A/N: This is a fic revolving around Remus and Tonks's lives in the Deathly Hallows and told a bit more from Tonks's perspective then from Remus's (I never do stories fully from the first person, though. I absolutely detest those). This uses a bit of the dialogue from the book but I'm altering it to fit the scenes I've edited a bit. Some of the stuff later on will probably be different because I hate how the Deathly Hallows ends. I'm going to go off the path that leads to the crappy epilogue and create one of my own. Rated T because I don't feel like making it M but there's a lot inappropriate language, especially from Tonks. Be warned.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, I did not write Harry Potter, and I don't own any of these characters or settings. That all belongs to the good J.K. Rowling.
The night of Harry's carefully planned escape had finally arrived and tensions were high among the members of the Order of the Phoenix. This was their first mission without their wise leader and friend, Albus Dumbledore, and no one was sure if they would succeed. Yet each person pushed past this fear and arrived in small groups at the Burrow to review their piece in the puzzle one last time. Among the first to arrive were Nymphadora Tonks, a plucky young auror with bright pink hair, and her husband, and notorious werewolf, Remus Lupin.
"I want you to be careful tonight." Remus murmured as he wrapped his arms around her waist and rested his chin on top of her head. His wife glanced up to look into his eyes, her face filled with confusion. This was just another assignment, another task to defeat the Dark Lord, and she had never seen him this worried. "Don't try to be the hero. I don't want to lose you."
"Same goes for you, Remus." She made an effort to sound as serious as possible and he smiled. Her eyes narrowed and the grin slid from his face. "I'm not kidding. I mean it."
"I promise I'll come back to you." He stepped away from her and cupped her cheeks in his hands. "I love you."
She could feel his scarred fingers tracing light patterns over the side of her face in a comforting gesture and sighed angrily. This wasn't how she'd pictured married life when she was young. Then again, she'd never thought that she would become an auror and a member of the most successful defence group against the tyranny of the Dark Lord and there she was. Life was certainly unpredictable.
"I love you too."
His lips were on hers in an instant, claiming them in a passionate kiss. She curled her fingers in his salt-and-pepper locks and he moved his hands to her waist, meaning to pull her closer, but made her trip over her own feet. Thankfully he caught her before she hit the ground and after a silent moment, he burst out laughing.
"There I go again, spoiling the mood." Tonks sighed as he tugged her to her feet and smiled.
Suddenly, she heard the crunch of footsteps behind her and spun around. Within a second her wand was out of its holster that rested at her hip and from the corner of her eye, she saw Remus's own weapon pointing toward the intruder.
"This is all very touching, but we have an important meeting in a bit."
None other than Mad-Eye Moody, famous auror and possibly the greatest dark wizard catcher of all time, was limping up the dirt path toward the front door. Tonks rolled her eyes and shoved her wand back into the holster. Remus kept his own wand in hand, still wary of the true identity of the wizard before them.
"The meeting's in a quarter of an hour!" Tonks complained as she grinned at her old teacher, who rolled his eyes in annoyance. "Besides, you're the third person to arrive here not including us. We couldn't possibly start without everyone present, could we?"
"Get. Inside. The house." Moody snarled. "We need to smooth some rough patches out in the plan and if the others aren't here in time to hear them, so be it. Also, you should be more attentive when determining the identity of a wizard. How could you have truly known that it was me-"
"C'mon Remus," She mumbled as she grabbed his hand and led the way toward the door. Her mentor stared at the pair, open-mouthed and surprised at being interrupted. "Let's-"
"You got married." Moody stated bluntly, apparently retaliating with a statement of his own. Tonks whirled around to face him, shocked at his observation. "Congratulations."
"Thank you, Alastor." Remus replied sincerely as a furious blush crept up his neck.
"Ah, no reason to wait out here anymore. Here come the rest of them." Moody gestured toward the group of people walking in from the edge of the yard and turned to lead the way into the Burrow.
