Chapter 01 – Summer Pre-Moons
I figured I'd do this once at the beginning of the story. The characters, places, and anything else you recognize belong to the brilliant J.K. Rowling. Anything else is created by me for the story.
Obviously this is an AU story as to what happened with Tonks, Remus, Sirius and a few others during the course of Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts. I'm continuing on with the fic-verse I've built up from "Life Like This". Sirius Black is a free man. Remus and Tonks have feelings for each other but won't admit it. Sirius and Tonks have a cousin named Alexis (Lexi) Black. And there are several other original characters I made such as Silvia White and Marrick Kingston. Otherwise, this story somewhat follows what happened in canon for Goblet of Fire.
I know this is already a really long note but I thought I'd clarify some things down here. PRE-READING ISN'T VITAL though it would be nice if you read the story before this, "Life Like This" for it may help you understand a few things better. And also, for those who've read "Life Like This", you'll notice I've made some major changes to my character Silvia. I realized she'd turn out to be the Mary Sue kind of woman if I don't add a few things to her character so I apologize for any confusion. Anyways, I hope this will be a good story for all of us. Thanks for reading, reviewing, favoriting, alerting, and supporting me. Thank you! Now for the story…
P.S. I realize I put a lot of details in my stories. If you think it's too much details, feel free to give me constructive criticism =D for the mean time, I'm sticking with the writing style I have. Thank you! =D
P.P.S. Sorry there's not a whole lot of Remus in the first chapter for all those Remus lovers out there. I love him too but I don't want to make the first chapter go on endlessly.
Nymphadora Tonks and her two cousins, Alexis and Sirius Black lived in the apartment behind the burgundy red door on the fifth floor of Number 563 on Long Street, London. It was a large building in red and white bricks with a Romanesque Revival architectural style. At the front entrance a row of ruby red telephone booths lined the white building side. In a mildly busy part of London, it seemed a perfect place, not too busy, but not a deserted wasteland either.
Their apartment was old with creaky light-wood-finished floors. The entire place was a clash of two different decorative eyes. Bright colors mixed with modern black and white, the result of colorful Nymphadora and organized Alexis trying to live together.
It was a quiet summer night. The day calendar at the corner of her desk was partly ripped, revealing half a page of yesterday, reading July 21, and the bottom half of the day after, July 22.
Weary and worn, she laid asleep at her desk, clueless to the world. Her head was on top of a bulky folder of reports written in a sloppy scrawl. Her arms hung at her side, tired. Signature bubblegum pink hair had reverted back to natural mousy brown. A soft yellow light illuminated her pale, heart-shaped face. An inch away from her face was an old and oddly bent feather quill with ink still dripping from its tip onto the wordy parchment. The tip trailed off at the end of the name: Nymphadora Tonks—sloppily scrawled.
During a sweet dream she wouldn't remember, a thunderous yelp woke her. The shock woke her up and she stumbled as she fell to the ground, her chair flipping over and landing in a mess of Tonks and chair. She pushed the chair aside, uncaring of it for now and rushed out of her room into the kitchen where the scream seemed to have come from.
"What? What happened?" she asked in a loud, panic-filled voice. She was ever vigilant like her mentor had taught her and her wand was in her hand, held at the ready.
"Careful with that thing Tonksie," her cousin, Alexis Black, laughed. Alexis was sitting perched on top of their wooden kitchen counter, her long, raven black hair framed her pretty face with the patrician beauty of the Black family. "You might end up killing one of us by accident."
Tonks huffed. Sirius too was there, laughing slightly. Sirius looked tired but wide awake with traces of sheer horror etched across his face. He was patting his chest as he inhaled deep breaths. Her cousin Sirius had haunted grey eyes having once been imprisoned in an asylum like prison. His hair was neatly cut and raven black like Alexis' while his face was still young and darkly handsome, bearing the same though more masculine patrician beauty of the Black family.
"Who just screamed?" Tonks asked them.
Sirius laughed in a funny way while Alexis clapped her hands together and continued to laugh hysterically. Finally, Alexis decided to answer. "It was Sirius screaming."
Tonks raised her eyebrow in disbelief, a grin breaking onto her face. "What?"
"I know. His scream's higher than a girl's," Alexis teased.
"I thought she was a dementor!" Sirius defended himself. "You did look an awful lot like one with your hair covering your face," he joked, putting on a familiar grin.
"Did you have nightmares of Azkaban again?" Tonks asked, sitting beside Alexis.
Sirius nodded and sighed. "It's odd. The nightmares began when Harry came here."
Tonks glanced down their dark hallway to Sirius' bedroom where his door was left ajar.
Ever since they brought Harry over that summer, both Sirius and Harry have been having nightmares from their haunting past. It was worrying Tonks and Alexis, but knowing Sirius and Harry's noble self, they were forced to hide their concerns.
"You think these nightmares are foreboding something?" Sirius asked in a low whisper.
