Title: Fever 1
Fandom: Harry Potter, Marauder era
Disclaimer: Not my characters, not my world, not my millions- you get the idea
Summary: Sirius is not feeling well and depressed. Remus gets to the bottom of it.
Notes: Sooo PWP it's not even funny. I just felt like playing around a little and it didn't turn out too terribly, so I'm sharing :-) Not a lot of sneezing, though.
Severus Snape had aimed his wand carefully. With perfect form he had flicked it towards the desired target. However, Timothy Nott had anticipated the movement and sent his defense spell too early. It hit Snape squarely in the chest and sent him falling back onto the floor with a startled yell. A scattering of laughter filled the quiet classroom. And Nott, looking a bit stunned despite the defense, raced over to help Snape up.
Across the room, even Remus Lupin smiled at the spectacle. A few feet over, James Potter laughed softly. "Serves him right for picking Nott as a partner. The guy's as skittish as a rat."
"Hey!" Peter exclaimed with a squeak.
"No offense of course, Wormtail," James said earnestly. He properly blocked Peter's stunning spell without the least bit of effort. They had been told to pair off to practice both offense and defense in turn.
Remus looked over at his partner, expecting to see Sirius looking quite pleased at the sight. Instead, Sirius could not have looked less joyous. Instead of a smile and laugh, he looked depressed. Instead of an insult to Snape, there was only silence. Remus lowered his wand at once and quickly walked to Sirius, covering the distance in seconds. "What's the matter?" he asked concernedly.
Meeting Remus' eyes, Sirius shook his head and shrugged. "Nothing."
Remus narrowed his amber-brown eyes and cocked his head. Sirius not laughing to see Snape thrown back and sprawling upon the floor? "Like hell there's nothing wrong. Come here." He grabbed Sirius by the tie and pulled him an inch or two closer. He ignored the dreamy 'kiss me' look on Sirius' face and, instead, pressed the back of his hand against Sirius' forehead. "Padfoot?" he said, making his fellow Gryffindor open his eyes again. "Do you realize you're running a fever?"
"What?" Sirius said, looking rather confused. "No I'm not."
"You are," Remus insisted. "You've got a fever." He called over to James and Peter. "Come here and feel this."
"Moony!" Sirius whined softly, pleadingly. But his other two best friends came over and placed their hands on his face in turn.
"You do feel pretty warm," Peter said truthfully.
"You definitely have a fever, Mate," James agreed, comparing Sirius' forehead to his own.
"But I can't," Sirius insisted, shaking his head. "I can't be sick right now. And I don't feel sick. Maybe a little tired and achy, but not..." He stopped as he evaluated himself for a long minute.
Remus smiled sympathetically. "You feel sick, don't you?"
Dejectedly and resignedly, Sirius nodded.
"All right," Remus said decisively. "I will go speak with Professor Flitwick and take you to the hospital wing."
"Moony," Sirius pleaded softly. "I might feel a little sick but not that bad."
But Remus, looking determined, had already turned and headed towards their Charms professor.
Sirius walked over to the wall and leaned against it, crossing his arms over his chest. He had to admit that he did feel a bit feverish. He had felt a bit warm, but he thought that was just because it was a practical lesson in a stuffy classroom. However, there was no convenient excuse for the soft pounding in his ears, the tiny scratchiness of his throat, or the slight pressure in the back of his nose. He didn't like this.
Sirius blinked and suddenly found himself staring at Remus and Professor Flitwick standing in front of him. With a sigh, and his fingers crossed in his pockets that Snape wasn't watching, he bent down and allowed the professor to feel his forehead. "Mmm," Professor Flitwick said with a nod. "Absolutely. You definitely have a fever. You are excused from the lesson, Mister Black. Mister Lupin will walk you to the hospital wing but then he is to return to class as soon as you are settled."
Remus and Sirius both agreed, and Sirius hung his head, hoping his hair hid his face from the rest of the class. Normally he wouldn't mind them all staring at him, but not just now. He felt bad enough already, and not just because he felt ill.
