Summary: A series of vignettes highlighting Tonks' attempts at gathering information on Remus. Set during OOTP.
A/N: Just a bit of silliness, to quote yenni_babie, because Merlin knows that's what we need after DH. I think the funniest thing about this series is going to be my attempt at humor, but oh well.
Conversations About A Werewolf
1. Mad-Eye Moody
Tonks had been staring at the same piece of parchment in the kitchen of Grimmauld Place for what felt like hours. Yet, the harder she tried to focus, the more the words seemed to blur together. Finally, she sighed and leaned back against her chair, its front legs lifting precariously off the stone floor. Moody, who was hunched over the long wooden table beside her, fixed his magical eye on her while the other continued to scan his own piece of parchment. Suddenly a squeal of terror shattered the silence when Tonks’ chair tipped dangerously back, and she almost lost her balance. Moody huffed as she returned all four legs squarely to the floor, and then both his eyes returned to his parchment again.
Once the adrenaline from her near-fall left her, her weariness returned, and Tonks yawned hugely. Between putting in a double shift at the Ministry that week and night guard duty for the Order, she was completely knackered. Her eyes seemed to get heavier and heavier with each passing moment. Finally, she let out another sigh, and turned to face Moody. He fixed his magical eye on her again.
“This is terribly dull work, don’t you think?”
“It’s not supposed be fun,” he growled.
“I know, but I’m not getting anywhere! Can’t we take a break?”
“A break? Do you think the Death Eaters are taking a break? No,” he said quickly, before she could respond with something cheeky, “and neither will I. If you want to compromise yourself and the Order, then go on, take a break. Otherwise, shut your mouth and get back to work.”
Tonks raised her eyebrows. “Bit dramatic there, Mad-Eye, don’t you think?”
Moody huffed in response before focusing both eyes on his work again.
She wasn’t about to give up that easily, though. She was an Auror, for Merlin’s sake! And besides, annoying Mad-Eye had become a favorite hobby of hers. Tonks blew a strand of blue hair out of her eyes, and pretended to focus on her work again. She needed something to talk about. It didn’t take her long to decide, however; she would just bring up a topic that had been on her mind a lot lately.
“Can I ask a question?”
“What’s the story with Remus Lupin?”
Moody fixed both eyes on Tonks now. “What do you mean by that, girl?”
“Well, I dunno... he’s a bit strange, isn’t he?”
“He’s one of the most valuable members of the Order of the Phoenix, been with us from the start. It’d be good to remember that. Don’t matter what he is or where he comes from, he’s loyal and that’s all you need to know.”
“What? Oh, I know!” amended Tonks quickly. “I just meant, well, he’s a bit reserved, isn’t he?”
“Most folk are reserved compared to you, girl,” Moody growled.
She chose to ignore his comment. “I mean, he just kind of sits there politely and listens to everything anybody says. Rarely answers personal questions. Though I guess there isn’t much to add after Sirius opens his mouth, is there? Has Remus always been like that?”
“What’s it to you?”
Moody’s good eye narrowed skeptically. “The lad’s suffered a lot, hasn’t he? Lost two of his best friends in the first war, to boot.”
“I know,” she said quietly, “he just seems so interesting, I wish he'd talk more.”
“Lupin’s a good solider: keeps his mouth shut and his head down. A lesson you could stand to learn,” he added in a low voice.
She ignored him again. “Do you know how old he was when he got the bite?”
“I don’t know,” he snapped. “Greyback got ‘im when –“
“Fenrir Greyback?” Tonks asked, dark eyes flashing with a mixture of disgust and anger. “That horrible monster who tries to bite children?”
“The very same,” growled Moody, a measure of disgust detectable in his own voice now.
“So he was young when he got the bite?”
“Just a boy, yeah. Paid for his father’s mistakes,” said Mad-Eye, shaking his head.
“Merlin, I can’t believe that... poor Remus.”
“Don’t go pitying him now. He doesn’t need that.”
“I know,” she said sadly. “I just wish I could help.”
“You can help by getting this work done and shutting up. Here,” he said forcefully, switching his parchment with hers, “you work on the map of the Ministry, and I’ll finish this up since you can’t seem to be bothered.”
Tonks knew from the extra dose of gruffness in his tone that their conversation was over. Yet, she couldn’t help but laugh under her breath as Moody grumbled about young people today and their carelessness. She knew the old Auror was amused, even if he had a strange way of showing it.
Mad-Eye had given her some valuable information on Lupin, she mused, though this new knowledge only added to her thirst for more. And it shouldn’t be too hard to find. After all, she was a trained Auror - forcing information out of people was part of the job description.
But for now, she was content to glance over the map as her mind drifted back to the mystery of Remus Lupin.
1. Mad-Eye Moody
2. Kingsley Shacklebolt
3. Ginny Weasley and Hermione Granger
4. Molly Weasley
5. Severus Snape
6. Sirius Black
7. Mundungus Fletcher
8. Remus Lupin