Standing on the wooden stairs, Tonks banged on the trap door with both fists, but she might as well have been banging her head against a brick wall. Sirius was not going to open the door, and Remus knew it.

He and Tonks had tried every unlocking, unsealing, unprotection, and reversal spell they knew; and, as an Auror, Tonks knew quite a lot of them. Nothing was working. She cursed, stuck her wand into the pocket of her yellow sundress, yanked off a combat boot and threw it with force at the door. It landed on the floor with an emphatic, rubbery thump.

"Tonks – "

"Wait, wait." She pulled her wand again and pointed it shakily at the door above her head. "Alohomora?"

Remus approached her with the lit tip of his wand. "Tonks, as long as you keep battering away like that, he's not going to open it."

Tonks responded by removing her other boot and throwing it at the door. Remus had to leap out of the way to avoid being clocked on the head by it. He sidled toward her and went on. "He's probably done some sort of reversal spell on the protections, so instead of making the bunker impossible to get into, it's impossible to get out of."

"You think?" Tonks muttered sarcastically.

"I'm only saying …"

Remus covered his ears as a shriek of rage pierced the dark stillness. After her outburst was finished, she sat on the floor with a heaving chest and put her boots back on, muttering under her breath, "He just doesn't get it, he just doesn't get it …"

"Come on, Tonks, he'll let us out sooner or later. He likes us, remember? It's a prank, that's all." Remus sat down next to her, holding the wand between them. "We've just got to – "

But now Tonks was pacing the floor and breathing in and out, deeply and loudly, through her nostrils. Remus sighed, reflecting that she looked a bit like an angry, yellow dragon in this state. Then he wondered why he found it such a turn-on. From his seat on the floor, he continued to watch her. Her violet hair looked almost black in the darkness.

It was a slow day for the Order, and they had been asked by Dumbledore to come down to the underground bunker to do a bit of cleaning, but only in the section below and around Grimmauld place. The bunker was a brilliant and complex piece of fortification which Dumbledore himself had engineered in the dreadful event that Voldemort should employ some sort of massive ground war or perhaps some dangerous biological magic. There were catacombs which led to other safe houses, but Remus and Tonks had no map with them; so they had no way of knowing which way to go, or which house was closest. There were huge stores of food and water here, extra clothes and robes, even spare wands. But it was pitch black, except for the blue light of Remus' wand.

"Tonks, we can't go exploring – "

"I don't want to go exploring, I've just got to move," she huffed. "I don't like … small spaces."

"It's not that sm – "


Remus was silent. His eyes followed the dark shape that skirted the edges of the room cursing and muttering, arms swinging madly. Suddenly her anger was no longer humorous, or a turn-on. It wasn't even irritating. His heart began to ache to see her so distressed; but there was nothing that he could do, apparently, except wait her out.

They had been trapped here in the dark for thirty minutes now, most likely. It wasn't funny anymore; it was time for the prank to be finished. Why had Sirius done this? Something he had said last night under his breath percolated in Remus' brain – something about shoving the two of them into a broom closet. What had that been about? Tonks didn't fancy Remus, and certainly Sirius didn't know how Tonks prowled his dreams every night. Was Sirius really this cruel?

Tonks' breathing was loud and fast now. Remus watched her circling the room as a caged animal might pace out the confines of her habitat. The image was unpleasant and jolted his heart, and he wanted to fix things immediately. But how?

"Perhaps we should go exploring," he said softly. "Perhaps a way out through another house? What do you think? Fancy a stroll – ?"

"Oh, that'll do nicely! Pop into some stranger's house – "

"They're all empty."

" – and shout 'Wotcher, strangers! Care for a spot of tea?' That'll do quite well."

"They're safe houses because they're empty. You know that."

"We'll never find them. They're too far away," she gasped. "They're too – they're too – they're – oh, dear – "

Tonks approached Remus and sat down hard next to him, breathing fast. Her hand grasped his jumper and twisted it unconsciously.

"Tonks – "

"Sit." Her hand was a vice. "Let me – know – you're there," she hissed in short breaths, eyes shut.

He placed his hand over hers, trying to warm it, or relax it. The vice didn't budge.

"Oh, dear – " Her voice sounded pinched, her breathing shallow and quick. In the dim blue light, her cheeks had lost all of their usual color. Her eyes flashed at him briefly, desperately. "I'm going to – I'm going – to pass out – this is all – too much – I need – to sit down – "

Remus put his other arm around her shoulders and pulled her close. "We are sitting," he said gently.

"We need – to sit – more – "

She was hyperventilating. Why hadn't he seen it coming? He could have conjured a paper bag and helped her restore the proper balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide, Muggle style, but he knew a spell that worked faster and without trauma. His parents had had to use it with him many times as a child before and after transformations, when he still struggled with the terror and couldn't let it go.

"Nymphadora, look at me."

Her wild eyes met his and he quickly uttered the spell, holding his wand between them at chest level. He crushed his mouth to hers and inhaled, pulling her breath into him through his mouth. He exhaled and inhaled quickly through his nostrils, then exhaled his air into her mouth. He repeated the process once more. He heard a tiny squeak of a vocalization and opened his eyes (when had he closed them?) to find her staring at him, wide-eyed.

Remus pulled his lips away and cleared his throat. He was feeling rather dizzy from the quick air exchange and the extra oxygen, and he wondered if now he might hyperventilate.

"You – " Tonks began, her eyebrow twitching.

"Erm – " said Remus.

And Tonks pressed her lips to his, kissing him soundly with both hands on his face. He only had time to register that this was actually happening, that her lips, soft and delicious, were on his of her own free will. But now the light was going out, the room was going black …


When Remus awoke, he was on his back. He saw a woman in a pale yellow sundress and combat boots standing over him, aiming her wand overhead. Soft blue light spread from the wand, circling her violet hair like a halo, becoming clouds and swirls of air, simple air and water visible and moving across the sky. It was glorious.

The angelic being then turned her beautiful countenance toward him. What had he done – he, such an insignificant and flawed creature – to deserve to be gazed upon like this?

"Are you an angel?" he asked in a small voice.

"I should have asked you the same." Tonks knelt beside Remus, and his thoughts collected themselves.

"Did I just say that out loud?" he asked, wincing.

"Maybe," she smiled. "If I tell you I liked it, will you say it again?"

Remus swallowed hard and sat up on his elbows. His head was still spinning. Surely she couldn't have meant what she just said.

He whispered, "Are you an angel?"

Tonks smiled. "Hardly."

And she kissed him, and it sent him into such raptures that he thought for a wild moment she must be lying.


In the morning, the kitchen trap door opened and golden light spilled into the bunker. The blue mist that had coated the ceiling all night wafted upward into Grimmauld Place and curled around the head that now peered, upside down, into the dark space.

"Good morning, lovebirds," Sirius chortled.

Remus sat up in the bed they had conjured last night and shielded his eyes with a forearm, pulling the sheet up a little over his naked torso. Tonks was curled up next to him, her forehead nestled into his ribs.

"Sirius Black, you are a colossal prat," he murmured.

"You may thank me later, the both of you."

His head disappeared and Remus looked at the tiny exit, that small square of light, wondering if perhaps he should have asked Sirius to shut the door again.


A/N: This story was inspired by a strange dream I had about a bunker created by Dumbledore, and which Gilpin suggested I turn into my first one-shot. Thanks for the idea!

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