Chapter 1 : Worth More
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"I can't do this."
The words break her heart. She's just told him that they're having a baby and instead of smiling and enveloping her in a loving hug, she gets a deafening silence followed by unmistakable rejection.
She hadn't meant to tell him just yet. She had wanted to wait until she was further along, until it would've been too late to do anything—for him to do anything—to back out of it.
Before he'd come home she had stared at her reflection, noticing that her hair had changed to a deep rose of suppressed excitement, in almost harmonic contrast to her eyes which had become a deep blue of worry and uncertainty. She'd made the decision to keep this baby a secret for just a little longer but then he'd walked into their bedroom of the tiny flat they'd been able to afford, looking like the sky had caved in on him and she'd followed that little voice that had been present her entire life.
It was that voice that had gotten her into situations that had been sticky or dangerous and, once in awhile, had been wonderful ones. It was both the devil and the angel on her shoulders; she could never tell. It was the voice that said jump or run and sometimes, go for it, it won't hurt anybody. And though she'd followed that voice enough times to know that tagged onto the end of that last thought were two little words: except you, she still obeyed that little voice. Like now.
He'd just taken off his worn tweed jacket, the one with the missing button she kept forgetting to sew on, when the words had tumbled from her lips. He'd just stared at her and then spoken the words that tore her heart.
The pain is so acute that she can't speak for a moment. "What do you mean?" The words come out softly but scratched, like nails dragged across a chalkboard. She's choking on nothing and breathing in poison. She's dying inside and he's looking at her with the dark liquid of regret.
"Nymphadora." The name makes her want to scream and she clenches her teeth against it. He doesn't say anything more, perhaps aware, finally, of how she's feeling, the hurt and rage battling for dominance inside her. His eyes are no longer looking at her, his head tipped down, the graying strands of his hair falling across his forehead. His mouth opens for a moment before it shuts without having said anything.
She stares at him, daring him to utter what he is thinking. Her small hands are fisted and she's having to restrain herself from making them something heavy enough to hurt him.
"What—" she's gratified to hear the hoarseness in his voice. He clears his throat and tries again. "What if it—"
The angry swarm of thoughts claw up her throat and finally succeed in escaping her clenched teeth. "'It?' 'It' is a baby, Remus!" She's out of her seat and throwing herself at him, too caught up in her fury to care what she's doing. "A baby! A living—" her fist makes contact with his shoulder; "—breathing—" a shudder echoes through his chest as her second punch lands just below his breastbone; "—baby!" her finishing slap rockets across his face, and the sound echoes in the sudden quiet.
She's shocked at what she's done. His face is stricken and turned to the side. She feels unable to move, frozen long enough for Remus to grab her wrists gently but firmly and hold them tightly against his chest. Her head is bowed, in shame or stubborn refusal to acknowledge him, she isn't too sure but she knows that she just can't look at him. She's trying to hide the fact that the deep breaths she's taking are actually sobs. She can feel a momentary brush of his lips against her hair as he speaks. "What if the baby…is like me?"
She knows that that's what's been going through his mind since she told him she was pregnant, she knows it, but hearing it doesn't make it any better. She says the first thing that comes to mind.
"Then I'll love him just as I love you." Her voice is fierce and seems to burn him. He drops her wrists and takes a step back, distancing himself.
Like he always did.
It hurts. It's hurt all the times before when he moved away from her, and now, she thinks as she wraps her arms around her middle, it hurts more because it's not just her he's trying to get away from, but their baby.
His shallow breaths are the only sound in the room. The tears that the rage and anger had been holding at bay, flow freely now. Her hair still covers her face so he can't see. His broken whisper fills the empty space, the space that she's tried to fill with love and passion and happy thoughts, but has failed, so miserably failed.
"I shouldn't be doing this." He turns and leaves the room, taking his jacket with him. The click of the door shutting acts like a switch in Tonks. She falls to the floor, the sobs wracking her body, one hand trying to stem the tears she's crying, the other is over her stomach, over the baby he didn't want.