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FIC: The Great Christmas Pudding Caper (or, Ways in Which Remus Lupin is a Very Much a Marauder)

The Great Christmas Pudding Caper
(or, Ways in Which Remus Lupin is Very Much a Marauder)


Rating: T (for sexual innuendo, mild swearing and my first attempt at humour *eek*)
Pairing: Remus/Tonks, Sirius/Hestia (no, really!)
Author’s Notes: This was originally for the 2006 metamorfic_moon advent challenge. I was completely unable to finish it anywhere near on time, but chose to finish it later anyways. The prompts were “the ha’penny in the Christmas pudding” and “an inn.”  Yeah, I know... I lose at life for taking 4 months to write a 5k word fanfic.
Disclaimer: I don't own this. I'd really appreciate it if you don't sue me, okay? Thanks! 


Summary: Sirius proves he has more on his mind than just women (there’s also food). Remus proves he is still a Marauder (perhaps even more so than when he was younger). Tonks proves she is a very skilled auror (but with very poor defenses against a suspect’s diversionary tactics). And Molly’s Christmas pudding proves itself thoroughly delicious.

 

 

Tonks nibbled her nails to the quick twice and morphed them longer to start the process over again while Remus and Sirius debated over The Plan. Ever since Sirius had proposed this mission, he’d spoken about it in such an all-important way that Tonks had found herself capitalizing The Plan in her head, as she was certain Sirius was doing in his own mind.

 

“You realize of course that there’s a very high probability of us getting caught?” Remus asked solemnly.

 

It was at this point that Tonks became suspicious of Remus’ real opinion on the matter. After all, he’d been nay saying The Plan for a good fifteen minutes and really should have given in to the notoriously persuasive talents of Sirius long ago.

 

“Well, of course, Moony,” Sirius acknowledged with a huff of indignation. “But really, what’s a bit of danger now and then, eh?”

 

“Honestly, Sirius,” Remus admonished. “There could be consequences.”

 

And this, this is when Tonks knew for certain that he was teasing Sirius to get him riled up, because that damnably adorable lip of his just twitched into a half-smirk and she knew that look quite well. It was the same self-impressed grin he got every morning right before putting his freezing cold feet on her legs just because he thought it was cute when she squealed and jumped.

 

“Well, I for one am willing to take the risk,” Tonks finally piped up, twisting a short neon green lock of hair around her finger as she raised her eyebrows at Remus in challenge.

 

“If we work together we can do this, Remus,” Sirius insisted. “There are five forbidden batches of Christmas pudding down there, in my own house, and I’ll not have that woman keep me from it!”

 

“To be fair, Sirius, she did actually make the pudding in dispute,” Remus reminded his friend calmly.

 

“She’s hexed the cupboard! My own cupboard! She’s banned us all from the kitchen,” Sirius railed. “It’s unjust! Unfair! The pudding demands to be liberated! But, I can’t do it myself. I’ve tried and we all know how well that turned out.”

 

Remus feigned contemplation of The Plan and sniggered into the palm of his hand discreetly, no doubt recalling exactly how Sirius’ previous solo attempts had gone. Sirius was too wound up spouting plots and tricks to notice Remus’ ill-hidden grin, but Tonks did and she pinched his arm in light rebuke on her cousin’s behalf. Remus jumped and looked at Tonks with a seemingly innocent gaze that she was sure had gotten the Marauders out of trouble many times back at Hogwarts.

 

“You’re an evil man, Remus Lupin,” Tonks murmured, chancing a quick glance at Sirius to ensure he was still occupied ranting about the finer details of The Plan to himself, but keeping her voice low just in case.

 

“Slander,” he grinned back boyishly, letting some fringe fall in front of his eyes. “I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.”

 

“Right,” she snorted in a decidedly unladylike fashion. “Sure you don’t. And I’m the great-granddaughter of Merlin. You know exactly what I’m talking about, Mr. Moony.”

 

“I let it go on too long, didn’t I?” he asked, looking far too proud of himself given the circumstances. “What was it that gave me away?”

