Pairings: Teddy/Bill, mentions of Teddy/Victoire, past Remus/Bill and Remus/Sirius
Word Count: ~19000
Warnings: Some dirty talk, some bondage, some D/s
Summary: A discovery in Andromeda Tonks' attic sends Teddy Lupin on a quest to find out the truth about his father. He is led to Bill Weasley, and he gets more questions than answers
Author's Notes: This was written for violet_quill in the 2008 hp_summersmut fic exchange. A big thank you and a dozen candy necklaces to thescarletwoman, who not only beta'd this fic, but ran the whole fest brilliantly. There is a sequel in the works, which will be entitled "Bill and Teddy's Excellent Adventure" because I cannot help myself...
This way to Part One
An owl was waiting on his bedroom window, looking most impatient. He opened the pane and creature held out its leg daintily. It was a smallish brown bird, and as soon as the missive was off its leg, it made the most peculiar barking sound and flew out the window.
Teddy held his breath, waiting to see if his Nana had heard the commotion, but he suspected she was long since asleep. Formidable she may be, but she was also pushing seventy and a heavy sleeper. When no inquiring old woman appeared at his door, Teddy smoothed open the parchment, recognizing Bill's handwriting from the older letters to Remus.
Thank you for asking me for careers advice. I think it's admirable that you finally want to take a step into a proper Wizarding vocation, and I'd be delighted to let you in on the answers to some of the questions you posed to me tonight. Why don't you meet me in at the Leaky Cauldron tomorrow at 11 a.m.?
Teddy grinned in spite of himself. Even if his grandmother had intercepted this, she could hardly complain about its contents. He resolved to leave it lying on the kitchen table tomorrow morning before he left for work.
The next day, he took his lunch break early and slipped next door into the hidden pub. The Leaky Cauldron was nothing like it had been in decades before. Seamus Finnigan had bought the place ten years after the war and, as Harry liked to say, classed it up. Solid oak, self-cleaning tables ran the length of the hardwood floors, enchanted never to become sticky no matter how much beer was spilled on them. Wall sconces every few feet kept the place bright and cheerful, and the fully stocked bar supplied every drink one could think of, not just the same Ogden's Old. Apart from the sometimes-raucous karaoke parties the pub held sometimes, it was a respectable place to dine or do business.
Bill Weasley was already sprawled in a chair by one of the big, cozy fireplaces, unlit because it was still fairly warm for autumn. He was chatting with a laughing, middle-aged man sporting dark dreadlocks, who Teddy vaguely recognized as Lee Jordan. Lee nodded his good-bye as Teddy walked forward.
"Careers advice, huh?" he asked, taking the seat across from Bill.
"You're a lost boy, in need of answers," Bill said philosophically. "Who better than the manticore-killer to give you those answers." He glanced at Teddy's features, but didn't comment on them. Teddy had gone for a David Bowie-influenced look, right down to the mismatched pupils.
"Answer me this," Teddy returned. "Who was my father, and how well did you know him?"
"Right to the point. I like it. That's more your mum than your dad," Bill said. "I knew them both fairly well, and I was pretty ecstatic when they got married. Your dad had some doubts-- that's probably not something I should tell you, though."
"Well, it was more prompted by you than by anything else." Bill's lips twitched into a sarcastic smile.
"Yeah, I've done the math on that one," Teddy said. "But come on, whose parents didn't get married because of pregnancy in those generations? What was my dad like?"
"Don't you know?"
Two glasses of water shimmered into being on the small end table between them, followed by a house elf dressed in a black-and-white waiter's uniform. Teddy thought the little creature looked like a penguin.
"Good afternoon, sirs. I is Schmoopsie, and I will be serving sirs today. May I take sirs' orders?" The elf had a quill and parchment poised in his hand.
"Come back in ten minutes, will you?" Bill said, not taking his eyes off Teddy. The house elf bowed low and disappeared with a loud POP.
Teddy tossed the letters he'd found in the cellar onto the table. "Clearly you're WA. Were you friends before these? What happened in them?"
Bill stared at the parchment. "My God, I'd have thought these long destroyed." He was silent for a lingering moment. "Yeah, we were mates. Your dad mostly only had time for Sirius, when I first got to know him. But he was a decent bloke. Took his tea black, liked to read with almost no light-- probably enhanced eyesight from the lycanthropy. Do you--?"
"I see pretty well in the dark, but I need glasses to read," Teddy said. "I don't think I inherited any major werewolf traits, if that's what you're asking."
"I was curious," Bill admitted. "I wondered what sorts of traits Victoire would inherit, too."
"She's pretty Veela," Teddy said. "And she knows it. Is that all you can say about my dad?"
"I don't know what you want to know."
"I don't know anything!" Teddy shouted, rising to his feet. "Do you know what that's like, not knowing a thing about your own father? You know everything about your dad! You know what his laugh sounds like and that he likes to take televisions apart in your tool shed! You know the way he looks at your mum, and the way he carried you on his shoulders when you were small! I don't even know how tall my dad was, let alone how he liked to spend his evenings or how he felt about politics or my mum or anything!"
Lee and Seamus, at the bar, were staring at them, as were several other patrons who had filtered in for an early lunch. Bill rose slowly to his feet, took Teddy firmly by the shoulder, and steered him off to the side, where the private parlours had been refurbished. He shoved the younger man in without a word.
"Remus' voice was soft but confident," Bill said after he shut the door. "He had a way of looking at you that made you think he understood the way every cog in your head cranked. He would read for hours and hours every evening, and he liked to cook. He was the only one who could control Sirius after Sirius came back. He was passionate about werewolf rights, but he was also downtrodden, weary from a life of being told he was a second-class citizen at best and a monster at worst."
Bill hadn't let go of Teddy's shoulder, but his grip relaxed. "Your dad helped me through a time in my life so rough that not even Fleur knew what I was going through. Don't you know how I got these scars?"
Teddy shook his head. "Wizarding duel with a Death Eater the night Dumbledore snuffed it, is what they say in History of Magic. Though I could never figure out what sort of hex would leave scars like that."
Bill snorted, letting go of him. "Same old Ministry, covering up past mistakes. They don't want to admit they let a psycho like Fenrir Greyback roam free for so long, so they wrote him out of the textbooks. He was a werewolf, Teddy, the same one who turned your dad. Only unlike your dad, he lived for mayhem and for killing. He attacked me when he was in human form, and did this to me with his bare hands and blunt teeth."
