Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your heart or burn down your house, you can never tell.-Joan Crawford
"You have a brother?!"
"No, I just made him up," Sirius replies sarcastically.
"Come on," I say, rolling my eyes. "I honestly had no idea!"
"Well," James says. "You never really talk about him in front of her, mate."
"Guess you're right-"
"I'm always right."
"-I just can't believe he hasn't made an appearance earlier, the little prat," Sirius finishes.
"Do you two… not get along?" I ask uncertainly.
"It's not that I don't love him," he explains. "We're just very, very different. He's my parent's idea of a perfect child: Slytherin, deceiving, evil, cunning, etc. You know, all the traits that Slytherin values. And then there's me, the Gryffindor: brave, loyal, honest, etc. It's hard to get along with someone like that. Someone who is worshiped by your parents when they won't even look at you without flinching."
I let this sink in. I had never really thought about it before, but Sirius doesn't have a very good home life. I guess that's why he always spends breaks at James's house.
"I'm sorry," I say, because nothing else better came to mind.
"Don't be sorry," he says, rolling his eyes and looking out the window glumly. "It is what it is."
Suddenly, the compartment door slides open and once again we see Remus.
"What did I miss?" he asks, coming over to sit by me.
"James's poems, Oliver, and Sirius's little brother, Regulus. Did you know he had a brother?" I say, leaning my head against his shoulder.
"Of course," he responds.
"Well, I didn't!" I exclaim, face falling slightly.
"It's fine, darling," he assures me, kissing the back of my hand. "By the way, Oliver found me."
"What did he want?" James asks.
"Olivia wanted me," he explains. "She's still a bit nervous."
"Did she find some friends?" I ask.
"Of course. They look nice enough, but she didn't want them to see that I had to come talk to her. I guess she was embarrassed," he chuckles.
"Awe, how cute," I say, smiling.
"Oh I forgot to tell you, Tonks, Lily wants to see you."
"Where?" I ask, sitting up.
"Her compartment in the next train," Remus says. "You'll find her."
"Okay," I say, giving him a quick kiss on the cheek and leaving. "I'll be right back."
*Remus's POV*"It works, mate."
"What does?" I ask, oblivious.
"The animagus project," James explains, proudly smirking. "We preformed the finishing touches last week. We are now officially illegal animagi."
"Really?!" I exclaim, sitting on the edge of my seat. "I still can't believe you guys actually did this."
"Well, we did," Sirius says, standing up. "All for you, mate."
"I won't ever be able to thank you enough," I say, clapping him on the back appreciatively. I turn to James and Peter. "You, too."
"You're welcome," James says, smiling. "It's going to be… an adventure, of course."
"Of course," I agree, beaming ear to ear.
"Wanna see?" Sirius asks with a mischievous smirk.
"What if someone walks in?" I ask, glancing around nervously.
"It'll be fine, we're only doing it for a second," James says, walking over and pulling the curtains on the window. Sirius does the same for the blinds on the door. The compartment is now dim, panels of sunlight illuminating the dull, carpeted floor. My three friends stand in front of me, grinning at each other.
"On my count of three," Sirius says.
"No, on my count of three," James argues.
"Oh, shove off," Sirius replies, rolling his eyes. "Fine, on your count of three."
"One… Two… Three!"All of a sudden, where my three best friends stood, now stand a rat, a dog, and a stag. I blink my eyes very fast to make sure I'm seeing correctly. The rat scuttles across the floor, squeaking, its whiskers twitching rapidly; the big, black, scruffy dog chases its tail, whining slightly; and the gorgeous, white stag with James's eyes just looks at me, nothing to do but gaze at me as if it were saying didn't we do a fantastic job? Well, they did, no doubt about that. In that moment, my chest swells and I feel myself get teary-eyed. The rat stops scuttling, the dog stops chasing its tail. All three animals sit idly, staring up at their friend waiting for a reaction.
"What the hell is going on in here?!"
I snap my head to the left and see a very shocked and angry Tonks standing in the doorway. When I turn my attention back to the animals, my friends have replaced them once again. They all look a bit taken aback by her reaction and say nothing.
"Come on, someone speak up!" she demands, looking around at all of us. I am the first to speak.
"Calm down, darling, they just… did a favor for me."
"A favor?" she asks, a tone of sharpness still in her voice.
"Yes," I say, trying my best to explain. "They… they…"
"We became animagi," James finishes.
"Animagi?" Tonks says breathlessly, incredulously. She runs a hand through her blonde hair, looking at the floor. "What for?"
"Sit down," Sirius says, voice full of defeat. "We'll explain everything."
With that, we take our seats in the still dimly lit compartment. Tonks refuses to be held, but sits on the edge of her seat, listening to James and Sirius talk. I sit back next to her, not daring to reach out and touch her. I zone out, looking down into my lap, defeated.
"And you didn't tell me?"
This sentence catches my attention. I look up to see her glaring at the other boys.
"I told you she would have wanted to know, mate," James says, rolling his eyes.
"I would have never let you," I say. She looks back at me, eyes burning with angst.
"You would have never let me?"
"No, I wouldn't have. It's too dangerous."
"You let them," she argues, crossing her arms.
"I didn't ask them to do it, Tonks. They did it without me knowing."
"And when you did find out, you didn't stop them?" she says, narrowing her beautiful brown eyes.
