Author's Note: This was written for a challenge on the LiveJournal community Metamorfic Moon. It's based on the prompts Day of Gain, Confundus Charm, a picture of a white-curtained room, and Horror/Humour. Hope you enjoy. :)
And Now For Something Completely Different
Remus Lupin knew something was wrong when Nymphadora Tonks woke him up by bouncing into his room at Grimmauld Place, giggling, blonde, and blue-eyed. This point was further driven home by the fact that the first words that came to mind to describe her hair and eyes were not blonde and blue but rather "rippling waves of golden silk" and "fathomless pools of liquid sapphire".
Remus liked purple prose slightly less than he liked doing his taxes, so when he started thinking in it, it meant something was very wrong.
Wronger than the idea of Dolores Umbridge in a Miss Universe pageant.
"Er… Tonks?" Remus hazarded nervously. The young woman in question shook her head, sending golden curls bouncing.
"Don't be silly, Remus!" she giggled. "I'm Nymphadora Ophelia Bridgette Opal Desdemona Yummylips! Don't you remember?"
No. He didn't. He wondered if he was drunk, and had somehow forgotten that Tonks's last name was actually "Yummylips".
"I'm a half-veela phoenix Animagus," she reminded him. "Grandfather Albus—"
Okay, there was no way he was that drunk. Something very strange was going on. Dumbledore was definitely not related to the Tonks family, and as far as Remus knew, neither Ted nor Andromeda was a veela. And he didn't want their daughter to be a blonde, blue-eyed phoenix Animagus. He liked her the way she was: Weird (Sisters) clothing, pink spiked hair, and all.
Today, however, she was wearing a floor-length dress. Ice-blue, Remus's Inner Fashion Consultant noted, with cobalt trim around the scalloped sleeves, tiny turquoise gemstones sewn onto the bodice, and a skirt that flowed out to—
Remus stepped on his Inner Fashion Consultant.
He then ground his heel into the floor and stood up, throwing a dark green robe over his faded orange tee shirt and blue plaid pajama bottoms. He thought he heard a distant scream of anguish from his Inner Fashion Consultant, but he ignored it. He had more pressing problems - one of which was hanging off of his arm and giggling.
"Come on," he said firmly, taking her arm and leading her towards the door. "Let's see if we can find someone who knows what's going on."
As it turned out, there seemed to be no other adults in the house. However, as he passed the library, he thought he saw movement and stuck his head in (pulling a giggling Tonks after him) to see…
Hermione Granger was in the library. That, in itself, was not a surprise. She was not reading, though - instead, she was flipping through an issue of Cosmopolitan. However, even that was not the biggest surprise.
Hermione Granger was practically unrecognizable.
Her hair was no longer bushy - instead, it hung in sleek, curly, honey-brown waves down her back, and Remus found himself once again venturing dangerously close to the land of Purple Prose. Hermione's eyes, wide and shining, were outlined in makeup - but it was hardly necessary, as all of her facial features had suddenly become extremely attractive. Her lips shone with gloss, her fingernails were perfectly manicured, and her clothes were fashionable and trendy (at least, Remus thought so - his Inner Fashion Consultant had gone on strike after being stepped on). And most noticeable of all - well, it made Remus extremely uncomfortable even to notice that he was noticing - but really, it was impossible not to notice - she hadn't been quite so - er - curvy before today.
In the space of one summer, Hermione had gone from a sensible, plain, intelligent-looking girl to one that closely resembled an empty-headed supermodel.
Remus knew that children grew up fast, but this was a bit much.
"Er… Hermione?" he asked nervously, wondering if her personality had changed as well. Hermione lifted her newly-beautiful head and smiled.
Remus found that he didn't really like the way she said 'Professor'. It was rather disconcerting. As such, the next words out of his mouth weren't as carefully thought-out as he would have liked.
"You… you're different…"
He winced, hoping she wouldn't be offended, but instead, a blinding smile lit her features.
"Yeah! I, like, totally went to America this summer, and I met a bunch of new friends who like, totally gave me a makeover! Isn't it great?"
Remus raised an eyebrow. "Er, yes, I suppose… though I hope that you'll still have time for your studies… and your head girl duties, Dumbledore—" (he ignored Tonks's happy cry of "Grandpa!") "—mentioned he'd chosen you."
"Oh, yes," Hermione nodded. "I just had to ship my luggage to the suite I'll be sharing with the Head Boy, Draco Malfoy."
"What?" Remus yelped.
"I know!" Hermione agreed angrily. "He's, like, such an arrogant pig! But… Ohmygoshhe'ssogorgeous. And misunderstood. And I just want to hug him and kiss him and—"
Remus stumbled from the room in a blind panic, Tonks supporting him worriedly, and steadied himself on the handle of a broom cupboard. What was going on? Since when had Hermione become infatuated with the boy who had called her nasty names, hexed her best friends, and attempted to engineer the execution of an innocent forest creature? Since when had Hogwarts endorsed co-ed housing of hormone-ridden teenagers? It was almost as if he'd stumbled into a world where logic and reason had absolutely no meaning whatsoever. It was almost as if…
Abruptly, Remus was overcome by an overwhelming desire for chocolate. He was swimming in angst. He was drowning in misery. He, one of the most patient, composed, and stoical people in the wizarding world, was suddenly more emotional than a pregnant woman, and the only thing that would fix it was chocolate.
