A/N: Sorry for the long wait, a downside of having more than one multi chapter stories going on at the same time is that once you start getting inspiration/ideas for one of them, the others are put on hold. So again, sorry. Here is the ninth chapter of the story. Enjoy!
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 by this.
Tonks had been quite distant as they trudged back to the castle; she had not spoken to him all throughout the path and even in the school, she had only spoken when she needed to check the map for directions.
After they had completed their journey to the Hufflepuff common room in an uncomfortable silence, Harry bade Tonks goodnight and retreated to his dormitory. He would give her space, he figured. Tonks was not the type of person who sit on their feelings too much and he guessed she would confront him with whatever had been eating her up in her own time.
But, is she right? He could not help but think to himself as he laid on his bed; Have I really been calculating my moves around her based on what I perceived her to be in the previous timeline? He asked himself; the answer came to him in a flash, Tonks' dad was alive in my timeline but this time he is more than likely dead, as I have neither seen him on the occasions I have been there, nor has he been mentioned by Tonks or Andromeda. Maybe Tonks' behavior is also a result of botched up timeline.
The more he thought about the matter the more convinced he got as to his theory. Particularly, when he took into account his younger self's changed living conditions; he became almost certain that the change in Tonks' personality was due to the botched up timeline. He decided not to dwell on the matter for the moment and put it to the back of his mind.
As he lay on his bed pondering over the events of the day; his thoughts turned to the coming meeting with Dumbledore. He was still unsure what to make of the man, on one hand, he had been the grandfatherly figure, a mentor in his life that he so dearly lacked; on the other hand, though, he struck Harry as a manipulative man who has a use for Harry and had plans in which Harry was deeply involved. One thing Harry was certain about Dumbledore was that he would go to any limits to do what he perceived as the right course of action. That much he had proved in his previous five years of magical education. The yearly adventures, when looked upon with cold logic, made no sense if Dumbledore was ignorant of the goings-on in the school as he projected to be.
Right, giving away minimal information tomorrow it is, then. Harry thought tiredly; Easier said than done.
Harry did not sleep well that night; thoughts and theories that had been in his mind haunted his dreams. Nightmares about Tonks and Dumbledore ganging up on him and forcing him to retch up all the information about the future plagued him with an Andromeda-Bellatrix hybrid making occasional appearance.
Sunday morning came and Harry was, as usual, the first one up in his dormitory, though not as well rested as he usually used to be. He took a quick shower and hurried downstairs to wait for Tonks. He had to sit around for almost half an hour in anonymity as no one had woken up when Tonks came from her dormitory looking like she too had not had a good night's sleep.
"Morning Tonks." He greeted half-heartedly.
"Morning Mark." She said dully, almost in the identical tone.
"Breakfast?" he asked.
"Yeah, let's go." Again, her voice was a dull monotone as if she was just forcing herself to reply to him. Harry had plenty experience of such tone of voice as he had himself used the same many times to agree with his relatives on things that he did not like.
They walked to the Great Hall in another uncomfortable silence. As usual for Hogwarts on weekends, the students had decided to sleep in so the Hall was occupied by the teachers with a couple of Ravenclaws eating on their respective table.
Harry kept glancing towards Tonks but she did not try to start a conversation and he did not want to start a forced conversation where it could reach to the teachers and spike their curiosity. After all, he and Tonks had been nearly inseparable since he had come to school and he did not want to raise questions in Dumbledore's mind; he was sure that the old Headmaster would pick up and join the pieces if he did. Albus Dumbledore was anything but dumb. And he did not want to give Dumbledore any clues before his meeting.
After a small breakfast spent entirely in silence, Harry steeled his nerves and turned to Tonks. He had an hour before the meeting with Dumbledore and with the students starting to come for breakfast; he did not want to have any possible altercation in the Great Hall. My life has been enough of a public spectacle anyways.
"Let's go to the lake." He suggested.
Tonks nodded and the two made their way to the Quidditch pitch and beyond towards the lake in complete silence. Upon reaching there, Harry put up a basic privacy charm that Moody had taught them and turned to Tonks.
"Look Tonks, I do not know what the problem is but something is bothering you." Harry said awkwardly. It was funny how once he started the sentence his words got lost somewhere.
"I am perfectly fine, Mark, or should I call you Harry now." Tonks replied shortly.
"Call me Mark here, I would do not want to risk another person knowing the secret." Harry said in exasperation but forced himself to calm his rising irritation. "Is it about why I didn't tell you that I was really Harry Potter?" he asked after taking a few deep breaths to calm down.
