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Title: A Christmas Gift Given among Family
Author: iulia_linnea
Pairing/Characters: Sirius/Remus, the Potters
Rating: G
Word Count: 545
Summary: This is a gift!fic for nassima.
Disclaimer: This piece is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling; various publishers, including, but not limited to: Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books; and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Frowning slightly in concentration, Sirius examined the ornament he'd created and hoped.

Remus' toes had touched every grain of sand within it; he'd held each enclosed shell up to his ear—the clear glass globe ornament held the sand and shells and something more, albeit, not magically: it held the memory of their time together.

Sirius wasn't sure, really, for what he was hoping, he just knew—as he'd known since his first outing with Remus and James and James' family—that capturing the feeling of hope he'd experienced while walking with Remus along the beach during those all-too-short excursions was important. With the war on, it was vital that Remus should know how he felt. Still, he worried.

It's not like he'll ever want a tree of his own, will he? What if he hates his present? What if . . . what if he doesn't want a present from me?

"Don't be daft," Sirius whispered to himself, carefully placing the delicate globe in the red padded box he'd conjured. "Of course he'll like it. Remus loves handmade gifts."

Now he had to write the card, and that was daunting. Blokes didn't write love letters, did they?

If they're thinking of kissing another one under the sodding mistletoe, they do, Sirius told himself, sitting down at James' desk determined to begin.

His hands shook, but he ignored them.

I can do this. I think . . . I know Remus wants me to. He's so shy, but he's . . . . I've seen him looking at me.

"We're not at Hogwarts anymore. This is our first . . . ."

Inspired, Sirius stopped speaking a took a breath—and a sheet of parchment—and began to write:

            "Dear Remus,

            "This is our first Christmas since leaving Hogwarts, and I want you to know that—"

It's not going to be our last, Sirius thought, trying to summon the courage to write the words, and knowing that he was still too uncertain to write the three he most meant.

James' voice called out from somewhere below-stairs: "Oi! Sirius! Mum wants your help in the kitchen before Remus arrives!"

"Right!" Sirius called back, as he hid his gift and letter-writing attempt. Sod it—I'll just tell him.

But when Christmas came, he found that he didn't have to. Remus held up the ornament and smiled at Sirius through it.

"This is our sand, isn't it?" Remus whispered.

"Sirius," Mrs. Potter said, her face glowing, "what a thoughtful gift—and how clever of you!"

Later, when no one was paying them any mind, Remus found Sirius and—without even the benefit of mistletoe—leaned into his neck to place a kiss there.

"I love you," Remus told him, and Sirius quivered with a joy that was not bound to any season.

"The shells are ours, too. They always will be."

Sirius felt Remus' mouth smile against his neck in response, and then he whispered, "Yes, they always will be."

The scent of the ocean, the feeling of sand beneath his feet, the roaring of sea shells—these things, in that moment, became talismans of Christmas for Sirius—and that evening he realized, as he and Remus together hung their ornament on the Potters' tree with a smug-looking James watching them, that they would always have a place to keep their memories.

"It's good to be among family, isn't it?" asked Mr. Potter.

Everyone smiled.