop the time paradox thing everyone is warning me about, I just have to make sure that the duel between Voldemort and the younger me goes as it had in the first time; I can make that happen and save so many lives in the process, it is not for the better?" he said.

"Yes, it is quite for the better, but still you should be careful. Very well Harry Potter, you have my support, I shall not stop you, or hinder you what so ever in your endeavour." Andromeda spoke.

Harry raised an eyebrow, he was thankful for the vote of confidence and had no doubt that she was a great witch, but what was she, the way she gave support to him, she made it look like she was some really important person. As far as he knew, Andromeda Tonks was not somebody that important, was she? "Uh… thank you, Mrs. Tonks. Andromeda." He corrected at her glare.

Harry and Tonks bid her mother farewell and departed for Hogwarts not long after. Andromeda, on the other hand smiled deviously, former unspeakable had the perfect cards to exact revenge on her bigoted employers. She cackled with glee, sounding more like he sister Bellatrix than she would like to admit. Oh yes, she had the ace indeed, she would just have to make sure that the boy does not fail in his adventure.


A/N: So, how was it? Not too bad, I hope.

Read and review, people. I am really thankful for all the support you have given me. Hope you liked Andromeda. She is not crazy people, but I guess sometimes we all want to cackle evilly, she was just having one of those moments.

No, she is not looking to manipulate Harry, she is just trying to guide him to the safest path towards victory, she would not keep him in dark, she would come clean, eventually, just not now. Andromeda's back-story will be told in time. So be patient about that.


On a side note, BETA WANTED. I want a beta, someone who has a lot of free time and does not hesitate to type a few pages if I give him some ideas. If interested, please PM.

See you again soon, I hope.