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love in times of war

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February 14th, 1998

When Nymphadora Tonks woke up on her twenty-fifth birthday, Remus had already left. She lay there blinking at the ceiling and tried hard not to take this as a continuation of the argument they’d had the night before.

It was light enough outside that it was possible his scheduled meeting with Kingsley had already begun. He was adamant not to rouse her when there was no immediate danger and she was asleep – one of the few hang-ups about her pregnancy and her treatment during it that she’d decided not to argue against.

Kingsley ought to have received news from Hagrid and thus have an idea of what was happening at Hogwarts. Tonks had given up hoping for good news coming out of Hogsmeade but would settle for neutral. Remus always turned so unfathomably, coldly angry whenever he heard of Snape’s actions as Headmaster.

Their baby more awake than she inside her, Tonks was angry – frustrated – too. After the skirmish she’d gotten into last weekend she’d grudgingly conceded that she had to pull out of active combat, but ganged up on by her husband and her mother or not, she was a fully trained Auror and there had to be other ways for her to participate. There were few enough people left – Dad was dead - they couldn’t afford for her to be banished to the sideline. Moody would turned around in his grave if he caught her shirking her duties during this time.

Moody would’ve cussed her out for falling pregnant in the first place if he’d lived to be informed. A few years ago Tonks might’ve even agreed. Now, every day the no-longer-so-tiny life inside her – the child they were going to call after Dad if it was a boy and after Remus’ mum if it was a girl – was a manifestation of her hope, her belief that their side would win.

Pregnant or not, Tonks had the advantage of being able to make herself look like a random Muggle at a moment’s notice when spells or wards would detect other means of deception. It wasn’t a perfect solution since Muggles were randomly targeted as well, but, as she had argued numerous times, it was nevertheless a leg up for someone running errands around London. Moreover, she could use her metamorphosis to cover vulnerable parts of her body with scales, an extra layer of protection for her unborn. It was a trick a young Tonks’d taught herself after the first time she’d heard Charlie Weasley talk about dragons. It had saved her life a time or two as an Auror.

‘But Nymphadora,’ her mum and Remus had countered every time she’d brought it up the past few days. If someone cast an Avada Kedavra, it wouldn’t be enough and she was too slow now to move out of the way.

Well, Remus hadn't actually called her Nymphadora, but he might as well. And now she was awake and the little one was kicking against her bladder. Their society had been at war for nearly a year and Remus was out there.

“Time for Mummy to get up,” she groaned, and that’s when her eyes fell on the sheet of parchment pinned to the bedside table by a vase full of her favourite flowers which did not bloom at this time of the year.

At first, she thought he’d left her a Valentine for her birthday. She slid the letter out from under the vase and unfolded it. “Tonks Lupin,” she forced out and waited for the ink to become visible on the empty sheet, holding her breath against the continuous kicking in an attempt to delay a mad dash to the bathroom.

“You’ve got a good father,” she told Teddy-or-Hope before finally making her way out of bed. Once she was done peeing she was going to devise a plan how to approach all the contacts he had written down.