Chapter 28 : Back to Reality
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Dumbledore sat at his desk staring intently at the centre of the room. He was awaiting the arrival of the small group of people he had sent back in time to rescue a boy who could effectively save the wizarding world, and it was causing him a great deal of stress.
At the time it had seemed the right thing to do, of course Harry had to be rescued but Dumbledore had not stopped to consider the repercussions of sending Remus back to confront his old friends just to loose them again.
His past self had sent word that Severus Snape from the present time had been killed whilst attempting to get the others to safety, and that he would be sending the body forward at a more convenient time.
Dumbledore sighed heavily and took his glasses off to clean them. He hadn't even known Snape had gone back, he'd never even considered checking. But thinking back he hadn't seen him since he'd sent Remus to Whitby to retrieve Draco. Had Dumbledore really been that blind? Dumbledore swallowed heavily and pushed his glasses back on, and was brought abruptly back to reality by the sound of rushing air.
He watched as eight people appeared before him. One look into Remus' eyes told him that it was going to take time for him to get over what he'd been through.
"Welcome back," he murmured.
"Is everybody alright? Harry?"
Remus nodded stiffly and handed him the timeturner before sinking heavily into a chair. Tonks glanced at her lover quickly before following him and wrapping her arms round him.
"I'm fine Sir," muttered Harry holding on to Hermione tightly, he too held a dead look in his eyes.
Dumbledore smiled sadly at him and nodded.
"You may all leave we can talk about this tomorrow...I'm sure you would all like to rest before facing reality again."
Harry turned quickly and left dragging Hermione along. Ron and his family each left relatively quickly as well leaving Remus and Tonks with Dumbledore.
"Remus?" urged Dumbledore. Remus didn't respond.
In fact the only response he received was a particularly icy glare from Tonks. Nevertheless Dumbledore persevered, he had a lot of experience with Remus bottling up all his worries and problems and he wasn't about to let him dissolve into a depression again.
"Remus?" he said kindly kneeling down in front of him. Remus looked up at him, his eyes glistening with tears.
"What?" he growled, blinking quickly and shifting his weight slightly.
"What happened?" murmured Dumbledore holding Remus' gaze. Remus cleared his throat and glanced up at Tonks before shrugging gently out of her arms.
"Am I the only one who doesn't get a rest before having to relive it?" he questioned quietly.
Dumbledore nodded slowly, and shifted into a more comfortable position.
"Remus I need to know, clearly it has affected you and Harry greatly. I need to know so that I can start to help you two,"
Remus sighed deeply and gulped quickly.
"Is there anyway you can find out without me having to relive it? I don't think I can,"
Dumbledore was silent for a while and Remus spent the time collecting his thoughts together.
"There is one way. It will require legimency and for me to stun you beforehand,"
Remus frowned at him, "Are you sure?" he said, straightening up and wiping his eyes briefly.
"Quite, Nymphadora I will need your help though,"
Tonks looked at Remus questioningly and on seeing him nod she faced Dumbledore and nodded also.
"On the count of three then," said Dumbledore standing up and walking a few steps away from Remus and turning around.
"One," Remus closed his eyes.
"Two," and he took a deep breath in.
"Three, you'll need to catch his head," and he let the breath out.
Remus slumped backwards, and Tonks caught his head as it lolled backwards violently. She glanced up at Dumbledore worriedly, and he stepped forward.
“He’ll be ok. I need you to prop his head up though and open his eyes for me,”
She nodded and stood directly behind Remus resting his head against her stomach and holding his eyes open lightly with her fingers.
Dumbledore knelt before Remus once again, and looked directly into his eyes.
“Legimens,” he whispered.
Harry had walked directly to the owlry, Hermione following close behind. He needed somewhere quiet, not necessarily to be alone but just to think.
Finally he reached his destination and dropped down onto one of the window ledges. Hermione hesitated in front of him and he glanced up before gesturing for her to come to him.
She walked forwards and he grasped her waist gently and guided her onto his lap. She settled down and laid her head against his chest.
He sighed deeply and fingered her hair slightly.
“Sirius told me that he didn’t think I could let him down,” he whispered. Hermione raised her head slightly and looked him in the eyes.
“Pardon?” she said.
“I almost told Sirius about his death and how I felt I’d let him down...but he said he didn’t think I could,” Harry repeated
“Harry you know he was right, there was nothing you could have done differently,” murmured Hermione wiping away the single tear that had leaked from Harry’s eyes.
“Are you ok otherwise?”
Harry cleared his throat and looked up at her. He nodded quickly.
“Yeah...yeah I’ll be fine...it was nice to be able to say goodbye to them all this time,”
Hermione smiled at him and wrapped her arms around his neck and nuzzled against him.
“Hermione,” croaked Harry.
“Hmmm,” murmured Hermione her head still pressed against his neck.
“I love you,”
Hermione eased herself away from Harry to look at him.
“I love you too,” she whispered closing the distance between them and pressing her lips against Harry’s.
Five minutes later Dumbledore blinked quickly and stood up slowly.
“Ennervate,” he muttered pointing his wand at Remus. Tonks quickly let go of his eyes as he stirred. Gradually he opened his eyes and found himself staring up at Tonks’ face. She smiled at him and let go of his head.
“Remus again I apologise to you for what I put you through...all of you...especially you Nymphadora,” said Dumbledore quietly as he sat behind his desk.
Remus stood up wearily and sat on Dumbledore’s desk.
“You need to tell her Remus,” whispered Dumbledore taking care that Tonks did not hear.
Remus nodded, and stood up quietly.
He walked silently over to Tonks and gave her a gentle hug, he grasped her hands and guided her towards the far wall.
“What is it Remus?” she asked urgently, sensing the apprehension in him.
“Nymphadora, whilst you were unconscious...do you remember?”
Tonks nodded and gestured for him to continue.
“Well Voldemort found out about...us...and that night,” he struggled and stopped briefly to collect himself.
“Remus what is it?” repeated Tonks looking up into Remus’ eyes.
“Nymphadora you’re pregnant,”
Tonks stood there in a surprised shock and finally her face broke into a beaming smile.
“Is that why you...”
Remus nodded now smiling as well.
“I thought you were being overly protective,” muttered Tonks reaching up to kiss Remus.
“Not quite,” he murmured, rolling his eyes and kissing her back.
A/N That's it then...it's done. I'm furiously thinking of another story to write though, hopefully my imagination will perk up soon.
Thank you to everybody once again...I really couldn't have got this far without you.