Title: The First of Many Nights
Fandom: Harry Potter- Marauder's fifth year
Rating: PG13 for slash
Parings: a very new Sirius/Remus
Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns the Harry Potter-verse and its characters. I write this only in fun, I mean no harm, I get no money from this.
Summary: In which an already sick and sniffley Remus is left in the Shrieking Shack to transform and spend a miserable night alone. Or so he thinks.
Note: This fic was inspired by the image of Remus unable to smell very much of anything, even on the night of the full moon, because of a bad cold. It sort of took on a life of its own after that.
The First of Many Nights
She stood over him nervously for a moment, then shoved a handkerchief into his hand. "I know you can't use this once you transform, but in the meantime..."
He nodded, lifting it to his nose at once and wiping. "Thak you Badab Bobfrey." He blushed at his congestion and sniffled.
Madam Pomfrey always tried hard to show little emotion or favoritism towards him, but it was difficult when you had a student like Remus Lupin you were supposed to look after for a few days every month without getting attached. The boy's condition yielded additional concerns as well, including a proclivity to always catch whatever happened to be going around the school. She had never seen him so sick and miserably right before a transformation, however. It was usually the week afterwards when he caught the colds or flus or sore throats. "Take care of yourself now," she said pathetically, when all she really wanted to do was swoop down and give the boy a huge, motherly hug. But her professional demeanor prevented this.
Remus nodded. "Thak you. Add dod't worry. This isd't the first tibe I've tradsforbed sick. I dow how to hadle byself." This was true as well. He had transformed once with the stomach flu and another time with bronchitis. The wolf had not cared for either, but had taken it easy just the same, allowing him to sleep most of the night for a change. At the same time, he wasn't much in the mood to take care of himself, and she seemed to sense this. But it certainly couldn't be helped.
She gave him a sympathetic smile and left, securing the trap door lock from the outside, locking him in. Remus could feel the last rays of the sun on his skin, even though he was securely inside. It wasn't long before the moon would rise for the night. Perhaps if he started out asleep it wouldn't be quite so bad? "ehh-IHHHTchhh! Ehh-IHHKshih!" He snuffled into the handkerchief and wiped his nose. Then trudged up the stairs to the bedroom. The four poster was badly beaten, blankets torn to pieces, the wood scratched to the point of splintering. He wondered why they'd left it in the shack at all when they'd gone through and removed most of the other furniture. But he supposed it was so big that there wasn't much point in moving it. Even so, they could have managed it with size-reducing spells and transfiguring it into a breadbox or something. Maybe they just wanted to give Remus something to lie down on right before or after his transformations. And this night especially, he was very thankful for it. At least there would be one moment of comfort before the nightmare began again. "ehhh-IHHHKshhh! ehhh-IHHHShiiiihhh! IHHShhhihhh!"
Shivering, Remus pulled a tattered piece of gray blanket around him and let his head rest against the pillow-less bed. It was pounding terribly, but there was nothing he could be given to combat it, not in the form he would soon be in. Not much was known about medicating a werewolf. The magical community was either in a state of perpetual fear about or hatred of werewolves and no respectable healer would be caught purposely trying to make their lives better. What was known, however, was that most medicinal potions and remedies either made their wolf forms violently ill, or killed the werewolves the moment they transformed for the month, never to transform back. Remus was not about to take that chance for a mere head cold. "ehhh-IHHHShhehh! ehhh-IHHHTChiii! ehhh-hehhh-eh-IHHHKshuhh!" Even if it was probably a little more than just a mere head cold.
Remus jumped with a yelp, sitting back up in bed. "Sirius!" he hissed, hand to his heart. His breathing was racing, his body trembling with surprise. "You albost scared be to death!"
Sirius hung in the doorway, his charming smile working its way over to Remus to calm him down. "Aww, I'm sorry. I didn't think it was possible to sneak up on a werewolf."
