Full of Grace by DD Agent

Title: Full of Grace

Author:DD Agent

Prompt:Yearn

Genre:Romance/ Drama/ Future fic

Rating:R to be safe

Warning:R rated material between Snape and Tonks and Snape and OC.

Word Count:6,245

Summary: Ten years on from Deathly Hallows and Snape is considered both sex idol and celebrity, as are most of the members of the Order of the Phoenix. Lupin, now a friend asks Snape to take care of his family on the full moon, and slowly Severus begins to fall for the beautiful Tonks…

Author's Notes:My first SSNT fic! Eek! Hopefully its okay and I had great fun writing it. Hope you enjoy.

xxx

Yearn:

To feel longing, desire.

To be filled with pity, tenderness.

Part I: Denial

"Mrs. Snape? Mrs. Snape, a word if you please?" cried the reporter just as Cassandra; wife of the legendary Severus Snape slammed the door in his face.

Walking up the stairs of the large hotel, Cassandra undid the bun her hair was in and let the black curls spiral down onto her shoulders. She was wearing red robes and was not unaware of the looks the staff at the hotel were giving her. She used the key card to unlock the door of the penthouse suite and quickly shut it.

"How was your walk?" asked her husband from the luxurious bed, reading the Daily Prophet.

"I got jumped by reporters outside the hotel," she muttered before undoing her coat and settling herself down on the bed.

"Tired of being the wife of the most loved, most wanted wizard on the planet?" Severus asked before placing his paper down.

"Not at all," Cassandra replied before placing a chaste kiss on her husband's lips.

Severus let a rare smile escape his lips and settled down on the pillows while he watched his wife undress. Ten years ago, Voldermort had been defeated. Harry had become a legend and a celebrity, until the fame had driven him and his wife into hiding. Shortly after, Percy Weasley had written a book entitled 'Harry and the Horcruxes', illuminating the tales of the Order and making their members famous, especially Snape. After this rise in sex appeal, he had taken to being with Cassandra Dawson, an attractive half blood writer who specialised in wizard novels. They had grown to be friends and had eventually married to stop the influx of offers.

"So, dinner with Remus and Dora tomorrow?" Severus asked, turning towards his wife who was now down to her undergarments. She had a passion for purple clothing.

"Do we have to?" whined Cassandra, joining Severus on the bed.

"Remus is the only one from the Order who will talk to me. And for some reason, god knows why, Nymphadora actually likes you."

"She likes my books."

"Stop moaning."

"Stop nagging."

"You're supposed to be the wife, not me."

"Sarcastic bastard."

"Nymphomaniac."

Cassandra was about to reply when she felt her husband's lips crash down on hers. She was forced to the bed as Severus stripped off his shirt. As she felt his hot mouth connect with her skin she lost herself in the moment. Desperate not to let him get the upper hand, she flipped him round and straddled him. Cassandra placed one passionate kiss on his mouth before letting go of him and walking to the bathroom.

From there, she shouted to her very hot and bothered husband:

"Fine, we'll go to dinner!"

xxx

The next day, Severus was walking down Diagon Alley on his way to get potions supplies. As his position at Hogwarts was impossible to get back, he was now working as a potions master on commission. He had released a new book for the Hogwarts students which was very popular, but apart from that he liked to stray away from the fame.

Humming some tune that he wasn't aware of, Severus nipped into the apothecary. He gained a shot of himself in the doorway as he walked through. His hair was no longer long and greasy, instead it had been clipped short (by Cassandra herself no less) and was washed every other day (still by Cassandra). His clothes were less dark, leading towards more blues and greens. Cassandra insisted on doing all his shopping, so he could stop be 'less of a miserable grump'.

"Morning monsieur Snape. Good day, yes?" asked the French proprietor. Severus just nodded and passed over a list of the things he would be requiring from him.

Even though he had been on the orders of Dumbledore himself, several members of the order could not forgive him for causing his death. Lupin had forgiven him as he had saved his wife's from the hands of Bellatrix before he had gone over to face his death from Voldermort. Tonks, foolishly, had followed and had saved Severus' life in return, while Hagrid had rescued Remus, The two households had become friends, and Severus had assumed godfather duties over Teddy when Harry had left the country.

