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sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-15 11:01 am

Rhapsody in Blue, Remus/Tonks; R. Written Pre-HBP.

Summary: Remus has decided it's time to cure Tonks of her awkwardness, the only way he knows how. Post OotP.
Warnings: None.

Also available at AO3.

***

"What are we doing?" Tonks had asked, that day in mid-summer, just before the children were supposed to arrive and just after they'd finished cleaning the old house at twelve Grimmauld Place. Remus opened the door and held it for her, gesturing her inside instead of answering.

They'd spent all week cleaning; Remus with a sort of vengeful air, as though he was trying to scrub the essential Blackness out of the house, wash the echoes of Tojours Pur out of the walls. He'd always hated Sirius' family, especially Narcissa, who had apparently done him some personal wrong sometime in the distant past, and now he was grieving Sirius -- so perhaps the cleaning hadn't been that surprising. Harry was coming, after all, and the house should look nice.

The house was supposed to have been held in trust for Harry by Dumbledore, who was named in Sirius' will as primary executor with Remus as secondary, should Dumbledore be unable; in reality the house belonged to Remus, and would until Harry left Hogwarts and assumed his majority. Remus lived there, kept it up, made sure the many bedrooms were always ready for unexpected night guests; Remus was the one whom people asked before they spent the night, the one they spoke to when the salt was running low or they wanted something particular for dinner after next week's meeting. Remus, with Molly's help, cooked the food people ate at the house. Remus had done the work in Harry's room, charming posters of Quidditch teams onto the walls and refinishing some old furniture he'd found in Sirius' boyhood room. Remus kept the keys, even if Dumbledore was the secret-keeper.

Tonks had stepped uncertainly into the high-ceilinged ballroom that they used for Order meetings now that the ranks were swelling. The chairs had been moved to the walls, and an old Muggle phonograph sat in one corner, almost expectantly.

"Today," Remus had said, "We're going to stop this nonsense."

He'd waved a hand at the bruises on her arms where she'd bumped them against cupboards and doors helping them cook the night before. She'd looked at him quizzically.

"There's absolutely no reason you should be as uncomfortable in your own body as you are," he'd continued. "We're going to fix it, the way it was fixed for me when I was younger. Come on, the floor doesn't bite. I don't either, except in very special circumstances," he'd added with a smile.

"Is it a charm of some kind? I didn't think there were anti-clumsy spells -- "

"Not in the conventional sense. Stand there." He'd stepped back and looked her up and down with such an objective, critical glance that she'd wanted to cross her arms across her breasts as if she were naked. "Can you waltz?"

"Waltz?" she'd laughed. "Are you joking? I can barely walk."

"Good. We'll start there. You can lead; leading's easier for a beginner." He'd gone to the phonograph and selected one of the large, flat discs, fiddling with the machine. When she was very young her father had owned something similar, but she'd never really figured out how it worked.

"Start where?"

"Waltzing." Music had begun to play and he'd stood before her and held out his hands. He'd looked so expectant that she'd barely paused before accepting; she'd reflected as he began speaking that he must have been a good teacher. He could look a certain way and a person found themselves doing what he expected without really knowing why.

He'd taught her the steps and the movements and the methods of counting then, patiently, and it seemed easy enough. "It's just going in squares," she'd said, when he'd finished.

"For now," he'd agreed, and they'd 'gone in squares' for a while until he'd tried to teach her to move around the room in squares, at which point she spent a lot of time apologising and he spent a lot of time reminding her that werewolves healed quickly and had a high tolerance for pain which caused a trod-on toe to feel rather like a mild tickle.

"One must," he said, as they began to dance more to the music and less to the sound of her apologies, "learn to be comfortable with oneself."

"I'd be a lot more comfortable if I was less bruised all the time," she answered, and he laughed, still letting her lead. He'd said he'd lead when they were a little further along, and once she could waltz backwards there was nothing to stop her conquering the world.

