Remus sat on his sofa, starring at the heavily smoking goblet on the coffee table in front of him. His hands were neatly folded in his lap, his nose wrinkled in badly disguised disgust. Actually, very open and childlike disgust. Disguised, his wand! He waited for the train to pass before speaking. Living next to the tracks certainly wasn’t peaceful. Especially in a rickety old flat that was supported partially by magic, like theirs. He considered for a moment standing to hug his girlfriend, and accidentally-on-purpose knocking the goblet to the floor, but Tonks would see through that facade. Clumsy as she was, she wasn’t dim in the slightest. Silence came as the last train car passed, and Remus decided it was time to speak.
“Dear,” he began. When Tonks grunted an acknowledgment, he continued, “You know that coffee tables were meant to hold magazines, books, reading glasses, wirelesses, drinks, food, and maybe a candle? Not potions... Especially not icky-tasting ones.”
His girlfriend of two years snorted. “You’re stalling.” It was blunt, an accusation almost. Amusement and frustration could both be detected in her voice.
“Stalling, me? Remus Lupin does not stall. He is fearless!” he protested with the spirit and indignation of a three-year-old.
“Yes, you, Remus Lupin, are stalling. Now stop,” she said, her arms folded in defiance. His head turned away from the smoking goblet in equal defiance. “You are so childish. Drink up,” she commanded with authority. Not that he’d listen. Remus was far too headstrong for his own good. Usually.
Sticking out his tongue and crossing his arms, Remus muttered, “I am not childish.”
Tonks grew weary of this monthly battle. She loved her boyfriend, and her boyfriend loved her just as much in return, but he loathed taking his Wolfsbane Potion, and fighting with him every month over it wasn’t her favorite thing in the world. But there was another thing Remus loathed with equal, or near equal, passion and she used it to her advantage almost every time.
Tonks gave no verbal rebuttal to the werewolf’s comment, but instead twisted her face into a slightly pained expression, and her appearance immediately began to change. Remus had been able to convince Tonks to keep the morphing at a minimum, insisting she keep most of her natural features. But they both agreed the waist length, drab mousy brown hair and dull gray eyes did not suit her in the least. So Tonks was “allowed” to have hair in any natural shade of red, and green eyes that seemed to be magically flecked with gold. Now, however, Tonks’ hair was growing shorter by the second and turning deep, bold purple! It faded out to navy, and began to lighten, until it was a color resembling cyan with a slight tint of green.
Remus’s eyes widened in shock. The woman knew him too well, that was for sure. He was frozen. Every time his girlfriend transformed, even if it was just her eye color, or the plumpness of her lips, it felt like he was losing her. He finally managed to say, “But it tastes so bad. It’s enough to make me gag. If you drank it, I’m sure it would come back up! Don’t make me drink it! Just–” he scrambled for the right words. “Just let me run around in the park in four days... there are fences!”
She reverted to her previous state; auburn hair resting halfway down her back and hazel eyes. She almost resembled a young Molly Weasley. “Fences will not hold you back, as you very well know. Transformed, without the potion, nothing will stand in your way. You know this! Remus, please!” She tried the begging approach.
Remus seemed to shrink, and mumbled, “Yeah, yeah, I know. Doesn’t mean I gotta like it, does it?”
She was tiring quickly. “I can’t stand it any longer!” She stamped her foot in frustration.
Her boyfriend looked at her with sad, puppy eyes.
“Remus!” Tonks barked. “Just drink your Wolfsbane and be quiet!”
The danger that he now sensed was the buzzer to end his game. In one swift movement, he reached out and downed the goblet. He opened his mouth to speak, but only steam came out. Screwing his face up in extreme distaste, looking like he had just participated in a lemon-eating contest and won, he threw the goblet back onto the coffee table as if touching it longer than needed would disease him. He brought his knees up to his chin and hugged his legs.
“Don’t make me do it again, Mummy!” he mocked.
Tonks smiled, but didn’t let him see it. She had to be firm, for his sake. “You have to do it every night for the next three nights, dear. You know this. It’s just what Destiny dealt you. But that doesn’t mean I can’t make you feel better!” She pushed his legs down and sat on his lap, kissing his neck. “See?”
Remus grinned and wrapped an arm around her. “I wanted to give you something.”
Tonks perked up like a cat. “Oh, really?”
