My thanks to my great Beta Readers- LoonyForMoony, MeucciWarlock and whitney112.
Dedicated and thanks to thehpgang, for creating a wonderful plot bunny.
Nymphadora Tonks looked around the kitchen table of number Twelve, Grimmauld Place at the few members of the Order of the Phoenix who had arrived before her and were, sadly, the only other members of the new Order.
She recognized Kingsley Shacklebolt from the Auror offices; she hadn't been working directly in the offices for more than two weeks but she had already known from her three years of training around them that he was in charge of searching for her second-cousin, Sirius Black. Tonks had to admit that she had been avoiding all contact with him incase he should ever want to question her about her cousin.
Not that she ever really believed that Sirius was guilty or actually knew where he was, but Tonks never liked talking about a family she never really knew.
Sirius sat beside Kingsley and the two were talking. It was a big enough shock for Tonks to see the Auror and not try to run away, but to see her cousin sitting calmly beside an Auror when he had been in Azkaban for twelve years, nearly gave Tonks a heart attack.
Next there was Mundungus Fletcher. It was common knowledge in the offices that Dung had been involved in many shady projects over the years. This included a faulty Time-Turner incident which ended in an Auror being stuck five years in the past. The poor man had narrowly escaped being killed by his own son before a retrieval team was sent for him.
She knew Arthur Weasley only in passing on the Ministry elevators and had often seen his wife Molly while shopping in Diagon Alley. Now the two sat side-by-side whispering furiously over a letter one was holding.
She remembered Professor Severus Snape from her years at Hogwarts and he hadn't changed much in the three years since. He still had the same greasy hair, crooked nose, black robes, and overall dark demeanor.
But through all the looks she's received in detention for knocking over cauldrons, the looks she's seen him give Muggle-borns or the mild ones reserved for Dumbledore, none came close to the evil and hatred Tonks saw in the one look he gave Sirius and a pale and thin man who had just walked in the room behind Dumbledore.
Dumbledore introduced the man as Professor Remus J. Lupin and said that he would be spying on the werewolves. Tonks smiled kindly at the man as he sat down across from her. In the background Dumbledore was explaining everything he knew about Voldemort so far as he handed out assignments. But for some reason, Tonks' attention was drawn back to Remus every time she tried to listen.
Tonks had never wanted to mix business with pleasure, not that she'd ever had the chance to, but as she looked over at Remus she seriously considered it. She looked at his greying brown hair, blue-green eyes, patched robes and the scars on his face, he clearly wasn't her type.
Tonks usually liked guys who took risks, like Aurors, someone who would risk their lives for something or someone. Definitely not a teacher.
"Nymphadora, I want you to think of a way to get the Dursleys out of the house when we get Harry I also want you to worry about Carlton Saville. Try to make friends with him," said Dumbledore, snapping Tonks from her thoughts.
"Saville? But he's one of Fudge's assistants."
"I am aware of this, but I have reasonable evidence that he's working for Voldemort," Dumbledore said nodding toward Snape who was rubbing his left forearm.
Nearly a week later Tonks walked along the warm streets of Diagon Alley as she watched the sun set over London. She had been going between Knockturn and Diagon all day, picking up things for various Order members who had 'better things to do' than talk to people like Alaric Zeadraihoff, the owner of the A To Z Apothecary about lowering the price of his Ventrayas roots.
Tonks stopped abruptly as she spotted Remus wandering the streets ahead. He was carrying a rather large bag from Horatia's Healing House in his right hand, as well as another from Madam Malkin's in his left, but he was limping badly.
"Need some help?" she asked, running up beside him.
"Huh?" he said, obviously lost in his own thoughts.
"Do you need some help with the bags—they look heavy."
"Oh, no thank you."
"Are you alright?" she asked, glancing down to his limping leg.
"I'm fine . . . just a scratch. What are you doing here so late?" he said, trying to change the subject.
"I had some shopping to do for Sn—I mean . . . er . . . ." she trailed off awkwardly.
"I see. Did he have you go in Knockturn?" he whispered.
"Yes, he said it was for a class," she replied just as quietly. Remus chuckled.
"Everything he needs in Knockturn is for a class; I was the official Order shopper in the first war," he added seeing her confused look.
