Where Melrose - Remus' home in Scotland
When Christmas, 1975
Rating/Warnings PG, none
Sirius’ tongue was sticking out of his mouth in concentration, the shiny muggle paper stuff winding around his fingers and (somehow) arms as he attempted to loop it together. He sat cross-legged on the floor, the living room rug lush and warm under his jean clad legs, knees touching the boy’s in front of him. Muggle music floated through from a tinny radio perched on the kitchen countertop, from when he had insisted turning it on when he and Remus had been helping his mother with the icing on the Christmas cake.
Sirius concentrated on finishing the paper train while his nose wrinkled in very Padfoot-like fashion, sniffing the air, the smell of ginger and cooking wafting through from the kitchen enough to make him pause on his handiwork.
“I think I love your Mother,” he said decisively, looping the paper round in an odd shaped lump and picking up a new sheet.
After a long day of playing in the snow, Remus was more than happy to spend the evening making decorations for the tree in front of a crackling fire. He glanced at Sirius' shoddy handiwork, his face contorting as he held in laughter. Looping his own paper together with ease, he ripped a small piece of tape and fixed it together. He took Sirius' paper lump and repaired it, attaching it to the growing pile next to them. He was glad Sirius had agreed to spend Christmas with Remus and his family, and although his family celebrated the holiday more muggle than magic, he was almost positive that his friend was enjoying himself. Sniffing the air appreciatively, he smiled, "I hope so, she's already threatening to adopt you." he cut himself another strip of green paper, twisting it into a loop, "Watch out." he teased.
“Well, that’d be brilliant,” Sirius teased, eyes following Remus’ deft fingers before glancing back at his own, scrunched up mess. Which, evidently, he thought looked brilliant. He licked his lips, tasting the icing from the Christmas cake he had insisted on helping decorate, the bridge of his nose smeared with the white powder, much to his blissful ignorance. “Are you going to teach me how to play cards, later?” he asked Remus, fiddling with a bit of muggle tape and managing to get it stuck to the elbow of his jumper.
"Of course." Remus replied with a small smile, finishing his last piece of the chain with a slap of tape. "We'll start slow though, you might want to learn Go Fish before Poker." The white powder on Sirius' nose, though amusing, was very distracting. Wrapping one green sleeve around his fingers, Remus brushed at his friend's nose until it was clean. "You're such a mess, Pads." he scolded fondly.
“You mean roguishly adorable.” Sirius wrinkled his nose as it was being cleaned, laughing at the white dust now on the sleeve of Remus’ jumper. “Go Fish?” he asked, tone filled with childish wonder. “Does it involve real fish?” He wrinkled his nose up yet again, wondering if Go Fish did feature real fish - then what the hell would ‘Poker’ involve? He almost shuddered at the thought.
"Perhaps if you were four you'd be adorable, now though, you're pathetic." Remus teased, scrubbing the sleeve against his jeans in an effort to remove the lingering dust. Laughing, he shook his head "No, there aren't real fish, it's more of a guessing game than anything. Honestly, it has nothing to do with fish at all." Sighing at the blot of white on his jumper, he placed the sleeve near his mouth, licking at the sweet fabric until the sugar had dissolved. "We'll play tonight, after dessert."
“As much as I love her, I think your Mum’s trying to blow me up,” Sirius said, leaning back to pat his stomach. In the space of the three days that he had been here at the Lupin’s, he had discovered that Remus’ Mum might possibly be The Best Cook Ever, and he felt like he had done nothing but eat since he arrived. “At this rate I won’t fit onto the Knight Bus. They’ll be charging me double fares.” He glanced around the room, from the fireplace, to the old but cosy furniture, to the framed pictures that looked like they had been drawn by a four year old Remus. Yes, Sirius decided, the Lupins were quite positively fantastic. “Ah. Scotland,” he sighed, peering over his shoulder at the window. The frame on the outside was slowly gathering up in snow.
"Well, that’s ridiculous, I've spent 15 years with that woman and I still resemble a string bean." Remus said, huffing indignantly. "The injustice of it! You should be grateful for your slow-as-molasses metabolism and thunder thighs. Starving Ecuadorian children could make Christmas dinners out of you. Why Sirius, you could feed a whole town. Think of it as a blessing." he preached, completely serious as always. Following Sirius' gaze to frost glazed window, his expression melting, he was glad to be home. "I hope we don't get snowed in." Remus said offhand, standing up slowly and walking over to the window, his knees popping in protest. "Last year, we couldn't get the door open and spent two days inside." Not that he would mind, come to think of it.
