Sleeping with Ghosts

~1000 words :: Harry Potter :: Sirius/Remus, Remus/Tonks :: 1/26/06
Remus knows it isn’t right, but it’s easier this way. (Note: This was remixed by Lady Goodman for Remix…Redux IV.)


Remus has known about her crush for a while now, though it took Sirius pointing it out for him to notice.

“Ickle Nymphadora has a crush on Remus Lupin,” he’d sniggered. It wasn’t a nice sound. It wasn’t a nice look, either, the way Sirius’s mouth pressed into a wide line, the way his eyes narrowed and his nostrils flared. He looked like a spoilt child when he snapped, “Well, she can’t have you!”

It was no use placating Sirius, Remus knew, and so he never tried. Not with words, though his lips on Sirius’s dick worked a treat.

Before Azkaban, before being locked up at Number Twelve, Sirius had never been jealous. Never jealous of Remus, anyway, or if he had been, he’d never shown it. With the loss of freedom came a possessiveness Remus had never expected.

At the time Remus had laughed. Tonks, of all people. Tonks, when Remus hadn’t slept with a girl since he’d been at school. Tonks, who was closer to Harry’s age than his own.

But she’s there. Always there, always watching him. She wears him down with her persistence, until he finds himself thinking maybe it’s just easier this way.

It’s easier to let her in when she comes round, easier to let her cook dinner (or let her try to cook dinner, rather, and then ring for takeaway from the Indian place down on the corner when things start exploding in the kitchen), and easier to sit with her on the sofa after, drinking beer and listening to the radio. God knows it’s easier than telling her to go.

Griselda and Sam is on, but for once Tonks seems as uninterested in the tragic and heart-rending saga of a witch’s love for her Muggle neighbour as Remus is. She fidgets, tapping her fingernails against the neck of her beer bottle, and finally she says, “Remus, I love you,” and he just blinks. Her voice is pleading and a little pathetic and he hates that he hears himself in it.

He brings his hand to his face, rubs his temples and drags it down, pulling his mouth open as if by doing so words will follow. They don’t. Eventually he runs his hand back up, fingers curling in his hair as he stares at the floor. “I’m leaving day after tomorrow, you know that. The other werewolves…”

“That’s why.” She puts her hand on his shoulder and he jerks away instinctively, doesn’t have to look to see the hurt on her face.

The evening ends as it always does, with them fucking on the sofa (never the bed) and Tonks reluctantly Disapparating when it becomes obvious Remus isn’t going to ask her to stay this time anymore than he did the time before.

He pushes himself up, dresses slowly, and waves his wand at the coffee table, sending empty bottles to the bin and leftover curry to the fridge. The radio is still playing – Midnight Flashback, it must be – the song reminding him of school and summer holidays and Sirius. Sighing, he turns it off and pads into the bathroom.

When Tonks Apparates back five minutes later, she’s livid. “No, you know what? Fuck this.” She stomps into the bedroom; he can see her glaring at him in the mirror through the open bathroom door. “What’s he got that I haven’t?”

He turns around, doesn’t meet her eyes. “It’s not like that…”

“It’s exactly like that!” she snaps, and in a few steps she’s toe-to-toe with him, fists balled up in the front of his t-shirt. He can see the tears in her eyes, she’s that close, but the sink’s at his back and there’s nowhere to go.

One hand still in his shirt, she reaches in her pocket for her wand and with a barely audible “Evanesco” her clothes are gone. The wand drops to the floor beside them, clattering against the tiles. Blinking the tears away, she screws up her face in concentration.

“What…?”

But even without an answer, he knows. His stomach drops, his chest tightens, and before his eyes she’s changing. It happens somehow slowly and in the blink of an eye all at once. She’s taller, broader, chest flat and fingers long and blunt. She’s looking down at him with Sirius’s face and it’s Sirius’s voice that says, “Is this what you want?”

Yes.

“No.” He grips her wrist, Sirius’s bony wrist, attached to Sirius’s skinny, hairy arm. “Don’t-” But Sirius – Tonks – is surging forward, mouth rough against Remus’s. It feels like Sirius, but tastes like Tonks. Like Indian and cheap beer, with no trace of cigarettes.

She presses against him, against his erection trapped uncomfortably in his jeans, and her free hand worms between them to fumble with the fly. If they hadn’t fucked an hour ago, he’d be in danger of coming in his pants. As it is, he comes in her hand, Sirius’s name on his lips, and he’s only dimly aware that the cock pressed against his leg isn’t even hard.

“Are you happy now?” Sirius says. Tonks says.

Remus’s heart is racing; his head hurts. The only answer he has is, “I told you I’m no good for you.”

In seconds Tonks is herself again, reaching down for her wand, and with a flick of her wrist she’s clothed again. Shaking, she digs in her pockets, counts out some Muggle coins.

“What…?”

“I can’t-” There are tears in her voice. “I’ll splinch.”

When she leaves, it’s with Remus’s coat and a promise to stop by the chip shop tomorrow. He watches out the front door til long after she’s disappeared from sight and then locks up, sighing, and pads back into the bathroom to clean his teeth.