A/N: This story was
originally composed for the June ficathon at the LJ
community, rt_challenge. Thanks go out to the
administrators of that community for giving me the inspiration.
Sirius awoke on the rug in front of the parlor fireplace,
curled up around an empty bottle of wine. His head was killing him.
Last night Bill, Tonks, and Remus had treated him to a high-spirited birthday surprise party
involving a great deal of immature carousing, far too much alcohol, and more
than a little dangerous mischief. Bill had called it “the real party,” in
contrast to the sedate cake and tea affair that Molly was planning for tomorrow
night. Sirius had enjoyed his “real party” immensely—dangerous mischief
included—but this morning he was paying for it.
He struggled to his feet, and slogged downstairs, clutching
at his aching head. He entered the kitchen intending to scrounge in the pantry
for something to ease his headache, when an object on the table caught his eye.
It was a steaming mug of what appeared to be his favorite hangover remedy,
ready and waiting for him. Next to it was a note.
I think this is
you’re looking for.
“Moony and his damned werewolf metabolism.
He probably felt just fine this morning,” muttered Sirius. He raised the mug to
his lips and downed the pungent concoction in a few large gulps. He couldn’t
help but feel some gratitude for his friend’s thoughtfulness when his head
began to feel better almost immediately.
Once his headache had subsided, he began to notice the
hunger pains in his belly. He opened the larder, looking for a quick bite to
eat. As his eyes scanned the shelves, he began to get the feeling that
something wasn’t quite right. In just another moment, he realized what was
bothering him. The larder was tidy. Organized.
Everything was clearly visible, in neat, orderly rows. It hadn’t looked this
He backed out of the larder, and took a closer look around
the kitchen. It was definitely cleaner than it had been yesterday. The sink was
“Huh,” grunted Sirius in puzzlement. He grabbed an apple out
of a basket on the counter, and headed up the stairs taking large crunching
bites out of the fruit.
The juice from the apple began to dribble down his chin as
he strode down the main hall. It had none of the usual accumulation of dust on
the floor; it certainly looked like it had been recently swept. And he had no
doubt that Kreacher was not the responsible party.
A strange sound up ahead caught his attention—it appeared to
be coming from the library. He found the wide double doors of the library were
open, and he stepped inside, pausing to take in the bizarre scene before him.
All the shelves in the library were bare. Remus stood in the center of the room, his back to the
door, in front of a massive pile of books. One by one he was picking up the
books, examining their covers, and then, with a flick of his wand, levitating them
to six smaller piles of tomes dotting the room.
“Good morning,” said Sirius.
“Good afternoon,” responded Remus
without turning around. “Didn’t you notice the time?” He sent another book
floating across the room.
Sirius glanced up at the clock on the library wall. “Huh,”
he said. “Good afternoon, indeed.”
He stood in the doorway, watching his friend send book after
book soaring around the room. He took another bite of his apple, and slowly
chewed it. Finally, he swallowed. “So,” he said, “what exactly are you doing?”
“Something I’ve been meaning to do for months now,” said Remus. “I’m organizing the library. It was pure chaos in
here. I’m sorting the books into subject categories, and then I’m going to
shelve them alphabetically. But I haven’t decided whether I should alphabetize
by title, or by author. Do you have a preference? It is your house, after all.”
“And this is after you’ve already organized the larder,
cleaned the kitchen, and swept the halls?”
“I washed your linens too. It seemed the perfect
opportunity, with you not sleeping in your bed.”
Sirius sighed. “Remus,
stop sorting the books. Turn around, and talk to me.”
Remus lowered his current book
back to pile, and half turned toward Sirius with a concerned expression. “Is
something wrong?” he asked.
“That’s what I was about to ask you,” said Sirius, folding
his arms and leaning against the doorframe.
“Why would you think something’s wrong with me?”
“Because I haven’t seen you acting like this since you
thought you failed your Potions OWL and decided to clean and reorganize the
whole dormitory. So, in the twelve hours since we all passed out in the parlor,
what could possibly have happened to freak you out like this?”
“I am not freaked out,” retorted Remus.
