Reason Number Eight

Of all the people I could have fallen for, it had to be you. Why, oh why, did it have to turn out this way? Why are humans so incapable of deciding things for themselves, making things happen? It's like every single one of them is a child; a child, waiting for Mommy to pick out today's outfit, or this evening's dinner, or tomorrow's play date. Well, it certainly isn't Mommy they're leaving their fates in the hands of. I think most like to give it the name "God." Where did that even come from, anyway? Who decided this "God" thing gets to make all the decisions in the world? Did I miss an election some time ago? I know I've neglected my "civic duties" somewhat, but I like to think that stopping the spread of evil through the world is a little bit more important than whom the Prime Minister's next secretary will be. Oh, bugger, that's Kingsley, isn't it? Well I guess it all does tie in together at some point. Okay, I promise I'll pay more attention to what's going on in Westminster from now on. But only because Kingsley will want something amusing to chat about at the next Order meeting. Muggles and their politics. Dreadfully boring, if you ask me, but Kingsley's always been a bit strange in that respect. Dad's always trying to get me to be a little more involved in the muggle world too. Me and Mum laugh about it behind his back.

Backtracking a bit, I was talking about humans (wizards and muggles alike) and their absurd decision making ideals. People spend so much time praying and wishing and hoping, but they never go out and do anything about whatever it is they're praying for. Just to argue on their behalf, for a spell (intended to be read as "moment," not charm or jinx or curse, mind you), I suppose there are people who only pray for what they know is out of their hands. But then again, is anything really out of our hands? If we apply for a job, isn't it all down to what we put on our application and how we present ourselves to our interviewer? Isn't it all about how much schooling we've put ourselves through and how much we've gotten out of our education? It's not as if we show up for a random job we think we might want, and it's just a random drawing of the names of the other interviewees. No, the one who is best qualified will get the job; the one who tried hard enough to get into the best school, and was rewarded for it with a most prestigious education (those references help a bit, too). Blimey, I think I just made a reference to the muggle world. There aren't many choices for "schools" in the wizarding one. I'll get you for that, Dad, Kingsley. Bullocks, I'm digressing again. To wrap it up quickly: in conclusion, people should take action to get what they want, not complain about.

Hang on, what conclusion could I possibly be talking about? I don't think I've made any sort of valid point at all. I don't think I even mentioned complaints of any kind. My thinking is getting ahead of me (shouldn't I be able to control that? That is what I'm arguing, isn't it?).

All right. Let's forget about all this metaphorical rubbish and start digging into the real, solid facts(Dad's all about them, Mum's the one who's off in her own world, dreaming up charms and the like, quite literally). I've fallen for you. How did this happen? You're completely wrong for me, I'm completely wrong for you! We're basically living in two different worlds(Well now, that is a bit of an exaggeration, seeing as I'm a witch and you're a wizard)! I ask myself, Nymphadora Tonks (Now wait a tic- what am I doing calling myself Nymphadora? I hate it when people call me by that name. Again, I'm becoming one of those people! The one's I've been complaining about! I have no control over my own actions!), why in the bloody name of Merlin did you choose him? Well that's just it, Mr. Conscience, I didn't choose him. I'm a sodding hypocrite, and I've fallen victim to the fates, just like the rest of the human race. "You can't choose who you love," they say. Well why the bloody hell not?

It doesn't make much of a difference anyway, because even if I was given a choice, I'd still pick you. Oh, why did it have to turn out this way? I could've fallen for anyone! I could have gone out and met one of the other Auror trainees (or at least one of those who'd been a trainee when I was there), or, if I'm so intent on being with someone in the Order, I could have fallen for Bill Weasley! Bloody handsome, brilliant (Not that you're not both of those things—Oh, you're handsome in a way even Bill Weasley isn't, and I can't stop myself from wondering how this is possible, how anyone can have this sort of radiance. It's not even about your appearance; it's something else, something about what you've been through and how it's shaped you, and I am so attracted to that. Bill is cool, he's a pretty boy. Any girl would find him attractive. But I feel like only a select few notice that thing about you that really draws me to you). Even Charlie would have been a better match. Someone my age. Someone with the same level of experience.

