Last of the MidGame Trilogy.
Games Once Played 1/1
Warnings: Male/Male, profane
Spoilers: Goblet of Fire Movie-canon
Series: Harry Potter
Summary: Sequel to Games and Interference. Around Christmas time, Remus keeps Sirius's mind off of what Harry's going through at Hogwarts. Movie!verse. Complete short story.
This story is a work of transformative fiction, such being defined as a work which incorporates characters and situations which have been created by other authors/artists. No infringement of copyright is intended and no profit is being made from the creation or dissemination of this work. Harry Potter was created and is owned by J.K. Rowling. It is used with respect and admiration for the work.
"Padfoot," Remus panted, sweat soaking his graying hair to his head, "how are you supposed to hide out if we have to call for medical attention for a snapped spine?"
The living room echoed, hollow and empty. They'd shoved the aging furniture over to the walls to make room for the game, and the white and black scene of Christmas-time snowfall out the window only made it worse. Remus supposed that his old friend's presence made it bearable. No illusion of peace lasted long around him.
Sirius Black, escaped convict, occasional human pretzel and above-mentioned destroyer of peace, shook his head. He almost bumped his chin into the floor in the process, neck lodged between his knees from behind, close enough to both wall and floor for his breath to disturb the dust. "I need something to distract me while Harry’s in that damned tournament. Besides, we haven’t played this since we were kids."
"And I didn’t like it then, either," Remus scowled. They’d been playing Twisted for hours, and extended bouts of elasticity always made him cranky. "I’m quitting."
"One more roll." From between his knees, Sirius’s gray eyes were pleading.
"Fine. One more." Raising his voice, the werewolf addressed the pyramidal game piece. "Spin red." The red ball rose from the smoky depths of the pyramid, spinning frantically for several seconds before it slowed and stopped, showing an image of Remus’s well-worn dining room table.
"You’re the one who wanted one last spin." Sirius shot him a glare, which Remus ignored. His own left leg was already stretched out to a dining room chair, so it took only a little effort to stretch farther and touch the table.
Sirius, on the other hand, had mostly chosen objects on the other side of the house, where doors didn’t interfere. His knee slithered towards the dining room from the stove in the kitchen, trembling with effort. Half-way there, the elasticized flesh paused, flexed in a final attempt at victory, then snapped back with a twang as the charm broke. Sirius’s limbs came hurtling back to the den, throwing aside whatever small objects were in their paths. He collapsed with a groan, cradled by Remus’s still-rubbery body.
Remus let go of his various anchors and made sure he was all in one room before ending the game. "Finite Incantatem." Crawling out from under Sirius’s limp form, he checked to make sure all his limbs were in one place before moving to put away the game. "You lost."
"How was I supposed to know you’d still be so damned limber?" Sirius demanded cheerfully, attempting to sit up. When he collapsed in the effort, he just lay there. "Next time, we’re playing Life."
"If you want to go through the mood-swings again, it’s up to you."
"I won’t get pregnant!" Being a full grown man declaring such, Sirius glowed with indignant wrath. He lay prone on the floor with his hands on his hips and freshly-clipped black hair catching on his girlishly-long lashes, a picture of insulted manhood.
A smile quirked Remus’s lips and refused to be suppressed, so he tipped his head to hide his face while putting the game in its box. "It’s your own fault for always playing a witch." Remus glanced up to watch for Sirius’s reaction.
"Witches always get the good plays," the Animagus protested, as he always had as a teenager. "’Find your husband cheating. Hex his balls off and roll a gold die per child to determine child support. Roll a black die to sue for spousal maintenance.’ It just doesn’t get much better!"
"The wizards had some good ones too," Remus reminded him, falling into the pattern and finding comfort in it. "Especially our version. I’ll never forget their faces. ‘Tell your friends you’re gay and shagging your mutual god-like friend.’ I think I stopped breathing when I pulled that."
Memories ran through Sirius's eyes, and he smiled, rolling over on the floor to rest his chin on his arms. "Yeah… I think we got a picture of it."
"It’s with the victory photos." Remus, an avid photographer, had all of their pictures organized in his head and in their books.
"You still have those?" Sirius's head jerked up, his body vibrating with something Remus couldn't identify. "There must be a ton. Lily and I used to…" He trailed off, gray eyes glossy, stricken.
"You used to beat the pants off us poor wizards, I know," Remus smiled sadly, looking back down as his own eyes began to burn.
Sirius shook himself, breaking away from memories. "I wonder if Harry’s ever played it."
Grateful for the mood change, Remus seized on the new topic. "Probably not. These days it’s chess and exploding snap. And at the moment, probably dancing. Or making time with some girl in that garden Dumbledore asked me how to set up for the ball."
"Every boy should play Life at least once," Sirius pushed to his feet long enough to flop onto Remus’s worn couch, ignoring all references to his Godson’s not-quite-love-life. "And leave photographic evidence."
"We left enough of our own." The couch dipped and cracked as Remus sat on it. "There’s boxes of books. Though I never want to see you as an old, pregnant man again as long as I live." The couch, decrepit and soft, shifted both their weights towards the sagging center, and it was the most natural thing in the world for Remus to rest his head on Sirius’s shoulder, like they used to a lifetime past. "One or the other I could take, but not both."
Sirius’s cheek rested on the top of Remus’s graying brown head. "I can’t believe you hung onto all those pictures."
"Every one." Somehow, their fingers had curled together, and Remus watched them in mild awe. Since Sirius had appeared on his doorstep, they’d touched when circumstance forced it and seldom otherwise, both unsure of new lines and how not to cross them. But it was comfortable and familiar. Remus closed honey-brown eyes, soaking in the feeling of comfort and belonging that having his friend back gave.
Sirius’s voice, when it came, was a lazy drawl. "Harry’ll want to see 'em."
Remus squeezed his fingers. "We’ll show him. All of them. After the tournament is over."
Sirius's body against his relaxed. They were both quiet for several moments before Sirius murmured, "Thank you."
After that the silence enclosed them both in a warm blanket, and the world narrowed down to two bodies side-by-side on the aging sofa and Sirius’s thumb rubbing over Remus’s knuckles.