"No, it is not about that; to be honest I quite understand why you would not tell me that." Tonks said.
"Then what is it about?"
"Are you Mark, or are you Harry?" Tonks asked in a stronger voice.
"What is that supposed to mean?" Harry asked in confusion.
"I mean," Tonks said; "that when you talk to me now, do you talk to me as Mark who did not know me before school just a few months ago, or do you talk to me as Harry who knows my future self and thus reacts in the way he would have reacted to her?"
Harry got more and more confuse as Tonks put her thoughts into words; taking a few minutes to dissect her explanation and thinking upon it, he answered her, putting his thoughts into words very carefully so as to fully convey their meaning, "I am Mark, but I am also Harry." He spoke, "When I talk to you, I see in you what Harry saw in Tonks a year ago, a fun loving individual who was really perceptive and kind, even to those who did not bother to interact with her too much.
"Though, this Tonks which I see now, this Tonks is a bit more sensitive than she was, at least that's what the impression I got, a bit shier; but you are still the same person who gifted me a toy model of my broomstick when it was confiscated by that evil toad, and admittedly, we did not talk much back then so I was as much of a stranger to you as I was in September, but yeah, you still understood me perfectly. And before you say anything, this Tonks too, becomes just as easy going as the other one once she is comfortable. So, I am Mark, as well as Harry when I talk to you, when I see you." Harry replied, willing her to see that he was speaking the truth.
Tonks pondered over Mark's words; she could see that he was telling the truth. That much was plainly visible in his eyes and body language, but the main question was if she wanted to let her feelings for him continue to grow? Her growing attraction to him was one of the major reasons for her confusion and this wall between them, and still she did not know the answer to her dilemma. Her relationships tended to be rocky, she was prone to distance herself off emotionally after the first few steps, it grew so much that she had started to distance herself away from her friends and potential relations but could she do that to Mark? Would he just let her do that? These questions she had no answers for and she needed more time to find them.
Looking over at Mark, she saw him looking at her expectantly, curiously and realized that she had not said anything to him for a long time, "I will need some time, Mark." She said, "I will need some time to sort this mess out."
Harry was confused by her answer. What mess? Didn't we just clear it now? But realized that maybe, it was one of many problems that had been bothering her for quite some time, the eyes, at least said so, "In the meanwhile, we are friends, right?" Harry asked, uncertain due to the conflict in her eyes.
"Yes, we are friends." She replied, nodding for emphasis.
Leaving Tonks in the library around 10 o'clock, Harry walked towards Dumbledore's office for the meeting. He reached the stone gargoyle guarding the entrance quite quickly due to his knowledge of Hogwarts' shortcuts. Taking deep breaths to calm his emotions and employing Occlumency to keep his thoughts in check he gave the gargoyle the password and mounted the spiral staircase to the office. Mustering as much confidence as he could, he knocked on the door.
"Enter." Dumbledore's voice came from the other side.
Harry entered the office to see a peculiar sight. Dumbledore was trying to feed Fawkes some lemon drops. Trying was the main word as the phoenix kept dodging the hand feeding him sometimes even coming close to pecking Dumbledore with its sharp beak. As soon as Harry entered, Fawkes gave a squawk of fright and flew up behind him, keeping Harry as a shield between itself and the Headmaster.
Dumbledore made a sour face at the bird, then turning his eyes to Harry, he chuckled, "Take a seat, Mark."
Harry seated himself in one of the overstuffed chintz armchairs and after rejecting the customary offer of lemon drops looked at Dumbledore expectantly.
Dumbledore sat in silence for a while and as Harry was getting impatient, waved his wand around the office a few times. Finally he spoke, "Mr. Potter, in the last meeting you told me that you are a tie traveler; now that meeting was a bit hasty, so I was unable to ask many questions then. As I have had some time to ponder over your issue, I realized many loopholes in your story."
Harry just sat there, taking in what the old wizard was saying. He realized that he would have to give up some information, but how much Dumbledore knew, he did not know.
"In the last meeting, you yourself volunteered information about you being a time traveler to me, I did not deduce it. As far as I know of the working of the Ministry of Magic, which is quite a bit between you and me, the Department of Mysteries has protocols to bind such cases in oath, then how were you able to volunteer information to me?" Dumbledore asked.
