A/N: - Heya Guys. Finally finished this chapter, YAY ME, I swear I re-wrote it like 5 times. Anywayz here it is and I apologise in advance if it's not as fluffy as some would like, I had just finished having a fight with my boss (the queen mega-biatch) when I wrote it so I wasn't exactly feeling all fluffy.
ANYWHO – as always thanks to all the wonderful people who read and MEGA THANKS to all the amazing people who rocked my world with a review – much love guys. So – ZemISHly, Jess.91, pet-munchkin, Flo M Nimo, uNiCa100, ombrerose92, heyyodude and Rina – here's to ya.
15 Things – Remus and Dora
1. He met Nymphadora Tonks for the first time during the summer before his 7th year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She was just 4 years old at the time, a tiny little whirlwind of pink curly hair and energy that knocked him off his feet when he walked into the home of Andromeda and Ted Tonks. Sirius had been asked to babysit his cousins little girl for the night and he conned James, Peter and Remus into coming along under the pretence that it would be easy, she'd be in bed by 8 and they'd get a chance to plan their montage of massive pranks for their final year, he couldn't have been more wrong. Sirius and James gave little Dora some candy to pacify her even though Andromeda had clearly said 'NO SWEETS'. So when Remus finally arrived he was greeted with 3 worn-out boys and a little munchkin so hyper that she'd completely destroyed the once pristine Victorian living room.
She took an instant liking to Remus, mostly because he was the only one who paid her any attention, and when her sugar high was finally over and she'd been sapped of all her energy, she lay next to him on the couch, eye's drooping more with every second that passed but she refused to go to bed. The boys had long since given up on their prank planning and were talking about the future instead when little Dora sat up straight and with a very serious face and a slightly sleepy voice, she turned to Remus and declared that she would marry him someday. He laughed at the cute little girl in her purple feety pyjama's and he patted her affectionately on the head whilst his friends were rolling on the floor with laughter, he never once took her declaration seriously.
2. When he met Nymphadora Tonks for the second time she was 21, a blur of spiky pink hair and attitude that knocked him over when she entered No. 12 Grimmauld Place for the first time. He knew who she was straight away, the pink hair was a dead giveaway, but even without that he recognised the impish glimmer in her eyes that hadn't faded with age and the oh-so familiar crooked smile with the dimple in her left cheek that she couldn't morph away. Though he recognised the small things that had remained the same throughout the years it was quite obvious that she was no longer the little girl that he'd helped look after one night more than 17 years ago. She no longer had the chubby little cherub cheeks that he remembered instead they were high-boned and elongated her once round face into a sort of heart-shape. Her hair no longer cascaded in little ringlets down her back, her eyes were no longer wide with the innocence of youth and her body appeared to have filled out in all the right places.
But whilst she had grown up physically, she still blushed like a schoolgirl at her clumsiness and she still laughed like a four year old, a squeaky infectious little giggle that you couldn't help but smile at. Yes Nymphadora Tonks had grown up and Remus felt like a dirty old man for noticing.
3. The more time he spent with her the more he fell for her, both literally and figuratively, the girl really did have a problem with balance. But whilst it was painfully obvious to the close observers around them that the vibrant young witch had stolen his attention, he didn't realise it himself until it was too late, until it was impossible to ignore, until she'd completely captured his heart. It happened one night a few months after they'd met, it was the night before a full moon to be exact and he was feeling restless so he decided to take a walk and that's when he saw her. She was sitting dejectedly on the steps of No. 12, her hair a dull mousey brown colour, her eyes red and puffy from crying but as she sat there in all her natural beauty, bathed in the glow of the silvery moonlight, Remus couldn't help but think that she looked beautiful. He knew why she was crying, she had just broken up with her latest fella because he kept asking her to change, but he was completely baffled as to why anyone would want her too – she was gorgeous just as herself.
He never did go for his walk, instead he sat down beside her and talked the whole night through, he wasn't so restless anymore. When dawn broke and she left him to go to work he decided that the next time he saw her he would just bite the bullet and ask her out, what was the worst thing that could happen? But when dusk set and the full moon rose high in the night-sky, everything changed, and the next morning when he woke up naked and shivering on the cold wooden floor he knew he couldn't ask her. It wouldn't be right to ask her to get involved with him, he was a dark-creature and she deserved so much better, she was young, she could find someone more worthy. And as he tended to his self-inflicted wounds alone he realised that he already knew what the worst thing that could happen was and he'd be damned if he let it.
