Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling.
Written for the Quidditch League Fanfiction Competition.
Team: Montrose Magpies
Position: Chaser 2 Role: Remus/Reading
Prompts: 1) (poem) Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day, 4) (word) friction, 8) (dialogue) "Hatred knows no bounds, huh."
There was an immeasurable amount of friction in the air.
Remus continued to stare at his book, his eyes seemingly burning a hole in the pages as he poured over its contents.
Tonks was sitting at the desk across the room, twirling her wand between her fingers.
Sirius was currently twiddling his thumbs on the other end of the couch, trying to figure out how exactly he got stuck with these two. He really wished somebody would say something.
Remus loved to read. That was no secret. He could often be found thumbing through the pages of his favorite books. Maybe it was the way he could lose himself in the words, or maybe it served as a distraction from the reality that he faced—he was a monster. A werewolf. The majority of society would never accept him. He was used to it, but it still hurt nonetheless. So he continued to read.
Tonks suddenly stood up, not able to take the silence any longer. "I'm going to get something to eat," she said, and quickly walked out of the study.
Remus looked up from his book to see Tonks walk away. He did like her. Love her, even. But it didn't change the fact that he couldn't be with her; he couldn't burden her with his problems. So he continued to read.
"You're an idiot, Moony," said Sirius, appearing next to Remus.
"Gee, thanks Padfoot," said Remus, closing his book. "And why, pray tell, am I an idiot?"
"Because you love her. And she loves you. And you being a stubborn git is not beneficial towards anybody."
Remus sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. "I can't burden her. You know that."
"Hatred knows no bounds, huh," muttered Sirius. He looked up and placed his hands on Remus' shoulders. "Look Moony, I know I was never the deep, emotional friend. But Prongs is gone and Lily can't help so you've got me." Sirius took a deep breath. "Tonks love you. Really loves you. Like, 'you-could-be-the-one' loves you. And I know you feel the same way. All of this hatred for your 'furry little problem' is self-inflicted. You're the one who hates yourself. Nobody else does. I don't know how else to tell you in order for your abnormally large brain to process this. Honestly, you'd think when Prongs and I learned how to be anamagi for you, which incidentally took us a bloody long time you would realize that there is such a thing as unconditional love. So Moony, you're a werewolf. Nobody cares. Except you, apparently."
"I'm not done," said Sirius, cutting him off. "Now Tonks, she knows what its like—to be ridiculed, to be judged for who she is. I know it's not exactly the same thing, but growing up she had problems with people using her for her metamorphmagus status. So she gets it. So you rejecting her now with only the excuse of, 'You shouldn't be with someone like me," just seems like a copout. Like maybe you don't really want to be with her."
"But I do!"
"Then do something about it! Consequences be damned! Honestly, do what makes you happy and ignore the rest! Merlin knows we need some happiness, especially in a time like this. Love was why James and I became anamagi, and love was what helped our Prongslet survive, and love is what will get us through this war. So if there's even a chance for a little more love in the world, you better damn well take it."
Remus looked down and continued to stare at the open pages of his book, thinking about what Sirius said.
"How am I supposed to make this right? She doesn't even want to be in the same room as me right now."
"You're smart. You'll figure it out," said Sirius, giving him a slap on the back and a grin.
Remus looked at Sirius, then back at the open book in his hands. He had an idea. He just needed to find the right words. So he continued to read.
"Did you do it?" asked Sirius as he entered the kitchen.
"Yes. And if this doesn't work I'm going to jinx you until you can't walk straight," he said shortly, taking a swig from the offered butterbeer.
"It'll be fine. When have I ever steered you wrong?"
"If I listed every sing time, we'd be here for quite a while…"
"You think you're so funny, huh? This is serious."
"No, I'm Sirius."
"I'm going to go all wolf on you in about ten seconds."
"Now Moony, we can talk this out…"
"Nine, eight, seven…"
"Ouch! Moony! You said ten!"
"Ow!" "Say uncle!" "Never!"
"Oi! What the bloody hell is going on right now?"
Remus and Sirius looked up to the entrance of the kitchen where Tonks was standing, hands on her hips and piece of parchment in her hand. Remus let Sirius out of the chokehold he had, and Sirius unwrapped his arms from around Remus' waist.
"Never mind. Remus, can I talk to you please?"
"Umm, sure. I mean, yup. Yes."
"I'm just gonna go…not be here," muttered Sirius, quickly walking out of the kitchen.
Remus stood up straighter and faced Tonks. "So I see you got my note?"
"Yes, what the bloody hell is this?" asked Tonks, her hands still on her hips.
"It's uhh…a poem…" said Remus sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck.
"Yes, I can see this Remus. Unfortunately, Shakespeare—is this Shakespeare—oh, bloody hell, I would fall for someone who likes Shakespeare. Anyways, I never understood Shakespeare. So I don't know if this is supposed to be an apology, another rejection, something you just found interesting, or what. You're going to have to explain it to me. Now."
Remus' smile grew with each word she said. "Ok, bring it over here. I'll explain it to you."
Tonks took the seat next to him at the kitchen table and put the parchment down in front of them:
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
"I mean, what the bloody hell was Shakespeare always thinking?"
"Tonks," Remus began, but was cut off.
"Don't you think his professors were always just like, 'Look Billy, just say what you want to say. Stop messing around with all of these extra words.'"
"Tonks," Remus tried again.
"I mean honestly, you'd think that-"
"Don't call me that," she said automatically, and Remus covered her hand with his.
"Can I explain what Billy was saying now?" he asked, smiling.
"Right, Shakespeare. Yes. Tell me what this bloody poem means."
"It's actually a sonnet…"
"Right, right. Ok." He took a deep breath and grabbed her hands. "The first line is the speaker comparing 'thee' to a summer day. And he talks about why summer isn't all that great—the wind shakes the buds when Spring comes, and summer ends too quickly, and the sun can get too hot or the clouds can obscure it and make it too cold. But this is nature. And the beauty of summer inevitably fades as the seasons change. But he argues that his summer won't go away, nor will the beauty fade because as long as he humanity exists, and he's still around, his beloved will continue living and being beautiful and natural and inevitable as well."
"I guess I should have paid more attention to the words," said Tonks softly. "But why did you give this to me?"
"It's…part apology, part confession." He squeezed her hands. "Tonks, don't you see? You're beautiful, and your beauty is inevitable to me. I know I've hurt you. I tried to stay away—I thought that this was the better option for you. But this war we're fighting in, it's all about people taking away other people's will. And I was doing that to you. And you can certainly make your own choices. So if what you want is me—though I have no idea why that could possibly be—than I am certainly not going to say no anymore. I can't. You're inevitable."
Tonks had tears in her eyes at this point, and she finally choked out a laugh. "Well, that was one hell of an explanation."
"So…can I take you out on a date, Tonks?" he asked hesitantly.
Tonks gave a real laugh this time, grabbed Remus by the lapels of his jacket and kissed him. When they finally broke apart she smiled. "You can definitely take me out on a date."
"Yay Moony! Who knew all of that nerd stuff would come in handy some day?" they heard from the other side of the door.
Remus grinned and shook his head. Yes, he was in love. And they were in a war. But that was ok. Because at the end of the day, isn't life all about being with the ones you love anyways?