History is repeating itself, and things were painful enough the first time. He can't let it happen again.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
I wrote this in the early hours of the morning and I'm too tired to edit so if any of it doesn't make sense you know why :) Enjoy!
Every relationship has it's ups and downs. Their relationship only span a few years but already the odds were against them. The aging werewolf and the spritely Metamorphmagus.
Remus's attraction to Nymphadora Tonks was a slow-burning affair, battling his attraction through reminders of grief and the absurdness that she was entirely too young for him. Through hours of meetings he began to welcome the small comfort of her smiles even though they reminded him of another. The foreign feelings that stirred in him startled him and he fought against them hard not wanting history to repeat. Nymphadora was hard to resist, with her ever changing hair and different levels of attractiveness. When he tried to point out the age difference with a triumphant smirk her roots would turn grey and her eyes create smile lines. Remus was amused, although he tried very hard not to be. She was funny, blunt and clumsy although certainly no damsel in distress. He liked that in a women.
Nymphadora Tonks fell head over heels. She wasn't aware of the first moment when he smiled and her knees went weak, or he made an intelligent observation and her heart fluttered, but when she knew there was no going back. She wasn't the one to ignore her feelings, whatever they may be. God damn him if she hated him she would have said, likewise the conversation where she admitted her attraction. She didn't care that he was older, his clothes shabby. Hadn't he heard it was what was on the inside that counts? Surely Remus should know that being the intellectual he is.
Their relationship had span years. It started in Hogwarts, where a quiet fifth year Hufflepuff asked an equally shy Gryffindor if he would, maybe, if he wanted to do their homework together? She noticed he was struggling see, and she was stuck over a question too.
Remus had found himself instantly attracted to the willowly blonde with sparkling caramel eyes and toothy grin. He was the only one who knew of the dusting of freckles on the bridge of her nose and cheeks that only came out in hot weather. Dorcas Meadowes was quiet but with a steely edge when pushed, funny but not overly so. Hardworking but optimistic. Never one to drag someone down with her problems when she could be solving others. Saving lifes, helping others... it's what made her want to be an Auror.
If she could save lives she wanted the option to; which normal person wouldn't? After a while she saw the helplessness in Remus's eyes and she needed to help him, not able to bear severing their special connection.
Dorcas had thought the shabby haired boy was the most loving of the famous Maurauders. With his studious manner and pleasant charms she knew he was different to the others who were loud and rowdy and always seemed to be teasing. She knew where she stood with Remus and she liked it. He would look at her with those eyes that seemed to bore into her soul, and she'd smile shyly, head over heels. He thirsted for knowledge, was always near the top of the class and like Dorcas was a prefect. He went once a month to aid his sick Mother, and Dorcas thought there was nothing more loving then that. Helping others, advising people... it's what made him want to be an Auror.
If he could help save other people's lifes, maybe he could save his own. Half-wilted from his living nightmare and unholy creation, Dorcas was like his personal charm.
Remus Lupin stares down at his wife who is huddled on the sofa with a blanket, violet eyes staring up at him happily.
He cannot be happy; his worst nightmares from long ago reawoken and real.
His mind is reeling with shock and Tonks reaches across and touches his hand tenatively.
"Say something." She whispers, eyes shining with hope and tender joy.
Remus can't make his mouth work, his lips shape words. He's not sure he wants to hear the thoughts he's thinking about how their child will be an abomination, a curse on the world. History is repeating itself, and things were painful enough the first time. He can't let it happen again.
"I love you Remus." Tonks tells him, eyelashes trembling as she registers his state, tries to reassure him that it will be fine.
He can't say it back, not now.
"I love you Remus." Dorcas says.
"I know. I love you too, which you know." He replies, pacing back and forth across the living room the two share.
His girlfriend looks at him with probing eyes. "It was just a suggestion."
She can barely speak through the wounded lump in her throat. She thought they'd got past this, his self-disgust and horror at what he was. She thought when she breached the topic of family so gently "Look at darling Harry! I wonder what our child would look like Remus?" that he would merely smile like usual and brush it off.
But tonight was a bad night, with the news of more deaths to the Order. They were failing, the Dark Lord Voldemort rising and war time was tough on the most optimistic person. She wishes feverently that they were back at school then, under the shade of an oak tree as he recites poetry and she smiles, head on his lap dreamily. The kisses they shared now were brief, close connections trying to be severed. Dorcas merely replied when this topic was breached that a war should bring people closer then ever before, which inevitably led to this fallout.
"It's a bad one." Remus's spits through a clenched jaw, knowing he sounds moody and uncaring but failing to rectify it as he should.
"Why do you do this?" His Dorcas, his normal Dorcas who is so quiet and well-mannered, who rarely raises her voice looks at him, voice beginning to get shrill.
"I have told you time and time again I don't care about your turning into a werewolf and still you don't believe me-"
Her eyes fill with tears and Remus sits down, clutches her frail hand between his.
