A/N: I wrote this on an eight-hour car trip because it entertained my sister. So. This is dedicated to Joey. Please feel free to review. Warnings for fluff, glow-in-the-dark condoms, and experimental formatting.
They drink hot cocoa in the peace of their flat and watch a roaring fire on the telly Aunt Hermione got to work after they bribed her with expensive French chocolates. Teddy turns his hair whipped-cream white and puffy and his face hot-chocolate brown, which makes James laugh like it did when he was five.
They spoon on the couch. Neither of them says much; neither of them really needs to. Instead, they spoon and slowly leave their clothing behind and remember the years.
They have a party, because ten years is a long time and certain very specific important people on the Ministry side of things are talking about legalizing same-sex marriage and that requires a very large party with more champagne than could be good for anyone and many, many house plants and toasters as gifts. It is good. They give out glow-in-the-dark condoms as favours and Albus' kids get into the gift bags and run around with glowing condoms on their heads. This prompts half the adults to drunkenly laugh and the other half to drunkenly chase the children around the house, causing death and destruction to whatever poor house plants and harmless kitchen appliances stand (unwittingly) in their way.
They've gotten good at knowing each other, over the last few years.
So they both wear drag (Teddy more convincingly than James, though James is more lady-like), go to the most outrageous gay bar they know of, and get totally drunk on Cosmos and the most ridiculous thrill of their lives.
The next night, they stay in and cuddle and watch football.
Both evenings make them exceedingly happy.
They have a cocktail party. They invite the faux-cultured-intellectuals from James' job, the nice lesbian couple from down the road, Cynthia, the blokes from Teddy's job, two goblins, Tom, and a half-vampire former-pop-star. They don't invite anyone from the family. Instead, they have a nice time and spend the next morning (hangover-free, it should be noted)writing thank-you notes for the gifts Harry and Ginny and Molly have heaped on them in the past year.
This is the year Harry says he's an idiot and that he loves them both and he isn't judging at all but he didn't realize before how it was but now he understands. It's the year they hug him and kiss in front of him in a way they've never done before, more domestic than erotic. It's the year that he brings them their first house plant (a cactus in a purple pot) by way of an apology. It's the evening they sit him down on the couch and talk to him properly, and the time a few days before that when Albus punches his dad in the nose for suggesting that Al move in with Teddy and James while he's in Healer training.
The cactus ends up becoming a bit of a joke (especially after James paints the purple pot a Santa face and a rainbow flag), but they keep it. It grows up to be enormous, and it blooms big pink flowers.
James makes chilli and lamb vindaloo and three different kinds of curries. He uses copious amounts of cumin. He has a tendency to use more cumin than necessary these days. They invite Victoire and George and Cynthia-from-the-shop and Tom-from-next-door. Victoire brings pie (and strawberry whipped cream). They all consume the pie with speed unmatched by any world records (the strawberry whipped cream is for later, when Teddy and James are alone).
They have a fight. Teddy comes home late, and by the time he does, the last candle on the cake James made has gone out. James sits at the dining room table with the cake next to him, drinking orange juice out of the bottle, the way Teddy hates.
Teddy stands in front of him, apologizes, excuses himself. Walks to the kitchen, brings out plates and forks for the cake.
And a glass, for James' orange juice.
That's when James throws the cake at Teddy's head.
In that moment, something between them snaps.
James says he's only twenty-three, that he shouldn't be tied down like this, that he hasn't had his youth. Teddy says it's his choice to do this, his choice to wait up for Teddy, his choice to make a big deal out of this. James says he shouldn't have had to wait, that five years is a long time, that it deserves celebration. Teddy doesn't say anything. James says that maybe five years is too long a time.
Teddy leaves that night, even though it's technically his apartment.
James cleans the chocolate cake off the floor and goes to bed. He cannot sleep at all.
Teddy lies on a cold hotel bed for a long time that night. As he's sinking into the darkness, he remembers reading somewhere that the first year of living together is the hardest. The thought doesn't comfort him.
They do something normal for this anniversary. They go out to dinner at the fancy place just off Diagon Alley and then they go to Teddy's flat and have sex for such a long time and in such a manner as to cause James forgo his ability to walk normally for the next two weeks.
And Teddy murmurs sweet stupid things into James' hair, and James smiles and swears at him.
And the next morning is the morning where, with James casually carding his fingers through Teddy's hair as Teddy presses his head against James' chest to hear his heartbeat, Teddy says, "You have a toothbrush here."
James sort of grunts.
Teddy continues, "You have a toothbrush here and two drawers in my dresser, and you're the only one who understands the shit on the spice rack because you put it all there."
"So, maybe, you could sort of permanently stay here and use the spices on the spice rack because I don't know what the fuck cumin is, but you do."
"Teddy, if cumin belongs on the spice rack—which it does, just incidentally—than you can can assume it is a spice."
"Okay, fine, but I still don't know how to use it."
"Well, cumin can be lovely in chilli, and also in many Indian dishes, like—"
"James," Teddy smiles just a little bit exasperatedly, and lifts his head off James' chest to look him in the eye. "Stop arguing semantics and move in with me."
And so this becomes the year he does.
This is the year they tell Harry and Ginny, after telling Albus and Lily and Hugo and Rose and Luna and Neville and Bill, and long, long after telling George and Victoire.
This is the year Ginny cries because this means it's not a phase.
This is the year Harry is quiet and shocked and works more and looks Teddy in the eye less.
This is when Teddy gives James a ring. It is gold and has the words truth beauty freedom love etched around it and fits perfectly on his thumb. James kisses him slow and whispers forevers in Teddy's ear.
It is here (for the very first time) that they look at each other and think this might last. Teddy gives James a purple Santa Claus Pez dispenser and a heart on his palm with James' name in it. James gives Teddy a flock of paper cranes with the lyrics to their favourite songs on their wings.
This is the year that Teddy's twenty-four and James is seventeen. This is the year that Gran and Granddad decide the family needs a good old-fashioned family reunion and invite everyone to the Burrow. This is the year that Teddy and James have to share a bed in Uncle Ron's old room.
And this is the year, two months after Teddy and Victoire break up and a month after they become friends again, that Victoire spends a whole day happily pointing out how James has grown up, the way he fills out his shirt, the fact that he came out a couple months ago, all while she churns out the endless supply of pies Molly seems determined to feed the family.
This is the day where Teddy finds his hair sliding into the same shade of auburn of James'.
This is the day when James maybe pays too much attention to what Teddy is saying, and the day where he says he might like to be a curse breaker, too.
This is the night where they fall asleep on separate sides of the bed, Teddy facing a faded Chudley Canons poster and James watching Albus' chest rise and fall on the camp bed two feet away. This is the morning where they wake up entangled—Teddy's hand up James' shirt and James' hand rounding the curve of Teddy's arse—and painfully hard. This is the morning that they almost dismiss as the most embarrassing case of morning wood ever, but for the afternoon where they kiss in the pantry and the evening where James writes his new address in marker across Teddy's arm and slides that little bit closer to Teddy in bed than could be considered platonic. But for the night where Teddy wears only boxers to bed and pulls James in the rest of the way to him.
But for the next morning, when James kisses Teddy on the nose and is cheeky and flirty until he says, voice dropping, "So...are we? I mean, could we be?"
And Teddy says, more confident than he feels, "I think we can, yes."
James notices the way he changes it to present tense, and he smiles.
A/N: Like the review-whore I am, I will ask for reviews here. Please? Reviews? Reviews are the Mickey to my Minnie and the Tigger to my Winnie.