"And you will be, if you learn the proper proportion of your body," he said, with a surety she didn't feel. "Granted it's more difficult for you, because you find yourself in so many different shapes, but this is...the form you've chosen to show us most of the time -- " he'd done his research, she gave him that, he obviously knew she didn't have a true form that was natural to her, " -- and therefore you ought to know how to use it to best advantage."

"It's not like I don't try," she protested.

"Indeed, but it's like anything. Without the proper training, effort only takes us so far," he said, as the phonograph ended and fell silent. "To know the precise measure of our bodies is to master them. You don't discover that sitting still and worrying you're going to knock a lamp over with your elbows."

She laughed, then, and as she laughed somehow she agreed to take another lesson with him at the end of the week, perhaps after the dinner that usually followed every Order meeting.

Now she sits at the dinner and wonders if it was wise; he looks tired, the full moon was only three days ago -- the day after their first lesson -- and she doesn't want him angry with her when she can't do what he asks, especially him. She can cope with Professor Snape's eternal disdain for her 'merely competent' potions abilities, but she'd like to keep in Remus' good graces. She decides she won't ask him about the dancing lesson, and surely he's forgotten anyway. Tonks is used to people trying miracle cures for her clumsiness; Moody recommended boxing, Kingsley thinks she just needs to slow down, and Bill (and this is her favourite) recommended getting drunk a whole lot, on the theory that learning to walk straight while drunk will improve her coordination while sober. They had fun trying it, though it didn't help at all.

It's unexpected when he rises to take his plate to the sink, and touches her elbow on the way, bending to ask if she still wants that dance lesson. She doesn't want to bring up the fact that he looks like he's about to collapse, not in front of the rest of the Order, so she just nods and thinks she'll tell him when they're in the ballroom again.

But somehow, when they are, between the decision over what waltz to play and his plans to teach her something new if she does well waltzing, they never really come around to it. She doesn't tread on his toes quite so often this time, though she manages once to somehow elbow him in the side; he ignores it, and so she does too, just as she ignores the slight tremor in his hands by the end of the lesson, the way the glass he's holding rattles against the lip of the juice jug in the kitchen.

"You did well tonight," he says, sipping pumpkin juice spiked with something that stops the slight heave of his chest when he breathes. "Again next week?"

"I really don't know if it's helping..." she says cautiously.

"Giving up, eh?"

"No," she scowls, right before realising that he wasn't just a good teacher, he was probably a great teacher.

"Good. Then I'll see you before the meeting next week," he says, because they're fetching Harry after the meeting.

***

One time she turns to him, just before the end of the summer, and asks him if the dancing really did help him, since it doesn't seem to be helping her much. Oh, it makes her a good dancer, and she can just about follow his lead in a waltz without stepping on his toes too much, but that doesn't help in real life. She still comes to the dance lessons bruised from falling over coat-trees or bumping her shoulders on streetlamp-poles.

"Yes; I was younger than you when I started, but it did help. Especially those horrible awkward years," he replies, correcting her timing slightly with a movement of his own to slow her. "It's awful being the gawky, skinny kid who's a head taller than everyone else at fifteen and still can't throw a punch to save his life. One shove from James and I'd go sprawling -- " he pauses and ducks his head, something he does whenever he mentions something from life before Voldemort's fall. "Well. It helped to be able to dodge the occasional shove and move through the hallways a bit quicker than anyone else. I was clumsy too, though, for a long time."

"You're not now," she points out. "You're very graceful -- " and then she blushes, because that's a weird thing to say to a person, especially a man, a man much older than she is. "I mean, Kingsley says I should try to be more like you."

"That's very flattering of Kingsley," Remus replies equably, and if he's noticed her blush he hasn't said anything. "No, I don't suppose I am anymore."

"So you know your body. Even though it sometimes changes."

"Yes. I...er, had a revelation once. It helped."

"Oh?"

He thinks a minute, and she counts the beats so that she doesn't distract him by being off-tempo.

