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And here's our final piece of work for this fest! We hope you've all enjoyed it as much as we have :D A masterlist will go up tomorrow just in case any of you have missed anything. Finally, we just want to take a minute to say thank you to the two wonderful pinch-hitters who came in to complete art for this story right at the last minute. You guys were great :D

Title:
The World Turns Round
Author: AJ Horn 
Rating: NC-17 
Pairing/characters: Teddy/James with a side of Teddy/Victoire and James/Scorpius 
Warnings/content: Highlight to read *Death of characters(Victoire)
Word count:16 765 
Summary: When Victoire is murdered, James steps up to help Teddy raise his two children. But Victoire's murderer comes after Teddy and the kids and it possibly could ruin James and Teddy's bulding relationship. 
Notes: It's probably my best work to date, so I hope you enjoy it, guys. I want to thank the awesome niteshine who beta the story for me.
Artist: calico-lupin 
Rating: G - PG-13
Pairing/characters: Teddy/James, Syd 
Warnings/content: Highlight to read *Really poor shading, Weird hands and weird everything. I'm sorry! I really tried, I don't know what's up with my hands at the moment.
Medium: pencil, paper, photoshop. Lots of photoshop... 
Notes: I haven't used my tablet in a really long time, but I decided to do this digitally to get a better quality. Bad idea. I seem to have forgotten how to shade properly... Really sorry about that. I learned my lesson - no more digital painting.
Artist: pandafoot105 
Rating: G and NC-17, respectively 
Pairing/characters: Teddy/James, Teddy/Victoire 
Warnings/content: Highlight to read *nudity (male and female), sexual situations
Medium: acrylics, inking pens, and gel pen. Notes: I have no idea how I managed to squeeze in time for a pinch hit, but I'm happy I did! I've never gotten enough of a chance to draw Teddy and James (much less together), so this has been a lovely exploration into new territory.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling. All works posted at this community were created entirely for fun without making any profit. No copyright infringement is intended.


 

The World Turns Round @ googlesites

The World Turns Round

CHAPTER ONE

Beautiful life

Teddy tucked the three-year-old boy into his Quidditch-themed sheets.

“Daddy?”

“Yes, Syd.”

The boy straightened in his bed. “Can I have a song?”

“Uncle James just told you a story.”

“But it’s not the same.”

Teddy smiled and moved on the bed so that instead of facing his son, he was sitting next to him. “Fine, but a short one, ok?”

Syd smiled with all his teeth, and leaned into his father’s arms. “The werewolf song.”

Of course, that’s the one he would want to hear, he thought, as he cleared his throat and began to sing. And so his tenor voice vibrated within the walls of the room.

While he was singing the song, he noticed James lingering by the door frame. James had just graduated from Hogwarts with pretty respectable grades, and he had come to celebrate being an adult. Growing up, James had always looked up to Teddy for about everything, and that he wanted his advices on his future career choice was warming teddy’s heart.

When Teddy was done with the children’s song, he kissed Syd’s forehead.

“Night, Son.”

He was already half asleep when he said, “Night, Daddy. Night, Uncle James.”

“Goodnight, Syd.”

Teddy turned off the lights, but he casted a night light spell because he knew Syd was afraid of the dark. Then he followed James back to the living room.

Teddy had done pretty well with his life so he had a big house. While still at Hogwarts, he and a group of friends from school had formed a Punk-Rock Band, and after they graduated, they had toured in Europe and even in America. After his long-time girlfriend Victoire had completed her healer formation, they got married. The band had separated not long after Syd’s birth, and Teddy was contemplating a solo career once the kids were going to be a little older.

The house had two stories, five bedrooms and two bathrooms that had been decorated by Victoire’s sister Dominique who happened to be an interior designer.

There was a big TV in the living room, but being a wizard, they didn’t really use it much. Teddy started a fire, and they sat on the black leather couch.

“So, how does it feel to finally be an adult?”

“To be honest, I am kind of overwhelmed. I followed Aunt Hermione’s advice and made sure I had all the most important N.E.W.T level classes to open doors, but there are so many choices, because of that you know?”

“Yeah, I guess I was lucky to find music right away.”

“There are so many choices, how can I be sure I’m taking the good path?”

“You know, you don’t have to commit to a job for the rest of your life. It is never too late to change career eventually.”

“You mean like you did, becoming a nice little househusband after an international exciting music career.”

Teddy took a falsely insulted look. “I’ll let you know that taking care of the house and the kids is just as respectable as the next job.”

“I’m kidding you; you’re doing a tremendous job with the little demon upstairs.”

“He sure has energy, doesn't he?”

They talked some more before the door opening indicated that Victoire was back from her girl night out. She was wearing a long black dress with a naked back, and her shoes made her appear taller than she already was. James had no freaking idea that she could walk on those heels. Her hair was down, and there was no doubt that despite her advanced pregnancy — eight months already — men were still turning as she passed.

It was a good thing that Teddy wasn’t the jealous type. You don’t date a part-Veela when you can’t deal with anyone hitting on your girl.

“Oh, hi James, I didn’t know you would be there.”

“I couldn’t deal with another dinner at home,” James said as Teddy walked to Victoire, “All they do is nag at me about finding a good job.”

Teddy kissed her, and she turned to James again. “They aren’t wrong.”

“I know, I just need time, I guess.”

She smiled and then asked Teddy if Syd was already asleep.

“He made me promise five times that you were going to wake him up when you arrived.”

“Well, I better get going to see him, then. It was nice to see you James.”

“Yeah, you too, cuz.”

When she left the living room, James rose from the couch. “I should be going.”

“Sure, we see each other next Sunday, right?”

“What do you think? Mum will never let it down if I were to miss the weekly family dinner.”

Once James had left the house, Teddy returned upstairs. Victoire kissed Syd on the forehead, and tucked him on the bed.

She whispered a “Love you sweety.”

She smiled when she saw Teddy in the door frame. She had to use the bedside table to stand up. It wasn’t easy for her, with the big round belly, but Teddy found her just as beautiful as when they were teenager. He was glad he was going to be with someone as wonderful as Victoire for the rest of his life.

She kissed him, and he followed her to their room.

“Did you have a good evening?” she asked as she undid the zipper. She let the dress slide off her body, revealing black laced underwear. At the same time, Teddy was getting rid of his own clothes. They snuggled a little in the bed before falling asleep.

Frenetic knocks on the door were heard, and James went to open the door. Scorpius Malfoy stood breathless on the other side. James sighed. He didn’t want to deal with him, not so soon after he fought with his father.

“What are you doing here?” he said a little ruder than he intended.

“Can we talk?”

“There is nothing to say that hadn’t been said before. You can’t keep coming here.”

“Please, Jamie. Don’t do this to me. Please.”

James closed his eyes, and took a good breath. “You need to go.”

“But— I love you.” He put his hands on his torso, begging.

Scorpius even tried to kiss him, but James turned his head on the side. Scorpius’ lips touched his cheek, but James just had to look away from those big watery eyes.

He liked Scorpius, he really did. He was a nice guy, and they had fun together. But he cared too much about him to continue pretending he was in love with him, because he wasn’t. And Merlin knows he tried. He wanted to fall in love with Scorpius. It would be so easier. Scorpius was gay, and he was free; he was everything that Teddy wasn’t.

Scorpius cupped his face, forcing James to look at him. “Please.” He gave him a peck on the lips, and another, and another, like he was desperate to make James love him back. And with every kiss, James felt his determination weakening.

“We shouldn’t be doing this,” he whispered against his lips.

Scorpius smiled like he had won the lottery, and his hands moved from his face to the back of his neck. He kissed him again, but this time, he asked permission to enter. James opened his mouth, letting the talented tongue joined his. James grabbed Scorpius’ waist, and his hands moved to his round ass.

Scorpius moaned into his mouth, and all what was left from James’ conscience was gone.

He would regret it the next morning, but at the moment, his stimulated dick didn’t listen one bit to what his brain had to say. Scorpius pushed him inside, never stopping kissing and touching James. Deep down, Scorpius knew that if he let James time to rethink the situation, he would end up sleeping alone once more, and loneliness was the one thing he couldn’t live with. He unclothed James aggressively, touching, kissing and licking every ones of his sweet spots, and led him to where he knew his bedroom was.

Morning routine at the Lupin household was always a real mess. Syd, pretty much like his mommy, wasn’t a morning person. So most of the time, Teddy would wake up before everyone. He would prepare the coffee for Victoire’s breakfast, and he would take some time for himself, reading or listening to some music. Maybe he would write some melody.

Then, Victoire and Syd would wake up, and he had to deal with morning sickness, making breakfast and dealing with Syd who pretty much demanded his devoted attention.

But somehow, no matter how crazy it became, Teddy never regretted his life. Sure, he loved touring with the group, the night life and all the groupies that was implied, but there was nothing more satisfying than a hug from his boy.

Life at home was never boring, and with the newborn coming soon, it was about to take a turn for the best. They still didn’t know the sex, just like they didn’t know with Syd either.

Teddy was reading the autobiography of Myron Wagtail, when Victoire startled him. To his defense, it was an interesting book, and he hadn’t seen nor heard her coming.

Her musical laugh made him smile, and she leaned to kiss him. He felt the baby kick as his hand brushed against her belly. She sat next to him, leaning on him. Teddy passed an arm around her.

“Hard time sleeping again?”

It was only seven in the morning, which wasn’t a habit of her.

“She kept turning and kicking.”

Since the beginning of the pregnancy, she was convinced that it was a girl, not that Teddy was convinced of that.

Suddenly, she hardened against him and grabbed her belly. She screamed, and Teddy felt wetness against his thighs. His first instinct was to think she had just broken her water, but when he helped her stand up, there was blood. Blood everywhere. Teddy panicked. He grabbed her and made them Disapparate to St. Mungo’s Hospital. The Healers took her in, and Teddy stayed aloof in the middle of the entrance, in his bloody clothes.

“Sir, sir.”

He barely turned his head the nurse, and she forced him to sit down.

“Is there someone I can call?”

Teddy still didn’t answer, he still had that vision of Victoire and the blood, and he could hear her scream in his head. It was awful.

“Oh Merlin! Teddy!”

Louis Weasley kneeled in front of him, putting a hand on his thigh.

“What happened? Are you hurt?”

Teddy suddenly came back from the limb, and the pain and distress in his eyes took Louis’ breath away.

