Author: ME! (hells_half_acre)
Fandom: Harry Potter
Word Count: 3,650
Pairing: References to Nate/MC and Teddy/FC
Disclaimer: This is a transformative work of fiction for entertainment purposes only. Hogwarts and some characters belong to J.K. Rowling. Nate belongs to me though!
AN: A demented'verse timestamp. This is set after The Most Noble... it helps a little if you read that story first, but you might not have to. (Set in 2014).
AN #2: Not too sure about this one, hopefully you guys like it... if not...um, sorry?
Summary: Nate starts to recover from his breakup, with help, of course.
Nate woke up to the sounds of Iggy and Andy quietly shuffling around the room. His eyes felt gritty and swollen. Iggy came and sat quietly on the edge of his bed.
“Do you want to come to the Hall for breakfast?” Iggy asked.
Nate shook his head, and then looked over at Teddy’s bed. Teddy was still asleep. His hair was brown, and Nate was willing to bet that if he pried up his eye-lids, his eyes would be brown too. When Teddy slept, he usually always looked the same, lanky and brown-haired, and just...pleasant looking – like someone who’d never hurt anyone. Nate thought about Teddy’s offer to come live with him in London after they graduated, and he smiled.
“You fell asleep on the couch last night,” Iggy whispered. “Teddy floated you in here around midnight.”
Nate rolled his eyes. How undignified. Though, that did explain why he was still in his clothes from yesterday, and had no memory of going to bed.
“Do you want us to bring you something from breakfast?” Iggy asked.
“No,” Nate said, his voice rough and cracking on the one word. “I’ll go to the kitchens. You go on. I’ll get Teddy to come with me.”
“See you in class then,” Iggy said. “We, uh...don’t share any mandatory classes with Gryffindor today, but I don’t know about your electives.”
“Tomorrow,” Nate sighed. “I’ll be okay, I think. I’ll ask the professor if I can change seats.”
“Let us know if you need us for anything,” Iggy said, and Nate saw Andy nod his head from the doorway. He knew it was probably killing them, not knowing what had happened.
“Later,” Nate said. Iggy nodded and then he and Andy left.
Nate got up and found some fresh clothes. He knocked Teddy on the foot as he passed by Teddy’s bed on his way to the shower.
“Wha?” Teddy’s hair flashed from brown to ginger to black and then back to brown as he woke up.
“It’s morning,” Nate said. “Eat with me in the kitchens, yeah?”
“’course,” Teddy mumbled.
“Will you tell me what happened?” Teddy asked, once they were sitting at the small table in a kitchen full of house-elves.
“Not now,” Nate said. “I’m tired.”
“Sometimes he was mean to you,” Teddy said. Nate nodded. It was true. It hadn’t started out that way, when they had started dating, Blake had been quite nice.
“He’s selfish too,” Teddy continued. “You’re better off without him.”
“Yeah,” Nate said. “I am...it’s just, you know...it was nice to have...”
“Yeah,” Teddy nodded. “I know.”
Teddy had been devastated when Hilda broke up with him, mainly, because she had flat out told him that she didn’t find him attractive – or rather, only found him attractive when he looked a certain way. Teddy had walked around not quite looking like himself for two months and had claimed he was happy. Nate figured he had probably done the same thing, just not as visibly.
Blake had found Nate attractive though – or, at least he said he did. Maybe he had been lying. It wasn’t like there was a very large dating pool for them. Nate had certainly found Blake attractive, for all that was worth.
“We got into a fight,” Nate offered. “He yelled some rubbish at me – insults, that sort of thing. I broke up with him, though I guess it was mutual, and he’ll probably claim that he dumped me.”
“What was the fight about?” Teddy asked.
“It’s not important,” Nate said. “He’s a wanker.”
Teddy nodded and seemed pleased that Nate was insulting Blake, but all Nate felt was sad.
“Hey,” Teddy said, nudging Nate’s food underneath the table. “I’m sorry it didn’t work out.”
Nate wondered if Teddy could read minds, but then realized that he was just a good friend.
“He said I was secretly in love with you,” Nate smiled.
“Idiot,” Teddy said, rolling his eyes.