 

“Guess all you want,” Tonks laughed. “I’m not telling. Girlfriend’s privilege. It’s hard enough to spot when you’re being sneaky, I’m not about to give up one of the few advantages I’ve got.”

 

“Spoken like a true Slytherin,” he said, with that damn stupidly sexy smirk back again.

 

“Spoken like any Marauder’s girlfriend, if she’s got half a brain,” Tonks countered. “You can’t tell me Lily ever divulged everything about how she read James’ intentions.”

 

“Reading me are you?” he asked, slyly dodging the question.

 

“Like a book,” she said with a hint of a challenge.

 

“Well,” he said slowly, mulling over some idea with a spark of mischief in his eyes. “I can’t let myself be predictable, can I? You might tire of me and then where would we be?”

 

“Remus, what are you…” Tonks began, more than a little wary of the look on Remus’ face that practically screamed trouble.

 

“You’re right Sirius,” Remus announced, interrupting both Tonks’ question and Sirius’ impassioned speech about the virtues of Christmas pudding.

 

“I am?” Sirius asked quizzically. “I mean, I am! Yes, you’ve finally realized it. Tonks talked you into it, then?”

 

“I am in no way to blame for anything that happens when you lot put your heads together,” Tonks objected, her arms folded in front of her in a mildly defensive gesture.

 

“There is but one flaw in The Plan,” Remus said, tapping his chin with his index finger as though deeply in thought. “We’ll need a distraction.”

 

“Oh, well of course,” Sirius replied. “I was thinking someone could go upstairs to Buckbeak’s room and…”

 

“Molly?” Remus called out loudly, a small devilish grin working across his face as Sirius paled and Tonks shook her head in exasperation.

 

“Yes, Remus? Did you need something?” Molly asked cheerily, wiping flour off of her hands and onto her apron as she emerged from the kitchen.

 

If Tonks hadn’t seen Remus with a troublesome grin on his face moments before, she’d have wholly believed the professorial look of mild concern that crossed his features now as he addressed Molly.

 

“Ah, there you are,” Remus smiled kindly. “Sirius was hoping you could give him some advice... on parenting.”

 

With that, Remus grabbed Tonks’ wrist gently and tugged her toward the kitchen, leaving Sirius behind with a curious mixture of respect and ire on his face.

 

“That was cruel,” Tonks whispered. “Poor Sirius! Hasn’t the man suffered enough for one lifetime?”

 

“Well, can you think of anything that will keep Molly occupied and out of the kitchen longer than serving up advice about parenting?” Remus countered quietly.

 

“I must say I’m glad to hear you’ve finally come to your senses and are willing to take some advice on how to deal with Harry,” Molly clucked, looking ridiculously proud of herself as Sirius sat down and gestured for her to do the same. “Parenting isn’t easy, you know. Every child is different and Harry is of course a very special boy. Teenagers in particular are rather difficult to talk to sometimes. Now what in particular did you want advice on talking to Harry about?”

 

Remus and Tonks had very nearly made it to the kitchen by this point, proceeding as slowly as possible, so as not to draw attention to themselves. But, Remus couldn’t help glancing over his shoulder at Sirius to see how he was going to handle the situation. Sirius’ dark-eyed gaze darted from Molly to Remus and Tonks and back again. And after spying the slow, frightening grin that took over Sirius’ face as he looked at Molly, Remus knew what Sirius’ answer would be before he said it.

 

“Sex,” Sirius said proudly.

 

Remus suppressed a groan and rolled his eyes, but Tonks was thrown entirely off guard and stubbed her toe solidly against the doorframe to the kitchen. Thankfully, at the very same moment, Molly knocked over a mug which shattered with a brilliant crash against the hardwood floor, drowning out Tonks’ squeak of pain as she hopped mostly soundlessly on one foot and winced. Remus grabbed her arm and helped her into the kitchen as quickly as possible.

 

“Oi, now I want to hear what she says!” Tonks said quietly, still wincing slightly as she leaned on Remus and experimentally put more weight on her injured foot.