When she and Remus followed suit, she couldn't help but smile. The large, teetering house was the same as when she had last seen it-cosy, comforting, and full of family and warmth. This was how she pictured her house in the future, a place for her, her husband, and maybe even a kid or two to feel at home.
"Tonks!" The youngest Weasley had been sitting on the sofa in the sitting room and stood up to greet them. "Professor! How are you?"
Tonks grinned happily and pecked her husband on the cheek before he headed out to the kitchen to join the rest of the rapidly-arriving group. Ginny raised her eyebrows and Tonks's grin grew wider.
"You haven't seen the best part yet." The older woman's hand was in the air and the golden band wrapped around her ring finger was clearly visible in the scarce light of the room. Ginny's squeal of happiness was enough to make Tonks laugh out loud.
"You got married? That's bloody brilliant, congratulations!" Ginny pulled her friend in for a hug and bounced up and down in glee. Tonks felt as if the air was being squeezed from her lungs from the strength of the hug but didn't have the heart to tell the younger witch.
"Ginerva, language!" Molly stuck her head from the kitchen into the room and smiled at Tonks. "We're about to start the meeting now, dear."
"See you later." Tonks said with a wink toward the younger girl, who laughed. When she entered the kitchen, she noticed that she was the last person to arrive and her cheeks reddened considerably. Remus smiled at her from the kitchen table and patted the seat next to him, so she made her way over and plopped down on the wooden bench.
"Now that everyone is present," Moody started with a glare toward Tonks, who rolled her eyes and inched closer to her husband. Remus smiled and took her hand in his own."We can review the plan. This time however, there will be specifics for each person to follow other than the location of your safe house. Instead of one Harry Potter roaming the skies tonight, there will be seven. Fleur with Bill, Ron with Nymphadora, Hermione with Kingsley, Fred with Arthur, George with Remus, Mundungus with me, and the real Harry with Hagrid. The first name mentioned in each pair will take the polyjuice potion and become a copy of Harry Potter. Any questions?"
"How are you sure Harry will agree to this plan?" Remus piped up from Tonks's side, his eyebrows raised. "He's very noble and protective of the ones he loves. There's no way in hell he'd put us in danger on purpose, even if we agreed to do it ourselves."
"The task of coercing him into cooperating will fall upon Miss Granger and the youngest Mister Weasley." Moody looked at each person in turn and gave them a small smile-more like a grimace from everyone else's point of view. Ron and Hermione glanced warily at each other before turning their attention back to the meeting.
"Will we be apparating?" Hermione whispered from Tonks's left. Tonks remembered that the younger witch had been unable to attend the last meeting and shook her head before speaking quietly.
"We'll be using brooms, thestrals, and Sirius's bike. Harry's still got that bloody trace on him so we can't apparate or floo. If we did, he'd be discovered faster than you could say Volde-"
"Harry's safe house will be at Andromeda and Ted Tonks's place." Moody continued, speaking over his former apprentice's explanation. "And you have all been informed of your respective houses from Kingsley, I trust. It's getting late and Harry's aunt and uncle should be out of the house with Dedalus and Hestia by now. Let's go."
The group left the house quickly and silently before stepping outside the safety of the wards set up around the Burrow to apparate. The wind had picked up and the gusts had even Tonks's short pink hair whipping painfully into the side of her face. She saw Remus grimace while she assessed the conditions for flying and hoped that it wouldn't be as gusty at their destination.
"We will be apparating to the edge of Little Whinging Surrey and flying to Harry from there." Moody called over the howl of the wind. "Remember-no hesitation, stun first and ask questions later, we mustn't be discovered and-"
"Constant vigilance." At least half of the group piped up. Tonks smiled at Remus who had a serious look on his face, the one he always got when he was focused on a task at hand, but an amused twinkle in his eyes.
"Apparate on my count. One, two…Three!"
Tonks spun around on the spot and after a moment of feeling her body compress and contort into hundreds of nameless shapes, she was standing at the edge of an old and decrepit playpark. After only one step toward the rest of the group, she felt her foot catch on something and found herself falling to the ground. Remus was at her side in an instant and she grabbed his arm in support. Her cheeks reddened as she became steadier on her feet and looked down at the offending object that had tripped her.
