Many thanks to MrsTater for a supreme beta job on this.
As Remus let himself into Grimmauld Place, he was greeted by the sight of Tonks, further down the corridor, jumping as the creaky door startled her. A look of relief crossed her features as she glanced over her shoulder and saw him. After a quick smile of greeting, she turned back to Ginny Weasley and resumed a whispered and obviously conspiratorial conversation. Remus wiped his feet on the mat as quietly as possible.
"I'll see you at dinner, okay?" he caught Tonks say, and then watched as Ginny ran back up the stairs towards her bedroom, raising a hand towards him in greeting as she went.
Tonks turned to him, a slightly guilty smile on her face as she offered a soft, "Hello."
Despite his curiosity, Remus closed the few steps' distance between them, slipped his arms around her waist, and pulled her close. As their lips met, he marvelled at how soft hers were, and how nice it was to have arrived at the point in their relationship where he no longer felt awkward or unsure about how to greet her. It was absolutely incredible, mind blowing really, that he could come home to be greeted like this, by someone like her.
When they parted – he took some pleasure in noting the slightly dreamy expression on her face – he asked with a smile, "So what was all that about, with Ginny?"
"Oh nothing really," she said lightly, with a chuckle. "Just making sure no time's lost in the execution of mischievous endeavours." Confused, Remus raised his eyebrows in question.
"Come on," she said with a grin, reaching round to grab one of his hands from where it rested at the small of her back, then pulling him towards the drawing room.
She twisted the door handle and pushed with a little more force than necessary. She tumbled into the room. Remus just managed to pull her back before she ended up on the floor, and he found her body pleasantly flush against his. The adorable expression of surprise on her face was too much for him to resist. He kissed her again, a little more indulgently than he had done in the hall. Her lips parted as he reached behind him and fumbled to close the door.
Every single time he kissed her he wondered how he was ever going to stop; each and every movement of her lips and her tongue against his, was intoxicating. His hand reached up to play in her hair, the pink spikes so much softer than they looked.
The kiss had to end, of course, and after they pulled apart, they stood breathless for a moment, foreheads touching.
"So," said Remus, running his hand down her arm, "would you care to share with me the spark of wisdom you were imparting to young Miss Weasley?"
Laughing, Tonks disentangled herself from him, and led him over to the sofa, looking back at him as they walked to say, "I caught Ginny trying to eavesdrop on her parents and Mad Eye, using one of those Extendable Ear things that the twins made."
She sat down and Remus followed, extending an arm so that she could snuggle up beside him. She rested her head against his shoulder and he curled his arm around hers.
"I thought Molly rounded all those up," he said.
Her hair tickled his cheek as she tilted her chin up to look at him. "And you don't think a couple of kids as adept at mischief-making as the twins couldn't get a few past her?"
Remus laughed. "Of course, silly me. But anyway, what did you tell Ginny?"
Tonks shrugged. "I just told her how she might be able to find out if a room was say, Imperturbed." A grin spread across her face.
"Tonks, you're not supposed to encourage them," said Remus, trying to adopt a stern tone and expression, but fearing the smile that was threatening to break at the corners of his mouth might have lessened the effect. "Molly'd scold you six ways til Sunday if she ever found out."
"Oh come on, Remus," she said, nudging her shoulder into his ribs, "it's not as if you've always been the shining example. You're damaging your Marauder reputation here."
For good measure, it seemed, and to emphasise her point, she poked him in the stomach, making him jump slightly. They both laughed and she shifted her position to curl her legs over his lap.
Remus rested his free hand on her ankle, which was, to his delight, quite devoid of all footwear. "What reputation?" he asked as nonchalantly as he could, his lips now twitching as they tried to quell the growing smile.
She grinned at him. "Sirius has told me a few stories."
