During her nightly assigned watch on Privet Drive, Tonks found herself hunched over in the shrubbery only half listening to the blabber for the television’s anchor man. Her thoughts were drifting away from her again. It was a feeble attempt to reign in her thoughts, Harry had not move from his position in the living room for nearly two hours. He was watching the news attentively with his so called 'family'. It was evident he was anticipating something to come on. Harry’s whole being was tense like a lion waiting to pounce with his fingers clenching and unclenching near the pocket in which his wand was hidden. He did this almost every night and Tonks was bored!
While she remained alert, Tonks allowed herself to detach from her thoughts as they drifted to the previous week when she found Remus slashed up and bleeding through his clothes. Tonks had not seen him since that day. She had been so swamped with work and her Order duties that she barely had enough time to sleep and eat let alone stop by headquarters for a visit. Even though Tonks’ body may not be there her thoughts and her heart most certainly were. Tonks had been thinking about Remus a lot more lately. Memories of him danced across her head. A smile crept to her lips when she pictured the awkward moment in the attic when he took his shirt off. Tonks felt guilty in thanking God he bit himself there, but who could blame her? If he hadn't bitten himself on the side she would not have these thoughts and images to entertain her while she was bored out of her mind.
Just then a voice pierced through her meditation, "MUUUUMMMM! DAD!" The screams broke through the quietness of the street, "MUM! HE’S GOT HIS… HIS… HIS THING OUT!”
Tonks could hear quick light feet running from the kitchen and gigantic elephant feet trampling in from the hallway.
Tonks scrambled to the open window under Dumbledore's invisibility cloak. What she saw was Mr. and Mrs Dursley bursting into the living room. Vernon Dursley was purple in the face and was pointing a threatening finger in Harry's face.
"Boy, how many times do I have to tell you to not take your... your thing out in my house?!"
It seemed the only thing keeping him from yelling at the top of his lungs was the fact that he did not want to draw more attention to his house. God forbid there be anything unnatural in their house. What Mr. Dursley failed to realize is that his son and he himself were unnaturally fat, Harry just happened to be icing on the cake.
Tonks’ looked for what the "thing" was that seemed to be getting Harry in so much trouble. Her gaze fell onto the wooden stick clamped tightly in Harry's grasp. It was his wand. Harry hastily put his wand into his back pocket.
‘Perhaps he is trying to prevent himself from hexing his uncle. I know I am. Poor Harry, having to live with these horrible wretched people.’ Tonks thought.
"I'm sorry, OK. I wasn't going to do magic, I was just holding it out of habit." Harry fought back.
Tonks' knew perfectly well Harry had his wand out watching out for strange activity. 'Why can't Dumbledore just tell him what You-Know-Who is doing so he doesn't have to watch the television with smiling naive muggles who act as if everything is peachy even though the world is falling apart. Just like Fudge. Our world is so corrupt!' Tonks shifted from one foot to the other trying to stay focused, but instead of standing on flat ground she stepped on a root with her right foot causing her to twist her ankle. She shouted out in pain and fell over with a thud grasping her ankle.
Tonks cursed silently as Harry rushed to the window and brought his wand out again in one swift movement, peering into the dark for the source of the sound.
"PUT THAT BLOODY THING AWAY BEFORE SOMEONE SEES!" Mr. Dursley yelled, showering everyone within ten feet of him with spit.
"Quiet!" Harry hissed his eyes ablaze with intense fire as he peered out the window, "I heard a noise outside the window in the bushes."
"GO TO YOUR ROOM! NOW!! I DON'T WANT YOU IN THE LIVING ROOM WITH US ANY MORE!"
With one last glance out the window Harry slowly turned and walked up the stairs.
The next morning Tonks found herself at Grimmauld Place; it felt so good to be back there. Sure, there was nothing pleasant about the place, it was dismal and dark but it was where her second family and her new obsession lived making it just as pleasant as if it where Hogwarts.
