Grimwald Place loomed over Remus J Lupin like a dark wall of doom. Unpleasant, though some rather amusing, memories flashed in his mind. It’d been a very long time since he’d seen this place, and never had he stood in front of it’s doors and actually felt a spark of happiness.
He scratched his head, trying to remember the last set of encantations that would open the front door. He set down his suitcase and pulled out his wand. He moved it in various shapes, muttering spells under his breath.
The door swung open, and he breathed a sigh of relief. He was almost afraid it wouldn’t work.
A form shot out, knocking him backwards and on top of his suitcase. He groaned. “Sirius, I really wish you wouldn’t do that.”
The dark haired man jumped up, returning to human form. “It was payback for the other night,” he said with a grin, holding out his hand.
Lupin rolled his eyes. “As if you didn’t have it coming.” He slapped his hand into Sirius’ and let his friend help him up, both grunting like old men.
Remus pointed his wand at his bags and shooed them into the house, Sirius skittering behind them, and followed.
Just when Lupin moved to shut the door, Sirius grabbed his arm. “Be careful. Mum is the lightest sleeper I’ve ever known.” He gestured to the red curtain-covered painting in the living room to his left.
"Right." Lupin removed his arm from Padfoot’s grasp and shut the door, as quietly as possible. "Anyplace we can chat where your pleasant mother can rest in peace?" he whispered sarcastically.
Sirius grinned. “Right this way. Already have the tea ready.” He said the last part with a high-pitched mockery, kicking up his heels as he walked.
Moony shook his head, and once again followed the trail of Sirius’ warm, fuzzy fur coat. He raised an eyebrow, wondering exactly where the mad man had gotten it. He wasn’t sure if it was information he wanted to hear.
He choked on the dust. “I see you’ve done a rather good job cleaning up. Lovely Halloween decorations; the cobwebs almost look real.”
Sirius laughed again. Oh, his laughter. So free and light. It put a smile on Lupin’s face. It made him nostalgic for the old days.
"That’s only the beginning, my friend. This place is filled with glorious horrors of all shapes and sizes!" They entered the dining room, which, surprisingly, was dusted and cleaned.
"So you do know how to house-keep…."
Sirius shook his head, grinning. “I learn too much when I’m on my own. I actually made you tea AND crumpets!”
Lupin took a seat on one side of the long table while Sirius raced into the kitchen to go get his fruits of labor. Moony watched him go, slightly concerned despite his grand joy to see his friend.
Sirius came back, holding a silver tray with tea and crumpets and butter and honey and everything you’d expect. “I wasn’t kidding!”
Lupin met his eyes. “You haven’t slept a wink, have you?”
Sirius smiled sadly. “I haven’t slept well in over 12 years, my friend.”
Lupin laughed darkly, a single bark. “In another life I’d expect that to be followed by one of your particularly tasteless jokes.”
"Ha! In another life, I wouldn’t be serving you a midnight snack!"
Lupin grabbed a crumpet, still warm. “Well then I greatly appreciate this life we’re currently in.”
Sirius glared up from sipping his tea from it’s porcelain china cup. “Don’t get used to this.”
Lupin swallowed his bite of delicious crumpet. He tilted his head to scrutinized his friend. “I don’t get used to anything you do, Sirius.”
Sirius waved a hand in dismissal. “Right, right yes.”
Lupin felt that emptiness in their conversation. That pause where Prongs was supposed to jump in and say something witty, managing to insult them both yet stay completely neutral.
Sirius gulped down the last of his tea. “So…how’s Harry?” His eyes grew dark and concerned.
"He’s fine," Remus replied, gently sipping his tea like a true gentleman. "He will miss you dearly, though."
Padfoot scowled. “He finally finds out he’s not alone, and then I have to go and leave him. He’ll never forgive me for that.”
Lupin sighed. “He will, Sirius. He’s a lot like Lily.”
Now it was Sirius’ turn to see the light in Remus’ eyes flicker. “Yes, I know, with the fiery passion that Prongs had.” He fiddled with the cup’s handle. “I asked him to come and live with me. When all this is settled.”
Lupin smiled. “And once you’ve got every nook and cranny of this house cleaned.”
Sirius scowled. “Well I can’t promise that….”
Lupin stared at the old ceiling. Cobwebs were scattered everywhere, and their 8-legged hosts varied in all different sizes and shapes. There was a good bit of them. If Sirius planned on hosting Harry and his friends in this house, the spiders would be the first that needed to go. Ron would not be very pleased.
He was restless. An unfamiliar, uncomfortable bed. Old, bittersweet memories. The fact that he really didn’t trust to be alone in a dark house with his mischievous friend. The after-affects of the full moon.
He sat up. It was pointless to try. He buttoned his blouse back up and put on his trousers.
The dusty would floors creaked under his bare feet with every step. Where was he even going? Wandering around these halls just made him even more nostalgic.
A sudden cry made him stop. He raced towards the sound.
He barged into Sirius’ room, nearly tripping as the door gave way. “Sirius?!”
"Yes, yes, I’m fine, Remus," groaned the man through the dark. he was rubbing his eyes vigorously. "Just a dream. I’m sorry to have woken you."
Lupin leaned against the door frame, trying to calm his heartbeat. “I couldn’t sleep.”
Sirius took a deep, shaky breath.
Remus scowled. “I don’t have any chocolate on hand.”
Sirius barked a laughed. “How is bloody chocolate going to fix anything?”
Lupin shrugged. “Chocolate makes everything better.”
"You know, sometimes you honestly sound like a woman."
"Women have some very good ideas."
"Have you been with a woman yet?"
Lupin’s face warmed. “That’s a very private question.”
"To which the answer is no?"
"Why are you asking this?"
"Because it’ll get my mind off of the hell inside my head, Remus."
Lupin sighed and cocked his head to peer at his friend through the dark. “I’m sorry.”
"For what? It’s not your fault."
"I know, but I’m not sure else how to make you feel better."
"Well…" Sirius began. "We… you could….
Lupin’s face turned a maddening shade of red. “Sirius, we were kids…”
"I know! Remus, but-!"
"It’s been at least 25 years!"
"It feels like a thousand!"
Lupin’s jaw dropped. “Don’t tell me you actuallyenjoyedthat-“
"Why, yes. Yes I did."
Lupin rubbed his temples. “Look, this is just absurd.”
"Just for one more night, Remus."
Lupin shook his head. “I must be a lunatic.”
He walked over and crawled under the bed covers, warm from Sirius’ body heat. The smell was so unpleasant and familiar that is was pleasant.
He awkwardly wrapped an arm around Sirius, and Padfoot eagerly snuggled into his chest.
After the initial twisting and fussing, Lupin had to admit that it didn’t feel terrible. It was warm and safe, and the over-powering smell of wet dog made it impossible to get lost in his head.
Sirius fell asleep quickly, and began to drool onto Lupin’s clean white shirt. He frowned.
After a few more uncomfortable moments, he sighed and closed his eyes. The rhythm of Sirius’ breathing lulled him to sleep.
That night, Padfoot and Moony slept peacefully in the comfort of each others warmth.~
|| I do not own the rights to this. It takes place after Prisoner of Azkaban, which is most likely my favorite movie of all time ^w^ ||