Remus Lupin and Nympahdora Tonks would not, could not, get married. It simply wasn’t right. He was too old. He was too depressed. He was damaged, both inside and out. He was a werewolf. He was tainted. He was dirty.
She was young. She was beautiful. She was still pure in so many ways. She wasn’t ready for Remus.
But then again, he had thought to himself, there’s no one who is.
He took a sip of his tea, watching the sun set behind the deep aqua blue of the ocean, still sparkling in the radiance of the warm glow of late afternoon light. It was beautiful. He couldn’t take his eyes off of the gorgeous streaks of the orange and pink and purple that flowered in the sky…..It was everything that he wasn’t. Therefore, he was attracted to it immensely.
“It’s wonderful, isn’t it?” The soft, smooth voice of Tonks muttered from somewhere behind him. It didn’t matter where. All that mattered was that she was there. Although his heart began to pound, he didn’t dare to take his eyes off of the golden sky. Suddenly, though, he wanted to. God, he wanted to. He wanted to look at her. He wanted to stare into her glowing, orb-like eyes. But he didn’t deserve to look at her with lust and longing.
“Yes…..” He whispered after an eternity of silence.
“Remus-“she began, but he cut her off. He wasn’t ready for this discussion. Not yet. He doubted he ever would be. He didn’t deserve to hear her speak his name, his tainted, good for nothing name.
He stood up, tucking in his chair. He would leave her, standing alone in the kitchen of Shell Cottage, his actions and silence hopefully conveying the message he couldn’t bring himself to say.
Before he could leave, though, she placed a warm hand against his heart, letting the soft beat fill her body. Fill his body. This always calmed him down when he was mad. They were one, if only for a single moment. Together, their hearts thumped in perfect unison. Remus forgot that he was older. He forgot that he was a werewolf. He forgot that he was supposed to be leaving. For those few fleeting minutes, he was hers and she was his.
“Stop,” he breathed, although he didn’t want her to peel her hand away. He felt connected. He felt human.
“Remus, I have something to tell you…..” Tonks’ voice trailed off. Remus snapped his head up, grabbing the hand that still lay on his chest and enveloping it in his own.
“Tell me, then,” he replied, and she sucked in a great breath of air.
Remus sat in his room, thinking.
One time he had let himself go. He had let himself succumb to her beautiful face and intoxicating voice and perfect, perfect, personality. The personality that always made him fall for her all over again. And then he’d gone off and impregnated her.
He wasn’t ready for this.
He simply wasn't.
He had done it again. Again! Again, he had ruined everything. Again, he had made life hell not only for himself, but for others as well. Tonks was so young, far from being ready for the child that she now carried. His child. Their child.
What if he passed it on? His……problem? He didn’t want to bring another one into the world. It was too much of a burden to carry. Especially as a little baby- the transformations were painful. Blindingly, powerfully painful.
Why did he have to adore the woman he didn’t deserve? Why had he let himself play the game of love?
It’s your fault. Always your fault. You can’t do a single thing right! You tried to be the man she wanted, and you got her pregnant. Good for you, dirty werewolf.
“Enough!” He cried, letting out a shaky breath before resting his head in his hands.
He stared at the floor, the intricate wood patterns floating together through his tears. What had he done?
“Remus? Sweetheart?” Tonks called, rapping lightly at Remus’ bedroom door. He took another sip of his firewhiskey. He felt numb. He couldn’t feel the pain of his heart anymore, which in his case, was a definite plus.
He also couldn’t feel the regret. But God, he could feel the love.
“I’m sorry,” Tonks mumbled, running a thin hand through her jet black hair. Remus gulped.
“Why? Why are you sorry?”
“I……I’ve caused you pain. I know I have. Please, stop drinking,” she said, walking over to where her baby’s father sat and prying the small glass from his hand, pressing the tip of her wand to the edge of it.
“Don’t be sorry. Don’t ever be sorry.” Remus stared up at her.
