a/n: these characters are the sole property of jk rowling and warner brothers. i merely play with them for the amusement of myself and hopefully those who read this story. no copyright infringement is intended. M rating for adult situations, language, and mild violence. parts of the story that are italicized indicate flashbacks.


Chapter One: The Ties That Bind

The morning light crept slowly into the musty bedroom. The sheets were rough against his skin, yet Remus took comfort in its familiarity. After the horrific year of spending time in cold and damp caves and living off what he could find from rubbish bins, any small civil luxury seemed like paradise. His body was sore from the previous night's battle at Hogwarts, but he learned to live with the everyday aches and pains. He woke slowly, letting the sunlight enter his eyes with as little intrusion as possible. He felt so warm and content, which was surprising, finding himself completely bare underneath the sheets.

"You shouldn't have done that." Remus said. His voice was calm, yet it carried venom. He was completely embarrassed by her outburst in Hospital Wing earlier that evening, and could barely look at her now. "It's none of their business what happens-"

"Of course it's their business! They have all noticed the change. Molly's been my own savior since you called it quits, but, Remus, I'm still here." She was close to him, as close as she had been then. Remus could sense her desperation, her need to touch him, her need to be close to him. He closed his eyes and willed himself to be the stronger person.

"Dora, please, for my own sanity," he pleaded. "Please move on. I can only bring you misery."

"And what has this last year brought me? Do you think I want someone else? I could have anyone I fancy, Remus, but I don't want any of them. I want you." Her voice was quiet yet held all the passion and exasperation she had been holding inside for a year. "Remus, I need you, I love you. Please say that you need me too. I know you do, if you would only admit it to yourself."

His vision returning to its full potential, he braced himself up in bed, looking to his right finding he was not alone. Her sleeping form was beautifully outlined in the bright morning light, now coming in cascades through the window. The brown hair around her face was thicker, healthier looking and her face had more color than Remus had seen all year. He gently moved a stray hair away from her face, gently drawing with his hand the contours of her cheekbone. His hand strayed down her bare back, gently outlining each vertebra in her spine. She had become so thin during the past year; so much so that as she inhaled, Remus could count each rib under her skin.

"Dora, we have been over this so many times before, I am a dark creature. Every month I have the potential to kill, to hurt you, to infect you."

"But we have ways of-"

"I have seen what my kind can do. We are a bloodthirsty race, who should be made to live in a pack with our own kind. It was foolish of me to pretend for so long that this wasn't a part of my life."

"But you are nothing like those-"

"I killed a man!" Broken, on the verge of tears, Remus stood squarely in front of Tonks and looked her in the eye. She hesitated only for a moment, but it was enough for Remus to see terror creep into her subconscious.

"Remus, I've killed before-" she began, but Remus cut her off because she knew what she was about to say.

"But that's different, you've killed Death Eaters. People whose hearts and minds have been poisoned with evil, those who have lost their own humanity. This good, innocent man did not deserve to die, and I killed him. I killed him with my own hands, and under the influence of the moon is no excuse for harming an innocent life. I have seen what I can do, Dora, and I never want to put you in that position. Ever." He turned his back on her, not wanting her to see how he had finally succumb to the tears now falling gently down his cheeks. But she had noticed, and put a small hand on his shoulder.

"It wasn't your fault, Remus," she said quietly. "It's all in the past. It wasn't your fault."

Remus opened his mouth to speak her name, wake her gently, but the full realization of what they had done last night had come crashing down upon him. He drew his hand away quickly, as though her flesh had burned him. He had to leave, before she woke up, before he could ruin her life even more.

Dumbledore was dead, and he was lying in bed contemplating making love to the woman next to him. He should be out doing something, helping McGonagall prepare for the funeral, find Harry to see how the poor boy was handling the death of his mentor, something, anything, to take his mind away from what had happened in this room. He quickly swung his legs around to the edge of the bed so he could leave as quickly and quietly as possible. But it was too late. The shifting of weight made Nymphadora realize her partner was leaving her.

"Remus, where are you going?"

