Philip Pullman owns the concept of dæmons. J.K. Rowling owns Harry Potter and
all else. Save the plot, which is mine.
to Jyrileru and to MysteriousMuggle, as well as Ossar and Angie, wherever you
Tonks' flat was a very unusual place. It was much larger than one would expect a
normal Oxford flat to be, for one thing.
It was also much more Muggle-friendly than the average wizard home, for
there was a television in the living room (although it got bad reception on a
lot of channels) and a microwave in the kitchen. The furniture was very modern and comfortable. And the closet where Ron and Harry slept in
was huge. It was almost like the
Burrow, but a lot smaller and less cramped.
"'Course," Tonks would
tell them with a smile, "that's only because so many of my clothes are at
headquarters. Before that… it's safe to
say that this was probably the messiest flat in Oxford."
And Oxford was another thing
altogether from Surrey and London. The
voices of people on the street had a different ring to it. Even Tonks' voice started to mellow out,
more like the squarish dialect of the crowd, and she seemed perfectly happy and
content with herself.
However, Harry, Ron, and Hermione
sensed that the Metamorphmagus wasn't just there for pleasure. On Saturday afternoon, Tonks had set them
loose at a mall, and Harry spotted her later (in her usual old-lady guise)
discussing something very intently with a group of people in clumsy Muggle
clothes. But Harry was distracted by
Ron trying to drag Hermione away from the bookstore, and then the three of them
finally decided to separate and meet in an hour. While Hermione disappeared into the shelves, Ron asked Harry
where the electronic store was.
As Harry and Ron went into 'Zippy's
Fine-Line Gaming Store', Ron flitted to every game system, asking,
"What's this? How do you play
that? Whoa…" the last remark was
made in combination with a rather scantily-clad female on the cover of one of
the game boxes.
When Harry had introduced Ron to
every gaming system in the store -- or at least to the best of his ability,
reading the signs and trying to remember Dudley's gaming magazines that had
been thrown in the smallest bedroom -- Ron was silent. He looked from one system to another,
checking the games around each one, and finally saying, "I'd like to try
out that Sega Genesis. Think we can do
"Certainly," said an
attendant who was standing nearby.
"I can just turn on the game, and send you lads off on a
"Er… a demo?"
"Oh yeah, that'd be
great!" Ron said, and after turning on the black box, the attendant
proceeded to turn on a game with a blue, spikey-haired, ferret-looking
thing. It took a while for Ron to get
used to the strange controls of the game, but once he had, he seemed to be
having the time of his life. The
speeding and ricocheting of the spiked ferret (who was apparently called
'Sonic') was dizzying to Harry, but Ron already seemed much a master at the
Sega Genesis. A small crowd had
gathered around, and many people were cheering Ron on or giving him tips.
"Yeah, you'll want to get
those rings there…"
"Hey, Max, check out this
"What's going on?"
The last voice sounded Oxford, but
it was also familiar. Tonks' old lady
face appeared in the crowd, and her eyes widened for a minute, then she
suddenly grabbed Harry's wrist tightly and pulled him out of the store. When Tonks had disappeared inside again,
Harry massaged his wrist briefly before she came back, dragging Ron by the ear,
lecturing him as though she was his grandmother.
"Honestly, Ronald… running off
without telling your own Granny where you've been! You should be ashamed of yourself…"
"Tonks!" Ron moaned,
"did you see how well I was doing back there? Couldn't I have kept playing just a bit
"No," the old lady
snapped, letting go of his ear.
"Listen to me, Ron. Do you
want to become an Auror?"
"Well…" Ron paused,
massaging his ear, "I guess so, but I'm not sure…"
"Let me put it this way,"
Tonks fixed him with a stern glare, "do you care about the life of your
"Yes, yes of course I
do!" Ron looked outraged at the
"Then you shouldn't call
attention to yourself when Harry is around," she hissed. "If any Death Eaters caught wind of the
fact that he's here, in Oxford, with only one Auror to guard him, he wouldn't
last a minute out on the streets!"
"But how was I calling
attention to… oh," sudden comprehension dawned on Ron's face, "You
mean the game thingy."
Ron shifted his eyes, not looking
directly at either Tonks or Harry.
"It's alright," Tonks
said, patting him on the shoulder.
"There's been no lasting harm done. Just make sure it doesn't happen again, okay?"
"Good. Now, come on down to the food court,
Hermione's waiting for you."
The next evening found the four of
them in the Botanic Gardens across from Magdalen College. Tonks was smiling, a little sadly.
"Well, Harry, Ron, Hermione,
it's been a good weekend, but sadly, all things must come to a close." She
was quiet again, and for a while the four of them walked through the gardens.
