Author: Larinzia PM
Tonks & Kingsley. The story of a love that almost never was. completeRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - N. Tonks - Chapters: 4 - Words: 6,149 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 5 - Published: 05-31-04 - Status: Complete - id: 1887951
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
If we had not winter, the spring would not be so pleasant. If we did not sometimes taste of adversity; prosperity would not be so welcome. –Anne Bradstreet
The warm, sunny day is not welcome. I want rain and thunder and sleet and storm. I want to feel that nature feels my pain, my anger.
It's been three days since I said goodbye to him and I have seen forever in those hours. We've said goodbye before. Our jobs often take us to different places at different times, keeping us apart through birthdays and holidays and special days. It's our life, the one we chose for ourselves.
I swipe at my eyes, trying to rub the tired out of them. My journey through the streets of London seems stupid now but I wanted this chance to walk off the stress of the Auror meeting before dealing with the silence of my flat. The silence I usually crave.
An owl is waiting for me on the fifteenth-floor landing. It's okay for it to be here since none of the residence of the building know there are more then fourteen floors so would never come up to see any of the strange things that sometime happen. "Hey, there. What are you doing here? I wasn't expecting any correspondence this afternoon." The bird hops out to my outstretched hand and proudly lifts out its foot. "Something important, I suppose from that little puffed-up chest. You must be pretty new to the Ministry. I haven't seen you before. Let's get inside and I'll see what you have."
I manually slide the locks in place, as he has always instructed me to do whenever I am alone. Silly man. As if he hasn't taught me how to handle myself in almost every situation. London is nothing for a woman with a wand and a sense of humor. The last idiot who tried to mug me on my nightly run will probably never figure out how to get his kneecaps back to the right side of his legs.
His worry makes me smile, though. Over the years, I've found that he only worries about the things he cares about. It's taken me a long time, almost too long, to discover that fact. I don't know how many times I would grate my teeth and scowl at him for his endless reminders while silently calling him all kinds of names that a proper lady should never even know about. I learned them from him. He's got quite the mouth on him.
The night I discovered the truth, I almost lost him. Our team had been sent out to check on a rumor of a yeti on the prowl in the northern most ridges of the British Isles. An unregistered animal, to our best estimates, that was already showing aggressive tendencies and escaping all the traps laid out for it by the group of animal experts after him.
"Tell me how this thing got over here from Tibet again?" I growled, fumbling with the closures of my armour. "And what do they expect us to do about it?"
"We're going to do our job. It's either us or the execution squad. Which would you prefer?" He reached over and did up the straps for me, his large hand lingering on my side. "Do you have your wand where you can get to it?"
"Yes. Don't I always?" I snapped, turning away from him to make sure that my wand was in a place that I could get to it. The man never let me do my job! He must think that I was ten the way he treated me sometimes.
I was first to the drop site, pacing to let off some of the adrenaline that was already in my blood. The waiting was the hardest for me, especially this close to the start of a mission. What was holding everyone else up? We were only a six-man team tonight, handpicked because of our abilities. I was there because of my excellence at Concealment, but I had a sneaking suspicion it was also because of my fondness for animals.
"Ready to go?"
There was no one else around besides the two of us. "Sure. Where'd everyone else go?"
"Something else came up. The other four are needed to check out a disturbance in the Cornish mountains."
"And we're the only two going? To take on a yeti?" I stand to my full height, knowing that I could very well be left at home but wanting to make a good impression on the off chance I was still needed. Concealment is all well and good but sometimes an outright blast from the wand is what's best.
He chuckled and cuffed my tense shoulder. "Why not? You watch my back and I'll watch yours. It'll be good training."
I didn't have a chance to issue one of my scathing remarks before he pressed his hand against mine, a small button in his palm. His fingers securely wrapped around mine as the portkey transported us deep into a portion of the island that I had never seen before and have no desire to arrange a return trip.
A gentle snow was falling on a land already engulfed in the white stuff. I crammed my knit cap securely onto my head, feeling like a schoolboy in the thing but not wanting to risk frostbite. He left his bald head uncovered until I turned to him and silently pointed to his pocket and then his head. How does he not feel the biting cold? We exchanged signs, quietly creeping through the snow until we came the coordinates that have been given.
There was no sign that anyone had been here. Ours were the only sets of footprints leading into or out of the wooded glen.
"I'd feel better if we didn't stand out here in the open like this until we know what's going on." His voice was almost lost in the stillness. I nodded and scouted the area for a tree that had only a little snow around the bottom of its trunk and suitable cover for both of us. He crawled in after me, filling up the small space before I drew more limbs down over the opening.
The cold was already starting to penetrate my bones through the layers of clothing and protection and I wedged myself further between the tree and his bulk, fighting the shivers.
"Did we miss our contact?" I ask as close to his ear as I can get, not wanting to be overheard if someone is in the area. He hadn't been expecting that, starting slightly before turning his head towards me.
"No. I don't think we were meant to find our contact."
"Does it feel wrong to you, too?"
He nodded. "Wondered if it felt off to you. A yeti in Britian is not a common occurrence. Neither is this many strange occurrences spread out so far from each other. It's too planned, too predictable. I hoped to throw off whoever arranged this meeting by bringing only the two of us. Up for the challenge?"
Merely nodding, I braced myself against the tree to pull out the small packet from my pocket. It'd been months since I'd needed to get into my stash of treasures but I quickly pulled out the blanket and shook it out to its full width. We each take a corner and tuck it in securely. My other goodies can wait a little longer since it looks like we might be in for a night in the wilderness.
"Is it safe to talk?" The shivers have increased even with the added warmth of the blanket. "I need to get my mind off this cold."
He nods this time and I can see his smile. "You going to be okay with this enforced calm?"
"I'd punch you but it might jar the blanket. I can be still when I need to."
"Is that why I can feel your foot bouncing?"
"I'm keeping count."
"You're wanting to get up and run around."
I put my mouth right up to his ear and hiss.
"You do that again and I'm going to turn you over and give you a pounding on your backside."
"Would you really, Auror Shaklebolt? Is that in the rule books?"
"No, Auror Tonks. It most certainly is not but it would make me feel a lot better."
I laughed quietly. "You always feel I need a father around to keep me on the right path."
"No, I don't want to be your father. Not at all," he drawled, his voice low and...well, kinda sexy.
My foot went still and I forgot to breath as he turned to look straight ahead again. I had never thought of him as much more then a drill-sergeant before, a person always yelling who was paid to make sure that each person under his command was well taken care of.
"I wish I was a Animagus right now instead of a Metamorphmagus. I'd change into a white rabbit quicker than you could say 'Presto Chango'. This place doesn't like us very much." Maybe if I change the subject, my heart will quit beating so rapidly. "What would you change into?"
"A hawk so I could scout around. There's something else here but I can't make out if it's friendly or not."
I fall silent, not wanting to mess with the strange radar the man has for trouble.
"Why a rabbit?"
"It's small and I'm sure it's warm in all that fur."
"I think you'd more likely be a ermine. Sleek and soft."
"Oh, come on. I think the cold is starting to play with your mind. It almost sounds like you're flirting with me."
"Well, then the cold really is messing with you." I burrow my red face into his neck, aware that this is not the first time he's said things like this when it was just the two of us. "Be quiet and keep watch."