Story Summary:
Once, Teddy Lupin and Louis Weasley were madly in love. But time changes all things.



Louis lay in the dark, eyes open, senses alert. What had awakened him? Was someone in the flat? Something crashed in the front room, followed by the sound of male laughter and then Teddy's voice urging someone to be quiet.

With a sigh, Louis rolled onto his side and pulled the blankets up to his chin. He squeezed his eyes shut resolutely and focused on his own breathing rather than the muted sounds coming from the front room. Three minutes passed before he gave up on pretending he would be able to go back to sleep.

Flinging back the covers, Louis stumbled out of the bed. He found his wand in the dark and muttered a lumos so he could check the time. Nearly 4 a.m. Steeling himself, Louis crossed the room and reached for the doorknob. He paused, considering, and then turned to toss his wand onto the bed. Better to avoid temptation. Summoning his courage, Louis opened the door and headed for the front room.

The scene in the front room should have surprised Louis, but it had a sad familiarity. Teddy sat on the sofa, a bottle of vodka near to hand and some pretty, tarted-up boy straddling his lap, kissing him.

"Ted," Louis said.

The pretty tart looked over his shoulder at Louis and gave him an innocent smile wholly inconsistent with his slutty attire. No wonder Teddy had to have him.

"Not here," Louis said. "You promised."

Teddy rolled his eyes and let his head loll against the back of the sofa. "Ah, yes," he said. "Our 'sanctuary'."

The tone of Teddy's voice stung Louis, made his heart hurt. "Fine. Never mind. Do whatever you want, Teddy. You will anyway." He strode across the room and snatched the bottle of vodka from the table beside Teddy before heading back to the bedroom.

Too angry to cry, he nursed the bottle of vodka and prayed for daylight. Once, Teddy would have followed him into the bedroom, apologised, tried to make things right. But those days were long past. And Louis had no idea how to get them back.



When Louis woke the next afternoon, Teddy lay beside him as if nothing had happened. As if Teddy hadn't brought another man into their home. Louis hated himself for being grateful.


Another weekend, another after-show party with Teddy's band. When Louis had been a teenager, Teddy's demi-rockstar status had seemed glamorous. Now it was just tedious. Louis poured himself a tumbler of firewhisky - the cheap stuff, he noticed - and picked his way through a crowd of half-drunk, half-dressed strangers in search of any familiar face.

Just as he began to wonder if he knew anyone at this party, Louis spotted Robert Quinn, the band's drummer and one of Louis' favourite people. Rob appeared to be heading for the door, even though the night was still young. Like Louis, Rob found these parties boring at best.

Louis shoved his empty glass into the conveniently empty hand of a random partygoer and shouldered his way through the crowd.

"Robbie!" he yelled.

Quinn turned at the sound of his name, smiling when he saw Louis. He placed his hands over his ears, then pointed toward the door. Louis nodded and followed Rob outside.

"Doesn't it seem a bit tacky to you that they insist on playing that shite at an after party for a band like the Alphas?" Robbie asked as he shut the door on the melodramatic, angsty pop music.

Louis laughed. "It does a bit. But then what about that party isn't tacky?"

"Other than me and you? Not much."

Nodding in agreement, Louis fished a battered packet of cigarettes out of the pocket of his leather jacket. He fumbled one out of the pack and began patting his pockets in search of his fancy Muggle lighter. "You happen to see Teddy in there anywhere?"

Robbie took the cigarette from Louis's right hand and the packet from his left. "Yeah," he said as he slid the cigarette back in the packet. "He's fairly pissed."

"There's a surprise," Louis said. He took the cigarette packet from Robbie and shoved it back into his jacket pocket. "He with someone?"

Sighing, Robbie leaned back against the wall. "Not exactly."

Louis forced a little laugh. "More than one someone then."

"I'm sorry."

Louis shrugged. "We have an understanding."

"What you have is a fucked-up, dysfunctional relationship that isn't good for either of you!"


"It is what it is," Louis replied. "And it's better than the alternative."

"Better than a healthy relationship? Better than being happy?"

"Better than being without him."

Rob grabbed Louis's arm and pulled gently. Louis let himself stumble forward to fall against Rob's chest, rested his head on Rob's shoulder.

"You deserve better," Robbie murmured as he stroked Louis's hair.

"We really are happy...sometimes. Not as much as we used to be, isn't all bad, Robbie."


They were silent for a long time. Standing in the chill night with Robbie's arms around him, Louis felt more at peace than he had in months. His relationship with Teddy was beyond complicated. His friendship with Rob was simple. Easy.

"You know, I have a cousin I think you'd get on with," Robbie said.

