In the Present

A HariPo fanfic

by mew-tsubaki

Note: I haven't finished To the Future and already I'm starting its second companion story. AGH! However, J.K. Rowling's characters are in good hands by now, so I hope everyone enjoys this Rena story. But to reach the present, one must glance at the past, where our story begins… READ & REVIEW!!!

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The First Wax

"I'm pregnant."

Remus choked on his cold cereal, and coughed to clear his throat. There wasn't anything he could do about clearing his ears, though. "I'm sorry?"

Tonks sat down beside him at the table. Her hair turned a mauve kind of color, as it was wont to do, her being a Metamorphagus. "You heard me, Remus. I'm pregnant."

"But…that can't be possible!" he spluttered. "We've always worked the Charms so something like this wouldn't happen! I mean, last week-" And he stopped. "Oh." His eyes searched for hers, but Tonks looked away. "Oh…" His heart twanged as he realized she had lied to him. She had actually lied to him.

His memory kicked into overdrive. Last week –almost two weeks ago from now –he came home and there she was, gazing up at him with the sultriest of smiles. She came up to him and kissed him hard on the lips, pushing him back against the door. He had been hungry, but he forgot his hunger as she led him to their bedroom. He closed the door as she kept kissing him and unbuttoning his shirt. She looked up at him and told him, "We're set" –meaning she has cast the Contraceptive Charms –and then they let loose. He had been so swept up in the hormones that he had disregarded the slight catch in her voice. But that catch he was all too painfully aware of now.

"Oh," he repeated. He felt stupid. He thought being married meant you trusted each other. But this stated otherwise.

Tonks placed her hand on his. "Remus, I'm sorry I didn't tell you, but…but I want a real family." While there was a trace of guilt in her clear eyes, he saw determination as the dominant feeling.

"Oh," he repeated again. "Yes. Right, of course."

"It's only natural," she continued.

"Right, only natural." Remus opened and closed his mouth several times before pushing back against his chair. "Um… I'm going out for a walk. I'll be back."

Tonks watched him as he stood. "Of course. I'll stay here."

He couldn't look at her again as he exited the kitchen. He only grabbed a sweater as an afterthought of the chilling weather, but he decided against the umbrella. The heavy downpour of the early morning pelted him, but it was exactly what he needed. It helped clear his mind of what he had just been told, what he had just learned. Besides, the cool rain refreshed his face as hot tears ran down his cheeks. Life had always been thrown at him. Why couldn't he have a break?

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Tonks didn't speak that much for the rest of the day. Remus didn't really mind, though uncomfortable silences weren't his thing, because he was so used to being in awkward or unpleasant situations.

That night Remus sat in the living room and flicked through the telly. Nothing caught his attention, so he resorted to the news for white noise. Anything to distract him from the static of jumbled thoughts in his head: Would she lie again? Would she be healthy? Would the child be a werewolf? Would the child be deformed? Would the child even make it? How would the full moons affect the fetus? Was he even cut out to be a father? Did Dora get pregnant as a last resort because-?

"I'm going to bed," she said, leaning against the door jamb. "Can I get you anything? You barely picked at your supper."

"I'm fine, Dora," he replied, looking at his hands. He could hear her lips move to form a frown.

"Okay, then." She padded barefoot across the carpet and kissed her husband's cheek. "Good night, dear."

Remus nodded and watched the pictures on the newscast as Tonks left the room and disappeared down the hall. Merlin, look at him. He shook his head. Things had gotten out of control.

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Amazingly enough, he slept okay. When he woke up the following morning, he rubbed the sand from his eyes and yawned. He couldn't recall any dreams, let alone if he had had any…

He stood and freshened up in the bathroom. It was funny how such a habitual action had new meaning. He could hear a child's voice, screaming, "Da!" and running into the bathroom to interrupt Remus.

