Disclaimer: This is this house that JKR built. I am merely squatting. :)

A/N: As promised, I am back with the first of my collection of challenge oneshots, which I should warn the less keen amongst will be mostly if not entirely R/T. I've written quite a few now for the rtchallenge prompts on Live Journal. I hope you enjoy them and all reviews and feedback are welcomed. :)

My Card by Jess Pallas

"My card."

Remus blinked. And then slowly, and with distinct bewilderment he extended a tentative hand and accepted the small, shiny pink square from the fingers of the austere looking woman who had marched so imperiously up to him as he sat quietly at the bar of the Three Broomsticks, resting on his bar stool and nursing a small butterbeer as he waited for…

Ah. I see.

He glanced again at the woman. She was tall, towering over him, her hair dark brown and captured sternly in a skull-tight bun. Her face was long, her nose slightly hooked and her dark eyes…

Her eyes were unmistakable.

He glanced down at the card. There, in bright green letters, were five simple words.

Undine Blackwood. Expert Werewolf Wrangler.

Oh yes. It was definitely going to be one of those evenings.

Slowly, and with deliberate casualness, Remus lifted his gaze to meet hers.

"So," he remarked. "You think I need your services?"

Undine Blackwood's thin lips gave a rather out of character twitch. "I've been told that it might be necessary, yes."

"I can imagine." Remus patted the card gently against the tip of his nose in faux thoughtfulness. "What are your qualifications?"

Undine adopted an expression of arrogant superiority. "I have several years experience in the field of werewolf wrangling. I am an expert in the use of judicious bribery…"


"What else?" Undine sniffed heartily, although the twitching of her lips was growing more pronounced by the moment. "I have also mastered the arts of affectionate teasing, incessant prodding and have a zero-tolerance policy on self-deprecation. I've been able to achieve results with even the most recalcitrant of specimens. And if you still doubt my credentials, I'm sure my principle client would be more than happy to provide references."

"I'll have to speak to him."

"So will you be requiring my services?"

Remus regarded her slowly, watching the unmistakable twinkle within those too familiar eyes, the battle against lips that longed to curl upwards, marvelling at how a face so unfamiliar could be so well known. And then, unable to help himself, he smiled.

"Oh, I don't know…" he said airily. "I've had a few other offers. You might have to give me a few days to think it over, mull over the possibilities. After all, I've got one pink-haired volunteer who literally falls at my feet every time I see her…"

The pain in his shin was instant as a decidedly unladylike boot made contact.

"Ow!" Remus shot her a mock glare. "Now, Miss Blackwood, if you treat all your clients that way you don't deserve to have any…"

"Ha, ha, ha." With a ripple like sunlight rising, the dark air and stern features melted away into a heart shaped face and vividest pink that crowned a somewhat shorter body. With a flourish of robes, the self-professed werewolf wrangler deposited herself on the stool beside him, avoiding an undignified plunge to the floor only with a rapid grab of the counter. "Git."

"Noted." Remus pushed the butterbeer in her direction. "What was all that about anyway?"

Tonks pulled a face as she took a long swig from the tankard. "Rubbish day at work," she stated matter-of-factly. "Dawlish was in fine form – tore a strip off me over nothing and then started swearing like a champion and claiming that I'd spiked his coffee with dried doxy droppings."

"Did you?"

"Nah, it was Kingsley." Tonks shrugged easily. "But the office has been as cheery and jolly as Azkaban in a thunderstorm today. So when I saw you sitting there, I had this sudden overwhelming attack of the sillies." She chuckled. "That's what happens when I have a bad day. I take out my unused daftness on you."

"Ah." Still twiddling the bubblegum pink card between his fingers, Remus quietly drew his wand and muttered a quick spell under his breath. "Well, in that case, I got here just in time. My card."

With a broad grin, Tonks accepted the card back from his outstretched fingers, examining the words he had placed there just a moment before with sparking eyes.

Remus Lupin. Professional Auror Brightener.

Her lips twitching, Tonks leaned forwards, resting her chin in the cup of her palms. "What are your qualifications?" she inquired.

Remus leaned forwards too, his head halting just an inch from hers. "Well…"

A/N: Feedback, as always, would be lovely. :)