Title: Eurydice Goes Down
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Luna Lovegood/Nymphadora Tonks
Summary: AU, post-HBP. Lupin is captured by the Death Eaters. Tonks and Luna Lovegood set out to rescue him. High jinks ensue. Except I don’t write high jinks, so angst and weirdness ensue.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. I do not profit from their use.
Warnings: Femmeslash with a bit of a metamorphmagus twist. Character death, violence, a bit of bad language, plus guest appearances by Crazy!Draco and Crazy!Peter.
Word Count: Approximately 4700
Beta Reader: Nzomniac
Author’s Notes: Written for lj community todieavirgin prompt #49. I take Tonks to task a bit for her behavior at the end of HBP. This had bothered me when I read the book and an essay “My Problems With the Lupin/Tonks Ship” by jazzypom really helped to clarify my views on this.
Nymphadora Tonks knew what they said about the ancient and noble house of Black. Her classmates had treated her to all the stories of incest, insanity and the predatory ways of her ancestors, but she’d never paid it too much mind. Why would she consider herself a Black? The Blacks certainly didn’t consider her one of them, not with a Muggleborn father. Her blood was low and dirty.
Oh, but that night Albus Dumbledore was killed, she knew, really knew for the first time that she was a Black, through and through. Because the moment Remus Lupin broke, she saw an opportunity to take what she wanted, what she had been wanting for so long. Nothing else mattered to her. Everything that had happened on that terrible night—death, mourning, injury, war, and lives changed forever—faded away. There were black flames singing in her head. She would have her way.
He surrendered to her just like she’d known he would. She could have raped him that night and he would have thanked her. She would have raped him that night but she didn’t know how. Instead, she made him say all the things she’d wanted to hear for over a year. At Dumbledore’s funeral, she held his hand. Her hair was pink and even with all the weeping she had to fight not to smile.
Well, she didn’t get to gloat for very long. War is inconsiderate that way. With Dumbledore out of the way, the Death Eaters struck, hard and fast, and Nymphadora Tonks got smashed to pieces.
She didn’t know how long she existed in twilight. Sometimes there was pain, sometimes a half-consciousness during which she acquired a dim awareness that she was in St. Mungo’s Hospital with severe Spell Damage. Sometimes she dreamed, sometimes she remembered the days before the twilight, getting word that the Death Eaters had taken Azkaban, the battle, hexes flying all about her till first one, than another and another, and another found their mark in sparks of purple, red and green. She remembered Dumbledore’s funeral and her pink hair.
She remembered the night the wizard died, opening Remus Lupin’s door without knocking and how he had said, “You remind me of Sirius tonight. He also took whatever he wanted. I doubt he left you very much, but you can have it.” The black flames that had been raging when she took him up on the offer had long since burned out. Remembering, she was ashamed but nothing could be done. Mostly, everything was a mist of violet-grey without time or word or image.
Until one day the moon came out, pale and round, hovering above her, golden beams falling down. The moon had hands—fine, silvery hands holding a cup to Tonks’ lips. She tasted bitterness like death, death mixed with honey and lavender.
“I thought you were the moon,” Tonks said a few days later to the pale, blonde girl beside her bed. Whatever the potion was, it had cleared the cobwebs from her head.
“That makes sense,” Luna Lovegood said and, in a way, it did. Luna. Moon. That was her.
“How long was I out?” Tonks asked. “What’s been happening?”
She ought not to have asked. She had been down a long time. It had been no small task, unraveling the jinxes and curses, the hexes and spells, all the Dark magic zinging around her body. And it hadn’t speeded things along that St. Mungo’s was full to bursting with similarly afflicted wizards and witches. Overflowing with so many patients, they lay on cots in the hallways and in the tearoom (which was in fact where Tonks had lain in her violet-grey daze, her hair a matching shade of violet-grey floating like vapor around her ash-pale face). July had given way to October while she drifted.
Worse, the war was going very badly.
“Supposedly, Harry Potter’s dead,” Luna told her. “Though I don’t believe them.”
