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Chapter 1 : Waging War of Tonks Lupin
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It is written for "LilyLou's Family challenge" and "PhoenixQuill's Name with No Face challenge".
Here, it is, the life and the waging war of Nymphadora Tonks Lupin.
*She had heard that life flashes before your eyes just before you die.
That was true.
She didn’t think it was possible for her to scream anymore. Her throat was sore and every part of her body ached. It was as if every bone in her body was on fire, but this pain was nothing compared to the pain of losing her family, not even a hundredth of the pain in her heart. There were worse things, far worse things than the pain of the Cruciatus Curse.
It was bearable in comparison to losing him.
She was sulking in her room because she was grounded. She had a tantrum; a big one.
Her hair was fire red and she could feel that funny prickling under her skin. It came every time she was angry, and if she had to tell the truth, she was angry a lot lately.
Other children were stupid, they made fun of her. Her name.
Why did she have a stupid name? Did her parents hate her so much that they gave her a bad name?
Calm down, she heard a voice in her head that very much resembled Mummy's.
It was easier to say it than to do it. It took her a lot of concentration and many deep breaths, just as Mum had told her; finally she managed it. The small figures on the shelf, that were trembling by her rage, were quiet again, and the windows did not tremble any more like it were a few minutes ago.
A moment later, there was the sound of heavy steps coming up the stairs. It was Daddy, she was sure of that. He might want to talk to her. Whenever she was upset, Daddy would come to cheer her up. She had a bad time today.
Today in the park near her home, she tripped while trying to climb a see-saw and her friends, or should she say the children she played with, started laughing at her and calling her names.
Fumbler. Klutz. Nymphie.
She was very angry but she didn’t lose control. Mummy had told her not to use her special gift while she was in the muggle world. She had cried a lot and yelled at her mummy, asking why she named her Nymphadora. She didn’t want to talk to anyone right now, but she wanted her Daddy’s special hug.
"Can I come in now?" Came the calm voice of her dad.
"If you must," she said with all the contempt a six-year-old could muster. She wasn’t going to give up that easily.
The door opened and her father entered with a small smile on his face and she huffed and looked away.
“Well, someone is in good mood,” her dad teased. She snorted.
"I like it when your hair is red," he said, taking a lock in his fingers. "But I think pink makes you look so much prettier. Princess Pretty."
She chuckled, she could not help herself, "Really?"
She turned at looked at her dad. Her dad was the mischievous one, his dark brown eyes twinkling with and a huge smile spreading across his face, glowing with all of the love he had for his daughter.
“So what happened?” Her dad asked bumping her a little with his shoulder. She sighed.
“People make fun at it, that's what happens!” she said frowning trying to think all the reasons, “I hate my name, It's the ugliest name ever. Ever and ever!" she yelled and her father stood up and sat on his knees in front of her.
“So what do you think we should do?” he asked quirking his eyebrow at her.
“I want to change it and I want you to help me,” she replied nodding her head to her father as if she was not going to do anything before she changed it.
"You won't use it anymore," he said thoughtfully. "And now, what should I call you?"
“Anything but Nymphadora,” she said and wrinkled her nose at her name.
“Do you know why we named you Nymphadora?” her father asked and she shook her head. “Nymphadora means a gift from nymph, a beautiful woman who loves to frolic, sing, and dance. When you were born and I held you in my arms for the first time, you suddenly changed your hair to pink and you were so beautiful and special that we named you Nymphadora”.
She was amazed to know that why her parents named her that but it was so big and other children teased her a lot.
"But I don't like it!"
She looked at her father, deep in thought and frowning slightly. Her hair changed slowly from red to deep blue and started curling in the tips and then an idea came to her mind.
"Tonks!" she started babbling really fast. "Your friends call you that, and I think it sounds so cool, and my name is Tonks too, so I might be called like that, right? People could call me Tonks, right?"
She looked at him wide-eyed, waiting for the verdict.
"Right..." Her father said slowly, raising one eyebrow.
"Right, then!" her smile was broad and her hair was turning pink now. "From now on, I want everybody to call me Tonks. Miss Tonks! But you can call me Dora,"
Ted Tonks looked at his daughter, laughing softly.
