Harry discovers Metamorph abilities early in life and hides them. When he meets another of his kind years later, he's in for a rude awakening. His abilities could mean his death.
I don't own Harry Potter in any way. JKR has those rights
*Author's Note *
I'd been sitting on this chapter for about six months. Figured it would be a nice change of pace to throw it out there. The plot of this is still in flux and the number of possibilities this could potentially branch off into is kind of frustrating because I need to simply pick one, and that's been holding me up.
Thanks for Cyan Mark for the quick beta read.
Chapter First Published: 2013-11-14
Chapter Last Update:
Chapter 02 – A Touch Changes the World
The four-poster bed in Gryffindor Tower had never felt as wonderful to Harry as it did at that very moment.
As he mentally reviewed the few days since the end of the Tri-Wizard Tournament, Harry could not help but smile over how fortune had apparently finally turned in his favor.
He closed his eyes and tried to put thoughts out of his mind that concerned how close everything had been to going wrong. The portkey back the graveyard had dropped Harry in front of the entire crowd of spectators for the tournament. Harry could only assume that it was a leftover enchantment for the winner to appear there.
That or Voldemort would have sent his corpse there to shock and frighten people.
Immediately upon his appearance, Cornelius Fudge appeared at his side along with Albus Dumbledore. Fudge took one look at Pettigrew and wanted him kissed on sight, and for the briefest of moments, it appeared Dumbledore would let it happen.
That is when Harry intervened.
The previous summer, Harry had attended the Quidditch World cup with Neville, and Harry had been quite curious and had asked about the spell that Fudge had used to address the crowd at the start of the match. The Minister had done something that projected his voice to every corner of the stands, yet it did not hurt their ears. The Sonorous was a quick and easy spell; it seemed a natural fit for right now.
With Pettigrew behind him and Dumbledore and Fudge before him, Harry shouted with the aid of the Sonorous, "I demand Aurors and the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement be brought here at once, Fudge."
At the way the blustering peacock reacted to being told to do his job, Harry continued, and left the Tournament's spectators spellbound by the implications of his words, "Minister Fudge, you will not cover up Sirius Black's innocence any longer, especially since the real betrayer of my parents is laying unconscious right behind me in front of hundreds of people. And you want to give him the Dementor's Kiss before he can vindicate my Godfather? A man who was never even given a trial before your Ministry chucked him into Azkaban for thirteen years? You wish want to give the Kiss to someone who had never been even questioned by the Wizengamot?"
Mutters broke out, and Harry removed a wand, standing guard over Pettigrew's body. He stunned the traitor once more for good measure, not desiring in the least for the man to awaken and sneak off.
Madame Amelia Bones, the Director of the DMLE was on site within ten minutes. Luckily, she brought over thirty Aurors with her. The show of force was appreciated by Harry, and appeared to be anything but welcome by Fudge.
"What's this about you demanding my presence here, Mr. Potter?"
"My apologies Madame Bones," and Harry gave a deep deferential bow to the Aunt of his classmate. "I just believed that Dumbledore and Fudge would not see justice done, since they failed to do so thirteen years ago when it came to my Godfather."
"And who precisely is your Godfather?"
"Young man, Sirius Black is a wanted felon. A menace to society. If you have information concerning his whereabouts you will inform me now or I will have you clapped in irons."
At this point, Harry realized that the crowd only heard a one sided conversation, since all they could hear was him, so he repeated the statement aloud for the onlookers, "Really? Just how is Sirius Black a menace to society? It's not like he was ever convicted of any crimes."
"What? Of course he was convicted. We don't just throw people into Azkaban without… trials…" but Madame Bones rant trailed off as she saw the dodgy looks that both Dumbledore and Minister Fudge were giving. Both looked like they wished to be anywhere but where they currently were. Everyone in the crowd was spellbound by the actions. They all saw how the two leaders of their society appeared to wish to be anywhere but right there at that moment.
"I hope you would be willing to question this man behind me under Veritiserum. I'm not sure what his legal rights are in that regards, but considering the Ministry of Magic declared Peter Pettigrew dead, I'm sure we could get away with a bit of leniency when it comes to the violation of his rights."
Madame Bones and most of the attending Aurors finally looked beyond Harry to see who was there. The gasp of shock that half of them made gave credence to just how serious this had just turned.
"Peter Pettigrew," said Madame Bones in a cold voice. She glared at Minister Fudge and Dumbledore, neither of whom could return her gaze.
She returned her stony stare to Harry, who didn't flinch under those ice-cold eyes. "I take it, Mr. Potter, that you know exactly which questions to ask this… person behind you?"