When Remus awoke, the taste of chocolate in his mouth and stars dancing before his eyes, it took him a moment to orient himself. When he finally managed to sit up, one hand to his aching head, he realized that he was in his own bedroom at Grimmauld Place - and that a completely different Tonks was sitting worriedly beside him.
This Tonks, Remus discovered, was nothing like the previous one. Instead of blonde hair, she had cascading locks of ebony— Black hair, Remus told himself. She has black hair. And… purple eyes. Shimmering amethyst— Purple. Wait - PURPLE?
Yes, indeed. Well, if she could turn her hair purple, it stood to reason that her eyes were no exception. However, it was a little… unnatural.
"Um… Nymphadora?" he guessed weakly.
Tonks shook her head tragically, sending a shimmering lock of hair falling across her face and into her eyes.
"Lillian Isabella Katherine Evangeline Serenity," she explained.
"And your life story is?" he prompted, trying not to sigh.
A single tear ran down Tonks's pale face.
"I was abused as a child. I ran away from home. I was so brilliant that I taught myself to read and write and work magic, and Professor Dumbledore invited me to join the Order of the Phoenix, because I'm a Seer and a Legilimens and a Parselmouth and—"
"Who are your parents?" Remus interrupted hesitantly. He wasn't sure he truly wanted to know.
"Bellatrix Lestrange," Tonks replied tragically, "And Lord Voldemort."
When he came to, two heads were looking down at him - Tonks's, and Sirius's.
"Oh, thank God!" Sirius shrieked. Remus winced - the high pitch wasn't doing wonders for his headache. "DARLING!"
"What the h—"
Before Remus had a chance to finish his statement, Sirius had grabbed him in a painfully tight hug and was kissing all over his face. It was rather like being licked by an over-enthusiastic dog, except for its being about a thousand times more horrifying. Terribly horrifying. Realizing-too-late-that-you've-had-chocolate-on-your-nose-all-the-time-you've-been-chatting-with-someone-you-fancy horrifying.
"AUGH! SIRIUS! GET OFF ME!" Remus shouted, shoving him away. Sirius pouted and looked hurt, but Remus was too busy taking horrified gasps of air and envisioning the nightmares he would have for months to offer an apology. After all, Sirius was the one who'd attacked him.
"What's wrong, Remmy Darling?" Sirius wanted to know.
Remus hoped he would never, ever hear that endearment come from his best friend's mouth. Ever. Again.
"What do you think you were doing?" he demanded.
"I was happy that you were all right!" Sirius replied indignantly. "Can't I be concerned about my boyfriend?"
This had to be a nightmare. Had to be. Had to be, had to be, had to be…
Remus closed his eyes, hard, then opened them again.
Sirius was still there.
Voldemort's daughter was still gazing melodramatically off into space.
Remus sighed. He was going to have to deal with this like a man.
He got up, muttered a quick "Back in a moment", ran to the first broom cupboard he came across, and hid.
However, he wasn't alone. All of a sudden, he became aware of a… presence… behind him, and, as he began to turn, he thought he heard a voice speaking…
And, just as he thought he saw a glimpse of a white-curtained room with a plain wooden chair, he was once again overcome by the need for chocolate.
This time, Remus awoke very slowly. He didn't have any idea what awaited him, but he wasn't sure he wanted to find out. However, deciding that things couldn't get much worse than Sirius being in love with him and Tonks being Voldemort's and Bellatrix's love child, he finally worked up the courage to open his eyes.
Tonks was leaning over him. This time, her hair was a fiery russet - er, red - and her eyes were verdant pools of emerald… her eyes were green.
"Tonks?" Remus enquired. At this point, it was mostly wishful thinking.
"No, I'm not Tonks!" not-Tonks spat angrily. "I'm Marguerite Angelica Rosalind Yewfire, and if by calling me 'Tonks' you're implying that I can't fight as well as a man, I suggest you watch me out in the field! I've fought fifty Death Eaters singlehandedly and won - and that was when I was in nappies! In fact, I defeated Grindlewald and Voldemort at the same time as an extra credit assignment in my first year at Hogwarts! Even without magic, the martial arts I learned while studying to be a ninja in Japan are as deadly as my lioness Animagus form - the one I was practicing when the Sorting Hat put me in Gryffindor from across the hall!"
"But… you were in Hufflepuff…" Remus put in weakly, a bit too dazed to do anything more.
"Oh, Hufflepuff, was I?" not-Tonks demanded, arching an eyebrow. "Not Gryffindor? Not the brave house? Admit it - you just think that I'm cowardly because I'm a woman! Why, I fought a dragon while blindfolded in a dark room - full of snakes! You don't call that brave?"
