A/N: The usual fanfic copyright
disclaimers- everyone and everything in here belongs to J.K. Rowling, no money
is being made and no infringement is implied. The story itself is mine. Many
thanks again to Beth for her beta skills and support. I started this fic quite
a long time ago, but never thought canon would allow me to post it here.
She stealthily crept down the darkened hallway almost as if
she had been levitated. No sound, no whisper of air accompanied her progress.
She kept her prey in sight, his back to her, sitting in front of the fire, the
omnipresent book in his lap.
She moved closer, invisible as if she wore Harry's cloak,
and edged across the threshold.
He hadn't even bothered to turn around, and still seemed
mesmerized by his book.
"Remus!" she cried in exasperation, now noisily
stomping across the room to plop down on the footrest in front of him.
"How did you know I was there?"
"I do have to admit it was an exceptionally quiet
entrance-- especially for you," he added with a slight grin, as he raised
his eyes briefly from the page he was studying.
Tonks slapped his knee. "I really want to know-- I've
been practicing my stealth tactics. I caught Fred and George completely off
guard the other day-- it was great."
"I heard," Remus answered with a smile. "I
was the one who had to remove the hex you laid on them-- very clever, by the
way. They aren't easily pranked."
"Thank you," she grinned, abruptly standing up to
take a bow and almost sending Remus' book off his lap with a wild flourish of
her arm. "Ooh-- sorry."
With a sigh, Remus found his place in the book and returned
to his reading. Tonks continued to stare at him, drumming her fingers upon her
"So…" she said, her patience giving out while he
continued on slowly turning pages in his book, "How did you know it was me
if you didn't hear me? I checked for wards, I was as silent as the grave, and
you never saw me coming. How?"
Still immersed in his book, he replied, "Because I am
Moony, and am also not easily pranked."
"Because I am a trained professional, well versed in
the Dark Arts and thus not easily surprised?" he tried, a grin slinking
across his face.
"Remus," she said, her voice now oozing honey.
"How can I improve if you don't enlighten me as to my mistakes?" She
had hit him at his weak spot-- his love of teaching. She could tell by the look
on his face he was now torn between enjoyment at teasing her and his desire to
Remus finally looked up. Tonks, now standing over him with
her hands on her hips, was obviously not going to leave him in peace until he
"Werewolf trick, " he said simply.
"Care to elaborate?"
"Then it would no longer be a trick, would it?"
He rolled his eyes, then grinned rakishly at her.
"I can't tell you-- it's in the Werewolf Code."
"Yep. Werewolf Code. Although the code is really more a
set of guidelines."
"You're having me on…" she began, not quite sure
since he was usually so serious. Then she caught the twinkle in his eyes, and
suddenly realized why he had earned his place in the Marauders.
"Bastard," she said in exasperation.
"Thank you. I've not been called that in a long
"C'mon-- tell me."
"You were in Ravenclaw-- and surely an accomplished and
brilliant young Auror like yourself can figure it out."
"Flattery would get you everywhere under different
circumstances, but not now," she snapped.
Remus raised one eyebrow at this comment in some surprise.
"Interesting…I'll have to remember that," he said with a smile,
before turning back to his book.
"Oh, come off it, Remus! I really want to know how you
knew I was here."
Remus sighed, putting a piece of paper in his book to mark
his place, and looked her in the eye. Tonks plopped back down on the footrest
and scrunched forward in anticipation, only vaguely registering that their
knees were now brushing against each other.
"Pheromones," he said softly. "One of the few
perks of my bite is that I retain a heightened sense of smell even when not
Tonks looked a bit surprised at this. "So, you're
basically telling me you can smell me even if you don't see me?" she
finally puzzled out.
"Basically, yes," he replied with a grin.
"Everyone has a unique scent, and with increased exposure, it becomes very
easy to identify."
"What do I smell like?" she asked bluntly.
At this, Remus colored a bit and looked down at his book,
and Tonks suddenly became very aware of their proximity. She shifted back a bit
on the footstool.
"It's not something that I can really describe,"
he finally said, meeting her eyes. "I just know it's you. I always know
when you're near."
Their eyes remained locked on each other for a few moments,
before Tonks felt her own cheeks begin to heat. She got up suddenly, and
laughed. "Fair enough, then," she said in a soft voice. "Guess
there's no point in sneaking up on you." She moved toward the door. "I'm
for tea-- do you want some?"
"Sure," Remus replied, his eyes back on his
unopened book. When he sensed she had gone, he sighed, rubbing his face with
"That's the problem, Nymphadora," he said softly
to himself. "You've already snuck up on me." His eyes moved to the
empty doorway, as if he could still see her there.
"You smell like Heaven," he whispered to the empty