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O O O

“Let’s roll, Tedward.” James stops in front of his desk, peering at Teddy over the tops of his sunglasses. His hair is a wild auburn mess, marginally held back by the actual glasses he’s pushed up and off of his face, and Teddy has to stop himself from rolling his eyes at how ridiculous his boyfriend looks.

Ridiculous but hot, he thinks, and it’s true. James is wearing jeans with a rip at the knee and a loose sleeveless shirt, the armholes hanging low to reveal the hollows below his arms and a glimpse of his brown chest. He stretches, exaggerated, to show off the way his muscles move under the sleeve of tattoos on his left arm, and Teddy hurries to his feet. He can feel the cold disapproval and confusion of his colleagues at his back, although James seems to not notice -- or not care. In fact, when Teddy’s senior partner, Marjorie, coughs pointedly in their direction, James takes a step closer to Teddy and leans in -- they are almost the same height -- to whisper in Teddy’s ear.

“I want to eat you out for lunch, Ted, so you better chop-chop.”

Teddy isn’t sure what his face looks like -- magenta, probably -- but he quickly grabs his wallet off of his desk before propelling James back into the corridor.

“Later, Marjorie!” he calls as they exit, trying to ignore the furrow of her brow.

Every one of Teddy’s coworkers, all older than him by at least ten years, has taken him aside in the six months since he and James went public to ask him why. Why would a bright, talented young man such as himself -- at twenty-six, one of the youngest Investigative Aurors to join the team in ever -- tie himself to Harry Potter’s problem child? James, they tell him, is an embarrassment to his father’s work ethic and his mother’s natural skill. He’s aimless, and he’s going to drag Teddy down with him. Do you really want to let yourself be distracted, they ask, with your future all ahead of you?

They are referring to the fact that Harry is grooming Teddy to replace him as Head Auror, but no one can say this out loud, because Teddy is distantly enough related to the Potters and enough damn good at his job that no one has accused Harry of nepotism for hand-picking Teddy to be his replacement -- yet.

They are also referring to the fact that James has been notorious for more than being Harry Potter’s oldest son ever since he quit the Magpies halfway through his first season on the team. It’s common gossip that he spends his days strung out on drugs and fucking his way through London. He’s on the front page of the Prophet more weekends than not, spotted at this hot dance club or that trendy new bar. Sometimes, Teddy is photographed with him, and spends an icy Monday morning of his coworkers ignoring him.

What about that Victoire? They ask him. She was lovely, wasn’t she? And much more age appropriate. Or: I think you’d really love my nephew -- he’s about your age, works over in Games and Sports, would you like me to set you two up? That’s kind, but no, thank you, Teddy tells them. I’m quite happy with James. They listen when he says it, but the doubt lingers in his eyes and Teddy knows they want to ask him why.

This is why, Teddy thinks happily, fifteen minutes into his lunch hour, when he’s pressed up against the wall of the single-use bathroom in the Pret across from the Ministry. His trousers are around his calves, his head tucked into his elbow, and James is kneeling on the floor behind him, making good on his promise. He’s holding Teddy’s arse cheeks apart with his hands, working his tongue steadily into Teddy’s hole, and keeping up an almost constant stream of muffled, delighted noises as he licks the crease of Teddy’s arse before thrusting his tongue in again. Teddy is babbling a combination of quiet curses and James’s name, grinding back against his boyfriend’s face, and is amazed that his legs don’t give out when he finally comes all over the bathroom wall.

“Oh, fuck,” James murmurs, and Teddy half-turns to see that he’s got his hand in those tight jeans, jerking frantically. He falls to his knees, wincing a bit at the cold tile, and yanks open James’s fly to get his hand in there instead. James lets him, happily, moving his hands to Teddy’s hair and rising up a bit to thrust into Teddy’s hand before he comes with a long groan across Teddy’s bare thigh.

“God, I love you,” Teddy says, and James responds by tugging Teddy’s face to his, kissing him with fervor.

“Love you too,” he whispers, licking at Teddy’s earlobe, and laughs at Teddy’s full-body shudder. “I should probably buy you lunch now,” he says.

Teddy glances at his watch. He still has half an hour before he’s due back at the office -- plenty of time to get a sandwich and sit with James and eat.

“Or,” Teddy says, pressing James back to lie on the floor and feeling a happy swoop in his stomach at the way he goes so willingly, “we could stay in here.” He thrusts experimentally against James’s now-exposed cock and relishes the way James shivers, his body already beginning to react.

James grins and lifts a leg to wrap it around Teddy’s waist. “You make a good point,” he says, and then as Teddy begins to grind with purpose, “oh fuck me, Teddy.

