Fic: The Fall, 1/4 (Teddy/James II, NC-17) for loony4lupin Author:gryffindorj Recipient:loony4lupin Title: The Fall Rating: NC-17 Pairing(s): Teddy/James Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended. All characters engaging in sexual activity are 16 years or older. Summary: "You may go now. I don't want to see you back in detention again." James mutely picked up his bag, heeding Teddy's instructions. "Walk back to Gryffindor Tower, no stopping anywhere. I want to imagine you with come dripping down your legs." Warnings: None, other than the rating indicates. Word Count:~29,900 Author's Notes: Thank you so much to everyone who helped me so much. You all know who you are and I adore all of you. loony4lupin, I kept a list of your preferred kinks and ticked them off as I used them, so hopefully you will find many of them here.
"…know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."
"Really? Blimey!" Harry hugged Teddy. "That's brilliant."
Teddy could feel his hair turning cardinal red, the colour it turned when he felt most happy; or rather, beyond happy — in this case, complete elation — complementing the rather stupid grin on his face.
"Let's have a drink," Harry said, going to the cabinet.
"Call the children first, they'll want to hear," Ginny said.
Harry leaned his head out of the lounge and called up the stairs for the children to come down. He then resumed his task of pouring celebratory drinks.
"How was your holiday?" Teddy asked. Harry shook his head, chuckling, as Ginny grumbled.
"When the kids weren't arguing it was fine; unfortunately, that was a rarity. Oh, Harry, pour James a drink too, I don't want to hear anything about not being treated like an adult."
Harry handed Teddy a tumbler, then returned to the cabinet to pour one more drink.
"What's the matter?" Al said, shuffling in the room, pushing his glasses further up on his face. "Oh, Teddy's here. I thought–"
"Teddy!" Lily squealed as she entered the room and rushed over, pushing past Al, to give Teddy a hug.
"What now?" James asked, the last to enter the lounge.
"Teddy's here," Al said, elbowing James in the ribs as if to remind him to have manners.
"I can see that. He's always here though. It's not anything for Dad to bother us over," James said rather carelessly. When Albus snorted and looked away from his brother to roll his eyes, Teddy saw James sneak an annoyed look at him.
"Teddy has something to tell you," Ginny said proudly.
"It looks like it's good news," James said when his father handed him a drink.
"I want some!" Lily protested before Teddy could even start. "Why does James get some and I don't?"
"Oh, God, not again," Teddy heard Harry grumble under his breath.
"Shut up, Lily, I'm not complaining and I'm older than you," Albus said, plopping down on the sofa.
"You're not complaining because I said something first. You know you want some, too."
"Would you two shut it and stop arguing?" James said irritably. "It's all I've listened to for the past two weeks."
"Yeah, and you never argue," Lily snorted.
"Everyone quiet!" Ginny snapped. "We've all had it with each other, but stop long enough not to ruin Teddy's moment."
"Sorry," Albus muttered as Lily gave Teddy her most apologetic look. James merely shrugged. He did not give apologies so easily.
Teddy smiled; this sort of silly bickering held an odd comfort for him. It made him feel a part of the family that they were all willing to have no barriers with him. "Are we all ready then?" They all nodded. "I'm going back to Hogwarts."
"What?" James and Albus said at the same time.
"Better get used to calling Teddy 'Professor Lupin'," Ginny said. "He's going to be your new Transfiguration teacher."
"Wow!" "Brilliant!" "No way!" the kids all said at the same time. Lily gave Teddy another hug as she giggled happily.
Harry raised his glass; Teddy, Ginny and James did as well. "To Professor Lupin!" Harry said, and the others echoed him, adding cheers and cries of "Here, here!" to the clink of glass. Teddy could feel the deep tones of James's voice vibrate across the room to him, and he raised his glass to his lips. As he swallowed, he chanced his first look at James, who was staring intently at him over the rim of his own tumbler, his blue eyes dark as night. Teddy coughed and looked away, feeling his cheeks betray him by warming slightly, and hoped it would be written off to the effects of the Firewhisky.
Teddy stayed at the Potters later than he had anticipated. They talked about Teddy's new post and how lucky he was to get it at such a young age. Harry also told him about the family holiday to Italy he'd missed, which, after hearing the entire story, Teddy was glad he had declined the invitation.
Feeling warm and sleepy from three, or possibly four, glasses of Firewhisky, Teddy decided it was best to go. Harry looked exhausted, stifling a yawn, and everyone else had already gone up to bed. He said goodnight to Harry, let himself out the front door, and nearly tripped down the narrow front steps. James sat there waiting for him.
"Thought you were asleep," Teddy said, looking down at the messy dark hair.
