The Meddlesome Fact
A HariPo oneshot
Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. No comment. I think it's plain by now that I ship Al/Teddy. XD Read, review, and enjoy!
He was the first one to know…everything, really.
It was more by accident than for any other reason. Most of the time, Albus just happened to be around when the proverbial shit hit the fan. Teddy thought nothing of it, in the beginning.
When Al was little, Teddy doubted the tyke would even really remember his brief stint with Victoire. Still, it was brief, and it felt as though Teddy had split from Victoire as soon as he had gotten together with her. Al was the first one Teddy told.
"Why's your cheek red, Teddy?" Al had asked that Christmas. With James and him home for the break, Teddy felt as though his family was whole again. He really did love the Potters.
The Metamorphmagus had picked up his hanged head and given Al a tiny smile. "It's been red for a little while, actually…"
The eleven-year-old had dropped down to sit beside his god brother out on the patio in the backyard. Inside, his parents were trying to ignore the fact that Lily was pestering James. "Yes, that's nice. But you didn't tell me why it's red."
Teddy had chuckled. "Ah…Victoire…"
Al had looked at him with raised eyebrows. "You broke up with her, didn't you?"
"How'd you know?"
"It was the first time she wanted to stay at school for the break, Teddy." He had gently poked Teddy's cheek. "And then you come home with that redness…" He'd shaken his head then. "It doesn't take a genius to figure it out."
Teddy had pursed his lips before wrapping an arm around Al and playfully tousling his hair. "What the heck, Al? You've only had part of your first year, and suddenly you come home and it's like you've grown up."
"Not 'like,' Teddy."
"It's as though I've grown up."
Teddy had rolled his eyes. "Correct my grammar only once you've graduated, Al."
Al had snorted. "I'll hold you to it, then."
Teddy hadn't realized it then, but Al's subtle topic change had lightened his heart. It had been the first time in the weeks following the break-up in which Teddy hadn't felt sick with himself. The thing was, he hadn't broken up with Victoire because either one of them had done anything…but that was precisely it. Being with Victoire had been so suffocating, because it had felt as though they were just for show, what with everyone having planned their wedding nearly since they'd been in diapers. But she was behind him now, and he actually felt that was for the best. They made better friends anyway.
Then Teddy was single for a while. Nothing could touch him, especially no woman. He was the Auror-in-training who was lighting up the field with his skill. He was so focused on making Harry proud of him that Molly slipped into his field-of-vision unnoticed.
But she didn't stay unnoticed for long.
No, bookish Molly had grown up. She was very capable, and it didn't take long for the Obliviator Squad to feel as though she was their leader. Still, Teddy was hesitant to dive into love again after all the effort he'd thrown at his work.
But Molly was grown-up, and she'd come to learn how that affected the men around her, and she seemed to quite like the effect she had on Teddy.
They lasted longer than he and Victoire had, mainly because Molly's smarts kept him on his toes, making every day that much more interesting. However…he and Molly were not meant to be. She needed an older man who could keep up with her, someone like that Corner bloke at the Ministry.
Naturally, Al was there when Teddy broke it off and encouraged Molly to ask Michael out. "Well," Al had said. He stood at Teddy's chest, almost to his shoulder. Back then, Teddy had taken notice of Al, too, and he'd wondered how he'd missed so much of Al growing up. But that had been beside the point. Teddy had just gotten out of another relationship.
Al had clapped him on the back. Teddy had groaned and had shaken his head. It was the first moment that he'd wished that Al was seventeen and not sixteen, because then Teddy wouldn't have felt so bad about urging Al to share a firewhiskey with him to dull the ache.
"You really told my cousin to seek out a man twice her age?" was all Al had offered.
The absurdity of the question and its situation had made Teddy laugh. His face had broken out into a grin as he had leaned back into his couch and Al had dropped into the seat beside him, all requests for help with Transfiguration forgotten for another night during this Easter break. "I guess so."
