Author: Jobey in Error PM
OotP and HBP. Fleur preens, Bill gets domesticated, Tonks becomes one of those sad hopeless cases, and Remus dissembles. Ah, yes, and Molly can't catch a break. Supporting cast of Weasleys. P.S. The pet dog and Dora warn you: this is pre-DH!canon. 4/4Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Fleur D. & N. Tonks - Chapters: 4 - Words: 18,102 - Reviews: 25 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 02-07-06 - Published: 02-03-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2782931
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Carefree – Table of Contents
Part I – Molly Tries to Pick Her Daughter-in-Law. Easy Enough to Predict the Results. It Works About as Well as We Expect.
Part II – One Sample of the Million Times. Remus is Busted. Repetition Breeds Fondness, or So We'd Better Well Hope.
Part III – Bill Tries to Live Up to the Dragonhide Boots. He Really Tries. Eventually the Womenfolk Begin to Wear Away at Him, but We Needn't Worry, He Makes a Quick Recovery.
Part IV – Things Begin to Circle Back to Molly, who Makes an Enormous Sacrifice. Tonks is Half-Heartedly Aggressive to Various Personages. We are Just as Alarmed as She is by Fleur's Surprise Plan for the Wedding, and with Damn Good Reason!
Part I – Molly Tries to Pick Her Daughter-in-Law. Easy Enough to Predict the Results. It Works About as Well as We Expect.
Even in the midst of impending war and mortal perils a mother cannot ignore her eldest when the eldest threatens to get serious about a girl. Molly did not take the Order of the Phoenix lightly. How could you, when your brothers had both died during the Order's first stint, and when this time you and yours will be much closer to the heart of things? Molly had to go to secret meetings, and accept that an infamous criminal was innocent, and uproot from her own house to live in his – a place that reeked of Dark Magic as well as the accumulated dust and mold of a decade. It was heavy stuff, and Molly was quite stressed out of her full plate or however the expression went, but she could still worry about Bill. She would even be more stressed out of her full plate if Bill got involved with someone unsuitable. And in times as dark as these, Fleur Delacour was unsuitable. Take one look at the name and you knew it. Pretentious – and impractical – and rhyming – and French. Like every good Englishwoman, Molly knew that the French were not to be relied upon in a crisis.
"So how did you like Bill's new friend, Mum?" Ginny asked one morning, between coughs, as they beat the dust out of a bed that Ron – and later, Harry – might be able to sleep on. (Ron was currently sharing a bed with Fred and George, which was a great sacrifice for The Cause on his part.)
"Concentrate on what you're doing, if you strike too hard you'll bust the springs. I can't really say, Ginny, we only met for a couple of minutes last night."
Ginny grinned knowingly. She tried to exchange the grin with Hermione, but Hermione was resolutely avoiding Ginny's eye. "Mum, it's okay. We already know her. You saw her at Hogwarts – she was the Bow-batons champion."
Both thoughts of that tournament's disasters and a brief battle with an ill-tempered doxy distracted Molly.
"The blonde one," said Hermione. "R – the boys were goggling at her all year… She's part veela."
"Part veela?" said Molly, in distrust. She did remember, now, it fit with Fleur's looks, and they way she had acted – a dangerously beautiful girl who knew it a little too well. Molly saw Fleur in her mind's eye. And slews of popular, pretty girls from her own schooldays all mixed together in her.
"Mum, she's such a snot. Hermione, weren't you telling me how she kept putting down Hogwarts all during the Yule Ball?"
"On and on," Hermione agreed. "She got to be rather a headache – I mean," she backtracked quickly, "obviously Bill knows her a lot better by now than we do…"
"Hermione, he only met her two weeks ago," said Ginny, in total disbelief. "We had to listen to her insulting Hogwarts all year. Mum, she's a total monster. Bill's not thick enough to take more than a month to see right through her."
But Molly knew that men could not always be relied upon to see right through a pretty woman. And Bill, now safely transferred back to London, would be in a much more settling down sort of mood than he had been whilst being chased by mummies in the crypts of pyramids. It would be very good to get him settled with someone suitable, which would put an end to mademoiselle and also eliminate the distractions of anyone like her. Or so Molly fondly believed.
The key, Molly figured, was Nymphadora Tonks. Admittedly it was even worse of a name than Fleur Delacour, but obviously the girl went by Dora, and Dora was acceptable. She would be attending the fullest meeting yet of the Order that Friday. Molly had asked about her. Dora was young – Charlie's age. Dora was a fully-qualified Auror. Dora had volunteered to provide biscuits for the meeting – Molly could do no decent baking in the basement. Molly didn't actually know anything more than this, but she was sure that Dora was the answer to her prayers.
