Rated: M for implied nudity and a sexual situation.
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.
Summary: Part 1 of 3 in a series. Tonks hears music in the dead of night and goes to investigate. RLNT.
AN: If you are/were a follower of the Alive-Birth series, PLEASE go to my forums and read my special post on this story.
Tonks sighed and removed the pillow from over her face.
It was the third night in the row that Hank William's I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry had been playing practically non-stop from somewhere downstairs. It wasn't that she minded the song, it's just she was wondering why whoever it was decided to play it after everyone had gone to sleep.
She hadn't minded because it made her think of her dearly departed cousin. Her heart clenched as Sirius came to her mind. She hadn't said anything to anyone yet, because she didn't want any of them to think her weak for missing someone she barely knew
He'd actually been one of her favourite cousins growing up, even though his mum didn't exactly allow him to come over often. He would usually come over during the holidays while he was at Hogwarts, usually he had James or Remus with him, because he never felt going home was an option.
She smiled slightly remembering how she had trailed along behind her cousin and his friends when they visited. Then suddenly it dawned on her; there was one person in the house that knew what it was like to lose him. It was someone that would rather keep to themselves and hide their feelings behind slightly tattered robes and mysterious hazel eyes.
She crawled out of the bed and pulled on a bathrobe before padding down the stairs quietly; narrowly missing the umbrella stand she usually crashed over. However, since Sirius' death, she had barely blundered or even stumbled over anything. She hadn't even once broken a dish or cup. So missing the umbrella stand hadn't come as such a big surprise since everything else about her clumsy nature was off.
The song had already started over once again and was getting louder as she approached the study. She slowly pushed the door open, the music getting clearer and louder as she did so.
The room was dark with only the almost full moon providing light. She stepped into the room, her eyes on the shadow of the man standing in front of the window, gazing out at the moon with a bottle in his hand. Tonks quietly closed the door behind her and cautiously walked toward the man.
She could tell by the way the moonlight reflected off the streaks of grey that her assumption had been correct. It was, in fact, Remus that was the source of the old sad song. It was playing over an old, bewitched record player that added to the almost ghostly sound of the song.
"Beautiful isn't it?" Remus asked, taking a drink from the bottle in his hand.
Tonks jumped slightly. She had been careful to be extra quiet so not to disturb him. How had he known? "Is what beautiful," she asked quietly, standing still in the middle of the room.
"The song. The moon. Everything, really," Remus replied in an almost dreamlike tone, his back was still to her. "I find it amazing how things look different in certain situations or certain frames of mind." He paused for a long moment. "I apologize, I tend to be somewhat more philosophical when I've been drinking. Well, more than I usually am."
Tonks pulled the shoulder of her bathrobe up after it slipped down her arm slightly. "I came down because I figured it was you playing the song every night. Because you miss... Sirius."
"Actually I listen to it almost every night leading up to the full moon," Remus commented. "Though the loss of Sirius has somewhat altered my interpretation of the song, I still find it soothing and relaxing when the werewolf part of me wants to be aggravating. But since Sirius left us, all I can remember is him teasing me about this being the only song that could sooth the beast within. I apologize for waking you."
Tonks walked closer and stood next to Remus. His eyes looked tormented and dull, hardly any of the sparks she had loved to see in those eyes was there. "You didn't wake me, I couldn't sleep anyways." She took the bottle out of his loose grip and took a long drink. Almost instantly she started coughing and choking on the amber liquid.
She heard Remus give a slight chuckle as she handed the bottle back to him. She looked up at him after she managed to stop choking; he was looking down at her with an almost cocky and amused look on his face. "I've never seen your hair change colours so many times. Yellow, pink, purple, blue, and then a multi-colouring. The mix of colours looks rather fetching I must say," he commented, and then looked back out the window. He set the bottle on the windowsill and turned to her. "Care to dance?"
A slow smile went to Tonk's lips. Though it wasn't exactly the song or the situation in which she had imagined him asking her such a thing, she couldn't help but accept his offer. She removed her bathrobe, leaving her in just her thin nightgown, and took his hand. He pulled her close, holding her somewhat firmly against his frame as they swayed to the echoing music. In the dark, hallow house, it added an even more ghostly tone to the already wistful tune of the song.
"Do you miss him," she asked after a long moment.
"Of course I do, he was my best friend," Remus murmured, his chin resting against her forehead. "The important thing is not to dwell upon it. Death is something that is inevitable and comes to all of us eventually in some form or fashion. We should celebrate the fact we're still alive especially when even those that have immortality find it's not as much as it's cracked up to be. To be immortal is to lack one of the defining qualities of being human."
"I wish I could be immortal," Tonks whispered, using the moment to inhale Remus' scent. "To never die. To live forever."
"To watch everyone you love and care for wither away into nothingness? To watch your friends grow old while you retain your youth," Remus asked. "To watch your children grow old and die."
"Oh." Tonks blinked several times. "Since you put it that way, it doesn't seem so glamorous after all."