"Oh yes," he said innocently. "I'm aware of many questions that I'm simply dying to ask him."
"Proudfoot," Madame Bones barked out to a heavily scarred Auror just behind her. The man could've been Alastor Moody's brother for all Harry knew. The facial disfigurements and the similarity to his DADA teacher were almost uncanny.
"Yes Madame Bones," the man said in a raspy voice.
"You have your field questioning kit?"
"Awake and restrain the man behind Mr. Potter. Then administer Veritiserum."
"He's an animagus," Harry quickly blurted out, which made nearly everyone present flinch at how suddenly his Sonorous enhanced voice broke in. "A rat. Make sure he can't escape. We had him a year and a half ago and didn't take precautions against it. He got away then, I don't want him getting away now."
The Auror nodded, and gestured for more Auror's to step forward. They bound Pettigrew in ropes, but it wasn't a normal Incarcerous spell. The magical ropes seemed to glow in some manner, and Harry would place a bet they now effectively prevented Pettigrew's ability to change.
Proudfoot was about to administer the truth serum when Fudge spoke up, "Now see here, Amelia. I must protest this unorthodox violation of procedure. The man has rights you know. He should be taken to the Ministry and questioned there."
Harry had never seen anyone with as cold a stare as Madame Bones leveled at Minister Fudge. He could endure Snape's sneers, his Uncle's vein pulsing outbursts, but the icy chill look Madame Bones gave as she removed her monocle from her eye spoke volumes to just how little she thought of the Minister.
"Minister Fudge. It is clear you are attempting to obstruct justice from being carried out, in front of no less than a thousand spectators and the international media as well. You know I am well within my rights to perform a field questioning when it comes to situations such as this. I expect you to have your resignation turned in to the Wizengamot by tonight, because you will not survive the fallout of the investigation into your actions I will be starting."
Fudge's eyes bulged, and he scurried away with some of his bodyguards in his wake, which left only Dumbledore there. Before the Headmaster could speak, Madame Bones cut him off, "And you. It's obvious you're up to your usual games as well. For now, you can stand over there, and rethink whatever master plan you have that has to be reworked by Harry Potter exonerating his Godfather."
Madame Bones gestured to Proudfoot, who dropped three drops of the Truth Serum into Peter's mouth. The crowd, who had been straining to hear the loud discussion from a distance, quieted down.
"Place a Sonorous upon him?" asked Harry.
Madame Bones nodded, "Yes, there will be no questions about whether there was a cover-up on my account. You better be right about this Mr. Potter. I'm risking my career to do this."
"You won't be disappointed."
Pettigrew regained consciousness with an Ennervate spell, and began to panic slightly after he looked around and realized where he was. The glazed look in his eyes from the Veritiserum in no way muted his sheer terror at the prospect of his capture and interrogation.
"What is your name?" Madame Bones asked, her voice magnified a hundred times and heard in every corner of the viewing field.
Madame Bones gestured to Harry to begin asking his questions. Harry decided to go in chronological order. He also figured it would be best if he worded his questions in ways that would produce yes or no answers.
"Was Sirius Black the Potter Family's Secret Keeper?"
"No." The answers produced mutters around them. It seemed like people still had not quite believed even after Harry's statements that Sirius was innocent. Now they certainly would.
"Were you the Potter Family's Secret Keeper?"
"Yes." Out of the corner of his eye, he saw dozens of people raise their hands to the mouths in shock and horror. He barreled on with his questions though, wanting to keep the momentum going.
"Are you a Death Eater?"
"Yes." Angry whispers broke out throughout the spectators. An Order of Merlin winner had just admitted he was a Death Eater.
"Just for curiosities sake, did Voldemort have you do anything as an initiation to his forces for you to earn the Dark Mark on your arm?"
"He had me give up the location of the Prewitt Twins, who were members of Dumbledore's Order. They were killed in the ambush by Antonin Dolohov as I watched from a distance."
Wails and sobbing could be distantly heard, and Harry knew intuitively they came from Molly Weasley nee Prewitt.
"Did you willingly give Voldemort the Secret that led to the murders of my parents, James and Lily Potter?"
"Yes." The reactions of the crowd had grown quiet at this point. Too shocked beyond words that this man had caused the death of two heroes of the last war.
Harry smiled evilly, since he figured this would be an excellent time to add some additional charges to Wormtail. "Are you an unregistered rat Animagus?"
"Did Sirius Black murder twelve muggles in a muggle street when he confronted you days after the Potter's murders?"
"Did you kill those twelve muggles?"
"Did your actions lead to Sirius Black being accused of your crimes?"
