Title: Who Needs Enemies?
Fandom: Harry Potter
Disclaimer: In the beginning, JKR made the puppies and they were good. And then the fangirls came and slashed the puppies, and they received no compensation for their fanfic, and that was good.
Summary: Sequel to “With Friends Like These”. Sirius is sick, miserable, and a little depressed. The other Marauders watch over him.
Sneezefic Annual Challenge Bunnies: #15
Author's Notes: Sequel to “With Friends Like These”. I thought about writing them as just two parts in one story… but I think they work fine as two short stories.
Feedback: Of course, I would love some.
Who Needs Enemies?
Remus left James and Peter behind in the Gryffindor common room and mounted the stairs towards the dormitory two at a time. His steps were larger but slower, and he got there at just about the time he would have if he'd walked up to the dormitory room like normal.
What he found when he arrived, was Sirius sitting on the bed they shared, hunched over and sneezing repeatedly into a handkerchief he held right up to his face, muffling the sound. “hrshff! Ershphh! Huh-rshph! Hmchfff! ehhshh! hrkufff! ershphhh!”
The door closed behind Remus, and Sirius lifted his head momentarily. The sneezy expression on his face was there for a moment as his squinting eyes met Remus', then Sirius lowered his head back to the handkerchief.
“herShmm! rShufff! errChiff! herShuphh!” He paused, rubbing his nose into the handkerchief for just one second, then resumed with his sneezes. “heh-EH-shrphh! Ehshmm! hehShfff! Ehh, ehh-EHrshffff!”
Remus walked over to him, taking his time as the sneezes were clearly going to last a while. He shuffled his feet and kicked at one of Sirius' shoes which lay in the center of the room, sending it closer to the bed.
“heh-heh-EHShfffff!” He blew his nose powerfully and straightened up a little.
“If I bless you, will you snap at me?” Remus asked.
Sirius shook his head, still blowing his nose. “Course not.”
“Well…” Remus stood next to the bed now. “Then bless you. A couple dozen times. Not that you're sick, of course.”
Miserably and sniffly, Sirius gave him a grateful smile. “Right,” he said. Then, just a breath later. “I'm so sorry I kissed you, Moony.” He stretched his arms out for a hug, which Remus moved into, wrapping his arms around Sirius.
“I just got over a cold, Sirius. I'm probably immune to it.”
“Either that, or we'll end up giving it back and forth to each other.”
Remus hugged him tightly, feeling Sirius snuggle into his chest. “When has that ever stopped your Remy, hmm?” Remus reached over and his hand closed around the pajamas.
“ehh-Hrshoo!” Sirius agreed with a sneeze and a nod. Then he held his arms up, letting Remus strip off his clothing, item by item. “Can we watch that… that telling thingy?”
“The tele,” Remus said, trying not to laugh. It had taken weeks, done in their bits of spare time here and there, but the Marauders had managed to smuggle a small Muggle television set into the castle and get it to work using a number of charms. When Remus fell ill last week, he had been able to watch it during the days and a little bit at night, which Sirius had enjoyed. “You're going to get hooked, you know.”
Sirius pressed a new handkerchief to his face. “erChoo! ehhhShooo! ahrshoo! erChuhh!”
Sirius made a good argument. “All right. But I'll only set it up if you get under the covers right now.” Remus dug the television set out from under James' bed and used one of the many spells they'd worked on for it to set it up at the end of the bed he shared with Sirius. While Remus sat in bed doing the rest of his homework, Sirius snuggled up to Remus and flipped back and forth through the three or four clear channels.
“Wait, wait! Hold it there.” Quill in mouth, Remus pointed excitedly at the television set and snatched Sirius' wand out of his hand so that he couldn't change the channel again. “This one's a classic, and it's just starting.” Everyone, magical or muggle, should be able to enjoy It's a Wonderful Life, after all. With just a week until the holiday, most of what was on television was Christmas programming.
Sirius sneezed and sniffled his way through the movie, finally laughing at the end when the note from Clarence was read. “Did you hear that shite, Moony? 'No one is a failure if they have friends,' he says.”
“You don't believe that?” Remus asked. Sirius' head was in Remus' lap, and Remus petted the thick black hair.
“Present company excluded… I think my friends are arseholes. Sniff, sniff, SNIFF! I mean, did you hear James downstairs? Don't know why I bother. Total arse, that one.” Sirius yawned and snuggled closer.
Remus draped his arm over Sirius, then bent over and kissed the top of Sirius' head. Sirius closed his eyes. “Maybe so, but you'd be miserable without the Marauders and you know it.” Sirius drifted off to sleep, and Remus continued to hold him close while writing the rest of his homework assignment.
James and Peter came upstairs not long after, staying as quiet as possible until they knew the situation. From the sound of Sirius' vicious snores, it was evident at least the one with the stuffy nose was asleep. They walked over to the bed and Remus smiled to see them. “He fell asleep just a little while ago. He's really not doing so well.”
“No kidding,” whispered James.
“At least he's in bed now.” Peter frowned. “But he looks kind of pale.”
“Yes he does, doesn't he?” Remus said concernedly.
James pressed a hand to Sirius' cheek. Alarmed, “He's pretty warm.”
Remus touched Sirius' forehead. “He's feverish. What's that temperature spell you guys figured out last week?”
Luckily, Peter had a fantastic memory. “Temperatus.”
Remus tapped his wand to Sirius' forehead and said the spell. A bright red spark shot out from the end of his wand, exploding into a number that indicated Sirius had a moderately high fever. “Thirty-nine-point-four.” He bit his lip.
