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such_heights in rs_small_gifts

FIC: From Yorkshire, With Love, for onehundredmoons

Title: From Yorkshire, With Love
Author/Artist: such_heights
Recipient: onehundredmoons
Rating: PG-13
Contents or warnings (highlight to view): *none *
Word count: 1800
Summary: "You're not the one who's going to be spending the next two weeks trekking around the Yorkshire Moors looking for werewolf encampments."
Notes: For Lisa, who wanted something epistolary. Many thanks to liseuse for the beta.



The war didn't stop for Christmas. No one had really thought that it would. And if the other side had no intention of calling off hostilities in favour of turkey and carols, then the Order could hardly afford to. That didn't mean that they had to like it, though.

Sirius was trying very hard not to visibly pout as Remus packed for his next mission. He wasn't sure he was particularly successful, though.

Remus looked over as he bundled up thick socks, stuffing them into his boots. "Don't look at me like that, you're making me feel even worse."

"Sorry," Sirius said, embarrassed. "But this is crap."

"You don't have to tell me - you're not the one who's going to be spending the next two weeks trekking around the Yorkshire Moors looking for werewolf encampments."

"No, I know. I just wish you didn't have to go. I know it's not your fault, but all the same." He shrugged.

"It's okay, we'll make up for it when I get back. Maybe we should get everyone round and do a joint Christmas and New Year thing." Remus folded jumpers and wrapped them around a small cauldron full of dry ingredients for healing potions. "It's just a day, really. A nice day, and I'd definitely rather be here, but I suspect you'll survive without me. And I talked to Dumbledore, I'm allowed to send word to you while I'm in the field, so I'll check in when I can."

Sirius nodded. "All right, well that's something." He stood up. "Here, let me help you with that, you're terrible at packing."

Remus laughed and handed over some of his equipment for Sirius to bundle up.

---

Remus wasn't around all that much in the week before he was due to leave. Moody had pulled him in for seemingly endless training sessions that Sirius thought were probably a little unnecessary - Remus had always been the best at Defence at school and he knew more than anyone in the Order apart from Moody and Dumbledore. Still, anything that might keep him safer out there was worth doing, so Sirius accepted Remus's absence with only mildly bad grace.

The flat was a lonely place without him, though, so he spent a lot of time round at Lily and James's, getting underfoot.

"Oh, stop looking so pathetic and peel some potatoes," Lily said, rolling her eyes and passing him a chopping board. "Honestly, you really do look like a kicked puppy and he hasn't even gone yet."

"I do not," Sirius protested. "I just get bored on my own! You don't want Remus to have to come home and find all the furniture chewed up, do you?"

"I say again: kicked puppy." Lily laughed.

"He's awful by himself," said James. "He stayed at school once for the holidays when the rest of us went home and ended up owling me at least twice a day."

"Okay, yes, but I was thirteen at the time. What is this, pick on Sirius hour?"

"I thought that was all the time," Lily said, beaming at him.

"I hate you both," Sirius said, throwing the last of the potatoes into the pan. Lily kissed his cheek and went to set the table.

---

Mr. S. Black, esq.
Lily Evans' kitchen,
Spinner's End


Sirius,

Hello! Greetings from -- here. Can't tell you anything, I'm afraid. It's bloody freezing, I'll tell you that much, and I haven't even got the prospect of a full moon coming up to warm me up, or at least break the tedium.

It's going to be a couple of days before I know whether this whole exercise will be any use, so I've got plenty of time to think. I almost miss you being constantly around to distract and bother me, but I have to say the peace and quiet is refreshing.

Wouldn't say no to a butterbeer or something, though. And by something, I mean -- actually, never mind. I don't think I can manage a particularly romantic letter let alone anything dirtier. It would be nice if you were here, obviously, but I'm glad you're not so that you stand half a chance of feeling your toes once in a while. If it weren't for the fact that I can see them, at this point I'd be dubious about whether or not I still have feet.

All my best to James and Lily, and Peter when you see him.

Love,
-- R.

---

"Sirius, you have to help me."

Lily was standing in the guest room at some ungodly pre-dawn hour -- or eleven o'clock in the morning, as Sirius belatedly realised.

"Good morning?" he ventured.

"I don't know what to get James for Christmas, he's impossible to buy for." Lily sank down onto the bed, squishing Sirius's feet. "He has enough money that he just buys anything he wants whenever and I can't get him another subscription to Quidditch Weekly because Peter beat me to it this year and anyway I want it to be something special, you know? Or at least not Quidditch-related. Do you have any ideas?"

"No, because I'm barely awake," Sirius mumbled, but he sat up and reached for a jumper anyway.