Not wanting to start a conversation about whatever exaggerated accounts Sirius might have furnished her with, Remus quickly said, "So anyway, back to your little, divulgement to Ginny." He was fully aware that Tonks would see through his subject changing ruse, but he hoped that his fingers, now tracing intricate patterns on her bare ankle would help to distract her. "You did, of course, tell her that Order business is strictly limited to Order members."
Tonks looked at him for a moment, a mischievous twinkle in her eyes glimmered for a moment before she admitted, "Yes, actually, I did. Worried me, to be frank. Never thought I'd be one to discourage a spot of trouble making. S'why I told her about the other thing -- felt like I had to make up for -" She paused, searching for a word, then settled on, "well, something, I guess." She shrugged and gave a half smile.
"Responsibility," said Remus with an exaggerated sigh, "happens to the best of us in the end."
Tonks shifted again, drawing her legs either side of his, straddling his lap. His surprise turned to pleasure as he allowed his hands to come to rest on her hips. "I'll let you off my quizzing you on your school days today, Mr. Lupin," she said flirtatiously, "but don't you go thinking that I'll forget about it."
Remus reached up to trace his fingers from her temple, down her cheek to her chin, which he cupped between his thumb and forefinger, "I really don't think I could expect anything less from you," he said, urging her face towards his.
"Good," she murmured against his lips, and then he was lost. Lost in the sensation of her mouth moving in time with his, in the taste of her, and the delicious tingles that pulsed through his body as her hand snaked its way up his neck and tangled in his hair.
At length, he drew his lips away from hers and kissed a trail to her jaw, and then up to just below her ear, his hands supporting her from behind as he tilted her back slightly for better access to her neck. The quickening of her breathing and a slight moan that caught in the back of her throat did more than a little to spur him on as he allowed his tongue to carve a path down to the hollow of her throat.
He'd just kissed his way up over her chin and reunited his lips with hers, when the door to the drawing room flew open, which would have gone unnoticed were it not for the clearing of a throat.
Mid-kiss, Remus pulled himself away from Tonks and looked up to see a very amused Sirius standing with his hand on the door handle. "Well, well, well, what do we have here? Hate to interrupt your-" He paused, looking the pair of them up and down with a smug grin on his face. "--obviously very much needed alone time, but it's time for dinner and if you're not careful, it will be Molly looking for you."
Remus might have thanked him, were it not for the gleeful look on his face, and the slightly worrying glint in his eye that clearly said, we'll talk about this later.
"We'll be right down, Sirius," he said, and with that, Sirius gave a nod and left the room, closing the door behind him.
Tonks - who had entirely avoided any involvement in the exchange by letting her head fall to his shoulder - was, he realised, engaged in silent giggles, which became not so silent the moment the door had closed.
"Sorry," she managed between giggles and gasps for air, "but you should have seen your face."
"And you should have seen Sirius' face., There is no likelihood at all that I'm going to be able to evade any number of distasteful comments from him, or an entire mickey taking session after dinner."
"Don't worry," she said soothingly, "lets go for a walk in the park after dinner, put the inevitable off as long as possible." She smoothed the front of his jumper before leaning in to give him a quick kiss." Come on," she said, hopping up and extending a hand in invitation, "all of a sudden I'm famished."
"Is advising wayward Weasleys really that draining on your energy levels?" Remus asked, as he reached out to take her hand and rose from his seat.
"No," she said slyly, "but I can think of other recent activities that may have contributed to it." She pressed her body into his once more, kissing him briefly before turning and heading towards the door, pulling him behind her by his hand. And together, they headed down for dinner, where, Remus hoped, Sirius would at least have the good sense to behave himself, at least until the kids had been packed off to bed.
"His expression was mild, but Harry felt sure Lupin, at least, knew that some Extendable Ears had survived Mrs Weasley's purge." Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, page 85, UK Edition.
AN: Feedback is much appreciated, to anyone kind enough to leave a review, I offer the chance to manhandle a werewolf on a sofa of your choice. ;)