Bonus 1

Title: Bonus 1
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: James/Lily implied, Remus/Sirius
Disclaimer: Not my characters, not my 'verse. I don't get paid a cent to play. Please don't sue and make things worse.
Summary: One night during the war, Sirius is visited by Remus' patronus.
Note: Part of the 12 Ficlets in 12 Days project 2009-2010. Written as a bonus for callmetina

It was a lucky thing that Sirius Black had come down with a monstrous head cold. If he hadn't, he might have been asleep at three in the morning, instead of up watching nonsense on the muggle tele and trying to get his nose to stop tickling. And if he had been fast asleep, he would certainly have missed the silver wolf outside his window. He would have been spared the sudden, terrifying shock as it bounded through solid wall into his living room.

Instead, the moment it appeared to him, he grabbed his wand and leapt to his feet. The patronus circled around him a few times to keep him from rushing out. And, from it, Sirius heard Remus' voice and the quiet message. “I'm on my way.”

No sooner had the words been spoken than there was a knock on the door. Sirius ran over, waved his wand to undo all the locks, and yanked it open. Remus stood there, looking afright. His hair was a mess, his pajamas were askew beneath his traveling cloak, and he held his wand in one hand. “I—” he began, but that was the only part he was able to get out before Sirius pulled him inside and into a tight hug.

“You scared be,” Sirius told him, hugging Remus tightly. And then Sirius turned his head. He thought about pulling away and covering his face, but decided the hug took priority. “heh-IH-Shuhhhh! EhKShuhhh!

“I'm sorry,” Remus said. “I know you're ill. I didn't want to bother. But I had nowhere else to go. James and Lily have more than enough on their plates and I contacted Peter at once but he never returned the message.”

“Berlin, Rebus…” He reached up and tugged down Remus' hood. He rubbed his hand against the back of Remus' head, stroking. “I told you you were welcobe ady tibe. I wadted you to live here frob the start.”

“I thought we agreed that it would be better to live apart when we were just out of Hogwarts.”

“It's beed a year dow. And if you'd rather I bove id with you at your flat, I cad do that, too. I just wadt to be with you. Dow tell be what's brought you here todight.”

Remus buried his face against Sirius' shoulder, letting Sirius' pajamas take his tears, letting the thick material hide his gasps as sobs worked up his throat, dangerously close to taking him over.

Sirius felt. Sirius heard. Sirius resituated them on the couch. And, as he reached for the tissue box, to put it between them, he realized Remus was shaking. Sirius tried holding him closer, but the shakes grew worse. Sirius pushed Remus back at once, getting a good look at the man who was breaking down completely in front of him now. Even though it was probably teeming with germs from having been around Sirius for more than a day now, Sirius threw the thick blanket around Remus and pulled him close again. “It's okay,” Sirius whispered. “Whatever it is, it's okay. You're safe dow with be.”

Remus' tears burst from him finally. He tried to speak around the sobs, but the crying was too hard, too encompassing. And Sirius shushed him after the first attempt anyway. So he just sat on the couch, crying against Sirius' chest and snivelling into the tissues. And Sirius sat there sniffing and hugging and repeatedly telling Remus that he was all right now. The soft assurances didn't seem to be doing much good, but Sirius kept on with them just the same, not knowing what else to say.

Finally, the heaving sobs subsided. Exhausted, Remus slumped against Sirius and blew his nose into a handful of tissues. “I'm sorry,” Remus said again.

Sirius craned his neck and kissed Remus on the forehead. “Sobethig tells me that it's dot you who should be sorry. What habbeded?”

“Death Eaters attacked my building.”

Sirius gave a start. Whatever he had been expecting, it wasn't that. “But you live id a buggle abardbedt cobblex.”

“I lived in a muggle apartment complex,” Remus corrected. “The building is nothing but rubble and ash now. I tried to use the protego charm as soon as I realized what was happening, but I couldn't protect the whole building. I apparated out and by then it was too late to help anyone. The building was on fire and Death Eaters were everywhere. I stunned a few from across the street. I dueled with another, but there were too many and I only just escaped with my life.”

“Hold od,” Sirius interrupted. “I… hehh… ehhhh… hab to sdeeze. Ehh-IHSHhhhhh! Ah… agaid… heh-Hehhh-EHShuhhhh!” He grabbed a hold of some tissues and snuffled into them. He cleared his throat as soon as he was able. “But I dod't udderstad why they were there.”