Harry heard the question, it was certain that Dumbledore had caught many such details in the previous meeting; he thought about all the information he knew on the man; Dumbledore was the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot. He was bound to know such cases. That's it, Smith and Brown said something of the effect. "I was told by the DOM that Chief Warlock is notified about such cases immediately, so I was able to give you information which you already had." Harry replied, but looking at Dumbledore's face, it was clear that somehow the information had not reached him.
Dumbledore's face closed off after hearing Harry's explanation. He had forgotten about that protocol and had made all his questions assuming Harry had somehow evaded the oath and thusly wanted to change the timeline. He had called the young man here to dissuade him from changing anything and to gleam what, if any, he had changed already. He would have to gather more information before he proceeded.
Discretely, Dumbledore extracted his wand and keeping it hidden from Harry, gave it a wave in the direction of the numerous instruments he kept on the adjacent shelf. At once, a number of instruments started spinning and emitting noises. Dumbledore got up carefully and made a show of examining the instruments; after a few seconds he waved his wand one final time and stopped all the noises.
"I am sorry, my dear boy; but I would have to cut this meeting short. I am needed elsewhere." Dumbledore said looking at Harry apologetically.
"No problem, Professor." Harry said and stood up to leave all the while cheering inside.
"Before you leave, Mr. Potter; I would like to know the names of the Unspeakables who handled your…incident."
"They were gents Smith and Brown and Healer Murton." Harry replied after a few moments to refresh his memory.
"Thank you, my boy; you may go now." Dumbledore said absently stroking his beard.
After Harry had exited the office, Dumbledore walked to the fireplace and throwing a pinch of glittery floo powder in the flames shouted, "Broderick Bode, Department of Mysteries, Ministry of Magic."
His head spun for a few moments before a dark office came into view, a rather haggard looking man was working on a few papers that littered his desk, occasionally waving his wand at one of the numerous curiosities lying about.
"Broderick." Dumbledore called, clearing his throat.
"Albus Dumbledore!" Bode greeted warmly with a bit of surprise, "How may I be of use?" he asked cautiously peering at Dumbledore with his characteristic unfaltering gaze.
Dumbledore did not show any sign of unease by the unblinking curious gaze directed upon him, an achievement that not many accomplished, "I came here to gather some information about Agents Smith and Brown from the time room, their last case to be more precise." He said.
"A time-traveler, eh?" Bode remarked, "Let me check a bit." He said going to the shelf behind his desk and pulling out a large scroll of parchment from the assorted books.
"Hmm, here is; Agent Smith and his team have gone to Germany to check up on rumors of rituals leading to temporal anomalies since June 21." Bode replied after looking through the parchment.
"When are they supposed to return?" Dumbledore asked getting a little impatient.
"Sometime in January; after New Year holidays." Bode replied nervously.
"Inform me as soon as they do; I have many things to discuss with them." Dumbledore said, inclining his head towards Bode and vanished from the fireplace.
Bode merely shrugged and went back to his work, though a little amusement could be seen in his eyes. It is always interesting to see Albus when he doesn't get something he wants.
Harry pulled out the Marauders' Map as soon as he was out of Dumbledore's office. "Let's see if he goes anywhere or if it is an elaborate set up." He muttered to himself.
Looking in the map, he found the dot named 'Albus Dumbledore' pacing around in his office before he went to the wall on the right side and became immobile for a few minutes. That crafty bugger, all of this set up just because he did not know my hand. Got lucky this time too, I guess; next time I am going to have to be prepared.
Stalking Dumbledore done, Harry turned his attention to the second most important task on hand; finding Tonks. This was not so difficult when you had the map created by four of the most successful pranksters to ever roam the halls of Hogwarts and the map recognized you as its true owner. Indeed, the map had labeled him as 'Prongs Jr.' once he had spilled a bit of blood on it accidentally. I wonder what it would label Sirius' children as. Padtoe? Harry snickered at the thought and saw that Tonks was still in the Library.
Remembering the conversation about her needing space, he decided to head to the Quidditch pitch to fly some. Flying always seemed to clear his head. Nodding to himself he made his way to the Common Room to pick up his broom and strode towards the Quidditch Pitch. Before he could reach in the grounds though, he was met by Allison, his captain.
"Hey there, seeker boy; decided to get some flying in?" Allison spoke in her usual manner.
"Hey Allie; yeah, it's such a great day to be cooped up indoors. What about you?" Harry said.
"Yeah, you are right about that; well, let's go." She said enthusiastically and looped her arm through his.
Harry shook his head at her enthusiasm and led her towards the grounds.
