Hello my lovelies! Yes, here comes another fanfic. I just thought, what with the 7th book and all, there needed to be more in depth looks at Remus and Tonks relationship. Beware, people, spoiler ahead. Proceed with extreme caution and a crisp copy of 'Deathly Hallows' pressed snugly to your chest. Cause I don't want to go spoiling anything for anyone. Promise. If, for whatever reason, you continue to read anyway, at the start of my chapters, I will, of course, have a huge sigh saying 'Spoilers! Beware!'. M'kay?
As always, I do not own squat. I am not JKRowling, and no, I do not own her millions. Or Remus. Damn.
As ever, please read and review!!!
The rain spattered half-heartedly down onto the woman's vibrant pink hair as she strolled casually down the London street. Occasionally, she cast quick glances around her, but there was no one nearby. The dark, shining pavement was clear, the blackened tarmac road to her left deserted. The violent flicker of a lonely streetlamp cast bizarre shadows over the woman's face, draining the colour from her cheeks in the odd neon light. She walked passed faceless, rundown houses to her right, each blurring into a line of colourless front doors and boarded up windows, as she picked up her pace.
Nymphadora Tonks was exhausted, but no one would be able to tell from her face. There were no bags under her eyes (she made sure of that), and although she didn't allow her stride to falter and slow to a tired shuffle, she had reached a definite low. Shakily, she pulled the long black robes tighter around her crossed arms, the fish-net tights under her skirt certainly did nothing against the chill in the air, but she didn't find that a big enough excuse to stop wearing them. The constant muffled clump of her battered boots kept her in time as she swayed her shoulders to the beat only she could hear. Just because she was working didn't mean she wasn't bored. The blaring, jarred fizzle of a recently released pop song made her jump, her quick fingers touching the wooden wand strapped to her hip unconsciously, but it was just music coming from one of the houses she swept past. She paused, her ears straining in the dim light, trying to make out a figure in the darkness; she was sure she had seen someone flit through the guttering orange glow of the lamplight. A swift puddle of shadow danced in the fuzzy area of her vision, and her violet eyes darted to it, to find nothing. Again.
That had been the third time this week. Maybe she needed more sleep. Or she was going crazy…
Still, it helped to be prepared. Nimbly, she pulled her wand from the belt at her waist, keeping it high enough to hit an attacker, but low enough so it wouldn't be knocked out of her hand in someone came up behind her-
She span around, but whatever she thought she saw was gone in an instant. Her robes fell from her shoulders in long folds, and she took a few precious seconds to hastily pull her sleeves to her elbows, allowing her more movement. Wide-eyed but calm, she stepped slowly forwards, keeping her guard up, but sure there was no point. Whoever was following her wasn't going to reveal themselves unless they wanted her to see-
'Expelliarmus!' she muttered under her breath as an unknown attacker emerged from the wall behind her. Their cape whipped as their hand twitched, wand already expertly clutched securely between fingers and thumb. An invisible shield sprang up in front of her attacker, and her jinx flew harmlessly to a side.
Curiously, she tapped her wand against the shield, grinning.
The old Auror grumbled something under his breath, but she didn't catch it. He twitched his wand again and as the protective shield fell, the shape of a sturdy, stocky man hobbled from the shadows. "Lumos."
The clear light from his wand illuminated his scarred, craggy face and his magical blue eye, whizzing from her face to the back of his head with a scowl.
'That was careless, Tonks. Constant vigilance, remember! I could have been a Muggle!' he remarked gruffly, falling into step with her as she continued down the street.
'I was ready for you, though. Thought you had me back there, didn't you? It was you last week too, wasn't it?' she asked, turning her violet eyes on his, as she wondered, absently, if he stalked all the Aurors in the Ministry, checking they kept their guard up, ready to pounce on them if they let it drop. He definitely didn't, she decided.
He grunted an affirmative, and she sighed and rolled her eyes. She slid her wand back into her belt, walking along side the retired Auror for a few moments in silence.
