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 backstory, 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,
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 Nymphadora Tonks
10 May 1994 – First Day
06:27 What in the
name of all that is magical and right in the world am I doing up this early?
What's that horrible noise? Oh. Right. Alarm clock.
06:28 OH MY GOD, I’M AN AUROR!
08:04 This is going to be the best day
ever. I have appropriate clothes, my hair is a respectable shade of black and
not too out-of-control, and I’m twenty minutes ahead of schedule, which means I
can pop into the Leaky Cauldron on the way and pick up something for lunch.
I didn’t even spill my tea
this morning! Best. Day. EVER!
18:13 It was, without a doubt, the most
miserable day of my entire sodding existence. I don’t even want to think about
18:19 Suffice it to say, black hair?
Worst. Idea. Ever.
18:26 Okay, riding into the Ministry on
the back of a cave troll waving the bloody head of Celestina Warbeck and an
enchanted, singing Muggle tea kettle while eating a baby (I’d be the one eating
it, not the troll) would have been worse. But not by much…
How could I have been so
stupid? Second most wanted wizard in Britain on the loose and I stroll into the
heart of Magical Justice looking like a rounder, female version of him.
They say you can always
tell a Black: their hair’s as dark as their hearts. (Except for Narcissa, who
somehow - wink wink nudge nudge - ended up with platinum blond hair and two
ebony-haired parents.) I don’t really think much about being a Black. I’m a
Tonks, through and through. I’ve got Dad’s eyes and hair, Grammy Tonks’s figure
and when I’m unMorphed, I bear a striking resemblance to Auntie Barb. I’ve
never tortured a house elf, never collected virgin’s blood by the light of a
crescent moon, never hunted a werewolf or done any of the other things my illustrious
relations are reported to have done.
Morphed, though, that’s a
different story. The heart-shaped face I usually wear is my own, just like Mum
and forty-seven other generations of Black witches. My lips are Black, my
cheekbones are Black. So when my hair is black, I look like I dropped straight
down off the family tree (which, rumour has it, Mum was magically blasted off
thirty seconds after saying “I do”), hitting every evil, twisted branch along
I don’t really remember
Sirius that well, but from what I do remember, he was good for a laugh.
He was Mum’s favorite cousin and didn’t mind me hanging all over him, but we
didn’t see each other all that much. He was a decade older and busy with his
friends and life and we were busy not making targets of ourselves. And by we, I
mean Mum and Dad. I was mostly busy trying to not scrape all the skin off my
He came round now and
again, sometimes by himself, sometimes with a few mates. He brought two of them
to my tenth birthday party; I’ve never been able to throw the picture away. I
should have. As much as I liked my cousin, what he did was unforgivable and I
wish he’d rotted in that stinking prison.
How can someone betray and
murder the people they claim to love most in the world?
I guess he did do me one
favour. He’s the reason I’m an Auror now. I want to make sure bastards like him
get what they deserve. His best friends! A baby, for the love of Nimue! A baby.
Sorry. Wandering off the
point a bit.
Anyway, this being my
first day and all, I spent most of the day in a tiny little cubicle, filling
out personnel scrolls. The witch in charge of personnel (who’d better pray
she’s never trapped in a dark place with me) kept making all these snide little
comments about “blood will out” and how you always know a person once you know
their family. It’s nothing I haven’t heard before and usually I’ve got a few
snide comments of my own. Or hexes. Whichever, I'm not picky. But, since it was
my first day at a new job, I bit down on my tongue until it bled, smiling some
vapid smile at her when I really wanted to claw her eyes out and feed them to
Lunch was the best part of
the day. Sophie surprised me at the Fountain in the lobby, along with some of
our other friends from school: Gwyn, Bertram and Hex. (Hex just completed his
Justice apprenticeship and started clerking for Amelia Bones. Lucky bastard.)
