People Sirius Loves
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Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. I do not own Harry Potter, its characters, or anything associated with it. I'm not making any money from this story, and I don't intend to.
Challenge & Summary: Challenge #5: Snowmen! Sirius, being the decidedly less eloquent of the two, tries to tell Remus he loves him through snowmen.
Author Notes: A very young Nymphadora Tonks narrates. This fic is dedicated to my cousins MS, M, B, and S. They will most likely never read it, but someday they too will learn about boys who fall in love with other boys and girls who fall in love with other girls.
Mummy gets a letter from Siriusís school. It says that heís done something bad again, and that Mummy has to come there.
Mummy is never happy when Sirius has done something bad at school, but this time sheís really angry because Daddyís at work and Mrs. Boot next door isnít home to watch me. I have to go to Siriusís school too. And Mummy doesnít want me to go, because I still have a little cold, and because itís a long trip, and because sheís already angry at Sirius, and because she says Sirius teaches me to do bad things.
We do fun things! I tell her as she buttons my jumper.
Nymphie, children your age shouldnít play with firecrackers.
But I didnít play with the firecrackers, I just watched Sirius light them, and then they flew around in the air and did loops Ė
But Mummy isnít listening to me. Sheís getting her purse, and then she says that I have to ride in the child seat on her broom because last time I tried floo powder I got sick. That was a long time ago. I think she should let me try again.
Siriusís school is called Hogwarts, and he lives in a room with his friend James and some other boys. James is the one who gave Sirius the firecrackers. One time James came to my house with Sirius and we made biscuits for Christmas. James made a gingerbread girl and called it a Nymphie Biscuit, and then he gave it some hair with pink icing. I said I didnít like the pink icing, so Sirius took it off with his finger and James gave the Nymphie Biscuit blue icing hair. I told him to do purple hair, but Daddy said we were wasting the icing.
Do I get to see Sirius? I ask Mummy as we walk down the corridor. All the older kids are in classes. I can hear their voices as we walk by the doors of the classrooms.
Yes, youíll see Sirius, she says, but she still looks like she wants to go home.
Do I get to see James?
Why not? Weíre here, and James is here, and I want to Ė
We walk up the big stone steps to Professor McGonagallís office. Itís not Professor Dumbledoreís office, and that means that the bad thing Sirius did wasnít very, very bad. Sirius is sitting on a chair by the door. I run over and jump on him.
Nymphie, please, he says, like Mummy.
You didnít comb your hair, I tell him. I climb up on his knee and touch his hair. Itís long now. It touches his shoulders.
This child, Mummy says to Sirius, has a cold. She also had to spend three hours on a broom because floo powder makes her sick Ė
Nymphie, I want you to be quiet. Depending on how long this takes I might have to reschedule the dinner reservations Ted and I had. This is the third time this year, Sirius, the third time in nearly four months, that Iíve had to come here.
Sirius puts his arm around my waist, and I lean my head against his chest. He has nice warm skin. His heart is beating very fast.
Can I see James? I ask him.
Not now. James is in Transfiguration.
Whatís Transfig Ė
Mummy acts like she didnít hear me. Sirius, this has to stop. Itís a waste of your time, itís a waste of my time, and Ė
You donít even know what I did!
He sounds angry too. I look up at his face. His mouth is open a little bit and his eyes are wide at Mummy.
If itís anything like what youíve done the last two times, and all the times in the years before this one, then I Ė
Professor McGonagall opens the door to her office. Hello, Andromeda, she says. Thatís funny, that she calls Mummy Andromeda, because Sirius is younger than Mummy and Professor McGonagall calls him Mr. Black.
Hello, Mummy says. Glad to see you, though I wish it were under different circumstances.
Hello, Nymphadora, Professor McGonagall says to me. The way she says my name scares me and I hide my face against Siriusís robe.
Say hi, Nymphie. Sirius tries to pull my face away, but it doesnít hurt.
Mummy doesnít wait for me to say hi. Sirius, you watch Nymphie until weíre finished. Nymphie, be good and stay with Sirius.
I donít get that, if he did something bad in school and she didnít want me to see him.
Professor McGonagall goes with Mummy into the office and they shut the door.
