Disclaimer: I still own nothing. The Harry Potter series belongs to the extremely talented JK Rowling
Nymphadora Lupin was incredibly happy to push the door firmly shut on the rainy afternoon she had just escaped. Truthfully, going out for a walk in the rain during a war when you were over eight months pregnant was not the best of choices. But staying inside seemed just as horrible of a thought.
After staying cooped up at her mother's house for weeks to avoid snatchers Tonks couldn't help but feel the need to explore the outer world (if only for twenty minutes). Though now that she arrived home and saw her husband slumped face down on the table she almost wished she had stayed home so she would know what was the matter.
"Love?" She questioned as she waddled over to join him at the table, "Is something wrong?"
"It shouldn't be."
Tonks inwardly sighed as she started rubbing Remus' back, she loved him, dearly, but at times he could be very confusing. One moment, everything was all well and good, then the next the clouds of doom had descended on her husband and he would make confusing remarks and never give a straight answer. The joys of being married to Remus Lupin.
"What do you mean? What's happened?"
Remus lifted his head off the table and propped it on his hand so he was looking at her properly, "Bill sent us a message earlier."
Tonks was a bit surprised at this, these days it was rare for the order members to communicate unless something big was happening. "And what did he say?"
"Harry, Ron, and Hermione are at Shell cottage, along with Luna Lovegood, Dean Thomas, Mr. Ollivander and some goblin."
"What?" Tonks exclaimed, "How'd they all get there? What happened are they all alright?"
Remus nodded, his movements slower than usual, it made him look older then he was, "Yes, they're all fine. They got captured by Snatchers and escaped Malfoy Manor together."
"So what's the problem? If everyone's alright why are you upset?"
Remus' face again disappeared into the wooden table and his response was slightly muffled, "Because I'm an idiot. A stupid, hypocritical, idiot, who was just handed the one thing he'd been hoping for the past sixteen years and then decides to mope about it."
"Sorry I still don't get it." Tonks attempted to push aside Remus' hair so she could at least see one of his eyes but he flinched away. Whatever had happened was affecting him in a way Tonks had never seen before.
"Wormtail's dead," Remus said, his voice flat and emotionless, "apparently he was going to kill Harry but he hesitated and that hand Voldemort gave him turned around and strangled him to death."
Tonks gasped at the horrendous image, what an awful way to die, even for a Death Eater. "You were friends once, it makes sense you'd be a bit upset."
"No it doesn't," Remus was fully upright now, his grey eyes boring into her own, "I shouldn't be upset about this. That rat killed two of my best friends! Three really. Not to mention he brought Voldemort back to life. Sirius and I fantasized about ways to catch and torture the little bastard. Hell, I was ready to Avada Kedavra his arse back in the Shrieking Shack. So why the hell do I feel any remorse at his passing? I should be leaping for joy, throwing a party, dancing around in my bloody underpants or something. But I should not be feeling anything like- like this!"
Remus clutched his head in frustration. Tonks stared at him for a moment, stunned. She had only heard him raise his voice a handful of times, and that must have been the most she'd ever heard him swear at one time. Heck she could barely remember the last time he'd said shit, let alone called another human a bastard.
"All I can see in my head is a little blond boy poking his head through my bed curtains to tell me he'd finally found the Hufflepuff Common Room. You know," Remus said thoughtfully, "he might've been thick but he sure knew how to make you feel better. And he had this weird way of making us all laugh. Sometimes I'd think he was being thick on purpose just to make the rest of us stop fighting."
"He doesn't sound so bad."
"He wasn't." Remus fell quiet and stared into his hands, "You know I never could match him up with the Wormtail I saw in the shack. They don't seem to be the same person."
"Sometimes people change. There isn't much we can do about except accept the fact that it's happened."
"I miss the Peter I used to know. The one who I tutored through Charms class."
Tonks pulled Remus' head up so it was facing her, "You're allowed to miss him Remus. No one would think badly of you for it."
Remus smiled slightly before turning away. "You want to hear something stupid."
"I'm your wife, it's my job to hear stupid stuff."
"I'm upset that I'm the last one."
Tonks looked at him quizzically, "The last what exactly?"
"The last marauder." Remus let out a soft laugh at himself, "why should it matter? For all intents and purposes I've been the last one for two years. After all Sirius did strip Pete of his title back in Grimmauld Place, though I'm not sure if that counts since he was totally plastered at the time."
Tonks smiled a bit at the memory of watching Sirius proclaim to the heavens that Peter Pettigrew no longer deserved the name he had been given and was henceforth not to be called a marauder.
"This isn't quite what we planned you know." Remus said, looking back towards his wife, "we were all going to go out together. When we were old and James and Lily had twenty grandchildren. Sirius would die a wrinkled old bachelor who still would take the ladies around on his motorbike. Peter would marry some bird and they'd have a dozen children."
"What about you? What were your plans?"
"Well I didn't really have any." Remus smiled at his memories, "However James and Sirius had a whole life planned out for me. After they had singlehandedly discovered a cure for Lycanthropy they'd find me a nice girl to settle down with, together we'd have plenty of children to play with all the other, oh what did Sirius call them?" Remus was smiling fully now, "Maraudlets. I remember because Lily was so adamantly against the name. Of course she never was happy when Sirius called Harry Prongslet either. I'm just lucky she never caught me at it."