"It wasn't your fault Remus," she said stroking his hair the way she used to. Remus sobbed a little into her shoulder. "It's alright, Remus, it's all over, you don't have to go back to those creatures ever again. You're safe, you're home."

"I've been a fool, Dora, I've been a terrible fool." He said, his chest still heaving with sobs, all sense of manly strength forgotten.

"We have all been fools. What's important is that you're safe, and we can start over." But even in his state of physical and mental breakdown, something struck a cord within him.

"Dora, please, we can't do this, we can't just start over. I'm not-"

"Now stop this, Remus Lupin. I am sick of your ancient chivalry. I am an Auror, for fuck's sake. I can protect myself. Now, if you done being a prat, shut up and kiss me." Remus had no time to react, no time to think of the ramifications. All he could think or feel was her lips on his, the warm sensations it created sending shivers up and down his spine. He was completely lost in her kiss, in her touch.

Something simply registered in his mind that this was where he needed to be; this was home, here in her arms, lost in her kiss. He led her upstairs; into the bedroom they had shared at Grimmauld Place, in a time much simpler than this. Their clothes seemed to simply melt away as their need for each other's skin grew into a greater frenzy. Everything was blurred by the passion that was created between them. All Remus knew was the want to kiss every inch of her body, but Tonks had become too impatient for slow lovemaking. After months of waiting for him, for just a letter saying how sorry he was, or even that he was safe, Tonks wanted nothing more than for Remus to take her swiftly and completely.

"Please," she begged him, as she felt his erection grazing her inner thigh. "Please, I need you Remus."

He did not need any more persuasion. He pushed forcefully inside of her, letting out a moan over the pleasure he was receiving. She gasped, in the familiar way Remus knew that she was enjoying what he was doing. They were lost in one another. Lost in the sensations of pleasure, of rediscovering one another, of being at peace at last. There was elegance, a frenzied grace, in the coupling of their bodies. Finally, after much anticipation, Remus was pushed over the edge, spilling himself inside of her. Breathing heavily he rolled onto his side, his smile visibly apparent in the darken room.

"You see," she said breathlessly. She ran a hand through his hair, and he took pleasure in feeling the way her nails would scratch lightly against his scalp. It was one of the unconscious mannerisms that made Remus fall in love with Tonks in the first place. "This is where you need to be. This is where we are whole." He looked over to her lithe body breathing heavily. He pulled her tightly to him, holding her with all the ferocity of the longing he felt. Kissing her delicately on her eyelids, moving down to her pink lips. "I love you," she whispered softly to him.

He flinched at the sound of her voice. Standing up he quickly responded, "Nowhere. Just going to the loo."

"Well, hurry up. I fully expect you to take advantage of me this morning." She said lazily, rolling over so she was on her back, grinning and stretching out on the bed. Remus watched as the sheets moved, leaving her breasts exposed.

He gave her a small smile, gazing at this perfect goddess before him, and for a moment he was content. But the moment quickly passed as he could not suppress the guilt he was beginning to feel, the way it started to gnaw at his insides like some deadly parasite, and he knew what they had done was a mistake.

"Remus," she said warningly, as though reading his mind. "Listen, we didn't do anything wrong last night. In fact, we did exactly what we both needed. So, no regrets?"

He took a moment to watch her, a slight pout on her lips but looking resolute. "No regrets," he said, pulling her face to his to kiss her gently on her waiting lips. She sat up in bed, pulling him deeper in the kiss so that he was forced to bend over the bed as her hands intertwined with his hair. "Dora," Remus said in between needed breaths of air. "Nymphadora, as much as I want to do this. We have some other things to think about."

"There is nothing more… important… than what we are… doing …right now…" she said in between the trail of kisses she left down his neck onto his collar bone.

"There is, unfortunately, the matter of Dumbledore."

She stopped instantly. She looked up into his eyes and for a moment, it seemed she might begin to cry.

"Dumbledore," she said quietly, suddenly realizing everything that had happened the night before. "Dumbledore's gone."

