Contents or warnings (highlight to view): None
Word count: 3 600
Summary: Remus finds himself stuck in an igloo, the Forbidden Forest, in the middle of an epic blizzard, with Sirius and no magic. Apparently they’ve been pranked by Peter. Marvellous.
Notes: Many thanks to klena for the beta job. Any remaining errors are mine.
‘For the love of Merlin, Padfoot, will you stop wanking your wand and try to think of something!’ shouted Remus.
‘I did think of something!’ Sirius shouted back. ‘I thought if I could get my fucking wand to work I’d be able to get us out of here or, failing that, Silence you so I don’t have to listen to any more of your bad mood.’
‘You are impossible,’ answered Remus, although he couldn’t deny that he was in a bad mood. He was in an absolutely foul mood, actually, on account of being stuck in an igloo, in the Forbidden Forest, in the middle of the most epic blizzard he’d ever seen, with Sirius bastard Black and no bloody magic. Remus was cold, and wet, and tired, and fresh out of patience.
‘At least I’m trying,’ said Sirius, giving his wand another vigorous shake.
‘As per fucking usual,’ muttered Remus. He shivered and stamped on the ground in a feeble attempt to generate some warmth. ‘Padfoot, give over. It’s probably just the weather – a massive great snow storm like this is bound to interfere with magic.’
‘I think it’s the igloo,’ said Sirius, poking at the roof with his wand. ‘Everything worked fine outside. Didn’t have any trouble Summoning those pine cones, did I?’
Everything had not been fine outside. There had been wind, and ice, and snow so thick Remus could barely open his eyes, not that he could actually see much when he did.
‘Well, you yelled something that sounded like “Accio” and we got pelted with pine cones, yes,’ said Remus. ‘I’m not sure it was the finest example of your magical prowess, to be honest.’
‘I think it’s the igloo,’ said Sirius, stubborn as ever. ‘I’m going back outside.’
‘Fuck’s sake, don’t be ridiculous,’ said Remus. ‘It’s like fucking Siberia out there. You’ll be dead of hypothermia in seconds.’
‘You got a better idea?’ Sirius demanded.
‘Yes. Stay here and live.’
Sirius just rolled his eyes and pushed past him, before ducking down and crawling back out the short tunnel which led out of the igloo and into the Snowy Peril of the Ice Storm of Doom. Well, that was just fine. Remus was just going to stay were he was and keep (relatively) safe and dry like a sensible person. If Sirius wanted to get lost in the storm, or turned to ice, or crushed under a massive snow drift, that was his own stupid fault and nothing at all to do with Remus....
Yeah, right. Remus lasted ten, maybe fifteen seconds before running after him in a frantic panic.
‘Padfoot, wait, where are - oomph! ’
Remus had barely poked his nose out of the igloo before Sirius barrelled into him.
‘A-ha!’ yelled Sirius triumphantly. ‘A-ha!’
He was wearing an expression of utter triumph (worrying, very worrying) and carrying several jars of Bluebell Flames (rather more welcome). Remus decided, quite magnanimously, to tolerate a moderate amount of Sirius’ crowing while he warmed his hands over the flames.
‘Told you it was the igloo,’ said Sirius, every bit as smug as Remus expected him to be. ‘I had no trouble at all casting magic outside.’
The igloo creaked ominously, making far more noise than any structure made of ice had any business with. Great, the only thing standing between them and certain icy death, and it was up for a fight. Remus’ magnanimity suddenly expired.
‘Oh, good, so you’ve turned one of those pine cones into a Portkey to take us back to Gryffindor Tower, have you?’ asked Remus.
Sirius just scowled. ‘OK, fine, I could just about manage some first-year shit out there. Bloody wind practically blew the incantations out of my mouth, and it’s too cold to swish or flick.’
Remus scoffed, but refrained from arguing. The warmth from Sirius’ Bluebell Flames had very nearly allowed the feeling to return to his fingers, and neither he nor Sirius were likely to die for at least the next fifteen minutes. Things were starting to look up.
Remus looked up with a start, but there was no-one else there. Sirius was just shouting into that stupid mirror of his.
‘James Potter!’ repeated Sirius. ‘Aw, c’mon, Prongs, where are you?’
