Disclaimer: As always I own nothing but the original characters and the situations all characters find themselves in. Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy.
People stopped to watch the blonde strolling down the street, their glances admiring, lustful and or envious. The young man was slightly over six feet tall with a slim, almost girlie build that went with the shoulder length blonde hair currently pulled back into a tail at the nape. The strong, stubborn chin and jaw kept the man's face from being beautiful, giving it just enough masculinity that most wouldn't mistake him for a woman. Bright blue eyes dancing with energy and nerves completed the look, and matched the shirt the man was wearing perfectly. That and the tailored slacks and pierced ear suggested a stylish fashion sense.
He was so good looking that no one even questioned why he'd come to a stop in front of a row of townhouses, pausing directly between two of them as if waiting for something.
Louis Weasley watched as the Black ancestral home slowly came into view when the street finally cleared of anyone save himself, like an accordion being opened wide without the annoying sounds, the Gryffindor thought in amusement. So far, so good. Not that getting into the house was the hard part if it had already been told to appear when you came to stand in front of it. No, the hard part was going to be when he knocked on the door, which would hopefully be answered by Teddy, and talk the older man into letting him stay at his place for a while.
Of all his family Teddy was the most private and least sociable. The man was the definition of a loner.
So the older man would definitely have to be talked into letting him stay, but Louis was pretty sure he could do it. He had to after all. He needed a place to stay for a while and going home was not appealing. Not that he didn't love his parents, because he did, but no self respecting twenty two year old lived at home, even temporarily in the Gryffindor's book. Not unless he was doing it for the sake of said parents, which he wasn't, Louis thought as he walked up to ring the bell, shoving his hands in his pockets after to hide his nerves.
And it wasn't like he needed a place to stay long, just a month or so at most. It shouldn't take that long to find himself a roommate and a place to stay. Hopefully.
Hearing the sound of locks being undone Louis pasted a bright smile on his face as the door opened. "Hi, Teddy!"
Crossing his arms in front of him Teddy's surprise at the unexpected visit didn't show. His control was far too good for that. "Good evening, Louis. This is unexpected, come in."
Smiling his thanks Louis did so, shrugging off his coat and hanging it up before following the older man towards the parlor, taking in the fact that the man was dressed in a suit and tie, perfectly tailored, expensive and very flattering. Business was obviously good, the Gryffindor thought as he took a seat across from the other man. "Did I catch you on your way out somewhere, or did you just get back from work? Cause I hope that you haven't become such a workaholic you're wearing suits at home now." He added with a grin.
"I just got in two minutes ago. Excellent timing on your part." Leaning forward Teddy gave the blonde his full attention. "So to what do I owe the pleasure? It's not like you to waste a Saturday night off visiting me."
"Well ouch." Louis winced. He couldn't argue with that. There was an eight year gap in their ages, so that even when they saw each other at family gatherings they normally hung out with the cousins closest to them in age as opposed to with each other. But Teddy had always been his favorite babysitter, and they'd gotten along really well when he was younger.
Lips curving slightly in amusement Teddy's cobalt eyes showed a hint of the affection he felt for the younger man. "I didn't mean it that way. But you have something you've come to discuss with me, don't you? Some more financial questions about the restaurant you eventually want to open? Or have you decided you can live with having some family members as silent partners."
Louis was well aware that his family would be willing to spot him the money needed to buy the restaurant of his dreams, but it wouldn't be his if he wasn't the one paying for it. And he didn't want to have to pay anyone back, or worry about letting anyone down but himself if he couldn't make his business work. That and he was only twenty two, some more years experience in the business could only do him good, Louis ruefully admitted, if only to himself. So he was saving up his money and experience for the time being.
"No, though my plan does have something to do with why I'm here." And knowing better than to beat around the bush Louis dove into his explanation as to why he'd dropped by unexpectedly. "I need a place to live since Fritz and I just broke up. He said it was him or me cutting back my hours at work and that wasn't going to happen, so yeah, the flat was his first so I'm out. I know I could go somewhere else but I was thinking…well…I've never lived on my own, ever. And living here with you, well it would sort of be that way, would it? You'd be like my landlord. This place is big, and everyone knows you're always working so we'd hardly see each other. And I'd pay rent and cook for you, you probably skip meals all the time, right? Gran and Aunt Ginny are always worrying that you aren't eating enough. And it wouldn't be for long, just a month or two while I find somewhere else."
