Disclaimer: Not mine! Waaaaaaaaaah!
A/N: This little plot bunny is courtesy of angelalegna and Slimmy over at AF. Your discussions gave me the idea and I shamelessly claimed it before anyone else could! This one's for the HMS Colorful Werewolf!
He knew what was going on. He could see it in her eyes, but he hadn't a bloody clue what to do about it.
He'd been watching her for months now – ever since he'd returned to Grimmauld Place, to be honest – and now the proof was too strong to ignore. What had started as a sneaking suspicion was now an obvious truth: his little cousin was in love with his best friend.
Sirius sighed, a mixture of frustration, uncertainty, and just plain exhaustion. It was silly that he was losing sleep over this, but he didn't really have anything else to do in the miserable old house; he might as well worry about someone. And the more he watched that certain someone, the more he worried.
Bloody hell, maybe I should just talk to her. Right, and what would he say? "I know you're in love with him, but stay away?" It sounded ridiculous even to him.
It wasn't that Sirius didn't want his friends to be happy – that wasn't it at all – but… well, it was hard to explain. And if he couldn't even explain it to himself, how in Merlin's name was he going to explain it to her? This was going to take some planning.He trudged up the stairs and locked himself in his room. He pulled out a spare piece of parchment and a crusty quill as Buckbeak looked on. "Don't give me that look," Sirius said moodily. "This is for their own good." Buckbeak went back to gnawing on a dead ferret, but Sirius could have sworn the creature was judging him. "I'm not doing anything wrong, you know." Buckbeak didn't even look at him this time. With a huff, Sirius turned back to his parchment and began to write.
Tonks was in the sitting room when he found her. It had been an incredibly long day and she wanted nothing more than to sit in front of the fire and relax with a cup of tea. But alas, it was not to be. Her peaceful refuge was interrupted by Sirius bursting into the room, a determined look on his face.
"We need to talk."
She grinned. "This sounds important. Do you want to sit down?"
He ignored her. "There are a few things I need to say to you, but you can't interrupt."
"Well, I can't promise…"
"Sorry. Carry on."
He rummaged around in his robes and pulled out a piece of parchment. Unfolding it carefully, he cleared his throat and began to read. "Tonks, I know that you…"
"Good gods, Sirius – you wrote a speech?"
"I said no interrupting!"
She laughed. "Sirius, why don't you just tell me?"
He sent her a pointed stare and continued to read. "Tonks, I know that you have very strong feelings for Remus…"
"WHAT?" She jumped off the sofa and moved to grab the parchment, but he held it out of her reach. "Sirius, give me that!"
"No! Let me finish!" He tried to push her away, but she was deceptively strong for her size – he should have remembered that from her childhood days. "Tonks, sit down!"
"No!" she retorted, her eyes flashing. "Not until you tell me how…" She paused and lowered her voice. "How you know."
"It's so bloody obvious, Tonks, a blind man could see the way you look at him. Now let me finish."
Tonks sank back onto the sofa, her eyes wide. If Sirius, who wasn't exactly the most observant person she'd ever met, knew how she felt, then Remus surely knew. It was definitely not something she'd expected. She didn't have time to process this, however; Sirius was reading again.
"… feelings for Remus, but I don't think that this is wise. There are several reasons…"
Tonks jumped up again and snatched the parchment from his hand before he could react. "You made a list?" she asked incredulously.
"Hey! That's not fair!" he whined.
"What are you? Ten?" She rolled her eyes and turned her back to him, shielding the parchment from his grasp. She laughed when she saw what was scrawled at the top of the page. "Top Five Reasons Why You Shouldn't Love Him. Oh, come on, Sirius – only five?" she asked sarcastically.
"They're good reasons!" he protested.
"Oh, I can see that," she replied with a laugh as she began to read the list. "Number Five: He's too tall for you. Oh, that's brilliant logic, Sirius. I'm so proud that we're related. Number Four: He doesn't like pink hair. Well, that's not true – he told me he liked me in pink. And I haven't been pink in a while, actually…"
"Number Three: He snores. Yes, I can see how that would be the main obstacle in a relationship. Kind of you to want me to have a good night's rest. Number Two: He's too old for you. So what, Sirius? Your dad was nearly twenty years older than your mum, remember? Number One…" She stopped, put a hand over her mouth, and collapsed onto the sofa in a fit of giggles. "Are you completely off your rocker?" she gasped.
"Number One," she read in a sing-song voice, "Lycanthropy is not a sexy curse." Tears of laughter streamed down her cheeks. "I… can't… believe… you wrote that!" she gasped.
"It's true!" Sirius growled.
Tonks tried to catch her breath. "Sirius, is that what this is all about? Remus being a werewolf?"