The thought sickened Teddy, a sudden, vivid image of a huge, hairy man throwing Bill to the ground and raking his teeth across Bill's face. "So you got mauled by the same bloke who turned my father. That's kind of twisted. Wait, does that make you a werewolf too?" He'd never thought of that before, and tried to remember if he'd ever seen Bill on the night of a full moon. Did that make Vicky part-werewolf, like Teddy was? It would explain her monster hormonal mood swings.
"It gave me wolf-like tendencies. Like the first month, when I cut furrows in my arms with my own nails. It felt like I was trying to shed my own skin and I couldn't stop from scratching." Bill drew one sleeve up, showing faded scars all along his forearms. "It was your dad who talked me into drinking aconite tea and applying mandrake lotion. And who got me meditating. Your dad got my head screwed back on straight, and helped make sure I actually made it to the altar. I might not have married Fleur otherwise. I was too afraid of what I was becoming."
Teddy studied Bill's features. The scars, which had seemed so commonplace all his life, stood out livid against Bill's skin now, set into sharp relief by their history. He tried to think of what to ask next when a huge old grandfather clock standing in the corner tolled its stately bell.
"Bloody hell, I've got to get back to work," Teddy muttered. "Look, meet me for dinner, all right?"
Bill winced. "Thing is, I have to get back to work too. I'm leaving tonight for a dig in Nepal."
"But I need to talk to you!"
"Write me. I'll try to answer what you want to know, and I'll send my letters here for you, all right? Seamus has been good in the past about playing post office for me."
Teddy nodded, and Bill squeezed his shoulder again lightly before striding out of the room.
He started going through the Leaky Cauldron before work each day, rather than Apparating to the bookshop's back lot. A letter was waiting for him almost immediately.
Can I ask about your grandmother? She refused to go to your parents' wedding, but surely she's not still upset about it?
You'll find the address of the camp where I'll be staying in Dhulikhel at the top of this parchment. Your letters will find me there. I admit, I don't know very much about your dad's upbringing, other than some school exploits I expect you've already heard about from your Uncle Harry. But we had some times in the Order, the second time around. I can try my best to tell you about them.
There was this one time we single-handedly rerouted a shipment of dragons' livers from China, destined for Voldemort's poisoned cauldrons. Your dad caught wind of it from Snape, and the Order couldn't decide what to do. So your dad came up with the idea to re-letter all of the signposts along the road between the seller's Apparition points. He ended up in Wales, where we posed as Muggle highwaymen and robed him at gunpoint with two children's water pistols. Good times.
Same old Bill, Teddy thought, stifling a snicker. Couldn't resist telling the tale like it was a high adventure with himself as the star. Teddy rifled through his robe pockets, ignoring the battered copy of V for Vendetta and the newest edition of Jacques Derrida's Dissemination until he found some parchment and a ballpoint pen from the shop. Quills might be more elegant, but they made writing on the go difficult.
What kind of food did my dad like to eat when you were off adventuring? You said he liked to cook-- was he the one who cooked for Order meetings, and what did he like to make? Did you know Sirius well, and what was their relationship like? Uncle Harry has said more than once that he thought it hurt Remus to see his old best mate as damaged as he was after Azkaban.
A week passed, and Teddy pretended he couldn't hear his grandmother lecturing about how well the Weasley children were doing in their studies, and how excellent the Potter children's prospects would be for positions of importance in the Wizarding world. He took to changing his appearance at least once or twice every day, which unnerved her, and made his aunt and uncle stare at him at Sunday dinner. Bill's reply arrived on Teddy's day off, but he'd come by the pub anyway, just in case.
You're not kidding about having questions. There's a misconception that your father was a chocoholic, spread by none other than the great Harry Potter. Your dad used to feed him chocolate during the year he taught at Hogwarts because Harry was especially susceptible to Dementor attacks and the anitoxidants in chocolate help to restore the body's balance after an encounter with them. I expect Harry's told you that story himself. But really, your dad liked spicy food, the hotter the better. He was a curry fanatic, and insisted on getting bad take-out whenever we were on, as you say, an adventure. He didn't have much of a sweet tooth and he never baked. He and my mum fought for dominance in the kitchen at 12 Grimmauld.
Teddy made a face at that. Well, it was half of his questions answered. He sent another letter straight away, and as the winter chill enveloped London and Christmas drew closer, letters flew back and forth between them on the north wind.
- Tell me about my father's taste in books.
- He was a Milton fan. You work in a bookshop, don't you? You inherited the literature bug from him.
- It's a living, but it doesn't pay enough to get me out of my grandmother's house. Which is ironic, considering that if I just listened to her and took a Ministry job, I could afford to get out. Tell me about what kind of music he liked.
- Does she disapprove of your choices as much as she did your mum's? She was pretty relentless about Remus, but Remus didn't care. He said that he hadn't had a family all his life, he didn't need one now that he was married. He wasn't much for music. Your musical tastes come from your mother, who, if I remember rightly, had a Sex Pistols tattoo under her left shoulder blade and a Weird Sisters tattoo above her right knee.
- It's disturbing to think of one's deceased mother with punk tattoos. Meanwhile, my grandmother hates anything to do with my father. I know nothing about him, which is why I sought you out when I found that old Order stuff and I saw a connection between you two. It looked like you and Sirius were the people he favoured most. I asked you once before about Sirius. How were they together? Whenever I picture my father, I picture a loner with a book, not unlike myself.
-I don't know how to say this to you in a letter, but I think your dad and Sirius had been more than friends when they were in school. No one ever talks about it, but there used to be some pictures at Grimmauld, in Sirius' old room, of the two of them, sometimes with James Potter and Peter Pettigrew and sometimes alone. They just always looked at each other with something deeper than friendship. I hope that doesn't come as a shock because I know the Ministry has likely quashed any possible talk of deviancy in their war heroes. When Sirius came back, he was like a teenager still, and your dad had lived with grief and guilt for more than a decade. They weren't the same people and they never reconnected the same way.
He sat at the bar in the Leaky Cauldron, holding the letter numbly in both hands. His dad and Sirius... his dad had been...
