Summary: A series of scene-fillers set during DH.
A/N: I think this could be a lot better than it is, so I will definitely be revising it at some point in the near future. Anyway, you should know I'm really using creative license here, since there is absolutely no indication in the books that anything like this happened. I'm not really sure when this fits in, considering the DH timeline is so vague... but sometime between Remus' return and Ted Tonks' death. This chapter is dedicated to yenni_babie because, well, she should know why.
Part Four: Promise
Tonks was sitting at the kitchen table in their flat when Remus returned home.
She was going over files of Death Eaters she’d nicked from the Ministry before she’d gone on her “maternity leave,” as she and Remus had dubbed it – though the official term would have been “resignation.” Not that it mattered, really: under the new rule, Tonks wouldn’t have stayed even if they had begged her. She couldn’t support a regime that went after Muggle-borns – after her own father.
Relief flooded her as Remus made his way to the kitchen. The sad reality was that Tonks couldn’t be at ease without her husband at home beside her. As it was, she had to keep herself from throwing her arms around Remus at the sight of him standing whole and well in front of her, though she couldn’t resist the relieved smile that made its way onto her face.
“Miss me?” he asked with a lopsided grin.
“More than you know!” she exclaimed, hopping out of her chair with as much agility as a five month pregnant witch could manage.
However, they both jumped when something hit the floor unexpectedly and shattered.
“What the...” muttered Remus, and both pairs of eyes quickly made their way to the source of the disturbance. “Was the wireless sitting in your lap, Tonks?”
“Oh, right!” she responded brightly, before casting a quick Reparo spell on the wireless. “Forgot I had it by my belly!”
“So the baby could hear your voice, of course!” Remus raised his eyebrows disbelieving, so she continued. “He misses his daddy when he’s gone. I know it ‘cos he kicks more when he hears your voice on Potterwatch.”
Remus couldn’t help but grin at this news. “And his mother...?”
“Oh, she enjoys hearing his voice as well,” she purred, sliding her hands around his neck as Remus settled his on her waist. “In fact, she finds it incredibly sexy...”
She leaned in then and kissed Remus deeply, intending to show him just how much she had missed him while he was gone.
“Hmm,” Remus hummed, pulling back just enough to gaze into her eyes. “Before we get too busy, I brought you something you’ll appreciate.”
“If it isn’t your naked body, I highly doubt I’ll appreciate it.”
Remus chuckled. “Well, if that’s the case, then let me just put this giant bar of Honeydukes into the cupboard for later...”
“No!” she gasped, grabbing the chocolate from him and ripping back the paper in an instant. Once her mouth was full of chocolate, she said in a muffled voice, “I’ve been craving this since we ran out, you wonderful, wonderful man!”
“You mean, since this morning?” he asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Okay, I take back the wonderful,” she deadpanned, but undermined her seriousness by shoving a square of chocolate into his mouth. “Mmm, you should know your son is very happy right now, Remus.”
“Is he? Hmm…” He paused and forced down his chocolate. “I’ve been meaning to ask you... you keep referring to our baby as a boy, but how do you know it’s a boy?”
“You refer to it as a boy as well.”
“Yes, but I only do it because you do.”
“I don’t know,” she said slowly, “mother’s intuition, I guess.”
“Nymphadora...” he began disbelievingly.
“Oh, don’t Nymphadora me, Remus! It’s the truth!” After a moment, she sighed and looked down at the fuzzy pink slippers on her feet. “All right, I might have done the charm...”
“But you agreed to wait!”
“I know!” she replied, anguished. “It’s just, Molly and I were talking and, oh Remus, I couldn’t wait! I never thought you’d figure it out!”
He chuckled. “It’s fine, Tonks. You’re the one carrying our child, so you do have the final say on these matters.”
“Really? You’re not mad?”
He stroked her cheek gently with his thumb, before wiping off some melted chocolate from the corner of her mouth. “Of course not.”
She hugged him tightly then, and sighed a muffled, “You’re so wonderful,” from somewhere against his shoulder.
“So I’m a wonderful again?” he asked with a cheeky smile and she punched him lightly on the shoulder. “When did you figure this out anyway?”
“Oh, ages ago. Molly and I sneaked away after dinner the night we told the Order I was pregnant.”
“Really? Why don’t I remember that?”
She grinned wickedly. “It was when Arthur took it upon himself to share his wisdom on pregnancy sex.”
“Oh yes,” he said with a slight shudder, “I suppose I was a bit, err, distracted at that point. Learned a few things about Molly and Arthur I didn’t care to know though.”
“Mmm, well now that me and the baby have had our fill of chocolate, why don’t we go test out some more of those... theories he shared with you, hmm?”
Remus cupped her face in his hands and pulled her toward him. “That sounds like a wonderful idea.”
