Hello! First, I am so terribly sorry I haven't updated in...oh my god nearly a year! I have been working on an original story of my own and could not find time to update. I am so sorry. I am back though, and I apologize if my updates aren't as fast or steady as they used to be before, but I will update and finish this story. Thank you to everyone who kept supporting me, and thank you for reading and reviewing. I really appreciate this and...ah skip the formalities
askdfslghjgdljg I love you so much! I hope you find like a twenty-dollar bill on the ground or something nice!
Anyways, now for the story. This is a really long chapter 0.0 and I hope it's ok and that you'll enjoy it.
Chapter 06 – To the End of Eternity
Apparition was harder at night, especially when her destination was a part of London she wasn't familiar with. Upon her arrival, Tonks had stepped into a great big puddle of rain that reached her ankles. She jumped out of it quickly, muttering under her breath at her bad luck. Sweeping her soggy dark pink fringe out of her eyes, Tonks looked around. Trying to see through the veil of cascading rain and darkness was an impossible feat. Tonks decided to walk as she could see nothing. She headed in the direction where she heard the sounds of wet, slippery footsteps and people conversing back and forth.
Almost instantly, Tonks arrived upon an area of the street closed off by black and yellow crime scene tapes. She was utterly bewildered. The crime scene tapes could only mean two things: either she'd apparated to the wrong location and was treading upon the work area of muggle police officers, or the crime had been so badly exposed to muggles, aurors had to close it off using this measure.
"Tonks!" Kingsley's deep, reassuring voice called her name.
She looked up, glad to see him. He was running towards her, his robes soaked from the endless rain. Kingsley was on the other side of the tape and lifted it to let her through. Tonks had a bad feeling about this, especially when she got the call at three in the morning. They wouldn't have called her if it hadn't been an emergency.
"King, what's wrong? Why are we using crime scene tapes?"
"Big attack," he breathed, looking around. "Good, the Obliviators are getting things handled." Tonks looked as well and to her left, she recognized a team of Obliviators interrogating the small crowd huddled together under a hub of canopies and umbrellas. "You have to see this." He led Tonks over to an alley where aurors were walking back and forth from. "Muggles spotted this attack first. Luckily, we have a wizard present who'd managed to contact us in time. There's been another werewolf attack."
Immediately, all the blood rushed from Tonks's face, reducing her rosy complexion to a pale and empty look. Her eyes glanced up towards the full moon, still present against the stormy night. It was a werewolf attack and the werewolf was still on the loose. Judging by the troubled look on Kingsley's face, they haven't caught the attacker yet.
"Aurors, Obliviators, the Werewolf Capture Unit, and several Unspeakables are here."
"Unspeakables?" Tonks asked.
"Yes, Lexi's here too," Kingsley replied, leading her past the four aurors on guard. "She spoke with Marrick and he's gone to quiet down the muggle news. The Unspeakables are here because another one of them has been killed and this time, I'm afraid information was leaked."
Her heart stopped. The mind of an Unspeakable, even a mundane one like the often mentioned Broderick Bode, contained many secrets that would cost the Ministry greatly if revealed. What had the attacker learned from this murdered Unspeakable? "Have we determined how many werewolves were here yet? I'm certain there had to be more than one."
"Have a look for yourself. We all only got here a short while ago," Kingsley replied.
The rainwater streaming out from the alley was scarlet. The coppery scent of blood lingered in the air through the rain and Tonks could see traces of flesh splattered upon the brick walls surrounding the alley. She braced herself and walked to where several aurors and Unspeakables, along with her cousin Alexis, were examining the bodies.
"Oh bloody hell," she groaned.
"Bloody indeed," Alexis sighed, standing up and pulling off a pair of bloody gloves.
Pools of blood lay thick and gory under the vengeful rain. Flesh, skin, and even body parts were torn and scattered the ground and walls. Under the silver moonlight, Tonks could see the jagged claw marks upon the mutilated corpses. The red brick walls had similar claws imprinted upon them. Whoever the werewolf was, it had to have been very angry. The faces, from what Tonks could see, were all pale and bloodless—all the blood had been drained from their bodies, spilling out onto the streets. Their insides were ripped up and Tonks cringed when she saw bite marks and a pile of half-eaten flesh. There were five victims total. One man lay dead and hidden beside a dumpster. The gruesome scene must have been the last thing he ever saw alive, the expression of horror and bewilderment still not quite gone from his lifeless face.
"This is bloody macabre," an auror sighed and walked past Tonks.
"Where is the Unspeakable?" Tonks asked, coming to stand beside Alexis.
It was the first time, for as long as she could remember. Alexis was anxious and on edge, bouncing on her feet as she awaited something. A quick look around had brought Tonks the answer to her unasked question. The identity of the Unspeakable still hadn't been confirmed and Alexis was growing grimmer as she waited for the black figure beside her to reach a conclusion. Tonks had never seen her cousin in such a panicked state.
"The rest of them are muggles," said Kingsley after speaking to an auror covered in blood and rain. "They have nothing in common except for an appointment with death. It seems the Unspeakable was this werewolf's target and the unlucky passersby just happened to encounter them." He charged an umbrella to cover Tonks and himself as they flipped through the scarce information gathered from the scene.
"Kingsley, to be honest, I don't care who these muggles are," said Alexis, pulling the hood of her black work robes up to shield her from the pelting rain. "Depending on who was murdered and what kind of information could possibly be leaked…we are going to have a lot of problems on our hands." There was a purposeful look in her eyes and without saying it, Tonks knew she was talking about the Order. "Mr. Charice, please hurry up," Alexis rushed the black figure swooping around at her feet, possibly trying to gather an identity.
"Do we have any idea who could have been behind this attack?" Tonks asked, steeling herself and trying not to vomit from the scene that only got messier with the rain.
"We have a definite suspect," said Kingsley a little louder than before. "I had the WCU match the lengths and identifying marks found around the scene to their database. From what they can gather, they're certain it has to be a woman's doing and the method of operation matches Selene Hawkins's previous victims. The WCU is now out, looking for her."
"Is there any possible way your team could retrieve a copy of Hawkins's school record for me?" Alexis asked, sniffing, catching a cold.
Tonks was bemused. "Her school records?"
"Blame it on my lack of sleep but I can't think of any other way for information to be taken unwillingly from an Unspeakable other than the use of Legilimency. Hawkins must have been educated in the field and perhaps her school records could show it."
"I'll look into it Lexi," Kingsley assured just as the black figure stood up and solemnly handed Alexis the results she'd been dying for. "Who was the Unspeakable killed?"
Frozen in disbelief, Alexis gaped at the results for a long time. She finally spoke again after Tonks waved her hand in front of her cousin's eyes a few times, causing Alexis to jump and sneeze. "Lexi, who was killed?" Tonks questioned.