Somehow, Teddy wasn't shocked and that was what was shocking him. His dad had married his mum, but Sirius had been his... had Sirius been anything to his dad? And what did that say about Teddy's own brief flirtation with Jake? His grandmother had swooped down on him with a fury and made it more than clear what happened to Blacks who strayed from the straight and narrow-- literally. But fucking hell, Sirius had been a Black, and if what Bill conjectured was true, what did that mean about his whole past, his family history, his present now?
He wanted to ask Harry but he doubted Harry would know. Harry, drunk once several years ago, had let slip to Teddy that his dad had almost abandoned his mum when she was pregnant in order to help Harry defeat Voldemort. Harry had tried to dress it up like it was a heroic act but Teddy had read between the lines and seen a terrified father-to-be leaping at any escape route with even a shred of nobility attached to it.
He didn't want to ask Harry. But who else would know? No one living, except, perhaps, Nana herself. The thought struck Teddy: what if she'd known? What if that, more than prejudice against half-humans or a belief that Remus was too old, had influenced Andromeda Tonks' negative opinion? What if she'd known about Remus and her nephew, and that was why she disapproved of Remus and her daughter?
Teddy's pen flew across the parchment, returning the missive immediately:
Do you have proof? Do you know that my dad was what you say he was? Did others know? And does that mean my mum was a mistake? Harry told me something that made me wonder once. Is that what you two fought about? I found the letter you wrote to him, apologizing for something.
What the hell happened, Bill?
The reply came only three days later, which was good because Teddy had barely slept since the revelation. His dreams had been plagued with shadowy figures, with muscular limbs and flat stomachs, of teeth against his throat and long hair running through his fingers. Just the possibility that his father had had those leanings negated everything that Teddy's Nana had said about upholding the moral integrity of Wizarding Kind.
Last night, he'd dreamed that he was in Fleur Delacoeur's gardens, his back against a large oak tree. He could feel the bark scraping his shoulder blades. He hadn't been able to open his eyes in the dream, and then he'd realised he was blindfolded. Someone's tongue thrust into his mouth, leaving no room for argument. Large, strong hands pinned his shoulders to the tree, and a hard, sinewy body covered his own. He'd awakened this morning pale and sweating, harder than he'd been in months and confused. That was no replay of his frantic tumbles with Victoire. It was something else entirely.
And anyway, Vicky had been ignoring him for so long that he wasn't sure if she was even in England. Shaking his head, he slouched into the pub, where he was hailed by Seamus.
"Mate, this came in through the Floo Network for you this morning. Looks important." Seamus held up a paper tied with twine. Bill's writing curled across the front, along with a "Do Not Bend" and an "Urgent."
"Thanks," Teddy muttered, tearing into the package. Inside was a letter and a photograph. Teddy slid his glasses over the bridge of his nose and devoured the contents with his eyes: Teddy's father and his mother in a portrait of what had to be their wedding day. He'd never seen this image before. He didn't think any other evidence of the marriage existed anymore. Tonks was dressed in knee-high ivory stiletto boots and a mini-dress in white. Her hair cascaded down her back, morphing through a psychedelic array of colours every few seconds. She was beaming, her expression absolutely radiant.
Teddy touched his nose thoughtfully. It was exactly the same shape as his mother's. At this point, he didn't know if they naturally shared a nose, or if he'd become accustomed to keeping his nose looking just like hers in her photographs.
His eyes wandered to his father's older, more weathered visage. He knew his mum had been younger than his dad. Harry had told him the story of how they'd finally become a couple, the night that Professor Dumbledore had been murdered. He knew the "I'm too old" speech by heart, though he'd admit it to no one. The Remus in this picture looked battered by life. Teddy hadn't realised that his father had scars across his face, or that his hair would be so grey on his wedding day. He looked almost ill, but content-- a strange word, Teddy, thought, considering your wedding was supposed to be the happiest day of your life. Had his father really wanted to marry Tonks, or was his heart elsewhere, laying dead and untouchable in Sirius Black's empty grave?
His father waved gamely up at him from the photograph, but Teddy didn't wave back. Instead, he studied his father's eyes for a few moments, and then, with a centring breath in, he concentrated on his own features, imagining that his skin and muscle and bone were no more than malleable clay, suggestible to the touch of his mind. He pictured first the way a claw would rake through skin, leaving furrows in its wake, and the way the skin would try to heal itself over time, raised, off-colour, mismatched with the rest of his face. Then he pictured his eyes, which had started the day out a startling indigo. He imagined them shifting, brightening. It wasn't too hard a look to maintain, and he knew it would piss his Nana off just enough.
He cast his eyes over Bill's now-familiar scrawl.
I'm guessing you've never seen this, if your Nana did away with anything Remus-related. This is your parents' wedding day. I have no doubt that they loved each other very much. Your dad was worried about what the world say about their union, but your mum didn't care.
I don't know if your dad and Sirius were ever lovers, or if your dad just wanted more than Sirius could give him. I know that he was open to such things, and that he was one of the best men I ever knew. He loved your mum, and he loved you.
He looked up at Seamus, who was inconspicuously polishing the bar a few feet away. "This came through the Floo Network?"
Seamus nodded. "Yep. Just about ten minutes before yeh got here."
"Can I use your fireplace?" He was already on his feet, pocketing his glasses and heading toward the big hearth at the back of the pub.
"Powder's in the ceramic hipogriff," Seamus answered. Teddy didn't see him smile.
When the whirling sensation deposited him in the hearth in Bill's Dhulikhel headquarters, something blocked his way forward. He swiped at the soot cloud obscuring his vision. The green flames from the Floo powder were subsiding, to be replaced by normal orange-- and scorchingly hot-- fire. Teddy shoved the wrought-iron grate but it wouldn't budge. He was stuck, and the flames were licking his heavy leather boots.
"Oi!" he shouted, trying to stamp out the fire around him. "Oi, who left the grate on!" The fire seemed to dance around him, flaring higher in spite of his efforts. The hem of his robe flickered and caught fire. He kicked at the grate, which seemed welded to the hearth.
"Help!" he called. It was deadly silent around him. Where the hell was everyone? Fumbling for his wand, he aimed a steady blast of Diffindo at the wrought iron, and with a wrenching explosion, the thing skyrocketed across the room and landed against the far wall with a crash. Teddy rolled out, shooting Aguamenti at himself to douse the flames.
