Tonks had almost reached the alley after her petulant stomp from the kitchen of Grimmauld Place when she heard Remus calling after her. She turned the corner quickly, hoping to Apparate before having to face him. Just as she was about to turn, she felt a hand grasp her arm just above her elbow.

“Are you mad?” she shrieked at Remus as he turned her to face him. Wrenching her arm free, she took a step back, stumbling. Thankfully, she righted herself instead of landing on her bum. “You could have made me Splinch!”

“I said I would walk you out and I meant it,” he replied evenly.

“And I said don’t bother,” Tonks replied while crossing her arms over her chest. “Why’d you really follow me?”

Remus stood tensely for a beat, staring at the ground before he raised his gaze to hers and replied, “I’m not entirely sure.”

“Well, now that that’s sorted, how about you let me go and get some sleep.”

They stared at one another for a few awkward moments. “You’re too young to know what you really want,” Remus said abruptly.

Tonks gave a huff of irritation, willing with all her might not to let the tears that were stinging the back of her eyes fall in front of him. She was not normally one to dissolve in tears, but after her insane night, no sleep, and bit of an emotionally charged morning, she almost felt that tears would be justified. Just certainly not in her current location.  “And in your infinite wisdom and advanced age, you think you know what I want?”

Before he could answer, Tonks turned on the spot and landed at her flat a moment later. She tapped her wand to the doorknob, pushed open the door and quickly slammed it shut behind her with enough force that the little entry table shook in its wake. She immediately realized that she was far too hacked off to sleep. Tears blurred her vision, and she blinked them away as she began to rummage through the clothes she’d yet to fold to find some running gear. Tossing her clothes in a heap in the corner of her bedroom along with her bag, she quickly pulled on the running tights and tank she’d found and crouched down to search for her trainers that she’d kicked under the coffee table after her last run. After tying her shoes and going through a quick stretch, she wrenched the door open and trotted down the stairs and out into the morning sunlight. Breaking into a swift jog to warm up, she began her familiar path through the streets to the nearby park.

She lost herself in her run, letting the rhythm of her breath and footsteps focus her mind. Having gone through so many emotions in the last few hours, she couldn’t even wrap her mind completely around what was bothering her. The difference in Remus from when he’d woken her up with a kiss to her check, to his remark about inevitably falling for an Auror in her office made her want to hex something. Was he pushing her away? His comment about her age certainly made it seem that way, but his actions said something else. Perhaps he’d thought her too asleep to realize he’d kissed her. That’s no excuse. Tonks exhaled an irritated breath and did what she always did when she needed even more clarity during her runs; she increased her pace and sprinted through the park, allowing the frantic pace to purge some of her worry.

Finally worn-out out and gasping for breath, Tonks slowed her pace and jogged slowly back toward her flat to cool down. She was still angry with Remus, but wasn’t feeling tearful or hex-happy any longer. She stopped at her usual café for a cup of coffee and a croissant before walking to her building, idly thinking she’d stop in and see her parents that day since she had a rare day off. It had been a while since she’d seen her mother and right now she felt like she could use a hug or some advice. She once again touched her wand to the doorknob and rolled her eyes as it briefly flared red. She hadn’t gotten around to strengthening her wards as Mad-Eye demanded, but she had at least set an indicator to warn her if anyone was inside her flat. Red indicated that someone was inside, and she would hazard a guess that it was Mad-Eye. She pushed her way through the door, careful not to trip on her entry rug, and glared at the man sitting in the arm chair.

“I suppose you didn’t get the message to bugger off?” she said, shoving her empty cup into the sack from the croissant she’d devoured and tossing it on the entry table.

“Aye, I got the message,” Mad-Eye replied. “But we don’t have time for you to be in a nark. You and the lad have some things to learn before we hear back from Madame Maxime.”

As he spoke Mad-Eye gestured behind her. Tonks whirled quickly toward her kitchen counter and saw Remus leaning against it with his arms crossed over his chest. They stared at each other wordlessly for a few moments. Remus’ eyes looked sad. Vulnerable. Tonks could also see a hint of regret in them and took comfort for a moment that maybe he was just as confused as she was. Regardless, she wasn’t ready let him off the hook, and therefore kept her face in a stony expression.

