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Author's Note:  This is the first fanfic I ever wrote, so please don't be too, too critical.  I just thought I'd go ahead and post it because I thought it was decent for a first attempt.  Also, it was originally in chapters, but they were too short to publish individually- thus, the line breaks are where the chapters originally ended.

Remember, I don't claim to own Nobody's Home or the Potterverse.


I couldn’t tell you
Why she felt that way
She felt it every day
And I couldn’t help her
I just watched her make
The same mistakes again 

I watched her walking home again today. She’s lived in the apartment above mine and my parents’ for about a year, and I’ve never seen her like this before.

Her name is Nymphadora Tonks. I think I’ll call her Tonks because if my name were Nymphadora, I’d want to be called Tonks.

This Tonks was what my parents called a “wild child.” That’s why I never talked to her before. My parents didn’t want their wannabe-Goth teenage daughter getting even worse ideas from a pink (or other bright colour)-haired neighbour.

Not that her hair’s colourful anymore. It hasn’t been for about a month. Ever since the fight.

My parents weren’t home when the fight happened. They were out to dinner, and I’m plenty old enough to stay home alone, so I was the only one who heard.

She had some man over. He looked a little old to be her boyfriend, but I guess that’s who he was because they broke up. He was yelling something about being too “old, poor, and dangerous” for her. She yelled that it didn’t matter to her.

After the fight was over, I heard the door of her apartment slam shut, and I peeked out to watch her boyfriend walk past ours. He was kind of old looking. To be with her, anyway, but despite the harsh sounding disagreements that had just gone on upstairs, he didn’t look angry at all. In fact, he was crying.

That was when I really got interested in this neighbour of mine.

All that night, I could hear her sobbing and things being thrown or knocked over. I decided two things then.

One was that our apartment walls and floors needed better insulation. I wouldn’t want Tonks listening in on me the way I had listened in on her. Two was that I wanted to help her, but I didn’t know how. So, I decided, I would watch and wait, and do what I could.

I thought about why in the world I was doing this. I came up with one plausible reason: as an only child, I’d often wished for an older sister. I fantasised myself lifting Tonks out of her deep depression and her saying that she’d always look out for me, as I had done for her. An odd thing it was, that fifteen year old me was taking an uncalled for interest in the upstairs neighbour who I didn’t even know.

And I would have to do whatever it was I was going to do between the time I got home from school and before my parents got home from work each day. Two to three hours a day I would observe, and find out what I could about this newly depressed Nymphadora Tonks.

What’s wrong what’s wrong now?
Too many too many problems
Don’t know where she belongs
Where she belongs 

He came to see her again. I wondered if they were going to make up, and I wasn’t sure whether I wanted them to just yet. That was supposed to be my job. But then, Tonks had looked even more depressed than before lately.

She was getting too thin. I wondered if she was going anorexic, or just pining away for him. In fact, she looked so terrible as compared to how bright and cheery she had once looked that I wanted to throw something at her boyfriend when he walked past my apartment.

I sickened myself by doing it, but I stood up on my bed and was as quiet as possible so I could hear what they were saying through my ceiling.

“…still love you, Remus. Nothing will change that, ever.”

That was her voice. It sounded dead. I also noted the name she said. Remus? Had I heard wrong, or did she just happen to have a boyfriend with a name as off-the-wall as her own?

I strained to hear his voice. It was even quieter than hers, and she’d been talking in the flattest of flat tones.

“I stand by what I said before, Tonks.”

Footsteps. I think she was walking towards him. How I wished I could be a little closer to the scene. And even more so, how I wished I could be obsessed with a TV show, like a normal teenage girl, instead of being obsessed with my depressed neighbour.

I heard a knock at the door and promptly fell off my bed with a crash. I hoped against hope that it wasn’t one of my parents home early. I’d planned to rush through my homework once I’d finished eavesdropping, but hadn’t had a chance to yet.

After picking myself up off the ground, I headed to the door and peeked out. Luck was on my side. It was not either of my parental units, but was instead a mailman with a package for my dad. I signed for it, and just as I finished doing so, I saw Tonks go rushing past down the hall.

I hurriedly thanked the mailman, stuck the package inside, and walked off in the direction Tonks had gone. She was about thirty feet ahead of me, and I walked just fast enough to keep her in sight.

She took the lift, so I took the stairs two at a time and reached the lobby around the same time she did. I felt glad that I had such a Goth style lately because I was pretty much indistinguishable from the shadows in my black jeans and jacket.

It was pouring outside, but she didn’t seem to notice as she hurried purposefully down the street to the park.

