Rating: PG (for swearing)
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Challenge & Summary: Challenge SS#05: Who knew that one of our boys had allergies during the springtime? There was definitely, Remus decided, something wrong with Sirius. Of course, there were alot of things wrong with Sirius but, at the moment, the problem with Sirius was that, for once, he wasn’t doing any of these things.
Author Notes: In responce to Spring/Summer challenge 5: Allergies.
There was definitely, Remus decided, something wrong with Sirius. Of course, Professor McGonagall, for example, would have told him there were several things wrong with Sirius Black, who was loud and constantly energetic, who always turned up to Transfiguration without his tie, even when she had seen him with it ten minutes before hand and who, even at the age of twelve and a half, knew that a handsome smile would get you out of most difficult situations. But, at the moment, the problem with Sirius was that, for once, he wasn’t doing any of these things.
Remus had known Sirius for almost nine months now. In his first month at Hogwarts Sirius had been surly and distant until one day James Potter had finally snapped in the middle of the common room and hit him as hard as he could. To his credit, Sirius had never told James this was not very hard and had instead hit James in return and Remus had watched in horror as a full blown fight between two people he would later have to share a room with started taking place on top of what were, surely, priceless antiques, until Sirius had rolled away, grinned and declared it a draw as James staggered to his feet wiping blood from his eyes, but strangely also smiling. From then on, with James’ help and guidance, Sirius had blossomed, becoming the bane of Minerva McGonagall’s classes and almost unrecognisable as the boy who had scowled under the sorting hat.
But for some reason, about a week ago, he had stopped smiling wickedly and laughing and charming Peter’s soap so that it made him more dirty instead of less; Remus had even overheard him tell James to sod off and leave him alone when James had enquired whether he wanted to go outside and bewitch the spring puddles to throw themselves over passers-by.
“I think he’s gone mad actually,” James had confided to Remus afterwards. “Did you see him in Transfiguration today? That’s just not normal.”
Remus had and, like James, he had noted that not only was Sirius wearing his tie, but that his shirt was tucked in, almost absentmindedly. He had also answered McGonagall’s questions correctly and quietly and transfigured his feather into a hat pin before Lily Evans had even managed to make hers silver.
“Are you up for the puddles?” James asked, hopefully, presumably unwilling to let a good idea go to waste just because Sirius was sulking. “I promise we won’t get caught.”
“That’s what you said about drawing moustaches on the nuns,” Remus reminded him. “And it’s been three weeks since that detention and I still smell like armadillo bile.”
“Oh, so that’s what it is,” James said, grinning rather than looking appropriately sorry. “I thought it must be some weird aftershave, my dad wears something that smells just as bad. Well, if you’re sure-”
“I’ll go and find Peter then. He’s always up for a bit of well supervised mischief.”
“He’s down in the library,” Remus told him helpfully, well aware that Peter, who did not smell like armadillo bile, would be thrilled at the idea of doing anything with James and without Sirius.
“Cheers,” James said. “In return for your sage council I advise you to avoid the walk down to Herbology for a bit.”
“I hadn’t planned on going down there until Herbology tomorrow,” Remus assured him. “Will I still be in danger of serious splashing then?”
James grinned happily. “You’ll have to wait and see.” His face clouded. “If Pete can manage his part, that is. Try and buck Sirius up whilst I’m away, nobody else is quite as good really.”
“Thanks, James,” Remus said.
“What for?” James, who didn’t yet realise that other people who weren’t as intelligent as he was would mine him pointing this out, asked.
Remus smiled and leaving James to pull on his large green wellies and trudged upstairs to their dormitory, where several long scarlet curtains concealed the room’s fourth bed and announced that Sirius Black was home, but not receiving visitors at the current time. Remus dropped his books loudly on the floor and coughed several times so Sirius would know who was there and could choose to acknowledge him or not, depending on how angry he was feeling.
There was silence and then a slight sniffle and Remus said, “Sirius, are you crying?” hoping, rather selfishly, that he was, because otherwise he, Remus, was about to find out what it felt like to be hit very hard by someone who knew what that meant.
“No,” said a voice that sounded like Remus expected Sirius’ would if Sirius happened to be buried under a large pile of cushions with a clothes peg on his nose. “’Go ‘way.”
Remus opened his mouth to say “ok,” and heard himself say “are you alright?”
“I’b fine,” the strange, clothes-peggy, cushioned Sirius said. “bow, go away before I make oo.”
“Ok,” said Remus, staying where he was. “Make me.”