Suddenly, Tonks' entire air
changed. She became alert,
intense. She looked up, and her eyes
widened. "All three of you, get
Harry, Ron, and Hermione instantly
fell to the ground, and then craned their necks trying to look upward. A pale film seemed to be spreading itself
across the sky. Tonks was in a crouch,
looking up, wand out.
"A Spellweb…" Harry heard
her mutter. "What spells are they
using to layer it, I wonder… damn it, but I'm a fool."
She carefully went to where the
three teenagers were lying and said in a hushed voice, "We've been
surrounded. I think that someone --
maybe rogue vandals, you get a lot around here -- have covered the entire garden
area with a Spellweb -- you know what that is, Hermione, right?"
Hermione primly answered, "A
Spellweb is a series of spells that can be used to surround an area like a --
like a hemisphere. It usually takes about five people to conjure one."
"Precisely," said Tonks,
"and I don’t want to run the risk of those five people being Death
"All my fault…" Ron
"No, it isn't," Tonks
said fiercely. "Come to think of
it, I'm almost sure that it's just vandals.
But still, I don't want you three getting hurt, so I'll have to think of
She got up and started walking,
weaving in and out of the trees, never straying very far from the trio. Harry thought he could hear her murmuring to
herself, "I need to keep them close by… but I can't risk them being seen
with us, if it's an ambush… we need some way to tell them when it's safe
to pass… but how?"
She thought for a minute longer,
her left hand rubbing her shoulder, and then said forcibly, "No! Can't do that. That's too drastic! We'd
get arrested, or… no, no, there isn't any law against it… I suppose we
could do it… so long as there isn't a law… I guess we can always reverse it
later, I mean, there has to be a countercharm… are you sure that’s the
'Why is she having a
conversation with herself?' Harry wondered. 'Maybe it's an old habit of
Finally, Tonks came over to them
and crouched down, her face concerned but determined. "All right, now," she said, "what I am about to do
"Er, Tonks?" Hermione
said timidly. "Your hair…"
"Huh?" Tonks pulled down
a lock of what was now almost all blonde hair with uneven fringe. "Oh, no, not again," she
said exasperatedly. "Why does it
always do that when I'm thinking?"
She screwed up her face and the
blonde hair pulled itself back into a loose bun at the nape of her neck. Tonks took a few deep breaths, and then
said, "Now, as I was saying, what I am about to do is a very drastic spell
that will change the way you see people.
It's not a light move, casting it on you, and I want you to know what's
coming, all right?"
The three nodded somewhat
fearfully. Tonks pulled out her wand
"Harry James Potter," she
said clearly, pointing it at Harry.
Then, shifting it to Ron, she said, "Ronald Galahad Weasley,"
and then, "Hermione Alanna Granger."
She then held her wand straight up
in front of her, and said, "Venite Demono!"
The tip of her wand lit up, and it
grew, until it looked like all the power of a very small star was contained
atop that little ball of light atop the wand.
As Harry watched it, he became vaguely aware that his chest felt very
hollow, and that there seemed to be a pulse in it, like someone was beating at
it steadily with strong fingers. The
light gradually faded, and Harry blinked, feeling like he had come out of a
"Are you all okay?" Tonks
"Yeah… I think I
am." Harry's voice sounded distant
in his own ears, and he was still staring at the wand tip.
"Good, now, tell me what you
Harry's head whirred and cleared,
and he became aware of a misty form that seemed to have taken residence on
"I see -- a misty, greenish
sort of shape…" he said, squinting.
"I can barely make out
anything," Hermione said, "but I think it's coming into focus -- yes,
I think it's…"
"A lizard," Ron said,
"definitely a lizard. Why is it on
Tonks smiled a bit uneasily. "Well, to be precise," she said,
"it's a chameleon." She cleared her throat. "Harry, Ron, Hermione -- meet Rachi. Rachi is my dæmon."
There was silence. Then --
"Pardon me, your what?"
"Why do you have a
Tonks took a deep breath, and Rachi
turned his head (now in clear focus) to look at the three of them.
"A dæmon," Tonks said,
"is something that everyone has.
Each one of you has one, even if you can't see them. What I have done is given you the ability to
see other people's dæmons."
"Wait--" Hermione said,
thinking, "why can't we see our own -- dæmons?"
Harry looked all around
himself. It was true: he could see nothing that remotely resembled
Rachi on his shoulders or on the ground.
Nor could he see a -- thing around Ron or Hermione.