She stood on the little bridge that spanned the small brook. I had often sat on that bridge and stared into the brook’s depths when I’d had fights with my parents, and I could imagine her dreary thoughts as she stood in the dreary weather staring into a dreary, little brook.

Suddenly, she was not alone. Apparently I was not the only one who had followed her here. Remus came up behind her and tapped her on the shoulder.

Her cry of, “Just leave me alone!” pierced the air.

He must be a jerk, I thought bluntly. Can’t he see he’s tearing her apart?

I looked back at them. Now he was gone. There was no sign of him around the park.

There was even more going on here than I thought before. Now I was not only questioning my sanity for being interested in my neighbour’s love life, I was questioning my sanity because I thought my neighbour’s boyfriend had just melted into thin air.

I watched her sitting there for about an hour more before going home. 

She wants to go home
But nobody’s home
That’s where she lies
Broken inside
With no place to go
No place to go
To dry her eyes
Broken inside

He hasn’t come back since that day, and that was more than two weeks ago. She comes home every day and sits on the bridge in the park, and I’ve been going down there every day under the false pretence of wanting to do my homework out in the fresh air.

She still doesn’t know I’m watching, but I am. Some days she has a journal with her, and I wonder what she is writing. Some days she just sits and stares listlessly into the brook. Once, when there was a thunderstorm, she started screaming out his name.

That was scary, when she was screaming for him. She really looked unhinged, like she had lost all sense of reality. I almost jumped up from where I sat in a pavilion and tried to talk sense into her. But she stopped eventually, and I think she knew what she was doing the whole time, even if it looked like she’d lost herself.

As for me, I’m as sucked into this as she is. It’s just a good thing I’ve always been quiet and in my own world a lot of the time, or my parents would be really suspicious when I drift off into thoughts of the Tonks saga when we’re eating dinner.

I don’t think they’ve even noticed how torn apart she is. Or if they have, they don’t care. And that makes me feel even more horrible about the whole thing. And I have to wonder, does anyone besides me care about her? Does she have a family? Do they know why she’s so cut up?

And if this is possible, she even looks worse than before. She’s deadly pale, her hair is lank and mousy brown, and she’s all but emaciated. And this is coming from a pale, thin girl who actually tries to look pale and skinny.

Things have gotten so bad that I’ve actually wondered if she’s dangerous to herself.

Once, about a week ago, I heard something that sounded like a gunshot upstairs, and wondered if she would have gone that far. I spent the rest of the night in a cold sweat over if she was dead, but I saw her the next day, and she looked fine. She must have just dropped something; I always have had overactive imagination.

But yes, it has gotten that bad. Even if she isn’t suicidal, she sure acts like it. I hope she isn’t. I don’t know how I could live with myself if she did that, and I had guessed she might, but didn’t try to get her some help.

I often have to remind myself that Tonks is not a child or even one of my peers. She must be in her early twenties or thereabouts. It’s just some odd, unspoken obligation to myself and to her that makes me feel like I have to look out for her. And to think, she doesn’t even know my name.

I wish now more than ever before that I wasn’t such a loner. I would love to have a friend to ask advice from about this. But then, if I had friends, I would probably have enough of a social life that I wouldn’t be spending my free time spying on my neighbour.

I don’t know whether that would be a good thing or a bad thing. 

Open your eyes
And look outside
Find the reasons why
You’ve been rejected
Now you can’t find
What you’ve left behind 

Tonks was gone for a few days, but now she’s finally back. Her face has a little more colour, but her hair is still mousy, she’s still pale, and she still takes her daily visits to the park.

I heard her telephone ring a little after I got home today, so I listened through the floor to catch what I could of the conversation.

“’Lo Molly,” said Tonks in a flat little voice.

There was a pause. I assume the other person was talking.

“No thanks, really,” said Tonks. Pause. “No, I’m fine. Thanks again for letting me crash at the Burrow. I swear I won’t do that agai--”

Apparently Molly was not one for waiting her turn to speak.

“I really haven’t done that before. I just-- I was at a pub doing work for the Order, and I had a little too much to drink. I don’t usually have that much, but I was under a lot of stress and--”

Molly must have had something else to say.

“I’m over him,” said Tonks loudly. “I don’t want to see him.” Pause. “No, I’m fine, really. Thanks Molly, now I really have to go.”

She probably hung up at that point, because she didn’t say anything else.

Aside from not understanding what “the Burrow” or “the Order” were, I had gained a bit of insight from the conversation.

