As I was writing this chapter, I decided to put Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on in the background. Loving the daily dose of Remus Lupin, a man whom I obviously adore, but I needed to see him and Tonks together! So I decided to watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix after that. Wheeeee! Marathon!
This chapter was... interesting to write. I'm pretty young, so writing scene like the second one (I'm not going to ruin it yet) was kind of scary. If anyone has any tips to make it better, tips might not be the...right word, please tell me in a review/PM.
EDIT: Thank you to KachinaGirl for pointing out that Ginny is sixteen, not seventeen. I even went back to the book and read that specific part of the chapter to make sure I didn't mess anything up! Well, nobody's perfect... Thanks again for pointing that out!
Kingsley and Amy decided to depart from the Tonks/Lupin household the day after New Years. Andromeda was unhappy about this, since she and Amy had become friends in the few days they had spent in each other's company, and Kingsley had to constantly reassure her that their new residence would be much safer for them. Remus's transformation passed without any problems and his time spent as a wolf was on a comfortable pile of blankets in his and Tonks's room. Tonks even decided to spend the day sitting next to him, reading aloud from a Defence Against the Dark Arts book she'd found on the shelf in the den and stroking his fur.
January and February were totally uneventful months. The trio spent their days cooking, cleaning, reading, playing wizards chess and gobstones, and basically lounging around the house. One of the only exciting things that happened was Remus's radio debut as Romulus on Potterwatch. However, Remus did plan a nice dinner for him and his wife in the garden on Valentines' Day. He'd charmed hundreds of pink paper lanterns to float around the yard, set up a picnic blanket, cast an incredibly strong heating charm, and spent the night pointing out constellations in the sky with Tonks snuggled against his side.
At the end of March, when Tonks was heavily pregnant-a week from exactly nine months, Remus came home from one of his briefings for the Potterwatch radio program with horrible news.
"Remus, Mum just taught me how to make this tomato sauce for spaghetti that's pretty tasty. You should try it." Tonks was bustling about the kitchen when Remus entered the room, a smile on her face and a wooden spoon in her hand. "How was the briefing? Any important news from the outside?" She looked over at him and saw tears trickling down his pale cheeks. "Remus? What's wrong?"
She moved to stand in front of him, hands on hips, with a worried look on her face. He pulled her into his arms and rested his chin on top of her head.
"A scouting patrol from Edinburgh just came back," He whispered. "I'm so sorry. Your father-"
The spoon clattered to the floor and Tonks began to sob uncontrollably. Remus tried to console her, but she was too distraught.
"He c-can't be! It didn't-He wasn't-" She couldn't even get a coherent sentence out.
"I'm sorry," Remus repeated as her tears soaked the front of his travelling cloak. "Nymphadora, it's going to be all right."
"What's going on?" Andromeda strode into the room with a few green clippings in her hand. "I run out to the garden to get some thyme and this is what happens while I'm gone? I swear to God if you leave her again Remus, I'll hex you into oblivion!"
This made Tonks cry harder and run from Remus's arms over to her mother's.
"R-Remus just h-heard that dad... He's dead, Mum. He's dead."
Andromeda froze, her anger at Remus forgotten, and her face immediately paled.
"What happened?" She asked, turning her head to look Remus in the eye.
"He was travelling with Dirk Cresswell, Dean Thomas, and two goblins named Griphook and Gornuk." Remus said, trying to keep as much emotion out of his voice as possible. "A couple of days ago in Edinburgh, some snatchers found them. We don't know how, but... Anyway, the leader of that particular group of snatchers was Fenrir Greyback and he-" Remus's voice broke and he cleared his throat. "He killed all of them but Dean and Griphook for resisting capture. Our team of scouts found their bodies in a ditch by a river."
Andromeda looked at him for a moment before she started to cry as well, holding onto her daughter for dear life. Remus stood awkwardly in the corner of the kitchen, wiping his eyes on the corner of his travelling cloak, before Tonks turned her head toward him and beckoned him closer. He wrapped his arms around both women to try to comfort them, but they seemed inconsolable.
"Nym, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." Remus couldn't stop apologizing and his wife buried her face in his shoulder. "We'll find the men who killed your father and defeat, along with V-" He caught himself mid-phrase. "Along with You-Know-Who."
"Damn right we will!" Tonks confirmed, looking up at him with teary eyes. "We'll take those bastards down, one by one."
Andromeda wasn't capable of speaking at the moment, but she tightened her arms around her daughter in agreement. For a moment the room was relatively silent, save for the sniffles and shallow breaths caused by the trio's hysterics, and the trio forgot about everything else in the world-including dinner, which was being overcooked as they stood there.
Suddenly the room was filled with smoke from the pot on the stove, which was obviously on fire, and Remus shoved Tonks and her mother out of the kitchen in a protective gesture. Then, acting on pure instinct, he picked the pot up with his bare hands and threw it out the open window over the sink.
