"Where are you off to Remus? Not leaving, I hope?" Molly Weasley's voice reached his ears as he approached the front door of Grimmauld Place.
"Hello Molly. I'm not leaving; I'm just going back to my flat to do some washing," The werewolf held up his worn suitcase that had undoubtedly caught her attention.
"Nonsense; I'll do it. I'm just about to do our washing;" The redhead didn't let him answer before she grabbed the case from his scarred hand.
Remus gave a smile; "that is very kind of you Molly." He followed her into the kitchen where he was met by a pile of Weasley clothing on the floor.
"Can I get you a cup of tea?" The witch offered as she opened and tipped out his case.
"That would be lovely; thank you Molly." The scarred man took a seat at the large, worn, wooden kitchen table.
The kitchen was silent for a moment before the noise of a magically boiled kettle filled the room.
"Here we are then," she announced as she levitated a steaming cup of tea to sit in front of the worn out werewolf.
"Thank you," he replied gratefully.
Molly loved seeing the people she cared about, or anyone for that matter, content and happy. "I'm going to make a start on this lot, but you just stay there and rest. In fact, would you like a teacake? Don't tell Arthur this, but after he insisted that we try the muggle treat; I can't seem to stop making them!"
"I'd love one, thank you." Remus couldn't help the smile that spread across his face; his mother always used to have some in the cupboard when he was a boy.
"There we go, help yourself to butter;" she instructed as she now placed the items on the table.
The two sat in relative silence for a while as Remus ate and Molly sorted through the huge pile of washing.
"Ah, Moony there you are!" Sirius Black announced from the door way, "Good morning Molly."
"Good morning," given that Molly and Sirius didn't always see eye to eye; they were always civil to one another.
"Good morning Padfoot," the werewolf greeted his marauder friend after he'd washed down his last bite of teacake with his warm tea.
There came a noise from upstairs, like a huge pile of books toppling over.
"What are those children up to now?" Molly muttered as she got up from kneeling on the ground to go and investigate.
Sirius made his way around the table once Molly left the room. A marauder grin grew across his friend as his attention was pulled to the pile of laundry. "Now, I can't believe that these are Molly's."
Remus casually looked up to where his childhood friend had just stooped and pulled an item of clothing from the pile. He didn't need a mirror to know that his face and ears had gone beet red, all he needed was Padfoot's knowing smile.
"One of the kids', perhaps... though by your face I think you know who's they are!" Sirius was enjoying this far too much.
"Please put those down;" Remus fought the urge to hide his face in his hands.
"As you wish," and with that Sirius let the offending item fall to the floor.
It was only when Molly entered the room and headed straight for the washing pile that Remus realised his mistake and knew that Sirius saw this coming. He wanted to run.
"Ginevra Weasley!" Molly's voice resounded around the halls.
A short while later, filled with immeasurable amount of tension, the teenager appeared.
"What are these?" Her mother addressed her and had forgotten about the two men in the room as she held up a pair of bright purple female short-style lace briefs.
Ginny looked to the two silent men in the room who refused to meet her eye contact. "They aren't mine. I've never seen them before," the young redhead answered truthfully whilst looking at her mother past the underwear.
"Then whose are they?" Molly asked her only daughter while becoming slightly confused.
"I couldn't tell you. You could ask the boys?" Ginny suggested.
"They wouldn't be that idiotic after what happened with Charlie," Molly stated as she thought about what her daughter had said. This piqued the Marauder's interest.
"Ron might be," Ginny stated without thinking.
"Right, I'm going to have a word with him," the Weasley matriarch almost stormed out of the kitchen and up the stairs.
"Moony mate, you've got to tell her;" Sirius clapped a hand to his friend's shoulder.
The teenager turned to her ex-professor and crushes godfather; "they're yours!?"
"His, well not his; but yeah; his." Sirius was still enjoying this too much as he outed his friend to the young girl.
"Whose are they then?" Ginny couldn't help but ask.
"Yes Moony; whose are they?" Sirius asked even though he was pretty sure as to whom these belonged to.
Remus couldn't find his voice, a fact that he was grateful for as he didn't have a clue of what to say.
"He claims to not know anything about it;" Molly entered the kitchen. "I'll wash them and see if anyone claims them;" she decided as she looked at the underwear to the pile of dirty clothes.
Dinner at Grimmauld Place is never a quiet affair. Different conversations could be heard all around the room. The underwear issue had been on Molly's mind all day and chose that now would be a good time to address the issue as all the family was there and that Remus and Sirius would just have to sit in silence for a moment and she'd apologise later.
