I couldn't stand leaving her there. Every inch of my being wanted to stay there with her, but healer McWhite would never allow it. Goodbyes were short and sweet and to the point because she was slowly drifting off to sleep.
"See ya, Tonksie," Sirius said, leaning down to hug her. "Come back soon."
"I would come back right now if I could," she said weakly.
"Feel better," James said, leaning down to hug her as well.
"Bye James," she said into his shoulder.
It was then my turn to bid farewell to the lovely Tonks. She turned to look up at me with her big, beautiful brown eyes, full of apprehension and sadness. I couldn't make a sound.
"Goodbye Remus," she said, opening her arms to give me a hug. I leaned forward and wrapped my arms around her neck, never wanting to let go. Her frail arms could barely latch around my waist as she tried very hard to hug me.
"Goodbye Tonks," I said, still wrapped around her. I didn't ever want to let go.
"Well… Common boys," I heard healer McWhite say, clearing her throat. "Professor Dumbledore is expecting you in ten minutes."
I finally let go of her and looked down into her pale face, covered in spattergroit spots.
"Goodbye," I whispered so that only she could hear.
"Goodbye," she whispered back, and I was swept from the room.
Tonks did end up being at St. Mungo's for three months. Me and the boys got to go visit her on weekends and sometimes in the evenings after classes. With each visit, she improved. After a month or so, her spots seemed to be going away. After two, they were mere scars. When three months rolled around, she was no longer contagious and could walk again. I was so proud of her for being so strong. She was truly amazing, she was.
One night in early April, we were all sitting around the fire, relaxing after a hard day of classes and Quidditch lessons. Sirius was lounging on the couch next to me, reading a muggle sports magazine.
"Why do you read those, Sirius?" James asked. I looked up from the book I had been immersed in, and saw James peeking at the cover of Sirius's magazine.
"Coz it's interesting," Sirius said. "Have you ever read one?"
"Nope," James said, throwing himself back on his couch and picking up Quidditch through the Ages again. "And I don't intend to."
"You should," Sirius said, flipping a page. "Have you ever heard of rugby?"
"Nope," James said, trying to concentrate on his book.
"What about you, Remus?" Sirius asked, turning to me. "Have you ever heard of rugby?"
"Umm.. Mighta heard of it," I said, shifting myself to face Sirius. "What is it anyway?"
"Well…" Sirius said, and then went off on a long explanation of the game of rugby. I soon wished I hadn't asked the question at all.
All of a sudden, the portrait hole opened and we heard:
Sirius stopped in the middle of his explanation and turned to see who had entered. James also sat up and looked. I immediately knew who it was, just from the voice. I looked up with a feeling a happiness rising in my chest, making my heart beat faster. It was her.
There she stood, beaming around at all of us, with curly ginger hair and her dark brown eyes. She looked happier than I had ever seen her; she looked glad to be back.
"TONKSIE!" Sirius exclaimed, standing up and bounding over to her. "You're alive!"
"Of course I am, silly," she said as he went to hug her.
"God Tonksie," Sirius continued, pulling away from her. "I've missed you!"
"I've missed you too, Black, I've missed you too," she said, still beaming.
"What about me?" James asked with an expression of fake shock.
"I've missed you too, four eyes!" she said, hugging him tightly as well.
She then turned to me and we locked eyes. Her smile broadened.
"Well?" she asked, opening her arms to hug me. "Come 'ere, Remus."
I ran over to her and wrapped my arms tightly around her waist. I felt her arms wrap tightly around my neck and I thought we would never be pulled apart. I inhaled her scent, which the sweetest smelling thing I have ever smelt.
"I've missed having you around," I said into her shoulder.
"I've missed seeing you every day," she whispered.
"Okay common love birds," Sirius said and we pulled apart to look at him.
"Sirius!" Tonks said, turning on him. She still wouldn't take anyone's crap. She was still my little spitfire.
"Hey," he said, holding up his hands in front of him. "I was just joking."
"You better have been," she said, and her expression softened and she smiled.
We all went and sat on our couches, James and Sirius on their own and Tonks and I sharing one. Peter had been sent to the hospital wing earlier today after James had whacked him in the face with a broomstick.
It felt amazing to have Tonks back. I felt like we were whole again; a big happy family. We talked and laughed and joked just as we had before she left. I couldn't get enough of it. I looked sideways at her and saw the way the firelight illuminated her face and eyes. She looked truly radiant, all signs of sickness gone.
"So did they ever find out how you got spattergroit?" James asked about an hour or so later.
"Nope," she said, taking a bite of an apple Sirius had snuck down to the kitchens to get for her.
"That's not surprising," I said. "St. Mungo's fails society once again." The words had left my mouth before I had even thought about it. Of course I was mentioning my lycanthropy.
When I was first bitten, I was taken to St. Mungo's, of course. I was only six. The doctors almost lost me to blood loss at first, but they eventually saved me with a blood-replenishing potion. That was all in the first hour.
The first night, my wound became infected and started bleeding and oozing again. They didn't have a clue of what to do with me then. They tried everything but eventually had to give me another blood-replenishing potion, which shouldn't be given to small children in large doses.
Then, of course, I got sick from the blood-replenishing potion. I started throwing up and having seizures along with my bite wound still being infected. They had to treat my symptoms with another potion. Eventually, they got my symptoms from the overdose of blood-replenishing potion under control and my wound bandaged up.
In the first week, they told my parents I probably wouldn't live. I slipped into a coma for a few days and they couldn't revive me. I got out of it by myself, proving my will to live.
In the first month, they told my parents there was no cure and I would have to suffer the rest of my life. They tried many different concoctions and potions and treatments but they all failed. Not a thing worked and I went through my first full moon alone. That's when I lost hope in St. Mungo's. They didn't know a damn thing, well at least the lycanthropy healers. If you wanted to know about being a werewolf, ask a real one, not a healer.
Everyone's eyes immediately locked on me.
"Why do you say that?" Sirius asked, cocking an eyebrow.
"Um…" I said, shifting nervously in my seat. "Well… let's just say they haven't given me any excellent care in the past."
"For what?" Tonks asked.
"Nothing," I lied quickly. Sirius sighed.
"Remus… We all know something is wrong with you," he said. "Just tell us."
I closed my eyes and thought hard for a second. Should I? No. Wait. Yes? Where was the trust in friendship if I kept my secret any longer? They would surely find out eventually.
"I'm… I'm a…" I said, but before I could finish my sentence, the portrait hold burst open and in walked Tonks's brother, Aaron.
I almost got up and kicked over the table, swore, punched somebody. It was my second failed attempt to reveal my secret. It would have to wait… But I could barely keep it in any longer. I would have to tell someone, and soon.
What do you think? I don't know about this one… hmmm… Tell me what you think!