"Did Sirius Black escape from Azkaban to hunt you down after a picture of you appeared on the front page of the Daily Prophet while you were in your rat Animagus form?"
"Yes." That brought the crowd out of its shocked stupor. General knowledge was that Sirius Black had escaped to hunt down Harry Potter. Now it was just insinuated that Sirius Black had escaped the impossibly harsh prison Azkaban to protect his Godson.
"When you escaped from the Hogwarts' Grounds a year ago, did you go in search of your fallen Master, known as Lord Voldemort?"
"Did you find him?"
"Yes." There was no reaction from the crowd this time. They all didn't want to believe what the Death Eater in front of them had just said. He had found Voldemort. The Magical World's boogieman who they all had wished and prayed had simply gone away thirteen years previous.
Harry had a sudden twinge of a buried memory. He remembered a nightmare vision that had slipped through his Occlumency the previous summer where Wormtail and Voldemort were discussing the death of a Ministry employee named Bertha Jorkins.
"Were you an involved in the murder of Bertha Jorkins?"
Harry nodded, and removed the Sonorous charm before he walked over and began to whisper to Madame Bones, "Here's the big one Madame Bones, you may want to make sure your Auror's are ready to maintain order if you want me to ask this aloud."
Madame Bones looked at him with a raised eyebrow, yet gestured for some of her Aurors to move to crowd control duty. Then she returned her focus back to Harry, "What is the question about, Mr. Potter?"
"Pettigrew used my blood in a ritual to give Voidemort a body again. Do we want that information released?"
She looked shocked. Harry could tell her first inclination was to immediately release the information, but then something stayed her hand. Slowly, she began to shake her head. "No, it'll cause undue panic, and I can still prepare for a war quietly just as well as I could if the news were released. Perhaps even better since Cornelius may latch on to the concept to save his career and denounce the whole thing."
Harry nodded, "Then the only thing that leaves is the identity of whoever helped Pettigrew out from inside Hogwarts to get me to that graveyard."
Madame Bones glared at Pettigrew, then slowly glanced over at the group of teachers and tournament staff held back by her Aurors. She knew just as Harry did that there was a traitor somewhere amongst them. She made a few hand signals to her second in command, whose eyes widened before he ran off to start to spread the word there was one more loose Death Eater present.
After he watched the warning pass to all the Auror's present, Harry reapplied the Sonorous charm, and spoke to Pettigrew.
"Tonight, when I was kidnapped via portkey from this maze, did you have an accomplice here amongst the faculty at Hogwarts?"
At some point in the chaos that followed the last answer, part of the last question caused Professor Filius Flitwick to frown. He realized only the Headmaster could make a Portkey that exited the castle grounds. However, anyone could take an already existing portkey and modify it so it could leave Hogwarts. From a staff meeting earlier that day, where assignments were handed out for tournament duties, the diminutive Professor watched as Professor Alastor Moody was the one assigned to place the Portkey in the maze. He was then to patrol the borders around it while the Task commenced.
It had already been established during Mr. Potter's short absence that someone had placed Victor Krum under the Imperious curse during the task. Whoever did that would have needed to be in close proximity to the maze, and have the capability to see through the hedges.
The Aurors had just managed to get the crowd quiet when a loud forceful "Stupify!" was heard.
Everyone turned to see an enraged Professor Flitwick, his wand pointed directly between the unconscious legendary Auror's face.
"Filius, what in Merlin's name are you doing?" roared Madame Bones.
"Moody was the only one to touch the portkey after Albus made it. He was the one tasked with placing the portkey at the center of the maze. He was also patrolling the edges of the maze during the task, when one of the contestants was placed under the Imperious curse. Whoever cast the curse, would have needed to see through the maze hedges."
Everyone's eyes widened as more and more evidence stacked up against Alastor Moody, but no one could believe it
Madame Bones had not earned her position by not responding quickly in a crisis. She snapped her fingers. "Aurors, bind that man."
"Was the person that helped you kidnap me Alastor Moody?"
Pettigrew actually began to laugh. Between his giggles, he choked out, "No."
The crowd's murmuring stopped. The Auror's looked around in confusion at one another. If Alastor Moody didn't help kidnap Potter, then who did? Moody was way too experienced and powerful to be placed under a long-term Imperious and be visible in public at the same time. So what happened?
Harry knew something was going on. There would be no other reason for Pettigrew's laughter to overpower the Veritiserum. Wondering where to possible go with the line of questioning next, Harry focused upon upon Moody, in an attempt to somehow divine the answer to this riddle. His eyes immediately were drawn to the flask at Moody's side. The one the man was famous for letting no one near. The one he always drank from… every hour on the hour.