“Yes,” replied Sirius, “you are. So what happened?”
Remus looked down at the ground
and fidgeted his feet. Then he looked back up, and said, “I think I may have
made a terrible mistake.”
“Which is…?” said Sirius.
“I kissed her.”
Sirius didn’t need to ask who. He nodded his head in
bemusement, strolled casually into the library, and flopped into one of the
armchairs. “Okay,” he said. “So you finally kissed her. Why is this a problem? I thought you’d be happy.”
“I was—at first,” said Remus,
shuffling his feet some more. “I was thrilled, and excited, and full of enthusiasm
about the future. But then, once she’d been gone for about a half an hour, I
calmed down, and started to think about it realistically.”
“Oh no,” said Sirius, shaking his head. “No, no, no. That
was a horrible mistake. This is exactly the sort of thing that thinking can
“You’re still reasoning like a teenager. I’m afraid I don’t
have that luxury,” said Remus.
“You like her, don’t you?”
“Of course I like her! Her friendship is very important to
me. That’s why I’m afraid the kiss was such a mistake.”
“Plenty of friendships have managed to survive a drunken snog. I wouldn’t worry too much, if I was you,” said
“It wasn’t a drunken snog,” said Remus, sinking heavily into another armchair.
Sirius hesitated. “You didn’t… shag her, did you?”
“No!” said Remus. “I meant I
didn’t kiss her when we were drunk. Somehow, when I was drunk, I managed to
resist the temptation. No, I kissed her this morning when she was leaving for
You kissed hung-over Tonks. That’s different. I’ve
seen hung-over Tonks before, and she’s not a pretty
sight. Kissing hung-over Tonks is a sign of very
Remus sat up straighter, and
frowned. “She didn’t look that bad.”
Sirius barked a laugh. “You really are falling for her,
“I might be,” said Remus, leaning
forward and putting his head in his hands. After a moment he looked back up.
“So do you really think kissing her this morning sent the message that I was
“Hmmm,” said Sirius, absently tossing his apple core up and
down in air. “What kind of kiss was it?”
“Yes, what kind? Different kisses
send different messages.” Remus clearly didn’t
understand, so Sirius elaborated. “Was it just a quick little peck of a kiss,
or was it a tongue twisting, body mashing, hands groping kind of a kiss?”
Remus blinked a few times in
discomfort. “It was… somewhere in between. But… a little closer to the second
than to the first.”
“Ah! So was it more of a tender, lingering, emotional sort
Remus coughed, and looked down at
his fidgeting hands. “Yes. Something like that, yes.”
Sirius nodded. “Yes, that kind of kiss under those
circumstances does send a pretty serious message. How did she react to it?”
Remus fidgeted some more. “She…
kissed me back. And she fell off the front steps. And she wanted to skip her
lunch appointment with her Mum to stay here with me.”
Sirius was not entirely successful at stifling a laugh when Remus mentioned the bit about Tonks
falling off the front steps. He grinned. “That’s a pretty serious reaction.”
“Yes. I thought it might be.”
“So what did you do next?” he asked, still tossing his apple
core up and down.
“I told her she should go meet her Mum.”
Sirius dropped his apple core on the floor, and it rolled
under a side table. He stared in wide-eyed astonishment at his friend. “You
kicked her out?”
“I didn’t kick her out! I just felt like she ought to keep
her appointment with her Mum.”
“And what did she say to that?”
Remus sighed. “She asked if she could
come back tonight.”
“And I told her we both needed a good night’s sleep tonight,
and we arranged to meet here tomorrow night instead.”
Sirius laughed again. “And she was alright with that
Remus frowned at him again. “She
seemed happy with it, yes.”
Sirius shook his head in disbelief. What kind of man was Remus, to pass up an afternoon of snogging
with a beautiful—and eager—young woman so that she could have lunch with her mum and have a good night’s sleep? “I
don’t think I’ll ever understand you, Moony,” he said.