"No, I've been waiting for you."
"Have you?" Teddy said evenly.
James stood, looking intently at Teddy. He had a lean build like his father, but was an inch or so taller, which made him taller than Teddy as well, but not by much. A flirtatious half-smile slid across James's lips.
"Thought we'd talk."
Teddy put his hands in his pockets, trying to appear as if he hadn't a clue what James could want. It was difficult; he knew this was coming but hadn't expected it so soon.
James snaked his arm around Teddy's waist, leaning in for a kiss. Teddy pulled back.
"What are you—?" Teddy began to say at the same time James said, "What's wrong?"
Teddy took the moment of slight confusion to pull fully away from James.
"James, you can't be expecting us to snog," Teddy said. His tone came out more mocking than he had intended but he knew he had to be firm with James.
"What do you mean I can't expect us to snog? That's what we were doing last time we were alone," James pointed out stubbornly. "That was one time. I was pissed, you were pissed, and…"
James's brows shot up angrily. "And what?"
"I wasn't your Professor at that point." Teddy looked down and rubbed his hand across the back of his neck.
"You aren't my Professor now either." James leaned in again. Warm breath brushed Teddy's cheek, followed by the soft rasp of James's stubbled chin, and softer lips. Teddy inhaled sharply, his mouth falling open as he remembered their previous encounter, and James's wicked tongue… Perhaps James was remembering too, because in the next moment he deftly slid that tongue into Teddy's mouth.
Teddy couldn't think about anything but the wet heat from James's mouth covering his own. James shifted his weight, pressing closer to Teddy, and Teddy put his arm on James's lower back, bringing him closer. He slipped his hand under James's t-shirt, feeling his skin under the pads of his fingers. James moaned, and the moan somehow brought Teddy back to himself. Damn it. He wasn't supposed to do this. He told himself he wouldn't. It was only James, whom he had known forever, a good friend. Only James, his godfather's son who was practically like a brother…
Teddy pulled away. "James. Stop."
"Why?" James asked, his voice husky as he brushed the tip of his nose on the underside of Teddy's jaw and refused to let go. "Thought about this the whole time I was on holiday. Wanked every day thinking about the way you pressed me against that wall."
Teddy swallowed thickly, his throat dry and his cock seeming to throb beneath his clothes. "Enough. It was a mistake." He was forceful but didn't yell. James was out drinking with Teddy and his friends, and things got out of control when Teddy tried to walk them back to his flat. "It was nothing."
"Your prick pressing against my leg didn't feel like nothing."
"Fucking hell, I'm not a child, Teddy. I know what a cock feels like. You were hard as a rock, practically humping my leg." James's eyes narrowed and he crossed his arms defiantly.
"I was drunk. Very, very drunk."
"That doesn't mean you didn't want it, want me."
James had always been a cocky bastard, too big for his boots. He might have been seventeen now, but Teddy was six years his senior and wasn't going to take this arguing from him. He needed to stop it now.
"There's nothing between us, James. You're my…my friend, like always, but I'm going to be your teacher now so there can not be anything else," Teddy said, staring intently into James's eyes so he would know he meant it.
"I have to pretend that nothing ever happened, that it's just us, Teddy and James like always, that's it?" James's voice was doubtful.
"No pretending, that's all there is."
The muscles in James's jaw flexed as he glared at Teddy. "Fine. Night, Teddy."
James went inside, all but slamming the door behind him.
"Shit," Teddy breathed before Disapparating back to his flat.
"Bumphing." The stone gargoyle suddenly came to life and sprung out of the way. Teddy stepped on the moving golden stairs and, reaching the top, knocked on the door.
"Come in," the Headmaster called.
Teddy walked into the office, which looked the same as it had when he was a student, its yellow carpets with various black chairs and tables scattered about the room.
"Professor Lupin, so nice to have you here." The Headmaster put his quill down and rose from behind the desk to welcome Teddy. They shook hands, and the Headmaster gestured for him to sit, offering him a cup of tea. Teddy thanked him as he handed over the mug.
"Thank you, Professor Bagman. Bet you never thought you'd ask me to come back so soon," Teddy said grinning.
"Bet?" the Headmaster said, somewhat alarmed. "No no no, I would never bet. Not a good idea at all. Gambling - very seedy. Very seedy indeed." Teddy felt his lips twitch; he took a sip of his tea to hide his smile.
Professor Bagman beamed widely at Teddy. "What brings you to Hogwarts two weeks before term starts, Teddy?"
"Wanted some quiet to make sure my lessons plans are in order, prepared for the year," Teddy explained, setting down his cup and crossing his legs.
"No sir, Aries."