"Ginny, Ron I'm sorry for having to bring this up again;" she smiled at them both as she pulled the purple underwear from behind her back and held them up. George choked on a head of broccoli while Fred dropped his knife to his plate, Harry gulped while Hermione chocked on her pumpkin juice. Arthur didn't know where to look or where his wife was taking this. "Can anyone tell me where these have come from?" The redhead looked around the table and was met by silence. "Maybe you don't wish to come forward now. I will leave them here and you can come and talk to be later." Molly placed the item on the counter and sat back down at the table.
Remus was mortified and not for the first time that day. How could he forget that they were in with his washing!? He can't claim them! Maybe it will all be forgotten about in a few days and he can just grab them.
Conversation was slow to start up again as everyone looked around the room to try and find the person accountable.
It wasn't until dessert that the flow of conversation was disrupted once again.
"Wotcher everyone," Nymphadora Tonks greeted as she walked, or more like tripped, into the kitchen.
Many greetings floated from around the room.
"Sorry I'm late Molly; I got held up at the office." Tonks placed her robes over the back of a spare chair opposite Remus, who she gave a hidden smile to. He couldn't find it in him to return it. She made a note to ask him about it later.
"That's fine, there's some casserole and potatoes left on the side; help yourself." Molly pointed behind her vaguely.
The young Auror grabbed a plate and set about piling it full of food. It was only when she was turning back to the table that a certain item of clothing caught her eye; "I was wondering where they went."
Silence, total shocked silence.
Tonks seamlessly didn't notice that she had caught the attention of everyone in the room as she plonked her plate down at the table and then grabbed the pair of underwear. She gave Remus a meaningful look which caused him to turn, if possible, a deeper shade of red.
"They're yours Tonks?" Molly asked in a tone that Tonks had heard before. She had heard it when Molly had found a pair of her underwear in amongst Charlie's washing. "How did they end up here? It's not like Charlie is here."
Now it was Tonks' turn to blush which she failed to hide in a morph.
Sirius' eyes lit up; so that was the Charlie incident that the boys would have learnt from!
Tonks didn't know how to answer and so found herself raising her head and looking to the man with the answers; Remus.
Before another word could be said Sirius' barking laughter filled the air.
The two other Order members couldn't stand to look at anyone other than each other. Their embarrassment grew until they couldn't help but join in with Sirius; of course not the guffawing, but a chuckle and a giggle.
"I can't believe this is happening again;" Tonks disclaimed as she turned to Molly; "yes they are mine and you would have come across them if you'd done Remus' laundry." Tonks finished by looking at the beyond embarrassed man across from her, whom was no longer chuckling.
"Right, um, well..." It was a rare thing for Molly Weasley to not know what to say; she definitely knew what to say some years ago when this had happened with Charlie.
It was now Remus' turn to speak up; "I apologise Molly for not stepping forwards."
The children did well to hide their laughter until that moment, even Arthur joined in.
Tonks needed some fresh air and so stood, "I'll be back in a minute." The smile didn't slip from her face as she exited the room.
Tonks stood in the drawing room, lightly pressing keys on the piano.
Remus cleared his throat as he stood in the door way.
She turned to him and a bigger smile appeared; "'cause that isn't obvious."
He crossed the room to stand with her; "I had to make sure you were okay."
She smiled at his caring; "I'm fine; just mortified. How about you?"
"I may need counselling," he chuckled and shoved his hands in his pockets. "It was a complete accident."
"Well, make sure next time you want to steal a girl's underwear; don't let them fall into the wrong hands." Tonks poked a finger at his chest.
Remus caught her hand and held it flat against his chest; "It seems like you may need practice in keeping hold of your clothes."
She didn't move away from him; if anything she stepped closer. "Or maybe I need to be more careful of who I date. I never had you down as a knickers thief!"
He shook his head and gave a marauder like grin; "I didn't steal anything; you were in a rush and forgot them. I was going to wash them and return them to you; nothing more."
"Always the gentleman Remus Lupin;" it was almost a whisper.
"I try," he raised his scarred hand to brush a strand of now midnight blue hair out of her face.
"We should probably go back to the kitchen or they'll get the wrong idea."
He fought to look her straight in the eye; "you promise me that you're okay?"
She leaned forward and placed a soft kiss to his lips; "I promise." when she pulled away and saw him slightly dazed she let out a hearty laugh. "Come on, my food will be cold"; she clasped his hand and led him back to the kitchen.