Remus is attending his first meeting of the Order of the Phoenix in 14 years. But what is that distracting tingling at the back of his neck? And who is that adorable pink-haired creature? (This is my attempt to fill-in some missing moments from the lives of Lupin and Tonks. None of it is mine. Thank you to JKR.)
Chapter One - "The First Meeting"
Remus Lupin sat at the kitchen table at the Burrow nursing a large cup of tea, to which Sirius had added an equally large measure of Firewhiskey from a flask when Molly Weasley wasn’t looking. He suspected that they needn’t worry about being covert. Molly was strict in some senses, but under the circumstances she would see the need for people to calm their nerves. It was almost too much to imagine, that Voldemort was back.
The surviving members of the Order of the Phoenix were arriving in fits and starts, and there seemed to be a few new people as well. This made Sirius nervous, although Lupin felt that anyone who had gained Dumbledore’s trust deserved his own. That, unfortunately, even included Severus Snape, who was now arriving and taking a place at the far side of the table, sneering at the former Marauders and refusing Molly’s offer of tea and biscuits. Mad-Eye was there, as well as a young black man he knew to be Kingsley Shacklebolt, from the Ministry. Hestia Jones had arrived, as had Emmeline Vance. A whiff told him that Mundungus Fletcher was around, although he had yet to see him. After a fashion, Bill Weasley came down the stairs from his room, and gripped Lupin’s hand warmly. Lupin looked around the table, taking note of the others. He heard thud and a bit of muffled cursing from the hallway, but could not ascertain who it was. One of the kids, he supposed. He took a sip from his tea, and suddenly felt a distinct tingling on the back of his neck. He leaned back in his chair and rubbed his head, a little wearily. He noticed it again a few moments later. It was not unpleasant, but the slight tickle was distracting, and he needed to be focused for this meeting. He rubbed his neck, and his attention went to Dumbledore, who had just arrived and seated himself at the head of the table.
Nymphadora Tonks had been surprised when Mad-Eye had invited her to “a little gathering at the Weasleys’” that night. Cripes! She had been a little worried that the old codger was asking her on a date, but was relieved to discover the true nature of the evening. Dumbledore had shown great faith in her by including her as one of the few new members of the Order of the Phoenix, and she hoped that her morphing skills could be put to good use in the fight against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
Arriving at the Burrow in flaming pink hair and tattered jeans, she managed to trip over a broomstick in the front hall, and muttered “bollocks!” under her breath. She didn’t think she had made too much noise, and made her way to the kitchen. She stopped, as quietly as she could, in the threshold, and looked around. There were many familiar faces. She was surprised and impressed to see Kingsley there, as he was obviously as fed up with the Ministry as she was. Molly, Arthur, and Bill (cute as ever) were there. There were a few witches she didn’t recognize, and a couple of wizards with their backs to her. One had black hair and tattoos – her usual type. The other was thin and had sandy brown hair, streaked with grey. He was wearing a black wooly jumper with patches on the elbows, and she noticed that his hands, wrapped around a mug of tea, seemed to have a tremendous number of scars. It surprised her that she was much more drawn to those hands than to the owner of the black hair and tattoos, and she watched them for quite some time. She was dying to see the owner of those hands, and she stared at the back of his head for what seemed like ages, trying to will him to turn around. It didn’t work, although those hands now seemed to be rubbing the back of that neck. Lovely. She was interrupted by Molly, who was motioning for her to take a seat at the back of the room as Dumbledore began to speak.
“Hello, old friends and new. It is sad that we have to meet again under such…strained circumstances,” he began. “As you know, we are now aware that Voldemort has returned, and as such, our services are required once again to secure our world. You are all here because you share our desire to defeat the evil that surrounds us, and your specific talents and abilities are an asset. As we are all here, I now reconvene The Order of the Phoenix.”
There were many things that had to be discussed during the meeting. Tonks was surprised to hear of Harry Potter’s involvement, although she seemed to be the only one. The others nodded as Dumbledore spoke of Harry’s experience at the Tri-Wizard Tournament, and the Ministry’s refusal to accept that Voldemort had returned. Dumbledore also suggested the need for a safer place to gather, as the Burrow was meant to be only a temporary meeting place. Black hair and tattoos spoke up.
“You’re welcome to number Twelve, if you want it.” That voice. It sounded familiar to Tonks, although she couldn’t place it.
“Thank you. That might just work,” was Dumbledore’s response, and with that, the meeting was called to a close.
The members of the newly-formed Order of the Phoenix milled about the kitchen and sitting room, chatting in hushed tones and making introductions where necessary. Tonks noticed Ginny Weasley sitting on the stairs, and beckoned her down.
“Wotcher, Sweetie!” she called. “How’ve you been?!” They chatted for a while, and Tonks noticed that Ginny seemed to know an awful lot about what was going on. “Harry’s a friend,” she explained. Tonks understood, and changed the subject. “By the way”, she continued, “Who are those two cuties standing by the fire?” They still had their backs to Ginny and Tonks, but Ginny seemed recognize them anyway.
