A/N: As always, I do not own anything and I'm making no money out of this. This was written for Mew&Mor's Weird Pairings Competition 2012 on the HPFC. It was also written for my own Pairing Diversity Boot Camp Challenge, with the prompt 'stag night' and for Hedwig Black's Minor Character Boot Camp with the prompt 'butterbeer'.
Thanks to MissingMommy and BlueEyes44, who have Beta'ed this for me.
It was a warm autumn night when a troop of young men left a bar in down town London, completely pissed from drinking too much butterbeer. They were all cheering and shouting and the one that seemed to be in the center of attention staggered across the street.
"You guys, this was fun! We should do it again some time!"
"Yeah you should get married again!" one of the others yelled. "Oh wait, you're not even married yet to begin with!"
They all burst out in drunken laughter and the one who had spoken slapped the supposed groom-to-be on the back. The groom-to-be shook his red hair out of his face. "Ha-ha, aren't we funny Al." He posed it in such a way that nobody knew if it was a question or statement. But in the state they were in, none of them really cared.
"Al!" two brown haired men shouted and imitated raising ta glass. In a very off-key voice they started singing "I can call you Daddy, Daddy when you call me Aaaaaaaal!" They hold on 'Al' extra long, making it sound like a whine. Then they slumped against each other and everyOne broke out in laughter again.
Al, the one that had slapped the groom-to-be on the back, laughed just as hard. "My parents must have been mental when they named me! I mean seriously, who names their kid Albus Severus?"
"At least it isn't Lorcan Neville!" a blond responded.
"Or Lysander!" a second blond cut in. "Lysander Ronald Scamander. What were they thinking?"
This had them bursting out once again. "Yeah, you win San," one of the others said with a grin.
"You guys, I think it's time to go," the groom-to-be hiccupped.
"Ah Lou, you're just no fun!" one of the other men exclaimed.
"Hey, it's still my party!"
"Too bad we didn't hire that stripper. That would've loosened you up a bit!"
They erupted in laughter again. One of the guys broke free from the troop. "Why don't we give Lou a little show here? I can strip!" He started making over-dramatized movements whilst walking backwards but fell flat on his behind as he tripped over the sidewalk.
"Yeah, some stripper you make Fred. You can't even stand on your feet for two seconds!"
"Wait, wait, just give me a second." He staggered back onto his feet, swaying a bit but managing to stay upright. "Tadaa!"
"Whoohoo!" they rooted. Al blew his fingers, resulting in a whistle. "Give us a show Fred!"
"Show, show, show," the others cheered and Fred winked at them. "Alrighty! Now, I need a volunteer!"
"Louiiiiis!" they yelled but Fred shook his head. "Nah, too obvious. Lor, come here man!"
Grinning, the others pushed the blond forward. "Who's doing the music? I can't strip without music!" Fred shouted and faked a pout, which had them once again roaring with laughter.
"Hey Dan, you do the beats and I'll do the tum-dum ta-da-dum, right?" a black haired boy said. The brown haired boy he had spoken too grinned and the two of them started doing a horrible imitation of the classic strip-act tune.
Fred began unbuttoning his shirt and let his hands skim Lorcan's arm. He took it off slowly under the constant tum-dum ta-da-dum and beat of his friends.
"What do you want me do with it?" he yelled at them once he'd taken it off.
"Wrap it around Lor!" one of them shouted back, which prompted another outburst of giggles.
Fred grinned mischievously and put his shirt around Lorcan's neck whilst holding it by the sleeves. Beckoning to the blond, he gave a tug at his shirt, pulling him in closer until Lorcan's lips collided with his own. The other men cheered and wolf whistled and were now crying from laughter. "Man, stop it, you're making me piss my pants," Dan hiccupped.
Lorcan slowly opened his eyes and blinked. The daylight was strong and unforgiving and he quickly closed his eyes again. Man, my head aches. It felt like elephants were stampeding around in his head. I really shouldn't have drunk so much last night, he thought to himself. The cruel daylight hurt his eyes even when he kept them closed. I must have forgotten to draw the curtains last night.
He desperately needed to go the little men's room. He placed his feet on the carpet and stood up. Bad idea Lorcan. Bad idea. He sank back onto the bed and groaned. Carefully this time, he made another attempt. With his eyes still closed, he managed to shuffle to the bathroom and by touch he located the toilet.