The final rays of sunlight were fading fast as they made their way to the Leaky Cauldronat the end of Diagon Alley. There weren't many people left in the streets, but the few that were there avoided the pair at all costs. Remus didn't seemed fazed by this odd reaction, but Tonks looked around her at the very same people who ignored her and thought about how many secrets they must have compared to the ones they clearly thought so awful of her companion in the streets.
Tonks' thoughts were pushed aside as she looked back at Remus to see a small smile on his face. That smile definitely hadn't been there when she first found him. It was then that the little voice in Tonks' head started speaking to her.
Talk to him; ask him out, it said.
What if he says no? Tonks replied silently to herself.
At least you'll know if he likes you or not. And you won't be talking to me about it again tonight.
Tonks opened her mouth to ask Remus if he wanted to go to the Three Broomsticks for a Butterbeer when they stopped in front of the brick wall, waiting for it to open up.
"Thanks for walking with me, Tonks. It gets lonely out here sometimes," Remus said.
"Oh, um . . . you're welcome. Remus, do you . . .?" Tonks started, but was interrupted when Tom, the barman at the Leaky Cauldron, came running out the back door.
"Mr. Lupin," he said, "Professor Dumbledore is on the Floo for you."
"Thank you, Tom. I'll be right in," said Remus. Tom hurried back inside and Remus turned to face Tonks. "I'm sorry to leave so abruptly, but Dumbledore--"
"It's alright. I have to deliver these anyway," Tonks said, sadly glancing down at a pair of bags she was holding. And with that, Tonks Apparated to the gates of Hogwarts to give Snape his potions ingredients.
Another week passed and Tonks still hadn't asked Remus to dinner. By this point things were getting stressful in the Order. Nothing seemed to be going right for anyone, even Snape. And it had recently been announced by the Minister himself that Dolores Umbridge would be replacing Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor at Hogwarts in the coming school year. Needless to say, many people were discouraged by this turn of events.
The time to get Harry from the Dursleys' house was less than a month away and Tonks had yet to figure out how to get the Dursleys out of the house. It had been a pleasing idea from Mundungus to simply stun the Muggles until they had gotten Harry, but nobody dared to bring this idea to Dumbledore.
Molly and Arthur had been helpful to the Order in the passed few weeks, getting Dumbledore in touch with their oldest children, Bill and Charlie. It seemed like Arthur didn't associate much with those who didn't know about the prophecy. He had been one of the few to agree to guard the prophecy from Voldemort and his Death Eaters, should they ever come to the Ministry late at night. That agreement would be enough to earn him honorable mention from many people for years to come.
Molly was also working hard, cooking for the Order at the meetings as no one had been eating well recently. She and her remaining children, Fred, George, Ron and Ginny, had been trying their hardest to clean Grimmauld Place to make it a suitable home for the few that lived there. It was for these reasons that no one was surprised when Mr. and Mrs. Weasley invited a few people to Grimmauld for a relaxing dinner with no talk of business.
That night, Tonks Flooed in from her flat in Birmingham. She stumbled into the kitchen, expecting to see a quaint little party, probably filled with Weasleys. Instead Tonks found a full blown banquet.
The long table in the kitchen was set and with most people already seated there were only two seats left for Tonks, Mrs. Weasley (who was standing over the stove).
All the Weasleys (including Bill and Charlie) had come, as well as Sirius, Kingsley, Arabella Figg, Hermione Granger, Dumbledore, Snape (no doubt pushed to come by Dumbledore), Mad-Eye, Emmeline Vance and Sturgis Podmore.
And then she noticed Remus sitting beside Sirius. The two were laughing over some article in the Daily Prophet and a photo album was lying open in front of them. Tonks quickly took her seat between Sirius and Emmeline as Mrs. Weasley started serving dinner.
The party lasted an hour without anyone turning to business, although Tonks suspected that Snape was struggling not to talk about anything but. After a while Sturgis turned to Mrs. Figg.
"Arabella, how's Harry?" he asked. Everyone in the room stopped talking to hear her response.
"I think he's a bit bored. He's been getting the Daily Prophet. I don't think he's been reading it all the way through though," the woman replied.
"This is ridiculous. We should go get him now, not wait until September first," said Sirius.
"Sirius, it's hardly going to be that late when we get him. And when we do he'll forgive us for being late," Remus said.
"Remus is right. Now enough business. Who wants dessert?" asked Mrs. Weasley.
