Author's Notes:Written for the 2010 hp_nextgen_fest. This version has been edited to remove blatant NC-17 content. It still contains sexual acts, so please heed the warnings below. The original version can, as always, be found on my livejournal. Thanks to my betas, gryffindor_j and inksheddings, and to mindabbles for her advice. Title is courtesy of Tom Petty.
Pairings: Teddy/James, Charlie/Teddy, Charlie/James/Teddy, slight Charlie/James. (Past Teddy/Victoire.
Warnings: Underage, Cross-gen. (Age disparity: J-17/T-24/C-51) Kinkwise, this story includes non-graphic rimming, figging, spanking, voyeurism, and dirty talk, as well as general male/male sex acts (oral, frotting, etc.)
Most of the story itself is rated PG-13, but there are two particular scenes with sexual content as described above. (Chapters 3 and 4) Read, don't read; scroll, don't scroll. It's up to you.
Some Days Are Diamonds (Some Days Are Rocks)
Chapter One (Chapter rating: PG-13)
"Longest...sorting...ever," Hugo said, banging his head against his empty plate at each word.
"Shh!" Rose hissed. "Roxie's almost up."
Privately, James agreed with Hugo; there had to have been at least seventy-five new firsties this year. "This keeps up, they're gonna need to start a new house. Doesn't anyone use birth control potions anymore?" he whispered to his friend Myles.
"That's rich, coming from a Weasley," Myles whispered back.
"Only half," James said absently.
"Roxanne Weasley," Professor Longbottom called, winking at the young girl as she strode nervously to the stool, her long, dark braids swinging.
"Not another Weasley," someone groaned, and a wave of hushed laughter erupted amongst the students.
"See?" Myles said, grinning.
James nudged him. "Five Galleons she goes for Gryffindor."
"How big a fool do you take me for?" Myles asked, elbowing James in the ribs, just as the Hat called out:
The Gryffindor table stood and cheered as Roxanne grinned, looking pleased and embarrassed. She handed the hat back to Professor Longbottom and made her way to the table.
"Oi, Roxie! Over here!" Fred shouted. "Budge up a bit, Mac," he said to his friend, making room for his sister between himself and Hugo. "Knew you'd make it," he said as she climbed onto the bench, and reached out to tug on her braids.
James gave her a thumbs-up, chuckling as she smacked her brother's hand away. The last two first years were sorted, Slytherin and Hufflepuff respectively, and the cheering and chatter levelled off to a low buzz. James turned his attention to the High Table as Professor Longbottom sat down beside Teddy.
Headmistress McGonagall stood, clearing her throat for silence, and began her yearly start-of-term speech, but James wasn't listening. His attention was riveted on Teddy, who looked rather dashing, if he did say so himself, in his navy blue robes.
Teddy had come to Hogwarts to each Ancient Runes during the previous spring term, after Professor Embusto suffered an unfortunate accident. According to the Prophet, while he'd been off consulting in South America on a newly discovered Incan tomb, he'd mistranslated—and subsequently mispronounced—a series of runes, and was now a permanent resident of the Janus Thickey Ward at St. Mungo's. Teddy had left his rather lucrative position at Gringotts to take up the appointment, and had chosen to stay on, much to the surprise of everyone.
James and Teddy had always been close; Teddy had been much like an older brother to him for as long as he could remember, and James had always harboured a special affection for Teddy. However, as the spring term progressed, James began to notice that the nature of his affections had changed.
It had been a turbulent time for him, and he'd wavered between relief and dismay that he'd never taken up Ancient Runes. He still hadn't told anyone, especially not Myles, and while he'd considered telling Albus at least half a dozen times over the summer holidays, he never quite managed it. They got on rather well now that they were older, and Al was a decent bloke and all, but he had a hard enough time articulating his feelings to himself.
It wasn't that he thought it unnatural—he'd known about his Uncle Charlie's indiscriminate attractions to both men and women for ages—but it was still too new. Besides, one didn't simply blurt out that they had a newly discovered hankering for cock to their best mate or to their younger brother without some repercussions, and he preferred to keep it to himself for a bit rather than risk making a real hash of his relationship with either.
