This story is based on characters and situations owned by JK Rowling and publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury. No copyright infringement is intended or to be infered.
Warnings: A bit OOC for Tonks. Sorry about that. It’s from the trauma of _______ death.
Love's First Dance
A Black Tie Affair
She always hated them. Ever since she was five and a boy spilled pumpkin juice all over her white dress. She was actually thankful for that, because she was allowed to change into more comfortable clothing, but the wrath that came from her mother after that…
Yes, Nymphadora Tonks hated dinner parties.
Tonks, as she requested to be called, arrived home early after a hard day’s work at the Ministry. Auror work was draining all of her energy – He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named rising to more power, Death Eaters running around everywhere, dementors chasing innocent people; the list would actually go on forever.
The black tie affair she was invited to was to celebrate the new Minister of Magic – Rufus Scrimegeor. She didn’t like that man, although he was loads better than Fudge. He wasn’t readable from first glance, and that set Tonks at an unease.
Yet, she had to go, for it was only polite. She wasn’t doing anything that evening, so she supposed that she should give it a shot.
She reminisced on these thoughts while taking a long, hot shower. Her hair was a dark brown, and she liked it that way. She refused to wear around her pink hair, for that was only in Sirius’ time… Maybe I should switch back, she thought while drying herself off with a towel. She shook the thought away. The auror wiped the mirror of its fogginess, for that was a pet peeve for her since she was small.
Tonks looked at herself. It was the first time in a long time since she had done that. After all, she could chance her appearance at will - why should she spend time staring at something that she could change with a snap?
But she didn’t stop looking at the mirror. Her hair was lying flat from the wetness; her chestnut eyes seemed duller than it had a few months before. Her skin was pale, almost like a cauliflower – its color drained. She couldn’t find anything attractive about herself at the moment, so she stopped looking and closed her eyes to change her eye color.
She expected to see aqua eyes staring at her when she opened them, but instead, she still saw those dull brown ones. Puzzled, she tried changing them again. It didn’t work.
Why isn’t this working? Tonks thought heatedly, a bit anxious. This power is what kept her job – she was extremely clumsy, and her disguises is what always kept her up as an Auror. She tried over and over again, but it still did not change. With a sigh, she gave up and left the bathroom to get her dress on.
The dress she was wearing was a chocolate brown color, with spaghetti straps. It had a silk bow of a darker brown that extended around her middle, giving the affect of a high waist and longer legs. The gown was simple, but she liked it. She wore turquoise sandals and carried a golden clutch.
"Siccusio!" Tonks chanted, pointing her wand to her hair. In an instant, it dried. She charmed a brush to brush her hair and a clip to clip her hair. While watching the two objects work, she thought internally. "Why didn't it work? Why can't I change?" She closed her eyes to think.
The last time this happened was when she was seventeen. Her best friend that lived across her street, Rebecca, was killed mysteriously during the summer. When she found out that it was of her cousin, Bellatrix's doing, she got so angry that she couldn't concentrate on anything. She nearly failed her midterm exams [but with the help of McGonagall, she bounced right back up from her depressive state,] she swore that at times she could actually feel her blood boil, she never ate. When she found out that the reason Bellatrix murdered her was because she was muggleborn, she was ready to kill her. But she found out that she fled the country before she had a chance to chase after her. For reasons she did not know, she couldn't change her appearance.
"But I'm not angry...?" Tonks stated, confused. She shrugged the thought away and opened her eyes again to see what magic the brush and the clip did. She gasped.
Her hair looked much softer than it did a few seconds ago; it was an inch past chin length. The clip was clipped at the top of her head, holding back loose strands of hair that got in her face. The clip was of a gold and aqua color, intricately designed. Her mother had given her that when she was younger.
Tonks was disgusted by her hair. But it was too late to change it now - she was already late for the party. Dabbing some lip gloss on her lips, she quickly grabbed her bag and apparated to "The Chiffon Ballroom," in London, England.
It was about eight o'clock in London, England. The party was a quarter over; it started at six. It was at the fanciest ballroom in England, with gilded ceilings and polished wooden floors, with portraits hanging on the walls, decorated with the most expensive antiques and artifacts. There were tables covered in lace and candles, and a dance floor that was empty. Lavish foods were being served as hor d'vours, the tiny ones that the waiter served. Champagne and wine were being refilled every second, and there was chatter echoing in the grand room. Yet, it was as boring as the porridge he ate for breakfast. The cocktail hour was much too long.
