Summary: Another meeting between Lupin and Tonks at the Muggle bookstore.
Chocolate CurlsA few days after her previous encounter with Lupin, Tonks was again at the Muggle bookstore. She was to go on her first assignment for the Order in a few hours and wanted to get something to read. She wandered over to the Self-Improvement section, then realized the other side of the shelf had held the Sex and Relationships books that had created so much attention last time.
In fact, she caught sight of the matronly store clerk who had recommended the book on Trantric sex to her and Lupin. She walked away telling herself that Diet and Health provided better options. Tonks kept glancing back over her shoulder at the clerk who seemed to be trying to decide whether she recognized the curly haired young woman.
Tonks had just made it safely to the cookbooks when her feet slipped on a wet spot on the floor. She tumbled backwards, but her body was caught by a pair of arms before she hit the floor. Tonks looked up to find she had been captured by none other than Remus Lupin.
"Careful, Tonks," said Lupin from his taller vantage point as she made no move to resume her proper posture. She was grabbing onto the sleeves of his sweater as his hands supported her back.
"Wotcher, Remus," replied Tonks. "Hey, you called me Tonks."
"I've been known to be obedient on occasion," he said. "Would you like to stand on your own two feet now?"
"It's my favorite position," said Tonks, intending to imply that she was an independent woman. Something about the slight quirk of Lupin's eyebrow made the statement seem more like an innuendo. How did he do that? He could fluster her without saying a word!
"You have duty tonight." Lupin said it as a statement rather than a question as helped her regain her feet.
Tonks merely nodded and brushed a hand through her dark brown hair. "First time. Kingsley says it's mostly boring, so I thought I'd pick up a book."
Lupin's eyes seemed to be drawn to the curls of her hair, but caught himself and said, "That's true, but you'll have a partner your first time out."
"Yeah, and with my luck it's Mundungus Fletcher." Lupin gave her a sympathetic smile as she continued, "What are you after this time?"
"Just doing some research," said Lupin as he pulled out a book entitled Passionate Desserts and Deadly Treats.
"Chocolate Decadence, Death by Chocolate," Tonks read the table of contents. "Seriously, Remus, how can this be research?"
"I need to find the ultimate chocolate concoction known to mankind," said Lupin solemnly. "Although I'll have you know that there is nothing better than Honeydukes chocolate to ward off the ill effects of Dementors."
"And why are you on this sacred mission, Professor?" whispered Tonks.
"Because it is never a good idea to get on Molly Weasley's bad side, Miss Tonks."
"I see your point, but what does that have to do with chocolate? I doubt there's anyway you could outdo her cooking." Molly Weasley had cooked dinner during Tonks first introduction to the order. The young Auror would have joined the Order just for access to the excellent meals.
"Molly is insisting I give her a recipe for a dessert she can make me on my birthday, even though it's months away." Lupin shook his head. "The Weasley invasion started two days ago at the manor. I ducked in here for some peace and quiet."
"I see. So, Molly's trying to fatten you up, huh?" said Tonks as she began thumbing through another chocolate cookbook.
"Yes, and after she found a certain book in the parlor, I think I'll stay on her good side." Lupin actually sounded quite resolved.
"Book? What book?" Tonks stopped suddenly and her eyes opened wide. "You didn't? You actually bought that Tantric sex--"
"Well, yes, but I got it for Sirius who spelled it to move--"
"That's a misdemeanor!"
"Precisely, that's part of the attraction for Sirius. Anyway, Molly hasn't been there fifteen minutes before she finds the book. Or rather, Arthur found the book first."
"Oh no, he just can't leave Muggle artifacts alone."
"Especially those that have been spelled, believe you me, but that's not the end of it. Fred and George discover their father, uh, investigating the item."
"Oh, no, that's when Molly found them?"
"No, no, it was after Ron had stumbled on the scene and squealed, 'They can't really do that, can they?'"
"Ron! But he's just fifteen!"
"That's what Molly said."
"But it wasn't even their book."
"That's what Sirius said."
"Oh, I feel sorry for Sirius if Molly blew up at him."
"That's what I said."
"So you're hiding out here hoping to appease the Weasley matriarch. Smart man." Tonks shook her head, but was smiling over the incident. "So, I suppose Molly threw an incendiary curse at the book?"
"No, actually, she confiscated it." Lupin had a slight smile on his face.
Tonks eyebrows were raised. "Oh, really. She didn't destroy it?"
"No, no, in fact, Arthur looked a bit tired this morning when he left for work, but I know he wasn't the one on night duty, at least, not for the Order."
They were both chuckling quietly at that implication as they perused the recipes. Tonks suddenly caught his attention when she emitted a squeal of delight.
"Oh, this looks downright wicked, Remus. Layers and layers with those chocolate bits on top." She licked her lips and closed her eyes. "Mmm, I just love those chocolate curls."
She opened her eyes to find that Lupin was gazing intently at her hair again. His gaze dropped to meet hers, but there was a flicker of yearning in his eyes. Then she made the connection.
"Hey, this is hair, not chocolate," said Tonks as she poked his chest with her finger, "So don't be thinking you can eat me, Professor!"
