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Breath of Fresh Air

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"What?" Tonks asked softly, backing up and tripping slightly (while cursing herself for being clumsy at this very serious moment). She felt the tears start to form, and quickly morphed them away. She knew that her hair was probably draining itself of color, and though she tried to stop it, she knew it had no effect whatsoever.

"You heard me, Nymphadora. This has to stop immediately. I should have foreseen the consequences of this." Remus said, with no expression on his face. Tonks felt as if she were imploding and she shook her head slowly in shock, not even noticing the use of her first name.

"No...no, Remus, you can't!" she said, running forward and gripping his sleeve in a vice-like grip when he turned away. Remus didn't look back at her, yet he stayed still for a moment, and Tonks took it as her chance to say her bit.

"Remus...is it me? Am I...am I not good enough for you? Because I'll change, I promise, just please don't...don't leave me." she said, not even bothering to keep back the tears anymore. Remus's shoulders hunched and he shook his head.

"It's not you, Dora...it's me. I'm afraid what I've done to you...to our child. I...I can't put you through this." he said, shaking his head with a certain finality and yanking his arm from her grasp. Tonks tried to follow him as he slammed the door, but she heard him apparate, and knew it was futile. So she took the opportunity to curl up into a ball and begin crying her eyes out. She didn't know how long she passed like that, it could have been hours, days, or even months and she wouldn't care. All that she knew was that she only snapped out of it when her stomach growled, and she got up to eat not for herself, but for the child. And so it went, days passing days by in a sort of sick race that she wanted nothing to do with. She supposed that she was looking very odd to the other order members that she saw occasionally, specifically Molly, who treated her just like another daughter, but it still didn't matter.

He was gone, and knowing R-...him...he was gone for good. Just like a breath of fresh air; brightening up her day for a moment, then leaving so quickly that it left you with a slight headache. Except this was slightly more serious than a simple headache. Ugh, bloody brilliant. Even lame jokes served only to put her into a deeper depression. More time passed, and now everyone had either figured it out, or they had been told by some other, slightly more intelligent person. It was like living in a bloody village, the gossip spread so quickly. You knew when people suddenly stopped conversation held in whispers and looked up guiltily at you, or when they gave you sympathetic glances. Pitying glances. And even though it sounds sick...it helped. Instead of being depressed, she was now very, very angry. Her hair now alternated in quick succession from a washed-out brown to brilliant red. People were now giving her even more distance, and even more questioning glances. She finally got so fed up with it, she almost literally exploded.

"STOP IT! JUST STOP IT, ALREADY!" she yelled after the fifth time of Molly asking her if she wanted to talk, and she slammed her fist onto the Weasley's kitchen table. Molly jumped and took a step back, dropping the tea cup that Tonks had just refused moment before.

"I'M NOT A CHILD! I'D BE ALRIGHT MUCH MORE QUICKLY IF EVERYONE WOULD STOP HANDLING ME WITH KID GLOVES! I'M NOT HELPLESS, YOU KNOW! I never was, and I never will be. I'll pull through without being treated like a bloody nutter." she yelled, then quieted a bit. She sighed at the look on Molly's face. It was time to go.

"Thanks, Molly, but I'd better get home before dark." she sighed, quickly repairing the cup at Molly's feet and hastily placing it on the table before grabbing her trench coat and exiting via the conveniently placed door. When outside, she shivered and plunged her hands deep into her pockets. It was shockingly cold outside, and she could practically see her breath forming into ice particles, but the cold cleared her head, so she decided to walk a ways before apparating. As she walked, she contemplated her, admittedly very short, conversation with Molly. Even though it dead frustrating...she should have treated Molly with more respect. Suddenly, she felt a headache coming on from the cold, and decided that she would deal with the guilt from having told Molly off tomorrow; she was going home. So she apparated home and walked quickly to the front door. However, when she opened the door, she saw Remus pacing to and fro in the sitting room with anticipation. When she slammed the door behind her and distractedly knocked over the table right inside the door while hanging up her coat on the built-in coat rack, he looked up with relief and perhaps anxiety.

Tonks looked him with no expression on her face, then turned, and without a word began making her way into the kitchen to make herself some nice, mind-clearing cocoa.

"Dora..." Remus called, and Tonks ignored him yet again while yanking open the cupboard and pulling out the milk and cocoa. Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw Remus's expression flinch with pain and deflate. She suddenly felt a sick sense of triumph and continued on her merry way. Not. Her mind was whirling and practically lurching about in her head; wanting to get out and snog Remus's own brains out. Ergh...brains snogging brains...she needed to get out more.

"NYMPHADORA TONKS, STOP IGNORING ME AND LISTEN!" Remus finally yelled, exploding. So Tonks, having already ridded herself of the milk and cocoa, decided to listen, and whipped around with lightning speed while putting her wand against his throat. Remus looked uttely shocked and took a step back, and instead of standing still, Tonks continued to push him until his back was against the wall.

"Dora..." Remus said, warily raising his hands in a gesture of surrender. Unfortunately for Remus, Tonks was not in the mood for lame excuses and inner battles. This wasn't inner anymore, in her (more important) opinion.

"No, Remus, you listen to me. I don't care how many heart-rending decisions you've made, or how you've decided to finally own up to your actions and accept them. You left me." Tonks said, her voice choking with feeling. Remus's eyes softened, and he opted for the if-I-hug-you-you-can't-hex-me route. Tonks grabbed fist fulls of his ratty old cloak and sobbed into his shoulder.

The thing about breaths of fresh air, she decided, was that the second breath was even sweeter than the first.





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