Remus Lupin sat down at his assigned table. "Table 18" was written very nicely in calligraphy on his card. He glanced around at his table.
There was nobody he knew. But there was a fat woman that he sworn to have seen before... He took a sip of his champagne and watched it refill.
After a few minutes, he decided he needed to go to the loo. Walking out of the grand hall, he walked down the stairs to the loos. Even the lavatories were incredibly decorated - there too had gilded walls and sinks crafted from crystal.
As he exited the loo and headed up the staircase, he heard a rather frustrated voice behind him.
"Daft clip... won't stay...! Fine, I'll just leave it out," he heard the voice mutter with irritation. It was a female voice, and a familiar one at that. He turned around and stopped in his tracks. He was startled at who he saw.
It was Nymphadora Tonks.
"Oh, damn it!" she hissed, throwing a gold and aqua clip into her bag. The female auror continued to walk up the stairs, while Remus was still standing there. She wasn't looking, so she bumped into him. He, on the other hand, didn't notice anything happening at all. Remus was too busy looking at her.
Stop it, The former Hogwarts professor told himself.
"I'm terribly sorry, I'm dead clumsy, I really should watch where I'm going - " she began to ramble, as if it was a chant she recited each time she bumped into something or someone. As soon as the brown-haired woman looked up, she froze. "Oh, hello, Remus!" she exclaimed, her frozen state melted. A smile lit up her face, yet he could tell it was fake.
"Hello, Nympha - I mean, Tonks," he answered, catching himself before calling her Nymphadora. He knew that she hated when people called her that, and saying her first name would depress her even further. He had noticed her odd behavior - she was always wearing that brown hair, those dull eyes, that fake smile. Remus knew that it was from Sirius' death. It crushed her. Sirius was the closest thing to a brother that she had, and he was gone in a flash. But the worst part was that Tonks blamed herself for his death, though in everyone's heart they knew that nobody could've prevented it.
"How are you?" she inquired distantly, breaking his train of thought.
Her personality has changed, he noted to himself. "I'm fine, and you?"
"Dreadfully bored," she declared, sighing. "And irritated. This clip won't stay!"
Remus chuckled. Maybe she wasn't so different after all. "Yes, I must agree that this so called party is boring me to a possible death," he agreed. At the word 'death,' he immediately wanted to take it back. The man saw tears daring to pour out of Tonks' eyes, but they were soon covered up by the excuse of, "Excuse me for a moment, I have an itch in my eye,"
He felt like kicking himself. He knew she was still sensitive on the topic, yet he just had to mention it. "I'm sorry," he blurted, meaning for that comment to only stay in his head. Almost covering his mouth with his hand, he saw her turn around in an almost astonished look.
"W-what?" she whispered, wiping her tears hastily with the back of her hand.
"I'm sorry," he repeated. He mentally slapped himself for being such a fool. It really isn't like her to cry like this... She was generally a energetic, happy person. Yet, she acted like her habits were never so.
Tonks's tears dried on her face as she watched him with curiosity. "Why are you sorry?" she asked.
"For - for mentioning him," he blurted once again. He swore that if he had a sword, he would stab himself to death. But Tonks offered him a weary grin.
"No, no, it's okay," she murmured, taking the clip back out again, fidgeting with it. "I'm fine, really, I really am, I mean, I'm doing better than ever!" she exclaimed, her voice rising higher in pitch. She choked on tears. But like a broken dam, the tears flowed down like a stream.
Remus could've done something. He could've taken her in a warm embrace and let her stay there for eternity, he could've kissed her on the lips to stop her crying, he could've weaved her poetic words to stop her misery - yet he didn't do a thing. The dumbfounded man stood there in silence, watching one of his closest friends sobbing.
Do something! he ordered himself. And instead of doing what he planned to do, which was to give her a long, heartwarming hug, he snatched the clip of hers out of her hand. Remus found that she didn't notice it, so he swiftly took the clip and clipped it on the top of her head, which helped the few loose strands of her hair stay out of her face. As soon as Tonks heard a 'click,' she hiccupped and looked up at him in amazement. Her chestnut orbs were wide and watery.
