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This is not a hallucination

Shocker of all shocks, I have another fic! Twice in the space of a week, amazing. This does not happen almost ever. Okay, details of the ficlet: 1)het story. Never thought I'd have to warn for that, but that's the HP fandom for ya. 2)Remus/Tonks, 3)based on this absolutely gorgeous bit of fanart: http://users.livejournal.com/_kindakinky/13460.html. 4) Bit darker than most stuff I do, so I'm warning you now. Still, read if you want, and I hope you like.

It wasn’t the werewolves that did her in; rather it was the barbed-wire fence she had slammed into during the mad escape from the Death Eaters. Remus sniffed around the ragged cut on her side, smelling copper and crimson soak into the silky fabric. He glanced quickly at the full moon, resisting the urge to howl and attract the attention of any passing by werewolves. The Death Eaters had given them permission to ‘have fun’ this night as well.

He whined, just a little bit, and head-butted her hip, a last ditch attempt to rouse her to wakefulness and keep her moving along. Tonks just whimpered softly, moved her head a little, sending dark hair in a fluttering cloud amidst dried and dusty leaves, and stilled again. With unnaturally sharp teeth he tugged at her voluminous pink skirt. Earlier in the day, before the moon rose, he thought her outfit was impractical and beautiful—18th century French decadence combined with muggle punk—and truly her. Now it was just a hindrance; the full skirt having gotten snagged on a tree branch and sending her flying to the ground, bashing her head hard on the fallen branches.

With his snout, he nudged her wand so that it was just brushing up against her fingertips…just incase. Remus sighed and slipped onto his haunches, brushing his nose against the green ribbon he had tied around her neck just a few hours earlier. Why did stuff like this always happen? What on earth could have possessed those few renegade Death Eaters that weren’t in Azkaban after the fall of Voldemort to attack that specific party? It was her crowd from Hogwarts, no known affiliations to either side. It was only by instinct and sheer dumb luck that he was somehow able to break out of the shed he had locked himself in for the moon and help Tonks get as far away as they could from the attackers. Now the werewolves were chasing them too.

Her hand weakly twined itself into the rough grey fur on his back, but her eyes still didn’t open. She moaned dully, a muttered mantra in her delirium.

The werewolves howled again, the closest yet, making him bristle and growl deep in his throat. Remus turned around to face the trees, shielding Tonks from whatever was heading to them. For once, the wolf and the human were in agreement, to protect this woman from whatever was heading towards them. His human side came forth with a brief and broken quote, ‘…though hell should bar the way,’ and wondered once more just how they had ended up here.

With a wry grin, Remus tied the green ribbon around her neck, a makeshift choker with a transfigured emerald brooch. “I still think that you should just go to this party and forget about me for the night.”

Even though her back was to him, with purple-streaked dark hair obscuring his vision, he could clearly imagine the eye-roll. Tonks spun around and planted a quick kiss on him, hands splayed out on his cheeks, leaving traces of mint flavoured lip gloss behind. “Remus, you are an idiot and I love you. It’s the full moon, I’m not going to forget no matter what.”

Remus sat back on the couch and pulled her into his lap. Her bulky boots stuck incongruously out of the frilly and corseted dress, knocking against his shins. He felt a bit weak from the impending moon, but having her warm body curled against his certainly helped a bit. “You’ve been looking forward to this party for a while now, and it just so happens that it falls on the full moon. Don’t let my condition stop you from having a good time.”

Tonks laid her head on his shoulder. “The only reason I’m going is because I know that where you’re transforming tonight is a short apparition away, and I can be there if you need me. And I also know you’ve got the wolfsbane.” She straightened up and grabbed his face again, pulling his eyes towards hers. “So don’t even think about telling me to forget about you, even if it is just for the night.”

“Still, I don’t want your thinking about me to have a negative impact on your...” he trailed off, seeing the quite steely look in her eyes. “I should probably stop speaking now, shouldn’t I?”

She nodded and grinned widely, leaning in to kiss him again and to brush off some of her glittery makeup that had migrated onto his face…”

And then things somehow went sour. There was a strange sort of flare-up in his wolf stomach, a gut feeling of massive danger towards Tonks. Maybe it was magic or sheer brute force, but soon the door to the shed was in bits and he was running full tilt towards where he thought she’d be. Sure enough, within minutes he found her running away from the melee. She’d shot a hex at him first, but as soon as recognition kicked in they’d both started off again. As they ran, Tonks explained in short, breathless gasps.

“Death eaters…raided the party, don’t know why. Put up anti-apparition wards, started tossing off curses. Rodolphus was there. Would have stayed to help but he’d have killed me.” Remus wanted to tell her to not worry about the others, that the Aurors would have been there in a heartbeat, and that he was quite glad that she had gotten out of there. All he could do though was whine sympathetically and nudge his head against her hand.

Then they’d heard the werewolves. And then she’d tripped, went unconscious. Her glitter makeup was smeared down her cheeks and mixed with blood and grime, the visage of a macabre marionette. Now the wolves were at the doorstep, creeping beyond the trees with dripping muzzles and growls reminiscent of the rumble of a landslide. Remus stood at guard, growling back and letting his yellow eyes flash.

Remus knew that he hadn’t always been the best partner to Tonks, that sometimes his issues made her want to smack him upside the head, but he knew he could do this for her. He could protect her, save her, make sure all was all right. Here, at the end of all things when the stars were falling, he would always be with her.

I'm most likely going to continue this, and I can guarantee that it will get happier. You know me, I need those upbeat endings...


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 30th, 2006 12:31 am (UTC)
I am not a fan of Remus/Tonks (which is an understatement), but the art is very lovely and this piece matches it delightfully. ^__^
Oct. 4th, 2006 11:11 pm (UTC)
*blushes* thanks hon! I'm glad that you thought the piece and the art went well (and I so appreciate you stepping outside of your usual fandom zone! I feel honored! :D). Thanks for reading!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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