Apologies and Feedback Part 1
Dear mystery author, this is absolutely fabulous! First and foremost, I am so, so sorry it took me so long to comment; the last few weeks have been hectic beyond belief, and I wanted to wait until I could give this the properly thorough and detailed feedback it deserves!
Your characterization is phenomenal here. As others have said, Moody is exceptional, and your Tonks absolutely sparkles. Her entire ending sequence, from being "chuffed" to see him to her spot-on description of Williamson just crackled.
One of the things I loved about the source material was how relatable all the players were, despite their fantastic setting, and you captured that relatability beautifully here. What particularly impressed me was how you managed to continue that relatability even as you put them in situations outside cannon's scope. Any student whose been at university over half a year is wincing in sympathy and wanting to give Tonks hugs and chocolate over her doubts that an older man could ever find her interesting, with his vast wealth of experience. And, at least to me, Moody's fears were also valid and relatable. Beauty so often really is in the eye of the beholder, and it's often not young people's strong suit to see beyond a pretty face to the more enduring character qualities that form a good relationship. And of course, her involvement with Julian gives him absolutely no evidence to the contrary. Seeing Tonks's magnificent dismissal of him later in the piece was an absolutely revelatory moment.
Which leads me into the other source theme I think you handled excellently. One of the themes that most attracted me to the series was the sense of maturation into adulthood. I loved here how Tonks begins by being so insecure, desperately afraid of embarrassment or rejection, and comes, by the end of it all to take the plunge, because the impending war and Alastor's ordeal taught her that part of adulthood is accepting no substitutes or second bests and overcoming fear to build the life you want.
The foreshadowing you've done here of the rumblings beneath the surface is just phenomenal. The way that Williamson "scraped by through Auror's training by the skin of his perfect, pearly white teeth, and his thoroughly put-on charm" says so much about the decline of the Aurors/Ministry and thereby their inability to adequately face the coming threat. If reinforcement of the fact is needed, all the trainees sustaining injuries save Tonks speaks to the reduced quality of applicants they are being forced to accept (even if you believe, as I do, that Tonks's exceptional as an Auror and trainee). I've always been curious as to how/why Tonks joined the Order and I love that the establishment's unpreparedness gives a really excellent implied explanation without you ever needing to break the flow of the narrative to explore her reasons; the cracks in the foundation wouldn't've been hard to see for someone as smart as her once she actually began working in the office.
You've put in just enough small details that support and enhance what we know of the cannon fate of the Ministry, and it made me feel as though I was reading a piece about the faltering Renaissance or Tutor court, which is something I love in Ministry-related fics.