While it was true that all the women in his family were unusually interested in his eating habits, that wasn't what had Teddy reeling from surprise. Of all the reasons his brilliant mind had come up with for why the younger man would be visiting him the idea that the blonde would be looking for a place to live hadn't even occurred to him. They had loads of cousins of all, several of them closer to Louis's age and more than capable of providing him with a place to crash.
He could understand not wanting to move home at Louis's age, but still. "Someone didn't put you up to this, did they?" Everyone in their family thought he worked too hard and while Louis also had a very good work ethic the man was also well known for knowing how to let his hair down once the work was done. In his case relaxing was not one of his strong suits, Teddy thought wryly. So maybe someone had asked the younger man to come and give him an attitude adjustment?
"No. They'll be as surprised as you are." Louis assured him. "I could get a place by myself easily enough, but I'd rather look for a roommate for the time being, so I can split the rent to save my money better."
"Ah. And what about your plan to become more independent by living here with me? Since I'm not around often?"
Louis grinned. "Well, I don't think I'll like living by myself. You know what a people person I am."
Did he ever, Teddy thought to himself as he shared a look of understanding with the other man. For Louis to be boyfriend less was almost as rare as the man being without a swarm of friends around him. The blonde turned people into mindless moths, drawing them to his flame like they were hypnotized.
Who could blame them?
"So? Can I stay here with you? No loud parties or men, promise. I'm swearing off dating for the time being. It's more trouble than it's worth."
"Somehow I doubt you can go a month without a man, but I suppose anything is possible."
Cocking his head to the side thoughtfully Louis studied the other man's face, trying to figure out what Teddy was thinking. Easier said then done. He could see that the older man was thinking over his request, and knowing him well Louis knew that all the pros and cons would be weighed before he got his answer. Teddy Lupin was never impulsive or emotion driven, he had the coolest, most analytical mind Louis could ever recall having come up against.
Most people tended to find Teddy intimidating, unmoving, and old fashioned, people often making parallels between the man and his grandmother, who was equally as formidable. And while he'd applied those words to describe the man to others Louis knew that at heart the man was one of the most decent, honorable, and trustworthy men of his acquaintance.
"You can move in for a while if you like." Teddy finally said as he got to his feet, walking the short distance so that he could hold out his hand for Louis to shake. "Pay what you think is reasonable, or you can just pay for the groceries since you'll be doing the cooking to help earn your keep. Do you need help moving your stuff in?"
Ignoring the hand Louis pulled the other man into a big hug, as always loving the scent that was uniquely Teddy. Lips curling into a grin when the man in question lightly hugged him back since Teddy wasn't the affectionate type Louis gave him an extra squeeze before letting go. "Thanks, Teddy."
Twenty minutes later, after hammering out the details, Teddy saw the blonde out, waving good bye and watching until the other man was out of sight before closing the door. And then, still facing the door, Teddy began rhythmically beating his head against the solid wood surface, calling himself every kind of idiot for agreeing to let the younger man come live with him. Was he out of his bloody mind, Teddy wondered as he ignored the pain of his actions. Was he suffering from food poisoning? No, not food poisoning, he'd barely eaten anything today, Teddy reminded himself as he forced himself to stop what he was doing before he gave himself a concussion.
But seriously, what had he been thinking, Teddy silently ranted to himself as he walked towards his kitchen, thinking that he should probably eat something now that he thought about it. Maybe lack of food was the problem.
Not that he could go back on his word now. His word was his bond. He was stuck now.
Putting together a sandwich Teddy forced himself to begin a mental list of all the things he'd have to take care of before Louis came to take up residence. He'd have to get another set of keys made up, plus he'd have to figure out where he was going to put the other man.
As far away from his bedroom as possible would be best.
Normally he avoided alcohol as he preferred to always be in control of himself but given the present circumstances it seemed called for. So once his sandwich was done Teddy poured himself a glass of wine to go with his sandwich and brought the bottle with him, just in case.
The man wasn't even living with him yet and already he was being driven to drink, Teddy thought as he toasted his stupidity before taking a healthy gulp from his glass.
Damn his inability to tell Louis Weasley no. It had always been an adventure babysitting the boy, he'd been a sucker for those baby blues even then. Back then being somewhat wrapped around Louis's finger hadn't been such a bad thing, it was only later when he'd stopped being a boy and had become a man that his love for the blonde had taken a turn that…was very inconvenient to say the least.