"Pettigrew!" Harry nearly shouted, making the entire crowd jump at the volume and his tone. "Is the spy the person who is masquerading as Alastor Moody?"
Every Auror knew what that meant immediately, and looked at Moody's flask. Flitwick was the closest and grabbed the sealed container. He unscrewed it and sniffed, before he removed his nose almost immediately due to the smell.
Madame Bones nodded, and pointed at four of her Aurors. "Go into the school. Proceed to the DADA classroom and Alastor's quarters within. Polyjuice source material must be fresh, so he has to have the real Moody stashed nearby. If you can't find him there, head down to the kitchens and have the House Elves assist you in the search. Go!"
The assigned Auror's moved off.
Harry turned to Madame Bones. He wasn't sure if he was allowed the latitude to do what he was about to do, but he was so tired from everything that had happened today that his thought processes no longer fired correctly.
"Madame Bones?" he asked, gaining her attention. "I expect my Godfather, Sirius Black, to be publicly vindicated within a few days. I also expect to move into his house within days after that, since he is, and has always been, my rightful guardian since he was never even given a trial. I'm telling you this, because I have no intention whatsoever of returning to the household of child abusers that Albus Dumbledore insists I go back to each year at #4 Privet Drive in Surrey."
Harry then walked away before anyone could say anything, which left Dumbledore to try and explain away the child abuse allegation to an irate McGonagall and Madame Bones while a crowd of hundreds continued to listen eavesdrop from the stands. He had purposefully said the address aloud while still under the Sonorous charm to make sure it was publicly known where his relatives lived.
'Security through Obscurity' would no longer save the Dursleys. With luck, the address would be printed all over the Daily Prophet tomorrow.
'Damn that felt good,' thought Harry as he walked back to the castle, chaos behind him and a soft bed the only thing he wished to find before him. He had no clue if he had just done the right thing by kicking over so many rocks and likely making a ton of political enemies. What he had just done would have likely embarrassed a lot of people today.
But… Sirius would be free.
That's all that mattered to him.
It was two days before the end of term and the mass exodus from Hogwarts when the Gyffindor Tower common room was flooded with a half dozen Aurors.
"Where is Harry Potter?"asked an attractive female Auror with obscenely pink hair.
"Here," said Harry, rising to his feet.
"You've seen the papers about your Godfather being cleared of all charges against him?" she asked.
"Yep, are you here to take me to him?"
"Yes, indeed," the woman beamed. She turned to her five colleagues. "Stay here and guard the door. If Dumbledore attempts to interfere, Madame Bones has authorized us to take him down via non-lethal means."
This statement shocked the common room into silence. They were Gryffindors. Followers of the Light, through and through, and these Aurors were just ordered to take down their pseudo-messiah and hero if he attempted to stop Harry from going to his rightful Guardian.
The woman turned back to Harry, who had been waited for her in case she had something else to say. "Take me up your stuff. We want to make sure there's no tracking charms or anything else illegal on your belongings before we go see Cousin Sirius."
"Cousin Sirius?" Harry asked as he followed her up the Gryffindor boy's stairs.
"Yep. Me mum was Sirius' first cousin. She was disowned 'cause she married a muggleborn. Sirius already reinstated her to the family yesterday right after he was exonerated and started cleaning up his financials at the bank. I've never seen me Mum cry so much."
"I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name earlier?" he said as they walked into the empty boy's fourth year dorm.
"Oh, sorry," the women said as she blushed, and her hair suddenly turned a light blue color before it shifted back to pink.
'Metamorph!' Harry thought in happiness. 'I wonder what happens if I touch her?'
"Name is Tonks. Nymphadora Tonks. But call me by my first name and I'll hex you."
Harry smiled and offered a hand, "Harry. Harry Potter. Pleasure to meet you, Cousin."
When they shook hands, both got a shock. The familiar tingle was there; he would always get it from the touch of someone new, but this time was different. It was like recognition. It was almost like a communication between the two. Every conscious part of Harry's being shouted at him that this woman was exactly the same as him.
Harry's eyes widened at the thought, and looked up at the woman, who now stared at him with an identical amount of shock… and terror.
Both of them knew they were the same, and Harry now saw blind panic in the woman's eyes.
"Tell no one of what just happened, Harry," she whispered forcefully as she almost threw Harry's hand back at him. "When we get you to Sirius' house, tell Sirius you definitely want your own room on the Black Family level. Its Sirius' place, so he can arrange a room on a level no one else can reach if they do not have Black Blood, which you have through your Paternal Grandmother."
Harry nodded, knowing his grandmother was Dorea Black, but he had not really found the knowledge useful until now.