‘Back in the dorms, having been wildly sensible and not currently risking death by triple pneumonia,’ muttered Remus. ‘The same place, in fact, you spoke to him less than an hour ago. You can’t be pining for him again already.’
‘Now, now, Moony, you know I love you both,’ Sirius teased. ‘No need to go getting all jealous.’
‘I’m not jealous of Prongs!’ said Remus angrily, kicking the nearest lump of ice to emphasise the point. The igloo retorted by dropping a larger chunk of ice on top of it. Remus was starting to wonder if Sirius had a point – bastard thing really was out to get them.
‘It’s not working anyway,’ said Sirius, chucking the mirror aside. ‘Fucking igloo! Why does nothing work in here?’
Remus took a deep breath and tried to concentrate on coming up with an answer to Sirius’ question, rather than his own desire to smack Sirius around the head. They’d all built the igloo a few weeks previously, with no remarkable magical additions, so unless someone been back to interfere (possible) there really was no reason for it to be interfering with any sort of magic.
‘I’m sure there’s an explanation for all of this,’ he said. ‘Let’s just try to stay calm, shall we?’
‘I hate you.’ Sirius sulked.
Remus told himself he was just imagining the igloo shrinking around them. ‘Neither of us can use our wands. We wouldn’t be able to Apparate anyway. Your mirror doesn’t work. We don’t have the Map. Can you transform?’
‘Obviously,’ said Sirius with a scowl, but he didn’t, perhaps because the roof of the igloo was suddenly much closer to his head. ‘What the hell? No. No… I can’t.’
He was much quieter suddenly, and Remus found that far more troubling than all the shouting.
‘It’s okay, Padfoot,’ said Remus, reaching for his shoulder. ‘We’ll work it out, there’s nothing to be afraid of.’
‘I’m not scared!’ yelled Sirius, louder than ever. Loud enough, it seemed, to break the ice (literally) as a large sheet of it came crashing down from nowhere, completely blocking the exit to the igloo.
(An exit that led to the Snowy Peril of the Ice Storm of Doom, but still. It was an exit.)
Sirius yelped and jumped backwards, knocking Remus to the ground and very nearly setting both of them alight with his own Bluebell Flames.
‘So maybe now I’m a bit scared,’ he admitted. ‘Since the igloo is clearly sentient and is trying to kill us.’
‘It’s not trying to kill us,’ said Remus.
‘How can you be so sure?’
‘Because it’s written us a message.’
‘It – what?’ Sirius turned and looked as Remus pointed to the back of the igloo, where a message had indeed just appeared. A message written in what looked suspiciously like Peter’s handwriting. It read:
Hello! If you’re reading this then my spell worked. Hooray! Well, hooray for me, anyway. You’re probably feeling a bit miffed right now, whoever you are. I hope it’s Padfoot. Er, no offence, Padfoot, but Moony might never make it out alive and I’d be disappointed in Prongs getting trapped in the first place.
Oops, that’s probably too much of a clue! Never mind, if you haven’t worked it out in an hour, another clue will appear to help.
‘Wormtail?’ said Sirius, furious. ‘We’re getting pranked – by Wormtail?’
‘That’s actually quite something,’ said Remus.
‘I am not even slightly impressed,’ said Sirius petulantly. The igloo retorted by depositing a large quantity of fresh snow on his head. Sirius swore loudly, in three languages that Remus recognised, and set about letting the igloo know exactly how unimpressed he was by attacking it violently with his bare hands.
It didn’t make the least bit of difference. Remus sat down and watched him, until Sirius worked out enough of his rage to sit down beside him, his head slumped against Remus’ shoulder and a dejected sigh coming from the very depth of his soul. (Probably.)
‘Wormtail is so for it,’ he muttered.
‘Hm,’ agreed Remus absently. ‘Although, his note suggests that you should be able to figure a way out of this. Apparently I’d be doomed to an icy death without you.’
For some reason, that seemed to cheer Sirius right up. ‘Never fear, Moony, I’ll save you,’ he said, earning a snort but no argument from Remus. ‘OK, so Wormtail reckoned you’d find it nearly impossible to get out but Prongs wouldn’t have got trapped in the first place. So whatever it takes to beat the igloo, it’s something I do better than you, but Prongs does better than me.’