The answer to her prayers arrived Friday evening with a loud oomph, tripping on the second-to-top step all the way to the bottom, where her biscuits scattered and crumbled, while she nearly knocked Dedalus Diggle over. The biscuits were not homemade. The answer to Molly's prayers had spiky pink hair. The clumsiness was a chronic thing.
Molly was still willing to be generous. Even about the biscuits. They had been purchased from a bakery. Not as good as homemade, but these modern young witches with demanding careers, it was expecting too much. And at least they weren't store-bought.
Molly nabbed a conversation with her right after the meeting. The answer to her prayers insisted on being called Tonks. Molly agreed to humour her, although of course that could not be allowed to stand.
They immediately established a common bond of feeling a little out of place. It was probably more a starting-point for conversation than anything, for no one looking at Molly or Tonks would swallow the idea that either was shy.
"But you're an Auror," pointed out Molly. "You have experience in these things…"
"Not been an Auror long," said Tonks. "Mostly what I have experience in is just this – being the youngest one here. And at least you seem to know the names of everyone. I know everyone introduced themselves and I hate to seem rude, but I barely remember any names."
Molly saw an opportunity.
"Well, who don't you know, dear?"
Tonks grinned. Molly thought she seemed very Bill-ish. "Easier to tell you who I do know. I know Dumbledore, of course – and Bill, because I remember him from school, and also he's the only fit bloke in the whole room – "
Molly was delighted. Opportunities didn't often work out so well. That the girl would think that – and immediately tell her! But it had to be handled properly. "My boy certainly is handsome, but I think you're being a little hard on all the other men here, aren't you?"
"Nope. Oh, I'm not saying it to be mean, I know this is no glamour gathering, much more serious than that – I'm just telling you it's easy to keep Bill straight, even in all this crowd. Who else? – oh, Kingsley, of course! Now once upon a time I did have rather a thing for him and that earring of his, but a man's a lot less attractive once you find out you could lose your job for it and take a dislike to his mother. She got shirty about the way I do my hair."
This gave Molly pause. She was rather a conservative about hair. But then… Molly recalled flowing waterfalls of blonde hair. And a half-lidded carelessness with Galleons. And the French accent. Well, she could deal with the spiky pink hair.
"And I've got Sirius straight, I was waiting to speak to him, actually." She nodded to the corner, where a slew of Order members who had just that evening learned of his innocence were accosting him. "Hard to get in a word with the man of the hour, even if he is your mum's cousin. Who's that bald fidgety man over by him now that I bumped into when I came?"
"Dedalus Diggle." Molly eyed him with familiar exasperation. "A flutterbudget."
Tonks suppressed yet another grin with some difficulty.
"Dedalus Diggle," she said to herself. "He was pretty good to me when I fell into him, I felt just awful. Let's see… of course Professor McGonagall… I'm not going to have to call her Minerva, am I?"
"Well, dear, I imagine at some point… I know I can sympathise with you, I had a rather fierce Herbology teacher who was later my midwife for" – it was actually Bill, but Molly thought that might be off-putting for her matchmaking scheme – "Charlie – you know Charlie – "
"Yeah, he was in my year and House," said Tonks. "Shame I couldn't have seen him here, really, I always liked Charlie. Normally boys get a big head whenever they become Quidditch heroes but Charlie was just as nice after getting written up in the Prophet as he was our first year, and he was very nice to begin with."
Molly had to beam, despite her ulterior scheming. A mother just can't let such a compliment go by. Still, she said, "Oh, you'll see for yourself, all" – She was about to say all my boys are just like that, but then realised that Dora was likely to actually meet them. " – Bill is just like his younger brother."
"You've raised great kids then. Who's that tall witch with the dark green shawl by my dear old Potions professor?"
"I believe she's called Emmeline Vance, I haven't met her yet myself."
"The woman Sirius is talking to now with all the cat hairs, she's called Mrs Figg?"
"Yes, she is now… I still remember her as Arabella Mulciber, though."
"Arabella," said Tonks, with as much rue as youth and energy and innocence can conjure. "High-sounding, but a nice normal name. Why couldn't my mum have picked that?"
"I'm sure I don't know, dear… Do you ever go by Dora, by any chance?"
