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Chapter 19: Full Moon Talking
It turned out that Savage was a good person to keep as a friend. He was good at stepping in when Dawlish got out of hand, which was quite often. Dawlish had told Savage and Proudfoot that we dated for some time. Savage asked me about it one evening while we were playing cards. “Heh, talk about the over exaggeration of the year. We went on one date. Though, I’m not sure it can still be called a date if the woman leaves less than an hour into it.” Savage seemed slightly relieved to hear that I hadn’t dated Dawlish.
“Well, I can see why he’d say he dated you at least,” he said with a shy grin. I ignored that statement and looked at my cards. “Uh oh, looks like you’re going to win,” he said examining my face.
I raised an eyebrow and laid my hand down. “You’re right about winning. Now you owe me five drinks next time we’re out.” Gambling was frowned upon, but if we kept it to drinks, food, other such things, we could get away with it.
Savage raised his eyebrows, “At least that’ll help if you’re cooking that night. Your scrambled eggs go down best with a side of firewhiskey.” He laughed good-naturedly. We all took turns cooking; I was by far the worst cook among us. I only attempted scrambled eggs. Savage called them egg-pebbles. I over-stirred quite a bit. Savage on the other hand was a remarkable cook. He always made something interesting. I told him several times that my mum always wanted a daughter like him.
I had an unexpected visit from George mid-November. He was strolling down the street near Honeydukes. I could tell he was trying to look nonchalant. His frequent glances around the street told me he was there with a purpose. I walked by him, keeping a brisk pace. He turned and let out a, “Hey, Tonks.” I stopped and turned around. “How are things?” he asked catching up with me.
“Oh, not too bad,” I lied. The night before was the full moon. I sat up every full moon, worried sick about Remus. I couldn’t sleep knowing he went through the entire transformation and lost control of his mental state. “How’s business?”
George and I walked on a bit. He was telling me how they were selling out of their defensive items when he stopped me. “You’re still upset over Remus,” he said in a way that was clearly not a question. I looked around trying to avoid his eyes. George pulled me into a hug. I was surprised how strong his arms were. His hand rested on my lower back; it was nice to be touched. He nuzzled me slightly catching my lips in a kiss. I let out an involuntary moan of delight. I missed being in the arms of a man but I was missing Remus’ arms.
I pulled out of what would have been a magnificent kiss. “George… I’m sorry, I just can’t.” I was breathing a bit heavier than usual.
George was giving me a hard look. “Am I too young? Too innocent? Not enough grey hair?” He smirked; his face had a hint of sadness to it. “Or is it just because I’m not him?” I was trying to think of the best way to answer, but he understood my silence to be an admission that he was right. He hugged me and kissed me on the cheek. “At least I can say I tried,” he was smiling at me. He didn’t appear to be angry, a bit let down, but otherwise alright.
We walked in for a bit, George stopped outside of Zonko’s. “I have to meet with the owners. I’ll catch you later, Tonks,” he said with a wink. I headed back to my flat, a nap sounded nice. When I got there, Proudfoot was listening to the news on WWN.
He looked around when I opened the door. “Ye’ve had an owl,” he said gesturing towards a folded note on the counter. My heart leapt the same it did every time I saw a letter. I always had a bit of hope that it’d be from Remus saying he wanted to see me. I was disappointed to see Mum’s handwriting. She wanted me to come home for Christmas. I didn’t want to be home for Christmas. I couldn’t bear being around Mum. She’d asked me questions about Sirius and telling her about him involved talking about Remus. I wrote her back saying I had to work. It was a lie, but it was easier than saying that I’d rather be alone.
I got a letter from Molly a week or so after that. She invited me over saying that Remus would be there. I debated going over to there for Christmas. I desperately wanted to see Remus, but I didn’t know if I’d make love to him, slap him, yell, snog, or just burst into tears. I declined her invite saying that I’d be alone for Christmas. I wrote that in there hoping she’d say something to Remus about it.
I went shopping in a muggle store when I went Christmas shopping. I wasn’t sure how I felt about Remus anymore. Love wasn’t supposed to hurt like I was hurting. I still wanted to get him something for Christmas. When I paid, the clerk gave me a puzzled look. “A bit late in the year for camping?” he mused a smile playing on his face. I didn’t respond. I disapparted a few blocks away appearing in Hogsmeade. I went straight into my room and started to make a card from Remus. I knew that Christmas was a few weeks away, but I hadn’t done anything creative in quite a long time. The picture on the front was of a snowy street with a couple walking down it. They were holding hands and the woman had short, pink hair. I wrote a note inside explaining to him how he should use his present. I sent it to his flat. I figured he’d have to go there if he was going to be in London for some time.