Albus elbowed him in the ribs. "Earth to Jamie," he muttered. "It's almost time, idiot."
Oh, right. He blinked and turned his attention to the headmistress who was frowning at their whole group with an almost resigned look on her face as she spoke. Well, of course after last year she would rightly suspect. She might be pushing a century, but she was a pretty perceptive old bird for all that.
He glanced over his shoulder toward the Ravenclaw table where Louis and Lucy sat, wriggling in anticipation. Louis winked and James grinned back, once again turning his attention to the headmistress who was now openly glaring at him.
"...and so I'm pleased to announce that while Hagrid is on leave, the post of instructor for Care of Magical Creatures will be filled by"—she paused for an almost imperceptible moment, and James could have sworn she steeled her spine—"Professor Weasley."
A loud cheer erupted from the Gryffindor table as Charlie pushed back his chair and stood, tilting his head in acknowledgment. James and Hugo grinned at each other from opposite sides of the table as they set their wands to the fuses, confident that Louis was doing the same. James whooped as the 'special' fireworks George—with some enthusiastic assistance from Ron—had created for this occasion erupted in a brilliant flash of colour and a very loud bang.
An immense sparkling dragon roared as it flew about the Great Hall, emitting great gouts of shimmering red and gold fire, while second and third detonations of thousands of twinkling lights zoomed amongst the startled student body. After the dragon had made several swooping circuits around the large room, the lights rose as one and coalesced to form a banner, reading:
Welcome, Professor Weasley!
Take your Quintaped to Bed!
He'll teach you how to Tame that Beast!
Be careful when you Stroke your Moke!
And lastly, Please Enjoy the Feast!
The students cheered and whistled, Charlie shook his head and laughed, and Teddy ducked his head, hand on his forehead, his shoulders shaking with laughter. Professor Longbottom grinned and clapped, leaning in close to whisper something to Teddy, and Professor McGonagall turned white as a sheet and shook her head at James in askance.
At least they'd spared her the bawdy singing birds and dancing dinnerware this time, though that had been hastily contrived, since Teddy was offered the Runes position five days before the end of Christmas holidays. He saw Lily down the end of the table with her friends, standing on the bench, thumb and forefinger resting against her lower lip as she whistled shrilly.
"All right, simmer down, please, Miss Potter, if you will," Professor McGonagall said as the pyrotechnics quieted to a low crackle of hisses and pops. The words on the banner faded, replaced briefly with the logo for Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes before it vanished. The dragon happily took up residence hovering above the Gryffindor table and seemed to glare in the direction of the Slytherin table. James was sure that last added touch was care of his Uncle Ron and shook his head. He'd never change.
"Yes, yes, thank you, Mr Potter, Mr Weasley, and Mr Weasley." She rubbed a finger between her eyebrows and added, albeit more softly, "I suppose it was inevitable.
"Settle down please. Thank you. If I might continue, Quidditch trials will be held in two weeks. Notices will be posted in each common room for those wishing to play for their house teams. Captains, you will meet with Madame Hooch on Friday after classes to discuss scheduling and other necessary details." She glanced once again at the glowering dragon and sighed. "Welcome to you all, and enjoy the feast. Mr Potter, Mr Weasley, and Mr Weasley, please see me before you return to your common rooms."
James chuckled, gave Charlie a thumbs-up, and glanced quickly at Teddy who was looking back at him and smiling. He turned to load his plate with roast beef and potatoes, ignoring the herd of hippogriffs traipsing through his stomach and the blush on his cheeks.
"Brilliant! Not even an hour and already you're in detention," Albus said, tossing a piece of roasted potato at James which hit him on the nose and fell to the table. James grinned, picked it up, gave his brother a two-finger salute, and popped the potato into his mouth.
"Dad'll be pleased," Rose said, rolling her eyes and elbowing Hugo in the ribs. She looked up at the dragon and shook her head.
"Nah," James said, and swallowed a mouthful of roast beef. "She won't give us detention. She's not daft, you know. Knows perfectly well where that came from, just like last year. Bet she sends your dad and Uncle George a Howler again though."