Tonks shuddered. "Only back when I went to Muggle school. It's an awful lace and baby dolls name. All prunes-and-prisms." This said with a great deal of scorn for someone who, when able to make her hair any colour she pleased, usually picked pink. "Who's that shabby sickly-looking older fellow at the end of the table?"
"That's Remus Lupin. He's only Sirius's age."
Molly jumped and looked to see who had shouted, and jumped again to realise it had been Tonks. Everybody stared.
"What's that?" Tonks demanded angrily, going over to the table herself and kneeling by one of its legs. "This stringy thing wrapped around the tableleg! It goes out through the door – "
A sudden buzz of murmuring and looks flung door-wards.
"Who's behind the door?" asked Emmeline Vance.
"Well," said Kingsley Shacklebolt, dryly, but alert, "we'd probably have to check and see, wouldn't we?"
"Well, I thought Mad-Eye would be here," said Emmeline, with dignity. "As he isn't – yes, Auror Shacklebolt, you're right. By all means – I'll volunteer to check myself."
"I'll get it," said Sirius Black promptly, rising and parting the small crowd around him. "More likely than not it's some foul trinket got loose from the mantelplace, and even if it's not I can still handle it."
Molly's husband Arthur looked uneasy.
"Careful, Sirius," said Minerva McGonagall, doubting by reflex if not by reason.
"It's unwinding from the table leg," noted Remus Lupin. "Whatever or whoever, it knows it's been seen."
Sirius muttered something that may or may not have been in response and may or may not have been "Excellent, give me a clear field." But nobody ever bothered to think twice about it because when Sirius flung opened the door and revealed who was there, Molly helpfully shouted an introduction.
"FRED AND GEORGE!"
There were exhales of relief, and groans, and titches of disgust… and a few muffled laughs. Even Sirius forgot to be disappointed as he lowered his wand from George's nose. Fred and George had "caught, red-handed" written on them down to their last freckle.
"Sorry to disturb," Fred said, with cheerful bravado. (His father was hurrying over to his mother, hastily trying to stifle her natural inclination to yell at them until the boys collapsed, or her own lungs did. Arthur would not have been able to restrain her within the week. Everything would start to wear on everybody by then. Tonight, however, Molly could be placated.)
"The bloody hell were you doing?" asked Elphias Doge, crossing his arms at them.
"You were told this meeting was private," said Minerva sternly.
"Ah – yes," said George cautiously. "Pleasure to see you over holiday, by the way, Professor – however, the meeting was – erm – clearly over, we saw Bill and Moody and a few others leave, and thought we'd just – ah – "
Molly was white and splotchy with pent-in anger and keen shame. What would they think of her, if she couldn't control her children's eavesdropping?
Arthur put a hand on her arm.
"So what exactly are those interesting devices?" asked Remus dryly.
The twins beamed. The enchanter of the first flying broomstick never looked prouder.
"Excellent to see you again, Professor Lupin – "
" – and excellent of you to ask. They are only a triumph of modern wizardry – "
" – and of our own special brand of genius."
"No thanks to you never letting us work on a single constructive thing during class, by the way."
"But what are they?" demanded Arabella Figg impatiently. "Did you hear us then?"
Fred and George exchanged a damning look.
"It won't happen again," said Molly, in her most menacing tones. "I hope you've enjoyed tonight, boys, it will be the last – "
"How sure can we be?" asked Severus Snape. "These meetings must be kept in strictest secrecy, and we cannot have the children here if they have any inclination to listen at keyholes – "
"There are charms," said Arthur quickly. "Charms even the boys can't get around."
"Of course there are," said Sirius generously. This was Sirius's hour, one of his last: to prove himself to a wider audience not only innocent (that was already in the last) but also sane and responsible. Having only been cooped in The House a week, he rose to the hour. "No need to make a big fuss about it. It's natural that they wanted to listen in, and easy enough to prevent them ever hearing anything that goes on in a meeting again. Lucky not much went on tonight: they only know that they needn't fear me murdering them in their sleep."
"Not you, maybe," said Molly. "As for me – "
There was an awkward, heavy moment of silence.
"We'll just be heading along, then," said George brightly.
Fred bowed. "'Night-night, all."
And they went off with as much haste as was seemly.
Molly didn't let them forget about their transgression for over a fortnight, but then it all seemed turned to good account, for in the Order's general concern that Fred and George might have more of the "interesting devices," and that they really could eavesdrop, and that they might have other devices similarly interesting – well, Molly announced that she would go back to the Burrow that night and investigate their room.