Seconds later, the door burst open and a tall, angry man marched in, flanked by two goblins. "Who the hell is making all that racket!" Bill Weasley bellowed.
Starting to push himself to his feet, Teddy found himself hauled off the floor by Bill's fists on his collar. "Hey!" Teddy said, trying to twist away. Bill held on.
"You don't coming barging uninvited into a camp like this!" Bill shouted. "You've ruined everything and you could have gotten us all killed!"
"You could have got me killed, blocking an active Floo-connected fireplace!" Teddy retorted, wrapping his hands around Bill's wrists. "Let me go!"
"Nookwink, Crickshift, go oversee the site. I'll be with you in a minute," Bill barked, and the goblins, muttering to each other and giving Teddy evil looks, obliged. Bill loosened his grip on Teddy's robes. "Do you have any idea what your shouting and your spells have done?"
Teddy swiped at his face, which was covered in soot and ash. "You should have put up a temporary magical block on the damned hearth if it was such a big deal. Anyone could have come through there!"
"No magic could be used, I just told you that." Growling, Bill found an old rag in a desk drawer and tossed it to Teddy. "We've been trying to coax a Chinese Fireball out of her cave for the last month, and she's magic-shy. We nearly had her, and with your little magical outbursts, she's gone further back than she started out! Not to mention the fire she sprayed at us before she retreated."
"You're sitting on a live dragon's den and you're mad at me? You're out of your tree, mate," Teddy said, wiping his face clean.
"I wasn't expecting any children in the camp today," Bill shot back. "I-- what happened to you?"
"I was nearly burnt alive and then thrown across a room by a crazy treasure-hunter," Teddy said, wiping his hands next.
"Not that," Bill snapped impatiently. "Those scars, and your eyes. Are you doing it on purpose?"
"Doing what?" Teddy asked, playing dumb.
"You look so much like him."
"Who, my father?"
"Your father." Bill stepped forward, long, freckled fingers reaching out unconsciously. Teddy flinched but held his ground. "You look just like him like that. Your eyes. I used to think his eyes looked like the sky." Bill's fingertips made contact with Teddy's cheek, tracing the scar tissue Teddy had morphed there.
Teddy's eyes narrowed. "I wanted to ask you about the wedding portrait," he said, knocking Bill's hand away. "But now I'm wondering just what you knew about my dad and the way he felt toward other men." Bill's touch had unsettled him, its gentle curiosity sending a strange thrill to the pit of his stomach. "I've never heard a bloke talk about another bloke's eyes like that before, if you know what I'm saying."
He felt the whiz of disturbed air before he actually saw the fist raising to connect with the cheek that Bill had stroked just a second earlier. Teddy bobbed out of the way and threw a punch of his own. Bill caught his wrist and shoved him against the wall. The older man was stronger than he should have been, and it dazed Teddy for a moment.
The moment was all Bill needed to descend, trapping Teddy's body against the wall with his own. Teddy felt a dizzying sense of deja vu, and then Bill's lips were on his. Demanding, not asking. Teddy gasped as teeth bit hard on his lower lip, as long, strong fingers tangled in his hair. He tasted soot as his mouth opened, and Bill's tongue thrust forward, curling against his own.
It was over before it had really begun, Bill retreating to the other side of the room. "Go home," he said, breathing heavily. "Fucking hell. Go home right now. I've told you everything you want to know."
Teddy's body was pulled as tight as a harpstring, still vibrating from the collision with Bill. Numbly he walked to the fireplace and tossed some Floo powder in. He didn't look at Bill as he stepped inside.
Every sound made him jump that day, every dropped book or tinkle of the copper bell above the door. He was useless at sorting the battered books and scratched CDs that had been swapped by patrons for other titles, and he couldn't managed to alphabetize the second-hand vinyl records (still popular, even with all of the other music-listening gadgets Muggles kept coming up with). He was shaken, so much so that he couldn't maintain his morphed features and his hair colour.
Bill. Father of Victoire, whom Teddy dated and fucked and maybe loved, sometimes. War hero, almost thirty years Teddy's senior. Supposedly straight, just like Teddy. And imbued with werewolf-like tendencies. That was the unfair part. Teddy should have had a legacy like that, some small part of his father that he could identify with in himself. The ability to smell blood, or more chest hair, or the ability to howl at the moon. Bill was the one who felt like he had a wolf inside, and Bill was the one who had known Remus Lupin. And Teddy had nothing but an old wedding portrait and vague stories of Remus' heroics.
But what had Remus been to Bill, and where did that leave Teddy?
When his day was finally over-- and for once, Mrs Jenkins was happy to see him leave-- he headed home to sort through the letters Bill had sent Remus all those years ago. Without his father's replies, it would be difficult for Teddy to piece together the truth, but at least it was a start. Perhaps it would explain the hunger in Bill's eyes, or the shocking, irrepressible need he'd felt between them the moment Bill's lips had made contact with his own.
His Nana was out for the evening, thank goodness. If this were any other day, he would likely fire-call Victoire and ask her over, but Victoire was the furthest thing from his mind. He went straight to his room, which was nearly as large as a master bedroom. The walls weren't visible behind huge mahogany bookshelves, which Teddy had transfigured for himself in his third year, using the bookcases in Andromeda's library as a model. Two thirds of the room was devoted to books of every subject imaginable, from Muggle philosophy to veterinary science to Magical history to a huge range of fiction from both worlds. Piles of books were stacked against the bookcases as well, waiting for their turn to be shelved.
Teddy sat down amongst the piles and reached behind the books on the bottom shelf beside him, the French literature section. His fingers alighted on a large manila envelope, which he'd taken from the shop. Inside were all of the correspondence he'd found. He shook everything out onto the floor and sorted through the "WA" letters.
I'm sorry. Fuck, I don't know what came over me. I'm really, really sorry. I don't know what to say-- is it the moon? Please don't tell anyone. God, what can I do to make it right?
What had Bill done? The letter was dated March 1998. Teddy had been born in April that year. Only months later, Teddy's mother and father were destined to die. And no more letters had come. A thought struck him, the look on Bill's face when he and Teddy had first realised that Andromeda had been intercepting the letters. "You're just like your father," Bill had said. "He never answered important letters either."
