You loved me 'cause I'm fragile.
When I thought that I was strong.
But you touch me for a little while and all my fragile strength is gone.
Set me free, leave me be. I don't want to fall another moment into your gravity.
Here I am and I stand so tall, just the way I'm supposed to be.
But you're on to me and all over me.
Morning came, Tonks sitting up with a start once realizing she was on her bed, and not on the couch. She immediately felt nauseous, trying to quickly slide herself off the bed to find Remus. Before she could fully slide off however, Remus opened the door, a small tray of tea in his hands. She halfway let out a sigh of relief, and before she could finish it her arms were wrapped around Remus's neck, the tray forgotten on the desk.
"Oh thank God you're here" she said, swaying slightly in his arms.
"What's the matter? Are you alright?" he asked lightly pulling away enough to see her face.
She immediately kissed him, several times, all over his face.
Dear lord, not even thirty seconds in and already she's covering me in kisses...
He looked at her sad face, watching her eyes lock on the sight of his lips. The hardest thing for him to see and pretend constantly to not notice was the way she parted her lips ever so slightly when there was something she wanted... He tried to shake the thought from his mind, wanting with everything in himself to close her soft lips with his.
She was about to lean in when he pulled her arms from around his neck and stepped smally away.
"Tonks... I've got to get going- but I won't go if you won't be okay by yourself" he said softly, trying desperately not to melt in her naive gaze.
"You've got to leave? Why so soon?" she asked trying to hold his hands, clearly not understanding.
He closed his eyes slowly, pulling his hands away.
"You are my dearest friend, and you know I am always thinking of you... that's got to be enough. I am sorry, really I am, about everything that you went through for my sake yesterday- you've no idea how long and how hard I've wished that you would never go through so much strife on my behalf... And as much as it touched my heart-"
"Remus, don't do this..."
"It can't change, between us, I mean..."
"Tonks... I've already put you in danger more times than you could ever deserve, especially from someone- well someone like me!"
"Remus I can't handle this..."
"You've got to... You're strong, and I know you can move past this... please don't cry" he said softly.
"Is there nothing I can do, nothing I can say to prove I will die if you can not love me?! Have I nothing? No good left in me to beg of you to accept me so that you may let me love you, to make you try and love whatever is left of me?!"
Her voice grew more angry, and her face more hotter with every word.
"Am I SO empty now that I have nothing left to give to you, that all of me can Never BE Good Enough?!" she cried hysterically.
Her dignity seemed to melt away, the rest of her shaking, weak body now ghostly white.
She let herself crumple, falling to the edge of the bed.
She didn't have the air in her lungs, the strength in her body, the will in her heart to get her through another breakdown of tears. There was too much pain, too much anger, too much fighting, too much denying, too much love, too much of her lost- just too much...
He knelt down beside her, trying desperately to pry her hands away from her crying face.
"Dora I hate to see you cry, please... don't do this to yourself" he whispered. Tonks was going down and fast... She lost so much of herself in loving him, her patronus had even changed it's form: if she wasn't careful, she could lose a lot more...
He managed to free one of her hands, braiding his fingers in hers, rubbing softly at her wounded knuckles.
He lifted himself onto her bed, pulling her from round the waist to lay next to her. She tried with the little energy she had left to push him away from her, but Remus held her so close and so tightly against himself, she felt almost suffocated in him.
"Nothing makes sense to me anymore! You say you don't understand me, yet you pull me closer and refuse to let me fight you away!" she choked.
After many long minutes of slowly dying tears, and shuddering breaths, Tonks' heartbeat finally began slowing down, the fight in her completely gone. She stopped trying to push him away as she had no strength in her body left to do so. She turned to face him, their bodies still entwined.
"This world is making me go crazy and I've had enough... Remus, I've had enough... How can you live, knowing that all of yourself is not enough for the only person you want to matter to? If it were not you I loved, if it was somehow someone else, and you held me as a friend now, what could you say to me? What could you possibly tell me?" she asked sobbing still.
Remus shut his eyes tightly in concentration, unable think clearly. She bit her lip to refrain from crying more, but still couldn't look at him. She rubbed her cold legs against his, shaking still, trying desperately not to think...
"I'd tell you... to smile. That I can't remember the last time I saw you laughing, and I know this isn't you... I'd tell you to not be afraid to let yourself show who you are to the world, and forget any old fool that did not have the courage to show who he truly was, even if the prize for doing so was something and someone as perfect as you..." he spoke to her softly, searching the purple lids of her downcast eyes.
