The only thing that saved them was that Remus had learned that most useful of tricks -- starting portable fires that he could carry around in a jar.
It had to be raining harder than a monsoon, and Remus was drenched through. Buckets of water were soaking his clothing, right down to the skin, and more kept pouring onto his face and through his hair, trickling down into his collar and keeping the back of his neck and inside his cloak icy and cold.
Quite simply, it was bloody miserable weather.
Currently, he and Peter were huddled over one such open jar full of little blue flames, their hands shaking and shivering. The fire didn't throw nearly enough heat to actually feel warm, but they were saved the unplesantness of mild hypothermia. And what was more, people kept threatening to bump them and tip the fire over.
Peter said, "We really have to get a better system, you know."
Remus rubbed his hands together overtop the flame and scowled. "How about watching the matches with a set of binoculars? In say, the dorm room."
Peter laughed, then started coughing and huddled even closer to Remus's little jar. "I think I'm getting sick *again*," Peter complained.
Remus answered in a low drone, "we're their best friends. We are their best friends. We're their best friends."
Peter tilted his head. "What are you doing?"
Remus closed his eyes, hands still over the jar and body hunched over. "Quiet. I'm reminding myself why I'm here out in the rain. Freezing my arse off. In the middle of November."
Peter looked up as Sirius got another ten points for Gryffindor. "You know," he said thoughtfully, "I don't know if I like Quiddich this much."
Remus nodded. "I know I don't like Quiddich this much," he replied. "The jury's still out on whether I even like Sirius this much."
Peter laughed. "I *know* I don't like Sirius this much."
Remus closed his eyes again, blinking raindrops off his eyelids once or twice. He went back to chanting, "We are their best friends. We are their best friends. He gives head like a star. We are their best friends."
Peter coughed again, water drizzling off his nose. "Is he really that good in bed?"
Remus opened his eyes to see Sirius toss the Quaffle into one of the Slytherin hoops again. He sighed, as a crack of thunder sounded far off. "Not yet, but I can hope he'll get better."
After the match, Peter and Remus were the first on the pitch. In their possession was the little jar of blue flames which Remus was currently keeping in the inside of his cloak to try and stay warm, and a tied plastic bag full of slightly damp towels.
They ran up to where Sirius and James eventually touched down. Remus got there first, which meant that a towel landed on Sirius's head. Peter ran up, taking a ragged breath, and said gasping, "That's the bloody last Quiddich match I come to until June!"
James said, "what are you griping about? You're not the one that was flying out there in the rain." As he said this, he was wiping his face off with a towel that, since they were standing in the middle of the deluge, immediately became just as wet as their clothing.
Remus just gave Sirius another towel. Sirius, as he was wiping himself off with something slightly damper than the Flood, added, "Yeah, why didn't you just do an Impervius spell on the umbrella to keep yourselves dry?"
Peter replied, "If you didn't notice, you're the two that got top marks in Charms."
Remus added, "Besides, that would mean we'd have to actually *have* an umbrella."
Sirius rubbed his neck. "Yeah, right, I meant to tell you. It's under my--"
"Don't, don't even bother, Sirius. Obviously it's under your, or in your. Because it's sure not in mine," Remus answered, grumpily.
Peter, who had three cloaks on and was soaked right through each layer and the plastic he had wrapped around himself, said, "Can we please go inside, now? I know that I can't get any wetter, but every moment that I spend outside means another possible week of flu. I know you guys seem to be incapable of catching any kind of cold whatsoever," looking at Sirius and James. "Maybe it's all the games you play, I don't know. But all I know is that I've been in the hospital wing three times already this term for plain flu. And I don't want to go back next week. Besides, Remus is still weak and he's practically blue already."
Sirius glanced at Remus and immediately looked guilty. "We'll fly you guys to the castle, just get on our brooms."
"I'm not some kind of invalid," Remus grumbled, but he offered no resistance when Sirius pulled him up onto the broom and took off for the castle.
