A/N: So, this is me taking another shot at a Tonks/Lupin story. Just to inform you, this takes place in HBP the day that Harry sees Tonks at Hogwarts when he's trying to get into the Room of Requirement. Just to clarify, this is something that might have happened afterwards. I know it doesnt follow the hospitalwing scene at the end perfectly, but this is fanfiction, right? I'm doing the best I can here! It's so close that I dont even consider it an AU. In fact, it could have happened, so there! Mwuahahaha.
Disclaimer: I own nothing... especially not Harry Potter!
A Bad Romance Novel
When Tonks opened the door to the Noble and Most House Ancient of Black, she saw Arthur Weasley standing in the foyer wearing a pink, frilly apron. She took no notice of this, however, for she had much more pressing matters on her mind. Arthur looked up from his sweeping of the dusty floor with concern. She gazed back, looking frightened and concerned, but also as if she were trying to cover up these feelings.
"Arthur, have you seen Remus lately?" She inquired, "I heard about a werewolf attacking and I went to see Dumbledore about it, but he's not around."
Arthur straightened up and pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. He didn't spare her a smile, but a knowing look. He pointed in the direction of the den and leaned his broom against the wall with a sigh.
"Ahh, yes, he's here," Arthur said, "He's fine, really, just a bit tired…"
Tonks nearly collapsed in relief. She felt her knees buckle, but she managed not to show it.
"Good," she breathed, running a hand through her mousy brown hair. "Good…"
With the horror of Remus possibly being hurt and the thought of his safety pounding through her calming veins, she took notice of Arthur's apron. She smirked as she headed off for the living room.
"Nice apron, Arthur," she commented.
Arthur blushed but grinned nonetheless.
"Thanks," he grumbled, picking his broom up and continuing with his work, "One day off from work and Molly has me cleaning this place."
Tonks walked into the den, a small grin still on her lips. Remus was sitting in a chair by the fire, obviously asleep. His head was lolled to the side and his mouth was the slightest bit ajar. His arms were on either armrest, he was slouching slightly, and his legs were spread apart. Tonks stopped and leaned against the doorway, her arms crossed over her chest. She sighed. Remus always looked so worn, but he looked slightly comfortable in his position, with the dancing light flickering over his prematurely-lined face. She had no intention of waking him, seeing as she had only come to see that he was all right, and he looked as if he hadn't slept in days. Tonks watched the slow rise and fall of his chest for a moment longer before turning to leave.
Remus stirred, though, as she turned to go, and woke with a start. At the sound of his rousing, Tonks spun around to face him once more. Remus looked up and saw her standing in the doorway, looking slightly uneasy. He jumped to his feet with the agility of a wolf.
"Hello," Remus said awkwardly, "I must have dozed off. Do you know the time?"
"Quarter of seven," Tonks replied quietly, not daring to move lest Remus run away; he seemed to have refined the art of avoiding her recently.
Remus put on an air of being startled that Tonks knew at once to be faulty.
"Oh! I must be going then. I have a very important…er…appointment. Nice to see you. Bye."
And he was off in the opposite direction before Tonks could say a word. He opened the closest door and walked onto the other side, closing and locking the door behind him. Tonks followed him, but the door was closed before she could grasp the handle.
Tonks tried for a moment to open the door manually, but it was soundly locked. She considered using magic to unlock it, but that thought was swept away in a second; she wanted Remus to face her himself. She gave an exasperated sigh.
Her voice was laced with desperation as she said, "Please, Remus, please talk to me!"
"Sorry, I really must be on my way." Remus replied hoarsely.
"Remus, you're in a closet."
There was no reply to this, for Remus had looked around the room and realized that Tonks was right.
His voice sounded so defeated that Tonks felt her eyes begin to fill with tears for the second time that day. She blinked them away and reminded herself that she needed to be assertive in the situation. The house remained silent except for the occasional sound of something moving in the walls. Tonks sighed and let her forehead fall against the door, her hand still on the handle.
"I like you so much, Remus, you know that."
"I know it."
"You like me too, I can tell. You've all but told me."
"I know it."
"You know what? That I can tell or that you like me, too?"
"So why can't we be together, then, if you like me so much?"
Remus gave a groan from inside the closet. It was clear that he was tired of addressing the subject.
"How many times have I told you? There must be a million reasons why we can't be together." Remus stated in a forced calm, "If I were anyone else, just about anyone at all, than the situation might be different."
"If you were anyone else, than I wouldn't be standing outside this godforsaken door, having this conversation with you. It's you, Remus! I don't care how poor or dangerous you are!" Tonks replied desperately.
"You're just making things worse."
"I don't care! I've told you a million times!"
"We're in a war!"
"Now you're making excuses!"
"These are not excuses! You're being ridiculous!"
Tonks scoffed and placed her hands on her hips brusquely.
"Excuse me?" She said with disbelief, "I'm not the one who's locked myself inside a closet! Now come out and face me like a man!"
There was a pregnant pause. No sound was coming from the other side of the locked door, in which Remus was standing in the dark. He was being ridiculous and Tonks knew it. Finally, after what seemed like ages, a strangled voice came into reply.
Tonks faltered and once more grasped the handle of the door, which remained locked. As much as she was tempted to unlock the door herself, she knew she mustn't.
"Why not?" she asked.
"Because I want…" Remus started, but then paused. He took a breath and finished frankly, "Because I want to be with you. If I see you one more time, I won't be able to help myself."
Tonks sighed and leaned her back against the door and crossed her arms. She sank to the ground.
"You know," she said flatly, pulling her knees to her chest and sighing again, "this is like a bad romance novel. Two people, sitting on opposite sides of a door, talking about love."
"I know it." Remus replied, burying his face in his hands.
He slumped down and slid to the ground with his back against the door, rubbing his eyes with the tips of his fingers, exhausted. Yes, he liked Tonks, and he had never felt this way about a woman before. It was just that everything seemed so wrong. He felt helpless in his situation – with all of his situations, including the one sitting a few inches away from him.
"This is so much rubbish," Tonks declared, "All of it. I don't feel like myself any more, crying all over the place. I can't metamorph well and I've been slipping up at work."
"I'm sorry," Remus said, "but I don't see what I can do. There's nothing I can do."
"There is something you can do, Remus!" Tonks said, her voice a bit stronger as she pulled herself to her feet and faced the door, "You can let me in."
Remus closed his eyes and hit the back of his head against the door. He was not positively sure what she had meant by "let me in". Was she referring to the door… or his heart? It seemed at that moment that the two things were linked together in some way. But no matter what, his own heart was telling him that he didn't have much of a choice. He set his jaw and with a grunt, pulled himself to his feet. He reached out into the darkness for the handle, grasped it, and opened the door.
A/N: Just to clarify, yes that is the end. It's an open-ended oneshot that is supposed to make you read between the lines and be able to figure out what happens after he opens the door, based upon the last paragraph. Anyway, I hope you liked it!