Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: PG-13 for Sexual Innuendo and Jane Austen References
Word Count: 1,858
Author’s Note: Written for the hp_art_tales challenge. My prompt was A Long Way to Go for Groceries by calembours. This also works for tamingthemuse prompt #187 – Hell Hath No Fury. Beta’d by wutendeskind.
Summary: Remus and Sirius get lost in London.
ETA: This fic now comes with a podfic here thanks to unavoidedcrisis!
Sirius had a lot of good ideas. This had not been one of them.
“Don’t see how we could possibly be lost. That was definitely our stop.”
“Are you sure?”
“Then why are we lost?”
Sirius’s brow furrowed. “That’s a really good question. I suspect it was your fault.”
“Oh, how convenient,” Remus replied, rolling his eyes so hard Sirius could practically hear it. “How is it my fault again?”
“Well, you know, you…” Remus arched an eyebrow. “You were raised in this madness, so you’re supposed to tell me when I’m doing it wrong.”
“Sirius, can we please recap what I told you before we left the house this morning?”
“The thing about you growing up in a small town with no public transportation?”
“No, I don’t see how talking about that will help.”
“Oh, I see. But I did tell you I never learned how to navigate those maps, didn’t I?”
“It’s possible you mentioned it.”
“And in the theoretical universe where I did mention that, what was your response?”
“I insist that pointing fingers isn’t going to help anyone.”
“You said, ‘not to worry, I’ve figured it all out,’ Didn’t you?”
Sirius ignored the question staring at his map again and then glancing up at the street signs on either side of him and making a distressed face.
“You said, ‘you’d have to have a troll’s brain to get lost on one of these things.’ And I believe there was something about how absurdly simple-minded muggles were?”
“Your memory is the bane of my existence.”
“Your utter lack of common sense is the bane of mine.” Remus hefted the paper bags up, trying to find a more comfortable angle.
“Look, this isn’t the end of the world. So I may have gotten us a little bit lost. We learned something though, didn’t we? Next time, we’re taking the portkey back like everyone else.”
“If there is a next time. Assuming we don’t walk ourselves in circles until one of us drops dead and the other is obligated to give up the will to live and lie down next to their fallen lover.”
“No more Jane Austen for you,” Sirius said seriously, pointing the map in Remus's face.
Remus scoffed. “I have never read Jane Austen in my life. Anyway, no one does that in Jane Austen.”
“Which you wouldn’t know because you’ve never read her.”
“Remember that time you got us lost in the middle of Muggle London with no hope at getting home?”
“I despise you.”
Remus laughed a little despite himself. “You know, it wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the groceries. It’s a lovely day.”
“Yes, it’s a lovely day for rotten milk when we get home. If we get home.”
“I was trying to make you look good.”
“I need absolutely no help looking good.”
“Ah, yes. I forgot.”
“Forgotten the passion my chiseled features once inspired in your loins already? We’ve only been married two years, my sweet duchess.”
“Okay, I admit I’ve read Austen, now stop before I vomit.”
Sirius smirked wickedly and waggled his eyebrows. “Role-play not you thing, Moony? I’ll do anything to put the fire back in our relationship.”
“The only thing wrong with our relationship is that I am leaving you because you’re too stubborn to ask for directions.”
“Yes, it’s a wonder we haven’t made any progress, what with all the help you’ve asked for.”
“I’m not the one who got us lost!”
“Ah, but if you were the bigger man, you would get over that and do something anyway.”
“Incredible. Two hours walking in the heat and you can’t just pull someone aside to fix the mess you’ve made. At least now we know for sure you’re a man. James will be happy to hear it.”
“I am very manly,” Sirius puffed, tossing his long hair proudly.
“Fooled me at the rate you’ve been bottoming this week.”
“If we ever find the apartment, I am going to make sure you don’t sit for a week.”
“Big talk, mutt, but I just don’t know if I believe you.”
“I’ll show you right now!”
“Well, there are children around, but if public sex is your thing all of a sudden…”
“No really. Enough of this muggle nonsense. We’re wizards. Let’s just apparate the hell out of here and have some annoyed, frustrated sex. After we put the milk away, that is.”
Remus stopped in the middle of the block and glared at Sirius.
“Oh, yes. That’s a wonderful bloody idea. Why don’t you apparate your precious milk home and I’ll just figure out what to do about the fact that there are now laws against my kind apparating.”
Bollocks, Sirius thought. He kept forgetting about that.
“Remus, come on, you know I didn’t mean it like that.”
Remus was still glaring. Hell hath no fury like a werewolf scorned.
“I was wrong?”
Remus attempted to hold his annoyed look, but Sirius could see the tiny smirk forming at the corner of his mouth.
“I was wrong, like I am always wrong, though I never admit it, because I am a prat.”
“Getting warmer. Keep going.”
“I am sloppy and I drink too much and Padfoot definitely sheds extra on the couch when it’s your week to clean out of spite.”