Molly, whoever she was, was also worried about Tonks. And Tonks knew it, which was why she was flat-out denying her problem. Also, it sounded like she’d turned to drinking her pain away, at least one night, when she “crash[ed] at the Burrow.” It wasn’t suicide, but it wasn’t good either.

I then went down to the park, not even expecting to tail Tonks, but for the management of my own feelings. This was all so complicated, and so upsetting. I had never understood girls who followed soap operas religiously, but that’s what my addiction was similar to. The only thing was, mine was real, and real people had the problems.

And if I allowed myself to get sucked into this thing much more, I would have problems too. That was the difference between watching frivolous TV shows and my own addiction. By watching television, you couldn’t become a character on the show, as much as many girls would want to.

But in my story, I was liable to be plopped into the thick of things. And if I lost my self control and said that I was a part of this thing, and had been a part since I’d overheard the fight, I could throw off the course of my life and Tonks’s.

Still, as much as Tonks’s life needed to get put on a different course, I still felt that I wasn’t the one who could help her. Remus was the only one who could really do that, so I just sat back and kept watching the brook, forcing myself to be content to observe.
I saw her coming down the path towards where I sat, and I retreated before she could see me. Somehow, I felt like I was in someone else’s dream (or nightmare, more like) and shouldn’t be seen. It was the strangest feeling in the world, and it made me feel desolate, like I didn’t have any real purpose in life.

She sat staring at the water and I could barely hear her voice being carried on the breeze, softly singing a sad song.

She didn’t have a bad voice. I could imagine her being a punk rocker. Well, not anymore, but before, when she had pink hair and dressed in ripped jeans and t-shirts with names of bands printed across them.

But that person wasn’t there anymore. She’d been gone for-- what was it? It was more than three months by now.

She’s not home. She just isn’t in there anymore, I thought. 

Be strong be strong now
Too many too many problems
Don’t know where she belongs
Where she belongs 

I still watch Tonks every day, but nothing really new or exciting or bad has happened.

I guess the worst thing is that she hasn’t gotten any better. I think she must have really loved him, and I don’t know much about love to know if it really does last forever, or just for a very, very long time.

My parents love me, of course, but they don’t really talk to me much, what with them being at work, and besides, what would we talk about, really? What Tonks did when I was spying on her? I don’t think so.

I’ve never had a boyfriend though, so I can’t imagine having one and having him break up with me, if I really loved him. But if Tonks is any example, it’s pretty bad.

Scrap that, it’s bloody unforgettable.

I went down to the brook as usual this afternoon, and she was there, of course. Today was a writing day. She just sat there and scribbled in her journal the entire time.

But then it started to rain. And pour.

That was when Remus showed up.

I could tell what she must have been feeling. A month without a visit and he just randomly shows up? I wondered if he’d even written to her or seen her anywhere else. Somehow, I doubted it, when she threw herself on him and hugged him tightly. Well, before punching him as hard as she could.

“I thought you were dead!” she shrieked. “Why didn’t you write?”

Oh dear lord, I think she’s drunk, I thought. No one could be that hysterical without being at least a little intoxicated. 

But no. She was walking perfectly straight, and her aim was dead on when she proceeded to slap him across the face.

I caught snatches of the following conversation-- “Molly sent you?” from Tonks, and “Couldn’t write-- underground,” from Remus.

Then, she kissed him, and he pulled away, shaking his head.

I had to admit, if I were him, I wouldn’t have been quite ready to kiss her. She had, after all, just sort of beat him up.

That didn’t seem to be why, though.

“No,” he said firmly. “I’ve already told you.”

“I don’t care about any of that!”

A disturbing thought hit me. What if he were married, and that was what this was all about? It fit perfectly. Well, almost.

He’d said something about being “dangerous,” back in the fight of so long ago. That didn’t really make sense. Maybe dangerous could mean he was on the run. A convict! No, too imaginative, I thought.

There was something odd going on here, and my suspicion was confirmed when he disappeared into thin air a moment later.

But I forgot to be worried about the mechanics of this thing when Tonks lay down a moment later and just stared at the stormy sky, looking worse than before he’d come.

The rain fell down all around me, and I watched Tonks looking as hollow as the tree I hid behind. Words flew through my mind-- deadness, broken, desolate.

Words could be powerful, as I had just seen. Whatever Remus had said, it had just sent Tonks even further down the road to utter despair. 

She wants to go home
But nobody’s home
That’s where she lies
Broken inside
With no place to go
No place to go
To dry her eyes
Broken inside 

Tonks scared me to death down at the brook this evening.

It was a thunderstorm, once again. I’ve heard of thunderstorms making some dogs go crazy, but never a person before.

