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Galentine's Day

title: Try to Capture Every Minute
verse: Harry Potter
community: [community profile] galentinesday
recipient: [community profile] galentinesday
characters: Andromeda Toknks, Nymphadora Tonks
word count: 913
rating: G
summary: Andromeda can't believe how much her little girl has grown up.
notes: [community profile] galentinesday is back up and open for business! Please come nominate your favorite fandoms and female characters for a fic exchange due in February 2015. I realized that I never posted this here, so consider it an advertisement.

“Dora?” Andromeda Tonks stuck her head in through the door of the sitting room. Her daughter slumped on the sofa with her boots on the arm. “Dora, get your feet of the couch.”

“Wotcher, Mum.” Nymphadora dangled her feet over the edge instead, which Andromeda decided would have to do. From where she stood, she couldn’t see the color of her daughter’s hair: glossy blue-black? vibrant purple? or mousey brown again? She could see only battered black drainpipe jeans, a stretch of purple sock, and her daughter’s heavy black boots.

Nymphadora set up the television set, magically enhanced by her father. Nymphadora reached over her head, grabbed her wand and prodded at the television set until the picture cleared up again. The improvements didn’t last long; their London townhouse wasn’t quite as magical as Hogwarts, but over the years, Ted and Andromeda had collected all manner of magical items and it made Muggle things go on the fritz, to Nymphadora’s frustration. The screen fizzed and popped, fuzzy images accompanied by tinny sound, but Nymphadora had a carton of chocolate ice cream, a stack of paperback books, and an entire day’s vacation from work as an Auror. She wasn’t even on owl.

“Scrimgeor’s orders,” she explained on her way in the previous evening, as she wobbled up the stairs to her childhood room. “Paid, though.”

Andromeda could only guess why. The first time her daughter came stumbling home, clumsier than usual, in the middle of the night, she had upset an antique vase in the hallway. Andromeda’s heart raced, thoughts following quickly after: had something happened to her daughter? who could be making such a racket downstairs? but it was only her Dora who shuffled up the stairs and collapsed into bed, just to drag herself into the kitchen before dawn the following day, magicking up a cuppa before stepping into the entranceway to Apparate to the Ministry.

“They’re running you ragged,” said Andromeda, the next time Nymphadora returned late at night, looking worn. Nymphadora had only yawned at her mother in reply. Even her hair looked tired, limp and mousey.

“It’s a compliment, Mum,” said Nymphadora one morning, as she clumped her way through the kitchen. Andromeda waved her away in the interest of rescuing what china remained intact, and set about making her daughter a cup of tea. Like her father, Nymphadora insisted that the water for her tea be brought to boil with an old-fashioned Muggle kettle; magic just wouldn’t do unless it was an emergency. “It means they like me. Ol’ Mad-Eye said,” but Andromeda never found out what Mad-Eye Moody said, because her daughter yawned, stretched, and knocked a plate from the counter, scattering omelet and bits of broken porcelain across the floor.

“Honestly, Dora,” said Andromeda, waving the mess away with a flick of her wand.

But Nymphadora was already twisting on her Thermos top - a Christmas gift from her father’s parents - and Apparating to the Ministry, only to return a moment later with her jumper dripping tea. She bolted up stairs, discarding the sopping jumper in the bathtub, reappeared a moment later shrugging on a plaid flannel and stepped towards the door. She Disapparated before her fingertips touched the handle.

Nymphadora moved back to the Tonks household after she finished her training as an Auror, but Andromeda thought she saw less of her daughter than even while little Dora studied away at Hogwarts. She leaned against the doorframe with her arms crossed, watching her daughter watch television. Nymphadora seemed not to notice her, so she turned and went away, into the kitchen to make a cup of tea.

In the cupboard, she found a dusty purple mug, chipped around the edges and emblazoned with Dora’s name. Ted found it at a Muggle shop when he took her to visit her grandparents, and Nymphadora promptly dropped it on the floor. He gathered up the pieces, but left a chip of porcelain on the kitchen floor, which they had never been able to repair. Little Dora insisted on drinking out of it at every meal for years, and Ted always made her a cup of hot chocolate in it on the first night when she visited home from Hogwarts.

Andromeda took it down and lit a fire with her wand under the copper teakettle on the oven. She wiped down the dusty mug while she waited for the water to boil and spooned out the foul chocolate powder Nymphadora liked to drink as hot chocolate and prepared herself a nice cup of tea. Overwhelmed with nostalgia, Andromeda found a tin of biscuits and set them on the tea tray like she had done when Nymphadora was a little girl, skipping home from primary in her yellow rain boots, a different little girl every day, but always the same yellow wellies.

“Budge over,” said Andromeda.

Her daughter straightened up on the sofa, through she kept her head resting on the arm. Nymphadora stifled a yawn and sat up to accept the cup of cocoa from her mother. “Ta, Mum,” she said.

“You’re welcome, Dora,” said Andromeda.

“Don’t call me that, Mum.” Nymphadora sipped her tea.

“You’ll always be my little Dora,” said Andromeda.

Nymphadora laughed at the incongruity of her mother’s tender statement, delivered with the expected Black imperiousness. Even as Andromeda coddled her, she looked down her bony nose and spoke with force and the easy confidence of someone who had always been obeyed.

“Yes, Mum.”

“That’s my girl.”


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