Summary: LupinTonks, Black. Tonks, Lupin and Sirius find slumber on a night during the half-moon.
Author Notes: Sequel to Bookworms, which sets up the characterizations. 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 years older than Tonks.
Disclaimer: The characters belong to JK Rowling. The story was written for the pleasure of playing with her characters.
Nymphadora Tonks stumbled into number twelve Gimmauld Place late at night and efficiently banged her shin on the troll foot umbrella stand. She squeezed her eyes shut and wished she could do the same to her ears. She settled for rubbing her temples.
"FILTHY HALF-BLOOD! SHAPE-SHIFTING FREAK!"
"And here I thought I was the only one who earned that epithet," said Remus Lupin to Sirius Black as they rushed toward the portrait in their dressing gowns. They didn't want the Weasley's disturbed this late at night--or rather, early in the morning.
"You'll just have to share the title with Tonks," murmured Sirius. They gave the curtains a great tug, then turned to the woman who was still rubbing her temples. Her eyes looked as pink as her hair.
"What brings you here so late, Tonks?" asked Lupin as he walked up to her. "I'd have stayed up if I knew you were coming."
Tonks yawned widely in response as she tried to explain.
"In English, Tonks," prompted Sirius.
"Sorry, cuz." Tonks shook her head and used a hand on Lupin's shoulder to prop herself up before she continued. "I was working late on some records tracing the whereabouts of Death Eaters. I couldn't risk leaving it at the Ministry Offices once I had it compiled, so I thought I'd bring it right over."
Tonks tugged at a scroll from under her robes and barely missed whacking Lupin on the nose as she presented it to Sirius. "Here, I'll just go home now."
Tonks blinked her eyes and gave another unladylike yawn.
"Best you stay here, Tonks. Your mum would never forgive me if she knew I let you wander off half asleep," said Sirius. "Hm, but I can't put you with Ginny; your stumbling is likely to wake her up. Oh, well, she'll recover."
"You can use my room, Tonks," offered Lupin. Sirius had a point; Tonks would not be one to creep quietly to bed.
"Moony, while I know you'll be a complete gentleman, I don't think--" began Sirius.
"And I'll bunk with you tonight, Sirius, that is, unless you're expecting another visit from Emmeline?" asked Lupin.
Tonks blinked at this comment. "Emmeline Vance? Since when have you been-- "
"We just found it convenient to get re-acquainted in the privacy of my room when she came calling," said Sirius with a grin that suddenly lit his face. Then he frowned. "Besides, that was before the Weasley invasion."
Sirius emitted a regretful sigh, but turned to Lupin and said, "Better bring your own pillow. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll go put this away."
"Come on, Tonks, no, this way. That's the coat closet," said Lupin as he guided her up the stairs to his room.
Lupin opened a door and Tonks found the energy to look around the bedroom. The room carried the same gloom that invaded the rest of the house, but the impeccable neatness was evident. An old muggle phonograph was on a table in the corner, books were neatly setting in their shelves and the desk had three neat stacks of parchment.
"Blimey, you're a neatfreak, aren't you?"
"I like an orderly life," agreed Lupin as he pulled open a drawer.
Tonks went to the neatly made bed and laid her wand on the nightstand. She lifted the edge of the bedcover to find tight corners on the bed sheets and whistled.
"My Mum would die for these corners." She turned to her host and asked, while rubbing her eyes, "Bloody hell, Remus, are you sure you want me tangling in your sheets?"
Lupin remained bent over his dresser drawer as he pulled out a t-shirt for Tonks. There was no way he was going to let her see the flush rising on his face as a vivid image accompanied her statement, so he ignored her comment..
"I'm afraid the best I can offer you is a t-shirt, but it should be long enough for you."
He turned to find Tonks had kicked off her shoes and was flopping backwards on the bed while wriggling comfortably. "Mmm, bed good; sleep better."
"Come on, off with the robe," said Lupin as he lifted her body like a rag doll and helped her shrug out of her official Ministry robes, leaving her in an Oxford shirt and dark slacks, her usual Auror attire. She let the robe fall to the floor, but Lupin picked it up and folded it over a chair.
