Summary: Remus and Tonks discuss what happened to Emmeline Vance
Author Note: A series of dialogues between Lupin and Tonks during Book 6. Don't expect much beyond the conversations, but the format should give you, the reader, a chance to fill in the images for yourself.
Disclaimer: Tonks, Lupin, and the rest of the cast in the Harry Potter world belong to JK Rowling. I'm just having fun playing with her characters.
They stood together at the edge of the garden at the Burrow, unaware of the prying eyes of teenagers directed their way. Later the teens would think they had discussed Sirius, but at the time, the two players were much too absorbed in their current conflict.
"I was surprised by your summons, Remus. I thought you intended to distance yourself from me permanently. You made that clear enough when you disapparated from the Hogwarts grounds at the Forbidden Forest. You had it all planned back then, didn't you? You got Dumbledore to leave a hole so you could vanish once you dumped me."
"Nymphadora, I just thought a quick exit would make for a cleaner break."
"Oh, thanks. Here you go love, heart's neatly split atwain. Would you care to have it quartered next?"
"Tonks, don't. I told you, I'm too old, too poor, and too dangerous for you. Nothing has changed that."
"The only thing that needs to be changed is your self-perception, Remus."
"I'm not here to discuss--us. I want to know what happened yesterday near number ten Downing Street."
"What were you doing there? I thought you were assigned to live among the werewolves, or was that just a ruse to get away from me?"
"I was chasing down one of my new charges, as a matter of fact. I've met four boys who were bitten by Fenrir Greyback and have subsequently been abandoned by their families. While in the process of rounding them up before the next full moon, I was on the roof of the building across the street when I saw the little scene play out."
"What you saw was Emmeline Vance being struck down by Death Eaters."
"There's more to it than that, Tonks. She deliberately set out to draw attention to herself with her campaign to embarrass Voldemort through her paintings. She was well aware of his vanity."
"I thought it was rather clever." chuckle "My favorite was the painting of the bald, snake headed man labeled : Baldy-morte, He-Who-Shall-not-be-Maned."
"I would wager that you helped her with that line, but you're trying to change the subject."
"The subject is closed. Emmeline Vance was killed by Death Eaters, end of story."
"No, the story is more complex than that, Tonks. It was rather convenient that she sent invitations about her new gallery opening to various Order members and others in the wizarding world. It wouldn't take much effort for the Death Eaters to discover this information or for someone to predict that they would be watching her movements to that address for a chance to strike her down."
"You think Emmeline had a death wish, Remus?"
"No, I think she had other plans and a certain accomplice to help her succeed."
"You're sounding like quite the detective, Professor. Best leave that to the Aurors."
"I've always been drawn to solving puzzles, Tonks. I thought I saw Emmeline Vance die when the Death Eaters struck at her. And I watched as you appeared immediately to identify the corpse, but knowing how much closer you'd gotten to her, I would have expected you to be just a little more upset, especially at the thought that her child died as well. But if the corpse was just a golem, then Emmeline Vance is still alive somewhere."
"Emmeline Vance was killed by Death Eaters."
"Or Emmeline Vance disapparated in the commotion and replaced her body with a clever imitation, but one that wasn't pregnant. You and I knew about the baby, but the rest of the Order wasn't informed about her pregnancy. In fact, I think Emmeline was never really there. It was you all along, wasn't it? You used your abilities to morph into Emmeline Vance."
"I wish! Remus, you can be so blind. Look at me. Take a good look at me!"
"You think I don't know that you've been crying? I don't need to see--"
"Damn it! Look at me. What do you see? The sad face? The red eyes? The mousy hair? Do you think I want to look this way--or that I want you to see me like this? Don't you think I'd change if I could?"
"What are you saying, Nymphadora?"
"I'm saying that for such an intelligent man, you can be completely blind to what's in front of you."
"No, our relationship was too brief to have affected you that deeply."