His body felt sore and he figured this must be the worst hangover he had ever had. He flushed the toilet and shuffled back. He slid back into bed and put the duvet up over his head. I really hate hangovers, he thought and groaned again.
Next to him, someone else groaned too and shifted in their sleep. An arm snaked around him, placing one hand on his abdomen and groaning slightly again. Lorcan froze. What the…
Had he taken someone home with him? But that groan was too deep to belong to a woman and Lorcan's heart skipped a beat. He carefully opened one eye to take in the surroundings. This is not my room. He opened his other eye as well and stared at the dark blue wallpaper. This is definitely not my room. He slowly turned around. Who in Merlin's name had he been sleeping with?
"Fred!" he exclaimed in shock. Lorcan had never been close friends with Fred,mostly due to the fact that Fred was a couple of years older than he was. But they had still hang out, since Fred was Louis' cousin and Louis was his best friend.
Fred lifted his head a little upon hearing his name. "Huh wazzup?" he said groggily. "Ouch, my head. Whatimizzit?"
"Fred!" Lorcan exclaimed again, his voice a little higher this time.
Upon hearing and seeing one of his friends, in his bed, Fred sat bolt upright. "Lorcan! What are you doing here?"
"I'm not exactly sure…" Lorcan replied. "Did we…I mean…you know…"
"I don't know. Did we?"
"I drank so much butterbeer last night that I don't remember."
Fred looked around the room. "I suppose we did…" he said and pointed at the tube of lubricant standing on his bedside table.
"Ah man," Lorcan grunted. Then it all came rushing back to him. Louis' stag night with all of Louis' cousins and friends. Fred doing his little stripper-show after they all had too much to drink. The two of them kissing. The police breaking up the party because the troop was waking up the neighbourhood, and threatening to throw them in jail for a night if they didn't just get the hell out of there. One by one they had Disapparated and Lorcan went with Fred. In his apartment, they had redone the kiss all over again and they had taken off their clothes and Fred had pulled out the lubricant and…
"I gotta go," he said and jumped out of bed, ignoring the thumping pain in his head as he started to put his clothes back on.
"You know what the worst part is?" Fred pulled him out of his thoughts.
Lorcan looked at him, flustered by the memory of the previous night.
"My head hurts so much I don't even remember if you were any good," Fred continued. He had regained some of his usual sparkle and was now looking cheekily at Lorcan, who flushed an even deeper shade of scarlet at his words.
"Ah, I suppose it was then. Good to know I still have it, even when I'm too far gone to remember." He looked smug.
"Fred!" Lorcan said appalled. "How can you be so, so laconically about it? We slept together! We…"
"…had sex," Fred finished his sentence. "So what?" He shrugged. "It's not like I've never done that before."
Something clicked in Lorcan's head. "Hence the lubricant in your bedside table," he whispered in a hoarse voice.
"Hence the lubricant," Fred confirmed. "It's always better to be prepared, right? You never know what might happen."
"I'm leaving," Lorcan said sharply and prepared to Disapparate.
"If the sex is good, who cares if it's with a woman or a man?" he caught Fred saying before the room started to become blurry.
Fred's words echoed in his mind. Next Friday, Lorcan would have to see him again and he was convinced it would be awkward. One brief second he thought about not going to Louis' wedding, but he discarded that thought almost immediately. He was the best man; Louis would never forgive him if he wasn't there. So he just needed to suck it up and get over it, no matter how uncomfortable he felt about the whole situation. They had both been drunk, end of story.
If only things were that simple.
Lorcan kept thinking about what he referred to in his mind as 'the incident'. It was obvious that Fred had been with men before, so he couldn't entirely blame him. Had he sent off some sort of vibe that he'd be interested? He thought he hadn't, but what if he had? Did that mean that he was gay? The wedding was this afternoon and he still hadn't figured out what it meant.
"Hey man, what's up?" Lysander asked. "Why the troubled face?" They were both getting dressed for the wedding.
"I just wondered whether I wasn't forgetting anything. You know, being best man and all," he replied maybe just a little too quickly. He grinned at his brother. Lysander shot him a funny look, but said nothing more on the subject. Lorcan was really glad that Lysander had been as wasted as he'd been the night of the stag party, because otherwise he was sure his brother would have fired questions at him.
"You'll be fine Lor. You'll be a perfect best man. The best Louis could have wished for."
Lorcan wasn't too sure about that, but he kept that to himself.
They Apparated to the wedding location where they found Louis, looking nervous.