“All this dirty talk is really getting me worked up,” Remus said, smiling fondly as Sirius draped an arm over his shoulder.
“We’re going to get home together, alright? We just have to work out which of these squiggly lines is ours.”
“Excellent! The fact that you’ve regressed to calling roads squiggly lines doesn’t distress me at all.”
“You know I’m not eloquent when I’m hungry,” Sirius said with a pout. He shoved the despised map into Remus’s hand and began to dig through the bag Remus was holding.
“You bastard. Here I was thinking you were trying to be romantic and you just wanted to get closer to the food.”
Sirius grinned, tearing open the bag of green beans and grabbing a few.
“Oh, please. Please, don’t do it. I can’t bear to watch.”
“Some people like vegetables, Moony. Some of us are not on a strict diet of rare meat and chocolate.”
“I always had the impression that you liked my enthusiasm for rare meat.”
Sirius’s eyes widened and he let out a surprised bark of laughter. “All of this foreplay in the daylight is extremely unRemuslike. Not that I’m complaining, but—“
“UnRemuslike is not a word.”
“Ah, there’s my boy.” Sirius gave Remus a condescending pat on the head.
Remus scowled, but said nothing. He opened the map Sirius had handed him and looked determined to fix the mess they were in. Sirius just watched, satisfied to finally not be the one who looked inept.
They wandered for another ten minutes before Remus finally folded.
“Sirius, I think muggles must be smarter than us. This makes no bloody sense whatsoever. How do they know which number goes where and when to get off? The map doesn’t say anything helpful at all.”
“That’s what I have been saying all morning,” Sirius began. He paused in the middle of the street (earning a honk and some very unflattering words from a red convertible) and stared onward in awe. Remus turned to face him.
“What now? Do you see the building?”
“No, I’ve just had a marvelous idea.”
“The last time you said that, we ended up on a bus going in the exact opposite direction of our flat.”
“I’ll give you that. But this one really is brilliant!”
“Well, don’t keep me on pins all day. How are we going to get home?”
“Ah. I have to say, taking the wrong bus was somehow a better idea.”
“No, no, listen. I’m starving, right? You’re starving. We’re tired of walking around and we’re making no progress, yes?”
“Good to see you’ve been paying attention.”
“Look!” Sirius pointed across the road. Remus turned to face the park and let out a snort.
“Oh, this is great.”
“So you agree then? You like my idea?”
Remus decided to play dumb. “What idea? I have no idea what you’re talking about. Now please tell me, Sirius Black, who never has romantic ideas and certainly hasn’t ever read Jane Austen—what exactly is it you’re suggesting?”
“I’m suggesting I go find a new boyfriend and then he and I have a picnic.”
“Unfortunately, I have the green beans. You are stuck with me.”
“Foiled again. I suppose you’ll do, then. So are we doing it or not? Because I’m famished.”
“Oh, why the bloody hell not?”
The two men ambled through the park until they found an empty spot in the shade. Remus set his bags down against the trunk of the big oak tree and looked around.
“Hey, make sure no one’s watching?”
Sirius nodded. He scanned the area for bystanders and by the time he looked back to Remus, the werewolf was sitting on a perfect white-and-red checkered picnic blanket.
“You transfigured a leaf?” Sirius guessed.
“Nice!” Sirius replied, sitting down. “Will you charm the milk to not go bad, too?”
“You love milk more than you love me.”
“I was just thinking about how much one of us might like to have some milk in his tea later.”
Remus immediately pointed his wand at the bag Sirius had been carrying and preserved the items inside.
“Ah, lovely. Now make me a sandwich, woman.”
Remus made a defiant face.
“Haha, only joking? You’re just so much better at charms than I am.”
Remus’s expression did not change.
“I think I’ll make the sandwiches today.”
“I bet you will,” Remus agreed.
After they’d finished eating, Sirius lay back in the grass and gave a contented sigh. Remus followed suit.
“This is nice.”
“Mmm,” Remus agreed, running his fingers through Sirius’s hair.
“It’s kind of like being back at Hogwarts, yeah?”
“Oh, please, don’t start up with the nostalgia bit again.”
“No, really. Us sneaking off and getting ourselves into trouble and lying out by the Great Lake?”
“Only now James isn’t trying to put anything alive in my hair while I read.”
“Better times, those were.”
“Back when we had a reliable map and knew how to get back to our beds.”
“Or each other’s beds.”
“That was, of course, implied.”
“Subtlety is not for me.”
“Do you know what I’ve just realized?”
“We have muggle money.”
“I’m not following.”
“We could have just grabbed a cab home three hours ago.”
Sirius sat up and stared at Remus for a long time.
“We have to be the stupidest smart people I’ve ever met in my life.”
“And so we are,” Remus affirmed, packing up their things and standing to go.
“Hey, Remus, we don’t really have anything to rush home for, do we?”
“Wanna get even more lost and give up long after sunset so that we’re sore and bitter at each other for thinking this was a good idea tomorrow?”
“I would like that.”
And that’s what they did.