Chapter 1 : How NOT to Tell Her You’re a Werewolf
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“Good god, I hate this place.” Sirius stood in the doorway, glancing around at the walls of the Black family library as if he meant to insult them personally.
“I know you do.” Remus did not look up.
Sirius entered the room and flopped down sideways on the empty armchair, his legs dangling lazily over the side. “What are you reading there, Moony? Another one of Dumbledore’s endless reports?” Sirius asked. Remus was hunched forward in the opposite armchair, poring over a book on the coffee table. Beside the book was a quill and parchment, where Remus had obviously been taking notes.
“Not exactly.” He muttered, turning a page.
“A smutty romance?” Sirius grinned. Remus didn’t reply, and Sirius’ eyes suddenly narrowed. “Wait, don’t answer that, ‘cause if I find out my mum kept a stash of erotica here in the library, I swear to god, I’ll hurl.”
Remus chuckled and finally looked up. “No, no, I’ll spare you that.” He closed the book and raised it so that his friend could read the cover.
“How to Tell Her You’re a Werewolf in Six Easy Steps?” Sirius read, incredulously. “Where the heck did you get that?”
“I found it in this little used bookshop in Knockturn Alley today. Strictly for academic research, of course.”
“Of course...” Sirius replied suspiciously. “And you’ve been taking notes?”
“Yeah. Some of it’s really great stuff. Okay, step six, maybe not, but the rest I might be able to use.” Remus replied. He picked up his parchment and began to read. “Step one: introduce yourself…I’ve done that. Step two: cultivate a friendship…done that too. Step three: let her know that you’re a vegetarian…working on it…”
Sirius burst out laughing and grabbed the paper from his hand. “You? A vegetarian?”
Remus frowned. “Well, I suppose it’s to let her know that you’re not…umm…”
“Cultivating a friendship so that you can EAT her later on?” Sirius cackled. “So who’s the lucky girl that’s gonna get the big, canine surprise?”
Remus took a deep breath, looked at Sirius pointedly, and then went pale as his eyes drifted to the doorway.
“Ok, what are you two up to?” Tonks asked, amused. “I heard Sirius laughing, and that can’t be good for any of the rest of us.”
Sirius spun around and gaped at Tonks, and then back at Remus’ horrified face, and something clunked into place. “You devil…” He muttered at his friend.
Remus ignored Sirius and cleared his throat. “Hello Nymphadora.”
“Hi.” She said, approaching. “What are you reading?”
Remus immediately flipped the book over so that the title was no longer visible. Tonks’ eyes rested on the back cover of the book, and she gasped. “What the hell is that?” Remus’ eyes darted downwards to see an artist’s rendition of a savage werewolf dripping with blood, a freshly murdered woman at its feet. The caption beneath the picture said, in cheery pink letters: Bad luck with women? YOU need to read this book!
Absolutely mortified, Remus grabbed the book and shoved it onto the bookshelf with the spine facing in. “Just…ah…reading…umm…” he stammered. He looked desperately at Sirius for help.
“One of my mum’s erotica books.” Sirius cringed as he said the painful words. “Remus and I were just having a laugh.”
A look of utter disgust passed over Tonks’ face. “Oh. I see. That looked kinda violent and frightening, actually…but if that’s your bag…I guess…” She visibly shuddered and began to back away from the two of them, suddenly eager to leave.
“No, it’s not!” Remus laughed awkwardly. “It’s not my bag at all! Or Sirius’!” He nodded at his friend, for good measure.
“Yeah, Remus is a vegetarian!” Sirius added helpfully.
“What?” Tonks exclaimed. “What does that have to do with anything? Wait a minute. You’re a vegetarian?” She turned to Remus, utterly confused.
“I am!” Remus said, deciding to go with whatever Sirius was working on. Sirius gave him a double thumbs-up behind Tonks’ back before his eyes drifted back to the parchment he was hiding under his arm. Suddenly Remus was filled with dread; Sirius was obviously reviewing the six steps and trying to help out.
“But didn’t we both have Molly’s fried chicken for dinner last night, after the meeting?” She asked.
Remus didn’t miss a beat. “Well yes. I had to eat it so that Molly wouldn’t be offended of course. But I promise you, I was terribly sick afterwards!” He said cheerfully.
Tonks blinked and nodded slowly. “Ok….well… I just stopped by to see if you wanted to talk about the plans for picking Harry up from his Aunt and Uncle’s house. But if you guys are busy…”
“We’re not busy at all.” Sirius was instantly on his feet. He grabbed Tonks by the shoulders and steered her to his chair. “Have a seat.” He shoved her bodily into the chair, and she glared at him, affronted. Oblivious, Sirius perched on the arm of the chair and turned to his friend. “Remus, why don’t you tell Tonks what she smells like?”