"Shit!" Tonks moved toward the door to the garden, but her mother beat her to it. Looking through the window, she could see her mother cast the Aguamenti charm on the still-smoking pot until the fire vanished completely. Remus was still standing in front of the stove, breathing heavily and staring at his blistering hands. "Remus, are you all right?"
"Some burn cream would do me good right now." He murmured. She summoned it quickly and busied herself with applying it to his hands. The burns vanished completely almost instantly and he turned on the sink to run them under the cool water. "Thank you."
"I've put the fire out." Andromeda carried the pot back into the house and placed it gingerly upon the slightly-blackened stovetop. "How long did you have the stove on under the pot? I said fifteen minutes, not fifty!"
"I'm sorry, I got distracted." Tonks admitted. "And it might have been on there slightly over the suggested time."
"Wonderful." Andromeda looked slightly angry. "Just another high point in my day. My best cooking pot, ruined."
"REMUS! STOP. TALKING."
Tonks's water had broken at two o'clock in the afternoon on April the fifteenth, 1998. Remus, using all of the techniques that Poppy and Minerva had coached him through, was trying to calm his hysterical wife down, but she wouldn't have it.
"Just trying to help, dear." He grunted as she squeezed his hand even tighter, if that was possible, and continued her string of almost-inaudible curses toward him, Merlin, and God.
"It's almost time to push!" Poppy said while smiling up at Remus and Tonks, who were both wearing relieved expressions. "Oh, isn't this exciting!"
Tonks shot her a venomous glare, but Poppy shrugged it off with a grin. Minerva, who was waiting outside the room, stuck her head in and squeezed her eyes shut.
"I never pegged you for the squeamish type, Minerva." Tonks laughed for the first time since she'd gone into labour, but her smile turned into a frown when another particularly painful contraction hit. "Damn it, when am I allowed to push the little bugger out of me?"
"That's no way to talk about your child, darling." Andromeda walked into the room carrying a tray of tea and biscuits. "Just hold on for a few more minutes."
Tonks groaned in pain and clutched Remus's hand in hers with all her strength, causing him to wince as his joints cracked uncomfortably. Just when Tonks thought that she could take no more of this horrible agony, Poppy's head appeared between her legs again and this time her expression was serious.
"I'm scared." Tonks admitted, loud enough that only Remus could hear her. "I've been through much worse than this, but I'm still terrified. What if I'm not a good mother?"
"You will be." Remus assured her, stroking the back of her hand with his thumb. "And you're the bravest witch I've ever met. You can do this, Nymphadora."
"Breathe, dear." Poppy said, trying to soothe the younger woman as she monitored the baby's progress. "That's it, deep breaths while we wait for the next contraction. Now push."
From Tonks's perspective, the rest of the delivery went by faster than anything else she'd ever done. Within what seemed like seconds, the room was filled with a baby's cries and Remus had his arms around her. At one minute to midnight on April the fifteenth 1998, their baby was born. Poppy had asked Remus if he wanted to cut the umbilical cord but, his face pale and his hands shaking, he'd decided not to. Then, after Poppy had finished assessing both Tonks and the baby's health, Andromeda called Molly into the room.
"It's a boy!" Poppy squealed as she wrapped his tiny body in a blanket and gave him to Tonks to hold. "A handsome baby boy! Isn't the miracle of birth absolutely astounding?"
Once again Tonks shot her a weird look, but immediately returned her gaze to the baby resting against her chest.
"Have either of you thought of any names?" Andromeda asked eagerly. "I mean, you have some time to think but-"
"I like the name Ted." Remus suggested immediately. "Ted Lupin, it has a nice ring to it."
"Ted Remus Lupin." Tonks murmured. "For his father and grandfather, the two most important men in our lives. I like it."
"Your father would be over the moon right now." Andromeda was openly crying now. "If only he could have seen little Teddy here before he..." Her voice broke and she could say no more.
"I believe you educated yourself with Muggle books at Eugene's house for the pregnancy," Poppy interrupted. She cleared her throat before continuing. "And wizarding births aren't that different. The delivery is exactly the same, save for the painkillers and equipment, but the end is different. I just need to vanish the placenta, repair any damage you have from the birth, and then we're done."
"That's it?" Remus had seen a lot of babies being born during his time spent at the werewolf camps and none of them had gone like this. They had always been worse. Much worse.
"If the Medi-Witch is trained correctly, and I do believe I am, then there should be no complications with the rest of the birthing process when doing it the magical way." She placed the tip of her wand on top of Tonks's stomach and the tip glowed golden. "There it is. We're done."
"Wicked." Tonks's head fell back onto the pillows behind her and Remus carefully extracted their son from her arms.