Ever since she had joined the Department, two years ago, she had always been thought of as 'the novice'. It annoyed her, as time after time she had proven herself to be the equal of anyone in the Department. She trusted her instincts, which made some people refer to her as impetuous or even naïve, but she had helped imprison several dangerous criminals in her two years. She had even been on the Black case, until she had made one tiny mistake and they had hauled her off the case. Ever since, she had been very careful who she trusted and hadn't really felt anything for the Ministry except irritation. When Shacklebolt approached her, she had learned about the Order of the Phoenix. She felt the Order was trying to do all that the Ministry of Magic refused to. When Kingsley had added she might lose her job if they were found to have joined this league of mismatched rebels and fighters, she had thought long and hard about how much she wanted her job. It wasn't that she was unhappy there, but it certainly seemed she wasn't going anywhere. It had been a year since that last mistake, and even now, people still talked about it. She realised she wanted to do good, and if the Ministry didn't offer her the chances to do that, then she would join the organisation that could. And so she signed up.
She was pulled back from these thoughts when Mad-Eye slowed down, resting a gnarled hand on her arm, jerking her to face him. She stumbled, but caught herself from her fall in time to hear Mad-Eye muttering something about clumsy Aurors.
She eyed him quizzically, then glanced up at the morbid, stained houses in front of them, where Moody wanted them to stop. Swollen bags of rubbish oozed in the front yard of one of the houses, the smell was quite disgusting. Withered plants and cardboard boxes were strewn past the balding hedge, and Tonks noticed the front steps of the house had been smashed to rubble. The dimly shining plaque bore the numbers '11', and she glanced from left to right, checking the other street numbers. '10' on one side, and '13' on the other. Where was '12'?
She turned to ask Moody, but he was fumbling in his robes for something. Apparently, with a small victorious grunt, he found it, and pulled out a small slip of parchment. He handed it to Tonks, who unfolded the scrap. She understood immediately, as she caught sight of Dumbledore's curling, spidery writing. She knew it would be in green ink, but in this light, it just looked black.
Number 12, Grimmauld Place, London
Concentrating hard on the spot between number '11' and number '13', she saw the edge of another, equally grubby, house push its way between the other two, shunting the entire street to the left. The crumble and groan as the houses strained to accommodate another, was so loud, Tonks was surprised no one stuck their heads out of the windows to inspect the noise.
She nodded slowly and handed the parchment back to Moody, who touched the edge of the paper with his wand. Seconds later, it had ignited, the bright flames licking away the words, crisping the parchment around the blackened edges, consuming the secret of the Order's position.
'It's a secret location, known only by Dumbledore-' he began, but she waved a hand at him.
'I know, I know, he's the Secret-Keeper, so don't tell anyone else or you'll explode.' She raised her eyebrow when he opened his mouth to spout more criticism, but closed it sharply.
'Well, that's the jist,' he growled, but the corner of his mouth hitched in what, if Tonks was correct, was a small smile, and not a nervous twitch.
She grinned ruefully at him, and followed him as they made their way towards the newly visible number 12, Grimmauld Place.
The front garden was as cluttered as the others on this street, so Tonks had to sort of skip passed great mounts of garbage, spewing dustbins and foul smelling puddles of… She didn't want to linger, whatever it was. She almost fell over her boots in her haste to follow Moody, but as it happened, she managed to pass through the garden without any major mishaps.
Up the dangerously cluttered front steps and to a black, stained front door, the smell of rotting rubbish quite repulsive and ripe, stacks of news papers rose like half-destroyed towers out of the putrid mess, and she would have lifted her robes to her nose, had it not been for the moody Auror next to her. An oddly glinting silver doorknocker caught her attention, and the eyes of the twisted serpent glittered maliciously. She watched in fascination as he drew his wand over the door, and heard the many complicated clicks and scrabbles as countless locks and bolts drew back and tumbled open. With a smart snap, the movement behind the door ceased, and Moody levered the door open.
