Chapter 1 : Fly Away
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Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
“I don’t see why you won’t let yourself be with me.”
“I have told you time and time again, Tonks, I can’t let you be in the way of danger.”
“And I have told you, Lupin, that I can make my own bloody decisions!”
She threw a vase at him, and it missed him by only an inch.
“So this is what we’re resorting to?” he asked, voice broken, rubbing his head. “We’re not even a witch and wizard anymore? We’re Muggles?”
She rubbed her face, and choked back a sob. “I love you,” she finally told him. “IF that isn’t an excuse for acting like this… I don’t know what is.”
His face became pained, and it was like he was trying so, so hard to not run to her.
And that broke her heart.
She ran away, hand over her eyes, and stormed out.
He didn’t see her for two weeks.
Oh, it wasn’t for lack of trying on his part. He asked around, every one of her family members he’d ever spoken to, but they all gave him the same tight-lipped response, with a glare.
He was running out of patience.
And so he wrote her a letter.
It was a simple letter, but it was honest, and it was an apology.
He ended it,
I do love you. So, so much. I wish I trusted myself to be with you.
If you still want to be… whatever we were, please respond.
I’ll be at my house tonight.
All my love,
He knew it wasn’t what she would want to hear, but it was all that he could say at this time.
He sent it, and he settled in for a long night, pouring himself a tumbler of firewhiskey.
She showed up at midnight.
Her face was haggard, her hair bright blue, and her clothes were worn.
She had never looked more beautiful, and maybe it was the firewhiskey, but he had to go to her.
He got up, and wrapped her in his arms. She shook against his shoulder, and he felt the tears there, and he felt like the world’s largest basrard for ever doing this to her, for ever telling her something neither of them wanted.
She was crying, and then he was crying, too, and she pulled away from him.
They looked at each other, and he grabbed her hand, leading her to his couch.
“I love you,” he said, softly, tenderly, and he ran his hand down the side of her face. “Maybe it’s the alcohol, or maybe I’m an idiot. But I don’t want to stay away from you. Not anymore.”
“Thank Merlin,” she whispered, and leaned in for a kiss.
Even the alcohol couldn’t stop him from feeling a little guilty.
“Tonks, I’m going to give you a choice.”
She stared at him, eyes red.
“We know we want to be with one another, and I’m not selfless enough to stay away forever. A kinder man would. I, however, am not.”
He cleared his throat.
“Nymphadora, you’re like a butterfly. I want you to be able to… to fly away, to explore wherever your heart desires, not to be tied down to a broken old werewolf.
“You’re young, and you’re beautiful, inside and out. I promise that I’m not lying when I say that any man would be the luckiest man in the world to have you.
“I’m probably going to die before you. I don’t want to leave you with that burden.”
He went through all the arguments, told her every thought on his mind, and then he waited.
“So you choose. If you leave, I will not be offended. If you decide to stay, it will be a dream come true, but please, don’t feel obligated.”
She hesitated, and his heart sank. However, he forced himself to keep his voice neutral.
“Feel free to take your time, love.”
He winced. The ‘love’ had slipped out without his notice, but she didn’t seem to mind.
She was studying him, chewing her lip, and she laughed.
“Remus,” she whispered. “Why the hell would I turn you down?”
He was elated, happier than he had ever been, and he kissed her, crushing her to him.
She giggled into his mouth, and they lay there, drinking each other in, because she was his and he was hers.
And they knew it was a matter of time before they were to pass, but for now, they allowed themselves pure happiness, because they both felt the other deserved it.
And they did.