A/N: Yes, everyone, another story. I decided to try my hand at a Tonks/Remus fic. The worst part of this was figuring out a title. And I know the description doesn't offer much, but I hope someone decides to give it a try anyways. Hope you like it.
Tonks sat in her living room, going over some paperwork for her job at the Ministry as an Auror, listening to music. Her left leg was crossed over her right as she leaned back into her couch, her foot bobbing along to an energetic song by her favorite band, The Weird Sisters. The music was so loud that it took several tries for the person standing outside her front door to catch her attention. Knocking hadn't worked, so they resorted to banging on the door very forcefully. Tonks was pulled from her thoughts and jumped slightly, sending a few papers flying. Getting up from her couch, she straightened her white tank top down to the waist band of her pale blue pajama pants, swept a very springy curl of bright green hair out of her face, and answered the door.
"I'm surprised you can hear anything over that bloody racket!" mused one of her coworkers, a very tall Auror by the name of Kingsley Shacklebolt. Tonks stared blankly at her colleague, having only heard about every other word he said. Kingsley rolled his eyes and yelled in his deep, booming voice, "THE MUSIC!" Tonks raised her eyebrows and mouthed (at least she appeared to have mouthed as Kingsley couldn't hear a thing) a silent "Oh", held up a finger and ran back into her living room, turning off the music. The living room and the street around Tonks' flat fell immediately silent, though there was a faint ringing in both Auror's ears.
"I'm sorry, what was that?" she asked Kingsley. He grinned at her and shook his head.
"It wasn't important. I do have something rather pressing to speak to you about, however." He said, glancing over her shoulder, waiting for an invitation into her small home. Tonks stepped aside to allow him entrance and closed the door with a soft click behind him.
"Would you like anything? Tea, maybe?" she offered. Kingsley shook his head.
"No thank you, Nymphadora." Tonks glared at him momentarily, but allowed the use of her first name to go as he grinned at her again, knowing it would annoy her. "I'm here on non-Ministry matters. I assume you've heard of Albus Dumbledore's claims in recent days?" Kingsley asked. Tonks new he was referring to Dumbledore's insistence that a certain Dark wizard by the name of Lord Voldemort had returned to power. She nodded, and turned to gather up her various piles of paperwork and sat back down on the couch.
"I've heard. Honestly, and this doesn't go beyond this room, Kingsley, I think the Ministry needs to be taking him more seriously." Tonks responded candidly. Kingsley smiled.
"I hoped you would say that. It's my belief, and the belief of many others, that the Ministry is taking the wrong course of action. There was a group, back during You-Know-Who's first reign, that worked to fight against him and his followers. Have you heard of them? " he asked. Tonks shook her head, but remained silent, allowing Kingsley to continue. "Dumbledore himself started the group, calling it the Order of the Phoenix, and has reinstated the group now that he believes He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is once again a threat." Tonks nodded slowly, staring at Kingsley. There was a moment of silence before Tonks spoke.
"What's this got to do with me?" she asked.
"I'm glad you asked. The original Order lost quite a few of its members. As a result, the new Order is down in numbers and Dumbledore is looking for new recruits. Do you remember Alastor Moody?" he asked. Tonks snorted, of course she remembered Moody. Mad-Eye, as he was more commonly known, was an ex-Auror who had gone a bit paranoid in his later years. Tonks, on several occasions, had taken part in saving the disgruntled Mad-Eye from invisible invaders in her few years at the Ministry. Kingsley noted her reaction and continued. "He was part of the original Order and came to see me a few weeks back about joining. I accepted and was asked to recruit as many suitable members as I could." Tonks was beginning to see where this was going.
"You want me to join?" she asked. Her heart was beginning to thunder madly. It was very rare that someone thought of her specifically as a suitable member for anything other than entertainment at an office party.
"I think that you'd be a great asset to our cause. And you obviously agree with Dumbledore." Tonks began to nod her head vigorously. Kingsley held up a hand. "Before you say yes, Tonks, I have to warn you. The work we will be doing is quite dangerous. As I said, many members of the first Order of the Phoenix were killed, tortured to insanity, or disappeared without a trace." Kingsley couldn't be sure if Tonks wasn't listening or if she was truly excited about the dangers involved.
"I'll do it! I'm in! This is bloody brilliant! Ever since Dumbledore announced You-Know-Who's return I wanted to do something about it!" Tonks was now on her feet, pacing around her living room.