He did not hesitate as he soldiered on through the doorway; leaving Tonks quite open-mouthed as she gazed into the corridor. It was small, claustrophobic and dirty, and she had no real desire to go after Mad-Eye, but she was an Auror, and had come to learn about the Order, so in she went. She turned and shut the door with a definitive slam, which reverberated through the narrow hallway and up into the filthy house. An age of grime and dust pressed in all around her, most of the pictures on the walls were covered in a thick layer of greying dirt.
However, she had no time to ponder the pictures and the hidden faces obscured by the lack of domestic attendance, as Mad-Eye was making violent shushing noises with one twisted finger pressing hard over his mouth. She looked sheepishly to him, nodded emphatically, then shrugged as if to say she was sorry, but the effect was ruined as she plummeted down onto the bare floorboards, overturning a withered umbrella stand that looked, from her position on the floor, to be the foot of a long dead troll. Her knee landed with a nasty crack, and she lay, coughing on the ground, surrounded by a cloud of musty dust. But that wasn't all. As the damned troll leg clattered noisily to the wooden boards, a terrible wailing issued from one of the curtained portraits further along the hall. The black drapes billowed from the force of the shrill, furious howling.
'Filthy creatures! Sneaking into the most ancient house of Black like vermin! Vermin! Be gone, disgusting, putrescent…'
As the portrait screamed, Tonks rolled heavily onto her back, shock and fear churning in her stomach. Was the house cursed? Why on earth hadn't Moody told her? Was it another of his damned tests?
From her prone position on the floor, she fumbled for her wand, thinking quickly. But there was no need, as hurtling from down the hall, a slim, dark haired man pelted at the picture, clutched the hangings from the air, and shoved them closed, a long string of curses issuing from him. The old hag settled down at last, but Tonks was still shaking as she saw the man turn towards them, running a long fingered hand through his mane of black hair. He was panting when he greeted Mad-Eye, formally shaking his hand, but winked as he did so. She watched his face carefully, sure she had seen him somewhere before, but she couldn't grasp exactly where.
Tonks scrambled to her feet, stretching her sore knee, while the man glanced towards her, blinked, and cried out, 'My God. Little Nympha-'
'Don't,' she lifted a finger, 'call me that name. It's Tonks. Just Tonks.' She ambled forwards, studying the wary, but amused, expression on his face. Moody's eye twisted round in its socket, eying the portrait with distain.
'Tonks, this is your cousin, Sirius Black.' Moody gruffly announced, motioning to the man by his side. Tonks took a step back. How could she have mistaken him? His hair was sleek and much, much shorter. It was no longer the tangled mess it had been before. Azkaban had drained the hearty grin from the face she was used to examining back in the office, old photographs from before he was arrested. His cheeks were hollow, and a carefully trimmed beard and moustache curled over and around his jaw. He looked younger now then in the photographs issued by the Ministry and put on wanted posters. His brow had changed since his days at Hogwarts, too, it seemed more likely to frown now, and the corner of his mouth, where once held a smile or a manic scream, now held regret. There in his eyes also, that sadness and wasted look about him seemed to catch her off guard.
She stumbled, and fought the urge to pull out her wand, but he saw her fingers hover over her hip.
'Going to jinx me?' he asked, a smile breaking over his face, but not quite making it to his eyes, which remained cautious.
Her eyes flickered, blinking once, twice, then her hand fell. She shook her head, unaware that as she did so, her hair lost its reddened tinge, as did her cheeks.
She stepped towards him, and offered him her hand.
She wasn't ready for the hug he pulled her into, squeezing her rib cage until she was sure she was well and truly winded. Choking a little, she pulled away, grinning, unable to help herself, as in the second before his arms engulfed her; she saw a genuine beaming grin on his face too.
'So you're the dangerous murder I've been hearing so much,' she shot a glare at Mad-Eye, who shrugged his round shoulders but the corners of his mouth twisted into what was clearly a half-hidden smile, 'about?' She let him go and stepped back, taking in his pinstriped suit and waistcoat, pocket watch and all.
