A/N: As we reach the end of our journey, may I please advise you to remain in your seats until this story has come to a halt. Thank you for traveling on the Kat-mobile :)
Tonks refused to spend long on her packing, after all the taxi was booked for 1pm. She hurled her clothes into a trunk with a clumsy spell, wondering what on earth her mother would say if she had seen. Tonks lazily Accio-ed her trunk down the many flights of stairs, hitching her bag up onto her shoulder several times as she did so. As she reached the entrance hall she stopped, seeing Harry's trunk and owl cage by the door. Manoeuvring her trunk with surprising agility around the troll-leg umbrella stand (I'm not going to miss that one bit!) Tonks took a deep breath as she surveyed the luggage. Then, taking a step back and catching her foot on the corner of her trunk, she stumbled over the umbrella stand. She would have landed with a thud had it not been for a quick arm arriving underneath her. She heard a laugh from behind.
"Oh I'm so glad I got to see that!" Tonks looked up from the floor to see the twinkling green eyes of Harry Potter. She scowled at him then grinned. The boy helped her up and then pulled her into a hug.
"Ready to go?" he asked over her shoulder.
"No," she squeaked emotionally. They pulled apart, surveying each other for a beat. "Oh!" Tonks exclaimed, causing the moment to end abruptly. "Oh, I almost forgot." She opened her bag, and retrieved Harry's long 'lost' navy blue sweatshirt. He gave a grin as Tonks handed it over. "Back to its rightful owner. It seems so long ago since I first borrowed this. I was a lot thinner back then." She barked a laugh. Harry shook his head.
"Nah, you keep it. Look after it for me. You can give it back when you get home." He smiled at her and Tonks nodded to him.
The pair made their way down the kitchen steps. Hermione sat at the table looking forlorn. She gave her friends a brief smile and looked back to the table. Tonks was surprised to find Remus sat beside the girl. His hands cupped a mug of tea tightly. He looked up at Tonks and Harry.
"What are you doing up?" Tonks asked Remus as she sat down beside him.
"Have to say goodbye, don't I," the man said quietly. Tonks offered him a smile, taking one of his hands. He squeezed it affectionately. The four of them sat in an awkward silence. Harry cleared his throat loudly a couple of times but said nothing. Suddenly, Tonks sprung up from her seat.
"Oh yeah, I forgot…" she squealed. Remus frowned in confusion. "Minnie, what did you do with Remus' present?"
"You brought me a present?" he asked, in mild surprise. Tonks nodded enthusiastically.
"Uh huh, the idea came to me when you left yesterday. You're gonna love it!" She turned to Hermione again. "You were looking after it…where is it?"
The girl's face flashed a flicker of uncertainty.
"Uh…it's in one of the spare rooms…I'll go get it." She raced off. Tonks and Harry beamed at Remus, who looked rather nervous.
"Should I be scared?" he asked timidly.
Hermione could be heard walking quickly down the stairs. Remus turned to see the girl, carrying in her arms…a chocolate Labrador puppy.
"It's a dog!" Tonks announced unnecessarily, her grin never fading. Remus blinked at the puppy wriggling in Hermione's arms. The girl passed the puppy over to her new owner.
"Say hi to your new daddy," Hermione said in a babyish voice. The puppy licked at Remus' hands, trying hard to nibble at his fingers. He turned to see all three faces grinning expectantly at him.
"Well?" Harry asked. Remus took a deep breath and then grinned.
"I love it, thank you."
"Yay!" Tonks squealed and threw her arms around Remus and the dog. The puppy tried to chew at her collar as she did so. "I didn't want you to get lonely," she whispered to Remus and he looked down at her. She was suddenly shy and looked away.
"Hey," he whispered back and she returned his gaze. "Thank you, Dora." He kissed her lightly on the lips and she beamed once more. Remus' arms began to ache so he lowered the dog down onto the floor. She wobbled as she walked, clearly having just been woken up. She gave a little yap and took another step, before piddling on the floor. Tonks gave a little giggle.
"Remus, your dog's just pissed on the floor," she sang. The man just stared at her incredulously. Tonks poked her tongue out in his direction.
"It's nearly one, Tonks," Harry spoke up from the other side of the table. Tonks' grin faded.
"Right…well, I guess we'd better get sorted then."
Leaving the puppy to wander curiously under the chairs, the four of them made their way to the entrance hall. Remus moved to Harry first and the two wizards embraced.
"Look after yourself," the elder said. "Write, but not too often. We'll see you in a couple of weeks." The boy nodded to him.
"Ok. I'm going to miss you. Look after Hermione for me," he added quietly and his guardian nodded. They embraced once more, and then Harry sidestepped to Hermione.
"Well H, it's been fun." He offered his hand and she giggled, knocking it aside and pulling him close to her. "Take care of yourself, Hermione. I'll see you soon." He heard her sniff into his shoulder. "You better not be crying." She gave a laugh and they pulled apart.
"I'll send you a birthday card," she told him. "See you in a few weeks."
Then it was Tonks' turn, and too soon for her liking. She put an arm around Hermione.
"Bye then Min. I'm gonna miss you so much. Stay strong for me, hey? Do your homework." She winked at the girl. "And take care of Remus for me," she added softly. The girl nodded. Tonks turned to Remus. "Well, I guess it's your turn."