Just say something! said Tonks' little voice.
He's talking to Sirius, I don't want to interrupt, Tonks replied.
So do something when he gets up to leave. Walk him to the door.
That's Mrs. Weasley's job, besides I have to leave now if I'm going to get to work on time. And that's what Tonks told the party as she rose from her seat.
It was now the fourth of August; Dumbledore had sent owls to most Order members explaining that Harry Potter had fought a Dementor in Little Whinging and asking them to be at the meeting if they wanted anything to do with the Advance Guard.
Tonks descended the stairs into the kitchen of Grimmauld Place expecting to be late as usual. But the only person Tonks found when she reached the kitchen was Remus. He was standing in the corner of the room making tea and he had his with back turned to the stairs. She quickly turned around to leave.
What are you doing? asked her little voice, which was becoming quite annoying.
I'm leaving, she answered.
You can't leave! What about the meeting?
They can have it without me. I didn't really want to meet Harry anyway.
I am not!
Yes, you are. You're lying about that and you're lying about why you haven't asked Remus out yet.
He wouldn't say yes even if I did ask him.
How do you know unless you do it?
"Tonks? Is that you?" Remus called from behind her. She was half way up the stairs and she knew she couldn't leave now. Slowly and reluctantly, Tonks walked down the stairs.
"Hi, Remus," she said.
"Hello, Dumbledore sent an owl; he'll be a bit late. Please sit," Remus said as he set a tray with two tea cups and a pot onto the table. Tonks sat across from him and stared as he poured the tea.
"How's business?" she asked.
"Fine, although more and more werewolves are turning rogue every day. Have you figured out how to get the Dursleys out of the house?"
"Yes, they'll be going to the All-England Best-Kept Suburban Lawn Competition," She answered. They laughed.
What are you waiting for? Ask him! The voice was back.
"Remus, do you-" Tonks started, but was interrupted when Dumbledore came down the stairs with twenty Order members behind him.
I'll ask him tomorrow, she vowed.
The next day was a bad idea. Remus was out all day and when he got back he went straight to his room. It was now ten and Tonks knew that if she didn't ask him now she never would.
She walked along the corridor and stopped when she reached his bedroom door, knocking softly on it. He answered the door a minute later.
"Oh, Tonks, can I help you?" he asked.
"I was wondering if we could talk," she replied.
"Sure, come in."
It was a small room. The window was boarded up, the only light in the room came from two tiny lamps and the walls were painted navy blue though they looked black with the lack of light. The only furniture was a bed, a wardrobe, a nightstand, a trunk which doubled as a coffee table, a desk and a chair.
"Make yourself at home. I just have to deliver these to Sirius," Remus said as he crossed the room and took some papers from his desk. "I'll be back in a minute."
Tonks sat down on the free office chair, looking around the room. And after a moment of her eyes wandering, they landed on a Pensieve sitting on the coffee table. Tonks looked at the door which Remus had disappeared through and back at the Pensieve.
He'll never know if I'm quick about it, she reasoned and dipped her finger into the silver liquid.
Tonks was plunged into a dark barn. She heard whispers in the corner stable and saw a small light and went to investigate; when she peered inside she found a chocolate brown mare lying on her side while two boys kneeled beside her.
The first boy looked to be around eight. He had jet black hair and brown eyes hidden behind a pair of glasses. The second was only five or six. His hair was light brown, slightly longer than his brother's and he had blue-green eyes. He had to be Remus.
Suddenly, the younger boy turned to the elder.
"Can we go back to bed now, Odell?" he asked him.
"Remus, I thought you said you wanted to help Beauty," the other boy said, not looking away from his job of covering the horse with a large blanket.
"I do, but can't we wait for Daddy?"
"He's not going to let us help. You can go back to the house if you want, but I'm staying with Beauty until dawn."
Remus stood up and took a few steps out of the stable. From where he stood he could see the house out the barn door. He then went back to his brother and grabbed one of the two lanterns between them.
"Good-night, Odell," he said and left the boy sitting in the stable.
Remus slowly started walking away from the barn with Tonks right behind him. The full moon illuminated the normally dark grounds of the Lupin family's farm. There were no lights shining from the small house in the distance, signaling that Remus' parents hadn't discovered that the boys weren't in bed.