"Hmm, right, of course. Virgos are very prepared sort, like things in order. Or so Professor Brown informs me." Professor Bagman leaned back, resting his hands on his belly.
"Ah," Teddy said, nodding. "Divination never held much interest for me."
"Nor myself, but we all concede to listen to things for one reason or another." Professor Bagman cleared his throat, and Teddy thought he saw his face pink slightly.
"I wanted to ask something, sir," Teddy said, getting to the point of his visit. "I wanted to know why you hired me. After all, I'm young to be a professor."
"How old are you? Twenty-three? Twenty-four?"
"Twenty-three. I remember all of my professors being old. Maybe the students will think I'm old." Teddy laughed to himself, imagining what his students would think of him.
"You are, first of all, a talented young man," Professor Bagman said. "Your natural talents aside, you have an aptitude for Transfiguration I have rarely seen. This is also not your first teaching job."
"No, sir. I taught at a very small school in France for a year and was a private tutor before that, for a lot of subjects, actually."
"You are well travelled and well learned. This is not a post you've acquired without merit. You are also not the youngest professor for Hogwarts to hire. I also believe in giving people chances, as Merlin knows I've had my fair share. You're not much of a risk, however. You will do wonderfully."
"Thank you." Teddy felt slightly uncomfortable getting such high praise before he'd even taught his first class, but it bolstered his confidence nonetheless.
Professor Bagman sipped his tea, and was quiet for a few moments, staring off toward the window.
"I'd better go unpack," Teddy said, setting his tea down and standing to go.
"You're father was a professor, is that correct?" Professor Bagman asked, coming out of his thoughts.
"Yes sir, he taught Dark Arts. Defence."
"Was he a good professor?"
"I've been told by several people he was the best they ever had."
"Then perhaps teaching is another inherited talent of yours. You will do very well, just as your father did," the Headmaster asserted, standing to walk Teddy to the door. "And yes, the students will think you very old, no matter what."
Teddy wasn't usually vain, but he stood in front of the mirror examining his appearance for the fifth time this morning. He was nervous for the first day, more so than he had been his first day as a student. His stomach was so knotted he hadn't even gone down to breakfast, and sat in his rooms instead, sipping his morning cup of coffee while his leg shook agitatedly.
He checked his watch, straightened his robes one last time, and grabbed his old battered briefcase. The peeling letters embossed on the case were not his initials; they were his father's, Professor R. J. Lupin. He and Harry had found the case, along with several more of his father's belongings, when they were cleaning out Grimmauld Place. Teddy had kept it all this time, repairing only the hinges and the lock. Every gouge in the leather, every nick, every scrape - they were made by his father and it made Teddy feel connected to the man he never really knew.
Teddy smiled as he left his room; maybe today, if his dad were here, he'd be proud of him. There was a secret place inside of Teddy, deep in his heart, where he still felt ten years old and his father was still the greatest man who had ever lived. He had grown up without the usual parental expectations, but he still liked to think he was pleasing them in some way.
The first class Teddy had was the Slytherin and Hufflepuff fifth years. Teddy wasn't especially keen on having his first class be such a large group, but it was a good opportunity to prove he could control a class.
He walked into the room full of chattering fifth years, over-excited from their first day of school. As he entered the room some of the chatter quieted, but not all. Teddy strode to the front of the class and placed his briefcase on the desk.
As he turned and looked at the room, everyone went silent.
"Good morning and welcome to your first day of Transfiguration. I'll take the register then we'll start with today's lesson." Teddy went down the list name by name. When he reached 'Malfoy, Scorpius', he didn't pause, continuing quickly to 'Meecham, Malificent', but couldn't help wonder what Scorpius was like. They were the grandchildren of sisters, and he knew their grandmothers would get together twice a month for tea. Their relationship wasn't exactly warm and loving, but they were the only survivors of their generation from a long line of Blacks. They persevered through their bimonthly teas for that reason alone. Did Scorpius know their grandmothers had tea, trading stories of their grandsons?
Teddy got to the end of the roll and put the parchment down on his desk. "Books away. Today's will be a practical lesson. However, before we begin, as you know, you'll be sitting for your O.W.L. exams at the end of the year." The class groaned, but he ignored them, continuing to impress upon them the importance of hard work, and his confidence in their ability to achieve a passing mark. "Those of you who wish to continue to N.E.W.T. level will need to obtain at least Exceeds Expectations, so bear that in mind.
"Right. Now that we've got that straight, on the board you will see a list of five items and the items that correspond to them." Teddy pointed his wand at the board and the list of five items appeared. "You should all know by this point how to transfigure these things into what I have listed on the other corresponding list. Pair up," he said, pointing his wand and sending trays of the items from the side table zooming to every other desk. "You have until the end of the class to complete the list."