"There was a total lunar eclipse the year I was twenty-two..." he trails off. "No one had written anything about what a werewolf experiences during a full-moon eclipse. I didn't know what would happen...it isn't something we talk about," he says, and by the way he says 'we' she knows what he means. She sort of wants to ask him how many other werewolves he's met, but it would probably be rude.

And that's all he says, aside from dance instructions, for the rest of the lesson; it isn't an angry silence, she can tell that much, just...wary. Self-protective.

"It will help," he says finally, when they've finished dancing and are eating some leftovers from dinner in the kitchen, Harry and his friends listening to a Quidditch match on the Floo Broadcasting Network upstairs. Remus always eats after dancing, and though Tonks isn't hungry she joins in sometimes, so that he doesn't feel so awkward. "Maybe it won't be the same for you."

"The same?"

"Maybe you won't wake up one morning and say 'ah!' or anything like that. Maybe you won't notice it happening, but I think it'll happen. We want to be full masters of our own bodies," he says, stirring the mashed potatoes and murmuring a warming charm, because they've gone cold and a bit gluey. "It's natural. I think it is. Otherwise more people would be like us. Awkward."

And by the way he says 'us' this time she knows he means the two of them. It's a little heartening; it means somewhere he still thinks of himself as gawky-fifteen, easily knocked over by his friends, jostled in the hallways. It's nice to know that Remus has his weird little insecurities too.

She knows he has others; he's fairly pathetic in his desire to be liked by people, but that's not exactly uncommon, and he's gotten so good at actually being liked by people that very few really notice what lengths he goes to. He's so competent and calm and quiet that she tends to forget he has problems of his own other than the lycanthropy, which a couple of the other Order women her age have agreed is a sexy, gothic sort of martyrdom.

It's nice that he has little issues.

"What?" he asks, seeing her looking at him. "Did I spill some potatoes?"

"No, I was just thinking," she says. "Nothing really."

"All right," he agrees, and licks the corner of his mouth just in case.

***

It's November now, and cold, but here they sit on a stoop in Diagon Alley, at nearly midnight, warm from the firewhiskey Tonks bought from the all-night grocers' and the last hot helping of fish and chips that Remus wheedled out of a shop five minutes after it closed.

They've been dancing, her first time dancing in public, at a little place that gives lessons and has free dance nights. She didn't want to go; he suggested it, since now she can waltz pretty well, along with a few other steps, and it's only logical she be allowed to show it off.

"I still tread on your toes," she pointed out.

"Who cares?" he teased. "Everyone else there is much more worried about their own toe-treading capacity. Nobody will notice except me, and I'm used to it."

"I'll knock someone over."

"Happens all the time."

She gave in finally, not particularly because his arguments were well reasoned, but because he was persistent about it, and she'd never seen him be that way about anything before. He was...well, almost annoying. Which would have set a record for him, she decided.

And it had...gone surprisingly well, really. Well enough that afterwards she'd been excited and exhilarated and hadn't wanted to go home yet, so she'd suggested dinner because Remus always ate after dancing, and he'd gone to get them some food while she bought something to keep them warm, because neither particularly wanted to go back to twelve Grimmauld Place and she didn't want him seeing her flat because it was a mess.

"You should teach dancing," she teases. "I bet you could get a job doing that."

"Probably so," he agrees, nibbling the edge off of the fish before biting into it. "Wouldn't have the first clue how to go about it, though, and I don't imagine anyone wants to dance with a werewolf." he snorts. "Sounds like a film. Dances with Werewolves."

She doesn't get the joke -- she imagines it's a reference to some Muggle thing, her dad took her to films when she was little but she doesn't go anymore -- but she smiles anyway.

"I don't miind dancing with you," she says.

"I'm glad, but you are a singular woman," he answers, "and very different from most. Dancing is physical; it needs touch. Most people don't like to touch werewolves, let alone hold hands with one."

"Nobody in the Order thinks that way."