“I’m terribly sorry for being such a mystery to you,” Remus replied. After a pause, he said, “I don’t know what I
was thinking, this morning. Last night was just so… and she looked so… and I
just… There really wasn’t a single rational thought in my head. It was pure
instinct. Nothing more than a purely selfish act derived from the natural
genetic drive to couple.”
Sirius burst out laughing. “The natural genetic drive to
couple?” said Sirius again, choking on his laughs. “Are you sure that was all
there was to it?”
“No,” said Remus with a sigh. “But
the point is—I acted on pure impulse. And I know from sad experience that every
time I act on impulse, things go wrong. They often go very, very wrong.”
“Would you like the list?”
“How could I resist?” said Sirius. Remus
had always been prone to over-dramatize his mishaps, and Sirius was certain
that today would be no exception.
Remus got to his feet, and paced
to the other end of the room. Then, he turned sharply, staring Sirius in the
eye. “Do you remember Driselda Tippens?”
“Oooh,” said Sirius. “That did go
rather badly, didn’t it? So that’s
what you mean by acting on impulse.”
“What did you think I meant? Deciding at the last minute to
eat kidney pie instead of curry?”
Sirius shrugged. “Go on,” he prompted.
With a sigh, Remus continued,
pacing and turning with each new item on his list. “How about
my sudden decision to try-out for the Quidditch
team?” Sirius winced. “Or that illicit trip to the Hog’s Head the night
before taking our NEWTS? And don’t forget the time I asked Doreen Hopkins to
spend the day in Hogsmeade with me. And the incident at
James’ bachelor party. Or the time I thought the Death Eaters had
captured Lily, and I went in to rescue her single-handed without telling a
soul? I could have died, for God’s sake!”
“Very true,” said Sirius, nodding. His guts and clenched
with the memory of each horrific incident on Remus’
list. He was starting to agree that Moony was making a very solid case for his
inability to make good decisions on impulse, but he still felt that kissing Tonks would prove to be an exception to the rule.
“And there were a large number of similar mishaps while you
were away—none of which I plan on sharing with you, by the way. But you full
well know the crowning example of my disastrous impulsive behavior. How could
you forget the night I impulsively followed you to the Shrieking Shack without
thinking to take my potion first? If I hadn’t transformed into a ravening
beast, we very well may have retained our possession of Peter, and you would
now be exonerated and Voldemort may never have been
returned to power!”
“Good lord!” said Sirius with an incredulous laugh. “Now
you’re blaming yourself for Voldemort’s
“How can I not?” exclaimed Remus,
with a despairing look on his face.
Sirius closed his eyes, and rubbed his forehead. He could
feel his headache coming back. “Did I ever tell you how much I hate it when you
“I’m not being melodramatic,” retorted Remus.
“Yes,” said Sirius firmly, “you are. Now stop it. We’re not
here to second guess each and every decision you’ve ever made so that we can
ultimately blame all of society’s woes on you. We are here to determine whether
or not you should spend some more time snogging
Remus struggled to look outraged,
but finally gave in to Sirius’ light-heartedness, and cracked a reluctant
smile. “You have quite a way with words sometimes.”
“One of my many talents. Now sit
down. All your pacing is making my head hurt.”
“Sorry,” said Remus, and he
returned to his seat.
Sirius rubbed his forehead again, and said, “I’m not even
sure if your litany of negative precedents has anything to with the matter at
hand. Tonks wasn’t a sudden impulse. You’ve fancied
her for ages, haven’t you?”
Remus looked at his fidgeting
hands for a moment, before saying, “Yes, in a way”
Sirius raised an eyebrow. “How can you fancy someone in a way?”
“Well,” said Remus, as if
searching his mind for an explanation. “I admit that I was attracted to her
almost from the start. But I never in my wildest imaginings thought that she
would ever be interested in me as something more than a friend. So I just…tried
to be her friend. I suppose I felt that having a tiny bit of a crush on my
friend wouldn’t do anyone any harm, so long as I kept it to myself.”
“And now?” pressed Sirius.
“And now… Well, it was only in the last few days that I
admitted to myself that my feelings for her have grown stronger than I ever
intended them to. And then suddenly, last night, it became clear that she
actually felt the same way about me. It boggled my mind. I didn’t know what to
do. And this morning I just … kissed her.”