"I wish I had known your friends." Tonks said, "they all seem so wonderful."
"You'd have liked them. And I'm sure they would have approved of you. You saw how much Sirius liked you. James would have been the same. Lily probably just would have been glad to have another female in the room."
Tonks giggled, "Well you know part of their master plan for you worked out. Here I am, a nice girl whom you are happily married to. And we have a little maraudlet on the way. Moonlet, how does that sound?"
Remus laughed, "Absolutely horrendous. Better than Wormlet I guess."
"Why do you all have such ridiculous names anyway?"
"We let each other pick them. In hindsight it really was a bad idea," Remus said thoughtfully. "Of course Sirius was begging us to name him Killer so we had to put a stop to that."
"It's a dog name," Remus defended, "He seemed to think it fit."
"So who named you?" Tonks asked curiously. "Who should I thank for Moony?"
"Well it was a group effort; I think James was the first one to use it though. Sirius really grabbed onto it though, He never really called us by our given names. None of us did after maybe fifth year. In sixth year I almost forgot to respond to Remus too."
Tonks smiled at the thought of her proper husband forgetting his own name in class, "Did anyone else call you by your nicknames?"
"Well, Lily was allowed once she and James started dating but she never really did. No one else was allowed to. Davey Gudgeon once called Sirius "Padfoot" and he got blasted across the common room. Sirius claims it was worth the detention just to 'show the little berk he meant business.'"
"Am I allowed to call you Moony?" Tonks asked playfully. "Or how about a name? Can I get one of those?"
"Sorry. Marauders have to be boys, Sirius made that rule up back when James was chasing after Lily. He didn't want her to break up our group, see? As for you calling me Moony, I suppose you could. Lily was allowed to after all. Only fair really. Maybe we should have added a relatives clause to the handbook."
"Did you really have a handbook?"
Remus laughed, "Believe it or not we did. It was in the journal I brought to school. I was going to actually write in the thing but Sirius nicked it the first week of school and wouldn't return it."
"Do you still have it?" Tonks asked excitedly. It was hard at times to picture a teenaged Remus running around Hogwarts after hours. Some proof might just do the trick.
"I haven't a clue what happened to it. Sirius was the Keeper, and he was always losing it anyway. Probably still floating around Hogwarts."
"If he was always losing it why was he the Keeper?" Tonks asked curiously.
"Because he never let the rest of us near it, he would have kittens if anyone so much as looked at without his express permission." Remus chuckled fondly at the memory. "I wrote an entry in it once. Sirius wouldn't talk to me for a week after he'd seen. Which is rather ridiculous seeing as the book was mine to begin with."
"Funny, I'd never picture Sirius as the type to hold up rules."
"Only if they were his rules. He didn't give a toss about anyone else's."
It was odd for Tonks to see Remus like this. It was as though a bit of his younger self peeked out whenever he spoke of his past and his friends. "You lot sure were a strange bunch weren't you?"
"Yeah," Remus sighed with a look of happy reminiscence in his eyes. They were still tainted by grief, but it seemed more controlled now than before. "I'm probably disappointing them actually. As the last marauder I ought to be out pulling pranks or something. I was never very good at that. I was more of a planner. James and Sirius did all the dirty work."
"I doubt that" Tonks said, "I'm sure you got your hands dirty once or twice. I couldn't ask McGonagall all about it I'd bet."
Remus chuckled, "Don't ask her, she'll give the embellished version."
Tonks added her own tinkling laugh into the mix, "She is a very good storyteller at times isn't she? Anyway, I'm sure you are making your friends plenty proud. If you think it's needed I'm sure I could handle a prank or two."
"Darling, "Remus scoffed a rare hint of mischief flowing into an equally unheard cocky tone, "You couldn't handle having a marauder on your tail. Even the more cautious marauder."
Tonks smacked playfully at his arm, she was so awed by this other Remus that she couldn't let the proper amount of anger into her tone, "I'm offended I could take you with both hands behind my back."
"Just remember that I'm quicker than you at the moment. You'd have to catch me first."
Tonks stuck out her tongue at him, "you try carrying around a little baby for eight months and see how fast you go." She patted her bulging stomach with one hand, "Tell Daddy he's being mean."
Remus face broke into its first proper grin of the evening. "I am not. Mummy's just jealous that she can't keep up."
"I am not jealous!"
"Oh, you are so very jealous."
Tonks giggled again, staring into her husband's lighted face. His grief was no longer visible. But she knew it was not gone It was merely subdued by happy memories of the past and hopeful anticipation of the future. She wanted to keep that smile on his face. Perhaps she could, with time and a little help from their little maraudlet, Tonks would keep Remus smiling. Last or not, he was her Marauder. And he always would be.
AN: The winter cleaning continues! Another piece I wrote ages ago and am just now finishing. This one totally spiraled out of control, I don't know what it was meant to be but it wasn't this. It was supposed to be about Peter though. Sort of went a little tangent-y. What do you think? Does the conversation flow well and make sense? Or too tangent-y? Leave a review and let me know!