He laughs a little. "Nearly everyone in the Order thinks that way, Tonks. Moody doesn't trust me because a werewolf once went after him on a job; Kingsley may think I'm graceful but he won't share a pint glass with me. Em Vance and I were steady for a while in school, and now that she knows she won't even sit next to me at Order meetings. Even Ron Weasley -- "

"Ron? But Ron's always been quite friendly with you, hasn't he? You were his teacher, surely that counts for something."

"Yes, he has been friendly -- that's how intelligent people hide their true feelings, sometimes feelings I think they can't help."

"I don't understand. He doesn't secretly hate you, does he?"

"No, I hope not, but he might still be afraid of me. Ron's not to blame, he's young still -- young enough to perhaps have reversed his convictions, not that I ever judge people on that sort of thing. But....do you know what he said to me when he found out that I was Sirius' friend and a werewolf in the space of about two minutes? The very first thing he said to me -- no, you wouldn't."

Tonks watches his face, but he still seems almost...amused, as he chews a bit of fish while he pauses for dramatic effect.

"He said 'Get away from me, werewolf'," he declaims, waving a hand. "Not traitor, or villain -- no, something far worse. Traitor is an ideological concept; werewolf is a person who can't use a salad fork and runs wild one night a month devouring babies." Remus shakes his head a little, still smiling. "I knew then what he'd been raised to think, and that's what stays with you. He can't unsay those words, as much as he might want to. I doubt it's Arthur or Molly's fault either, it's simply the world we live in."

"But Molly's never been particularly against you, has she?" Tonks asks, feeling as though she's looking into a very dark version of her own world.

"As I said....this is how intelligent people deal with the fact that a prejudice they've held all their lives has proved wrong. Ron didn't get that much ingrained distrust of werewolves from comic books. Have you noticed she never leaves me alone with her children, not even the twins? I hadn't either until Charlie pointed it out to me. Last time he was here he asked me why mum was afraid to leave me alone with his siblings -- with any of the children, including Harry and Hermione. I like Charlie; he's honest," he muses. "Molly tries to trust me, I'm sure. I'm good enough to help her defeat boggarts and clean house; good enough to have dinner at the Burrow, to comfort her, be...comforted by her, even," he adds, in a quieter voice, before continuing, "but not quite good enough to be trusted with her children. For all I know, she doesn't even know she's doing it," he adds, and Tonks sees that this is honest doubt; he really, truly doesn't think Molly capable of bigotry, though he saw it with his own eyes and knows it intellectually.

"You're more forgiving than I'd probably be," she says, nibbling on a chip.

"I doubt it. Surely you must have faced something similar -- people not trusting you because you could look like anyone, people thinking you were unnatural."

She purses her lips and considers it, but no one thing stands out in memory. "Well, at school they made me pick an appearance I had to stick to, aside from making faces and all. No...I don't think I ever took much flak for it. Once in a while the Healers at St. Mungo's prodded me a bit and that was never fun, but otherwise..."

"You're lucky," he replies, licking salt off his thumb in a surprisingly boyish gesture. "Wish I'd been a metamorphmagus."

She shrugs, and takes another chip from the cone of greasy paper. "It's all right. I don't see what everyone's always on about, though. Aside from making it really easy to get into Auror training, it hasn't done me any huge favours."

"Being able to be someone else for a little while," he says wistfully, "That'd be nice."

"But I'm not, really. I'm still me."

"People'd look at you differently, though." He points, with a chip, at a heavy, richly-embroidered brocade Wizard's robe in the shop opposite the stoop they're occupying. "If I wore that people'd look at me differently, and I wouldn't even have to change my face. You could be anyone. You could be Helen of Troy if you wanted and never buy your own drinks again," he says, with a sidelong grin at her. "Half of who we are is the way people see us and treat us because of it."

She takes the bit of fish he offers, eating it carefully. "No, I don't believe that," she says finally, and his eyebrows raise. "I'm me. It doesn't matter what other people think. I'm me and I'll always be me. If they can't cope, sod 'em."