"Mum and Dad'll laugh," Fred said, reaching across Roxie to steal a chicken leg from the pile on Hugo's plate.
"My mum'll say he deserves it," Rose said, stabbing viciously at her own plate. "Honestly, he'll never grow up, will he?"
"Aw, he's just having a bit of fun—" James said, but Rose cut him off with a glare.
"Well, it's true. I love him, but," she gestured at the dragon, "his Gryffindor-Slytherin mentality is just..." She floundered for a moment and threw her fork at her plate in disgust.
"So last century," Albus said. "Yes, we know."
"Spoilsport," Hugo said. "Quit worrying about it. Quentin won't hold it against you—look, he's smiling at you. See? Oi! Caswell!" Hugo shouted and waved, blowing an exaggerated kiss toward the Slytherin table. He winced as his sister elbowed him again, and rubbed his side, grinned, and reached for a second pork chop, fighting with Fred over it. "And he likes Dad. Thinks he's funny," he added, chewing a huge mouthful of pork chop to flaunt his victory over Fred. He swallowed and gulped down half a goblet of juice, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.
Rose wrinkled her nose in disgust. "Merlin...You'd think we don't feed you at home."
Hugo laughed, and took another bite, almost choking. "Need to keep up my strength. Quidditch tryouts soon," he said, swallowing, or trying to as Roxanne helpfully pounded him on the back. He cleared his throat and took a sip of juice. "Ah, better. Might have some competition for starting Beater from Roxie here. Besides, as I was saying, you thought the fireworks idea was brilliant two weeks ago. Or has that prefect's badge gone and sucked the life out of your sense of humour?" he added, gesturing to the badge pinned to the front of her robes.
"There's nothing wrong with my sense of humour," she retorted.
"Children, children," James said, grinning. He waggled his finger at Rose. "Then maybe you should send your dad a Howler," he added and snickered. "That would be even better than one from old McGonagall." He glanced up at the High table. Charlie was chatting with Teddy and Madam Hooch, and seemed to be enjoying himself. He looked good, casual and relaxed despite the formal professorial robes he was wearing. Then again, Charlie could make anything look cool.
He absently sipped his pumpkin juice and stared as Madam Hooch leant behind Charlie and whispered something to Teddy. Charlie grinned, and Teddy laughed aloud, absently running his hand through his hair. James licked his lips and clenched his thighs together, grateful for his shapeless school robes.
"Quit staring. You're starting to drool."
"Eh?" James said, turning back to the table, his trance broken as the noisy thrum of hundreds of students chattering away, interspersed with the occasional clanking of silver, returned in full force.
Albus glanced up at the High Table and back at his brother. He raised his eyebrows and looked as if he were about to say something, but instead reached for a chicken leg and took a bite, chewing thoughtfully.
"What?" James said, narrowing his eyes.
Albus swallowed and returned James' look. "Nothing," he said and turned away, interjecting in the conversation Fred, Myles, and Hugo were having about who should replace Armstrong as starting Chaser this year.
James shrugged and looked back at the High Table. Teddy was drinking from his goblet, and James watched his throat contract as he swallowed. Teddy lowered the goblet a fraction of an inch, and James realised that Teddy was staring back at him, a wide, crooked grin spreading across his face. Teddy winked at him, and James inhaled sharply, feeling a blush creeping up his neck. He exhaled as slowly as he could and winked back, trying to exude an air of swaggering confidence he didn't feel. He cleared his throat, hoping he didn't look like an idiot, and turned back to his meal only to discover Albus watching him again, his face unreadable.
"Bloody what?" James said, exasperated.
Albus shook his head and reached for the rhubarb crumble that appeared in front of him, but James heard him mutter, half under his breath.
"All right. Chasers! I want Albus, Millie, and Santos flying interference. First group up, Franklin, Gennaro, and," he looked over at the group. "You there," he pointed at a young girl. "What's your name?"
"Right, Hazel. And you don't have to call me sir. James will do." He gestured for her to join the other two, and addressed the entire group. "I don't want to see fancy stunt flying or grandstanding. I want to see you working as a team. I don't care if you're the greatest flyer ever to set your arse on a broom. If you can't play together, you don't play at all. Not on my team. Got that?"
