She followed Harry back into the hall and up the stairs, looking around with much curiosity and interest.

“Funny place,” she said. “It’s a bit too clean, d’you know what I mean? Bit unnatural. Oh, this is better,” she added, as they entered Harry’s bedroom and he turned on the light.

His room was certainly much messier than the rest of the house. Confined to it for four days in a very bad mood, Harry had not bothered tidying up after himself. Most of the books he owned were strewn over the floor where he’d tried to distract himself with each in turn and thrown it aside; Hedwig’s cage needed cleaning out and was starting to smell; and his trunk lay open, revealing a jumbled mixture of Muggle clothes and wizards’ robes that had spilled on to the floor around it.

Harry started picking up books and throwing them hastily into his trunk. Tonks paused at his open wardrobe to look critically at her reflection in the mirror on the inside of the door.

“You know, I don’t think violet’s really my colour,” she said pensively, tugging at a lock of spiky hair. “D’you think it makes me look a bit peaky?”

“Er—” said Harry, looking up at her over the top of Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland.

“Yeah, it does,” said Tonks decisively. She screwed up her eyes in a strained expression as though she was struggling to remember something. A second later, her hair had turned bubble-gum pink.

“How did you do that?” said Harry, gaping at her as she opened her eyes again.

“I’m a Metamorphmagus,” she said, looking back at her reflection and turning her head so that she could see her hair from all directions. “It means I can change my appearance at will,” she added, spotting Harry’s puzzled expression in the mirror behind her. “I was born one. I got top marks in Concealment and Disguise during Auror training without any study at all, it was great.”

“You’re an Auror?” said Harry, impressed. Being a Dark-wizard-catcher was the only career he’d ever considered after Hogwarts.

“Yeah,” said Tonks, looking proud. “Kingsley is as well, he’s a bit higher up than me, though. I only qualified a year ago. Nearly failed on Stealth and Tracking. I’m dead clumsy, did you hear me break that plate when we arrived downstairs?”



“Can you learn how to be a Metamorphmagus?” Harry asked her, straightening up, completely forgetting about packing.

Tonks chuckled.

“Bet you wouldn’t mind hiding that scar sometimes, eh?”


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