If At First You Don't Succeed

A HariPo oneshot

by mew-tsubaki

Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not to me. Done for a quote prompt. This pairing is a Mew and Mor's Weird Pairing, which you may find in the M&MWP forum (see my profile for details). Check out and join the forum FUN! Read, review, and enjoy!

- ^-^3

"There is no remedy for love but to love more." —Henry David Thoreau

She tittered quietly as the group of four boys walked into the infirmary. They were the usual sight—and quite the sight.

Peter Pettigrew hung behind his friends. He was a round youth with mousy features and eyes red from tearing up at the teasing he received from his friends. Pettigrew was the fourth wheel of the group.

James Potter was closer to the front, helping to carry one of his friends. Potter was a real troublemaker. Really, he was a devil in an angel's disguise. But he had manners and a good heart.

Remus Lupin was the one supported in the middle. His hair was slightly mussed up, and he had a little less dirt on his face than the others. His disgruntled expression belied his slight amusement at whatever it was he and his friends had accomplished.

However… When her eyes rested on the last boy, the one foremost in front, her cheeks slightly flushed. Sirius Black. He truly was the handsomest boy in all of Hogwarts. He was so tall and had beautiful ink black hair and the most mischievous gray eyes a woman could ever fall in love with—

Poppy Pomfrey turned her eyes away from the boys known as the Marauders. She couldn't believe herself. She was the young nurse of Hogwarts, only in her late twenties. How could she possibly think of one of the students in that way? Yes, Mr. Black might be seventeen—an adult in the Wizarding world—but she was not to have any untoward thoughts like that. It simply was not right. So she told herself to forget about her feelings—for the umpteenth time—as she turned back to the boys. "And what have we gotten ourselves into today, boys?"

Sirius grinned wickedly, something that made Poppy's cheeks burn red—and she was glad that some hair hung on either side of her face to block her blush. "Nothing at all, dearest Poppy."

She rolled her eyes. How many girls had heard "dearest" in front of their names from him before? "So I take it that it was a prank gone wrong, then."

James smiled. "You know us so well, Miss Pomfrey."

She smiled as she shook her head. She liked that some of the students didn't call her "madam"—at least not yet. She wasn't old enough to be "madam" at her current age. "Mr. Potter… I take it these minor injuries are merely the aftershock of taking a tumble after the prank went off?"

"Correct," Remus replied. "They are not caused by magic. Merely by stupidity." He said this and yet he hid a small smirk.

Poppy laughed at that and unsheathed her wand. "You first, Mr. Pettigrew."

One by one, she healed their cuts and bruises. She also was kind enough to clean up and mend their uniforms. In fact, they looked more prim and proper than usual.

"There you go, boys," she said kindly as Remus adjusted his tie. "I suppose I'll be seeing all of you later this week?"

All four of them grinned the same, troublemaking grin. "Of course!" James and Sirius chorused.

Poppy looked to Remus. "How are you feeling, Mr. Lupin?" she asked, knowing fully well that the weekend would also bring the full moon.

Remus gave her a shrug. "The same as always before it happens," he replied glumly.

"Well, you can rest as comfortably as always," she remarked as she walked them to the doors of the infirmary. "Goodnight, boys."

They uttered several versions of "'night," but Sirius hung back, and his friends did not wait for him. He gave Poppy a long look once the others were long gone. "Erm… Poppy…"

She bit her lip. "Yes, Mr. Black?"

He cast his eyes downward. "He's… He's not… It's never going to get easier for him, is it?" he inquired quietly.

The witch's heart went out to him. Of course he was concerned about his best friend. Remus was a werewolf and, no, it would never get easier for that quiet boy. She could only frown in response. "We make it easier for him, Sirius," she stated softly. She reached up and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.

He looked back up at her, a sad smile on his lips. "Thank you. Goodnight, poppet." With that, the Gryffindor boy left.

Poppy turned away from the doors after she closed them and returned to her desk. She couldn't work, though. All her mind's eye could see was Sirius' bittersweet smile and his large, puppy dog eyes.

- ^-^3

That weekend, Remus came in like always, as he'd said. And Sirius was right. It wasn't any easier for him.

Remus thrashed and groaned and screamed, despite the fact that it was the morning after the full moon. It was always like this, always the same rush of pain that tortured him even after that horrid, heavenly body in the sky sank below the horizon for her daytime nap.