True to my word, I spent Christmas alone—for the most part at least. It was quite late Christmas day when Savage came in the door. He looked surprised to see me there. “Oh, hey Savage,” I said looking up from my knitting.
He gave me an exasperated look. “You can use my first name,” he said with another shy smile. “I thought you’d be with your boyfriend today,” he said looking around as if he expected to see a bloke come out from a corner.
My eyebrows contracted together. “Boyfriend?” I wondered if he meant George. “I don’t have a boyfriend Sav—Brad.” I corrected myself. Savage sat down next to me on the couch. He looked confused.
“That guy from the picture? He’s not your…?” I had the idea that Savage had been operating under the pretense that I was taken.
I let out a cold laugh. “No. He was, but uh things didn’t quite work out. It’s a bit complicated,” I said starting to knit again. “Did you go see your family today?” I asked wondering why he was back so early in the day.
Savage sighed loudly, “Yeah, and I left as soon as we finished eating. They fight all the time.” He sounded disdainful but glanced over at me. “Why didn’t you go home?”
I shrugged. “Parents. They’re worrywarts. I preferred to be alone rather than have them hover over me.” It was mostly true. My parents, like most people I knew, connected my hair with being unwell. I knew they were right, but I didn’t want to think about it.
Savage didn’t say anything for a few minutes. He was idly shuffling the well-used deck of cards. “Do you want to go out on New Year’s Eve?” He wasn’t looking at me, he was focused on the deck of cards.
I glanced over at him; he was blushing a bit. “Sure,” I said thinking it’d be fun to get out. “Where do you want to go?” Dawlish looked relieved that I agreed. He said the Leaky Cauldron. There’d be music and a party.
We left together around ten on New Year’s Eve. Savage was dressed along the lines of Bill Weasley. The look suited him well. His arms were bare and I noticed that his muscles gave his tattoos an extra allure. The bar was crowded with people. Tom, the bartender, looked pleased. Savage and I had a few drinks before dancing. Savage was a sensual dancer. I enjoyed the way his body moved against mine, his strong hands roaming around freely. I could feel he was getting aroused from dancing. I didn’t mind. I had felt so unattractive the past several months that the idea of arousing a man made me feel less glum. During one particularly energetic song, Savage pulled me into a rib-cracking embrace and kissed me rather roughly. I was quite surprised by his forwardness.
When he pulled out of our kiss, he said, “I’m going out for some air.” I watched him maneuver his way through the crowd. He had a nice butt too. I looked around for a place to be out of the way when a hand closed around my wrist. I stumbled and fell into the body that grabbed me.
“Let me help you up,” said a raspy voice. My heart skipped several beats. It’d be foolish of me to think he was there, but I’m one to act the fool now and then. I scrambled to my feet then turned around to see a thin careworn Remus standing behind me. He pulled me into a hungry, passionate kiss. It wasn’t a tender ‘I’m so sorry for my behavior’ kiss. It wasn’t even an ‘I love you’ kiss. It was a ‘you’re the first woman I’ve had contact with in quite a while’ kiss.
I pulled out his grip; my first instinct was to slap him. “What do you think I am, Remus? Some school girl willing to jump at you just because I haven’t seen you in a while?” Remus had a helplessly needy look in his eyes. I could tell the full moon was approaching by his actions.
Savage came up behind me and cleared his throat. “I got us drinks, Tonks” He was looking from Remus and I. Remus seemed mildly surprised to see that I was with someone.
I nodded and said I’d catch up with him in a moment. Remus leaned in close to me and said in a hoarse whisper, “Come back to my house with me.” I could tell this was the full moon talking. He ran his hand down my back. I knew that if he had asked me that in a less lustful way, if he wanted to take me back to his place and make love, not just shag, I would have left the bar in a moment.
I gave Remus a harsh look as I went into my admonition. “Look, Remus, I haven’t seen you since the summer; not so much as a letter or card. I’m not going to jump into bed with you at a moment’s notice.” That was not quite true, I was half-ready to tell him that I still loved him and wanted him to love me back, but I didn’t. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes. “I should go, I don’t want to keep Brad waiting.” I left Remus there. He looked a bit like a confused child.
When I got to Savage he was holding a drink, watching me determinedly. “What’s going on?” he asked glancing over at Remus. I kissed him on the cheek and asked if he wanted to head back to Hogsmeade. I glanced back at Remus, he was ordering a drink from Tom looking like a kid who burnt his last bag of popcorn on movie night.
