Summary: A series of vignettes highlighting Tonks' attempts at gathering information on Remus. Set during OOTP.
A/N: Writing this taught me a valuable lesson: Kingsley is very hard to write!
Conversations About A Werewolf
2. Kingsley Shacklebolt
“Do you think anyone’s going to show?” Tonks whispered.
“I don’t know,” Kingsley replied slowly. “I would have expected at least Lucius Malfoy by now.”
Tonks made a noncommittal hum before wrapping her cloak tightly around her. She backed up slowly and winced as her body made contact with the shrubbery in which they were hiding. Kingsley shot her a warning look, and she smiled sheepishly in return.
They had been watching for signs of movement around the Malfoy Manor premises for two hours now, but they hadn’t seen anything suspicious. In fact, the most suspicious thing of all was the blatant lack of anything. Perhaps Dumbledore’s tip had been wrong; perhaps nothing was going on tonight.
Then again, Dumbledore was rarely wrong.
Tonks shivered again, and then cast a silent warming charm. After the chill left her, she sat down on the ground, staring at the house through a break in the bushes. Kingsley looked down at her briefly, but said nothing. He looked too tense at the moment, considering the fact that they were in no immediate danger, so Tonks mulled over potential conversation topics to break the tension.
“Hey, Kingsley?” she whispered. “What’s your middle name?”
“I don’t have one,” he responded in a low voice.
“Oh, me neither. What do you think Mad-Eye’s is? Maybe Alastor Terence. Don’t you think he looks like a Terence?”
“I think he looks like a Mad-Eye,” replied Kingsley seriously.
She laughed quietly. “Touché.” She paused and, before giving herself time to analyze it, before even realizing that the words had left her mouth, she asked, “What about Remus... what do you think his middle name is?”
He raised an eyebrow. “It’s John,” Kingsley said simply.
“Really? When I asked him, he just laughed and wouldn’t tell me,” she grumbled. “Said I could figure it out on my own. How’d you know?”
“Told me in passing, I suppose.”
“Wonder why he wouldn’t tell me,” she huffed, knowing fully well she sounded like a petulant child. But really, after all those nights she spent sitting up with Remus and Sirius in Grimmauld place, did Remus still question her loyalties? Or did he simply enjoy seeing her squirm? Either way, she was starting to think he was a bit of a git. Although that thought did nothing to quell her curiosity...
“Remus can’t really be as nice as he seems, can he?”
“I’ve known Remus a long time, since our Hogwarts days. He’s a good man,” Kingsley said earnestly.
She sighed. Getting information from Kingsley was like swiping a dragon’s egg from right under its mother’s nose. Tonks might be good at interrogation, but he too was an Auror – and a much better one, at that. She still had a lot to learn.
“Were you two friendly?”
“We were in different years and different houses. He spent most of his time with his three friends...”
“James, Sirius, and Peter,” she exclaimed, proud that she knew more than Kingsley expected.
“Keep your voice down,” he reminded her. “And yes. They got themselves into a lot of trouble, those four.”
“I heard about Sirius and James, but I can’t imagine Remus getting up to much trouble.”
“I agree. I suppose Remus usually just got caught in the middle.”
“Really?” she asked eagerly. “Do you have any stories?”
Kingsley eyed her curiously for a moment before responding. “Well, before Christmas in my seventh year, Sirius and James charmed some mistletoe to slowly strangle those beneath it...”
“And Remus got caught under it?”
Kingsley nodded, a small smile on his face. “With Abigail Smith.”
Tonks sniggered into her hand. “What happened?”
“He refused to kiss her for a while, until Abigail started turning blue. The whole school was there to witness it,” he chuckled fondly. “Lupin was not happy.”
“I wouldn’t imagine so,” she responded idly, a slight smile forming on her lips at the image of a horrified teenage Remus leaning in for a kiss in front of hundreds of spectators.
“Have any other stories?”
“Not about Remus, no. He didn’t get up to much, that I know of. I have dozens about Sirius th -”
He stopped speaking abruptly. After a moment, she heard it too: the slamming of a door giving way to hushed voices. From her vantage point on the ground, she spotted the hems of a number of different wizards as they descended the stairs quickly. She scrambled to her feet to get a better look.
It was Lucius Malfoy all right, along with a dozen other wizards whom she recognized to be Death Eaters as well.
“What now?” she mouthed to Kingsley.
“We report back to Dumbledore,” he muttered in her ear, just barely audible above the shuffling of feet in the distance. “He is right, of course. They are planning something big.”
“Yeah...” Tonks agreed, her heart pounding in her chest, all thoughts of Remus temporarily thrust to the back of her mind.
Suddenly, the impending war was becoming very, very real to her.
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