I Love You More than Myself Part One

Chapter 65

"Open your door,I'll be your tenantDon't got much baggage to lay at your feetBut sweet kisses I've got to spareI'll be there and I'll cover you"

-Tom Collins, from the musical Rent.

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*Remus's POV*

"Wake up, scumbag."

My eyes flutter open and I see my beautiful girlfriend seated at the edge of my bed, laughing at her own joke. She wears her hair bright pink and to her shoulders today, crazy, beautiful curls all over the place. They bounce as she laughs, and I blush looking at her. Her oversized sweater hangs loosely around her torso, the perfect color of cream to compliment her skin. Her feet are clad in a pair of black combat boots, large and chunky, yet somehow so cool. Suddenly, I've sat up and flung myself at her playfully, tackling her to the foot of the bed.

"Happy birthday!" I yell as I do this. She breaks out in a fit of giggles as I plant little kisses all over her face. "Now, why did you call me scumbag?!"

"Stop it!" she laughs, trying to push me away. "You wouldn't wake up!"

"Oh, don't think you're getting out of this Nymphadora," I say jokingly, continuing my attack. "These are birthday kisses!"

"Remus!" she cries out, her hands pushing playfully at my chest. "I'm laughing so hard I can't breathe!"

"Oh," I say, and cease fire. "Sorry, love."

"It's not over!" I hear from the other side of room, and suddenly, two heavy bodies are piled on top of me and Tonks. "BIRTHDAY PILE UP."

"Stop it!" Tonks calls from under the pile of bodies. "What did I do to deserve this?!"

"We just love you so much-" Sirius says from the top of the stack. "-that we decided to give you the best gift we could think of. Ourselves."

"That's the best you can do?" she asks, voice strained.

"Well, there's nothing better than a Sirius Black and a James Potter," Sirius says in a very Sirius fashion.

"Okay guys, get up this is starting to hurt," I mumble, feeling as if my lungs were about to collapse in on themselves. James and Sirius roll off us on either side, both falling smack on the floor.

"DAMN YOU CONCRETE!" Sirius exclaims, rubbing his sore ribs.

"Phew I can finally breathe!" Tonks says, sitting up, still beaming. Her face is flushed and her eyes shine as bright as two diamonds.

"Did you like our present, Tonksie?" James asks, standing up, nursing his wrist.

"Very much so," she says, standing and going to kiss him on his cheek. "Thank you!"

"Ehem?" Sirius clears his throat.

"Thank you, too," she says, smiling and kissing him on the cheek as well. She comes back over to me on the bed. "And a very special thanks to you."

She leans in and places a long, passionate kiss on my lips.

"OW OW!" James and Sirius catcall.

"Oh, shut up, you two," I say as we pull apart. "We aren't first years any longer."

"I still am at heart," James says, smirking. "Wait, Remus, you just kissed a girl. COOTIES!"

"Shut it," I say, laughing playfully.

"What the hell is going on?" Peter asks groggily from his bed.

"It's Tonksie's birthday!" James exclaims, rushing over and pulling Peter out of bed and onto the floor. "Did you forget, Wormtail?"

"No," he says, curling up into a ball. "I'm just used to being able to sleep in on Saturdays."

"Oh, shove off," Sirius says. "This day is going to be special!"

"Go be special somewhere else," he says, burying his face in his arms.

"Killjoy," Sirius mutters under his breath. "Fine, we're going to breakfast!"

"If you wake up, and you have no idea where we are, well… sucks to be you," James says, not even bothering to pull on shoes as he struts from the dorm, Sirius on his heels. I look over at her and extend a hand. She smiles widely and grabs it, prancing from the room as well, dragging me behind her.

We parade through the common room, Sirius and James making sure everyone knows it's Tonks's birthday. She told them to stop it, but you know how stubborn they are. Now, she just blushes, burying her face into my shoulder as we follow them out the portrait hole.

"I am going to get so much revenge on your birthdays," she says as we continue down a corridor.

"Go ahead," James replies. "It won't phase me one bit."

"Damn you and your cockiness," she mutters, chuckling.

When we finally reach the Great Hall, James and Sirius pull a bench out for her and push it in, like gentlemen. I chuckle.

"You do realize she's my girlfriend, right?" I ask, taking a seat beside her.

"Oh, of course we do," James says. "We just don't have girlfriends of our own to embarrass on their birthday, so we just embarrass our little sister."

We all take a seat and suddenly, James raises his goblet full of pumpkin juice.

"To Nymphadora-"

"Hey!"

"-Vulpeca-"

"Stop it!"

"-Tonks on her 15th birthday! And to many more!" he finishes, and we all down our drinks.