They all bobbed their heads, and a few murmured, "Yes, sir." He sighed and continued.
"No Bludgers this round. I'll be looking at your flying, but more importantly, your passing and evasion. Those of you who are new, and that's most of you, won't know our formations, and I don't expect you to. What I care about is endurance, instinct, your ability to see the whole pitch, know where your teammates are and anticipate. And whether or not you can hold on to the Quaffle, of course." Titters of nervous laughter broke out among the group of hopefuls. "We'll work on offence first, then I'll switch you up, and you'll defend. And then we'll bring on the Bludgers."
Out of the corner of his eye he could see Albus giving him the 'get on with it already, you tosser' look. He rolled his eyes and clapped his hands together. "Right, you six, in the air. McDonald, at the hoops to start. Show me what you've got." It was going to be a long morning.
James glanced at his watch: just over an hour until lunch and he was feeling a bit peckish. Tryouts had gone well, and he was pleased with their prospects. There were two new Chasers he was particularly impressed with, including little Hazel, and a third he wished he had a slot for. Roxie had smacked the hell out of the Bludgers, and earned a spot on the reserve roster. Fred and Hugo would advance this year from reserves to starting Beaters, and Millie would move up to join him and Albus as starting Chasers. Lily would keep her spot as Seeker, with Benny as reserve, and Myles of course as Keeper, with McDonald as his backup. Not bad at all.
"Okay. One last scrimmage before we break. Hazel, you fly with Al and Millie. Jones," he called. "You fly with Santos and"—he glanced down at his notes—"Davenport. Myles, switch hoops with McDonald. Albus, you're gold, Santos, your team is red."
He flew down to collect the Quaffle while the two teams Charmed their clothing the appropriate colours. "Everyone ready?" He blew his whistle, released the Bludgers and Snitch, and rose to the centre of the pitch. He counted to five, blew his whistle again, and tossed the Quaffle, quickly diving out of the way and flying toward the stands to watch.
"Good team this year."
He turned, startled to find Charlie, Teddy and Rose seated in the stands just below him. "When did you get here?" he asked.
"Been here the whole time," Teddy said. "Anal bastard of a captain that you are, it's no wonder you didn't notice."
"Hmph. I'll take that as a compliment."
"Had to come watch my youngest niece kick everyone's arse," Charlie said, grinning. "She's a spitfire, that one. Fred better watch out or he'll be the reserve behind her."
"It's more like Team Weasley than Team Gryffindor out there," Teddy added. "Obviously a dominant gene in the family."
"Skipped Percy though," Charlie said, shaking his head. "Hey, Captain. Don't you think you'd better watch your team?"
Oh, right. Shit! James turned back to the scrimmaging teams, drifting high above the pitch, though his mind was preoccupied and he paid little attention to the game even as the players whizzed by him. He snuck a glance back toward the stands. Teddy had his arm slung casually around Rose's shoulder, and Charlie was leaning in close on his other side, pointing toward the far end of the pitch. Rose was apparently keeping score, and a flash of sparks flew from the tip of her wand: 30-10.
"Hey!" Albus yelled as he flew past. James blinked and turned his attention to the game. Bugger. He'd missed four goals? He shook his head and flew to the opposite side of the pitch, watching as Al, Hazel and Millie approached Myles. Roxanne smacked a Bludger at Al, who swerved erratically out of the way, but managed to get a pass off to Hazel. Hazel shot forward with a burst of speed, cocked her arm as though taking a shot on goal, but passed to Millie on her left, who was surging forward. Millie caught the Quaffle and in a single motion, fired it toward the hoops, where Myles, caught out by Hazel's fake, couldn't get back to defend his right hoop in time. Goal!
James whooped, one fist pumping the air, and shook his finger at Myles, who flipped him two fingers and threw the Quaffle to Jones. James laughed, teetering, and grabbed onto his broom to steady himself, turning his attention toward the other side of the pitch. He saw Lily and Benny circling and flying cross-patterns, searching for the Snitch. Hugo smacked a Bludger, and Al subsequently intercepted the Quaffle from Santos and started back toward Myles.