"I'll explain everything there, Harry."
Tonks slipped back to her previously cheery self, went to his school trunk and said, "Sorry for this."
She flipped it over and dumped everything on the floor. She banished the now empty trunk to the opposite side of the room and took out a new trunk that had been shrunken in her pocket.
"This is from Sirius. He saw you fleeing your Aunt and Uncle's right after he escaped prison last year and noticed that you didn't have an enchanted trunk. He actually seemed rather upset about that. So he bought you this. He said 'No godson of mine is going to slum it with a ratty old second hand trunk like you had."
The lid opened to reveal a spacious compartment easily four times larger than his previous trunk. "This trunk has seven compartments, so it'll be hard for you to fill them all up."
Harry looked at the women, who seemed to have nearly snorted at her words in retrospect. Harry decided to play with that, "You'll find I'm very hard on occasion and have no problems filling things."
Tonks smirked as she eyed Harry like he was some new favorite toy, "Down boy. We can discuss proper insertion techniques and you filling things later tonight."
They searched through Harry's belongings. Harry was deeply grateful for the trunk since it now made his belongings much easier to organize, since his previous trunk literally contained everything he owned. Books were in one compartment. Potions ingredients and related paraphernalia in another. He had a compartment for his quidditch belongings and another for random personal things such as the marauder's map, his photo album, and invisibility cloak. Finally, he attempted to put his clothes in a compartment, but Tonks wouldn't have anything for it.
"Harry, you dress like a bum. I know why you do, and Sirius will tell you the same thing I will. It stops now. The clothes aren't fit to burn. The Dursleys will never prevent you from looking like anything but your best ever again."
Harry smiled at that, knowing for sure now his life truly had just improved.
"I can't wait to play dress up with you, stud," said Tonks with a wink, before closing the trunk's lid and locking it. She shrunk it down, before handing it to Harry. She summoned the old trunk, and said "Pack" after opening it. The loose clutter that filled the room flew into it in an unorganized fashion before Tonks shut it.
"Elf?" said Tonks aloud.
A Hogwarts House Elf appeared before them, "Yes Auror, Ma'am?"
"Can you toss or burn this trunk? It's not needed anymore and it's loaded up with bad tracking spells anyways."
"Yes'm." said the Elf, and with a snap of the tiny being's fingers, both her and the trunk disappeared.
"Well," said Tonks, who was now looking at Harry with great interest. "Let's go see Sirius."
The reunion with Sirius was greater than Harry ever expected it to be. Tonks was the only one of the Auror's actually allowed into his home. The Manor had been protected by a Fidelius charm, and Sirius actually came out to show Harry the small piece of parchment with the secret written on it before he personally burned the copy.
The house was revealed to be #12 Grimmauld Place. It was old and decrepit. A reminder of the Black family of yesteryear who always followed the latest and greatest Dark Lord.
Sirius had quickly mentioned he hated the place. Loudly and repeatedly.
It was a depressing home, not really fit for someone of Sirius' sarcastic and usually upbeat personality. Serpents adorned much of the interior design, which looked like it had not been updated in over a century. Harry could see numerous items here that may have at one time been considered valuable, but rot and decay had spoiled many priceless works of art that hung on the walls, and all but destroyed the furniture that had long since been eaten by moths and other magical vermin.
He followed Tonks' instructions and moved into the family level of the manor. This allowed him to avoid the numerous other people who also stayed in the home who resided on the lower levels for their own protection with Sirius' blessing. Harry had no desire whatsoever to see many of these people, and taking residence on the top floor allowed him to avoid some of the more annoying people; he was already aware there were members of this vigilante group… the infamous Order of the Phoenix.
The room Sirius had given him had to be four times the size of the guest bedroom the Dursleys had eventually moved him into prior to his first year of Hogwarts. It had an attached private bath that Harry could easily imagine himself relax in after a long workout. The best part was that when he first walked in, Sirius already had framed pictures of Harry's parents placed on the nightstand and on a few of the walls.
For the first time in his life, Harry truly felt like he had come home.
This feeling eventually changed though. Harry was rather tense for the rest of the day. He patiently waited for the opportunity to talk to Tonks again, but she was extremely busy with Order related activities. It intrigued him that there was someone similar to himself in the world, and that she had immediately recognized what he was. There was the ominous feeling in the pit of his stomach though. He saw the fear in her eyes when she said for him to tell no one about this. He hoped he was just imaging things, but the message echoed what he had long ago been told by the Headmaster's phoenix familiar.
