There were only five more minutes left until they would fly to Privet Drive Number Four, the house of Vernon and Petunia Dursley. They made sure that Harry would be alone when they came to pick him up. Nymphadora Tonks, Remus Lupin, Kingsley Shaklebolt, Alastor Moody and a few others were preparing to leave as Sirius Black entered the kitchen of Grimmauld Place Number Twelfe.
Like Ive already said Id really like to come with you. He was almost pleading. I think theres still an old flying carpet or a broom somewhere in the house.
Lupin sighed and shook in his head.
Weve already talked about this., he said. Sirius its too-
-dangerous. I know., completed Sirius his sentence with a defiant look on his face. But I want to help, too. I hate to be trapped in here.
Dont be stupid, Sirius., said Tonks with a pitiful smile. You know that we need you here...
Oh great! The dog is allowed to guard the house.
You know that its not like this., said Lupin. Youre playing an important role in this game, too. And you know that well be back as soon as we can.
Sirius was looking down. He looked so miserable as he nodded in fake agreement.
Im worried about him, Nymphadora., said Lupin as they left the kitchen. Im afraid he could do something light headed.
Call me Tonks., said Tonks. Dont worry about him. He isnt alone tonight. Mr. and Mrs. Weasly and the others are still here. Theyll have an eye on him.
I know. But they wont always be here. Theyll all leave when school is starting again and the kids are out. He sighed. Sirius is a strayer. Its not good for him to be trapped in one place.
But its the only way. She gave him an encouraging smile. Hell be fine.
He smiled back at her. It was a warm smile that made her feel fuzzy inside. She could look at him forever.
Mad-eye Moody cleared his throat. We should go now. You can continue flirting when were back.
Tonks and Lupin blushed immediately and stammered pathetic excuses.
Tonks had still the smell of Petunias daffodils in her nose when she entered the stairs a few hours later. Everything worked the way theyd planned it although she broke a plate in the Dursleys house. When she was looking down she saw a thin flesh coloured cord on the stairs extendable ears. She new that Fred and George were still trying to catch something of the conversation in the kitchen that was slowly running out. But she wouldnt tell their mom.
She was already so tired and distracted by the extendable ears that she didnt see Lupin descending.
Youre going to bed?
Tonks heart skipped some beats.
I ... It was a long day., she stammered. Her heart was beating so fast and loud that she was almost certain that he could hear it.
Please dont go yet., he begged. Molly has just told me that Alastor and Arthur want to discuss next weeks night watch schedule. ... Molly made some lemon pie. And Id ... Id be happy if youd stay another hour or two. He blushed and looked away to hide his eyes.
Tonks giggled. She knew that they had already discussed the schedule and that it was only a plea to make her stay.
I will., she said with a smile.
Her previous tiredness was completely washed away. And as they were descending side by side she almost stumbled over the last steps.
Its so annoying!, said Tonks. She was angrily walking up and down the kitchen floor. How could this toadface ever become head mistress?! Is Fudge mental?!
Calm down, Dora!, said Remus.
He was sitting on a kitchen chair near her. They were the only people in the kitchen of Grimmauld Place Number Twelfe. Sirius was probably already pretending to be asleep or something like this. He was isolating himself lately.
Calming down wont do it, Remus., said Tonks. That putrid git didnt even allow The Daily Prophet to write about the deaths of Barty Crouch and Cedric Diggory. There isnt even a single word about Barty Crouch Jr. He really does his best to ignore Voldemorts return. It really makes me sick to work in the ministry sometimes.
Lupin smiled and stood up.
Dont worry about it, Dora. Dumbledore said theyll replace Fudge once the ministry learns the truth about Voldemorts return. Everything will be fine.
Tonks smiled. Lupins smile had washed her anger away. Youre probably right., she said. I only hope the next Minister will be a better one.
Im sure he will be.
Lupin was now so close that she could see all of the scars and wrinkles on his handsome, worried face.