Teddy opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out.

The nurse was the one asking Louis’ questions.

“He came in with a bloody pregnant woman. Healer Nott took her in emergency.”

Louis turned back to his brother in law. That explains the state he was in. “Teddy,” he said, pushing his fear away and keeping it cool as if he didn’t know his patient, “where’s Syd? Is he alone at home?”

It seemed to get Teddy away from his state. He looked a mix of fear and guilt. “That’s okay. Relax. I’m going to call James okay? He is going to take care of Syd while we are here, okay?”

He squeezed his thigh and sat next to him. He brought Teddy to him, hugging him, and then he turned to the nurse. “Go tell Healer Nott that the girl name is Victoire Weasley, that she has a grave allergy to chocolate so he can’t give her the Johnson and Fauster Clotting Potion. She’s eight months pregnant. I want to know everything that is happening. She’s my sister.”

He was pretty sure she knew that, but it was better not take any chances. The nurse ran away, and Louis made a sign to desk boy.

“Can you call James Potter and tell him to go take care of Syd at the Lupin House. Try to reassure him that everything is fine. There is no need for him to worry about my sister.”

“Sure thing, mate.”

Turning his attention back to Teddy, Louis tightened his grip on him.

CHAPTER TWO

Til Death Do Us Part

The alarm of his Floo woke James up suddenly. Breathing fast, he accepted the connection. The face of a teenager, maybe around fifth year, appeared in the flames.

“Yes?”

“I’m calling from Healer Weasley? He wanted me to tell you that Teddy and Victoire are at the hospital. There is nothing to worry about, but it would be great if you could check on Syd. He is at home.”

James was surprised, even if Victoire was giving birth this morning, there was no reason why Syd would be alone right now. He nodded to the kid, and not even taking the time to get some clothes on, he Disapparated. He was hoping that Syd would still be asleep. Because appearing like that in the middle of the kitchen wouldn’t be much of an entrance.

Luckily, there was no sound in the house. James went to the bedroom. He went first in Teddy’s room, borrowing some clothes. They were about the same size and it wasn’t like it was the first time he borrowed things from Teddy. Victoire had great taste in clothes, and Teddy was always well dressed. He may not go out a lot, but when James went out; he knew he could count on Teddy.

He went to see that Syd was well asleep, and he was, his little thumb tucked into his mouth. James brushed his lips against his forehead, and closed the door behind him as he went back downstairs. His heart missed a beat when he came in the living room, hoping having some calm before Syd woke up. The beige rug was soaked in velvet red blood. What the hell happened here?

There was no way he couldn’t be worried now.

James contacted the Hospital, he needed more information. Having an Auror father had taught him a couple of things, including to never disturb a potential crime scene, not that he thought that could be a crime scene. Teddy would never do anything to hurt Victoire.

The Emergency Healer sighed. “Time of death, Sunday February 6th, 8:13.” Hiding the body with a white blanket, he made a little prayer, something his religious Muggle grandmother had taught him.

It was never a good augur to begin the day with a death. He turned to face his colleague obstetrician Healer Nott. Theodore Nott had the baby in his arm. It was crying, which was a good sign--it clearly meant the child was alive--but it was also incredibly sad, because it was born without a mother.

Healer Nott passed a hand on the baby’s forehead, drawing in his magic to calm the baby down.

“It’s a girl.”

“You want me to tell the family?”

“No, it’s okay, I am going to do this. I know the family. I followed Miss Lupin’s other pregnancy too. Do we have the official cause of death?”

“Blood loss. Other than that, we are going to need the Magicotopsy to determine what cause of the loss of blood.”

Theodore wasn’t even out of the room that Louis jumped on him.

“Theo!”

They worked together before, in a case where a pregnant woman had learnt her children were going to have mental and physical disability. His opinion of Louis was favourable. He was a great Mind Healer, and Theodore respected him greatly, and that had nothing to do with the fact that the guy was hot as hell. He hated that he had to tell him about his sister, but it was part of the job.

“Louis, the baby is fine. It’s a girl, and she is really healthy.” He showed him the girl.

“What about Vicky?”

“I’m sorry; there was nothing more we could do.”

Louis swallowed, and fought the tears that filled his eyes. If Theodore didn’t have the little girl in his arm, he would have hugged him. He put an arm on his shoulder, though, trying to comfort him.

“Can I have her?”

Louis took the baby with great care. “Hey sweety,” he said with a little voice while giving her a little Eskimo kiss, “I’m your Uncle Louis.”

Louis found it extra hard to continue fighting the tears as she looked at him with big baby blue eyes. She already had a couple of blonde hair. She was so beautiful, just like her mama.

He brought her to him again, kissing delicately her forehead.

“How’s Teddy?”

“He’s worried as hell. He’s going to be devastated.”

Theodore had seen how Teddy interacted with Victoire, and he had no difficulties believing it.

When they arrived to the waiting space, Teddy Lupin was sitting in a corner, his knees at his chin. His clothes were still red from the blood.

“I think I am going to bring him home before I tell him. You are okay with that?”

“Sure, Louis.” Before Louis could go to his brother-in-law, Theodore stopped him in his tracks. “Make sure you take some time off too. And know that I’m here if you need to talk or cry or scream or whatever.”

“Thanks,” Louis said. He wasn’t sure how Theodore would take it, but he kissed his cheek. “I appreciate that.”

He ripped the tears of his eyes, and returned to Teddy.

Teddy barely reacted when Louis touched him. He didn’t even realise that Louis had Disapparated them home.

Louis took his wand and undressed Teddy. He laid him on the bed. ”I’ll be back, okay. I’m just going to put the baby in her bed.”

He slowly put the girl in the crib, and when he turned back to Teddy, he was asleep, hugging a pillow like his life depended on it.

He made sure to cast a spell that was going to tell him when the baby or Teddy awakened, and he closed the door behind him.

Louis noticed that Syd’s bedroom’s door was opened. The bed was undone, but there was no trace of Syd. He went downstairs, and that’s when he heard them. Syd and James were apparently playing in the basement.

James was keeping the kid active, and he was trying really hard to keep the appearances. However, Louis could see that he was tense.

“UNCLE LOUIS!” Syd screamed, and he ran to hug his uncle.

Louis took him in his arm, and hugged him really hard.

“You’re hurting me, Uncle Louis.”

“I’m sorry kiddo, I am just really happy to see you.”

“I’m happy to see you too.”

Louis let the kid on the ground, and Syd ran to his game.

James came close to him, and they stayed a moment looking at Syd. When Louis was about to crack, he show James the stairs. James nodded.

“Syd, you stay in the basement, okay. Me and Louis are going to go talk in the kitchen.”

“Okay.”

Louis followed James. Now that he didn’t have to take care of teddy, his own emotions were building up inside.

“What happened?”

It was like a cue for Louis who promptly bursted into tears. James hugged him tight. He had never seen Louis like that. He was usually a master of his feelings.

“It’s Vicky. She’s— she’s not— she died.”

Louis began sobbing even harder.

James’ own heart squeezed with emotion. He was never particularly close to Victoire, but she was his cousin, and he loved her. He was afraid to ask about the baby, but he didn’t have to, because Louis answered by himself.

“She gave birth to a girl. She looks so much like her.” The sobbing was over now, but his eyes were red and there was sadness in his voice.

“Where is she? And where’s Teddy?”

“They are asleep upstairs. Teddy was a mess, and the healers put the girl to sleep. I don’t know what to tell him.”

“Don’t worry about that, I’ll take care of everything. I already cleaned most of the blood in the living room, and I’ll take care of things around here. Is someone told your parents?”

“Oh Merlin, my parents. I didn’t even think about them.”

“Why don’t you let me take care of Teddy and the kids, and go home?”

“Okay, I guess there’s nothing we can do, now.”

“I have everything in check.”

James hugged his cousin a last time before he Disapparated.

Alone in the house, James wasn’t so sure what he should be doing. He decided to go check on Teddy in his room.

He moved the hair from his face. He looked almost calm like that, but his faded black hair was telling him that he wasn’t. He didn’t remember having ever seen Teddy like that, even at his own grand-mother’s funeral.

When he leaned above the crib, the baby looked at him. He took her in his arms, and noticed that her hair turned from blonde to red like his hair. Afraid she was going to wake Teddy up, he decided to bring her downstairs so she could meet her brother.

“Who’s that?” Syd asked when he noticed that James was back in the basement.

“It’s your sister; do you want to meet her?”

“No!” He looked pretty serious for a three year old, and he returned to his game.

James was surprised by the reaction, until he remembered a talk he had with Teddy a couple of months before, about Syd having a hard time accepting he wasn’t going to be a single child anymore.

“You know I’m a big brother too?”

It’s seems to attract his attention. “Really?”

“Yes, to Albus and Lily.”

“Girls are boring.”

“Oh really?”

“Yeah, Kitty and Mimmy, they just want to play doll and stupid stuff. And what’s with all the pinky dresses?”

The comment made James laugh. Dominique’s daughters were pretty much girly little girls, and they had made a habit of dressing Syd in pink princess dresses which drove the kid crazy.

“Not all girls are boring. And not all girls are like your cousins. When I was a kid, I used to play Quidditch with my sister. Maybe you could show her how to play what you want. That’s the biggest cool thing about being a big brother.”

While he was talking, Syd had come closer.

“You think she would want to play with me?”

“Yes, when she old enough. Now she’s too small. She needs our help.”

James made sure to put the little girl at his height.

The girl looked at her brother, and her hair turned blue, just like Syd’s. He laughed. “She can change her hair too!”

He put his green, and she did the same. He created a pig nose, and she did it too. Every times he changed his appearances, she followed.

“You see? She already wanted to be just like you.”

Teddy woke up alone and disoriented. He was in his room, but everything else was fuzzy. He couldn’t make sense of anything. He didn’t remember getting into bed, nor that he remembered getting undressed. And why on hell was he sleeping on Victoire’s side? At that moment, everything came back in blast. The blood, the screams, the hospital. Tears flew to his eyes, and his heart squeezed under the pain that seized him.

Getting dressed with the first things he found, he went downstairs, looking for his son. He stopped near the living room, terrified of what he would find there. He didn’t realised he had kept his breathing until he saw that the blood had disappeared. He vaguely remembered Louis saying he was going to call James, and he supposed he was the one who cleaned.