Louis laughed. "All your cousins are girls."

"So? Last I knew, you had no problem with girls."

"I'm a bit spoiled now," Louis said. He stepped back slightly, feeling somewhat better. "It's getting colder. Want to get out of here?"

Rob made a show of contemplation. Then he grinned at Louis, wrapped his arms around the smaller man, and spun them into the nothingness of Disapparition. In the next instant, Louis found himself standing just outside the carriage house Rob called home.

Rob led the way inside. "You're welcome to stay," he offered before he'd even got the door shut.

"I think I'll take you up on that."

"You know where everything is. I'm for the shower." Robbie gave Louis's shoulder a comforting little squeeze before he headed for the bath.

Louis dropped down onto the couch, his mind and emotions in a whirl. The carriage house was almost eerily silent, the barely audible hiss from the shower the only sound. And suddenly Louis was on his feet, trying not to over think what he was about to do. He shrugged out of his jacket, kicked off his shoes, stripped off his jeans, shirt, pants. "Forgive me, Robbie," he whispered as he crossed the room.

Taking a deep breath, Louis opened the bathroom door and stepped inside. Crossed the empty space between the door and the shower. Opened the shower door and stepped inside.

Robbie didn't seem surprised by any of it. And he certainly didn't seem to mind the company.

And so Louis's affair with Robbie began, with a searing kiss beneath the warm, driving spray of the shower.


Louis crept into the flat. It was late, and Teddy had work early the next morning. He didn't want to wake him.

He needn't have worried. Teddy sat on the sofa, a bottle nearby - cheap wine this time - and a joint in his hand. Louis stood frozen in place as Teddy took a deep hit from the joint and then held it out, offering it to Louis.

Somehow Louis made it across the room and took the cigarette. He took a hit and held it. Teddy took the joint back, hit it again, and then sat it on the little ashtray by his wine bottle.

That done, Teddy rose from the sofa and moved closer to Louis. He leaned in until his nose nearly touched Louis's neck and inhaled deeply. Pulling back, he stared at Louis for a moment, his eyes wide. Several expressions flitted across Teddy's face until rage settled in to stay. Louis barely had time to register his own fear before Teddy grabbed two fistfuls of Louis's jacket and jerked him closer.

"I fucking hate you right now," Teddy hissed.

Tears pricked Louis's eyes, and he aimed his anger at his own weakness at Teddy. "YOU hate ME? You have no fucking right."

Teddy shook him hard. "Shut. Up," he growled. And then Teddy mashed his lips against Louis's, one of his hands moving to clutch at Louis's hair.

Louis kissed Teddy back hard, tangling his hands in Teddy's long hair tightly enough to hurt. Teddy kissed him all the harder. The hand clutching his jacket let go, and then Teddy was stripping the jacket off of him. Louis loosened his hold on Teddy's hair, letting him move just a little. Teddy took advantage of his newfound freedom to lick and suck the side of Louis's throat, and Louis bit back a moan.

Teddy's hands found the buttons on the front of Louis's shirt. He managed to fumble one button through its hole before losing patience. He took a step back and jerked at Louis's shirt, pulling it open in a shower of cheap plastic buttons. Louis shoved Teddy, sending him sprawling onto the sofa. Teddy stared up at him in shock. Before the shock could turn back to rage, Louis pulled off his ruined shirt and straddled Teddy, tangling his hands in his hair and kissing him.

Teddy dragged his nails down Louis's back, and Louis cried out in a mix of pleasure and pain.

"Off," Teddy growled, and Louis scrambled to obey.

Teddy stripped off his own shirt then stood and shucked his jeans and pants as well. Louis sank to his knees, but Teddy grabbed his face and pushed him away roughly.

"Up," Teddy said. Then, "No. Sit."

Louis half rose and fumbled behind himself to find the sofa table so that he could sit there. Teddy knelt and tugged off Louis's boots and socks. He stood again and pulled Louis to his feet. He unfastened Louis's jeans, shoved them down around his hips, and pulled Louis against him. They both moaned.

They kissed again, hands pinching, clawing, stroking, squeezing. Teddy moved forward, and Louis nearly tumbled backward over the sofa table. Teddy placed one bare foot against the sofa table and shoved it out of the way. He tangled a hand in Louis's hair and pulled, forcing him down to his knees. Teddy knelt as well, and Louis seized the opportunity to grab a fistful of Teddy's hair.

"Let go," Teddy said.

"And if I don't?"

Teddy smirked, and then he shapeshifted his hair right out of Louis's grasp. Louis laughed, and Teddy kissed him again, his grip on Louis's hair easing a bit. Teddy guided Louis to lie down on his back, and then he was on top of him, kissing him again. He slid hand down between them, and then pulled away to stare down at Louis.

