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Old 01-10-2010, 06:58 AM   #581 (permalink)

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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

Originally Posted by Pink Ninja View Post
Oh my goodness Ern..... you have reduced me to tears here.... Well done!

I love this story. PAMS
Thanks, Other Erin! Emotional reaction is good... and this wasn't even a particularly emotional update. JUST WAIT. Bahaha.

Originally Posted by emilyblack View Post
Oh my gosh. That was incredible. I felt like I was there in the fight. It was awesome. You portrayed all of the characters perfectly. I love that little comment that Tonks said to Remus about it not being the right time to snuggle. Hilarious; I definitely cracked up. You are an amazing writer and I can't wait for more. Please PAMS (:
Thanks, Emily (yes? Emily?)! Fight scenes are hard enough without trying to write someone else's fight scene. I appreciate the fact that you enjoyed reading it.

And I love that Tonks and Remus are always able to interject a bit of levity into a scene.

Originally Posted by MsMorgan View Post
Wow, yet again another simply amazing update. This fic never fails to have me hanging on every word and leave me wanting more. Another update soon, pretty please?
I solemnly swear to post again... tonight! Glad you enjoyed it.

Originally Posted by Lupinfangirlx View Post
WOAH!! amazing!! i love you'r writing, and this story is one of my favourites! can't wait 2 find out what happens..!! PAMS! please
Thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying the fic, and I hope you like this new update as well .

Note: The next Tonks scene in the book was played out in excruciating detail by JK, and I didn't want to reinvent the wheel. If you need a reminder of what happened in the hospital wing, I suggest you reread chapter 29 of HBP. This scene takes place immediately after.

Several hours later, after ensuring Bill was well and learning that it was Dumbledore who had died up in that tower, Tonks could only marvel that so much had happened in one day. This morning, she had been ruminating over their wasted year at Hogsmeade, and now…

Now she had to live with the guilt. And there was so much guilt and so much regret. The death of Dumbledore, the loss of Draco to the Death Eaters, the haunted look on Harry’s face, Bill’s wounds, Ginny’s tearless fury, Molly’s sorrow… Tonks slid each layer of guilt on like a garment, staggering under the weight. At her side, helping her into the corridor with his gentle manners, was Remus. Hers, but not hers. Sharing the burden and breaking her heart.

He caught up her chin with one hand, forcing her gaze to his. “Don’t you dare play what if. It wouldn’t have made any difference.”

Annoying man, reading her mind like that. “If I’d sent for Proudfoot…”

“He still wouldn’t have been able to get through the barrier,” Remus insisted calmly. He rubbed her jaw with his thumb. “Nothing would change.”

“Or everything would. We should have stopped Snape. We let him…” What was more horrifying than Dumbledore’s death was the sneaking possibility that Harry could have been hurt too.

“Dumbledore trusted him,” Remus said. His voice went flat with anger. “Damn Dumbledore for not trusting us enough to tell what he was working on or to… confess about Snape.”

Tonks tugged him further down the hall, safe from the ears of anyone else who exited the infirmary. “Don’t speak ill of the dead.”

“Shall I speak ill of the living, then?” he snapped, but he was immediately repentant. “I should examine the body before the Ministry arrives.” His tone was as feather soft as his gaze, but it still felt like a tearing.

Tonks bit back a sob. “You should examine yourself!”

They were now getting into the conversation he’d been dreading, a continuation of the one started at Bill’s hospital bed, and Remus put his hands up as a barrier between their bodies. “I don’t want…”

“You don’t get to want anything anymore!” Tonks stomped her foot in a passable imitation of a toddler. He wasn’t going to get the chance, yet again to reject her. “Everything is about what you want, what you’re comfortable with. What if you’d died tonight, and I never had a chance…”

“Well, what of it?” he interrupted. “What if you’d died? How could I live with it?”

At least it was a concession that he cared as deeply as she did. Tonks softened. “It wouldn’t have been your fault. I’m an adult woman, Remus. I’m an Auror to boot. If I can’t handle myself, it’s my own problem.”

She wrapped her fingers around his hands, tight as Venomous Tentacula. Over his shoulder, Tonks could see Arthur lead Molly from the infirmary. The two murmured softly to each other, consumed in the moment by an entire shared history. Her fingers tightened, the Tentacula strangling his hand.

“And if I’m the one to hurt you?” He eyed her white knuckles, giving them a careful nudge. His voice was soft. Broken. Was he conceding?

“How many times have you forgetten to take your potion? Not times when you were undercover and chose not to,” she interrupted before he could. “But times you actually didn’t remember to take it.”

Remus made a noise in the back of his throat. “Just the once.”

“How about you trust me to take care of myself, and I trust you to take your potion?”

The sconce over their head flickered, and Tonks studied the shadows on his face. The lighting wasn’t kind, carving deep lines around his mouth and across his forehead. Even in the short time she had known him, Remus had aged. Was she contributing to that, or could she make those lines disappear again?

He struggled to answer her question, which meant he was searching for yet another reason to say no. Stubborn man.

Tonks wouldn't let him say no again. “You know that every single one of your arguments falls down, Remus. I can keep at you for the rest of your life. Wear you down until you give in. Out-stubborn you.”

His chin fell against his chest, and Remus covered his eyes. There was something very hollow to her victory when he was so unhappy about it. No one wanted to be in a relationship built on emotional blackmail and concessions.

Sigh. “Don’t you know, Remus? Don’t you know that I’d rather be with you for one day than spend a lifetime without you? A day, a month… a year. It would be worth it to me.” She inched into his personal bubble of space.

It was hard to face that she had two options: either she was in love with a coward or he didn’t love her enough to put aside his fears. Neither was a particularly pleasant thought.

“A year? Shouldn’t you be demanding a lifetime?”

“Something is better than nothing,” she whispered. “Don’t you see that you’re leaving me with nothing, Remus? All this love I feel for you, and I have nothing to show for it.”

“You have my love. You have the knowledge that I love you. Shouldn’t that be enough?” There it was. Full out confession that he loved her. Which made him a coward.

“Is it?”

He didn’t respond. She would have been disappointed if he had.

“Think about it. Figure out if it’s enough just to love each other and never be together. Let me know.”

And because she was determined to be the one to walk away, Tonks shouldered her guilt and turned her back on him.
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