"Dorcas don't cry. Please, it's not that. Never doubt that I love you, but you have to understand that we can never risk having children with my curse. If they were tainted like I-"
"Then we'd help them. We'd still love them, of course we would. They wouldn't be alone like you were." Dorcas whispers, lower lip trembling and eyes burning with sincere compassion, a yearning to have a child that was half her and half her lover. A perfect mix of the two to love and cherish for years.
It was one of Dorcas's deepest desires to one day be silver-haired with Remus by her side, surrounded by sons and daughters, grandchildren and if they were really lucky grandchildren's children. The war has put a halt to most of her dreams naturally, but she cannot stop her optimisim from hoping that that one will at least come true someday.
"No child should suffer through what I did. And it's because of that I know we can't have children."
"But it's only genetics Remus! It's not a hundred percent chance you know that!"
"I don't want to take the risk Dorcas." His eyes beg her to understand.
"You can't let this condition control you. It already takes you away from me once a month, don't make it more. This condition, this so-called curse, you think it's bad and dangerous but don't you see? It makes me love you more Remus because you're still here, still living despite the hardships." Dorcas finishes with a deep breath.
"You're not a monster like you think." She murmurs into the silence that follows.
"You know I am."
"Yes." Dorcas agrees with an unhappy twist of her lips. "When you are like this you are."
And he feels betrayed, stung by her accusation that only proves his theory correct. She didn't mean in that way of course, merely that anger and stress and worry resorts him to a wild man unable to tame and calm down.
He still shoves his shabby jacket on and goes to the door.
"Remus where are you going? It's not safe!" Dorcas frets, drifting to the living room doorframe and watching as he opens the front door, staring back at her with those sensitive eyes, oh so overly-sensitive.
"I'm going out. I'm not safe either so I'm sure I'll be fine." He says curtly.
"Remus." Dorcas whispers, wisps of blonde hair falling into her pale face as he turns to go and he stills.
"I love you." His stiff shoulders relax somewhat. He thinks love should be enough for the two of them in the middle of a war with far bigger issues; deaths and hiding and werewolf genes. Dorcas feels the need to tell him everytime he leaves her love for fear he doesn't return and never knows, although Remus points out they'll always know even if not said.
Still, Dorcas murmurs it before Remus shuts the door behind him and walks briskly into the night.
He leaves Tonks with a sweep of his travelling cloak and a crack in the air. Tonks huddles on the floor miserably, emotionally and physically drained. The wedding band around her finger digs in and she has a sudden irrational urge to throw it across the room, because when Remus married her he made commitments, and surely he expected something like this?
She certainly did not expect him to storm out after becoming mute, frozen with glazed over eyes. She wonders how well she really knows her husband to not foresee something like this happening, given his stance on his lychanthropy. But really, she's not a fortune teller so how could she have known?
She hoists up her silk top and places a hand on her stomach, marvelling over the thought that there is life beneath her fingertips. She convinces herself that they will get through this like they have the other obstacles, that Remus will come around.
She huddles on the wooden seat in the garden, the wild grass swaying in the slight wind as she stares up at the night sky. Stars that contain no shooting one to make a wish, a sure sign of their relationship if there ever was to be one. She wipes her watery eyes, the stress and pain and anguish of war and torn relationships finally getting to her after she had been so strong for so long. Her eyes are a swollen red, cheeks stained with blotchy pink smudges. She doesn't like living like this, in constant fear and anxiety and stress but she tells herself it will be worth it when the world is cleansed of evil.
She lifts her wand half-heartedly to secure the wards around the house and is disconcerted to feel the rippling effect around her. A invisible shift in the energy around the small house, and Dorcas pauses.
Instinctively she casts a shield, walking backwards to the house with her keen observation skills already alert.
She is too late.
Tonks pads around the house restlessly, good mood diminished into hopelessness and despair as she boils a cup of tea to calm her nerves. She has often wondered about his life before they met, but he rarely ventures to tell her. She begins to wonder about his deep rooted fear of family and creatures of the Moon and it makes her shiver with sympathy despite her annoyance. It has been five weeks, and the bulge in her stomach makes it clear this whole situation is so very real, and why won't he come back? He discarded her like a used toy at her parent's house and she is not a memory or nightmare, she is real.
Their child is alive within her.
She automatically makes two cups of tea before remembering. The tea leaves stain the sink as they go down the drain.
Dorcas stills and blinks as a tendril of black fog rolls eerily into the living room. She sets the mugs of Hot Chocolate on the side noiselessly. Her heart thunders in her chest but she grips her wand tighter, mind roving over the defensive spells and attacking spells, places to hide, evade. How to get out of the house in time-
The lights flicker ominiously and she furiously realizes the charms weren't enough, of course they weren't against them. She isn't ready but she has to be ready, in war you always have to be ready.
Her wand is slick with sweat in her hand as he himself appears.
Like a bad dream, turning from vapours of smoke to a solid frame, black trailing coat masquerading what Dorcas is sure is the face of the Devil. She can almost smell the darkness that moistens the air in his presence and swallows thickly, mouth dry. She can do nothing but stare wide-eyed at the evil neminis the Order have been fighting so hard against. She has to laugh manically inside her head that her, a Hufflepuff had been given the honour of being visited by himself. The others, she thinks wildly, would be astounded to hear this. Dorcas Meadowes, hard-working annoyingly optimistic Dorcas Meadowes visited by the Dark Lord himself?