 

He cast a quick Imperturbable charm on the kitchen door and a mild Sonorus out the door in the direction of Molly and Sirius.

 

“Brilliant!” Tonks exclaimed. “You’d’ve made a right smashing auror, you know?”

 

He winked at her, but inclined his head toward to door slightly as Molly’s sputtering slowed to a halt.

 

“Really, Sirius! I hardly think you’re the best person to be talking to the boy about sex!” she protested.

 

“Well I’m not about to give him a how-to guide!” Sirius said exasperatedly.

 

“He could, you know,” Remus told Tonks in an unnecessarily quiet voice, his lips grazing her ear as he spoke. “He wrote one back in 7th year – ‘A Practical Guide to Pulling a Witch from any House: A Memoir.’”

 

“Did you read it?” Tonks asked, leaning into him slightly and looking up at him with barely a few inches between them.

 

“Are you suggesting I need to?” Remus teased, arching an eyebrow.

 

“I just want to know if I owe my cousin a thank you for my current sex life, because I’ve no idea how to start that conversation,” Tonks said with a laugh.

 

“Well...,” Remus said slowly, chewing his lower lip and staring up at the ceiling as if searching for the answer there. “He did need an editor. And as I recall, he also needed someone to inform him when his tales of debauchery were completely unbelievable.”

 

“He lied?”  Tonks asked astounded.

 

“All men lie about sex, Tonks,” Remus informed her. “Sirius just did it in writing. There’s no way he ever managed to bed Portia Porthsworth while perched atop one of the Keeper’s hoops on the Quidditch Pitch.”

 

Tonks paused briefly to ponder the logistics of such an act before shaking her head soundly.

 

“No, not without some kind of levitation charm or a broom or something,” Tonks finally said.

 

“Oh, it’s not that at all,” Remus said laughing wholeheartedly. “I’ve no doubt he could have worked out the, er, mechanics of it. It’s the person he wrote it about! Portia Porthsworth was the Astronomy Professor during our time at Hogwarts and very much the subject of every schoolboy fantasy.”

 

“Really?” Tonks asked, wide-eyed with a grin that looked far too much like his had before calling Molly into the room earlier. “Even yours?”

 

“Most assuredly,” he replied, getting to work disabling the hexes Molly had placed on the cupboard.

 

“You’ll have to describe her to me later. Or show me a picture,” Tonks said slyly. “Sounds as though you’ve been a bit of a naughty schoolboy and earned yourself a detention.”

 

Remus leaned his head against the cupboard with a groan and looked over at her, his hair falling enticingly in front of his eyes.

 

“You’re going to be the death of me,” he said in such a way that led her to believe he wouldn’t have any objection to such a fate.

 

“There are worse ways to go,” she said smirking.

 

“Fair enough,” he replied, finally opening the cupboard to reveal five Christmas puddings, smelling very much of brandy, wrapped in cloth and hanging from hooks.

 

“Hurry it up,” Tonks urged, rocking back and forth on the balls of her feet. “We haven’t much time and I must say I’m horribly curious if you can still fit into your Hogwarts uniform.”

 

Remus’ shoulders shook with silent laughter as he carefully removed one Christmas pudding from its hook, shrunk it, and placed it in his pocket.

 

“I’m afraid my uniforms are all currently enjoying a second life as rather drab patches on some very old coats,” Remus informed her.

 

“S’just as well,” she smirked. “I rather have a thing for this mild-mannered professorial guise you’ve got going on. Honestly, who could possibly believe you’re this innocent little, tweed-wearing bookwormish sort? You aren’t fooling anyone, you know.”

 

“I’m sure I’ve no idea what you’re talking about,” Remus replied with an innocent air as he transfigured a dishrag into a reasonable facsimile of a Christmas pudding and placed it where the pilfered treat had once hung.

 

“Right…” she said wryly, staring at the new ‘Christmas pudding’.  “I’m sure.”

 

It was at that very moment that Sirius and Molly’s conversation reached a volume that could not be ignored.

