Title: Living History
Pairing: Snape/Tonks (other characters)
Word Count: 3077
Summary: History lives at the Albus Dumbledore Museum and Archive of Pensieve Historiana.
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 Notes: This was my 2006 smutty_claus exchange gift to bethbethbeth. Thank you, aseneth, eaivalefay, and jadzia7667, for beta'ing.
The ghost was rarely noticed because he preferred it that way. He delighted in observing the actions of others with an avidity that had not diminished since his death so many years previously. When two stragglers arrived in the corridor only moments behind the main tour group—which he'd just broken from, as no one in it had proved interesting enough to follow—he was intrigued.
Ah, he thought, smiling as he recognized the familial resemblance and trailed after the siblings. Yes, of course. They would be curious, given the stories they must have heard.
"The potion's a rip-off, Andy. It's just magic. They won't be 'our' memories. Anything we feel will just be . . . extrapolated from context."
"Stop being such a pettigrewsome. 'Just magic'! To hear you talk, anyone'd think you were some kind of Squib."
"But the tour's already entered the next viewing room, and you heard what the guide globe said about being late."
"You think I'm going to let that stop me—especially now that I've spent my all my Yule galleons on the potion for us?"
"But I want to visit the librar—"
"Get over here, Eileen! You've already made us late!"
"Fine, but if this is boring, I'm never going Sieving with you agai—"
"—and, at the end, Bellatrix Black Lestrange was too weak, before being taken into custody, to do anything more than hurl an obscure, wordless hex at her niece; therefore, Auror Tonks spent that first victorious evening—and many evenings thereafter—in what was for her an uncharacteristic and infuriating state of silence.
"She did not, however, spend those evenings alone.
"At first, it was Remus Lupin who looked after the Auror. He had remained fond of Tonks, despite her decision to end their long-standing engagement, and was, it must be said, the only person whose company Tonks would tolerate—with the exception, of course, of her mother and father's.
"The exhibit begins with Andromeda Tonks attempting to counsel her daughter and ends, as I'm certain you already know, with one of the wizarding world's most unexpected and celebrated weddings.
"Once again, the docents of the Albus Dumbledore Museum and Archive of Pensieve Historiana remind you to be considerate of the other guests as you continue your intimate journey into our fascinating past. There is to be no interaction of any kind among viewers during the Sieving, and parents are encouraged to send their children through to the next exhibit of the War Heroes Collection, as the Tonks Pensieve contains memories of a deeply . . . personal nature."
"What does it mean by 'deeply personal'?"
The ghostly watcher chuckled and unobtrusively entered the one called Eileen's mind. This should be amusing.
"Those of you who have purchased LegiliPotion for the purpose of experiencing the Tonks Pensieve memories as if they were your own—Why see history when you can live it?—should do so, now, while our younger guests exit the viewing room."
"Shut it and drink."
"Please take your positions around the basin. Its rim will glow when it is time to begin the Sieving."
Eileen felt a strange tugging in her stomach, and then it was as if she were falling. She wasn't scared because she knew what to expect—she'd learned about Pensieves as a Fifth Year—but it was disturbing when she "landed" and realized that she was sitting next to Tonks in someone else's body.
Weird, she thought, watching "herself" reach out to stroke Tonks' hair.
"You weren't particularly cordial to Remus, Nymphadora," Andromeda/Eileen said.
Tonks exhaled forcefully.
"Don't huff at me, dear. It isn't polite."
"What am I supposed to do, then?" Tonks scrawled with apparent anger on the notepad she was holding.
Andromeda/Eileen sighed. "You might try being nicer to Remus. It's clear that he still cares for you, and—"
Tonks' furious writing made her mother stop speaking and wait until she'd read her daughter's note before talking once more.
"That's nonsense, Nymphadora! He doesn't 'just feel sorry' for you. He loves you, and why you threw him over is—"
"Andromeda," interrupted someone, who could only be Ted Tonks, Eileen knew, "someone's here."
"I know that. That's why I'm trying to talk sense into your daughter."
Ted laughed, smiling at Andromeda in a manner that made Eileen feel flustered.
"No, not Remus. He left a while ago."
"You see?" demanded Andromeda/Eileen. "Your standoffishness has—"
"I don't think Dora needs a lecture," Ted said, softly.
Tonks thrust out a note toward her father. "Who's here?"
