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19 February 2012 @ 07:08 pm
Midwinter, prompt 25 | Support [part 2/2] (Harry Potter)  
Title: Support [2/2]
Author: shimotsuki
Prompt: #25 | picture of a switch on a train track
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters & Pairings: Remus Lupin/Nymphadora Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt
Rating & Warnings: PG | AU denial-fic
Word Count: 994 words
Summary: Remus is finding his place in the world after the war when a request from Kingsley threatens to shake everything up again.
Author's Note: This is a stand-alone piece, but it is part of the Warp and Weft AU ficverse, set soon after House and Home. And for anyone who's keeping track (heh), eleven years later, Callie Kimball gets a brief mention in Inter-House Unity, Teddy's Sorting story. ;)




Support

[back to part 1]

Three days later, the J.M.L.C. had adjourned for the full moon.

Tonks sat in the kitchen, sipping tea and keeping a judicious eye on Remus, watching his bouts of restless energy grow shorter and the exhaustion begin to take over. Waiting for the right moment to persuade him to go lie down.

When the Floo turned green, it made both of them jump.

“Remus?” It was Kingsley himself putting the call through, this time. He sounded tense.

“I’m here.” Remus dropped stiffly to his knees and peered into the fire. “What is it?”

“We’ve just had a report of a case of accidental magic by a five-year-old-girl—she’s closed herself inside some kind of bubble. The mother’s a Muggle and can’t get her out.” He glanced at a sheaf of notes in his hand. “The father was a wizard, but he died in the war.” He turned back to Remus. “Would you go handle it?”

“I—” Remus looked unhappy.

“Kingsley,” Tonks broke in, “it’s full moon in just a few hours. Remus doesn’t have the energy to spare, and he feels like crap. Can’t you send someone else?”

Kingsley sighed. “That’s just it. The little girl is a werewolf, and it seems she’s panicking about the transformation.”

Remus swallowed, rubbing at his temples—he probably had a headache by now, too. “It’s all right, Dora. I’ll go.”

“Thanks,” said Kingsley. “I owe you, again.” He passed a slip of paper with the child’s name and Floo direction through to Remus and cut the connection.

“We’re going with you,” said Tonks, before Remus could say a word. “In case you need help Flooing back.” She slid Teddy into his infant sling and peered at the note Remus was holding. “Caroline Kimball, eh?”

~ * ~

They spilled out of the Floo into a small but comfortable living room. A slight young woman with dark hair pulled back and hazel eyes bright with unshed tears was there to meet them.

“Oh, thank goodness—you must be from the Ministry,” she quavered. “Please help—there’s not much more time before moonrise...”

In one corner of the room stood a large blue luminescent bubble, giving off a sort of agitated shimmer. “That’s Caroline?” asked Remus. At the woman’s nod, he went straight to the bubble and began casting exploratory spells.

“Mrs. Kimball?” said Tonks. The woman nodded again, and Tonks gave her the friendliest smile she could conjure around her worry for Remus. “That’s my husband, Remus Lupin. I’m Tonks. And, erm, this is Teddy.”

“Elspeth Kimball,” the woman said, and even managed to spare a small smile for the sleeping baby. “He’s a new little fellow.”

“Born just before the end of the war,” said Tonks, softly, mindful that the war had brought something very different for this young widow.

By now, Remus had carved a sort of porthole into the bubble and was peering through it. “Caroline?”

“I’m Callie,” came a petulant voice from inside.

“Hello, Callie. I’m Remus.” He smiled a little. “This is quite a lovely bubble you’ve made, but it’s time to come out now. I need to wave my wand and make it disappear. Are you ready?”

“No.” Tonks could hear the pout, all the way across the room. “I’m hiding.”

Remus grimaced, but he kept his voice low and calm. “What are you hiding from?”

“The moon.” Now there was a little sniffle. “If it finds me, I have to turn into a wolf. But I don’t want to! It hurts!

