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Disclaimer: J K Rowling owns the rights and likenesses of all the characters in the Harry Potter series. This story is meant to add to the world she created. Any conflicts are accidental and they yield to her reality (canon).

This is a post-OOTP story during the summer before Harry’s Sixth Year. Very few items of HBP will be used.

Harry Potter And The Summer Of Change

3. The Department Of Mysteries

                      Harry was kissing Tonks and she was moving around on top of him touching everywhere she could reach with her small, warm hands. Her fingers slid all over his chest and into his hair. Her hands tugged at his raven colored hair and pushed his lips against hers more forcefully.

                      She was rubbing her tight, barely clothed body up and down his. Harry loved every second Tonks rubbed him. He felt her breasts move around on his bare chest and her nipples strain against the thin fabric of the shirt she wore. The shirt had bunched up right beneath her breasts and it was threatening to move higher yet.

Harry’s hands were running across her rear and up her sides. He wanted to tear her underwear off so he could feel more of her. He was getting very excited and felt himself nearing a pleasurable point. He heard Tonks squeal a little and she pressed herself down as hard as she could. Harry felt himself getting even closer.

Harry awoke at that moment breathing harder than normal. He had his arms wrapped around the still sleeping form of Tonks who was lying right in front of him. He gave his left hand a squeeze and felt a soft but firm breast in his grasp. Harry found his other arm wrapped around the front of Tonks holding her protectively against his chest.

He knew his dream had excited certain areas, but he didn’t know what damage had been. He breathed deeply trying to calm down. He smelled Tonks hair in the process and found it had a faint flower smell that he couldn’t place. He relaxed and tried to sense if he would have to explain something when she woke up.

Much to his surprise and thanks, nothing seemed wrong with any part of his body that he could feel. The only thing he could feel quite well was Tonks comfortable rear and back pressed into him. He practiced his Occlumency to control any additional reactions he could have thinking about such things.

He avoided thinking about their kissing the night before because that would only lead to more embarrassing moments. If she brought it up, Harry was fine with that. Otherwise, he was going to keep his mouth shut on the subject.

As he laid there lost in his thoughts, Tonks slept on unaware of Harry’s near disaster concerning her. She was still making that soft rattling sound and Harry couldn’t help but smile. It was a calming and endearing sound and he loved it. Harry thought she felt better against him this morning than last morning. Something just felt ‘right’ about it.

Having no idea what time it was, Harry decided to enjoy his time holding Tonks and think about what magic he should practice today. He had no idea what she had planned, but it would probably end up being a quick visit with some friends and he would have the rest of the day to practice wandless magic.

He ran through the spells he already knew and tested his ability to bring up the proper feeling to cause his magic to happen. One thing he learned the day before was that the more he played with his magic, in reference to using it wandlessly, the better he was with it. He could pull it up faster and use it quicker than when he started.

He also thought of what spells he wanted to practice today. He knew he should work on some shield spells and the basic offensive spells too. When she woke up, he would ask Tonks if offensive spells could be detected if cast wandlessly. He also remembered the spell book he was reading that had listed some really nasty spells. He wanted to know some of them should he find Bellatrix or Wormtail in the near future.

‘Hopefully Tonks was right and she can work out a way for me to practice magic with my wand. I don’t want to learn those kinds of spells wandlessly starting out. I could end up casting them on myself and where would I be then? St. Mungo’s that is where I would be if I lived long enough to get there and how would I explain everything.’

His thoughts continued as he recited spell after spell to himself. He worked on bringing the ‘feeling’ up and pushing it down again. He was so preoccupied that he never noticed Tonks wake up.

Tonks felt a surge of magic appear and then disappear quickly. She had never felt something like that before. The only way she could describe it was that it was like swimming in magic. She opened her eyes and felt the sensation wash over her again and again. She saw a slight shimmer in the air that seemed to be coming from behind her. The only thing that could cause this type of magical display was Harry.

She watched the air shimmer for a few minutes. She didn’t know if Harry knew what was going on or not, but it was impressive to watch all the same. The shimmering stopped and she heard Harry mumbling words under his breath. She made out a few of them and they seemed to be spells. The few she heard clearly were rather nasty curses that she hadn’t expected Harry to know.

Rolling over slowly Tonks faced Harry causing him to pause in his efforts. "Whatcha doing, Harry?"

"I was practicing my wandless magic, and then I was reciting spells that I had read about the other day. I do have a question for you. Can the Ministry detect offensive spells if they are cast wandlessly? I wanted to practice some offensive spells today after we get back from our visit."

"I honestly think you are going to be surprised by our visit, Harry. I also doubt you are going to want to practice magic when we return."

"What do you have planned, Tonks?"

"Ask me no questions, and I will tell you no lies, Harry. Just go with the flow today, OK? You may have a few challenges to overcome, but do what you always do."

"And just what is that, Tonks?"

"Win, Harry. You always win or at least get out of what ever you got into. Just keep doing that and everything will be fine." Seeing his unhappy face she added, "If you do well, I might be convinced to kiss you again."

Harry thought over the situation and the offer from Tonks. He liked the kissing, his dream this morning was evidence enough of that, but was she only kidding him. He didn’t think he could take the embarrassment if she was just having one on him.

"I accept your offer, Tonks. What are the terms?"

Tonks stared at him realizing she would have to hold up her end of the deal if he succeeded. "You make it through the day without getting seriously hurt and I will kiss you before bed tonight. Deal?" Tonks held out her hand which was right in front of Harry’s chest.

"Is there a chance for me to get hurt on this visit? Where the hell are we going?"

"I assure you that nothing really dangerous will happen. You have worse days here judging by yesterday. I promise you won’t be spending any time with Madam Pomfrey."

Taking her hand and shaking it firmly, Harry said," That isn’t much of a promise, but I accept your offer, Tonks."

"Great, now you should get ready. We need to leave in…" Tonks pulled her wand from under the pillow and said, "Time." In front of her appeared a clock showing it was six thirty in the morning.

"We have half an hour to get there, Harry. You had best get moving so I can as well. I will nick us some food while you are showering."

Harry grabbed his clothes and left his room. He knew that Vernon would up in twenty minutes and he would be mad if Harry was anywhere near him. ‘Not that I really care, but I shouldn’t be starting fights with the man. In and out of the loo so Tonks can do the same.’

Harry returned to his room to find Tonks finishing her toast and jam. She motioned to the remaining pieces of toast and walked past him to the loo. Harry sat down and ate his food. He swallowed the last of his food and opened the loose floorboard to retrieve what little money he had left after a year at school. While replacing the board to conceal the hiding place, Harry heard a banging on a door from the hallway. Hearing his uncle yell, Harry gathered his cloak and wand before leaving the room.

"Open this bloody door, you worthless bastard. You think you can make me late do you?"

"I am not in there, Vernon. I would stop yelling, too, since the neighbors can probably hear every word you say."

"Watch yourself, Potter. If you aren’t in here, then who is?"

"Tonks is in there and I suggest you leave her be."

"Your floozy can’t use our water. That costs money!"

Harry drew his wand and stepped towards Vernon. "You do not listen, do you? I warned you to treat her with respect." Harry was beyond mad. He wanted to make his uncle understand that everyone should be treated with respect. "You will apologize to her when she comes out or I will make you apologize. Do you understand me?"

"Think you got what it takes to make me do something, Boy? She ain’t here to back you up."

"I know I can make you do things, Uncle. The question is if I want to do it or not. Personally, I would be happy to never see you again, but I don’t think that is in the plans right now. Hopefully it will be soon though. Nevertheless, you will apologize to Tonks for your comment."

"And if I don’t, Boy." Vernon was making his stand and if he won this time Harry knew he would never get another chance.

Putting on the most serious expression he could and calling his magic up to enhance his look, Harry spoke directly to Vernon.

"I will shatter every bone in your arms and legs. I will leave you to heal the muggle way too. There is a curse to do that, you know?"

Harry watched as Vernon shrunk a little. He also seemed to lose his confidence and started looking for a way to escape. Harry knew that he had to keep his edge while he had it.

"I see you understand what I said. Now, Tonks should be out of there in a minute and I expect you to apologize as soon as you see her. I won’t hesitate to curse you if I need to."

Vernon stilled as sounds came from the bathroom. The sound of movement and humming could be heard. He looked at Harry as saw his nephew was serious. The causal way Harry had told him what was going to happen if he didn’t apologize scared him more than the actual threat. His nephew had gotten frightening over the last year. The boy wasn’t easy to intimidate anymore. He was downright menacing now and Vernon didn’t like it at all.

The door opening and a soggy headed Tonks stopping short of running into Vernon brought the scene to a head. She looked at Vernon and could see the telltale signs of rage. She saw Harry standing in the hallway with his wand drawn looking every bit the man he would become.

"Did I miss something, Harry?" Tonks didn’t know what she had missed. She knew someone was pounding on the door and yelling, but her father did that when she was growing up so she learned to ignore all distractions when she was showering.

"Do you have something to say, Uncle?" Harry prompted never removing his piercing gaze from his uncle.

"I," Vernon paused reassessing the situation and the possible risks. Harry inclined his head a little, but never wavered in his posture. "I would like to apologize for my words while you were in the bathroom." Vernon forced himself to say. Harry raised head a little more indicating that he wasn’t finished. "And for the other times as well. There is that good enough?" The last was directed at Harry.

"Yes, it is. You will not get another chance to apologize, uncle Vernon." Harry said.

Vernon waited for Tonks to leave the bathroom and walk over to Harry before he entered and closed the door sharply locking it as well. Tonks turned to see Harry visibly restraining himself from using his magic.

"Thank you, Harry. You are my hero." Tonks leaned up and planted a kiss on Harry’s mouth before returning to his room to gather the remaining things she had left there.

Harry was trying to calm down after almost cursing his uncle. He was feeling a little in over his head concerning things at Privet Drive. He had never stood up to his uncle like he had been doing in the last few days. He had never felt like he had to stand up for himself. Everything came down to his absolute need to take control of his life.

At Privet Drive, the Dursleys controlled his life. They had abused him for ten years before he got a break. Then they continued the abuse during the summers. At school, Harry’s life was controlled by Dumbledore, McGonagall, and any other teacher who decided to get involved. Not a single person had ever asked Harry what he wanted done in reference to his life.

That lack of choice or say led to Harry living a miserable life with his ‘relatives’ and his life being in constant danger at school. The more he thought about everything, the less sense things made. ‘How could everything that has happened to me at Hogwarts happen in the first place? If the place was that dangerous, no sane parent would let their child go there. It just defies logic. Ha, then again so does magic I guess. Maybe all magical people are a little touched in the head to begin with. Have I ever met one that wasn’t a little bit cracked? Hermione comes to mind.’

 Harry kept evaluating what he had done in the past and how he was handling things currently. The only conclusion he could come up with was that something had to change or he would be dead in months. Worse yet, someone else could end up dead because of him and he couldn’t take that again. Too many had died for him and he was making the conscious decision to stop that trend.

The kiss from Tonks broke his pattern of self-assessment. He watched her walk into his room and could see her gathering her outer cloak as well as her invisibility cloak. She scanned the room once to check for any left items before grabbing her wand off the bed.

