I Love You More than Myself Part One

Chapter 74

"We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly."- Sam Keen, from To Love and Be Loved

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*Remus's POV*

I am very, very ashamed for what I did. I don't even remember what catalyzed it, all I remember is Tonks kneeling by my side, calling my name to calm down. I snapped out of whatever trance I was in, and came back to reality, where I couldn't hold myself together any longer. I'll never be able to apologize to James and Sirius enough, them being the ones that witnessed my rampage. After a day relaxing in bed with Tonks, I feel much better. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I can live again.

Weeks pass without incident. Daily life continues; classes, homework, meals. I honestly cannot wait for the Christmas break, because unlike last year, we aren't scrambling to prepare for O.W.L.s, and life is quite banal. Tonks tries to stay positive, telling me that I should enjoy this normality, because it won't be around for long. I continue to get newspapers every day, and, well, you can guess what most articles are about.

But, just in time, the temperature drops, and spirits rise in the school. Decorations are hung all around, Christmas trees are put up, and James and Sirius are back to their usual, jolly selves. Snow falls heavily outside, blanketing the entire school and grounds in soft, white, glistening snow.

The first day of Christmas break is a grand one. When we wake up, we realize most of Gryffindor house is gone away for Christmas. Most parents probably called their children home because of the war, but not ours, save Peter; his mum always makes him go home for Christmas. We meet Tonks in the common room, still in our pajamas, just relaxing.

"Thank God for Christmas break!" Sirius exclaims, throwing himself down on the couch. James takes a seat next to him, sighing in satisfaction. He stretches himself out, placing his feet on the coffee table and his hands behind his head.

"Ahhhh," he says, closing his eyes. "Relaxation. I've been waiting since September for this."

We sit in peaceful silence for a few moments, Tonks's head nestled on my shoulder. I wrap my arm tight around her, keeping her warm in the chill morning air.

"Do you guys remember our first Christmas break?" James suddenly asks, bringing us all back to reality.

"Of course," Sirius says. "We had snowball fights, and ate the gorgeous feast, and hung out… It was great. I'll never forget it."

"We should do that again," Tonks suggests, a mad gleam suddenly in her eye.

"Do what again?" James asks, turning curiously to her.

"Have a snowball fight, of course!" she explains, sitting up in excitement.

"Tonks, how old are we?" Sirius mutters, rolling his eyes.

"You two act like you're about five, so this works out perfectly," she says with a smirk. They look flabbergasted as she continues. "Come on, for old time's sake! Me and Remus against you two!"

James and Sirius share ominous looks, smirking.

"Fine," James agrees, nodding. "But only for old time's sake!"

We rush up to our dorms to get our coats on, and rush right back down. I wear my brown pea coat that hangs down almost to my knees over my jeans. When Tonks rushes down, she has on her jeans and a blue coat with green tribal patterns all over it. It has a hood with fur around it, like an Eskimo. She also has a black beanie pulled down over her head and black gloves. She walks over to me, sly and elegant, her Christmas red hair shining. She kisses me lightly on the cheek, whispering:

"You look snazzy, Rem."

I blush as she pulls away, looking up at me with shining eyes. "Thank you."

We stroll down empty corridors and out the Oak Front Door, laughing and goofing around. When we step outside, we realize the snow reaches our knees. The sun shines brightly, making it all glisten like diamonds. It's freezing, the air sharp with coldness that burns your lungs and mouth. A light snow falls, catching in everyone's hair and eyelashes.

"Hey!" I hear Tonks screech. I turn to see James and Sirius cracking up, and Tonks with the remains of a snowball in her hair. "We didn't start yet, you prats!"

"Well, now we have!" James exclaims, reaching down to make another snowball. Tonks and I quickly follow suit, making as many snowballs as we possibly can before hurling them at James and Sirius. I get hit in the face with ice and snow a lot, but I can't help but feel like a kid again, throwing snowballs, laughing, have a great time.

Our battle takes us down by the frozen lake, under our tree. Remus and I hide behind it's massive trunk, making snowballs, listening for James and Sirius, who had disappeared a few moments ago.

"I feel like a kid again," she muses, stacking a newly formed snowball in her pile.

