Summary: A series of scene-fillers set during DH.
A/N: Here it goes... let me know what you think. This one takes place in late June/early July, I imagine, between the end of HBP and beginning of DH.
Part One: Happiness
Remus winced as his back collided painfully with a doorknob.
He pulled away from Tonks’ lips just long enough to realize that they were standing outside of his – soon to be their - flat. When had they gotten there? He hadn't even registered that uncomfortable push and tug of Apparation. Perhaps Tonks was less dazed than he – or, at the very least, not quite as drunk.
They had been celebrating, that was the reason he’d agreed to a rare dinner out and the even more rare bottles of wine with their meal. Although neither of them had the money to spare, it was their wedding night. If ever there is a time to splurge, he assured himself, it’s now.
Tonks had suggested marriage that Sunday – a seemingly vague and casual comment on her part, but Remus knew better. It had clearly been on her mind since their reconciliation, and quite possibly even before that. No, the deceitfully innocent request had all the markings of a well-planned assault on their still somewhat haphazard relationship.
“Just think about,” she said off-handedly. “I think it could be what we really need.”
What we really need? He’d wondered over and over again. What did that mean? It was what he wanted, that much he could not deny. But not now, not when they were living in a world tainted by war and death. Was it necessary to get married in order for her to get over the hurt he’d bestowed upon her, or was it just what she deemed to be the natural progression of their relationship?
He had needed more time to think.
He’d put off answering that day. Managed to avoid it on Monday as well. But by Tuesday, he’d only narrowly avoided the topic by continually bringing the conversation back to Order matters, and then feigning sleep.
However, Tonks wasn’t stupid. When she brought the topic up again on Wednesday night, just after Remus’ heaving body had collapsed beside hers, he knew he could not put it off any longer.
“If you can give me a reason – a proper reason – for us not to get married, then I’ll drop it, Remus.”
Her large, dark eyes were imploring, and he even detected a hint of desperate longing behind her gaze. After all that had happened, after wanting so much for her idea about marriage to be the truth, he could not manage to say no. Against his better judgment – as many of his decisions regarding Tonks tended to be – he felt himself slowly giving in.
“And this will be good for you?”
She looked down at her hand, which was stroking his bare shoulder slowly, instead of meeting his eyes. “No, it’ll be good for us.”
Somehow, he doubted that. Marriage loomed above him, an ominous cloud over his already darkened existence. But after all that had happened between them, if this was what she needed, how could he possibly say no? He couldn't bear the thought of seeing that hurt in her eyes again. Rather, he forced what he hoped was a genuine smile upon his face nevertheless.
“Then, Tonks, will you marry me?”
Perhaps she saw through his façade because, just for a moment, her own smile faltered. But then, she recovered, a huge grin illuminating her heart-shaped face as she leaned toward him and whispered, “That was hardly romantic.”
“You’re right, how’s this?” he asked and then kissed her, long and languidly, until he all but forgot his reservations in place of soft lips and wandering hands.
On Thursday, they picked out rings.
It was not a monumental occasion, in the grand scheme of things. Tonks pulled the rings out of her robes to admire them so much that she finally thrust them at him, declaring him a more worthy guard of those precious treasures. Yet, the small velvet boxes felt like lead in his pocket, pinning him to a commitment he feared he was not worthy to make.
Still, he plastered a smile on his face, and listened intently as Tonks speculated how each member of the Order would react to their speedy nuptials. He would let her tell everyone, he decided, noting the breathless anticipation in her voice.
It was the least he could do.
On Friday, Tonks broke the news to her parents. This, he could tell, had been worrying her, though she never said a word about it. Still, her anxiety was palpable, almost stifling, as she spent all of that morning’s breakfast talking fast and fidgeting with her wand before going to work. She came home that night an hour later than expected, wearing a weary smile.
“Took a while to calm Mum down,” Tonks informed Remus sheepishly as she hugged him from behind.
“Not too fond of the idea of her only daughter marrying a werewolf?” he asked wryly.
