A/N: Because people said such nice things to me about my story "Helping Hands", I decided to write this sequel. It's not incredibly fluffy, but it's sweet and I like it.
Disclaimer: I own nothing... especially not Harry Potter
Nymphadora Tonks stepped into the kitchen after arriving at Grimmuald Place after work, looking for someone. She peered around the doorway, and on the counter sat the cauldron full of a steaming potion. She pursed her lips together and nodded to herself grimly.
"Remus?" She called into the dark house, but got only an echo of her own voice in reply.
Lucky not to have awoken a certain portrait, Tonks ladled some of the potion into a goblet and treaded up the stairs as quietly as she could. As she went up the steps, she dwelled upon her previous night with a smile. Being with Remus was proving to be everything she ever wanted; he was so kind and thoughtful, and she loved the way he was the opposite of her in so many ways. He was so conservative and introverted, while she – well, she was a bit more of an extravert. She grinned to herself as she remembered singing up on that open-mike karaoke bar while Remus buried his face in his hands, laughing. Tonks didn't mind doing slightly risky things if it was for a good cause. Take the Order, for instance – well, that was a really risky thing to do, but it would be worth it should the Order prevail over he-who-must-not-be-named.
Tonks stopped outside Remus' bedroom door, her knuckles white on the grip of the goblet. She knocked softly, opened the door slowly, and poked her head inside.
"Are you decent?" she asked, but didn't wait for a reply before entering the room; she hadn't been expecting one anyway.
And there he was, sitting on the bed, looking troubled. His elbows were on his knees and he was staring at the floor. He looked unimpressive in his deliberately oversized clothing; his shirt was unbuttoned and his feet were bare. The soft, jazzy sounds of blues music were playing quietly on an old radio that sat on a chest of drawers.
Remus looked up when Tonks came in, carrying the steaming goblet in her hand. She gave a strained, encouraging half-smile that he did not return. Tonks sighed and sat down on the bed next to Remus, placing the goblet on the bedside table. He looked over at her and tried to force a smile, but he looked more like a condemned man.
"I brought you a serving," Tonks said quietly, gesturing to the smoking goblet.
"Thank you," Remus whispered in reply as he reached over and picked up the goblet, "I don't usually allow visitors when – well, at this time. At least, not since James, Sirius, and Peter; and often enough I didn't let them watch."
He took a sip and grimaced, then mumbled something indistinct. Tonks kept her eyes on Remus as he sipped his wolfsbane before licking her lips and taking a deep breath. She tugged absently on a spike of her pink hair.
"I was wondering," she started slowly, watching her feet as if they were a particularly interesting show, "Whether I could…"
Remus shook his head forcefully, slopping his potion down his front.
"I don't want you to see it," he said, "It's not pleasant. Ask Harry or Ron, if you like."
Tonks chuckled to herself as the pair stared at their feet in the same position.
"Well, it could be worse," she said with the slightest of smirks, "Wolves are very masculine."
She made as if to flex her bicep muscle and continued, "You could be turning into a big, fluffy bunny or something."
Remus laughed out loud for the first time, but sobered up rather quickly.
"I suppose it would be less painful," he said curiously as his smile slowly faded from his face, "No claws, no razor-sharp teeth…"
Tonks eyes him wearily.
She asked in a cautious voice, "You mean… it's painful? Even with the wolfsbane?"
Remus nodded gravely and answered, "Yes. The wolfsbane acts more as something to keep me aware of my surroundings, though it does take out a bit of the pain. It's like taking a single swig of a pain relieving potion for an amputated arm."
"Not very effective," Tonks finished, and Remus nodded again.
"That's right. It does make it – well, let's just say I'm a bit quieter during the transformation."
Tonks understood well enough, but she let the silence ring through the room like a bell, with the only white noise being the sound of the radio. Tonks looked around at it curiously.
"You like The Blues?" she asked with a hint of amusement in her voice.
Remus nodded slowly and replied, "Yes, it's very soothing. Nice."
"Yeah, my dad always liked it. Muggle music, that is. It's pretty good." Tonks replied, and they fell into another silence.
The last of the sun sank below the horizon and the moon came out and into view, full and glowing. It would have been beautiful, had the situation not been so serious, as it cast a blue-ish light over the old carpet.
Remus dropped the empty goblet and it hit the floor, causing a clanging noise to disrupt the silence. He jumped to his feet, and Tonks did the same, alarmed at the prospect of that was about to happen.
"Go!" Remus exclaimed hoarsely, pointing to the door behind him.
Tonks looked form the door to Remus twice before shaking her head.
"No!" She exclaimed in a scared voice, "I want to stay with you! I want to help!"
