Title: Just the Way You Are
Rated: T due to future situations
Disclaimer: HP & all others are trademarks of JK Rowling. No profit is made from the use of these trademarked entities. No animals were harmed in the typing of this fic. Void where prohibited, see store for complete rules and details. Any similarities to actual events are strictly a coincidence.
Summary: She smiled at him on the subway, she was with another man…. RL/NT
AN: This fic has been bothering my mind for a while… it would pop in every time I heard the song "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt. Keep that in mind through the first part of the fic. I would also like to take a little time to invite the lot of you to meander over to the forum I created in case you guys have any questions. And before you ask… chapter two is already in the works and I have an outline for the fic already so if my muse wants to go off course… she can't.
His day had started almost like any other.
He had crawled out of his little bed in his little London flat. After a small bite of breakfast he had taken his shower and gotten dressed for another day of doing his work with The Order. Not that he particularly had much to do at the moment, just try and find a few new recruits here and there that could be trusted.
Today, he was going to be heading to the Ministry under the pretense of trying to find the werewolf that bit him again. Doing so would allow him access to many of the places inside the Ministry, including the Auror department to take a look at werewolves that were currently being pursued for stalking out victims.
He rolled over his plans to maybe recruit a few aurors while he walked to the underground a few blocks away from his house. As usual, he paid for his ticket and made his way onto the subway. But it was once he took a seat that something unexpected happened.
He saw her.
She was arm and arm with a impeccably dressed man that was tall dark and handsome. The woman was equally impeccably dressed. She had black hair with two bright pink streaks framing her heart-shaped face. There was a certain mischievousness in her dark eyes when they met his. He had never thought a conventional middle aged woman would be caught dead with pink hair, but something about the way she had it done, it seemed to fit.
The entire trip, Remus could not take his eyes away from her. Part of him felt that he was betraying the very will of God by gazing at the angel across from him on the subway. Occasionally, her dark eyes would flash up and meet him. She would smile gently and look away with pink flushing her cheeks.
Remus could feel his heart beating fast every time she smiled at him. But, at the same time he knew that the odds of him ever being able to actually learn the name of the angel were slim. Even more so, the odds of ever being able to even kiss those soft pink lips were nonexistent. But, that didn't keep him from dreaming while on his way to The Ministry.
Before he got off the underground, the woman stood and smiled at him one last time before also getting off. Once above ground, Remus watched as the man gave the woman a long kiss then walked away, leaving her behind. As soon as the man disappeared into the crowd, the smile faded from the woman's face, and was replaced by the sourest look Remus had ever seen on such a pretty face.
With a slight chuckle, Remus moved from the underground exit and made his way to the visitors entrance at the Ministry.
Even though he had seen an angel that morning, he was going to try not to let her infiltrate his mission of finding aurors loyal to Dumbledore and his cause. Already, there was one auror on the team, Kingsley Shacklebolt, so Remus knew it would not be much of a problem to get permission to look through the files on wanted werewolves.
When Remus walked into the Aurors Department, Kingsley instantly gave him a grin. "Hello, Remus," the dark skinned man greeted. "I see you've come back to research those wanted werewolves again."
A few people turned slightly as Kingsley shook Remus' hands, eyeing Remus speculatively.
"Well," Remus said with a half chuckle. "I would very much like to find the one that bit me and hopefully the rumors of my curing upon his death are true."
They spoke a little too loudly on purpose, so that everyone would be intent on the idea that Remus was in fact there to do just that. At least that way none of the others would ever suspect he was being passed secret files that, had he not had Kingsley as an insider, he would not be able to sneak the files out. This was also a task Kingsley himself could not accomplish alone.
They took a seat in Kingsley's small corner. Instantly, Kingsley pushed some files on some suspected Death Eaters over to him while talking about how many people they had been seen stalking during the full moon. Of course, the talk had nothing to do with the files. After a moment, Kingsley lowered his voice.
"By the way, Remus," Kingsley whispered. "There's one here I think The Order might be interested in."
"Really?" Remus said. "You haven't told him about The Order yet, have you?"
"No, I haven't told her. Why do you always assume it's a man when I mention a possible new Order person?"
Remus shrugged. "There's not that many female aurors, and we've already got a good bit on the ones that are."
"This one is special," Kingsley commented. "She's a metamorphmagus, young, smart, clever… You name it she's got it. Well… Except for a few things…"
"Like what?" Remus asked curiously.
"Well, she's not exactly the most gr--"
"SHACKLEBOLT!" a female voice bellowed.
Both Remus and Kingsley turned to face the source, coming through the door. Almost instantly, Remus felt his heart plummet into his stomach. The dark haired angel from the subway was stomping into the Aurors Department, her pink lips were pursed with aggravation.
She grasped the closure of her pristine black coat, ripped the coat open and threw the lifeless material aside, reveling a old, worn Weird Sisters shirt. Her dark eyes were blazing as her hair went from long and dark to short, spiky, and bright pink. She pointed her wand and several accessories came flying to her hands.
As she was trying to don the chain belt around her waist, the toe of one of her boots caught the edge of a desk and she tumbled promptly to the ground, right at their feet. There was a titter of laughter through the people closest by, making the woman's face turn bright red.
"As I was saying Remus, Tonks is not exactly one of the most graceful footed aurors in the department but she will do almost anything for a case." Kingsley looked down at his fallen comrade and didn't spare the moment to tease her. "Now Tonks, how many times have I told you it's not proper to bow down at my feet in public?" The newly named Tonks made a mocking sound as she pulled herself back to her feet. "What is it this time Tonks?"
"This time I had to kiss him. Do you know how completely and utterly disgusting of a task that is to do with a smile on my face?" Tonks spat. "Knowing what that… that… that… wizard killer has done?" She shuttered physically and her head gave an over dramatic twitch. "He's the worst of the worst of Muggles and I had to kiss the bastard. When can we take him down?" She stomped the heel of her black boot into the floor and twisted it as she grumbled. "I just can't wait to throw him down and stomp right on his -- Oh!"
She jumped back as she looked directly at Remus, tripping over a fallen wastebasket in the process. Apparently, she had just realized she had seen him on the underground. Remus stood and offered her a hand, which she took and allowed him to pull her to her feet.
"Don't worry Tonks," Remus said quietly. "I get that response rather often when someone sees me."
She gave a faint smile and pulled up a chair. She plopped into the chair and sat with her legs sprawled out like some un-kept man. She even pulled up the bottom of her shirt in order to scratch at an itch on her pale stomach.
What kind of silly name was 'Tonks' anyway? That hardly seemed to be a name to fit the angel he had seen on the underground. Then again, she looked almost nothing like the woman he had seen on the underground. On the underground she had the glow of age, beauty, and sophistication. The girl before him looked barely out of Hogwarts and a jot like she belonged on a microphone fronting some popular wizard rock band.
But, at the same time, the girl that was now sprawled out close to him had a charm all her own. Before, he had not noticed that the longer dark hair had hidden a long, graceful neck that ached to be kissed on. The black overcoat had hidden the femininely toned arms. It had also hidden the softly rounding breasts that the undershirt was tautly pulled over, as well as the trim, chiseled lines of her stomach and sides. And the pink hair made her dark eyes stand out even more against her pale complexion.
The sudden realization that Kingsley was speaking again drew Remus from the distraction of his underground angel. Remus looked over at Kingsley, which was addressing Tonks.
"He's here trying to find the werewolf that bit him when he was a young lad," Kingsley was explaining.
Remus felt the blood escape from his face when Tonks looked at him sharply. However, the blood returned when she just gave him a quick glance over and gave a wicked little smile.
"If you could Tonks, take him into the office over there and maybe you can help him out better than I can." Kingsley looked at Remus and smiled widely. "Werewolves are one of her specialties so I know you're in safe hands." He looked back at Tonks and teased, "But try not to show him what those safe hands would like to do to a nice werewolf, please?"