“No, I’m not.”
Yes, you are—“
“I’ve only drunk enough to wash away the pain…. Nymphadora, it’s tearing me apart. I can’t deal with it. I’m weak. Please, save yourself and the baby and leave. Don’t ever come back. Let me die!” Remus half talked, half shouted. Tonks took a step forward, reaching out and clasping one of his hands in hers.
“Now you’re just talking shit.”
Remus smiled slightly, but it quickly faded.
“I’m not! I impregnated you with a werewolf baby! You’re so young, so beautiful…..I don’t deserve you. I’m below you in every way. And now I’ve gone and done it and ruined your life even more.” He reached out a shaky, fervent hand and rested against her stomach, which had not yet blossomed with the bump of a baby.
“A baby, whether it’s a werewolf or not, is a blessing, not a curse. And I’m proud that you, and not some half-brained nutcase, are the father. Remus, please, let me love you,” she pleaded, resting her toes atop of his, like they used to do so many months ago.
He wrapped his arms around her waist.
It was too late now.
Her eyes drew him in like a fish to the bait.
Although he didn’t want sex. Not tonight.
He wanted pure, uninterrupted, love. He wanted to lie in bed and kiss her and tell her all the things that he had never let himself say. She was perfect. She was alluring. He loved her with every ounce and fiber of his sad being.
He turned away.
“Don’t distance yourself from me now, Remus. Not now.” Tonks sounded stern. Sterner than she had in a long time. Remus sighed.
He hugged her.
He turned around and wrapped her up into right embrace, a soft, loving, tender hug, resting his chin atop her mane of shiny hair. He couldn’t convey how wonderful her warm body felt when pressed up against his. He ran his fingers gently up and down her back, letting her cup her ear to his heart and listen.
At some point in the night, they climbed into bed together.
They were undressed, but they didn’t have sex. Instead, they lay underneath the covers, Remus tracing, memorizing, every inch of her body.
He told her the things he wished he had had the bravery to utter earlier. He told her that she was the most beautiful woman he had ever met. He told her that she was perfect and he wasn’t and he hoped that she could forgive him for it. He told her that he loved her.
They fell asleep.
Remus woke up, still groggy, his arms wrapped around a thin, naked Tonks. His breath hitched.
She stared up at him, eyes bright and shining, a warm smile spread across her narrow face. He brushed hair that had escaped from her ponytail during the night behind her ear.
“Last night-“he began, but didn’t finish.
“Was perfect,” Tonks replied, nestling, somehow, even closer to him than she already was. Remus closed his eyes. Last night was perfect. But it didn’t forgive him. It didn’t forgive his many, many, sins and faults. Nothing would.
“Remus, I want you to know something,” Tonks muttered a few moments later. “You are beautiful. You are the most stunning man I have ever met. Your-condition- will never, ever, stop me from loving you. Everyone has demons. And yours don’t bother me. I love you through them, and I always will. I couldn’t think of a better man than you to raise my, our, son. I love you. I love you, I love you, I love you,” she whispered, over and over again.
“I love you more,” Remus replied, leaning down to kiss her lips softly, sweetly, passionately.
He wanted to put his feelings into words for her, but he couldn't.
So he kissed her until they were out of breath and smiling, their foreheads pressed against one another's. His thumb grazed her prominent cheekbone impossibly lightly, and she closed her eyes, a warm grin still set like stone upon her youthful face.
He loved her. God, he loved her.
He knew that their marriage, which they would one day have to have, considering she was pregnant, wouldn’t be perfect. They each had their faults, although his were far more plentiful than hers. They would argue. They would cry. They would yell.
Yet there was no use denying it.
He needed her like the sun needed the moon, the Earth needed the sky, heaven needed hell, and day needed night. He loved her like Romeo loved Juliet, but this time, he knew that no matter what came into their life, as they were one soul rather than two, that they would be okay.
He loved her, she loved him, and all was well.