"Foreboding what?" Tonks asked.
"Who knows? I've never been good at Divination," Alexis said as she pushed herself off the counter. "Ask Tonksie. She scored the highest in her divination class."
As Alexis went into the bathroom, Sirius turned back to Tonks. She only shrugged, truly not knowing if these nightmares from the past meant anything.
"So…" said Tonks, waiting for Alexis to finish so she could use the bathroom.
"How are things going between you and Moony?" Sirius asked, grinning. "Exceptionally well I suspect? He is coming over a lot more often lately."
"Sirius, Remus comes over because you keep sending him howlers stressing about how bored you are," Tonks retorted. Her cheeks showed a tint of pink as she thought about Remus, the charming but damaged professor, Marauder, and werewolf.
Her feelings for him hadn't died or even dulled out in anyway. She still got butterflies in her stomach because of him and the sweet rush of adrenaline whenever she was near him. However, despite those feelings, Tonks and Remus still remained as friends. He was afraid he'd burden her because of his lycanthropy, and he was afraid of hurting her. Tonks honestly didn't care. She only wanted to be with him, but her attempts at convincing him all ended up in failure. And so Nymphadora Tonks and Remus Lupin stayed as friends, just simple friends.
A sudden scream surprised them all. Tonks and Sirius looked at each other and immediately rushed down the dark hallway into Sirius' bedroom. There they found Harry sitting in the corner of his bed, his eyes mad and scared, struck with fear. Alexis was beside the door, her toothbrush still in her mouth as she, Sirius, and Tonks came over to comfort Harry.
"What's wrong Harry?" Tonks asked softly, resting her chin on Alexis' boney shoulder.
"B-bad dream," Harry replied in a short breath, his light green eyes now calming. "I-I remember what I saw," Harry said suddenly with a fleeting look of fear.
"Mind telling us Harry?" Alexis asked, her words muffled by the toothbrush.
"Voldemort," he said solemnly.
Melancholy fell over everyone in the room. "What happened?" Sirius asked.
"I don't know," the boy said, still shaken from his dream.
Harry had had dreams of his parents being killed, but never ones about Voldemort himself specifically. Even in the magical world, it was a dark harbinger to be dreaming of a man who had once threatened their world. Though he didn't succeed, he'd left a trail of destruction, broken men and haunted women, and shattered families in his wake.
"Listen, Harry, Voldemort is dead," Sirius said. "You are an almost-fourteen-year-old boy. The things you should be worrying about are girls, pranks, and grades…not Voldemort. And even if he returns, we'll win a second war. We won't make the same mistakes twice." There was sadness behind his grey eyes but he masked it. He couldn't stand the sorrows, so the only way he knew how to push it away was to smile, a masquerading smile all Blacks had.
Sirius rubbed Harry's arm and held the boy comfortingly. Tonks rubbed his back in what she hoped to be a comforting gesture while Alexis whispered soft and gentle words of comfort into his ear in a voice Tonks rarely heard her use. After a while, Harry finally calmed just as the morning sun rose from the dark horizon and lit up the room through the open window.
"It's morning," Tonks informed. "Come on Harry, we'll make you breakfast before we leave for work." She'd put on a bright grin for him. Anymore talk about Voldemort would only bring them down and so she masked her worries to cheer Harry up because as adults, what else could they do but hide their troubles?
"Psh, like you could cook," Sirius scoffed, going on along with Tonks, teasing her so as to get their minds away from the foreboding dream. The habit of putting up a façade to mask their troubles seemed to be a dominant Black family trait. "Face it. We all rely on Lexi for food."
"It's alright Tonks, I'll eat your cooking," said Harry, beginning to smile a bit.
"Trust me Harry, you wouldn't want to risk it," Alexis said, continuing to brush her teeth.
"It can't be as bad as the things my aunt and uncle fed me." Whatever Sirius, Tonks, and Alexis were doing, it was working. Being around them, Harry couldn't stay gloomy for long.
"Can your aunt set the kitchen on fire making eggs?" Alexis asked and Harry laughed.
"If you poison my godson with your food Tonksie, you have to give me a new one."
"How in the world am I supposed to give you another godson?" Tonks asked, unfazed.
"Oh I don't know. Keep doing what you and Moony were doing the last time he came over," Sirius said conversationally. "Oh Remus, do it again. How did you do that with your wand?" Sirius imitated Tonks' voice with a dramatic airy and girly accent.
Tonks blushed madly. "Padfoot, you lousy git! Shut up or I'll hex you back to Azkaban!"
They finally got Harry laughing now and though Tonks was blushing like mad, she had to commend Sirius. He made it look so easy—cheering up a moody and troubled fourteen-year-old teenager. Sirius laughed, his laughter sounding like a bark as he ran for the bathroom.
At noon, Tonks felt exhausted. The work day had been long and boring. After Sirius' trial she was put on the Minister's bad side and was back to desk work. She still had a pile of reports to write and another five hours left of work at a job she no longer loved.
