A/N: This chapter's a lil long, but the first part was too short to be a chapter all of its own. And so concludes my craziness that is/was For Love or Money. Have a nice day and please review :)
"Well?" Sirius barked. He was pacing Remus' bedroom floor, avoiding the bed covers that had be strewn all over the place. Remus looked at his hands, purely to hide his grin.
"Well what?" That's right Moony, play dumb and he'll go away!
"Well what! You and Tonks and your little shag-fest! That's what!" he shouted angrily.
"Oh…that," Remus supplied. He enjoyed winding up Sirius, purely for the fact that it was so easy.
"I don't know what the hell you're playing at," Sirius was saying, running a hand over his forehead in distress. "But this has to stop…I cannot believe you, Remus! This isn't like you at all. Don't get me wrong, you're a grown man you can do as you please. But not with my little girl, do you hear me?" he said testily. Remus scoffed.
"Oh come off it Sirius! She's hardly a child anymore. In fact she's all woman…she's proved that much to me tonight," he added, provoking his friend further. Sirius threw his hands over his ears and cringed.
"Stop it, ok! I don't need to hear! It's bad enough getting a front row seat to your activities without you having to share them with me afterwards." Sirius gave a sigh. "I'm sorry Remus. It's not that I don't want you to be happy. In fact, it's about time you had a bloody good shag…but not with Tonks," he finished firmly. Silence fell between them, then Remus looked up to meet his friend's gaze squarely.
"Why?" he asked forwardly. "Why not Nymphadora?"
"Because!" Sirius cried in exasperation. "Because she's my cousin."
"And? What, am I not good enough for her? Is that it?"
"Of course you are," Sirius snapped.
"Then what?" Remus asked. Sirius took a deep, calming breath and then turned to his friend regretfully.
"Ok Moony, I'm going to be straight with you…Tonks, she's…she's using you." He let this confession linger in the air. Remus frowned.
"Well, I never meant for you to get hurt Remus I swear, but me and Tonks…we sorta had a bet. I didn't think you'd notice her pathetic flirting, let alone respond, and she bet that you would…I'm sorry Remus." He hung his head in guilt. Lupin sat on the edge of his bed, blinking for several moments. Suddenly, he began to laugh. Sirius looked to him.
"What? What's so funny?"
"Ahh, Padfoot. When did the Marauders allow themselves to become victims of such an obvious prank?" The man shook his head lightly. "If only James could see us now… he'd be ashamed!" Sirius frowned at his best friend.
"What are you on about?"
"Nymphadora and I also had a bet," Remus told the man. "She thought that you'd react badly to our…should I say, activities. Whereas I thought you wouldn't bat an eyelid. Turns out she was right," he added. Sirius stared at the man, unblinking.
"Oh Moony, we've been had big time," Sirius admitted and his friend nodded knowingly. Sirius turned to him, a realisation hitting him.
"So, you two weren't having sex in here?" he asked apprehensively. Remus shook his head.
"Unfortunately not," he replied, causing Sirius' eyebrows to shoot up. "Uh, I mean no of course not!"
Sirius gave a laugh. "That little minx. She'll pay. She will pay!" Sirius swore firmly.
"It's the Black blood in her," Remus mused. "You should be proud."
"Remus, if it had been anybody else but us, I'd have been as proud as anything…This is just embarrassing. We need to get our money back!"
Tonks was in a spare bedroom, lying stomach down on the bed, her ankles crossed in the air as she flicked lazily through the latest edition of Witch? Magazine. She once again sported her usual baggy jeans and wore a bright purple tee shirt with the word 'Weird' displayed across the front in black; either Weird Sisters memorabilia, or perhaps just a very good description of herself. The Auror was smiling to herself as she lay the magazine down. She removed a pile of shiny coins from her pocket and looked down at them in utmost pride. You still got it, girl! Her smile broadened to a grin. Tonks suddenly startled as she heard a noise outside of her bedroom door. She hastily shoved her winnings back into her pocket, and then frowned as a whooshing noise came from under the door. Tonks saw a folded piece of parchment (in the form of a plane) slide along the floor and come to a halt in the middle of the room. Feeling as though she were at work, Tonks rose cautiously from the bed and crouched to retrieve her note. She opened it and read the brief, neatly scribed message:
We need to talk. Please return to my room.