However, just before their lips touched, a loud bang startled them apart. They both paused, listening intently to angry voices outside their front door, undoubtedly trying to break through the security spells. Remus and Tonks both pulled out their wands and immediately sent Patronuses to the other members of the Order. And just as Tonks was about to head toward the front door, Remus grabbed her forearm.
“What are you doing?”
“Going to fight... Let go of me Remus!”
“Are you completely mad?” he whispered dangerously, not releasing his grip on his arm.
“I might be pregnant, but I’m not helpless, you know!”
“I know that,” he said distractedly, his eyes darting between the door and his wife. “But if you fight, you’ll be putting our child in danger!”
“I can protect us both!”
“No, you can’t,” he said flatly, now completely focused on the door, muttering some extra protective spells that would at least buy them a few more seconds of safety.
She took advantage of his distraction and struggled out of his grip, making her way toward the door before Remus could catch her. However, he minimized the distance between them in just a few long strides and grabbed her again, this time too tightly, and she couldn’t help but wince at his long fingers tightening in a vice-like grip around her.
They both paused for a moment, feeling fleeting relief as the unmistakable voices of various members of the Order filtered through. However, her heart sank when she then heard that familiar cackle of Bellatrix Lestrange. It would only be a matter of time before the Death Eaters would make their way inside.
“Tonks,” Remus said with forced patience, “I know that you want to fight, but you have a much more important job right now.”
“Protecting our son,” he said simply.
“And what are you going to be doing, if not the very same thing?”
“No, you’re right: the same, of course. But we have to protect him in different ways, don’t we? I might be fighting to keep them away from you, but in the end, Tonks, it is you who will keep our son safe. Please,” he begged, his voice cracking a bit as he let go of her arm to clutch her hands instead, “there will be plenty of opportunities to fight in the future, unfortunately, but just… don’t fight tonight... keep our boy safe, you’re the only one who can.”
She nodded, feeling strangely defeated as she watched the relief flood her husband’s haggard features. He was right, of course. She wouldn’t be able to fight well in her current position – it wasn’t as if she could waddle away from the Death Eaters’ rapidly flying curses. And yet, turning away from a fight, going into hiding... it was a foreign concept to her, and she felt almost sick with regret at the thought of it.
“Please, go into our room, lock the door, put up as many spells as you can... and don’t come out, no matter what,” he said forcefully, willing her to understand with his eyes.
“Yes, husband,” she agreed with a bit of malice in her voice.
Either he ignored her tone or was too relieved to realize, because he merely pulled her into a quick embrace and placed a brief kiss on her forehead before backing away. “I’m sorry, love.”
“Me too,” she whispered. “Be careful.”
He nodded and brushed a strand of pink hair out of her eyes. “You too.” They both jumped apart as the last of the protective spells were rendered useless. “Go, now,” he whispered urgently.
She paused briefly, watching him dash forward before she made her way as quickly and soundlessly as possible to their bedroom. Just as she entered, she heard a huge bang and a dozen angry voices following, the sounds becoming louder and louder with each passing moment.
Tonks followed her husband’s instructions, putting up as many protective spells as she could manage. Yet, these spells were not exactly effective anymore, especially considering the fact that she now lacked Ministry backing. Plus, she knew her aunt was a far more powerful witch than she – it would not take much for Bellatrix to break through these barriers. Yet, all she could was hope that the Order members held her off long enough to call for a Death Eater retreat. But that was highly unlikely.
The Death Eaters had chosen to attack their flat for a reason.
Tonks held her wand in her hand and her fingers practically itched to join in and throw a curse. A sort of fever was burning within her as she paced the room, heart beating erratically while she smoothed her hands over her protruding stomach, whispering words of comfort to both her son and herself. In her isolation, she couldn’t help the questions that swam around her consciousness in an almost maddening way. What was happening out there? Was Remus all right?
As if in response to her questions, the door burst open at that precise moment. She turned eagerly toward it, but it wasn’t Remus, as she’d hoped. Rather, she had just barely enough time to throw herself behind the bed as Bellatrix pointed her wand in Tonks’ direction.
“Ah, there’s my darling niece,” sang Bellatrix with a sinister smile playing on her lips. “And why are you hiding, darling girl? Is the big bad fight too much for baby Nymphadora to handle?”
“Shut up,” she demanded through clenched teeth.
“Or,” she continued, seeming to gain confidence at Tonks’ anger, “did your werewolf mate decide that it was too dangerous for you out there? I suppose that’s a good thing though, maybe he knows that you are far too weak.” Bellatrix paused, and Tonks didn’t reply this time, but that didn’t seem to deter her in the least. “Or has he bitten you? And is now afraid of what sort of damage you would do...”
“You bitch! Remus would never bite me!” she yelled, forgetting her need to hide for a moment as she dashed forward, waving her wand furiously in her aunt’s direction.