It was a week to the full moon, and Lupin would be requiring his wolfsbane potion. Severus always brewed it in advance just to make sure there was nothing wrong with it. He wanted nothing foul to come over Nymphadora or Teddy. Severus was loathed to admit it, but over the years the girl had grown on him.

"Like a fungus," Severus muttered, looking up just as the owner came out of the dimly lit back room.

"Monsieur Snape, I am very sorry. Unfortunately, several of these items are prohibited due to Ministry regulations. They are used in brewing wolfsbane. I am being sure that that is not what you are making, but I still cannot sell you them," he explained and Severus just nodded. Kingsley Shacklebolt, minister for magic, had told Cassandra at a party that several new regulations were being put in place to draw out rabid werewolves. This was obviously one of them.

Unfortunately, without the wolfsbane, Lupin would not be safe with his family. Well, it was going to be a very interesting dinner tonight, Severus thought by disapparating out of the street.

xxx

Dinner had been very successful, with Lupin and Snape exchanging stories and Cassandra and Tonks discussing her new book. Teddy had joined them for some of the dinner but quickly departed to watch the television the Auror had insisted be installed. Severus had noticed that Teddy had sat next to Nymphadora rather than Lupin, like he was avoiding his father. He suspected it had something to do with the hours that Teddy was watching television, and the yelling match they had heard just as they were entering the house. While Severus reflected on it, the two women went to clear up, leaving the two men alone to discuss potions.

"Have you started on the wolfsbane yet Severus?" Remus asked through mouthfuls of apple pie. Severus shook his head, contemplating the coffee before him. They may have had their differences in the past, but Lupin was a good friend now and he hated to do this to him.

"The ministry is stopping anyone from buying Asclepiad juice. I talked to several apothecaries today, and its Azkaban for anyone caught buying or selling it. My contact in the black market business says it's just not worth the risk. There are only two potions it's used for: wolfsbane and a particular obscure anti hiccoughing potion. I can't get hold of the juice and therefore cannot make the potion. I would if I were able but seeing as I'm not…" Remus put a hand up to stop his friend there. He understood.

"It's fine Severus, you tried. I'll have to use Grimmauld place to change, no one goes there any more, no one. I just hate the idea of leaving Tonks and Teddy alone, there's so much anti-werewolf prejudice out there, I don't want her and Teddy by themselves."

Severus did not mention that Tonks was the more skilled out of them both when it came to fighting; she was an Auror after all. But, in polite courtesy, he nodded along. It was then that Cassandra came back out and announced that it was time to go home.

They were staying in a hotel in London for the moment, before they could return to Spinner's End where they lived. The area was so dank and dreary that no one would look for two 'celebrities' there. Cassandra had a new book coming out, and was due to have several signings in the wizarding areas around London. When they got to their hotel room, it was completely dark. It didn't take too long before Cassandra had pushed him up against the wall and buried her tongue deep into his mouth.

Severus soon recovered and had his wife on the bed in a matter of seconds. With a quick wave of his wand they were naked. Cassandra chucked his wand over his shoulder and brought her husband down for a long kiss. Desire was present in both of their faces, and as her mouth moved lower down his body, Severus lost all thought of the wolfsbane potion.

xxx

While the Snape's were engaging in a very vigorous activity, Remus Lupin was learning on how to duck. Worried about his family, he had come out with a situation about how to protect them and also let his wife have some time off from looking after ten and a half year old Teddy. Tonks, on the other hand, was not fond of the idea and had thrown a bowl at her husband's head.

"How could you? How could you even suggest this?" Tonks yelled at her husband, grabbing another piece of crockery.

"I don't want to leave you alone. Werewolf sympathy is still not a widespread process. I don't want you or Teddy to get hurt!" Lupin yelled back, dodging a plate that smashed on the adjacent wall.

"I am an Auror, if you hadn't forgotten Remus Lupin! I can take care of myself!" she cried, before settling herself down on one of the kitchen stools. "If you have to be gone for three days then me and Teddy can go without. I don't see why Severus bloody Snape has to baby-sit us!"