"That was bloody stupid. Uncle Percy's going to have a fit when he finds out."
"Oh, I'm sure Molly can keep her love life a secret if she wants. She's an adult now."
"And you've never had the desire to keep your love life a secret?" Al had asked.
Teddy had momentarily thought about it and had shaken his head. "Nah. Secrets aren't my thing."
Al had stood up then to leave. "Right. Well, shall we eat something since nothing's going to get done tonight?"
Al's response had weighed, had stayed with Teddy. Secret relationships were a problem—hadn't he realized that? A few years after Teddy and Victoire had broken up, Victoire had been the scandal of the family after it had been discovered that she'd fallen in love with Neville. But now the family was used to them; surely they could handle Molly's new direction. But Teddy? No, he didn't need any scandals. He tried hard to keep his parents' names good since too many people were quick to squirm when they heard "werewolf" and "Black family."
Of course, he'd thought all of that even months later when he found himself hiding in the shadows outside of the Burrow with his mouth on Dominique's neck.
She was Al's age, for Merlin's sake! She was also his ex's little sister. She was also gorgeous as hell with that soft cream hair and those warm tea-colored eyes and that easygoing smile.
It was over before it'd really begun. Teddy couldn't stay with her, thinking of all he'd gone through. There were a few more witches after her, but none as serious as Molly or even Dominique.
So Teddy surmised that maybe love wasn't for him. He even confided this in Al.
"Why d'you say that?" the Potter had asked. It was a few years after Al had left Hogwarts, and now he was training under Teddy's and Harry's tutelage in the Auror Office. Al's best mate, Scorpius, was training there, too.
"Come on," Teddy had spat while the others were distracted. "You know about me and Dom. And the others…"
"Miriam, Jen, Katya, and Fery," he'd rattled off.
Teddy had been impressed that Al had remembered them all. He'd been paying attention. "Um…yeah."
Al had smirked. "If you give up love, then my shoulder's going to be dry for the rest of my life, isn't it?"
The Metamorphmagus had blushed. "Shut it! I never cried on your shoulder!"
"You did. For Mols. After she announced to the family that she was indeed dating Michael Corner."
Teddy had frowned. Thinking back on it, he only sort of understood what he'd once missed in Molly. But then…it didn't matter so much anymore. What did matter was Al. Was he such a prick so as to stop hanging out with Teddy just because Teddy had stopped having girlfriends? The idea of Al not swinging by his place as often annoyed him. "Then why don't you go get yourself a girlfriend to cry over?" he'd hissed.
Al hadn't taken offense…no, well, he had. He'd raised one eyebrow coolly. Then he'd shaken his head and abandoned Teddy for Scorpius' company.
Teddy had tried to convince himself that it didn't matter if his god brother liked him or not. At least they'd always be family—er, even if they really weren't related. Oh, the technicalities.
Teddy got by for a month before he felt the need for their old camaraderie. Al had done his best to avoid him at work, but Teddy had been determined to get Al to talk with him again, or at least listen. The Lupin had even enlisted his cousin's help, but Scorpius was of little use. He was polite, yes, but he refrained from talking about Al's relationship with Teddy. Teddy thought that perhaps Scorpius had been jealous; the more time Al spent with Teddy, the less he spent with Scorpius.
So Teddy's last resort was cornering Al after hours in the Auror Office. Yet no matter how many times the snake was cornered, he always managed to slither away without any meaningful exchanges.
Teddy wondered why Al was the only person who seemed to want nothing more to do with him. Godric, it infuriated Teddy! Al was no longer the smirking pal of his, his confidant. Instead, Al was a brooding, silent git with a huge chip on his shoulder. He didn't ease into grins anymore around Teddy; no, he preferred only ever to raise that single eyebrow coolly in distaste or, or in discomfort. That expression made Teddy's blood boil. He almost wanted to hit him, or hex him, or maybe even tell Lily that he'd been picking on Teddy in this way (because Lily had always treated Teddy as though he were her younger brother in dire need of protection from their "older brothers"). He wanted to slap him, to hold either side of his face and make Al look him straight in the eye and—and—
Teddy panted, catching his breath.
