Title: Just the way you
Rated: T due to future situations
Disclaimer: HP & all others are trademarks of JK Rowling. No profit is made from the use of these trademarked entities. No animals were harmed in the typing of this fic. Void where prohibited, see store for complete rules and details. Any similarities to actual events are strictly a coincidence.
An: This is it folks... the finale. the last chapter... big big conclusion. I hope you've liked it! I don't know if there will be a continuation or not... I kinda need to finish up some mods on other fics before I even concider that idea...
He bundled the makeshift cloak around him a little tighter. It was honestly nothing more than a large bed sheet he had managed to knick off a clothesline in a small village. It was a crude, paisley print cloak he had made for himself, but it had provided him some covering. Not to mention some blood from the tear marks were beginning to soak through, but the sooner he made it back to Grimmauld, the sooner he could have Molly take care of the wounds.
He had apparated into London, close to Tonks' flat. All the lights had been off there, so he hoped against all odds that perhaps he hadn't hurt her while turned and she was waiting for him, safe at Grimmauld. If, in fact, she had been there. When it got too close to a transformation, he never really knew what was real and what was his mind playing tricks on him.
Finally, he had reached Grimmauld. The old House of Black squeezed its neighbors aside and let itself become more pronounced on the street. He slowly made his way up the few steps that led into the door and let himself in. He took extra care to make sure he didn't wake the sleeping portrait of the late Mrs. Black.
He slowly crept up the stairs and to his door. He gave a sigh of relief when he reached it. He was only moments away from being able to fall into a soft bed and go to sleep. He would wait until morning to let Molly tend the wounds. Odds were, they would still be open and bleeding. Slowly, he opened his door.
The scene before him had been unexpected. There was a fire burning in the fireplace with a bubbling cauldron over the flames. Tonks was on her knees in front of it, stirring the contents with a far off look in her eyes. She brought the ladle out and sniffed the contents. Her face contorted in an expression of distaste as she placed the ladle back into the cauldron.
"Luckily I don't have to drink it," Remus commented. She didn't jumped she just smiled gently. "I apologize if I scared you."
Tonks shook her head. "You didn't," she said softly. "I heard you coming." She looked at him and smiled brightly. "Molly showed me what to do, so I get to help you tonight." She patted a spot on the rug next to her. "Take that thing off and come over here."
Remus closed his door. He hesitated at first, but he carefully removed the mock clothing he had fashioned from the paisley bed sheet and took a seat beside Tonks. She dipped some of the contents of the cauldron into a bowl. She touched the contents and shook her hand as it burnt her. She bit her bottom lip and started to set the bowl down.
"It has to be like that when you put it on," he instructed quietly. When she looked up at him with wide eyes, he added, "I'm used to it Nymphadora."
Tonks closed her eyes and dipped her hand into the steaming bowl. "Geesh that's hot," she whimpered shakily.
"Molly usually uses a dragon glove to put it on," Remus replied.
Tonks took a deep breath and began to slowly spread the thick liquid on his arms and hands. Remus closed his eyes and clenched his teeth tightly. He could feel the liquid already doing it's magic. Unlike actual bites or claw marks he used to inflict on himself, the ones from his transformation would actually heal almost instantly. They would, however, add to the mass of scars he had received in the same area over the years.
Next, Tonks carefully spread the liquid on his chest and legs. He had to hand it to her; she was handling the heat of the liquid rather well. She scooted around him. "None on your back? Weird."
"Not much changes back there I guess," Remus commented, a hint of laughter in his tone.
Tonks straddled his legs and delicately spread the liquid on the marks on his face. She smiled gently when she set the bowl down then picked up a wet cloth. She started wiping off the excess once everything had healed itself. Just as when putting on the hot liquid, she saved his face for last, straddling his legs.
Once she got the last bit of excess off his face, she leaned in and lightly brushed her lips over his. It was at that moment, Remus felt completely human again. Her arms around him felt like the most natural thing that he could have been doing. But, he couldn't help but ask her…
"Were you at that place tonight?"
"You mean Richard's little dungeon?" Remus nodded. "Yes," Tonks replied simply. "If I hadn't been there, you would have killed him after you turned." She must have seen the panic in his eyes because she quickly added, "You didn't bite me either. Everyone made it out alive and unbitten."
Tonks smiled softly and kissed his forehead.
