This is a bit of pointless character interaction that I wrote in desperation because I ran out of Remus/Tonks fics to read. So I created my own. Not sure when it takes place, as there's no mention of Sirius at all, but I suppose that time is not exactly essential to this fic. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I take no credit for characters, settings, etc that I blatantly stole from the Potterverse.
Remus was surprised one night to feel the weight on his bed shift. He was surprised for many reasons; it was late at night, well past midnight, and all the guests in the house had been asleep for many hours; his bed had been a bed of one for many, many years - many more than he cared to count - and the fact that someone had crept under the covers was startling all in itself.
He opened his eyes against the oppresive darkness. His eyes adjusted quickly to the moonlit room, and they soon lit upon the familiar, round face of Tonks.
Nymphadora, he thought with a wry, tired smile.
"Remus," she said dangerously, then paused. "How's your night been?"
"Good, up until now."
She breezed past his light insult. "Well mine's been perfectly wretched. There's a ghoul or something that's banging around like a bloody bludger in the walls. I'll have to have Moody take a look at it - maybe you could, you know your Dark Creatures - but until then, I can't sleep a wink."
"I see," Remus said, stifling a yawn. "And my bedroom has turned out to be the best location of your temporary resting place?"
Tonks scrunched up her nose (her regular, small and rounded nose) and thought. "It depends."
"Two things. The first thing I have to test is how comfortable your bed is." She rolled onto her back and did what Remus thought resembled a Flobberworm dance. She lifted her hips up and down, causing Remus to lift up and down with her movements. She then lifted her legs, arm, and head in turn, letting them flop down onto the bed unceremoniously.
Remus blinked. He propped his head up on his palm and looked at the woman next to him, who had finally calmed down and was staring a the ceiling. "The results?"
"Hmm," she said, quite deep in thought. "There's a spring loose at the bottom of the mattress. Other than that, this bed is much more comfortable than mine."
"I had quite a bit of fixing up to do when I first arrived here. This bed, for example, was in tatters over in that corner, no thanks to Kreacher."
She scratched her ear distractedly. Remus found himself staring at Tonk's skin. He couldn't tell if it was the moon that made her skin seem so unearthly smooth or if she had done it with her Metamorphagamus abilities. It occurred to him just then that he was the closest to a woman he had been in quite some time. He had this absurd and irrational urge to reach out and touch her, just to make sure that she was real.
"Second test," she said, suddenly rolling onto her side and ending up very, very close to Remus' nose. "Determining the mental, physical, and emotional health of the company."
Ignoring the fact that he could feel her breath brush against his face, he tried to smile at her. "Aha - and when will I know the results of these tests?" he asked, playing along.
Tonks yawned, then grinned wearily at him. "These tests are very, very fragile, you know. Could take days."
Remus carefully controlled his emotion and raised an eyebrow. Did this mean that she would be making regular nightly visits for the next few days? The possibility caused a warm, flame-like feeling in his stomach, like something was tickling him there. It also gave him the incredible urge to laugh and frown at the same time. Did she not realize how unproper it would be for her to parade around in his bed at night?
I sound like my mother.
If Molly found them like this - not to suggest they were doing anything wrong, technically - she might throw them both out onto the street. Remus could not find the power in him to tell Tonks to get out. Not only did he find it hard to think of a polite way to say it, but he found that he was feeling a bit rebellious; let Molly find them. In fact, let Molly find them entangled in sheets and limbs in the morning.
I'm losing my mind, Remus thought, shutting his eyes in faint horror. He snapped his eyelids apart and opened his mouth to shoo Tonks out, but he found Tonks sleeping peacefully on her side, her face blank and serene. He shut his mouth and sighed deeply, rolling onto his back. With his hands behind his head, he stared at the ceiling. Ever since he first met her, Tonks was surprising him with everything she said and did. With an unexplainable and almost goofy grin on his face, Remus allowed sleep to take over him again.
When he awoke the next morning, Tonks had disappeared.
Another night, another visit.
Tonks waited until half past eleven to slip into his bed. Remus was sound asleep, for his busy days were catching up with him, and had not expected her to come again. He did not see Tonks all day, and he tried his best not to think about her or her late visit. Only once did Molly catch him staring off into space, but of course she didn't know the true contents of his daydreams.
He had to admit that he was extremely pleased to see her, in her flannel pajamas, climbing into his bed.
"'Lo," she whispered, pulling the blankets up to her chin and peering at Remus over the frayed edges.
"Back again?" he replied groggily.
"Course. I haven't determined the state of my company yet."
"And the ghoul?"
She scrunched her nose up and screwed her eyes shut. "Still there. Moody wasn't around."
"He was here for tea with Molly."
Tonks pried one dark eye open. "When?"
Remus tried to remember in his sleepy state. "Right after noon, if I remember correctly. You had gone to work by then, of course."
"Of course. Damn," Tonks said, shutting her eyes again. Remus, too, let his lids fall, ignoring the fact that Tonks was a breath away from him. Just as he was about to slip into his dreamless sleep, he felt a jarring poke in his ribs. He grunted and forced his eyes back open.