Sirius' forlorn expression urged Poppy to enfold the elder Black brother in her arms, but she didn't. He needed comfort, but she knew not from her.

After Remus had calmed down finally and was sleeping peacefully, James and Peter left. Sirius, however, hung back again. He looked incredibly tired in the chair beside Remus' cot, as though Sirius had suffered through the lycanthropy's pain, not Remus.

"Mr. Black."

Sirius didn't say anything or move.


He looked up. "Sorry. It's tough every time this happens." He returned his eyes to Remus as Poppy neared him. Sirius leaned back in his chair and rested his head on her stomach, as she was standing behind his seat. "Have you ever dealt with a wolf before, poppet?"

Poppy shook her head, ignoring her nickname. "No… I only ever studied their treatment at St. Mungo's, and there aren't many items to help weres. All we can do is…comfort them."

"Comfort…yes." Sirius' eyes darkened as he glanced out the window at the morning sky. He abruptly stood and faced her. "See you, poppet," he said with his usual carefree smirk, and he kissed her cheek before he left.

But Poppy couldn't jump for joy over that. All she could see was his sadness. And again she wanted to envelope him in her arms.

- ^-^3

As the moons and months passed for the Marauders' seventh year, Poppy grew sadder and sadder. She knew it would end when Sirius graduated, but she still loved seeing him so much. But it killed her to see him so desolate.

She'd heard rumors about his family troubles and problems caused by some other students. Sirius had to deal with a family who hated him, though she knew it was slightly better since he had moved into James' house. But then there were also the rumors surrounding the problem students, the…Death Eaters. Apparently, these children supported He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and Poppy knew that it was rumored that Sirius' younger brother, Regulus, was a Death Eater himself, or at least a supporter.

As if a werewolf for a best friend weren't bad enough.

It was two months before the end of the school year. It was a quiet summer night. The week before had been the full moon, so currently things were quiet. Poppy let down her hair as she dimmed the lights in the Hospital Wing. There weren't any patients, so it was quite calm at the moment.

There was a knock at the door. "Poppet?" came his quiet voice.

Poppy was stunned slightly at his unusually somber tone. "Sirius?" she whispered in the dim light.

Sirius appeared in his pajamas as he slipped inside. He weakly smiled. "It's late, huh?"

She smiled for him. "It's never late in the Hospital Wing."

He approached her and sat down on the edge of the cot nearest her. "Urm…"


"Things are only going to get harder from here on out, huh?"

Her smile softened, as she understood he was referring to the oncoming war with You-Know-Who. "Probably."

"It only means more trouble, too."

"…yes," she answered, walking over to him.

"Could… Is… Ah," he grumbled, gritting his teeth and shaking his head. "Never mind."

Poppy finally did what she'd been wanting to for so long: She wrapped her small arms around him and gently squeezed him. "Remus will make it along all right. He has his friends. He has you, Sirius."

Sirius was quiet, but he slowly reached up and snaked his arms around her waist. "I need… I need—"

She shook her head. "Please do both of us a favor and don't say it, Sirius."

His brow furrowed. "Why not? I'm almost out of here. And I do like you!"

Poppy sighed contently. "Thank you, Sirius. I'm flattered, but—" She squeaked as he yanked her down and Frenched her. She kicked herself for melting into his arms so easily, too. When he let her breathe, she blushed. "Sirius, that was—"

"—exactly what I needed." His dark gaze held hers so seriously, it made her wonder how long he'd been thinking this path, this path for him and her. "Poppet, don't do this to me. I can't do anything without knowing you won't welcome me when I return."

"Return? What…?" Her voice faded as another rumor—no, truth—came to mind: one about an army of sorts, an order… What was it again…? An order… The order… The…Order of the…Phoenix…? She paled. "I won't," she choked. "Not if you're diving headfirst into danger."

He grimaced, sighed, and chastely kissed her lips. "All right, then. Fair enough. Well, my dear, there is no remedy for love but to love more." He smiled his usual smile. "I won't give up."

As he stood and left her, she watched him walk away. "Give up, Sirius," she called after him. "Give the Order up, not me."

- ^-^3

So anyone else love them as much as I do? Leave a review to let me know!

Thanks for reading, and please review!

-mew-tsubaki :D

Thanks as always to Morghen for beta'ing! XD

2016 note: I like the thought of a young Poppy even now, 6 yrs after I originally wrote this work. And Sirius, the charmer, will forever be in my heart. -w-