The Sugar Quill
Author: ishie (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: The Seventy Proof Solution  Chapter: Chapter One
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A/N: Starts at the end of Harry’s third year of Hogwarts (PoA)

A/N: Starts at the end of Harry’s third year of Hogwarts (PoA). Majority takes place during Harry's fourth year of Hogwarts (GoF), although you won't see any of that here. It's Tonks' first year as one of Wizarding Britain's finest.
(And yes, shameless rip-off of the Very Secret Diaries by Cassandra Claire, Lamentations of a Starry-Eyed Twit by She's a Star and Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding. In fact, you're probably better off reading one of those instead.)
I played around a bit with Tonks’s age. According to my/her back-story, she was born in ’71 and started Hogwarts the year after Sirius went to Azkaban. None of which is vitally important, but, well, there you go. No “oh dear, maths” here, by golly!

Virtual chocolate frogs to WiccaRowan for not letting the wankers get the best of her and for her invaluable beta skills. Grazie!


 

The Case Book of Auror (Third Class) Nymphadora Tonks
1994-1995

25 April 1994
16:00
Finished our last training session this morning! I’m an Auror (Third Class) now!

Or, well, I will be once I’ve completed the Qualifying Trials scheduled for the next three days. Instructor Williamson told me this afternoon that I’d qualified already in Concealment and Disguise, but I should still do the Trial to make up for my “piss-poor performance in Stealth and Tracking”. His words, not mine. I would’ve said “dead-clumsy-and-embarrassing-to-wizardkind attempt at being a graceful witch”.

Anyway, Mum got me this notebook so I can keep track of what’s going on in my Very Serious Adult Career. Technically it’s supposed to be for case notes and questions and investigatory whatnot but since I haven’t any cases yet, I’m just going to use it as – well, not a diary, because diaries are for little girls. I'm an Adult Witch (not like that) now! I'll be twenty-three in two months. Right, okay, it’s a serious professional journal for recording observations which may be useful in the course of my work. Yeah.

(Charmed it so I’m the only one who can read it, so no worries about giving away Ministry secrets. Constant Vigilance! Heh. That Mad-Eye’s nuttier than a fruitcake, but he’s got some useful tips.)

(Disguised it, too. I doubt any dark wizards are going to pick up a copy of The Littlest Crup… Especially not when it starts warbling nursery rhymes when opened.)

16:07 Has Mum been reading Sherlock Holmes again? I think I left The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes there when we got back from that mini-break to Bath. Is that where she got the idea? If so, I’m not sure what she’s implying, because it was Dr Watson who kept notes, not Holmes, and if I’m anybody in that pair, it’s Holmes.

16:08

16:10 Right?

28 April 1994
21:32
Oh gods, I want to die! I don’t even want to write it down here, it’s that embarrassing…

21:35 Really, it doesn’t bear repeating.

21:38 Be lucky to scrape by with a Rudimentary in Stealth and Tracking. I’ll say no more…

21:41 Let’s just say, totally hypothetically, of course, that when tracking a suspect, keeping one’s diary, er, case book in a pocket that could hypothetically rip open after snagging on a loose nail while one is falling up a flight of stairs, thereby possibly spilling all its contents onto the floor (and I’m just thinking off the top of my head here about things that could happen, not necessarily actual events from any specific person’s Qualifying Trials), is probably not a good idea. Hypothetically.

And if one were to, hypothetically, do such a thing, casting a simple Silencio at the object would be the best course of action. Turning seventeen shades of red (both skin and hair) and moaning in humiliation when one’s trial partner starts laughing? Not so much, really.

21:44 And doing such a thing while partnered with a Really Hot Auror (Second Class) is probably not a good idea either. Especially if one was hoping for an evening of non-clumsy flirting over a celebratory drink. Hypothetically.

21:56 Right! Enough sitting around here like some whinging first-year. May as well open that bottle of elderflower wine I picked up at the offie.

22:22 Oh gods, what am I going to do if I don't make it into the Auror Corps? I can't go back to the apothecary apprenticeship, I'm completely out of touch with Experimental Charms and I'm only good at basic health and repair spells. Doooooom!

22:55 Well bollux to em if they don' wan me. Be bess Auroror ever, I would.

23:11 Hiiickory Diiiiickory Dock! A mousey rang on a clooooock!

How’m I sposed to get rid of this blasstid Motha Goosey charm?

29 April 1994
13:03
Just woke up. Head gone all poundy. Tongue and teeth wearing miniature fuzzy jumpers.

Never drinking again. Resolve very firm.

15:29 How on earth did my wand get all the way up there?

01 May 1994
07:07
Bloody owl woke me up. Was tapping on the window when I rolled over. No idea how long it was out there. Jumped out of bed to open the window (completely forgetting I could just wave my wand to do it), legs got all tangled in the covers. Oops. Luckily, the hard, pointy nightstand broke my fall.

Ow.

Bleedin' bird’s laughing at me.

07:10 Reparo really is a right useful spell, eh? Bloody genius whoever came up with that one.