But like I mentioned before, that's what I'm attracted to. I could care less about handsome young men who haven't fought a real battle in their lives. I like the way you know what you're fighting for. I like that you're fighting for it. You, unlike everybody else, are doing something. You're the exception to those humans I've been ranting about, those people like me. I don't need someone like me. I need someone to compliment me.

On that note, Sirius would certainly do just that. I chuckle to myself whenever I think about it. We'd be a pair, we would. I think the world is better off since we're kept separate. When we were small we met each other a couple of times (My mother is his cousin, but not a prominent member of the Black family, so our family and his were pretty much forbidden from speaking. That didn't stop Sirius from sneaking over to visit his favorite cousin and her husband and daughter, though. So technically we're second cousins, but anything after a first cousin in a purebood family is pretty much fair game, otherwise it'd be impossible to keep the bloodline going) and had more fun blowing up umbrella stands than most kids should. Ever since then I've held that Black family umbrella stands are out to get me, and circumstances have only proven me right. I've been tripped by that foul troll's leg one in the hall of Sirius's place far too many times to be considered coincidence. No one seems to believe my theory, though. Anyways, Sirius is bloody sodding attractive. So if it's complimenting I want he's certainly a fair choice. But I suppose I don't mean complimenting in the usual sense; I was thinking more along the lines of personality rather than personal appearance. Sirius and I are far too alike.

He compliments you more, actually. I know you two were friends at school, but the extent of my knowledge is that. He seems to really love you, despite his history of womanizing. I always got the sense Sirius's friend were much more important to him than girls. That's how it was with all of you though, wasn't it? Even James, though I've heard stories of his slightly scary obsession with Lily, chose his friends over her when they were in need. Is it strange that I sometimes wish I were born earlier, just so I could have been at school with you lot? It's like this famous legend; all my life I've heard stories of you lot narrowly escaping Filch, devising the greatest prank Hogwarts has seen in centuries, and of your outstanding (but poorly applied) skills in magic. I think everyone has heard of you, although it's hard to find someone who will admit it. An underground legend, that's what you lot are. I never hear either of you speak about it (unless Sirius is making some reference to "that time at Hogwarts"), but I can tell you two spend long hours discussing those days between yourselves. When you can, that is. I know Dumbledore's been piling on work for you, and has forbidden Sirius to leave the house, so I don't expect you see too much of each other. But when you're at headquarters for dinner and I see you two interacting, it's like a breath of fresh air. Just watching the way the lines in your face relax when you look at him lifts my heart. You're at ease with him; it's like you're both fifteen years younger, brought back in time to the last war, before everything changed. I'll never admit to you (or Sirius) I know all this. I pick up information from a variety of sources, and compile it in my head, so I'm not clear on all the details. But I do gain a minute understanding of everything that happened between you and Sirius and James and Lily and Peter and even Snape.

I can't imagine how it felt thinking you'd lost all your friends, after that terrible night. I'm talking, of course, about the night the Potters were murdered by Voldemort. They'd been your best friends, aside from Sirius and Peter. And then, hearing Peter had been murdered as well, by the only remaining one of you: Sirius. And then learning he'd been caught and thrown in Azkaban. I admit being shocked by it myself, but I guess I just accepted (although half-heartedly) that he'd fallen in with his brother's crowd at some point. But you must have been heartbroken. All four of them, taken from you on the same night. Nothing could be more deleterious to your mind, your heart. I don't know what you did in the years to follow. I do know, later on, that you taught at Hogwarts for a year. And I know this was the year Sirius broke out of Azkaban. This was the year you got your friend back. You must have been elated, to find that he was innocent all these years! I don't know what you did for the following year, but I know that at the end of it Dumbledore called for the reformation of the Order of the Phoenix, and you were one of the first to come. I loved that about you. You didn't hesitate for a second.

And now history brings us to the present. Whenever I see you, whether it's passing you in the hallway of Grimmauld Place, sitting across from you at dinner, or setting out on a rescue mission to retrieve a certain Boy Who Lived, you always look so old. You work much too hard. You're tired. You've got more weight on your shoulders than someone of your age should have. You've experienced things someone (not even necessarily of your age) should never experience, ever. When I think about this, I can't help but want to kick myself for falling for someone so much older than I am, in this respect as well as physical age. Yes, you're twelve years older than me. Love conquers all, right? Ha, you'll never see me in that way. But it's not as if I asked for this in the first place. I never wanted to fall for you. It just…happened.