Eventually, tired of waiting, Harry laid down after he figured Tonks would sneak into his room later that night, since she also had a room on the same level as Harry. Sirius was clear on the other side of the house from the wing in which Tonks and Harry now lived, and their rooms were right next to each other's. The manor had many 'wings', and Sirius stayed in the 'Main Family' wing, while Tonks and Harry were residents of the cadet line's area. Wards bound to the blood of the Black family protected both, and only those of their direct blood lineage could even see these wings of the building, let alone enter them.
He waited for a knock on the door as he sat in bed. His mind wandered over just what exactly Tonks would reveal to him tonight.
He finally heard a sound, but it did not originate from the door. It came from a bare stretch of wall that was shared between his suite and Tonks'. Tonks' face was briefly shown through the hood of an invisibility cloak before it disappeared. He could hear her approach invisibly, and Harry couldn't help but put a bright smile on his face. Harry was about to quietly greet her as she drew close when she placed a finger on her suddenly visible lips.
She cast a few spells in the room, and suddenly a portrait that was invisible upon the wall came into view. Tonks hit it with a curse that froze the occupant in the frame, and then cast another more powerful curse that made the ancient wizard in the portrait scream in agony for a few short seconds before the paint began to crack and crumble away from the canvas.
The Auror began to then cast dozens of security and anti-eavesdropping spells. Harry could tell from the power involved in some of them that Tonks was taking the upcoming conversation as a matter of life and death.
Finally finished, she gestured to the bed and sat down next to him.
"I know for a fact we searched this room for portraits before we arrived, so Dumbledore found a way to put one here to spy upon you," Tonks thought for a bit. "The question is how did one get here?"
"House Elves," Harry said without hesitation. "Wizards overlook them, and don't think twice about them betraying you."
Tonks' eyes widened and, after a pause, she nodded. "That would do it, eh? Wizards tend to leave House Elf wards open, to allow them to send messages between families. We'll deal with that later. The next elf he sends uninvited will be deep-fried by the wards. The rest of the room is clear."
She was silent a few seconds before she finally looked at him, "Harry, there's no real easy way to say this. You are a Shifter."
Harry, unable to overcome the feeling of Déjà vu, simply started to laugh. Tonks looked mildly affronted at this, so he stopped and explained. "Sorry, that's just twice now when someone has came up to me and just blurted out something like that. Last time was when I was eleven, when Hagrid said 'Harry, yer a Wizard'."
Tonks could see the humor in it, and gave a faint smile before she continued. "Does anyone know about your abilities?"
"No, I've never told anyone. I'm absolutely sure no one has ever observed me… shifting? Is that the right word?"
"Yes, but I'll explain more about that later. I need to make sure you understand the position both you and I are in," she took a deep breath, and Harry could swear Tonks mentally put her teacher's cap on.
"Metamorphs have decent control over ability to change, but it's easily affected by emotions and the person can still be identified as that person through wards, spells, or blood. Metamorphs also periodically lose control of their ability and random parts of their disguise can revert or flicker. With me so far?"
Harry nodded. This was all familiar to him. It was all Metamorph 101 from the very first Metamorph book he found in his first year of Hogwarts.
"We are different than Metamorphs. Shifters literally become someone else when they change. Even the blood matches."
Harry smirked wildly, "That part I already knew. I changed to a muggle, and then morphed the features to resemble me when Voldemort had Wormtail steal my blood for his resurrection. He didn't get Harry Potter's blood. He got a random muggle kid's blood that I went to primary school with."
The admission caused Tonks to laugh her arse off. When she got control of herself, she explained why. "Apparently, there's been a big hoopla amongst the Death Eaters we've caught so far. None of them know why the initial resurrection rite didn't work correctly. Their marks apparently flared and then disappeared completely just as quickly when you got kidnapped. Apparently, not even after your first encounter with him did the Marks fade as far as they have now. We're not sure what happened out there either after you left that Graveyard. Only thing we know is he wasn't at the location you told Madame Bones about in private."
Harry nodded, and then tried to put things in perspective. "So the good news is, he didn't get my blood and he has no idea what I did. Bad news is that we have no idea where he is now," Harry summarized.
Tonks nodded, before she sat down on the bed. She waited a few moments, before she took a deep breath and began, "As you may have guessed, I'm a Shifter too. My parents initially thought it was Metamorph abilities I was showing, and they started asking around for books about it. It was a few days later after word got out about my talents that they realized what I really was."
She suddenly held herself. The talk she was giving him seemed to be incredibly personal all the sudden, and Harry began to wonder if she ever was able to tell anyone what she was telling him now. "It was a big wake up call for them when they figured I really was a Shifter."