"Sounds fair enough to me, Miss Tonks."
She jumped and hugged her father.
"You're the best, Daddy."
"I know, Dora."
She never wanted her father to leave her; he was her protector, her anchor to be strong and calm. He was the force who motivated her to move forward.
But when she saw the pale and thin face of her dead father which was smudged with blood and dirt, she knew that her anchor and that shield were gone.
As much as she loved her mother, she sometimes really hated her for using her name.
While her father called her Dora lovingly, her mother always used her full name. She whined and even cried many times to persuade her not to call her that but her mother didn’t tolerate her decision. Sometimes she thought that her mother just used it to irritate her but her mother told her that if she didn’t use it then her real name wouldn’t be utilized and she knew Dora would hex anyone who would try to use it.
That was right.
In Hogwarts, no one called her Nymphadora. First time Charlie Weasley tried to tease her with that name, she pranked him by turning his hair pink which he had to wear for the whole day and she even changed her hair to pink too which amused many. Charlie was really impressed and after that they became friends.
Even if her mother was infuriating, she was her best friend. She would always fuss about her and was always concerned. She couldn’t tell how much effort it took her to persuade her mother to allow her to fight in the Battle of Hogwarts.
When Sirius Black had betrayed them, she didn’t want to believe that her favourite cousin could do any wrong but she was mistaken. She had heard her mother’s wail for him. He was a monster who had killed muggles, those who couldn’t protect themselves. He had betrayed his own friend and her mother had wailed about it. She knew what she wanted to do.
She wanted to be an Auror.
“Are you mad? An Auror? No!” her mother yelled at her. Her eyes were full of worry, it was a sign which her mother look so different, so human from her aunt. Her mother had told her about her family and especially her aunt, Bellatrix Lestrange.
Bellatrix was evil; she was one of the deadliest death eaters and took pleasure in torturing her victims.
In looks they were quite similar with same dark hair and dark eyes, but the concern that filled her face was what distinguished her from the Bellatrix.
She had made up her mind when she was in her fifth year and she never gave a clue to her mother about her decision. She decided to wait till the Auror training letter came for her. It was one look at the letter and she started opposing her.
“Mum, I am going to be an Auror,” she said in firm voice which she had learned from her mother “I don’t want another Sirius Black or Bellatrix Lestrange who would betray us. I want to fight against them, and you believe that it’s not over, right?”
Her mother nodded, sniffing.
“I want to learn to fight so one day I can protect myself, you and Dad. Please mum let me do this,” she had begged her mother watching her almost breaking when she had used Sirius name.
She wanted to hate him. He had hurt her mother terribly but as much she as wanted to, she couldn’t. She just wanted to meet him one day and ask why he did that. Why he broke their trust.
She had cried a lot when she came to know that her mother was tortured for the information of whereabouts of Harry Potter after Bill Weasley’s wedding. She was away, and she felt so guilty that she had not been there to protect her from the death eaters. Her mother had told her not to cry. She was proud of her mother who had not uttered a single word about Harry Potter and denied any contact even after she was tortured by the Cruciatus curse.
She knew that if she died today her mother would take care of the only part of her which was alive, she wanted him to live more than anything.
She remembered the day she had seen her cousin after many years. He was a wanted prisoner who had destroyed a part of her mother.
After being told by her head, Kingsley, to meet him at the Burrow, she had never thought that she would get an opportunity to become a part of something so big.
The Order of Phoenix.
She had heard the word when she had eavesdropped while her mother had talked with her cousin about it. She knew it was some secret group but she had no idea that Kingsley would want to recruit her. She was slightly paranoid as there had been news of some sudden accidents in muggle worlds and she really wanted to know the cause of it as she was not a fool to believe that no magic was involved.
She went to the Burrow which was the home of Arthur Weasley, who worked at the Muggle department of the Ministry. She never in her life had expected to see Albus Dumbledore, her ex- headmaster to be waiting for her. She was shocked and amazed to see him there. He was the one who told her about everything.
He told her that You-Know-Who was back and she wanted to fight. She had waited her whole life for this and now she could avenge her mother’s pain.
He gave her a slip and she read the address and apparated there on the orders of Dumbledore. She knew he was a man she could trust.