News had already spread by the time they reached their first class. Everyone in History of Magic was casting curious looks at Nate as he took his seat. He really wasn’t expecting the gossip to be that interesting to anyone, but then Penelope sat down beside him and said,
“Blake has a black-eye. Everyone saw it at breakfast. He’s saying you hit him, so he broke up with you.”
“That’s not what happened,” Nate said.
“Yeah, we figured he was lying, but it’s not like we can say otherwise,” Penelope said. Nate winced.
“Leave him be,” Teddy said to Penelope. “It isn’t our business unless he wants it to be.”
“I just don’t like that bastard acting like he should get all the sympathy,” Penelope grumbled. “We saw you last night – you’d hardly be that upset if you were an abusive ass-”
“Just leave it,” Nate said. “Let him...let him tell people what he wants.”
Penelope looked upset at the idea, but she nodded and went back to pretending to listen to the lesson.
“Nate,” Teddy whispered, “did he hurt you?”
Nate looked up from his notes, and saw that Teddy’s hair was black with little red streaks that were slowly expanding.
“No,” Nate said. “He just uh... it was stupid. I shouldn’t have- ... no, he didn’t hurt me.”
“Are you sure?” Teddy said. Nate nodded. Teddy’s brown eyes turned green.
“I’m going to have a nap,” Nate said. “Take notes for me?”
“’course,” Teddy answered. Nate put his head down and closed his eyes.
At lunch Penelope and Florence joined Nate and Teddy in the kitchens instead of going to the Great Hall. Nate appreciated the girls’ concern, but them trying to get him to ‘talk about it’ wasn’t helping and only served to make him more depressed.
“I thought I was one of your best mates is all,” Penelope said. “I don’t understand why you don’t trust me.”
“It’s not that Pen,” Nate sighed picking bits off his sandwich, “I just don’t want to talk about.”
“It’d make you feel better,” Penelope insisted.
“It really wouldn’t,” Nate muttered.
“Leave it alone, Loopy,” Teddy said. “You’re making it worse.”
“Don’t call her that,” Florence spoke up, “and at least we’re trying to make him feel better. How is you growling at anyone who comes near him helping?”
“I’m not growling,” Teddy...well, growled. Nate smiled.
“Actually,” Nate said, “that helps a lot. It’s kind of nice to have my own guard dog.” Nate nudged Teddy under the table and winked at him, “Hm, puppytongue?”
“Anything for you, ki’enlipth” Teddy said, the last word lost to the morph that was taking place inside Teddy’s mouth. Teddy smiled and unrolled his dog-tongue, and panted.
“Ugh!” the girls both said.
“That’s disgusting!” Penelope said.
“Aw, ladies,” Nate laughed, “it’s a blessing, just use your imaginations.”
“Ugh!” the girls squealed again, “you’re both disgusting!”
Teddy and Nate burst into laughter.
Nate should have seen it coming, but he was still caught off guard when, at the end of Defence Against the Dark Arts, Prof. MacMillan looked straight at him and said,
“Could you join me in my office, Mr. Lewin?”
“Yes, sir,” Nate replied. Teddy stilled completely beside him.
“I’ll wait for you,” Teddy said softly, taking back out his parchments, as though he were actually going to do his assignments rather than stare at the door of Professor MacMillan’s office.
“You don’t ha-” Nate started to say.
“Mr. Lupin,” Professor MacMillan said, “class has been dismissed. I’m sure the library is a more suitable place for you to study.”
Nate had just been about to tell Teddy to go, but now that Prof. MacMillan had, he desperately wanted Teddy to stay. He caught Teddy’s eyes.
“You know where to find me,” Teddy said. Nate nodded.
Nate didn’t get into trouble. It’s just not something he did. Teddy had gotten into trouble on occasion, so had Iggy and Andy – mostly together. It usually involved detentions and cleaning the trophy room. But those punishments were for missed assignments, tardiness, or breaking curfew to play quidditch after dark; Nate didn’t know what the punishment was for giving someone a black-eye. He wished he hadn’t done it, that he had found some other way...
The door of Professor MacMillan’s office closed behind Nate, and the professor motioned to the chair in front of his desk. Nate sat, clasping his fingers nervously.