“Hmmm,” said Sirius. “So, your feelings weren’t impulsive,
but your actions were.”
Remus nodded silently.
Sirius rested his chin in his hand, contemplating his
friend’s situation. “So the situation at hand is: you suddenly found out Tonks fancies you, and impulsively sent her every signal
that you were interested in starting a relationship with her, and now you’re
thinking of backing out of it?”
Remus nodded sheepishly.
Sirius frowned, and shook his head in disbelief. “You really
can be a cold-hearted bastard, sometimes. Did you know that?”
“There’s nothing cold-hearted about it,” said Remus. “I only have her best interests in mind.”
“Her best interests? Great Merlin, Remus! How in hell is this kind of mind game in her best
“She deserves better than what I can give her!”
“Yes!” Remus was turning red in
the face. “She deserves a man who can hold down a job. A man
who’s young, and healthy. A man who can afford to
pamper her. She deserves a man who will be there to lift her spirits
whenever she’s feeling down, and who can pick her up whenever she falls, and
who can just… always be there for
her, no matter what. And I am not that man. There are several days each month
when I will never be there for her,
or anyone else. I will never be the kind of man that she deserves.”
Sirius couldn’t believe that this was what Remus really thought of himself. “Damn. I guess I never
looked at it that way. But still—if I had a girl like Tonks,
I wouldn’t let my status as England’s-most-wanted
stop me. What’s the difference?”
“The difference is, someday, once Peter is apprehended, you
won’t be a fugitive anymore. But I will always be a werewolf.” Remus’ face was hard and cold. Sirius wondered how many
times over the years Remus had repeated that sad
mantra to himself, in order to deny himself the normal pleasures of life.
“She’s an Auror, Remus. She knows all about werewolves. And if she’s willing
to give things a try in spite of it, then you should be too. Besides,” he added
nonchalantly, “you don’t even know how serious she is.”
“You think she might not be serious about me?” asked Remus. He looked disappointed.
Sirius stifled a grin. He was fairly certain that his
cousin’s feelings for Remus were very serious, but now didn’t seem like the right time to mention
that fact. “She’s young. She’s still playing the field. She probably would just
like to go on a few dates, see how things go. And if it doesn’t work out, no
problem, you can just go back to being friends. That’s how girls her age do
Remus suddenly looked very
thoughtful. Somehow, Sirius didn’t think that was a good thing. “Do you think
she’s too young for me?” asked Remus.
Sirius rolled his eyes. “No—she’s not too young for you.
Yes, she’s young, but not too young.”
Remus was looking at his hands
again. “Did I ever tell you that Andromeda was the first girl I ever fancied?”
“No. You never did.”
“Well, she was. It started when we were first years and she
was a sixth year, and she would let us tag along with her even though we must
have been horribly annoying. I thought she was the most beautiful thing I’d
ever seen. Even after she eloped with Ted, I still thought of her as some sort
of perfect dream girl. I didn’t really let go of the fantasy until I heard she
was having a baby.”
“That’s awfully… bizarre, for a twelve year old.”
“I was a rather bizarre child at times,” said Remus.
“So now,” said Remus, “I am the
bloke who just snogged the
baby of the first girl he ever fancied.”
“Good Lord, you’re melodramatic today!” said Sirius.
“I must be in a melodramatic mood.”
“She’s not too young for you!”
“I know.” Remus nodded.
“Logically, I know that. Logically, I know that she is indeed an Auror, and knows very well the complications that would
come from a relationship with a werewolf. And logically, I know you’re
right—this doesn’t have to be serious right from the start. We really could
just go out a few times, and try things out. I just—haven’t done this sort of
thing in a very long time. I’m,” he paused, “a little bit scared.”
“Oh really? I never would have
guessed,” said Sirius.
Remus cracked a smile. “I’m sorry.
I shouldn’t be unloading all my paranoia on you like this.”
Sirius leaned back, and put his hands behind his head. “No
problem, mate. It’s not like I have anything more interesting to do.”
