LbN: Written for Mew & Mor's Weird Pairings Challenge. The prompt was Fred II/Teddy.

There you are
In a darkened room
And you're all alone
Looking out the window
Your heart is cold and lost the will to love
Like a broken arrow
Here I stand in the shadows
Come to me, Come to me
Can't you see that
Nobody wants to be lonely
Nobody wants to cry
My body's longing to hold you
So bad it hurts inside
Time is precious and it's slipping away
and I've been waiting for you all of my life
Nobody wants to be lonely so why
Why don't you let me love you

Teddy tapped the doorknob with his wand and entered the dark apartment. "Freddie?" he called softly. "Lumos Maxima." He wandered through the kitchen and into the living room. He found the younger man sitting on the couch. There were food cartons and drink bottles littering the table and floor. "Freddie? Why haven't you answered anyone's letters? We've been worried. I've been worried." He sat next to his boyfriend and put his arm around him.

Fred pulled away. "I didn't want to talk to anyone."

"Why not? What's up?" Teddy's hair changed from blue to light green. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," Fred snapped. "Nothing, okay?"

"Er…no. See, I'm not exactly following the situation here. You disappear for a week, but somehow nothing's wrong?"

"This isn't—" Fred started. He took a deep breath and pulled away from Teddy. "I'm sorry. But this isn't… it isn't like when we were in school."

"What are you talking about?"

"You were a third year, I was a first year. You were always there—protecting me, fixing things that got messed up. Well you can't fix this."

"What is 'this' exactly?"

Fred looked at him, but stayed quiet. After a moment he started picking up the empty food boxes. He tossed them into the trash and turned the lights on. "I…don't know. Please, just… I want to be alone. Can you tell my dad I… I'm here at the apartment."

Teddy stared at him. "Let me stay."

Fred shook his head. "No…. I need to be alone."

With a sigh, Teddy nodded. "Fine. But I'm coming over tomorrow." He walked slowly to the door. "Goodnight. I love you."

For the first time in a week, Fred smiled. It was small, and brief, but it was a smile nonetheless. "Love you too."

Can you hear my voice
Do you hear my song
It's a serenade
So your heart can find me
And suddenly you're flying down the stairs
Into my arms, baby
Before I start going crazy
Run to me, Run to me
Cause I'm dying

Teddy panicked the next day. Fred wasn't there when he arrived. The apartment was clean though, and it looked like the former Hufflepuff had even attempted to make breakfast for himself. Teddy didn't have to long to worry, though. He'd just finished making his round of the flat when Fred walked through the door, holding a newspaper and a cup of what was surely overpriced Muggle coffee. "Hey."

"Hey," Fred said, smiling at him. "Do you want anything for lunch? I'm not feeling the greatest, but there's some food in the fridge."

"I'm fine. Can we talk?"

"Sure, but… Not about last night. I still need some time to think. But," he added as they sat on the now de-crumbed couch, "I can tell you that I've been here all week. I've read all your letters. I just…wasn't ready to talk to anyone."

"Freddie," Teddy started, but quickly realized he didn't know how to keep going. Everything was connected to whatever had happened last Thursday. And whatever it was, Fred didn't want to talk about it. "I know I can't fix…whatever this is… but let me at least stay with you."


I want to feel you deeply
Just like the air you're breathing
I need you here in my life
Don't walk away, don't walk away
don't walk away, don't walk away

The next few days were quiet. They sat listening to the wireless most of the time, though Teddy insisted on a morning walk every day. Saturday afternoon, they relaxed on the couch again, listening to one of the Quidditch games. As Spain took the lead in the European final against Greece, Fred yawned and leaned against Teddy. In another fifteen minutes, he was asleep.

"It's the middle of the afternoon…." Teddy mumbled to himself. He stayed put through the end of the game, letting Fred sleep. He maneuvered his way off of the couch without waking the younger man, and started looking around the kitchen for something to make for dinner. He was beginning to think it was a takeout night when Fred wandered into the kitchen.

"Who won the match?"

"Greece. Pummeled Spain like they stole their Christmas dinner."

"Too bad. I wanted a Spain-Japan matchup for the World Cup. Anyway, how about bugging Grandma Weasley for dinner. There's no way I'm cooking, and I'm sick of takeout."

"They're on holiday. I thought you said you read your letters."

"Oh…yeah. I forgot."

"No worries. I'll cook something."

They ended up having pasta—the only thing Teddy could make without assistance. As they ate, the metamorphmagus made a decision. "Marry me, Fred."

There was silence for a full minute. Then Fred smiled, but only briefly.


Teddy's attention stayed locked on the other man. Fred never called him by his real name. No one did. "Yeah?"

"I'm sick."

Teddy just stared. "Well, I wouldn't finish that spaghetti then. You should've told me—I would've made soup."

"No. I mean… really sick. I'm dying."

"What do you mean, dying?"

"I'd think that was pretty self-explanatory," Fred mumbled.


"I fainted at work," he said. "And I woke up in St. Mungo's. The Healers don't know what it is…."

"Is it a Muggle thing? You do venture into their world more than most of the Wizarding community."

"No. They checked. They've checked everything."

"If they don't know what it is, then how do they know you're…." He trailed off. He couldn't say it.

"My symptoms are getting worse. I'm…tired all the time, and I can't go out properly in the afternoon if it's hot."

"Wh—what else?"

"Lots of things that really don't sound too awful. But probably the worst is my magic."

"What's wrong with your magic?" Teddy asked, trying to keep the fear out of his voice.

"It's going off unexpectedly. I set fire to my Healer's jacket at St. Mungo's," he said with a smile. "I didn't want anyone to know yet. I didn't know how to tell you."

Teddy got up from his seat, walked around the table, and pulled Fred into a hug. "You still haven't answered my question. Will you marry me?"

Fred held him tightly, and smiled.

Nobody wants to be lonely
Nobody wants to cry
My body's longing to hold you
I'm longing to hold you
So bad it hurts inside
Time is precious and it's slipping away
And I've been waiting for you all of my life
Nobody wants to be lonely so why
Why don't you let me love you

"I've been at St. Mungo's for over thirty years," the Healer said. "I've never seen anything like this. But, at least we've got a handle on your symptoms. You keep taking your potion, and visiting us for therapy—"

"Therapy?" Fred asked.

"Yes, for your magic. We think we can at least cut down on the amount it misfires with certain training…."

"Kind of like with people who can't hold their piss?"

Teddy snorted with laughter and squeezed Fred's hand.

"Yes… I suppose that's the idea. As I was saying, you keep up with both, and we can keep you ticking for another fifty to sixty years. Much better than our original diagnoses of three."

"So I'll be eighty-five when I die…."

The Healer smiled at him. "You never know… We've found help for you in a year. Imagine what we'll find in twenty. Do you have any questions for me today?"

"No….I think I've got it all."

"Then take this to the front desk. They'll schedule your first therapy session."

Fred and Teddy walked out of St. Mungo's fifteen minutes later, smiling. They had a case of Fred's potion with them, and were thoroughly enjoying the odd looks they were getting from passersby.

"You'd think they'd never seen a suitcase before," Teddy said. They sidled onto a side street—a shortcut to the closest Apparation point.

"That was quite good news," Fred mused, nodding back at the hospital.

"It's been a week of good news."

"Yes… I still think Aunt Hermione's son upstaged our wedding."

Teddy laughed. "At least everyone will remember it. Hard to forget a wedding where someone goes into labor. And poor Hugo was so horrified… It's hard being a nineteen year old, I suppose."

Fred laughed and took Teddy's hand as they turned into a semi-concealed alley. "Ready to go home?"

"When you are." Teddy smiled at his husband.

A second later, the alley was empty.