Title: Sweets for the Sweet
Author: Pheo
Summary: Remus sets the tone for a romantic Christmas evening with Tonks, not knowing that she intends to add to his ambiance. Takes place on Christmas night during OOtP. Written for the Christmas Moon Advent at MetamorficMoon on LiveJournal (prompts: hot chocolate, wrapping paper).

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Remus easily lit the last candle and stood back, eyeing the room critically. Attempting to add a bit of romantic atmosphere to his bedroom wasn't an easy task—making any room in Number 12, Grimmauld Place anything other than suicide-inspiring was nothing short of arduous and nothing more than a lost cause, really—but it would do.

A conjured ring of holly encircled the single dusty window—which, no matter how many times Remus had tried to make it shine, seemed to mock him in its dull fog—and a tiny but festive miniature tree stood upon his desk, glowing with little twinkling red and gold lights—which were, in face, transfigured butterbeer caps.

Beneath the tree was a plate of Molly's famous Christmas biscuits and a bit of cheese and fruit Remus had diced up earlier in the evening. Two steaming mugs of hot chocolate sat next to the plate, humming with the warming charm he'd cast over them. Next to the desk, Remus had also transfigured his squeaky chair into a red loveseat—and while the holes were still there, it proved to be comfortable enough.

The candles Remus had charmed—complete with an un-toppleable spell— to float about the room completed his Christmas ensemble, each one accompanied by a sparkling trail of golden glitter. He tapped his chin, snapped his fingers, and remembered to turn the wireless on low. Celestina Warbeck crooned to him in classic Christmas fashion:

"Have yourself a magic little Yule Night,
Let your wand make light;
Bring some cheer
To every little woodland sprite…"

The only thing the room lacked, he decided—besides the very much needed riddance of its constant presence of evil, faint whiff of decay and shadows of a mad house elf and his even madder mistress beneath the roof, of course—was the presence of one Nymphadora Tonks, who, no matter what the room looked like, was sure to make it festive just by being in it.

Remus smiled to himself, remembering the bright red hair and green earrings she'd sported that morning at the table. Junior Aurors were unfortunate enough to have to work holidays, and Tonks would not be getting off of work until well after midnight. They had agreed to have a quiet Christmas together alone once she returned, without a gift exchange.

Barnabus Fickletree, one of Remus' mother's favorite singers from her day, interrupted his thoughts:

"Murdoch the bump-nosed House Elf
Had a very bulbous nose
And if you ever saw it
You would surely swear it grows.

All of the other House Elves
Used to point and say he snored
They never let poor Murdoch
Join in any House Elf chores."

Remus waved his wand a bit, remembering how Hannah Lupin had danced with him to the tune when he was a boy. Feeling a bit giddy, he did a little two step and hummed along:

"Then one too-bright Christmas morn,
His master came to say—
'Murdoch, with your nose ash gray,
Won't you block the light today?'

And all the House Elves loved him
They were quick to make amends
For Murdoch the bump-nosed House Elf,
Had helped his master to sleep in!"

Hermione would definitely not approve of that particular song, Remus noted absently.

Looking at the little tree, Remus wondered again about his decision to not exchange gifts with Tonks. He had been quite adamant about that particular policy; working for the Order paid galleons in honor for all its members—but it didn't put a knut in the pocket. Tonks had reluctantly agreed, solely on his oath that she would have him all to herself, uninterrupted, on Christmas night.

Remus had been happy to make that promise; they'd rarely had a moment together since the semester had begun at Hogwarts. Between missions and Tonks' duties at the Ministry, the occasional breathless, sneaky snog passing by in the hallway was the extent of their relationship as of late—which was, undoubtedly, the cause for Mad-Eye's new half-glare, half-smirk at Remus during dinner.

A muffled thump, followed by a whispered but distinctive "Damn," came from the hall. Remus grinned, hearing the Auror clear her throat before tapping on his door. As he opened the door, Remus did a double-take and noted that Tonks had made a stop after work.

