This is more like a fluff chapter because I wanted just a little more Remus and Tonks fluff haha. It's relatively short though. So this is the end of "Life Like This". Thank you everyone for reading, reviewing, favoriting, and alerting. Your support is really appreciated. Thank you! And now, as I said I plan on starting another story in this fic-verse. It should be up around sometime next week, perhaps during the weekend I assure you because I'm so busy during the weekdays. The first chapter is almost done, I'm just making final touches. I still haven't settled on the title yet haha, sorry. Anyways, thanks for reading! I hope you'll continue to read and support me in the future! Thank you! 3
Chapter 25 – Epilogue: Promising Moon
Remus woke up at the crack of dawn, his body aching and in a sense of pain that he thought had numbed out after all those years of repetition. He was lying on the cold hard floor of the Shrieking Shack, his frail body shivering under the tattered blanket he'd brought with him the night before. There were fresh scars on his face, chest, and arms, and broken furniture all around him, a result of trying to let loose a little bit of his frustration last night while in the form of a wolf. He rolled over slowly, groaning along with the creaking shack as he tried to push himself off the hard and dirty ground.
He managed to get onto his knees and winced in pain at how much his muscles were aching, aching down to the bone. His face twisted in pain for a weak moment. Then he pushed it all back and concealed the pain behind a grimace. Remus crawled over to his pile of clothes he'd laid neatly on the far corner of the room and began pulling them over himself, warming up from the cold air that suffocated the room. Though he had wolfsbane, the last moon hadn't been kind.
As he got dressed, Remus couldn't help but notice how his thoughts echoed in the silence. It was morning, February, and it was still winter. The snow was falling outside. He wondered when spring would come. Thinking of spring, he thought of all the colors and liveliness. That soon brought his thoughts over to a certain pink haired auror who was full of life.
Remus turned around immediately, ignoring the piercing pain from his back. He'd heard a crash and the familiar voice of the brilliant pink-haired auror. Remus looked around. He didn't see her and so she must still be in the hallway. He only hoped he wouldn't spot a newly made Tonks-shape hole in the ground following the crash.
"Nymphadora?" he called her name, taking a few steps towards the hall.
Of course Remus had expected to see her that morning. She'd made it clear to him that once his wards were down at sunrise, she'd come help him return to Hogwarts. Remus often saw Tonks, despite her being an auror and him being a werewolf professor. Just last week he'd visited Kent where Andromeda's home was, and had dinner with the kind family.
Ever since their kiss, Remus had feared that his feelings for Tonks would cost him his friendship with her. But that didn't happen. Instead, Remus found himself being drawn closer to Tonks every time they spent time together, and he had to remind himself that he and she should only remain as friends. It was better for them both, he thought.
"Wotcher Remus," she smiled and pushed herself up from the floor, making herself visible to him. She'd tripped on the stairs, again.
"Hello Nymphadora," said Remus with a smile. He still never understood how or why, but whenever he saw her lovely face after a full moon, he'd feel loads better.
"For the millionth time Remus, stop calling me Nymphadora." She seemed out of breath.
"A habit, sorry," he smiled. "Why do you seem out of breath?"
"I was being messed with by the kids. And can you believe Sirius actually got Harry that Firebolt he was talking about? He's spoiling the good kid! I'm so jealous," she went on.
He chuckled softly. Tonks walked over and helped him stand, putting his one arm around her shoulders to stable him. He was hesitant of being so close to her, worried where their reckless emotions would end up going.
"And can you believe that Alexis and Marrick are so open about their relationship?" Tonks continued to rant, expressing her thoughts very clearly. "It's getting scarily annoying," she laughed. "Yet she and Sirius said that if I ever get in a relationship, I'd end up that way too."
"I actually can't imagine you as being too extravagantly open about your romantic relationships. In fact Nymphadora, I always thought you'd be the more subtle kind."
"You've thought about this before?" she questioned as a smile grazed her lips.
He nodded. "Yes actually…" Remus suddenly paused and looked up at the smile on Tonks' face. He could feel himself beginning to blush and forced himself to maintain control. Remus licked his lips, wondering how he was to get out of that situation. Now, whenever he and Tonks were together, things would always threaten to bring them closer together, past the friendship line. It was like it came naturally for them both, and Remus thought he couldn't allow that. No matter how much he wanted to give it a try, he didn't want to burden her. Besides, she was a colorful and brilliant young auror while he was a scarred and shabby old werewolf. They simply didn't match, he thought. And Remus didn't want to put the special friendship he had with her on the line just because he wanted to explore the realms of emotions a little further.
Tonks' smile grew subtle and she continued to help him towards the stairs. They took slow step, less Tonks tripped over something or Remus collapsed from tired and aching legs. He could feel her warmth envelope him on that winter morning and he felt flustered again. Remus licked his lips and avoided her eyes. He suddenly found the small cracks in the staircase very, very interesting.
As they were heading down the unstable wooden staircase, Tonks suddenly tripped over something neither of them saw. Almost instinctively, Remus reached forward and grabbed her around the waist, preventing her from tumbling downwards to a painful crash. His pain and aching limbs were forgotten as he stared into her surprised dark green eyes. With all his strength remaining, Remus pulled her back up to her feet and he finally relaxed. She was standing awfully close to him—so close that their chests were touching and he could feel her breathing quicken and hear her heartbeat soar.
"Uh…thanks Remus," said Tonks in a flustered tone of voice.
He hadn't intended that. Simple friends weren't supposed to feel nervous and flustered around each other, Remus thought. "You're welcome…Tonks," said Remus who consciously reminded himself to call her Tonks, the name a simple friend should call her.
Like always, they'd get lost into the other's eyes. Remus found himself staring into dark green pools of emerald while she stared back into gentle blue pools of sapphire. His heartbeat raced. It wasn't supposed to be happening. For the past few weeks, Remus had managed to maintain a simple, cordial, and normal friendship with Nymphadora Tonks. Now, his emotions were beckoning him to move forward with that friendship and like always, he couldn't allow that. He was trying to hold himself back.
Suddenly, Remus pulled away and forced himself to break their entrancing stares. He cleared his throat subtly and suddenly found the floorboards very interesting as he avoided Tonks' clairvoyant green eyes.
"Sorry," said Remus quickly.
"Uh…let's get going," said Tonks awkwardly, continuing to help him make it down the stairs. While walking, she continued to wonder why Remus always pulled away. He was always scared in allowing things to progress naturally, as if he was afraid. Tonks sighed inwardly and wished he'd just be willing to give whatever it was they had a chance to progress naturally. It was life after all, and life was a gamble.