His attention was distracted by hearing his son’s laugh in the basement, and Teddy realised that he was going to have to break the news to him about his mother. He fought the tears; he had to be strong for the kids.

Teddy stayed in the staircase, observing them.

James had the baby in his arm, and she was in a pink little blanket. A girl, he thought, just like you wanted. Syd was doing funny transformations, and on any other occasion, Teddy would have laughed too. For a while, they didn’t realised he was there, but after a moment, Syd caught sight of his father.

“Daddy!” he yelled, all smiling, “She’s can transform like us.”

Teddy opened his mouth, but no sound got out. Syd didn’t notice, and he ran to him. He hugged his legs, and Teddy was moved by the gesture. Syd, without realising the state his father was in, returned to the game of Quidditch.

James stood up, and he glance at his friend. “You want to see your daughter?” he asked, not really sure what he should say in such circumstances.

When Teddy nodded, James walked the three steps that separated them. Teddy reached for his daughter, and pulled her to him. She was so small, so light. She had tiny hands, and tiny everything. She had her mother’s eyes, and he prayed that she would never change them.

Those were incredible eyes for an incredible little girl.

She was going to break hearts; he knew that, just like his mother had broken a lot of hearts because she chose him instead of one of her many admirers.

Fighting the tears was futile, and he let one or two fall as he brought her to his lips and kissed her tiny cheek. He felt James’s hands on his shoulder, and something broke inside him. He burst in tears, and James transfigured the couch in a crib and slowly put the girl into it. Then, he embraced Teddy as tight as he could.

Teddy buried his face in his neck, his hands crisped at his shirt. Suddenly, a small hand patted him.

“Why are you crying, Daddy?”

Letting go of James, he knelt to face Syd. His voice broke as he spoke, “Daddy’s crying because he’s sad,” he passed a hand in Syd’s turquoise hair, “but everything is going to be fine. You don’t have to worry.”

“Where’s mommy?” He was about to cry too.

Words blocked in his throat, and Teddy panicky glanced at James. What was he supposed to say?

“Mommy went to see Gran and Pop in the sky because the Big Sorcerer called her back to him.”

“When she’s coming back?”

It was now James’s turn not to know what to say or do.

“She— she won’t be coming back, when you gonna be real old, you will see her again.”

The boy’s lips shook. “But I want to see her now.”

Syd began to sob, and Teddy hugged him, crying too. As if she was feeling the pain in the room, the baby began to cry too, and soon, the four of them were a crying mess.

CHAPTER THREE

Life Must Go On

Syd inspected his meal with suspicion. His eyebrows were lifted, and his nose was forming a cute little grin.

“Don’t wanna.”

He pushed the plate away. Teddy passed a hand in his black hair and sighed. He had bag under his eyes which were turning reddish. “Come on, Syd. You like pasta.”

“No pasta.”

All Teddy wanted was to go hide in his room and cry. However, in the background, Ayia was crying her lungs out. She wanted attention, but Syd didn’t want to give up the one he had.

“Syd, please, eat you meal.”

“I want Mommy.”

Just like every time Syd asked for Victoire, Teddy felt the emotion block his throat.

“Mommy is not here.”

“I want mommy. Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!”

Teddy closed his eyes. He tried to count to ten, but all that noise was driving him crazy.

“ENOUGH!”

Syd shut up, and glanced at his father. His lips shook, and his eyes watered. His father never screamed at him before; he didn’t know how to react to this.

Realizing the state of his son, Teddy calmed down immediately.

“Don’t cry, baby. Daddy’s not really mad at you.”

He knelt in front of Syd, hugging him. Now he was the one who wanted to cry.

And Ayia who just didn’t want to stop screaming. She was a fussy baby, way more than Syd had ever been. There was no doubt that she had Victoire’s temperament.

“Eat your meal, and we’ll go out later, ok?”

With his eyes still full of water, Syd nodded and began to eat while Teddy went to check on Ayia.

James wasn’t sure of what he was going to find when he went into Teddy’s room the morning of the funeral. He was almost afraid to come in. He was regretting letting himself being convinced to go back home last night. He had to pull Teddy out of bed the last couple of days.

James was surprised to see Syd at the table, and eating. Ok, it was pasta for breakfast, but it was better than to let the kid starve.

“Daddy with Ayia.” Syd said, his face covered in red sauce.

James wiped his face and kissed his head.

“You be good while I go see them, okay? And after you done with your pasta, we are going out.”

Syd nodded and took a bite of his meal.

Like Syd had said, Teddy was upstairs holding his newborn. He was humming a song, trying to get her to go back sleep. James stayed behind in silence, listening to the first song Teddy had ever written, more than ten years ago.

It was good to hear his voice again. It seemed a life had passed between now and the last time he heard Teddy sing.

Ayia calmed down in Teddy’s arm, soothed by her father’s warm voice. When he was done with the song, the little girl was sound asleep again.

He put her in her crib, and he jumped when he realised that James was there.

“Hey.”

“Hey.”

“I’m glad to see I didn’t have to pull you out of bed this morning.”

Teddy sent him a ghost of a smile. “Yeah, Syd kind of stole your job.”

“I bet he did.”

James hesitated to talk about Victoire, but he knew he had to. “Are you ready for this afternoon?”

Teddy glanced at the crib, fighting a sudden surge of tears.

James squeezed Teddy’s shoulder, and Teddy turned to him. “I don’t think I can do it.” His voice broke, and James wanted to hug Teddy so bad, but he didn’t think that Teddy would want it. Teddy could be such a macho sometimes despite the fact that Victoire was the one making the money when he stayed at home with the kids.

“I’ll be there with you. Both you and Syd need to say goodbye.”

“What if I don’t want to?”

James judged that tough love was necessary at this point. “It’s not like you have the choice. Now, get her dress, and I’ll make sure that Syd is clean for the funeral.”

Teddy didn’t answer, so James assumed that he agreed.

James went back to Syd. The little boy was done with his pasta, and he welcomed James back with enthusiasm. “Uncle James!”

“Hey buddy.” James wiped Syd’s face before reaching for the plate. “Let gets this plate in the sink and get you ready.”

“Ready for what?”

James reached for Syd and took him in his arms. “We already talk about it yesterday, remember? We are going to the temple.”

Syd made a pout. “Oh no.”

James just smiled and went upstairs.

The funeral was intense, with Teddy clenched at James, and Ayia crying in his arm, and Syd, that didn’t quite understand what was going on. The whole family was there, and really, it was the first time in his eighteen years of life, that James saw a family reunion being so dark. It was miles from the laugh-full days of Quidditch and party at the Burrow. His own eyes were ready to explode in tears.

If the time seemed to have seized, the world had continued to turn.

Under the funeral music, the ceremony’s officer was saying the grace.

 

Later, at the Burrow, the younger kids went on playing together, and the adults were talking here and there in the backyard. Friends came to pay their respects, and when Ayia started crying, he took the opportunity to go hide inside.

It gave Harry the chance to go talk to James without Teddy’s presence.

“Did you tell him, yet?”

“No. I was kind of waiting after the funeral. Are you sure?”

“Yeah. There were traces of black magic all over her.”

“Merlin, this is unbelievable. Who could have done something like that to her?”

“I don’t know, but we are going to find out, and we will arrest the bastard.”

No one touched a Potter or a Weasley without suffering the consequences.

“Are you going to come home tonight?”

“Nah. I don’t think that Teddy’s ready to be alone yet.”

“I figured. I just ask because the Malfoy boy keep coming and ask for you.” He sent a disapproving glare to his son. “That boy is bad news, you know that, right?”

“He is not that bad, dad. Just a little… needy.”

“At this point, needy doesn’t cover it.”

“He hadn’t had it easy at school. Everyone stayed away from him like he had dragon pox.”

“I just think that you could do better, that’s all.”

James put a reassuring hand on his shoulder. He knew how the gay thing was hard on his father, and he was happy he was doing some effort.

“Don’t worry. I’ll talk to him, and make sure he stays away from the house.”

They smiled awkwardly to each other and Harry left when he saw his wife nearby. She was an acceptable escape after all.

James glanced at the house, and despite his desire to go see Teddy, he stayed outside. He knew that Teddy needed some time alone. Everyone had been hovering him all day, and James didn’t want to be one of those people. Instead, James went to see the kids and played with them a little. He always did love kids. It was a shame he would never have his own, but until the laws changed, he was living through his nephews.

Bill accepted one more condolence before needing to get away from the crowd. Lots of people had come pay their respect, even people he barely knew, and now all he wanted was some peace. Bill loved all children the same, but Victoire has always been Daddy’s little girl. It was hard to lose her. Worming his way into the house, he found Teddy feeding his new grand-daughter.

Teddy was sitting on the old brown couch the Weasley had forever, with Ayia in one arms and the bottle in the other. He looked devastated, but there was also a lot of love in his eyes. Teddy had been part of his family for a long time, and Bill still remembered him and Victoire running around and pulling each other’s tails.

He didn’t really understand why people assumed that he didn’t like Teddy marrying his dear daughter, but really, he has always thought that they were perfect for each other.

Teddy raised his head when he felt Bill sitting beside him.

“She looks so much like Victoire at that age. Well, apart from the blue hair that is. You probably don’t remember though. You were about Syd’s age when she came around.”

Teddy stayed thoughtful a moment. “I think I remember a little. I remember looking at that fragile little in her crib and vouching to protect her.”

“--And I failed her,” Billy complete for him in his head, but he didn’t want Teddy to have such thoughts.

“You didn’t fail her. You loved her, and protected her. You were always there for her, putting her happiness and well-being way before your own. You were her best-friend, and her lover, and you’ve been with her all you could. You did everything right.”

“I wish I could believe that.”

Bill put a hand on his shoulder. “Now you’ve gotta move forward and make your best to raise those two wonderful kids she gave you. One day, you may even fall in love again.”

“I could never do that” Teddy said with pleading eyes.

“I know you will, someday. You’re still young, and you have all your life in front of you. I guess what I’m trying to say in that whenever it’ll happen, it to be tomorrow or in fifty years, I’ll always be on your side. I know how you felt about Victoire, and I know that nothing could ever erase that, but I also know she would want you to be happy, whatever it’s with another woman—” There was a moment of silence before he continued, “—or another man. Whoever suits you better.”

“You know?”

“How could I have not known, son? Vicky never knew how to lie.”

