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Title: Broken
Author: bratty_jedi
Rating & Warnings: Should be good for all audiences and sad is really the only warning I need to/can give.
Prompts: Fragile
Word Count: c. 600
Summary: "It will be a nice change to not spend your birthday cleaning the remnants of breakfast out of our bed after you've somehow managed to dump your tray or helping you repair whatever present you happen to drop and break as you unwrap it." Despite his teasing words, he didn't even try to disguise the disappointment in his voice.
Author’s Notes: I've labeled this angst and I think that works the best but it is probably more mopey than really angsty. This fic won an award at metamorfic_moon



Broken

He knelt on the floor amidst the scattered shards of porcelain, tracing one long finger around the rough edge of a particularly large plate piece as he surveyed the damage caused by a spell first cast over twenty years before.

"You won't believe the ridiculous assignment they've given me this time!" she complained before the front door had clicked shut behind her.

"I'm sure it isn't that bad, Tonks."

"Course it is. They want me for a stupid surveillance job." She flopped down on the couch beside him. "I keep telling them I'm experienced and capable not old and heading for retirement but they keep sending me off on the most boring and pointless assignments."

He slid his arm behind her and around her shoulders, gently pulling her closer. He opened his mouth to offer words of comfort, but she had apparently only paused for breath. "That's not the worst of it, Remus. I'll have to be out of town for at least a week which means I'll be gone for my birthday."

He rubbed her arm soothingly. "Is that why you're upset? I assure you, even if you are not here for your birthday, you will still receive all your presents."

She laughed lightly and nestled further into his side. "Oh, well, that makes everything better. Obviously all I care about are my presents rather than something like spending the day with you."

"Of course. I, for one, am delighted. It will be a nice change to not spend your birthday cleaning the remnants of breakfast out of our bed after you've somehow managed to dump your tray or helping you repair whatever present you happen to drop and break as you unwrap it." Despite his teasing words, he didn't even try to disguise the disappointment in his voice.

She pulled back, not quite leaving his embrace, and looked up at him, an understanding smile playing around the edges of her lips. "Is that what you think?"

"Absolutely," he said while shaking his head from side-to-side and matching her smile.

Her eyes flashed. "We'll just have to see about that." She burrowed back into his side and refused to explain just what exactly she meant.

On the morning of her birthday, he was awoken by a loud crash while it was still black outside. A quick investigation revealed that every dish they owned had flown off its shelf and fallen to the floor. It was several minutes before his laughter died enough to let him even think of casting a Reparo or three to clean up the mess.


A sharp pain drew him back to the present. A thin sliver of blood indicated where the jagged edge of the shard he had been rubbing had cut his skin; it wasn't a particularly deep cut. Over the years, Tonks had refreshed her original charm, occasionally changing things around for variety. One year, she had made his clothes fly out the window; another, she made all the mirrors sing Happy Birthday when she gazed in them and shatter when he so much as glanced at his own reflection. But she always came back to her flying dishes. Over the past three years, without her there to refresh the magic, the spell has begun to fade. Every year, fewer and fewer dishes flew from their shelves and every year he cleaned up the decreasing mess with a heavy heart. He could undoubtedly lift the spell entirely, but he knew that as painful as it was to repair the broken dishes alone on the anniversary of her birth, far worse would be the year when the effects of the spell had worn off completely and even this piece of her was gone forever.

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