There was silence from the curtains and then Sirius said, “Go away, pease, Remoos.”
Aware that he wasn’t actually being hit repeatedly yet, Remus tried again. “Do you want to talk about it?”
“’bloody ‘ell, no!”
“I think you need to,” Remus said, thinking of his mother who had often entered his room after his transformations with Remus shouting similar things through a paralysing mist of pain. “I’m going to pull the curtains apart now.”
But by then the curtains were open and it was too late. Sirius blinked in the sudden light like a caged animal and crouched protectively over the homework he had been working on in the semi-darkness as if Remus might try and attack it. His nose was definitely red, Remus noted, as were his eyes and in fact, much more subtly, there was a whole air of misery hovering around Sirius Black in the line of his shoulders. Besides, he was doing homework that, if Remus was correct, had only been set this morning. He had been right: something was very, very wrong.
He sat down as Sirius glared at him and tried to hide pieces of parchment inside his textbook. “What’s the matter, Sirius?”
“Whad’s the matter?” Sirius snapped, nasually. “Oo. Oo are the matter, Remoos. I jus’ wanded a bid of privacy-”
“I know, dank you. I look like you with flu, which is all de bloody time.” Remus flinched. It was never flu, which he was fairly sure he was immune to. “Happy now?” Sirius demanded, wiping his nose carelessly on a large handkerchief that was probably silk, embroidered with the letters S.B. “Are oo happy? I’m ill too, now leave me alone.”
Remus laughed which was a mistake. “You’re ill?”
Sirius glared and muttered. “’ay fever. Can’d go outside in the summer or I meld into a big pile of snod.”
“There are… you know, charms,” Remus began, trying not to imagine a pile of snot as big as Sirius, “to stop that kind of thing.”
“Nod mine,” Sirius said, almost proudly. “Tob doctors said I’m incurable. My family paid ‘em enough so’s dey should know.”
“Well, I don’t believe you,” Remus said. “I’ve never heard of hay fever being incurable.”
“Well, dat doesn’t mean id isn’t true!” Sirius countered. “Oo don’ know everyding.”
“Have you been to see Madam Pomphrey about it?” Remus persisted.
“Why?” Sirius demanded. “’y family wouldn’d lie to me,” but there was doubt in his red rimmed grey eyes. “Why would dey?”
“Well,” Remus said, thinking about how carefully he would have to phrase the next sentence in order to see his own twelfth birthday. “You’ve been a lot quieter this week. Perhaps, and I’m not saying they did, but perhaps they decided it was better to have you sick and quiet, than loud and healthy.”
“dad’s the supidesd ding I ever heard,” Sirius said. “And dat includes all of James' jokes. Now, if oo’ve notdding else to say: ‘iss off.”
So Remus ‘issed off into the common room, hearing the swish of Sirius’ curtains closing around the boy again as he left. He stared out of the window for a while, watching as Peter accidentally walked into one of the puddles he and James had already charmed and listened to James’ laughter, wondering whether he didn’t rather deserve the black eye Sirius hadn’t given him.
A week later a howler arrived for Sirius. Remus had heard plenty of the exploding letters at home as they were always arriving for his father, but none of those correspondents had had quite the tone and pitch of Mrs Black, whose voice appeared to have been designed especially for reprimanding her eldest son. “HOW DARE YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT REPRIMANDING YOUR FATHER AND MYSELF!” the letter shrieked. Sirius, determinedly scruffy, was eating his cornflakes as if nothing was happening, but everyone else in the hall was looking at him now. “YOUR HOWLER ARRIVED IN THE MIDDLE OF A MOST IMPORTANT DINNER PARTY AND MRS MALFOY ALMOST FAINTED IN SHOCK AT YOUR LANGUAGE, WHICH I CAN ONLY ASSUME YOU LEARNT FROM THAT AWFUL POTTER BOY. YOUR ALLOWANCE HAS BEEN STOPPED AND IF YOU SO MUCH AS QUESTION MY ARRANGEMENT OF THE CUTLERY AGAIN I WILL ENSURE YOU NEVER STEP FOOT IN THAT SCHOOL AGAIN.”
The shouting finished abruptly and laughter and conversation sprang up again around the great hall although with less actual mirth than it had the day Sirius had sent Snape a howler, pretending to be his mother, and had accused him of being a great slimy git. James leant over to Sirius who was grinning and asked what it was he had said to such great effect and Remus returned to his porridge briefly before Sirius jabbed him playfully with a fork to get his attention.
“Hey,” he said, all signs of incurable hay fever vanished. “Thanks.”
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