Fandom: Harry Potter
Word Count: 2,220
Warnings: This one DOES have a pairing, though it's not what you think.
Pairing: Teddy/Nate, Remus/MC
Disclaimer: This is a transformative work of fiction for entertainment purposes only. Hogwarts and Teddy Lupin belong to J.K. Rowling. Nate belongs to me though!
AN: A demented'verse timestamp. Set in Teddy's fourth year (2012).
AN #2: I have a particular interpretation of the Remus Lupin character, which I feel is supported strongly by canon; however, you're own opinions may vary.
AN #3: I know I JUST posted a demented'verse ficlet... but I wrote this last night, because well, the truth is that I thought that I already HAD written it months ago, and was shocked to discover that I hadn't. I must have just thought about writing it a lot - that happens to me sometimes. I've got another Nate story in the works (in my head) - so hopefully I don't forget to actually write that one too.
Summary: Nate comes out, only it doesn't go as smoothly as he thought it would.
Nate sat nervously in the common room. He had an hour to do this – less now, since Teddy was running late. There was system in Hufflepuff for arranging private conversations. It had taken Nate a week to arrange that every member of the house would be elsewhere doing this hour. As far as arranging for Teddy to meet him there, well, that was the easiest part. Teddy was Nate’s friend. All he had to do was say, “meet me in the common room at 3pm” and he knew Teddy would come.
It wasn’t that Nate was worried that Teddy wouldn’t be his friend anymore – actually, that’s why he was starting with Teddy. Out of everyone, he felt that Teddy would be the easiest. Nate’s Dad had said to ease into it – to start with the easiest and then work his way to the hardest. So, that’s what he was doing. One person, then two people...then three...then....
“Hey Nate,” Teddy called as he walked into the common room. His hair was brown with little turquoise wisps at the ends – that was good. “What’s up?”
“Hi,” Nate said, standing awkwardly – then sitting, because this was hardly a formal event. Casual. Nothing important – well, important, but not...God, why was he nervous.
“Where is everyone?” Teddy said. “It’s quiet in here.”
“I asked for the room,” Nate admitted. “We have an hour – um, 50 minutes now.”
Teddy’s smile left his face, and the turquoise wisps suddenly turned grey. Bad start, Nate thought.
“Did I do something wrong?” Teddy asked. “Are you mad at me?”
“No!” Nate reassured. “I just wanted to...I just...can we, um, I wanted to talk to you. Can you...sit?” Nate gestured to the couch beside him. Though, maybe Teddy would prefer the chair? Or...but Nate wanted him on the couch – so that he didn’t have to look at him because maybe that’d be easier.
“Ok,” Teddy said, and he sat next to Nate. “What did you want to talk to me about? Are you ok?”
“Yes, I’m fine,” Nate said. “I wanted to tell you...um, the thing is...I wanted to make sure that you knew that...um...I’m gay.”
Nate watched as Teddy stared at him. Nate’s dad had said that his friends probably already knew – but it didn’t look like Teddy had known...it also didn’t particularly look like he was taking it well. Nate’s nerves suddenly got ten times worse – Teddy was supposed to be the easy one.
“How do you know?” Teddy asked.
“I just do,” Nate said. “I’ve known for a while, I just...wanted to tell you.” Teddy was supposed to understand – out of everyone, Nate had thought that Teddy would be the most understanding.
“But how do you know you don’t like girls?” Teddy asked. “How do you know you only like blokes? What if you’re wrong?”
This isn’t how it was supposed to go. Teddy was Nate’s closest male friend, and – and...Florence and Penelope had already guessed, so that had been easy, but if Teddy didn’t understand, then maybe none of the boys would understand, and they wouldn’t want him to sleep in the dorm room anymore, and they wouldn’t be his friend...and how could Teddy ask that? It wasn’t like Nate was different than Teddy, just because he wanted to date boys and not girls.
“The same way you know you only like girls!” Nate said. He couldn’t even look at Teddy now. He looked into the fire and slouched back on the couch, crossing his arms. “How do you know you’re not wrong, huh? It’s the same as that! I’m not stupid.”
Nate stared into the fire and waited for Teddy’s next argument, but it never came. Then he waited for Teddy to tell him they weren’t friends anymore and leave – but that didn’t happen either. So, Nate turned and looked at Teddy to try to figure out why he was just sitting there quietly.
