Summary: Lupin Tonks, Black. Tonks decides to teach Remus a lesson about kissing.
Author Notes: July 22, 2004. Occurs during Order of the Phoenix at the beginning of the summer. It can be read as a stand alone. This relies on the physical features of Lupin as presented in the PoA movie. I see Lupin as only 10 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.


"You look no worse for wear," said Mad-Eye Moody as he appeared at Tonks door at the Ministry of Magic. Tonks had been poisoned while on a mission to serve as a decoy for Hermione Granger on Saturday. Luckily her knight in shabby armor, Remus Lupin, had been there to help her out. "That poison apple potion could have left you sleeping for ages."

"Is that what it was? The healer never got around to telling me," said Tonks as she wiped at a drop of tea that had landed on the scroll she was studying. Ugh, she really needed that translator spell for Welsh.

"Did the boy not confess, either?" asked Moody as he took a seat.

The boy? Her lips quirked into a smile at the thought of Remus Lupin being referred to as a boy, but then a frown appeared. Since the mission, Lupin had carried his bland friendliness like a shield around him. Tonks wasn't sure what to think. Perhaps he didn't like playing hero?

"Lupin was distracted with trying to keep Sirius and Snape from blasting each other to oblivion at headquarters when we got back." She didn't add that Snuffles had snuck out of number twelve which had left Snape to deal with the various items Kreacher had sent after Hermione Granger.

The Auror put her chin in her hand as her elbow propped on the desk. "I guess Remus thinks I'm an incompetent Auror since he had to rescue me. He's hardly spoken to me since Saturday afternoon. I think he's upset with me."

"Now that's a silly thing to say," said Mad-Eye. "He was very concerned about you at St. Mungo's. Why, he literally ran us out of your room before he kissed you. You rarely see him flustered like that."

Tonks stared at Moody as the words registered. She blinked her eyes as the mad-eye began to spin. "Say again?"

"It's the remedy for the poison apple potion." Moody voice held the tone of an instructor training an apprentice auror. "Lupin had to give you a right righteous snog, now didn't he?"

Tonks was silent as the words sank in.

Moody continued, "Of course, I had more experience in these matters and it should have been left to me, but he--"

"REMUS KISSED ME!" Tonks was now standing on her feet.

"Don't be upset, Tonks. I'll kiss you if you really insist," offered Moody in consolation.

Tonks held back the cringe that was evoked by that image and instead said, "Thanks, Mad-Eye, but I'll be fine once I properly show my appreciation to my brave knight."

Mad-Eye registered the glint in Tonks' eyes as she swept out of her office. His paranoid mind was soon at work and this time, he was right. He quickly ran to the owlery and jotted a note to Lupin.

"Constant vigilance!" Moody warned.

- - - - - - - -

Step One: Infiltrate the enemy camp.

For once, Tonks entered number twelve Grimmauld Place without announcing her presence to all and sundry. She nodded to herself in satisfaction.

Step Two: Reconnaisance.

Tonks quickly used a Disillusionment charm on herself and glided to the stairs that led to the kitchen. Molly was talking to the boys. Apparently the male Weasleys had all received kitchen duty for their part in some prank that had upset Buckbeak. Lupin, Sirius and Arthur were upstairs trying to calm the hippogriff even now as the boys helped their mother prepare dinner. Good.

Step Three: Recruit conspirators.

Tonks turned her head as she heard Hermione and Ginny laughing in the drawing room. Perfect. She couldn't ask for better accomplices.

- - - - - - -

"It has to be from Mad-Eye. He's the only one who could send an owl that would penetrate the defenses," said Arthur as an owl suddenly swept in through the window of Buckbeak's room and landed on Lupin's shoulder.

Without waiting for Lupin, Sirius moved to untie the note. The owl flew off immediately while Sirius unrolled the tiny scroll. "Constant vigilance. Why would he waste time sending a note?"

Lupin grabbed the note from Sirius and read it. "It's addressed to me, Sirius." His face suddenly turned paler. He muttered, "Damn, she found out."

"What was that, Remus?" asked Sirius.

"Nothing. You two go ahead to dinner, I'll finish cleaning the mess here," said Lupin. The two men left Lupin alone with his thoughts as he waved his wand to clean up the rest of the droppings.

"All right, so she's found out. There's no need to worry. She's an adult." Lupin sighed.

Buckbeak cocked his head in response, as if he understood the words, but was skeptical about their truth.

Lupin nodded at the sage hippogriff and said, "You're right, she's also an Auror."

Buckbeak emitted a squawk.

"Right, I'll look on the bright side. She won't kill me; she'll prefer some slow, painful torture."

Buckbeak nodded his head as if in agreement. Lupin tossed a dead rat at him and stepped out of the room.

