A/N: Sorry swim team + School = very busy Abbie… lol… ok so here we go… Read. Enjoy. Review :)

A Rough Road

Chapter Seven

Lupin had just finished setting the table for three and stood up. He had placed portions on the table for himself and Tonks on one side with Sirius on the other side of the table. He was just straightened out when he felt arms wrap around him from behind, squeezing him tight. He felt a pair of lips press to the back of his neck, he smiled lightly as he twisted his head around.

"I missed you," said Tonks as she went up on her tip-toes to be eye level with him.

"I missed you too," He said, leaning in the remaining few inches to kiss her lightly. He pulled way and she kept her arms wrapped around him as she pressed her head into his back. "Loosen your grip a little?"

"No," said Tonks stubbornly and he smiled as he managed to turn himself around so that he was facing her.

"You will eventually have to let go," said Lupin, kissing the top of her head, she looked sad.

"No," she said, her head against his chest, "Never."

"You ok?" He asked, using a hand to clear her bright hair from her eyes.

"Just a rough day," she said and Lupin nodded understandingly. "Kingsley had me running about tracking Sirius but really I was just following an old muggle man around for the day. Then I had lunch with a friend-who now thinks I'm crazier than before – and then I had to go to Azkaban because Dumbledore wanted me to check on the security up there. That place so dreadfull…"

"It's ok," said Lupin, pecking the top of her head again and rubbing her back comfortingly. "You're here now. Though you are eventually going to have to let go of me."

"Never," She said and Lupin smiled as he leaned down and kissed her softly.

***

"What're you doing, Lily?"A sixteen year old Lupin asked as he stroked her hair.

They were on summer break and sitting out on her back porch. They had been looking up at the stars for a while until she had turned. She had then been just staring at Lupin in the half-moon light.

"Promise me we'll always feel like this?" She asked and Lupin just looked down at her curiously.

"Promise we'll always feel what?" He asked and she sat up, kissing him softly.

"Like that," She said as she pulled away and he nodded.

"Thought that's what you meant," said Lupin, leaning down and kissing her lightly.

"You promise?" She asked again as she reached up and ran a hand through her hair.

"I promise I will always love you," said Lupin and she smiled, that was a satisfactory answer.

"Lily, Remus!" called Mr. Evans a few minutes later, "You two should get inside now. It's getting late. Remus, the guest room's all set up for you."

"Thank-you, sir," said Lupin as he stood up, helping Lily up beside him.

"I want to watch a movie," said Lily, leaning against Lupin with her head on his shoulder as they walked into the house through the back door. Petunia was eating ice cream in the kitchen. "Tuney, you want to watch a movie with us?"

"Not really," she said and Lily pouted.

"Please Tuney?" She asked and Lupin gave her a sympathetic look.

"Fine," She said and Lupin smiled as he leaned down and kissed the top of Lily's head as they walked into the next room.

There was a small color TV in the corner and Petunia popped in a movie of her choice into the tape player. Lupin leaned back and relaxed as the movie started to play.

***

Lupin came out of his memory as he was sitting around the magically elongated table for the meeting. Tonks had her head resting comfortably on his shoulder and Snape, who was speaking, kept shooting them scathing looks. He looked over to Sirius, who seemed to be losing more and more of his drunken patients by the second. While Lupin was in his trace he must've missed Sirius repossessing a rather large bottle of wine.

"Why is it that you still haven't gotten your own life, Snivellous?" Sirius asked rather rudely and Lupin shot him a look.

"Sirius…" said Dumbledore bracingly and Tonks just gripped Lupin's arm a little harder.

"Excuse me, Black?" Snape asked and Sirius stood up, stumbling slightly and Lupin tensed up a bit.

"You heard me correctly, Snivelly," said Sirius, "Why is it that you've got your robes all in a knot over them?" Lupin rolled his eyes and sank a little low in his chair. "You're just upset because she never even gave you a second look. Lily loved Remus and she loved James, never giving her best friend for so many years a backward glance…"

"Shut up," Said Snape acidly and Sirius chuckled.

The room had gone silent with Sirius' revelation and Dumbledore was sitting patiently, as if he knew this argument had to play out. Lupin looked over to one of his oldest friends knew this would not end well. Sirius could hardly stand where he was.

"Severus, he's drunk," said Lupin politely, "Why don't you just continue?"