"Rookwood," she whispered in an unbelieving tone.
"What?" Kingsley and Tonks were equally confused.
"Rookwood's killed…but…no, that-that's not right." Insanity masked the sharp look of intellect Alexis usually had in her eyes. "I was certain that Rookwood was…" She groaned and cursed, screaming profanity into the night and caused many eyes to turn towards them for her colorful language. "This isn't right—damn!" And before Tonks or Kingsley could utter a question in response, Alexis had ran off, speaking rapidly to a group of Obliviators before disapparating in midst of the heavy storm.
"What…just happened?" Tonks questioned, still in shock from her cousin's reaction.
Kingsley bent down to pick up the papers Alexis had carelessly dropped and began to look through the information. "I think we just witnessed Alexis Black on the verge of a mental breakdown," he replied while reading over the results. "I don't understand. It says here, in great detail, that the Unspeakable murdered was Augustus Rookwood." He walked over to where the corpse laid and Tonks followed. They both bent down and cringed as they examined the body in closer detail. "His face—at least the part we can see—even resembles Rookwood. Why is Lexi saying it's not right? Should Rookwood not be dead?"
"I don't know," said Tonks, looking in the direction where her cousin had run off to and disapparated. "Hopefully when Lexi finds whatever it is she's looking for, she'll give us some clarity. Head over to headquarters tomorrow." Kingsley nodded. "For now, we have to find this feral. It's almost sunrise and if we're lucky, we'll be able to apprehend it without much effort."
"We have to find it first," said Kingsley as he got up. "This is Hawkins we're dealing with, remember? She's been eluding arrest for months." He sighed. "We have a lot to discuss for the next meeting," he whispered so that only Tonks and the howling wind and rain could hear.
Sunlight blinded his sensitive eyes and he sat up abruptly, grunting at the horrible pain that filled his body. He could hear shuffling beside him and he could feel that he was no longer in the attic at Grimmauld Place. Remus was now lying in a soft bed and someone had taken a seat beside him.
"Whoa there," said Sirius's low, husky morning voice. "Easy on yourself, Moony."
Remus blinked a few more times and adjusted to the morning sunlight that filtered through the partially closed curtains. He looked to Sirius, eyes filled with a desire for answers. "Where's Nymphadora?"
"Downstairs," Sirius answered while he yawned. "Silvia's cleaning her up."
"Cleaning?" Remus jumped and again hurt himself as he bounced on the bed.
Sirius placed a firm hand on his shoulder, keeping him seated. "She's fine, just wet and in a very foul mood," he assured. "She and Lexi were called to a crime scene last night, that's all."
"But she left urgently and I didn't hear her come back—"
"She's fine, see for yourself," Silvia's voice sounded and Remus looked to the door.
In the doorway, Tonks stood beside Silvia, smiling with drowsy eyes and very wet, dark pink hair. She looked as if she'd just taken a shower as she was wearing a violet waffle bathrobe and her wet hair was pulled up in a messy bun.
"I'll have your robes washed and dried by lunch," Silvia told Tonks warmly with a smile. "Or if the mother-hen wakes up," she laughed, "we might have it done by breakfast."
"Thank you Silv," said Tonks, patting her hand. "Have you heard from Lexi yet?"
Sirius and Silvia both frowned and shook their heads. "I already contacted Marrick," said Sirius. "He went to the Ministry and said she's down in her office but she won't come out and without her permission, no one can enter to see her."
Tonks let out an exasperated sigh. "Can you please wake me up if you hear anything from her? We really need to speak. I fear something's going on in the Department of Mysteries."
Silvia nodded and taking Sirius's hand, they left the room. Remus and Tonks were alone now, looking at each other as Remus sat on the bed and Tonks leaned on the doorjamb. Her drowsy smile widened and Remus, gazing at her, smiled himself. Tonks staggered over to him, tripping slightly because of her sleepiness, and collapsed beside him onto the bed. He pulled her closer to him, his heart assuaged at the sight of her safe and sound.
"What happened last night?" he asked softly while lying down beside her.
Tonks turned around to face him. "There was an attack. A feral werewolf was loose in London. It killed and Unspeakable and information the Unspeakable held was leaked. When Lexi looked at the identity of the victim, she was appalled to find out that it was Rookwood and…kind of went crazy."
"Rookwood is dead?" Remus questioned, finding it hard to believe as well.
"The papers say so and the aurors have ruled the death as final but Lexi refuses to believe it and keeps saying that there was something not right. I don't really understand her madness," Tonks sighed. "I haven't had a chance to speak with her since she ran off."
"She'll come home eventually," he said softly. Remus went to hug her but stopped suddenly and held himself in check. "You're not hurt, are you?"
She shook her head. "Just tired," she mumbled softly. "King and I were running a lot." She paused for a moment with a pensive look in her eyes before saying, "When are you ever going to tell me about what happened between the last war and when you met me?"
"I thought you'd forgotten," he said softly.
"No. And what happened last night had me thinking more about it. We believe that Selene Hawkins may be the one behind the massacre. Remus, if you know anything—"
"I don't know anything about Hawkins." His reply was much too abrupt, and Tonks sensed that something specifically involving this Selene Hawkins woman had Remus troubled.
"All right," she relented and out of weariness, decided to let the matter rest until another time. "Just, please…tell me eventually."
Remus nodded. He drew her close against him, sighing at the comfort of having her in his arms. His scratches and pains from transformation were forgotten with her there. Remus traced his hands over her skin and felt her arms tighten securely around his torso. He nuzzled her neck and whispered quiet, private words into her ear, helping her sleep. When Tonks fell asleep, there was still a ghost of a smile on her face and Remus reveled at the sight.
The day went by in a blur. In their exhaustion, Tonks and Remus had both slept until evening and when they woke up, the sun was already setting, the late summer sky shifting into indigo. Tonks yawned and rolled out of bed, determined not to let an entire day go to waste. Though she and Kingsley had failed to capture Hawkins, she was still not going to let the case slip away. Groaning, Tonks fell onto the floor and pushed herself up to her feet. Remus was already awake and managed to get up in a much more normal fashion that she did. He looked at her and smiled as he held out a hand in waiting.
There were still many questions Tonks wanted to ask him, but she knew it would be best to wait and ask at a later time. She took his hand and they went into the bathroom to handle their ablutions quickly before descending the old staircase heading for the kitchen. Tonks was still yawning as she entered and was surprised when the sound of a sneeze and a cough greeted her. She quickly regained herself and turned to find her cousin, Alexis Black, seated beside the fire behind a tottering pile of paperwork with a red glowing nose and eyes cradled by dark circles.
"Lexi!" she exclaimed. "I thought you'd gone mad! Are you all right?"
