The Sugar Quill
Author: The Morning Starr (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: The Breakup  Chapter: Default
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Kingsley Shacklebolt surveyed the small kitchen table and its contents

Disclaimer: It all belongs to J.K. Rowling.


Author’s Notes:  Thanks, as always, goes to Ara Kane for her Beta Reading skillz.  This ficlet is dedicated to all the Kingsley/Tonks shippers and everyone who reviewed A Kingsley Christmas.  This takes place sometime  during OotP, after Umbridge took over, but before the Department of Mysteries.


The Breakup

By: The Morning Starr


Kingsley Shacklebolt surveyed the small kitchen table and its contents.  He was fairly impressed with his own cooking skills.  The recipe was Molly’s, of course, but he’d followed it exactly and was pleased with the results.  Only the mis-matched dinnerware gave him away as a bachelor.


But will it work?


He shook his head as if to rid himself of such negative thoughts.  Of course it would work.  All they needed was a little spice in their relationship.  A romantic dinner ought to do the trick.  It should fix their relationship.


And yet, he couldn’t put his finger on what exactly needed fixing.  He and Tonks had fun together.  They talked whenever they could.  He certainly couldn’t complain about the physical aspects.  There was just this nagging feeling that he was losing her and there was nothing he could do about.  In the back of his mind even his dinner plans seemed futile.


Sure, there were external stresses.  Dumbledore was currently a fugitive, Dolores Umbridge was acting Headmistress at Hogwarts.  Things were getting more dangerous at work as Rufus Scrimgeour became increasingly suspicious about what he and Tonks got up to in the evenings.  They finally let their relationship become public knowledge around the office just to get Scrimgeour to stop asking questions.  None of that seemed to matter, however, when he held Tonks in his arms.


So why this sense of forboding?


At first he had tried to shrug it off as the trials of being at war.  But his sense of impending loss seemed tied to a romantic rival, though he could not figure out who this rival could be.


It’s as if some hidden hand is wedging us apart, and we just don’t know it yet.


The knock at the door forced him to leave his negative thoughts behind.  Once last glance at the table told him everything was in place.  A flick of his wand lit the candles, and he headed for the front door.


The woman on the other side of the door looked distinctly like Severus Snape’s sister.  Her black hair was straggly and her nose was so hooked it looked like a bit like a miniature boomerang was stuck inside of it.  Fortunately Kingsley had learned some time ago that the one thing Tonks couldn’t change by morphing was the twinkle in her eye.  He smiled and held the door open for her.


By the time he locked the door and turned around to face her, Tonks had already morphed back into her usual pink hair.  She greeted him with a kiss.


“Mmmm,” said Tonks, smelling the air once she’d released him, “smells good, Kingsley.  Are you sure you cooked that on your own?”


“You doubt my prowess in the kitchen, do you?”  A grin played at the corners of his mouth.


“Some of the most competent wizards are still rubbish when it comes to cooking.  Besides, it smells like something of Molly’s.”


“It is something of Molly’s.  But I promise I made it all by myself.”  He showed her into the kitchen.


 “In that case, I should probably check to make sure it’s safe for human consumption.”  She stuck her tongue out at him, but then caught sight of the table and gasped.  “Kingsley, it’s beautiful.”


The kitchen lights had been dimmed, and royal blue hangings were suspended in midair to keep the appliances hidden and create the illusion of a private table in a restaurant.  Some candles were floating over the table; a spell had apparently been cast to keep the wax from dripping onto the food.  The dishes were clearly his best, although few of them came from the same set.  There was a bottle of wine off to one side that seemed to radiate expensive taste.


Yet for all the planning and preparation, it suddenly seemed all wrong.


Minutes later, they were popping open the wine bottle on the sofa, eating their dinner off of trays that they’d conjured, the romantic kitchen long forgotten.  They were laughing.


 “And then Sirius said, ‘the reason Voldemort can’t read his thoughts is because he’s too preoccupied with that nose!’  I tell you, Kingsley, even Molly couldn’t help laughing at that one.”


“Who else was at headquarters?” Kingsley asked as he filled up Tonks’ glass with wine.


“Oh, just the usual,” she answered after taking a sip.  “Molly, Arthur, Sirius, Remus and me.”


He felt a sudden pang of unexplained jealousy.  “Oh, is Remus back from his assignment, then?” he asked, trying to keep his voice casual.


“Yeah.  He didn’t say much about it.  Come to think of it, he’s not much of a talker.  He talks to Sirius, though.  Hey, you don’t think they’re…”


“They’re what?”


“Oh, you know what I mean.  They live together.  They gave Harry a birthday present together.  It’s like they each are the only one who truly understands the other…”


Kingsley shrugged.  “They probably are.  They lost their other two best friends to Voldemort, and if they hadn’t lost Peter to him, they wouldn’t have lost James.  I for one couldn’t imagine what that must be like.  Maybe Sirius is the only one who understands Remus, and vice versa.”


“You don’t think there’s anything else there, then?  Anything more?”


Again the unexplained jealousy flared up, and he suddenly knew the source.  “Why are you so concerned?  Trying to see if Remus is free?”


He regretted saying it the second the words left his mouth.  The regret intensified when he caught the expression of shock and then hurt on her face.


“Why would you suggest something like that?”  asked Tonks.


Not really knowing what to say to that, Kingsley downed the rest of his wine.  He then proceeded to tell her everything that had been on his mind lately: the feeling that he was going to lose her to someone else, and the realization just moments ago that the someone else was Remus.  She listened to everything he had to say, concern etched in her heart-shaped face.


“Kingsley,” she said when he was finished, “I really don’t know what to say.  I rarely even talk to Remus.  Besides, don’t you think he’s a little old?”


Wrapping his arms around her, he said in her ear, “Tonks, I can remember ever having this much fun in a relationship.  It’s been great.  But I can’t shake the feeling that you’re going to fall for him.  And when you do, I don’t want an ugly breakup.  I want us to still be friends.”


Tonks made no attempt to break from his embrace.  “So you want to break up now?  Is that what you’re saying.”


Kingsley sighed.  “Yes.  That’s what I’m saying.”


She was quiet for a moment, then pulled away from him, eyeing him suspiciously.  “Do you have Seer blood in your family?”


He couldn’t help but laugh.  “Not that I know of.”


“You know,” she said, refilling each of their glasses of wine before settling back on the sofa, “this could end up being a self-fulfilling prophecy.  If I suddenly notice how handsome Remus is, it’ll be your fault.”


Taking his wine glass from her, he said, “I imagine it will be.”  He kissed her on the top of her head.  It was not the passionate kiss she’d greeted him with earlier in the evening, but one to remind both of them that no matter what the future had in store, they would always remain close.


Tonks raised her glass, and Kingsley followed suit.  “To friendship.”


“To friendship indeed.”  He took a sip of his wine.  After a moment he said, “So what else did Sirius have to say about ole’ Snape?”


The rest of the evening was spent in laughter as Tonks did her best impressions of half the Order, facial features included.




Author’s Notes: For the record, I liked how J.K. Rowling wrote Remus/Tonks.  But I wanted my ship to sink with some dignity.

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