Author's Notes: What's this? Another update, so soon? Why? What's going on? Is there going to be a year long gap before the next update? Tell us something!!! Okay, yeah, here's another update, real soon. No catches. Just thanks. Thank you all you guys. I haven't even reached 10 chapters yet and I already have well over 200 reviews! For being so awesome, my readers deserve more. So yeah, here's Chapter 8, because I love you! kisses
"I'm hungry," Tonks whispered. Remus glanced at the illuminated clock on the wall. Four o' clock in the morning. He turned back to his fiancée who was standing by his side of the bed, with an eager grin on her face. Though it was Sunday evening, Tonks had officially finished Auror business for the next year, she had nowhere to be the next morning... or... later.
"Tonks," Remus groaned, "it's four o' clock in the morning, get back to bed."
"But I'm hungry, I can't sleep," she whined.
"Then go get something to eat," Remus mumbled, rolling back over and burrowing into his pillow.
"I went down there but there wasn't anything I wanted," she responded, poking him in the back.
"Well then it looks like you're stuck," he said into the pillow.
"Reeemus," she whined again, poking him harder.
"What?!" he was getting agitated. Remus Lupin enjoyed his sleep.
"Then eat something!"
"You don't have what I want!"
"What do you want?!"
Tonks bit her lip, and said in a voice barely above a whisper, "Nachos."
"You want... nachos?" Remus asked, trying to get it clear. "You want nachos... at four o'clock in the morning?"
"I just do," she said. "Please Remus... I really, really want nachos right now."
"Can't you settle for anything else?" he asked in desperate exasperation.
"No, I can't!" she said in just as much desperation.
There was a soft tap on the door.
"Yes?" Remus sighed, but loudly enough for the person on the other side to hear. Molly Weasley stuck her head in.
"I heard shouts," she said. "Is everything all right?"
Tonks ran up to her and clutched at Molly's dressing gown.
"Molly! Thank God! I need nachos!"
Molly stared at the young woman in aghast wonderment.
"That's what we were shouting about," Remus explained to Molly. "She wakes me up telling me she wants nachos."
"Well, then you'll have to get her nachos won't you?" Molly asked, her expression back to normal.
"What?" Remus squeaked. He would have thought that Molly Weasley, out of all people, would have been able to put Tonks straight.
"She's a pregnant woman Remus, she's going to get cravings and they'll need to be satiated," Molly explained simply. "Now, do you know of any places where we can get nachos?"
"No," Remus' voice was up an octave in shock. "At four o' clock in the morning?"
"Nachos, Remus! Nachos!" cried Tonks. She looked to be near tears. "I'm so hungry!"
"Then eat something else!" Remus nearly sobbed.
"I can't," Tonks said, drawing out the words as if explaining them to a two-year-old. "Something else just makes me want to throw up."
"It's true, Remus," Molly said gently. "There are times when you just crave a certain dish, or flavor, or style and anything else just seems nauseating."
Remus shook his head and crawled out of bed, realizing he wouldn't be getting any sleep until Tonks' nacho craving was satisfied...
Harry was up early the next morning and went down to the kitchen knowing that Mrs. Weasley or Remus was probably already down there preparing breakfast. The sight that greeted him though was quite an unusual one.
Molly was washing dishes while getting breakfast ready. Remus was passed out on the table, his head in a pile of shredded cheese it looked like he had just finished shredding. And Tonks. Tonks was sitting at the head of the table in the dining room, a giant plate of nachos in front of her, complete with chips, cheese, sour cream, beans, salsa, guacamole, onions, olives, and oddly enough broccoli.
"Tonks," Harry said. "What are you eating?"
"Nachos, Harry," Tonks said with her mouth full. "Care for some?"
"Um, no thanks," Harry held his stomach. Nachos were not something he cared for this early in the morning.
"Suit yourself." She shrugged and continued eating, occasionally throwing glances at Lupin, who was snoring ever-so-lightly.
"What happened to Remus?" Harry asked.