"Hello, Teddy." Remus looked happier than Tonks had ever seen him, excluding their wedding day, as he cradled his son in his arms and smiled down at him. "You're a lucky little boy, you know that? You've got a wonderful mum, a terrific grandmother, and most importantly a big family who loves you. You're going to be just fine." Remus turned his attention to Poppy and narrowed his eyes. "Is there any way to check-?"
"He doesn't have it Remus, so stop worrying." Poppy assured him with a smile. "I've already checked. There are absolutely no traces of lycanthropy in his blood at all."
"Thank Merlin for that." Remus looked relieved and moved his hand to brush some of his son's hair away from his eyes.
"Remus, look!" Tonks had her eyes fixed on her son's head of light brown hair, which was slowly switching between a bright pink and turquoise colour. "He's a Metamorphmagus, like me!"
"That's amazing! Look at him go," Minerva's eyes were fixed on his hair, which had begun to change more rapidly as the seconds passed by, and a huge grin was plastered on her face. "And Remus, he looks just like you. But his eyes, they're his mother's for sure."
"Until he figures out how to change them." Andromeda piped up. "Which won't take long. Tonks was changing her entire face every minute about an hour after she was born."
"We should take a picture before he starts, then." Poppy pulled a camera out of the bag next to her, much to everyone's surprise, and rolled her eyes. "What, I came prepared! Don't tell me you don't want pictures of him as well."
"You've got me there." Remus admitted with a smile. "Thank you, Poppy."
"First let's get one of just the baby," Poppy snapped the picture quickly, a smile on her face, before directing Remus over to Tonks's bedside. "And now one of the family."
Remus handed Teddy to Tonks and wrapped an arm around her, his eyes not looking at the camera but down at their son, and Poppy took the picture.
"Hey!" Remus protested, glancing over at Poppy with a frown on his face. "I wasn't even looking at the camera!"
"I'm sure it came out perfectly all the same." Poppy assured him. "And if it makes you feel better, Tonks wasn't looking either."
Remus looked over at his wife, who was still fixated on their son, and smiled. Suddenly Teddy began shifting restlessly in his mother's arms, turning, and squirming against his mother's chest. After a moment, he began to cry and Remus looked bewildered.
"Remus, there's nothing wrong." Tonks sensed his confusion and placed her hand on his forearm. "He's just hungry."
"Oh," Remus's face reddened in embarrassment as he wondered how he could have misinterpreted that apparently clear sign of hunger. "Well, um..."
"I think that's our cue to go." Minerva grabbed Poppy's arm and pulled her toward the door. "Severus will be wondering where we went and the last thing we need is for him to get suspicious. I hear Harry's on the move and almost done his mission."
"It's true," Remus said. "Potterwatch can confirm it."
"Anyway," Poppy began. "Andromeda here is trained enough in wizarding medicine to help you if anything should go wrong from here on out. You have fun now."
Minerva and Poppy left the room, chattering away like schoolgirls, and Remus directed his attention back to his wife, who had lifted her shirt and began to nurse their son.
"I still can't believe we're parents." Tonks murmured as she stroked their son's now sky-blue hair.
"It seems quite surreal." Remus agreed. "I love you, Nymphadora Tonks. You know that, right?"
"How could I not?" Tonks replied, smiling. "Oh, and Remus? Don't call me Nymphadora, you dolt."
Tonks and Remus agreed that it wouldn't be safe for the baby to leave the house with the Lestranges out to get them, so Remus visited both Muriel's and Shell Cottage without her and Teddy. The visit to Muriel's had been a few days after Teddy was born and Molly, Arthur, and Charlie insisted on visiting just to see him. The Shell Cottage visit took place around Easter, only because Remus couldn't find time to get away, and he'd returned slightly tipsy and extremely happy. He and Tonks had danced to a random Celestina Warbeck song that was playing on the Wizarding Wireless and made fools of themselves in front of Andromeda for the remainder of the night.
At the beginning of May, their happiness came to an abrupt halt. Remus received a message through Potterwatch on the Wireless that Harry was mounting his final attack on You-Know-Who at Hogwarts and refused to let Tonks go with him.
"Please stay here with Teddy," He pleaded as he threw on his travelling cloak. "I don't want you to get hurt, and he needs you. Promise me that you won't leave him."
Tonks had agreed, after a few minutes of his pleading, and kissed him passionately on the lips before he sprinted out the door and disapparated. After about a half an hour she handed Teddy to Andromeda, promised her mother multiple times that she would come home, and followed her husband to Hogwarts.
"I heard you're the one to speak to if you want to get into the castle." Tonks apparated into the Hog's Head with a loud pop and sprinted over to the barman.