Which is why I curse all things that speak of fate and destiny. Sod on you, greater beings! Sod! What could they have been thinking, having me fall for you and all? What am I thinking? Do I honestly believe some higher being is the reason I fell for you? That my feelings are the result of some great "God's" game of life? Truth is, I don't know why I fell for you, I only know that I did. And there's not much I can do about it now. No, not about my feelings for you, I've admitted I have them. I know exactly how I feel and what makes me feel that way, but I can't do anything about them, can't act on them. It's ridiculous! What would people say? A woman in her twenties with a man in his thirties? Over a ten year difference between us? True, we might be vindicated when the wizarding world is thrown into a full-fledged war; People always marry early and with a bit less thinking on spontaneous impulse during wartime. They never know when that day will come, the day that one of them doesn't come home in the end; It could be months, or weeks, or days after marriage. Or it could be hours. Or minutes. I don't like to think on it for too long. I get chills down my spine, and I begin to worry. Because there will be a war. I have no doubt about that. Voldemort has come back to power. It will be like last time. I was only nine years old, but I remember it clearly. I remember the fear in my parents' eyes, how we used to do things together as a family on a regular basis because they were so afraid of losing each other, or me, or themselves. I know what it's like to not know how much time there is left. Thinking every knock on the door could be a Death Eater coming to murder family, or worse. There was always the fear of him as well. None of us really ever expected him to come in person to kill any of us, but the idea was frightening enough. Poor James and Lily, one of the few couples he did murder personally. It's strange how I feel like I knew them, strange how everyone feels that way, really. We all pity the Potter family and acknowledge the tragedy that took them from their son. And we idolize them, for the bravery they showed, not only on just that night, but throughout their whole lives. They had known Voldemort was after them, they say. They'd been strong. I could never have done what they did.

Then again, I don't have a child. They say everything changes when you become a mother. I'm interested to see if that's the truth, but I think I'll have to hold off on that one for a bit; wartime is no time to bring a child into the world.

But… it's strange. James and Lily did. And their son ended up being the one person who Voldemort couldn't kill. Their son broke the Dark Lord.

I don't know what to believe any more.

Maybe my doubts really have no merit. Maybe they are completely unjustifiable, and I should just clear my mind of them, and hope for the best. Stop thinking about children and such. It brings me back to you. Is it silly to say I'd want to have a child with you? We're not married. We're not even in love. But I think if I were to have a child… I'd want it to have a father like you. You would be a wonderful father. Or at least in my mind, you seem to be the fatherly type.

Merlin, I feel like a schoolgirl again! Thinking about what it would be like to hold hands with the cute boy who sits in front of me during transfiguration, and then realizing in embarrassment that we've never even spoken. How are these things supposed to work? I certainly can't just tell you. That would not go over well. And it brings me back to the thousand reasons why we cannot be together. Well, all right, not one thousand. But at least fifteen. Does it even matter? If I can find seven (the most powerful magical number), then it's not meant to be. I'll do it now, and prove it.

Reason Number One: The age difference. Twelve years is a big number.

Reason Number Two: I have to admit that you being a werewolf complicates things a bit. I know you think you're dangerous, and I hate to even list this because honestly, I could care less about this side of you, but for practicality's sake, it must be taken into account. I reluctantly list this.

Reason Number Three: We don't see much of each other as it is. I'm not sure if a couple can cope with being separated like we would be. I've heard talk of Voldemort recruiting the werewolves, and I listen when Dumbledore dishes out jobs. I can put two and two together. An upcoming "job" would be a bloody huge bit of separation.

Reason Number Four: You've never done a single thing to suggest you might see me as more than just a fellow member of the Order. I don't think we're even real friends. More like acquaintances. How could we ever be more than that?

Reason Number Five: I can count the number of intelligent (as in more than just a "Good morning", "evening" or "night") conversations we've had on my fingers.

