Title: Let Sleeping Wolves Lie
Fandom: Harry Potter, Marauders Era
Disclaimer: I love JRK's pups, so I play. No money, no rights, you know the drill.
Summary: Remus is sick and tired. Luckily, he finds a nice place to nap.
Notes: Inspired by and based on silverelf's most wonderful holiday gift to me, a picture of sniffly Remus napping in the grass: http://silverelf.livejournal.com/39271.html
Thank you, silverelf!
Let Sleeping Wolves Lie
His nostrils were twitchy and his nose tickly, but he rubbed at it and the sensations died down. Then an extremely strong yawn seized Remus. He could feel it from his toes to his mouth as it pulled at his body. It was the sort of yawn that took you over and made you realize how incredibly tired you were. His nose tickled as he yawned, and he rolled his eyes, wishing his body could just do one thing at a time. As the yawn broke, making his head shake with a sigh, he cupped his hand to his nose and mouth. "ahhh?" His eyelids fluttered shut and nostrils went all twitchy again. "ahh-hahhh-HAHSchooo! Sniff! hahh-AHShuhhh! Snfff!"
Remus grumbled to himself. He glanced around the hallway, finding himself alone for the most part. There were a few third year Ravenclaw boys at one end, talking amongst themselves, and a Slytherin girl speaking with the Charms professor down near the other end, outside a classroom. So Remus grabbed a fistful of his robes and yanked them up on one side. Able to access the pocket of his slacks now, he dug around within and finally withdrew a wad of tissues. Feeling his nose running, he unfolded the bunch, peeled a few off and pressed them to his nose. He stuffed the rest of the tissues into his pocket and pulled his robes back into place.
He knew better than to go back to the dormitories at this time of day. There would be mayhem and all sorts of activity. And if he couldn't manage to go to sleep last night when it was quiet, he wouldn't be able to nap when it was loud, no matter what sort of tired he was.
Last night had been miserable. He'd left Sirius' bed because he wanted to be in his own bed when sick and because he didn't want to disturb Sirius with the coughing and sneezing. But, in his own bed, Remus couldn't fall asleep. He was too used to sleeping with Sirius and the pillows he might have stuffed under the covers alongside him to replicate the feeling of having Sirius next to him instead had to be used to prop his head up to help his breathing. He managed to doze off a few times, but wound up spending most of the night entertained by sneezes and tissues.
Now he shuffled along the corridor, towards the end where the Ravenclaws were. Remus could think of only one place in the whole castle that was guaranteed to be quiet, and that place was the library. However he knew he'd be tossed out of there in less than five minutes for disturbing the peace, given the way he was sneezing.
The library was too quiet and the whole rest of the castle was too loud. So he headed outside. It was early spring and still chilly for most people to be outside, so he had it to himself. And though he felt the same cool, light breezes as everyone else, he also felt the warm sun shining down on him. Maybe it was his fever that kept him from getting cold or maybe he was just too tired to care. Whatever it was, it felt good to take his robes off, and his shoes and socks with them. He walked barefoot through the thick grass on the grounds. It hadn't been cut for a while, so it was the perfect length to be soft and wild, two things he could greatly relate to.
His exhaustion took over and the grass felt so soft. Remus couldn't help but lie down. He picked a spot covered in sun and lay down. On any normal day, he might have stretched out. But, feeling sick as he did, he curled up on his side instead. His legs were bent and he was half bent in half. He used his arm, bent as well, as a pillow.
Remus drew a deep breath and exhaled slowly, basking in the comfort. Maybe, just maybe, if he were able to get a little bit of sleep he might feel a little better.
"hihhh! Sniff!" His ticklish nose was especially so now. He nuzzled his head against his arm, so that his cheek and parts of his nose rubbed against his shirt. It did no good. "Hahhh-AhShoo! ahh-ahhhShuhhh! Oh..." He groaned, thinking of all the effort required to get at the tissues again. He decided he had just enough energy to lift his hand and rub the back of it against his nose. "Snff-snff! He rubbed harder, reducing the light tickles in his nose to tingles and prickles that he could stand when falling asleep. "Sniff!" He scratched the back of his head with his other hand and nuzzled into his arm again, getting comfy.
Another yawn found him and he closed his eyes for it. His nose was still running and he still felt miserable, but he could ignore those things at the moment in order to sleep. Blanketed by the sun, he finally drifted off.
"Where the bloody hell is it?" Padfoot muttered, rifling through his trunk. He'd already tried James' and Peter's to no avail. It had to be there somewhere. They were always using it. They passed it around, sure, but they wouldn't have misplaced it. Not something that-- "Ah-ha!" Triumphantly, Sirius found the piece of parchment rolled up inside a pair of socks.
