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Missing Moments Chapter Seven Remus gets something that he had really wanted for his birthday...a visit from Tonks, finally home from her mission! A bit naughty in places - beware. (JKR has created some excellent characters - I've been enjoying playing with these two) "Birthday Wishes" The morning of March 10th was like any other, really. Remus got up, showered and dressed, and made his way down to the kitchen for breakfast. He was surprised to find Sirius already up, the coffee already made, and a hearty fry already on the table. “Happy Birthday, Moony!” Remus smiled. His friend had been quite down lately, and he was pleased to see him excited about something. That said, most of his birthdays passed, unnoticed, and had done so for years. It seemed funny to be celebrating getting older, at this stage in the game. “Thanks, Padfoot. Breakfast looks great.” Sirius flashed him a mischievous grin, and Remus wondered what else was in store for him today. Most of the day passed without incident, and Remus began to wonder if he had imagined the rather naughty look on his best friend’s face at breakfast. However, at six o’clock there was a rap at the door, which Sirius seemed to be awaiting. He opened it quickly, not wanting the portrait of his mother to hear, and let it a person, so laden-down with presents that it was impossible to determine who it was. Only when the person tripped and the presents scattered through the hall, did Remus realize that it was Tonks. Before he could contain himself, he rushed forward to hug her. “Welcome home! Merlin, did we miss you, Nymphadora! I’m so pleased to see you.” Tonks had been away on “Ministry business” in Norway, and Remus hadn’t realized how lonely he had been without her. He shot Sirius a look – he had thought that breakfast had been his present. Sirius gave him a playful wink, and nodded back to Tonks. “Happy Birthday, Moony. It’s good to see you, too. I come bearing gifts. I hope I didn’t destroy any of them!” She shuffled into the sitting room, and Sirius followed her, carrying the packages. They sat on the sofa. Remus felt like a child, opening gifts while the others watched with glee. There was a chocolate cake from Molly that had managed to survive the fall, and a book on Werewolf Legislation from Dumbledore. Harry and Ron had somehow managed to send an enormous bottle of Firewhiskey. “Let’s crack that open right away, mate,” Sirius suggested. Hermione sent a pair of lumpy, holey olive-drab socks, which he assumed she had knit herself, and Ginny sent a large bar of chocolate. The gift from the twins was astonishing. It was a dart board, with the face of Dolores Umbridge superimposed on it. When the darts hit, she actually screeched and bled a little. Had almost anyone else been on the board, Remus would have thought the gift too cruel. As it was, he and Sirius played with it for half an hour, and Tonks eventually had to stop them from boiling it in oil and throwing it in the fire, just to see what the High Inquisitor would scream next. Tonks handed Remus a large square package. “Ah, Nymphadora – you’ve done enough already. Thank you.” “I hope you like it. I asked the fellow in the shop what would be appropriate for a werewolf in his late hundreds.” “I’m thirty-eight”, Remus corrected her. “Same thing. Any-hoo, he didn’t bat and eye, and pointed me to this.” Remus tore at the wrapping and found that Tonks had gotten him a rather lovely collection of big band and jazz albums: Benny Goodman, Glen Miller, Louie Prima, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Miles Davis, among others. Remus sighed to himself. They were his favorites. She was good with the gifts, wasn’t she? “Thanks, Tonks – they’re perfect. Come here.” He beckoned to her, and placed a soft, lingering kiss on her cheek. They both blushed before he asked: “Shall I put one on?” He summoned his ancient record player, and the room filled with the sounds of Benny Goodman. Then they ate cake and drank whiskey, with Tonks telling them uproarious stories of her travels with the First Lady of Fat. After far too many drinks, Sirius begged off, explaining that he ought to bring a piece of cake to Buckbeak. If that seemed strange to Lupin and Tonks, they didn’t acknowledge it. They continued to chat, and sip at their whiskey, for hours, stopping only occasionally to change the record. Ella Fitzgerald’s “Summertime” was now playing, and Remus seemed inspired. “Dance with me, Nymphadora”, he asked, holding his hand out to her. “I’m not much of a dancer, Moony.” “I don’t care. It’s my birthday. Dance with me.” Tonks could have pointed out that it was after midnight, and so no longer his birthday, but she couldn’t resist the opportunity to be close to him. She stood up, smiled shyly at him, and took his hand. Sometimes you don’t know how drunk you are until you stand. What followed was less like a dance, and more like two people desperately trying to hold each other up. Swaying to the music made Tonks’ head spin, and Remus was little better. She clung to his neck, and rested her head on his chest. She could feel his heart beating wildly. He held her close, and sighed. He wanted her so much, but even in his drunken state he knew it was wrong. He stood back a little, and looked into her eyes. They suddenly both seemed aware of not only of how close they were to one another, but also of the electricity that seemed to flow between them. Neither of them wanted to do anything stupid while drunk, and both