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It's mid-morning when Imogen sticks her head into Nymphadora's cubicle. "Oi, Tonks," she whispers. "Got any supplies? Started early."

The Auror gives her friend a sympathetic wince, and nods towards the bottom drawer of her desk. "Yeah, help yourself. Got a few vials of muscle-relaxing potion in there too, if the cramps are bad."

Imogen rummages in the drawer and pulls out a few items, secreting them away in the pockets of her robe. "Thanks," she says emphatically, and cuffs Tonks on the shoulder. "See you at the meeting later."

"Yeah, all right. No problem."

The smile fades from her face a moment or two after Imogen heads off towards the loo, and with a convulsive movement, Nymphadora turns to her calender and starts flipping the pages backwards, then counting forward.

She's late. Two weeks late.

Well. She's been a bit irregular now and again since Anthony, so there's no reason to get excited just yet, Nymphadora thinks, and attempts to get back to work.

Still, a pleased flush pinks her cheeks, and she hopes.

~~~


Sometime shortly after lunch, the familiar cramping pull across her abdomen and back seeps into Nymphadora's consciousness, and she sighs, disappointed. Well, there we are, then. Power of suggestion.

But the cramping doesn't ease off, even with a potion, and then Nymphadora realizes with an uncomfortable twinge that things seem-- heavier than they usually do, for her.

Then a stabbing pain in her lower belly elicits a gasp.

Her heart thudding, she heads off to the loo again.

~~~


When Meggie Forke walks into the women's loo some ten minutes later, she doesn't hear it right away. But just as she's about to step into the stall on the right, she realizes there's someone in the stall on the left, and that that someone is crying.

"Hello?" Meggie says tentatively, and ducks her head to look at the occupant's shoes. Black combat boots -- nothing unusual there -- with turquoise laces. Ah-ha. "Tonks? All right?"

Nymphadora's breath catches, and she shakes her head, pressing the heels of her hands into her puffy, red-rimmed eyes. "N-no."

"Are you-- what's happened, can I get you anything? Something from lunch make you ill?" Biting her lip, Meggie shifts nervously from foot to foot.

Just say it, Nymphadora. You need help, just tell her.

"I-- um. Think I maybe just miscarried."

The words make it sound so final, so true, and they hang in the air before her, echoing in her ears. She can hear Meggie suck in a shocked breath.

"All right, hang on, I'm going to run out and call for a Healer, and then I'll be right back, how far along are-- were you?" Past experience washes over Meggie like a grim sort of deja vu, and she thinks of her sister and the babies she miscarried. Four, in all. Meggie knows the drill.

"Not far," Nymphadora whispers. "I didn't know till just now."

"Christ. All right, Tonks, I'll be right back, I promise--"

Her voice fades as she ducks back out into the corridor, and Nymphadora can hear her running down towards the offices.

Into the silence, she suddenly sobs, feeling emptier than she ever would have thought possible.

Who were you? Nymphadora thinks wildly, shutting her eyes against the memory of dark red tissue against white porcelain. Red. Red.

Well. I did want red.

Then the footsteps outside return, and she wipes her eyes.

Later, she promises herself. You can think about it later.
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