A cracked and weather-worn garden gnome.
"Come on." Remus pulled a toothpick sized broomstick out of his pocket and enlarged it to its normal size. She did the same. "Almost all of the others have already taken off."
"Bugger that stupid gnome." She gritted her teeth and watched him eye the darkening sky before speaking once more.
She laughed darkly at her husband's light-hearted comment and mounted her broom beside him. Then, at the same time, they kicked off. She felt overjoyed at being back in the air again, to have the wind flowing through her spiky pink hair and the mist from the clouds form solid droplets of water on her face. The memories of her seasons as a chaser for the Hufflepuff quidditch team during her time at Hogwarts flowed back to her and even though they were mostly of Charlie Weasley teasing her about her pink hair clashing horribly with the yellow of their robes, she grinned happily.
Suddenly, Harry's doorstep was closer than she'd originally thought-about fifty feet straight below her. Thankfully, flying was one thing that she could always count on being good at without killing herself and she made the dive with no problem. Remus had never seen her fly before and her grin disappeared when she saw his face. He had paled the instant she had turned to go into the dive and from the way his face was tinged with purple, he had held his breath until she reached the ground beside him.
"You never told me you were that good at flying." He tried to smile and she laughed. Suddenly, his tone turned serious. "Don't scare me like that."
"I'll try not to." She tried to keep her mood happy but found it impossible while her husband was staring at her with an extremely worried expression on his face. "Don't worry, I won't."
When the pair entered the house, Harry was already occupied with the task of greeting everyone so Tonks made a beeline for the only thing that resembled a chair left in the kitchen, which happened to be a washing machine. She then patted the spot next to her when she had perched on top of it and raised an eyebrow at Remus, who snorted and leaned against the wall beside her. After a moment of talking to the other Order members, Harry saw them and walked over.
"Wotcher Harry! Guess what?" She picked her left hand up out of her lap and wiggled it to make the ring sparkle. The corners of Remus's lips turned up in a small smile when he saw his former student's surprised reaction.
"You got married?" He yelped, looking from Tonks and Remus's faces with a disbelieving expression present upon his own.
"I'm sorry you couldn't be there, Harry, it was very quiet." Remus explained.
"No problem! That's brilliant, congrat-"
"All right, all right, we'll have time for a cosy catch-up later!" Moody roared, finally deciding to interject into the conversation. The mood in the room instantly transformed from joyous to somber. Tonks's smile slid from her face and she settled into a more comfortable position on top of the machine, waiting for her former mentor to start his long winded speech.
After a brief description of the plan and a few protests from Harry, neither of which Tonks paid much attention to as she prepared mentally for the assignment ahead, the partners were re-announced and she beamed at Ron, who had a slightly disappointed look on his face.
Moody passed around his hip flask and in the blink of an eye, half the room had transformed into the saviour of the wizarding world.
"Be careful." It was time to go and Remus was standing right in front of her, fear and worry present in his eyes. "I can't help thinking that something is about to go horribly wrong. Please stay safe and come back to me."
He gave her a short yet passion-filled kiss on the lips as the rest of the Order filed out the door and she beamed up at him.
"You worry too much, love. It'll be just fine. See you at the Burrow."
After a moment of calling his name and walking through the group of Harrys and other Order members, she had found Ron and they had both mounted their brooms.
"Good luck." She heard him mumble. Then, he pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose and brushed a few strands of jet black hair from in front of his eyes before concentrating fully on the task at hand.
"You too. And remember if we're separated, you go to-"
"On my mark." Moody yelled over the commotion. "Three, two, one…Go!"
Tonks kicked off immediately with Ron right beside her and they headed east as fast as their brooms would carry them. Just as they soared above the clouds, she realized that they were being tailed by hooded figures on brooms. Death Eaters, to be precise.