She walked up to Harry, slightly tripping on a floor board that was slightly raised, and smiled at Harry as she righted herself as if it was a common occurrence. He figured it was common for her and smiled back before asking her what the plans were.

"Well, we leave this cheery place as fast as we can and get outside where I can make a portkey to get us to the Ministry. Now, I will put a Glamour Charm on you in case you are found out when we get there. Mind, it will only last a short time though. We have to enter the building properly or all sorts of hell will come down on us. If things go well, we can come in the back door from that point on."

"We are going to the Ministry? Why would I want to go there again? They are likely to arrest me the second they see me. I did destroy a few rooms in the Department of Mysteries you know. There has to be a law against that. If not, I am sure Fudge made one so he could get me thrown into Azkaban."

"Calm down, Harry. I can tell you for certain that they will not arrest you when we enter the Ministry. I can also tell you that the Unspeakables are not looking to arrest you either for what happened in their department. A few may want to have a chat with you, but they are good people. Don’t worry."

"Right. Last time someone told me not to worry…You don’t want to know, Tonks."

"Come on, Mr. Happy. Let’s get your positive personality to our meeting. I only ask that you trust me on this one, Harry. Please, trust that I am doing what I think is best for you." Seeing Harry about to object, she spoke before he could. "I am doing the best I can because you asked me for my help whether you remember it or not. This isn’t just good intentions either. You will have to work at what I am offering you. The amount of help you get out of this depends on you as much as it does anyone else. If you fail, it is on your own head. Doesn’t that sound like a better arrangement than your past ones?"

"Yes, it does. I would thank you now, but I am not sure what is going to happen so I will hold off for a bit if that is okay with you."

"Fine, Harry. I know that you can’t afford to give away your trust, but I hope that I can earn it."

Tonks led the way to the street and pulled a small wooden box from her cloak. She tapped it once and it glowed blue for a second before returning to normal. She smiled at Harry and motioned him to put on his cloak. She followed his movements putting on her own cloak. They held the fronts open so they could still see each other. Harry watched as she held the box out for him to touch. When he had a tight grip on the box, she tapped it with her wand, and Harry felt the pull of a portkey on his navel.

They landed in the empty atrium of the Ministry. Harry started to fall over, but Tonks grabbed him by the arm firmly and stopped his movement. She quietly told him to follow her and say nothing. Harry watched her pull off her cloak and stride towards the security desk. The desk was manned by one lone guard who looked as scared as he was young.

Tonks flashed her auror badge and a saucy smile before continuing to walk to the lift. She hesitated as a small light glowed on the guard desk alerting him to Harry passing through the checkpoint. Fortunately, the guard had followed Tonks movements and wasn’t paying any attention to the light which was slowly dimming.

Tonks pressed the call button and waited for the lift. The lift arrived a moment later and she entered it pressing the button for level nine. She felt Harry nudge her side so she knew he was with her. She waved at the guard as the gates closed and the lift descended to level nine.

When the bell dinged, Tonks walked off the lift and a few paces down the hallway. She paused and said that Harry could remove the cloak. When the cloak was removed from Harry, she could see he was jumping to conclusions. His aura was visible again and he was looking rather dangerous.

"Now, Harry, before you burn me to a crisp, hear me out." Harry said nothing, but his wand hadn’t moved from its down position either. "Here is the real story about me, Harry. I am an auror. While I was in the program, another group came to see me. They knew about my metamorph abilities and they were interested in recruiting me. Being who I am, I kind of liked the idea of having a secret life. Matches my many faces wouldn’t you agree?

"I can look like other people to a certain degree and that is dead useful for an Unspeakable. I have been with them since my third year in auror academy. You will learn about how we are structured and where I fit into the organization. I am telling you so you don’t think this was a setup to get you to resolve your issues about Sirius. I miss him too. You will get over his death in time and at your own pace. I asked them if they could help you because you asked me for help. This is the meet-and-greet as they like to call it.

"I can tell you that you will be evaluated and tested on various things; magic, reflexes, instincts, and overall performance. It won’t be easy, but this is a great opportunity to learn what you need to survive and win. You told me you wanted to win and that you had to. This is your chance to do it. I told you that this will be in your hands. If you fail, it isn’t because Albus made a bad decision on your behalf.

"If you hate me, tell me now and I can escort you out of the Ministry and back to Privet Drive. If you want to show them what you got, let’s go show them. Personally, I know that you can do this. I wouldn’t have brought this up to them if I doubted you."

She waited for Harry to say something. He had been quiet the whole time she had talked. He hadn’t even moved. Before, she was afraid he was going to fly out of control when she first saw him standing there. Now, she was worried that he would simply turn around and leave. The minutes passed and she noticed he was getting ready to say something.

"You did this because I asked you to help me?" Tonks nodded. "You set this up to help me." She nodded again. "You are offering me the chance to help myself stay alive and maybe win this war?" She nodded again with more emphasis. "Did my fame help me get this chance or is this going to be on my abilities alone?"

"I assure you, Harry, nothing down here is offered because of who or what you are. Every one of us earns the right to stay here. You are here because I mentioned you would be a good candidate. You will remain here because you are a good candidate. If you don’t make it, I don’t care. You are still a hero to me. Not to mention that you are a wonderful kisser but that won’t help you with the tests." Tonks was playing around trying to soften his mood

"Cheeky minx. What kind of tests?"

"I am not sure. They differ for each person based on their skills and where we need people. You will learn about the teams later today I think. Now, shall we go in or are you going to leave?"

Harry contemplated the whole situation. He had a perfect chance to learn things that Hogwarts would never teach him and he doubted that he would stand a chance against Voldemort with Hogwarts-taught spells. With little choice but to accept the offer, Harry took a step towards Tonks.

"Excellent, Harry. I am so happy. Now if you will follow me, I will take you to our meeting." She walked down the hall to about the midpoint and turned to her left. She tapped the wall about shoulder high twice and proceeded to make a box with her tapping while saying something in Latin. There was a click and the wall began to recede revealing a doorway.

Harry watched as a full doorway appeared in the wall and Tonks entered the portal. He followed her closely and found himself in a dimly lit room with a desk and a chair in the middle of it. Behind the desk were two doors. Both doors had brass name plates one reading "Research" the other door reading "Other". Harry laughed at the "Other" door but it reinforced his recent belief that all magical people were crazy.

Tonks walked to the "Other" door and knocked twice. She waited for the door to open, which it did, and she called Harry to follow her in. Harry walked through the door and saw another hallway leading away in a straight line. There were numbered doors on either side of the hallway. A dark red runner ran the length of the hallway and Tonks found herself tripping every half dozen steps or so.

She stopped in front of door number nine and said that this was the meeting room. She knocked once and entered immediately. Harry followed her once again and saw a dark wood table in the center of the room. It had old-looking chairs around it and a spot light, from above, lit the surface. A pitcher of water and a few glasses sat in the middle of the illuminated table.

Harry scanned the room and counted the chairs. There were thirteen of them and he could tell at least two people were already seated at the table. He walked up next to Tonks and stood ready for whatever was going to happen. Tonks took a seat directly across from one of the people and motioned Harry to take the seat next to her. He sat down but he held his wand under the table ready to defend himself.

The man across from Tonks leaned forward so the light revealed his face. It was a soft, caring, slightly aged face of an average looking man. His hair was light brown with a dusting of grey and he had an average build. He folded his hands together and wore a small smile. "Good morning, Chamel. I see that you have brought your hopeful."

"Good morning, Marcus," Tonks replied. "I hope you like what you see."

"I will be the judge of that, Chamel," said the still hidden person who was obviously a man by his voice. "This better not be a waste of my time. I have other potentials just waiting to fill the open slots."

"Calm yourself, Horace," Marcus said. "I am sure that Chamel wouldn’t waste our time. Am I right?"

"Yes, Marcus, I think you will be happy with what Harry can do." Tonks smiled simply and waited for the men to say something else.

Harry watched everything and wondered why Tonks was called Chamel. He looked at the man he could see and tried to figure out if he was a threat, and the hidden man was most definitely a threat right now. Marcus spoke to directly to Harry for the first time.

"Harry James Potter currently of Number Four Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey. Formerly of an unknown address in Godric’s Hollow and formerly of Potter Estate near Godric’s Hollow. Son of James and Lily Potter. Born July 31, 1980. Sorted into Gryffindor House. Youngest seeker in a century. Saviour of the Philosopher’s Stone. Parseltongue. Defeater of a Basilisk. Winner of the Special Award for Services to the School. Familiar in the use of a Time Turner. Highly skilled in the use of the Patronus Charm. Champion of the Tri-Wizard Tournament only there were four of you. You can defeat the Imperius Curse and maybe the Killing Curse. Leader of Dumbledore’s Army. You have dueled with Voldemort and lived. You have dueled with Bellatrix Lestrange and lived. You have broken into this very department leading others. You have shown some aptitude for advanced magic. Anything I am missing?"

Harry sat silently as the information was processed. ‘What the hell is Potter Estate?’ They knew an awful lot about him and Harry wasn’t sure that was a good thing. He felt a probing feeling in his head and allowed the person in only to thrust them out as forcefully as he could. The hidden man rocked back in his chair.

"Better add slightly skilled in Occlumency to that list. You have any other tricks, Potter?" Asked Horace.

"Maybe a few things," Harry answered. He stared down the hidden man seeing him as the greatest threat to his safety and well-being.

"Excellent place to start from, Chamel," said Marcus. "I accept him as a candidate. What do you say Horace?"

"I will answer that after I have had a chance to test him. Have to make sure he isn’t all name and paper before I go giving him my stamp of approval."

"That is the most positive I have ever heard you say about a possible member, Horace. I do think you are getting soft in your old age." Marcus seemed to be the one tasked with keeping things running smoothly.

"Stuff it, you. I am not old nor am I soft," Horace rebutted.

"Yes, well, all things being the same, I am Marcus." Harry nodded at the greeting not saying anything since they knew him pretty well already. "I am in charge of the Department of Mysteries. I oversee everything that involves this department. I am the go between for the two branches. This is Horace, my colleague. He is a bit rough around the edges, but he means well. He handles the training and mission assignments for the Operations side on things. I will let you explain the rest to Harry, Chamel."

"Thanks, Marcus," Tonks said. "Now, Harry, Marcus runs the entire department. There are two parts, the Operations side, which I belong to, and the Research side which Croaker runs. The research side is the public face of the Department. People know they exist and that is fine. Every member of the Research side researches magic. I know it sounds lame but that is what they do. People know who they are, sometimes, and that is fine in most cases. The Research side gets involved with all sorts of things both inside the Ministry itself and with other Ministries around the world. Marcus manages some of that, but leaves Croaker to most of it.

"Marcus spends most of his time managing the Operations side of the Department. We are the really secret side of the Department. We handle the missions that need done and can’t be discovered by others. No member of the Operations side is known by name to anyone who isn’t an Unspeakable on the Operations side, but a few people internal to the Ministry know of us in general terms. The Minister being one of those people." Tonks ignored Harry’s scoff. "The Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot is another such person. Yes, Albus knows we exist, but not who we are.