“As I’m sure you are aware,” Professor MacMillan said, taking his seat behind the desk. “Blake Caldwell is sporting a rather impressive black-eye today. Professor Longbottom has expressed some concern as to how he may have gotten it.”
“Yes, sir,” Nate said. Professor MacMillan stared at Nate with a frown.
“Mr. Lewin,” he said, “I know that it is not uncommon for boys such as you and Mr. Caldwell to occasionally get into scraps, but you must know that it is never acceptable to hit someone, especially when you are in a romantic relationship with them.”
“Yes, sir,” Nate said, staring at the items on the professor’s desk, rather than at Professor MacMillan’s face. “I know.”
“And why did you punch Mr. Caldwell?” Professor MacMillan asked.
“I didn’t have my wand, sir,” Nate answered honestly.
There was a pause, during with Nate realized that it might have been the wrong thing to say – but, his parents always told him that it was best to be honest.
“So, you would have preferred to hex him?” The professor said.
“Yes, sir,” Nate said, “then no one would know, ‘less he told‘m.”
“So, you don’t regret hitting Mr. Caldwell, you only regret getting caught?” Professor MacMillan said slowly. “Mr. Lewin, this is very unlike you – what did Mr. Caldwell possibly do to deserve such treatment?”
Nate squeezed his fingers together tightly, and then released them, then did it again. He stared at the desk in front of him, and thought of all the spells he could have used instead – everything he could have possibly done differently, to avoid everything, to avoid having this conversation.
“Mr. Lewin,” Professor MacMillan pressed, “answer my question.”
“He wouldn’t listen to me,” Nate said.
“And what were you saying that was so important?” Professor MacMillan asked.
Nate squeezed his fingers together, feeling where his knuckles were bruised.
“Stop. No. Get off of me,” Nate said.
There was a silence then, and Nate studied the wood grain in the panelling on Professor MacMillan’s desk. Professor MacMillan’s office was quite smartly decorated – old wood, and antique looking things, and comfortable chairs.
“And what was Mr. Caldwell doing to you at the time?”
Nate’s head snapped up and he met Professor MacMillan’s gaze before he could stop himself. He quickly looked away, back to the wood grain. He twisted his fingers together, felt his face heat, and something behind his eyes started to ache.
“He was trying to...” Nate squeezed his fingers until it hurt. How could Professor MacMillan ask him that question? How was he supposed to answer? Nate closed his eyes. “We aren’t allowed to...do that...in school. I tried to tell him. I didn’t want to do it anyway, even if it were allowed. I told him that too. But he didn’t listen.”
“And did he...succeed in getting what he wanted?” Professor MacMillan asked. Nate glanced up at him again, but the professor's face was unreadable.
“No, sir, I punched him, remember?” Nate answered.
“Right,” Professor MacMillan exhaled, “and after you punched him, then what happened?”
“We had a row,” Nate said, “and I broke up with him...though, I think, uh, it was mutual. He...was quite angry with me.”
“Did he hurt you in any way?” Professor MacMillan asked.
“No,” Nate said. Blake had hurt Nate’s feelings, but those didn’t count.
“Ok, well, that’s all very good to know,” Professor MacMillan said, and then he smiled. “It certainly explains why Mr. Lupin has been looking like a punk version of Harry Potter all day.”
“Oh, Teddy doesn’t know,” Nate said. “That’s just what he looks like when he’s being protective. I think because Mr. Potter is-”
“Why haven’t you told him?” Professor MacMillan asked.
“I haven’t told anyone,” Nate said.
“And why is that?” Professor MacMillan asked. Nate stared at him. It was because he didn’t want anyone to know, because it was embarrassing, because...
“Boys are supposed to want to do it,” Nate said softly.
“But you didn’t,” Professor MacMillan said.
“I do,” Nate said. “I do want to – I just didn’t want to last night, not like...not the way...” Nate twisted and squeezed his fingers together again, and looked back at the grain in the wood of the desk.
“Not on a Wednesday night, in school, with your boyfriend’s roommate due back in an hour?” Professor MacMillan said. Nate nodded, because yes, those were all very good reasons.
