Disclaimer: Characters from the Harry Potter Universe belong to JK Rowling and are used without permission but with no intent to defraud.

Author's Notes: Many thanks to my fantastic betas bewarethesmirk and mayalaen.


Wishing for Rain


Remus Lupin stared out of the cobwebbed window of number twelve, Grimmauld Place, and sighed heavily.

"Something the matter?"

Lupin jumped slightly. He hadn't heard Sirius approach, and without turning he shook his head. "No, not really. Just wish it would rain."

He sensed Sirius step up beside him, and heard the dull thunk as his friend rested his forehead against the glass to peer outside. How like a child he was at times, Lupin mused, but maybe that was part of his charm.

"Why do you want it to rain?" Sirius asked after a few moments of silence.

Lupin pushed away from the window and slumped into a tatty old armchair that sat nearby. "If it rains, then that means we have a reason to be stuck in this depressing dump."

"Hey," Sirius said indignantly, spinning around and managing to clatter his head off the glass. His hand rubbed at the sore spot as he snapped out, "This dump happens to be my home."

Surprised, Lupin looked up at his friend, quickly enough to catch the mischievous grin just before it vanished off his face. "Shut up, Sirius," he said.

For a brief moment, he thought his rebuke had worked, but then he was coughing heavily through clouds of dust, as an ancient cushion smacked him firmly in the face. "Sirius," he growled, tossing the cushion to the floor, where it landed with a powdery flump. "I'm not in the mood."

Dust whirled in the shards of brightness leaking in through the window, surrounding a grinning Sirius Black with devilish light as he hefted another cushion. ""C'mon, Moony, you old grump. Cheer up. Look how lovely it is outs-"

The cushion slammed into him with more force than Lupin had intended and Sirius staggered back, still gripping his own projectile.

A hand sweeping his dishevelled hair from his eyes, Sirius's mouth twisted into a dangerous grin. "So that's how you want to play it?"

"It was self defence," Lupin said innocently, tightening his grip on the cushion tucked behind his back.

Sirius lifted his own cushion slowly, and took a step forwards. "Self defence, my arse."

"It was." Lupin smiled, the years fading from his face as wrinkles transformed into laughter lines. "But this one, this is war," he said, pulling the cushion free and sending it through the air in Sirius's direction as Sirius launched his own.

As a barrage of thumps, scuffles and raucous laughter echoed around the musty old house, a growing cloud of moisture floated towards Grimmauld Place. Light spots of rain dotted the ground, and in minutes the flow was torrential, sheets of water streaming down the dirty panes.

But inside, they were too busy to notice.