I wrote this not even a year ago, inspired by some very sweet Remus/Tonks roleplaying with PrincessSeaNymph. I debated for a while whether or not to fiddle with this before I posted it, but I finally decided not to risk loosing any sweetness I may have managed to capture. Please let me know what you think!
She was a priestess. Her mother had been a princess in her own land, but here she had been a mere prize for a brave, honorable general. Their daughter, wild and laughing with a touch of the exotic in her features, had no good prospects for marriage, so they sent her to the temple. They hoped religion would tame her, but she flowered still, her light undimmed.
He was a scribe. His father had been disgraced and his family sank into poverty, but they had pulled their last strings to let their son become a scribe, and he had proved diligent, intelligent, and honest in his work. For his quiet accomplishments, he was promoted at last to an honored post as a temple scribe.
From their first greeting, they knew they would love each other forever.
He was a knight. Not the best knight, but a good, honorable knight, who overcame his family's reputation through his honor and loyal deeds. He had rescued many a damsel in distress from evil men and wicked monsters, but always did he kiss their hands and bid them goodbye with perfect gentility.
She was a warrior. No damsel in distress, she had charged with her family and knights at the barbarians who hounded their borders. She wore men's armor and a closed helmet, and entered many a tournament, laughing afterward at the proud, silly knights she unseated, sending money, men, and supplies back to her besieged family.
When they met on the tourney field, their lances shattered against each other's shields, and she unseated him. Later, he sought out her tent, separate from the rest, and though she wore a dress with her hair down, he addressed her by the false male name under which she rode.
He told her that he loved her, and if she loved him, and married him, he would never stop her from jousting.
She asked, sword drawn, what he would do if she didn't marry him.
Nothing, he said. He would take her secret to his grave.
When he presented her to the court and announced their wedding plans, everyone smiled that a woman had finally cracked their knight's gallant heart.
She was a lady. Her breeding was impeccable, royalty clear in her features, her manners polished and perfect (when she used them) and her education refined. She frustrated her parents by rejecting or scaring off a half dozen suitors, but they accepted that their daughter was hopelessly romantic, and would marry for nothing less than True Love.
He was a gypsy. She saw him first at the festival, high up on a tightrope, and then she looked for him on street corners, juggling or playing a violin or telling stories for coins. She knew that the lives of performers were not as glamorous or romantic as they appeared, and yet he smiled at the children watching and listening, eyes bright with their joy.
He had thought her only another pretty lady until she dared, one day on her own, to drop a few coins in his hat. Then he watched for her, as she did for him. He didn't know why such a lady would stop to listen to his stories, but he knew she did listen, and every time she smiled at his words or music, his heart skipped a beat.
One day his performance was interrupted by some rude men who didn't like gypsies. She watched in horror as they kicked him and broke his violin. She would have marched right up to them and told them off, but her father was with her, and he stayed her hand.
That evening, she wandered in the garden staring up at the stars, and heard his voice on the other side of the garden fence.
He apologized for disturbing her, but he had noticed, he said, how she came to hear him play, and wanted to let her know that he would be leaving, so she would not look for him. He needed to travel east, to try and obtain another violin.
She asked him if he would need to leave, if she gave him a new violin.
A year later, they left the city together.
She was a pickpocket. Her parents had been disowned for their marriage, so for her it was either mill-work, prostitution, or crime. She had a talent for sneaking, slipping through crowds, and conning young men with her looks, and when she didn't trip over her own two feet, she made a tidy little income by picking various pockets and running a few solo scams.
He was a teacher. It wasn't what his parents had wanted, but it was what he wanted, and though there wasn't much money he loved his work and his pupils. He lived a quiet life alone in his small rooms, and every time the loneliness felt as though it were drowning him, he drowned himself in his books.
She broke into his rooms because the locks were old and broken. She figured, someone with so many books ought to have something antique and expensive. She thought she didn't make any noise as she rifled through his things, but when she looked up, he was leaning in the doorway to the bedroom, watching her silently.
He said, there's a little money in the biscuit tin, and grandmother's silver candlesticks in the bottom drawer, under the spare sheets.
She asked, are you going to call the police? He shook his head, and she asked, why?
Because, he answered, you need it more than I do.
She took down the biscuit tin, looked at the collection of loose change, all small coins, and put it back on the shelf.
Then he asked, do you know how to read and write? She shook her head, and he asked, would you like to learn?
She was already in bed when he came home. He smiled as he slid under the sheets to curl around her. She made a soft sound, pulled momentarily back toward consciousness, but he kissed her cheek and told her to go back to sleep, and she was too tired to protest.
In the strange, ethereal light from a sliver of a moon, he watched her shift against him and wondered why he had ever fought against this.
Remus whispered, I think I've always loved you, and Tonks murmured a sleepy agreement.
And they were right.