She bit her lip, letting him calm her down by running his fingers through her hair.
"I know the man you truly are, Remus, I've seen your true self, and that's why I love you... don't be so scared of being that man. Your fear of getting close, making a decision... it's the worst, it's poison.."
He was never more scared in his life. His eyes were wide, watching Tonks as if she was slipping away right before his eyes. He couldn't say anything. No matter what he did, it would hurt her... If he admit he loved her, it would bring her death, yet telling her he did not love her was killing her.
To die before his eyes, or at his word... It was a catch-22...
"I don't see a Monster in you, Remus, I see it in this."
"Sometimes we forget... that the most beautiful thing can also be the most powerful..."
He hated himself for saying it.
"And sometimes the most powerful can mean the most deadly " he finished.
He slid off the bed, and was at the door frame to her room when suddenly-
"It can also be the only thing to save a life..."
He looked at her crumpled body on the bed, wishing he'd never seen that catatonic stare.
He walked slowly back up to the bed, leaned over, and kissed her.
Her best friend...
She moved her fingers to where his lips had touched her, and lied still the rest of the day.
Tonks hadn't spoken to anyone for weeks. The drizzling end to spring turned into the beginning of a gray summer. Remus was constantly dropping in to see the Weasleys now, asking on occasion if they had heard anything from Tonks. All he had heard was that she was hardly ever at meetings for the order anymore; it seemed her office friends had practically abandoned her, and already the world seemed a little less bright. Molly was hardly ever quite as cheerful... People had been making it obvious they were walking on eggshells around him ever since word got out the little girl attacked was a metamorphmagus. Every corner he walked around, he could swear he saw her, every laugh he heard 'cross the room he could swear was hers. She was never home, and not once did she try to contact him since the last time they spoke: He even tried to visit her at her job once, but remembered the worker, undoubtedly lying to his face, telling him she was not there. He remembered Tonks's sad face the last time he'd seen her, and It hurt his head just thinking about it. It was a particularly unusual day today. Remus himself was more of a mess than he realized. Thin as a pole, and worn down to a pulp, it was a miracle his cane had not become too heavy for him to carry. His transformations were taking more and more out of him. Molly was particularly worried- if Tonks lost a lot of weight, she would at least be normally proportionate, but as Remus was already so skinny, you could practically see his ribs through his shirts. There were some particularly hard times for him when the fact that he'd lost his best friends hit him so hard, he himself couldn't find the drive to get up and move along.
What hurt the most was that he, yet again, could not save her... He'd have stayed up with her that whole night if he could, and the following day if he had even the faintest idea of how to bring back the old Tonks. He missed her desperately. It was painful, bitter-sweetly so to wake up every night from visions of the happier times the two of them shared. He remembered the first time he met her- two mismatching gloves, her hair in so many different colors... the day she ran into the glass door, and when they danced for the first time... He'd been amused, then impressed, then seriously smitten by the beautiful young woman that for some insane reason chose to love him- loved him so passionately, that the world was forced to see it... It seemed impossible that one heart could endure as much pain and feel as strongly for another, still, even if that other person was the very cause for her pain. No potion, no magic from any wand could re-create even half of the power this woman had within herself... and yet she thought herself worthless because a run down lycan would rather die than admit that he loved her because she was in fact too good to be wasted on the likes of him...
He was now completely alone. His best friend was lost to him: he finally understood what she meant by how impossible it was to need him as a best friend but not be able to have him because the reason she needed help was also his fault in the first place.
Tonks had many things to think about as well: Remus had challenged her quite well. Did she care Remus was a lycan? Or was it a tactic of his to make her think so, so that she could forget him. She knew she cared about the little girl... she cared that a man as kind as Remus had to have the pains inside of becoming a monster every month with no choice to change what he was... The only reason what he said made sense to her was because she still thought of being a lycan as an uncontrollable disease... and this meant she pitied him for having no control over his affliction, not shunned him for it.
But she didn't care! So what, he couldn't change what he was, and the only reason she'd want him to is so he would love himself enough to let her in! People hurt people, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not, but that was life! Hurt was a part of life. Some people killed with wands, and hate- Remus killed with fangs and when played only a vessel to something stronger.
No. She didn't care. Even after he had challenged her by really making her disect the situation, she didn't care. Being a lycan was a part of Remus- Remus was not a part of being a lycan. Every time she had to travel to the Castle or to Hogsmeade, she made sure to stay away from being out in the open in case Remus walked by. She had seen him many a time, and used all of her self control not to run up to him say something. She had to stay away. For her to fall apart was one thing - but the words that Molly had said to her so long go rang as clearly as a bell to her.