“Merlin, no!” exclaimed Tonks, “that didn’t even come up! My parents aren’t like that, you know that. No, her concerns had more to do with the elusiveness of said werewolf.”
“But, in the end, she informed me it was my grave I was digging,” finished Tonks cheerfully.
“A comforting thought.”
Tonks shrugged. “I’ve got more faith in you than that.”
You shouldn’t, he thought shamefully, but said nothing. Instead, he allowed her to pull him over to the settee and snuggle up against him. He placed an absent-minded kiss against her temple, and his stomach did a flip when she smiled broadly. Even through his anxiety, he loved to see her happy.
Then Saturday dawned. Remus awoke to a heavy thudding in his chest.
The ceremony had been a small affair, with only Tonks’ parents as witnesses. He wore his least-faded robes, while Tonks, who had pulled an earlier Saturday shift at the Ministry, donned her Auror robes. Small, however, was what they needed. They couldn’t afford anything grand, of course, but it was more than that. With a quiet ceremony, they could buy time before word inevitably leaked out. Before the hate caught up with them - the hate from both ends.
He shuddered at the thought.
Tonks’ voice seemed slightly suspicious and very far away. Shaking his head, Remus re-focused his thoughts on the pink-haired woman before him.
She titled her head to the side, biting her lip against a smile. “Got lost in my eyes, eh?”
“Something like that,” he mumbled, pressing a few brief kisses against her lips. “Alcohol and thinking don’t mix well together.”
Tonks made a scandalized gasp. “If you’re still thinking then I’m clearly not doing this right...”
He chuckled and leaned forward, closing the distance between them with another kiss. This time, she reacted enthusiastically, pulling him toward her so that they both almost tumbled to the floor. He grabbed the doorpost just in time, and put a hand out to steady her.
The kiss was hypnotizing, and all thoughts were pushed aside at the feel of her lithe body pressing against him enticingly. It seemed Tonks was doing it right after all: he was no longer thinking.
Tonks broke away from the kiss and backed up. Remus groaned inwardly, immediately missing the lust-induced stupor her embrace had caused. He watched her as she bit her bottom lip, which was still puffy and red from their earlier kisses.
“Can you do me a favor?”
“Can you carry me over the threshold?”
He blinked. “Erm, what?”
“It’s a silly old tradition, I know, but... well, I’ve always imagined that happening on my wedding night, that’s all,” she finished, all in one breath.
He stared at her again for a few moments, before nodding. Without warning, Remus bent down and scooped her up in his arms, and she gasped and then giggled with tipsy delight. He made his way rather clumsily past the threshold and cringed as he scraped his elbow against the doorpost.
He set her down as soon as he got them inside, and she stumbled, gripping him around the neck to steady herself. She watched without removing her hands as he turned awkwardly to close the door and perform all the necessary security spells. And then, before he could do anything else, she pulled his face down toward hers again for another searing kiss.
“Hmm,” he hummed vaguely, pulling away to look into her eyes again. “I’m sorry we couldn’t have a bigger wedding or – ” He looked around with a frown – “a proper honeymoon.”
Tonks huffed. “Listen to me, Remus,” she began patiently. “Firstly, none of that’s your fault. We had to get married in secret because of my dear Aunts and their mates, seeing as they want to off me and my family –” He tried to protest, but she put up a hand – “but they’ve wanted to do that for ages anyhow so you can’t blame yourself for that."
“But – ”
“As for the honeymoon,” she said louder, “traveling long distances is pretty much the most stupid thing we could do right now! Not to mention the fact that I would never take off even a day from work anyway.”
“Yes, but –”
“And while we’re at it, you’re forgetting the golden rule of our wedding night.”
“What’s that?” he asked wearily.
“No dwelling on the bad stuff: past, present, and future included. You’ll have your whole life to do that, and I dunno about you, but I’m only planning on having this one wedding night.”
“Me too, of course,” said Remus quickly.
“Ok, good. Then, if that’s settled...” She pulled out her wand and said, “Accio firewhiskey!”
