A/N: Much thanks to my beta reader,
Logical Quirk, for informing me that Stunners are, in fact, red. J This was originally composed for the Metamorfic_moon Lover's Moon fic
jumble of February 2007 on LiveJournal. It won awards for Best Plot, and runner
up for Best Humour. And for future reference I will note that this was written
before the release of Deathly Hallows.
of Two Tonkses, or How Tonks Learned to Hate Time Travel
out of the Headmistress’s office and into the hall. She had no time to lose.
barreled through the corridors and down several flights of stairs, running at
top speed past the occasional astonished student. She couldn’t blame them for
staring—after all, it wasn’t every day that they could catch sight of the Hogwarts
Auror in Residence sprinting through the corridors with her lacy red bra
plainly visible through the wet fabric of her skimpy white tee shirt. She barreled
through the Great Hall, turned down a narrow corridor, and (much to her relief)
Remus and Bill were there, right outside the staff room just as she had told
herself they would be.
in astonishment. “Nymphadora! Are you all right?”
me Nymphadora! And yes—I’m fine! But we’ve got to go! There’s no time! Come
on!” She urged them to follow her with an exaggerated wave of her arm, and then
turned to start jogging back down the hall. She was glad to hear them falling
in behind her.
happened?” asked Bill. “I thought you were patrolling the grounds with
are patrolling the grounds,” she replied as she headed into the Entrance Hall.
“And even as we speak a gang of Death Eaters is breaking through the security
barriers around the grounds and if we don’t get out there soon to stop them,
they’ll ambush us and Minerva and I will both be killed!”
As she started to open the massive front
entrance, Tonks felt Remus’s strong hand gripping her arm. He pulled her around
to face him. “Now slow down for a minute! Would you please explain exactly
what’s going on?”
just next to them and added, “This had better not be one of your kinky games,
either. I want nothing to do with them.”
Remus turned in unison to glare at him.
times do I have to tell you that the time you walked in on us was the one and
only time we’ve ever tried role-playing?” said Tonks with a scowl.
that miserable failure I doubt we’ll be repeating the experience. Ever,” said
what’s with the get-up?” Bill indicated her translucently damp shirt.
up a hand. “As much as I would like to know why you’re running around like
that—in public—would you first tell
us how you know about the Death Eaters?”
because they’ve already ambushed me! And if you and I hadn’t been there to save
me, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now!”
stared at her blankly. It was rare for him to be dumbstruck, but apparently she
scowled. There was only one way to convince them. She grabbed the long silver
chain at her neck and waved the pendant in front of them—her clinging tee shirt
seemed to have distracted them from its significance.
began to dawn in Remus’s eyes. “A Timeturner!” he said.
bloody Timeturner! I told myself where to find it in Minerva’s office so that I
could round you lot up in time to save me and Minerva from the Death Eaters. I
won’t have you wasting that precious time on arguments. Now, let’s go!”
turned and pulled open the entry-door. Remus and Bill fell in behind her as she
raced out of the castle and toward the greenhouses.
ran, Bill said, “This is bloody confusing. So you’re Tonks from the future, and
another Tonks from your own future told you to come and get us to go save Tonks
from the present?”
that sums it up,” she replied.
time travel,” said Remus.
you ever time traveled?” asked Bill.
long story. And I doubt we have time to get into it now.”
right about that, but now that you’ve mentioned it I fully intend to get the
story out of you sometime, you know,” said Tonks.
have known better than to bring it up.”
should have—but it’s too late now.” Tonks led them across the long lawn between
the green houses and the Whomping Willow. “We need to get to the forest. The
Death Eaters are breaking through the anti-broom security spells and will be flying
in sometime in the next ten minutes. They’ll be ambushing Minerva and me on the
lakeshore by the vegetable patch. We need to position ourselves in the forest
nearby, so that we can ambush our ambushers. Come on!”
up speed, and led them into the edge of the forest.
awfully confident about this whole thing,” said Bill.
I am.” Tonks gestured for them to duck behind some shrubs with her. “I know we
always helpful,” he replied. Tonks peered over the shrubs to check that the
coast was clear, and then darted from the shrubs to the tree-line, taking cover
just inside the forest.
As Bill and
Remus joined her, Remus said, “Not to quibble, but if the Death Eaters aren’t
yet on the school grounds, then why are we hiding?”