"You're a bit later than the others," He said, leading her upstairs to the portrait that would take her to the Room of Requirement. "But I've never known you to be on time. How are you, Tonks? I saw your husband a while ago, but I didn't get a chance to ask him about-"
"Yes, I had a baby. His name is Teddy, he's almost a month old, he's bloody adorable, and I'd like to make sure that his Dad comes home alive- so can you please let me into the castle?" Tonks asked, knowing that her tone was inappropriate but not caring in the slightest. Aberforth rolled his eyes and winked at Ariana to tell her to open the passage. "Thanks, Ab."
"Don't mention it," Aberforth clapped her on the back and hoisted her up above the fireplace so she could enter the tunnel. "Just don't go getting yourself killed! Your Mum wouldn't ever forgive me for sending you to your death."
"I promise I'll see you after the battle," Tonks assured him, her words echoing as she ran toward the castle. "Because I plan on going back home to my son."
She entered a room filled with hammocks, small cots, and various belongings covered in Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw colours. The only person still inside the room was Ginny, who let out a surprised squeal when she laid eyes on her. Neville's grandmother was also standing next to Ginny, hunched over and panting.
"Tonks! Why are you here? I heard-"
"No time," Tonks panted. "I have to go find Remus. Do you have any idea what's happening on the outside?"
"Only that there's a huge battle and they're practically demolishing the castle out there." Ginny replied. "Mum made me stay here after she saw how many Death Eaters-"
"I need to find Neville as well, dear. Calm down, we don't want to go rushing outside to our deaths do we?" Mrs. Longbottom interrupted Ginny, who frowned and pursed her lips into a thin line. Tonks nodded reluctantly in agreement, wanting nothing more than to find her husband but knowing that recklessness would only get them killed. "Let's think this through before we open the door to the battle outside."
Before they could even begin to plan, none other than Harry Potter stuck his head in the room.
"Ah, Potter. You can tell us what's going on." Mrs. Longbottom said crisply. Harry frowned. It was shaping up to be quite a long explanation and he didn't have time to be standing around.
"Is everyone okay?" Ginny and Tonks spoke together.
"'S far as we know," Harry said quickly. "Is anyone else coming up through the passage in the Hog's head?"
"Tonks and I were the last to come through." Mrs. Longbottom said. "And I told Aberforth to seal it once I came through. He said something about fighting through the front gates of the castle, but... Anyway, have you seen my grandson?"
"He's fighting." Harry told her.
"Naturally." Her words were filled with pride. "If you'll excuse me, I should go and assist him."
She trotted out of the room and toward the greenhouses, where she knew her grandson would probably be stationed.
"I thought you were supposed to be with Teddy at your mother's?" Harry was staring straight at Tonks, who let out a frustrated sigh.
"I couldn't stand not knowing-" She hoped that she didn't look as worried as she felt. "She'll look after him. Have you seen Remus?"
"He was planning to lead a group of fighters onto the grounds-"
That was all Tonks needed to hear, and she sped off toward the entrance hall. A few moments later, Ginny was behind her.
"It's too dangerous, Ginny! Go back to Harry!" Tonks had her wand at the ready as she took the stairs two at a time and ran out the front doors. "You're going to get yourself killed!"
"I'm sixteen years old, not six, and I'm capable of taking on a few Death Eaters! Did the battle in the Department of Mysteries in my fourth year never happen?" Ginny said, scanning the chaos before them in an attempt to find the man they were searching for. "Besides, I'm not going to sit around while my friends risk their lives to fight Voldemort. That's bullshit. I might as well stick with you and help you find Professor Lupin."She glanced over toward the base of the Astronomy tower and her eyes widened. "There he is! Fighting Dolohov under the Astronomy tower!"
Tonks, even from across the courtyard, could see blood streaming down her husband's face from a cut above his eye and that he was in danger of being overpowered by the other man. She took off at a run and barely made it to them before Dolohov cast the killing curse.
"NO!" Tonks literally dove onto the other man's back, causing the curse to fly over Remus's head and ricochet off the stones at the base of the tower. Remus fired an expertly aimed stunner that made Dolohov's eyes roll back into his head as he fell to the ground, unconscious. Then, Tonks bound his hands behind his back and snapped his wand in two with the bottom of her black leather combat boot. After she did a quick survey of the area around them, which seemed to be free of any Death Eaters capable of fighting, and ran to her husband's side. He had sunk to the ground, his legs too unstable and shaky to hold him, and was attempting to stem the flow of blood from his head. "Remus! Oh, thank Merlin you're all right. I thought I'd lost you!"
"Nymphadora, you know I'll be around to annoy you forever." Remus assured her weakly. "Now let me find a blood-replenishing potion and a bandage and then I can fight again-"
"Remus, you can't even stand up. I think you're going to be down and out for a little while." Tonks began siphoning the blood from his face with the tip of her wand and tried to heal the gash on his forehead with her limited medicinal expertise. "Poppy's going to have to finish healing this. I was never good with-"
A jet of green light flew inches away from her head, singeing a few stray hairs close to her ear, and she whirled around to see her dearest aunt and uncle standing behind them. Bellatrix was clearly surprised that her killing curse had missed, but laughed it off. Rodolphus, who had a huge scar across his face from when Tonks cursed him over the summer, stood there with an expression devoid of any emotion.