The two were half way to the house when there was suddenly a howl of a wild animal coming from behind them. But they barely turned in time to see a creature leap out of some bushes beside the barn and tackle Remus, running through Tonks as it did.
The lantern broke and the flame went out as Remus fell to the ground from the weight of the creature. Tonks cursed and hexed the beast, but all her attempts simply shot through him. Remus struggled under the canine-like creature and Tonks wondered why his screams were getting no reply.
The beast put his paw on Remus' chest to hold him down while his body slid off him. The boy's breaths were coming in short gasps as he continued to yell for help. The creature put his other paw on Remus' leg and pulled its head back, letting out a long and loud howl.
Tonks saw the lights go on the top floor rooms of the house and a minute later she saw two lights in the distance, though the shouts of Remus' parents couldn't be heard over the commotion the creature was making.
Finally the beast tightened his grip on the boy and dipped his head down on Remus' leg; a second later he looked up to find two stallions galloping toward him. He quickly ran away. And Tonks could see Remus' brother standing at the door of the barn.
Tonks was suddenly thrown into a hospital room in St. Mungo's. In the bed next to her sat a boy of fifteen. His blue-green eyes were tired, his shoulder-length hair was pulled back into a loose pony-tail and there were scratches on his face and the visible parts of his arms.
There were also three men in the room. One of which Tonks recognized as the previous Minister of Magic, Leopold Roswald.
"Healer Maynard, how is Mr. Udolf doing?" the Minister asked the man to his left.
"Fine, Sir," the Healer replied. "Although he'll be left with many scars, he won't transform."
"Please don't punish Remus, Minister. It's my fault he was out so late, I told him to go into town for a few things and I didn't realize it was a full moon until after he left," said the third man. He had short, black hair and was standing beside the bed.
"That's very interesting, Mr. Lupin, but your son should've known better than to go out at that time of the month," said the Minister.
"He's still an underage wizard! You can't expect him to take responsibility for something that not even the most experienced wizard could control."
"I don't blame Remus for being a werewolf, Mr. Lupin, that's not his fault," the Minister said, giving Remus' father a stern look. "I do, however, blame him for leaving the safety of your farm; therefore he will work part-time here at St. Mungo's until the first of September when he will return to Hogwarts for his sixth year. Furthermore, he will spend the next full moon under the watch of four well-trained Healers."
Remus looked up at his father who was clearly angry with the Minister. "I'll take the job, Sir," he said to the Minister.
"Remus, you don't have to, we'll find another way—" his father tried to convince him.
"No, it's my fault." And with that the Minister and Healer left the two men alone in the room.
Tonks was, once again, thrust into a new memory. This time she was in the living room of a small house. Remus sat on a couch in front of her; he looked to be in his early twenties. A woman sat in an armchair across from him, she was dressed in a business suit and Tonks figured her to be from the Ministry.
"Mr. Lupin, I have some bad news," she said. Remus simply poured them some tea and waited for the woman to continue. "It's about the Potters. Sir, I'm afraid they've been killed."
"Killed?" he looked up from his task and searched the girl's face for any signs of mischief. He found none. "How?"
"It was You-Know-Who, he found them and . . . well, killed them, except for Harry of course – he survived."
"Harry? What happened to Sirius Black? He was the secret keeper," Remus asked, still not believing what he was being told.
"He's missing. We have search parties all over England and—"
Tonks was pulled away from the scene and thrown on to the hard floor of Remus' bedroom at 12, Grimmauld Place. When she had figured out where she was she looked back at the coffee table to see Remus standing beside it with his arms crossed, his eyes narrowed and a frown on his face.
"Remus, I—" she began.
"How could you?" he said in an ice cold tone that sent shivers down Tonks' spine. "I would have expected this from a lot of people, Tonks, but I thought that being an Auror still meant respecting people's privacy. Maybe I was wrong."
"Remus, please, just let me explain," she pleaded.
"No, I think its best you leave. I'll see you tomorrow to pick up Harry." Remus shut the door behind Tonks without saying good-bye and the pink-haired woman was left alone in the small corridor to ponder her mistakes.
The next day didn't go as well as Tonks had first thought it would. Sure, meeting the great Harry Potter was wonderful, but Remus had barely spoken to her throughout the whole night and when he did it was only to introduce Harry to her.
