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She'd known that it was going to be bad, but hadn't realized what that meant.

It was Dumbledore who had contacted her and explained the situation - that Remus had been away on a task for the Order, and was detained. She didn't ask what this meant, but her internal calendar told her exactly what the significance was. It was two days before the full moon and if he had been... detained, he hadn't been taking his potion.

She was the only other one staying at Grimmauld Place at the time, still trying to sort out Sirius' affairs since she was his closest relative that gave a damn. Remus had offered to leave when she'd moved in, but she'd insisted he stay.

According to Dumbledore, Remus would be capable of apparating back to the house after spending the night in the Shrieking Shack. Tonks cringed at the thought of his unhindered transformation, and barely slept - she was up early the next morning, brewing rosehip tea and waiting for him to arrive.

He did, and she couldn't imagine how he hadn't splinched himself.

"Oh god, Remus!" she breathed, hurrying to his crumpled form in the living room. His robes were draped loosely over him, and there was blood covering him from wounds she couldn't identify. She immediately knelt over him, pushing the hair out of his face, trying to discern just how bad the injuries were.

"It's not bad," he rasped through parched lips. "Flesh wounds. I - it's been a long time; it was glad to get free I think."

It? The wolf. "It hurt you," she whispered, levitating a damp cloth from the kitchen and using it to wipe the blood from a deep scratch on his left arm.

"Better me," he said, taking deep breaths, "than someone else."

"Are you hurt anywhere else?" she murmured, moving the cloth to the cut above his eye and sucking in a breath when he winced in pain.

"Not really." He caught her arm with his hand and said, "Thank you, Nymphadora."

She hated that name. But she loved the way it sounded from his lips. "Do you need anything else?" she asked quietly. "I can help you get to bed..." A slight blush crept onto her cheeks.


She held his hand and they both apparated upstairs to his bedroom, where she helped him climb into bed. "Are you sure you're okay? Are you bleeding anywhere else? I can..."

His hand was on her arm again. "No more wounds on the outside," he said. "Nymphadora, could you - could you please stay with me until I fall asleep?"

She nodded, feeling a shiver at his touch, and climbed into the bed beside him, on top of the sheets under which he was settled.

"I'll stay," she promised.