Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Sorry it's a bit late, but shit's been going sideways lately. So like I'm not sure if this actually has a plot or not but hey, Teddy says fuck a lot! They mostly stick in Europe, Asia, and Africa, but I figure that's half the world, so fuck it.
Title: Oh, The Places You'll Go.
Prompts: The Gambler by fun. Sailing around the world.
oh, the places you'll go
I don't care to beg your pardon
We should live until we die
He should really probably most likely be at least slightly irritated by the fact that she's underneath his window howling something about living in the moment and lateens, but the fact of the matter is that Lily does this quite a lot.
"I really shouldn't have come out," Teddy mutters reluctantly, still trying to rub the sleep out of his eyes. He can't get his hair to change from a sleepy shade of purple and Lily just won't shut up. He knows that they're supposed to be bestest friends or some shit but she should really take all her crazy and put it somewhere so he can sleep in peace without having to worry about her trying to convince him to commit a mass murder or something with her, because he's very vulnerable when he gets less than eight hours of sleep. (But he lets her grab his hand and Apparate them away, anyway.)
They've been walking around a fucking coastline for the past twenty minutes and he's really beginning to wonder if she's gone off the deep end and is planning on pushing him of a cliff. "Shut up, Lupin," she says with a cock of her head, and then she gestures toward the ocean. "Ta-da!"
Teddy stares in the direction of her finger for a long time. He briefly contemplates the consequences of launching himself off the edge of the coast. "Why did I come here?" He rubs his temple, wondering if it's all just some kind of sick nightmare. "Jesus. Oh, Jesus."
She gives him a shove, scowling. "You came because you know that insanity isn't contagious."
"Lily, that's a fucking ship." He looks at it again, blinking hard. It's still there. "Why are you pointing to a fucking ship?"
Lily blushes, only a bit, so that the freckles spread across the bridge of her nose are highlighted with a rose tint. "Shut up," she grumbles. "It's our fucking ship now."
They're walking on the poop deck of the ship. Lily still giggles when he says it. He's really starting to doubt his life choices.
"Where did you even get a ship?" Teddy asks dizzily, more from the fact that Lily is practically kidnapping him than from the roll of the waves below.
Lily shrugs. "It was on sale in Diagon Alley. I got it for just two hundred and fifty Galleons! That's a steal if I ever saw one." She grins smugly.
Teddy squints his eyes. He was once told that he looks very attractive squinting. Lily tells him that he looks like someone's just poked him in the stomach very hard. She says it again now, but he ignores that. "Why would somebody sell a ship in Diagon Alley?" He pauses to let his question sink in. "And why would you buy it?"
"Because we're going to sail around the world, stupid." She gives him a look that makes him feel unnecessarily stupid. "You ask too many questions. Jeez. Haven't you ever heard of going with the flow?"
His hair goes a funny sort of orange as he follows her into the main deck. "Eighteen year olds think they know fucking everything."
In the end he manages to pack his bags with three months worth of stuff in one hour, and he finds himself shivering in a ball in the middle of the main deck while Lily runs around in excitement as the ship begins to move. She's charmed it so that the ship steers itself and moves faster than any Muggle vessel, which gives her more time to babble on and on about buying saris in India and spotting lions in Africa and such things.
"We're going to die, we're going to die," Teddy chants every time the ship moves.
"Shut it or I'll throw you off this ship and I won't buy you any chocolate from Switzerland!" Lily yells back. "Effing twat."
The next morning, Teddy wakes up to find himself in France, just off the coast of a town called Fécamp. He walks out onto the deck and looks over the rail to find Lily wading in the pebble beach, her jeans rolled up to her knees and her hair tied up in a long ponytail. She waves to him gleefully, and Apparates onto the ship.
"G'morning, sunshine," she greets. "There's escargot in the refrigerator. You can just heat it up in the microwave."
Teddy raises an eyebrow. "What've we got, a full-size kitchen on this ship?"
Lily makes a face at him as she leans on the railing, watching the panorama of the beach. There are fishermen a few miles down the beach and a few houses on the coast, but she's cast anti-Muggle wards to make their ship appear to be a regular fishing boat. "You forget that we're wizards, Lupin, not pilgrims." She smirks.
He makes his way next to her, their shoulders rubbing against each other. "So what's the point of this, Lil? Have you got an itch to scratch or something?" he asks her with a heavy sigh.
She doesn't answer for a bit, only stares out at the towers of chapels and the roofs of houses. "I want to get out of this little world I've been stuck in my whole life," she tells him. "I want to live until I die."
"What are you running away from, Lily?" he asks her gently.
She pushes him away and goes down into the kitchen to make tea.