“Because, we don’t want me and Minerva to see us.”
brushed his fringe out of his eyes as they slunk through the trees. “No
offense, but wouldn’t our ambush on the Death Eaters be more effective if we
warned Minerva and…er…you…in advance?”
stopped short, and turned to stare at him. “I don’t know. It never occurred to
me. This was just the way the other me did it, so I figured this was how it had
necessarily true. While some theorize that time travel to the past initiates an
unavoidable causality chain, other schools of thought hold that each incident
of time travel creates a new alternate timeline in which events can be
purposefully altered. I prefer the second theory, which—if true—means that you
could learn from your alter-ego’s mistakes and improve upon her tactics.”
back and forth between Remus and Tonks with a bewildered expression on his
face. “Well?” he asked.
dragon’s balls! I don’t know! You think we should just go out there and tell me
what’s going on?” she said, pointing toward the lake.
“Tell her,” said Remus. “If the alternate
timelines theory is true, then you and the Tonks on the lakeshore are two
separate and distinct individuals, so referring to her as me is incorrect.”
replied Tonks with a scowl. “Do you think we should tell her what’s going on?!”
his head. “I hate time travel.”
opening his mouth to answer when Tonks glanced at the sky. “We’re too late.
They’re already in. Hurry—follow me!”
surged forward through the trees, coming to the edge of the forest just in time
to see the other Tonks and Minerva springing into defensive postures as four robed
and masked Death Eaters on brooms swooped down at them from the sky.
them!” she cried, aiming her wand at one of the Death Eaters and sending a
Stunner in his direction.
surprised that, at this distance, she missed her swiftly moving target.
However, her blast was enough to distract the gang of flying attackers so that
Minerva and the other Tonks—still clad in her red Auror’s robes—could spring
into action. Minerva easily deflected the first curse hurled at her with a
Shield Charm, and the other Tonks dodged the first curse thrown at her and
returned fire with a broom-shattering Redactor Curse. One of the Death Eaters
fell to the ground with a loud thud.
in the forest smiled to herself. “Good for me!”
out of the cover of the forest and hit another broom with a Hurling Hex. The
broom began to buck wildly, forcing the plump wizard astride it to cling on
tightly for dear life.
two attackers rose quickly to higher altitude in an attempt to evade further
curses. Remus ran from the cover of the forest and began shooting spell after
spell at them.
blasted the Death Eater on the bucking broom with a Full-Body Bind, and he
stiffened and toppled to the earth.
Bill. “That had to hurt.”
called the tee shirt clad Tonks.
bloody hell is going on?!” replied the robe wearing Tonks from her perch atop a
large stone on the lakeshore.
back-up while we polish off these intruders!”
wearing Tonks nodded sharply, and tee shirt clad Tonks sighed in relief. Thank
goodness she had the wits to attend to the most important things first.
fingered the Timeturner around her neck, and watched as Minerva bound the two
disabled Death Eaters with magical cords, while Remus and Bill continued to
shoot spells up at the Death Eaters still circling above them. Everything
seemed to be under control—and yet something didn’t seem right.
over the scene once again. Two Death Eaters on the ground, and two in the sky.
But last time—hadn’t there been five of them? “Shit!”
Death Eater swooped in at high speed, hitting Bill in the back with a Stunner
and then zooming past the robed Tonks, kicking her violently in the shoulder
and sending her tumbling from the stone and into the lake with a splash. The
other Tonks flinched and rolled her own bruised shoulder, remembering her own soggy
tumble into the lake.
two broom-riders seized the opportunity to dive sharply downward, pelting the
defenders with curses. Tonks cast a Shield Charm just in time to divert a curse
aimed at her, and noticed Remus and Minerva doing the same. Bill lay unmoving
on the ground.
another Shield Charm, and watched as her robed counterpart burst from the water
to return fire. One of the Death Eaters screamed and fell to the ground as his
broom exploded into flames.
forgot that I did that.” Tonks smiled to herself.
pleasure was short lived, however, as she immediately had to cast another
Shield Charm. The two Death Eaters still on brooms swooped and darted close to
the ground, firing spells at such a rapid pace that all Minerva and the two Tonkses
could do was defend themselves. Out of the corner of
her eye, tee shirt clad Tonks noticed that the Death Eater who had fallen from
the flaming broom was now back in action. He and Remus were dueling one on one.
not going as smoothly as she would have liked. She didn’t even know if the
other Tonks had had time to call for back-up. She had to do something—and fast.
deflecting the curses being hurtled at her, she looked around, seeking some way
to tip the tables. And there it was, just above her: the bucking broom, still
dancing wildly in the air.
witch nodded. Tonks shot a violent blast of thick black smoke at the wizards
above them, obscuring their vision. Minerva sprang into action, shooting
Stunning Spells as fast as lightning bolts at the smoke shrouded Death Eaters.