"Oooh! You are the most stubborn, pig-headed, obtuse man in creation. Is this a defense mechanism for you? You keep telling yourself you really don't matter to me, that I'll get over you because you need to believe that the way you abandoned me didn't cut me deeply."
"I--Nymphadora, you can't possibly understand how much I--No! I did not come here to compare scars. Why did Emmeline go to such lengths to convince everyone that she's dead?"
"Emmeline Vance is dead. Now, good-bye, Remus. Perhaps it's best that we don't see each other until you've opened your eyes."
- - - - -
"Where did Tonks go, Remus? I thought she was staying for tea?"
"She had other business, Molly."
"She seemed rather upset, the poor dear. I thought seeing you would help her. Is she still fretting over Sirius?"
"Something like that, yes. Look, Molly, I need to go."
"But you'll come visit when Harry's here? Promise?"
"I will Molly. Good-bye."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Tonks had just turned to exit the dark alley where she had previously been chasing off Dementors when a more corporeal being emerged and grabbed her arm roughly.
"Remus! You scared me. Why are you mucking about in this dark alley?"
"I know the little secret you've been hiding, Tonks. I saw her, I saw the baby, I saw--him."
"Remus, I think your time among the lycanthropes is affecting you. Now, you're beginning to scare me, so let me go."
"How could you keep him from me, Nymphadora? He looks just like Sirius! His son--and Sirius never knew. You never told him! You never told me! Do you realize how betrayed I feel?"
"Let me go! Remus, you're hurting me!"
sigh "I'm sorry. I--life among the savages tends to contaminate."
"I take it you saw us at the harbor yesterday."
"My youngest charge likes to sleep in odd places, like on the deck of the cruise ships. I looked through the window and thought my mind was playing tricks on me when I thought I saw Emmeline's face. But then I saw you and I took another long look at the baby."
"I told Emmeline it wasn't a good idea, but she didn't want to take an aeroplane. In a way, I'm glad you know."
"You can't imagine how I felt when I saw the baby's face and I heard you tell Emmeline that her son looked so much like his father. I was so thrilled to think that a piece of Sirius is still with us, but then the betrayal loomed inside as well. I kept asking myself how you could have kept this from Sirius."
"Because Emmeline thought he had rejected her and the very idea of a child with her. It was all a horrible misunderstanding, I know, but, Remus, you have to believe that Emmeline loved Sirius. That's why she painted those horrible images of Voldemort after he died. It was her tribute to Sirius; she thought he would have liked the idea."
"She's right, Sirius probably would have had a good chuckle at her work. Gods, this is such a sad story."
"I thought--I thought we had more time, that Sirius had more time. When I signed his will leaving everything to Harry, my one thought was that wills could always be changed later. And I thought once the baby was born, I could convince Emmeline to tell Sirius about Corvus."
"Corvus? His son is Corvus, is he?"
"Padraic Corvus, born on the very day his father fell through the Veil. Emmeline wanted to keep the family tradition. And she confided in me because she wanted her child to have some link to the Black family."
"Did you make an Unbreakable Vow? Or did you simply not trust me, Nymphadora?"
"An Unbreakable Vow isn't necessary between women, Remus. I gave her my word that I would tell no one. I--I wanted to--"
"I thought I'd lost Sirius completely to the Veil. You had to have known that discovering Corvus would have filled some of that void. I know you barely got to know your cousin, but I thought you saw Sirius as a brother; I thought you knew how much he meant to me."
"And don't you think I understand that? But the most important thing is not my own wishes, but keeping Corvus safe. Emmeline has a chance to do that now that the Death Eaters think she's dead. Protecting the son of Sirius Black is a duty I accepted, even if it hurt me or you."
"How did you do it? If you can't morph--"
"Ah, the brilliant professor finally figured that one out."
"You used polyjuice to look like Emmeline Vance, then you quickly disapparated as the potion wore off and brought the golem with you to present as the dying woman and create the corpse. An Auror of your caliber would have had no problem in generating the ruse and the Death Eaters were too busy making their escape to notice the decoy."