When she heard footsteps coming into her work cubicle, Tonks bolted straight up to see Silvia White leaning on her desk. Silvia was an auror in her early-thirties, a half-Spanish woman with coffee brown eyes and dark curly brown hair framing her exotic and darkly beautiful face.
"I'm guessing constant vigilance was really driven into you by Mad-Eye," Silvia smiled.
Her voice was laced with a rich Spanish accent that Tonks had grown accustomed to hearing but Sirius once admitted it was a seduction to men like him or most men in general.
"Of course, I miss that old nut bag," said Tonks. "It's boring around here without him screaming constant vigilance in our faces."
"Yes, I do miss the terrified shrieks," Silvia sighed. "Anyways, it's noon. Do you want to join me and your cousin for lunch or do you want to sit here and mope?"
"Lunch sounds good. I'm guessing you're stuck doing desk work too then?"
"Ever since Paddy's case my dear friend," she sighed. The school day friendship between Sirius and Silvia had rekindled during the months following Sirius' trial.
"You and him bicker like three-year-olds," Tonks teased her. Only Silvia could match Sirius toe to toe in an all-out argument about anything and everything.
"No we don't. He just likes to act like an insufferable git sometimes. Now come on, if we take any longer, Lexi will get all wrapped up in her lover and not pay for lunch."
"We're talking about Alexis Black right? I thought she and Marrick were still fighting about that missing record." It had come to her attention that both of her cousins tend to bicker with their significant other rather often. Sirius bickered with Silvia like cats and dogs and Alexis just can't seem to go a day without disagreeing with Marrick about something.
"They made up. Didn't you hear them this morning in the lift?" said Silvia.
"Well sorry I'm not informed," Tonks smiled.
As they walked towards the lifts leading to the Atrium, Tonks could see Alexis and Marrick standing in each other's arms, discreetly hiding away at the corner of the corridor. Tonks smiled at them. She knew Alexis really felt something strong for Marrick and the feelings remained strong despite their constant quarrels. Watching them made Tonks think about herself and her own feelings for Remus…
"Would you love birds take a break for five minutes?" Silvia spoke and smiled.
The couple looked fitting but in a way unfitting. In appearance, Alexis and Marrick matched entirely. Alexis had a darkly beautiful face bearing the patrician beauty of all women from the Black family—it was a trait even Tonks' natural state couldn't escape. Marrick had always been good-looking. However, in terms of personality, they couldn't be more different.
"You're one to talk," Alexis smiled at them as Marrick weaved his arms around her waist and she relaxed in his embrace. "You and Paddy might as well be an old married couple."
"Merlin no," Silvia replied as Tonks laughed. "Paddy's like an annoying little brother."
"Believe it or not, he's older than you Silv," Tonks smiled. "Now, not to cut short your public display of affection or anything cousin, but can we please go get lunch? I'm starving!"
"See you later then," Alexis said to Marrick, giving him a kiss quicker than lightning.
"See you love. Bye Silvia, bye Tonks," Marrick smiled cordially and walked away with a grin plastered on his face. One was always happy after the sight of a lover, Tonks thought.
"Where to for lunch?" Alexis asked.
"The Leaky Cauldron," said Tonks. They disappeared into the lift and it jolted to a start.
The Atrium was a very long and splendid hall with a highly-polished dark-wood floor and a peacock blue ceiling inlaid with gleaming golden symbols, constantly changing like some enormous heavenly notice board. The walls on each side were paneled with shiny dark wood and many gilded fireplaces were set into them. The crowd in the Atrium was constantly enormous with witches and wizards going from place to place.
When Tonks, Alexis, and Silvia walked out into the hall, they stepped into the first open chimney and in a sea of emerald green flames; the three women disappeared with a soft whoosh.
Tonks had nearly missed the grate to The Leaky Cauldron and so when she arrived, she was more imbalanced than normal. They soon got themselves a table in the mild lunchtime crowd and before they knew it, their food and drinks were already halfway gone.
"So has anyone accepted Sirius' job application yet?" Tonks asked Silvia while taking a bite from her chicken leg. Although Silvia and Sirius often bickered, she'd been helping him find a place of employment ever since the start of summer. Sadly, things haven't been going well.
"Afraid not," Silvia replied. "They're all doubtful because he'd once been in prison."
"Great. Every witch and wizard knows about Sirius. He'll never get a job now."
"Have you tried muggle establishments?" Alexis, who had been engrossed in her dish of apple crisp, said. "They're practically clueless to what goes on in our world."
Silvia's eyes widened as she finished the last of her pumpkin juice. "Great idea Lexi! That's good! We're at The Leaky Cauldron right now. I can just go out to London and look!"
"What about work?" Tonks inquired.
"I'm stuck with desk work anyways. I'll just do the reports when I get home," Silvia replied. She'd always been quick to do things. Silvia was already taking the last bite to her sandwich and was charming her robes to look more muggle-like. "If Kingsley asks for me, tell him I'm out for an emergency," she said quickly.