Sirius laughed. ‘Could be,’ he conceded. ‘Don’t think even I could boast my way out of here, though. Um, Quidditch?’
‘Not really the space for it,’ said Remus. ‘Transfiguration?’
‘Prongs is not better than me at Transfiguration!’ insisted Sirius. He swerved as a large shard of ice broke through the floor of the igloo. ‘Bollocks.’
Remus scrunched up his forehead, trying to concentrate. ‘It seems like some sort of Charm, but that doesn’t make sense because you’re better at Charms than Prongs is.’
‘So’re you,’ said Sirius. He waggled his eyebrows suggestively. ‘We are the most charming.’
‘Who told you that you’re charming?’
‘You did. Just now.’
‘My mistake,’ conceded Remus. ‘I forgot, I’m an idiot.’
Sirius was clearly floored by his rhetorical genius because, unable to produce a witty retort, he grabbed a fistful of snow and shoved it in Remus’ face. Remus wriggled, and swore, and redirected his attention to finding ways to shove ice down Sirius’ back.
The whole escape plan would have to wait. Priorities.
Have you worked it out yet? OK, here’s a clue: Enchanted Mistletoe.
‘Moony, look!’ Sirius broke off from listing hexes and their use on rodents for a moment to point out the latest message from Peter. Had it really been an hour? What with the snow fights and the noise of the storm outside and Sirius’ increasingly creative threats of violence, it seemed so much longer.
‘Mistletoe?’ Remus frowned. ‘What sort of a clue is that? There’s no mistletoe, enchanted or otherwise, in here. Fucking igloo.’
‘Well,’ said Sirius slowly, ‘perhaps we need to thing a little more laterally. What might a person enchant mistletoe for?’
Remus swallowed heavily. ‘Um, kissing?’
‘Worth a try,’ said Sirius, looking suddenly, unaccountably shifty. ‘Perhaps we should have a go at, uh, kissing.’
‘I’m only suggesting it as a way to get us out of here,’ said Sirius. Another massive chunk of ice crashed through the roof of the igloo, cutting the available space by about a third.
Remus considered the options. He wasn’t completely opposed to the idea of kissing Sirius. It would stop Sirius from talking, for one thing. And for another…
… And for another thing, never mind. Remus Lupin wasn’t in the habit of analysing every little thing, not when there was an emergency on.
‘OK,’ he said, not quite managing to look at Sirius as he did so. Then, with one last self-defeating stab at Prefectly responsibility he added, ‘But no tongues.’
Sirius didn’t argue, chiefly because he was busy pressing his mouth against Remus’. His lips were cool and dry, chapped from the bitter winds of the storm outside, but still surprisingly soft. Sirius’ kisses were sweet and firm, a welcome counterpoint to the wild, sludgy cold of the igloo and the snow beneath them.
‘Padfoot…’ Remus tried not to sound too awfully disappointed when Sirius stopped kissing him, and glanced around the igloo.
‘Not sure if this is helping, actually,’ Sirius said vaguely, quite deliberately looking in every direction but at Remus.
It certainly wasn’t helping Remus’ mental faculties, that was for certain.
‘Maybe we’re doing it wrong?’ suggested Remus.
‘What, am I bad at kissing?’ said Sirius, back on the defensive. ‘You didn’t like it?’
‘I didn’t say that!’ Remus hedged. He wasn't entirely sure where he was going with this one himself. ‘It’s just… the spell on the igloo is obviously quite powerful. The counter-spell will probably require a degree of… enthusiasm.’
‘Right.’ Sirius nodded. ‘Well, that makes a certain amount of sense. From a magical theory standpoint.’
‘Magical theory, yes,’ agreed Remus. ‘I’m glad we’re on the same page on this one.’
The icy walls around them creaked ominously, but the igloo stood firm.
‘So you’re going to what, French me?’ said Sirius.
‘If you don’t mind,’ said Remus.
‘Got to be worth a try.’
It occurred to Remus, briefly, that there would’ve been no reason for Peter to expect two people to get stuck in the igloo at the same time, so it was highly unlikely that kissing – with or without tongues – was the way to get out. Still, Sirius wasn’t very good at handling criticism, so Remus decided against mentioning it. It made far more sense, from a magical theory standpoint, for Remus to push Sirius onto the floor, and then proceed to stick his tongue down his throat.
