"There's a shop at the far end of Diagon Alley that's supposed to have them. At least that's what everyone's saying." Tonks tipped back her third firewhiskey of the night.
"What I wouldn't give..." Sirius sighed. "A Mongolian scrying orb! Harry would love that."
"So he would, but we can't afford it." Remus, being the voice of reason, as usual. It was a role he'd grown especially accustomed to playing this year. Sirius' reluctant gaoler.
"We could liberate it." Sirius laughed.
"Oi! Don't let me hear that," Tonks teased.
"I'd settle for just going to take a look at it."
"Shame you don't have my talents," Tonks mused.
Remus scowled at her, but the seed had been planted.
"I could be a dog," Sirius reminded them, morosely. "If somebody here didn't think it was unsafe."
"It's not—I don't want to keep you locked up in here," Remus snapped. He felt a headache beginning to come on.
"Oh, Moony, I know." Immediately contrite. "I just wish..."
"We could both be dogs," Tonks pointed out, brightening. The tips of her hair turned a deeper pink to match her mood. She looked particularly punk-rock this evening: clad all in black and denims, a little nosering glinting, her hair alternately white-blond and pink.
"And leave me here?" Remus' offense wasn't entirely put-on; he didn't fancy the idea of the two of them going out. Not only was it potentially dangerous for Sirius, but he didn't entirely trust them to stay out of trouble.
"No, you could take us for a walk! I'd even let you leash me." Sirius' eyes gleamed.
"Kinky," Tonks said, approvingly.
"Oh, for God's sake." Remus rose. "I think I need another drink."
Thankfully, when Remus returned with the bottle, the subject had changed to music. And from there, to the cover story in the latest Quibbler. Even when they talked a bit about Harry, later, and about Dumbledore, Sirius didn't broach the subject of venturing forth again.
As the clock on the wall struck one—a melancholy bagpipe sounded a single low note, to which Sirius responded with a perfunctory "shut it"—Tonks went downstairs to fetch dessert and tea.
Sirius took advantage of the privacy to nuzzle Remus' neck. "Wouldn't it be sweet to walk around Diagon Alley together?"
"Of course it would. I just don't think it's a good idea." He resisted the urge to meet Sirius' eyes; he knew the disappointment there would melt his resolve.
"I suppose you're right." Grudgingly.
Remus hardly had time to feel relief before Sirius continued.
"If you're not going to let me go anywhere interesting—or, come to think of it, anywhere at all—I can suggest some fun we three could have right here." His tone left no question of what he was suggesting.
Remus pulled back. "I don't believe you!"
Sirius grinned. "Oh, come on, you can't blame me for trying." He leaned in and murmured, "she'd go for it, too." His voice was low and sultry; Remus held back a shiver.
"You're mad," he managed. "I don't know what you're on about, but there's no way—"
A clatter of falling dishes and shattering glass startled them out of their corner.
"Damn!" Tonks was on her hands and knees, collecting the tea-drenched remains of three ceramic goblets and a fallen apple tart.
"Here, stand back," Remus said, gently, and with a wave of his wand restored the crockery and the pastry, though there was no conjuring the Earl Grey back into the cups.
Tonks looked up at them from the floor, her face scarlet. Remus offered her a hand and pulled her to her feet.
"I'm so sorry," she said, sounding miserable. "I didn't mean—"
"Quite all right."
"Sirius is right," Tonks rushed on, before he could continue. "I -- I would, you know."
Behind them, Remus heard Sirius' sharp inhalation. He resisted the urge to turn, instead placing a hand on Tonks' arm to steady her.
She took a deep breath. "I could make myself look like a man, if the two of you prefer."
Remus' head was spinning. This couldn't be happening. Within the last ten minutes...
It wasn't that Sirius' desire to leave the house was put-on. It was real; Remus knew that. But tonight it seemed his insistence on adventure had been a setup, designed to—what? Soften Remus up? Make him likelier to consent to some other crazy plan, just because it was less crazy than risking Sirius' life and safety on a jaunt down Diagon Alley?
And crazier still, it seemed Tonks was willing, not only to entertain the notion but to change her appearance to convince him of her sincerity. Or maybe to make herself desirable. Did she really find him so queer—or herself so unattractive...?
He sensed Sirius right behind him, almost near enough to touch. "Moony?" His voice was quiet, almost pleading.
Clearly this was something Sirius wanted, and—against all odds -- Tonks, too. How could Remus say no?
"You don't need to look like anything for us," Remus said, his hand on Tonks' arm caressing her bicep lightly. "Except what you really are."
Sirius whooped, sounding giddy, and kissed the back of Remus' neck. "Brilliant!"
Tonks' smile deepened, became more real. "Oh," she said, sounding surprised, and closed her eyes and pulled Remus toward her.
Kissing her was nothing like kissing Sirius. Her height was different, the smoothness of her face against his, the breasts (breasts!) against his chest. When was the last time he'd felt that?
"God," Sirius muttered, worrying Remus' earlobe in his teeth "That's pretty."
Unaccountably boldened by the evidence of his partner's desire, Remus ground against Tonks a little, running his hands over her backside and pulling her to him.