Remus nodded. “Really. But I can’t find it.... Last I saw it was in my dresser by my socks. It’s not there now.”
Tonks’ face was blank for a moment, until, “You mean, you lost it?”
Remus nodded meekly.
“What do you mean, you lost it?!” she shrieked.
Remus stuttered for words, stunned that she was taking it so heavily. “I... uh... that is to say... er... oh, bugger.” That’s when Tonks began laughing. Remus’s eyes widened, again in shock, and she just laughed harder. It was several tense moments before she managed to gasp that she had only been kidding, and in reality, didn’t mind in the slightest.
Relief spread over Remus’s face. “Good,” he said, “‘cause I was only kidding, too! It’s right here.” He took a small, ruby-red box out of his pocket. “But you’ll have to wait until after full moon to get what’s inside,” and with that, Remus jumped off the sofa, dumping Tonks onto the floor, and made a run for their bedroom. Tonks was not far behind him, but Remus’s head start ensured that he got to their room in enough time to close and lock the door. Tonks slammed into it, unable to stop in time.
“Dammit, Remus!” she yelled into the thick wood.
“I love you!” her boyfriend yelled back, before muttering a concealment spell. He then opened the door to find a very indignant Tonks. He placed an arm lovingly around her shoulders. “You know, it’s very warm in this room...”
Tonks looked him in the eye as she shrugged away from his arm. “You’ll have to wait until after full moon!” she said, delighting in the fact that she could throw his own words at him.
“Dammit, Tonks. Fine. We’ll both just have to wait then, won’t we?”
Apparently, Remus was immune to reverse psychology.
***ONE WEEK LATER***
“Feeling any better, Pup?” Tonks inquired, playfully alluding to her boyfriend’s wolf form. She twisted a lock of fiery red hair around her finger and her leaf green eyes sparkled akin to Dumbledore’s.
“Leave me alone,” Remus whined as he rolled over, pulling the blankets above his gray-flecked brown hair. Now that the war was over, there was significantly less gray, but it was still apparent.
“No! You’ve been lying around for three days. Get up, get moving, let’s go! I haven’t forgotten, you know!” she said, and jumped on top of him.
With an “oomph,” Remus pulled the blanket down so only his chocolate eyes were visible. “Neither have I. Believe me, a chance to see that skinny bum of yours? I’m not likely to forget.”
That earned a playful swat on the arm. “Be nice,” Tonks scolded, “or you shan’t get a thing from me.” She pounced on her boyfriend again, “Come on, Lazy Bones. You’re worse than me when I’m sick.”
“Well, that’s because lycanthropy isn’t a cold! It’s a disease that takes an insane amount of energy out of someone every month. So be nice to me,” his tone was teasing and light.
“Fine. I’ll take my skinny bum and go listen to the wireless in the kitchen and you won’t enjoy my company one bit. No, Mr. Fluffy Paws, you get to lay in bed and mope and sulk and feel sorry for yourself. And it’s not a disease, it’s just a furry little problem!” Tonks crossed the room and was about to close the door, when something stopped it. Remus’s foot, apparently, because when she turned around he was wincing in pain and leaning heavily on one leg.
“Alright. I’m up. I’m out of bed and up. What else could you possibly demand from a broken down old werewolf like me?”
Tonks grinned wickedly. “Not much, just a little love, and possibly that thing you insist on making me wait for! Whatever it may be! This anticipation is driving me bonkers.”
Remus grinned back, just as evilly. “You’re not getting it. Not until you learn a bit of patience. And how about I get what I want first?”
“I’m disinclined. How do I know you’ll hold up your end of this little bargain?” she inquired.
“Because I love you, and I always keep my word.” He nuzzled against her neck. “Help an old man feel alive again?”
“You’re not old!” Tonks scolded, but she followed him back into their room regardless.
Remus pushed his hair, damp with sweat, out of his eyes and leaned against the headboard, sighing contentedly. He looked down beside him, at his girlfriend’s sleeping form. It always interested him how she curled up, catlike, while she slept, whereas he knew he took up more than half their bed. He gently reached down and tucked a lock of red-black hair behind Tonks’ ear, only for her to reflex and grab his hand. She was a light sleeper, another similarity to a cat.
“I want it,” she muttered into the sheets, the pillow being on the other side of the room at the moment. Remus knew what she was talking about, and muttered “Accio Tonks’ gift.”