“And I was nervous,” Nate admitted, “and my dad said...” and Merlin, that had been an awkward conversation that Nate had wanted to forget immediately, but for some reason he couldn’t – just like he was sure he wouldn’t forget this conversation either. “...he said that I should never do anything if I wasn’t one hundred percent sure that I wanted to do it.”
“Those all sound like very good reasons not to want to do something,” Professor MacMillan said.
Nate nodded. He still didn’t want anyone to know though.
“So, what if the same thing happened to Mr. Lupin?” Professor MacMillan said. “Would you think he was less of a man?”
“No,” Nate said, looking up again, “but Teddy’s straight.”
“What does that have to do with anything?” Professor MacMillan asked.
“Girls don’t do that,” Nate said.
“What makes you think that?” Professor MacMillan asked. “Are you saying that if Mr. Lupin told you that a girl tried to pressure him into doing something he didn’t want to do, you would tell him that he was lying and that he wasn’t a real man?”
“No,” Nate said, “of course not!”
“But you’d think it?”
“No!” Nate said angrily.
“Then what would you do?” Professor MacMillan asked.
“I’d hug him until he fell asleep, because he likes that, and then I’d go hex that girl,” Nate said.
“That was more than I needed to know about your relationship with Mr. Lupin, and a little violent,” Professor MacMillan smiled, “but do you see my point, Mr. Lewin?”
“You think I’m a bad friend,” Nate said.
“No, quite the opposite,” Professor MacMillan said. “I think you are a good friend, and so is Mr. Lupin. I sincerely doubt he’ll think any less of you, if you tell him what really happened.”
“Oh,” Nate said, feeling the anger drain out of him.
“I would also like to thank you for being honest with me,” Professor MacMillan said.
“Am I in trouble?” Nate asked. “Are you going to write my parents?”
“No,” Professor MacMillan said. “You aren’t in trouble. I’ll have a talk with Professor Longbottom.”
“Are you going to tell him...” Nate trailed off.
“Yes,” Professor MacMillan said. Nate looked at the floor. This was horrible. “I’m going to tell him,” Professor MacMillan continued, “but only because Mr. Caldwell has to learn that this sort of behaviour is unacceptable. Do you understand?”
Nate nodded, not bothering to look up.
“Where is Mr. Lupin waiting?” Professor MacMillan asked.
“In the hallway,” Nate said.
“I thought so,” Professor MacMillan said. “You can go now.”
“Thank you, sir,” Nate replied, picking up his book bag and quickly heading towards the door.
“Mr. Lewin, please consider having a little more faith in your friends,” Professor MacMillan called after him. “Even Harry Potter needed the support of his friends.”
“Yes, sir,” Nate said. Once the office door shut behind him and he was almost out of the classroom, Nate muttered “even Harry Potter had to eat his oatmeal,” because honestly, how many times had he heard the ‘even Harry Potter’ line in his life.
“Harry hates oatmeal,” Teddy said, jumping up from behind the last row of desks. Nate nearly had a heart attack.
“Merlin’s beard,” Nate gasped. Teddy smiled sheepishly. “I thought you were waiting in the hall.”
Teddy shrugged, and pulled Nate out of the classroom.
“Did you get in trouble?” Teddy asked.
“No,” Nate said. “I explained what happened. I just got...uh, a warning? I guess I got a warning. I’m not supposed to punch any of my boyfriends anymore. It should be pretty easy to avoid, now that I don’t have one.”
“But you didn’t just punch him for no reason,” Teddy said. “I mean...there was a reason, right?”
“Yeah,” Nate said. “That’s why I’m not in trouble, I think.”
“Okay,” Teddy said, and he smiled at Nate as though it didn’t matter that Nate had told his secrets to a professor, instead of his best friend. “I need to pick up a book at the library, then I’ll come watch your quidditch practice, yeah?”
“Yeah,” Nate smiled, even though he was exhausted and the idea of flying around for two hours was suddenly not as appealing as it normally was. Still, they had the game against Slytherin in a week, and they needed to work on their formations.