Do you think the order will be strong enough to fight him, Remus? There was a tiny hint of fear in her voice.
We can never be sure., said Lupin with a excusing smile. But as long as we all stick together well have a chance.
He brushed a strand of bubblegum pink hair out off her face. His fingers were stroking her cheeks while his hands were holding her face.
Will you stay with me, Remus? She didnt know why she said it. The words had left her mouth before she was able to stop them.
He looked at her for a moment, a lifetime, with a mix of confusion and surprise. Her face was an open book. Could he forget his reason and fear for a moment and just obey his heart for only this time? Could he?
Always., he said and it was his heart that answered for him.
Tears of happiness were shining in her eyes as her face was blooming with a happy smile. She was so beautiful that Remus lost all his senses. Being close to her was the only thing his heart desired. And following the order of his heart he leaned down to kiss her lips. He melted under her kisses as she joined in and threw her arms around his neck. Their kiss was all that mattered, the only thing they needed.
In this moment the world was good. There were no troubles, no death eaters, no Voldemort. Only this kiss.
Remus, please listen to me!, Tonks was pleading. Please look at me.
They were in his small, dark bedroom in his cheap apartment.
Remus shook his head and looked away. Heavy tears were running down his face.
Tonks was crying, too for the same reason and another one.
I cant, Dora. I cant.
His voice was trembling and he was avoiding her look as if it was too painful to look at her. As if it could make him stagger in his decision to do the only thing that seemed right for him.
Remus, ... please, ... dont ... do this ... to me. Pleeease... Her voice was trembling so much that she could hardly speak. She sank down to the ground and gave in to her tears.
Her sobbing was so loud that it broke his heart, a million times.
Dora, I cant., he said again. He had turned his back on her. You and I ... it had always been wrong.
Dont ... talk like this, Remus., she begged. Dont make a decision while youre mourning.
Ive made my decision ... before ... before his death., he lied. His reason was gaining control over his heart. He didnt want to lose another beloved one.
Remus, its not your fault., she always yelled.
I should have held him back ... but I didnt.
He turned around and looked at her.
The little hint of hope that was blooming in her when he was finally looking at her again disappeared as he began to speak.
Dora, lets face it. His voice was unusually cold. Youre so young, so much younger than me. You don't know the cruelty of this world yet. There is a happier life waiting for you, a life without me.
Dont say this Remus., she stopped him. Her tears were mixed with anger and despair. Dont throw me ... us away like this.
I only want you to be happy., he said calmly but his eyes were filled with deep regret.
There wont be any happiness without you!
Remus shook his head.
No, Dora. Ill never be able to make you happy. Im too poor and too old. Ill never find a job that would be enough to feed a family. I have hardly enough for myself.
Dont come with your age and money again. You know that Im earning enough for both of us.
NO! He almost screamed. He was using his teacher voice. Its not only this. Im a werewolf, Dora. Im dangerous. The only thing that controls me at full moon is the wolfsbane potion. Youve never seen me without it. You have no idea how its like. Id kill my best friend in the werewolf state. There is nothing that could hold me back. Not even you.
He remembered that fateful night when he had forgotten to take the potion and almost killed his best friend: ... Sirius. He looked away as more tears were running down his face.
I dont care., she breathed. She stood up and walked over to him. Ive already told you that I dont care that youre a werewolf. I can deal with it. Ill support you.
She tried to touch him but he pushed her harshly away.
No., he said in a severe, loud voice. Ive made my decision. Im better off alone and youre doing better without me.
With these words he left the room. Remus!, she shouted after him but she already heard the front door clicking and the silent plop as he disapparated.
He was gone.
She sank down at Lupins bed and stared at the door in front of her. A moment of numbing prevented her to realise what had just happened. He was gone. Gone. And there was nothing she could do. Fresh tears were watering her face and the pain was burning in her chest. She screamed. It was a scream of pain, of sadness, of despair. And as she screamed her hair was turning mousy brown. The pain in her heart took the metamorphmagus abilities away from her.
It was broken.