Remus sat in a chair in his house, reading a book.
It was late at night and he had made himself a cup of hot chocolate which he now enjoyed. He had a blanket over his cold legs and he stared into the flames in the fireplace when he took a break from his book. Even though it was summer, it was quite cold when it was this late.
Someone knocked on the door. Knock knock.
Remus rose up and was suddenly on his guard. It was too late for normal visitors. It could easily be Death Eaters or even Voldemort himself (he snorted. It was not normal behaviour of Voldemort to knock on the doors of his victims), but it could also be some Order member.
When he reached the door, he stopped and called, “Who is it?”
“It’s Tonks!” was the reply he got.
Remus knew it probably was her, but he asked, “What was your dream as a girl?” to be sure.
“To become a rock star,” Tonks said from the other side of the door. “What’s your ambition?”
“To let werewolves be accepted as actual human beings by wizards,” Remus said and opened the door.
A young woman with bubblegum pink hair and Muggle clothes was revealed.
“Do come in,” Remus said politely.
Tonks came in and flashed him a smile. “I’m amazed – I didn’t trip in the stairs outside.”
Remus chuckled and closed the door after her. “What’s happened?” he asked.
“Nothing,” Tonks said, taking off her jacket.
“Then why did you come here?” Remus asked.
She looked at him. “Friends are allowed to come and visit each other, aren’t they?”
“Well, yes…” Remus didn’t voice his surprise at this. She had never come to visit him before. He didn’t even know she knew where he lived. And he didn’t consider himself a close friend to Tonks.
He walked after her into the living room.
She looked around. “Quite cosy,” she said.
“Thank you,” Remus said, smiling slightly.
She sat down in the chair Remus had sat in earlier. Then she jumped up and looked apologetically. “May I sit down?” she asked in a way that resembled how a student would explain to a teacher why she had done something she shouldn’t have.
“You may,” Remus said, watching her amusedly. He sat down in the armchair beside Tonks’s chair.
He didn’t know what to say and nor did Tonks, it seemed. “Why did you come here?” he said suddenly.
“I already said why. In a way,” she added.
“It’s a little late, though, don’t you think?”
“Well, yeah,” Tonks said awkwardly. “But I didn’t have anything to do and I wanted company. So I decided to go here.”
“You could’ve gone to bed,” Remus suggested.
“Er – nah, I didn’t feel like it.”
Remus didn’t say anything; he just sat there, looking at Tonks’s pretty face. He would have slapped himself if that hadn’t looked very weird in front of her. Had he just thought of her as pretty? He had. There was no law against it. Tonks was young and attractive and men his age didn’t automatically stop looking at women even though they were over ten years younger than them.
“What?” Tonks asked, puzzled.
Remus quickly began staring into the fire; he had looked at Tonks a little too long. “Nothing, Nymphadora,” he answered.
“It’s Tonks to you, Lupin!” she said.
Remus smiled. “What’s wrong with ‘Nymphadora’?”
“Honestly, Remus! Haven’t I said what’s wrong with that name a hundred times?”
“I daresay I can’t call you ‘Tonks’ forever. So… what am I to call you when you’re married, then?” he asked.
Tonks snorted. “Mrs Lupin.” Then she clapped a hand over her mouth, her eyes wide.
Remus stopped smiling. Had he heard what he thought he had heard? “What?”
“I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean it!” Tonks said quickly.
“No! Well, yes, I did, but – no! God, I’m leaving!” she said, rising up.
Remus rose up too, taking her arm. He turned her around so she faced him. “Did you mean it?” he asked quietly.
Tonks bit her lip before she nodded. “Yes,” she whispered.
Their faces were very close. He could smell a scent of perfume.
“Nym – Tonks, I mean,” he said, thinking that the best way to make her come to her senses was not to use a name she loathed. “Listen to me. You are young. You are pretty. I am old and poor and a were – a werewolf.”
Tonks’s eyes were oddly blank. “Please,” she muttered. “Don’t.”
Remus eyed her before he did something he hadn’t done to a woman in a long time; he kissed her. He hadn’t meant to, but now he found that she was kissing him back. It took him some time to remember that they shouldn’t be doing this. He broke away, panting slightly.
“We can’t,” Remus said.
Tonks stared at him.
Remus forced himself to go on. “You don’t deserve me.”
“I know I don’t. You’re too good for me,” Tonks said, her eyes blank again.
“No, no!” Remus said quickly. “You’re too good for me! I’m too old, too poor, to give you the life you deserve!”
She rolled her eyes. “You don’t need to make up apologies. It’s all right – I – I understand that you don’t like me. But you can just say it to my face!”
“I do like you!” Remus said. “And I’m honest – you deserve, you need a better life than what I can offer. And it will not help you to kiss me –”
“You kissed me!” Tonks shouted.
“I didn’t mean to!”
“I love you,” Tonks suddenly said. A single tear dropped down to the floor from one of her eyes.
“I – what?”
“I love you,” she repeated. “And I mean it.”
“No, you don’t,” Remus said, feeling himself getting more desperate. “It’s probably just a little crush – it will go away –”
Tonks shook her head, smiling sadly. “No, it won’t. And I know that better than you.”
“Tonks,” she whispered. “It’s Tonks.” And then she went.
Remus heard the door being shut.
He stood there, unable to move. He hadn’t expected this at all. It had all changed during a couple of seconds! Young, fun-loving Tonks… in love with him? It was impossible!
And why did she have to visit him? Why did she have to be so pretty? Why did she have to love him?
Remus looked at himself in the mirror. How could she love him? He looked sick and thin. And he had several scars. He was not attractive in any way.
He closed his eyes. He knew this would continue. He knew that Nymphadora hadn’t had her last say in this matter, and that scared him. How long could he resist her? He hadn’t even managed to resist her this night!
Opening his eyes, he promised himself that he would find a way to get her stop loving him.