“Them?” Tonks asked.
“The Ministry of Magic, the Daily Prophet.”
“And you don’t believe them?”
“They’ve been wrong before,” Luna pointed out.
“Well, if you know more than the Ministry or the Daily Prophet, where is he?”
“Perhaps he’s off with Professor Snape, learning those tricks he was supposed to learn last year.”
“Snape?” Tonks snarled. “Harry would rather be dead than with him. It’s Snape that killed Dumbledore.”
“Well, I’m not entirely certain he’s dead, either,” Luna said matter-of-factly.
“Get out of here you stupid, little girl,” Tonks hissed at her. “I won’t talk to you, you’re completely mental. Go get an adult who’s capable of talking sense. Remus Lupin or Kingsley Shacklebolt or one of the Weasleys—anyone from the order.”
“I’m afraid you’re the only one I’ve managed to find so far,” Luna said quietly.
Luna obligingly found her a very sensible adult in the form of Poppy Pomfrey who, with the closing of Hogwarts and the glut of injured, had migrated to St. Mungo’s. Unfortunately, Madame Pomfrey only confirmed the worst of what the Luna had already told Tonks minus the crazy glimmer of hope. Azkaban was emptied, the Ministry of Magic was in a shambles, the Death Eaters were gaining ground, and the Order of the
“Still, there haven't been casualties yet,” Madame Pomfrey said trying to make her voice bright.
“What about Remus Lupin, where is he?” Tonks asked. Her desire to know was not so much a return to the single-minded obsession with him she had felt before her injury as a landmark in the suddenly chaotic world.
Madame Pomfrey placed her hand on Tonks’. She would have seen them at the funeral. She assumed they were in love.
“I’m sorry to tell you this, dear,” the older woman said. “He was captured by the Death Eaters several weeks ago.”
“No,” Tonks cried out. She had turned white, quite literally white, and her lips turned purple-blue. She was thinking of the claw marks ripped into Lupin’s hips and the bites along his shoulders. “Not that, not Greyback.”
“As far as anyone knows, he’s still alive,” Madame Pomfrey tried to reassure her.
“If Greyback has him, he’d be quite better off dead,” Tonks said, sinking back to her cot, her still lilac hair wilting like dewy blossoms in the searing heat of the sun.
Then Luna Lovegood who had been standing nearby spoke up. “We ought to go find him then,” she said.
If anyone but Luna Lovegood had been there when she got the news, Nymphadora Tonks probably would have done something sensible. Rejoined the Aurors and devoted herself to making bureaucratic sense of it all at the Ministry while waiting for word from the scattered members of the Order. Or for the next Death Eater attack.
But there was something infectious in Luna’s craziness. Maybe because she seemed so calm about it all, so sure that everything had not and would not completely go all to pieces. The girl was daft but to Tonks, Luna Lovegood felt a lot like faith and she needed to believe in something or she would have drifted off again into the mist. She needed to believe that good could win out both in the war and in herself.
When Madame Pomfrey reluctantly discharged Tonks three days later, Luna was waiting for her, perched on the back of a gnarled and skeletal, black horse with bat wings. She recognized the animal as a Thestral, a magical creature visible only to those who had witnessed death.
“You can see him, can’t you?” Luna said sadly. “It used to be hardly anyone could see Thestrals. I wish it was still that way, even if people did think I was a bit loopy when I said they were there.”
“I’m not going hunting for Fenrir Greyback with a sixteen year old girl,” Tonks told her. “I’m a trained Auror and, realistically, he’s probably going to tear me to shreds. I’ll not be responsible for you being gobbled up as well.”
“I’ve already fought in two battles,” Luna pointed out.
“Yes, I suppose it is rather too late to preserve your girlish innocence but even so…”
“You ought not to go alone,” Luna went on and the truth was Tonks wanted the girl with her even if it was frightfully irresponsible. Without Luna, she would not be going herself. Besides, at twenty-three Tonks was still more of a kid than an adult herself. She didn’t quite realize that young people sometimes need to be protected from what they wont, but she could remember all too well the frustrations of being a teenager and treated like a child.