Her voice was again raised as she finished her statement. Tonks rolled her eyes immediately as she realized she had done it again. Before Lupin could respond, a rather cocky young male store clerk came over and eyed Tonks appreciatively. "Tough luck, mate. Maybe she wants someone younger."
Lupin merely gestured with his hand indicating he would accept Tonks' reply while the clerk grinned with an eager nod.
"I prefer intellect over attitude, thanks," said Tonks sharply. "Take a walk."
The grin on the clerk's face fell into one of disbelief, but Lupin merely turned the young man's body and pointed him in another direction with a gentle push. The Professor then turned to look at Tonks again and stood there with an elbow cupped in his hand while a finger tapped his lips. He quietly said, "I'm going through chocolate withdrawal, Nymphadora, but now that you mention it, you do look rather edible."
"Yeah, well the curls would have you coughing up hairballs," Tonks replied before shoving a book under his nose. "But this would be perfect, chocolate curls and all."
Lupin glanced between the picture of the dessert and Tonks. A smile lit his face as he said, "You're right, it is perfect."
He scanned the page, then closed the book to put it away. He noticed Tonks looking at him speculatively and asked, "What?"
"You memorized the recipe just like that? Without a mnemonic potion?"
Lupin merely shrugged, "Force of habit. I don't often have the means to just buy books on a whim."
"Speaking of which, I better get on with my browsing." Tonks nodded to her companion and turned efficiently on her heel. She was congratulating herself on her graceful exit when she stumbled on the carpet in the sitting area of the store. But once again her knight in shabby armor came to her rescue. A long arm reached around her waist deftly and prevented her fall.
Lupin tried to move his arm away from her waist, but the buttons on her shirt had other ideas and stubbornly clung to the arm of the man's sweater. The buttons had snagged on a loose thread.
"Hold on, I'll get us out of this--"
Tonks gave a mighty tug which succeeded in releasing her male captive while simultaneously emancipating all the buttons on her shirt. The buttons seemed to bounce gleefully on the carpet before resuming a course where they rolled on the wooden floor, straight to the matronly store clerk who was now peering at the couple suspiciously.
Lupin barely flashed an eyebrow as he caught a glimpse of a raspberry colored bra, Tonks' rather perky upper torso, and a very cute belly button peering through the gap of the shirt. He tugged her shirt tails together and placed himself in front of her as he said, "The clerk is coming toward us. Smile."
Tonks turned to find the clerk glaring at Lupin. She sounded just like Molly Weasley scolding her boys as she said, "How dare you, you lecherous wolf!Don't think I don't recognize you. Cheating on your sweet young wife like this! Well, I won't have it in my bookstore!"
Tonks bit her lip to keep from laughing and tugged her own shirt ends together as she turned to face the clerk. "It's all right, it's me, see?" Tonks shook her curly brown hair and added, "It's just a wig for a bit of dress up." She leaned into the clerk and emphasized, "Does wonders for his libido, if you know what I mean."
Tonks winked. The clerk looked at Lupin who was now standing with his hands in his pockets. He gave a diffident shrug with his shoulders that seemed to appease the clerk. Damn, he's good at this, thought Tonks.
"Oh, well, dear, I'm sorry I implied your husband was a Lothario, but I still suggest you take your games back home, hm?"
Tonks felt Lupin's arm go around her shoulders while he said, "Thank you for being so understanding, madam. We'll do just that. Come along, precious, I told you doing it in public wasn't a good idea."
Tonks' mouth popped open at his statement, but she was laughing once they were outside the store. They walked together for a bit with occasional bursts of chuckling.
"Do you think they'll let either of us in there again?" asked Tonks mischievously.
"Why not? We're just a pair of bookworms after all, Tonks." Lupin noticed he still had his arm around her shoulders as they walked, but Tonks was leaning into him a bit as she hugged her shirt around her body. He made to remove his arm, but Tonks just tugged his arm back in place while her other hand held the top of her shirt.
"I have a stash of Honeydukes chocolate at my flat and just enough time to share it with you in exchange for services rendered," offered Tonks. Her comment made Lupin stop in his tracks, but she quicky added, "For the escort home. That is, if you want some."
"I'd like that, Tonks. Thank you."
- - - - - - - - - - -
"WILL YOU SHUT UP!" hissed Sirius as the portrait at number twelve Grimmauld Place began yelling. He pulled the curtains forward and confronted Lupin.
"And where have you been?"
"Just out for walk," began Lupin, but he saw the nose of his companion twitching.
"Wait. I recognize that smell." Sirius pointed a finger at his friend and said, "How dare you come home late at night with the smell of chocolate on your breath!"
"Molly still giving you a hard time?" asked Lupin.
"No, she was better about it tonight, but she's still refusing to return my book."
"I think she'll be finished with it soon," said Lupin with a smirk. He pulled something out of his pocket and placed it into Sirius' hand as he walked past him to his room. "Tonks said to enjoy it, Padfoot; it's the last of her stash."
"Well, this is better, but don't think you're off the hook, Moony," called Sirius. He took a bite of the chocolate and moaned in pleasure. Then he opened his eyes as it registered. Lupin. Tonks. Chocolate? No, there was no way. Was there?
Thanks for the reviews. Hope you enjoyed the last chapter. This is the first story in a series of adventures of the romantic comedy that occurs between Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks during the Order of the Phoenix.