“After work, I promise,” Teddy says, and James’s laugh turns into a needy groan.

Teddy arrives back to his desk at two minutes before one, a pre-prepared Pret sandwich in hand and James nowhere in sight. Marjorie eyes the food with confusion. “I thought James was taking you to lunch,” she said, although her tone implies that she isn’t surprised that the oldest Potter managed to make a mess of even that simple task.

“He did,” Teddy says, and ignores her confused glance as he sits down and opens his sandwich.

O O O

Teddy was one of the only ones in his set of Hogwarts friends who stayed in England after graduating. A few of his friends left for graduate studies in other countries, while Abby and Jeff took off to set foot in every US state without using magic. They didn’t finish, but ended up settling down in Chicago, and this will be the first time in a few years that they’re back in the UK. James suggested he and Teddy throw a little party for them -- food, drink, and mingling amongst friends new and old -- and Teddy has to admit it was a very good idea. He’s in the kitchen, refilling his drink and watching the party through the open doorway -- it’s winding down now, some of the guests having already left, but everyone is engaged in conversation and James in the middle of it looks so damn good -- when Jeff wanders in and knocks Teddy’s shoulder with his own.

“Can I get some?” he asks, and Teddy obligingly refills his wine glass. “Nice place,” Jeff says, gesturing to the general apartment. “Thanks for having us over.”

Teddy grins. “Of course,” he says. “Any excuse to have a party, as James always says.”

Jeff laughs. “I’m sure.” They stand in silence for a few moments, sipping their drinks, before he speaks again. “So. James Potter.”

Teddy looks at his friend and raises an eyebrow. “Yeah?”

“Never would have thought you’d end up dating your shadow,” Jeff says. It’s a joke they used to make when James as a first-year sat next to Teddy at the Hufflepuff table, or appeared in their compartment on the train. Teddy had always pretended to find it a bit more annoying than he really did, not wanting his friends to know the size of the soft spot he had for his godbrother. He still teases James about it sometimes now -- ever the confident Gryffindor, not even stopping to think that his presence might be unwelcome to a group of seventeen-year-olds.

Teddy laughs. “Well, it’s been awhile since then. We’ve both grown up.”

Across the room, the sound of Albus whooping draws their attention, and both men watch as James downs a shot of tequila and bites into the lime wedge Louis is holding out for him, face alight with laughter. He’s wearing criminally slim jeans and one of Lily’s scarves.

Jeff shoots Teddy a look. “Sure. He’s grown up.”

“He’s twenty, Jeff. Tequila shots aren’t immature when you’re twenty.”

“And how about when you’re twenty-six?” Jeff’s expression is serious, but Teddy just laughs and shakes his head. He’s happy, and he doesn’t feel the need to justify his behavior to someone he only sees every few years.

He’s saved from having to articulate that without being rude when James calls his name across the room. “Teddy!”

James is grinning wildly, the collar of his button down loose and open and Lily’s scarf now draped over just one shoulder. He’s holding the tequila bottle lazily by the neck, and Teddy is so goddamn in love with him.

“Come do a shot!” The quirk of James’s mouth is a challenge, and Teddy is drawn to him. He leaves his wine glass on the counter behind him and crosses the room, James’s face growing brighter as he does.

The crowd on this side of the room is mostly the extended Potter-Weasley clan, and they all titter and chatter as James places a lime wedge in his mouth and raises his eyebrows, grabbing the salt shaker and holding it out to Teddy. When Teddy takes it, James offers the inside of his arm, but Teddy uses it to haul James closer and licks up his collarbone instead, taking a bit more time than is strictly necessary to dampen James’s skin before he shakes the salt and licks it off.

Louis hands him a shot and Teddy knocks it back, then takes his time sucking at the lime wedge between James’s lips. He’s making a show of it, moaning his enjoyment and watching frustration grow in James’s eyes, before James pulls back, spits out the lime, and kisses Teddy, instantly deepening the kiss as Louis and Albus hoot.

“Get a room!” Albus taunts, and Teddy breaks away from James to frown at him.

“We’re literally in my apartment,” he says, and James laughs, wrapping an arm around Teddy’s shoulder and pressing against his side, tequila-scented breath washing across Teddy’s face.

“You’re literally hosting a party right now?” Albus counters.

Teddy takes an exaggerated look around the room. A knot of former Hufflepuffs, now including Jeff, are engaged in conversation on the sofa, but other than that the only guests left are related to James. He doesn’t know if it’s the most recent shot of tequila or the way James is now sucking on his earlobe, but all Teddy can think is that he wants James now.

“And we hope you’ve enjoyed the party!” he says, using the arm he has around James’s waist to drag him towards the hallway. “Lock the door behind you on the way out!”