The werewolf shook his head. He…didn't want any of this. It only seemed like yesterday that he had been in detention with James, Sirius, and Peter for pulling a nasty prank on Snape. Remus recalled having a few girlfriends, but he had never imagined himself as a father. Probably because his own childhood had been plenty messed up.

Remus frowned. He needed to get out for a while. He finished in the bathroom and grabbed a clean shirt from their bedroom, careful not to disturb his wife. Once ready, he went out into the vestibule, grabbed a jacket, and marched outside.

The walk was a good twenty or thirty minutes, but Remus didn't care. When he saw the row of townhouses, he felt almost relaxed. He quickly crossed the street and stood in front of the wrought iron gate. He stomped three, strong times with the heel of his shoe and watched the magic happen around numbers Eleven and Thirteen.

The ground and row of townhouses shook, but none of the non-magical muggles noticed or felt anything. In between Eleven and Thirteen popped an extra townhouse. Eleven and Thirteen stretched out for the extra, which pushed out several windows, a door, and a walkway of its own. Even Eleven's and Thirteen's gate stretched to include this new addition. Remus had a hard time suppressing his smile as the number appeared above the door. Here it was:

Twelve Grimmauld Place.

Remus swung the gate open and went up the stairs. At the door, he rapped it seven times and stuck his hands in his pockets. The door opened and revealed a smiling Sirius Black.

"Well, if it isn't Remus Lupin!" Sirius laughed. He let Remus in and followed his best friend into the dining room. "We were just thinking about calling you."

Remus glanced back at Sirius. "'We'?"

"Yes, 'we' need to include you in this discussion," came a deep voice. Remus turned around and saw Albus Dumbledore rise from the table to shake hands.

"This is quite the surprise," the werewolf stated as the three men sat down. "What brings you here, headmaster?"

Dumbledore smiled. "I've come with an offer for you both. Most of our positions are filled, but one department lacks a teacher: Defense Against the Dark Arts."

Remus looked unsure. "Eh… Let me get this straight: You're asking me to come back and teach?"

"Yes. And no. I was hoping that the job could be split between you and Sirius. Maybe one for the first years through third, and the rest to the other."

The werewolf blinked. "Oh. I see."

"There's also not a lot of time to think about it, Mooney," Sirius interjected. "School starts barely more than a week from now."

Remus nodded and faced the elderly wizard. "I'll do it."

"As will I," Sirius added. "But you already knew that, Albus."

Dumbledore stood and smiled. "Maybe." He walked to the front door and prepared to disembark. "One more thing: Severus is still teaching Potions at Hogwarts." The headmaster raised his eyebrows. "I would hope that two Marauders would not restart the 'Snivelers' fiascos."

Sirius whistled while Remus shot Padfoot a look. "Of course not, headmaster."

"After all, you can't give us detention anymore," Sirius quipped. "Or rather, you can't give us detention anymore. Hmm." A wolfish grin appeared on his face.

Dumbledore stared at Sirius with a raised eyebrow. "Well, I shall see you two at the beginning of the term, Remus, Sirius." With that, the headmaster stepped outside and Apparated on the step.

"You really had good timing," Sirius told Remus as they walked into the kitchen. He poured two firewhiskies. "What originally brought you over here?"

Remus blinked, grimaced, and then took a long swig of his drink. The firewhiskey burned on the way down. "Nothing much," he fibbed. "Just felt like visiting."

"How's Tonks?"

Sirius's gray eyes were on him, and he felt suddenly, uncomfortably warm. "She's…" …pregnant! he wanted to admit. Instead, he finished with, "…fine." First, Tonks, now a job–

Life just kept coming at him.

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SOOO sad!!! Poor Remmy! Life sucks! How could Tonks do that to him?! *sigh* What else is going to be thrown at him? A car? A hippogriff? A certain female Quibbler reporter who might just be having a tough time on her own?! AGH!! Must…continue…writing…while on…a Remus/Luna…kick! Anywho, try to get this story about five to ten reviews per chapter, guys –Rena needs it!

& as always, READ & REVIEW!!!

-mew-tsubaki