Tonks reached a booted foot across the space and kicked Kingsley in the shin with an amused laugh. "Oh honestly Kingsley, you should have knocked before coming into my room."
"And I still wish I had because I am stuck with that mental image in my brain anytime you mention something about a werewolf file." Kingsley gave a visible shudder. He patted Remus on the shoulder and turned back to his desk.
Remus gathered up the files he had collected so far and followed Tonks into one of the private investigating offices, which also contained most of the files on wanted wizards. The entire journey there his eyes were on the swaying hips just barely concealed in tight jeans. He couldn't help but wonder if there was any end to the woman's seemingly perfect shape. Then again, she was a metamorphmagus so if there was any flaw, she had probably intentionally allowed it to be there.
Tonks closed the door after they entered the room. Her face flushed slightly. "I apologize, Kingsley and I were roommates right after I got out of Hogwarts. The son of one of my mom's best friends while she was in Hogwarts," Tonks explained, setting some extra files on the solitary table.
"So the two of you are together then?"
"Ew! Dear God no," Tonks shook. "We tried it once and the first time we kissed it felt like we were committing incest so we both agreed that it was best left at being a 'brother/sister' type of friendship. He teases me mercilessly, and I tease him to the point of cracking his sanity… but at the end of the day we realize that we're family and our over all feelings for each other is just that… cheesy, warm, fuzzy, family stuff."
"So I am guessing that file he was referring to was just a cheap shot then?" Remus chuckled, taking a seat in one of the rickety old chairs the room provided.
"No, he really did walk into my room while I was looking over a werewolf file and masturbating. But he completely misinterpreted it, the two were in no way in relation to each other," Tonks replied without the slightest faltering in her tone. "And I don't know if Kingsley told me or not but… What's your name again?"
"Remus, Remus Lupin," he provided. "How did the werewolf files become your specialty?"
Tonks flushed deeply. "Well, do you want me to be honest?" Remus gave her a slight nod. "Well, because it's my life's ambition to get laid by one before I die." She opened one of the files and laid it open on the table. "This is Randolf Woski… An import from one of those countries that pronounce the W's like V's…"
She inhaled and held her breath as she scanned her finger across the information. "Ah, here we are. He was living in England between the years of 1962 and 1979, hiding out for the crime of biting a wizard while they were camping…" she pursed her lips. "But he was acquitted once he was deported home, due to the fact the person he bit in his native country had originally had him locked in a cage and was using him as some sort of side show feature for Muggles. Woski's verdict was based on the grounds that the bitten party knew the risks of keeping a werewolf as a pet.. Okay so that's not a good lead…"
Tonks slapped the folder closed and held it up, it instantly zipped away to it's filing cabinet. "Maybe we should have been specific that we wanted ones that were actually a problem when it came to biting people." Several of the folders flew off the table and back into filing cabinets. They were left with only about ten thick folders.
"Theodore McMathers," Tonks said with a bored sigh. "What year were you born again?"
"1960," Remus replied quietly.
Tonks snapped the thick folder shut. "Okay that rules him out. He was killed in 1958 by this guy…"
She opened another folder. Remus' eyes latched onto the moving picture. Even though the man was in human form, he still very much resembled a wolf. The man's hair was long and matted and little twigs were caught in the mass of knots. Remus felt his stomach churning as he kept his eyes locked on the pacing image. Without warning the man leapt at the bars and opened his mouth in a silent roar.
"Fenrir Greyback," Tonks read. "After he was bitten, he sort went crazier than he already was. He saw the ailment as being a blessing and feeding on human flesh as his right. Since he knew he couldn't have any 'cubs' of his own, he knowingly stalks out the children of people that had basically pissed him off and turned their children. When the surviving bitten children are cast aside by their parents, Fenrir takes them in and tries to make them just like him. To date he has about sixty to a hundred in his pack. All of them are just as blood thirsty as he is."