He pauses in mid-chew, then swallows. "How old did you say you were again, Tonks?"

"Twenty-seven, why?"

"I've known hundred-year-old witches who wouldn't think that," he answers. "I'd like to, but...well. It's different when you can't hold a job."

"You could bring a claim against them. There's laws about discrimination in the Wizarding World. It's not like you've got your reputation to lose, everyone knows you're a werewolf already."

"What would be the point?" he asks, and his eyes are so tired. "I wouldn't want a job I had to go to the Wizengamot to force them to give me. Like as not I'd get those stupid laws overturned and the little good they do now would go away too."

He sounds so exhausted with the world that she puts her head on his shoulder, comfortingly, tickling his ear with her short pink hair. She takes the last bit of fish, leaving him with two chips soaked in vinegar, but he seems to like vinegar.

"I'll buy you that robe if you want it," she says impulsively.

"Where would I wear it?" he replies, finishing the chips and crumpling the paper in his broad, careful hands. "No, you're right. Dei dono I am myself, and shall be for some while yet, deo volente. It's not such a bad life, and I'd rather have it than be deprived of it."

***

Harry comes home for Christmas that year -- home to the house Sirius left him, at any rate -- and there's a Christmas party, because the war is going well and everyone is in good spirits. People are surprised when they see Tonks dancing, even though it's only the slower dances; she dances with Remus and Kingsley and Bill, and even Harry asks her, and it's lovely to not be clumsy for once in her life. She knocks over Ron's punch coming back to the table to sit down, but at least she didn't kick Harry in the shins or anything embarrassing.

Perhaps, she thinks, Remus lied to her just a little; perhaps dancing will never make her graceful, but it's an end in itself. It just makes her feel that way for a little while. Which might be worth it, and it's not like she hasn't enjoyed the dancing lessons.

She resigns herself to always being awkward, and makes a note to go out dancing more, and keeps up the lessons with Remus, as much as she can. More and more often they miss them now, since there's not much more ballroom dancing he knows, so really now it's just an excuse to talk. There's Order missions and work -- he has a job tutoring NEWTs students, the ones that will tolerate being taught by a werewolf -- and when they do manage to steal a few minutes, it's mostly brush-up. It's sort of like having a secret boyfriend, a little bit.

She finds one day she has a few spare hours, and she knows Remus has finished his tutoring since it's one to five on Tuesdays and Thursdays (ten to two on Mondays and Fridays with a half-hour lunch break), so she goes looking for him -- he's usually to be found in the library of the creaky old house, reading or writing essays for small publications, which is how he makes some of his money.

Instead, he's working at the broad desk in the ballroom, with the phonograph on. It's not the classical music they normally dance to; it's more uptempo -- some kind of jazz. Not her taste, but then neither was classical until she learned to waltz.

Still, there's something enjoyable about it, and as he reads he's tapping his quill on the page in time to the music. Dat-dat-dat-DAH-dat-dat-dat-DAH-dat....

"What're you listening to?" she asks, and his head jerks up and he almost loses hold of his book, he's so startled.

"Tonks -- is something the matter?"

"No, I had the evening off -- I didn't mean to startle you."

"Oh." A vaguely relieved look crosses his face. "It's Rhapsody in Blue. Er...Gershwin. Do you like it?"

"It's catchy. Not really dancing material."

"No -- too many tempo shifts. Usually if one is, er, dancing to Gershwin, it's as a part of a chorus onstage," he adds. "Um, Ellington's better for dancing to."

"Ellington?"

"Duke Ellington -- it's -- not exactly waltzing," he says, and a small grin crosses his face. "Sirius liked to dance to it...here."

He picks up another LP -- she's learned how to use the phonograph now, watching him and following his example -- and Gershwin goes away. In its place is something different but the same; like the bits Remus was tapping his quill to, only the whole song is that way, and she really, really likes it. It's like the Weird Sisters if they had a few extra pieces and a little less pretention.