"What? Lie?" Tonks smiled as Silvia rushed off.
"Tell him my dog died or something," Silvia said quickly and disappeared out the door.
"Well…what a surprise," Tonks said as Silvia left. "She's usually so uptight with work."
Her raven haired cousin simply shrugged as she continued with her apple crisp. Alexis and Tonks both ate quietly for a while, enjoying their food during that day's warm summer afternoon. There was an odd feeling of comfort in The Leaky Cauldron during warm summer days. It had to be the sunlight that was leaking through the ceiling high windows, Tonks felt.
"Oh pardon me my dears," a soft, misty, ethereal voice said suddenly just as Tonks felt someone run into her. She turned around to see a familiar face to match that voice. Tonks smiled at their old Divination professor, the wobbly and crazy Sybill Trelawney.
"Professor?" Both Tonks and Alexis said at the same time.
Trelawney, covered in a gauzy shawl glittering with shiny beads and sequins, smiled. She was a thin woman with light brown hair and dark green eyes that were magnified ten times by her thick round spectacles. Trelawney definitely recognized Alexis and Tonks. They'd both been well known with all the teachers—having to serve detention so often—and Tonks had also been her favorite student, having had a knack for the subject of Divination.
"Tonks, Alexis, my dears," Trelawney spoke. "I haven't seen you in so long."
They smiled. "Do you see anything for us in the future?" Tonks asked casually.
She and Alexis both knew that Trelawney was a little shaky with her own readings, but they had to admit she was trying very hard to be a good teacher. They'd learned a lot about the thin, almost frail woman after two months' worth of detention spent with her.
Trelawney's face turned thoughtful. "Yes, yes I do see something." She gripped Tonks' hands suddenly with a dramatic, strange and distant look. "You…are in grave…danger," she said in a foreboding voice which would've worried Tonks had it not been Trelawney. "Beware of mistrust and betrayal in those close to you," she continued. Trelawney then nodded, her lips pressed into a thin line and her eyes returned to their usual kind and magnified state again.
Alexis and Tonks both smiled oddly. "Thanks Professor," said Tonks. With that, their old Professor bid them her farewell and made her way to an empty table in the back of the pub.
"She's always been an odd one in my book. You're not seriously worried over her little prediction, are you Nymphie?" Alexis asked upon seeing the look in her cousin's eyes.
"Of course not," Tonks replied unsurely. She'd always thought that there was some basis of truth to Trelawney's predictions…in one way or another. "It is Trelawney after all," Tonks smiled. "We've both established she's off with most predictions back in school. Though you've got to admit she was fun to serve detention with."
Her cousin laughed and was soon picking up her thin jacket and wand from the table. "Yeah," she said. "Her most accurate one was: 'It'll be another foggy day in London'."
Tonks laughed as she and her cousin began heading for the back door of the pub which led to a small yard and the entrance to Diagon Alley. When they got to the yard, Tonks and Alexis both stopped short when they saw the stone wall open up from the other side, allowing a tall and gruff man passage through. Alexis smirked while Tonks' eyes lit up and she jumped to hug the ex-auror instantly. Mad-Eye Moody had stepped through the barrier, as gruff and battle-worn and mad as ever. He was grumbling about something while his electric blue magical eye rolled to the back of his head.
"Mad-Eye!" Tonks yelled, hugging him, much to his displeasure.
Upon Tonks' tight hug, Mad-Eye grunted but he didn't push her away. "You're as bouncy and childish as ever I see," he said in a rough, scratchy voice.
"Constant vigilance Mad-Eye," Alexis smiled and shook her head.
"I haven't heard that for so long! I miss you so much you old codger!" Tonks exclaimed.
"And I almost forgot disrespectful as ever too," Moody added. "Luckily Alexis is more subtle with her teasing, Nymphadora."
Tonks growled and with that she'd somehow stirred a rough, rugged smile from the man. His scar-crossed face lit up and he looked like a perfectly normal man, even with chunks of his nose missing, scars crisscrossing his face and arms, and a magical eye spinning in its socket.
"What are you doing here?" Tonks asked.
"I'm here to meet with Sybill Trelawney," the ex-auror told his old disciple. "Dumbledore has been telling me that Trelawney's made a prophecy I should hear about. It's a load of cobswallows I think, but if Dumbledore says so then it's worth some attention."
"No, I think you're right Mad-Eye," said Tonks, finally letting go of him.
"Really, this is Trelawney we're talking about," Alexis stated, crossing her arms.
"I know. Now I really have to get going. See you two around."
"Bye Mad-Eye," the two girls said together and waved.
"Constant vigilance!" Moody called, his back turned to them with the barrier closing.
"He can't help it," She'd missed hearing those two words spoken in that same low and gruff voice. Tonks smiled. She hadn't seen her mentor in ages ever since his retirement and she was glad he seemed to be doing well. At least he hadn't gone mad staying at home with nothing to do all day like all retired old folks.
