Title: Desperation and Pleasure

Author: tarotgal

Fandom: Harry Potter

Rating: PG

Parings: Sirius/Remus

Spoilers: none

Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns Harry Potter and all the other concepts and lovely characters. I write this only in fun, I mean no harm, I get no money from this.

Summary: There are times when you're so desperate for pleasure that you'll do just about anything to get it. And Sirius is desperate. (Set in their year 2)



Desperation and Pleasure



     Sirius cocked his head, watching the black-haired boy sniffle and rub a finger under his nose before pushing his glasses back up his face and returning concentration to his homework. With a surge of excitement, he raced across the room and launched himself onto the desk, sending James' books and papers flying. He lounged across the desk, grabbing James' quill from him. "Forget the work," he said in his normal playful tone.


     James rolled his eyes and sniffed again. "Come on, Sirius. I'm behind as it is with this ruddy cold. I don't have time to play right now."


     "You had time to go to Quidditch practice," Sirius reasoned.


     "Yeah, and it didn't help my cold any. Out flying in the cold rain and all that, did it?" He sighed. "I should have listened to Peter on that one."


     Sirius shrugged. He didn't really care. He just didn't know how to lead into what he wanted to say. However he said it, it wouldn't be easy. And there were parts of it he just couldn't say at all. "Look, Jamie... we've been best mates a long time now, right?"


     Sensing that the other boy's serious tone meant this was about something more than boredom, he let his homework sit on hold. "Practically forever," James agreed. Though forever in a twelve year old's view equated to only about ten years.


     Holding his breath with anticipation as he asked, "Then will you do me a favor? As a mate?" James knew better than to promise him a favor without first knowing what it was. He waited for Sirius to explain, though had not counted on how absurd a request it turned out to be. "Sneeze on me?"


     Had James been drinking, he probably would have spat a mouthful over Sirius. It was both of their good fortunes that he had not. "Excuse me?"


     "Sneeze on me," Sirius repeated. "So I can catch your cold. I've been desperately trying since yesterday to catch one. Sat outside in the rain for an hour today--"


     "That's why you wanted to go see our practice this afternoon?" James said in with disbelief.


     "And I've been eating nothing healthy and sleeping with wet hair and--"


     "Sirius!" James exclaimed, grabbing the boy by the chin and forcing his eyes up to meet James'. "What on Earth are you going on... about..." his breath caught in his throat. Quickly his head snapped down and to the side. "ahhhSChooo!"


     "There, like that!" Sirius exclaimed with a laugh, pulling away from James' hold. "Come on... please? Do it for a mate?" He was desperate, after all. Time to pull out all the stops. He sat up, bending his arms to his chest and letting his hands flop down loosely at the wrists. He stuck his tongue out, panting. "Pleeeeease, Jamie? I'm begging you!" Then he put on his best puppy-dog pout, which was better than gold.


     Stunned, James wasn't sure what was going on, let alone what he should do. "I don't know," he said softly. "This is absurd. Why do you want to catch my cold so badly?"


     At this, the great Sirius Black blushed. He looked down again, dropping the dog act. "I just do, all right?" he whispered.


     But James shook his head. "Nothing doing. I don't want you getting sick, and heck, I don't want it to be my fault if you do. Now if you're not going to tell me what all this is about I..." his voice died away again, nose twitching with the tickling of an oncoming sneeze.


     Before he could turn away to sneeze, Sirius grabbed him by the tie. Sirius pulled James close and forced his mouth against James' in a long but inexperienced, sloppy kiss. He pulled back with a grin. James' sneeze had since retreated at the shock of it all. "Thanks, Mate. You can go back to your homework now if you like." Sirius grinned, licking his lips. He jumped down from the table and swaggered away, humming to himself.


     James blinked then dragged his sleeve over his mouth a few times. It wasn't so easy to go back to his homework now, or do anything other than just sit in shock of it all. His first kiss. From his very best friend nonetheless. And from a bloke! And with tongue... where exactly had Sirius learned to do that? With a little shudder he got up, ignoring the mess of parchment and books that were scattered over the desk and floor, and headed straight to the lavatory to brush his teeth.


*                      *                      *


     Sirius' head began to hurt brilliantly around dinner time. He excused himself from the table without eating much, not feeling very hungry either. Peter, who out-ate Sirius but usually only by a close margin, was quite concerned at this. But Sirius said nothing as he headed upstairs and retired to bed.