"Do I bloody look all right?" Alexis snapped, followed by another sneeze.
Beside Remus, Tonks took a seat and watched as Marrick brought a steaming cup of tea over to Lexi while Fred, or maybe George, brought her another blanket. It was expected of Marrick, the workaholic albeit caring lover, but George, or Fred, was a complete surprise. She elevated an eyebrow but decided not to question when she had other, more pressing matters to speak with her cousin about.
"Lexi, when did you arrive home?" Remus questioned warmly.
"Just an hour ago actually," said Alexis in a stuffy voice. "How was the moon?" her tone with Remus was casual even though they were speaking about the full moon.
"It was all right," he smiled softly and began to make tea for himself and Tonks.
"Oi," Tonks called out to her cousin. "Have you found some sanity yet? What was last night all about anyways? So Rookwood died. What were you talking about when you said it isn't right?" Her questions came out faster than she could process them.
Alexis groaned and dropped her head on the table. "I'll just explain everything when the others get here," she mumbled into the wood of the table.
Tonks answer came to her immediately when a majority of the Order of the Phoenix filed into the long and narrow kitchen. George received a glare from Molly and after his long-winded attempts at convincing her to let him stay, still wound up sulking as he ascended the staircase. Moody and Kingsley came in behind Sirius and Silvia and the door closed behind them. Many members were absent, including Dumbledore, and Moody stood up to lead the meeting.
As expected, they began with simple updating and exchanging of information. For the members who were not informed or unclear upon some topics, Moody went over in great detail the recent events that would involve them. Once the normal routine was finished, all attention fell on Alexis when Kingsley sparked the question of what was going on in the Department of Mysteries.
"I guess I'll just be honest with everyone right now since you'll all eventually go in there anyways," Alexis sighed.
"We'll eventually go in there?" Bill spoke up, surprised.
"Yes," Moody grunted. "Harry Potter is now here and safe at Grimmauld Place. For the Advance Guard, we will be arranging schedules for people to guard the Prophecy in which Albus had explained to us during the last meeting. This Prophecy will be guarded around the clock and seeing that it's in the Department of Mysteries, we will have to go in there.
Alexis didn't look too happy about this.
Speaking of Level Nine and the mysteries that surround its name, Kingsley had other questions on his mind that had nothing to do with Harry Potter and the Prophecy. "Lexi," he called. "What had you so worked up about the death of Augustus Rookwood last night?"
"Are you certain the man killed is Augustus Rookwood?" she questioned in response.
"Yes," Kingsley seemed curious of her doubts. "I'm very certain."
"See, the thing is, I don't believe that it is Augustus Rookwood who was the one killed."
"What are you talking about?" Tonks questioned.
"For a long time now, Dumbledore and I have suspected that Augustus Rookwood is a part of You-Know-Who's close-knit Death Eater circle. His name was mentioned many times in the last war under the accusation of being a spy but he was never charged under trial by Barty Crouch Sr. I'm certain he has relations to Death Eaters. So now think about it. We, the Order, have confirmed that these werewolves work for Greyback and are under You-Know-Who's control. Rookwood and they are on the same side. It wouldn't make sense for them to kill him in such a brutal and explicit fashion."
"There could be internal rivalry present," said Sirius with a shrug. "These are Death Eaters we're talking about. They're not one to think through their actions. It could be that Rookwood has upset a werewolf and on the full moon, the werewolf went out to seek revenge."
Tonks was lost. After Sirius spoke, voices around the table blended together as the scarce Order debated about what the werewolves and Voldemort could be after. Accepting that she wasn't going to be able to get back into the conversation any time soon, Tonks decided to sit back and take a moment to think through everything.
She glanced at her side to look at Remus. He had on a stoic expression, seeming like he was paying absolutely no attention at all to the heated discussion. Tonks's eyes traveled and upon noticing his white knuckles clenched into fists, she knew he was listening to every word and was bothered by the constant mentioning of werewolves and murder.
"Alexis, what do you think could be happening if it is true that Rookwood isn't dead?" Moody questioned, his gruff voice rising over the rest, causing Tonks to pay attention again.
"First, the problem would be whose body do we have that we're thinking is Rookwood's right now?" Kingsley paled at the thought. "Second, that would mean that Rookwood is using Polyjuice Potion to disguise himself as someone else from the Department of Mysteries. I've checked things over and other than him; everyone in Level Nine is accounted for. I am quite certain he's using Polyjuice Potion. A third and more dire problem would be that I don't know who he's disguised as, I don't know what sort of information he's been disclosed or have uncovered, but that information will be used to help You-Know-Who retrieve the Prophecy."
"We have a point to worry then," said Silvia, finally speaking up. "With Lexi unsure of who she can and cannot trust in her own department, she's left alone to face an unseen enemy and to protect the Prophecy."
"She won't be alone," Moody grunted in a low voice. "The guard duty starts again tonight." He shot Alexis a sharp look with both eyes, human and magical. "I don't care how far you can get us in. You can just leave them at the door for all I care, but either way, guard duty starts tonight. We cannot risk the Prophecy being taken, understand?"
"What are the shifts?" she asked solemnly, not happy at all.
"Remus and Tonks will start the first shift tonight," Moody began. "Only for tonight. Dumbledore has a request, a mission for you two. I'll inform you of a date to meet with him when he tells me." Turning away from his old student, Moody looked at the rest of the table and read off a list of names and dates he'd pulled out from his pocket. "Sirius, Silvia, you are guarding tomorrow night after Harry's trial. Bill, you and Arthur follow, then Kingsley and Marrick, Lexi will keep watch over it during the day time when it is inconvenient for us to be near it. I will send the later dates to you once I have it all sorted out."
The meeting came to a slow end and people began filing out of the house at different time intervals so as not to draw suspicion from the neighbors. Marrick was the last of those who didn't live at Grimmauld Place to leave and disapparated right on the front step after exchanging a long and private moment with Alexis right at the front door. After Tonks helped her cousin replace the locks and spells on the door, they returned to the kitchen to find that all the kids had rushed down; desperately trying to question the adults on what the meeting had been about. Sirius was unable to give them any information with Silvia glaring at him from the side. Molly had hushed everyone else who even so much as mentioned the word meeting, and soon the conversation shifted to the topic of Harry's trial that was coming unexpectedly tomorrow morning. Tonks had completely forgotten about it amidst all the chaos.
"Who all will be there?" Arthur questioned. "I am not allowed in I'm afraid. By law, I technically have no relation to Harry."
"Will anyone be with me?" Harry asked timidly.
"Lexi will be there, won't you?" Sirius asked.
Alexis looked up as she was pouring herself a generous glass of firewhiskey. "Yes but I'll be playing the bad guy," she replied just as Molly swatted her hands exclaiming, "Lexi, you're overfilling!"