Remus didn't want to ask anymore about the experience of being trapped down in the dungeon while he was transformed. Odds were it would be a horrible tale of trying to out run his wolf form. He could already imagine the screams of terror that must have escaped her sweet lips.
As if she were reading his thoughts, Tonks hugged him from behind his back and whispered in his ear. "I wasn't scared at all, Remus. So don't worry about it. I'd gladly do it all over again if it meant saving you from doing something you would regret."
"Why do I get the feeling I wouldn't have regretted killing Richard?" Remus said quietly. "I've seen and heard the things he said to you. Not just tonight, but when I would ride the underground and watch you. It makes me wonder what he would do when I wasn't able to be there for you. The ideas in my mind made me want to kill him with my bare mortal hands. When I could hear the wolf, I knew he wanted nothing more than to do the same."
Remus reached up and closed his hands lightly around Tonks' wrists.
"The wolf would never hurt me Remus," Tonks whispered in his ear.
He resolved to just let her believe that idea. He was too exhausted to argue with her at that moment. Tonks came around and sat in his lap, placing her head on his shoulder. Remus reached up and lightly stroked down the side of her beautiful neck.
She jumped and hissed slightly when his fingers grazed across a spot at the nape of her neck. He pulled her back slightly and observed the spot that had caused her discomfort. It was a series of small cuts as if a set of very human teeth had sank themselves into her skin. The bruise around it was light, letting him know it was several days old.
Tonks flushed lightly. Remus scowled slightly.
"Did I do that?" he asked. Tonks nodded gently. "Nothing happened?"
"Should something have happened?"
Remus managed a half laugh. "I don't know." Suddenly, Remus felt compelled to just take her into his arms and make love to her in front of the warm fire.
So he did.
About two months later…
Tonks lightly touched the bite marks at the nape of her neck. They had heeled completely the previous full moon but had left a bit of a scar. It had been a proverbial hell for her getting used to hearing the whispered voice in the back of her mind the week before the full moon. When the voice had ceased the morning after the full moon, Tonks had come to realize that some how the voice, the full moon, and the wolf were somehow connected together.
Remus didn't know it, but when the wolf would push him aside momentarily during that week, she was able to rein the wolf in and convince him to rest a little while longer. She wanted to tell him, but each time she felt the urge to tell him, she couldn't find the words -- either that or the wolf would be around and give her a devilish wink. So it had become a bit of a secret between herself and the wolf.
Besides, part of her felt Remus already knew but was just unwilling to accept it. She had seen Remus in the eyes of the wolf too many times not to think he didn't know. But she always apparated away before Remus turned back to himself. But, for some reason, he never understood how she always knew the right time to arrive and help him with his wounds.
It was best to have it that way, for now…
Remus lightly stroked Tonks' face as she slept. She smiled in her sleep and snuggled closer to him. Come morning, the two of them would be on a new mission. This time it would be a relatively easy one, though a very well organized one. For now, he just wanted to hold onto the moment that was reserved purely for the two of them.
The morning that was too rapidly approaching would bring a busy day full of business for The Order. It would be filled with the final plans of going to rescue Harry from The Dursley's and setting them into motion. It would also be full of the younger Weasley children competing for a moment of Tonks' time so that they could have a good cheer-up as they watched her turn her nose and hair color. He would have to share her.
But, for now, that was something he didn't have to do. Nor did he have to worry about biting her later that night, the full moon had passed two days earlier and she had been safe at Grimmauld while he was off alone. He wanted to tell her that sometimes, after he turned back, he could smell traces of her scent as if she had been there with him and had just left when he returned to himself. But, maybe she would have said it was a ridiculous idea, that perhaps he had just smelled her on the clothes he had removed prior to turning.
At least that's what he hoped it was. Sometimes he was prone to dreaming she was there with him, the wolf's massive head in her lap as she gently stroked him between his ears. But he had resolved that they were nothing more than wishful thinking.
For now Remus had resolved to let himself enjoy the presence of Tonks in his life. Though, he knew that sometime in the near future it would have to come to an end. Not for his sake but merely for her safety. He couldn't let it get too far. He had to keep those certain walls up to keep her from getting too far in.
Because, until he knew precisely what the future held for him… Remus knew he could never plan for a real future with Tonks. No matter how wonderful she made him feel inside.