"You think some of Trelawney's predictions might be correct?" Tonks asked suddenly as they walked down the cobbled streets of Diagon Alley.
Alexis shrugged. "The prediction she gave us sounded believable though. It's a bit different from her usual ones," she said thoughtfully. "Guess it's worth a thought."
"Guess so. I mean Dumbledore did hire her. He couldn't have been hoodwinked."
Like every other day while Alexis and Tonks were at work, Sirius spent his time playing an addicting muggle pass time activity called video games with Harry. They nearly broke Alexis' television which Sirius called a 'muggle box' when they were fighting over who won.
Sirius was enjoying his day, until the doorbell suddenly rang and he found Silvia White standing in the hallway with a pile of paperwork for him to fill out. Seeing that she only wanted to help him, Sirius groaned and beckoned Harry to save himself from the boredom by messing in Alexis' and Tonks' room while he and Silvia worked—Sirius hated work.
"Why do whenever I see you, you always have work for me to do?" Sirius asked.
"Work's good for you," she simply smiled.
After an hour of endless writing page after page form after form, Sirius grew tired and began goofing around to relax himself. He made silly jokes that Silvia obviously didn't find funny and he even tried to balance his wand on the bridge of his nose.
"Stop joking around and getting distracted. Finish up this paperwork," Silvia ushered.
"I don't want to," he retorted. "This is pointless. Tell me again why I have to get a job."
"You can't rely on Lexi and Tonks to support you," she replied in a serious, all-business tone. She had to use that tone with Sirius, to keep him serious. "They have enough worries."
"They're my cousins. Seeing that I'm family, it's kind of their job to support me," Sirius said, only meaning to joke around with her.
"Show some responsibility. You have Harry around for god's sake. Be a good role model for him. Making your younger cousins support you at this age is so irresponsible."
"Irresponsible? So you're saying I'm irresponsible now?" He gasped dramatically.
"Yes," Silvia snapped, fed up with Sirius' refusal to be serious. "Very irresponsible."
"How would you know? I think I'm very responsible for your information," he argued.
"Trust me Sirius. I've known you long enough. You're irresponsible and childish."
"You haven't seen me for thirteen years! I am very responsible."
"No. Sirius, you are irresponsible and you know it. Don't deny it," she said. As Silvia's voice grew louder, her frustration grew and her Spanish accent became more apparent as well.
"I am not!"
"Yes you are!"
"I am not irresponsible." He couldn't help it. Oddly, he found pleasure in making Silvia mad. She had this very attractive, fiery charm whenever she was angry, but it would be the last thing Sirius would ever admit to anyone but himself. "Just because I broke up with you doesn't mean you can talk bad about me," he retorted. Sirius only wanted to annoy her. However, he didn't expect what he'd just said to actually piss her off.
Silvia shot him a glare that could almost match Andromeda's death glare. "Don't bring it up," she hissed. "And for your information, it was I who dumped you."
"You didn't dump me. It was a mutual break up," he retorted, unable to stop himself.
"Yes and then afterwards you snogged my best friend! Honestly, what kind of man does that?" Her voice was growing louder and she was really angry now.
"I didn't snog her! And besides, we broke up already." He honestly didn't know how he made a somewhat simple conversation about filling out paperwork lead to this.
"It still doesn't mean you can go and snog my best friend senselessly, in front of me!"
"Why'd you bring up the past for if it makes you angry?"
"You brought it up Sirius!"
"I didn't intend to! Why are you progressing on it?"
She parted her lips, anger present on her beautiful face. Sirius knew she was about to say something very foul towards him but she'd thought better of it. "Sirius Black you are an irresponsible, childish, stupid, git!"
There was something about the feeling he got whenever he was around Silvia that prevented Sirius from holding himself back. He knew if he pushed any further, he'd feel the wrath of a very angry Spanish woman, an auror too, but he couldn't help it. It could be because he's a git, or he just wanted to hear her mention the past they once shared, proof that he and Silvia had once had feelings for each other. It was present through her anger.
"Stop yelling at me! This is exactly like how we were when we were dating! You'd start yelling and I'd start yelling! And then next thing you know we're in bed shagging like mad! Do you honestly want that to happen now or do you want me to finish all these stupid paperwork?"
He'd just done it. Silvia always hated it when Sirius mentioned their arguments and what always happened afterwards. She hated to hear about it but Sirius always thought it was a crucial part of their past together—anger fueled their romance.
"SIRIUS BLACK, te vas pudrir en el infierno insufrible, hijo de puta sin corazón!"
His eyes widened with shock. When a half-Spanish woman starts yelling at you in her native language, you've really gone too far…but when it's Silvia White, it's usually completely worth it after the argument, Sirius thought to himself.