She was still clad in crimson, to be sure—but instead of her Auror uniform, she had on a little Santa Clause dress and a matching hat, both trimmed in fluffy white trim. White and green striped stockings lined her legs, and while she looked all the part of the sweet Muggle store elf, Remus found himself voiceless as he realized that he'd never seen so much of his own girlfriend's skin at once before.

"Happy Christmas, Remus," Tonks grinned, her eyes sparkling at him. Her hair, now his favorite bubblegum pink, peeked out from behind ears lined with gift box, candy cane, and snowman earrings. She withdrew a gaily wrapped package from behind her back and presented it to him as he stood back for her to enter.

Remus cleared his throat this time. "Happy Christmas, Tonks." She kissed him on the cheek as he nervously took the package. "I thought we weren't exchanging gifts?"

"You said not to buy you anything. These are provisions, anyway." She took in the room as Remus lifted the lid of her box. "Remus…"

He glanced at her as she made her way around the room, her mouth open. "I know it's not Hogsmeade or anything," he said.

"It's perfect." She took his face into her palms and kissed him soundly on the mouth.

Remus fingered the little white ball at the end of her Santa hat. "Well, it certainly looks like Christmas now that you're here." She laughed and kissed him again, her breath warm and…chocolaty?

"Have you been to Honeydukes recently, by chance?" Remus asked, smiling at her wide eyes.

"Honeydukes? Me?" She smiled and turned to the box she'd brought. "All part of the provisions."

Remus smiled and sat on the loveseat, patting the seat for her to sit next to him and she did, setting her box in front of her. "How was work?"

Tonks managed to pause from her rummaging long enough to roll her eyes at him. "Ridiculous. Did you know that Christmastime is leading season for charmed Muggle artifacts? I spent half the night chasing after this idiot who charmed some plastic reindeer to chase any Muggles who neared his lawn with the bloke who's standing in for Arthur, who's three beans short of a bag of Bertie Bott's."

Remus chuckled. "I presume you didn't chase him in what you're wearing now?"

Tonks pulled out two Chocoballs as she batted her eyes at him. "And if I did?"

Remus frowned. "That fellow you worked with—good looking, is he?"

Tonks laughed hard as she clasped her hands around his neck. "Only if you go for the tall, bookish professor types."

"Wonderful," Remus said, wrapping his arms around her shoulders. He nudged his nose against hers. "I'd be worried if I had some competition."

She nudged his nose back. "Then you've no cause for worries, Remus." She sat up and offered him a chocolate, and she took a berry off the plate he'd made beneath the little tree for herself.

Biting into the berry, Tonks gave a little smile as a bit of its juice ran down her arm. Still looking at Remus, she ran her tongue up her skin, catching the red liquid on her tongue.

Remus swallowed. "So, ah, Tonks… what else is in the box?"

Tonks did a little shimmy as she chewed her fruit, and Remus had to make an effort not to look at her cleavage, which was sporting a bit of glitter tonight. "Well, let's see."

She bent over to pull more sweets from her package and Remus suddenly felt very, very dizzy. The scoop of her fuzzy, white neckline drooped a bit to reveal a tiny red bras strap.

Merlin.

Tonks piled a myriad of treats onto the table, and as Remus protested that she'd bought too much, she waved it off. "Actually, Proudfoot drew me for our Secret Christmas Pal and he gave me a Honeydukes Wish Wand." She drew the card out and turned it sideways, so Remus could see the image of a lit wand on it. "I still have a few sickles left on it, actually."

"So you decided to spend your Christmas loot on me?"

"On us," she corrected, bumping his shoulder with hers.

Remus warmed at that thought—or perhaps because she was close; or both—and they munched companionably for a few moments.

Remus reached for his hot chocolate and Tonks held up a hand. "Wait just one second." She withdrew a final object from her box—a small blue flask with a cork stopper—and popped it open, drizzling a bit of the contents into Remus' mug.

"Might I ask what is in that potion?" Remus asked warily, sniffing his mug.

Tonks' cheeks flushed but she continued to pour the rest of the flask's contents into her own mug, and replied, "Extra chocolate flavor, Remus."

Raising an eyebrow, Remus took a tiny sip of his mug and then nodded, drinking a larger swig in time with Tonks. "That is pretty good," Remus conceded. "Where did you get it?"