- - - - - -

Lupin made his way downstairs like a condemned man. He was still muttering to himself, "Maybe chocolate would distract her?"

He had just passed by the drawing room when he heard Hermione's voice calling, "Professor Lupin? Could you help us, please?"

"Certainly. What can I do for you girls?"

"We thought we saw something moving in the lampshade by the sofa," said Ginny with a bit of a worried frown.

"I'll give it a look. Why don't you girls go on to dinner while I take care of this," offered Lupin.

"We'll make sure the boys leave some food, Professor," said Hermione sweetly.

- - - - -

Lupin sealed the door in case something really nasty was lurking in the furniture. He approached the lampshade and inspected it closely. He could just make out a shadow flitting quickly across the surface. He preferred to study the problem before using his wand, so he walked closer to the sofa to inspect the inner surface of the lampshade.

"Corpus rete." From her vantage, Tonks spoke the words quietly.

A web sprang out of the lampshade and surrounded Lupin's head and body like a net. His arms were pinned to his sides, making it impossible to draw his wand. Still, he uttered not a sound as he stood there considering his situation.

It wasn't until Tonks removed the Disillusionment charm and walked toward him that Lupin realized his dilemma.

"Wotcher, Remus," said Tonks sweetly as she poked at his body with just enough force to send him over the arm to lie on the sofa on his back.

"Oh. Bloody. Hell." He spoke the words in resignation.

"You know, if you weren't so ridiculously tall, you'd fit on the sofa. I'll have to fix that," said Tonks with a smirk. She waved her wand, but rather than dismemberment at the knees, the sofa extended into a quite comfortable length.

Lupin decided his best strategy was to remain silent, so he didn't even utter thanks. Tonks seemed delighted by her handiwork as she inspected the length of the man wrapped in webbing.

"That's better, but I think I can unwrap you a bit," said Tonks with a mischievous glint in her eye.

Lupin closed his eyes, but was relieved when he felt the unwrapping was limited to removing the netting around his head, although his arms were still pinned to his sides.

"Now, isn't this better?" asked Tonks as she moved to directly face him.

"I'm not ticklish, Tonks. Even spells don't work on me," warned Lupin as she quirked her eyebrow.

Tonks shrugged and then used a sing-song voice as she tapped her wand along his body and ended with a sharper whack on his thigh. "Remus John, the Lupins' son. Stole a kiss and away he run."

"It seemed necessary at the time--"

"You kissed me and I wasn't even awake!"

"All right, I should have called for, for Kingsley or Bill Weasley--"

"Bill! I don't want to be kissed by someone who prefers French poodles, thank you very much," said Tonks in an offended tone. She was obviously referring to Fleur Delacour.

"The only other option at hand was Mad-Eye--"

"It'd be like getting snogged by my Dad," shuddered Tonks.

"So unless you wanted the Healer to start pulling in random men to kiss you- -"

"Oh, I get it. This was all a last resort? Well, thank you, Professor Lupin, for your great sacrifice. I hope I didn't give you cooties!"

Tonks was glaring at him.

"Tonks, look, part of me felt like I was molesting you at the time," said Lupin. Of course, other parts of him had responded quite enthusiastically, but he wasn't about to tell her that. "So, I'm sorry. It's not like I started my day intending to take advantage of an unconscious witch."

Tonks tilted her nose a bit and sniffed delicately, quite like her mother in this mannerism. But instead of a condescending tone, her voice softened. "I'll have to determine whether this merits further retaliation."

Tonks sat back on her haunches and tapped her lips while she watched him. "Right, then. I'll have to see for myself what this medicinal kiss was like since I didn't get conscious experience of it the first time."

Did Lupin actually pale? He almost squeaked, "What?"

"I want a demonstration of this kiss." Tonks surveyed her victim and licked her lips. "You're as immobile as I was, so this will do."

"Tonks, what do you have in mind?"

"How did you kiss me?"

"Well, if I remember right, lip to lip contact was involved," replied Lupin warily. He was a werewolf. Did she really intend to kiss him?

"Just lips?"

Lupin nodded.

"And what were you thinking when you first kissed me?"

"Uh, well, friend?" Lupin said, trying to think of an appropriate term.

"Something like this?" asked Tonks. She moved forward and lightly pressed her lips against his in a rather chaste kiss. She sat back on her haunches and considered his response. "No, somehow I don't think a friendly kiss like that would be effective in waking someone up."

"Well, actually, it wasn't," began Lupin, then flinched when he realized his honesty was going to get him in more trouble.

Tonks lost no time making assumptions. "It wasn't? But that means, you kissed me twice!"

"Well, it's not like they teach Aurors kissing techniques," said Lupin defensively.

"All right, then, was the kiss more lusty like this?"