"It's a kind of complicated
matter, and one I won't get into right now," said Tonks hurriedly. "Now listen to me. I have to break the barriers in the
Spellweb, but to do so, I'll need to keep you three a fair distance away from
me. However, I also need to be able to
tell you when to move, without losing my position. So --"
Rachi scampered down her arm and
got onto the ground. Tonks' shoulders
looked strangely bare without him. She
went on, "Rachi will tell you when it is safe to move. He can't move too far from me, but he'll
know right away when it's safe."
"Pardon me," Ron said,
"how will he let us know?"
"I'll tell you," Rachi
said in a clear, distinct male voice.
Ron jumped. Rachi chuckled, a
rasping noise. "Yes, I can
talk. You seem surprised."
"A little," Ron said,
staring at the chameleon. Tonks
"Rachi may be a little
sarcastic, but that's just because he's nervous," she said, stroking
him. "I will leave him here with
you, and go and break the Spellweb, okay?"
The three nodded. Tonks stroked Rachi one more time, then
straightened up and Disapparated. The
teenagers heard her Apparate a bit further off. They waited for a bit longer, and finally Rachi said,
"Wotcher, let's move out."
The followed the chameleon a few
meters onward, and then he stopped again, tense, waiting. Harry briefly reflected on the absurdity of
the situation: he was lying on the ground of the Oxford Botanic Gardens, following
a talking chameleon that he'd just been told was a -- what was the word again?
-- dæmon. Ahead, he could barely make
out Tonks' form, waving her wand at the air.
He spotted a young couple walking down the path, arm in arm, unable to
see the odd quartet. Harry noticed that
the man had a cat slinking amiably around his legs, and the woman had a
butterfly on her shoulder. Both people,
however, seemed entirely oblivious to the animals on them. Harry didn't see a chameleon anywhere on
them. As they passed, he thought, 'Are
those animals the people's dæmons?'
'They must be,' another part
of his mind mused, 'and these people can't see them.'
"Okay…" Rachi said,
"time to move again."
The three shuffled after the
chameleon again. Harry asked him,
"Rachi -- what are people's dæmons, anyway?"
"A companion," Rachi
seemed a bit distracted, "your other half."
"Like a soulmate?" Ron
"No… no, not a soulmate, more
Rachi suddenly froze. A strange, trilling noise, like one of pain,
came from his throat, and he sped forward.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione started to
follow, but he turned around and shouted at them, "Stay back!" and
then hurried ahead.
The chameleon's command had effect
for about a minute before Ron started to get up.
"Ron, wait!" Hermione
said chidingly. "Rachi said to
"No, he didn't!" Ron
snapped back. "He only said to stay back.
So, we could watch, so long as we didn't interfere."
Hermione thought about this for a
minute while Ron said, "Come on, Harry, let's go," and slunk
ahead. Harry followed, and then
Hermione, somewhat reluctantly.
They heard the sounds of voices
ahead, and crouched behind a bush to watch.
Tonks was standing with her wand
out against a group of five young people, three men and two women, all of who
had their wands out, and looked very menacing.
"Well, well, well, whatcha
gonna do now, eh?" said the apparent leader, who had a parrot the same
shade of green as his hair on his shoulder.
"Yeah, you're stuck!"
said a girl with a dachshund at her feet, barking with mad glee, although the
girl seemed deaf to it.
Tonks looked at them
defiantly. "I am much more capable
than you are," she said clearly.
"I can do spells that would make your empty little heads spin. It would be very wise to let me and my
"What friends?" sneered a
man with a large black beetle buzzing around his head, "You ain't got
Harry sensed, rather than saw,
a bristling movement on a branch right near beetle-man's head. He looked up and saw Rachi standing there,
looking as menacing as the average chameleon can look.
Tonks also looked up, and her
expression turned to one of shock.
However, beetle-man mistook the signal, and grinned.
"Hey, maybe she wants me
to be her friend, eh?"
Everyone in the group roared with
laughter. Tonks flushed. The man went on, "Hey, chick, don't
worry, I'm good in bed…"
In an instant, the man was on the
ground, twitching. Tonks was looking at
him with disgust. The other members of
the group stared for a minute, and then the leader said, "E-everyone? Lift the spells, now!"
The group dispersed in various
directions, and Harry looked up to see Rachi, with his tongue hanging out
oddly, and stuck to something black and shiny and buzzing madly at the
end. Harry realized, with a shock, that
it was the man's dæmon.
"Rachi!" Tonks said
angrily. "Let her go."
Rachi spat the beetle off with a
horrible squelching noise, and it buzzed near the man. He stopped twitching. Tonks knelt by him and muttered, "Somnus." Then she stood up again and said to Rachi,
"You should not have done that."