"Fuck. Ron, get over here and watch your back! STUPEFY!" She yelled the spell and pointed her wand over her shoulder. It narrowly missed one of the figures, but caused the person's hood to fall from their face. Tonks gasped and Ron pulled closer to her side. " Stay sharp, Ron! Don't let them hit you!"
"Is ickle Nymphadora finally going to kill Auntie Bella?" None other than Bellatrix Lestrange shrieked as she fired countless killing curses at the pair of them. After what had to be her fifth sloth grip roll that she used to avoid the curses, Tonks began to feel slightly ill. "Are you going to avenge your filthy, mangy dog of a husband? I'm sure I shot him off his broom back there-"
"You fucking bitch!" Tonks didn't care if Ron was there to hear her as she fired curse after curse back at the woman. Suddenly, a jet of red light flew at her from the side and she turned to see Rookwood advancing toward her. The shield charm she cast was a moment too late and she slumped over her broom, unconscious.
"TONKS!" Ron caught her just as she began to plummet toward the ground and pulled her in front of him and onto his broom. Her own dropped down into the forest and disappeared into the darkness cast by the innumerous amount of trees. Rookwood fired another round of curses his way, but Ron blocked them all and threw a stunning spell that sent the Death Eater straight off his broom.
Just as Ron was about to cast the countercurse, flashes of green light began raining down upon them and he had to swerve frantically in a zigzag motion to avoid them. After a moment of confusion, where he had managed to confound Rodolphus Lestrange and send Bellatrix after him, he performed the countercurse and Tonks's eyes flew open.
"Thanks Ron!" She flashed him a smile but paled when she saw at least three Death Eaters, Bellatrix, Rodolphus, and someone she didn't recognize, approaching them from behind. She made a slashing motion with her wand that created a huge gash across Rodolphus's face, causing him to start to head toward the ground because the blood flowing into his eyes was blocking his vision. Bellatrix, however, was blocking her curses left and right with simple flicks of her wand and sending even worse ones of her own back toward them. Both she and Ron had to make an effort to swerve out of the way of the ones they couldn't block in time and as time wore on, the pair was getting too exhausted both physically and magically to think straight.
"Stupefy!" The third death eater that accompanied Bellatrix and Rodolphus had pulled up beside Tonks, who was too busy battling her aunt to pay attention to him, and began to murmur the killing curse but Ron had hit him in time. He fell off his broom and hurtled toward the ground.
"Good job!" Tonks said quickly. "Nice shot."
She deflected another one of Bellatrix's stunning spells before casting a strong shield charm to catch her breath.
"Giving up so easily, dearie?" The other woman hissed as her curses bounced off the shield. "I think that's a wise idea. What do you have to live for, now that I've killed your precious little-"
"Sectumsempra!" This was a spell she remembered hearing Snape yell in one of their battles and cringed when she saw large gashes open all over the woman's face. There must have been cuts all over her body as well because blood was beginning to leak through her blouse and drip down her arms. Ron's eyes widened in recognition of the curse but Tonks was too busy trying to evade her psychotic aunt to notice.
"You half-blood scum! Mark my words; I'll kill you for this." Bellatrix hissed, turning her broom around and starting to zoom away into the darkness. Or so Ron and Tonks thought. Suddenly a jet of white light flew toward them and Tonks threw herself in front of it to protect Ron from whatever spell the witch had decided to cast."CRUCIO!"
This was the second time that someone had used an unforgivable curse on her, both of the times it was the Cruciatus Curse, but she was unprepared for the effect that it would have. A scream of pain left Tonks's lips as she thrashed about in Ron's arms and convulsed wildly. It was like the world had gone black and silent, filled now with only agony and darkness. Her head was going to explode from the white-hot pain filling her skull, she knew it. Was she going to go insane, like Frank and Alice Longbottom? How long did she have until she lost her mind?
"Impedimenta!" Ron screamed. This made Bellatrix lose her concentration on the spell and swerve out of the way of the jet of blue light. "Tonks? Are you okay? Talk to me!"
"Get to Muriel's!" She hissed, trying to catch her breath. "Go!"
