My first Harry Potter fanfic centered on actual characters of the series. I have one other HP fanfic, but it's short and centered on an OC. I've also got a brainchild currently, also centered on an OC. Not too much happening.
Anyway, I've been fangirlishly smitten with Tonks for almost the past year and wanted to add another RL/NT story to , because they just need more love and more happy moments in their fictional lives.
I've gone through this more times than I can remember, but if there are any misspellings/grammar errors/etc., they're all mine. Review if you've got thoughts or suggestions!
Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns this magnificent series, characters, and storylines. Fantastic woman, she is.
A young woman, looking to be just over eighteen, sashayed dramatically over to Remus Lupin's table in the Hog's Head. Long blonde hair sat atop her head, wound into a loose bun. Blue eyes looked down at Remus, sparkling with anticipation and trouble, while a piece of gum was chewed loudly and persistently. She smiled down at the customer.
"Wotcher, sweetie. What would you like?" she asked, her voice light and content.
"Just a butterbeer, please," replied Lupin. His voice was a little flat and he avoided eye contact with the woman, looking around the room instead as if searching for someone in particular.
The waitress clicked her tongue, and continued chewing her gum. She scribbled down Remus' order and sashayed to the back, just as dramatically as before.
Remus meanwhile, kept his eyes and head low, but continued scanning the restaurant every couple of minutes.
The small metal bell above the entryway tinkled as the door swung open. A ragged-looking man stepped in, his footsteps heavy. His face was his only problem concerning his appearance - it was quite disagreeable - though his body was muscular, athletic in type, and lacking any noticeable excess fat.
Remus and the man made eye contact and nodded to each other. Only a dark-skinned man reading a newspaper acknowledged his arrival by peeking around the paper, then silently returning to his reading leisure.
The ragged man made his way to Remus' table and sat down across from him. There was dark, thick scruff on his chin and sides of his face. Remus noticed small specks of dirt scattered in the facial hair.
"Remus," the newcomer said. His voice was chalky and low.
"We have some business to discuss? A deal?"
"We do. First—"
The young waitress returned with a cold butterbeer in hand and set it in front of Remus. She smiled and winked at him, and he nodded casually in response. Her disposition changed as she turned her attention to the newly arrived male at the table.
"Drink?" she asked unenthusiastically.
"No thanks," he said, waving a hand in her face, obviously feeling inconvenienced by her question and not bothering to even look at her.
She huffed, blew a bubble, popped it, turned, and left.
Remus continued. "Firstly—"
"Ya keen on gettin' the young ones, eh?" The ragged man looked at Remus, a small toothy grin emerging onto his face.
Remus' expression remained neutral. "I prefer women to girls."
"Yeah?" the other man asked. "I guess we like different things, then."
Remus cringed inside but was able to hide his reaction from his acquaintance.
The man's smile quickly dissipated and his expression returned to solemnity.
"Firstly—" Remus tried again, but this time was interrupted by a clang from the back. His eyes moved to look at what had caused the ruckus. The young waitress was straightening up and brushing off her apron, having knocked a tray of appetizers to the floor. Her eyes darted quickly to Remus, and then at all the other customers in the place, hoping no one was startled too violently.
Remus turned back to face Coinneach but saw he was still looking at the blonde waitress, who was now wetting a cloth to clean up the mess. Remus unconsciously clenched his jaw, feeling protective of the young woman. Coinneach's hungry stare brought an uneasy rise to his blood pressure.
Coinneach's eyes lingered just long enough for Remus to speak up, but they left her before he could say anything that might be against his better judgment.
"So," said Remus, eager to seal the deal, "this compromise I'm here to talk about concerns territory. I have spoken with Dumbledore and he is willing to—"
"Dumbledore?!" exclaimed Coinneach, banging his fists onto the wooden table. Remus' butterbeer toppled and spilled over the side. "What does Albus Dumbledore have to do with this?" A few customers had looked at the bustle warily, but quietly resumed their activities.
Remus continued on calmly.
"Albus Dumbledore is the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardly. That school directly borders the Forbidden Forest, and one of its classes is occasionally held in the Forest itself. We are concerned about the students and the faculty's safety and want to make a deal. The werewolves have tried in the past to grab a student on school grounds but have not succeeded due to a faculty member's presence at the moment of the attack. The werewolf was seriously injured, caught and sent to the Wizengamot to be dealt with. I am sure you don't want to lose anymore werewolves for such foolish circumstances."