Louis is cracking up, holding the wall for support, but Albus looks dumbfounded. “What the fuck?”

James releases Teddy’s ear. “You’ll understand when you’re older,” he says, and then grabs Teddy’s hand and pulls him into the hallway.

They crash into Teddy’s bedroom and James pushes Teddy up against the door, immediately dropping to to his knees and nuzzling at Teddy’s crotch. Teddy thrusts forward helplessly, all the blood rushing to his cock, as James raises his hands to open Teddy’s jeans.

He pauses before pulling down Teddy’s pants, asking “May I?” and Teddy nods, muttering “please,” and before he knows it his prick is in James’s mouth. He takes it slowly, sliding up and down until Teddy is cursing, and only then bringing his fingers up to play with Teddy’s balls. After a few minutes of that, he pulls off to whisper a spell.

Teddy can’t hear what it is, but it Vanishes his trousers and pants from his legs, and his knees get weak because he knows what’s coming.

James grins at him wickedly, pulling away and standing up. “Go lie on the bed, Teddy.”

Teddy does, kicking his shoes off and pulling his shirt over his head on the way, before throwing himself onto the bed on his back. James crawls onto the bed with him, still fully clothed, and wastes no time in wrapping his lips back around Teddy’s cock. He drops down slowly, twice, until Teddy’s thighs are trembling, then pulls off.

“I want to fuck you with my fingers, Teddy,” he whispers. “Is that alright?”

“Fuck yes,” Teddy groans, spreading his legs and exhaling swiftly as James’s finger breaches him. James begins to lick at his shaft as he slides his middle finger in and out of Teddy’s arse. James knows Teddy’s body well, knows just how to drive him wild, and it doesn’t take long before he’s hitting Teddy’s prostate on every stroke.

“More, Jamie, please,” Teddy begs, and James begins to suck on just the head of his cock as he introduces a second finger. The sudden onslaught of sensation makes Teddy shout, and he throws a leg over James’s shoulder, trying to pull him in closer to his body. He feels the vibrations around his cock as James chuckles, then slides a third finger in, and then Teddy is coming, cursing and arching off the bed as James swallows around his cock, his eyelids fluttering shut in pleasure.

James gently removes his mouth and fingers, and he’s smiling when Teddy finally opens his eyes and looks down at him. “Good?” he asks, grin wide and wild. Teddy sighs, exasperated but in love: a common set of emotions for him when it comes to James.

“No, terrible,” he deadpans, and James rolls his eyes. “Get up here,” Teddy says, holding out his arms, and James crawls up the bed and falls into Teddy’s arms, kissing him noisily.

“Why are you still wearing clothes?” Teddy asks.

James laughs. “I was busy giving you an orgasm?”

Teddy frowns. “But now I want to give you one, and I can’t touch you.”

James’s clothes disappear. Teddy knows he’ll find them later, crumpled on the floor of the closet. James grins. “An orgasm, you said?”

“Yeah.” Teddy says, running his hands up and down James’s sides, admiring the bold lines of ink that wrap around his ribcage. “What do you want?”

James leans in to lick Teddy’s earlobe. “Can I fuck your thighs?”

Teddy groans. “Oh Merlin, yes,” he says, and rolls over onto his knees, squeezing his legs together as James gets in position behind him. He hears James conjure lube and slick himself with it, and then he’s sliding in. Teddy loves the way James fucks -- his chest to Teddy’s back, making him feel surrounded, letting him bask in the powerful movement of James’s body behind him. Teddy isn’t going to get hard again, but he still enjoys the slide of James’s cock between his thighs, the noises James makes as he gets closer and closer to the edge. Teddy holds his legs as tightly together as he can, arching his back and murmuring encouragement as James’s movements start to falter.

“You feel so good, Jamie… gods, you feel amazing. I love you.”

“Teddy,” James gasps, and Teddy leans back to encourage James to kiss him. He does, messily, as he comes, messily, between Teddy’s thighs; they both moan, and then James breaks the kiss to press his forehead to the back of Teddy’s shoulder.

“Fuck,” he says, and then casts a cleaning spell over Teddy. They tumble to the bed in a spooning position, James curled up behind Teddy, and lie there for a few minutes.

“Do you think we should go check on the guests?”

Teddy shakes his head. “They probably left once they realized we were actually leaving to have sex.”

James sighs. “I can’t believe we actually did that.”

Teddy shrugs, as best he can while lying on one side with James’s arm wrapped around his waist. “They can take it. Plus, the wards will automatically reset at midnight, whether they’ve remembered to lock the door or not.” He grabs James’s hand and brings it up to his face, kissing his boyfriend’s palm. “Besides, I really wanted to do that.”