"That's just like you Auntie," Tonks spat. "Attacking when your opponent's back is turned."
"You know I like to fight dirty, Nymphadora." She stressed every syllable of the name, knowing that it would annoy her niece beyond belief, and let out a high-pitched laugh. "Besides, trying to fight us is pointless! Your worthless dog of a husband can't even see straight-"
A jet of purple light flew at her face from the tip of Remus's wand and she couldn't block it in time. Her left cheek began swelling out of control to the point that it obscured her vision and made her words sound gargled.
"I'll kill you for that." She slurred. "Rodolphus! Get them!"
But her husband was nowhere to be found. She turned her head sharply to see him in combat with Ginny and Kingsley, who clearly had the upper hand, and had to force herself not to assist him.
"Not so sure of yourself now, are you Auntie Bella?" Tonks said as she helped Remus to his feet. He was still very unsteady and held onto her for support when standing, but he was still able to fight. "Fight us yourself. See how good my husband is at duelling, why don't you!"
Bellatrix let out a disgusted shriek and began hurling curses at them left and right. Tonks was on the defensive, blocking almost all of the curses that flew at her and Remus, while her husband countered the other witch's curses with more powerful ones of his own. Some of them were even his own creation, like the one that caused her left arm to become immobilized like a statue or the one that forced her wand hand to jerk every time she tried to cast a spell.
"AVADA KEDAVRA!" Bellatrix screeched, attempting to kill them over and over again. "DIE, YOU WORTHLESS HALF-BLOODS! FREAKS! DIE!"
Remus and Tonks were holding their own against her, still firing curses with as much speed and stamina as they did when the duel began, but their battle came to an abrupt halt when a loud voice cut through the noise of the battle. Obviously, the voice belonged to Voldemort and he was trying to convince them to hand over Harry once more.
"I, Lord Voldemort, give you one hour to respectfully dispose of your dead and I call my troops to retreat now. I also request that Harry Potter meet me in the Forbidden Forest and accept his fate, instead of letting his friends die for him. If he does not choose to do so, I will double my troops' efforts and ensure that every witch, wizard, or creature that tries to defy me will die. I will even enter the fray myself. You have one hour."
"This isn't over." Bellatrix hissed as she turned into a cloud of black smoke and flew toward the Forbidden Forest. Rodolphus followed closely behind her and the sky became black as hundreds of Death Eaters retreated.
"Come on." Tonks let Remus lean on her as she led him toward the Great Hall, where she suspected that medical attention was being given. Ginny and Kingsley rushed over to help them and they reached the Hall in a matter of minutes.
"Oh, no." Ginny's face paled when she saw her entire family grouped around a motionless body lying on the floor. "No, it can't be. Not him!"
She ran to her mother's side and buried her face in her shoulder. Tonks let out a surprised gasp and tears began trickling down her cheeks. They'd killed Fred, the bastards. They'd killed him before he'd even had a chance to live.
"Remus, Tonks, I'm so glad you're both alive!" Poppy scurried up to them, took one look at Remus's head, and made him sit down immediately. "I'm going to patch this up the best that I can, but you're going to have to stay motionless for at least twenty minutes. I don't want this to open up again once I've sealed it, and I know you'll want to be strong to fight again when our hour's up."
"Thank you, Poppy." Remus murmured as she used her wand to close his wound and practically shoved a blood-replenishing potion down his throat.
"I think you should lie down, sweetheart." Tonks gently lowered him onto one of the open cots on the floor and he sighed gratefully. The pounding in his head was starting to go down and he wasn't feeling as weak or dizzy as he had been a moment beforehand. Poppy had left them as soon as she knew that Remus would be okay and was trying to heal the hundreds of people in the hall as quickly and effectively as possible. "That poor woman, we should have recruited more people from St. Mungo's to be in the Order so that she would have more help. I can't imagine caring for this many people by myself!"
"Mmph, that's nice." Remus mumbled. "You do that."
"Remus John Lupin, you stay awake or I'll sic my granddad on you!" Tonks threatened, suddenly extremely worried because of how exhausted he was. "You have a head injury and you need to stay awake! Should I start singing?"
"You don't need to do that. I'll make more of an effort to-" He yawned. "Keep myself conscious."
"Well that's reassuring." Tonks grumbled.
Suddenly, the Hall went quiet and Tonks turned her head to see what could have silenced this many people. Harry, Ron, and Hermione had entered the Great Hall and finally laid eyes on Fred's dead body. Ron was in hysterics, on his knees beside his dead brother as if being close to him would bring him back, Hermione was trying to suppress her sobs, and Harry was running a hand through his hair exasperatedly while trying not to look at the bodies surrounding him. As quickly as he had entered the hall, and without his friends noticing, Harry was gone.