"Don't you have a cold?" Tonks questioned but George laughed and she turned to him with an elevated eyebrow.
"Firewhiskey is her medication," he simply replied while Alexis grinned at a full glass and began drinking it as if it was nothing but water—sweet, delicious, burning water.
"Wait, what do you mean you'll be playing the bad guy?" Harry asked.
"I'm on the Wizengamot, sweetheart," she answered. "But don't worry, Sirius and Silvia will be there with you—at least to watch."
"We will?" Sirius was happy but surprised.
"Are we allowed to?"
"Technically, you're his parents. I mean, you're kind of required to be there."
The husband and wife leaned back and smiled, exchanging a familial look with Harry.
The conversation eventually reached an end and in silence, Remus and Tonks got up together. They weren't heading up to bed however. They were following Alexis back to the Ministry with an Invisibility Cloak given to them by Moody just before he returned home.
Remus and Tonks followed Alexis into the Ministry, using a private entrance Tonks confessed she never even knew existed. Alexis introduced her to an elevator with a secret button to the Atrium that only showed up with the tap of a wand.
They took that elevator down to the Atrium and waited silently as the elevator music played. Alexis continued to sniff and Tonks began to hum to herself, a tune from one of her favorite songs of which Remus had grown to memorize—blame Tonks for being around him so often. Her taste in music had influenced him.
From the Atrium, they took a faster lift down to Level Nine, the Department of Mysteries. Remus had never been there and was bewildered by how cold and gloomy it was. The walls were polished and black to the point where their reflections looked like ghostly, dreary figures. They arrived upon a lone door at the end of the long, dark hallway and followed Alexis through it to a circular room with doors filling the wall that was revolving slowly around them. From there, they followed Alexis through another door she seemed to have picked at random.
"Put your cloak on. I'm already risking my job and sanity helping Dumbledore with this."
"You're actually taking us inside and letting us stay there?" Tonks asked.
"Yes, I figured I'm insane already. Besides, there's more of a chance of you being caught if I leave you at the door. Anyone can walk by the door, not just Unspeakables. In here, you'll just have to worry about Unspeakables who don't show up at work until eight at the earliest."
Remus pulled Mad-Eye's Invisibility Cloak out from under his robes and threw it around him and Tonks.
"You'll only need it for a bit. Once you get into the Hall of Prophecy, you can take it off. No one's allowed to be in there past work hours."
"Wait, Lexi, why is your sanity at risk?" Tonks asked.
"The most valuable things we possess are the thoughts inside our minds," Alexis answered after a tiny sneeze she'd failed to hold back. "The protections use it against us."
Remus could see Tonks mouth a silent "oh" while they were under the cloak. "How do we get past that revolving room?" Tonks continued to question.
"Just pick any door. As long as you know where you want to go, it'll lead you there. For you guys, you'd want to go to Study Hall, which is where we are now."
Alexis turned and entered a door, the only one that lined the hall. "This is the Room of Thought Glasses…don't ask, I'm not supposed to explain."
Remus nodded that time but he knew Alexis couldn't see them.
The Room of Thought Glasses was filled with a collection of mirrors, mumbling what appears to be the thought process of a million people. Remus passed by and could have sworn he saw one with his name and reflection in it. It was strange to know that at any given time, people could be looking at him and hearing what he was thinking, even his secrets.
"Don't worry Remus," Alexis spoke and he knew she'd read his mind. Unspeakables were taught Legilimency and Alexis had always been adept in it. Whether she read his mind on purpose or by accident, he didn't care. He trusts her. "They only mutter. No one's been able to decode the language they're speaking in yet."
The three of them continued to traipse through the room and entered another chamber, that one emptier and dreary, looking an awful lot like Courtroom Ten. In the center, Remus and Tonks both noticed a giant stone archway. In the center of it, there seemed to be a thin veil, rippling and whispers were coming from it.
"Lexi, what is that?"
"This is the Death Chamber. I recommend you don't come to close to that." She pointed to the stone archway. "Walk through the veil and you're dead…literally."
Tonks gulped and wondered what sort of experiment the Unspeakables had to perform to find out about that veil. She realized she didn't want to know and followed her cousin to another door, walking alongside Remus under the Invisibility Cloak that could barely cover them. They entered another room, a large, warehouse-like room lit by dim candlelight and filled with tall, endless shelves that held an infinite collection of small, palm-sized crystal balls.
"And here we are," said Alexis. "You can take off the cloak now. I reckon it must be pretty uncomfortable under that thing."
"Bloody hell, yeah," Tonks sighed and helped Remus fold the cloak into a neat square.
"This is the Hall of Prophecy." Alexis sighed, looking troubled. "Dumbledore's made me make this available for access. Usually, no one is allowed in here. Prophecies that are made magically transfer itself here you know." She walked around and they followed her. Tonks reached forward, about to touch a spun-glass that intrigued her. "Don't touch!"
"All right, damn!" Tonks replied, pulling her hand back quickly.
"Those spun-glasses are Prophecy Records. The Head Unspeakable, in this case me, use ancient magic to protect them, and ancient magic cannot be lifted easily. Prophecies can only be removed by those they refer to. If you touch them and they aren't made for you, you'd be subjected to the series of protection spells placed upon them and you'd either lose your sanity or worse case scenario, die."
Tonks made a face and Remus pulled her a step back away from the shelf. "Nice protections," said Tonks apprehensively. "Don't touch—I got it."
"Interesting," said Remus, looking around. "Is there a prophecy made for everyone?"
"That's the theory, yes," Alexis answered. "I haven't been in this position long enough to look through all the prophecies so I don't know. Harry's prophecy however, is at the end of row ninety-seven. Again, don't touch anything."
"So we just patrol around it and make sure no one removes it?" Tonks asked.
"That's what Mad-Eye told me you should do."
"Is this why you've been so troubled before Rookwood's supposed murder?" Tonks inquired. "Was it because you can't let anyone in here and Dumbledore's asked you to?"
"No," Alexis replied and sneezed. "Dumbledore actually wanted me to move it."
"And it's impossible," Remus finished and Alexis nodded.
"Well, I'll just leave you two here then. Be careful and see you in the morning." Quickly, dying to get out of there, Alexis left them and returned to the door from where they came from.
Tonks turned back to Remus who had continued to walk down the path between the towering shelves of glass balls, heading for row ninety-seven. Her mind returned to the one thought that had been pestering her for the past week. It seemed like the perfect time to bring it back up. She ran after Remus, placed a hand on his shoulder, and turned him around.
"Can you tell me now?" She didn't need to go into details. He already knew.
Remus was weary at her questioning, she knew. He was trying to hide it but the quiet sigh that escaped him had betrayed him. "Can you give me a moment to gather my thoughts?" he sounded breakable and Tonks couldn't bring herself to utter another sound.
