Disclaimer – Neither Nymphadora Tonks nor (sadly) Remus Lupin belong to me, they belong to JK Rowling. I just like to borrow them from time to time.
For a long time, coming home had been the worst part of the day. Whilst he was working, keeping his mind busy, at least his thoughts wouldn't stray to the fact that, once again, he had lost his best friend. When he came home, with no distractions, he remembered that he was alone.
Those times were now, thankfully, in the past, and while he would never let go of the memory of his dearest friend, nor would he forgive the one who stole him, he was at least no longer alone. Coming home was now the best part of the day.
He crept up the stairs in the darkness, careful to avoid any creaking floorboards and paused for a moment before opening the bedroom door. He stood in the doorway for a few seconds, watching her peaceful, sleeping form, admiring the way the thin summer sheets fell around the curves of her naked body, listening to the sounds of her deep breathing and silently thanking the gods that she had chosen him.
As silently as he could, he disrobed, neatly folding each item of clothing and placing them on a chair in the corner of the room. He smiled inwardly at this – his personal attempt to maintain order in here, when her discarded clothing was strewn about the rest of the room.
"I'll never understand why you bother doing that," came her voice, still husky and groggy from sleep.
"Because, unlike some people I could mention, who seem to take being scruffy to another level, and indeed have turned it into a personal art form, I prefer to at least try to look my best." He gave her a small smile as he folded the rest of his clothes. "I'm sorry to have woken you."
"Don't apologize love. I've been wanting something from you all day." With a wave of her wand the bedside lamps lit themselves. She sat up in bed and ran her fingers through her hair, currently shoulder length and deep scarlet, shifting over to make room for him in bed.
Sliding under the covers, he gently stroked her cheek, kissed her forehead and looked into her expectant eyes. "I'm sorry. Not tonight, I'm just too tired." She looked back at him reproachfully, but didn't press it further – he had been working especially hard recently. "Although.....a hug would be most welcome."
He allowed her to take him in her arms as he rested his head on her shoulder, absent mindedly running his fingers along the plane of her belly.
"I should probably let you know," she said playfully as she stroked his hair, "hugs are on special offer for one night only – each one comes with a free back rub, if you're interested?"
"Sounds like quite a good deal. Where's the catch."
"No catch. I promise."
"Nymphadora Tonks, if this is an oh so subtle attempt to seduce me-"
"It's not. And if you call me that one more time, I fully promise that I will never, ever seduce you again."
Remus raised himself up on to his elbow, smiling at her. He'd known her now for nearly two years, they'd been lovers for just over eight months, and still she wouldn't allow him to call her by her given name. "If we were ever to marry," he asked her, "would you still insist on me calling you Tonks?"
"Good question. I suppose you could start calling me Lupin instead, but that could get confusing. I'll just stick with Tonks, if it's all the same."
They held each other's gaze for a few seconds longer, before Remus leaned over and kissed her softly on the lips. "Alright," he sighed. "Tonks it is. So, about this 'special offer' of yours...."
"The back rub? It can be extended, of course, to a proper massage, for a small fee." She began to grin mischievously.
"Not much. Just another kiss."
"To be paid in advance?"
"I think I can afford that."
Once again, their lips met. Despite his earlier feeling of tiredness, he was starting to wake now, the young witch in front of him igniting all his senses, sending sparks of excitement and anticipation coursing through his veins. He broke the kiss and moved to sit up, expecting his prize. She was once again grinning, but made no motion to move.
"I said it was one kiss in advance," she said, laughing, "I didn't specify where that kiss had to be. You have to find that out for yourself."
He raised a quizzical eyebrow at her and for a second considered admonishing her for playing games with him when she knew full well that he needed rest. But before that thought had even formed properly he put it aside as he realised he wanted nothing more than to demonstrate his love for her.
With a slight smile he lowered his head towards her and whispered, "Here?" as he planted a gentle kiss on her neck. She shook her head in response. He moved down and kissed her shoulder. "Here?" She replied by once again shaking her head. The game continued, Remus placing little kisses all over her body until he found himself positioned over her centre. He looked back up at her with a knowing smile – she was holding her breath and biting her bottom lip in anticipation. This time he held the kiss for much longer, delighting in the reaction it provoked in her as she reached down to rake his hair through her hands.
He pulled away from her, causing her to groan slightly at the sudden lack of contact. "There?"
It took her a moment to regain her composure before she answered. "Come on then. You've earned it."
"I think I've earned considerably more than a simple massage," he laughed. "Do you have to be up early tomorrow?"
"Nope. S'my day off."
"Good. Because I no longer feel much like sleeping. What would you say to staying up all night?"
"I'd say, 'I love you Remus Lupin.' What would you say?"
Leaning in towards her soft lips he replied, "I'd say 'I love you too, Ny – I mean, Miss Tonks.'"