 

“All I’m saying it that perhaps Harry should have someone speak to him about sex who has a reasonable recollection of how to actually perform a contraceptive charm!” Molly huffed.

 

Remus paled and pinched the bridge of his nose with a very heavy sigh.

 

“Did she just imply that Sirius hadn’t had sex since before Azkaban?” Tonks asked, gaping and wide-eyed.

 

Remus didn’t wince, but cocked his head to the side in anticipation of Sirius’ reply, which was – in fact – far worse than what he’d been anticipating.

 

“And that’d be you, would it? Your seven children serving as such ample evidence that you’ve mastered the contraceptive charm,” Sirius snapped.

 

It didn’t take a Marauder to realize that this was the moment the prank was doomed to go downhill.

 

Remus silently shot a charm at the oven, which promptly began spewing smoke, and practically dragged Tonks out of the kitchen.

 

“Molly,” Remus interjected, right as the irate redhead opened her mouth to reply. “I’m ever-so-sorry, but I believe something might be burning?”

 

“Oh, goodness. Thank you, Remus,” Molly said exasperatedly as she rushed toward the kitchen.

 

But just before the door shut behind her, Molly’s voice rang out clearly. “Remus, dear, perhaps you might have a go at this talk with Harry? Think about it, will you?”

 

Sirius was clearly irate and stalked up the stairs towards Buckbeak’s room with a solid, commanding gesture for Remus and Tonks to follow. As soon as they were in the company of the hippogriff, Sirius’ rant began.

 

“Tell me that was not all for nothing!” he demanded. “If that didn’t earn me some Christmas pudding, nothing ever will.”

 

“Now, Padfoot,” Remus smirked. “When have I ever let you down?”

 

“Please tell me that’s a rhetorical question,” Sirius snorted indignantly.

 

“Excluding women you failed to chat up after sending me over to tell them what a great bloke you were,” Remus amended, rolling his eyes.

 

“Oh, well then,” Sirius said thoughtfully. “I suppose you’ve got a point.”

 

“Thank you,” Remus replied, withdrawing the Christmas pudding from his pocket and returning it to its regular size.

 

Tonks watched on as Remus conjured a table and began serving up the pudding, wondering exactly how long he’d be able to steer the conversation clear of the issue that was really likely to set Sirius off.

 

“But really, James always was the better wingman,” Sirius said with a distant look.

 

“Honestly, Sirius,” Remus drawled. “It was hardly my failing that ensured Fiona Kennedy would have nothing to do with you.”

 

“I’ll have you know that spilling water on her shirt was entirely an accident,” Sirius insisted. “A very, very… enjoyable accident.”

 

Tonks quirked a disbelieving eyebrow at her cousin as she handed him a serving of pudding, managing to get only a very small amount on her clothing in the process. This was something she viewed as a bit of a triumph, all things considered.

 

“Might I suggest,” added Remus slowly, “that it was your attempt to clean up the water rather than the actual spilling of the water itself that really blew your chances?”

 

At that memory, Sirius got a far-off stupid grin on his face briefly before shaking his head and coming back to reality a bit.

 

“And since when do you know more about women then me?” Sirius grumbled in what had to be a record-setting mood swing. “Though Molly certainly seems to think so.”

 

And there it was - the topic that was likely to really set Sirius off.

 

“I thought you didn’t put much stock in Molly’s opinion anyhow,” Remus said, glancing at Tonks for help. But, his green-haired girlfriend had very quickly stuffed her mouth with Christmas pudding and shrugged in fake apology for her inability to contribute to the conversation.

 

“Well, I don’t,” Sirius insisted, as usual completely missing the non-verbal communication going on between Remus and Tonks. “But how daft can that woman possibly be? Does she honestly think Hestia comes by to help literally feed the hippogriff three times a week?”

 

Hearing the word hippogriff (and very possibly the noise of Tonks choking on her pudding), Buckbeak raised his head with interest, haughtily appraising the three people trespassing in his domain.

 

“Not you,” Sirius assured the great beast, rolling his eyes. “I’ve no rats for you right now. Sorry to get your hopes up like that.”