I donít get sick from floo powder, I say to Sirius. Really. That was a long time ago.
Thatís all right, Nymph, he says. I believe you.
I touch his hair again. Your hair is pretty, even if you didnít comb it.
He makes a sort of snorting sound and says thank you.
The doors to the classrooms all open and the older kids who are Siriusís age come out. They are all carrying books and they talk loudly to each other. I see a girl with very long red hair, and Ė
Nymphie, Sirius says, God, donít shout right in my ear.
Mummy said to stay with Sirius but I see James so I get off of Siriusís lap and run down the corridor. James! James!
James turns his head from the girl with red hair and sees me. Hey, Nymphie!
James, James, remember the Nymphie Biscuit?
He laughs. Yeah, I remember the Nymphie Biscuit. He looks at the girl with the red hair again, and she looks at him. Nymphie, he says, this is Lily. Lily, this is Nymphadora Tonks, sheís Andromedaís kid.
Hi, I say, but Sirius has walked over to us and he picks me up. Your mum said you were supposed to stay with me, remember?
Yeah, but I saw James!
Sirius grins at Lily with the red hair. You might have some competition here, Lily, he says.
I donít know what heís talking about but before I can ask two other boys come over. They are a bit funny because one is short and plump and the other is almost as tall as Sirius and very skinny. They both have brown hair. The tall boy puts his hand on Siriusís shoulder, next to my arm around Siriusís neck.
What happened to your face? I ask him. He has a shiny pink line that starts on his cheek and ends near his lips. When I ask him my question his whole face turns pink.
Now Sirius looks angry at me. You donít ask people stuff like that, he says, you know that, Nymphie, what is with you?
Itís okay, Sirius, says the tall boy. He has a soft voice, like Mummyís voice when she reads me stories. Itís a scar. I cut myself.
Oh. Did it hurt?
Sirius sighs. Nymphie, this is Remus.
Hi, Remus, I say as Sirius puts me down on the ground.
James tells me that the short boyís name is Peter, and then Peter is talking to James and Lily and Sirius and Remus are talking to each other. No one is talking to me.
His hair, James, it was brilliant, Peter says. Lily frowns at James and says I thought you stopped doing that to Severus.
Yeah, sheís in there with McGonagall, Sirius tells Remus. They are looking at each other and talking very softly. I have to listen hard to hear them.
How bad do you think itíll be? Remus asks.
Sirius reaches up his hand and puts two fingers on Remusís hand, the hand that is on Siriusís shoulder. Now Remusís hand is like the middle of a sandwich. I donít know, Sirius says. Reckon the two snowmen with huge cocks were a bad idea, huh?
Not to mention the snowman who recited erotic limericks.
Peter tells James and Lily that heís going to go back to the tower.
I did it for you, Remus, Sirius says.
Remus smiles and looks like he might start laughing. Even the snowman that cornered Barbara Sinclair by the lake?
Almost no kids are in the corridor anymore. I look at Professor McGonagallís office but the door is still shut.
Yeah, even that one, Sirius says.
Sirius? says James. I have to go and get ready for Quidditch practice. James has a look on his face like he is very sorry for something.
Okay, Sirius tells him.
Tell me the minute you can what happens with McGonagall and Andromeda.
James! I say. You have to go? But I barely saw you, I just Ė
Hey, itís almost Christmas, he says. Sirius is going to come over to my house, what do you say we come by your place a few days before and make some more Nymphie Biscuits?
Nice to meet you, Nymphie, Lily says but I am not really listening because Iím thinking about the Nymphie Biscuits and how I hope Daddy wonít say weíre wasting icing this time.
Now that James and Lily have left itís just me and Sirius and Remus. Remus has taken his hand off Siriusís shoulder and they are holding hands now. Mummy had to come here because Sirius did something bad in school, I tell Remus.
Yeah, I know, he says. He and Sirius look at each other and smile the way Mummy and Daddy do when one of them says something I donít understand. That bothers me. I start to think that maybe I donít like Remus.
I hear a creaking noise and I look to see that Professor McGonagallís door is opening. Mummy comes out but Professor McGonagall stays inside.
