A/N: I never would have dreamed to put Lupin and Tonks together in the beginning, but now they seem to go together quite well. Tonks in Lupin's foil in a way, and he could use some fun every now and again. Anyway, I always found Lupin's perspective very hard to write from, so forgive me if this sucks. And my space bar is sucking for some reason, so I'm sorry ifwords are getting stuck together. Anyway, I wrote this when the first paragraph turned out better then I'd thought. Seeing as I write most of it out longhand first, and then forgot to bring my notebook with me, I was forced to start over from scratch with only the ideasI had from before.

Disclaimer: I own nothing... especially not Harry Potter

Happy Reading!


Helping Hands

Remus Lupin could hear thunder off in the distance as he staggered up the steps to number twelve, Grimmauld Place. Everything was eerily still, except for a sudden strong breeze that whipped around the leaves on the ground, causing them to make a curious scraping sound. Remus pulled his cloak tighter around him as he pushed open the door with his shoulder and stepped inside.

The hall was dark and when Remus closed the door, the clicks of all the locks resounded through the empty hall. Without Sirius, Remus was quite alone, and this was a mixed blessing. He did occasionally like to be himself, but Sirius' death had struck him hard. His pack, as far as he was concerned, was finished for good. He was back to square one; for years, he had thought that he was alone, and the Sirius came back. And now he was alone again – well, except for Harry, but Harry was young and busy in his war.

Remus dragged himself up the stairs and into the bathroom, more tired than ever. The last time he had remembered feeling this tired was on the night that he lost all three of his best friends at once – or, at least he thought he had. Now it was for real.

Remus closed the bathroom door and pulled off his top robe. He could see thin lines of red where he had been scratched. As far as he was concerned, the werewolves were done with him, and he was done with them. He was lucky to have only escaped with a few scratches, seeing as they had all attempted to get him at once. He opened the medicine cabinet and took out a small bottle of cut-healing potion and a tube of lotion what was supposed to stop his migraine.

Remus closed the medicine cabinet and caught a glimpse of himself on the mirror, and noticed with a pang of remorse that he had received a few more grey hairs over the last few days. He sighed and turned away from his reflection; it bothered him more than ever these days, now that he was with someone for the first time in a very, very long time.

He pulled off his undershirt and was about to get rid of his migraine when he heard the door creak open downstairs. He stopped moving, ears perked up and listening intently. The person closed the door and did the locks, and began to walk up the stairs. But who was it? A resounding thud as the person walking up the stairs tripped and fell caused Remus' heart to jump as he realized who it must be. He couldn't let anyone, especially her see him like this!

His eyes widened and he tried pulling his shirt back over his head before the person could find him. In his panic, it took him ten seconds to realize that he was trying to force his head through his sleeve, and he had just pulled it down the right way when the person knocked on the door.

"Come in!" Remus said hoarsely.

The door opened and Nymphadora Tonks stepped in, her hair falling over her shoulders in soft blonde curls. She was wearing her Auror robes and her leather gloves with finger holes cut in them, so she had apparently come straight from the ministry. She took one look at Remus and laughed softly. He realized how funny he must look with his hair askew and a purple tube in his hand.

"Are you alright, Remus?" she asked, stepping further into the bathroom and closing the door behind her.

"Yes, I'm fine," he replied, trying to get his hair to lie flat, "I was just… shaving."

Tonks raised an eyebrow.

"Oh really? So tell me, how often do you shave your chest?" she asked, trying to suppress a smile.

"What?"

"Remus, you're bleeding through your shirt." Tonks said bluntly, "What really happened today?"

Remus threw the tube into the empty sink and sighed.

"Apparently, Greyback picked up my scent at the castle a few weeks ago and now they know what side I'm really on. Of course, you can imagine that they weren't pleased. I admit myself to be lucky to have survived it with a few scratches." Remus said, and then saw the look on Tonks' face and added, "It's nothing, really. I'm fine."

He plucked his shirt away from sticking to his wounds with a wince; the potion had not quite kicked in yet. Tonks strode forward and grabbed the lotion out of the sink. She held it up towards the light and read it.

"Are you using this?" she asked, still reading the tube.

Remus shifted and replied, "Well, I was going to, yes. Headache."

"Let me help you," Tonks said kindly, looking up from her reading with a smile.

"Uh…" Remus said, and swallowed, "I can do it. I'm fine, really."

Tonks smiled knowingly and said softly as she removed her gloves, "You know, I don't care that you have scars. They're just marks."

Remus' mouth dropped open a little, but he closed it and stared at her.

"I…"

The look she gave him said more than words. He sighed, sat down on a stepstool, and pulled his shirt back over his head. He turned his back to her, his eyes closed as he prepared to receive the usual river of comments about the marks that littered his back. Back in school, the nurse would tut at him and call it a shame, and girls would not want to look at him, or they would gasp in terror. But Tonks did no such thing. She merely kneeled behind him, uncapped the tube, and put a little of the lotion in her hands. When her hands touched his skin, he jumped a little and sat up straighter. She laughed a tiny bit and began to massage his back. The scent of lavender began to work on his migraine immediately and calmed him down. Remus relaxed and succumbed to her helping hands. All the while she was talking nonchalantly about things like work and the upcoming wedding.