Reason Number Six: You are beautiful in a way I will never be; your beauty speaks of your experiences, and it's a sad, nostalgic kind of beauty, like remembering your first kiss and then realizing you don't know where the person you shared it with is now or what they've become. I could never understand why I was so attracted to you, and then I figured out that this beauty is why; I was drawn by something I know absolutely nothing about. I'll never be able to fully understand it.

Reason Number Seven: I have nothing to offer you. I cannot bring back memories of the past, like Sirius. Nor can I be the best friend that he was and is to you. I can't remind you of better times, and I don't think I can make your times better. I have no means of comforting you. I can't tell you everything will turn out okay, because I honestly don't believe it will. I can't hold you and make everything in the world right, or kiss away your pain. Those are things that happen in books and movies and not in real life. I can't take you away from this world. I am frustratingly helpless when it comes to you.

I've done it haven't I? Now you can leave me be, Higher Being, or whatever the bloody hell you're supposed to be. There are your seven reasons.

I've given these reasons to Mad-Eye. He's a good man to talk to about these things; he doesn't judge. We've been close since he trained me as an Auror and I like to think that I know him a little better than most. For one, yes, he's completely mad. But under that craziness there's a whole lot of intelligence, unlike anything I've ever seen before. The man knows things. I never told him it was you who made me like this, but I talked to him offhandedly about it (you know, "I've got this friend who has a brother in law who's step sister twice removed…") and he knew. 'Course, he never let on at first. Knew it would embarrass me. But he let me talk, and gave his insight. And after several of these talks, he made a comment that told me it was no use hiding it from him (something along the lines of "so what stage is the moon in tonight?"). The man sees things that even that magical eye of his can't. In response to the seven reasons I've given him, he's told me to come up with a kind of anti-list: reasons why you and I should be together. If I can do that, he says, there's hope.

And so here I go.

Reason Number One: Because every time I look at you I want to stop what I'm doing and stay wherever you are, beside you (I tried to tell him things like this wouldn't count; they're far too cliché. But he growled at me, growled at me, and when Mad-Eye is growling at you, you believe what he tells you to believe).

Reason Number Two: Because the full moon marks itself on my self-marking calendar.

Reason Number Three: Because every time I see you, sitting alone at the table in the dingy kitchen of Grimmauld place, half empty mug of coffee in your hand, circles under your eyes and grey streaks in your hair, pouring over work for the Order, I think that coffee can't possibly be enough and my heart aches.

Reason Number Four: Because when you catch my eyes with yours as I pass you in the hall, I know I am the most beautiful I'll be as my hair (very discreetly) turns the brightest shade of bubblegum pink it's ever been before.

Reason Number Five: Because those intelligent conversations we did have are ones I'll never forget, and the unintelligent ones stand out in my mind as clearly as my hair does in the kitchen of headquarters; even insignificant words mean the world to me when they come from you. Avocadoes could never be more interesting.

Reason Number Six: Because on the day that I let my hair becomes brown and mousy (the day I had an owl from Mum, saying Dad had been hospitalized after falling off the roof and hadn't woken up yet), only you inquired as to why it wasn't its usual shade of pink.

Reason Number Seven: Because I've taken the time to come up with this list of reasons.

That's it then, isn't it? I've just got to continue going about as I have been, seeing as the reasons outweigh each other. Nothing seems to have been solved, has it? I knew Mad-Eye would be no help with this kind of thing.

But… I can't help but think… Blimey. I'm just as mad as he is. I'm still thinking about you, and I've come up with a Reason Number Eight: Because even after I've come up with my seven reasons, I keep thinking of more and more every minute that passes. They're endless.

I know what I should do. But I don't think I'm worried about it anymore. People will think what they want. Your opinion is the only one that matters. I've decided. I won't give up on you. My intuition tells me it will be a less than pleasant journey, but I think it will be worth it. You see that, Higher Being? You're telling me it can't be, it can't happen, that I'm doomed to love him forever, unrequited. But I think you're a right foul git, Higher Being. And this is the last time I let you choose my path for me. You will be forced to surrender your control over me.

I've decided. I've chosen. Nothing can stop me now.

And I choose to stay by you.