Ron leaned forward and focused all of his energy toward making the broom go as fast as possible. Tonks had her wand at the ready in case Bellatrix decided to attack again but this time, it looked like she was gone for good.
They landed in the yard of Ron's aunt Muriel's yard a moment later with a crash, they had hit a bird feeder, and the owner of the house came running when she heard them.
"Ron! What did I give you for your birthday this year?" Muriel had her wand pointed at him and he gulped. Tonks, who was lying on the ground, willed him to know the answer. And quickly, his aunt looked a bit restless.
"A nimbus 2002."
"What happened?" Muriel had put her wand away and was helping Tonks to her feet. "You missed your portkey by almost twenty minutes!"
"Death Eaters attacked." Tonks wheezed, leaning on the older woman for support. "They knew…We were… moving Harry."
It was hard for Tonks to speak and she felt like she could barely stand for another second. That's when she collapsed.
"Ronald, what happened to her?"
"She got hit with a Cruciatus curse by Bellatrix Lestrange." Ron fell to his knees at Tonks's side as his aunt ran into the house to get some sort of potion or medicine. "Tonks, are you okay?"
"Here you are."
Tonks felt a warm and spicy tasting potion being poured into her mouth and gulped it down gratefully. She recognized the spicy flavour and realized that it must be a Pepper-Up potion from the way it warmed her from head to toe, made her more alert, and numbed the pain in her chest. After a moment, the weakness melted away and she found herself able to stand once more on her unsteady knees.
"Thank you Muriel."
"Don't you mention it. You two had better be on your way before Molly and the others worry too much about you."
Tonks paled instantly and felt her heart sink.
"Remus." She whispered. What if Bellatrix had been telling the truth? If he was dead, she didn't think she'd be able to go on. He had left her twice before and almost broken her heart, but she loved him more than anything and needed him to comfort her more than anything. She cleared her throat and raised her eyes to look into Muriel's. "Where is the Burrow from here? We shouldn't floo or apparate, that would make Harry's presence known if he weren't in the wards' boundaries yet."
"About 10 miles to the east. Fifteen minutes by broom."
"Thank you. Come on, Ron."
He hung back for a moment to shake his aunt's hand, she usually wasn't this welcoming and he knew that she wasn't one for hugs, because Merlin knows she deserved something after all the help she had given them. Then, he clambered onto the broom behind her and they soared off toward the Burrow.
The ride to the Burrow was uneventful, however the clap of thunder and the lightning lighting up the sky in the distance sent shivers down her spine. She wasn't a superstitious person, but she could recognize a bad omen when she saw one. After only 10 minutes of barrelling toward the house well over a normal speed on the broomstick, they landed clumsily in the front yard. Tonks had to dig her feet into the ground and send a spray of pebbles and gravel into the air to slow them down and keep from crashing.
"Remus!" She saw him standing near the door of the Burrow, his face deathly pale and his body apparently unable to move. She sprinted forward, threw her arms around him, and was instantly comforted by his familiar scent and the feel of his arms wrapping themselves around her in a protective gesture.
"What kept you? What happened?" He sounded almost angry at her and she looked up in surprise. His eyes were full of pain and worry, and she instantly remembered her promise. Don't be reckless, don't be the hero, just come back alive. But she hadn't gone against that oath, had she?
"Bellatrix tried to kill me, she wants me dead almost as much as Harry and-"
She couldn't bring herself to tell him about how she had been tortured yet. It would crush him.
"And?" He asked quickly.
"I definitely gave Rodolphus a good slash across the face and Ron stunned this other Death Eater that I couldn't recognize into oblivion. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for him. Then Ron's Auntie Muriel fussed over us a bit," Ron flashed a curious and confused look her way that Remus definitely didn't miss. "And we came here. Missed the portkey by only twenty minutes."
She saw a muscle jumping in his jaw and that he was unable to say anything else. That's when Tonks decided to turn to Hermione, Kingsley, and Harry.
"So what happened to you lot?"