And with that, Bill stood up. He gave Teddy a tap on his shoulder, and he leaned to kiss Ayia. He left Teddy dumbfounded on the couch.

CHAPTER FOUR

Spiraling Out of Control

Teddy tugged Ayia in her crib. Syd had been asleep for a while now, and he knew that James was waiting for him in downstairs. He stayed for a while though, just looking at his daughter. She couldn’t control her metamorphosis capacity when she fell asleep--or when she was awake for that matter—but when she was asleep, she took her natural colouring. She looked so much like her mother that it made his heart constrict with a mix of love and pain at the same time. All those contradictories feeling were unsettling for him.

You’re going to be so beautiful, just like your mama.

He reached for her golden hair, and caressed them. His eyes caught a movement by the bushes. Intrigued, he leaned in the window. He raised his eyebrows, but it didn’t seem to see anything else. Despite having a weird feeling about it, he casted spell that was going to allow him to hear Ayia if she woke up. He also made sure that the usual protections were in place.

He found James in the kitchen. Since Victoire’s death, Teddy hadn’t been able to go in the living room. James knew that, and he respected that too. When he told James about seeing something near the bushes, Teddy was surprised to see that James seemed more uncomfortable than anything else.

“About that… It was an Auror.”

“An Auror? For what?”

“Maybe you should sit.”

Teddy frowned, and crossed his arms on his chest. “I think I’m good. What don’t you tell me? Why is there an Auror hiding in my yard?”

James swallowed and played with his finger, a gesture that Teddy has seen a million times when James was nervous.

“They are here for protection, in case Victoire’s murderer came back.”

It was like someone had pitched a bucket of cold water on his head. Up until now, he thought it was complication of the pregnancy. No one had said anything about a murder. And to make the matter worst, James knew about it, but hadn’t said anything to him. Talk about a dagger in the back.

“How long?”

“How long what?”

Teddy sent him a cold glare. “How long have you known?”

James tried to protest, but Teddy had none of it. He just kept on staring.

“Three weeks.”

Since the day of Victoire’s death.

“I was about to tell you.”

For as long as he could remember, Teddy had been close to James, and he never felt like James was a stranger. Until now. The James he knew never would have done something like that. He was honest and thoughtful. He never would have lie, and certainly not to him. He didn’t like the new light under which he was seeing James.

“Or so you say. Is there anything else you’ve been lying to me about?” The anger was building in his chest, and he could feel James’ discomfort in his bones.

“It wasn’t like that, I—”

“I think you should go.”

“But, Teddy…”

“I mean it. It’s late, and I need to think.”

“Com’on, let’s talk about it.”

James made a move to touch his arm, but Teddy broke away as if he was burnt by the contact.

Hurt disfigured James’ face but Teddy was too far one in his anger to care.

“Go James. I don’t want to see you anymore.” Teddy turned his heels and left the kitchen.

James was pounding inside Scorpius, and he was really close to come. When he did, he closed his eyes, and picture of Teddy came to mind immediately. He collapsed on Scorpius, panting, and guilt washing over him.

He has done it again. He had let Scorpius coerce him into having sex. How was he supposed to tell him it was over if they were always ending up in bed? No wonder Scorpius hang on like a leech.

Scorpius tried to hug him so that they will snuggle, but James pushed him away. He couldn’t continue to do that to Scorpius.

James grabbed his boxer, and seeing that James was going away, Scorpius grabbed his arm.

“Stay, please, I don’t want to be alone.” Anything, but being alone.

James cupped his face, and made sure Scorpius was looking into his brown eyes. “Listen, I know I’ve been sending kinda mixed signal, but it is over between us. You have to understand that I am not in love with you.”

James relieved his face, and Scorpius’ eyes filled with tears. “What does he have more than me?”

“Honestly, I dunno.”

“He’ll never love you.” There was anger in his voice, and James figured he had all the right, but then, he calmed down almost right away. “So why do we have to break up?”

James sighed. “Scor, you are an awesome guy. You deserve more than what I can offer.”

“But I don’t mind that you love him more than me. I only want you in my life.”

James sat closer to Scorpius, taking his hands in his, and looking right into his eyes. “You are funny, and intelligent, and you are great, and beautiful, and you deserve to be loved more than anything. You deserve someone who’s going to make you happy. Any guy would be lucky to be with you.”

“Any guy, but the one I want.” The bitterness of his voice was hard to miss. “And it isn’t even true. All they hear is Malfoy and they run away from me as fast as possible.” Now, the anger was taking over the bitterness.

He shoved James away from him, and stood naked. “Go away!”

“Scor—”

“Go away!” He pointed his wand to James. His face was red which was accentuated by the natural whiteness of his skin. He was shaking from head to toe. “Don’t think I won’t use it. Go away, go like everyone else. I don’t care. I hate you! Go A-Way!”

“Ok, ok. I’m going.”

James took his shirt in his hand, but before he could take the rest of his clothes, Scorpius had cast a spell. James fled in the hall. He hit the wall pretty hard, but before he could react, his clothes and his wand had fled to him, and the door closed in a bang.

He had been thrown out twice in the same night. He was beginning to see a pattern.

James wasn’t even out of his shoes when his father appeared looking just as pissed. The last time he had looked that angry at him was three summers ago when he had been arrested for underage drinking.

“Where the hell were you? I was trying to contact you all night.”

If tonight was the same, he was in for a long, long night, and he wasn’t particularly in the mood.

“I’m eighteen. I don’t have to tell you were I am at all time.”

“You were supposed to be at Teddy’s do you even kno—.”

“He kicked me out, okay. I had a pretty bad night, so don’t come shit on me right now.”

It didn’t calm Harry, if anything, he got angrier. Things could heat up pretty fast when the two Potters fought about something. It could go for hours if no one stopped them. By the time James was fifteen, Ginny had stopped counting the times she had to stop them. Both men could so easily press the other’s buttons.

This time, it was Albus who stopped the starting storm by erupting in the hall.

“Dad! Jamie! There’s been an attack at Teddy’s!”

James felt the world stop turning and he felt dizzy. He should have been there. He should have been with them, not with Malfoy. The most horrible images came running thought his mind. He could smell and taste the blood like when he went to Teddy after Victoire’s death. He didn’t realise that he had bitten his lips so hard that he was actually bleeding. After what it seemed like an eternity, he jolt out of his stupor.

“What happened?”

Albus looked at him like he was stupid. He opened his mouth to say something, then closed it.

“Like I just said, five masked guys got into the house. Two of the Aurors posted didn’t make it, and four had been hurt pretty badl—.”

“Like I care about them, what about Teddy and the kids?”

“They are fine, the kids had more fear than pain, and Teddy’s been able to neutralise one of them. They are all fine.”

“Good.” Harry said, taking his Auror posture. “I am going to get that bastard to talk. And James, go see Teddy. He’s going to need you. Plus, I am going to send more Aurors to make sure they don’t come back. Al, you stay here with you mother and sister. Also, call your Uncle Bill. Tell him to go to Teddy and make sure they haven’t been cursed.”

“Oh Merlin.”

“No need to go to the worst case scenario, James. With an attack like that, the chances are low that they went with such a spell. They probably wanted him to know he was wanted dead.”

When James arrived at Teddy’s, the place was a mess. The door had been blasted open, so there were woods everywhere. There were already Aurors in the living room. They welcomed him with the usual safeties, making sure he was really James Potter, and even though the whole procedure was long and that he really wanted to see Teddy, he was glad the Aurors didn’t let him past them.

When the Aurors posted upstairs did the same, he complained, but let them do their job. He jumped from a foot to the other the whole procedure, and when they were done with him, he ran to Teddy’s room. He was in his bed with Ayia tucked in his arms, and Syd asleep on his stomach.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about Vicky.”

“I’m sorry I threw you out.”

They talked at the same time, and James went into the bed, hugging them as closely as he could without waking Syd or Ayia. He dug his head in his neck.

“I was so scared something happened to you,” he whispered, afraid that they were going to disappear.

James felt Teddy shivering against him. “The kids. They wanted the kids.”

James felt tears going down his cheek, but it wasn’t his own. When he lifted his face, he noticed that Teddy was crying, and he tightened his grip on Teddy.

“Everything is going to be alright. Dad’s gonna take care of everything.”

“They killed Vicky didn’t they?”

“Maybe. Dad is going to get the bottom of this.”

James wasn’t sure what happened next, but he must have fallen asleep, because when he woke up, Ayia was in her crib, and Teddy, Syd and he had passed the entire night in the bed together. Syd was spread out at Victoire’s side of the bed, and Teddy was spooning James, his morning wood pumping on his tight. James couldn’t even move without it brushing his ass. Then Teddy moaned, and James’ breathe stocked in his throat. He tried to get out of the embrace, but at his first movement, Teddy woke up. He blinked, and the gesture made James’ cock stir.

Merlin, the day was going to be long.

CHAPTER FIVE

Moving On and Out

It had been a long time since Teddy had a grown up body close to him, and he reacted despite himself. His mind wasn’t ready to be with anyone who wasn’t Victoire, but his body didn’t seem to have received the message. James’ scent was doing things to his shaft that he wasn’t ready to feel just yet. But when James lifted his face and looked at him, the resistance was too weak. A James simply fresh out of bed wasn’t a James he could resist to. Never could, and that since that one time when he was nineteen when a drunk fifteen-year-old James had kissed him just after having confessing his undying love for Teddy.

Teddy was already beginning a relationship with Victoire at the time, and he had rebuff James’ advance and tried to forget the whole thing. He could almost hear Victoire telling him she thought it was hot, and Teddy’s resolutions were out the window. He raised his hand to brush his finger against James’ face.

He smiled, leaned in and brought their lips together. He felt James jolted at the contact before surrendering to the kiss. He cupped his face and pulled him closer. James straddled him, and Teddy felt their cocks rubbing together. Their tongues were dancing together, and the kiss heated up when he moved his hands from his face to his back. It felt so good, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

He wanted James to be inside him.

The revelation went straight to his groin, but at the same time, it scared him so much that he stopped everything he was doing. It wasn’t okay.

He had fucked a man or two, and he had been fucked by other men before, and he didn’t count the numerous times where Victoire had fucked him. But this, whatever what this was, it wasn’t right. Not without Victoire with him. It was like cheating. With James no less.

“Teddy?”

James sounded so uncertain it nearly hurt Teddy.