"You'll want some backup for that," Arthur said over the basement table, tiredly, but wryly.
"Nonsense, I can handle my own sons' bedroom."
"Molly, do you realise how many puffeskeins have gone into that room and never come back out?"
"Do you think I'm a puffeskein?" demanded Molly. "Don't be ridiculous, Arthur, you were on guard duty all last night and at work all of today – "
"I'm fine, dear, really – "
And that's when Tonks volunteered to go. Arthur might not have agreed, but Tonks was so openly enthusiastic about the dangers of Gred and Forge's lair that nobody could have resisted her. And while Molly really didn't need "backup," she knew that Bill had promised to stop in at the Burrow that night while she was there. Some skill and a touch of luck and who knows what private conversations between the two she could engineer.
But somehow it went miserably wrong. Molly couldn't see quite how, but she had the uneasy feeling that it just wasn't working. For one thing, they found no more of the stringy eavesdropping devices, which was a bad omen. Then too Bill was later than he had promised to be, and Molly barely managed to bribe Tonks with cocoa to stay in the house long enough. And then, when Bill actually did return, he didn't take up with Tonks at all. When Tonks asked what he'd been up to lately (she was probably referring to the time between then and the end of his Hogwarts years), his reply was the worst possible: "Oh, I got caught up for a while there with this witch from work – "
Molly was very proud of Tonks for taking this in stride. Indeed, the girl barely looked upset at all.
"Is Fleur still upset about the time you've been spending with the Order?" Molly asked, with a fine pregnant delicacy.
"Oh – oh, yeah, bit miffed," said Bill, still staring off with a grin playing around his lips. "I think I've brought her 'round though." He yawned widely, perhaps rather theatrically. "Well – if you don't mind – think I'll turn in. Nice to see you, Nymph… I mean Tonks… love you, Mum," he said, absent-mindedly kissing her and then wandering off and out and up the staircase.
"Are you staying here tonight, then, Bill dear?" Molly asked, quite confused. Bill had insisted rather strongly upon returning to England upon keeping his own place, and currently no one was staying at the Burrow at all.
"Oh! Oh, right." Bill shook his head dazedly. "Right, I'll just get my boots on and leave then."
"Dear, you never took them off…"
So that was a bit of a fiasco. And it got worse still once Bill left. Molly chanced a look at Tonks, who quickly caught her at it. Tonks was grinning. "Isn't it funny to see people in love?"
"Beg your pardon?" Molly had a bad feeling about that grin. The girl didn't seem to care a bit that Bill was so infatuated with someone else.
"Really, though, makes for great entertainment, doesn't it? At least, when they're all happy about it like Bill… it's when you get those sad cases it gets on your nerves, I'm sick to death of having to cheer up my friends when they've gone all idiotic over some heartless git… but it's very cute to see ultra-cool, wild, adventurous Bill getting domesticated."
If "getting domesticated" meant that London was Cairo, only improved upon; that paperwork was more exciting yet than mummy-mongering; that you suffered more suspense to see if a girl's break would synchronise with yours than you had the time you had broken into one of the pyramids of Furmat and were waiting to see if the deadly curse threatened upon intruders set in or not; that you were vaguely thankful for a crazed manic sociopath whose second terrible rising had called you back home – then yes, Bill was getting domesticated.
It was really quite wonderful, especially because they never what time their breaks would come from day to day. Sometimes a week or more would go by before theirs both overlapped. It should have been frustrating, but it wasn't – it added to the excitement. Incidentally, it was not at all bad to the career prospects of either: overseers (usually goblins) would catch Bill hanging around at the front desks, or find Fleur wandering about in the lower vaults, and both of them could handle it pretty well, turning potential telling-offs into working acquaintances.
Every so often when they did manage to find each other free they would dart into Diagon Alley for lunch, or – if they found each other early enough in their respective breaks – would venture off into the Muggle world. This usually required applying various short-term illusion spells to their blatantly Wizarding clothing, which afforded all sorts of fun, especially since Bill, as the Muggle-gear authority,was in charge of those spells, and therefore and could dress her in whatever he wanted with a wand-wave – well, not quite whatever he wanted, because there was weather and common gallantry to be considered, but he had a good deal of fun with it anyway, and could enjoy the effect of Fleur in loose white blouses and jeans and sandals – or a pair of little hiking boots; he had once been quite taken with that look, but Fleur noticed that no other Muggle woman was wearing them, and told him not to make her so conspicuous again – which was quite a laugh. Fleur was endlessly conspicuous even in the most conventional styles.