07:56 Whoops! Just remembered I never even opened the scrolls.

07:57 I GOT IN! I GOT IN! I GOT IN! I GOT IN! I GOT IN! I GOT IN! I GOT IN!

08:01 Managed to scrape a Rudimentary in Stealth (thank the gods!). Instructor Williamson added a note to tell me they gave extra credit for “creating an effective diversion” even though I technically shouldn’t’ve.

The rest of the marks aren’t too shabby either: Excels in Concealment and Disguise (shock), Excels in Emergency Transfiguration, Unobjectionable in Potions (the Potions Mistress was a nasty old bint with wand firmly up bum and who clearly didn’t recognize the genius of purifying all antidote bases with a single bezoar), Determined in both Pursuit and Primary Defence. Add those to the three Excels and two Determineds they gave me for the written exams last winter and you're looking at one of Wizarding Britain's newest Aurors!

Second scroll has all the information about my first assignment, when to report to HQ, dress code (bleh), supervisors, holidays, compensation, benefits, blah blah blah. Will read later. (Research: They've addressed me as Auror (Third Class) Nemfedora Tonks. When did they stop using that Aurora term for the witches? It's quite pretty. And who do I talk to about having my first name removed from the rolls entirely?)

I GOT IN! I GOT IN! I GOT IN! I GOT IN! I GOT IN! I GOT IN! I GOT IN!

I’m going to Floo over to Mum and Dad’s and invite them out for lunch to celebrate!

08:03 Note to self: Always, always Floo-call married couples before visiting. My poor virgin eyes!

08:04 Probably a good idea to Floo-call anybody before visiting in the wee hours of the morning.

08:11 Okay, so virgin might be overstating the case a little. Okay, a lot. But, really, there are true horrors in life (some of which I may be battling on a daily basis!) and then there’s the sight of your parents … doing that … first thing in the morning.

Shudder.

02 May 1994 - 8 days to new job!
12:30
In the complete and utter absence of anything resembling an actual case – I don’t start work until next Tuesday – or a life, for that matter, I will now lay out for you the Myriad Reasons Why I Like Being a Metamorphmagus:

One: Can’t be “banned for life” from any eating, drinking, dancing, or retail establishment if they don't recognize you. Especially helpful after major holidays/drinking sprees.

Two: Virtually no money spent on cosmetics or hair products, aside from the occasional lip rouge or hair gel.

Three: No need for complicated glamours I never got the hang of.

Four: Can match any outfit, location, occasion or person.

Five: Will never have a bad haircut.

Six: No need to diet – can move excess poundage to other areas.

Seven: My shoes always fit.

Eight: Babysitting’s a breeze when you can do all the character’s voices and faces at bedtime.

Nine: Easy to ditch people I don’t like when they don’t know what I look like.

Ten: I’m the only one I know.

Eleven: Beats being a Stasismagus. Oho! I kid, I kid.

12:41 What the hell would a Stasismagus be able to do? Stay exactly the same? I'm really odd sometimes.

05 May 1994 - 5 days to new job!
20:47
Sophie just Flooed in, crying over something Sebastian said or did or thought. I dunno. Hard to understand through the wailing. I’d be a little more sympathetic if she didn’t end up crying all over my hearth every other Tuesday. I know she was my best mate at school, but she brings it on herself. Sebastian’s a good bloke, bit dim – he was never any great shakes academically and too many Bludgers to the head really did a number on him. Anyway, when Sophie starts prattling on about … whatever, he gets this glazed look in his eye and starts agreeing to whatever she says. Then she has a dickie fit ‘cause he’s not listening and he gets confused and they end up hurling hexes and she Floos over here.

Idiots.

21:30 She’s still crying. Maybe we’ll just pop round the pub to cheer her up.

No drinking, though. Resolve still very firm.

06 May 1994 - 4 days to new job!
02:45
On’y hadda lil bit of Far… Fahrwiss… Ogden’s. Sebashion’s a twat. Sophie bessever. She hexed Arsy Face! Bessfren ever!

14:08 Oh my head hurts…

14:10 Should probably explain Arsy Face. The whole night’s a bit of a blur, but I remember getting in some non-clumsy flirting and snogging with a cutish bloke in the pub. All going quite swimmingly (Research: is a tongue like that entirely human?) until he asked me to “change ‘em”.

Yeah. Them.

Arse. Not mine. He. Is one. What?

Why is it that any time a guy finds out I’m a Metamorph, the first thing he wants is for me to change is my chest? Why not poutier lips or a rounder bum or slimmer hips? Oi! Show a little ingenuity!

And why would I be inflating my chest in the middle of a crowded pub on a Thursday night for some thin-haired, pot-belly-growing, SO NOT CUTE ANYMORE git?

What’s the big deal about breasts anyway? It’s not like they’re these mystical objects that can only be glimpsed once in a blue moon when the planets are correctly aligned and you've already sacrificed a small goat. Well, okay, so there's a little bit of ceremony involved, but still! Every witch has ‘em, most wizards do too once they stop trying to impress the single witches with their manly physique. Hell, pop into the Three Broomsticks on any given night and Rosmerta’s got hers nearly on full display!

