Summary: LupinTonks, Black. Lupin and Tonks meet in a Muggle bookstore.

Author Notes: Occurs during Order of the Phoenix at the beginning of the summer. This relies on the physical features of Lupin as presented in the PoA movie. I see Lupin as only 10-12 years older than Tonks, by the way.
Disclaimer: The characters belong to JK Rowling. The story was written for the pleasure of playing with her characters.


Tantalizing Titles

Nymphadora Tonks just needed a quiet evening. The sudden changes this summer were overwhelming and while she was determined to be up to the demands of being in the Order of the Phoenix, she needed some time to relax. She had been surprised and relieved at discovering her cousin, Sirius Black, was not only innocent of murder, but a member of the Order.

Tonks was so happy to have him back, having been but eleven years old when he was sent to Azkaban, but Sirius had changed. He now had a darker edge to him than she remembered as a child. She sighed as she considered what 12 years of being exposed to Dementors had done to her cousin.

Next to Sirius, the one member that had caught her interest by association was his friend, Remus Lupin. She had been expecting a virile, predatory and rather shaggy sort of man once she had read about his werewolf background. Instead Lupin was shabby rather than shaggy, a proper English gentleman with mild manners. The scars on his face were the only thing that attested to his lycanthropy in his appearance. What a disappointment.

There had been several more people to meet and the serious nature of their duties was daunting. The young witch just needed to get away from the dark cloud that threatened the Wizarding World, so it was with some relief that Tonks stepped out into the streets of Muggle London as she shifted her hair into a daffodil yellow that framed her heart-shaped face.

Tonks walked to one of her favorite get-aways. It was a large modern bookstore, completely unlike Flourish and Blotts in Diagon Alley. Her father had instilled a love for Muggle books as a child and it was a source of amusement to read books whose illustrations didn't move.

Tonks was wandering through the aisles when the title of a section caught her amusement: Sex and Relationships. She smirked as she considered the erotic nature of the illustrations in these educational aides and absently pulled out a volume. What a quaint way to hide an interest in naughty pictures? She could just imagine a nice, conservative sort of gentleman rummaging through the section in an effort to downplay a need for, ahem, stimulation. Someone like Remus Lupin, for example.

"Hello, Miss Tonks," said the very man as he peered around the corner of the bookshelf. He had the advantage of height and his lean frame soon appeared as he walked around to greet her.

Tonks responded in surprise, "Mister Lupin, hello, but just call me Tonks, no Miss to it."

"Ah, well, then, please call me Remus." The man gave a slight bow and then seemed to notice the book she had selected. She could see his lip quirk into the slightest smile. "I'll leave you to your reading."

Tonks looked down to find she held a book entitled The Idiot's Guide to Being a Sex Goddess. She had it opened to a top ten lists. "What? Oh, no, I was just browsing, really."

"There's no need to be embarrassed," assured Lupin as the titles in the section caught his own attention.

"Me? Now, see here, I'm not embarrassed. In fact, I'm very difficult to embarrass," said Tonks as she actively forced away the blush that had been rising up her cheeks. She noticed that Lupin was now leaning in to read one of the titles before him. She stifled a grin as she considered payback.

"Beasts and the Women Who Love Them," Tonks read aloud. She got a sideward glance from Lupin and the faintest flush rising on his neck.

"Surely it's a metaphor," said Lupin as he pulled the volume from the shelf with resolve. The book flipped open to an image of a classic painting of a woman being carried away by a bull. "Ah, the rape of Europa. See, nothing but classic Muggle mythology."

Having both had Muggles for one parent, Lupin expected Tonks to be familiar with his reference. Tonks quirked an eyebrow at him and, after quickly tucking the book she held back in the shelf, leaned over his arm to flip through several chapters in the beasty book. "Hm, vampires. Seems to include a bit of folklore, too. Reckon there'd be werewolves--oh, I'm sorry."