Tonks even volunteered to help Harry pack his trunk just so she wouldn't be left to feel Remus' glares burning into the back of her head. And everyone in the Order knew that packing wasn't one of Tonks' strong suits.
Remus' attitude toward Tonks didn't change almost a week later on the day of Harry's hearing. She'd been up all night trying to think of ways to make him understand, but none had come.
He hadn't said anything to her about what had happened, he hadn't even done something nasty to her in return, Remus did nothing that Tonks expected and that was even more frustrating to her.
They both showed no emotion during Order meetings, not wanting anyone to find out, but the Order members soon knew something was wrong. Remus had, at least, tried to talk to her when Harry came down for breakfast.
Five days later was the celebration for Ron and Hermione, who had both become prefects. Tonks really didn't want to go, it was short notice after all, but Molly had insisted upon her presence.
Though she suspected when she got the first owl that she was only being invited to patch things up with Remus. It's not like she didn't want to, but Remus had made it clear that he didn't want to talk to her. If there was one thing Tonks had learned in Defense Against the Dark Arts, it was never go against the wishes of an angry werewolf.
The party had started off with Tonks hovering in one corner. That was Arthur and Bill Weasley had showed up with Mundungus Fletcher. Arthur made a toast to Ron and Hermione for being made prefects and everyone went to the table to get food.
Tonks looked over at Harry who seemed to be lost in his own thoughts and suspected it was from the subject that the party had been created for. So, like any good friend, Tonks decided the best thing she could do was try to cheer him up, even if it did mean talking in front of Remus.
"I was never a prefect myself," she said. "My Head of House said I lacked certain necessary qualities."
"Like what?" asked Ginny Weasley.
"Like the ability to behave myself," she replied, glancing at Remus.
The conversation was then turned to Sirius who mentioned that he and James hadn't been made prefect either and Tonks saw a visible change in Harry's attitude. Remus then joined in when it was said that he was one.
Overall she would've said that it was a great night. There was no work, no Order, and no staring, but Tonks knew that it wouldn't last long since September first was the next day and she was one of the people scheduled to walk Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Fred and George to King's Cross – along with Remus.
The next day Tonks waited at the corner for the group in disguise, and was greeted with an odd surprise – Remus wasn't there. In his place was Molly, leading the group, and walking along beside Harry was Sirius in his Animagus form.
"Where's Remus?" Tonks asked Molly when they'd seen the children onto the Hogwarts Express and were getting ready to Apparate back to Grimmauld with Sirius.
"He said he had a lot of packing to do, and he has to work tomorrow," the plump witch answered.
"Yes, he's going back to his flat in Leeds."
"Why?" They were on the dull street leading to the house of Black now.
"Well, he was only staying here until Harry went back to school, he was originally going back tomorrow, but something came up with work so he's leaving tonight."
Do it! the voice said.
Do what? Tonks asked, though she knew the answer.
Talk to him. Do I have to think of everything?
Tonks climbed the stairs and stopped again when she reached Remus' door and knocked. Remus answered with his hands full of books.
"Tonks, I really don't have time to talk," he said, trying to close the door on her.
"No! I don't care if you want to leave, Remus, but at least let me apologize for what happened," said Tonks as she barged into the tiny room, almost tripping over his trunk.
"You don't have to apologize, Tonks, you didn't do anything wrong. I should actually be thanking you," he said as closed the door behind her.
"What do mean I didn't do anything wrong? I invaded your privacy; I looked at your memories. And why should you be thanking me?" Remus chuckled at Tonks' confusion.
"Alright, so maybe you shouldn't have looked at my memories without my permission, but I'm glad you did, I have a problem with explaining my feelings and half of them come from what happened in my past. It's actually the reason my relationships don't work out. Tonks, I don't know if you realized this, but I like you – I've liked you since we met last month at the first Order meeting, I've just been too worried to try and ask you out."
Tonks stood frozen in shock. "Worried about what?" she finally asked.
"I didn't know if you'd say yes, as I said before, I haven't had very good luck with dates."
The two stayed quiet for a moment and Tonks' little voice returned.
Do I have to tell you what to do againit asked.
No, Tonks thought and smirked to herself. "Remus, would you like to have dinner at the Three Broomsticks tonight?" she asked. Remus looked at her with a mix of confusion and joy.
Please review to let me know what you thought of the story and tell me if you'd like to see a sequel.