It was time. She'd fought against it for so long, but it was to no avail. The multitude of boxes waiting for her inside the house wasn’t going to unpack itself, so to work she got.
That was always the worst part for her, one of the few downsides to the lifestyle she chose to follow. Don’t get her wrong, she loved the excitement of it all, the unpredictability, one month you go to sleep in Brazil and the other you were waking up in Australia. All that traveling, all the adventures and the memories she got to make. It was her life blood.
But amidst all that glamorous life, there was the bane of Nymphadora Tonks’ existence… Unpacking.
This time was shaping up to be even worse, since she was going to be spending at least six months at the new location. Her mother had been over the moon, since at least she would be a reasonable distance from home for a change, Marseille wasn’t exactly in London’s backyard, but it was a hell of a lot closer than Indonesia, which was her last location.
Andromeda Tonks had been none too pleased when her only child had decided to be a competitive sailor, since that not only meant her daughter risking her life and braving dangerous waters as well as having to travel all over the globe, but in the end, she knew that Tonks was too headstrong to give up on her dreams, so she was a reluctant supporter now.
With a long suffering sigh, she stared at the boxes trying to decide where to even begin, seeing that most of the boxes weren’t even labelled, mentally chiding herself for her airhead ways, Tonks resorted to eenie meenie to choose a box, it ended up being the one with all of her kitchen stuff, and it was just as well, priorities… you know?
After a few hours, the kitchen was mostly done, since all the appliances had come with the house and she mostly just had to unpack her kitchenware, except for the fridge and the pantry cabinet that were absolutely empty and that just wouldn’t fly in Nymphadora Tonks’ home. As soon as she had that thought her stomach growled loudly to remind her that she hadn’t eaten since yesterday. A trip to the grocery store was in order before she could even think of diving into more unpacking.
It took Tonks fifteen minutes to find her car keys as well as to stumble through all the boxes and assorted furniture still lingering in the living room waiting to be put to rights, but she finally managed to get to her car somewhat unscathed. She was a little ways from the city, and it was something of a forty minute drive until she was able to see the first signs of civilization, from there it wasn’t long until she found what she was looking for.
Tonks was just happy that her mother had made her take French classes when she was younger, it wasn’t like she was a fluent speaker, but she could at least recognize most of the words, she remembered her time in Japan and shuddered, grocery shopping there at first had been a nightmare. All in all, she managed to get everything she needed without embarrassing herself too much and she had even bought some healthy food instead of just chips and energy drinks, she even bought vegetables! Her mother would be so proud.
She decided to listen to some music on the way back, she was feeling good, she was out here being a responsible adult, buying healthy stuff, living by herself and managing shit, working hard to be good at what she did. Yeah… she was feeling herself.
The last notes of an upbeat song that she would deny hearing ‘til the day she died if asked were just dying out as she neared the little strip of hidden paradise where her new home was located, she exited the car with her bags and couldn’t help but stop a little to appreciate the sight.
The house - more of a cottage really, if she was being honest - was perfect, with walls painted powdery blue the tiny construction stood on white pilings with a charming porch and stairs in the same white to match, it contained a suite and a conjugated living room and kitchen, it was the only thing on the beach beside some rocks here and there and the cliffs that stood by the side with their little hidden bay, the little house absolutely dwarfed by what seemed to be miles and miles of white sand all around. For Tonks, it was love at first sight.
After putting everything away at the kitchen she decided to make a quick lunch for herself before resuming the unpacking, a light salad with some grilled chicken breasts, you know… healthy stuff. With the kitchen done, there was only really her bedroom and her sailing gear to unpack, so she decided to start with the bedroom, putting away her clothes and other personal items, following with the bathroom and unloading her extensive assortment of hair products. Tonks didn’t consider herself a vain person, but she did like to look nice, to stand out and make a statement, and she did that with her hair. It was always changing colour and styles, right now, her locks were a bright bubblegum pink and reached just past her shoulders.
Having finished putting everything away at the bathroom, Tonks moved to the little garage attached to the side of the house to put away her equipment, it took a little time, since some of the things were a bit heavy, but she was used to it at this point and after an hour or so, everything was where it should be and she decided that she absolutely deserved a lavender scented bubble bath. She earned it, goddamn it!
The attached bathroom on her room wasn’t anything fancy, but it had a beautiful and nicely sized clawfoot tub and as she lowered herself into the warm, scented, bubbling, lilac water, Tonks decided that she might just live in this tub from now on, but alas, all good things must come to an end, so after the water started turning lukewarm then cold she had to collect the noodles her limbs had turned into and get out of the tub to dry and dress herself.
Her favourite show was on at the time, so she decided to laze around a bit, it was late afternoon now, a couple hours from now and it would be evening, her whole body was relaxed against the couch as she softly laughed at the familiar jokes, the ones she had seen over and over again on her rewatches, that she knew by heart but couldn’t help but find it funny every time. The sound of the water hitting the rocks of the cliff was gentle as it eased in through the open doors that led out to the porch and the smell of the ocean was sharp but tantalizing, soothing to her that knew it and loved it so well, maybe she would take her girl out for a spin after the episode was over.
The sun was almost completely gone when Tonks finished the preparations to get Andromeda moving, she couldn’t help but chuckle a little at the cheesiness of it, naming her boat after her mother. As the vessel became moving, she stopped to appreciate the view, a myriad of pinks and oranges and lilacs dancing across the sky as the sun lazily completed his descent, giving way to the dark blues and deep purples illuminated with the silvery light of the moon, the multitude of stars blinking like tiny diamonds scattered around a midnight blue velvet carpet.