"The Operations side handles the dangerous research missions that the Research side shouldn’t handle. We also settle matters that are of a sensitive nature. If you know about the muggle MI-5, we are their magical equivalent only a touch more secret. We handle beasts like Basilisks, wild Sphinx, or other really dangerous animals. The Research side isn’t trained or equipped to handle things like that so we keep them alive by taking the missions.

"Within our side, we have Marcus our head, Horace our trainer and commander of sorts. There are six teams of three that operate on our side. I am a member of team three. We only have two people since we lost a member this year. He got a little big in the head and he lost it on a mission. The other teams are fully staffed. I know the research team is down a member since Bode was killed."

"I should have recognized the Devil’s Snare when I was in his hospital room. Sorry, about that." Harry spoke for the first time since Tonks began her explanation.

"It happens, Harry, don‘t worry about it," Marcus said. "Have you ever seen Devil’s Snare before?"

"Yes, I have, my first year. I fell into a large nest of it."

"Interesting, I didn’t know Hogwarts left that kind of stuff lying around for the students to get into. All the same, you are here now and probably wondering what we have planned."

"Thought did cross my mind once or twice, sir." Harry was trying to stay respectful.

"I am Marcus, not sir. We go by our first names or our cover names. You will get one as time goes on. Only your teammates, Horace, and I will know your real names. Our operatives are required have their faces concealed at all times while working. You can choose to tell your team who you are if you want, but many don’t. The operatives are part-timers meaning that they all have jobs somewhere else in our community. Do you understand how we work?"

"Yes, it makes sense," Harry replied. "Where do I fit in then? I am still in school so how can I help?"

"You can’t help," Horace interjected. "You know nothing and are of little use to anyone."

"But, it is Horace’s job to teach you to be able to help us and he loves his job, don’t you Horace?" Marcus said in a friendly way cutting off the sharp criticism.

"Sod off you git," was the reply. "I work my arse off trying to teach these fools not to get themselves or others killed while working. I don’t know what to do about you, Potter. A little young and scrawny if you ask me."

"All things that can be remedied, Horace," Marcus said. "I expect great things from you, Harry."

"You and everyone else," Harry said under his breath quietly and for the first time Horace moved on his own and came into the light. He was an older man with a fair share of wrinkles. He had mostly grey hair with a few black ones scattered about his head. He had a solid build and was rough looking but a lot better than Moody.

"I have excellent ears, Potter," he said showing something other than contempt. "I do want a chance to see what you can do. Maybe you aren’t all that you are cracked up to be in the papers."

"I wouldn’t believe anything written about me in the papers, Horace. I could count the number of accurate things on one hand." Harry thought that this man was a lot like his uncle with a little of Moody thrown in to add a certain level of craziness.

"Is that so, Potter," Horace smiled for the first time since the meeting began and Harry felt more than saw the eagerness he was displaying. "I will be ready when you are, Marcus. Send him my way when you get done with all your paper pushing." Horace stood and left the room silently.

"He is such a friendly person don’t you think, Harry?" Marcus said with a wide smile. "Don’t worry; he will warm up to you in time."

"Umm, yeah, I will believe that when I see it," Harry said doubtfully.

"Yes, well, on to the boring stuff," Marcus pulled a folder from the seat of a chair that was next to him. "We have a few things to settle before you can leave and start playing around with Horace. I have a secrecy letter here that you need to read and sign. I have a few other things for you to read over and I must cast a spell that we use to protect our department. If you will be so kind as to read this." Marcus slid the folder to Harry.

Looking at Tonks for confirmation and getting it, Harry opened the folder and started reading the top form.


"I, the undersigned, do here by swear a wizard’s oath to keep my orders, missions, leaders, and teams secret from all unauthorized people. I will keep my secrets until my death or am ordered to reveal such secrets…"


Harry read the whole document and took the offered quill, which was a familiar black. "A blood quill. Must I sign this with a blood quill?"

"When have you ever seen a blood quill?" Marcus asked. "They are highly restricted in their use and illegal for most people to possess."

"Last year, Dolores Umbridge had me using it during detentions. I still have the faint scars on my hand from using it."

"What?" Yelled Tonks. "Why that miserable hag."

"Most interesting," Marcus said calmly while watching Tonks cycle through different ‘angry’ hair colors. "She could get a written reprimand for this. Maybe even a demotion since Fudge isn’t really in a position to save anyone lately. I never liked that woman. Thoughts for another time. Yes, Harry you must use the quill. It will make the contract magically binding."

"Fine," Harry said succinctly. He signed his name with a flourish and ignored the scratching pain on his hand. He never broke eye contact with Marcus during the process. Harry handed the form to Marcus and he took the sheet quickly.

"I think you have that stare down, Harry. I know I can see why a few people are intimidated by you. Now, if we can finish the forms. The next one is a release form absolving the department of any liability should you get hurt or die."

"Imagine that," Harry was beginning to see how things worked in the Ministry. Paper them to death if you can. "Does Hogwarts have one of these? I only ask considering all the times I have been hurt while at school."

"Of course they do," Marcus said. "Most likely your guardians signed it when you went for your first year."

"Not likely," Harry said swiftly. "If the sheet promised injuries, then they would have signed. Otherwise, I doubt there is one signed by anybody I know."

"Someone had to sign it for you to attend Hogwarts," Marcus looked puzzled. "You can look into that when you go on your first mission. Everyone loves their first mission, don’t they, Chamel?"

"The first is a lot of fun, Marcus. I still remember mine. Good times." Tonks got a little reminiscent.

"Why do they call you Chamel?" Harry asked.

"It is short for chameleon, Harry. Horace spent a few weeks trying to think up one that would fit. Chamel fit and that has been it since. I kind of like it too. It is a fun name just like me." Tonks was starting to bounce in her seat.

"Whatever makes you happy, Tonks," Harry shook his head a few times but was stopped when she smacked him playfully.

"Interesting," Marcus said more to himself than anyone else. "Now if we can continue with the boring stuff you can get onto the fun stuff."

Harry signed the release form and the salary sheet which said that Harry would be paid a lump sum for his training, 200 galleons, plus all his supplies and equipment. He would receive a sum based on the type of missions from that point forward. When they got to the Next of Kin form, Harry paused.

"I have no next of kin."

"Well, then you can name a person or persons who you would like to handle your affairs. If you have a will, then we can just put that down," Marcus was being pretty flexible about everything.

"Let’s do that then," Harry didn’t know what else to do so he took the only route we could. ‘I will take care of that when I have to deal with Sirius’s will.’

Harry came to the last form and he noticed that there was a certain shimmer to the parchment. Reading the top, Harry saw that there were quite a few magical words on the paper. He looked up and found Marcus was standing for the first time. The man was about five foot ten and seemed at ease on his feet. When he drew his wand, Harry reacted the only way he knew to react when someone pulled a wand, he drew his own wand.

He leapt out of his chair sending it crashing to the floor and swung his wand on target, Marcus, and took up a defensive position. "What is going on here? What is with the wand?"

Marcus stopped his motions and calmly pointed his wand downwards and away from Harry. "My apologies, Harry. I should have explained the process before drawing my wand on you. As unusual as it sounds, I rarely have people coming onboard who have had to fight for their lives before. It is even rarer that they have had to fight like you have. That is a mistake that I won’t make again."

Harry stared Marcus down trying to figure out if he was being truthful or if he was being setup. So far Harry knew he had been pretty easy going about everything. He didn’t make a fuss when he signed any of the forms. He looked to Tonks who had an expectant look on her face.

"This is normal, Harry," Tonks said. "Marcus is okay, I trust him. I should have warned you too. Remember, I know what happens when you get startled. I can clearly remember you knocking me down yesterday and what happened after that." She was being cheeky again and in front of her boss too.

"Is this a favorite thing of yours, Tonks?" Harry asked fighting the blush that he knew was starting to appear. "Okay, I am sorry about my reaction, but having so many people after you tends to make you a little jumpy."

"I completely understand, Harry" Marcus said with a smile. "I am impressed by your reflexes. I will need to make a bet with Horace before you start your training. I think I have an edge this time. Now, back to things at hand. You have to sign that form before we go any further today. There is another place to sign if you pass your entrance tests. I must cast a spell on you when you sign it both times."

"What kind of spell?" Harry wasn’t taking any chances on this. ‘I will be informed the whole time or I will leave. I am done trusting others to do what is best for me.’

"The spell is a form of the Fidelius Charm. We adapted it to protect our information, identities, and secrets from others. Legilimency can not be used to extract this information because it is protected by the spell. You can not tell others who aren’t covered by the same spell for the same reasons. It is another failsafe that only the Operations side goes through. As you sign the form, I will cast the spell and you will feel a slight presence in your mind. This is normal and it will pass in a few seconds. It is not unlike the real Fidelius Charm but we are not hiding a place or thing with it."

"Okay, let’s get this over with." Harry took up the quill again and signed the form and heard Marcus murmuring as he wrote his name in spiky letters. When he finished, Harry felt the presence as he was told. The feeling remained for a few seconds then it faded until Harry couldn’t tell where it had gone. He handed Marcus the folder and his signed form.

"Wonderful, now let’s get you to Horace. I am sure he has had more than enough time to prepare. Follow me and feel free to talk amongst yourselves until Horace calls on you to start."

They left room number nine and continued down the hallway. Tonks continued tripping on the runner so Harry had positioned himself to catch her should she actually fall instead of stumble. The area of hallway they were walking in had no doors for long distance on the right side. Harry saw one single door up ahead and then more blank wall for a good distance again.

"Before you ask, Harry, this is the training room," Tonks said while stumbling enough she had to reach out a hand to Harry to steady herself. "This is the room you will hate at first and then come to love later. I know that I hated it for a few days."

"Is this where I will be tested?" Harry asked.

"Yep," Tonks replied. "Do your best with everything that is thrown at you. Do not hold anything back for any reason, okay? Consider everything to be a real situation and treat every opponent as you would a Death Eater."

"Alright, I think," Harry wasn’t sure what to expect.

Marcus mumbled a password and opened the lone door. He entered and walked farther into the room. Tonks and Harry followed. Harry’s first impression was disbelief. The room was wider than the wall space outside led you to believe and it extended nearly eighty feet. The ceiling was at least forty feet high and it was shrouded in darkness in some areas. The room was at least one hundred and fifty feet deep. The volume of the room was immense and Harry could feel a charge to the air in the room. He could feel the air move too. Harry stood near the door and simply looked around for a few minutes.

"Amazing room isn’t it, Harry" Tonks said with some awe to her voice. "I love coming in here. It feels alive doesn’t it? You can feel the magic, but that shouldn’t be anything new to you."

"It feels alive," Horace snapped trying to keep his voice as overwhelming as he could, "because it kind of is. The walls are a metallic grey for a reason. The whole room is covered in the skin from Ukrainian Ironbellies. Our research team managed to figure out a way to keep the skin alive, in a fashion, so it could heal itself from spell damage. This, Potter, is our training room. This magnificent room is completely sealed from external detection so you being a minor and all is not an issue.

