This would be the first year Sirius Black wouldn’t be going home for Christmas.
Having been disowned by his family over the summer, and, subsequently, becoming an unofficial member of the Potter family, Sirius had planned on spending his Christmas at the castle. Despite James’s insistence that his parents would be more than welcome to have him over (”Padfoot, you’re basically my brother, you know that, right?”), Sirius still didn’t feel comfortable intruding on the Potter family’s Christmas. When McGonagall had taken count as to which of the Gryffindors would be staying over the break at breakfast that morning, Sirius had resigned himself to a lonely Christmas as he signed his name on the parchment.
What he forgot, however, was that Remus Lupin, now 16 years old, was considered a fully grown werewolf, and as such, the accommodations the Lupins had done to their humble Welsh cottage for their son were no longer capable of containing Moony. So, when Sirius had passed him the parchment that morning, Remus swiftly stolen his quill and signed his name right under Sirius’s.
Before long, Peter and James had bid their friends goodbye, wished them a Merry Christmas, and had dragged their trunks down to the common room, where they would be later placed on the train.
The first couple of days went by smoothly. One day, Sirius had convinced Remus to join him in a snowball fight by the lake, and by the time the sun had set, the two boys were soaked from head to toe. Upon returning to the Gryffindor common room, they spent the night splayed in front of the dancing flames in the fireplace, chatting aimlessly and nibbling on some holiday sweets the house elves had left them.
But as the days passed, Remus noticed that Sirius wasn’t as festive as he usually was around the holidays. The shorter boy had become more reserved, playing with his food instead of eating it, and had taken to curling up in a corner of the empty common room with the thickest blanket the werewolf had ever seen.
As more time passed, Remus decided he needed to do something. It was beginning to unnerve him how…lifeless, so to say, Sirius had been acting lately.
One night, having just returned from a check in with Madam Pomfrey, Remus had begun to make his way to their dorm when he noticed Sirius, once again, curled up in the corner. Biting his lip, Remus tossed his bag onto one of the empty chairs and made his way over to his friend.
“Hullo, Pads,” Remus greeted, offering the boy a small smile. “Mind if I join you?”
Sirius merely shook his head. Remus sat next to the uncharacteristically quiet boy, subconsciously shifting himself closer to his friend, as if to offer him some of his own warmth.
“I was thinking of going to the kitchens later. Would you like to join me?”
“Do you think I would be able to convince the house elves to give me some Firewhiskey?”
“Sirius, are you alright?”
At this, the grey eyed boy finally looked up at the taller boy beside him.
“It’s just…you haven’t been acting like yourself lately. I’m worried about you, Pads, you usually love the holidays. Did something happen?”
“M’fine, Moons.” Sirius grumbled, refusing to meet the boy’s eyes, knowing if he did so all of his composure would be lost.
“Remus, I’m fine, alright? I’m okay, it’s just…Christmas is overrated. Why is it such a big deal anyway?”
“Everyone knows it’s just a holiday made up by all the bloody stores anyway-”
“Sirius, you love Christmas! Merlin, what’s wrong?”
“Remus, nothing’s wrong, I’m ok-”
“Stop telling me you’re okay, because you’re clearly not, Sirius Black!”
The two boys silently stared at each other. Remus ran his fingers through his hair, a move Sirius knew all too well, as the werewolf had picked it up from James, and usually did it when he was extremely frustrated with something.
“Can you please stop being a stubborn prick for one bloody second? I’m worried about you, okay, and I want to help you, but I can’t if you’re being a git. Please, Sirius, could you tell me what’s bothering you?” the boy said, his voice dropping into a near whisper at the end.
Sirius risked a glance up, and as soon as he caught those warm honey eyes, he knew he had lost the battle. Sighing, he adjusted his blanket and scooted closer to Remus.
“You’re going to think I’m being stupid.”
“I would never think that, Sirius.”
Nodding half heartedly, he leaned into the werewolf, feeling the other boys arms embrace him as he began to speak.
“I know my family’s awful, and I don’t regret running away this summer, but it’s just…it’s Christmas, y’know? The one time of year they got anywhere close to being decent human beings, and I know it’s stupid of me to say this, but…I miss them. I miss my fucking family, Rem,” Sirius whispered hoarsely as tears pooled in his eyes. “I know I shouldn’t, but I do. Christmas is all about family, and now…now I don’t have one. I have no one…”
Sirius felt nimble fingers graze his chin, and before he knew it he was looking into those honey eyes once more. Smiling softly, Remus gingerly wiped away a stray tear.
“Oh Pads, you’re such a fool. Don’t you know that you do have a family? Or are Prongs, Wormtail and I just dragon dung to you?”
Sirius let out a watery bark of laughter. “You’re right, Moons. But then again, you’re always right.”
Grinning softly, Remus kissed Sirius’s forehead before wrapping the blanket around himself as well.
“And don’t you forget it.”