Tonks crinkled her nose in confusion. What could he possibly want? Surely Sirius hadn't hounded him too severely. Maybe Remus was mad at her for causing their argument. Oh well, one newly made friend wouldn't be sorely missed. But then again, she had grown quite fond of Remus. A sudden guilt filled her. Not only had she jeopardised her friendship with him, but also the friendship of the two men, built over the years and made stronger since their recent reunion. Tonks bit her lip…was she feeling sorry? Then again, if Remus was just demanding his money back, what would she say? … Nah! She wasn't that sorry.
Deciding that she had kept the man waiting long enough, she headed for the door. She was in for a surprise.
Tonks knocked tentatively on Lupin's door. There was no reply. She frowned.
"Remus?" she called. A pause.
Tonks opened the door to see Lupin sat on his bed, staring at her expectantly.
"Hello, Nymphadora," he said, and the Auror recognised immediately that his tone was different… cool, almost a purr. She shrugged it off, relieved that the man hadn't been battered and bruised by her older cousin.
"Hello," she ventured quietly. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," he replied casually with a small smile. "Come in won't you."
Tonks shut the door after considering for a beat to leave it open. Remus patted his mattress in indication that she should sit down. She sat a small space away. Remus shuffled up so that their sides were touching.
"Er–" Tonks began, baffled. Remus looked at her, his expression blank. There was something in his eyes, however, that she didn't quite understand and it made her wary. She had been taught the importance of constant vigilances, after all. Remus reached up and stroked the side of her cheek gently. This startled Tonks, but she fought the urge to move away. What was going on?
"You're a very beautiful woman, Nymphadora," the man whispered.
"I know," Tonks squeaked, not knowing what else to say. "And it's Tonks, by the way." Remus chuckled at this and moved closer. She hadn't thought it possible!
"Tonks," he repeated. She nodded. "I know that it's crazy, but I can't get you off my mind. I mean…we were playing a joke on Sirius, right? But, don't you feel there was something…more?" He leaned ever closer, and Tonks began to lean away.
"More?" she choked. Remus nodded eagerly and took her hand. "Um…no not really, sorry. I mean it was just two mates, having a laugh…at another mates expense of course. Two mates," she emphasised. She leaned towards the man, in the vain hope that he'd get the hint and back off. Unfortunately it had a different effect, as Tonks found his lips on hers. She sat there, for a moment, stunned. Finally realising what was going on (Hey, he's kissing me!) she pulled away and managed to throw herself backwards onto the bed with an 'Eeep!"
"Mates don't kiss like that," Remus growled as he crawled over her, trapping her in a 'cage' with his body. Tonks blinked up at him.
"Mine do," she lied feebly. He kissed her again, harder this time, and she resisted the urge to knee him in the groin. He certainly wouldn't thank her for that!
"Remus, please!" she shrieked, as he broke away for breath.
"Oh, you want more, do you?" he breathed and kissed her again.
"No, a little less would be good!" she mumbled into his lips. Remus pulled away and looked at her. He looked slightly hurt.
"You don't mean that. Not after what happened earlier."
"We were messing Remus!" Tonks insisted but the man shook his head. Weren't they? She had been, at least. And he was in no way interested in playing their 'game'. He wanted to read his book, for Merlin's sake! What was going on?
"I think I'm in love with you Nymphadora," he announced. She had almost laughed in his face. Almost.
"Of course you are, sweetheart. But you and I could never be together…you know that." She needed to get him off of her, and soon. Remus gave an emotional sigh and played with her dark fringe.
"Is this because I'm a werewolf," he wailed suddenly, causing her to jump. Tonks winced. It was clearly a touchy subject.
"No, no of course not. In fact, that's quite a turn-on," she lied, trying not to hurt the man's feelings. This only seemed to encourage him more and he leaned in to kiss her again. Tonks turned her head so he got her cheek.
"It's Sirius," she blurted out quickly.
"You're in love with Sirius?" Remus frowned. Tonks grimaced.
"No, you daft twat! It's just…well he'd never be comfortable with us being together. He's my cousin, and he's your best friend–"
"Not any longer! I'd ditch him if it meant spending my life with you," he sighed sappily. Tonks wanted to roll her eyes.
"That's sweet Remus, that's really precious… but I'm not worth it, I'm really not. In fact, I have a boyfriend. Yeah. His name's…Jack."
She knew Remus could see through her fabrication, after all she had told him recently that she was unattached. Damn herself! Damn her incapability to keep a boyfriend!