He sees her expression and looks almost shyly pleased; she can understand why Sirius liked to dance to this, though she can't imagine how he would have. So she asks, before she can help herself.

"I don't," he says, "I liked the music, I didn't care about the dancing. It's called swing; there are lessons you can take."

She grins and grabs his hands and tries to do a little modified gavotte, which works for about half a minute before they both go stumbling into the desk, laughing. He slips away and leans back, hands on the edge of the desk, a broad grin on his face while she continues to improvise.

"Look at you," he finally says, as she works her way around in front of him. "Look at you, Tonks." She does a little spin and ends, and he reaches over to turn the little knob that adjusts the volume, so that they can talk. "You like Ellington, hm?"

"I think I like Ellington, hm," she answers. "And that stumble was your fault, not mine."

"We all do stumble," he agrees solemnly. "I'd like to see you swing-dance, you'd do well at it. It's a dance for the highly-coordinated."

"Which I am not, except when waltzing," she says.

"You will be."

"So you say."

"It'll come, in time."

"I'm nearly thirty."

"You're twenty-eight," he answers, and she's pleased he remembers that her birthday was in January.

"You were twenty-two, you said."

He nods, a little more of the amusement slipping away. "So I was."

"Wish I knew what happened," she teases a little. "Maybe I could reproduce it."

"I doubt it," he replies. "It's...hm." He crosses his arms. "This isn't something you can tell anyone, Tonks. It's private."

She nods, a little breathless from her impromptu dance, still swaying a little to the beat of the music, and he puts a hand out to stop her movement.

"Make me motion-sick," he mutters good-naturedly. "I...during a total lunar eclipse, a werewolf doesn't Change. It's a terrible disruption in the body's cycle; my body was adjusted, as adjusted as one ever gets, to the Change, I'd been doing it for nearly fifteen years. My body wanted to Change, but couldn't; I'm not sure why it happens. It's...an intense experience. The only other person I've ever talked to said it was like being a god; you notice everything about yourself, the oxygen in your lungs, the blood in your veins...there's no way to describe it fully. Well." He grins. "Actually, we agreed it was less like being a god and more like a really intense experience of another sort, but I don't want to offend your delicate sensibilities. I understood things, though...I didn't sleep at all, but the next morning I just...knew. Sounds a bit stupid, now I come to say it -- "

"Not really," she says. "Not really something I could re-create, though."

"No, I suppose not. There are probably other ways, though." That smile again. "Time for all the works and days of hands that lift and drop a question on your plate -- "

" -- time for you and time for me," she chimes in, "and time yet for a hundred indecisions -- "

"And for a hundred visions and revisions, before the taking of a toast and tea," they finish in unison. Remus' smile of approval and surprised pleasure is worth the barked shin she just got when they tried to dance.

"You know Eliot," he says.

"My dad liked him," she answers, just as the song on the phonograph ends, and silence fills the room momentarily. Remus' hand reaches out to lift the needle, and the player switch flicks off, and suddenly she has that dizzy, ears-ringing feeling she always gets when something huge and important and possibly massively embarrassing is about to happen.

"I wish I could show you your body, Tonks," Remus says quietly, and this time when he says 'show' she knows precisely what he means because just after he says it he leans forward and kisses her, and she's standing in the empty ballroom in the ringing silence kissing Remus Lupin, who is almost a decade older than her and moves like a panther and damn, she wishes she'd bought him that robe because she'd like to see what it looks like when she takes it off of him.

Not that she won't work with what she has, of course, since his arms are around her waist, weight shifted just slightly to accomodate the fit of her body against his, and he doesn't seem at all to mind her fingers in his hair, one hand drifting down over his jaw to hook in the collar of his shirt.

He might be saying her name, she can't tell, and if she isn't careful this is going to end up in sex on a desk, which admittedly she's never done and thinks might be rather fun, but not this time. This time is too important for silly fantasies that more likely, her sensible side admits, would end up in someone getting a backache and someone else getting stabbed by a spare quill.