He unrolled it and promised, with a tap of his wand, that he was up to no good. The map took a few moments to appear on the page, perhaps doubting Sirius' word. But Sirius nonetheless was granted access to the beautiful ink drawing with its moving dots and labels. Sirius scanned it carefully, looking in all of Remus' usual spots. He even checked the hospital wing, but Remus was not there either. Not that he was surprised at all; Remus hated having to spend a second longer than necessary in hospital and wouldn't go there just because of a head cold, no matter how irritating it was. Finally he noticed a dot with the name 'Remus Lupin' attached to it and smiled. He tapped the map, pocketed it, and was off.
He wound up outside, meandering across the grounds as he looked around for Remus. The sun, which was low in the sky now on its way to setting, caught his eyes, blinding him for an instant and making him squint in the moments that followed. Not watching where he was going, he nearly tripped over Remus.
Remus was fast asleep, curled up upon the grass. He looked peaceful and restful, but he also looked a little chilled. Sirius pulled off his robe and combined it with Remus', which he saw lying all bunched up at Remus' feet. He draped the two over the sleeping man and then sat down beside him.
He knew that Remus was sick. He'd woken several times in the middle of the night to the sound of Remus sneezing or blowing his nose. But he hadn't gone over because Remus had made it clear he didn't want to sleep with Sirius. He'd watched Remus struggling to stay awake during classes all day. But he hadn't been able to do much more than nudge him a few times to help. He'd noticed Remus sniffling during lunch. And he had snuck a handkerchief to Remus under the table discretely, of course, so Remus wouldn't be embarrassed.
Now Sirius wanted badly to curl up right behind Remus, fitting his body up against Remus' and hugging tightly. He wanted to grab the man by his collar and kiss him deeply until Remus smiled. He wanted to cuddle the man better... but he feared waking Remus. Even a gentle pet or a light kiss could potentially wake him, and Remus definitely needed his rest.
So Sirius simply sat guard beside Remus, watching only and imagining the touches he could give. He imagined lightly brushing his fingertips against Remus' hand, where it was tangled in the light brown hair. Or pressing his lips to Remus' flushed cheeks, or those long eyelashes, or that sore nose. He sat, imagining the feel of Remus in his arms, warm and heavy.
It was nearly an hour later when Remus woke, meaning only to roll over to his other side and blow his nose as sleeping on his right made his nose half-stuffed. But he saw Sirius beside him and stayed where he was, looking up curiously. "Patience is not usually your finest trait, Padfoot. How long have you been here watching over me?"
"A long while," Sirius replied, bending over and kissing Remus' forehead. "And I'm prepared to wait even longer. Go back to sleep, Moony."
Sirius dared now to reach out and stroke Remus' head, running his hand against the soft hair and then entwining his fingers with Remus', squeezing tightly. "It's still early. I'll wake you in time for it. You should get as much rest as you can."
"Oh!" Remus winced. "Wish you hadn't said that. You've jinxed me. Now I'll never get back to sleep." He tried, desperately, to fall asleep. Even with Sirius' soothing petting and the warm sun still upon him, he could not manage to sleep. He turned from one side to the other, and even lay on his back. But no matter what position he was in, he still felt sniffly and he still felt compelled to rub the back of his hand against his nose quite frequently.
"hahhh-Shoo! Sniff! hahh-AHShooo! Sniffsniff!" Remus shook his head, rubbing his nose into his sleeve, much as he hated to do so. Showing up to dinner with grass stains on trousers, hidden by robes were one thing but having visibly damp and messy sleeves was not the least bit appetizing.
"Wait, I've got a tissue, I think," Sirius said, meticulously going through his pockets while Remus continued to sniffle. He produced two tissues, both of which were somewhat crumpled but clean once a shake got rid of a bit of pocket lint.
Remus was careful with the tissues, blowing his nose and using every dry bit to rub at his nose afterwards. Then he sighed and rested his head on Sirius' thigh. "I really can't fall back to sleep," he complained.
"I'm so sorry," said Sirius, the apology heartfelt and soft. "How about I try a sleeping charm? Or I could scrounge up a good sleeping potion." As he looked down at Remus, so handsome and sweet, his desires resurfaced. But now that Remus was awake and he could kiss and touch all he liked, Sirius only wanted him to be able to go back to sleep.
Draping his arm over Sirius' lap, Remus sighed. "How about you just keep me company? Sniff! Unless you think maybe you can kiss me and make it all better?"
"It's worth a try," Sirius said, bending over and administering one kiss. And then a second. And a third. By the time he hit number five, Remus closed his eyes. By number eight, he had stopped sniffling. And by number fifteen, Remus was asleep again and Sirius pulled back immediately to wait again.