Just For Today
A Nymphadora Tonks fanfiction.
For ToManyLetters, on the occasion of his impending mission. Good luck, sir.
Residence of Nymphadora Tonks, Chatterton St. in Muggle Bristol, over some kebab take-away
"Tomorrow, then," said Tonks, her eyes gleaming rather impulsively, even for her.
"T-tomorrow?" replied Remus, taken aback.
"We've been talking about it for a month now, love, going around in circles. The Ministry's usurped, the world's going to hell, and – "
"Exactly. How can we possibly start a life together in a world like this?"
"Look you great lump, here's how it's happening: The operation is on Sunday. Once the enemy finds out what we've done, there's going to be hell to pay – the war's going to go above ground. I want you by my side for that; but if you're not up to it, then I suppose that's that. Remus John Lupin, do you love me?"
"You know I do, Tonks. It's ju – "
"Then you can marry me tomorrow or you can leave me be. I love you with every fiber of my being, Remus, but I'll not be wondering about what's to become of us whilst trying to dodge AKs in the middle of Diagon Alley." Remus took a deep breath and gave a ponderous exhalation.
"Well, that settles things, I suppose," he said gravely. Tonks looked away, ashamed of her presumptions. She didn't see Remus get down on one knee and look up at her until he began to speak.
"Nymphadora Tonks? Will you do me the honor of – "
"Oi!" Tonks exclaimed through laughter, "I asked you first, you sodding git. Now get up – we've got a bit to do yet, love. And since when did you get to call me Nymphadora?"
"Well, I didn't think it was right to propose to you calling you by your surname, love," Remus laughed, getting up. Tonks pulled him close to her and smiled a feral grin.
"Serves you right for thinking then, doesn't it?" she said, and pulled her newly-minted fiancé into a long, lingering kiss.
Later that day, Ted and Andromeda Tonks's House
"And it's tomorrow, mum, at Prissy's cottage in the Exmoor. It's in a park, so it's warded within an inch of its life, 'gainst muggles and You-Know-Who… She's going to do the ceremony – dead useful to have a mate like her in Official Records. Her husband's going to be round tomorrow morning with the directions, as he's the secret keeper and all. Big bloke – can't miss him. We got Remus a suit, and I found some robes for tomorrow that I can even wear for something else someday and – "
"Dora, breathe love. Your hair's turning blue."
"Bugger the hair; it's just all so exciting, mum! Twenty-four hours from now I'm going to be Mrs. Remus Lupin. We'll have a whole month before his next transformation, I'll have someone to cook for, finally…"
"I thought he was living with you, darling." Andromeda grabbed a pair of wine goblets from the cupboard and a bottle of Chablis floated over from the refrigerator.
"Oh, well, yes, er… so he is. None for me, thanks mum, I'm on Potter-watch tonight, so I have to apparate to Surrey. Oh, I do wish Dad didn't have the late telecast tonight; I can't wait to see his face." There was a silence, in which Tonks looked hard at her mother as she was pouring herself a glass of the wine.
"Odd, isn't it, mum?"
"What's that, love?"
"You don't exactly look like a mother of the bride. I know this is a little sudden, but would it kill you to be happy for me?"
"Of course I'm happy for you, darling."
"Slytherin or no, mum, I've had better liars than you beg for mercy after a few minutes of my questioning. What is it?" Andromeda paused a moment, carefully choosing her words before continuing.
"Dora, I went to school with this man. He's 37, love. You're still so young – why do you need to rush into this?"
"He was a firstie your last year, I don't see what – "
"He's still fourteen years your senior. There's no one your own age out there who –?"
"Right. We're not to talk about the age difference – can't blame a woman in her old age for being forgetful, can you?"
"Mum, you're barely fifty."
"And you're barely twenty-four. Why the rush to get married at all?"
"Me and Remus are both wand-deep in this war, mum. I might not see 25."
"Darling, don't talk that way."