'And you're my estranged cousin, who I last saw as a toddler!' He barked a laugh, as he fingered his chin. 'So you'd be, what, twenty now?'
'Oy, Sirius, even though you're my cousin, I will jinx you if you treat me like that old geezer.' She nodded to Moody's retreating back, crossing her arms lightly. 'I'm twenty-six, and a fully fledged Auror!' she called down the hall, but Moody had already disappeared down the precarious stairs leading down to what she presumed was another room. She hovered next to her new cousin, unsure what to say. She had spent years believing him to be a vicious murderer, and now she was supposed to welcome him to her family. It didn't quite work. She was sure the feeling would vanish soon enough, Sirius's smile was enough to make her forget the raving lunatic she was led to believe he was.
'So, not Nymphadora, then?' he asked, unaware of how close he was to being cursed so badly, he wouldn't be able to sit down for a good long week.
She looked at him significantly, nodding. 'My mother's fault. She loves fancy names. She's got another fancy name too, An-'
'Andromeda! Yes, I remember your mother very well.' He said with a small chuckle, 'She was my favourite cousin when I was young… Ever since I ran away from home, and she married a Muggle, your father, we were both disinherited. We finally got out of the Black family.' He laughed, but it sounded quite hollow and almost insensitive, the bitterness seeping into his words. 'But, as you can see,' he cast a quick glance around the hall, winkling his nose, 'I'm back again.'
'Not so close with our noble and most ancient family, then? Although, looking around, I'd say you've survived a lot better than they have.' Tonks sniffed as she inspected an old staircase, leaning away as she discovered several mouldy shrunken heads bolted to the wall.
'What are they, house-elves?' she wrinkled her nose too, wincing slightly, but stopped when she found Sirius frowning at her.
'You don't look like your mother, you know. You've too much of your father in you.' He sounded tired, almost old as he said this, and Tonks wondered where the smiling miscreant of his youth had disappeared.
'Well, I guess I could change that,' she said, enthusiastically tilting her head, a knowing smile tugging the corners of her mouth. Her snub nose lengthened, sweeping into an aristocratic upturn, her flushed cheeks whitened, and pinched cheekbones filled in her round face. Her chin receded a little, and her bubblegum pink hair grew and darkened, curling around her shoulders in ebony waves. Her eyes darkened considerably, widened and took on a majestic glare. The overall effect took Sirius by surprise, who jumped back, then roared with laughter, coming forward to inspect Tonks' handy work.
'Merlin, look at that! I'd forgotten, you're a metamorph! Yes, yes, yes, you are the spitting image of your mother now… Merlin… How is your mother, anyway?'
'I'm quite well, thank you Sirius.' Tonks said, imitating her mother's throaty croon.
Sirius laid a heavy hand on her shoulder, chuckling heartily, and steered her down the darkened corridor. 'Tonks, I am very glad to meet you,' he said happily, squeezing her shoulder tightly as she morphed slowly back to old self.
'The same for you, Sirius Black. And I'm not just saying that about the reward money either.' She glanced up just in time to see a flicker of grief before he beamed, surveying her with a new found respect. 'What would you do with the money then, provided the Ministry would actually give it to you?'
'That's a very philological question to ask, Mr. Black, seeing as we've just met.' She speculated about exactly what she should say, then decided humour would do. 'I'll let you know, but it'll probably have something to do with Weird Sisters tickets and a leather jacket.'
'Worthy items indeed.' He nodded knowingly, and winked. 'Back at Hogwarts, I'd have probably said the same thing. Oh, and a motorbike of course…' he added, smiling as they descended down the stairs to the kitchen area.
'Of course,' she repeated confidentially, toppling a little as she gripped the handrail, her boots making it difficult to remain upright, but somehow she managed. 'To go with the leather jacket, obviously.'
'Well, I used to have a motorbike, back in my day-' he began, drawing himself up before his tall, thin frame stooped under a low beam.
'Steady on there, Sirius, if you weren't my cousin, I'd say you were coming onto me!' she teased, raising an eyebrow haughtily, in true Black fashion.
