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Pluto
N. Tonks & Remus L. - Words: 55,274 - Rated: T - English - Drama & Romance - Chapters: 30 - Reviews: 65 - Updated: 21-02-2019 - Published: 10-09-2018 - by bikelock28 (FFN)

Set during Harry's birthday tea, Deathly Hallows Chapter Six.

17

The patronus pattered across the grass, materialised through the window and leapt onto the table. Tonks recognised it as Arthur's, and was immediately set on guard. The weasel sat up on its back legs, glanced round, and said in Arthur Weasley's voice, "Minister of Magic coming with me". Then it faded away. Tonks was still looking at the place where the weasel had disappeared when her husband jumped to his feet, said, "We shouldn't be here", stammered an apology to Harry, grabbed Tonks' hand and yanked her away from the dinner table. She barely had time to swallow her mouthful of cake before they were out of the door.

"Remus, wait-" she protested, knocking into the doorframe.

"Come on, we need to go," he answered seriously.

"But it's Harry's birthday. We can't run off like this without saying goodbye," Tonks told him indignantly. She tried to wriggle out of Remus' grip, but he kept his fingers clamped firmly around her wrist. He dragged her out across the yard and onto the grass.

"We can't run into the Minister. Harry won't mind,"

"Yes he will. Give me half a minute to run back inside to give him a hug goodbye,"

"No,"

"Remus, I-"

"Just once will you not argue with me," he snapped.

"Don't talk to me like that," Tonks shot back, stung.

"Alright. Alright, I'm sorry. But we can't risk it. It's okay, we'll see them all tomorrow," he attempted to cajole her. He shoved his foot into a gap in the fence and used it as leverage to clamber over.

"But Harry's birthday's today,"

"We're leaving now," Remus said firmly, "Climb over fence and we'll apparate,"

Tonks folded her arms. "No,"

"Dora. Climb. Over. This. Fence,"

"It's his seventeenth,"

Remus' jaw stiffened. If it had been any other man Tonks would have readied herself for the explosion, but her husband wasn't like that; he was calm and collected. It was intensely infuriating. His tone was coolly factual as he told her: "I warned you countless times that this is what life with a werewolf is like. I begged you to stay away from me. You refused, you told me that it'd be worth it. You said you were prepared for this,"

Tonks held his gaze for a long moment. He's right, damn him, as usual. She was aware of all the dangers being with him posed, physically and politically. She'd always known, and Remus had spelt it out again and again for months. And every time she'd told him she didn't care. Money where your mouth is time, kiddo.

"You are worth it," she said, and jumped over the fence.

Remus' sigh of relief was audible. He took her hand again, more gently this time, and together they disapparated. If Tonks thought that was the end of it through, she was mistaken.

They reappeared on the path outside the flat and let themselves in. Theirs (Remus was having trouble with it being "theirs" and "ours". He'd only lived there properly since a couple of days before their wedding, and was still getting his head around being a resident of Tonks' flat, not a guest. It was, she thought fondly, very sweet) was the ground floor flat and Tonks headed straight to put the kettle on. Remus usually settled onto the sofa with a book, but this time he followed her into the kitchen and began to pace. Tonks shot him a questioning look but his eyes were glued to the floor. She poured them both a cup of tea but when she held his out he waved her away dismissively.

"You alright, darling?"

"Hmph,"

"D'you not want tea? I only spilt a couple of drops," she said, trying to raise a smile from him. He reached the wall, spun on his heel, and paced back the other way. Tonks rolled her eyes, "Are you going to tell me what this is about, or shall I spend all evening guessing?"

He tore his eyes from the floor and looked at her. "The baby,"

Tonks' heart sank. She'd only told him about it two days ago. She'd gripped his hand, eyes shining, and told him that she was pregnant. Remus had stared at her agog, until finally he'd run a hand through his hair and began to recite a seemingly endless list of worries and possible disasters. He hadn't congratulated her, hadn't hugged or kissed her, hadn't put his hand on her stomach to feel where their baby was growing. He hadn't even smiled.

"It's fine. I'm fine," she said, trying to keep the stiffness out of her tone.

"I know. It's just…what happened-"

"I understand why we had to leave, I just wanted to say goodbye to Harry," she said in an attempt to diffuse the situation. She'd left, hadn't she? Was he cross at her for arguing?

"No, not that. With the Minister there I…the gravity of the situation," Remus tailed off, still walking.

"Will you get to the flipping point?" Tonks said impatiently. Merlin, he could be dramatic.

Remus glanced up at her and answered with another question; "Will you forgive me for what I'm about to say?"

"Remus-"

"Will you?" he demanded. He'd stopped pacing and was holding onto her shoulder. His face was frightened and urgent. Tonks nodded.

"What if we got rid of it?" he said.

The words thudded around them for several long seconds.

"Now," Tonks replied in a drawl, "Or shall we wait until it's born and then wring its neck?"

"Dora-" he tried to say, but she cut him off.

"Don't you want it? It's our baby". She felt like he'd reached into her body and crumpled her insides. He didn't want the child, didn't want this family, didn't want her.

"Of course I want it. But sensibly, practically-"

"Sensibly, it's my kid and I'll love it no matter what," Tonks replied coldly. It was that simple. Remus was always overcomplicating things.

"Even if it's a werewolf?"

"It's a proven fact that I love werewolves," she deadpanned.

Remus didn't raise a smile. "Transformations," he said carefully, "Are worse in children. More painful and bewildering. We can't risk doing that to a baby. A baby, Tonks, our baby. It isn't fair on our baby,"

"You could help it," Tonks pointed out.

Her husband laughed without humour. "There is no help,"

"That's not true and you know it,"

"We can hardly afford Wolfsbane, and the way things are going it's going to become harder to come by, and even-"

"Stop it," Tonks retorted, "Just stop it. Will you let yourself be happy for five bloody minutes before jumping to the worst possible conclusion. You don't know that it's going to be a werewolf,"

"But I know that there's a chance it could be. It's better off dead than living as that,"

There was a pause. Again his words thudded around the kitchen like lumps of lead.

"You don't mean that," Tonks said quietly.

Silence again. Then- "No, I suppose I don't. But what about you? What if it transforms inside you?"

"You've read too many horror stories," Tonks said drily.

"This isn't a joke, Dora,"

"No it bloody well isn't. I'm having this baby. Alright?" she snapped, "Money or no money, war or no war, werewolf or no werewolf". She glared at him.

Slowly, Remus nodded. Tonks risked touching his hand and said in a softer voice, "We'll work it out, I promise. Mum and Dad will help with money, Molly'll be desperate to give us her kids' cast-offs, Hagrid can babysit". Remus forced a half-smile, which Tonks reckoned was better than nothing. She reached up to stoke his cheek and continued, "And its Dad won't be half bad either".

She knew that once he'd got this panicking out of his system he was going to be wonderful. Patient and tender and wise. Merlin, she loved him. Tonks smiled, squeezed Remus' hand, and said briskly, "Well, now we've got that sorted, while we're home we might as well have an early night before the wedding, eh?"

"'lright," he mumbled, not meeting her eye.

"Come on then, lovely boy, let's get to bed,"

Remus nodded and followed his wife into their bedroom. He changed into his pyjamas, folded his clothes neatly on the chair, climbed into bed beside her and kissed her goodnight. But when Tonks turned out the light he rolled onto his side, facing away from her. The clock ticked round and he lay awake with his back to his wife, and his eyes stared at the wall.

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