“You’d make yourself much more useful if you kept on helping out at the hospital,” Tonks told Luna. Then climbed on the Thestral’s back behind her.
Lupin had made copious, meticulously detailed notes of his time with the werewolves, omitting only Fenrir Greyback’s bruising embraces. From pillaging this stock of information, Tonks and Luna were able to draw a general idea of Greyback’s movements and the places his pack might be hiding.
The Thestral carried the women as they stalked the werewolf. Tonks rode behind Luna, arms wrapped around the girl’s waist. It seemed fitting. In her way, Luna Lovegood was everything Tonks wanted to hold on to; a bright, odd thing that meant no harm and held no cruelty. She had been that way once, but now bubble-gum pink hair seemed sinister and she knew she could be vicious if she didn’t get what she wanted.
“I’m sorry I said you were a stupid, little girl at the hospital,” she told Luna.
“I know people don’t like me,” Luna said with a shrug. “I’m difficult to tolerate.” It was sad for a kid to see herself that way. Tonks knew she should have said something about it but she really didn’t know what.
“Do your parents know what you’re doing?” she asked instead.
“My father thinks it’s good for me to do things like this,” Luna said. “Fight the good fight and all. Struggle in the name of right, die for the cause. He’s very idealistic.”
“He ought to be more concerned with his daughter than some foggy ideal,” Tonks said.
“That’s the way he is,” Luna said.
“What about your mum?”
They tracked the wolf pack for some days, catching hours of sleep and hasty meals at Muggle hotels and cafes. Luna had a credit card her father had given her and taught her to use.
“He’s not neglectful as you think,” she said to Tonks. “He wanted me to be able to handle myself. He always suspected something like this would happen.”
“What, Death Eaters and werewolves? Harry dead and the Ministry a wreck and the end of the world and all?” Tonks asked.
“Well, he thought the Giant Squid would be involved.”
Tonks had nightmares during the rare hours they slept.
“You were right,” she said to Luna. “I couldn’t do this alone. I need someone to be with me.”
“I’ll have to do,” Luna said. “I’m the only one about.”
They shared a bed after that, woman and girl curled together, Luna’s waist long hair seeming the very opposite of the black veil of death Tonks’ cousin Sirius Black had fallen beyond.
When she suffered the nightmares, Tonks’ body had contorted. She would wake up with her eyes blood red, all black or gold wolf eyes. Her skin would be laced with awful veins or covered by snake scales. Her features distorted, nose slits like Voldermort’s, or her face would be Lupin’s, Harry’s, even her own--aged or horribly broken. When she slept in Luna’s arms, she woke up glowing faintly, silver-haired with violet eyes.
“Do you love him?” Luna asked.
“Remus? I thought I did but if I really had loved him, I wouldn’t have used him like I did,” Tonks said. “I spent the last year trying to force him to love me, to make love to me. When he couldn’t, I moped and lost my powers. The man was in pieces, mourning for Sirius, caught up in whatever he had with Greyback. It galled me that he wanted to be abused by that monster more than he wanted to be loved by me, but I was misusing him just as badly in my way. I went a bit mental,” she signed. “I wanted so badly to be with someone, to prove that I was normal and could be fucked like any other girl. It serves me right if I die a virgin.”
“I’m a virgin,” Luna volunteered.
“You ought to be at your age. I’m nearly twenty-four and being a metamorphmagus intimidates most people. Most men are a bit frightened of how I’d be in bed. That I’d grow teeth or turn into a boy on them.”
“Can you?” Luna asked brightly.
“Sure,” Tonks said rather sourly. “I mean I can’t actually turn into a boy, as I’m female inside. I have a womb and ovaries and all that, but I could probably make myself pretty much resemble a boy on the outside. I don’t care to mess around with that sort of thing, though.”
“Why? It sounds fun. You could do so many different things.”