At work the next day, Teddy photocopied the letter and scribbled on the bottom, "Bill, what the hell happened?" He tucked it inside a fourth-hand first edition book and on his lunch break sent it through Seamus' Floo. He wasn't sure what he was trying to accomplish, beyond getting some sort of response. And he didn't have long to wait. Only a few hours later, as Mrs Jenkins was getting ready to close up shop for the evening, the copper bell tinkled and a tall man with silver streaks in his red hair stalked in. Teddy, at the front desk, nearly dropped a pile of used CDs on the floor.
Even if he didn't know Bill Weasley, if he didn't now know the story behind his scars, he would have thought that a wolf had entered the store. His hackles raised as he watched Bill's powerful, confident stance over the rims of his glasses, studied the feral, hunting look in Bill's dark eyes, the crinkled concentration written in his eyebrows. Bill was wearing knee-length shorts and a tight, sleeveless t-shirt. Teddy could actually see the sinew, the muscle, rippling along Bill's arms and calves. He wondered if he'd notice such things if yesterday morning hadn't happened. He wondered if he'd always noticed, but hadn't let himself think about it.
"Mr Weasley," he said casually, stacking the CDs next to the cash register. He could hear Mrs Jenkins bustling around on the second floor. "I can't say I was expecting to see you here. May I help you with something?"
Bill held up the book clenched in his right hand. "I believe I ordered the wrong book."
"Le Fantome de L'Opera," Teddy said, feigning puzzlement. "Are you not a Gaston Leroux fan, sir?"
Bill slammed the book down on the counter. "What the hell did you mean by this?"
"Oh, you know. Crazy, disfigured, older gentleman stays away from the public at large, yet stalks a younger person with whom he has an inexplicable obsession. It seemed apt."
Bill's wand was out only a millisecond before Teddy's, the tip pressing against Teddy's throat. Teddy's wand stayed in his hand, useless for now. "That's a lie. I'm trying to help you."
"You're in Muggle London. You might want to put that thing away," Teddy said, achieving a calmness of tone that did not match the shiver that ran through his whole body. Bill's eyes were flashing, his jaw clenched. Teddy couldn't turn away. He felt like he was looking into the eyes of a basilisk, a staring contest that was as mesmerizing and almost certainly as dangerous.
"What have I done but try to help you?" Bill rasped, lowering the wand a fraction. "Why are you tormenting me like this?"
"Everything all right down there, Ducks?"
Bill and Teddy both flinched as the kindly voice of Mrs Jenkins slammed into their stand-off. Bill dropped his wand farther, and Teddy reciprocated by pocketing his own. "Fine, thank you. Just discussing old French authors with a customer," he called back.
"All right, Theo, dear. Why don't you head home once you're done. It's been very quiet today."
Teddy and Bill hadn't torn their eyes from each other. With a steadying breath, Teddy reshaped his face, regaining the Remus-colouring and scars he'd worn the day before. He was rewarded by Bill's gaze flicking away.
"Why are you doing this to me?" Bill said again, and no hint of his bravado remained.
"I just want to know who my father was," Teddy whispered. "You knew. You know."
He was already leaning forward even as Bill's hands cupped Teddy's face, coaxing him closer. Their lips met on a gasp for air, as though this kiss was oxygen, was more important than oxygen. They strained over the counter toward each other, lips opening, Bill's tongue sliding into Teddy's mouth and meeting its mate. Their tongues entangled, Teddy tasting salt and something darker, more desperate underneath. He wanted more, he could feel the darkness flooding through him, finding something answering inside him that he didn't recognize.
He broke away with a groan. "Can't stay here," he said, eyes wide and wild. Bill was dishevelled, mouth half-open and lips glistening with Teddy's saliva. "The Leaky-- we can go to the Leaky."
Bill grabbed Teddy's wrist, tight enough to bruise, and with his wand in his other hand once more he Side-Along Apparated them right out of the shop. Teddy's shout of protest was lost in the nameless void of Apparition and before he could regain his bearings he found himself stumbling, Bill's body bearing down on him. The back of his knees hitting something and he began to topple backwards but Bill caught him, powerful arms wrapping around his waist and pulling him close. Teddy's eyes fluttered closed behind his lenses, his mouth finding Bill's again in a move so instinctive he wondered for a crazy moment if he'd been kissing Bill Weasley all his life.
Hands were in his hair, nails raked his neck, teeth nipped at Teddy's lips. Bill's fingertips traced Teddy's morphed scars, threw his glasses aside and smoothed over his eyelids, memorized the contours of his lips. And all the while, a hard, solid body blanketed his, constantly moving and rubbing against him. Teddy wanted to cry out but Bill's mouth blocked any sound, swallowing Teddy's desire, consuming him utterly. Nothing compared to this, nothing in his whole existence had ever inflamed him like this. Bill flooded his senses even as his body overwhelmed Teddy's defences. Teddy's mouth opened under his, sucking Bill's tongue in, biting back, harder.
Escalation. Bill's hands tearing at Teddy's robes, their hips pressing together, fitting together like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Teddy was barely aware of what was happening, too many impulses and sensations overcrowding his mind at once. All he knew was that he couldn't break this embrace if he wanted to, and he didn't want to. He'd been waiting for this without knowing it for years.
Bill's hands were at Teddy's fly, not fumbling. He'd done this before, of that much Teddy was sure. Teddy's head fell back, exposing his throat as a groan rumbled out of him. The crush of Bill's hands against his cock was excruciating. He wanted more, wanted it now. Bill delivered, practically ripping Teddy's trousers off his body in an effort to get him unclad. Teddy helped, twisting his slim hips, letting the rough fabric of his jeans torque down his legs.
And then Teddy was being torqued himself, spun around and bent forward. He was against a desk, as solid and unyielding as Bill's body behind him. His elbows hit the flat surface of the desk, bracing himself, and before he could think or gasp for breath, he felt warmth pressing against him, flooding through him.
Bill spoke for the first time. "Have you--" His voice was ragged with need and desperation. "I should--"
"Just... Lubricatum," Teddy growled with impatience. "There, just do it." He undulated his torso against Bill. "Do it."
