EDIT: When I started this fic I wasn't intending there to bemore than one interest in Tonks' love life.Although this is not a 'romance' fic as such, I'm not sure who Tonks will end up with, if any one so don't quote me on saying one specific person! I have a fair idea who though :) Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. They all belong to J.K. Rowling. I don't really want to keep writing disclaimers for every chapter in this story, so read this one a couple of times if you so desire.
A/N: I'd like to point out that, although Harry features a lot in this story, he is not the main character, Lupin and Tonks are. This is going to be a long story, so I could use all the feedback I can get. No flames though, save them for you're fires, it's a tad chilly outside. For all those Sirius fans that are still grieving the fact that he is as D E double D, do not fret. He is appearing in this story! Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy.
Bellatrix. It was all to do with her. As soon as the Order has entered the Department of Mysteries that night, Sirius knew that Tonks would head straight for Bellatrix. Her Aunt Bella. Perhaps it was some unspoken guilt inside of the young witch, that a member of her family would be capable and willing to do such things; capable and willing to hurt Harry. Perhaps it was simply the Auror inside of her. Sirius smiled at this thought and brought himself back to the battle at hand. Once he had checked that Harry was ok, Sirius began to fight. He had to admit it felt good, after being cooped up for so long. He risked a glance up at Tonks on the stone steps. She fought well. He was proud of her. That's when it happened. He never saw the spell that hit her, probably blinked and missed it. He only saw her fall. Time seemed to slow. After hitting the first few steps, she was unconscious. But she continued to fall for so long. No! Sirius thought, maybe even shouted; he didn't know. She was dead, he knew it, and Bellatrix had killed her. Sirius left Harry's side and ran after his cousin. That was his mistake. He should have listened to the other voice in his head, the matter-of-factly one that sounded like Remus, and go check on Tonks. He would then have known that she was alive. But he listened to the voice that loved to fight, loved danger, loved the risk it brought; James' voice. The voice that got him killed.
Tonks woke the next day, in a bed that was too hard for her liking. She groaned. Her whole body seemed to ache, if only she could remember why. She looked to one side of her and saw a man lying in a bed. She squinted to see who it was. She tried to remember who he was for a while, but gave up realising that she didn't know him after all. Tonks came to the conclusion that she was in St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. Why? What had she been doing? She heard muttered voices and looked over at the door.
"She's awake," this came from Mad-eye Moody, who hobbled over to her bedside, joined by her Auror partner Kingsley Shacklebolt and Remus Lupin. Tonks tried to sit up and failed, pain shooting right through her body. She attempted again, slower this time and managed it, though it took her a while. She was out of breath from sitting up and this made her feel even lousier.
"Hi guys," she croaked. Swallowing, she said, " Come to see the pretty brunette on this ward?" she teased. Moody smiled slightly at this.
"She must have left," he replied, his voice light but his face sullen. They reached her bedside. Kingsley went for her hand.
"How are you, Tonks?" he asked. She didn't need to consider this question.
"I feel like I've been hit by the Knight Bus," she told them. Seeing them brought memories back. A large rectangular room, a dais, a veil, stone steps, what was it about the steps? Had she fallen? She wouldn't have put it past herself, being as clumsy as she was. And she remembered …
"He's alright." Kingsley reassured her. "He's looking a lot better than you."
Tonks settled back down. And Sirius must be with him of course, she thought. Then she looked at Remus who hadn't spoken since he had arrived. He avoided her eyes, sending a jolt of worry into the pit of her stomach. She swallowed before asking,
"Where's Sirius?" Silence. "Where is he?" she asked again, her voice cracking, showing her fear. She raised a hand to her natural face, pinching the bridge of her nose to shade her eyes. "He's dead isn't he," she said quietly. It wasn't a question. She didn't look up, didn't see Lupin's slow nod, but she knew that it was true. She let out a sob that ached her bruised ribcage. Tears began to roll heavily down her cheeks. She squeaked, not being able to breathe. Rocking slightly, she took short gasping breaths. Moody laid a gnarled hand on her shoulder.