He can feel James laugh behind him. “I’m not complaining,” he says, kissing the curve of Teddy’s shoulder, “but it’s certainly not going to help with the thing where everyone thinks I’m a terrible influence on you.”

Teddy repositions James’s arm to around his waist, squeezing it and forcing James to hug him tighter in the process. “Maybe,” he says. “But I really don’t care.”

O O O

Teddy has been in Louisiana for the past two weeks on an international smuggling case, deep undercover as he full-time impersonated a supplier the Aurors had already arrested. All James knew was that he would be in North America. They haven’t spoken in fifteen days -- Teddy was made to stay an extra twenty hours to deal with the ridiculous MACUSA paperwork demands, meaning that instead of the private, careful reunion Teddy wanted them to have (order takeaway, eat it in bed, and relearn each other’s bodies, not necessarily in that order), he’s headed straight from the Ministry to the Holyhead Harpies home stadium. Ginny’s being inducted into the team Hall of Fame, with all signs pointing to a similar League honor coming her way in the next few years; as both Harry’s godson and James’s boyfriend, Teddy has to be there. He’s just lucky he had a suit in his office and didn’t have to make himself more late by stopping off at home first.

As soon as he steps into the covered tent that’s been erected on the field, he’s hyperaware of James’s presence in the room. It only takes Teddy a moment to locate him, standing across the room in a dark blue suit and floral tie that shouldn’t work with his hair but somehow does. Within seconds, James has felt Teddy’s eyes on him and is looking up to find him; a rush of affection goes through Teddy as he watches the emotions cycle across James’s face. Reluctantly, James turns back to his conversation partner. Teddy makes his way to the bar, trusting James will join him shortly. Sure enough, as soon as the bartender has set down his beer, James is beside him.

“You’re here,” James says, his eyes raking over Teddy’s face.

Teddy grabs his hand and squeezes it. “Held up with paperwork,” he says. He can’t explain more. James grew up with a father in the Auror Corps -- he’s used to it.

“I thought that was probably the case.” James’s thumb is rubbing circles onto the back of Teddy’s hand. “But I was worried. You were supposed to be home yesterday.”

Teddy meets James’s blue-green eyes, needing him to feel the weight of his words. “I know. I’m sorry.”

“You don’t have to apologize. It’s not your fault. I just worry one of these times you aren’t going to come back.”

Teddy sets down his drink and turns his whole body to James, catching his other hand and holding them together between them. “I can’t promise that I’ll always come back. But if I ever don’t, you have to know that I would have fought like hell to try to reach you.”

James squeezes his eyes shut for a moment, and when he opens them they are watery. “Fuck, Teddy.” He squeezes Teddy’s hands and hauls him closer, guiding Teddy to hold his cheeks. Teddy obliges happily, running a thumb under James’s eye and catching the single tear that’s escaped. “Teddy, I need you.”

The party continues on around them. On the makeshift stage in the corner, a witch Teddy vaguely recognizes as being someone important is preparing to introduce Ginny. Everyone else is beginning to take their seats, and Teddy makes a split-second decision, pulling James away from the bar and out between two flaps of the tent.

The only word James gets out is Teddy’s name before Teddy is kissing him. He immediately winds his arms around Teddy’s neck and opens his mouth, practically blooming under Teddy’s hands. Teddy guides them slowly to the door of the Harpies locker room and wrestles James inside. They pass a bench piled high with old gloves and a stack of brooms before Teddy is pushing James up against a corner wall, sinking his tongue into James’s mouth as he grabs at James’s arse.

“Gods, Teddy,” James says, wrapping his arms tight around Teddy’s neck and dragging himself against Teddy’s body. “You’re here. I missed you so much.”

“I missed you too, Jamie,” Teddy says, leaning in to kiss along James’s jaw. James tips his head back instantly, reaching one hand up to bury his fingers in Teddy’s hair. “I missed you every day.”

James tugs him into a kiss, fierce and deep. When he pulls away he whispers against Teddy’s lips. “It was so much worse not knowing where you were. I was so worried.” His voice is quiet, unusually serious. Teddy feels awful. This was the first time he’d been gone for so long with no contact since they started dating, and they’ll have to talk later about how to make it better next time, for both of them, but for now Teddy just wants to reassure his boyfriend that everything is alright.

“I’m here,” he says, and presses himself against James, their entire bodies lined up as he holds James against the wall. “I’m right here.”

James kisses him again, deep and slow this time, and Teddy loses track of all sense of time. He doesn’t know how long they kiss before James begins to thrust shallowly against him, and he returns the motion in kind; doesn’t know how many minutes pass before their kisses grow sloppy and simple, all their energy focused on their bodies moving together. James breaks the kiss definitively when he throws his head back against the wall, his hip arching into Teddy’s deliciously.