"I'll see you guys later," Lysander said, before taking off to mix with the other guests.
"So, this is it," Lorcan said to Louis.
"Yep, this is it." Louis let out his breath. "Man, I'm so nervous."
"Don't be. Amélie is a wonderful woman and the two of you make a great couple. There really shouldn't be that much difference between being her boyfriend and living together or being her husband."
"I suppose you're right," Louis replied. The bells began to ring, so they knew it was time for the groom and best man to take their positions at the altar. The bride would soon be walking in on the arm of her father. As the music swelled, Amélie walked in. A small tiara sparkled amidst her dark curls and she wore a white dress, adorned with burgundy flowers. She looked stunning.
However, Lorcan wasn't looking at the bride. He had spotted Fred in the crowd and he was staring at him. Fred was the only one to wear a white tuxedo, which contrasted with his dark skin. He looked…handsome, for lack of a better word. Oh Merlin. Lorcan found it hard to focus on the ceremony but managed to pull it off, nodding at just the right times and signing the marriage papers when requested.
In the evening, at the party, everybody was dancing and having a good time. Lorcan was standing by the bar, scanning the crowd. He wasn't quite sure what to do when he spotted Fred. The obvious thing would be to ignore him and just pretend nothing ever happened. But that would cause people to ask questions. And then there was also that nagging feeling of what if that just wouldn't go away.
After hours of carefully avoiding Fred, Lorcan took a decision. He'd never know for sure if he kept avoiding him. He downed a Firewhisky to drink in courage. The liquid burnt his throat and he coughed, tears in his eyes.
"Are you alright dear?" his mother asked, a worried look on her face. "There are Nargles all around you."
"Yeah, fine, I just need some water," he said when he spotted Fred walking towards the vestibule. He took off in the direction of the vestibule, which was located at almost the same spot as the bathrooms and prayed against hope that his Mum wouldn't notice.
"There's water here, you know," she commented.
He pretended not to hear her and waved a hand at her to indicate that he was okay. He caught Fred when he was about to button his coat, ready to leave. "Fred, wait. We need to talk."
"Hi Lor. Look, if it's about the other night…I'm sorry. I just kinda got carried away. I'm sorry I made you feel uncomfortable."
"What's the difference?" Lorcan asked bluntly.
"What's what difference?" Fred answered, a little confused.
"What's the difference between being with a woman and being with a man?"
Fred laughed. "Come on, Lor, even you know the answer to that. You've learnt about basic anatomy, right?"
"I don't…I mean, that's not what I meant." His face had gone crimson. "Is the feeling the same? Or is it just, you know, physical?"
"You mean if I can fall in love with a man?" Fred raised an eyebrow. "Why, do you have a declaration to make?"
"No, that's not what I mean," Lorcan repeated. Damn, why was Fred making it so difficult for him? He took a deep breath. "What I mean is if it's possible to have a drunken night with a friend without being attracted to men or does it automatically mean you're gay?" he said in one go.
"Whoa, whoa, calm down. So basically, what you want to know is whether or not you're gay, now that you've had sex with me?"
"Ssh, keep your voice down," Lorcan hushed embarrassed.
"You know, there's only way to find out."
"And that is?"
"I beg your pardon?"
"I said kiss me. Then we'll see whether or not you're straight." Fred smiled encouragingly at him. "Or bisexual, like me."
Lorcan stared at him. But he supposed it really was the only way to find out, so he leant forward a little awkwardly. Okay, here we go, he thought as his lips touched Fred's. He closed his eyes and focused on the sensation. Fred tasted of Firewhisky and something salty. It was different than the kisses he'd shared with women so far. When they pulled away, Fred looked at his nether regions and laughed. "Well, you're definitely not gay, but you're one hell of a kisser. Feel free to give me a call whenever you're drunk and need a good shag. You know where I live now," he winked. Then he turned on the spot and Disapparated, leaving Lorcan slightly confused.
He was not gay. That was a relief. Not that he had anything against gays - Albus had come out of the closet years ago and his boyfriend Peter was a great guy - but to be friends with someone gay or to be gay yourself…that was quite the difference in his opinion. Everyone had already expected it of Al, so it didn't really came as shock when he came out. But he figured they would be rather shocked if he were to be gay. However, none of that mattered: Fred had been very determined that he was not, in fact, gay.
Then why was there that little jolt in his stomach when he recalled Fred's departing words?