Savage and I got a bit hot and heavy when we were back in Hogsmeade. We took advantage of an otherwise empty flat by not bothering to keep quiet. It was going perfectly until I said the wrong name. I couldn’t get Remus out of my mind. My eyes had been closed, enjoying the feeling of someone being close to me when I let out a low, sultry “oh Remus.” It took Savage a few moments to process what I said; he was a bit preoccupied.
Brand sat up and brushed some stray hair out of his eyes. “What was that?” he was breathing heavily. I was trying to think of the best way to tell him I was thinking about someone else when he said, “You’re still in love with him. I can see why you said it’s complicated.” His voice sounded hurt which I felt horrible. Savage got up and looked around awkwardly.
I sat up on the bed with my knee up to my chest. “I’m sorry, Brad,” I said softly. I really was sorry. I liked Savage; he was extremely good looking and he wasn’t a prat. But he wasn’t Remus. My heart and apparently my mind wouldn’t let me settle for anything but Remus.
Savage was pulling his shirt over his head. “It’s…it’s fine. I mean it could happen to anyone; especially after seeing him tonight.” He gave me one more look of longing before saying “I should get to bed. I’ll see you in the morning.” I stayed awake a lot of the night feeling rather angry with myself. I cuddled with Freckles which further reminded me of Remus.
I spent the next few weeks worrying about Savage and if he would tell the others about our lustful interlude. From what I could gather, he didn’t mention our night to anyone. I didn’t really care, I just didn’t want Dawlish to drag us in for a disciplinary hearing. I was thinking over Remus’ actions at the bar in the shower one day when I heard the bathroom door open. I had been alone in the flat before my shower.
“Bugger off, I’m showering,” I said to the unknown person. There wasn’t a response. I thought that I had imagined the door opening and closing except for the knot forming in my stomach. “Come on,” I said tersely. “Go use your own bathroom.”
“The view in there isn’t nearly as nice.” Came Dawlish’s voice. I poked my head out from the shower curtain to make sure I heard the right person. He had my wand in his back pocket and his wand in his hand. If the situation had been slightly different, I would have mentioned something about Elementary Wand Safety. I didn’t think Mad-Eye Moody references would help the situation. “No one else is here, no one else will …” It sounded like Dawish was undressing.
I stood in the shower for a moment, thinking of what to do. If I left the bathroom, I’d have more room to run away. I grabbed a towel and made to step out of the shower. I slipped and screamed. Dawlish looked pleased. Then the door opened. It was Savage. “What in the name of Merlin are you doing, Dawlish?” he asked catching sight of me sprawled on the floor with a towel covering me. Dawlish swore and left. “Do you need help?” Savage asked quietly.
I sat up feeling rather embarrassed. “It’s not how it looked.” I said blushing. I was still feeling horrible about saying the wrong name in bed.
Savage gave me a puzzled look. “Dawlish wasn’t attacking you in the shower?” He was blushing too.
“Oh, never mind it was exactly how it looked.” I got to my feet and adjusted the towel so it covered me properly. “Thanks Brad.” I said walking out of the bathroom. I wanted to go cry in my room. He said “anytime” as I shut the door to my room. I decided to go out to the Hogshead that night for a stiff drink.
It was rather busy for a Thursday night. I was glad to step inside the bar. The entire way there I had a feeling that I was being followed. I had a few drinks and chatted with Aberforth. The door opened and closed about twenty minutes after I got there. I didn’t recognize the scruffy-looking man as someone from the village. I had a feeling it was the person who had been following me. I leaned close to Aberforth and said, “After I leave, if that bloke asks about me, tell him I live down Dead Elf Lane.” I kept my voice low. Aberforth nodded. I had a few more drinks and left. I crossed the street and stood in shadow watching what I could make through the grimy windows.
The mystery man did go up to Aberforth a few minutes after I left. I hurried to a dark spot in Dead Elf Lane. I waited for five minutes when I heard someone’s muffled footsteps approaching. Then I saw the scruffy man. I had my wand out and kept it on him. He passed me without seeing me; he looked like a cat that lost its prey. I grabbed him by the scruff of his shirt and slammed him into the wall. “Who are you and why were you following me?” I asked in a deadly voice.
“I’m a friend of Lupin’s.” The man said in a weak voice. “He’s been worried sick about you.”
A/N: Ok, no one said anything about what their names should be, so I made them up ^_^. Let me know what you think. I'm pretty sure I'll be done w/ the story in 3-5 more chapters.