"Oh, he couldn't handle my craving," Tonks answered.
"Well, I was really craving nachos last night... or would it be early this morning?"
"Early this morning, dear," Mrs. Weasley called from the kitchen.
"All right. Well, I was really craving nachos early this morning and when a pregnant woman craves something, you better be ready to give it to her," Tonks explained, a smile on her face. "And, Remus did, with help from Molly mind you, but... well it just wore him out poor ol' chap. Can't imagine how he was able to put three babies inside of me without killing himself."
"Thank you, Tonks," Harry said quickly, his face paling slightly.
Breakfast actually passed without incident that morning, which was quite happy for everyone, especially the vase that had been placed on the kitchen counter.
"We should go out today," Remus said to Tonks later.
"Diagon Alley," he responded. "Maybe pick up a few books on Pregmagacy, let Harry use his gift certificates, have lunch."
"You mean a family outing?" Tonks asked, a huge grin on her face.
"I guess you could call it that."
"Yes, oh, yes! Let me go check with Harry and then we can leave right away!"
Remus chuckled as Tonks went dashing up the stairs, tripped, and then continued on... slower.
"Harry?" she called, knocking on the closed bedroom door. Neville opened it.
"Hello, Tonks," the boy said politely.
"May I come in?" she asked.
"Yeah, sure," he said, pulling the door open wider. She gave a smile in greeting all six teens that were crowded into the room.
"Harry, can Remus and I steal you for the day?" she asked. Harry glanced at the others who were looking at him.
"Um... what about these guys?" he asked.
"Would it be all right if I stole Harry from your company?" Tonks asked the others. "Just for the day, then you can have him back."
Ron looked like he was about to say something, but Hermione elbowed him in the side as Ginny shot him a glare.
"Of course, Tonks!" Hermione said happily.
"Cool, thanks, come on, Harry," Tonks said, gesturing for Harry to follow her out. She stopped though when she noticed Luna in the back of the group... squinting. "Are you all right there, Luna?"
Everyone else turned to look at her, shock coming over their faces. Never, in the whole time they had known her, had they ever seen Luna squint.
"I'm just fine," the girl responded. "Your aura is just quite bright, it's a bit difficult to look at you."
"I'm sorry," Tonks said genuinely. "We're going to have to figure out a way around this aren't we?"
"Oh, no, I rather like it. Your aura is quite beautiful. I'll be very sad when it leaves."
"But, doesn't it hurt you to look at it?"
"Oh, yes, but sometimes we must sacrifice comfort to see the true beauty of things," Luna said knowledgeably. "Why, when I was in Sweden I spent a week in the same spot on a scratchy oak tree while looking for Crumpled-Horned Snorkacks. I didn't see any sadly, and though the spot was quite uncomfortable, it was still worth it."
"But you never even saw a Snorkack!" Ron exclaimed. "How could it be worth it?"
"Because as I sat, unmoving, there were many other beauties I would never usually be able to see," she said sagely. "Have you ever been so still that you were able to see a deer and her fawn step out into the early morning rays sparkling through the dew drenched leaves of the forest canopy? I remained so still that birds landed on me and sang their song in my ear. Late at night, I was lulled to sleep listening to the oaks. It was so silent I could hear them tell their tales, tales so old they have been unheard for thousand of years. My stillness, silence, and lack of comfort allowed for me to see a world most take for granted and pass quickly by. I would gladly do it again."
Luna's story had woven a thread of silence through everyone. It was as if the enchantment of Luna's forest had entered Lupin Lodge, and just maybe they could hear the oaks. Tonks swore she could smell the early morning dew on the grass.
The spell was broken though by a loud CRACK and the slurred cry of, "'Appy Birthday 'Arry!"
"...a week late," Tonks, followed by the six teens, entered the front landing to hear Remus telling Mundungus Fletcher.
"Wot?" Fletcher looked thoroughly confused. "A week?"