But she never thought she would see HIM there.
"Stupefy!" she yelled at him as soon as she saw him.
Sirius Black fell into the floor, unconscious. In one quick movement, Tonks turned to face the other man who was with the traitor, casting a non-verbal Protego to shield her from any form of retaliation he could try on her. Surprisingly he did not move, although he was pointing his wand at her in a sort of lose way that unnerved Tonks.
"Drop your wand or you'll be next," she finally said coldly, keeping her voice steady.
The unknown wizard wasn’t only not attacking her, but he seemed to find something quite entertaining, for a smile was starting to form in the corners of his mouth.
"I'd like to expl-"
"Expelliarmus!" The stranger's wand left his hand with a wide arc and Tonks caught it mid-air.
"I think you're making a mistake here," he said calmly, but he wasn't smiling any more.
His eyes were darting from Tonks' own to the tip of her wand as if he were evaluating what to do next.
"Am I?" Tonks asked, arching an eyebrow and moving her wand an inch or so to point exactly to the middle of the man's chest.
She heard the door opening from which she had entered and she turned, thinking of another attacker and found herself face to face with her favourite Master and her Head of department.
"Wotcher, Mad-Eye," she said sternly, not looking away from the other wizard nor moving her wand.
Moody looked at her with a puzzled expression, at her prisoner, and at the unconscious man at their feet. Then all of a sudden, Kingsley burst with husky laughter. Now it was Tonks' turn to look mystified.
"What's so funny?"
"Did you just stun Sirius Black and disarm Remus Lupin?" he asked, amusement ringing in every word.
"I don't know who this one is, but they were together. And yes, I stunned Black," she replied blankly. The new name, Remus Lupin, did sound familiar, she had read it not long ago but she could not recall where. But there were more important concerns now. What was the matter with Kingsley? "Lower your wand, lass," Moody ordered.
"No friggin' way."
"Do as you're told and I'll explain."
The deep trust she had in Moody, mixed with those years of training that had showed her she had better do what he told her to, made her obey. On lowering her wand she looked wearily at this ‘Remus Lupin’, almost expecting him to jump and attack her the Muggle way or do something of the sort. Instead he was looking back calmly, the promise of a smile lingering in the corners of his mouth.
Kingsley approached her and gave a somewhat too hard pat on her back.
"Constant vigilance, eh? Moody taught you well." He was still chuckling. She could see the slight twitching of the lips of Moody too.
What on Earth was going on?
"You see, Tonks, we've been mistaken about your dear cousin Sirius here," the old Auror said.
"He's no family of mine," she added harshly.
"Merlin's beard, yes he is. I'll tell you what he's not. He's not a murderer… at least, not now. He might try to kill you when we wake him up, though."
"What?" This must be a joke. A prank. Mad-Eye didn't joke, ever. Maybe he really went mad after those months inside a trunk. They've all lost it! She looked at her Master, panic rising inside her "What are you talking about, Mad-Eye?"
"He wasn't the one who killed all those Muggles, it was that pathetic excuse of a wizard, Peter Pettigrew."
But then, if he was right about You-Know-Who being back and that had been confirmed by Dumbledore… then maybe…
"No, he's not dead. He's alive and joined the Dark Lord months ago," Moody replied impatiently. "Now, stop being so stubborn and trust me. Enervate," he added, pointing his own wand at Sirius.
The man lying in the floor groaned and stood up slowly, rubbing the back of his head. After looking around slowly at the other three people surrounding him, he stared at her.
"Tonks?" Sirius asked amazed, looking up and down at her. "Is that you? You're so… grown up!"
"Well, that was bound to happen after fourteen years, you see," Tonks replied dryly. She was not going to give up that easily.
It was difficult to see her handsome cousin Sirius in this weary, thin man. However, the sparkling in his eyes seemed to take her back in time. Suddenly she was eight again, and this was her mother's favourite cousin, the one who used to make her laugh. Merlin's balls, she had grown up learning this man was bad news and all of a sudden it turns he was innocent!
Sirius seemed to be doing some sort of time travelling himself, but while she was frowning thoughtfully, he was beaming at her.
"You're an Auror," he said, looking at her and Moody.
