Disclaimer: It's not mine and my lawyer would like to say that whatever I told people, it should be taken into account that I was on pain medication at the time.
A/N: So this takes place during that Christmas in OotP and this is for EmmaLeighx. These are a series of one-shots but they're not all in chronological order. I'm aiming for one a week until late December because it's the cheapest present to date and you know what I'm like for a bargain…
Sirius Black had always been hard to buy for and he'd known he would be from the moment he first met him so Lupin wondered why he was surprised to find himself reduced to flicking through old school photographs in a desperate plea for inspiration.
He began to wonder why he had taken any of these pictures. They didn't mark any momentous events. Some were just taken on a whim because, as Sirius had urged, "Impromptu photos are fun Remus. Try and live a little." and so he had. He had taken one of his friends mid-conversation which resulted in a picture of three angry twelve year old wizards, staring up at him and rolling their eyes. He could never explain that they were taken as memories so that when they all figured it out and abandoned him, he could have actual evidence that the past year had not been a dream.
Some, like the picture of the four of them trying to impersonate each other (although he had to admit that Pettigrew had done a terrible job of James) made him smile in a way that he hadn't done in years. Some, like the picture Sirius had taken of himself, Lupin and James on the Hogwarts Express just before they all disappeared out of one another's lives for six weeks of their first summer holiday, resulted in the blinking away of tears that threatened to fall. Some, like the picture of Peter in their last year with his arms around James and Lily, made him want to hit something…hard… preferably Pettigrew. Others, such as the picture of himself and Sirius in the hospital wing while Remus's broken leg was waiting to be set, were embarrassing in the extreme and made him glad that he was the only one who knew of the existence of said photographs. At the same time, that was wrong somehow.
"Perfect." Lupin muttered.
Lupin swung round nearly dropping the box in his arms. Harry noticed that whatever it contained was preventing its lid from closing and Lupin was clutching them together. He had a feeling that the minute Lupin let go, its contents would spill out but then he saw the red bow that bound the two together.
"Merry Christmas Harry."
Watching Harry leap down the stairs, beaming, was such a contrast from the weeping Molly Weasley that Lupin beamed in response, not really knowing why.
"I just wanted to say thanks. The book's great, it's absolutely perfect."
Lupin gave him a knowing half-smile. "I thought it might come in handy. What with the trouble that seems to find you wherever you go."
Harry emitted a sound that could have been the lovechild of a laugh and a sigh. "And um…have you seen Sirius? I've got his present."
"No but oddly enough I was just trying to give him mine."
"GOD REST YE MERRY HIPPOGRIFFS!"
Lupin smirked. "He just might be with Buckbeak."
Harry fell into step with his former teacher turned mentor and friend and continued to sneak wary looks at the box in Lupin's arms. It looked like something Hagrid would give to someone. Harry supposed he was being unfair; Hagrid's gift would have eaten its way out by now.
"What is it?" Harry asked, finally giving in to his curiosity.
Lupin grinned. "It's a surprise; for you as much as Sirius."
Harry laughed. Lupin and surprises were as much synonyms of one another as Snape and Santa Claus.
"For who as much as me?" asked Sirius, closing the door just to Lupin's right.
"Me." replied Harry, confused and decidedly unnerved by the wide grin that was slowly spreading across Lupin's tired, grey features.
Lupin handed over the box and watched Sirius register the fact that his Christmas present from his only remaining best friend…was a box.
"Well Remus, what can I say? You really have out-done yourself this year. You knew just what I wanted."
"Stop pretending to be stupid and open it." replied Lupin, still smug.
Harry barely had time to ask, "Are you sure that's such a good idea?" before pictures flew to the far corners of the corridor.
Sirius dropped the box and slowly turned to face Lupin who was now smiling sheepishly.
"To be fair Sirius, I didn't say you had to do it straight away."