"Um…" Harry's voice sounded. Sirius and Silvia both turned to face him in height of their argument. "Uh…you should keep your voices down or the muggle neighbors will start asking questions," he said weakly, an attempt to stop their argument.
Silvia glared at Sirius once more, her coffee brown eyes icy while her beautiful face repressed her anger and annoyance towards him. They were standing close to each other, their body against each other from the argument. After a few moments, they finally quieted down and Sirius was once again back to the paperwork. He had to admit though. He did miss hearing Silvia yell at him. She only yelled because she cared about him, he knew. Otherwise, she wouldn't pay any attention to him. They'd gotten very close, just like before. However, he couldn't pick her up and snog her senselessly like before. Sirius sighed as he thought about their past. He sighed again when he realized that now…the events following an argument weren't the same.
At the end of the day, Tonks let out a long breath as she headed for the Atrium one final time that night. She was leaving work, but she wasn't heading home. Because it was the night of the full moon, Tonks would instead be heading over to the Shrieking Shack where she'd promised to meet the charming bookworm professor she'd completely fallen for.
"Ready to leave, Tonksie?" Alexis's mellow voice floated easily to Tonks' ears.
"Honestly Lexi, you'd pass as an auror in stealth."
"Yeah I'd pass as a lot of things," said the young woman smugly with defined, chiseled features on a pretty face. "Come on," she ushered.
"Alexis!" Tonks turned back to the owner of the voice, but Alexis continued walking as if she hadn't heard her name. "Alexis wait!" Marrick was running up to them, his brown hair disheveled and charismatic face looking troubled. Tonks wondered what was wrong with the couple that time. "Alexis," he called again and grabbed her arm, spinning her around smoothly.
Tonks kept quiet, feeling like an awkward third wheel as she stood there. Her cousin sighed and crossed her arms. After knowing Alexis Black for so long and being so close with her, Tonks knew that look immediately. Alexis wasn't mad, or angered, or agitated. She was simply annoyed, as if she was tired of something.
"What do you want Marrick?"
"Love, I'm sorry," he apologized. "I'm so sorry about tonight. We can make it up another night. Please?" He pleaded in a soft voice.
"Alright, talk to me another night. Goodnight Marrick," said Alexis dryly.
Watching the couple, Tonks didn't quite understand what was going on. But yet again, the concept of love and romance was different from people to people.
As she fell out of the large chimney of the Three Broomsticks with ashes marring her pale, heart-shaped face, her foot was caught on the raised ledge to the floor and she fell out, crashing onto the wooden floor in the middle of the crowded inn. Tonks was beginning to really hate floo travel, even if it was far more comfortable than traveling by apparition.
"You ok Tonksie?" Alexis asked her and Tonks made a surprised face as she pushed herself off the ground quickly and patted the dust and ashes off her robes.
"I thought you were heading home," said Tonks.
Her cousin emptied the glass of firewhiskey. "It was date night tonight," she sighed. "Here, let me help." She took out her wand to use a charm that cleaned Tonks' robes and face.
Tonks sat down in the barstool beside her cousin, patting Alexis' shoulder. "Another date night ruined?" she asked softly.
Alexis nodded. "Another date night ruined." She groaned. "He does this all the time. It's so unfair," she complained. "When he cancels a date because of work, it's because he has to hold up his responsibilities. But when I cancel a date, he thinks that I don't care about him enough."
"But you do care," said Tonks. She understood her cousin the most. Alexis though hadn't been known as one who drowned her lover in little acts of love, was still one who cared a lot. She just didn't show that she cared, until the time called for it.
"I do care," she sighed and placed her head in her hand.
"We care too," the harmonizing voice of the Weasley Twins sounded.
Tonks looked up to see Fred and George Weasley standing behind her with a grin, along with Bill Weasley, her friend she hadn't seen in a long time. Unable to hold back her excitement, Tonks jumped up and squealed, hugging Bill tightly around his neck.
"Lexi!" she called but Alexis had already noticed and was chuckling softly at Tonks.
"I missed you too Tonks!" Bill laughed and hugged her back just as tightly. "Of course when I catch Lexi, she's looking troubled," he said and gave Alexis a comforting hug.
"Not troubled, annoyed," Alexis replied with a smirk on her face now. Seeing old friends had always cheered her up. "There is a difference."
"Well you don't have to be troubled…"
"…or annoyed, anymore," said the twins. Tonks was ashamed to admit that she still couldn't tell them apart even after getting to know them so well after the mission. Whenever she thought she could finally tell one apart from the other, they would do something that would confuse her all over again.
"We're here now love," one of the twins said. "Fred…"
"…and George Weasley at your service," they grinned.
"No, you're George and you're Fred," Alexis smiled. "Merlin, get it right you two."
They laughed and it baffled Tonks how Alexis could so easily tell the difference. "Wow. I feel ashamed to admit I'm their friend," said Tonks. "I can't tell which is which."
