We were given: Two hands to hold. Two legs to walk. Two eyes to see. Two ears to listen. But why only one heart? Because the other was given to someone else. For us to find.
The terrible, heart wrenching noise fills the air again. Everything stops. Everything. The dancing, the music, the kiss. Everything comes to a screeching halt as everyone looks around frantically to see where the noise is coming from. The scary part is that the sound is so close it could be coming from right outside one of the windows. Couples break apart and start hurrying around in the semi-darkness. All hell breaks loose as the sound of the wounded animal fills the air once again.
It's not just a wounded animal. It's an animal that's in the most pain it's ever been it's entire life.
Sirius and I break apart and get jolted around by the crowd. We never finish our kiss. But that's not even a thought at the moment. As soon as I had heard the first howl, I knew. I knew it was Remus.
"Sirius!" I yell out in the chaos. "Sirius where are you?"
The lights suddenly turn all the way on and I can see the madness occurring. People running out the hall, getting away from the windows, yelling for friends and partners. Some people even stand on chairs and tables. There's an uncountable amount of high heels left abandoned on the floor.
"Tonks!" I hear Sirius yell to my right. "Over here!"
I look over and see his curly head bobbing through the crowd. I see him stick his hand through a group of people for me to take. I grab it and he pulls me right through two girls to his side.
"We need to find James and Peter!" he yells over the chaos.
"Sirius!" I say, grabbing his tuxedo jacket. "Sirius it was… it was Remus!"
"I… know," he says, looking distraught. "That's why we need to find the guys!"
I feel tears well up in my eyes. Remus is obviously in pain. He wouldn't have made that noise otherwise. But why did he sound so close? Sirius grabs my hand once again and pulls me along through the crowd. I'm worthless; I can barely keep myself together as sobs wrack my body. I literally start bawling.
"James! Peter!" Sirius yells. "Jaaaaames!"
"Over here!" I hear James yell from the middle of the dance floor. Sirius pulls me in that direction.
"Found you!" Sirius says, pushing past a group of wide-eyed 5th years. We see James and Peter standing there with the same expression as Sirius.
"Sirius," James says, coming close to mine and Sirius's ears. "That had to be Remus."
"We know," Sirius answers, looking sideways at me. "That's why she's like… this."
"I'm sorry," I say, through another round of sobs. Hearing James confirm my worst nightmare brought them on. "He's… he's…" I cant finish my sentence.
"EVERYONE STOP!" we suddenly hear Dumbledore's voice magically amplified. "STOP AT ONCE!"
As soon as everyone hears Dumbledore, the whole crowd stops short. No more screams or running around like crazy people. Just a few sniffles from crying girls, like me.
"Everyone please calm down!" Dumbledore continues. "Prefects, please gather your houses and take them to your common room. Please don't fear. You have nothing to worry about!"
Prefects and Head Boys and Girls start yelling things like: "Gryffindors over here!" and "Ravenclaws, follow me!" All of a sudden, we hear Dumbledore again.
"I need to see James Potter, Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, and Nymphadora Tonks at the front of the hall immediately."
We all freeze, staring at each other. The other houses are slowly vacating the hall, following the prefects.
"Well, common," James says, grabbing my hand and taking over the job of hauling me along through the crowd in the opposite direction. We push through many people on our journey up to the front of the hall. But, finally, we make it.
"Professor Dumbledore," James says respectfully as we approach the headmaster and Professor McGonagall.
"Ah yes, I would like to see the four of you in my office," Dumbledore says, following the final round of students out of the hall.
"Well come on," McGonagall says, ushering us to follow him. So, we do.
We follow him out of the hall and up the marble staircase. On the way out, I kick off my heels into a massive pile of them near the door. Barefoot, I continue to follow the others through the castle and right up to the door of Dumbledore's office.
"Pumpkin Pasty," Dumbledore says calmly to the large stone gargoyle guarding a hole in the wall. It springs to life and jumps aside for us. We follow Dumbledore up spiral steps and into his office, McGonagall in the rear. Dumbledore walks calmly up to his desk and takes a seat. He flicks his wand and four chairs appear.
"Sit," he instructs, so we do. I won't let go of James's hand though; it's my only link to reality. It means safety.
"Now, I would like to know how you four know of Mr. Lupin's lycanthropy," he says, placing the tips of his fingers together. I don't look up. I stare at my bare feet, hoping that the boys will do all the talking. James strokes my had with his thumb comfortingly. A minute of silence goes by. Suddenly Sirius speaks up.
"We figured it out for ourselves, sir," he says.
"I can only tell because you four panicked in a different way than the other students," Dumbledore continues. "The others were scared for their lives while you four were scared for another life."
"Sir, we're extremely worried about him," James says.
"We can't do anything about it tonight," Dumbledore says. "It's too dangerous."
"No, Mr. Potter," Dumbledore says. "We will send Madam Pomfrey and Hagrid out as soon as the sun rises. I promise."