"He is, and we have to be there for Minerva, for Harry, for everyone who needs to grieve. We need to formulate a plan, we need to begin the search for Snape." He almost spat out the man's name. Remus still could not believe the treachery Snape had committed. Dumbledore had trusted him so inherently; it was hard to believe Snape could have betrayed such a trust.

"Remus, I can't believe it, for a moment, I thought he was…" she took in a deep shuddering sigh, as though quelling the urge to cry. She rested her head against his chest taking a moment to breathe. "Everything was so perfect last night, but I forgot what had brought us here in the first place. How could I just forget?" She looked up at him, her large eyes searching his to find some truth or some comfort. "You're right of course. But shouldn't we wait for more instructions from Minerva, or Mad-Eye?"

"I will send an owl out to both of them for their instructions, but I'm sure Minerva is still trying to deal with the aftermath of the Death Eaters in the school, with the injured, with the breach in security, with… the funeral." He almost could not say the last words. Some how saying them aloud made everything true, made the situation permanent. It was as though not acknowledging it might bring him back, as though this was all just some sick and cruel joke. "We should go," he said, gently pulling away from her. The room suddenly felt colder without the touch of her skin against his.

"Remus, you are coming back to me, right? Later, after we've helped McGonagall." She looked so timid, so terribly young, that in that instant, Remus never knew how he could have ever left her. But reality is a cruel mistress, and every single reason came flooding back.

Seeing her lying so deadly still in the hospital bed, he saw for the first time just how delicate her life was. Sirius was dead. He had watched him fall through the veil in the Department of Mysteries never to return. The one last connection to the life he used to have was gone, and suddenly he was utterly alone, so isolated from everyone he loved. Sirius was gone, and Tonks seriously injured, her limp body being carried to St. Mungo's Hospital for more testing. Harry was safe, although not unharmed. He too had watched his godfather slip into the unknown, and in doing so, lost the only real father figure he had ever known. Harry was being helped back to Hogwarts by Dumbledore, who promised Remus he would watch over the boy and help him through his grief. It all passed by in a haze. Remus only felt semiconscious of the entire proceedings. He was oblivious to the press, oblivious to the Minister of Magic making a statement, oblivious to the fact he was crying.

A warm hand clasped him on the shoulder.

"Why don't you go and visit Tonks. She should be settled in a room by now." Kingsley Shacklebolt's low soothing voice woke Remus slightly from his reverie.

"Yes, of course, I'll, uh, go do that." Kingsley watched Remus leave, making sure he was all right, before talking with the Minister of Magic. Remus left; glad to have orders, glad to have something to do besides stand here wallowing in self-pity and grief, glad he had a place to sleep tonight.

He and Nymphadora had been romantically involved for some time now, fueled in part by the ruminations of Sirius. In the beginning, Tonks strictly wanted to keep things "casual". However, they had slowly started to become an important piece of the other's life. In a moment of intense passion, she had professed her love for him. It was a sentiment he shared, but never declared aloud.

But seeing her lying here, the brave, stubborn, beautiful woman he had fallen in love with, looking so helpless, so defenseless, he knew he had to end things between them. He had been delusional to think it would have ever worked out. Every month brought the potential to have her lying here in hospital, so pale and lifeless, and the thought of causing her such harm was more painful than the thought of losing her from his life.

"Of course," he said, with what he hoped was a reassuring smile. He would explain to her later that of course they could still be friends, that they could see each other once and a while, but ultimately, the danger was too great. She had to see reason; he loved her too much to waste her life on him.

"Remus Lupin, I know that look." She said, grabbing his arm sharply rooting him to the spot. "What did McGonagall say, 'Dumbledore more than anyone would have wanted to see some more love in the world.' And we love each other don't we? Why can't you get it through that thick skull of yours that I'm not going anywhere, that I love you, that I would do anything for you."

"Dora, you still don't seem to understand. What kind of life could I give you? You would become a social outcast. I am a known werewolf. You, in all likelihood, would lose your job at the Ministry, and I have no way of supporting us because jobs are scarce, especially for me."