Coinneach had settled back into his chair, arms crossed, but no longer so agitated. He may be a crazed werewolf, but he still had some sense in him. He was here because not only could he walk into a public place without frightening anyone, but he could also do business.
With a satisfactory deal made, Lupin decided to stay at the Hog's Head a little longer to catch up with students or faculty he caught sight of. However, he especially appreciated having time to read up on the Daily Prophet. Yes, he was up-to-date on news of You-Know-Who, but he never really had time to rest and read other articles regarding economy, entertainment, and of course gossip, supplied by the one and only Rita Skeeter. Lupin usually avoided Skeeter's articles because they just made him mad, but some were so absurd that he had to know what all the fuss was about.
Four hours went by quickly, and Remus left the place content. He exited the door and was quickly joined by a small woman that had been waitressing once the blonde's shift ended.
Remus noticed, however, that the woman no longer walked with a hunched back, but instead with impressive posture. He also noticed a bright smile aimed at him, instead of a permanent scowl etched onto her face.
"Good evening," he acknowledged, offering up a small smile of his own.
"Wotcher," she replied happily. As they talked and walked further away from Hog's Head, the old lady's height began to grow. Her stringy grey hair pinned messily on her head became awash with shocking pink as the owner reached up and took out each pin hastily.
"That gray hair was so boring," she said. "Glad to have my own hair back."
Soon, it was none other than Nymphadora Tonks walking beside Remus under the streetlights. "So how did it go?" she asked.
"Well," he replied. "He agreed to keep his pack and himself at least 400 yards from the edge of the Forbidden Forest, and 500 from the Care of Magical Creatures classes. I told him we would give him a schedule with class dates and times."
Tonks clapped her hands. "Perfect! Just what we wanted. And he didn't seem too resistant? I saw him practically lose his plot when you mentioned Dumbledore."
"Not that I could tell," said Lupin, shaking his head. Tonks' eyebrows furrowed slightly, and Remus continued. "He seemed to take it pretty well. He is one of the more sensible werewolves I know."
"Yes, but his name is Duff." Tonks had lost some of the bounce in her step. She was concerned about the werewolf's perceived calm. "You know what it means? 'Monster.' I don't think he was named so without a reason, and his lifestyle hasn't helped his case, either. And I've known some Duffs myself - didn't care to keep in contact with them very long." She paused and lowered her voice. "And, well, I've heard things..."
Remus held up his hand. "Dora, I really think that he will keep his word. A monster does not have sense. And if he does not keep his word, he will be caught and punished accordingly, in addition to every other werewolf in his pack that does not abide by the guidelines of the deal. He knows this."
Tonks huffed and crossed her arms, but remained silent. She was not in a mood to debate; in fact, she just wanted a good night's rest after a full day of business. And besides, if there were really a cause for concern, she would have apparated straight home after persuading Remus to do the same. However, the night air was cool, the sky was clear and full of stars, and the moon was nowhere in sight. They had come upon the end of the row of streetlights, allowing for as little light pollution as possible to view the sparkling night.
Tonks' stubborn mood quickly dissipated and was replaced by a sense of peace brought on by the quiet night and the rhythmic taps of two pairs of shoes walking on cement.
She immediately regretted letting her guard down, even to look up at the stars, because the next thing she knew, she was tossed into the air by an unknown force and flying further away from Remus than she would admit was comfortable. A silhouette charged at Remus as Tonks came down. Remus grunted while the figure let out a low growl.
She landed hard on her back, and she could feel a bruise forming on her spine as soon as she sat up. She fumbled for her wand inside her robes.
"Flipendo!" yelled Tonks, aiming her wand at the figure above Remus who clawed at everything he could reach. The spell hit her target and the figure was knocked from Remus and tumbled onto his side a few yards away. The large form did not move.
Tonks ran forward, keeping an eye on the still body, and stooped down to Remus. She inhaled sharply, startled at seeing his form.
He was bleeding from deep gashes covering his torso, legs, and arms, yet he seemed to have defended his neck and face from equal damage. Tonks spotted Remus' wand lying by the curb. It was snapped in two.
"You're going to be okay, Remus," she said gently, still shaking. "You're going to be all right."
She muttered a quick healing spell that would stop the dramatic blood flow. Remus groaned and his eyelids flickered a little before opening. Tonks exhaled, relieved that Remus was responding to the healing. He must have hit his head during the attack, Tonks reasoned, because whatever words he was trying to form were slurred. His shaking finger pointed behind Tonks. His eyes were wide and, Tonks plainly saw, scared.
