A shriek pierced the air, cutting through the darkness in the small but homey cottage like a warm dagger through butter. Nymphadora Lupin sat up quickly, bunching the sheets around her waist, and jerked out of her sleep-induced haze with an immediate grope for her wand that was lying on her bedside table. Years of Auror training and instincts honed her reflexes and she had a Shield Spell up and numerous hexes on the tip of her tongue before she had fully blinked away the crust in her eyes. Her heart raced but she ignored everything in favor of scoping the room with her eyes for the imminent danger that had infiltrated her home.
It was several moments of pumping adrenaline and heavy panting later before it registered that the wailing was merely her child. Calming slightly, she listened for any other sound in the darkened cottage on the English countryside, but heard nothing. Only then did she stow the wand up her sleeve for now, switch on the lamp, and totally relax. While she tried to rub the last remnants of sleep away, she glanced over at the other person in the bed.
Her husband, Remus, was a delegate to the Werewolves for the Order of the Phoenix, trying to stop them from joining the Dark. She gently pushed a strand of hair back from his face and her gaze went soft. Just two days ago he returned from a raid on the houses of several known Death Eaters, and his exhaustion was evident even in sleep. It was no small wonder that he was the only one asleep on this dreary night in the only safe haven he had left in the world.
She ignored her wailing child for a few more stolen minutes to smile down at Remus. Her brow wrinkled however, as her mind drifted. Just last week, two more of their most faithful friends were slaughtered by the Death Eaters and the tallies of the dead were piling up. She sighed and steeled herself to forget her troubles for a little while more.
This war hadn't been kind to many, adding worry lines to her husband's strong features and making him age prematurely. She herself had noticed a few wrinkles etching themselves into her skin and no longer did she have her bright zeal for life. It was sad that only four long years had devastated the morale of the people this war so completely. Both sides of the Magical population of Britain, and one with some foreign wizard support, were decimated, hearts weighed down heavily with sorrow. It seemed only love was keeping her a pawn in this war.
Sighing once more, Tonks, as she still preferred to be called, untangled herself and headed down the hall to her son's room, with a last fond smile in her husband's direction. Seems only yesterday that she had brought the sobbing child into this world split with hate. He was a bright star on a cloudy night and a dot of hope for the future. Her own private miracle.
Even in the dark, her feet knew this path well. For the longest time she had spent her nights going back and forth between the bedroom and the nursery. It was slightly better now, but the days her bloody nightmares didn't wake her, filling her head with violent scenes of terror, her son did. Sometimes she thought her and her husband's incessant worrying bled through to him, sucking his childhood away like so many more children who had succumbed to the dark unknown. Children didn't have time to be kids; the need to protect themselves and their families drew them to violence like a moth to a flame and squirreled away the childhood that dangled before them.
She was hurried on by another loud cry, her long nightgown dropping against the carpeted floor of the nursery as she lifted baby Teddy from his crib, cradling him in her arms and sitting down in the rocking chair that was there for that specific purpose. He calmed immediately, making Tonks smile. One would think that he only wanted to see his mother and be reassured. She cooed down at him softly, tucking his blanket around him securely to stave off the slight chill in the cottage and gently wiped away his tears.
Keeping up her rocking, she began humming an old lullaby her own mother had sang to her as a child. The words, long since disappeared, escaped her, but the tune was comforting to both of them. The combination of the rocking motion and the light sound lulled Ted back to sleep quickly and nearly caused her to drop into a doze as well.
Coming up on Tonks in the rocking chair, dressed in flowing white with her now-blonde hair falling loose down her shoulders and leaning over their son, Remus was sure he was seeing an angel. He startled her by accident when he rested a work-calloused hand gently on her shoulder, but he steadied her arms around Ted as she jumped slightly.
"You were falling asleep over top of him, love"
Tonks' limbs felt heavy and deadened with sleep as Remus lifted Ted into his own arms for a moment before lowering him back into his crib and pulling another small blanket over him. She stood as well, joining her husband at the side of the crib just in time to see the small child curl around his favorite toy, a stuffed wolf. Neither of them tried very hard to stop their indulgent smiles, though each were thinking violently different thoughts.
"Do you think it's hopeless? This constant fighting?" She didn't look up from Ted, but their twin smiles were gone like fog being chased away by the morning sun.
Remus sighed heavily. Even mostly behind the front lines, his wife saw the horrors and cruelty of this civil war more than most due to her job as an Auror. Both of them had plenty of reasons to give up hope in seeing the Light prevail and war stop ravishing the country they called home. It must be a curse to be so deep in the midst of war, and he knew it, but he couldn't fully suppress the feelings of pain and sorrow he felt at her near admittance of defeat.
"Never." His voice was firm, as it was one of the things he felt most strongly about, and his usual mild tones vanished. There is always light where there is darkness and a shadow can never eclipse the sun. "It's never foolish to fight for what you believe in, and there is always hope."
Tonks smiled ruefully and faked a lighter attitude.
Seeing her smile appear again brought out his. She was beautiful, inside and out. Of that he was certain, no matter the certainty of the future. They loved each other. Tonight, that would be enough. Tomorrow, time would tell. He softly ran his fingertips along her cheek and down to the back of her neck while his other hand slipped around her waist to pull her into a tight embrace.
As he held her in a hug of comfort and assurance, she truly felt the love they shared; it was like a blanket of security around her. There in his warm arms, at the side of her small child, she cried. As he wiped away her tears lovingly, lost on what had brought them on, she only cried harder.
A/N: Well, how did I do? For just a bit of Remus/Tonks fluff, I like it.