This time Tonks put her hands on either side of Lupin's face and he blinked in surprise before her lips touched his. There was more pressure, there was a soft tongue coaxing entrance to his mouth, and the plunder was extended as Tonks proceeded with her forceful exploration.

He should have been able to control his responses, but found himself wanting to taste her just as deeply, so he echoed her movements as she left him literally breathless. She finally moved back after a final nibble of his lower lip, but she, too, was breathless.

Tonks squeaked, "Did that ring a bell?"

Lupin swallowed before he was able to respond. "I think your partner needs to be awake to make that kiss really work."

Tonks merely nodded, then turned to wave her wand. A glass of ice water appeared in her hand. She looked at Lupin one last time, then gave a long drink.

"Tonks, if you don't mind?" asked Lupin.

"Oh, yes." Tonks helped him lift his head so he could drink the cold water as well, but then settled him back again.

Lupin hid his surprise at her sharing her glass rather than conjuring another one for him. Most people didn't share a glass with a lycanthrope. Of course, most women wouldn't be kissing him, either. This whole experience was quite confusing.

"Ahem," began Tonks as she tried to assume her professional tone again. "So, not friendly, not lusty. What word would you use to describe the kiss that worked?"

Lupin considered lying to her, but his heart told him to be honest. "I think I would say cherish."

"Cherish?" repeated Tonks. She wasn't sure she'd ever experienced a Cherish kiss. The men she'd been with in her wilder days had been after a sexual fantasy. Lust was familiar to her, but cherish?

Lupin was looking at her with those damned sincere eyes of his. Cherish?

She moved toward him, but this time merely used her hand by his head to steady her weight. She lowered her mouth slowly to his and thought: Cherish.

Her lips touched his and felt the coolness left by the ice water.

Cherish. The word evoked longing, protection, adoration. She didn't demand in this kiss, instead, she gave her warmth, her softness, her protection and her adoration.

Cherish. All he had to do was accept her offering. The low moan that escaped him was the only acknowledgement of the gift.

Tonks slowly sat back and released a shuddering breath. "Cherish."

Lupin was still trying to control his breathing as well, but he echoed in a husky voice, "Cherish."

"Well, I can certainly see why it was effective," she said, more to herself than to him. Tonks looked at him strangely. What was he doing to her? The lusty kiss had drawn the expected physical response from her, but the cherish kiss had swept to her very soul. Is this what she had been missing before?

"I suppose I've tortured you enough, then," Tonks said softly. She waved her wand and the webbing disappeared.

Lupin began to sit up, but his mouth quirked into a smile as Tonks spilled some water from the glass onto her hands and splashed her face.

"I think I'll go down to dinner now, but I hope you learned your lesson about keeping things from me," said Tonks as she tried to sound stern.

"Rest assured, I have," said Lupin.

Tonks stood and didn't walk two steps without running into a chair. "Bloody thing moved..."

But in her mind she was thinking, "That was a right righteous snog, all right!"

Lupin remained on the sofa as he watched her retreating back. He heaved a great sigh, then looked at the glass of ice water that magically refilled.

"Perfect," Lupin said as he dumped the contents, ice and all, on himself.

- - - - - - -

The song that was playing on the old phonograph in Lupin's room that night was an old standard relating that a kiss was still a kiss even with the passage of time. The soft mood was disturbed when Sirius entered Lupin's room without knocking, as usual.

"Padfoot?" asked Lupin. He quickly rolled away the parchment he'd been working on at his desk. Really, he hadn't realized what he had been drawing until Sirius stepped in.

In the background, the song continued about the fundamental rules applying.

"It's the last straw, Moony. Molly refused to return my book," said Sirius. "And I even forgave the boys for the prank they pulled on Buckbeak."

"Well, I think--"

"I'm going on a hunger strike, Moony. We'll see how Molly handles my emaciated body." Sirius was rubbing his hands. "She's bound to let her mothering instincts get the better of her."

"Padfoot, have you considered just--"

"Oh, and what's with the looks you and Tonks kept exchanging all night? I can tell when you're up to something," said Sirius. "Are you playing some prank on Moody? Bill?" He perked up hopefully, "Molly?"

Lupin let the words from the song hang in the air for a moment as he considered his response. The idea was simple: man and woman shared a mutual need.

"It's just a private joke, Padfoot. You wouldn't understand. Goodnight."

The End

Author Note: Rete means net in Latin, I think. The point is, it's not a "real" spell.
As Time Goes By is a classic song playing in the background, but I've described rather than transcribed to lyrics given the new policies at ffnet.

More on the developing relationship between Tonks and Lupin in later stories. I just thought this would stand alone since it was such a detailed scene. Thanks for reading, hope it left you with a smile. If you want the other stories in the series, just hit Queriusole and the list will come up.