Fandom: Harry Potter
Summary: James gives Remus a scarf for Christmas, and Remus loves it.
Notes: Written for day 2 of my 23 Ficlets project to celebrate my 23rd anniversary in the community
“Go on, open it.” James, wearing ironic fake reindeer antlers, poked at the present still sitting in Remus’ lap.
Shy to be put on the spot, Remus felt his cheeks flush as he opened the Christmas gift from James while everyone else watched. He smoothly slid fingers under the tape on the wrappings so it could be reused, even though he could have spelled it pristine again after ripping it. What he spotted as Gryffindor colors turned out to be a brand new scarf. “Oh, Prongs!” He lifted it up. “Thank you, it’s perfect!”
“Now you can chuck that old, ratty scarf you always wear,” Peter said, pointing out the obvious.
“Yes, I’ll miss that one.” He wrapped the scarf around his neck, finding that it went around four times with still scarf to spare. “But this one’s so very warm.” He tilted his head, rubbing his cheek against it. “And so soft, too.” Though he still felt a tad shy to be the center of attention, he felt more confident with such a fine scarf on. He got up and struck the most ridiculous model pose he could, something akin to the witches in those scandalous magazines Sirius had hidden under his mattress. “How do I look?”
Peter whistled and hooted. James clapped and laughed. Sirius leaned back on his hands and smiled. But the smile didn’t reach his eyes, Remus noticed.
“Ugh,” Remus groaned, pausing in the doorway instead of following his friends out into the cold March weather. They had class in Greenhouse Five in just ten minutes. “I forgot my scarf.” There wasn’t really time, but he’d been feeling chilled all morning. And Greenhouse Five was the coldest of all the greenhouses, as the plants inside were supposed to grow in a cold climate. He couldn’t stand the idea of spending the whole class shivering instead of paying proper attention.
“There isn’t time,” Sirius said, hanging back and gesturing for Remus to hurry up after him. “Come on.”
Remus was wasting valuable seconds with his indecision. A cold wind blew past, and chill ran through him just then, which seemed to sway him. He already felt cold right down to his toes. “Nope, I’m going back for it. Tell Professor Sprout I’m sorry.” He ignored Sirius calling after him as he sprinted back to the Gryffindor dormitory. With the shortcut behind the tapestry by the old theater, that would cut the time in half. With any luck, he would only be a couple minutes late and the professor might not dock too many points from Gryffindor.
Remus sat by the fire in the Gryffindor Common Room, pretending that he needed its light to read by. Slightly heightened senses was one of the only good things about being a werewolf, so he could read his book just fine. What he wanted was an excuse to be warm. He’d felt chilly and tired for days now, and he was certain it meant he was coming down with something. Having only just been through the full moon last week, the last thing he needed was to miss yet more classes. So he was drinking juice and staying warm and hoping those together would fend off any bug. His fellow Marauders were sitting at the nearest table to the hearth.
“I give up,” Peter said, packing up his books, parchments, and quill. “M’going to bed.”
“Me, too.” James said with a stretch. “I’m knackered.”
Remus lifted his gaze from his book. “I’ve got a lot of catching up to do after last week still. So I’m going to stay up just a little longer.”
“Me, too,” said Sirius hastily.
James gave Sirius a suspicious look. “What’re you working on? You must’ve finished your Transfiguration and Astronomy assignments hours ago.”
Sirius pulled his parchment away before James could get a good look. “Just putting the final touches on my History of Magic essay. I’ve got a rhythm going with it, so don’t stop my brilliance.”
James shrugged, collected his things, and followed Peter up to their dormitory room.
Remus saw Sirius smile and had an odd feeling that Sirius was staying up just to keep him company. He spotted Sirius yawning as he pretended to be searching his bag for a fresh self-inking quill. Remus considered telling Sirius he could go to bed, but he really did appreciate the company. He suspected he would feel colder if he were sitting here alone. He fingered the tassels at the end of the scarf and smiled as well.
“Think you got your days mixed up,” Sirius said to Remus during breakfast. “We’ve got all indoor classes today.” He pointed a fork with a sausage stabbed on it at Remus’ scarf. “You’re not going to need that.”
Remus nibbled at his scone, not feeling the least bit hungry but trying to keep up appearances. He scooted closer to Sirius on the bench seat, until their hips were touching, and whispered, “I’m not feeling so good. I’ve got a couple hankies in my bag, but I figure if I really have to sneeze and can’t get to them in time, I can muffle the sneezes into the scarf so I don’t disturb anybody during class.” He chewed a bit on his lower lip. “Don’t tell anybody, okay, Pads?”