The robed Tonks joined the action, hitting one of the Death Eaters with a
Blasting spell that nearly knocked him off of his broom.
meantime, the tee shirt wearing Tonks hit the bucking broom with an anti-hex to
calm its antics, and summoned it to her. She grasped the smooth wooden handle in
one hand, holding her wand at the ready in her other, and launched into the
straight up as high and fast as she could, before breaking sharply and turning
downward. It was perfect—the Death Eaters were too busy fighting off the
assault from below to notice her. She tucked the Timeturner into her shirt for
safe-keeping, and prepared to attack.
She dove in
a fierce rush, blasting one of the remaining Death Eaters off of his broom with
a powerful Stunner. She pulled up from her dive no more than five feet above
the ground and swept toward the wizard dueling with Remus. She pulled back her
leg and kicked with all her might, striking the man square in the head, sending
a bitch, isn’t it?” she shouted in triumph, circling around.
He’s getting away!” called Remus, pointing at the final Death Eater fleeing
across the lake.
it!” She urged the broom back into high speed as she set out after the escaping
a few feet above the water, the cool air rushing past her, chilling her in her
damp clothing. She gripped her wand tightly, determined not to let the cold
affect her aim.
her broom steadily faster, and grinned in determination as she began to close
her distance from the fleeing man. Soon, she was within spell-casting range.
a Stunner toward her opponent, but the burst of red light missed its target as
the wizard swerved his broom to the right and upward, directly into the sun.
Tonks squinted her eyes against the blinding light. The Death
Eater clearly wasn’t too smart; the flying into the sun trick worked great in
Quidditch when trying to hide the Snitch from an opponent, but it didn’t work
at all to hide the shadow of the wizard in front of her. And a shadow was all
she needed to aim her Stunning Spells.
to fire the red bolts of light from her wand in rapid succession. It didn’t
take long for one of them to hit her target.
her broom to get out of the way as the now-unconscious wizard tumbled toward
her. She made a sharp turn downward, and pointed her wand at the rapidly
plummeting body. “Levicorpus!”
descent halted abruptly as he flipped upside-down to wave back and forth from
his suspended ankle. His black robes fell down over his face to expose a pair
of pale, hairy legs and some tatty white boxer shorts adorned with a pattern of
little green snakes curled up into heart-shapes.
snorted in laughter as she pulled her broom up alongside her captive. “These
damn conservative pure-bloods really need to take a cue from the Muggles and
start wearing trousers under their robes. Really—no one’s going to be afraid of
a man in those shorts.” She continued to point her wand to control the
levitation, and pulled the man along with her as she flew back to where
Minerva, Remus and the other Tonks were securing the rest of the captives.
flying, love,” said the other Tonks, who had shed her sopping Auror’s robes and
now stood in her dripping trousers and tee shirt, with her violet hair
plastered wetly to her head. Tonks suppressed a frown as she saw more clearly
than ever that violet really did make her look horribly peaky. With a little
scrunch of her face she quickly morphed her own hair back to her favorite pink,
resolving to give up on violet permanently. “I didn’t realize I had that kind
of flying in me, anymore,” the violet Tonks continued.
either,” replied pink Tonks, coming to a soft landing beside her counterpart,
“until I saw the other me do it. After that I didn’t doubt myself for an
isn’t it?” She released her captive to the ground with a thump, and quickly
bound him with magical cords.
called in back-up. They’ll be here any minute,” said violet Tonks.
She looked over to where Bill now sat on a stump, rubbing his head. “Are you
all right, mate?”
“Hell of a headache, but I’ll survive.”
nearby, looking bemusedly back and forth between the two Tonkses. “I’m
delighted that you both fared so well,” he said, “but I have no idea which of
you I’m supposed to kiss.”
up. “You’re living every man’s fantasy Remus—you could have both of them at
turned on him with a scowl, and simultaneously said, “Shut it, Weasley, or
you’ll have more than a headache to worry about!”
at each other, smiling in surprise, and burst into laughter.
approached them with a slight smile on her face. “You did very fine work,
ladies, but I think it’s time for an explanation of what exactly is going on?”
She gave pink Tonks a pointed look, and raised one eyebrow at her.
course. When I was her,” she pointed at violet Tonks, “I was on patrol with
you,” she pointed at Minerva, “and the Death Eaters attacked us and another
Tonks came to save us, along with these two,” she waved her hand at Bill and
Remus. “After the battle she told me where to find a Timeturner in your office,
and said that if I didn’t go back one turn and bring
Remus and Bill here to help us, that we would both be killed. So I ran to your
office, found the Timeturner, and came to do my job. It’s as simple as that.”
asked violet Tonks, “if you and Minerva got killed the first time around, then
how did Minerva ever tell you about the Timeturner in her office and send you
back in the first place?”
shook her head. “I’ve no bloody idea. Damn. I feel like I’ve had this
probably because you have,” said Minerva gently.
stepped toward pink Tonks. “This would seem to support the unavoidable
causality chain theory that I told you about. Which is a
pity, because I really preferred the alternate timelines theory.”
replied pink Tonks. “But don’t give up on it yet. Let’s put it to the test, shall
we?” She pulled the Timeturner out of her shirt and off over her head.
go,” she handed it to violet Tonks. “Now forget this whole one-turn rubbish.