“Fuck, I need you,” he says. “I need you to touch me.”

Teddy runs his hands up and down James’s sides, above his shirt but beneath his jacket, and James shivers. “Touch you where?”

“Everywhere, Teddy.” James grabs Teddy’s lapels and pulls him in so their foreheads are touching. Teddy can smell the hops on James’s breath as it blows across his face. “I need you to fuck me.”

“Oh, gods,” Teddy says, clutching at James’s hips. “Here?” He kisses at James’s cheeks as they thrust against each other. “I could suck you now and fuck you when we get home.”

“Now, Teddy, I need you to fuck me now.” James pulls Teddy into another kiss before he can protest, then breaks it to turn in the circle of Teddy’s arms, bracing his hands against the wall and arching back to rub his arse against Teddy’s groin.

Teddy wraps his arms around James’s chest and kisses at his neck, at the smooth skin that lies above the collar of his shirt. “Your wish is my command,” he says, and James groans, going boneless in Teddy’s grip and somehow arching back even further. He continues to let out little sighs and grunts of pleasure as Teddy unfastens his trousers and yank them and his pants down to his thighs. He leans back a bit to admire the view -- James’s arse is always a sight, but it’s even better with his white dress shirt and crisp blue jacket half-hiding it -- and spell lube onto his fingers before he begins to prepare James.

He usually likes to take his time with this -- James’s reactions are always so beautiful to watch -- but this time he moves quickly to two, then three fingers, and when James widens his stance and cants his hips back, saying “please, Teddy,” in a low, husky voice, Teddy wastes no time in undoing his flies, slicking his cock, and lining himself up.

All the breath leaves James in a whoosh as Teddy pushes forward, not stopping until their bodies are flush together. Teddy reaches up to twine his fingers with James’s where his hands rest on the wall, then kisses just behind his ear.

“I love you,” he says.

“I love you too, Teddy,” James says, “now please move.”

Teddy laughs but obliges, starting off with a few slow thrusts. James is murmuring encouragement, rocking back to meet him, and Teddy lets his eyes close for a moment, absorbing James’s presence with all his other senses -- the soft drag of their skin together, the heat of James’s body which Teddy could feel even through their clothes, the scent of James’s cologne. As much as James had clearly missed him, Teddy missed James too, and it’s grounding to be here with James now, bodies hot and hard and alive, together.

He’s so caught up in the moment that he doesn’t hear the door opening until it bounces off the wall and someone yells “Fucking hell!”

Teddy freezes, but only remains immobile for a second as James is instantly pushing him off and hiking up his trousers. Teddy stuffs his prick back into his pants and does up his zip, feeling his face and hair flame fuschia as the sound of Ginny laughing registers above the roaring in his ears. James is blushing so hard the red is visible, but at least he’s facing away from the wall, so Teddy reluctantly follows suit.

Harry and Ginny are standing in the open doorway. Harry looks vaguely queasy, eyes firmly focused on the floor at his feet, while Ginny has two hands pressed to her mouth, clearly trying to stifle her giggles, her eyes trained on a point a few feet above James’s head. No one says anything for a solid minute, and Teddy is wondering if maybe he should -- and oh god, it’s one thing for Harry and Ginny to know he’s fucking their son, but it’s another entirely for them to literally see it in action -- when James finally speaks.

“Um -- sorry,” he says, and then when no one moves, “you can look now.”

Ginny, paradoxically, puts a hand over her eyes as she continues to laugh breathlessly. Harry’s eyes flit between James and Teddy, like he knows he should look at them but can’t decide which of them to actually focus on.

“Mum, could you stop laughing?”

James is now standing with his arms crossed against his chest, his whole posture screaming discomfort. His shirt is still untucked and his hair is toeing the line between normal messy and just-fucked messy, but other than that, there’s nothing about his appearance to suggest what they were just doing.

Ginny takes her hands away from her face and wrings them. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she says. “It’s just-- you can’t even last through one gala without…” she trails off, waving her hand between the two of them to encompass fucking half-naked in the Harpies locker room.

Teddy can see James’s suit jacket pulling where he’s digging his fingers into his arms. He wants to wrap an arm around his boyfriend’s shoulders, or pull him out of his tense position to hold his hand, but he doesn’t think his physical proximity would relax James in this moment the way it normally does.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” James asks.

Harry sighs. “Nothing, James. We were looking for you two so we could take a family picture, and Al made a joke that you had snuck away for a--” Harry cuts himself off here, and Ginny titters. From the corner of his eye, Teddy can see that James looks -- if possible -- even more embarrassed. “It’s just ironic,” Harry finishes, flatly.