Of course, there might not have been that much need, magically speaking, for quite so much tongue, or rolling about the floor, or for Remus to growl and nip at Sirius’ ear when Sirius worked his hands inside Remus’ still-sodden winter robes, his well-bitten fingernails leaving sharp scratches across Remus’ back, but still. In for a knut, in for a sickle and all that. Remus wasn’t one for half-measures. That wasn't the Marauder way.
If Sirius hadn’t grasped, and twitched, and very nearly set his shoes on fire by crashing into the Bluebell Flames, Remus might not have even noticed the appearance of a third note, in Peter’s spidery handwriting, appearing on the side of the igloo.
Had it really been another hour? With all the snogging, and discussion of magical theory, and, uh, application, it seemed so much less.
Are you even trying? Anti-Cheating spells. The Gemino Curse. Come on, concentrate!
Remus sighed. It really wasn’t a great moment to be scolded by Peter, to be honest. Sirius didn’t seem too impressed either, as he backed away from Remus, scowling at the writing on the wall.
‘Any idea what it means?’ asked Remus, feeling oddly defeated now that Sirius was now all of, ooh, at least a foot away from him.
‘No,’ said Sirius.
There was a loud crack and a huge chunk of ice, the biggest yet, materialised behind Sirius’ shoulder. Sirius let out an angry cry and scooted to the other side of the igloo, still tantalisingly out of touch.
‘Sorry, sorry,’ he muttered. Remus wasn’t entirely sure whether the apology was directed at him or the igloo.
‘It’s all right, Padfoot,’ he said reassuringly. ‘You’re clever and you’ll work it out. Between us, we’ll think of something.’
Sirius didn’t seem very reassured. He looked upset. ‘I’m sorry for kissing you like that.’
Remus didn’t actually think that warranted an apology, but Sirius was obviously unhappy.
‘Padfoot, it’s fine,’ he said. ‘You were only trying to break the spell.’
‘Yeah,’ mumbled Sirius, and the whole igloo shook, and a massive sheet of ice rose up from the ground, sending Sirius tumbling forward, so that he landed in Remus’ lap.
(Remus didn’t actually mind that part so much, although the encroaching walls of ice were a bit of a worry.)
‘Fucking Wormtail!’ yelled Sirius, twisting around and kicking at the ice fruitlessly. ‘I am so going to get him back for this.’
‘Sirius, don’t panic!’ said Remus, panicking.
‘I am not panicking!’ said Sirius loudly. Even so, it was hard to hear him over the thunderous crack of ice poles shooting down from the top of the igloo. Several of the Bluebell flames were extinguished, and there was very little space left as Remus and Sirius pressed close together, both wide-eyed and shaking.
The igloo had also started pelting them with hailstones.
‘Do something!’ shouted Remus, desperately trying so shield himself from the viciously cold sting of hail.
‘James is better than me at Transfiguration!’ shouted Sirius, somewhat incongruously.
The hailstorm eased somewhat.
‘I was panicking,’ Sirius continued. ‘I do know how the spell works. It is pretty impressive.’
The hail stopped. The igloo seemed to sigh, and Remus couldn’t be sure, but there did seem to be a little more space around them. Sirius turned to look Remus in the eye at last.
‘I just wanted an excuse to kiss you,’ he said, and the wall of ice behind him cracked clean in two.
‘I… yeah, me too,’ admitted Remus, and several ice spikes exploded, sending sharp little shards of ice ricocheting around the igloo.
Sirius whooped and pulled Remus to the ground, shielding him from the explosions of ice and snow going on around them.
‘I don’t hate you,’ said Sirius, laughing now. ‘I love you and I don’t care if I do catch pneumonia. It was worth it get to kiss you.’
The igloo rocked, and broke wide open.
‘It was more than worth it,’ agreed Remus, brushing falling chunks of ice off Sirius’ face. ‘I was jealous of Prongs, but I don’t think I need to be anymore.’
‘You really don’t.’ Sirius had to shout to make himself heard over the thunderous row of ice breaking all around them. He was grinning as he looked at Remus, dazzlingly bright-eyed and beautiful despite being splattered with ice and snow.