Tonks looked Harry straight in the eye, "Normally, the Ministry has Shifters killed on sight if one is found. No questions. No trial. Aurors have full authorization to kill a Shifter immediately. They're rare enough that its one of those orders that no one thinks twice about or barely remembers. Maybe one or two shifters become publicly known around the world every century. The fact we actually found each other is even more astronomically improbable."
"Anyways, after my parents found out what I was, they protected me. They still loved me, and said that I was still their daughter. They managed to impress upon me at a young age a need to pretend to be a Metamorph. Now it's almost instinctual. I shift my hair on purpose to make people ask questions all the time and to drive home the fact I'm a Metamorph, not a Shifter. I have to deliberately slow down the speed I shift too in order to make sure I drive home that point."
"Now, to review what we can do… we can impersonate anyone. Gringotts wouldn't even be able to detect us if we changed to a Goblin and walked in the front doors. Stuff like that is why my parents made me swear I wouldn't start becoming a bank robber until after they had passed on."
"The other big differences are that Metamorphs obviously can't change their sex, and that Shifters can. Metamorphs don't have the ability to become Animagi. Shifters don't either obviously, but we can become an exact copy of any animal we touch."
"Sounds like the perfect life," said Harry. "Besides the whole instant death if we're found thing."
"There are downsides," Tonks said. "You'll never be able to take an inheritance ritual test at Gringotts. They'll see what you are, and kill you on the spot. Normally, we would never be able to have kids. If you're in a female form, the moment you get pregnant, you would have to not shift for 9 months, which is something I personally have never even attempted. Also, as a male, we cannot impregnate normal humans."
"Plus side is, you'll live forever," said Tonks with a cheeky smile before a bit of melancholy wove its way into her smile and eyes. "Just like me. I thought I would be alone. The future looks a bit brighter now that I've found someone who could be there if we decided to stick together."
Harry looked at the woman in front of him, and couldn't help but nod. He couldn't imagine what it must have been like for Tonks this past decade or so. Believing that she would live alone and watch everyone she knew grow old and die around her.
"In case you're worried, I won't tell my parents about you," Tonks said, intruding into his thoughts. "It's dangerous enough with what they know about me. I wouldn't want them to learn anything about you either."
Tonks suddenly became much more businesslike. "We'll need to go to Gringotts with you as a female. You have to set up an account with an alias, just in case it becomes dangerous to 'be' Harry Potter. It allows you the chance to run if it becomes necessary. I have accounts for both males and females in the Wizard and Muggle worlds. All of them under different names with complete identities behind them."
"Everything good?" she asked.
"Yeah, I knew most of that already. Just didn't know the name of what we were or that the Ministry had orders to kill us on sight if we were discovered."
"You did good, Harry-kins. You kept a secret most other people would never have been able to. It'll make it easier for you to disappear off the map when it comes time to fake your death and start a new identity."
Harry had rolled with the punches thus far, but this final statement was what finally made him blink and steady himself. This really was a life-changing moment for him. Someday, somewhere in the distant future, he would have to fake his death to continue on. There would be no more Potters, and he would have to secretly live in fear for the rest of his life because of what he was.
But… on the plus side… it looked like he just got a girlfriend.
"Now regarding the rest of this Summer. You need to start getting familiar with Wizarding customs and a lot of other things. Sirius dropped some major hints to me that he suspected Dumbledore had not been teaching you properly."
Harry snorts, "That's an understatement. He hasn't been teaching me at all about this world. I've been doing everything myself. I sneak into the Restricted Section as the Astronomy Professor and the Substitute Care of Magical Creatures teachers to find all the books about the Wizarding World that are truly valuable to read."
Tonks again started laughing at the use Harry had put his abilities towards, "Very cunning, Harry. You chose the best possible adults to wander around the school as to get the information you needed."
"Yeah. I found Dumbledore ordered a lot of the Pureblood and Wizarding etiquette stuff to the Restricted Section where no one could read it. He obviously either wants me to not know it's there, or he wants to sabotage all muggleborns and half-bloods in general."
Getting tired of the completely serious topics, Harry decides to ask some of the more goofy questions about their species, "So if we can change our sex, what is our sex?"
Tonks smirked, "We're nothing."
At Harry's incredulous look, she clarified further, "I still think of myself as a girl, but really I'm whatever I want to be. Things like Gay, Lesbian, Straight doesn't mean much to people like us. You'll find your sexual identity pretty much vanishes, and eventually you won't really care what form you take to get your rocks off."
Thoroughly enjoying his incredulous look, Tonks went for the kill, "You may go out with me one night to some dance clubs where they two of us are guys, and we'll each pick up a chick to take home and screw. On the flip side, the next night, we may go to some dive-bar as women, and go and get gang-banged by three guys each."