"Oh -- stop -- " she gasps, and he pulls back, though he hesitates first.

"Sorry, I thought you -- " he stammers, though he can't really back up because the desk is in the way.

"No -- " she cuts him off. "I just, not, here. Here is -- "

"Public," he fills in hastily. "And -- though -- if we were to -- that is to say -- bedroom, might be a bad idea, a little too private -- "

And she pauses, and thinks of Kingsley's advice to move slowly and think about what she's doing, and suddenly she knows. She knows like Remus knew when he was twenty two, she knows. Every little bit of her body, fingertips to toes, she understand very suddenly, because every piece of her wants him so badly she can taste it.

So she lowers her head just like that and lets her eyelids droop just a little and says she doesn't think a bedroom is too private, not too private at all.

He looks equal parts stunned and aroused, which is pretty much what she had in mind.

They don't make it to his room one floor up.

They barely make it to a room at all, because they've become used to each other's bodies for months and months and months now, and she knows just how he's going to move when he steps backwards and he knows where to put his hand on her back to keep her upright when he kisses her again in the oh so public hallway. And it slides down to the dip in her lower back, smoothing her robes against her body, as they slip through a doorway into an unused ground-floor bedroom and she's so glad he was already barefoot because if it takes one more second to get his clothes off she's definitely going to --

She knows she moaned when he kissed her neck but she had no idea he was undoing her Auror's robes at the same time, and then suddenly his arm was around her bare skin, and she hadn't realised he was so warm. They've never danced like this, not with their bodies pressed up against each other, hips sliding a little bit, his other hand cupping her breast, thumb seeking out sensitive skin. She's managed his shirt but he has to let her go to help her with the buckle of his belt, making up for it with an affectionate nuzzle against her temple, a few murmured words in her ear that make her gasp and arch up against him.

For a few minutes the world is a tangle of clothing and reaching hands, but that's all right because every spare movement of his body is devoted to touching her, catching her earlobe in his teeth or sliding his fingers down her spine or gently urging her backwards towards the bed, a guest-bed with a thick, plain quilt that she aches to be wrapped up in with him. He doesn't seem to mind when she pulls the blanket around his shoulders as he props himself up on his elbows over her, then grins and rolls them both, so that they're covered quite thouroughly in the quilt. She can feel him underneath her, warm and solid and oh -- hard -- as she straddles his thighs.

"That," he says, pulling her head down to kiss her, "was quite graceful."

She smiles and moves her hips a little, enjoying his moan.

"That was mischevious," he adds. She laughs and does it again. "Please -- "

She kisses him as she moves, guided by his hands, letting him set the pace; she isn't completely inexperienced, but before she'd always fumbled and made a mess of things, and now she can afford to let him show her what to do, because she knows --

He kisses her again as he slips inside her, as though he wants to distract her, but she laughs into his mouth and then buries her face in his neck. There's a rhythm and she finds it, moving in time with him, and it reminds her of the Ellington song, wilder and better than what she knew before.

He's quiet, and she expected that, and he's skilled and knows her body as well as he knows his own, which she thinks she almost suspected he would. She's been hovering on edge ever since he kissed her and this new knowledge blossomed out in her body, the exact measure he'd talked about the first day they'd danced. It doesn't take much to make her bite her lip, and then bite his lip, and shudder against his chest, while he says her name, first Tonks and then Dora and then he doesn't quite make the third time, because he's silent when he comes (and she knew that too).

They fit together, afterwards, which she knows is important; her body fits his, and his arm drapes across her on top of him, his head tilts to allow her to rest hers where shoulder joins neck. He's breathing heavily, and she remembers that it's not been long since the full moon; she wonders if she pushed him too far.

"Do you see now?" he asks softly, and she knows he's all right.

"I did when you kissed me," she answers.

"Stay here," he says, as if she could possibly move. "I've wanted you here for a long time."

"Oh yeah?" she asks, with a smile against his adam's apple.