‘You’re amazing,’ said Remus, breathless and laughing as they ducked the icy flurries . ‘No wonder I love you so much.’
With a single, overly dramatic whoosh what remained of the igloo collapsed into a cold, wet puddle all around them.
Sirius laughed into Remus’ neck, holding him tight and rolling them both across the snow-sodden forest floor.
‘We did it, Moony,’ he cried, triumphant. ‘We beat the igloo!’
The igloo was, indeed, a sodden mess of slush and ice, and it seemed hard to believe that it had come perilously close to crushing them both only minutes beforehand. The forest was dark now, whipped by a bitter winter wind but otherwise the storm had passed. (At least, Remus hoped the blizzard had simply passed over while they were trapped in the igloo, or else he really needed to be quite afraid of Peter now.)
‘So we did,’ said Remus, suddenly all too aware that he was lying in a freezing puddle of mud. In December. In the North of Scotland. And that he was soaking wet.
None of which seemed to bother Sirius in the slightest, as he jumped to his feet, pulling Remus up behind him. Sirius shook his head, sending an icy-spray of water flying right at Remus’ face and then transformed, running a few laps around Remus and barking joyfully.
‘We are victorious!’ he crowed when he changed back, before retrieving his wand and spelling first Remus and then himself dry again.
It was nice to be warm and dry again, but Remus couldn’t help but feel a little embarrassed in the wake of all that… emotional outpouring. He felt hot and uncomfortable, twitchy beneath his own skin. He was finding it suddenly difficult to look Sirius in the eye again.
‘You all right, Moony?’ asked Sirius, apparently eschewing the delights of performing an impromptu victory dance in favour taking hold of Remus’ hand and staring at him intently.
‘Of course,’ said Remus, forcing a smile. ‘I’ll be glad to get back to the castle.’
‘Right,’ said Sirius. He glanced around the clearing where the igloo had stood – Remus wondered if there wasn’t actually a little more ice there again. ‘You’ll be wanting to get back to the others. We’ll have to tell Wormtail all about how well his igloo spell worked.’
Remus swallowed heavily. ‘Sounds fun.’
He didn’t actually want to face the ice, or Sirius, or um, reality much, at least not for a little while, so he closed his eyes very tight and wondered if it could all just stop, just for a moment.
Some chance. Sirius took a step closer (how was that even possible?), and wrapped his arms around Remus. ‘It’s just me,’ he whispered. ‘You don’t have to be embarrassed.’
‘I’m not embarrassed,’ Remus insisted. ‘There’s actually a History of Magic essay that I’d like to be getting on with.’
‘Mm,’ muttered Sirius, warm and soft against Remus’ neck. ‘I suppose you’ve got no idea why Wormtail thought you’d find it hardest to get out of the igloo?’
Remus swallowed hard, and kept his eyes shut. ‘None whatsoever.’
He could feel Sirius laughing more than he could hear it. ‘Open your eyes, Moony.’
Sighing, Remus did as he was told. He was completely unsurprised to find that he and Sirius were, once again, almost completely surrounded by ice.
Sirius looked up, apparently addressing the night sky above them. ‘I hope we’re not going to be trapped here again. Spending all that time kissing Moony was a terrible chore. I don’t want to do it all over again.’
The night sky disappeared behind a wall of ice. The igloo was complete again, just as it had been when they’d first taken shelter from the storm.
‘Looks like you might be stuck with me after all,’ said Sirius.
Remus wondered if he ought to object. He didn’t really. He glanced towards the spot where the entrance to the igloo should be – sure enough, the tunnel was still there.
‘Not quite,’ said Remus, indicated the exit with a nod.
‘Not quite,’ agreed Sirius, with a mischievous smile.
Remus looked straight at the entrance to the igloo. ‘Sirius Black is the least attractive person I have ever met.’
The gap in the ice closed at once. Remus looked back at Sirius and grinned. ‘Oops.’
‘Oops,’ agreed Sirius. ‘How will we get out again this time?’
‘Oh, I’m sure you’ll think of something,’ said Remus. He placed his hands on Sirius’ waist, pulling him close. ‘Eventually.’
Sirius smiled, and kissed him. ‘Eventually.’