“Children who eat people are evil,” Sirius muttered, rising from his seat on the floor, still cross-legged as he spun around to stand behind his friend and gaze out of the window, where the snow was promptly falling sideways. “And you do not look like a string bean.” Though at this he promptly ruffled Remus’ hair, still a whole head and shoulder shorter than he was, and grinned fondly. “Two days?” he breathed, not able to imagine the thought. “But… surely you could still play in the snow..?”
Remus looked up at Sirius, glaring at him. Hopefully he would have a growth spurt, and soon. "Well of course, Sirius," Remus said sarcastically, rolling his eyes "We pried the windows open and waited for the living room to fill with snow. Dad even built a snow dragon on the coffee table."
Sirius’ eyes widened. “Did he?” he breathed, not knowing whether to believe his friend or not. Then, narrowing his eyes slightly, he cottoned on to Remus’ sarcastic tone. “Haha, very funny. Well, we’ll just have to make sure we make the most of it while we can then.”
Remus hit Sirius in the arm, "You're so gullible." he retorted, lifting the old window with some effort. Cold wind blowing in and chilling him almost instantly, Remus reached out and grabbed a handful of snow, "We could though." he began, standing on his toes and pressing the slushy mess against his friend's face, unable to reach his hair. Remus grinned.
Sirius stood still for a moment, eyes squeezed shut, expression contorted as the white slushy mess fell from his face and onto his jumper. “Nice, Moony,” he said after a long moment, eyes still closed. “That was really bloody nice.” Peeking his eyes open, he narrowed them, setting the other boy with a challenging glare before bending over the window and scooping out an armful of snow, not giving much warning before he pulled the back of his friend’s jumper open and spilled the freezing, white slush down his back.
Remus' back curled involuntarily as the snow ran down his body, slowly and painfully melting. "F-fuck!" he hissed, quickly slapping a hand over his mouth, eyes darting towards the kitchen. Shivering, he shook his jumper out, half melted slush falling to the floor in clumps. "Have I ever told you," he hissed, cheeks red, clothes damp "that I hate you?"
“Not lately, but once more wouldn’t hurt,” Sirius said with a smug grin, folding his arms. He stepped around the pool of snow that was quickly melting, careful not to get his socks wet. “Oh come off it, Moony, I’m too loveable to be hated.”
"You're about as lovable as you are 'roguishly adorable'" Remus snapped, trying to mock Sirius' tone and voice, but failing miserably. Removing one of his gray socks, he soaked up the mess with it, running his other foot over the still damp surface to dry it completely. "You're lucky I put up for you." he mumbled, removing his right sock with a 'humph'.
Sirius just grinned and patted his friend’s back, wincing a little at how cold and wet it was. Perhaps he had been too ‘playful’. “Maybe you should change that,” he suggested, wiping his now damp hand against his own jumper. “Sorry,” he added in with a cheeky smile.
Remus shot the boy a look that even a blind man would have known 'you think?' he was asking, blue eyes pointedly wide. "S'alright." he finally said, rolling his soaked socks into balls and heading for the stairs. He could never stay angry with Sirius, not that he had really been upset.
Sirius followed at Remus’ tail, bounding up the stairs behind him and grabbing excitedly at the banister as he went. He loved Remus’ room, which was so different to his own back at ‘home’.
Remus turned his head when he reached the top of the stairs, raising his brow and glancing at Sirius incredulously. "I'm just changing my shirt." he said, blinking. What was Sirius planning to do? Watch him dress?
Sirius froze in his footing, almost knocking the other boy over the process. The stood, chest to chest (or, nose to collar bone if you were to put it correctly), and Sirius pulled back a little to look at Remus with his ‘puppy eyes’. “Am I not allowed to come with you?”
'No'. Remus faltered, his mouth opening slightly. "Fine." he said, turning around and entering his bedroom. He couldn't understand why Sirius loved spending time in here; it was small, and cluttered with old photographs and knick-knacks. The quilt that his mother made him ages ago was frayed and fading, home to his old bear Georgie, who had lost and eye and (by the looks of him) was ready to lose an ear. Remus crossed the room to his dresser, opening the third drawer and rummaging through it, the faint scent of cedar chips filling the room. Picking out a plain blue jumper (too baggy for his small frame, although his aunt insisted he'd grow into it) and white socks, he scuffed his cold feet against the warm rug. "Happy?" he asked, closing the drawer and turning to Sirius.