"I don't care! We would make it work, we could fight through this, fight through the prejudices, fight the laws."

"Okay, so we fight. What then? You would want a family, you would want children. I can't give you children, Dora, there is too great a risk they would be like me, that I would infect them."

"We will cross that bridge when we come to it, Remus. I am not going to pretend that the thought hasn't crossed my mind. Yes, I would want a family with you, but I wouldn't care if they were our biological children, or adopted children, or if we have a giant pack of dogs running around. I just want to be with you. That's all the family I need."

He sighed heavily, looking down at his feet. She was still too young to know what she would want in the future.

"There is no excuse you can give me, Remus that would change my mind about the matter." She crossed her arms over her chest, indicating the matter was closed.

"Nymphadora-"

"No, I won't listen to it anymore! I didn't give up on us this past year, and I'm not going to give up on us now. I know you're saying all of this because you think you're protecting me, or some rubbish, but I don't need protection, I don't need saving. I'm a fully-grown witch, capable of making her own decisions. Besides, we love each other, what greater force is there?"

Taking in another deep breath he got up from the bed. A life with her? Was there prospect more glorious? He couldn't think of one, yet, some tiny voice in the back of his head was still telling him that this was a mistake. But didn't he deserve some happiness? Didn't he deserve a chance at getting what he wanted? "Alright," he said, finally resigning himself to the fact that he was going to make this work. He bent down again, kissing her on the forehead. "I need to get changed. Are you coming with me to the school?"

"I should, I'm sure Mad-Eye could use some Aurors around the grounds." Getting out of bed, Remus took in her naked form as she searched for her clothes, littered all over the floor. She was so beautiful, her brown hair falling gracefully down her back. Remus wanted a life with her, with this beautiful creature before him, but what kind of life would it be? Her optimism was contagious and Remus seriously began thinking that perhaps they could make it work.

She turned around, watching him stare at her. "You know, we could wait just a little while longer. I mean, its not like we're expected." She said, walking seductively over to him. He chuckled appreciatively.

"You'll be the death of me, you know that?"

"Hmm, death by seduction. I can't think of a better way to go." She said before pulling him fiercely into a kiss.

He tried to protest, but he was lost; lost in her kiss, lost in the desire, lost in the need of escape. He could feel his body responding to her touch, to her impatient need, to her frantic roaming hands, warming his skin with every caress, every kiss. She moved slowly backwards, toward the bed, finding the edge of it, she laid down, pulling him down with her, their lips never leaving the others. She wrapped possessive arms around him, almost daring him to try and move away from her now. Eyes and lips entwined, he touched her breast with a slightly trembling hand but she covered it with her own, moving it to massage her breast. Emboldened, he dipped his head and kissed one milky white mound gently, then the other, hot breath thick on her as he dropped a fervent kiss down to her stomach then farther, a low growl in his throat. A moan escaped her lips, as her body tightened and lightly pushed toward him, as his lips opened and the wet heat of his mouth enveloped her, making her cry out. Her breathing was becoming staggered, sharp in takes of breath, eyes closed tightly, enjoying the sensation he was giving her.

"Remus," she begged. He didn't need further instructions. Leaning into her, she reached down to touch him, hard and solid. She could wait no more and pulled her hand away to grab at his hips. He immediately moved forward to push slowly, easily into her. She opened her eyes to find him looking at her, and she smiled at him, breasts slightly heaving and her eyes closing once again grabbing hold of him, nails digging sharply into the scarred flesh on his back.

He moved in gentle caresses, teasing her by pulling out ever so slowly, then back into her depths, finding the place that made her open her mouth to moan. She cried out in pleasure leaning her head back into the pillow, hands twisting into the bed sheets. Wrapping her legs around his waist, granting him further access within her, he moved faster and with more intensity, riding a wave of pure passion. Feeling the muscles contract within her, she cried out his name as he too gave into the great release, spilling everything he had inside her. Panting, they both looked at each other, staring so intensely at each other it was as though they saw their own souls reflected in the other's eyes. Slowly, Remus pulled himself away, laying his body next to hers, his breathing finally returning to normal.