Remus didn't think it was possible, but the rain was even *more* miserable on the back of Sirius's broomstick. It whipped into his eyes and face, stung his cheeks. It was impossible to open his eyes or huge fat raindrops blinded him, and keeping his eyes closed just meant that water ran, unheeded, down his eyelids and face.
But soon enough, they were at the castle doors and rushing into the Entrance Hall. By then everyone, Sirius and James included, were shivering and looking positively dismal. Little puddles were forming at their feet on the stone floor. Peter shook himself off, and water sprayed everywhere.
"We'd better get back up to the dorm," Sirius said, "before Filch finds us dripping all over the place."
"I've still got the towels," but when Remus peered into the bag he was holding, it was obvious that their towels weren't going to soak up any more water, having hit maximum saturation some time ten minutes ago. It actually looked like the water level in the bag was higher than the towels themselves.
James rubbed his arms vigorously. "Let's just get up to bed."
Peter sighed, pulling his three cloaks off and balling them up in his arms. He started up the staircase, and Remus heard, "at least we'll have first run at the baths while everyone else is coming back to the castle."
"A bath would be nice, eh?" Sirius said from behind him.
Remus slowed down so that they were climbing the staircases side by side. It might have been his imagination, but one or both of them were sloshing. "I don't even care that much, I just want to curl up by the fire and dry off."
"We could," Sirius cleared his throat, glancing around. "We could dry off together."
Remus nodded agreeably. "If you like." As they mounted the last steps, they could see Peter and James already disappearing behind the portrait hole. "And you know, one of us is sloshing."
"The bag maybe?"
Remus looked down. "Could be. I'll have to hang these up somewhere."
Sirius said, "Magnolia," and then as they entered the Common Room, "make sure it's not in our dorm. They'll get everything soaked."
Peter, however, had already solved the question by dumping his three cloaks in a dusty corner of the common room. Remus added their cloaks and bag of soaked towels to the top of the pile, and the run-off from the combined pile made a little lake on the floor.
Sirius, still following right behind as Remus went up to the dorm room, almost bumped into him as Remus paused in the doorway. "Peter," he said. "Hiya."
Peter glanced up from where he was rooting around in his trunk, clucking vaguely. "Oh, you two." He bent over again. "I'm about to go have a bath, don't worry, I'll be out of your hair shortly."
"You don't--" Remus started.
"Oh no," Peter declared, rummaging around. "I'm going to soak for an hour in a hot bath, and then I have just tons of homework to finish. Probably won't be up to bed for hours." He emerged from his trunk, triumphantly holding a book on underwater plants. "Aha!"
Sirius meanwhile, had already kicked his shoes and soaking socks off into the corner, and was loosening his Quiddich robes. "I did the Charms," he said helpfully, "if you want to copy it."
Peter put his book in his bag, and hauled the heavy sack onto his back. "Love to. Actually, I already grabbed it. You mind?"
Remus started undoing his shoes, too. Sirius grinned lazily. "Nah. Would have done the same thing in your place."
"Good." Peter shivered, sniffled. "Right, a bath. Uh," and Peter added akwardly, "James is already gone. I think he and Lily have something going on tonight, so."
"Fab," Sirius said, and when Peter shut the door behind him, shucked his drenched robes, too. Remus shook his head, as Sirius grinned again. "Hand me a dry towel, would you?"
"I don't know as we have any," and Remus started undressing too. "They're all sitting in that mess downstairs."
"Oh, fuck, you're not serious." Sirius flopped down on his bed, wearing next to nothing. "How the fuck'm I ever going to get dry again?"
There was a nasty chill in the dorm-room, no doubt about it. Remus was shivering almost unconsciously as he threw his sopping wet clothes onto the chair by his bed. Pausing only a minute to make sure they were somewhat spread out, he crawled over to where Sirius was laying. "I haven't a clue," he said, teeth almost chattering. "Look at this," Remus added, holding his hands out in front of him. "My knuckles are practically blue."
