Day 12

Title: Day 12
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: PG
Pairing: Remus/Sirius
Disclaimer: Not my characters. I wish they were mine. I definitely don’t get paid for this.
Summary: Sirius doesn’t want to bother anyone with his cold
Notes: Written during my 12 Ficlets in 12 Days in 2013 project for tinadp


Harry and Ron stopped at the bottom of the stairs at Number 12 Grimmauld Place and exchanged a look. “Sirius is sounding worse, isn’t he?”

Harry nodded and whispered back, “I wish he’d just let us help him. But he keeps insisting he’s fine.”

huhh-IHHHKShhhh!” Sirius was the very definition of not fine.

They peeked into the kitchen. Molly wiped her hands on her apron. “How about I make you a cup of tea?”

“No thank you,” Sirius barked, his voice rough and stuffy.

“At least go wrap up in a blanket in the drawing room and get some rest.”

He shook his head. “Don’t worry, Molly. It’s not like I can leave Number 12.”

“Sirius, you’re clearly ill. Just let me—”

“No!” rubbed the side of his hand under his runny nose and sniffled wetly. “I’m just going to go lie down and get out of your way.” He grabbed a pack of crisps from the cupboard and headed out of the kitchen.

Molly yelled after him, “At least let me send you up a plate!”

But he waved dismissively back at her over his head. Then he brought his hand down and coughed into his fist. He nodded at the boys but moved swiftly past them, taking the stairs two at a time.

“Poor Sirius,” Ron said. But his stomach growled and he continued on into the kitchen to see what his mother was fixing for dinner. Harry sighed and leaned against the doorjamb. He looked at the stairs, into the kitchen, then back up the stairs again. The Weasleys were like a family to him—had been since Mrs. Weasley had been so kind and shown him how to get onto Platform 9¾. But Sirius was his godfather. And he had spent so many colds over the years miserable and alone. He watched Ron sample something from the pot boiling on the stove and saw Mrs. Weasley shooing him away from that and toward dishes to set the table. Knowing what he had to do, Harry headed up the stairs to the room Sirius slept in.

The door was closed, so Harry knocked.

He heard a sneeze from within, muffled through the door and perhaps something else. “Go away, Molly!” He dissolved into fierce coughs and a thunking sound against the door made Harry guess he was leaning on it, either to keep Harry from coming in or to keep himself upright… or both.

“It’s me, Sirius. It’s Harry.” Silence met this, so he tried again. “I need to talk with you!”

There was a pause, and then Sirius opened the door. He had his sleeve drawn over his hand, the cuff pressed to his nose. “Harry? Are you all right?”

Harry nodded. “I am. But I don’t think that you are.”

Sirius bent his other arm and rubbed the back of his hand against his forehead. “Molly’s a mum. She gets so worried and worked up about these things. But with Arthur in the hospital, the Weasleys have enough to be getting on with without worrying about me. And it’s just a little cold. I’ll be fine, Harry. But I don’t want her fussing over me. And I don’t want you to eith… either. Ihh-CHISHhhhhhh!” He snuffled wetly into his sleeve, from wrist to elbow.

Harry nodded again. “I know the feeling. But give me a second, okay?” He waited for Sirius to agree then darted down the hall. He returned with the tissue box from the bathroom. “Take this? You sound miserable.”

With a laugh like a bark, Sirius took the tissue box. “Thanks.” He pulled out a tissue and scrubbed it at his nose, which was already an embarrassingly red color around the nostrils. “This is all Snape’s fault.”

“Snape?” Something in Harry’s stomach tightened at the thought of the man; he wondered if it were the same for Sirius.

“His sneezes are monstrous. He had an awful sneezy head cold at the last Order meeting and seemed to be doing his damnedest to give it to me. Apparently he succeeded.” His face fell and, for a moment, it seemed he might not sneeze at all. Then he pitched forward, tissues clutched to his nose to keep this cold from spreading to Harry as well. “heeee-IHTChooo! Excuse be.”

“Of course. You should go lie back down. If you need anything…”

But Sirius was already closing the bedroom door, snapping in half with another sneeze as he did so. “Yihshuhhhh!

Harry stood in the hallway for a few minutes, staring at the closed door, lost in thought. He’d said he hadn’t wanted one of them fussing over him. But Harry could think of one person he hadn’t mentioned who he wouldn’t mind fussing over him. The question was: how was he supposed to get a message to Remus Lupin? He couldn’t exactly send Hedwig searching for him amongst the werewolves. The Death Eaters already knew his patronus. And Kreacher wasn’t going to obey any of his orders. He was down to pretty much just one option, and he knew Sirius wouldn’t like it.


