Remus, Sirius, and some Tonks. Pairings: RL/SBPrompt:
from sarie_gamgee Let's see... doesn't have to be smut, but I'd like to read Tonks finding out about Remus/Sirius. Set during OotP.*evil grin* Word Count:
PG-13? (Gah, I'm so bad with ratings. There's implied touching, homosexual relationships, but nothing explicit).Notes:
This one was surprisingly hard to write, considering how much I love Remus/Sirius. I was about to scrap it, when I made a comment to a friend that ended up being worked into the opening line, thus starting me anew and letting the story happen. Sorry it's been so long since the last fic... I needed to recover!
Number 12 Grimmauld Place, Remus reflected, staring up at the horrid building in front of him, was quite possibly the offspring of a deranged architect and a dementor.
At least, that was his current theory. The house stole away peoples’ will to live – and anyone who passed through quickly left, unwilling to stay for more than a few days. There was always the excuse of work to be done, but frankly, Remus knew it was the house that drove people off. There was an impenetrable sense of gloom that sat over the area near King’s Cross, amplified by the dreary fog that seemed to hang permanently around the run-down street. Collecting his thoughts, he hurried forward and pushed open the battered black door and stepped into the headquarters for the Order.
He could smell something cooking in the kitchen, warmth mingling with the slightly nauseating scent of moth-repelling spells, but he suddenly felt weary and the last thing he wanted to do was to be peppered with questions by Molly. He quietly walked up the stairs, mindful of Sirius’ mother’s portrait, skirting the squeaky step and making his way down the hallway, wand out. Even after being back in the Black family house for several months, there were still things that could be lurking around. Molly was thorough, but this house was ancient and full of secrets. Some of the mysteries clung to the shadows like a spider’s gossamer threads to forgotten corners.
His lip twitched as he neared Sirius’ room, a newly familiar ache churning in his stomach. As if on cue, the door opened, and a too-thin hand pulled him into the darkness beyond. Remus didn’t have time to put up a silencing spell before Sirius’ mouth found his own, desperate and needy.
The house was out to get him, he was nearly certain of it. He spent his days with Buckbeak, avoiding Molly and her cleaning, and finding new ways (or remembering old ways) of locking Kreacher in different rooms and walls. Some days he found himself in his father’s library (where many years before he had made the mistake of pulling down a book without his father’s permission and nearly lost his fingers for it. Afterwards, his mother had coolly lectured him about touching things that were not yet his. Sirius still couldn’t bend his right three fingers fully because of it), going around and touching the old bindings – though with admitted trepidation. Turns out only the blood owner of the house could retrieve the books safely, so now his digits were slightly safe, though many of the older volumes rebelled against their new owner.
And then there were the hours that he sat by the window, like a puppy, waiting for Remus to come home. There were days when he felt his sanity threading out, unraveling, reaching an untethered culminating moment of near-hysteria. One could only drink so many cups of tea before one would go mad from the lack of variety.
The days that Remus came home were always bright smears on the dark timeline of his existence at Grimmauld Place.
So the day that he snatched his lover out of thin air, he didn’t think twice about the fact that his moonstruck kid cousin would shortly be on her way down to dinner from the upper floors, or that he and Remus were infamously loud. Admittedly, there were only three people who really knew exactly
how loud they were, and two were dead and the other was a rat-faced traitor. The two of them had quickly learned about silencing spells their seventh year, after James and Peter had protested loudly about the noises coming from Sirius’ bed. In any case, he didn’t hear Tonks walk past their room, stop, or hear her double back and put her ear to the door. He was more preoccupied with some of his favourite bits of Remus’ anatomy and what they were doing to him.
“Moony,” he moaned loudly as the former professor did something very wicked with his tongue.
If the two of them hadn’t been making so much noise, Sirius might have heard his cousin drop her wand and nearly fall down the stairs. Remus, with his super-sensitive werewolf hearing, heard but said nothing, as he was rather busy.
Tonks sat at the freshly scrubbed kitchen table a few days later, relaxing as best she could, long fingers wrapped around a fresh cup of tea. Molly had been kind enough to fix her a cup before disappearing into one of the neighbouring rooms, looking for Kreacher. Sighing, she breathed in the vapours, closing her eyes momentarily and letting the world around her slip away, losing herself in the freshly steeped brew. Working two jobs – her paying one as an Auror, and her second one for the Order – was taking a lot out of her, though she knew that the reward in the end would be well worth it. But living perpetually on edge, Moody thundering out “Constant vigilance!
” every time she came around a corner, and pretending not to notice her cousin’s affair with the man with whome she was in love was all taking a toll on her already-frayed nerves.
Thank Merlin for tea.
Muffled shrieking from the front hallway broke her reverie, and Tonks sighed wearily as her aunt’s portrait raved from behind the heavy curtain they’d drawn over it. Someone must have come home. She glanced at the hourglass on the wall and guessed it was probably Remus. Sitting up straight and taking a sip of her drink, she glanced over at the door into the foyer. Sure enough, a moment later the snakes head handle turned and Remus entered. She tried to control the flip-flop in her stomach, though she knew her hair turned a more vibrant shade of pink at his arrival.