James scuffs the heel of his dress shoe against the cement floor of the tent. “We’re really sorry,” he says. “I’m really sorry. I know this night is a big deal.” He meets Ginny’s eyes.”It’s just, Teddy was--”

“Young love,” Ginny says. “We get it, James.”

Teddy can see James weighing the pros and cons of trying to explain. In the end he just sighs. “You need us for a picture?”

A few minutes later, clothes and hair rearranged, Teddy and James are being shepherded into place by a Ministry photographer. Ginny stands at the center of the frame, with Harry on one side and Teddy next to him. On her other side, Lily, Albus, and James stood clustered together.

When they get back to Teddy’s flat that night, James strips Teddy of his clothes and fucks him hard. They fall asleep naked and on top of each other.

O O O

Teddy is sat in front of the fire, talking to Andromeda, while James does the Quibbler crossword on the sofa. It’s a Monday night ritual that James persists in attempting even though Albus always owls him his own completed copy before the key is printed in the next issue. When the Floo flared green, James had torn out the crossword page and was holding it upside down to compare it to the answer key from two weeks ago, so Teddy doesn’t feel too bad about leaving his boyfriend to it while he talks to his grandmother. He also doesn’t feel too bad about it because James has his wireless headphones on and is faintly bopping to the beat while he marks off options in a blue pencil -- Luna requires it be done in a different color every week -- and is paying no attention to Teddy anyway.

Andromeda asks after his work, fretting as always that it “sounds so dangerous, Teddy,” before she dons that speculative look that Teddy dreads.

“And how’s James?” she asks. He can imagine that if she were sitting in front of him, her hands would be folded on her knee, an attempt at propriety even though she is a helpless gossip.

The grin that spreads across his face at the mention of James’s names is instinctive and unashamed. “James is good,” he says. “Things are good.”

The little crease in Andromeda’s brow makes an appearance when she frowns at him. “And is he still… puttering about?” she says.

Teddy sighs. “He’s not working at the moment,” he confirms. This is a common fact, brought up by pretty much everyone he talks to. The Prophet likes to paint James as a layabout, partying all night and sleeping all day, but in reality James bothers his family, cooks a lot of dinners for Teddy, and takes frequent weekend trips to visit friends scattered across the country and beyond. Teddy isn’t sure why everyone believes the stories the gossip rags spin about James, and think that that is the person Teddy is wildly in love with.

Andromeda, however, sighs. Teddy narrows his eyes at her. She widens hers in response. It’s a game they used to play when he was a kid, exaggerating their reactions to have a silent -- if simplistic -- conversation, but with a more serious edge.

Teddy finally gives in and speaks. “What?”

“What do you mean?”

“Why the face?”

Andromeda frowns slightly, an expression that reminds Teddy of Narcissa and therefore of Draco. “I just want you to be happy, Teddy.”

“I am, Gran!”

She soldiers on as though she didn’t hear him. “I just want you to have-- a future, you know.”

Teddy has the uncomfortable feeling that he knows where this is going. He glances at James out of the corner of his eye. He’s now cross legged in front of Teddy’s coffee table, holding the Quibbler upside down, but something about the hard line of his spine makes Teddy think he’s not solely focused on the crossword.

“Gran, I do have a future.”

She shrugs a delicate shoulder. “How am I supposed to know? I never see you anymore.”

Teddy laughs and shakes his head, changing the subject. Andromeda lets him. When she leaves the call and the flames go back to orange, Teddy gets up from his place by the fire and sits next to James, who has given up for the time being and is flipping through the non-crossword sections of the Quibbler. He leans his head on James’s shoulder, content to just sit with him until he finishes reading, and is surprised when James puts down his paper almost right away.

He leans his head on top of Teddy’s, the hard side of his skull pressing against the crown of Teddy’s head. “Andromeda doesn’t approve of me,” he says, voice plain, and Teddy puts a hand on his knee and squeezes.

“Gran’s just old-fashioned and a worrier,” he says, but James still sighs, sitting up and tipping his head back over the edge of the couch.

“Your friends don’t like me, and your family doesn’t like me,” he says.

“To be fair,” Teddy says, “I’ve only got the one family member, so your odds there were never stellar.”

James gives him a sad little glare. Teddy sits up properly so he can wrap an arm around James’s shoulders.

I like you,” he says. “I like you a lot.”

James relaxes enough to smile, and indulges Teddy when he leans in for a kiss, but pulls away before Teddy can do what he really wants to - that is, climb into James’s lap and give him a thorough snog.

“We should go visit her,” James says.

“Hmm?”

“Andromeda. Wasn’t she saying you never visit anymore?”