"Operations team members are the best trained operatives in the Ministry. My job is to test you and to ensure that you can put our training to use should the need arise. I had one person who knew every spell ever written. He was a master at casting those spells too. He had one flaw that cost him his life and the lives of his team members. He couldn’t use those spells against an enemy when the shite was hitting the fan. He got confused and he died. If you are anything like him, I will kill you myself so you won’t do the same to every else. Do you understand?"

"Yes," Harry said simply giving his full attention to Horace. Harry noticed Tonks and Marcus exiting through a door to the right side of the room adjacent to the entrance.

"Glad you can hear me, Potter," Horace replied forcefully. "Here are the rules for your testing and all training moving forward should you pass. Everything goes. All spells are fair game. You can use anything, everything, and even shite you make up. There is only one spell that is not reversible and that is the Killing Curse. You can not use the Killing Curse while you are facing live opponents when in this room. If you kill someone using another spell, so be it. Shite happens, you move on. I have only lost two people while running this room and both times they failed themselves. They died because of their own failures not because of the actions of others. Do you understand those rules?"

"Yes," Harry wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but this whole thing was looking more real and serious as he went.

"Your first test, Potter," Horace stated. "If I throw a decapitation curse at you, what will you do?"

"I will try to stun you."

"Wrong," Horace stepped forward and tried to look even more menacing. "Schoolboy ideals, how grand. No, Potter, you fire an equally dangerous spell back at me. Do you know of any that would come close?"

"I haven’t used it, but the Bone-Exploding Curse could be one."

"Excellent, you got it right on the second try. Too bad you are missing your head at this point and we only have a few seconds to repair the damage. You have to think fast on your feet, Potter, or people will get killed. Give me another spell you could use not one you know about."

"The Cruciatus Curse."

"You sure you could handle that one? It is mighty dangerous to play around with. Have you ever cast that spell?" Horace saw the hesitation in Harry. "Just like the spells, no words leave this room either. We are all under secrecy oaths and we govern ourselves. The Ministry kind of stops at the hidden door out front if you couldn’t tell."

"Yes, I have used it once."

"Well, knock me over with a feather. The boy wonder isn’t all goody-goody after all. And just who felt the sting of your first Cruciatus Curse?"

"Bellatrix Lestrange."

Horace held his comment and watched as Harry’s face turned a little darker. He looked over Harry’s shoulder and smiled slightly. "How surprising. Maybe you aren’t that worthless after all, Potter. You would be the first other than that raving lunatic calling himself a Dark Lord to have accomplished such a feat. Maybe I won’t go easy on you today. Maybe you can take the real test instead of the kid’s version. Interested?"

"Ready as I’ll ever be." Harry stared him down. He was getting mad and he didn’t even want to try to use Occlumency to calm down. The man was pissing him off and Harry wanted to prove that he was good enough to learn what ever they had to offer.

"Fine, the test begins now. No Killing Curses, yell out yield when you have had enough, I will stop when you lose consciousness otherwise."

With a tap of his wand, Horace disappeared and the room shifted into that of a forest. Harry looked all around and saw old trees where nothing had been before. He stepped to his left side and touched a tree. It felt real. The bark was rough and the ground was uneven beneath his feet. He smelled the fresh air and grass and felt the dampness of the forest around him. ‘Must be like the Room of Requirement.’ Harry figured that standing in one place was not the best choice so he began to move to his left checking for a structure or a clearing.

Harry walked for a few minutes before he had that feeling of someone attacking him. Harry spun and held his wand in the direction of the feeling. A silver ribbon of magic came flying at him from a tree where his wand was pointed. Harry reacted by ducking and sending a Reductor Curse to the same area. The silver ribbon flew over his head and struck a tree that was about a foot thick. The tree groaned from the impact. Where the spell had hit the tree the wood separated and the top slammed into the earth with a deep thud.

Harry moved behind the cover of some trees and small bushes. A burst of fire ignited the shrubs and Harry cast the Flame Freezing spell on himself and jumped into the fire. He saw movement to his right so he fired the Blasting Curse in that direction and moved out of the fire. Harry heard a loud splintering of wood sound come from the poor tree that had been hit by his spell.

He retreated for a few minutes and found a dip in the earth where he had more cover from his attacker. He moved up and down the depression until he had that feeling again. He turned to the general direction and starting firing off Stunners and Impediment Jinxes. A twisting red jet of light shot from the area Harry had been firing his spells. The spell nearly hit Harry, but he had rolled to the ground before he was struck. ‘Bloody hell, he wasn’t kidding. That was the Cruciatus Curse.’

Harry knew he was outclassed when it came to the number of spells he knew. He thought he might have an advantage when it came to mobility, but he knew he couldn’t match spell for spell against Horace. Harry scanned the area for movement and saw nothing. He needed a way to even the odds and thought of a smoke spell. He cast the spell which caused smoke to billow from his wand. He waved it around and soon found himself obscured by the cloud of smoke. He felt that feeling again and fired the Cutting Curse it that direction. He heard something tear and heard a grunt from someone.

Harry knew he had to press any advantage he made for himself and began firing Reductor Curses in a small angle from the last place he had heard Horace. Trees were being destroyed from the sounds of things. Crashes and creaks followed by the splintering sounds of wood being pulverized. Harry began to move sideways from his last position and saw a yellow streamer fly right where he had been standing.

Harry moved further away and wished he had learned the Disillusionment Charm last year. That was the only way Horace could have remained unseen. As Harry thought, he remembered what Horace had said in the meeting room. "I have excellent ears, Potter." ‘Idiot,’ Harry thought to himself. He wandlessly cast the Silencing Charm on his feet and continued his retreat.

Harry had kept moving for over ten minutes without any spells being fired at him. He was trying to think of a way to go on the offensive but not knowing where your enemy was made that hard. Harry was coming up on a creek by the sound of it. He broke through the underbrush and found a wide stream running steadily and some rocks creating a path of sorts. The only way across was to hop from rock to rock. Harry got an idea and hopped across the only place where the rocks were close enough to do so.

Harry paused in the middle of crossing and bent down to splash some water over a smaller stone. Once the rock was covered, Harry wandlessly cast the Freezing Charm on the rock turning the water into ice. Harry was pleased that the rock just looked wet. He finished crossing the stream and climbed up the hill to a vantage point behind a few live trees and a fallen one. He could see up and down the stream quite a ways and he had the best view of the rocks. Harry waited and caught his breath.

The minutes ticked by and Harry watched. A slight movement of the first rock brought his wand to bear on the approximate location of his pursuer. Harry knew he had to focus as much as possible. He had to force as much of his magic into his spells. Tonks had been giving him skills and hints at becoming better with his magic. She knew what was going to happen and she helped him as much as she could in the two days they had before today. Harry chose his spell and summed up all the intent and willpower he could and waited for a more conclusive indication that Horace was crossing the stream.

The moment that Harry heard a "Shite!" and a splash, he unleashed repeated stunning spells blanketing the area near the ice-covered stone. A silver shield appeared slightly down stream from the rocks and Harry adjusted his aim. He was firing spell after spell and the silver shield sounded each time it was struck. Harry was pouring his magic into the spells. He was beginning to feel that ‘pushing’ sensation he had when doing wandless magic.

The silver shield held, but no spells were being returned. Harry held his current course of action because he didn’t know what would happen if he didn’t. A cold feeling broke his concentration. He started hearing his mother’s screams in his head. ‘Dementors.’

Harry ducked down and moved away from the stream. He summoned up all his will and intent remembering the time he saved Sirius. He thought of the strongest positive memory he could think of too. Tonks in a t-shirt minus her pants kissing him was the one he selected. Harry pushed all the magic he could into yelling, "Expecto Patronum," and cast his Patronus. The silver stag erupted from his wand and charged into the woods to Harry’s right. Harry thought the stag was larger than before, but now was not the time to think about anything other than surviving.

Deciding that the right was full of Dementors, Harry ran to the left. He kept running bouncing off trees and breaking through brush. His face was getting cut up by the angry twigs that would snap at him as he ran past. The stag came running or floating by and went ahead of Harry. A screeching sound told Harry that Dementors were ahead of him as well as behind. He veered slightly to the right and saw a clearing up ahead.

Hoping that a clearing meant a better chance to see his opponent, Harry ran for the open space. The Dementor screams grew quieter as Harry progressed giving him a more positive feeling of his current direction. The open space was a yard to an old farm house. Harry saw a paddock behind the house and a water troth waiting for an animal to drink from it. The house appeared to be well maintained and its thatched roof looked new in the sunlight. Harry saw no movement in or around the house so he ran up the walking path leading to the side door.

A quick "Alohomora" and the door swung open allowing Harry to run in at full speed. He closed the door and muttered "Colloportus" locking the door behind him. Harry ran up the stairs and found a bedroom with a window overlooking the way he had come. He opened the windows and eased back into the shadows making sure he had a good view of the tree line. Harry took the time to catch his breath. ‘This is one of the stupidest things you have ever done, Harry. What in the fuck are you trying to prove? Who are you trying to prove it to and why does it matter? Ah, got you.’

Harry stopped berating himself when he saw the outline of a shape emerging from the woods. Horace was using the Disillusionment Charm and the sunlight allowed Harry to see his outline instead of it being hidden by the trees and leaves in the forest. Harry lined up his wand and forced his magic out again. "Incarcerous," Harry said quietly. Ropes leapt from his wand and quickly wrapped around the hidden shape. The ropes followed the shape to the ground as it fell over.

Harry ran from the room, down the stairs, and out the door, he had sealed closed, after removing the locking spell. He found his ropes lying in a pile where he had seen Horace collapse. "Damn it," Harry managed to say before being struck by a Bludgeoning spell. Harry rolled with the force and regained his feet fighting to take a breath since his chest had taken most of the force.

Harry fired a Cutting Curse in the direction he could best figure the spell came from. Hearing no impact, Harry swung his wand in an arc casting "Flagrate" in all directions. He saw a shield snap into existence to his left so he focused his spells to that area. Stunners, Reductors, and Impedimentas were fired repeatedly. Harry saw the shield weaken slightly and the Disillusionment Charm fade.

Horace was standing there looking a little beaten sporting own cuts and burns from Harry’s attacks. With an angry scowl, Horace ducked and fired the Cruciatus Curse at Harry causing him to dive out of the way. Horace followed it up with his own Incarcerous spell. Harry countered with the Cutting Curse and followed it up with a Stunner.

Horace batted the stunner away looking insulted that Harry would even try. Harry knew that he had to use something stronger than his school hexes. Harry remembered the spells he had read during his first day home. "Ossis Fragmen," Harry said quietly trying to remember that yelling did little to help your magic. The spell struck Horace in the left arm and Harry heard a bone snapped loudly. Horace held back his yell, but a whimper escaped.

Harry continued his assault with another Reductor Curse which was blocked. Horace fired another Cruciatus Curse at Harry forcing him to the ground. Harry returned fire with "Ossis Disffringo." Horace was struck in the left leg. The sound of his leg bone shattering was drowned out by his yell of pain as he fell to the ground instantly.

Harry regained his footing but was brought to his knees when Horace scored a hit with "Crucio." Harry did his best to hold in his screams, but he was disoriented by the pain. He was seeing stars as the hot knives drove themselves into his joints. Harry tried to roll away from the pain, but he figured in reality he was merely rolling around in the same place.

