"You see!" said a strained voice. Tonks was glaring at Lupin. "She still wants to marry him, even though he's been bitten! She doesn't care!"

"It's different," said Lupin, barely moving his lips and looking suddenly tense. "Bill will not be a full werewolf. The cases are completely – "

"But I don't care either, I don't care!" said Tonks, seizing the front of Lupin's robes and shaking them. "I've told you a million times…"

And the meaning of Tonks's Patronus and her mouse-coloured hair, and the reason she had come running to find Dumbledore when she had heard a rumour someone had been attacked by Greyback, all suddenly became clear to Harry, it had not been Sirius that Tonks had fallen in love with after all…

"And I've told you a million times," said Lupin, refusing to meet her eyes, staring at the floor, "that I am too old for you, too poor … too dangerous …"

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, UK edition, page 582


Tonks, her hair miraculously returned to vividest pink, Remus Lupin, with whom she seemed to be holding hands…"

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, UK edition, page 597


Author's Note – I always wondered what happened between the two scenes in the book as I quoted above. Here's my take on what happened in between the scene in the infirmary and the burial of Professor Dumbledore.

THE VIVIDEST PINK I'VE EVER SEEN

After Lupin had said the same mantra for the emptied time, Nymphadora Tonks had had enough and walked out of the infirmary. No matter how hard she tried to tell him, she didn't care about his reasons, that she loved him, he'd seemed to withdraw more and more.

"I'm too old for you, too poor, too dangerous …" Tonks snorted. "You know what, I've had it! I've totally had it!"

Tonks had arrived at her chamber in Hogwarts, said the password and walked straight to one of the comfortable chairs that was standing in her room. She sat down on it, drew her knees up to her chin and wrapped her arms around them. A lonely tear made its way down her cheek and soon another, and another, and another.

Her whole body was wracking in sobs now and even though she hated herself for being so weak, she couldn't help feeling defeated. She rested her head on her arms, her mouse-coloured hair framing her face. Slowly, very slowly she fell asleep.

When Nymphadora Tonks woke up the next morning, she felt even more exhausted than she'd been the evening before. "Well, sleeping in that chair definitely isn't comfortable." She muttered. "Should have slept in bed."

Tonks walked to the small bathroom that attached her room, passed the mirror, while taking of her clothes and stepped into the shower cabin. Once she'd found a nice water temperature, she sighed and let the water pour down on her body. After what felt like an eternity, Tonks stepped out and dried her hair the muggle way. 'With my luck and clumsiness I might burn my hair of when trying to dry it using magic.' She thought.

Slowly Tonks made her way down to the Great Hall. Though not feeling hungry, she knew she had to eat. She'd heard enough complaints from Molly, about her not eating much, these past months. Tonks sighed, since she knew the exact reason why she had no appetite.

She had made it down in one piece today and was about to turn the corner when she bumped into someone and made a hard landing down on the cold stone floor. She was about to give the person she'd bumped into a piece of her mind when that person had kneeled down, asking her if she was alright.

Her breath caught in her throat by hearing his voice. She felt a blush creep up her cheeks. 'Of all the people to bump into, it had to be him.' She quickly turned her face away.

Remus Lupin had been making his way over to Tonks room, when he turned the corner and bumped into someone. He was about to tell the person he'd bumped into, to look where he was going, when he noticed the person had fallen to the ground. He looked down and saw it had been her. He knelt down and asked her if she was alright.

Lupin loved the way her face blushed when she'd found out they had bumped into each other and couldn't help but touch her cheek, which got redder. Lupin tried to get Tonks to look at him, to no avail. Her eyes kept darting around for a while, before finally settling on the stone floor as if a very interesting pattern just revealed itself.

"Nymphadora, we need to talk."

Tonks wildly looked up, with blazing eyes. "Don't call me that!" In the meantime she'd stand up and was now walking towards the large doors which let to the grounds.

Lupin tried to grab her, but she was out of his grasp. All that was left to do, was follow her outside. When he got in the open air, he searched for her. He was about to give up and go back inside the castle when he spotted her. She was sitting – once again with her knees drawn up, like in her room the evening before – at the lake and he made his way over.

When he came near, he saw that her shoulders were moving, when he came even nearer it was then that he heard her sobbing and his heart broke into a million pieces. He walked towards her, sat down and drew her near.

Tonks, too tired to fight, simply leaned against him, still crying. It felt good to be held like this by him and she cherished his touch, breathing in his sent.

"I'm sorry to see you in pain," Lupin whispered. "I don't want to see you in pain."

His words made Tonks, sit up straight, staring out over the lake. "Well, you're doing a great job of getting me in pain." She muttered.

"Don't you see, that being with me would only cause you more pain? I'm too dangerous for you. Not to mention -"

"- you're too poor and too old for me as well." Tonks said bitterly. "Save it Remus, I know the drill. Hell, you've mentioned it in every conversation we've had about this."

"Then what do you want me to do?" Remus said for he certainly didn't know what to do anymore.

Tonks looked out over the water, not really knowing what to say or to do. Then she turned around and for the first time since they collided in the hallway, she looked at him, looked him in the eye. "Tell me you don't love me." She whispered. "Tell me you don't love me and I'll leave you alone."

Now it was Remus turn to look out over the water and then he softly spoke: "I don't love you, Tonks."

Tonks's eyes began to fill themselves with tears. "Look at me when you say it." It came out half a sob, half a plea.

Remus turned and looked at her. "I … I … I can't, I can't tell you that, when it's not true." He whispered.

An enormous grin made it's way on Tonks face and she turned his head and made him look at her. "I love you, Remus. Nothing will ever change that. Not your age, not your poverty, not the fact that once a month you'll turn into a werewolf. I'll never be able to love anyone else, because it's you who I want." She said tenderly.

Remus felt his walls crumbling down by her declaration. "I … I love you too." And then he did the one thing he should have done a long time go. He kissed her. Tonks marvelled in his kiss and wrapped her arms around his neck, feeling happier than she'd been in a very long time. Finally they had to catch their breath and they pulled back. Lupin looked at her, and then noticed her hair had changed colours.

"Has it, now?" Tonks said after he'd mentioned it to her.

Lupin nodded. "Yes, it's vividest pink I've ever seen."

The End