Teddy always sat in the stands during practice. Nate, Iggy, and Andy all joked that he wasn’t actually watching them at all, because you couldn’t watch quidditch and read library books at the same time. They had even tried telling him just to stay warm and not bother leaving the library. Teddy had actually stopped coming during the two months he had been dating Hilda – and the whole time Nate noticed that even Iggy and Andy kept looking at the empty spot in the stands and frowning.
“Remember, catch it with your hands, not your mouth,” Teddy nudged Nate with an elbow. “Da will blame himself if you choke to death. Besides, who knows where that thing has been.”
Nate waited until that evening. He waited until they were all in bed, and Iggy had turned out the lights, and no one could see each other.
“I punched Blake because he tried to have sex with me when I didn’t want to,” Nate said all at once into the darkness.
“Did he hurt you?”
“I’ll go punch him myself!”
“Literally, because he’s not getting near Nate again!”
“I’ll hex him tomorrow. I don’t even care. I’ll think of a good one.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, are you okay?”
“I’m okay, he didn’t hurt me,” Nate replied. “I was just...it was just a bit... Merlin, he was a wanker. I don’t know why I even went with him at all.”
“Because you’re the only two gays in the school?” Iggy said.
“Iggy!” Andy said, “stop being insensitive. Good God.”
“What?” Iggy said. “It’s true, isn’t it? I bet he’s sorry now, because any guy would be lucky to be with Nate, but Blake is always going to be a wanker.”
Andy sighed and Nate laughed.
“Thanks Iggy,” Nate said.
“I’m sorry your first boyfriend turned out to be an ass,” Andy said, “but hey, it may be a wasted first kiss, but it wasn’t a wasted first punch-in-the-face.”
“He wasn’t my first kiss,” Nate said, because for some reason, speaking into the darkness makes you say stupid things.
“What?” Iggy said. “Who else is there?”
“Uh, it was a long time ago,” Nate said. “I kissed a really nice guy. It was, um, before I even told you I was gay, which was why I never said anything about it – sorry.”
“Oh,” Iggy said. “Was it a muggle? Why didn’t you date him?”
“It just didn’t work out like that,” Nate said. “I don’t regret it though. I'm glad it was him.”
“Oh, well that’s good,” Iggy said.
“Yeah,” Nate said.
Nate listened to Iggy and Andy drop off to sleep. Nate couldn’t relax completely though, and he wasn’t sure why – and then he heard Teddy’s bedcovers move, soft footsteps, and then his own bed dip as someone crawled into it.
“Hey,” Nate whispered to the dark shadow beside him.
“Cuddle me asleep?” Teddy asked softly.
“’course,” Nate said, he shifted so that Teddy could lie half on the bed and half on Nate, and then brought his arms around the other boy.
“I’m glad you were my first kiss too, tiger,” Teddy whispered against Nate’s shoulder. “And I really am going to hex that bastard.”
Nate just squeezed him tighter.
One of the many things that Blake had yelled at Nate, when Nate was trying to put his shirt on the right way around, was that Nate and Teddy were fucked up – that Nate was secretly in love with him, and that no one would ever measure up to ‘precious Teddy’ in Nate’s mind, and therefore Nate would be alone forever. Nate actually considered it, because, out of everything Blake had yelled, it was possibly the least ridiculous.
Would it really be so bad to measure potential boyfriends against Teddy? Teddy was sweet, and wouldn’t hurt a fly – well, unless the fly hurt one of Teddy’s friends first. Teddy didn’t make Nate chose between his other friends and him. Teddy didn’t act like he was doing Nate a favour by hanging out with him. Teddy didn’t hold him down while he tried to get into Nate’s trousers, and thus force Nate to punch him. Really, the only thing wrong with Teddy was that he wasn’t gay at all and therefore Nate didn’t particularly want to have sex with him – also, he was Nate’s best mate and more like a brother than a boyfriend. Though, most brothers didn’t nuzzle each other’s clavicles as they fell asleep.
“Goodnight, Teddy,” Nate said, threading his fingers through Teddy’s hair.
“Mm,” Teddy replied, and even though Nate couldn’t see it, he could feel the moment when Teddy’s hair changed from course black to soft brown.
One thing was for sure, Nate didn’t need a boyfriend in order to feel loved.