"He fucked you."

Louis felt his cheeks heat. "And now it's your turn," he said, hoping he sounded bolder and more certain than he felt.

Teddy's eyes blazed, and he gripped Louis's arm hard enough to leave bruises. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply. After a time, he opened his eyes, reached for his wand, and summoned a bottle of lubricant.

If he closed his eyes, Louis realised after a while, he could block out the sights around them - the wine bottle, the half-smoked joint, the beer bottles, and potion bottles, and all the other signs of the decline of their relationship. If he closed his eyes, he could almost believe they were still in love and that sheer passion had fueled their frantic coupling rather than anger, jealousy, and hate.


"I can't do this anymore."

Louis pushed the front door shut behind him and shrugged out of his jacket. "Can't do what?"

"This," Teddy said, gesturing vaguely between Louis and himself.

Louis paused in the process of hanging his jacket on its hook by the door. "What are you saying?"

"I'm saying I'm done, Louis. It was fun for a while, hasn't been for a long time."

Louis hugged his jacket to his chest. It was hard to breathe. Harder to think.

"It's time to put ourselves out of our misery, don't you think?"

Louis shook his head. "I don't...I think...." He leaned against the door. "I think I need a drink."

Teddy summoned a glass and poured a generous helping of whisky into it. Louis forced his feet to carry him across the room to take the glass. He drained it in one go and sat the empty glass on the table. He looked into Teddy's eyes for a moment, then nodded slightly.

"I'll come back for my things," he said, shrugging his jacket back on. He grabbed the whisky bottle and let himself out of the flat he'd shared with Teddy for the last two years. Tears blinded him as he Disapparated.

When his feet touched solid ground again, he walked the short distance to the nearby house and sat with his back against the wall. Tears and the salty, moist air mixed with the whisky on his tongue and the slap of waves on rocks made an odd counterpoint to his muted sobs.


Louis's dad found him cowering against the side of the house with a bottle of firewhisky just as dawn began peeking over the horizon. He helped his son into the house, no questions asked, and Floo'd work to say he'd be staying home.

When victoire showed up that afternoon, Louis's dad ushered her out of the room before she could harass her brother. Even though she and Teddy had only been together for part of a summer and one winter break, even though they had broken up long before Louis entered the picture, victoire felt that her brother had betrayed her by getting involved with Teddy. Their mother had sided with victoire, and Louis had moved out before he even finished school.

He'd moved in with Teddy in his small, rather run-down flat. They had struggled at first, trying to survive on Teddy's salary from his day job and the little bit of money he made with his band. But they'd been happy, living on rock music, cheap beer, and love.

victoire returned from the kitchen, and to Louis's surprise, she curled up on the sofa next to him and took one of his hands in both of hers. She didn't say a word, and neither did Louis. Instead, he laid her head on her shoulder and cried.


Louis did his best to move on. He broke things off with Robbie, something they both knew would happen eventually. They kept in touch, mostly by owl, but Louis needed to distance himself from Teddy and the life they'd lived together - and that included Teddy's friends and the band.

He dated. Everyone he knew wanted to set him up with a friend or relative, and suddenly he was surrounded by more gay wizards than he could ever have imagined existing in Britain. None of them were Teddy, and he worked hard to convince himself that was a good thing.

Eventually he settled into a comfortable, safe relationship with a hot young Quidditch player introduced to him by his aunt Angelina. Brian was everything that Teddy was not - responsible, considerate, gentle, and committed. He was exactly the kind of man that Louis needed - but not at all what he wanted. Nevertheless, he pushed his doubts aside and settled for contentment when he wanted so much more.


Almost six months passed before Louis saw Teddy again. He walked into Robbie's house to find Teddy curled up on the sofa, and it was all he could do to keep from turning on his heel and walking out again. Instead, he took a deep breath and dropped into his favourite chair.

Robbie walked in from the direction of the loo, and stopped dead in his tracks. "Did I know you were coming?"

"Um...yeah. You did."

"Fuck." He ran a hand through his hair. "Sorry."

Before Louis could respond, Teddy said, "He's had a rough couple of days. I'm not surprised he forgot." He paused. "I can go if you want."

Louis shook his head. "It's okay. Really." He looked more closely at Robbie and could see that the man looked ill. "Are you all right, Rob?"

"I've been better," Rob admitted as he stretched out on the sofa.

Teddy uncurled, sitting up straight, and patted his tight. Rob shifted to rest his head on Teddy's thigh, and Teddy stroked his hair.

"He's just a bit under the weather. He'll be fine," Teddy assured Louis.