Tonks turned a shade of lavender reminiscent of her hair, and Eileen found herself wishing that she knew what the Auror was feeling.
What the hell, the ghost thought, making a familiar adjustment to the Pensieve. I do enjoy indulging the curious ones.
The colors of the room ran together for a moment, causing Eileen to feel disoriented. When they had righted themselves, they had reformed into a quiet street, down which she—from Tonks' perspective—was walking next to a man—Severus Snape!—dressed all in black. Tonks/Eileen felt her cheeks heat up but didn't understand why.
"You have my . . . gratitude, Miss Tonks," Snape said, as if the concept were foreign to him.
That's odd, Eileen thought. He seemed so gracious when I met him.
The spectral being reading Eileen's thoughts felt a ripple of amusement pass through him.
Tonks/Eileen stopped walking and wrote, "You don't have to say that. I was just doing my job—and that's Auror Tonks to you."
Snape read the note and nodded. "Of course it is."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Tonks/Eileen scribbled at Snape.
"I know you went looking for Albus' archive on your own. You had no reason to do that, Auror Tonks."
"I did," she wrote. "Harry told me he was sure you were his informant, that he'd been wrong about you—we both wanted to know if he was right."
"I see," Snape replied, staring pointedly into Tonks/Eileen's eyes.
Eileen felt "her" chin rise as if in challenge, the staring contest making her—though not Tonks—uncomfortable because there was something . . . exciting about being examined so thoroughly.
She liked it.
Is that me liking it, or Tonks? Eileen thought, wondering how well the LegiliPotion was supposed to work and making a note to ask her grandmother about its properties.
The ghost thought, It's you—and it's about time you felt something like this, I'd warrant.
"Why," Snape continued, after the penetrating pause, "would you have listened to Potter's ideas when Alastor Moody ordered you, on pain of losing your position, to forget about seeking evidence that would exonerate me?"
Why, indeed? the ghost asked himself, despite the fact that he already knew the answer; he'd always loved a good Sieving.
"You know about that?" Tonks/Eileen wrote, turning away after showing Snape the pad.
"You have my Pensieve, don't you?" Snape whispered. "You saw . . . everything, didn't you?"
Tonks/Eileen turned toward Snape again and stared at him while writing, "I'll return it to you, of course. I just wanted—"
She gasped as Snape knocked the pad and pen from her hands and seized her by the shoulders, shaking her slightly. "Why can't I read you? I know you're not an Occlumens—tell me the truth!"
Without thinking, Tonks/Eileen twisted out of Snape's grip and stamped her right heel upon his left foot.
"Damn it!" Snape exclaimed, as Tonks/Eileen dove for her writing implements.
"You're welcome, you ungrateful git," she wrote, thrusting the pad at Snape.
"I want to know why you helped me," he insisted, after reading it, "and you're going to tell me," he continued, tossing the pad over his shoulder and reaching into his robes to pull from them a phial. "Drink this."
Tonks/Eileen took it but did not un-stopper the phial.
"It's not Veritaserum, you idiot. It's my way of thanking you."
Why doesn't she want to drink it? Eileen asked herself, even as Tonks—she—they were removing the cork and knocking back the contents of the phial and then saying, "Oh, I'm an idiot, am I? That's a lovely thing to call the person who guaranteed your freedom, you arse!"
"Much better," Snape replied, almost smirking as he offered her his hand. "Now, answer my question."
Ignoring Snape's proffered hand and rising, Tonks/Eileen snapped, "It's inborn. What good would it do Metamorphmagi if we could be read while transformed?"
Snape looked somewhat taken aback. "I've never read anything to that effect."
Neither have I! Eileen thought, intrigued.
The ghost sighed. Swot. Pay attention! Where's your sense of romance, girl?
"But it isn't what I meant," Snape continued, taking a step toward Tonks. "Why did you risk everything to—"
The sound of rubbish bins clanging on the ground as Tonks backed into them startled Eileen, who had been too intent on the memory to pay attention to what "she" had been doing.
"I . . . I had more than your Pensieve, all right? You weren't the only spy!"
Eileen, enthralled, watched Snape smile as if he'd just caught a Snitch, even as "she" was saying, "Oh, gods. Forget I said that. I didn't mean—"
There were hands on Tonks/Eileen then, Snape's hands, which moved from her shoulders to her back as he pulled her into an embrace.