"Let me get my broom." Allie said once they had reached the courtyard. Harry just nodded and took off, flying circles around the courtyard waiting for Allie to show up.
Allie finally got her broom and joined him in the sky after a few minutes. Harry could not be sure but he thought that she was purposely sitting arching her back so that her chest was thrust out a bit more.
"Do you always keep your broom in the Locker room?" Harry asked curiously; usually Quidditch players mainly, kept their brooms as close as possible to themselves as they did not want anyone sabotaging them.
"What? No, it was just damaged a bit, so I gave it to Madam Hooch to see if she could repair it." She replied.
Harry just nodded as they performed some maneuvers for their upcoming match against Ravenclaw next week, just after the first game of the year between Slytherin and Gryffindor. It's not like everyone can afford a top of the line broomstick.
"Say Mark, what's been bothering you?" Allie asked after a few minutes of silence.
"Huh…nothing, I am fine." Harry replied not paying too much attention. His usual method of flying to clear his head did not seem to work as thoughts of Tonks kept coming to his head.
"No, you are not; come on, you can tell me."
"Really Allie, I am fine." Harry said with a sigh.
Allison gave him a look that plainly said, 'Really?' "Come on Mark, even a blind person can tell you are not fine." She said. When Harry continued to look ahead, remaining silent; she added, "And I need my seeker at his A-game next week."
Harry thought about what Allie was saying, she was his friend; she had been in the school for seven years now; she was a friend to Tonks too, she could help him out. His decision made, he grabbed her hand, "Fine, but not here." He said directing her broom to fly alongside him.
Harry took Allie to the secluded spot on the shore of the Black lake near forbidden forest; descending from their brooms they sat on the outcropping rock near the shore. Allie turned top Harry expectantly.
"Just one more thing." Harry said and waved his wand around them casting a privacy charm.
Allison rolled her eyes, "Careful there Mark, be a bit more paranoid and people would get the wrong idea." She said playfully.
Harry blushed a little but did not say anything; instead he cleared his throat to get rid of embarrassment and said, "Would that be a bad thing?" he teased back uncomfortably.
Allison's eyes went round as saucers, her lips opened in a perfect 'O'. mark rarely teased anyone back, he was too shy around people. As her thoughts of the previous conversation came back, she narrowed her eyes at him, "Stop trying to side track me, tell what is bothering you so we can make it right and I can get my seeker back." She said in a huff.
Harry sighed, it was no use trying to distract Allie now, she had gone into her 'Captain mode'. "It's Tonks." He said uncomfortably.
"Now you are making sense." Allison cried triumphantly; "What about her?" she asked more soberly.
Harry waved his hands around in frustration, "It is just so frustrating." He said.
"What is? If you wouldn't tell me I would not be able to help you." Allison said rolling her eyes but looking at him in concern, she had not seen him display much emotion anytime.
"I am trying, okay; it's hard." Harry bit out shortly. Allison rubbed his back a little to provide him some comfort and support.
Harry took a deep breath, "It's just, we have been together pretty much ever since I arrived here." Harry said, "When I had first arrived here, she was not much comfortable around me and came out as a pretty shy person, quite understandable really, I myself feel uncomfortable around pretty much everyone in the castle, but I digress; so when we got to know each other better, when she started to get more comfortable around me, she came out as an easy going, carefree, fun loving, even flirtatious person.
"So, I started to act around her as I would to any other fun loving friend; and now she accuses me that I have been acting strangely around her, that I have been trying to mold her into something she is not." Harry said, breathing heavily by the time he finished, running his hand through his hair as a carbon copy of James Potter.
Allison thought about what Mark had just told her for a long time; it was clear to her that Tonks' previous failed relationships and her growing attraction to the boy besides her had made her act in her usual manner; that is pushing away. But she could not just tell him about this, she respected Tonks' desire of privacy even if the metamorphmagus had not directly talked to her about this. It was something that Tonks would have to reveal to Mark herself, if she ever does.
"Have you tried talking to her?" she asked finally. First I have to know where they stand.
"Yeah we talked today, in the morning." Harry mumbled.
"And…" she prompted.
"And… she told me that she needed some time alone to figure things out." Harry said running his hand through his hair again.
It seems like she is getting ready to share her demons with him, that or trying harder to push him away. "I don't see what the problem is, then? If she says giver her time, then giver her time." She said looking at him curiously.