Mad-Eye’s gruff voice brought Tonks out of her reflections. “I’ll make tea, then we need to get to work.”

As Mad-Eye stumped to the cooker, Tonks turned back to Remus with her hands on her hips and ready to tell him he’d better have brought something to eat since she had little that was fit for consumption in her flat. The words died on her lips as she caught Remus’ gaze sweeping appreciatively up her body, slowly meeting her eyes once more. He looked momentarily startled to have been caught ogling her before his expression changed. This time she saw something that gave her a pleasant shiver and made her legs feel weak: longing and desire that was so intense she felt her body responding to him even though they were across the room from each other. Her pulse quickened at the thoughts running through her head, as a blush rose from her neck to her cheeks. Thanking her stars—or cursing the fates, she wasn’t totally sure which—that she remembered Mad-Eye standing in her kitchen, she fought the impulse to grab Remus by the front of his robes and snog him senseless. Their eyes locked for several moments before Tonks became acutely aware that she was not only still mad at Remus, but was also feeling very exposed wearing nothing but her damp running gear. Sweat was dripping from her now ruined blond curls and was running down the valley between her breasts, collecting in the bra of her tank. Lovely.

She reluctantly looked away from Remus and turned to wandlessly summon her rumpled t-shirt from where it had landed in the corner of her bedroom. She pulled the t-shirt on over her sweaty clothes, thinking lovely thoughts of long nimble fingers peeling said sweaty garments from her body before...NO! She gave her head a little shake and reminded herself that Remus’ mixed signals were driving her mad, and she didn’t need to add to it with frustratingly lascivious thoughts about a man she hadn’t even been able to kiss properly.

Tonks decided that she needed a few minutes alone to distance herself from the exchange with Remus. She walked to the cupboard and pulled down three mugs, turned from the kitchen and called over her shoulder, “I’m taking a shower while you sort the tea.”

While the shower may have put a physical distance between her and Remus, standing starkers under the spray of warm water while running a soapy flannel across her body with Remus in the other room did little to dispel the desire flowing through her. In the end, she spent far more time in the shower than was strictly necessary, but was able to emerge a while later, dressed in comfy track suit bottoms, a Pink Floyd t-shirt, and decidedly not pink hair.

Grabbing a notebook and self-inking quill from her coffee table, Tonks flopped down on the couch in a manner her mother would have deemed completely unladylike, but from Remus drew a small smile.

Attempting to ignore Remus’ smile, Tonks asked Mad-Eye, “Why aren’t we getting our team back together for this mission?” Working with Remus right now wasn’t the end of the world—she was a professional—but would prove distracting. Besides, even though most people were terrified of Mad-Eye, Tonks was quite fond of him and wouldn’t mind the chance to partner with him again.

“I’m too old to go chasin’ that bloody fool all over the Continent,” Mad-Eye replied. “And if he does have some beast he’s bringin’ back with him, Lupin’s better to deal with that.”

Mad-Eye began to talk about the tracking spell and how it was used, and why it was illegal for non-authorized personel. Heartbroken or felonious witches and wizards weren’t the sort you’d want abusing the charm. Remus and Tonks sat and listened, Tonks taking some notes and grabbing some useful books from her cluttered bookshelves while Remus simply absorbed what Mad-Eye was saying with a look of thoughtful concentration.

They were discussing how the spell followed a person’s magical signature when a thought occurred to Tonks. “Hagrid’s not supposed to use magic.”

“He’ll have to at some point,” Remus replied. “Even if it’s just to start a fire or fill a water jug.”

“Those are pretty small spells for us to try and follow,” Tonks said thoughtfully. “They won’t leave much of a trace. What if we had something of his to help follow his magic? He’s probably enlarged most of the things in his cabin to accommodate his size.”