Harry wasn't sure whether to feel sick or simply accept the nature of the life he would live with Tonks. He definitely wasn't into men, but what would happen if he stayed in a females form long enough with a female's mind and hormones influencing his thoughts.
"The thing to remember," Tonks continued, "We will never get sick. We can't catch diseases or viruses. We can't get pregnant. And we can't die. The only reliable way the British Ministry has ever found to 'kill' us is to throw us through the veil in the Department of Mysteries. Goblins apparently used to try and kill us via Dragons eating us, but that was easily thwarted if you think about it. Apparently, the Shifters would change into some indestructible animal and would wait it out as they made it through the lizard's digestive track. Then they just scurried away as rats."
"Though, I'm not sure if they found a better way other than the Veil," said Tonks finally, pondering the concept.
"I'm sure they have. People are always thinking of better and more improved ways of killing each other," said Harry. "Speaking of killing each other… Is that how I survived the Killing Curse?"
Tonks thought for a minute, and then nodded, "More than likely at its base, but something like that on its own would've flagged you as a Shifter. Something must have been done to you so that the curse reflected back and blew him up…"
Tonks had spoken quietly at the end as she tried to figure out Harry's history, then her attention suddenly turned back to him.
"But you won't see me testing that theory any time soon for you, Buck-O. Most lethal spells like that really won't do anything to us. Sure stuff like the Cruciatus is going to hurt like hell, but you'll live through it and won't lose your mind from excessive exposure to it. If you get hit with some nasty entrail-expelling curse, all you have to do is just switch to a new body, and switch back."
Then she stared him down, "Just make sure no one sees you do it."
Harry nods, "I've already done things like that when I can. I got bit by Voldemort's Snake at the graveyard. An acrumantula in the maze also bit me before that. I always shifted into the animal that just bit me. Figured I was getting a quick immunity to the venom."
They let the silence between them draw out. While this happened, Harry felt himself involuntarily smile. It was somehow liberating to finally know what he was. He had always known he was something more than a Metamorph. So what if he just learned that he is technically not human? He's Harry, and that's just fine with him.
He could probably get used to the idea of having no set sex. Especially if he's with Tonks and they're stuck together for all of eternity. Random thoughts started going through his mind of faking their deaths and Tonks being the guy and he the girl for their next 'life'. Would they swap around every hundred years or so to keep things interesting and different? There was so much potential that he could spend hours planning things out.
Sometimes he had thought about changing to a different sex and running away as a kid. He had always figured that would be the one sure-fire way to ensure no one ever tracked him down to drag him back to the Dursleys. Maybe he could ease his way into that sort of mindset by hooking up with Tonks while he was shifted into a female form.
Looking down, Harry realized he was still quite scrawny for his age, even if that façade had been deliberate. On a whim, Harry transformed into an older version of himself. He had realized a few years ago that his height stopped changing and that it was locked in at his 'base form'. The only means he had to increase it was to modify it with his shifting abilities.
Since then, he only added a few inches a year. He actually mapped out what it would take for him to reach the height of 6'3" by the age of seventeen if he grew at the same rate every year from the age of eleven. He then tested each year's body, knowing in advance he would eventually use the body for age eleven and the next day he would switch to age twelve and so forth.
He turned to Tonks, who was staring at his new morph with hunger in her eyes, "So how often do you go out and get gang-banged, Tonks?"
A completely impish smile crossed her face, "I certainly plan to more often now that I've found you as a partner, babe."
The hunger didn't leave her eyes for an instant after that comment. In fact, it seemed to intensify. He took a chance, and leaned over and kissed Tonks full on the lips. She leaned into him immediately, with no hesitation shown as she grabbed the back of his head with one hand and his arse with the other. They completely threw themselves into the passion of the kiss, and their hands wandered over every piece of their still clothed bodies. They were about to disrobe when she stopped.
"We need to find a better place," she breathed between their kisses.
"We can't be caught together yet. Too many people have eyes upon you, Harry. Especially with this war about to possibly start. We have to worry about both our secrets getting out. Besides, Lover… we have the rest of eternity to do what you were just thinking of doing."
Tonks gave him one last kiss upon the lips, and quickly strode out of room through the secret passageway she had entered from.
Harry was left standing there, dumbfounded as to the number of changes that had been visited upon him since the end of the Twi-Wizard Tournament ended.
'This should be fun,' was what he ultimately thought as he smiled in anticipation of what would happen in the future between him and the attractive pink-haired Auror that just left the room after she changed his whole life.