All these characters and their world belong to J.K.R.
A malady Preys on my heart that med'cine cannot reach. Maturin
Tonks' cough strangled her with a combination of spittle and green flem accompanied by a sneeze that would blow the leaves off the tree if it was not already winter. Brow heated and body freezing, her feet carried her not to her own flat, but to Number 12 Grimmald Place. Even she was a bit surprised when looking up she saw the black door and silver gargoyle door knocker, but when you're sick, there's nothing so comforting as being home.
She quietly opened the door and carefully sidestepping the umbrella rack, walked into the parlor where a large fire cracked and the smell of beef stew wafted succulently from the kitchen. Collapsing on the sofa, she pulled a dusty afghan up to her chin, sneezed again and allowed her aching muscles to relax. It was after all, meeting weekend and Tonks smiled slightly in the knowledge that Molly would come walking in any moment and caudle her with hot toddies and a large dose of sympathy.
"Nymphadora? You're napping." A quiet masculine voice responded.
Opening her eyes just a bit, "I'm a bit off colour." Her reply came out a little more whiny than usual, but she didn't care. "Where's Molly?"
Remus approached closer, his pale blue eyes roving over her blanket covered form. "They're not coming in until tomorrow." Then placing a hand on her forehead, Remus stated emphatically, "You're burning up."
"And I'm freezing," Tonks shivered a bit. "Actually, I feel a bit like I might have the flu."
Remus sighed, his voice tired, "So you came here to share?"
"I came here for some sympathy, Remus," her dark eyes pleaded with the current house dweller apart from Buckbeak. "I was hoping Molly would--"
"Take care of you," he smiled just a little as he finished her statement; the head strong, feisty Tonks, looking for a little mothering. How many times had he dreamt about holding her in his arms, planting kisses in her candied hair, about tracing his hand…. He stopped himself from those thoughts and once again, suppressed his male Eros. She needed a mother, not a lover and anyway, she's already told him, if not in so many words, that she didn't want him, not in that way.
"Yeah, you'd think I'd be able to take care of myself, but I haven't felt this damn bad in a long time and mum and dad are still on holiday in Spain." Her heart raced, as she reached out for his hand and asked, "Will you take care of me?" And offered her best sweet smile.
After the fiasco in the garden this summer, she though he might never speak to her again and their relationship had been on edge for several months, but slowly they had begun talking again, sharing tea and time in the garden. Being around Remus could feel like being with her best mate or it could be as uneasy as being with a stranger; perhaps, that's why she was drawn to him, because he was so damn hard to understand and yet, never had she met a man that need so much understanding. Often, his quiet, unapproachable coldness left Tonks feeling confused and empty.
He took her hand, "Of course." For a moment, his eyes opened to her, the wounded beauty of his soul expressed in every shattered blue sliver of his iris and just as suddenly he closed himself off. Looking into the fire, he continued, "Let's start with some tea."
Then turning, he started for the kitchen, then tugging her, "Ummm, Tonks. You'll need to let go of my hand."
Looking very confused, "Wotcher, I'm not holding your hand, you're holding mine."
"No, I'm not." His face was dead serious.
Two hours later, still hand- in- hand, Nymphadora Tonks and Remus Lupin, dusty with floo powder spoke with a stubby, auburn haired mediwizard at St. Mungo's.
"And then, he took my hand and we haven't been able to pull apart since. Remus even tried a few spells and… achew! Nothing!" Tonks exclaimed, interrupted only by a sneeze to which Remus quickly took a handkerchief from his pocket and handed her. Looking at him with water red eyes, she murmured, "Thank you."
"You're the fourth case I've seen this week." The man looked over the top of his glasses at Tonks' red nose, "The Betoriallis virus. Give it about 48 hours, plenty of bed rest and it will pass."
Remus looked at Tonks, who shrugged in response.
"I'm sorry sir, but how do we detach ourselves?" Lupin asked raising their conjoined hands.
"You have the Betoriallis virus."
The two looked at him expectantly.
"What?" Remus asked, his voice suddenly edgy.
"Lover's Flu is its nickname because the virus can only travel from its host, our sick little lassie here, to you sir, the recipient, if there's sexual attraction—we don't know why, but the virus senses that. So it's only shared between lovers; very common that you caught it from your wife."
Tonks looked at Lupin, whose face was slowly reddening, "Nymphadora is not my wife."
The mediwizard adjusted his glasses, and hurriedly flipped through the medical chart again. "Ahhh…" Then smiling broadly, "Sorry about that. Didn't mean to give you such a shocker, but like I said, it will pass in about 48 hours."
"But-" Tonks protested.
"The symptoms of the virus, the aching bones, the hot head and sneezing, that should all dissipate by tonight; however, certain skin to skin contact is not to be advised. The virus attacks three areas: the palms, the lips and the genitals."
It was Tonks turn to blush.
"So you don't want to kiss or have intercourse; otherwise, you two will really have something to blush about. Try traveling by floo with your…Well," the stout little wizard laughed, "No need to go into detail; I'm sure you can imagine!"
Lupin and Tonks sat silent, not looking at one another, not speaking. The mediwizard stood, "Plenty of rest and fluids and call in on Sunday if you haven't detached by then."
Then he left.
Tonks head dropped into her left, free hand. "Oh Remus, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to make you sick. I just wanted, Molly and--"
"This isn't your fault, Nymphadora. You heard what he said." His voice was tight, "The receipt has to..to.." he stuttered, unable to say what he really wanted to out of fear, "be willing."
Tonks bit her lip, then quietly adding, "I didn't know you felt that way."
Lupin turned his face away from her gaze, his voice stern, "Let's not discuss this now. Tomorrow morning The Order will be arriving at Grimmald Place and well," finally turning back to her, "Then we'll have some real explaining to do."
So should this little story continue? Please let me know.