The aroma of crisp toast and juicy bacon filled Tonks’ nose and she couldn’t wait to devour Molly’s breakfast but first she would visit Remus but her stomach growled in protest. ‘Maybe I’ll go find him after I eat.’ She smiled and meandered into the kitchen.
“Good morning Tonks.”
“Wotcher, Molly. Anything I can help with?”
Molly did not even answer she just gave Tonks the ‘are you kidding look’ and continued on her merry way.
"How was duty last night, dear?" Molly questioned after a particularly long yawn on Tonks' part.
"Never without its excitements." Tonks stretched and explained her night, "Harry is a nervous wreck. He is on his toes at all times watching the muggle news like a hawk. But anyways, knowing me you can picture the scene: me in the bushes crouched down with roots sticking out all about… I tripped and fell while Harry was in the living room. He heard me and took out his wand. If his uncle was not there to yell at him (Tonks morphed her face into Mr. Dursley’s purple and massive one) ‘GO UPSTAIRS AND PUT YOUR THING AWAY’ I fear the curse Harry would have sent my way. Sure he could not see me but he knew someone or thing was out there. He’s a smart kid. I normally am a smart Auror, my clumsiness is normally put on hold during my assignments, I guess that’s what happens when you hardly get any sleep. Anyways, he went upstairs and spent the rest of the night in his room writing until late. I suspect he was writing to Sirius and Ron so expect Hedwig to be arriving soon."
Molly remained silent as she continued to cook with silent tears rolling down her cheeks. Tonks knew she was sensitive about Harry he was like a son to her and like Dumbledore Molly wished to keep him out of harm’s way but also wished to keep him out of the Order. It did not please her to hear he was in pain or being treated in such a way.
This reminded Tonks of Remus. That was exactly how she felt towards Remus, not wanting him in pain or to be treated prejudicially. ‘Where is he anyway?' She wondered and decided to ask to distract Molly, "Is Remus here, Molly?"
"He should be. Why?" Molly asked with a bit of curiosity.
"No reason, um I was just thinking how he too has to watch over Harry and wondered if Harry watched the news every night or just the nights I’m there," Tonks made up lamely.
"Uh, ha," Molly nodded more to herself then to Tonks.
"What's that suppose to mean?" Tonks raised suspiciously.
"Oh, nothing, dear," Molly smiled but again more to herself then to Tonks.
"What is it!?" Tonks was officially annoyed. “What are you smirking about?” She demanded.
Molly shrugged it off her rudeness, "It's just curious."
"What's curious?" Tonks wondered agitated.
She’d been up all night and was very irritable. She knew she was out of line but when it came to Remus she was very sensitive but then again she did not even know if it was about Remus.
"It's just that you haven't been around for a week and when you come back the first person you ask for is Remus and not your cousin, Sirius. I'm not blind or stupid you know. I didn't raise seven children and lived through it for nothing. I know a thing or too." Molly said as she abandoned her cooking to point a wooden spoon at her to make sure she got her point across.
Tonks’ huffiness melted away. She loved Molly. She always knows what is going on with having to be told. Mrs. Weasley has her ways of finding things out for herself and working out what's going on. She is definitely underestimated.
"I guess you're right. Sorry I snapped. I’m just a little on edge because I can't stop thinking about him. I really like him yet I know he will never like me in that way. Although, at times he seems to have the same feelings but I can be certain what he's thinking. He is a very difficult man to read, there is just so much going on behind his eyes but who could blame him, he's been through so much," Tonks slouched over, "What do I do, Molly?"
Molly just gave her a warm motherly smile. It was amusing listening to a grown woman tell her the same things her younger daughter had told her earlier about Harry. And Molly gave Tonks the same advice she gave Ginny, which was simply, "Nothing. He is not the type of man to jump into something; he has to warm up to the idea. So, I'm afraid you do nothing, for now, dearie. You have to wait it out and let fate take control."
Tonks understood and nodded her head. She yawned again for the umpteenth time, and heard someone from behind her cleared their throat and say, "Have to wait for fate to take control of what?"