Tonks contented herself next to snuggle in closer to his body, which was still slick with sweat. He pulled a protective arm around her and kissed the top of her head. But it was then he noticed something peculiar.

"Uh, Dora," he said.

"Hmm…" she said, her eyes lazily closing with contentment.

"Your hair."

"What about it?"

"Its, well, it looks different."

"It's brown, I know. Hideous, you can blame my mum for it. You're more accustomed to something brighter-"

"No, no it's not that, it's, well it's changing colors."

"What?" She sat bolt upright in bed. Scrambling, she went into the bathroom to look in the mirror. Sure enough, her long brunette hair was changing into a rich auburn with bold red highlights. She squealed with delight. "Remus! You know what this means?"

"I don't, no." He said, bemused with the scene.

"I'm getting my powers back, I'm morphing again!" She rushed back into bed, jumping on top of him, kissing his face all over. "I haven't done it in ages, and now, it's coming back! This is a sign, Remus; this is because we are meant to be together." She smiled so brightly, so full of pure joy that Remus couldn't help but smile with her.

"You know, I just can't seem to function without you." She said with a quiet affection, kissing him lightly on the nose. "Quick! Think of a color!"

"Uh, blue." He said. She scrunched up her face and sure enough, her hair turned into a pale blue green, almost like the color of the ocean.

"Did it work?"

"It's a little pale, but yeah, it worked."

She hugged him tightly, and Remus wrapped his arms around her, hoping to hold forever onto the memory of the absolute joy on her face. Perhaps McGonagall was right; Dumbledore wanted more love in the world, and Remus could see the logic in this philosophy.

The first time she had kissed him was something Remus would never forget. Not because it was particularly good, but because she had done it right in front of Sirius, and the expression on his face was priceless. The three of them were in Grimmauld Place, enjoying the finest of the Black Manor's wine, and recounting stories of mischief making at Hogwarts.

"I'm telling you, Tonks," Sirius said, his words slurring with drink. "Our Moony here was one of the best Marauders in the school."

"Not nearly as good as you and James, Padfoot." Remus countered. "I didn't get into trouble nearly as much as the two of you."

"Yeah, you were always a little bit of a goody-goody. Was made prefect fifth year I nearly died with laughter. If only Dumbledore knew the shit we would get up to." Sirius said, his laughter like a bark.

"A Marauding Lupin? This is something I would have to see." Tonks laughed pouring the rest of the bottle into each of their goblets.

"Oh yeah, it's always the quiet ones you have to look out for. Plus, he was the one who usually could lure the girls in," Sirius sniggered.

"Now, you know that's not true." Remus said. "In fact, I had loads of trouble picking up girls. It was you, and especially James with his Qudditch playing, that were able to get the girls."

"Are you kidding? Most of the time the only reason they came up to us, Moony, was to ask us to introduce them to you. He was the one they all wanted to talk to, the shy guy in the corner, with that air of mystery, always asking why he would leave from school so often. So naïve they were…"

"Now that I could see." Tonks said. Grinning she held her glass aloft in a salute to Remus. "To Remus Lupin, secret sex god of Hogwarts." They all burst out into roars of laughter. But soon it was only Sirius who was laughing because Tonks had left her chair to wrap her arms around Remus' neck and was giving him a long kiss. She looked into his eyes inches away from his face, smiling very contently, and returned to her seat. It looked as though Petrificus Totalus had just struck Sirius dumb. His face constricted and eyes wide, mouth agape as strange, strangling noises came from the back of his throat, having a complete loss for words. Remus felt the way Sirius looked.

"Well, those girls certainly didn't know what they were missing," Tonks said, a smug smile on her face. That was the first of many kisses, but the last in front of Sirius Black.


a/n: so after reading deathly hallows, i was pretty distraught over tonks and remus (i mean, really?). but as the final film is coming to an end, i wanted to tell their story, almost as a cathartic act to help me cope. so i am beginning at the end of hbp to the end of dh. hopefully i have wetted your appetites for more! i appreciate all comments, so please review!