“What?” Tonks and Remus both exclaimed at the same time.
Sirius inclined his head towards the parchment under his arm and then glared pointedly at Remus. When Remus still looked confused, he very subtly raised four fingers of his left hand, pretending to scratch his hairline, and Remus understood. They had successfully accomplished steps one through three, and now they were speeding onwards to Step Four: Convince her that wolf-like senses are a benefit, not a hindrance. “So what does Tonks smell like, Remus?” Sirius pressed.
Tonks gaped at the two men, now certain that they were playing some sort of mean prank on her. Either that, or they had lost their minds. “Okay, ha, ha, very funny, I smell, thanks a lot. You Sirius, I’m not surprised by, but Remus, I thought you were much more mature than this…” She began to rise when Remus spoke.
“You smell like…summer.” He said shyly. “You’ve obviously just come in from outside. You walked here. And…” He squirmed uncomfortably. “There’s apple on your breath. I smell watermelon too, but I think that might be your shampoo.”
At this, Tonks froze, her eyes wide. “H-how did you know all that?” She gasped. Sirius nudged her with his elbow, his eyebrows raised in a gesture that meant ‘See? See what I mean?’
“I think there’s something I need to tell you about myself.” Remus said softly.
“But first, how do you feel about animals Tonks?” Sirius cut in.
Bewildered, Tonks turned. “I like them just fine. But, where is this going exactly?” And Remus cringed. They had arrived at Step Five: Share happy animal vignettes.
“Sirius,” he warned, starting to panic, they were dangerously close to number six. “I think we should just forget it.”
Ignoring Remus, Sirius plodded onwards. “You had a dog when you were a kid, didn’t you Tonks? Didn’t it make you happy? Wasn’t it a great companion?”
Tonks snorted. “Sure, if you like hair all over the couch and the carpet. Not to mention that Mr. Barkers smelled like a rotting goat carcass every time it rained. The stench from that animal was just awful!”
Remus’ head fell into his hands. If he could just die and be swallowed up by the floor, he would be quite content. Please shut up, Sirius. Please shut up, Remus willed.
It didn’t happen.
“But it couldn’t have been all bad!” Sirius insisted bracingly. “Surely Mr. Barkers was protective of you? Was a good guard dog? Fetched the paper? Chased cats..?” Tonks shook her head to each of these suggestions, her face filled with nothing but dislike for poor Mr. Barkers. Remus began to hope they had reached the end of Sirius’ line of questioning. “Was this dog even alive?” Sirius asked, exasperated.
And then Tonks visibly shuddered. “Well, yeah, unfortunately I had proof that he was alive. Damn dog would hump my leg six or seven times a day.”
“And did you like it?” Sirius asked lecherously. Tonks gasped and was on her feet, outraged, while Remus’ hand curled around his wand, ready to commit suicide. They had arrived at Step Six: Play up the kink factor.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Tonks shouted. “This entire conversation is just so…so weird, and…PERVERSE!”
“Come on…admit it, Tonks,” Sirius pleaded, “doggie-style really is the only way to do it, right?”
“No!” She replied. “I mean, EW! I am not going there with you Sirius! Stay away from me you…you…wierdos!” She stumbled out of the room, slamming the door behind her.
“Well that went well.” Sirius muttered haughtily. Remus had sunk very low in his chair.
Suddenly the library door flew back open and Tonks stormed back in. “On second thought, I’m taking this filth before you guys get any more sick ideas!” She screamed, tearing Remus’ book off of the shelf and freezing at the title. “Oh.” She gasped. Her mouth moving without words, she began to flip through the pages while the two men just stared at her, dumbstruck. “Oh.” She whispered again. Her eyes went to Sirius, whose lips were tight, and then rested on Remus.
“Is this yours?” She asked him.
“You’re a werewolf?” She asked.
“Yes.” He said simply. “I am.”
She turned the book over in her hands, and Remus squirmed as she studied the artist’s rendition on the back. “Hmm, looks nothing like you.” She mused. She handed Remus back the book and walked up to Sirius, and messed up his hair affectionately. “You’re sweet.” She smiled at him. Then she turned to leave. She paused in the doorway and glanced over her shoulder at Remus, a saucy twinkle in her eye.
“Oh, and Remus? No number six until after the third date.” And she shut the door with a resounding click.
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