He opened his mouth to speak, but closed it again. In the absence of an answer, James left his lap.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, “I didn’t know what got into me. I’m so sorry.”

“No.” Teddy stopped him from running away. “It’s not you, it’s me.”

“So you are going to go with this lame break-up line, eh?”

James was humouring him, but Teddy could see right through it. “I’m serious, Jamie. I swear, I want it, I do, but I’m not ready.”

To prove his words were true, he kissed him again, hard and sure.

“So you are fine with snogging, but not sex?”

“Something like that.”

James sent him a bright smile, and Teddy felt butterfly in his stomach as he lean for another kiss.

“Daddy? Why are you kissing Uncle James?”

The voice made James jumped away from Teddy. His heart took a while to settle to a normal beat. How could they have forgotten about the kids? James glanced at a blushing Teddy, before turning his gaze to Syd. The boy was sitting Indian style on the bed, and he was looking sleepily at them.

“Well,” Teddy said with tremor in his voice, “you see, sometimes, eh…”

“Are you and Uncle James in love?”

“No, Merlin’s no.”

James wasn’t expecting undying declaration of love, but Teddy had said they weren’t in love so fast and loud that he couldn’t help feeling his heart hurting. Of course, Teddy didn’t love him. Teddy was just horny, and James just happened to be close and willing.

Is it how Scor fells when I do this to him?

The thought of hurting the young boy that way seemed pretty much unbearable.

Scorpius was right. Teddy was never going to be in love with him. The guy wasn’t into guys anyway. He had to leave the house. Get away from Teddy. Get away from Scorpius too, before he ended up ruining the kid. Maybe he should accept the job offer he had from Salem School of Magic. That would be far enough to start all over.

“Where are you going?” Teddy asked when James move out of the bed.

“I— I need a new set of clothes, and I promised Dad I’ll see him at the QG. I’ll see you later, ok.”

He kissed Syd on his forehead and left the room.

Teddy looked at James leaving, unsure of what exactly happened between them happily snogging and now. Maybe he should have gone after him, but Syd was requiring his attention.

Syd was oblivious to the way James had look when he left, and he tugged himself into his father.

“Daddy?”

“Yes, son.”

“Can we eat pancake this morning?”

Teddy smiled to Syd, trying to ignore the bad feeling he’s currently feeling.

“Yeah, sure. Let’s wake Ayia up, and we’ll make some together. Does that sound like a plan?”

With what happened yesterday, and until whoever wanted his children was locked up at Azkaban, he wasn’t having them out of his sight.

When he raised Ayia in his arm, she moved a little, but didn’t wake up. He tucked her in a way that he was going to be able to move without her being in the way. Syd took the hand he offered, and they went downstairs. The Auror were placed in a way to be invisible to the kid, but Teddy could still sense and see them. The door had been replaced, and Teddy was glad that everything looked normal.

“Get me two eggs will you?” He asked Syd.

Syd loved helping in the kitchen, and Teddy made sure to let him help in every way possible.

When Ayia woke up and became too much of a nuisance for cooking, he placed her in her high chair.

Syd and he were full of flour when Harry came in.

“Grampa RY!” Syd screamed as he hugged Harry, getting flour all over his Auror uniform.

“Wah boy, you’re growing up fast.”

“I’m almost four, now.” He showed three fingers to Harry, smiling proudly.

Teddy help him raise the fourth finger.

“You’re a big boy.”

Syd beamed at the words.

“Why don’t you go play in the living room?” Teddy was about to object. “It’s okay, there are Aurors everywhere in the neighbourhood, and they would be stupid to try anything with me here.”

It calmed Teddy a little, but he still insisted to Syd to stay close.

“We should sit. We are going to need time to get over everything. Yesterday I sent Bill to make sure neither of you had been victim of a latent black magic spell like Victoire, and he said you were all fine.”

“Bill was here?”

“Yes, he didn’t want to wake you up.”

“Oh.” Thinking about this morning, Teddy blushed, hoping that Harry wasn’t going to ask question, and he hoped that Bill hadn’t gotten some false idea about him and James.

“So you are clear with this. I was all night with the bastard you stopped. He didn’t talk a lot, but what he said wasn’t good. This is bigger than we originally thought.”

“Merlin. What do they want?”

“That the thing, we don’t really know. He refused to say. Ron is still interrogating him, and as soon as we have the official okay from the Minister, he is going to through Veritaserum.”

“Don’t those authorisations take months to have?”

“Yes, but the Minister owes me some big favours.”

“And until then?”

“Until then you are going to go in hiding. I have already organised everything. I have false papers for you just in case, but I am not hiding you in plain sight. Syd and Ayia’s abilities aren’t enough in check to risk it.”

“I don’t like the idea of hiding. It can’t be good for the kids either.”

“I know, but if there is anything else I could do--”

“I know. Where are we going?”

“I can’t tell you. It’s better like this, I assure you. Go prepare the kids' bag, and I’ll escort you myself.”

“But James—”

“James will stay here. We need to act like nothing has changed.”

CHAPTER SIX

At the Other Side of the World

“What do you mean in hiding?” James screamed at his father when he came back to Teddy’s.

He had taken a shower home, thinking about what he was going to say to Teddy about this morning, and when he came back, everyone was gone, and his father was gathering evidences.

“It was the safest thing to do.”

“I didn’t even got to say goodbye.”

Harry sighed. “Don’t worry; you’ll see them again soon.”

“By the time it’s over, I’ll be in America.”

“What?”

James couldn’t blame the surprise on his father.

“I didn’t want to tell you about it because I wasn’t planning on accepting, but I got a job offer from Salem School of Magic. I’ll be gone in two days.”

Harry didn’t let the surprise stop him from thinking. “Are you sure? Isn’t a little fast to take such a decision?”

“I made my choice. Shouldn’t you be happy? You’ve been bugging me about finding a job for months.”

“I didn’t mean for you to go at the other side of the world.”

“I made my decision, Dad. I’m going. It’s a good job abroad; I could really use the change of scenery.”

“If you are sure.”

“I’m sure. And look at the good side; Mum is finally going to get her office.”

He laughed, trying to ignore the pain of not seeing Teddy or the kids one last time.

Maybe it’s better that way.

For days, Teddy’s first thoughts went to the kids before switching to James. He had no idea what the man was doing, and he hated not having been able to discuss what had happened between them that morning.

The more he thought about it, the more he realised that maybe he wasn’t as clear as he hoped on wanting whatever was between them.

Because he did want James. He wanted him for longer than he cared to admit. And the more he thought about it, the more he thought that Victoire wouldn’t mind. From where she was, she was probably thinking “What is he waiting for to get me some hot male on male action to watch?”

That was his Victoire.

She had always loved looking at him getting fucked either by some guy they met in a bar or by herself. After Syd was born, the threesomes had been rare, but she did love seeing her husband on his knees with some toy buried deep inside him.

The mere thought made him moan. He felt her presence near him. His hand slide into his briefs, and he grabbed his cock.

Eyes closed, he imagined Victoire sitting next to him, smiling that wicked smile he loved so much. She just sat and watched, never even reaching to touch him. He imagined James strong hands on his cock, pumping him into ecstasy. He thought about what it would feel like if James sucked him off. Would he turn his tongues around his glans, and lick the vein? The James of his imagination sucked on every ball, making sounds that went straight to Teddy’s groin. He moaned, pumping faster on his own cock. He was so close to orgasm, but it didn’t come.

In his head, Victoire was fingering herself.

“Gheez, James, are you going to fuck him or what?” she asked, and James smiled wickedly.

Teddy raised his ass, and put a pillow above his back. His free hand touched his hole.

It reacted to the touch, clutching under his finger.

He didn’t have any lube, so he used his saliva to get his finger really wet. He grimaced a little at the intrusion. He imagined it was James’ cock inside of him.

Teddy fucked himself vigorously on his finger.

James groaned, and Victoire cried out, “Yes, yes, I’m coming baby, I’m so fucking close."

And then Teddy was gone. His semen splashed on his stomach, and the images of James and Victoire disappeared.

Teddy cleaned himself Muggle way and drifted to sleep.

James looked around in his brand new room. The Salem School of Magic campus didn’t look anything like Hogwarts. The place was in the middle of a town, and there was barely any outside. Plus, it wasn’t really a boarding school as a lot of students went back home every evening. The ones staying had dorms.

James was still going to be staying at Salem School of Magic most days. He had a feeling it was going to be a nice job. He had already met with the other guys on the Security team, and they seemed nice enough. He even thought that one of them was heavily flirting with him.

He wasn’t planning on starting anything with a co-worker, but it was nice to know someone that was playing the same field. Maybe they could go out on their days off.

James was responsible for the night shift in the dorm for the first year students, and it was an age group he could deal with. His job mostly consisted to make sure everyone was in their room by eight and that no funny business was happening after the lights were out. A couple of rounds a night, and the rest was pretty relaxing.

His room was pretty basic. It had a bed, a desk and some sort of living room area. Though he had to use the student washroom and the cafeteria. James wasn’t planning on living there for long, and his first pay cheques were going to be invested in a nice apartment in town, maybe something with a nice view. There were some sweet places near Salem Willows Park.

“I know this isn’t much, but—”

“—it’s fine by me.”

Miss Hagenbird — Willow, as she asked to be called — was the deputy headmistress. She was also responsible of employment. She was a nice lady in her fifties with short, curly, sandy blond hair.

“Good, I am going to let you get settled. I guess I’ll see you at the cafeteria for supper.”

“Yes, sure. Thanks for the tour.”

“You’re welcome. We take care of our own.”

Let alone in his room, James contemplated the silence. Merlin, he was going to miss the kids, but he knew he was doing a great thing for himself. He couldn’t keep himself from moving on. Teddy would never be interested in starting anything with him, and it was time he stopped wanting the impossible.

The problem was that every times he closed his eyes, he remembered the kiss, the taste of his mouth, the feel of his body against his, and his mind would wonder on what Teddy would taste like. The feel of his cock. He wondered what kind of sound Teddy would do if he was licking the length. He salivated just at the thought of having that big cock in his mouth. He was sure that Teddy was fucking crazy hot when he lost control and Merlin he wanted to be the reason Teddy lost control of his body.

He moaned, but he refused to touch himself. He was hard like hell, but he was not going to come while thinking of Teddy. This time, it was over, no matter how much he ached for some deliverance.

