Remus Lupin sighed as he walked into the small, dusty sitting-room within the walls of the Orders headquarters, Grimmauld Place, feeling tense and uncomfortable. The war was brewing, it was impossible to ignore that fact lately, the feeling of foreboding was enough to suffocate anyone within its iron grip. Months had passed since the Order of the Phoenix had lost their leader, Albus Dumbledore, and each day that passed them by made everyone tenser, more aware of what could happen the very next day. The tension could brink breaking point, and they'd be thrown into a war of good verses evil, where only one side could win.
He walked into the dark and depressing room, one which used to belong to his friend, Sirius Black, before he had died tragically within the Ministry of Magic. Nearly two years had passed since that fateful day, a day which Remus didn't like to think about, but couldn't help but think about all the same. It just kept creeping into his mind, same with the deaths of James and Lily Potter, Albus Dumbledore, and everyone else who had perished bravely, standing up and fighting for what they believed in – the right to live life as best they could.
He gazed out through a grimy window, hidden mostly behind thick and heavy navy drapes, onto the darkened muggle street beneath them that was getting pelted with a downpour of water, from a house which was hidden from the world by magic. With all the things magic could do, there was one thing that he, along with many others, wished it could do, but it never could. It could never bring back the dead. It could never restore loved ones, friends, family; magic could never bring them back.
Lupin shook his head with sadness, feeling tired and old as he brought a slightly stale coffee to his lips and drank slowly from the lukewarm mug. He'd made it a while ago, then got called off to help Molly with something in the attic before he had a chance to drink it, still, it wasn't disgusting to his tastebuds as it slid down his throat and plummeted into his stomach, momentarily filling a void that nothing else could fill. He was about to take another long drink from it when the door behind him opened, arousing his attention and he gave a quick glance over his shoulder, seeing Nymphadora Tonks, and Alistor Moody walk in through the frame after just finishing sentry duty, talking in hushed voices.
Don't you draw the queen of diamonds, boy,
She'll beat you if she's able.
You know the queen of heats is always your best bet...
He offered a weak smile to them both, which Moody replied with a curt nod before he limped over to an armchair nearest the fire and sat down with a contented sigh. Tonks offered Lupin a weak smile back before she sat down on a wonky lounge chair, on the other side of the room and got comfortable. Lupin, sensing that both needed to relax after a long shift on keeping an eye out around the local area for Death Eater activity, remained silent and instead turned to face back out the window once more, swirling the contents of his coffee mug around slowly in the process.
Soon enough, the sounds of soft snoring were to be heard, floating through the air from Moody's direction as he dozed off in a comfortable chair, needing the rest before he did another shift. Lupin gave a slight, soft chuckle before he drained the remainder of his drink and turned around, holding the mug limply in his hand as his eyes fell upon the back of Moody's balding head that shone somewhat in the firelight. His eyes travelled from Moody across the room and landed upon Tonks, who was looking at him, shyly, nervousness obviously etched all over her countenance, and he felt slightly awkward to be alone in a room with her, minus Moody's comforting snoring.
Now it seems to me, some fine things,
Have been laid upon your table,
But you only want the ones that you can't get.
Tonks shyly looked away and drew her legs up to her chest, and wrapped her arms securely about them where she sat as her gaze landed upon the flickering flames of the fire. Lupin looked away from her and followed her gaze momentarily, before he decided to sit down on a nearby armchair to relax as well, to try and lessen the tension he'd been feeling more and more with each passing day.
His thoughts travelled to the young woman sharing the peacefulness of the room with him as his eyes unfocused, and then finally closed. Tonks... he was so confused about her. Months had passed since that moment in the Hospital Wing at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where Tonks declared to everyone that she loved him, and yet, not much had happened between them within the time that had passed. Lupin was hesitant in forming any further attachments with people, for those who he cared for were dropping like flies around him, and the thought of losing someone as special and kind as Tonks, to him, was more than he could bear.