He heard a loud cheer from the stands, and caught sight of Teddy again. He was leaning forward now, resting his forearms on the railing, his fingers laced together, watching the game intently. The late summer sun glinted off his brown hair—he rarely changed it now that he was back at the school—and turned the sun-bleached hair at the crown a bright gold. He was wearing a t-shirt and jeans, and his skin glowed with the remnants of his summer tan. James licked his lips as Teddy stood, long legs and narrow hips visible through the bars of the stands, and pointed towards James, shouting something he couldn't hear.
James cocked his head, puzzled, and bent to fly closer, but before he could do more than grip his broom with both hands, something hard smacked him in the side of the head and everything went black.
He woke slowly, his body feeling like it was made of stone. He tried to move, to blink, but it seemed to take far too much effort. He was lying on something soft, and he was warm, too warm, and both the back of his neck and the curve of his lower back were damp with sweat. His head swam with pain and he felt dizzy, exhausted, and faintly nauseous.
He heard a murmur of voices somewhere far off, and closer, a soft sigh. Someone gently brushed his hair off his forehead and whispered, "You daft bugger."
Teddy. He relaxed, willing his stomach to stop churning and focused on Teddy's voice whispering softly in his ear, Teddy's fingers gentle against his skin, combing through his hair. He must have drifted off again, for he was alone when he finally opened his eyes.
He was in the hospital wing, and it was dim behind the curtained partitions. His mouth was dry and he was uncomfortably hot, but when he tried to sit up, the pounding in his head made it feel as though it would explode, and he fell back against the pillow, groaning.
The curtains parted briefly, and he shut his eyes tight, groaning again and raising his hand to shield them as the brighter light from the main ward stabbed deep into his skull.
"Awake, are you?" Madam Pomfrey said softly. "That's good. No, don't try to move. I'll raise the bed."
She flicked her wand and the top half of the bed slowly lifted until he was sitting upright. He held his head in his hands, swallowing and breathing shallowly. "Not going to be sick, are you," she asked, eyeing him warily.
He shook his head instinctively and groaned once again, his eyes tearing from the pain. "Shit," he muttered, pressing his fingers hard against his temples.
"Language, Mr Potter. And I would advise you not to move your head too much just now. Now drink this, please. All of it."
He opened his eyes slowly, but the curtain was back in place, a solid buffer against the light. She helped him to hold the steaming goblet, and he took a gulp of the brackish liquid, nearly gagging at the taste. "Merlin, that tastes like arse," he said, trying to push it away.
"We'll have no more of that. Now drink up. Quickly now."
He blinked up at her. She was glaring at him with an expression that clearly said, 'drink this or I'll force it down your throat, and you won't like that one bit, I assure you,' so he took a deep breath, held his nose, and swallowed the potion as quickly as possible.
"Ugh," he said, making a face. "Why does it always have to taste so bloody awful?"
"How's your head," she asked, ignoring the question.
Actually, his head felt remarkably better. He blinked in surprise and tentatively shook his head. No pain at all. It might taste like arse, but damn, that shit works fast. He didn't realise he'd said that last bit aloud.
"One more time with the language Mr Potter, and I will give you detention. I know you were injured, but that's still no excuse. Now, I'll have one of the house-elves bring you a light supper, and you'll rest here for another hour. If you've no further pain, you may return to your common room, but no Quidditch for the rest of the week.
"You may captain your team from the stands, but no flying until the weekend. Is that clear?"
"Yes, ma'am," he said sullenly.
Bikky brought him a tureen of vegetable soup and a loaf of fresh granary bread, along with a pot of hot, sweet tea. He was still eating when he heard shuffling footsteps approaching. Not Madam Pomfrey.
"So you're alive."
Albus. "Alive and hungry," he agreed. "You'll have to wait 'til next year for the Captain's badge."
"Didn't think I'd get that lucky," Albus said lightly. "You really okay? That was a nasty whack you took. Nearly caved in your skull."