"Yes, I am… Listen I…" Tonks started talking. Then she seemed to change her mind.
"You know, I was about to say I'm sorry I attacked you, but the truth is I'm not sorry at all. I hope you're not sore tomorrow, though."
Sirius gave a bark-like laugh and hugged her.
"It's nice to meet you again, Nymphadora."
She froze in his arms. Even if there was something deeply familiar in the hug, the smell, the feeling, she was not ready. Feeling her stiffen, Sirius let go of her almost instantly.
"Don't call me that unless you want me to stun the daylights out of you again. It's Tonks."
Her cousin chuckled despite her ever-so-cold attitude.
"So you kept on with that. I knew you meant business when you were telling everybody who would listen that you hated to be called Nymphadora. And now I can tell you… I never got why your mother gave you that stupid name." She shook her head at him.
"Tonks?" She turned around to see the other guy looking at her intently and smiling.
"Do you mind giving me my wand back?"
She could feel her face turning red and hastily gave one of the wands to the man.
"The other one, I think," he said, now smiling at her with amusement.
"Bollocks," she whispered, returning the second wand she was holding to its owner.
"I'm sorry, I didn't realise…"
"Don't worry about it," said Lupin taking the wand, his eyes now positively shining with a mischievous light. "It was one of the nicest disarming spells I've ever had the misfortune to receive." With that statement, he turned around to walk into the house after Sirius.
She didn’t know that the guy whom she disarmed would become her life. The one for whom she could give her life.
She remembered like it was yesterday when she lost her cousin, and she was so angry at herself as she was the reason that he died. She was the one who was fighting the murderer of her cousin.
Those days she felt as if she was permanently surrounded by Dementors.
Her eyelids were heavy; all her body felt as if somebody had put an enormous amount of weight on her. And despite the almost unbearable situation, she could not move, nor open her eyes.
And there it was that maniacal laughter. She would do whatever it was in her power, whatever it would take to get rid of that voice once and for all. She wanted to be the one who silenced Bellatrix Lestrange. She had to be.
With a mighty effort, Tonks opened her eyes. Instantly she realised something was terribly wrong.
She shook her head violently. She was not going to think about that, nor the laughter, nor the screams, nor Harry's and Remus' cries.
He was gone. Sirius Black, somebody who, by being and not being there, had been so important in her life. How do you say goodbye to somebody like that when you don't even have the chance to say goodbye at all?
She was the one at fault but she was tired of blaming herself. She knew it was her evil aunt who killed her cousin and she wasn’t able to do anything.
But that didn’t mean she would not avenge him. She would not stop fighting this war till this ended or she died.
She always smiled when she would remember how she met him. He was so handsome and calm, she almost fell for him at the first meeting.
He wore shabby clothes, his face pale with premature lines and light brown hair which were greying a little but his eyes were the one which fascinated her. His eyes showed what he was - a young and mischievous spirit.
When Sirius died, it was like Remus had gone as well.
He was just dealing with his loss the way he usually did with everything too overwhelming: go away, think, maybe even hide... and then he would be back.
No, Tonks shook her head again, there will be no room for 'unless' in this scenario.
But if she was to be perfectly honest with herself, she was not that sure anymore. And it was that, more than the fact that her cousin was gone, one thing making it all look blurred around her, making it feel as if she were permanently being followed by Dementors.
He could not go away. Not now. She would not let him go even if he didn’t feel the same as she did.
She was lying on a much softer place, which smelled funny and was awfully quiet.
This time it took her almost no effort to open her eyes wide. There was white everywhere, except for the dark figure who approached her.
"How are you feeling?" Remus' voice was concerned.
Tonks tried to check if there were injuries visible or if she could not move any part of her body. Other than several bruises, she seemed to be alright.
"Fine, I'm fine," she said.
"Good," he whispered.
"Remus," she whispered. She was pretty sure of what she had seen but she had to be sure anyways. "What happen to... Sirius?"
She regretted her question at once. Remus' face became expressionless, but she could see in his eyes the almost unbearable pain he was feeling.
"He's... gone," he said hoarsely.
Tonks closed her eyes, overwhelmed by the feeling of emptiness that suddenly had come. Sirius was gone.
