Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Remus/Tonks with past Remus/Sirius
Word Count: 577
Summary: He doesn't want to have this conversation. Remus and Tonks, between the hospital and the funeral.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters and I'm making no money off of this.
A/N: Betaed by thistlerose.
It isn’t fair.
In this instance, “it” could apply to many things, but mostly means the all-encompassing “life.” Remus knows this, has always known it, and is quietly determined not to let it get out of hand, but to take each situation as it comes and deal with it appropriately.
Dumbledore’s death is just one more to add to the list of unfair things, but not to round it off – not until after Voldemort is dead, maybe not ever.
Emotions are hard. They well up, but Remus has learned that if he is to keep his sanity, he must remain the rational, calm one, no matter what group he is a part of. He tries to be rational and not to make scenes.
In her defense, Tonks does not know this. Nor does she know how hard it’s been on him since Sirius died. His work for the Order has always been difficult, but now that he has no one to come home to, it is practically unbearable. He’s been meaning to sit her down for this talk for quite a while and kept putting it off – work is too intense; he barely has a minute to himself as it is; when he is around and gets her alone, someone (generally a Weasley) interrupts them – but they’re all excuses because he doesn’t want to have this conversation.
“Why don’t we sit?” he manages. They are in his room – his and Sirius’ room, his brain keeps reminding him – at Grimmauld Place. He moves to the loveseat under the window and invites her, with one arm, to join him.
Tonks says, “You don’t have to do this. I get it.” Her face is mostly hidden beneath her shabby hair, muffling her voice.
“I don’t think you do. Please sit.”
She sits reluctantly. “Really, Remus, there’s no need to drag this out. You’ve made your feelings perfectly clear. I shouldn’t have put you on the spot like that at the hospital, but if you’re not attracted to me, all you need to do is say so.”
He clears his throat. “That’s not it at all, actually. I think you’re a lovely girl. It’s just… too soon, after Sirius and all. The pain of losing him is still too great. I wish we could make it work, Nymphadora, but the timing is simply… off.”
“I could help you,” she says. “I think I can make you happy. You need to move on, Remus. Could we at least try?” Her tone is gentle; wheedling has not worked before, and she clearly feels no need to stoop to it now.
He wants to say yes very badly. He likes Tonks quite a lot, but it feels too rushed, still; he’s not sure why. “Perhaps. I… maybe we could attend the funeral together. As friends. And see how it goes.” The atmosphere in the room darkens at the mention of Dumbledore’s funeral.
“I’d like that.”
“Me too.” They smile at each other tentatively. Remus takes Tonks’ hand in his and says, “I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, and it may take me longer than you think. But if that’s all right with you, well, I suppose we can try.”
“I understand. Some people are just hard to get over. We’ll take it slow.”
She leans her head on his shoulder as her hair gradually turns pink, and they sit like that in companionable silence for a long while.