Breakfast is… interesting. James and Sirius have to be geniuses. Somehow, they bewitch a pair of waffles to come alive and start dancing and singing to Tonks. As you can imagine, Professor McGonagall isn't pleased.

"Minnie!" Sirius calls as she approaches, her lips very, very thin.

"Mr. Black-"

"Oh, I know the drill, Minnie," he says charmingly. He picks up a falsetto voice. "Mr. Black, how many times have I told you not to call me that?"

"Many times," she mutters, annoyed. "And what was that display there, Mr. Potter?"

"Professor, it's Tonks's birthday!"

"Happy birthday, Ms. Tonks," she says to her, who smiles and says thank you. "But that is no excuse for using magic outside of class. 10 points from Gryffindor."

"Really, Minnie?" Sirius whines. "On her birthday?"

"Yes, Mr. Black," she says. "Have a good day." And she walks away.

"Gonna take points from your own effing house, huh?" Sirius retorts, standing up and making a very rude gesture to her back. Thankfully no one saw. "Oh, Minnie."

We all start cracking up, not being able to eat for we all would choke. I can tell from the way her face is lighting up that she's having a great day. You can tell that about a person after so long. I've known her for over four years now, haven't I?

After breakfast, we go outside to experience a chill October morning. We walk laps around the lake, scarves whipping around our heads, shoes digging in the mud. James and Sirius find joy in throwing rocks into the lake, watching the Giant Squid chase after them like a dog. Tonks even starts involving herself in their play, and before I know it, I'm chucking rocks into the black waters as well, laughing my head off.

No one really remembers how it happens, or exactly when, but at some point, we all notice that we're soaking wet and freezing. Somehow, the splashes must have hit us and dampened our clothes. That's when we decide it would be best if we went inside for lunch. But not before Sirius gets pushed all the way in.

James and Sirius are rough housing, as they always do, up ahead of me and Tonks. I have my arms wrapped tightly around her shoulders, rubbing them, trying to get her shivering body warm. We really aren't paying attention, as we are so concentrated on each other, that out of no where, we hear a great splash and a fit of ravenous laughter.

We look up to see Sirius running out of the Black Lake, soaked to the bone, screaming bloody murder at James, who is nearly in stitches with laughter. Both of us start to laugh fiercely as Sirius chases James around, trying to push him into the lake as well. Sadly, he fails, and James makes it back to the castle unscathed.

We sit down to eat a hot, warming lunch, but not without incident. James sits next to Sirius, still chuckling occasionally, and Sirius throws a spoonful of hot soup at him.

Suddenly, James's eyes light up with an idea, which is never a good sign. He smirks mischievously and leans over to Sirius, whispering. Sirius listens intently, looking at me and Tonks, smirking. When James is done, Sirius nods, and they both go back to what they were doing. But not for long.

"So, uh, Tonks, are you ready for some BIRTHDAY SEX?!" James yells as loudly as he possibly can. Several heads at the Gryffindor table turn in our direction, looking confused and amused. I feel my face burn bright red and I tighten my grip on her hand.

"Yeah," Sirius chimes in. "I think the best part about your birthday is the BIRTHDAY SEX!" This time, more people turn curiously to look at us. I feel my face go even a darker scarlet than it already was.

"Guys," Tonks mutters, her face the same shade as mine, maybe even darker. "That's not funny!"

"What?" James asks, still loudly and stupidly. "BIRTHDAY SEX isn't funny?"

Soon, we have created a distraction in the Great Hall, tables full of jeering faces turned our way.

"James, Sirius," I say, quietly and forcefully. "Stop it. You guys, we don't…. we aren't…"

"Oh, we know," James says, laughing very hard along with Sirius. "We just had to mess with you."

Tonks tries to smile, but is still quite embarrassed. I wrap my arm around her shoulders and pull her close. She smiles and contracts into my embrace.

"Like I said, be ready for the revenge of your lives on your birthdays," she warns again, the blushing receding.

After lunch, we travel back up the common room for a relaxing afternoon. We all change into comfier clothes and take a seat in front of the fire in our favorite spot. I have Tonks wrapped tightly in my arms, her whole body leaned up against mine. James and Sirius occupy another couch, looking over a sheet of paper they won't let anyone see. Peter sits opposite them, watching and listening, feeling a bit awkward after this morning.

Afternoon rolls into evening, and decide it's time to give Tonks her present. I whisper in her ear:

"Come on, your present is up in my dorm."

She smiles widely, turning back to face me. "Alright."

We get up to leave and get bombarded with questions.

"Where are you going?" James asks, looking up from his work.

"To the dorm," I answer, holding her hand tightly. "To open her present."

