Chapter 1 : Hand in Hand
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“Tonks stop be having like a child.”
“I’m behaving like a child? You’re the one who leaves the room as soon as I walk in if you possibly can. We’re supposed to be working together, stop bloody avoiding me!”
“I’m not avoiding you, don’t be ridiculous.”
“I can’t believe I was stupid enough to think that you could be a man about this! Argh!” she shouted grabbing fistfuls of her hair in her hands and pulling at it in fury. “I can’t believe I told you. Why did I think this would be different from any other time in my entire life?”
“Nymhadora I’m sorry, we can’t; I don’t want to hurt you.” I spluttered almost at a loss for what to say.
“Like I’d be stupid enough to go anywhere near you when…” She dropped her hands. “You must think I’m a right idiot. That’s it isn’t it? I’m not smart enough for you!” he face filled with malice. “What was it you taught when you were at Hogwarts? Defense Against the Dark Arts? What is it they say about those who can and can’t? Well guess who the Auror is!”
“The ministry won’t…” I said weakly
“Employ you? Well that’s hardly my fault is it?!” I didn’t know what else to say, I couldn’t believe what she’d told me, less than a month after my friend’s death. I’d often wondered if that was what had sparked it, her cousin had died, been murdered by her aunt, the realisation of how real all this really was must have made the decision for her.
But it didn’t change mine; I couldn’t run the risk of hurting her, in any way. By being away on a mission when someone else she knew died, and not being able to comfort her like I wanted to. Or even by dying myself. I knew this would hurt her anyway, but I knew if we were together it would hurt her even more.
“Of course that’s not your fault. I never said it was!”
“Then why do you hate me for it?!”
Was that what she really thought, that I hated her? I could never hate her in a million years. Yet somehow part of me didn’t believe how she felt, how could anyone love me? She would soon find someone else and her crush on me would be forgotten, over, gone. I could guarantee it.
“I don’t hate you!” I shouted back, unable to stop myself getting angry as well
“Then why are you avoiding me!” Great we were back to that, again.
“Then stand still and listen to what I’m trying to tell you!”
“Do you even know what you’re trying to tell me?” I asked, turning to face her, eyebrows raised, she was stunned into silence, her mouth opened and closed a few times before, she shut it completely and turned away walking down the stairs to the hallway. “Tonks…” I heard her kick over the troll leg Umbrella stand on purpose this time, and shout back at Mrs Black as she left, slamming the front door behind her.
I didn’t see her again for 6 months. When I did, she’d lost a lot of weight, her hair, no longer bubblegum pink was a steely grey colour, and Molly keep looking at me disapprovingly.
Every time she saw me she told me I was being stupid, part of me agreed with her, but I was being stubborn. ‘How Sirius of you.’ She had said, he would have agreed. I’d told him that I’d liked Nymphadora for a while, and he had encouraged me to act on it. As usual I’d never had the guts.
We’d argued a lot after that, and every one seemed to stiffen my resolve that this would never work. Then on the night Dumbledore died, something within me changed, some little thing that had held me back, had always held me back, suddenly didn’t seem to be there anymore.
“But I don’t care either, I don’t care!”
I finally believed her, and it all made sense, why I’d been fighting against it so hard, I couldn’t stop thinking of myself as a monster, I’d thought of myself as one for so long I didn’t know that I could think anything else.
Seeing Bill lying on that hospital bed, I couldn’t think of him as a monster, only an hour or so ago he had been young and whole, fully man, fully human, completely same, and the furthest from being a monster as it was possible to be. How could this suddenly make him one, even if he wasn’t a full werewolf? Therefore how could he, Remus be a monster?
But maybe this wasn’t the point; maybe the point was that I didn’t want to risk myself getting hurt when she decided she liked someone else more. She was so young, and I couldn’t bring myself to believe that she could possibly love me, tired old Remus Lupin.