"Just in case, Tonks. Just in case. Teddy is a right handful now; he's getting excited about Hogwarts. Severus can teach him about potions and defence against the dark arts as well as look after him in the evenings. You can have a break, go out with your friends, and stop worrying about him. It's only three days Tonks," Lupin replied, before going over to his wife and letting her head rest against his chest.

"Fine. But if I don't find it working out at any time then I will say so and you will have to stop it. Okay?" her husband nodded and let his wife settle into his chest. Their marriage wasn't easy, but he would make it work. He promised Harry that he would.

xxx

Part II: Betrayal

The morning of the full moon came and went. Tonks had gone out early in the morning to work in a grump, still slightly angry about her husband's decision. Severus had come over about ten, just as Remus was departing to get things ready for Grimmauld Place. As his father left, Teddy came down the stairs and looked patiently at his 'Uncle' Severus.

"Where's Dad going?" he asked, looking up expectantly.

"Away for a few days on a teaching course. As we are discussing learning, it makes sense to begin your lessons on potions. Come on boy, to the kitchen."

Teddy was an over friendly and definitely over eager child. At the age of four he told all the neighbourhood children that his family were wizards and witches. The Lupin's had to move after that. It was because of their son's easy and sharing nature that he had not told them about being a werewolf. The ministry were only letting Lupin run free, as the Minister and he were old friends. If Kingsley weren't in such a position of power, then he would be hunted down like the dog that he was three days out of the month.

Severus was a very kind teacher to Teddy because he wasn't a bad potions maker. His mother had taught him cooking from a very early age and that had definitely helped his skills. The young Lupin rarely made a mistake with the basic potions, and by lunchtime Severus was severely impressed. They decided to go out for a walk at lunchtime and get some fish and chips. The two males walked in silence down the London embankment until Teddy spoke.

"Do you know what happened to Uncle Harry?" he asked, putting his hand in Severus'. Unable to wrench the boy's sticky fingers from his own, Severus kept them clasped.

"He had to leave the country with Aunt Ginny and Albus, James and Lily. Your Uncle Harry didn't like what his fame was doing to his family so they left. He should be back in a year or two though; James is nearing eleven and will be going to Hogwarts. He said he would return when that happened," Severus replied and the young boy seemed satisfied with his answer.

That afternoon, Teddy made some notes from a book while Severus typed up a few instructions for a new potion or two. He was thinking of writing another book. By five o'clock, Tonks was not home and Severus was beginning to worry. The moon was full now, and he wondered if she had gone over to see her husband. It would be a very stupid thing if she did. Lupin had some cast iron chains with a hint of silver that kept him locked and secure so he couldn't break through. Still, he was a very dangerous man when in wolf form.

The two ate dinner, some cheese, and crackers with the left over fish and chips. Teddy had saved them, not sure of what was going to be his third meal of the day. Afterwards, the boisterous ten year old had dragged his uncle over to the settee and they settled down to watch a dodgy film on the television. The narrative was too tiresome for Severus, and he ended up falling asleep.

When he woke up three hours later, he found Teddy asleep on his lap. Shifting the small boy he carried him up the stairs and put him to rest under his dinosaur covers. It was there that he heard a small muffling coming from the bathroom. Shutting the small boy's bedroom door, Severus walked over to the sound quietly and pushed open the barrier between them.

Sitting on the edge of the bath was Nymphadora Tonks, her Auror robes dirtied and bloody. On her face was a large gash, made by a werewolf. She had gone to see her husband. Stupid girl.

Severus didn't say anything however. Instead, he took up a flannel from the sink and started washing away the dirt from the wound. Werewolf wounds had to be treated carefully, although it was only bites that transmitted the curse. Going downstairs, he made a concoction involving silver that made the young woman hiss when he put it on her wound. After cleaning it up he escorted her to bed and made sure that she was well beneath the covers before walking himself to the spare room.

And there he slept, incredibly tired out by the Lupin's.

xxx

The next day, Severus had been woken early by Teddy bouncing on the bed. Grabbing him by his legs, he turned the poor boy upside down and took him to the kitchen where they made breakfast together.

"When did Mum come in last night?" Teddy asked, his mouth full of bacon.

"Late. She wanted me to tell you that she was sorry she couldn't put you to bed last night, but something came up at work. Now eat your breakfast and then get dressed. I want to start nice and early on basic defence spells."