4. He learnt the truth behind the old adage 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' the hard way. After the night of the full moon he tried to avoid the pretty young nymph at all costs, figuring that if he saw less of her than his feelings would have to wane further and further until they were under his control yet again, until he no longer had the urge to push her against the wall and kiss her pink pouty lips every time he saw her. His plan backfired however and instead of his feeling dissipating into nothingness, they grew until they were too much to bear, until it was no longer just the sight of her that drove him crazy with want but the mere scent of her heavenly body on the air was enough to send him into frenzy. His unrequited feelings would have drove him round the twist had it not been for her cornering him in the kitchen to reveal her own feelings.
He grudgingly accepted her offer of a date, he just couldn't quite bring himself to say no to her pleading puppy-dog eyes, but mixed feelings of dread and fear consumed him when he thought of the impending disaster that was bound to be their first date. His worst fears were realised when the date turned out more tragic than he ever feared and he was left feeling awkward and embarrassed as they walked in silence back towards Grimmauld Place. But at the end of the night when he was sure Nymphadora wouldn't even speak to him again let alone anything else, she surprised him with a goodnight kiss. It wasn't anything overtly special, their lips only lightly grazing in the most tantalising of touches, and he certainly didn't see fireworks but it meant everything. That tiny little action gave him hope for the future, something he hadn't felt in a long time and as he looked into her perfect eyes, his thumb lightly brushing along her cheek, he realised that that was exactly what he wanted – a future.
5. He blatantly refused to call her Tonks, something that aggravated her to no end. He knew how much she hated her given name but he couldn't bring himself to be so informal as to address her by her last name only. Tonks was so plain, so boring, it didn't suit her personality at all. For she wasn't boring or plain she was the most vibrant, fun-loving person he'd ever met. She made him feel things that he'd never felt before, she made him feel young again, her touch made him feel human, made him feel loved.
It was just the small things she did that made him feel that way – the way she'd always find a way to touch him or just be close to him, the way she'd meet his gaze and smile whilst she was conversing with other people, the way she wasn't afraid to be exactly who she was and made no apologies for it, the way she didn't care what anyone else thought of their relationship as long as they were happy. It was in the unabashed way she kissed him in front of everybody else, the way she refused to go to sleep without a tender goodnight kiss, the way she'd lye next to him after they made love – her leg entwined with his, head on his chest, arm casually draped across his stomach. She wasn't afraid to touch him, she wasn't afraid to love him and that made him feel special. She wasn't plain old Tonks when she was with him – she was Dora.
6. The night after the fight at the Ministry of Magic was hands down one of the worst nights of his life, it was right up there with the night he was bitten and October 31st 1981 when Lily and James died. The night was filled with sadness, pain, fear and an overwhelming sense of guilt. But the emotions he was going through weren't because of the death of his best friend, they were for the woman left behind, for the woman lying in the hospital bed next to him. Her hair was a dull mousey brown colour – she hadn't the strength to hold a morph, her pretty face was marred with bruises and cuts, abrasions marked her entire body, silent tears trickled down her face from her closed eyes as she slept. That night she taught him that you don't have to be awake to cry.
He stayed by her side the entire first night she was in hospital, not sleeping just watching over her, keeping his own tiny vigil over the one he loved. The next morning he left before she woke and didn't return, he couldn't bear to see her cry anymore and he had some things to sort out. You see Sirius was his closest living friend, his best friend, he loved him like a brother and it had hurt more than he ever thought possible to watch him die. But that was nothing compared to what he felt when he saw Bella's curse hit his Dora in the chest, the way his heart stopped beating when he watched on helplessly as her ragged body tumbled down the stone steps before landing with an unceremonious thud at the bottom. Even the feeling of knowing that his best friend had died was nothing in comparison to the overwhelming sensations that filled him when he merely thought that Nymphadora was dead.
That night, as he sat on the cold wooden floor of Shrieking Shack, he cried for those that he'd lost the night before. He cried for Sirius, and for Dora because he knew that he couldn't' be with her anymore, couldn't fool himself into believing he could have a relationship. He hadn't quite realised it until that moment but he loved her with all his heart, he loved her more than he loved his best friend, more than he ever thought was possible and it scared him – he was a werewolf, he had no right to love her that way. He knew that he was a coward, using his lycanthropy as an excuse, but that still didn't stop him from walking away.