"Don't worry," Bill whispered. "I can't tell either. That's why I refer to them together as Fred and George, never apart." A sly smile appeared on Bill Weasley's handsome face as he and Tonks laughed together like old times.
"We heard that mate."
"And you call yourself our brother."
Bill smiled and shook his head. "Care for a drink everyone?"
"Oh I'm sorry, I can't, somewhere to be, something to do, and someone to meet."
"You and your excuses," Bill scoffed and pushed Tonks playfully. "How about young Miss Black then? You wouldn't turn down a drink from me, would you?"
"You know I wouldn't, charming Mr. Weasley," Alexis smiled.
"We want drinks too…"
"You pay Bill."
"I'll pay for your butterbeer."
"Cheapskate," the twins scoffed together.
"Good luck Mr. Prefect," Tonks teased as Bill rolled his eyes and sat down across from Alexis while one twin sat beside her and another twin sat beside him.
Tonks hugged, waved, and smiled as she made her way out of the busy inn. Seeing that Alexis didn't seem as annoyed about a canceled date anymore, Tonks felt comfortable in leaving her with the Weasley boys. They were good friends after all, and they made her smile easily.
When Tonks got outside, she was glad to see that the rain had stopped as evening turned into night. The sun was almost done setting over the darkened horizon and the pale silver moon was climbing higher in the night sky. The moon was full that night. It was pale, cold, and lonely as clouds hid the stars. Tonks took a breath of the fresh air and began walking, making her way to the battered dirt road beside the field of dried golden grass that she'd grown to like.
She treaded alone in the night, walking past peaceful, quiet houses outside the village. Once she passed the houses, she was walking by tall, looming trees casting large shadows over her path. She wasn't scared however, as she'd been down that path way too many times. Tonks walked down the broken dirt path and trudged through the field of tall, dried golden grass that rippled in the night's wind and was hiding the eerily looming shack in the distance.
The Shrieking Shack stood there quietly, waiting for when it would be needed. To others, it may be a haunted house. But to one man, Tonks knew it was his solace. He'd had too many memories in there, memories both good and bad. It was like a Pensieve of his and a rigid symbol of him. The shack was shabby and tattered in appearance, but inside it oddly gave a feeling of comfort for him. It was like him. Shabby and tattered on the outside—that shabbiness masking the still handsome face—but amazing and extraordinary on the inside.
"Moonrise…Remus should be in there," she sighed to herself.
Remus could feel the memories race inside his mind. The Shrieking Shack that sat a few miles away from Hogwarts had always been a constant in Remus Lupin's life. It'd been there since he was eleven and more than two decades later still remains standing. So many memories filled the place, memories so vivid that standing there in the middle of the broken room, he could see them replay around him as if the rundown shack in itself was his very own Pensieve—rough and eerie in appearance, but it was Remus' solace all throughout the years.
From where he stood in the corner of the first floor, Remus could see everything clearly. He was in the living room. A collapsed armchair sat in the corner. Ashes were still present underneath the fireplace. The shredded sofa and cushions scattered one part of the room. In another corner there was a set of neatly folded blankets.
He could still remember his days with the Marauders there. They'd spend the night with him, playing and fooling around in their transformed self. Remus could picture the werewolf, the dog, and the stag chasing each other around the room and through the shack. That would explain why there were so many holes in the walls and floor—they were rough kids. Remus even remembered the sweet little rat, usually hiding somewhere but caving in by the middle of the night and joining the other three Marauders. Those memories were so vivid that sometimes Remus felt he could still hear their sounds while he stood there. He felt he could hear their laughter in the morning after the full moon was gone.
Memories of his adolescent years weren't the only ones that filled the shack. A few months ago, a set of memories occurred in the very same shack that had changed Remus' life forever. He could still remember the last September full moon, when he got much more than what he'd expected for a simple night cursed under the moonlight. Remus had always had a good memory. In his mind he still remembered that night. The moon was cold and pale and he felt lonelier than ever, being back in his broken place of solace without the other Marauders. But then a young woman with bright bubblegum pink hair literally stumbled into his solace, and she stayed. Her footprints were still present. Nymphadora Tonks walked into his life and with her she brought something back to him—a magic that healed his unclosed wounds.
Following Nymphadora Tonks' arrival, Remus met his best friend Sirius again, the Marauder he considered his brother. It turned out that Sirius hadn't betrayed him after all and so Remus got Sirius back from the asylum called Azkaban Prison. They discovered the truth about Peter's betrayal, and regained Sirius' freedom. With his friend back, he didn't feel alone anymore, and it all happened in the same shack, his solace.
"Oh no," Remus suddenly mumbled when he could feel the convulsions of transformation begin. His wards still hadn't been sealed yet, and Remus wanted to slap himself for forgetting something so important. "Not good," he groaned. He cringed as the painful transformation began to pull him apart and he worried as his wards still weren't sealed.
