Legal Rubbish: Blah blah blah I don't own Harry Potter blah blah blah...

A/N: I know. It's cheesy. And rushed. And you probably kind of wish I hadn't posted it. Sorry.

Dedication: To KatiaSwift. Happy birthday, Tonksie! ;) Love from Ginny. :P

"You see!" said a strained voice. Tonks was glaring at Lupin. "She still wants to marry him, even though he's been bitten! She doesn't care!"

"It's different," said Lupin, barely moving his lips and looking suddenly tense. "Bill will not be a full werewolf. The cases are completely —"

"But I don't care either, I don't care!" said Tonks, seizing the front of Lupin's robes and shaking them. "I've told you a million times…"
~ Remus and Tonks, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Chapter 28 The Phoenix Lament

Fawkes' song faded mournfully into the darkness of the sky, and a choked silence reigned. Shaking slightly, McGonagall herded Harry out of the Hospital Wing, and everyone dispersed.

Remus stood mechanically and swept out of the dormitory at a brisk pace, his head down. Not to be deterred, Tonks followed.

"Remus - Remus!"

The werewolf growled slightly and kept walking resolutely. Tonks caught up to him and grabbed his shoulder, keeping pace.

"Remus Lupin, don't you dare ignore me!" she cried.

Remus shrugged her off, but she latched onto the sleeve of his cloak.

"Dora, we can't. I can't. I'm dangerous. Please don't make this harder than it already is."

"Harry is dangerous, Rem. Do you see him pushing Ginny away?"

This stalled him. "Harry and - and Ginny?"

"Don't tell me you didn't see it coming," she said in a bleak attempt at humor.

"I - that's not the point. Harry isn't a - Harry isn't like me."

"Stop talking like you're a freak of nature or something," Tonks grumbled.

"I am," Remus snapped bluntly. "I am, and I'm old, and I can't find work, and someday I'll forget my potion and I'll end up hurting you or something-"

"Say you don't love me. Tell me you don't want me, and - and I'll leave."

Tonks' voice cracked, and she reached up to brush tears from her eyes violently.

"Tell me and I'll never bother you again. But don't tell me you can't. Don't wallow in self-pity and deprive yourself of something you want and can have."

Remus drew up short. "Tonks...Tonks, don't do this to me," he whispered.

"Tell me."

Remus ran his tongue over his suddenly-dry lips and breathed in a hoarse whisper, "I - I don't...I don't. Love. You."

Heaving out a dry sob, Tonks turned away from him, uncurling her fingers from where they'd clenched in his coat. She paused for a minute, looking up at him with a pitiful, desperate look in his eyes. And then they hardened.

She whirled and strode away.

Remus stood in the middle of the corridor, breathing hard. Liar, his brain hissed. Lies, lies, lies...

It was his turn. He roused himself from his stupor, shaking his head like a dog, his sandy hair dipping into his vision.

"Tonks - Dora - please listen -"

Tonks hesitated in front of a tapestry of of a wolf, his head tilted upward towards a full moon.

Remus cleared his throat, placing a hand on her waist and turning her to face him.

"Say you love me," he whispered. "Say you love me and I'll stay."

Tonks' eyes flickered to the tapestry and then up at him, tear tracks glistening on her cheeks and chin like the moon in the picture.

She grabbed the lapels of his coat and tugged him down to her.

"I. Love. You."

And she kissed him.