“They must have been after me. That's the only explanation that makes any sense. They can't have been there just by coincidence. And there wasn't another witch or wizard within five miles.” He took another deep breath, though it was unsteady as he exhaled. “They must have tracked me. I smelled some werewolves. I bet the Death Eaters are using them now to hunt other werewolves. I had only been home for an hour from that mission Dumbledore sent me. So they must have followed, must have tracked. How else could they have figured out where I was?”


“They destroyed the whole building, Padfoot. The whole thing is rubble. All those people. Dozens. Maybe a hundred. They're all dead, just because that was a flat I could afford to live in.”

“You cad't blabe yourself because of what Death Eater scub do.”

“I know,” Remus said. “But… Sirius, all those people…” He shook his head as tears threatened to return. “I know they didn't follow me. I used a public floo station to lead them in the opposite direction. And then I apparated far enough away. I house-hopped along our safehouse network until I got nearby.” The Order of the Phoenix had a network of trusted zones throughout Britain. It was sort of like an underground railroad. “I should contact Dumbledore so he can get the word out that my place shouldn't be used any more as a safe apparating point.”

Sirius nodded. Then, despite himself, he yawned powerfully. “Berlid's Beard. I'b sorry.”

“It's late and you're ill. You shouldn't be up.”

“I dow I should't, but I ab. Add I thidk we could use sub tea.” He started to get up, but Remus pulled him back down.

“I'll get it. You stay here and blow your nose.” Remus hugged Sirius tightly, kissed his cheek, and then went to the kitchen.

Sirius did, actually, have to blow his nose. He curled up in the blanket Remus had left behind, that was still warm from his body. He pulled a few more tissues from the box, finding it nearly empty; maybe just one or two left. He was just about to get up to retrieve more when he heard a strange, repeated clinking in the other room. The sound persisted, quickened in pace, and then ended in a sudden, loud shatter.

Sirius darted over at once. He didn't think it would be another attack, not if Remus was sure he hadn't been followed. This place was unplottable and protected by some of the best spells and chams out there. But anything breaking couldn't be good.

He found Remus standing by the counter, hand to his face, the remnants of a broken teacup all over the tile floor. Sirius pulled his wand out again. “Repairo.” The pieces of the cup, even the tiny little specs as small as dust, flew together and reformed the cup. He bent down and picked up the cup. “See? Good as new.”

“No,” Remus said, shaking his head. He took the cup from Sirius to inspect it. His hand trembled, and the teacup with it. Quickly, he tried to set it down on the saucer, but his hand shook so badly that the cup rattled against the saucer. He let it go before he broke it again. “That was one of the teacups Mr. and Mrs. Potter gave us, and now it's got all these cracks in it. It's all my fault.”

“It's just a teacub,” Sirius said, shrugging. He took the other cup and promptly threw it onto the floor as well.


Another “Repairo!” took care of it as well. “Dow they batch.” Remus went to pick up the kettle, but with his hand shaking so badly, Sirius worried that he was going to burn himself. “I'll do that.”

“I can—”

Sirius raised his arm and directed a few sneezes into it. “ehhh-Hishhhhh! Hah-Chuhhhh!

“Bless you.” Remus grabbed a napkin from the counter and handed it over.

“Thadks,” Sirius said, wiping his nose dry with it. “How about I bour the tea and you go get a tissue box for be? We're albost out out there.”

“I'm sorry.”

“Don't be!” Sirius laughed. “I used theb ub. I've been sdeezig all day.” Remus nodded and went for the tissues. Sirius met him back out on the couch with the tea. He set both cups down on the coffee table and snuggled under the blanket with Remus and the tissues. Before he could reach for new tissues, Remus had a few out for him already. “Th-thags. Hah-UHShooo! EhChihhh! KShuhh!

Remus snuggled closer to Sirius. “Bless you, sweetie.” He reached for the tea, but his hand shook again as it took hold of the cup. Tea sloshed out, and Remus tried to steady the cup with his other hand. But both shook uncontrollably and he was about to set it back down when Sirius reached over and covered Remus' hands with his own. Remus' hands no longer shook.

Sirius smiled. “That's better.”

“You can't hold me forever, Padfoot.”

“I thidk you'll fide that I cad. How about this… I'll take care of you and you take care of be.”

Remus gave a weak smile, but it was a smile nonetheless. He reached up and rubbed Sirius' nose with a tissue. Then he kissed Sirius lightly. “Sounds like a plan.”