The next day they sail to Spain, watching France go by in a whirlwind of colour and coastlines. They buy a map of Spain in a small town and Lily hurls Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans at it until one of them sticks. After about thirty beans cover the carpeted floor, a metal-flavoured one sticks to the city of La Coruña.
In the city, they rent a pair of bicycles and act as tourists, the ship anchored off the coast of the next town over. Lily eats too much ice cream and Teddy gets a sunburn on his forehead and he thinks that maybe this whole sailing-around-the-world-so-that-Lily-won't-want-to-die thing isn't so bad after all.
They rent a room in one of the fancier hotels, just for the heck of it. The bellboy carries their bags upstairs and Teddy has to hold Lily back from the waist to keep her from pressing every button in the elevator.
It's only when the bellboy's put their bags on the floor and Lily has flopped onto the shag carpet and Teddy has pulled his flip-flops off and rubbed aloe vera lotion on his sunburn that they notice.
"Oh," Teddy manages to gulp out.
Lily bursts into hysterical laughter. "Teddy," she chokes out, "they think we're fucking!"
As she keels over, her face turning red, Teddy observes the room. The bed — one queen size bed — is decorated with sultry red bedsheets and a superfluous amount of embroidered throw pillows. There's a mirror on the ceiling for Godric's sake. Teddy wouldn't be surprised if he found condoms in the drawers. He checks the receipt they'd printed out and does that stressed-out thing where he rubs his temples and groans and feels a gazillion years old. "They gave us the Honeymoon suite."
She gets up to look at the receipt, and giggles even harder than before. Without warning, she pounces on him, throwing all the weight of her long limbs and slim silhouette to make them both fall back on the bed, her straddling his waist playfully. She tickles his side ruthlessly, digging her fingers into his ribcage until he's out of breath and his hair's electric blue, he's laughed so hard. Then he flips them over and tickles her, feather light touches down her abdomen, and with her head thrown back and her lips frozen in a wide smile as the sound of her laughter fills the room, he thinks she's never been so beautiful.
He wakes up in the middle of the night. She's fast asleep, long changed into her sleep shorts and one of his thick sweaters. Her legs are thrown over his, her toes at his knees, and she's curled up against him like a cat, her body fitting against him perfectly. Everything is calm and nothing's bad.
He knows — he just knows — that they're fucked up.
Teddy wakes up to the smell of Earl Grey and the sight of Lily bent over, tugging her sneakers off, her red hair up in a high, messy bun, the nape of her neck damp with sweat.
"Sleeping beauty awakes," she says cheerily when she sees him sitting upright, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. "I didn't know you could get jet lag traveling on a ship."
"Ha-ha, you're a comedian," he grumbles back as he throws the duvet onto the floor and sinks his feet into the carpet. His hair's sticking up all over the place, and it's brown with exhaustion. He glances at the clock and almost jumps. "Shit! It's twelve in the afternoon!" He looks at her, expecting some sort of anger or impatience on her face.
Instead, Lily's looking at him with a lopsided grin and that silly sort of twinkle in her eye that she's had since she was eight and put a rubber chicken in one of her mum's casseroles and nearly made Al cry with surprise. "What? What's wrong?" she asks him calmly.
It's the content in her eyes that gets to him. The way there's still a hint of doubt in her smirk, still a bit of the little girl he'd once known in her eyes. "I don't know. Shouldn't we get going, or something?" he wonders aloud.
Lily rolls her eyes, and goes into the bathroom for a bit. Her voice echoes as she yells her words out the cracked door. "Slow down, Lupin," she tells him. "We've got time left to be lazy." When she walks back out, he's sporting yesterday's cargo shorts and a plain blue t-shirt, and she's got on her favourite summer dress.
He watches as she shrinks their things and stuffs them into the bottomless moleskin bag that Hagrid had given her on her twelfth birthday. "Where're we going?" he asks wearily as he wraps an arm loosely around her shoulder. They walk out of the hotel room and down the hall toward the elevator.
"We're going to get some breakfast," she explains as they wait for the elevator to come up to their floor.
He raises an eyebrow and checks the watch on his wrist. 12:23 pm. "What've you got in mind?"
She's got that goofy smirk on again. "Vodka." This time, he lets her press all the buttons.
They find a small café by the beach to eat brunch in. Lily gobbles down a burger, fries, a milkshake, and a beer, while Teddy sticks to something that won't give him a heart attack, like fish and chips and a coffee. Lily's just pulled out her map and they're deciding on where to go next when Lily ducks down, mumbling a string of so many curse words that an elderly Spanish lady sitting in the table next to them clucks disapprovingly.
"Whatsa matter?" Teddy asks in a low voice, trying in a panic to keep his hair a normal blond.
