IF WISHES WERE GOOD-BYES
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Everything Harry Potter belongs to the goddess J.K. Rowling. All hail the queen!
PROLOGUE, Part I: The Beginning of His Story
In a way, the same year her life started, so did his. She had been born the year he entered Hogwarts... that magical year. As soon as the Sorting Hat had been placed upon his head and shouted "GRYFFINDOR," it was as if the past eleven years had been wiped away in one swift movement... or at least the past five.
It was almost as if Fate had known even then that theirs was to be something more than just a casual relationship... and, although he thought it was by accident that he had arrived at the Tonks' house in Hogsmeade exactly when he did, he surely knew different now.
"Come on, Remus. James and Peter are game to go... and if we don't hurry, we'll miss it," Sirius whined.
Remus looked up from the book on his bed and sighed. "First, how do you expect to get all four of us all the way into Hogsmeade from here, and second, how do you expect to do it without all of us being seen?"
Sirius grinned. "Second part's easy." Sirius turned toward the other black-haired boy who was lounging on the bed which stood next to Remus'. "James?" Sirius said with an even wider grin.
With a languid movement, James reached under the bed and pulled up a bunch of silvery, material. James chucked it in Sirius' general direction. "Here you go, mate."
"The Invisibility Cloak?" Remus asked with interest.
Sirius nodded. "'Course. You were expecting something else?"
"But, we've never used it for longer than going down to the kitchens to nick some food from the House elves," Remus noted.
Sirius shrugged, his damnable grin getting even larger. "First time for everything, then, isn't it?" He paused, crumpled the Invisibility Cloak into a ball, and tossed it at Remus. "Now, are you coming or not? I don't want to miss it."
Remus put his book down, and began to meticulously fold the corners of the Invisibility cloak. "I thought you hated all your family members anyway. What makes her so special?"
"Oh, Andi? She's great. Only Black in six generations that actually went and married outside of the damned all-hallowed Tourjours Pur acceptable circle of families," Sirius said.
It was at this time that Peter, who had been hanging on Sirius' every word, piped up, "What's her husband's name again?"
"Tonks," Sirius said. "Ted Tonks... and a muggle-born, too, if you can beat that."
Remus eyed Sirius warily. "And you just have to be there?"
Sirius suddenly became indignant. "It's not only a responsibility, but a duty. 'Have to show the newest little Black that he or she doesn't have to be a git from the moment of birth just because of our illustrious infamous heritage. Uncle Alphe and I are proof that there is hope even if you are born a Black."
"You still haven't answered my first question, Sirius. How do we get there?" Remus prodded.
Sirius grinned again. "Oh, that's easy. We go to the mirror on the fourth floor. There's a secret passage there that James and I found a couple of months ago. It leads directly into Hogsmeade... it lets you out onto a side street right near the Hog's Head. Andi and Ted's house is only a couple of blocks from there."
Remus sighed again, "And you're sure it's tonight?"
Nodding, Sirius said, "I'd stake my life on it after what Ted told me in the fire call a few days ago."
Throwing his legs off the side of the bed, Remus tossed the Invisibility Cloak at Sirius. "All right, then. Let's do it."
And, so, the four Marauders began their crazy stint of escaping Hogwarts to go into Hogsmeade on a cold night in February. Within an hour, Remus noted that Sirius had slowed down as they approached a normal, two-story white house. The only odd thing about the house were the burning torches and sounds of merriment that were emanating from the structure when it was 3 o'clock in the morning. Cautiously, Sirius led the others up the stairs. Once the foursome was inside, Sirius threw off the cloak, and slowly navigated through the entrance hall as he looked for Ted.
Just as Sirius was about to head upstairs, a quiet voice stopped him dead in his tracks. "Ah, Mr. Black... I was wondering when we would be seeing you."
Sirius felt the color drain from his face as he turned around and saw Albus Dumbledore drinking from a china-white tea cup. "Professor Dumbledore, sir... I, ah, that is to say..."
Dumbledore simply smiled and pointed at a door to Sirius' left. "I believe Mrs. Tonks and her daughter are expecting you in there."
"A girl?" Sirius asked. "She's here then?"
"A girl," Dumbledore nodded before he looked at the other three Gryffindors. "Ah, Mr. Potter, Mr. Pettigrew, and Mr. Lupin... I was wondering where you were. Fine evening, isn't it?" As Dumbledore got up and walked passed the four stunned first-years, Dumbledore quietly added, "Although I would appreciate it if you make sure you are all back in Gryffindor Tower before Professor McGonagall comes to deliver the news to Mr. Black about his new cousin just prior to breakfast."
The four students stood dumbfounded as Dumbledore disappeared past them. Only when a tall wizard with a goofy smile on his face came out of the room that Dumbledore had indicated did the spell break. "Sirius," Ted Tonks' said with a smile. "They're waiting for you. Come on!"
Ted dragged Sirius forward as James, Peter, and Remus followed. Remus was not sure what to expect when he entered what had served as Andromeda Black Tonks' lying-in room. However, when he saw a young woman who was only a few years old than himself sitting up in bed with a small pink bundle in his arms, he couldn't help but smile.
"Sirius!" Andromeda called. "Oh, I'm so glad you're here. Come and meet your baby cousin."
"A girl, coz?" Sirius said with a smile as he sauntered over and took the bundle into his arms.
Sirius looked up. "What's here name?"
"Nymphadora," Andromeda said with a smile. "Like it?"
Sirius shrugged. "Sure, if you wanted to ensure that for the rest of her life your daughter was going to only go by the name 'Tonks'."
Andromeda sighed. "Sirius..."
"Well, you have to admit, it's a lot of name for such a little baby, Andi," Sirius said as he turned around to his friends. "I brought a few of my friends from school with me, Andi. They wanted to meet the baby. You remember James, Peter, and Remus, don't you?"
Andromeda nodded. It was at this point that the baby in Sirius' arms began to cry. "What did you do now, Sirius?" Remus asked his friend jokingly.
Sirius shrugged. "I'm not doing anything, I swear."
"Maybe she doesn't like you, mate," James added with a mischievous grin. "All that Black blood and all."
"Maybe she's hungry?" Peter chimed in.
"Or maybe she's just tired of being jostled about like a secondhand haggis," Remus said.
Sirius' eyes narrowed. "Then why don't you take a turn, Remus, since you've suddenly become the expert on babies."
Before Remus could utter so much as a feeble protest, Sirius had gently shoved the baby at him. Remus was dumbfounded as the baby looked up at him with Sirius' blue eyes. She immediately stopped crying as she stared at the young man holding him.
And, it was at that moment that Nymphadora Tonks smiled her very first smile in this world at none other than Remus J. Lupin.