But after that incident where she was screaming for Remus, and now this, I think that it is possible for thunderstorms to affect people.

The wind whipped my hair into my face as I headed down to the park with my schoolbooks earlier. It looked like a storm might be coming, but Tonks goes to the park rain or shine, and therefore so do I.

I settled down in the pavilion where I always sit. The sides are tall enough that I can stretch out flat on one of the benches and not be seen unless someone was specifically looking for me, but I can have a clear view of the whole park, and am only a matter of twenty feet from the bridge.

I filled in math problems mechanically while Tonks sat and stared at the brook, seemingly immersed in her own misery.

I wasn’t paying her as much attention as usual, as nothing noteworthy had happened since that last meeting with Remus about two weeks ago.

But of course, whenever a person thinks they can let their guard down, that’s when something happens.

Four things went down in the few minutes before twilight that I will never forget:

An owl swooped down and dropped a roll of paper at Tonks’s feet.

Lightning flashed overhead and thunder rolled.

Tonks, scrambling for the roll of paper, fell headfirst into the brook.

The brook wasn’t, after all, very deep. I craned my neck, expecting to see her pop up within a few seconds. But she didn’t. I started to rush out to help her when the fourth thing happened. A figure, tall, thin, and cloaked, materialised.

I didn’t have to see his face to know who it was: Remus.

My suspicion was confirmed when Tonks started screaming and sobbing his name loud enough to be heard over the rain.

“Why are you here?” she shouted.

“I wanted to see how you were doing!” he shouted. He helped her up out of the brook, and she clung to him.

I felt that this was probably going to be a very private, romantic moment that they would have been horrified for me to be eavesdropping on. So of course I didn’t even consider leaving.

I was somewhat disappointed with what happened next.

“I want to go home!” Tonks sobbed. “I can get home myself, just, I’m sorry, I can’t talk to you right now!”

“It’s all right, Tonks, I’m glad to help you,” he said calmly. Remus was her voice of reason, I could tell. No wonder she was so lost without him.

I realised that I was now soaked from the torrential rain. I ran, head bent against the wind, back to the pavilion to grab my math book, which I slid under my coat to keep from ruining it.

Back at the apartment, I rushed to change into something dry before my parents got home. Then, I listened in to what was going on upstairs.

He had left already, I could tell.

She was all alone, and I was all alone. I can’t remember ever being so sympathetic to another person before. Only for her, I knew being alone was worse. I knew my parents would be back in a matter of minutes, but for all she knew, she’d be alone forever.

And for all I knew, her forever could end any day now. 

Her feelings she hides
Her dreams she can’t find
She’s losing her mind
She’s falling behind
She can’t find her place
She’s losing her faith
She’s falling from grace
She’s all over the place yeah

She’s worse.

It’s the weekend, and my parents just left to spend the day touring an art gallery with some friends. This does not bother me in the least, because it means I can keep an eye on Tonks.

Because if I thought she was going to hurt herself before, I know there’s a chance she will now.

I’ve been hearing emo music pounding through the floor all morning, and when I saw her down in our building’s laundry room earlier, she looked like a zombie. Her mousy hair was flying everywhere, she wouldn’t look at anyone, she was still wearing her nightclothes, and she looked like she hadn’t had a square meal in weeks.

Today, when she took her usual walk down to the park, she ran. Not even jogged, but ran like she was being chased. She’s losing touch with reality, and sinking slowly into this nightmare world of hiding and sobbing and staring into brooks.

She looked so desperate and deserted that I felt tempted yet again to go intervene, to tell her that I care about her, and that everything will be all right someday, even though I don’t know if that’s the truth. But once more, I convinced myself that I was just there to watch, not to interfere.

She had her journal with her, but she didn’t even open it. She just looked restless and purposeless, and ready to do something drastic, or just throw herself down and do nothing at all. For the rest of her life.

I wondered again how old she is. Too young to be so far gone, that’s for sure.

I overheard another one of her phone conversations earlier, with Molly again, and Tonks was even shorter with Molly than before. This time, she was the one cutting Molly off, instead of the other way round.

At one point, she shouted, “I’M FINE!”, but I don’t think Molly could have believed her. It makes me think of the seven stages of grief, or whatever they are. I know anger is one of them, but it seems like Tonks should have made it through all those stages long ago, instead of bouncing around somewhere between anger and sadness.

And at the park today, someone else showed up to visit Tonks. It wasn’t Remus, like before. I don’t think Remus is going to be back, at least not for a long time. And I think he told her so, and that’s why she’s so much worse.