“I know,” said Remus, still gently, but with an undertone of raw anguish that made Tonks blink, hard. “I know. But the bubble won’t stop it, Callie. You’ve got to come out.”

He swept his wand in a rapid circle, and the bubble vanished. Now Tonks could see a thin little girl, huddled on the floor. Tears streaked her face.

“You’re a brave girl,” said Remus, his voice gone hoarse. “You’ll be all right.”

“I don’t want to!” Callie was sobbing now. “I don’t want to turn into a wolf!”

“I know.” Remus folded himself down to sit on the floor, wincing slightly. “I have to turn into a wolf, too, and I don’t want to, either. But we have to—there’s no way to stop it.”

Elspeth Kimball’s hand clenched tightly on Tonks’s arm.

“He’s a werewolf?” she gasped. “The Ministry sent a werewolf into my house?”

Tonks stared.

The woman had started to shake. “It was a werewolf that killed my husband, and did this to my little girl!”

Tonks forced herself to take a very deep breath.

“And it was a werewolf that did this to Remus,” she said, levelly. “When he was seven.”

Mrs. Kimball flinched, but then she let go of Tonks, and nodded, jerkily.

“Remus is no monster.” Tonks kept her voice quiet, but her fists had clenched. “Just as Callie isn’t, and won’t ever be, because she has a mother to love her, and people like Remus—” Merlin willing—“to learn from.”

Across the room, Callie was staring at Remus now, her own tears forgotten. “You’re a werewolf, too?”

“I am.” He reached out and smoothed a hand over her hair. “We can’t stop the change, Callie, but there are things we can do to make it hurt a little less. I only have time to show you one thing today, but—”

He shot a slightly guilty look at Teddy, and then at Tonks.

But she grinned a very wide grin and nodded, hard.

Remus smiled, a little wryly, and turned back to the little girl, who had decided to creep up close to his knee.

“I’ll come again soon,” he promised, “and show you some more.”

~ fin ~
 
 
 
eleanoreleanoreleanoreleanor on February 20th, 2012 04:32 am (UTC)
I love love love it!!!!
shimotsuki: rt_kissshimotsuki on February 20th, 2012 04:56 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks! :)
sspring92: nymphadora&Lupinsspring92 on February 20th, 2012 04:42 am (UTC)
There is more correct? hint, hint, wink wink!

Edited at 2012-02-20 04:47 am (UTC)
shimotsuki: hufflepuffshimotsuki on February 20th, 2012 04:58 am (UTC)
LOL! Not in this story specifically, but I'll probably write another fic about Remus and his support group sometime. I have another OC werewolf kid living in my head -- his name is Aaron, and he's old enough to start at Hogwarts in September, if they'll let him. ;)
gilpin25: Lupin & Tonksgilpin25 on February 20th, 2012 06:07 pm (UTC)
How nice that it's seeing a small, fightened child, and realizing he's the one person who can not only help but who understands, that overrides Remus's doubts about the wisdom of all this. Callie sealing herself away in a bubble was really touching (a poignant reminder of the pain involved), and her mother's response to Remus, while not terribly admirable initially, rang very true. Tonks may have deserved a small medal for calmly pointing out a few facts!

I've really enjoyed this little story, especially the suggestion that the Support is probably going to work for all in many ways. I'm seconding the motion for a sequel/follow up some day. :)
shimotsuki: warp-weftshimotsuki on February 20th, 2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks very much for the kind comments. ♥ I don't think Remus would be able to stop himself from getting involved once he's seen how his help is needed.