'Damn! It's Remus! Talk about bad timing,' Tonks thought, she could recognize that voice anywhere.
"Wotcher, Remus... AAHHHH!" Tonks screamed as her chair flew out from under her. She had been leaning back on it so it was on two legs up in the air and when she went to face Remus it let lose.
Molly gasped as Tonks came colliding into the floor, along with the chair, with such force that it seemed to shake the whole room, "Dear me, Tonks! When will you ever learn to stay on your two feet? Are you alright?"
Before Tonks could answer the voice of Sirius called from the top of the stairs. His voice nothing but pure mockery, "Tonks is that you? How nice of you to fall in."
"Very funny, Sirius!" Tonks yelled back in an annoyed voice.
She turned back to Remus who was bent over laughing, "Glad I amuse you." She snapped as she rubbed the back of her head.
Remus immediately fell silent, "I'm sorry," He said sincerely as he reached down to help her up, "Are you alright?"
Remus put his arms around her to set her right and she responded with a sigh, "Now, I'm fine."
Remus quickly removed his arms and blushed but Tonks didn't see, 'What is it with this girl? Every time I'm near her I'm always blushing or my stomach twists in knots. I am the one falling.' Remus deliberated with himself, 'Stop thinking like that! It's just a little crush, she is far too young for you and besides what do you have to offer her? Nothing. Have you forgotten that you're a werewolf?' His conscience never let him forget it so how could he have? I use to be so careful about it I need to forget… her…
"Dearest cousin, how is your bum?" Sirius joked as he entered the room, "We haven't seen or heard you tumbling around this house in a while."
"Hardy Har Har, you're so funny," Tonks winced as she continued to rub her sore spots, "Well, between work and trying to catch up with my sleep after watching Harry, I've had no free time to 'fall in' as you say."
Just then a snowy white bird flew gracefully through the window and onto the table. She ruffled her feathers from the long journey and stuck out her leg which carried two letters.
"Hello, there Hedwig!" Sirius' face lit up when he realized whose bird it was.
Molly rushed towards the bird with a treat for her long journey and untied the letters from her leg, "They're letters for you and Ron," Molly informed them as Sirius opened his letter and began reading intensively as he slowly walked out of the room to give Ron his letter. Molly continued on with her cooking and cleaning humming a tune that Tonks couldn't recognize the tune.
Remus smiled and nodded as he also walked out of the room but Tonks wasn't going to let him get away that easily. She hadn't seen him in days and he was just going to walk away? I don't think so, "Remus wait!" She cried as she went after him, "Can we talk?"
Remus arched his eyebrow at this and nodded letting curiosity get the best of him, 'What could she possibly want to talk to me about?' He wondered to himself. "What is it you'd like to talk about?"
"Well actually...um... It's more that I'd like to ask you something." Tonks began all flustered ('Why am I so nervous?') and Remus' pulse began to quicken ('Is she going to ask me what I think she's going to? What should I tell her?'), "Would you like to go ou..."
"He wants to know what's going on, again. Why can't Dumbledore just bring him here and let Harry in on what is going on with the Order? He is half the reason why we have an Order again. If it weren’t for Harry we’d have no idea Voldemort was back! It’s just wrong to not tell him I feel like such a bad godfather not being able to tell him. My job is to make sure not only to ensure his safety but to make sure he isn’t drowning in misery. James would never let his son be miserable!” Sirius thoroughly interrupted their intimate moment.
He was so caught up in fury that he failed to realize the distraught looks on the star crossed lovers’ faces. Sure they were sympathetic with Harry but fate was just about to take place… or was it? And Sirius’ rants ruined it.
'Dimmit, Sirius. Damn you and your bad timing. Do you really think I want to know what the Harry is saying in his letters when Remus is with me ALONE?!' Tonks screamed to herself, 'I was finally about to get the words out of my mouth. We’ll never have a moment like that again.'
Tonks snuck a glance over at Remus who seemed to be avoiding everyone’s eyes, "Dumbledore has his reasons, I suppose."
"Come on, Moony, even you have to admit they must be stupid reasons."