"Ha!" he said, weakly. "The bressure id by head is boudig id by ears, add by dose is so cobletely stuffed ub I could't catch a sedt right dow if by life debeded od it." He sniffed in demonstration, a bit of a squeak was all that could be heard, as no air passed through. He rubbed the hanky at his nose. "Besides, I told you all I wasd't feelig ub to ad advedture todight. I thought you three wered't cobig."
"We're not," he said, hands tightening their hold on the wood of the door molding. "It's just me. And I wasn't coming for the adventure. Just to... just to make sure you were all right tonight." He smiled sheepishly, looking away from Remus. "That just made me sound utterly pathetic, didn't it?"
Remus nodded. "Good thig for you that I habbed to have ad affidity for utterly bathetic at this secod." He patted the bed next to him. Sirius bounded over enthusiastically, not yet in dog form, but Remus didn't notice the difference. Had Sirius a tail in his normal, human form, it would certainly have been wagging.
He put his arm around Remus and rubbed his hand up and down the boy's upper arm, warming him a little. "I want to stay with you tonight, every moment, taking care of you all I can and being with you when you transform back in the morning."
"Sirius," Remus breathed. Their relationship as slightly more than friends was a very new one, not quite even a week old yet, and neither really knew exactly where it could lead. They hadn't even told James or Peter about it yet, or done much more than kissed when they were absolutely sure no one was watching. And this certainly wasn't the time for a romantic, self-sacrificing speech. "Badab Bobfrey--"
Sirius finished for him, "Will have to get used to seeing it, because I don't want to ever leave you again. And now that we figured out the animagus transformation I don't have to." He guided Remus' head to his shoulder and tightened his hug. "And don't even think about protesting that I'll catch your cold because I really couldn't care less about a few sneezes when it means spending the whole night with you." He stopped and took a deep breath, eyes closed tightly. When he spoke, he did so in his usual casual tone, but the words came out slowly, as though he had to fight with himself, fearing he might say it all wrong. "Because, when you're ready of course, I want to spend the whole night with you in bed when it's not a transformation night."
Silence met this statement. Terrible, doubtful silence. Sirius risked opening one eye, squinting, peeking at Remus. "I knew it. I'm moving too fast for you?" he asked, nervously, biting his lip.
"Dot at all, Badfoot," Remus said, smiling, embarrassed at his stuffiness still. "I'd like that very buch, ac...tually."
Sirius tensed. "You going to sneeze again?"
Remus shook his head, pulling away and jumping off the bed. Better not to give the wolf a tangle of blankets he had to fight his way out of right away. He motioned to Sirius to stay where he was, and Sirius transformed at once, his eyes still as soft, worrying and comforting, even in his dog form.
The transformation began, slow at first, then speeding up. There was howling and growling as Remus' body twisted and turned, writhing in pain. Paws were hands used to have been, a snout where there had been merely a nose and mouth. A tail, fur, claws and sharp teeth on what used to be a skinny, weak human boy.
The wolf pulled itself up on shaky legs. Then his head snapped to the side. "ihhshh! ihhhshh!" It sneezed, looking up miserably towards the dog on the bed.
Padfoot jumped down, landing deftly on all fours. He walked over to the wolf and began licking the side of its face. Remus froze for a moment, then tilted his head to give Sirius a better angle. Instinctually, he made to return the gesture but then remembered at the back of his mind that he was sick. But Sirius nuzzled him, pushing him to do it, and Remus did with a bit of a whimper.
Then Sirius plopped down on the floor, his great big, black form stretched far, even when curled a bit as he was now. Remus circled him three times, sniffing his rump, pawing at his side. Then he curled up against the dog, nuzzling his hot, dry nose into the dark blank fur. As Remus the wolf rested his head on Sirius' warm, furry side and closed his amber eyes, Sirius swung a large paw up and rested it on Remus' back to keep him close. With a few gentle nips and some more licks, Remus fell asleep as he so very rarely did as a wolf.