By the fourth night, the hiding was driving Teddy crazy. How was he supposed to live like that? He hadn’t seen anyone since he was here, and no matter how much he loved the kids, he needed some grown up time. He tried to talk to some of his bodyguards, but they were well hidden and unwilling to do anything but crisscross the parameters.

He missed his home, James, and being able to carry a conversation that went beyond Syd’s favourite colour.

He was turning in his bed when he heard two little feet on the dark wood floor. The door squeaked, and he felt a little hand touching his shoulder.

“Daddy? Daddy?”

Teddy turned to his son, “Yes?”

“I had nightmare, can I sleep with you?”

Teddy moved on the twin bed, and Syd climbed. He closed his arms around his boy. “You want to tell me about it?”

“It was the man with the mask. He was in my room.”

Teddy hugged his son even tighter. “It was just a nightmare, baby. The man isn’t going to hurt you.”

“You promise?”

“I promise. I wouldn’t let him hurt you.”

“But what if he hurt you?”

Teddy made sure he was looking straight into Syd’s eyes.

“He is not going to hurt me, okay. We are safe here.”

“But the man said he was going to hurt me if—”

“It was just a dream, Syd.”

“No, the other day, in my room, he said— Oh no, I can’t tell.”

Teddy felt his heart stop on the moment. He mind shift into the worst case scenario.

“Syd, you have to tell me. I promise I won’t be mad. Did he—” Thinking about what that man had done to his son made him sick, and he was afraid of voicing the question.

Syd shook his head in panic. “Can’t tell, he’s gonna hurt you and Ayia if I tell.”

Teddy cupped his son’s face. “Listen to me, Syd. You have to tell me what the man did to you. I promise I won’t get mad and he won’t hurt us.”

“He said we could get away from him, but that he would always find us.”

“He won’t, I swear.”

“He told me I have to always keep that with me. Syd dug in his PJs’ pocket. “He said I can’t tell you because then he would have to kill you like he did to mommy.”

Teddy’s heart beat speed in his chest as he observed the little toy. It was a small modern figurine of Harry Potter, one he knew wouldn’t be out until another two months. It wasn’t much, but it could be a clue, and he was sure whoever was after him didn’t gave that to Syd as a nice gift.

The anger built in him, and when he realised that Syd was afraid, he tried to smile.

“I’m not mad at you, Syd. I’m glad you told me. You should always tell me everything. Okay?”

Syd nodded. Teddy kissed his forehead. “It’s time to sleep now.”

Syd nodded again, but he still looked scared.

Teddy reached for his wand, and cast a spell on the toy. He knew he shouldn’t use his wand, but he had to be sure that the toy wasn’t curse. And apparently, whoever was after him wouldn’t need him to use magic to find them. It was an impressive work of magic, and Teddy stopped counting the spells at the third one.

Suddenly, it occurred to Teddy that they knew where he was all along. Maybe, they were spying on them at this very moment.

“Syd, wake up.”

The boy, who was just about to finally fall back to sleep, raised his head to his father.

“We’re going to go on another adventure, okay?”

“Now?” Syd yawned.

“Yes, you gonna see, it’s going to be fun.”

Teddy took Ayia in his arm, trying not to wake her up. He didn’t want her crying. He let a message to Harry, because he knew Harry was the only one able to find him. He used an old code between them, a secret code they invented when he was just a kid.

He got a glamour spell on them, and went by the back door. He made sure the toy was as far away as them as possible. At the moment, he had no idea who he could trust. He didn’t really know any of those Aurors who were protecting him.

They sunk into the dark forest.

CHAPTER SEVEN

If You Can't Escape, You Need to Fight Back

Harry Potter wasn’t particularly happy to be woken in the middle of the night to learn that his almost-son and his grandkids had disappeared.

“What do you mean, they can’t be found?”

Twenty-five Aurors with the only mission to protect them. How the hell could they have failed like that? If the priorities weren’t to find them ASAP, some heads would have fallen among them.

“We were doing our round like usual when Auror James and Senior Auror Jenskin realised they weren’t in the house. We tried to track them, but they are MIA.”

“Continue the searches. I don’t want anyone lazying until they had been found.”

Harry turned back in the house, expecting his orders to be followed. He was going to explore the house by himself. Nothing had been disturbed which implied either that there had been no fight or that someone had clean up after. Probably the former. Who would take the time to clean with twenty-five Auror on the premises?

Syd’s bed was undone, but nothing to suggest foul play.

Ayia and Teddy’s room was in a similar state. There was a blank sheet on the bed, next to a figurine that shouldn’t be there. The sheet had been fold in a particular origami form. He glanced around the room to find another clue.

He smiled fondly when he found another origami in Ayia’s bed. He opened both of them, and found a series of symbol. He was a little rusty on the language, but there was no doubt that it was telling everything he needed to know.

Teddy thought they weren’t safe there, and he was going to be in their secret place.

They were walking for about ten minutes, and Syd was already tired. It was three in the morning, it was dark, and cold, and they were going fast. Teddy took him in his arm, but the gesture woke Ayia.

She started crying immediately, and no matter how much he shh’d her or how slowly he sang, she wouldn’t stop.

The noise was going to attract attention, and Teddy looked around paranoidly. He could barely see further than two feet in front of him, and couldn’t help feeling spied on.

He brought Syd closer to him and sped up. Teddy was angry. Some man had killed his wife, and now he wanted his children. All fibbers of his body were screaming he had to protect them at all cost. He wasn’t going to lose them too.

“Wanna go home, Daddy.”

“I know, son. Soon, I promise.”

“Are we gonna see Mommy?” Syd asked, digging his nose in Teddy’s neck.

“I sure hope not,” Teddy thought, but he just told Syd a simple “No”.

“I’m sure I can help you with that. You’d like to see your mommy, Sydney honey?”

The voice had come unexpectedly from behind them, and Teddy spun around, and brought the kids closer.

“Who are you?” Teddy couldn’t see far, and he had no idea where the man was. “What do you want?”

Teddy put Syd on the ground, and put Ayia in his arm. “You take her like I showed you, taking care of her head, and you stay close to me.”

“But—”

“Just do it.”

Reaching for his wand, he pointed it in the dark.

“You know what I want, girl.”

Teddy froze at being call girl. He recognized the voice now—but it couldn’t be. “Poppins?”

“Well, I see you remember me, now.” The man step forward and Teddy could finally face him.

“But you died in Azkaban.”

“Think again, sweet pie. I’m obviously not dead, or am I now?”

Alex Poppins had changed since the last time Teddy saw him. He was thinner now, morbidly thin even. Teddy could see his ribcage clearly. He was pale too, almost grey, but that could just be the lightning of the full moon. He had a long scar going all through his face and his neck, disappearing under his shirt.

“You should see you face, girl, you look like you just saw a ghost.” Poppins laughed at his own joke, but Teddy just pulled the kids closer.

“Now don’t be silly, girl, I’m not going to hurt the kids. I can even pretend the girl is mine too.”

“What do you mean?”

“Do you think I didn’t know that Syd was my son?”

Teddy laughed nervously. “And I’m the one being silly? Syd’s a metamorphagus, he’s obviously mine.”

“Oh, naive little girl. Glamour spells may have done the trick on others, but you can’t fool me. I know my potion worked, and I know he’s my son because I made a paternity test. Why do you think I was in his bedroom?”

“You’re crazy.”

“Yeah, I know,” he said, smiling wickedly, “that what the mind healer said to me. Muggles prefer to say sociopath. I think I like that better. Now, you wouldn’t want to prevent a sociopath to see his son, would ya? We kinda are an unpredictable bunch.”

“Syd,” Teddy said clearly, never leaving Poppins from his view, “I want you to take you sister as far as you can. You don’t stop for anything.”

“But Daddy—”

“Go,”

Poppins wasn’t going to let them leave that easily thought. “Don’t go Syd, you wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to your daddy while you’re not there, do you?”

If Syd was about to go, now he couldn’t leave. He was crying, shaking his head from left to right.

“Good boy.”

Teddy forced Syd to step back, and he glanced rapidly around trying to find a plan. He would have thrown a spell at Poppins, but he didn’t want the kids to be caught in the middle.

“Now that it’s settled, why don’t you tuck you wand away? I have a house all ready for us, in North Africa. We are going to be so happy.”

“If you think I’m going to follow you anywhere, you don’t know me at all.”

“On the contrary, love, I know everything about you. I followed your whole career you know, and I learned everything there was to know about you. Now I’m done sharing you with anyone.”

Even knowing how delusional Poppins was from the first time he started to stalk Teddy’s band, he still couldn’t believe it was happening. He had felt no sadness when he had learnt that the guy had been stabbed in jail, and really, Teddy had no idea how he had survived.

“You know my family is going to be looking for us everywhere, right?”

“Don’t worry about that, at this moment, they probably already found my surprise. They won’t be a problem any longer.”

Teddy had no idea what surprise he was talking about, but at that moment, he noticed a movement in the dark, and seconds later, a flock of silver small birds attacked Poppins, and it was like signal. Teddy blocked the kids from Poppins, protecting them with his body. He heard the fight behind him as Harry Potter took care of Poppins.

It was a real mess. Ayia was crying, Syd was screaming, and the spells flew not far away. Teddy brought them away from the scene, and when he turned to see if Harry needed help, a group of Aurors had Poppins in magical cuffs.

They forced him with them; Poppins wasn’t letting them take him easily. He kicked and screamed, threatening Teddy about getting back what was rightfully his. Suddenly, Teddy Apparated in front of Poppins. One of the Auror jumped in surprise, but it didn’t faze Teddy.

Before anyone could react, Teddy’s fist was harshly meeting Poppins’ face. The punch was powerful enough to throw him onto his arse. Poppins grimaced in pain when Ron forced him up.

“You get near my family again, sweet pie, and I swear I’ll be your worst nightmare.”

When the group of Aurors disappeared, when it was only Teddy, the kids and Harry, all the adrenaline left Teddy’s body, and he fell onto his knees, his hands in the dirt. Then Syd was in his arm, and he was kissing every part of his face he could, and Harry was close by, with a crying Ayia in his arms. Teddy stood up, and took her from his arms.

Everything was going to be fine, now.

