Title: The First Mission
Author: pheo
Format and Word Count: Fic, 4,090
Rating: A cautious R for language
Warnings: A little colorful language, some violence
Prompts: poisonous candle, taste, action/adventure and/or romance, Snape, Harry, Umbridge
Summary: Tonks and Remus go from their first surveillance assignment straight to one of their most dangerous missions.
Author's Notes: This was written for a challenge at the Metamorfic Community at Live Journal. I had it posted as the wrong fic and am now updating it! It is set during the summer before Order of the Phoenix, which seems to be my favorite time period to play with! It's very rushed, and I'm not used to this genre, or fics of this length, so please keep that in mind!

***

Nymphadora Tonks eyed the pink candle on her desk suspiciously.

Not that pink wasn't her color; on the contrary, it was likely the one that suited her best. However, this was a sickening shade of pink that reminded her of her Auntie Tonks' famous, and disgusting, pink confections that she made each year for her annual Cupid's Tea. They were supposed to be little pixie cakes, but as her Auntie was only fascinated with magic—and not a real witch in any sense of the word, bless her heart—they always turned out to be a bit more on the eye-watering, rather than mouth-watering, side.

This candle was the third in a series of dubious gifts from one Dolores Umbridge, who, after months of giving the rookie Auror a hard time with everything from her green ink to her purple socks to her orange-streaked hair, suddenly became very friendly with her.

"Nymphadora," her simpering voice called from Tonks' desk-side AurorCom. The mirrored pool swirled to reveal the woman's froggish face, her mouth set in a strange, fuchsia crayoned line that Tonks supposed was her smile--? Maybe.

Stifling her urge to correct the blasphemous term, Tonks rolled her eyes before pasting on her own pseudo-smile—offering the woman a taste of her own tactics, she mused—and waved her wand to activate her side of the 'com. "Yes, Miss Umbridge?"

Umbridge's lashes fluttered daintily, making it seem as if twin dragonflies were caught in between her pudgy cheeks, giving a valiant struggle before suffocating within the woman's copious amounts of flesh.

Tonks blinked.

"Hem, hem," Umbridge coughed unnecessarily, and Tonks felt her fake grin flinch. "I was just wondering if you had received the candle I sent, dear?"

"Yes, ma'am, it's charming," Tonks said instantly.

"Oh, I am so pleased," the woman cooed. "I was hoping you would like it."

Tonks waited impatiently as the woman cleared her throat several more times before continuing. "I was hoping we could have another of our lovely chats this afternoon." This time, there was no question at the end of her sentence.

Inwardly cursing a string of color that would make her own cousin blush—well, probably not, but it would definitely make that yummy professor friend of his turn pink—Tonks resisted a stomping fit and simply said, "Of course, Miss Umbridge. Whatever you like."

"Excellent, dear. I will see you in one hour's time. And Nymphadora?"

Tonks swallowed. Hard. "Yes, Miss Umbridge?"

"Be sure to light that delightful candle. It has the most heavenly aroma." For a moment, Umbridge's face twisted into an almost gleeful—albeit still rather hideous—smirk. "Ta ta!" with that, Tonks' 'com swirled into darkness.

"Bugger!" Tonks flung her MemoMerger so hard against her cubicle that Sam Bones on the other side cried out, "Ow! Oy, watch it, Tonks!"

"Shouldn't be leaning against the wall, anyway," Tonks grumbled, summoning the object back to her desk. Punching a few random pieces of parchment with it, she drummed her black and white fingernails against her desk. "Just what is that toad up to?"