Bellatrix’s eyes suddenly widened in shock as they took in Tonks’ appearance, her gaze lingering on the younger witch’s stomach. However, her shock was quickly replaced with a sneer as malicious dark eyes glittered with glee. “So that’s why the great Auror Tonks is hiding; not out of fear, but shame...”
“It’s not out of shame. It’s to protect my child from scum like you!”
“Scum like me? Ha! You are the filthy one, Nymphadora, with your tainted blood and now a werewolf child growing within your womb... how absolutely revolting you are, child. I doubt even your friends would look kindly on that.”
“You know very little of friendship then,” she snarled.
“Perhaps. But there are other things I know much more about,” she replied and then, with a casual flick of her wand, added, “like pain - Crucio!”
Tonks blocked the spell just in time, retreating a bit to her place behind the bed. She realized now how stupid and careless she had been, allowing Bellatrix’s words to weaken her defenses. The Cruciatus Curse could be deadly to her unborn child.
“Ah, so I see that carrying a werewolf cub has not rendered you completely useless. Good, I always prefer to win a battle when my opponent puts up a fight. Ava –“
It was the killing curse. Tonks couldn't block it. She couldn't move out of the way in time. Her mind was reeling. What could she do? She was doomed.
But a booming voice called, “Expelliarmus!” before Bellatrix had the chance to finish uttering the curse, and her wand flew up in the air, landing atop a high bookcase in the corner of the bedroom.
“Remus,” Tonks breathed, relief flooding her at the sight of her husband standing before her, only a few minor cuts and bruises marring his otherwise healthy and whole appearance.
“Your comrades are retreating,” Remus informed Bellatrix calmly, “and you should do so as well, unless you would rather meet the same fate to which you have doomed so many others.”
“The werewolf dares speak to me! Haven’t you disgraced the Black name enough, you filthy half-breed!” she bellowed, but her words lost their maliciousness due to her obvious anxiety, eyes darting back and forth from one wand to the other.
“Don’t talk to my husband like that,” replied Tonks. “After all, he’s family now.
“You are filth and a freak, unfitting of the noble Black blood that runs through your veins,” she spat. “You can be sure that the three of you will get what’s coming to you!”
At that moment, however, Kingsley and Arthur Weasley jogged into the room, wands out. Realizing she was truly outnumbered, Bellatrix summoned her wand and disappeared without another word.
“Is everything all right?” Kingsley asked slowly. “Tonks, you’re not hurt, are you?”
She shook her head, unable to find the words to speak. Her mind was still reeling from yet another close encounter with death. This time, however, it would not have only been her life lost. The thought made her stomach churn. How could she have ever thought to join in the battle, considering what would have been at stake? As it was, she had come so close to losing everything...
“Yes, we’re fine, thank you,” replied Remus. “We would have been doomed without you, though.”
Arthur shook his head and put a hand on Remus’ shoulder. “It’s what we’re here for.”
“Besides, we were lucky,” added Bill as he entered their bedroom, “only a handful of Death Eaters showed – we had them outnumbered at the end. Your place isn’t exactly in good shape, but none of the other tenants were harmed.”
“I reckon this was all Bellatrix’s doing,” said Tonks weakly. “She came after me right away. She definitely wants me dead.”
They all fell silent for a moment, no one wanting to acknowledge the fact that Tonks’ words were true.
“You should get to Andromeda’s house. She’s fine,” assured Kingsley at Tonks’ apprehensive look, “but it’s clear that living here isn’t safe for you two anymore. It’s much harder to put up effective protection spells on a flat than a house.”
“Of course,” said Tonks in a small voice, “we’ll leave as soon as we gather our things.”
“Do you need help?” Arthur offered.
“No, thank you, Arthur, we’ll be fine,” said Remus.
The three men nodded and then left the room to join in with the rest of the Order members’ feeble attempts at tiding up the flat.
Once they were gone, Tonks chanced a look in Remus’ direction. He was pale and seemed even more worn-out than usual. Upon noticing Tonks’ eyes on him, Remus attempted to force a smile, but it looked more like a grimace.
“Thank you,” he finally managed.
She gave him a confused look. “For what?”
“For not fighting. For keeping our son safe.”
“Oh, Remus,” she breathed, pulling him into a tight embrace. “You were the one who saved us!”
He shook his head, but said nothing else. She pulled back to give him an encouraging smile, and was shocked to see tears in his eyes.
“I know I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but please don’t ever leave me,” he whispered, his voice even raspier than usual. “Either of you,” he added as he placed a hand on her stomach.
His eyes met hers then, and she found herself mesmerized by the uncharacteristic fear and vulnerability etched in his features.
“Never,” she promised.
Suddenly, she despised everything even more, and not just because of the death and destruction happening at every turn. No, Tonks hated the war for its cruelty to love as well, and the way it forced her to make promises she would most likely be powerless to keep.
Part One: Happiness
Part Two: Flight
Part Three: Return
Part Four: Promise