"Me too," I say, stopping my snowball-making for just a moment to look at her. Her hair is damp and stringy in her face; her face itself is red with cold and laughter, her eyes shining with happiness and joy as she reaches down to make another snowball. She looks like a winter goddess, crouched down in the snow.

I grab her and pull her in to kiss her, wrapping my arms as tightly as they can around her. She responds, a bit shocked at first, but then returns the kiss with equal fervor. The next thing I know, I feel a ball of snow hit us right where our lips meet.

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*Tonks's POV*

It's December 24th, 1976. Finally, Christmas Eve.

James and Sirius ran off to see Madam Rosmerta about food and drinks for the little party they said they were going to throw for the four of us, but they've been gone for over an hour. So, Remus and I have claimed the dorm for ourselves, lounging in his bed, enjoying the blizzard taking place outside.

Something's been nagging my mind for the past month, ever since Remus's breakdown. I'm faced away from him at the moment, his arm draped lazily over my hip as we gaze out the window. I cock my head to the right and see him still staring fixedly at the snow.

"Remus?" I ask, quietly, innocently.

"Hmm?" he asks, not opening his mouth, but glancing down at me.

"I have… a question," I say.

"Anything, love," he says, rolling onto his back. I crawl after him, placing my chin on his soft sweater. I reach up and fondle his tie, thinking about the best way to ask.

"How did you… become a werewolf?" I ask, looking up at him anxiously. He looks down at me with a confused expression. "I know you got bitten," I continue. "But… what happened?"

"You've never heard?" he asks. I shake my head. "I'm surprised."

"I'm sorry, if you don't want to-"

"No," he says, shaking his head slightly. "You need to know."

He sighs, looking back out the window as he thinks. His face turns dark and pain-stricken, thinking about his past.

"Well, I suppose it all started with my father writing that newspaper article about Fenrir Greyback."

"What newspaper article?" I ask, knitting my eyebrows together.

He scoffs. "My dad used to be a really famous writer for the Daily Prophet. Used to be one of the best. He was in a really high rank, we had a surplus of money, and life was good. Then, Greyback began his campaign. He wanted to create a werewolf-army of some sorts. He would attack innocent children, taking them from their parents to train them. His motto was 'Get them while they're young.'"

"That's terrible," I mutter.

"I know," he agrees, taking a deep breath and continuing. "So, my dad got wind of all this, and decided to tell the public."

"They didn't know?" I asked, incredulous.

"Nope," he says with disgust. "The Ministry wanted to keep it all hush-hush. If your child was attacked, you were forbidden to say anything about it."

I widen my eyes in shock. He looks down at me, grabbing my chin between his forefinger and thumb. "Anyways, he wrote an article all about Greyback, and what he did, who he was with, who he had attacked, etc. Everything about him was revealed. My dad slipped it past his editor and into the next edition of the paper without anyone knowing. Well, as you can imagine, chaos broke out. People went mad, calling the Ministry, boarding up their houses, going on hunts for the monster himself. The Ministry found out who did it and fired my dad that very day. He was fined hundreds of galleons, taking us from our comfortable life into one of poverty."

He pauses, his breath catching in his throat.

"A few days later, Elizabeth and I were outside playing. We used to get along, me and Elizabeth. It seems so odd now, so distant. Anyway, my parents were inside, obviously struggling with the debt they had. The house was about to be taken away and they weren't bothered by what we were doing. Well, I guess they didn't think Greyback would try anything against my father. Obviously, they were wrong."

I feel my heartbeat quicken, wanting this story to come to an end.

"Kevin and Oliver were inside with my parents, and Libby was too young, so it was just me and Elizabeth outside. We had heard some rustling in the bushes earlier, but thought it was just an animal…"

He takes another pause, swallowing hard.

"Then, the full moon rose, bright and beautiful in the sky. I had always loved full moons as a young child, so I was mesmerized. Then, we heard it. The growling, the rustling, the painful shrieks of a transformation. Before I could even blink, there was a full grown werewolf in my backyard."

I feel tears falling down my eyes, knowing the end to this tale.

"You want to know what the funny part was? I wasn't Greyback's original target. He went for Elizabeth first, her being younger than me. In a split second, I made a decision to go help her, and… well, he turned on me."