They attracted a lot of looks. Some attention positive, some negative. Fleur was quite tickled once – they had nipped into a little Muggle coffeehouse on rather a short time budget. It was quite empty but for them and the woman managing the place – who was somewhere in her late twenties and was what Fleur called "a vairy good example of how frank you Eenglish are." The manager had whispered to Fleur while Bill was getting her coat to leave, "I really ought to hate you, you're so gorgeous and you've got such a good-looking boyfriend, but anyway, hope you enjoy your stay in England." Bill hadn't really understood what the big deal was – Fleur probably heard stuff like that all the time – but Fleur thought it was funny. "No, no one 'as actually ever said zat to me before! I do not know eef zat eez an Eenglish thing or a Muggle thing."
"You don't know much about Muggles, do you?" asked Bill.
Fleur replied, very seriously and if this were the end-all of the subject: "Zey drive zose automobiles. Zey drive zem zis way and zat and get into ze most 'orrible – " She broke off, frowning slightly, for the word.
"Traffic jams," Bill proposed, with a dry nod to a long line of stopped cars that they were walking past at a comparatively brisk pace.
She shook her head. "No, accidents. Zey are vairy dangerous zings. And I 'ave nevair seen so bad a city as London for accidents."
"That's because you haven't seen Cairo," said Bill, fondly reminiscing. "What madness. They don't stop there. They kind of just close their eyes and stomp on the accelerator and zoom through turns like you wouldn't believe."
"But you are right, zey also 'ave traffic jams," said Fleur, thoughtfully looking at a car that had just honked long and loud. "Zey just sit in zem for hours and hours."
"Let's you and me rent a car right now," said Bill.
Fleur stared up at him with some unintelligible syllable of surprise.
"Why not?" asked Bill. "It's easy enough to get a fake driver's license in Knockturn Alley."
"Do you know how to – to operate zem?"
"I learned to drive in Cairo," said Bill proudly. "The road no longer holds any terrors for me."
"I do not wish you in Knockturn Alley," said Fleur, with a stubborn set to her mouth. "It is a bad place."
"You didn't mind so much when we went to the Wobbly Goblin."
"Zat was not on Knockturn Alley."
He grinned at her. "It was so. Right at the tail end. And you seemed to enjoy that scene well enough."
"Zat is different. It was not a bad place; it 'ad lots of young normal people like us, and you would not 'ave taken me zere if it were dangerous," she said, looking up at him with a trust that dizzied him. "But I 'ear bad things about zat Knockturn Alley. Aren't you fighting some sort of war against places like zat?"
In the midst of all the hurry and worry of said war, Bill loved the dismissive way she referred to it, as though it were a piddling little distraction of his from the important business of life – which was her, clearly.
Anyway, she had a point that he probably did not want to be seen down there just now, with the Ministry breathing down the necks of anyone they suspected associated with Dumbledore. However, the Order itself might prove the answer. About half the members had Muggle drivers' licenses, some of which weren't yet quite expired, been confiscated by Muggle authorities, made useless by some magic enchantment… or destroyed in a car accident.
" – also," Fleur was saying, with the air of an unshakable conclusion, "we're supposed to be back at ze bank by one o'clock."
"Well, if you don't want to," said Bill agreeably – as usual, worked up by very little.
Fleur blinked, went suspiciously quiet, and then, after about a block, said haughtily, "I did not say at all zat I did not want you to take me out in an automobile, Meester Weasley; I only said zat we must be back at work soon, and zat you should not go into suspeecious places like Knockturn Alley."
It took Bill just a second or two to understand what she was angling at. Then he grinned.
"All right. How about we do it tonight, then? I'll borrow a license off someone else and touch it up a bit. We'll go for a beautiful spin and sightsee. We can," he said adroitly, "see the croft Maeve the Magnificent used to launch her counterattack."
Fleur beamed and grasped his arm. "Really? You would show it to me?"
"Mademoiselle Delacour" – Bill needed to sneak in a quick breath after this appellation, but carried it off with his usual style – "it would be a great pleasure."
She laughed and tweaked his nose. Bill had never really thought much about nose-tweaking before, but now he thought it quite the greatest sexual honour a witch ever bestowed upon a wizard.