"Of course this means that you'll have to be entirely loyal to Dumbledore and fighting for the Order. You may be asked to perform tasks that go directly against the Ministry and we must be sure that you will not sabotage the mission for the sake of your job as an Auror. Also, secrecy is of the utmost importance. If you see any members at the Ministry or on the street, you must act as you always would towards them." Tonks was nodding her head. She had now stopped pacing and was standing opposite Kingsley, her brow furrowed with determination.
"You have my word, Kingsley. Dumbledore has my word." Kingsley grinned as he watched Tonks' hair change from the springy green locks they had been to short and fiery red. Tonks was a Metamorphmagus and could change her appearance at will. Over the years Kingsley noticed that her eyes and hair tended to change with her mood. He'd seen the fiery red look on her a few times before, usually when she was either very mad or very determined. He clapped his hands together with a broad grin.
"Fantastic! Our first meeting will be tomorrow evening. I will have to escort you; headquarters are under very heavy protection. I will meet you here at five o'clock tomorrow evening and we will Apparate to our location." Tonks beamed at Kingsley. She nodded her understanding and the two said their good-nights. After seeing Kingsley to the door, Tonks turned and began doing a little victory dance around her apartment for a moment before promptly tripping over her slipper and falling flat on her face.
The next day at work had been uneventful, yet interesting all the same. She now became far more aware of Kingsley's presence around the office. She had kept true to her promise and rarely acknowledged his presence beyond their normal greetings and small conversations. When their shifts were finally over, they said their good-nights to each other and the rest of the office as they always did, and left their separate ways as usual. All of this normality would have normally bored Tonks to death; however the knowledge of a secret meeting in a secret place for a secret group known as the Order of the Phoenix made the common pleasantries quite amusing.
She Apparated on the doorstep of her small flat, wondering if it was even worth unlocking the door and going in as Kingsley was due to arrive in less than five minutes. Her unspoken question was answered when Kingsley Apparated right beside her.
"Ready for your first meeting?" he asked. Tonks nodded. There were butterflies in her stomach all of a sudden. From what Kingsley had told her, the Order was no laughing matter, and Tonks wondered vaguely if she were up to the challenge. "Take my arm." He said. Tonks took a firm hold of Kingsley's forearm. The two turned on the spot and Disapparated from Tonks' home. They reappeared in the middle of a deserted street. The sidewalk in front of them was pilled high with garbage bags from the homes behind it. The street was very dark as several of the street lamps were not lit. It appeared to be a normal, although rather shady, muggle street and Tonks wondered how this could possibly be suitable for Order Headquarters.
"Read this and memorize it. Once you do, you will be able to find Headquarters on your own." Kingsley said as he handed Tonks a small slip of paper. Tonks read what was written in small, slanting handwriting. Number Twelve Grimmauld Place. Headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix. Suddenly, Tonks heard a low rumbling. Between what Tonks had believed to be the mis-numbered houses of numbers eleven and thirteen appeared a third home. It seemed as though it were growing straight out of the ground, shoving the surrounding houses to the side. Tonks could make out faint images of Muggles in the houses being moved aside and none seemed to have noticed the change in location.
Number Twelve Grimmauld Place was just as dingy and unwelcoming as the rest. It seemed as though no one had occupied the house in several years. Shutters were hanging off the hinges, and the dark grey stone seemed to be turning black. Not to mention the overgrowth of weeds and plants on the front lawn. She felt Kingsley move past her and towards the unwelcoming house. She followed close behind him up to the front door step. Kingsley pulled out his wand and tapped the front door lightly. Tonks heard the soft clicking noise of locks opening from the inside of the door.
"Before we go in, I have to warn you to be extremely quiet." Kingsley said. Tonks nodded and Kingsley pushed the door open. The front hall was dark and cold. The only light came from a few dusty, old, wall lights emitting a soft yellowish glow into the hall. All along the walls were portraits of sleeping witches and wizards and directly to her left was a larger portrait covered by a dusty, moth eaten curtain. Tonks had never set much store by cleaning, but she felt that this place was a bit excessive. There footsteps were muffled by the dust covered carpet beneath their feet that emitted a cloud of filth around their ankles as they walked.
Kingsley led Tonks to the end of the long hallway, through a door, and down a flight of stairs. When they passed through the door at the bottom of the stairs, Tonks found herself in a dark kitchen with a large, heavy, wooden table. Sitting at the table, his back to the two Aurors, was a man with shoulder length, black hair wearing grubby black robes.