Sirius wore an uncharacteristically serious expression on his face as he nodded. “Yeah, all right.” Then he added, “But if you feel a bunch of big sneezes coming on and need someone to distract attention, I’m your man. I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve.”
“You’d get detention.”
Sirius shrugged, as if assumed that yes, he would, and, no, that didn’t bother him in the slightest. Remus had absolutely no intention of causing Sirius to suffer more hours in detention, but he couldn’t help feeling a bit flattered by the offer.
Sirius landed on the end of his bed as if he were his dog self, bounding onto the blankets. Remus lifted his head from his pillow to give Sirius a weak smile hello before dropping it back down.
“How’re you feeling, Moony?”
With a rub at his nose, Remus answered, “Sneezy, stuffy, sniff and sniffly.” He noticed that Sirius had one hand behind his back, obviously hiding something. Could this something be tea? Something sweet he’d nicked from the kitchens or even some chocolate from Honeydukes’ cellar? “What do you have there?”
Sirius pulled out a something, a bulge wrapped in brown paper. He looked at it, playing with the twine bow on the top. “I bought this for you last October as a birthday present.”
Remus didn’t understand. He had just celebrated his birthday, and Sirius had gotten him a big block of solid milk chocolate in the shape of a book. It had been so well received that Remus had already polished off the entire thing. Why hadn’t Sirius just given Remus this something instead?
Tugging on one end of the bow, he pulled the twine free. Then one swipe at the thin paper revealed the package’s contents: a Gryffindor scarf. “After I saw what James got you for Christmas, I obviously couldn’t give this to you. But I don’t know what else to do with it, and…” His voice grew quiet, as if he and Remus weren’t alone in the room and he were trying to keep others from hearing. “And I bought it for you, so I think you should have it anyway.”
“Oh, Sirius. That’s so… so thought-full… oh bollocks! Hehhhh!” Remus scrambled for his handkerchief, finding it amidst the sheets and blankets just in time and bringing it to his face. “HehhShphhhh! Sniff! Sniff! Excuse me.”
Sirius started to say something then thought better and kept his mouth shut. Then he started to move as if to toss the scarf to Remus at the top of the bed and stopped that as well. He sat there, looking down at the scarf.
“Sirius? Come here and put it on me.”
Sirius looked up, eyes wide. Then he shook his head. “No, you don’t need two identical scarves. I’ll just return it by owl and get you something else.”
“If you wanted to return it, you would’ve done so and used the money on that chocolate you got me.” Instead, he’d kept it, wrapped and everything. That clearly meant something, and Remus had a feeling he knew what. Maybe he’d known for a long time and just hadn’t wanted to hope for it. “I’m cold. Sniff! I could use your warm scarf right now.”
Continuing to hesitate, he looked down at the scarf then up at Remus and then at the scarf again.
“hehh…” Remus already had the handkerchief up at the ready. “hehh-IHShffff! HIHShhhffffff!” His body shook with a shiver after that second sneeze. And before he was done wiping his nose, Remus felt the bed move as Sirius crawled up it toward him. Remus snuffled and lowered his hands to allow Sirius access to his neck.
Sirius draped the scarf over Remus’ shoulders, and Remus gave another shiver, which might or might not have been faked dramatically. Remus would always maintain it had been real, however. He leaned forward, getting a little closer to Sirius, and Sirius wrapped the scarf once around his neck loosely. Smiling, Remus picked up a long end and threw it around Sirius’ neck as well. He grabbed the end and pulled close, which made Sirius lean in closer.
Their foreheads touched, and they stared into each other’s eyes, so close now that it was hard to focus on anything, and trying gave Remus’ already aching head an extra pain. So he closed his eyes and made his second move, knowing that brave Sirius Black would never. He kissed Sirius. Properly. Right on the mouth with his own open and ready.
One beat passed. Then two. And Sirius began kissing him back. The sensation was all Remus had ever hoped for and more. The warmth from the scarf and the warmth from Sirius’ mouth came together to make him feel so good and cared for. It wasn’t until he pulled back and felt another tickle in his nose that he realized he had done something wrong. “You’ll catch my hehh my cold! Hehhh-IHTShhhhh!”
“Bless you. It’s all right,” Sirius reassured him. “Kiss me all you want. Unlike you, I can take pepperup, remember?”
Now Remus did. And he used it as a perfect excuse to move in for another kiss.