“Hey,” James patted Remus' arm. “Sirius is a fighter. He would have won the fight downstairs for sure if he'd really wanted to.” Remus nodded, reassured. “I'm going to go get a cool washcloth for his forehead.”
“And I'll get some tea,” said Peter, transforming at once into his animagus form and scurrying across the room.
“I don't think we should wake him up to drink anything,” Remus called after the rat.
Peter stopped, wiggled his nose and whiskers, and transformed back into a young man. “The tea's for us. It's going to be a long night.” Then, again as a rat, he made his way out of the room towards the kitchens.
“You guys don't have to stay up all night,” Remus said to James.
“Have you gone mental, Moony?” James laughed. “Of course we'll stay. For you as much as for Sirius.”
Twenty minutes later, Peter and James had squeezed onto the bed along with Sirius and Remus and a tray of tea and cookies. Sirius rested calmly with the cold compress, though Remus kept his eye on him even as they watched the television. When the channels went off the air for the night, the boys turned to a pack of playing cards.
Halfway through the seventh round of poker, Sirius' fever got worse. He slept restlessly, and he looked uncomfortable. Remus stroked his cheek and whispered reassuringly to him, but that did no good. When James took his temperature again, it was Forty-point-one.
“Maybe we should go wake up Professor McGonagall,” suggested Peter. “Or Madam Pomfrey?”
Remus shook his head. Sirius was having a hard enough time sleeping now. He'd never get better lying in one of those beds in the hospital wing.” Remus didn't have a choice but stay there once a month, and was used to the stiff sheets and smell of disinfectant. After a few minutes of watching Sirius thrash about, however, Remus was double-thinking the decision. Worriedly, he used a spell to re-cool the washcloth, and bit his lip as Sirius began whimpering as he tossed and turned. Sirius' face was somehow paler, now stricken with pain. The sounds he was making grew louder- with moans added to his whimpers and snores.
Suddenly, Remus felt an arm around his shoulders and found himself being pulled into a hug with Peter. Smiling, he accepted the same from James and felt a bit better. And when they took Sirius' temperature ten minutes later, it was down to thirty-nine-point-nine.
Card games gave way to comic books and novels around three in the morning, and Remus found himself nodding off around four. His head snapped up the moment his chin touched his chest, and he rubbed his eyes wearily.
“Oy, mate,” said James, softly. “Maybe you should get a bit of rest. We can wake you up if something happens.”
Remus shook his head and yawned.
“You're just getting over being sick,” said Peter. “We wouldn't want you to have a relapse.”
“Thank you. But I'll be fine,” Remus told him, wincing.
Peter pointed out, “You don't look especially fine.”
“My arm's asleep. Erff!” Remus had to readjust himself. He felt fatigued from his lack of sleep and his body was stiff from sitting on the bed in roughly the same position for so many hours. James got up so Remus would have more room to stretch out, and Remus looked apologetic.
James waved it off. “I'll pull a chair over,” he said. “It's your bed, after all. Just get comfortable.”
Remus moved about until he felt better. He laid down on his side, up against Sirius. Then he picked up another book to try his luck with it instead. This one's plot was a bit more engaging, and the characters were more likeable. However, Remus found himself taking long blinks here and there.
After a while, Remus simply put down the book and watched Sirius, petting, caressing, kissing, and waiting for his lover to wake up again. The minutes crept by slowly- so slow that it was painful. But the thrashing and moaning had stopped, and the fever was down another point, so Remus' mood was improving as well.
Remus was almost overjoyed at daybreak when Sirius came awake. Sirius coughed and weakly called out, “Remus?”
Remus immediately flung his book aside and put his arms around Sirius, while Sirius clung to Remus' chest, burying his face there as he began to break down. There were sniffles, and Remus could tell they weren't just from Sirius' cold. “Shhh, it's all right,” Remus said softly. James and Peter were alert now, leaning closer.
Sirius shook his head. “You know who I am, right? Sniff!”
“Of course, Love.” Remus rubbed his hand up and down Sirius' back. “We all know you. We were so worried about you, Pads.”
“Thank God,” Sirius said, lifting his head to look around. “I had the most awful dream,” Sirius explained. “I was here at Hogwarts, but no one knew me. Peter-“ He looked over at Peter, anxiously. “Peter, you'd been sorted into Hufflepuff and you'd put on about twenty pounds.” Sirius' eyes moved on to James. “James, you had never tried out for the Quidditch team and you were practically betrothed Lily Evans. And Remus…” He looked up at Remus, hurt and confusion on his face. “No one knew you were a werewolf, and so no one kept you company on full moon nights with the animagus transformation. Absolutely no pranks, no fun, no map. And Remus… you were dating Snape!” He pawed at Remus' chest, nuzzling and trying to get as close to Remus as possible. “Pleeeeeeeeease tell me that was all just a dream!”
“Of course it was,” Remus soothed, holding Sirius tightly. “I'm yours.”
Sirius sighed with relief. He tensed in Remus' arms a moment later. “heh-ehh-ERShuhh! herChuhhh! KShoo!” No one blessed him, but James dug a clean handkerchief out of a pocket and handed it to Remus, who in turn passed it to Sirius. “KerChufff! HahShmphhh!” Sirius blew his nose mightily. Then he rolled onto his back and looked around at everyone yet again. “What time is it?”
James checked his watch. “Half past six in the morning.”
Sirius took in the scene before him: the tray containing empty cups and crumbs; the books and games; the sleepy, fully-dressed Marauders. After a few moments Remus saw him smile with understanding. Wordlessly, he sat up. He kissed Remus again and then held his arms out, taking James and Peter into a warm hug.