Teddy looked scared. His hair was completely grey now. Teddy looked uncertain and terrified and...very upset.
Something had gone wrong with this conversation, and Nate had assumed it was Teddy’s fault – but... Nate replayed the conversation in his head slowly, until he realized that, at one point, he had made a very big assumption. Only...it couldn’t be...
“Teddy?” Nate said softly. “Do you not know whether you only like girls?”
“...no,” Teddy said, in a small voice.”I thought...I thought I did, but then....what if I’m wrong?”
“If you are wrong,” Nate asked right back, “would that be a bad thing?”
“No!” Teddy said. “No, of course not. But...shouldn’t I know? Doesn’t everyone just know...like...like you said. And...am I stupid, because I don’t know?”
Nate was an idiot. He’d have to write his parents and inform them that their son was an idiot. It’d be a whole different kind of coming-out.
“No, you aren’t stupid,” Nate said. “I shouldn’t have said that before. I didn’t mean it like that... I thought that you... I thought that you wanted me to like girls.”
“I don’t want you to like girls,” Teddy said. “They like you too much already. If you liked them...like that...then me and the other boys would never stand a chance. They’d probably all agree to time-share you.”
“That’s a frightening thought,” Nate said. “But see...you just said that you wanted to date girls, just there. So, what’s the problem?”
“What if I like blokes too?” Teddy asked softly. “How do I know?”
“Well,” Nate said. “Do you ever think about...kissing boys?”
“Um, not uh, before...but...” Teddy picked at a seam on the sofa and didn’t look up at Nate.
“Before what, Teddy?” Nate asked.
“Gran gave me my dad’s old journals,” Teddy said. “My mum’s too. Only I read Dad’s first...and he, um...” Teddy blushed, “...he fancied blokes too. He even...um, he uh...kissed them and such.”
“Ok,” Nate said. “Did reading about it make you...excited?”
Teddy looked at him in horror. “EW! No! That’s my dad!”
Nate laughed and scrunched up his face along with Teddy as they both tried not to think of their parents doing...that. Laughing about it seemed to relax Teddy though, which was a good thing. This wasn’t at all how Nate pictured this conversation going, but he was suddenly glad that they had the room for a full hour.
“So, why did reading about your dad change things for you?” Nate asked.
“Well,” Teddy played with his fingers. “If my dad was bisexual...maybe...um...”
“Teddy,” Nate said. “Just because your dad is bisexual, doesn’t mean you have to be. That’s not the way it works. If it worked that way, then I’d be straight...and I’m not. I’m very gay.”
“Right, I know that, I just hadn’t really thought about it before,” Teddy said, looking slightly upset again. “I guess...I guess I’m being stupid, yeah?”
“No,” Nate said. “It’s not stupid. You aren’t stupid. Teddy...listen...after you read the journal did you think about boys...about...kissing them?”
“And did it seem like something you would want to do?” Nate asked.
“Or were you just curious about what it would be like?” Nate asked. “I mean, I’ve wondered what it would be like to kiss girls...if it’s different than kissing boys, but that doesn’t mean that I want to date or actually kiss girls. I’m just curious, right. It’s okay to be curious. It doesn’t have to mean anything. Tell you what, if you want, I could kiss you – and then you’d know what it was like to kiss a boy.”
“Really?” Teddy asked. “Like..um...real kissing?”
“Sure,” Nate smiled.
“Now?” Teddy asked.
“Well, I did book the room for an hour,” Nate said, glancing at his watch. “Um, we still have a lot of time.”
“Uh...ok,” Teddy said.
They both stared at each other. Nate wasn’t really sure how to go about it, and it seemed Teddy hadn’t a clue either. So, Nate took a deep breath and moved closer to Teddy, then calmly placed his hand on Teddy’s cheek and leaned in.
Teddy closed the distance. Nate decided to let Teddy set the tone for the kiss – and well, he had to give Teddy points for enthusiasm, though it seemed a little...confused, if a kiss could be confused. Nate framed Teddy’s face with both hands and slowly took over the kiss, calming it down out of instinct more than anything, because...well, it’s not like Nate had ever done this before.
Just when Nate figured they had a good kissing rhythm going, Teddy started to giggle...and a fit of giggles was a funny thing to kiss, so Nate started giggling too, because everything was suddenly very ridiculous. They broke apart and Nate opened his eyes to see that Teddy’s hair was pink with black flecks that sort of seemed to dance through the strands of shaggy hair. His face was all Teddy though, and his eyes were the brown colour that Nate always thought of as Teddy’s natural colour.