"Well over a week," Tonks glared, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Oh," the bandy-legged man looked genuinely depressed. "Can I still give 'im my present though?"
"Where did it come from?" Remus asked suspiciously.
"I bought it at Magical Menagerie. It's in perfect, brand-new condition," Dung said proudly.
"You're kidding me," Tonks gasped.
"You actually bought something, Dung?" questioned Remus.
"I did!" Dung said, slightly offended. "I needed to get Harry a gift and what with all the people tryin' to kill 'im I wanted to make sure the present only went through one person... me!"
"That was a very wise decision, Dung," Remus said kindly.
"Very rare, too!" quipped Tonks.
"Well, let's see it!" Ginny squealed. She had heard it came from the Magical Menagerie and was practically dying from excitement to see it.
"Okay, gimme a tick here," Mundungus said as he began to rummage around in his pockets.
After ten minutes of wasted anticipation, people were beginning to get annoyed.
"Mundungus what the hell did you buy that you could lose so fast?" Tonks asked, extremely agitated.
"Well, I thought the lad would like a moke!" Mundungus cried.
"Wasn't that amazingly clever of you!" Tonks cried out, flinging up her arms. "They bloody shrink!"
Remus hurried over to Tonks and put calming hands on her shaking shoulders.
"Right," Mundungus said a little sadly. "Forgot about that. Um, Harry, would y'mind lots if I got y'somethin' else? Somethin' that won't disappear?"
"Sure," Harry said, "but you don't really have to get me anything at all."
"Poppycock," Dung muttered.
"And Dung, maybe you could wait until the summer?" Remus suggested, Tonks had calmed down. "Harry will be living with us full time by then when he's not at Hogwarts, so you can get whatever you please and we'll be able to keep it here."
"All right," said Mundungus. "Well, that's really all I came over fer. So if you don't mind, I'll be off now."
"I don't mind at all," Tonks said a little too happily.
Mundungus smiled, not catching Tonks' tone, and then with a wave of his hand, apparated out.
"Now then," Tonks said turning to Harry. "Let's head you off to Diagon Alley."
"Green," Tonks told Harry when he stepped out of the dressing room. "Molly was right when she said green was perfect on you."
"I don't mean to be rude, but I don't really want to spend my gift certificates on dress robes," he said shyly.
"Oh, Harry, don't worry about that! I'm going to buy those for you!" Tonks exclaimed. "Once you're done trying on those you can pick out what you want to buy with your certificate."
"But, Tonks, I couldn't-"
"Pick out outfits on your own? I'll help if you want it," she said happily.
"No, I meant I-"
"Need to do it on your own," she interrupted again. "Yeah, I guess it is kind of irritating having someone hovering over you telling you what outfits they like but you don't like."
"No, Tonks!" Harry burst out. "Please let me finish. What I meant was that I couldn't let you buy these for me."
"Why not?" she asked him crossing her arms.
"Because... well... they're expensive and, well I can't let you," said Harry while fumbling about for an excuse.
"Harry, you can't even give me a good reason not to buy these for you, but I can give you several good reasons about why I should," she responded haughtily. Remus, who had been sitting silently in a chair behind the two, smiled to himself, eager to hear what his fiancée had to say.
"First, I'm going to be your mother and mother's often buy clothes for their children. Second, you haven't been bought a lot of gifts in the past, specifically clothes. Third, you need new dress robes, but since you're not going to wear them all the time you really shouldn't waste your gift certificate on them. And, fourth, I'm pregnant so don't mess with me."
At that Remus stood and reminded them of his presence.
"Harry, Tonks is right," he said.
"What?" Harry looked at his former professor and soon-to-be father in shock.
"Come here and let me tell you something man to man, all right?" Remus said while putting his arm around Harry and leading him out of Tonks' earshot. "It isn't always best to argue with a woman who is set on what she wants, okay?"
"And it is never wise to argue with a woman who is set on what she wants and is pregnant. You're dad could have told you about a couple of incidents he ran into while your mum was pregnant with you and he decided to argue with her."