She could not lose her mind.. and could not be the reason for Remus losing his when his lycanthropy already tested the boundaries of his control.
She had also decided to cut all contact with Remus because of something that happened when they last saw each other. He called love the most powerful thing, powerful enough to destroy: she challenged him that love was sometimes the only thing powerful enough to save... and he kissed her. In that moment, she was ready to die- yet, ages after she thought she would be unable to so much as leave her house, she was able to stop herself from talking to him immediately, and do her duty with her mind actually being on her mission... because that kiss was no ordinary kiss... To her, he saved her. That kiss meant he loved her: him loving her was the only thing that could have brought her to her senses enough to face the world again- no it did not change everything: she could not change her hair, or the shape of her nose- but it was enough at least for her to have the fight left in her to ask him once more if he loved her: when the War was over. It didn't change that they weren't together, but there was an undeniable comfort; a certain sense of inner peace in the knowledge that he was, if not anything else, in love with her too. She was wiser than Remus was, knowing he loved her even before he did - but she was so blinded by her own self doubt that it distracted her from what she needed to do. Like a phoenix, she needed to rise from the ashes, and turn once again into someone incredible.
It was coming upon night in Hogsmeade, the sky a thick, charcoal gray, sending a dark chill of horrible foreboding to all that wandered the streets.
As fate would have it, Remus and Tonks collided with each other at that exact moment, both coming round the same corner at the exact same time from completely different directions.
They both instantly froze, each barely able to comprehend the vision of the other.
Then he did something she never thought he would do; He forced her back gently into the alley, and pinned her to the wall.
"You're okay..." he whispered, releasing what sounded like a breath he had been holding for years. He punched the wall beside her lightly, leaning against it, over her, shoving his other trembling fist into his pocket.
"I'm alive, yes-" she began slightly confused.
"I could kill you." he said a touch more fiercely than he had intended.
What on earth had gotten into him?
"Okay... Remus are you alright-?"
His expression changed almost instantly from one of relief to a tremendous frustration.
"NO!" he said, raising his voice and turning to face her.
"I have called on you, written you countless letters, barged into numerous houses, been refused by Dolores Umbridge no less to get a hold of you, and you didn't think just maybe you should have the decency to LET ME KNOW YOU WERE SAFE?! ALIVE ,EVEN?!"
Tonks had never seen him like this. It was slightly offputting.
"Well I-" she began smally.
"WELL WHAT?!" he trembled with rage.
He seemed to notice her guilt, so he lowered his volume slightly, although his tone still just as furious.
"I have not slept a solid hour in two weeks, eaten a decent meal in three, or been so miserable in all my life! You were completely irresponsible, childish, selfish and out of line! Molly and Arthur are worried sick about you, Dumbledore wondering where the hell you've been and your landlord is wondering why your 'father' keeps dropping by, and Breaking down your DOOR! You SELFISHLY ignored your friends, you ignored me, and worst you ignored your duty to Dumbledore! , so let me ask you this- are you happy now? Proud of what you've done?! You make even Sirius look responsible! We half thought you to be Dead! I was literally ready to throw myself to the wolves for you-" He spat in a vicious whisper.
He noticing he'd said too much.
It made him even more angry that she appeared so beautiful...
"Tell Me Remus..." she said her eyes not leaving the floor, "Must I be 'thought dead' for you to admit you love me?"
She looked up suddenly, Remus becoming instantly defensive, turning pink at the question. Though he would never let her know it, she had a point... Countless hours were spent, him swearing he would proclaim his love for her and live with her the rest of his days if he would only find her alive and well...
Now of course he was far too angry to sweep her off to his flat, though he was sure there would be plenty of time to do so later.
"For Christ's sake Nymphadora, do you think I would do you the ridiculous thing you think a privilege of telling you I love you after you've bloody driven us all mad?! I've been worried sick about you, you selfish girl of COURSE I Lo- What is it?" he said, his tone immediately changing to honest, focused concern the moment he'd seen her face.
She was looking in the direction of the castle, her eyes wide, dumbfounded. He had never, ever in his life seen her face filled with so much horror. A clap of thunder was heard, and as soon as he looked toward the school he understood everything. They heard the screams.
"Oh My God..."
Ripping their wands from their robes, they ran toward the castle as fast as their feet could carry them.