Remus just shrugged. He hated to be in opposition to Dumbledore who had given him the chance to learn about magic and go to school when no one else would. Dumbledore had taught him all throughout his years at Hogwarts and stood up for him when no one else would. And even after all the mischief and mayhem of Hogwarts, he had gotten him a job when no one else would hire him. To this day Remus feels guilty about betraying Dumbledore's trust during his 7 years of schooling when he, James, Peter and Sirius pranced around the school on full moons. Remus owes Dumbledore so much so how could he go against him? Plus the whole wizarding world is against Dumbledore right now, the least Remus could do is stand by him. Seems they are now juxtaposing one another.
Sirius appeared livid as he stormed out of the living room leaving Tonks and a slightly put out Remus alone again.
"Hey, don't look so glum. Sirius is just upset with Dumbledore for locking him up in here and in order to prove the Professor is wrong in keeping him locked away Sirius is trying to find a fault, even though Dumbledore is practically flawless. You don't have to agree with him. He’s as irritable as a girl with no chocolate."
Remus sagged his shoulders again, "It's just that Albus Dumbledore is such a powerful wizard and I owe everything to him. He's been there for me through everything. I don't want to betray his trust. Plus every time I think he is doing something off the rocker it turns out better than I would have ever dreamed. He knows things most people don’t and I’ve learned to trust him and just go with it."
Tonks nodded in agreement and after a while of silence Tonks raised an interesting question, "Remus have you ever been in a close relationship with a woman?"
'That was random and off topic,' Remus considered hard before he answered slowly and quietly, "Um, I was in a term long relationship a few years back."
Remus stared at her long and hard, 'Was she serious? What does she think happened? Why does she want to know?' "I told her about being a werewolf and it scared her away." Remus looked away with regret in his eyes, "I guess it just wasn't meant to be, but I loved her all the same."
"I'm so sorry, Remus." Tonks sympathized but internally she made a note to thank this girl later. 'How could she turn down such a kind and caring man who gave her his heart and just throw it away because of something he can't control? I’d give anything to hold his heart.'
"It was a while ago and I haven't seen her since."
Tonks nodded then asked another question, "Have you dated since?"
“Why so personal?” He asked in a playful tone trying to lighten the mood and veer off the topic but Tonks’ expression remained unchanged and her eyes were boring into him, not in a threatening way but in a way that reached out to him trying to read his soul. "No, not really." Remus replied in a quieter voice with a slight pink in his cheek.
"Well, do you think that maybe..."
"Filthy muggle lovers and half breeds, werewolves. How dare they come in my mistress' house? And young master always asking, Kreatcher of things like he has the right. Tainted mutt, I will not do anything for that blood traitor!" The sneaky old house-elf, Kreatcher crept into the room muttering loudly to himself.
'Damn bad timing again!' Both Remus and Tonks thought in unison.
"How are you doing Kreatcher?" Remus shouted over his mumblings.
Kreatcher stopped in his tracks and cocked his head and brought he's ears to full attention, "What does the blood hungry werewolf want? Hasn’t his existence been enough of a burden to those here in house of Black?"
"How dare you, you ugly old git! You are the one filled with filth. You are nothing but an unwanted maggot!" Yelled an outraged Tonks, "He's much much more than a werewolf and he is not blood hungry AND he is nothing but a delight to have here!"
"Tonks it's ok," Remus said with much gratitude in his voice, "Don't worry about it. No sense in arguing with a mindless house elf."
They shared a peaceful moment lost in thought.
‘Here’s your chance ask him now.’ Tonks encouraged herself, "Would you..."
Molly voice called them all from their places in the house to the kitchen, "BREAKFAST IS DONE!"
'Oh, forget it!' Tonks thought frustrated, 'Damn everyone and their bad timing.'
Remus bowed to her and offered Tonks his arm. She took hold of it and was whisked out of the hallway with a smile on her face, ‘Maybe I won’t forget about it just yet.’
“We’ll talk later.”
Updated March 30, 2009