"Sir?" A mousy brown-haired girl raised her hand. "We aren't used to doing those sorts of things on the first day."
"You'll all do fine, I'm sure. I will be around to observe and help as needed. Now pair up."
By the end of the lesson only a handful of students were able to transfigure every object, and all but one student was able to transfigure the matchstick into a needle. They should have all been able to do that task; it was a First year requirement.
The next day Teddy had his first class with one of the Potters. The class of fifth year Gryffindors, like every other class, had grumbled when Teddy asked for a practical example of their abilities. Truth be told, by this point Teddy was a little irritated with the whinging.
That afternoon he had his seventh year N.E.W.T. students, who were the first students not to complain outright when Teddy set them to their task. Not even James, who sat slouched in his chair, had any reaction. This surprised Teddy.
Teddy thought that as the students settled into the year there would be fewer complaints and they would easily meet his expectations. There were fewer verbal complaints as the term progressed, not as many grumbles; but at the end of the third week when he gave out the first essay assignment, the looks on the students' faces could best be described with the word 'mutinous'.
"Albus," Teddy said as the students gathered their things. Albus threw his supplies in his bag and told his friends he'd catch up.
"Yes, sir?" Albus answered.
"Can I ask you a question? Because maybe I've forgotten something, and you can help."
"Okay," Albus said slowly.
"Does everyone complain so much in all of your classes?" Teddy asked.
"What do you mean?"
"Every time I give an assignment I get looks like I'm about to be disembowelled." Teddy chuckled at what he meant to be a joke, but Albus gave him a guilty sort of face. "What?"
"We're mates, right, you and me?" Albus said after deliberating for a moment.
"Yeah, of course." Teddy leaned back on his desk. "Why wouldn't we be?"
"You know, with you being a professor and all. Anyway, Teddy, here's the thing." Albus paused for one moment then spoke very quickly. "You give a lot of work, and not like the rest of the teachers. You have weekly projects, biweekly essays that require a minimum of twenty-four inches—twenty-four is a lot. We have a review test every week, all that and sometimes you give us more work. It's a lot for one class."
"My N.E.W.T. level students don't complain," Teddy said, curious more than anything.
Albus shrugged. "Maybe they just expect more work."
"Think I expect too much?"
"Not my place to say. We get along all right, could be worse, yeah?" Albus smiled easily but somehow it didn't make Teddy feel better. He was mentally running over his curriculum trying to see where he went wrong. Everything seemed correctly in place for each year. He had worked hard when he was a student and he certainly hadn't complained like this.
"Right, Al, could be worse." Teddy tried to smile but he felt a little dispirited; he was a good teacher, he knew he was. "Thanks."
"Hey, no problem, see you later." Albus left to catch up with his friends while Teddy sat on the edge of his desk for a long time, thinking about what Albus had told him.
Teddy looked up from the book he was reading.
"Yes, Ms Hopkins, come in." He stood from his chair, quickly removing the bottle of gin that sat atop his desk. It was a bit early in the day to be drinking.
The stick-thin brunette turned to close the office door behind her.
"Please leave that open if you would, Ms Hopkins." She turned back, looking confused. "Unless it's a very private matter, I would prefer the door stay open."
She let go of the handle and took one of the seats adjacent to Teddy's desk, while Teddy sat back down and waited. She looked down at her lap, fumbling with her hands, teeth worrying her lower lip.
"I don't bite, Ms Hopkins. You don't have to look so nervous," Teddy said, smiling congenially. She looked up shyly, and her cheeks pinked as Teddy widened his smile.
"I was wondering if I could have an extension on my essay, sir?" she said quickly, then resumed looking down at her lap.
"Is there perhaps a reason why you need the extension?" Teddy asked, raising his brow.
She bit her lip again and frowned. "Er, it's a lot of work, sir."
"You've done essays before. Why is this one particularly challenging?"
She glanced up at him through her fringe. "There's a lot of work for your class," she said slowly, "and with my other classes, I, er, well, I have a lot of work this year."
"This is your O.W.L. year, correct? I'm afraid you will find all of the work this year very demanding," Teddy said sympathetically.
"Yes," she said, her voice shaking. She sniffed and quickly looked away.
Teddy's eyes widened. Shit, she was starting to cry. "Is everything all right, Ms Hopkins?" He stood and walked around his desk, conjured a handkerchief and handed it to her.
"School is always a lot of work," she cried. She looked up, tears streaming down her face. "I was going to do the essay last night, I swear. Then I found out Hamish is taking Tracy to Hogsmeade on Saturday. I thought he was going to ask me, but he asked her, and it's because she's…she's…she's a slag!" she stammered, and wept harder into the handkerchief.