Whatever. Done drinking. Done chatting up NOT CUTE Arsy Faces in random pubs.

15:32 Maybe we could start going to Muggle pubs where I can’t even mention that I’m a Metamorph?

17:55 It's a good thing for Mr Darcy Pendergast (aka Arsy Face) that I am a Serious Professional who would not dream of abusing my future authority by putting his name down on any to-be-investigated lists.

17:56 Ripped up the anonymous Muggle-baiting complaint. See? Professional!

08 May 1994 - 2 days to new job!
11:21
Dad and I are going shopping in Muggle London today. He wants to pick up some children's books about magic (something about an article for some academic journal. I dunno. Accidentally caught my hair in a drawer while he was talking and missed the middle part.) and I need to get some Muggle clothes to wear under my robes at work. Never know where you might end up!

19:42 I am officially doing all my shopping in Muggle London from now on. We found this Oxfam charity shop near Dad's favourite bookstore that had clothes from practically every decade. It was great! Best part was I forgot to change t-shirts before I went (1989 Weird Sisters World Tour!) and it didn't matter! Nobody even gives me a second look in Muggle society; the hair and the clothes blend right in. Love that.

Maybe I should have gone into Muggle Relations?

Anyway, I was sifting through the racks at Oxfam, looking for anything vaguely resembling a businessy type outfit, while Dad was looking at a carton full of spats. (Research: why is it that all the older wizards I know are so obsessed with spats? Muggles don't even wear them anymore! Even Dad, who's Muggle-born himself, can't resist buying them.) Found some dowdy skirts and trousers and jumpers and button-front blouses that weren't too awful. Picked up a couple of vintage slogan t-shirts, too: Make Love Not War, Choice of a New Generation and a God Save the Sex Pistols tour shirt. Was crowing (not literally) over prime Punk find when I saw It.

Oh gods above, it was beautiful. Gorgeous ivory brocade, cut like a Malkin dress robe I saw Celestina Warbeck wearing once, tiny little brocade-covered buttons from neckline to hemline, just the slightest bit of lace at the cuffs and décolletage... Sweet fancy Merlin, I think I started drooling. They had it hanging over the till counter, like some sort of beacon for unmarried women. If I hadn't known that we were in an all-Muggle area, I would've thought they'd put a Luminesce charm on it.

Let's get one thing straight first: I am not some silly fluffy girl. Sure, I like to wear my hair pink sometimes, but that's because I like the colour and it makes the old biddies nervous. I'd rather have a pint and a game of darts than flit around some frilly garden party. You won't catch me wearing a skirt unless I have to for work or some ritzy occasion. My idea of fancy dress is a pair of trousers and one of Dad's tweed coats and calling myself Sherlock. I'm a Modern Witch who isn't going to quit my job to raise a bunch of sprogs and I don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about finding a bloke and getting married. Well, I don't think about it more than anything else I think about. Maybe I think about it once or twice a day, what of it? That’s normal. What? I lost my train of thought...

Anyway, not a girly-girl, not a dress-wearer, not a delicate princess dreaming of being swept off her feet. Oh, but this gown made me want to be all those things. I don't put much stock in Divination or Seeing, really, but I swear I had a vision, right there in the middle of that charity shop.

I was standing outside, in pale autumn sunlight. I could smell wet leaves and smoke from a fire. Dad had my arm tucked in his, his hand on mine. Mum was standing nearby, all teary-eyed. I looked down and saw my regular, unMorphed hair against the creamy ivory fabric of the charity shop gown. Felt like I was in my too-plump, unMorphed body, too. I took a step forward, looked up and...

Promptly tripped over a footstool in that dingy Oxfam shop. Weird. Not the footstool, the vision. Never mind.

Dad and I went to eat at a kitschy chain restaurant after. Didn't mention the vision (Mum and Dad both get a little tetchy about Divination and prophecies and such) and had a pretty good meal (only knocked over my beer three times).

So, good day, lots of new clothes for work, Dad got his books - which were pretty funny: teenaged boys riding unicorns all over the place.

Won't think about that vision anymore. Probably just a fragment of an indigestion-induced dream or something.

20:59 Was a gorgeous gown, though.

21:00 Start new job in 36 hours! Yay!

09 May 1994 - New job tomorrow!
13:42
Took Sophie to that kitschy restaurant for lunch. She got into it with Sebastian again this morning, sobbed all over my hearth around midday. Ugh. She seemed to like the place, even if she did keep trying to order Gillywater.

Spent the rest of the afternoon running errands and getting things together for my first day. Tomorrow! Tomorrow's my first day!

21:15 andIboughtthatgown

21:16 ...

21:17 Oh, like you didn't know I would.

21:29 This ... really isn't supposed to be a diary, you know. Serious Professional Adult Career type stuff and all that.

23:59 FIRST DAY TOMORROW!

Think I'll go with the spiky black hair for a more adult look. Yes. Good idea.

 

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