"Nah," he said, knocking his knuckle against the side of his head. "Solid bone."
"Definitely thick," Albus agreed, smiling. James smacked him lightly on the shoulder and nearly upset his soup bowl. Albus shook his head, sat down on the edge of the bed, and frowned. "Roxie feels awful. She was really upset. Madam Pomfrey had to give her a Calming Draught, and Lily took her back to the tower. She's sleeping, but you should go see her as soon as you get back."
"I will. Poor kid. Hell of an arm, though. Ought to tell her she made the cut as well."
"I figured. She'll probably be the best player of all of us. What about Chasers?"
"Millie'll move up with us, and Hazel and Jones as reserves. I'd like to take Davenport, too, but there's only room for two, and Jones was a little bit better. She'll have no trouble making the team next year. If you'd like, she can come to practices, fly backup and learn the formations. I like our chances for the cup, though."
Albus nodded. He was silent while James finished his soup, and sliced himself a piece of bread, buttering it absently, lips pursed.
"Right. What is it that you want to say that you really don't want to say?" James said, sighing as he dropped his spoon in the empty bowl.
"That was an absolutely horrible sentence."
"Did you come here to critique my grammar?"
"Well, it was."
"Don't change the subject," James said, rolling his eyes. He poured himself a mug of tea, added milk, and sipped it. It was good, but it did nothing to quench his thirst. He wished Bikky had brought him juice. His mouth felt like old parchment, and he was anxious. Albus was stalling, and that worried him.
"The subject was your bloody awful diction. Fine," he added as James gave him a look. "Grammatically awful but factually correct." He took a large bite and chewed slowly, swallowed.
"It's wrong, Jamie," Albus blurted. "You can't, I mean, you can't do that. Not the liking blokes thing—I don't care about that. You know that. But he's family, for fuck's sake!"
James stared at his brother, wishing he hadn't eaten. He felt sick. He'd counted on Al to understand, or at least show a bit of sympathy, but if he felt this way.... He opened his mouth, but he couldn't think of a single thing to say; closed his mouth, opened it again to protest, and instead picked up his mug and gulped down a too-large swallow of the hot tea, scalding his tongue. He gasped, free hand pressed tight against his chest as the tea burned its way down his oesophagus into his stomach.
Al grabbed the mug from him and set it on the tray. "You really are an idiot, aren't you. Look, I didn't want to upset you, but I had to say something before you got yourself killed. I saw you staring at him when you got hit. And at the feast, Merlin, Jamie, you were practically drooling."
"I was not drooling!"
"Well, not literally," Al amended, "but you were staring at him like a lovesick krup. It was kind of disturbing, really." He picked up the tray and put it on the nightstand, sitting back down, his expression earnest. "I know he's like you, or you're like him I suppose I should say—"
"Stop looking so shocked," Albus said. "I'm not going to tell anyone."
"How do you know he's, I mean, that I'm like him?"
Albus snorted. "You're joking, right? I told you. I don't care if you're gay or bi-sexual, or tri- or quad-sexual for that matter, if there is such a thing, though I'd probably draw a line if you wanted to shag a house-elf or something."
"Bite your tongue, you perverted bastard."
"I'm perverted? You're the one gagging for our uncle! He's mum's brother!"
"I'm—Wait—What? Charlie?" James spluttered. He fell back against the pillow and laughed. "Bloody hell, Al!" he said, wiping tears from his eyes. "I thought...well, never mind that. S'not important. Charlie? Our Uncle Charlie? You're barking! Been watching too much Muggle telly."
Albus bristled. "I know what I saw."
"No, you really don't, but I love you anyway, you daft bugger," James said, wrapping his arm around Albus' neck, pulling him close and knuckling the top of his head. Albus squirmed, punched James in the thigh and pulled away. "I've definitely not got a thing for Charlie, I promise you," he added, chuckling.
Albus looked at him with a doubtful expression, then sighed. "All right. But you'd better stop staring so much or else I won't be the only one who comes to that conclusion. Teddy probably thinks you're a nutter, too. Actually he already knows that. Probably thinks you were staring at him."
James' smile froze on his face. Oh, bugger!