CHAPTER EIGHT

Breathe, it's over

Teddy couldn’t glance away from Syd all the way to their home. He was almost afraid he was going to disappear on him. Harry had to drag Teddy away from the bedroom after Syd had fallen asleep in Teddy’s bed. It had been a long night for all of them, and despite the sun rising, Syd was too tired for anything but sleep. Teddy was glad that the boy didn’t seem to be too traumatized by the event, but he wasn’t looking forward to explain to him what Poppins said. To be honest, neither Teddy nor Victoire were planning on ever telling Syd about his less than traditional upbringing. For as long as they were concerned, Victoire was Syd’s mother. Poppins was no one, just a fan of the band that turned out to be a psychotic asshole.

They sat in the kitchen, because the living room was still a sensible zone for Teddy. “I thought he was dead. I’ve seen the body.”

“The investigation is still going on, but from what Ron discovered while interrogating the bastard, he found a way to create a potion that gives him the appearance of being dead, and since he’s been buried with his wand, he’d been easy for him to get out unseen.”

“But that’s crazy! How does someone invent a potion that doesn’t exist while in freakin’ Azkaban?”

In a normal time, Harry would have ask him to keep his language clean — he was a father after all —, but then again, he was a father, and he would swear too if someone tried to kill any of his children. He was barely stopping himself from killing that Poppins guy.

“It’s hard to say right now, but we’ll look into it, don’t worry. We think he probably had accomplices for that, maybe even the men that attacked you.”

Teddy leaned on his chair. He was suddenly feeling tired as hell, and he was longing to go back to bed, maybe curling up with James and Syd, just like the other day. Yeah, that would be nice. That would definitively make Teddy feel safe.

“Where’s James?”

The question seemed kind of sudden and out of place for Harry, but Teddy and James had been close for years, so he supposed it made sense for Teddy to be worry by James’ absence.

“He’s in Salem.”

“Salem? USA, Salem? What the hell is he doing there?”

He couldn’t have accepted the job offer, could he?

“He decided to accept a job at the Magical school there.”

“When?”

“The day you left I believe.”

“Oh.”

The day of the kiss. It hurts, like a knife right in his already broken heart. He thought that James liked liked him, but maybe he was wrong. Maybe James didn’t want him at all. He couldn’t blame him, James had way better prospect in man than a grieving old musician with two children. He was fresh out of Hogwarts and had his whole life in front of him. Why did Teddy think he would want to settle down with him anyway? He felt stupid suddenly. Hell, Victoire wasn’t even gone for a year that he was already thinking about someone else.

“Teddy?”

Jerking out of his thoughts, Teddy tried to smile even if his heart wasn’t in it. Harry didn’t seem to notice.

“Yeah?”

“I need to ask you about some of Poppins allegations.”

And here it comes.

“What allegations?”

“About Syd being his son.”

“Can’t we talk about something else?”

He wasn’t being very brave, avoiding Harry’s eyes like that, but hell, he didn’t want to think of Poppins anymore.

“We need to. If that ever goes to the press—”

“No.” Teddy jolted on his chair, and looked right into his eyes. “You gotta make sure it doesn’t get out. I don’t want Syd to know.”

“So it’s true? How can that be? Syd is just like you?”

And really, Harry couldn’t believe that Victoire would ever cheat on Teddy.

Teddy sighed, and stood up. He was to the sink and took some water before glancing outside by the window. From where he was, he had a great view of the swimming pool and the garden which would be full of vegetables in the summer.

“It was the Weird Sisters Music Award’s night…”

The backyard blurred out, and Teddy could see it like it was happening right now.

Victoire was applying her last touch of make up when Teddy came into the bedroom.

“So,” he asked while turning himself around, “how do I look?”

Teddy was wearing his hair straight, long to the shoulder and tied in a loose ponytail with sea turquoise ribbons. He had chosen the darkest shade of black he could replicate, but he also had locks of the same colour of the ribbon. He was wearing a black cape with a black wife beater and a pair of tight black leather pants. His unnaturally turquoise eyes were accentuated by black eyeliner.

Lust sparkled in Victoire’s baby blue eyes. “I think I’m gonna have to beat the girls with a stick to keep their hands away from you.”

The fiery in her eyes went right to Teddy’s groin. “For someone who likes to share your husband with every man she knows, you sure can be a jealous harpy.” Teddy laughed lightly.

Unable to stop herself when Teddy was smiling at her like that, she grabbed him by the collar and pulled him closer. “I need to be the only woman in your life,” she said, brushing her lips against his.

“No need to worry. I could never love a woman like I love you.” He kissed her again.

“Good, ‘cause I ain’t sharing you with ‘em.”

Her hand slide behind his ear and unto his neck. She smelled the light and spicy aroma of his cologne, and then she was kissing him possessively.

Merlin, she wanted him out of his clothes. She shook of the desire of make him her bitch, to fuck him into oblivions and fuck the fucking award.

Sadly, Teddy stepped back a little, breathless.

“As much as I’d like to get naked and dirty with you, right now, we need to leave soon. James and all the other are waiting for us.”

She pouted, not used to not have what she wanted, and Teddy almost said fuck with the Award, because hell if his fiery wife wasn’t cute as hell when she act like a child. He couldn’t, thought as everyone counted on him to be there.

“I promise we’ll have plenty of fun at the after party.”

Back to her old self, Victoire kissed him. “Perfect, now let me retouch my makeup. It’s all ruined because of you.”

Teddy left laughing. Count on Vicky to blame him for something she initiated.

“Wiggle’s house, that was where the after party was happening, was packed with people. I knew most of them, but there were a lot of fans too. Victoire and I were hanging out with the band when Poppins caught Victoire’s attention.

The guy was handsome in a cute, almost awkward kind of way. He was obviously a fan since he was wearing a black t-shirt of the band.

The sex wasn’t particularly memorable, to be honest. And then he started popping up everywhere, and I started getting sick. At first I thought it was the flu, and then I thought it was probably just the stress of having a stalker. You know the rest of the story. You arrested him.

When— when we realised we were pregnant, we— we decided not to say anything to anyone. It could have been a number of people. Poppins, he wasn’t the only one, you know, and Healer Nott thought it could have been ‘cause I’m a metamorphagus. So we told everyone Vicky was pregnant, and we went on this trip and came back with Syd.

Like you said, he looks just like me, so no one questioned it.”

Teddy was almost afraid to look up when he was done with his story. Since Harry wasn’t speaking, Teddy finally gathered the courage to look at him. He didn’t look mad. More like dumbfounded maybe. He hadn’t left his chair.

“I don’t get it,” he finally said, “you’re not—gay. You and Victoire are married for Gyffindor’s sake.”

“I know, and we love each other so much. I don’t know how to explain this to you. I love her, and she loved me, but I like guys too, and it was just that thing we did as a couple.”

“I don’t think I can ever understand how you can love someone, and still be with other people at the same time.”

For the first time, he felt kind of ashamed of what Victoire and he did. Or maybe he was just ashamed of disappointing Harry. Teddy started to avoid his gaze again. “I know, I’m sorry.”

Teddy only realised that Harry had walked to him when he put a hand on his shoulder. “There’s a lot I can’t understand in life. I don’t get how Lily can be always so bitchy or how it comes that Al is at the head of the Slytherin while still be my sweet considerate son or that James has no interest in girls. That doesn’t mean I don’t love them to death. Were the two of you happy?”

Teddy didn’t thought he could talk without his voice breaking so he just nodded.

“Then I guess it’s okay.”

They hugged, Teddy almost sobbing in his neck. Shit, he was tired.

“Go see the kids, son, and have some sleep. I’ll go back to the headquarters and make sure it doesn’t go out of hand.”

Teddy nodded, and after the final greetings, Harry Disaparated.

And just as Teddy was starting to feel like he could breathe again, Syd screamed a really scared “Daddy”, and Teddy was running to his bedroom with his heart in his heels.

He felt immensely relieved when it became obvious that Syd was only having a nightmare. Snuggling together, they fell asleep.

CHAPTER NINE

Back to ya' Babe

Teddy was awakened by Ayia’s cries. He wasn’t sure how long he slept, but not enough. He groaned, wishing he didn’t have to leave his bed.

But then he heard Syd ‘whispering’ a little too loud.

“Shhh, Ayia,” he said, and Teddy heard the sound of a rattle, “don’t cry, lil’ sys. Daddy’s sleepy. You gonna wake him. Shh.”

Teddy smiled tenderly. Darn that was cute!

He sat up and saw that Syd had climb on the step near the crib to be able to see Ayia. “Mornin’”

“Oh no,” pouted Syd, “she woke you.”

“It’s okay, I was done sleeping anyway.” Teddy smacked a big kiss on Syd’s head and took the crying Ayia in his arm. Rocking her against his chest, she didn’t calm down.

“I think she gave us a little gift,” Teddy smiled at her smell.

“Eww, you can keep her gift,” Syd said as he wrinkled his nose.

Teddy smiled. “Why don’t you go play downstairs a little while I clean her, and after that, we can do whatever you want?”

After the last couple of days, it was the least he could do.

“Yeah! Can we go see Uncle James? I miss him.”

“Sure we can. I miss him too.”

Syd jumped out the step, and he hoped away. But then he stopped near the exit, looking like he was focusing on something. He spun around to look at his father. “You won’t be kissing him all the time, right? ‘Cause I want kisses too, you know.”

Before Teddy could react, Syd was gone.

Teddy raised his eyebrow, and looked at his daughter, “your brother is something else, isn’t he?”

Teddy would have sworn she smiled at him, so he nuzzled her.

When Teddy told Syd that they would have to do a long trip oversea to see James, he took things very seriously. He put clothes and underwear, and his pajamas, and his favourite teddy bear in a bag. He also insisted in helping to prepare Ayia’s luggage. He carefully took some toys for her.

He even insisted on driving the baby-buggy once at the International Centre of Portkey.

It always amused Teddy to see Syd act with such care for his little sister. The rough son who loved to play war and Slash the Dragon was so delicate when it came to Ayia. He was such a good boy.

“Good morning sir, how may I help you?”

“I’d like a Portkey for Salem, USA. For three.”

“Time of departure?”

“As soon as possible.”

“We have a Portkey coming back in two hours, is that okay with you?”

“Yes, please.”

“Time of return?”

He glance at Syd who was now facing Ayia, making funny face at her, and then back to the middle-aged lady. “Let’s make it a one-way Portkey, I’m not sure how long we gonna be.”

“I’m going to need your passport.”

“Of course.”