After eating his breakfast Teddy had rushed to the living room to watch cartoons. Severus had gone upstairs to get dressed and was in the middle of peeling off his sleeping shirt when Tonks came out of the bathroom. In a towel. In just a towel. The cut was still visible on her face, but it was healing ever so slowly. The mental scars, of being hurt by her husband (albeit in werewolf form) would take longer to fix.

"Thank you for last night Severus," and that was all she said before walking quickly into her room and slamming the door. Mentally shocked by the fact that he had just seen Nymphadora Tonks in a towel no less, Severus shook his head. Now wasn't the time to get inappropriate thoughts about someone he was going to live with three days out of the month.

By the time Severus was dressed and ready for today's lessons with Teddy, Tonks had already gone to work. Teddy was looking miserably at the door where his mother had departed. Completely out of character, Severus put a comforting hand on the boy's shoulder to reassure him that everything was going to be okay. Teddy and his family reminded him so much of his growing up. A violent father only a few days out of the month (usually after pay day when he could drink) and a workaholic mother who let his father hit her because she loved him so much and couldn't bear the thought of leaving. And the son, who looked at the door where his parents had just left.

Deciding that Teddy needed a treat, he asked the boy if he would like to go out for the day. The boy eagerly agreed and the two went into London. They were joined with Cassandra middle of the way through the morning who bought them lunch at the Ritz (where Teddy had a cheeseburger, much to the Snape's amusement). They then went trailing into old bookshops and the young boy was bought a ton of Stephen King to keep him happy.

They returned home to find a note from Tonks on the fridge, which said she would be home late again. The two males ate sandwiches for tea and then followed it by reading. Once again Severus had to carry the boy to bed after he had fallen asleep. Once again Severus had to wash the blood off Tonks' face who was determined to be there for her husband. Once again he slept, incredibly tired out, but this time dreaming of drunken muggles and helpless witches. And him, the beaten son.

The next day passed without incident, and on the Friday Lupin returned home at teatime to find Severus and Teddy eating crackers and discussing the merits of Stephen King compared to Thomas Harris. About half an hour after his arrival, Tonks rushed through the door, her face covered in scratches. Lupin's eyes were on fire when he saw them. He knew roughly that someone had been there when he changed and he had attacked him or her, but he had no idea that it would be his wife.

Severus departed the household, waving goodbye to Teddy. Just as he was about to disappear off the pavement, he could hear the distinct sounds of a large-scale argument erupting from the house. Turning towards the window that he could see, Severus could make out Teddy sitting there, tears running down his face.

xxx

The next few months went in exactly the same pattern. Severus would arrive on the first day and spend it with Teddy, and the next three days thereafter. Cassandra would meet them on the middle day and take them out somewhere nice for lunch. Tonks would come home late in the evenings, her face covered in scratches and wounds that Severus would have to treat. And when he finally left when Lupin returned, Tonks and her husband would argue and Teddy would stare out of his bedroom window.

That was the way of things until Kingsley made a very good suggestion. Sick of seeing his head of the Auror office covered in cuts, he said that Lupin should change places. And not tell Tonks. The first night he did that, she came storming home in a foul mood and got into an argument with Snape. He had not known of the plan, but asked her to keep her voice down for Teddy's sake. That earned him a slap and a slammed door.

She eventually tracked him down on the third night at the Shrieking Shack, but Kingsley, who had been sent to watch over Remus from outside, sent her away. The chains were still holding, but anyone who came within a five-foot radius of the werewolf was likely to get clawed.

Things still did not improve. Tonks did not come home early to see her son; instead she went out drinking with her friends and coming in late at night sloshed. It was once again Severus who had to put her to bed. It was only at November, six months after the start of Severus staying, that there was a real turning point. Tonks had done her homework and had worked out when the December full moon was: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. On explaining this to her husband, another argument had started.

When Severus arrived, Teddy came charging down the stairs and straight into his arms. They hugged, and Severus let the boy cry a little onto his robes. Looking up the stairs, he could see that Tonks was watching them. When they met eyes for a moment, she turned away. Severus picked up the boy and carried him to the sofa where they watched television for a bit.