Horace must have stopped his spell because Harry regained control of his body. ‘Never again will I take the pain from that spell. Where is that arsehole, I want him to hurt?’ Harry shakily got to his knees and saw Horace on the ground ten feet away trying to steady his wand on Harry. Horace was still trying to cast a spell at Harry even though he was lying on the ground.

Harry drew up his wand and stared into Horace’s eyes. "Crucio!" Harry pushed all the pain he had suffered from Horace and his family in the last few days into his spell. He added a little of his hatred for Bellatrix too. Horace was laid flat on the ground, screaming, from Harry’s spell. Harry held him under the spell wanting him to feel every bit of his anger and suffering he had. A shout from the side caused Harry to break off his spell and turn his wand on the voice.

A Reductor Curse shot from Harry’s wand and flew towards the voice. Harry couldn’t see who it was, but he was still disoriented from the Cruciatus Curse he had been under for an undetermined amount of time. A feminine shout of the shield spell helped Harry re-center himself to reality. His vision came back into focus and he saw Tonks moving his way warily with her wand drawn. She was recovering from her dive to the ground to avoid his ‘Crucio’ spell.

Harry looked down at his wand and back up at Tonks. He released his wand and it fell to the grass softly. Tonks stowed her wand and fell to her knees a little out of control right in front of him. She pulled him into a hug and held him as he took deep breaths assessing his injuries.

"It is over, Harry," Tonks said near tears. "I am sorry I brought you here. I didn’t know they were planning such real test. I am so sorry, Harry."

Harry didn’t know what the big deal was, but he knew Tonks had to calm down. "Hush, Tonks. I am fine no big deal. Just a little pain. Nothing I haven’t been through before. This is par for me, remember?"

"Harry, you have serious injuries and you were held under the Cruciatus for way too long. We ran down here as soon as you were hit with it. I need to get you to the healers right now."

"What injuries? I am just a little tired and sore, no worries." Harry pushed Tonks back and started trying to get to his feet. He was shaky but he managed.

Tonks didn’t know what to do, but she helped Harry stand up and kept him from falling over. Marcus watched Harry stand and looked at Horace still curled into a ball on the ground. He saw Harry waver a few times, but when Harry’s wand flew into his hand Marcus knew something was going on and it was a good thing.

"You lost, old man," Marcus said with a laugh to Horace. He received a grunt of pain followed by a whimper. "I will just call the medics then." Marcus snapped his wand in the direction of the door and a silvery shape shot out of it. Marcus walked over to Harry and Tonks assessing his condition more thoroughly.

"The healers are on their way, Harry. I need your face covered since you have most definitely passed the test." He conjured a grey hood that would cover Harry’s face and placed it over his head. "Harry, I am going to heal the cuts on your face and then cover it so no one knows who you are. Okay?"

Harry looked to Tonks who nodded. Harry sighed and gave his permission. Marcus waved his wand a few times and the small cuts healed. Harry’s face was covered with the hood, but he could still see Tonks worried face.

Tonks pulled the hood of her cloak up and her face was shrouded instantly in shadows. "Remember to call me Chamel, Harry. I won’t say your name when the healers arrive. They will want to take you to the medical wing because of your injuries."

"What injuries? I didn’t get hit that much."

"Your left arm is broken, Harry," Tonks explained. "You have a puncture wound to your leg and a burn on your chest not to mention the exposure to the Cruciatus Curse."

"I don’t remember anything but the curse and that was at the end. When did the rest happen?"

"The whole time you were fighting," Tonks was really worried that Harry couldn’t remember getting hit by the spells. "Now, you rest and we will let the healers do their thing."

The door opened and the healers entered the normal-looking room. There were five people, two women and three men, and they hurried over to Harry and Marcus. One of the women started giving orders and the others began their work. Wands were waved and spells cast.

"Broken arm, shattered leg, fire burns, rope burns, contusions, and Crucio exposure," a man said.

"Broken arm, penetrating wound, lacerations, fire burns, and Crucio exposure," said a woman.

The woman in charge shook her head, "What is this, Marcus, a final aptitude test or something?"

"No, Speers, it was an admission test," Marcus said lightly.

"Admission my arse, these are serious wounds. If this is what I can expect in the future I demand that a healer be present during the testing. I don’t even want to know what spells missed." Speers directed the healers to levitate Horace and walk Harry to the medical bay.

Harry shook off their help and leaned on Tonks urging her to lead the way. ‘I will do things myself if I can. If not, I will ask for help if I need it.’ Harry walked slowly after the healers. They repeatedly tried to help him, but he waved them off every time. It took Tonks telling them to let him alone before they stopped offering to help.

The medical bay was right across from the training room which Harry thought was the most sense he had ever seen at use in this building. He was laid on a bed and his healer team started pouring potions down his throat. He was poked and prodded and scanned and measured. Tonks sat with him the whole time giving him all the support he could stand.

He heard various things from the other side of the room. Most of it was medical talk that he didn’t understand and couldn’t be bothered to figure out since his medication had started working. Marcus was in the room speaking with someone, but Harry was starting to drift off. His arm was throbbing from the Skele-Grow he had taken. The last face he saw was Tonks’ covered head hovering above him.

Harry came to with the smell of disinfectant in his nose and the sounds of people talking quietly reaching his ears. He opened his eyes and immediately noticed that his glasses were somewhere other than his face. He willed them into his hand and soon found them resting lightly in his palm. He carefully slipped them on and the world came into focus or what he could see with his hood in place.

He saw three healers moving about the room straightening things and restocking shelves. He also saw Horace resting in his own bed. There were empty potion bottles of varying sizes next to his bed. He seemed to be asleep at the moment, but Harry could clearly remember what the man had done to him earlier. Harry wished he knew what time it was, but since there were no windows he had no clues to go from.

Looking to his side, Harry found Tonks slouching in a chair. Her eyes were closed, but she was humming a tune to herself. Harry looked to see if he saw anyone else in the room but it was empty. The room was smaller than Madam Pomfrey’s hospital, but it was well supplied judging by cabinets of potions that lined the back wall. Everything was in perfect order and labeled from what Harry could tell. He turned his attention back to Tonks and cleared his throat quietly.

Tonks’ eyes snapped open and a smile grew on her face. She sat up and leaned forward coming closer to Harry. "Do you hate me?" Her smile had disappeared and a hesitant frown was in its place.

"No, why would I?" Harry didn’t know what to say.

"I got you hurt," Tonks said tentatively. "Most people would be pretty horked off at me for doing something like that."

"And when have I ever been like most people? Honestly, I spend my summer doing wandless magic, getting my life threatened, and getting cursed left and right in a secret department under the Ministry. Does that sound like most people? Didn’t think so. I am fine, To…Chamel. I feel good right now aside from feeling a little sore and not completely with it."

"Good," Tonks hesitated saying Harry. "You were amazing. Horace hadn’t had such a fight in years. He usually toys with people and then finishes it. When he starts throwing the Cruciatus Curse around, you know you are doing something right. That is his finisher. I still remember when he used it on me."

"It was bad, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t that terrible. He has nothing on Voldemort or Bellatrix." Harry saw Tonks flinch. "If you are going to spend any amount of time around me get used to me saying Voldemort. I have earned the right to call him whatever I want and I intend to do just that."

"Not everyone has faced him so we aren’t all at your level of acceptance. Most people have never seen him in person. Why do you think he is so scary? The less you know about something, the scarier it is."

"Well, I have seen him and he is scary in person too, but that is no reason to give him more power by being afraid of his made up name. His real name is Tom Marvolo Riddle. He just made up Voldemort by messing around the letters. Anyway, what do I do now? And what time is it?"

"Those I can answer. It is around two and we are to meet Marcus before we get you outfitted. Then, we have your first mission to complete before we can leave."

"I have a mission, already?"

"Oh, it is an easy mission. You don’t even have to leave the Ministry. That will be explained later. Now up you get so we can go shopping."

"Shopping? Why do women like shopping so much?"

"Because it gives us pleasure and we get new things that we didn’t have before. Now let’s go."

"Fine, fine." Harry swung his legs off the edge of his bed and set them on the floor. He tested his steadiness and then forced himself into a standing position. He swayed to the right, but Tonks grabbed his shoulders stopping him from falling.

"So you are up," called a healer. She bustled over like all healers do. ‘They must be taught how to do that in medical school,’ Harry thought.

"Here," she said handing him a vial. "You must take that before you leave. It will perk you up and help you with your balance issues. You should be as good as new in a few minutes."

Harry took the offered greenish potion and downed it quickly. He expected an awful taste and frightening texture so he didn’t believe the sweet taste he was met with. It flowed down his throat smoothly. Harry found himself perking up in the few minutes as promised. His balance wasn’t perfect, but it was constantly improving.

She waved him out the door faster than he had ever seen a healer do so. He allowed Tonks to lead him past door number sixteen, the training room, to door number two. She knocked and helped Harry in when the door opened.

Harry found himself in a room that felt old. Everything in the room seemed modeled from the 1800’s. The lights were old style gas lamps similar to the ones in Grimmauld Place only more basic. There was a book shelf over flowing with books that were stuck in at every direction they would fit. There were three green leather chairs facing the antique desk that Marcus was seated behind. The desk was clear in the center, but papers were piled high around the edges. Quills were lying about the desk in various stages of wear.

Marcus looked up from his high-backed leather chair and smiled a wide smile that seemed to fit the man. "You are free to speak here, Harry. This room is constantly protected against all forms of eavesdropping. Now, I need you to sign the last form again if you wish to enter our program, of course."

Harry looked from Marcus’s hopeful face to Tonks’ caring one. "Yeah, I think I will as long as I will learn things that can help me stay alive. If I am just going to be a punching bag or poster boy, then I am out."

"None of that will happen here, Harry. We don’t have poster boys for one, kind of defeats the secrecy thing doesn’t it? As for the punching bag part, it may seem like it for the initial stages, but I think you can progress beyond that quickly enough. Here is the form and the nasty quill again."

Harry grabbed the quill and paused thinking what he should have thought long ago. ‘Am I just trading one controlling old man for another? This one is telling me he will teach me things and I have the chance to learn on my own if need be. The other one said he would teach me, but all I got was Snape and no information. The real difference is that I am choosing to do this. I never had the choice before. That is the real truth; I am deciding to do this under my own power. I am making the decisions.’ "This is for real? I will learn everything I saw today and more?"

"Yes, I promise that you will learn what you saw today and more. You will also learn how and when to apply those skills depending on the situation. Sometimes, we are a very direct group of people. Other times, we work in subterfuge. If you are willing to give it a shot, sign the form. You can always back out if things don’t work out for you. I will warn you that your oaths will last for your entire life and we may decide to Obliviate certain things if we think they are excessively dangerous for us. That is the deal you are walking into. It is your choice?"

Harry thought about the situation for awhile. "Fine, I am in." Harry signed his name again and felt Marcus’s spell at work. The presence was more pronounced than before and took longer to fade. "It is normal for the second time to be more invasive. It is the level of permanence causing it. Now, if you go to room number eighteen you can get outfitted. I am sure Chamel can help you with that. I wish to welcome you to our family, Harry Potter. We may not trust many people often, but we rely on everyone who takes the oath. Oh, and on a side note, you won me a case Ogden’s Finest with your performance today. Thank you."

