March 31, 2004
| Rita Skeeter outs Harry and Tonks in the Daily Prophet. Mrs. Weasley is not happy.
Thank you to my beta Mistri, Cho's Observer, Tonks' Admirer!
"Harry Potter! Come down here this instance and explain this to me!"
For a few minutes nothing could be heard. Then the sound of a door opening and of bare feet tapping down the stairs wafted towards the kitchen. Seconds later, a head with dark, tousled hair popped around the door and took in the sight before him with sleepy eyes.
Molly Weasley looked like a dragon ready for a fight. Her hands were pressed against her hips and her face was set in a frightening scowl. The only thing missing was the fire coming out of her mouth. Harry swallowed. What had he done?
Apparently, other people had wondered that as well. The patter of more feet could be heard in the hall and then the kitchen door swung open to reveal Bill, Remus and Tonks. Ron probably hadn't even woken from his mother's shouting. They all looked at Harry as if he knew what the reason for the early disturbance was, but he just shrugged his shoulders. He couldn't see a reason for this drama while they were still all in their pyjamas
He tried to be as polite as possible. "Explain what, Mrs. Weasley? I don't know what you are talking about."
Mrs. Weasley snorted dangerously which caused him to take a step back and collide with Remus. Tonks came forward and stood next to him. "Can't you tell us, Molly?" She saw the paper clutched in her hand. "Was there something in the newspaper?"
Mrs. Weasley's glared turned from Harry to Tonks. "Was there something in the newspaper?" Her voice was low. "YES, THERE WAS!" She took a deep breath. Tonks looked blown away. "I really can't believe you Nymphadora." Harry winced in sympathy at hearing Mrs. Weasley use that name, knowing full well Tonks hated it. "I would have thought you had more sense than this."
"Had more sense than what? Would you finally tell us what has you in such a snit?"
"This." She thrust that day's Daily Prophet under their noses. Tonks looked surprised for a moment, then snatched the paper out of her hand. When she read the caption on the first page she gave a low moan and handed the paper to Harry.
Harry looked at her perplexed, but already with a bad feeling in his stomach. If it was about Tonks and him, then... he looked at the paper...
Boy Who Lived and Ministry Auror Discovered during Tryst!
...and paled. He didn't even want to know what the article said, the headline was enough for him.
He was just contemplating whether he really wanted to read it when he felt an arm snaking around his waist. He looked up into Tonks' face and gave a tight smile.
The other two looked at each other strangely. Bill finally voiced their question. "What's going on guys? What has the Daily Prophet done now?"
Harry held the paper so Bill and Remus could read the headline. His head was spinning. This was no good. The relationship, he and Tonks had tried to keep quiet for months had come to the light and that in the worst way possible. He was only pulled out of his thoughts when he heard Bill stammer.
"You... you two?" He suddenly grinned and turned towards Harry. "How the hell did you manage to bag such a..."
"Bill! Behave yourself!" The attention turned again towards Mrs. Weasley. She was still scowling at Harry and Tonks. "I really can't understand you two. Don't you have any sense of decency? I don't even want to know what those photos the Prophet is talking about show."
"I would like to know."
"Didn't I tell you to behave, Bill?"
Harry was shocked at the mention of photos, but he still tried to calm Mrs. Weasley down. After all he didn't want to deal with her ire on top of the fall-out the article was going to create. "Before we can say anything about it, we will have to read the article." He threw a glance at Tonks. "Living room?"
She nodded. "Living room."
They both trudged out of the kitchen, closely followed by Mrs. Weasley, Bill and Remus. Tonks still had her arm around his waist and that calmed Harry down at least a bit. They both settled on the couch, while Remus and Bill each took on of the armchairs and Mrs. Weasley stood before them, folding her arms over her chest.
Tonks had the paper and she started to read aloud.
She paused. "Really, after all that time, you'd think they'd finally manage to get my name right."
Everybody jumped when she suddenly shouted at the paper. "Tonks! The name is Tonks! Not Nym... Nymphadora! Tonks!"
Harry leaned in to kiss her temple. "Yes, we know... but the paper can't answer you, Nymph." He ducked to avoid her slap and then prodded her to continue reading
A whistle could be heard from Bill's seat, quickly followed by a slap, but Harry was almost too petrified to notice. That was exactly what he had been fearing since he had heard the word 'photo'. He could probably consider himself lucky that the Prophet hadn't printed the damn thing.
Tonks only tightened her arm around him and continued to read.
Harry groaned, he couldn't believe they had dredged up that non-existent romantical relationship again.
He tried to concentrate on something different. "Really, did they have to emphasise that Hermione is Muggleborn so much? No wonder Muggles have a bad name."
He wasn't surprised nobody listened to him and was instead concentrated on watching Tonks, except Tonks of course, who was busy watching him. He turned towards her. "What?"
"You never told me about Hermione and you."
Harry threw up his hands. Really, had the whole world gone mad? "That's because there's nothing to tell. Rita invented the whole romantic entanglement between Hermione, Victor Krum and me during the Tournament. She never did believe us when we told her we weren't together. Unfortunately, most people believed that rubbish." He threw a glance at Mrs. Weasley, who had the decency to blush at that statement.
Tonks nodded once, accepting his explanation and then continued to read.
