LbN: Written for Kerantli's OC/HP challenge. Happy reading!
Teddy looked at himself in the mirror. It was a change, that was for sure. The pants were a bit tighter than he was comfortable with, but he assumed that just took some getting used to. The Hollyhead Harpies jersey wasn't as snug as Daniel's, but it still looked cool. He'd get some feedback in less than an hour anyway—there was no need to fuss over his looks. With another quick glance in the mirror, he turned his hair bright blue and headed out of the dorm. As he walked down the halls, he took care to dodge the two groups of students he usually hung out with. The Ravenclaw Quidditch team and a few Slytherins who had Potions with him waved to him, but he called, "I'll meet you!"
Andre Zabini ran over. "Where you going, mate? Thought you were going to come out to Hogsmeade with us."
"I am. You'll be in Honeydukes, yeah?"
"For a while."
"I just have to pick up a couple things for school before I join you. I won't be long."
"Sure mate, just make it quick. Donnie and Ion have a bet going about who can eat the most Cockroach Clusters without hurling."
Teddy laughed and walked with his friend down the stairs. As he walked down to the village with them, he only half listened to the conversation. He was thinking about the friend he was meeting—Daniel. The older wizard had promised to show him around the village properly—not just the shops the kids normally went to. With a smile, Teddy remembered the first time he'd met his new friend.
"I can't put it off any longer," Teddy said. "My beater gloves are falling apart, and my bat is all but cracked in half. I need a new set."
"Er…Teddy?" Andre said. "You're loaded. What's the problem? Just go buy a new set for Merlin's sake!"
"Mum's trying to teach me to be careful with money," Teddy said with a sheepish grin. "She said Dad was always the good one with money. Doesn't want her bad habits rubbing off on me. It's made me a little paranoid."
Andre laughed as they stopped in front of the Quidditch supply store. "Right, well I'll let you get on with it. Coraline said she wanted me to meet her for lunch at the Three Bs."
"See you, then." Teddy opened the shop door and almost walked out again. He'd come in, unnoticed, in the middle of the manager berating one of the shopkeepers.
"You're a good worker, Daniel," the man said in a softer, but condescending tone. "You just need to show more effort. I need to know I can depend on you. Understand?"
The look on Daniel's face showed that he quite clearly understood, and didn't think much of it. However, he sighed and said, "Right Mr. Bross. I'll do better."
"There's a good lad." Mr. Bross turned and spotted Teddy. "Can I help you, young man?"
Teddy had his mother's and grandmother's instant intuition about people, and already he hated this guy. Bross was a bully—probably someone who got picked on in school and spent the rest of his life taking it out on younger people. "Yeah, I came in to talk to Daniel, actually."
"Daniel? What do you need him for?"
The young man glared at Bross behind his back.
"He's been helping me. I'm up at Hogwarts, you see, and I need a new Beater set. I've been owling with questions."
"Is that so?" Bross asked, voice laced with skepticism. "And what has he told you?"
"Well…" Teddy started. "He said that if I wanted something just to get the job done, I should go with the Nimbus line. But they're not really in the Beater business, so I'd be better off going with SparkWorks, if Quidditch is something I'm going to stick with. And if I had a little more money to spend, Axle makes really comfortable gloves and pads especially designed for Beaters."
Behind Bross, Daniel's glare had turned into a smile. He was obviously impressed with Teddy's Quidditch supply knowledge.
"Well," Bross said, a little thrown, "I guess he can help you then." He went to the back room and shut the door.
"So," Daniel said with a smile, "What did all of my knowledge lead you to?"
Teddy grinned. "I'll go with the Spark set."
With a wave of his wand, Daniel Summoned a box and wrapped it up. "Anything else?"
"You going back to school right after this?" Daniel asked as Teddy handed him some gold.
"No. We've got until three."
"Hang on for me. I get off in five minutes."
Teddy waited just outside the door until Daniel emerged. "I like your jacket."
"Dragonhide," Daniel told him. "Cost a fortune, but I've had it forever. Let's pop in here."
They went into the Three Broomsticks and sat down. There were a lot of Hogwarts kids there, but none Teddy knew personally.
"So what's your name?" Daniel asked, waving the bartender over.
"Daniel Jones. Nice to meet you formally," he said, smiling. "Hey, thanks for the boost back there. Bross can be a little hard to handle at times."
"I kind of figured that."
"How old are you, Ted?"
"How old do I look?" Teddy asked. He didn't miss the use of his real name. He actually kind of liked it—it made him feel older.
"Don't know. Fifteen…maybe sixteen."
Teddy nodded. "I'm fifteen. What about you?"
"Twenty-two. I was a Hufflepuff."
"Ravenclaw, but the Slytherin house is still trying to claim me…."
That day had been fun, if a little weird. They'd walked around the main part of Hogsmeade, finally stopping at the train station. They'd talked for a while, and Daniel had promised to write. Since then, not a day had passed without some form of communication between the two. Teddy would write about his Quidditch matches, or questions about lessons, and Daniel would write back with advice, or just comic strips he'd drawn. It had been a weird feeling at first, having a secret friend. Teddy would've thought he'd be telling everyone he knew. Hanging out with an older wizard, like a big brother, was sure to draw envy. But he'd found that he didn't want to. He liked hanging out with Daniel, and he wasn't ready to have his Hogwarts friends in on the situation just yet.
"Bye!" he called. "I'll meet you guys in an hour or so!"
He walked down one of the lanes between the shops and came out behind the Quidditch supply store. "Wotcher, Daniel."
Daniel nodded at him and tossed him a package, smiling. "Happy Christmas."
"And you," Teddy said, taking a small box out of his pocket. "I er… I didn't know what to get you really…."
"I'm sure it's awesome," Daniel said. "Come on. We've got a village to wander through. Tell me about your last match."
LbN: I'll have the next chapter up soon! Reviews rock!