Biting back an oath, Bill's restraint wore thin and all at once Teddy felt the head of the older man's cock against him, thrusting. Entering. Teddy gritted his teeth, his fingers splayed on the desk and unable to find an adequate grip. He squared his shoulders and breathed hard, pushing backward with as much force as Bill's forward momentum. He could hear Bill behind him, panting. Bill's hands curled around Teddy's hips, snapping him hard against his body.
"Oh God," Teddy gasped. He'd used magic to lubricate himself, and the spell had a minor relaxing effect on his inner muscles but he also hadn't done this since Hogwarts and Jake. He felt like his entire body was spasming, clenching down around the intrusion even as Bill began to move. Perspiration broke out across Teddy's forehead and the back of his neck. The surprising ache inside was turning inside out, though, inverting itself and coming back around as something different. Something better... oh, better. Bill's rhythm was sharp and punishing, and with each renewed stroke Teddy found himself thrusting back, demanding more. The pleasure... it was almost too much to be called pleasure, too charged with emotion. Too big for just pleasure.
Bill ran his left hand through Teddy's hair, and then abruptly made a fist and pulled him upright. Teddy's back hit Bill's chest, changing Bill's angle and at last Teddy did cry out. He writhed against the older man. Bill laughed, and ran his tongue over the nape of Teddy's neck.
"Do you like that?" Bill whispered in his ear, scraping his nails over Teddy's still clothed pectorals. "Is this what you wanted?"
"What kind of twat starts talking in the middle of this?" Teddy growled, even as a jolt of pleasure shuddered through him. "Just do it."
Bill whispered something, sinuous-sounding words that Teddy had never heard before, and he felt something wispy and warm wrapping around his cock. He tried to look down but Bill yanked his head back again.
"I want you to come for me," Bill hissed. "I've been waiting for this. I want to watch you scream."
"I don't scre--eam." Teddy's word broke in two as the misty something tightened around him and began to turn and stroke him. "Oh. Oh, I won't, I--" The thing cupped his bollocks at the same time it caressed the head of his cock. Bill renewed his onslaught, his thrusts in time to the twisting, turning, tingling whatever-it-was and Teddy bit down on his lip as his orgasm wrenched through him. He fell forward, the aftershocks of it pulsing through his bloodstream even as he felt Bill empty himself inside Teddy.
They stayed still for a heartbeat, and then Bill withdrew. Teddy could feel sticky warmth leaking out of himself, and in his mouth he could taste blood where he'd bit his lip too hard. They stared at each other.
"I can help you clean up," Bill said, his tone for the first time uncertain.
"Evanesco," Teddy said with a careless wand-wave at himself. He felt instantly cleaner, if still sweaty, still aching perfectly. "What the hell was that, old man?"
"Old man?" Bill paused in the middle of doing up his trousers. "I don't know what that was, boy."
"Was it me, or was it this?" Teddy waved his hand at his face, which so resembled Remus' on his wedding day. "Is that what you apologized to him for? Am I the second Lupin you've bagged for yourself?"
This time he didn't duck the strike aimed at him. Bill backhanded him but Teddy's feet stayed firmly planted. He reeled backward but quickly regained his equilibrium, his cheek throbbing. "That all you've got?" he asked, his tone lewd and suggesting that he meant more than just the blow.
"Your dad was an awful lot like you," Bill said, softly but with iron underlying it. "He asked questions but he didn't always want to hear the answers. He spent his life skulking in society's shadows, being less than he could have been, until the end. He didn't have a choice in that."
Teddy slid his robe back over his shoulders. "Too bad for him."
"Funny how the mandrake root doesn't fall far from its leaf." Bill twitched his wand and was gone.
Teddy stared at the empty air where the older man had been. Stared as sunlight stretched the shadows through the unknown windows, waning until it left Teddy in darkness. He didn't know where he was or what the hell had happened. And he had to get home. He didn't bother exploring. Instead, he focused on his bedroom and Disapparated from this unknown office.
A month passed. A month without letters, without books, without photographs. Victoire started paying attention to Teddy again, and Teddy didn't once ask about her father. She was turned on by the scars he'd been wearing all month, and she liked to be seen with Teddy on her arm.
He went through the motions with her, and it was pleasant enough. She could do incredible things with her mouth when she kissed him, and when she trailed kisses down his chest, across his hips, and down farther still. But every time her perfectly pouting mouth touched his shaft, he couldn't help but imagine that odd spell that Bill had performed, the mist that had enveloped Teddy's cock even as Victoire's father buried himself deep inside Teddy's body.
It was driving him mad. Everything felt wrong. Off. As though he were enacting a part in a play, rather than living his life. Each fight with his Nana about where he was going and what his potential was rang empty. Every kiss, every fuck with Victoire left him wanting. Even days at the bookshop, which had always fully occupied his attention the past, seemed pointless. He hadn't been the same since the encounter with Bill Weasley.
The problem was, he didn't know what to make of it. He didn't know if he'd been used by Bill, or if Bill had had an affair with Remus, or if Bill had a thing for Teddy himself. None of it made sense, and at the end of the day, he still thirsted for more knowledge about what had happened during the war. How many other secrets had been kept by the Ministry? How many other kids didn't know how Bill Weasley got his scars, or which other heroes had fallen, unnamed and unaccounted for? How many other kids had been told that it wasn't all right to feel what Teddy had felt for Jake Thomas?
Teddy wasn't sure if he knew his father any better than before he'd contacted Bill Weasley. He knew details, to be sure. He knew that his father had loved Sirius Black, and had maybe been with Bill also. He knew that he and his father liked the same books but that they would have disagreed loudly about music. He knew his father's eye colour, and the origins of his lycanthropy. And he knew, from Bill's last words, that his father had wanted more out of life than life had been willing to give him.
Maybe that was why he'd married Nymphadora Tonks. Maybe he'd thought it would bring him respectability, when nothing else had. Maybe he'd truly loved her. Teddy didn't know, and wasn't sure if he'd ever find out.
And what of Bill Weasley? The man was a legend who was never in England long enough for the Ministry to give him another tiresome medal. He'd divorced his wife and left his child and the rest of his extended family behind to move to a content as far away as it was possible to get while still staying on the same globe, and clearly he still harboured.... something about what had happened two decades ago during the war.