Lily's put her hands over her head, as though trying to hide herself. "That wizard's an Auror. I know him. He's in the investigation department. He had dinner at the house just a week ago."
Teddy looks in the direction of her eyes, and he sees a tall man, wearing wizard's robes and a solemn expression, searching for something amongst the Muggle tourists. His eyes go wide. "They're looking for you, Lil," he says incredulously.
"Looking for us," she corrects. "We're in this together — now let's get out of here!" She grabs his fingers, and throws a Sickle onto the map. It lands on Morocco. They sneakily dash out of the café before anyone gives them a second glance, laughing and shouting along the way.
They make it to Morocco in record time, arriving at about eight o'clock that night, stopping in Portugal along the way to eat a snack consisting of caldo verde and rice pudding. They eat dinner in Tangier in a small, dimly lit restaurant with belly dancers wandering the aisles in-between the tables. One of them drags Lily up and she dances with them, laughing and trying to get Teddy to come up with her, and he — he doesn't know what's happening. Every man in the room looks at her like she's a goddess, and in the dreamy, dark lighting of the restaurant and spice of the food and the way she attracts everyone's gaze, but her eyes are always on him — he doesn't know why but his heart's beating real fast and he laughs too hard at her jokes, gets too nervous when she sits with her bare thigh pressed hard against his leg.
She buys a belly dancing costume in the seaside market, and when she holds the filmy, see-through turquoise cloth to her face, her eyes look like something out of a painting and Teddy's heart squeezes so much that —
Let's just say, he's glad they don't stay too long in Morocco.
They make their way closer to the Mediterranean sea and stop in Ibiza, because Lily complains that she hasn't gotten drunk in practically a fortnight.
He doesn't really look forward to those nights, partying with Lily. Sure, it's fun to take shots with the girl you'd read The Little Mermaid to when she was little, but it wasn't fun holding her hair back as she pukes her kidneys out into a smelly toilet. Especially that occasional happening when a girl walks in to find him washing his hands and calls him a, as the nicest one out of the seven times it's occurred, "fucking perv." He doesn't tell Lily but every time it happens he loses just a bit of his pride. And masculinity.
And it ends like that. Lily drinks — tips her head back and downs the alcohol like there's something she's trying to forget. Trying to drink away. He used to think that maybe something bad had happened to her, something he couldn't protect her from. She's been surrounded by death and unfinished memories since the day she was born, but he knows now that it's not anything from her past. It's her present. She's trying to drink herself away.
When the night finishes, they're back to square one — cramped in a dirty bathroom stall, Lily rocking on her heels as she wipes her mouth with the back of her forearm, moaning.
"What're you running from, Potter?" he mutters as he throws her over her shoulder, making his way to a more secluded area so that he can Apparate them back to the ship.
She doesn't answer, only makes a muffled sound. Her warm breath makes the hairs on the back of his neck stand, makes him shiver, makes his spine tingle. "I'm running until I find a reason to stay," she whispers, and kisses his earlobe in such a gentle manner that he knows, as he spins around and lands on the deck of the ship, that he loves her too much to bear.
"Mornin', gorgeous," he greets in a horrible Southern accent when she opens her makeup-smeared eyes to the light of day.
She groans loudly and stretches, sore bones cracking. "Oh, shut up," she complains. "Not everybody looks like a fucking Veela when they wake up, especially when they're hungover as Uncle Ron the morning after the Chudley Cannons win."
Teddy feigns embarrassment. "Aw, shucks," he says goofily, making his hair turn the same silvery blond colour as Louis'.
"I was talking about Victoire!" Lily roars furiously, blushing hard, but kisses him on the cheek for carrying her home and goes down to make some tea, anyway.
They sip at their own mugs of tea, cross-legged, sitting on the deck, watching the sails move as the ship steers itself.
"Where're we going, Cap'n Teddy?" Lily asks, wearing a worn sailor's cap she'd bought in a thrift shop in Ibiza that morning when they'd gotten off the ship to eat breakfast.
Teddy shrugs, saluting her. "Wherever the wind takes us, first mate Lily."
Lily licks her finger and sticks it in the air, her brow furrowing as she thinks for a bit. "Uh, well, I've always wanted to go to Barcelona."
He smiles, finishes the last of his coffee, and stands up to change the directions of the charm. "Your wish is my command, little red."
They're in a plaza in Barcelona — Lily's window-shopping while Teddy reads the Daily Prophet on a bench — when Teddy almost chokes on his words as he waves Lily down in a panic.
"Look!" he cries, and shows her the front page of the Prophet — a picture of his father and a team of Aurors waving at the camera solemnly. The headline reads: Harry Potter's still-missing daughter spotted in Spain.