"He could be dying, sir," James argues.
"It's too big of a risk," Dumbledore says. James doesn't argue this time. "Now, is Mr. Lupin okay with the four of you knowing?"
"I know he is," Sirius says. "We're his best friends."
"And you're the only ones that know about it?" Dumbledore asks.
"Of course," Sirius answers.
"Very well then," Dumbledore says. "We will be sure to alert you as soon as we find him."
"Thank you, sir," James says.
"You may leave," Dumbledore says. "Minerva, will you please escort them back to Gryffindor Tower?"
"Yes, Albus," McGonagall says, a note of sadness in her voice. We stand up and start to follow her out of the office. I hadn't looked at Dumbledore once.
"Miss Tonks?" he calls. I lift my head and turn to meet his eyes, releasing James's hand. "Chin up, darling. Everything will be okay."
New tears well up in my eyes. I nod my head, unable to speak. He smiles warmly at me before I turn back around and grab James's hand, wrapping my arm around his.
We follow McGonagall out of the office and back through the castle to Gryffindor Tower. We meet no one. We hear no one. It's as if the castle has been put on mute.
"Here we are," McGonagall says as we approach the Fat Lady. "Now, I warn you not to go looking for Remus tonight. It will only hurt you as well as him. Please don't do anything stupid."
"We won't Professor," Sirius says.
"Very well," she says. "Dittany."
The portrait hole opens and he clamber through it and into the empty common room. We pass the fireplace silently and go straight towards the staircase leading to the dorms. We climb quickly and veer off to the right to the boy's dormitories. No one says a thing as I follow the three boys, still clinging to James's hand. We pad slowly down the hall to Third Year Boys and slip inside. Sirius lights the room by turning on a gas lamp.
It looks exactly as I remember it from earlier this year when I had passed out after hearing that Remus was a werewolf. A disaster zone. Clothes and trash everywhere, trunks and drawers open. Remus's bed was the only clean spot in the room. I stand in the doorway, unsure of what to do.
"Sleeping here Tonksie?" Sirius asks, crossing to his bed. Peter does the same.
"I…" I say, finally managing to speak. "I don't think I could take a night in my dorm."
"It's fine," James says, still holding my hand. "You can crash in Remus's bed. He's obviously not going to be here."
"Are… you sure?" I ask.
"It's fine," James says. "We understand you're upset."
"Upset doesn't cover it," I say, finally letting go of his hand and crossing to Remus's clean bed. I'm overly grateful that he keeps it in this condition.
"Tonks, it's going to be fine," Sirius says warmly from his bed. "Please calm down, darling."
"I…. cant," I say, new tears leaking down my cheeks. James walks over and hugs me tightly while I cry, trying to calm me down.
"Shhhh…" he croons. My heart expands with complete and total gratitude for James at the moment. Without him, I wouldn't have made it this far.
"I just cant take the thought that he's probably dying out there right now," I sob. "We just don't know anything."
"We will tomorrow," James says, releasing me. "Now, try to get some sleep."
"Thanks, four-eyes," I say as he walks back over to his bed. I have to turn to face the wall while they change into pajamas, but I don't have any so I dig through Remus's drawer to find something to wear. I come up with sweatpants that are far too big for me and a t-shirt. I slip this on crouching uncomfortably on the bed with the curtains drawn. When I'm done changing, I pull back the curtains and see the three boys sitting on their own beds.
"I suppose it's time to go to bed now, isn't it?" James says.
"Sure," Sirius says. "Although I don't know if I'll be able to sleep."
"Me either," I say, sliding down to a sitting position, pulling my knees to my face.
"Well, we have to try," James says, walking over to turn off the gas lamp. "G'night everyone."
"'Night," I murmur as I pull back the blankets on Remus's bed and curl up under them. Being in his clothes comforts me immensely. I can smell his scent on the clothes and from the pillow. I decide that I'm more comfortable here than in my own bed. Being here is just so comfortable and safe.
Although I feel warm and safe, I cant sleep. I knew it was going to be impossible. Every time I would drift off, Remus's heart wrenching howl would come back to me so vividly that it made me bawl again. And on top of that, I remembered what I had been doing before the first howl. How could I have been so unfaithful? This brings on another, more violent round of sobs. Remus's pillow is soaked in tears before midnight.
First off, I hope you all recognize this as her dream from 2nd year! Ooh, mysterious stuff!
So, I know many of you thought Tonks was OOC last chapter! I can assure you, that I believe this decision was a good one. Maybe she was OOC, but she's also 13! I know I made mistakes when I was 13! So did Sirius! Please don't be angry with last chapter! It had to happen so the story could go on! I hope this made up for it (; I admit, Sirius is being a bit of a git and Tonks is being unfaithful, but it's all a part of growing up!
Anyways, I hope you liked this one! I know I did!
Thanks for reviewing and favoriting and such! (; I love you all so much! You make my dream a reality! (: