Lupin/ Tonks PG

All these characters and their world belong to J.K.R.

At the End of the Day

If you see the Moon at the end of the day,
A bright Full Moon is on its way.
If you see the Moon in the early dawn,
Look real quick, it will soon be gone.

He really hadn't meant to fall in love with her. To be her fellow Order member, yes; to be her friend, without question. Then night fell, voices lowered, starlight mingled with lonely souls, and friendship suddenly became longing. Longing for each other after the children had gone to bed, after the Order members had left the house and they could share a bottle of wine, a brick of chocolate and something so much more. Conversations melded to whisperings, intimate flickering of eyes, nervous laughter, bumping knees under the kitchen table, soft strokes from her fingertips.

Part of him felt guilty. Guilty that he was enjoying Nymphadora's laughter when Sirius was dead. Guilty he was feeling joy, wanting more when there was nothing more for his friend. And there was shame, too. Shame because she was too young, too beautiful, too bright for a grey, dull, shelved book such as himself. He should let her go, cut her off for her own good, but he couldn't because he was low. Low and needful and yearning simply for her smile, which made every waxing moon so much easier to bear.

When the candlelight flickered in her black eyes, her lips red with wine, cheeks blushed with laughter; did she know he loved her most then? But there were so many other moments; when she burned Molly's supper, or fought with the umbrella stand or spoke passionately about 'The Cause,' or closed her eyes as he placed a piece of dark chocolate on her tongue; those moments made him love her just as much.

"Remus, top off your glass?" she asked, bottle in hand. "It's nearly empty."

Awakening from his thought, "Oh, yes," he answered quietly, raising his glass, hand a bit shaky.

She smiled, her form golden in the cast of the single candle. "You're trembling."

Glass filled, he sat it securely on the table, eyes looking away from her. "Nervous, I suppose."

"Right." Tonks replied. Biting her lower lip, she sat down and took a long sip from her own glass. "Well, I did want to tell you something. Ummm…" Small finger fidgeted on the rim of the crystal. "Bill asked me out."

Pale blue eyes darted up. "Oh?"

Tonks held her breath. Her heart twisted and silently cried, Say something Remus! Say it now!

"Well," voice breathy, Remus took a gulp of the red Merlot, padding his courage, "That should be nice." Dear gods, was there anvil on his chest?

She swallowed, eyes burning against him. "I haven't said yes, yet."

"No. Hmmm…" Eyes studied his glass intently. What was that damn pressure in his chest?

Tonks closed her eyes. Fight for me Remus.

Silence. Tick, Tick, Tick…

He drained rest of his glass, still avoiding her eyes. "It's getting late."

She stood and bundled on her coat and long pink scarf, glass half empty.

He looked at her, and she at him. The flame was gone from her eyes now; there was only a static darkness.

Releasing a quick "goodnight," she turned from the room.

Lupin didn't move, even as he heard her kick the umbrella stand and slam the front door. He sat frozen. He'd done the right thing, hadn't he?

Rubbing his hand against his heart, he wondered again at the strange, maddening pressure.

Author's note:Does he let her walk away? I haven't decided yet.