Dancing With You

Prologue: If You're Ever in California

It was probably the longest I've been in England in the past ten years; that alone speaks volumes about the man they were laying to rest. Albus Dumbledore had been my mentor when I was younger, and was the only reason I had turned out even half decent…though some would debate that.

The morning was gray and rainy, and a few dozen mourners braved the weather to come. It should have been more, I kept thinking scanning the crowd for faces I knew. Albus had helped so many, guided countless young lives, and this was all that deemed it important enough to come. To be fair, people did loose touch after Hogwarts. Some of them probably assumed that he had died years earlier. At one hundred and two, it was not shocking that he had passed, but it irked me that this pitiful rabble was all that showed up.

After the service, I began to walk to my car without speaking to a soul when a hand touched my shoulder. "Severus, I'm shocked that you wouldn't even say hello."

"Remus Lupin," I said without much emotion. The man before me was thin with light hair shadowed with gray. He was one of the few people I'd actually gotten along with in high school…or rather I had gotten along with him before he started seeing Sirius Black. "I didn't see you. Where's Black?"

Remus sighed and shook his head. "Damned if I know." A bitter smile turned his lips. "We've been apart for some years now."

I nodded slowly. "Why don't we go for a cup of coffee?"

I drove to a little place not far off, and we sat in a booth. "So what have you been doing with your life?"

"Not a damn thing worth talking about. I've been traveling mostly—trying to get my next book out. And you?" I ask hoping that he won't want details about my writing.

Remus smiled. I knew it was too much to wish for. "What do you right?"

"Novels," I said grudgingly and told him my pen name.

"That's you? I never would have believed it! You're my favorite author. Hmm...wait until I tell Harry."

I assumed Harry was his current lover and went on. "It's not something I like spreading around. People have this odd thing, thinking they know me just because they read my bloody books. "So where did you end up?"

"California. I've been living there for almost twenty years now. I have my restaurant and my home, and I rarely think of leaving."

"Ah, you always did love to entertain," I said feigning interest, saving my sarcasm for someone who deserved it.

Lupin glanced down at his watch. "I had better be going. I have to swing by the hotel and pick up my bags." He took a pen from his pocket and scrawled down his address and telephone number. "If you're ever in California, I'd like to see you again."

We said our goodbyes and I made my way back to my hotel. The piece of paper tucked in my pocket was already forgotten by the time Draco appeared on my doorstep late at night.

Draco's father and I were friends—or rather what could sometimes pass as friends, and the boy was my godson. Normally, Draco is one of the most impeccably groomed men I have ever seen. It always boggled my mind that his father still hadn't figured out where his tastes lied. Everywhere the boy went, a neon sign over his head flashed gay, but Lucius only saw what he wanted to see.

Tonight, Draco was dressed in a simple t-shirt and jeans. His long blonde hair was hanging loosely, as though he hadn't even taken time to comb it. "I was hoping you'd be up," he said softly.

"Problems, Draco?" I asked. I generally don't give a fuck about people, but Draco has always annoyed me less than most. Out of respect for that, I owed it to him to listen.

"Blaise wants to meet my parents and be introduced as my boyfriend." At least he got to the point.

I groaned. "You're father won't like it. I don't think he's ever forgiven me for coming out—not that it matters. What do you intend to do?"

He shook his head. "That's it, I don't bloody well know. It's my father's wrath or my lover's abandonment, and I'm not sure which I'd rather take."

"Do you love him?"

Draco slumped down on my bed. No one ever saw Draco like this, only me. The Malfoy in him demanded that he be the picture of haughty disdain in front of the world. "How should I know? Sev, you write about all that shit, have you ever really been in love?"

"Not exactly. There have been people I cared about, but it wasn't love."

Understanding lights those cool gray eyes. "I guess that's what you could say I feel for Blaise."

I hand him a glass of red wine. "Since you're here you might as well have a drink with me."

He accepts the glass. "Thanks," he tells me before taking a sip. "Where are you off to next."

"I haven't a fucking clue. Tokyo maybe," I told him only half thinking. Wherever I was off to, it never really mattered. The only thing that mattered was that wherever I was, I wasn't home.