"Where the hell does he think he's going?" Tonks asked aloud, turning her attention back to her injured husband. "Remus? You'd better not be asleep!"
"Tonks!" Hermione was at her side in an instant and threw her arms around the older witch. "It's great to see you, both of you. I'm so glad you're both alive! How's Teddy?"
"Remus should answer that, he needs to stay awake anyway," Tonks suggested, nudging her husband's elbow with her knee. Remus sighed and answered Hermione with as much politeness as he could muster.
"He's great. He just figured out how to change his eyes and ears yesterday and for a few hours, we could barely recognize him. It's astounding what a Metamorphmagus is capable of." He managed a weak smile as his wife beamed down at him. "Anyway, how have you been? And where did Harry just run off to?"
"Harry? No, he's right behind-" Hermione spun around in an effort to locate her friend and blanched. "He's gone to turn himself over to Voldemort, and I knew he would do it too, that complete idiot! Ron!"
She ran to the other boy's side and began speaking to him in a furious whisper. Ron immediately sprinted out of the Great Hall and Tonks craned her neck to see where they were headed off to.
"Harry's not dumb enough to do that, is he?" She wondered aloud. Remus let out a dark chuckle.
"He's a very...valiant boy who would do anything to save his friends and keep people from dying for him. So yes, he is dumb enough to sacrifice himself for all of us. Unfortunately, I have the strangest feeling that he's done it already and we missed our chance at stopping him."
Hermione suddenly appeared in the Great Hall again, this time clutching a worn and yellowed piece of parchment. Remus's eyes narrowed as he recognized the unmistakable outline of the Marauders' Map.
"Where is he?" Remus demanded, attempting to sit up and failing miserably.
"He was in the headmaster's office for a while," Hermione began. Tonks could see the younger witch attempting to suppress tears and placed a hand on her shoulder to comfort her. "But now he's gone to the Forbidden Forest. He's going to get himself killed!"
"Who's going to get himself killed?" Mr. Weasley demanded. He had left his wife's side to see what all the commotion was about and overheard what Hermione had said. "Not Ron, surely-"
"No," Hermione wailed. "Harry!"
The Great Hall fell silent and Hermione clapped her hands over her mouth. Remus fell back onto the cot, unable to keep sitting up because of the overwhelming pain in his head, and Tonks dropped to her knees beside him, worry dominating her features over all other emotion. After what seemed like minutes, all Hell broke loose.
"Wait, what's wrong with Harry?"
"That idiot! He didn't turn himself over to You-Know-Who, did he?"
"It's Voldemort, and what do you mean 'turn himself over?' Harry would never do that!"
"Yeah, he knows we're all here for him 'till the very end!"
The noise in the Great Hall rose to just over a dull roar. People were crying, screaming, and yelling about nothing to others across the Hall. Others were reading their groups to fight and loudly encouraged everyone around them. If the Death Eaters decided to break their word and attack early, surely no one would be able to hear them over this commotion.
"'Mione!" Ron yelled from the rubble that used to be the Entrance Hall. It took him a few tries, but he finally got her attention. "'Mione, you have to see this! It's Harry-"
People, having heard the name they were waiting for, began shoving their way past him to find The Boy Who Lived. Ron was eventually carried away by the crowd and Hermione ran off to find him.
"I don't suppose you would object to giving me a hand." Remus inquired through gritted teeth. Tonks almost refused him, but upon seeing the pure determination in his eyes she decided to go against her better judgement. After a few awkward moments of attempting to pull him to a standing position, she eventually used a charm to levitate him to his feet and let him throw an arm around her shoulders for support. "Now let's see what this is all about, shall we?"
They hobbled toward the mass of people and, slowly but surely, made it close to the front just as the procession of Death Eaters arrived in the courtyard.
"NO!" Screams echoed from around them and Remus hung his head in defeat. Tonks let out a gasp of surprise.
"Here is your so-called saviour," Voldemort began from his place at the head of the group of Death Eaters. Harry was trapped in a cage made of fire next to him, wandless and therefore powerless. "I caught him just as he was attempting to flee the grounds! This coward didn't even want to stay and fight with you, who all are risking your lives even as we speak! Standing here in defiance of the Dark Lord will do you no good in the future! Come to our side now, and live. I will find a place for you to thrive in my new order, no matter where you come from."
"That cage is made of fiendfyre." Remus remarked coldly, his eyebrows raised. Tonks gave him a weird look and he elaborated in a hurried whisper. "It's a usually uncontrollable, and quite powerful, fire that can be used to destroy Horcruxes-which are objects where a wizard can hide pieces of his soul so that he cannot truly die. I'm surprised that Voldemort has this much power over it, since it's so unpredictable-"
"SILENCE!" The whispers around them died down when Voldemort's high-pitched yell pierced the air. "Do we have any takers?"
