Lupin's reaction to Tonks' outburst in the hospital wing. Spoilers for HPB
Remus Lupin walked over to the window at the far end of the hospital wing. He needed to be alone with his thoughts.
Dumbledore’s dead. He’s really gone. It shouldn’t have happened like this. None of this should have happened. I know nobody liked Snape but how many of us believed he could kill somebody? I had no reason to doubt him, he trusted me when nobody else would…I can’t believe he’s really gone. I’m alone now. Nobody left…
Remus shivered despite the heat of the hospital wing. He rested his head against the cold glass window pane which slightly cooled a burning cut across his forehead that Madame Pomfrey had not yet healed.
He caught a glimpse of his reflection in the window, temporarily breaking his train of thought. Remus’ “furry little problem” had always given him a pale complexion and a skinny frame. The many anti-werewolf restrictions provided he had lower quality clothing than he deserved. Yet now his appearance had deteriorated even more.
He could now fully appreciate the muggle term a “whiter shade of pale” as this perfectly described the colour of his skin, highlighted by dark purple bags under his eyes. Once alive with their Marauder's glint, his eyes had dulled, now omitting only pain and sorrow. New lines appeared each day on his face masking his young age. His light brown hair was streaked with grey reinforcing this false image. His new even skinnier frame was wrapped in a cloak covered in mud; yet it was still obvious it had been mended many times.
You’re in shock that’s all. The one person who trusted you, gave you a job, an education is dead. Murdered. Severus Snape was supposed to be on our side you’re entitled to look ill. People would be more concerned if you didn’t.
You have been underground living with the werewolves, hardly eaten, it’s no wonder your paler and skinnier. Who could have an appetite with Greyback prowling around?
The last full moon was only a few days ago you always look like this a few days after…
He stopped at this point and rested his head back against the window. He knew he wasn’t going to convince himself or anyone else. There was another reason his appearence had changed. He had been fighting himself, and her, for nearly a year now – his head against his heart.
You’re too poor.
She doesn’t care.
You’re too old.
It doesn’t matter.
You’re a werewolf.
She knows and she still loves me.
Why should she live a cursed life?
Why should I?
I don’t want to be alone anymore. They’ve all gone. The Marauders, Dumbledore, I don’t want to lose Tonks as well.
Remus had always had to control his emotions but recently cracks had started to appear in his defences. He spent more and more time alone, shunning social interactions with anyone. His patience once never ending was getting shorter and shorter. Next stage: tears. One trickled down his cheek which he quickly wiped away before anyone could see.
Not now; later. Now you need to be strong. For Harry and all the other kids, for Molly and Arthur, for Tonks. You can grieve later – for Dumbledore, for your friends, for your broken heart –
A cold pale hand belonging to the voice had appeared on his shoulder. He looked up and saw another reflection in the window. He hadn’t even heard her get up. Her appearance was startlingly similar to his own. It suited her even less.
Tonks’ once bright pink hair was now dark and limp. Her skin was as white as snow and was permanently as cold as, yet it had none of the snows sparkle. Her body was skeletal; her positive, energetic posture slumped weary; defeated. Nymphadora Tonks, the cheerful, confident, clumsy Auror was gone. This Tonks was weak, vulnerable and scared.
He turned to face her and his heart found the winning argument it had been looking for: her eyes. Once bright and happy they looked like the light behind them had been extinguished. In her eyes he saw sadness, hurt and unshed tears. Tonks never cried she was hurting more than she would ever admit. That’s when his heart won. He couldn’t hurt her anymore.
He had been trying to protect her, to save her from the same fate that all his loved ones had met. Instead he was slowly killing her, both of them.
“Remus, I’m sorry for what I said earlier. I know you don’t like to talk about this stuff in public.”
“I really am sorry but what with Dumbledore, gone…and Sirius, and everything … I guess it just got too much, I feel like I’m alone now…”
Remus took both her hands in his.
“Tonks don’t apologise. You were right all along. I’m sorry for everything I have put you through, both of us through. You’re not alone…I’ll never leave you alone. I love you; I just wish I had told you sooner.”
“Do you really mean that?”
The next thing her arms were around his neck. His arms automatically wrapped themselves around her.
“I love you too Remus.” she whispered in his ear, and then bending down he kissed her.
“About time too.” Mr Weasley whispered to the rest of the group. Tonks laughed before finally breaking down in tears. Both she and Remus spent the night grieving together for what they both had lost and rejoicing for what they had found.