"Shh, take it easy. Nice deep breaths ok?" She didn't hear him. Her mind had switched off completely. She felt like being sick, and was, over the other side of the bed. Tonks shuddered, clutching the hospital blanket to her so tightly that her knuckles turned white. Her sobbing continued, and the men just stood there, staring. It bothered her but she didn't want them to leave. She wondered what Harry must have been feeling, and cried out. Kingsley shut the curtains around her bed, she was grateful for this. Another thought struck her. She began an attempt to scramble out of bed, but Kingsley held her back.
"My mother, I need to see her."
"Tonks you aren't going anywhere."
"You don't understand, Kingsley," she wheezed, still struggling, "This will kill her!" Tonks fell back onto the bed and curled up into a foetal position. She sobbed quietly this time, sniffing for breath every now and then.
"Are you ok?" Moody asked. What a stupid question! She wanted to hit out at him, scream at him, but it hurt to breathe as it was. She shook her head instead. He went to stroke her hair but she batted his hand away.
"I'll speak to you're mother, Tonks," he said quietly and turned to leave. Kingsley followed. Remus remained, staring at her as if she was the one who was dead. She wished she was. Her eyes met his.
"I'm sorry," she whispered. He moved forward and held her so tightly she thought she was going to break. It hurt so much but she didn't care. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," she cried into his shoulder.
"Shh," he whispered, sobbing into her hair, her dark brown hair. So much like Sirius'.
Tonks left St Mungo's two days later, a day before the Order planned to meet Harry and friends off the Hogwarts Express. She didn't want to go, dreaded it in fact, but a decision had been made that the Order would show a united front. On a good side, it would give Tonks a chance to let of some steam when she saw the Dursley's. The day she had left hospital she was taken straight to Number 12 Grimmauld Place. It killed her going back, but she was glad she had, in a way. If she had put it off she might never have gone back. Molly Weasley had placed her in the comfy chair by the fire in the kitchen. She was handed a blanket and a strong cup of tea, then she was left alone. If there were other members of the Order in the kitchen, they didn't speak to her. What would they say? She wished Remus were there. She hadn't seen him since she'd woken in St Mungo's. He wouldn't speak to her either, but she wanted him there anyway, for comfort. Like a blanket, like a …dog. She swallowed hard and attempted to sleep.
The next day, the group gathered together near Platform 9 ¾. The Dursleys were there too, looking afraid but vulgar. Harry appeared through the wall, looking lost and then suddenly surprised to see them all there. God, he looks ill, Remus thought to himself. He wished he could do something to make the boy feel better, but he didn't know what to do. He attempted a smile at Harry, and knew it wasn't working so he dropped the act. He watched Harry hug Tonks, like he had done days before. Her hair was trademark pink. She had morphed moments before Harry had appeared, nearly passing out in the process. Tonks had been told to lay off the morphing for at least two weeks. She brushed off the concerned voices, saying that Harry would suspect something was wrong otherwise, and that she would change back once he had gone. The group wandered over to the Dursleys who looked bewildered and nervous to see such …interesting people stride over to them. Having given them their warning, it was time to say goodbye to Harry. No doubt he would seeing them all again in the next few weeks, but nevertheless, they wanted him to know that they were there for him.
"Take care, Harry. Keep in touch." Lupin wanted to say so much more, but he didn't trust himself not to break down in the middle of King's Cross Station. He gave another attempt at a weak smile, and Harry passed to Tonks.
"See you soon, eh?" she muttered to him, not really knowing what else she could say. She pulled him into another hug and whispered something in his ear. They exchanged quick smiles. And then he was gone, swept away by his impatient Uncle Vernon. They all watched him until he could no longer be picked out from the crowd. Tonks turned away and sighed, letting herself morph back to her original state, as she had promised. She didn't care if any Muggles had seen; she just wanted to go home. She glanced at Lupin, who continued to look at the floor, as if the very meaning of life had been graphitised onto the tiled platform. He opened his mouth to speak, then shook his head and walked off. He stopped as he reached Moody, said a few quiet words, which made Moody glance over at Tonks, and then walked away. Tonks frowned as she watched him leave. She couldn't help but feel that she might never see him again. She hadn't been aware that Moody was approaching her until he spoke, breaking her gaze away from Lupin.
"He says he's sorry but he has to go."
A/N: You like? Review : ) You don't? Review : ) (constructive criticism of course, don't make me cry!)