Quite obviously, I own neither Willow nor Tonks, nor any other member of the Buffyverse or HP-verse. I barely own the chair I'm sitting in right now.
"Hey Tonks! How about some party tricks?" Ron shouted from across the room.
The Auror rolled her eyes. Metamorphmagi like her were pretty rare, but on top of that, most of them were very private about it, to the point of being downright unfriendly. The fact that Tonks was willing to "perform" on request made her as unusual among those with her talent as they were among ordinary wizards. And Harry and his friends never seemed to get tired of watching her turn her hair different colors, or make her nose big or small, or even imitate one of them.
Tonight, though, she was tempted to say "no"; shape-changing and drinking didn't mix well, and she was already on her way to a real snootful. If she started showing off too much, she might end up really paying for it in the morning.
But Harry must have read her thoughts, because before she could say a word, he was protesting, "Aw, c'mon, Tonks! Our American friends haven't seen your particular talent yet, and we've got to do something to impress them after what they did!"
Tonks grinned. The visitors from America were the toast of wizarding London this week, ever since they'd cleared out a nest of K'lotath demons that had given their allegiance to Voldemort. The sheer speed and ruthlessness of their victory had scared Britain's demonic community pretty far underground -- and even when they did show their ugly faces again, they would probably keep well clear of the wizarding world's ongoing civil war.
"All right, all right," she sighed. "Gather 'round, and I'll jump through the usual hoops for your entertainment."
She heard one of the Americans -- a tiny blonde girl who, the story went, had spitted no less than five K'lotaths on her sword -- mutter, "What's she gonna do? Card tricks?"That's as good an opening as any,
Tonks thought, as she closed her eyes and concentrated on the blonde's face and form.
Gasps -- and a surprised squeak or two -- filled the room before Tonks even opened her eyes. But the reaction of the supposedly fearsome warrior at facing an exact duplicate of herself went far beyond either. She only had a glimpse of a ghost-white face and a pair of green eyes as huge as dinner plates before the girl turned and dashed out of the room.
"What . . . what'd I do?" Tonks stammered.
One of the other Americans, a redhead, raised her hand tentatively. "It was the whole seeing-herself thing," she said quietly. "One of the baddies that we faced a couple years ago could take the form of any dead person, and it kept using that to try to mess with our heads. And when it was feeling especially nasty, it would appear to Buffy as herself."
"But she's not dead," Harry protested.
"Only because we brought her back," the redhead -- Rosenberg, that's her name,
Tonks remembered, she's the really powerful witch who doesn't need a wand
-- confessed, looking guilty. "It's still not something we like to talk about, but . . . Buffy died, a few years ago, and we raised her from her grave."
Every British wizard in the room suddenly fell silent, and stared either at Miss Rosenberg or at the doorway through which the blonde had disappeared.
"She didn't look like a zombie," Ron muttered.
"She's not a zombie!" the redhead protested. "I used the Urn of Osiris to bring her back, really back . . . " Her voice trailed off, and her face crumpled as she too fled the room.
Now Tonks was feeling really terrible. She'd only meant to amuse their guests, and instead she'd brought up all kinds of bad memories, and ruined their victory celebration.
It was her responsibility to try to fix things.* * *
After apologizing to the remaining guests and making a quick exit -- and changing back to her usual appearance, of course -- Tonks tried to follow the two American girls. There was no sign of the blonde, but the other one, being a witch, was easily detectable with a whispered Point-Me spell, and Tonks had soon made her way to a park about a quarter of a mile away.
She was sitting on a park bench, staring down at her feet as they swung back and forth. When Tonks awkwardly cleared her throat, she looked up with a start. "Oh!"
"I . . . I wanted to apologize. I didn't mean to upset anyone," she said, feeling more guilty with every word.
The American girl shook her head. "It's not your fault. Occupational hazard of fighting evil all the time -- you accumulate so many bad memories that eventually just about anything you see can bring one back. Usually we can just shrug it off; it's just that the First was a really nasty one, and it wasn't all that long ago that we beat him . . . and even when we did, we lost way too many friends. Not to mention our whole hometown."
Tonks nodded. "I can get that -- I'm sort of in the same line of work."
"Oh, yeah, you're one of those evil wizard catchers -- Auroras?"
The girl smiled, and Tonks was struck by the sight. When she wasn't worrying or brooding, Miss Rosenberg was a real smasher. "By the way, I'm Tonks," she said, holding out her hand.
"Willow Rosenberg," the girl responded after taking it. "Just Tonks?" she added, green eyes twinkling.
Tonks flushed. She hated her given name . . . "Nymphadora Tonks," she finally muttered.
Rosenberg -- Willow,
Tonks reminded herself -- grinned impishly. "I guess I know why you go by Tonks. Could've been worse, though -- remember, I'm from California. We used to get a lot of strange names in our high school: I can remember a Krishna, an Aura, a Freedom . . . and then, of course, there's Buffy," she added with a smirk.
Tonks chuckled for a moment, then turned serious again. "Speaking of your friend . . . did you see where she went? I think I owe her an apology too."
Willow shook her head. "You probably won't find her tonight -- and it's probably better that you don't. When she comes up against an emotional problem she can't deal with, she goes out Slaying. Wait 'till morning; she'll be more together after she beats a few evil things up."
The redhead was silent for a while, then she asked, "Why do you do it?"
"The whole evil wizard-catching thing?"
Tonks raised an eyebrow. "Why do you kill demons?"
Willow chuckled. "Good point. But I asked you first."