Tonks' young face - so incredibly young, he thought - peered at him owlishly through the night. "What would Molly think?" she asked, her voice devilish.
"I dare say she would faint and make us do chores for our naughty behavior," Remus said, yawning at the very end of his words.
Tonks laughed loudly. Remus made a motion to place his finger on her lips as if to silence her, but then he thought better of it. His finger came to a rest on his own mouth. "Shhh."
"Oh - right," Tonks whispered. "Do me a favor."
"Hmm?" Remus mumbled, sleep doing its best to overtake him again.
"Pardon?" Remus wanted nothing more than to smother her with his pillow and finally black out.
Tonks laughed, quietly this time. "Are you ticklish?"
"No," he lied.
Remus felt a hand pinch his ribs, and he twisted sharply and gave a gasp of surprise. "Ton-" he started, but was cut off when Tonks sat up and leaned over in order to gain more access to his ribs. She began to tickle him, moving her fingers across and pinching him in places. He squirmed, wiggled, and tried his very best not to laugh. It was inevitable, however, and he soon let out a cry of laughter against his own will.
He tried to quiet his laughs, but it was in vain. Finally, he took a deep breath and grabbed both of her hands, holding them tightly above his body. He was panting, so was she. She was laughing, but soon her laughter died off and her wide eyes traveled to their hands.
"You - are - awful," he panted, forcing his hands to release their grip.
"You laughed," she said, looking down at him. Remus was well aware that in all the hussle, his night shirt had come up above his stomach and that his hair had been thrown all over his face. Though incredibly self-conscious, Remus felt as if a balloon had burst inside him. It was the first time he laughed in a long time.
"I'm surprised women don't throw themselves at you," Tonks said casually, easily, and in a manner Remus never could have mustered when saying something as that.
"Throw themselves at a man who becomes a monster each month?" he asked softly, shutting his eyes, unwilling to look into her face. Such a young face.
"Throw themselves at a considerate, polite, and intelligent man," she said. He felt her hand brush against his forehead. "And a man who is quite stunning."
Remus snapped his eyes open. Her hand was playing with a strand of hair that had fallen onto his face. He felt dizzy. He felt as if he was floating upwards, unable to feel the rest of his body except for where her hand would occasionally touch his forehead. "I'm old, Tonks."
She smiled. "No you're not."
"Older than you," he insisted. Much older, he thought.
"Does it matter?"
Remus wasn't sure what they were talking about. "Nymphadora-"
Her hand fell away from his face. "I'll get Moody up in my room tomorrow, and I won't bother you again."
"Goodnight, Remus," she said, then lay back down, covered herself, and fell silent.
Remus sighed deeply. "Goodnight, Tonks."
Remus found, to his utter dismay, that he could not sleep. He had tried every position he could think of, and in the process he had throw off his pillows and most of his blankets. Now he lay spread eagle, listening to the heavy rains splatter against the walls and windows. Lightning would illuminate the room once in a while, crackling faintly. Always it would be followed by a blast of thunder that rattled the windows.
Tonks had not come.
He glanced at his watch, noting that the time was quarter to one. He let his head flop heavily onto his bed, remembering too late that his pillows lay scatted around his feet. Remus screwed his eyes shut. He tried to listen for movement of any kind, but heard only the patter of rain and howl of wind.
Deciding that he wasn't going to fall asleep anytime soon, Remus stood and padded out of his room. He had every intention of going down to the kitchen but instead Remus found himself heading down the hallway to Tonks' room. Feeling very much like a curious fifteen-year-old, he peered into the dark room.
Her bed was empty and untouched.
Worried, he turned and made his way down the stairs. Remus had come to Grimmauld Place late, and had immediately crept into his room without seeing or speaking to anyone. He had assumed that Tonks would be in her room, sleeping away, but the sight of her lonesome bed made him feel strange.
Remus was about to turn off the stairs and head for the kitchen when he heard the front door slam in the wind. He paused to listen; a muffled moan and a soft thump were the only other sounds he could hear. Remus turned toward the entrance hall, creeping silently past Mrs. Black's portrait. Remus conjured a floating candle that illuminated a body lying limply on the floor.
He flew forward and landed on his knees, rolling her onto her back. Her cheeks and nose were bright red. Her eyes were closed, her short hair was matted down onto her head, and she was shaking in an awful way. Remus grabbed her arms. They were ice. "Nymphadora? Can you hear me?"
"I-It's-s T-t-tonks-s," she whispered, her voice shaking with her chattering teeth.
"Merlin - Tonks, can you stand?" Remus asked. He rubbed his hands against her cold ones in an effort to warm her up.
"Try," Remus pressed.
"H-help-p m-m-me," she said feebly.
Remus helped her sit up, then wrapped his arms under hers and heaved her upward. She slumped against his body, clutching at his shirt with her frozen hands. He wrapped his arms around her and rubbed her back to warm her up. Her clothes were soaked.