Remus slowly removed the picture off of the file and brought it closer to his face. For so many years, he had thought perhaps the one that had bitten him was like Woski -- not being in their right mind… But now, right there in front of him, was the cold hard truth.
"Is the name Fenrir Greyback familiar to you?" They hadn't known Remus could still perfectly hear them, in the kitchen, from his spot in the living room as he worked on a puzzle.
"Yes, I've heard of it," Remus' mother said stiffly. "Kind of hard to forget the name when your nose has met the stench."
They spoke for a moment about how Fenrir had offered for them to join with Lord Voldemort, and finally his mother asked what Fenrir's response had been to the rejection of the offer.
"He said that I should change my mind or we would pay the price for you and myself refusing the service of this 'Dark Lord' come the next full moon."
"I pulled away from my mother," Remus whispered. "They were trying to protect me… and I pulled away because I had… left… a book? Was it a book or something else? I can't remember."
A warm hand on his brought Remus out of the cloudy memory of the night he was bitten. Tonks' dark eyes were gazing at him warmly. He looked down at where their hands were touching and pulled back the sleeve of his ragged robes. The scar just above his wrist was pale and not that big to say the most. But it was clearly the evidence of being snatched away from the beast that had attacked him, just as its yellow fangs had met his skin.
It could have been a horrible bite, but all that managed to happen was the teeth getting very little of him. In the end, it was enough to cause Remus to become a werewolf.
"I've met a few of Greyback's victims," Tonks said lightly. "Compared to them you're just a normal wizard."
Remus managed a smile. "I had the fortune of having parents that truly did love me no matter what. My mum, until I went to Hogwarts that is, had actually stayed in the room with me when I transformed. The wolf knew his mum, apparently. My dad was allergic so he couldn't be in there with me."
Tonks chuckled. "Your father was allergic to werewolves?"
"Animal fur in general," Remus shrugged. His eyes, once again, went to where Tonks had her long-fingered hand lightly holding his hand. Tonks jumped slightly and instantly pulled her hand away, muttering something about not meaning to offend him.
"So…" Tonks said, a little too cheerfully. "It seems we cleared up the mystery of who got you." She hurriedly stood up and started manually putting away the files that remained.
Remus watched her. Part of him could not rationalize that the bubbling young auror in front of him had been the same woman he had been captivated by on the underground. However, another part of him that had thought about it could see how something so simple as changing her hair could make her look his age. Oddly enough, her face still looked the same as it had on the underground. For now he didn't know what to think of the young woman before him or the woman on the underground, now that he knew the truth.
The only thing Remus knew now was that he had to find a new reason to come to the Department of Auror's, so that he could talk more with the metamorphmagus and see if she was indeed "Order Material".
"If you want to look at that folder some more, feel free to take it home with you. Just remember to sign it out with Kingsley," Tonks said, her voice jittery. "I have to go the bathroom." Her face flushed and she hurried out the door, one shoulder colliding with the doorway as she exited.
A few moments later, Kingsley slowly came into the room. "Well, it seems our dear Nymphadora Tonks was in fact all talk. Barely an hour with a real live werewolf and she goes all girly on us. Did you find what you were looking for?"
"Sadly, yes," Remus replied flatly. "Now I have to find another reason to come up here and find out if the Order would be something she would be interested in. I think she would be ideal for it, given her abilities."
Kingsley chuckled. And leaned in so that only Remus could hear him. "Since when does a guy need a reason to visit a pretty girl?" He stood back at his full height and offered Remus the board to sign out his folder. "Think about it Remus."
Remus nodded slightly as he signed his name to the parchment. As he turned to go, he rolled Kingsley's hint over in his head. Yes, it would have been a little underhanded to make the girl think he was interested in her just to get her into the Order. Then again, Kingsley hadn't said he had to falsely court the girl or anything. Perhaps just a friendly luncheon somewhere, or something of that nature wouldn't do any harm… would it?