He'd hidden those feelings from everyone for so long by allowing the distance to grow between them, for the fact that they were so different from each other settle in both their minds. Not that it helped on his end, but it had done wonders where the other man was concerned. These days they hardly saw each other, and when they did it was usually a short conversation.
That wasn't going to be the case now, at least not for a month.
Marveling over his stupidity Teddy finished up his sandwich, put away the wine without helping himself to more, and after cleaning up headed upstairs, deciding that he'd deal with all the details in the morning. It went against his nature, but he couldn't work up the energy to care or make himself deal with the mess he'd gotten himself into. He'd just work from home tomorrow so that he could get everything taken care of, it was a Saturday after all.
Heading straight for his bedroom to change out of his suit Teddy removed each article with care, setting the pieces of his suit aside to go with the rest of his dry cleaning.
That taken care of Teddy started towards his bed, then stopped and changed direction.
Standing in front of his mirror in his simple black boxers Teddy studied himself critically, not because he was vain, but because he believed in staying in shape. Nothing about him was allowed to be weak.
The man in the mirror was tall and leanly built, a runner's build as that was his preferred form of exercise. His short, neatly cut hair was the dark brown that was almost black, his eyes dark blue. As a Metamorphmagus like his mother he could have manipulated his body and face to look however he wanted, but he could have cared less about that. This was his true face and form, a combination of both sides of his family. He wanted always to look into a mirror and see those similarities, those physical ties to them.
And knowing why he was having this small moment of irrational vanity Teddy sighed, shook his head at himself, and then headed back towards his perfectly made bed. Sliding under the covers he settled himself in, and then reached for the book on his nightstand. He wasn't particularly interested in it, and he was well aware of the paperwork currently sitting in his home office, but his grandmother had recommended it and given him her copy to read. He would be seeing her on Sunday for their habitual dinner together and she'd ask what he'd thought of it, no question.
Which meant he would be spending the rest of the evening reading the work of fiction instead of doing something useful because it was for his grandmother and he would do anything for her.
And at the very least it would hopefully take his mind off other things.
Arriving at his childhood home Louis all but bounced and skipped onto his front porch where his parents were sitting, enjoying the night and likely waiting up for him. He'd only told them that he'd be looking into finding a place to stay, not who he intended to talk to. They probably would have told him not to bother Teddy, but something in his gut had talked him into it. "I have a place to stay." He announced as he took a seat beside his maman on the porch swing.
"That was fast." There was no surprise in his father voice, he knew that Louis knew too many people to have a hard time finding someone to stay with. And he understood why Louis didn't want to stay with them, even if his wife didn't.
"Teddy is going to let me stay at his place."
"Teddy?" Louis's mother repeated. "Our Teddy? At Grimmauld Place?"
"Yup. He said I can move in tomorrow. I stopped at Fritz's place on the way here and told him when I'd be by to get all my stuff. It shouldn't take too long to transfer my stuff over and Teddy said he'd be home to let me in and stuff. He even offered to come and help me get everything, but I figure I can mange." And since he knew his mother well Louis threw out a little tidbit to distract her from the fact that she wanted him to stay with them until he found somewhere permanent again. "He looks like he's lost weight again, but I'll get him fattened up in no time."
"That boy, he needs a woman to take care of him." Shaking her head Fleur Weasley immediately launched into a spiel about how they really needed to find a good woman to set Teddy up with, no matter how resistant he was to the idea. After his twenty third birthday the stubborn man had dug his feet in and had refused to let anyone set him up on any more blind dates. He'd been tricked into a few since then, but he'd always made his ire known afterwards.
"Well I'll work on finding someone for him while I'm there too." Louis promised her. He had plenty of female friends, though when he thought about it none of them struck him as Teddy's type. Then again he didn't really know what Teddy's type was. The man hadn't brought a date to a family gathering in so long he couldn't remember the last time.
Bill watched and listened as the two discuss who amongst his son's legion of female friends might suit Teddy, not adding anything to the conversation as he wondered just how so many people could be oblivious to the fact that the man under discussion currently had no interest in dating or marriage.
But he knew better than to try and stop the two blondes plotting beside him, and so he simply sent up a pray on Teddy's behalf that Louis didn't drive the man completely insane before the month was over.