Remus shook his head vigorously, bending his knees slightly and sweating as he said, "There's nothing you can do for me! Just –"
He stopped speaking and slammed his eyes shut, obviously in sudden extreme pain. He went rigid. Tonks rushed forward and stopped before him, her eyes shining with tears.
"Are you alright? Can you hear me?" she asked, and he struggled to nod.
He stumbled forward, his shirt swaying madly, and she caught him. She kissed his forehead in a comforting gesture and struggled to support his weight. She wrapped her arms around his waist with her knees bent as he struggled to stand up. His nails dug into her shoulders and her heart leaped to her throat. His pupils began to dilate, but she could not see because his chin was on her shoulder. Remus groaned in anguish, as if he were being tortured
"It's going to be alright, Remus." she said, trying to sound strong, "Think about yesterday, and the fun we had! That movie was great, and…"
Tonks could feel as his back began to curve and his hands started to become claws.
"And ice cream," he managed to choke as he tried to keep his mind off the transformation that was happening.
"Right, and ice cream, and pizza and… can you hear me, Remus?" Tonks asked as he started to sprout hair.
"I can hear you," he replied in a strangled voice unlike his own, his eyes clamped shut against his agony.
"Can you hear me?" she asked again, biting her lip and struggling against his frame, which was becoming more wolfish every second.
There was a sound when his shirt ripped as his shoulders rounded. Another groan escaped from his mouth, but he set his jaw and tried not to make any noise.
"I can hear you," he choked, his blood pounding in his ears and his feet changing into those of a werewolf.
"Can you hear me?" Tonks asked again, gasping as his claws dug into her shoulder.
"I can –" Remus started, but stopped suddenly as his transformation changed his vocal cords.
He let out a cry and Tonks' knees gave out. They both crashed to the floor, and white dots danced in front of Tonks' eyes. When she sat up, sitting in front of her, surrounded by tattered clothing, was a werewolf. She gazed at it as it breathed raggedly, noticing how alarmingly close to a regular wolf it looked. Only a few subtle differences were visible, including the snout. The werewolf watched her apprehensively, and she watched back for a moment before scrambling to her knees. She gazed at the werewolf, unable to hide her shock at what had just happened.
"Remus, are you… well, yourself? In the mind, at least?" she asked slowly, nervously; what if the potion hadn't worked?
Could she run for it, or would she get bitten? She supposed being a werewolf wouldn't be too bad; she would make better company for Remus, at least. If he didn't try to lock himself away for biting her, that is.
And then, though she didn't know if she was surprised or not, the werewolf nodded. Her hand found its way to cover her mouth, but she pulled it back down to her side after a moment and smiled.
"You know, you're cuter than I thought you would be," she observed, then hastily added, "Not that I didn't think that you would be cute, but I was expecting something more alarming."
The werewolf snorted in what Tonks could only imagine was a laugh of sorts. She patted it on the head, and it looked slightly annoyed. It got up and situated itself on a blanket under Remus' desk, all curled up. Tonks crawled across the floor and sat down beside the werewolf with her back propped up against the desk. She cast a sideways glance at the werewolf, which had rested its head between its paws. Its yellow eyes were watching her almost apprehensively.
"This is the weirdest date I have ever been on, let me tell you," Tonks informed the werewolf nonchalantly, studying her nails.
The werewolf laid its ears flat on its head and made a strange noise, and Tonks laughed out loud.
"I thought that would perk you up a bit. How are you feeling, any better since the transformation?" She asked, and the werewolf sighed. "I'll take that as an 'it's getting there'."
Tonks grabbed a book off Remus' desk and read the cover. The werewolf sat up as she grinned.
"Metamorphmagus – A Mystery of History." Tonks read aloud, and then raised an eyebrow at the werewolf, who cocked its head, "Been doing a little research? Gee, am I really all that fascinating, Remus?"
The werewolf licked her jaw, and she pulled a face.
"I'm flattered," she replied in mock-sarcasm, and opened the book to the doggy-eared page.
"Let's not make this night a waste, now," she replied, and sat in a more comfortable position for reading, "Let's learn, shall we?"
Tonks cleared her throat and began to read with the book propped up on her knees.
"The origin of the Metamorphmagus species – oh, so now I'm a species? – is unknown as of today, but much can be speculated using the following information…"
As Tonks continued to read, the werewolf lay back down on its blanket and listened intently. Tonks read on by the light of the moon until she was so tired that she began repeating lines over and over by accident. She closed the book and placed it back on the desk, then performed a cushioning charm on the floor and conjured up a blanket. Tonks lay down besides the werewolf and closed her eyes, and fell asleep to the sound of Remus' slow and peaceful breathing.
A/N: There you go, I hope you liked it!