It was bloody cold and Remus hated it. He was wearing his uniform, but with an extra sweater over his long sleeve shirt. He pulled his winter cloak closer, but still, the wind was going right through him.
Why did they have Herbology in the middle of winter? There were spells to make it so the greenhouses were the right temperature for the plants, but the route to and fro the castle to them was cold and full of snow and wind and-
“Throw that snowball, Wormy, and I will hex you into next week,” he said, not even having to look to know that he was being targeted. James and Peter were walking behind him and Sirius and had gotten suspiciously quiet a few moments before.
“How did you know?”
“Moony’s got eyes in the back of his head, boys. It’s official,” Sirius said, grinning over at Remus.
For a moment, he felt warm from Sirius’ gaze. Then the wind came up and he swore under his breath.
“Alright, mate?” James asked, coming beside him.
“Bloody cold,” he managed.
“Your furry little problem is going to be an issue in three days. Can’t imagine that’s helping any,” James noted worriedly.
Sirius put an arm around Remus and pulled him closer to his side. He tried not to burrow into his warmth for a moment, then threw away any sense of dignity and dove into his boyfriend’s embrace.
“Whoa, he’s seriously freezing. Okay, guys, you two run ahead and make sure that the dorm room is stifling. I wanna sweat the second we step in the room. Got it?” Sirius said.
“Got it,” Peter said as James nodded. The two of them took off, leaving a path through the snow for Sirius to lead Remus down. They were much more slow going with how Remus was clinging to Sirius, and as he watched his friends disappear into the warmth of the castle ahead of them, Remus seriously wished that apparition was an option on Hogwarts grounds.
“You alright, Moony?” Sirius asked.
“Mmmm, better now. You help,” he said.
If possible, Sirius pulled him even closer. “I’m glad.”
They were so close to the front doors. Maybe fifty feet away. Remus could almost sense the warmth that was waiting from them.
Then his foot slipped on a patch of ice. And as he started to topple, so did Sirius, because they were holding on to one another so tightly.
Owwwwwwww. The ground was hard under him and he could feel as bruises started to form on his spine, his bum, his elbow. He might have hit his head, but he couldn’t separate the different pains enough to be able to really tell. There was something under him that was digging into his shoulder blade and ruddy hell, that wasn’t comfortable.
Then it moved. And Remus remembered he wasn’t the only one who had fallen.
“Well, that hurt,” Sirius said conversationally. “Wanna get off my arm, Moony?”
“Oh bollocks. You alright, Pads?” Remus asked, sitting up, groaning as he felt his spine protest.
“Tailbone hurts like hell, but otherwise, just bruises. You?”
“So many bruises,” Remus groaned, flopping back onto his back, only to moan in pain again as his back came in contact with the ground. “Just leave me here, find me in the spring.”
“Sorry, darling, but no can do. Come on, let’s go,” Sirius said.
He held out a hand and Remus reluctantly took it and let himself be pulled to his feet.
“Better be bloody warm when we get up there or I’m going to come back out here and stay on the ground this time,” Remus warned, letting Sirius move him towards the Great Hall.
“Can’t let you do that, Moony,” Sirius said, looking around before he planted a kiss on Remus’ temple. “I kinda like having you around.”
“Well,” Remus said as they got through the doors and glorious, delightful warmth welcomed them. “I guess I’ll stick around. You know. Just for you.”
“Not just because we finally got into somewhere warm?”
They started to go up the stairs before Remus responded with a grin. “Well, not just that.”
“Language, Moony, you’re a fucking Prefect.”
Remus stopped them at the landing, grabbing hold of the sleeve of Sirius’ robes. “I’m in love with you, you bloody idiot.”
Sirius’ face broke into a huge grin, his eyes shining. “Love you too, Remus. After all,” he said, continuing up the stairs, pulling Remus with him without looking away, “I fell for you, didn’t I?”
“I take it back. You’re the worst.”
“I can be both.”
“You are both.”
The dormitory was blessedly sweltering when they arrived. But Remus still pulled Sirius to his bed with him and together they lay there, being careful of each other’s bruises, until they began to doze.
Remus apparated across the road from Grimmauld Place and immediately swore, drawing his cloak closer to him. It wasn’t actively snowing at the moment, but the wind was blowing and making the snow fly through the air. Bloody cold.
He started across the street, only to notice a familiar figure approach from down the sidewalk.
“Wotcher, Remus!” Tonks said.
“Hello, Tonks,” Remus replied. He envied how unaffected she seemed by the freezing wind. Her usually short hair was flowing down her back and covering her neck. It was still its customary bright pink though.
They started down the sidewalk towards Grimmauld Place together.
“How was your shift?” he asked her.
“No raids, nothing but paperwork. I knew that being an Auror would come with its paperwork, but blimey, it’s days like today that make me wanna scream. You get up to anything?”
“Paperwork for Dumbledore. Another report on werewolf activity in the area.”
“Who knew fightin’ a war would mean sitting behind a desk so much?” she teased.
He laughed, then regretted it. Her eye had lit up and her smile increased at the sound. He turned forward and tried to not look at her from the corner of his eye.
It was hard to look at her sometimes. She was like looking at the sun, she was so bright. He wanted to bask in her warmth and the cheer she let off. He wouldn’t let himself.
It was hard to look away though.
The wind whipped his cloak away from his body and he clutched at it, trying to recover the small amount of warmth he’d had.
“You alright, Remus?” Tonks asked.
“Cold,” he said through gritted teeth.
“Oh bollocks, here,” Tonks said, and she dove into his side, wrapping her arms around his waist. He felt instantly warmer and she must have too, if her pink cheeks meant anything.
“Thank you,” he murmured, letting himself put an arm around her.
“Least I could do, right?” she said, looking up at him.
Bloody hell. That look should be illegal with how much it made his resolve waver.
“You alright?” she asked.
He realized he hadn’t answered, just stared down at her. He shook himself out of his reverie and opened his mouth to respond.
He didn’t get the chance. Tonks’ foot flew out from under her and, because her arms were still around him, he went down too.
“Owwwwww,” Tonks groaned.
Remus agreed, but couldn’t say anything yet. His back was throbbing with pain and his arm was trapped between the cold, hard sidewalk and Tonks’ spine.
“Nymphadora,” he started once he got his breath back.
“Don’t call me that,” she said automatically, but with no real heat behind the words.
“Sorry. Could you please get off my arm?”
Tonks’ eyes had been screwed up with pain, but at his words, they flew open and looked at him in horror. “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry, Remus, I didn’t mean to-”
“I mean, obviously, I didn’t mean to fall, but I especially didn’t mean to bring you down with me and now you’re even more cold-”
“Is your arm alright? I know some healing spells and if not, Molly can fix you up in a jif-”
She stopped rambling, looking at him with wide eyes.
“I’m okay. I just need you to get off my arm. Please,” he said.
“Right. Of course.”
She rolled off him and he stayed on the ground a moment. He had a flashback for a moment, to a different fall, a different person he had feelings for.
He let his heart ache for a second. Then he took a breath and got up.
“C’mon, Remus, let’s get you somewhere warm,” Tonks said, pulling on his sleeve.
He let himself follow her, and allowed himself to smile at her when she looked back at him.