Disclaimer: J. K.Rowling is the creator of these characters, and all credit goes to her. I'm just borrowing them for a bit.
A/N: These one-shots are little companion pieces to the fanfic "The Trouble With Me", written by ASM (a lovely woman who inspired me to have a go at fanfics in the first place and my hero in many regards) and posted at the Chamber of Secrets Flourish and Blotts section. I recommend diving in, stopping first to grab a drink and a snack to fortify yourself while reading this hefty WIP. The following Missing Moments can stand alone, but be aware that there are references to specific events in TTWM which hopefully will not prove distracting.
Conversations at a Cafe
Pairing: Remus Lupin/Nymphadora Tonks
Summary: What do Remus and Tonks find to talk about on their first date?
"Hurry up and order, you evil harpy."
She stuck out her tongue. "I am not a harpy. Fine, you've been here before, what do you recommend?
He glanced up. "Everything I've tried is excellent."
"Um, great. Well, I hope the money I brought will cover the bill when I order the entire menu." She rolled her eyes in irritation. "Look, you twit, what do you think a recommendation is? Give me specifics here."
"What are you in the mood for?" was the unhelpful reply as he went back to perusing his menu.
She flushed to the roots of her hair as the only thought that flashed into her head was, 'YOU!'
Bugger. Why can't I stop blushing every time the man opens his mouth?
Her silence drew his attention and he cocked an eyebrow in curiosity.
Fervently hoping that legilimency did not rate among his gifts in magic, she hurried out an answer, the words tumbling over each other as she tried to draw attention away from her fiery complexion. "Oh,really,Idon'tknowbutI'mtotallystarving!"
His second eyebrow leapt to join its companion as his lips quirked in the beginnings of a smile.
From the look on his face, he was rapidly arriving at all the right conclusions, which did nothing to abate her embarrassment. Tonks tried to coax her heart back down from her throat to its normal position in order to give a proper answer. Something about the smile playing across his features made her insides behave in ways that really should have been physically impossible.
She shot him a glare to cover her internal fluttering. "Something made of food would be nice. You must have had a favourite."
His eyes told her that she wasn't fooling him a bit, but mercifully Remus allowed himself to be distracted, pointing out two or three items as the glow in her cheeks began to fade.
'Food, Tonks, focus on the food, not the man, because whether you like it or not, he's not currently on the menu.' Her mind played traitor and flashed through several enticing images of what she could be doing if he was on the menu. She sternly pulled her imagination up short. 'Will you get your mind out of the gutter? You're making a complete ass out of yourself!
She looked up to find the amused smile flickering over his mouth again.
"Fine! Just fine! What's good on the wine list?"
"So, tell me about some of this Marauder stuff. What did you guys get up to at Hogwarts? Sounds like fun."
Remus looked up at her, wearing a vaguely wary expression. He put down his soup spoon and wiped his mouth carefully on a napkin before answering. "Well, what do you think four mischief-ridden boys would get up to?"
"If I knew that, I wouldn't be asking. Are we talking your average pranks, or something more on the Weasley twins level?"
Although Tonks was fairly sure he tried to suppress it, a hint of pride crept into his voice. "Let's just say that those two have yet to make McGonagall cry, as far as I know, whereas we managed to accomplish that grand feat on no less than two occasions, though one of those may have had something to do with the weeping powder we slipped into her tea."
Dissolving into laughter, Tonks rested her chin in both hands as she leaned on the table. Biting her lip to stifle the last of her giggles, she looked up, eyes alight with curiosity. "Really, you made her cry? You were good."
"Were? Are you implying somehow that I've lost my touch?" He frowned, even as the twitching of his mouth betrayed the smile trying to creep through.
Tonks launched into the voice she normally reserved for delivering reports to Scrimgeour. "Based on my own observations, I can state with certainty that while no one can deny you're an excellent scholar, make tea fit for a Muggle queen and tidy a room like nobody's business, your pranking abilities have yet to show themselves." A mischievous light danced in her eyes as she sank her voice down to near a whisper. "So, either you're hiding that light under a basket or yes, you've lost your touch."
He smirked and responded in the same tone, "Shows what you know."
She drew her eyebrows together in consideration. "I'm not sure I want you to prove me wrong or not. Won't you just tell me some of the juicier stories?"
"No, sorry - trade secrets. With Fred and George cornering the market on practical jokes, I have to keep some things hidden or risk losing my elevated status as a Marauder."
"Hrrmm…" She pursed her lips. "What if I told you some of what I did at school in exchange?"
"You mean there's more to you at school than just assaulting members of your Quidditch team with bats and bludgers?" His evil grin was quickly succeeded by a wince of pain.