She reached for Remus' hand, but he moved away. She felt like her heart was pierced and tore in two parts. He was always so fixed and tried to keep her away but he never stared at her with the expression which now was shown on his face.
It was hurt, pain, rejection but mostly anger.
She loved him but he didn’t want her to. He was making distance, for her sake without even asking for her opinion.
She tried to remember, even though it was painful, the last time his eyes had been posed on hers. The last time they had shared words. All the occasions coming to her mind were many days old.
So she had done that. She told him her feelings but he rejected her. Told her he was not good enough for her. Too old, too poor and too dangerous.
"I don't care either, I don't care! I've told you a million times..." she told him after she got the news about the death of Dumbledore.
"And I've told you a million times, that I am too old for you, too poor....too dangerous...." Remus replied back shaking his head.
"I've said all along you're taking a ridiculous line on this, Remus." Molly cut him off.
"I am not being ridiculous. Tonks deserves somebody young and whole." Remus said not believing his own words.
"But she wants you. And after all, Remus, young and whole men do not necessarily remain so." Arthur patted him on the shoulder.
She didn’t care that he was a werewolf, it wasn’t his fault. She had never met a more humble and sweeter person than him but he just saw himself as a monster. He told her to move on but she couldn’t. It took her a lot to persuade him and she was happy that he broke.
"I love you."
Those were the words she had wanted to hear him say to her for months now.
"I love you," he went on in a soft voice, looking fixedly into her eyes, "I want to be with you. You were right all along; it was stupid to think otherwise. I just can't be without you."
The ceremony was short but she was happy that she was marrying the love of her life. They were happy even if it was a dark time, she would be fine as long as she had Remus with her, but she almost lost him when she told him the news.
It was the best moment of her life; she was crying happy tears. She had never thought that she could be a mother, but now the idea of giving birth to Remus’s child was wonderful. She was so excited to tell him but he did not share in her excitement.
He was gone and she thought she had to take care of her child all alone but she would live, she had a piece of Remus. Her son would help her, be with her even if his father couldn’t.
But he came back and they had the most beautiful baby ever.
"It's a boy!" Andromeda cried when the healer gave her the baby.
"A boy!" Remus echoed her with a voice so exultant it was almost unfamiliar to her.
"A boy?" she repeated weakly.
She finally opened her eyes.
Through the haze that seemed to be filling the room there was only this little thing on focus in front of her. There was a… something. A somebody. Her mother was placing the tiny being in her arms and then she had to look at her, and at Remus, to make sure this was it. This was happening for real.
And finally she looked at him. At that tiny little boy, red, warm, screaming and waving his fists furiously. He had a tuft of black hair and two beady eyes that suddenly opened and Tonks could have sworn he was looking at her in same manner, with love and fond, as her, well even though she knew he could not do such a thing just yet.
She felt Remus kissing her forehead and she heard her mother sob softly.
For once in her life, Tonks was speechless.
Teddy Remus Lupin.
Her son. Their son.
She was so happy when she saw Teddy in his Daddy’s arm and she knew even if she wouldn’t, her son would live. She would do anything to provide him a safe future with or without her.
Remus was dead and she didn’t care about anything now except Teddy, her son, her only part that was alive now, but she knew her mother would take care of Teddy. He would live a good life, she was sure of that.
The tears came and she did nothing to stop them. Her heart was breaking. She wanted to rip it out along with everything else that was screaming inside her. It was not worth feeling the small insignificant pleasures of life if she would always have to endure this horrible pain of losing him. There was nothing she could do. Remus was gone, never to return. She would never see his smiling face or hear the sound of his voice or feel the warmth of his hand in hers.
Now when she looked in the eyes of her torturer her disgusting Aunt, she knew it was just second away before her heart would beat one last time.
There was a triumphant smirk on Bellatrix’s face and a flash of green light.
And Tonks’s body crumpled, falling slowing and landing on the grass beside Remus.
*She had heard you only live twice: once when you're born and once when you look death in the face.
She just hoped that there was something after death.
A/n: lines are choosen from Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, chapter 29, The Pheonix Lament, page no 648 by J K Rowlings.
There, it is the end. Hope, you guys like it. Please review and tell me your views about the story. I would really appreciate your comments. :)
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