Teddy felt badly for her, but still had to fight off the faint amusement he felt. A weeping mess of a girl in his office, upset over a Hogsmeade weekend and some pimple faced boy.
"Then I tried to start it—the essay, I mean— but I'm too far behind to finish it in time." She looked up at Teddy again. Her face was red, puffy, and tear-stained, and she was still sniffling.
"So far you have been doing average in my class, so if I give you extra time, I expect something above average." Teddy leaned against his desk.
"I can do that," she said, nodding and dabbing at her nose.
"You have until Monday, which is your next lesson after tomorrow," Teddy said, his voice even. "If it's late after that, I will have to take points off your House."
"You aren't going to take off marks?" She beamed at him.
Teddy smiled and shook his head.
"Thank you, sir, thank you so much!" She jumped out of her chair, hardly the picture of what she had been a minute ago.
She turned to walk out of the room, pausing at the door to thank Teddy again.
"Keep something in mind, Ms Hopkins. There will be a lot of Hamishes."
She smiled sweetly and left the room. Teddy felt lighter than he had in days; he could be flexible and understanding of the problems students had, and still be a good teacher. It felt good to be able to give people perspective.
"Good morning," Teddy said strolling into the room. Some of the students said good morning in return, but most grumbled.
Teddy turned to face the class. "Before we start today I would like you all to know I have extended the due date on your essay. No points will be taken, and you have until your next lesson to hand it in."
"But, sir, what if we already finished?" Daniel Smith said, raising his hand.
"You may turn it in now if you like, but I will accept them at your next lesson if you wish to review them further."
The response from the students was a stony silence. Teddy took that as a good thing. It felt good to be able to offer something generous to the students. "If there are no more questions let's continue our discussion of Grey's experiments on human transfiguration." Every student moved to pull out their books, except for James. James glared harshly at Teddy.
After class, Teddy gathered his things and headed to his office for his break. A throng of chattering girls had gathered outside his door.
"Excuse me, ladies," Teddy said. As he walked by, on a whim he changed his hair, which he normally kept his natural sandy colour for class, to a bright green. The girls all giggled delightedly at him, and Teddy kept walking without turning round, a smirk on his face.
Teddy heard someone behind him jogging to catch up and looked over his shoulder. James.
"Mr Potter," Teddy said, his smirk increasing.
"Can I speak with you for a minute?" James asked as they headed down the stairs to Teddy's office.
"'Course. Girl troubles?" Teddy teased. "Or did your mum find out that you nicked all the Firewhisky from your dad's office?"
James snorted. "Hardly. Evidence of the Firewhisky is long gone, and if I ever had girl troubles I wouldn't be coming to you."
"You wound me," Teddy said, thumping his chest with his splayed hand. He opened his office door. "I'm like the older, wiser brother."
"Your knowledge of birds is a bit rusty, I think."
"It's like riding a bike. You'll find out once you've become a man," Teddy said and smiled, throwing his robes on the coat stand by his door.
"Funny. Not why I'm here though," James said, putting his hands in his pockets. "Here to talk about you, actually."
"What about me?" Teddy flopped down in his favourite chair.
"That thing you did back there, with the extension."
Teddy quirked his brows. "You don't want an extension?"
"Sure I want an extension, but I don't want to find out the day my assignment is due after I've already done it."
Teddy crossed his legs. "So take the time to go back over it."
"That's not the whole problem, Teddy," James said, running his hand through his hair.
"Then what is the whole problem?" Teddy couldn't help but look at James's mouth, the way he rolled his lips and moistened them before he spoke.
"You are the problem." It was exactly like James to be so blunt but the words still stung.
"You come in here, brand new, and pile work on us like your class is the only one we have. Not just the N.E.W.T. students either, all levels. Everyone talks about how you must be full of yourself because you can't possibly fathom we have other classes, other responsibilities. Then you strut into class today and give us an extension as if you were a fucking god. Not even bothering to keep in mind the people who worked to get their essays done on time, because not only was it due today, but no one wants to worry about an essay all bloody weekend. Some girl probably came and dithered it was too hard, so you gave her extension and then decided to give one to the rest of us because you are Oh. So. Fair." James scowled.
Teddy felt his blood pressure rise and his cheeks growing warm. "Is that all?"
"No, actually if you want to know the truth," James continued. "You never give detentions. You'll take points away all day long but now the students are starting to think you're a bloody pushover because at least three times you should have given detentions, you didn't. We all heard about the girl you caught out of bed sneaking off to the Slytherin common room, high and half pissed, and all you did was take ten points from her."
