Summary: A series of vignettes highlighting Tonks' attempts at gathering information on Remus. Set during OOTP.
A/N: Writing Mundungus = the hardest thing ever. So sorry that his dialect is off, I tried!
Conversations About A Werewolf
7. Mundungus Fletcher
“Bugger!” yelled Tonks as she knocked over her cup of tea, sending an amber wave of liquid cascading to the stone floor.
She slid off her chair and knelt on the floor, muttered a cleaning charm, and then mopped up the remnants of tea that her sloppy spell left behind. She then got to her feet slowly, wincing as her head collided with the side of the table. When she straightened, she was surprised to find that she had been left alone with Mundungus Fletcher, who was smoking his pipe and most definitely leering at her bottom.
Tonks felt her cheeks flush at this revelation. Out of all the people she wanted ogling her bum, Mundungus was not one of them.
“Can I help you, Mundungus?” she asked icily.
“Ah, ‘ello there,” he said, not looking at all ashamed of being caught. “’Ow’s it going?”
“Fine, thanks,” she answered curtly before turning away to wash out her teacup.
“This house ain’t exactly a palace, is it?” She didn’t respond. “Always so depressing in ‘ere, ain’t it?”
“You know, we don’t have to talk.”
“You don’t like me much, do ya?” he asked, smoke from his pipe obscuring his face.
“How ever did you figure that one out?” she asked sarcastically.
“Ah, but I’m used to it, ain’t I? The lasses don’t exactly chase after me, you know.”
“We should get outta here, what d’ya think, Tonksie? Get us some drinks at The Leaky Cauldron. I’d have to be incognito – y’know, been banned from there for ages – but it could be a good time all the same,” he finished, raising his eyebrows suggestively.
“Are you joking? I wouldn’t go out with you if it was between you and the Bloody Baron!”
“Well now, that was a bit harsh, love...”
“Dung, I’m an Auror and you’re a criminal. I’ve chased you eight times in the past year!”
“So you’ve been counting?” He grinned. “Ya know, if you wanted me, you could’ve just asked.”
“You sent a swarm of bees at me last time!”
“Oi, that was you?!”
Tonks sighed. “This conversation is over.”
As she headed for the door, however, Mundungus spoke again. “Of course, I knew you wouldn’t go out with a bloke like me, no. You have those pretty ‘lil eyes of yours on that filthy werewolf, don’t ya? Tell me, did 'e bite you yet?”
She knew she should just ignore him – take the high road and walk away - it was, after all, what Remus would do. But that was just it, wasn’t it? It was what Remus would do, not her. She couldn’t drop it. Her already bitter feelings toward the thief coupled with his words against Remus really tried her patience. As if on their own accord, her fingers curled dangerously around her wand as she turned back to glare at him.
“Say that again,” Tonks threatened through gritted teeth.
“Well, it’s just ya won’t go out with me ‘cos I’m a criminal, right? But 'e’s a bloody werewolf! That’s gotta top criminal on the Ministry list, no?”
“I wouldn’t go out with you even if you were a sodding priest, Dung.”
He gave her another lecherous grin. “Well, I ain’t no priest... though that Lupin, I suppose 'e pretends 'e is, don’t 'e?”
“What are you going off about?”
“Well, it’s just, 'e acts all polite and all, but who’s 'e kidding, eh? Just another dark creature who ain’t fit to be in the company of us good wizard folk.”
“Us good wizard folk?” Tonks questioned, disgusted. “You might have the right blood, but that’s all you’ve got going for you! Remus is ten thousand times the wizard you’ll ever be!”
“Maybe so, maybe so,” said Mundungus in what he seemed to think was a calming voice. “I just don’t get why Dumbledore trusts ‘im, that’s all.”
“Funny, I’ve been wondering the same thing about Dumbledore trusting you,” she spat.
“All right there, love, don’t get your knickers in a twist, 'e’s a good lad, all right? Just don’t come crying to me when 'e bites ya, that’s all.”
“You are... really stupid,” Tonks said through gritted teeth, pointing her wand at Mundungus with a shaky hand. “Another word from you and I’ll hex your balls off!”
Mundungus’ eyes widened and he began to back away from Tonks slowly, his hands drifting down to protect his crotch. However, before she had a chance to revel in his fear, the door to the kitchen opened with a bang. Sirius and Remus entered, Remus looking uncomfortable as Sirius laughed at what she could only imagine was some perverted joke on Sirius’ part. They both stopped speaking abruptly at the sight of Tonks’ wand and Mundungus’ frightened, protective stance.
“Tonks,” said Remus evenly, “what’s going on?”
She flushed, but didn’t lower her wand. Why did he keep having to walk in on her while she threatened people? “Just teaching this ruddy bastard a lesson, that’s all.”
“Whatever could dear old Mundungus have done to upset you so?” asked Sirius in a mock innocent voice.
"Shut it, Sirius,” she growled.
“She’s just upset ‘cos I said some bad stuff about that boyfriend of 'ers.”
“Her boyfriend?” Sirius questioned, confused. “Tonks doesn’t have a boyfriend –“ He glanced at her – “Do you?”
“Nah, I mean ‘im,” said Mundungus, pointing his thumb at Remus.
Tonks watched in horror as Remus went pale, while a smile slowly made its way onto Sirius’ face.
“Ah, of course. Told you she fancies you, Moony.”
“Ugh, you two are such gits,” she said, in a would-be casual tone, yet she couldn’t help but blanche at the unreadable look on Remus’ face. “I was just defending a good friend – something you would have done, too, Sirius.”
“No, actually, I wouldn’t have.” At Tonks’ skeptical look, he added, “It’s Dung. That bloke’s so pissed most of the time that he doesn’t know what sort of rubbish comes out of that mouth of his. He isn’t worth the trouble.”
“’ere, ‘ere,” agreed Dung with a hiccup.
“Mundungus, get out of here!” demanded Remus.
“Al’ight,” he said eyeing Remus warily before hurrying out of the room.
Tonks put her hands on her hips. “That’s bollocks, Black.”
“It is not.”
“If you wouldn’t have stood up for your best mate, then clearly you –“
“Stop it,” came Remus’ firm voice. “You’re both right. Sirius, Tonks was just being a loyal friend, defending me. And Tonks, Sirius is right, as well: Mundungus is not worth your distress. And for future reference, Nymphadora, I can deal with these matters myself. I do not need to be defended.”
Tonks was shocked at the coldness in Remus' voice. It had never occurred to her not to defend him – and she would have expected him to do the same for her. Remus chastising her for giving into what seemed to be instinct made her feel vulnerable and exposed, almost as if he’d stabbed a dagger into her gut.
“All right,” she said cooly, not meeting Remus’ eyes. “I know you don't need to be defended. And I’m so very sorry for caring about you, Remus. Next time I’ll try not to.”
“Wait, Tonks... he didn’t mean it, don’t go,” Sirius pleaded with surprising sincerity, shooting Remus an angry look as he did so.
But she didn’t look at her cousin, either. Instead, she stumbled out of the kitchen, fighting to hold back her tears. As she left, she heard a defeated sigh and a thump as a body fell into a chair, but she refused to allow herself the hope that it was Remus’, regretting his words toward 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