"I—I made it," Tonks admitted. Her cheeks were even pinker, giving her an even more elfish image, and Remus thought she was adorable.

"Well, you always were good with potions," he said fondly, wondering a bit at her modesty. "You've never been shy about your morphing abilities; I don't see why you should be different about your potion-making talents."

She cocked her head to the side, then smiled at him. "Ever the professor," she finally said. Tipping back the rest of her hot chocolate, she added, "Bottom's up!"

Remus stared at her for a moment, knowing something was off. But he trusted Tonks and knew she would never slip him something dangerous, and he drank the rest of his chocolate.

Looking up from the dregs of his cup, he found Tonks grinning at him like the Cheshire cat.

"Tonks?" Remus was starting to get worried. "Is—is there something you want to tell me?"

"Remus," Tonks cooed, as if he hadn't said a word, "I don't know why you insist on wearing those bulky sweaters whenever you have me to warm you up."

She crept so slowly toward him that when her lips were upon his, he wondered just how she had gotten there—because he surely hadn't moved, and he hadn't seen her move much—for a full two seconds before losing himself within her mouth. When her tongue slid alongside his own, he thought she'd simultaneously cast a Jelly-Brain Jinx upon him because his ability to maintain any rational thought seemed to have disappeared. On some level, he knew there were sounds escaping his mouth in the brief seconds that it wasn't attached to Tonks' but he was certain they weren't actual words. When her nimble fingers found there way beneath his sweater—when had she unbuttoned it in the first place?—he moaned and the sound filled the room.

"Inperturnable Charm," he gasped.

That devilish gleam was still in her eyes. "Done; did it when I came in the room."

Both eyebrows shot into the fringe on his forehead. "Tonks?"

She smiled that unnerving grin at him again—that smile that made him both uneasy and excited—and dove back toward him for another kiss. And another. And soon, he'd forgotten all about hot chocolate and charms and perhaps his own name as he drank her in once more, molding his hands across her back and reveling in the silky feel of velvet and Tonks.

As she kissed her way down his chin to his jaw and then his neck, Remus gave back, kissing her forehead, her hair—and then gave a start when her small hand found its way to his trouser button.

He gaped at her as she leaned in toward him on the loveseat. "Ah, Tonks?" he repeated.

"Mmmhmm?" she breathed dreamily, threading her fingers through the fine hair at the back of his neck. Drawing her fingertip from the top of his undershirt collar to his scalp, she murmured, "Yes, Remus?" as her other hand succeeded in not only unbuttoning Remus' trousers, but also in sending the button in question flying into the little Christmas tree.

"Ah, what, exactly, what--" It was getting difficult for Remus to breathe, let alone speak, as Tonks slipped one leg over his, and he nearly fell off the sofa.

"Tonks!" Remus pulled back abruptly, forcing himself to not touch the witch. "Are you trying to seduce me?"

Tonks gave an embarrassed laugh. "So it would seem." She drew a hand through her tousled hair—her hat had apparently fallen off—and licked her swollen lips. "I—Remus, I thought we could give each other something special for Christmas—something that wouldn't cost from our pockets but, but something else entirely."

Remus could only stare at her. Finally, he asked, "What was it you slipped into our hot chocolate?"

Tonks looked sheepish. "Contraceptive potion," she murmured, leaning over and hiding her face behind her hand.

Remus felt himself grow even warmer. He drew her hand away from her face. "Tonks, look at me."

She shook her head.

He sighed, taking her by her shoulders. "Nymphadora."

She glared at him, and despite himself, Remus puffed out a laugh.

"I didn't—I mean, I had no idea…" Remus paused. "You really want to do this?"

This time it was Tonks who laughed. "No, Remus. I've only dolled myself up and handed myself over on a silver platter and had this planned since October." She bit her lip. "Do you not want to do this?"

"Oh, I've wanted to do this since I first--" he cut off abruptly at her raised eyebrow. "I mean, that is to say, yes, yes I very much would," he fumbled. "But--"

"Then no buts," she said. And then she was in his lap again, and he didn't think of the word "but" again until the object in question was in much more of a prominent focus.