With relief, the ghost noted that Eileen made no attempt to remove herself from the "exhibit." But then, none of the young ladies ever do.
Tonks/Eileen broke the embrace with an effort, at least, it was an effort for Eileen; she had never been kissed before and saw no reason why her "first" one, "re-Seived" or no, should be so short.
"Stop it. This isn't right. Remus and I only just called things off, and—"
"Does he know? Does Lupin know what you did during the war?" Snape demanded, not releasing her.
"Yes—no—not . . . not all of it."
Snape laughed. Tonks/Eileen promptly punched him hard in the chest and was preparing to punch him again when Snape caught her fist.
"It might interest you to know that Narcissa Malfoy and I were never lovers."
"You really did go quite above and beyond your sense of duty where I was concerned, didn't you?"
"But you, you said—the way you were acting with her, I thought—"
"That your interpretation of my memories was reason enough to trust me—not that I'm complaining, of course."
"Bastard," Tonks hissed, while Eileen, gobsmacked, wondered if perhaps there hadn't been a mistake with the memories for the Sieving. This is rather too personal, isn't it?
Not that you're complaining, of course, her watcher thought, delighted.
"I prefer to think of myself as an opportunist," Snape told Tonks, tightening his hold on her. "When 'Narcissa' appeared, I knew that she'd already been in Auror custody for hours. As Polyjuice was hard to come by at that point in the war, I was certain you were my visitor—and given the way you were acting, I didn't mind your company."
"You're not really here to thank me—you've come to mock me!" Tonks/Eileen shouted, rather forcefully struggling against Snape.
"Tonks," he said, in a low, coaxing tone, "you're one of the better Aurors I know. If you really wanted out of my arms, you'd be out of them. Now stop playing the shocked innocent and tell me the truth."
"I'm not an innocent."
"I know," Snape breathed more than said, running his nose along Tonks/Eileen's neck. "That's why I'm here."
Oh, that's much better than just tongue, isn't it? Eileen thought, as "she" thrust herself against Snape's body and kissed him thoroughly.
The press of bodies made her think of a lot of things she hadn't ever considered before, given how important her studies had always been to her, such as just how good Ron Potter smelled after a Quidditch match. Thinking about her house mate, Eileen almost lost track of the memory, which began to change again—only not quite in the same manner as before. There was an unusual fuzziness to the experience, as if she were passing through a fog—a fog with hands.
She looked over Snape's shoulder and realized she was pressed up against a tree by his chest, his hands cupping her arse, and his—Oh gods, that's . . . . Oh. Gods!—cock was thrusting inside of her. Eileen was so stunned to find herself being Sieve-shagged by one of the wizarding world's most famous people that she mentally threw off the effects of the LegiliPotion and found herself outside of Tonks' point of view, watching the Auror and Snape from a good distance away in the memory.
Damn, the ghost thought, unnoticed, by Eileen's side; he could almost feel things when there was someone else "with" him at this point in the memory. It's so rare to find someone who'll follow me into this bit, too. "Swot."
"She pretended to be Narcissa Malfoy, and they . . . they—they're really going at it, aren't they?" Eileen whispered, staring in unabashed fascination as Tonks seized Snape by the hair and pulled him down into a kiss. Tongue. Wow. That's . . . a lot of tongue.
"So it is," the ghost replied, although he was certain that Eileen didn't hear him.
"—so, after the Jobberknoll died, I knew where Dumbledore had hidden everything."
"Only you didn't turn over my Pensieve," Snape noted, leaning down to kiss Tonks gently on the mouth. "Why not?"
"You're not still—you don't . . . fancy my aunt, do you?"
"I never fancied Narcissa. I objectified her—something that wouldn't have done me any good to have been discovered by Lucius or the Dark Lord. Hence, the Pensieve."
Tonks blushed. "That's a lot of objectification, Sna—Severus."
"Say that again," he ordered, smoothing out his robes.
"Objectification," Tonks replied, smirking.
"Tonks," Snape said, drawing his hands up the Auror's sides until he was cupping her breasts.
"Severus," she whispered, closing her eyes. "Severus. Severus, I've wanted to shag you ever since I saw—"
"Is that why you broke it off with Lupin? To satisfy your bizarre curiosity about me?" Snape asked, frowning.