“Oh, I know all about the different things I could do. When I was in school, my classmates devoted a great deal of time and attention to telling me all the different things I could do, the little beasts. ‘Can you make your twat go side to side instead of front to back?’ ‘Can you have three holes for three guys at a time?’ And always calling me Nympho. That’s why I hate my name. That’s why I won’t let anyone call me Nymphadora.” Luna’s hand moved gently over her hair.
“They called me Loony at school,” she said dreamily. “You shouldn’t let them take your name from you. May I call you Dora?”
They found Greyback’s pack in the wilds north of the
“Caught that one snooping around, did you?” a gnarled and stooped woman laughed as they entered. “You’ll be a fine treat for Greyback, miss.” That was quite enough to make Luna look convincingly frightened.
Greyback couldn’t have been happier to see her. His fingers wrapped eagerly in her hair.
“Where did you find this, Verag?” he gleefully asked Tonks, or rather the man she impersonated. “Look at all that smooth, white skin.” He put a long, sharp fingernail to her cheek. “I’ve got a quill for you, schoolgirl,” he cooed obscenely. “I’ll write my name on every inch of your body.”
“That’s quite enough,” Tonks snapped, drawing her wand and changing from Verag to herself.
“I thought you smelled wrong,” Greyback laughed coarsely. “Familiar, but wrong. Well you’ve caught me off guard, girlie. Not many people can say that. What are you going to do? Send me back to Azkaban? It’s under new management.”
“Where’s Remus Lupin?” Tonks asked.
“Is he one of mine? There are so many brats running here, I can’t keep them straight,” Greyback said dismissively. Tonks reshaped her face into Lupin’s.
“This man, where is he?” she demanded. Greyback smiled, showing his long, yellowed teeth.
“That’s where I’ve smelled you before. You his girl are you, girlie? You want to know where he is? I’ll tell you if you leave me this pretty, little bone to gnaw on.” His hands, still entwined in Luna’s hair, drew her near. She tried to pull away but he held tight. “Won’t it be worth it to have your whiny, faggot boyfriend back in your arms again?” He snorted in delight at his own wit.
“Let go of Luna. I’d kill you before I’d leave her to you.”
“What?” Greyback drawled pornographically. “Is she yours, too?” One of his hands crept up Luna’s thigh. The girl was stiff and her hands were clenched like bird claws.
“Move away from her, Greyback.”
“Whatever you say, girlie.” But he didn’t move away from her, he moved towards her with incredible speed as one of his wolves drew his wand, striking out at Tonks. She repelled his hex, disarming her attacker. It took seconds but already Greyback was on top of Luna, slobbering, his vile paws groping under her skirt.
And Luna’s own hands, her bird claws, were dug into his chest with purple sparks shooting from them. Greyback made an inhuman noise between a scream and a howl, falling away from Luna.
“You little bitch,” he growled raggedly. “You’ve killed me.”
Tonks knelt beside the fallen werewolf, wand in his face. “Where’s Lupin?”
“I haven’t got him,” Greyback admitted.
The werewolf coughed blood. “The rat man took him to Azkaban.”
“The rat man? Peter Pettigrew?” Greyback didn’t answer--he was gone. Tonks left him, turned to Luna. Wrapping the girl in her arms, she Side-Along-Apparated them away.
There was a wizard village not far from Azkaban. She Apparated them there and got them a room full of candles and cobwebs in the dilapidated
“I’m sorry that happened to you,” Tonks said sinking down beside her. “I’m sorry I let that happen to you.”
“You wouldn’t have left me,” Luna said. Her voice was small and weak but she sounded almost happy. Tonks had made her hair long like Luna’s, long and violet, the color that suited her the most these days. The girl nervously twisted the strands of blonde and purple together.
“What did you do?” Tonks asked. “How did you kill him?”
“I don’t know,” Luna said. “It was magic.”
“Yes, but you didn’t have your wand out.”
“You don’t use a wand when you change yourself. Wizards can cast spells without speaking. Maybe it was like that. I just wanted him to stop.” A note of force crept into her voice, a ferociousness. “The way he was touching me,” she whispered through gritted teeth. “No one’s touched me that way before. I get to choose who touches me that way.”