"Mmm. Ever since Christmas when I saw you dancing with Bill Weasley."

"Jealous?"

"No, it wasn't that..." he trails off for a moment. "I knew what you'd look like when you did find what you were missing. I wanted you to find it, but if you never did I still wanted you."

She laughs a little, because he sounds so fierce, and unlike Remus. He sounds a little clumsy, too. She likes it.

"You should have played Duke Ellington for me sooner," she says, and for a long time neither of them speak.

END

[identity profile] terrybell.livejournal.com 2005-08-20 02:55 pm (UTC)(link)
oddly appropriate:
'Ah, music,' he said, wiping his eyes. 'A magic beyond all we do here! And now, bedtime. Off you trot!'

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 7 - 'The Sorting Hat'


[identity profile] calliope-jones.livejournal.com 2005-08-31 01:39 am (UTC)(link)
oh. oh sam. no matter how many times i read this, every time it makes me want.

[identity profile] caladan-dd.livejournal.com 2005-09-25 02:03 pm (UTC)(link)
I really don't know how you do it, but this is so beautiful. Loved the humor.

"as they began to dance more to the music and less to the sound of her apologies," **grins** That's perfect.

The little bit where Remus goes about how nobody in the Order really trusts him is so sad and it works so well. I also loved that they were eating chips and that Remus didn't mind the vinegar. :)

And again, it's great to be able to visualize so well how the characters are moving and interacting with each other.

And your Remus and Tonks are truly wonderful. :)

[identity profile] jonathlee.livejournal.com 2006-04-09 03:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Just stumbled across this when looking for something to read, and not wanting to sit down (yet -- that's later today) with something as long as CC or SH. This was, I think, precisely what I needed right now, because while I may not have the physical clumsiness that Tonks has, I understand exactly how it feels -- and, I think, I understand how Remus feels about being a werewolf, because I can see that exact same attitude reflected in the general opinion of homosexuals. "Don't let him teach!" they cry, "for he will influence our children!" I could see Molly reacting in a similar way, in different circumstances, were it that Remus were homosexual, rather than a werewolf, and I could see her doing it without realising it.

... so, yeah, I guess this struck a bunch of chords with me. :) You always seem to manage to do that...

[identity profile] neongreenleaf.livejournal.com 2007-07-10 03:13 am (UTC)(link)
Years ago (about two) I read this piece and fell immensely in love with it. Soon after I had read this piece, my computer died, and I lost my bookmark to it. I always thought about it in the back of my mind to try and find it again, but other fic I was reading got in the way, and changing fandom interests, etc. You know how these things go.

Right now, I'm re-reading OotP and I can sort of see the beginnings of this relationship and I know what's going to happen in HBP. It made me think of this fic. So I googled "rhapsody in blue remus and tonks fanfiction" and it was the third hit.

So I re-read it tonight and it's still as awesome as when I first read it. Great fic! I heart it to death. ^_^ Do you have anymore lke this? I'm gonna search through your journal.

Thanks for the great read!

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2007-07-10 06:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I'm so glad you like it :)

There are a couple of Remus/Tonks stories in the archives; the most notable is Amid My Solitude, which is an epic longfic. :) Check "remuscentric" under my tags.

(Anonymous) 2008-12-20 06:20 am (UTC)(link)
I come back to your older fic from time to time; it's sort of my comfort reading. Not sure what it says about me that my comfort reading is porn. Um.

Anyway, I'm a ballroom dancer who, for a while, dated their partner. And I just wanted to say, you got the dancing bits right. Also ballroom dancing is awesome and there should be more fic with it in. :)

[identity profile] sam-storyteller.livejournal.com 2008-12-23 03:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I'm glad the dancing was right-on :)
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[identity profile] aseaoftroubles.livejournal.com 2010-11-06 04:39 am (UTC)(link)
First of all: Dances With Werewolves, oh god.
Second: I'm so morbid; the bit about not using a salad fork and devouring babies was too funny.