Give it two good turns right now. You’ll find Minerva and me on the far side of
the lake patrolling along the fence-line. Just send for back-up straight away, and you can both relax while the other Aurors help you
round up the Death Eaters as soon as they appear. That should be a hell of a
lot easier than going through all this again.
Then you can tell that Tonks to do the same.”
idea!” said violet Tonks, slipping the chain over her head. “Thanks!”
said Remus, holding out his hand. “I’m not so sure about this. It sounds as if
you’ll be sending the Timeturner through an unending time loop from which it
can never escape.”
Tonkses looked at Remus incredulously. “So?” they said together.
no idea what kind of effect that might have on the time-space continuum! It
could be disastrous!”
“Or, if the
alternate timelines theory holds true,” said Minerva, “then
nothing bad at all will happen and you’ll just spare your counterparts a
Tonks nodded. “I like that.” She held up the Timeturner and prepared to turn
said, giving the Timeturner a flip. She disappeared.
winced and hunched over, looking as if he was expecting an anvil to fall from
rolled her eyes. “Really, love, you need to stop reading all those science
up. “Do you realize that our whole timeline could have blinked out of
didn’t. We’re still all here. We won. Be happy. As soon as the back-up gets
here you can take me home and give me a bath, and I’ll help you forget all about
up, eyeing her still-damp clothes. “You look like you’ve already had a bath.”
at him. “A splash in the lake doesn’t count.”
if the other Tonks makes a mistake? All of the other timelines could fall into
chaos and disaster!” said Remus earnestly.
replied Tonks. “As long as our own timeline is turning
out well, why should we care about the others?”
“Because it’s the ethical thing to do!”
She looked down and rubbed her head. “You’re giving me a headache. I hate time
“We all do,
dear,” said Minerva, patting Tonks on the shoulder. “I think it’s time you stop
your worrying, Remus. There’s nothing we can do about it now, after all. Just
accept that things in the here and now have worked out for the best, and let go
of the rest.”
nodded and shuffled his feet. “I suppose you’re right.”
I am. Now, it seems your reinforcements have finally arrived.” Minerva pointed
at the group of three red-robed Aurors running toward them from the front
Tonks sighed. She was starting to feel quite exhausted. Remus came up beside
her, and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. She gratefully slumped against
him. He kissed her forehead.
wonderful, today,” he murmured.
I’m just glad we all made it out safe and sound.”
He pulled her even closer. “I’m not ready to say goodbye to you quite yet.”
with Williamson at their head, skidded to a halt in front of the pile of five
unconscious and bound Death Eaters.
done!” said Williamson.
said Tonks, stepping away from Remus.
“How in the
world did they get through Hogwarts security in the first place?”
you, Mr. Williamson, that I will be spending a great deal of time over the next
few days finding the answer to that question,” said Minerva. “And I will do my
best to ensure that it never happens
lot take over from here?” asked Tonks wearily. “I’ve just been through the same
battle twice in two hours and I’m knackered.”
need your report to process the prisoners properly,” said Williamson.
balderdash,” said Minerva. “I’ll fill you in on what you need to know for
today. Auror Tonks can file her official report tomorrow.”
so,” replied Williamson.
Now you two run along home and take that bath of yours.”
Minerva,” said Tonks, smiling gratefully and leaning back into Remus’s arms.
very welcome. And thank you, for going through such a brave and daring fight
two times in a row.”
“All in a
day’s work,” Tonks replied.
usually, I hope,” added Remus.
no!” she said in horror. Remus chuckled.
this talk of two times in a row?” asked Williamson.
you in, Mr. Williamson,” said Minerva. “Now let Auror Tonks go home.”
nodded, but watched Tonks warily as she walked with Remus back to the front gates.
wait for that bath,” she said.
can I,” he agreed.
promise me one thing?”
talk of time travel?”
No more talk of time travel.”
until I’m ready to get that story out of you.”
was hoping you’d forget.”
just have to come up with a way to make your bath so distracting that you don’t
think of it.”
“That sounds promising.”
walked out of the gates hand in hand, making their way happily toward their
cottage in the village, Tonks couldn’t help but think that this was one moment
she wouldn’t mind living over and over—especially if she could do it without
ever having to travel through time again.
A/N: Thanks so much for reading! If
you review, you might just get lucky enough to have a frolic with two versions
of your favorite HP character. ;)