She was silent for a long time. They arrived at row ninety-seven and Tonks didn't speak as Remus and she began walking in circles around the shelf to keep an eye on the prophecy.
After a long time, there was finally noise again. The thick silence was penetrated by the sound of Remus's velvety voice, speaking careful words after thinking them over in his mind time and time again. "It was after Sirius had been arrested," he began, speaking very softly, very slowly in recollection. "Dumbledore had just came by and told me everything. He told me how Harry would live with his muggle relatives, how James and Lily and Peter died, and how Sirius had been the traitor. You have to understand. There were a lot of things unclear back then. I didn't know Peter was the real traitor. I had thought it was Sirius, like everyone else, and I wanted an answer. When I got to the Ministry, I found him dragged away, laughing like a madman." He paused, trying to recall a detail that had eluded his thoughts for quite some time. "And on the side, I remember I saw three hooded figures watching him."
"Three?" Tonks asked. "What?"
"I didn't know who they were at first." Remus paused. "But now I've figured it out. They had to have been Bellatrix, Andromeda, and Narcissa. I guess, I don't know, like me, they wanted answers too. In hindsight, should have taken that as the first clue. If even Bellatrix Lestrange, Voldemort's most loyal servant, wanted answers from Sirius, he couldn't have been the one that betrayed James and Lily."
Tonks took a hold of his hand. "You didn't know it then."
He nodded and continued. "Afterwards, as you can guess, the celebration began. There were parties everywhere and wizards weren't bothering to cover up for the muggles—they were too happy you see. So the world was celebrating…and I…" Remus paused again. "I…just couldn't take it anymore. The loneliness got to me and I wondered if I'd be able to find comfort in others of my kind. I had no idea what I was walking into. Even when I was little, my parents worked to keep me away from the werewolf packs, hoping to keep me as human as possible."
You are human, she wanted to say but she couldn't find her voice.
"As if fate had something to do with it, I ended up in Greyback's werewolf pack." He paused. "I don't know what I was thinking then—what made me join."
There was darkness in his eyes, a bleak iciness that Tonks had never seen before in him. He was hiding something. He was omitting some important detail, and though Tonks wanted to know, she knew he wouldn't tell her right then, and so she waited as he went on.
"When I got there, because of what I am, they welcomed me. I stayed for some time and—you could say—made friends with Lucian, Ralph, Bartol, Lysandra, and Selene."
"Selene Hawkins?" Tonks clearly remembered that Remus had said he knew nothing about her. It was then that she realized: Remus Lupin, no matter how damaged and gentle, was still capable of lying. She set her jaw and kept her silence, waiting for him to go on.
"She came in after me. Someone in the pack had turned her and not knowing what to do; they took her back to us. I, along with Lucian and the others helped her get used to being a werewolf." Remus sighed. "This is why I couldn't believe what she'd turned into. When I first met her, she was a very kind woman, very gentle, incapable of a wicked thought. But now…"
"Now she's just as wicked as Greyback."
"Yes, now she's just as wicked as Greyback. But back then, we got close. We weren't as close as I had been with the Marauders, of course." A lofty smile appeared and Remus looked reminiscent for a second. "We were never as close as I had been with the Marauders. But spending time there, I grew less lonely. Sure, during transformation, we'd all be easily aggravated and a lot of us got hurt more often because violence broke out easily when so many werewolves were in one place, but it was all right. It was like a world of its own. We ignored the Wizarding World and the muggle population. It was just us werewolves…." Remus grew quiet.
"So you spent the years after the first war ended with Greyback's pack?"
"But then, how'd it turn out like this?"
"I had always known that Greyback was the werewolf that bit me. At one point in time, I'd let my pent up frustration get the best of me. I succumbed to my own rage and…after what I did there was no way I could stay in that pack any longer."
"What did you do? And you joined Greyback despite knowing he'd bitten you. Why?"
Remus bit his lips. "How about you let me think about it for next time?"
"Fine," Tonks agreed reluctantly and yawned.
They returned in the morning, tired and with aching legs from a night of pacing and standing. Tonks was half-asleep as she staggered into the dark and icy hallway of Grimmauld Place, Remus just behind her. They could hear sound coming from the kitchen and headed there in hopes of finding some tea and breakfast before they returned to bed. Tonks thought that she'd somehow developed a nocturnal lifestyle.
"Oh damn!" Tonks swore when she suddenly tripped over something and collided against the ground, lying sprawled out on her stomach with a large bruise forming on her face.
"Dora!" Remus's voice, laced with worry, echoed through her ear and the next moment, she was being helped up to her feet again. Mrs. Black's shrill voice deafened her ears and she caught sight of Sirius breezing past her to shut up his ungodly irritating mother. Before she sat down, Tonks glared at the troll-leg umbrella stand, the bane of her existence. She wondered why it was still there—it wasn't like they used it or anything.
"Are you all right, Tonks?" Silvia asked as she helped Harry into a blazer that once belonged to Sirius for his trial.
"Not at all," she grumbled.
Silvia smiled pleasantly. "How was your shift?"
"You're in such a happy mood," she teased and Tonks smiled.
Sirius returned with a large, rocking pile of scrolls and papers and his mouth was blabbering away in complaints at having to help Alexis carry her things downstairs. Tonks rubbed her sleepy eyes and thanked Remus when he handed her a cup of tea and took a seat beside her to watch Sirius complain. Oddly, there was something amusing in Sirius, but Tonks realized that that amusement was quickly turning into irritation and she wished her cousin would just be quiet.
"Honestly, how much work do you have to do?" Sirius asked.
"This isn't work. I just wanted to look over the profiles of all the Unspeakables in hopes of narrowing down who Rookwood could possibly be posing as."
Tonks shook her head. Of course Alexis was still concerned about that. Although there was a slight chance that Rookwood had faked his death to confuse Alexis, Tonks didn't think it was likely. Augustus Rookwood was smart but he was never that creative. She also wasn't sure how someone would fake their own death—wasn't there a way to tell exactly whose body it was? Either way, Tonks felt her cousin was taking a ridiculous line on this assumption.
"Are we all set?" Sirius asked and soon, they were out the door.
Remus and Tonks were the only ones left inside the kitchen while the Weasleys were asleep upstairs. Tired, they both decided to turn in as well and got up lazily, dragging themselves to the stairs. Tonks swore she would have easily fallen asleep right on the kitchen table had Remus not insist that she should find a bed less Molly woke up and pushed her off the table.
"What's this?" Remus asked, bending down to up several scrolls and pieces of paper.
"I'm pretty sure these are Lexi's. Sirius must have dropped them on his way down."
