Tonks had been out of the hospital a few weeks and they'd been tentatively dancing around each other. Were they a couple? Were they not a couple? Where were they going? Neither knew the answers. Most nights not being on Order missions were spent talking and drinking and snogging.
It was one of the happiest times in Remus' life that he could remember. He had this wonderful woman, who looked past all his faults, and saw him as he truly was. He'd never been in love before and it was a bit terrifying.
Tonks shoved aside his worries and just wanted to be with him, as much as she could in between her day job as an Auror and night job as a member of the Order. Losing Sirius had been a hard blow for her, she had begun to have difficulties with morphing.
Unfortunately, like everything good in Remus' life, it was coming to a bitter end. He'd been hearing rumors and whispers every time he went into Diagon Alley about werewolves and their connections to Death Eaters and possibly Voldemort himself.
He dragged himself to Tonks' apartment. It was time for a conversation he didn't want to have, but he loved her too much to have her hurt by something he had no control over. The lycanthropy that had ruined his life didn't need to ruin hers, as he'd said all along.
"No, Remus." Tonks was as stubborn as she'd always been. "I. Don't. Care."
"It's different now, Dora. If they find out you're with me, Greyback will come after you. I cannot allow that, Dora, I can't let you be hurt, not when it can be prevented." Remus was just as stubborn, although it was breaking his heart to do this to her, especially so soon after losing Sirius.
"Remus, I'm not afraid."
He sighed. It wasn't going to be an easy conversation for so many reasons. "But I am. You are not safe with me. Whatever this is between us, it's got to end, for your sake."
"Why are you being so ridiculous?" she pushed back. "It's the same argument, every time, poor pitiful Remus. You're the one afraid, not me."
"Yes. That's true. You've made me happier then I knew possible. I love you. But we have to end."
"No!" Tonks threw her cup at the wall behind him. It shattered in a million pieces, much like Remus' heart was doing. "You're being bloody stupid. "
"As long as you're alive and well, I can live with being bloody stupid." This was one argument he was determined to win, if only to keep her alive.
She started to argue back and started to cry instead. "Please, Remus, don't do this." she hated herself for the crying but it'd been such a difficult time with losing Sirius and her powers, and now Remus wanted to break up and it was just too much for the young witch all at once.
Remus began to waver. Her tears were pushing him over an edge more then her arguing could, but he held fast to what he believed had to happen. He had to walk away from her, had to keep her alive. "I'm sorry." he kissed the top of her head and walked out of her apartment.
Remus had only gone a few blocks when what he had just done was fully realized. He slumped against a building, glad for the encroaching darkness and the quietness of the street. He hated himself more then he ever had, hurting the one good thing he had had in a long time, even if it was for her own good. He wanted to cry like she had been when he left, screaming to the sky about the unfairness of it all. He had been so close to having what had long been denied him, a loving, kind, funny, brave woman who just loved him for him and looked past what he'd always been, a werewolf who couldn't hold a job.
It's for the best, he told himself. She deserved better then him anyway, someone who could actually hold a job, someone more her age. Someone not a werewolf. He closed his eyes in misery. No matter what he told himself, it wasn't going to change what he had had to do. Keeping Tonks safe was the most important thing in his life, no matter the cost to him.
Tonks sat in the darkness for a long while. She hadn't moved since Remus left. Hadn't wanted to. The sun set and the darkness came, and still she sat, unmoving, unbelieving what had happened.
"Stupid bloody moron." she shouted in the dark apartment. "Stupid bloody selfish moron!" it did not make her feel much better to shout at nothing, she'd rather have been shouting at Remus. He would have just sat there like the chair, but it would've been better then shouting at the chair.
She let herself have a good cry and personal shouting match for a bit, then wiped her face with her tshirt and stood up. If Remus was stupid enough to think she was just going to let him walk away, he had another think coming.
Tonks hadn't seen Remus since he'd left. Molly kept trying to set them up again, but Tonks kept avoiding dinner at the Weasleys as much as possibly, although she missed being able to have a decent dinner once in a while, she wasn't much for cooking for herself. She missed cooking with Remus. Mostly she just missed Remus. And Sirius, and the late night shananigans the trio would get up to at Grimmauld Place. She missed her purple hair and being able to change it as she willed. Bloody horrid war had barely begun and it was already taking too much.
"Now, dear, drink your tea." Molly broke into Tonks' thoughts. "A good cuppa solves a lot."
