The busy, crowded streets of Diagon Alley were filled with noise and hustle. It would be nearly impossible to spot a small, mousy haired woman walking swiftly down the street. She blended in with the crowd, a change for her. She used to receive stairs for her vibrant hair toned in shades of shocking bubblegum pink. Now, she was back to brown. Plain brown.
The brunette's heart shaped face scrunched up a bit as she rummaged through her purse, attempting to find the key to her loft located directly above the infamous Leaky Cauldron.
After returning home from a scrutinous day of work, her bed looked more than inviting. Yet, as she went to go lay down, the same troubled thoughts lingered throughout her mind.
After the death of her good friend and mentor, Albus Dumbledore, Tonks had found a way to find light in such a dark day. Remus had been there with her. She had someone to help her grieve, help her find the good in such bad. Yet, life had gone back to the way it normally did.
The excuses kept coming and frankly, she was finding it hard to persist any longer. Yet, there was still longing and that intense feeling was what prevented her from falling asleep after work each night. As she laid down upon her bed, she couldn't close her eyes. Something in the back of her mind would not allow her to fall asleep.
Sadly, that something came in the form of Remus Lupin.
As Remus paced his simple and modest flat, his worn eyes stealing glances at the new bill he was in need of paying, he scrimmaged around in the pockets of his robes, searching for some forgotten sickle that he had perhaps missed. Yet, he found as much as he had expected; nothing.
Another bill, another crisis. Being a full-time Order member restricted Remus from pursuing permanent job opportunities. He was only just getting by with his savings stored in Gringotts. With Dumbledore gone, Remus had upped his participation in the Order of the Phoenix, knowing that the members had been significantly weakened with their founder's death. Yet, now, he was realizing the consequences of his sacrifice.
His head snapped slowly as he heard a soft knock at the door. He never had visitors. Two of his best friends were dead, the other a traitor. It was safe to say he wasn't exactly fond of company.
As he revealed the visitor, he sighed. Of course it was her. She was the only person who had ever even been inside of his flat.
He noticed her hair, knowing that her appearance normally signified her emotions. He knew that it was his fault that her cheerfulness was lacking. Yet, he knew it was for the better. She would eventually find someone knew, someone better, someone younger, and more importantly, someone who could take care of her.
"Nymphadora," he greeted quietly, addressing her politely and allowing her inside.
"Remus, why must you insist upon calling me that dreadful name?" she asked, teasing, although her tone was far from upbeat. She walked inside and set her coat down on a chair in his kitchen. The flat was small, only four rooms. Remus felt his cheeks burn with embarrassment, although she had been with him when he'd moved in.
"I prefer it," he told her. "Nymphadora is original and I find that suiting for you." He walked towards her and asked, "Can I get you anything? Something to drink?"
"No, I'm fine," she insisted, taking a seat. "I just came over to, well, talk. Things have been a bit lonely over at my house."
He nodded, knowing precisely how she felt. Times were grave and work was fulfilling. He only wished he could make a bigger difference. Yet, all he could do was work as a spy for the werewolves. It certainly wasn't much, but at least he provided a contribution.
His eyes lingered on her dark, twinkling eyes. They were filled with so much sadness, yet so much compassion and love. Her eyes were contradictory beings upon themselves. They were weak, yet held hidden strength. They were emotionless, yet he could still sense the care she felt for him.
If anything, he should have been more than flattered to be pursued by Tonks. She was more than he deserved and that was the problem he faced.
"How have you been?" he asked, hoping she could still trust him, even after all that they'd been through. Despite the rejection and heartbreak, he still wanted her to know that it wasn't to be taken personally on her behalf. Nothing was her fault.
She didn't answer immediately, but remained silent for some time. The bent up emotions stirred inside of her and she suddenly became overcome with immense frustration. He cared and she knew that, but it just wasn't good enough.
"You know damn well how I've been," she told him bitterly. "You know, but you don't do a thing to change it."
"I've told you before," he reminded her. "It just wouldn't work. Even if it could, I don't think I'd allow it to. My guilt would be too strong."
"Guilt?" she inquired. "Why does anything that makes you remotely happy cause you to feel guilty? It makes me wonder if you ever want to be happy, Remus, or if you'd rather remain depressed."
"You don't understand," he told her coldly. He leaned back in his chair and ran his hands through his graying sandy brown hair.
"Because you won't let me," Tonks told him. "You're so reclusive. Open up to me, Remus. Tell me how you feel. I'll never know until you tell me."
She leaned across the table and placed her hand on his, knowing too well that he cared to much to pull away from her grasp. She had assumed correctly. If anything, the gesture seemed to indicate her open mind.
"It's not that I don't want to be with you," he told her. "You're everything I've ever looked for in a woman. Everything and more. Yet, I just wouldn't be good for you. For one thing, I'm nearly twice your age."
"If it mattered that much to me, I wouldn't be here right now," she assured him gently.
"And another," he pointed out, knowing her statement was true. "I could never provide for you. I can't even provide for myself. Do you see these bills?" He raised the newest one he had just received via owl. "You're too young to sacrifice your life for me. You need a husband who can support you and the children you should be having. With me, there's no money, which in turn means no family. I couldn't do that to you."
"Money isn't everything," she insisted boldly. "And do you really think that I'd simply go to work and not contribute any of my money to our hypothetical family? Money isn't a problem, Remus. I don't care if you're not the breadwinner. It really isn't the defining factor in a relationship."
"But what about the war?" he asked her.
"What about it?" she questioned. "If anything, the war is a good reason to embrace love. There is too much risk right now not to. If I were to die tomorrow, I would have felt my life wasted as I was never able to tell you how I felt. I don't want that to happen to us, Remus. I want you to know."
He nodded, not exactly sure what to say. So many things needed to be said, but he could only think of one. "I don't know how to love you, Nymphadora."
"You can't say that until you've tried," Tonks insisted, small, bright tears shining down her cheeks slowly. "Just give into it, Remus. Stop denying something that deserves to be acknowledged."
Remus raised from his seat and walked over to her, kneeling to become eye to eye with her. He raised his scarred hand and wiped the tears from her cheeks. And as they sat together that night, merely holding each other in one another's arms, they knew that if they were to die the next day, they would have felt their life fulfilled.
A/N: Something new. Hope there weren't many mistakes. I haven't looked it over yet. Hope you enjoyed it. Let me know.