"Cruel and unusual punishment," Sirius mumbled into Remus's hair. "But that's how Quiddich goes."
"I wasn't even playing!" Another shiver went through Remus, and he curled up even tighter, pulling his legs close to his chest.
"All right, this is ridiculous," Sirius said, business-like. "We're not freezing all night, we have to do something."
Remus jumped up, teeth clattering and hair still dripping water down his now-bare back. "Hang on a bit, I've got an idea." He ran over to grab his wand and something out of his trunk, and when he turned back to Sirius, he had a little pot of fire clutched in his hand. "This jar's smaller than the one I gave Peter earlier, but it might help."
He pulled the bedclothes back from his bed and grabbed the warming pan that some thoughtful house elf had left for him, then scooted back onto Sirius's bed. Sirius had already curled up on his side under his own covers. "You're brilliant, Moony," he said, admiringly. "We now have our own fireplace, and *two* warming pans. We'll be warm by March."
"Oh, leave off!" and Remus shoved him as he got under the blankets. "It's the best I could do."
Sirius pulled the blankets up over both of them again, placing the jar -- which was throwing a lot of very welcome heat -- between them. Remus mirrored Sirius, letting his body slowly relax as the dry bedclothes and warmth finally return to his limbs. Sirius said quietly, "I can do better."
When he leaned over to kiss Remus, the jar almost fell over. He muttered, and Remus grabbed it. "Let me." He wrapped the jar in some a corner of the blanket, leaving it between them, then moved in to kiss Sirius again.
They had their own little patch of heat right in the middle of the bed, and two more at their feet. Remus's knees hit Sirius's as he wrapped an arm around Sirius's neck, but he just kept kissing him, wet hair straggling and getting in his face. Impatiently, Remus brushed hair from his eyes, not bothering to take his mouth away from Sirius's.
"Better close the curtains, you," Remus heard, as a leg went around the back of his knees. He pushed closer to Sirius's body, skin still a little wet and getting the sheets damp.
"Close'em yourself," he gasped, and ran a hand down Sirius's back. "Busy."
Sirius made an answering gasp into his mouth, arching his back. "Also busy," he said, managing to chuckle.
"Fine, then I'll--" and Remus stuck an arm out, was able to close the curtains on his side of the bed at least. "There. Your turn."
"If you *insist*--"
Sirius pulled away, and there was a sudden rush of cold air over Remus's groin which made him gulp down air, suddenly. Then, the light was blocked out, as Sirius found the curtain ties and let the heavy drapes fall closed. Remus gulped again, as something finally *finally* pressed up against him again, as Sirius flipped them over, straddled his waist. He kissed Sirius's neck, reached up to lick his throat. "This is better."
Sirius almost moaned. "Warmer."
Remus grinned. "I think that bloody jar's under my back." Sirius reached down, the bedclothes tangled up around their knees and feet, the rest of their skin exposed to the chilly air, and Remus thought *finally*. He thought Sirius might have answered but didn't have a clue what he said, goosebumps already forming on his forearms and the small of his back burning with heat.
"So," Sirius muttered, "am I good enough yet?"
"What?" Remus was having severe problems concentrating, and really couldn't figure out why they were having a conversation at all. "What are you going on about now?"
"In bed. Am I good enough in bed to make up for the match and the weather, yet?"
Remus paused a minute, leaned back so he could see Sirius's face. "How'd you find out--"
"Peter told me."
"Oh. Yeah, I guess so." It was pretty good, after all, warm and hot and, yeah.
"Next time, though," and Remus moved closer, "don't steal my umbrella." When Sirius started to protest, Remus shuffled around a minute, the nice warm lump of a glass jar digging painfully into his tailbone. Then Remus bit him.
Sirius stopped talking.