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Against All Odds by patronus_charm
Chapter 6 : Meeting Fleur
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 7

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Despite it only being late October, it looked as if winter had already hit us. My fingers were quickly turning blue due to the rawness of the cold, and I had starting sneezing this morning which was never a good sign. All the Muggle shops were decked out in orange and black, preparing for the highlight of most children’s year when they could harass adults for free sweets.

If I had it my way, I would still be trick-or-treating as it was a lot more fun than handing out the sweets. According to my mum it might be a little inappropriate if I did do that, so I was forced to pretend to like children for another year; she could be such a kill-joy at times.

I was currently on my way to dinner with Bill and Fleur at some fancy French restaurant in Diagon Alley. The food was meant to be to die for, and I certainly hoped it was because I had checked out the prices earlier, and they were eye-wateringly high. I jangled my purse and heard several coins run around inside of it. Phew, that should cover dinner. Well, hopefully.

Coming to a half outside the Leaky Cauldron, I realised it looked like a boring old building from the Muggle side. I didn’t see why they couldn’t jazz it up a bit considering Muggles couldn’t even see it. If they added a splash of colour to it, and perhaps some fairy lights or candles it would look a lot more appealing. They could even get more customers in that way which would be a good thing, as it was pretty empty for a Saturday night. I gave Tom a quick nod as I entered it before hurrying on through.

As soon as I entered Diagon Alley, the French restaurant was easy to find given the red, white and blue flag was painted onto the exterior of the building. There was even a person playing an accordion outside, though I didn’t know how he was capable of moving his fingers to play it considering the temperature was just above zero degrees.

The server person glared at me as I trundled into the restaurant. I may have given the coat rack a slight knock when walking into here, but it didn’t fall over or anything so in that respect he shouldn’t have been so angry. I had to talk to him to find out where Bill and Fleur were, so hopefully he would be nicer then.

“Excuse me, I’m looking for Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour. I’m the third person of their party.” As soon as I finished say that I realised how sad I sounded. I was the awkward third wheel. Then again, Bill did actually want me so perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad.

“Zey are seated at ze back. I ‘ope you can find your way zere,” he spat out. Ooh, the French were famed for their tempers so perhaps that was why he got angry so earlier.

“Thank you,” I called cheerfully over my shoulder. I dodged around the tables; attempting to use the tiny amount of agility I possessed in me. I finally found them sat in a closeted corner at the back of the restaurant laughing at something. Fleur looked how I looked when I put my whole mind to my metamorphmagus skills and tried to copy an image of a model from a Muggle magazine.

“Er, hi Bill, and nice to meet you Fleur,” I greeted them. Luckily, I managed to get their attention and didn’t have stand here looking like a lemon.

“Tonks!” Bill cried out and stood up so he could envelope me in a hug. “This is Fleur.” Fleur got up in a considerably daintier fashion than Bill and planted a kiss on each my cheeks once Bill had let go of me.

“Eet is a pleasure to meet ‘ou.” Fleur smiled at me before gesturing at the free seat. I promptly sat down and the others followed suite. “Bill ‘as told me so much about ‘ou, and ‘ow good friends ‘ou are. I ‘ave been looking forward to zis very much.”

“Well, he’s told me a lot about you too, only good things mind. We’ll have to get together and talk about him one time, because this doesn’t seem very fair,” I chuckled nervously. I hoped Fleur was the type of person who had a sense of humour, because only those types of people seemed to get on with me.

“Yes, we must,” Fleur agreed.

“Ok, enough with this plotting and planning to talk about me behind my back. I knew you would end up doing this sort of thing,” Bill moaned. “Let’s just order, otherwise we’ll never get to eat at this rate.”

“Fine.” I gave Fleur a conspiratorial grin, and she returned it. So far, she had defied my expectations of what I thought she would be like.

“So how’s Remus then?” Bill smirked when he asked me. Why did he have to start questioning me? The dinner had nearly finished, and it had gone surprisingly well. Now, he had to ruin it.

“Why are you asking me? You probably see him as much as I do.” I glanced down at the remnants of my crepe so I could hide from his face. He could be very irritating at times, quite frankly.

“But you seem to pay a lot more attention to his actions. I swear in your reply to my letter there were at least three mentions of him. How you had dinner with him. How you made a fool of yourself in front of him. How he was on duty after you.” Oops. Perhaps Bill was right. I did seem to talk about him quite a lot.