Remus raised his eyebrows as a bottle of alcohol came flying haphazardly toward them. After a moment, she summoned two glasses as well, though she lost her concentration, causing the glasses to hit the floor and shatter.
Remus chuckled and she glared at him. He hid his grin poorly as he easily repaired the glasses, handing her one before extracting the bottle from her grasp.
“It’ll just be easier if I do it,” he said when she raised her eyebrows, and then he poured them both glasses of amber liquid.
“To my beautiful wife,” he said, raising her glass.
“To the most amazing wedding night,” she added with a wicked grin.
They both downed their glasses quickly.
Between the alcohol and heated kisses that held promises of what was to come, he had already been dangling precariously above mindlessness. But that wicked smile was what pushed him over the edge.
He was gone.
She spilled firewhiskey all over his back when he hooked his arms around her waist and yanked her toward him. Startled, she pulled back to give him a curious, wide-eyed look. Remus attempted to smile reassuringly, though it felt more like a grimace. But as soon as she relaxed and laughed slightly, he began to pepper kisses down her neck, peeling back her Auror robes slightly to allow access to more soft, pearly skin. She sighed into his hair and her glass slipped from her fingers.
Neither of them noticed it shatter.
He was only aware of Tonks – dark, sparkling eyes, strong grip on his robes, and surprisingly coordinated lead as she, walking backward, brought them to their bedroom.
Small, insistent hands shoved his robes off of his lean body, and he kicked them to the side. Then, feather-like fingers were dusting his chest, goosepimples rising in their wake. Remus found her lips again as he lowered her onto their bed, hands traveling down the length of her body, across the slight curve of her hips and resting on her breasts.
There was no time to pause and think now, not that he could have even if he wanted to. He had been attracted to Tonks since the day he met her, but tonight... tonight, something was different.
They were husband and wife now.
Not even the alcohol could compare to the heat that surged through him at the very thought.
Whatever happened after tonight, they were together forever. She was his and he was hers. There would be no one else.
For the time being, he could pretend that was all they needed.
The first thing Remus noticed when he awoke the next morning was the throbbing pain in his head. Before he could stop himself, he let out a groan. He hadn’t had a hangover like this in ages.
Tonks stirred then, and even though she didn’t open her eyes, judging from the way her face contorted, she was experiencing a similar unpleasant sensation.
She cupped a hand to her mouth and breathed into it. “Ugh, wretched!” Finally, she opened her eyes, and somehow managed a smile – though it looked more like a grimace. “That was some night.”
“It really was,” said Remus with a burp.
Tonks let out a breathy laugh. “Where’s my wand? I think some hangover draught’s in order...”
After she managed to extract her wand from the pocket of her robes, which had been tossed in a ball at the foot of the bed, she summoned the glass vial. “Cheers,” she said dully, and took a sip before handing it to Remus. “Awful stuff,” she said with a shudder.
He took his own swig from the vial, and grimaced when the foul-tasting potion hit his taste buds. After a moment, Tonks seemed to perk up, and he, too, could feel the pain lifting from his weary body. His headache was now thankfully reduced to a dull thudding in his temples.
“Well, I’m gonna get ready for work. Are you getting up now?”
He shook his head. “I think I’ll stay in bed a bit longer.”
“Okay, I’ll let you know when breakfast’s ready. Thanks for the most amazing wedding night,” she purred, placing a quick kiss on his cheek before bounding from the room.
Once she was gone, Remus fell back against the pillows, sending a few feathers flying around his head as he did so. What had they done last night? Most of the night’s events were obstructed by a haze of passion. They should have been more responsible; they were in the midst of a war, anything could have happened when their inhibitions were down! Although that night should have been one of the best in his life, he could not quite swallow the wretched worry that burned his insides.
Though his headache was gone, there was something much worse pounding in his head now, something that no amount of potion could remedy: regret.
Part One: Happiness
Part Two: Flight
Part Three: Return
Part Four: Promise