"…And, of course, seeing as the wedding would be you-know-who's opportune time for an attack, we've all been going absolutely mad with the arrangements. I swear, we won't be able to breathe without being accosted by Moody…"

Remus had closed his eyes and only murmured a "Mhmm" when necessary. For the first time in a while, he was relaxed. Truly, really relaxed. And the full moon was approaching, too, which usually brought about some uncertainty and unhappiness. But as he sat on this old stool in the bathroom of his dead best friend's house with Tonks gently massaging his back and shoulders, he felt a new emotion. He felt… at ease. With the war raging and the werewolves constantly on his case, he was stressed. Though he was still stressed, he felt that he deserved a mini vacation. Only, he still didn't like the idea of being so open and vulnerable. Tonks stopped moving for a moment and was silent.

"You know, Fleur was right," she said thoughtfully.

"About?" Remus questioned, turning his head to look at her over his bare shoulder.

Tonks capped the tube and put her hands on Remus' shoulders. She kissed his pulse point behind his ear; in the spot that he knew gave made him tingle.

"All these scars," she whispered into his ear, gently blowing in the spot she had kissed, "They just mean that you're brave."

With that, she stood up and tossed Remus his shirt. He caught it, an apprehensive look on his face, and then stood up. Tonks motioned towards the door.

"Come on now; what would Molly think if she saw you like this? Shirtless in the bathroom with me."

"That would be… most interesting," Remus said in an amused voice as they went off into the bedroom that Remus stayed in.

Remus pulled open the closet and grabbed the first clean shirt he saw. He slipped into it and buttoned it up before pulling his cloak back on over his head. With his migraine gone and a small smile on his face, Remus lead Tonks down into the kitchen. She slumped down into the chair nearest to the table and sighed. She looked exhausted; her usually lively eyes had dark circles beneath them, and she gave a tremendous yawn as she sat down. Remus pulled out a bottle of butterbeer from the cupboard and ladled himself some wolfsbane out of a steaming cauldron. He sat down with his goblet and slid the butterbeer across the table to Tonks, who took it gratefully with a word of thanks. Remus surveyed her curiously from across the table as she uncorked her drink and took a swig. She caught him watching her and smiled.

"It's nothing, just tired," she said, "and busy, of course. But I like a bit of action every now and again."

He smiled at her and guzzled his drink down, then cringed.

"Some things you don't get over," he said, "Like the taste of a terrible potion, for instance."

Tonks watched as he finished his drink; he was keenly aware of her eyes on him. She put her elbows on the table and leaned against one fist.

"You don't get out much, do you?"

Remus was taken slightly aback.

"What do you mean by 'get out'?" he inquired serenely.

"Well, I mean, when was the last night you spent a night out on the town? With or without a woman?" she clarified, a small blush creeping up her neck.

Remus vanished his goblet with a flick of his wand, his expression thoughtful.

"Well," he said, "Probably, I guess… a few years ago."

Tonks gaped at him, and he shrugged.

"Werewolf," he said plainly, folding his hands on the table, "It all comes back to the same thing."

"Hmph," Tonks said, "Sounds like an excuse to me. Let's say you and I go out somewhere tonight; you know, have a little fun?"

Remus tilted his chair back on its rear legs and scratched his chain. "Well, I suppose seeing as I'll be curled up under the desk in my room tomorrow night, I think making the most of tonight would be an excellent idea."

"'Making the most of tonight?'" Tonks repeated incredulously, and Remus' chair fell forward.

"Oh, you know what I mean," he said, sounding faintly distressed, "A night on the town. Maybe dinner…?"

She sat back in her chair and sighed slightly.

"Have you ever thought of marriage?" she asked suddenly, sitting up straighter.

Remus raised an eyebrow and replied skeptically, "How long have we been together? A month?"

Tonks blushed and added, "Not even to me, just in general."

Remus summoned a mug of tea out of nowhere and held it between his hands. He stared down at the contents of it for a moment and then looked back up at her. He thought vaguely of girlfriends he had once, and how they left him when they found out his secret. He thought vaguely of how he had tried desperately to live a normal life, and how every time he got so far, he would be pushed back to square one. And finally, he thought of the Weasley children, and how proud Molly and Arthur were. Somewhere deep inside of him, Remus wanted a family and a wife, but he didn't want to endanger them.

"Yes," he answered in his slightly hoarse voice, "I have, but never more than a fleeting thought. I am, like I have told you before: poor, dangerous, and old."

"You're not old."

"I'm getting there."

At this point, Tonks stood up and pulled Remus up, too.

"What's life without a little danger?" she asked, smiling and mimicking a sword fight with her wand, "I wouldn't mind a little of the unknown."

He smiled at her knowingly and shook his head.

"Have you forgotten that I am a dangerous half-breed?" he said in a sardonic way with the raise of an eyebrow.

Tonks laughed softly and wrapped her arms around his neck. She stood on tiptoe and kissed him softly on the lips. He quivered under her touch.

"I've become rather attached to the species." She said simply, grinning.

Remus chuckled and shook his head, but still somehow found his arms wrapping around her waist.

"You are something else, Nymphadora," he said, smiling as she scowled at her name, "I think I'm falling – and fast."

"I like that idea," Tonks said, causing Remus to lean in and kissed her.

The doorbell suddenly rang, and the portrait of Sirius' mum began screaming its usual profanities. Tonks broke away with an exasperated sigh and ran a hand through her hair with uncertainty.

"I'll get that, I think," Remus said, and walked out of the kitchen.

A smile played on his lips as he walked towards the front door. Maybe his night wouldn't be so bad after all…


A/N: Stupid plot bunnies. I like this story, though, so yeah. Thanks for reading!