“Well, I’m so glad to provide you with an afternoon’s entertainment.”
“You’ve got to pay for your lodging somehow. This way’s as
good as any.”
They were silent for
a moment. Then Sirius spoke again. “So have you made up your mind? Will you be
breaking my poor cousin’s heart tomorrow?”
Remus looked at him sharply. “I
thought you said she wasn’t that serious about me.”
“It was just a figure of speech. So have you made up your
“Well, don’t take too long. The week’s almost over.”
“Why does that matter?”
“Because,” said Sirius, “if you start going out this week, Mundungus will be a very happy man.”
What…?” started Remus.
Sirius cut him off. “But if you wait until next week, Emmeline’s the one who will benefit, and we all know she
doesn’t need the money.”
“Well, several of us started getting the feeling quite a
while ago that your relationship with Tonks was
headed in a romantic direction, so we started a small betting pool, to try to
predict the actual week the two of you would become involved.”
Remus’ mouth hung open, and his
face was turning red again. “You started a betting pool about my personal
“It’s as much about Tonks’
personal life as it is about yours, you know,” stated Sirius matter-of-factly.
“I can’t believe your audacity!”
“It was actually Bill’s idea.”
“Don’t look so shocked—I’m not the only troublemaker around
here, you know,” said Sirius.
“How many people are involved in this betting pool of
yours?” asked Remus.
“Most of the Order.”
“Even Molly and Arthur?”
“Oh, they were the most optimistic of the bunch,” said
Sirius. “Their weeks of choice have come and gone ages ago.”
“Are you trying to tell me,” said Remus
with a pained expression, “that the members of the Order of the Phoenix have nothing
better to talk about than whether or not Tonks and I
will become a couple?”
“These are dark times. It cheers us up to talk about the
potential happiness two of our friends could give each other,” Sirius said with
a straight face.
“You are an outrageous liar.”
“Very often, yes. But the betting
pool is real.”
Remus shook his head. “It’s just
“You know,” said Sirius, “it would greatly disappoint me if
you rejected my dear cousin. I’d have to take her side—she is family after all.
And I’d have to snub you for at least two weeks. It would make my life even
more dreadfully boring; I have so few people to talk to. Not to mention, I’d
hate to see Severus win all that money.”
“Yes,” said Sirius, nodding sadly. “He bet that you’d never
get together at all.”
“You let Severus place a bet about
my love-life?” Remus looked outraged.
“He overheard Bill talking about it, and that git of a Weasley let him place
the bet. I never would have allowed it.”
Remus shook his head. “So everyone
but Severus has believed for months that Tonks and I would get together.”
“You two have been practically inseparable, you know. You’re
always going off to dark corners to laugh at your little private jokes, and
you’re always arranging to go on assignments together. It just seemed so
“And it’s impossible for a single man and a single woman to
just be good friends?”
“Your actions this morning clearly demonstrated that it is.”
“I was asking for that, wasn’t I,” said Remus
with a smile.
“Yes, you were.”
“So,” said Remus, looking down at
his hands again, “you don’t really think we could just go back to being
friends, do you.”
Sirius shook his head. “Not completely. It won’t ever be
quite the same again.”
“I’ve really mangled things, haven’t I? I don’t want to lose
her friendship, Sirius.”
“You don’t have to. And you have the chance to have even
more. You just have to be willing to pull your head out of your arse, and admit that she’s worth the risk.”
Remus looked up into his friend’s
eyes. His face had gone pale. “What if I fall in love with her, and she decides
she doesn’t want me after all?” Sirius had suspected from the start that this
was the heart of the issue, and he suspected that his friend was already more
than halfway in love with her.
“Then I,” said Sirius, “will be your shoulder to cry on.”
“Thank you. That makes me feel so much better,” said Remus sarcastically. Sirius let out a few laughs.
“So, my friend, have you made up your mind?”
Remus shook his head. “Not yet.
But you’ve given me a lot to think about—not the least of which is how to get
back at Bill for this betting pool.”
“But don’t think too much—your instincts aren’t all that bad.”
Remus nodded, but said nothing.