"Hmm, and we make fun of you for your clumsiness," Remus smiled.
She was glad he was smiling and teasing her again, but the thought about his reason in joining Greyback's pack still lingered in the back of her mind like a wicked ghost that refuses to rest. "I am not clumsy," she denied indignantly. "Unfortunate things just happen to make and make it appear that I'm clumsy."
Remus nodded, unbelieving.
She rolled her eyes and huffed although with good humor. "Here," she said. "Let me take these and put them in Lexi's room for you." Tonks took the items out of Remus's hands and while he stood at the doorway, she entered Alexis's cluttered but strangely organized room and set the items down on her overfilled desk. Something suddenly caught her eye and Tonks stopped abruptly, staring at a signature on a letter. It was signed, Narcissa Malfoy.
"Bugger it all," she muttered, catching Remus's attention.
"What's wrong?" he asked and hesitantly stepped into Alexis's room. He knew she didn't like people in her room and had always respected that, but he had to see what caught Tonks's interest so easily and suddenly.
"Look at this—these," she said while picking up a thick set of letters Alexis had set on the corner of her desk. "Lexi's been exchanging letters with Narcissa Malfoy all this time."
Remus sighed, unsure of what to think about this. "I don't see any wrong in this," he finally said softly. "Narcissa Malfoy is still your aunt." He had steeled his temptation and prevented himself from flipping through the letters, but Tonks, having never had any care for her cousin's personal privacy, was flipping through and reading everything.
"Ah, no wonder Lexi was so stubborn in saying Rookwood faked his death." Remus was forced to look because it wasn't a matter of temptation any longer—it involved the Order. "Narcissa told her part of the plan!"
"How is Narcissa Malfoy able to tell Lexi part of the plan? Didn't we already settle that she wants her plan to succeed?"
"Their relationship is complicated," Tonks said simply and knitted her eyebrows together. "I really want to read through all of these."
"Let's not do that," he said, taking the letters out of her hands gently and setting them back to where they'd been, at the corner of the desk under a rather large and old book.
"But Lexi's hiding things from us, things that involve the Order! Why has she never mentioned the fact that she's been communicating on a close level with Narcissa Malfoy to us before? Look!" Tonks grabbed the pile of letters and showed Remus yet another one by shoving it in his face. "They're talking about shopping! Do you know how often Lexi talks about shopping with me? Once a year!"
He again made her set the letter down and took her hands, pulling her out of Alexis's room. Remus quickly closed the door behind them and stood between it and Tonks with a smile. "It's Lexi's decision whether she wants to tell us or not. Every person is entitled to their own privacy."
"Fine," she groaned and followed him into their room. "Goodnight, Remus."
He watched her a moment as she climbed onto the bed, kicked off her boots, and hid herself entirely under the blanket. He sighed as well and crawled into bed, initially lying with his back against hers until he succumbed to his own habits and turned around to slip his arm over her waist and hold her. For a while Tonks didn't move and Remus thought she'd fallen asleep until she turned around and buried her face in his chest. As they drifted off into much-needed sleep, Remus was trying to think of how he should reveal the thing he feared most about himself to Tonks. No answer came to him. It seems to not even exist.
The afternoon came by slowly and lazily. After cleaning themselves up from a long night of guard duty and a few hours of sleep, Remus and Tonks went downstairs. Sirius announced the results of the trial in a dramatic manner, emphasizing how Dumbledore was brilliant, Alexis had fallen asleep, Madam Bones saved the day, and Harry was cleared of all charges.
Following the news of Harry's trial, the summer went by almost like the last. Harry smiled more often, especially with Sirius around purposely doing strange and silly things to make him laugh. Silvia's belly was getting larger, Tonks was as clumsy as ever, and Remus often found himself lost in thought for no apparent reason at all.
Since the next Order meeting was still a long time away, Molly had taken to cleaning up Grimmauld Place with all the free time. She'd finally managed to convince Sirius to help tackle the drawing room and every resident of number 12 was at her disposal. Remus and Tonks were tasked with cleaning out the glass-fronted cabinets and they did so with great trouble. Together, Remus and Tonks began throwing out the contents of the cabinet, often catching Kreacher trying to sneak a few things off.
"Wait," said Remus placidly, holding Tonks back from storming over to the elf half buried in a pile of rubbish. "Just leave him alone. We might be throwing out some of his things."
"That elf freaks me out," said Tonks. "And Sirius says there's something up with him."
Remus sighed. "Let it go, dear." His words were gentle. "He's just an elf."
"All right," Tonks muttered. She continued to clean out the contents of the cabinet quietly for a while. When Tonks spoke up again, it was to show Remus a strange thing she'd come across, several boxes bearing an ancient language of sort. "Does this look important?"
"I don't know but I don't think we should open it," he replied.
She looked at it quizzically. "Maybe Lexi will find this interesting. Let's get her to look at it. Where is she?"
"Most likely in the kitchen," he answered. "She left with George a while ago."
Tonks groaned and lifted herself up, taking the peculiar box with her. "Oh Lexi, you lazy, lazy prat," she grumbled, leaving the drawing room and walking past Harry, Ron, and Hermione who were trying to push Kreacher away from their own pile of rubbish.
When Tonks got to the kitchen, she noticed that the door was closed most of the way. Curious as to what Lexi and George were doing alone in there while Fred was in the drawing room and Marrick was working overtime at work, Tonks leaned closer and pressed her eye gently against the gap. She could see Alexis, pixie-like and seeming to be skinnier than she was before, sitting with George and holding his hand. Tonks raised an eyebrow. They were talking, simply talking, but yet Lexi was holding onto George's hands for comfort.
"Lexi, you twat," Tonks murmured to herself. Even when they were little, whenever Alexis confided in Tonks, never would she hold her hand. Alexis would always sit stiff and still and Tonks would be the one seeking to comfort her with hugs and offers of allowing her to borrow some of her toys. She wondered what Alexis and George could be talking about.
"…you don't have to try to live up to other's expectations you know. Fred and I, we just live by our own rules and impress others at random times."
Alexis smiled softly. "Yes but you haven't been asked by Albus Dumbledore personally to do something you know you can't."
"You're the Head of the Department of Mysteries. What can't you do?"
"I can't overpower ancient magic, that's what I can't do and that's exactly what Dumbledore is asking me to do."
George was quiet for a while, and then said, "Change of topic then. Does Marrick know that you're troubled by this?"
"I haven't got a chance to talk to him." Alexis pulled her hand back from George's hold and lifted her glass of wine to her lips, finishing it in one swallow. "Haven't gotten a chance to say much to him lately," she went on. "We go to work, we have separate guard duties, and when we do see each other, we're too tired to talk about anything and instead just fall asleep."