“Well, Remus just keeps on popping up in my life. If I didn’t talk about him, I wouldn’t have anything to talk about. Besides, I didn’t just have dinner with him I had it with Sir-“ Crap. I had possibly given away the fact that Sirius was around to Fleur. I mean, she did seem to be a very nice girl, but I didn’t think her and Bill’s relationship was strong enough to reveal a secret like this one. I glanced over to her, and she just smiled at me. Phew, perhaps she hadn’t heard the last bit then.

“Excuse me, but ‘o is zis Remus person? Is ‘e an acquaintance or friend?” Fleur asked.

“He’s just someone Bill and I know through our family.” That should cover it.

“It would nice to meet ‘im someday. If ‘ou like ‘im so much, I am sure ‘e is very nice.” Fleur smiled at me again. I didn’t have her down to be such a smiley person. Then again, most people wouldn’t peg Bill to be a secret Celestina Warbeck fan. “I am very soree but I must leave. I ‘ave to work ze early morning shift tomorrow. Zey always give the worst hours to ze new people.”

“It’s no problem,” I replied jovially. “I have to head off to work early tomorrow too.” I grabbed my cloak from my chair and delved into the pockets of it in search of my purse.

The server person noticed us preparing to depart and quickly ran over here with the bill raised high in his hands. Honestly, did he really think we were going to leave without paying? I took it as a yes as he didn’t miss the opportunity to scowl at me one final time as he passed it to me. I glanced down at the bill, and I was sorely tempted to actually do a runner when I saw how much it amounted to.

“Twenty galleons! You’ve got to be joking! I could buy a wand with that kind of money!” I exclaimed and angrily began pulling coins out of my purse.

“Zat is what you pay for ze best cuisine in Diagon Alley.” The server man scowled at me yet again. Due to him repeatedly doing that he was added to my list of smarmy gits I couldn’t stand. He was just below Dawlish if that was any indicator to how much he was irritating me.

“Don’t worry about it, Tonks. Let me pay.” Bill had a fistful of galleons in his hands, and he promptly dropped them into the server person’s waiting ones. I really should stop calling him the server person and actually find out the real name for his job. It was too much of a mouthful to keep on repeating it.

“Are you sure, Bill? It‘s quite a lot,” I asked hesitantly. It would be great if he could pay; I earned peanuts compared to him, but I still felt a little mean.

“Of course I’m sure. I wouldn’t be offering to pay for it otherwise.” He glanced around, and his eyes locked in on Fleur who had wandered over to the door before he continued speaking. “I’m grateful for what you’ve done for Fleur. She doesn’t really know any other people apart from me, as it’s just goblins at work. It must have been nice for her to talk to you.”

Ah, I saw what he had done. He hoped that this would lead to us becoming friends. I mean, she was a nice enough person and didn’t appear to be the girly girl I thought she would be, so I guess it wouldn’t be too bad. “It was no problem, Bill. I really enjoyed talking to Fleur, and it would nice to do something like this again.” What was with me and being able to say mature replies all of sudden? At this rate I would begin to read the economy section of the Prophet and talk about getting on the property ladder.

“Thanks, Tonks.” Bill grinned at me. “Shall we go?”

“Let’s,” I replied and began to head towards Fleur. Besides the annoying server person, whose real name I would find out, it had turned out to be a surprisingly fun evening.

The end of October slowly faded into November, and that, too, passed quickly. Before I knew it, it was December. The orange and black shop windows had quickly been replaced by red and green ones, and I was constantly dodging people attempting to flog me discounted Christmas presents.

It was Amina’s birthday tomorrow, and, in my usual fashion, I had left present buying until the last minute. I thought about doubling up her birthday and Christmas present to save money, but that was before I had to listen to her moan about people who did that for ten whole minutes. I didn’t think there was so much to say about it.

I pushed open the door to Flourish and Blotts and headed towards the aisle which I frequented even less than the cooking one. The beauty section. I could tell by the people who were browsing here why I deliberately choose to spend the least amount of time possible here. There was one girl with platinum blonde hair and orange skin who was talking to another one who had spider’s legs for eyelashes and had a wince-inducing shade of pink lipstick on.