Mad-Eye stood and tossed his travelling cloak over his shoulders. “Won’t take me long to go fetch something. You two.” He narrowed his good eye at Tonks while the magical one went back and forth between the two of them sitting on the couch. “Work on tracking magical signature until I get back.”

“I’d rather eat lunch,” Tonks said as she glanced at her wall clock. “Well, late lunch I suppose.”  

“Molly sent food along,” Remus said, reaching for his rucksack he’d deposited by the couch. “She gave us strict orders to feed you and I elected not to argue.”

“You go ahead and eat while I’m out,” Mad-Eye said as he maneuvered around the couch toward the door. “I don’t want to come back finding Lupin’s been hexed because you didn’t eat.”

“Ha bloody ha. We’ll save you some,” Tonks said as she reached her arms over her head in a stretch. As she saw Mad-Eye open his mouth to argue, she held up a hand and stopped him. “Molly is likely the last person in the world to poison you. I reckon it’s safe to eat her food.”

Mad-Eye grumbled something under his breath before exiting, leaving Tonks and Remus in an uncomfortable silence. Tonks got up to retrieve silverware while Remus unpacked a couple of containers from his bag. She returned to the couch with their utensils and smiled when she opened her container to find a perfectly warmed portion of roasted chicken and a perfectly chilled bowl of fruit salad separated by a large wedge of crusty bread. Tonks smiled further thinking Molly’s knowledge of domestic magic exceeded hers immeasurably. They ate in silence—Remus’ face back to the brooding countenance he’d sported before her mission the previous day—until a tapping sound on the kitchen window made them both look up. Tonks crossed to the window to let the owl, her parent’s owl she realized, into her flat where he fluttered to the counter before holding out his leg. She unrolled the scroll and recognized her father’s handwriting.


Dromeda’s going spare worrying about you. Do me a favor and stop by tomorrow before my ears begin to bleed from all her nattering.


Tonks let out a shaky laugh that nearly ended in a choked sob. She turned the parchment over and scrawled out a quick reply that she’d be by for breakfast before tossing the bird a nibble of bread and reattaching the rolled-up parchment to its leg. She closed the window and returned to the couch, feeling Remus’ eyes on her the whole way. As she settled back on the couch, propping her bare feet up on her coffee table, Remus put down his food and took a drink of his tea and a deep breath.

“I apologize for upsetting you earlier,” he said quietly. “I don’t mean to presume to know what’s best for you.”

Tonks watched him for a moment before responding. His posture seemed as wary as his expression. It reminded her of the way he’d looked outside of Headquarters the last time they’d had a misunderstanding. She realized she had a lot to learn about Remus. What had happened in his life to make him feel so unworthy of her attention, and wary of the genuineness of what she felt? Some of her earlier anger melted away as she watched him looking at her uncertainly. She was still upset at his mixed signals, but was ready to understand where his feelings came from. He was obviously attracted to her, of that she was giddily certain, and seemed to enjoy being around her. Maybe that was enough for now until he grew more comfortable.

She took a deep breath before answering, “Nobody but me gets to decide what’s best for me.”


Tonks decided she desperately wanted to see his shy smile that had the knack for putting butterflies in her stomach. “Except maybe my mum when she chases me down with an owl,” she said, gesturing toward her kitchen window where they bird had come and gone. A little thrill went through her body as Remus rewarded her with his delightful boyish grin she had come to adore. As his hair fell over his forehead, Tonks couldn’t resist the overwhelming urge to lean forward and push her fingers through his hair, brushing it aside in the familiar gesture she’d adopted.

“There’s no need to push me away, Remus,” Tonks said, still leaning close to him.

His reply was almost a sigh. “I can’t help it.”

Tonks reached up and cupped his cheek and whispered, “What are you afraid of?”

Remus closed the distance between them, keeping his eyes on Tonks and pressed his soft lips tentatively to hers in the lightest, most tender kiss Tonks had ever experienced. He pulled back far too quickly for her liking and gave her a slight smile. “At the moment?”

Tonks heard the playful tone of his voice and raised her eyebrows at him in question.