They recounted their own journeys with gusto but Tonks wasn't paying attention. Her eyes were still on her husband, who looked incredibly angry and extremely worried at the same time. She snapped out of her haze when Kingsley spoke a second time.
"I'm going to have to get back to Downing Street, I should have been there an hour ago. Let me know when they're back."
Lupin could only nod as Kinsley waved to everyone and walked out of the boundaries to disapparate with a faint pop. That was when Molly, Arthur, and Ginny sprinted from the house and each gave Ron a hug in turn. That's when they turned to Tonks and Remus.
"Thank you, for our sons." Molly was wiping tears from her eyes as Arthur rested his hands on her shoulders.
"Don't be silly, Molly," Tonks said at once. After all, Ron had been the one protecting her when she had been stunned and cursed...
She pulled the older witch into a hug and felt hot tears stain the leather of her jacket. Molly pulled away and Tonks gave her a small smile before taking a step back toward her husband.
"How's George?" Remus asked. Tonks spun to look at him in surprise. What had happened to the Weasley twin?
"What's wrong with him?" Ron asked anxiously.
Suddenly a thestral had landed in the garden and Bill and Fleur climbed down from its back with ease. Molly ran to her son's side and hugged both him and Fleur in turn.
"Bill! Thank God, thank God-"
But Bill was staring into his father's eyes and ignoring her completely. Tonks knew immediately that someone had died, just from being around death for so long, but was afraid to ask who it was. Bill answered that question a moment later without anyone's inquiries interrupting him.
It was as if time had stopped for a moment and Tonks's heart shattered in her chest. Moody-her teacher, mentor, and best friend during her auror training surely could not be dead. He was filled with so much life, and no one should have been able to take that from him so easily. She felt tears stream down her cheeks and Remus's arms wrap around her waist from behind.
"We saw it," said Bill. Fleur appeared to be crying as well. "It happened just after we broke out of the circle: Mad-Eye and Dung were close by us, they were heading north too. Voldemort-he can fly- went straight for them. Dung panicked. I heard him cry out. Mad-Eye tried to stop him, but he disapparated. Voldemort's curse hit Mad-Eye full in the face, he fell backward off his broom and-there was nothing we could do, nothing, we had half a dozen of them on our own tail-"
"Of course you couldn't have done anything." Remus said as the younger man's voice broke. "Your lives were the priority. Mad-Eye would have wanted it that way."
They moved into the house and told Fred and George the news before going into the kitchen and sitting around the table. Tonks was still crying silently into a handkerchief that Remus had produced from his pocket and he had his arms wrapped around her.
"I can't believe he's gone." She sobbed quietly into the kerchief. Remus hadn't heard his wife sound this broken since... since he had left her the year before and hearing her cry made his heart feel heavy and his stomach ill.
"Come here." Remus pulled her into his lap and she cried silently into his chest. He was so concerned for her that he only looked up when Bill coughed loudly. There were two glasses of firewhiskey floating by their heads and Remus took them both, handing one to his distraught wife.
"Mad-Eye." The room echoed, and drank. The firewhiskey burned Tonks's throat and did nothing to stop the tears from streaming down her cheeks. After about a sip or two, she placed the glass gently onto the kitchen table and wound her arms around her husband's waist once more.
"So Mundungus disappeared?" Remus said as he sat his empty glass on the table. Tonks's eyes widened when she realized that he had drained the entire contents of the glass in one swallow.
"He didn't betray us, he was the one who suggested the idea of having seven Harrys himself. He was just scared out of his wits when You-Know-Who attacked and disapparated. Anyone would have. I think he thought that Mad-Eye would be able to hold his own but-"
Bill's voice broke again and he knocked back another glass of firewhiskey.