'No, no, I really had one! I had it bewitched to fly. Never got it back, though-' he added, looking a little downhearted, but before Tonks could ask who had it, someone cut in.
'Telling her the motorbike story, are you, Sirius?'
Tonks jumped, which was unfortunate, as she was on the bottom stair. Her boot landed on the edge of the step, and her ankle gave way. Her back fell against the rough stonewall, and although Sirius had a good hold on her elbow, she slipped out of his grip and onto the floor with an unladylike 'Oomph!'
Groaning, and trying not to think about the great big bruise now forming on her behind, she staggered back to her feet in time to see a pair of battered, brown shoes, patched trousers, and a clean, masculine hand reach out to help her up. She ignored it, clutching, instead, the banister of the stairway. She raised her head gingerly and caught sight of a man's tired, worn out face peering curiously but politely down at her. His weathered, slightly lined countenance was pale and rounded, like her own, but several old, warped scars ran along his jaw and over his nose, and high up onto his brow. He was brown haired, and although still quite young, she noticed greying hairs in the strands the fell over his forehead.
As an Auror, Tonks had been trained to retain physical descriptions, but she couldn't tell anyone why she immediately jumped into Auror-mode when confronted with this man. Or why she refused to take his hand. Besides, she thought, I'm guessing he was the one who made me slip. She shrugged her shoulders to him, as he looked faintly surprised and even a little offended.
Sirius sighed as he came to stand next to her, concerned about her fall, but as she was upright and virtually unhurt, he turned to Lupin.
'She asked about the motorbike!' he said indignantly, and Tonks saw one corner of the other man's mouth twist in a wry smile. His dark eyes smiled softly too, and he raised his hand, determined.
'You must be Nymphadora Tonks, yes?' he asked innocently, but from his almost wicked gleam in his eyes, she could have sworn he had overheard the conversation upstairs. The house did echo.
She swallowed her furious remark, and placed her hand in his, gripping tightly. 'Just Tonks.'
He nodded, but he didn't hold her eyes. He cleared his throat and said, 'Remus Lupin.'
She raised her eyebrows, asking 'So, you're in the Order too?'
A bark of a voice made her jump, and, she thought, so did Lupin. His hand slid quickly from her grasp, and he turned to Moody, who was apparently not very satisfied to be left out.
'Well, of course he's in the Order, Tonks. Why else would he be here?' Mad-Eye grumbled, readjusting how his staff leant on his knees as he was sat on one of the many chairs surrounding the main feature of the comfortable parlour. A huge wooden table filled the room, but to one side, there was a shadowy doorway leading down a few steps into yet another room. A huge fireplace took over most of the wall to the right, flooding the room with light and warmth. She noted an empty cauldron propped on the stone hearth, and pokers and a small coalscuttle were next to a battered, threadbare armchair. Above the mantelpiece there was a lighter square, as though a picture had recently been removed.
Sirius took the time while Tonks was glancing around to push her further into the room, propelling her into a seat near the head of the table, where he sat down. Lupin joined him to his left, as Moody had taken the seat to Sirius' right. Settling back in his seat, Sirius arched his fingers, staring at Tonks as she shuffled her chair forwards so she could prop her elbows on the table eagerly. Lupin, to her right, shared an amused side look with Sirius, but kept quiet.
'You look like you're about to tell me off, Sirius,' she remarked, grinning, and she absent-mindedly tugged at a loose thread of her robe sleeve, fiddling with it as she looked at the others.
'Not at all! Merlin forbid. I'm just trying to decide what to make of you.'
Moody muttered something resembling speech, to which he chuckled. Well, maybe chuckled was too loose a term. More like snorted. Although, Tonks wondered, how easy is it to snort with a chunk taken out of ones nose?
'How much did Alastar tell you?' Lupin spoke up, and she jerked her head towards him. He had been so quiet she had almost forgotten he was there.