"S-s-so c-cold," she whispered, shaking like mad.
"Shh, don't talk," Remus ordered. He practically carried her down to the kitchen and set her down on a bench. Immediately she slumped sideways, too weak and cold to stay upright. Remus leapt forward and caught her in time, quickly throwing fire into the fireplace from his wand. In a mattter of seconds Remus had cast an array of charms to dry, warm, and strengthen Tonks.
"Eat this," Remus mutter absently, handing her a bar of chocolate he found lying on the counter. He bustled around the kitchen, making tea and finding a thick blanket in a cabinet in the corner. He sat down next to Tonks on the bench and wrapped the blanket around her shoulders. She was still shivering, trying very hard to get the chocolate into her mouth. "What the hell happened, Tonks?"
"No one came to relieve me," she said. Remus was relieved to see that she was able to talk, though her voice was still weak. "I waited for hours, and no one came. I stayed there, because someone's always supposed to be on guard duty, right? No one came."
"Who was supposed to relieve you?" Remus asked, feeling his throat tighten with anger.
"Mundungus. He came, finally, four hours late. The rain had started already - oh, it's so cold outside, Remus - and I was too tired to Apparate. Floo Network is out of the question, obviously. So I walked."
"You walked," Remus said quietly, incredulously. "What about the Knight Bus? Or the Underground?"
"I - I didn't think-"
"Tonks! You could've been seriously injured!"
"Oh, Remus, lighten up. I'll just catch a cold and that'll be the end of it-"
"I'm not talking about the cold! I'm talking about you, walking all alone at night, on streets you don't know very well."
"Remus, stop treating me as if I'm a child-"
"You are a child!"
Tonks glared at him. She took in a rattling breath and looked down at her feet. "Just a child, worthy of only your admonishment?" She sniffled and leaned forward, running her hands through her hair and causing it to spike up like usual. "Worthless to the Order."
Remus felt the room spin and his stomach turn cold. "Tonks - you are not worthless. Dumbledore allowed you into the Order for a reason. You are young have the distinguishment of being a member of the Order. That's something to be proud of. Don't . . . don't listen to me. I am nothing but an old prat."
"You're not old."
"Haven't we had this conversation before?" he asked, tired and worn out.
She took his hand in her own. Remus looked up and met her eyes, sparkling with the firelight. "Maybe," she said faintly. "Does it matter?"
Remus looked at the entwined hands. Hers was so small and fragile, smooth and clean and full of life. His was large, worn, and darkened with age. "You shouldn't be in the Order. Too many young lives have been lost in the past."
"Oh - Remus." Tonks, judging by the look in her eyes, knew who Remus was referring to. "I'm sorry," she whispered.
"Don't be. You have nothing to be sorry about."
"I'm sorry for you."
"Don't pity me," Remus said harshly. He ran his free hand through his hair. "Pity can break a man."
"Maybe . . .maybe a man needs to be broken once in a while."
Remus looked at her. He swallowed. "Do - do you really think I'm stunning?"
She laughed softly and cupped his cheek in her hand. "Yeah."
He closed his eyes and let himself indulge in the touch of a woman's hand. "And do you really think I'm a prat?"
This time she laughed more coarsely. "Definitely."
He took the hand that was on his face and held it with his own. "I'm sorry," he said, meeting her eyes. "For being too old, for being too thick, for being too morbid."
"Has it ever occurred to you," she said, leaning her head on his shoulder, "that I like old, thick, and morbid men?"
It was his turn to laugh. "Has it ever occurred to you that purple hair is outrageous?"
She sat up and looked at him, positively alarmed, touching her purple hair with caution. "You don't like it?"
"I love it," Remus said, and placed a light kiss on her forehead. "I love it," he whispered again as she put her head in the crook of his neck.
"Reckon we should get some sleep?"
"Probably. Is the ghoul still bothering you?"
"There was no ghoul," Remus said, knowingly. He didn't know how he knew it, but on reflection, Remus realized that he had known it from the very beginning.
"Nope, but it's still frighteningly lonely in my room."
Remus smiled. Without another word, Remus put out the fire and led Tonks up and out of the kitchen. At the foot of the stairs he paused and grabbed her arm. She stepped in front of him, looking up at him curiously. "What were the results of your tests?"
"My tests . . .? Oh, right!" Tonks looked up at the ceiling as if in deep thought. "Emotional state seems adequate, if at times unstable. Mental state exceeds expectations."
"You dare insult me?" Remus asked jokingly. She nodded in affirmation. He grinned boyishly. "And physical state?"
"Hmm," she pondered, placing her hand on his chest and creating an explosion on Remus' skin. His breath caught in his throat. It had been too long, he decided, since had been serious with a woman. And while Tonks was forward, casual, confident, and the exact oppsoite of Remus in many ways, Remus found that he enjoyed her company more than he probably should have.
"Physical state of company . . ." she said, drawing it out, "is yet to be determined."
Reviews are welcome. ^_^