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A Muddy Pair of Trainers

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“Shoes,” Remus said warningly as Harry stumbled out of the fire.

Harry scowled ferociously at him as he beat at his robes. Remus winced at the resulting cloud of ash and smoke, but opted to say nothing as Harry grudgingly picked one mud-caked trainer off with the toe of the other, then hopped out of the second. He left the shoes on the hearthrug and stomped off up the hall. Remus surveyed the tracks left in the carpet and decided not to ask just how Harry had gotten mud on the bottoms of his socks.

He listened to the sotto-voce mumblings proceeding up the hall, and then to the thumps and clatterings from the bedroom before the hiss of the shower started. Only then did he rise and collect the two mournful trainers. He carried them by their laces away from his body, working hard to restrain the urge to simply fling the filthy things into the fire. They had to date back at least to Harry’s Hogwarts days. Remus dropped them outside the kitchen door and hoped a stray wild beast would think they were alive and carry them off to its lair. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch.

The shower turned off while Remus was still in the kitchen, puttering over the tea things. It took Harry an inordinately long time to emerge from the bedroom, but Remus had anticipated this and boiled the water the Muggle way. He added a plate of the chocolate biscuits Harry liked so much just for good measure. It couldn’t hurt, at least.

Harry finally appeared in the doorway with obvious reluctance. He hadn’t bothered to comb his hair, and it hung wetly over his eyes. He had changed into a pair of sweat pants and an old Quidditch World Cup T-shirt. Remus glanced at it and winced.

Harry posed a moment, one cleanly socked foot propped slightly on the door jam, his hands on his hips. Remus busied himself with the tea things on the table, and Harry huffed irritably before coming to sit down.

“One lump or two?” Remus asked sweetly.

Harry glared. “Losing your memory in your old age?” he asked tartly.

Remus winced. If he was pulling the age card, Harry was quite a bit more irritated than Remus had anticipated. He added four lumps, handed Harry his cup and a biscuit, and considered his options.

“You’re still in the running for the league cup,” he said as he made up his own tea.

“Just barely,” Harry said. “If they’d scored one more goal before I caught the Snitch we’d be knocked out.”

“But you did catch the Snitch,” Remus said.

“Barely,” Harry repeated. “And no thanks to you.”

Remus frowned at him. “You can’t honestly be thinking of blaming this on me,” he said, setting his cup down.

“Watch me,” Harry said.

Remus sighed the sigh of the long-suffering. Harry was working into quite a sulk. Remus had a theory about Harry and sulking, about a child prohibited from making his own wants known, and an adult working to make up for lost time. This, too, he decided, he would not comment on. Instead, he pushed the biscuit plate closer to Harry and started the same conversation for the fifth or sixth time. “I have a commitment to my students—“

Harry lifted his left hand and allowed the mid-afternoon sunlight to flash off his ring.

“—as well as to you,” Remus continued. “I had no choice but to stay home and do the marking for the end of the holidays.”

“You could have come and done it in the stands,” Harry said.

Remus blinked. “But then I couldn’t watch.”

Harry shrugged. “Oh, I don’t care about that. You don’t have to watch, you just have to be there for it to work.”

“This is entirely irrational, you realize,” Remus said.

“Not.” Harry snapped a biscuit decisively in half.

“You do not need me to be present at your Quidditch matches in order to do well,” Remus said patiently. “As you amply proved your first two years of school, as well as on numerous other occasions.”

Harry put his stubborn face on.

“And you did win today, after all,” Remus said again, a bit plaintively.

Harry sulked in majestic silence through the rest of tea, though he did manage to put away five of the biscuits, Remus noted.

Harry took his tea things to the sink, his back very pointedly turned to Remus, and began washing with much clattering and banging about. Remus winced, considering simply leaving him to it. But there was something truly dejected in the line of Harry’s back, something uneasy and protective in the hunch of his shoulders that had Remus crossing the room before he could rethink it.

He stepped close behind Harry and slid both hands around his waist. The top of Harry’s head came up to Remus’ nose, and he could tuck his chin over Harry’s shoulder and press their cheeks together with only a little stooping.

“If it bothers you that much, I’ll be at every game you ever fly in,” he said softly.

Harry sighed and relaxed against him, his hands swishing aimlessly in the water. “You’re right,” he said, “it is silly.”

“But it’s important to you,” Remus urged gently.

“I dunno,” Harry said, answering the unspoken question. “I just like having you there. Ever since I’ve met you you’ve always meant good things. You’re like…my lucky charm.”

Remus couldn’t speak for a moment. He supposed it could be considered a sad thing that Harry could still surprise him with it, that they could still surprise each other. The rings were supposed to remind them both, and they did. Remus still smiled helplessly every time it caught the light even a year later. But even so, after the rings and the declarations, they could still catch each other unawares with the reality of being treasured, being adored.

“Every single game, then,” he said, turning his head to kiss Harry’s cheek, then his neck. “I’ll sit somewhere you can always see me, no matter where you are on the pitch.”

Harry withdrew his hands from the sink and turned in Remus’ arms. They blinked at each other a moment, sharing the joke a little, laughing at themselves for forgetting yet again. Harry reached up with his dripping, sudsy hands and patted Remus’ cheeks. Remus scowled and batted the hands away, diving in for a quick kiss, and then another, slower one.