After that, the first day went like any other, but with one minor exception. After Cassandra had spilled to Kingsley that Tonks was avoiding Severus like the plague, he made her have one mandatory week off to spend with her son. It just so happened that this coincided with the full moon. This caused another argument, this time between Tonks and Kingsley that caused him to go pink for a fortnight.

Teddy was playing with Boris, George Weasley's son in the garden while Severus and Tonks were in the kitchen. She kept staring nervously at him, like he was going to yell at her for being a bad parent. Tonks knew that everyone in their little circle of ex-order members had been talking about it.

"Go on, say it. I know you've been dying to. Tell me what a bad parent I am," Tonks announced, settling her teacup down on the table.

"I don't think you are a bad mother. I just think you should put Teddy first instead of your husband. Your son needs you," Severus urged, putting his cup down as well. However, this seemed to be the wrong thing to say as Tonks stood up sharply from her seat and glared at the former potions master. This was why marrying your best friend was better, there were no strong emotions involved.

"Where in Merlin's name do you get off telling me how to be a parent? You have no children! You scared the living daylights out of kids when you worked at Hogwarts! I know, I was one of them!" Tonks cried back, and felt a gush of wind as Severus quickly placed a silencing spell on the room and shut the door.

"I know what it is like to be a child whose parents fight all the time! I know what it is like to sit up and cry in your room wishing for someone to stop the screaming. I know what it is like to have an absent father and a scared mother…"

"Really?" Tonks interrupted, causing Severus to roll up his sleeve harshly. She thought he was going to show her the dark mark until Tonks realised that it was the wrong arm. On the other limb was a burn scar just above the elbow.

"My father was a drunk. My mother loved him so, more than she loved me. Don't make the mistakes she did in not protecting her only son," Severus hissed before grabbing both cups and flinging them into the washing up bowl. Ignoring Tonks, he scrubbed the crockery hard, taking out all his anger there instead of at the woman behind him.

Without warning, he felt a pair of arms encircle him from behind: Tonks'. She hugged him fiercely, inhaling his scent before whispering into the soft fabric of his back:

"Thank you Severus."

After that, they had a talk about things. Severus only sneered twice.

xxx

The next two days went swimmingly well, so well in fact that at the end Severus didn't want them to stop. Tonks helped teach Teddy potions, even laughing when her potion ended up spewing green slime over the older male. She cooked dinner, and even let Severus help on occasion. On the middle day, Severus took them out instead of Cassandra and they had a fantastic time. Tonks had persuaded them to go see the muggle attraction of the Tower of London, which Severus readily enjoyed. At the end of the day they watched one of Tonks' romantic comedies that she had a penchant for. Teddy fell asleep in his chair, occasionally letting out a snore. Tonks in the mean time had started off sitting next to Severus on the settee, and then gradually ended up lying on top of him, with him stroking her hair.

When Severus woke up the next morning, he felt deliriously happy, but couldn't figure out why. He cooked breakfast for Tonks and Teddy and then tried some defence spells out with both of them (including turning the Auror's legs to jelly, much to the amusement of her son). Teddy left mid afternoon: he was sleeping over round George and Boris'. That left Tonks and Severus to their own devices, and once again cuddled up on the sofa.

Tonks couldn't believe the change in Severus Snape over the past ten years. Cassandra's influence had mellowed him, and the occasional babysitting job of Teddy or James seemed to have calmed him. The television program was ending shortly, and so would her three day's with him. After his revelations and his intervention, she felt much, much, happier with him around. So happy, in fact, that she kissed him.

She didn't mean to. The lights were low, only a lamp was on. They were cuddled together in such a short space and in one instant they turned towards each other. Their noses were almost touching and the other person was so close. Tonks bridged the gap between them and placed her lips lightly on his. Severus stroked her face gently as he pulled away and then went back to her. The kiss wasn't passionate, not movie style. Just a gentle kiss between two people who longed to spend more time together.

After the kiss was over, they settled back into holding each other. Later that night they walked each other to their doors and said goodnight. When Tonks woke up that next morning, so happy with what had happened last night, she found that Severus had gone.

xxx

Part III: Acceptance

Cassandra was not expecting her husband home so early in the day, but Severus arrived for breakfast at Spinner's end. She looked up from her typewriter (her instrument of choice, her muggle father had gotten her into it) to see his face flecked with guilt. She stood up from her chair and walked over to her husband and placed her forehead on his.