"What are you getting for him?" she asked.

He shrugged. "Same as always - bottle of Ogden's finest and a Honeydukes gift box. You could go halves with me if you want."

"No I can't, don't be stupid. Actually, better question, what are you getting for Remus?"

Sirius groaned. "No idea. If I get him anything extravagant it'll just piss him off."

"Oh, so you have to be imaginative and thoughtful rather than just throwing money at him? You poor thing." Lily gave him a look.

"Yes, okay, fine. I could get him something practical like a book of advanced spells or some new walking boots or something but that's boring and I don't want to, so I'm a bit stuck." He sighed. "Shall we go into town and be rubbish together, then?"

"Excellent plan. I will put the kettle on."

---

Mr. S. Black, esq.
Lily Evans' spare room,
Spinner's End


The good news -- I'm making progress here. The bad news -- that means I'll definitely be staying a while. And I can't say this is the most pleasant week I've ever had even aside from the cold.

More later.

Love,
-- R.

---

After several hours, three stops for coffee, and two instances of Lily and/or Sirius getting distracted by shops that definitely didn't sell anything suitable for holiday gifts (just because Lily wasn't getting James an owl didn't mean she couldn't go coo over them, and Sirius was helpless in the face of Fortescue's), they both emerged from Diagon Alley battered but victorious.

Lily clutched a tasteful bag containing a wristwatch, small but well-made, complete with spelled clockwork inside and a face that glowed red when you were late for something. That last part was worth a try, at least, Lily had said. Sirius had two international Portkey tickets tucked inside his robes, planning to whisk Remus away somewhere warm, not to mention safe, once he was back.

They high-fived before taking the Floo home.

---

Mr. S. Black, esq.
Lily Evans' spare room,
Spinner's End


Well, everything's going to plan, which means I am now surrounded by some of the most vile people I've ever had the misfortune of meeting, and they think that I'm like them.

Every moment I have to myself I think of you so I can remember that they're wrong. I keep telling myself that I'll be home soon, and I will be. In the meantime, I miss you terribly.

Love,
-- R.

---

Sirius couldn't stop worrying about Remus, especially after that last letter, but all the same he did manage to get into the festive spirit. James and Sirius would both be staying at Lily's for the duration - it was her first year being alone in her house since her mother died, and with her sister having moved down south and cut off all contact she needed the company. Sirius did too, if he was honest.

So they decorated the place with lights and tinsel, and Peter dropped by when he wasn't busy with his own family, bringing an absurd amount of mince pies and mulled wine. Lily hung mistletoe from doorways, which James kept glancing at significantly before waggling his eyebrows at Sirius. Sirius responded by praying fervently to the heavens in the name of Merlin's underthings, because sweet Circe, no.

A mix of Muggle and Wizarding carols rang out from Lily's stereo, the fire crackled brightly in the living room, and though Sirius knew he wasn't the only one feeling Remus's absence keenly, it didn't look as if the holiday would be a total waste after all.

---

"Sirius. Sirius, wake up."

Sirius came to, blearily. Remus, the morning person bastard, sounded all cheerful and awake and that was just wrong, and -- wait. His eyes shot open.

Remus was sitting in the chair by the bed, clearly very pleased with himself. Aside from the beaming smile, he looked terrible, his face pale and bruised.

"What the hell?" Sirius shoved himself upwards, leaning against the headrest and staring at Remus with concern and confusion.

"Okay, don't say anything for a second while I explain. Things got a bit hairy last night so I had to blow my cover and make a run for it - went straight back to Headquarters, told them everything. Dumbledore won't need me for a few days, and Alice looked me over and says I'm not nearly as bad as I look, I'll be fine so long as I take it easy for a week or two, so don't worry. I'm fine."

Sirius took a moment to process all of that. "Right. You're really okay?"

"Really."

"And you don't have to leave again?"

"No. And it's Christmas morning."

"So it is." Sirius laughed. "This is a pretty good present."

Remus smiled, fond and warm, and slid onto the bed. He knelt over Sirius and cupped his cheek, leaning in for a kiss. Sirius opened up to him easily, one hand resting on Remus's hips and letting his return sink in through the feel of his cool skin.

Remus deepened the kiss, possessive, and Sirius thought he could stay like this for days, with Remus's mouth hot against his and their fingers tangled together against the sheets. Eventually, no doubt, James or Lily would come in and insist on fussing over Remus and so distract him from all the very nice things he was doing right at this moment. For now, the sun was low in the sky outside and the house was quiet, so there was still time for Sirius to be selfish and keep Remus all to himself.