But he'd thought it.
Yes, he'd thought of kissing that raven-haired bloke to within an inch of his life. He'd thought of those emerald orbs cutting into him with a single gaze. He'd thought of seeing if Al was really so pale, so alabaster all over.
And, most of all, he'd thought he'd gone bonkers. If Dominique had been a scandal, then Al would be the ruin of him.
But…if they could be as they'd used to be, at least as close friends, then Teddy felt that nothing else would matter, and his brief, stray thoughts would fade away.
Yet Al didn't make that any easier. The more Teddy tried to talk to him after work, the more stubborn Al got, until Teddy finally reached a breaking point and shoved him down into the chair at Harry's desk, long after everyone else had gone home for the night. At least Al had showed some response. "What d'you think you're doing?" he hissed.
"You've got to stop being such a—a—a twat!" Teddy gushed.
There was a silent pause, and then Al snickered, and the look he gave Teddy told the Metamorphmagus that Al wasn't happy about being made to laugh. "Don't use such language," he seethed, but his cheeks were red, undermining his tone.
Teddy snorted. "Then don't make me resort to it. I—"
"—want our friendship back. I know."
"—don't even know why I was upset, I know." Al shrugged, but he didn't look ready to elaborate.
"You want me to stop being a jerk. I know, I know." Al sighed and stood. Teddy offhandedly mused about how Al had never grown past his chest—what an appropriate, cuddly size. Back on topic, Al sighed again and rested his forehead on Teddy's chest. "I'm sorry. I…don't want to say why, but your girlfriend comment hurt. So I haven't got someone in my life—so what?"
Al looked up at him in confusion. "What?"
"You didn't guess my last sentence correctly," Teddy replied, still a bit annoyed. "I—"
"—want to snog me right now, don't you?" Al laughed at the priceless look on Teddy's face as the older man turned Expelliarmus red. However, Al didn't shy away or escape at all as Teddy's arms rested comfortably around Al's waist.
"—did I know?" Al raised an eyebrow, but it wasn't done so coldly. "C'mon, Teddy. I know everything about you."
"Yes, but how did you know before I did that I…"
"Sorry for never making it very apparent that I was in love with my god brother." Al ducked his eyes. "If it's any consolation, I didn't know that you were actually going to admit anything—"
"I haven't admitted anything," Teddy corrected.
Al gave him a look. "You're joking, right?"
"Like I said—"
"Ah-ah-ah—'as' you said."
Teddy rolled his eyes, thinking that it was such a thin line, the line between loving and wanting to kill a loved one. "Can we just skip to the snogging part?"
"We may, but—" Al looked at him seriously, and Teddy felt as though it had gotten brighter in the room, now that those eyes were back on him. "Teddy, I'm sorry. We can't go back to being friends."
For once, Teddy was the first to catch on, and he smile as he finally kissed him. "You know, I think I can live with that, funny enough. And while we're at it…want to cry on my shoulder in secret later?"
Okay, so—done when really tired, but I ended up quite liking this. Maybe just 'cuz I love Alteddy so much. :3 Anywho, I thought of giving Teddy more girlfriends…but I think giving him fewer but more meaningful ones shaped him better, prepared him better for the kind of love that was right for him—Al's. -w- *dies* Not to mention all the nummy slashy-ness… *types that as a gay couple walks past with their baby girl on campus* OH MY GODRIC! AL! TEDDY! COME BACK AND TELL MY YOUR CHILD'S NAME! 8D …yeah, I'm still tired. Side note: Victoire/Neville and Mols/Michael are 2 M&MWPs, so a mention would be nice if you used them, thx.
Anywho, I hope you enjoyed this enough to review and not just favorite this oneshot. Thanks for reading!