“Mad-Eye,” he whispered. As he slowly retreated to his space on the couch with a wry smile, Tonks heard the lock click on her door. She shook her head and giggled as she realized Remus must have used his overly sensitive werewolf ears to hear Mad-Eye approaching.

Mad-Eye entered her flat and stared at Tonks and Remus for a moment before apparently deciding that nothing was amiss. “Here,” Mad-Eye said. He closed the door behind him and thrust what looked to be a folded white sheet at Remus. “A handkerchief should do.”

Tonks watched as Remus unfolded the supposed handkerchief. “It certainly appears to have been on the receiving end of an Engorgement Charm.  We could camp under that thing,” she said laughingly, earning her a chuckle from Remus before he refolded the handkerchief and set it on the table.

“Harry was cleared of all charges,” Mad-Eye relayed. “I have to go. Albus needs me to check on a contact for the Defense position.” As he spoke, his eyes focused on Remus.

Remus seemed to read something from Mad-Eye’s stare. “Say what you need to say, Alastor.”

“If this person declines, Fudge is ready to appoint someone to the post.” Mad-Eye paused a beat before continuing. “Dolores Umbridge.”

Tonks looked bewilderedly between Mad-Eye and Remus. “Senior Undersecretary to Fudge?”

Tonks saw color fuse into Remus’ face as his happy expression from just moments before turned into a scowl. “Ruthless hag of a woman who considers werewolves to be nothing but monsters,” he began bitterly. “She’s the very reason for—” He stopped abruptly and rubbed his hands over his face.

“Aye,” Mad-eye said simply. “Thought you’d want to know.”

“Thank you,” Remus said curtly.

Mad-Eye left, instructing them to continue working on manipulating the tracking spell. As she watched Remus flip through a book in his lap, Tonks felt terrible for him over the news Mad-Eye had just delivered. She knew Dolores Umbridge to be a terrible old cow, especially where werewolves were concerned. For the second time in less than an hour, Tonks found herself longing to see Remus smile. In a flash of inspiration at the unhappy expression on Remus’ face, Tonks hopped from the couch over to her bookshelves. She flicked impatiently through a stack of CD’s before finding what she was looking for.

“I seem to remember promising you music a while back, Professor.” Tonks exchanged the disc in her player and started the music, smiling as the first flashy notes of U2’s Zoo Station came through the speakers.

“Ah yes, the aforementioned Zoo TV tour,” he said smiling as he took the case from Tonks to examine the cover.

“It’s a bit of a change from some of their earlier stuff, but still quite good.” Tonks returned to the couch and took a book from the table. “You should tell me more about following the band around pubs,” she said with a smile. “If you’ve actually met any of them, I’m going to be jealous.”

Disregarding the homework Mad-Eye set for them, they spent the better part of the next hour talking music. Remus told her about following the Irish band around pubs in their early days, and Tonks told him about the insane night her dad took her to see the huge stadium show in Manchester—much to the disapproval of her mum.

They finally opened their books to peruse through for anything relevant, keeping the music playing in the background. When the album ended, Tonks told Remus it was his turn to choose, gesturing to her pile of discs. She watched him covertly while he flipped through her eclectic assortment of music, his face relaxed with the hint of a smile playing on his lips. Her earlier thoughts came back to her; she wondered about his past and when he’d been bitten. She knew from stories of Hogwarts days that he was a werewolf before he attended the school, but how soon before? How long had he been prey to people’s prejudices? Tonks now realized that compared to the wariness people showed due to her unique abilities, his experiences must be so much worse. She wanted him to open up to her and help her understand, but she knew it would likely take time. Time she was perfectly willing to give him. She was sure that Remus was worth the effort, even if he felt otherwise.

It was incredibly relaxing sitting on the couch, listening to the music Remus had chosen—Pink Floyd in a nod to her t-shirt choice for the day—with Tonks’ feet propped in his lap. So relaxing, in fact, that in between her musings and her reading, she fell asleep. Stirring slightly, she became aware of strong arms wrapping around her body and lifting her from the couch, seemingly without effort. Her exhaustion over the past two days didn’t allow her to even open her eyes as she felt herself being carried a short distance and placed gently on her bed. She sighed as she felt the duvet being drawn over her body and tucked around her shoulders as a soft kiss was placed on her temple.

