I'm working on a fic I began before the release of HBP; it's set during Harry's sixth year. I have Kingsley calling Tonks "Auror Tonks" shortly after finishing her training, and my lovely Beta Molly raised a valid question: Do trainees immediately become Aurors, or are there other stages/ranks that come first (like in the real world we'd have officers and detectives, etc)? I know that in other threads people have mentioned that the only other rank we know about is Head Auror, that the Aurors are considered the elite, and that few people become Aurors. And that there's a difference between Aurors and Magical Law Enforcement... So what exactly do the two departments do, what are their differences, what similarities are there in training for the two, etc? Wouldn't Aurors need many of the same skills, so wouldn't it make sense for there to be parallel ranks for Aurors as for MLEs - or at least ranks that Aurors might jokingly give each others?

My main question is would it be appropriate for Kingsley to be calling Tonks "Auror Tonks" in front of the Dursleys the summer before Harry's sixth year? (A bit of context: Kingsley is trying to regain control of a situation involving grapefruit taunting, and he would be using Tonks' full title, whatever it might be.)

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

~Ari

(I just thought I'd add that I'm on vacation and don't have my books with me.)