The pair of them began to snigger and stare at me, and I was tempted to give them the finger. People like me were allowed to come down here too. I almost was going to do it when my mother’s warnings appeared in my head. I could hear her moaning away about how she was a better behaved child than I would ever be. Her parents were scary pureblood ones though, and who knew what evil, dark magic they could have used if they wanted to. That must have been significant in bribing her to behave well.

Damn, I had gone off on a tangent. I really should stop doing this, but every time I attempt to do so my brain lacks some sort of physical restraint. Maybe I could do some brain work outs. Now I had a mental images of my brain doing weight-lifting. Ha, they were funny. Whoops. I had gone off tangent yet again. As people like to say, Rome wasn’t built in a day so it was probably going to take a long time before I was capable of keeping my mind on one topic.

Instead of showing them the finger for potentially laughing at me, I glared at them. That should be less offensive to my mother in the case of her ever finding out about this incident.

A stack of bright pink books with glitter covered on them sat on a shelf opposite me. I wandered over, thinking this would be an ideal present for Amina given her love of all things pink and glittery.  They even had a Christmas deal on them, so it shouldn’t cost too much.

“First I catch you reading romance novels, and now its beauty books. You really do have a hidden side to you, Tonks.” Remus’ sudden appearance shocked me so much, the pink book literally flew out of my hands and landed near to the pair of girls. Fortunately, they were both looking in a little hand mirror so I should be safe for now.

“This time round it’s not for me,” I chuckled. “It’s my friend Amina’s birthday tomorrow. This is last minute emergency present buying.”

“Ah, I see.” Remus winked at me and jostled the pile of books he was holding around. They all had a dark background with a white blob on them. I couldn’t make out what it was so I edged a little closer to see.

“What brings you to Flourish and Blotts then, Remus? I would have thought you would have enough books by now?” I continued to edge forwards, and when I saw the title of the books I was a little surprised. “You seem to have quite a fascination with werewolves. I’ve never been that keen on them. Cats are much better in my opinion.”

Remus let out a nervous chuckle and looked down at the ground, not replying to any of my questions. What on earth was up with that? Then one crazy explanation for the nervous chuckle implanted itself into my brain, and I couldn’t help but voice it.

“Do you have a werewolf fetish, Remus? If you do I promise not to tell anyone.” Ok, I really need to practice those brain weight training things. Perhaps they would stop me from blurting out things like that. Did I really ask him if he had a werewolf fetish? He was an academic person, so he probably just wanted to boost his knowledge in that area. I glanced over at him and saw that his cheeks were now burning bright red.

“Er, not quite that.” He paused and glanced around the room before continuing. “There’s something I ought to have told you a while ago, Tonks. Something important.”

“What is it?”

“No, not here. We had better go somewhere else.”

Remus dropped the pile of books on a table near to us and grabbed hold of my hand and pulled me outside. I just let him do it because if there was any secret, I wanted to be in on it. Even if I did have a tendency to accidently blurt them out in situations of extreme nervousness.

He pulled me through the crowds of people and only stopped when we reached the entrance to Knockturn Alley. Perhaps I was right about his werewolf fetish, and he was going to introduce me to a cult of them. Maybe this was my initiation to the cult. But I didn’t really want to join a cult so I had better find my way out of that one. Cults just had this horrible vibe about them, like you would die if you joined one. Wait a second, he didn’t even mention a cult so why I was wasting time thinking about it? Crap. Remus had started talking.

“I know this is hard to deal with. If you don’t want to talk to me after I say this, I can understand. I’ve grown to like you over these past few months Tonks, but what I’m about to say isn’t easy to deal with. I hope you can handle it.”

Aha, he must be part of a cult if he was putting all this effort into easing me into this big reveal scene. “Don’t worry Remus; I’m sure it won’t make a difference to me whatever you are.”

I could just find an excuse not to join, and the matter would be dealt with. I was sure he would still want to be friends with me, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

“I’m a werewolf,” Remus announced.

Wait. What?

Author’s Note: Bahaha cliff-hanger alert! Any predictions about what Tonks’ reaction may be? There’s also the Order’s Christmas party next chapter, so what do you think’s going to happen there?

I want to give a special shout-out to PitchBlue and rogue-bludger who have reviewed every chapter so far and have been wonderful in doing so :D Reviews are very much appreciated, so if you left one that would be brilliant!

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