"I'll give you a hand with these trunks Harry," Hermione said loudly. The boy frowned, and Hermione opened her eyes wide. Blushing in stupidity, he followed his best friend to the door, trunks in tow.
Once alone, the two adults stood uncomfortably. Remus played with his hands, before realising that his nervousness was foolish and pulled Tonks tightly to him. He felt the ever-growing bump in between their bodies and gave an emotional sigh. She could feel his warm breath on the back of her bare neck and she wanted to cry. No, she would not cry. She would not cry!
"This isn't goodbye," she whispered, letting her lips brush against his neck as he held her there. "More of a … see you later." They pulled apart. Remus nodded to her.
"See you later, then." Remus looked at her, stood there in front of him, her cute pink spikes and bright topaz eyes. Licking his lips awkwardly, he hesitated before speaking again.
"Dora, will you do me a favour?" he asked timidly. Tonks frowned slightly.
"Would you…will you…will you morph for me? I want to remember the real you." Tonks obeyed immediately, closing her eyes and morphing without scrunching her face up back to her natural features. It was that simple. She opened her dark eyes and smiled at her friend. Remus looked at her, his Dora, and felt his breath catch in his throat. She really was beautiful, his Dora.
"Thank you," he whispered and she smiled, suddenly feeling shy.
He took her hand and Tonks could feel herself being slowly directed to the open door. She wanted very much to stop in her tracks and run upstairs to hide. Buckbeak would hide her; he was kind like that.
The bright light of the summer afternoon stung both of their eyes. They made their way slowly down the stone steps. Tonks saw the taxi pulled outside Number 10 Grimmauld Place, having not been able to locate Number 12. Seeing the vehicle, Tonks burst into tears. Damn it! she thought angrily to herself. Remus shushed her, rubbing her back gently and planting a kiss on her forehead. He wiped away a tear with his thumb and she kissed the palm of his hand.
"Look after yourself, Dora." He couldn't think of anything else to say. "You come back to me, you hear?" Tonks nodded.
"I'm gonna miss you so much," she sobbed. Remus swallowed hard. "See you later," she managed to squeak.
"See you later," he whispered. They hugged once more, briefly this time, as if it was purely for the need of physical contact. Tonks broke away suddenly and turned, walking at a pace towards Harry and the cab, and not looking back.
Harry's eyes fell on his male guardian briefly. He gave him a quick wave, which was returned, before joining Tonks in the car.
"Little Whinging?" the cab driver asked casually. Tonks rubbed her face with both hands, leaving Harry to answer.
"That's right. Then the airport please." Harry turned to see Remus and Hermione stood together on the curb. The driver gave a brief nod and set off. Tonks gave a sudden jolt, realising that they were moving.
"Wait. Wait! Please, just hang on one second," she begged the driver and he stopped once more, throwing her a quizzical look. Harry also frowned at her.
"Tonks, what are you doing?" he asked but it was too late, she had gotten out of the car and headed in a sprint back to the house.
"What are you doing you silly girl?" Remus asked her as she panted up to him. Tonks stopped dead in front of him, taking a few deep breaths and chiding herself for her lack of exercise. She looked up into his light eyes, full of sadness and confusion. Without another thought she stood on her toes and kissed him passionately, feeling his arms move around her waste. Tears rolled down her cheeks but she didn't care. All she cared about was him. Hearing beeping, and Harry cheering gleefully in the background, Tonks began to giggle. They pulled apart, too soon for each of their liking.
"Dora–" Remus began breathlessly but she raised a finger to his lips.
"I'm sorry, I had to ok? And here's something for you to think about while I'm gone: I love you. I don't want you to say anything; I just wanted you to know. I love you, Remus." They fell silent, breathing heavily. Remus blinked at her and she flashed him a grin.
"Well…bye." She turned and skipped back to the waiting car.
Harry had watched her run to him. He grinned at her. It was like something out of a Muggle movie. The cabbie was staring at him.
"That your sister?" he asked the boy. Harry paused, then nodded with a grin. Seeing his two guardians join together in a powerful kiss caused Harry's grin to widen. He stuck his head out of the open window.
"Woooooooooh!" he yelled. The driver laughed, beeping his horn playfully.
"That's some sister you've got there, kid," the man chuckled.
"Yeah," Harry breathed.
"And who's the man?" he asked out of mild interest. Harry smile faded and he paused, thinking for one moment before replying.
"My Godfather," he told him.
Tonks climbed back into the car, exhaling loudly.
"Right…now I'm ready to go!"
The car began to move once more, and its two passengers turned to watch Grimmauld Place disappear in the distance, knowing that they would both be home…soon.
A/N: Well, that's all folks. It's so sad to finally finish this, I've been working on it for months.
A HUGE thank you to all those who read this tale, and especially to those who reviewed. It's people like you who encourage me to stick at things in life.
Please review one final time and let me know what you thought of the story as a whole...plus any useful advice you have on how to make the next stories better. I would really appreiciate ideas for the remainder of the trilogy, so if you have any, please let me know. Story 2 is nearly done, but Story 3 is barely planned. Input is always good.
Look out for my ridiculous comedy starring Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and of course (Nymphadora) Tonks. It's called "For love or money" and will be posted shortly. Please read some of my other fics, if you so desire. I've done a bit of comedy with the Marauders, and the Order, plus some downright depressing angst. Check it out if you're ever bored.
Well, I guess all I have to say now is thank you again. Keep on writing guys :)
Kitty x x x