"I can't have students sitting detentions alone with me. Someone might think something—"
"You're gay, Teddy, and you're a god-damned professor! Do you think Neville worries that people might think he's going to molest the students? And what the hell are you going to do to a girl you have alone, anyway? Talk about her feelings?"
"Fine, James, I will only give detentions to girls and tell them it's okay because I don't much care for minge. Will that make you happy?" Teddy felt his anger about to boil over. He didn't want James to talk to him this way; in his office, his face flushed, his eyes bright, telling Teddy he was a lousy teacher.
"You aren't listening, Teddy!"
"I said 'Professor Lupin', but you may call me 'sir' as well." Teddy's voice was icy. James's eyes widened, and he snorted. "Ten points, Mr Potter."
"Are you fucking kidding me?" James said.
"No, I am not fucking kidding you. Your initial complaint, while valid, was not presented to me in a way that is appropriate for a student. You then question my methods of handling students and my own decisions. I am your professor and this is unacceptable."
"Unacceptable? I was talking to you because I've known you forever and thought someone should tell you," James said, his voice rising.
"You can't treat me like we can go have a drink together after class. You are only seventeen and haven't a clue the expectations I am required to meet as your teacher. Not to mention a young gay teacher." Teddy stood angrily from his chair, his voice rising.
"Nobody cares you're gay."
"There are families who would look for any reason to be rid of me if they found out. Don't be so naïve, and don't give me that face, James! You haven't a clue how hard I've been working to be a good teacher, and be fair at the same time. If the students don't like me, well then that's too bad."
"That's complete bullshit," James said. "I saw you walking past that crowd outside your class just now, changing your hair to make them giggle, impress them a bit. You want to be the cool young teacher who all the students love."
"I'm so delighted you've come to my office to enlighten me on not only what I want, but how I can achieve this. If you are finished you're going to be late for your next class, Mr Potter." Teddy clenched his jaw. He had to make James leave, had to show he was in control. He was the teacher and James was his student, one among many students.
"If you don't want to listen, then yeah, I'm done." James turned to go.
"Mr Potter, do not ever question me again."
"Yes, sir." James slammed the office door behind him, and Teddy dropped back into his chair. His head was pounding.
Teddy knocked on Professor Longbottom's door.
"Professor Lupin, come in!" he said, opening the door.
Teddy glanced around the untidy office, noticing immediately that little had changed since his last visit years ago when he'd been a student himself. A few more varieties of exotic plants and odd smelling flowers, but he'd almost swear the rest of the clutter was exactly the same.
"Thank you, Professor Longbottom."
"Neville, please. Have a seat. Tea?"
"Thank you, yes. The last time I sat in this office I wouldn't have dreamed of you telling me to call you 'Neville'."
"When was that?" Neville asked, pulling out a packet of tea.
"My sixth year. You were on your second year as head of my house, and some furniture had disappeared from Ravenclaw Tower," Teddy said innocently.
"Right, and you being a prefect came here to help find the culprits?" Neville asked.
"No, you had dragged me out of bed because for some reason, even though I was a very good prefect, you thought I had something to do with it." Teddy's lips twitched.
"Knew, not thought. Yes, I remember." Neville laughed. "Milk? Sugar?"
Neville handed Teddy a warm full mug. "And it was all of the furniture," Neville said, sitting down in a chair beside Teddy's.
"Well, the bed-frames were still there, perhaps a looking glass or two. You'd think those Ravenclaws were more clever and would have known how to get their own furniture back." Teddy took a sip of his tea and almost spit it all out when Neville replied.
"Are you here to relive all the grief you used to cause me, or do I owe the honour of your visit to another reason?" Neville said, putting his tea on a table.
"I wanted your advice." Teddy set his mug down on the desk, careful to move a sheaf of parchment out of the way first.
"Oh. All right." Neville crossed his legs and looked at Teddy.
"I'm feeling lost when it comes to the students."
"Really?" Neville had the kindness to actually sound surprised.
"I've been told I expect too much, I give too much work. Also, I'm too easy when it comes to punishments. So I'm either a complete bastard or a total nancy, take your pick." Teddy felt very defeated admitting this to another staff member.
"I don't think you're either, but the students might."
"Hang on." Neville put up his hand to stop Teddy. "You can't make all the students love you. They won't all hate you either, but you can't be everything to everyone."
"I don't expect to be."
"Then why are you here looking so pathetic?"
"I don't know what to do. I don't know if I ask too much, and I don't know if I go too easy on them in other respects."
"Why would you be too easy on them?" Neville asked.
"Because I'm afraid of them," Teddy admitted, and Neville chortled. "I'm only twenty-three and in a big position."
"I can't believe Teddy Lupin is afraid of anyone. This is not the young man I know," Neville said, "and I've known you a long time."