"Personally," Remus replied quietly, "the day I was forever impressed by your courage was the day you told me that, at Hogwarts, you'd charmed all of Severus's potions bottles to look like L'Oréal hair care products - and, when asked why he should believe you were innocent, replied 'Because I'm worth it.'"
For a moment, a faint flicker of smiling recognition passed across not-Tonks's face. However, before she could speak, a voice issued from the doorway.
"Either of you seen Harry?"
Remus glanced over.
And stared some more.
Ginny Weasley was standing in the doorway. She was wearing black boots, fishnet stockings, a jean miniskirt, a black leather tube top, and… very little else. Her lips were painted purple with lipstick. Her eyes were ringed by enough makeup to make her look like some kind of nocturnal rodent. Her hair was dyed black and cut raggedly around her shoulders. She wore a spiked collar around her neck, and she had lip, nose, and eyebrow piercings, as well as enough earrings to make magnets quite hazardous to her. There was a Dark Mark tattoo on her left bicep and a dissatisfied scowl on her face.
"S-S-Seen H… Har-ry?" Remus stuttered.
"Yes," Ginny replied, toying absently with the snake bracelet wrapped around her right arm. "I need to tell him that I've been re-sorted into Slytherin. And that I'm leaving him for Blaise Zabini."
Remus gaped. Ginny took the opportunity to roll her eyes, toss her hair over her shoulder, and disappear down the staircase.
"Er… Remus?" not-Tonks asked hesitantly. "Is something wrong?"
"Oh, yes," Remus replied. "Something is very wrong. Something is more wrong than my answers on my Divination O.W.L. And I think I know the source."
Not-Tonks in tow, Remus set off for the broom cupboard. However, just as he twisted the handle, he felt a strange dizziness and an overpowering desire for chocolate…
This was the last straw. Remus got painfully to his feet, beginning to feel sick from all the chocolate he had apparently eaten, and brushed off the concerned questions of Serena Ulyssa Esmerelda Stardust, a girl with chocolate brown hair and eyes like silver moonlight who insisted that she was a princess, a wolf Animagus, and his daughter.
He didn't even want to think about that.
This time, Remus approached the cupboard with caution. Wrapping the sleeve of his robe around his hand so as to avoid contact between the handle and his skin, he slowly opened the door, wand at the ready, Tonks clinging nervously to his arm.
Not my daughter, his mind insisted, even if she's young enough that it's physically possible…
This time, when he peered into the room, the chair was not empty. In it sat a tall woman with long blonde hair, and before her, arms folded crossly, stood… Lily Evans? A fifteen-year-old Lily Evans?
"What do you mean?" Lily was demanding. "James Potter is a big fathead! I'm not sinking to his level - I've spent my whole career as a Prefect telling him off for his idiotic—"
"Confundus," the woman said sharply but clearly.
Lily's eyes suddenly went dazed and unfocused.
"I need to beat Potter at his own game…" she muttered. "Get my friends together… form a rival pranking group… spend less time on my studies…"
She stumbled from the room muttering something about dyeing James's hair pink.
"How - how dare you?" Remus gasped.
Slowly, the woman turned. Her face was cold and haughty, with a kind of sharp, classic beauty, and she was dressed in a long, flowing white robe.
"How dare I what?" she asked.
"You just - just Confunded Lily into behaving completely out of character!" Remus protested.
The woman raised a sculpted eyebrow.
"I am a Muse," she informed him. "I do what I wish, and the young girl who is my oracle tells my heart-wrenching stories to the world. And they are perfectly realistic - isn't it true that you're a self-deprecating, manic depressive wreck who can't function without chocolate?"
"Well… well, no," he replied. "And… my friends! What have you done to them? They were never like that before!"
The Muse sniffed. "I simply helped them to realize their true selves. And now, I'm afraid, my new inspiration calls for you to fall in love with Severus Snape, so…"
But before she could raise her wand, Remus lifted his and bellowed the only spell that could save them from disaster.
The world went white, then red, then a rather lovely shade of lavender.
Then it went black.
Remus was getting a bit tired of waking up on the floor. He groaned the familiar groan, put the familiar hand to his familiarly aching head, and opened his eyes to see the familiar face of… Nymphadora Tonks?
Weird Sisters tee shirt, pink spiked hair, and all?
"Wotcher, Remus!" she greeted him cheerfully. "Need a hand up?"
Gratefully Remus nodded, letting her help him to his feet and then to a chair.
"What happened?" he asked dazedly.
"Well," Tonks replied, biting her lip, "I don't really remember all the specifics, because everything was a bit hazy for me, but you made that Muse lady disappear. And things are back to normal, now - Hermione's cramming on sexual harassment laws was interrupted by an owl from Dumbledore calling off the shared suite idea; Sirius moaned about his injured masculine pride, drank himself sick, and went off to reread some favourite book of his on charming witches; and Ginny is now dressed like herself again, back in Gryffindor, and once again dating Harry. You've saved the day, Remus." She leaned forward to kiss him on the cheek, and he blushed happily. "Everything is back to the way it was."
Remus took a deep breath, then let it out as a groan.
"Not everything," he revealed ruefully. "I think I've gained about ten pounds in chocolate."