But stepping back a bit. This was in the future, and Molly didn't know much of the goings-on – although she had an idea; Bill's younger siblings were eager to tease him at every available opportunity, so whatever they knew everyone knew. But if Molly needed any more confirmation that not even the lesser fates that governed such matters as one's child's romances were on her side – and the greater fates who governed the warsome doings of the world certainly weren't – well, that came barely a month in.
It was about seven o'clock and everyone (or, strictly speaking, only Molly) was faintly worried. It was only natural to expect Tonks and Lupin back at headquarters, because Arthur and Bill had gone to relieve them of guard duty at the Ministry some two and a half hours ago. Had they been delayed getting over to the Ministry, or the others been delayed getting home? And while it all could have been quite innocent it was still a little worrisome, for who could be confident of anybody's safety?
"Who," again, meaning Molly.
"Relax, Molly, d'you suppose they're just dying to get back here?" Sirius asked, his voice a lot more brittle than it had been a month before when he had so graciously defused the tension within the same basement.
"They've duties beyond wanting to be here or there. And there's no need to take up that tone, as if you were the only one tired of this place, Sirius," said Molly, equally irritable as she jabbed her wand toward the dish-clattering sink. "I've had to stay here most of the time too. And believe it or not, going to the grocer's is not the amazing outing of a lifetime, so just have a little patience."
"I'm getting Buckbeak his dinner," said Sirius, to avoid anything more of a fight. As soon as he left Ginny appeared. There were still feathers in her hair from an incident with the violent contents of a linen closet that morning; Ginny refused to let anyone take them out, proclaiming that they looked different and interesting. "Mum, they're back, you can stop worrying now," was all she said, promptly departing again with the usual touching desire of fourteen-year-olds to have long conversations with their mothers.
But Molly was still worrying, and besides that had taken it upon herself to be the voice of reason and caution in a secret society full of hotheads and idiots, scolding if necessary, and so she went up to meet them and demand explanations. Both of them certainly looked all right – unless you counted that even though Tonks's brown curly hair, though long to the extreme, was still the least flamboyant Molly had ever yet seen it, or that Remus looked faintly guilty. He hurried up to see Sirius before Molly could get in too many questions.
"I saved some of the dinner for you," said Molly. "It wasn't much; lunch meat sandwiches mostly, and some egg salad."
"Whoops," said Tonks cheerfully, though still allowing herself to be steered down the steps towards the basement. "Thanks, Molly, but actually we already grabbed a bite to eat. Do you want me to help with the dishes over there?"
Dishes and Tonks were a bad mix. "No, just sit there and assure me you're all right. We were getting rather worried about the two of you," Molly said, employing a admonitory tone and the royal "we". "You never said anything about doing something after your shift – "
"Nah, we didn't really plan anything, it was just that afterwards we thought we'd knock around this Muggle street a bit – yes, Muggle, don't worry, not Diagon Alley, that would have been compromising the security of the Order and all that, and it worked out lucky that we both happened to be wearing Muggle clothing today – anyway, it was just supposed to be a quick walk, stretch our legs after trying to sit still for six hours under an Invisibility Cloak, you know, but we kept getting distracted. It was quite a lot of fun, actually. And then I managed to convince him to let me get us something to eat, though it took a little arm-twisting."
Molly had to momentarily put off her plans to insist that Tonks never go absent without leave again in such uncertain times when they had the wrath of both the government and the terrorists upon them, because Molly knew enough to catch the significance of this all. Not that she was very happy about it. Indeed she couldn't help the faint beginnings of a frown as she said, "And to think this is the man you called 'that shabby, sickly, older fellow' when you first saw him."
"What?" Tonks looked blank. "I did? When?"
"At your very first meeting, dear, when you were asking me the names of the people you didn't know."
"I didn't," said Tonks positively. "I'm sure I didn't." She cocked her head thoughtfully. "Did I? Awfully harsh, wasn't I? I mean, obviously he wouldn't stop traffic for a couple of blocks or anything, but he's not bad-looking."
Molly shook her head. She may not have known defeat when she first saw it, but she knew defeat when it was pulling her hair and bopping her over the head.
So that was the conclusive nail on the great Bill-and-Tonks matchmaking scheme. Perhaps it was just as well. With a little more "arm-twisting," Tonks did manage to convince Molly to let her dry the dishes, and wound up knocking over a whole stack of glasses that shattered onto the floor. Molly probably wouldn't have been in the mood to hear it, but between Fleur who never deigned to set foot in kitchens, and Tonks who eagerly deigned and then promptly demolished 'em, she was probably better off with the former.
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