"I left Remus because I was too . . . preoccupied with you after I saw everything you'd been hiding."
"I'm not that impressive."
"The hell you aren't! You may be an arrogant infuriating ugly git, but you're also a hero—I was wrong about you, we all were—that's why I can't stop thinking about you. You're good."
Eileen giggled as a bark of startled laughter escaped Snape's lips, and then he and Tonks were kissing again.
"This can't be part of the tour," Eileen said, turning toward the ghost. "You did this, didn't you?"
"Ah, so you did notice me."
"I'm told I'm observant," Eileen replied. "You look like him—Albus Dumbledore, I mean—but you're not him, are you?"
"I'm his brother."
"The ne'er do well," Eileen said, nodding. "But weren't you a Squib?"
"Rumors of my 'Squibitude' were greatly exaggerated—Albus' idea, that. It served his purposes to have people think me stupid."
"Bit of a perv, aren't you?"
"Always have been—there didn't seem a reason to change after I die—"
"Shut it, would you? They're talking again.
"Only Albus would have thought to leave a clue in a deafened Jobberknoll, sparing the bird its infirmity for long enough to hear his message," Snape said.
"That was my idea," Aberforth supplied.
"Shh!" Eileen said.
"'Spared' is one way to put it. I felt horrible when it died after I removed the Pseudo-Petrification spell."
Snape reached down to caress Tonks' face. "Hence your 'visit' to me?"
"Stop trying to make me blush. I told you, I wanted to be sure about you."
Snape pulled Tonks against his chest. "I think you just wanted me."
"At the very least, I wanted you to be worth that poor bird's life."
"Don't be maudlin. The method—"
"Yes, it was."
"I didn't mean us," Tonks said, smiling, as she run a hand up Snape's thigh, "but now that you mention it . . . ."
I thought Andy said old wizards had to wait longer? Eileen thought, impressed by the feeling of a cock hardening under her palm as she once again found herself experiencing the memory from Tonks' point of view. "You really are a perv, Aberforth, but this potion is the best thing ever!"
"I'm glad you think so. It was also my idea."
Eileen was about to scoff at Aberforth's assertion when she was rudely jerked upward; she soon found herself being pulled away from the Pensieve—where the other Sievers were still standing, their faces slack—by her obviously furious brother.
"Gods! There should have been a warning!" Andy exclaimed. "That was positively indecent!"
"What was? What did you see?"
"It's what I felt—wizard tongue!"
"Really? That's all?"
"What?" Andy asked, suspicion plain in his tone.
"Never mind—but wait! I don't want to miss the . . . the wedding memories."
"Well, I think you've had enough. I know I've certainly felt enough!"
"So, you had Auror Tonks' perspective, as well?"
"I don't want to talk about it. Why I let you talk me into this, I'll never know!"
"What? Coming here was your idea!"
"That was not my idea. How undignified! I can't believe a great Auror like Tonks would've given up a memory of her kissing to the public!"
Eileen grinned. "You're worse than being a pettigrewsome—you're a prude."
And you're not, after all, the ghost thought, chuckling to himself as he solidified while watching the siblings leave.
An amused, slightly scolding voice from the portrait above him spoke. "You shouldn't enjoy spying on the guests half so well as you do."
"I know, but I truly do."
"What did you learn?"
"Ah," Aberforth replied, smiling up at Albus' portrait. "I believe that the youngest granddaughter of Ronald and Hermione Weasley may have taken a fancy to the eldest grandson of Harry and Gabrielle Potter—and that she'll be taking . . . steps to secure him soon."
"How surprising to find the two of you gossiping," an elderly witch interjected, as she approached, one hand firmly grasping her cane.
"Good evening, Curator Tonks-Snape," the portrait greeted her with a teasingly formal air.
"Albus," Tonks replied, turning to the ghost. "Aberforth—who've you been spying on now?"
"Andy and Eileen Weasley."
"What? They're a bit young to have been in there."
"No," Aberforth said. "You're just old enough now to believe that."
"We were all young once," Albus interjected, "although, I, too, don't quite remember what it was like."
"Speak for yourself, you grand old smudge," Tonks told the portrait, grinning mischievously.
"Going home are you?" Aberforth asked.
"Oh, no. My husband and I have a date in the Private Collections room," Tonks replied, winking, as she progressed down the corridor.
The sound of merry laughter followed her—as did Aberforth.