a/n: this is my new otp and I thought I'd try writing it.

&and&

It's like she's on fire, blazing through life; he's embers of her fire, just burning out, and he can't live up to her seventeen-year fire that's been ignited since day one.

Her hair is like fiery curls that spiral out of control, and her eyes-her eyes- they've got a spark that can't be extinguished.

And him? (Oh…him.) He tries to live up to the flames kindled by his parents and by her and he does. Everyone can see that. But he only watches her and wishes they could burn together.

&and&

She's seventeen, he's twenty-eight. She's a sly Slytherin in her final year at Hogwarts, he's her Transfiguration Professor, of course he is.

And it's horrible, but it's not. They're best friends, and when she was little she used to crawl into his bed when she had those nightmares about the war her daddy told her about, and she told him all her secrets (she's hates the way her brothers are affected by their daddy's expectations), and she can't really do that anymore. And she's forbidden (by him) to call him "Teddy" or "Ted" or anything she used to, and she hates it, but she doesn't. She calls him "Teddy" anyway. She sees him every day. He scrawls little notes on her homework, and tells her how to get into his office.

"Teddy?"

A glare.

"Professor Lupin? I'm confused."

She sits in the front row for his class, of course she does. He keeps the curtains in the classroom open entirely, and the view of the Black Lake is unbeatable. He enlisted her help and she came to his new classroom after the start of term feast to help him decorate the classroom with pictures of heroes from the war. Pictures of her family, her grandparents Lily and James, Teddy's parents, Dumbledore, and all those who died fighting in the First and Second Wizarding Wars stare back at her every time she walks in.

"Yes, Lily?" Her thoughts are interrupted by Teddy, and Merlin, she forgot to make up an excuse for asking for his help…

"Teddy, I…" Her eye catches on a picture hanging in front of her. "Did you know my Uncle Fred?"

A sigh. "I…no, Lily, and I thought you were confused."

"Right, um…"

"Lily, go back to work." Quieter: "The password's "Lily"."

&and&

"So…my name is your password? Again?"

"Yes, Lils. It always is."

"Right."

Silence.

"Scorpius kissed me after your class today."

Her fire has died down, and she's confused, honestly confused. His fire is heating up; he's…jealous? They sit in an uncomfortable sort of silence before-

"And?"

Her temper flares. "And…and what, Teddy? Are you going to tell me not to go after him like everyone else already has? I'm not a little girl!"

"Lily, what are you talking about? I never said anything! I just wondered…I…Lily! Wait!"

But she is already out the door, racing down the corridor, and he tries to avoid the line of fire as he runs after her.

&and&

He was burned in her line of fire, and she has scars from the fire she started. Her eyes have lost their spark. They stop talking, and she stops asking for help during his class.

And he hates it, he hates all of it, because he knows that what he said (whatever he said) made her like this.

And she hates it. She hates that she's so confused, because Scorpius likes her, and that's making Teddy (her Teddy) mad at her (right…?), and she just doesn't know what to do.

&and&

Her grades in his class are slipping. She never asks for help because she can't face him, and her parents are concerned, but she just brushes it off.

And what's worse is that Teddy tries to help her, but she's mad at him, remember? (All she really needs is his help.)

All she really needs is him.

&and&

He corners her one day after his lesson finishes up. She hurrying out of the classroom (as usual) when she trips on the leg of a desk and her books pour out of her bag, ink splatters everywhere and quills are snapped in two. She just sighs like she expected it. A pair of large hands begin gathering up her books as she sinks to the floor with her head in her hands.

"Teddy…" They look up at each other, eyes connecting for the first times in weeks. She's close to tears and her fire is burning out. "Teddy, I miss you."

He magicks the door closed, sits on the concrete floor next to her and pulls Lily onto his lap like when they- when she- was a kid. "I miss you, too, Lils."

Comfortable silence passes before-

"Scorpius broke up with me."

He's honestly sorry to hear it, but he can't help but hope she's okay with it, and that she's in love with someone else (him?) but why would she be in love with him? He's so much older, and they're only best friends and-

"Aww, Lily, I'm sorry. He wasn't worth it, you know."

"How do you know? You weren't around."

"I know." His fingers are tangled in her fiery red curls, and he's beginning to see the spark in her eyes. "And I'm sorry." And I love you, he mentally adds.

"I'm sorry, too, Teddy."

"No, Lily, I should have run after you and I'm sorry for what I said."

Comfortable silence.

"I…"

"What, Teddy?"

"Nothing."

"What?"

"Lily…I-"

Deep breath.

"I love you, too, Teddy, you know. Like, real love. Like, in love."

He laughs. "You made that so much easier on me, Lils."

And his lips are glued to hers, and Merlin, he's glad he closed the door, or he would be out of a job and she would be expelled, and his hands are tangled into her curls of fire and she's starting to see a spark, a fire, in his eyes she never noticed before.

"You're beautiful."

"I love you, Teddy."

&and&

And they're both fire in their own right, but together, they are unstoppable.

fin

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