"The funny thing is that you're the one who gave me the idea about the golem, Professor. Our last night at the Lighthouse, I pulled out that old book bound in scarlet leather."
"I remember. We discussed the intricacies of animating objects, especially the problems in producing realistic movements."
"And you observed that most golems had the animation of a corpse, just the raspy breathing movements, the reflexive twitching. And you laughed when I lay there twitching and writhing until you kissed me to divert my attention."
"Don't, Nymphadora. It doesn't help to remember those moments."
"It's not as if I can just forget them, Remus. The weight of your body on me, the feel of your lips on mine--"
"No, I shouldn't have kissed you now, not when you couldn't trust me with Corvus. It becomes nothing more than a moment of lust."
"That's all I am? All I was? You're fooling yourself again, Remus. Tell me you don't love me."
"I--We need to tell Dumbledore about Emmeline--"
"No! Remus, we can't tell anyone, not even Dumbledore."
"Not tell the Headmaster?"
"If he finds out, I won't deny it, but I promised her, Remus. In fact, I'll let Emmeline know that you found out, but not unless you promise me you'll keep her secret."
"And if I don't promise, I suppose you'll use the wand your drawing to cast a memory charm."
"I'll do whatever is necessary to protect Corvus." blinking back tears
"Put your wand away, Nymphadora. You have my promise, but I'm beginning to feel as if I don't even know you."
- - - - - - - - - -
"You and Remus have quite a story, dear. I never would have guessed the two of you had been lovers if you hadn't told me about it tonight. I mean, Arthur and I heard some rumors and it was easy to see how the two of you were close, but I thought your first date was at the St. Mungo's Ball."
"It was more like the beginning of the end." sigh
"Why if I had been you, I would have expected Remus to propose marriage, not run off after all you went through together."
"Oh, dear, here, drink some tea. That's right, small sips."
"That's what makes this so horrible, Molly. I saw him tonight and we had another issue come up and, I acted rashly. And now it's as if he's lost all confidence in me. So the hurting got worse just when I thought I was learning to handle the separation."
"You know, until his latest assignment is over, there's little you can do to mend the rift, so let time soften the blow. Just keep your chin up and hold onto enough faith for both of you, Tonks. You're just the woman Remus needs in his life, but he won't be convinced of that until you can fight the misconception he has about not being good enough for you."
"I just hope you're right. Oh, I think I hear someone at the door. I bet Dumbledore's brought Harry. I'd best be going, Molly."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Wolf Rock Lighthouse
Tonks apparated to the platform of the lighthouse at Wolf Rock. She closed her eyes and let the tears fall. She had drawn her wand against Remus and it hurt to think that the next time she asked him, he would be able to say that he didn't love her. She flicked her wand without thinking, but in response, her new patronus emerged. The shimmering form rested on her shoulders like a cloak and Nymphadora's wolf offered her solace in the lonely night.
Minor edits on the original.
This 'story' will contain brief chapters (for me) that focus on dialog between the characters. This covers the first scenes where we discover Tonks' new look and overhear the teens' explanations for why she's so blue. Again, I twisted the reasons to suit my own explanation of events.
In case you missed it, Tonks helped Emmeline Vance fake her death so that Corvus', Sirius' son, could be safely hidden. No one except Tonks and Remus knew she was pregnant, and until Remus saw the baby, only Tonks knew Sirius was the father. To account for Snape admitting that he had provided the information to the Death Eaters regarding Emmeline Vance, I created the idea of a gallery opening. Since the invitations were also sent to others, Snape's status as good or evil remains ambiguous. He never claimed to be the only one to provide the information. Also, this allowed me to develop a reason for why the Death Eaters targeted Emmeline. Hope it made sense.
If you don't like the style, I can understand, but thanks for giving it a shot.
(And yes, you will see Wimples one more time).
Thanks for reading.