Disclaimer: Say I own Harry Potter to my very empty wallet.

A/N: In response to a lot of Tonks bashing over discussion boards. People who have grieving type fics always seem to forget the hope, and I wanted to change that.

The Purging

She was no longer wrestling with the grief, but could sit down with it as a lasting companion and make it a sharer in her thoughts. George Eliot

The house was suffocating her. Not just the musty smells and the stagnant air that had bred in the absence of fresh air; it was the essence of the house itself.

Half lived existences, choked out of blossoming by sullied hopes and vicarious dreams, rotted in the very woodwork. Centuries of hate, malice, and prejudice putrefied the air of the manor. Now fresh grief added to the miasma of hopelessness that clung to the Black Manor.

And this, Dear World, was her legacy. This is what she had been given, this is what she would pass on to her children. Memories of a family bound together by foolish and stubborn pride, rather than any semblance of love. Granted she had been separate from it for so long, but now she had become part of it, had been drawn into its struggle. She had watched her family kill its own. Now she stood confronted by their sneering faces, the "pride of the family" all listed upon a wretched family tree.

She had been sitting there for hours, watching the tiny pictures above the names stare at her in obvious distaste. Slowly, all the sorrow she had bundled up, over these past few months came burrowing out. But it was no longer heavy, it seemed to whisper, "get up, move on."

Without warning, a feeling overcame her. It was a curious sort of sensation. Wild and uncontrollable like the wildest rage, yet purposeful and righteous as acceptance. It was a feeling that was entirely her own, born of who she had become. It was the need to purify, the need to go on.

She stood from her crossed legged and drew her wand, pointing at the offending piece of tapestry. With a whispered incantations, it tore from its rod and began to writhe like some beast in the throws of torment as it shred apart. As it the remains of the Black family tree tumbled to the floor, she began to laugh.

She laughed because she, with the least to hold against her family, would be the one to finally obliterate that horrible piece of fabric and history.

She laughed at herself, for all the mourning she had gone through. Sirius had let himself be consumed by his regrets and sorrows, he would not want that for her.

She laughed at the world, because in the end it really was just a fleeting thing. She would make her imprint as best she could.

She laughed because so many had faced sorrow and turmoil that put her own to shame.

She laughed because that was who she was. She was laughter. She didn't care if her smiles made her seem naive, in the end it was the observer who was naive. In the end, she was strong; she would bear the weight of life, but she would not break. She would see the good, the hope, even in the darkest of hours.

Without even realizing it, that made her a giant among men, for to grasp hope when despair is so easy to obtain, is one of the greatest strengths of all.

Remus Lupin quietly shut the door of Number 12 Grimwauld Place behind him. At once, something struck him as out of the norm. The small table and coatrack to the immediate left of the door were no more. Small piles of hole-ridden wood lay in their place. Fearing the worst, he rushed down the halls, noting all the destruction along the way. A rush of panic rose unbidden, and he rushed to find the other occupant of the house. He called out and heard a quiet, "Wotcher, Remus," came from the foyer.

There, in the middle of the room, lay Nymphadora Tonks, eyes wide open, not glazed over in death as Remus had feared, but rather in contemplation of the ceiling.

"What happened?" He asked breathlessly.

"Remodeling," was the simple reply.

"Beg pardon?"

"It had to be cleared out. We're starting all over. It's best to start over."

He stared at her for a moment. She grinned, meaning it for him, though it was aimed at the ceiling.

"Care to join me? The view's lovely."

Slowly he made his way to the center of the floor, and lay down next to her, staring up. Dust, released from centuries of imprisonment rose towards the ceiling, creating spirals of glittering light as it met the newly uncovered, and opened windows.

It was quite pretty.

She turned her head towards him, "I'd explain my reasons in detail, but you'd probably go mad."

"'Oh, we're all quite mad here,'" He quoted with a enigmatic smile. They lay in companionable silence, until a sudden thought struck the metamorphmagus.

"Molly's going to have my head."

Remus merely chuckled quietly before another silence descended, though it did not last long.

"Remus?"

"Hm?"

"We can start over, can't we?"

"No."

"No?"

"But we can keep going with what we have. Our memories," his voice caught, "shape us make us who we are, we become what we are through them. There's no way of ever going back." Strange how it as so easy to say, rather than to put into practice.

"Pick up and keep truckin'?"

"That's the gist of it."

"Remus?"

"Hmmm?"

"Keep going with me?"

"Absolutely, Tonks, absolutely."

A/N: Silly little friendship fic.