"Well now that he's let loose the elephant in the room I don't see why I should," said Snape and Sirius pulled out his wand, and Snape pulled out his by default.

Lupin jumped to his feet, and with him so did Tonks. Lupin very gently nudged her to sit back down as he drew his wand. He pointed it at Snape in defense of Sirius who was holding a shaking one at Snape.

"Why don't we all put our wands down," said Lupin, the whole room was still silent.

"How charming are you," said Snape sarcastically, "Sticking up for your friend."

"You could just as easily be in his position," said Lupin. "Had you chased after Peter first."

"I'm surprised you weren't," said Snape, not taking his eyes of the shaking Sirius, "Or did she really not mean anything to you?"

"I hadn't seen her in months," Lupin confessed, "Not since Harry was born."

"Gentlemen!" Dumbledore cried as Sirius raised his wand, about to hex Snape. All eyes immediately turned to Dumbledore. "You three need to work this out before the warfare comes out into the open. If we're this divided now with little to no influence from Lord Voldemort, we will crumble. If we can't come together on this we are surely doomed. I think this is enough for one evening. You're all dismissed."

Lupin, Snape, and Sirius were still standing there, but had had the decency to lower their wands. Lupin's was already tucked away in his robes, though Snape was still glaring beadily at Sirius until Sirius had his wand fully tucked away. Snape was the last to put his wand away, but the first to leave the room.

"There is no need to repeat what happened here tonight to anyone," said Dumbledore severely as he looked around at the order, "I think you'll all agree Harry has much too much on his mind already without adding this to it. "

Lupin just looked down at his shoes until Dumbledore left the room, and looked up at Sirius with a disapproving look. Sirius sank back into his chair and Bill Weasley slid over to help to speak to him. Lupin looked around the room and started to head up the stairs, Tonks caught up to him as he hit the stairs to head up.

"Do you want me to go?" She asked as she caught the hem of his robes and he turned around.

He looked at her for a second, everything reeling in her head. He couldn't let her go like that, and he couldn't send her home with any questions about how he felt about her. He could tell by the look in her eye she wanted to go.

He went down so that he was level with her and kissed her passionately. He wrapped his arms around her and used one hand to cradle her head while he moved his lips against hers. He felt her wrap her arms up around his neck and he pulled her closer as he felt her start to lose her balance. He pulled away slowly as he tried to steady her and she smiled up at him.

"Only if you want to," said Lupin and Tonks gave him a mischievous smile as she went up on her tip toes and kissed his cheek, right over the scarred over slash.

"When are you going to learn?" Tonks asked inquisitively, "I love all of your scars."

Lupin smiled weakly as order members started to come up the stairs. He looked over their heads and smiled at them weakly as well before Tonks took his hand and pulled him upstairs. He stumbled up the stairs after her, only half trying to resist. She stopped in front of his room and she pressed him against the door.

***

About an hour after the movie had finished Lupin was lying in the bed in his temporary room. He was staring at the ceiling. He had just gotten a letter from James, it was lying on his bedside table. It was the invitation to the usual mid-summer gathering at his place. He wasn't sure whether he'd attend. James was always careful to plan them around the full moon so that Lupin could attend, but he wasn't sure he wanted to give up the time with Lily. He probably would, he just didn't like the idea. He reached over to turn out the light as Lily walked very swiftly into the room, carefully shutting the door behind her.

"Lily," said Lupin, trying not to look pleased to see her, but unable to hide it. "What're you doing? Your dad will kill me."

"No he won't," said Lily as she walked across the room, "Move over I'm cold."

"It's ninety degrees out," said Lupin looking up at her seriously.

"Come on," said Lily a little whine in her voice. "Please?"

"Your father will kill me," He said.

"Oh hush," said Lily, "He will not, he loves you. He would never… at the most he'll figure it out and just ignore it because it would be awkward."

"Right," said Lupin, "They're just going to turn a blind eye?"

"Shut up and scoot over," said Lily, "I just want to cuddle, don't get too excited."

"Fine," said Lupin sighing, knowing that he was not going to win this battle.

He slid over and Lily crawled in next to him. He wrapped his arms around her and placed his chin to the side of her neck. He kissed just under her ear as her eyes slipped closed.

***

Lupin laid in bed with Tonks, his arms around her tight while she slept in his arms. His eye lids were heavy and taking more and more energy to keep open. The darkness of the room surrounded him, and he slipped off into one of the most peaceful sleeps he had had in a long time.