Draco Malfoy walked slowly across to the Death Eaters, where his parents were standing, and received a pat on the back from Voldemort before walking into his mother's arms. Goyle followed him quickly, and so did a few other Slytherins who had snuck back into the castle, but everyone else stood their ground.
"MALFOY, YOU TWO-FACED BASTARD!" Ron shouted after the blonde-haired boy. "HARRY SAVED YOUR LIFE AND THIS IS WHAT YOU-"
"I said, Silence! CRUCIO!" Voldemort cackled. The jet of white light hit Ron square in the chest and he fell to the ground, writing in pain. Hermione was screaming and Harry began yelling, but Voldemort cast a silencing charm that shut the both of them up. Eventually, Voldemort directed his wand away from the Weasley boy and Hermione fell to the ground at his side, sobbing. Harry had a murderous look on his face but he dared not speak, for fear that Voldemort would harm his friends even further.
"Why didn't you kill him?" Remus yelled suddenly. Tonks gave him a look that said 'what the hell do you think you're doing, you idiot' but he completely ignored her. Voldemort tilted his head slightly as he pondered the question before snapping his fingers and letting out a shrill laugh.
"Good question. You see, I have been focusing on killing Harry Potter for... seven years now, but I just now realized that I could use him for so much more! Why kill him with a painless curse when I could torture him, maim him, slice him up into tiny pieces, or even-Oh, I don't know, use his body for my own full regeneration?"
The silencing charm could barely contain the outrage of the people opposing him and he laughed once more.
"Then I guess you want a fight, well that's what you'll get. Avada Kedavra!" The jet of green light flew into the middle of the crowd and hit Colin Creevy in the stomach. He keeled over on the ground and moved no more. The crowd began screaming and yelling and, finally, started throwing curses back into the group of Death Eaters.
Now, jets of green light were flying in all directions and Tonks and Remus had to duck almost down to the ground to avoid them.
"Remus, we have to get out of here! You can't fight like this-" Tonks tried to plead with them as they finally entered the Great Hall once more, but he wouldn't have it.
"I won't abandon Harry. Once he's free, I'll go wherever you want me to."
"You won't get that far."
The pair turned around to see Bellatrix Lestrange behind them once more. Her wand was raised and a manic glint was present in her eyes. Both Tonks and Remus were sad to see that the hideous purple swelling in her cheek had gone down, but ignored it and raised their wands in preparation to duel her.
"Two on one just doesn't seem fair!" Bellatrix screeched as she hurled curses at them left and right. "Well, not for you, anyway! You're about to be slaughtered Tonksie-poo, just because your Auntie Bella has had it up to here with your shit!"
Tonks literally shoved Remus out of the way and raised her wand to duel her aunt.
"Well Auntie, I've put up with enough of yours over the years. I think we're just about even!"
Tonks was duelling with skill that Remus had never seen her use before, not even on missions they were partnered together for with the Order. Well he had taken control and done most of the fighting then, but still... wow. Now he knew why the Auror department was so sad to see her go.
"Is this all you've got?" Tonks asked, a satisfied smile crossing her features when Bellatrix failed to block her curse yet again. Finally, Tonks got the upper hand. "Expelliarmus!"
Bellatrix's wand flew from her hand to the other side of the Great Hall and Tonks raised her wand to deal the final blow. What she didn't expect was for the other witch to come pelting toward her, a long silver object glinting in her outstretched hand.
"Nymphadora, RUN!" Remus's voice came out in slow motion from Tonks's point of view and she barely saw the blade of the knife in her aunt's hand before it buried itself in the left side of her chest. Bellatrix's face contorted into a relieved smile as Tonks crumpled to the floor, and she then took Tonks's wand from her limp fingers before raising it to kill her.
Suddenly, Remus found a new source of strength. He was on his feet, head injury forgotten for the moment, and attempting to duel the older woman to the death.
"Remus!" Tonks attempted to call out to him, but her words came out as a gurgle and she had to spit blood out of her mouth. The knife had punctured one of her lungs and blood had begun to pool on the floor around her.
"Now here's the hard part, wolf-man," Bellatrix screeched, flinging curses around the Hall that caused destruction to the castle more than injury to the man she was fighting. "You can duel me, take on my master, and free your silly little friend while your wife bleeds out from that wound, or leave the boy here to die. You choose!"
"Get Harry!" Tonks attempted to speak again, but the words came out slurred and unrecognisable.
"I can do both." Remus replied coldly, blocking the curses that came his way with ease and sending even worse ones back her way. "And I can assure you, I will not be standing here watching the mother of my child die. I love her too much to let that happen."