 

If the creature had been human, it would have had a bemused look upon its face. Instead, the beast laid back down, surreptitiously eyeing Sirius’ pudding with great interest.

 

Remus sighed and rested his head on his hand, “In a very long line of bad euphemisms, that has got to be the worst you’ve ever come up with.”

 

“Worse than ‘riding the…’” Sirius began with a bit of a leer.

 

“Yes, worse than that,” Remus interrupted hastily.

 

“All I’m saying is that apparently she’s picked up on the two of you, but not me and Hestia which is rather odd considering I’m not exactly good at the whole discreet thing,” Sirius said with a mouthful of pudding and an exaggerated wave of his hand in the air.

 

“To be honest, I’m a bit surprised you know the word ‘discreet’,” Tonks chimed in, earning herself a rather rude gesture from Sirius.

 

“He’s got a point, though,” Remus said, ignoring his friend’s atrocious behavior and eying his girlfriend suspiciously. “How in the world did Molly know about the two of us?”

 

Tonks squirmed in the seat she’d conjured and did her best not to look either of them in the eye.

 

“No clue,” she muttered before stuffing another spoonful of pudding in her mouth and shrugging.

 

It was a perpetual source of amusement to Sirius that Tonks – an auror and an Order member – was absolute rubbish at lying, as it was quite obvious she was doing right then.

 

“Did you tell her?” Remus questioned incredulously.

 

“Well I needed another woman to chat with, all right?” Tonks sighed defensively.

 

“And Molly Weasley was the best you could come up with?” Sirius asked, his nose wrinkled up in distaste. “Really Tonks, I think you need some more friends.”

 

“I’m about to have one less if you don’t lay off,” Tonks warned, smacking her cousin in the arm. “It had to be someone in the Order because otherwise half the things I’d say wouldn’t make sense and there really aren’t that many women in the Order, you know.”

 

“That fact had not actually escaped my attention,” Sirius said blandly.

 

“Yes, well… Emmeline and I have never really got on well and Ginny and Hermione are far too young to understand and Hestia…” Tonks’ voice trailed off.

 

“She’s not the strongest spell in the book,” Sirius finished for her.

 

“Sirius!” Tonks protested indignantly.

 

“Well, it’s true,” Sirius shrugged.

 

“Still,” Tonks objected. “That’s a horrible thing to say about the woman you’re seeing.”

 

“Forgive me, Tonks,” Sirius began. “But weren’t you just about to say much the same thing?”

 

“Well… yes,” Tonks admitted. “But I’m not the one sleeping with her.”

 

Sirius got an entirely indecent grin on his face at that comment, earning himself a full-on punch in the arm.

 

“Oh… just shut up,” Tonks huffed.

 

“I didn’t say anything!” Sirius protested. “Did I say anything, Moony?”

 

Remus took a page from Tonks’ book earlier and stuffed his mouth full of Christmas pudding to avoid answering.

 

“Coward,” Sirius grumbled. “Some Gryffindor you are.”

 

Just then, Remus got an odd look on his face and winced.

 

“All right, all right,” Sirius said sighing dramatically. “You don’t have to be touchy about it.”

 

As it turned out, however, it was not Remus’ pride that was injured, but rather his tooth. With as much dignity and propriety as humanly possible in such a situation, Remus removed a bronze coin from his mouth and winced, running his tongue along his maligned teeth.

 

“Oi! You got the ha’penny!” Sirius exclaimed with an inexplicable amount of excitement.

 

“So it would seem,” Remus replied, brushing bits of pudding off the coin whose figurehead of Urg the Unclean was, somewhat ironically, quite indignant at being dirtied by a bit of Christmas pudding and Remus’ spit. “Though this is decidedly less of a ha’penny and more of a Knut. Just like the goblins to use their own rebellion leader on the face of a wizarding coin, isn’t it?”

 

“Only you could turn Christmas into a lecture on History of Magic, Moony,” Sirius said with a huff, propping his feet up on the table. “It’s the ha’penny. Means you’ll have wealth and luck and all that rubbish in the coming year.”

