Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: G, but with slash
Disclaimer: JKR, not me. I'm just playing.
Summary: Take one Snape and one Lupin, throw them into a cabin together, add a cold, and stir.
Notes: Written for Weekly Hatching #135 General- Include the line: "And it's beginning to snow". Prefer a cold-fic. Must be written in one hour.
The metal tray was bare and shiny as Remus laid a placemat on its surface to keep things upon it from sliding about. On went the teapot, teacups, the sugar bowl, the honey bottle, the spoons, the biscuits, and the napkins. Remus gripped the handles tightly on both sides, and the coldness of metal against flesh sent a shiver through his him. His chest puffed up with a deep breath as he carried the tray from the kitchen to the bedroom.
Severus Snape sat upright in bed, squinting at the book he held too close to his face. An old patchwork quilt came up to his waist, and three pillows just separated his back from the cabin wall.
“You are going to kill your eyes holding it that close,” Remus muttered, glancing at Severus as he set the tray on the nightstand.
“Yes,” said Snape, with the edge to his voice. “But I can't see it otherwise.”
“You might try turning on a light,” Remus said, moving for the lamp switch.
Snape lifted his head, glaring at Remus over the book. “Don't you dare!” Even though it was getting late in the day and the sky was filled with clouds, there was still enough light coming in through the window to illuminate the pages. “My head hurts dreadfully, and it gets worse when there's light.” He lifted his hand and scrubbed his furrowed forehead with his thumb and forefinger.
“Ah, I see,” said Remus, steering away from the lamp to pour tea and fix the cups as each liked it. “There's a headache now, is there?” Remus had a feeling that it had been caused by the close-reading as much as anything else, but he wasn't going to say that to Snape, by any means.
“Bloody well right there's a headache,” Snape snapped. He dropped his hand down and reached for the handkerchief, lying, crumpled, upon his lap. “hhh… h'eh… H'eh-EHPShxxxt!” After mopping his nose relatively dry, he took the teacup Remus offered him. Snape sipped the tea, then pulled away, making a face and inhaling with a sharp hiss around clenched teeth. “Too hot!”
Remus sat down on the edge of the bed. “Then let it cool,” Remus said, cradling his own mug in hand at roughly chin-level and blowing across the surface.
“I hate waiting,” Snape grumbled, looking around. “Where's my wand?”
“Oh, no,” chuckled Remus. “You are not getting that back until you are over your cold.” The last time Snape had attempted a spell- a simple warming spell on the blankets- he'd ended up putting a large scorch mark in the comforter and sent its feather filling flying all over the room. With the down tickling his face and nose, Remus had managed to stifle sneezes into the crook of his arm while cleaning up. Severus, however, had not been quite so lucky. The tickling sensations against his already tickling nose had set his sneezes into overdrive and it had taken nearly a whole stack of handkerchiefs and a hot shower to calm them.
Snape looked put out, but resigned himself to wait for the tea to cool. He gave a long, drawn-out, wet sniffle and glared at Remus again. “I hate waiting almost as much as I hate this head cold itself.”
“Are you feeling any better at all?” Remus asked, between blows into his tea.
Snape looked at him squarely and coldly. “Not the least bit.” He sniffed again and launched into his list. “I still feel quite ill. My nose runs perpetually. And I feel constantly sneezy. And my throat is both scratchy and on fire. And my head throbs with pain.” He dragged his handkerchief under his nose with another awful-sounding sniffle. Then he went on. “And I run hot and cold simultaneously. And my body feels strangely tired.” He broke off with a strong “heh-EMPhshhhh!” and a “h'EhChhhh!” and a somewhat restrained “hehh-h'EHKxxxtt!”
Remus thought carefully of what to say to the man, knowing that Severus would not favor sappy sympathetic comments or casual jokes. But his complaints were not yet finished.
“And you smother me. And I am stuck here in this cabin with you. And there is no escape. And…” He looked around, trying to find something more wrong with the situation. He found it. “And it's beginning to snow.”
So it was. Remus stood and walked over to the window. Large, fat flakes fell thickly and at an angle, from the wind. At this rate, they would be completely snowbound by morning. Remus watched the snow fall, acknowledging the gentle, simple beauty outside and the warmth inside. He took a careful sip of his tea, finding it sufficiently cooled for his tastes.
Snape spoke, “I suppose you enjoy this, Lupin? h'EH-EPTShhhh!” He blew his nose into the handkerchief, rubbing the ticklish nose through the folds afterwards. Then he balled up the handkerchief and dropped it again.
Remus turned back toward the bed and took another drink from his teacup. “I do enjoy it a little, I must admit.” He sat back down. “You are the one who's ill for a change. And I am able to dote on you without much resistance. And you're completely at my disposal. And…” He smiled. “And it's beginning to snow.”
Snape coughed a little and threw back the blankets. “And this conversation is doing me no good.” He coughed again, and shivered. “Get in, Remus, or let me be.”
Remus gladly rounded the bed and took his place in it. He yanked the covers back up and snuggled into Severus' side. He bent his head and blew into Severus' tea. Then he put his hand on the bottom of the cup and guided it upward. “Drink your tea.” He watched fixedly until the man had a few sips. “Now, you watch the snow for me…” He reached over and took the book from under the handkerchief on Severus' lap. “And I shall read for you.” Remus upheld his part of the bargain, reading aloud. But Severus drifted off to sleep after just a few minutes at the sight of the mesmerizing snow, his head on Remus' shoulder.