Harry’s hands dropped onto his shoulders, kneading reflexively as Remus backed him up against the counter with his own body and kissed him until his mouth was flushed and swollen. Urgency took them both then, and Harry climbed Remus like a monkey, twining one leg, then two around his waist and tonguing the hollow of his throat through the collar of his robes. Remus grunted at the solid weight of him, but hefted him gladly as he turned for the bedroom. He took advantage of their positions for a good old-fashioned grope as he hurried up the hall, and Harry murmured and wriggled against him

Harry let go with his arms but not his legs when Remus dropped him onto their bed. He sprawled back across the coverlet, arms akimbo, his legs knotted about Remus’ hips where he stood at the edge of the bed. Remus smiled and freed himself, taking a moment to cup the bulge at the crux of Harry’s thighs. Harry yelped and bucked, and Remus had to move fast to evade capture again by those Quidditch hardened legs. He forestalled Harry’s glare by going for the lube, and he could hear Harry undressing behind him as he dug about for it. Dammit, they’d used it just last—ah, there it was. Remus turned back, lube in hand and fumbling for his own robes. Harry knelt on the bed waiting for him, wearing nothing but his ring and a grin. Remus grinned back, tossed him the lube, and shucked his robe as fast as he could.

They didn’t bother with foreplay after that by silent, mutual agreement. By the time Remus had emerged from his robes Harry was kneeling up higher, the tube in one hand and the other working behind him. Remus watched with great interest for a few minutes, one hand cupping his balls and the other slowly working his prick. Harry sighed and squirmed on his own fingers, and his prick rose, full and untouched from a thatch of thick, dark curls.

“Okay,” Harry said, with a small hitch in his voice. “Okay. Come on.”

Remus took him in his arms and kissed him hungrily as he climbed onto the bed, one knee and then the other. They knelt there facing each other, clinched and rocking gently as the mattress moved beneath their knees. Then Harry gave a lithe twist and roll and Remus was suddenly on his back. Harry knelt over him, and Remus propped his head up with both hands to survey him.

“Nice view?” Harry asked, amused.

“Wonderful,” Remus assured, sweeping his gaze from the tumble of hair to the shining eyes to the finely muscled chest and heavy, flushed prick. “I’ll just lie here and let you do all the work, shall I?”

“Lazy,” Harry said, taking Remus’ prick in one hand and settling back.

“Well,” Remus said, his voice catching as Harry slowly sank down on him, “I may be forgetting how it’s done in my old age.”

Harry winced, then waved away Remus’ automatic concern. “No, I’m fine. M’sorry about earlier, though. Was mean of me.”

“Quite alright,” Remus said through gritted teeth.

“I can always make it up to you now,” Harry continued with a cheerful grin and roll of the hips.

“Excellent idea,” Remus agreed. It wasn’t until his scalp began to ache that he realized he had bunched both his hands in his own hair. He released his grip and his breath all at once as Harry, apparently through teasing him, finally settled into a rhythm.

Harry rode him long and slow, until his body gleamed with sweat and his breaths were pants. He pushed down with a slow, screwing motion that had them both whimpering, and he knew just how to move to make it better than good. Remus watched him, transfixed, as Harry reached up to push his hair off his forehead. His ring flashed in the mid afternoon sunlight, and Remus moved for the first time to take it in his own. He brought Harry’s hand to his mouth and kissed it tenderly, then clasped and held it.

Harry sped up after that, the slow grind of his hips more purposeful. He leaned back a little and slid his free hand behind him. Remus jumped when Harry stroked his balls, then cupped and rolled them. He let his head fall back and reached up to Harry’s nipples. They matched each other touch for touch, laughing a little between breaths at the thrum of competition. Harry jerked suddenly, shuddering, and Remus pinched a nipple hard. Harry jerked again, then once more, a frantic burst of air the only sound he could make.

Remus quivered and thrust beneath him and came at the sight of Harry’s ecstatic face.

Harry sprawled beside him as they caught their breath. “Oi,” he said after a moment. “I should have snits more often.”

“Whatever you want,” Remus said equably. He’d lost Harry’s hand somewhere at the end, and he reclaimed it now. He ran a finger habitually around Harry’s ring, and then around his own. It should be sad, that happiness such as this was still not believed. He should mourn for the fact that Harry still didn’t have half as many snits as most people, that Remus himself still got a jolt sometimes to roll over in the middle of the night and find a warm body waiting for him. It should be sad, but it wasn’t. They were committed now, and had been for a long time, and Remus found it impossible to feel anything but joy that there was still more they could be. He wanted more.

“You didn’t burn my favorite trainers, did you?” Harry asked suddenly. “Don’t deny you want to.”

“Well,” Remus said.

Harry rolled over, a scowl threatening.

“I put them out in the garden,” Remus admitted grudgingly. “I was hoping they might walk away by themselves.”

“Hmph,” said Harry. He leaned over, snogged Remus until his head swam, and then bounced out of bed with the energy of youth. Remus lay where he had been left as Harry scrambled about for his robe and headed down the hall, muttering about another snack. The sun streamed in through the tall, open windows opposite the bed, and Remus stretched slowly under its warm blanket. He could hear Harry moving about in the kitchen, and even the triumphant reclamation of the despised trainers could bring only a fond smile to his lips.

It should be sad that they were still working at it, that they still had so far to go. But Remus didn’t care.