"You can always talk to me…Fred and me…and Ginny and Hermione too. I don't know about Ron though, and you definitely can't tell Harry some of these things, knowing him—"
"It's rude to eavesdrop you know."
"Shite," Tonks whispered under her breath, pulling back and staring at Remus's gentle eyes, startled. Her heart was beating incredibly fast and she smiled, shaking her head at him. "You scared me."
He took her hand and pulled her away from the kitchen door. They stood in the middle of the hallway, beside the cleaning closet with its door wide open. Remus smirked and placed his hand on the doorjamb just above her head, his other hand resting on her waist. Looking at him and the playfulness in his eyes, she was seized by a desire to touch and hold him. Tonks wasn't one to deny her desires and wrapped her arms around his lanky body, pulling him close. With the next Order meeting days away and Harry's trial days behind, Tonks and Remus were in significantly better moods and both have become much more playful as of late.
"Why were you eavesdropping on Lexi and George?" Remus asked.
"I was curious."
"Curiosity killed the cat you know."
"Well I'm not a cat, and besides, Lexi was holding George's hand. She never holds anyone's hand! She's strange that way. You'd get a hug, but never a hand hold. And, Lexi's been keeping a lot of secrets lately. It's making me wonder."
Looking at her, Remus raised an eyebrow and smiled wryly. "You're quite a wonder, do you know that?"
"Shut up," she said amiably. "I'm just surprised at how close Lexi and George are."
"It's their business, and we all know Lexi isn't the kind of person to entangle in complicated romantic affairs—"
"Oh that's just you saying that," she laughed.
"—but either way, it's her business. She doesn't intrude on ours, so we shouldn't intrude on hers," he finished despite her interruption.
"You know Remus," she said, her voice light and in a teasing manner, "it still baffles me that you're a Marauder sometimes. I mean Sirius would jump in on them and do something ridiculous. But you…you're just so different."
He smiled and tightened his arms around her svelte figure. "Different is good, love. And besides, Sirius is soon to be a father. He wouldn't do that, I know, I've seen changes in him."
Tonks rolled her eyes and kissed Remus's lips lightly. "I give up on you. You always have a rebuttal for everything I say."
"I don't have a rebuttal for that," he replied and kissed her lips briefly.
"So what was that?"
He shrugged. "I don't know."
Tonks smirked and kissed him again, harder. They lingered in the warm embrace, losing themselves in each other. It'd been a while since they were able to forget about everything in the world and simply be with only each other. With the events of the last few days spent cleaning, cleaning, and doing more cleaning, Remus's and Tonks's minds were cleared. At one point, they'd almost forgotten that a war was drawing near.
Blindly, Tonks's hand searched for the doorknob. Their lips never pulled away from each other. Kissing on and on, their heartbeats rose as well. Remus and Tonks made their way inside the small and dark closet and she closed the door behind them, plunging with him into darkness and pleasure. Things were always so much more fun in the dark.
The next day, once the dark objects and strange old items in the drawing room were all cleared out, Molly had ordered for the kids and all able-bodied residents to help spray for Doxies in the old room. Once again, Remus and Tonks were at Molly's disposal and found themselves holding their breaths while spraying Doxycide at the tapestry and throwing the small biting fairies into a sack Ron was holding. Tonks did so grudgingly and continued to express her dislike of Doxies to Remus who could only smile and try to appease her with gentle words.
"We're almost done," he said, tossing a rather portly Doxy into the large sack.
"Bloody hell," Tonks grunted, kicking one with her boot and picking it up by its bent wing. "These things are so annoying."
"There, there," said Remus placidly, holding out the back to her.
"Hey, where are Sirius and Silvia going?" Tonks asked, looking up and noticing Sirius help an extremely pale Silvia out of the drawing room and towards the staircase.
"Sirius thinks Silvia is allergic to the Doxies. She's feeling terrible and as you can see, is getting paler by the second."
Tonks made a face. Harry was going after them now, using the excuse of checking on his godmother's health in order to get out of catching pesky little Doxies. "You know, whenever I look at Harry, I'm always reminded of how twisted and strange our family is," she told Remus.
"What do you mean, love?"
"He sees Sirius and Silvia as his godparents, of course. But he sees you and me as his aunt and uncle of sort," Remus nodded as she went on, "and Harry sees Marrick and Lexi as older siblings. Think about it. Isn't it buggered up?"
Remus smiled and shook his head gently at her while shoving a very hairy Doxy into the bag. "It is strange, I admit that," he said. "But I don't think it matters. We're family, and same goes with Molly and Arthur and the Weasleys and Hermione." He smiled. "I kind of consider them family too."
She smirked. "I knew you'd say that. It's not like you to leave anyone out. So the whole Order of the Phoenix is one giant, awkward family," Tonks joked. "Merlin that's messed up."
"I wouldn't go so far as saying the whole Order is a family."
"Oh yes, Snape," she laughed, pushing Remus playfully. "You and Sirius wouldn't be caught dead admitting old Snivellus as a part of your family."
"Now that's mean, I wouldn't say it like that," he replied, smiling and holding the bag full of squirming and protesting hairy fairies at her.
"Remus, get that away from me!" she laughed, running away from him and bumping right into Hermione who had let go of a Doxy and it flew madly around the room.
Molly squealed and Ginny started laughing beside Lexi and Marrick as they watch Fred and George purposely let go of another three Doxies.
"I asked you to clean, not make more of a mess!" Molly scolded.
Turning away from Molly who went on scolding Fred and George, Tonks smiled to Remus in a sort of way that reminded him of his school days, the smiles he and his friends would exchange when they almost got into trouble. Remus looked at her mischievous smile with reminiscent eyes for a moment. His thoughts, however, were interrupted abruptly by Sirius who suddenly ran down the stairs, screaming.
"MOLLY! SOMETHING'S WRONG WITH SILVIA!" he hollered, tripping down the last step and causing his mother's portrait to start screaming insults at them.
Molly looked up, breathless. "Sirius, what's—"
Silvia's painful, bloodcurdling screech suddenly sounded from upstairs and that time, Harry came down running, looking absolutely horrified and confused.
"She's in pain! Something's wrong!"
"Oh my goodness," Molly breathed, getting up to her feet and rushing towards the stairs.
"What do you think is going on?" Tonks asked worriedly.
"WE WON'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO GET HER TO ST. MUNGO'S!" Molly hollered down the stairs. Sirius answered with a very bemused, "What?" while Molly called for Tonks and Alexis to come up and help her.
Tonks turned to Remus with a bewildered look but he beckoned her kindly, saying, "Go on," and she headed upstairs with an equally confused and worried Alexis.
"Molly, what's wrong with my wife?" Sirius asked while running back upstairs.