"You - you -you did it!" she whispered in glee, her worries suddenly gone. "You did it!"
"Did what?" he asked, a bit puzzled. The past few seconds didn’t register in his mind just yet.
"You clipped it!" she exclaimed.
"Wha - the clip?" he inquired, looking at the gold and aqua piece of jewelry.
"Yes! You did it! Oh, thank you, Remus!" Tonks said excitedly. In her joy, she threw her arms around him and gave him a quick hug. In these split seconds, Remus felt his heart glow and the butterflies of his stomach fly around madly. The most important thing was that her woes and worries were gone for the moment, and that he made her happy. He smiled inwardly.
But her personality's so different... one minute she's crying, the next she screaming in joy! Why is this happening? Where did Tonks go? he questioned himself gloomily. Remus couldn't deny the feelings he had for the young girl. He was extremely fond of her - she was usually bright, happy, funny, witty, clumsy [though that trait would never go away,] and charming. Her traits were so attractive. She wasn't the most beautiful woman on the planet, yet it was her personality that charmed him. But lately, she seemed to need help gaining that unique personality back.
He felt her arms retreat and he looked back at her. She was blushing!
What does this mean? he questioned himself.
"Let's go back to the ballroom; I think cocktail hour is finally ending!" Tonks informed, breaking the incredibly awkward silence between them. As the two entered the hall, they found out that indeed the cocktail hour ended. In fact, everyone was seated, and Rufus Scrimegeor was on the stage.
“What table are you at?” whispered Remus, as they discreetly advanced towards the tables.
“Eighteen, you?” she whispered back, rubbing her swollen eyes.
“I’m there as well,” he answered. Remus escorted her to a seat [which was the only one left that was empty at their table, the seat across from him] and sat back down at his seat. They received several stares and glares from many tables.
“Thank you, thank you all for coming here to celebrate with me,” boomed the minister of magic. “As you all most probably know, this summer I was received the honorable opportunity to be the Minister of Magic. If you didn’t know this, then I have no idea why you are here. Free food, perhaps?” he joked. Chuckles erupted throughout the room.
“To Mr. Scrimegeor, may he prosper as the minister!” exclaimed a frail man at table number one. He raised his glass full of red wine.
“To Scrimegeor!” everybody cried. There were clanks that filled the room and sips that followed.
“I don’t like him,” whispered Tonks over to Remus. The fat lady sitting next to her looked appalled and offended.
Remus nodded in agreement and turned his attention back to the minister.
“Thank you, thank you very much,” he said, obviously flattered.
The minister went on all about his ideas as minister, which Remus rolled his eyes at. They were obviously impossible ideas, yet everyone except the Order members was intrigued and impressed.
It was about a thirty-minute speech. Everyone was clapping and cheering for Rufus Scrimegeor, and Remus politely clapped as well. Tonks sat there grumpily, clapping as quietly as she possibly could.
“Well, I’m not going to stand here talking all day – the first course is beginning! Have a delightful dinner,” he finished. Everyone clapped as he got off the stage and headed to his table.
The first course did come out – it was a salad. For the second time that night, Tonks seemed actually happy – but it was most probably from the fact that she didn’t have to listen to Scrimegeor anymore, so it was more of a relieved expression.
The food kept coming and coming – soon, soups, lamb, beef, chicken, scallops, vegetables, and desserts filled everybody’s plates, according to their tastes. Remus wasn’t a big fan of most of these, so he just sipped his champagne.
After dessert was finished, the minister came back on stage.
“My friends – this wouldn’t be a celebration without music and dance!” he announced. Suddenly, the curtains behind him unveiled an orchestra, a jazz band, and singers. Couples flooded the dance floor after Scrimegeor began dancing with his wife. The first song was upbeat, a jazz song.
Remus soon found every seat at his table empty, except for Tonks’s seat. Even the fat lady had gone to dance with a stranger.
He watched as Tonks uneasily poked at her Yorkshire pudding. Her brown eyes were fixated on it, not daring to look up at him.
Many songs passed and nothing was said between them – jazz songs, modern songs, classical music. People stood up and sat back down again constantly, yet neither Remus nor Tonks had moved an inch.