Her mind worked quickly. The size of the silhouette, the large gash marks left on Remus' body, the frightened look in Remus' eyes - it all came together at the exact moment she herself felt a heavy weight crash into her side.
The body took her down with it, and she landed hard again, on her hip this time. She ignored the pain, though, and focused on the goal.
The aggressive figure was on top of her, crushing her tiny frame with his heavy one, with both hands around her throat.
"Rela- shio!" she was able to squeak, and fiery sparks emitted from the tip of her wand. Her attacker immediately released her and backed away from the spell, covering his eyes.
They were under the streetlights again, and as the body retreated, she could see clearly the face of the person who had attacked both her and Remus - Fenrir Greyback: big, ugly and looming, such as whenever they were in his presence.
His hairy hand reached for his wand in his back pocket.
"Expelli-" started Tonks.
But he had his wand out first and beat her attack. "Crucio!"
No time to dodge; Tonks changed her plan. The curse raced towards her.
Tonks stopped mid-spell as the curse hit her head on. Her body fell to the ground, twitching uncontrollably. It felt like her muscles were being torn apart, knives piercing her skin and raking her bones. She succeeded in being able to suppress her screams, but brief yelps could not be kept in.
The torture stopped abruptly. Tonks looked towards Greyback to see what had changed and saw Remus, who had before seemed incapable of even standing, had tackled him from behind.
As Tonks tried catching her breath, Remus landed a few quality punches and kicks to the other werewolf. Tonks rose, and Greyback, seeing that he had to get someone out of the way, cast the severing charm on Remus with the intent of incapacitation. Remus leaned back in surprise, his hand moving to his stomach. He flinched at the pressure. There was a diagonal line of blood forming, adding more chaos to the already bloodstained shirt. Remus could barely stay upright.
From the ground, Tonks deflected the killing curse and rolled out of the way of a stunner. Tonks finally got her feet and faced Greyback. She sent stunner after stunner at impressive speed, and Greyback was only just evading them.
Remus warily watched the scene in front of him, and when he felt could afford letting off some pressure on his abdomen, he concentrated on Greyback's torn pant leg. It caught on fire.
Tonks saw what Remus had done and made a point to look down at Greyback's leg. As she wanted, Greyback followed her gaze and looked down at his own leg to find that fire was eating away quickly at his clothing. While he was distracted, Tonks cast a non-verbal disarming charm, catching Greyback off guard. He looked up as he felt his wand jump out of his grasp and land in Tonks' open palm.
"Petrificus Totalus!" she shouted. Greyback could not dodge in time and froze, falling forward to the ground, barely missing landing on Remus. She heard a small crunch and she was sure Greyback had just broken his nose.
Tonks ran up to the werewolf's still form and, after a second of looking down disapprovingly at it, she extinguished the fire.
"Incarcerous," said Tonks, waving her wand. Thick ropes appeared and tied themselves around Greyback's wrists and ankles. Better to be safe than sorry. Tonks was at ease, knowing that the battle had finally ended.
She knelt down and flipped the still body. Greyback maintained an expression of something between wrath and revenge. Tonks also thought that she saw an inkling of desperation, but knew not the reason for it.
Tonks shook her head in anger and disbelief.
How dare Greyback attack her and Remus on this peaceful, moonless night! Everything was beautiful...so romantic...perfect for anything to happen...
Tonks caught herself daydreaming and returned to business. She made her way hastily to Remus, who had collapsed onto his side. "Ferula."
Remus moaned as he sat up, still feeling the bruises all over his body. But the bleeding had stopped and most bones were mended - Tonks still wasn't the best at healing spells - and Remus was well enough to make the trip to St. Mungo's. Kingsley Shacklebolt and Professor Dumbledore arrived promptly at Tonks' call. Rita Skeeter, who had never really left the restaurant in hopes of eavesdropping for stories, eagerly bounced from one witch or wizard to another, digging for details. Of course, they all ignored her, and she left, huffing and exasperated. Fenrir Greyback was finally in custody and sure to spend a long, long sentence in Azkaban.
When they got to St. Mungo's, Healer Miriam Strout hurried them inside, led Remus on a bed, ensured that he would make a full recovery, and hurried Tonks out of the room just as quickly.
Tonks updated her coworkers and Dumbledore on Remus' health via owl, and then resided outside the infirmary, waiting for Remus to walk out the doors with a new spring in his step.
Though, the look in his eyes, right after being assaulted by Greyback, she remembered, was so scared that it was hard for her to really believe he would be a changed man.
