I have writer's block! Here is yet another piece of pointless fluff to warm your bellies. I hope you like Remus/Tonks!
Trying extremely hard to be as quiet as possible, Remus Lupin stooped in the hallway of number twelve Grimmauld Place to pick up the Daily Prophet.
It was ingenious really, to avoid the location of the house being discovered and still get the paper delivered, Remus had placed a charm on his own doormat to transport any articles of post that fell on it straight to the doormat of number twelve. He didn't get much post anyway, so today it was just the paper.
He didn't have a clue why, but today he was feeling particularly morose. Last night, he had dreamt of James and Sirius. They had been playing Quidditch down on the field and he had been watching the match from his usual place in the Commentator's box. As much of the dream faded away, Remus seemed to remember being told off by Professor McGonagall for having an uncharacteristic spasm of pro-Gryffindor shouting when the Slytherin Keeper, Snape had cursed Sirius's Beater's bat to attack the owner.
He had then laughed into the microphone when James had enchanted the middle hoop to pummel Snape in retaliation, leaving an open goal for him to score thirty-six times in the next five minutes, which he managed to do even while running his fingers through his hair because Lily Evans had been sitting down that end of the pitch.
Merlin, how he missed them . . . all of them.
Entering the kitchen, these thoughts were driven sharply out of his head by the blast of what faintly resembled music, hitting his ears. Blinking at the realization that it could only be heard inside the kitchen, Remus's searched around for the Wizard's Wireless, and saw her.
As soon as he spotted her, Remus felt like his brain had just raced upstairs and hidden under the bed. She was at the kitchen counter, her hair sticking up all over her head in pink and orange spikes, enormous, baggy pyjama bottoms looking like they were going to fall of her hips at any minute and a very small T-shirt stretched over her chest, leaving her stomach bare.
She was dancing round the kitchen, seemingly making herself some breakfast. Ordinarily, Remus would have told himself to run for the hills at this scene, but, looking closer, he realised that she hadn't broken anything yet.
She hadn't seen him yet. Rendering him a little hypnotised by shaking her hips while she put the coffee maker on without a hitch, she jumped on the counter and shimmied along the worktop, bringing down a frying pan and dropping it straight onto the hob. She was singing at the top of her lungs, belting out the seventh verse of the latest Weird Sisters tune, for that was what Remus had finally recognised it as.
Remus didn't like what he was feeling at all, he didn't like the amorous admiration he was feeling for all the colour, life and spunk inside her. He didn't like the way his heart pounded inside him like the beat of the song as her waist twisted to the melody. He tried to tell himself that the colour was only because she was a Metamorphmagus, and that was the only thing that was so interesting about her. Trying to convince himself, he walked over to the wireless and turned the volume down slightly so he could talk to her.
Nymphadora turned around at the lack of volume and smiled at the sight of him, making him feel as though his stomach was in the pan, frying with her eggs.
"Morning Remus!" she greeted brightly, as the fork she'd used to scramble her eggs slipped out of her fingers and clattered onto the floor tiles. It seemed the only time she had any sort of grace was when she was dancing, so as long as she was boogieing along to her high decibel bands every waking hour, a lot more appliances and ornaments would stay intact.
"Morning Nymphadora," he replied with a grin that slipped out against his will. Her smile was replaced with a dangerous look.
"Remus, if you call me that once more, I may just have to hex you into next week," she said, picking up the fork and turning off the gas.
"Oh, good. I'll be able to see how my stocks are doing," he teased, pulling his wand out of his dressing gown pocket and boiling some water for his tea.
He watched her as she sat down and started devouring her eggs. As she ate, she transfigured a spoon into a handheld mirror and held it up, switching her eye colour from blue to green and running through various hair colours, deciding which she would wear today. Still watching her, Remus sat down opposite and sipped his tea, trying to squash the sweet, queasy feeling out of himself.
Finally deciding on blonde ringlets, Tonks stood up to put her plate in the sink, cringing when it left her hands a little earlier that she meant it to.
"Reparo!" she ordered.
"Nym-, Tonks?" Remus said suddenly, "Can I ask you something?"
"Hmm?" she said, turning round, leaning on the work top and flicking her blonde curls over her shoulder. Remus hesitated without knowing why.
"What's you neutral form?" he asked. Tonks's brow knit.
"Oh, it's horrible," she said dismissively, "I'm incredibly lucky in this shape-shifting thing, you know."
"Really? I don't believe it!" Remus said.
"No seriously, I'm not very pleasing to the naked eye," she said.