Harry snorted. "Oh, please. It was hardly life or death. Expulsion or staying, yes, but that's just melodramatic." Really, that paper got more ridiculous every time he read it.
"Well, you are reading the Prophet. What do you expect? Astute, critical and well researched articles?"
"Ehm, yeah sorry. Forgot what I was talking about for a moment. Go on." He leaned a bit closer against Tonks.
"Older woman! I'll give that bitch older woman." Tonks seethed. "She makes it sound as if I'm McGonagall's age." She paused. "Ew. I didn't want to think about that."
"She could be right with the mother complex. You really are quite a bit older than Harry, dear. And that doesn't look too good."
Tonks glared at Mrs. Weasley. "Quite a bit? Excuse me, but I think I would remember if I had had a son when I was seven!"
"Mrs. Weasley, really, what would I need another mother for? After all, I have you." Harry knew that appealing to Molly Weasley's feelings was the easiest way to get out of this fight, even if it was a bit of a dirty trick. However, it worked. Mrs. Weasley kept silent. She only pursed her lips and motioned Tonks to go on.
"You know, I can't believe I'm saying this. But if this really is true, then I agree with the Ministry." Harry could feel eight pairs of eyes on him. "What?"
"You really want to learn about sex from one of the teachers?" Bill's look of incomprehension was mirrored in all their faces.
"Well, not exactly about sex itself, but more about the basic stuff. You know in Muggle primary school we all get the where-babies-come-from speech, and it would be good to at least know the most important stuff, like protection and stuff..." He floundered. "Come on, you guys know what I mean!" He couldn't understand that wizards just laughed when confronted with the concept of safe sex.
It seemed that because they were wizards they thought themselves to be invincible against all diseases. And pregnancies weren't that common either, as Hermione had once explained to him. Something about wizards having a longer life expectancy and consequently a lower fertility rate. Of course, the counter example to this was sitting just opposite him.
Tonks patted his hair. "Yes, of course we do... I'll just go on then, right?
Tonks snorted. "Oh, yes. I can't imagine anything more prestigious than running around with a round belly and telling everybody that the Boy Who Lived knocked me up. Shesh. Really." She shook her head.
Harry wasn't surprised. "Who else? I really wonder sometimes what this fixation of her means." He paused. "Eww. No, I don't want to know."
"So, let's get back to the topic at hand." Mrs. Weasley took hold of the conversation once again. "What do you have to say for yourself?"
Harry tried to think about a suitable reply, but couldn't come up with anything. What was there to explain really? Tonks and he had been together since the summer and that was it.
Apparently Tonks thought the same. "Nothing. There is nothing to explain. Just because Rita writes about it for all the world to see, doesn't mean that it's anybody else's business."
"Mrs. Weasley's scowl threatened to take over her face once again, but Harry admired Tonks when she held her gaze.
The staring contest was interrupted with Remus clearing his throat. "Molly, I think she is right." Mrs. Weasley's glare turned towards him, but he paid her no heed. "After all, even if Rita Skeeter doesn't respect their privacy, we should."
Mrs. Weasley opened her mouth, and Harry already feared a tongue-lashing, but then she closed it again. Harry was amazed. He had never seen her act like that. She pursed her lips. "Of course, Remus. We should all go to breakfast." She turned around. "Are you coming?"
Remus himself looked a bit amazed as well. Harry thought he probably had never won an argument with Molly Weasley. Wordlessly, he followed Mrs. Weasley out the door. Bill was just behind them, but as he walked through the door, he turned back around and winked at Tonks and Harry. "Don't take too long or Mum is probably going to come and fetch you." With that, he closed the door.
As soon as he heard the click, Harry relaxed against the couch. He leaned his head back and sighed. "I'm sorry, Tonks. I really didn't want that." He turned his head to look at her. He never quite got over how good she looked, no matter what she was doing, even when she had just stumbled over another chair and blushed beet red. At the moment she was chewing her bottom lip, observing him anxiously... and looking absolutely adorable.
Then she smiled. "Don't worry about it. And it isn't your fault anyway. After all we knew that somebody was going to find out eventually.
Her arm was still around him and Harry wound his round her waist as well. He snuggled closer. "I just didn't think that it would quite such a spectacular announcement. Really, it surprises me again and again what kind of rubbish that woman can come up with."
Tonks kissed the top of his head. "At least they didn't print the photos."
Laughter bubbled up in Harry. He leaned his head back, so he could watch Tonks' face. "That's just what I thought." He leaned in and lightly brushed his lips against hers. At least they wouldn't have to hide themselves from everybody else in the house anymore. Even if Mrs. Weasley was probably going to be a nuisance and not give them a minute of time alone.
All the more reason to take advantage of this chance.
He deepened the kiss and once again enjoyed the feeling of her tongue against his. In his mind there was nothing like kissing Tonks, warm and comfortable, but at the same time exciting and new every time they did it. He couldn't get enough of her. They continued for minutes, only taking small gulps of air in between and then pressing their lips together again.
Tongues playing with each other, teeth nibbling on lips and arousal almost threatening to overtake Harry, he moaned disappointedly when Tonks pulled away from the kiss, her lips flushed and a bit breathless. She looked at him searchingly and then asked: "Think we should ask if we can have copies of those photos?"
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