Morning came, as it always did, but there was no light in the Shrieking Shack so it was difficult to tell exactly what time it was. Remus' body did not need the light, however. It twisted and turned, pulling at his limbs until they shook, coursing through his body until he let out a howl of pain that turned slowly into a scream. Sirius, who had seen Remus transform from human to wolf many times, had never before stayed through the night to see the reverse. And at the scream he scrambled off the bed, transforming in mid-air, and wrapped his arms around the boy until all the shaking stopped.
Remus clung to Sirius, hand clinging to his robes, face still nuzzling into him instinctively. "ehhh-IHHHKshhhhhhhh!" Sirius did not flinch a bit as Remus sneezed against him. Instead, he slid his arm beneath Remus. "No... too heavy," he whispered, his voice strained from the illness and a night of baying at the moon he couldn't see through the boards in the shack.
"Don't be silly," Sirius said, scooping him up in his arms and carrying him to the four poster bed. He wrapped Remus up in his own warmth, legs and arms mingling and hugging, the rest of his body pressed firmly to Remus' back and side. Then he wrapped what was left of the blankets around them both.
Sirius was exhausted, having marked Remus closely throughout the whole night. They had certainly slept more than usual, but the sleep was sporadic. Like a wolf on a hunt, Remus woke many times to race around the small shack, digging at the floorboards to let him out so he could run free beneath the full moon. His wolf form hadn't quite understood why Sirius wouldn't open the trap door and let him out, the way he did when Peter and James were there to play as well. Remus had whined for an hour, scratching at the trap door miserably to no avail. Then there was more running and exploring every room in the shack, though it did not understand why its stuffed nose couldn't smell properly either. In frustration, Remus howled and attacked Padfoot to release his pent-up energy. Sirius had rolled with him, letting Remus, even sick Remus, be dominant all he liked. For the playing always ended with the same licking and nuzzling sessions. No matter how violently Remus the wolf played, he always sought comfort in Padfoot afterwards, letting the big black dog soothe him back into sleep for a little while longer. And though Sirius was exhausted from a full night of this, he stayed awake in the morning, watching over Remus to be sure he slept. And instead of sending him off to sleep with licks, he did so with tender kisses.
That morning, Madam Pomfrey found Remus on the bed in a room on the second floor, curled up in the blankets with Sirius Black stroking him affectionately. At first, she had been angry. It wasn't too early to fly into a rage when it was fully justified like this. But Sirius explained that he'd snuck in to see Remus this morning, just after dawn. And that he would do nothing to jeopardize his own health or safety. Just the same, she said she'd need to draw some blood to be sure he hadn't been bitten. He certainly agreed to this, and took the look on her face to mean that if he cooperated, there was no need for anyone but them to know he'd snuck in.
"Remus," he whispered softly, pulling Remus' soft brown hair back from his ear. "Time to wake up."
Remus woke, sniffling and coughing with congestion. Madam Pomfrey had brought another handkerchief along, but Sirius already had one out, holding it to Remus' face for a blow. He blinked and smiled at Madam Pomfrey, realizing it was time to go back and not looking forward to his warm cot in the hospital wing for it meant leaving the warm nest Sirius had so perfectly made for him. Nonetheless, he allowed Sirius to help him up. He swayed on the spot weakly, again clinging to Sirius for support and surely finding it. Sirius insisted on carrying Remus back, and the boy drifted back to sleep in his arms as he did so, Madam Pomfrey leading the way back through the tunnel with wandlight.
She noticed, as she tucked the boy into his usual cot in the hospital wing, that he had significantly less injuries than usual this time. And she noticed the way he and Sirius held hands, fingers intertwined, as Sirius dozed off in a chair beside his bed, purposefully skipping breakfast to stay by Remus' side. Well, if she couldn't show favoritism and care for the boy the way she wanted, she was glad at least that he had found someone who could.