“So?” Nate said. “How was that?”
“You kiss like a kitten,” Teddy laughed, “like you have a little kitten tongue.”
“Well you kiss like you’re a puppy and I have peanut butter on my mouth,” Nate said, slightly offended.
Teddy giggled again, and Nate realized that he hadn’t meant it as an insult.
“So did I turn you gay, or what?” Nate elbowed Teddy in the side.
“I don’t think it works like that,” Teddy said.
“You know what I mean,” Nate said. “Did it do anything for you - kissing a boy?”
Teddy was silent for a minute, his hair turning to mousey brown.
“It was...it was kind of weird,” Teddy said. “I mean, it was nice though. I like kissing.”
Nate nodded, and then he leaned over and whispered in Teddy’s ear some suggestions of what else they could do. Teddy’s hair flashed immediately to pink and he looked horrified.
“Do you want to do that stuff?” Teddy squeaked.
“Not with you, and not right now,” Nate shrugged, “but eventually, with someone, yeah.”
“I don’t,” Teddy said. “I definitely do not want to do any of that.”
“So, maybe you only like blokes a little,” Nate shrugged, “like enough to not mind kissing them, but not enough to have sex with them. It’s not like you have to only be gay, straight, or bisexual. My mum says that sexuality can be very fluid...like...there’s four houses at Hogwarts, but I bet you could add even more...and some people don’t even think we should have any houses, that we shouldn’t categorize people. I think sexuality is like that, you know...you could have tons of categories, or we could just recognize that everyone is different and not try to label them at all.”
While Nate talked, Teddy’s hair returned to mousey brown, and then got flecks of turquoise, and then his eyes shown blue – just like Nate’s own eyes.
“You won’t tell anyone, right?” Teddy asked.
“About you having a bisexual-crisis?” Nate asked. “No, that’s nobody’s business. Nothing we said or did today is anyone’s business.”
“Thanks,” Teddy said.
“For the record though,” Nate said. “I kiss like a tiger.”
“Well then I kiss like a wolf!” Teddy declared.
“I stand corrected,” Nate laughed, “I guess you did inherit something from your dad!”
Teddy’s jaw dropped open, then he smiled wickedly. And, before Nate could get away, Teddy lunged at him, pinning him against the couch.
“Just for that,” Teddy said, though the words came out oddly.
Then Teddy opened his mouth and unrolled his tongue – only it wasn’t his normal tongue, it was a dog’s tongue – and Nathan let out an unmanly shriek as Teddy licked a strip up Nate’s face from his chin to his eyebrow.
“Gross!” Nate exclaimed, and quickly pulled a hand out of Teddy’s grip so he could wipe at his face. He didn’t even know metamorphmagi could do that.
Teddy collapsed onto Nate’s chest in laughter.
“You should have seen your face,” Teddy said, his tongue now obviously back to its correct species.
Instead of pushing Teddy away, Nate found himself wrapping his arms around him and holding him where he was. Because...well, after everything, if Teddy could still lick Nate’s face, then that probably meant they were good.
“You think Iggy and Andy will be okay with me being gay,” Nate asked softly, as Teddy’s laughter faded.
Teddy raised his head then, though he still stayed inside Nate’s embrace.
“Yes,” Teddy said, his hair turning jet black, and his eyes flashing green, “and if for some reason they aren’t – or if anyone else gives you a hard time – I have your back.”
“Thank you,” Nate squeezed Teddy. “I...thanks.”
THIS. This is how it was supposed to go. Nate relaxed into the couch, Teddy’s firm weight on top of him, and he breathed a deep sigh of relief.
Teddy dropped back down and...well, ‘snuggled’ was really the only word for it...into Nate’s chest.
“You’re my best mate,” Teddy said.
“Are you cuddling me?” Nate asked.
“Is that okay?” Teddy asked.
“Uh, yeah,” Nate said.
“Good, because...well, I think I might be a bisexual cuddler,” Teddy replied.
Nate laughed, and moved a hand up so that he could run his fingers through Teddy’s shaggy black and turquoise hair.
“I’m glad you told me,” Nate said, “and I want you to know that this will not affect our friendship whatsoever.”
“Thanks, kittenlips,” Teddy said.
“Anytime, puppytongue,” Nate laughed.