By the time he turned back Tonks had short-cropped black hair, but with long bangs that fell across her forehead. She was wrapping her arms around a pillow and nuzzling her face into it saying, "Mmm, pillow smells nice."
"Tonks, come on, you'll be uncomfortable staying in your clothes. Take the t-shirt and go change. The door in the corner leads to the bath."
Lupin saw one bleary eye open to look at him. "I bet you were a prefect."
But she snatched the t-shirt out of his hand, and wrapped it over her neck. Before he knew it, she was wrestling with her slacks as she tried to pull them off.
"Tonks, be care--"
"Oof. I'm all right." The muffled voice came from the other side of the bed where she had tumbled onto the floor.
Lupin stretched across the mattress to assess the fate of his houseguest only to find Tonks kicking off the last of the slacks with a shimmy of her derriere. He propped his chin on his elbow. Imagine that? Pumpkin colored skivvies.
Tonks then began to crawl on all fours to the door Lupin had indicated, but turned halfway there to look over her shoulder. "Remus, were you staring at my bum?"
"Right, then. Glad I wasn't imagining things," said Tonks as she knelt in front of the door to the bathroom. She pressed on the door handle, but her weight swung the door open and carried her through. "Oops!"
Lupin stood and was moving to the bathroom when he heard the door click shut. Great timing, he thought. He was picking up her discarded slacks when he heard the bathroom door open quickly and felt her shirt hit him square in the face.
"That's for looking."
"I'll consider myself duly reprimanded," called Lupin as he folded her clothes and laid them neatly on the chair that held her robe.
Then he heard the bathroom door click open again only to find Tonks' naked arm appearing around the bathroom door to hang her pumpkin colored bra on the handle. He could hear her muffled voice saying, "You need more color to brighten up your room."
"I prefer neutral shades, thanks." Lupin shook his head and reached for the bra.
"Really? Then why were you staring at my--"
"On the other hand, by all means, color my world," said Lupin as he made a firm decision to leave the item alone.
Silence. Lupin heard no sounds indicating she had fallen head first into the toilet bowl, so he decided he'd turn down the bedcovers for her. If she wasn't out in the next minute, he intended to check on her. He fully expected Tonks to crawl into the bathtub to sleep.
Instead, Tonks stepped out of his bathroom with a yawn and stretched like a cat. With her petite height, his t-shirt fell to mid-thigh. Then Tonks opened her dark eyes and suddenly squealed, "BED!"
She took a running leap and with an almost feline grace, did an elegant dive for the bed. She slid efficiently under the covers, nestled her head into one pillow and gave a contented sigh as she gave a body hug to the other pillow.
"Tonks? Tonks, don't fall asleep yet. I need that pillow," said Lupin as he reached for the one she was clasping.
She actually growled and tried to bite him. Him! He was the werewolf!
"Just be glad it's a half-moon," muttered Lupin, but he had a light smile on his face as he saw Tonks smiling, seeming to be content to be sleeping in his bed.
"Sweet dreams, Tonks," said Lupin quietly as he made his exit. He charmed the door so that Kreacher wouldn't bother her, and walked into Sirius' bedroom. He had "split" his bed into two twin beds, making Lupin think of the dorms in Hogwarts.
Sirius was already asleep given the soft snoring he was emitting. Two plump pillows were under his head, none were on the other twin bed.
Lupin felt no guilt as he tugged the lower pillow out from under his friend and settled into sleep.
"What!" said Sirius as his sleep was disturbed by his head suddenly plopping lower. "Moony, I told you to bring your own pillow."
"Your dear cousin has taken both pillows I had as hostages. I dare you to get one away from her, Padfoot."
"Bet she growled at you? Always did that when she was a kid." Sirius yawned. "Too bad it's a half-moon, or you'd be able to give her a run for her money. Good night."
This chapter is just the set up for the dreams to be revealed in Chapter 2, which was actually the whole point of writing this story.