He glared at her. "Look, Remus is my best friend – the only friend I have left. I don't want to see him get hurt. I can't even tell you how many girls swooned over him and then ran the minute they discovered the truth. He's been burned one too many times, Tonks, so if you're only looking for fun, look somewhere else!"
All traces of laughter were replaced with anger towards her favorite cousin. She marched over to him and poked a finger at his chest. "Sirius Black, I haven't changed as much in the last twelve years as you apparently have. So, since you've forgotten who I am, let me remind you. I'm not the kind of woman who flits from relationship to relationship. I'm not the kind of woman who toys with men's feelings. I may live a bit on the wild side, but I'm not a tease. I do have strong feelings for Remus. I love him. I love him for who he is – every part of him. And I know that lycanthropy isn't a 'sexy curse'. I know it wouldn't be easy for us. But love is unconditional, Sirius, and I'm not going to run away from it just because he may be too tall for me or because he snores or even because he's a bloody werewolf! And certainly not because my bossy, can't-keep-his-nose-out-of-other-people's-business cousin thinks he can run my life!"
Before he could answer, she turned and stormed out of the room, leaving him with his mouth hanging open.
Remus looked over the map that Albus had given him. The mission wouldn't be difficult – probably wouldn't take very long, either – but he was glad for a new challenge.
As he made his way down the corridor, he was surprised to hear raised voices. Usually the house was kept quiet so as not to awaken the dreadful Mrs. Black, but apparently that didn't bother whoever was shouting in the sitting room. As Remus drew nearer, the voices became slightly more intelligible.
"… Look somewhere else!"
Remus frowned. It was Sirius' voice, but who on earth was he shouting at? Sirius usually only shouted at Snape, and Snape wasn't at Headquarters today. Remus couldn't think of anyone else who would induce Sirius to that sort of anger. He moved closer to the door so that he could hear what was going on.
"…Not the kind of woman who toys with men's feelings…"
Was that… Tonks? Remus couldn't believe it. Why on earth would Tonks and Sirius be arguing, and what about? He put a hand on the doorknob, prepared to interrupt the quarrelling cousins, when her next words stopped him in his tracks.
"I do have strong feelings for Remus. I love him. I love him for who he is – every part of him."
All of the breath left his body. She… she loved him? Oh, Merlin. How had he missed it? Had he been looking for evidence of her affection for so long that it had completely escaped his notice?
The door suddenly flew open and the object of his thoughts stormed into the corridor and ran face-first into his chest.
"Oomph!" Tonks stepped back and rubbed her nose. "I'm really sorry about that…" She suddenly looked up and saw him. "Remus! Oh, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to smash into…" She stopped, realization dawning on her face. "Oh, good gods, did you… I mean… you were standing… did you…"
Remus felt there was no way around the situation. He nodded. "I heard what you said, Tonks… to Sirius, I mean."
"Oh, bloody hell," she muttered, bringing a hand to her forehead. "Did you hear… all of it?"
"Just bits and pieces," he admitted. "But important bits."
To his great surprise, Tonks simply laughed. "Remus, I'm so sorry," she moaned. "Sirius came to me with a whole stupid list of why I shouldn't love you, and I just got angry and spoke without thinking. So please, let me make this easier on you – just forget what I said, all right?" She sighed, a smile still playing on her lips. "I am sorry about this." With a small wave, she moved past him, on down the corridor.
"So, you were lying, then?"
She stopped, then slowly turned to face him. "What are you talking about?"
He took a tentative step towards her. "You were lying when you said you love me? When you said that you wouldn't run away from love just because of a few silly obstacles?"
She sighed. "I wasn't lying, Remus."
"Then why are you running away?" He took a deep breath and crossed the short distance between them. "Tonks, I don't want to forget what you said."
Her eyes widened. "You don't?"
Remus shook his head. "Please don't ask me to."
"I don't understand," she frowned.
He reached out and took her hand, hoping she wouldn't notice the shaking of his own hand. "Tonks, Sirius is right. There are so many reasons why you shouldn't love me. But I'm a selfish man, and I'm asking you to forget all of those reasons and love me anyway, because I love you."
Tonks stood for a moment in stunned silence. Then, with a laugh, she launched herself at him and threw her arms around his neck, nearly squeezing the air out of him as he wrapped his arms around her and lifted her off the floor. "I do love you, Remus. And I don't care about those stupid reasons. We can handle anything, I know it."
Remus laughed against her hair. "There is one thing I should tell you."
She leaned back and smiled into his eyes. "And what's that?"
He grinned. "I have a tendency to snore."
She laughed again. "Well, I know we can handle that, no matter what Sirius says."
"He was right though; it's another reason why you shouldn't love me."
"And yet, it's another reason why I do."
A/N: The fabulous angelalegna gets all the credit for the line "Lycanthropy is not a sexy curse". It was just so perfect that I had to use it! ;) So please review and make my day!