Tonks woke the next morning slowly, becoming increasingly aware that she was in desperate need of her toothbrush and the loo, having fallen asleep the previous evening without tending to either need. She stretched and slowly rolled out of bed toward her bathroom. Although glad for the lie-in, once she was properly awake and needs were taken care of, she dressed quickly once she realized it was later than the time her mother would likely be expecting her for breakfast. Before leaving her flat, she grabbed a bag and stuffed in her dirty work robes hoping her mother would launder and iron them, guiltily adding her rumpled dress from her mission.

The smells that greeted her when she opened the back door to her parents’ home instantly put a smile on her face; she could smell the lovely aromas of bacon and coffee. Her parents were seated at the table, both pouring over the Sunday Prophet.

“Morning,” Tonks greeted cheerfully, answering her dad’s crushing hug with one of her own.

Her mother sat her tea cup down primly and observed her with an eyebrow arched in a way that would have made Snape proud. “Lovely of you to finally make an appearance, Nymphadora.”

“Sorry, Mum,” Tonks said as she leaned down to hug her mother, receiving a kiss on the cheek. “It’s been an insane couple of days with very little sleep and I needed a bit of a lie-in.”

“I don’t just mean this morning, dear,” her mother said reproachfully. “I haven’t seen you properly in weeks aside from exchanging a bit of laundry.”

“Your mother turns worrying about you into an art form,” Ted said, returning to his seat. “Check in more often, would you, poppet?”

Tonks looked at her parent’s concerned faces and instantly felt bad for letting her schedule run away from her. Since she’d finished school, there had been the ritual of Sunday lunch or tea at her parents’ house, but since joining the Order, so much of her free time was taken up by either missions, guard duty, or recovering from missions and guard duty. Perhaps it was time to change their ritual to any free night of the week she had, and if she were free on Sundays, that would be a bonus. She said as much to her parents, who readily agreed.

Tonks sat at the table and let her mother fuss over her; Andromeda poured her coffee and worried over the state of Tonks’ sleeping habits while pulling a platter full of fried eggs, bacon, and grilled tomatoes from its spot in the warm oven.

“So,” her mother began after they were all seated at the table. “How did it go?” At Tonks’ questioning look, Andromeda prompted, “Your mission. The date that wasn’t a date.”

Tonks looked at her mother for a long moment as she chewed the large bite of eggs she’d placed in her mouth, wondering just how much her mother knew of her mission. She’d seemed to have guessed where the party was taking place the day they had shopped for her dress, but Tonks wasn’t sure how much more she should say. She settled for “productive.”

Her mother smiled slightly at the brevity of Tonks’ answer. “Are their parties still as extravagant as ever?” she asked as she sipped her tea.

“The food was crap, except for pudding,” Tonks said with a smile. “Far too posh for my liking. But, you’ll be happy to know that my dress was perfect.” She looked at her mother’s expression and realized there was a question on the tip of her tongue that she couldn’t quite bring herself to ask. Tonks reached across the table and squeezed her mother’s hand. “She said she liked me,” she said softly, knowing her mother was wondering about her sister Narcissa.

“What’s not to like?” Ted piped up.

“Of course she was actually saying she liked my alias for the evening,” Tonks said thoughtfully around a piece of bacon. “But she was rather more pleasant that I thought she’d be.”

“Who escorted you to this event?” Andromeda asked after composing herself with a sip of tea.

Tonks snorted indelicately, wondering what her mother would think if she knew it was her former Potions professor who’d escorted her to the event. “If you haven’t puzzled that part out on your own, I can’t tell you.”

“Would it happen to be someone your cousin has mentioned?” Andromeda asked with what Tonks supposed she thought passed as an attempt at sounding casual.