Anyway, the person, a tall, black man with a deep voice, was talking to her, and she wouldn’t answer. She sat and stared, and he looked worried.

“Tonks, you need to come back. We all miss you,” he said at one point.

But she still wouldn’t answer. She might not have heard him, for all I knew. What I truly think is that the place inside herself where she hides lately is barely within touch. It’s close enough to reality that she can hear and perceive what’s going on, but at the same time I think she’s too busy dreaming or brooding to respond.

“Do you want me to talk to him?” said the man. No answer. “We’re all worried about you, including Remus. Do you know how much he cares about you?”

That got through to her. The tears started. “He doesn’t care or he’d stop being stupid and just let it be!”

“No,” said the man. I had to creep a little closer to catch his next sentence. “No, he cares too much.”

“But I don’t care about any of that!” she said shrilly. “Not that he’s a werewolf, none of it!”

I stopped listening at that point to ponder what she meant by werewolf. Surely not literally? Maybe she had lost more touch than I thought. She really believed that she had a werewolf for an ex-boyfriend?

All I could come up with was that maybe there was a gang called “the werewolves” and he was one of them. Remus didn’t look like the gangster type though. He looked more like a professor.

I tore myself away from being sceptical in time to see the man walking away.

So, that was how I found out that at least three people besides me were looking out for Tonks, and it was also how I found out the break-up reasons were more abstract than I’d thought.

Regardless of the man’s words, Tonks still looked as depressed as before. She picked her journal and opened it to the very first page.

Tearing the page out and tossing it into the creek, she shouted, “He doesn’t love me!”

But I think she knows that isn’t true, or she would have given up on him by now.

She wants to go home
But nobody’s home
That’s where she lies
Broken inside
With no place to go
No place to go
To dry her eyes
Broken inside 

Tonks didn’t go down to the brook today.

I sat waiting outside at the park, doing my homework, but she never came. I sat until dark, worrying and barely getting anything done.

I ran down the darkening street back to the apartment building, feeling panic and then frustration at myself. Why did I have to be so empathetic? Why couldn’t I be oblivious, like the other neighbours? I didn’t even have a real reason to worry.

Maybe she’d stayed late at work. Maybe she’d just not felt like going down to the brook today. Maybe she had a cold, or maybe she was visiting some friends. There were a thousand harmless possibilities, but fear rose inside me like a dark cloud, consuming all happiness and hope.

I ran past my home and bounded up the stairs to where she lived. I pressed my ear against the door shamelessly.

Soft music; someone crying; a nose being blown. So she wanted a quiet night of grieving by herself. None of my business.

But it was my business. It had been for almost four months.

I decided on a different approach. There was a tree outside her apartment window, and it was perfect for climbing. When I was younger, I’d often taken a book up there and sat for hours until my parents found out and told me it was too high up; too dangerous.

My parents weren’t home now, though, so I went down through the building and, in a few minutes, stood at the base of the tree and hoisted myself onto the lowest branch.

I reached her window in a matter of about five minutes, and I peered between the branches to get a look through.

There she was, laying on the couch, staring at the ceiling. The TV was on, but she wasn’t paying it any attention.

I saw how dreary it looked in there. The window I was looking through was the only one with the shade pulled up, and what with tree right outside it, it wasn’t allowing for much light.

I would have imagined that Tonks would be the type to have a messy, disorderly home, with brightly coloured clothes strewn about and stacks of books and papers and other junk tossed here and there.

But it was blank. Nothing was out of place, except the tissue box. The walls were plain white, and the floor was bare hardwood. Even my house, with my neat-freak parents, looked warmer, kinder, and more lived-in than this.

And I had a feeling it hadn’t always been this way. I think it changed with Tonks.

Like her hair, her feelings, and the rest of her life. The way everything had to change, but was still close enough to the same that no one cared. Except the person who was doing the changing.

And me.

We were both lost inside. Both of us needed a friend. Both of us were going to fall deeper into sadness and reclusion if this didn’t stop.

I stretched out and tapped her window. 

She’s lost inside lost inside oh oh
She’s lost inside lost inside oh oh

Author's Note:  Well, hope I didn't depress you too much or anything.

To reiterate, the song belongs to Avril Lavigne and Ben Moody, and the Potterverse belongs to JKR (as if you didn't know that!).

Before you close this window, I would like you to know that my review box is dying of starvation.  Please feed it!  It wants to know what you thought- love it?  Hate it?  Want those ten minutes of your life back?  I'll respond, and I'll give you an e-hug even if I can't give you those ten minutes back!


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