When Sirius woke, it felt like he was underwater. His eyes ran and hurt when he rubbed them. His nose was so plugged up he couldn’t breathe and, yet, it ran too. He’d already gone through nearly the entire box of tissues Harry had given him and wasn’t looking forward to venturing downstairs to ask whoever was there for another. For one, he didn’t want them to see him look so pathetic and helpless from just a little cold. For another, he didn’t want to get anyone else sick, not with Mr. Weasley recovering from such a terrible injury and everyone still a little spooked about the whole thing. It was far easier to just lock himself up in his room until this cold was over… or, perhaps, even after that, unless Dumbledore actually thought he might be useful at something… which was looking less and less likely with every meeting. There wasn’t much he could do stuck in this house, so he might as well be holed up in this room forever.

But, most importantly, he wasn’t sure he’d be able to make it down the stairs. His head felt so full. His body moved in slow motion if it moved at all. It was as if he were swimming against a strong current. He was dizzy. Achey. Stuffy. Miserable. And without tissues.

ehhhffCHISHUH!” He snuffled against his sleeve, feeling disgusted with himself.

A knock on the door echoed in his head, pounding with aches. He moaned inwardly, hoping whoever it was would think he was asleep and would go away. But the door opened and whoever it was walked in. Which was strange, as he remembered locking the door yesterday.

“Hey, Pads. I heard you were ill.”

With great difficulty, Sirius lifted his head and opened his eyes. Moony. It was Moony. Remus. Lupin. He wasn’t supposed to be here. What was he doing here?

“Is there room for me in that bed, or have the tissues completely taken over?”

Sirius tried to move out of the center of the bed to make room, but he couldn’t get his arms to work right.

Remus clucked his tongue against the front roof of his mouth. “Shhh, lie still. It was just a joke. I’ve got you.” The bed sagged with his weight as he moved around on it. Remus stacked all the pillows up and lay back on them. Then he pulled Sirius over, centering Sirius’ head against his chest. Sirius nuzzled his face into Remus’ threadbare and patched shirt. He wrapped both arms around Remus’ middle.

“So glad you cabe.”

“Of course I came. I got word you were ill. I had to come.” He leaned over and kissed Sirius’ warm forehead. Then he stroked the spot with his thumb and followed the curve of Sirius’ head with his palm in a soft, petting stroke.

Sirius sighed happily; if he’d been in his animagus form, his tail would have been wagging. But then he realized what his lover had said. “You got word?”

Remus petted his head again with a smooth, comforting motion. “Thanks to Snape.”

Sirius turned his head and groaned deeply into Remus’ chest. “Does every Order bebber add Death Eater frob here to the states dow I have the sdiffles add deeded by boyfried to cobe cuddle be?”

“Not at all.” Remus chuckled and kissed the top of his head. “The note was simple. It read: Come home.

Sirius thought about it a moment. “Add this is hobe? Gribbauld Blace?”

“Not necessarily Grimmauld Place. It’s wherever you are. My home is right here. This bed. With you.”

Overcome with emotion, there was so much Sirius wanted to say. He’d spent a decade in prison being fed on by Dementors and a year in a cave feeding on rats. Then, just when he’d been able to spend some time with Remus, Dumbledore needed him off infiltrating the werewolves. But now he was here, here just when Sirius needed him the most. Fuck the war. Fuck the mission. Fuck the world. Remus had come home to him. Sirius started to say something that wouldn’t remotely express his emotions. But then the urge to sneeze took over. “ehhh… ehhh-IHHTChhhhhh! HIhhhhshhhhh! Yah… Yih-KETChhhhhhh!

“My home is right here in this bed with you and a box of tissues.”

Remus summoned a box at once, plopping them down on the bed beside him and pulling out a few. Sirius reached for them, but he couldn’t judge the distance correctly and bumped his hand against Remus’.

“Relax.” Remus clucked his tongue again. “Just rest and I’ll take care of you. I’m here now. Let me accomplish my mission. Got it?” Gently, he wiped Sirius’ nose for him. Then he vanished the tissues with a wave of his wand. One by one, he vanished the sea of balled-up, used tissues Sirius had left around the bed.

Sirius watched and, in his head, counted each one. Five, six, seven… twenty-two, twenty-three… thirty-six, thirty-seven, thirty-eight… forty-nine, fifty, fifty-one, fifty-one, fifty-two…” Sirius knew he’d miscounted once, maybe more than that. He tried to keep his eyes open, tried to keep going. But he couldn’t. His eyelids were too heavy. And he felt a dry tissue being pressed to his nose before he even realized he was about to sneeze. “eh-ehh-HITChuhh! Yihshoo! Oh… Rebus…” His voice cracked.

“Shh, shhh. I’m here to look after you and I’m not going anywhere. I solemnly swear.” He used his wand to pull the covers up and tuck the blankets tight around the two of them.