Written for the March R/T Challenge on LiveJournal using the prompt #7 - picture of a note on a fridge. Please Read and Review!
Remus Lupin is a remarkably peculiar man.
Remus Lupin is a remarkably peculiar man.
Tonks had been leaning on the door frame watching him silently for the past several minutes. He had just returned from a mission for the Order an hour ago, and in Tonks' opinion he looked completely exhausted, from the way his eyes drooped and shoulders slouched forward, but he had waved off the suggestions that she and Sirius had put forward that he put his feet up and relax for the afternoon and had retreated back to the library.
Sirius shook is head as his eyes followed Remus out of the room. "All work, and no play makes Moony…"
"A dull boy?" finished Tonks. She had noticed that Remus had become increasingly quiet over the past couple weeks. Some would say that she was looking too deeply into it, as Remus Lupin was naturally quiet sort of bloke, but there was something distressing about his actions. He was pulling away from others. Where he used to sit and joke with Sirius, he now sat in silence looking into his tea. He used to chat with Tonks in the mornings about the tabloid news in the Daily Prophet, but now he was skipping their morning ritual entirely. Tonks had come to depend on that bright spot in her day before she put on her charade as a loyal Ministry employee, and she missed him. In fact, she was surprised at how much she did.
"Well, I was going to say depressing wanker, but yours fits too." Sirius sighed, "I know why I'm depressed, stuck in this place without anything to contribute," muttering as he kicked the chair beside him, "but I don't get Remus right now. He can come and go, he can do something useful for the Order, and he's got a beautiful witch. Sure, he's being used as a face of the werewolves by the Prophet, but…"
"He's got a what?" Tonks was shocked. All the time that they had spent together, and he had never mentioned a girlfriend. Or worse, a wife. Or worse? Why would Remus having a wife be a bad thing? He'd be happy, and loved. What would be wrong with that? She should be happy for him. She really should. Why aren't I happy for him?
"I guess I should rephrase. I meant he's got a beautiful witch within his reach. Here you are right here. You fancy him, and he's mad about you. All he needs to do is make a move, and BAM!" Sirius slammed his hand on the table, making Tonks jump in her seat, "Happy Moony, happy Tonks, and happy Sirius who gets to live vicariously through their bliss."
Tonks could feel her eyes growing wide and her jam dropped on its own behalf. It was only two in the afternoon, how much firewhiskey could have Sirius drank or had he finally cracked? "Why would you say that I fancy Remus? He's my friend. Colleague, really. Mere acquaintances if I'm telling the story right."
"Then would you care to explain that look on your face when you thought he had a significant other? Because it was really entertaining, and if it wasn't about the fact that you want him in your knickers and can't stand to think about him with anyone else, I'd like to hear that story. It's bound to be a good one." Sirius rocked back on his chair and gave Tonks a wink.
Tonks had the sudden urge to get as far away from Sirius as humanly possible. She stood up, and walked around the table to head out of the room. Passing Sirius, she nudge the leg of his chair and continued on her way, smiling to herself as she heard him crash to the floor behind her.
I fancy Remus Lupin.
I fancy Remus Lupin.
It came to Tonks in a flash as she watched him in the library, as he stared at the wall in front of him, apparently in deep thought. There wasn't one thing that she could pick out, it was simply everything about him. His humour, his intelligence, his caring, he was the entire package. She groaned to herself. Why hadn't I realised this before?
Hearing her, Remus turned around and seeing who it was, changed his neutral expression into a small smile. "Tonks. Care to help me with something?" Gesturing towards the wall, Remus stepped back and shook his head. "I've been staring at this for so long I rather get the feeling that I'm missing something simple."
Tonks slipped in and joined him looking at the wall. She could now see that it was covered top to bottom with Post-It notes. Hundreds of them, in several different colours with scribbled writing on them that appeared to be outlining Order reports and tasks. "I'd love to help, but, um, do you have some sort of system?" Looking at this wall was making her feel dizzy, and if Remus had been staring at this collage for a while, it wasn't hard to think that he may have glanced over something. No wonder he had been retreating, this was driving her mad already and it had only been thirty seconds.
