Disclaimer: I do not lay claim to Ms. Rowling's characters and situations, nor do I own 'Song for a Winter's Night'. I am not making any money off of this.

Dedication: To Ashura, to say thank-you.

// The lamp is burning low upon my table top

The snow is softly falling //

Dust rises from the arms of Sirius' chair as he heaves himself wearily from it. It is three o'clock in the morning, and it is snowing, unusually thickly for London. He does not want to be watching, not tonight of all nights; but there is nobody else, and someone needs to be awake and alert at 12 Grimmauld Place. He doesn't know precisely what Tonks' mission is, as a precautionary measure. It is better for the Order if such things are kept on a need-to-know basis, and all he needs to know is that when Tonks is finished she will come to his house.

// The air is still within the silence of my room

I hear your voice softly calling //

The snow is falling so very thickly. The world outside seems muffled, and he keeps his own breathing to an absolute minimum, afraid that if he makes too much noise the world will break. It seems fragile in the diffused glow of the streetlamp across the way, as if he is in a snow-globe made of glass which keeps him apart from the rest of the world. The silence breaks, barely, with an anguished howl which sounds far-off, and Sirius looks up through the window to where the full moon would be if he could see it. The Silencing charm he has cast on the reinforced cellar room is not strong enough to contain the agony of a werewolf alone. He clenches his jaw as he listens - Remus-wolf is without his Padfoot tonight, and while Sirius realizes that Remus-wolf has been alone many a full moon, the part of him that is Padfoot pulls him from the window.

// If I could only have you near

To breathe a sigh or two

I would be happy just to hold the hands I love

Upon this winter night with you //

The Order is what little home he has left, but tonight Sirius curses it. The Ministry has been responding to public fear, and it has become very difficult for even Snape - Sirius grinds his teeth at the thought of being beholden to that slimy git of a man - to obtain the ingredients for Wolfsbane without raising questions. Remus-wolf yelps at something, and Sirius winces.

Tonight Remus-wolf is simply the Wolf.

He considers briefly the prospect of trying to cast a stronger Silencing charm, but decides against it. If Moony is going to suffer, then the least his Padfoot can do is listen and make sure nothing goes more wrong than usual.

//The smoke is rising in the shadows overhead

My glass is almost empty//

Sirius turns now to the fireplace, where embers cast strange shapes on the walls. He knows they are only shadows - except that they are made of light, the shapes are, not darkness, how could a fire cast shadows if it is made solely of light? He shakes his head. Such philosophical thoughts are not usually his, and the corner of his lower lip twitches briefly as he wonders what Remus would think of catching him in the act of philosophizing. Remus would laugh like the embers do, making Sirius warm and bright.

Sirius picks up his hot chocolate and realizes it has gone cold. He drinks it anyway and turns to look out the window again. The wind has made a little drift of snow on the windowsill, piled up against the pane, and it glows the warm colour of embers.

//If I could know within my heart

That you were lonely too

I would be happy just to hold the hands I love

Upon this winter night with you//

He wonders what it is like for Remus, to be the Wolf alone. Remus tells him that alone, he is not Moony, that there is no Moony without Padfoot, and that he is glad that Sirius does not have to be a Wolf. Sirius knows that there is more to it, but Remus never speaks of it further, and he is reluctant to press. He knows that Remus, too, is a snow-globe, and that he will break if pressed too hard.

Sirius wonders if the Wolf has thought enough to know that Padfoot is not there. His wonderment is interrupted as Tonks clatters through the front door, knocking over the coat stand. His eyes flick despairingly to the portrait of his mother, who stirs in her sleep, raises her head, opens her mouth to screech - and snores again softly. Even his mother cannot disturb this winter's night.

//The fire is dying now, my lamp is growing dim

The shades of night are lifting//

"All right, Sirius?"

He starts, and then realizes it is only Tonks, and that she is smiling, and doesn't need his help. Mutely, he nods.

"Bed for me, then. I'm right tuckered. See you in the morning. Er. I suppose it is morning. Afternoon, then."

He nods again as she disappears up the stairs, and returns to his window. He cannot hear the Wolf anymore. The snow has stopped, except for a dust which blows down off of the roof, glinting red in the dawn which mirrors what is left in his fireplace. Crimson and grey is the sky.

//The morning light steals across my windowpane

Where webs of snow are drifting//

The Wolf is quiet, he realizes, and Tonks is home and does not need him. He bolts for the door to the cellar and throws it open, clumping down the steps, the spell of silence finally broken. He reaches the heavy door at the end and struggles briefly with the steel bolt before pulling it open. Remus is sprawled in a corner, and there is blood on his pale skin and in his hair, turning it to ropes of honey and silver and that sickening, all- too-familiar brown. But his eyes are open, and he is smiling through his split lip, and Sirius feels warm. He kneels and carefully lifts Remus, who is Remus again after an endless quiet night, and carries him like a child up the stairs. Remus protests that he can walk, but Sirius gives him a Look, and Remus gives in.

There is blood all over the green sweater Mrs. Weasley made, with an S on the front and one arm slightly longer than the other because Sirius carries one shoulder slightly higher than the other when he is nervous, which is most of the time recently. Sirius doesn't mind. He struggles with the decision of whether Remus needs bed or a bath more until Remus shivers and makes up his mind for him. Hang the sheets. Sirius climbs another flight of stairs and turns left at the top, into the room he spent his childhood locked inside, his room now. The bed is big enough for two, with a warm red quilt which is incongruous in the mostly black room.

Sirius manages to balance on one foot and turn back the quilt with his toes without dropping Remus or falling over, and once Remus is in the bed he strips and climbs in as well, pulling the quilt over the both of them. His hand reaches out without being bidden, and finds Remus' hand, clammy and cold. Sirius grips it firmly, and Remus looks at him, and Remus' eyes are like warm embers in the darkness, casting no shadows.

//If I could only have you near

To breathe a sigh or two

I would be happy just to hold the hands I love

And to be once again with you

To be once again with you //