Story Summary:
In the tumultuous years that follow Harry Potter's defeat of Lord Voldemort, Nymphadora Tonks is sent to live with family friends at The Burrow. It is there that she meets and befriends Charlie Weasley, creating a bond that will last throughout her life....

Chapter 02 - First Year


First Year


The Hat put me in Hufflepuff. I begged, I pleaded, I promised to make it the leader of the Hogwarts School Choir, but no.

Hufflepuff, I ask you.

I stood in line, stuck between Rhiannon Vortigern and Christian Tatting as Professor McGonagall read off names on that long list of hers and brought up students to be Sorted, as nervous as I've ever felt in my life.

Tatting went first, the Hat barely touching his head before screaming "RAVENCLAW!" to the entirety of the Great Hall.

All I wanted was a friend to go to the same House with me. All I wanted was someone familiar, someone I got along with, to go through it all with me.

All I wanted was Charlie.

I was called before Rhiannon, the few giggles at the sound of my name reverberating along the high ceilings as I walked towards the three-legged stool that sat before McGonagall. The Hat slid over my eyes before I was ready, and all at once a little voice filled my head.

At last we meet, Miss Tonks...You've been looking forward to this ever since your letter arrived, haven't you?

Yes, I have. Now, I know you do the whole "Sorting" thing, but I really, really want to go to Gryffindor.

Gryffindor, eh? Why's that?

You see that boy at the very end of the line, the one with the red hair? That's Charlie Weasley. I want to go with him, and his entire family's been put into Gryffindor. So all you have to do is yell out "Gryffindor!" and everything will be fine.

I don't think that's the right choice for you, you know...

What are you talking about?

You've got a keen intellect, that's good, and plenty of ambition and courage, there's no doubt about that...

No. I said I want to go to Gryffindor. Please? I'm sorry if my tone was a little rude before, but please? Can you just put me in Charlie's House?

And you are very intelligent, young lady, not afraid of hard work at all...

Oh, come on. You're not even listening to me now, are you? Please?!? I'll do anything. You like to sing, right? Of course you do, you must since you come up with a new song every year...what if I talk to Professor Dumbledore? I heard that he's going to bring back the school choir now that they have another Muggle Music Professor...what if I talked to him, and had him make you the leader! You have a wonderful voice, and I'm sure that the students could learn a lot from your ages and ages of wisdom...all you'd have to do is put me in Gryffindor, and the second the Sorting Ceremony is done, I will march right up to Dumbledore and demand that you be made leader of the school choir!

Nice try. You know how many students try to pull that one every year? Now let me finish...You might do well in Gryffindor, but it seems to me that the best place for you is HUFFLEPUFF!


Stupid Hat.

The Hufflepuff table applauds for me as McGonagall removes the Sorting Hat from my head, and as I walk towards the students with the black and yellow ties I find myself sitting alone at the end of the table with the other first-years, all of us looking nervously at one another and at the people around us. Rhiannon Vortigern is next, and the Hat is completely covering her head. It sits silent for a moment, and she is visibly shaking, but after a few seconds the Hat shouts out HUFFLEPUFF!, and she rushes over to the table amidst the applause and takes the empty seat next to me.

"Congratulations," I say. Rhiannon looks up, big green eyes wide with fright, and smiles nervously back at me.

"You too," She holds out her hand and I shake it. "I'm Rhiannon Vortigern."

"Nymphadora Tonks."

"Can I call you Nym?"

"Only if I can call you Anna."

"Our mothers must've been crazy when they named us," she laughs, and I laugh with her. Suddenly, the Hufflepuff table is not that lonely. Around Rhiannon and myself, other first-years are starting to break the ice with one another, laughing and talking and not paying attention as Charlie Weasley is called to be Sorted.

The Sorting Hat covers all of Charlie's vividly red hair, and as the Hat speaks to him in words we can't hear, his freckled face is slowly turning a shade of red that rivals any rainbow.

GRYFFINDOR!, the Hat calls out.

Charlie looks up in surprise as the Gryffindor table welcomes him, Bill hitting him on the back as he walks over and cheering loud enough to overpower the rest of the table. Smiling happily, Charlie joins the table, but on the side near Hufflepuff. He leans back in his chair as the Hat is placed on the head of Lisa Young, and motions for me to come closer. I tilt my head towards his, and he whispers words I did not expect:

"I was almost made a Hufflepuff."


Tap. Tap. Tap.

What is that blasted noise? I roll over in the mass of yellow sheets I've managed to tangle myself in sometime during the night, trying to figure out what the tapping sound is coming from.

Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.

I squint my eyes in the morning sunlight, the golden rays that shine through the windows amplified in the millions by the shades of yellow that adorn the girl's dormitory.

Tap. Tap. Tappity-Tap-Tap.

Merlin, Arthur, and Guinevere, where the Hell is that noise coming from?

"Anna, I think I've lost my mind."

"Just don't set fire to the curtains," Rhiannon groans from behind the gold-coloured curtain of her bed. "I don't think Professor Sprout could handle that happening five times two weeks into the year."

I look around the room, Rhiannon and the other three girls asleep in their tall four-poster beds, all of them oblivious to the noise. I hold my hand to my forehead, as if checking for a fever, when I notice the owl tapping on the window beside the fireplace.

"This couldn't wait until breakfast?" I ask aloud as I untie the letter attached to the leg of the immense barn owl. The owl nips my finger in an almost affectionate manner before flying off, and I am left with a roll of parchment probably addressed to Rhiannon or pretty Amelia Rhyme or....wait.

The name on the outside of the scroll is mine, in a cramped and hurried handwriting that undoubtedly belongs to my father.

I climb back into bed and pull the curtains around me before tearing open the wax seal, eager to find out where he is, how he's been...if he knows if Mum's sister has been caught yet....

Nym, Peanut, Dora, Sunshine---

I'm fine. Really.

I can't tell you exactly where, but I've been staying with Professor Dumbledore and his brother, Aberforth... he's by far the strangest man I've ever met, that Aberforth. Always talking about his pet goat, Charisse, and how "Charisse can do this" and "Charisse can do that", and he tells this one story over and over again about how he and Charisse went to Dover on a holiday and she nearly pushed him over a cliff.

I'm sorry I left this summer, Peanut. I had to leave you with Arthur and Molly because I didn't know how safe it would be where I was going. I'd already lost your mother and I didn't want to lose you, too...

I know that I'm just making excuses. I know that what's happened is not an excusable reason for leaving you with "strangers" (and I use the terms "Strangers" loosely because Arthur and Molly were practically family to me and your mother when we were first married). But believe me when I say how hard it was for me to leave you there, and how as much as I wanted to take you with me I had to think of your best interests.

I'm sorry I missed your first trip to Diagon Alley. I'm sorry we never went to see the new Star Wars movie this summer like I promised we would. I'm sorry I missed your birthday, Sunshine.

I know I can't make up for it, but the owl that delivered this letter is your birthday present...his name is Pluto, and he's very reliable. Any letter that you want to send to me, just tell him "Take this to Ted" and he will get it to me no matter what. You should be careful, though...he bites.

Even if I can't be with you, Peanut, I love you more than anything else in the world.


"Nym, are you alright?"

Rhiannon has pulled back the curtain of my bed, and her quizzical look of alarm and worry makes me cry even harder. I hide the letter and nod my head "yes", but she closes the curtains around us and lets me cry and as I rest my head against her shoulder, I realize that for the first time I have a friend (a living, breathing friend who happens to be a girl) who isn't Charlie, and the thought doesn't scare me.

Not one bit.