     The night was a long and hard one for Peter, who was being kept awake by the incessant sounds of sneezes or coughs coming from one side of the room or the other. He finally resorted to sleeping with a pillow over his head. When he wasn't sneezing, Sirius, on the other hand, slept again with wet hair and a grin.


     When Sirius woke in the morning, he felt absolutely miserable. Every bit of him ached and his head was filled with congestion. Peter had his hand to Sirius' forehead, and James was hovering over him with a box of tissues at the ready for him. Sirius was still grinning. His head swam with fever, and he felt the need to pull off his shirt to cool himself down but knew that would only make him shiver. He snatched a tissue from James' box and quickly held it up to his face. "ehhhIhshhhh! EhhSchhhhh!" He blew his nose, still grinning.


     "You'd better go visit the hospital wing," Peter suggested, looking down at him, worried.


     "You think so?" Sirius said as though this idea had been the furthest from his mind, sitting up and rubbing the back of his neck. Then his head snapped down for two more lovely sneezes. "ehhhSchhhhh! ehhh-IhhSchhhhh!" Oh how perfect they sounded!


     "You really don't look so well," James added, shoving a fresh tissue into Sirius' hand. "You should go have Madam Pomfrey look you over to be sure you haven't caught anything worse."


     Reluctantly, Sirius stood. He pulled his scarlet bathrobe on and slipped his shoes onto his feet. "I guess you're both right," he said, sounding resigned. "Don't bother escorting me, I'll be... heh... fine... hehh-SCHhhhh!" He sniffed and rubbed his nose with the tissue James had given him. He nodded to them both and headed down right away.


     Sirius ran at every opportunity he had, wishing he had some sort way to know who was coming around the corner. As it was he just had to slow down every time he got to a corner or a blind turn in the hallway to be sure none of the teachers caught him running. He did use a secret passage he had discovered with the others last year that helped him get down to the main floor much faster. But it still seemed like an eternity to him before he finally got there.


     "Ohhh, look at you!" Madam Pomfrey called from across the ward. She got up and came towards him, and Sirius could see the scruffy, brown-haired, bandaged boy in the bed whose side she had just left. "Well, well. Looks like a bad cold, Mister Black. But I'd better check you out to be sure," she said, putting a hand to his forehead like Peter had done. "I daresay you're running a fever. You're all hot and flushed. Go take off your shirt and lie down in bed while I fetch some things to examine you with."


     He nodded obediently and headed straight over to the bed he knew he wanted. Remus was smiling at him so broadly Sirius had a hard time not stooping down to give him a whisper or a kiss or something of that sort. "What is it this time?" Remus asked in but a whisper, though his voice bounced with excitement. "Another broken arm like last month? Or a sprained ankle like the month before?"


     Sirius shook his head and sniffled wetly. "Head cold," he stated proudly. "ehhSchhhhh!" He rubbed at his nose. Remus looked both impressed and sympathetic.


     Sirius sat down on the empty bed beside Remus' and stripped off his bathrobe and shirt in a showy display, revealing the beginnings of a good build that he took great pride in. But before discarding the items of clothing, he pulled a note from his bathrobe pocket and passed it to the excitedly smiling Remus. Remus read it quickly, then reread it. He then jumped up from his bed, bandages and all, and leaned over to kiss Sirius on the cheek. "You utterly adorable romantic, you."


     Sirius beamed. Remus folded the note back up quickly and slipped back into bed just as Madam Pomfrey returned. She changed one of Remus' bandages, which had bled through, then turned her attention to Sirius. He endured the usual pokes and prods and tried not to sneeze in her face when she stuck the tip of a light into his nose to inspect it more closely. He managed to pull away just in time. "ehhhChshhhhh! ehhhCHIHshhhh!"


     "Bless you," both Madam Pomfrey and Remus chimed. Sirius smiled in appreciation for the sentiment, though cast his eyes over to Remus the moment he could to relate more than mere thanks.


     "Looks like just a very bad cold," Madam Pomfrey said finally. "But as you're running a fever and there's a bit of a rasp in your breathing, I'd like to keep you here today for observation to be on the safe side."


     Sirius sighed, trying to look terribly disappointed. "Well, I guess if I have to..." he sniffed weakly and sighed. "But I was supposed to hand in an essay today in charms. Could you send word to my roommates and have one of them turn it in for me?"


     "Of course!" She said, reaching down and patting his head. "You're such a good student." She gestured to the cups she'd brought over and set on the small table between their beds. "Some tea for each of you. It will help you sleep for a few hours. I daresay you both look exhausted." She never explained to Sirius what was wrong with Remus, but somehow she seemed to know Sirius already understood. "I'll check back with you in a couple of hours. But if you wake sooner and need me, just call."


