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Chapter 1: Choices
Andromeda ran a hand through her dark hair, watching her daughter pace the room. She understood her anguish, the thought of not knowing, but Andromeda knew she needed to calm down. She fixed her hair back into place and cleared her throat.
"Nymphadora, please c -"
"Don't tell me to calm down, mother," Tonks interrupted rudely. "I will not calm down. I can't."
Tonks continued to pace, her breathing becoming more and more erratic by the second. She started to lose control of her ability, she could feel it; her hair changed to so many different colors, one after the other, Andromeda couldn't keep track. Tonks stopped suddenly, confusing her mother, and then turned to the door. "I'm going," she told her. "I'll apparate to the pub and use the tunnel to get to the school; Remus told me about it."
Andromeda stood and took Tonks by the arm. "No," she said, shaking her head. "You will stay here like Remus wants and look after your son."
"He's asleep," Tonks reminded her. "I can't just sit here, Mum. He's my husband."
Andromeda wiped away the tears that started to fall slowly down her daughter's face. "I know. I understand the need to be with your family, but we can't." She took hold of her hands, squeezing them gently. "Your father would want you to stay, just as he wanted me to, just like Remus wants you to. They would both want you to stay with Teddy."
Tonks nodded slowly. "I know that," she defended. "But I can't sit here and do nothing. I need to be there with them, I'm a member of the Order. Teddy is asleep; I'll be back before he wakes."
She removed her hands and carried on to the front door. Andromeda only followed to the end of the living room. They heard crying coming from upstairs and it caused Tonks to stop, turn and look up. Another tear fell and her breathing quickened.
"Choose, sweetheart," Andromeda said softly. "Fight with your husband or stay with the little boy crying for you right now."
It felt like the longest moment of her life, her hand grasping the handle of the door, it being the only thing standing in her way, while her eyes continued it's gaze up the stairs, so intense, it was as though she could see through the walls and into the old room that kept her little boy safe. It was the longest moment of her life, but a moment it was.
Tonks removed her hand and ran up the stairs into the room, her mother following close behind. She made sure Teddy was secure in her arms, protecting his head, and picked him up, cradling him against her chest. "Shh, sweetheart," she soothed, running her finger down his cheek to comfort him. She stopped her movements just below his chin and Teddy grabbed her finger, bringing it to his lips. "Mummy's here, Teddy, and I'm not going anywhere. I'll never leave you, I promise."
Tonks continued to comfort him, murmuring reassuring words over and over until he closed his eyes, sleep taking over once more. She held him closer, afraid to let him go now that she had made up her mind to stay. Andromeda, who had watched everything, squeezed her shoulder affectionately. "Tell me I am doing the right thing, Mum. Tell me that listening to Remus is not the wrong choice."
Her mother slowly released the baby from her arms and placed him back in the crib. Then she turned Tonks to her, forcing her daughter to face her. "This is what he wanted; how can it be the wrong choice? No matter what happens," she whispered, unable to think of the possibility that her son-in-law might not come back. "Teddy will always have you, his mother, to be there when he needs you. He'll understand everything one day."
She wrapped her arms around Tonks, rubbing her back. She needed Andromeda just as much as Teddy needed her and Andromeda was here for her. "Always remember that you've made the right choice."
It was early morning when Harry Potter came to the house. Remus had been his father's best friend, a good friend to Harry himself, he wanted to be the one to tell them. He felt as though he had to; it was the right thing to do.
The moment Andromeda opened the door, took one a look at the man's face, she knew. Nodding her head, all she did was point in the direction of the living room, where her daughter and grandson were. Harry stood in silence for a few minutes and watched Tonks feed Teddy the bottle of formula milk, a small smile on her face, and wished he didn't have to ruin it.
Feeling his presence, Tonks turned her head to face him. "Hi, Harry." She lost her smile when she took notice of the grim look on his face, full of understanding not pity. Harry couldn't help but wonder if she would ever smile again. "What is it?" She asked quietly.
Andromeda came over quickly and removed Teddy from her grasp, allowing Tonks to stand. "I'm so sorry," Harry said. And that was all he needed to say.
Her hands covered her mouth as she let out a sob, then proceeded to run them backwards through her hair. "No."
Harry moved across the room, holding her in his arms, as though afraid the news would bring her to her knees. It didn't. She cried silently on his shoulder, not wanting the baby to notice her distress, and wrapped her arms around his waist.
"I'll be here for you," he whispered to her. "I won't let you or Teddy or Remus down, I promise." He felt her nod against his neck. "We'll be fine."
He wasn't just talking about losing Remus, she knew. He was talking about everyone who was lost because of the war. She couldn't bring herself to ask who else had died, she didn't want to know. Tonks knew she would find out eventually, but for now all she wanted was to mourn her husband.
She let go slowly and turned to her mum and son. "What's Teddy going to do without his dad? How am I supposed to raise him alone?"
"You're not alone, darling," Andromeda reminded her. "You have Harry and I."
"I will always be here and if you need me, all you have to do is call," Harry promised. He stopped, took a breath and then took her hand. "He said he made the right choice, telling you to stay. You were right to stay with Teddy, he needs mother. Don't forget that."
Still watching her son, his hair turning a light brown as he snuggled into his grandmother's arms, Tonks shook her head. "I won't."
A/N: For the What If challenge, I was given "What if Remus and/or Tonks had survived" and, for some reason, my muse decided it was Remus who had to go. :(
I hope you enjoy and reviews are greatly appreciated. :)