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Title: Variations on a Theme
Author: iulia_linnea
Characters: Tonks, Andromeda
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 828
Summary: Andromeda and Nymphadora have had this conversation before.
Disclaimer: This piece is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling; various publishers, including, but not limited to: Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books; and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Note: Written for hpqfac's February 2007 event.

"Why would you agree to do such a thing, Nymphadora?"

"Because it's my job, Mum—ow! Would you be more careful with that?"

"You wouldn't have got injured if—"

"I'd married and blah, blah, blah."

"Don't mock your mother—are you sleeping with it?"

"Geroff, Mum! Merlin. Am I sleeping with it? That's a horrid thing to say."

"Lie back down. You're still bleeding."

"I'll be fine. I shouldn't have—"

"It's a good thing Dumbledore's dead. Why he'd ask a child to—"

"I'm not a child. I'm an Auror, and—"

"Romancing a werewolf isn't part of that. Spying isn't part of—"

"It's all part of it! Whatever they ask is part of it. We have to know what Remus is doing."

"And what is he doing?"

"Taking orders from his alpha. Spying on us. Wibbling in general."

"And?"

"What?"

"Are you sleeping with it?"

"No, Mum. I wouldn't, not with the likes of that."

"'That' isn't much different than 'it'. Now lie down. You're bleeding on the carpet."

"Satisfied?"

"No. How is it that you're not . . . having relations with it?"

"You, actually."

"What do you mean?"

"Remus thinks I made you an Unbreakable Vow to go to my wedding night a virgin—some Black nonsense like that. Given what he knows about Sirius' side of the family, he believed it almost at once. . . . When I asked him where he thought our future might lead, he—"

"Ran away with his tail between his legs no doubt."

"You say right ugly things sometimes, you know that, Mum?"

"You'll forgive me if I don't want my only daughter consorting with a Dark creature."

"Your only daughter doesn't want to shag a pathetic traitor, so stop worrying."

"Why would he be interested in you in the first place?"

"He . . . thinks I'm feeding him information. He's put Veritaserum in this."

"Your lip balm? Be still. You did—"

"Clean it out and replace it at once, yes. Moody checks everything."

"He might have told Ted about all this."

"Oh, right. Dad would've been thrilled—and that wouldn't have been discreet. Are you almost done? I've got to get back to Headquarters."

"I hate this. You're too young for this. You should be growing out of this—"

"Ow!"

"—ridiculous phase—"

"Let go of my hair."

"—and presenting your true self to some worthy suitor."

"You're talking like some old harpy in a Gothic romance, you know. And I've told you before, I don't want to look like her."

"You're ignoring part of who you are."

"It's just hair color, Mum. Besides, if our heritage was so important to you, then why—"

"Don't start with me, Nymphadora. You know why. But I'm still a Black, still a proper witch. I still want what's best for you. My loving your father doesn't change any of that."

"Thanks for cleaning my wounds. I'd best be—"

"You know, of course, that Bill Weasley's getting married?"

"So what? He's not giving up his career."

"You . . . you wouldn't have to, either, if you—"

"Enough, all right? I can't very well date while I'm watching Remus."

"True, but—wait! What does Charlie Weasley have to say about all this?"

"Why would Charlie care who I was shagging?"

"You said—"

"I'm not. Really. No shagging—and just so you know, I'd really rather not be having this conversation with you."

"You're not seeing him anymore?"

"Shirt."

"What?"

"Hand me my shirt, please. And no—thank you—I'm not. Haven't been for months."

"How nice of you to keep me informed."

"Mum, could we do this later?"

"No. You never tell me anything. What was wrong with him? I thought you liked him, and he's from a decent family."

"Because of his bloodline?"

"You know that isn't what I mean."

"I'm not sure I do, but you really want to know why?"

"I don't speak just to—"

"He didn't want to shag me."

"He's a gentleman, and you left him?"

"No. He's a prat, and he wanted Celestina Warbuck to fuck him, not me."

"Langua—oh. Oh. Disgusting!"

"Happens all the time, Mum. That's why I don't tell you about my boyfriends. I don't tend to have them long."

"What did you say to him?"

"I told him I'd do it—if he'd pretend to be Snape after."

"You did not."

"I did—figured he wasn't that adventurous. I hexed him, too."

"After his request, I don't doubt it."

"Actually, I hexed him because of what he said about Snape."

"Snape is a traitor."

"Yeah, maybe—but when Charlie insulted him, I only knew he'd been my head of house. I don't like the greasy old bastard, but—sod all this. Mum, I've got to go. Do I look satisfactorily un-cursed now?"

"The bandages are charmed, but you'll need to come later."

"Right."

"Nymphadora."

"Yeah, Mum?"

"You will need to come back later, and . . . please try and remember that I only want what's best for you."

"I uh, love you, too, Mum—must go."

"Don't slam the d—oh, for Merlin's sake. She'll bring the house down one day."