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Heat

Remus Lupin turned off the heat in his flat.

He couldn't afford it, even on the savings from last year's Hogwarts job. Besides, he was a werewolf. Werewolves didn't get sick. Didn't get laid, either, although that was somewhat irrelevant. Point was, he didn't mind the cold, and as nobody else ever came to his flat, nobody else minded either.

He opened the door on a rainy and unusually chilly day in June, and was greeted with a blast of warm, heated air.

"Hallo, Moony," Sirius Black said. "Hope you don't mind. Place was a bit chilly."

Remus Lupin smiled.

***

Guests

Remus Lupin fumbled with his housekeys momentarily, and Anna rested her chin on his shoulder patiently, giggling. They leaned against the door, hands wandering, the whiskey on their breaths mingling as they kissed.

"Stay," he said, and she nodded a dizzy, intoxicated agreement.

A shadow rose up out of the darkness when he finally opened the door, and Remus drew his wand, instinctively.

"Hell of a way to greet an old friend, Moony," Sirius Black said, leaning in the foyer doorway.

Anna screamed, and Sirius snapped "Obliviate!"

Anna woke the next morning, in her flat, with a peculiarly violent hangover.

***

Purebred

"What a lovely dog," said the woman, "and so obedient too!"

Remus stopped, after he'd passed her on the pavement. He allowed himself a minute of confusion. Then he turned.

Looking up at him was a sleek black dog, apparently a cross between a Newfoundland and a grizzly bear.

"Is he a purebred?" the woman asked, touching Remus' arm. He started, and turned to regard her.

"Er...yes," he replied. "Extremely."

The dog sat, and lolled its tongue out.

"There's no dogs allowed in the building, Lupin!" his landlady shouted, as Padfoot followed him up the stairs. He ignored her.

***

Relief

Dumbledore said the key was under the mat. Lupin was in Wales. Sirius should make himself at home.

Sirius changed, furtively, and unlocked the door, shuffling inside quickly. He wasn't made for fugitive life. Especially when it came to empty flats that --

"I'd have let you in," said a voice. Sirius turned, startled.

He wondered if he'd ever get used to the grey in Lupin's hair. "Dumbledore said you were gone."

"Hello to you too."

Sirius rubbed his face, and felt a hand on his wrist.

"Being here was more important," Remus said gently. "There's dinner. Come eat."

Sirius wept.

***

Change

"Sirius is coming," Moody'd warned him.

Remus wasn't sure what he'd expected, but perpetual Padfoot wasn't it.

"Sirius," he murmured, as the dog curled against him on the tattered couch. "I'd like to hear your voice."

A doggy yawn.

"What's wrong? Why won't you change?"

A cold nose under his hand begged for pets. Remus scratched his neck, and Padfoot scrambled closer, until they were tangled together, somewhat uncomfortably -- Remus felt claws in bad places.

Still, he buried his face in Padfoot's thick fur, and whispered, "I love you."

The air shifted.

"I love you too," Sirius answered, softly.

***

Reality

There'd been an owl that Sirius was coming. Remus wasn't sure what right Dumbledore had to order him to shelter a fugitive, but then he wouldn't have turned Sirius from his door anyway.

It was a depressing little flat, but he didn't reckon Sirius would mind, and he was right; all Sirius wanted was a wash, and something for his bleeding hands and feet, where he'd worn the pads of his paws raw in his travels.

Remus did what he could for the wounds, and showed him where the towels were, and made tea while the shower ran.

Anticlimactic, really.

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