"That's the main problem; Tonks is not like that, she is the kind of person who would tell what they think firsthand, she is not someone who broods, no matter how much it hurts her; she is not the kind of person to hide her me, I know her." Harry replied in an anguished voice.
Oh Allison, so oblivious, and here you thought he would notice you. "There is not much I can help you about this." Allison said after a few moments, hiding the pain in her voice as she said this; "It is something you two would have to go over together. All I can advise you is trust her, and let her make a leap of faith to trust you. Be her friend, she would come around."
Harry thought about the advice given to him for a few moments, it sounded true. "Thanks Allie, I hope this come true." He said, giving her a short hug.
"It will. I am never wrong, and I have complete faith in the both of you." Allison said returning the hug. Just friends then; best friends. But if she messes this up, I will be ready to grab any opportunity.
Harry thanked Allison and watched her walk away for a late lunch; he himself was not hungry, and a glance on the Marauders' Map told him that apparently Tonks too was not hungry as she was still in the library. Harry decided to put his broom back in the dorms and wander the halls for a bit, anything to help get rid of the thoughts swirling inside his mind. As he was walking away from the Great Hall, he saw Dumbledore leaving in the direction of his office. Immediately, his thoughts turned to the meeting he had with the Headmaster just this morning. With a new distraction, his feet immediately carried him off to the shore of the lake, in the shade of the oak where his father and friends had once made fun of Snape.
He pondered upon his meeting with Dumbledore; how the Headmaster had ended it abruptly after he had found that he did not control majority of variables in the equation. It did give Harry one certain thought; Dumbledore had made all his questions on the basis that Harry had somehow fooled the oath. This thought gave him even more confused realizations; did Dumbledore not trust him enough to be aware of the consequences of changing the past? Did Dumbledore not trust Harry enough not to change the past? Adding these to the events of the last year, Harry felt a fresh wave of fury towards the Headmaster. Calming himself with Occlumency, Harry pondered on his next course of action.
I got lucky this time, Dumbledore did not have enough information; but I have to be prepared for the next meeting, in which inevitably Dumbledore will know as much as he possibly can. Harry realized that he would have to guard his secrets jealously but how? Loath as he was to admit it, he did not have enough experience in politicking and such meetings, but who could help him? The answer came to him in a flash. Sirius had dubbed his family, The Blacks, as one of the most cunning families which had secrets anyone would give even their sole heirs to know; and he was on somewhat friendly terms with a member, former member, of the Black family, Andromeda. And she had promised to help him in his cause.
If there was anything that Harry liked about the Wizarding World as a whole was that here promises mattered and were kept to the best of one's ability. Despite all its backwardness, this was one region where wizards were better than Muggles. A wizard's honor meant everything to him; while in the muggle world, the concept of honor like this had almost vanished.
I have to talk to Andromeda as soon as possible. But first I have to find Tonks; she would not appreciate me planning and plotting with her mother behind her back. Just hope that she would not let our issues come between this work. Harry set off to meet Tonks in the library and ask her about her mother.
Harry found Tonks in the library as the map had shown, the girl was surrounded by thick dusty books in the absolute back end of the room though it did not seem like she had had any studying done. When Harry reached her, she looked half asleep. Her hair a dark blue colour hanging limply. Harry wondered why Madam Pince had not thrown her out by now.
She showed no acknowledgement of his presence though her lids returned to their normal state instead of drooping as they were before; taking this as a sign that she wanted him to state his purpose, he cleared his throat, "I met with Dumbledore today." He spoke awkwardly.
"How did it go?" Tonks asked unenthusiastically.
"Um, it went well, I think. He ended the meeting after just one question." Harry told her; Tonks' shoulders straightened up a little, it was clear to Harry that whatever the issues between them may be, Tonks was interested in this conversation. Taking this as a good sign, he continued, "Apparently he did not get information about my, er…incident, from the Unspeakables; he started the meeting assuming I had somehow fooled the oath and the Unspeakables. When it became clear that he did not have all the facts, he ended the meeting abruptly."
"So, it looks like you got off the hook." Tonks said slowly.
"Yeah, I think so." Harry agreed.
"So what do you want me for?" Tonks asked.
Okay, the issues between them had not vanished completely. "He would call me again, after he has gotten all the information from the Unspeakables, I want to talk to your mum, she could help me get ready for the coming meeting." Harry said, looking at her imploringly to separate this from their personal issues.
Tonks sighed, "Mum is out for this week, some conference in France; we will go after she returns this weekend." Tonks said.
