written for tgs '12 days of christmas' challenge

list: traditional christmas carol

prompt: 1. partridge in a pear tree: write about a character who is physically unhealthy

school, house: hogwarts, slytherin

points: 5

word count: 708

a/n: this fic is for you, dee: you might have left FF but I want you to know that ily and i'm always here for you if you need me (in sickness or in health). i hope you find what you're looking for and rediscover yourself.

. . .

Tonks might've married Remus. Tonks might be Lupin now — but she's still Tonks after everything.

She hadn't expected the complications that come with being the wife of a werewolf. Tonks spends a lot of her time caring for Remus, because very often he is sick. Sometimes he lashes out, gets crabby.

It's hard. It is, but they can get through it...right?

After all, he's still Remus and she's still Tonks and they can make it, she knows they can. What are they if not the resilient, the strong, the ones who endure?

. . .

"Remus, I'm worried about you. You're sick."

"I'm a werewolf. It's part of the job description."

"Yes, but with war so close, it's getting worrisome. What if the Death Eaters find us?"

"You worry too much, Tonks, and you're pregnant. I've been sick all the time for all my life, but this — our kid — our kid won't be able to deal with all this...now, we can't worry about things like these —"

"— But I do, Remus, I do! What if our child dies a newborn? How...how will our kid live? Will they be looking over their shoulder at every opportunity, waiting for the moment when they come and get them?"

"The truth is, I don't know. I don't. But this is kind of the way it is, isn't it? War is always an uncertain thing. It could be over before we even know it. Harry's working on it, you know."

"And Harry is seventeen, Remus. It's not that he isn't capable...but he's so young. He isn't even taking seventh year. Just how far can an undereducated wizard get up against the most powerful Dark wizard since Grindelwald? And Dumbledore...he's dead. I worry, Remus…"

"So do I, Tonks! You think I don't worry? But this is the kind of thing that cannot be helped, you realize...this is the kind of thing you live through and you dive straight into in the hopes that you don't drown."

"But we have too much weight. We're going to have a family, now. And that makes us so much more likely to drown."

"So we drown. We drown together, then. Because this is the way we do it. We stay floating, or we all sink straight to the bottom, because it's how it is — we are all or nothing and everything and anything."
"This doesn't change anything, you know? I still love you and I still love our child and I'm still so worried."

"I am, too. I know."

"Promise me you'll try your best to get better? I want to fight with you and I would hope that you're the healthiest you can be...I want us to float, damn it. I want us to live."

"I am always here, and I hope you can be, too, Tonks —"

"And I will be, honey, you know. I'm here, in sickness or in health. But I'd just like to — I don't know. I don't like seeing you all pale when I know how full of life you can be...it hurts me, too."
"I know, darling. I'm not the healthiest. And I know it worries you, and I — sorry, but I love that it does, because I can see how much you love me, and how much I matter to you —"

"Shut up and kiss me, Remus."

. . .

"I'm feeling fine, honestly, Tonks. I can do this."

"No, you can't! You're getting worse, you're getting sicker —"
"And that's why I have to fight. I want myself to mean something."
"...Oh, Remus...I can't stop you, can I?"

"You can come with me."

"You thought I wouldn't? If we're going to drown, we're going to do it together, darling, because that's how we do it — we take a dive and we hope."

. . .

And so they dive and so they drown and so they end up in a cemetery.

Years later, there's a young little boy with bubblegum-pink hair like his mother sitting by the grave, breaking into little sobs and telling the two stones, "I wish I knew you."

He gets no reply, but he might feel the wind giving him an answer — We do, too.