 

“Well the coin itself is already an increase in wealth I suppose,” Remus sighed with a self-depreciating shrug. “And I rather count myself lucky that it’s not an actual ha’penny. They used to be made out of silver, you know.”

 

“Well good on Molly for using a Knut then,” Tonks said in a stern tone that clearly declared the subject closed and offering her boyfriend a look that plainly stated she wouldn’t be standing for any of ‘I’m-a-dangerous-werewolf crap’ during their little holiday celebration.

 

Had Remus been slightly less enamored with his girlfriend in that moment, he would likely have noticed an uncharacteristically small smile on Sirius’ face and a small nod of respect he offered toward his cousin.

 

The decidedly more solemn atmosphere was broken when two women’s voices wafted up from the floor below and a ridiculously big grin spread across Sirius’ face.

 

“Well… cousin, Moony,” Sirius smirked, looking arrogant and cocky and every bit the teenager Remus remembered for a moment. “This has been fun. However, I do believe there’s someone else here in need of my company for a bit.”

 

“Say hello to Hestia for us,” Tonks called out as Sirius stood up and headed for the door.

 

Sirius threw a bemused sidelong glance at his cousin. “Because that would fit into the conversation so well? ‘Well hello, Hestia. Remus and Tonks say hi, by the way which page of the wizarding karma sutra would you like to…’”

 

“We get the idea,” Remus interrupted. “See you later.”

 

“Much, much later,” Sirius said with a wink as he disappeared out the door, which Tonks hastily charmed to lock behind him.

 

“You know…” Tonks said slowly, twirling the Knut-masquerading-as-a-ha’penny between her fingers, eventually dropping it and trying (though failing) to look as though she’d entirely meant to do so. “When I first met you, I couldn’t understand how you and Sirius were friends. ‘That poor, sweet, handsome man,’ I thought to myself. ‘My cousin is going to be a terrible influence on him.’”

 

Remus casually draped his arm around her shoulder and traced his fingers back-and-forth along a bit of skin where her neck met the hem of her robe.

 

“And now you’ve changed your mind?” He queried, troublesome grin half-hidden by his left hand cupping his jaw. “You don’t think he’s a bad influence on me?”

 

“Not at all!” Tonks insisted, leaning forward and licking her lips daringly. “I think you’re a bad influence on him.”

 

Remus’ eyebrows shot up in surprise and his eyes twinkled with some secret delight.

 

“Do you, now?” He asked.

 

“Mm, quite,” she drawled, watching his eyes dart from her lips to her eyes and back.

 

“How’s that?” He questioned, attempting to throw her off by lightly rubbing the back of her neck.

 

“You planned this whole thing! I… that distraction isn’t going to work, Remus,” Tonks insisted, even as she leaned her head forward and groaned slightly in appreciation. “I’m a trained auror, you know. We’ve all sorts of classes and seminars and such to resist tactics like these from suspects.”

 

“The ministry trains you on resisting neck rubs?” Remus laughed. “What sort of shady folk are you hunting down, Tonks?”

 

“I… you… it’s a diversionary tactic,” Tonks mumbled. “Trying to throw me off your trail and whatnot.”

 

“I’ve a trail?”

 

“You do… there’s clues and… er… things…” Tonks groaned, thoroughly distracted by Remus’ long, sure fingers working at a knot at the base of her neck.

 

“Evidence?” he supplied.

 

“Yes, that,” she breathed, stretching her neck and earning a satisfying pop in return.

 

“Well, this I’ve got to hear, Auror Tonks,” he grinned, letting his hand fall away from her neck and settle on her waist. “What precisely is it you think I’ve done.”

 

She sighed contentedly before looking up at him with dark eyes and a conspiratorial grin.

 

“You planned this whole thing with Molly, probably from the start,” she told him.

 

He looked supremely proud, though whether that was of his girlfriend’s deduction skills or his own brazen one-upmanship on Sirius, Tonks had no idea.

 

“You sneaky little devil,” she laughed.