'Not much,' she admitted, 'He told me that you're an organisation who fought You-Know-Who back when he was in power, and that you believe he may be rising again.'
'We no longer believe it, we know it. He's back.' Sirius said darkly, easing back into his chair. The fire crackled in the silence as Tonks frowned, her thread disregarded.
'How do you know?' she asked, careful to keep the slight tremor of fear from her voice. She knew strange things had been happening all around the country. Bizarre deaths, disappearances, people behaving strangely, that sort of thing. The Ministry cleared most of these rumours up, but occasionally things leaked through. She knew it was only a matter of time, and she also knew the Ministry was not ready for another war. They refused to even believe Potter, and constantly slandered his name, and the names of Dumbledore and those who supported him, in the Daily Prophet. That was one of the reasons she had stopped reading it. Most of it, anyway. She actually thought Potter had a point. What if You-Know-Who was coming back? What measures were the Ministry taking to prevent this, or even protect against it?
'Harry Potter fought him and escaped. One of his colleagues, the Digory boy, was murdered.' Moody said, his stony face scowling. His voice cut through the increasing stillness, an unusually dangerous edge to his usually dangerous tone. Apparently this information was beyond question.
Tonks cast a glance at Sirius and Lupin, who both looked solemn and troubled by these words, but resolute.
'So the Order is all that stands between You-Know-Who and power? That is, until Fudge gets off his high horse and starts listening to sense,' she asked in mounting disbelief.
'Exactly.' Lupin's voice caught her off guard again. Merlin, she thought, this is starting to become a habit. 'That's why we're recruiting. But we're not hunting down Death Eaters just yet. Voldermort-' she winced at the name, '-Yes, Voldermort, you'll have to get used to it, I'm afraid- likes using stealth. He won't come out in the open yet, it's too dangerous for him. If the Ministry catch a hint of any definitive Death Eater activity, Voldermort's plans could be disrupted. So for the time being, while he lies low, we need to build up defences around vital targets he might hit.'
'What kind of targets?'
'The boy, Potter, for one. We know he's a threat to You-Know-Who's plans, and we also know he will stop at nothing to destroy the boy. With Potter dead, morale all over the Wizarding world is as good as gone-' Moody nodded forebodingly, his fingers like claws over his walking staff.
'Just a minute Mad-Eye, we're not arranging the funeral of my godson just yet,' Sirius butted in when Moody opened his mouth, something like worry in his steady voice. 'He needs to be moved, first. Ever since that Dementor attack in Little Whinging, Harry's been in danger. Although unable to take Harry from his family's house directly, there's still a chance Voldermort might think of something we didn't.'
'Like the Dementors-' Moody interjected.
'Yes, Alastor, like the Dementors. We know you wanted to move Harry long before this, but Dumbledore disagreed.' Lupin stated flatly, and it was obvious there had been a previous argument about Harry's safety, and that Moody had lost it.
'So,' Sirius talked over them, staring straight at Tonks, as though the other two weren't there, 'it has all been arranged. However Tonks, before we go on, we have to make sure you're neither a Death Eater nor a Ministry spy,' he shot a impatient look to Moody, who nodded curtly, and continued, 'although in my opinion this is just meaningless routine.'
Again, Moody muttered something, but this time Tonks was sure he had said something like 'Constant Vigilance' and she pretended to cough into her sleeve, while trying to hide her laughter. Raising her eyes, she saw Lupin watching her, and a flicker in his eye told her he was trying not to laugh also.
'All you have to do is repeat the binding spell. There is a Fidelis Charm on this house, so our whereabouts cannot be divulged, but we'd prefer it if you didn't spill our secrets either.' With another dry smile, Lupin raised his wand. 'Just repeat after me, alright?'
'I, Nymphadora Tonks, do swear, most solemnly,'
Tonks grit her teeth, and repeated Lupin, noting something mischievous in the stillness and patience of his face.
'To uphold the Order of the Phoenix, and keep its secrets veiled.'
Again, she reiterated his words.
