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Best Medicine (M+F, Harry Potter universe)


Dusty15

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Best Medicine of All

By Dusty15

Her breath clung to the air in icy puffs and she felt as if her nose might just leap from her face and fall into the snow drifts in a mutiny against frostbite. Tonks trudged through the snow and turned down the road towards her flat.

Winter had hit London particularly hard this year. It was January and all looked bleak and dark. Dementors, surely, were part of the problem. Everywhere, black hung over the country like a thick shroud.

She coughed into her mitten, and paused a moment, fumbling for a handkerchief in her coat pocket. Encumbered by her gloves, and too close to Muggles to dare to pull out her wand, she resigned herself to a great sniff and a little wipe on her sleeve.

Shoes and pants soaked with wet snow, she made her way up lane and to her flat. The landlord had neglected to salt the path, and Tonks, being predictably Tonks, slipped and fell flat on her bottom into an icy puddle.

“Bugger!” she swore, rubbing her bum as she stood. Her whole back was soaked.

An elderly pair of muggles walked by, eying her pink hair and her now sopping wet behind. She didn’t dare attempt to use a drying spell.

Hobbling up the front steps, carefully avoiding all other ice patches, she reached her door and let herself inside.

Remus wasn’t there yet, she noted with relief. He’d fuss over such a mess as this, and he didn’t need to worry himself with anything more. It’d been weeks since she’d seen him. He had been bunkered up with the werewolves again, attempting to get more converts. As she stripped off her wet clothes and lit a fire, she shivered to think of him out there in those damp caves and dark basements.

Dressed warmly once again in a dry jumper and a pair of old flannel pajama bottoms, Tonks settled into a chair by the fireplace.

“Accio teapot,” she said, waving her wand.

A small ceramic teapot danced through the air from the kitchen and landed in her lap.

“Aquame…mehh…..hitshoo!”

She sneezed with force, sending the tea pot flying off her lap and to pieces on the floor.

“Fuck it all!” she exclaimed, wiping her runny nose with the back of her hand. “Reparo!”

The teapot fused back together as a knocked resounded from the door.

“Who is it?” she called, standing and sliding her feet into a pair of slippers.

“It’s me,” replied Lupin’s voice. “Remus.”

She slid the bolt loose and opened the door. Remus stood before her, gaunt and tiny under a jumper that was too large for his thin frame and a scarf that had holes all over. A tattered overcoat hung off his shoulders like a cape.

“Hey there,” he said softly, entering the flat and tugging off his boots.

“You look awful!” she exclaimed.

He looked up at her, raising his eyebrows. She bit her lip.

“I’m sorry!” Tonks said. “It’s true. You’re a mess!”

Remus smiled wryly.

“You’re not looking like much of a belle yourself,” she said, fishing a clean handkerchief from his trouser pocket. “Your nose is dripping.”

Tonks blushed, taking the hankie and giving her nose a loud and drippy honk. When she was done, she folded it and put it in her pocket.

“I’ll give it back after I wash it,” she said. “I might need it again.”

“Quite alright,” said Remus, unwinding his thick scarf. “I’ve got about three on the go. Dreadful cold I’ve been fighting.”

As if to demonstrate, he coughed mightily into the crook of his elbow. The cough was deep and barking. Tonks frowned.

“That doesn’t sound good at all,” she said. “Have you been taking any tonics?”

“The pack doesn’t believe in potions and tonics,” said Remus, retrieving a hankie that looked as if it had already seen lots of use. “Sign of weakness.”

He dabbed his nose with the cloth, and when he looked up, Tonks noticed his nose was red and raw at the edges.

“I made up the pull out for you,” she said, putting a hand on his back. “You should lie down for a bit…hiihhhh….hehhh….hetshoo!”

She sneezed wetly, catching it in her sleeve. She pulled out Remus’ hankie and wiped her nose again.

“We’re quite a pair,” he said. “You should have a bit of a lie down as well!”

“How about some tea first?” she said, sniffling wetly.

“That’d be good, I think. Just lemon with mine. Do you mind if I go change into something drier?” he asked.

“Sure,” she said. “You can use my bedroom.”

She pointed to a door across the way.

Lugging his suitcase, he disappeared inside.

Tonks busied herself making tea, and with a wave of her wand, she summoned the service to follow her out to by the fire. Remus was waiting, wearing a dry jumper and trousers. He had very thick grey socks on that looked suspiciously like the handy work of one Mrs. Molly Weasley.

“I put a bit of honey in yours for that cough,” she said. “I’m out of Pepper-Up I’m afrai….ahhhh…ahhhitshoo!”

She sneezed, breaking the spell and sending the tea set falling, but Remus caught it with a freezing charm just in time and it hovered centimeters from the floor.

“Lucky catch,” he said, sending the tray floating up to the table. He retrieved his cup and took a sip. “It’s very good, Tonks. Thanks.”

They drank in silence before the roaring fire, the quiet punctuated only by soft sniffles or Remus’ heavy cough. After a few minutes of his sputtering, it became too much. His eyes began to water, and he bent over, coughing hard and wheezing. Tonks moved to his side and rubbed his back as his chest heaved. He gulped for air and grabbed his sopping hankie, wiping his streaming nose as the coughs died away.

“Poor thing,” said Tonks, running a hand through his graying hair. It was slightly damp still from the snow and a fresh sheen of sweat from the exertion of the coughs. She leaned against him, their bodies warm and swathed in wool. She pulled out her wand, and commanded the sofa to transfigure to Remus’ bed. The cushions spread out into a squashy sort of mattress big enough for two, and covered in thick quilts. She led Remus over and they climbed under the blankets.

Resting her head against his chest, she closed her eyes, sniffling a bit. She felt his hand take her hankie and he gently dabbed her nose.

“Blow,” he commanded, clamping it across her nostrils. She obeyed, emptying her congestion. “Better?”

“Much,” she admitted.

He pressed his cheek against the top of her head. She felt him turn and his breath hitched. He stifled a wet htshump! into his shoulder before moving back against her.

“Sleep,” he said, one hand rubbing the small of her back.

She snuggled closer. His lips brushed the top of her head, and she felt a warmth spread down her body. This was, she thought, the best medicine of all.

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Triffic stuff! All that lovely magic; AND spells interrupted by sneezes. I love Tonks; and it's funny, isn't it; you wait for ever for a Tonks fic and then three come along together!

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Thanks for all the feedback! I'd love to continue writing this! What do people want to see??

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