Sirius was strangely silent as they walked down the halls and stairways towards the hospital wing. He shuffled his feet, stayed to himself, and kept his eyes on the stone floor. Even when Remus spoke and asked him questions, he said nothing.
Finally, Remus stopped Sirius in his tracks. He looked around to be sure they were alone, then squeezed Sirius' shoulder. "What are you moping about? I've seen you sick before, and you're never depressed like this. It takes a lot more than a fever to silence Sirius Black. So what is it?"
With a shrug, Sirius shook his head. "Dunno..." He looked down, avoiding Remus' eyes. "Dunno."
Remus bent at the knees, lowering himself so as to catch Sirius' gaze. Once caught, he held it. "I think you do know," Remus said, his voice softer but still full of concern.
Sirius shrugged again and closed his eyes, avoiding Remus again. "I can't be sick today."
"Ah, but you are," Remus reminded him. "So get over it. It's not life and death, Sirius, it's just a little fever and a cold, right?"
"Just a cold," Sirius agreed. But Sirius didn't seem to sure about the rest of Remus' statement.
"So then what's wrong?" Remus asked, gently rubbing his nose against Sirius'.
Sirius sighed deeply, shoulders sagging, and relented. "I'm disappointed is all. Don't you remember tomorrow? We were supposed to go to Hogsmede together. You know, the way real couples do. We were going to tell James and Peter tonight that we're going to go public."
"Ah." Even though Sirius' eyes were closed, Remus tried not to show his amusement. Remus was relieved it wasn't something more serious. Perhaps it was his fever that was causing him to overreact. "And if you're sick and stuck in hospital, we can't possibly do that."
"Well..." Sirius did not know how to answer. It was true they didn't exactly need a reason to tell the others; they could do that any time they'd worked up their courage. But he had so been looking forward to a trip to Hogsmede. Holding hands with Remus as they walked down the streets, kissing him when everyone could see. It had taken nearly a year to get to this point and Sirius wasn't sure he could sustain his courage much longer. If they didn't do it now, they might never. "I wanted to go with you." He rubbed a little at his itchy nose, suddenly remembering he was sick and wondering if that was why this matter seemed like life and death when he knew it wasn't.
Sirius opened one eye, peeked at Remus' reaction. Remus was not smiling, though it was a struggle. Sirius gave a small cough, suddenly aware of how scratchy his throat actually felt and how much he needed to cough.
"We'll do it another day," Remus reassured him. He stroked Sirius' throat softly. "But nothing is more important than your health." He pressed the back of his hand to Sirius' forehead and smiled. "And your fever's not getting any better standing here in the hallway."
Sirius nodded, unable to argue with that.
Taking Sirius' hand and squeezing it tightly, Remus pulled him onward. Sirius stopped a few moments later, cupping his hand to his face. "Need a...?" Remus didn't need to finish his sentence. He knew Sirius never carried handkerchiefs. Remus dug his out of his pocket and handed it over for Sirius to sneeze and then cough into. "See? Told you there was something wrong." He slipped his arm around Sirius' bent one and they continued down the hallway.
Remus knew the hospital ward intimately, and Madam Pomfrey had a sort of radar when it came to him. She was immediately drawn over and felt Sirius' forehead. "You've got a fever, Mister Black," she declared, guiding him over to a cot.
"So I've been told," Sirius said, sitting down and clearing his throat.
"Well, it's nothing too terrible that a potion and a few days of bed rest won't cure," Madam Pomfrey assured him. Then she looked back at Remus. "Thank you for seeing him here safely. If you're feeling well, yourself, then that will be all, Mister Lupin."
Remus nodded. But he waited one second more, hovering a few feet from the cot. And, when Madam Pomfrey had her back turned towards the medicine cupboard, Remus bent down and kissed Sirius. It was a small kiss, really only a swift peck on the lips. But it was more than they'd ever shared out in public. It made Sirius grin blushingly, though with already fever-flushed cheeks it was hard to tell. "I'll come by and see you after classes," Remus promised. Sirius nodded back, still smiling.