Disclaimer: I do not own the world of Harry Potter or any of the characters in this fanfiction.
A/N: I'm feeling a bit downcast about this fic as I've had no feedback on the previous two chapters and have no idea what people think of it. I worked really hard on it so I'd really appreciate it if you could drop me a review and let me know whether you enjoyed it or not. Even if you don't like it I'd like to know as it helps me know what people like to read and whether I need to alter my writing style. That said, I hope you enjoy the final chapter, and please review.
No matter how much Remus tried to appear otherwise; he was worried.
It had been a relief at first when Tonks had been absent from their initial patrol group meetup. Bill had merely chuckled after they'd stood waiting for her for ten minutes, claiming that Tonks had probably just been kept behind at Headquarters by Moody to receive a lecture on Constant Vigilance.
But now, four hours later, the clock having struck midnight mere minutes ago, Remus couldn't help but feel an unpleasant sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach as he once again met Bill who shook his head at Remus' unasked question.
"It's not like Tonks to be this late!" Bill said shaking his head concerned as he furrowed a brow and squinted down the darkened corridor, listening for her clumsy footsteps to signal her arrival. "Not if it's for something as important as the Order!"
Remus nodded in agreement, sighing and pushing a hand wearily through his greying hair as he wondered what could be keeping her. He wasn't arrogant enough to think that he was the reason she'd not turned up. If anything, the Tonks he knew would have turned up with her head held high refusing to let him or her damaged pride stop her from, as she called it, "doing my bit to bring down that psycho".
"I'm going to go and look for her." Remus said finally making a decision and Bill nodded in agreement, before he suddenly trained his eyes on Remus his face concerned.
"Look Remus. I know there's something going on here. Something you probably won't tell me," Remus shifted uncomfortably, breaking eye contact and instead looking out of the window to his right and staring at the starry sky. Bill spoke on undeterred, "but seriously Remus, whatever it is, are you sure it's worth the pain it's causing you both? I mean, I've never seen Tonks so...unlike Tonks!"
Remus flinched at his words, Tonks' distraught face flying to the front of his mind as he remembered how he'd shouted and raged at her as she'd begged him to listen to her. How his own heart had broken as he'd pushed her away from him physically and emotionally, hearing her broken sobs as he'd stalked away, leaving her crying wretchedly on the damp grass in the park outside Grimmauld Place.
Shaking himself from his memories, Remus didn't answer Bill, instead repeating "I'll go and find her," and turning his head back as he began walking to say; "Find Minerva and let her know what's going on."
He didn't see Bill shake his head sadly as he hurried down to the Entrance Hall and made his way out of the castle.
He stopped for a moment taking in a deep breath of the chilly night's air and looking up to the starry sky before he shook his head and continued walking, mentally considering where to look first.
"I can't see what she's making such a fuss about personally!" A cold voice sneered.
Remus spun around quickly his wand at the ready, only to find himself face to face with Snape whose sneering face was paler than usual as the icy summer wind whipped around him rustling his cloak, making him look remarkably like, as he'd heard his students once say, 'an overgrown bat'. Remus frowned at Snape's words.
"Who's making a fuss?" He asked confused, only for Snape to smirk unpleasantly.
"Sobbing and crying she was. A truly pathetic sight if I say so myself! I can't personally understand why the Auror office ever even contemplated letting her in. Must have been desperate."
It suddenly clicked and Remus felt himself grow pale as a million thoughts ran through his head.
"Tonks? Where is she? Is she alright?"
"Well Lupin." Snape started, seemingly amused at the game he was playing as he delayed further. "The fact that she spent the best part of the evening chucking back Firewhiskey in the Hogs Head crying like a child and passing out like an intoxicated teenager at The Three Broomsticks when she should have been patrolling, suggests to me that she's not alright. What do you think Lupin? Or is that what she's always like? You should know after all!"
Snape grinned nastily and the muscle in Remus' jaw clenched furiously at Snape's obvious amusement at Tonks' pain. Remus felt his heart clench. Pain that he'd caused her. But before he could even open his mouth to shout furiously at him Snape spoke again.
"Oh of course. Maybe you wouldn't know! After all what was it that she was crying about to me? Oh yes; "What did I do wrong? Why can't he love me?" Honestly it was pathetic. I can understand why you wouldn't go for her. Far too clingy!"
It was in a split second that Remus flew from his spot on the steps to where Snape stood, grabbing his robes in hand and slamming him back hard into the stone bricks of the castle wall.
And for a moment he was back to his teenage self, pushing Snape into the wall in fury after he'd aimed a curse at James but had hit Lily instead. Unleashing his anger out in the most basic of human ways, he forgot all about his wand as he slammed Snape's shoulder's backwards until his head hit the wall behind him hard.
"Where is she?" Remus shouted furious, his grip so tight that Snape couldn't find a way out of it.
Snape sneered, clearing his throat as his breath caught at the force of the impact, no amount of physical violence enough to keep away his patronising tone.
"Ah so seems the werewolf does care after all! Never thought I'd see the day you 'd drag yourself from your self-pitying long enough to care about someone else." And in a split second he pushed Remus away who stumbled slightly as he tripped down a couple of steps. They stood glaring at each other, breathing heavily.
"Do yourself a favour." Snape spat at him as Remus fought to control his temper, his blood pumping furiously and his fists clenched. "Fight for her Lupin." Remus stood shock still as Snape stalked closer, his eyes menacing. "Fight for her. Otherwise you'll regret it for the rest of your miserable life."
And with that Snape swept away into the grounds, the heaviness in his heart slightly lighter as he stalked towards the lake. Memories of his Hogwarts years overwhelming him as he let himself fall to his knees. Images of him and Lily sitting by the lake hit him. The two submerging their feet in an attempt to fight off the unforgiving summer heat as Lily sat with a fat textbook testing him with Charms questions, or walking with their thick woolen house scarfs and hats on, walking around the frozen lake hand in hand.
He thought back to Tonks, how similar their pain had been, and how he'd put aside his anger and hurt for one night to help another young girl fight for their Marauder.
Snape fell back on his back, ignoring the hard ground as his back impacted with it and looked to the stars.
Little did he know that where his heart felt lighter than it had in years, Remus stood in the same spot Snape had left him, his heart heavier than ever.
Because now he had to make a choice.
A/N: Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed this story. Please take the time to review as I'd love to know what you think.