They were sitting side by side on Remus Lupins bed without speaking. Three hours had passed since Nymphadora Tonks was clinging to him and was begging for his love. The events of this night were awful and a shock for all of them.
Especially Lupin who had always believed into Snapes loyality towards Dumbledore couldnt believe what he had done this night. Dumbledore was gone. The only wizard Lord Voldemort had ever feared. And he died by the hand of someone he trusted. Lupin would never forget the look in Harrys eyes: the pure anger and hate that was mixed into all his sadness and pain. He knew that he would be fine though. He had still Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Hagrid to take care of him.
But what about him? Everyone who had cared for him was dead now.
No, not everyone.
He turned his head to see Tonks sad face. She forced a smile as he looked at her but her face was covered with tears that were still running down her face. She was crying silently since they had left Hogwarts an hour ago. And her tears didn't stop since then. Lupin would have cried too but he was currently in shock and wouldnt allow his tears to fall again.
Are you hungry?, he asked her only to break the silence.
Tonks shook her head and looked down at her knees.
You didnt answer my question yet., said Tonks after another minute or two. Her mousy brown hair was hiding her face as she was looking down. It was still strange for him to see it frizzy and colourless like this.
Weve already talked about it-, said Lupin.
Remus..., she interrupted him and her voice was about to break again as her stream of tears was becoming heavier. She turned her head to look at him. Im sick of your old, pathetic excuses, Remus. All you care for is yourself-
No, I dont-
Youre so self centred-
You dont understand the situation Im in. Its complicated-
Complicated?!, she gasped. And how would you call my life? Easy? Stop hiding after the fact that youre a werewolf, Remus!
Im not hiding-, he tried to defend himself.
Oh, then youre noble or what? Perfect! What do you want? Do you want to play the martyr that dies in order to protect others? She was getting more and more angry with every word she said although her tears were still falling. Let me tell you something, Remus Lupin: youre forgetting something. While youre playing the hero and hang around with your werewolf pals Im alone in here. Im dying. Youre killing me. Whenever I hear that a werewolf had died; whenever Im alone in my bed and cannot sleep; whenever you ignore me although were in the same room. Indeed, very noble, Remus. Youre such a hero.
It was almost scary to see her mood change like this. But Lupin understood her anger. She was right: he wasnt noble at all. He was a coward. He couldnt bear looking at her anymore. Remorse was biting his stomach.
He stood up to leave the room but before he left he turned around for one last time.
Please stay here tonight., he said. You can sleep in my bed if you want to. Ill take the sofa.
No. Please, give me time to think. Its not easy.
Lupin didnt sleep that night. He didnt expect he would. Tonks didnt know it but she wasnt the only one who was suffering under their separation.
Lupin was dying, too.
He looked at the huge magical hourglass in the corner of his parlour. Almost six in the morning.
He remembered that Sirius was often sleepless, too, while he was trapped at Grimmauld Place number twelve. He often saw him alone in the kitchen where he was drinking fire whiskey only to distract himself. Lupin had always tried to cheer him up but never succeeded. Was he like Sirius now? A daredevil who was separating himself from others? Was he really like this?
Lupin shook his head.
No., he whispered. He didnt want to end like him. He didnt want to carry this heavy gloominess anymore. Sirius died alone, without a wife, without any children. All he had left behind was his godson and a friend that would never forget him. But Lupin wasnt alone. No. There was somebody who loved him, who would wait for him, who would do anything for him.
It was Tonks.
He remembered their first kiss and how he melted under her lips. It was better than his first flight on a cleansweep one. He remembered the smell of her hair. It smelled like daffodils no matter which colour or shape it had. He remembered the touch of her skin softer than silk and warmer than sun light. He remembered the smiles she gave him; her awkwardness. He remembered everything.
What was he waiting for?
He wouldnt hesitate another moment. He had to see her.
Tonks woke up as she heard to bedroom door clicking. She was still wearing her street wear and even her boots because she wasnt intending to fall asleep. But her tears and tiredness had been stronger.
She jerked as she saw Lupin standing only a few inches away from her and tried to hide the roll of toilet paper that she had used to dry her tears.
Im sorry-, she said before Remus was able to speak.
Shh., he said as he knelt down to her. You were right, Dora. All the time. Always. But I ... I was to blind to see. I was a fool, my angel. Will you ... will you ever forgive me?
She blinked. Were her ears betraying her. Was it really true.
Always!, she said and she almost stumbled on the ground as she tried to leave the bed.
Lupin caught her in his arms and smiled at her. Their faces were so close that he could smell her sweet breath.
I really missed your awkwardness, Dora.
She smiled. And I missed your smile, Remus.
Remus smiled and kissed her.
And as they kissed Tonks hair turned from mousy brown to cotton candy pink.