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February 14th, 1994

“I’m fine, Mum.” Tonks should have known how leaning back in her chair and closing her eyes would look to her mother. She was glad that Kingsley has swung it so that she have the day off – especially after Saturday’s brouhaha when Harry Potter had been spotted unsupervised in Hogsmeade – really she was! She was just absolutely sure that she could not eat another bite at the moment, not even her Da’s treacle tart, and no, she didn’t want to apparate upstairs to her old room to ‘rest up’.

Hogsmeade wasn’t the worst assignment she could have been given. It wasn’t. It wouldn't be for much longer, anyway. As Auror-Citizen Liaison it might not be her, however much she’d dreamed of it at the start, but one of them would surely have an epiphany and catch Black soon.

Her belly was full and regardless of what Moody might have to say about it she was able to let her guard down for the first time since Christmas Eve. Bloody Dementors.

“We’re proud of you, you know,” Da said and Tonks had to open one eye at that, peer at her parents who were looking at her from the other side of the table. The chair under her wobbled precariously but she - there - it was her twenty-first birthday, she could too tip back her chair without overbalancing.

“We are,” Mum agreed.

“You should be,” Tonks grumbled. She could hear the teasing tone she’d tried for fall slightly flat, but she felt her hair growing and curling and changing to a light brown to match her mother and knew that the two people in front of her would not misunderstand the sight.

She was still a capable Auror even if she let herself spend an afternoon at her parents’ house. And maybe she should re-visit the old couch for a nap.