"I know I shouldn't've,"
he argued, "but you wanted me to, right?
You know what he was thinking!"
"I do, but that's still no
reason to react the way you did. You
could have killed her."
Tonks turned away from Rachi,
crossing her arms stubbornly. Then
Rachi extended his tongue again and licked her ear in what looked like an
affectionate gesture, though Harry would have previously classified it as
'disgusting'. Tonks seemed to grin
halfheartedly and then she turned around and lifted up her arm. Rachi jumped down to it, and then climbed up
to her shoulder, resuming his prior position.
For a moment Tonks stroked him softly.
Then she suddenly remembered.
"Where're the kids?"
"Right here," Hermione
piped up, for Tonks seemed to be on the verge of panic. After a hurried explanation on Hermione's
part of why they had followed the chameleon, Tonks checked that the Spellweb
had in fact been taken down, and then she led them back to her flat.
"So, Tonks," Ron said when
they entered, "Now can you tell us what dæmons are?"
It was Hermione who answered
him. "I've read a bit about
dæmons," she said, "if I'm correct, it's written with an 'a-e'
Tonks nodded. "What else do you remember
"Nothing much. The concept was very abstract, and not
well-defined. I wasn't very
"Well…" Tonks slowly
stirred her coffee, "I'm not entirely sure on the concept myself, but my
mum used to tell me that I have a guardian angel who watches over me and tells
me to keep away from bad things. I guess you might call them your
conscience." She smiled suddenly.
"When I was a kid, I probably drove that angel nuts -- mischievous
little ankle-biter, I was. Anyway --
after Venite Demono was placed on me, when I became a member of the
Order of the Phoenix, I decided that dæmons were kind of like those guardian
angels my mother always talked about."
"Why can't we see our
dæmons?" Harry wanted to know.
"You cannot see your dæmons
for the single reason that they have not been named," Tonks explained.
"When your dæmons have been given proper names, then you will be able to
"Why can't I see Ron and
Harry's dæmons, then?" Hermione asked.
Tonks opened her mouth, closed it
again, opened it again, closed it again (now looking rather like a goldfish)
and finally said, "I don't know."
Rachi, who was on the counter,
clambered partway up her arm and said something that the children couldn't
hear. "Oh yes!" Tonk
said. "That's right. Right after I joined the Order, and before I
had named Rachi, there was another junior member -- what was his name? I don't remember -- anyway, he'd had Venite
Demono cast on him about the same time that I had, and I couldn't see
his dæmon until I had named Rachi. Gave
me the creeps…"
Hermione tapped her fingertips
together. "So I'll be able to see
Ron and Harry's dæmons as soon as my own has been named?"
Tonks nodded. "Or as soon as theirs have been
Ron spoke up. "By the way, do all dæmons take
"Yes," Tonks said,
"Where do these forms come
from?" he continued.
"They are… oh my goodness,
look at the time!" Tonks had
suddenly realized just how late it was and without another word about dæmons,
sent the three of them to bed.
A few moments later, next to a
snoring Ron, Harry had time to think.
The wordless exchange between Tonks and Rachi, especially with the
strange licking, had been weird on one level, but on another, Harry felt --
alone, watching the two of them. It was
clear how much Tonks and Rachi cared about each other, and a part of Harry
wished for that contact, for a dæmon of his own…
Almost an hour later he woke up,
sweating. He got up as quietly as he
could and went to the bathroom. As he
washed his hands and face, he recalled a few vivid scenes in the dream -- an
army of angry beetles buzzing at him, a chameleon with Tonks' head on its neck
sticking its tongue out at him, and that voice, still calling that mysterious
name. Of course, the dream had ended
with the same unclean feeling that ended every one of his dreams, whether he
remembered them or not. His mind
drifted back to dæmons. What were
they, exactly? Tonks had said that all
dæmons took a different shape, so then what was his dæmon's form? And if he could see his, what would
he call it?
An answer to the last question
drifted into Harry's mind, but he shook it out. "No," he said aloud.
"There is no way I would ever name my dæmon Aulaia."
day, Tonks appeared to be in a hurry about getting Harry, Ron, and Hermione
back to their respective houses in time.
She and Rachi both urged Harry and his friends to hurry up, and only
really relaxed when she was back in her Sister Nymphadora habit and waiting for
the Knight Bus.
on her shoulders, as usual, and when the bus pulled up and opened, Harry
immediately noticed a large, droopy chocolate Labrador at Stan Stunpike's
feet. He was slowly starting to get
used to seeing animals around every person, but he still wasn't used to the
people being oblivious to the animals.