'Therefore, I break allegiance with any former organisations, and-'
'Join our merry ranks!' interrupted Sirius, grinning. She looked to Lupin, confused, but he nodded patiently, so that's what she said.
'…And join your merry ranks.' She stifled another burst of laughter, and Lupin waved his wand vaguely. She felt something trickle down her back, and shook off the feeling, frowning.
'That's it? Like a Scout Group motto?' she asked, dropping her hands into her lap.
'Yes, that's it,' sighed Lupin, inclining his head, 'Dumbledore thought it should be short, and-'
'Just a bit daft?' she tried.
'Couldn't have put it better myself.' Sirius bounced a little in his chair as he slid back. 'Accio Firewhiskey!' With a careless flick of his wand, a dusty bottle of a questionable liquid flew high into the air and sailed past Lupin's face. It landed, none too gently on the tabletop, and Sirius gave a satisfied sigh. 'Tonks?'
He flicked his wand again and several glass tumblers slid onto the wooden surface between them.
She grinned enthusiastically as Sirius began slopping the contents of the bottle into the various glasses. He handed one to Mad-Eye, who refused, naturally, and another to Tonks, but she noticed he did not give any to the curious Mr. Lupin.
'To Tonks! Who, under no circumstances, will be referred to as anything else. Welcome to the Order, cousin!' Sirius roared, clinking glasses with Mad-Eye and herself. Although Mad-Eye did not drink, the gesture was still thoughtful, she admitted to herself. The general merriment was slightly disrupted for Tonks. She felt Lupin's eyes on her, and itched to meet his gaze, but just couldn't do it. She looked down at her glass as Moody and Sirius began conferring about something called 'Durselys'. Sirius, who drained his glass and helped himself to Moody's abandoned shot, soon began to sway, chanting something that sounded like 'Merry, Merry Ranks!'. Tonks pulled her head up sharply and caught the blur of Lupin's head as he turned quickly away from her. At last, being able to watch him now, she eyed him suspiciously, and took another sip, blinking crisply as the enchanted liquor burned down her throat and brought tears to her eyes. Lupin was leaning back in his chair, still watchful, and she addressed him.
'Where's your glass then, Mr-Remus-Lupin?'
She suppressed a mad grin when he jerked.
Sirius's chanting gradually ceased, as he and Mad-Eye Moody turned to stare at Tonks, frowning.
'Didn't you know? It would be somewhat of a waste, I suppose. Moony, care to join us?' Sirius asked, chuckling.
Raising a hand, Lupin shook his head, 'No, no, I think I won't. Although, I expect the more I drink, the less you will. You're not as amusing as you think you are when you're drunk, you know Sirius.'
Moody grunted, and said to Tonks, 'Lupin here is a werewolf. His metabolism is… different to humans', so-'
'So the poor blighter can't get drunk,' finished Sirius roundly, pouring himself another. She was sure Lupin had winced as Moody spoke, there was a slight tensing in his shoulders, and his fingers gripping the armrest dug deeply into the grain.
The general normalcy of this announcement took Tonks more by surprise than the information itself. Indeed, now she studied Lupin closer, he did seem quite the unlikely werewolf. The scars should have alerted her, but she just expected him to have crossed a particularly nasty dragon or something, not a more contagious creature of the night. Her brow furrowed, and she inspected him without meaning to. He sat next to her, quite aware of how she was staring at him, but seemingly allowing it.
'You're not the only one who's a bit taken aback,' he said, but the chuckle that followed this remark lacked any real mirth. Blushing, she dropped her eyes back to her firewhiskey. She was quiet for the rest of the brief meeting, but was constantly aware that Remus Lupin did not watch her as he had before. For some reason, she felt a sinking in the pit of her stomach, and left her firewhiskey on the table when she got up to leave. Still, Lupin did not meet her eyes, even when she said her goodbyes and stalked back out into the night.
READ AND REVIEW! Please!!!
There will not be another installment of this for at least two weeks, as I am in Wales without a computer. However, I definately want to continue with it. Remus/Tonks luff!