"Ditto." That word came out clear and Remus smiled when he heard it. Unfortunately, he was caught off guard and Bellatrix managed to disarm him. With his wand in her hand, she let out a loud, shrill laugh and raised her wand to deal the killing blow to his injured wife. Remus was frozen in shock and he could only watch as she uttered the words that would end Tonks's life forever.
"NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!" A jet of green light flew out from the doorway to the Great Hall and hit Bellatrix in the back. When she fell to the floor, dead, none other than Andromeda Tonks was standing there, her wand raised and Teddy strapped into a baby carrier on her back. "'Dora!"
"Mum," Andromeda had run to her side and was assessing the damage of the knife wound. "Teddy."
"I would ask you why the fuck you decided to bring our almost three week old son to a battle where he could be killed, but I'm too grateful to question your actions. Is Tonks going to be all right?" Remus had reclaimed his and his wife's wands from Bellatrix's hand and was standing guard over his family, ready to take on whatever decided to enter the Great Hall.
"It doesn't look good." Andromeda muttered darkly. "Hopefully, Poppy left something here that will-"
"Let me help you heal her myself, dear." Poppy scurried over from where she was hidden behind the overturned staff table and began attempting to save Tonks's life. "Fortunately, this blade isn't the infamous cursed one that Bellatrix usually uses on her enemies, that one is in Miss Granger's possession I believe, but a normal one. It should be easy enough to heal, I have a lot of experience with internal injuries."
She removed the knife with only slight difficulty and began patching the younger woman's lung back together with her wand. The golden tendrils sealed the wound, both in her lung and on her back where the knife had gone completely through her, and were closing the hole the knife had made in her chest when the crowd of people moved from the courtyard into the Great Hall. The slightly-organized battle had turned into complete pandemonium.
"Tonks!" Charlie Weasley- who had been duelling a still-masked Death Eater with his sister and mother, stunned the Death eater with a flick of his wand and ran over to her side. "Is she all right? What the hell happened?"
"Bellatrix Lestrange is what happened," Remus growled, suddenly feeling the effects of his head injury and wanting to sit down more than anything. "And shouldn't you be fighting?"
"We're being overpowered and no one can figure out how to get Harry free so..." Charlie frowned. "We're planning on retreating."
"No!" Both Tonks and Remus cried out at the same time.
"We can't leave Harry," Remus said. "That's definitely not an option."
"Ginny got close enough to talk to him for a minute and that's what he told us to do. George and Bill are getting ready to grab Ron and Hermione to apparate out of here and everyone who's still alive is leaving when we give the signal. There's nothing we can do, Remus. I'm sorry." Charlie patted him on the back and stood up. "I should probably send up the sparks now."
"Charlie, we have to keep fighting!" Tonks called as he began to run toward the centre of the room. "This is the Final Battle! The last confrontation with this bald idiot! We can't give up."
Charlie took one look at her, his face expressing an emotion that neither Tonks nor Remus could identify, and sent up a shower of blue sparks. From all around the Hall, people began disapparating and Remus pulled his wife to her feet.
"I want you to go with Teddy and your mum." Remus instructed her quickly, ignoring her protests. "I'm not leaving Harry, he's my best friend's son and I care about him as much as I care about our son. Please, get yourselves to safety and-"
Before he could finish his sentence, he felt a pair of arms grab both him and his wife and pull them close. Then they spun slightly and the world went black. After a minute of feeling like they were being squeezed, compressed, then stretched, they appeared in the front lawn of the Weasleys' Aunt Muriel's house.
"NO!" Remus yelled, fighting in the person's arms in an attempt to apparate back to Hogwarts. "I have to go back, I have to help Harry!"
He turned his head slightly to see Ron and Hermione copying his actions, tears streaming down both their faces and determination fuelling them through their obvious exhaustion. Suddenly, he felt someone's hand on his shoulder and then a pair of arms wrapped around his waist.
"I'm sorry." Tonks whispered, her cheek pressed against his shoulder. He could feel her tears staining his jumper but didn't care. In that moment he knew that it was pointless to keep struggling and snaked his arms around his wife's waist, pulling her closer. "I'm so sorry."
"It's all right." Remus mumbled as he placed a kiss to the top of her head. "We'll get him back, I know we will. And then we'll kick You-Know-Who's arse from here to Hell."
Just after he finished speaking, Teddy began to cry in his grandmother's arms and both Remus and Tonks sighed, then hurried over to calm him down.
Hey... Yeah, it's finally up. I know, it's been a while.
But on my weekend off Drum Corps we travelled to West Chester, then Allentown to see DCI with a good friend of mine. IT WAS FREAKING AWESOME! The Cavaliers' show is definitely my favourite and I hope the Cadets kick the Blue Devils' boring show to the curb. .05 points behind them... that's bullshit.
Anyway, I'd appreciate a review. They all make my day! :D