A/N: I think this is the silliest thing I've ever written, but it was fun and made me smile. Inspired by something one of my friends said when we were talking about differences in word meanings. I hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own any part of the Harry Potter universe, and I'm not making any money from this story.
Remus Lupin stepped off the plane and looked around in awe. All the good stories he'd ever read seemed to take place in England, and now he was finally here, living out his dream in London. He set off with a grin and nothing more than the clothes on his back to find a place to stay.
A week later, Remus had decided that he'd made a big mistake. Everything was so different from America, even down to the side of the road that people drove on! He hadn't been able to find work anywhere, no one seemed to want to talk to him, and to top it all off, he was now homeless because his money had run out and he'd had to leave his hotel.
Remus took to wandering the streets aimlessly, but after a few days that had gotten old, too. He was ready to give up, call his family back in America, and tell them to buy him a plane ticket home, when he came across a small, hole-in-the-wall place called "The Dancing Palace."
Remus paused. If there was one thing he could do, it was dance. He might as well go in, he decided, if he was leaving in the morning anyway. Taking a deep breath, he pushed open the door and went inside.
He immediately began coughing. The room seemed to be filled with smoke, and it was very dark. Blinking, Remus waited for his eyes to adjust, then looked around.
The room was small. There was a bar along one wall, with a few tables set up in front of it, and there didn't seem to be a dance floor anywhere. Indistinct figures were moving around in the smoke. Whatever this place was, it was not a dancing palace. Remus turned around to leave.
"Leaving so soon?" A voice purred in his ear. Remus stopped in surprise, and turned around again, finding himself face to face with one of the most gorgeous men he had ever seen.
Remus tried to say something, but all that came out was a squeaking noise.
"Voice troubles, I see," the man said before Remus could try again. Putting his arm around Remus, he led him up to the bar and stuck him on one of the stools. Before Remus knew what was happening, he had a drink in his hand, and the man had disappeared.
Remus stared at the drink, then took a tentative sip and gagged. He quickly pushed it away from him and looked around, wondering how he could make an escape.
"New here?" said a voice beside him, but Remus didn't answer. The less he said, the faster he could get out of here. This whole England thing had been one big mistake.
Someone nudged his shoulder, and Remus turned automatically. He instantly revised his opinion. The man beside him had dark hair and sort of pointy features, but his eyes were kind, and Remus decided on the spot that this was the most gorgeous man he'd ever met. "Are you new here?"
"Um… yes, I'm new here," Remus answered quietly. "You?"
The man laughed, his smile lighting up his face and doing strange things to Remus's insides. "Not exactly. I sort of own it. You're an American?"
"Yes," said Remus stiffly, turning back around. Anyone who had anything to do with this place was not someone he wanted to be associated with.
"Hey, I'm sorry," the man said, switching to Remus's other side so that they could see each other again. "It's just that you kind of stand out, with your accent, you know."
"I guess so."
There was an uncomfortable silence, before the man asked abruptly, "What are you doing in England, then?"
"I have no idea," Remus answered honestly. "I think I'm going back to America tomorrow, though."
"Experiment was a failure?"
Remus gave the man a strange look. "How did you know that?"
The man smiled slightly. It made him look years younger. "I ran away from home when I was sixteen. Most of my experiments were failures, too. I had to try a lot before I found one that - actually, no, scratch that - I still haven't found one that's worked. This one is a bust too, I think."
"So, wait," said Remus, feeling lost. "You ran away from home, and you have enough money to randomly open a bar and then close it whenever you feel like it. How does that work?"
The man squirmed. "I took a lot of money when I left. Parents are… well, they're millionaires. They didn't even miss it."
"Oh," said Remus, not quite sure how to react to that. There was another silence.
"What's your name?" Remus asked suddenly.
"Sirius. What's yours?"
Remus didn't leave the next day like he thought he would. Instead, he wandered the streets during the rest of the night, slept during the day, and went back to that bar in the evening. He felt a strange pull towards the man named Sirius for reasons that he either couldn't or didn't want to explain.
The second he walked in, Sirius was there, grinning again. Remus's heart did summersaults in his chest. This was bad, this was really bad, he should leave right now - but Sirius's eyes were so pretty, he seemed to be drowning in them, and his legs wouldn't move when he told them to.
"You didn't leave!" Sirius said in delight.
Remus felt himself smile back. "Not yet, anyway."
"Well, what would you like to drink?"
"Nothing, thank you."
"Nothing?" What else does one do in a bar?"
"Well," said Remus uncomfortably, "I don't know."
Sirius's grin turned wicked. "Well," he said, mimicking Remus's accent and figuring that he might as well go for it, "we could always… shag."
Remus felt his knees go weak with relief. Finally, something that lived up to the name of this place, and something that he could do! "I'd love to."
Sirius's mouth dropped open. "You would?"
"Sure," said Remus. "I mean, I've always had a girl as a partner before, but how different can it be, really?"
Sirius was now looking confused. "Er… it's pretty different, I'd say. Better, definitely, but different."
"Uh, okay," said Remus, beginning to feel awkward. He held out his hand. "Shall we?"
Sirius took his hand gently, running his fingers over Remus's palm and making him shiver, then pulled him against his body and kissed him deeply.
For one second, Remus was frozen in shock, but then he shoved Sirius away from him as hard as he could.
"What the hell was that?"
Sirius looked confused and a bit hurt. "I thought we'd start at the beginning and work our way up from there?"
"That was not shagging!"
"Not yet, but most people like to work up to sex instead of just jumping in!"
Remus couldn't speak. He gaped at Sirius. "S-s-sex?" He managed to choke out. "Who - who said anything about sex?" He attempted to ignore his body's reaction, and kept staring at Sirius.
Sirius was angry now. "I did! I said we should shag, and you said yes!"
"Yeah, I did!" Remus snapped back. "I said we could shag!"
"Oh for God's sake!" Sirius exploded. "Shagging is sex, you idiot! What did you think it was?"
"Where I come from," Remus yelled back, "it's a dance, you moron! A dance that two people do to music! Since when is it sex?"
"I don't bloody know! I don't usually look up the history of words!"
Breathing hard, they both glared at each other. Remus was the first to look away.
"Look, I'm sorry," he said finally, anger abating. "We had a misunderstanding. I guess I'll just go." He turned to walk away, but Sirius caught him arm.
"Wait." Sirius's face was flushed. "If you don't want to do that other thing, we could try that… dancing thing, if you wanted."
Remus wasn't sure. He looked at Sirius's face, hopeful in the dim light, and inwardly sighed. "Okay. We could try it."
Sirius loved it. He and Remus danced around and around the bar, shoving tables and chairs out of their way, until they were both entirely out of breath and collapsed, laughing. The dancing had been fun, but it had also given Remus the chance to make up his mind about something.
"So," he said when he and Sirius could breathe again. "We tried my type of shagging… think that we're up to trying yours?"
Sirius stared at him in surprise for a second, then grinned, taking Remus's hand for a third time. "Is that a challenge?"
"In that case, I accept." They both grinned at each other.
They said later that a misunderstanding over the meaning of a word was an odd thing to bring two people together, but they didn't question it. Sometimes, things were just meant to be.
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