“The Sunshine of Kindness”
Summary: Remus tries to sway Sirius’s behavior.
Setting: the kitchen of Grimmauld Place, one summer’s morning
Characters: Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, Molly Weasley
Genres: Drama, Humor, AU, Flashfic
A response to the Charming Roots Pick Three Challenge #6. (Challenge prompts at end.)
Early morning, Thursday, 13 July 1995
Sirius came into the kitchen, whistling cheerfully, a look of devilish glee in his eyes, and tossed a small package wrapped in butcher paper onto the table. He waved his wand and Summoned the tea tin, then he cast a warming charm on the teapot.
“Did you hear that?” he asked, spooning some tea leaves into the pot.
Remus nodded and lowered the Daily Prophet to look up at his friend. “Yes, I did.”
Sirius laughed. “I got him this time. Nasty little bugger.”
“You should treat him better, Sirius,” Remus said softly.
“Don’t see why. He hardly hides what he thinks of me. Serving the ‘Noble House of Black’ despite me,” Sirius replied. “Certainly not serving me. Not that I’d want his service. Disgusting little f—” Sirius caught Remus’s expression of disapproval and modified his statement “—remnant of dark days and a black past.” Sirius grinned at his own pun, tired and trite though he found it to be when coming from others.
Remus shook his head and folded the newspaper. “You really should treat him better,” he repeated. He stood, pushing back wearily from the table. “He’s bound to your family, but as you say, he isn’t bound to respect you, merely to obey you. He could become dangerous, perhaps not to you directly, but there are others in and out of the place all of the time. He might do something to someone else, someone whom you care about, just in order to hurt you. And it just isn’t right. It’s beneath you to treat any creature that way—even Kreacher.”
“Eh! He’s a thieving little misbegotten son-of-a—”
Remus cleared his throat and nodded toward the doorway behind Sirius. “Molly, we hadn’t expected to see you so early today.”
“I can tell,” Molly replied, raising an eyebrow at Sirius’s open dressing gown, bare feet, bright red boxers, and lack of any other attire.
Sirius casually belted his dressing gown around him and went to the sink and began filling the kettle with water.
“I’m not staying. I just wanted to bring you the clothes I mended for you,” Molly said, handing a brown wrapped package to Remus. “I couldn’t match the jacket button exactly, but I moved the others around, did a little charm on it, and I don’t think anyone will notice.”
Remus blushed and took the package by its string. “Thanks, Molly. I could have done it myself—”
“Nonsense! I’m happy to do it!” Molly said briskly. “It gives me something to do whilst listening to the wizarding wireless.”
Sirius brought the kettle to the table, set it on a trivet, and waved his wand to bring it up to boiling.
“Stay for some tea?” he asked as he poured the water into the teapot.
Molly shook her head. “Haven’t time. You really should boil the water properly, Sirius,” she admonished. “I hope you boys have more breakfast than that—you especially, Remus, after last night.”
Remus smiled and nodded.
“Bangers, toast, and eggs it’ll be for our lad! I had the elf fetch some fresh sausages this morning.” Sirius said. “I’ll take good care of him.”
“I’m sure you will,” Molly said. “I’ll be back this afternoon, and I’m bringing everyone with me to help. Arthur will be coming here directly from work, and I thought we could all have dinner together.”
Sirius’s eyes lit up. “I’ll look forward to that.” He stepped over and pecked Molly on the cheek. “Thanks, Molly.”
Molly smiled up at him. “I’ll see you two later!” She turned to leave, then stopped at the door as if suddenly remembering something. “Oh, and Remus, I put a couple of Bill’s old robes in there with the other things. Just a few things he’d left at the Burrow and doesn’t wear any longer. A bit too tight through the shoulders for him now, I think.”
She was gone before Remus could protest or thank her.
“Good woman, Molly,” Sirius said, looking after her with a fond smile.
Remus nodded. He sat back down and looked at the package, sighing. “How about some of that tea, Sirius? And I really don’t think I could stomach bangers and eggs this morning.”
“Once they’re frying up, the aroma will wake up your stomach. You’ll see! You need the protein.” Sirius began to untie the package of sausages. “And tell me if you need any Headache Potion, or a massage.”
Remus shook his head and reached for the teapot. “Just some tea, I think.”
Sirius picked up his wand and flicked it, Summoning a mug from a shelf on the other side of the kitchen.
“Milk?” Sirius asked, already pouring some into the mug
Sirius returned to his sausages, and soon had them sizzling in one pan while a half dozen eggs fried in another. “Toast or fried bread?”
“Toast. You know, Sirius, if you showed Kreacher one-tenth the consideration you show me—”
“Do not even think to compare yourself with that bent little bucket of dragon dung,” Sirius interrupted.
“I’m simply saying . . . Kindness is the sunshine in which virtue grows.”
“And where did you get that little nugget of wisdom?” Sirius asked with a smirk as he transferred the bangers from pan to plate.
“Read it somewhere.” Remus shrugged. “You should try harder to be kind to him. I overhead Dumbledore say something like that to you just the other day.”
“Hmph. Eat your breakfast and leave the house-elf discipline to me,” Sirius said, putting a full plate down in front of his friend and setting another down for himself.
Remus sighed and picked up his fork. “I’m just saying—”
Author’s Note: the Pick Three Challenge provides six prompts—an object, a quote, a character, a sound/smell, flora/fauna, and a sixth word of the challenger’s choosing—of which the author must use at least three. Here are the prompts for challenge #6:
Quote: “Kindness is the sunshine in which virtue grows.”
– Robert Green Ingersoll
Character: Remus Lupin
I used the quote, the character, the sound, and the choice. I’d hoped to work all of them in, but didn’t manage!