Tonks turned her attention away from the pudding to go to the loo. Remus still sat in his seat, still extremely bored.
He wasn’t doing anything, and it was bothering him. Why aren’t you doing anything?
Well I am drinking champagne…
That’s not what I mean! You know what I mean.
Oh, you mean Tonks?
Yes, I mean Tonks! Why aren’t you doing anything?
To be honest, Remus didn’t know why. He knew he was very fond of her – and that she was somewhat fond of him. But he didn’t understand why he wasn’t even talking to her.
The song sung by Celestina Warbeck ended on a high note, and it rung throughout the entire ballroom. Couples waited on the stage for the next song. Remus felt a bit embarrassed – even children of seven were dancing. That was it.
By then, Tonks had come back, and he mustered up the courage to pop the question.
“Do you want to go outside? I hear the garden’s wondrous,” he suggested.
She was surprised by the sudden communication, but a hint of a smile crept up on her face. “I’d love to,” she answered. Remus smiled back and daringly took her hand, leading her outside.
“Ah… fresh air!” she exclaimed, her eyes beginning to sparkle. The garden was located right next to the ballroom, and was covered in plants and flowers of every kind – color seemed to shine vividly under the pale moonlight. Pinks, greens, purples, yellows, reds, blues – all formed to create a breathtaking garden. Remus watched as Tonks observed them.
She bumped into a bench next to the large willow tree and knocked it over. “Oh, dear,” Tonks murmured, taking out her wand to bring it back up again. But Remus found himself picking up the chair before she could say anything.
“Thanks,” she said, looking back at him. He offered her a slight smile. A silence sat between them like a stone until he decided to boldly ask her.
“Tonks – would you like to dance?” Remus inquired. Good job, that was quite smooth.
The brunette looked taken aback – but smiled genuinely for the first time that night. She surprised him by answering a soft, “Sure.” His stomach did a strange flip for the second time that night.
Inside, the song changed to an elegant waltz that they could hear from outside. Remus took her hand, and she was taken aback again – but followed him to the middle of the garden.
Remus found himself dancing in such skill that he never knew he possessed. It was obvious that Tonks was pleasantly surprised as well. The pace started to increase, and they were forced to dance closer to one another.
In that moment, Remus realized just how close they were. Her silky hair was touching his jaw line and their hands were laced – he supposed that they had done that instinctively. She twirled and when she faced him again, he found that they were even closer in proximity.
The beat of the music began to slow down, and it gave them a chance to breathe. Remus could feel her warm breath against his neck, and he knew that she could feel his breath as well. Although the piece hadn’t finished yet, they stopped dancing and stood there, in the middle of the square, staring at each other.
It was then that Remus realized how beautiful she truly was. He sort of liked her better with the pink hair, it matched her personality, but the coffee-colored hair looked quite good on her too. Her chestnut eyes were wide and sparkling, looking up at him. Her heart-shaped face glowed with radiant beauty under the moonlight, just like the flowers. Her nose wasn’t big, he disliked big. And her mouth… it was so close…
Remus interrupted his own thoughts when he felt their lips making contact for the first time in his life.
If he was a firework, he’d explode, if he was a thermometer, his temperature would go up to a record high, if he was a butterfly in his stomach, he’d be fluttering around like a mad woman in an asylum.
In all, he was going completely out of his mind.
He felt their kiss become more passionate than how it started – in the beginning it was a chaste kiss. Her arms were wrapped around his neck, which was covered with goose bumps from the sensation, and he automatically placed his hands on her waist. At first, Tonks was surprised, but now she was falling deeper and deeper into the kiss, like he was – almost as if she saw it coming.
They finally broke apart suddenly, feeling the need to catch their breaths. He opened his eyes and was shocked at what he saw.
She was gone.
“Nympha – Tonks?” he asked, looking around for her. “I’m sorry!” he blurted. “I shouldn’t have - ”
But as he glanced towards the door, he could swear on his life that he saw her – but with her pink hair. She smiled, as if telling him not to worry about it. As it registered in his mind, it turned into a large smile. He felt himself smile back and she laughed, walking back to the ballroom.
And for that moment, he wasn’t sorry at all.
Edited by Aspen, 30 December 2006 - 04:12 PM.