Pulling her foot back to her side of the table with an angelic smile, Tonks asked, "So, is that a deal?"
"That depends – are you going to kick me again if I say no?"
"I'd say the chances are good for that happening, yes."
"I thought the only time of life it's acceptable to kick the object of one's affection is when you're four."
Tonks barely managed not to spray him with a mouthful of wine. She started to laugh but inhaled too deeply and began choking instead. As the coughing fit subsided, she found Remus laughing into his napkin, red-faced in the effort to hold back his mirth. "You're quite the charming date, aren't you? Insult a girl and then sit back and watch while she chokes to death."
Wiping his eyes with a thumb, he gave a last low chuckle. "I'm sorry, I didn't notice you were having trouble - it was difficult to think over the pain in my shin."
"You're such a git! I'm beginning to rethink this date." Crossing her arms across her chest, she turned her nose in the air and pretended to ignore him. This quickly became difficult to keep up, given that he began subtly flicking his wand, sending small crumbs from the bottom of the breadbasket to hit her in the forehead.
Breaking into a mad grin, she nearly upset his wine glass when she grabbed her napkin and threw it across the table.
"So what did you think of my old lady disguise this morning? Impressively dowdy, don't you think? I looked in four different Muggle secondhand shops for ideas for those clothes.
"And you didn't ask me to come? I'm hurt – I thought it was well known that I'm the foremost expert on the subject of cast-off clothing."
Tonks admitted herself to be impressed that he would poke such obvious fun at his own expense but didn't miss the bitter undertone in his voice. Was he so self-conscious that he'd think she gave a damn that he was poor?
Well," she teased gently, trying to lighten the mood again, "if you tell me that you like to shop in stores that carry clothing for little old pensioned ladies, I'm afraid that any possible relationship between the two of us is over as of right now. I don't want to find out later down the line that you own a hat like that."
A smile broke over his face. "No, mine looks nothing like that one. Less feathers and more frui- oh, I've said too much already, haven't I? Well," he heaved an extravagant sigh, "No one can say we didn't try. I understand if you want to go. Just don't stick me with the whole check. I'm afraid I spent my last galleon on a party frock only yesterday.
Giggling uncontrollably at the idea of Remus in a fruit-bedecked hat, Tonks was forced to lay her fork and knife down on her plate until her shoulders stopped shaking.
Remus sat back looking rather pleased with himself. "I shudder to think of what you're picturing in that head of yours right now to cause such a reaction. Am I wearing the hat, the frock or both?"
"The hat. If it had been the frock I'd be down on the ground causing a scene. Think what you almost did – you ought to be more careful with the ideas you put in people's minds."
Remus grinned. "Have you heard the story about Neville Longbottom and the first time I taught Harry's class about boggarts?"
"I have to admit it, Remus, you amaze me."
A tinge of pink stole over his cheeks as he glanced up from his dessert. "What? Why do you say that?"
"It's not just anyone who can polish off that much chocolate in one sitting. Why you haven't burst, or at least gone into a sugar-induced seizure is completely beyond me."
Judging by the look on his face, he'd expected a different answer, but if anything his blush deepened a shade. "Oh, come off it. There's nothing wrong with liking chocolate. What kind of a former Defense Against the Dark Arts professor would I be if I didn't practice what I taught? After all, its medicinal properties are well documented."
"Wait, so you're telling me that you've just scoffed an enormous piece of chocolate cake because it's medicinal?"
"I didn't scoff it, Miss Tea-Biscuit-Stealer. Or have you forgotten that you'd already set the precedent for stuffing one's face with sweets? There's still some left if you'd like to have a go at pinching my food again."
"I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about, Mr. Lupin," Tonks responded in a prim voice. "If you're implying that a nice girl like me-"
"Oh please," he interrupted evenly, "I'd never go so far as to accuse you of being a nice girl."
Her eyes widened for a moment.
As the possible double meaning of his own words sank in, Remus turned a brilliant shade of scarlet and sank his head into his arms. "Lord, just kick me again and get it over with. You know I didn't mean it like that."
No, you didn't. We'd be doing something very different right now if I wasn't a nice girl.
She grinned to herself and took pity, laughing as she said comfortingly, "It's all right, Remus, your shins are safe for now. It was payment enough to watch you turn into a Chinese Fireball there for a minute. Do you want some coffee?"
He raised his eyes above the safety barrier of his crossed arms. "Yes, please. Would you like some cake as a peace offering?"
"Mmm, not as much fun when it's offered freely." She resisted the temptation to reach across and ruffle his hair at the endearingly abashed look on his face. "I'll order the coffee and you can take the rest of your medicine."
Sitting up, he threw her napkin back and picked up his fork with a grin.
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