Remus had handed the sack of Doxies back to Ron and headed towards the stairs himself. He was trying to yank Mrs. Black's curtains closed over her screaming portrait but no matter how hard he tried, the woman in the portrait continued to resist and continued to scream. Upstairs, he could hear footsteps pacing madly back and forth and the next thing he knew, Sirius was coming towards him, tripping down the stairs, sweating bullets, his grey eyes mad.
"Sirius, what's wrong with Silv?" he asked after giving up on the task of closing Mrs. Black's curtains—the woman was just too stubborn sometimes.
"Molly says Silvia's in labor," Sirius breathed.
"WHAT?" his voice mixed in with that of the kids who were listening to them just a few steps below. "B-but, isn't it a bit early?" Remus asked.
"I don't know! We were sure Silvia would be due in September at the earliest!"
Hermione pushed herself past Ron and said, "Silvia's an auror. Would her job have caused her to be due earlier than normal?"
Again, Sirius didn't know. "She said she'd transferred to a desk job." He turned and rushed back up to his room again where Tonks had ran out, slamming the door shut behind her.
"Can I come in?" he asked his panic-stricken blue-haired cousin.
"OF COURSE NOT!" Tonks snapped, running into the kitchen and back just as quickly with an armful of colorful potion bottles. "I don't know which one, Molly!" she called up. "I just grabbed them all!"
Remus stood there, stunned for a moment, wondering what in the world was happening. Harry came up to comfort Sirius who was beginning to wear a trench into the staircase as he paced worriedly up and down, wringing his hands. Mrs. Black continued to scream behind him but her screams were lost on Remus as he listened closely to Silvia's painful shrieks that tore through the house. He wondered what was happening inside the room.
Silvia screamed again and Remus cringed.
"Giving birth sounds painful!" said Ron.
"How do you think the baby gets out Ronald?" Hermione replied curtly.
Ron gave her a dirty look, parted his lips, but seemed to have thought it'd be better to not say anything and kept quiet. Hermione and Ginny stood beside each other, looking up at the closed door to Sirius's bedroom with worry.
"What if something happens?" Sirius asked Harry then turned to Remus.
"She'll be fine, Sirius," said Remus.
As if to completely contradict his word of comfort, Silvia screamed again and Sirius jumped. "She doesn't sound fine," Sirius said.
Time passed them by, how much they didn't quite know. After what felt like too long of a wait, Silvia finally stopped screaming and they fell into a strange silence. Remus could hear Sirius's breath hitch audibly. They stood there waiting for a moment, then Sirius rushed up to the locked door just as they heard a new sound, the crying of a baby.
"Is it done?" Sirius asked, banging nervously on the door. "Can I come in?" His words came out rapidly. "Is Silvia all right? Is my son all right?"
For several minutes that felt like several eternities, they heard nothing except for the baby's cries. Sirius pressed hard against the door, looking like he was about to die in his anticipation. Remus stood behind him, a hand placed on his best friend's shoulder as they and the kids waited together. When the doorknob turned, Sirius nearly had a heart attack as he pulled back and attempted to put on a calm expression.
Molly opened the door wider and Remus, taller than the rest, could only see Silvia sitting on the bed, holding a small bundle where the baby resided. Smiling, Molly pulled Sirius into a bone-breaking hug and when she let go, Remus could see tears of happiness in her eyes. She was still smiling as she looked closely at Sirius and shook her head.
"A little early," she said warmly. "But he's a healthy boy. He looks just like you, Sirius."
"Like me," said Sirius in a shaky voice. He turned back to Remus and looking at his best friend, Remus was surprised to see that Sirius was shaking, his face wearing an expression of happiness nothing could match. "Moony, my son looks like me," he laughed and choked slightly. "C-can I go in and see her and the boy?" he turned back to Molly and asked.
"Of course," she said and made way for him.
Remus was content with standing at the doorway and watching in. Alexis backed up to the banister outside, leaning into Marrick's embrace while Tonks walked into Remus's arms and held him as they watched Sirius take Silvia's hand and hold his child for the very first time. Molly pushed the kids back and stood on the other side of the door. Her four children, Harry, Hermione all crowded around, trying to look inside at the happy family.
"I've never seen them so happy," said Tonks softly to Remus.
"I've never seen him shake in his happiness…not even during his wedding day."
"You should see him, Remus—the baby—he's beautiful. He looks exactly like Sirius. It's amazing. Though…" she laughed, "luckily Molly knew what she was doing."
"What will you name him, Sirius?" Molly asked gently as Fred and George each rested their head on her shoulders, looking into the room.
"Lucas," Sirius choked out, rocking the baby gently. He then looked up into his wife's eyes, exchanged a private message that only they could understand. "Lucas Arcturus Black."
Smiling, Remus tightened his arms around Tonks's waist and watched quietly as Remus held both his wife and his newborn son in his arms. In Sirius's eyes, Remus couldn't remember seeing that look before, so full of life and mirth and joy. The way Sirius looked at his child was something entirely new to Remus. He looked up and first, Sirius beckoned for Harry to come over. Remus shifted and allowed the bespectacled boy with unruly black hair passage through and Harry, like Sirius, was stunned and fascinated as he smiled and stroked the baby's cheek.
"Remus," said Sirius, looking up. In a shaky voice, Sirius asked, "You'll be godfather?"
He was rendered speechless.
Tonks tightened her hold on his hand. Remus looked to her and found her smiling. Returning to Sirius and Silvia, he could only manage a nod. Sirius saw and beamed at his silent reply. Molly beckoned Remus and Tonks forward. Taking slow, steady steps, Remus made his way over to the small family, laying eyes upon Lucas Black, his godson, for the very first time.
The child was nestled warmly in his parents' arms. Remus could see the baby's tiny hands moving around, balled up in little fists. Lucas looked around at everyone and began crying again, causing Remus to pull back slightly. The baby quickly quieted down when Silvia shifted her arms and held him closer against her chest. Slowly, Remus reached out and with Tonks's hand over his, steadying his shaking hand, he stroke baby Lucas's cheek.
"Wotcher Lucas," said Tonks happily. "Lexi, look," she smiled, running back towards the door and pulling Lexi, Marrick, and the others inside. "Look, he's kicking his feet."
They were all fascinated by the newborn child.
"He has your eyes, Sirius," said Remus softly, observing the baby with a gentle gaze.
"Yeah I know," Sirius grinned.
"Let's hope he has Silvia's personality instead of yours," Alexis said, causing Sirius to push her playfully saying, "Lexi you twat."
"Silvia, how are you feeling?" Remus asked.
"Better," she smiled and held the child out to him.
Together with everyone else, Remus and Tonks knelt down beside Sirius and Silvia's bed, gazing with tender care at the baby who was smiling now.
Sirius smiled, gazing at his son. "I finally have a little Marauder in the making," he said.