“What has Sirius told you?” Tonks asked, holding her mother’s gaze.

Andromeda merely raised an eyebrow in the most notorious of Black family traits. “Enough,” she replied evenly. “How well do you know this man?”

Tonks smiled sweetly at her mother. Two can play the cunning Slytherin game. “Enough.”

Andromeda held Tonks’ gaze with a measured stare. For some reason, Tonks got the feeling that behind their short answers and unasked questions, her mother knew she fancied Remus and had just asked her if she was aware that Remus was a werewolf. Why does she always seem to know everything?

“If you two would rather not speak in code, I can leave the room,” Ted said, peering over his newspaper.

“Won’t be necessary,” Tonks said cheerfully. “I don’t have anything further to say on the subject.” She was happy that her mother seemed happy to leave the topic alone for now, giving her a slight nod of acquiescence before continuing to sip her tea and delicately eat her eggs.

“What else is new with you?” Ted asked as he folded his newspaper and set it aside. “Run into your aunt’s pompous git of a husband during this mission of yours?”

“If your wife has worked out the location of this mission of mine, surely you’ve worked out that the lord of the manor was there,” Tonks said with a roll of her eyes. “I also ran into him in Knockturn Alley recently.”

“How’d that go?” Ted asked wryly.

“’Bout like you’d expect,” she replied. “Called me a freak and tried his best to scare me off. He’s up to something I’d like to get to the bottom of.”

“Do be careful, darling,” Andromeda admonished.

Tonks gave her mother a cheeky grin. “You’ve already told me to be careful about a thousand times.”

“And you should expect me to continue doing so as long as you hold your position in the Auror department,” Andromeda said with a grin.

After breakfast, Tonks propped herself comfortably on the soft sofa in her father’s study with a recent copy of Witch Weekly since the settee in the sitting room was far too formal to properly sprawl across. Her father worked away quietly at his desk while her mother was busy laundering her robes and dress. Tonks had issued a sheepish apology at the state of her dress when she’d handed it to her mother, telling her only briefly the circumstances surrounding the garment winding up balled up in her handbag during her mission.

She put down her magazine and idly scanned the floor to ceiling bookshelves lining the walls of her father’s study from her spot on the sofa. Ted was an avid book collector, reading anything he could get his hands on. He had books on practically every subject in the Wizarding world. Tonks chalked it up to his Muggle upbringing and wanting to know everything possible about magic. He also had a vast array of Muggle books; everything from philosophy to science fiction to old Sherlock Holmes novels. She reluctantly stood from her comfortable spot on the couch and walked to his shelves and began looking through the titles on magical theory.

“Anything specific you’re looking for?” Ted asked, looking up from whatever he was currently researching.

Tonks hesitated, not sure if she should ask her dad to point her in the right direction or not. He was well read and could probably help her, but would that be revealing too much? Surely not, as long as she held the specifics back. “I’m looking for something about using the effects of another person’s spell.” She paused thoughtfully for a moment trying to think of a way to present her question. “Like if Mum Confunded you, but I wanted to take advantage of it,” she said with a smile.

Ted laughed. “If your mother Confunded me, it would be to make me clean up the house.”

“Let’s say she did, and I wanted to use her charm to make you come clean up my flat.”

Ted looked at her seriously. “Well, you’d have to be sure she’d used the Confundus Charm specifically. If you’re trying to take advantage of a spell someone else cast, you need to know precisely what it is.” Tonks nodded, encouraging him to continue without asking her to reveal details. “It’s all about the intent, you see. If you want to take advantage of her Confundus Charm, you need to have the same intent behind it. You’d have a hard time using her Confundus to make me do something like walk into a pub in nothing but my pants.”

Tonks smiled slightly as her dad’s statement. Maybe this wouldn’t be as tough as she thought. The whole point of Macnair’s spell was to be able to track Hagrid, which is precisely what she and Remus would need to do. The only problem she foresaw was the intent behind the tracking. Macnair obviously wanted to cause Hagrid trouble, whereas she and Remus were hoping to warn him. She’d have to run this by Mad-Eye and see what he had to say on the matter. Remus too since she determined from their work the previous day that he was probably just as well read, if not more so, as her father.

