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The chapter that made us fall in love with... Nymphadora Tonks

The violet-haired Metamorphmagus brought a splash of colour to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. We celebrate the chapter where we first met her.

Illustration of the Advance Guard at Privet Drive with Harry Tonks Hestia Lupin Emmeline Moody Sturgis Kingsley Elphias
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

First impressions really can mean a lot. After all, with four books under our belts, and myriad magical characters we had already met and fallen in love with, the introduction of Nymphadora Tonks, the upbeat and clumsy young Auror took us by surprise – and she rapidly became a latecomer fan-favourite. Turn back the pages with us and meet her all over again.

Before the chapter

Some members of the Order of the Phoenix wait outside Grimmauld Place
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

We all know the fifth book perhaps saw Harry at his most-frustrated. After witnessing the return of Lord Voldemort and the death of Cedric Diggory, he was then forced to return to Privet Drive with no news on what was going on in the wizarding world, no letters from his friends and only his chilling memories for company.

When a bunch of rag-tag wizards, including (the real) Mad-Eye Moody, Remus Lupin, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and a few other members of the Order of the Phoenix turned up to rescue Harry, we knew we were entering an edgier instalment to Harry’s story, full of new, idiosyncratic friends.

‘The Advance Guard’

Illustration of the Advance Guard at Privet Drive with Harry Tonks Hestia Lupin Emmeline Moody Sturgis Kingsley Elphias
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

‘And this is Nymphadora –’ ‘Don’t call me Nymphadora, Remus,’ said the young witch with a shudder, ‘it’s Tonks.’ ‘Nymphadora Tonks, who prefers to be known by her surname only,’ finished Lupin. ‘So would you if your fool of a mother had called you Nymphadora,’ muttered Tonks.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

With her iconic, cockney greeting of ‘Wotcher, Harry’ Tonks was already a huge breath of fresh air after all the doom and gloom at the close of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Accompanied by a tired-looking Lupin and a dishevelled Mad-Eye Moody (who had been kidnapped and plucked for Polyjuice Potion only a few months previously...) seeing the vibrant, interestingly-named Tonks turn up was a welcome bit of comic relief.

Sending the Dursleys away to an ‘All-England Best Kept Suburban Lawn Competition’ was a masterstroke move, and we were immediately endeared to this eccentric, violet-haired witch.

Tonks with pink hair and her wand from the Order of the Pheonix
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

As the chapter progressed, she got even cooler when she went to help Harry pack his things – revealing a deep love of Quidditch and her rare Metamorphmagus status (meaning she can change her appearance at will).

She even shared a more sincere moment with Harry, rightly assuming he’d love to hide his lightning bolt scar sometimes. Tonks, where had you been all our lives?

It was also nice meeting someone like Tonks, an uncharacteristically young Auror with so much potential, a bit of relatable clumsiness and a carefree attitude when talking her to her mentor, Mad-Eye Moody. It made us feel like, if we grabbed a few bottles of hair dye, we could be cool like Tonks too.

Why it matters

‘If they take out all of us and you survive, Harry, the rear guard are standing by to take over; keep flying east and they’ll join you.’ ‘Stop being so cheerful, Mad-Eye, he’ll think we’re not taking this seriously,’ said Tonks, as she strapped Harry’s trunk and Hedwig’s cage into a harness hanging from her broom.’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

As Harry says to Fred and George at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, ‘we could all do with a few laughs’ ominously thinking about the dark times ahead. The introduction of Tonks, full of quips and one-liners, like a new embodiment of the Weasley twins, made us realise that even in the murkiest eras of the wizarding world, there would always be brightness along the way.

And thank Merlin for that.

Some extra special mentions

Tonks looking scared with Lupin at her side from the Half Blood Prince.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Of course, Tonks’ introduction chapter wasn’t the only moment we had to choose from. There was also...

  • “Christmas on the Closed Ward” where she got Harry a cute, model Firebolt for Christmas!

  • _ “The Phoenix Lament” where its revealed that Tonks is in love with Lupin, not caring about him being a werewolf despite Lupin’s anxieties.

  • And “The Battle of Hogwarts”, where she bravely gave her life, after only recently becoming a mum to Teddy, to find Lupin in the midst of the fight. That’s just how amazing Tonks was.