Teddy didn't know what to make of it, and he hadn't been able to sleep since their liaison had occurred. The bits of dream he could catch in his fevered tossing and turning were all highlights and replays of Bill, of the older man's teeth on Teddy's earlobe and his hands on Teddy's arse, dragging him closer. Three more weeks of sleepless nights and waking self-torture and self-doubt passed before Teddy finally came to a decision, spurred on by Mrs Jenkins, his employer at the Muggle bookshop.
"Do you think you might want to apply to university, lad?" she asked one day.
Teddy glanced up at the non sequitur. The old bird had been talking about inventory all morning. "Where did that come from?"
"Yer not yerself, is all." The old woman shrugged, the movement sending her musty old shawl skidding down her shoulders. "Yer bored. And I didn't think I could keep ye here forever. Young man like you needs to get out in the world, make something of hi'self."
Teddy frowned at her. "That's what my grandmother keeps saying."
"Yer grandmother talks sense. Bring these skin magazines up to the second floor."
The old woman was right. He was bored with a life that he hadn't known had fallen into a rut until Bill Weasley had shaken him out of it. And the truth was, he didn't want to end up like his father, middle-aged and looking back at wasted decades. So, after a week more of mulling, as the snow flew and Christmas barrelled down on him, he plotted.
Christmas eve was no different than previous years. They were all rounded up and sequestered at the Burrow, whether they wanted to be or not. Anyone who had even a passing familial connection to the Weasley clan was there, including all the kids off at Hogwarts. Even for the Burrow, it was a crowded place. Teddy spent his time in the attic for the most part, away from the noise and the prying smiles and the helpful suggestions that he should get a job and a decent place in the Wizarding world, and make an honest woman of Victoire at last.
He'd been there two days when his prey arrived. Teddy had never really thought of himself in terms of a wolf before, but when Bill Weasley stepped through the door, his white-streaked hair made whiter by soft snow resting on fiery strands, he knew that the hunt was on. Aunt Molly, bent with arthritis but as active as she ever was, bustled him into the kitchen for a hot toddy and a nice bit of banana bread before dinner. Teddy disappeared back up to the attic before Bill saw him and set his plan in motion.
He waited for less than an hour before he heard a heavy tread on the stairs. With a flick of his wand, Teddy dimmed the lights and applied a modified version of Severus Snape's Muffliato incantation, effectively making the attic sound-proof.
The moment Bill entered the attic, the door swung shut behind him and sealed itself with a squelching Colloportus spell. Bill blinked in the darkness, his wolf-like eyes quickly adjusting to the lack of light. Teddy waited until recognition blossomed on Bill's face, and then he flicked his wand again. Ropes slithered out from the insulation and lashed themselves around Bill's wrists, pulling him tight against the door.
"What the hell is going on here?" Bill rasped, arching away from his bonds. They held firm. "Teddy, what the fuck is going on?"
"I've been doing some thinking," Teddy said, approaching with slow, measured steps. "And I want you to tell me a few things. Then I'll let you go."
"What is this, kidnapping or extortion?"
Teddy's eyes followed the ripple of shoulder muscle as Bill strained against the ropes. He smirked his most confident smirk, though he was less certain of himself than he let on. "Just answer some questions, Mr Weasley." He leaned forward and inhaled Bill's scent, almost nuzzling him with his Remus-shaped nose. Bill smelled masculine, like sawdust and clean sweat. It conjured memories of Bill's tongue on Teddy's sweaty neck, and it went straight to Teddy's groin. He mimicked Bill's actions from their last encounter, leaning farther forward and pressing a kiss that was more of a bite against the pulse-point in Bill's neck. He could feel Bill's heartbeat snapping like a snare drum beneath his lips.
Bill turned and caught Teddy's lower lip between his teeth. Their gazes caught, cohering and holding fast. Neither looked away, even as their lips met properly in a searing kiss. Neither blinked as they tried to ensnare one another's tongues.
"Do you want this?" Teddy asked mockingly, repeating Bill's earlier words. "Is this what you want?" He ran a hand through Bill's hair, untangling it from its leather tong and letting it cascade past his shoulders. He threaded his fingers through the river of auburn strands, and then dragged Bill's head forward for another hard kiss.
"First," Teddy whispered, catching Bill's earlobe between his teeth for a second, "I want to know what you and my father were to each other."
"Do you really want to know?" Bill's voice was ice, his body rigid.
Teddy licked Bill's jaw bone. "Yes."
"I was in love with him."
The words were a sucker punch against Teddy's gut, and he stumbled backward. "Are you serious?"
"I almost didn't marry Fleur because of it," Bill hissed, resigned but angry. Teddy's saliva still glistened on his jaw. "Had Remus shown me any interest, I wouldn't have. But your dad was lost in memories of Sirius Black, and there was nothing I could do to break the spell. Even after the werewolf attack, I wasn't enough to attract his attention. I was just a shadow to him."
" So what was that apology letter for?" Teddy stood firm, though he could feel all the colour draining from his face. It was almost enough to make him lose his morphed looks, but he held them steady, remaining a mirror image of a younger Remus Lupin.
Bill looked him over slowly, eyes following the tall, slim build, and flicked across Teddy's assumed scars. "Because I went to congratulate him on the birth of you and I ended up making a pass at him instead. He never spoke to me again, and neither did Tonks."
"How did my mum know?"
"She walked in on us as I tried to crawl on top of your dad." Bill shook his head, his eyes and the twist of his mouth haunted, grief-stricken. "I wasn't used to the pull of the moon yet. I couldn't control my actions the way your father could." He spat on the floor at Teddy's feet. "Am I free to go now, or are you going to keep my locked in my own childhood bedroom?"
"So that's all I was to you after all," Teddy said, turning away. The room seemed to be closing in on him, floorboards folding up on themselves and walls constricting around him. "The fuck you never had with Remus Lupin."
Bill surged against the ropes. "How dare you? How dare you! I got over that crush a long time ago, mate!"
"Oh did you? Then why was it only after I did this to myself," Teddy waved his hand at his face, "that you felt the need to jump me? What the hell was what happened over that desk? Either you were on a nostalgia trip or you wanted to sample the goods and make sure your daughter was getting the best."
