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Old 01-30-2008, 06:33 AM   #490 (permalink)

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Join Date: Sep 2003
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Hogwarts RPG Name:
Phoebe James
First Year

x7 x8

Ministry RPG Name:
Genevieve James
Law Enforcement

Ministry RPG Name:
Carrigan Howard
Accidents & Catastrophes
Made of Awesome | Ern-la the Best-wa | TZ's Apogee

Well... HI GUYS! I did it! I actually managed an update. I scrapped Christmas and moved to right after. I'd like to welcome Touz, who I forced to read while I worked on this update. Thanks for being so so patient, and I already know where we're going from here .

The Christmas season flew by, and Tonks survived it as well as could be expected. As always, she still couldn’t change her appearance, and she spent any long quiet moments feeling sorry for herself. Whenever things grew still around her, Tonks began the familiar process of self-doubt and blame.
Andromeda did an admirable job keeping those long stretches from ever happening by filling the holiday with visitors and activities. Through sheer force of Black will and maternal determination, Andromeda managed bright spots and happy moments. There were even times that Tonks didn’t think of Remus at all. She felt incredibly disloyal afterwards.

The day before Tonks returned to Hogsmeade, she found herself agreeing to a visit to the Burrow. It had been ages since she’d seen Molly, and Tonks had the juvenile urge to refuse yet again. Andromeda would not have borne such rudeness, and Tonks knew it was far easier to just agree to her mother’s plans than argue. And this was how she found herself shifting her weight from foot to foot at the Burrow’s front door, wearing a ridiculous sweater set with pearl buttons.

“Andromeda, dear,” Molly hugged the other woman before grinning like a naughty gnome at Tonks. “And you brought Nymphadora! What a nice surprise!”

Andromeda almost matched the terrible grin but caught herself just in time. “We were in the area…”

Tonks coughed with an incredulous air. “If this is just happenstance, then why the…” She caught her mother’s eye. “Then why am I wearing this hideous sweater?”

“It’s darling,” her mother insisted automatically. “And Molly made it for you.”

“It’s darling,” Tonks repeated with growing horror. “I love the little… buttons on it.” Her mother actually snorted, although it turned into a sniffle into a lacy handkerchief that appeared from nowhere.

Molly’s pat on the back propelled Tonks into the sitting room where Fleur and Bill were cuddled up on the couch. “Look at those two, I tell you. It’s enough to make a soul weep.” Her voice was low and completely belied the tenderness of her words. She was weeping for another reason altogether. “We’ve got some company, but I’m sure you don’t mind sharing the kitchen. Plenty of room to pull up a chair and scrape elbows.”

The forced cheer in Molly’s tone should have been a warning. The look of absolute angelic innocence on both their faces should have been a warning. The idiotic sweater set with pearl buttons should have been a warning. But still, with all of her Auror training and feminine instincts, Tonks walked into the kitchen unprepared.

“Tonks,” Remus stood at the sight of her, although it just as easily could have been good manners rather than the desire to run again. He and Tonks both glanced at Molly, who didn’t even have the good sense to look embarrassed.

“Isn’t it so nice to have friends over around the holidays?” She set a mug of tea out for Tonks and one of her fine china cups for Andromeda. “And I’ve made biscuits. They’ll be out of the oven in just a moment.” She gestured for the chairs at the table. Andromeda made a beeline for the seat farthest from Remus and seated herself gracefully.

“Don’t stand there like a silly lump, Dora. Sit down,” Andromeda giggled like a school girl suffering from a hopeless crush, but her eyes were straight bossy mother. Tonks dropped like a rock.

Only Remus remained standing, and his mouth opened and shut. He eyed Molly and Andromeda, turned his gaze to Tonks for a flickering moment, and then stared helplessly at his full steaming cup of tea. He’d obviously just arrived himself. “I really ought to be going. They’re expecting me back…”

“Not for hours, didn’t you say?” Molly said coyly. She had the appearance of a large ginger cat who had somehow managed to swallow the whole cage of canaries. “But perhaps you’d like a breath of fresh air. It’s awfully stuffy in here.”

“Yes!” Remus seized on that as a drowning man, dragging himself back from the brink. “Awfully stuffy. I’ll just get my cloak and…”

“You look warm, Dora,” Andromeda stirred her tea without looking up. What in blazes was she stirring in there anyway? The sugar bowl hadn’t even made it to table yet. Tonks gave them all a petulant look. “Yes, she always looks like a spoiled child when she’s overheated. Perhaps you should take a turn around the garden with dear Remus.”

Their gazes caught for a moment before Remus hurried into his cloak. He was caught, and he knew it. “I’ll… wait outside,” he muttered, disappearing in a flutter of worn robes and the slamming of the back door.

“You two are… ridiculous!” Tonks slapped her fist on the table and rattled her tea into its saucer. “You can’t just… this isn’t… we’re adults.”

Molly grinned and tried desperately to match Andromeda’s absolute calm. She failed. “Now then, Tonks, you can’t keep a man like that waiting. He might realize he doesn’t have to stay, and you’ll lose your chance. Go out there and fight like an Auror. Or better… like a woman in love.”

Tonks blew out a breath of air and rose unsteadily. There were a few mackintoshes and old cloaks hanging on pegs by the door, and she draped herself in the ugliest of them. “This will all end in tears,” she warned.

“Kiss him at least once,” her mother offered, turning the cup in its saucer just so. “Twice if you can.”

Last edited by Cassirin; 01-30-2008 at 05:26 PM.
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