“How about we go downstairs, and I make us
Remus raised one eyebrow. “It’s
not even four o’clock.”
“I know, but that bloody apple is all I’ve had to eat all
day. I’m famished. And knowing you, you’ve been too obsessed with your cleaning
frenzy to stop for a meal. Am I right?”
Remus laughed. “Actually, you are.
Now that you mention it, I think I am hungry.”
“Brilliant. Let’s go make some food.”
Remus agreed with a nod. As two
old friends stood, and headed down to the kitchen, Remus
said, “It really would be a shame to let Severus win
all that money, wouldn’t it?”
“It would be a travesty. A complete and utter travesty,”
Sirius agreed. He felt fairly certain that his cousin was safe from heartache,
at least for now. But just to be sure, he wasn’t going to give Remus very much time to think,
as he was certain that no good would come of it.
Sirius managed to keep Remus
occupied for most of the night, and most of the next morning, but the stubborn git insisted on going to the market for some fresh produce
late in the afternoon. He was gone far longer than Sirius liked, and Sirius
just hoped that Remus hadn’t had time to confuse or
frighten himself again.
Just before the little party Molly had planned for the
night, Sirius cornered Remus and asked, “So have you
finally made up your mind?”
Remus nodded, and smiled nervously.
“Yes, as a matter of fact, I have.”
“So, what’s it going to be?” asked Sirius.
“I am going to tell her that I am interested in going out
with her—but that I would like to keep things casual, and friendly. No strings
Sirius nodded thoughtfully. “Casual and
friendly, no strings attached. Sounds good to me.”
It sounded rather pathetic, actually, but Sirius wasn’t about to say that.
“Good,” said Remus, his smile
growing broader. “Do you think she’ll be alright with that?”
“Sure she will! Sure she will,” said Sirius, patting Remus on the back. After all, what other choice did she
That seemed to make Remus happy,
and he chatted jovially with the other Order members as they arrived for
Sirius’ birthday party.
Tonks arrived late. Sirius let out
a slow, low whistle when he saw her. She had never before looked so dishy. She was wearing her flamingo-pink hair longer than
usual, in chunky waves that danced around her jaw-line and tickled the tops of
her shoulders. Her shimmering sapphire shirt was cut lower than usual on top, and higher than usual on the bottom, revealing smooth
lovely expanses of flesh in both places. She had clearly put a great deal of
time and thought into her appearance, and Sirius knew that it wasn’t in honor
of his birthday. No, it was a special treat for Mr. Casual-and-Friendly.
“Happy birthday!” she cried, giving him a friendly hug and a
peck on the cheek. Then she stepped back, and with a silly grin, held out a
sparkly pink gift bag.
“I see you coordinated your gift bag and your hair tonight,”
“I couldn’t resist,” she replied.
“Well, let’s see
what we have here,” he said, taking the bag and reaching in to it. He withdrew
a small green box. He stared in surprise at the label across its front, and raised
an eyebrow at his cousin. “Sparkling Fresh Mint Doggy Dental
She put on a
straight face, and said, “I’m sorry it came to this, cousin. But I’m afraid I
have to tell you—you have doggy breath.”
They stared at each
other for another moment in silence, and then both of them burst out laughing.
“Perhaps Buckbeak will like them,” said Sirius.
“Feel free to try,”
she said. She was still smiling, but her eyes had started darting around the
“He’s in the
kitchen, helping Molly with the refreshments,” Sirius said softly.
“Oh! Thanks,” she
said, her smile brightening. The two of them both worked their way back into
the gathering, and started circulating among their collection of friends.
Sirius noticed that
when Remus and Molly arrived levitating trays full of
cake and beverages, Tonks was quick to offer her
help—and managed to only upset two glasses of punch and one slice of cake.
Tonks spent the rest of the evening practically
glued to Remus’ side. Sirius kept waiting for the two
of them to sneak out, and have their little talk, but they never did. As the
evening wore on, one by one the guests began to excuse themselves, but Tonks and Remus never did. And
when Molly headed down to the kitchen to clean up, both Tonks
and Remus were quick to volunteer their help.
Sirius was just
seeing out the last of his guests when Arthur and Molly came back up the
and Tonks said they would finish the cleaning up for
us, wasn’t that dear of them?” said Molly.
“Oh yes. Very kind
of them,” said Sirius, certain that Remus was finally
going to take the chance to speak his mind. It was time to act gracious and
mature for the Weasleys—after all, they were the
number one competition for getting Harry over the summer holiday, and if he
didn’t prove himself a mature and competent guardian, Molly was bound to put up
a fight. “Molly, Arthur,” he continued as they pulled on their cloaks, “thank
you very much for putting together this party for me.”
“Oh, it was no
trouble. No trouble at all,” said Arthur.
“We were delighted
to do it. It’s been far too long since you had a proper birthday celebration,”
“Well, it was
wonderful. Thank you very much,” said Sirius.
“You are very
welcome,” said Molly.
They bid their
farewells, and Sirius saw Arthur and Molly out. He made his way back to the
parlor, and sat down. He waited. And waited. He began
to fidget. He picked up a Quidditch magazine that
Bill had brought for him, and started to flip through it. He put the magazine
down and stood up. He paced back and forth, then sat down and picked up the
Finally, he threw
the magazine back down and headed out of the parlor. This wouldn’t do. This
wouldn’t do at all. He just had to know what was going on down there. At the
top of the stairs he slipped off his shoes, and slowly and silently made his
way down in his socks. He thought he’d give anything to have one of those
extendable ears right now.
The kitchen door was
open just a crack, and Sirius stealthily made his way toward it. He stopped
right beside the door, and ever so slowly moved his head to peer through the
Tonks sat on the table, and Remus
stood in between her legs. Their arms were wrapped around each other, and their
faces were pressed together in a much more than just casual and friendly sort
of kiss, which would almost certainly leave plenty of strings attached.
A snort of laughter
escaped Sirius before he could stop it, and he quickly turned to run back up
the stairs, careless of all the noise he was making in his hasty retreat. He
should have known that Tonks could handle this
without his help.
Sirius once more
took refuge behind his Quidditch magazine. In about a
half an hour he heard footsteps in the hall. He listened carefully, and was
fairly certain that their goodbyes to each other included some more kissing. He
then heard the front door open and close, and heard a single set of footfalls
headed up the stairs. Sirius put his magazine down, and followed.
He caught up to Remus on the first floor landing. “Hiya,
mate,” he said.
“Sirius,” replied Remus with a nod.
“So, did your talk
with Tonks go well?”
“Very well, thank
you,” replied Remus mildly.
“Oh. Jolly good,
“Yes. Well, I’m off
to bed. Good night.” Remus turned to start up the
next flight of stairs.
“Good night.” Sirius paused. “So how did she take the whole,
casual and friendly bit?”
Remus looked over his shoulder
with a blank expression. “It didn’t come up.”
“It didn’t come up?”
“No,” said Remus shaking his head.
“So what happened to all your rational thinking and careful
decision making?” asked Sirius in genuine curiosity.
Remus put his hands in his pockets
and looked at the ground with a little smile teasing the corners of his mouth.
“I suppose I let instinct win this time.”
“So the genetic drive to couple beat out rational thought?”
“It did this time,” said Remus,
his smile growing broader. “Rational thought can be overrated, after all.”
Sirius let out a few barking laughs. “So tell me, Moony—what
exactly did Tonks do to get that instinct of yours to
“Now Padfoot,” said Remus, looking Sirius in the eye, “that wouldn’t be very
gentlemanly of me, would it?”
“Oh come on, mate! You know I have to live vicariously
through you. Spill the details!”
“I’m sorry, Sirius, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to
leave this one to your imagination. Good night.” With that, the still smiling Remus turned on his heel and headed up the stairs.
“Come on!” called Sirius after him. “Please?” he pleaded.
But it was to no avail. With a sigh, he shook his head, and muttered to
himself. “Good job, cousin. Good job, and good luck.
You’re going to need it.”
Sirius slowly trudged up the stairs, alone. It was time to
see if Buckbeak liked minty