Everyone was looking at me expecting me to say something I supposed so reply I did, the same old excuses falling from his mouth as easily as ever.
That too was a lie; it was hard to deny myself something I wanted so much, but I would never tell her that. I was so confused, but there was so much going on in my head I wasn’t surprised. Dumbledore was dead…
“This is … not the moment to discuss it.” I said tiredness creeping into his tone, weakening my resolve, but my eyes showed that I would not be swayed on the matter, not right now at any rate.
I left as quickly as I could, going straight to Grimmauld place and removing anything that would give Voldemort the heads up on what we were doing. She found me there, and confronted me again.
“Remus, listen to me.” She pleaded as I pushed past her down the hallway heading back to the stairs. “Remus John Lupin, stop this instant!” I didn’t I couldn’t. “Petrificus Totalus!” I froze and my body stuck itself together, I fell forwards my head hanging over the first step. She pulled my wand out of my hand before I could end the spell, and flipped me over so that I was looking up at her. “If this is the only way you’ll listen to me, then so be it, but I will not let you run away until I’ve told you what you need to hear.” She sighed at sat on the step next to my head.
My eyes followed her as she did so, looking up at her hair which was at this moment, flame red, a way of showing her anger. If I could have smiled, I would have.
“I know why you’re so reluctant to let this happen.” She said quietly, tentatively. “You think I’d leave you if I found someone I liked more. I wish you could see inside my head right now, because; then you’d know that there is no one I could ever want more than I want to be with you.” She laughed under her breath and shook her head.
“I’ve never wanted kids, I’ve hated them, throwing up everywhere and pooing all the time. I never understood what my mum meant when she said I’d find someone who would change my mind. Now I do.” At this point if my mouth could have opened in shock it would have. “Now I realise that she understood more than I did, she knew I wasn’t someone who just wanted kids, would have anyone’s kids.
“She knew that when I met the right person I would understand too, I don’t want just any kids. I want your kids. I want to have children with you Remus Lupin. Being around you is infectious, you’re making me feel bloody maternal, and I… I can’t get enough of it.” She turned to face me, looking into my eyes.
“I love you more than anything, and I wish you could understand that. You may think you’re protecting your heart by denying me, but you’re breaking mine. Finite Incantatem.” She left my wand next to my head and stood, sadly. It took me a few moments to realise that she had taken the curse off me, and by the time I did she was halfway down the stairs.
I rolled over and grabbed my wand; I knew what I had to do.
“Nymphadora.” She stopped now almost at the bottom of the stairs.
“Don’t call me Nymphadora.” She whispered, her voice cracking.
“Would you let me get away with it if I said I loved you too?” I bit my lip, praying she would turn around. I felt like a boy again, asking his first crush on a date.
“What?” she choked turning round to look up at me, lines of tears running down her face.
“Well I won’t be able to call you Tonks for much longer will I? We’ll have to get married before we can have kids.”
She grinned and ran up the stairs, tackling me in a hug. I took her face in my hands and kissed her.
There wasn’t an explosion in my brain, or electricity shooting between our lips. In that moment I felt complete. The hole that had been gnawing in my chest my whole life, the hole I barely knew was there was filled. I knew what her mother had meant too. I’d never wanted children, watching Harry grow up had always been enough for me.
I didn’t want any just children; I wanted her to have mine.
Sure we argued, doesn't every couple?
I mean, you should see Molly and Arthur at it sometimes, enough to shake the foundations of Hogwarts itself.
We were never quite that bad.
But we argued about the usual things, what to eat for dinner, who’s turn it was to take out the rubbish, trivial things, also what to name our son. She won, naturally. She always did it seemed, but it wasn’t from my lack of trying. In my moment of death I prayed that Harry would be there for my son as I had not been there for him. But as my body went numb and I fell into blackness I could feel her hand in mine. Whatever had brought us to this point in our lives, be it fate, or our own will, we were leaving this world together, hand in hand. For that I was thankful.