Title: Reading

Fandom: Harry Potter

Pairing: Remus/Tonks

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Remus Lupin was reading.

Set during OotP. My take on how they got together.

Remus Lupin was reading. Really, he was. He was reading his book. Yes. He was definitely reading his book, and definitely not staring across the room at Nymphadora Tonks.

They were in the downstairs sitting room of Number 12 Grimmauld Place. Sirius and Tonks were playing with a deck of Exploding Snap cards that the twins had left behind. Not that Remus had noticed what they were doing. After all, he was reading.

Tonks disappeared into the kitchen a little past midnight, presumably to make some tea. Remus realized that his lingering glances might not have been a subtle as he had hoped when Sirius stood, yawning and feigning exhaustion, and disappeared up the stairs, casting a wink in Remus's direction as he left.

Remus rolled his eyes and returned to his book until Tonks re-entered the room, and he found himself able to give the book just as much attention now as before.

"Sirius?" Tonks gestured to his empty chair.

"Bed, he said." Remus shrugged. When his eyes furitively glanced over the top of his book again, he was startled to realize that Tonks hadn't yet sat down in her chair. She was still standing in the doorway, and seemed to be trying to figure something out.

Remus has just decided to say something noncomittal when, suddenly, he found himself in an intriguing position. Nymphadora Tonks had planted herself astride his lap and was kissing him as he had not been kissed in quite some time.

When he finally found the ability to function, he lifted his hands to her shoulders and pushed her backward. The gesture was gentle, but her typical lack of balance and gravity contributed and she toppled backwards off of his lap, landing ungracefully on the floor, legs askew. Remus managed to be enough of a gentleman not to look at the proffered view, but enough of a marauder to chide himself for the sacrifice.

"Ow! Bollocks! Remus, I swear, for someone who claims to be so old, you've got some power, there." Remus looked as if he were about to say something, but she shook her head. "I swear, if you're about to tell me that we need to stop before we do something we regret, or something ridiculously chivalrous like that, I'm going to hex you into next month!"

He slid from the sofa, groaning inwardly as his knees didn't think as much of the relocation as they might have ten years ago. He placed a hand behind her shoulder in an attempt to help her up.

"Nope." She shrugged away his aid. "You're not allowed to touch me anymore unless you mean it."

"Don't be ridiculous, Nymphadora. I'm only making sure that you're not injured."

"No more so than usual." She pouted, sliding backwards so that her back contacted the sofa and crossing her legs, clad in red and white stripped thigh-highs that ended below the hem of a black, pleated miniskirt. "Remus, do you think maybe we can talk about this?"

"About you falling from the sofa? I hardly think that we need to further compound your embarassment by talking about it."

"Don't be thick. You know what I'm talking about. Can we please talk about why you act as though I've got spattergoit or something?" She furrowed her brow, looking genuinely distressed.

"We have talked about it, if I'm not mistaken." He frowned.

"We have. I'm choosing to treat all of your arguments as the bollocks they are, and forcing you to come up with a real explanation." She harumphed, folding fishnet encased forearms underneath her chest. "Remus, what is going on? I know you like me." She gestured to the couch somewhat helplessly.

"Well of course I do. I'd have to be completely mad not to like you, Dora. You're charming, and friendly, and one of the most attractive witches I've ever met! I'd have never thought in my entire life that I'd find green hair alluring, and yet there are days when it's all I can think about!"

"You think it doesn't drive me spare, as well?!" Tonks threw her arms to the sides in frustration. "You think that it doesn't make me slightly worry about myself that all I can think about is some stupid bloke who reads too much and wears stupid cardigans? But you know what the difference is between you and I?"

"Many times over, I shouldn't wonder."

"Don't be an arse. The difference is that I'm willing to do something about it! It's not fair that we should just sit here and both think about what might happen if we do or don't." Her voice softened slightly, and she looked, to Remus, about ready to cry. For a moment, he hated himself. "We owe it to ourselves, especially with everything that's happening, to try to grab what we can while we can."

"We have gone over this before, Nymphadora. I'm far too old for you, at the very least."

"Remus? Who the bloody hell cares about an age difference like that when either of us could be dead tomorrow?" He wanted to respond to her. Really, he did. The only problem was that he couldn't think of a single thing to say to that rare moment of Tonksian clarity. By the time she spoke again, he knew he'd lost, but it seemed rude to interrupt her. "You make me happy, Remus. I think I make you happy, too."

"Yes, of course you do."

"Then what do you say you and I go and have drinks or something?"

"I do not see, at this juncture, how I've any alternative."

"Remus, we're never going to get anywhere if you-- Huh?" She stopped short, currently hazel eyes frozen in surprise, and Remus thought that he'd remember that face as long as he lived. He'd never really seen Tonks speechless before.

"Very well, Nymphadora. We shall go for drinks." Remus stood, this time wincing as his joints protested yet again. "That is if, after watching that pitiful display, you'd still like to spend your time in my company."

"Don't be absurd. I'm going to go home and get ready. I'll meet you back here in half an hour. Does that sound okay?"

"That sounds fine. Although, I assure you, Dora, you've no need to make any adjustments on my behalf." Remus was slightly flattered, but not enough to allow her to go to all of that trouble for him.

"Psh." Tonks waved a hand dismissively. "Of course I do. I always get dressed up for drinks with 30 something werewolf professors." She grinned.

"Ah." Remus tucked his hands into his pockets. "In that case, heavens forefend that I interfere with tradition."

She blew him a kiss and disappeared through the front door. Remus moved to sit down again on the sofa, and opened his book once more, trying not to cast continuous glances at the doorway until she reappeared. He knew she'd be stunning. If he hadn't been done for before, he certainly was now.

Remus Lupin was reading. Really, he was.