“Well, the one with the fair hair is Remus Lupin.” Before she could continue, Tonks let out a loud snort of a laugh. “Remus Lupin!” she shrieked. It took her a moment to catch her breath. “Merlin, that can’t be right! Who with the surname Lupin would name a child Remus? Crikey, that’s hysterical! It must be an alias, or a pseudonym, or…” Tonks stage-whispered, conspiratorially, “…or a Porn Name!!” Ginny clapped her hand over her mouth, because at that very moment, Professor Lupin had strolled up to Tonks and seemed about to introduce himself. He blushed a bit, and laughed. His dark-haired companion roared.
At this sound, Tonks was startled and managed to trip over her own feet, nearly falling into a heap. She was stopped by a pair of strong, pale, scarred hands that gripped her arm and put her to rights. She looked up and was stunned by the warmest pair of grey eyes she had ever seen. She was at a loss for words.
She stared for a moment, before mumbling a nearly inaudible “Hey”. She lowered her eyes, breathed deeply, and then managed to regain some composure. “Oh – thank you. Tripped a little. You surprised me.”
“Merlin, Tonks, you surprised us!” The other, dark haired man spoke. “Please allow me to introduce Remus Lupin, Porn Star!” Both Tonks and Lupin blushed as they shook hands. Ginny escaped to the kitchen, mortified. Tonks turned to the other man, who was slapping his knees and laughing like a madman.
“Do I know you?” she asked.
“I’m hurt. You don’t remember me? After all those Sugar Bombs I used to sneak to you when your mother wasn’t looking? I seem to remember bringing you a little pair of ferret slippers that you were partial to, and…” Before he could finish, Tonks threw her arms around him.
“Sirius!! My god, it’s been so long! My mother always said you were innocent! How did you…?” Sirius attempted to detach the pink blur from around his neck, and gave up. He explained the story of his escape and subsequent exoneration as best he could, and was rewarded for his efforts with kisses on his cheeks and more than a few tears. When she finally pulled away, he smiled and introduced her to his handsome friend.
“And this, Professor Lupin, is my little cousin…Nymphadora Tonks.”
Now it was Lupin’s turn to laugh. “And you thought my name was…unusual. Goodness. I’m not sure that I’ve met a Nymphadora before. It suits you, though.”
Tonks looked nonplussed. “Oh, for heaven’s sake, call me Tonks. Everyone does. I’ve managed to nearly maim the last few people who called me Nymphadora.”
“I’ll try to remember”, was Remus’s response. “Am I to understand that you are an Auror?” Tonks nodded. “Well, that’s impressive, especially for someone so young.”
Tonks smiled at him. “I’m not that young. Heavens, I’m 25! I’m a metamorphmagus, though, so I’m able to keep myself looking young and cute! Haha!” The awkwardness of their meeting seemed to pass, and soon they were chatting like old friends. Remus was impressed by her intelligence, and the ability she seemed to have to make people feel at ease.
The conversation continued, with Sirius and Tonks trying to catch up on 10 years of their lives. Eventually, he asked Tonks about her love life. “I may have given up,” was her reply. “The last time I went out on a Saturday night was six months ago. The creep showed me a photo of his mother, and told me it would ‘really do it for him’ if I transformed into her. Horrible.” Sirius seemed to think this was quite funny, but Lupin looked a little more sympathetic. He seemed to have a quiet dignity about him, and Tonks was surprised that she found it so attractive.
Mad-Eye sidled up to them and began to talk with Sirius.
Lupin pulled Tonks aside. “Listen – you and I are actually meant to work together. Harry needs to be brought safely from his home in Surrey, and Dumbledore wanted us to run the mission. We should probably meet to make some plans.” Tonks thought a moment. “What about tomorrow night?” she asked.
“Ah – tomorrow night I’m busy. The night after?”
Busy. She finally realized that she should scan for a wedding ring. None. She presumed he had a girlfriend, though. It would be unlikely that someone so lovely wouldn’t. He wanted to see her the night after, however. A Saturday night? Did he realize? “Sounds good. I’ll owl you. I was thinking-”, but she stopped when she noticed Moody behind her.
“Mad-Eye, if you don’t stop staring at my thong, you’re going to regret it.”
“I’m trying, Tonks. I can’t seem to look away.” Tonks began to walk out of the room, and Moody reached out to slap his hands on the backs of Lupin and Sirius. “Crikey, lads, it’s a new world,” he laughed. Tonks couldn’t resist looking over her shoulder, and before she could catch herself, she had winked at Lupin. Then she rolled her eyes, and strolled out of the Burrow and into the night.
Remus seemed to discover the source of his earlier sensation. He ran his hands through his hair, and then rubbed the back of his neck, which continued to tingle until a certain lovely, pink-haired young woman disapparated out of sight.
(If you have time to review, some constructive criticism would be much appreciated. Thank you! Paloma)