And she knows now that she will die. He would not have bothered to come unless he intended to kill and since she killed a few of his Death Eaters... an eye for an eye as the saying goes.
"Funny." His voice purrs, almost mocking. "You gave the impression of being smart, yet your spells were easy to destroy." He cannot disguse the snake-like hiss, the thin reedy tone in his voice. She can see the flick of his white tongue as he speaks under the shadow of the hood and she stands rooted to the spot horrified. And she is so glad Remus isn't here, glad they had that stupid argument so he could live and be safe.
"Why are you here?"
"You kill my followers." He replies, and Dorcas knows she will be defeated, can tell by the droop of her heart in her chest. But still, she will not go to her death entierly cowardly; she raises her head and tilts her child up slightly despite her fear.
"You'll get your comeuppance someday." She hisses savagely as she sends a curse at him he easily blocks with a flick of his wand, desperate to use her last words to at least make him think of his despicable actions-
Her ears ring with his laughter as she's blinded by green light, falling deep into an abyss that never ends. Her last thought in the micro-second before her heart ceases to beat is Remus.
A million meanings and feelings are encompassed in that one precious word.
"Just-just to be clear," Harry says. "You want to leave Tonks at her parent's house and come away with us?"
"She'll be perfectly safe there, they'll look after her," says Remus. He speaks with a finality bordering on indifference. "Harry, I'm sure James would have wanted me to stick with you."
"Well," says Harry slowly. "I'm not. I'm pretty sure my father would have wanted to know why you aren't sticking with your own kid, actually."
Lupin's face drains of colour. The temperature in the kitchen might have dropped ten degrees. Ron stares around the room as though he has been bidden to memorise it, while Hermione's eyes swivel backwards and forwards from Harry to Lupin.
"You don't understand," says Lupin at last.
"Explain, then." says Harry.
"I- I made a grave mistake in marrying Tonks. I did it against my better judgement and I have regretted it very much ever since."
Because sometimes, in the dark of night with his mind half fogged from sleep he can convince himself that Dorcas is the one that cuddles him, blonde hair spilling onto his chest and it hurts when he realizes it's just a painful mirage.
"I see," says Harry. "so you're just going to dump her and the kid and run off with us?"
Lupin springs to his feet; his chair toppling over backwards, and he glares at them so fiercely that Harry sees, for the first time ever, the shadow of the wolf upon his human face.
"Don't you understand what I've done to my wife and my unborn child? I should never have married her, I've made her an outcast! And the child - the child...my kind don't usually breed! It will be like me, I am convinced of it! How can I forgive myself when I knowingly risked passing on my own condition to an innocent child? And if, by some miracle, it is not like me, then it will be better off, a hundred times so, without a father of whom it should always be ashamed!"
"You always do this Moony." James had told him. "You're too hard on yourself! You need to learn to listen to your girl even if you don't agree. Worked with Lilly." He winked, clapping him on the back. "I mean look at Harry, I thought he was going to be just like Lilly, luckily he only got her eyes." He laughs and Lilly shoots him a fond look.
So with his mind resolved to at least try and make Dorcas happy in a simple way as possible, he walked back to their house deep in thought.
There was a slight coldness to the air to their street, and he drew his coat closer around himself as the hairs on the back of his neck tingle. He can tell as he opens the front gate that something is wrong. Something is terribly wrong. He runs to the front door and pauses in the threshold.
There's no reply, nothing but an eerie silence that makes Remus's whole body tense and on edge. Cushioning the blow instinctially before he knew.
But maybe he did know, as he rushes forward into the living room and sees her slack face staring glassy-eyed up at the ceiling. Her mouth is open slightly in anger, eyes wide with fear and suprise and resistance, remnants of tears recently shed still evidenced.
Still he calls her name futiley, rocking her body back and forth like if he wished hard enough she would really just awaken from the kiss of his lips on her lukewarm ones. Her wand rolls across the floor.
He sobs and with shattering clarity realizes that Dorcas was right, she was always right. They should have had children, and he regretted then that he didn't act differently.
He smells the Hot chocolate, sees the drinks of apology on the side, and his mind is forever tainted.
"I was a fool." Remus tells Tonks as he stands stiffly in the doorway, voice gravelly. "Take me back. I'll look after you forever I swear, and the baby too. We'll deal with... whatever comes."
Tonks smiles happily, wrapping her arms around his, sinking into his familiar embrace.
Remus allows a small part of him to believe it is Dorcas he is now holding, and it is their child. He sees a future that might have been if not for past mistakes.
It slips through his mind like a dream before fully awake, and he listens to Tonks murmur excitedly about names and baby clothes and all manners of baby care. Her bright tomato hair brushes against his arm as she falls asleep against him.
Remus stares at the dying fire, the amber sparks fading into the night, and thinks maybe history repeating itself isn't so bad after all.