James and Sirius start to get up. I cut them off.

"I think it would be nice if it was just me and Tonks, okay? We need a little alone time."

"BIRTHDAY-"

"NO! Not that!" I exclaim, chuckling. "We'll be back down."

"Have fun kids," Sirius says, waving us off. I tighten my grip on her hand and start pulling her away from the fire to the spiral staircase. She willingly obliges, and wraps her arm around mine, smiling as I lead her up the staircases and into my dorm.

"Now," I say, turning to face her once the door is closed. "You have to close your eyes."

"Close my eyes?" she asks, cocking an eyebrow. I nod. "Okay…" And she does.

I turn and grab her present from under the bed, fixing the bow and offering it on one hand like a silver platter. "Okay, open your eyes!"

Her eyes flicker open and land on the box in my hand. She smiles and takes it, gazing at it with an intensity I've never seen before. "Open the card first." She nods, pulling the white parchment from the envelope, unfolding it, and reading it slowly. I can still remember what it says.

To my dearest Nymphadora,

Happy 15th birthday, love. I hope this is the best day of your life, and I intend to make it that way. You have no idea how much you mean to me, and how much I love you. Without you, I would be nothing but a bookworm lycanthrope. You make my life beautiful and special in any way you can.

I have never seen a more beautiful girl than you in my entire life. Your eyes, your hair, your smile, all make me melt. If you ever catch me staring at you, that's why. I don't think I will ever fully recognize your beauty, because I haven't been able to for four years. It baffles me everyday.

So with this, dear Nymphadora, I bid you farewell. I know you don't like being called that, but I think it's beautiful. I hope you can realize how much you mean to me in this card. I hope this brightens even your worst days when you reread it later on. Life is an adventure, darling, and I wouldn't want to be journeying with anyone else.

Yours always, always, always,

Remus Lupin

When she's done, I notice her fingering her necklace, tears sparkling in her eyes. She sniffles and folds it up, pushing it into her pocket. She then turns to me and speaks.

"That was… awesome," she says, laughing. "I'm crying because I'm happy. I'm crying because everything you said is exactly how I feel about you. I'm crying because I love you."

"And I, you," I say, kissing her forehead lightly. She looks up at me and smiles. Her arms find her away around my neck and we start slow dancing to no music, just the beat of our hearts, her actual present laying forgotten on my bed.

"I've been thinking," she says, biting her lip.

"About?"

"What James and Sirius said at lunch."

"What? Sirius flinging hot soup at James?" I ask, chuckling.

"No," she says, shaking her head. "What they were shouting."

I freeze and my eyes widen.

"Nymphadora-"

"Oh, I knew you would react like that," she says, looking distraught. "I know you, Remus."

"Tonks," I say evenly. "I couldn't… I wouldn't… we're… no."

She snorts, smiling even wider. "You're so literate."

"I'm being serious," I say, looking down at her with finality. "Tonks, you know I couldn't. And it's not that I don't love you enough it's just… we're fifteen."

"I see," she says, blushing. "As I said, I was just thinking. I wasn't asking you to do anything."

"I know you weren't, sweetheart. Just please remember what I said," I say, kissing her on the cheek. I let my lips linger there as I whisper, "When the time comes, I'll be more than pleased to do so."

"I was being silly," she says as I pull away. She rolls her eyes at herself, looking away.

"No," I say, turning her to face me again. "It's good to… discuss when dealing with something like this."

"Thanks, love," she says, nuzzling her head into my neck. I rub my hand up and down her back, smiling.

"You are more than welcome," I say, closing my eyes in content. "And happy birthday."

"I love you," she says as a response.

"I love you more."

We continue our odd, music-less dance, for a long, long time. The sky becomes dark and the stars come out. The dorm is dim and quiet, the stars and moon the only light in our beautiful, little world.

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Hey guys! Crazy weekend, sorry!

THANK YOU ALL SOOOO MUCH FOR THE BIRTHDAY WISHES! You have no idea how much this means to me. I love you guys so much and could never thank you enough for loving and reviewing this story.

So, this chapter? (ps, this is an extra long one! :D) I'm working very hard on making Tonks in character, which is very, very hard to do with a girl madly in love.

Are you guys getting sick of Remus chapters? And are you getting sick of all the marauders stuff?

Okay I think that's it! Have a lovely, lovely, lovely Wednesday guys, and PLEASE don't forget to review! (:

xoxo

Ps. For all of you who've been with me since the beginning, I've been reading through all the old reviews lately! It seems like an eternity ago! I thank you from the bottom of my heart, all of you! Even if you are new to this story, I can't thank you enough! *hugs*

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