Teddy narrows his eyes. He knew James was listening in on that conversation.

“I was planning to visit her the week after next when you’re in Edinburgh,” Teddy says.

“We should go this weekend. The both of us. After all, I haven’t met your family officially as your boyfriend.” James is grinning in that way that everyone else might write off, but Teddy can tell this is important to him.

“Alright,” he relents, pressing a kiss to the corner of James’s mouth. “But I’m tired. Can we figure out the details in the morning?”

O O O

Andromeda lives in a small house that is almost identical to the one Teddy grew up in, except that it is located in Sussex rather than London. Teddy’s room here is technically the guest room, although no one ever stays in it but him, and is furnished with a queen bed on a teak frame and matching bedside tables. It’s here that James and Teddy retire, after an evening out at Andromeda’s local followed by coffee and chocolate biscuits in the living room. The biscuits were brought by James, and Teddy was a bit tired of them, these being the third batch James had made this week as he tried to perfect the recipe. James had insisted on bringing something, however, and Andromeda had been pleasantly surprised both by the gesture and the quality.

James is practically buzzing with nervous energy by the time the bedroom door closes behind them. Teddy, after three hours of watching James laugh and talk and do the thing where he gestured because he couldn’t remember a word, is buzzing with something else.

He crowds James up against the door and cups his face, waiting for the soft touch of James’s fingers at the back of his neck before he leans in to kiss him. They kiss casually, leaning in to each other, before James gently pushes Teddy away and walks to the chair where they’d set down their bags earlier. He unshrinks them both, then tosses Teddy his, placing his own back on the chair as he pulls out pajama bottoms and a worn tee and starts to change.

Teddy watches with amusement. “Really?” he says, as James strips off his henley and drapes it over the back of the chair.

James grabs the tee and looks at him. “What?”

“You brought pajamas.” Teddy gestures towards James’s bag.

James looks between the bag and Teddy, confusion evident on his face. “Yes. So?”

“You never wear pajamas.”

James rolls his eyes and pulls on the top. “I’m not sleeping in my boxers while we’re visiting your grandmother, Teddy.”

Teddy sighs and turns back to his own bag, where he has packed the loose pajama bottoms that he always sleeps in. He thinks James is being a little silly, but he also knows that pointing that out wouldn’t be the most useful thing at this moment in time.

They climb into bed and James slides right away into Teddy’s arms, lips pressed softly to his cheek. “I love you, Teddy.”

“I love you too, James.”

As Teddy falls asleep, he hears James laugh. “At least she’s letting us stay in the same room,” he says.

“There isn’t another guest room,” Teddy murmurs.

The next morning, Teddy is forced to admit that James might have had a point with the pajamas. He wakes up before James, as is usually the case, but James stirs soon after. He half-turns so he’s completely facing Teddy in the bed, pressing his morning wood into Teddy’s thigh, as he usually does. He begins to grind against Teddy lightly, his movements still sleep-slow as they both adjust to the optimal angle. When Teddy leans in to kiss James, though, he’s stopped by a hand on his shoulder.

“Wait,” James says. “We shouldn’t. Your grandmother is in the next room.”

Teddy looks over James’s shoulder to the clock on the bedside table. It’s just after nine. Teddy can’t remember a time in his life when Andromeda stayed in bed later than eight-thirty.

“She’ll be downstairs by now,” Teddy whispers, “but we don’t--”

He’s cut off by James’s lips meeting his, and happily lets James roll him onto his back, burying his fingers in that wild hair as he rocks up to meet James’s rough thrusts. James is moaning into his mouth, his movements above Teddy sure and strong, and when Teddy wraps one leg around James’s waist to pull himself closer to his body, James only thrusts harder.

“Oh Merlin, Teddy, your body,” James says into Teddy’s mouth, and Teddy nods frantically, tightening his fingers in James’s curls.

“Fuck, James,” he says, getting closer and closer to the edge before he finally crests it, grinding up into James’s prick and squeezing his eyes shut as he hears James follow him with a moan.

When Teddy’s eyes flutter back open, James is smiling down at him, the private smile he saves for Teddy. James has lots of smiles, and Teddy knows them all -- his boisterous grin, the quirk of his lips when he is privately amused, the easy smile he gives his friends, the way he presses his mouth closed when he’s trying not to laugh and failing -- but this one is just for Teddy. It fills up James’s whole face, from the tip of his chin to his eyebrows, and Teddy adores it. He’s just about to pull James’s head to his and kiss that smile when a sharp tap tap tap sounds from the door.

James freezes above him, eyes boring into Teddy’s.

On the other side of the door, his grandmother clears her voice primly. “When you boys are ready, breakfast is served downstairs,” she says.