"Prove it," Remus challenged, a slight smile on his face and a teasing tone to his voice.
"No," she frowned good naturedly, "Why do you care anyway? You thinking of going into research or something?"
"I'm just curious as to why you never assume it," Remus shrugged. And I want to prove to myself that your spark and rainbow aura is all in the magic.
"I already told you the reason," Tonks replied. "I'm not exactly what you'd call a looker."
"Please?" Remus asked, realizing he had forgotten his manners. " For me?" He didn't know what good those two words would do, it wasn't like she was in love with him or anything, but he was beginning to think it would be true the other way around soon.
Tonks sized him up, seeming to decide if they were good enough friends.
"Alright, see for yourself. But you'd better not go blabbing to everyone that not only has Nymphadora Tonks got a crap name, the grace of an elephant and an unfortunate addiction to Drooble's Gum, but she's a complete minger* as well."
Before Remus could answer, she'd taken a deep breath, and as she exhaled, she slipped into her natural form as easily as if she were sinking into a hot bath. She began to look very faintly familiar, he remembered her heart-shaped face and her hollow cheekbones from Sirius, after he'd been in Azkaban.
As striking as she was, part of the reason was that there was something slightly off about her. Everything about her seemed to make you believe it was unimportant, but then it'd slip up somewhere. Her hair hung long around her torso, straight and shiny except for the front bits that feathered round her face, her small nose looked straight, but had a slight bump in it, her dark eyelashes curled out and she was very thin and straight except for her joints that jutted out in strange places.
She was supposed to be drab-looking, with midnight black hair and milk-white skin in contrast, but there seemed to be so much colour and movement in her presence that compensated more than adequately.
Perhaps it was that fact that she didn't quite make sense, that made her so fascinatingly beautiful to Remus.
Immediately, he realised that it wasn't the Metamorphmagus in her. The rainbows radiating from her character everyday came from her personality, not the fake magic she used to mask her insecurities.
His jaw may have fallen through the floor, but he wouldn't have noticed.
"I know what you're thinking, she said in quiet misery. Her eyes flashed up at him. Remus got a bit of a shock. Her irises were such a light shade of grey, if he hadn't been concentrating, he'd have thought they weren't there. "Black and white," she said bitterly.
"No, actually," he mutter, a little dazed. "Exactly the opposite." Those eyes really were the most absorbing things he'd ever seen.
She laughed but didn't smile. Panicked, Remus did the only thing he could think of. He rushed forward and threw one arm up round her waist and one round her shoulders.
He inwardly sighed in relief at the action he'd wanted to do for months and watched her blink in confusion out of the corner of his eye. Hesitantly, she put her arms on his back and looked a little hopeful.
"What do you mean?" she asked timidly.
His shoulder-situated arm left its position for a second to hook her long, black locks behind her ear so he could whisper into it. Her eyes widened and her pupils dilated in amazement.
"You are the most amazingly colourful person I've ever seen," he told her quietly, "Inside and Out."
She stiffened slightly, but then relaxed against him.
"Thank you," she whispered back, a smile stretching her thin, pale lips.
That was the beginning. Things went from there. All through that day, people had kept asking him why in the world he was so happy, and all he had to do was to reply politely and then secretly smile at his iridescent nymph behind people backs. Soon the smiles grew into secret meetings . . . secret kisses.
Somewhere along the line, something had slipped out, or someone had figured it out, and they had been ambushed by Molly Weasley and other people, who were happy, although not as ecstatic as he was. The Weasley children had teased them, Moody had declared it 'about time' and Harry had grinned into his Charms homework and said it had been as plain as day. Hermione, ever inquisitorial, had asked how it came about.
"Nymphadora showed me a secret," Remus had replied mysteriously.
"Don't you normally tell secrets?" Ginny asked.
"Will you show us the secret, Tonksey?" asked Fred cheekily.
Tonks smiled, blew a bubble in her raspberry gum, which Remus knew was her favourite and replied, "No, coz it wouldn't be a secret then, would it?"
She had glanced at Remus and in that second, he could have sworn her eyes had flashed that endearing faint shade of silvery white.
Tonks never slipped into her neutral form again in front of anyone, except him, in those nights when he told her she was beautiful and she blushed, the only time she couldn't control it or cover it up. Once he asked her why she masked herself all the time in front of everyone else, and she had replied in the following way.
"The way I look is a gift to you," she smiled and his heart dissolved in what felt like Butterbeer. "Because you are the one who appreciates it most."
*Minger is slang that our wonderful friends overseas may not be familiar with. It means someone who's butt-ugly, basically.