"You-Know-Who acted exactly as Mad-Eye expected him to," Tonks was surprised that she was able to speak at all. Her throat was scratchy and her lips were dry, not to mention that her face was shining with tears. "He told me the other day that he'd expect the real Harry to be with the toughest, most-skilled aurors. He chased Mad-Eye first, and when Dung gave them away he switched to Kingsley…"
"Yes zat is eez all very good," Fleur snapped. "But zat does not explain 'ow he know that we were moving 'Arry tonight and not ze date we told zat one auror, Dawlish I zink? Someone let ze date slip."
Remus shot her an annoyed look for taking that tone with his wife but had to agree with her point.
"No. If anyone let it out, it wasn't on purpose." Harry interjected. "I know that none of you would ever sell me out to Voldemort."
The twins joked and smiled slightly but Remus couldn't help but stare at Harry. He was so much like James just before he died.
"You think I'm a fool?" Harry spat at Remus, who looked surprised. His expression must have been different than what he'd thought it was.
"No, I think you're like your father. Who would have regarded it as the height of dishonour to mistrust his friends." Lupin turned toward Bill the moment he was done speaking so that Harry could not ask him any more questions. He just wanted to recover Moody's body, have a long chat with his wife about what really happened during the mission, and fall asleep with her in his arms. "There's work to be done. I can ask Kingsley if he can-"
"No. I'll come with you."
"Where are you going?" Tonks looked up from his chest and Fleur was giving her own fiancé a deathly stare.
"We need to recover Mad-Eye's body." Lupin replied. Tonks's eyes welled up with tears once more and he pulled her into a close hug before moving her back to her own chair.
"Can't it wait?" Molly asked.
"Not unless you'd rather the Death Eaters took it." Bill said bluntly.
Nobody else spoke as Remus and Bill said their good-byes and left.
"Be safe until I get back." Remus had murmured before pecking his wife on the cheek. It was a good thing he had decided to assume that she wasn't going with him. Tonks wasn't in her right mind and both of them knew she would hinder their efforts more than help them. "I'll be expecting you to wait here. It might not be safe at the flat anymore."
"Please, make sure you come back." Tonks whispered, tears still streaming down her cheeks. "I love you."
"I love you too, Nymphadora."
"Don't call me Nymphadora, you dummy." She smacked him lightly on the arm and gave him one last peck on the lips before he moved toward the exit.
Just as they had walked out the door, Harry spoke up.
"I've got to go too."
"Don't be silly. The whole point of tonight was to get you here safely. We've moved the wedding here and-" Molly tried to explain, but Harry wouldn't listen.
"But what if Voldemort finds out I'm here?"
"He won't." Molly said determinedly. Even Tonks had to admire her courage and determination.
"Yer not goin' anywhere." Hagrid growled. "After all we wen' through ter get yeh here?"
"And what about my bloody ear?" George protested.
"Language!" Molly snapped.
"Mad-Eye wouldn't have wanted you to put yourself in danger, Harry." Tonks said quietly from the other side of the room. He turned to look at her and instantly fell silent. As Remus and Bill made their way out the door, Tonks spoke to distract herself from the fact that she should have gone with him. "Molly, do you mind if Remus and I kip on the couch in your den tonight? He doesn't think the flat's safe anymore and my parents still have the new wards up."
"Of course, dear. Are you sure you don't want a bed?"
"We'll manage, I'll just make the couch a bit bigger. Thank you, I don't mean to impose-"
"You never do, dear. Go get some rest."
The second she left the room, the conversation continued and Harry began talking about his wand performing magic on its own against You-Know-Who. As interesting as this conversation sounded, she was extremely exhausted and had no desire greater than to lay down for a bit.
"Bollocks." She'd knocked over a lamp in her haste to leave the room and hastily repaired it. At least there hadn't been a crash because it fell onto the carpet. "Engorgio."
The couch expanded into the size of a bed and after a moment, it was covered in conjured pillows and blankets. She sank onto it with a grateful sigh and kicked off her black combat boots before curling into a ball on top of the covers and waiting for Remus to get back.
"How'd it go?" She'd needed to ask him when he returned at around three in the morning. He kicked off his own shoes and removed his jumper before crawling onto the couch beside her and pulling her into his arms. She knew at once that he was bringing back bad news and prepared herself for the worst.