"Evening, Black." Kingsley addressed the man. He turned around in his chair to look back at Tonks and Kingsley. Tonks' stomach jumped into her throat as she realized that she was standing in the same room with the notorious killer Sirius Black. He was slightly less frightening than he had appeared in pictures after his escape from Azkaban. Though his eyes were still rather vacant and emotionless, they lacked the gaunt, sunken in appearance they had in his photographs. His face, though still pale and rather thin, looked slightly healthier than it had. Tonks was torn between greeting Sirius as Kingsley had and pulling out her wand and hexing him back to Azkaban. Sirius grinned, obviously sensing this tension as Tonks kept shooting furtive glances at Kingsley to see what he was going to do, as he was the lead Auror on Sirius's case.
"Hello, Kingsley. This must be my cousin." he said cheerily. His voice matched his appearance. Though Tonks was sure he meant to sound cheerful and welcoming, there was still a sort of deadness to it.
"Erm…Hi…?" she answered, still not sure how to react.
"I suppose you are trying to decide whether or not to arrest me." Sirius asked, now sounding amused. Tonks nodded hesitantly. Kingsley laughed.
"Black's innocent, Tonks. He was framed by Peter Pettigrew." Tonks still wasn't sure she was completely sane, but remembered what Kingsley had said about complete loyalty and decided not to argue.
"Tonks? I thought your name was Nympha-" Sirius started to ask. Tonks held up her hand, looking as though she were trying very hard to keep calm.
"No one calls me Nymphadora, Sirius. Call me Tonks." she said. Sirius nodded, grinning.
"Don't worry, I'd have people call me Tonks too." Sirius said.
"And yet you chose Padfoot." Came a male voice from behind Tonks. She turned around and saw a man standing behind her. Though she could tell he was still rather young, the man's face was lined and his light brown hair was flecked with grey. "Hello, Kingsley. This must be the woman you were telling us about." he smiled at Tonks
"Evening, Remus. Yes, this is Tonks. Tonks, this is Remus Lupin." Tonks gave Remus a small wave and smile. Sirius snorted.
"Tonks, I believe Professor Lupin was trying to get to the kitchen." he said casually. Tonks blushed slightly and stepped away from the stairs.
"Of course. Sorry about that." she said sheepishly. Remus smiled warmly at her and stepped into the kitchen, placing the papers he was carrying on the table and sat down. Kingsley gestured Tonks toward the table, taking a seat himself. Tonks sat down one chair away from Sirius, across from Remus.
"So Sirius tells us you're his cousin?" Remus asked conversationally. Tonks nodded.
"Yeah. Well, my mum's his cousin, so I guess that makes me his cousin. Maybe we're second cousins…I've never been able to figure that out!" Remus gave a small laugh.
"We'll just stick with cousins, Tonks." Sirius said with a small laugh. There was a moment of silence before there was a loud noise coming down the stairs.
"Ron, give it back!" a young girl shouted. Two bright red haired children came thundering down the stairs and into the kitchen. The boy, Ron, was holding a wand, just out of reach of the young girl who had been shouting.
"Are you going to hex me again?" he asked. The girl grinned, putting her hands on her hips.
"Don't be angry just because I can do a better Bat Bogey Hex than you." Ron flushed slightly around the ears.
"Would you two keep your voices down! You don't want a repeat of yesterday, do you?" came a rather stern female voice from halfway down the stairs.
"Sorry, Mum." the two chimed in unison. The girl took her brother's moment of inattentiveness and snatched her wand back from him. The woman who had spoken to them came the rest of the way down the stairs, holding a few bags of groceries.
"Ginny, dear, take one of these." she asked, handing the red haired girl a bag. The woman bustled over to the kitchen counter and turned back around to greet the rest of the kitchen. "Hello Kingsley, Sirius, Remus. You must be Nymphadora!" she said. Tonks found it hard to be annoyed at the woman for using her first name, she was such a motherly type.
"You can call me Tonks." was all she said.
"Lovely to meet you. I'm Molly Weasley and these are two of my children, Ron and Ginny." she said, gesturing toward the two kids who had just taken seats at the kitchen table. "Ron, where are your brothers?" Molly Weasley asked in an exasperated tone. Ron had no need to answer however as there was a scream followed loud shrieks that made their way down the stairs and into the kitchen.
"FILTH! SCUM! BLOOD TRAITORS! INSULTS TO MY FAMILY!" Tonks' head shot toward the stairs and immediately felt as if she'd missed something when the three men sitting around her jumped to their feet and ran up the stairs. After several minutes of continued shouts of insults, the house finally fell silent again. A moment later, the three men returned to the kitchen followed by two more bright red haired boys who appeared to be identical twins. Molly Weasley immediately rushed over to the boys.
"Fred! George! How many times do I have to tell you NOT to agitate Mrs. Black!?" Molly shouted. To the untrained eye, Fred and George might have actually appeared remorseful for their actions. However, Tonks had found herself in similar situations several times and new the look of satisfaction hiding just behind the mask of regret.