It was strange, seeing any sort of animal around and on a person, and
seeing them not react at all was stranger still.
The four of them (five, counting Rachi) sat down.
about names -- can we name our own dæmons?" Ron asked her.
she said. "I named Rachi
myself. Keep in mind, however -- once
you have named a dæmon, that's its name for life. You can't go back."
Grimmauld Square," Stan's voice shouted.
be us," Hermione said, getting up.
"Tonks, are you coming with us?"
I'll just drop Harry off. I'll see you
in a bit, though," Tonks replied.
all right, then. See you later,
Tonks. Take care, Harry," Hermione
said, giving Harry a slight wave before going down the steps.
see you, mate," Ron said, playfully shaking Harry's shoulder before
following Hermione. After the bus
started to cart forward on a completely different street, Harry reinitiated the
he said, "what are Ron and Hermione's dæmons' -- you know, forms?"
that," Tonks said, stroking Rachi a little absentmindedly, "their
dæmons don't have forms."
not yet anyway. You see, when you’re a
child, your dæmon takes any form at any time.
Have you noticed that?"
can't say I have," Harry said. It
was true. With all the rushing around
that day, he couldn't really pay attention to anyone's dæmon, really.
Tonks stroked her chin. Rachi nodded
towards a small child who was boarding the bus with her mother. "Ah!
Look at that girl over there."
looked. The girl's dæmon did
change: one minute it was a rebellious porcupine, the next it was an obedient
little dog, following the mother's stoat dæmon.
that girl grows up, her dæmon will take one settled form for the rest of their
life. Ron and Hermione, although their
dæmons are close to settling, are still very changeable."
"Oh." Harry thought for a minute, and then asked,
"Is my dæmon settled?"
form," Tonks corrected him.
form, then. Well?"
looked out the window in silence for a minute, and then said, "You'll find
out soon enough. When your dæmon
receives her name."
voice shouted again, this time "Privet Drive, Surrey."
get off with you," Tonks said, straightening her Sister Nymphadora
habit. "I'll see how soon we can
get you back to headquarters."
two of them were at the front door, Tonks rang the doorbell, and soon Dudley
opened the door. Harry quickly looked
to his cousin's feet, where he spotted a rat, which quickly changed into a
do you want?" Dudley crossed his arms and looked boredly at Tonks.
would like to speak with your mother, please, on the custody of your
cousin," Tonks said calmly, as Rachi made faces at Dudley's dæmon. Harry noted with pleasure that a chameleon
could make some great faces.
Dudley said, then turned away from the door and hollered, "MUM! This nun wants to talk to you!" After a
moment's thought, he turned back and said to them, "Oh, yeah, I guess you
can come in."
herself regally into the sitting-room.
Harry kept his eye on Dudley's dæmon.
Dudley himself seemed a bit nervous.
"What're you lookin' at?"
Harry replied. Dudley scowled and turned
away. His dæmon did the same, taking
the form of a pug. Aunt Petunia entered
the sitting room, closely followed by a gray and black gander. Uncle Vernon followed her, with a bulldog
trotting at his heels. The gander's
wings flapped once when he saw "Sister Nymphadora", but settled down
immediately. The bulldog acquired a
defensive position. Harry observed this
quietly, and then turned his head up to listen to the conversation between
Tonks and his aunt and uncle.
Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, I am Sister Nymphadora…"
on a moment," Uncle Vernon said forcibly.
"What order do you belong to?
Aren't wizards supposed to be heathens?"
him with a withering glance.
"Wizards are not heathens, Mr. Dursley," she said,
"and I belong to a very obscure order.
You would not have heard of it."
order do --" Uncle Vernon was about to say, but Aunt Petunia cut him
off with, "What did you come for?"
came to discuss how soon Harry can join myself and my fellow wizards at
headquarters," Tonks said, and Rachi seemed annoyed now.
soon as you want to," Uncle Vernon said.
"Take him now, if you like.
you see, Mr. Dursley," and Tonks was starting to sound a little irked now,
"a colleague of mine wishes that Harry stay with you for a bit
longer. Three days, at the
three days it is," Aunt Petunia said,
"In three days, you can take the boy away."
well, then," Tonks got up.
"Harry, would you please show me to the door?"
followed her onto the front steps again, where she nodded to him as though they
were nothing but good acquaintances, and turned away. Rachi, however, slipped off of her shoulders and when Harry
leaned down he said, "Good luck, Harry.
And mind you don't touch any dæmons."
Harry a quick chameleon grin, he scuttled down the walk and rejoined Tonks, who
gave Harry one small wave before Disapparating.