"It's true, mum!" Tonks replied indignantly, "'Sgetting dangerous out there."
"No, I meant that 'wand-deep' expression. Honestly, child, must you be so crude?"
"Right, sorry 'bout that. Those Auror yobs I spend all bloody day with aren't the most refined lot."
"No, I should say not," Andromeda said grimacing. She looked at her daughter thoughtfully. "I can't help but think this isn't the way you had imagined your wedding day either, love."
"Mum? Remember that Barbie Dreamhouse that Gran Tonks sent me when I was eight? I wound up giving one of the dolls a blue 3ohican and played Army Fort with the house. Dodging Aks after the blessing tomorrow would just about make it perfect." Tonks laughed heartily. Andromeda was less than impressed.
"Can't you at least put this off until after this bloody war's finished, then? We'd have time to make this something really special for you."
Tonks looked at her mother sagely. "Tell you what, mum; you want another chance at your dream wedding; we'll throw you and Dad a blowout 30th anniversary party after this nonsense is over with. Until then though, if you could make about thirty of those canapés you do so well, I'd really appreciate it."
Andromeda sighed, defeated. "Are you staying for supper then, sweets?" she asked.
"Remus and I have to get back to Prissy's for some last minute instructions. Look for Rob about 11 tomorrow. Bugger it all, I'm so late. Remus and I… Love you, mum."
The next morning, Exmoor
"Because it's 1997 and I'm not property, Dad. That's all. Remus and I are going to do the whole thing standing up at the front – no processions. You and Mum are going to be my witnesses, and Ron and Hermione are going to witness for Remus. Poor Harry – I'd have loved him to be here, but, well… Anyway, you understand, don't you?" Tonks was talking a good mile a minute.
"Of course, love. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't supposed to be anywhere or do anything." Ted looked at his radiant daughter – about to be someone's bride – and stroked her metallic gold-hued hair tenderly, placing a kiss on her cheek.
"Love the color, darling."
"Do you, Dad? It took awhile to get just right. Thought it would add a bit o' brilliance to the festivities."
"Are you nervous, Dora?" Ted asked.
"Merlin, no," Tonks answered immediately. "No, I can't wait to be Mrs Lupin. Of course, I was wondering if I should keep my own name – gotten rather attached to it, but I expect folks will still call me Tonks – force of habit and all. No, Dad, I'm not nervous, just looking forward to things. He'll be living in my apartment, and I'm going to make my fabulous rotini primavera with the fresh mozzarella – the one you like so much, too. Remus loves that. And – "
"Dora, stop. Breathe." Ted took hold of Tonks's hand and stroked it gently. "Love, it's going to be just fine. You're marrying a wonderful man who loves you and cares for you deeply. That's all that's important in a marriage – your mum and I have had a wonderful marriage, sometimes with nothing more than that. It was tough in the beginning for us, too."
"You didn't have a war to fight back then, though. At least not in '72."
"Dora, you don't have a war to fight today, either. Just like we didn't have your mum's family to deal with on our wedding day."
"Were you nervous, Dad?"
Ted took a deep breath. "Oh, of course I was. Things were just starting to get bad back then, you see. Death Eaters starting to come out in the open – attacking magical folk. And the muggle world was in a bit of a turmoil, too, you know."
"What made you do it then, Dad?"
"Besides your mum's ravishing beauty, you mean?" They shared a nervous chuckle. "If I'm honest, love, I knew that as difficult as things were, it was a world I couldn't imagine facing without Andromeda Black." A warm smile spread across Ted's face. If you looked closely, you could see the gold sparkling in Tonks's hair, which matched her blinding smile perfectly. Ted continued.
"Why don't you take a minute and compose yourself, sweets. Remus will be out there waiting for you. You're going to be just fine. Really."
Ted kissed his daughter on the top of her head and walked into Prissy's livingroom for the ceremony, leaving Tonks alone with her thoughts.