His outer robe hung threadbare and too large on his frame and he offered Tonks a exhausted half-smile as he entered.
“Wotcher, Remus,” Tonks greeted quietly, watching him head towards the cupboard over her cup of tea. “Long day?”
He opened the pantry and dug around determinedly until he found the tin with the loose tea leaves, then went to the stove and held his hand over the spout of the teapot. “You have no idea,” he said wearily, glancing at her. “Fresh?”
She nodded, pink hair falling in her face, which today was heart-shaped. “Molly made mine about ten minutes ago, so it should still be good for a cuppa.”
He looked grateful and made himself a cup, carrying the ridiculously ornate porcelain over to the table. “Mind if I join you?” he asked, gesturing to the seat across from Tonks.
“Please,” she murmured, not quite meeting his gaze. “It would be nice to have some sane company for once.”
His lip twitched as he set the teacup on the table. He pulled off his heavily patched and magically mended cloak and laid it carefully beside him. His face, crisscrossed with the white and pink of old scars, relaxed as he breathed in the scent of the East Indies. “Sane?” he murmured, smiling that impenetrable Remus smile. “We don’t dabble in sanity in this house,” he reproached jokingly, shaking his head a little and pulling the tea strainer out and shaking it a bit. “It’s forbidden.”
Tonks couldn’t quite find enough mirth to laugh. They sat there in long silence, each drinking their tea.
A screech erupted from the foyer. “Blood-traitor!
Startled, Tonks jumped, then cursed loudly as her cup spilled down the front of her Auror’s robes. The door to the kitchen slipped open and an emaciated skeleton, disguised as Sirius, quickly entered and shut the door behind his too-frail body, leaving the epithets in the hallway. “Blasted woman,” he muttered, long hair hanging in his face. “Aren’t there spells to silence her?”
Tonks pulled out her wand and spelled away the mess on the front of her clothes and looked at the shattered pieces of cup on the floor. “Reparo
,” she said, and the pieces whizzed together and settled on the table.
Sirius’ body whipped around, eyes wide and noticing Tonks for the first time.
“Moony,” he objected, grey eyes on his cousin.
“Padfoot,” Remus replied easily, calmly, and – Tonks noted – affectionately. “Care for some tea?” Sirius hesitated, then nodded and quickly sat down next to Remus. Instead of getting up, Remus used his wand to call the tea tin, teapot, and porcelain setting over to him and quickly started steeping the tea. Sirius looked grateful as he took the cup in his hands and watched the darker colour swirl with the water.
Tonks glanced between the two too-thin men.
“How long?” she croaked out before she knew what she was saying.
Sirius’ head snapped up, looking haunted. Remus glanced at Sirius, easily and automatically falling into their old unspoken schooldays language of twitches and movement.
A nose flare. Hush. I’ll take care of this.
Sirius blinking rapidly. Fine, but if she says anything…
A microscopic lift of the chin. Be calm, Padfoot.
All of this transpired so quickly that if she weren’t trained to observe people, Tonks would have missed it altogether. Though she didn’t understand what
had just passed between them, she knew it was something.
“This time, or generally?” Remus asked quietly, watching Sirius’ cousin across the table.
“Generally. Did,” Tonks tripped over the word. “Did it start before? When you were at Hogwarts?” she clarified. She desperately wished she still had her tea. She needed something to hold onto.
Remus looked over at Sirius again, who nodded slightly.
“Our seventh year at Hogwarts,” he acknowledged, looking apologetic. “And then, for awhile during the War…” he trailed off, eyes dulling at the memories. “Then we… well, we suspected each other, and things didn’t go quite how we’d imagined.”
“Azkaban,” Sirius choked out, fingers tight around his cup of tea.
“Yes,” Remus murmured, a sliding sidelong glance spared for his mate. “But after he escaped, and we figured out about Peter… well, we realised we didn’t have much time, and we’d already lost thirteen years. Took him nearly a year to convince me, though,” he said, smiling wryly. “But here we are, old… and broken.”
“Not broken,” Sirius said. “Living on borrowed time.”
“That, too,” Remus agreed.
Tonks stared at them both. She could feel the colour of her hair slowly fade as Remus calmly explained that he was sleeping with her favourite cousin.
“Right,” she said, staring blankly at the tabletop. “Right. Boffer. Smashing.” She stood quickly, nearly upending the table when her robes caught on the edge. Remus managed to keep it upright, but not without almost sacrificing all the porcelain. By the time he’d managed to right everything, Tonks had slipped out of the kitchen.
“Bugger,” Remus swore quietly, feeling guilty, somehow.
“She’ll be all right,” Sirius said suddenly, sounding fierce. He now held two teacups in his hands, having caught Tonks’ when it slid.
Remus looked somewhere between startled and amused. “Oh?” he asked quietly. “What makes you so sure?”
Sirius held up the teacup she’d so recently dropped, eyes and dirty fingernails tracing over the indelible, fine lines that had resulted from its abuse and repair. “Not broken,” he murmured. “Fractured… but healing.”