Tonks didn't think a cup of tea would solve her problems, but it was at least a good cup of tea. "Thank you, Molly."
"Oh, and have a biscuit. Arthur should be home soon. Then the meeting can begin." Molly bustled about brandishing her wand here and there to tidy this, move that, making the space seem larger then it was.
The Order, what was left of it, had lost its headquarters and kept moving their meetings and times. Tonks was only sort of hoping Remus wasn't going to make this meeting. She wanted to confront him but in the Weasley home wasn't exactly how she was planning it and she was definitely planning it. Remus Lupin had no idea what she had in store for him.
Remus had just returned from an undercover mission with the werewolf pack and was in no mood to deal with anyone. He was supposed to go to the Weasleys' for dinner and an Order meeting, but he wasn't sure he should. He'd heard Tonks might be there and he didn't trust himself to not go back on what he'd done, even if it'd been the right thing. He was too dangerous for her to be around. She just didn't understand the risks. The past few weeks with the pack had taught him there was even more risk then he'd realized. He'd never want her to be in the sort of danger that being with someone like him would bring.
But blast it all to Merlin, Tonks was the entire reason why Remus had struggled so much with the pack. Her face, her words, everything about her, he'd struggled so much to make sure the pack never realized she existed. He couldn't just let his guard down and be a werewolf like the rest, because he wasn't like the rest.
He shuffled along the sidewalk, lost in his thoughts, not liking where they were taking him. He ducked into an alleyway and apparated into a field near the Weasleys. Molly and Arthur had put up so many protection charms and spells, it was impossible to actually apparate on their property anymore. He understood, but as he shook the water out of his shoes, it'd have been nice to not apparate in a pond.
Quickly, Remus whispered a drying spell as he dragged himself through the field. Showing up completely soaked would only make the evening worse. His nearly threadbare clothes dried quick as a wink for which he was grateful. At least he could look presentable.
"Arthur! " Molly was calling. "Arthur, there's someone coming up."
Remus sent his patronus ahead, to show it was a friendly person.
"Oh, goodness, Remus, you shouldn't scare a body like that! What if I'd been here alone and tried to curse you or something?" Molly scolded.
"Molly, I wouldn't leave you alone right now." Arthur broke into her scolding. "And we knew Remus might make it. Good to see you, mate."
"Well, you never know that it might be You Know Who trying to trick us or one of his lackies." Molly huffed.
Remus had to give a slight smile. No matter what was going on in the world, he could always trust Molly to say exactly what she meant. "You'd have a valid point there. Would you like to question me before allowing me in?"
Tonks was sitting in the parlor, just out of view. She could think of a lot of questions she'd like to ask one Remus John Lupin. Very few of which would be appropriate for the current audience. She supposed Mad Eye wouldn't be completely shocked if she stood up and started questioning Remus, he'd probably even help her, but perhaps Remus was right about one thing - their relationship was theirs and no one else's. Except Molly and Mad Eye knew, and both agreed with Tonks that Remus was being an idiot.
"What is James' Animagus? " Arthur asked, quietly.
"A stag." he answered, a bit surprised that was the question. Remus wasn't sure how many outside the the original maurauders had even been aware the three of them had been Animagus.
"Welcome, Remus!" Arthur said, happily. It was always a relief to know who wasn't a Death Eater.
He stepped into the house and stopped. There sat the one person he'd hoped to avoid. Tonks didn't even look at him.
"Now, now, dinner will be ready shortly since everyone is here!" Molly bustled about as usual.
Remus wondered where he should go, or if he could just escape now. He didn't fancy spending an evening facing Tonks and he was rather certain she didn't either.
Arthur put his hand on Remus' arm. "She's mad, all right, but mate, you might as well stay. Maybe the two of you can have a talk and fix things."
"I've told her what I needed to tell her."
Arthur raised an eyebrow. "That you're poor and dangerous?" he scoffed lightly. "I can't imagine why that didn't run her off, girls like a little danger, you know. Molly did."
Remus could not imagine Arthur Weasley being considered dangerous. The man collected Muggle toys. "Among other things, yes, that's what I told her."
"She's really a very nice girl."
"Yes, she is. And deserves a very nice man."
"Like yourself. Don't put yourself down." Arthur was wiser then most would think.
Remus sighed, and marched into the parlor. If this is what he had to do, then this is what he had to do. Even if he was surrounded by people who'd like nothing more then to play matchmaker and he wasn't entirely sure this meeting hadn't been made up for just that purpose.