"We didn't find him." Tonks choked back a sob and he rubbed her back, murmuring soothing words into her ear and placing kisses in her hair. "I know it's been a hell of a day for the both of us, but something's been bothering me ever since you got back."
"What, what actually happened when Ron and I were out getting our asses handed to us by Bellatrix?" She muttered. He sighed. "I'll tell you anyway, you're going to have to know sometime. Bellatrix, Rodolphus, Rookwood, and the other one followed us from Little Whinging almost all the way to Muriel's house. I got stunned in almost the first ten minutes of the battle because Rookwood flew over and cast it from the side but I was too worried about fighting off my dear aunt. She said-" Tonks took a deep breath. "She said you were dead. That she'd killed you."
"I'm sorry for treating you so horribly when you got back, I didn't know."
"That's not all of it, Remus." Tonks whispered. She retold the tale of their journey to Muriel's house, this time leaving out no details, and when she told him that Bellatrix had cast the Cruciatus curse on her, he snapped.
"I'm going to kill her." Remus growled, attempting to get up from the couch and grab his wand. "I'm going to kill her right now."
"Remus, no." Tonks wrapped her arms around his waist and buried her face in his chest. "Don't stoop to her level. Anyway, I don't know how long the curse lasted but Ron shot a spell at her and she ran for good that time. Then we crash-landed in Muriel's garden, I practically fainted and got some Pepper-up Potion, and we flew back here."
"I'm sorry." Remus's lips were white from pursing them into a thin line and Tonks brought a hand up to caress his cheek.
"Don't be, Remus. I understand."
"No! You don't!" His voice was getting louder and Tonks could hear movement from the landing on the stairs. A light clicked on from upstairs and a shadow moved from the hallway toward the stairs, then into the bathroom.
"Shh, you're going to wake up the whole house." She tried to comfort him by pulling him closer and it worked, his tone grew softer.
"You don't understand." His voice was barely a whisper. "I thought you were off trying to save everyone else, trying to be the valiant auror, and I was furious. I thought that you'd gone against the promise we made to each other and you were really out getting tortured beyond belief."
"Remus, don't beat yourself up about this." Tonks murmured. "I love you and you're here, that's all that matters. You're safe."
He had fallen silent again and Tonks was about to cry once more. This was a repeat of their last fight- now was his cue to say that he was selfish and that he wasn't good enough for her and leave. She felt him shift next to her, the first sign of his abandonment cycle, and began to speak once more.
"Don't you dare leave me, Remus." She sat up and hugged her knees tight to her chest. "I don't think I could take it if you got all overprotective again and I wouldn't have anyone to turn to. Please, I thought we got past all this crap when we got married."
That seemed to have struck a chord with him because he pulled her back into his arms and under the blankets with him, so that they were directly facing each other. She could see a few tears sliding down his cheeks and raised a hand to wipe them away.
"I'm so sorry, I didn't mean-"
"Stop apologizing." She brought her lips to his own in a passionate and ferocious kiss, tangling her hands in the hair above the back of his neck as he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her even closer. His hands moved higher under her shirt and she gave a squeak when he ran his fingers over her stomach and let them trail higher, up toward her breasts. He pulled her in for another kiss and moved toward the buttons at the top her shirt but she pulled away from him. He moved to roll over, a disappointed frown on his face, when she grabbed his arm and spoke urgently. "Remus, stop looking so hurt! We're in Molly and Arthur's living room for Merlin's sake!"
"I'd forgotten that for a moment." He said, smiling as she snuggled closer to him and closed her eyes. "Good-night, darling. I love you."
"Love you too, sweetheart." She mumbled, already half-asleep.
So, how did you like it? Leave a review or send a private message please!
I've decided to go back and edit all of the previous chapters before I post a new one. First revision-I got rid of the pet name "Nym," because it was pissing off a lot of people (including me, after a while). I'm not changing anything big about the plot, so I guess you don't have to re-read everything if you don't want to. Okay? Good.