Ever since her public confession, Lupin found himself all the more puzzled about what to do with her. Did he love her? He wasn't sure, he certainly admired her, cared for her and watched out for her, but was that enough affection to merit love? He wasn't sure, he'd never really been in love with anyone before, as he'd never let anyone get close, in case they got hurt by others, or by himself.
Desperado, oh, you ain't getting no younger.
Your pain and your hunger, they're driving you home.
And freedom, oh freedom, well, that's just some people talking,
Your prison is walking through this world all alone...
In the months that had passed by, the tension of the war kept growing, and so did the unease between them both. Tonks found herself getting shy around him, which was clearly obvious to everyone as Tonks was never shy, nor quiet, nor reserved; she was the meaning of the word happy, even with all the evil going on in their lives, she always seemed happy. The bubbly feeling everyone got whenever she was around, one which Lupin used to feel too, had not reached his senses in months because of her suddenly introverted nature, and he missed the sensation she could create by simply entering a room, and tripping over a rug on the floor.
Lupin opened his eyes and snuck a quick glance her way, noticing Tonks was trying to get comfortable, prodding the pillows around her with her wand to make them softer; he smiled briefly before focusing his gaze on a nearby window, watching the rain drip down slowly on the other side of the glass. He slumped in his chair a little more as he silently watched the rain, rapidly falling and coming to a stop upon the cobblestone ground outside, meeting its death head on without time to stop it. He compared his life to that of the rain, rapidly coming to its end if his enemies had anything to do with it. Time was running out to live carefree before war would break out again, and things could become too late. Any day could be his last, any day could be her last, and he was putting off expressing his true feelings for her because he was afraid of hurting her, when there were worse things that could hurt them both waiting for them in the future.
His eyes focused upon the glass of the window, catching his reflection within in and focused upon what he saw. He saw a man who looked to be in his late forties which was over exaggerated by fifteen years from all the scars upon his face and the dark bags beneath his eyes, and also his greying brown hair. There were many lines across his skin, but many more didn't show up in the weak reflection. Remus Lupin knew he was old, not only in years, but in appearance as well, and couldn't understand why someone so young and beautiful would want him above everyone else, but felt slightly honoured that she'd choose him above much younger and suitable men available.
Don't your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine.
It's hard to tell the night time from the day.
You're loosing all your highs and lows,
Aint it funny how the feeling goes away?
Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, to open the gate.
It may be raining, but there's a rainbow above you,
He turned his gaze away from his aged reflection and gazed at Tonks again who was staring off at the fire once more, contemplating her. Would it be so bad to show affection back her way? Would the world stop spinning if he admitted that he admired her and liked her as well? Would he be able to live with himself if she was to die before him, and he never got the chance to tell her how he felt about her? He knew the answer to that instantly; no, he wouldn't be able to live with himself if that were to happen. He knew his heart would be crushed at having lost another person so near and dear to his heart, especially after his closest friends had all departed this world without him being able to say goodbye, or tell them just how much they meant to him, and he was determined not to let the same thing happen to Tonks if she too were to die before him.
Remus sighed in defeat to his own defences, allowing his walls that had held so tight over the years to crumble as his eyes fell upon Tonks with a new light, a light which he'd never looked at anyone with before and could only guess what it was; love. He watched her for a few moments then offered a small smile to the sight before him of Tonks staring jadedly at the ground, changing her appearance at random with a distant look upon her features. His smile grew slightly as he admired her for a few moments longer, and, upon sensing that she was under someone's unwavering gaze, Tonks looked up from the ground and met Remus' gaze with a little hesitation. Remus eased into his chair further and offered a content and happy smile as he continued to gaze into her eyes, willing to convey everything to her that he couldn't say. Soon after, a small, bashful grin graced Tonks lips as well when she read the meaning hidden within the darkness of his eyes. Her pleased look made Remus' heart feel alive for the first time since Sirius had been killed and he realised what it was in life that he wanted above all, and that thing was sitting right before him in the dingy room, staring right back at him, happy once more.
You better let somebody love you, before it's too late...