7. He deliberately avoided seeing her after he'd ended their relationship, she kept telling him he was being irrational and was acting without thinking but she was wrong – he was thinking clearly now, he hadn't been thinking when he started the relationship in the first place. She eventually tracked him down to his room at Grimmauld Place the night before he left for his mission with the werewolves. He saw the unshed tears glistening in her eyes as she cautiously entered his room without knocking and his heart broke into a million pieces when she broke down and begged him not to go. He told her he had to but he gave into her crying eyes, and his own selfish feelings, and he let her spend the night in his bed one last time. It killed him to walk away from her sleeping form in the morning but he knew he had to, he would do anything to make her happy and this was the only way to ensure her happiness in the future, even if it hurt now.
Every minute he spent on the outskirts of society with the other werewolves, his equals, was utter hell and he hated it, he hated himself for being there, he hated Dumbledore for asking this from him. By day he would pretend to be a scavenger like them, an uncivilised beast angry at the world, and it was horrible but the nights were worse. Not because of anything the pack would do, he removed himself from them at night-time to avoid there hazing rituals, but because his nights were filled with visions of her and it made things that much harder. When things would become unbearable and he felt like he was losing his sense of self he would reach into his hidden pouch and pull out his favourite button-down blue shirt that he'd brought with him. It was neither dirty nor torn, he hadn't worn it there for fear of it losing its comforting smell, it smelled like home, it made him feel safe, loved.
He didn't realise it for a long time but the last time he'd worn that shirt was his last night in civilised society, his last night with her. The lingering floral scent on the fabric belonged to her – she was home.
8. His mission with the werewolves was cancelled after he tried to sabotage Greyback's attempts to attack Teddy Montgomery, an innocent five-year old whose mother had offended You-Know-Who. His attempts failed, the little boy died as a result of his injuries, and Remus' cover was effectively blown so he dutifully returned to Grimmauld Place to debrief with Dumbledore. He was surprised to see her waiting for him in the hallway after his meeting was finished.
He wanted to go to her, to run straight into her waiting arms, to hold her and never let go, but he knew that it wasn't possible. He'd seen too much, his soul was too tainted to ever be repaired and he refused to tear her down with him for the mere feelings of comfort. So instead of rushing to her, he turned and walked away from her once again, ignoring the look of heartbreak that flashed across her face, the tears that fell brutally from her perfect eyes, the hair that appeared to grow impossibly duller as he climbed the stairs to his room without so much as a nod in her direction. Dumbledore had it right all along, it's better to be alone.
9. Albus Dumbledore meant more to Remus than he ever let on. He was so much more than just a Professor or a headmaster - he was his mentor, his guide, his friend and his confidant. Remus loved that old man like a father and he valued his opinion above all others, Dumbledore was there for him when no-one else was. So when he first heard about the death of their fearless leader he was shocked to the core, he honestly couldn't believe that the only man left that he considered family was now gone as well. He was emotionally numb as he tried to deal with it all and so when Dora started to bring personal issues up in front of everybody he completely shut down, he couldn't deal with that now, not when he'd been left alone yet again.
But when he saw her walk dejectedly out of the hospital wing later that night, mousey brown hair falling limply around her neck, head hung low to hide the fact that tears that she was crying once again, he felt like the world's biggest prat. He'd done that to her, all of it, from the dull colour of her hair to the look of misery that remained present in her eyes even when she smiled. He'd taken a bright vibrant young woman and he'd destroyed her in order to save her and he knew now that he was wrong. Love was what set them apart from the Death Eaters, it was what made everything worth fighting for, it wasn't something to be feared or denied. He went after her because he didn't want to end up old and alone like his mentor, he loved and that was enough to overcome all else.
10. They'd only been back together a couple of weeks when Nymphadora suggested marriage one night as part of a joke. He knew that she loved him but it honestly shocked him that she considered such a permanent future with him. So as they lie entwined in each other's arms on the sofa he asked if she wanted to marry him and she turned him down point blank, extricated herself from his arms and told him to think about what he was asking instead of just reacting on impulse.
So he did what she asked, he thought about it and when he'd finally got his head around the enormity of the decision he realised that he really didn't have to think about it at all. This was the woman he loved, the woman he would do anything for, and he couldn't think of anything he wanted more than to spend the rest of his life with her, the woman who was his world. So that night he leaned down on one knee and took her hands in his and with tears in his eyes he asked her the question that would seal their future. While he waited for her answer there was only one thought running his mind, the squeaky four-year old voice of Nymphadora Tonks – 'I'm going to marry you one day'. She was finally getting what she wanted and it wasn't so funny anymore.