From outside the window, he suddenly saw a flash of pink hair lit up by a faint white light. At first Remus thought he was going mental, but then he remembered the pale, heart-shaped face of the lovely pink-haired auror. She was there, and he was comforted by that thought. He suddenly saw a lot of blue lights from where he'd seen her, and then he began to worry. She'd sealed his wards for him, and he thanked her. But for the wards to remain active, she'd have to be there all night. Remus wanted to slap himself. He'd promised himself he wouldn't trouble her and burden her, but there he was, taking away her perfectly good night just because he'd forgotten to do something so important.
It was after sunset now and the day had turned into the night. Sirius was done filling out his pile of job applications and looking at it, he could only hope that in one of those would be his first step in regaining a normal life after Azkaban Prison.
He looked up to the L-shaped sofa to find his godson, the famous Harry Potter, lying asleep like a little boy curled up in the corner cushion. Harry's glasses were askew and Sirius couldn't help but notice how much he looked like his father, James Potter, Sirius' best friend. Looking at the boy, Sirius was almost tempted to get a quill and draw silly things on his face, just like what he used to do with James.
Sirius then turned over to his open balcony where the full moon was shining brightly in the black sky. There he saw her standing with her back to him. She was bent slightly over, resting her elbows on the metal railing as she stared up at the silver moon. Sirius sighed as he looked at her. He blinked slowly and when he closed his eyes, he felt a reminiscent of her in his arms from many, many years ago. She'd been his favorite old flame.
Feeling sentimental, Sirius pushed himself off the floor and walked over to her. He leaned on the railing with her, standing so close that his arm was touching hers.
"Are you still mad at me?" Sirius asked and then glanced to look at her lovely face.
"Do you like seeing me angry or something?" Silvia asked in a voice laced with the rich Spanish accent he loved.
"No," he said after a moment's hesitation.
"So why do you make me mad?" she asked, turning around to face him while leaning back on the railing. "You were provoking me. You always provoke me."
He simply shrugged. "Work on your anger management," he said.
Silvia sighed and rolled her eyes. "Don't start. Harry's asleep. Let's not make a racket."
"So tell me again why you aren't with Remus right now? Isn't that why you became an animagus?" Silvia asked in a softer voice.
"Yes, but he'd enjoy Tonks' company more," he smirked his Marauder-like smirk.
"So how have things been going Padfoot?" she asked after a short silence.
"Oh you know, my cousins are working constantly, my best friend's stressed out and cranky because of the moon, my godson's reaching that phase where he's moody and paranoid at random times, and my life just pretty much sucks," Sirius said conversationally. "Oh and don't forget the recurring nightmares about Azkaban. Yes, those definitely do bugger everything up."
"You're still having those nightmares?" she asked softly. Even though they bickered often, Silvia still cared about him—the loyal friend who'd remained loyal through and through.
Sirius nodded. He couldn't really keep a secret from her. He felt too comfortable around her to hide anything about himself. He could and wants to tell her everything every time he saw her darkly beautiful face and coffee brown eyes. She always had been a good listener and Sirius felt lucky that even though she often quarreled with him, Silvia still cared.
"But don't worry, I think they're slowly going away," he smiled with fake cheer.
Silvia saw through his façade. "Those nightmares…they're not going away, are they?"
He smirked. It was a smirk Silvia often saw on him, even during their school days. His haughty smirk was a mask used to hide his true feelings which she'd learned to see through.
"You're lying. Are they bothering you? Don't lie," Silvia said with genuine concern.
Sirius' smirk turned into a soft smile. He loved listening to her worry for him. He didn't like to admit it but it made him feel better knowing she genuinely cared for him. Sirius also couldn't deny that he loved listening to her voice—the way her Spanish accent would often surface and lace her words, furthering its grasp on him.
"Don't worry about me. I'm Sirius Black, I'll get over it. I'm a strong bloke you know."
She shook her head and rolled her eyes, giving up her attempt to show care and concern for him. "As cocky as ever," she sighed.
Sirius snickered at her apparent Spanish accent, causing Silvia to lightly slap his arm as they gazed up at the full moon.
Tonks tucked her wand away as she pushed open the creaky broken door to the Shrieking Shack. Carefully she walked inside, watching her step so as not to make a fresh Tonks-shaped hole in the old and worn floorboards. The inside of the shack was dilapidated, dusty, and broken, just like Tonks had always seen it. She wondered what it'd looked like when it was first built and when the Marauders first used it many, many years ago.
Slowly she walked deeper and deeper into the shack until she arrived at the one room she recognized to be the living room from the last time she was there a month ago. Tonks walked inside and there she found Remus, fully transformed and beastly. He was a tamed beast however—a gentle and quiet wolf that only looked up and stirred slightly upon her entrance. Remus was frail and skinny with bones jutting out everywhere beneath his light brown fur. His eyes were amber but they weren't feral and even reflected a feeling similar to the way his gentle blue eyes would reflect towards her. Tonks looked at him and smiled.
"Wotcher Remus," she said.