“You do,” Tonks said.
Luna kissed her quickly but softly, a small, wine-flavored tongue soothing into her mouth. Tonks reached out, embracing the girl’s waist so familiar from their rides on the Thestral but now she could let her hands move upward, cup her delicate, little breasts. Stroke the soft nipples to firmness. Luna untied the drawstring on her blouse. It fell away from her white and rose breasts. Tonks kissed her there now and the girl shivered, moaned, pressed on top of the woman who lay back beneath her.
“You’re so lovely,” Tonks whispered. Luna’s skirt was around her waist, she was wiggling out of her trousers, blouse open. The girl kneaded her full breasts, teasing them with her sweet mouth. “What do you want me to be?” the woman asked. “Anyone you want.”
“I chose you, Dora,” Luna said, touching between Tonks’ legs, touching the molten center of her. They kissed, locked against each other, hands and legs and hair twined. It was not like Tonks had thought it would be--a series of dirty, deliberate anatomical parlor tricks. They moved together, flowed together. She was sometimes inside Luna, around her, sometimes against her responding to the girl’s body, to the ebb and flow of her cries, the clasp of her thighs, the jerk of her hips, the gasp of her breath.
Wherever Luna touched Tonks, her skin shone like a pearl.
Tonks had visited Azkaban several times as an Auror. It had always been a place of desolation designed to kill the soul. It still was. If anything, it was worse. As the Thestral approached the prisons walls, the remaining Dementors swooped towards them.
“Expecto Patronum,” she cried and a silver, lacey butterfly came from her wand, embracing the Dementors in its wings. Apparently the half-formed wolf creature that had been her Patronus for over a year was gone now. In a way, she was sad to see it gone. In a way, she missed it…missed the idea of loving him.
Luna landed the Thestral in the courtyard of Azkaban, in the heart of horror. Bodies missing arms and legs and head hung from hooks on the walls, human and animal.
“Keep your wand ready,” Tonks said and took Luna’s hand.
“Will Professor Lupin be alive?” the girl asked. “Will anyone be?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know what’s happened here. Peter Pettigrew used to be Remus’ friend. That may have kept him alive, for better or worse.”
They passed into the body of the prison. Long, empty corridors, the doors of cells hanging open. Here and there a room where there were more bodies, suspended from the ceiling, piled in the corners. They moved deeper and deeper into Azkaban, seeing no living things but the insects that crawled on the walls. Iridescent-winged flies whose buzzing echoed down the halls. Then finally they heard a moan or a howl and a human laugh.
It was the only room they had come to with windows--vast, tall windows, their glass shattered on the stone floor, open to the raging, gray sea. On the far side of the room, there was a locked cell, a man chained to the bars, not standing but hanging slumped from his chains. Bloody as if he’d been struggling against them till he’d worn himself to exhaustion and all that remained in him was the strength for the low and wordless moan that had called them. Lupin, or what was left of him. And between the women and the prisoner were two men in tall, ornate chairs. One with hair of gold, one with a silver hand.
“Hello, ladies,” Pettigrew, the older man, greeted them. If it was possible to wring a silver hand, he was wringing his, eyes bright and darting side to side. The blond boy only stared at them vacantly as if he were very far away. “What brings you to Azkaban?”
“What happened to all those people?” Luna asked.
“Oh, nothing to worry about, nothing to concern yourself with,” he said appealingly, smiling broadly at them. “They’re, uh, they’re Inferi. That’s right. This is where they send Inferi when they wear out. I certainly would never cut up people then leave them hanging about,” he giggled.
“They can’t do anything to you, Peter. They can’t hurt you here and they can’t make you leave,” the blond boy said flatly. “You don’t need to make up stories for their benefit.”
“That’s right,” Pettigrew said. “Azkaban is my safe place now. There’s a special spell, no one can pick on Peter Pettigrew here. The Dark Lord did that and he gave me Azkaban and this nice, little boy to be my friend. It all worked out for the best in the end.”