Nymphie behaved, Andromeda, Sirius says, and then I feel a little bad because I really didnít behave so well. I ran over to James when I was supposed to stay with Sirius.
Mummy has a sort of sad look and she doesnít say anything. She walks over to Sirius and gives him a big long hug. Sirius looks a little surprised but then he hugs her back and closes his eyes.
When theyíre done hugging Remus clears his throat. Hello, Mrs. Tonks, Iím Remus Lupin, he says.
Mummy looks up at the top of his head, down at his feet, and up at his head again. Hello, Remus, she says in the soft story-reading voice. Both her and Remus have that voice. Iím glad to meet you.
Iím sorry you had to be interrupted and come over here.
Iím not, Mummy says. Iím glad I did.
But you said before that it was a waste of your time, though, Mummy, how come youíre Ė
Itís all right, Nymphie. Mummy turns to Sirius. You two take good care of each other, she says. I think you two is Sirius and Remus, and I must be right, because Remus says we will, and Sirius as we will after Remus says it.
Time to go home, Nymph, say goodbye.
Goodbye, Nymphie, says Remus, and he looks so nice that I decide I do like him. Sirius bends down and picks me up very fast. Goodbye, Nymphie, see you over the holiday, right?
Right! Goodbye, Sirius.
Sirius gives me a wet kiss on the cheek and puts me down.
A very big man named Hagrid sees me and Mummy as weíre leaving and says we can use one of the school carriages to go home, and to just send it back when we get there. Mummy tells him thatís very kind of him and we get into a big carriage with no horse. Or maybe the horse is invisible, because the carriage starts moving after Mummy tells it where we live.
Iím tired. I curl up on the seat and put my head on Mummyís lap.
She starts stroking my hair. Sirius didnít do anything bad in school, Nymphie.
No, he didnít. He did something that distracted a lot of other students, but he didnít do a bad thing, not really.
She doesnít talk for a minute. Then she says You know the difference between loving a friend and being in love, donít you?
I think I do, but Iím not sure, so I say, You and Daddy are in love, right?
Yes, Daddy and I are in love. But I love Mrs. Boot next door like a friend, and I love you like a daughter.
I love you too, Mummy.
She scratches a little behind my ear, in a nice way. Sometimes, she says, there are boys who fall in love with other boys. Sirius is one of those boys.
Yes. I didnít know that until today.
I think. So, I ask after a little bit, Sirius will marry another boy?
Well, boys canít marry other boys, but when Sirius grows up heíll probably live in a house with another boy Ė man Ė and theyíll live their lives together.
Does Sirius love a boy now?
He loves Remus to be in love with, like Mummy and Daddy are, and he loves James like a friend.
What about Peter?
I donít know who Peter is.
Heís short and round and he has brown hair.
Well, I canít tell you anything about that, but if he and Sirius are good friends Iím sure Sirius loves Peter as well. Mummy brushes the curls off my forehead.
Mummy, what did Sirius do?
The carriage starts to go up a hill. Mummy bites her lip. He made a lot of snowmen, she says. He charmed them so they would walk around and talk, and they sort of, well, told about how Sirius loves Remus. They were veryÖdistracting, which is why Sirius got in trouble. Some of it youíll understand when youíre older.
She squeezes my hand. Anyway, the point is that he did it to show Remus that he loved him, and showing people you love them is not a bad thing. I donít want you to think that it is.
Mummy? James said that he and Sirius would come over to our house so that we could make Nymphie Biscuits.
Sure, they can do that.
Can Remus come too?
Yes, honey. Remus can come too.
I think for a little while. I think about how Mummy had to leave home because she loved Daddy and married him, and I think about how Sirius left home too and how he loves Remus. Then I think about how sometimes around holidays Mummy cries a little because she wishes that she could have stayed with her family and still loved Daddy, and I wonder if Sirius sometimes wishes he could have stayed with his family too, even if sometimes he says swear words about them. I think about how Remusís hand was like the middle of a sandwich and about how he said he and Sirius would take care of each other. When they come over I will make them a Sirius Biscuit and a Remus Biscuit, and the biscuits can be pressed together like a sandwich with no middle.
I donít think Sirius did a bad thing either. I tell this to Mummy and she kisses me and says she hoped I would feel that way.