Tonks grabbed Harry’s arm and pulled him out of the office and down the hall. "He bet a case on you and you came through. You earned points with him today. I am proud of you." They continued down the hallway and Tonks seemed to regain her clumsy ways. Harry had to stop her from falling twice on the way to room eighteen. She tapped the door with her wand and said a word causing the door to shudder and open.

Harry entered the room and saw, stuff. It was full of stuff. One wall had cloaks lined up in one really long rack. They were all grey and seemed rather common. The back wall had a few swords and daggers with matching leather gear beneath them. The wall opposite the cloaks had shelves of books and various magical devices that Harry recognized from Dumbledore’s office and Moody’s classroom. The center of the room had boots in the far section and small trunks in the near section.

"Okay, we are here to outfit you. First is a cloak." Tonks walked over to the cloaks and started sliding down the rack checking the length every now and then. She paused about half way down and pulled one from the rack and held it up to Harry. It was about a foot too long. "Not quite right, eh," She returned the cloak and walked down until she seemed happy.

Tonks pulled another cloak out and the length was about two inches from the floor but the shoulders were about six inches too wide. "Now you can see why I didn’t get the job at Madam Malkin’s." Tonks returned the cloak and checked for one with smaller shoulders. She pulled out another one and held up it to Harry. "Not bad, try it on will you."

Figuring he might as well play dress up for her, Harry removed his hood and donned the cloak. It fit nicely in length but the shoulders were a touch too large. Harry’s original opinion of the cloaks being common had to be revised. The material was soft and very comfortable. The room was like most clothes storerooms, stuffy and warm, but the cloak felt nice and cool.

"A little too big, but it will do. Now, to brief you on your brand-new, slightly-used, Unspeakable wear, I will list off their handy dandy features." Tonks finished with a flourish. "I love doing that in case you couldn’t tell. The standard cloak is made up of two parts; the outer and inner. Kind of like a belly button only this thing has a much greater lint factor and isn’t a button since it has no buttons."

Harry nodded his head twice before switching to a shake. ‘Tonks is another of those crazy people I should watch out for.’

Tonks never paused in her description. "The inner is made up of a soft liner the muggles make. The outer is all us though. The exterior is made up of three separate materials. Hungarian Horntail hide is overlaid with the hair of a Demiguise interwoven with the skin of a Grand Chameleon. The dragon hide gives us added protection from spells. The Demiguise hair gives us the ability to disappear to a certain degree. It isn’t as good as an invisibility cloak, but then it is cheaper than that too. Remember, this is government work so you settle for less than spectacular equipment. The Chameleon skin gives us the ability to blend into our environment.

"The invisibility can be activated by tapping your wand on the cloak, or wandlessly I guess, and saying ‘Invisible.’ Real technical stuff we have to remember here. The Chameleon feature is more versatile. Same tap and you say ‘blend,’ or ‘color’ then the color you want. I like grey or blue or really any color actually. You will want black or another normal color I suppose."

"That is me, Tonks, boring."

"You are for from boring, Harry. You simply haven’t been properly motivated to try new things. That is where I come in just so you know. Now, on with other features. Self-cleaning upon command. Wrinkle-free always. Temperature control to keep you nice and warm or comfortably cool. A hood that has Obscuring Charms in place to hide your face and a security feature to prevent others from removing it but one of us. Don’t ask me how, it just works that way. Built-in wand holder for either arm that can be activated by thought. There is a spell to attune you to it so it all works right. Enough pockets that you will lose stuff for weeks and the kicker is that they are summon proof too. So when you lose something and try to summon it you get naught. Tailors with a sense of humor.

"Is there anything else?" Tonks thought on the subject for a bit. "Umm, that is all I can think of. Now that you have your new threads, let’s get you some boots."

The section of boots was searched and Harry found a pair of boots that fit well. "Hungarian Horntail as well with the self-cleaning, temperature control, and Chameleon features. Your cloak is long enough that you can crouch a little so you don’t need the invisibility option. Remember, government work."

"Now the trunks are all the same, Harry. They have a modest shrinking charm on them as they are one third the size of the real one. They can be shrunk more, but then they would be hard to find in here. Pick one and let’s open it up." Harry grabbed one and set it on the floor. Tonks tapped it with her wand and countered the charm. The trunk grew to full size and Harry opened the lid. Inside was a blank journal, an empty set of vials, a sleeping bag, a canteen, a round clear ball similar to Neville’s Remembrall, a self-inking quill, a Pocket Sneakoscope, and a few storage cubbies.

 "You know what most of this crap is so I will only explain the odd things. The clear ball is used to identify someone’s injuries. A medically skilled team member will use it. The journal is like most journals but it is never-ending. You are supposed to put all your notes in it. Basically, you will have your own spell book when you get into it. Otherwise, there is a pocket for this thing right near your belt line. Shrink it and put it in there." Harry shrunk the trunk and put it in the pocket.

"Now we move onto the edged weapons. I am too clumsy to carry one so I don’t. Last thing I need to do is remove my own arm. You should grab one and a sheath and put it on the inside of your robe. There are access pockets so you can reach things on the inside." Harry found a dagger that was about eight inches long and had a sturdy frame. He found a sheath that was slim and held the dagger tightly preventing any accidents. He used the access pockets to store the dagger in an inner holder designed for a blade. Harry also tested out the wand holder in his sleeve.

Tonks said the spell to make the cloak respond to his wishes. After a few minutes testing the wand holder, Harry was satisfied with its response as his ability to catch the wand properly. "Well, I think we are done in here, Harry. You said you learn better by doing so we will skip the books for now. Anything else you need from here?"

"No, I think I am good for now. What do we do now?"

"Well, Harry, you need to get your hood up and you can cue me in so I can see your face. Don’t ask me how it works; it is more of the Department secrets that I don’t care to learn. Flip up the hood and once you are ready then tap the hood and say ‘Reveal to’ and the full name of the person." Tonks smile faded as she just realized she told Harry to say her real name.

Harry smiled at her and decided to have some fun with her. Tapping the hood, he spoke very clearly and slowly. "Reveal to Nymphadora Tonks." Harry saw Tonks hesitate slightly, but the smile returned.

"There I can see you just fine now. I will do the same so you can see me." Tonks followed the same procedure and Harry could see her face clearly as if the hood wasn’t there.

"Neat trick, Tonks. Where to now?"

"Back to the man in charge, he has to give you your mission for the day. You should have loads of fun with this one. I know I did." Tonks skipped out of the room and started down the hall. Harry followed her trying to keep up without running. He only caught up after she tripped and fell down completely. Harry assisted her to her feet and they finished the trip without skipping anymore.

The office door opened for them and Harry was greeted with a friendly smile. "Now you look like one of us. A little loose in the shoulders, but medical can fix that. Here is your ranking bar. Chamel can explain it later."

Harry looked at the patch and saw that it was made up of different colored, vertical bars underneath an empty horizontal bar that went the whole length of the patch. The patch was about two inches long and one inch tall. Harry found the location for it over his left breast right where the Hogwarts House patch would go. Harry affixed the patch and let is pass from his mind.

"Your mission for the day, Harry, is a multipart mission. Since you are a minor according to the Ministry you are to infiltrate the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. More specifically, the Improper Use of Magic Office. Once there, you will locate the sensory device that has been attuned to you or your current location. You must disable the device without it being obvious. Hitting it with a Reductor Curse would be an example of how not to do it. A strong Freezing Charm could do it. The device only does something if it detects magic in its target area. So, it doing nothing is what we are after. I am sure you have no love lost with that particular department.

"The second part of your mission is to gain access to the main storeroom containing records on all magical people. You will place this form in your folder without being detected. The form is simply a legal document stating that you have been emancipated. Since you are under the age of seventeen, you must be emancipated to work in any capacity outside of a family business. Once I put our seal on the documents you signed, a record will be made of you entering into an employment contact. That is as detailed as it becomes, but if there isn’t an emancipation document in your folder the clerk for the Wizengamot will be notified automatically.

"I know it sounds silly, but the Ministry has been mucking around in peoples lives for centuries. They have some really stupid rules and procedures in place, but I see this as a fun challenge for you to test out your new toys. Do you have any questions?"

"Do I come back here when I am done or what? And how do I get in here anyway?"

"Great questions, Harry. You come back here when you are done. I will stamp the documents then. Now getting in here, you tap the wall like you saw Chamel and you say your password. You will set it the first time you enter. I have already adjusted the wards to permit you entry into the door the first time. Once you learn some of the transportation methods we can adjust them to let you in other ways that are more convenient for you. Any more questions?"

"Don’t think so."

"Brilliant. Now, Chamel will go with you, but she will not help you in your mission. She is only there to get you out of trouble should you get caught, but if that happens just cop an attitude and reveal your badge. Most people know to leave us be when we ask."

Harry looked down to see that his badge had indeed disappeared. He drew his wand and tapped it one causing it to reveal itself for a short time. Harry shook hands with Marcus, grabbed the document, and followed Tonks out of the offices. Once he left the secret door in the main hallway outside of the Department, he turned around and repeated the double-tap and the box-motions as he had seen Tonks do when they first arrived. He heard a faint voice ask for a password. Harry thought for a moment before saying his password, "Marauder’s for the win."

He turned and walked towards the lift. He pressed the button and waited calmly as the lift worked its way towards level nine. "So, Chamel, what do the colors on the badge mean?"

Tonks tapped hers and the badge revealed itself. The colors went from left to right, red, blue, green, yellow, purple, and black. "The red bar is for offensive spells. The number of bars is a weighted average based on power, knowledge, and skill with the spells. Everyone needs to be at least a level three in red and blue to be added to a team. Blue is for defensive spells. Next is green and that is speed and accuracy of spells. A dueler would be really high in this area. Yellow is for healing spells and purple is for Stealth, Tracking, and the Covert skills. Last is black and that reflects your ability with the Unforgivables. Speed of casting, ability to hold them, and proficiency at fighting them.

"As you can see, I have five red out of seven. I would be in the upper end of the main group. Offensive spells are important to us. I have five bars of seven for blue. I am pretty skilled with my shields and counter-curses. The Patronus falls into this group as well so you should have a good score here once they start measuring you. I have a five for speed and accuracy. Two in yellow makes me able to heal very minor wounds in a controlled environment. You have seen and been a patient of those skills and you are still alive so no worries there. I have six purples. My tendencies for tripping keep me from a seven. I am the highest of all team members in this area. I have a three for the Unforgivables. I can’t hold the Cruciatus for very long and my Killing Curse is luck if it works. My Imperius is good, but my lack of raw power keeps me from a four.

"We can test as often or as seldom as we want to get our levels reassessed. At the beginning, people are always trying to get higher levels but over time they settle for what they have. The top bar indicates our rank and our team. I have a Roman Numeral III saying I am part of team three. I have two pips of five showing that I am a level two operative. A level one is a new member or someone who is still learning the ropes. A level three is the team leader.