“We’re here for Remus,” Tonks said. “Remus and anyone else who’s still breathing in this awful place.”
“I never meant to hurt anyone,” the man said. “It was just that one thing lead to another. I just let a little information slip, nothing so important, but I couldn’t go back to the Order after that, could I? So I said I’d spy. Then everyone died and I had to hide and when they found me they didn’t understand at all and I had no where else to go.”
“He’s bloody cracked,” she said to Luna. “He’s on to nursery rhymes.”
“Look, Draco, they’re holding hands,” Pettigrew said. “Isn’t that sweet? What nice, little girls.”
“They’re not nice or sweet,” Draco said vacantly. “They’re here to take away your pal.”
“No,” Pettigrew wailed. “You can’t take Moony. He’s all I have left of those happy days when I was a good, nice boy with all my friends.”
“Nice and good, nice and sweet, everything’s nice and nice and nice,” Draco muttered to himself, scratching at his arm without enthusiasm.
“You can’t take Moony away now,” Pettigew said. “He’s gone all mixed up in the head. Thinks he’s a wolf between full moons now. It may have had something to do with a little curse I cast. I didn’t think it would work, I’m not much of a wizard you know but, well, it worked after all so you don’t want him, believe me.”
Tonks’ eyes narrowed dangerously though she wasn’t quite sure what to do. She never had a chance to decide as Luna, who she’d been half hiding behind her, stepped forward.
“Hi, Draco,” Luna said walking up to him. “Do you remember me?” He examined her with his flat, dead eyes--then there was the faintest spark of recognition, a flicker of interest.
“I do,” Draco said, his voice livelier and crueler. “I remember you. You’re Loony Lovegood. Lovely Loony Lovegood.” He turned to Pettigew. “She’s a fifth-year; she’s quite as mental as you are.”
“I’d be a sixth-year now,” Luna pointed out. “If the school hadn’t closed down.”
“We all used to laugh at you so,” Draco said fondly. “Pansy and Nott and Crabbe and Goyle and I. Show me your earrings Loony, What have you got on?” She lifted her hair. The credit card her father had given her was hanging from one ear and a key from the other. “Why have you got those on your ears, Loony?”
“I might forget them otherwise,” she explained. “I can be a bit scatterbrained.”
“A bit?” he sneered, rolling his eyes. “What’s so important about a plastic card and an old key?”
“The card’s Muggle money my Dad gave me,” she said. “The key’s to my roller skates.”
“Plan to be skating about, Loony?”
“I can’t use them anymore,” she said. “I grew out of them when I was seven, the year my mother died, but I keep it to remember that there used to be a me that hadn’t seen things like that happen yet--mother’s dying and the like.”
“There used to be a me that hadn’t seen all this happen,” Draco said, gesturing at the prison around him, at Pettigew and Lupin in his cell. “The me that hung about with Pansy and laughed at you for radishes in your ears. I liked that much better than I do this. Can I have your key?” Luna unhooked the skate key from her ear and laid it in his hand. Draco scrutinized it with amusement then turned to Pettigew.
“Say, Peter,” the boy said. “Let them take the old werewolf. I’m tired of listening to him and don’t care much for him, anyhow. You’re always going on about how he was bookish and dull and not fun or clever like stupid, dead Sirius and James.”
“Well, if Draco says you should have him, I suppose you should have him,” Pettigew said and casually waved his wand. Lupin’s cell door opened and the chains rattled to the ground, the man slipping after them. “You can take him but I do hope the Dark Lord sends me more new friends soon.”
“There’s always more,” Draco said. His voice was blank again and he was staring at the key.
Tonks and Luna ran to where Lupin lay. He was mad and broken but she had freed him. He was free from her. The sea crashed outside, spraying mist through the glassless windows. Luna looked at her with eyes gray and unfathomable as the sea outside. Tonks kissed her. Luna’s lips were cool. They tasted of sea salt and lavender.
Lupin’s blood or some silent command from Luna had brought the Thestral through the window and it carried the three of them across the sea, away from Azkaban.