A/U. As Harry and his friends enjoy their summer holidays at The Burrow and get ready for their upcoming Sixth Year, two members of the Order are busy too...

No Excuse

"Tonks, when I said we should pay a visit to Diagon Alley to keep watch over things, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind." Remus moaned as Tonks rifled through various dress robes in Madam Malkins'.

"There's a sale on Remus!" Tonks' muffled voice called out to him from behind a rack. "I must take advantage!"

"We've been in here for over an hour already!" Remus pointed out as Tonks tried on a bright red cloak.

"What do you think?" She asked, twirling around.

"It's nice. Can we please go now?"

Tonks rolled her eyes. "Oh you swept me off my feet with that compliment," she shot at him sarcastically.

Remus gave her a wry grin. "It looks very nice on you Nymphadora," he amended.

Tonks scowled at him playfully. "What did I say about you calling me by that name?"

"I should use it anytime I liked?" Remus teased.

"No, I said I'd hex you the next time you used it." Tonks said, putting her hand in her robes.

"Now now," Remus said quietly, eyeing the pockets of Tonks' robes nervously, "we're in a public place."

Tonks winked at him and withdrew her hand. "Well, the next time we're in private..."

Remus wiggled his eyebrows. "Just what are you suggesting?" he enquired cheekily.

Tonks flushed deeply, caught Remus' eyes for a second and then turned her attention back to the dress robes. "I'm thinking about getting this red cloak to go with the black dress robes, what do you think?" she held up both articles of clothing.

The moment passing, Remus rolled his eyes dramatically. "Ok. Ok, a real opinion coming right up. I liked the midnight-blue robes on you better. They went well with the charcoal-grey cloak"

Tonks knitted her eyebrows together in confusion. "Which ones were those?"

"Oh for crying out loud," Remus mumbled, "you've tried so many of them that you can't remember which ones they were?"

Tonks grinned. "Just help me find them and I promise I'll make a decision."

Remus knelt down on the floor and sifted through the mess that Tonks had created.

"Amazing," he muttered, pausing as his eyes fell on a particular garment.

"What is?" Tonks asked, bending down to meet Remus' amused eyes.

Remus held up a blue corset and grinned broadly. "Um...do you wear these regularly?"

Tonks snatched the corset away from him and, face burning, put it back right at the bottom of the pile. "I was just looking at it," she protested defensively.

"I didn't realise you liked wearing that sort of underwear," Lupin said faintly.

Tonks grinned slowly and gazed at him thoughtfully. "Ohhh is that intense desire coming out early?" she teased, "I thought full moon wasn't until next week."

Remus' eyes twinkled mischievously. "I'm always intense, Nymphadora."

"Remus," Tonks warned, patting her wand.

"I'm sorry, I'm always intense, Dora."

Tonks pulled out her wand.

"Oh, maybe you'd prefer Nymph?"

All of a sudden, Remus felt a long, slimy green specimen pour out of one of his nostrils. It grew all over his face, and clung on to his skin as though a giant spider had just weaved a web.

"Tonks!" Remus cried, trying to pull the slime off his face. He lifted a piece up and inspected it closely. He narrowed his eyes.

"Did you just have the nerve to perform a bat-bogy hex on me?" he asked furiously.

Tonks smirked. "It rather suits you."

"That's a rather low and childish school-age stunt." Remus muttered grumpily, pulling off the rest of the slime.

"Ginny gave me a few tips on how to make it clingy." Tonks said airily as she paid for her chosen robes.

"Brilliant, I must thank her."

Tonks giggled. They walked back out into Diagon Alley.

"I think I deserve a drink," Remus told her, walking down the street.

"I thought we were not supposed to be enjoying ourselves?" Tonks asked innocently.

"This doesn't count," Remus told her, walking into the Leaky Cauldron. "Two firewhiskies please," he called, sitting in a booth.

"Two? Are you buying me one?" Tonks asked in surprise as she sat down opposite him.

Remus smiled thinly. "You must be joking."

"Oh, I see. You want me to pay." Tonks shook her head.

"Well if you don't and I don't, then I think old Tom will have a problem with us." Remus chuckled.

"Well, I'm not washing the dishes out back." Tonks said, arching an eyebrow.

"God help them if you do," Remus murmured. "The damage would cost us more than the drinks."

Tonks kicked his foot under the table. He just smiled cheerfully and pulled out a couple of galleons for Tom.

"I thought you were angry with me." Tonks said, confused.

"Never with you, my dear."

Tonks grinned and shook her head. "I will never understand the way your mind works."

Remus merely rolled his eyes.

They finished their drinks quickly and walked outside.

"I will never understand how after staying in one shop for over an hour you still can't make a decision." Remus remarked.

"We really don't understand each other at all." Tonks mocked as they stood in the fading light.

"No."

"Imagine if we were married, or something." Tonks laughed.

"You'd leave all the washing up for me."

"You would generously clean it up anyway and then complain after."

"We wouldn't work at all."

"No." Tonks murmured, meeting his eyes mischievously.

After a brief silence, Remus pulled her to him and planted a kiss on her mouth. She immediately ran her fingers through his hair, clinging onto him tightly. He pushed her gently against the wall of the Inn and deepened the kiss.

"We…really…must…stop…doing…this." Tonks breathed in-between kisses. "This is the third time!"

"…and in only three days." Remus said, pausing briefly before kissing her again.

"You are getting uncontrollable!" Tonks exclaimed, stroking his cheek.

"Hey, you grabbed me the first time!"

"I had just been discharged from the hospital, I was very emotional." Tonks muttered lamely, capturing his lips again.

"And the second time?" Remus teased, running his lips down her neck.

"Well…I…last night I was very… happy… to hear that Dumbledore was going to fetch Harry."

"Right. Ok." Remus rolled his eyes disbelievingly.

"What's your excuse for tonight?" Tonks whispered into his ear.

"I just wanted to."

"Oh."

"Oh, what?" Remus grinned down at her. "Are you disappointed I couldn't come up with a reasonable excuse for acting so inappropriately?"

"Well, it does take the fun out of it. I can't taunt you." Tonks teased.

"What a pity." Remus muttered, eyes twinkling.

"I can't threaten to hex you for taking 'advantage'. Your excuse was too nice."

Remus took her hands in his and kissed them. "Oh dear, how will you cope?"

"If you don't stop the teasing, you can forget me sneaking into your room tonight!"

"Well, I still can't believe you did it last night. Still." Remus flushed.

Tonks smiled gently. "I wanted to."

"McGonagall was sleeping only three doors down the corridor!"

"It's just as well none of the students stay at Hogwarts over the summer," Tonks said, biting her lip to keep from giggling.

"If Dumbledore finds out I've used his hospitality so improperly, it will be very embarrassing." Remus told her, smiling wryly.

"Ah, it's only temporary until term starts anyway. We'll soon be back in our old Headquarters once Harry has sorted Sirius' will."

"Not that this is going to happen again of course." Remus reminded her, winking.

"Oh, yes, of course." Tonks assured him, grinning.

"We must have some self-control." Remus said gruffly.

"We are adults now."

"1.a.m tonight, my room?"

"Oh I'll definitely be there."

The End