This evening. Eight.
Remus can't say why he ties his hair in the ribbon before he leaves. Maybe it's because he likes the way Regulus' fingers feel on the back of his neck. Maybe it's because Remus likes Slytherin green. Maybe it's because Regulus likes Slytherin green on Remus.
For whatever reason, he knots it at his nape and grabs the parchment, waiting for it to sweep him away. Even aware that it's coming, the tug at his navel always takes Remus aback for a moment.
When the portkey deposits him where it's supposed to, Regulus puts a hand to Remus' stomach, right where the uncomfortable jolt centered the second before. "Hello."
Remus leans into the touch. "You shouldn't send me such recognizable notes."
Regulus smiles. It's an odd smile, one that Remus doesn't understand. He normally understands everything about Regulus. Remus can't even remember all the times he's had to explain Regulus to Sirius.
Sirius is the most oblivious friend on the planet. That thought leads to other thoughts, other suspicions, and Remus shuts them down before he's far far away from Regulus in his head. It's rare enough that they get to see each other these days.
"Come on," Regulus says. Remus doesn't ask where they're going, just follows.
They're inside a. . .shower room? "Where are we?"
Regulus' rather unhelpful answer is, "Reykjavik."
Remus blinks but doesn't argue when Regulus pulls him into a shower alongside him. Regulus gets rid of Remus' clothes with a spell. Remus looks around. "Where-"
"In one of the lockers." Regulus turns the shower head on, and for all that they're in a close space and naked with heated water running over them, he doesn't initiate anything, just hands Remus a bar of soap. Remus takes it and soaps up. Regulus likes planning surprises.
The thermal pools are a pleasant surprise. It's not so long after the full moon, and Remus' joints are still feeling the effects. Remus stretches out onto his back and floats a bit. He startles at the hands on his back, holding him up. His eyes fly open, and there Regulus is, above him, supporting him.
Regulus is the younger of the two, but lately it's hard to tell.
They are in a completely Muggle environment, far away from England, but there's a bandage over his forearm, keeping his secret safe. Remus wanted to stay as mad as he was when he first learned of Regulus' choice, but when Regulus had come to him, scared and alone and scared, Remus had just kissed him and said, "I missed you."
Regulus says softly, "There's something I have to do."
The water laps at Remus' skin, and he nearly misses the statement. "Regulus."
"I have to."
Remus closes his eyes and makes himself as heavy as he can, sinking into the water, bringing Regulus' arms down with him.
They shower again after soaking. Remus puts a Silencing Spell up and takes the initiative. Regulus cleans them both up afterward, and calls their clothes back to them. He dresses Remus slowly. He pulls the green ribbon out of Remus' pants pocket and looks at it for a moment. His smile is wry. "You're so. . .sweet."
He says it like he says "Gryffindor" sometimes, as a bemused compliment. Remus can't exactly blame him, what with Sirius for an older brother.
He ties Remus' hair up with the ribbon. His knuckles brush at the back of Remus' neck. Remus says, "Be careful."
Regulus tightens the knot.