"Tonks… I couldn't," I explain. "They were willing to put their life on the line for me, I couldn't say no. With this, full moons will be bearable. If I'm right, I won't hurt myself as much; I'll be healthier. I can spend more time with you."
"I'm willing to do the same thing," she says, anger faltering. "I would do anything for you, Remus, if it meant it would help you."
"You do, love," I say. "You stay with me before and after my transformations. You get me water and put cold rags on my head. You clean my cuts and replace my bandages. You curl up next to me when I'm so cold, I think I might freeze, sharing your body heat with me. You sing to me when you think I'm sleeping. You don't think that's enough?"
No one says a word. She just looks at me, eyes sparkling with tears. She didn't realize I knew everything she did for me. On nights when no one else is around, and it's just us two in the world, she'll sing softly to me. It's never a real song, just words placed into a melody. And her voice is beautiful. So dynamic, so clear, and silky, like a breath of fresh air. I forget the pain when she sings to me. I forget that I'm a poor, teenage lycanthrope with a failing family. All I can think about is the woman singing to me, and the places her songs bring me. Once, her song brought me to a beautiful, shining kingdom with a brave knight who saved the castle from a fire-breathing dragon. Another, to a sunny, clear mountaintop, where all the flowers were in full bloom and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.
All of sudden, she gets up and rushes from the compartment, tears in her eyes. I don't notice that I'm crying until now and hastily wipe the tears away.
"Sorry guys," I say, still choked up.
"Go get her, mate," Sirius says, smirking. "That's what she wants, you know. For you to chase after her."
I look over at my best mates and they reply with encouraging expressions. I stand up and rush from the compartment, running after the love of my life. I couldn't let her go now.
I see her blonde head just slip through the door at the end of this train and into the next. I follow, pushing through students and even the food trolley witch. I get some menacing glances, but I barely notice. I follow her retreating figure all the way down the train until I find her on the part of the caboose restricted to students, the very end of the Hogwarts Express.
I step out onto the platform nervously, and feel the rush of air hit me full in the face; this can't be safe. She's standing at the edge of the platform, gripping the railing hard with white knuckles, her blonde hair whipping around her in the fierce wind.
"Tonks!" I yell over the sound of the wheels against the tracks, the chugging of the train, and the wind. "Come inside! It's not safe out here!"
"We're almost there!" she yells back, and I suddenly notice we've started to slow down. I look around and see that we're pulling to Hogsmede station as we speak. The sound dies down and I feel that it's safe enough to walk out to meet her.
"Why did you run?" I ask, standing next to her. Her face is tear-stained and her hair is a rat's nest. She wipes another tear from her bloodshot eye.
"I didn't know you knew," she says, chuckling as people do when they cry. I've never really understood why people do that. I guess it's because they don't know what else to do. Every other option has been ruled out; they're at the end of their rope.
"Of course I knew," I say. She still refuses to look at me.
"And…" she continues. "I guess I was upset that James and Sirius didn't tell me about their plan. And that you didn't trust me enough to let me."
"It's not that," I explain. "I just… wouldn't know what I would do if anything happened to you because of me. Like I said, it's dangerous. Beyond dangerous. And, believe me, I tried to change their minds, but they wouldn't budge. They wouldn't give up."
She stays silent for a moment, then turns to me.
"I want to do it more than anything," she says.
"Tonks, you do so much more than you need to," I say, grabbing her hands. "I will never be able to repay you for what you do for me. Without you, I would be in so much more pain than I already am. I wouldn't be able to get through the night without you by my side, singing."
"I didn't know you knew I sang," she smiles embarrassedly.
"Of course I do," I say, kissing one of her hands. "And you have the most beautiful voice I've ever heard."
"I just thought… it would comfort you in some way, some possible, silly way."
"It's not silly," I say, taking my index finger and gently lifting her chin so she looks me in the eye. "It's perfect."
I lean down and place the softest, most gentle kiss I've ever given on her lips. She closes her eyes and collapses into me; I wrap my arms around her and rub her back in small, comforting circles. I kiss her hair then place my cheek against it. She barely moves, putting her full weight on me as the train comes to a complete stop.
"Come on," I say, grabbing her hand as she straightens up. "The boys will be wondering where we went."
She smiles slightly as we start to walk back up the train.
"You always make me feel better, Remus, even if you're the one who made me upset in the first place," she says, laying her head on my shoulder.
"I try," I say, chuckling. "I love you."
"I love you more," she whispers back, looking up at me. Then suddenly, she grabs my hand and pulls me down the car, skipping. Her face is spilt into the widest smile, and I'm sure I look similar.
Hey guys! Long time, no see?
OH, the fluffiness of this chapter…. Too much? I'm kind of on the fence about Tonks's reaction in this chapter… Too OOC? Too pathetic? Feedback please! (:
Hope you guys enjoyed! PLEASE review! And yes, I have been loosing reviewers! D: I don't know why, so if you guys could give this story some love, that would be great! Maybe it's too long… I don't know… :/
But anyways, REVIEW!
I hope you all had a wonderful and safe Halloween, if you guys do that! I did! And yes, there is me, this highschooler trick or treating. And it didn't make it any better that I was dressed up as Tony Stark with the beard and everything! Let's just say I got some looks!
Also, I hope you guys are all safe from Hurricane Sandy! I just got a ton of rain and wind where I live (school didn't even get canceled, sigh) but I hope you guys are okay!
Love you all! *virtual hugs*