pulled away a little bit. Tonks stumbled, and Remus steadied her. Then she attempted to speak. “It’s late. I should probably…” She screwed her eyes tight, and waved her arms in the air, vaguely. The word “disapparate” was not going to come to her in this state. “I should probably go,” she finally forced out. Remus squinted at her, and tried to formulate a response. He pointed his finger in her general direction, and spoke. “You’re too dissed to drunk-apparate,” he accused. “Huh?” Tonks couldn’t contain her confusion. “I said, ‘You’re too dissed to drunk-apparate.’” Tonks wailed. “I don’t even know what that means!!!” “It means, Dymphanora, that you should stay here, sit with me, and have another drink.” She took his hand, followed him to the sofa, and landed in a heap on top of him while attempting to sit. She righted herself, and then accepted his offered glass of firewhiskey. They continued to laugh, chat, and drink well into the night. _______________________________________________________________________ “Ooooooohhhhhhh.” Remus moaned as he awakened, not quite ready to open his eyes. His head hurt. His muscles hurt. His hair hurt. He was bloody freezing, too. He gingerly rubbed his shoulder, and realized the reason – he was shirtless. He could tell by the feel, as well as the scent, that he was in his own bed, but something was amiss. As much as he hated to, he felt he would have to open his eyes to ascertain the source of his concern. He opened his right eye a crack, and quickly shut it again. Too bright! Arrrggghhh. He rubbed his eyes, hard, and tried again. Yes – he had been right. He was in his room. Good. He tried to roll over, and found that he couldn’t. Something was on his right arm, keeping it in place. Oh, god, no. Pink, sleep-mussed hair. Merlin, no. Nymphadora. There she was, sleeping with her back to him, wearing his blue flannel pyjama top. It was huge on her, and acted as a sufficient nightshirt, but Remus could still see long, bare, tanned legs, and something else. Above her low-cut knickers, staring at him from her hip, was the wolf. It seemed to be daring him to imagine what had gone on there last night. Remus thought back. They had been drinking like fiends, they had slow-danced a little, and he had expended a great deal of effort trying not to snog her senseless on the sofa. Had anything happened? He attempted to take stock of the situation. He was in a pair of flannel pants – that was a good sign. The covers on the bed didn’t appear to be too disturbed – he took that as a good sign also. Sadly, the fact that he had blacked out was probably a good sign as well. Surely, any 38 year old man who was too drunk to remain conscious was probably too drunk to do that, right? Merlin, he hoped so. Not that he hadn’t dreamed of spending the night with Nymphadora. On the contrary, he had spent so much time thinking about being with her that he felt like a horny teenager again. She was so young and so beautiful, and, when he was honest with himself, he knew he was crazy about her. In a sense, he liked her a little too much. Too much to expose her to the life of poverty and damnation that he lived. Too much to let her get too close. Too much to let her love him. And yet, he couldn’t deny that waking up with her in his arms felt right. He wanted to feel every part of her. He wanted to lie close to her and breathe in her scent. He wanted to stay next to her, like this, forever. As it was, he sated himself with a simple, if daring act. He leaned over and placed a quick, warm kiss on the wolf at her hip. Then he positioned himself back on his pillow, and waited. Tonks began to stir, and rubbed her face with her hands. “Mmmmmm. Good morning sweetheart,” she murmured, groggily. Then she opened her eyes and took in the room around her. When her eyes found Remus, she jumped a little, nearly falling out of bed. He caught her, awkwardly, and placed her to rights on the mattress. “Morning, Tonks. You okay?” “Uh – yeah, I suppose. Dare I ask…?” she swept her arm across the front of her, indicating their presence in the bed together. “I don’t know what to tell you,” was Remus’ honest reply. “Did we…?” she couldn’t seem to get the words out. “I don’t think so.” Tonks looked relieved. “Well, we mustn’t have then. Trust me, Remus... you’d remember." She gave him a shy, flirty look that was much too dangerous for this moment, lying back, half-naked on his bed. “And trust me, Nymphadora – you’d remember, too.” They lay, searching each others’ eyes for another few moments, before they were interrupted by a knock at the door. “Moony, mate – you may as well wait for the shower. There’s no bloody hot water!,” Sirius called in. Remus said nothing, but felt that a cold shower was probably in order, in any case. “Hot water won’t be necessary,” Tonks whispered. Then she clamped a hand over her mouth. “Cripes – did I say that out loud!!?” She hauled herself, awkwardly, out of bed, pulled the pyjama top down as far as she could get it go to, and padded off toward the shower. Remus could still sense her all around him. Her scent was intoxicating, both sexy and innocent at once. He breathed deeply, and allowed himself a little smile. It had been amazing to wake up next to her. Amazing to bask in her scent, amazing to touch her. He knew it was wrong, but he coudn't help but be amazed by her. There would be plenty of time for regret later. Plenty of time. If you get a second, please leave me a review. Thank you!! Paloma

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