I'm glad you liked the bubble...the original spontaneous plotbunny actually had Callie putting herself up in a tall tree (inspired by Harry on the roof of his school?), but then I realized that Remus might not be able to get up a tree pre-moon, and even if he did, no one would be able to so usefully overhear his conversation with Callie! ...Enter the bubble.

her mother's response to Remus, while not terribly admirable initially, rang very true

Glad you thought so. Elspeth, as a Muggle, is really out of her depth trying to raise a little magical werewolf all alone, and her one experience with adult werewolves was about as traumatizing as it gets. She has more of an excuse than Molly to be afraid. ;) (But now wouldn't it be interesting if Elspeth got to meet Matthias with his blue eyes -- and his own set of Slytherin issues about Muggles? *evil grin*)
gilpin25: Wordsgilpin25 on February 20th, 2012 08:24 pm (UTC)
(But now wouldn't it be interesting if Elspeth got to meet Matthias with his blue eyes -- and his own set of Slytherin issues about Muggles? *evil grin*)

Sounds like an inspired plot bunny to me. ;)
huldrejenta: Full Moonhuldrejenta on September 20th, 2012 10:42 am (UTC)
Your stories just keep blowing me away!

“If it finds me, I have to turn into a wolf. But I don’t want to! It hurts!”“I know,” said Remus, still gently, but with an undertone of raw anguish that made Tonks blink, hard.

This made me blink too... The raw anguish is both from the physical pain and from all other aspects of being a werewolve that has caused so much hurt in Remus' life, I gather, and I love that seing the same fear in a little girl, makes him change his mind. (No wonder I love him..!)

I really enjoy reading your AU fic stories! It's what should have been.
For me, there are three reasons why I think JKR made the wrong choice in killing these two:

1. Remus is such a lovable and brave character who is always there for everyone, and has suffered so much. If anyone deserves a "happily ever after", it's him. (Although I do admit that this argument is strongly biased by the fact that I'm a Remus fangirl ;-) and I guess some of the same reasons could be said about ex Sirius...)

2. I really would like to see the topic that you write about here, explored in canon, or at least hinted at. Equal rights for all, and discrimination against part humans, is an important topic in HP, and who better to work with this than Remus - the born teacher, who has suffered a lot from discrimination himself. It seemed to me that this character was leeding up to this as well, but alas...

3. Some of the reasons Remus gave Tonks for why they should not be together, turned out to be very real. He really was a dangerous man to be with - Bellatrix made Tonks a target after R and T got married. I guess Remus, who had lived almost his entire life with suspicion and probably even hate turned his way, may have had a better understanding of what Tonks could expect if they were together, than Tonks herself possably could. So even if I totally think that this must be Tonks' choice, I sort of understand Remus' reasons for thinking that Tonks would be better of without him. And when JKR ends their lifes the way she does, it feels to me that evil won at least one victory...

I'm rambling here, and my English is not good enough to convey the finer points of what I mean (which is why I haven't dared writing any fics in English).

Anyway, your Warp and Weft series (is this story a part of that?) is a huge comfort:-) I prefer the after-the-war-AU to be canon compliant to be really interesting, and thankfully, yours is :-) So this is definitely canon for me, heh.


Edited at 2012-09-23 07:47 am (UTC)
shimotsuki: rt_kissshimotsuki on September 24th, 2012 03:56 am (UTC)
Your comments make me very happy! :) I'm glad you enjoy these stories.

I am in agreement with your reasons why it's too bad Remus and Tonks didn't make it through DH. (Your English is excellent, by the way -- no worries there.) Especially this point:

Equal rights for all, and discrimination against part humans, is an important topic in HP, and who better to work with this than Remus - the born teacher, who has suffered a lot from discrimination himself. It seemed to me that this character was leeding up to this as well, but alas...

That was exactly what I thought, and exactly where I thought JKR was taking Remus's storyline -- which is why I missed the obvious signs that he and Tonks were doomed (see: Teddy, heh) and was quite honestly shocked when suddenly Harry saw them, dead.

your Warp and Weft series (is this story a part of that?)

Oh, it is! I didn't realize I hadn't added it to the list. I'll be sure to fix that, soon. I'm glad you find these stories comforting (I definitely do!), and indeed they are meant to be as close to canon as possible with one two obvious exceptions. ;)