 

“What ever would give you that idea?” Remus asked with an air of mock-innocence.

 

“Oh, you’re good,” she assured him. “You’re very good. It was Molly that gave it away. There’s just no way she could ever, ever miss the fact that Sirius and Hestia are going at it like a pair of nifflers in a Gringotts’ vault. This is, after all, the woman that raised Fred and George. She’s a bit more perceptive than that.”

 

“And from that you deduced that I’d somehow set this whole thing up?” Remus asked, leaning back in his chair and looking very self-impressed indeed.

 

“Well it got me thinking,” Tonks said. “If she was lying about that, she must have had a reason… and then it occurred to me that she hadn’t looked at all surprised to see the two of us standing near the kitchen door. And, since when does Molly tell people they can’t have her cooking? Usually we’re lucky to get away with just two servings in us.”

 

“You really are a brilliant auror, Tonks,” Remus said with no small measure of pride.

 

“And you’re the very best sort of friend,” she said with shrewd understanding.

 

“The devious sort that keeps his friends from their beloved Christmas pudding?” Remus queried.

 

“The sort that knows surviving isn’t the same as living. Sirius is never as happy as he is when he’s pranking someone or pulling off some scheme,” Tonks replied, abandoning her chair and settling instead on Remus’ lap. “You knew that and you orchestrated this whole thing just to keep him happy.”

 

The previous full-on grin on Remus’ face was replaced with a small smile as he pushed an errant green curl behind his girlfriend’s ear.

 

“There are times in war when the human cost is too great,” he told her, stroking her cheek with the back of his scarred hand. “We pay so much attention to the big picture that we forget about the people involved. Sometimes that’s something that can’t be helped, but other times… other times we need to remember why it is we fight in the first place and look after the people who mean something to us.”

 

“And getting one-up on Sirius had to feel pretty good too,” Tonks chided.

 

Remus snickered and kissed her gently.

 

“That too,” he admitted before leaning in to kiss her again.

 

“You know,” she said, between kisses. “Molly is rather a saint for putting up with all this. We should send her and Arthur on holiday or something. My aunt - one of the Muggle ones, not an evil one - runs an inn on the coast of Ireland. Lovely little place and she knows all about the wizarding world on account of my dad, so Arthur would get to ask her all sorts of questions. He’d love that and Molly could rest. I bet Aunt Lizzie would be happy put them up for a few days, give them a bit of a break.”

 

“Sounds lovely,” Remus said, kissing his way down her neck. “Why, exactly are we sending them instead of going ourselves, again?”

 

“Mm,” Tonks hummed appreciatively. “I’ve no idea. Let’s talk about it later. I don’t want to think about Arthur and Molly right now.”

 

“Me either,” Remus grinned, focusing entirely on her and kissing her soundly.

 

They were startled, however, by an abrupt squawk from Buckbeak who had ambled his way over to Sirius’ abandoned plate.

 

“Well you sure know how to spoil the mood,” Tonks told the lumbering beast.

 

If she hadn’t known better, Tonks would have been sure the hippogriff had rolled his eyes at her.

 

“Go ahead and eat it,” Remus told the moody animal. “He won’t be back for a bit.”

 

“We can only hope,” Tonks murmured, grabbing Remus’ lapels and snogging him thoroughly.

 

Moments later, however, they were interrupted yet again, this time by a knock on the door.

 

“Oi, let me in!” Sirius’ voice called, clearly annoyed. “Bloody Order business, Hestia came by to talk to Molly of all people.”

 

Remus looked from his girlfriend to the door and back again with a pleading sort of a look on his face.

 

“You’ve done your bit for the day,” Tonks told him quietly, directly in his ear and nipping lightly at his neck between words. “Perfectly within your rights to tell him to bugger off.”

 

Remus smiled at her with that mischievous look back in his eyes again. His gaze flittered over to Buckbeak (who was still heartily downing Sirius’ Christmas pudding) and before Tonks could figure out what he was about to say, Remus called out the door, “Bugger off, Sirius… we’re feeding the hippogriff.”

 

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