"Tell me what's wrong Severus," Cassandra whispered, drawing him into a hug. After boiling the kettle and getting out a plate of biscuits, Severus whispered what had happened with Tonks. And then Cassandra did the only thing she could do: laugh.

"So you kissed her. Did you want to sleep with her?" She asked, looking at Severus who was slightly confused at his wife's reaction.

"No. I just felt butterflies in my stomach. The last three days have been such a dream: me, Teddy and her were like a little family. Just feeling her lips on mine was like…bliss. Bliss in a bottle," Severus announced and turned nervously towards Cassandra. She was taking it better than he expected.

She left her chair and sat on her husbands lap. Cassandra tucked her hands around his neck and nudged her nose against his forehead.

"Remember why we got married Severus? You couldn't deal with all the female attention, especially those who had charmed themselves to look like Lily. I couldn't deal with all the men who bedded me and sold the story to the Prophet. Severus Snape, we are best friends who got married to protect ourselves. Remember the bargain we made just before we slept together for the first time?"

"If we ever fell in love for real, we would end it."

"Is it time for us to end this marriage, Severus?"

"I don't know."

Cassandra turned to her friend and smiled for a moment. She cupped his face with her hands and planted a chaste kiss on his lips.

"You've come along way Severus Snape," she said before getting up and returning to her writing.

xxx

While Severus had been fully honest with his other half, Tonks had been less than so. When Remus had returned, she had tried to be normal towards him. But all she could remember was the taste of Severus Snape on her tongue. Something so gentle, something that Remus had given her once. Thinking in the kitchen, she unconsciously raised her hand to her cheek were the cuts remained underneath her skin. When marrying Remus Lupin, she had known what he was. Even watching him in their cellar sleeping peacefully on the floor she knew what he was. But now, after seeing him fully, her feelings were changing.

Teddy was playing on his television while Tonks watched. He was smiling for the first time in months, and she didn't know why.

"Why are you so happy Teddy?" asked his mother, flicking through the latest Cassandra Snape novel.

"It's nearly Christmas." Was the reply she got and Tonks couldn't help but smirk. She loved the Christmas spirit just as much as a child did.

"Uncle Severus is coming at Christmas," Teddy said afterwards, using the controls of the game station to shoot another man.

Later on, lying next to her husband, Tonks realised that Severus had replaced Remus in the eyes of Teddy. He was a non-violent adult who understood Teddy. He was firm but fair and loved him, she thought. A gentle snore from her husband brought her back to reality. Remus rolled over, exposing the cuts on his back.

She needed Severus. She longed for him to be the one lying next to her. When she had readily avoided him, he was pleasant to her. When she had ignored his and her husband's given advice and gone to Grimmauld Place, he had patched her up. When she was broken, he put her back together. And yet she would have to wait another month to see him again: where Severus went during his months away from his wife's circuit were unknown. But one thing was for sure: a month couldn't go quick enough.

xxx

Christmas Eve came, and Lupin stormed out of the house bound for the Shrieking Shack. Tonks had become worried about the effect that their arguments were having on Teddy, but Remus didn't agree. They didn't argue much anyway, and it was all to do with his curse. The argument stayed buried for the rest of the day until four when Cassandra turned up wanting to talk to that 'strumpet Auror'. Remus then found out that his wife had kissed his friend and what happened after was not pretty.

Severus knocked on the door, desperately jolly and with his first ever-proper apology. He wanted to say sorry for leaving so early a month ago, and had brought a bottle of wine to ease the tidings. The door swung open to see a red eyed Nymphadora Tonks, who promptly buried herself in Severus' chest.

After he had calmed her down and wiped her eyes with a flannel, Severus settled her down to talk.

"What's wrong Tonks?" He thought calling her by that would help her talk. How wrong he was.

"Don't call me that. It's what he calls me."

"Lupin?"

"Fine then. What's wrong Dora?"