A level four is a team leader and operation specialist meaning they can command multiple teams and have operational discretion if a mission becomes complicated by external forces. In short, if the mission is fucked a level four can change the mission to something attainable or call it off. A level five would be Horace and Marcus. They call the shots and plan the missions. I wouldn’t want their job if you paid me. In the old days, there used to be level fives that went on missions and were consistently in the field but that is long past now.

"Let’s see what they started you out as and don’t worry about any of your levels right now. They are bound to go up." Tonks tapped Harry’s hidden patch and her mouth dropped open. "Holy shite, you really must have impressed them earlier. You will make some friends and enemies among the teams with levels like this starting out." Harry looked down and saw the colored bars. Four red, three blue, 5 green, no yellow, two purple, and three black with one pip in the upper field.

"Everyone gains at least one level in all areas and many get an increase of two or more levels. You could be hitting sixes and maybe sevens in a few years. The pip and your levels in offensive and defensive spells mean that you can be added to a team and sent on missions already."

The lift arrived at that time and Harry couldn’t wrap his head around everything. He just wanted to finish his mission and go home. He was tired and needed sleep not to mention he hadn’t eaten yet. He knew it wasn’t even four yet, but that didn’t change the fact that he wanted to go to bed. He entered the lift and pressed number two. The lift rattled and started on its way to the floor containing the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and his first stop.

The lift paused on the seventh floor, the Department of Magical Games and Sports, and two people entered the lift hesitantly. Tonks and Harry were in the rear of the lift and in opposite corners. The newcomers looked up and down at Harry and Tonks before the continued their conversation in very hushed tones. Harry turned to see if Tonks was bothered by their actions at all. He saw her alternating her hair color randomly. She seemed completely oblivious to anyone else.

The lift proceeded to level five, Department of International Magical Cooperation, and one more person entered the lift. He was a stout little man and had wild mustache that seemed to reach his shoulders. He greeted one of the other men happily by name and struck up a conversation completely ignoring Harry and Tonks.

Without further interruption, the lift arrived at level two, Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Harry wasn’t sure how to exit the lift. He wasn’t sure he could say anything or do anything. Tonks, however, didn’t waste one minute. She cleared her throat and all three people in the way leapt to the sides making room for her to exit the lift without a risk of being touched. Tonks strode from the confined space exuding confidence with every step.

Harry followed trying to mimic her. He managed to keep up with her until the lift closed and continued to the first floor. "Is that normal? People reacting like that?"

"Yep, most are dead scared of us," Tonks said stopping near one of the magical windows. "The whole secrecy thing really frightens some people. You will get used to all the whispering and hesitation. They actually think we care about their business? Games does one event a year maybe two at the most. Otherwise, they just muck with the Quidditch leagues. Cooperation can’t cooperate with themselves let alone others. One thing you will learn is that every department thinks their shite doesn’t stink and their business is the most important. Ha, my arse."

"So, we want people to fear us?" Harry was beginning to wonder if the Unspeakables weren’t like the Death Eaters only with different colored cloaks.

"No, but people always fear what they don’t know. By nature, we are not to be known. Besides, if people are on their toes when we are around things go smoother. Half the time when we show up to something going on, people are ever so helpful to us. Now, on we go. People in the MLE are more used to us so they won’t be jumping out of the way. Here is a hint, use your fancy new cloak if you want."

Harry looked at her and then remembered his cloak could become invisible to a certain degree. He also had his own invisibility cloak on him from when he originally arrived at the Ministry. Harry tapped his cloak and said, "Invisible," and he faded from sight with only a slight distortion giving him away. Harry wandlessly cast a silencing spell on his feet and pulled his own cloak from the inside pocket where he had stowed it. With a swirl, Harry disappeared completely from view.

He walked down the hallway ignoring the scenes the windows projected. He stopped at the door to the Auror Headquarters and took a deep breath. ‘Now or nothing I guess.’ Harry turned the handle and was met with the sounds of a busy office. He slipped into the room silently and stayed close to the left wall. He saw a few people walking about discussing things and a few paper airplanes floating about near the ceiling.

Harry slinked his way to the rear of the room where a closed door sat beneath a small, hanging sign that read, ‘Improper Use of Magic Office.’ Under the sign was a name plate, ‘Mafalda Hopkirk.’ Harry recognized Hopkirk’s name quite clearly. It was her letters that caused Harry so many problems last summer and before that during his second year. Reaching the door, Harry tried to open the door slowly, but it was locked.

Harry wasn’t sure what to do next. Usually this was when Hermione would jump in with an idea and it would work perfectly. ‘No, Hermione here, now what? Well, if I want in I could always knock.’ Left with few options, Harry knocked softly so the aurors wouldn’t hear it. ‘I could use my wand to unlock the door but that would trigger the device in the room.’

The door opened quickly nearly hitting Harry in the shoulder. He moved to the side against the wall. Mafalda looked out the doorway checking for a visitor. She saw no one right there so she looked around the door to see if anyone was hiding behind it. Harry thought he had a chance to sneak in, but she was blocking the entire doorway. ‘She has to be at least a hundred kilos. How can I get past all that?’ Harry’s moment of opportunity was fading quickly.

Mafalda finished her search mumbling under her breath about idle children and worthless gits and began to close the door. Harry started to panic a little. ‘If this is a common problem then she won’t open the door again. Do something you idiot.’ Harry saw the door closing and he had a few inches left before the door was locked again. He pushed his magic out and cast a Freezing Charm on the latch hoping it would work.

The door closed and Harry waited for a few minutes before slightly pushing on the door. It swung freely allowing Harry to breathe again. He waited for a lull in the noise of the auror’s room before quickly slipping into the adjoining office. He closed the door knowing that Tonks was now two doors away from him should he get into trouble. He was alone until he left both offices. The mission was his alone at this point.

He heard quills on parchment coming from a room in the back. He had a short wall blocking his view of the small office where he knew Mafalda was waiting. He walked to the wall and peered over it. He saw a well kept desk directly behind the wall and Mafalda sitting there methodically sorting papers. ‘She must have been Percy’s idol before he was promoted to Fudge’s staff.’ A large stack of papers were already sitting in an out-going box. Harry saw another door in the rear of the office and the quill sound was coming from in there.

Harry slid around the short wall and worked his way to the rear door and found it to be unlocked, but Mafalda was sitting at her desk sorting papers. Harry saw a chance to get in without her noticing. He moved to the end of her desk and waited for her to look away. A few minutes later, she did, and Harry nudged the neatly stacked pile of papers causing them to slip out of alignment and begin to fall off the desk. Mafalda noticed the papers shift and reached out with her short arms and try to stop them from falling over. Her efforts only caused the stack to fall over in a very dramatic way.

Papers were scattered in all directions and Mafalda cussed once before getting out of her chair and started picking up the papers. Harry retreated to the back door and opened it when he saw the chance. Inside the room he saw at least thirty drum-like devices similar to old seismographs. There was a quill hovering above a piece of parchment near the base of the device. Harry saw labels on every machine and moved to get a better look. One read ‘Wales,’ another was ‘South London,’ another was ‘North London.’ The list kept going. Many major cities had their own device.

After a few minutes, Harry found the device he was after. He knew it was the one for him because it said so is dark writing, ‘Harry Potter,’ beneath his name was scribbled ‘Surrey.’ ‘I hate Fudge. I wonder how long this thing has been trained on me. Well, now it is time to fix the problem.’ Harry pushed his magic with as much intent as he could and fired a Freezing Charm at the device.

Harry looked at the device and waited for something to happen. Nothing did. He knew he had cast the spell because he felt it happen just like when he was practicing at Privet Drive. After a few more minutes, he decided to test out using his wand. ‘If it detects me, then I might have a chance to get the sheet before it is sent out.’ Harry grabbed his wand from his built-in holder and pointed the wand at the ceiling. "Wingardium Leviosa."

The machine did nothing. Harry tried the Shield Spell and a Summoning Spell. Again, the device did nothing at all. ‘Cool. I am free of this blasted department finally.’ Harry turned and approached the door wearing a large smile on his face. He checked his invisibility cloak to make sure it was covering him properly and opened the door slightly.

He saw Mafalda finishing up on rearranging her papers. She had her back to the door and Harry was sure he heard her mumbling under her breath. He slipped out of the detector room and closed the door. Moving very carefully, Harry worked his way to the front of the room and the exit that led to the auror department. Mafalda was done sorting her papers and was sitting down again. Harry looked over the barrier making sure she was far enough away in case she heard him open the door.

‘Now is my chance.’ Harry opened the door quickly and as silently as he could. He slipped out of the room and closed the door. Once the door was closed, Harry retreated to the door leading out to the hallway. He kept one eye out for aurors and one on Mafalda’s door. When he reached the doorway to the hall, Harry saw two aurors coming into the room. He waited for them to move away from the door before he approached it.

In one quick motion, Harry opened the door and slipped through to the hallway. He turned around to look for Tonks, but didn’t find her. ‘Where the hell is she?’ Harry wondered if she had left or if this was part of the mission as well. Remembering that her cloak could become invisible too, he pulled off his personal cloak. With a tap of his wand and the spoken counter, Harry turned off the invisibility feature of his Unspeakable cloak.

Seconds later, another person materialized down the hall a few feet standing next to the windows. The figure moved towards him and Harry could see Tonks’ face under her hood. He smiled feeling like he had accomplished something on his own. ‘I did this on my own. I did this because I wanted to, sort of. This had nothing to do with Hogwarts or Dumbledore. I am free, I am really free. I am in control of my life more than ever right now.’

Tonks smiled at Harry and when she got close enough she pulled him into a hug. Harry felt her arms encircle him and hold him to her chest. "Great job, Harry," she whispered. "Can you do magic now?"

Harry gave her one last squeeze and stepped back. He drew his wand and cast the Orchideous spell for Tonks and handed her the bouquet of flowers that it produced. He smiled widely at the grin and sigh on her face.

"Well done and thank you. Now the next part of the mission." Tonks turned around slowly, smelling her flowers the entire way to the lift. Once they were in the lift, Tonks pressed the button for level eight. "Now we go to records to let you add that sheet to your file. Oh, one more thing."

Harry was smiling and turned to Tonks when she said her last part. Harry found Tonks moving towards him and she grabbed his head with her hands. She pulled him down to her and planted a big kiss on his lips. Harry wasn’t expecting it, but he couldn’t find anything to complain about. She held the kiss, causing Harry to remember the last time they had kissed, until the lift chimed at a floor other than the one they wanted.

They separated quickly assuming positions in either corner of the lift as the doors opened. Harry noticed that they were on level five and Arthur Weasley stepped into lift hesitating for only a second. He gave a forced smile and nodded to both Tonks and Harry. Tonks didn’t return the nod, so Harry forced himself to do the same. He watched Arthur turn and press the button for level seven.

Harry wondered what Mr. Weasley would be doing with the Magical Games and Sports department, but he tried to focus on his next mission. The lift cleared of anyone else and started moving again. Tonks reached over and grabbed Harry’s shoulder.

"This should be easy and you can do what you need to do. Make me proud."

