Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, any places, characters, things, nor ideas therein, nor am I claiming said ownership. HP belongs to J.K. Rowling and the people who do the movies…
Summary: It had always been my recurring nightmare, but it had never been so bad as this. RL/NT, slightly AU
Warnings: Character death
Spoilers: slight ones for Prisoner of Azkaban, Order of the Phoenix, and Half-Blood Prince
Author's Note: …And so I'm hopping on board the Harry Potter fanfic train. I just recently read the books, due to a recommendation from a good friend, and was pleasantly surprised by them, considering I'm usually not into magic and the like. My favorite character in HP is Remus, and I absolutely adore him and Tonks. I hope you enjoy my little piece, and thank you so much for taking the time to read it! ~fyd
I stared at the calendar in mute, wide-eyed horror, realizing for the first time in a very, very long time I had forgotten.
It was less than two days from the full moon, and I had done nothing to prepare myself.
Pacing the kitchen, hands knotted in my hair, I tried to think of what to do. I could lock myself in the basement, but I had no guarantee it would hold me. Despite my attempts to keep my control while in the form of a wolf, I wasn't having luck.
My only consolation was that Tonks wasn't here. If she were… Merlin, if she were, things would be even worse. At this point, having her out on a mission for the Order was preferable to having her here, where I could accidentally do heaven-knew-what to her as a wolf. She wasn't afraid of me, and that was the problem sometimes.
If only Sirius were alive, he'd help me…
I shoved the thought out of my head. All of us were saying or thinking that fifty times a day, but thinking and wishing wouldn't bring my best friend back. For now, I was alone in this, and in retrospect, that was a good thing. As long as I was alone, I wouldn't have to worry about hurting anyone. Smashing furniture and baubles was preferable -- they could be replaced. Lives of the ones I loved couldn't.
So that was it, then. I would lock myself in the basement and wait it out. Tonks wasn't due back for three days, which put her arrival right after my night as a wolf. It would be cutting it close, but I was sure it would work.
I wouldn't allow myself to think otherwise.
Ripping, tearing, excruciating pain…
Remus Lupin vanished as I became the thing I had abhorred for so long, the wild beast inside me. Falling onto four paws, I threw my head back and howled, already having realized that I was trapped in a very small space. I already knew I hated it.
I had to get out!
Howling madly, I threw myself at the walls, ricocheting off each in turn as they refused to let me out. I tore at them with my claws -- if I couldn't break my way out, I would dig my way out! The moon was out there, I had to get to it -- I would die without its life-giving rays…
Above me, something clanked, and a bright yellow stream of light washed down the steps and over me. I squinted for just a split second, trying to accustom myself to the dazzling light with eyes made for nocturnal conditions.
"Remus?" the word was whispered as two bare feet appeared on the stairs, creeping downward.
Deep inside of me, where the last shred of humanity I clung to during my dark times as a wolf lingered, I felt a jolt of panic. Blinding, wordless panic. Even as my humanity screamed a negative reaction, my wild instincts kicked in, and I lunged, claws forward, teeth bared.
I saw a brief flash of radiant color, the bubble-gum pink of my human counterpart's wife's hair, before my mouth was at her throat, teeth shredding, claws slashing, inhuman growls and howls ripping from my throat as I did the one thing I'd longed to do for so long in this form -- kill.
"Nymphadora! No, no, Nymphadora!"
Something was shaking me, and calling my name over and over again. Flailing out, I shoved out at whatever it was even as I sat bolt upright, nearly knocking my head against my wife's. She barely recoiled from me in time to save us both headaches.
For a long moment we sat there, both breathing hard, staring at each other in wide-eyed fright, but for two very different reasons. My brain scrambled to catch up, matching the bloody, broken, dead body in my mind to the fully whole, unmarked form before me. Half-choking out her name again, I grabbed her shoulders and dragged her to me, holding her in a near-strangling hug. I was determined not to let go as I traded back and forth feverishly murmuring her name and jumbled words of thankfulness.
"Remus, what's the matter?" Tonks gently but forcefully pulled away, looking at me with puzzlement. "Goodness, I come in here and hear you screaming bloody murder in here, crying out my name. I thought you were being attacked, or trying to warn me about an attack!"
I shook my head. For a moment I opened and closed my mouth soundlessly, feeling rather like a fish out of water. I just couldn't stop staring at her, drinking in the sight of her unmarred beauty. I wanted to grab her and hug her again, but I didn't think she'd react well to that. Particularly since I'd just frightened her half to death on top of calling her by her hated first name. "You're back early." I tried to say it casually, but my voice was hoarse and still shaking slightly.
She narrowed her eyes at me. "Finished up early," she said curtly. "Now what was that about? You were screaming loud enough to wake up half the countryside, and our house is the only one around for a mile in any direction."
Wishing I could get rid of the too-clear images lingering behind my eyes every time I closed them, I shook my head sharply. It was partly to shake away the images, and partly in refusal to tell Tonks what I'd seen. We had had a few -- disagreements -- over the subject already, and I didn't need another one, especially not now, with the fresh image of my wife dead seared into my mind.
Two familiar, gentle hands cupped my face, lifting it up to hers. "Come on, Remus," Tonks whispered. "Tell me, my love. What happened?"
"I killed you," I whispered, the words escaping unbidden.
Her reaction was not the one I'd expected. Instead of going pale, her mouth dropping open in shock, my wife's eyes only widened the slightest bit in surprise.
"It's two days till I turn into a wolf again," I continued when she didn't say anything. "And -- and I've always had nightmares about killing the ones I love. It's been my recurring nightmare since I first found out what I'd become, but it's never been so bad as this. I-I've never…" I stopped and swallowed hard, willing the stinging in my eyes, the knot in my throat, to go away.
Tonks shook her head at me, her eyes soft with understanding. "But look at me, Remus. I'm fine. I'm here. I'm alive. I'm unhurt." She spread out her arms. "See? Not a scratch on me."
"I'm just so afraid I'll hurt you," I finished, as if I hadn't heard her.
"Remus, you'll never hurt me! I trust you with my life. You are not a monster, no matter what you think, no matter what others try to tell you. I love you, and I know beyond a doubt you'll never hurt me." Leaning forward, Tonks threw her arms around my shoulders and hugged me tightly, reassuringly, lovingly.
Wrapping my arms around her in a somewhat hesitant reply, I pressed a kiss to the side of her head as I tried to make myself believe what she'd said. I do love her, I thought to myself firmly. I love her more than anyone and anything else. I'll never hurt her. Never.
"I love you," I whispered. "I never want to see you hurt. Least -- least of all by me."
"I love you, too," Tonks replied. I could feel her smiling against my neck as she said, "And as long as we've got each other, nothing can hurt either of us."
I wouldn't hurt her. I couldn't hurt her. I loved her far too much for that. And nothing, not even my sinister alter-ego, could ever change that.
Thanks so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed!