|Celandine's Chronicle (celandineb) wrote in cels_fic_haven,|
@ 2008-11-24 05:54:00
|Entry tags:||coauthor: emiime, hp fic andrew/teddy, hp fic better the instruction, hp fic remus/sam|
HP fic: Better the Instruction (17/22) [Teddy/Andrew, Remus/Sam, adult]
Title: Better the Instruction (17/22)
Authors: celandineb and emiime
Chapter pairings: Teddy/Andrew, Remus/Sam; references to Teddy/Victoire, Harry/Ginny, Bill/Fleur, Ron/Hermione, Neville/Hannah.
Chapter rating: adult
Chapter length: ~10,200 words
Warnings: Rimming, blow jobs, arseplay, frottage.
Summary: Teddy enjoys Christmas with Andrew, Remus, and Sam, and persuades Andrew to go to Harry's traditional Boxing Day party, despite Andrew's misgivings.
Note: AU (Remus survived the war). See here for complete story header with all pairings/warnings. Also here.
Teddy woke, startled. Then he relaxed and turned sleepily to Andrew, nuzzling against him. "Happy Christmas, Andrew." Though it felt odd to have someone else sharing his childhood bed, he supposed he'd grow used to it eventually.
"Happy Christmas to you, too." Andrew rubbed his cheek against Teddy's; Teddy knew he didn't like to be kissed until he'd had a chance to clean his teeth. "Think I should shower and shave and dress before we go down for breakfast?"
"If you want." Teddy ran a hand along Andrew's side, down to his pyjama-clad hip. "My dad won't care, and I don't expect Sam would either. I usually don't bother until after breakfast and presents."
Andrew's expression was uncomfortable. "Yeah, I never do at home, but this is different, being a guest at your dad's."
"Tell you what, why don't you shave, maybe, but I'll lend you a dressing gown? If we're both still in pyjamas, it'll feel more like family," said Teddy firmly. He really wanted Andrew to be able to relax... they'd certainly both been quite relaxed last night, after his dad and Sam had gone upstairs and he'd poured them each a whisky, and they'd gone month by month through the calendar Remus had given Andrew, giving marks to each Quidditch player on his appearance--except for Andrew himself, since Teddy refused to say that Andrew was anything less than perfect. Now he smiled at Andrew. "And that's what Christmas is about, yeah? Since you can't be with your own family, I want you as part of mine."
Maybe mentioning Andrew's family wasn't the most brilliant thing Teddy could have done. Andrew had started to sit up, but he flopped back down on the bed again at the mention of the word.
"You know, I'd finally managed to stop thinking about them for five seconds," he growled. "Thanks a lot, Ted."
Teddy frowned and sat up, crossing his legs and grabbing his ankles with his hands. He rocked back and forth a little. "I'm sorry," he said, "I really am. But you don't get to be a grumpy bastard on Christmas." He hunched forward and dropped a kiss on Andrew's stubbled cheek. "Come on. Let's get up and go have some breakfast. My dad's Christmas morning breakfast is one of the best meals of the year. It'll make you feel better, I promise."
Andrew managed a smile up at Teddy. "Yeah, all right," he said, "I suppose there's no good can come of lying about in bed and being stupid and miserable."
Teddy nodded. "Now you're getting it."
"Of course," said Andrew, still not sitting up, "We could just lie about in bed and get hard and sweaty instead." He waggled his eyebrows at Teddy and stroked the coverlet in the vicinity of his cock.
"Cheeky," said Teddy, and he bounced upon Andrew, planting a kiss on Andrew's mouth whether Andrew liked it or not. "You'll have to take care of that yourself, or my dad'll get suspicious if he hears us moving around up here for too long without coming down for breakfast."
Andrew grinned. "I suppose you're right," he said.
"Besides," Teddy continued, "I don't think those sorts of things are actually allowed on Christmas." He put on his most serious expression, and Andrew laughed.
"Then what were those noises I heard coming from your dad's room last night?" he asked. "I think someone cast a Silencing spell a little too carelessly, don't you?"
Teddy stuck his fingers in his ears and sang, pretending not to listen to Andrew, and pretending that the noises they'd heard hadn't turned him on a little. Maybe more than a little.
"Come on," he said, grabbing Andrew's hand. "Shave if you must, clean your teeth, and there's an extra dressing gown somewhere around here I'll lend you. Meet me downstairs in, oh, ten minutes. It's Christmas!"
He found his old dressing gown in the back of the wardrobe. The flannel was a little threadbare, and it would be short in the sleeve on Andrew, but it would do. He left it on his bed and called through the bathroom door to tell Andrew where it was, then bounded downstairs.
"Happy Christmas!" he called out as he went into the living room and found his father and Sam already there, sitting with cups of tea. As he'd told Andrew, they were still in pyjamas and dressing gowns as well, and it all felt so homely and familiar--even with Sam--that Teddy went over and hugged them both.
"Tea's in the kitchen," Remus said, ruffling Teddy's hair. "Happy Christmas. Where's Andrew?"
"He'll be right down," Teddy answered. "I'll get a cup for him too."
"So, what's the order of events?" Teddy heard Sam ask as he went to fetch tea. Teddy knew Remus would explain that Teddy was the gift-distributor, and that these days they didn't rush through the opening of them; even with just Teddy and Remus, it usually took well over an hour to finish. Then they'd have breakfast--Remus generally prepared a strata or something of that sort in advance, which was easy to pop in the oven and let bake unattended, but Teddy wasn't sure if his father had had time to do so this year. He didn't see anything in the fridge when he opened it for the milk.
Carrying the two mugs, he returned to the living room and sat by the tree, which looked gorgeous with the white fairy lights all on. Teddy smiled to himself when he saw Andrew's star near the top.
Andrew paused in the doorway when he came downstairs, and Teddy said, "Come on, I have tea for you. Do you want to sit there," he pointed at the chair Andrew had sat in the night before, "or here with me?"
"By you." Andrew gave Remus and Sam a tentative smile as he sat down. "Happy Christmas, everyone."
"Happy Christmas, Andrew," said Sam and Remus together.
Remus added, "All right, Ted, go on and choose the first one."
Teddy looked over the heaps of presents, debating whether he should start with Andrew, who must still be feeling a little out of place, or perhaps with Sam, as a sort of welcome-to-the-family gesture. He settled, instead, on a gift for his father, and he brought it to Remus and placed a kiss on his cheek.
"Happy Christmas, Dad," he said, giving Remus his most genuine smile and starting to walk back to his seat. Remus grabbed his wrist, though, and pulled him back down for a hug.
"Happy Christmas, Teddy," Remus murmured back. They both held on a little too long, and Teddy extricated himself from the hug with a final squeeze.
The gift-giving passed by too quickly for Teddy's taste, even with a break in the middle so that Remus could turn on the oven to begin baking the strata he'd put in there before Teddy had come downstairs. There would be cinnamon buns, too, if history repeated itself, and oranges to peel, and pots and pots of tea.
After breakfast, which was, indeed, comprised of all of Teddy's favourite Christmas morning delicacies, Remus announced that he, for one, was in need of a shower and a shave, and Sam quickly said that he'd join him.
"Aw, you didn't have to say that in front of us," Teddy complained, wrinkling his nose.
"Actually, Sam," said Remus, "why don't you go ahead upstairs and get started. I'll be up in just a few minutes." Sam gave Remus a questioning look, but Remus waved him up the stairs, and he went.
Remus turned to Teddy and Andrew. "What's up, Dad?" Teddy asked.
"Well, boys," said Remus, "I had originally thought I'd talk to just Ted about this, but Andrew, I think you should be in on this conversation as well." He got up and poured himself some more tea, and Teddy waited, jiggling his leg under the table. This didn't sound like it was going to be a conversation he wanted to have.
"I saw Harry yesterday," said Remus, as he sat back down across from Teddy and Andrew. "He's looking forward to the Boxing Day party, as always. Were you two planning on attending?"
Teddy nodded, then glanced at Andrew. "Well--we'd only vaguely discussed it, but, yeah, I think so. Why?"
"Well, I mentioned that I thought you might be bringing a guest, and Harry first assumed it would be Victoire, and when I said no, he said he'd look forward to meeting the lucky girl. I was working, and didn't have time for a long conversation with the holiday rush, and besides it seemed as if it should be your call about telling people what's going on with you. The point being, you need to be prepared for your godfather, and probably the rest of the family, having made certain assumptions that aren't necessarily true." Remus gave a helpless sort of shrug. "I suppose on the positive side, Harry's always been quite supportive of me, and of Charlie Weasley for that matter."
It was no news to Teddy that "Uncle" Charlie was gay, but it was reassuring to know that his godfather was apparently accepting of that, as well as of Remus.
"So you don't think it'll be a problem, bringing Andrew." Teddy made it a statement, rather than a question.
"No, I don't--Sam's going with me, of course--but I did want to make certain you were aware that it might come as a bit of a surprise to some of the other guests if you make it obvious that you're a couple, not just platonic friends," said Remus.
Teddy was going to say that he was fine with it, but then he looked again at Andrew, who appeared worried. "We'll talk it over," he said instead.
"Okay, that sounds good. I'll leave you two alone, then, and hop in the shower. Sam's probably finished by now," Remus teased gently, and left the kitchen.
Andrew sighed. "I guess it never gets easier, does it?"
"We don't have to go tomorrow; well, you don't. I do kind of have to, Harry's my godfather," said Teddy. "I'd like it if you came too, but I can understand if you're not up for it. It's bound to be awkward, but I did write to Victoire, I told you that, she's the one who really would matter and she seemed okay with the whole thing. Anyhow. I don't want to push you. You've had a rough enough holiday already."
Despite his words, Teddy desperately hoped that Andrew would be willing. For one thing, it would be a good way simply to show everyone that Ted Lupin was not as straight as they had all assumed... and more importantly, he wanted Harry and Victoire and some of his other extended "family" to meet Andrew, to get to know him and hopefully like him just as Teddy did.
Andrew sighed heavily. "I don't know, Ted. It sounds like there'll be a lot of people there."
"Well, yeah, but it's not like it's going to be everyone from your year in school and all the Portree players besides. It's going to be a lot of people you don't know, and where's the harm in letting people you've never met before know how you are?" I'm the one who's going to have to answer questions and deal with strange looks, he wanted to say, but he kept his mouth shut. Andrew seemed to be hovering on the brink of a decision, and Teddy didn't want to mess that up.
Andrew opened his mouth as if to say something, then shut it again.
"My dad and Sam are going to be there, too, and Charlie--he's Victoire's uncle, and I've known him since I was a baby--he's probably the toughest bloke you could want to meet, works with dragons, has got tattoos all over him, and if he can be queer around his family, then so can we, right?"
Andrew moved his head in a way that wasn't quite a nod and wasn't quite a no.
"Just--think on it, all right? Will you? You'll have until tomorrow to decide, but if you want to let me know before that, well, that'd be all right." Teddy paused, unsure whether a display of emotion would be out of place at the moment, then decided to go for it, anyway. He took one of Andrew's hands in both of his. "Listen, Andrew. I really, really like you, and I know my dad likes you a lot, too, and Sam does, and I know this probably seems like we're rushing things, but the fact is that we aren't, we rushed into things before and this is completely different, you know? So, it's your decision, of course it is, but, god dammit, I want you to go. It's a bit pathetic, maybe, but it almost feels like--like it won't be right without you there, after you were here for Christmas. It'd be a disappointment if you didn't go." He paused for breath. "That's all. I just wanted to say that."
Andrew raised one hand to his mouth and looked as if he were trying to stifle a smile.
"What?" Teddy asked, smiling himself.
"I think that was the most words I've ever heard come out of your mouth at once," Andrew said, laughing a little.
Teddy threw up his hands, but he was laughing, too.
"You're one to talk," he said, "You're the expert at short sentences and single-word answers and unexplainable silences." He hurried to make his sentence sound less aggressive. "And that's okay, because, well, I'm liking getting to know you. And--and I want my, my, family to get to know you, too."
"I thought you said you weren't going to push me," said Andrew, and from the look on his face, it seemed he immediately wished he hadn't said it.
"I did. And I won't, but I'm not going to lie, either. You should know that I do want you there, but if you really don't want to go, then I'll deal with that." Teddy took a deep breath and took Andrew's hands once more. "I'm not going to walk out on you again."
Andrew's expression crumpled, as if he might be about to cry, but he bit his lip and nodded, blinking hard. "Okay."
"Okay, you know I won't leave?"
"No, I mean okay, I'll go to this party with you tomorrow." Andrew held on to Teddy's hands hard.
Teddy almost wanted to say I love you, but he knew he wasn't quite ready for that, and Andrew probably wasn't ready to hear it, either. Slow, he reminded himself. If it's real, and worthwhile, there's no harm in taking things slow. "Thanks," he said softly instead, and pulled Andrew to him in a hug.
A cough from the doorway reminded him that there were other people around.
"Your dad's out of the shower, if you boys want to take a turn," Sam said with a wink.
Teddy saw Andrew turn pink, and knew he was blushing himself at Sam's implication. "Um, okay, yeah. Tell my dad that we'll help him with stuff for dinner later? I think we should take a walk to burn off some of that enormous breakfast first."
"I'll tell him." Sam grinned. "Take your time."
"Do you want to shower together?" Teddy asked Andrew in an undertone when they were back in his bedroom. It wasn't as if they hadn't done some fairly erotic things together the previous night, after all.
Andrew thought about it. "I'm fine with sharing the shower, but um, maybe not doing anything much. I mean, your dad uses the same one, right? It would feel odd to me. Disrespectful, somehow. I know that probably sounds stupid."
"No, I can understand that." Teddy stopped himself from saying that he'd probably feel weird making out in Andrew's parents' shower... that didn't seem like something ever likely to happen, as things were going.
As they walked into the bathroom together, Teddy couldn't stop himself from casting a surreptitious glance over his shoulder. He knew his dad probably wasn't watching them--and even if he did happen to see them, well, it had practically been suggested to them by Sam, anyway. But a tiny petal of guilt still unfurled inside him.
He ignored it, though, closing the door behind them and grinning at Andrew. "So," he said, "I guess--do you want to get in first, or--?"
Andrew seemed to consider this. "Why don't you get in first, actually," he finally said, "because then you'll be out first, and I'd feel weird walking around the house while you're in the shower."
Teddy thought this was fair, and he'd only been in the shower for a minute or two, and was just starting to soap up, when Andrew's face appeared around the side of the curtain.
"Can I come in now?" he asked, and Teddy nodded, reaching out the hand that wasn't holding the soap to help Andrew into the tub.
They embraced, Teddy's slippery-warm skin against Andrew's dry body, and just stood there with their arms around each other for a long time. Andrew started rubbing Teddy's back, and Teddy felt his prick twitch.
"Oh--" he said, moving away, "Maybe we'd better not, um." He chanced a peek downward; his cock wasn't noticeably hard.
Andrew stepped closer and captured Teddy's mouth in a kiss.
"I thought you said you didn't want to do this in the shower," Teddy said when he'd broken the kiss.
"Nah," said Andrew, "I don't. But I kind of can't help myself when you're here, and naked, and we're in a tight little space together, you know?" he grinned, and Teddy found himself grinning back.
"Turn around," he said, and Andrew gave him a funny look.
Teddy gave a melodramatic sigh. "I'm not going to bugger you," he said, "I'm going to wash your hair!"
He'd never washed anyone's hair but his own before, but Teddy found it an enjoyable, even slightly erotic, experience--and when Andrew did it to him in return, Teddy closed his eyes and sighed and drifted away in pure bliss.
They soaped each other up and helped each other rinse off, and soon they were both out of the shower at the same time, despite Andrew's plan, warm and glowing and both looking quite pleased with themselves.
"That was a good idea," said Andrew.
"Yeah, but I don't know that I'll tell Sam so."
"Or your dad." Andrew grinned.
Teddy had an instant's image of his father and Sam together in the shower, and then one of his father and himself, and shook his head slightly to clear it. "Right," he agreed. He wrapped his towel around his waist to go down the hall to his bedroom, since they hadn't brought any fresh clothes in with them. "Come on, let's get dressed."
In the bedroom, though, with the door shut behind them, Teddy let his towel fall and grabbed Andrew in a hug, toppling them both onto the unmade bed. "We may not be in a tight little space, but..." he said, and rubbed against Andrew, just enjoying the sheer tactile sensation.
Andrew cooperated enthusiastically, draping his arms and legs around and over Teddy and holding him tight in a tangle of limbs. "Mm. Don't you think they'll notice if we take a long time to get back downstairs, though?"
"Nah. Well, maybe, but I don't care. And we don't have to take a long time--we can save that for tonight." Teddy gave Andrew a mischievous smile. "Unless you object to twice in one day?"
With a shake of his head, Andrew ran his hands over Teddy's arse, kneading it, a couple of fingers sliding to brush the backs of Teddy's bollocks. Teddy hummed with pleasure and started to kiss Andrew, his lips, his jaw, his throat.
"Feels so good to be with you," he murmured against Andrew's skin. "I'm really glad you're here."
"Me, too." Andrew was touching Teddy more assertively now, flirting with the tight pucker of his arsehole, something they hadn't done since they'd gotten back together after their visit to Charon. Andrew's cock was hard, pulsing against Teddy's stomach, leaving a smear of moisture from the tip. "I, um... can I kiss you there?" he asked, wriggling his fingertip so that there could be no mistake what he meant.
Teddy's heart skipped. "Are you sure?" For all his vows to himself to take things more slowly this time, he was aware that he'd been pushing Andrew a bit, to come for Christmas, to go to the Boxing Day party, to shower together.
"Unless you don't want me to," Andrew breathed, and Teddy shook his head.
"No, I--I'd like that," he said, and Andrew smiled and began kissing his way down Teddy's body.
"Good," he said against Teddy's skin, and Teddy lay back across the bed, stretching, giving himself over to bliss and sensation.
Andrew prodded at Teddy's knees, and Teddy drew them up without the need for any further prompting, holding his legs with his hands and presenting Andrew with what he knew must be an unobstructed view of his arsehole.
When Andrew's tongue swiped across it with no warning, Teddy jerked.
"Don't you want a cleansing spell?" he gasped.
"Nah," said Andrew, kissing his thigh, "You're clean from the shower, aren't you?"
Teddy privately thought that he would have done an extra good job cleaning himself down there if he'd known that this was going to be happening, but he considered it, and he acquiesced.
"All right," he said, and he tensed in anticipation. Yes, he was clean from the shower, but he was still a bit nervous, having never done this without cleansing spells before. He wondered briefly how the Muggles managed it.
But at the next swipe of Andrew's tongue against his puckered hole, all worries about cleanliness flew out of Teddy's head. It felt brilliant, and he sighed out a happy breath.
Andrew swirled his tongue, then, zeroing in on Teddy's entrance, and Teddy whimpered and pulled his legs further apart and up, wanting to expose himself completely to Andrew, to open himself for Andrew's probing tongue.
He wanted badly to touch himself, but he didn't want to let go of his legs, lest Andrew's way be impeded. He knew that this was silly, but the feeling of exposure, of openness, was so blissful that he wanted it to last just a minute longer. As Andrew's tongue slithered into him, teasing the muscle to relax, he gasped out, "God, Andrew," and felt Andrew chuckle against him, setting up vibrations in the sensitive flesh.
It felt so good, Teddy couldn't stand to wait. He hung on to his left leg, but let go of the right so that he could take his straining cock in hand. He whispered Andrew's name over and over as his fist flew up and down, the heat in his belly travelling through his bollocks and prick, doubled by the sensations in his arse.
"Gonna--gonna--come," he choked out, and felt Andrew's mouth seal onto him and suck. As if it were his cock being sucked, Teddy spent in an instant, the warm splatters of semen coating his fingers and falling onto his skin, into his navel. He shuddered and writhed as Andrew kept on for another minute or two, until at last the quivers of orgasm stopped.
Boneless in the aftermath, Teddy almost didn't realise that Andrew had moved until Andrew's lips were against his own, coaxing a kiss from him. He couldn't taste much except sex, to his relief, and when the kiss stopped, he asked, "Do you want me to do that to you, too?"
"No, just suck me." Andrew looked faintly embarrassed. "Maybe put a finger or two in?"
"Of course, whatever you want," Teddy agreed. He would have liked to curl up and sleep for a little, but after the way Andrew had made him feel, he couldn't not reciprocate in any way Andrew asked for. Unless he'd asked Teddy to fuck him; Teddy was definitely not quite ready for that yet, not with Andrew. He wanted it to be perfect--or as close as possible--the first time with Andrew, and since Remus had promised they would finish the lessons, Teddy would wait until after he had learned from someone who knew what he was doing.
He found his wand on the night stand and cast both a silencing charm, which they'd neglected, and the lubrication spell before pressing Andrew back against the pillows and smiling at him. "Ready?"
Andrew smiled back. "Whenever you are."
Teddy started at Andrew's neck, licking and nipping and sucking his way downward, his hands roaming Andrew's torso both ahead of and behind his mouth. He scraped his teeth over Andrew's nipples, eliciting pleased moans, but carried on. They had more or less agreed not to take too long this time, after all.
He took Andrew in his mouth and began sucking him off, not taking too much time to tease around the head, but getting straight to work. He fondled Andrew's bollocks with the hand that wasn't wrapped around Andrew's shaft, tracing the bumpy seam in the centre with a fingernail, then dropping softer touches on them.
He worked his way down, then, to Andrew's slicked hole, and swirled one finger around the entrance. When finally he dipped it inside, Andrew let out a great groan, and Teddy was glad he'd remembered the silencing charm.
Andrew's cock was heavy against his tongue, and Andrew's hole clenched at the finger that Teddy had worked a little farther inside. When he added a second finger and began to move them both together in Andrew's arse, Andrew shuddered and a stream of curse words began to pour from his mouth.
"Fuck, Ted, fuck, gonna come, don't let me, don't make me come yet, fuck, fuck!"
Teddy didn't let up, but sucked harder at Andrew's cock, hollowing his cheeks and steeling himself in anticipation of Andrew's orgasm. He worked his fingers even further inside Andrew's hole, crooking them at what he thought was just the right angle to hit Andrew's prostate--and apparently it was, because Andrew let loose another string of expletives, bucked his hips, and poured himself into Teddy's mouth.
Andrew's come was slightly bitter, but overall, Teddy found he could manage the taste. It was the sheer volume of it that was overwhelming, and Teddy gagged a little and opened his mouth to let the sticky fluid dribble back down over Andrew's cock. He surreptitiously wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, then crawled back up to Andrew and gave him a kiss on the mouth, as Andrew had done after he'd tasted Teddy.
Andrew kissed him deeply, his tongue exploring Teddy's mouth, and Teddy shivered at how very, very dirty this all was. He shouldn't be enjoying feeding Andrew the taste of his own release, but that fact was that he did.
"Wow," gasped Andrew, breaking the kiss, "That was... incredible."
Teddy nodded. That was definitely one word for it.
"We should get dressed now," he whispered. He dropped a kiss on Andrew's bare shoulder, his body protesting that it only wanted to lie naked in bed for the rest of the afternoon.
"Mm. Almost need another shower, after that." Andrew gave him a sleepily flirtatious glance. "And a nap."
"It would probably sound odd if we took another shower right away," Teddy pointed out. "But we could maybe nap after a walk--a little fresh air would be good--and helping my dad get some of the food ready."
Andrew stuck out his lip in a pout that it took Teddy a second to recognise as pretence. "Oh, all right." He reached for his discarded towel and wiped himself off. "Where'd you put my little suitcase?"
They shared one last deep kiss after dressing and before opening the door to go back downstairs. Remus and Sam were sitting in front of the tree again, having some more of the spiced cider that Sam made so well.
"What's up, Ted?" Remus was leaning against Sam's shoulder. They looked good together, comfortable and happy and everything that Teddy wanted. He was glad for his father, but a little envious too, and had to remind himself that he hadn't known Andrew nearly as long as Remus had known Sam.
"We were going to take a walk for a bit, work up an appetite for dinner. Then do you need some help with the meal?"
"I'd be happy to have you help out," said Remus. "Especially since Andrew apparently knows one end of a knife from the other, unlike some people I could mention." He grinned at them as Teddy groaned. "But I wasn't going to start for another hour or so; you've plenty of time."
Teddy nodded. "Okay. We'll be back in a little while, then."
They wound scarves around their necks and put on their coats and gloves. The day was chilly and grey, full of mist that seemed almost colder than snow would have been, but Teddy didn't need sunshine just now. Tentatively he reached for Andrew's hand, and after a quick glance Andrew let him take it. They talked in bits and snatches about nothing much, wandering along the streets that Teddy knew well, where he could point out the sweet shop where he'd used to go to occasionally when he had some Muggle money, the playground where he'd once fallen from a swing and knocked out a loose tooth, the house where there had been an Alsatian that had frightened him when he was only four. Andrew listened and nodded and held Teddy's hand tight.
Teddy began to wonder if he was talking too much about himself, and when they turned a corner that would start them on their way home, he lapsed into silence for a while.
"Hey, Andrew," he said finally. "D'you mind if I ask you a question?"
Andrew shrugged and squeezed Teddy's hand. "You can always ask, but I may not always want to answer."
Teddy nodded. "That's fair." They walked on for several yards before Teddy figured out how exactly he wanted to word the question that had formed in his mind.
"You might not want to answer this one after all," he said, giving Andrew's hand a gentle squeeze, "and I'll understand if you don't. It's kind of private. Um." He paused again. "I was just wondering what your sisters wrote to you. You know--in the card they put on the present that they sent."
Andrew didn't answer right away, and Teddy almost wondered if he'd heard the question. He dismissed that thought, though, with a shake of his head. Of course Andrew had. He was just taking his time answering--if indeed he planned to answer at all.
"They just said they'd miss me at Christmas," Andrew said. His voice sounded distant, and he didn't look at Teddy when he spoke. "And they signed it 'love', which I guess can only be a good thing."
"Oh," said Teddy, and nothing more. He wanted badly to ask if Andrew thought his sisters knew why Andrew wasn't home for Christmas, but he didn't want to ask--Andrew was clearly upset by the question, and Teddy couldn't pry any further.
But, to Teddy's surprise, Andrew continued.
"My sister Ruthie wrote a postscript, though. She wrote--" He paused, almost smiling. Teddy waited.
"She wrote 'This isn't very Christmassy, but I think Mum and Dad are being idiots.'"
Teddy wanted to laugh, but he checked himself, waiting for Andrew's reaction. When Andrew finally let out a breathy little chuckle, so did Teddy.
"Ruthie sounds great."
"She is." Andrew was still smiling, though Teddy saw him swallow hard. "Even though she is fifteen and knows everything."
"I always wanted a sister or brother," Teddy admitted.
"Sometimes I didn't!" Andrew said. "Ruthie's eight years younger than me, and Gemma six. They were both right pains when they were little, always getting in my way. But now that we're all older, it's better."
They were just about home, now. Teddy wanted very much to kiss Andrew right then, but although they'd been holding hands, he was pretty sure that Andrew would not go for public snogging. Well, as a general rule Teddy didn't like seeing it either, whoever was involved, so that was reasonable, he supposed. He waited until they were inside and hanging up their things, then brushed Andrew's lips in a kiss. "Come on, let's see what help my dad needs."
Remus needed someone to peel potatoes, they found, and Teddy ended up doing that since it didn't take much skill. Andrew was put in charge of both the sprouts and the Yorkshire pudding. He beat up the pudding batter first, since that needed to sit, and then poked around in Remus's fridge and cupboard.
"Are you looking for something in particular?" Remus asked him.
"Found what I need," said Andrew, with an orange in one hand and a packet of walnuts in the other. "I know an interesting dish to make with sprouts--you sauté them in a little walnut oil, then steam in the orange juice, and toss with toasted walnuts and orange zest."
"I don't think I have walnut oil," said Remus, "but that sounds delicious. If you can teach Teddy to cook marvellous dishes like that..." He winked.
Teddy was torn between pride in Andrew and mild annoyance at his father, even though he knew Remus didn't mean it to put Teddy down. Teddy's inability in the kitchen was a long-standing joke.
"Is there anything I can do to help?" Sam had been leaning against the door frame, watching them all.
"Nope." Remus went and gave him a quick hug. "There's barely room for three to work. Just sit at the table if you want and keep us entertained."
"Shall I regale you with salacious tales of my days as the infamous Stubby Boardman?" Sam asked, "or would you rather have something a little more Christmassy?"
Teddy turned around and was about to open his mouth to say that he'd very much enjoy hearing stories from Sam's wild days, but Remus interrupted.
"How about some music while we cook?" Remus suggested.
Sam grinned. "I can manage that, I think," he said, and he moved to the wireless and fiddled with the dial until he came across a station playing all the old familiar Christmas carols, then began to sing along in a comfortable baritone while he got plates and glasses down from the cupboards in anticipation of the dinner the other three were preparing.
Remus hummed along as he rubbed the roast with herbs and began tying string around it, his movements deft, his voice a bit shaky. Even Andrew sang a snatch of carol here and there--a chorus, a verse, a line or two.
For his own part, Teddy focussed on the potatoes, getting every last scrap of brown skin off, gouging out the bad spots here and there. He wasn't a singer, and he knew it, and he wouldn't inflict his renditions of the carols upon the rest of the group. He knew his dad's voice was shaky, but it was comforting--his was the voice that had comforted Teddy as an infant and as a young boy, the voice that sang along to Christmas carols every year. Teddy's voice was just plain bad, he thought, and no one should have to hear it.
After a while, though, he found himself singing along under his breath despite his better intentions, and he stopped.
Andrew nudged him. "Why'd you stop?" he asked in an undertone.
Teddy felt himself turn pink. "You could hear that? I didn't--I'm not a very good singer."
Andrew shrugged. "You sounded fine to me," he said, and he turned away to attend to his sprouts.
A few minutes later, Teddy found himself singing again. This time he carried on with it despite his misgivings.
Dinner was wonderful, as Christmas dinners cooked by Remus always were, and although sprouts had never been Teddy's favourite vegetable, the way Andrew had cooked them was really quite good, Teddy thought.
Afterward the four of them sat by the tree once more, and Sam brought out a bottle of brandy and poured them each some in Remus's best glasses.
"I think we should make a toast," he said, raising the cut crystal so that it caught the flickering light from the fire and the fairy lights on the tree. "What should it be to?"
"Why don't we each propose one?" Remus suggested. "Andrew, would you like to start?"
That courtesy clearly caught Andrew by surprise, but after a second he said, "To the season," and touched his glass to Teddy's before drinking.
"Um, to friendship," said Teddy. He wasn't quite ready to say "to love," although that was what he meant, looking at Andrew, and then at his father and Sam sitting together.
"Very nice, Ted," Remus murmured. "Sam?"
"Oh, I'll be traditional." Sam grinned. "To your very good health."
Everyone drank for the third time. Unaccustomed to such strong liquor, Teddy could feel it going to his head a bit.
"Hm," said Remus. "To happiness, for all of us, however it may arrive." He turned a look on Sam that made Teddy almost squirm to see, it was so intimate.
"Now, the Potters' party isn't until afternoon, and you don't have to work, do you Ted?"
Teddy shook his head. "Madam Poyt doesn't open on Boxing Day."
"We can all sleep late tomorrow, then," said Remus. "That is--Andrew, will you be attending the party with us?"
Andrew looked at Teddy, then back at Remus, and he nodded. "Yeah--yes. I will. Ted somehow talked me into it." He threw a shy grin Teddy's way to show he was only joking, but Teddy gave a squawk of protest anyway.
They all stayed up quite late talking, and there finally came a point when Teddy realised he was actually rather drunk on the brandy. He reached for Andrew's hand, half out of affection, half because he thought he might be a bit unsteady when he rose.
"I think I'm ready for bed," he said, yawning widely, and Andrew nodded.
"Me, too." They rose and, as Teddy had expected, he was a bit wobbly, but he thought he hid it well from his father and Sam, who seemed quite themselves.
Teddy hugged his father and Sam, and thanked them for the best Christmas he could remember in a long time. Andrew stuck out his hand to thank Remus, but Remus was apparently having none of Andrew's formalities, and he pulled him into a hug as well, patting him on the back, holding on maybe a couple of seconds too long.
When they entered Teddy's room, Andrew confessed that he thought he was a bit drunk.
"Me, too," Teddy said, and to his horror, he actually giggled.
Andrew laughed, and his laugh turned into a snort, and Teddy laughed harder. Andrew shoved him, and Teddy fell onto the bed, grabbing Andrew around the waist and taking him down with him.
They ended up face-to-face, both still laughing at themselves and at each other. When their laughter subsided, they began to kiss, and Teddy slid his hands up underneath Andrew's jumper.
"Oh, 's brilliant," Andrew sighed, and he began kissing Teddy harder.
Not another word passed between them until they were both naked and hard and rutting against each other, and Teddy hissed a yes and Andrew gasped Teddy's name. The room was silent again, then, save for the sounds their bodies made and the creak of the bedsprings, until Teddy came, spending himself all over Andrew's belly. Andrew followed not too long after, and they lay in silence, wrapped around each other.
Teddy struggled to stay awake, to make the night last, but it was a losing battle, and before he knew what had happened, it was late morning, and he and Andrew were still naked and covered in each other's come.
"Ew," Teddy complained. "I think maybe brandy wasn't such a good idea." He had a throbbing headache, too, and judging from Andrew's paleness, he wasn't alone. Some Pepper-Up made them both feel rather better, and they cleaned up and then spent the morning playing several rather desultory games of Wizard's Chess. Remus puttered about, tidying away scraps of paper and drinking tea, and Sam had gone off somewhere for the morning, returning with a rather grim expression that he erased when he saw Teddy had noticed it.
At two o'clock Remus reminded them that it was nearly time to leave, and they went up to Teddy's room to change out of the tatty tracksuits they'd been lounging in so comfortably.
"We don't need to dress up, right?" Andrew asked. "I didn't bring anything fancy with me."
"Not for this, no." Teddy laughed. "It's totally informal, there are always tons of little kids running around, people coming and going. You look fine just like that." And Andrew did, in a blue jumper and black corduroy trousers, his fair hair curling a bit at his neck. Teddy himself was wearing a green jumper and brown trousers, and had turned his hair holly berry red, for the season, even though he knew Remus would roll his eyes and say he looked like a Christmas tree.
"I'm kind of nervous about this," admitted Andrew. "I mean, meeting Harry Potter."
"Harry's really a great guy. He's my godfather, you know, and even if he's surprised to meet you, it'll be okay." Teddy touched Andrew's shoulder. "Honestly. Don't be nervous of him, just treat him like anyone, like you do Sam. He hates being famous, actually."
"Okay." Andrew took a deep breath. "I'll try to remember that."
They took the Floo to the Potters'. When Teddy tumbled out, Remus was already introducing Sam to Harry and Ginny.
"We've sat on a board or two together," Harry said, clasping Sam's hand in greeting. "I'm so glad you could come with Remus today." Ginny smiled and pecked him on the cheek.
"Here's Ted," said Remus, gesturing him over.
"We need to get you over here more often," said Harry with a hug. "My children are always asking when you'll visit again."
"And this is my friend Andrew," Teddy said, stressing the word "friend" just a bit.
Harry stuck out his hand, and Andrew took it. "Pleasure to meet you, Andrew," said Harry. "Any friend of Teddy is a friend of ours." He turned to Remus. "From the way you spoke the other day, Remus, I somehow imagined Teddy was going to be bringing a date." He chuckled as if this were a particularly funny misunderstanding.
Andrew immediately turned bright red, and Teddy looked at the wall and nodded. He felt his father's hand curl protectively around his shoulder from behind.
Teddy reached over and hooked his smallest finger around Andrew's, still not looking at anyone else in the room, grateful for his father's fortifying presence behind him.
"Harry--" said Ginny, and there was a pause, then Harry sucked in a breath as if recognising what was going on right in front of him.
Teddy sneaked a glance at Andrew, who was staring at his shoes, but he still gripped Teddy's little finger with his own as if Teddy were the only thing keeping him tethered to reality. Funny, Teddy thought, That's how I feel about you. He wished for a moment that Andrew was telepathic, then realised that someone was going to have to speak, and it was, apparently, going to have to be him.
He raised his head and looked Harry in the eye. Harry's eyebrows were raised, his mouth open a little. "This is my friend Andrew," Teddy repeated.
Harry nodded and finally smiled--and the smile was genuine, even if it had taken several uncomfortable moments to appear. "Ted," he said, "I'm sorry. I kind of bollocksed this whole thing up, didn't I? Shall we start again?" He looked over his shoulder. "And where's Ginny gone?"
Ginny, it transpired, had gone to fetch Charlie from amongst the revellers in the kitchen, and she brought him back just as the conversation was finally beginning to flow from its stilted, stuttering beginnings. Andrew hadn't said much yet, but his cheeks were only pink now, instead of scarlet, and some of that could likely be blamed on the heat from the fireplace. He was holding Teddy's hand, now, instead of just his littlest finger, and Teddy thought that that could only be a good thing--that, and the fact that Andrew hadn't disappeared back into the Floo immediately upon Harry's revelation.
"Ginny, seriously, what could possibly be so important that you had to drag me away from--oh! Remus! Teddy!" Charlie bounded towards them, enveloping first Remus, then Teddy, in enormous bear hugs.
"And who have you brought?" he asked.
"Charlie, this is Sam Boardman," Remus introduced them. "Sam, Charlie Weasley, who works at the dragon reservation in Romania."
Charlie squinted at Sam. "Not Stubby Boardman?"
Sam chuckled ruefully. "I'm afraid so."
"No worries," Charlie said in easy tones, clapping him on the shoulder. "Just wanted to make sure I wasn't mistaken. Now Teddy, who's this?"
His eyes flicked to where Teddy's hand held Andrew's, then back to Teddy's face, and Teddy didn't feel at all abashed by saying, "Uncle Charlie, this is my friend Andrew, Andrew Pilkington. Reserve Chaser for the Pride of Portree."
"Andrew, I'm very pleased to meet you," said Charlie.
Andrew let go of Teddy to hold out his hand to Charlie, who ignored it and instead hugged him. Andrew gave Teddy a slightly panicked look, and Teddy just grinned and shook his head. That was how Charlie was with pretty much everyone, and always had been.
"Drinks are in the kitchen, food is, well, all over," said Ginny briskly. "Ted, you know where everything is. James and Al and Lily are all playing Gobstones, I think, with the other kids, and they'd love to see you, but of course you needn't spend the whole afternoon with the children."
"Sure," Teddy said. "We'll go up there in a bit." He took Andrew's hand again and squeezed it. "Maybe something to eat first though."
"Come on, I was interrupted in mixing an amazing drink I learned last year from a Spanish bloke." Charlie stepped behind them and put an arm around each of their shoulders, steering them towards the kitchen.
Teddy and Andrew watched as Charlie finished preparing the complicated concoction and poured a round for everyone who was there--various other assorted Weasleys, Neville Longbottom and his wife Hannah, Dedalus Diggle, and several other people whom Teddy didn't know but assumed were work colleagues of either Harry or Ginny. The Boxing Day party was mostly for family and friends, but Harry had a habit of inviting anyone he felt like or happened to bump into the last week before Christmas, too. Teddy had been appalled two years before to run into Madam Vector, especially since Arithmancy was not his best subject.
"See?" he said, sidling up to Andrew and speaking in his ear. "Not too bad, eh?"
Andrew leaned in. "Honestly, when we first got here, I thought I might possibly die. Face-to-face with Harry Bloody Potter and him staring at me like I was some kind of--of--god, I don't even know what he must've thought at first."
"I know," replied Teddy, "I think we managed to shock him. But it's all right--and Charlie's pretty cool, isn't he?"
Andrew grinned. "Yeah," he said, "Charlie, I like. I'd never have known he was--you know--if you hadn't told me."
They were interrupted by a shout from the kitchen doorway, and Teddy snapped his head around to see what was going on. Charlie was hugging someone, someone tall and thin and red-haired, and that person was hugging him back. When finally the two let each other go, Teddy saw that it was Bill Weasley--and Victoire and her mother Fleur were standing right behind him.
Teddy felt himself go a bit pale. It was one thing to get a letter from Victoire saying everything was all right, but quite another to see her in person for the first time in a very long time--and with Andrew by his side.
He leaned over to speak in Andrew's ear, keeping his eyes on Victoire, who had spotted him.
"Victoire's in the doorway, just there," he said, inclining his head towards her. "I don't think this will be too awkward, but I thought I should give you fair warning."
Andrew didn't look, but he nodded and murmured his thanks, concentrating on finishing the drink Charlie had mixed for him.
Victoire finally smiled in Teddy's direction, and she inclined her head towards Andrew, a quizzical expression on her face. Teddy couldn't stop a goofy smile from spreading across his own face as he nodded and reached for Andrew's hand. Victoire raised her well-plucked eyebrows as if to say that she quite approved.
And when she had survived her own overly enthusiastic greeting from her Uncle Charlie, she made her way across the room and stopped in front of Teddy and Andrew.
"Happy Christmas, Ted." She gave him a quick hug. "Introduce me to your... friend?" A smile played over her lips.
"Victoire, this is Andrew. Andrew, Victoire."
"Hello, Andrew." Victoire held out her hand.
Andrew shifted his empty glass to his other hand and shook Victoire's. "Hi."
There was an awkward pause, and then Victoire gave a throaty chuckle. "I'm not sure what I expected, but I don't think this was it."
"Me, either," said Teddy. "Um, can I get you a drink?"
"I'll do it," Andrew offered, and escaped the corner with an air of relief.
Victoire laid her fingers lightly on Teddy's forearm. "You look happy. I'm glad. Does this mean I can tell other people about you?"
"I am," he said, a little embarrassed that she was so open in speaking about it, and cocked his head to look at her. "Yeah, I guess it does, if you want. How are things with you? How's, um, Geoffrey?" He was pleased that he'd remembered the name.
She made a flicking gesture that was so much like her mother that Teddy had to suppress a laugh. "Geoffrey is out of the picture, as I told you he would be. There's no one else at the moment, but that's all right. With my N.E.W.T.s next year, I need time for study, not distractions."
Andrew returned with a drink for Victoire and another for himself.
"Thank you," Victoire said, taking it. "So how did you two meet?"
"Well, my dad and Sam--did you meet Sam?"
"My dad and Sam took me to a Quidditch match, and I ended up going to a pub with some of the players afterward. Andrew's a reserve Chaser for Portree, you see."
"Ah." Victoire smiled at Andrew. "Do you enjoy it?"
It took Andrew a moment to answer--he was looking at a cluster of photographs on the wall.
"Oh--yeah," he said, "I do. Very much."
Victoire nodded. "And how long have you two been--er--" She pursed her lips, as if trying to think of the proper term for whatever Andrew and Teddy were.
"Together?" Teddy supplied, and Victoire nodded again.
"Um--" Teddy looked at Andrew, who have a one-shouldered shrug as if to say he didn't mind which details Teddy chose to share. "For a little while, now." He didn't feel the need to explain to Victoire that he and Andrew had ignored each other for a fortnight, or that they'd had a bit of a strange start to the whole relationship.
"Good," said Victoire, and she turned to Andrew. "You make him happy, so I like you. Just don't ever upset him, or I'll kill you. That's a promise."
Teddy gave a nervous laugh and stepped between them. "She's one-eighth Veela and one-half Weasley," he explained, "and therefore she can't help what she says more than half the time." He swallowed hard.
"Oh, I know what I'm saying, Teddy Lupin," Victoire interjected, her hand on her hip, a smile playing about her lips, "and Andrew knows I'm serious. But right now, I like him, so he has nothing to worry about."
Andrew nodded. "Well, thanks. I think."
"You're most welcome," said Victoire in her politest voice. "Listen, I have to go and say hello to a few more people, but I'm going to find you both again later, all right?" They both nodded. "And Andrew?"
"Yes?" Teddy noticed that Andrew's knuckles were white where he held his drink.
"I'm probably not the only one in this family who'll kill you if you hurt Teddy. Might want to keep that in mind." She winked at him as she walked away.
Andrew exhaled sharply. "Wow," he said, "she's... something."
"She is," Teddy agreed. "We've known each other since we were in nappies."
"I think she meant that, about both her and other people in the family killing me if I hurt you." Andrew's voice spiralled up in question.
"Yeah... but don't worry. Really. Wouldn't your sisters say the same to me?" Teddy asked.
That made Andrew laugh. "They probably would," he agreed.
"Come on, I need another drink and you should meet Harry's kids," said Teddy, and tugged Andrew out of the kitchen.
They stopped along the way to get a refill from Charlie, who gave Teddy a huge wink, saying in an undertone, "You know you can owl me if you need any advice, okay? Your dad could tell you things, but it might feel less odd to talk to someone else."
Teddy flushed at that, but nodded and promised not to leave without saying hello again.
"Let's detour through the dining room before we go upstairs and find the kids," said Teddy. "The best food is usually in there, and I'm hungry, I don't know about you."
"Being nervous always makes me hungry," Andrew said.
They piled plates with a bit of this and a bit of that. Teddy bit happily into a mushroom tartlet and followed it with something that seemed to be a slice of beef wrapped around herbed cheese. "'S always wunnerful food," he said with his mouth full, and Andrew nodded enthusiastic agreement.
"Ted, how are you?" he heard someone call from the doorway.
"Aunt Hermione!" Teddy sidled around a witch he didn't know to be embraced by first Hermione, then Ron Weasley. "This is my friend Andrew." He turned, but Andrew was still on the other side of the table. "Andrew, come meet them."
"We don't bite," said Ron, grinning, and shook Andrew's hand. "I hear from Harry that you're a Chaser?"
"Just in the reserves," Andrew said. Ron waved that aside.
"Still. Tell me, what are the chances that the Cannons' new Seeker..."
Teddy didn't hear the rest, as Hermione asked him, "Having a good holiday?"
Stuffing his mouth full of olives, Teddy nodded. He swallowed and jerked his thumb at Andrew. "Andrew's been around for the whole thing, which has made it even better." He'd decided to throw all caution to the wind--Hermione and Ron had clearly been informed of the situation and were just as clearly all right with it, as he gathered from the enthusiastic Quidditch banter that was taking place to his left.
And no matter who he talked to for the rest of the night, Teddy thought he'd be all right with being up front about his relationship with Andrew. Certainly the first few encounters had been awkward, but he was managing all right, and he had decided that anyone who didn't like them could bugger right off.
That might prove to be easier said than done, a little voice in the back of his head told him, but he ignored it.
"He's been staying at our house," Teddy added.
Hermione's eyes went a little wide, but to her credit, she didn't sound surprised at all. "Oh," she said. "That must be lovely for you all." Teddy was fairly sure it wasn't that she disapproved of unmarrieds sleeping together--he'd heard far more than he cared to on that topic from Harry about Hermione and Ron to believe that. Maybe she was just surprised that Remus was fine with it.
If you had any idea, he thought, but he just nodded. "It has been. Thanks." He beamed at Hermione, then grabbed Andrew's hand, dragging him from his discussion with Ron that was threatening to turn into an argument over the proposed changes to the rules on Quidditch safety gear.
"I think we're going to go try to find the kids now, and say hello to them," Teddy said.
Hermione nodded--Ron had already been distracted by his brother Charlie pressing a drink into his hand. "We'll see you again before you leave, though?" she asked, and Teddy promised they would before tugging Andrew's hand and leading him up to the relative quiet of the second floor of the house.
"The kids are supposed to be up here," he said. "You'll like them, I think. Al--Albus Severus; he's Harry's younger son--can be a bit whiny sometimes, but none of them are bad or really annoying. And for once, it's going to be nice having someone my own age around."
James, Al, and Lily were delighted to see Teddy, with Lily immediately demanding that he morph for her, which he did, changing his hair colour and nose and ears into all sorts of peculiar appearances. A number of the other cousins were up with them as well; Victoire's younger brother and sister, and Ron's and George's children too. When Teddy introduced Andrew as a friend who was a professional Quidditch player, James's eyes lit up and he started asking Andrew all kinds of questions about what it was like.
"I'm hoping to get onto the Gryffindor team next year," James said importantly. "If they let first-years on, I'd have tried out this year, and probably made it. Our Seeker is rubbish."
Al rolled his eyes at that, and James stuck out his tongue at his brother.
"So you want to play Seeker?" Andrew asked. "Why?"
"Well, it's the most important position, isn't it? Besides, that's what my dad was."
"Granddad was a Chaser, though," said Al.
"There really isn't one most important position," said Andrew. "Usually the team wins whose Seeker catches the Snitch, that's true, but for the audience it's what the Chasers and Beaters and Keeper do that's more fun to watch."
James looked sceptical, and Teddy took the opportunity to suggest they all play a game of Gobstones, which led to a good deal of noisy laughter. Lily won, to her great and crowing delight.
"We should probably go back down," Teddy said then. "There were people I was supposed to talk to again before we leave, and it's already after five."
"Don't go." Al tugged at Teddy's sleeve. "It's more fun when you're here."
"But you have all your cousins to keep playing with," Teddy said. "Tell you what, I'll remind your mum that it's nearly dinner time and make sure she sends up something good to eat soon. I think she's been pretty distracted."
"Oh, all right," said Al, looking disappointed.
Teddy tousled his hair. "I'll come visit you guys again soon, okay? Things have been busy at work with the holidays, but they should slow down again now."
They said their goodbyes, and Teddy and Andrew made their way downstairs, where the party was still going strong. It seemed more witches and wizards had arrived--Teddy was stopped by several people and introduced Andrew to all of them, dropping touches on Andrew's shoulder or holding his hand to show exactly what sort of "friends" they were.
They chatted with Hermione, and Andrew managed to get himself into another Quidditch discussion with Ron before Teddy extracted him and tugged him along through the crowd. Ginny and Harry were disappointed that the two of them were leaving so soon, and made them both promise they'd visit soon, some time when there weren't so many other people around.
"We'd like to get to know Andrew," Ginny said to Teddy, and he grinned.
"He's a good person to know," he said, and then he spied his father and Sam moving towards them. "I'm sorry we have to go, but thanks for having us. It was a brilliant party."
Both Harry and Ginny hugged Andrew as well as Teddy, and then Sam and Remus said their goodbyes as well, and the four of them headed for the Floo.
"Back home?" Andrew asked, and Teddy looked sideways at him.
"Yeah," he said, trying to restrain himself from throwing his arms about Andrew. "Let's all go back home."