Harry nodded and stepped off the lift when the doors opened. He made his cloak invisible and put on his own cloak. He moved down the long hallway which had doors on both sides every twenty feet or so. There were letters on each door for every letter of the alphabet. Harry sped up his pace so he could get to door ‘P’ and get home. The fatigue he had before was getting worse. The fight with Horace had taken a lot out of him and he knew it.

Seeing an ‘N’ on the door to his left, he knew that ‘P’ was going to be next. He walked the twenty feet and found it. He tried the doorknob, but it wouldn’t open. He drew his wand and tried the Unlocking spell, but nothing happened. Not really knowing any other spells to unlock things, Harry used all his will and intent to open the door. It took him a few tries, but finally he heard the lock click open when a pinkish colored spell shot from his wand.

Harry opened the door and moved inside closing the door behind him. He lit the lamps around the room, put his cloak in his pocket, and started searching the long room for his name. There were shelves and shelves of folders inside of boxes. The shelves were along the outer wall and a set of shelves were in the middle of the room as well. The organizational method seemed to be by family name. Harry started at the end, on his right, and started looking at the labels on the boxes. ‘Pwy’ was the last name on the last box.

Spending the next few minutes searching and pausing at the ‘Prewett’ box, Harry found the box labeled ‘Potter.’ Harry pulled the box off the shelf and found that the outside of the box was completely clean of dust. Harry had found some boxes that had layers of dust on them meaning that the people had either done nothing worth documenting for years or the family was dead. The ‘Prewett’ box was covered in dust making Harry think that Molly Prewett Weasley’s activities must be filed under ‘Weasley.’

Once Harry had the box on the floor, he removed the top and looked inside. There were rows of miniaturized folders lined up side-by-side. Harry could see that there were a few levels worth of folders as well. Searching for a while, Harry found a section that had a small label on it marked, ‘Harry James Potter, 1980.’ Harry pulled out the section and set it on top of the rest of the files. He enlarged the section and opened the front of the folder. The first sheet was a certificate of live birth stating that Harry had been born on July 31th, 1980 at St. Mungo’s at 12:46 P.M. to Lily and James Potter.

Harry saw the signatures of his parents on the certificate and found his eyes beginning to wet. ‘I have never seen their signatures before. The map might have my dad’s writing on it sometimes, but I never knew his writing was like mine.’ The spiky letters were very familiar and his mother’s writing looked very much like Hermione’s. ‘Must be a muggle-born girl thing. Guys just don’t write like that.’

Harry wanted a copy of this certificate so he had something else of his parents or at least could see their handwriting. Harry performed the copy spell he had seen Hermione use so many times over the years. The spell was fast and it worked. The only problem he found an odd ghosting of the word, "COPY" on the sheet. ‘The originals must be protected somehow from duplication.’ Looking at the rest of the box and knowing he shouldn’t waste time reading through his folder, Harry skipped ahead to the back of his folder. The last thing in his folder was a sheet saying Harry had completed his fifth year of Hogwarts. He looked at the sheet right before that and found McGonagall’s and Dumbledore’s signature on a sheet that reinstated him to the Gryffindor Quidditch team.

‘So nice of them to let me know about this.’ Harry returned to the end of his folder and pulled out the emancipation form. He slid it into his folder and there was a slight glow before everything returned to normal. Harry reshrunk the folder and replaced it in the box. Harry paused before putting the lid on the box.

‘Fuck it, I want this information. This is about me and my family.’ Harry pulled over an empty box that was sitting at the end of the row. Harry concentrated hard and cast the duplicate spell again focusing on the entire box. After a few seconds, the empty box started filling up with miniature folders. Harry kept doing whatever it was that he was doing since it was working.

After a minute or so, the new box was full of folders just like the old one. Harry pulled out a folder labeled ‘James Harry Potter, 1960.’ Harry enlarged the folder, opened it, and saw that his father’s certificate was there as well. Forcing himself not to read anymore, Harry reshrunk the folder and returned it to his box. He put he original back and made sure it was lined up properly like the rest of the boxes on the shelf.

Harry sealed his new box and shrunk it. He picked up the box and placed it in a pocket of his robes. Moving to the door, Harry extinguished the lamps with a wave of his wand. With a feeling of accomplishment bursting from inside, Harry opened the door and exited the room. He saw Tonks sitting on the floor leaning against the ‘Q’ door. She was looking right at him wearing a large smile, again.

"I am done," Harry said. "Where to now?"

"To our boss and then home. You look really tired right now."

"That is because I am. The test took a lot out of me."

Tonks smirked and stood up, but under her breath Harry heard her say, "Not as much as it did from Horace."

Harry looked at her, but she acted like she hadn’t said a word. She put her arm around his waist and directed him to the lift. When they reached the lift, Tonks pressed the button then turned to Harry and starting kissing him again.

Harry was enjoying the kissing, but he didn’t know what it was all about. Tonks had always been forward and he was always confused afterwards. ‘I am not sure what to do, but I will keep doing what I have been since this is fun.’ Harry slid his hands around Tonks’ small body and held her firmly to him as she moved slightly as she kissed him. Harry decided to try the Legilimency trick again since it had a rather interesting result the last time.

He opened his eyes a little and hesitated in kissing back causing Tonks to open her eyes slightly. Once he saw her now purple eyes, Harry willed himself into her mind. He felt like he was falling into a very soft and fluffy pillow. It was a warm sensation and he felt very safe. He started kissing her again and she reacted immediately to his ministrations. He felt heat beginning to rise inside of her. She started moving up and down against him as she kissed more intently very second.

Harry felt his body move in response to her and he had to fight down his urges. He knew they were in the Ministry and could be seen by anyone who came down the lift, but he didn’t really care at the moment. He could feel her emotions and what could only be desire raging in her. He heard a distant chime indicate the lift was on its way to pick them up. Harry let her win the tongue battle and held her close for a second before removing his mind from hers.

He looked at her and saw Tonks trying to control her breathing. She was fixing her clothes as well. Harry smiled and wondered what she was going to say if anything. The lift arrived and they entered the very empty compartment. Harry pressed button nine and the lift started moving again.

Tonks looked at him and shyly said, "You have to tell me how you do that and what you see or feel."

Deciding to be coy, Harry replied, "I will think about it."

Harry was saved from being hit by his quick actions and the doors opening at the right time allowing him to escape. Harry sprinted down the hallway as fast as he could considering his exhaustion. Tonks moved after him and watched him open the entrance to the office. They entered together and headed to Marcus’s office. Tonks knocked and the door opened for them. They entered and found Marcus sitting behind his desk and Horace in one of the chairs.

"Done?" Marcus asked.

"The device was frozen and the form was added to my folder," Harry answered.

"Brilliant," Marcus said. "I look forward to more successful missions from you."

"I want you here tomorrow at seven to begin your training. Sleep well since it will be a tough day." Horace had a wicked gleam in his eyes as he stood and left the office.

"You will do fine, Harry," Marcus said. "I have no doubts about that. Now that you have everything you need, I believe you are free to go. Also, medical and Horace wanted you to take this potion tonight."

"What does it do," Harry asked not trusting anything without knowing what it was.

"It is an enhancement potion," Marcus explained. "All of the operatives have used them. It enhances your body’s strength and endurance. You are in shape, don’t get me wrong, but you are still on the small side. This potion will help you out in that area. Everyone reacts differently to it and its results vary. It won’t hurt you if that is what you are concerned about."

"Fine, I will take it tonight. Does it work quickly?"

"It works over time," Marcus said. "After a few weeks it will run its course and you can see what you have. This is a restricted potion and only Unspeakables have access to it."

"Okay, thanks," Harry said.

"We should be going," Tonks said. "It has been a long day and I think tomorrow will be even longer."

"Quite possibly, Chamel," Marcus finished. "Good day, and welcome, Harry."

"Good bye," Harry said and followed Tonks out of the office.

Both of them tapped their cloaks and Harry saw the same small box appear from a very well concealed pocket from Tonks’ cloak. Harry saw a wand appear and tap the box making it turn blue for a second. The wand was concealed again and a finger motioned Harry forward. He touched the box and waited for the tug on his navel which happened quickly.

Harry appeared in the back garden of Privet Drive and heard Tonks hit the ground with an, "Oof." Harry tapped his cloak and saw a wand do the same. Both visible now, Harry helped Tonks up. She stumbled into Harry and stayed that way for a few seconds before moving away slowly.

They approached the rear door and Harry tried to open it finding it locked. For the first time at Privet Drive, Harry pulled his wand intending to do magic without worrying. He cast the Unlocking Charm and opened the door. He let Tonks in and closed the door locking it manually. The kitchen was spotless as usual and the house was quiet.

They moved into the hallway and up the stairs to Harry’s room. Once inside, Harry removed his new and old cloak storing them appropriately. Harry pulled out his shrunken box of files causing Tonks eyes to open widely.

"Harry, what is that?" Tonks asked but it seemed she knew what it was.

"I made a copy of my Family’s records. What about it?"

Shaking her head, Tonks said, "I have created a monster. It is illegal to be in possession of Ministry records, like those, without the proper requests and such. You are in big trouble, Mister." The last was said in such a way that Harry knew she was having one on him.

"Is that so, Ms. Auror? What are you going to do about it?"

"I am going to punish you," Tonks was smiling in a sexy way and she was moving closer every second.

"Well, can you punish an Unspeakable?"

"Oh yes, since I am one too, I can do that. I also outrank you, but we don’t get hung up on rank in our department."

Tonks pulled Harry into a kiss and he wrapped his arms around her. They kissed for awhile before falling onto the bed and relaxing. Tonks saw Harry yawn and knew he was tired.

"It is almost six and you have to get some sleep. Take your potion and go to bed. You won’t need any food with that potion since it fills you up basically."

"What about you?"

"I will take care of my self, Harry. Here, drink your potion and get in bed." Tonks left the room for a second not saying where she was going.

Harry took the potion and felt it slide down his throat. He didn’t know what was going to happen, but it didn’t taste terrible. As Harry was removing his shirt and pants, he found that he didn’t need any food. He felt very full and only wanted to sleep. He crawled into the bed and settled in to his pillow.

The bed sunk a little and a warm hand moved around him and gave him a little hug. Harry turned around and was staring into the face of the real Tonks again.

"I thought you didn’t want it to become a habit of looking like yourself?"

"With you it works," Tonks said very quietly. She looked him in the eyes and kissed his nose lightly.

"I am falling asleep, Nymphadora, so I will say goodnight now." Harry leaned forward and gave Tonks a strong kiss on the lips before easing back and closing his eyes.

Tonks stared at Harry as he fell asleep. "It is Tonks, Harry," she said very quietly under breath. She sighed pleasantly and rolled over as well. She moved her back against Harry and snuggled into him. She found his arm moving to encircle her as had happened before.

‘Oh, I love this part,’ Tonks thought. She was pulled to his warm body and held tightly there as she, too, fell asleep thinking of how great an affect Quidditch had for certain people.

Neither saw nor heard the door open a few hours later. Neither saw nor heard the inquisitive eyes and strangled gasp. The door was closed tightly and the floorboards creaked a little as the person moved away from the room that held Harry Potter, student and Unspeakable, and Nymphadora Tonks, his guard and ‘friend.’

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