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Title: Tripping Up
Rating: All Audiences
Characters: Remus Lupin and Tonks
Setting: Shortly before Order of the Phoenix
Format: Ficlet (just under 900 words)
Summary: "She just knew some of the other members thought she was too young, too inexperienced, and too clumsy to be here and she had no idea how to prove them wrong."
Also Posted at: This was originally written for Prompt 7 (June 22) of the rt_challenge: One Year of Canon Ficathon: Picture of a woman at a table found here.
Disclaimer: I own none of this. J. K. Rowling and assorted companies including but not limited to Bloomsbury, Scholastic, and Warner Brothers own everything. They also make all the money. I am just having fun and in no way seek financial profit from their property.
Note: Yeah, I know. The table in the picture is in a bright and cheery room. Oh well.

Tripping Up

Tonks pushed her chair back from the large dining table of number twelve, Grimmauld Place and slumped down in it. She watched the backs of the other members of the Order of the Phoenix as they filed from the room, leaving her alone. She was honored to be a part of this group and felt her hard work during Auror training and over the past year, plus her dedication to fighting Voldemort, had earned her a spot at this table. But today had not been a good day. She had been unable to get away from the Ministry on time and had arrived late for the Order meeting. In her haste, she had not only tripped over the troll leg umbrella stand but had also fallen down the stairs. And it was only the second meeting. She just knew some of the other members thought she was too young, too inexperienced, and too clumsy to be here and she had no idea how to prove them wrong.


The questioning call from behind her shook her out of her reverie. She turned to find the source of the voice. "Oh. Wotcher, Remus," she said quietly.

"I didn't realize you were still here," the older man said as he began making tea.

"It's been a long day and I just didn't feel like moving yet," she explained.

"Then perhaps you would join me?" He indicated towards the tea pot.

She smiled at his kind offer and nodded her acceptance. He silently prepared the tea and joined her at the table, bringing a cup for each of them with him. He watched her as she sipped her tea. "Pardon the intrusion, but you seem upset."

"Just tired," she half-lied.

"Someone as young as you should not be so tired," Remus said.

Tonks bristled. "I'm not that young."

"I meant no offense."

She sighed. Of course he hadn't. She had just overreacted. Like a little kid. "I know. I'm sorry. I'm just a little out of sorts."

"Did I ever tell you about my first Order meeting?" he asked casually.

Tonks arched an eyebrow at him. Of course he hadn't.

"James Potter and your cousin, Sirius, concocted a potion that they slipped into the butterbeer. Made everyone's faces turn orange with green stripes until they drank the antidote. I knew James and Sirius were up to something because they gave me and our other friend the signal to act as decoys while they slipped into the back to fix the drinks and I went along with it. Some of the older members wanted all four of us kicked out. Dumbledore pointed out there was no permanent damage and we were fighting for the right to live our lives and have fun." Remus' eyes were slightly glazed and a small smile graced his lips as he seemed to stare into the past.

Tonks immediately realized what he was trying to do and was unimpressed. "But you were just having fun and you weren't so clumsy everyone was afraid to send you on a mission," she grumbled.

"No," he admitted, "but neither are you."

"I nearly flunked stealth and tracking," she murmured.

"Nearly means you did not," he pointed out matter-of-factly.

She smiled slightly. He was right. She had passed and she was an Auror and she had yet to botch a job. Sure, she made mistakes, but the best in the business had been locked in a trunk for a year so obviously everyone was fallible. "Thanks," she said, certain he would understand what she meant.

He sipped his tea rather than respond. "Dumbledore is unsure when we will need to go get Harry and has asked Mad-Eye and I to be in charge of those plans since Harry knows us," he finally said. She looked at him in surprise. Did he know she had just been thinking about Moody? "That was discussed before you arrived," he explained half apologetically, misinterpreting the reason for her look.

"Oh." She had almost forgotten that she had been late in addition to her clumsy entrance.

"Would you care to join the planning committee?" he asked.

She was very tempted by his offer but not if it came from pity. "Why?" she asked.

"From the things I know about you, I believe your skills regarding disguises, flying, defensive spells, and your general attitude would be a welcome addition to the team."

"Sounds good," she said and stuck out her arm. He shook her proffered hand.

"With that settled, I am off to bed. Good night Ms. Tonks."

"Its just Tonks," she called to his back. He glanced over his shoulder and smiled at her before disappearing through the door. She stared at the empty space for a moment. It was amazing that he had picked up on her mood and even more amazing that he had tried to help. And he had treated her like what she was, an equal and a friend having a bad day, as opposed to dismissing her as a whiny kid. She turned and layed her head on the table in exasperation. As if she didn't have enough problems, she had gone and tripped again. But this time, if she wasn't careful, she was going to fall in love.

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xela30991 at 12:06 am on 23 July 2006 (UTC) (Link)
how good of remus...
bratty_jedi at 11:33 pm on 24 July 2006 (UTC) (Link)
He really is a sweetheart. He totally seems the type to try to make somebody feel better (kind of like how he helped Harry with his feeling bad for passing out around dementors). Glad you liked it.
kileaiya at 9:51 pm on 03 September 2006 (UTC) (Link)
Aww, he's such a sweet heart!
bratty_jedi at 1:24 am on 04 September 2006 (UTC) (Link)
Isn't he though? I really want a Remus of my own!
kileaiya at 1:56 am on 04 September 2006 (UTC) (Link)
I think we should start an 'I want a Remus' Club. :D
bratty_jedi at 4:02 pm on 04 September 2006 (UTC) (Link)
I know several people who would probably join.

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