Comments

Awwww, he's home in time for Christmas!! How lovely and sweet ^.^
Thanks so much!
I want to squish them both and smother them in kisses.
The perfect response. :D Thank you!
This was lovely and sweet and very, very Christmassy. And everyone is well and truly in character. I loved how Sirius was pouty and bored and whiny and yet well aware of it. That's a rather endearing trait that I've always imagined him having.

I also loved the bit in which Lily and Sirius went shopping.
After several hours, three stops for coffee, and two instances of Lily and/or Sirius getting distracted by shops that definitely didn't sell anything suitable for holiday gifts (just because Lily wasn't getting James an owl didn't mean she couldn't go coo over them, and Sirius was helpless in the face of Fortescue's), they both emerged from Diagon Alley battered but victorious.
LOL. I'm not a fan of Christmas shopping myself, but I bet it would be a marvelous time for them to bond. Oh yeah, and whilst were at it, I loved the camaraderie between those two in general. I've read too many stories in which they did not get along and this very much made up for that.

And the ending was just darling: Remus deepened the kiss, possessive, and Sirius thought he could stay like this for days, with Remus's mouth hot against his and their fingers tangled together against the sheets. Eventually, no doubt, James or Lily would come in and insist on fussing over Remus and so distract him from all the very nice things he was doing right at this moment. For now, the sun was low in the sky outside and the house was quiet, so there was still time for Sirius to be selfish and keep Remus all to himself.

****sighs*****
I'm so glad it all worked for you, thank you very much!
♥_♥

Such a lovely piece, full of warmth and quiet pleasures. It's the little details that make it: that image of Sirius stuck at Hogwarts and Owling James twice a day; Remus's letters punctuating the story; the watch face that turns red if you're late. It's so good to see you still writing these characters!
Thanks so much! It was wonderful to slip back into writing these two again.
Aw, Sirius got the most wonderful Christmas present! I liked him sulking and staying with Lily so as not to be home alone.
Thanks very much!
Aww, this is lovely. I want to wrap it around me like a blanket and snuggle with it.

I particularly enjoyed Lily and Sirius going present-shopping together. <3
<33 Thank you!
Ooh, I've been looking forward to this! I love how Sirius and Lily manage to have some distinctly lighthearted moments in the midst of the war. Loved "Shall we go into town and be rubbish together, then?" I mean, that's the best medicine, isn't it - being with a friend and making the best of a crappy circumstance. So many quotable bits in this piece, too. Sweet Circe, no and morning person bastard - I love how you subtly abuse morning people (I am right there with you!). You know me well. ;)

Thank you so much for a sweet holiday gift. Your writing always makes me smile!
Oh yay, I'm so happy you enjoyed it! Thank you very much, I had a great time writing this for you.
Aw, very sweet! I love the idea of Sirius and Lily shopping together, and I'm glad Remus was mostly unharmed and back for Christmas.
Thank you very much!
This was wonderful! I always love how evocative your writing is, and this one is no exception. Quiet with delightful touches of humour, and a lovely warm ending. I'm glad he made it back lest Sirius start chewing the furniture. I also loved Sirius and Lily's gift choices. :) Poor Remus and his feet - I loved his letters as well. But now he's warm again. (And really, Sirius, that's the best kind of selfish!)
Thank you so much, I'm glad you enjoyed it! :D
This is so cute! I love Lily and Sirius' bonding time, I can just imagine Lily saying that Sirius is a lovely 'girly mate' or something. XDD

The first line, fraught as it is with tension (even if most of the action happens off screen, which I think adds to the tension), is very nice actually, in light of what happens later. It makes Remus's return for Christmas more special somehow.

This just made me feel very warm and fuzzy. Yay! <3
Thank you, I am delighted to have induced warm fuzzies! :D
Awww. I mean that in the best sort of way that leaves me feeling sweetly fuzzy. I appreciated the peak at the calm before all things fall apart.
Mission accomplished, thank you very much! <3
Aw, this was darling! Love Sirius and Lily shopping together, and the notes from Remus (especially the addresses).
:D Thanks a lot!


And Sirius gets what he really wants for Christmas. Lovely.
Of course. *gigantic sap forever* Thank you, and thanks a lot for the rec! <3
Aww, yay.
:D ONCE AND ALWAYS OTP. <3
Oh I adore this! It's gorgeous, truly gorgeous. It's left me feeling so very content. ♥ ♥ ♥
Thanks so much, that's lovely to hear!
You already know that I love this, but I really really do! It is so adorable and full of feeling and fun.
<3333 Hurray, thanks so much!
*gigantic happy sigh* Oh, I've missed you and your R/S. This is lovely, just so easy to read. Wonderful!
It's so nice to be back, thank you! <3