Summary: A series of vignettes highlighting Tonks' attempts at gathering information on Remus. Set during OOTP.
A/N: OMIGOSH, final chapter! It still needs a lot of work, so don't judge too harshly yet!
Conversations About A Werewolf
8. Remus Lupin
Tonks stomped upstairs with Remus’ harsh words echoing in her head, fully intending to leave Grimmauld Place. However, just as she wrenched open the front door, she remembered that there was an Order meeting in a half an hour, and it would be completely ridiculous to leave now.
“Wonderful,” she muttered, before turning forcefully on her heel.
She must have turned too violently, however, because, moments later, she lost her balance and found herself in an all-too-familiar position: face-down on the floor.
“Bugger!” came her muffled yell against the carpet.
Getting to her feet roughly, she stomped away again, just barely missing that damned troll-leg umbrealla as she very ungracefully smacked into something dark and somewhat soft that let out a great “Oof.”
Something? No, someone, she realized with a hint of dismay as she came face-to-face with the tall form of Remus Lupin. Damn! She couldn’t face him yet, so she looked away quickly, making a point of staring at the wall instead of his face.
“What do you want, Lupin?”
“I just wanted to apologize.”
“Right,” Tonks snorted disbelievingly.
“Tonks...” He placed a gentle hand on her shoulder, but she shrugged it off. “Please look at me.”
At his words, she stared even more intently at the dark stain on the wall rather than him, silently cursing the tears that stubbornly stung the corners of her eyes.
“I suppose I deserve this...”
“Yes, you do, but admitting it isn’t going to do you any favors.”
He sighed. “Tonks, will you at least listen to me for a moment?”
“You need to understand, I’m used to people like Mundungus saying horrible things about me. I know how to ignore it and pretend it never happened. It’s almost like... second nature to me.
“Well it shouldn’t be,” Tonks mumbled.
“Thank you,” he said softly. “But people defending me like you did? Tonks, that’s foreign to me. I... I didn’t know what to think. I mean, it just - it seemed too good to be true, especially coming from you.”
“What that’s supposed to mean?” she asked hastily, chancing a glance in his direction with a haughty look on her face. But when she looked at him, she was shocked to find such vulnerability behind his amber eyes that she had to resist the urge to go over to him and pull him into an embrace. Still, she allowed her gaze to immediately soften.
“I – you’re a lovely woman, Tonks, I’ve enjoyed your friendship over these past few months immensely. I would hate to find out that you were pitying me. I don’t think I would ever be able to move beyond that.”
“Oh, Remus,” she cried, “you’re really daft sometimes, do you know that?!”
“I don’t pity you. I care for you.” She took a deep breath. “A lot.”
“Well, I didn’t realize – that is, you were about ready to murder over a few little words...”
“That’s just how I am, Remus. I’m not proud of it, but I always defend the people I care about. Always.”
“Yes, I suppose I should have realized that. But, at the risk of seeming daft, as you say, I have to ask: for the past month, it seems that every member of the Order has been telling me how you keep asking questions about me. I just assumed – well...” Tonks blushed and averted her eyes at that, and he continued in a pained voice. “Tonks, if you're really dying to know more about the wolf, you can just ask me.”
“I wasn’t asking about the wolf.”
She took a tentative step forward and looked directly into his eyes. “I was asking about the man – about you, Remus Lupin.”
He looked unconvinced. “Then why didn’t you just ask me?”
“Well, it’s just - it’s really hard to talk to the man you fancy about that stuff, isn’t it?” she said hurriedly, looking down at her feet.
“I fancy you, Remus,” she said in a small voice. “Is that okay?”
She couldn’t stand to look him in the eye now, so she watched his Adam’s apple bob as he swallowed instead. “Of – of course that’s okay. They were all saying that, but I didn’t believe it could be true...” he muttered more to himself than to her it seemed.
“Well, it’s true,” she said, anxiously watching him for any reaction other than astonishment. “But if you don’t feel that way, it’s okay. I mean, I want us to still be friends even if –“
He cut her off with a kiss.
She stumbled backward at the surprising intrusion, and his arms immediately wrapped around her to keep her from falling. It took her only another moment to register what was going on before she responded eagerly. Lately, she had conceded to allowing herself to dream about this moment - about kissing Remus Lupin - but that was the thing... it had only been a dream then. The reality was so much better than she’d ever dreamt, and she couldn’t help the small moan that escaped her at the thought. He moved almost desperately against her then, hands cradling her head, bringing her impossibly close...
“Sweet Merlin,” gasped a feminine voice.
The front door had opened before either had a chance to register it, and the couple pulled away a moment too late. Two pairs of eyes widened at the sight of a shocked Molly and grinning Arthur standing in the doorway.
“Oh, no, dears, we’re just passing through, don’t let us interrupt!” squealed Molly, seeming to gain her composure much faster than either Remus or Tonks. As she and her husband headed downstairs toward the kitchen, they heard her distant voice exclaim, “How lovely! Remus and Tonks finally getting their act together...”
“What’s that?” came Sirius’ voice eagerly. “They’re finally going at it then? About bloody time!”
They were both forced back into reality at Sirius’ comment. Tonks winced as Remus ran a hand through his hair.
“Why don’t we go... upstairs,” mumbled Remus, gesturing vaguely toward the darkened staircase.
“Good idea,” she replied eagerly, and followed him up the stairs and into the study on the second floor.
Remus was silent then, seemingly lost in his thoughts. Tonks bit her lip and studied him anxiously, unsure of whether or not she should break the silence. Should she talk? Kiss him again? Her heart sped up at the thought of the latter... However, just as she took a tentative step toward him, he spoke.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have kissed you.”
That certainly hadn’t been what she was expecting to hear. “What?”
“Look, Dora, while I’m flattered – really, you have no idea – we've been over this before. We can’t be in a relationship."
“Because, well, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a werewolf.”
“You don’t say,” mused Tonks. “So that’s where you go once a month...”
“Obviously I know you’re a werewolf, Remus! And obviously I don’t care either!”
“Look, why don’t you make up for being a git earlier and trust me on this one, okay?”
He sighed. “Well, now it’s all fine of course, but what about when I can’t afford to buy you dinner and – and people will start to talk, Tonks!”
She put her arms around him. “I can buy my own dinner. And let people talk, I don’t care! Look, we can discuss this later, okay? I’ve been trying to get to know you better for ages, you know, so why don’t you let me do that right now, okay?”
“What about –“
“Remus?” she interrupted, pulling him closer.
“Will you shut up?”
“It’s just, I’m so sick of talking.”
And then, without giving him the chance to say anything more, she kissed him again.
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
P.S. If you like this series, check out my bestest buddy and co-maintainer of wet_marauders, yenni_babie's outtake of my series, a one-shot called Conversations About A Metamorphmagus! It's absolutely hilarious!