"Your mum had a serious case of Pregmagacy with you, so in most of their arguments your dad came away pretty bad. One case he went a week without his ears. Another time he was stricken with a really bad stomach ache. Lily said she had threatened to make sure he never had kids again, but then realized that would count against her as well. It's just- well, bottom line is never mess with a pregnant witch I guess."
Harry, who's eyes were extremely wide, hurried over to Tonks.
"So, will you be wanting to purchase these now?"
"I've decided on something," Harry said while they were sitting around eating ice cream at the end of their day in Diagon Alley.
"What's that?" Remus asked. He couldn't remember being happier. Tonks was correct in her intuition, this really did feel like a family already. He was happy that both and he and Tonks were going to be at Hogwarts this coming year. It would allow them to spend more time together, more time to become a family.
"I decided that... that I'm going to call you mum and dad, but I'm not changing my last name." It was obvious it was difficult for Harry to tell them this.
"Harry, are you sure you're comfortable with that?" Tonks said, taking his hand tenderly.
"Yeah, I've given it some thought and... by the time my brothers or sisters or both come along, I want to be able to call you mum and dad with the same amount of confidence," he explained. "Does that make sense?"
"Yes, it makes a lot of sense," Remus nodded, "but neither Tonks nor I want you to do something your uncomfortable with."
"That's why I want to start now, so I can start becoming comfortable with it. You guys are going to be my parents and I should call you that. I was worried at first that I would be disrespecting my real parents... but I think... I think that they would understand, and be happy that if I couldn't call them mum and dad every day, that there two other people, two other wonderful, loving, fantastic people, I could call mum and dad." Harry's voice had become choked with emotion and Tonks had tears running down her face.
"Harry, you're right. That's probably what your parents would say," Remus said. "Well, Lily would, I don't know about James."
"What?" Harry looked shocked. "Why wouldn't my dad want me to call you dad?"
"He would probably say something like, 'Are you sure you want to call a boring old man like that your dad?'" Remus laughed. Harry and Tonks, realizing that he had been joking at first, began to laugh too.
They quickly finished up their ice cream and decided it was time to head back home.
"You think you guys have enough room for Molly's dinner?" Remus asked as they all headed towards the Leaky Cauldron to Floo back home.
"Do you even have to ask?" Harry stated. Tonks nodded in agreement.
"Yeah, when it comes to Molly's food, there's always room for more."
When they reached the Leaky Cauldron, Tom led them to a private room where they could Floo out without being overheard or watched. It was a fireplace cornered off the other channels by the Ministry and Order of the Phoenix, carefully monitered and checked for any others that may be watching their channel. For their purposes it was safe for the blooming family to use, unnoticed.
Unfortunately, back at the ice cream parlor, their conversation had remained a little less protected. A quill and piece of parchment was slipped into a battered dragon skin purse which was snapped shut by fingers with chipped lime green nails.
Rita Skeeter smiled. For the amount of galleons the Daily Prophet would give her for this story... her finger nails wouldn't remain chipped much longer.
Thank You's for Chapter 8: Allacaya, Athena Dumbledore, BrunetteBella, Elmindrea-al'Thor, Emmy-Chan, eye-candy 56, GhostMagic19, goldseraph, invisible2u, jessica(bendylady), Lauren, lindsey-31, Lolita, mac1, NixiNox, nycgrl, Padfoot22, pinkmooseofdoom, Rominion, ScratchEP, Susan, Tonks79, wmlaw, Zaphra Ti'Gan, and to those who reviewed before and who will continue to review in the future and all that other sentimental grateful stuff.
Preview for Chapter 10... You should know the drill by now.
The Order broke into excited babble, but Vince Beaureguard wasn't done.
"We want to win this war!" he shouted his eyes glancing at every person listening. But with his last statement they stayed locked on Nymphadora Tonks. "And I always get what I want."
A short, yet tantalizing preview... mwa ha ha ha!