He really thought Bill was going to rip through his bonds this time. The man shot forward, twisting and tearing at the ropes and giving himself nothing but strained muscles and burned skin for his efforts. Teddy watched his Adam's apple working viciously as he sucked in air, his eyes darting wildly around the room.
"It was neither!" he shouted.
"What was that?" Teddy's own anger was binding around his throat, leaving an ugly taste in his mouth.
"It was neither-- I don't know what it was, but it was about you and no one else." Bill growled, a sound so low that at first Teddy thought he'd imagined it. "Let me see you, Teddy."
Now it was Teddy's turn to be thrown off-balance. "Excuse me?"
"Let me see you. Not some pale imitation of a man you never knew." Bill gritted his teeth. "I want to see who you are underneath it all. You owe me that, at least."
Teddy disagreed about owing Bill anything, but his defences were down and it was harder to maintain a morph in a state of emotional upheaval. Lost, drowning in questions, and with nothing left to lose Teddy let go of his liquid musculature and let it melt back and reform itself at will. He wasn't entirely sure what he looked like, but Bill's breath caught.
"There you are."
"That is what our last encounter was about," Bill said. "The man I've become friends with over a season. The man in front of me."
Teddy felt like he was going to cry, something he hadn't experienced since he was thirteen years old and Libertine Portnoy had called him a parentless half-breed. "I don't know him," Teddy said brokenly. "Why do you know every Lupin better than I do?" With a flick of his wand, he released the bonds. Bill's arms fell to his sides and he immediately brought his own wand up to soothe away the rope burns.
"Just go," Teddy said, retreating to the large, round window across the room. The Burrow's attic was so similar to the attic where this whole ridiculous charade started and all Teddy wanted to do was retreat back to his own attic or his own bedroom. Just anywhere but here.
The hands on his shoulders were totally unexpected, and the lips on the side of his neck even more-so. "What are you--"
"Just shut up," Bill said, turning him around. He brushed his lips against Teddy's. "Shut up."
Four months later....
This time when the ropes encircled Bill's wrists, his feral grin betrayed his willingness to be there.
"Love what you've done with the place, Teddy," he said, a shiver coiling through him as his shirt disappeared. Teddy, wand in hand, circled around him. He wasn't used to Bill showing up at random, at least not yet. He wasn't sure exactly what the hell they were doing. He hadn't even fully broken it off with Victoire yet, though she was doing a good job of ignoring him right now anyway.
"Funny what adding a full-time Ministry salary to a part-time book clerk's wages can do for a person's standard of living," Teddy said. His glasses were perched on his nose, a copy of The Tao of Pooh tucked under his arm. "My Nana, you can imagine, is so thrilled with me that it's almost worth quitting the Ministry gig and losing my new flat."
"Ah, teenage rebellion," Bill said, snarky smirk showing off his gleaming incisors. "Is there nothing better? But surely no self-respecting Royal Wizarding Museum Archivist would consider quitting to spite his grandmother's pride?"
"I'm not exactly a teenager," Teddy pointed out, running the tip of his wand over Bill's exposed chest. He circled Bill's nipple and shot off a couple of innocent sparks that made the older man gasp with surprised pleasure. "I seem to recall you referring to me as a man once or twice before."
"That was when I was still stationed in Nepal and I didn't have to suffer the consequences of such brazen statements." Bill leaned forward, trying to coax Teddy into a kiss and failing. Teddy ran his wand lower, sliding it teasingly in and out of Bill's navel a few times.
"As opposed to living in Spain now and trying to pretend that that means you've rejoined English Wizarding society? Not to mention giving job references to irascible young malcontents." He set his book aside and regarded Bill with a truly evil expression.
"Would you shut the fuck up and snog me, boy?"
Teddy was never inclined to do as he was told, and instead he dropped fluidly to his knees and caught Bill's zip with his teeth. Bill sucked in a strangled breath as Teddy drew the zip downward and nosed the fly open. It wasn't surprising to see that Bill wore nothing underneath the dragon-hide trousers. He was half-aroused, and Teddy spent a few seconds letting his breath ghost across Bill's cock, watching it bob and stand more fully at attention.
"s'more like it," Teddy said. He leaned forward, looking up at Bill through his glasses, and danced the tip of his tongue along the side of Bill's shaft. Bill's eyes half-closed, his head falling back against the door. With his arms tied above his head, the position put his muscular frame on display. Teddy did his best not to be distracted by the sight, and let the tip of Bill's cock slide over his lips. It left a salty trail against his skin, and he licked it away, his tongue flicking against Bill's cock as well.
Bill groaned, a half-word that might have been "more" or might just have been a growl. This time Teddy did follow the suggestion, taking the head into his mouth as his left hand came up to cup Bill's bollocks.
He pulled back just long enough to ask, "Is this what you want?"-- their own private joke now-- before sucking Bill into his mouth, taking him in as fully as possible. He released him again a second later. "You're going to have to do some of the work, Mr Weasley. I realise you're exceedingly old, but--"
Bill thrust forward, shutting him up. His eyes watered even as he hollowed his cheeks and fought to keep from grinning. He kneaded Bill's bollocks, keeping his head still and encouraging Bill to set the rhythm, urging him with hums of pleasure to fuck Teddy's mouth. He curled his tongue around the base of Bill's shaft, adding to the tight, wet heat. He breathed in Bill's scent, let it fill his nostrils, and then broke away and rose to his feet.
"Damn you!" Bill said, twisting against his bonds. "I was about to--"
"Come all over my glasses? Why do you think I stopped?" Teddy asked, unbuttoning his shirt and letting it fall to the floor. "I'm not in the mood to top tonight, so you're going to have to do it. I know what a bother that is for you, but do try to put some oomph into it."
He caught sight of himself in the mirror over the sideboard just before he disappeared through the bedroom door. His hair was bright green, but his face was his own. "So if you ever manage to break free of those ropes, you can meet me in here."
No, Teddy didn't know what it was that he and Bill were doing. He didn't think this was a relationship, and he certainly wasn't about to announce the liaison over dinner at the Burrow. But that didn't mean the sex wasn't fantastic. The sex and the connection to... something deeper.
Behind him, he heard the ropes breaking. Superhuman strength was an interesting characteristic in a lover. He hadn't even made it to his bed before Bill was behind him, beside him, and tumbling onto the mattress with him.
Yes. For now, this was enough.