"Ah, yes. My system is quite simple. The Post-Its are chronological as to when the Order received the information. Top to bottom, left to right. I'm looking to see if we missed something leading up to the attack on Arthur. If we can find what we missed last time, we can look for something on this wall that we may have thought inconsequential at the time, but may be a hint of something coming up in the future.
Tonks nodded. She had known that Remus was an intelligent man, but this was sheer genius. He had mapped out everything that had ever been reported at an Order meeting, and many things that she had never heard about. She realised that he must be privy to information that she wasn't, and that said a great deal about his character. He had things only Dumbledore would have known on this wall, and knowing that Dumbledore trusted him above others made her smile inwardly. He truly was remarkable. "What about the colours?"
"Each colour Post-It reflects who brought in the intel and it helps me keep it straight visually. The white ones are Dumbledore, green is Severus, blue is me, red is Hagrid, pink is you, etc." Tonks' eyes scanned the wall and was able to begin to see the patterns and sort out who was what colour, and giggled a couple times when she saw that Kingsley's assigned colour was purple, and that McGonagall's were also white, but had a picture of a squat man in a kilt on them say 'Up Yer Kilt!"
Remus continued to stare at the second row from the bottom. "I think it's something missing around this point, but I'm just missing it." Tonks moved forward and examined the row in question and inspiration struck.
"It was the same Death Eater patrolling the Department of Mysteries the same night that Sturgis Podmore got found out." She stood back and pointed higher up on the wall to a pink Post-It. "I was the Auror who had to interrogate Sturgis for 'breaking into a restricted area'. I cast a muffliato on the Quik Quotes Quill during the interview and asked him who it was. It was Yaxley both times."
"It was that snake of Voldemort's that got Arthur not a Death Eater, Tonks."
"But Yaxley was there. He was at the ministry that night. Look in the report Kingsley brought back!" Tonks pointed at the purple Post-It beside the multiples detailing Arthur's attack. "He had to compile a list of everyone who was at the Ministry that late into the evening. It was all custodial staff, and Yaxley. He may work there, but there was no reason for him to be there that late. He must have let the snake in"
"Hmm. It appears that we may have underestimated Mr. Yaxley. I hadn't thought about how it had gotten in the Ministry in the first place. It couldn't have just slithered in the front door, could it?" Remus closed his eyes and grinned. "This is such a relief. It's been bothering me for weeks, and I wasn't able to lay out everything while the children were here over Christmas. Of course, that relief completely gives way to the fear that we may have a new senior Death Eater in the game. But, I do believe that a celebration is in order. Would you like to go out for some tea?"
Would she like to go for tea with Remus Lupin? Of course she would, but what of her newly discovered attraction to him? Could she pretend that they were just friends, or could she take the chance that he might be interested in her as well? Sirius had said that he was mad about her, but how right could he be? Tonks grinned to herself when she realised that he had been right about her and she hadn't even known it herself. That Sirius Black was one perceptive git.
She turned towards Remus and saw that he was writing something down on a blue Post-It. He stuck it to the wall at the end of the row and looked back at her. Tonks read it and broke into a huge grin.
RL is terrified as he asks NT out for tea at the shop around the corner.
Remus gazed down at her and had a gleam of hopefulness in his eyes. The tiredness that Tonks had noticed earlier had vanished, and the boyish charm had returned. Tonks reached around him, grabbed the pink pad and a pen and added her response.
NT is thrilled and is ready to be escorted away by RL. She may even treat him to a biscuit if he plays his cards right.
Remus chuckled nervously at her response. He then reached down and took the two Post-It's off the wall and carefully tucked them neatly into his pocket, so not to tear them, and led her out of the library. True, it was a little peculiar that she had been asked out via a Post-It note on the wall, but Tonks couldn't help be feel that this could be the start of something truly remarkable.