She nodded at the new nickname and rolled down the scarf she was wearing, which showed red finger marks. Severus swallowed. Lupin was usually a sensitive and gentle soul, but a few days before the fool moon increased his anger and strength.

"He found out that we kissed, from your wife no less, and went ballistic. Then he shouted at Teddy and left. I think for good." Tonks said, straining to get the words out.

"Bloody Cassandra. I said I'd deal with Lupin myself, but she had to bloody get involved."

Teddy, hearing another voice in the house peered down over the banister and saw his uncle. Running down the stairs two at a time, Teddy leapt on Severus and hugged him tightly. He hugged him back, realising that this was an exact replica of his Christmas thirty years ago. Except, unlike Tonks would, his mother accepted his father back with open arms. She wouldn't do that, she knew better. It felt like hours but was so little time in reality that Severus held two fragments of a broken family in his arms. For him, it was everything he had longed for, for so many years.

xxx

A quick conversation in the fire with Cassandra sorted out things with her, and Severus couldn't miss the wink that he gave him. Neither did Tonks, and on a walk to see the London Christmas lights, he explained everything about their relationship, or rather lack of. Back at the house, Teddy started getting the presents under the tree and sung rather loudly and off key. After he was put to bed, Severus and Tonks settled down on the settee and watched a film.

"If you could have one thing in the entire world, what would it be?" Tonks asked him, pulling the bowl of Christmas chocolates towards her.

"When I was little, every Christmas I asked for a loving family. I wished on my birthday, and one year I even wrote a letter to Father Christmas saying so. My neighbour made me write, don't give me that look," Severus said, stroking Tonks' hair and kissing her lightly on the top of her head.

"And now?"

"You and Teddy. No question."

"Ditto," Tonks replied before kissing Severus lightly on his lips. For the first time in her presence, he had smiled, and she loved it. The kiss deepened, but it was slow and languid. His hands were in her hair that quickly changed to her trademark bubblegum pink. Pulling away from the kiss, Severus gathered her hands together and kissed each one. He then pulled her up and escorted her upstairs.

Once there, he kicked the door closed of the master bedroom and headed to the spare with Tonks in his arms. As soon as the door was shut and the lights on, they were kissing each other, hands on each other. Slowly, Severus kissed Tonks' neck, drawing a moan as he made his way down to her collarbone. He pulled off the Weird Sisters t-shirt she had on, leaving her in a red brassiere, which Severus deftly removed. Looking at her bare chest, Severus felt his trousers tighten. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

As he leant her gently on the bed, he kissed her lips chastely. His mouth moved downward, licking and sucking on her skin before he moved on to nuzzling her breasts.

"I thought you would be rough and quick, not long and sensual," groaned Tonks as he undid the zipper on her jeans. Pulling the material down slowly he smirked as he responded.

"Shows how much you know."

"I'd like to. I'd really like to."

"So would I."

He kissed the inside of her thighs, causing more moans from her. Using his teeth, he slowly removed her underwear and turned his attention to other, more interesting parts. His tongue was most certainly skilled as Tonks was slowly brought to a quaking climax as he sucked on her clit.

After recovering from her most pleasurable ordeal, she turned her attention to him. Tonks unbuttoned his shirt and slowly unwrapped him like a present. When they were both naked, he pinned her hands above her head and linked them with his fingers. They brought their heads together for a passionate kiss before he entered her. And then everything went hazy for both of them.

xxx

On Christmas morning, Tonks and Severus woke up together. She put on his shirt and he a pair of underwear before returning to each other and slowly kissing each other. A knock on the door alerted them to Teddy's presence, and Severus used his wand to open the door and let the ten year old in. Bringing with him all the presents he had put under the tree last night.

Sitting on the bed, they unwrapped presents, including the ones that Severus had brought over for him. Once Teddy had done his, he left the pair alone and raced downstairs to play. Tonks snuggled up to the bare-chested ex-potions master and let a contented sigh escape her lips. Even though he wasn't particularly keen on the idea of an afterlife, Severus believed that a certain white bearded wizard was behind this. Tonks had what she always wanted: a partner who was loyal to her and Teddy. And Severus had what he had always yearned for, longed for: a family that had no drunks. No doormats. No crying sons.

Just a family who cared for each other. A family that was full of grace.