Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or anything related to it.
Stuck in the Storm
Squeak, thud, squeak, thud, CRASH.
Remus Lupin smiled to himself as he heard a familiar shriek followed by a stream of frustrated curse words coming from the foyer of 12 Grimmauld Place. Sure enough, as he entered the hallway, the brilliant, albeit drenched, head of pink hair favored by his favorite nymph came into sudden view. Sprawled clumsily on the floor with one boot missing and her clothes soaked through, Tonks smiled wearily up at him. "Wotcher, Remus."
"I take it it's raining a bit?"
"A bit? It's a bloody monsoon out there. I half expected someone to go by in a rowboat at any minute."
Remus laughed and held out a hand, which Tonks gratefully accepted, and hoisted her to her feet. "I suppose we were due for a good rain."
"Oh sure. It's been, what? A whole day and a half since the last one?"
"Maybe we should think of building an ark."
"I think we'd have to get a permit from the Ministry first."
"I'm sure we could get around that, especially if the Ministry were under water."
"Fudge would find some way around that, even if he were nose-deep in water and had to use a snorkel and flippers to get around his office." Tonks snorted then, an image of Fudge as a mermaid suddenly finding its way into her mind, until she was broken off by a sneeze. Lupin reached into his pocket and drew out a handkerchief, handing it to Tonks who accepted it with a soft smile.
"I think the ark-building will have to wait. We need to get you into something warm before you catch a cold."
"You have anything in particular in mind, Professor?" Tonks asked, a mischievous smile on her lips.
"So how exactly did you manage to lose a boot?"
"Smooth way of changing the subject, there."
"I'm told I'm rather gifted at that. But I am curious, all the same."
"Let's just say," Tonks began, her brightly-colored, striped sock dripping on the floor, "that it involves one very complex chase scene, a magical goods smuggler, the largest puddle this side of the English Channel, and six or seven highly irritable Muggle fruit vendors."
"Perhaps it's best if I don't ask."
"I wouldn't. Long story short, we caught the smuggler and my brand-new boot is most likely somewhere amid a pile of rogue papayas."
"Well, all things considered, I suppose it could have been worse."
"At least we have the creep in custody. Still, I wish it could have ended without me having to come out looking like a drenched, pink ball of mud with only one shoe."
"Just be thankful you've never had to get caught in a rainstorm as an animal. Believe me, there's nothing worse than wet fur."
"That does sound awful. As if transforming into a werewolf wasn't enough, to have to be caught outdoors in the pouring rain must be unbearable."
"Yes, it is somewhat uncomfortable. However, I was actually thinking more about Sirius."
"Sirius? Oh, right. I guess transforming into Snuffles and having been on the run all that time, he would have had to be out in the rain more than a few times."
"It wouldn't even be all that bad, except for one small problem."
"Well, Sirius is fine when it comes to rain, but for some reason he gets very agitated whenever it starts to thunder. He claims it's his canine nature, but I've never had much of a problem with thunder or lightning."
"Poor Sirius! I never knew he was afraid of thunderstorms. How is he now with the storm going on outside?"
"He's been pretty quiet today, but I believe he's just asleep upstairs. I wouldn't worry, though. Sirius has always wanted to appear strong to others, even when he's afraid of something. I don't know if he'd even want me to be telling you about this. For now, young lady, I'm more concerned with getting you warm. Why don't you go upstairs and change while I make us some tea? You can borrow some of my clothes if you like."
"Sounds like a plan to me," Tonks said cheerily. "I'll be down in a minute." With that, Tonks removed her remaining boot and climbed the stairs two at a time, water dripping on each step. Lupin smiled after her before heading into the kitchen.
Approximately eleven minutes later, Tonks appeared at the top of the stairs in a pair of grey wool socks and a brown jumper of Lupin's which came down to mid-thigh. Thanks to a quick spell, her hair was now dry, but at the moment, she was a little less concerned with her appearance and a little more concerned with something else. "Uh, Remus?" she called, slightly anxious. In a moment, Lupin emerged from the kitchen; looking up at Tonks who was wearing his oversized clothes, he couldn't help but smile.
"Tonks, you're right on time. Tea's nearly ready."
"Remus, don't be alarmed." The smile wavered but didn't completely fall from Lupin's face.
"You do know that saying that would make someone get a little worried, don't you?"
"It's Sirius." This time Lupin's smile completely broke.
"What is it? Is he okay?"
"No, no. I mean, he's fine. It's just…I think you should come up here." Lupin bolted up the stairs and followed Tonks to Sirius' bedroom door, almost afraid of what he would find inside.
"Tonks, what exactly happened?"
"Now, you know how we were talking earlier about Sirius' problem with thunder? Well, uh…well, just take a look." Opening the door slowly, Lupin peered in, stared for a few minutes, and promptly entered the room, Tonks waiting patiently outside. Cautiously stepping closer to the bed, Lupin stared in wonderment at the sight before him, unsure of exactly how to react to what he was seeing.
For there on the floor lie Sirius, his upper body wedged underneath the bed frame, his legs flailing about as he struggled unsuccessfully to gain freedom from his captivity.
"Sirius," Lupin choked out, "do I want to know?"
"Look," came a muffled voice, "don't ask me how it happened; the point is I'm stuck, so just help me get unstuck!"
Out in the hallway, Tonks burst into laughter.
A/N: Inspired partly by my dog, Sam, who was so afraid of thunderstorms that he'd always hide under my bed. Unfortunately, he always got stuck.