"I feel vulnerable," Teddy said, rubbing his hand along his jaw.
"The students aren't going to eat you, Teddy."
Teddy softly worried his lower lip between his teeth, only half-listening to Neville. He thought of his father and how he had always heard what a good man he was. But even his father had had obstacles thrown in his way. Hell, people still managed to hate Harry, nice guy or not.
"Yeah," Teddy said softly.
"You'll be fine," Neville reassured.
"And the students' complaints?" Teddy asked
"They'll always complain, even if you came to class every day bearing gifts. But don't resent them for it. Remember what it was like to be sixteen and wanting to do anything but schoolwork."
"I loved doing schoolwork at sixteen," Teddy said, picking up his tea now.
"Was that before or after you sneaked back in from Hogsmeade?"
"Usually before. Too pissed to do anything afterwards." The corner of Teddy's mouth arched slightly.
"Who are they?" Teddy asked Neville as he sat down for breakfast on a clear, chilly November morning.
"Scouts from some professional Quidditch teams. Not sure which ones, though." Neville shrugged, adding marmalade to his toast. "They're here to watch James play. He's a very good Quidditch player, you know."
"Oh, I know," Teddy replied. "He trained with England over the summer. And anytime I've played with him and his cousins in the past few years, they fight over who gets James on their team."
Neville shook his head. "Quidditch with the Weasleys. Ever get violent?" he asked.
Teddy laughed. "Regularly. Last time we played, Harry broke his jaw."
"Harry still plays with the kids?"
"Only when Ginny's not around. She thinks he's too old, and the kids play too rough. Of course when Harry's not around, she's out there flying up a storm herself. Hypocrites, the pair of them. We all play along and just humour them both."
After breakfast, Teddy pulled on his cloak and decided he could get away with wearing his Gryffindor scarf for the match. He walked over to sit with the other staff in the stands.
"Professor Lupin, have you met these fine gentlemen?" Bagman indicated the three scouts.
"This is Mr O'Hara from Puddlemere United, Mr Watson from the Tutshill Tornadoes, and Mr Schwarz from the Heidelberg Harriers. Gentlemen, Professor Lupin is our new Transfiguration Master and Harry Potter's godson," Bagman said a bit smugly.
"So you know young Mr Potter well?" Mr Watson asked.
"Jamie?" Teddy smiled. "Very well. Knew him when he used to nick his father's broom and sneak out to the back garden to fly, almost before he could walk." The gentlemen chortled at the amusing little anecdote.
"Sit, sit, here come the teams!" Bagman waved his hands excitedly.
The Hufflepuffs walked out onto the field, canary robes even brighter in the sun. Teddy clapped politely. The Gryffindor team followed, and Teddy couldn't help but clap with a bit more vigour as they were announced.
James and Albus were both distinct among the team by virtue of their messy black hair, though James was still taller. Teddy pulled out his Omnioculars and looked closely at the team.
James—as team Captain—stepped forward to shake McMillan's hand. Teddy had never seen James in his Gryffindor Quidditch robes, and hadn't expected him to look as impressive as he did. He couldn't help but notice how the robes emphasized his strong, lean build, the strength of his arms, his long legs. As the wind rustled the back of his robes, Teddy's mouth went dry. James's arse wrapped in Quidditch breeches was the sexiest thing he had ever seen. He paused his Omnioculars on that picture for a moment, or maybe two.
The whistle blew and the game started. It was over quickly: Gryffindor won with James as the star attraction, scoring all but one of the team's fifteen goals. Albus, not to be completely eclipsed by his brother, caught the snitch less than twenty minutes in, and the final score was 300-10.
After the team landed, Bagman made a beeline to James to bring him over to meet the scouts. Teddy stood back watching James, hair windblown and face flushed, shouldering his broom and shaking each man's hand. He smiled politely at them, and though Teddy couldn't hear what was being said, he could see how easily the men were charmed by James. He had an easy smile and a way about him that people warmed to immediately.
Teddy stepped closer so he could listen in.
"I appreciate you all coming to watch us play, but if you don't mind, I need a shower and want to celebrate with my house." James shook each man's hand again, thanking them each personally.
As he walked away from them, he spotted Teddy and his expression changed. His smile became almost intimate with a hint of smugness.
"Good game, James," Teddy said as James drew close. The last time they had spoken, they'd rowed and Teddy thought he might have over-reacted a bit. This was a good time for a peace offering.
"Hufflepuff was nothing. They haven't had a good side in years. Or are you too old to remember that?" James arched his brow.
"I'm old now, am I?" Teddy crossed his arms.