Tonks grimaced, then sat down on the bench next to the other girl. "I guess I felt like I had an obligation, since most of my relatives seem to work for the other side -- except for Mum and Dad and . . . Cousin Sirius," she added sadly. She still missed him, two years later. She was just glad she'd learned the truth about him, and gotten the chance to know him again, before he'd died.
Willow nodded. "That must be tough. I mean, we've never really had to fight our own families -- except this one time, when Buffy's mom and mine tried to burn us at the stake." At Tonks' startled look, she added, "They were under the control of a demon that fed on paranoia."
Tonks nodded. "I've had to face my aunts and cousins . . . and people under the Imperius Curse, which lets dark wizards control people . . . "* * *
The two traded war stories for a while, then gradually moved on to lighter topics.
" . . . and so I come in, and Harry and Luna are sitting on opposite side of the couch, trying to look like two perfect little angels -- ha! And then I noticed a scrap of fabric on the floor. I bent down to pick it up . . . " She paused dramatically.
"And?" Willow asked, looking like she suspected what Tonks' next words would be.
"It was a pair of lacy little pink panties -- and they definitely
"Oooh!" Willow clapped her hands to her cheeks and giggled. "So
"Not that I was against the idea of the two of them getting together -- Harry had been going through a rough patch just then, and a snog or two was just what he needed -- and Luna was just the girl for the job. But if they were gonna take it any further than snogging, I'd have preferred they not do it on my good leather couch!"
Willow shrieked with laughter, and the two of them ended up leaning against each other, laughing so hard there were tears in their eyes. One of them even snorted -- Tonks was so out of it she wasn't sure if it was her or the American.
As the gigglefest subsided, Tonks found herself staring into Willow's eyes . . . and Willow was staring right back. "Um . . . " she stammered, trying to come up with something witty and non-committal to say.
"I like girls," Willow blurted out. "I mean, I like
girls, and I dunno if you're that way too, it's just, you're really pretty, and funny, and you know all about the magic and you're cool with it, which is so hard to find, and I don't know what to say but I can't stop babbling, as usual--"
Tonks interrupted her with a kiss.
She found herself putting her arms around the other girl, and was startled to find that underneath her baggy, comfortable clothes, Willow was as petite as her blonde friend. Now, Tonks wasn't a great big Amazon woman by any stretch of the imagination, but Willow was downright tiny! She made Tonks seem like a big, hulking man in comparison . . . and that thought suddenly made Tonks chuckle in mid-kiss.
Willow pulled away, blinking in surprise. "What's wrong? Did I tickle you or something?"
Tonks shook her head. "No . . . I was just reminded of the incident that made me realize that I liked girls as well as boys. I was in this pub, and I was . . . well, I was really plastered that night, and there was this girl at the bar . . . she was just, well, incredibly cute -- almost as cute as you are," she added, earning a blush from Willow. "And right then and there, I decided I wanted her. But she'd been flirting with guys all evening, so I figured she wasn't gay, or even bi, so I . . . kind of cheated."
"You . . . " Willow's eyes opened wide. "You didn't!?"
Tonks nodded. "I changed into a man -- not the first time I'd done it, but the first time that wasn't work-related, it's not an easy thing to learn to do -- and I seduced her. We went back to her place, and snogged, and shagged . . . and then we fell asleep together."
"Well, whenever I fall asleep, I revert to my normal self . . . so this girl, who took this really hunky-looking guy home with her, woke up with a double handful of girl parts."
"Oh! That's terrible!
" Willow gasped. Tonks could tell she was trying to look angry, but she spoiled the effect by laughing. "Did you apologize or something?"
"I didn't really have time, what with her chasing me out of her flat, throwing things and screaming at me the whole time."
Willow fixed her with a steely glare then. "I really
hope you haven't done anything like that since then."
"Well . . . I've never deceived anyone like that since then . . . but ever since then, I've been looking for the right girl -- or guy -- with whom I could bring whole new meanings to the term 'bisexual,'" Tonks said, with a suggestive waggle of her eyebrows.
"Eeep!" Willow turned bright red, and her green eyes opened wide.
She looked so adorable Tonks just had to kiss her again.* * *
After they'd talked a little while longer, Tonks had the distinct impression that while Willow was attracted to her, and wanted to see her again, they weren't going to be doing any serious fooling around that night. Not that Tonks herself would fall into bed with just anyone . . . but when she decided she liked someone, she tended to move quickly. The life of an Auror was an uncertain thing, and doubly so for a member of the Order of the Phoenix, and she didn't see the point in always waiting until tomorrow for things when there might not be a tomorrow.
She tried to explain all this to Willow, but the American witch got a funny look in her eye, and muttered something about Tonks needing to learn a lesson from faith. She didn't know what religion had to do with any of this, but decided to wait until later to ask about it.
"Well, if I promise not to try to get you into bed, will you still come over to my flat? It's getting cold out here, and the party probably broke up hours ago."
Willow glanced at her watch and squeaked. "Oh Goddess, I didn't realize how late it was! Umm . . . Yeah, I guess I could come over to your place, but only if I can use a phone first -- if I don't call Xander and let him know I'm okay, he'll do something stupid, like spending the whole night roaming the city trying to find me."
"Xander?" Tonks asked in a teasing voice. "That was the tall, good-looking bloke with the eye patch, right? Maybe I could ask him over to join us?"
Willow gave Tonks a look -- which she would only learn later was called "the resolve face" -- and growled possessively, "You do, and we'll find out if being gay was the only thing I had in common with my Mistress-of-Pain vampire double."