We transfigured our robes into blankets (Bertram forgot he wasn’t wearing
Muggle clothes underneath and had to nip home for a bit) and had a celebratory
picnic in a little park near to the Ministry. Was fun. Must get together with
that lot more often. It’s so easy to be happy around them.
After lunch, the day got
worse. I was pulled aside at Wand Registration for a “random security check,”
every single person I passed gave me a double- or triple-take before they
started whispering behind their hands and Kingsley Bloody Shacklebolt
pulled me into an office to interrogate me about my loyalties. He’s the Auror
in charge of the manhunt for Sirius. Apparently they got some anonymous tip
that someone he knew from Before is helping him get in and out of Hogsmeade and
Right, yeah, that’d be me:
newly minted Auror and fugitive harbourer. How sodding brilliant of them
all to see the black hair and the Black face and tell at a glance that I’m as
rotten to the core as he is.
Arseholes, the lot of ‘em.
I’ve half a mind to not go back to work tomorrow.
20:13 Of course, if I don’t go back
they’ll just nod gravely at each other and say, “We were right. Just another
20:15 BUGGER IT ALL!
21:21 Gods above, I hate when people make
21:24 Good news is I didn't fall down or
break anything all day. So there is that.
21:28 I wonder if Mum’s still up. She’ll
understand. She’s had to deal with it her whole life.
23:37 Have best Mum in world, feel loads
better. Will record our conversation tomorrow. Now must sleep so I can go back
to that wretched place tomorrow. Joy.
11 May 1994
08:01 Decided to
Muggle it into work today instead of Flooing so I would have time to write down
what Mum said last night. I guess I could’ve just used the built-in Vox
recording charm, but somehow actually writing out the words makes me feel a
Nearly forgot to
transfigure my quill into a pen. That’d be brilliant, getting a reprimand for
Secrecy on my second day as an Auror.
08:10 Not like it would’ve made much
difference if I were writing with a quill. There’s a bloke on the train
right now who’s ranting about the undead eating everyone’s brains. He's
obviously cracked. Everybody knows that the undead prefer festering vegetation.
So, obviously, Mum was
still up when I went over last night. Dad was working on something in his
office and Mum was sitting in the kitchen in her dressing gown, listening to a
Floo-in show on the Wireless. Took one look at me and my still-black hair and
knew exactly what was wrong. Held her arms out and I did this weird snuffly
sob/laugh thing and threw myself at her. Once we cleaned up the tea service I
knocked to the floor, she gave me a big hug and started fussing like she does
when I get sick.
Quite miss that actually,
now that I’ve moved out.
And that rhubarb crumble
she makes. Never did get the hang of that crust.
Hmm, now I’m really
hungry. Forgot to have breakfast this morning. Oooh! This station’s got Cadbury
08:14 Never will understand why chocolate
isn’t considered a breakfast food. Isn’t it an anytime, all the time
kind of delicacy?
(Oh, bugger it. Just
glanced up at the map and realized I got back on the wrong line! Let’s see...
I’m on the brown squiggly line and I need to… Right. Change to yellow and green
line at Embankment. (Research: did the Underground planners mean to set up the
lines in the shape of a bottle? Looks like a clever advert for some kind of
So, Mum made us up a fresh
pot. We are British, after all. Tea solves most any problems. She asked what
was wrong, what happened at work? Next thing I knew, I was kneeling next to her
chair, choking out the story between sobs while she stroked the hair back from
She grumbled a bit when I
repeated the personnel witch’s comments, but mostly made soft shushing noises
and sympathetic clicks. When I was done, she kissed my forehead and told me not
to worry. Funny thing is, when she did that, I felt loads better. I don’t know
if it was because I’d gotten out all my anger and bitterness, or if there
really is magic in a mother’s kiss, like in those books she used to read me at
Started to feel a bit
silly, hanging in her lap like an overgrown child, and said so, but she just
laughed at me and wiped my cheeks with a soft hand.
“That’s what mums are made
for,” she said and pushed me away, laughing again.