Sirius picked up Georgie as he slouched down across the bed, feet hanging off the side. He turned the bear to face him and frowned. “What do you think, Georgie?” he asked it in a serious voice, leaning in to press his ear against the stuffed animal’s mouth. “Uh huh, uh huh. Yes, I think Mister. Moony is being a grumpy git, too.”
Remus closed the space between himself and the bed, grabbing his beloved bear from his friend's grasp. "Leave Georgie out of this." he hissed, blushing pathetically a moment later once he realised what he had said. "It's a bear, Sirius, he- it can't speak." he said frantically, trying to erase his previous words, although he never let go of the stuffed animal.
“I think you just offended him, mate,” Sirius said gravely, nodding towards Georgie’s blank, bear-face. “That look says it all.” He shook his head and swung his legs off the end of the mattress, propping himself up on his elbow.
Remus rolled his eyes, plopping his bear back on the bed and resisting the urge to kiss it. "Animal magnetism?" he asked with a smirk, leaving the room to go change his clothes.
Sirius barked a laugh as Remus left, before pursing his lips and peering around the room curiously. “I dunno, Georgie,” he murmured under his breath, pulling himself up off the bed, squinting at the photos scattered over the wall above Remus’ bed posts. He licked his lips, smiling, taking in the strange muggle frozen prints - the four marauders in the dorm - right before the summer holidays last year, himself - crouched over his homework as he sprawled across his bed, James and himself - the former blinking just as the flash went off and Sirius with his arms around his neck from behind, himself - again, in the middle of talking, another one of Sirius - lounging by the tree and looking out into the lake. Sirius frowned. It might have just been his over-looking, but there seemed to be an awful lot of just Sirius, in ratio to any other photo. He grunted, leaning forward and raising an eyebrow at the image of himself sprawled out by the lake, mouth hanging open as he slumbered under the summer sun.
"That was the day before exams, in our third year." Remus interrupted from his place by the door, now dried and changed, his hair sticking up from the static still running through his jumper. Following Sirius' gaze to the picture of him snoring by the lake. He had been snoring, quite loudly, Remus remembered fondly.
Sirius squinted more closely at the photo and snorted, before his eyes trailed upward, then widened. “Moony, you dog!” he gasped, taking in the photos of a certain red-haired, green-eyed girl. “Prongs’ll kill you!” His eyes cast over a particular photo where Lily was doing her homework, the red sweep of her hair barely brushing the book she was reading, shy smile curling at the corner of her lips as she looked downward and away from the camera. He wondered if Remus fancied her, too. And also wondered, why the hell he never told him if he did.
"Doubtful." Remus said simply, sitting on the edge of his bed and sending up a small prayer of thanks that his friends could be so blissfully ignorant. Curling his feet underneath him, he sighed. "You can take some of them, if you'd like." he offered, nodding his head towards the still and glossy collage.
“Are you sure?” Sirius asked, even as he was plucking off one of Remus, who was too close to the camera, and James laughing in the background. He actually remembered taking this one only a few months ago, the only time Remus had allowed him to touch his camera. It was blurry and out of focus - but he liked the way Remus looked - flustered and aggravated, ready to snatch the camera from Sirius’ fingers. It sent unusual warmth throughout his stomach. He wanted to keep it.
Remus nodded, "Especially that one. It's awful." he teased.
“I like it,” Sirius said, a smile curling at the corner of his lips. He sat down on the bed next to Remus and looked at the picture in his hands. “You look all… ruffled. Not like you.”
Remus laughed, no it certainly didn't look like himself. Perhaps that was why he had kept it, displayed with the rest of his pictures. "You only like it because you took it." he said, still smiling.
Sirius shrugged, a half shrug with one shoulder and grinned. He actually wanted it because he liked the way Remus looked in it, but he didn’t say that out loud. “It’s good for someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing,” he replied fairly.
"It's not terrible." Remus admitted, although secretly that picture was one of his favourites because it had been captured by Sirius. Besides, he kept his negatives in a box under his bed, he wouldn't be losing that picture after all.
“How terribly diplomatic of you, Moony,” Sirius replied dryly, pouting. “I like it. I like you in it. It’s the only time I’ll get you flustered and flailing - when I’ve got my hands on your camera.”
Treasure it, because James will marry Lily Evans before I give it up again." Remus said seriously, having learned from his mistakes. "You'll just have to deal with 'Mister Moony, the grumpy git' for the rest of your life."
“You say that like it’s a bad thing!” Sirius said, wrapping his arm around Remus and giving him a playful squeeze. He looked at the photo once more before leaning up and slipping it into the back pocket of his jeans. Once he got back to school, he would slip it between the pages of his old History book, keep it there, keep it safe.