"Teach all week, sit in your office all weekend. Probably shuffle around drinking tea that's mostly whisky. Sounds old to me" James obviously wasn't ready to let their argument go.
"No whisky, no tea, only gin." Teddy stepped close to James, glaring into his insolent eyes.
"Don't let me keep you from your gin, Professor."
"Don't let me keep you from your shower, Mr Potter."
Teddy did not want to look at James as he walked away. He knew his shoulders would be square, posture perfect but easy as he strutted to the changing rooms. Don't look, don't look, don't look. Like a mantra in his head, telling himself to be the adult in the situation.
Sod it all, he was twenty-three, he could be an adult later. He stole a peek out of the corner of his eye. James's arse moved side-to-side, side-to-side, perfectly, with each step he took away from Teddy.
An uneasy, restless feeling settled on Teddy that night. The term had worn on him. Teaching was harder than he had anticipated. James's words from after the match reminded him that he hadn't been acting like himself lately. He felt closed off, trapped, afraid to be too well-liked and dreading being too difficult and despised.
Thoughts of James only brought more thoughts of James, each less innocent than the previous one. Teddy was angry with himself for looking at James the way he had. He tried to tell himself that it was natural to be attracted to an attractive person, that he had no desire for James; it was the same James he had always known—slightly spoiled and arrogant, but just Harry's son, a younger friend who'd once looked up to him like an older brother.
Unable to sleep, Teddy pulled on a jumper and slipped into his trainers, hoping the coolness of the corridors would help settle his mind. He walked in the silence, stopping by a particularly large window to enjoy the night sky. The moon was a bright scythe in the black velvet with its millions of glittering stars. He picked out the patterns of constellations for a while, pleased with himself at how many he remembered.
Teddy walked on, feeling a little more at peace after looking out into the cold clear night. He turned down a corridor on the third floor and heard stifled laughter, then a hushed voice; students out of bed again. Teddy stepped closer to the wall and crept slowly forward, closer to the voices. The statue of the one eyed witch came into view, and Teddy knew exactly who would be a part of the errant group.
"Merlin, Potter. Too pissed to climb?" a blond boy whispered far too loudly, taunting him while the other two in the party were doubled over in silent fits of laughter.
"Sod off, this fucking hole is damned narrow," James said, red faced, as he climbed out from behind the statue. "Easier when we were sprogs."
"Come on, let's hurry," James friend, Kirke, said.
The four boys hurried off towards the passageway behind the tapestry to Teddy's left. He stepped out in front of them, shaking his head in both amusement and annoyance. Kirke, who was in front, stopped immediately, and the other boys ran into him, causing more laughter to start.
"Oi! What the hell's your prob—" one of them started to say. "Oh, shit."
"Good evening, gentlemen," Teddy said, and looked at his watch. "Or should I say good morning? It's after two."
They did their best to look guilty, but they were too drunk to give the expression any real effort.
"Would you care to explain?"
"No sir, I think we'd just like to go to bed," Robins, the blond boy, said, and James snickered. Teddy shot him an angry glare then looked back at the group.
"All right then. Ten points from each of you for being out of bounds, and five more for being intoxicated."
James snorted. "Oh, please. Intoxicated? What kind of word is that? We're all perfectly pissed, thank you."
"Potter, shut it!" Kirke hissed.
"Why? Because Lupin here took some points? Oh, excuse me, Professor Lupin. We're just out celebrating my brilliant win and he has to act all high and mighty because he caught us."
"Ten more points, Potter, now get to bed," Teddy said through gritted teeth.
"Right, sir," James said pushing his friends ahead of him, and giving Teddy a mocking salute as he passed. "Don't want people to think you're a pushover or anything."
"Twenty, and if you if you—"
"What?" James said turning around quickly to face Teddy. "You're going to take more points? I'm all atremble."
"I will write to your mother," Teddy threatened, knowing full well Ginny as a threat was something that usually got James to behave.
"Bloody hell, Teddy, why do you have to be such a wanker?" James said coldly. The other boys seemed to recede into the shadows of the corridor.
Teddy gripped his wand tightly, wanting to curse James while he punched him with his free hand. He narrowed his eyes. "Fine. Detention, and I swear to God, James, if you open your mouth one more goddamned time I will drag your arse back to your mother myself." Teddy's voice came out more as a growl, and he could feel the hair on the back of his neck stand up as he spoke.
James rolled his eyes at Teddy and disappeared behind the tapestry, his friends following behind silently.
Teddy angrily paced the castle for two more hours, unable to calm down after his encounter with James. When he returned to his room, he flung himself down on his bed in disgust, and reached into his trousers. It was only after he imagined shoving his cock between James's smug lips that was he able to get any relief and go to sleep.