Tonks went back to perusing the bookshelves as her father stood from his desk and approached. “You really can’t tell us what it is you’re doing?” Ted asked.

“You know as much as you can without being inducted in the Order,” Tonks replied.

Ted reached out for Tonks and wrapped her in a hug. “We’re proud of you, Dora.”

Tonks relaxed in her father’s arms, grateful for the reassuring hug as well as his words. It had been a mad few weeks, and she was now realizing how important a day lounging around her parent’s home had been to her. It was always comforting being home.

“Thanks, Dad,” Tonks said into his shirt, squeezing her eyes shut at the tears that were threatening.

“Now,” Ted said as he released his hold on Tonks with a pat to her back. He ran a hand across the spines of his books. “This.” He pulled a book from its spot, followed by another with a faded cover and gilded edges that looked to be extremely old. “And this. Read through these and brush up on your magical theory text as well,” he said, handing her the two books.

Tonks looked at the titles in her hands. Self-Defensive Spellwork and Charms of Defence and Deterence. “Well, these look like page-turners,” she said with a grin. “It’ll be like being back in Auror training again.” Tonks set the book on the sofa and returned to the shelves. “Do you mind if I borrow something a bit lighter as well?”

“Have time for pleasure reading, do you?”                           

Tonks huffed in amusement. “I’ve barely enough time for sleep, much less reading for fun.” She pulled a Sherlock Holmes novel and a couple of science fiction novels from his shelves. “These are for Sirius. He’s stuck at Headquarters permanently and could use something to do.”

Tonks spent the rest of the day lounging about her parents’ home. She listened to the Wireless a bit with her dad before losing spectacularly at a game of chess. Her mother joined them after a while—having finished laundering and pressing her Auror robes to the point that they looked brand new—and served tea, chatting about the latest goings on with the Ministry’s Women’s Guild. Tonks smiled inwardly and had to stifle a laugh wondering whether or not her mother was acquainted with the woman Narcissa wanted to set up with Snape. Likely not, she supposed, since she knew that her mother and her aunt successfully avoided one another by not socializing in the same groups within the Guild.

After they finished tea, and her mother had supplied her with leftovers for her to take home, Tonks went back to her flat to prepare for the following week. She went for a run, tidied up her flat, and decided to shower and turn in to bed early with one of the books her father had loaned her.

Feeling her eyes droop as she read, she decided to turn out her light, grateful for the chance at a full night’s sleep…hopefully, at least. There was always the chance that Dumbledore would hear back from the French headmistress, and she and Remus would be off to find Hagrid. Thinking that she’d like more time to look through the books her father had recommended and work more with Hagrid’s magical signature, she hoped they wouldn’t hear from Madame Maxime for a few days yet. There was also the tricky situation of work overlapping with this mission. She couldn’t very well just disappear from work in the middle of the day. Or not show up the following day if they were gone overnight. She didn’t really have much holiday time saved up, and, anyway, how would she explain needing to take a holiday in the middle of the work week with no notice? She supposed she could feign an illness. Puking Pastilles. She chuckled lightly at the thought that flitted into her mind, thinking she needed to make a stop by Headquarters the next day after work and speak with the Weasley twins. After all, she needed to deliver the books she’d borrowed for Sirius. And, really, shouldn’t she relay to Remus what she’d discussed with her father about the intent of a spell? The answer was yes, of course. She would need to see Remus tomorrow as well.

A/N: One person reviewed the last chapter, so you readers may thank them for the one-shot that will be posted as soon as this chapter clears!! I loved this chapter for so many reasons. 1. I love Mad-Eye 2. I love Remudora 3. I love Ted and Andromeda

There is more fun ahead, so keep reading (*cough, review, cough*):)

Just in case you didn't know...anything you recognize, it's not mine. Not Remus, not Tonks, not Umbridge (thank Merlin!). Thanks, Jo, for letting us play.

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