"Fine," Remus said, breaking her from her reverie and causing her jaw to drop. He sat up slightly, but Tonks still remained pinned to the bed. "Fine, you can never bring yourself to love me. Who could, after all?" he spat bitterly. Tonks bit her lip sympathetically but he continued. "But, you could make this heartache easier on me," he admitted. Tonks waited for him to continue. Remus broke into a grin. "Have sex with me."
"WHAT!" Tonks shrieked, finally deciding to use brute force to remove the man from on top of her. Remus moved to a sitting position in the middle of the bed. Tonks scrambled to the foot of the bed, and would have moved further if the bed had allowed her to do so.
"Have you gone completely insane?" she hissed. Remus shook his head slightly.
"I won't tell Sirius," he added hopefully. Tonks gave a growl of frustration and threw herself from the bed. Remus tackled her rather aggressively in mid-airand they toppled into a heap on the floor.
"I want you, Nymphadora. On this floor. Right now!"
"Please, Remus. Don't do this." The witch was begging now.
"Why not?" Remus asked bluntly. "You flirted with me, you led me on. You made me believe that there was something between us. The bet we made was just the start of it. It became so much more than that. It became about us. You know it's true, Nymphadora. Why deny yourself now?"
Tonks swallowed and flinched, knowing that she was going to have to tell him the truth.
"Because…because it was just a stupid bet, ok? Not just between us…between me and Sirius." She winced at his hurt expression. "I'm sorry Rem–"
"AH HA!" came a shout and Tonks screamed. Sirius jumped out of the wardrobe, behind her. Constant vigilance my eye! What the hell's he doing in the wardrobe?
"Sirius, I can explain. We're not at it again, in fact we never were. Please don't kill Remus…or me," she added quickly. A frown suddenly formed as she saw her cousin laughing. She turned to find Remus laughing too. Sirius crossed to him and offered a hand to help him up.
"Nice job, Moony. I guess you have got a knack with women after all."
Tonks blinked in disbelief, looking between the two men.
"What? You two?" Damn herself again! And it had all been going so well.
"'Fraid so, Cuz. I have to applaud your bravery though. Taking on one Marauder isn't advisable but taking on two…well that just takes balls." They laughed at her once more, and Tonks wished the floor would just swallow her whole.
"Fine, you got me," she mumbled into her chest as she folded her arms like a sulking child. Her head snapped up quickly. "Hey, what if I had given in to Remus? You'd have had to witnessed it all from the comfort of the wardrobe."
Sirius began to retaliate but Remus beat him to it with a scoff.
"Oh please, I wouldn't sleep with you Nymphadora, if you offered me… 6 Galleons and a packet of hobnobs!"
"Oh…so you do like men then?" she sneered back. Sirius laughed but Remus just scowled. Her cousin held out his hand. Tonks blinked and went to accept his help to stand, when he pulled it back. She glared at him and struggled up herself. Dusting herself off, she looked quizzically at Sirius, whose palm remained open.
"You know what …We want our money back!"
"What money?" Tonks said with mock-innocence, trying hard to suppress a smirk.
"Don't play dumb Dora, as much as it suits you. You tricked us with your stupid little game. Now we want our money back!" Sirius demanded, nudging Remus encouragingly so that the other man also extended his palm. Tonks sighed.
"Well, I was going to buy a new pair of boots with it," she explained, "…then I came across some starving children in the street… whos cat had just been run over…by a tractor…and they were considering eating their dead cat because they were so hungry. So I gave the money to them." She spieled the story with such conviction that the men were stunned to silence. Breaking out of his trance of bafflement, Sirius shook his head.
"Dora, come off it!"
"Fine!" she growled and removed the coins from her pocket, split the amount accordingly and shoved the money into the men's chests. "This is so unfair!" she grumbled. Lupin laughed.
"All's fair in lovemaking and war, Nymphadora. Some one not-so-wise told me that," he grinned and she scowled at him. The men made their way to the door, satisfied. Sirius turned to his young cousin.
"Oh and Dora… welcome to the Marauders," he said with a grin. She beamed at him, as he closed the door leaving her alone and broke, but feeling as if she had triumphed after all.
A/N: Thanks for reading another attempt at humour. Will concentrate on 'Soon' now (or face Hope's wrath, lol) Bye, oh yeah...review!