The heels of her shoes click away down the steps as James rolls off of Teddy and throws his arm over his eyes, his whole body radiating distress.

“There goes any chance of her taking me seriously as anything besides your wild-child fuckbuddy,” he says, voice dark. Teddy wants to reach out to him, but he’s already rolling off the bed and heading for his overnight bag.

Teddy doesn’t see his smile from James for the rest of the weekend.

O O O

Teddy opens his eyes to the familiar grey paint of the St. Mungo’s ceiling, almost offensive in it’s neutrality. His left leg hurts like a motherfucker, and that whole side of his body is vaguely aching. He recalls hitting the sidewalk hard and turns his head to look around the room.

He’s alone, something he can’t remember ever having happened before when he woke up in the hospital.

There are people shouting in the hallway. That’s not usual for St. Mungo’s either.

“Mr. Potter, please! This is a restricted area--”

“You’re making a scene--”

“James, really--!”

And over it all, James’s voice rises. He’s not at full volume yet, but he’s definitely causing a disturbance.

“He is my boyfriend!” James shouts. “I am listed as an emergency contact. I should not have found out that my boyfriend was in the hospital from my fucking father!”

Marjorie’s voice then, prim and thin. “James, you’re disturbing the other patients. As Auror Lupin’s partner, I am in charge of contact his family in case of an emergency. That is what I did.”

A wave of pain overwhelms Teddy, and he loses the trail of the conversation for a moment. When he refocuses, James is speaking very soft and very fast.

“I do not care about your definition of family. If my father and Andromeda are being contacted, I should be too. I love him, even if you can’t wrap your old fashioned head around that, and I am listed as an emergency contact, so not Flooing me is against your protocol.”

The heart rate monitor above Teddy’s bed beeps a little faster. He tries to push himself up onto his elbows -- wants to get involved, to ask Marjorie why she didn’t call James, to reassure his boyfriend that he is okay -- but a stab of pain from around his hip sends him under again.

When he wakes next, James is sitting in a chair beside his bed. He’s wearing one of Teddy’s old Hufflepuff shirts, joggers, and his leather jacket. His hair is a riot, standing up almost vertically from his head. His eyes are closed, but his hand is wrapped gently around Teddy’s, and when Teddy squeezes his eyes fly open right away.

“Teddy!” James is immediately leaning into Teddy, filling his field of vision. His blue-green eyes are slightly red, but Teddy can’t tell if it’s from lack of sleep or because he was crying. “You’re awake!”

Teddy tries to speak, finds his throat is too dry, and nods instead.

James picks up a glass from the table and Conjures a straw so Teddy can drink out of it. “I should go get your Healer,” he says.

Teddy spits out the straw. “They didn’t contact you?” he says.

James’s face is a blank. “What?”

“Marjorie didn’t contact you. I woke up for a minute and heard you yelling about it earlier.”

James sets the glass back on the bedside table and looks down at his hands. “I was upset,” he says. “Mostly worried.” He lets out a deep sigh, bringing up both hands to wrap around Teddy’s. “I Flooed over to Mum and Dad’s right before I went to sleep last night because I realized I forgot my book there, and Dad had already left for the hospital. If I hadn’t happened to go over, I wouldn’t have known.”

Teddy squeezes his hand again. “I’m sorry. They should have contacted you.”

James gives him a small smile. “It’s not your fault.”

“I know. But I should have talked to them sooner.”

“I think I yelled enough that they won’t make that mistake again,” James says. “Although now they’ll have even more to say about your crazy younger boyfriend.” His mouth twists like he’s eaten something sour. Teddy’s heart joins the left side of his body in aching.

“They shouldn't…” Teddy trails off. “I let it go on for too long without confronting it. I know you aren’t like that, and I know we’re good together, so it doesn’t bother me when everyone acts like I’ve lost my mind for dating you. But it does bother you, so I should have brought it up to them. Defended you.” His voice is hoarse again by the time he finishes speaking, and James helps him take another drink of water.

“We can talk about all that later.” James sets the glass back down and pushes Teddy’s hair off his forehead with one hand. “But I do need to go get your Healer now.”

Teddy watches him as James pushes his chair back from the bed and stands up. “Okay.” Just as James opens the door of the room, he calls out to him. “I love you.”

James smiles Teddy’s private smile. “I love you too.”

He comes back in a few minutes later with Teddy’s Healer, and sits back down beside Teddy’s bed as the Healer begins to cast diagnostic charms on him. Behind him, Teddy can see Marjorie hovering in the doorway. He grams James’s hand, making sure she sees it, and smiles to himself.

He’s going to make sure no one thinks of his relationship with James as anything but serious from now on. Just as soon as he gets out of the hospital.

O O O