Thirty minutes passed. Tonks looked at the clock on the wall.
Three hours and Tonks couldn't keep her eyes open.
Tonks woke with a start when the clock struck six o'clock. Four hours had gone by since they'd arrived here. She looked out a window to her right and saw the sun already a quarter way above the horizon. She eyed the door to the infirmary, willing it to open, but it did not budge.
A flurry of white passed the corner of her eye. She looked up and saw the owl she'd sent to Kingsley earlier. This time, however, it had a letter written for her.
She hastily took the letter from the owl's beak and opened it. It was written in Kingsley's handwriting:
We haven't gotten Fenrir Greyback to say much, but he did let slip that he was "owed Duff." If I remember correctly, that is who you and Remus met today. He looked stubborn, but at the time I did not expect trouble. We weren't aware that Duff and Greyback ran in the same pack, but it makes sense, considering the similar behaviors.
Greyback is yet to have his hearing in front of the Wizengamot. We will keep you posted.
We send our get-well wishes to Remus.
Kingsley, Mad-Eye, Albus
'Of course,' thought Tonks, her blood pressure rising. 'Duff was never satisfied with that deal, and he decided to go tattle instead of challenge them himself.'
She huffed. 'Greyback was probably ecstatic about the opportunity and jumped at the chance to revisit Remus, too – to inflict as many nightmares on him as possible.'
She looked down at her hands and realized she'd been so tense that the piece of parchment had become a crinkled ball of paper inside her closed fists.
She took a deep breath and released it, letting it fall onto a side table to her right. 6:17 AM. Boy, the time was going slower than Tonks first thought.
At that moment, the large wooden doors of St. Mungo's creaked open, and Poppy stood in the center, a graceful smile placed on her lips. "Remus is wide awake and asking for you. He was in a state of fright or shock when he came here, but after some sleep, he seems much better."
Tonks instantly perked up at the good news. "Great, thanks!"
She would have bowled Miriam over if the healer hadn't stepped out of the doorway in time. Miriam left the room so the two could talk in private.
Remus was still in bed, sitting up and leaning back on a white hospital pillow.
Tonks hurried over to the side of his bed. "Remus," she breathed out, relieved to see he was making a good recovery.
"Dora," replied Remus, a small smile breaking onto his lips. "Are you all right?" A glint of concern shined in his eyes.
Tonks nodded and patted his arm. "I am, Remus, thanks to you. If you hadn't gotten Greyback to stop that damned Cruciatus, who knows where I'd be right now." She cleared her throat and looked Remus in the eye. "Thanks."
Remus grimaced instead of returning the motion of gratitude. He shook his head. "I'm sorry, Dora, to have put you through that. If only I'd listened to you and your instincts earlier, then maybe you wouldn't have had to experience a Cruciatus at all."
Tonks hands left Remus' arm and crossed in the front of her body. "No, Remus, stop. I hate it when you do that."
"Do what?" asked Remus.
"Act like it's all your fault that bad things happen." Tonks put her hands on her hips. "Well, bad things happen all the time, whether you're there or not. You act like you should be guilty of something, like you've done something wrong, when you've done nothing but good! Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Whatever happens, happens."
"Don't call me Nymphadora!" Tonks fumed for a second, her hair turning a shade warmer, but cooled down quickly. Then, almost a whisper, she said, "I like Dora better. It's what my father calls me sometimes." Her hair changed from slight orange to a silvery, baby blue, and her eyes had a shimmer that matched.
"Dora," Remus said softly, gently. "I'm sorry." Tonks opened her mouth, about to tell him off again, but Remus held up his hand. "You're right. I blame myself for things gone wrong. But I do that because I feel responsible when something happens to someone I care about. I want them happy, healthy, and safe. Things go wrong, and I blame it on myself."
Tonks nodded her head. "Yes, you do. And you should stop it. It's a bad habit." She sighed. "I'm just happy you're alive."
They smiled at each other, and at that moment, Miriam entered the hospital wing again, interrupting the moment with the sound of the swinging doors; Tonks jumped slightly while Remus broke eye contact and focused on Miriam.
"I see you two are feeling better," she said, tightening the sheets on a bed across the room. "Since it looks like you might be here a while, there's some sweets in the drawer by the bed, along with yesterday's Daily Prophet. Feel free to enjoy them." Miriam looked at Remus, then at Tonks, chuckled, and then entered her office and closed the door.
Tonks and Remus met each other's eye again. Without hesitation, Tonks reached for the drawer. "That chocolate frog is mine."