After sailing for some time, she caught sight of a shooting star, cutting brightly through the now inky black sky, she felt childish as she hugged her cardigan closer to herself, closed her eyes and made a wish.
I wish, I wish, I wish… that I could one day have what my parents have… To feel a love so encompassing that I would do anything, give up anything to be with the one I love and have the same devotion in return.
Tonks could feel the shiver starting on her spine spreading lower, as if cold water had been poured into her bones, maybe it was time she got back. As she was readying to change the course, she caught movement from the corner of her eyes, it wasn’t uncommon, but for the sounds of it, it was something big. Tonks was excited as she went to see what it was, maybe she was lucky and she would get to see dolphins or even a whale. It was dark, the lantern only doing so much to help her see anything but ripples in the water, a quick flash of what looked to be something’s tail in a bright teal or turquoise colour stripped with dark blue, it was probably one of those gorgeous and rare fish they liked to capture to put in the aquariums for insensible people to go and gawk at.
She waited a little to see if she would manage to catch a sight of the beautiful creature, but ultimately ended up deciding to give up and go home, it was getting late and the cold was starting to really bother her. Maybe tomorrow she could come again and get to actually see the fish.
Fleur was absolutely ecstatic, after centuries of being denied the simple pleasure of following their own nature, she and her sisters would finally be free to hunt again. Oh, how she longed for the old days when she alone would be the bane of gigantic vessels and hundreds of men, with nothing but her voice and beauty. She missed the taste of their lust and their fear when they finally got to look into her eyes, the desperation in their souls when they finally realized that there was no going back, that they were going to die. She missed the taste of their blood in her lips, the rush she felt as their life left their eyes. Some would say she was cruel and deranged, but in her heart, she knew that the filthy creatures deserved that and more.
She was young once, and bright eyed and naïve, longing to see more of the world, to learn more of its secrets. She went to the coast and out of the water, drying herself in the sun, as her tail melted away to give way to human legs, they all had that ability, they all had been human once, before being reborn from terror and pain, salt and water. They were angry spirits, the sirens, rising out of women who died ugly deaths in the sea, drownings, murders, violence, fear and pain sloshing together with the fury of the ocean as they took their last breath. Some remembered still, their life and their pain. Some didn’t.
Fleur didn’t, her sisters told her she was lucky, that she should cherish it and stay that way, stay with them, but she wouldn’t hear of it, so to the surface she went. She soon understood what her sisters meant, the world of humans had no place for soft things, and the longer she stayed, the more she remembered, the harder she became, until her heart became stone and her only thoughts were those of death and destruction.
Her sisters wept when she came back, first from joy and then from grief, for the Fleur that came back was someone else entirely. She was like a hurricane on her hunts now, leaving only wreckage in her wake, taking hundreds and thousands with a single mindedness that scared her sisters. It was like she wanted to end them all. In a way… she did.
Fleur wasn’t the only one. Before long things were getting dangerous, too many men were dying at the sea, people were starting to whisper, hunters started to come for them, the Old Ones, in their infinite wisdom knew well and intimately the bloodthirst of men, some of them have been alive since the very beginning of things, so long that they’ve lost track of time, they knew how this would go, so the law was passed. No more hunting.
There was much uproar about it all, but no one would dare to contest the elders, they’ve been here since the beginning, they knew what they were doing, so to back to the depths they went, and with time, they became legend, one of many scary and fascinating tales mothers would tell their children about the sea.
Many moons have passed since then, the world has changed so much, although one thing has remained the same: where there were men, destruction was soon to follow in their wake. They were killing the world, poisoning the ocean and soon, there would be nothing left, so the elders reunited the council again and reached a decision. The law would be lifted, it was a question of survival now.
The first thing she noticed was how quiet everything was, she’d been hunting for an entire day and had yet to spot anything, she knew that humans still roamed the sea, she and her sisters had heard from the whales and the dolphins about the gigantic ships full of garbage and poison that were thrown at their home. It was already night when she caught sight of a small vessel, narrow with tall white sails and a small and lanky silhouette standing at the deck.
As she got closer, the small details were becoming clearer to her. Bright coloured hair dancing in the wind, red? Maybe pink? That was odd… Fleur had never seen someone with that hair colour before, it contrasted harshly with the light colour of the person’s clothes, the person was small, their bone structure so delicate that it was almost frail. She couldn’t help but be disappointed, Fleur certainly expected something more challenging on her first hunt after centuries, but she would have to make do apparently.
She was just preparing to start her snaring song as the figure turned and the light hit their features. It was a woman, her face had some harsh traces, too square jaw and elegant, high cheekbones, full lips and an upturned nose, it looked very angular, but somewhat also soft, the woman had this kind look about her, like something that was too good to exist in a world so cruel. It was too dark to make out the colour of her eyes, but Fleur was sure that they would be lovely.
Fleur couldn’t help but be absolutely taken with the sight of her, a sailor woman! She didn’t think that such a thing existed, the men had this superstition that women out at the sea would bring them bad luck, so they stayed on land, to be subjugated and badly treated by them. In all her years of hunting, Fleur had never seen a woman at sea, and she was glad of it too. She didn’t think she could kill a woman, she couldn’t help but feel a strong kinship with them, after all, she had been like them, a long, long time ago. She knew their pain.
Fleur knew that she had no excuse for following the woman’s boat, but it was easy enough to keep up with it and keep out of sight by swimming just under the belly of it, the bow of the vessel breaking the water resistance quite nicely, making it almost relaxing for her to follow along, the soothing motions of the water contrasting harshly with the bright burn of curiosity inside her mind.