"No one loves werewolves, Miss Tonks," said Lupin quietly as he closed the book and made to put it back on the shelf.

"Oh, that's ridiculous--and the name is Tonks." Tonks grabbed the book outright from him and began to flip to the later chapters as she said, "Women would be drawn to the predatory nature of the beast. Why, the term werewolf evokes virility and raw sexuality. See here?"

She found an illustration and shoved it under his nose. Lupin tilted his head with a puzzled look until Tonks realized she had presented it to him upside down. She quickly changed the orientation, but Lupin said, "No, I think it made more sense the other way."

Tonks looked at the illustration and readily agreed. "Yeah, you're right. Besides, this doesn't apply to you at all, I mean you're the last man I'd describe as virile and predatory."

"Thank you, Miss Tonks. I think." Lupin had his hands in his pockets now and, although he was slouching a bit, there was a twinkle of amusement in his eyes.

"It's Tonks, Remus, just Tonks," she reminded him automatically as she shoved the beasty book back into its space. But, feeling flustered by this mild mannered man, her voice rose quite a bit as she confronted him directly and added, "And I don't mean to imply that you're impotent!"

The hush that fell around them at her statement indicated the attention they had drawn from the bookstore's customers. Tonks and Lupin looked around and merely nodded in greeting to their audience.

Before Lupin could say anything to Tonks in reply, the clerk in charge of the section came forward, pulled out a book from the shelf between them and said, "Perhaps you should continue this at home, dears. I'm sure this bedtime reading will do both of you some good."

The clerk put the book in Lupin's hands and patted Tonks comfortingly on the shoulder before walking away. Their heads came together as they read the book jacket.

Tonks read the title in a whisper, "A Practical Approach to Tantric Sex: A Guide for the Proper Englishman."

Lupin quietly read the selling point of the book listed below the title, "If it works for Gordon Sumner, it'll work for any English prat."

They tried to stop their reaction, but once Tonk's giggles began, Lupin was hard pressed to dampen his own laughter. Tonks began flipping through the book and said, "Oh, look, illustrations and everything."

"Ahem," said Lupin as he tried to regain his composure. He closed the book, bowed lightly and said, "Nymphadora, it's been a pleasure."

He had walked away before she thought to hiss, "It's Tonks."

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Grimmauld Place

Sirius Black was in a very foul mood. His mother's portrait was casting insults as Remus Lupin entered number twelve Grimmauld Place, so he pointed his wand and said, "I don't care what you hate about him, he's my friend and he stays, you old bat!"

Sparks flew from the end of his wand, doing no damage to the portrait, but definitely serving to lighten his mood. He drew the curtains and was soon facing his friend. "Back so soon? I thought the Order had sent you on a mission."

"I am and I was, but I finished the mission early and had time to stop by a Muggle bookstore. I thought I'd bring back a book you could spell into moving its pictures."

Lupin knew that the misdemeanor offense of performing magic on a Muggle artifact would appeal to his friend. Sirius had been quite grumpy lately.

"Oh, what did you find?" asked Sirius eagerly.

"Well, I was in the section on Self-Improvement, but I thought you'd find this more entertaining in your confinement," said Lupin cryptically. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to make a bite to eat."

As Lupin entered the kitchen, he could hear Sirius' laughter ringing through the house. It started up the shrieking portrait again, but it was worth it to hear Sirius being happy, however transient.

"Moony, old friend, I can't thank you enough," said Sirius as he entered the kitchen and patted Lupin on his back. He turned to deal with his mother's portrait, but stopped a moment to add, "And I'll let you read it when I'm finished."

"That's not necessary, Padfoot, I got it for you."

Lupin thought he had heard the last of it, but then Sirius leaned into his ear and ended with, "And I won't take the spell off."

Sirius gave Lupin a wink and set off to do combat with his mother. Lupin shook his head, but said quietly under his breath, "Thank you, Nymphadora Tonks."