Title: Garland Farm
Fandom: Harry Potter
Warning: No spoilers
Summary: Sirius comes to Remus’s rescue, emotionally speaking.
Notes: For .
Remus hates the house on Grimmauld Place. Sirius hates the house too but it’s the only safe place for him, so he has to live there. Remus, however, can go where he pleases—so long as they are friendly to werewolves, or at least tolerant of them—and does not spend any more time in the house than necessary.
Sirius wonders why it is not more necessary.
The Orkneys are remote, but the wizard who lives just outside the village will hire werewolves so Remus has been living here for nearly two months. “The work isn’t bad,” Remus writes by owl. “I am up at dawn and in bed by sunset and I have callouses on my hands, but there’s a cabin on a cliff for me during the full moon. I am happy.”
Sirius can see where the “almost” was erased, rewritten and erased again. It is this word that has brought him here.
He would travel as a dog if speed were not important. It takes a few Charms to change his appearance—make his hair reddish, dye his eyes lighter, add a few freckles—but no one glances at him twice. Still it’s a huge risk, one he would take for no one else except Harry. Sirius takes the ferry, not going below during the entire trip but instead standing at the railing, watching the water churn beneath the boat. He takes a room in the village’s only inn and sends a message to Garland Farm by owl: “I’m here. Please come. S.”
He has brought good brandy from Grimmauld Place—ignoring Kreacher’s muttering about stealing—and a few copies of the Daily Prophet, but could think of no other gifts. Remus likes books, the older the better, but Sirius has no time or opportunity to shop.
After sunset there is a knock on his door. Sirius runs his hands through his hair—Still red? Still red—and opens it.
Remus’s smile never changes.
“What are you doing here?” he says in the tone of a father scolding a beloved but wilful child. “Do you have any idea how dangerous it is for you, even here?”
“Hello, Remus,” Sirius answers simply, and then neither speak for quite some time.
“You shouldn’t have come,” Remus says as they drink brandy and enjoy the cool evening breeze through the open window. “You shouldn’t leave Grimmauld Place. What if someone saw you—what would happen to Harry? To Buckbeak, even?”
“I had to check on you. Nothing will happen to Harry, and Buckbeak is safe. As safe as he can be in that miserable death-shrine of a house.”
“I said I was fine.”
“That’s what you wrote. What you said was something else.” There are fewer wounds on Remus’s body than Sirius can remember ever seeing. He traces Remus’s back, counting scars. The last time he had twenty-three . . ?
Remus shakes his head, looking at Sirius over his shoulder. “It’s just a little gold until things get settled with the Order. I hate having nothing to contribute.”
“That’s my brave boy. You have knowledge—we need that more than gold.” The gentle breeze is turning more into a bracing wind: Sirius shivers and pulls up the blankets. “Come warm me.”
Remus lies down, his face to Sirius, and smiles wearily. “I’ll be in London at the end of August.”
“From August until forever?” He can’t help it—his voice goes little-boy hopeful and he squeezes Remus about the shoulders. “Promise?”
Remus’s smile is gentle and his eyes are sad. “For as long as forever lasts.” He adds, as Sirius kisses him, “Just promise me you won’t color your hair red again.”
Sirius laughs and Remus laughs, and when they sleep Sirius dreams of how vast forever can be.