“You know,” she said as she looked into it, “I’ve been to your concert once with my daughter. She’s a fan of yours.”

By the look of admiration in her eyes, he was pretty sure that her daughter wasn’t the only fan of his. Apparently, not just teenagers liked the dark broody artist type.

“Well, everything looks fine. Make sure to be in the departure area at least thirty minutes before the departure. That’ll be 300 galleons.”

Teddy paid her, and even took her name, her daughter’s name and their address to send them an autographed picture of him. Two hours later, the three of them were transported to Salem.

Salem was a city full of meaning for wizards. There was a whole term of History of Magic’s class that was reserved to this city. Teddy couldn't find in himself to care though. All he could thing about was James. His sexy best friend James who’s last kiss had let him craving for more.

The only person outside of the kids who could make him feel alive since Victoire’s death.

She hadn’t been gone for long, but it seemed like an eternity ago for Teddy, and now he wanted James. He needed him.

It’s only when they arrive in front of James’ dorm that Teddy realised that coming there unannounced wasn’t the brightest idea. What if he wasn’t there? What if he didn’t want to see them? He ran oversea after their kiss, after all. He could not want to see Teddy ever again. Or worst. He could be with someone else. His idea of James with anyone but him didn’t fit right in his mind.

They stopped at the security guard at the entrance.

“Hi, how can I help you?”

“Hi, I’m Teddy Lupin, and we would want to see James Potter.”

The man smiled at the kid, and waved his hand at Syd who hided behind Teddy’s legs. The man was big and intimidating. He didn’t seem jaded by Syd’s reaction and glanced back at Teddy. “Course. He’s at room 101, first story.”

Then he went back to whatever he was doing.

Teddy pushed Syd toward the stairs.

“Oh no, Daddy, we can’t use the buggy to take Ayia with us.” Syd looked like the world was about to end.

“I’ll take Ayia in my arms.”

“I can take her, you know.”

“I know you can, but I’d prefer if your hand was on the railing instead. You can take her when we’re upstairs, and I’ll get the buggy while you babysit her.”

“Okay.”

They found the room pretty easily, as it was the first at their left. Teddy hesitated before knocking, but Syd didn’t have such reserve.

“I’m coming.”

As soon as the door was opened, Syd jumped on James screaming his name.

“Uncle James!” he screamed.

He sure looked surprise to see them there. He was half awake, and was wearing very little of clothes. Teddy really wanted to be alone with him and naked, right now, but he had Ayia in his arm and Syd was there.

James took him in his arm. “Have you grown since I saw you?”

Syd giggled in his arm. “You happy to see us?”

“Really happy to see you. I missed you.”

“We missed you too. Daddy - he wants to kiss you, but I said no way, it’s my turn to get the kisses.”

Teddy saw James blushing, and he was pretty sure he was red too.

“So? Are you gonna to kiss me or not?”

James laughed, and starting giving Syd big smack on his face. Then Syd collapsed into giggles, and Teddy never felt any more relaxed.

Hours later, Syd had been completely exhausted playing with James, Teddy and Ayia, and he was sound asleep on James’ bed. Not too far, James was holding Ayia and feeding her. She was greedily sucking on the feeder. Because of the kids, they hadn’t really had time to talk, but with Syd in the world of dreams, James figured it was time.

“What are you really doing here, Teddy? An owl to tell me you were fine would have been enough.”

James had ran off for a reason, and being reminded of what he could never had—Teddy and the kids—wasn’t in James’ plans.

“I missed you.”

“Teddy—”

There was a warning in his voice because he wanted to keep his distance, but Teddy just got closer. How could he be expected to behave with Teddy’s musky cologne tickling his nostril?

“All the time we were in hiding, all I could thing about was you.”

Teddy reached and caressed his face. James closed his eyes, trying to will himself to get away, to protect himself against one more heartbreak over Teddy, but his heart, and frankly his cock too, hadn’t received the message. He quivered at the touch and lean closer. He could feel Teddy breathing on his lips, and he fought not to reach for them when Ayia moved in his arm.

Jerking away from Teddy, James stood, making sure he had enough distance between them.

“We can’t be doing this.” James tried to sound convinced, but he wasn’t really feeling it.

“I thought you liked me.”

James considered lying, but then, Teddy looked so vulnerable right now that there was no way he couldn’t say the truth. “I do like you. Merlin, I’ve been in love with you since I start figuring I was gay at thirteen. But you’re grieving and I refuse to be your rebound.” And as an afterthought, he added, “And shit, Vicky’s not even cold yet, what kind of a guy that makes me to want my cousin’s husband.”

James had to replace Ayia in his arm because she was getting excited.

“Do you remember the first time you kissed me?”

“Of course I do, it was the most magical and most humiliating moment of my life.”

James started pacing, hoping that Ayia wouldn’t start crying and wake Syd.

“Do you know what she said when I told her?”

James stopped in his tracks. He never even thought about the possibility of Teddy telling Victoire. And he could believe even less that Victoire didn’t try to rip James’ balls off. He’d seen that girl angry, and once was enough.

“She said, and I’m quoting her here, ‘Fuck that’s hot. T’sucks he’s my cousin ‘cause shit I’d want to see that’.”

“She did not.”

That was just ridiculous.

“She’ll want me—us—to be happy. I promised her I wouldn’t love any other woman than her, and I know I never will, just as sure as I know I’ll never love another man as much as I love you.”

Teddy made a step toward James, and James felt his resolution breaking.

“Teddy—” This time, there was longing in the way James said his name.

Slowly, Teddy took Ayia from his arm and put her in the crib next to them. Then he took James face in his hands and brought their lips together.

The kiss was full of desire and promises of a future together.

CHAPTER TEN

Epilogue - A Year Later

James was having a nice discussion with his cousin Fred who was just starting his own law firm with some friends when he heard Syd’s voice.

“Look at us, Daddydy!”

He turned around to see Syd, carefully taking Ayia’s little hands in his, and helping her make one step after the other. They were so cute that James couldn’t resist taking a picture. It would go with all the other he had of the kids.

“Good job, you’re the best big brother in the whole universe.”

Syd beamed at the praise, and James turned back to Fred. “I’ll never get tired of him calling me daddydy. You’ll understand soon enough.”

Fred’s wife Emma had announced her pregnancy earlier in the afternoon, at the whole family’s joy.

“Yeah, I sure will. Hey, you didn’t tell me what you guys were planning now that you were back in England.”

“Teddy is renting his old house. It was Vicky’s dream house, so he’s hesitant on selling it. Meanwhile, we’ll be living here, and later if the kids want the house or something, it’ll still be owned by him.” James sipped a little of his Butterbeer. “Teddy talked to his old agent, and he’s starting to record his first solo album in the spring.”

“And what are you going to do now that you won’t be working in America anymore?”

“I guess I’ll stay with the kids for a while, but I’m thinking photography. I like it, and I’m not half bad.”

Fred laughed. “I did notice that you took a lot of pictures today.”

That was pretty much an understatement. James had barely left the camera all day, immortalizing every family moment he could.

Yeah, James thought, I could do that for a living, doing weddings and stuffs.

All to his discussion with Fred, James didn’t notice Teddy walking to them. It’s only when he scented his odor and felt his arm around his waist, that James realised Teddy was there. He leaned into his chest, and smiled, content. Fred didn’t comment and carried on with the discussion.

Teddy sneaked out into his bedroom after he put Syd and Ayia to sleep. James was waiting for him wearing nothing but a black pair of boxer-brief.

“That was a new song you sang them, isn’t it?”

Unbuttoning his robe, Teddy leaned to kiss James. “You know it is.”

“I like it.”

“Hopefully, the label will like it too.”

Teddy was wearing nothing but his boxer-brief too when he joined James on the bed. He was nervous about singing professionally again. He had changed since he gave birth to Syd, and his music had changed too. What if people didn’t like him anymore?

He felt James caressing his chest, and he glanced at him.

“They will.”

Two words, one caress, and Teddy was melting in James’ arms.

He brushed their lips together, and then James’ hands were everywhere at once. On his back, chest, neck and arse.

He was driving Teddy crazy with his caresses, but Teddy wasn’t about to complain.

James pushed Teddy under him, and he started kissing his chest, his nipples, and descending down south in a delightful torture. James sure did love torture him. Teddy didn’t mind. He loved the delicate exploration as much as he loved any other type of sex with James.

“Please…”

James sent him a sneaky smile, and Teddy just knew that the night was going to be long, deliciously long.

And he’ll be damn if he wasn’t going to enjoy every minute of it.

The End.

to the author

Date: 2012-06-08 07:28 pm (UTC)
nerakrose: drawing of balfour from havemercy (teddy/james)
From: [personal profile] nerakrose
I think what I loved most about this fic is the way you portrayed Teddy and Victoire's relationship. I really like that they had an unconventional relationship but were still happy and it didn't invalidate them as a couple or their relationship or their love for each other. ♥ also, I admit I didn't see the twist with Syd's parentage coming, though! That was brilliant. :D
I really enjoyed reading this and Teddy and James' relationship built up so perfectly. I have a soft spot for James/Scorpius and I felt so sorry for Scorpius in this. I hope he managed to find happiness in the end.

to the artists

Date: 2012-06-08 07:40 pm (UTC)
nerakrose: drawing of balfour from havemercy (teddy/james)
From: [personal profile] nerakrose
calico_lupin - I think I will forever be in awe of how you draw hair. ♥ the first picture is amazing (the little snitches on the blanket! and the poster!) and it's such a cosy scene, all familiar and lovely and ahhh, one could almost think that it's Teddy and James' family there, and not that James had just stopped by. ♥ The kiss pic is lovely too, I absolutely adore the sketchy quality of it and the stripes shadows ♥ it makes all the more tender ♥

pandafoot105 - the funeral scene is absolutely heartbreaking. Their grief is outright tangible. I don't understand how you managed to fill the drawing with beautiful things like flowers and trees and a blue sky and it's all so idyllic, and yet it's one of the saddest pictures I've ever seen. I think I've said it before, but I really adore the amount of detail you put into your drawings. :D and it's a bit funny, because the fantasy picture is a little void of detail in comparison. :P It's lovely, though (and smoking hot), I really like the setting, which seems to be neither here nor there, a little hazy and a little unreal. ♥

Date: 2012-07-10 05:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarahsezlove.livejournal.com
A lovely story with beautiful artwork.

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