Getting to the Mustard

By: Amy Elizabeth

Disclaimer: Don't own 'em.

Rating: Eh, PG

A/N: First time back in 2 years. This has been rattling around for a long time.

Nymphadora Tonks found herself reeling. Though, for a change, it was not because she had fallen. It had to do with heat. Body Heat. Remus Body Heat. She could still feel the tingling where his hand had just been.

Glancing around the Burrow, which was presently filled with members of the Order milling about eating and talking, she carefully set down her plate of food, as not to spill it down herself.

Remus had just touched her. Though, this, in itself, was not much of a development. They touched all the time. In fact, Tonks often made it a point to casually brush against Remus in the narrow hallways of Headquarters or to linger just a little too long grasping his hands when he helped her off the floor. And, until she could gather the courage to just tackle him and kiss him senseless, these things had to do. Each time she wondered if he felt the little jolt she did; that little bit of breathlessness that even such casual contact can inspire when you were as devastatingly attracted to someone as Tonks was to Remus. But those touches were just that, casual; casual and innocent, and the little jolts that they gave were nothing compared to this total destruction of all equilibrium and cohesion that she felt now.

Calm down, she chastised herself. He just needed to get past you to get the mustard. Its not like he pushed you against the wall in a fit of unbridled passion.

She grabbed at the edge of the table; that image didn't help the reeling.

Leaning, she hoped casually, against the table, Tonks took a slow drink of her butterbeer. So maybe Remus hadn't pushed her up against the wall, declaring his attraction to her in a very blunt way, but something big had just happened, she was sure of it. Something had changed in their relationship and she dared to hope it was a step in the right direction. After all, there were a million other ways to touch someone than how he just had.

Most obviously, there was a touch on the shoulder. Tapping a person on the shoulder was benign. One could tap a stranger in the lift to get past them and get the same response as they would if they tapped their mother. In fact, Tonks had tapped Molly on the shoulder this evening to ask if she could help set out food for the party.

Molly had turned her down, of course, but that was beside the point.

No one got worked up by a shoulder tap.

There was the thump on the back. It was a jovial, friendly gesture between people who knew each other. It could range from a warm greeting to a well-meaning ribbing. She had given Mad-Eye a good whack a few minutes ago. She found that doing that annoyed him enough that he tended to forget what exactly she had been teasing him about in the first place.

It was useful but definitely not a sensual experience.

A hand on the back meant something else entirely. Her father often rested his hand on her upper back when giving her advice or shepherding her away from an argument with her mother. A hand on the upper back was supportive, a signal of a close relationship.

In a familial sort of way.

A hand on the lower back was a bit more intimate, a guiding, occasionally possessive move. Tonks had watched several couples walk through parties, stores, and streets like that. In fact, she had often wondered about how lovely it would be to find Remus's hand on her lower back.

Though, while she would have found a hand on the lower back very exciting a few minutes ago, it was now not necessarily the most exciting touch.

No, the most exciting was Remus's hand sliding slowly across her lower back to rest lightly against her hip before gently pressing to move her over a few inches. He had leaned in, close; she had been able to feel his breath on her neck, while his arm extended past her to grab the mustard on the table around her. His forearm had drug along the side of her waist as he retracted his arm.

Hip touching. What did hip touching mean?

Placing her butterbeer beside her plate she glanced over at Remus. Settling comfortably into one of the armchairs, he looked perfectly at ease as he started talking with Arthur about Muggle matches. Perfectly at ease. Maddeningly at ease.

But surely he had known what he was doing. He had touched her bloody hip, for crying out loud, and that was a fairly suggestive move in Tonks' book. You don't touch your mother's hip, your friend's hip. Hips were a no-go in most day-to-day situations. In fact, to go from bumps in hallways to caressing hips fairly screamed 'I want you too'.

After all, he could have just said 'excuse me'.

Right?

"Tonks, dear, are you alright? You look rather flushed." Molly Weasley, carrying in yet another dish of food, suddenly swam into focus.

"Yes, I'm…fine. Just a little…I'm fine." Willing herself to keep steady, Tonks picked up her fork and flashed Molly a quick smile, "Thank you though."

"Of course, dear." She placed the large bowl on the table, "You just looked a little shell shocked. I was a bit afraid you were about to fall over."

She gave a motherly smile as she bustled away. Glancing to see who else might have noticed her distress, Tonks caught the Remus's eye across the room. The shy smirk on his face told her he had heard the whole exchange. Heard the whole exchange and was amused by it.

She felt her cheeks flush and grabbed the table again. The hip touch had not been on accident. He had wanted to get her flustered and was enjoying his success. Something big had happened indeed.

Ignoring the mischievous glint in his eyes as he watched her, Tonks popped a piece of bread into her mouth and smiled to herself. Remus had just instigated open flirting and clearly this was how the game was going to go. Well, she could fluster someone just as well as he.

Taking another long drink of her butterbeer she wondered how he would respond to a firm slap on the butt.