She sighed into his mouth. Sirius sighed into his ear. "Bed," Sirius suggested, and tugged at them both to follow.
Inasmuch as Remus could be said to have thought about this -- during the moments it took to make his decision, to walk to the bed and Transfigure it into one large enough for three, and to shed his clothing in a heap on the floor—he was resolved to place Sirius at the apex of their triangle.
Sirius was the one trapped in this dreadful house, the one who couldn't leave. He deserved every bit of attention Remus and Tonks could spare, and Remus was rather looking forward to paying him his due.
But Sirius, reclining on a pile of pillows at the head of the bed, pulled Remus into his arms so that he was leaning back on Sirius. And when he worried Remus' neck with his mouth and teeth, applying suction in all the places that drove Remus crazy, Remus was disinclined to argue.
Tonks knelt between their spread legs, body language betraying faint shyness. Remus groped for her hand, momentarily fearful he wouldn't be able to draw her in—what if she weren't comfortable? what if they didn't fit? what if—but she came willingly, and in an instant it was as though their kiss in the hall had never stopped.
Her breasts brushed against his chest, and the rub of bare skin made him tingle. Sirius' cock pushed insistently against his arse, and when he squirmed a little he was rewarded with a low groan.
Remus felt dizzy. Tonks pulled back and ran a hand down his side -- counting ribs, he thought idly—and when he opened his eyes he was surprised to see hunger in her eyes.
"I want to—" she began, then stopped, biting her lip. It was adorable; it made him want to kiss her more.
"Anything," Remus said, roughly, and behind him Sirius thrust forward, the rub of his prick against Remus' hip making him sigh with want.
Tonks nudged his legs together a bit, creating space between his thighs and Sirius', and then without a word she climbed over him, raised his prick with her small hand, and sank down.
Remus convulsed in surprise and sudden pleasure.
"God," Sirius muttered, his voice thick, and Remus became aware that he was on the verge of sobbing.
It was a difficult angle; he couldn't thrust up as much as he wanted, because Sirius' arm was holding his back flush against Sirius' chest. It left Tonks free to set the pace, to throw her head back and grind against him. He felt pinioned between them, nearly torn apart by pleasure.
"Oh," Tonks murmured, as though surprised. "Oh!" Her hair rippled, waves of colors Remus wasn't sure he could name.
"That's it," Sirius muttered in his ear, as though he needed encouragement. Remus would have laughed if he could have spared the energy, but he couldn't tear his focus from sensation, from Tonks' muscles—inner and outer—flexing around him, from Sirius thrusting with increasing urgency against his backside.
"Oh, God," Remus managed, straining, and flew apart.
Some time in the endless dark of that long night, he woke to feel Sirius' body beside him going tense. He opened his eyes -- better-than-average night vision was one of the very few perks of his condition—to see Tonks kneeling between Sirius' spread legs, bent reverently over Sirius' cock.
Sirius' right hand was stuffed into his mouth, to silence his gasps. Sweet of him, really, trying to let Remus sleep. But oh, how Remus loved those sounds; it would be a shame to waste them. He reached for Sirius' left hand, clenched tight in the covers, and gave it a squeeze. "Let us hear you," he murmured.
Sirius groaned, immediately, as though it had been physically hurting him to hold back the evidence of his desire.
Remus toyed with himself for a moment, but apparently his body was still sated. No surprise, really; he couldn't remember the last time he'd come so hard. Just remembering it made him flush all over.
So he contented himself with lying on his side, touching Sirius in places he didn't usually pay enough attention to. His bony hipbone, the nipple he could easily reach. When Sirius came, Remus felt his release.
He woke to the crash of Tonks knocking over a crate of books, followed by a stream of frustrated curses. Beside him, Sirius laughed.
"Morning," Remus said, sitting up in bed.
Tonks turned, face flushed. She was half-dressed, and had apparently been rummaging about for the remainder of her clothes when the teetering stack of texts... well, Remus thought, he'd been meaning to find a proper bookcase for them anyway.
"I'd better go," she said, softly. "Molly's due here in an hour, and—"
"That's some explaining we don't want to do. Right." Remus rubbed a hand over his hair, which he felt certain was standing on end.
Sirius, predictably, was burrowed back into his pillow already. Sleep offered him a break from this house, Remus thought, and he took it every opportunity he could. The recognition broke his heart again, in the old familiar way.
Remus watched, quietly, as Tonks finished dressing and cast a glance at the shrouded gilt frame. "Don't suppose that's a mirror, is it?"
He shook his head, smiling. To think of the shrieking that would ensue if the portraits in this room could see the three of them in bed...! It was funny to imagine, but he didn't relish the prospect of actually having to listen to it.
"Well—I'll see you?"
"Soon," Remus confirmed, and the two of them shared a private smile.
After the door closed, Remus worked his way back under the covers again, curling up close to Sirius—for warmth, to be sure, and also for ordinary old comfort. Maybe he didn't need to face the world quite yet.
"Thanks," Sirius murmured, and slipped back into sleep.