"Sorry, Mum." the two said. "Fred's Screaming Yo-yo fell out of his pocket." the twin on the left said. Molly's hands went straight to her hips.
"And where, may I ask, did you two get Screaming Yo-yo's? And why would you bring them here?!" she asked.
"At Gambol and Jape's." the twin on the right said.
"We just wanted a bit of fun." the one on the left said.
"It's right boring around here!" the boy on the right said. Tonks couldn't help but grin.
"I second that!" Came Sirius's voice from his original seat. Molly gave Sirius a disapproving look then turned back to her sons.
"Give it here." she said, holding out her hand. The twins huffed, but handed over the Screaming Yo-yo and sat down at the table. A thought suddenly struck Tonks.
"Weasley…Are you Charlie Weasley's family?" she asked. Mrs. Weasley turned and smiled at her, all anger at her two sons gone from her face.
"Why, yes, dear! Do you know him?" She asked. Tonks nodded.
"Yeah. Well, sort of. We were in the same year at Hogwarts, but I was in Hufflepuff, so I didn't know him all that well. We were partners in potions one year…Professor didn't like me much." Tonks added as an afterthought. Sirius laughed and Tonks noticed Remus give him a warning look before grinning himself. "What's so funny?" she asked, looking between the two. Sirius shook his head, having stifled his laughter, but was still grinning.
"Nothing, your potions professor was a schoolmate of ours, that's all." Remus answered. Sirius snorted.
"Greasy old git." one of the Weasley twins added in. All three of his siblings nodded their agreement.
"Oi, watch who you're calling old. He's the same age as me." Sirius said, but with very little conviction.
"He's my age, too, Sirius." Remus remarked. Sirius grinned.
"Yes, well, none of us are calling you young, Moony. You were in your mid-thirties by our fifth year!" Sirius joked. Remus rolled his eyes.
"Don't talk about other members so badly. We're supposed to on the same team." Mrs. Weasley chastised calmly as she set out cups of tea for everyone. Tonks couldn't help but notice that she didn't seem at all upset by everyone's comments.
"We can't help it if he's greasy and a git, Mum." Ron said matter of factly.
"He's right. You can smell the blighter from a mile away!" the other twin said.
"George!" Mrs. Weasley chided. Tonks made a mental note that George had green eyes while Fred's were more hazel. Sirius, who had been about to take a sip of his tea snorted quite a bit back into his cup and began laughing again. It sounded to Tonks as though he hadn't laughed in quite some time.
"At least I'm not the only one who can't stand him!" Tonks said, laughing. She looked up and found that even Remus was laughing. She knew he couldn't be that kind, and the proof came as quite a relief.
"On the contrary, actually." Remus said to Tonks, stifling his laughter long enough to relieve a memory. "Sirius, remember in our second year when you charmed his cauldron to his table in potions?" Remus asked. Both men were nearly rolling with laughter at this memory.
"Yes! He was pulling so hard!" Sirius said, leaning his head back, laughing.
"And when you lifted the spell!" Remus egged on. Sirius burst out laughing, imitating the scene of a cauldron full of some liquid flying back into the owner's face. The whole room was in an uproar, even Molly was chuckling, though she covered her mouth to try and hide it.
"Yes, we all found that highly amusing." came a cold drawl from the door. There were a few sighs and deep breaths as everyone tried to calm their laughter.
"Severus," Remus started, clearing his throat to regain his voice. "We weren't expecting you yet." he said.
"Apparently." He was holding a large cauldron in his arms and glaring around the kitchen at the occupants. "I've brought your potion, Lupin. Although, you don't appear to need it." he said coldly. Tonks looked back at Remus whose expression had changed from lighthearted to a cold stare. However, when he spoke, his voice was entirely calm.
"Maybe, however, seeing as you've carried it all the way out here, you might as well leave it." Remus forced a cordial smile before Severus carried the steaming cauldron over to the kitchen counter.
"Forgive me if I don't stay for dinner, Molly." was all Snape muttered before sweeping out of the kitchen again. The kitchen fell silent momentarily and Tonks noticed a few people sending Remus unreadable glances. Tonks finally decided she couldn't take the silence anymore.
"What's the potion for?" she asked. Sirius looked up at Remus, as if waiting to hear his response, and Tonks swore she saw a note of nervousness pass across his face momentarily.
"I'm afraid I haven't been feeling well. Severus is the only wizard I know who can brew the potion that helps the best." He said casually. Tonks could tell that this conversation was over. Though she was still very nervous about the work she'd be doing for the Order, she was glad to find that the other members were very enjoyable.