A moment later, Rob struggled to gain his feet and headed back toward the loo.

"Is he really all right?"

"Just the flu. Honest."

Louis nodded. They sat in silence, neither knowing what to say. They'd often sat or lay in silence when they lived together. In the beginning, it was a comfortable silence. Later it was more like a wall had grown up between them. This was something new, something awkward. Louis hated it.

"I miss you," Teddy said at last. He spoke so softly that at first Louis thought he had imagined the words. But the truth was in Teddy's eyes.

Louis had to look away. "I miss who you used to be," he said.

"Yeah. I do, too. I think...I tried to find him, but I think he's gone for good."

Louis turned to look at Teddy again. He seemed pensive, thoughtful. "What do you mean?" Louis asked.

"I mean...." Teddy sighed. "I...." He sat up and ran both hands over his hair. "A while back, something happened. Only Robbie knows about it, and I made him swear he'd never tell anyone."

"What happened?"

Teddy seemed to find Rob's floor very interesting. He stared at it for a long time before he answered. "I OD'd."

"You what?"

"Wasn't intentional. Was just...stupidity. But I woke up sober for the first time in a long time, and I stayed that way. Mostly. And I started to see things a lot more clearly."

"What do you mean 'mostly'?"

Teddy huffed a laugh and sat back. "Of course you'd ask that," he muttered. "I mean I still have a beer sometimes. Still smoke some. But all the other Muggle shit, all the potions...I'm done with that."

"How long?"

"Two months, three weeks, and four days." Teddy sighed. "Since the day I heard you're engaged to that Quidditch player, actually."

Louis felt his blood run cold. Was Teddy saying what he thought he was saying? And what.... "What the fuck do you mean 'engaged'? I'm not engaged. I've never been engaged."

Teddy sat up and leaned forward, looking Louis square in the eye. After a moment, he shook his head slightly. "Fucking victoire."

"What about victoire?"

"She's the one who told me you two were getting married. Should have known she was just doing it to fuck with me. But I was fairly well pissed at the time."

"Are you honestly telling me that you nearly offed yourself because my sister - who you know hates you - told you I was marrying some silly Quidditch player?"

Teddy flushed. "When you put it that way, it sounds both stupid and pathetic."

"That's because it is!"

"Thanks for the sympathy," Teddy said.

"You don't deserve sympathy, you wanker. You have me kick your stupid arse." Tears spilled down Louis's cheeks, and he swiped at them angrily.

Teddy was by his side in an instant, pulling him into a warm embrace. Louis wrapped his arms around Teddy tightly and pressed his face against his neck, both frightened and angry that he had come so close to losing....

...the man he loved.

Because, he realised, he did still love Teddy. And if his whispered words could be believed, Teddy still loved him, too.

Louis pulled away, cradling his head in his hands. "We can't," he said. "We can't, we can't...."

"Shhhh...." Teddy murmured. "I'm not asking you for anything, Louis. But I'm not going to pretend anymore. I do love you. I lost sight of that, and I...I fucking abused you."

"Shut up," Louis said. "You didn't."

"I did!"

"You didn't. Things got fucked up, yeah. But they weren't all your fault. And I wasn't...I wasn't a victim."

"I was a completely fucking arsehole."

"Yeah, you were. Sometimes. But even when things were bad, we still had good times."

"Did we?" Teddy asked.

Louis nodded. He moved to sit on the floor with his back against the sofa, and Teddy sat beside him.

"Remember that show you played in Sheffield, maybe a month or so before you broke things off?"

Teddy thought for a moment, and then his lips slowly turned up into a smile. "I'm not likely to ever forget that. Pissed Robbie off, though."

Louis turned to look at Teddy. "What do you mean?"

"He said I came back after that break smelling like sex."

"You did," Robbie said from the doorway, startling both Teddy and Louis. "Do you have any idea how hard it is to drum with a hard-on?"

Louis burst out laughing. "Sorry."

"You should be." Robbie moved past them to lie down on the sofa. "You two seem to be getting on again."

Teddy shrugged.

"Yeah, I think we are," Louis said.

"Good," Rob replied. "Guest bedroom is all yours. Don't forget the privacy charms."

"I don't think we're getting on that well," Teddy murmured.

"Yet," Robbie said. "But I know you two. You can't take 'no' for an answer, and Louis can never say 'no' to you for long, anyway. You'll get there."

Louis thought about that for a moment, and also about what that statement meant coming from Robbie. It meant that he believed that Teddy deserved a second chance.

"He's probably right," Louis said, nudging Teddy's arm.

Taking the hint, Teddy wrapped his arm around Louis's shoulders. "He usually is," he said.