"I… didn't know-"

"She doesn't know either," he says, looking sadly at his chest. His eyes are glassy, his mind whirring, remembering that fateful night. "I don't think she'll ever know. I don't really want her to."

He picks at a loose thread in the sheets, lost in his thoughts.

"Of course, I screamed, and he howled and tried to drag me away. My dad got there first, shooting a spell directly in his eye, making him release me. I almost died that night. But, if I did I wouldn't be here with you."

He reaches over, laying his hand on mine.

"I love you, Remus," I say, leaning up to kiss him. "I'm sorry about all of this. It's a terrible story."

"Yes, but it's mine," he says, our lips still centimeters from each other. "And I live up to it."

"You do," I agree, smiling. He kisses me again, slowly, softly.

"I still have the scar," he brags jokingly. "Want to see?"

"Of course," I say. He hastily takes off his sweater and button down shirt, revealing his completely bare torso. It's the first time I've ever seen him like this, and I can feel my heartbeat quicken and my breathing become uneven.

"Right here," he says, turning a little to show me his left side. Right along his ribs is a huge scar like a bite mark. The mouth must've been almost as big as his hand as he runs his fingers across it. The funny thing is, he doesn't even have to look. He just knows where it is, the curves in it, the texture. I reach over and touch it; it's raised and fairly warmer than the rest of his torso. I run my finger down it, feeling the curve of the jaw line and teeth marks.

"The bastard broke some of my ribs," he says, pulling his hand away. I do the same, but continue to stare at it.

"It's impressive," I muse, chuckling. I look back up at his gorgeous amber eyes and melt. I crawl forward, placing my lips on his again.

His hand comes from behind and buries itself in my hair, pushing my face closer to his. I have one hand on his chest, feeling his muscles and warmth. I lay myself down, deepening the kiss, my other hand finding his light brown hair. I sigh as we break for air, our eyes meeting and a million unspoken things go between us.

Suddenly, he grabs me and flips me onto my back, his arms bracing themselves on either side of me as we continues to kiss. I have my arms wrapped around his shoulders as he moves from my lips to my neck. I unconsciously take one hand from his shoulders to undo the buttons on my shirt. He doesn't respond, but continues to kiss me.

An idea suddenly comes to mind, but it takes me a few minutes to actually do it. Once he's back to my lips, my free hand wanders to the buttons on his jeans. I one-handedly try to undo them, quite clumsily I might add.

"Tonks," he mutters through our kiss, pulling away. "What are you doing?"

"Remus-"

"Please," he says, face still inches from mine. "Don't."

I feel my heart sink and my face blush bright red. I feel beyond embarrassed, in bed with the man I love, but he doesn't want to.

"I-I'm sorry," I manage, my air coming in spurts.

"Tonks it's not that… I don't not want to," he says, noticing my dismay. "Believe me, darling. I want to."

I swallow, confused. "But?"

"But," he starts, shifting his arms so he can place a hand on my cheek. "We just… can't."

"Why not?" I ask, searching his face for the answer. "We're practically adults, and I love you-"

"It's not that I don't love you," he says, chuckling. "No, no it's not that. It's not that I don't want you, either. I'm just… not ready."

"Not ready?" I ask, feeling my face flush again.

"No," he says simply, not taking his eyes off me. "I'm sorry, Tonks-"

"Don't be sorry," I mutter. "We shouldn't anyways."

I wait for him to roll off me, looking up at him sourly. He sighs, rolling to the right on his back. I sit up, my shirt still wide open, my face flushed with embarassment.

"Dora-"

"What did you just call me?" I ask, whipping around to face him, chuckling.

"Dora."

"I've only ever heard my father call me Dora," I muse, laying back down.

"Do you not want me to use it?" he asks tentatively, knowing he's skating on thin, thin ice with me right now.

"No," I say, smirking. "I like when you say it. Say it again."

"Dora," he says. "I love you."

"I love you, too," I mutter, planting another kiss on his lips. Yes, I'm still embarrassed. But, maybe he's right. We're not ready.

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Hey guys! I love writing them older. Thoughts?

I don't have much to say! That's all for now! So long, fare thee well, pip-pip-cheerio!

PLEASE REVIEW GUYS! *hugs*

xoxo

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