"Exactly." She could hear a smile in his voice. "Isn't this song beautiful," he asked after another long silence.
Tonks smiled and nodded. "Yes." For some reason, since he was holding her so intimately in his arms, she didn't think she'd ever be able to look at the song the same. She used to think it was sad, but it didn't seem as sad as it sounded like simplistic beauty to her ears. And it was all because of the dance. She pulled her head back to look at him in his eyes. "Until tonight, though, I thought it was sad. But, now I find it rather beautiful and almost romant---"
She was cut off as Remus' lips softly touched hers. Warmth spread over her face as she felt Remus' hand slowly trail down to her rear end and the other slowly ran over her hip, side, and back. They had stopped dancing as their lips slowly and teasingly brushed over each other's. Remus gently bit her bottom lip and deepened the kiss, making Tonks start going weak in her knees.
She slid her hands up to his shoulders and held on tightly so not to melt onto the floor in a multicoloured puddle. She had just come down the stairs to show Remus she was also grieving over losing their friend. She hadn't counted on nearly choking on some whiskey, slow dancing to Hank Williams, and kissing Remus while his hand ran through her multi-coloured hair.
But she wasn't going to complain. Some little part of her mind had actually been hoping for exactly what was happening to happen. Though it usually only "really" happened in her dreams. She had never given any thought that such a refined gentleman like Remus Lupin would actually kiss a clumsy little punk like herself.
For the first time since she'd lost her cousin, she felt alive. She felt something other than the deep emptiness in her chest since Sirius' death. Perhaps Remus was right, they merely needed to celebrate the fact they still existed and were still alive for the time being.
And nothing was saying "alive" in her mind like the small jolts of excitement coursing through her body because of Remus' hands and lips upon her. Her blood was rapidly pumping through her veins, making her feel as if she really were truly alive. Their fingers found the front of the other's shirt and started making quick work of the buttons they found.
She heard it said that soldiers from wars would often "engage in relations" with someone they love, or even a stranger, just to make sure they were still alive and that their survival hadn't been a illusion to keep them from the truth of their own deaths. Perhaps it was time for both of them to make sure they weren't lost in some post-death illusion.
They had survived. The least she should be able to do is tell Remus how she'd been in love with him since the first time she had seen him at the Ministry, researching to find the werewolf that had bitten him. How all she had dreamt of was being able to touch the man beneath the tattered clothes.
After all, they could both very well be gone come morning.
She inhaled deeply as Remus tore his lips from hers. "Are you real?" he murmured against her lips, his fingertips at her throat, with something that sounded almost like desperation in his voice. "Is this really happening?" His eyes looked deeply into hers. "You should have died in the Death Room. All of us should have."
"But we didn't," Tonks smiled as they slid each other's shirts off to the floor.
"Are you sure you're not just some figment of my imagination sent to torment me for never telling you how I felt because I was so afraid you wouldn't feel the same or thought I was too old or was afraid of my... condition?" He kissed her again, this time much more softly and sweet than before.
"I'm real Remus," she murmured against his lips. She inhaled slowly as she felt his warm hands on her skin, not through a confining fabric.
This time when he pulled away, his eyes looked sad and tormented. "No one ever drinks out of a cup I've ever used, but you snatched that bottle from me and drank from it. You kissed me and didn't try to push me away. You have to be a dream."
She took his fingers in her hands and squeezed them gently. "We survived. I'm not a figment of your imagination. But, if you're still not convinced, I was once doing some research once about ancient magic and I found about this one ancient ritual -"
A small smile played at the corner of Remus' lips. She could tell by the mischievous glint in his eyes that he knew exactly what ritual she was referring to. "You wouldn't happen to mean the ancient warrior ritual of bedding their lovers when they come home would you?" Remus confirmed.
The smile that had been teasing the corner of Remus' lips spread to the point he almost looked like he did when he was in his teens. He seemed young and alive and free of care and loss. His eyes were asking her so many things, but they all boiled down to one question… Did she feel the same way about him? She answered his wordless question with a kiss. His hands were already trying to unsuccessfully make short of her pajama bottoms.
"Tonight, let's just celebrate," she whispered. "I think we qualify as being warriors. This is a home."
"In honour of those who lived and in deepest honour of those who passed on to the next realm of existence," Remus concluded.
Their lips met, once again in a frenzy to consume the other. Remus finally had the victory over Tonks' stubborn pajama pants and all Tonks had to do was unfasten his belt and the too-large pants fell away. Her mind was floating as she felt warm skin against her own flesh. Hot hands were slowly moving over her, as if trying to memorize every curve of her body.
Tonks felt her knees finally give out. Instead of her knees instantly coming in contact with the cold, hard, wood on the floor she was slowly lowered to it. Slowly, she felt a combination of the cool wood and a warm hearthrug on her back and the heat of Remus above her.
All she could do was pray to any god she could think of that it wasn't a dream.