11. Despite outward appearances, he never once regretted marrying Nymphadora Tonks. He regretted tying the vibrant young nymph to his condition, he regretted society's small-mindedness and he regretted making her an outcast in the wizarding world but he could never bring himself to fully regret the action that put the biggest smile on her delicate features and made her hair turn the vividest pink he had ever seen. Even during his darkest hours he would never lament that decision, she was his wife and for that he refused to know shame.
12. The decision to make Dora his bride was one of the easiest that he'd ever made, even though it meant tying her publicly to a dark creature, because ultimately it was her decision in the end but bringing a child into the agreement was never something he planned. A baby was to live the life it was born into, it didn't get a choice and Remus never thought that it was fair to force an innocent child to be part of his condition, whether directly or indirectly. So when Dora told him that she was pregnant, he smiled outwardly and laughed along with her as she excitedly told him that they'd be a real family now, that he'd make a great daddy, but inwardly he was wreak.
Later that night he sat by their bed just watching his young wife as she lay sprawled out across the mattress sleeping peacefully. He sat there for a long time, just staring at her flat stomach in which their baby was currently growing, before he eventually got up, kissed her softly on the forehead and walked away from her yet again. The tears streamed continuously down his face as he walked out the door and into the night, a total and complete coward but the truth was that he could never be a daddy. He'd grown up ashamed of his father and he knew that his child was better off without that, without him.
13. Of all the horrible, screwed up things he'd done in his life, leaving his wife and unborn child was the thing that he regretted most, although he didn't realise it until after he'd had words with one of his best mate's son. When Harry yelled at him, called him coward, he felt as though he was being reprimanded by both James and Lily and his critical words had cut to the core because ultimately – the truth hurt. It forced Remus to see that his twisted logic was wrong, that walking away from them, leaving Dora to cope with single-parenthood on top of losing her husband, was not in fact in their best interests. Once again he had chosen the easy choice over the right one and he knew he had to fix it.
He honestly didn't believe that Nymphadora would take him back, and he couldn't say that he would begrudge her if she didn't, he'd hurt her too many times before. When she opened the door in the middle of the night to find him standing on her doorstep, he expected her to yell or shout, to curse at him in several languages before casting some rather inventive hexes. Instead she just walked away but it was enough, she didn't need to yell to make Remus shrivel, the silence and the harrowed look in her eyes cut deeper than any words ever could. He called her name and she turned back towards him with tears in her eyes but she still didn't say a word, instead she flung herself into his arms and held him close before begging him not to go away again. And as he wiped her tears and stroked her hair, he spoke the words to calm her fears - he promised that he would never leave her again.
14. Despite the initial hiccups at the start of the pregnancy, Remus soon became the most attentive father-to-be in history, his antics even rivalled James'. He waited on his wife hand and foot and pampered her every chance he got. He painted the new nursery for the baby, he measured her growing belly every week, he marked off the days on a calendar and he catered to every single craving she had, no matter how crazy it was. About half-way through the pregnancy he started to read pregnancy books to Dora to assuage her fears but at night, when she'd fallen asleep, he would lift up her shirt and place his hand on the baby-bump and he would tell his child fairy-tales.
When Teddy was finally born it was the happiest day of his life, not only because he'd finally become a dad, but because of the look of sheer joy on his Dora's face when he laid down beside her and they held him together. They were a complete family now and he knew he had to fight for it.
15. The night when he left for the Battle of Hogwarts he put his son to bed and kissed his wife goodbye. He told Dora to stay at home under the pretence of staying with Teddy but in reality he just couldn't bear the thought of her in the fray, even though she was a trained Auror. But as he duelled with Dolohov on the battlements of the castle he could've sworn he heard her call his name and he turned at the last second and that was when he was hit. Time seemed to move into slow motion as his body twisted under the effects of the curse but all he could think was that he was leaving her yet again even though he'd promised not to.
But as he fell to his knee's he saw the blast of green light hit her too and he saw the fear in her eyes as she fell, he wasn't leaving her after all. He knows now it was a selfish promise.
Ah so that's it done. I must admit that I could've gone on a lot longer with most of them so I'm thinking of turning each point into a little ficlet – Whaddaya think?
LOVE IT/HATE IT – leave a review and let me know, PLEASE!
(Also do you think that I should do another little chappie on Tonks – let me know.)
HUGZ N KISSES