Something about her made Harry pause and look at her again, the bubbly Tonks he had come to know these past weeks was nowhere to be found; the girl before him looked defeated, tired. He had never seen her like this, and this scared him. Though he was very uncomfortable with all the emotional stuff, he decided to let out his natural Gryffindor and took charge.
"Tonks, are you alright?" he asked hesitatingly putting a hand on her shoulder.
"Yeah Mark, I am fine." Tonks replied. "Really" she added when Harry looked disbelieving.
"No, you are not. You are Tonks, you never look so tired." Harry spoke hotly, barely managing to keep his voice low so as not to alert Madam Pince. "Please tell me, Tonks. I care about you." Harry spoke earnestly. "Please." He pleaded.
The emotion in his voice stopped Tonks' denial in its tracks; she had not seen him showing that much emotion other than when he talked about his past with her mother and her. Taking a deep breath, she made a decision to trust him. "No Harry, I am not alright." She whispered.
"Please tell me, then." Harry perked up, the mention of his true name spoke volumes. Looks like she trusts me.
"This is not the place for this conversation, Mark." Tonks said after a long time.
"Yeah, you are right." Harry thought for a moment, "Have you eaten?" he asked.
Tonks looked at him oddly but shook her head. "Let's go to the kitchens then. The elves will not bother us, and we will talk over food." Harry said springing to his feet leading Tonks out of the library in the direction of the kitchens.
Once they had found a secluded corner to sit in and the elves had supplied them some snacks the two spent a few minutes in silence. Tonks trying to find an easy way to start the difficult conversation while Harry waiting for her to start.
"When you came here, I mean in this time; did you become my friend just because you knew me from your time?" Tonks said after a few minutes.
"No, as I said on Saturday, I had no idea that you would be in school when I first came here; and I did not know you that well before, our friendship was as genuine as can be. Though, I would admit, knowing you helped, I would not have told you about me as quickly had I not known you, trusted you beforehand." Harry spoke trying to convey all the truth in his words.
"But you nearly sang my praises yesterday." Tonks said incredulously.
"Hey, I praised Ron, Hermione, even Ginny equally; I just talked about you that much more because you were present and they were not, and you had made such a lasting impression on me in the short time I had known you. Trust me, I am not trying to turn you into the person I knew; you two are nearly the same already. Only the Tonks back then was more comfortable even around perfect strangers, and you have shown glimpses of that with me. I would not try to change you, trust me." Harry implored.
Tonks remained silent for a few minutes after hearing Harry, she tried to wrap her mind around the fact that he person she is and what Harry feels her to be are not too different. The truth was after hearing Harry talk about the Tonks from his time, she was afraid that she would not be able to catch up to the standards that Harry had set up for her and her growing attraction to the boy at her side nothing to ease her fears. All the while her instincts screamed at her to trust Harry but she had been hurt too badly in the past to listen to them. Now though, she made a decision to trust her instincts and lay her fears before the man beside her.
"I am afraid, Harry." She started in a small voice, "I am afraid that I would not be able to catch up to whatever standard you feel me to be at. I am afraid that I would always be in the shadow of that old Tonks and when you realize that you will leave me. I am afraid that I like you and you will leave me when you find out that I am not the girl you thought me to be. She whispered the last part so low that Harry had top lean towards her to listen to her.
Harry's eyes widened as he listened to her. So this is the real reason, she is afraid that I would abandon her. "Tonks, I will never leave you, believe me, believe in yourself; you are already so much better than the Tonks I knew. Maybe I was wrong about her, I did not know her, but I know you. Trust me." Harry said hoping that she would trust him and believe him, it was truth as far as Harry knew, he never did know old Tonks that well.
Hesitantly, Harry gave her a hug which was returned with vigour. He could feel wetness slipping on his neck. Tonks was crying, he separated from her and wiped the tears off her cheeks. As he got a good look at her, his breath hitched, she looked so soft, so fragile, so vulnerable. He wanted nothing more than to hide her away from the harsh world and protect her, but he knew that she was more than strong enough to face it; she just had some bad experience with it. As their eyes met, they leaned forward; hesitatingly, the two closed the distance and their lips met. It was the start of something new for the both of them.
A/N: And that's it; how was it? Not too robotic, I hope; I am not a person to talk much so such chapters tend to a bit mechanical with me, especially when it has been long since I wrote the last chapter.
Read and review…
Also, sorry for the so long wait; I am very thankful to all of you for your tremendous support throughout. Bye!