I went to wash my face and
say hi to Dad. When I came back to the kitchen, she’d cleared away the tea
things and was sitting at the table with a photo album in front of her.
“This,” she said, “is what
Blacks are made of,” and she opened the album.
08:23 (It really is amazing how well this
whole Tube system works without magic! The trains are as regular as moon phases
and everything seems so orderly.)
The album Mum had out
wasn’t one I had seen before. She keeps pictures of her sisters and Sirius and
Regulus in a shiny red dragonskin album on a bookshelf in her bedroom. I used
to page through it when I was little, practicing the faces and hairstyles on
rainy days. This one was much older, covered in some tough black fabric shot
through with golden filaments. There were cracks in the binding and some of the
pictures were starting to peel from the pages. Most of the pages were labelled
in shaky, spidery black writing that had hardly faded at all.
The strangest thing was
that I didn’t recognize hardly any of the people waving at us from the pages.
Sure, they all looked vaguely alike, in a haughty, aristocratic way.
Occasionally, I saw a name or a face I knew but that didn’t happen more than a
handful of times.
Mum explained that this
was the only item she took from her parents’ house the night she ran away with
Dad. She called it her “wake-up call”.
See, I’ve never met most
of Mum’s family. Narcissa and Bellatrix (I refuse to call them Aunt) came
calling once or twice when I was very small, always while Dad was away. Regulus
stopped showing up for birthdays after he got into an argument with Dad the
year I turned eight. He was killed not long after that. Sirius came over
whenever he was home from Hogwarts and could sneak out of his house, which
wasn’t often. They were the only ones I ever met properly.
The rest of the family,
well, I learned about them at Hogwarts. Mum refused to even speak her parents’
names at home and I was awfully curious, so I looked them up in the library. I
almost wish I hadn’t. I had nightmares for months, mostly about being kidnapped
by some demented relative and forced to become a proper Black. And what
I didn’t read on my own, I found out from other students. Not a fun time,
really. You try being the only Metamorphmagus, an estranged member of a
notoriously Dark family and clumsy to boot.
Anyway, the people in this
album… For one thing, they were almost all smiling, which can be
downright chilling on a Black. No severed house-elf heads, no scary dark
artefacts, just normal-looking (for Pureblood wizards, anyway) people.
Mum explained that this
was a chronicle of the Blacks who got away, in a sense. The ones who thought
for themselves instead of blindly following centuries of tradition. In short,
the other Blacks who got blasted off the family tree.
The last picture in the
album was of Uncle Alphard Black and his wife, Adelaide. He had his arm slung
around her shoulders and they were both beaming out at us. Mum sniffled a
little and laid her hand on the page, fingertips resting on their names. Uncle
Alphard helped out when Mum and Dad were first married, she told me. He gave
them enough gold to buy their first cottage outside Hogsmeade, the one where I
We watched as Uncle Ally
(as Mum kept calling him) kissed Adelaide and she swatted his shoulder. Mum
traced their outlines one last time and closed the book, sliding it over in
front of me.
Nymphadora, whenever anyone gives you grief about your family,” she said
fiercely, tapping the cover for emphasis. “They are the only Blacks who
matter to us.”
Told you I had a great
08:49 Oh! This is my station. Time for my
grand entrance: Black face, black hair and wand at the ready. Anybody who
doesn’t like it can get stuffed.
11:17 My, my, how very
irresponsible of me to accidentally stumble on a loose tile on my way
into the personnel witch’s cubicle. While carrying a giant mug of
blackberry tea which somehow ended up all over said witch’s powder-blue
robes. Shame, really.
part the second: Just my little version of a love letter to the best transportation
system in the world, even if it is entirely too hot down there in summer. (Bear
in mind, though, Tonks doesn't ride the Tube everyday so everything is always
shiny and good for her.) And to mums. They roxors!
Special thanks to my best mum in the world
for replacing my ragged London Underground tee and thereby ensuring I got at
least one geographical detail correct! And to Transport for London
(journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk) for helping with the travel times. Cheers!