Lily's bites her lip so hard that he sees blood. "Fuck, fuck, fuck," she chants. She reads the rest of the article. "Oh, Salazar, Ted. It says they're monitoring all the tourist destinations in Spain. They must have Aurors everywhere." She looks around her anxiously. "We're in Barcelona, for fuck's sake."
Teddy gives her a doubtful look as she tugs desperately on his hand, trying to get him to move. There're too many Muggles around for them to cast any disguising charms or to Apparate. They're stuck until he gives in. He always gives in. He always gives in to her. "Just — Just tell me what you're running from, Lil," he requests unsurely, waiting for her reaction.
She looks furious. "What're you on about?" Lily looks around her again, as though she can sense the walls closing in around her. "We have to go! We'll talk later, Ted, come on, please, we — "
He shakes his head. She pulls away from him, stricken. "No, Lily," he insists. "You tell me why we've got to leave, and I'll go."
The colour leaves her face, the light leaves her eyes. "Please," she begs. "Not here. Not now. Not you. Don't be like them. You're the only one I've got. Don't be like them."
In the end he goes with her, after seconds of contemplation. Because she's ten years younger and twice as smart. Because she's got red hair and eyes like kaleidoscopes. Because he's known her all her life and sometimes he's not sure if she loves him, but he knows that with one look he's down on his knees for her.
In the end he goes with her, because she's Lily and he's Teddy and — fuck — what can you do?
That night, they make it to Greece in record time. Apparently, feelings of betrayal from the only friend you have left are really good magical ship fuel.
When he's changed into pyjamas and drunken about three cups of tea, he makes his way to the main deck, where he finds Lily sitting on the railing, those long, torturous legs hanging over the edge.
"That's dangerous," he mentions subtly, leaning on the railing next to her. He tries to make his hair stay brown, but eventually he lets go and it slowly morphs into that same, murky hazel-green as Lily's eyes.
She won't look at him. She looks at the waves, her feet, the stars, the sails, but never glances anywhere near his flashing gold eyes. "It's not like you care," she mumbles finally in a manner that reminds him of those times when they were younger and everything was simple and nothing hurt.
He frowns. "Of course I care, Lil. You're the person I care for most."
Reluctantly, she comes to meet his eyes. "Swear?"
There's no hesitation. Not anymore. "Swear."
The next day is a blur. They spend it on the white sand beaches of Greece, eating spanakopita and drinking glass after glass of wine they'd bought from a small café at the top of the hill. They stay there until their skin aches and their fingertips shrivel and Lily's hair is in tangles with salt water.
When the night comes, Lily holds his hand as they dip their toes in the water one last time.
"I'm running from life, Teddy," she tells him in a hush. She looks up at him once — terrified eyes and her teeth coming down on her lip. "I don't want to be like the rest of them. I don't want to have that white picket fence and that nine to five job and three kids and working until I'm seventy so that my kids will have that same life. I want to see the world. I want to do what I like. I want to live before I die. I really do."
He watches her as she tucks her hair behind her ear and scoots closer to him, leaning her head on his shoulder. "It's okay," he mumbles. "Just don't you go running from me."
That's probably the moment when she kissed him. He's not quite sure. The day was a blur.
The waves sound like a dream as they lay in the August moonlight.
He's not sure if it's the dizziness of them, well, together, with her so close and him so drunk, or if it's really just the rocking of the ship, anchored to that Greek shore.
"You're the person I care for most, too, Lupin, you poof of a fucker," she whispers endearingly. At least, he thinks it's endearing. Even if she did swear at him.
"Love you too, Potter," he says back, anyway.
Next morning, he wakes up to an empty bed and Aurors bursting into the cabin. He pulls his pants on quickly and rolls out of bed, shaken. They grab him by the shoulders and yell things but they all go past his ears, his hair taking on a spectrum of colour.
"She's never going to stop running," he tells Harry, whose grey hair sticks up in the back, where he'd fussed with it so much out of anxiety. "Not until you guys stop looking for her."
Teddy goes back to England, and Lily goes off to wherever it is she goes.
There's a time when they think that Teddy might get charged with kidnapping, but it's more realistic that it'd been Teddy who was kidnapped, and Lily was of age anyway, and could do whatever the fuck she wanted. The headlines stopped appearing in the paper. The paparazzi slowed down. The Aurors stopped looking.
He gets a package from her one day, about a month after she'd left him on that ship off the coast of Greece. In it is a short letter and a couple of bars of chocolate.
I told you I'd get you Swiss chocolate, it reads in that familiar, swooping cursive. – Lil. (P.S. It's not you I'm running from. It'll never be you.)
And he's really not very surprised when, in the middle of the night at three am, he wakes up to the sound of her shouting underneath his bedroom window, waiting for him to come outside and live.