     "Sniff, sniff! Thank you so much, Madam Pomfrey," Sirius said charmingly, rubbing his runny nose with another tissue. She smiled and left them alone.


     Remus and Sirius both took the cups, identical smiles on their faces. "Cheers!" they toasted, clinking the cups together before retreating back under the blankets of their respective beds.


     "How're you feeling?" Sirius asked concernedly, after the first sip of tea. "It looks like it was a really hard night for you," he said softly.


     Remus nodded, taking a good gulp of his tea and making a face at the bitterness. No sugar. The potion he was given every morning after his transformations contained a trace amount of wolfsbane and any sort of sugar counteracted the potion's healing effects. "It was a bad night," he explained. "So cold... so lonely." He wasn't very used to complaining about his transformations. Until Sirius figured it out, he had had no one he could talk to about it apart from Madam Pomfrey and his parents when he had been younger. In his childhood he had learned to put on a brave face about it, and after many long, grueling full moons, he had learned to simply endure the pain. It was all the other things that really hurt him now. Being away from his friends, being different, being secretive, being alone and freezing to death at night in that shack while the villagers pounded on it, thinking there were ghouls or ghosts inside.


     Sirius whimpered like a puppy. "I wish I could have been there to help you. I would have sat by your side and held your paw all night until it passed." Then, before Remus could say anything, "I promise you I'll find a way to help you through it. No matter what it takes, I'll figure something out." Of this, Remus had no doubt. After all, it was another morning after and here was Sirius again at his side even though the ward was restricted for his privacy. "But I'll warm you up now, if you like," Sirius said with another grin, holding an arm out. He directed a few coughs into his shoulder. "If you don't mind my having a little head cold, I mean."


     Checking to be sure Madam Pomfrey was back in her office, Remus got out of bed and Sirius followed suit. Each pushed his bed closer to the other's until they were touching. Then Remus pulled out a roll of tape he had nicked when Madam Pomfrey had been bandaging the large scratch on his leg. They taped the bedframes together securely, then climbed in. There was a great nest of blankets and sheets and two warm bodies snuggled together beneath when they finally got comfortable.


     Sirius held him gently but warmly, careful to mind every last bump, bruise, scrape, and scratch. Remus rested his head on Sirius' chest, feeling warm and protected in the boy's arms. When he heard Sirius' breathing break irregularly, he reached back behind the bed to the nightstand and grabbed Sirius a tissue. And when Sirius was done sneezing, he massaged Remus' shoulders gently to make the boy feel less sore.


     "She's going to start getting suspicious one of these days," Remus whispered up to Sirius.


     Sirius shook his head. She'd even seen them snuggling in the same bed like this and hadn't looked like anything was wrong. "This is what, number five? You'd think she'd have figured it out by now if she was ever going to. And I'm sure James and Peter will figure it out long before she does." His breaths hitched and Remus grabbed a tissue from the table behind them, putting it up to Sirius' face just in time. "ihhhChshhhh! ehhh-heh-EhShhhh!" He took the tissue over with a smile. "Besides, I can't help it if I just happen to catch a cold and need you to warm me up." He grinned and kissed the top of Remus' head tenderly.


     "It's your charm, you know," Remus said. "That Sirius Black charm that's impossible to resist."


     "Is that why you fell for me?" Sirius asked.


     "Just one of the many, many reasons," Remus replied. "So how are you feeling?"


     He sniffled wetly and coughed to clear his throat. He looked quite sick and miserable but smiled. "Never better." He sniffed again. "And you wouldn't believe how long it took me to catch this cold." He left out the part about kissing James... and left out the part about being able to stay in bed with Remus all day now and take care of him properly. Remus didn't need to know the former and already knew the later.


           Smiling, Remus closed his eyes. "I think that tea is kicking in. You?" Sirius was already in the middle of a fierce yawn, but nodded. Remus reached a hand up and plumping Sirius' pillow to give his head more elevation to help with his congestion.


     "Sweet dreams," Sirius whispered, hugging Remus close. He was tired, yes, but felt a bit too stuffy to fall right off to sleep the way Remus did. "hmph! ehh'mph!" He stifled into his shoulder. He certainly didn't want to sneeze and wake Remus. So he settled for sniffling into a tissue and running his hand through Remus' hair, gently petting, feeling protective of his friend. Remus smiled in his sleep, snuggling up closer to Sirius. There were no dreams in the world that could be sweeter than what he had right now.